What we’re tracking on 08 January 2018
Coptic Christmas celebrations unfolded smoothly over the long weekend. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi attended Christmas Mass led by Pope Tawadros II at the Nativity of Christ Cathedral in the new administrative capital “amid tight security,” Reuters reports.
Dobro pozhalovat’: Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized the resumption of regular civilian flights from Russia to Cairo on Thursday in an order effective as of 2 January, Reuters reports. “Putin has approved changes in the order that suspended flights to Egypt, according to a document published Thursday on a government website. It does not lift the ban on flights to other Egyptian destinations,” the Associated Press notes. Flights from Russia to Egypt were suspended after the October 2015 Metrojet flight crash in Sinai.
The House of Representatives’ general assembly is scheduled to vote today on a presidential decree extending the state of emergency, Al Mal reports. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi issued the decree last week following separate terror attacks on a Helwan church and shop. The House will also hold today a final vote on amendments to the Prisons Act that will allow prisoners to be eligible for parole after completing half of their sentences, instead of two thirds.
Also up for discussion: The Legislative and Economic Committees’ report on the long-awaited Bankruptcy Act. The Planning and Budgeting Committee will discuss potential changes to the Tax Dispute Resolution Act, and will meet with industrial and governmental representatives to discuss the Auctions and Tenders Act, Ahram Gate reports. The Constitutional and Legislative Committee will also discuss today amendments to the Criminal Procedures Act.
And in worthy miscellany this morning, we note:
- Don’t like your electricity bill? You’re under arrest. Saudi Arabia has reportedly arrested 11 princes “for protesting against the suspension of state subsidies to pay the electricity and water bills of members of the royal family.” The news comes as the latest bonus payout to Saudi nationals has failed to kickstart a stock market rally. (Financial Times, Bloomberg)
- US value stocks in the spotlight: “Value stocks are getting a once-over from some U.S. growth fund managers in early 2018 as they prowl for overlooked shares they think have more upside in a market that gained nearly 20 percent last year.” (Reuters)
- Media has its knickers in a twist over ‘iPhone addiction’: “Two big shareholders of Apple Inc. are concerned that the entrancing qualities of the iPhone have fostered a public health crisis that could hurt children — and the company as well.” (Bloomberg, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal)
- US retailers had a great Christmas, signaling it was likely the best holiday season in six years as shoppers spent 4.9% more this year than last, “boosted by bubbling consumer confidence and a healthy jobs market.” (Financial Times)
The Golden Globes wrapped just as we dispatched this morning. The awards show kicked off with high-profile stars including Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Salma Hayek and Ashley Judd wearing black to draw attention to [redacted] harassment and gender inequality, the Associated Press reports. The New York Times has the complete list of winners.
And if you, like us, have just come off a long-haul flight or are looking at one in the near future, we recommend the Financial Times’ “My secrets for avoiding jet lag when flying economy class.” Even better than the recommendation that “by far the best weapon against jet lag is a seat in business” is the combination of that with “breaking up the flight with a stopover” when you can’t fly direct to your final destination.