Information round to clock

    • Thursday 22 November
    • Africities: Moroccan varsity to launch Master’s program in City Management

      - 09h39

      The Moroccan University Al Akhawayn, based in the city of Ifrane, 200 km from Rabat, has announced its decision to introduce the Executive Master in City Management (EMCM) program designed for officials specialized in the management of territories.

      In a statement published at the eighth Africities Summit, being held in Marrakech, Al Akhawayn Unversity indicated that this flexible and adaptable Master’s program will last 12 months (450-495 hours of training) for territorial management professionals wishing to deepen their understanding of the new global and African geopolitical context of decentralization, local governance and development in the Southern Hemisphere.

      The curriculum will enable the beneficiaries to acquire advanced skills in the effective management of African cities, especially in terms of development and planning.

      Resorting to high-profile teachers and practitioners from different backgrounds (Africa, Europe and America), EMCM combines classroom courses and online classes.

    • African great Drogba retires from football

      - 09h36

      Ivory Coast and Chelsea great Didier Drogba announced his retirement on Wednesday after a 20-year career.

      The 40-year-old scored 164 goals in 381 appearances for Chelsea, winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the 2012 Champions League, while he is also Ivory Coast’s all-time record goalscorer with 65.

      Drogba most recently played for Phoenix Rising in the United Soccer League.

      “I wanna thank all the players, managers, teams and fans that I have met and made this journey one of a kind,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter.

      “If anyone tells you your dreams are too big, just say thank you and work harder and smarter to turn them into a reality.”

    • US judge drops doctor genital mutilation charges

      - 09h35

      A US judge has dropped federal female genital mutilation charges filed against a Michigan doctor, ruling that Congress overstepped its authority in prohibiting a practice best left to state courts.

      In what was hailed a landmark case, Jumana Nagarwala was charged in April 2017 with performing the widely condemned practice on nine girls at a clinic in Livonia, Michigan over a span of 12 years.

      But in a decision filed Tuesday, Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that Congress had “overstepped its bounds by legislating to prohibit FGM.”

      Instead the practice should be considered a “‘local criminal activity’ which, in keeping with longstanding tradition and our federal system of government, is for the states to regulate, not Congress,” he wrote.

    • No room for climate delay, UN chief tells online summit

      - 09h33

      The world is not moving fast enough to curb global warming and needs immediate action to address the issue, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told an online climate change conference Thursday.

      Guterres issued the call to arms ahead of next month’s COP24 climate talks in the southern Polish city of Katowice, which will attempt to revive a global climate deal reached in Paris in 2015.

      Addressing the Virtual Climate Summit, Guterres urged world leaders to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

      He praised the online summit, which has been organised by the Marshall Islands using online technology to remain carbon neutral, as an example of the innovative thinking needed to combat climate change.

    • US troops limited to batons on Mexico border

      - 09h23

      US troops stationed on the border with Mexico ahead of the expected arrival of a Central American migrant caravans can intervene to quell violence but will be armed only with batons, Defense Minister Jim Mattis said on Wednesday.

      The White House has given almost 5,800 troops posted along the frontier guidance that they can come to the aid of any Customs and Border Protection agents who come under attack, Mattis told reporters.

      But even if migrants try to force their way through border posts, they will likely be met by military police with shields and batons, with “no armed element going in,” he added.

      In all, some 8,000 migrants are currently crossing Mexico in several caravans, according to the Mexican interior ministry.

    • Tuesday 20 November
    • Uganda: Police fingerprinting all firearms in the country

      - 14h39

      The Uganda Police Force has embarked on a firearm fingerprinting exercise, in a bid to solve gun-related crimes in the country.The exercise began in Kampala Metropolitan Areas, and is to be rolled out across the country.

      A Uganda police statement released Tuesday said all firearms are to be subjected to the Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS).

      “The IBIS is an automated ballistics imaging and analysis system that populates a computerized database of digital ballistic images of bullets and casings from crime guns.

    • Nine farmers killed in Boko Haram attack in Nigeria

      - 14h37

      Boko Haram members have killed nine farmers and abducted 12 others in a village in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, the cradle of the jihadist movement, locals told AFP Tuesday.

      On Monday, they stormed into fields outside Mammanti village, opening fire on farmers as they worked, killing nine and injuring three others.

      “We recovered nine dead bodies after the attack,” the village chief Muhammad Mammanti said.

