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Showing posts from August, 2008

AIDS crisis in Malawi

Malawi is one of the countries worst affected by AIDS where at least seven per cent of the total population has been infected by the deadly virus. Al Jazeera's Maryam Namazee reports on why the Malawi government believes they have reduced AIDS-related deaths

Confusion over Yar’Adua’s health

The Punch: "THE seeming confusion over the health of President Umaru Yar’Adua, raged on Saturday as top Federal Government functionaries snubbed enquiries on the matter. All entreaties made to some key ministers, including that of Information, Mr. John Odey, did not yield any positive result. A similar effort to get the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe, to give clarifications on the condition of the President proved abortive."

Nigerian govt says President Yar'Adua healthy

International Herald Tribune : "ABUJA: Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua has received medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, a source in the presidency said on Sunday, but the government said he was in good health and fit to lead Africa's most populous nation. Yar'Adua, known to have a chronic kidney problem, travelled to Saudi Arabia two weeks ago for the Islamic obligation of Umrah, the lesser Hajj. He has cancelled a state visit to Brazil which he had planned to make after the Muslim pilgrimage"

320 arrested in Soweto crime blitz "About 320 people were arrested for various crimes in Moroka, Soweto during a crime combating operation, police said. Spokesperson Inspector Kay Makhubela said the operation started on Friday afternoon and ended yesterday. He said suspects were arrested for crimes ranging from murder, rape, possession of unlicensed firearms. 'Of the 320 suspects arrested 105 were nabbed for drinking in public,' he said. The suspects were expected to appear in the Protea, Roodepoort and Lenasia Magistrate's Court tomorrow, said Makhubela. -"

Zimbabwe doctors' advice: Don't get sick

International Herald Tribune : "HARARE, Zimbabwe: The advice of doctors to Zimbabweans is, don't get sick. If you do, don't count on hospitals — they are short of drugs and functioning equipment. As the economy collapses, the laboratory at a main 1,000-bed hospital has virtually shut down. X-ray materials, injectable antibiotics and anticonvulsants have run out. Emergency resuscitation equipment is out of action. Patients needing casts for broken bones need to bring their own plaster. In a country with one of the world's worst AIDS epidemics, medical staff lack protective gloves"

Tsvangirai Opens Up On Failed Deal

Tsvangirai Opens Up On Failed Deal : "MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday vowed to resist any pressure to sign an agreement that does not reflect the aspirations of Zimbabweans as he revealed intricate details of what transpired during the collapsed power-sharing talks. Shortly before he left for South Africa, Tsvangirai told The Standard he had a hard time during negotiations as he was pressured to sign a deal with President Robert Mugabe. He also revealed how tempers flared as they haggled over the roles they could assume in a new inclusive transitional government."

Opposition fighters gaining ground in Somalia

First they took Kismayo, a key port city, now they're making headway across southern Somalia. Opposition armed groups, including al-Shabab fighters and remnants of the Islamic Courts Union, are seizing control of the small southern town of Dhobley, near the Kenyan border. There's been a major comeback by Islamic groups in recent months and few in Somalia are complaining.

Narc Kenya pulls out of PNU elections

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation: : "NARC Kenya has issued a stern warning to its members planning to participate in Party of national unity elections slated for September 12 next month, saying they risk expulsion from the party. Speaking after the party's National Executive Council meeting at the coast, Narc Kenya chairperson Martha Karua said the party only recognizes PNU as a coalition of corporate members and therefore the planned elections are illegal. A show down now looms between NARC Kenya and Party of National Unity as NARC Kenya says it does not recognize individual membership of PNU, putting a strain on the already shaky relationship."

Kirsty Gets U.S. $100 000 "PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday honoured members of Team Zimbabwe 2008 -- the country's Beijing Olympics squad -- for their commendable performance at the Games that ended last week. With four medals, the 13-member Zimbabwe team was the fourth best on the continent after Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt."

