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  • RSS BBC News – Africa

    • Deadly attack on South Sudan UN base April 17, 2014
      Dozens of civilians sheltering in a UN base in the South Sudan city of Bor have been killed in an attack by armed youths, the UN says.
    • French troops free Mali aid workers April 17, 2014
      French troops in Mali free five aid workers who were kidnapped in the north of the country by suspected Islamist militants in February.
    • Parents seek Nigeria kidnap girls April 17, 2014
      The parents of some of the girls abducted from their school in north-east Nigeria head into the forests in a dangerous search for their daughters.
    • Pistorius forensic tests challenged April 17, 2014
      The tests carried out by a forensic expert for Oscar Pistorius' murder trial are rigorously challenged by the state prosecutor in South Africa.
    • Algeria votes on Bouteflika's future April 18, 2014
      Algerians have voted in elections in which incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke last year, is seeking a fourth term.
    • Senegal's Karim Wade 'to face trial' April 17, 2014
      A Senegalese court rules that Karim Wade, the ex-president's son, should stand trial on corruption charges over his wealth, an official says.
    • Guinea-Bissau run-off to pick leader April 17, 2014
      Officials in Guinea-Bissau say a run-off vote will be held next month after no candidate won an outright victory in Sunday's presidential election.
    • Remittance fees 'hurt Africans' April 16, 2014
      Communities in sub-Saharan Africa are being "hurt" by high fees charged by money transfer operators, charity Comic Relief says.
    • UN mulls medal for peacekeepers April 16, 2014
      The UN Security Council hears a proposal to create a medal for bravery in UN peacekeeping, to be named after a Senegalese soldier who saved lives during the Rwandan genocide.
    • Head of oldest African park shot April 16, 2014
      The Belgian director of Africa's oldest national park - Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo - is shot and wounded in an ambush.
    • 'Last' Chadian soldier leaves CAR April 16, 2014
      Chad has withdrawn all its peacekeepers from the Central African Republic, an official confirms, after accusations they sided with Muslim rebels.
    • South Sudan rebels 'seize' oil hub April 15, 2014
      Rebel forces in South Sudan say they have recaptured the oil hub of Bentiu and want oil companies to halt operations.
    • Elite marathon runner misses flight April 15, 2014
      A London Marathon runner from Sierra Leone is missing after she disappeared and failed to catch a flight home.
    • VIDEO: Hunt for 100 abducted girls in Nigeria April 16, 2014
      Security forces in Borno State in Nigeria are searching for dozens of teenage girls abducted by suspected members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
    • AUDIO: 'Killing books' in Libya April 15, 2014
      Libyan author Mansour Bushnaf says Libya does not have much of reading culture because under Col Muammar Gaddafi, people were afraid of books.
    • VIDEO: At site of Nigeria bus station blast April 14, 2014
      A powerful bomb blast has ripped through a crowded bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, killing at least 71 people.
    • VIDEO: Cleaning up Cairo's waste system April 14, 2014
      The Egyptian government is turning to its traditional rubbish collectors - the Zabaleen - to revolutionise Cario's waste disposal industry.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 23 - in 60 secs April 16, 2014
      The girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius was shot in quick succession as she fell down, a forensics expert has told the South African athlete's murder trial.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 21 - in 60 secs April 14, 2014
      The prosecutor at the Oscar Pistorius murder trial suggests the South African athlete is using his emotions "as an escape".
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial shown prosthetic leg April 17, 2014
      The prosthetic leg belonging to Oscar Pistorius has been shown to the court during his murder trial. He denies murder, claiming he mistook Reeva Steenkamp for a burglar.
  • RSS BBC News – Home

