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June 5, 2016

Egyptian teen dies in illegal genital mutilation procedure

Egyptian teen dies in illegal genital mutilation procedure

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

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An Egyptian 17-year-old girl has died while under anaesthetics for an illegal female genital mutilation operation at a private hospital in Suez. Egyptian prosecutors are investigating the cause of her death, while waiting to receive the medical examiner’s results from the girl’s autopsy.

The girl, Mayar Mohamed Mousa, died as doctors performed the operation. Egypt, having banned the operation in 2008, is among several countries that have banned female genital mutilation. However, 85 percent of females between the age of 15 and 49 are still having the operation. According to a report published by the United Nations Development Programme, over 90 percent of Egyptian mothers have received the operation, but only 35% approve having it.

Mousa’s death has prompted campaign groups and the United Nations to request a strict response from the Egyptian government to enforce the operation’s ban. Egypt is one of five countries that are actively taking steps against female genital mutilation, with the others being Liberia, Burkina Faso, and Kenya. In a February report published by the United Nations children’s agency, nearly 200 million women worldwide receive the operation, which has been shown to cause several complications, such as bleeding and pain while urinating, discomfort during sexual interaction, as well as fatal complications during childbirth.

Both the girl’s mother and the doctor who performed the operation have been charged with manslaughter.



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May 19, 2016

EgyptAir Flight MS804 Missing

EgyptAir Flight MS804 missing – Wikinews, the free news source

EgyptAir Flight MS804 missing

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

EgyptAir flight MS804 from flying from Paris (France) to Cairo (Egipt) has disappeared from radar at approximately 02:45 (local time) on 19 May. The Airbus A320 went missing over the eastern Mediterranean, about 10 miles into Egyptian air space after leaving Paris at 23:09 local time (18 May). A flight traveling has reportedly gone missing.

EgyptAir flight MS804 went missing over the Mediterranean early this morning at 2:45 Cairo local time. The plane was carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew members (seven crew members and three security personnel on board) and had been in Egyptian airspace for 10 minutes before it went missing.

The pilot reported no troubles with the plane when he spoke to Greece air traffic control before the disappearance. This is reportedly the last known contact from the pilot. However, EgyptAir tweeted that the Egyptian Armed Forces had received a distress signal from the flight. In a statement of their own the Egyptian Armed Forces have denied all knowledge of receiving this signal.

Although they have denied receiving the distress signal Egyptian Armed Forces jets are helping in the search for the flight. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has told RTL radio that France is ready to help in the search. There were 15 French passengers onboard the Paris to Cairo flight.

Family members of those on the flight are receiving help in the EgyptAir lounge at Cairo airport where there are doctors and translators for those who need it.

The search operation is being coordinated with the Greek authorities.


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September 10, 2015

Salim Zanoun announces the postponement of PNC session

Salim Zanoun announces the postponement of PNC session

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

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Salim Zanoun, chairman of the PNC (Palestinian National Council), announced yesterday, September 09, 2015, at a press conference, the postponement of the PNC session by three months, previously expected to take place on September 14th and 15th. The decision to convene the PNC, the PLO’s legislative body, was made due to the resignation of 11 PLO members, including the president, Mahmoud Abbas, this past August, and the need to elect new members.

According to Zanoun, a committee including himself, members of the PLO Executive Committee, and the secretary-generals of Palestinian political factions would meet to discuss the session this coming month. Zanoun also said it was important to “give space to other Palestinian factions to participate in this large responsibility.”

Leading Palestinian factions who boycotted the PNC session, led by Hamas and the PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad), have been quick to respond to Zanoun’s announcement. Spokesman for Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Sami Abu Zuhri, welcomed the decision to postpone the session, saying that it was important to discuss reformation of all the PLO’s institutions, the PNC in particular. PIJ leader, Khalid Al-Batsh, has also welcomed the postponement, describing the move as wise and successful, reflecting national consensus. Al-Batsh called Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to hold a meeting that would see the participation of all Palestinian factions. Al-Batsh expressed his hope that Abbas would arrange with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to allow the meeting to be held in the Egyptian capital. The PNC last convened in 1996 in Gaza City.



