Huawei ban from UK 5G network brought forward

Telecoms providers must stop installing Huawei equipment in the UK’s 5G mobile network from September, the government has said.

The announcement comes ahead of a new law being unveiled on Tuesday, which bans the Chinese firm from the network.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said he was pushing for the “complete removal of high-risk vendors” from 5G networks.

The new deadline falls earlier than expected, although maintaining old equipment will still be allowed.

Huawei told the BBC it would not be commenting on the announcement.

Attempts to rid Huawei from the network have been ongoing for more than a year.

But the new Telecommunications Security Bill is the first step in enshrining such bans in law, and offers details of exactly how it will work – if it is passed by Parliament.

MPs will debate the bill at second reading in the Commons on Tuesday.

It will give government national security powers, allowing them to give instructions to big telecoms companies, such as BT, about how they use so-called “high-risk” vendors like Huawei, if at all.

Coronavirus: Qantas adds to job cuts by outsourcing 2,000 roles

Qantas will outsource more than 2,000 ground staff roles in an effort to limit its financial losses.

The job cuts are on top of 6,000 roles already announced by Australia’s flag carrier earlier this year.

Qantas announced a $2bn (£1bn) loss in August due to Covid-19 and associated border restrictions.

“Unfortunately, Covid has turned aviation upside down,” said Andrew David, the airline’s domestic and international chief executive.

“Airlines around the world are having to make dramatic decisions in order to survive and the damage will take years to repair,” he added.

Qantas hopes to save about $74m annually, based on pre-Covid levels of flying, by switching to third-party providers instead of handling its own ground services.

Coronavirus: Investment scams quadruple since virus lockdown

The number of investment scams has quadrupled since the first UK lockdown began in March with fraudsters using more sophisticated tactics.

Scammers have been cloning fund managers’ websites, products and documents to steal almost £10m ($13.3m) from UK investors.

Fraudsters are even creating fake price comparison websites, says the Investment Association (IA).

The reported number of scams almost quadrupled from around 300 to 1,175.

“In a year clouded in uncertainty, organised criminals have sought opportunity in misfortune by attempting to con investors out of their hard-earned savings,” said Chris Cummings, chief executive of IA.

Losses added up to £9.4m between March and mid-October, due to sophisticated “cloning” investment scams.

Egypt’s Shoukry, EBRD discuss ways to enhance cooperation

Egypt achieves highest growth rate among 39 of EBRD’s countries of operations

Agricultural Bank of Egypt explores development opportunities in Minya

Bank agrees to finance agricultural, livestock production projects, and to apply modern irrigation systems in Minya, says Chairperson Alaa Farouk

Unlisted agricultural company to issue sukuk in January 2021: FRA

An unlisted agricultural reclamation company is preparing required documents to issue sukuk in 2021, according to Sayed Abdel-Fadil, Head of Central Administration for Corporate Finance at the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).

Abdel-Fadil added that the company is expected to complete its papers and submit a formal request to the authority to implement the offering during January 2021.

He said that the agricultural reclamation company is not listed on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), which he considered a positive indicator. He noted that it reflects how far awareness has spread on the culture of financing through the sukuk mechanism, and is not limited only to large, listed companies.

Abdel Fadil pointed out that the introduction of the new sukuk will coincide with Amer Group’s preparations to launch its own sukuk offering at the beginning of 2021. The company is currently undertaking a credit rating process for the offering to determine its final value, which is expected to mix Ijarah and Mudaraba as the first hybrid issuance in Egypt.

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Top Islamic authority Al Azhar condemns Boko Haram attack in Nigeria

Egypt’s leading Islamic institution, Al Azhar, has strongly condemned a deadly attack in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, which left at least 70 civilians dead.

In a statement, Al Azhar said that the targeting of innocent civilians represents a terrorist act, which violates the teachings of all religions, including Islam. It added that all religious faiths call for the respecting and protection of places of worship, and criminalise any transgression against them.

Militants killed at least 70 farm workers in rice fields near Maiduguri, in the northeast of the country, on Saturday, news agencies and Nigerian media reported.

The attack, which injured six others, took place in the village of Koshobe in Nigeria’s restive Borno state. A local anti-jihadist militia told the AFP news agency that the fighters tied up the farm workers and slit their throats.

Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, a local anti-jihadist militia said Boko Haram was likely behind the killings.

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Banque Misr, Al Ahly Capital acquire 40% stake in IBAG for money transfer

Mohamed El Etreby, Chairperson of Banque Misr, said that this partnership is a step towards merging the informal transfers sector into the banking sector

Sudan says national interest sole reference for Ethiopia’s Nile dam talks

Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan on Thursday said Sudan’s national interest will be the sole reference for the negotiation on the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Al-Burhan made the remarks when he met with Sudan’s Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasir Abbas, also head of the Sudanese delegation to the Ethiopia’s Nile dam talks, said the sovereign council in a statement.
Al-Burhan has voiced his support to the decision by the negotiating delegation not to attend the tripartite negotiations on the GERD scheduled on Nov. 21, it added.
Sudan demands a bigger role for the experts of the African Union (AU) to narrow the difference of the viewpoints of the three countries concerned.
The Sudanese negotiators believe that the Nile dam talks should go beyond the level of irrigation ministers and be referred to the AU and the leaders of the three countries to provide political will to bring their positions closer.
The Sudanese delegation also calls for giving the AU and US observers a status of mediators, a move in which Egypt and Ethiopia seem not to be interested.

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Egypt’s tax, customs departments to be e-linked by June 2022 end: Finance Minister

Linking all Egyptian ports to electronic platform to simplify procedures, reduce cost of goods, and reduce customs clearance time to less than three days, says Mohamed Maait