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Economic reforms slacken as task gets harder

Reuters CAIRO: The pace of Egypt s economic reform has slowed down as the government faces tough political choices on cutting spending and finds it harder to sell state-owned firms on a depressed stock market. Reiterating the slogan Egypt is open for business, ministers have pledged to continue reforms praised by institutions including the IMF. …

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Fury in Egypt over Ghana's Israeli flag waver

Agence France-Presse CAIRO: Ghana defender John Paintsil s waving of an Israeli flag to celebrate his team s World Cup goals drew a barrage of insults and furious reactions in Monday s Egyptian newspapers. Paintsil, who plays for Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv, celebrated the two goals in Ghana s 2-0 win over the Czech …

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Abbas says EU funding mechanism 'not adequate' during visit to Egypt

Agence France-Presse CAIRO: Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said Saturday an EU funding mechanism for the cash-strapped Palestinians was not adequate after a meeting with President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo. The mechanism is I believe not adequate because the funds must go through the government, Abbas told reporters, referring to how under the EU plan the …

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Identity of Zarqawi's successor remains enigma

Agence France-Presse CAIRO: The true identity of Abu Ayyub Al-Masri, the man said to have succeeded the slain Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi as leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, remains an enigma in his reported homeland of Egypt. His real name is Yussef Al-Dardiri, he is around 38 years old and he comes from Upper Egypt, Montasser …

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A flowering gallery

CAIRO: Under the patronage of Philippe Coste, French ambassador to Egypt, the Contemporary Flowers exhibition opened on June 12 at the Opera Music Library in the Cairo Opera House. Still life, and specifically flower artwork, is French artist Veronique Abbal’s favorite themes, as they allow her feminine sensitivities and delicate sense of colors to flourish. …

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Premier of China kicks off Africa tour in Egypt

Agence France-Presse CAIRO: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao kicks off a tour of Africa in Egypt on Saturday, celebrating Sino-African political ties in the nation where they began, before resuming the hunt for mineral wealth in six other countries. On May 30, 1956, Egypt became the first African state to establish diplomatic relations with the People …

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LNG exporting heavyweights meet with U.S. industry

Reuters WASHINGTON: Four major international exporters of liquefied natural gas met with U.S. utility and industry executives on Wednesday to discuss future supply. Government officials from Nigeria, Algeria, Qatar and Egypt met with executives from about 30 U.S. companies in the closed-door session organized by former U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham s consulting shop. Both …

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Unconventional dating

Forget the standard routine and explore new activities with your date CAIRO: The summer is finally here but it won t last for long, so forget the classic date routine of dinner-and-a-movie and get inspired. Whatever relationship stage you are at – whether you have just started dating or you are an established couple – …

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Daring Egyptian actress dons headscarf, calls Iran 'role model'

CAIRO: Young Egyptian actress Hanan Turk, known for her daring roles in a conservative society, caused a stir when she recently called Iranian cinema a role model and donned the Islamic headscarf. Her conversion was the latest event to electrify the ongoing debate on the Islamization of Egyptian society, with artistic circles lamenting her decision …

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The Slamdance experience

A young Egyptian filmmaker gives a personal account of his experience at an international film festival CAIRO, November 2005: For a young filmmaker, getting the opportunity to showcase your work at an international film festival is big. I had recently obtained my One-Year Directing Diploma from the New York Film Academy, where I wrote, directed …

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Summer screen sensations

Arabic movies dominate movie theaters this season and vie for their share at the box office CAIRO: Despite the start of the World Cup, the season of summer films has started with a bang. Five Egyptian films have overrun the multiplexes nationwide as their producers and distributors gamble with all their assets: catchy one-liners, singers …

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China's Wen to visit Egypt in regional tour

Agence France-Presse BEIJING: China will begin round three of an intense diplomatic campaign in Africa on Saturday when Premier Wen Jiabao embarks on a hectic seven-nation tour of the continent. Wen will spend one week traveling through Egypt, Ghana, the Republic of Congo, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, pushing ever harder his nation s …

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Batman meets Aladdin in the form of 21st century comic book heroes

Middle Eastern super heroes to take America Associated Press LOS ANGELES: If Batman had a twin sister, her name most likely would be Aya, princess of darkness. Just like Batman s alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, Middle Eastern comic book superstar Aya launched her quest for vengeance against evil after witnessing her father s murder. And while …

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Crossing the line between reality and fantasy

World Cup fans sign up for virtual football game linked to the tournament CAIRO: I was sitting with my husband watching a football game. A team scored and my husband had a big grin whispering “yes. A few minutes later the same team scored, his grin suddenly switched to a frown. I didn’t understand and …

