Castle Journal

Castle Journal

Cairo

Written by: Ahmed Rami

Mr. president Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi received today Mr. Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State of the United States of America, in the presence of Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri and Mr. Abbas Kamel, Head of General Intelligence.

Ambassador Bassam Radhi, Spokesperson for the Presidency stated that President Al sisi  welcomed the US Secretary of State. He conveyed his greetings to President Donald Trump and stressed Egypt's keenness to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries and deepen their strategic partnership, Stability in the Middle East, as well as the aspiration to maximize coordination and consultation with the United States on various political and security issues of common concern.

On the other hand, Pompeo conveyed the greetings of the American President Donald Trump to the Egyptian President, Abdul Fattah AlSisi , on the simultaneous inauguration of Al Fattah Al Alim Mosque and the Cathedral of the Birth of Christ, which reflects Egyptian efforts to consolidate the principles of brotherhood and coexistence. In Egypt, which was reflected in the remarkable development of the progress that  witnessed by the country.

The US Secretary of State also stressed his country's interest in strengthening strategic relations with Egypt, as well as intensifying coordination and joint consultation on Middle East issues, in light of the political weight and leadership of Egypt in its regional environment.

The Spokesman pointed out that the meeting touched upon the file of combating terrorism and extremist ideology. In this context, the Egyptian president stressed the determination of the Egyptian government and people to continue their efforts to confront and defeat this scourge and undermine its security and intellectual danger. The United States on all sides to support those efforts.

For his part, the US Secretary of State praised the success of Egypt's resolute and decisive efforts in this regard during the past period, expressing his country's support for these efforts, stressing that Egypt is a central partner in addressing the challenge of cross-border terrorism.

Ambassador Bassam Radhi added that the meeting also discussed a number of regional issues, especially the developments in Libya, Syria and Yemen, and the efforts to reach a political settlement to these crises, thus preserving their territorial integrity and the integrity of their national institutions. Areas of influence for external forces, as well as provide a security basis to combat terrorist organizations and the siege of elements to prevent their transfer to other countries in the region.

The two sides also reviewed the latest developments in the Palestinian issue and means of reviving the peace process. The Egyptian president affirmed Egypt's firm stance in this regard to reach a just and comprehensive solution that guarantees the rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of an independent state according to the international references, expressing Egypt's keenness to cooperate with the United States. Palestinian-Israeli negotiations process.

 

Thursday, 10 January 2019 01:02

US citizen was arrested in Iran

Washington

The New York Times reported on Monday that US citizen Michael White, a 46-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, was arrested while visiting Iran and had been held since July on unspecified charges.

Iran had not confirmed the arrest before the state news agency IRNA carried a statement by foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Wednesday, which did not specify when it had happened or what crime he was accused of.

Qassemi said Iran had informed the U.S. government about White's arrest within days of when he was taken into custody and denied that White had been poorly treated.

"These sorts of reports are lies and improper and are seriously rejected," IRNA quoted Qassemi as saying.

White's case is going through the legal process and officials will make a statement at the appropriate time, he added.

The case is likely to further worsen relations with the United States. President Donald Trump withdrew from an international agreement Iran's nuclear programme and re-imposed sanctions last year that hit the Iranian economy hard.

Several Americans have been detained in Iran in recent years and Trump warned in 2017 that Tehran would face "new and serious consequences" unless all unjustly held U.S. citizens were freed.

White's mother, Joanne, told the New York Times her son had visited Iran "five or six times" to meet his Iranian girlfriend.

She reported her son's disappearance after he failed to return in July but learned from the State Department only three weeks ago that he was being held in Iran.

London-based news website IranWire, which first reported White's arrest, quoted a former detainee, Ivar Farhadi, as saying he had been held at the same prison, Vakilabad, in Mashhad, northeastern Iran.

Farhadi told IranWire White's life was in danger because he was being kept in a prison with dangerous criminals.

 

Joanne White told the New York Times her son, a California resident, suffers acute asthma and had had chemotherapy and radiation treatment for a neck tumour.

Reuters

London: AAP

 

An English cricketer whose Australian teammate allegedly raped a sleeping woman has told jurors the accused is still his best friend.

England Lions and former Worcestershire batsman Joe Clarke told a court he had consensual sex with the woman before leaving her in a bedroom to be sick in a bathroom, where he fell asleep.

Clarke, who was arrested but not charged with any offence, told Worcester Crown Court the next thing he remembered was the woman waking him and claiming she had been raped by his friend Alex Hepburn.

