Information round to clock

    • Tuesday 16 October
    • Ethiopian Airlines to resume flights to Somalia after four decades

      - 15h08

      Ethiopian Airlines will resume its flight to Mogadishu, Somalia, effective from 2 November 2018, the airliner said on Tuesday in a statement.The resumption of the service to Somalia came 41 years after Ethiopian Airlines Group stopped its route to Mogadishu in the 1970s.

      Tewolde Gebremariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, said “It gives us a great pleasure to resume flights to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia after stopping the service over four decades ago.”

      “I wish to express my gratitude to the Governments of Ethiopia and Somalia for making the resumption of these flights possible,” he added.

    • Nigeria calls for closure of safe havens for illicit assets

      - 15h06

      Nigeria has called for the elimination of safe havens for stolen assets and illicit financial flows to free up resources for sustainable development of the affected countries.Speaking at an ‘Interactive Dialogue for Sustainable Development’ at the Economic and Financial Committee of the UN General Assembly in New York, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Amb. Tijjani Bande, also called for the unconditional return of such assets and funds to their countries of origin.

      According to the foreign affairs ministry, the Nigerian envoy said: “In this regard, it is important that safe havens that create incentives for the transfer abroad, of stolen assets and illicit financial flows, are eliminated.

    • 30 killed over two months in fighting in C.Africa diamond hub: UN

      - 15h00

      At least 30 civilians were killed in August and September by armed groups in and around Bria, the diamond hub of the restive Central African Republic, the UN said, adding that some of the killings could constitute crimes against humanity.

      The militias have been battling one another ever since the 2013 overthrow of long-time leader Francois Bozize, a Christian, by majority-Muslim coalition of militias called the Seleka.

    • African health researchers in partnership to achieve SDGs

      - 14h58

      The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS), German government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday announced a transformative partnership to support African investigators to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for health.The announcement was made in Berlin, Germany, at the 2018 grand challenges annual meeting that aims to builds momentum for global health and development innovation and foster scientific collaboration among international groups and researchers.

      “The partnership with the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research represents another giant and solid step to catalyse breakthroughs from African innovators, who understand best the local problems and can deliver home-grown solutions for developmental and health challenges,” AAS’ president Felix Dakora said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

    • Since men have failed Nigeria, give women a chance”, says presidential candidate, Adesanya-Davies

      - 14h54

      A female presidential candidate, Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies, has called on Nigerian men to give women a chance to lead the country since they’ve failed for decades.

      The candidate said a woman should be allowed to emerge as the country’s next president in the 2019 presidential election.

      While addressing Nigerian students as part of the celebration of World Students’ Day on Monday, October 15, 2018, she called on President Muhammadu Buhari and another presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to step down for her.

    • Monday 15 October
    • Merkel coalition faces post mortem on Bavaria poll debacle

      - 11h10

      The three parties in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fragile coalition government on Monday were facing up to an election debacle in the southern state of Bavaria.

      The Christian Social Union (CSU) from Merkel’s conservative camp took a 10-point dive in Sunday’s vote to lose its absolute majority in the Alpine state it has ruled since the 1960s.

      And the other coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), dropped below 10 percent, halving their support in their worst ever result in any state poll.

      The biggest winner was the Greens, who surged to become the second strongest party with 18 percent, while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) celebrated its entry into the state assembly with 10 percent.

      The Sueddeutsche daily commented that Merkel’s alliance faces “a fight for its survival”, following the dramatic losses of the “so-called people’s parties” as big-tent political groupings are known in Germany.

    • British royals arrive on landmark trip Down Under

      - 11h08

      Prince Harry and Meghan touched down in Sydney on Monday, kicking off a bumper Pacific tour that is the British royals’ first major outing abroad as a couple.

      The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a low-key arrival to a wet and wintery Australia after a weekend spent celebrating the marriage of their relative Princess Eugenie and following an overnight commercial flight with Qantas.

