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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Talking heads hate on BBC, Egypt to get a new sanitation system in five years, Adib’s edible oil dreams come true

The nation’s talking heads acted as one last night as they piled on the hate for the BBC. Kol Youm’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 7:45), Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal and Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer (watch, runtime: 1:41) all took runs at the British broadcaster after the State Information Service (SIS) called for a boycott yesterday, asking the organization to make a formal apology for a report by Orla Guerin on forced disappearances in Egypt.

What’s the story? The SIS has denounced the reporting false. It’s also demanding the BBC publish its six-page rebuttal, outlining what it calls “violations” in Guerin’s piece, according to a statement yesterday. The SIS’ Arabic statement points to Amr Adib’s interview on Monday evening with a woman he said was Zubaida — one of three individuals the BBC said was forcibly disappeared — as evidence that the entirety of the report is false.

The National Press Authority (NPA) also said it would suspend all contact and cooperation with the BBC, including any and all existing agreements, “until further notice.” The BBC has lost all respect, NPA head Karam Gabr told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin (watch, runtime: 6:10). While MP Ahmed El Komy suggested that the House of Representatives sue the organization (watch, runtime: 2:46).

The talking heads weren’t the only ones: Emad El Din Adib took to the pages of El Watan to criticize the BBC for what he called a “deliberate attack” on Egypt, while Ahram Gate’s Amina Khairy described it as a “vicious media war” against the country. Joining them was Al Masry Al Youm’s Hamdy Rizk, who demanded a formal apology.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry also slammed the report during a UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva yesterday.

On a separate plane of existence, Amr Adib was delighted to share with all of us that his prayers for the development of the local edible oils industry have been answered with Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill’s new JV. We noted yesterday that the two were partnering up on a soybean crushing facility that Adib says will help plug the gap in edible oil demand (watch, runtime: 6:31).

Meanwhile, Egypt will have a completely new sanitation and waste management system in five-years’ time, Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy told Lamees Al Hadidi on Hona Al Asema. The new system, which will focus heavily on recycling, will reduce the state’s role to a market regulator and allow the private sector instead to provide services, such as garbage collection and processing, through tendering processes, he said.

The system will be implemented in three phases, the first of which will cover three governorates, he added (watch, runtime: 7:29). Fahmy also explained that around 85% of the population will not be charged additional sanitation fees, which will be imposed only on bills on the higher end of the consumption spectrum (watch, runtime: 1:56).

The Sinai development strategy earned significant airtime on Masaa DMC, where the secretary general of the Federation of Egyptian Investors, Mohamed Khamis Shaaban, told host Kamal that there is a plan to build a EGP 135 mn industrial complex to house 128 small factories (watch, runtime: 7:05). The private sector should also invest in the area, National Authority for Sinai Development member, Salah Al Balk, also said (watch, runtime: 6:10).

Egypt has the second strongest military force in the Middle East after Turkey, according to a Forbes report that Lamees spent some time analyzing with the former head of the army’s Moral Affairs department, Samir Farag. He said that Turkey’s outranks Egypt due to its military production’s high capacity (watch, runtime: 9:49)

Also from last night’s talk shows:

  • Relations with Sudan and Ethiopia have been growing warmer compared to a few months ago, Adib mused on Kol Youm while he discussed the latest on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (watch, runtime: 9:49).
  • Lamees (watch, runtime: 3:17) and Tamer Amin (watch, runtime: 1:11) both bid Saudi’s now-former ambassador to Cairo, Ahmed Al Qattan, farewell.
  • Public Enterprises Minister Khaled El Badawy appeared on TV for the third time this month to talk about more of the same, this time with Sherif Amer on Yahduth fi Masr (watch, runtime: 3:50).

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