Perth-born Hepburn, an all-rounder with English county Worcestershire, denies rape, claiming the woman opened her eyes and kissed him at the start of a 20-minute sexual encounter.

 

The woman, who cannot be identified, broke down in the witness box on Tuesday after being cross-examined about details of the alleged attack.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, Clarke, who now plays for Nottinghamshire, claimed the woman contacted him about four months after the incident and told him she wanted to drop the case.

Recalling the night of the alleged rape in April 2017, Clarke told a jury of eight women and four men that he left a bedroom to be sick after drinking Guinness, vodka and other spirits during a night out.

"I didn't want to be sick in front of her so I went to the bathroom," the 22-year-old told the court.

 

Clarke said the next thing he was aware of was the woman waking him up and saying: "Your housemate has just slept with me. Alex has raped me."

Asked by prosecutor Miranda Moore QC what his reaction had been, Clarke added: "I was very shocked. I put my head in my hands and just questioned it.

"It was a massive shock. I just kept saying 'What?' She shook me and woke me and just said 'Alex has raped me'."

Clarke, the court was told, then asked Hepburn about the claims and "he just said no and shook his head".

Answering questions from defence counsel Michelle Heeley QC, Clarke said the woman had sought him out in August or September 2017 and seemed eager to speak with him.

 

"I told her I didn't want to speak to her," he said.

"She said that she didn't want any of this to happen, to which I said 'if you didn't want any of this to happen, it wouldn't still be going on'.

"She said 'I wanted to drop it but they won't let me'."

The court has heard claims that both Hepburn and Clarke were involved in a sexual conquest "game" after setting up a "stat chat" page on WhatsApp to keep a record of sex with women.

Heeley described the "game" as "basically a contest as to who could sleep with the most women".

 

In her last question to Clarke, Heeley asked: "Is Alex still your best friend?"

Clarke responded: "Yes."

The defence case is due to start on Wednesday.

Hepburn, 23, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape.

sOURCE| AAP

Cairo;

On the response of the interview of president Abdul Fattah Alsisi with CBS TV, that was leaked recently,Dr. Essam Khalil, head of the Free Egyptians Party,commented ;"

We believe in the freedom of media as the essence of the freedom of opinion, but we deeply regret the failure of the American CBS channel for its serious professional errors during the mention and/or broadcast of the interview with Mr. President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi with the program 60 minutes broadcasted today,

Khalil said that by analyzing the content & the performance of the channel in its promo presentation and broadcast of the interview, we can say that there is a smell of lies and falsehoods to this channel
 

First: The date of the interview with Mr. President was last September, more than 3 months ago, a precedent that has not previously been in the postponement of dialogue with a high figure as President of the Republic of Egypt,

Second: The channel did not abide by the professional standards of television interviews where the sources hosted by the channel expressed one view and are known to belong to extremist and terrorist groups and then lacked the interview of the diversity of sources, which is marked by the interview of the host

Third: During the promo period, which was a quarter of an hour, all the questions addressed to the President was linked to one subject, although the guest head of state represents the largest countries in the Middle East, which entailed a variety covering several axes, which did not happen

Fourth: The adoption of the announcer on the report of the Human Watch organization as a guide and the source of his question about Rab3a , Is a clear lack of professionalism and fraud to the viewer's, as the Human watch itself apologized for the inaccuracy of information and falsification of an eyewitness in her report

Fifthly: The announcer described the extremist groups as political opponents of the president. This is a pure lie, because the terrorist group and its supporters are opponents of the Egyptian people who have spoken out loudly and still suffer from their terrorist acts until two days ago, when an Egyptian officer was killed while trying to protect an Egyptian church

Sixth, the program relied on the use of rhetoric and accusations against the Egyptian state by including his questions that congressional deputies say to the US to say that his accusation is serious. There is no evidence of torture or murder in Egyptian prisons. Or Thousands are arrested which is also claimed to be a non-professional announcer as all this data lack hard materialized evidence 

Seventh,The channel intended to give the sources it hosted importance by cutting off the dialogue of the president and to show those sources in the interview, which interferes with equal opportunities in the dialogue and turned the interview to what is similar to a normal television investigation

Eighth,The channel used screenings in a way that distracts the followers' minds and is a deliberate attempt that proves total unprofessionalism from the Channel.