    • Korea ship: Third officer 'had helm' April 18, 2014
      The third officer was at the helm of the ferry that capsized off South Korea, investigators say, as divers work to access the sunken hull.
    • Sacked doctor was unfairly dismissed April 18, 2014
      A sacked heart specialist was unfairly dismissed after raising concerns about patient safety, an employment tribunal rules.
    • East Ukraine militants snub deal April 18, 2014
      Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine refuse to leave official buildings, just hours after an international deal was reached to defuse the crisis.
    • 'Six dead' in Everest avalanche April 18, 2014
      Six people are reported to have been killed after an early-morning avalanche on the slopes of Mount Everest.
    • Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies April 17, 2014
      The Nobel prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, author of One Hundred Years of Solitude, dies in Mexico aged 87, his family says.
    • Labour hires Obama poll guru Axelrod April 18, 2014
      David Axelrod, the strategist who masterminded Barack Obama's presidential victories, will be a key adviser on Ed Miliband's 2015 general election campaign, the Labour Party says.
    • Teachers' unions meet amid disputes April 17, 2014
      Calls for more action over pay and pensions are expected this weekend when the two biggest teachers' unions meet for their annual conferences.
    • Bullied children still suffer at 50 April 17, 2014
      Children can experience the negative effects of bullying on their physical and mental health more than 40 years later, says a study from King's College London.
    • Channel Tunnel due back to normal April 18, 2014
      Channel Tunnel rail services are expected to return to normal on Good Friday morning after being hit by severe disruption.
    • British teenager killed in Syria April 18, 2014
      An 18-year-old British man has died in Syria, the Foreign Office confirms.
    • Deadly attack on South Sudan UN base April 17, 2014
      Dozens of civilians sheltering in a UN base in the South Sudan city of Bor have been killed in an attack by armed youths, the UN says.
    • Chelsea Clinton announces pregnancy April 17, 2014
      The daughter of former US President Bill Clinton and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces she is pregnant with her first child.
    • Foreign doctor 'safety fears' - front pages April 18, 2014
      Some papers focus on suggestions foreign-trained doctors are less skilled than British counterparts, while others report on a child said to have caught meningitis from a cat.
    • Female cave insects have 'penises' April 18, 2014
      Female insects with 'penises' have been discovered in Brazil - the first example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia.
    • Chick knit plea response 'fantastic' April 18, 2014
      An online appeal by a Manchester children's hospice for knitted chicks boosts its flock to an "unexpected" more than 6,300.
    • Hamilton top in second practice April 18, 2014
      Lewis Hamilton heads Ferrari's Fernando Alonso as the Mercedes driver sets the pace in Friday practice at the Chinese GP.
    • Mata backs Moyes to revive Man Utd April 17, 2014
      Record buy Juan Mata is confident Manchester United will become a force under David Moyes with the addition of new signings.
    • Trott to take break from cricket April 17, 2014
      England batsman Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from cricket because of a recurrence of his anxiety issues.
    • Lawro's predictions v Ken Doherty April 17, 2014
      BBC Sport's football expert Mark Lawrenson takes on former snooker world champion Ken Doherty in this week's predictions
    • 'There's a secret language only us drivers know' April 17, 2014
      In his regular BBC Sport column, Lewis Hamilton talks about his thrilling Bahrain battle with team-mate Nico Rosberg
  • RSS Reuters: Politics

