Uganda Accuses Obama Administration of Blackmail After Aid Cut Over Anti-Gay Law

uganda president museveni 350x259 Uganda Accuses Obama Administration of Blackmail After Aid Cut Over Anti Gay Law

Uganda Accuses U.S. of Blackmail After Funding Cut Over Criminalization of Homosexuality

Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo is crying foul after the Obama administration cut funding to Uganda and cancelled a regional military exercise over the new bill signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni that criminalizes homosexuality. Opondo said the Obama administration’s action was blackmail.

“We think it is simply blackmail,” Opondo told VOA. Adding, “We have said it before, homosexuality is not a fundamental human right. In our own constitution, it is not guaranteed as a fundamental right.”

The U.S. announced on Thursday it had canceled plans for a U.S.-sponsored military exercise to be held in Uganda. The Obama administration also barred Ugandans who were believed to be involved in human rights abuses from enterting the U.S.

Opondo also said President Museveni’s chances at being invited to a White House summit of African leaders in August is in jeopardy over the U.S. opposition to the new law.

Homosexuality is considered a crime in 38 African countries.

Is the Sudanese Government Playing Games with Miriam Ibrahim’s Release?

mariam ibrahim1 350x238 Is the Sudanese Government Playing Games with Miriam Ibrahims Release?

Meriam Ibrahim, Sudanese Woman Jailed for Marrying Christian, To Be Freed

[UPDATED]:  There is now confusion over whether the Sudanese government is really planning on releasing Meriam Ibrahim and her two children. 

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman jailed for marrying a Christian, to be freed by authorities after international outcry. My position is that she should be released IMMEDIATELY and not in a matter of days. It’s barbaric and reprehensible that someone could be thrown in prison and facing a death sentence for marrying a Christian man. Whatever happened to religious freedom?

Ibrahim, who was turned in to police by a relative for marrying Christian Sudanese-born Christian U.S. citizen David Wani, gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Maya, a few days ago, while in shackles around her ankles. She was charged with apostasy and adultery.

BBC reports, Abdullahi Alazreg, an under-secretary at the foreign ministry, said Sudan guaranteed religious freedom and was committed to protecting the woman. Yeah, that’s after international outcry and outrage.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair described Meriam Ibrahim’s horrific treatment as a “brutal and sickening distortion of faith.” Elshareef Ali Mohammed, one of Ibrahim’s lawyers, told the Telegraph they don’t believe the offer from the Sudanese government is geniune and that “it’s to silence the international media.” He added that “we will not believe that she is being freed until she walks out of the prison.”

The U.S. government seems willing to give Meriam Ibrahim’s case special attention, as they should. There is no way she can remain in Sudan. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) recently raised her case at a meeting of the Homeland Security Department Oversight Committee. He said both of the children — Martin and Maya — are eligible for U.S. citizenship.

Franks said, “This case has become so high profile that many of us are deeply concerned about Meriam’s safety in Sudan, especially if she wins her appeal and is released back into Sudanese society at large.” Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) also made another plea for help for Meriam Ibrahim on Saturday.

 Is the Sudanese Government Playing Games with Miriam Ibrahims Release?

Lynne Brown Appointed South Africa’s First Openly Gay Cabinet Minister

lynne brown 350x209 Lynne Brown Appointed South Africas First Openly Gay Cabinet Minister

Lynne Brown Appointed South Africa’s First Openly Gay Cabinet Minister (Photo Credit: Times/Esa Alexander)

South African President Jacob Zuma appoints Lynne Brown as theh public enterprises minister, making her the country’s first openly gay cabinet minister. This is big considering there’s widespread homophobia in Africa, as a whole.

Brown, 52, who is coloured (of mixed race ancestry), was born in Cape Town and was premier of Western Cape until the African National Congress (ANC) lost control of the province to the opposition Democratic Alliance in 2009.

According to a 2008 profile of her by the South African Press Association, she began her career as a teacher and gained a certificate in gender planning methodology at University College London. “I can’t bear working in an environment where things don’t get done,” she was quoted as saying. “I’m not a flamboyant type of person, I get things done.”

Her personal interests were said to be playing golf, reading and “an admiration of arts and culture”.

