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Arabic press review: Will Ahmed Shafik return to Egypt?

Also: Currency collapse in Algeria causes price hikes; and Palestine intercept Israeli WhatsApp messages
Ahmed Shafik speaks during a press conference in Cairo, on 21 June 2012 (AFP)

Ahmed Shafik expected to return

The former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafik may return in the coming weeks as part of a new political force, writes Egyptian journalist Amr Badr in the Cairo-based newspaper Almesryoon.

Badr also said that he expected the state of emergency to be lifted, in addition to an increase of prices in Egypt.

Israel uses WhatsApp to break through Gaza

Security services in Gaza have discovered that Israeli intelligence officers are contacting Israeli security forces through WhatsApp, according to the London-based newspaper Alquds Alarabi.

Palestinian security services say that they have arrested agents working for the Israeli government who have used WhatsApp to contact Israeli intelligence.

The security services “have a lot of information on the objectives of the occupation in Gaza”, the source said.

Egyptian population passes 100 million

The number of Egyptians living in Egypt and abroad has exceeded 104 million people, the government has said. It means that Egypt is now ranked 13th in the world according to population at home and overseas, according to the Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.

The head of the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics said that the census has recorded 94 million citizens in Egypt. Meanwhile the Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates the number of Egyptians abroad at 9.4 million.

Currency collapse in Algeria increases prices

The collapse of the Algerian dinar has caused an unprecedented rise in prices for vegetables and other foods, according to the Algerian newspaper Alshorooq.

Some vegetable traders exploited the lack of supply during the pre-winter season, as well as the high demand, to push their prices, the newspaper said.

Many Algerians now fear for the the deterioration in the purchasing power of their currency.

Imam faces underage charges

An imam has been accused of being involved in the marriage of 27 underage girls and will now face a disciplinary trial, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai.

According to the suit, brought by the Administrative Prosecution Authority, the imam concluded a customary marriage without documentation between a girl who was under 18, the legal age of marriage, and a young man.

When the girl gave birth to her first child, the husband refused to recognise the child and the marriage and the case became public.

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