The Seychelles forfeited the African Nations Cup qualifying tie against Sierra Leone after refusing the soccer team entry over Ebola virus worries, Reuters reports. This comes as American Nancy Writebol’s condition worsens.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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]
The Department of Justice has frozen more than $458 million hidden by former Nigerian military dictator Gen. Sani Abacha in France and the Channel Islands, in one of the largest civil forfeitures case ever brought against a foreign leader by the United States.
The Justice Department is also seeking forfeiture of an additional $100 million suspected of being held in four investment portfolios and three bank accounts in the United Kingdom, including the British Virgin Islands, NBC News reports.
According to the complaint filed in federal court in Washington D.C., Gen. Sani Abacha, his sons and other conspirators allegedly transferred billions out of Nigeria during the 1990s. Some of that money was allegedly taken from the Central Bank of Nigeria through a series of “security votes” letters and then used to buy millions of U.S. dollar-denominated Nigerian bonds.
Some of those billions allegedly were taken from the Central Bank of Nigeria on national security grounds through a series of “security votes” letters, then used to buy hundreds of millions of U.S. dollar-denominated Nigerian bonds.
The complaint said, “These bonds generated tens of millions of dollars in interest paid through Citibank in New York and guaranteed by the United States. In effect the conspirators lent money stolen from Nigeria back to Nigeria with zero risk and at an enormous profit.”
In addition to Citibank, Chase Manhattan Bank, Barclays Bank and JP Morgan Chase are among the financial institutions used in Gen. Sani Abacha’s schemes.
Abacha served as Nigerian president as a result of a military coup from 1993 to his death in 1998. His son, Mohammed Sani Abacha, who is named in the complaint still lives in Nigeria. The Nigerian Supreme Court ordered his arrest to face theft charges. Gen Abacha’s other son, Ibrahim Sani Abacha died in a plane crash in 1996.
The United Nations humanitarian chief Toby Lanzer told reporters that there is “absolutely no doubt in my mind that we’re into the thousands” of dead in South Sudan, the Daily Star reports. Aid workers said the official death toll nationwide in the young nation is 500, but the number is feared to be much higher.
The AFP said witnesses recounted the wave of violence and atrocities, including an orchestrated campaign of ethnic mass killings and rape.
UN rights chief Navi Pillay said that a mass grave, with 75 bodies, was found in the rebel-held town of Bentiu. He also said there are “reportedly at least two other mass graves” in the capital city of Juba.
The discoveries come after more than a week of escalating fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and his rival Riek Machar, a former vice president who was fired in July. Machar’s troops were driven from Bor on Tuesday, but they are still in control of Bentiu, the capital of the oil-producing state of Unity.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela is still in “quite ill,” his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told South Africa’s Sunday Independent newspaper. She dismissed speculation that the anti-apartheid leader was on life support.
Nelson Mandela returned home in September after nearly three months in a hospital with a recurring lung infection. His condition has been characterized as critical and sometimes unstable, by the South African government.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said Mandela is no longer talking “because of all the tubes in his mouth to clear [fluid from] his lungs.” She also said “He can’t actually articulate anything… He communicates with the face, you see. But the doctors have told us they hope to recover his voice.”
Ms. Madikizela-Mandela added, “I have heard this nonsense that he is on life support – he is not.” “It is difficult for him. He remains very sensitive to any germs, so he has to be kept literally sterile. The bedroom there is like an ICU [intensive care unit] ward.”
Nelson Mandela’s home in a suburb of Johannesburg has been specially adapted for his care, where he is receiving intensive care.
Germany gets its first black federal lawmaker after Senegal-born chemist Karamba Diaby was elected to Parliament from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party.
There were no black lawmakers in the German Parliament, despite more than 500,000 people of African origin believed to be living in Germany.
On his historic win, Karamba Diaby said, “my election into the German Parliament is of historical importance.” Diaby, who moved to the city of Halle in 1986 after being awarded a scholarship to study in communist East Germany, gained German citizenship in 2001.
Diaby will promote equal opportunities in education, saying, “Every child born in Germany should have the chance to be successful in school regardless of their social background or the income of their parents.”
I hope he will fare better than Italy’s first black cabinet minister Cecile Kyenge, who has been subjected to despicable racist rhetoric over her stance on immigration.