Rain of terror: Egypt to crack down on ’fake’ weather reports | World news | The Guardian
Donald Trump may routinely rail against the “fake news media”, but Egypt is going one better by cracking down on “fake” weather reports.
The head of the Egyptian Meteorological Authority has said it is the only government body authorised to make predictions about the country’s weather, and is preparing a draft law to ban unauthorised forecasts.
Ahmed Abdel-Al, the EMA chairman, said during a television interview that the bill seeks to punish anyone “talking about meteorology, or anyone using a weather forecasting device without our consent, or anyone who raises confusion about the weather”. The EMA is Egypt’s primary, if not sole, source of domestic information on the country’s weather patterns.
Egypt’s media is under increasing pressure, with frequent accusations of fake news levelled at reporters and outlets, even those reporting in favour of the state. But false reports about the weather are rare, except perhaps for the annual repetition of doctored photos showing snow covering the pyramids and sphinx of Giza.
Weather reports have occasionally become political, however, such as when Egypt’s interior ministry claimed in 2015 that flooding in the coastal city of Alexandria was caused not by infrastructural failings, but by members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood blocking drains with cement.