JNN 17 Dec 2013 Madinah : Many historic mosques in Madinah are in need of urgent repair, maintenance or complete reconstruction to preserve and keep them intact for many years to come, local daily Al-Madinah reported Monday quoting a noted Saudi historian. Continue reading
JNN 21 Dec 2013 Bangui : A handful of residents of Fouh, a Christian-majority neighborhood in Bangui, the war-ravaged capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), admitted to torching a local mosque to avenge recent attacks blamed on Muslim Seleka rebels. Continue reading
JNN 22 Dec 2013 Cairo : CIA Director John Brennan has made a short, secret visit to Cairo, Egypt’s Al-Joumhouria has claimed. “Brennan met a number of security officials and reiterated US support to Egypt in its confrontation with terrorist organisations,” said the newspaper, according to the Middle East Monitor.
Al-Joumhouria based its news on information provided by an “informed source”. The CIA official flew out of Cairo on a military aircraft, it was reported, accompanied by a “large” security contingent.
The newspaper described the visit as a “step towards regaining strong U.S.-Egypt relations.”
It was the first visit to Cairo by the CIA’s top man since the coup on July 3.
Mubarak’s sons acquitted of corruption charges
Meanwhile, Cairo’s criminal court acquitted the sons of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Gamal and Alaa, as well as former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, on charges of corruption, media reported on Thursday.
Shafiq was accused of facilitating the sale of state-owned land to Jamal and Alaa in 1995 using a publicly funded association that he led at the time. According to the complaint filed against them, the two brothers purchased the land for a much cheaper price than the market rate.
In the same session, the court also acquitted four retired generals who had served as board members of the association.
Both Alaa and Gamal will likely remain in detention, as they are facing a separate trial on other corruption charges. It is not clear whether or not Shafiq, who ran for the presidency in 2012, plans to return to politics. After he lost the election to President Mohamed Morsi, he fled to Abu Dhabi.
The rulings mean Shafiq’s name will be removed within days from a list of people whose arrest has been ordered, assuming no other cases are filed against him, judicial sources said.
Shafiq’s return would reflect the shifting balance of power in Egypt since the army removed Morsi and set the Arab world’s largest nation on a new political course designed to lead to presidential and parliamentary elections next year