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Monday, 5 March 2018

Khairy Ramadan arrested, MbS in town, railway sector opens to private sector participation

The nation’s talking heads had plenty to keep them busy last night, including the arrest of fellow presenter Khairy Ramadan, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman three-day trip to Cairo, and legislation allowing private sector participation in railway development and management.

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib and Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi were the only two hosts to rise up in Khairy’s defense after prosecutors ordered his detention “for four days of questioning for allegedly defaming the police,” The charges were filed after Ramadan aired an episode of his show talking about police wages being too low. The host reportedly told prosecutors that he had not meant any insult to the police force with his content, sources tell Al Shorouk.

Adib called on the Interior Ministry to release Ramadan, while Lamees praised her coworker’s career and told audiences she is convinced he meant no insult or injury (watch, runtime: 4:00). Supreme Media Council head Makram Mohamed Ahmed also backed Ramadan and was critical of how authorities handled his case, saying that he should have been released from custody after he apologized for the incident (watch, runtime: 4:25).

MbS in town: Talks between MbS and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will center on regional issues, counterterrorism, economic cooperation, and the Qatar boycott, AUC political science professor Noha Bakr told Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi. On the latter specifically, Al Masry Al Youm Chairman Abdel Moneim El Saeed also called to draw the connection between MbS’ visit, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s phone call with US President Donald Trump, and US Special Envoy Anthony Zinni’s meeting with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo today, which should center around the Qatar issue (watch, runtime: 1:39).

The visit is a sign of deepening ties between both countries, Saudi political science professor Wahid Hamza told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin (watch, runtime: 5:45). While Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer discussed Saudi investments in Egypt (watch, runtime: 2:00).

Private sector participation in railway developments gets a nod: The talking heads appeared to be pleased with news that the House of Representatives has passed legislative amendments that will allow the private sector to participate in the railway industry, which received praise from Lamees (watch, runtime: 5:26), Adib (watch, runtime: 9:00), Amin (watch, runtime: 4:00), and Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hossary (watch, runtime: 7:13).

Lamees was only one in the bunch to note the tariffs the US had decided to impose on steel and aluminum imports. She spoke to the Industry Ministry’s Ibrahim El Segini, who told her the decision would not really affect Egypt since it doesn’t export much steel to the US (watch, runtime: 4:28). She also hosted Housing Ministry officials to discuss the Unified Building Code the House is currently reviewing (watch, runtime: 39:03).

Meanwhile, National Cement Company workers are in their fifth day of strike after the company halted operations and faltered on payments of wages and incentives. The company’s losses have been severe, amounting to EGP 1.7 bn last year, company Chairman Mohamed Radwan told Lamees. He blamed the losses on several factors, including the company’s reliance on natural gas rather than renewable energy (watch, runtime: 5:42).

Sisi’s campaign spokesman Mohammed Abu Shuka also made an appearance on Al Hayah Al Youm to discuss the president’s program and plans (watch, runtime: 4:42).

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