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Tuesday, 10 August 2021

THIS MORNING: Daily covid cases in Egypt are at a two week high + Russians land in Sharm and Hurghada

Good morning, friends, and welcome to a brisk news day at home and abroad on this holiday-shortened week.

THE BIG STORY of the morning: The apparent winding down of the National Investment Bank, the state-owned “development bank” that owns stakes in a host of companies. Liquidation is smart policy when you consider that those activities are best looked after (and largely sold off and / or managed by) the Sovereign Fund of Egypt. We have chapter and verse in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

The tourism industry is still celebrating the return of Russian tourists on direct flights to the Red Sea yesterday after a six-year hiatus. The news is getting plenty of attention from local and foreign press. Egypt pulled out all the stops at Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada airports yesterday. We have More in Last Night’s Talk Shows and Egypt in the News below.

Also: The covid-19 case count inched up again last night, making it two weeks that numbers have been moving in the wrong direction. The figures are still very low, but it’s a reminder that you may want to put a mask on when you duck into your favourite coffee shop in Sahel. No mask outside? Totally cool, particularly if you’ve been jabbed. No mask indoors? Come on. (Oddly enough, covid does indeed exist on the shores of the Mediterranean.)

THERE ARE TWO BIG STORIES ABROAD this morning, and each of them has implications for Egypt.

FIRST: In a shocking development that absolutely nobody has warned of before, it seems some climate change effects may be irreversible — and it’s all our fault as a species. A report out yesterday from scientists working under the auspices of the United Nations “highlights human responsibility for heat waves, droughts, intense storms and other extreme weather events.”

The changes could be “irreversible for centuries,” as we noted yesterday afternoon. The scientists found that humans are “unequivocally” at fault here. Among the top offenders? Activities including transportation, energy and industry.

The “landmark report” still leads the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg on this fine Tuesday morning.

You can find the full, nearly 4k-page report here (there’s also a nice 50-page summary on the report’s landing page) or watch the recording of yesterday’s press conference (watch, runtime: 1:37:40) announcing the findings.

But don’t worry, the UK is holding a climate summit in November and will let folks from red list countries fly in despite the current mania about the delta variant of the virus that causes covid-19. Wonder if the attendees are going to buy carbon offset credits?

SECOND: Covid, covid and still more covid. Hot on yesterday’s suggestion that corporations are dialing back their fall plans is news that “China’s worst coronavirus outbreak since the virus first emerged in Wuhan is adding to concerns about the quality of vaccines [developed in China] amid a dearth of data on the efficacy of the shots.” The story is at the top of the front page of the Financial Times. Worries about covid are weighing on stock trading in Asia this morning, CNBC adds.

Elsewhere: The US military is going to make it mandatory for service members to be jabbed and some states with low vaccination rates are running out of ICU beds as the delta variant runs amok.

HAPPENING NOW- Americans: They’re just like us. The US Senate looks set to pass a USD 1 tn spending package to “invest in America’s crumbling infrastructure.” Senators voted overnight to end debate on the bill, setting up a final vote this week. The bill has Republican support and looks set to pass.

Are we the only ones being driven mad by the anticipation of visiting the Grand Egyptian Museum? We can’t drive to Sahel Smart Village and back without passing the place, and the wait is driving us bonkers. Videos like this one on the moving of the first Khufu boat aren’t making the wait any easier.

MORNING MUST READ- Mayar Sherif can’t stop making Egyptian tennis history, becoming the first Egyptian woman to make it to a Women's Tennis Association (WTA) final before going down to Germany's Andrea Petkovic in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Sherif also cracked into the top 100 of the ATP rankings for the first time, claiming the 97th rank — the best ranking ever to be achieved by an Egyptian woman. Sherif had already become this year the first Egyptian woman to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam at the 2020 French Open, and the first Egyptian to qualify for the Australian Open.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR- State-owned El Nasr for Export and Import is holding a webinar tomorrow on Gosoor — the government’s new e-catalogue for Egyptian products — to familiarize companies with export-ready products with the services offered by the platform.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

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