Sunday 22 April 2018
(The Guardian 12/30/13)
Figures compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists show that 29 journalists were killed in Syria, 10 in Iraq and six in Egypt. At least 70 journalists were killed around the world in 2013, including 29 who died covering the civil war in Syria and 10 in Iraq, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The dead in Syria included a number of citizen journalists working to document combat in their home cities, broadcasters who worked with media outlets affiliated with either the government or the opposition, and a handful of correspondents for the foreign press, including an al-Jazeera reporter, Mohamed al-Mesalma, who was shot by a sniper. Six journalists died in Egypt. Half of those reporters were killed while...
(The Star 12/30/13)
Africa has much to boast about these days. Crude clichés of a continent blighted by disease, poverty and bloodshed are steadily giving way to a far more promising narrative. In the face of a global economic slump, for instance, Africa keeps company with the world leaders in growth and investment. Meanwhile, democracy continues to spread - though admittedly, not without its setbacks. Economic and political advancement doesn't happen in a vacuum. It requires stability - that pivotal ingredient whose absence held Africa back for so long. When there is good governance, there is less war, and positive things generally follow - development, justice, and prosperity. Usually, they move forward in unison. Conflict is the single biggest driver of extreme poverty...
(UN.org 12/30/13)
The General Assembly today wrapped up its work for the main part of the 68th session by approving a budget of $5.5 billion for the United Nations to carry out its vital work over the next two years. The 193-member body approved the budget for the biennium 2014-2015 by consensus, acting on the recommendation of its committee dealing with administrative and budgetary matters, known as the Fifth Committee, which concluded its work earlier today. "The new budget is lower than the one for the previous biennium, reflecting our shared wish for a fiscally responsible Secretariat," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message delivered to the Assembly meeting by his Chef de Cabinet, Susana Malcorra, following the decision. "We will continue...
(Usa Today 12/28/13)
U.S. military quick-reaction forces put in the field after the September 2012 attack on the U.S. consular compound in Benghazi, Libya, have been in the middle of this month's evacuation of Americans from strife-torn South Sudan. Based in Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, soldiers in the Army force first left for South Sudan on Dec. 14 to evacuate diplomats at the embassy in the capital of Juba. Meanwhile, Marines stationed at an air base in Moron, Spain, have deployed to Djibouti and Uganda to help in the evacuations. These moves follow the unsuccessful evacuation attempt of U.S. nationals by a Djibouti-based Navy SEAL team on Dec. 21. Four SEALs were wounded in the evacuation attempt when their V-22 tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft came...
(BBC News Africa 12/27/13)
The entire contents of a former prep school in north Yorkshire is being shipped out to a school in Africa. Furniture, books and a billiard table are among the items donated by the independent school, which closed in the summer but wants to remain anonymous. The 40ft (12m) shipping container is being sent out to pupils in Lawra in Ghana by Wiltshire based charity, Action Through Enterprise (ATE). Sarah Gardner, from ATE, said: "We've been given everything - it's amazing." ATE, which was set up by Ms Gardner, runs a number of schemes in the rural upper west region of Ghana. Action Through Enterprise (ATE) The equipment is for a new teaching block at Karbo Primary School. One of its...
( 12/26/13)
Tel Aviv — Hundreds of African migrants and human rights activists marched through the streets of Tel Aviv on 21 December to protest the Israeli government's policy of detaining irregular migrants, the majority of them asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan. The protest came less than a week after a demonstration in Jerusalem by about 150 asylum seekers who had walked out of a new so-called open facility in Israel's southern Negev desert, known as Holot. The protestors hoped to meet with Minister of the Interior Gideon Sa'ar, an avid supporter of Israel's strict "anti-infiltration" measures, but were arrested soon after reaching Jerusalem. Holot was opened in response to a September 2013 Supreme Court ruling, which struck down an amendment...