    • Obama argues healthcare law is working, rejects Republican criticism April 17, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama mounted a vigorous effort on Thursday to show his signature healthcare law is working and dismissed Republican critics who are using flaws in Obamacare to campaign for ousting Democrats from the U.S. Congress in November.
    • Two justices say high court will likely rule on NSA programs April 17, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two members of the Supreme Court indicated on Thursday night that the court will ultimately have to decide the legality of National Security Agency surveillance activities.
    • Two U.S. arms programs face live-or-die reviews after costs jump April 17, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An unmanned U.S. Navy helicopter built by Northrop Grumman Corp and a precision ship-landing system built by Raytheon Co face mandatory reviews that could lead to their cancellation after quantity reductions drove unit costs sharply higher in 2013, the Pentagon announced on Thursday.
    • Cost to buy F-35 up 2 percent; to operate down 9 percent: Pentagon April 17, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Thursday forecast the cost of developing and buying Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jet at $398.6 billion, up 2 percent from last year, but said the projected cost to operate and maintain the jets was down about 9 percent.
    • Obama budget would boost U.S. tax revenue, cut deficits: CBO April 17, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's fiscal 2015 budget request would boost U.S. tax revenue by nearly $1.4 trillion over 10 years if fully enacted, cutting deficits by $1.05 trillion while funding new spending, the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday.
    • Conservatives encouraging presidential bid by surgeon outraise rivals April 17, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - If money is any indication, a prominent Baltimore doctor with no political experience is an early front-runner in the 2016 U.S. presidential race.
    • House Republican leaders holding up immigration reform: Obama April 17, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Thursday called on the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, which he said was being blocked by Republican leaders in the House of Representatives.
    • Live free or die: New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery April 17, 2014
      BOSTON (Reuters) - New Hampshire lawmakers on Thursday voted to scrap an ancient law that makes cheating on your spouse a criminal offense in the New England state whose motto is "Live Free or Die."
    • Hotel magnate pleads guilty to U.S. campaign contribution scheme April 17, 2014
      NEW YORK (Reuters) - A prominent hotel executive in New York pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to make $188,000 of illegal campaign contributions to three U.S. candidates via straw donors.
    • Obama to hold press conference, set to address Ukraine: aide April 17, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will hold a press conference at the White House on Thursday and will be prepared to answer questions about the situation in Ukraine, a White House aide said.
    • Beau Biden, son of U.S. VP, to run for governor of Delaware April 17, 2014
      (Reuters) - At least one member of the Biden family will be seeking higher office in 2016.
    • New Hampshire lawmakers fail to pass death penalty repeal April 17, 2014
      BOSTON (Reuters) - New Hampshire's Senate failed to repeal the death penalty on Thursday, in a vote that capped weeks of emotional debate while focusing attention on the state's lone death row inmate.
    • California Governor Brown wants rainy-day fund in constitution April 17, 2014
      SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday stepped up his efforts to enshrine a rainy day fund in the state's constitution, stealing some thunder from Republicans backing a similar measure as he seeks an unprecedented fourth term.
    • Detroit pension deal approved by one retirement system April 17, 2014
      (Reuters) - The board of Detroit's General Retirement System on Wednesday approved economic terms of a settlement with the city that include cuts to pension benefits, putting in place another key component of Detroit's effort to exit bankruptcy by October.
    • U.S. calls for more investment-friendly Indian government April 17, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday urged the Indian government that emerges from ongoing elections to follow economic policies that encourage investment, saying Washington would like to see bilateral trade grow to $500 billion a year.
    • Obama, Republicans openly feud over immigration legislation April 16, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Partisan bickering over immigration reform legislation intensified on Wednesday as President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Republicans accused each other of standing in the way of progress one year after bipartisan Senate legislation was introduced.
    • Two incompatible gun ballot measures lead in Washington state April 16, 2014
      OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - Two incompatible ballot measures on background checks for gun buyers in Washington state enjoy majority support in a poll released on Tuesday, but the one advancing stricter gun controls is more popular.
    • Detroit pension deal approved by one retirement system April 16, 2014
      (Reuters) - The board of Detroit's General Retirement System on Wednesday approved economic terms of a settlement with the city that include cuts to pension benefits, putting in place another key component of Detroit's effort to exit bankruptcy by October.
    • Wisconsin passes law to curb private custody transfers of children April 16, 2014
      NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wisconsin has adopted a law to limit private custody transfers of children, the first law of its kind in the United States, responding to a Reuters investigation that exposed the dangers of the unregulated practice.
    • Obama, Biden visit Pennsylvania to promote job-training plan April 16, 2014
      OAKDALE, Penn. (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took a trip to a Pennsylvania community college on Wednesday to promote a plan to train workers for skills they need for hard-to-fill jobs.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Ebola: A swift and bloody killer April 16, 2014
      It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here.
    • 'I lost my fingers, made new ones' April 14, 2014
      A South African carpenter lost his fingers in an accident -- now he's making mechanical fingers and hands for others.
    • Kenya double in London Marathon April 13, 2014
      World record-holder Wilson Kipsang completed a Kenyan double at the London Marathon Sunday as home hope Mo Farah disappointed on his debut over the 42km distance.
    • Pistorius at mercy of 'bull dog?' April 11, 2014
      He's known as the "bull dog" in South Africa's legal circles, and just two days in to Gerrie Nel's merciless cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius, it's easy to see why.
    • 'Now is the time for Afro-realism' April 11, 2014
      Over the last 20 years, the narrative on the African continent has shifted from Afro-pessimism to Afro-optimism. The truth lies somewhere in between. Now is the time for Afro-realism: for sound policies based on honest data, aimed at delivering results.
    • Africa's tastiest street food April 11, 2014
      Here are your photos of the tastiest -- and most unusual -- African street food.
    • Most stylish tribe in Africa? April 10, 2014
      A South African designer is making sure that when Xhosa boys come of age, they're dressed to the nines.
    • Egypt's sex pest epidemic? April 9, 2014
      A university student cowers in a pharmacy as a mob outside threatens her with sexual violence. A law student is groped by her classmates, the dean cites her "inappropriate attire." Frightening allegations but advocates say this is an everyday reality for women in Cairo.
    • Day that changed Kenya forever 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.
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Archive for December 29th, 2011

