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Wednesday, 18 August 2021

THIS MORNING: It’s all back-to-school, all the time + Qatar’s new ambassador to Egypt has landed

Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to a pleasantly brisk news morning.

THE BIG STORY THIS MORNING: Our back-to-school theme continues, with a big joint venture set to see bns in fresh investment pouring into the nation’s red-hot education sector. Meanwhile, thanaweya amma results are out and pressure is ramping up for teachers to get jabbed ahead of the start of term for public schools in October. We have all of this and more below.

The new Qatari ambassador to Cairo landed yesterday: Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi is expected to present his credentials to authorities and take up his official duties in the coming days. Egypt and Qatar re-established diplomatic ties earlier this year, following their severing in 2017 over Doha’s continued support for the Ikhwan.

Veteran Egyptian stage and screen writer Faisal Nada passed away at 81 yesterday: Nada was the pen behind plays that have cemented themselves in Egyptian pop culture, including the comedy Al Motazawegoon. The Culture Ministry called for a minute of silence before every stage performance yesterday to honor the late writer’s life, Sky News Arabia reports.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis could visit Egypt in mid-October to discuss ways to cooperate in tourism and other fields, state news agency MENA reports.

*** CATCH UP QUICK with the top stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM:

  • Remittances on the rise: Egyptians working abroad sent USD 2.6 bn back home in May, a 50% increase from May 2020, according to central bank figures released yesterday.
  • Earnings: Elsewedy Electric’s net income soared 73% to nearly EGP 974 mn in 2Q2021.
  • Tycoon acquires 85% of ANFI: The EGX confirmed yesterday that Tycoon Holding has acquired an 85% stake in brokerage and investment bank Alexandria National Company for Financial Investment (ANFI) from the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD on this fine morning: It’s all Taliban, all the time.

The Biden administration has frozen the Taliban’s access to Afghan government reserves in US banks as US President Joe Biden comes under pressure to take crucial decisions on the economic fate of the war-ravaged country, the Washington Post reports, quoting two people in the know. The move aims to cut the Taliban’s access to funds left by the previous government. US State Department spokesperson Ned Price suggested the US has not ruled out the possibility Washington recognizing the Taliban as Afghanistan’s next rulers, but added that the US was still in talks with the international community over the matter.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has blocked an official Taliban complaint helpline in Kabul, but is facing criticism from Afghans for cutting off a key means of communication, the Financial Times reports. The helpline, which was used back in 2016 when the Taliban took control of Kunduz, has been used by many NGOs as well as the United Nations to report looting and stolen property. Facebook, the owner of WhatsApp, defended their actions by stating that they were obliged to prevent the Taliban from using their software because Washington has designated the group as a terrorist organization.

OTHER THINGS that should be on your radar this morning:

  • The London Stock Exchange is about to lose one of its biggest listings as Australian miner BHP “said it would unify its dual-corporate structure and shift its primary stock market listing to Australia.” (Financial Times)
  • The Palestinian Authority has sent firefighters and vehicles to Israel to help put out fires in and around Jerusalem. (Twitter)
  • The Windows version of Apple’s iCloud service has rolled out support for the company’s password management app — and works with the Edge and Chrome browsers. (Rene Ritchie is a good Twitter follow, but check out his Youtube channel if you’re a real Apple nerd.)

PSA- We’re heading into a heat wave just in time for the weekend, with the mercury set to break north of 40°C today through Sunday, according to our favourite weather app.

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