FEATURED PHOTOS AND STORIES

Thursday:  July 31, 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 Chad (12)

Tuesday
Jul312012

An African Sahel War on the Horizen? (Perspective) 

(Video: Is the Mali conflict a threat to the region? 1 month ago/AJE)

By Dr Julia Leininger

In the Sahel a war is spreading. Within three months it has overtaken the towns in an area of northern Mali larger than France. 365,000 people have taken flight within the country and across its borders into neighboring Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger. But it is not the only disaster to strike northern Mali. The people are not only fleeing the violence, a reminder of the Tuareg war of 1990 to 1992: they are also trying to escape drought and famine.

Little in the way of facts and developments is leaking out to the world's public. Journalists, foreigners and most western aid organizations have left. The situation is too dangerous. At best, information is being received by telephone from the border towns of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu. Uninhabited desert areas are isolated from modern means of communication. And yet reports on the region paint a clear picture of good and evil. Images of defiled graves in Timbuktu show how Islamist fighters and Tuareg rebels are destroying a world cultural heritage dating back centuries.

(MAP: Mali regions-Azawad consists of Gao, Kidal & Timbuktu, as well as the NE half of Mopti, claimed by & internationally recognised as part of Mali/WIKIPEDIA)The inhabitants of Timbuktu appear to have no choice but to watch helplessly as the armed and masked men go about their heartless business. In Gao, a town on Mali's border with Niger, the 'Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa' (MUJAO) is said to have taken the whole population hostage, a circle of land mines ensuring that no one escapes.

It seems to be a clear-cut case: extremist Islamists and Tuareg rebels versus the Malian state. And yet it is not quite so simple. The threatening Islamist gestures of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), MUJAO and Ansar Dine conceal a mixture of hard economic interests, disputes between old-established clans and struggles for an independent Tuareg state to be known as Azawad.

Independence from the Malian state is demanded by the Tuareg Movement for the National Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), which began by allying itself with Ansar Dine to increase its strength. But the groups fell out over the question of religion: while the MNLA advocates a secular state, the other three are officially seeking to establish an Islamist regime in western Africa.

The Tuareg and the Islamists

Yet the lines separating the Tuareg and the Islamists seem clearer than they really are. Ansar Dine is led by the respected Tuareg Iyad Ag Ghali. He had hopes of becoming the leader of the MNLA. When they were dashed, he set up the Islamist Ansar Dine, but retained links with his Tuareg clan. He is alleged to have the backing of AQIM. AQIM emerged from an Algerian Salafist movement, is said to be composed mostly of Algerians and Mauritanians and operates across borders in the western Sahel.

(Video: Tuareg's claim independence, 3 months ago/AJE)

Behind the religiously charged scenes, all the groups that are ready to use violence - whether Tuareg, AQIM, MUJAO or Ansar Dine – have a number of things in common.  

First, they are linked to international smuggling: only in an ungoverned area like the Sahel can the lucrative movement of drugs from Latin America to Europe flourish and other smuggled goods find their way to consumers in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Second, their violence has no support in Mali's tolerant and consensus-oriented society. Nor does the introduction of a Wahabi and Salafist form of Islam find any approval in the Sufi tradition of the Malian faithful.

Third, the groups with a propensity for violence are benefiting from the collapse of the Muammar Gaddafi regime of Libya. Innumerable Tuareg who fought in the ranks of the Libyan army have returned, some of them heavily armed, to their desert homes in Mali, Niger and Chad. Trained as soldiers, they are easily recruited for the struggle in northern Mali. Their combat strength and fire power are alarming, even though the actual numbers involved remain unknown. Finally, the fighters in northern Mali are taking advantage of the power vacuum that has prevailed in the capital of the country since a military coup in March 2012.

(Video: Islamists claim victory over Tuareg's, 1 month ago/AFP)

Beside the pictures of war and famine, the coup that ousted the democratically elected President, Amadou Toumani Touré, fades into insignificance. Yet the absence of a workable government is currently preventing effective action against famine, poverty and war in the North of the country. In this former model democracy, supporters of the old regime face sections of the military and young Malians pressing for radical political change. They recall the demands that the old political elite addressed to representatives of the authoritarian regime in the early stages of Malian democracy in 1991.