She is not seen as a gay rights activist but her ascent to a cabinet post was described on Monday as a significant moment. Eusebius McKaiser, a broadcaster and political author, who is gay, said: “It is, sadly, probably newsworthy, I guess, insofar as the social impact of openly gay people in high-profile public leadership positions cannot be discounted in a country like South Africa where levels of homophobia, including violence against black lesbian women, remain rife.

“The symbolism matters also from an African perspective too given other countries around us are enacting and enforcing laws criminalising same-sex sex and lifestyles.” Source: Guardian

 Lynne Brown Appointed South Africas First Openly Gay Cabinet Minister

Sudanese Doctor, Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, Facing Flogging Death for Marrying Christian

sudan 350x240 Sudanese Doctor, Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, Facing Flogging Death for Marrying Christian

Sudanese Doctor, Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, Facing Flogging Death for Marrying Christian

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, a 27-year-old Sudanese doctor, pregnant with her second child, is facing death by flogging for marrying a Christian. A Sudanese court gave her until Thursday to abandon her newly adopted Christian faith and return to Islam or face a death sentence.

Ibrahim was charged with adultery for marrying a Christian man. Muslim women are prohibited from marrying Christians. She was also charged with apostasy.

Mariam was arrested on February 7, 2014  with her 20-month-old son, after a relative turned her in to police for marrying Daniel, who is a Christian, according to Sudan’s Public Order Criminal Code. She was charged with adultery and apostasy on March 4. The apostasy charge, which is abandoning Islam, came with a punishment of death, while the adultery charge came with 100 lashes.

If Ibrahim doesn’t abandon Christian faith, she will be put the death following the birth of her second son. Her first son is with her in a women’s prison because his father isn’t allowed to take care of him.

This is just plain reprehensible. The Sudanese government, led by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, has come under blistering criticism for the plight of Mariam Yahya Ibrahim.

 Sudanese Doctor, Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, Facing Flogging Death for Marrying Christian

Report: Western Union, MoneyGram Charge Africans Twice as Much to Send Money Home

western union moneygram 350x188 Report: Western Union, MoneyGram Charge Africans Twice as Much to Send Money Home

Report: Western Union, MoneyGram Charge Africans Twice as Much to Send Money Home

A new report found that Western Union and Moneygram reportedly charge Africans working in the U.S. and Europe twice as much to wire money home than their Latin American and Southeast Asian counterparts.

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) found that transactions fees cost the region an estimated $1.8 billion annually. Western Union and MoneyGram account for two-thirds of remittances, or $586 million of the loss associated with fees, the report found.

Remittance fees have gone down for people sending money to Southeast Asia and Latin America, which is in keeping with G8 and G20 targets to reduce transactions costs, but the cost of sending money home to Africa has remained the same.

The remittances to Africa account for five percent of the continent’s GDP. Maria Quattri, one of the authors of the ODI report, told Al Jazeera that the “message of the report is the poorest people in the world, Africans, are paying the highest charges for remittance fees.”

Quattri calls for better regulation of money transfer service providers and banks. She blamed a lack of competition in the industry for the exorbitant fees.

She said, “We want to see greater transparency on charges, in particular charges on currency conversion fees.” She added that ODI has called on U.S. and British financial regulators to better assess transaction costs. She also called for international governments to promote the creation of more viable money transfer providers.

Read more at america.aljazeera.com

 Report: Western Union, MoneyGram Charge Africans Twice as Much to Send Money Home

At Least 200 Girls Kidnapped in Attack on Nigerian School in Chibok

chibok nigeria 350x230 At Least 200 Girls Kidnapped in Attack on Nigerian School in Chibok

At Least 200 Girls Kidnapped in Attack on Nigerian School in Chibok (Attribution Unknown)

BBC News reports that scores of girls were abducted from a north-east Nigerian school their parents said.

The gunmen reportedly arrived at the school, located in Chibok, Borno state, late Monday night and ordered the teenage girls to board trucks.

At least 200 girls were abducted.

 

Mike Ocquaye Warns Africa’s Family System Under Satanic Attack from Gays

mike ocquaye 350x287 Mike Ocquaye Warns Africas Family System Under Satanic Attack from Gays

Mike Ocquaye Warns Africa’s Family System Under Satanic Attack from Gays (Credit: Radioxyzonline)

Mike Ocquaye, Ghana’s former deputy speaker of Parliament, warns that the traditional family system in Africa is under threat from gay promoters from the West.

