Egypt

  1. Egyptians go on trial for Italian student's murder

    Giulio Regeni
    Image caption: Giulio Regeni was studying for a doctorate at Cambridge when he was murdered

    When Giulio Regeni's mutilated body was found in a ditch near Cairo in February 2016, it was so badly disfigured that his mother struggled to identify him.

    Five years on, four members of Egypt's security forces go on trial in absentia on Thursday, accused of kidnapping the student, torturing him and killing him.

    The Egyptian authorities reject the Italian allegations.

    Regeni's parents will attend the trial in Rome, trying to find out what led to his death.

    The 28-year-old student was abducted on 25 January 2016 while carrying out research for his PhD at Cambridge on Egypt's independent trade unions. A week later his body was discovered on the road to Alexandria.

    Egyptian authorities constantly hindered the Italian prosecution, inventing wild stories behind the murder: a failed drug deal, a botched robbery, even a gay crime of passion.

    But Italian prosecutors concluded that the Egyptian national security agency was behind the murder.

    Read more from BBC News Online.

  2. Fire sweeps through landmark Egyptian hall

    The Newsroom

    BBC World Service

    A big fire has swept through the main square of a landmark concert hall and conference centre in Egypt where the country's top film festival is due to open on Thursday.

    A plume of black smoke rose from where the opening and closing ceremonies of El Gouna film festival are due to take place.

    The festival has been held in the Red Sea resort since 2017 and is the most glamorous and prestigious event for Egypt's film industry.

    The fire has now been put out, and the festival is still scheduled to go ahead on Thursday evening.

    View more on twitter
  3. Huge investment to develop Africa's infrastructure signed

    An oil ship docked at Senegal's port  Autonome
    Image caption: The $1.7bn project will begin in Egypt, Dakar and Somalia

    A joint investment to modernise logistics infrastructure in Africa has been agreed between the Dubai ports giant DP World and the UK's development finance agency CDC Group.

    The $1.7bn (£1.2bn) investment will initially focus on expanding three ports: Egypt's Ain Sokhna, Senegal's Dakar and Berbera in Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland. All the ports are operated by DP World.

    The partners hope the investment - which they plan to expand to other regions in Africa - will help accelerate inbound and outbound trade for the continent.

    According to CDC, the expansion of the three ports will support five million jobs and add $51bn to total trade by 2035.

    It's expected to benefit 35 million people including those from neighbouring countries.

  4. Three arrested over dumping of Covid vaccines in Egypt

    BBC World Service

    Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine
    Image caption: Nearly 20,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine were stored at the wrong temperature

    Prosecutors in Egypt have ordered the arrest of three people following the dumping of thousands of unused doses of a coronavirus vaccine near the city of Minya, 200km (125 miles) south of Cairo.

    Images posted on social media last week showed piles of white boxes strewn along the banks of a waterway.

    The authorities say nearly 20,000 doses of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine, with a value of more than $300,000 (£220,000), had been allocated to the Minya health directorate but had gone to waste after being stored at the wrong temperature.

    Only about 11% of the Egyptian population has received a first Covid-19 jab, with about 6% being fully vaccinated.

  5. Newly discovered Egyptian coffin displayed in Dubai

    Peter Musembi

    BBC Africa

    The casket of priest Psamtik

    The coffin of an ancient Egyptian priest uncovered last year is on public display for the first time at the Dubai World Expo.

    The casket of priest Psamtik was among 27 coloured-wooden coffins that were recently discovered in Saqqara - a district south of Cairo known for its vast, ancient burial ground of pharaohs and royals.

    Nicknamed the doctor, Psamtik served as king Tutankhamun's head medic.

    Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities described the find as one of the largest and most important discoveries in recent years.

    The Dubai World Expo is the largest global gathering since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, where more than 190 countries are showcasing their culture and innovations with the hope of attracting investors.

    While Egypt has a lot of innovations and investment opportunities to display at the country’s pavilion, it is the coffin which has become the centre of attraction - with visitors waiting in long queues to catch a glimpse.

    "It is worth the wait to be able to see such a piece of history from thousands of years" one tourist said.

    Officials hope showing off newly discovered archaeological artefacts will help revive visitor numbers after the country’s tourism industry was seriously disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

  6. Mixed reaction over Egypt's plan to tax YouTubers

    YouTube logo on a phone
    Image caption: The government targets high earning YouTubers

    A plan to tax online content creators in Egypt has sparked mixed reactions.

    The country's tax authority asked YouTubers and bloggers to register and declare their annual income.

    The government is targeting those earning more than 500,000 Egyptian pounds ($32,000; £23,000) annually.

    Some people on social media have been supporting the new taxation:

    "Poor vegetable sellers are taxed, so we can also tax the rich," an Egyptian wrote on Twitter, the AFP news agency reports.

    Others are opposed to the move citing high internet costs, with a tweeter writing: "If the government wants to tax YouTubers then it must at least give us better internet and scrap the whole limited gigabytes packages".

    "Anyone who makes a profit in Egypt must be fairly taxed whatever their field of work is", the AFP quoted Mohamed al-Gayyar, a senior tax authority official, as saying.

  7. Video content

    Video caption: ICYMI: Taxi gardens and Egypt's pharoahs on a pencil

    Abandoned taxis being used to grow vegetables and other stories you may have missed this week.

