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News in Brief (14-6-2018)

June 14, 2018 00:00:00

Sissi defends austerity steps

CAIRO, June 13: Egypt's President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi has defended his government's latest austerity measures aimed at rebuilding the country's ailing economy, amid a wave of arrests since his re-election. The government has raised the price of electricity and piped drinking water as part of an economic reform program designed to qualify for a three-year $12 billion bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund, which Egypt secured in 2016. El-Sissi said late Tuesday in televised comments that the government spends a total subsidy bill of 330 billion Egyptian pounds, $18.6 billion, annually. He said: "We have to pay the price together." — AP

Hariri in Moscow to meet Putin

BEIRUT, June 13: Lebanon's prime minister-designate Saad Hariri will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday, the eve of the FIFA World Cup, Hariri's office said. He will then attend the football tournament's inaugural match on Thursday, pitting Russia against his longtime backer, Saudi Arabia. Riyadh has been a key ally of Hariri for years, but the relationship appeared to falter in late 2017 when Hariri announced his surprise resignation during a trip to the kingdom. — AFP

Nigeria jails governor for graft

ABUJA, June 13: A Nigerian former state governor and serving senator was on Tuesday found guilty of corruption, the second high-ranking official to be sentenced to jail the past two weeks. Former governor of Plateau State Joshua Dariye was found guilty of misappropriating millions of dollars earmarked for an ecological fund by the Abuja High Court, marking the end of a case that had been running for over a decade. "I can't imagine such a brazen act of systematic looting and stealing," said Justice Adebukola Banjoko in her judgement. — AFP

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