Ninth,The channel used the nearby Camera Close-On with low light in an attempt to catch any expression of the features of the president's face for use by the channel in an attempt to embarrass the president, but failed in that as failed throughout the interview as it failed for the past two days in her desperate ways to market against the Egyptian President & Citizens.

Tenth,The deliberate reduction of the voice of President Sisi and deliberate misrepresentation of his speech by translating inaccurate was the last failed attempts to harm the President, but also an attempt to get back on track and where it failed last. Dr. Khalil concluded his remarks by stating that President al-Sisi, is proving that he is an Egyptian citizen with the rank of president who knows the value of his country and how he expresses his people firmly and efficiently in all occasions in all times Khalil added that the president and Egyptian People have won and increased the loss of the channel and its famous program....

 

Abidjan, January 7, 2019--

Gabon's government on Monday morning shut down the internet and broadcasting services following an attempted coup against President Ali Bongo, according to digital rights groups Netblocks, and Internet Without Borders, news reports, and local journalists and civil society organizations with whom the Committee to Protect Journalists spoke.

"Shutting down the internet and broadcasting services during times of crisis makes it impossible for journalists to carry out their work efficiently and safely. Citizens are robbed of access to the reliable information that they need to make decisions," said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal from New York. "We call on authorities in Gabon to immediately and fully restore access to the internet and lift all restrictions on broadcasting."

According to research by Internet Without Borders, internet traffic from Gabon fell sharply at around 8:00 a.m. local time, indicating the beginning of an outage. Eric Mbog Matassi, a local journalist, told CPJ that the internet remained shut down on Monday evening. Radio and television services had yet to be restored by late Monday, Matassi and Georges Mpaga, the spokesperson for the local civil society organization Le Réseau des organisations libres de la société civile pour la bonne gouvernance au Gabon, told CPJ.

VIENNA, 7 January (UN Information Service) —

Egypt witnessed a remarkable decline in the cases of trafficking in persons detected in 2017, compared to cases reported in 2014, according to a report released on Sunday, 6 January, by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC).

Only 23 cases of trafficking in persons have been recorded during the period from January to July 2017, compared to 52 cases in 2014, according to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.

Also importantly, the number of reported cases of trafficking in the form of sexual exploitation dropped to zero in 2017, compared to 34 cases in 2014.

The report noted that the current legislation on trafficking in persons, introduced in 2010, covers all forms of trafficking indicated in the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol.

 

Globally, armed groups are using human trafficking as a strategy to finance activities or increase their workforce in conflicts around the world, according to the report.

Recruiting children for use as soldiers is widely documented in conflicts in Central Africa and the Middle East, among others, according to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. Such groups are also trafficking adults and children for exploitation in mining and other extractive industries, and to spread fear to control the local population.

Women and girls are trafficked into ‘sex slavery’ to boost recruitment and reward soldiers. This was the experience of Nadia Murad, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking and a winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, who was sold into sexual slavery along with thousands of other Yazidi girls and women after the Islamic State overran her village in Iraq when she was 19 years old.

 

“Nadia Murad is the first trafficking victim to serve as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, and by sharing her experience of being enslaved and raped by Islamic State terrorists, she has been a leading voice in exposing this abhorrent crime,” said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov. “I urge the international community to heed Nadia’s call for justice, and I hope this report can contribute to these efforts.”

Within conflict areas, not only armed groups but also other criminals traffic people fleeing danger and persecution. Forcibly displaced populations have been targeted by traffickers, including settlements of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, Afghans and Rohingya. The report highlights that circumstances generated or exacerbated by armed conflict, such as displacement, weak rule of law, socio-economic hardship, social fragmentation and family breakdown, increase people’s vulnerability to trafficking.

The report also shows that 70 per cent of the detected trafficking victims worldwide are female. Around half are adult women, while girls comprise a fifth of all victims and their share of the total is increasing.
Sexual exploitation continues to be the main purpose for trafficking, accounting for some 59 per cent, while forced labour accounts for around 34 per cent of all detected cases.

 

For children, the patterns appear to be slightly different. While boys are mainly trafficked for forced labour (50 per cent), many are also trafficked for sexual exploitation (27 per cent) and ‘other’ forms of exploitation such as begging, child soldiers and forced criminal activities. Girls were trafficked in 72 per cent of cases for sexual exploitation and in 21 per cent of cases for forced labour.