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Homemade snacks

CAIRO: Whenever you hear that friends or family are coming over to watch a football game or even a movie, food delivery is always the first choice. Pizza and chips and dips, of course, are all time favorite for large informal gatherings. But adding some homemade snacks to the table gives the guests more options …

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Arab security services and the crisis in democratic change

The lack of democratic breakthroughs worthy of mention in Arab countries has spurred debate about barriers to change. Much of this debate has focused on economic, social and cultural factors, or on the fragility of political forces demanding democracy. The debate would be incomplete, however, without a discussion of the means by which authoritarian Arab …

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My Name Is Bond

http://www.mi6.co.uk/mi6.php3 My favorite Bond movie is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). That’s the one where James Bond gets married, although his wife gets conveniently killed shortly thereafter. The story is preposterous, but the surprises keep piling up, and the stunts are great (ski chases and car chases). And most of all, the score is …

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Egyptians prepare for costly World Cup view

Millions to miss seeing it on national television Agence France-Presse CAIRO: Watching this year s World Cup tournament could turn out to be an expensive experience for millions of Egyptian fans after talks to broadcast the event freely on state television hit a snag. The government continued Thursday to negotiate a deal with the Arab …

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UN Human Rights Council: contested elections except for Africa

The good news is that, finally, the UN has replaced the badly reputed Human Rights Commission with the newly established Human Rights Council. The old body was a symbol of UN dysfunction as human rights violators gained seats in it and used their positions to prevent any censuring of their policies. Hopefully, it won’t work …

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Landscaping 101

Good landscaping, good results CAIRO: Before I started writing this article, I had to indulge in a lot of reading about landscaping. I’m assuming most urbanites, like myself, know precious little about the subject. Yes, everyone enjoys an attractive college campus, golf course and shopping center, but how many people know what is involved in …

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Cliffhanger in the Valley of the Kings

Agence France-Presse LUXOR: Egyptologists are holding their breath over the mystery surrounding the first tomb discovered in Luxor s Valley of the Kings since that of the boy king Tutankhamun in 1922. News of the surprise discovery in February by an American team from the University of Memphis has had repercussions far beyond this famous …

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Let the games begin

Part 2 CAIRO: In group D, it is quite apparent that Portugal, alongside Mexico, will make it through to the second round. Both teams are superior to Iran and Angola in regard to their World Cup experience. Iran takes part for the third time after an eight year absence, while Angola is appearing in the …

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Mubarak, Olmert meet to strengthen ties

By Agence France-Presse SHARM EL SHEIKH: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Hosni Mubarak were to meet in Sharm El-Sheikh Sunday in the first talks between the two leaders since Olmert assumed his position. I intend to strengthen ties with Egypt, the largest Arab country in the region, Olmert told Israeli public radio before …

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Arab democratic reforms slow as Iraq distracts U.S.

Associated Press BEIRUT: The daily carnage in Iraq is claiming another casualty; Arab reformers who have increasingly become the target of governments that no longer feel pressured by the United States to change. Ten intellectuals were recently thrown in jail in Syria. In Egypt, more than 600 people protesting in support of two reformist judges …

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U.S. democracy institute asked to shut down all operations

CAIRO: Egypt has told the U.S.-based International Republican Institute (IRI) to stop its activities in Egypt, saying comments by its representative were interfering in the country s internal affairs. The Foreign Ministry said on Sunday it had summoned country director Gina London and told her to suspend all activities until the organization, which monitors political …

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Raul scores in Spain's 2-0 win over Egypt in World Cup warm-up

ELCHE: Raul Gonzalez ended a seven-month goal drought to help Spain to a 2-0 win over Egypt in a World Cup warm-up on Saturday. Raul, who last netted on Oct. 26 in a Real Madrid game, struck from close range in the 14th minute at Martinez Valero Stadium after Egypt goalkeeper Essam Al Hadari fumbled …

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Let the games begin

CAIRO: The numbers are lining up to make this a sensational event: 32 nations representing six continents, 64 games of highly competitive football, 12 remarkable venues, 1,112,000 tickets sold via the Internet, with anticipated ticket sales revenues worth 200 million euros and tight security precautions. The football scene worldwide eagerly anticipates the 18th World Cup, …

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Gym mythology

It’s time to separate fact from fiction and understand the truth about gym myths CAIRO: Myths come from various “trustworthy sources. Fitness magazines, gym rats and supplement and equipment companies are all a part of putting personal opinion, and not scientific back up. Discard the common myths to understand what has become gym tradition and …

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A different Toon

http://www.jibjab.com/ Brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis founded Jibjab in 1998 and since then have been among the foremost purveyors of web-based satirical animation. They reached the height of their fame in 2004 with an inspired 2-minute spoof of the U.S. presidential campaign titled “This Land. Set to the tune of the celebrated Woody Guthrie song, …

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