Egyptian MP proposes ‘extra grade points’ for students who vote in presidential elections

In this file photo, election officials wait for voters inside a polling station on the second day of voting in the Egyptian election of 2014. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 February 2018
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Egyptian MP proposes ‘extra grade points’ for students who vote in presidential elections

A parliamentarian in Egypt has reportedly suggested that students who take part in the upcoming nationwide presidential elections should be allocated “extra grade points” for their participation.
Member of Parliament Dina Abdel Aziz was quoted as saying that her idea is aimed at encouraging students to participate in the election process.
Speaking on the phone to an Egyptian talk show on Saturday, she said she had discussed the idea with followers of her personal Facebook account, denying that she intended to bring up the subject in the parliament.
“The proposal is based on motivating students between the ages of 18 to 22 years to participate in the political process in accordance with Article 82 of the constitution, which stipulates that the state shall ensure the welfare of young people and youth, and to discover their talents and develop their abilities in all fields,” she said, as quoted by Al-Masry El-Youm.
Presidential elections in Egypt are set to take place from March 26- 28 with only two candidates running — current president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and political figure Mousa Mostafa Mousa.


Syria media says no attack on airport after reported air defense fire

Syrian pro-government forces hold a position near the village of al-Malihah, in the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor, on September 9, 2017, during the ongoing battle against Daesh group. (AFP)
Updated 50 min 28 sec ago
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Syria media says no attack on airport after reported air defense fire

  • The accidental downing of a Russian transport aircraft by Syrian ground batteries during an Israel air strike on September 17 killed 15 service personnel

DAMASCUS: Syrian state media said Sunday that air defenses had opened fire near Damascus airport, before withdrawing the report after what appeared to be a false alarm.
“Our air defenses engaged hostile aerial targets in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport,” the official SANA news agency said, without providing more details.
But the report was later withdrawn by both SANA and state television without explanation.
SANA then quoted sources at the airport as saying that “there was no aggression” and that “traffic was normal.”
A well-informed source told AFP that “there was evidently a false alarm.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the sound of explosions rocked an area close to the airport and fire from air defenses was also heard.
The latest incident comes just over a week after Syria accused Israel of striking south of the capital.
The Britain-based Observatory said those were the first missiles to hit Syria since an air defense upgrade after the downing of a Russian plane in September.
Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in neighboring Syria against what it says are Iranian targets, many of them in the area south of Damascus.
Iran and Russia are the government’s key allies in the civil war that has raged Syria since 2011, and Moscow’s intervention in 2015 dramatically turned the tables against the rebels.
The accidental downing of a Russian transport aircraft by Syrian ground batteries during an Israel air strike on September 17 killed 15 service personnel.
Moscow pinned responsibility for the downing on Israel, saying its fighter jet used the larger Russian one for cover, an allegation Israel disputed.
Russia subsequently upgraded Syrian air defenses with the delivery of the advanced S-300 system, which Damascus insisted would make Israel “think carefully” before carrying out further air raids.
The move raised fears in Israel that its ability to rein in its arch foe Iran’s military presence in Syria would be sharply reduced.
But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russia that Israel would continue to hit hostile targets, while also maintaining “security coordination” with Moscow.