    • Nigeria: Four persons killed in bank robbery

      - 14h28

      The police in Ekiti state in south-western Nigeria have confirmed that four persons were killed during a robbery of a bank in Ijero-Ekiti in Ijero Local Government Area of the state.The robbers invaded the town at about 6 p.m. after workers had closed on Monday.

      They were said to have first attacked the police station in the town before heading to the first generation bank in an ambulance containing a casket loaded with guns.

      At the police station, the robbers killed two policemen on duty, a security guard at the bank, and an aged man who was passing by at the time of the attack.

    • European court urges Turkey to free pro-Kurdish leader

      - 14h27

      The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday called on Turkey to release pro-Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtas, ruling his detention since 2016 on terror charges was aimed at “stifling pluralism”.

      Demirtas, one of two former co-leaders of the leftist pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), was arrested in November 2016 over his alleged links to Kurdish militants.

      At the time of his arrest the charismatic politician dubbed the Kurdish Obama was a member of parliament.

    • Nissan shares plunge as Ghosn faces ouster after arrest

      - 14h26

      Nissan and Mitsubishi shares plunged Tuesday after chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested for alleged financial misconduct, that reportedly included exorbitantly priced houses and diverted compensation.

      The two automakers have already said they will propose removing Ghosn, and Renault — which the titan also heads — said it would meet later in the day to discuss his fate.

      The arrest of the superstar executive sent shockwaves through the auto industry and beyond, and Japanese officials scrambled to send reassuring messages about the stability of the three-firm alliance that Ghosn oversaw.

    • Friday 16 November
    • African countries urged to ratify Charter on values and principles

      - 08h18

      The first conference of state parties to the African Charter on values and principles and administration ended on Wednesday evening in Nairobi, having adopted several resolutions and a call to African countries that have not ratified the Charter to do so at the earliest opportunity.

      The two-day conference, attended by 16 member states out of 17 that have ratified the charter, adopted reporting guidelines on its implementation, appropriate strategies for the universal ratification and planning for the second conference of state parties.

      Based on the experts’ meeting report, the conference also reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of the Charter, and effectively in accordance with objective and the purpose of the instrument.

    • Thursday 15 November
    • ECOWAS decries slow pace of tackling human trafficking in member countries

      - 14h09

      The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) is unhappy over the slow pace in the implementation of policies to tackle human trafficking.The sub-regional body said unless member-states took steps to implement the policies, human trafficking in the sub-region would continue to increase.

      Mrs. Chioma Nwana of Social Affairs and Gender Department, ECOWAS, expressed the disgust at the First Africa Regional Conference of the Santa Marta Group in collaboration with the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN), on Wednesday in Abuja.

    • Chileans jailed for killing Malaysian man

      - 14h08

      Two Chilean tourists who killed a Malaysian man in a fight in a hotel lobby shortly after they arrived in the country on holiday were sentenced to two years in prison Thursday.

      Fernando Candia, a 32-year-old chef, and Felipe Osiadacz, 28, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of culpable homicide over the August 4 death in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

      The two Chilean men were initially charged for murder which in Malaysia still carries the death penalty — if found guilty they would have faced execution by hanging.

    • Nigerian state governors kick against N30,000 minimum wage

      - 14h07

      The governors in 36 states of Nigeria have re-strategised and would dialogue with President Muhammadu Buhari on the new national minimum wage of N30,000.The governors, who have expressed their inability to pay the minimum wage, are pushing their agenda through the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

      To drive the process, the forum has constituted a committee to meet the president to work out a formula to quickly resolve the issues.

      The Chairman of the forum and Governor of Zamfara, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Yari, said on Wednesday at the end of an emergency meeting of the governors.

    • Pence says Trump-Kim meeting likely in New Year, won’t accept broken promises

      - 14h06

      Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un will likely meet again after New Year, the US vice president said Thursday, but insisted his government would not repeat past mistakes where “promises are broken.”

      The US president and the North’s leader held a historic summit in Singapore earlier this year, signing a vaguely worded deal on denuclearisation.

      North Korea has taken some steps since then — forgoing nuclear and missile tests, dismantling a missile test site and promising to also break up the country’s main nuclear complex if the US makes concessions.

    • Africa’s Largest Mobile Network To Sell $20 ‘Smart Feature Phone’

      - 10h45

      A new attempt at giving emerging markets a cheap smartphone – this time costing about $20-$25 – was launched by MTN, Africa’s largest cellular operator, in a partnership with China Mobile, chipmaker Unisoc and feature phone operating system KaiOS.