MDC-T makes fresh demands

The Herald : "MDC-T, which pressured South African President Thabo Mbeki to reconvene talks, has demanded that Cabinet be co-chaired by President Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, open fresh negotiations on all issues that had been discussed and agreed to and complained about Tuesday’s official opening of Parliament. Zanu-PF has, however, made it clear that it would not engage in such useless discussions, a source close to the proceedings has revealed."

Goje to Refund N200m ‘Executive Pension’

THISDAY ONLINE "About four months after he paid himself N200 million pension, the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has asked Governor Muhammad Goje of Gombe State to refund the money. The Deputy Governor, Dr. John Lazarus Yoriyo, who also benefited from the largesse has also been asked to refund N100 million. The Commission, in a letter to Goje, dated August 18, 2008 and signed by its Chairman, Mr. Hamman Tukur, said the payment of pension allowance to both of them while still in office did not have the backing of the law."

SA mini-tsunami - quake blamed

News24 : "Cape Town - An undersea earthquake is believed to have triggered a mini-tsunami off the Cape west coast last week, causing noticeable fluctuations in tidal patterns, the National Sea Rescue Institute said on Wednesday, NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the earthquake caused a mudslide which caused the wave phenomenon known as a tsunami."

Ghost told Harmse to become a satanist, court hears

Mail & Guardian Online: "fellow schoolboy with a sword believes he was told by a ghost to become a satanist, the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday. Prosecutor Engela van Der Merwe read the court a letter from a psychiatrist who evaluated Morne Harmse (18) earlier this week while he was being held in Krugersdorp prison."

Chaos as Makongeni residents resist eviction

DAILY NATION - " Nairobi's Makongeni residents have began paying rent arrears owed to the Kenya Railways Corporation after waging day-long battles against riot police in attempts to resist eviction. However, a number of evictees who had their properties confiscated by the Corporation will be required to clear all monies owed before getting them back. The Kenya Railways hopes to collect Sh302 million in unpaid arrears for over two years from 2,800 residents. The rent collected from the houses is supposed to benefit Kenya Railways pensioners. Early this morning, a man was shot as police and scores of youth clashed when resident resisted eviction after a notice to pay lapsed. The riots spilled over onto Jogoo road and paralysed traffic."

Coup Alarm: PDP’s Noise and Need for Caution

THISDAY ONLINE "For the second time in one month, the Peoples Democratic Party openly accused the opposition parties of plotting to overthrow the Umaru Yar’Adua-led administration at the centre. Omololu Ogunmade chronicles the position of the PDP and the response of the opposition stressing that politicians on both divides need to learn from history"

Mugabe booed "Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was heckled and jeered by the opposition on Tuesday as he delivered his speech at the official opening of Parliament. Angry opposition MPs booed Mugabe when he declared that 'landmark agreements have been concluded with every expectation that everybody will sign up'. Opposition MPs later sang 'Zanu-PF is rotten' with a number of senior Movement for Democratic Change leaders present despite the party earlier indicating it would boycott the opening over the lack of progress in power-sharing negotiations."

Gunmen Hijack Oil Vessel, Hold 8 Hostage

THISDAY ONLINE "Unknown gunmen yesterday hijacked an oil supply vessel belonging to West African Offshore on the Bonny River with eight crew members on board. Nothing has, however, been heard of the whereabouts of the crew members said to be Nigerians since the attack."

Mt Elgon bodies: Residents plea to exhume

Daily Nation   The bodies are said to have been buried by Sabaot Land Defence Force militia during their two-year reign of terror in the district. The bodies were later taken to the Webuye district mortuary for DNA tests after the public viewed them to help in identification. The discovery has sparked anxiety among families with missing relatives. Meanwhile, relatives of the six who were exhumed at Soet village in Kopsiro last week are making funeral arrangements. Mr Jackson Kikai, whose son, Kennedy Kipruto, was among the victims, said he had finalised arrangements to bury his son today. Kipruto was a student at Bungoma High School. Kipruto’s body was retrieved from a pit latrine alongside that of a woman. Three women from Cheptis whose husbands went missing in March, plan to bury three skeletons found in the Mt Elgon forest. The women who were accompanied by a pathologist based at Moi University, Dr Wilbert Nalianya found the skeletons covered with clothes that they believed

Art of survival in Kinshasa

Fine Arts Academy students in the DR Congo capital Kinshasa have found another easy way to finance their studies and other daily expenses by selling their works.

