FEATURED PHOTOS AND STORIES

Friday:  August 15, 2014

When Will Chile's Post Office's Re-open? 

(PHOTO: Workers set up camp at Santiago's Rio Mapocho/Mason Bryan, The Santiago Times)Chile nears 1 month without mail service as postal worker protests continue. This week local branches of the 5 unions representing Correos de Chile voted on whether to continue their strike into a 2nd month, rejecting the union's offer. For a week the workers have set up camp on the banks of Santiago's Río Mapocho displaying banners outlining their demands; framing the issue as a division of the rich & the poor. The strike’s main slogan? “Si tocan a uno, nos tocan a todos,” it reads - if it affects 1 of us, it affects all of us. (Read more at The Santiago Times)

WHO convenes emergency talks on MERS virus

 

(PHOTO: Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf, east of the capital Riyadh on June 16, 2013/Fayez Nureldine)The World Health Organization announced Friday it had convened emergency talks on the enigmatic, deadly MERS virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia. The move comes amid concern about the potential impact of October's Islamic hajj pilgrimage, when millions of people from around the globe will head to & from Saudi Arabia.  WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda said the MERS meeting would take place Tuesday as a telephone conference & he  told reporters it was a "proactive move".  The meeting could decide whether to label MERS an international health emergency, he added.  The first recorded MERS death was in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia & the number of infections has ticked up, with almost 20 per month in April, May & June taking it to 79.  (Read more at Xinhua)

LINKS TO OTHER STORIES

                                

Dreams and nightmares - Chinese leaders have come to realize the country should become a great paladin of the free market & democracy & embrace them strongly, just as the West is rejecting them because it's realizing they're backfiring. This is the "Chinese Dream" - working better than the American dream.  Or is it just too fanciful?  By Francesco Sisci

Baby step towards democracy in Myanmar  - While the sweeping wins Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has projected in Sunday's by-elections haven't been confirmed, it is certain that the surging grassroots support on display has put Myanmar's military-backed ruling party on notice. By Brian McCartan

The South: Busy at the polls - South Korea's parliamentary polls will indicate how potent a national backlash is against President Lee Myung-bak's conservatism, perceived cronyism & pro-conglomerate policies, while offering insight into December's presidential vote. Desire for change in the macho milieu of politics in Seoul can be seen in a proliferation of female candidates.  By Aidan Foster-Carter  

Pakistan climbs 'wind' league - Pakistan is turning to wind power to help ease its desperate shortage of energy,& the country could soon be among the world's top 20 producers. Workers & farmers, their land taken for the turbine towers, may be the last to benefit.  By Zofeen Ebrahim

Turkey cuts Iran oil imports - Turkey is to slash its Iranian oil imports as it seeks exemptions from United States penalties linked to sanctions against Tehran. Less noticed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Iranian capital last week, signed deals aimed at doubling trade between the two countries.  By Robert M. Cutler

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Entries in Canada (12)

Saturday
Mar102012

One Year Anniversary of Japan Tsunami Commemorated With 'Healing Anthem' (REPORT)

(PHOTO: DemocraticUnderground.COM) 

(HN, March 10, 2012)  From Tokyo - On the one-year anniversary of the tsunami and earthquake in northern Japan, noted Japanese soprano Tomoko Shibata will perform a Japanese translation of the American healing anthem “Towers of Light” at her memorial concert at the prestigious Yamaha Hall in Tokyo. The event on Sunday evening will commemorate the victims of last year’s Japanese tsunami and earthquake. 

Towers of Light” was composed by noted New York clinical psychologist and well-known radio and TV personality, Dr. Judy Kuriansky and international composer Russell Daisey.  Inspired by the two beams of light which shine on each 9/11 anniversary at the Ground Zero site where the Twin Towers fell, the song promotes healing and commemorates the heroes of that day. 

Through the unique friendship and shared vision of healing between the American and Japanese writers and performer, “Towers of Light” will now be featured by Tomoko Shibata in her ‘Songs of Hope’ concert.

The New York composing team of Kuriansky and Daisey are in Tokyo for the premiere of their song in Japanese at the concert and will make introductory remarks at the event.

Shibata produces and performs ‘Songs for Hope’ concerts at the earthquake zone in Japan and also around the world.

Says Shibata, “I passionately believe that music gives hope and lifts spirits of people in trauma.” 

(PHOTO: Dr. Judy Kuriansky, Russell Daisey performing in Tokyo/DRJUDYK)Fear of another quake is ever-present in Japan, she explains, and people around the world also experience trauma and need comfort. 

“My heart expands and people feel like crying when I sing the ‘Towers of Light’ song,” Shibata says. “So I wanted to make a Japanese version so the Japanese people can appreciate the warm feeling and healing.” 

Shibata first sang the “Towers of Light” anthem with Dr. Judy and Russell in September 2010 for the highly acclaimed series of Hiroshima Hibaku (Survivor) Piano concerts in New York City. Subsequently, she sang it for the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 at the 'Annual 9/11 Japanese Floating Lantern Ceremony’ on the East River, NYC.

Over the past few years, Dr. Judy, Russell and Tomoko have performed the song together and through their friendship and creative collaborations the song has been translated into Japanese by Tomoko as “Souls Become Stars.”  Given their shared vision, this endeavor for peace has expanded and transcended the song’s initial inspiration, to encompass a connection between the two monumental tragedies of 9/11 and 3/11, as well as fostering healing for survivors of both catastrophes. 

Kuriansky and Daisey are co-founders of the Stand Up for Peace Project (SUFPP), an initiative that promotes peace, understanding and healing worldwide. They have performed the healing ballad “Towers of Light” internationally at peace festivals, United Nations conferences, Global Harmony concerts, peace seminars, and music and peace tours throughout Japan, Mexico and Haiti, as well as at the First Hiroshima International Peace Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, for Nobel Peace Laureates, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Betty Williams.

“Powerful, very powerful,” said the Dalai Lama when he first heard the song.

“As an international psychologist and an NGO representative at the United Nations, it is powerful to me that our song to help heal from 9/11 is now in Japanese and helping people heal from 3/11.  The intensity of that cross-cultural connection brings me to tears," says Kuriansky.

The humanitarian, who represents psychological organizations at the United Nations, has provided psychological first aide after the 9/11 terrorist attacks at Ground Zero and at the Family Assistance Center, as well as after other disasters including the Asian tsunami and earthquakes in Haiti and China.  She teaches psychology at Columbia University Teachers College and runs peace workshops world-wide. 

SUFPP co-founder Daisey is an internationally acclaimed pianist/singer/songwriter who has played command performances for American presidents and world dignitaries, including Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and the Chiniya Lama of Kathmandu, Nepal.

On Monday, the day after the concert and 3/11 anniversary, Kuriansky, Daisey and Shibata will travel to the Miyagi area, to do a workshop and music concert for several schools.  They will be joined by famous Japanese pop star Shinji Harada. All have been working on recovery and global harmony projects separately and together for years in varying parts of the world.

--- Dr. Judy Kuriansky is a member of HUM's Board of Advisors

Tuesday
Feb212012

G20 foreign ministers meet in Mexico; say `World is failing' (NEWS)

(PHOTO: Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa Cantellano speaks during the opening of the G20 Foreign Ministers Informal Meeting in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur state, Mexico, 2.19/Xinhua, Shi Sisi)LOS CABOS, Mexico -- Foreign ministers of the Group of 20 (G20) on Sunday convened in Los Cabos, a resort town in northwestern Mexico, to discuss important issues including global governance, food safety, climate change and green growth.

Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa, host of the meeting, said that frank and open dialogue would be held among G20 foreign ministers and officials from other invited countries at the two-day meeting from Sunday to Monday.

Mexico, which holds the G20 presidency this year, planned the meeting to "stimulate ideas" to promote the changes the world needs, said Espinosa.  "There are many important issues that affect the lives of billions of people across the world, on which the international community is failing to make any discernible progress," she said.

She called for progress to be made on issues such as eradicating famine and illiteracy, promoting green growth and sustainable development, and enhancing the rule of law.

The Mexican official, however, said the meeting, given its informal color, would not lead to any official documents.

"At this stage any results arising from these sessions will be mere recommendations for policy coherence among our countries and we do not intend to develop guidelines or formal documents to negotiate at the G20 Summit," she said.

According to the minister, the meeting have four major topics, namely the multilateral trade system, current global challenges, green growth and human development.

The meeting brought together 10 foreign ministers of G20 member economies, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. The Chinese delegation is led by Assistant Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu. Mexico also invited representatives from non-G20 economies and international organizations to participate in the meeting.

Los Cabos, the coastal resort where the G20 Summit will take place in June, has adopted strict measures to beef up security. More police and soldiers have been deployed at the airports and along the major roads to maintain order and check the vehicles.

--- this article first appeared on Cam11

Related:

Mexican Presidency of the G20

Mexico will chair the G20 in 2012 and host the Leaders’ Summit in June of the same year. By assuming the annual Presidency of the G20, as the second emerging country to do so at the Leaders’ level, and the first in Latin America, Mexico confirms its role as a responsible and constructive actor, both regionally and globally.

Mexico is firmly committed to achieving a successful Summit in regards to the agreements reached and their positive impact on the world economy. The Mexican Presidency will seek to follow up the agreements reached previously and will also work to make important contributions to these and other issues of the agenda of the G20. Moreover, Mexico will promote an active and engaged participation of non-members, international organizations, think tanks and the private sector in order to make the G20 dialogue as inclusive, open and transparent as possible.

