Thursday 18 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
The first ever film festival celebrating the LGBT community is underway in Tunisia, a Muslim country where homosexuals can face up to three years in prison. Twelve short and medium-length films produced in Tunisia and across the Middle East and North Africa are being shown at the "Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival" that opened Monday. The four-day event is organised by Mawjoudin, Arabic for "We Exist", a Tunisian non-governmental association which defends the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is the first event of its kind in Tunisia and the organisers say the "festival conceives of itself as audacious".
(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 the many mainly illiterate vendors who hawk everything from painkillers and antibiotics to anti-malaria and anti-retroviral treatments. "When we are harassed we always come to an arrangement with them to resume our activities," she said. Fatima, another hawker, said: "Many...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
Nigeria on Wednesday announced friendlies against Serbia, Czech Republic and Congo as part of their preparations for the World Cup finals. The president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, said the first match against Serbia will take place in London on March 27. The Super Eagles will then take on Congo on May 28 in Abuja and Czech Republic in Austria on June 6. Nigeria have previously announced friendlies against Poland in Warsaw on March 23 and England in London on June 2. The four-time Africa Cup of Nations champions have been drawn in Group D at the finals in Russia, alongside Argentina, Croatia and Iceland.
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
Former Cameroon star Rigobert Song lost his first match as an African Nations Championship tournament coach when Congo Brazzaville snatched a 1-0 Group D win in Agadir on Tuesday. The ex-Liverpool and West Ham United defender watched his team dominate a match in which they missed a first-half sitter and were foiled by the crossbar and post after half-time. Song, 41, who suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm two years ago, showed little emotion on the touchline in the southern Morocco coastal city, bar a full-time wink at a TV camera. He made a record eight Africa Cup of Nations tournament appearances and played in four World Cups during a 137-cap career in which he captained his country many times. Congo...
(APA 01/17/18)
APA-Agadir (Maroc) - L’équipe congolaise de football a battu son homologue du Cameroun sur le score étriqué de 1 but à zéro, mardi à Agadir, dabs un match comptant pour la 1ère journée du Groupe D du Championnat d’Afrique des Nations Total 2018 qui se déroule sur terre marocaine. L’unique but de la rencontre a été inscrit par Junior Makias Mosita sur penalty à la 73ème minute. Grâce à cette victoire, les Diables rouges se positionne en tête de leur groupe avec trois points suivi de l’Angola et du Burkina Faso (un point chacun) qui se sont quittés sur un nul blanc en mach d’ouverture de cette poule. Le Cameroun ferme la marche avec zéro point. La compétition se poursuit...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
A prominent lawyer's bid to end Cameroon President Paul Biya's 35 years in power has received a boost after nine opposition parties and grassroots groups backed his campaign, according to a statement seen by AFP on Tuesday. Akere Muna, who hails from Cameroon's English-speaking minority, has vowed "zero tolerance for corruption, tribalism, nepotism and favouritism." The nine organisations gave him their backing in a "platform for a new republic" that they agreed on Monday in the capital Yaounde, they said in a joint statement. Muna is a former vice president of the anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International and former president of the Cameroon Bar Association. He was "formally designated" as their only candidate for the presidency, the statement added. Biya,...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
South African prosecutors said Tuesday they are seeking $130 million from global consultancy McKinsey and a local firm linked to a graft scandal that has engulfed President Jacob Zuma. The announcement was the first move against the Gupta family that is accused of corrupt dealings with Zuma, including allegations it profited from lucrative government contracts and chose ministerial appointments. The local company, Trillian, was controlled by an associate of the Guptas at the time of the allegations in 2015 and 2016. McKinsey and Trillian were paid for a contract advising state power monopoly Eskom. "The first order... refers to McKinsey and Trillian, that's 1.6 billion rand ($130 million, 105 million euros) we are asking to be paid back, that process...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
As Cape Town suffers its worst drought in a century, residents were warned by the mayor on Tuesday that they face losing piped water to their homes by April 21. If rains do not materialise and drastic consumption reductions are not achieved by "Day Zero", the city's people face the prospect of queueing at standpipes for daily rations of 25 litres (9.2 US gallons) of water. The city, which attracts millions of tourists every year, has enforced strict waste controls including splash bans at municipal pools and hauling homeowners using more than a 87-litre daily limit before the courts. In the past week, just 39 percent of Capetonians used less than that amount. "Cape Town's average daily collective consumption is...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
A Moroccan court sentenced to death a man over the murder of a member of parliament and jailed his widow, in a case involving sex and money, the government said Tuesday. Abdellatif Merdas, who was a member of the liberal Constitutional Union party, was gunned down near his house in Casablanca in March last year. A local councillor, Hicham Mouchtari, was sentenced to death on Monday after he was convicted of "premeditated murder", the justice ministry said. Merdas's widow, Ouafae Bensamadi, was given a life sentence, and a female acquaintance of hers described as a "fortune-teller" was sentenced to 20 years in jail. According to media reports of the investigation, Bensamadi had been having an affair with Mouchtari, who killed...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Workers at Algeria's In Amenas gas plant gathered Tuesday around a black marble memorial to mark five years since a deadly raid by Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists left 40 hostages dead. All trace of the four-day siege -- which saw workers from Japan, the Philipines, Britain, Norway and the United States killed -- has long been cleared away at the sprawling desert facility 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) southeast of Algiers. "They are 40 martyrs. I am full of emotion, I knew a lot of these people," said Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, the CEO of Algeria's Sonatrach, that runs the site with Norway's Statoil and Britain's BP. The assault -- which left 29 attackers dead -- was claimed by one-eyed Algerian jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar,...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Nigerian stocks have jumped to a nine-year high as Africa's biggest economy emerges from its worst recession in 25 years, buoyed by the high price of oil at $69 a barrel. The country's main equity index grew 12 percent this year in dollar terms, pushing it to the highest level since 2008, according to Bloomberg News. Investors are buying the cheapest stocks in Africa, confident that the Nigerian economy is set to recover and oil prices will stay high. "2018 is a story of return of Africa," Funmi Akinluyi, head of frontier and Africa listed equity investments at London-based Silk Invest, told AFP. "The fact that we've seen oil trade to about $69 (per barrel) gives comfort that results will...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Three people were killed and two others were critically injured in a Boko Haram attack in northeast Nigeria, a community leader and a resident said on Tuesday. Gunmen riding motorcycles and bicycles arrived in large numbers in Pallam village, in the Madagali area of Adamawa state, at about 11:30 pm (2230 GMT) on Monday. The attack was the first in Adamawa this year after a surge in hit-and-run raids and suicide bombings in recent months. "Five people fell victim to the attack: three were killed and two were critically injured and taken to hospital," said Maina Ularamu, a former Madagali local government chairman. Resident David Maigrai supported Ularamu's account and added: "They burnt several shops and many homes.
