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  • September 2011
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  • RSS BBC News – Africa

    • South Sudan treason charges dropped April 24, 2014
      South Sudan withdraws charges against four top politicians accused of the alleged coup plot that triggered the civil war.
    • Kenyan officials wrangle over status April 24, 2014
      Kenyan MPs propose making it a criminal offence to address an official incorrectly, the latest move in a status struggle with newly created governors.
    • Plane stowaway 'going to Somalia' April 24, 2014
      The father of a US teenager who stowed away in a wheel well on a flight to Hawaii has said his son was unhappy at school and trying to return to Somalia.
    • Nigeria rapist to be stoned to death April 24, 2014
      An Islamic court in northern Nigeria sentences a man of 63 to death by stoning for raping a girl of 10 and infecting her with HIV.
    • Lupita Nyong'o named most beautiful April 24, 2014
      Kenyan Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o, 31, is named the world's most beautiful person for 2014 by the US People magazine.
    • Deadly car bomb strikes Nairobi April 23, 2014
      Four people, two of them police, are killed in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by a car bomb outside a police station.
    • DR Congo train in deadly derailment April 23, 2014
      At least 63 people have been killed after a freight train overloaded with passengers derailed in Katanga in south-eastern DR Congo, officials say.
    • Bomb 'kills senior Egypt policeman' April 23, 2014
      A senior Egyptian police officer has been killed by a bomb blast in the capital, Cairo, officials say.
    • SA row over 'banned' Malema advert April 23, 2014
      South Africa's public broadcaster says it refused to broadcast an advert from the controversial politician Julius Malema, saying it incited violence.
    • Mali group says French hostage dead April 22, 2014
      Islamist militants in Mali say French hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal, who was kidnapped in 2012, is dead.
    • Three children found dead in London April 23, 2014
      A woman, originally from South Africa, is arrested after three children are found dead at a house in south London.
    • Moroccan Jew asks to join Islamists April 23, 2014
      A Jewish lawyer in Morocco challenges the political establishment by asking to join the ruling Islamist PJD party, it is reported.
    • VIDEO: Teacher tells of Boko Haram attack April 24, 2014
      A Koranic teacher, who has fled to Niger, tells the BBC about a Boko Haram attack on his village last year.
    • VIDEO: Film features plight of African park April 24, 2014
      The lethal realities of life in Virunga National Park are the subject of a British documentary which has just had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
    • VIDEO: Sudan hopes for bird-watching boost April 24, 2014
      Environmental campaigners in Sudan are promoting the country as a tourist destination for bird watchers in a bid to boost revenue, which could then be used to protect nesting sites and rare birds from extinction.
    • VIDEO: What is 'beauty' in Africa? April 24, 2014
      As Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o is named the world's most beautiful person a new documentary explores the beauty debate from an African perspective.
    • VIDEO: Ethiopia's Jewish community divided April 24, 2014
      Thousands of Ethiopian Jews have been left disappointed by an Israeli government decision to end a 30-year-old programme that saw tens thousands of Ethiopian Jews airlifted to the Holy Land.
    • VIDEO: Deadly car bomb strikes Nairobi April 24, 2014
      A car bomb has exploded outside a police station in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, killing four people.
    • VIDEO: Horror of S Sudan massacre filmed April 23, 2014
      The White House has strongly condemned the massacre of civilians in South Sudan calling it a betrayal of the people by their leaders.
    • VIDEO: Grim journey through 'new Rwanda' April 22, 2014
      The United Nations says the on-going conflict in South Sudan has a disturbing echo of events in Rwanda 20 years ago.
  • RSS BBC News – Home

