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Egypt

Egypt's IMF Loan Opposed By Both Socialists And Islamists

EGYPT INDEPENDENT, AL-AHRAM (Egypt), AL JAZEERA (Qatar), BBC NEWS (UK)

Worldcrunch

Egypt's Salafi Nour Party has slammed the government's negotiations with the International Monetary Fund about a $4.8 billion rescue package, stating any potential loan that the government receives would be against sharia law.

Younis Makhyoun, a member of the ultra-conservative Islamist party said: "Borrowing from abroad is usury ... God will never bless a country based on usury."

Makhyoun added he would rather see the government reduce spending, apply an austerity policy, set a maximum wage and apply Islamic regulations to stock exchange speculations, reported the Egypt Independent.

Debate about IMF loan is representative of why Egypt's economy suffered for 60 yrs. Wealth begets national pride not the other way around.

— salamamoussa (@salamamoussa) August 23, 2012

Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil announced Wednesday that the Egyptian government has requested a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Egypt requested a loan of $3.2 billion in May; however, negotiations were stalled by Salafi ministers in the now-dissolved, transitional parliament.

The IMF's Managing Director Christine Lagarde met with President Morsi and Prime Minister Qandil in Cairo on Wednesday, as part of continuing negotiations to help revive the country's ailing economy after the popular uprising in 2011.

The IMF stands ready to support Egypt's economic recovery. See my press statement bit.ly/TUtATw

— Christine Lagarde (@Lagarde) August 22, 2012

Al Jazeera reported Lagarde as saying: "I took note of their strategy and ambition for Egypt's economic and social future, and I assured them of our continued commitment to support Egypt and its people during this historic period of transition."

Dozens of socialist and leftist protestors were also opposing Christine Lagarde's visit to the Cabinet on Wednesday.

Mary Daniel, the protest's organizer, told al-Ahram: "Why did we have a revolution? Wasn't it to improve the living conditions of the people? We know that the money from these loans is pilfered by the authorities and will only lead to the further impoverishment of the people."

BBC News reported that Egypt currently has an internal debt of $193 billion and a foreign debt of $33.8 billion.

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Future

Hey ChatGPT, Are You A Google Killer? That's The Wrong Prompt People

Reports that the new AI natural-language chatbot is a threat to Google's search business fails to see that the two machines serve very different functions.

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Since OpenAI unveiled ChatGPT to the world last November, people have wasted little time finding imaginative uses for the eerily human-like chatbot. They have used it to generate code, create Dungeons & Dragons adventures and converse on a seemingly infinite array of topics.

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Microsoft, which made an early $1 billion investment in OpenAI, plans to release an implementation of its Bing search engine that incorporates ChatGPT before the end of March. According to a recent article in The New York Times, Google has declared “code red” over fears ChatGPT could pose a significant threat to its $149-billion-dollar-a-year search business.

Could ChatGPT really be on the verge of disrupting the global search engine industry?

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