The state was to ensure the unity of the nation and put an end to the ominous Tuareg rebellion (1991-1995). The old elite also stood for an end to corrupt politics and the enrichment of individuals at the expense of the Malian people. Now the civil and military opposition are also accusing the government led by Touré, who has fled to Senegal, and the constitutional transitional government of being incapable of restoring peace in the North and ensuring sustainable development for all Malians.

Popular Military Coup

In this respect many observers are surprised to find that the military coup has proved very popular with the urban population. Nor has an agreement mediated by Burkina Faso and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) done much to improve the wrangling over the leadership of the country. ECOWAS, for example, has called on the Malian transitional government to have formed a government of national unity by July 31, 2012 (which hasn't happened) and to take action to end the conflict in the North.

(Video: Meanwhile, hunger prevails/FAO)

International support is needed if a further escalation of violence in the Sahel region is to be prevented. In Africa itself the African Union, ECOWAS and Mali’s neighbors Algeria and Chad are discussing the form that engagement might take. ECOWAS has taken Algeria's place as the main negotiating power in conflicts with the Tuareg and AQIM.

The problem with ECOWAS's new role is, however, that Algeria and Chad, being non-members, are excluded. A split in political positions was also to be seen at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa mid-July. While ECOWAS is preparing to intervene with 3,000 troops, Algeria is pressing for a political dialogue with the warring parties. Chad would take military action, but not under ECOWAS's aegis.

Sustained management of the conflict in northern Mali and of the regular catastrophic droughts in the Sahel is, however, achievable only with Algeria and Chad. The integration of these countries can succeed only if Mali, the African Union and the United Nations Security Council adopt clear positions. In the Security Council France has already declared its support for military intervention, while the USA is exercising restraint in view of the forthcoming presidential election. As the Malian military is also opposed to intervention, Mali's transitional government remains incapable of taking action for the time being.

In the meantime, they expect a government of national unity to be formed in Mali and an ECOWAS mission and the UN Secretary-General to present their reports on the situation in Mali. It is to be hoped that in this way a more accurate picture of the facts and developments in the war and the emergency in northern Mali will emerge. It is only on a sound basis of this kind that the advantages and risks associated with a military intervention can be assessed.

-- Dr Julia Leininger works at German Development Institute (DIE) Department 'Governance, Statehood, Security'. She is the regional coordinator for Sub-Sahara Africa. This analysis appeared on July 16 as OpEd in DIE. [IDN-InDepthNews]

Tuesday
Apr102012

Sahel NOW: Decisive action is needed to avoid another famine crisis (PERSPECTIVE) 

(Video UN)

By Rebecca Barber

This time last year, the US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) warned that the food security situation in the Horn of Africa was 'alarming', and that poor rains could lead to famine conditions in parts of Somalia.

As an international community, we failed to respond.  Four months later the worst was realised and the UN declared a famine in six regions in Southern Somalia. By November, 750,000 people were at risk of starvation.

It's now acknowledged that last year's food crisis in the Horn of Africa took no-one by surprise, and that we had the information needed to take cost-effective, preventive action to save lives.  An evaluation conducted late last year by the UK's Disasters Emergency Committee found that there was a 'failure of preventive action from late 2010', and a 'failure to respond with adequate relief from the time it was needed in early to mid-2011'.

We don't know exactly how many people died in the Horn of Africa, although one estimate suggests a figure of between 50,000 and 100,000. What we do know is that an earlier response which supported livelihoods, preserved household income and supported markets would have reduced rates of malnutrition, and that more substantial provision of food, nutrition, clean water and health services would have reduced the number of deaths. If an earlier response had saved even a small percentage of the lives lost, thousands of men, women and children would be alive today.

(MAP: The Sahel region in West Africa/Wikipedia)In the aftermath of the crisis, Australia has strengthened its commitment to tackling food insecurity in Africa, as well as its commitment to ensuring timely response to crises when they occur.  At the conclusion of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth last year, the Australian government together with other Commonwealth member states recognised food insecurity as 'one of the most pressing and difficult global challenges of our time', and called for 'decisive and timely measures to prevent crises occurring' and to 'mitigate their impact when they do'.

