Monday 11 December 2017
(Voice of America 12/13/13)
Major donors are changing the way they fund health programs in low-income countries. The results in maternal and child health have been so successful that the World Bank and the Global Fund are working together to add programs on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The change in financing focuses on motivating health care workers to provide better care and on helping patients obtain it. When pregnant women get good health care and have a trained midwife or doctor at their side when giving birth, mothers and babies are more likely to survive. And when children get vaccinated against preventable diseases and get quality care when they're sick, they're more likely to reach their fifth birthday. The World Health Organization said that...
(BBC News Africa 12/12/13)
The UN children's charity, Unicef, says one in three children under five have not had their births registered. In its report, Unicef says nearly 230 million children worldwide do not officially exist, making them more vulnerable to neglect or abuse. It says a birth certificate guarantees that children are not denied rights or basic services such as education.The countries with the lowest registration levels are in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. "Birth registration is more than just a right. It's how societies first recognize and acknowledge a child's identity and existence," said Geeta Rao Gupta, Unicef Deputy Executive Director. "Birth registration is also key to guaranteeing that children are not forgotten, denied their rights or hidden from the progress of...
(Voice of America 12/12/13)
Global efforts to curb malaria have saved the lives of 3.3 million people since 2000, cutting global death rates from the mosquito-borne disease by 45 percent and by half in children under five, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. WHO said in its World Malaria Report 2013 that expanded prevention and control measures helped produce declines in malaria deaths and illness. Of the 3.3 million lives saved, most were in the 10 countries with the highest malaria burden and among children under age five, the group most afflicted by the disease. “Investments in malaria control, mostly since 2007, have paid off tremendously,” said Ray Chambers, the United Nations secretary-general's special envoy for malaria. According to the WHO report, child...
(AFP (eng) 12/12/13)
ACCRA, (AFP) - Most Africans believe their politicians can commit crimes such as stealing and mismanagement with impunity, according to a survey released on Wednesday of 22 of the continent's natural resource-producing countries. Despite attempts to improve governance and transparency in the natural resources sector, a majority said it was difficult to find out how their government was using money from sectors such as mining and oil production. Yet people in the same countries overwhelmingly said they could speak and vote freely and relied on the local media to hold power to account. "The two streams of perception create interesting challenges for governments trying to negotiate with foreign companies for the best mineral and petroleum extraction deals while maintaining transparency...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/11/13)
ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE Tue Dec 10, 2013 ---(Reuters) - The White House on Tuesday played down President Barack Obama's handshake with Cuban leader Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's memorial in South Africa, saying it went no further than pleasantries and does not signal a policy change. "Nothing was planned in terms of the president's role other than his remarks," the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, told reporters traveling with Obama. "He really didn't do more than exchange greetings with (dignitaries on the podium) on his way to speak, it wasn't a substantive discussion." While the United States has relaxed prohibitions on family travel and remittances to Cuba and taken other steps to allow for greater contacts between the...
(Los Angeles Times 12/11/13)
JERUSALEM -- In a controversial move decried by human rights organizations, Israel's parliament passed a bill allowing migrants to be jailed without trial for a year. Under the law finalized early Tuesday after a heated late-night debate, Israeli authorities will be able to jail new migrants for a year if they slip over the border illegally, and detain others already in Israel in a new holding facility indefinitely. The law was intended to apply almost exclusively to African migrants who cross the border in uncontrolled stretches of open desert. In the past, most have come in from Egypt. It replaces a previous law, ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, that allowed migrants to be jailed for three years. The court...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/10/13)
(Reuters) - Israel's parliament has moved to ensure African migrants who enter the country illegally can be held without charge, despite a Supreme Court ruling that had struck down a previous detention law. Legislation approved late on Monday set a maximum detention period of one year for new illegal migrants, a change from a term of up to three years stipulated in a previous law annulled by the court in September. But with a newly-built Israeli border fence effectively choking off what had been a stream of African migrants crossing from Egypt, the new law could also have an impact on some of the estimated 50,000 mainly Sudanese and Eritrean nationals already in the Jewish state. The new regulations, which...