      They were seen leaving the airport with staff, looking relaxed, as Meghan clutched a pair of purple binders and Harry carried a brown and green manbag.

      Their more-than-two-week official visit will take in multiple stops in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand — all parts of the Commonwealth, a group of predominantly former British colonies.

    • Zimbabwe needs #MeToo moment, says acclaimed author

      - 11h05

      Thirty years after her iconic debut novel, Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga is back with a final look at her heroine’s harrowing journey through the Mugabe years, hoping to spark debate about violence against women in her country.

      Often praised as a leading feminist voice, Dangarembga shot to fame in 1988 with “Nervous Conditions”, a coming-of-age story about a girl’s battle to escape poverty and get an education. The book became an instant classic.

      Since then, Dangarembga said little had changed for women in Zimbabwe.

      “Women are still being silenced,” she told AFP at the Frankfurt book fair where she presented “This Mournable Body”, the final instalment in the trilogy featuring her bowed-but-not-broken protagonist Tambudzai.

      As in real life, the book describes a country where women “suffer disproportionally” and abuse by men is so normal it barely registers as gender violence, Dangarembga said.

    • As rape crisis grows, South African pupils learn how to fight back

      - 11h03

      In a classroom in the South African township of Soweto, girls listen carefully, knowing they need to learn how to avoid the threat of rape that hangs over their daily lives.

      “You are going to pretend that it is the rapist’s testicles,” says trainer Dimakatso Monokoli, holding out a padded target.

      An 11-year-old girl charges without flinching and delivers a powerful knee slam.

      It is part of a day of self-defence and rape avoidance strategies taught at the Thabisang school, where chairs and desks have been pushed back to the pink walls of the classroom.

      Official statistics suggest that more than 110 rapes are recorded by the police every day in South Africa.

      But such numbers are widely seen as inaccurate due to under-reporting. Some studies suggest only one in 13 rapes is reported to the police.

      Recent news stories have triggered fresh horror among South Africans over the prevalence of rape.

      In September, a 17-year-old was raped in a hospital maternity ward by a man pretending to be a doctor one day after she had given birth.

      Around the same time, a seven-year-old girl was raped in the toilets of a popular chain restaurant in the capital Pretoria, with a video footage emerging of the naked man moments after the attack.

      For the African National Congress Women’s League, drastic action is needed.

      “We have tried our best… there’s nothing that seems to lower (the number of attacks). Hence, we are calling for chemical castration,” ANCWL secretary general Meokgo Matuba said after the two rapes.

      – Spotting the risk –

      Back in another classroom in Soweto, Monokoli teaches not only self-defence, but how girls can read and react to potentially risky situations.

      “Don’t ever, ever make the mistake of being in the same room as someone you don’t feel comfortable with because your guts have warned you,” she says.

      “They have sent a message — you are not supposed to be alone with that person.”


    • Merkel coalition faces post mortem on Bavaria poll debacle

      - 10h56

      The three parties in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fragile coalition government on Monday were facing up to an election debacle in the southern state of Bavaria.

      The Christian Social Union (CSU) from Merkel’s conservative camp took a 10-point dive in Sunday’s vote to lose its absolute majority in the Alpine state it has ruled since the 1960s.

      And the other coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), dropped below 10 percent, halving their support in their worst ever result in any state poll.

      The biggest winner was the Greens, who surged to become the second strongest party with 18 percent, while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) celebrated its entry into the state assembly with 10 percent.


    • Prince Harry and wife Meghan expecting a baby: official

      - 10h54

      Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a baby in the spring of 2019, they announced on Monday as they began a Pacific tour.

      “The Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the spring of 2019,” their Kensington Palace residence said in a statement.

      “Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public,” it said.

      Harry and Meghan, a former US actress, wed in a fairytale setting at Windsor Castle on May 19.

