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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ghana Defeats Egypt in World Cup Qualifying Match

Egypt’s hopes of sending their football team to the World Cup for the first time since 1990 were all but dashed yesterday when they lost, 6-1, in the first of two World Cup qualifying matches against Ghana.  Ghana dominated the field as the two teams faced off in Kumasi last night under heavy rain, and the Egyptian team committed error after error. Egypt will host the second of the two matches in Cairo on November 19, but their chances of making a comeback are slim. Pharoah’s coach Bob Bradley said at a press conference that though “our dream of qualifying for the World Cup has become nearly impossible,” he still believes they stand a chance. Later, some news outlets reported that Bradley had been fired as a result of the loss, though this news hasn’t yet been confirmed.

Suspect Arrested for RPG attack in Maadi

Egypt witnessed several violent attacks over the past two weeks by unknown assailants; among them, an attack on a telecom station in Cairo’s wealthy Maadi neighborhood. On October 7, unknown men attacked the Maadi satellite station and launched a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) at one of the satellites, leaving a one-meter hole.  Egyptian police arrested a suspect in the attack yesterday, and said that they found an automatic rifle and various types of ammunition in his possession. The Islamist group the Al-Forqan Brigades has also claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released on their website.

Sisi Presidential-Run Rumors Circulate

General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, one of the main actors behind President Mohamed Morsi’s forced removal in early July, has repeatedly denied his intentions to run for president in the upcoming election cycle, but rumors continue to circulate. Yesterday, hundreds of Sisi fans formed a human chain in Qena to call attention to their campaign to demand that he run for president.  Meanwhile, the political group Tamarod, which was responsible for organizing millions of Egyptians to protest against Morsi on June 30, has waivered on whether or not they would support a Sisi presidential run. Yesterday, they put out a statement throwing their support behind him, should he choose to seek political office. The current leader of Tamarod was quoted as saying that “[Sisi] is the guarantor to implement the future roadmap approved by national forces and representing the dignity of people who went out on 30 June.”

Troubled Egypt-US Relations

A week after the US decided to halt some military aid to Egypt, Egypt’s foreign minister Nabil Fahmy said that US-Egypt relations were in a troubled phase. “We are now in a delicate state reflecting the turmoil in the relationship and anyone who says otherwise is not speaking honestly,” Fahmy remarked. Egypt has officially condemned the US decision and said that it could look elsewhere, like Russia, for more military aid. The US State department reported that it would not cut off aid to anti-terrorism projects in the Sinai peninsula, a restive region where low-level insurgency has become common in recent months.  After Israel, Egypt receives more US military aid than any other country.

World Watches Warily as US Government Crisis Intensifies

Negotiations in the US House of Representatives failed to bring an end to the government shutdown yesterday as John Boehner, the Republican house speaker, lost support among his own party members to pass a bill that would end the budget crisis and reopen the government. Meanwhile, the US is at risk of losing its credit rating, and defaulting on debt. The New York Times reported that people in countries as diverse as Mexico, Greece, Russia and Egypt are watching warily to see what will happen to the global economic scene if the US government shutdown continues. According to Theodore Couloumbis, a professor at the University of Athens, “Both countries [Greece and the US] are paying dearly for rising political tensions. But in America’s case, there is the potential for serious global repercussions, too.”


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