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Egyptian Court Sentences 22 Jihadists To Death By Hanging

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Egyptian Court Sentences 22 Jihadists To Death By Hanging
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Egyptian Court Sentences 22 Jihadists To Death By Hanging

An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced to death by hanging 22 Islamist militants for 54 attacks including the attempted assassination of a former interior minister, a judicial source told AFP.

The men were found guilty of committing 54 “terrorist operations” across Egypt, including the murder of a senior police officer as well as trying to kill former interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim.

Executions in Egypt for civilians are carried out by hanging. Those sentenced to death include a former police officer, and the verdicts cannot be appealed.

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The 22 convicted were found guilty of being members of the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group, which pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2014.

The Court of Cassation, Egypt’s highest appeals court, also upheld prison sentences of 118 others in the same case, ranging from terms of several years to life imprisonment.

Egypt has for years been fighting a bitter insurgency in North Sinai that escalated after the army’s 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Egyptian Court Sentences 22 Jihadists To Death By Hanging

In February 2018, the army and police launched a nationwide operation against militants focused on North Sinai.

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Around 1,073 suspected militants and dozens of security personnel have been killed since the start of operations, according to official figures.

Earlier this month, Egypt agreed with Israel to boost its troop numbers around the border town of Rafah in order to quell IS militants.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis fighters in Sinai were led by Hisham al-Ashmawy, an ex-special forces officer.

Ashmawy –- once dubbed Egypt’s “most wanted man” — split from the militants after they switched allegiance from Al-Qaeda to the Islamic State group.

In 2018, Ashmawy was captured in the eastern Libya city of Derna, and extradited to Cairo. He had been on trial with the 22 men sentenced on Thursday, but had already been found guilty, and was executed in March 2020.

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Egypt, the most populous Arab country, recorded the third most executions in the world — behind China and Iran according to Amnesty International. In 2020, Egyptian authorities executed at least 107 people, Amnesty said.

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Cryptocurrencies Bear High Risks – Putin

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Cryptocurrencies Bear High Risks - Putin
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Cryptocurrencies Bear High Risks – Putin

On Tuesday, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, voiced his criticism regarding the state of the criticism sector at the “Russian Calling” investment forum in Moscow.

According to local news outlet lenta.ru, the president made the following remarks, as translated: “It is not backed by anything, [and] the volatility is colossal, so the risks are very high. We also believe that we need to listen to those who talk about those high risks.”

Putin called for the greater monitoring and regulation of cryptocurrencies and pointed out that certain countries worldwide are seeing significant adoption of digital currencies. Currently, cryptocurrency regulation is still in its infancy in Russia. Although the government is considering the launch of a central bank digital currency, at least eight federal laws and five legislative codes must be changed for the digital ruble to take effect.

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Cryptocurrencies Bear High Risks – Putin

Furthermore, no regulation exists in the country regarding cryptocurrency mining. This has led some to claim that $2 billion in crypto mining revenue is generated annually in Russia, but on that, no taxes are paid. Due to the lack of a regulatory framework, cryptocurrency use has soared among ordinary Russians, with transactions surpassing $5 billion each year.

In other parts of the former Soviet Union, cryptocurrencies are also rapidly gaining in traction. Kazakhstan has become the world’s largest Bitcoin (BTC) miner by hash rate, and its president is seeking to collect more taxes from such activities to fund the country’s expenses. In Ukraine, the government is actively encouraging legal crypto operations. Last year, the city of Olsztyn, Poland, began adopting the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain for emergency services.

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AfDB postpones 2021 Africa Investment Forum over Omicron outbreak

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AfDB postpones 2021 Africa Investment Forum over Omicron outbreak
President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina
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AfDB postpones 2021 Africa Investment Forum over Omicron outbreak

The Africa Development Bank has postponed the 2021 Africa Investment Forum due to the recent outbreak of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.

The AfDB made the announcement in a statement on its website on Monday.

The event which was scheduled to hold from December 1 -3, 2021, and hosted by the Ivory Coast Government in Abidjan, the country’s economic capital, has now been postponed until further notice.

In the statement, the AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, noted that the AIF presented the opportunity for countries and investors to seek business opportunities.

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He, however, stated that the health and safety of attendees was of the utmost importance.

He said, “The Africa Investment Forum is the premier investment marketplace for Africa. Several billion dollars of investment projects were scheduled for investment board rooms with project sponsors and investors at this edition of the Africa Investment Forum.

“Unfortunately, with rising global travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 Omicron variant, and heightened concerns for health and safety, it is necessary, regrettably, to postpone the event. The health and safety of everyone comes first.

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China sets to takeover Uganda international airport over bad loans

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China sets to takeover Uganda international airport over bad loans
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China sets to takeover Uganda international airport over bad loans

The African country may have to hand over its only international airport to China as part of the terms of a loan agreement.

Uganda may have to surrender its only international airport, Entebbe international airport to China as dictated by the terms of a loan the country signed with the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China in 2015. The state’s officials have been seeking to renegotiate the unfavorable parts of that agreement with China recently without success which may mean the airport will have to be surrendered to China eventually.

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Under normal circumstances, the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) would have been able to protect its asset through the protection of the state’s sovereign immunity but the state waived the immunity on airport assets in the 2015 deal. The attempts by Ugandan officials to renegotiate those terms continue to be rebuffed by the Chinese Exim Bank, leaving the Ugandan state in limbo on the matter.

This loan deal going ugly plays into the theme of the debilitating loans that the United States Secretary of State alluded to earlier this month about China tying African countries to funding agreements that are not so profitable for the continent over the long term.

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