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egypt

The rumour mill is swirling about a possible new Cleopatra movie, but the internet has already summoned up the inevitable backlash which comes with casting nowadays.

Cleopatra has featured in over TWENTY movies, tv shows and animations, and has been portrayed previously by Hollywood queen Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh and Claudette Colbert.

Allegedly, a new biopic about the Egyptian ruler is in the works from Sony, with Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie as frontrunners to be considered for the role.

Elizabeth Taylor infamously played the role, and also popularised kohl eyeliner and black wigs in the meantime. Vivien Leigh and Claudette Colbert also had their chance to play her back in the day.

However, there's a serious debate over Cleopatra's ethnicity, with some Twitter users claiming a black or ethnically diverse actress deserves the chance to play the character.

Others argue that Cleopatra was of Greek and Macedonian descent, which technically means she was Caucasian… so Twitter is pretty divided to say the least.

Complex starring roles for women are still far and few between in Hollywood, meaning that this role is the chance of a lifetime for an actress.

Twitter debate about Cleopatra began as a Lady Gaga vs Angelina battle, but it was soon asked whether a white woman should play her at all.

IMDb list the new biopic as in production, with Angelina Jolie being considered since back in 2014, but Lady Gaga's newfound Hollywood fame resulted in her name being suggested.

Social media users are now mentioning women of colour in a bid to give them a deserved chance, including big names such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Priyanka Chopra, Jameela Jamil and Jennifer Lopez.

Hollywood's lengthy history of shutting out actresses and actors of colour from contention has proven problematic, I mean did anyone see Prince of Persia? Jake Gyllenhaal, you should have known better.

According to Vox, in 2009 archaeologists discovered the remains of a woman they're convinced is Princess Arsinoe, who was Cleopatra’s sister. Her remains indicated that her mother was African.

Egyptologist Sally Ann Ashton created a 3D computer animated image of Cleopatra as a brown-skinned woman using forensics.

According to Ashton: “She probably wasn’t just completely European. You’ve got to remember that her family had actually lived in Egypt for 300 years by the time she came to power.”

No one has fully confirmed her ethnicity, with some researchers maintaining that she was pure-blooded Macedonian, and others disagreeing. 

Whatever her ethnicity is, maybe at least give diverse actresses an audition? Bit of equality in Hollywood never hurt anyone…

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At least 184 people have been killed in an attack on a mosque in the North Sinai province of Egypt.

A further 125 people have been reported injured. 

The casualties occurred in an explosion at an al-Rawda mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed. 

After the explosion went off, worshippers fled the building, only to be met by waiting gunmen who opening fire on the panicked crowds. 

Witnesses at the scene said that men in four off-road vehicles opened fire on worshipers during Friday prayers, according to AP.

It is not yet confirmed who was behind the attack. 

'They were shooting at people as they left the mosque,' a local told Reuters.

'They were shooting at the ambulances too.'

We will bring you more on this story as we have it. 

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An Egyptian lawyer has come under fire after he suggested that women who wear revealing clothing, such as ripped jeans, deserve to be raped.

Nabih al-Wahsh, a prominent conservative, said it is a “patriotic duty” to sexually harass a girl who shows parts of her body in public.

According to Al Arabiya, he said: “Are you happy when you see a girl walking down the street with half of her behind showing?”

“I say that when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her.”

Adding: “Girls must respect themselves so others respect them.”

The shocking comments were made during a live television debate in which panel members were discussing a draft law fighting prostitution and debauchery.

Understandably, Mr al-Wahsh's statement has sparked outrage across the globe and Egypt’s National Council for Women have announced plans to file a complaint against the TV channel.

“All the members of the council denounce and decry this statement that explicitly promotes rape and sexual harassment,” it said in a statement.

According to reports, Al-Wahsh previously described Egypt’s National Centre for Women as a "suspicious den" responsible for the "spread of divorces" and the "destruction of Egypt."

The comments come after an international poll named Cairo as the most dangerous megacity for women to live in. 

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After four years spent in an Egyptian prison, Dublin native, Ibrahim Halawa, has been acquitted of all charges and is expected to be released in the following days.

The 21-year-old was among hundreds of protestors who were arrested during a Muslim Brotherhood demonstration in Cairo in August 2013. He has just 17-years-old at the time.

The verdict comes after Ibrahim’s trail was adjourned 25 times due to the complications of a mass trail.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he “wholeheartedly welcomes this conclusion,” and will facilitate his return to Ireland at the “earliest opportunity”.

“I want to acknowledge the consular and diplomatic work undertaken on Ibrahim’s behalf by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Irish Embassy in Cairo throughout this lengthy process. Following today’s verdict, they will continue to assist Ibrahim and his family to ensure he gets home as soon as possible.”