With this goal in mind, Mexico has established the following priorities:

1. Economic stabilization and structural reforms as foundations for growth and employment.

2. Strengthening the financial system and fostering financial inclusion to promote economic growth.

3. Improving the international financial architecture in an interconnected world.

4. Enhancing food security and addressing commodity price volatility..

5. Promoting sustainable development, green growth and the fight against climate change.

Tuesday
Jan102012

THE HUM - WORLD HEADLINES - January 10, 2012

Algeria 

Algeria to Nationalize Orascom Algeria’s Mobile Phone Unit

(PHOTO: In Canada, author Naomi Klein is named one of the 12 people to watch in 2012. TORONTO STAR)Australia 

Australia’s International Islamic College suing Saudi Arabia

Azerbaijan 

3023 illegal migrants deported from Azerbaijan in 2011

Bahrain 

Formula One urged to quit Bahrain

Brazil 

US House Speaker John Boehner tours Rio slum as part of trade-boosting Latin America trip

Canada 

Canadian warship bound for Mediterranean

Asking for an outbreak of preventable diseases

12 Canadians changing the way we think

Calgary, Edmonton set attendance record for World Junior events

China 

(PHOTO: Cuban Labor Delegation visits in Damascus, Syria. SANA) China launches remote-sensing satellite

China imports dairy cows as demand for milk continues

China, an important driving force in East Asian cooperation: asst. FM

Hong Kong Arts Festival 2012 to Kick Off January 28

Congo (DRC)

Elections-DR Congo: DRC faces suspension of EU cooperation over last elections

African States and UN agree to beef up measures against Lord’s Resistance Army

U.S. Department of State Announces Second International Sports Exchange with the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Cuba 

Cuban Labor Delegation in Damascus: Syrians have right to Solve problems without foreign Intervention 

Egypt

Three New Land Routes to Connect Egypt, Sudan

Equatorial Guinea

Sam Wallace: A poverty-stricken people don't need the wonga cup (Perspective)

(PHOTO: Producers with Cocoa beans in Ivory Coast. BUSINESS LIVE)Estonia

Ikea Expands to Estonian, Latvian Markets

Finland

Woman: Hotel clerk in Finland gave my key to drunken pervert & now I’m suing 

Demand for day-care skyrockets

Around 100 street beggars remain in Finland

France

France's RFI radio back on air in DR Congo

Georgia

Marriott Business in Tbilisi Proving Successful Despite Tough Competition 

India

Indian expats celebrate winning the right to vote

Terrorist threat to railway stations in Bihar

Graft war in India reflective of global power shift: Miliband

India is the success story of South Asia — that is a fact: David Miliband

India seeks reversal of EU carbon emissions tax

International real estate expansion halted for Indian companies

(PHOTO: Students at the International Islamic College in Brisbane, Australia. BIKYA MASR)Bangalore airport may shut down for 7 hours every day from Feb 24-April 19

India Faces Challenges in Connecting With African Continent

'Bangalore can be a little slow' (Perspective)

Indonesia

Many Indonesians repatriated from Saudi Arabia in 2011

Analysis: Power woes could trip Indonesia’s economic surge

Iran

Oil Minister: Iran Self-Sufficient in Drilling Industry

Iraq

Poll: 25 percent of Iraqis 'suffering'

Ivory Coast

Ivorian cocoa arrivals slump, exporters say

Jamaica

(PHOTO: Next top model Model Hoang Thuy (R) with American super model Tyra Banks in Vietnam. SAIGON Daily)New Jamaica PM: We will be a republic 

Japan

Japan begins Middle East visit seeking oil assistance

Japan to Install Tsunami Monitoring System at Sea

Kenya

Kenya's TB campaign proves a success (Video)  

Libya

Libya lifts sanctions against Switzerland

Lithuania

President’s charity campaign provides Lithuanian libraries with thousands books

Malaysia 

Malaysia to boost ties with South Africa

Marshall Islands

Marshalls President announces Cabinet

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulates the Marshall Islands on their Presidential election (Press Release)

(PHOTO: In Ukraine EcoWave Power Completes Testing of Wave Energy Generation. Model-ECO WAVE POWER UKRAINE)Mauritania

Report: Mauritania "expels" Qatari emir

Mauritius

Bihar’s village decks up to welcome Trinidad & Tobago PM

Mexico

Vatican spokesman explains why Pope will visit Mexico

Myanmar 

Aung San Suu Kyi Confirms Run for Burmese Parliament

George Soros to open aid office in Myanmar

Namibia

Namibian Prime Minister Angula Meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi

Nepal

Lack of Awareness, Stigma Fuels Marital Rape in Nepal

(PHOTO: Hong Kong Arts Festival to start. This is the Hong Kong Jockey Club. DESTINASIAN) Nepal's child malnutrition 'silent emergency'

Nepal Telecommunications Authority reports 2.1m mobile additions in a month; amends Telecoms Regulations

Smartphones outsell normal handsets

Straws of steel: Earthquake-proof houses

Pollution Rise Worsens South Asia’s Winter Smog

New Caledonia

New Caledonian politician suggest to merge with Wallis and Futuna 

Nicaragua

Nicaragua goes back to gold

Nicaragua next stop in Ahmadinejad's Latin America tour

Niger

Niger's president makes stop over in Luanda city

Nigeria

Nigeria, Finland Renew Commission

(PHOTO: In Uganda Assist Commissioner of Entomology Mr. Fred Luyimbazi inspects a target used to control Tsetse flies in Murchison Falls National Park. SPYGHANA) Nigeria: UN, MDGs and Fuel Subsidy Removal

North Korea

N.Korean economy plunges after hitting high in 2007: report 

Oman

Oman LNG signs pact to fund two more social initiatives

Sierra Leone keen to boost trade with Oman

Pakistan

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait reject Pak's request to supply oil on long-term credit

Palau

2-year Pacific tuna-fishing ban extended until March

Panama

Taboga Festival of the Sea- The timing is right

(PHOTO: Some Saudi's travel miles to go to the cinema. Bikya Masr) Papua New Guinea

Encouraging sign of new gold and copper find in PNG

Paraguay

Paraguayan FM to Attend Inauguration of Daniel Ortega 

Peru

Peruvian Govt Highlights Agreements with Venezuela

Six Peruvian cities nominated for New 7 Wonders Cities campaign

Philippines

South China Sea issues flare yet again as Manila alleges Chinese incursion

A sea of humanity attends Black Nazarene feast, ignoring warnings of possible terror attack

Dads push for declaration of La Trinidad as pioneer in organic farming

Environment is Benguet's main concern for 2012

Puerto Rico

(PHOTO: Vietnam rice exports facing growing competition. Thanh Niet News) Puerto Rico Gets First Assisted Living & Memory Care Community

Russia

Russian naval vessels anchored in Syria

Russia to put new radar in 2012

Russian-Ukrainian border closes because of recognition of people animals in Ukraine 

Rwanda

Children Contributing to Country's Development - Unicef

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia Tourism Minister Calls All Hands on Deck  

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s automotive aspirations

(PHOTO: The vast, sany Karakum desert dominates Turkmenistan in Central Asia which is getting ready for an election. REX) Saudi executions concern U.N. officials

Saudi N-S Railway stations contract signed

The Arab Spring of Saudi Cinema?

Man tries to sell son on Facebook for $20 million

Senegal

CCR: Schlesser scores the Africa Eco Race victory

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Women Issues for the 2012 National Elections

The Geo-political implications of the November elections (Perspective)

Singapore

Top international scientists meet in Singapore

Singapore Government Unveils Initiative To Improve National Productivity

(PHOTO: South Sudanese children displaced by attacks by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the town of Mundri, Western Equatoria state. South Sudan. UN NEWS CENTRE) A Pool for Daring Swimmers in Singapore

Slovakia

Piano Media extends its mass paywall in Central Europe, launching in Slovenia

Slovenia

Media in Slovenia to charge for online access

Jankovic announces formation of govt. coalition

Slovenian adventurer launches eco-friendly round-the-world light plane trip

Solomon Islands

Delay of results irk parents

Government soon to receive Truth and Reconciliation Commissions final report

Reconciliation minister assaulted in Honiara

Somalia

(PHOTO: A man covers the body of fellow immigrants killed in Yemen. BAR KULAN)Somali immigrants killed in Yemen

Transitional Federal Government PM says roadmap nearly to fail

Somali Nationalism: A Dead Concept? (Perspective)

South Africa

Runner Zola Budd in Durban for Comrades

South Korea

Google accused of meddling with S Korean probe

S. Korea to offer better biz environment for foreigners: minister

S Korea President Visits China

Financial crimes on rise in S. Korea

Samsung seeking ban on iPhone 5 in South Korea

South Korea approves Anti-leukemia drug production

South Sudan

(PHOTO: In Somalia, the Grand Mosque in Garadag district, Somaliland. THINK AFRICA PRESS)Humanitarian Crisis in the World's Newest Country

Blue Nile Governor Refutes International NGO Claims of Food Gap

Spain

Spain: Thousands March in Support of ETA Prisoners (Video)

Spain: "This year we expect to have a slight increase in the acreage of garlic"

El Mundo America newsroom relocates to Spain, USH and Latam editions of Marca

Spain's SOPA Law: How It Works And Why It Won't  (Perspective)

Spanish prince, princess to tour Central America

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka to establish embassy in Ukraine

Lanka to issue free passports to Tamil refugees in India

Sri Lanka liquor sales grow

(PHOTO: In Tanzania micro enterprises dominate the manufacturing sector. THE CITIZEN) Sri Lankan government is banning its roti and eating it too