    • Lifestyle quiz to secure a mortgage April 24, 2014
      Mortgage applicants will face tougher questions about their lifestyle from lenders, under new rules about to come into force.
    • Russia 'destabilising' Ukraine - US April 25, 2014
      The US accuses Russia of "deception and destabilisation" in eastern Ukraine, warning of further sanctions unless Moscow defuses the crisis.
    • UK science to get £200m polar ship April 25, 2014
      UK scientists are to get a £200m icebreaker, which will be one of the biggest, most capable polar research vessels in the world.
    • Miliband plans zero-hours crackdown April 25, 2014
      Ed Miliband will unveil plans to tackle the "epidemic" of zero-hours contracts in a speech in Scotland later.
    • Probe over Hillsborough insult posts April 24, 2014
      The government says it is making "urgent inquiries" into reports Whitehall computers were used to make insulting comments about the Hillsborough disaster.
    • MPs urge action on foreign prisoners April 25, 2014
      Foreign prisoners are not being deported quickly enough to help cut costs and relieve overcrowding in jails, MPs warn.
    • Obama in S Korea amid nuclear fears April 25, 2014
      US President Barack Obama arrives in Seoul for a visit that comes amid concern North Korea may be planning a fourth nuclear test.
    • New hearing for Briton in US prison April 25, 2014
      A US judge orders a hearing to consider new evidence relating to the 1987 double-murder conviction of a British businessman in Miami.
    • Tech giants settle hiring court case April 25, 2014
      Technology giants Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe settle a class action lawsuit alleging they conspired to hold down salaries.
    • Terrorism financing suspect arrested April 24, 2014
      Officers from the Metropolitan Police arrest a man in London on suspicion of financing and encouragement of terrorism.
    • Health atlas shows risks by area April 25, 2014
      A new online map of England and Wales allows people to enter their postcode and find their community's level of risk of developing 14 conditions, such as heart disease and lung cancer.
    • William and Kate at Anzac Day events April 25, 2014
      The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pay their respects to Australia's war dead on the final day of their tour.
    • Coalition Church 'split' and AGM 'anger' - papers April 25, 2014
      Claims the coalition is split over the role of the Church of England, shareholders 'anger' at Barclays AGM and the debate over crime figures attract headlines.
    • MPs' 'localness' level measured April 25, 2014
      Almost two-thirds of MPs are "local" to the area they represent, research suggests.
    • Girl gives father's CV to Mrs Obama April 24, 2014
      A young girl offered US First Lady Michelle Obama her father's CV during questions at the White House's Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
    • Ramires to miss rest of league season April 24, 2014
      Chelsea midfielder Ramires accepts the Football Association's charge of violent conduct for fracas in defeat to Sunderland.
    • Champion O'Sullivan trails Perry April 24, 2014
      Ronnie O'Sullivan trails Joe Perry 5-3 after the first session of their second-round match at the World Snooker Championship.
    • Klopp rules out Man Utd switch April 24, 2014
      Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp rules himself out of contention to become the next manager of Manchester United.
    • Rangers great Jardine dies aged 65 April 24, 2014
      Former Rangers, Hearts and Scotland defender Sandy Jardine dies aged 65 following a battle with cancer.
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  • RSS Reuters: Politics

