Egypt building collapse kills 17 people

Updated 16 January 2013
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Egypt building collapse kills 17 people

CAIRO: At least 17 people were killed and eight injured on Wednesday when a 12-story building collapsed in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria, a security official said.
More people were trapped under the rubble and were calling out to rescue teams for help, the official added.
Emergency services rescued 10 people after the building housing 24 families in the Maamura district of Alexandria collapsed in the early hours, a security official said earlier.
Another two people were killed when a three-story building collapsed in the Nile Delta province of Daqahliya, a security official told AFP.
“A mother and her child were killed and eight others injured when the building collapsed,” the official said, adding that an estimated 10 people were still under the rubble.
Egypt has seen a number of construction disasters over the years, many of them blamed on planning violations or bad maintenance.
The latest incidents will pile pressure on President Muhammad Mursi’s government which has been criticized for failing to address Egypt’s chronic problems.
On Tuesday, 19 people died and over 100 injured when a train carrying military conscripts derailed southwest of Cairo.
According to media reports, it is the fifth deadly train accident since Mursi was sworn in as Egypt’s first Islamist president in June.
The railway network’s poor safety record stems largely from lack of maintenance and decades of poor management. In Egypt’s deadliest railway tragedy, the bodies of more than 360 passengers were recovered from a train after a fire in 2002.
Egyptians have long complained that the government has failed to deal with the country’s transport problems, with roads as poorly maintained as railway lines.


Lebanon bank deposits up 4% on year

Updated 22 min 33 sec ago
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Lebanon bank deposits up 4% on year

BEIRUT: Bank deposits in Lebanon have risen by 4 percent on the year, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said on Thursday, and he maintained his economic growth outlook for 2018 at 2 percent.

In July Salameh had said he expected bank deposits to grow by more than 5 percent in 2018.

In October the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) halved their growth outlook to one percent for Lebanon, where public debt is about 150 percent of gross domestic product.

“Lebanese banks have succeeded in maintaining foreign exchange inflows into their sector supported by (the central bank),” Salmeh said in a televised speech at a Beirut economic conference.

With growth low and traditional sources of foreign exchange — tourism, real estate and foreign investment — undermined by years of regional tension, Lebanon increasingly relies on dollars expatriate Lebanese deposit in local banks.

The banks buy government debt, which finances the country’s eye-watering public debt and twin deficits.

The central bank also brings in dollars through complex financial operations with local banks to boost foreign currency reserves needed to defend the Lebanese pound’s peg to the dollar.

However, deposits have been growing at a slower rate since war broke out in neighboring Syria in 2011, and deposit growth rates are closely watched.