(Voice of America 12/26/13)
More than 140 passengers from five African countries have been stranded at Brussels International Airport since early Thursday. They were to have departed late Tuesday from Chicago aboard a United Airlines plane with a planned three-hour stop in Brussels. But, their Chicago flight was delayed and they missed their connecting flight on Brussels Airlines. The carrier told them the next available flight is Friday. United told VOA “some passengers did miss their connections on other airlines to their final destinations, and our team in Brussels is doing everything it can to help the passengers make alternate accommodations as soon as possible.” Daniel Dogba, a Liberian who lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and one of the stranded passengers, said all 142...
(UN.org 12/26/13)
Three Rome-based United Nations agencies are teaming up on a $2.7 million project to tackle the problem of food losses in developing countries, beginning with pilot programmes in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda. Globally, around one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year, amounting to 1.3 billion tonnes - enough food to feed 2 billion people - according to a joint news release by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP). The three-year project by the agencies is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation and focuses on food losses in developing countries, which can...
(UN.org 12/26/13)
The United Nations is highlighting the intrinsic values and contributions of wild animals and plants, particularly endangered and protected species, by devoting 3 of March as 'World Wildlife Day.' In a resolution adopted last Friday, the 193-member Assembly reaffirmed the intrinsic value of wildlife and its various contributions. Those include "ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic, to sustainable development and human well-being, and recognized the important role of CITES [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora] in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the species' survival." The Assembly selected 3 March for the Day, to coincide with the adoption of the CITES document, an international agreement between Governments of 176...
(Nigerdiaspora 12/24/13)
Le samedi 28 décembre prochain, deux événements politiques majeurs sont prévus à Niamey. Il s’agit du congrès du Parti nigérien pour la démocratie et le socialisme (PNDS-TARAYYA), le principal parti au pouvoir, et le meeting de l’opposition réunie au sein de l’Alliance pour la Réconciliation, la Démocratie et la République (ARDR). Le parti présidentiel a prévu de tenir son congrès au Palais du 29 juillet et l’opposition a voulu organiser son meeting au stade général Seyni Kountché, distant de seulement quelques mètres du Palais. Mais le Directeur général du stade a refusé de donner ses installations à l’opposition, au motif qu’en plus du Palais du 29 juillet, le PNDS-TARAYYA a aussi réservé le salon d’honneur du stade pour toute la...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/13)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military on Monday deployed about 150 Marines to a base in the Horn of Africa to prepare for possible further evacuations of American citizens from the deepening conflict in South Sudan, U.S. officials said on Monday. The deployment of a special crisis-response team of Marines, who are normally stationed at Moron Air Base in Spain, follows a thwarted evacuation attempt in South Sudan over the weekend in which four U.S. soldiers were wounded by gunfire. Three U.S. officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the Marines were sent to a base in Djibouti, a move that would allow them to deploy to South Sudan more quickly, if asked. Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/23/13)
NIAMEY (Reuters) - More than 1,000 protesters marched to the offices of Areva (AREVA.PA) in Niger's capital Niamey on Saturday to demand that the French nuclear firm pay more taxes in the West African country, police said. Organizers said that as many as 2,000 people took part in the march, which came as state-controlled Areva was locked in negotiations with President Mahamadou Issofou's government over new 10-year contracts for its two mines in Niger. Niger wants to increase the royalty tax for uranium from 5.5 percent of sales to as much as 12 percent, depending on profits, in accordance with a 2006 mining law. Areva says this would make its mines unprofitable. "Our 2010 constitution gives the Niger people exclusive...
(AFP (eng) 12/23/13)
NEW YORK – The UN secretary-general says an estimated $1.2bn worth of cocaine transits through West Africa each year, and the Security Council is expressing “deep concern” about the drug trade’s increasing links to terrorist groups. The council issued a presidential statement on Wednesday after Ban Ki-moon briefed it on the widespread risks to stability in a region where borders are porous, governments are poorly funded and extremists groups are active. West Africa’s recent rise as a route for cocaine and other drugs from Latin America to Europe has startled the international community. Diplomats now point out that the region is producing its own drugs, including methamphetamine. Ban says the region now has “more than a million users of illicit...