Non-alignment and SL’s foreign policy (Perspective)

Sudan

Libya lays out red carpet for Omar al-Bashir

Turabi’s party releases documents alleged to contain coup plan in Sudan

15 people perish in Sudan auto accident

Suriname

Suriname President takes over chairmanship of CARICOM, promises 2012 to be a “year of change”


Sweden

Sweden Recognizes File-Sharing as a Religion

Swaziland

Govt offers farmers land for edible oil production

Taiwan, China aid to Swaziland won’t be affected by economic slump

(PHOTO: In Swaziland, following a spillage of chemicals into canals in Big Bend, fish were found floating dead in the past week. TIMES OF SWAZILAND) andChemical poisons hundreds of fish

Hard work earns orphan six distinctions

Switzerland

Switzerland’s central bank chief resigns

Cooperatives: building blocks of democracy (Perspective)

Lenzburg Prison in Switzerland uses state-of-the-art IP video surveillance

Syria

As Syria unravels, prices soar for guns, grenades, and RPGs

Syria hails arrival of Russian warships

Turkish FM meets Syrian official in Istanbul

Syria Criticizes Qatar´s Biased Stance

Taiwan

Taiwan's elections draw international attention 

Biotech innovation offers hope for Taiwan entrepreneurs

Growth of visitor arrivals to Taiwan double world average: officials

Taiwan’s birth, marriage rates hit new high in 2011

(PHOTO: A Taiwanese garbage truck. FLICKR) In Taiwan, trash disposal is a classical (music) affair

Taiwan, U.S. companies to jointly release online console game 

Movie madness in Taiwan

Tajikistan

200 kilos of Afghan drugs burnt in Tajikistan

Wildlife Conservation Society documents pneumonia outbreak in endangered markhor

Tanzania

Micro-enterprises dominate manufacturing sector — study 

World Bank $5m to boost local mining firm capital

Airtel Mobile Money offers thousands of jobs

Construction of big arena gets going

Doctors to hold emergency meeting

Health-Tanzania: Rising cancer cases cause big concern

(PHOTO: New snake species in Tanzania Matilda's horned viper. Tim Davenport/Wildlife Conservation Society)New Snake Species Found in Tanzania

Need for effective education on disaster management (Perspective)

Agricultural modernisation techniques needed - expert (Perspective)

Press - Not Yet Free, Though There Is Certain Degree of Freedom (Perspective)

2012 - It's Time to Do Your Own Thing (Perspective)

Thailand

Capital market faces unresolved questions

Thailand's furniture industry looks to intra-Asean markets

Hard Drive Prices Rise Due To Thai Floods

Losing out for lack of English

British backpacker 'electrocuted by fridge' in Thailand

Thailand is the hottest Asian destination for British tourists

Thai Christian fights child prostitution

The Arctic

Energy firms asked about Arctic drilling

UK launches Arctic environment inquiry

Visualizing the Link Between Ice Extent and Volume

(PHOTO: Inuit filmmaker Qajaaq Ellsworth’s new app & educational game `Iliarnnarnaqsivuq', or Time for School, is designed to encourage learning among Inuit youngsters.) New Inuit language app makes learning fun for little ones

Much Ado about Methane (Perspective)

Watch This Stunning HD Time-Lapse Of The Largest City North Of The Arctic Circle (Video)

The Netherlands

Dutch Royal Family is Visiting the United Arab Emirates (Photos)

Togo

Mobile technology takes root in Togo (Video)

Tonga

Former Tonga Chief Justice Knighted

Trinidad and Tobago

Coalition member worried over conflicting police reports on alleged assassination plot

Trinidad and Tobago to tie up with India’s Jaipur Institute

Young designer to launch fashion label

Tunisia

Protests Challenge Tunisian Prime Minister’s Public Media Appointments

Tunisia can be a model for North Africa, German foreign minister says

US Issues Arrest Warrant for Tunisian-American Accused of Abducting His Children

(PHOTO: In Tunisia, a banner that reads `Journalists revolt against the dictator's remnants'. TUNISIA LIVE)Tunisia: Request to do away with death penalty

Tunisia, Larger Olive Oil Crop and Exports in 2012

Turks and Caicos

Chamber of Commerce predicting another tough year

Courtney Robinson Appointed As New Director Of The Turks & Caicos Islands Red Cross

Turkey

Istanbul forum to boost GCC-Turkey trade links

Diplomat Confirms Turkey Hosting US Drones

Turkish Minister: Energy Agreement with Russia

Turkey signals more sanctions against Syria

A maturing market (Perspective)

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan refuses to use military force as an instrument of foreign policy - President of Turkmenistan

Monitors from the former Soviet Union to observe Turkmen election

Uganda

State House Aide Cited in Buganda Park Land Scandal

100 dead from nodding disease

Uganda’s Warid Telecom:  “Mobile money moving faster than expected”

(PHOTO: Newport Beach California, USA famous for its big ocean swells where Mark Holmes David New of Green Wave Energy is testing wave powered energy generation 200 yards offshore. Don Bartletti/LATimes)Uganda government releases plans to get rid of tsetse flies in parks

Inspire Africa Reality Show Launched

Ugandans in Diaspora launch TV proggie

Ukraine

Ukraine to introduce EU model to control food quality, biosecurity service head says

Ukraine exports 9.65 million tonnes of grain in 2011-12

Tax revenues in Crimea almost triple over year

Ukraine: Eco Wave Power Completes Testing of Wave Energy Generation Models

United Arab Emirates

Dubai hotels reap rewards of tourism boom, increase rates

Scottish government, UAE in landmark agreement on green energy

Emirates to host Somalia meeting before UK’s sponsored conference

UAE's Dewa launches new USD26m water pipeline project

(PHOTO: In the UAE, Coptic Christians thanked Muslims for Christmas spirit. THE NATION) Copts thank Muslims for Christmas spirit

UAE looks at open data to promote e-government

Plastic bags cause pollution crisis, camel deaths in UAE deserts (Video)

UAE’s Hidden Fashion Talent… Hamda Al Fahim!

Sports fans left in the dark with channel blackout set to continue

United Kingdom

UK still has racism problem says David Cameron

U.K. Will Use Olympics to Spur Investment With Business Summits

Man gets suspended sentence for UK’s largest child porn collection

Woman Who Launched Internet Campaign to Track Down Guy She Met in Spain Finds Out He’s Already Taken

Roald Dahl's best-loved novels celebrated with new set of stamps

6 Million(i) UK Households Could Not Survive Until the Weekend on Savings According to first direct (Press Release)

United States

Almost 1 In 3 U.S. Warplanes Is a Robot

US expels Venezuelan diplomat

Ocean waves power a prototype generator in Newport Beach

Gayest Cities in America, 2012

(PHOTO: In Switzerland, cooperatives reign for consumers. Swiss retail giants Migros & Coop are both cooperatives RDB)Hyundai and Land Rover win top awards at Detroit auto show

CAIR Seeks Support for Bill Barring Military Detentions

American Farm Bureau leader: ‘We are the 1 percent’

Vanuatu

Vanuatu man told to find a lawyer

Vanuatu Churches Continue Anti-WTO Efforts

Volcanic activities at Ambrym and Yasur volcanoes at Vanuatu

Venezuela

Chávez: No somos guerreristas (on his meeting with Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad)

Venezuela's Skyscraper Slum

Venezuela Will Not Bow Down To Imperialist "Tentacles": Chavez

Chavez resumes Venezuelan TV show after illness

Venezuela: Women with PIP breast implants demand justice while creating online support network

Cuba - Venezuela to Premiere Film on Terrorist Posada Carriles

Vietnam

(PHOTO: Venezuela's Skyscraper slum. Ángela Bonadies & Juan José Olavarría/THE ATLANTIC WIRE) Vietnam Bars Zimbabwe’s Mugabe's Plane From Its Airspace

Vietnam rice exporters face growing competition for low-end markets 

Vietnam asks the US to help search for the missing

Vietnam hopes to clear unexploded ordinances in 100 years 

Vietnamese Man Has 200-Pound Tumor Removed From Leg (Video)

Hoang Thuy chosen Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2011

No One Wants to Move to Vietnam’s New Cities (Perspective)

Wallis and Futuna Islands

(PHOTO: Multi Platinum selling R&B group Boyz II Men is headed to Zimbabwe in March this year. The Zimbabwe Guardian)New Caledonia politician says territory should merge with W&F

Yemen

Yemen's Cabinet gives president immunity from prosecution

Yemen told by UN not to pass amnesty law to protect “gross violations”

Yemen PM kicks off tour to GCC states seeking aid

WFP raises 2012 food aid to Yemen to $122 million

Yemen plans to renegotiate container port accord with DP World

Yemen HR minister: government must talk to youths

Yemen to have Friday-Saturday weekend

Zambia

Organization Works to Rehabilitate Sex Workers in Zambia

(PHOTO: Volcanic activities at Ambrym & Yasur volcanoes at Vanuatu. THE WATCHERS)Graft: Zambia charges ex-minister

IFAD releases K127bn for rural agro development

Maamba's planned thermal expansion to boost power

PF government should address the plight of lack of health workers (Perspective)

Zimbabwe

Terror bungee fall like being slapped: tourist (Video)

‘Air Zimbabwe refused to take advice’

Zimbabwe MPs to get own hotel

Union urges teachers to report for work

ZMDC Takes Over Sino-Zimbabwe Diamond Mining Operation

A tale of two democracies: New Hampshire to Zimbabwe

(PHOTO: Taiwan Movie Madness-Actor Masanobu Andô as Genji Kojima (left) & Umin Boya as aboriginal warrior Temu Walis in Warriors of the Rainbow Seediq Bale.)Zimbabwe outlaws sale of used knickers

MDC-T MP demands union for prostitutes

Boyz II Men headed for Zimbabwe

WORLD

Russian, French warships off Syria, Iran, US drones over Iranian coast

$ 20 trillion needed for global oil & gas infrastructure in MENA

MultiTaction 55-inch Multi-Touch Display Can Track Hundreds of Fingers

Struggles of Refugee Children Captured By Filmmakers

Mobile tech and child protection in West Africa

Amnesty International slams western reactions towards Arab Spring

The Career Of The Future Doesn't Include A 20-Year Plan. It's More Like Four.

