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No indication Libya’s Zuwara Airport was used in military operations: UN – Daily News Egypt

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The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) disclaimed the allegations of using Zuwara airport for military purposes.

In a statement on its official website, the United Nations said that the Libyan National Army (LNA) striked the Zuwara Airport, causing serious damage to the civilian airport, which it described as “lacking of any military use”.

Last week, the LNA claimed responsibility for bombing the airport of Zuwara Airport twice, claiming that the strikes had targeted units used by Turkish drones.

The UNSMIL dispatched a delegation to Zuwara airport on Saturday, to check the airport’s facilities, and confirmed that the airport did not contain any military assets or military infrastructure.

“The UNSMIL renews its condemnation of the attacks conducted by the LNA against Zuwara airport,” the international organisation said, asserting that the airport is a civilian facility, and any attacks against civilian infrastructures considered as a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law.

The LNA also launched several airstrikes, on Saturday, against military bases allegedly supporting Government of National Accord (GNA). The ongoing clashes in Libya has also affected the Southern city of Murzuq‎. The city have witned unceasing clashes the past three weeks.

Egypt

Photo shoot of Colleen Darnell pays tribute to Zelda Fitzgerald – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">As time goes on, out lifestyle pace gets faster while modern clothes and technology prevail; yet, it freezes for Egyptologist Colleen Darnell as she decided to stay still in vintage serenity of early 20</span><span class="s3"><sup>th</sup></span><span class="s1"> century. The passion of the epoch queen was recently captured by the lens of the photographer Menna Hossam, to bring the world a photo shoot reviving the authenticity charm of the last century. </span></p>

“Ode to Zelda” is the second photo session Darnell has this year in Egypt. The US Fashion aficionada is known for her passion of dressing in vintage clothes of 1920s to 1940s, which captivates number of photographs to document her beauty and unique style.

The well-known fine art and fashion photographer shares Darnell the same vintage passion as classics own her heart out of the belief, they hold a magical secret. Driven by the history frenzy, Hossam reached out to Darnell to have her second photo shoot in Egypt.

The Yale graduate, is currently teaching Egyptian art history at Naugatuck Valley Community College. She has spotlighted a number of Egyptian discoveries in her researches, and published a number of papers about Ancient Egypt’s various eras.

“I’m all about vintage style, and Darnell is all about vintage! Her looks are extremely unique, and she provokes any photographer into capturing her photo,” Hossam told Daily News Egypt.

Inspired by the first American Flapper, Hossam dedicated her session to the veteran American novelist, Zelda Fitzgerald.

Unlike the expected plot of an Egyptologist photo shoot taken by an Egyptian photographer, the project was not captured by the Pyramids, nor at any of the Ancient Egyptian historical spots.

“I thought it wold be so expected and repetitive to have the regular photo session over viewing the Sphinx or the Pyramids behind her. Away from the hassle it would take to have the permits, I mainly wanted to focus on her style, look, and photogenic face,” Hossam explained.

For one and a half months, Hossam has been preparing for the project, intensively looking for an appropriate location, before her eyes laid on a downtown apartment owned by Dakhli West El Balad, a specialised locations platform.

“It was too old, yet magical!” she enthusiastically said.

According to Hossam, from the moment she stepped inside the timeworn apartment, she visualised the whole shoot in her mind. “I already knew about the two outfits, she would wear, and with the old timeworn décor, and the fading colours, I made my mind up into choosing this location,” she added.

Hossam added that Darnell gave the ultimate happiness any photographer can ever have while capturing a celebrity, which is “trust.”

“She gave me the full trust to direct her into whatever I want, which gives any photographer the ultimate happiness,” she concluded.

   

All photos taken by Menna Hossam

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                Nada Deyaa’
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            Culture reporter, passionate reader and writer, Animals lover and Arts follower.


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Researchers monitor CO2 leakage sites on ocean floor – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Injecting carbon dioxide (CO</span><span class="s2"><sup>2</sup></span><span class="s1">) deep below the seabed can be an important strategy for easing climate change, according to experts in the field. However, scientists need a reliable way to monitor such sites for leakage of the greenhouse gas. </span></p>

Now, researchers reporting in ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology have studied natural sources of CO2 release off the coast of Italy, using what they learned to develop models that could be applied to future storage sites.