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Salim Zanoun announces postponement of Palestinian National Council session

Salim Zanoun announces postponement of Palestinian National Council session

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

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Salim Zanoun, chairman of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), announced yesterday at a press conference the postponement of the PNC session by three months, previously expected to take place on September 14 and 15.

The decision to convene the PNC, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s legislative body, was made due to the resignation of 11 PLO members, including the president, Mahmoud Abbas, this past August, and the need to elect new members.

According to Zanoun, a committee including himself, members of the PLO Executive Committee, and the secretary-generals of Palestinian political factions would meet to discuss the session this coming month. Zanoun also said it was important to “give space to other Palestinian factions to participate in this large responsibility.”

Leading Palestinian factions who boycotted the PNC session, led by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), have been quick to respond to Zanoun’s announcement. Spokesman for Hamas in the Gaza Strip Sami Abu Zuhri welcomed the decision to postpone the session, saying it was important to discuss reformation of all the PLO’s institutions, the PNC in particular. PIJ leader Khalid Al-Batsh has also welcomed the postponement, describing the move as wise and successful, reflecting national consensus. Al-Batsh called Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to hold a meeting that would see the participation of all Palestinian factions. Al-Batsh expressed his hope that Abbas would arrange with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to allow the meeting to be held in the Egyptian capital.

The PNC last convened in 1996 in Gaza City.



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February 16, 2015

Islamic State execute 21 Coptic Christians held in Libya

Islamic State execute 21 Coptic Christians held in Libya

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Libya
Other stories from Libya
  • 16 February 2015: Islamic State execute 21 Coptic Christians held in Libya
  • 15 September 2014: Libya accuse Qatar of intervening on side of rebels
  • 7 September 2014: Libya accuse Sudan of arming ‘terrorist group’
  • 28 August 2014: US says Egypt and UAE responsible for air attacks on Tripoli
  • 24 August 2014: Renegade General’s forces claim responsibility for aerial attacks on Tripoli
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Flag of ISIL.

A video purporting to show the execution of 21 Coptic Christians by supporters of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been released yesterday. The video shows them being beheaded in a location apparently near Tripoli in Libya.

The captives, all shown being executed in orange jumpsuits in the video, were picked up in Sirte, a coastal town in Libya, during December and January. The video asserts the Christians were targeted by ISIL because of their religion.

The Coptic Orthodox Church stated they were “confident” justice would be done on those who executed their followers. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stated: “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals”.

Al-Azhar University, a Cairo-based centre for Islamic learning, described the killing of Christians “barbaric” and stated the actions have “nothing to do with any religion or human values”.



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January 27, 2015

Greek singer Demis Roussos dies aged 68

Greek singer Demis Roussos dies aged 68 – Wikinews, the free news source

Greek singer Demis Roussos dies aged 68

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

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Demis Roussos in Baku in 2013.
Image: Urek Meniashvili.

Greek singer Demis Roussos died on Sunday in Athens. The 68-year-old Roussos, born in Egypt, died in a private hospital. No official cause of death has been announced but the hospital said he had been there for some time. Roussos reached international fame in the 1960s and 70s. His hits included Forever and Ever, Quand je t’aime, and Goodbye.

Roussos, whose musical career started with work in cabaret, had success both as a solo artist and as part of a group. He belonged to progressive rock group Aphrodite’s Child. After a successful career with Aphrodite’s Child, Roussos went solo. His single Forever and Ever reached number one in several Single charts in 1973 and topped the UK Singles chart in 1976.

He and his family left Egypt in 1961, when he was a teenager, in the aftermath of the Suez crisis. Before the move he had studied and performed music in a Greek church. He was 17 when he joined group The Idols; while with The Idols he met Vangelis, who he would go on to form Aphrodite’s Child with.