      Calling it “the world’s first 3G smart feature phone,” MTN CEO Rob Shuter said the device will beginning selling in the first quarter of next year in Nigeria and South Africa first, which are its biggest markets. MTN has 225,4-million subscribers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

      Shuter said it is a “wonderful bridge device” for the vast number of Africans who still use feature phones because they cannot afford smartphones.

    • Wednesday 14 November
    • Nigerian troops arrest female suicide bomber

      - 11h15

      Nigerian troops of the 251 Battalion have arrested a female suicide bomber, who was attempting to wreak havoc on Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.The army said on Tuesday that the female suicide bomber, identified as Shaidatu Adamu, is 19 years from Gwoza.

      She was arrested at Goni Kalachari, near Muna Motor Park in Maiduguri.

      Muna Park had witnessed several deadly suicide bombings in the past.

      “Troops of 251 Task Force Battalion Maiduguri arrested a female suicide bomber who attempted to infiltrate Maiduguri to detonate her suicide vest and inflict maximum casualty on innocent Nigerians,” the army tweeted on Tuesday night.

    • S.Africa’s home minister resigns after watchdog ruling

      - 10h47

      South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba resigned on Tuesday, the presidency announced, two weeks after a public standards watchdog said he had violated the constitution by lying under oath in court.

      Gigaba, a close ally of ousted former president Jacob Zuma, had recently vowed not to step down after also being caught up in a leaked sex tape scandal.

      A statement from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office announced that Gigaba said he had resigned “to relieve the President from undue pressure” and to allow Ramaphosa to focus on saving the country from “economic meltdown”.

    • Two thirds of African cities face ‘extreme climate risk’

      - 10h35

      Rapid population growth and poor infrastructure have put two out of three cities in Africa at “extreme risk” of the threats posed by climate change, according to a new analysis released Wednesday.

      With UN figures showing 86 of the world’s 100 fastest-growing cities are in Africa, experts warned nearly half of the continent’s GDP was exposed to the perils posed by our warming planet.

      The findings were laid out in the 2018 Climate Vulnerability Index which calculates an overall risk figure from more than 50 separate data sources, including state-of-the-art climate models, socio-economic factors and demographic trends.

    • Botswana weather experts warn of heat wave

      - 10h33

      Botswana’s Department of Meteorological Services has warned that there will be a significant increase in temperatures around the country until next week and called on the public to take precautionary measures to protect themselves.In a statement on Tuesday night, the department warned that extremely high temperatures ranging from 38°C to 41°C are expected over the western half of Botswana extending into the southeastern parts of the country.

      It advised members of the public in the affected areas to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from these adverse weather conditions.

      These measures may include, among others, drinking more water regardless of one’s activity level, avoiding prolonged stay under the sun, and wearing a wide-brimmed hats or using umbrellas to protect oneself from the sun.

    • Marie Antoinette’s jewels up for auction in Geneva

      - 10h28

      Marie Antoinette’s diamonds and pearls, not seen in public for two centuries, go under the hammer in Geneva Wednesday in what has been billed as one of the most important royal jewellery auctions in history.

      Ten dazzling treasures that belonged to the ill-fated queen are part of a 100-piece collection, held by the Italian royal House of Bourbon-Parma, being sold by Sotheby’s auction house.

      They include a diamond-set monogrammed ring containing a lock of her hair, valued at $8,000-10,000.

      Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France before the revolution, was guillotined in Paris in October 1793 at the age of 37.

    • South Korea boyband’s management apologise for nuclear blast T-shirt

      - 10h26

      The managers of hugely popular South Korean boyband BTS have issued an extensive apology after controversy erupted in the lucrative Japanese market over a T-shirt worn by one of the vocalists showing a nuclear blast.

      In a 1,000-word statement released in Korean, English and Japanese, management firm Big Hit Entertainment repeatedly offered its “sincerest apologies”.

      It sought to distance the septet from the row, saying it bore responsibility, and went on: “Big Hit does not condone any activities of war or the use of atomic weapons.”

    • Monday 12 November
    • Mozambique to commission Africa’s largest suspension bridge

      - 14h40

      As many as 3,000 foreign guests, among them regional heads of state, are expected to attend the the inauguration of the Maputo-KaTembe bridge on Saturday, APA can report.The Chief Executive Office of Empresa de Desenvolvimento de Maputo Sul, Silva Magaia, made the announcement Friday. Empresa de Desenvolvimento de Maputo Sul is the state body responsible for the project.