(Reuters 12/22/13)
(Reuters) - Seven years ago, Dagmawi Yimer was "between life and death" when Italian navy officers rescued him and 30 others from a skiff in heavy seas between Libya and the island of Lampedusa. Today, Yimer directs documentary films about immigrants like himself from the home in the northern city of Verona he shares with his Italian partner and their two-year-old daughter. He is part of the fast-growing immigrant population that is changing the face of Italy, just as it has transformed the populations of more northern European countries such as Britain, France or Germany. He is also one of many foreigners who are trying - through cultural initiatives such as films and books - to change the racist views...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/21/13)
(Reuters) - African mediators said they held "productive" talks on Friday with South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, trying to prevent an almost week-long conflict plunging the world's newest nation into an ethnic civil war. In a sign of the nervousness among South Sudan's neighbors, Ugandan soldiers flew in to help evacuate their citizens. Two anonymous military sources said they would also help secure the capital, which lies about 75 km (50 miles) from Uganda's border. Kiir, a member of the Dinka ethnic group, has accused his former vice president Riek Machar, a Nuer who was sacked in July, of attempting to seize power by force. Fighting that began on Sunday in the capital Juba has swiftly spread, and U.N. staff...
(Voice of America 12/20/13)
DAKAR — African militaries want surveillance drones to help them patrol their borders and vast open spaces, but engineers and entrepreneurs say unmanned aerial vehicles could do so much more than just track the bad guys. They could deliver medicines, protect endangered species, and drive economic growth, with cargo drones moving goods quickly and cheaply. But some experts warn that opening up civilian air space to drones, even for such purportedly "good" uses, could create problems in the long run. Kenyan engineer James Munyoki has built several drones. His latest prototype can carry 6 kilograms. He is working on getting that up to 10. "When I started building them, I was thinking the payload would be something like a camera...
(The New York Times 12/20/13)
JERUSALEM — Some arrived here on Tuesday in sturdy walking boots donated by local aid organizations; others came less equipped for the leftover snow on the ground, wearing sandals and house slippers. They held placards bearing slogans like “Refugees but not criminals” and a verse invoking a biblical injunction against oppressing the stranger because “you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” The roughly 200 asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea came to protest their treatment by the Israeli authorities, finishing a two-day journey. On Sunday they left a new “open” detention facility where they were being held in the Negev desert and walked for about six hours to Beersheba, the nearest city. They spent the night in the bus...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/20/13)
JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudanese government troops battled to regain control of a flashpoint town and sent forces to quell fighting in a vital oil producing area on Thursday, the fifth day of a conflict that has deepened ethnic divisions in the two-year-old nation. The conflict, which has so far killed up to 500 people, has alarmed South Sudan's neighbors. African mediators held talks with President Salva Kiir on Thursday to try to broker peace, and U.S. President Barak Obama urged the clashing factions to stop fighting. The clashes that erupted around the capital Juba on Sunday night have quickly spread, pitting loyalists of the former Vice President Riek Machar, a Nuer, against Kiir, a member of the dominant Dinka...
(The Observer 12/20/13)
An estimated 500 people are now said to have been killed in the sporadic fighting that started on Sunday and has been described as a coup attempt. What is most worrying is that the ethnic dimension of the conflict is beginning to rear its ugly head with reports of ethnic-inspired massacres. A civil war might well be imminent if nothing is done quickly to restore sanity. With thousands of Ugandans working or doing business in South Sudan, Uganda is directly affected by these negative developments. Not only are Ugandans among those killed, many Ugandan traders are counting their losses. Besides, the resulting humanitarian situation could see refugees pouring across the border. It is, therefore, in Uganda's interest to have a...
(Voice of America 12/20/13)
Scientists say climate change will not affect all regions of the world equally – especially when it comes to fresh water. The latest computer models indicate some places will get a lot less, while others get a lot more. Dr. Jacob Schewe and his colleagues say that “water scarcity is a major threat for human development” if greenhouse gas emissions remain unchecked. They’ve published their findings in a special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The reason we’re concerned is that it’s a very important issue for a lot of people. We all depend on water for so many different purposes. And water scarcity, where it exists, really impairs many things that people do and that...

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