Tag Archives: Member states of the United Nations


Malawi ‘vampirism’ mania spreads

Since September, a vampire scare has triggered mob violence in Malawi that has killed at least eight people accused of being blood suckers including two killings reported in the second city, Blantyre on Thursday (October 19). The vampire rumours appear to have originated in neighbouring Mozambique, although it was not clear what had sparked them. Belief in witchcraft is widespread in rural Malawi and authorities say they are struggling to convince the population that the vampire rumours are anything but true.
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Congo controversially elected to U.N right council, despite abuse record

Critics of President Joseph Kabila’s government are challenging the election of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the 47-member Geneva-based council. The country – beset by renewed political and militia violence since Kabila refused to step down in December – won 151 votes. US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley said Congo’s election harmed the credibility of the body.
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South Korea says North Korea earthquake produced more energy than in the past

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (SEPTEMBER 3, 2017) (REUTERS) – South Korea’s Meteorological agency said on Sunday (September 3) North Korea’s earthquake produced 5 to 6 times more energy compared to fifth nuclear test in September 2016. Continue reading


Rwanda’s tech entrepreneurs use technology to tackle reproductive health challenges amongst youth

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) develops an innovation accelerator programme that is supporting young entrepreneurs in addressing reproductive health challenges in Rwanda. ‘Tantine’- an app developed by twins Sylvie and Sylvain Uhirwa – both medical students at the University of Rwanda. The app opens up a channel of communication on sexual and reproductive health issues to Burundian refugees living in Mahama Refugee Camp in the south of the country.
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South Africa’s ANC proposes land expropriation without compensation

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (JULY 5, 2017) (REUTERS) – South Africa’s ruling party failed on Wednesday (July 5) to agree a clear plan to get the economy out of recession and tackle near-28 percent unemployment, but risked rattling investors with pledges on nationalising the central bank and expropriating land. Continue reading


Thousands of migrant workers leave Thailand after labour crackdown

MYAWADDY, MYANMAR (JUNE 30, 2017) (TPBS) – Thousands of irregular migrant workers from Myanmar and Cambodia are leaving Thailand each day, Thailand’s immigration police said on Friday (June 30), after a decree aimed at managing foreign workers took effect earlier this month.
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UK’s May meets with African leaders on sideline of Somalia conference

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MAY 11, 2017) (UK POOL) – British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday (May 11) met with African leaders on the sideline of an international conference on Somalia in London.
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Some Africans to remember from 2016

A chief that ends marriages, a 12-year-old boy who is a ballet dance prodigy and an opposition leader’s death that was expected to change the landscape of politics in Sudan – just some of the people that made headlines in Africa in 2016.

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Highlights of main world events in May and June 2016

AT SEA (MARINA MILITARE HANDOUT) – An EgyptAir plane crashed in the Mediterranean on May 19, killing all 66 people.

Flight MS804 had sent a series of warnings indicating that smoke had been detected on board, shortly before it disappeared off radar screens.

The recovered cockpit voice recorder indicated there was an attempt to put out a fire on board the jet before it plunged into the sea.

Egypt’s search and rescue teams found human remains, wreckage and the personal belongings of passengers floating in the Mediterranean about 290 km (180 miles) north of Alexandria.

The recovered items included blue and white debris with EgyptAir markings, seat fabric with designs in the airline’s colours, and yellow lifejackets.

The crash was the third blow since October 2015 to Egypt’s travel industry.

A suspected Islamic State bombing brought down a Russian airliner after it took off from Sharm el-Sheikh airport in late October, killing all 224 people on board, and an EgyptAir plane was hijacked in March by a man wearing a fake suicide belt.

The Italian Coastguard said more than 1,900 migrants were rescued from boats in the Mediterranean in 16 operations on May 27.

Video showing the latest migrant boat tragedy was released on May 26 by the European Union’s naval force in the Mediterranean.

The footage filmed from an aircraft showed migrants on the deck of a partly-submerged boat at sea and life boats and jackets being dropped for them.

Rescuers could later been seen approaching the migrants on rescue dinghies.

Separately, Libya’s coastguard said it had stopped six boats carrying more than 750 migrants off the country’s western coast and had recovered four bodies.

Europe’s worst immigration crisis since World War Two has led to more than 8,000 deaths in 2 1/2 years, the International Organization for Migration estimates.

The Italian navy vessel Vega arrived in southern Italy’s Reggio Calabria port on May 29, carrying the bodies of 45 victims including three infants.

A surge in migrant traffic between Libya and Italy at the end of May saw more than 14,000 people being saved from overcrowded boats and three consecutive days of shipwrecks in which hundreds died.

Authorities began bulldozing tents in a makeshift camp on the Greek border on May 24 in an operation to evacuate the camp.

Bulldozers cleared away domestic camping tents left in haphazard rows after several buses full of migrants drove away from the camp, destined for organised government reception centres.

Greece’s Public Order Ministry said 1,529 migrants had left the camp, estimated to have held 8,200 people at last tally.

At one point more than 12,000 lived there after several Balkan countries shut their borders in February, barring migrants and refugees from central and northern Europe.

Police and protesters clashed in Paris on May 26, during anti-labour reform rallies while the hardline CGT union sought to choke off fuel supplies in a showdown with a government.

Protesters threw rocks and glass bottles at police who responded with large amounts of tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Sixteen people were arrested in Paris where 18,000-19,000 marched according to police, far fewer than in the first protests against the labour law over the past three months.

