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  • Egypt: ‘Obstacles’ threaten agreement over Ethiopia dam

    Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that there are obstacles threatening the tripartite “Declaration of Principles” signed in March 2015 by Cairo, Sudan and Ethiopia over a dam being built by the latter on the Nile River.

    Shoukry’s remarks came in an interview with the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper yesterday, where he said Egypt “couldn’t overcome” these obstacles.

    The minister noted that the agreement includes Ethiopia’s acknowledgement of the do-no-harm principle in a document signed with the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. The document also stipulates that “Egypt acknowledges the dam and Ethiopia’s developmental needs and Sudan would be a third party in this equation,” Shoukry added.

    “The agreement includes the acknowledgement by the three parties that any repercussions resulting from the [construction of] the dam must be approved by a non-biased party so that conflict will not occur, and the non-biased entity would refer to purely scientific considerations, and scientific facts and equations that are not subject to interpretation.”

    The Egyptian foreign minister also commented on the technical aspect, pointing to “slowness” and “obstacles” that could not be overcome at the technical or political levels. He said that these obstacles “threaten the principles that the tripartite agreement were based on” without giving details on the nature of those obstacles.

    In line with another deal reached in September 2016, the three parties to the agreement are awaiting the results of a technical report that is being prepared by two consulting companies on the Ethiopian dam and the damage it could cause to other countries that share Nile waters, mainly Egypt.

     

    The technical report must be completed before the dam is fully constructed, Shoukry told Al-Ahram, because it will affect any decisions related to the phase of filling the dam and the rules that will be adopted for operating it.

    “Achievements on this path are not at the pace we hope for, and we urge our partners in Ethiopia and Sudan to interact in a way that will create confidence, reinforce agreements and avoid any confrontation.”

    “At the same time, we know very well what our interests are and the threats that we might be subjected to, and we act in every phase in line with developments. We do not pre-empt events or assume things in a theoretical manner, but that does not mean that we do not prepare ourselves for any orientation, disagreement or approach.”

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  • Shocking: Woman in China turns blind in one eye after hours of mobile gameplay

    A 21-year-old woman from Dongguang, China lost her vision after playing the much popular "Kings of Glory" game on her smartphone for an entire day. The woman who goes by her pseudonym, Xiao Wu, felt a weird sensation on her right eye on the night of October 1. She had to be admitted to the hospital on the very next day. Ophthalmologists in the Donggiang Huaxia Eye Hospital confirmed that Wu is suffering from retinal artery occlusion, a condition where the blood flow through the retinal artery is blocked. This irreversible condition will result in the painless loss of monocular vision and is usually found in patients of 70-years of age and older. Retinal artery occlusion is a very serious condition which results in permanent vision loss. Wu: Obsessed with "Kings of Glory" Asia One reports that Wu is a person who is addicted to "Kings of Glory". Friends of Wu claims that the young woman used to spend more than 8 hours a day just for gameplay, and on some days, she even used to skip sleep to complete various levels of the game. The warning was first signalled when Wu started playing the game after dinner on October 1. After a painful night, Wu was rushed to the hospital on the next morning, where doctors confirmed the seriousness of her condition. According to medical experts, Wu's condition is the result of excessive fatigue in her eyes due to continuous exposure to the mobile phone screen. Read more

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  • Nobel in Economics Is Awarded to Richard Thaler

     The economist Richard H. Thaler at his home in Chicago on Monday after winning the 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He said he would try to spend the prize money “as irrationally as possible.” Credit Anne Ryan/University of Chicago, via Reuters WASHINGTON — Richard H. Thaler, whose work has persuaded many economists to pay more attention to human behavior, and many governments to pay more attention to economics, was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday. Professor Thaler is the rare economist to win a measure of fame before winning the prize. He is an author of a best-selling book, “Nudge,” about helping people to make better decisions. He also appeared in the 2015 film “The Big Short,” delivering what is surely one of the most widely viewed tutorials in the history of economics, on the causes of the 2008 financial crisis. The Nobel committee, announcing the award in Stockholm, said that it was honoring Professor Thaler for his pioneering work in establishing that people are predictably irrational — that they consistently behave in ways that defy economic theory. People will refuse to pay more for an umbrella during a rainstorm; they will use the savings from lower gas prices to buy premium gasoline; they will offer to buy a coffee mug for $3 and refuse to sell it for $6. The committee credited Professor Thaler, who teaches at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, for moving economics toward a more realistic understanding of human behavior, and for using the resulting insights to improve public policies, notably a sweeping shift toward the automatic enrollment of employees in retirement savings programs. Read more