    • Arkansas judge strikes down voter ID law as unconstitutional April 25, 2014
      LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) - An Arkansas judge declared the state's new voter identification law unconstitutional on Thursday since it stipulates that voters must meet an additional requirement before casting a ballot.
    • Exclusive: Obama may call EU leaders in Russia sanctions push - sources April 25, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is expected to speak to several European leaders on Friday to try to nudge the EU toward fresh sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, sources familiar with the matter said.
    • Colorado lawmakers advance bill to crack down on 'revenge porn' April 25, 2014
      DENVER (Reuters) - A bill that would criminalize the posting of intimate images over the Internet as an act of humiliation - so-called "revenge porn" - passed its first test in the Colorado state legislature on Thursday, sailing unanimously through a key committee.
    • California lawmakers aim to tighten handgun restrictions April 25, 2014
      SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - A bill banning the sale of single-shot handguns that can be modified into semi-automatic weapons advanced in the California legislature on Thursday as lawmakers sought to close what the bill's supporters say is a loophole in the state's gun safety laws.
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      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House is considering small steps in the near term to ease the threat of deportation for some undocumented immigrants, but advocates in communication with the administration expect President Barack Obama to make bigger changes later in the year.
    • Conservative group pulls photo of Colorado theater massacre from attack ad April 24, 2014
      DENVER (Reuters) - A conservative advocacy group has pulled a photograph used in an attack ad against Democratic Senator Mark Udall that depicted him with a grim-faced President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the Colorado theater massacre, after victims' families complained.
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      NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new era of "super PACs" in state campaigns.
    • Michelle Obama changes Kansas speech date after students protest April 24, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - First lady Michelle Obama has switched her plans to address a high school commencement ceremony in Topeka, Kansas, in May after students protested that her presence would limit the number of family members they could invite to the ceremony.
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      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers should back a bill renewing the U.S. Export-Import Bank's charter and stop playing "political games" that will only hurt American exports and jobs, the bank's president said on Thursday.
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      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate Banking Committee appears likely to back a bill to wind down government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to sources familiar with talks on the legislation.
    • Caroline Kennedy backs Hillary Clinton for 2016 April 24, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Caroline Kennedy, the current U.S. ambassador to Japan, says she would support Hillary Clinton if the former secretary of state seeks the presidency in 2016, and she hopes Clinton decides to run.
    • Obama reaffirms commitment to Japan on tour of Asia allies April 24, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama assured ally Japan on Thursday that Washington was committed to its defense, including of tiny isles at the heart of a row with China, but denied he had drawn any new "red line" and urged peaceful dialogue over the islands.
    • Mississippi sets 20-week limit on abortions April 24, 2014
      (Reuters) - Mississippi will ban abortions after more than 20 weeks of pregnancy from July, joining other conservative U.S. states that have placed restrictions on the procedure.
    • Pentagon dossier to detail secretive U.S. Afghan detainee policy April 24, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of them have been locked up for a dozen years. Some are suspected fighters from Yemen, Russia or Pakistan, arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Several have been linked to al Qaeda.
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      TOKYO (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Tokyo and other Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up U.S. engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that Washington's real aim is to contain Beijing's rise.
    • Pentagon dossier to detail secretive U.S. Afghan detainee policy April 23, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of them have been locked up for a dozen years. Some are suspected fighters from Yemen, Russia or Pakistan, arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Several have been linked to al Qaeda.
    • Exclusive: White House considers former banking lawyer for Fed board - sources April 23, 2014
      NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former lawyer with the American Bankers Association is being considered by the White House as a possible nominee to the board of the Federal Reserve, according to sources familiar with the efforts
    • Vote delayed on loan guarantee for World Trade Center developer April 23, 2014
      NEW YORK (Reuters) - The board of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey on Wednesday delayed a scheduled vote on whether to provide $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, the latest holdup for the project.
    • Democratic governors challenge Connecticut campaign finance law April 23, 2014
      (Reuters) - The U.S. Democratic Governors' Association on Wednesday sued the state of Connecticut, saying its laws on political spending are unconstitutionally broad and limit the ability of political groups to buy independent ads backing candidates.
  • RSS CNN.com – Africa

    • Luxury shoes made in Ghana April 15, 2014
      Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.
    • Meet Nigeria's 'Mark Zuckerberg' April 3, 2014
      At 23, many people around the world are still at university -- at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
    • Why we need more geek girls April 3, 2014
      "It was like taking a big leap of faith."
    • 'Uncle Ebo' revives Ghanaian theater April 15, 2014
      African Voices meets James Ebo Whyte a passionate storyteller with a series of successful plays to his credit.
    • How medics saved lives at Westgate April 9, 2014
      When gunmen stormed into Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Abbas Gullet was one of the first emergency responders on the scene. As head of Kenya's Red Cross, he was in charge of coordinating services for people in need.
    • Embracing Ghana's natural beauty April 1, 2014
      She started her business with just £100, lugging her beauty bag from door to door, but some 25 years later Grace Amey-Obeng has built a multi-million dollar cosmetics empire that's helping change the perception of beauty for many.
    • Africa's most endangered April 16, 2014
      Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened. Find out more about its most endangered animals.
    • Secrets of 'gorilla whisperer' March 25, 2014
      Zain Verjee visits Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park -- the home of half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla population.
    • Savannah from the sky March 13, 2014
      It's almost impossible for a photographer to find fresh visual perspectives these days. Brooklyn-based Zack Seckler had to travel to a different continent and strap into an ultra-light aircraft to find one. His Botswana series presents the country from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique and captivating view of the savannah.
    • Why the abduction isn't shocking April 22, 2014
      No one knows where 77 abducted girls in Nigeria are -- and surprising still, no one's particularly shocked.
    • Slum dweller means business April 22, 2014
      Most success-hungry entrepreneurs would tell you there's not enough hours in the day -- try saying that to Buken Makokha.
    • Human viruses killing last gorillas? April 22, 2014
      They are the world's largest primates and yet the constant threat of illegal poaching, deforestation and now human diseases mean that soon the world's mountain gorillas could be completely wiped out. Meet the woman trying to fix the situation before it's too late.
    • Is this the new Oprah? April 18, 2014
      Meet Mo Abudu: 'Africa's Oprah Winfrey.' The glamorous 49-year-old is conquering the continent one media empire at a time.
    • Ancient tribe living in the past April 18, 2014
      The Hadza are one of the oldest people on earth. Today, they battle for land, and continued survival.
    • Web dismantles stereotypes April 21, 2014
      The new Web series "An African City" is fun, trendy and over the top.
    • Why you should fear Boko Haram April 17, 2014
      Boko Haram's lethality is indisputable.
    • You gotta try South African BBQ April 17, 2014
      Grilled zebra anyone? Peri-peri warthog? This is how to barbecue, South Africa style.
    • Inside an Ebola isolation ward April 16, 2014
      Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes into an ebola clinic to find out what life is like for the patients inside.
    • Rating Pistorius's defense April 16, 2014
      After five days of intense cross-examination, has Olympian Oscar Pistorius helped or harmed his defense that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkam?
    • Pop art condoms saving lives April 15, 2014
      The Center for African Family Studies in Nairobi has teamed up with Kenyan artist Michael Soi to create eye-catching condom wrappers to promote safe sex and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people.
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Women: Working nights to put food on the table.