Analysis: International Criminal Court verdict on Kenya Cases ready for release shortly

Posted by African Press International on December 29, 2011

By api,

The verdict on Kenya cases ready for release any time. The Presiding judge may not want to wait for many more days.

After the confirmation of charges hearing where Kenyan leaders were answering accusations labelled against them by Chief Prosecutor Ocampo at the ICC, the waiting for the verdict started.

The country is divided on the issue. Some would like to see the suspects facing a full trial and there are those who think otherwise, saying the whole case is a set up to fix the suspects.

Whatever it is, all right thinking Kenyans agree that Kenya will never be the same after the verdict is read out. There will be those who will be disappointed and others rejoicing.

The good thing that may cool tempers is the fact that no persons will claim that the judges  are bribed in order to arrive at a certain decision.

During the waiting period for the verdict that started on the 6th of October 2011, many experts and others who are opinionated have come out with conclusion after conclusion. There are those who have come out condemning the suspects and wishing for a verdict that will send them to a full trial. One thing this group forgets is the fact that the suspects will still remain innocent even if the case is confirmed.

These group of people should also wake up and see what happened to the recently freed Rwandese man who was represented by Mr Ogeto and Mr Otachi (both Kenyan lawyers, also active in ICC Kenya cases), whose case was in Arusha whereby the sentence was overturned in his favour by the court of appeal.

This was a man whose case was confirmed and faced a full trial. This means that having a case confirmed does not affirm one’s guilt at all.

Every Kenyan interested in the cases facing the six suspects should sit down and get answers to the following questions.

  • Do we really believe Uhuru Kenyatta stood out there to dish out money to people and directed them to go and kill other Kenyans?
  • Do we really believe William Ruto held a meeting in his home attended by thousands of people whereby he armed them and send them out to massacre other Kenyans?
  • Do we really believe that Mr Francis Muthaura directed police to keep off from doing their job of guarding Kenyans?
  • Do we really believe that Hussein Ali issued orders to his juniors directing them to cooperate with Mungiki in killing ODM supporters?
  • Do we really believe that Mr Joshua Sang used his Radio station to agitate the Kalenjins to go out and kill other tribes in the Rift Valley?
  • And finally, do we really believe Henry Kosgey worked with Ruto to cleanse the Rift Valley, by influencing the Kalenjins to murder other tribes in the region?

It is not enough to listen to propaganda aired and make conclusions that the six are guilty of offences they are accused of by the ICC prosecutor. We know there are victims out there who must be remembered and cared for by the government. However, emotions must never guide anyone to arrive at a decision that will shatter another person’s life.

This is the time of soul-searching. People need to look into their souls for answers. Whatever the ICC decides in the cases facing the six, Kenyans must not forget that the country belongs to all and living together in peace must guide everyone and especially now that the general elections is around the corner.

It is sensible to accept that even if the cases are confirmed and send to trial, any of the suspects can still vie for positions of importance in Kenya, and if elected, can take up the job while awaiting the trial to come to an end, – and as history of the ICC has shown, proceedings may take up to 5 years. Therefore, this means that if the suspects are to go on trial, their lives will not stagnate because they remain innocent as long as the cases are going on.

Mr Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr William Ruto are both candidates in next year’s presidential elections and as it is, confirmation of charges will not stop their candidature.

End

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Posted in AA > News and News analysis | 1 Comment »

Norway: Condemns bomb attacks in Baghdad

Posted by African Press International on December 29, 2011

“I strongly condemn today’s attacks in Baghdad, which appear to have killed more than 50 people. It is particularly worrying that these attacks are taking place at a time when the political situation in Iraq is so fragile,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

There was a series of coordinated bomb attacks on shops, schools and public building in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, today. The attacks came just days after the last US troops withdrew from the country.