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
The Libyan capital's only working international airport remained closed to flights on Tuesday, the airport said, a day after fighting killed at least 20 people and damaged several planes. Mitiga airport said in a statement that all scheduled flights had been rerouted through the western city of Misrata. Mitiga airport, a former military air base on the eastern fringes of Tripoli, was evacuated on Monday after militiamen attacked it in an attempt to free colleagues held at a jail there. The health ministry of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) said 20 people were killed and 63 wounded in the clashes. It did not specify if the casualties were civilians or fighters. Five aircraft belonging to state-owned Afriqiyah Airways,...
(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 statement on Sunday more 54,000 people were displaced by the cyclone. In March 2017, Cyclone Enawo killed at least 78 people on Madagascar’s vanilla-producing northeastern coast.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - The nephew of assassinated Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat said on Monday he would not, as widely expected, challenge incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the presidential election because an environment of fear surrounds the vote. Sisi has yet to announce his candidacy but is widely expected to run and easily win a ballot slated for March 26-28. Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, whose uncle led a sweeping economic liberalization program and opened ties with Israel before his assassination in 1981, had previously said he was mulling a run. Though unlikely to upset Sisi’s campaign, it would have carried the weight of a household name likely to garner some support.
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Anti-riot police fired tear gas and beat protesters with batons Tuesday as hundreds of Sudanese demonstrated against soaring bread prices near a presidential palace in Khartoum, an AFP correspondent said. Bread prices have more than doubled after a jump in the cost of flour due to dwindling wheat supplies, after the government decided to stop importing grain and allow private companies to do so. The protest was the biggest in Khartoum since demonstrations erupted in some parts of the country earlier this month following the price increase. On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters poured into the streets near a presidential palace in central Khartoum after the opposition Communist Party of Sudan called for an anti-government rally. "No, no to hunger! No,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A ban on the adoption of Ethiopian children by foreigners could curb child abuse and trafficking, but more support is needed for vulnerable families within the impoverished country, experts said on Monday. Ethiopia is one the biggest source countries for international adoptions by U.S. nationals, with about 20 percent of all adopted children coming from the east African nation, according to the U.S. State Department. Hollywood celebrities Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among those who have adopted children from Ethiopia. Child rights groups cite cases of “child harvesting” where adoption agencies unethically recruit minors for adoption by fraudulently altering paperwork to cast children with families as orphans whose parents had died or abandoned them...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Tunisia said Monday more than 930 people have been arrested since social unrest erupted a week ago, fuelled by unemployment, corruption and austerity measures in the 2018 budget. "A total of 937 people are in custody" after acts of violence, theft or vandalism, interior ministry spokesman Khlifa Chibani told AFP. On Sunday, the North African country marked the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that gave birth to the Arab Spring. Chibani said 41 people aged between 13 and 19 were detained on Sunday amid fresh protests. The authorities say that in a week of clashes, 105 members of the security forces were injured, but no record of the number of protesters injured was available. One protester died last Monday in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian police arrested 41 more protesters after fresh violent protests against austerity measures in the North African country, the interior ministry said on Monday, bringing the number of arrested to around 850. Protests which started about a week ago erupted again on Sunday, fueled by anger at tax and price increases imposed by the government to cut a budget deficit. A Reuters witness saw youths throwing stones at police cars and setting fire to tires before security forces drove them back with tear gas in the Ettadamen district in Tunis last night. There were also protests in Kram district. On Monday, the situation was calm. ‬The movements (protests) were limited to Ettadamen, Daoura, Hicher and Kram in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda’s leading lawyers sought on Monday to overturn a law that critics say would allow incumbent leader Yoweri Museveni to effectively become president for life. The law, passed last month, scrapped a constitutional provision that limited the age of a presidential candidate to below 75 years. It clears the way for Museveni, 73, and president since 1986 to seek re-election in 2021 when the next polls are due. Francis Gimara, president of Uganda Law Society (ULS), told Reuters the lawyers petitioned in court on Monday to nullify the law. “The overall climate in which that bill was discussed and passed ... was wrong,” Gimara said, citing a security raid on parliament and insufficient consultations with the people...

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