(BBC News Africa 12/10/13)
Nelson Mandela's daughter Makaziwe has told the BBC about the "wonderful" final hours of the former president, who died aged 95 last Thursday. Ms Mandela said his wife Graca, the children and grandchildren were all there to say goodbye. South Africa is observing a series of commemorations over the next week, leading up to the funeral on Sunday. More than 100 current or former heads of state or government will attend the funeral or Tuesday's national memorial. Makaziwe Mandela told the BBC's Komla Dumor: "Until the last moment he had us, you know... The children were there, the grandchildren were there, Graca was there, so we are always around him and even at the last moment, we were sitting with...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/10/13)
DUBAI---(Reuters) - Three state-owned Gulf firms are considering a joint bid for a minority stake in Occidental Petroleum Corp's (OXY.N) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) unit, a deal that could be worth between $8 billion and $10 billion, three banking sources said. Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Co MUDEV.UL, Qatar Petroleum QATPE.UL and Oman Oil Co have formed a consortium and have picked Citigroup (C.N) to advise them, the sources with knowledge of the matter said on Monday. They spoke on condition of anonymity as the information is not public. Occidental, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, said in October it planned to sell a minority stake in its MENA operations as part of a restructuring meant to lift its valuation...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/10/13)
WASHINGTON ---(Reuters) - German engineering company Bilfinger SE (GBFG.DE) will pay $32 million to resolve U.S. criminal charges that it bribed Nigerian officials to obtain contracts on a gas project in the African nation, the Justice Department said on Monday. Prosecutors charged the company with paying more than $6 million in bribes, in violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Bilfinger worked with others to inflate the price of a bid by 3 percent to cover the cost of the payments, prosecutors said. The Justice Department said it agreed to defer the charges for three years and drop them if Bilfinger improves its controls and hires an independent monitor for 18 months to assess the company's compliance. Bilfinger Chief...
(AL Jazeera 12/09/13)
African leaders have moved closer to the creation of a military force capable of intervening in crises like the one in the Central African Republic. Leaders attending a two-day summit on peace and security at the Elysee Palace in Paris have reached broad agreement on France's proposals to turn plans agreed in principle earlier this year into a reality. France has offered to provide equipment, logistical support and coordination for the force, and will seek to persuade its European Union partners to help with financing. Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's defence minister, said on Friday that the force could be operational by 2015 and that France would train 20,000 African troops a year for five years. Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland, reporting...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/09/13)
LONDON ----(Reuters) - Bob Diamond, the former boss of Barclays (BARC.L), is set to return to banking by listing a shell company in London in the next few weeks to invest in the African financial sector, a source familiar with the matter said. Diamond, who was ousted from Barclays last year after the Libor rate-rigging scandal, is finalizing plans to list Atlas Mara, a cash vehicle set up with billionaire entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar, chief executive of Mara Group, the source said. The vehicle will be managed by Atlas Merchant Capital, the merchant bank Diamond has set up in New York with a view to expand into sub-Sahara African banks and financial services. It is being advised by Citigroup (C.N), the...
(AFP (eng) 12/09/13)
JOHANNESBURG, December 9, 2013 (AFP) - South Africa raced Monday to meet the unprecedented logistical challenge of hosting close to 100 world leaders flying in from every corner of the globe for the state funeral of freedom icon Nelson Mandela. "The world literally is coming to South Africa," said the government's head of public diplomacy, Clayson Monyela. "I don't think it has ever happened before," Monyela said of the wave of 91 heads of state and government, including US President Barack Obama, descending on the country. Many will join the 80,000 people expected to cram Tuesday into the FNB stadium in Soweto for a sweeping, emotional tribute to their inspirational first black president. The memorial service, in the venue where...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/09/13)
WASHINGTON---(Reuters) - A minimalist U.S. budget deal that congressional negotiators hope to reach in coming days will do almost nothing to tame rising federal debt, but it could usher in a nearly two-year fiscal truce, minimizing the risk of future funding crises and government shutdowns. If the accord comes together, it would blunt some of the automatic "sequester" spending cuts and set funding levels at around $1 trillion for fiscal 2014 and 2015 for government agencies and programs from the military to national parks. Such a deal would not address an increase in the federal borrowing limit, which is expected to come up again by the spring, leaving conservatives a pressure point to try to exploit. However, it might restore...
