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Jan 13, 2013

EU’s Rompuy: IMF deal will help Egypt’s ailing economy

CAIRO (Reuters) – A senior EU official urged Egypt on Sunday to conclude its talks with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8 billion loan agreement, saying the deal would help restore international confidence in its wrecked economy.

Already struggling after two years of unrest following Egypt’s 2011 revolution, the economy has been hit by a new bout of turmoil in recent weeks, with tensions over a new constitution damaging people’s confidence in the government.

Jan 13, 2013

Egypt opens old wound with Mubarak retrial

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt ordered a retrial of deposed president Hosni Mubarak on Sunday after accepting an appeal against his life sentence, opening up an old wound in the painful transition from decades of authoritarian rule.

Mubarak, 84, was ousted in 2011 after 30 years in power and jailed for life last year over the killing of protesters by security forces trying to quell a mass street revolt.

Jan 10, 2013

Syria overshadows Iran charm offensive in Egypt

CAIRO (Reuters) – Shi’ite Iran, increasingly isolated over its nuclear programme, tried to improve ties with Egypt on Thursday, playing down differences over Syria and seeking to reduce sectarian tensions by courting the country’s top Sunni scholar.

Iran has been at odds with the Arab world’s most populous nation since Tehran’s Islamic revolution in 1979. But a new era of Egyptian politics that followed the 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak has led to more contacts.

Jan 9, 2013

Exhausted Egyptians count cost of political turmoil

ZAGAZIG, Egypt (Reuters) – These days, craftsmen, shopkeepers and other inhabitants of the Egyptian Delta town of Zagazig are often too busy making ends meet to ponder why life seems to be getting harder every day.

But when, exhausted, they finally come home and sit down to their evening meal, conversations inevitably turn to growing hardship and the frightening prospect of cuts in food subsidies as the economy slides further into crisis.

Jan 6, 2013

Egypt strengthens Islamist role in cabinet, eyes IMF deal

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt reshuffled its government on Sunday to strengthen Islamist control and pledged to complete talks with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8 billion loan deal to stave off a currency crisis that risks igniting more unrest.

A senior IMF official is due in Cairo on Monday to meet Egyptian leaders over the deal, which was postponed last month to give Egypt more time to tackle political tensions before introducing unpopular austerity measures.

Jan 2, 2013

Egyptian pound hits new low amid doubts over economy

CAIRO, Jan 2 (Reuters) – The Egyptian pound fell to record
lows and debt insurance costs soared on Wednesday despite
assurances by the country’s Islamist leaders they would not
allow the Arab world’s most populous nation to slide further
into economic crisis.

The central bank imposed new rules to conserve its foreign
reserves, and the finance minister sought to inject optimism by
saying the pound would soon stabilise – a promise economists
dismissed immediately as too ambitious.

Dec 30, 2012

No end to Syria war if sides refuse to talk: envoy

CAIRO (Reuters) – The U.N.-Arab League negotiator for Syria called on Sunday for outside help to get the warring parties talking to each other, without which he said the country’s 21-month civil war would not end.

Speaking in Egypt after visiting Moscow and Damascus in the past week, Lakhdar Brahimi said the situation in Syria had deteriorated sharply, but a solution was still possible under the terms of a peace plan agreed in Geneva in June.

Dec 25, 2012

Egypt approves new constitution drafted by Mursi allies

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian voters overwhelmingly approved a constitution drafted by President Mohamed Mursi’s allies, results announced on Tuesday showed, proving that liberals, leftists and Christians have been powerless to halt the march of Islamists in power.

Final elections commission figures showed the constitution adopted with 63.8 percent of the vote in the referendum held over two days this month, giving Mursi’s Islamists their third straight electoral victory since veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a 2011 revolution.

Dec 4, 2012

UK’s Cameron: clock ticking for press barons to clean up act

LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron
demanded on Tuesday that newspaper bosses urgently come up with
an effective system of self-regulation following a damning
inquiry into the reporting practices of Britain’s scandal-hungry

The behaviour of Britain’s cut-throat tabloid media has come
under intense scrutiny in recent years as journalists resorted
to increasingly intrusive tactics to break salacious stories
about people’s lives to shore up falling circulation figures.

Dec 3, 2012

Russian opposition celebrity warns against revolution

LONDON (Reuters) – Socialite-turned-Kremlin-critic Ksenia Sobchak told Russian dissidents in London on Monday that growing repression at home would prompt more and more people to fight for change but warned that a full-blown revolution could destroy her country.

Once an apolitical tabloid celebrity and a Playboy cover girl, Sobchak has emerged as an unlikely but fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin in the past year, taking on a man who was once a close political ally and friend of her late father.