Africa Briefs

In land of diamonds, Botswana’s ruling party’s sparkle dims

In land of diamonds, Botswana’s ruling party’s sparkle dims

| October 31, 2014

(GIN)–The ruling Botswana Democratic Party won a majority of seats in parliamentary elections this past week, ensuring a second five year term for President Ian Khama whose party has ruled Botswana since independence from Britain 48 years ago. But, the victory was hard-won. The recently-united opposition coalition has eaten away at the number of seats […]

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South Africa rejects light sentence for ‘Blade Runner,’ prepares appeal

South Africa rejects light sentence for ‘Blade Runner,’ prepares appeal

| October 30, 2014

(GIN)—South African prosecutors announced plans this week to appeal the conviction and sentence given to athlete Oscar Pistorius for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, in what was ruled “culpable homicide.” Judge Thokozile Masipa also disappointed close watchers of the trial when she gave the Olympian runner a three year suspended sentence for discharging a firearm […]

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‘We don’t need an Ebola czar’ insists famed Columbia professor

‘We don’t need an Ebola czar’ insists famed Columbia professor

| October 30, 2014

(GIN)–With media stoking fears of a spreading Ebola crisis, medical professionals and other experts have been taking pains to keep cool heads above the super-heated news frenzy. They forced a retreat this week to plans by Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie of New York and New Jersey, who threatened to quarantine all arrivals from […]

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Tunisians hand Islamists major defeat in historic vote

Tunisians hand Islamists major defeat in historic vote

| October 30, 2014

(GIN)—North African Tunisians whose rebellion sparked the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, turned out in force to elect a secular party—Nidaa Tounes—over the incumbent Islamist Ennahda party in preliminary results released on Sunday. It was the country’s first election since the “Dignity Revolution” and was marked with a strong turnout of more than 60 percent. […]

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Brits to honor first black army officer to lead white troops into battle

Brits to honor first black army officer to lead white troops into battle

| October 24, 2014

(GIN)–The British Royal Mint has released the first image of a limited edition coin honoring Walter Tull, Britain’s first black army officer who died on the battlefield. The coin is worth five pounds. Tull, born in 1888, made history after enlisting in the army when the First World War broke out in 1914. He defied […]

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Eviction plan in cards for Zimbabwe’s landless poor

Eviction plan in cards for Zimbabwe’s landless poor

| October 22, 2014

(GIN)–President Robert Mugabe’s land reform initiative turned lives upside down in the year 2000 and now upside down again as the settlers who moved onto lands that white farmers once owned now find themselves facing eviction by the same government. About eight million hectares of farmland owned by 3,000 white farmers in 1999 are now […]

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‘Chibok girls’—will government keeps its word and find them?

‘Chibok girls’—will government keeps its word and find them?

| October 21, 2014

(GIN)–With frustration boiling over at government foot-dragging over the fate of 219 girls, kidnapped from a government secondary school in Chibok last April, the Nigerian government took the audacious step this week of announcing a truce with the alleged kidnappers and a possible date for their return. The surprise announcement claimed that since a meeting […]

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Ebola drug safety tests raise ethical issues as NY Times commends Cuba

Ebola drug safety tests raise ethical issues as NY Times commends Cuba

| October 21, 2014

(GIN)–Can you test a promising new Ebola drug by giving it to one sample infected group and giving a deactivated placebo to another? That’s the issue dividing medical experts at a World Health Organization meeting this week in Geneva. “Is that even ethical? Will workers amid an epidemic be willing to consider getting a placebo? Which […]

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An African leading light dims as Ali Mazrui passes

An African leading light dims as Ali Mazrui passes

| October 20, 2014

(GIN)–Renowned scholar, lecturer, school chancellor and “towering intellect” of the 21st century, Ali Al’Amin Mazrui, passed away peacefully at his home in the state of New York where he headed up the Institute for Global Cultural Studies at the State University of New York in Binghamton. Professor Mazrui had an illustrious scholarly life. He authored […]

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With Ebola crisis looming, where is surgeon general?

With Ebola crisis looming, where is surgeon general?

| October 19, 2014

(GIN)–Almost forgotten in the panic sparked by a new Ebola infection–this time of the Dallas nurse apparently suited up properly to care for the Liberian patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, in isolation—some media houses are asking the question: “Where is the nation’s surgeon general?” Although primarily a ceremonial post, the surgeon general has the power of […]

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