(PHOTO: MultiTaction 55-inch Multi-Touch Display Can Track Hundreds of Fingers. PC WORLD)‘Occupy’ occupies 2011 Word of the Year

Ecobank applies equator principles to finance activities

Elton John Writing His First Book

Press censorship on the rise in Latin America (Perspective)

Ocean Floor Reveals Past Climate Changes

Deep Sea Expedition to Probe Tectonic Plates 

(PHOTO: The world's tectonic plates. USGS)

Tuesday
Jan032012

THE HUM - WORLD HEADLINES - JANUARY 4, 2012

Afghanistan 

Triple bombing targets Kandahar police 

Antarctica 

(PHOTO: British scientists have discovered huge colonies of a new species of yeti crab on the sea floor near Antarctica. OXFORD UNIVERSITY)Yeti Crabs & Ghost Octopus! Unique Life Found at 1st Antarctic Deep-Sea Vents

Argentina 

Leaders' illnesses cloud South America's newfound stability

Mistakes cost dear in Third Stage of Dakar Rally

Australia

Clipper Round the World Race - Geraldton Western Australia takes lead 

Bangladesh

Dhaka calls Kathmandu for power 

Brazil

Brazil buys three BAE Ocean Patrol Vessels

(PHOTO: 'Geraldton Western Australia-Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race'. ONEDITION)Burundi

IRRI Releases Two New Rice Varieties In Burundi

Cameroon

Cameroon Villagers Pin Hopes on Diamond Mine

Cambodia 

Ancient City of Angkor may have been ruined by drought

Canada

More than 700 Canadians ‘brrrrrrave’ the cold for charity

Colombia

Colombian team to be disqualified from Dakar Rally

(PHOTO: Czechs held in Zambia Michal Vébr, Jiří Cetel, Jan Coufal. CZECH TELEVISION)Czech Republic

Czechs detained in Zambia return home (Audio)

El Salvador

El Salvador Murder Rate Highest Since End of Civil War

Ethiopia

Ethiopia discovers largest ever gold reserves 

Shell plans oil pipeline construction from South Sudan to Ethiopia 

France

Latin America leads Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

Gabon

45 challenges to Gabon's poll results

(PHOTO: In Haiti, some of the Hands Across the Sea students returning to school in 2012. HANDS ACROSS THE SEA) Gaza and West Bank

New bid to broker Middle East talks takes place

Guam

Humanities Council to hold film series on the Micronesian experience on Guam

Guatemala

Violent deaths in Guatemala down in 2011 

Guinea

Donor Assistance Will Reduce Contract Non-Payment Risks Despite Continued Risks of Sporadic Violence

Guinea-Bissau

Navy chief held in Guinea-Bissau after alleged coup attempt

Guyana

Guyanese cargo vessel goes missing after leaving T&T

Haiti

Haiti still recovering from deadly 2010 earthquake

(PHOTO: In the UAE new ID cards are being issued online, rather than at centers. UAE GOV) Iceland

Icelandic President decides not to run for re-election

India 

Chennai youth devises a new method to curb movie piracy

Coal India looks to buy coal assets in South Africa 

Detained Indian traders in Chinese hub are “fearing for their lives”

Indonesia

Indonesia sailors detained for killing Taiwan skipper

Indonesia Leads Southeast Asia With 6.5% Expansion In Q4

Indonesia sees 2012 unmilled rice output up

Iran 

Oil prices soar as Iran warns US aircraft carrier away from Persian Gulf

Iranian currency falls against U.S. dollar on fresh sanctions

(PHOTO: Iran's currency falls on fresh sanctions. GANT DAILY)Ireland

'Undocumented' are being forced to live in fear on margins of Irish society

Israel

Israel and Taiwan ink aviation agreement

Taiwan airlines have no immediate plans to run flights to Israel 

Jerusalem Marathon 2012: A race of nations (Press release)

Ivory Coast

Dry, windy weather darkens Ivorian cocoa outlook

Jamaica

OAS Secretary General Congratulates New Prime Minister of Jamaica 

Jordan

RefugeeLives program establishes mobile network in Jordan

Kazakhstan

South Kazakhstan companies pursue CSR policy

(PHOTO: The Communication Commission of Kenya headquarters along Waiyaki way in Nairobi. ANTHONY KAMAU) Kenya

Kenya Trailblazes in Mobile Money Transfer Services

Kenya to miss June date for digital switch over

Kuwait

New, social media ‘the tool’ of 2012 Assembly elections

Kuwait to build first-ever solar power station

Laos

Passenger Services Restored on Mekong River 

Latvia

Referendum to determine the status of Russian language in Latvia

Lebanon

(PHOTO: In Niger, the RAIN foundation is building community gardens. RAIN) aram, Niger.Lebanon to host U.N. conference on reform in Arab world

Libya

Libya seeks to boost tourism industry (Video)  

Malaysia

More flood victims evacuated in Pasir Puteh, Malaysia

LivingSocial enters Malaysia online shopping market

Maldives

Hotels forced to shut down spas across Maldives

Mali

Mali to give 40,000 tonnes of food to drought victims 

Malta

Malta Airport achieves record 3.5 million passengers in 2011

(PHOTO: New Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, (left, in white), is escorted by NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul-Jalil on his arrival at Tripoli International Airport, Libya. TRIPOLI POST) Marshall Islands

Former senator elected Marshall Islands president

Mexico

Mexico tries to rally its expatriates to vote

Mexico, war crimes and a slippery slope  (Perspective)

Mongolia

President talks past, present, and future at honor assembly 

Morocco

Moroccan king unveils Islamist-led government 

Mozambique

Mozambique to take up production of ARVs

New Mayors Sworn in

Myanmar

Burmese company to launch cheap mobile phone service

In Burmese Chanukah celebration, signs of Myanmar’s openness to the West

(PHOTO: In Uruguay, abortion decriminalization passes in Uruguay Senate LIFESITENEWS)Namibia

Tractor Shortage Delays Ploughing

Nepal

Darfur hearing begins

ADB to provide loan for six water projects in Nepal

New Zealand

New Zealand's "Solar Promise" Becomes Solar Policy

Passport checks find surge in fakes

Niger

Niger's anti-corruption files burn

Charitable trust invests in sustainable agriculture in Niger with RAIN

Nigeria

Fuel subsidy protests spread to Lagos

Reversing the Terrorist Tide in Nigeria: The Need for Smart Power (Perspective)

(PHOTO: Omani adventurer Nabil 'Nabs' Al Busaidi became the first Arab to walk to the magnetic North Pole. AL ARABIYA)Northern Mariana Islands

Election Dispute Brewing in Northern Mariana Islands

Norway

Bible becomes 2011 bestseller in Norway

Oman

Sultanate of Oman hosts GCC Health Ministers meeting tomorrow

New civil identity cards

Oman warns over illegal surveys

Seeb project to enhance greenery in Oman

Omani explorer's North Pole trek hits big screen

Pakistan

Pak-Tajik intertwined in bonds of religion says Pakistan National Speaker

Pakistan, India to start power, petro trade

Nimoo-Bazgo project: Pakistan to take dam dispute to world court

An unforgiveable sin (Perspective)

(PHOTO: The North Face of the Jungfrau Mountain in Switzerland, illuminated to celebrate 100 years. JUNGFRAUBAHN)Panama

Panama's president lambasts media owners for publishing about corruption scandals

Paraguay

Paraguay confirms new foot-and-mouth outbreak 

Peru

Peru to celebrate National Chocolate and Cocoa Day every October 1

Controversy in Peru for Possible Junk Food Tax

Peru’s Central Bank: Poverty Rate Could Drop to 17 Percent by 2016

Philippines

Disease Outbreak in Philippines after floods

Hackers attack Philippine vice president's website

Gov't plans to produce Panama disease-free banana seedlings soon

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico: status vote set as crime, unemployment rise

Violence Continues in Puerto Rico After Close of Deadliest Year

Solar energy project in Puerto Rico completes financing, receives modules

(PHOTO: February Vogue 2011, who profiled first lady of Syria Asma al-Assad as a bright light in the Middle East. FROM THE ATLANTIC WIRE) Qatar

Taliban says it will open Qatar office for talks with U.S.

