Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 29th 2014 Contents A41
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CAIRO---Egypt s military
said yesterday that a device
it claimed it invented to cure
AIDS and hepatitis C needs
six more months of testing.
The army had earlier
promised to reveal the tech-
nology to the public tomor-
row after making what ex-
perts dismissed as an out-
landish claim last February.
At a news conference
then, the head of the army s
Engineering Agency said the
military had produced an
set of inventions that could
detect AIDS, hepatitis and
other viruses without taking
blood samples and also pu-
rify the blood of those suf-
fering from the diseases.
The claim caused uproar
among scientists and the
public, with many pointing
out that the technology had
not been properly verified. It
was also lampooned in a fa-
mous satirical programme
that has now been taken off
the air. The assertion hit a
sensitive nerve in Egypt,
where Hepatitis C is an epi-
ALGIERS, ALGERIA---The Muslim players in World
Cup teams that have qualified for the second round
in Brazil face a thorny question today when much
of the Islamic world will start observing the holy
month of Ramadan with a dawn to dusk fast.
The question is trickiest for the Algerian team,
which faces a formidable German side tomorrow.
There are also Muslims on the Nigerian and
French teams and those players also will have to
weigh their religious convictions against the possible
effects of fasting on their performance.
"We need to discuss it among ourselves," Algerian
player Djamel Mesbah said. "It s clear that our reli-
gion is very important for the team, so we will talk
about it and see how to go forward."
Athletes in the Olympics in 2012 faced the same
hurdle, with many teams allowing their players to
eat during Ramadan so as not to impair their per-
formance and make up for it at another time or
make donations to charity.
While fasting during daytime over the 30 days
of Ramadan, including abstaining from drinking
liquids, is mandatory for all able bodied Muslims
and one of the five pillars of Islam, there are exemp-
tions, including for the sick, pregnant, infirm or
Those traveling or going to war are also excluded
and it is under this provision that most athletes
will likely delay the fast until a more suitable time.
MOSCOW---Russia s foreign minister yesterday
accused the United States of encouraging Ukraine
to challenge Moscow and heavily weighing in on
the European Union.
Speaking in televised remarks yesterday, Sergey
Lavrov said that "our American colleagues still
prefer to push the Ukrainian leadership toward a
He added that chances for settling the Ukrainian
crisis would have been higher if it only depended
on Russia and Europe.
Lavrov spoke after Friday s European Union sum-
mit, which decided not to immediately impose new
sanctions on Russia for destabilising eastern Ukraine,
but gave the Russian government and pro-Russian
insurgents there until tomorrow to take steps to
improve the situation.
Free trade pact
Ukraine on Friday signed a free-trade pact with
the EU, the very deal that a former Ukrainian pres-
ident dumped under pressure from Moscow in
November, fueling huge protests that eventually
drove him from power.
Moscow responded by annexing the mainly Russ-
ian-speaking Crimean Peninsula in March.
Iraqi government forces backed by hel-
icopter gunships began an offensive yes-
terday to retake the northern city of Tikrit
from Sunni Islamist militants while party
leaders pursued talks that could end
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki s divisive
Politicians in Baghdad and world powers
warn that unless security forces recover
cities lost to the jihadi insurgents in tandem
with a rapid formation of a government
that can bring Iraq s estranged commu-
nities together, the country could rip apart
along sectarian lines and menace the wider
On the battlefield, Iraqi troops were try-
ing to advance on Tikrit from the direction
of Samarra to the south that has become
the military s line in the sand against a
militant advance southwards towards
Iraqi special forces already have snipers
inside Tikrit University who were dropped
by air there in a bold operation on Thurs-
Helicopter gunships fired at targets in
Tikrit yesterday and ISIL fighters aban-
doned Tikrit s governorate building, secu-
rity sources said.
More government troops had been air-
dropped in a pocket just north of the city.
Backed by former ruling Baathists
Iraqi military spokesman Qassim Atta
told reporters in Baghdad yesterday that
29 "terrorists" were killed on Friday in
Tikrit and that militant commanders were
struggling because "their morale has start-
ed to collapse."
However, the militants were showing
resilience and enjoyed the backing of some
local Sunni tribes, as well as former ruling
Baathists from the era of late Sunni dictator
Saddam Hussein---whose hometown was
Tikrit---alienated from Maliki s govern-
Continues on Page A46
Continues on Page A42
Egypt's army says 'virus cure' needs more tests
Shiite volunteers eat their meals as they secure an area from the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and
the Levant (ISIL) at the desert region between Kerbala and Najaf, south of Baghdad, yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS
World Cup's Muslim
players consider fast
Russia accuses US of
fueling Ukrainian crisis
Iraqi troops push
to retake Tikrit
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