Sunday 18 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the interest of China to spy," AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said during a visit to Beijing, where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss deepening cooperation on a variety of issues,...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/18)
The World Health Organization chief Wednesday said a deadly plague epidemic appeared to have been brought under control in Madagascar, but warned the next outbreak would likely be stronger. "The next transmission could be more pronounced or stronger," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, insisting that "the issue is serious." An outbreak of both bubonic plague, which is spread by infected rats via flea bites, and pneumonic plague, spread person to person, has killed more than 200 people in the Indian Ocean island nation since August. Madagascar has suffered bubonic plague outbreaks almost every year since 1980, often caused by rats fleeing forest fires. The disease tends to make a comeback each hot rainy season, from September...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
Most inhabitants of Madagascar thought the plague was a footnote of medical history until the disease dramatically returned last year, slaying more than 200 people. Fear and anxiety rippled across the Indian Ocean island nation. "People were afraid to come to hospital -- they were afraid of catching the plague," recalled Professor Mamy Randria, head of the infectious diseases service at a hospital in the capital Antananarivo. Randria found himself on the front line of an urban war against the...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in...
(AFP (eng) 01/22/18)
It's a tale worthy of a John le Carre novel. A French security expert who went to Madagascar to advise the island nation's president but subsequently fell out with his political master was jailed for three years for corruption and abuse of power. But he managed to escape and make a treacherous 15-hour Indian Ocean crossing aboard a wooden paddle boat to the nearby French territory, Mayotte, before flying back to Paris. Houcine Arfa, 54, who gave his guards the...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
Eight children have died after suffering acute food poisoning believed to have been caused by eating sea turtle meat in northern Madagascar, the country's health service said on Tuesday. The consumption of sea turtles and 24 other fish species by humans is not recommended by experts, as they are known to consume toxic algae that can prove lethal in the summer months. "Twenty-seven people suffered food poisoning, of which eight died between January 8 and January 9 after eating sea...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) - The death toll from a cyclone that hit Madagascar about 10 days ago has risen to 51, with another 22 people reported missing, authorities said on Sunday. Tropical Cyclone Ava passed through Madagascar on Jan. 5-6, hitting mostly the eastern coast of the island with wind speeds of between 140-190 kph (87-119 mph). The death toll had been put at about 29 people a week ago. The National Office of Risk and Disaster Management said in a...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
The cyclone that slammed into Madagascar earlier this month has claimed 51 lives, with 54,000 people displaced by flooding, heavy rain and high winds, authorities said. Tropical cyclone Ava made landfall on January 5, lashing the eastern part of the African island for 24 hours, with many rivers overflowing, roads cut off and bridges submerged. Twenty-two people are still missing while 161,000 others have been affected following the storms, the National Bureau for Risk and Catastrophe Management (NBRCM) said late...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
The cyclone that slammed into Madagascar last week has claimed a total of 36 lives, with 20,000 people displaced by flooding, heavy rain and high winds, authorities said Wednesday. Tropical cyclone Ava made landfall on Friday, lashing the eastern part of the African island until Saturday night, with many rivers overflowing, roads cut off and bridges submerged. Seventeen people died after a house crumbled following a mudslide in the Ivory suburb southeast of the capital Antananarivo. "On a national scale, the provisional toll is 36 dead, 25 missing and 20,462 displaced persons," the National Bureau for Risk and Catastrophe Management said in a statement.
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
Twenty-nine people died and more than 80,000 were affected after tropical cyclone Ava tore through Madagascar last week, authorities said Monday. Seventeen people died on Monday, after a house crumbled following a mudslide in the Ivory suburb, south-east of the capital Antananarivo. "On a national scale, the provisional toll is 29 dead, 22 missing, 17,170 displaced and 83,023 affected," the National Bureau for Risk and Catastrophe Management said in a statement. The cyclone, which made landfall on Friday morning, lashed the eastern part of the African island off Mozambique with violent winds and heavy rains before moving off the territory on Saturday night.

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