Shifting sands

Part 1 Part2 Africa Uncovered travels to the Sahara desert in Niger to investigate the battle of ethnic Tuaregs - who have maintained their nomadic existence for thousands of years - against the goverment of Niger and the increasingly harsh environment they live in.

Marathon gold caps best ever Olympics for Kenya

DAILY NATION "Billions worldwide watched and applauded on Sunday as International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge presented Kenya’s Samuel Kamau Wanjiru with a gold medal for winning the men’s marathon race that brought the curtain down on a highly successful Beijing Olympic Games, both for the Chinese hosts and for Kenya."

EFCC Sacks 11 Officials Over Stealing, Forgery "The chairman ofthe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri, has taken the battle against corruption to her own house: she has ordered the dismissal of 11 officials of the commission for forgery and other fraudulent acts. Of the 11 dismissed officials, three were junior staff, four cadet officers, three senior staff and one management officer. According to a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr. Femi Babafemi, the affected officers were shown the door between August 2007 and August 2008."

Primary school kids to receive anti-bilharzia and anti-worms

Arusha Times : "The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in the country in collaboration with international sponsors has prepared a special program for “de-worming” and giving anti-bilharzia medication to six regions for children in primary schools in its second phase from 29/8/2008, according to the Arusha District Commissioner Evance Balama. Balama explained that Arusha district with 160 primary schools will have some 58,327 kids benefiting from the exercise and said a training seminar from two officials for each school would be held soon. Dr. Judith Msuya, the regional health officer assured the public that the drugs have been tested for their safety and validity as long as they are taken with a full stomach."

SA diplomats to visit Uganda detainees

News "The reason for the detention of two South Africans in Uganda would only be known after the SA High Commissioner there has visited them, hopefully on Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said. Spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said that so far no charges had been put to the two relief workers, and further information and decisions on a course of action would only be known once this visit had taken place."

Another Nigerian Murdered in London

THISDAY ONLINE "A Nigerian, Ezekiel Ojo, 24, was weekend shot dead in south London.He was killed just streets away from where a teenager was gunned down earlier this month. Police were called to Penrose Street in Southwark where they found Ojo. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A post mortem examination found the cause of death to be gunshot wounds to the chest. The attack followed the shooting of 18-year-old Ryan Bravo on August 6 as he entered a Costcutters store in Walworth, just a few streets away from Penrose Street."

Durban's new street names vandalised

Durban's new street names vandalised : "Traps will be set to catch 'right-wingers' vandalising new road signs in Glenwood, Durban's Deputy Mayor, Logie Naidoo said on Sunday night. The new signs that went up in Glenwood fired up some residents and sparked vandalism. The Willowvale Road sign, now called Albert Dlomo Road, was covered in black paint by vandals on Friday night"

Four students held for murder

News24 : "Bloemfontein - Four Bloemfontein students are expected to appear in court on a murder charge after a nightclub employee was stabbed to death in the city. The acting station commissioner of the Parkweg, Bloemfontein, police station, Director Koos Bonthuys, said on Sunday that Fani Bennet Moduane, 27, was found stabbed to death in the vicinity of the Stadium Inn Cafe at 04:00 on Saturday. Four Central University of Technology students were arrested in Heidedal."

Mbeki comes face to face with acute poverty "On the last of his two-day Imbizo to the North West, President Thabo Mbeki faced acute poverty with families barely making ends meet. The President was accompanied by several Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials. Mbeki heard dozens of complaints relating to poor service delivery from residents in Mogwase. Residents have appealed to the President to address problems ranging from lack of housing, poverty grants to acquiring identity documents. It was Mbeki's last North-West imbizo as head of State."

Bakassi handover|Nigeria’s burden, a people in disarray

The Sun News On-line "Nigeria would never be the same after last Thursday’s formal handover of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon. The landmark event, which was in obedience to an order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will remain evergreen in the memory of Nigerians. It finally put to rest the hope of ever reclaiming the long disputed oil-rich region from Cameroon, her Central African neighbour."

