Sierra Leone released 55 people from quarantine on Wednesday after declaring them free of the Ebola virus, leaving only four in isolation, officials and medical sources said.Medics were however urgently seeking to contact 50 others for testing, most of them from the northern town of Kambia, according to the health ministry spokesperson Harold Williams.Sierra Leone was forced to re-open its Ebola treatment centres and relaunch screening systems, including checkpoints on motorways after two new cases of the tropical virus were confirmed late last month.“Forty-eight people are still classified as missing and 18 of them are high risk,” he said, appealing for them to come forward.“We are only concerned about whether they are infected so that we can treat them to avoid any possible spreading of the virus,” he said.The four that were left in isolation were scheduled to be released on February 11.After their release, the town erupted in jubilation with hundreds of people taking to the streets in t-shirts reading “Stop Ebola” and “Ebola cannot defeat us”, some carrying huge amplifiers blaring traditional music while others blew horns carved out of elephant tusks.“It is good to breathe fresh air outside quarantine and rejoin friends and relatives to resume normal life,” said Foday Kandeh, a 68 year-old farmer who grows groundnuts and said he’d missed drinking palm wine.“It is an ordeal I never want to re-live,” said Kadi Sesay, a 19-year-old student.“Besides missing classes for 21 days, the quarantine period brought all of us together.The happy ending is that none of us tested positive but our thoughts went into overdrive thinking…;what if we had it,” she said.The deadliest outbreak in the history of the tropical virus wrecked the economies and health systems of the three worst-hit West African nations after it emerged in southern Guinea 2013.The outbreak infected almost 29 000 people and killed more than 11,300, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has begun a 19-month jail sentence, becoming the first former PM to go to prison.Olmert was handed a six-year sentence in 2014 after being convicted of bribery charges relating to his time as Mayor of Jerusalem.The sentence was reduced to 18 months in December 2015, but an extra month was added last week for obstruction of justice.Olmert was Israel’s Prime Minister from 2006 to 2009.In March 2014 he was found guilty of accepting, while he was Mayor of Jerusalem, a $129,000 bribe from developers of one real estate project and a $15,000 bribe in connection with another.The Supreme Court however subsequently cleared him of the charge of accepting the $129,000 bribe and reduced his sentence to 18 months.On 10 February, the court rejected key part of a plea bargain and added one month on to Olmert’s sentence after he admitted attempting to persuade his former secretary not to testify against him.The Supreme Court is yet to rule on an appeal by Olmert against an eight-month prison sentence he was handed last year after being convicted of fraud and breach of trust for accepting illegal payments from an American businessman.He will serve the sentence at Maasiyahu prison in the central Israeli town of Ramle.
Five United Nations peacekeepers from Chad were killed and three were wounded in northern Mali on Wednesday when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device and unknown gunmen opened fire, the United Nations said in a statement late on Wednesday.Northern Mali is home to a separatist movement as well as to Islamist militants who have staged a series of high profile attacks in the past year both in Mali and in neighboring countries such as Burkina Faso.A peace accord signed last year was meant to bring stability to the arid region, but attacks against the U.N. mission, Malian military and civilians are still frequent.The U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was established in April 2013 with a mandate that includes supporting the political process, monitoring human rights and protecting the civilian population.The U.N. said on Wednesday that 12 peacekeepers had been killed since the start of the year in dozens of attacks against the force in the Kidal region, where Wednesday’s assault took place.However, the U.N. would continue to support the implementation of the peace agreement in Mali, it said in the statement.-Reuters
Rwanda President Paul Kagame (R) meets with Liu Xiaofeng (2nd L), the special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping and vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda, on Aug. 20, 2017. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Sunday said Rwanda is willing to deepen friendly cooperation in all areas with China and push bilateral relations to a new level.Kagame made the remarks when meeting Liu Xiaofeng, the special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.Kagame, who was sworn in for his third term on Friday, thanked Xi for sending the special envoy to attend his inauguration ceremony and asked the envoy to convey his gratitude and regards to Xi.The president said China and Rwanda enjoy a long history of friendship and fruitful cooperation in various fields. China has been supporting Rwanda and other African countries for a long time and is a sincere partner for Africa’s development, he added.Liu, who is also the vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said since establishment of diplomatic relations 46 years ago, bilateral relations between the two countries have been developing steadily and healthily.China is ready to join hands with Rwanda to further enhance political mutual trust, expand economic and trade cooperation, consolidate friendship of the two peoples, said Liu.China is also willing to turn friendship between the two countries into real results that benefit the two peoples and realize mutual benefits and mutual development, he said.About 6.9 million Rwandans cast ballots in the presidential election held on August 4. Kagame won 98.79 percent of the votes.Kagame, who is also the chairman of the ruling party Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has been president since 2000 when he was elected as the president of the transitional government by ministers and members of parliament following the resignation of then President Pasteur Bizimungu.He was re-elected in the 2003 and 2010 presidential elections by winning around 95 percent and 93 percent of votes respectively.