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  • Virginia couple wins North American Wife Carrying Championship

        A Virginia couple took home the grand prize--$630 and 12 cases of beer--after competing in the North American Wife Carrying Championship in Maine Saturday. According to a report, Jake and Kirsten Barney finished second in the race last year, trudging through water and jumping over logs, all the while Jake carrying Kirsten on his back. The competition, which is based on the Finnish legend of "Ronhainen the Robber," features 60 couples who take home the wife's weight in beer, and five times her weight in cash. Read more

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  • Mending Russia-Saudi Arabia Ties: King Salman Makes Landmark Visit To Moscow – Analysis

    King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia with Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Source: Kremlin.ru King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud became the first Saudi monarch to visit Moscow, and this trip has been hailed by both governments as historic. The relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia have often been strained in a geopolitical lens on issues like Syria and Iran. However, the two countries signed agreements on weapon sales, trade, oil, energy, and have also pledged to work together to resolve Middle East regional issues peacefully. Even though Moscow and Riyadh are on opposing sides in the War in Syria, relations have improved in recent years. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has held several meetings with President Vladimir Putin that can help expand peace and prosperity for both countries. King Salman’s visit to Moscow highlights Russia’s growing power in the Middle East. The Saudi king is not only trying to find a political supporter after the defeat of the Islamic State, but he is also looking for a military market that can drive out the last remaining strongholds of DAESH. Since the continuing fall of oil prices in mid-2014, Russia and Saudi Arabia, along with OPEC and non-OPEC members, agreed to extend production cuts of around two million barrels a day. Moscow and Riyadh’s increasingly growing ties can allow them to cooperate on stabilizing the global oil market. One of the interesting focal points of Moscow’s diplomatic role in the Middle East has been its ability to maneuver with its partners as not only a regional power, but a global power. So far, Russia has been able to hold a lot of stake in the security and political dimensions of the Middle East’s growing powers like Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Read more

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  • Nearly half of all abortions each year worldwide are unsafe, study says

    (CNN)Dr. Lisa Haddad remembers the women's faces clearly. Since 2008, the obstetrician-gynecologist has been traveling to sub-Saharan Africa. While working in Zambia, she saw gynecologic units in the hospital filled with women admitted with heavy bleeding or life-threatening infections, she said. The women often would remain tight-lipped about why they were hemorrhaging, but Haddad said that it was clear to her and the Zambian clinicians what was happening. Some of the women had unsafe abortions and were facing serious complications, she said. "This is a public health priority and I don't think it's been placed on that level and given the attention that it needs," said Haddad, associate professor in the department of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine. A new study finds nearly half of all 55.7 million estimated abortions around the world each year between 2010 and 2014 were performed in an unsafe manner, putting women at risk for serious complications. The study, published Wednesday in the journal The Lancet, suggests that unsafe abortions are still a major health problem globally, especially in developing countries. "These are the first global estimates to show the distribution of the abortions across three safety categories," said Dr. Bela Ganatra, a scientist at the department of reproductive health and research at the World Health Organization and lead author of the study. "For the first time, we actually tried to determine the conditions under which abortions take place, how, who, where. This allows us to develop a better understanding of actions needed," she said. Based on the WHO definition, an unsafe abortion results from a pregnancy that is terminated either by someone who lacks the necessary medical skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards, or both. Unsafe abortions can lead to complications, such as heavy bleeding, infection, damage to genitals or internal organs, or an incomplete abortion, such as when all of the pregnancy tissue is not removed from the uterus, according to WHO. Complications related to unsafe abortions sometimes can be fatal. Read more

