Friday 20 April 2018
(Daily Maverick 01/20/14)
In the past month, both Nigeria and Uganda have come under the spotlight for their passing of severe anti-gay legislation. On Monday, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill that carries a sentence of up to 14 years imprisonment for same-sex marriages or civil unions. Any person who is openly gay and anyone who "registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations" can be sentenced for up to 10 years in prison (the law also applies to well-meaning foreigners who visit Nigeria to help promote LGBTI causes). On December 20, Uganda passed the Private Members Bill which makes certain homosexual acts punishable with life in prison and also punishes anyone who "funds", "sponsors" or "abets" homosexuality in that...
(The Star 01/20/14)
The Federal Reserve tapered $10 billion out of $85bn (The Fed had been purchasing $85bn of government and mortgage securities under a programmme called QE3 and on a monthly basis]. The current Run Rate of $75bn monthly still equates to $900bn annually, slightly less than the previous $1.020 trillion rate. In truth, this was money that was magicked out of thin air by the wizards at the Federal Reserve. Interestingly, Weimar Germany and President Mugabe's Zimbabwe had tried the same magic tricks, failed in a deluge of worthless bank notes and today both Germany and Zimbabwe are proponents of sound money. I was telling the British High Commissioner, Dr. Christian Turner: "I knew you were going to be good because...
(Xinhuanet 01/20/14)
NEW DELHI, (Xinhua) -- India has assured African nations complete safety of their nationals in this country in the wake of an alleged attack on some Ugandans in the national capital by a mob led by Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti Thursday night, sources said Sunday. "The Ministry of External Affairs called a meeting of 20 African envoys Saturday and condemned the alleged attack on Ugandan nationals, and promised full security of Africans in this country. The ministry told the envoys that there was no deliberate targeting of African nationals in India and assured action in the incident," the sources said. The ministry has also assured that soon an office to handle complaints from foreigners would be set up in...
(Voice of America 01/20/14)
Washington — An estimated one to two billion people around the world are infected with soil parasites known as helminthes. Researchers have drawn the genetic blueprint for the hookworm, the most common source of soil-borne parasitic infection in humans. The hookworm's genetic sequence could lead to better treatments and prevention strategies. An estimated 700 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, China, Southeast Asia and Indonesia are thought to be infected with hookworms. These parasites, about a centimeter in length, live in the soil and enter the body through the skin on the soles of bare feet, according to Makedonka Mitreva, assistant director of the Genome Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She says children are at highest risk: "Especially...
(The Point 01/18/14)
"For environmental sustainability towards human progress, this training workshop will introduce African environment journalists to the current and emerging issues on marine and coastal environment, and further help them to frequently but authoritatively report on pressing marine and coastal environmental trends and their solutions in the region that affects the lives of millions of people along Africa's Atlantic seaboard." These were the statements disclosed by Abou Bamba, Coordinator of the Abidjan Convention, during the official opening ceremony of a three-day cross-learning training workshop for African environment journalists recently held at the convention's head office in Abidjan. He posited that the outcome of the training would lead to the creation of a network of core journalists and communicators that would frequently...
(Voice of America 01/18/14)
Dakar — Nigeria's president has signed into law a bill that bans gay marriage, gay rights advocacy and public displays of affection between same-sex couples. Homosexual acts were already illegal in Nigeria. Human rights activists say the new law reflects a larger trend to ramp up anti-gay legislation and penalties. Nigeria's new Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act has been condemned abroad but applauded at home. And it has given President Goodluck Jonathan a much-needed popularity boost. "I thought the Western world will so much pressurize us to bow to it, but hearing that the president signed against it, in fact it's a kudos. I'm very glad that he could stand [on] his feet and sign against such a taboo, because, I...
(Voice of America 01/18/14)
Three actors with ties to Africa are among the nominees for the 2014 Academy Awards, or Oscars. Chiwetel Ejoifor received a best-actor nomination for his role in 12 Years a Slave. Ejoifor is of Nigerian descent. Lupita Nyong'o, an actress with Kenyan roots, is a contender for best supporting actress for her work in the same movie, which received a total of nine nominations. And Somali-American Barkhad Abdi received a best supporting actor nomination for his role as a pirate in Captain Phillips. Abdi told VOA Thursday how thrilled he is: "You know, I am really, really excited and happy about it. I cannot exactly tell you how I feel. I am up from last night. I could not sleep...