The multinational energy company Equinor operates a CO2 capture and storage facility that injects about 1 megaton per year of the greenhouse gas into an offshore sandstone aquifer deep below Norwegian waters. Undersea storage of the gas presents less risk for humans in case of accidental leakage compared with storage on land because the vast ocean acts as a buffer for the released CO2.

However, the leaked gas can dissolve in ocean water, decreasing the pH and potentially harming the local marine ecosystem. Currently, scientists lack an established method to identify and quantify multiple CO2 leaks spread across a region of the ocean floor. Therefore, Jonas Gros and colleagues investigated pH changes near natural CO2 seeps in the vicinity of Panarea, a small island off the coast of northern Sicily.

The researchers used scuba divers and ship-based instrument deployments to collect gas and water samples from undersea CO2 plumes. The team used these data to validate a computer model that they developed to predict pH changes to water resulting from leakage of the gas. This simulation indicated that over 79% of the CO2 dissolved within 4 metres of the seafloor.

The team found that the model could predict a pattern of pH variation in waters surrounding the leakage site that was similar to actual data collected by sensors towed underwater. The new model could be used to guide sampling strategies during routine monitoring of storage sites and to estimate impacts of CO2 releases to the local marine environment.

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New study links neuropsychiatric disorders to pollution – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Researchers are increasingly studying the effects of environmental insults on psychiatric and neurological conditions, motivated by emerging evidence from environmental events like the record-breaking smog that has choked New Delhi two years ago. </span></p>

In a new study published recently in the PLOS Biology journal, an international group of researchers from the US and Denmark used large data sets to suggest a possible link between exposure to environmental pollution and an increase in the prevalence of psychiatric disorders.

The team found that poor air quality was associated with higher rates of bipolar disorder and major depression in both US and Danish populations. The trend appeared even stronger in Denmark, where exposure to polluted air during the first ten years of a person’s life also predicted a more than two-fold increase in schizophrenia and personality disorders.

Computational biologist Atif Khan, the study’s first author, said the study shows that living in polluted areas, especially early in life, is predictive of mental disorders in both the US and Denmark. He added that “the physical environment – in particular air quality – warrants more research to better understand how our environment is contributing to neurological and psychiatric disorders.”

Although mental illnesses like schizophrenia develop due to a complex interplay of genetic predispositions and life experiences or exposures, genetics alone do not account entirely for variations in mental health and disease. Researchers have long suspected that genetic, neurochemical, and environmental factors interact at different levels to affect the onset, severity, and progression of these illnesses.

Growing evidence is beginning to provide insight into how components of air pollution can be toxic to the brain. Recent studies on rodents suggest that environmental agents like ambient small particulate matter (fine dust) travel to the brain through the nose and lungs, while animals exposed to pollution have also shown signs of cognitive impairment and depression-like behavioural symptoms. 

Andrey Rzhetsky, the lead author of the new study, said, “We hypothesised that pollutants might affect our brains through neuroinflammatory pathways that have also been shown to cause depression-like signs in animal studies.”

To quantify air pollution exposure among individuals in the US, the University of Chicago team relied on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s measurements of 87 air quality measurements. For individuals in Denmark, they used a national pollution register that tracked a smaller number of pollutants with much higher spatial resolution.

The researchers then examined two population data sets, the first being a US health insurance claims database that included 11 years of claims for 151 million individuals. The second dataset consisted of all 1.4 million individuals born in Denmark from 1979 through 2002 who were alive and residing in Denmark at their tenth birthday. 

Because Danes are assigned unique identification numbers that can link information from various national registries, the researchers were able to estimate exposure to air pollution at the individual level during the first 10 years of their life. In the US study, exposure measurements were limited to the county level. “We strived to provide validation of association results in independent large datasets,” said Rzhetsky.

Rzhetsky also cautioned that the significant associations between air pollution and psychiatric disorders discovered in the study do not necessarily mean causation, and said that further research is needed to assess whether any neuroinflammatory impacts of air pollution share common pathways with other stress-induced conditions.

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Aswan High Dam ready for new flood in 2019/20 water year: Irrigation Ministry – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel-Aty, led a meeting of the Permanent Regulatory Committee of the Nile Flow and the ministry’s executive bodies on Tuesday to discuss preparations for the flood season. </span></p>

A report by the committee stressed that the Aswan High Dam is ready to receive the new flood of 2019/20 water year. The water year begins in August as the water levels start to rise due to a flood from the Abyssinian plateau, passing through Khartoum before reaching the Nasser Lake. 

