Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, Who Led Fight Against Ebola in Sierra Leone, Dies from Virus

Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, Who Led Fight Against Ebola in Sierra Leone, Dies from Virus

Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, Who Led Fight Against Ebola in Sierra Leone, Dies from Virus

Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, who led the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone, died from the virus. Government officials have hailed Khan, 39, as a “national hero.”

Dr. Sheik Umar Khan’s death comes days after prominent Liberian doctor Samuel Brisbane died from the disease.

The government of Sierra Leone said last week that Dr. Khan was being treated for Ebola and had been quarantined.

American doctor Kent Brantly is said to be in grave condition in Liberia after contracting the disease. American Daniel Sawyer also died from the disease. He became visibly ill during a trip from Liberia to Nigeria. He had been taking care of a sister who had also contracted the disease.

 

Liberia Suspends Football Activities to Control Spread of Ebola Virus

Liberia Suspends Football Activities to Control Spread of Ebola Virus

Liberia Suspends Football Activities to Control Spread of Ebola Virus

Liberia suspends all soccer activities as it seeks ways to control the spread of the deadly Ebola virus that has claimed 672 lives in West Africa, according to new UN figures.

There was a risk of infection because football is a contact sport, the football association said.

A major regional airliner, Asky, said it had halted flights to the Liberian and Sierra Leonean capitals because of growing concerns about the virus.

It is the second airline company to take such a decision, following the deadliest Ebola outbreak ever.

“Asky is determined to keep its passengers and staff safe during this unsettling time,” it said in a statement said.

Ebola kills up to 90% of those infected, but patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.

It spreads through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. Source: BBC

Boko Haram Militants Seize Cameroon’s Vice Prime Minister’s Wife in Latest Attack

Boko Haram Militants Seize Cameroon's Vice Prime Minister's Wife in Latest Attack

Boko Haram Militants Seize Cameroon’s Vice Prime Minister’s Wife in Latest Attack (Photo credit: SPM.Gov.CM)

The wife of Cameroon Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali was among several people kidnapped by Boko Haram militants, who attacked Kolofata, a town on the country’s Far North Region near Nigeria.

Colonel Felix Nji Formekong said, “The situation is very critical here now, and as I am talking to you Boko Haram elements are still in Kilofata town in a clash with our soldiers,” Reuters reports.

Formekong said, “Some of them have already taken away the wife of Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali and her house help while the bodyguards of the Vice Prime Minister succeeded in taking him out of town to Mora.”

South African School Accused of Racist Abuse of Black, Mixed-Race Students

South African School Accused of Racist Abuse of Black, Mixed-Race Students

South African School Accused of Racist Abuse of Black, Mixed-Race Students (Credit: Wikipedia)

The South African Human Rights Commission has found  black and mixed-race students at Dr. Viljoen Combined School were subjected to racist abuses by the staff.

Children at the school alleged staff members called them racist names, such as baboons and monkeys.

After an 18-month investigation, staff members and the head teacher were found to have exposed students to dehumanizing and racist treatment.

Representatives of Dr Viljoen Combined School told the BBC they would not “comment at this stage.”

They said they had not seen the report and would refer the matter to the school’s governing body.

Representatives of the Free State Department of Education, responsible for the school, say they will study the report and would hold their own investigation before taking any potential disciplinary action.

The SAHRC is an independent body set up after the end of white-minority rule in 1994 to investigate allegations of human rights abuses and hold public institutions accountable.

Read more at BBC.

Meriam Ibrahim Case: Sudan Summons U.S. Ambassador as Diplomatic Spat Ensues

Meriam Ibrahim Case: Sudan Summons U.S. Ambassador as Diplomatic Spat Ensues

Meriam Ibrahim Case: Sudan Summons U.S. Ambassador as Diplomatic Spat Ensues

The U.S. is now in a diplomatic row with the government of Sudan over granting Meriam Ibrahim a visa after she was freed from jail on apostasy and adultery charges stemming from marrying Daniel Wani, a Christian man and for refusing to denounce her Christian faith. The government of Sudan has summoned the U.S. ambassador.