      “It’s all set. We are expecting 3,000 foreign guests among regional leaders who will attend the inauguration ceremony in Maputo, and if we had to evaluate in percentage terms I would say that we are 99.9% ready for the inauguration and confirmed guests”, Mgaia told APA in an interview on Friday.

    • African ministers demand fast-tracking action on health, environment

      - 14h39

      African ministers of health and environment on Friday agreed on a 10-year strategic plan to increase investment and accelerate joint health and environment priorities.The Strategic Action Plan to Scale Up Health and Environment Interventions in Africa 2019 – 2029 to the African Union was adopted at the closing of the three- day “Third Interministerial Conference on Health and Environment” held in the Gabonese capital.

      “We must go further, particularly in terms of mobilizing material and financial resources for the implementation of national plans, but also in terms of clarifying and sharing responsibilities,” said the Prime Minister of Gabon, Franck Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet, in a statement issued by UNEP headquarters in Nairobi.

    • US names new envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes

      - 14h38

      Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday named a scholar who served as a Vatican diplomat as the US envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes region, filling a position aimed at encouraging stability in the conflict-ridden area.

      J. Peter Pham, now a vice president at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank, will focus on “strengthening democratic institutions and civil society,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

      He will also work to encourage “the safe and voluntary return of the region’s refugees and internally displaced persons,” she said, amid renewed tensions in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    • Friday 09 November
    • Nigeria: Committee to fast track rebuilding of embattled North East

      - 11h51

      The Presidential Committee on North East Initiative (PCNI) has initiated a community infrastructure development programme to fast track rebuilding and resettlement of communities ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency in the region.Mr. David Garnvwa, the Special Assistant, Technical, to PCNI’s Chairman, made the disclosure on Thursday when members of the committee’s technical team visited Dalwa community in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.

      Garnvwa said that infrastructure would be upgraded in major towns under the first phase of the programme, while reconstruction project would be executed in communities destroyed by the insurgents under the Village Re-grouping Programme.

    • President warns against extremism as Austria remembers Nazi pogrom

      - 11h14

      Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen warned against “the politics of scapegoating” Thursday as his country marked the 80th anniversary of the Nazis’ anti-Semitic Kristallnacht pogrom.

      “We must see history as an example of where the politics of scapegoating, incitement, and exclusion can lead,” Van der Bellen said at a commemorative event at the former site of the Leopoldstadt synagogue, which was Vienna’s biggest until it was destroyed in two days of anti-Jewish violence on November 8 and 9, 1938.

      In Austria, the pogrom lead to the deaths of least 30 Jews, the imprisonment of 7,800 more and the deportation of 4,000 to the Dachau concentration camp.

    • US to deny asylum to illegal border crossers

      - 11h11

      The United States will no longer allow people who enter the country illegally to claim asylum, officials said Thursday, unveiling a controversial new crackdown on immigration.

      The restriction on asylum claims will seek to address what a senior administration official called the “historically unparalleled abuse of our immigration system” along the border with Mexico.

      The new rule was published by the Department of Homeland Security and is expected to get President Donald Trump’s signature shortly — as well as face court challenges.

    • Backlash over FT journalist denied entry to Hong Kong

      - 11h08

      Rights campaigners launched a blistering backlash in Hong Kong Friday after a senior Financial Times journalist was denied entry to the semi-autonomous city, decrying another blow to freedoms under an assertive China.

      The refusal by immigration officials to let in the FT’s Asia news editor Victor Mallet Thursday came hours after an arts centre hosting the city’s high-profile literary festival cancelled appearances by exiled Chinese writer Ma Jian.

      Amnesty International said it was a “distressing signal” about the state of press freedom in Hong Kong and smacked of “retaliation” against Mallet.

    • Peru police bust alleged baby trafficking gang

      - 11h06

      Authorities in Peru said Thursday they had busted an alleged baby trafficking ring that included the country’s former police chief.

      Police arrested 14 people and carried out raids on 18 properties in the southern city of Arequipa, prosecutor Rosmery Palomino said in a video posted on Twitter.

      They also rescued a five-month-old baby that was set to be sold for 4,000 Peruvian soles ($1,200).

      The gang, which included doctors, sought out women who were seeking abortions to persuade them to carry their pregnancies to term so that they could sell their babies.

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