Egypt Independent: Egypt-Main news http://www.egyptindependent.com//enhome_channel/News/rss.xml en Messi to arrive in Cairo Tuesday for Hepatitis C campaign http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2476525 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2017/02/15/16030/img_2186.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Barcelona FC football superstar ‚ÄčLionel Messi will arrive in Cairo Tuesday afternoon on a one-day visit where he will participate in a campaign for medical tourism dubbed &quot;Tour and Cure for the treatment of Hepatitis C&quot;.</p><p>The Public Information Office of Prime Pharma Inc., the advertizing partner for Messi&#39;s visit to Egypt, announced last week that the legendary player will postpone his visit due to reasons relating to the team&#39;s loss in its recent match against Paris St. Germain FC.</p><p>Barcelona was heavily defeated 4-0 by Paris St. Germain last Tuesday, in Europe&#39;s Champions League.</p><p>Messi&#39;s visit will start with a tour at Giza Pyramids followed by a large ceremony to launch the medical campaign, Prima Pharma Inc. said in a statement.</p><p>The campaign&#39;s ad which was shot in Spain to call on Hepatitis C patients to receive treatment in Egypt will be displayed for the first time, the Prima Pharma added.</p><p>Messi was keen to thank Egyptians, whom he trusts understood the reasons behind the postponement of his visit, a media source at the pharmaceutical company said. The source added that the postponement of the visit served as a further propaganda for the visit.</p><p>Tight security measures have been imposed during Messi&#39;s visit, an Interior Ministry source said.</p><p>Security guards from the Interior Ministry in addition to National Security Agency and Public Security Sector officers will accompany Messi since his arrival, the source added.</p> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:57:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2476525 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2017/02/15/16030/img_2186.jpg Egypt to receive largest order for MiG-29 since Soviet era in 2020 http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2476513 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2017/02/20/507554/mig-29.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p dir="LTR"><span style="font-size: 1em;">Egypt will receive some 50 MiG-29 fighters from Russia as scheduled in 2020, Russian news agency Sputnik reported on Monday.</span></p><p dir="LTR">Russia&#39;s contract on the delivery of MiG-29 fighter aircraft to Egypt is in keeping with its schedule, deputy director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Alexei Frolkin said<span dir="RTL">.</span></p><p dir="LTR"><span dir="RTL">&quot;</span>The delivery will be carried out within the period set out in the contract,&quot; Sputnik quoted Frolkin as saying at the IDEX 2017 exhibition in the United Arab Emirates<span dir="RTL">.</span></p><p dir="LTR">The contract, reportedly initiated after Russian President Vladimir Putin&#39;s meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in February 2014, would be the largest order for the MiG-29 jets in the post-Soviet period<span dir="RTL">.</span></p><p dir="LTR">The contract on the delivery of some 50 MiG-29 Fulcrum multirole fighters reportedly sets the 2020 completion deadline<span dir="RTL">.</span></p><p dir="LTR">Russia&#39;s Vedomosti newspaper in May 2015 reported that the jets were going to Egypt as part of a US$3.5 billion arms deal signed by Putin and Sisi in April 2015.</p><p dir="LTR">The MiG-29 aircraft is a multi-role fighter of &quot;4+&quot; generation. It&#39;s known for Russians by the name of Fulcrum, and has been designed to act as air defense, ground attack, and can carry six air-to-air R-73 missiles, in addition to missiles R-60, and 30 mm automatic cannon, and its top speed is 2445 km/h.</p><p dir="LTR">&nbsp;</p><p dir="LTR">&nbsp;</p> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:14:00 +0000 Egypt Independent 2476513 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2017/02/20/507554/mig-29.jpg Egypt's tourism to recover in 2017: AFP http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2476509 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/01/14/16030/ru.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>After more than five years of devastation for Egypt&#39;s once-booming tourism industry due to intermittent fluctuations and security unrest, AFP reported on Sunday that the industry is recovering and positive indices are taking shape on the horizon.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Omaima al-Husseini, spokesperson for the Tourism Ministry, told AFP that January saw an increase in the number of tourists compared to the same month in previous years.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>That month, Tourism Minister Yehia Rashid said 2017 will witness a big boom in tourism according to the indicators and expectations of increasing bookings to the country&#39;s tourist destinations. This is compounded by the return of direct flights from a number of major markets including Russia, Britain and Germany to all Egyptian tourist spots.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The statistics showed high influx of visitors from China, Japan and Ukraine which accounted for a large part of the growth. According to China&#39;s top public travel agency, China International Travel Service, the number of tourists to Egypt jumped 58 percent in comparison to 2015.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Japan&#39;s HIS travel agency said the number of tourists heading to Egypt &quot;multiplied by four or five times last year; since charter flights from Japan to Egypt resumed in April 2016, they have been 80 percent full on average,&quot; said a spokesperson for the Japan Association of Travel agents.