Many people were feared dead on Friday when an Egyptian ferry with about 1Â 400 on board, including many Muslim pilgrims, sank in the Red Sea during a crossing from Saudi Arabia to Egypt. Twenty bodies were recovered amid fears of a much higher death toll, while survivors were battling for their lives in lifeboats in heavy seas.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which control one in five parliamentary seats after spectacular gains in recent polls, says it is ready to break a long-standing taboo and engage in contacts with Washington, which welcomed the results of Egypt's month-long parliamentary polls.
Egypt's opposition Muslim Brotherhood cried foul on Friday after a slump in its performance in the latest round of parliamentary polls, which were marred by violence and widespread voter obstruction. None of its 49 candidates involved in the third and final phase of voting had won outright.
Egyptians started voting on Wednesday in parliamentary polls expected to see President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party retain its grip on power, amid accusations of mass fraud from the opposition Muslim Brotherhood. Thousands of polling stations opened for the first round of the initial phase in legislative elections that will last a month.
Makarem al-Deiri is standing for election to the Egyptian Parliament next month after a long academic career, but she makes no bones about her view that a woman's place is in the home. The 55-year-old mother of seven insists there is no point arguing for sexual equality, as such a demand ''goes against nature''.
President Hosni Mubarak vowed to deliver on pledges for reform when he was sworn in Tuesday for a fifth term in office after sweeping to victory in Egypt's first contested presidential poll. ''I will work with the utmost determination towards the implementation of the programme I proposed during the electoral campaign,'' Mubarak said after taking the oath of office in a ceremony in Parliament.
Incumbent Hosni Mubarak has swept to victory in Egypt's first contested presidential poll, with almost 90% of the vote, but with less than one-quarter of voters turning out and opponents charging the results were rigged. Official results gave the 77-year-old leader a whopping 88,5% of the vote in Wednesday's election.
At a school in a popular district of Cairo, a man urges Egyptians to vote on a key electoral reform, crying ''Your vote matters! Say yes to democracy'' -- but many polling stations on Wednesday remained deserted amid opposition calls for a boycott of the referendum to allow for Egypt's first-ever contested presidential race.