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Sunday, 4 June 2017

What we’re tracking on 04 June 2017

DEVELOPING STORY- London is reeling this morning from two terror attacks overnightthat appear to have claimed at least six lives. A van drove into a crowd of pedestrians on London Bridge, killing at least one person. At least one attacker then left the van and proceeded to Borough Market, a popular spot for pubs and restaurants on the southern side of the Thames, where he attacked civilians. Armed police are said to have killed two or three attackers, but there were conflicting media reports at dispatch time as to whether officials believed that all the attackers were accounted for. The attacks took place shortly before 10pm London time and “come days ahead of a June 8 election and less than two weeks after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a pop concert in Manchester,” Reuters noted.

US President Donald Trump said the attack underscored the need for his travel ban on individuals from majority-Muslim countries, the newswire said. The Trump administration has asked the US Supreme Court to reinstate the ban, Politico notes.

Tons of legislative news today: The Ismail government made substantial progress on its legislative agenda this weekend as it enacted the Investment Act, passed five key decisions on mobile payments in a first step toward easing our reliance on cash, and tightened controls on imports. We have coverage of all three stories in Speed Round, below.

Whatever the progress, the backlog of things yet to be done is long enough that the House of Representatives might postpone its summer recess to late July or early August, well-connected Rep. Moustafa Bakry tells Al Shorouk. The 2017-18 budget is obviously at the top of the list, but in addition to key pieces of economic legislation (tap here for our updated list), Bakry said MPs also need to finalize talks on the transitional justice law and sort out the handover of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia once and for all.

The Tourism Promotion Authority will launch its international tourism promotion campaign this week, Al Shorouk reports. The ads will reportedly run on international networks including CNN, National Geographic and Eurosport. Other target markets for national-level campaigns include Germany and Poland, TDA chief Hisham El Demery said. A TPA campaign targeting Italy and another aimed at Arab tourists launched last week.

Situation in Libya to feature prominently in busy week for Shoukry: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is scheduled to meet today with his Saudi counterpart Adel Al Jubeir in Cairo, Ahram Online reports, without providing further details. Shoukry will then head to Algeria on Monday to discuss the situation in Libya with the Tunisian and Algerian foreign ministers. The conflict on our western border will also feature in talks between Shoukry and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who arrives in Cairo on Thursday.

Oil in the fifties is our new economic reality, Bloomberg says. “A crude price in the USD 50s is the new reality for bosses of some of the world’s largest producers as output caps from OPEC and its allies are balanced out by rising U.S. shale.” The business information service cites comments from senior execs at Royal Dutch Shell, Lukoil and Gazprom.

Want to get ahead in business, gentlemen? Have a daughter. And hire more women. Those are the bedrock conclusions from a new study that found “in Silicon Valley, the venture capitalists who invest in tech start-ups are significantly more likely to hire a female investing partner if the hiring partners have daughters, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard. Having mixed-gender teams in turn improved venture capital firms’ financial performance — providing rare quantifiable evidence of the business benefits of diversity.” You can read the study from the US National Bureau for Economic Research here (pdf) or drill deeper into the story into, uhm, somewhat more accessible language in the New York Times’ The Upshot.

So, when do we eat? Maghrib prayers are at 18:53 CLT in Cairo, and the cutoff time for sohour is 3:09am. The fasting day just got two minutes longer.

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