Federer trounces Davydenko in Qatar Open

Romania

Romania catches up on building highways

The number of active operators in Romania's organic farming sector has tripled this year

Romania to Resume Privatization of State-Owned Energy Companies

Rwanda

Rwandan President Visits UAE

A New Kid On the Block Within Telecoms

Innovative Businesses to Instill Entrepreneurship Spirit

Young Motorcyclists Still Cause Most Traffic Accidents

(PHOTO: In Africa kickboxers demonstrate their tactics at their training centre in Nimera Talaata in Juba, South Sudan where the East Africa Kickboxing Championships will take place. GURTONG)Saint Kitts & Nevis 

Solar Power Industries completes new solar installation

Saint Vincent & The Grenadines

Azerbaijani President receives Premier of Saint Vincent and Grenadines (VIDEO) 

Samoa

Samoa begins celebrating 50 years of independence

Samoa paper names PM as Person of Decade

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia arrests foreigner for celebrating New Year’s with balloons

Libya, Saudi Arabia to Restore Full Relations

Saudi Arabia/Islam-Media: 70% of new media related to Youth, according to Saudi Vice Minister of Culture and Information

Saudi healthcare grads snub private sector jobs

Senegal

Africa's 'most famous' singer N'Dour eyes Senegal presidency

Serbia

Serbian Princess to visit Halifax

(PHOTO: In Kremenchug, Ukraine’s new synagogue suffered its 2nd firebombing in as many months. CHABAD.ORG)Singapore

Greying Singapore taps robots, games in rehab

Singapore Press accuses Yahoo of plagiarism in copyright suit

Singapore's counter-terror success (Perspective)  

Slovakia

Slovaks made 12.5 million mobile phone calls and messages on December 31

South Africa

IMF head set for South Africa visit

Supercomputing: SA back in top 500

South Africa's holiday road death toll exceeds 1000

Controversy Over S. African Rhino Hunting

South Africa Seed Centre to Provide More, Cheaper Varieties

(PHOTO: In Taiwan, a convenience store every 500 meters. TAIWAN NEWS CHANNEL) South Korea

South Korea Lifts Ban On Travel To The North

South Korea hopes for 'new era' for Koreas

Korean mobile app Kakao Talk now sees 1 billion texts sent every day

South Sudan

South Sudanese 'massacred' after fleeing Pibor say reports

Shell eyes possible South Sudan opportunities

South Sudan To Host East African Kickboxing Championship

Spain

Spain selects site for nuclear waste storage

Spain's house prices 'have fallen significantly'

Spain: New Year brings end to bullfighting in Catalonia

New Year tradition of the 12 grapes

Sri Lanka

Lotus Tower will be South Asia’s tallest built in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka brimming with promise (Perspective)

(PHOTO: To these children in Nghe An, Vietnam, schooling is a risky adventure every day. TUOITRENEWS)Sudan

NHRI Condemns Shutting Down Ray Elsha'b Newspaper and Confiscating Its Assets

Sudan upgrading airbase in North Kordofan

Sudan Women's Advisory board 'seeks to improve health among females'

Malaria, bilharzia and filariasis endemic in South Darfur

Sweden

Swine flu victim tells of six-month fight for life

Swaziland

Aggrieved soldiers want to see the king

Security guard threatens ATM users with knife

Some contract teachers not paid in full

Paving Paradise (Perspective)

(PHOTO: Mt Cleveland, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA could be a problem in 2012) Switzerland

Boss of World's Largest Container Shipping Line Maersk, Taken Ill

Chunk of Swiss peak breaks off in massive rockslide

Jungfrau illuminated to celebrate mountain railway centenary

Syria

Syria and Iran Discuss Agricultural Cooperation

Philippine Government seeks Syria’s help with labor trafficking

Syrian state journalist, videographer killed

The Only Remaining Online Copy of Vogue's Asma al-Assad Profile

Taiwan

One convenience store every 500 meters in Taiwan

Taiwan, Germany Ink Agreement to Avoid Double Taxation 

Funds to be raised for East Africa famine relief 

Tanzania

Number of Tanzania Internet users is 5m

Hopes dashed as fuel prices go up

Financial constraints hamper Tanzania's London 2012 Olympic preparation

Lake Zone regions capitalise on sisal growing

(PHOTO: The African ECO-Challenge is taking place in the disputed territory of Western Sahara. MOTORSPORTS.COM)Thailand

Bangkok floods, reducing urban risk in a changing climate

Public debt forecast to rise rapidly on big borrowing

Thailand switches to Euro IV standard for gasoil, gasoline

Logistics sector needs to be prepared for emergencies (Perspective)

The Arctic

Solar charging panel generates call time for test team

The Netherlands

Dutch pension fund puts Walmart, PetroChina on investment blacklist

Tonga

Sending money home crucial for many immigrants

Trinidad and Tobago

Facebook and Trini life

Sabga pleads for efficient importation of pain medication for cancer patients

Former Chamber head backs removal of fuel subsidy in Trinidad and Tobago (Perspective)

Tunisia

Tunisian President on First State Trip Abroad Visits Libya

Tunisia is keen to strengthen relationship with India

Mother Plans Rally to Demand Return of Her Children

'Rouge Parole' by Tunisian director Baccar opens in Theaters On January 4th

Turks and Caicos

Expectation high for new tourism season

Turkey

GCC, Turkey to discuss investment

Tuberculosis still prevalent in Turkey

Tuvalu

DO highlights island migration

Uganda

Gay Activists Lash Out At Nsaba Buturo

Ugandans Abroad Want to Get More Involved in Business

Minister Storms Radio Station, Orders Arrests

Ukraine

Ukraine Synagogue Firebombed a Second Time in Two Months

Activ Solar completes Europe’s largest solar power plant

United Arab Emirates

Emirates Airline buys UK travel agent

UAE Facebook penetration rates among highest globally, while female use in the region lags

Seven new rules in UAE as new year starts

UAE’s Abu Dhabi facing water shortages

Young Future Energy Leaders Program

UAE camel festival features beauty contests, races

Volvo Ocean Race: Telefonica resumes Leg 2 tomorrow

Forecasts differ on the Dubai real estate market

UAE National ID card application and renewal can now be done online

Dubai gets own fog monitoring stations

United Kingdom

Mesothelioma Kills Over 150 Residents of Gwent, England

UK Faces Private Sector Pensions 'Collapse' (Video)

United States

Backgrounder: U.S. presidential nomination process and Iowa caucuses

Latest US military drone features 1.8 gigapixel camera

There's a New Volcano to Worry About, and This Time It's in the USA

Marines fighting mold problem at Parris Island

Congressman Ron Paul on Autism in America

US: Harsh Conditions for Young Lifers (Human Rights Watch report)

30 Statistics That Show The Middle Class Is Dying Right In Front Of Our Eyes (Perspective)

Uruguay 

Abortion decriminalization passes in Uruguay Senate

Uruguay’s citrus industry in the dumps due to rising costs

Uzbekistan 

Armenian Grigoryan to open boxing school in Uzbekistan 

Vanuatu 

Vanuatu’s President to be medi-vacced to Australia

Young players off to Vanuatu

Vatican City 

Vatican agency says at least 26 church workers killed in 2011

Venezuela 

Investment remains stagnant in 2011

Venezuelan TV shows will make it in Hollywood, a firm hopes

Vietnam 

Schooling in Vietnam: a stark contrast (Photos)

Vietnam has fewer than 50 wild tigers left 

Vietnam handbag exports cross US$1bn-mark

Search for missing Vinalines Queen Ship continues, Four days on

Falling home prices in Vietnam a positive development: ministry   

Western Sahara 

CCR: Schlesser keeps Africa Eco Race lead after stage 5

Yemen

Yemen PM to visit GCC countries Saturday to seek support

Yemen: On the Permaculture Map

Zambia 

Soya bean shortage concerns Zambian poultry industry

Diarrhea second leading cause of death in Zambia

Zimbabwe

Workers at Zimbabwe's Shabanie Mine Paid for First Time in Three Years

Growing risk of waterborne diseases in rural areas

Air Zimbabwe suspends flights to London after one of its planes is impounded over unpaid debts

2011 Art Year in Retrospect

China Pledge to Develop Martial Arts Wushu in Zimbabwe

WORLD

Where film is a risky biz

How mobile is reshaping the globe

Meeting food demands

Maggie Padlewska One-Woman Mission to Document Global Voices(PHOTO: Maggie Padlewska interviews Chief Antillano Flaco of Embera Quera Village, Panama, for the pilot documentary of her "One Year One World" project. (Elvin Flaco) EPOCH TIMES)

Monday
Dec262011

THE HUM - HEADLINES FROM THE GEOGRAPHIC GAP - 12/26/11

Afghanistan

High Power consumption the main factor of electricity outage

Canada 

(PHOTO: The provincial government of British Columbia has created a task force team to handle the tonnes of debris from the Japanese tsunami floating in the Pacific Ocean that is expected to hit B.C. shores. US NAVY)B.C. launches task force to manage coming tsunami debris

China 

Asia to be largest corporate, investment banking market by 2015: McKinsey

Congo (DRC)

Capital markets: Burj Capital thrives against the tide

Cuba 

US 'Disappointed' Cuba Will Not Release American Prisoner

Egypt 

(PHOTO: Ismail Haniya, Gaza Strip PM. EPA)Palestinian PM in Cairo

Ethiopia

Egypt deports 93 Ethiopians using the country as a transit stop to reach Israel illegally

Haiti 

Haitian migrants found dead off Cuban coast

Iran 

Iranian diplomats review Islamic awakening in Arab states

Tehran, Tunis Able to Further Develop Relations Far from Sectarian Differences

Iran President underlines development of ties with Africa

Iraq 

Iraq blocks Jordanian trucks heading to Turkey over Syria concerns

Israel 

Israeli gas quests plagued by pirates

Libya 

We are pumping more than a million barrels of oil a day, says Libya

Nepal 

Nepal sets up diplomatic ties with Solomon Islands

Nigeria 

Africa’s Biggest Street Party Takes Centre Stage

Paraguay

Paraguay, stuck in siesta mode, awaits Lugo's exit

Somalia 

Somalia: Protesters march the streets to stop violence aimed at aid workers 

South Korea 

(PHOTO: RIA NOVOSTI)S.Korea: doctors charged over deal with pharmaceutical companies

