Egypt to raise sugar, cooking oil prices

Egypt will raise the prices of subsidised sugar by 14.3 per cent and cooking oil by 20 per cent at government outlets starting on Wednesday, Ahram Online reported on Tuesday, quoting a Ministry of Supply official. The ministry official Ibrahim Amer explained that the sugar price will jump to eight Egyptian pounds ($0.4) per kilogram, up from seven pounds ($0.3), while the cooking oil will increase to 12 pounds ($0.6417) per 800ml bottle from 10 pounds currently. “The new price – which goes into effect tomorrow – reflects the rise in costs due to the liberalisation in the [pound’s] exchange rate and the government’s raising of supply prices of sugarcane [bought from] farmers”, Amer added. 71 million people use the […]

Queen in ‘difficult position’ over Trump’s state visit plans

Author: 
AP, Reuters, AFP
Wed, 2017-02-01
ID: 
1485893440887098400

LONDON: The British government’s decision to invite US President Donald Trump for a state visit, one of the highest honors it can bestow on a visiting dignitary, has involved Queen Elizabeth II in the passionate debate over Trump’s travel ban.
Trump’s provocative decision to deny refugees access to the US and to make it more difficult for people from seven Muslim-majority countries to visit has been widely denounced by opposition leaders and sparked protests in Britain, leading some to question the wisdom of the government’s decision.
It is the British government, currently led by Prime Minister Theresa May, that invites heads of state on the queen’s behalf, but it is the queen who acts as hostess. In most cases, that involves lavish pomp and ceremony, as well as a stay of several days at the queen’s official residence, Buckingham Palace.
The prospect of protests outside the palace when Trump comes calling has put the Queen Elizabeth in a “very difficult position,” said Peter Ricketts, formerly a top official in the Foreign Office.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for the invitation to be rescinded. His office said he will describe Trump’s travel ban as “cruel, prejudiced and counterproductive” at a City Hall diplomatic reception Tuesday.
Khan will make his comments at a meeting of foreign dignitaries, including US Chargé d’Affaires Lewis Lukens and ambassadors from most of the countries affected by the ban, the mayor’s office said.
“Targeting people for no reason other than their faith or their country of birth is cruel, prejudiced and counterproductive,” he will say, according to excerpts released to the media.
Khan, Britain’s most prominent politician and a member of the opposition Labour party, has called on May to cancel a planned state visit to London until he lifts the ban that he signed into force last Friday.

Debate on Trump state visit
British MPs will hold a debate on Feb. 20 on Trump’s state visit to Britain after 1.6 million people signed a petition calling for the trip to be downgraded.
“Parliament will debate this petition on 20 Feb. 2017,” Parliament said on its petition website that reads: “Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.”
A counter petition calling for Trump to proceed with a full visit also passed the 100,000 threshold requiring MPs to consider it for debate, and it will be discussed at the same time.
Thousands took to the streets of Britain on Monday in protest following Trump’s decision to ban citizens and refugees from seven mainly-Muslim countries.

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Palestinian minor given 18 month jail term

An Israeli military court today sentenced a 16-year-old Palestinian girl to a year and a half in prison for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier last year at a checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank. Amal Jamal Qabha, from the village of Tura in the West Bank district of Jenin, was also fined $5,300, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA. WAFA also reported that Qabha’s parents confirmed that she was being held in Israel’s HaSharon prison. According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, some 10,000 Palestinian women and girls have been detained by Israeli forces over the past 45 years. In 2015 alone, Israeli forces detained 106 Palestinian women and girls, which according to the group represented a 70 […]

U.S. Petroleum Trade With Latin America Flips To Surplus For First Time Ever

In a change of trade patterns, the United States booked a surplus in its trade of crude oil and refined products with Latin America for the first time since records began in 1993, but a proposal of a border tax is a major wild card for the coming U.S.-Latin America petroleum trade flows. According to data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration compiled by Bloomberg, the U.S. recorded its first ever petroleum surplus with Latin America in October last year at 89,000 barrels a day. The surplus then increased to 184,000 bpd in November. The…

API Reports Big Inventory Build Across The Board

U.S. crude oil inventories increased by 5.8 million barrels, according to this week’s American Petroleum Institute (API) inventory report published on Tuesday afternoon, compounded by large builds—again—in both gasoline and distillates. Analysts were anticipating a crude oil inventory build of 3.06 million barrels, according to Market Realist. Oil prices have found themselves being used like a rope in a desperate game of tug of war for weeks—on one side, there is good news from OPEC regarding their production cut adherence.…

API Reports Big Inventory Build Across The Board

U.S. crude oil inventories increased by 5.8 million barrels, according to this week’s American Petroleum Institute (API) inventory report published on Tuesday afternoon, compounded by large builds—again—in both gasoline and distillates. Analysts were anticipating a crude oil inventory build of 3.06 million barrels, according to Market Realist. Oil prices have found themselves being used like a rope in a desperate game of tug of war for weeks—on one side, there is good news from OPEC regarding their production cut adherence.…

API Reports Big Inventory Build Across The Board

U.S. crude oil inventories increased by 5.8 million barrels, according to this week’s American Petroleum Institute (API) inventory report published on Tuesday afternoon, compounded by large builds—again—in both gasoline and distillates. Analysts were anticipating a crude oil inventory build of 3.06 million barrels, according to Market Realist. Oil prices have found themselves being used like a rope in a desperate game of tug of war for weeks—on one side, there is good news from OPEC regarding their production cut adherence.…

Oman Oil Company To Invest $1B In Oil, Gas Projects In 2017

State-held Oman Oil Company plans to invest US$1 billion in developing various upstream and downstream projects in Oman this year, the firm’s chief executive Isam Al Zadjali said on Tuesday. Oman Oil Company and its subsidiaries have several major projects in various stages of planning, design and development, including the Salalah LPG project, an ammonia project to expand the Salalah methanol unit, the Duqm gas pipeline, Sohar-Wadi Al Jissi gas pipeline, and a large crude oil storage facility at Ras Al Markaz near Duqm, and several other…

Egypt, Sudan to start new phase in bilateral relations

Egypt and Sudan have agreed to work together to launch a new phase of bilateral relations, they announced in a joint statement released today. The statement was made shortly after a meeting between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his Sudanese counterpart Omar Al-Bashir in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa during the 28th General Assembly of the African Union, according to Egypt’s state run news agency MENA. The meeting between the two leaders came against the backdrop of reports of growing tension over Sudan’s hosting of members of the Muslim Brotherhood and allowing Khartoum-based leaders of the group to hold internal elections for the movement’s advisory council. Both presidents agreed to “work to launch a new phase of brotherly relations between the […]