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Arabic press review: Egypt markets grapple with counterfeit medicine and food items

Meanwhile, a Jordanian activist says a secret Israeli drones base is operating in the country and Tunisian journalists protest financial difficulties
An Egyptian pharmacy employee reaches out to grab a box of medicine in a pharmacy in the capital Cairo on 9 November 2016 (AFP)
An Egyptian pharmacy employee reaches out to grab a box of medicine in a pharmacy in the capital Cairo on 9 November 2016 (AFP)

Counterfeit medicine and food items plague Egypt

Egyptian markets are witnessing unprecedented and widespread adulterated medicine and food items due to an economic crisis, Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported on Thursday. 

Consumers are increasingly worried about counterfeit goods after videos shared on social media showed unlicensed factories producing food, at a time when deaths resulting from counterfeit medicines in the country have increased. 

One of the videos showed Egyptian authorities raiding an unlicensed factory making coffee products deemed not suitable for human consumption. 

Several MPs have called on the government to take decisive steps against unlicensed factories and false advertisements. 

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Over recent months, accelerating inflation resulting from currency devaluations and an acute dollar shortage has pummelled the spending power of Egyptians who have already endured repeated economic shocks and years of austerity. 

Jordan ‘hosting secret Israeli drones base’

A Jordanian opposition activist and journalist said his country is hosting a secret Israeli drone base. 

In a video posted on Thursday, Alaa Alfazza said the base, located in the hills between Ruwaished and Safawi towns northeast of the country, is being used to monitor military activity in southern Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. 

Alfazza left Jordan in 2013 and sought asylum in Sweden. He regularly posts videos on his YouTube channel discussing social and political issues in Jordan. 

In his latest video, he said the drone base in Jordan is used to launch drones that fly at high altitudes that are easily detectable. He added that they are used mainly to collect information about the movement of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the region. 

"The secret base is protected by Jordanian forces and it is part of a cooperation between Jordanian intelligence and the Israeli Mossad,” Alfazza claimed.

Tunisia journalists protest financial difficulties 

Journalists and employees of the local Shems FM radio station in Tunisia organised a protest on Thursday against economic difficulties that forced the suspension of broadcasts, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported. 

Shems FM Radio, one of the most prominent local radio stations in Tunisia, stopped broadcasting on Wednesday morning due to non-payment of its debts to the government's National Office for Radio and Television Broadcasting.

Protesters accused the government of neglect, which left radio employees without pay for months. 

Mohamed Yassine Jelassi, head of the National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT), said the rights of workers in Shems FM and other Tunisian media institutions are a "red line". 

He added that the SNJT will play its role in protecting journalists from all the attacks they are subjected to, including deprivation of financial compensation.

*Arabic press review is a digest of news reports not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.

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