“It is vital that the Iraqi authorities and all political factions in the country now take part in an inclusive process in order to bolster the fragile democracy. A democracy that represents the various ethnic and religious groups in the country is the only way to meet the needs of all the Iraqi people. Norway will continue to support institution building in various areas in Iraq,” said Foreign Minister Støre.

Norway is providing support to the petroleum sector, the justice sector, anti-corruption efforts and efforts to promote human rights.

 

 end

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Small farmers in developing countries cannot compete with subsidised big farmers in developed countries

Posted by African Press International on December 29, 2011

FOOD: WTO “must address” food security

Small farmers in developing countries cannot compete with subsidised big farmers in developed countries

JOHANNESBURG,  – An exchange between two leading world officials on how trade affects food insecurity in countries has helped focus attention on the stalled Doha trade talks.

Olivier de Schutter, UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, says: “Food security is the elephant in the room, which WTO [the World Trade Organization] must address”, pointing out that food import bills had soared by a third for poor countries this year.

Schutter said developing countries should limit their reliance on international trade to ensure they had enough food and be able to put in place measures to beef up their own production and insulate themselves from global price shocks.

Pascal Lamy, director-general of the WTO, on the other hand, believes food security is central to the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), the world’s first treaty aimed at improving market access and reducing trade-distorting subsidies in agriculture and the Doha Round.

''Trade and food security is in effect a WTO issue, and so there is great frustration within the UN that this enormously restricts the role of, for example, the Food and Agriculture Organization-based Committee on Food Security''

Measures such as temporary import restrictions, state purchases from small-scale farmers, allowing state-held food reserves, safety net insurance schemes and targeted farm subsidies could help, said Schutter, but WTO rules left little space for developing countries to implement them.

He said WTO members should convene a panel of experts to analyse whether existing WTO rules, and those being negotiated under the Doha Round were compatible with national and international food policies; assess the impact of trade liberalization on world food prices; and initiate talks at the WTO to take into account the long-term impacts of the 2007 global food price crisis for the international trade regime. (More details in his briefing note, The World Trade Organization and the Post-Global Food Crisis Agenda: Putting Food Security First in the International Food System  )

Lamy points out that most experts, including those in the UN, agree that international trade is part of the solution.

Allowing developing countries to implement trade restrictive measures could hurt them the most, as, he said, “about 60 percent of developing countries’ agriculture exports go to other developing countries.”

Lamy agreed with Schutter on the need to ensure safety nets are in place to help the urban and rural poor, but he said the AoA provides developing countries with the room to implement policies in line with their national objectives through the use of certain subsidies.

Developing countries do not have to cut their subsidies or lower their tariffs as much

Some issues WTO needs to address in agriculture
Ceilings on subsidies: Current ceilings on how much the US and the EU can spend on subsidies that distort trade are still rather high
Cotton subsidies: The US has still not fully complied with a WTO ruling in 2009 to remove subsidies for its cotton producers.
African farmers could have gained from a 3.5 percent average increase in world cotton prices, if the US had cut subsidies.
Biofuel Subsidies : Not covered yet. A new study found that US ethanol subsidies may have artificially inflated maize prices by as much as 17 percent in 2011.
Source: ICTSD

as developed countries, and they are given extra time to complete their obligations under AoA. Poor countries don’t have to do this at all, he added.

The Doha Round could help to give developing countries more space by making it easier to maintain food reserves for food security purposes for instance, said Lamy. (More details on Lamy’s response )

Other views

Almost all economists, and even those within the UN, agree that trade is part of the solution and insulating domestic economies with trade restrictions might work in the short-term for a particular country but can have far-reaching repercussions for others in the region.

Economist Dirk Willem te Velde at the UK’s Overseas Development Institute (ODI) cited Tanzania’s export ban on maize in July as an example. “At that moment, Kenya would have wanted more trade rather than less in order to become more food secure.”

The Doha Round

The Schutter-Lamy debate has reopened issues around the Doha talks which have been going on, in stop-start mode, for the last 10 years

“Two schools of thought are emerging”, said Jonathan Hepburn, the agriculture programme manager at the Geneva-based think-tank, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development: One says that “with Doha in limbo, high and volatile food prices, a changing climate, and

growing world population, it made sense to begin discussing how trade relates to food security and other issues.

