EgyptAir reviews in-flight movies after complaint

Updated 25 January 2013
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EgyptAir reviews in-flight movies after complaint

CAIRO: Egypt’s national airline said yesterday it will analyze its onboard movies to make sure they respect “Egyptian values and customs”, following a complaint by a Muslim Brotherhood member who took offence at a film screened during one of its flights.
EgyptAir said the film had been turned off at the request of Ahmed Fahmy, the speaker of Egypt’s upper house of Parliament and a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. In a statement, EgyptAir said he had “expressed reservations about one of the scenes” in the movie. The statement did not name the film. A local newspaper said Fahmy had taken offence at scenes of intimacy.
Fahmy could not immediately be reached for comment.
The case is likely to fuel concerns about the extent to which the Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled President Muhammud Mursi to power in an election last year, could use its new position of power against country’s entertainment industry.
Responding to media reports of a confrontation between Fahmy and the EgyptAir crew aboard Wednesday’s flight from Khartoum to Cairo, the EgyptAir statement said Fahmy had asked for the film to be switched off “politely and without a row”.
“The film screening was halted in business class and there was no annoyance or objection from the passengers,” it said.
In a separate statement, EgyptAir said it would form a committee to review all films shown on its flights.
 


Campaign fever turns into clash between Druze parties

Updated 35 min 26 sec ago
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Campaign fever turns into clash between Druze parties

  • Lebanon's independent Sabaa party talks about exploitation of positions and money.
  • Several young men from the Sabaa party demonstrated on Tuesday outside the Ministry of Interior.
BEIRUT: Sectarian and partisan polarization resulting from fierce competition for parliamentary seats in Lebanon has led to the first armed clash between two rival Druze parties.
Machine guns were used in the clash between the Progressive Socialist Party, led by MP Walid Jumblatt, and the Lebanese Democratic Party, led by Talal Arslan, which took place on Sunday evening in the city of Choueifat, about 5 km south of Beirut.
The two parties’ leaders acted quickly to calm their supporters.
“When politicians plant seeds of hatred and grudges among people, they commit a crime against citizens who have been breaking bread together for centuries,” Jumblatt said in a tweet.
In a joint statement, the two parties stressed “the need to avoid any steps that could provoke anger among supporters or disturb citizens who look forward to freely exercising their right to vote in an atmosphere of democratic competition.”
The two parties, alongside other parties with supporters in Choueifat, such as Hezbollah, the Lebanese Forces, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party and the Amal Movement, have agreed on “disowning anyone who breaches security, requesting that the security forces intensify their presence in Choueifat, identifying fixed locations until the elections are over, and restraining from carrying out provocative processions.”
Campaigning lasts 24 hours before polling and has seen various kinds of violations of the electoral law.
Several young men from the Sabaa party — a group of independent activists — demonstrated on Tuesday outside the Ministry of Interior, carrying banners questioning the ministry’s role in election-related issues.
“Serious violations are taking place because the country is out of control; many are exploiting their positions and pouring (in) their money, and conflicts are happening at grassroots level — people are tearing down photos of candidates and individuals are fighting with one another,” said Gilbert Hobeish on behalf of the demonstrators.
He added: “This is unacceptable, and the minister of interior must take responsibility.”
Hobeish criticized the Electoral Supervisory Commission, saying “it only oversees the civil society or change candidates.”
“We reject this in toto,” he said.
Ali Al-Amin, a candidate on the Shbaana Haki electoral list (who was assaulted last Sunday by Hezbollah supporters in the town of Shaqra because he hung his photo outside his house), held a press conference in the town of Nabatiyah Al-Fawqa and renewed his protest against “the tyranny that silences voices, oppresses liberties and acts on its own will and temperaments, making us feel as if we were in the law of the jungle era.”
He said that “resistance isn’t anyone’s property nor is it one party’s ownership.”
He also called on “the free people of the south to decide which life they wanted and to which homeland and identity they belonged.”
Campaign fever is rising in Lebanon 48 hours before the elections are held for the first time for Lebanese communities in several Arab countries. These elections are to be held 11 days before parliamentary elections take place inside Lebanon.