(Voice of America 01/17/14)
YAOUNDE, CAMEROON — Border villages in Cameroon's north have been deserted following heavy fighting between the Nigerian army and the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in Banki, Borno state. About 30 Cameroonians and Nigerians are said to have been wounded in the attacks, and five are feared dead. The heavy firing between the Nigerian army and Boko Haram created panic in Cameroonian border villages, especially Amchide. Residents there said the Nigerian troops fired heavily and indiscriminately at fleeing militants. Businessman Halidou Alirou told VOA the shooting created panic. Many people fled the area and Alirou said he got separated from his wife. He recalled that the firing was so heavy, many in the vicinity were forced to escape to the...
(Bloomberg 01/17/14)
The first known outbreak of the chikungunya virus in the Western Hemisphere has Caribbean governments working to prevent the disease from spreading and damaging the region’s tourism-dependent economies. About 280 cases of chikungunya, which can cause severe joint pain, fever and headaches, have been reported since early December in Dutch and French Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, Martinique, Guadeloupe, the British Virgin Islands and French Guyana. Officials from Venezuela to the Cayman Islands have warned of the potential for the mosquito-borne virus, first identified from a patient in Tanzania in 1953, to spread. There is no treatment and the illness is rarely fatal. “The worst case scenario would be that the impact would be significant and slow down the whole economy...
(Bloomberg 01/17/14)
The cost of holding rising temperatures to safe levels may reach 4 percent of economic output by 2030, according to a draft United Nations report designed to influence efforts to draft a global-warming treaty. Most scenarios that meet the 2-degree Celsius (3.6-degree Fahrenheit) cap on global warming endorsed by world leaders require a 40 percent to 70 percent reduction in heat-trapping gases by 2050 from 2010 levels, according to the third installment of the UN’s biggest-ever study of climate change. The world would need to triple the share of renewables, nuclear power and carbon-capture and storage to meet that goal. “This report shows that 2 degrees is still technically possible and ought to remain the primary policy target” for climate...
(Ips News 01/16/14)
WASHINGTON, Jan 2014 (IPS) - A recent article by IPS journalist Ngala Killian Chimtom described the struggle of the Baka of Cameroon to maintain their indigenous culture and livelihoods while coping with the rapidly-changing environment around them. The Baka are hunter-gatherers indigenous to Cameroon’s southeastern forests. They are masters of the forest in every way, experts in the medicinal, spiritual, and nutritional qualities of the plants and animals around them. However, as Chimtom explains, the Baka today are threatened on multiple fronts, and “consumed with questions about their future.” Related IPS Articles The Baka are trying to manage an unprecedented and complex set of challenges, unlike anyone else in their peoples’ history. Logging, mining, and poaching have greatly reduced the...
(This Day Live 01/16/14)
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) Awka, Prof. Greg Nwakoby, has said series of crises and wars plaguing different countries in the world especially in the Middle East have indicated that the United Nations as a body has failed in its mandate to maintain peace in the world. The Professor of Law who specialises in conflict resolution spoke to THISDAY yesterday shortly after the resolution of crisis rocking the Uruebo-Nkwelle Ezunnaka community in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State and the election of a new executive chaired by Chief Charles Obinma to steer the affairs of the community for the next three years. Nwakoby expressed gratitude that peace had finally returned to the community and...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/14)
Counting people displaced by conflict or natural disaster is a difficult and sometimes contentious process. The greatest number of those displaced usually falls into the category of internally displaced persons (IDPs) - citizens who are forced to flee to other parts of their home nation. In Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan and Somalia have the continent's largest internally displaced populations which are among the largest in the world. The U.N. Refugee Agency expects 2013 would have been "one of the worst periods for forced displacement in decades", although full figures will not be released until later this year. Mass displacements caused by recent violence in South Sudan and Central African Republic (CAR) suggest this trend may...
