Tuesday 27 June 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 06/01/17)
British police said on Thursday they had arrested a woman in London on suspicion of torture during the civil war in Liberia more than 25 years ago. The 51-year-old was arrested in the east of the capital and searches were being carried out at two addresses in east London and central London, police said in a statement. Officers were liaising with Britain's foreign ministry and the prosecution service, it added. "The allegations relate to atrocities that occurred during the civil war in Liberia between 1989 and 1993," police said. From 1989 to 2003, up to a quarter of a million people in the West African nation were killed in a civil war, while thousands more were mutilated and raped. (Reporting...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two decades, the improvement has been much slower for twins than for single-borns. "Twins account for 10.7 percent of all under-five deaths and 15.1 percent of neonatal (newborn) deaths in the region and these percentages are increasing," the study said. "The...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has followed. This city of about 1 million has absorbed an additional 1 million people who fled the Islamist militants who burned their villages and kidnapped hundreds of children. In Maiduguri, the vast majority of the displaced aren’t living in U.N...
(The Newdawn Liberia 05/29/17)
Ghanaian President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo says his visit to Liberia is meant to reaffirm his country’s solidarity and commitment to the Government and people of Liberia. The Ghanaian leader arrived in Liberia on Friday, May 27, 2017 for a two-day official visit. An Executive Mansion release says, President Akufo-Addo made the statement during both a Working Lunch and a joint press stake-out with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Friday. President Nana Akufo-Addo noted that since his election in 2016, Ghana remains proud of its relations with the Government and people of Liberia.He expressed delights over the leadership quality of President Sirleaf as she ably leads Liberia and the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Government. Speaking on security issues, President...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home. However, the two-day meeting got overshadowed by a suicide bombing in northern England on Monday that killed 22 people, and also got bogged down by lengthy discussions on the merit of free trade and the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...
(AFP (eng) 05/24/17)
A football superstar, a former warlord and a soft drinks millionaire have thrown their hats into the ring for the post of Liberian president as Africa's first elected female leader prepares to step down. A dizzying array of candidates have lined up for the October poll to replace Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She leaves behind no obvious successor after serving an unbroken decade in the job, a constitutional maximum of two terms. Her replacement will have to prove they can keep the peace in a country whose lengthy civil war ended in 2003. "It is still too early to identify a frontrunner," Raymond Gilpin and Dorina Bekoe of the Washington-based Africa Center for Strategic Studies said in...
(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 crisis and to seek ways...
(APA 05/23/17)
The submission of the annual budget to the legislature and government’s response to the local fish story dominate the headlines of Liberian newspapers on Tuesday. The long awaited 2017/2018 National Budget, which should have been submitted to the National Legislature on April 30, has finally been submitted to that august body for timely consideration. The late submission of the budget to the national legislature has been creating some unease in many quarters as the current budget year (2016/2017) has just a little over a month to expire. The budget is in the amount of US$526.5 million, a 12.3% reduction from the US$600.2 million approved for fiscal budget 2016/2017. The Women Voices newspaper published this story as its front page banner...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(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. "It is vital today that we speed up. Our armed forces are giving their all, but we must speed up" efforts to secure the Sahel, he told a news conference in Gao, Mali, where he held talks with President Ibrahim...
(The Associated Press 05/19/17)
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is making his first trip overseas to Liberia, the West African country where Ebola killed more than 4,800 people. Price on Thursday praised Liberia for its "remarkable cooperation" on health care issues. He toured a community that was hit hard by the Ebola virus in 2014. Ebola survivor Mohammed Kromah told Price how he spent almost two months at a treatment center. He showed the U.S. health secretary his Ebola-free certificate, which was greeted with wide applause. Price later met with health workers at Redemption Hospital
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to develop capital markets that would have allowed them to raise more money in their own currencies, investors say. United Nations trade body UNCTAD estimates that Africa's external debt stock rapidly grew to $443 billion by 2013 through bilateral borrowing, syndicated...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(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 African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...
(Daily Observer 05/16/17)
At least 3,900 persons have enrolled in the Ebola Natural History Study being conducted by PREVAIL - the Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia in Margibi County. The number includes about 1,000 Ebola survivors and 2,000 of their close contacts, people who took care of the survivors at the time they came down with the deadly Ebola virus, according to PREVAIL Social Mobilization Manager Bartholomew Wilson, during a community engagement in Worhn, the administrative headquarters of Gibi District in Margibi County. The community engagement meetings, organized by the Liberia Crusaders for Peace in collaboration with PREVAIL, are meant to rally Liberians' support for the scientific research being conducted by the joint US-Liberia clinical research partnership. PREVAIL has launched...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(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 an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/10/17)
Medical samples from four of the victims of a disease in Liberia that initially baffled scientists have tested positive for a type of bacteria that causes meningitis, the minister of health said on Monday. So far a total of 31 cases of the so-called mystery illness have been reported, including 13 deaths in an outbreak linked to the attendance of a religious leader's funeral. While the symptoms are different from Ebola, the sudden deaths nevertheless stirred anxiety about an outbreak of the tropical illness which was often spread through burial rituals in the West African epidemic that ended less than a year ago. Seven specimens from the deceased tested positive for Neisseria meningitidis, a particularly contagious strain of bacteria that...

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