Taming child trafficking in Nigeria

SUNDAY TRIBUNE "According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of the sixth edition; a child is a young human being who is not yet an adult. Trafficking is also defined as an act of buying and selling things illegally. So, child trafficking is an inhuman act where children are being used unjustly as objects of business transaction and making profit by the greedy people that carry out this act. The children who fall victim of child trafficking usually come from very poor parents who are living mostly in rural areas. Such parents have been easily deceived by the traffickers who promise to take their children to school either abroad or in the urban cities because of the general thinking of the villagers that there are gold, silver, and diamonds scattered on the streets of the big city. Probably out of greediness they willingly give out their children with the prospect of getting rich through them."

Bakassi returnees allege starvation

The Tide Online : "Bakassi returnees of Akwa Ibom extraction have complained of hunger and ill-health in spite of efforts by the state and local governments to alleviate their sufferings. The returnees camped in schools and church buildings in Mbo, Oron, Okobo, Uruan, Udung Uko, Nsit Eket, Eket and Ibiono Ibom local government areas looked unfed as a result of food shortage. They also have no access to medical facilities."

‘How Nigeria Can Eradicate Poverty’

THISDAY ONLINE : "Nobel Laureate and acclaimed 'Banker to the Poor', Professor Muhammad Yunus, yesterday in Lagos said government’s quest to eradicate poverty in Nigeria can only be realised with a review of the current microfinance policy in the country."

Zimbabwean calls Mugabe a 'female genital organ'

Zimbabwean calls Mugabe a 'female genital organ' : "A 35-year-old man has appeared in court in a southern Zimbabwean town for allegedly describing President Robert Mugabe, the country's tyrannical 84-year-old leader, as a female genital organ. Pinas Magago was discussing politics with friends in a hotel bar in the town of Masvingo last week and accused Mugabe of running down the country, said the independent Standard newspaper."

Uganda confirms arresting SA citizens

The Times "The South African high commission in Uganda is applying for permission to visit two South Africans held in prison in that country. South African foreign affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said on Sunday that the commission would provide the two with consular assistance. Islamic relief workers Mufti Hussain Bhayat and Haroon Saley were reportedly detained early on Monday last week during a stopover at Entebbe International Airport in Kampala."

Ostriches not like garages...:

News24 : "Cape Town - Having your vehicle chained to another and guarded behind a locked gate by dogs and aggressive male ostriches is no substitute for a garage, a Sasolburg resident has discovered. Abrie Burger found these measures he had taken to protect his off-road vehicle when he parked it in his yard were not good enough for his insurance company when he submitted a claim after it was stolen."

Gun men abduct twins

Vanguard Online Edition : "Unidentified gun men yesterday abducted twins, Ebiere and Tariere Don at a super market on Ada George road. Police sources put their age at two years. A source said they were snatched from their father, Don Kennedy at the supermarket, adding that the gun men were about five who came in a vehicle. They reportedly shot sporadically to stop any resistance, in the process a stray bullet hit a passer by. At press time no group had claimed responsibility for the incident."

Fence saves kids from lion

News24 : "Kaapmuiden - A lion that was seen roaring at the gate of an Mpumalanga primary school during break on Thursday, has been captured and returned to the Kruger National Park. The lion was seen outside the gates to Siphumelele primary school in Kaapmuiden, near Malalane, sending children screaming into their classrooms."

Algeria stunned by bombings

Part 1 Part 2 Algeria is rocked by a series of bomb attacks, which kill over 50 people, and injure dozens more. It's the deadliest attack in recent years in the country - and the government's blaming Al Qaeda.

Egypt's house of parliament in flames

In Egypt, dozens of firefighters have been working to tackle a major blaze that's engulfed the country's upper house of parliament in Cairo. Rescue teams were hampered by a lack of water. Al Jazeera's Amr El-Kahky said the blaze was believed to have been started by an electrical short circuit.

