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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Study Ranks Level of Corruption in Egypt

According to a new study, Egypt ranks 114th out of 177 countries in terms of public sector corruption. The study, which was conducted by the Global Coalition against Corruption, reported no change since 2012. President of the Egyptian Center for Transparency and Anti-Corruption Assem Soliman called the indicators very dangerous, saying “the flaw is within the laws themselves, which were customized to serve a group of people during the Mubarak regime.” The top score in the region (the country with the least corruption) was the UAE, and the lowest South Sudan. Denmark and New Zealand have the least amount of corruption of all of the countries surveyed.

Egypt Documentary ‘The Square’ makes Oscar Nomination List

After winning the People’s Choice Documentary Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Audience Award at Sundance in 2013, ‘The Square’ now has a chance to compete at next year’s Oscars. The film is one of 15 films that have been shortlisted for the Best Documentary award. The documentary, which was directed by Jehane Noujaim, portrays the powerful story and intense dramas of the young activists involved in the January 2011 uprising in Egypt.

 Draft Constitution Submitted to President

Egypt’s new draft constitution has officially been submitted to interim president Adly Mansour. If he approves it, Egyptians will be able to vote on the document in a referendum in January. According the political ‘road map’ put forth by the Egyptian military, elections would follow in February. The new draft has drawn serious criticism from both liberals and Islamists who say that it enshrines military protections with little civilian oversight; if the draft passes, the military will be able to oversee and protect its own budget and try civilians in military courts.

Egyptian Museum Losing Revenue Because of Political Unrest

Cairo’s famous Egyptian Museum, located just off of Tahrir Square (the heart of the 2011 January revolution and still a popular place for protests) has suffered a severe drop in revenue over the last several months. Tourism to Egypt has slowed to a trickle in comparison with previous years, and according to Yasmin El Shazly, the head of the documentation department at the musuem, “We don’t even have the money to buy office supplies like paper clips and pens, and pay for computer maintenance.” Sending antiquities on foreign tours was one previous source of income, but after Egypt’s top archeologist resigned in 2011 because of corruption allegations, this source of revenue has dried up as well, at least for the time being.

French Investigators Find Poisoning of Arafat Unlikely

A new study performed by French investigators who studied the remains of Yasir Arafat dismissed the theory that the Palestinian leader was poisoned by Polonium-210. Their research contradicts the recent Swiss study by scientists who reported that their findings “moderately support the proposition.”  Information about the French study came out yesterday but the study itself has not yet been made public.

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