  8. Actress 'honored and humbled' by Emmy nod

    BBC World Service

    Egyptian actress Menna Shalabi says she feels both "honoured and humbled" to have become the first Arab female nominee for an international Emmy Award.

    The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said that the 39 year old had been selected for her performance in the mini-crime TV series Every Week Has a Friday.

    The winners will be announced in November at an awards ceremony in New York.

    Menna Shalabi on the red carpet in 2016.
    Image caption: Menna Shalabi is the first Arab woman to be nominated for an international Emmy Award
  9. Egypt bans school staff who aren't jabbed or tested

    BBC World Service

    Secondary school students sit an exam
    Image caption: Schools are reopening in two weeks' time

    The Egyptian education ministry has barred teachers and other staff from entering schools and universities unless they have been either vaccinated or fully tested for Covid.

    Education Minister Tariq Shawqi said unvaccinated staff must pay for two PCR tests a week - at the prohibitive rate of almost $100 (£73) each.

    Official figures show that 40% of Egyptian teachers have yet to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

    The academic year is due to start in two weeks.

  10. Could Egypt's planned high speed rail line make trains safer ?

    Video content

    Video caption: Train crashes are too common in Egypt so a new high speed rail line could transform safety

    Train crashes are too common in Egypt so a new high speed rail line could transform safety

  11. Egyptian honours killed children using their toys

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC News, Nairobi

    A poster of "66 Toy Stories” an art exhibition in honour of 66 children victims of Gaza conflict
    Image caption: A poster of the 66 Toy Stories exhibition honouring children killed in Gaza

    Egyptian artist Shosha Kamal has set up a special art exhibition honouring 66 children who died during 11 days of the Israel-Gaza conflict last May.

    The one-day exhibition in Cairo, dubbed 66 Toy Stories, features toys and belongings of the killed children.

    Kamal, a 35-year-old designer, says the exhibition will “pay homage to humanity”.

    “It is a sincere call to all conflicting parts to respect human lives, especially those of the children we cannot bring back to life, but it may help us restore our humanity,” the designer adds.

  12. Egypt's ex-military chief Hussein Tantawi dies at 85

    BBC World Service

    Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi
    Image caption: Tantawi served in government until 2012

    The former Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, has died.

    He was 85.

    Following the ousting of the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, in 2011, Mr Tantawi became the de-facto head of state until the inauguration of Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt 16 months later.

    He continued to serve in the government until August 2012.

  13. Ethiopia and Egypt welcome call to resume dam talks

    Grand renaissance dam
    Image caption: The dam project on the Blue Nile has caused tension between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt

    Ethiopia's foreign ministry has welcomed the UN security council's calls to resume talks with neighbouring Sudan and Egypt to resolve their dispute and finalise their agreement on filling and operating the the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd).

    The ministry also welcomed the council's move to direct the matter to the African Union.

    "Ethiopia believes the time is now for the Nile Basin countries to brace for and foster basin-wide cooperation," the ministry's statement read in part.

    Egypt's foreign ministry on its part urged all observers to facilitate the reaching of an agreement.

    The dam project on the Blue Nile has caused tension between Ethiopia and its neighbours, with Egypt and Sudan worried about droughts and water security.

    Egypt sees it as an existential issue as it relies almost entirely on the river for its water supply, while Ethiopia sees the dam as a way to bring electricity to millions of its citizens.

    More on this topic:

    A map of the Nile and the dams.
  14. Egyptian president damned over huge prison plan

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has been mocked on social media over a high-profile announcement that the government planned to build the country's largest-ever prison complex.

    Critics of the president's announcement said they were expecting the authorities to build hospitals, schools and houses in a country which has a severe housing shortage and a water crisis.

    Areej Algana wrote: "I have always heard about presidents bragging about the largest medical, industrial or scientific complex but not about a prison complex. It is a first."

    Haytham Abokhalil commented: "This comes at a time when there's a shortage in hospitals and schools. Welcome to the national human rights strategy."

    Egypt has been criticised by human rights groups and the United Nations for its human rights records. They say that under President Sisi the country has seen its heaviest crack down on dissidents.

    The US has decided to withhold a portion of its aid to Cairo unless human rights conditions improve including the release of activists.

  15. Egypt harassing activists into silence - Amnesty

    BBC World Service

    Amnesty International has accused the security services in Egypt of intimidating and harassing human rights activists in order to try to silence them.

    The campaign group interviewed 25 people for a new report called: This will only end when you die.

    Amnesty says that most of those interviewed said they lived in constant fear of being detained by the National Security Agency.

    The group has called on President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to put an end to what it called extrajudicial harassment.

    Mr Sisi has overseen a major offensive against political dissent since taking power in 2014.

  16. US withholds military aid to Egypt amid rights concerns

    The US has withheld $130m (£94m) worth of military aid to Egypt until it takes steps on human rights.

    President Joe Biden's administration released $170m of aid even as rights groups called for the blocking of the entire aid.

    The US state department said the government will continue discussing human rights with Egypt and would release the rest of the aid if Egypt "addresses specific human-rights related conditions".

    Rights groups have accused the US government of betraying the commitment to promote human rights.

    Dozens of activists have been arrested under President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

    But Egypt has repeatedly denied accusations of human rights violations.