Monday 20 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route to North Africa," Switzerland, which hosted the third meeting of the so-called contact group on the crisis, said in a statement. Thousands of migrants and refugees who attempt to travel along this route "find themselves in catastrophic situations," it said,...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/10/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Suspected militants shot dead at least nine truck drivers in Egypt’s Sinai region late on Thursday when they targeted a transport convoy, setting the vehicles on fire, medical and security sources said on Friday. Egypt’s security forces have since 2014 been battling an Islamic State affiliate in northern Sinai, where militants have mostly hit police and soldiers but also occasionally targeted infrastructure and businesses. Two security sources in al-Arish, the area capital, said armed men attacked the...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
Amnesty International on Thursday condemned a draft bill in the Egyptian parliament that would criminalise homosexuality, in what the rights group called an "unprecedented homophobic crackdown". The bill lays jail terms of between one and three years for first time offenders, whether the act takes place in public or a private place. Repeat offenders would receive five years. "This deeply discriminatory bill would be a huge setback for human rights and another nail in the coffin for sexual rights in...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/09/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian lawmaker is introducing a draft bill that would imprison those engaging in or promoting same-sex relations, a copy of the draft seen by Reuters on Thursday showed. Amnesty International said the bill is “another nail in the coffin for sexual rights in Egypt” and should be scrapped. It would introduce sentences of to up to 10 years in prison for people engaging in or promoting same-sex relations. The law is part of a wider crackdown...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
Boba springs left and right for a Cairo zookeeper feeding him fruit, but the chimp's exuberance contrasts with the pitiful lack of space and natural habitat in Africa's oldest zoo. Under the tall trees in the expansive Giza Zoo in the centre of the Egyptian capital, children throw morsels to several monkeys, trying to elicit a funny reaction. Other children crowd around the pen of Naima, an elephant who extends her trunk from behind the bars for treats. "We wish...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
Egyptian activists have sent Hollywood actress Helen Hunt an open letter denouncing her participation in a forum organised by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is accused of human rights violations. "As you shake hands with Sisi, smile, take a photo, let history note that you chose to support a dictator responsible for thousands of deaths, arbitrary detentions and disappearances," they wrote in the letter published Monday on change.org. Among those his regime had jailed were "journalists for doing their jobs"...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - A deadly attack on the police in Egypt’s Western Desert claimed by a new militant group risks opening up another front for security forces far beyond the remote northern Sinai, where they have battled a stubborn Islamic State insurgency since 2014. A little-known group called Ansar al-Islam claimed responsibility for the Oct. 21 attack. Analysts and security sources said the heavy weapons and tactics employed indicated ties to Islamic State or more likely an al Qaeda brigade led by Hesham al-Ashmawy, a former Egyptian special forces officer turned jihadist. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has already suggested fighters...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
A rights lawyer and former candidate for Egypt's presidency who challenged the government over Red Sea islands given to Saudi Arabia announced his campaign Monday to stand in 2018 elections. Leftist Khaled Ali rose to prominence after he tried to get the courts to stop the transfer of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to the Saudis. The deal sparked rare street protests after it was signed last year, with critics accusing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of having sold the...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
The #MeToo campaign that saw women around the world share their experiences of sexual assault struck a deep chord in Egypt where life is often a daily battle against harassment. Emboldened by the global outpouring, female internet users in the country took to their computers to document their own accounts of unwanted advances and violence in the latest push to speak out over the endemic problem despite a conservative backlash from society. "One time when I was pregnant... a man...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
An unknown jihadist group has claimed a deadly October 20 ambush that killed at least 16 Egyptian policemen in a statement published Friday on militant Islamist social media channels. The statement purporting to be from a group called Ansar al-Islam -- or "Supporters of Islam" -- also said one of its leaders, Emad al-Din Abdel Hamid, was killed in Egyptian air strikes after the ambush. The statement could not be independently verified. No other group has claimed responsibility for the...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
An Egyptian court has sentenced a female television presenter to three years in jail after she spoke on her show about pregnancy outside marriage, a judicial source said on Friday. Doaa Salah was convicted of "outraging public decency", the source said. The court also ordered her to pay a bond of 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($565) so she can remain at liberty ahead of a possible appeal. Salah went on trial after a lawyer filed a complaint against her following a...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/17)
Egypt's military said Tuesday its air force had carried out a desert raid, killing "a large number of terrorist elements" responsible for the deaths of 16 policemen earlier this month. The policemen were killed in an October 20 shootout with militants on the road between Cairo and the Bahariya oasis in the Western Desert, a rare flare-up outside the Sinai Peninsula. Authorities are fighting the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group, which has killed hundreds of security personnel in...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
An Egyptian court ruled Sunday that a television programme deemed contrary to Islamic law should not be broadcast, following a request from the country's highest institution of Sunni Islam. Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb of Al-Azhar had demanded that the authorities ban "With Islam" presented by controversial intellectual reformer Islam Behairy and aired by private channel Al Qahera Wel Nass. Al-Azhar accuses Behairy of "regularly attacking Islamic law". Although Al-Azhar advocates tolerance and moderate Islam in conferences, it also routinely asks for programmes and shows in which secular Egyptians criticise...
(AFP (eng) 10/28/17)
Fighting in the pivotal WWII battle of El Alamein may have stopped 75 years ago but Egypt is now waging another war against a hidden enemy: landmines. On a recent visit by foreign officials, personnel from the military's Western Desert Mine Clearance Regiment swept detectors across a stretch of sand as they showcased the painstaking work it takes to remove the deadly legacy left behind by the Axis and Allied troops who wrestled for control along the Mediterranean coast. An...
(AFP (eng) 10/27/17)
Egyptian police killed 13 "terrorists" in a shootout as they raided a hideout in the country's south on Friday, a week after a deadly ambush by militants, the interior ministry said. The operation, in which assault rifles and explosive belts were recovered, took place at a farm used by the militants for training and recruitment, the ministry said in a statement. It was not clear whether they were suspected of involvement in an October 20 desert ambush that killed 16...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/27/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian security forces killed 13 militants during a raid on a farm hideout in the western desert region on Friday, a week after a deadly attack on a police convoy, authorities said. An Interior Ministry statement gave no details on the militants, but Egyptian forces have been battling several armed Islamist groups, mostly focused on an entrenched Islamic State affiliate that has killed hundreds of police officers and troops in the northern Sinai Peninsula since 2013. “They...

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