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Standard and Poor’s downgrades Egypt’s rating

PARIS — Standard and Poor’s downgraded Egypt’s rating on Tuesday to BB-, citing weak prospects for public finances and rising risks to macroeconomic stability during the nation’s political transition. The agency lowered its long-term foreign-currency sovereign credit rating to BB- from BB and said that outlook remains negative. “The downgrade…

U.S. lawmaker urges delay in arms sales to Bahrain

WASHINGTON — The United States should delay the sale to Bahrain of any items in a proposed $53 million weapons package that could be used against protesters there, a US senator said Thursday. “I urge the administration to delay the sale of any items within the proposed weapons package that…

Egypt plans big rise in price of gas to Israel

Egypt will substantially raise the price of its gas exports to Israel, which have stopped after militants blew up a Sinai desert pipeline, an Egyptian newspaper reported on Tuesday. Oil minister Abdullah Ghurab said there would be “a large increase in the price” after the revision which would be announced soon, the state-owned Al-Ahram…

Pentagon chief in bid to defuse Egypt-Israel tensions

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta was headed to Cairo from Tel Aviv on Tuesday in an effort to defuse tensions between Egypt andIsrael that have mounted since the end of Hosni Mubarak’s rule. Before flying out after a one-day visit to Israel, Panetta said he will seek to encourage both sides to ease friction…

Egypt police raid Al-Jazeera office

CAIRO — Egyptian security forces stormed the offices of Al-Jazeera Egypt on Thursday, confining its journalists to one room and confiscating equipment, the channel’s bureau chief told AFP. Ahmed Zain said the officers entered the channel’s new premises, roughed up staff, forced them into one room and took away their…

Clinton hopes Egypt emergency law lifted before June

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that she hoped that Egypt would lift its emergency law before June 2012, the date set by the new military rulers in Cairo. “We have encouraged and continue to encourage the government to lift the state of emergency,” Clinton said…

Egypt’s democratic transition lags amid confusion

CAIRO — It took 18 days of democracy protests to end Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s 30 years in power. It may yet take at least 18 months after his overthrow to see off the generals who succeeded him. The military, in charge since Mubarak was toppled in February, has said…

Egypt’s ex-tourism minister gets 3-year jail term

CAIRO — A Cairo court sentenced former tourism minister Zuheir Garana on Sunday to three years in prison for illegally issuing operating licences to tourism companies, the state news agency MENA reported. Garana had been previously convicted in May on different corruption charges to five years in prison. He is…

Al-Jazeera Egypt shut down for ‘sowing dissent’

CAIRO — The satellite channel Al-Jazeera Egypt said on Sunday the authorities had prevented it from broadcasting, after entering its offices and confiscating transmission equipment. Ahmed Zain, the channel’s chief in Cairo, told AFP that police, officers from the culture ministry and representatives of Egypt’s public broadcaster had also seized…

Mubarak trial resumes amid clashes at court

The trial of Hosni Mubarak resumed on Monday after dozens of the ousted 83-year-old Egyptian president’s supporters and opponents clashed near the Cairo courtroom before his arrival on a stretcher. The session was to hear witness testimony to try to determine who gave the orders for the killing of hundreds…

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