archives : December 2009


Panafrica - United States
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights mourns the passing of Percy E. Sutton at age 89, one of the nation’s foremost civil rights lawyers and activists, media entrepreneurs and public servants. - Thursday 31 December 2009

The Nigerian legal system has moved to replace its Chief Justice sparking debates over the constitutional due process. The move is considered illegal as only the president is allowed to appoint a chief justice. But the president Mr. Umaru Yar’ Adua is currently receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia for a heart condition. - Thursday 31 December 2009

Sudan - United States
Pressure from the United States government has forced the Sudanese National Congress Party (NCP) to pass a significant law that paves the way for a referendum on South Sudan’s independence from the North. - Wednesday 30 December 2009

DR Congo - Uganda
Democratic republic of Congo has complained that rebels who have plans to attack it are recruited and trained in Uganda. - Wednesday 30 December 2009

South africa

South Africa’s World Cup stadiums could change the image of Africa forever, or stand as spectacular monuments to extravagance and waste in a country still struggling to spread the fruits of majority rule.

South Africa has confounded skeptics who said the stadiums would never be finished in time for next June’s soccer spectacular and is close to completing 10 top class venues that bear comparison with the world’s best.

But while that controversy has passed, the debate has not diminished over whether Africa’s first World Cup should have been more modest, freeing up millions of dollars to help an army of poor who live in squalor 15 years after the end of apartheid.

- Tuesday 29 December 2009


Calm is returning to the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi, a day after members of an Islamic sect clashed with security forces. Police said 38 people were killed, including the leader of the sect.

Residents of Bauchi say security forces were deployed in full around the city Tuesday to forestall a repeat of the violence. Police have arrested 20 suspected sect members and recovered what has been referred to as ’sophisticated’ weapons from the group.

The clashes erupted on Monday when the religious sect, which is known as Yan Kala Kato, began attacking security forces over the arrest of its leader, Malam Badamasi.

- Tuesday 29 December 2009


The ongoing tragicomedy on the Gaza Egypt borders will not have a happy ending.

A year after Israel’s war left Gaza in ruins, Egypt is hampering international aid convoys from entering this impoverished refuge camp of 1.5 million and is erecting an ’iron wall’ under the guise of preserving its national security and sovereignty.

But it could be doing the opposite.

As Egypt distances itself from the problems of Gaza as if it were a strategic liability, instead of championing the humanitarian and political cause of occupied Gaza, it is arguably missing an opportunity to regain its long lost regional leverage.

- Tuesday 29 December 2009


By now many of us have gotten our doses of influenza vaccine. Now it’s time for a dose of influenza reality. Let’s acknowledge that flu virus is a living thing — and a pretty crafty one at that. Despite all our best efforts, sometimes flu will get the better of us. Depending on your personal experience, you may feel that was the case this year. But in my view, there are a lot of positives to take away from this year’s experience.

Positive No. 1: By the end of 2009, our influenza enterprise will have supplied almost 200 million doses of flu vaccine in the U.S. That will include about 110 million seasonal influenza doses and nearly that many pandemic H1N1 vaccine doses.

That number may feel inadequate this year because we were fighting on two fronts, having to deliver two different vaccines to somewhat different target groups. Meanwhile, we will have proved positive outcome No. 2: We have the capacity to produce more vaccine than the American public usually demands.

- Tuesday 29 December 2009


Somali pirates have captured two ships with 45 crew off the East African coast, officials say.

British chemical tanker, the St James Park, was reportedly captured in the Gulf of Aden on Monday while on its way to Thailand from Spain. Whilst The Navios Apollon, a Panamanian-flagged Greek cargo ship was hijacked north of the Seychelles.

The ships have 45 crew between them.

- Tuesday 29 December 2009

Zimbabwe - China
China Sonangol, a Chinese company, has been handed land in excess of 1 000 hectares in Zimbabwe to develop satellite towns around Harare at a cost worth over US$8billion. - Tuesday 29 December 2009

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