First government headquarters launched in Egypt’s new administrative capital

Egyptian police guard in front of the new government district in the New Administrative Capital (NAC) east of Cairo, Egypt May 2, 2019. (REUTERS)
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Updated 21 September 2020

First government headquarters launched in Egypt’s new administrative capital

  • The establishments occupy 250,000 square meters of that area, with a total building area of ​​2 million square meters and a construction rate of 20 percent

CAIRO: Egypt has launched its first ministerial headquarters in the New Administrative Capital project, in preparation for the transfer of the most prominent government headquarters in Cairo to the new location in the coming months.

During Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly’s visit to the administrative capital, he inspected the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance, which has been furnished and equipped as a model for the rest of the ministries.

According to a statement from the Egyptian Cabinet, officials confirmed that the implementation rate of the government district had reached 87 percent and that the structure and internal buildings were fully complete. So far 234 floors, roofs and basements and 2,086 service rooms have been delivered.

The prime minister listened to an explanation from Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces officials about the executive position of the government district in the New Administrative Capital, which is located on an area of ​​1.5 million square meters.

The establishments occupy 250,000 square meters of that area, with a total building area of ​​2 million square meters and a construction rate of 20 percent. The rest of the space consists of gardens and roads.

The project includes 10 ministerial complexes with a total of 34 ministries, in addition to the Cabinet Presidency building, the Parliament building and the main axis in the middle of the ministerial buildings.

The prime minister witnessed the casting of the walls of the “L 45” floor of the Iconic Tower, the highest tower in Africa, and one of the distinctive icons of the New Capital project, which rises to about 385 meters. So far it sits at a height of 220 meters, which exceeds the height of the Cairo Tower, according to the Middle East News Agency.

Madbouly explained that the central business district will become a distinctive landmark in the new capital. He instructed the Chinese company implementing the project to complete all external construction work on the towers in late October 2021.

He revealed that the government is working to implement a new city near the New Administrative Capital in the coming period. Madbouly said that the decision on the construction of the new city will be issued soon, noting that work has started in the city as commissioned by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

“The New Administrative Capital is a model for nearly 20 new cities, whose construction is being carried out at the same level, which aims to absorb the increase in population and increase the globalized area in Egypt, preceded by proper planning,” he said.

 


US officials: Iran sent emails intimidating American voters

Updated 22 October 2020

US officials: Iran sent emails intimidating American voters

  • Intelligence director: “These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries”

WASHINGTON: US officials accused Iran on Wednesday of being behind a flurry of emails sent to Democratic voters in multiple battleground states that appeared to be aimed at intimidating them into voting for President Donald Trump.
The announcement at a rare, hastily called news conference just two weeks before the election underscored the concern within the US government about efforts by foreign countries to spread false information meant to suppress voter turnout and undermine American confidence in the vote.
The activities attributed to Iran would mark a significant escalation for a nation that some cybersecurity experts regard as a second-rate player in online espionage, with the announcement coming as most public discussion surrounding election interference has centered on Russia, which hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 election, and China, a Trump administration adversary.
“These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries,” said John Ratcliffe, the government’s top intelligence official, who, along with FBI Director Chris Wray, insisted the US would impose costs on any foreign countries that interfere in the 2020 US election and that the integrity of the election is still sound.
“You should be confident that your vote counts,” Wray said. “Early, unverified claims to the contrary should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.”
Wray and Ratcliffe did not describe the emails linked to Iran, but officials familiar with the matter said the US has linked Tehran to messages sent to Democratic voters in at least four battleground states that falsely purported to be from the neo-fascist group Proud Boys and that warned “we will come after you” if the recipients didn’t vote for Trump.
The officials also said Iran and Russia had obtained voter registration data, though such data is considered easily, publicly accessible. Tehran used the information to send out the spoofed emails, which were sent to voters in states including Pennsylvania and Florida.
Ratcliffe said the spoofed emails were intended to hurt Trump, though he did not elaborate on how. An intelligence assessment released in August said: “Iran seeks to undermine US democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections. Iran’s efforts along these lines probably will focus on online influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-US content.”
Trump, speaking at a rally in North Carolina, made no reference to the press conference but repeated a familiar campaign assertion that Iran is opposed to his reelection. He promised that if he wins another term he will swiftly reach a new accord with Iran over its nuclear program.
“Iran doesn’t want to let me win. China doesn’t want to let me win,” Trump said. “The first call I’ll get after we win, the first call I’ll get will be from Iran saying let’s make a deal.”
Both Russia and Iran also obtained voter registration information, though such data is considered easily, publicly accessible. Tehran used the information to send out the spoofed emails, which were sent to voters in states including Pennsylvania and Florida.
Asked about the emails during an online forum Wednesday, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said she lacked specific information. “I am aware that they were sent to voters in multiple swing states and we are working closely with the attorney general on these types of things and others,” she said.
While state-backed Russian hackers are known to have infiltrated US election infrastructure in 2016, there is no evidence that Iran has ever done so.
The voter intimidation operation apparently used email addresses obtained from state voter registration lists, which include party affiliation and home addresses and can include email addresses and phone numbers. Those addresses were then used in an apparently widespread targeted spamming operation. The senders claimed they would know which candidate the recipient was voting for in the Nov. 3 election, for which early voting is ongoing.
Federal officials have long warned about the possibility of this type of operation, as such registration lists are not difficult to obtain.
“These emails are meant to intimidate and undermine American voters’ confidence in our elections,” Christopher Krebs, the top election security official at the Department of Homeland Security, tweeted Tuesday night after reports of the emails first surfaced.