Egypt / by Alistair Galloway

Voting took place in the first stage of elections, and the initial voter turnout numbers were poor. The next stage will take place in November and will hopefully determine the next parliament in Egypt. Ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s two sons were released from jail after officials took into account how long they had already served. A Russian plane carrying 224 people crashed in the Sinai region on 31 October. The exact cause of the crash is still unknown as further investigation will need to take place, but militant group Sinai Province has claimed responsibility for the attack, which the authorities cannot yet rule out until the cause is proven. The bomb exploded outside of a popular hotel in Cairo, injuring four people and causing infrastructural damage but no tourists were hurt. Egypt is trying to boost the numbers of foreign visitors but incidents like this will only deter people from visiting. A deal worth $550 million was signed between Egypt and the World Bank in order to help fund a rural sanitation project. The loan will be well received as it will enable the government to address the key needs of its citizens, whilst at the same time allowing them to invest state funds in other projects.