Vangelis released a statement about the death of his former bandmate Roussos. He said “Demis my friend. I have just arrived in London and I’ve been told that you decide to take the long voyage, I’m shocked because I can’t believe that this happened so soon. Nature gave you this magic voice of yours which made millions of people around the world very happy. […] As for me, I keep those special memories that we share together those early days and I wish you to be happy wherever you are. […] Goodbye my friend goodbye. Love Vangelis.”

Another tribute came from fellow Greek singer Nana Mouskouri. Speaking to French radio station RTL, she said “He had a superb voice, he travelled in the world […] he loved what he was doing. He was an artist, a friend. I hope he is in a better world.”

In 1985 he was a captive in the TWA Flight 847 hijacking. He was held for five days, one of which was his 39th birthday.

During his later life Roussos lived in several countries including France, United States and England. In 2013 he was awarded the French Legion of Honour during a ceremony in Athens.



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September 15, 2014

Libya accuse Qatar of intervening on side of rebels

Libya accuse Qatar of intervening on side of rebels

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Libya
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  • 16 February 2015: Islamic State execute 21 Coptic Christians held in Libya
  • 15 September 2014: Libya accuse Qatar of intervening on side of rebels
  • 7 September 2014: Libya accuse Sudan of arming ‘terrorist group’
  • 28 August 2014: US says Egypt and UAE responsible for air attacks on Tripoli
  • 24 August 2014: Renegade General’s forces claim responsibility for aerial attacks on Tripoli
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Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni yesterday accused Qatar of interfering in his country’s affairs by sending three military planes loaded with weapons to an airport in Tripoli under the control of Islamist rebels.

Abdullah al-Thinni
Image: White House.

The Libyan leader told the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Arab TV channel Sky News his country would consider “breaking off relations if this interference into Libya’s internal affairs continued.” He also reiterated previous accusations against Sudan of also trying to supply the rebels.

Last month the US said Egypt and the UAE were involved in airstrikes against militants as they were in the process of capturing Tripoli.

Qatar has previously backed the Muslim Brotherhood, a group reported to have ties with the militants in Tripoli. Other countries, including Egypt and UAE, are reportedly worried about the spread of radical Islam.

Three years after the removal from power of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya now has two competing governments, one in Tripoli, and one in Tobruk where the most recently elected parliament has moved to escape the violence. Rival militias fight each other, and a renegade general is reportedly confronting the Libyan army.


Related news

  • “Libya accuse Sudan of arming ‘terrorist group'” — Wikinews, September 7, 2014
  • “US says Egypt and UAE responsible for air attacks on Tripoli” — Wikinews, August 28, 2014

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August 28, 2014

US says Egypt and UAE responsible for air attacks on Tripoli

US says Egypt and UAE responsible for air attacks on Tripoli

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

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On Tuesday, officials of the US military said they believed recent airstrikes in Tripoli, Libya last week were the responsibility of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The announcement follows claims of responsibility from forces loyal to Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, who has been moving in support of militias involved in the widespread conflict within the country. Egypt has denied responsibility, with sources reporting the government of the UAE has thus far declined to comment.

There had already been evidence suggesting foreign involvement, with reports of US-made bomb fragments found in wreckage in Tripoli. Previous attacks by General Haftar’s forces have reportedly struck Benghazi, with Libyan planes said to lack the range or capabilities for a night time attack on a target as distant as Tripoli.

US officials reportedly have been aware of the possibility of involvement from other regional countries, with Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia supporting secular militias, while Qatar support more Islamist forces, who are locked in violence as they contest the future of their country. Rulers within the region are also reported to be alarmed by the recent gains from Islamist factions.

Cquote1.svg “[they] are now stronger than the government itself, and [they] do now possess arms even more sophisticated than the government itself” Cquote2.svg

—Mohamed Abdel Aziz, Libyan Foreign minister

Libya’s foreign minister, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, told The Guardian the government was no longer able to defend the country’s assets, and while they did not want any outside intervention, they were in need of support and supplies. He stated the government were struggling to secure national assets against those “who are now stronger than the government itself, and who do now possess arms even more sophisticated than the government itself”.



