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Showing posts from August, 2010

Political activism roaring in Egypt

At least 200,000 Egyptians have signed up on Facebook to back Mohamed ElBaradei, the former UN nuclear boss, who has said he wants to shatter 30 years of political stasis in Egypt by running for president.

Despite a surge in online support for political alternatives to President Hosni Mubarak, 82, who has been in power since 1981, even ardent supporters acknowledge that online activism in Egypt cannot deliver change without action on the streets.

'Crucial step'

Yusuf AbdelRahman, representing ElBaradei's Facebook group, said the petition had 54,870 online signatures so far but added that 15,000 Facebook members have volunteered to go on the streets of Cairo and other cities to collect more signatures.

"[This] is a crucial step considering that three decades of state repression has left many afraid of taking action. Others accept repressive measures as a fact of life," he said.

South African white traditional healers

To South Africa now - and the number of white traditional healers, or Sangomas, is on the rise in the country.

During Apartheid, the practice was made illegal.

But now it's big business, and some are unhappy that white South Africans are now practising traditional healing.

Al Jazeera's Rosie Garthwaite reports from Johannesburg

Inside Story - What next for Rwanda?

Rwanda holds its second presidential election since the brutal genocide of 1994. Paul Kagame, the incumbent president, is credited with restoring peace and stability to the country. But his re-election campaign has been overshadowed by allegations of political assassination and a crackdown on all opposition, whose parties were disqualified, leaving Kagame with no serious contenders.

Sowing seeds of hope in Niger

Large parts of Africa are blighted by drought, poor harvests and hunger, leaving many local residents reliant on external food aid.

But in Niger, a country which is facing a famine in some regions, one group of women are trying to grow a sustainable future.

Outrage over SA police corruption

Jackie Selebi, the former head of Interpol and the South African national police, is expected to be sentenced by a South African court on Tuesday.

Selebi was found guilty of corruption in July - the most senior official ever convicted in the country.

Al Jazeera's Rosie Garthwaite reports now on how Selebi's conviction is only the tip of the iceberg.

Leader of Sudan's Abyei region warns of new conflict

Talks between leaders of North and South Sudan have stalled over an upcoming referendum in the oil-rich region of Abyei.

As South Sudan holds a referendum on independence in January, Abyei will simultaneously vote on whether the region should belong to north or south Sudan.

But the parties cannot agree on who will be elegible to vote, and the leader of the region warns it could return to conflict if the issues are not resolved.

Niger fights prolonged drought

Niger's ruling military government is appealing for urgent assistance from the international community to help feed its people.

More than half of the country's population of 15 million are facing food shortages due to prolonged drought and crop failure and three million people are on the brink of starvation.

In the first of Al Jazeera's special series on Niger's drought crisis, Alan Fisher reports from Abala in the north of the country, where rain has come too late to save the region's animals.