Friday 17 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
The death toll from massive flooding in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown climbed to 312 on Monday afternoon, the local Red Cross told AFP. Red Cross spokesman Patrick Massaquoi told AFP the toll could rise further as his team continued to survey disaster areas in Freetown, where heavy rains have caused homes to disappear under water and triggered a mudslide.
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
At least 180 people were killed and more than 2,000 left homeless when a mudslide and heavy flooding hit Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, on Monday, leaving hospitals struggling to cope. An AFP journalist at the scene saw bodies being carried away and houses submerged in two areas of the city, where roads were turned into churning rivers of mud and corpses washed up on the streets. Mohamed Sinneh, a morgue technician at Freetown's Connaught Hospital, said "at least" 180 bodies had been received so far, many of them children, leaving no space to lay the dead because of the "overwhelming" number of corpses at the facility. More bodies were taken to private morgues, Sinneh said. Disaster management official Candy Rogers...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
DAKAR (Reuters) - At least 179 bodies have been brought to the central morgue in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, after a mudslide in the outskirts of the city on Monday morning, the Red Cross said. The death toll is expected to rise as more bodies are recovered, Red Cross spokesman Abu Bakarr Tarawallie said by telephone.
(The Guardian 08/14/17)
More than 2,000 estimated homeless as mudslide on outskirts of capital Freetown submerges houses and turns streets into churning rivers. Hundreds of people are thought to have been killed in a mudslide on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown. A hillside in Regent, a mountainous town 15 miles east of Freetown, collapsed in the early hours of Monday morning after heavy rains, leaving hundreds of people trapped. Morgues in the capital have been overwhelmed with bodies, while relatives have been left to dig through the mud in search of their loved ones’ remains. Death tolls are unconfirmed, though the International Federation of Red Cross reports that 312 have been killed, and more than 1,000 affected. Disaster officials in Sierra...
(Xinhuanet 08/14/17)
Over 200 corpses have been taken to the hospital after a heavy downpour caused mudslides in the mountain town of Regent in the western and other parts of Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, Head of the Connaught Hospital Motuary,Sinneh Kamara, has disclosed here Monday. The military and the police are currently engaged in a rescue mission and the number of fatalities might increase because ambulances are currently taking dead bodies to the mortuary. Relatives are at the mortuary, seeking to identify family members but they have been prevented by the military because the situation is very much chaotic at the moment.
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
Hundreds of people are feared buried in a mudslide on Monday in the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital, witnesses said. The mudslide happened in the early morning in the mountain town of Regent, where dozens of houses were submerged after a night of heavy rain. A death toll was not immediately available.
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(APA 08/08/17)
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of environmentally-sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes is due in Sierra Leone next week. The government has announced that Baskut Tuncak is to embark on a week-long visit to enable him gain first-hand understanding of human rights and their connection with the issue of the handling and disposal of toxic and other hazardous substances. Mr Tuncak is scheduled to arrive in Freetown on Monday 14 August and depart Friday 25 August, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said.
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
Street jogging with your chums is a sport enjoyed by millions around the world -- but not by police in Sierra Leone, who have just outlawed the practice. To the dismay of fun-runners, police in the west African state have banned group jogging in the street on the grounds that it encourages disruptive behaviour. "Police headquarters has observed with dismay that people are in the habit of jogging in large numbers along the streets with a hint of menace, raining insults, obstructing traffic, pounding on vehicles, playing loud music, and snatching property from other members of the public," the police announced. Their letter, dated July 27, said an "immediate ban on such activities" was being enforced "in line with the...
(The Guardian 07/28/17)
Abortion is illegal in Sierra Leone, with one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the world. Attitudes need to change to save the lives of young girls. I recently saw a girl in clinic with terrible complications following a caesarean section. The operation had been botched and she had an infection around her uterus. She was in terrible pain and critically unwell. This was in the children’s clinic; the girl was 14 years old. This scenario is all too common. She is just one of the thousands of adolescent girls estimated to have become pregnant this year in Sierra Leone. In 2013 the country had the 7th highest teenage pregnancy rate in the world, 38% of women aged...
(APA 07/28/17)
Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma will on Friday commission a landmark solar energy project of the Ministry of Energy Rural Renewable Electrification Project and funded by the UK. The Energy ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the project, which involved the installation of Solar Mini Grids in 54 Community Health Centres across the country, was part of a larger project designed to benefit over half a million Sierra Leoneans. Electrification of community health facilities is crucial in the efforts by the government and its partners to salvage the country's decrepit health sector. This renewable energy electrification project is being implemented by the United Nations Operations Services. Under it 50 more units are set for installation by 2020...
(APA 07/28/17)
The NGO Defence for Children International Sierra Leone (DCI-SL) on Thursday organized training for Paramount Chiefs and members of the Family Support Units (FSU) within the Sierra Leone Police in a bid to bridge a collaboration gap in the effort to prosecute sexual violence cases. The training was organized in the southern Moyamba District, one of the districts highly affected by this epidemic of sexual violence in Sierra Leone. A statement from the campaign group said the purpose of the training was to strengthen the relationship between Paramount Chiefs and FSU, which is responsible for handling gender and sexual based violence issues in the police. The participants were engaged on the management of their involvement in the investigation and prosecution...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as it shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States. The losses from the sale of unwanted assets including the Africa business showed the costs...
(APA 07/28/17)
The President of the Football Association of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Isha Johansen, says she is ending her four years term with the football sector better than she inherited it. "It has been an eventful four years in my life to say the least and one that will no doubt leave lasting memories in not just the lives and homes of people I hope I have brought meaningful and positive changes to, but it will mark the day when four years ago the first woman in the history of Sierra Leone was elected to lead a male-dominated industry in Sierra Leone- football," she told a news conference in Freetown on Thursday. "This is a feat very few are able to achieve...

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