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  • “Renegade General’s forces claim responsibility for aerial attacks on Tripoli” — Wikinews, August 24, 2014

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June 26, 2014

Belgian men\’s goalball team departs for Finland for World Championships

Belgian men’s goalball team departs for Finland for World Championships

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

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Belgian national team selfie the day they departed for the World Championship. Pictured are Klison Mapreni, Tom Vanhove and Youssef Bihi
Image: Klison Mapreni.

This morning European time, the Belgium men’s national goalball team departed for Espoo, Finland for the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships. The championship is the biggest competition since the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

The team is scheduled to play their opening game on the morning of June 30 against Brazil men’s national goalball team. They are scheduled to play their second game of pool play against Turkey men’s national goalball team later that afternoon. Their remaining games in pool play are against Canada, Lithuania, Egypt, China and Japan.

The members of the team are Bruno Vanhove, Tom Vanhove, Klison Mapreni, Youssef Bihi, Wassime Amnir and Glenn Van Thournout. They are coached by Jean Claude Meulemans and Werner Van Thournout. 30-year-old teammates Bruno and Tom Vanhove are sextuplet brothers, who have been part of the national goalball program for about ten years. Three of the sextuplets, including Bruno and Tom, are visually impaired. When playing, Bruno can throw the ball at speeds of up to 60 km/hour, while Tom can throw the ball at just under 55 km/hour.

Last month, with all but one of the same roster scheduled to compete at the World Championships, the national team competed at the Belgian-hosted Parantee Paralympic Championships. They lost to Algeria 7–11, defeated Russia 11–5, lost to the United States 3–13, defeated the Netherlands 10–5, narrowly lost to Finland 5–6, and lost to Lithuania 6–13.

Goalball was created in 1946, exclusively for people with a visual disability and designed to help with the rehabilitation of veterans returning from World War II. Play in the Paralympics consists of two twelve-minute periods, with a three minute break between halves. Players are blindfolded to ensure all are equally visually handicapped on-court, and the game can be stopped to ensure goggles are properly fitted. Standing in front of a long goal, they throw the ball at the opposition team’s net who in turn try to block it by listening to the ball, which contains a bell, and using their bodies to prevent the ball from going in. The audience is asked to remain silent during play.



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June 23, 2014

Egyptian court sends three Al-Jazeera journalists to jail

Egyptian court sends three Al-Jazeera journalists to jail

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Peter Greste, one of the journalists convicted, collecting a Peabody Award in 2012.
Image: Peabody Awards.

Egypt
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  • 16 February 2015: Islamic State execute 21 Coptic Christians held in Libya
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Three journalists from the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television news network have been sentenced to seven years in jail by a court in Cairo today for spreading false news and helping the Muslim Brotherhood group which are now banned as terrorists. The three journalists — the Australian correspondent Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian journalist and Cairo bureau chief for Al-Jazeera Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian producer— were convicted alongside others tried in absentia.

Baher Mohamed was sentenced to three years on a second charge for possessing weapons.

Al Antsey, the managing director for Al Jazeera English said of the judgment: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. ‘Guilty’ of covering stories with great skill and integrity. ‘Guilty’ of defending people’s right to know what is going on in their world.”

“Peter, Mohamed, and Baher and six of our other colleagues were sentenced despite the fact that not a shred of evidence was found to support the extraordinary and false charges against them. At no point during the long drawn out ‘trial’ did the absurd allegations stand up to scrutiny. There were many moments during the hearings where in any other court of law, the trial would be thrown out. There were numerous irregularities in addition to the lack of evidence to stand up the ill-conceived allegations.”

Julie Bishop, the Australian Foreign Minister, said she was “bitterly disappointed” by the decision.



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