Globally, countries are detecting and reporting more victims and convicting more traffickers. The number of victims reported peaked at more than 24,000 detected victims in 2016, and the increases in numbers of detected victims have been more pronounced in the Americas and in parts of Asia

 

The share of domestic victims, persons trafficked within their own country, among those detected has more than doubled from 27 per cent in 2010 to 58 per cent in 2016, the study finds. Most of the trafficking victims that are detected in regions other than their own come from parts of East Asia or sub-Saharan Africa. This may be related to the high level of impunity in these regions, which are often areas of origin for trafficking victims.
However, the world’s richest countries are more likely to be destinations for victims who are trafficked from more distant origins, and increased international cooperation is required to respond.

“While we are far from ending impunity, international and national efforts to effectively implement the Protocol against Trafficking in Persons have made a difference. Over the past ten years, the share of countries recording no convictions declined from 15 per cent to nine per cent, and some countries recorded their first convictions during the 2014 to 2016 period,” said Mr. Fedotov. “This Report shows that we need to step up technical assistance and strengthen cooperation, to support all countries to protect victims and bring criminals to justice, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
***
The report, produced by UNODC every two years, reinforces the link between tackling this crime and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. The Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2018 is being launched just weeks after the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which reinforced the existing international legal framework and highlighted the key importance of the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol

Tuesday, 08 January 2019 21:18

Malaysia elects new Sultan four weeks later

Kuala Lumpur -

Written by: Mohammed Kifian

The world woke up to the news of the abdication of Sultan Mohammed V of the throne, according to the information received that his rule should have be continued! So what is the reason to push Sultan Mohammed to give up and what about the future of Malaysia!

Although there has been a general debate over the behavior of Sultan Mohammed V as head of state since the election of Paktan Harapan (People's Party) in the historic elections of May 9, 2018, the idea of ​​the prematurely-terminated Kelantan rule was unthinkable, Before he gave up the ruling, what happened?

Behind the scenes, it appears that some of the other Malay rulers were upset by the damage to the royal institution at the time.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad complained in June that Sultan Mohammed had not complied with the rule of law to delay his inauguration and appoint a new deputy general.

The historic change of government on May 9, which ended Parisian Nacional's six-decade rule since independence, generated much public debate about the role of kings in democracy in Malaysia.

At the same time, the media adviser to the prime minister, Kadir Jassin, claimed that 255 million renminbi (S $ 84.8 million) had been spent by Agung during his 16-month term.

But the straw that gnawed at the camel's back, was his secret wedding on November 22 on Russian beauty queen Oksana Vojvodina.

In November and December, Sultan Mehmet was ostracized for recuperation after medical treatment. Instead, there were reports of his wedding party through world news pages and thrillers.

Miss Moscow, 25, is said to have converted to Islam - the official religion of Malaysia and all her kings - earlier this year, but stories about her  portraying, her career as a fashion model and watching it on reality television have tarnished the image of Sultan Mohammed V among conservative Muslims. "The unruly acts, according to the description of nearby circles, called for disagreements with the government, which is uncommon in Malaysia, but the regularity of these disputes with the royal family has become particularly disturbing, given the history of the royal family" with Toon Mahathir.

During his first term in power from 1981 to 2003, Dr. Mahathir was repeatedly able to obtain public support in order to cut off the royal family's wings. In the early 1990s, his government passed laws that removed some royal immunity and the need for its approval to publish new laws.

According to official sources, four of the country's nine kings began discussing how to resolve the issue early last month, including Perak's governors, now Agung's deputy, and Perlis, a senior royalist.

Days after the end of Sultan Shah's stay at the National Palace as Acting Agung on December 31, the Governors' Conference was held three times a year, but it was a futile meeting.

Shortly after the meeting last Wednesday, rumors surfaced that Sultan Mohammed had asked him to step down within a week or face an embarrassing decision to deport him. But it was not clear if those who were pushing for his resignation had obtained the required majority of at least five.

Although the referees met again unofficially without Agung during the week, Dr. Mahathir said on Friday that he had no indication of the Sultan's status, and that he had heard only the same rumors as others.

However, the announcement by Sultan Mohammed on Sunday that he will give up the verdict indicates that he will return to Kelantan for the possible knowledge that the writing was on the wall and that enough of his peers to vote for them is not enough.

While his tenure requires a four-week wait to elect a new Agung, the royal family may wish to resolve the matter much sooner than to overthrow Sultan Mohammed V's hopes of return and avoid prolonged public concern over their royal affairs.

Sources: Malaysian Newspapers

Page 2 of 101