Bomb attacks kill 11 in Algeria

PARIS: Two car bombs killed at least 11 people and wounded 31 others on Wednesday in the Algerian town of Bouira, a day after a suicide bombing killed 43 people and wounded 45 others in a neighboring region, according to the Algerian Interior Ministry. The bombs on Wednesday were aimed at the military command in Bouira and the nearby Hotel Sophie, the town's largest, witnesses told The Associated Press. The car bombs went off around 6 a.m. and appeared to be powerful, badly damaging the military compound and barracks in Bouira, about 60 miles southeast of Algiers. The bomb near the hotel exploded as a passenger bus drove by, according to the Algerian press agency APS.

Nyiragongo volcano: jewel or threat?

Report: Despite the visible military activity in the region, tourists continue to come to the Democratic Republic of Congo to hike to the top of Nyiragongo, a very active volcano symbolising destruction to the local population.

Africa Uncovered - Kenya: Horror and Hope

Amidst the mayhem of Kenya's post-election ethnic violence, one group of ethnically-mixed aspiring young journalists from Nairobi's Mathare slum decided to take up cameras instead of knives. Slum TV aimed to project some hope back into their scarred community. Africa Uncovered follows the team at Slum TV as they count down to a public screening and revisits some of the characters they filmed during the violence. Part 1 Part2

Ivory Coast: Probo Koala victims hopeless

Over two years after the dumping of deadly chemicals in Abidjan by the Probo Koala, the victims are losing hope and calling for urgent help to alleviate the strange diseases they got. Jules Dekagnan's wife is complaining of a throat disease and needs about €1000 to have his wife's case examined by doctors. She only received €300 in 2006 and is waiting for miraculous intervention from good-hearted people

Ethiopia: HIV clubs make sense but lack force

In Ethiopia, due to governmental policy every highschool has an HIV/Aids-clubs exist in all highschools. These clubs organize activities to create awareness among students. Dramas, discussions and information meetings are organized. A good initiative, but teachers complain about resources: the clubs lack budget, facilities and uptodate knowledge to really make the difference in battling the problem of HIV among the youth of the country.

Low-Income Women in Kenya Get Substandard Treatment

In Kenya, low-income women who give birth in public facilities are often verbally abused. They receive inferior medical care, frequently in unsanitary conditions, and they can even be detained for not paying their fees. These and other abuses were detailed in a late 2007 study of public maternity wards across the country. Cathy Majtenyi reports for VOA from Nairobi.

WIDE ANGLE | Birth of a Surgeon | PBS

Sub-Saharan Africa is the world's deadliest place to give birth. Each year over a quarter of a million women die in childbirth in the region. But Mozambique is combating high maternal death rates by implementing unconventional programs. In 2004, Mozambique introduced a new health care initiative to train midwives in emergency obstetric care in an attempt to guarantee access to quality medical care during pregnancy and childbirth. The film "Birth of a Surgeon" follows Emilia Cumbane, one of the first midwives-in-training. She performs cesareans and hysterectomies in makeshift operating rooms in rural Mozambique. The film captures one woman's story on the frontlines of improving maternal mortality but it also demonstrates how low-cost, community-based health initiatives are changing the face of public health in Africa. For more information visit

Africa Uncovered - Mauritania: Fat or Fiction - Part 2

When it comes to the notion of female beauty, Nouakchot to day is a place of contrast to most other world capitals. On these streets it is a fat woman who turns heads - not a thin one. In Mauritania slim is not 'in' - but is force-feeding a justifiable practice to meet the local beauty standard?

Africa Uncovered - Mauritania - Fat or Fiction

When it comes to the notion of female beauty, Nouakchot to day is a place of contrast to most other world capitals. On these streets it is a fat woman who turns heads - not a thin one. In Mauritania slim is not 'in' - but is force-feeding a justifiable practice to meet the local beauty standard?