Lawyers for Kenya’s opposition are poring through a British broadcaster’s investigation to see whether legal action is possible against data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica over its role in last year’s disputed presidential election, an official said Wednesday.Cambridge Analytica already is being investigated by British and U.S. authorities over allegations the firm stole data from 50 million Facebook users and used it to manipulate elections.A legal team will look into whether Cambridge Analytica was involved in what Kenya’s opposition claims is a hack of the electoral commission and manipulation of results in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August election, National Super Alliance chief executive Norman Magaya said.In the Channel 4 report this week based on undercover video, Cambridge Analytica took credit for stage-managing Kenyatta’s campaign. It denied any involvement in inflammatory videos targeting Kenyatta’s opponents. There was no discussion of mining Facebook data.“This is sophistications that have not been there in the Kenyan elections,” Magaya said of the opposition claim of hacking. “This is where Cambridge Analytica came in to help (Kenyatta’s party) and even after running the propaganda campaign they were not sufficient to win an election and they resorted to manipulating election results,” Magaya said.Kenyan President Uhuru KenyattaKenyatta ended up winning a fresh election after the Supreme Court nullified the August vote over “illegalities and irregularities.” The court said it did so partly because the electoral commission refused to allow court-appointed technology experts to scrutinize its servers.The Cambridge Analytica developments come after Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga this month shook hands and appeared to make peace after sometimes deadly political turmoil. After Odinga boycotted the fresh election, he held a mock inauguration in January as the “people’s president.”President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga shake hands after the two met on FridayThe longtime rivals Kenyatta and Odinga announced a new initiative to deal with deep-seated hatred among communities in the East African nation, which have led to sometimes deadly tensions along ethnic lines.Odinga has been silent about Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in the elections. His spokesman Dennis Onyango did not respond to requests for comment.But Odinga’s party on Wednesday urged Kenyatta’s party to “come clean” on the role Cambridge Analytica played, “especially in the newfound spirit of dialogue in the country, so that we can openly deal with the rifts created by these political mercenaries on the fabric of Kenyan society.” Raila Odinga [Photo courtesy: Capital FM]
Several African leaders gather in Johannesburg for BRICS Outreach Dialogue BRICS is a group of five major emerging national economies – namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.At an informal meeting in the South African city on Friday, their leaders agreed to work together for a future of inclusive growth and common prosperity.President Xi urged the group to uphold the BRICS spirit, deepen strategic partnerships and safeguard common interests. He also asked the leaders to boost cooperation in infrastructure, trade and investment, as well as monetary and financial policy.As part of an outreach dialogue, the BRICS leaders joined those from other African nations to discuss ways to advance cooperation. President Xi called for an expansion of the dialogue – known as “BRICS Plus” – to include other emerging market and developing countries. President Xi urges BRICS leaders to forge new path towards closer cooperation BRICS Summit 2018:Leaders sign Johannesburg declaration Related