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It has been reported that at least 13 people have lost their lives and 40 more are injured after an explosion at a church in Egypt.

According to Sky News, the incident took place at St George Church, which houses a large Christian community in Tanta.

It has been confirmed that at least 13 people died in the blast and 42 others were wounded.

The explosion coincided with Palm Sunday, yet no immediate claim of responsibility has been made.

More to follow…

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There is now growing certainty that Metrojet's Irish-owned Airbus A321-200 was blown out of the sky by an explosive device planted in luggage.

Indeed, British prime minister David Cameron said this afternoon that it was "likely" that a bomb caused the tragedy.

Furthermore, there are huge concerns relating to airport security at the tourist hotspot of Sharm el-Sheikh – meaning all British and Irish flights to and from the region have been suspended. 

The move has resulted in some 20,000 people being stranded in the region, although London has said it will begin evacuating people from tomorrow. 

Some 224 people died on board the Moscow-based airline on Saturday morning.

The plane crashed in a remote mountainous part of the Sinai Peninsula 23 minutes after taking off from the resort – where temperature of 28C at this time of year make it an immensely popular winter sun destination for Irish tourists.

Following a similar announcement by Downing Street, the Irish Aviation Authority last night said it had directed "Irish airline operators not to operate to/from Sharm el‐Sheikh Airport, Egypt or in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula airspace until further notice".

Except for three Ukrainians and one Belarusian, all of those on board Flight 7K9268 were Russian. Twenty-five were children.

EmiratesLufthansa, Qatar Airways and Air France have all already stopped flying over the Peninsula, while British Airways pilots were told months ago not to fly in the area below 25,000ft because of the risk of terrorist-lead strikes. 

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Russian officials have now said publicly it is “impossible” that a technical fault or pilot error caused Saturday’s Metrojet tragedy.

Some 224 people died on board the Moscow-based airline on Saturday morning.

The Irish-owned Airbus A321-200 crashed in a remote mountainous part of the Sinai Peninsula 23 minutes after taking off from the holiday resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

With mystery continuing to surround the incident, Metrojet's Alexander Smirnov explained earlier today: "There are no circumstances where a plane can just fall apart in mid-air.

“There is no technical fault or stopping of internal systems that could lead to the aircraft's dismembering.

"If we don't take in fantastical versions that the plane can be destroyed by a change in pressure, the only plausible reason is mechanical action aimed at the plane."

Despite earlier reports from Egyptian officials, the aircraft's crew did not make any distress or SOS calls prior to the crash.

There has been growing speculation in the Russian media that Flight 7K9268 may have been destroyed by an on-board explosion.

And although politicians from Egypt, Russia and the US have previously played down the likelihood of an Islamic State-linked terrorist attack, Mr Smirnov said today that "nothing can be ruled out".

Except for three Ukrainians and one Belarusian, all of those on board were Russian. Most of them were holidaying in Sharm el-Sheikh – a resort also popular with Irish tourists. Twenty-five were children.

With a 20km radius currently being scanned, more than 170 bodies have been recovered from the crash site. The remains of 140 victims were flown to St Petersburg this morning.

Emirates, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Air France have all stopped flying over the turbulent Sinai Peninsula until more is known about what caused the crash.

Mail Online reported over the weekend that British Airways pilots were told months ago not to fly in the region below 25,000ft because of the risk of terrorist-lead strikes. 

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A passenger plane carrying an estimated 224 people has crashed in Egypt.

Though all survivors were presumed dead after the plane went down in a "desolate mountain area" in the early hours of the morning, voices have been head from one part of the wreckage, Reuters reports.

"There is another section of the plane with passengers inside that the rescue team is still trying to enter and we hope to find survivors especially after hearing pained voices of people inside," an officer, who wished to remain anonymous, told the news service.

The plane, an Airbus 321 from Russain airline Kogalymavia/MetroJet, reportedly split in two when it crashed.

The tragedy occurred just minutes into the Flight 9268's journey from Russian coastal resort Sharm-el Sheik to St Peterburg.

It took off at 5.51am Cairo time (3.51am in Ireland) and disappeared from radar screens 23 minutes later, Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement.     

A report from Russian state news agency RIA Novosti says the crew of the plane had complained of engine problems several times.

The plane was reportedly travelling at an altitude of 9,400m when it vanished from the air traffic radar screens.

Egyptian security officials said there was no indication the Kogalmavia plane had been shot down or targeted with explosives.

Sinai-based militants have killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police in recent months, and have also attacked targets in the West.

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