news in brief

Uganda: Pepsi in trouble for sponsoring anti-gay concert
Pepsi is in the line of fire for having sponsored a concert by Beenie Man, a homophobic singer, in Uganda over the weekend, reports Same Same. Quoting Africa’s Daily Monitor, Beenine Man said “In my family, we don’t have any gay person but if you’re gay, my brother that’s not my fault.” Uganda is known for its particularly repressive anti-gay laws. In October, MPs proposed a law that will attract capital punishment for HIV infected homosexuals who have sex with others. - Wednesday 9 December 2009 - 17:07

Madagascar: New government positions not validated by Andry Rajoelina
Albert Zafy, Didier Ratsiraka and Marc Ravalomanana, leaders of the three main Malagasy parties, Tuesday arrived at an agreement on the apportioning of government positions within the transitional government. Leader of the High Transitional Authority, Andry Rajoelina has however not validated the agreement, writes Tribune de Madagascar.. The trio, who met in Maputo, established a list of candidates from their respective parties to join the transitional government in line with the Addis Ababa agreement signed in November. They also agreed to leave several key ministerial positions (Justice, Army, Economy and Industry) to Andry Rajoelina. - Wednesday 9 December 2009 - 17:05

Guinea suspends negotiations in Ouagadougou
Guinea’s junta government Tuesday announced that the country has suspended its participation in the Ouagadougou mediation talks until the “return” of their boss, indicates AfricaGuinée. Capt. Camara was shot by an aide in a firefight between rival factions of Guinea’s army last week Thursday. He was flown to Morocco where he underwent surgery. - Wednesday 9 December 2009 - 17:01

Drug cash fuelling terrorism in the Sahel region of Africa
A top UN official, Antonio Maria Costa, Tuesday alerted the Security Council that huge amounts of heroin and cocaine are being traded by "terrorists and anti-government forces" to fund their operations. He called for a trans-Saharan network to be set up to tackle criminal groups, says the BBC. - Wednesday 9 December 2009 - 16:58

Mali - France
Paris: 150 000 euros stolen from Malian Consulate
One or more persons stole themselves, Sunday night, into the offices of the Malian Consulate in Paris and made away with 150 000 euros as well as blank identity papers, Le Soleil reports. According to the Malian Consulate, the French judicial police has begun investigations to find the culprit(s). - Wednesday 9 December 2009 - 16:56

Guinea - France
Guinea blames France for assassination plot
Guinean Communications Minister and spokesman for the junta, Idrissa Cheriff, Tuesday announced that France could be holding lieutenant Aboubakar “Toumba” Diakité, blamed for the assassination attempt on the junta leader, at the French embassy in Conakry. Despite an intensive manhunt, Toumba has still not been found. “I say that the French are guilty, the French secret service is involved in this affair” he said. In France, the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, Bernard Valerole has rejected Mr. Cheriff’s declaration “energetically” and said they are based on “absurd rumours”, reports NouvelObs. - Wednesday 9 December 2009 - 16:52

Morocco - Spain - Western Sahara
Spain: Nobel Peace Prize nominee will fast until "death" if necessary
The independent Saharawi activist, Aminatou Haidar, Monday reached the 23rd day of her hunger strike at the Lanzarote airport in the Canary Islands. She is asking for her right to return to Western Sahara. Interviewed by ABC, her companion Bashir Lekhfawni said Miss Haidar, a former Nobel Peace Prize nominee, will fast to “death” if she has to. “What we do not know is whether she will return back in a coffin,” Bashir Lekhfawni continued. - Tuesday 8 December 2009 - 18:06

United States
Michael Jackson painting sold
A painting with Michael Jackson in an armour and on a white horse was sold on Sunday for $US 175 000 at Art Basel, a contemporary art fair in Miami, Florida, in the south of the United States. Michael Jackson ordered the artwork in 2008 from Kehinde Wiley, a New York artist. But the King of Pop never saw the piece before his death, says Newstin. - Tuesday 8 December 2009 - 18:03

Panafrica - United States - International
Copenhagen: US accepts CO2 related dangers
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States Monday published a decree stipulating that greenhouse gases are a threat to public health. EPA reveals that it has both the possibility and responsibility to help make reasonable efforts, says Futura Sciences. Reports the San Francisco Chronicle: “The EPA’s finding that carbon dioxide endangers the public also will give President Obama political ammunition when he goes before world leaders in Copenhagen next week to promise U.S. emissions cuts as part of international climate change negotiations that started Monday.” According to Senator John Kerry “"If Congress does not pass legislation dealing with climate change, the administration is more than justified to use the EPA to impose new regulation". - Tuesday 8 December 2009 - 18:00

Rwanda - Sudan
Sudan-Rwanda: Two peacekeepers killed
According to VOA, unidentified gunmen killed two UN peacekeepers in Sudan’s Darfur region Saturday, one day after three others were killed in the same area. Kemal Saiaki, a spokesman for the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, said the two Rwandan soldiers were distributing water in the Shangil Tobaya settlement when at least one gunman opened fired on them. It is unclear who carried out the attack and why. - Monday 7 December 2009 - 15:15

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