Ibrahim was freed from death row on Monday but was re-arrested hours later by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) at the Khartoum airport as she and her family tried to leave the country. The NISS, whose personnel are known as the “Agents of Fear,” said on its Facebook page that Meriam Ibrahim and her family were attempting to travel to the U.S. with documents from the embassy of South Sudan. NISS said she was carrying a U.S. visa and that her attempts to use the documents were considered a “criminal offense.”

The U.S. State Department maintains they were told the family was not arrested, but Ibrahim’s lawyer Elshareef Ali Mohammed says she has been transferred from NISS to police detention.

I thought when the appeals court ordered Ibrahim’s release from death row that the case against her had been dropped. Why would she still have bail conditions to meet? The Sudanese government is playing a twisted game of gotcha with this woman’s life and I am afraid with every passing day there’s the real possibility she will be murdered.

Why in the world didn’t the State Department put the couple and their two kids on their plane to get them out of Sudan instead of allowing them to go through the usual process? Also, this family has been on the State Department’s radar since 2011 and they reportedly kept giving Daniel Wani, a U.S. citizen, the brush-off. Why? Because he’s black and from Africa? This is a disgrace and it could have all be avoided had someone given this man’s case some attention.

The Christian Post is reporting that Meriam Ibrahim was re-released. We’ll continue to monitor this story…..

 

President Obama, John Kerry Silent as Meriam Ibrahim RE-ARRESTED Along with Family

President Obama, John Kerry Silent as Meriam Ibrahim RE-ARRESTED Along with Family

President Obama, John Kerry Silent as Meriam Ibrahim RE-ARRESTED Along with Family (Credit: Shareif Ali Shareif)

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who was released hours ago after being sentenced to death by hanging for apostasy and 100 lashes for committing adultery for marrying a Christian man, was arrested, along with her husband Daniel Wani and their two kids as they tried to flee Khartoum,CNN reports.

Ibrahim, was was jailed for nine months on death row, and Wani were detained by approximately 40 security agents with the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), also known as the “Agents of Fear.” They are now in the detention of the National Security force, which does not have to take them to court because it’s not deemed a criminal matter, but one of “national security.”

Meriam’s lawyer, Shareif Ali Shareif told the Daily Mail, “We don’t have any information about what charges they face.”

Hardwire, a religious freedom group, confirmed the couple and their young children were arrested and said NISS can detain people indefinitely. The Daily Mail reports the “Agents of Fear” are notorious for taking prisoners to “secret houses” where they are tortured.

This is really bad news for the family. How much more can this couple endure, all for their right to love and marry whomever they choose? I am also shocked that the U.S. government didn’t grant Meriam Ibrahim and her children asylum immediately and take them to the U.S. embassy where they would not have been subjected to this level of brutality.

This is madness. I urge President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, to get involved and secure the release of this family.

Meriam Ibrahim, Sentenced to Death for Marrying Christian, Freed from Jail

Meriam Ibrahim Charged with Apostasy for Marrying Christian Man, Freed from Prison

Meriam Ibrahim Charged with Apostasy for Marrying Christian Man, Freed from Prison

BREAKING:  Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for marrying a Christian man, Daniel Wani, freed from prison. This comes after a Sudanese appeals court ordered her release.

Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and death by hanging for apostasy after refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

The Guardian reports, “The appeal court ordered the release of Meriam Yahya [Ibrahim] and the cancellation of the [previous] court ruling,” Sudan’s SUNA news agency said on Monday.

I hope the U.S. government will grant Meriam Ibrahim and her kids visa as soon as possible to they can join her husband in the U.S.

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

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?

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

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.

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

Lynne Brown Appointed South Africa's 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

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