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Thursday, 3 August 2017

What we’re tracking on 03 August 2017

Egypt began its month-long term chairmanship of the UN Security Council yesterday with a resolution on weapons proliferation that’s geared to keep small arms out of the hands of terrorists, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. Egypt’s resolution passed unanimously, and the UN’s statement on the subject can be found here.

Also on the Security Council’s agenda is a resolution on the consequences of imposing state sanctions, with Russia’s permanent representative to the UN saying his country is the victim of “illegitimate” sanctions, TASS reports. The resolution came as The Donald signed into law a bill imposing sweeping sanctions on Russia — even as he condemned the measure as “seriously flawed” and “unconstitutional.” NPR and the Financial Times, among many others, have the story.

(And speaking of Mr Trump: The US president also endorsed a proposal yesterday that would slash immigration by half and give priority to education and skills, not family, when deciding who gets admitted.)

The Supply Ministry will hold a press conference today to recap its reform of the bread subsidy system. The new mechanism came into effect this week and — so far — we’ve seen neither 1977-style bread riots nor the end of the world as we know it. No wonder we feel fine. (Our apologies to Michael Stipe & Co., but it’s Thursday and we couldn’t help ourselves.)

Something that scares the [redacted] out of us, and two of us are molecular biologists / biochemists by training, if not by trade: In Breakthrough, Scientists Edit a Dangerous Mutation From Genes in Human Embryos, via the New York Times. The PBS Newshour looks at the ethical questions the announcement raises (read excerpts or listen to the full piece, runtime: 6:02)

China’s Didi Chuxing has signed a partnership agreement with Uber and Careem rival Taxify that will see it expand into global markets. The agreement sees Didi take a minority stake in Taxify, a taxi aggregator out of Estonia. The firm operates across Africa; Egypt is one of their markets.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg (our archetype for a 21st century cartoon corporate villain) embarrassed himself with a livestream on Facebook. The Financial Times has a wonderful recap.

Hang in there, Cairo. It’ll only be so hot for another couple of days. Temperatures in Cairo will continue to spike over the next two days and begin to drop again on Saturday in time for everyone’s return from Sahel, Al Shorouk reports. Look for the mercury to be back in the 40s by the second half of next week, according to our favourite weather app.

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