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  • FAA bans drone flights near major US landmarks

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration is banning drone flights within 400 feet (122 meters) of several national landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore. The FAA announced the no-fly drone zones at 10 Department of the Interior sites on Thursday. They take effect Oct. 5. The restricted sites also include Boston National Historical Park, Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park and Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri. Five dams also are on the list: Nevada’s Hoover Dam, Shasta and Folsom Dams in California, Arizona’s Glen Canyon Dam and Washington’s Grand Coulee Dam. Drone violators may face civil penalties and criminal charges. The FAA says the new restrictions came at the request of U.S. national security and law enforcement agencies. Read more

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  • Irrecha 2010 E.C Celebrated Colorfully

    The Irrecha festival of the Oromo people celebrated colorfully at the resort town of Bishoftu, 42km south-east of Addis Ababa. Wearing traditional clothes, devotees who have been arriving at the town since Saturday, gathered at Lake Hora Arsedi, where the celebration takes place, since 5 am in the morning. Led by the Aba Gedaas, leaders of the traditional social stratification system of the Oromo, the devotees expressed gratitude for Waqqa (God) at the lake side. The Aba Gedaas carried out the rituals in offering prayers in thanksgiving for the past and wishing the best for the future as well as blessing the crowd gathered for the festival. The Oromo practices Irrecha as a thanksgiving celebration twice a year (in autumn and spring) to praise Waaqa (God) for peace, health, fertility and abundance they have gained. The autumn ritual takes place every year in Bishoftu at Lake Horsede to celebrate the end of the rainy season either at the end of September or beginning of October. The other festival takes in May at the top of mountains to mark the end of the dry season and the onset of rainy season. ENA

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  • No survivors in DR Congo cargo plane crash in Kinshasa

    Technical problem suspected in crash shortly after takeoff from Kinshasa airport of cargo aircraft bound for Bukavu. Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo say 12 people have died after a military cargo aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from the capital Kinshasa. Lambert Mende, a government spokesperson, confirmed the reports of the crash on Saturday of the Antonov cargo plane after takeoff from Kinshasa's Ndjili International Airport, based on reports from airport officials. "I confirm that a military aircraft crashed this morning," Crispin Atama Tabe, Congo's defence minister, said. "All 12 members of the crew died." Local news media reported initially that at least 10 people were on the plane bound for Bukavu in eastern Congo when it crashed in Nasilah, about 100 metres from the centre of Kinshasa. An agent at the Congo's aviation agency confirmed that the plane was an Antonov 12 destined for Bukavu. "The military cargo plane crashed around 7:30am (06:30 GMT), a few minutes after taking off from the airport," Georges Tabora, director of Ndjili International Airport, said in a statement. The aircraft experienced a technical problem shortly after takeoff and lost radio contact with the control tower, Tabora said, adding that all crew members aboard died in the incident. There were no passengers travelling at the time of the crash, he said. According to a Congo army officer who witnessed the incident, the plane caught fire shortly after taking off from the airport and crashed in a nearby reserve controlled by the military's elite Republican Guard units. The officer told Reuters news agency there were both Congolese and foreigners among the dead. Read more

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  • 50 dead, 200 injured as gunman opens fire at Las Vegas music festival

    e At least 50 people have been confirmed dead and 200 injured after a shooter opened fire at a music festival in Las Vegas, police have confirmed. The shooter opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, firing down into crowds at the Route 91 country music festival at approximately 10pm local time on Sunday night. It is now the deadliest mass shooting in US history. The gunman has been named by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, a Nevada man who was shot and killed at the scene. Police used explosives to blast their way into the casino room where the gunman was situated. He is considered the "sole aggressor" acting as a "lone wolf". There were no other shooters believed to be on the loose in other hotels, despite social media reports to the contrary, with police declaring the area a "static scene". Las Vegas Police Department said they were "confident" they had located Marilou Danley, the woman believed to be the shooter's partner. According to The Australian, Danley, 62, holds an Australian passport and is possibly "of Indonesian descent". Read mor

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