archives : Other News 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

Disney’s animated feature "The Princess and the Frog" hopped to an estimated $7.2 million in domestic grosses Friday — its first day of wide release — to top the day’s boxoffice rankings.

The auspicious start to the weekend means a three-day haul of more than $30 million could be in the offing for the well-reviewed family pic. "Frog" should mark a big day-over-day uptick Saturday as hefty matinee grosses kick in and sustain its weekend momentum through Sunday.

The G-rated film totes $10.2 million in cumulative boxoffice, including two weekends of bicoastal exclusive engagements.

- Sunday 13 December 2009

Tanzania - Zambia

African Cup of Nations-bound Zambia will also play Zanzibar in the earlier quarter-final kick off at Nyayo National Stadium.

Kenya’s Harambee Stars will have to go past Cecafa defending champions, Uganda Cranes in today’s quarter-final of the Orange Cecafa Challenge Cup if their dream of lifting the coveted regional trophy is to be realised.

The two met in last year’s final in Uganda, which the Cranes won 1-0. On paper, Uganda are the stronger side having brushed aside Tanzania and Burundi with identical 2-0 wins and drew 0-0 with Zanzibar.

- Monday 7 December 2009

Panafrica - China - India

The World Bank and New Delhi are in talks about financing the international expansion of Indian Railways, one of the largest and most profitable networks in the world, to bring transport infrastructure to African countries and other developing nations.

Robert Zoellick, World Bank president, said the Washington-based multilateral lender wanted to build on a $2bn commitment to strengthen India’s rail system by helping state-owned Indian Railways to grow beyond its borders.

“We can help the Indian Railways in India, but also, as they develop greater efficiencies, to move abroad,” Mr Zoellick said during a four-day visit to India.

An ambitious partnership with Indian Railways is at the heart of a World Bank strategy to persuade India and China, two of the fastest-growing large economies, to participate more directly in the development of the world’s poorest nations. India, Asia’s third largest economy, is the largest borrower from the World Bank with about $22bn (€14.8bn, £13.3bn) invested in projects.

- Monday 7 December 2009

A Microsoft security update for its new computer operating system, Windows 7 as well as older versions of Windows, is resulting in some users getting a "black screen of death" on their machines, according to reports. The problem may be tied to security updates recently released by the software maker.

"Microsoft is investigating reports that its latest release of security updates is resulting in system issues for some customers," the company said in a statement. "Once we complete our investigation, we will provide detailed guidance on how to prevent or address these issues." ( is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

Windows users are familiar with the "blue screen of death," when their computers essentially shutdown because of an operating system problem. The new "black screen of death" appears to occur when the computer is first turned on, then shuts down...

- Tuesday 1 December 2009


As many as 10,000 albinos are in hiding in east Africa over fears that they will be dismembered and their body parts sold to witchdoctors, the Red Cross said in a recent report.

The killings of albinos in Burundi and Tanzania, who are targeted because their body parts are believed to have special powers, have sparked fears among the population in the two countries, the report said.

Body parts of albinos are sought in some regions of Africa because they are believed to bring wealth and good luck. Attackers chop off limbs and pluck out organs to sell to dealers, who in turn sell them to witchdoctors.

- Sunday 29 November 2009

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