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Showing posts from May, 2010

South Africa in World Cup migrant crackdown

Two years ago, South Africa was hit by a series of riots and xenophobic attacks targeting migrants from neighbouring African countries.

Now, with three weeks to the opening match of the football World Cup, many immigrants are living in fear.

They say they have been threatened with violence once the tournament is over.

Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Johannesburg.

Fighting famine in Niger

Niger is one of the poorest and most politically unstable countries in the world.

Now aid agencies are warning that entire regions in the West African country could be on the verge of a wide-scale famine.

Some families' survival depends on a plant called anza that grows in the wild.

Al Jazeera's Zeina Awad reports on what one community close to the capital, Niamey, is doing in order to survive.

Rugby unites races in South Africa

In a country where sport continues to be largely segregated by race, the arrival of thousands of white rugby fans into the South African township of Soweto could be hugely symbolic.

For many rugby fans, the trip marked their first time in Soweto - a township inhabited by mainly black South Africans.

And though the match may not have eroded racial tensions that still exist in the country, it gave some residents of Soweto the chance to see top class rugby on their doorstep.

Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Soweto.

The World Cup - what's in it for South Africa?

Meet Zakumi, the 2010 World Cup mascot, a South African leopard made...in China! In fact, all official World Cup paraphernalia is being made overseas, meaning that local businesses are losing out on the billions of rands of profits that should come with staging a World Cup in their backyard. Little wonder that the trade unions are angry...

Ethiopian polls open

Voting is underway in Ethiopia, in legislative elections that are set to be a stiff test of the country's democracy.

Menes Zelawi, the current prime minister, is expected to be returned as leader, after 19 years in power.

But the opposition is already crying foul, with memories of the 2005 election that led to widespread bloodshed still fresh in the minds of many Ethiopians.

While the opposition parties are already making claims of unfairness, the public mood does not seem to be in any way as charged as it was in the disputed 2005 poll.

Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons reports from Addis Ababa.
Related articles by ZemantaEthiopia 'ready' for crunch poll (news.bbc.co.uk)Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi looks for new term in office (guardian.co.uk)Ethiopians Vote in Election Marred by Intimidation Complaints (businessweek.com)Ethiopia Votes in Election Amid Intimidation Reports (Update1) (businessweek.com)

Has Algeria turned the page on terrorism?

Has Algeria turned the page on terrorism? Has the national reconciliation plan of PresidentAbdelaziz Bouteflika done what it set out to do? And what do victims of acts of terrorism think about an amnesty for those who committed those acts?..
Related articles by ZemantaChief of Algerian police killed by colleague (seattletimes.nwsource.com)

Bodies of 7 Samburu victims recovered

Seven bodies of people who drowned in river Seiya in samburu have been recovered. The victims were swept away when the seasonal river burst its banks following heavy rains pounding the area.

Egypt and Sudan oppose Nile deal

A controversial deal has been signed to share the waters of the world's longest river.

But Egypt and Sudan are not happy at four African countries signing a new deal on the Nile.

Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania signed the new framework on Friday while Kenya issued a support statement.

Ten nations share the resources of the river.

Colonial-era agreements gave the biggest share of water to the two downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan.

But as Al Jazeera's Mohamed Vall explains, upstream nations are now pushing for a greater share.

Hometown of Nigerian president looks to future

Nigeria's newly sworn-in president, Goodluck Jonathan, is expected to nominate his vice-president this week.

Back in Jonathan's home state of Bayelsa, people are still coming to terms with the fact that the area has produced a president for the first time.

He comes from one of the smallest ethnic groups in the countrys oil-rich and violent Niger Delta

Yvonne Ndege reports.

Nigeria power balance under watch

Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria's new president, who was sworn into office just days ago, is set to nominate a vice-president early next week for Africa's most populous nation.

But geopolitical divisions are expected to play a vital role in the nomination due to an unwritten rule of power balance between the predominantly Muslim north and majority Christian south.

The ruling People's Democratic Party has long maintained a geopolitical zoning system for choosing their leadership.

And now all eyes are on Jonathan, a Christian, as he prepares to choose a deputy.

Yvonne Ndege reports from Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

Zimbabwe elders bear Aids burden

Aids kills some 6,000 people each day in Africa - more than wars, famines and floods. Millions of children are orphans, many more live with HIV or Aids.

In Zimbabwe, almost 1.2 million children have been orphaned by HIV/Aids.

Many grandmothers, who assume responsibility for orphans, are living in absolute poverty, and struggling daily to provide for the numerous children under their care.

A Mother's Day Tribute

VOA's Ndimyake Mwakalyelye's very personal tribute to a remarkable lady, Author Vesta Sithole, her mom. For more information about Vesta Sithole's book, 'My Life with an Unsung Hero', go to: http://www.vestasithole.com.

Nigerian President Dead;The life of Umaru Yar'adua

Nigeria's president Umaru Yar'adua has died after a long illness.

He had been out of office since November last year, when he was flown to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment.

Yar'adua returned to the Nigerian capital in February, but never appeared in public.

Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege looks back at his life.

Eritrea accused of prisoner abuse

A former Eritrean prison guard says at least 15 former high-ranking government officials and journalists have died in jail due to inhumane conditions.

Eyob Bhata Habtemariam, who managed a team of up to 10 guards in two jails for political prisoners for over nine years, is seeking refuge in neighbouring Ethiopia.

He told Al Jazeera that inmates at the Eritrean jails had been subjected to extreme temperatures and provided with inadequate food, water or medical attention.

The detainees were arrested in a government crackdown on dissenting officials and journalists accused of plotting a coup in 2001.

Eritrea has not commented on Habtemariam's accusations.

Andrew Simmons reports from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

Nigeria contemplates the future

Goodluck Jonathan took over as Nigeria's acting president back in February, but he has little time to turnaround an electoral system known for being plagued by corruption.

Jonathan has remained silent about whether he will seek another presidential term not that Umaru Yar'Adua, the president, has died.

But many Nigerians say without Jonathan, the programme begun by Yar'Adua will remain unfinished.

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett reports.

Liberia tussles with foreign debtors

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia's president, has appealed to foreign debtors to allow her country time to emerge from a 25-year economic decline before attempting to recover millions of dollars owed by the country.

Her appeal came as part of an attempt to fend off the advances of a so-called "vulture fund", a company that buys up bad debts of poor governments before going to court to try to get the money back.

Egyptian workers demand more pay

Under Egyptian law, people found guilty of inciting or organising demonstrations without permission face jail terms of up to one year and hefty fines.

However, hundreds have gathered in downtown Cairo to protest against Egypt's high unemployment rate and the government's failure to increase the national minimum wage.

Controversy over World Cup anthem

Organisers of the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa are under fire for their choice of singer for the tournament's official anthem.

Instead of going for a South African, they have chosen Colombian pop star Shakira and that has not gone down well with locals.

Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Johannesburg.