Moody Awori was 35 when Kenya got independence. Now they want him to oversee the budgets for the 5 stadio we were to get 5yrs ago. Wau, A cowntry…— Ramapithecus (@RamzZy_) December 5, 2018 A 91-year-old former Kenyan vice president has been appointed into the country’s oversight board to manage the Sports, Art and Social Development Fund.Moody Awori, who was also once the minister of Home Affairs, was appointed into the seven-member board that will be tasked with managing the fund, prepare and submit quarterly reports to the country’s Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.In addition, the board will also be expected to developing infrastructure and facilitate national athletes for their national assignments.The appointment has however not gone down well with Kenyan youth, who feel they are maligned in state appointments.Kenyans on Twitter took to the social site following the publication of the board members, to express their disapproval with Awori’s appointment.It’s backwards/inappropriate to appoint Moody Awori to any Government agency; he may have the know-how/ideas but he lacks energy! It “kills” hope amongst young Kenyans.— Senator Bazenga (@CharloBazenga) December 5, 2018 Athletics Kenya suspends foreign agents Moody Awori appointed board member of Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund. He is 91 years only. Over 40,000 youth in their 20’s are graduating this December. pic.twitter.com/S3as1LL1fC— Victor Mochere (@VictorMochere) December 5, 2018 Uncle Moody Awori should decline that appointment and recommend that any of his able grandchildren be considered instead.— Nelson Havi (@NelsonHavi) December 5, 2018 Related President Mugabe’s daughter appointed to censorship board Barack Obama inaugurates sports and training centre in western Kenya
Algeria’s constitutional council says it will be impossible for the country to hold a presidential election on 4 July as planned.The council has not however set a new date for the presidential poll.Interim leader Abdelkader Bensalah, who replaced former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after his resignation on 2 April, announced on April 10 that the presidential election will be held on July 4.Bouteflika ruled the North African country for 20 years, though he was beset by ill health in his latter stages in power.Related Burundi presidential poll delayed to July 21 Zambia to hold presidential poll in August Algeria to hold presidential vote on July 4
High resolution digital render of Turkey flag. A total of four Turkish citizens were kidnapped in Nigeria, state-run Anadolu Agency reported Sunday.The incident took place in Nigeria’s western state of Ilorin at 10 p.m. local time (2100 GMT) on Friday, an anonymous source was quoted as saying.Earlier this month, 10 Turkish sailors were seized off the coast of Nigeria by armed pirates while their cargo ship was sailing to the Ivory Coast’s city of Abidjan from Cameroon’s port city of Douala.So far, 14 Turkish citizens have been kidnapped in the West African country.Related Lebanese kidnapped in northern Nigeria Nigeria Protests Over Kidnapped Girls Nigeria Vows to Rescue Kidnapped Girls
Egypt’s National Cancer Institute has re-opened to receiving patients at full capacity after recovering from the August fourth deadly bombing.The hospital was closed and transferred patients to Cairo hospitals after the car bomb blast that killed 20 people and injured 47.Cairo University President Mohamed al-Khosht said the process of repairing the damages is on-going however the restoration work for normal operation before the explosion without any under-performance in treatment and operations has now been completed according to the report by Egypt Independent.The hospital will also be expanding to allow for the accommodation of the increasingly large numbers of patients.The Cairo University President added that these reforms will not be limited to the recovering from the blast, but will include repairs and renovations within the institute facilities to improve medical service for patients and accommodate the large numbers coming to the institute daily.Khost pointed out that the plan proposed by the Engineering Committee for the renovation works – which will be carried out during the coming period for the renovation of the Institute’s buildings – includes repairs to the areas affected by the accident in two phases.The first phase targets the damaged parts of the northern building, patient rooms and operations. The second phase is for restorations of the administrative building and facades, in addition to the development of a central area between the facilities, where work is underway to develop architectural, structural and electromechanical designs for the renovation plan of the entire institute, which will improve movement and link the institute’s medical activities.Related Egypt’s prosecutor’s motorcade targeted in bomb blast Egypt: Bomb explodes on Giza railway Egypt bomb kills first lieutenant and soldier