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Thursday, 19 July 2018

Highlights of Cabinet meeting reigns supreme on the airwaves

As with the press, the airwaves were dry as your backyard this month, with the most interesting coverage was yesterday’s Cabinet meeting — which we cover in detail in Speed Round, below — with spokesman Ashraf Sultan.

The first phase of the state privatization program will be implemented over the coming few months, Sultan told Hona Al Asema without providing any further details on the timeline or size of the stake sales. Sultan then went on to explain the benefits of the program (watch, runtime: 5:33).

Reducing the minimum GPA required for university enrollment for North Sinai students is an exceptional decision in light of the conditions these students have undergone as a result of the ongoing anti-terrorist campaign in the turbulent region, Sultan told Hona Al Asema’s Lama Gebril and Al Hayah fi Masr’s Kamal Mady (watch, runtime: 5:33 and runtime: 6:12). Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal also lauded the move as necessary to level the playing field for students going through exceptional circumstances (watch, runtime: 11:58).

Farmers’ concerns about rising fertilizer prices on the black market was a topic of concern on Yahduth fi Masr. According to Farmers’ Syndicate head Hussein Abu Saddam, fertilizers retail as much as EGP 5,600 per tonne on the black market, while they are sold through the government for EGP 3,290 per tonne. Abu Saddam blamed the Agriculture Ministry for limiting each farmer’s fertilizer allowance, which forces them to resort to the exorbitant prices of the black market. Ministry spokesman Hamed Abdeldayem brushed off Abu Saddam’s concerns, saying that the government’s pricing is fair and farmers should “cooperate” to help crack down on the black market (watch, runtime: 6:38).

A multi-ship collision in the Suez Canal has not slowed down maritime traffic, Suez Canal Authority boss Mohab Mamish told Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer. Mamish said that these collisions are nothing to be concerned about considering the volume of traffic passing through the canal, and went on to boast about the canal’s record profits from last year (watch, runtime: 7:28).

We probably haven’t uncovered Alexander the Great’s tomb: Speculation that the black granite sarcophagus unearthed in Alexandria belongs to Alexander the Great is completely false, Supreme Council of Antiquities head Mostafa Waziri said on Hona Al Asema. A team of archaeologists will open the sarcophagus today and put an end to the mystery (watch, runtime: 07:08).

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