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Newsreel
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 20 - 06 - 2019

Military talks with France
MINISTER of Defence and Military Production Mohamed Zaki and a high-ranking delegation discussed with French officials in Paris a number of issues of mutual interest, along with the latest developments in the Middle East. On Monday, Zaki, who left for Paris on Sunday, attended the one-week-long international Paris Air Show, an international aviation and aerospace-industry exhibition held every two years and one of the oldest and largest air shows in the world. On the sidelines of the event, Zaki held talks with senior military officials from several countries to discuss means of boosting military cooperation.
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Train crash report out
THE PROSECUTION-general has concluded its investigation into the huge fire which broke out in Cairo's Ramses train station in February this year, leaving 25 dead and dozens injured. A statement released by the Railway Authority at the time said a locomotive crashed at high speed into a barrier in Cairo's main station, causing its fuel tank to explode and triggering a huge blaze. An investigation revealed that the accident was attributed mainly to gross negligence of the authority's employees and their failure to abide by instructions, which the prosecution deemed criminal offences. According to a report issued on Monday by the prosecutor-general's office, some drivers were found to have deliberately disabled automatic train control devices which continuously display the allowable speed of cars and automatically stops or decelerates a train if it exceeds the permissible speed. In addition, the investigation revealed that a number of unqualified workers were unfit to handle the relay panels designed to change the train car's route automatically. Maintenance for trains were not regularly conducted and poor spare parts were sometimes used. Manoeuvring operators and driver assistants were not at their assigned places which increased the possibility of accidents, the report said. Moreover, the prosecution's inquiries showed that some drivers had operated their vehicles despite technical defects in certain equipment. Signal tower operators were also found in breach of their duties. The prosecution ended its investigation by issuing several recommendations in order to prevent similar accidents.
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Israeli gas settlement reached
EGYPT has signed an agreement with the Israeli Electric Corporation (IEC) in which Egypt will pay IEC $500 million over eight and a half years in compensation for halting natural gas shipments to the Israeli side in 2012, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Egyptian Natural Gas said in a statement on Sunday. Gas pipelines in the Sinai Peninsula suffered several terrorist attacks in 2012, leading to a stoppage of gas exports to Israel. Under the agreement, the Israeli company will drop all claims resulting from a 2015 arbitration decree when the International Chamber of Commerce ordered Egypt to pay IEC $1.8 billion in compensation. Egypt appealed the decision and started discussions on reducing the settlement, making it a key condition for accepting a gas export agreement with Israel. Early last year, Israel's Delek Drilling and its partner Noble Energy signed a deal to export $15 billion in natural gas from Israel's Leviathan and Tamar gas fields to Dolphinus Holding, an Egyptian private sector company. Delek's deputy CEO Yossi Gvura said that commercial sales of natural gas to Egypt would begin by the end of this month.
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Massive airliner deal
EGYPTAIR, Egypt's national airline, on Saturday received its third Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner as part of a massive $6 billion deal to acquire 45 new planes from several companies and which are expected to arrive in June and July. The deal includes buying six new Dreamliners, the first two of which arrived this spring. Chairman of EgyptAir Holding Company Ahmed Adel said in a statement that the new plane will be used for flights to Paris starting 18 June. “This will provide EgyptAir with a competitive advantage in operating this line, as this type of aircraft offers a wide range of technology, comfort and luxury,” Adel said. The 787-9 Dreamliner can seat up to 309 passengers, divided into 30 Diamond super-full-flat beds in business class and 279 in economy class, according to the statement.


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