Monday 29 May 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led to chimpanzees, our closest cousins. The jawbone, which included teeth, was unearthed in 1944 in Athens. The premolar was found in south-central Bulgaria in 2009. The researchers examined them using sophisticated new techniques including CT scans and established their age...
(AFP (eng) 05/22/17)
Three Algerian naval officers were killed when their helicopter crashed after striking power lines during a night patrol southwest of Algiers, the defence ministry said Monday. The navy rescue helicopter went down on Sunday night in Tipaza province, 70 kilometres (45 miles) from the capital, it said. The aircraft "hit high-voltage electricity lines" in the Hamr el-Ain area, killing three officers as it crashed. In February 2014, 77 people died when a military plane carrying army personnel and family members...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded...
(AFP (eng) 05/16/17)
Air Algerie on Tuesday suspended all flights in and from the North African country due to an indefinite strike action by its employees. The strike covers all domestic and out-bound international services but not Air Algerie flights from abroad. The airline, in a statement carried by national news agency APS, called on passengers not to head for airports before an announcement that the strike had ended.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...
(AFP (eng) 05/09/17)
Algeria and Morocco were the top winners on the opening day of the Islamic Solidarity Games football tournament in Baku on Monday. Four days prior to the official opening ceremony of the May 12-22 games, Algeria struck late to edge Turkey 2-1, while Morocco were too good for Saudi Arabia, winning 1-0. In other games, Palestine and Oman played out an entertaining 2-2 draw, while hosts Azerbaijan had to settle late on for a 0-0 draw against Cameroon. It took...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
A group of around 50 Syrian migrants have been stranded since last week in the Moroccan-Algerian border zone with neither country granting them access, activists said Wednesday. "Separated into two groups, they are surviving under very difficult conditions thanks to help from some activists and the local community," Moulay M'hamed Ammari told AFP. Ammari said the volunteers were providing some food and blankets "but this is not enough". A woman in the group gave birth on Sunday in the rugged terrain with the sole assistance of activists on the telephone. Morocco last Friday accused Algeria of expelling 55 Syrians across the frontier near
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
Algeria's foreign ministry on Sunday summoned the Moroccan ambassador to deny accusations by his country that Algiers had expelled 55 Syrians across their shared border, a statement said. The ministry told the envoy that Morocco's "allegations were categorically rejected" and that such accusations "serve only to undermine Algeria", a statement carried by APS news agency read. The Syrians were sent across the frontier near the desert town of Figuig, Morocco's interior ministry said in a statement late Friday. Rabat condemned...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help...
(AFP (eng) 04/23/17)
Morocco has accused Algeria of expelling 55 Syrians across the countries' shared border, criticising it for "inhumane behaviour" in the latest row between the North African rivals. The Syrians were sent across the frontier near the desert town of Figuig, Morocco's interior ministry said in a statement late Friday. In searing heat and rugged terrain, they had reached the area in several groups before being "surrounded" by Algerian police, according to the Moroccan authorities. Rabat condemned its neighbour's "inhumane behaviour" towards the migrants who included "women and children in a very vulnerable situation".
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
"It's not a bird, it's a rat -- and it's squatting on my terrace," Ali says of his new neighbour, a yellow-legged gull -- a pest ubiquitous in the Algerian capital. The 60-year-old is not alone in despising this versatile scavenger, whose Mediterranean population has boomed in recent decades. The "rat of the sky" has taken advantage of human waste to supplement its normal marine diet, breeding fast and becoming the region's most common seabird. Aicha, an Algiers resident with...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in...
(Xinhuanet 04/06/17)
Algerian counter-terrorism forces managed to kill 35 terrorists and arrest 18 others in the first quarter of 2017, said Defense Ministry in its official monthly magazine El-Djeich. The source noted that 59 individuals were arrested over charges of providing support to terrorist groups. During operations since the beginning of this year, army troops also retrieved 272 weapons of different types, in addition to 242 vehicles and trucks used by terrorists and arm smugglers, the source added. It also said that army troops deployed all along the border arrested 3000 illegal migrants and a number of smugglers and drug traffickers. Last month, army Defense Ministry announced the killing of two senior officials at Islamic State

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