In brief: Egypt cuts subsidies, hikes fuel prices
Cairo – Egypt’s government raised the prices of fuel by up to 78 percent starting today, following on a promise to cut subsidies that eat up nearly a quarter of the state budget, the official news agency reported.
The price hikes follow an increase in electricity prices that were put in effect at the start of July.
Newly elected President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, elected to office last month, has said he will need to tackle the tough issue and asked every Egyptian to be ready to sacrifice to help the country’s battered economy after three years of turmoil.
Former Cameron aide gets 18-month sentence
London – Andy Coulson, a former top aide to Prime Minister David Cameron, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Friday for presiding over phone hacking on a massive scale when he was editor of a Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid.
Coulson, 46, was the only one of seven defendants to be convicted last week after one of the longest and most expensive trials in British history.
Three other former journalists and a private investigator at the now-defunct News of the World, who separately had pleaded guilty to accessing voice mail messages left on cellphones, were also sentenced Friday at London’s Old Bailey courthouse.
Neville Thurlbeck, former senior reporter, and Greg Miskiw, former news editor, were handed jail terms of six months each. Former reporter James Weatherup was given a suspended sentence of four months and ordered to perform community service.
Private detective Glenn Mulcaire, who has already spent time behind bars for a previous phone-hacking conviction, received a suspended six-month jail term.
Ford won’t guarantee sobriety if re-elected
Toronto – Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said Friday that he won’t guarantee he will stay sober if he’s re-elected, telling a radio show that people will just have to trust him.
Ford, who returned this week to City Council from two months in rehab, said in an interview on Newstalk 1010 that he can’t make promises about something over which he has “no control.”
Radio host Jerry Agar said that as someone who has supported Ford in the past, the lack of guarantees that he won’t drink again if re-elected makes it tough to “take another four-year shot on Rob Ford.”
“That’s up to you,” Ford replied. “You’re going to have to look at my record and compare it to the people I’m running (against) and you’re basically going to have to trust me.”
Ford insisted that returning to lead Canada’s largest city and run for re-election Oct. 27 won’t compromise his recovery. He said this week he’s used “every drug you can probably think of,” and blamed substance abuse for the racist and homophobic language he’s used.