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Sunday, 20 November 2022

COP27 + World Cup dominate the airwaves. Plus: Schools aren’t closing due to spread of RSV

COP27 returned to our TV screens in a big way last night: The nation’s talking heads took two approaches to subject, with Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi focusing on current state of the negotiations and the global implications of the summit, and most everyone else looking at COP27 as an Egypt success story.

Egypt’s chief negotiator speaks: Amb. Mohamed Nasr, the lead negotiator of the COP27 Presidency, phoned-in to Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 12:12) to discuss the current state of the negotiations, saying that pushing for an agreement on establishing the loss and damage fund, a reduction of emissions, and funding topics have all pushed the summit into overtime. “Such topics are always thorny…and always linger with non-stop negotiations until reaching a consensus on implementation and the liabilities by each party,” he said. Nasr blamed developed countries for trying to speed the pace of climate action without differentiating between developing and developed nations. “This would put a strain on developing countries which are trying to secure more funds and technologies for implementation. This isn’t carried out in a way that meets its needs,” he said.

Other shows were less interested in a global climate agreement than telling their viewers about how successful a host Egypt was: Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 5:30 | watch, runtime: 11:30) and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 3:54).

The World Cup is starting to get everyone talking, though the talking heads focused most of their attention on the tournament’s price tag rather than the football itself. El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 2:42) and Ala Masouleety’s Ahmed Moussa both discussed how much Qatar has spent to host the World Cup — which according to some accounts reaches an eye-watering USD 300 bn — with Moussa reserving special criticism for the “trolls” on social media who apparently praise Qatar’s spending spree, while not sharing the same enthusiasm over Egypt’s spending on infrastructure (watch, runtime: 4:06).

A new warning on rice: Al Hayah Al Youm took note of a one-week notice period starting yesterday for rice producers, sellers and distributors to notify the Supply Ministry directorates of their stockpiled rice and storage areas (watch, runtime: 10:06). Abdel Moneim Khalil, head of the internal trade sector at the Supply Ministry, said those who fail to report will have their rice confiscated and would be at risk of a jail term and a fine per the ministerial decree. The decree comes days after the Cabinet designated rice as a “strategic commodity” for at least three months under efforts to deter traders who try to exploit the opportunity to hoard rice amid a global shortage of commodities. Fresh moves over rice by state also got a mention from Masa’a DMC (watch, runtime: 6:45).

Schools aren’t closing over RSV: Don’t expect schools to shut down over a spread of the respiratory syncytial virus, Hossam Hosny, the head of the government’s covid-19 committee told Hadret El Mowaten (watch, runtime: 8:54). “We won’t close schools, but we urge parents to not send their kids to school if they’re showing symptoms,” he said.

BACKGROUND- While not a pandemic, RSV is making headlines across the world (here and here) amid a rise in cases as fall gives way to winter.

AND- El Hekaya’s Amr Adib appeared rather perplexed at a continued rise of commodities prices, despite the EGP / USD exchange rate stabilizing in recent days (watch, runtime: 9:10). “Inflation looks currently at 20% or maybe even more,” Adib said, describing continued price increases as “unreasonable.”

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