Egypt Independent: Egypt-Main news http://www.egyptindependent.com//enhome_channel/News/rss.xml en Sisi to pardon new batch of youth detainees within days http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2474624 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/09/20/43/r.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p dir="LTR"><span style="font-size: 1em;">A presidential committee formed to examine cases of young Egyptians detained since the events that followed January 25 revolution is near conclusion. A new list of pardoned youth is to be announced, informed sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm.</span></p><p dir="LTR">The committee is to deliver the second list to the presidency by the middle of this week; and the pardoned detainees&nbsp;will be released the by the end of the week, the sources said.</p><p dir="LTR">The Detained Youth Committee will also continue studying the cases that are pending trial, in preparation for a presidential pardon.</p><p dir="LTR"><span style="font-size: 1em;">President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi earlier issued a decision to form the committee, during the first-ever Sharm el-Sheikh National Youth Conference that was held&nbsp;</span>in October<span style="font-size: 1em;">.</span></p><p dir="LTR">Sisi issued a presidential pardon on the 17th<span style="font-size: 11.6667px;">&nbsp;of&nbsp;</span>last month to exonerate 82 prisoners, including TV show host Islam al-Beheiry who was serving a sentence of one year in prison, handed to him in December 2015 on charges of &quot;contempt of religion&quot;<span dir="RTL">.</span></p><p dir="LTR">The sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Friday that the new list has a much higher number of detainees than those included in the first batch to receive the presidential pardon in November, which were 82 detainees.</p><p dir="LTR">About the process of the pardon itself, the sources said that the committee addresses the presidency directly, with the latter undertaking the necessary procedures, then declaring the names of the pardoned detainees.</p><p dir="LTR">&quot;There are a huge number of petitions submitted to us, and we review all the documents; this of course takes time, because examining lists (of detainees) is not easy,&quot; the head of the committee Osama al-Ghazaly Harb told Al-Masry Al-Youm.</p><p dir="LTR">The committee is willing to accomplish its mission to the fullest, so as to achieve the objective which it was created for; that&#39;s what makes reaching an accurate list extremely difficult, Harb explained.</p><p dir="LTR">&quot;We receive requests by the thousands, from different institutions; and I&#39;d like to reassure the families who have sent us the petitions that we are sparing no effort to review all of the documents and to considered them very well,&quot; he added.</p><p dir="LTR">&nbsp;</p><p dir="LTR"><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></p> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 09:58:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2474624 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/09/20/43/r.jpg Weather forecast for Saturday http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2474596 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/01/23/94/cold_weather_in_alexandria.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Meteorologists expect better weather throughout Egypt starting Saturday, with less clouds and brighter sunshine.</p><p>No rains are expected on Saturday, with milder&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">temperatures prevailing nationwide. Warmer weather is predicted in the south during the day, changing over to very cold at night in Upper Egypt.</span></p><p>Heavy mist will hinder visibility along the north coast, Suez Canal cities, Cairo and Lower Egypt.</p><p>Wind will be mostly northwesterly, ranging in strength between light to moderate.</p><p>Waves in the Mediterranean and Red seas are expected to be between two and two and a half meters high, with northwesterly surface wind.</p><p>Maximum temperatures expected on Saturday are as follows; Cairo: 21C; Alexandria: 21C; Sharm el-Sheikh: 24C, Luxor: 24C; and Aswan: 24C.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></p> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:00:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2474596 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/01/23/94/cold_weather_in_alexandria.jpg Egyptian pound weakens as forex restrictions ease http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2474595 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/11/03/43/11696071821478185567.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The Egyptian pound weakened further against the dollar on Thursday as some banks took advantage of a loosening of restrictions and began addressing customers&#39; forex needs for non-essential goods and temporary overdrafts.</p><div>Bankers had told Reuters on Wednesday that the central bank is allowing them to allocate dollars to a wider range of clients, potentially making hard currency available to foreign companies seeking to repatriate earnings after months of delays.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Banks were selling the dollar at 18.10 pounds at 1:40 pm (1140 GMT), after closing at 17.95 on Wednesday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;High demand and limited supply is mostly the reason. That and the move to allow corporate dividends out of the country will keep the pressure up for a while,&quot; said one banker.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egypt floated the pound on Nov. 3 and raised interest rates by 300 basis points in a dramatic move welcomed by businesses as the key to unlocking investment.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It devalued the currency by about a third from the former peg of 8.8 against the dollar and allowed it to drift lower.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The dollar peg had drained the central bank&#39;s foreign reserves, which have been hit by reduced foreign investment following political turmoil in the past few years, forcing the bank to impose capital controls and ration dollars.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>That prompted desperate importers to turn to a burgeoning black market where the dollar at one point fetched more than twice its official value.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A severe shortage of dollar liquidity when markets opened for the first time after the float had resulted in low volumes and saw the pound weaken to 18 versus the dollar.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The currency strengthened to about 15.50 after it became clear that the International Monetary Fund would approve Egypt&#39;s $12 billion lending programme to support government reforms but has since weakened again.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;So far 18-18.30 seems to be the psychological ceiling. Most banks won&#39;t break it,&quot; said the banker. &quot;It is still a liquidity market as well, not a price based one. In other words, banks that have supply are driving the market too high.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Since the float, more companies have gone to the banks for their dollars, leaving them scrambling for funds while a lack of liquidity means interbank trading got off to a slow start.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The central bank&#39;s Monetary Policy Committee held benchmark interest rates steady at its meeting on Nov. 24.</div> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 10:54:00 +0000 Reuters 2474595 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/11/03/43/11696071821478185567.jpg Taylor Swift, 'One Direction' top list of highest paid musicians: Forbes http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2474586 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/02/13/43/taylor_swift_.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>US pop star Taylor Swift, boy band &#39;One Direction&#39; and British singer Adele were the highest paid musicians in the world this year, Forbes magazine announced on Wednesday.</p><p>With earnings of US$170 million from touring, recording, endorsement and other income, Swift, 26 years of age, earned the title of 2016&#39;s highest paid musician. She pulled in a gross total of more than US$200 million on the North American portion of her &quot;1989&quot; world tour.</p><p>The &quot;Bad Blood&quot; singer was followed by One Direction, the English-Irish pop band, which brought in US$110 million, grossing US$200 million-plus for its recent On The Road Again Tour. Members of the band include Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and, previously, Zayn Malik.</p><p>Ranking third was &quot;Hello&quot; singer Adele, 28, with US$80.5 million, her highest earnings total yet. Adele, whose album &quot;25&quot; was the biggest seller of 2015, enjoyed continued success with album sales this year and grossed millions per night for her arena shows.</p><p>Madonna, whose recent &quot;Rebel Heart&quot; tour grossed US$170 million, was fourth with US$76.5 million, which pushed her career total on the road to US$1.4 billion pretax, according to Forbes.</p><p>Rounding out the top 10 were Barbados-born Rihanna, who earned US$75 million, country star Garth Brooks (US$70 million), veteran rock band AC/DC (US$67.5 million), the Rolling Stones ($66.5 million), DJ Calvin Harris ($63 million) and music mogul Diddy ($62 million).</p><p>Collectively, the 30 listed musicians earned more than $1.8 billion this year.</p><p>Forbes compiled the list after estimating pretax income for the 12 months from June 2015 to 2016, based on interviews with managers, agents, lawyers and some of the stars. It also looked at data from the Pollstar, the Recording Industry Association of America and the tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:49:00 +0000 Reuters 2474586 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/13/43/taylor_swift_.jpg