Egypt took all necessary measures and completed maintenance works of the dam in preparation for the flood, the ministry’s spokesperson Mohamed Sebaei said.

 

During the meeting, Eman El Sayed, head of the ministry’s planning sector, said the flood forecasting centre has been following rain forecast maps of the Nile River’s headwaters since the beginning of August. She added that the rainfall situation on the Blue Nile Basin is still around the average so far.

Ahmed Bahaa, head of the ministry’s Nile sector, said rains on northern Sudan is not an indicator of the river flow, noting that the current flows are still less than those of the same period last year, and it is too early to predict the volume of the new flood and it is better to wait until the end of September for a more clear vision.

Egypt is depending on the annual Nile flow (55.5bn cubic meters) to secure about 97% of its present water needs with only 660 cubic metres per capita, one of the world’s lowest annual per capita water shares. Meanwhile, Ethiopia continues constructing its Grand Renaissance Dam, which is believed to threaten Egypt’s water security.

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“Phantom of the Opera” normalises violence in society – Daily News Egypt

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                            <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Violence is the biggest threat to peace and security in today’s world. According to statistics, each year, over 1.6 million people worldwide lose their lives to violence. </span></p>

Almost every day we read hundreds of reports of violence triggered by ethnic, religious or cultural hatred all over the world. It was dreadful to hear about the recent massacre at Walmart in Texas, in which the shooter targeted Mexicans only and let both whites and African Americans live.  Most seriously, we started to discuss the prevalence of violence perpetrated by police officers against unarmed people in established democracies such as France, Spain and Italy. Earlier in August, a local man lost his life in the western French city of Nantes following a violent clash between police and people attending a music festival. These horrific events indicate only one truth that people today, in all cultures and countries, use violence to get their arguments and points across.                      

  

Marwa El- Shinawy

Certainly, violence is not intrinsic to human nature as much as it is a man-made phenomenon. In many ways, violence has been normalised through the pop culture we consume. Arts and drama are among the most effective ways that create a cultural acceptance of violence, promoting a social tolerance of violent behaviour in society. Dramatized violence has been a feature of entertainment throughout history. The realistic portrayal of violence is considered as one of the distinguishing marks of great artists like for example Edward Bond, who legitimised the depiction of violence in drama on the pretext of presenting a realistic image of society. In many dramatic works of high artistic value and massive popularity, brutality appears to be justified, and terrorist acts go unpunished. The history of drama is replete with works that propagate violence that it has become normal for us to see it as a means of gaining power and authority.

   The world’s most famous musical The Phantom of the Opera, which celebrates this year its 31st anniversary on Broadway, and its 33 record-breaking years at the Majestic Theatre in London, is a living example of the great classics that romanticize violence and spread it in society.   

Based on the novel written by Gaston Leroux in 1910, The Phantom of the Opera musical has become one of the world’s most commercially successful theatrical productions that the BBC characterized it as the “most successful entertainment venture of all time.”

The show has travelled the world and entertained millions of people. Most importantly, the play is incredibly popular with both school and college groups. However, The Phantom of the Opera is the story of a disfigured, angry man who lives beneath a Paris opera house and terrorises its cast and crew so that his beloved, Christine, can have a chance to sing the lead part. The play represents gratuitous violence in a romantic mode. The lover- phantom is nothing but a cold-blooded assassin, who does not hesitate to harm other people to assert his authority. The narrative of the play is driven by violence and the desire to dominate over others.      

    Doubtless, this critique does not underestimate this great, timeless play with its high-octane music composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber in his most inspired mode and the brilliant dramatic staging of Harold Prince, who passed away a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, it is necessary to condemn violence in drama, especially the widespread classical works that normalize and romanticize violence and we study them in schools and colleges. In light of the current political and cultural climate, banning violence in the drama is no less important than criminalizing it in constitutions and laws. Violence in media, dramatic arts, and popular culture should be moved onto the public health agenda as the prevention of violence have become the subject of urgent social debate.

Marwa El- Shinawy holds a PhD in American theatre, and is a member of the Higher Committee for the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre

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