Ocquaye spoke at an antigay forum in Accra saying, “Indeed the family is under satanic attack and we should take great care to protect it.”

He said, “we consider this an abomination. We don’t want a mustache man marrying another bearded man and it is the right of the children to call a man father and a woman mother.” He added, “Children brought up in the other way will become what we call miscreants.”

Mike Ocquaye, who is also a clergyman, said, “We Africans have certain values and our friends who want to remain our friends in the Western world must respect our values.”

He charged that the family system in the Western world is vanishing because it has been engulfed by homosexuality.

[H/T Ghana Web]

Senegal Closes Border with Guinea to Prevent Spread of Ebola Virus

senegal and guinea 350x181 Senegal Closes Border with Guinea to Prevent Spread of Ebola Virus

Senegal Closes Border with Guinea to Prevent Spread of Ebola Virus (Credit: NSBE.org)

Senegal has closed its land border with Guinea to try to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus, which Guinean authorities say is suspected of killing 70 people in the deadliest outbreak in seven years – @Reuters

The Senegalese interior ministry said the land borders will remain closed until further notice.  The statement said the governors of Kolda and Kedougou regions have already taken necessary measures to effectively implement the decision.
The weekly marketplace at Diaobe has been closed.

Text Messages Between Oscar Pistorius, Reeva Steenkamp Show Jealousy

oscar pistorius 350x262 Text Messages Between Oscar Pistorius, Reeva Steenkamp Show Jealousy

Text Messages Between Oscar Pistorius, Reeva Steenkamp Shows Jealousy (Credit: CityPress)

#OscarPistorius:  Text messages between Oscar Pistorius and his slain girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp showed rage fueled by jealousy. The text messages were read in court during his high-profile trial for the shooting death of Steenkamp, who he claimed he mistook for an intruder.

One text sent on Jan. 27, 2013 read, “u are very quick to act cold and offish when you’re unhappy… every 5 seconds i hear how u dated another chick,” she wrote.

Perhaps the most damaging to Pistorius was the line Steenkamp wrote saying, “i am the girl who let go with u even when i was scared out of my mind to. i’m the girl who feel in love with u and wanted to tell u this weekend.

“I get snapped at and told my accents and my voice are annoying. i touch your neck to show u i care you tell me to stop. Stop chewing gum. do this don’t do that,” read part of one long text. Source: ABC News

The text messages come as a third witness testified to hearing screaming leading up to the moments when Reeva Steenkamp was murdered by Oscar Pistorius. Anette Stipp told the court that “The thing I remember the most, and I don’t think I will ever forget, is the screaming.”

Stipp’s testimony corroborates Michelle Burger and Charl Johnson’s testimonies. They also said they heard bangs, followed by screaming and another set of bangs with more screaming, the City Press reports.

House of Horror: Suspects Arrested After Slaughter Den Found in Nigeria

nigerian flag 350x175 House of Horror: Suspects Arrested After Slaughter Den Found in Nigeria

House of Horror: Suspects Arrested After Slaughter Den Found in Nigeria

#HouseofHorror:  Nigerian police have launched a murder investigation after the discovery of rotting bodies and skeletons in an abandoned building which the media is calling a “House of Horror.”

The grisly discovery was made after a group of motorcycle taxi drivers who reported some of their members had gone missing and were believed to have been kidnapped.

Several severely malnourished people were found wandering in the bush near the abandoned building in the southwestern city of Ibadan. More were found shackled with leg chains inside the building.

Oyo state police spokeswoman Olabisi Ilobanafor told AFP, “When we got to the abandoned building in the Soka community of Ibadan yesterday (Saturday), we saw decomposed corpses, skeletons and skulls in the building and surrounding bushes.”

Ilobanafor said police had arrested some suspects at the scene. She also said, “It’s not a common occurrence in Ibadan or in the state.”

The Sunday Tribune published some gruesome pictures of rotting bodies, human skulls and a man in the throes of death with flies hovering around his face.  Human bones were also found inside a well in front of the abandoned building, which the Tribune reports belongs to Ponti Construction Company.

Police arrested six suspects, including five security guards, who are reportedly armed with guns, bows and arrows, found at the abandoned building.

 House of Horror: Suspects Arrested After Slaughter Den Found in Nigeria