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Monday, 8 October 2018

Palm tree plantation fire; a conspiracy against educational reform; consumer complaint kiosks in squares today

It was a quiet night on the airwaves after a long and fairly relaxing weekend.

A fire that ravaged palm tree plantations in New Valley’s El Rashida village was the talk of the town. There were no casualties but the fire did threaten to spread to nearby residential areas, according to Reuters. Rep. Daoud Suleiman told Masaa DMC that 53 people were taken to hospital after the fire. He said that it will take up to a fortnight to fully extinguish the blaze. The governor in New Valley held a meeting with villagers in the area to discuss how to handle similar situations in the future, he also said, adding that the government intends to compensate farmers (watch, runtime: 14: 21). Al Hayah Al Youm’s Kamal Mady also covered the story (watch, runtime: 1:49).

(Also this weekend, one person was killed and four others injured when a blast rocked a Total fuel depot in Mostorod, Total said in a press release on Thursday (pdf).)

A conspiracy against education reform? Education Ministry employees have allegedly been trying to sabotage Minister Tarek Shawky’s K-12 curriculum reforms by intentionally delaying the delivery of schoolbooks, Amr Adib said on El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 2:12). Shawky himself phoned in to confirm that the plan has run into resistance. He reassured Adib, though, that schoolbooks have been delivered, noting that new measures have been introduced to prevent private school suppliers from price gouging, to the disgruntlement of some employees (watch, runtime: 4:03).

Worst job in the history of bad jobs: Listening to our countrymen complain about the private sector. The Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) will be operating out of kiosks in the capital city’s major public squares for today only to listen to consumer complaints, CPA boss Reda Abdel Moaty told Hona Al Asema. The outlets will operate from 8am CLT until midnight (watch, runtime: 6:40).

Also addressing the disgruntled last night was the director of the cabinet’s complaints division, Tarek El Refai, who spoke to Hona Al Asema’s Lama Gebriel about a new system for listening to citizens’ grips. Most voters’ complaints seem to be about garbage, because that was the one topic on El Refai’s brain last night. He said that those need to be accompanied with photographic evidence (watch, runtime: 29: 37). We can help, Mr. Tarek…

Gebriel also spoke to the head of the Finance Ministry’s macro-fiscal division, Sarah Eid, about the explanatory booklet that the ministry publishes every year to help simplify the state budget for citizens (watch, runtime: 21: 51)..

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s Armed Forces Day speech: The president delivered a nine-minute speech on the occasion of 6 October in which he recounted the events leading up to the war. You can watch the full speech in Arabic (runtime: 9:18) or dip into a full readout here.

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