    • Thursday 11 October
    • IMF chief defends rate hikes after Trump slams ‘crazy’ Fed

      - 15h22

      IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday defended central bank rate hikes in a veiled rebuke to Donald Trump after the US president blamed “crazy” Fed policies for contributing to financial market turmoil.

      Lagarde spoke as a global market sell-off rolled into Asia following Trump’s comments, underscoring the rising financial volatility that the IMF will address at its annual meetings with the World Bank this week in Bali.

      Lagarde, 62, said central bank rate increases such as those by the policy-setting US Federal Reserve were justified by fundamentals — as several central bankers pointed to their need for independence.

      “It is clearly a necessary development for those economies that are showing much improved growth, inflation that is picking up… unemployment that is extremely low,” Lagarde told a press briefing in Bali.

    • Kenya’s economy poised to rise to 5.7 percent in 2018 – World Bank

      - 15h21

      kenya’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is projected to rise to 5.7 percent in 2018 – up from 4.9 percent in 2017 – and continue to increase steadily to 5.8 percent in 2019, and 6.0 percent in 2020, the World Bank’s 18th Kenya Economic Update released on Thursday revealed.The economic update: “In Search of Fiscal Space – Government Spending and Taxation; Who Benefits?” attributes the rebound to a recovery in agriculture, steady pick-up in industrial activity and continued robust performance of the services sector.

      The pick-up in Kenya’s economy is also reflected in improved household consumption and a developing recovery in private investment.

      Household consumption is supported by strong remittance inflows and improved rains which had led to better harvests and lower food prices.

    • Zimbabwe union leaders arrested before planned march: lawyers

      - 15h19

      Zimbabwe police arrested trade union leaders and scores of activists nationwide on Thursday ahead of planned marches over the country’s worsening economic crisis, lawyers said.

      Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesman Kumbirai Mafunda told AFP that Peter Mutasa, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) — the country’s largest trade union — was among those detained, along with activists in three major towns.

      Mutasa had called for protests in Harare on Thursday despite a police ban on public gatherings in the capital due to a recent cholera outbreak.

    • China says US seeks to ‘disturb’ Xinjiang policies

      - 15h17

      China on Thursday accused the United States of seeking to “disturb” its security policies after a US congressional report said Beijing’s mass internment of Muslim minorities may constitute “crimes against humanity”.

      The report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China described the situation of human rights in China as “dire” and worsening, a trend epitomised by the internment of as many as one million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in the far west Xinjiang region.

      In response, China’s foreign ministry characterised reports of its policies in the region as “rumours and groundless accusations”.

    • Tuesday 09 October
    • North Korea wants Pope to visit, South to tell Vatican

      - 12h20

      North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has invited Pope Francis to visit, saying he would be “ardently welcomed”, South Korea’s presidency said Tuesday, adding it would pass on Pyongyang’s message to the Vatican.

      South Korean President Moon Jae-in will have an audience with the Pope during a visit to the Vatican from October 17 to 18.

      “During the meeting with Pope Francis, he (Moon) will relay the message from chairman Kim Jong Un that he would ardently welcome the pope if he visits Pyongyang,” Moon’s spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, told reporters.

      Moon is embarking on a nine day tour of Europe from October 13 to 21 that will include stops in France, Italy and Denmark on top of the Vatican.

    • MTN may get respite over repatriation of $8.1bn order

      - 12h18

      The crisis over inappropriate repatriation of $8.1 billion by telecom giant, MTN, is heading for amicable settlement.The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it is expecting the issue to be dealt with “amicably and equitably”.

      The bank is likely to reduce the $8.1 billion it ordered MTN Nigeria to return to Nigeria as negotiation on the disagreement reaches the peak.

      The Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, is reported to have said in London that “I don’t think it will be staying at $8.1 billion.

    • US-China trade war sparks IMF global growth cut warning

      - 12h16

      The US-China trade war will hobble global growth, the International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday, cutting its forecast for this year and next and predicting that “everyone is going to suffer” from a clash between the world’s two biggest economies.