Posted by African Press International on September 17, 2011

Martha Lebasale

MARSABIT, 15 September 2011 (IRIN) – A severe drought and high food prices have forced many pastoralist families in northern Kenya to re-examine traditional roles. Women are now not only engaging in commercial activities, such as hawking and basket-weaving, but are also working nights to put food on the table. Martha Lebasale, a mother of three living in Dubsahey village in Marsabit district, spoke to IRIN about her switch to hawking:

“I got married six years ago; I became a hawker a year ago when hunger started to bite. I start hawking brooms and toothbrushes [made from leaves and roots of a local tree] from about 5pm; my business is most lucrative at night because lorries carrying passengers travel at night.

“It pains me that I have to leave my children, the eldest of whom is six years old, alone at night as I go about my business.

“I hawk for almost 10 hours every day. For many years, the Rendille – my community – feared poverty caused by loss of livestock during droughts. Now hunger is our main concern after we experienced frequent droughts in recent years. Almost the entire community is struggling with hunger.

“Many married Rendille women and young girls have disregarded some of our strict traditions which forbade us to move around at night. I no longer have to seek permission to leave home because we are all trying to avoid hunger. Now we have been forced to remain awake at night like wild animals on a hunting mission.

“I used to rely on my husband to bring food home but this changed in 2009 when we lost all our goats due to the drought.

“At the beginning of the year, I used to go home early after selling a bunch of either brooms or toothbrushes at 200 shillings [US$2.10]; it was enough to buy food, but this is no longer possible. One must stay awake the whole night to make more money that would barely be enough to buy food for the whole family.

“My fear is that we [Rendille women] shall very soon start hawking during the day and the night and completely stop sleeping. Prices of food continue to rise; 1kg of low-quality rice has tripled from 50 to 160 shillings [$0.52-1.68] since January; we get very little relief food. The last distribution was in July.

“Hawking can be risky, especially for women and girls out at night alone. I know of two women who quit this year after they were bitten by poisonous snakes. Some women have been divorced by their husbands; some men prefer to starve than allow their wives to move around at night hawking.

“I believe that we, the Rendille community, in particular, elders who make decisions, must accept and support women to help their families. Indeed, many women are now heading homes; men are no longer the only providers. My community should accept and acknowledge that we no longer have the cattle and goats; it should adopt new ways of surviving.

“I plan to enrol in adult education classes to learn English so I can sell my merchandise to foreign tourists. So far, I have learnt Borana, Somali and I have improved my Kiswahili. This has helped me get more customers and raise my income to almost 400 shillings [$4] on a good day.”

na/js/mw source www.irinnews.org

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