(Xinhuanet 01/16/14)
JERUSALEM, (Xinhua) -- About 1,000 African asylum seekers, mostly women and children, protested in Tel Aviv on Wednesday against Israel's policy toward them, including a law which legalizes imprisoning them for a year without trial. The protesters said they could be detained without their asylum requests checked, which violates the 1951 Geneva Convention. They marched from south of Tel Aviv, where most of them live, toward the office of the UN refugee agency and then continued to protest outside the U.S. embassy. "The Israeli government treats us as if we're not human beings. We live here without a status, without basic rights, without hope and without the ability to provide our children with honor," the protest's organizers said in a...
(Xinhuanet 01/16/14)
ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- China will continue its sincere cooperation with Africa helping the continent develop its economy, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia said on Wednesday. Briefing journalists at the African Union (AU) building constructed by a Chinese company in the capital city of Ethiopia, Ambassador Xie Xiaoyan recalled that the cooperation and relations between China and Africa date back to many decades at a time when Africa didn't get such attention as it is getting now. Xie, who is also the Chinese Representative to the African Union, stated that China is keen to further strengthen its cooperation with Africa and with more countries on the continent. Speaking about the visit of the Japanese Prime Minister, the ambassador said, "The Japanese...
(Ips News 01/16/14)
WASHINGTON, (IPS) - Top diplomats and retired U.S. military officials are urging Western and African governments to step up the global fight against illegal wildlife poaching. Adding new pressure ahead of a major February summit slated to take place in the United Kingdom on the subject, a growing body of evidence suggests that wildlife poaching is funding criminal and terrorist organisations in several parts of Africa. These groups include Al-Shabaab in Somalia, and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda and South Sudan, who have reportedly turned to the killing of wild rhinoceros, elephants and other protected species to sell their tusks. "On one end, you have the poor local tribesman with no job who just needs the money. On...
(Voice of America 01/15/14)
PARIS — French President Francois Hollande says European countries likely will offer military backing to France's operation in the conflict-torn Central African Republic, and he denies his country is going it alone in defusing crises overseas. Hollande made the remarks in Paris Tuesday at a news conference that was overshadowed by reports about his personal life. The president offered no deadline for the end of France's operation in the Central African Republic. But he said Paris will not meddle in the African country's internal politics as it tries to form a transitional government. "France is working with African countries in the region to ensure that the CAR eventually will be able to have the same kind of political transition -...
(Xinhuanet 01/15/14)
BEIJING, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman on Wednesday blasted Japanese prime minister's criticism of China's Africa policy, saying the comment was "unprofessional". "Such an accusation was unprofessional and ridiculous," spokesman Hong Lei told a daily press briefing. Hong made the remarks when asked to comment on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's accusation that China's aid to Africa was aimed at the continent's market and resources while Japan's aid helped create more jobs for the continent. Abe concluded his six-day visit to three African countries on Wednesday. Hong reviewed China's long-term assistance to Africa, saying it helped African economic and social development and people's livelihood. He cited China's assistance to African highways, railways and power stations, saying...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/14)
ADDIS ABABA, January 15, 2014 (AFP) - China launched a scathing diplomatic attack against Japan on Wednesday, warning African nations of an impending "resurrection of Japanese militarism" and branding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a "troublemaker". In a press conference held the day after Abe wrapped up a landmark African tour aimed at boosting Japan's presence in the continent, China's ambassador to the African Union accused him of trying to undermine Beijing's own diplomatic reach. "Abe has become the biggest troublemaker in Asia," Xie Xiaoyan, who is also China's ambassador to Ethiopia, told reporters. "He has worked hard to portray China as a threat, aiming to sow discord, raising regional tensions and so creating a convenient excuse for the resurrection of...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/14)
TEL AVIV, January 15, 2014 (AFP) - Thousands of African women and children seeking asylum in Israel staged a protest march in Tel Aviv Wednesday against the Jewish state's immigration policies, an AFP correspondent said. "We are refugees," women chanted, many of them carrying infants or pushing prams along the streets of this coastal city where most of them live. Holding placards reading "We need freedom" and "stop racism!" they marched first to the headquarters of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, then on to the US embassy. Last week, the UNHCR warned that Israel could be in breach of international law with new legislation that allows for the potentially indefinite detention of asylum-seekers. "We are seeking asylum. We're not criminals,"...

Pages