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to AFP, there was a modest increase in reservations from other European countries such as Germany and France. &quot;In early February, four other European countries -- Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden -- eased travel warnings against travel to south Sinai, where Sharm el-Sheikh and other resorts are situated,&quot; the article said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>German tourist website, Check 24, reported on Monday that Egypt ranked first in terms of tourist bookings in 2017, as the number of tourists who booked trips to Egypt in the first six weeks of this year grew by 84 percent, compared to the same period last year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div>Karim Mohsen, the head of Egyptian Federation of Tourism, said that compared to last year bookings increased exponentially in the period between October 2016 and January 2017. &quot;There is an improvement, especially for cultural tourism in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan,&quot; he told AFP.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;This uptick is a sign of hope for a country also reeling from the shock of an economic reform programme that has triggered massive inflation,&quot; Mohsen added.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported that the annual inflation rate jumped to 29.6 percent in January 2017 compared to the same month last year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Tamer al-Shaer, the vice president of the Blue Sky travel agency, told AFP that tourism activity climbed slightly up in 2016-2017 winter season, featuring a 30 percent increase in Ukrainian tourists and a 60 percent rise in visitors from China, with daily flights to Aswan.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The AFP article shed light on the poor situation of the tourism industry since the 25 January Revolution in 2011; despite the sector&#39;s attempts to revive it, the industry has been hammered by deadly political crises throughout the past six years.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The article mentioned the suicide attack in June 2015 which targeted a tourist bus near Luxor&rsquo;s Karnak Temple in Upper Egypt. While in October of the same year, a terrorist attack took down a Russian airliner killing all 224 people on board over the Sinai pennisula.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>After this attack Russia suspended flights to Egypt and Britain cut air links with Sharm el-Sheikh.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Visitor numbers plunged from 9.3 million in 2015 to 5.3 million in 2016,&quot; ministry spokesperson al-Husseini said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The AFP report said Egypt hosted a record 14.7 million foreign tourists in 2010, a year before Hosni Mubarak&#39;s overthrow and the ensuing economic decline. &quot;Restoring even two-thirds of that number is a key government goal, but it hinges on Russia and Britain resuming flights,&quot; al-Husseini told AFP.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>She pointed that negotiations&nbsp;are ongoing to resolve the issue as soon as possible, as more than 60 percent of tourists arriving in Sharm el-Sheikh by plane used to come from Britain or Russia.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;If the Russians do not come back, there will be paralysis, as Russians and Britons are the backbone of Sharm el-Sheikh,&quot; the tourism federation&#39;s Mohsen told AFP.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:54:00 +0000 Hend El-Behary 2476509 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/01/14/16030/ru.jpg Court upholds death sentences for 10 Port Said stadium massacre suspects http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2476505 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/02/02/94/ultras_ahlawy_in_suez_commemorate_the_third_anniversary_of_the_port_said_stadium_massacre_that__left_72_group_members_dead.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The Court of Cassation has rejected challenges submitted by 10 suspects involved in the Port Said Stadium massacre, which occurred in 2012 when 72 fans of al-Ahly Club were killed, upholding the death sentences.</p><p>In June 2015, the Port Said Criminal Court sentenced 11 suspects to death, 10 to life in prison, while 10 others were dealt harsh prison sentences and hard labor.</p><p>Twelve suspects, including the Port Said security chief and security officials, were sentenced to five years hard labor, while 20 suspects were cleared.</p><p>The prosecution earlier accused the suspects of premeditated murder, attempted murder, robbery, sabotage and thuggery. It indicated the suspects; intentions to kill al-Ahly fans in revenge for previous conflicts, adding that they used force against the Ultras fan group using edged weapons, explosives, rocks and other tools.</p><p>The first verdict was issued on March 9, 2013, which saw 21 suspects sentenced to death, five others to life, 10 suspects to 15 years in prison, six suspects to 10 years, two suspects to five years, one suspect for one year with labor, and &nbsp;28 suspects cleared.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm&nbsp;</em></p> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:16:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2476505 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/02/94/ultras_ahlawy_in_suez_commemorate_the_third_anniversary_of_the_port_said_stadium_massacre_that__left_72_group_members_dead.png