Spain 

Spain: King Juan Carlos Says Fighting Joblessness Top Priority

Sri Lanka 

Sri Lankan female ex-rebels faces uncertain future

Sudan 

Sudan’s Ancient Civilization: Nubian Kingdoms and the Christian Era

Svalbard and Jan Mayen (Arctic Ocean)

Pack ice breaking up in Svalbard in the arctic north of Norway (PHOTO)

 

Swaziland

Marriage trouble for Mandla Mandela  

Sweden

The tallest revolving door in the world

Busy Christmas weekend for the Swedish police

Syria

Syria Faces a New, Long-Term Phase

Taiwan

Taiwanese banks will back plant restoration in Thailand

More sons in Taiwan get inheritances than daughters: report

Tajikistan

Wheat genetics in Tajikistan could help feed the world

Tanzania

Exposed: Dar lacks disaster response system

Thailand

High waves ravage S. Thailand, thousand affected, tourists marooned

Tonga

Tonga National Population Census 2011; Preliminary Count

Trinidad and Tobago

Business owners crying as shoppers watch their pockets

Tunisia

Tunisian women’s group ATFD wins Simone de Beauvoir award

Turkey

(PHOTO: Turkey's learning disabled students. SUNDAY'S ZAMAN)Learning disabilities often confused with mental retardation in Turkey

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan to hold talks on laying international fiber-optic communication lines

Tuvalu

Anglicans tiding Tuvalu over

Uganda

Hopping mad: Uganda power cuts hit grasshopper harvest

Ukraine

Iran, Ukraine to sign oil contracts

Ukraine and Russia to hold next round of gas talks on Jan 15

Ukraine to produce 36 million tonnes of steel in 2012

United Arab Emirates

DHA: No local emergence of malaria

Most in UAE borrow to splurge, says expert

Dassanayake to embark on talent hunt

United Kingdom

Pen woman swallowed 25 years ago works

UK taxpayers face extra £250m bill for nuclear waste clean-up

The globalised underclass (Perspective)

United States

Hackers target United States security think tank

Child Homelessness on the Rise in the US 

Giant shrimp raises big concern as it invades the Gulf of Mexico

Uruguay

Uruguay to Adapt Agriculture to climate change conditions

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s courts launch fight against corruption

Vanuatu

Nursing School gets educational material from Rotary

Global Fund for Environment Projects Ends Year in Vanuatu

Venezuela

Chavez issues Christmas amnesty to 140 prisoners

Vietnam

(PHOTO: Thailand's `Bubble Woman'. THANH NIEN NEWS) Vietnam’s Bubble Woman to be treated in HCMC 

Vietnam still doesn’t have regulations to treat electronics waste

Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program in Vietnam, yielding positive results

More int’l brands shifting base to Vietnam from China

Yemen

Photos of Yemen’s Deepening Humanitarian Challenges

Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh heads to United States after government forces attack peaceful protesters

Zambia

Zambia’s poor still waiting for change after Sata’s 90 days

MTN Zambia launches solar green site

Women for Change launches ‘Zambia We Want Charter’

Zimbabwe

Reform efforts in Zimbabwe move slowly

Medical student wins Face of Zimbabwe pageant

Wednesday
Oct122011

What was really in Tymoshenko’s 2009 gas agreement with Russia? (PERSPECTIVE)

By Derek Fraser

Yulia Tymoshenko, the principal rival of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, has been convicted in a political trial in Ukraine of having exceeded her authority as prime minister in concluding a gas agreement with Russia in 2009 that was unfavorable to Ukrainian interests. For this she has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment and fined $200 million.Yulia Tymoshenko with her daughter as the sentence is read out in a Kyiv court room Monday. Credit: Юлія Тимошенко

It is worth recalling the circumstances in which she had to negotiate.

The negotiations of 2008 came at the end of the second of two gas wars in three years between Russia and Ukraine, wars that led to Russian gas supplies being twice cut to Ukraine and Western Europe.

Russia’s gas sales to Ukraine have been repeatedly been used by Russia as an instrument for bringing Ukraine to heel.

When Russia first turned off the gas supply to Ukraine and Europe at the end of 2005, a year after the Orange Revolution, it was preceded by Russia tearing up a multi-year gas supply contract it had concluded in 2004 with the more pro-Russian government of President Leonid Kuchma and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. Statements made Russians at the time make it clear that the main aims of the Russian action were political. One purpose was to create difficulties for Yushchenko and Prime Minister Tymoshenko in forthcoming parliamentary elections. Another was to take over the Ukrainian gas transit pipeline.

The EU had to intervene to put an end to that dispute.

In the gas war of 2008-2009, Russian motives were also not purely commercial. At the time Russia’s relations with Ukraine were especially tense because of Ukraine’s campaign to join NATO, its support for Georgia in its war with Russia, and Ukraine’s refusal to renew the lease on the Russian naval base on Sevastopol in the Crimea, which was to expire in 2017.

The Russians were also likely angry at the inability of the Ukrainians to pay a contested amount for past gas deliveries and the tough, dilatory and contradictory Ukrainian negotiating positions.

The Russians warned the Ukrainians that they would cut off the gas if the pricing issues were not solved by Dec. 31, 2008. On that day, the Russians proposed a gas price of $250 per 1,000 cubic meters. On the next day, Jan. 1, Yushchenko agreed to $250, but sought an increase in transit fees on Russian gas being shipped to Western Europe.

In response, Putin accused Yushchenko of breaking off negotiations, insisted on $450 and halted gas deliveries intended for Ukraine.

A few days later, Putin accused the Ukrainians of taking gas intended for Western Europe. In reprisal, he halted all shipments to Western Europe. He called for an international consortium to take over the Ukrainian transit system.

After the European Union observers had established that there was no evidence that Ukraine had cut shipments to Western Europe or siphoned off gas for its own use, Russia agreed to resume shipments to Western Europe, but only of a small amount, and that by a circuitous route that would have forced Ukraine to deprive much of the south of the country of gas. 

It was apparently only after the intervention of German Chancellor Angela Merkel with Putin that he and Tymoshenko finally reached an agreement on gas and transit costs. The Western Europeans also put considerable pressure on both Russia and Ukraine to put an end to the gas war.

The new contract was based on the generally accepted formula used throughout Europe at the time that linked the price of gas to the price of diesel fuel plus transportation costs. Ukraine received a 20 percent discount on this price for 2009. Russia received a discounted price on transit fees for the same period. The agreement also did away with an intermediary the gas trade, RosUkrEnergo, which had been allegedly channeling funds to the party of Yanukovych as well as to associates of Yushchenko.

The facts therefore suggest that the gas agreement concluded by Tymoshenko was likely the best she could have achieved under the circumstances. The elimination of RosUkrEnergo, in addition, removed an apparent source of corruption.

Derek Fraser was Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine from 1998-2001. Fraser is a senior fellow for the Centre for Global Studies and an adjunct professor of political science at the University of Victoria.


The trial of Yulia Tymoshenko - a mini documentary

Friday
Jun102011

(HEADLINES) - The Americas - June 11, 2011

THE AMERICAS

(File: Eva Peron) Latin ladies take crack at presidential glass ceiling

EU challenges and opportunities with LatAm

Latin America ponders role of the renminbi

Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Peru shoppers, most promising for retail expansion

New South American exchange opens with uncertainty

Visit of EC Vice-President Tajani to Chile, Argentina and Brazil

UPS expands Latin American capacity

UN chief starts tour of four Latin American nations

Rainforest Leaders to Sign Sustainability Action Plan in 2012

Latin America’s Glossed Decade  

Central America losing war on crime (commentary)

Argentina

(Photo: NASA, A cloud of ash billows from the erupting Puyehue volcano in southern Chile)Flights resume tonight in Argentina from Aeroparque, Ezeiza airports after Chile Volcano eruption

Argentine satellite launches to monitor ocean saltiness from US base

Yum! Brands looks to Argentina for expansion

Israel and Argentina 'most engaged' on Facebook

Argentina's Film `COLD SWEAT’ Will Dynamite U.S. This Fall

Argentinean doctors claim they have cloned the world’s first cow capable of producing human breast milk

Argentinean Air Force launches new UFO commission

Belize

University of Belize Makes History, Offers First Masters Degree

(Photo: ZUMA Press)Destination of the week: Belize

Overturning the Belize Constitution (commentary)

Bolivia

Bolivia switches on modified foods ban

Bolivia asks Iranian official to leave country after Argentine complaint

Bolivia to strengthen ties with Peru's new government

Swapping sugar cane fields for school in Bolivia

Bolivia's stunning salt flats

(Photo: Bolivia's `Bus-train', JALOPNIK)Take a scenic ride in Bolivia’s bizarre Mercedes bus-train

Brazil

Amazon Deforestation Increases Alarming

Brazil to fight drugs with drones

Italy recalls ambassador to Brazil

Brazil is improving on human rights (Commentary)

Rio's Favela Tours: Helpful or Just an Exercise in Voyeurism? (Commentary)  

Canada

Ensure measles shots up to date, health officials urge, as Quebec cases top 300

Vancouver still leads country in reported gay bashings

The Third International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide - a tremendous success (Blog)

Chile

Chinese VP Xi visits 'gateway to Latin America'

(Photo: The Nilahue River, Chile. EPA)Chilean volcanic eruption turns waterway into a steaming torrent