As turnout at protests has dwindled, the CGT has turned to sectoral strikes, with workers stopping work at oil refineries, nuclear power plants and the railways, as well as erecting road blocks and burning wooden pallets and tyres at key ports like Le Havre and near distribution hubs.

On July 5 France’s government invoked special constitutional powers to impose labour legislation that will make it easier to hire and fire staff, overriding street protesters staging their last rally of the summer.

At issue is a bill that is designed to trim a 10 percent jobless rate, giving companies more freedom to set tailor-made pay and work conditions at company level.

Barack Obama became the first incumbent U.S. president to visit Hiroshima on May 27, the city that experienced the world’s first atomic bombing, as he called for an end to nuclear arms.

In a solemn yet brief ceremony, Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe each laid a wreath at the Hiroshima memorial park.

Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, where a U.S. atomic bomb killed thousands instantly on August 6, 1945, and some 140,000 by the year’s end, underscores a new level of reconciliation and tighter ties between the former enemies.

The visit stirred debate, with critics accusing both sides of having selective memories, and pointing to paradoxes in policies relying on nuclear deterrence while calling for an end to atomic weapons.

In France, the river Seine burst its banks, completely submerging roads and footpaths.

The waters continued to rise on June 3, following days of torrential rains that killed two people in the country.

Floodwaters forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes and dozens of schools closed south of Paris. The army was called in to rescue stranded motorists on a major highway.

The river reached a record high of 8.6 metres in 1910, when thousands of Parisians had to flee flooded low-lying areas of the city.

The death of Muhammad Ali, the former heavyweight champion known as much for his political activism as his boxing brilliance, triggered a worldwide outpouring of affection and admiration for one of the best-known figures of the 20th century.

Ali had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome which impaired his speech and made the once-graceful athlete almost a prisoner in his own body. He died on June 3 at age 74.

The cause of death was septic shock due to unspecified natural causes, a family spokesman said.

On June 10 world leaders, celebrities, boxing fans gathered in his Kentucky hometown for one last goodbye.

Mourners lined the streets of Louisville for a funeral procession that drove Ali’s body to Cave Hill National Cemetery for a private burial.

In Turkey, a car bomb ripped through a police bus in central Istanbul during the morning rush hour on June 7, killing 11 people and wounding 36.

The explosion happened near the main tourist district, a major university and the mayor’s office.

A man armed with an assault rifle killed 50 people at a packed gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12 in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, which President Barack Obama described as an act of terror and hate.

Video shot by Steven Fernandez captured the immediate aftermath outside the club – wounded on the ground, others caked in blood being carried away as first responders rushed to the scene.

Police killed the shooter, who was identified as Omar Mateen, 29, a Florida resident and U.S. citizen who was the son of immigrants from Afghanistan.

Mateen called 911 on June 12 morning and declared he supported the Islamic State militant group, officials said.

Fifty-three people were wounded in the rampage. It was the deadliest single U.S. mass shooting incident, eclipsing the 2007 massacre of 32 people at Virginia Tech University.

Britain voted to leave the European Union on June 23 in a landmark referendum that dealt the biggest blow to the European project of greater unity since World War Two.

Global financial markets plunged as complete results showed a near 52-48 percent split for leaving, on fears that the decision will hit investment in the world’s fifth largest economy, threaten London’s role as a global financial capital and foment uncertainty in the world’s biggest trading bloc.

The pound suffered its biggest one-day fall in history, falling more than 10 percent against the dollar to hit levels last seen in 1985, while the euro slumped more than 3 percent.

Quitting the EU could cost Britain access to the EU’s trade barrier-free single market and mean it must seek new trade accords with countries around the world.

The vote initiated at least two years of divorce proceedings with the EU, the first exit by any member state and caused the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Iraqi forces recaptured the last district held by Islamic State militants in the city of Falluja on June 26 and the general commanding the operation declared the battle over after nearly five weeks of fighting.

Iraqi forces reached the centre of Falluja mid-June but militants remained holed up in some parts of the city west of Baghdad, including in its Golan district, which Iraqi forces later retook.

The assault is part of a wider offensive by Iraqi forces against Islamic State militants who seized swathes of territory in 2014.

The success of the Falluja operation gave fresh momentum to Iraqi forces in the campaign to retake Mosul, the largest city anywhere in the militants’ self-proclaimed caliphate spanning Iraq and Syria.

Fighting to recapture the Iraqi city forced more than 85,000 residents to flee to overwhelmed government-run camps. The United Nations said it had received allegations of abuse of civilians fleeing the city, including by members of Shi’ite armed groups supporting the offensive.

The militants seized Falluja in January 2014, six months before they declared a “caliphate” over parts of Syria and Iraq.

A triple suicide bombing and gun attack killed 45 people at Istanbul’s main airport on June 26 in the deadliest of a series of suicide bombings this year in Turkey.

The attackers struck the busy airport, a symbol of Istanbul’s role as the Muslim world’s most open and cosmopolitan city, a crossroads between Europe and Asia.

Three bombers opened fire to create panic outside the airport before two of them got inside and blew themselves up. Two hundred and thirty-nine people were wounded, officials said.

Thirteen foreigners were killed, including five Saudis, two Iraqis and citizens from China, Jordan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Iran and Ukraine.

One attacker opened fire in the departures hall with an automatic rifle, sending passengers diving for cover and trying to flee, witnesses said.

Two other explosions hit the arrivals floor below, one of them just outside the building.