“The other – of concluding Doha first – is favoured by many developing countries who have invested scarce resources in maintaining missions and negotiators at the talks for 10 years.”

Economist Edward Clay of the ODI says: “Perhaps no one is actually able to admit that the Doha Development Round [DDR] is dead and so begin the discussion again with that openly conceded. That leads to the question what should be taken over from the DDR.”

He digs deeper: “Trade and food security is in effect a WTO issue, and so there is great frustration within the UN that this enormously restricts the role of, for example, the Food and Agriculture Organization-based Committee on Food Security: the key issues are not just discussed but actually negotiated elsewhere.

“Second, primarily allowing trade to address food security is somewhat in greater doubt in our current era of extreme food commodity market volatility.”

jk/cb source www.irinnews.org

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

David Kato opposed the criminalization of homosexuality, which experts say is one of the main barriers to HIV services for men who have sex with men

Posted by African Press International on December 29, 2011

HIV/AIDS: Five faces we were watching in 2011

David Kato opposed the criminalization of homosexuality, which experts say is one of the main barriers to HIV services for men who have sex with men

NAIROBI,  – From scientific breakthroughs to herbal “cures”, HIV was never far from the headlines in 2011.

IRIN/PlusNews brings you some of the people behind this year’s headlines:

Mandisa Dlamini - Mandisa, daughter of murdered HIV activist Gugu Dlamini, took centre stage at the South African AIDS Conference in the country’s port city of Durban. Thirteen years after she was killed because of her HIV status, Gugu’s murder continues to be a potent symbol of the dangers of stigmatization.

Mandisa’s story was an emotive reminder of the darker side of HIV aid and activism; she said following her mother’s death, which has been used to draw international attention to HIV stigma, friends were few and far between. Her story of growing up alone and becoming a teenage mother following Gugu’s death before being taken in by a social worker she now calls mother, was not only a window into the lives of so many children, but also a commentary on how the HIV response often fails the most vulnerable ones left behind.

Myron Cohen - A professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology and public health at the US University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Myron Cohen was the principal investigator in HPTN 052, the landmark randomized controlled trial which provided definitive proof that antiretroviral treatment reduces HIV transmission.

Hailed as one of the major scientific breakthroughs of 2011, “treatment as prevention” presents an opportunity for high burden countries to make real progress in significantly reducing the number of new HIV infections.

Ambilikile Mwasapile – The Tanzanian herbalist, a retired Lutheran pastor, made news with a concoction of herbs he claimed could cure several ailments, including diabetes, tuberculosis and HIV infection.

At his busiest, Mwasapile was reported to be seeing up to 2,000 people a day from all over the East African region; news outlets reported that people died from various illnesses while waiting to see him.

HIV activists criticized the Tanzanian government for failing to reign in Mwasapile and properly advise people living with HIV that they must continue with their HIV medication, even after taking his drink.

David Kato – One of Uganda’s leading gay rights activists, David Kato was murdered on 26 January, leaving the country’s gay community afraid and angry. Kato was vehemently opposed to an anti-homosexuality bill – still before parliament – which would impose the death penalty on people found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality”.

The continued stigmatization of men who have sex with men, in Ugandan society and under Ugandan law, has been pinpointed as one of the main reasons they have failed to access HIV services, despite being categorized as a “most at-risk” population.

In October 2010, Kato – a schoolteacher by profession – had his name and photograph and name published by a local tabloid, The Rolling Stone, under the headline, “Hang Them”. He and others named in the publication sued, and a judge ruled that the paper had violated their constitutional rights to privacy and ordered compensation.

In November 2011, a court sentenced a man to 30 years in prison for the murder of Kato. However, activists continue to claim there was a cover-up of the events surrounding his death.

Barack Obama – The US is already a global leader in the fight against HIV – close to half the 6.6 million people who accessed ARVs in 2011 did so through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – and in December, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his government’s commitment to ending the pandemic when he pledged to provide treatment to six million people globally by 2013, an increase of two million on PEPFAR’s previous target.

He also pledged that the US would provide ARVs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission to 1.5 million women, support 4.7 million male circumcisions in eastern and southern Africa, and fund the distribution of at least one billion male condoms.

kr/llg/cb source www.irinnews.org

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

 
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