World Bulletin / News Desk
An Egyptian court sentenced former oil minister Sameh Fahmy to 15 years in prison on Thursday for selling cheap gas to Israel and squandering public funds, a judicial source said.
Fahmy was arrested and held in custody in April 2011 and his trial began the next month.
Prosecutors said former president Hosni Mubarak's government sold gas at preferential rates to Israel and other countries, costing Egypt billions of dollars in lost revenue.
Suspicions of high-level corruption helped drive protests that unseated Mubarak in February 2011 and led to a string of lawsuits against him and several of his associates.
Mubarak was tried and handed a life prison sentence this month for his role in the killing of hundreds of protesters against his rule.
Hussein Salem, a major shareholder in East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), which exported the gas to Israel, was given a 15-year prison sentence in absentia by the court. Salem fled to Spain after the uprising.
Ten other petroleum ministry officials received jail terms of between three and 10 years in prison and fines totalling 2.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($412.47 million) on Thursday, the judicial source said. ($1 = 6.0610 Egyptian pounds)
Iraqi forces to set up pontoon bridge linking northern city’s eastern, western halves
Meanwhile, in Ramallah and Hebron, at least 13 Palestinians are injured in clashes with Israeli forces
President Kiir declares unilateral cease-fire with rebels but bars his former deputy Machar from returning to country
European Commission nominated to represent EU in Brexit talks; negotiations expected to begin after UK election on June 8
Before his election on May 7, Macron had spoken in favour of cancelling part of Greece's debt mountain, equivalent to 180 percent of annual output, to give the country a chance to recover from its economic depression.
Young Tunisians continue to stage demonstrations near country’s southern oilfields to demand more job opportunities
Turkey is strategic partner of Georgia, Defense Minister Levan Izoria says ahead of trilateral summit in Batumi city
Street protests called by leftist groups around the country also appeared to have had only a modest impact, further easing the sense of intense crisis for the center-right president.
A crowd estimated at 10,000 people by local media waved European Union flags and chanted "Democracy! Freedom for Hungary!" as they made their way toward the parliament building, escorted by police cars.
"I hope first of all that asylum seekers and refugees can be taken out of detention centres," UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said after visiting one centre in the Libyan capital.
In a highly anticipated speech to dozens of leaders of Muslim countries in Saudi Arabia, Trump lashed out at Iran and softened his tone on Islam by rejecting the idea of a battle between religions.
Barnier will lock horns with Britain's Brexit minister David Davis who has predicted "the talks will be tough and at times even confrontational," despite a mutual desire for good future ties.
Trump's visit is part of his first trip abroad as president and follows an initial stop in Saudi Arabia, where he urged Islamic leaders to take a stand against violence committed in the name of religion.
The bus was carrying members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church returning from a retreat in the Pacific coast town of Pijijiapan, local police said.
Ministers from the 19-member single currency bloc must confront the sensitive topic at talks in Brussels after Greek lawmakers fulfilled the eurozone's latest demands for painful reforms in a vote last Thursday.
Disasters displaced three times more people than conflicts, with most of the 24 million people affected hit by sudden-onset weather hazards such as floods, storms, wildfires and severe winter conditions.