Protest at world’s largest underground copper mine in Chile, drags on (Blog)

(Photo: Lollapalooza, Santiago Chile 4/3/11. Jane's Addiction. Credit: Jeremiah Alexis)Lollapalooza Evolution

Colombia

Ban Ki-Moon arrives in Colombia

Colombian gunman kills victims' rights campaigner

Land and Victims Law Crucial for Millions of Displaced Farmers in Colombia

Costa Rica

Energy expert: Costa Rica needs to define path

(Photo: Containers of Hope. Benjamin Garcia Saxe. INHABIT) Containers of Hope: Cool Costa Rican Shipping Container House Only Costs $40,000

A fair deal for Costa Rica’s indigenous artisans

Ecuador

Ecuador: Correa’s Economic Legacy

Germany's Withdrawal of Funding Threatens Plan to Save Ecuador Forest

The UN Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Ecuador's 17 year battle against Chevron

Ecuador's vice president to head country’s Special Olympic delegation

El Salvador

Journalist Slain in El Salvador

El Salvador Investigates Mysterious Deaths of Sea Turtles

OAS and El Salvador Work together for a Greener General Assembly

Canada to Give $1 Million to El Salvador to fight crime, human trafficking (blog)

Falkland Islands

(Photo: Gilbert House, Falkland Islands Legislative building. MERCOPRESS)Falklands tells OAS sovereignty is “non negotiable”, but seek “neighbourly relations” with Argentina

Obama Administration Votes Against England, Supporting Argentine-Backed Resolution on the Falkland Islands (commentary)

French Guiana

Astra 1N readies for a July 1 liftoff in French Guiana

Guatemala

Future Interoceanic Corridor in Guatemala Will Rival Panama Canal

Guyana

President Jagdeo named first Goodwill Ambassador for global tropical forest

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission is advocating the marketing of non- traditional minerals

Land is the most valuable asset a person can have (commentary)

Honduras

'Up in Smoke' Chronicles Slash and Burn Agriculture in Honduras

Zelaya returns to Honduras

Honduras Levies Security Tax to Pay for Prison

Spain to aid Honduras on basic education

Honduras Readmitted to OAS (commentary)

Mexico

Bank of Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens Remains on IMF Chief Short List

(Photo: US Mexico Ambassador Nominee, Earl Anthony Wayne, Foreign Policy) Obama nominates new ambassador to Mexico

Mexico tourism chief blasts 'ludicrous' travel warnings

Twitter Saves Lives in Mexico (blog)

Nicaragua

Nicaragua to begin cotton production

Nicaragua, Honduras Restore Bilateral Trade

Nicaragua, Ecuador Condemns U.S. Threats against Venezuela at OAS

Solidarity Plan with Cuba Approved in Nicaragua

Panama

More than 60,000 Children Work in Panama

Panama’s “litter pigs” get tongue lashing from Mayor Bosco

Dam construction threatens Ngöbe

Citizens’ groups fight on as government steams ahead with Cinta Costera

Paraguay

Under UN pressure, Paraguay agrees to ‘open debate’ on abortion issue

Indigenous still marginalized 200 years later (commentary)

Paraguayan Senate approves Unasur charter; new Venezuela Mercosur bid

Peru

Humala: 'Peru's economy is rock solid'

Peru’s Humala Visits Brazil To Meet With Rousseff; Looks To Distance Himself From Chávez

(Photo: Lima skyline. Peru is expected to grow by 6.9% this year. LivinginPeru.com) World Bank says that Peru will be star performer in South America

Suriname

Significant mining pollution in Suriname

Heavy rain triples price of some Suriname vegetables

Suriname soccer chief describes alleged bribery attempt

Suriname not giving up claim to New River – Bouterse

United States

Mexicans protest against Alabama's new anti-illegal immigration law

Cancer patients struggle as drug costs soar

Endless 'war on (some) drugs' fills our prisons, wrecks lives and wounds society (commentary)

Uruguay

Hundreds of Dead Penguins Wash Up on Uruguay Shore

(Photo: Uruguay President Jose Mujica received Vice President Xi Jinping of China. MERCOPRESS)China and Uruguay sign 17 cooperation accords and 530m USD trade package

Uruguay: A Bitter Lesson in Forgiving (analysis)

Venezuela

Venezuela ranks sixth in Gallup wellbeing survey

Venezuela-Iran ties go beyond the oil issue

Venezuelan government to borrow additional USD 10.5 billion

Venezuela’s Chavez and Senior Officials in Cuba for Talks (Commentary)

Thursday
Apr072011

Last of Foreigners Evacuating From Abidjan as Gbagbo Holds Out (BREAKING)

(Courtesy: Magellan Geographics) (HN, April 7 2011) - Foreign governments scrambled to evacuate the last of their nationals and diplomats from civil war-torn Abidjan today amid violence triggered by attempts to flush out a recalcitrant incumbent President, Laurent Gbagbo.

According to communications from Abidjan shared with HUMNEWS, Canadian and French diplomats and others were ordered to evacuate today as violence surge in and around the commercial capital of Ivory Coast.

A sense of chaos and fear has taken over. One source told HUMNEWS the Canadian Embassy had only 15 minutes to evacuate. A Canadian convoy that left the Novotel Hotel to an undisclosed safe haven is said to have included not only Canadians, but several French and other nationalities as well.

Most embassies in Abidjan have only skeleton staff after non-essential staff were ordered to leave several weeks ago.

Late yesterday, French forces had to rescue the Japanese ambassador near the presidential palace after Liberian mercenaries from that spot took over his residence to use it as a location for firing - and in the process - pillaged it.

As reported by Abidjan.net in French, last night two jeep loads of soldiers from Gbagbo’s palace tried to enter the next door French ambassador’s residence.   French helicopters immediately destroyed them.

The rush to evacuate diplomats - even as Gbagbo appears near defeat - suggests that a protracted civil war could take hold, said one former western diplomat based in Abidjan.

"What is happening now tells me that even if Gbagbo dies, the situation with - so many armed groups - is such that security will be impossible to provide," said the source.

According to the Voice of America, forces loyal to Gbagbo held off fighters backing the internationally-recognized President Alassane Ouattara late Thursday, supported by heavy weapons inside the presidential compound. About 200 troops are defending the compound, where Gbgabo is holding out in a bunker, refusing to acknowledge that he lost November's presidential election, VOA said.

Royal Air Maroc, Air France and military aircraft may be mobilized to evacuate the entire foreign community. French forces took control of Abidjan International Airport several days ago however with the shelling it is not clear whether commercial airlines will want to take the risk to land in Abidjan. 

The battle for control of Abidjan is in its seventh day. About one million people have been displaced in Abidjan alone so far.

- HUMNEWS staff

Monday
Jan312011

As Egypt Descends Further Into Chaos, Foreign Visitors Flee (Report)

By Michael Bociurkiw

(HN, January 31, 2011) - As protests in Egypt headed into possibly their most tumultuous phase since the January 25 start of open defiance of President Hosni Mubarak, thousands of tourists, business travellers and expatriate workers rushed to international airports to catch evacuation flights home or to nearby safe havens.Travellers boarding an Air Canada evacuation flight Monday evening in Cairo. CREDIT: M Bociurkiw

At just past 1900GMT Monday an Air Canada Boeing 777 chartered by Ottawa lifted off from Cairo International Aiport for Frankfurt carrying more than 200 Canadian and Australian nationals. As soon as the jet lifted off the runway the weary passengers aboard burst into applause and cheers, relieved to be leaving behnd a city very much on edge.

The anxiety was clearly visible: a Canadian couple from Vancouver Island said they and other tourists endured a sleepless night due to gunfire and thugs who temporarily took over their Cairo hotel.

As if to add insult to injury the Air Canada relief flight almost missed its take-off slot when, at the last minute, Cairo International Airpoprt ground handling crew demanded an unexplained $2000 fee. Livid Canadian Embassy officials quickly gathered up a collection from passengers and the flight was eventually allowed to depart.

There were also indications that airport authorities were deliberately slowing the processing of evacuation flights: the Canadian-Australian flight was threatened with a delay by security officials who claimed the passengers werent properly screened, and then further delayed when no tow could be found to push back the jet from a remote stand.

The hitches infuriated Embassy officials but also many of the travellers - many of whom had harrowing stories to tell of enduring spreading lawlessness throughout the country. Some said the quick exit marked their last experience with Egypt.

The evacuation flights were so hastily organized that some airlines, including Air Canada, brought their own maintenance crews along - just in case of hitches on the ground in Cairo.

Like Canada, several other countries - including the United States, Turkey, Switzerland and Germany - chartered planes to take their stranded nationals out of Egypt. Canada was billing each passenger $400 for the evacuation flight to Frankfurt. Most passengers said they didnt mind absorbing the cost but some questioned why nationals of other countries were offered free passage by their respective governments.

A Canadian passport holder born in China was reportedly told by Chinese officials at the airport he was eligible for free passage to Beijing.

The measures to evacate foreigners were due to the deteriorating security situation as well as massive cancellation of outbound flights, especially by national flag carrier Egypt Air. There are unconmfirmed reports that Cairo Airport will close for at least two days later this week.

Today marked the most chaotic day at Cairo Airport since the crisis began almost a week ago. Tempers flared amid several delays and cancellations. HUMNEWS observed a near riot at desks designated for flights to Gulf countries.

