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Sunday, 24 October 2021

Egyptian authorities throw UK robot Ai-Da in the clink

Leading the conversation in the foreign press this morning: Customs officials last week “detained” British-built robot Ai-Da for 10 days. The Guardian suggested the robot’s entry was blocked for reasons that “may include concerns that she is part of a wider espionage plot.” Ai-Da, an abstract robo-artist which uses its robotic arm and cameras to create digital artwork, is visiting Egypt as part of Art D’Egypte’s contemporary art exhibition Forever is Now at the pyramids. The robot was held for 10 days on arrival at Cairo International Airport. Ai-Da’s art will be showcased in its solo exhibition at the Cairo International Art District starting today and will continue to run until Wednesday. The story is getting wide play: BBC | The Guardian | Washington Post | The National | Times of Israel.

Last week’s swearing in of the first 98 women judges to the Council of State (Maglis El Dawla) also received international attention. The “historic” move — which was put in motion after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi issued orders back in March to bring women into Maglis El Dawla and the Supreme Judicial Council — came in for praise, though some noted that there’s still a long way to go to reach equality before the law. ABC News and The New York Times had coverage.

MEANWHILE: Egypt’s vaccine mandate for government workers and university students is getting attention in the New York Times while Reuters notes that the tide has turned in favour of the Armed Forces in Egypt’s battle with terrorists in Sinai.

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