(AFP 12/08/13)
JOHANNESBURG, December 8, 2013 (AFP) - Fifty-three heads of state and government have so far confirmed attendance at upcoming memorial events for peace icon Nelson Mandela, South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Sunday. The dignitaries will include US President Barack Obama, along with three former American presidents, Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff, French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron. There has been "unprecedented interest" to attend the statesman's funeral week after he died Thursday night, Nkoana-Mashabane told a news conference in Johannesburg. Many leaders will attend a memorial service Tuesday at the Soccer City stadium, where Mandela made his last major public appearance during the 2010 football World Cup. A smaller group would travel to the Nobel...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/13)
JOHANNESBURG, December 7, 2013 (AFP) - South Africa on Saturday began preparations to host US President Barack Obama and other world leaders eager to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela during 10 days of mourning for the anti-apartheid icon. On Friday President Jacob Zuma announced the mourning period for Mandela, the founding father of modern South Africa and its first black leader, after he died late Thursday aged 95, surrounded by friends and family. Obama, America's first black president, will travel to South Africa next week, the White House said, joining a raft of world leaders for a huge December 10 memorial service. Mandela's body will lie in state in Pretoria for three days before he receives a state burial...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/13)
PARIS, December 6, 2013 (AFP) - The death of Nelson Mandela weighed on African leaders as they gathered in Paris Friday for a summit focused on security and France's military intervention in the Central African Republic. Some 40 African leaders have flown into the French capital for two days of talks on security and economic issues, as Paris looks to revive its influence on the continent in the face of the growing clout of China and other developing economies. President Francois Hollande was to open the summit at 1300 GMT with a tribute to Mandela, who died late Thursday aged 95. "His death will no doubt weigh on the summit," Congo-Brazzaville President Denis Sassou Nguesso told AFP. "It will be...
(Voice of America 12/06/13)
NAIROBI — Mourning the loss of a man who bridged South Africa's racial divide, many Africans hope their leaders today will be inspired by Nelson Mandela to heal another rift widening dangerously across the continent: the wealth gap. “We need the next Mandela to fight for the poor,” said Thomas Kozzih, 30, a community worker in Nairobi's Kibera slum - an expanse of metal shacks butting up against smart new flats that testify to Africa's new growth that has left many behind. Nelson Mandela 1918 - Born in Transkei, South Africa 1944 - Joined African National Congress 1956 - Charged with treason, later acquitted 1962 - Convicted of sabotage and sentenced to 5 years 1964 - Sentenced to life in...
(AL Jazeera 12/06/13)
Minutes after news of the passing away of former South African president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, tributes and speeches started streaming in. United States President Barack Obama was one of the first global leaders to speak out following the news that the country's first black president had passed away. Speaking from the White House on Thursday, Obama said he was one of the countless millions around the world who was influenced by the anti-apartheid activist Mandela. US President Barack Obama Obama met with Mandela's family earlier this year when he visited South Africa, but he did not meet with the ailing leader, who was hospitalised throughout the US president's visit. Obama told the media that had been inspired by Mandela, who...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/13)
RABAT, December 5, 2013 (AFP) - A Cameroonian immigrant plunged to his death when police raided his fourth-floor apartment in Tangiers, raising tensions in the Moroccan city after a similar death in October, activists said Thursday. Backup forces entered the Cameroonian's apartment on Wednesday afternoon, in the suburb of Boukhalef, and he fell from the roof of the building shortly afterwards, rights activist Boubker El Khamlichi told AFP by phone from Tangiers. Hundreds of immigrants then marched towards the police headquarters in the northern city, carrying the victim's body, to protest "crimes" against them. The official MAP news agency said members of the security forces arriving at the scene were pelted with stones -- and two injured -- by "illegal...

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