The rush to leave is not misplaced: On Tuesday opposition leaders are calling for a one-milion-person march in central Cairo - just as the Mubarak Administration appears to be positioning itself for a major confrontation. This HUMNEWS correspondent saw several dozen tanks lined up near an urban military base, ready to roll at a moment's notice. There were also several reports of foreign journalists being harassed by security officials: an Al Jazeera crew was among many detained. Others are sauid to have had their equipment confiscated.

An indication of the widespread fear is that many Egyptians residents and visitors who hold Canadian and other passports could be seen queing up for evacuation flights.

As tourists, business travellers and expatriates bid goodbye to Egypt, tourism industry officials fretted about the huge blow to a sector that employs millions of Egyptians and is one of the top foeign exchange earners. The Four Seasons Cairo at First Residences was among many luxury hotels in the city where occupancy dipped to single digit figures.

The immediate impact of the exit of so many foreign professionals at once is also difficult to gauge. For example, the Air Canada flight carried at least a dozen staff from the Canadian International School in Cairo. There was no indication when they would return to resume teaching.

What is certain is that millions of Egyptians will be forced to endure a temporary economic slowdown - perhaps the price to be paid for removing the current regime.

David Hill, a British expatriate who manages a building site employing 1000 Egyptians, said it was impossible for him to to continue construction at a time when all of his employees insisted on staying home to protect their properties and valuables.

Thursday
Oct282010

(FEATURE) Kids Helping Kids Around the World For 60 Years: Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF

The iconic UNICEF Trick-or-Treat box (CREDIT: US Fund for UNICEF)

(HN, October 28, 2010) -- This weekend marks the 60th anniversary of UNICEF's `Trick-or-Treat’ campaign, symbolized by the iconic orange collection box that millions of school children in the US carry around each Halloween.

The campaign - where children go door-to-door to collect sweets and donations - has raised $160 million over the past 60 years, averaging about $4 million-a-year.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF started as an ad hoc fundraising effort by a group of kids in Philadelphia in 1950, who wanted to raise money for children suffering from the after-effects of World War II. That year, $17 was collected in home-decorated milk cartons, and earmarked for powdered milk for European children.

That initiative turned into one of America's longest-running youth initiatives, raising donations for UNICEF's work in more than 150 countries for items ranging from water purification tablets and insecticide-treated bednets,  to high nutrition biscuits and vaccines.

In 2005, in response to the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, the campaign raised a record $18.25 million.

Today, at the Silver Oak Elementary School in San Jose, CA, Michael Bociurkiw, who has worked for UNICEF in several regions of the world, and most recently in Lesotho, addressed 400 children in grades fourth to sixth about UNICEF and his work in the field. He described carrying the Trick-or-Treat box as a child, and what it's like to work in the field, in often the most challenging and inhospitable conditions.

Silver Oak Elementary School in San Jose, CA; grades 4-6. (CREDIT: HUMNEWS)

Silver Oak raised more than $4,300 in donations last year - and about $30,600 since 1999.

Bociurkiw spoke about Lesotho in southern Africa, and how UNICEF is helping children there battle the HIV and AIDS epidemic; and, about efforts to keep children, especially orphans, in school. The mountain kingdom of 2-million people has the third-highest HIV infection rate in the world and suffers from poverty, malnutrition and joblessness.

Bociurkiw also cited recent success in battling polio in Nigeria, where according to UNICEF the number of cases has plummeted this year by more than 90 percent, compared to last year. 

This year, UNICEF has recruited its youngest Goodwill Ambassador, teen sensation Selena Gomez, to promote UNICEF's Trick-or-Treat campaign.

HALLOWEEN ORIGINS:

Halloween is an annual holiday observed on October 31, primarily in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.  Today the celebration is largely a secular one.

Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have placed its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, (the goddess of fruits and seeds), or in the Festival of the Dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain. The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end".

The word Halloween is first noted in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Up through the early 20th century, the spelling "Hallowe'en" was frequently used, eliding the "v" and shortening the word.Assembling UNICEF boxes in a combined class of Grades 2 nd 3 at Silver Oak

Halloween is not celebrated in all countries and regions of the world, and among those that do the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly. Celebration in the United States and Canada has had a significant impact on how the holiday is observed in other nations,  particularly the commercial elements which have extended Halloween to places such as South America, Australia, Europe, and Japan as well as to other parts of East Asia.  (VIA WIKIPEDIA)

---- HUMNEWS staff

Monday
Sep202010

Former Canadian PM Martin Blasts Donor Nations for Cutting Africa Aid

(HN, September 21, 2010) --- A former Canadian Prime Minister has blasted major donor nations for not honouring pledging commitments made five years ago to boost progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“One of the worst things you can do to a developing country is build up expectations and then not meet them.” Paul Martin told the Globe and Mail newspaper. “The effect on government budgets, on morale, on people who believe they are about to receive help, and then don’t, is in many ways worse than if it had never been promised.”

The MDGs were forged by world leaders 10 years ago to help lift the world’s poor out of misery by 2015. This week world leaders are in New York to review progress. Martin attended the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland in 2005 where leaders pledged to boost aid to meet the MDGs. At the time Canada pledged to double its annual aid contribution to Africa to $2.8 billion but the current government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper slashed the annual pledge to just $2.1 billion.

In the Globe interview, Martin doesn’t conceal his bitterness. “I set out a number and said its not subject to revision. When the Canadian numbers were revised down, that was reneging on our commitment. The ‘reclarifying’ of numbers, which Canada, Italy and France engaged in, is exactly the kind of thing that must not happen in the future.”

Many donor nations, including the United Kingdom, are blaming the ongoing world economic crisis for slashing aid budgets.

Earlier this year, the respected NGO, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), harshly criticized major donor nations for cutting back funding on HIV AIDS prevention programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa. MSF said the situation has gotten so bad that so-called stock-outs in anti-retroviral medicines are occurring in some of the countries in which it operates.

Martin applauded the aid and other investments in the developing world made by the new economic powers such as Brazil and Korea. However certain recipient countries have not done enough to reach MDG targets, for example in education, Martin said.

One of the eight MDGs is to ensure that all boys and   girls get a complete primary school education. However, UNESCO counts 69 million children out of school - down from 103 million in 2000.

---- Reporting by HUMNEWS’ Michael Bociurkiw in Toronto

Monday
Sep202010

EXCLUSIVE: Study Finds Massive Failure of HIV AIDS prevention education in Africa

(HN, September 20, 2010) - As a major UN review of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) opens today, a new study has cast doubt on the effectiveness of millions of dollars of donor money pumped into HIV AIDS prevention education in Africa.

Moreover, the study, supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), calls for “a comprehensive review and evaluation of all aspects of the delivery of HIV AIDS prevention education programmes in African schools.”

In short, the landmark study of 60,000 Grade Six pupils and their teachers in over 2500 schools in 15 countries, finds that students within most of the countries have “a generally low level of knowledge about HIV AIDS.” Only 20-40 percent of pupils reached the minimal knowledge level and less than 10 percent reached the desirable level.A remote classroom in southern Africa CREDIT: HUMNEWS

The results are nothing short of damning and its authors of the study by the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) don’t hold back in their criticism.

“These research results should send major shockwaves through those governments, international agencies and development partners that have made substantial investments in HIV AIDS preventative education programmes for Africa.”

The authors point out that Grade Six pupils in Africa tend to be at a very vulnerable age and yet “their knowledge about HIV AIDS is clearly inadequate for the task of guiding their decisions about behaviours that will protect and promote health.

“This is not an acceptable outcome - given the extreme human suffering caused by HIV infection and the massive amount of effort that has been devoted to large-scale HIV AIDS prevention education programmes.”

Major donors for HIV AIDS prevention programmes in Africa include the Irish Government, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the UN and the Fast-track Initiative - which groups such donors as the World Bank, Australia, Canada, the US, UNICEF and the European Community.

Ironically, the study found that Grade Six teachers in Africa have very high knowledge levels about HIV AIDS. Said the study: “Almost all teachers in the SACMEQ countries reached the minimal knowledge level and around 80-90 percent of teachers in most SACMEQ countries reached the desirable knowledge level.”

The authors called for a comprehensive review of the delivery of HIV AIDS education programmes in Africa - and further research into explanations for the yawning knowledge gap.         

“For some reason the knowledge in the teachers’ heads isn’t being transferred to the students,” said a UN official in southern Africa, who cant be identified because he doesn’t have authority to speak.

In some African countries, teaching HIV and AIDS - especially with curriculum containing explicit HIV information - is a tricky proposition, because of conservative beliefs or opposition from the Catholic church. In Lesotho, for example, most schools are church-owned and some education materials need to be signed off by the bishops overseeing them.

Education experts in the region say reaching children as young as possible with credible, preventative education is critical if there is to be a hope of stemming the HIV epidemic in this generation. Children as young as 10 need to be targeted given that the age of sexual debut in many African countries is as low as 12.

In the SACMEQ study, students in Mauritius, Lesotho and Zimbabwe scored the lowest and those in Malawi, Swaziland and Tanzania scored the highest. Yet even in Tanzania, the highest scoring, only 24 percent reached the desirable level.

SACMEQ studies are customarily seen as authoritative because the international, non-profit consortium groups the Ministries of Education in 15 countries in southern and eastern Africa. SACMEQ researchers used a recognized testing tool to probe students’ and teachers’ knowledge. The test has “a high level or reliability...and is suitable for placing pupils and their teachers on a common scale of knowledge about HIV-AIDS.”

According to UNAIDS, there are more than 20 million people living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa, and around 10 percent of these people are below 15 years of age.

A UNESCO official who co-authored the study did not respond to email inquiries.

--- Reporting by HUMNEWS staff