      At a meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali, the IMF painted a cautious picture for the near future, saying trade tensions and rising debt levels could dent China and the US — and leave developing economies especially vulnerable to sudden stresses.

      “There is no denying that the susceptibility to large global shocks has risen,” the IMF’s top economist Maurice Obstfeld told reporters after the fund cut its outlook for global GDP growth by 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 percent for 2018 and 2019.


    • Stigma, blame means African women wary to say #MeToo

      - 12h07

      The #MeToo campaign has given mostly Western women confidence to speak up about violence at the hands of men, but in Africa women say stigma and victim-blaming still keep many silent.

      Fiercely patriarchal societies and religious and traditional views on the role of women means even complaining about domestic violence is an uphill battle, let alone bringing down abusive men in power, activists say.

      In Kenya, a confident and bubbly 40-year-old psychologist — who, tellingly, asked to remain anonymous — told AFP she was stunned when a former boyfriend slapped her in the face in front of his family.

      Their reaction was that he had a “hot temper”.

    • COBAC issues notice to seven banks in Central Africa

      - 12h04

      The Central African Banking Commission (COBAC) has pinpointed the management of banking institutions and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) operating within the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), including seven banks in default, APA learned on Thursday from the main regulator.According to the statement to APA, COBAC, which met in an ordinary session under the chairmanship of its president, Abbas Mahamat Tolli, Governor of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), examined the banking sector’s situation as of June 30, 2018 and the EMF as of March 31, 2018.

      In examining the situation of credit and microfinance institutions in “difficulty and in breach of regulations,” the banking commission decided “to apply reorganisation, restructuring and liability clearance measures to certain taxable institutions and to open disciplinary proceedings against other institutions and their corporate officers.”

    • Monday 08 October
    • Melania Trump rounds off Africa tour in Egypt

      - 14h02

      US First Lady Melania Trump held talks in the Egyptian capital Saturday on the final leg of a solo four-nation tour of Africa that will also see her visit the Pyramids.

      The low-key tour, during which she has made no comment to reporters, has contrasted with the political tumult back home where her husband was set to score a big political win after days of acrimonious deadlock inside and outside the Senate over his Supreme Court pick.

      The former model stepped off a plane at Cairo international airport wearing high-waisted white pants, a pleated white shirt and a black tie with a beige jacket hung over her shoulders.

      She was welcomed by Egyptian First Lady Intissar Amer al-Sisi, an observant Muslim who wore an ankle-length blue dress and matching headscarf.

    • Friday 05 October
    • Syria families demand regime action to free IS hostages

      - 16h26

      The families of Druze hostages held by the Islamic State group rallied for a third day Friday to demand action by the Syrian government to free them, witnesses said.

      The jihadists abducted around 30 people — mostly women and children — from the southwestern province of Sweida in late July during the deadliest attack on Syria’s Druze community of the seven-year civil war.

      On Friday, a handful of people gathered for a sit-in at the government’s provincial headquarters in Sweida, a reporter in the city told AFP.



    • EU chief Juncker raises spectre of new Balkans war

      - 16h20

      European Union Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday warned of a new war in the Balkans if Bosnia, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo do not feel the EU is serious about offering them future membership.

      “If, in Europe’s highly complicated landscape, the impression arises that we’re not serious about offering the prospect of EU membership to the western Balkans, then we might see later — and probably even sooner — what we saw in Balkans in the 1990s,” Juncker said in a speech to the Austrian parliament.

    • Thursday 04 October
    • Nigeria: NCC to educate telecom consumers on their rights

      - 16h50

      The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has resolved to give priority to the education of telecom consumers on their rights.Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, said at the ongoing Abuja International Trade Fair that such education would help consumers to make informed choices in the use of ICT services as well as to protect their rights and privileges.

      The Nigerian telecommunication regulator said that consumers deserved to get value for their money and be treated as very important stakeholder in the scheme of things.