Mauritania's political puzzle

The Mauritanian army puts soldiers on the streets of the capital, and the civilian leadership in detention, as it takes power of Mauritanian in a coup. The military junta deposed the government just over a year after country's first democratic elections since independence in the 1960's. The coup leaders promised to hold fresh elections "as soon as possible". Inside story asks: is it a set back for democracy? Or setting the right democratic path after a power struggle at the top? Part 1 Part 2

Lead kills children in Dakar's suburbs

Children have been dying of lead poisoning on the outskirts of the Senegalese capital. After years of informal car battery recycling in the area, the authorities have failed to protect the population from toxic effluents

Nairobi's US embassy attack victims ten years on

Ten years ago, car bombs exploded within minutes of each outside US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people and wounding thousands. It was the first time the world had heard of the alleged culprits, al-Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden, the network's leader. Days ago, the man most wanted for the bombings eluded capture in Kenya, but his relatives were arrested for harbouring him. The attacks dramatically changed the lives of the survivors. Mohammed Adow has been to meet some of them in Nairobi. The following story contains scenes some viewers might find distressing.

Mauritanian military stages coup

A military coup in Mauritania brings opposition supporters out in celebration, and puts the country's democratically elected leaders in jail. Mauritania, in the north-west of Africa, has been gripped by political uncertainty since its government faced a no-confidence vote last month. The president and other key leaders are being held by the army. The head of Mauritania's presidential guard has declared himself in charge. Al Jazeera's Dorsa Jabbari reports.

88-Year-Old is Oldest Student in Kenya

Kimani Ng'ang'a Maruge is the oldest man in Kenya to attend primary school. At the time of his enrollment four years ago, the Guinness Book of World Records listed him as being the oldest person in the world to start primary school. VOA followed him four years ago, when he first enrolled in elementary school. Reporter Cathy Majtenyi checked back with him recently, and has filed this report.

'Zuma trial will take SA to the brink'

IOL "Key backers of embattled ANC president Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday that the case against him was politically motivated and warned that his continued prosecution would take the country 'to the brink'. SACP Secretary-General Blade Nzimande said those who wanted to enter into political battle with Zuma should fight those battles politically." Zumamania grips South Africa(video) A South African court postpones a decision whether to dismiss fraud and corruption charges against president-in-waiting Jacob Zuma till September. Inside Story asks: Can Mr Zuma be president while facing corruption charges? What impact will the charging of Jacob Zuma with corruption have on the ANC? and What does this mean for South Africa? video below Zuma's corruption trial- Part one Zuma's corruption trial- Part two

Africa Uncovered- Right and Wrong part 1

With elections in South Africa less than a year away, far right extremists such as Eugene Terre'blanche are holding political rallies once again. Is there a danger of them shattering the image of the Rainbow Nation?

Fistula - Obstetric Care in Nigeria

In 2005, Freelance video journalist, Nina Alvarez was awarded an International Reporting Project (IRP) Fellowship. During her Fellowship she traveled to Nigeria to report on women's access to obstetric care. Warning: The following video includes graphic images that some viewers may find disturbing. For more international news stories by Fellows and information about The International Reporting Project (IRP) visit:

Sudan's political impasse - Part 2

The renewal of the UN peacekeeping force in the Darfur region has been complicated by the ICC's recent indictment of al-Bashir. Inside Story asks: is it a compromise for the sake of peace or is justice taking a back seat to realpolitik?

Douala people want killer factory relocation

The inhabitants of the Cameroon business capital have been urging their government to order the relocation of Sic Cacao, a chocolate factory located in the heart of the city. Many cases of bronchitis and other respiratory infections have been reported as a consequence of the inhalation of the toxic powder that the residents of the nearby districts have been exposed to.

Deadly Bomb Blast in Somali Capital

20 people are dead in Somalia's capital after a bomb hidden under a pile of garbage exploded on a main road. An eyewitness said at least ten female street cleaners were among the dead...Another 47 injured.Hospital officials say most were women and children ... Many in critical condition.In a separate attack in the northern part of the city ... witnesses report Islamic insurgents targeting military bases of Somali government troops and Ethiopian allies.A resident said he saw the bodies of three government soldiers lying in the street. Authorities could not immediately be reached for comment on those attacks.The explosion comes on the heels of last month's peace agreement ... fueling power struggles between the transitional government and Islamic insurgents. Somalia has been engaged in civil war since for more than 15 years.