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An Egyptian youth walks past a polling station in the capital Cairo's western Giza district on March 25, 2018 ahead of the vote scheduled to begin the following day, decorated on the outside with giant privately-sponsored electoral posters depicting incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and giant pieces of cloth stacked together to show the colors of the Egyptian flag.

MOHAMED EL-SHAHED | AFP | Getty Images

An Egyptian youth walks past a polling station in the capital Cairo’s western Giza district on March 25, 2018 ahead of the vote scheduled to begin the following day, decorated on the outside with giant privately-sponsored electoral posters depicting incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and giant pieces of cloth stacked together to show the colors of the Egyptian flag.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is likely to win constitutional changes allowing him to dramatically extend his tenure in power — just over a year after telling CNBC that he would never pursue such a thing.

Discussing the political developments while at the Milken Summit in Abu Dhabi Tuesday, Egyptian billionaire businessman Naguib Sawiris told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble that he expected the controversial move would be pushed through. Asked whether he believed it was the right or wrong step for Egypt, the country’s second-richest man simply replied, “We’ll see.”

Egyptian lawmakers are pushing ahead for a change to the country’s constitution that would enable Sisi to stay in power until 2034. Currently, the former armed forces chief is due to stand down after completing two four-year terms in 2022.

Just last week, a parliamentary committee in Cairo approved proposed constitutional amendments that would increase presidential terms from four to six years and essentially reset the clock, allowing Sisi two additional terms.

In an exclusive interview with CNBC in November 2017, Sisi said he was committed to the limits set out by the current constitution.

“I am with preserving two four-year terms and not to change it … I am not for any amendments to be made to the constitution in this period,” Sisi told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble. “The constitution grants the right of the parliament and the president to request amendments. I am talking about the four-year terms. We will not interfere with it.”

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Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei talks arrest of CFO Meng Wanzhou

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Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive officer of Huawei Technologies Co., speaks during an interview at the company's headquarters in Shenzhen, China, on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive officer of Huawei Technologies Co., speaks during an interview at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China, on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei told the BBC on Monday that the arrest of his daughter, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, was politically motivated.

“Firstly, I object to what the U.S. has done. This kind of politically motivated act is not acceptable,” Zhengfei told BBC in an interview.

Canada arrested Meng on December 1st at the request of the United States. Meng was charged with bank and wire fraud to violate American sanctions against Iran.

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Trump puts pressure on Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, supports Guaido

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned members of Venezuela’s military who are helping President Nicolas Maduro to stay in power that they are risking their future and their lives and urged them to allow humanitarian aid into the country.

Speaking to a cheering crowd mostly of Venezuelan and Cuban immigrants, Trump said if the Venezuelan military continues supporting Maduro, “you will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You’ll lose everything.” He said he wanted a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela but that all options remained open.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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China says US is trying to block tech development by stoking cybersecurity fears

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China’s government on Monday accused the United States of trying to block its industrial development by alleging that Chinese mobile network gear poses a cybersecurity threat to countries rolling out new internet systems.

And in a potential blow to the U.S.’s effort to rally its allies on the issue, British media reported that the country’s intelligence agencies have found it’s possible to limit the security risks of using Chinese equipment in so-called 5G networks.

The U.S. argues that Beijing might use Chinese tech companies to gather intelligence about foreign countries. The Trump administration has been putting pressure on allies to shun networks supplied by Huawei Technologies, threatening the company’s access to markets for next-generation wireless gear.

The company, the biggest global maker of switching gear for phone and internet companies, denies accusations it facilitates Chinese spying and said it would reject any government demands to disclose confidential information about foreign customers.

The U.S. government is trying to “fabricate an excuse for suppressing the legitimate development” of Chinese enterprises, said the spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, Geng Shuang. He accused the United States of using “political means” to interfere in economic activity, “which is hypocritical, immoral and unfair bullying.”

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, speaking this weekend in Germany, urged European allies to take seriously “the threat” he said was posed by Huawei as they look for partners to build the new 5G mobile networks.

The 5G technology is meant to vastly expand the reach of networks to support internet-linked medical equipment, factory machines, self-driving cars and other devices. That makes it more politically sensitive and raises the potential cost of security failures.

Pence said Huawei and other Chinese telecom equipment makers provide Beijing with “access to any data that touches their network or equipment.” He appealed to European governments to “reject any enterprise that would compromise the integrity of our communications technology or our national security systems.”

In what could amount to a turning point for the U.S. effort to isolate Huawei, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre has found that the risk of using its networks is manageable, according to the Financial Times and several other British media outlets.

The reports cited anonymous sources as saying that there are ways to limit cybersecurity risks, and that the U.K.’s decision would carry weight with European allies who are also evaluating the safety of their networks.

The British government is due to finish a review of its policies on the safety of 5G in March or April. The office of British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday that “no decisions have been taken.”

European officials, including a vice president of the European Union, have expressed concern about Chinese regulations issued last year that require companies to cooperate with intelligence agencies. No country in Europe, however, has issued a blanket veto on using Huawei technology in the way the U.S. has urged.

The U.S. Justice Department last month unsealed charges against Huawei, its chief financial officer — who had been arrested in Canada — and several of the companies’ subsidiaries, alleging not only violation of trade sanctions but also the theft of trade secrets.

The United States has not, however, released evidence to support its accusations that Huawei and other Chinese tech companies allow the Chinese government to spy through their systems. That has prompted some industry analysts to suggest Washington is trying to use security concerns to handicap Chinese competitors.

“China has not and will not require companies or individuals to collect or provide foreign countries’ information for the Chinese government by installing backdoors or other actions that violate local laws,” said Geng.

Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre admitted last summer that it had concerns about the engineering and security of Huawei’s networks. While not commenting Monday on the media reports, it added: “We have set out the improvements we expect the company to make.”

Huawei said in a statement Monday that it’s open to dialogue and that “cybersecurity is an issue which needs to be addressed across the whole industry.”

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