      He said the NCC was participating in the fair to promote a major campaign, dedicated to the welfare of the consumer, which the commission launched on March 15, 2017

    • Nigeria to intensify research to boost bio-energy

      - 16h48

      Nigeria’s National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) has said it will intensify effort through biotechnology Research and Development (R&D) to boost bio-energy production.Prof. Alex Akpa, Acting Director-General, the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), who made this known at a roundtable on Exploring Investment Opportunity in Biotechnology and Bio-energy Development in Abuja, said that such effort was necessary to meet the huge energy needs in the country.

      Akpa said that the agency was ready to partner with relevant stakeholders to increase bio-energy production in the country in order to improve Nigeria’s bio- economy.

    • HIV-positive mother donates liver to save her child’s life

      - 16h47

      Faced with the only chance to save a child’s life, doctors in South Africa have performed a medical first — transplanting part of the liver from a HIV-positive mother to her HIV-negative child, it was announced Thursday.

      The doctors at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg revealed that, one year after the operation, the child may not have caught the virus from her new liver.

      The child had a terminal liver disease and would have died without the transplant.

    • Wednesday 03 October
    • ‘More African’: eSwatini adapts to contentious name change

      - 11h04

      US First Lady Melania Trump on Tuesday kicked off her first major solo trip in Ghana’s capital Accra, aiming to cast a positive light on her embattled husband’s administration.

      A relaxed-looking Trump smiled and waved as she stepped off an overnight flight from Washington to be met on the red carpet by her Ghanaian counterpart Rebecca Akufo-Addo.

      She beamed as she was welcomed by a troupe of traditional drummers and dancers. “Thank you very much,” she said with a smile.

      The former model, whose choice of clothing is keenly watched, changed from a safari-inspired departure outfit of suede trench coat and leopard print heels to a red and white striped dress with white pumps by the time she arrived in West Africa.

    • Saudi journalist and govt critic ‘missing in Turkey’

      - 10h58

      A veteran Saudi journalist who has been critical of the government has gone missing after visiting the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported.

      Jamal Khashoggi, who writes opinion pieces for the Post, has not been seen since entering the consulate in the afternoon, according to his fiance who accompanied him but waited outside until it closed, the newspaper said.

      Khashoggi, a former government advisor who went into self-imposed exile in the United States last year to avoid possible arrest, has been critical of some of the policies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Riyadh’s intervention in the war in Yemen.

      “We have been unable to reach Jamal today and are very concerned about where he may be,” the Post’s international opinions editor Eli Lopez said in a statement.

    • Japan space probe launches new robot onto asteroid

      - 10h42

      A Japanese probe launched a new observation robot towards an asteroid on Wednesday as it pursues a mission to shed light on the origins of the solar system.

      The Hayabusa2 probe launched the French-German Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, or MASCOT, towards the Ryugu asteroid’s surface, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said.

      “We can confirm that the MASCOT separated from the spacecraft as planned,” the agency said in a tweet on its official account.

      It was not clear how long it would take for confirmation of the robot’s safe landing on the asteroid, where it is expected to collect a wide range of data.

    • UN court to rule on Iran bid to halt US nuclear sanctions

      - 10h39

      The UN’s top court will rule Wednesday on Iran’s bid to suspend crippling US sanctions reimposed by President Donald Trump after he pulled out of the international nuclear deal with Tehran.

      The International Court of Justice in The Hague will hand down its decision at 0800 GMT in a case which threatens to plunge relations between Washington and Tehran to a new low.

      Tehran dragged Washington to the International Court of Justice in July, saying the United States had breached a 1955 “friendship treaty” that predates Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

      Trump slapped a first round of sanctions on Iran in August after pulling out in May of a historic deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. A second round of punitive measures is due in November.

      Iran called on the ICJ judges to order the immediate suspension of Trump’s unilateral move to reimpose economic sanctions, a move that also alarmed Washington’s EU allies.

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