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21 Jan 2012 17:48


World: Madagascar’s former leader screwed out of trip back home

Marc Ravalomanana, exiled from his former country, was trying to get back in to Madagascar on a flight from Johannesburg. But his plane was forced to turn around mid-flight after the country shuttered a number of its airports before he could land. source

29 Dec 2011 12:57


World: Wildlife group: Despite worldwide ban, ivory seizures hit record levels in 2011

  • 23 tons amount of ivory acquired from 13 major seizures in 2011
  • 2,500+ number of elephants that died to produce that much ivory source
  • » This despite a global ban on ivory trade: What’s causing the black-market trade of ivory? According to Traffic, a group that monitors wildlife trading, much of this is as a result of larger Asian influence on the continent. “We’ve reached a point in Africa’s history where there are more Asian nationals on the continent than ever before,” said Traffic official Tom Milliken, based in Zimbabwe. “They have contacts with the end-use market and now they are at the source in Africa. This is all adding up to an unprecedented assault on elephants and other wildlife.”

10 Dec 2011 09:53


World: Three women — two Liberian, one Yemeni — accept Nobel Peace Prize

  • Three examples of strong female peace-fighters: On Saturday in Oslo, the three winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Price — from left, Yemeni Tawakkol Karman, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf — accepted their honors. The three women were chosen together as a reflection of women’s rights at large. Karman’s case is particularly of note — at 32 she is not only the youngest winner of an award, but also the first Arab woman, one reflective of this year’s Arab Spring movement. Gbowee, meanwhile, led an anti-rape campaign in her country; and Johnson-Sirleaf went a long way in easing tensions by leading the country past a long civil war. Congrats to all three. (Photo via AP) source

10 Nov 2011 23:25


World: Who will protect the rhinoceros, much less harness its power?

  • Some rhinos aren’t long for this world: “A lack of political support and willpower for conservation efforts in many rhino habitats, international organized crime groups targeting rhinos and increasing illegal demand for rhino horns and commercial poaching are the main threats faced by rhinos,” said the International Union for Conservation of Nature in their latest update to their list of endangered species with the Western Black Rhino of Africa. It is possible for endangered species to bounce back but not without effort and rehabilitation programs. source

10 Sep 2011 14:01


World: Tanzania ferry accident kills hundreds off coast of Zanzibar

  • 240+ people killed in last night’s ferry sinking off Zanzibar
  • 607+ people rescued; overcrowding was blamed for the disaster source
  • » A depressingly common occurrence: Accidents like these happen in the region every few years, most recently in 2009. And while this incident was certainly a tragic event, it wasn’t the worst maritime accident Tanzania’s ever experienced. That happened in 1996, when at least 443 people died on a sinking vessel, but as many as 800 could’ve been on board.

08 Aug 2011 15:54


World: U.S. plans to ease Somalia’s burden just a little bit

  • $100 million in U.S. aid could head Somalia’s way source
  • » Will this be enough to help? Joe Biden’s wife recently visited Somalia to highlight how bad things are. In case you don’t know, here are some numbers: Aid is only reaching 20% of the people who need it, more than 12 million people need aid in the Horn of Africa, and over 640,000 children are acutely malnourished. Let’s just hope that this aid can actually reach those who need it.

13 Jul 2011 23:04


Tech: New AIDS prevention drug shows promising results

  • Headway in the fight against HIV: A drug called Truvada is effective in preventing AIDS contraction up to 73% of the time, according to two new studies carried out in Africa. The drug has been tested before with less stellar results, but researchers now suspect the earlier study may have been flawed. The catch with preventative drugs, of course, is that you have to remember to take them before the risk presents itself, but still, this is great news. source

09 Mar 2011 10:41


World: Sectarian violence: Muslims, Coptic Christians fight in Egypt

  • 9+ number of people killed in fighting between Muslims and Coptic Christians near Cairo
  • 90+ more were injured in clashes stemming from the burning of a church last week source
  • » A conflict on the back-burner: The tensions between the minority Copts (who make up 9 percent of Egypt’s population) and Muslims (who make up 90 percent) have already been pretty high this year after an extremely deadly suicide bombing in January. The mess with Mubarak took the attention away for the while, but now it’s back. The Christian Science Monitor has a pretty good explanation of what’s happening right now.

08 Feb 2011 09:53


World: Dividing Sudan: Forgive us of our foreign debt. Please?

  • $38B the amount Sudan owes in foreign debt – $30 billion in debt arrears
  • 1993 the last time the country could get a loan from the World Bank
  • 75% the amount the country hopes to get forgiven before it splits source
  • » The spit has something to do with it: The size of Sudan’s debt could effectively limit the region’s ability to get a fresh start as it splits into two. Southern Sudanese official Gabriel Changson Chang is making a hard push for the changes before the countries divide. “We want both the north and south to be economically viable,” he says. Current president Omar al-Bashir has made similar claims as well, and with good reason: Half of the country’s population currently lives on less than $1 a day and need some sort of food aid.

07 Feb 2011 10:19


World: Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir: We’re OK with the secession vote

  • We will announce today in front of the world our acceptance and respect for the choice of the people of the south.
  • Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir • Revealing that his country would accept the results of a country-splitting referendum between the north and south. The south chose, by a wide margin, to secede, a result that cuts back Bashir’s clout but could help stabilize the entire region. source