This commitment is timely, because now another food crisis is unfolding in the Sahel – a belt of arid land that stretches from Senegal in the west through Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad to Sudan. This time, albeit far from the media spotlight, Australia together with the rest of the world has an opportunity to demonstrate lessons learned from the Horn.

More than 13 million people are at risk of hunger in the Sahel – a result of poor rains, a 25 per cent decline in food production across the region, a reduction in remittances from neighbouring countries, and skyrocketing food prices.  Recent assessments by Save the Children show that in some parts of Niger, communities lack nearly two-thirds of the food and cash they need to survive the year. 

In some parts of Mali, families are struggling to cope as the price of millet has risen by more than 80 per cent, while at the same time remittances have fallen by as much as 70 percent as workers return from Libya and Algeria.

One million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition – in plain language this means severely wasted. Malnutrition levels in some areas now exceed the emergency threshold of 15 per cent.  Families have already begun to adopt 'harmful coping mechanisms' such as reducing the number of daily meals, selling livestock which is usually relied on for food and income, going into debt, and taking children out of school. In the long-term this reduces resilience and food security.

In a promising demonstration of lessons learned from the Horn, a number of donors have recognised the scale of the impending crisis and made early and generous commitments to the Sahel. 

The US has pledged $75 million, Canada $41 million, France $22 million, and Germany $19 million.  Australia has pledged $10 million – an amount that pales in comparison to the $128 million contributed to the Horn of Africa last year.  It's not enough.

(PHOTO: Nomads in the Sahel/DailyMaverick) The UN estimates that it will need $725 million to tackle food security and nutrition in the Sahel, but so far just over half of this has been pledged – and even less actually committed.  The lean season (the time between harvests when household food stocks dwindle) is approaching, and the next harvest is not until October. 

The head of the Food and Agricultural Organisation warned last month that there were only two or three months to act to avoid a crisis on a scale similar to that seen in the Horn of Africa last year.  That window of opportunity will soon close.

With the indicators of crisis becoming stronger, the Australian government has an opportunity now to take decisive action and demonstrate lessons learnt from the Horn of Africa.  The consequences of failing to do so will be millions of dollars in humanitarian assistance, and thousands of lives lost.

- Rebecca Barber is Save the Children's humanitarian policy and advocacy advisor. This editorial originally appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Tuesday
Feb212012

10 million Africans face starvation (REPORT) 

 By Mel Frykberg

(GRAPHIC: FEWS Net)The UN warned on Saturday that 10 million people in Africa’s Sahel region faced starvation and called for a greater humanitarian response to the crisis, which is threatening eight countries, particularly Niger, where at least half of those at risk are situated. The Sahel countries include parts of Senegal, southern Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, southern Algeria, Niger, northern Nigeria, Chad, Sudan and South Sudan, northern Cameroon and Eritrea.

Helen Clark, the UN development programme’s administrator, and the under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs and UN emergency relief coordinator, Valerie Amos, made the appeal during a visit to Niger’s Tillabery region.

Their visit entailed an inspection of an agricultural project supported by the UN, which grows vegetables in a sustainable way, while simultaneously improving the nutrition of the villagers and providing them with a source of income.

“This project shows how a tiny initial investment can make a major difference,” Amos said.

“Just a few kilometres from here, there is a village which has not had this investment, where people are leaving their homes and have taken their children out of school so that they can look for food,” she said.

(PHOTO: Aliyin Would Eleiat, the chief of a village in the Gorgol region of Mauritania shows 1 of few wells that still has water. It serves as the lifeline for 75 families/Irina Fuhrmann, OXFAM)Clark stated that the wider crisis in the Sahel, where poor harvests following repeated droughts had caused severe shortages, threatened 10 million people in desperate need of assistance.

Furthermore, international non-governmental organisations warned that the Sahel could be crippled by this year.

Oxfam has announced that harvests plummeted 25% in the region compared to 2010 because of lack of rains. This will leave more than one million children threatened with severe malnutrition.

---This piece originally appeared in South Africa's New Age

RELATED:

(PHOTO: Baaba Maal with Oxfam in Mauritania/OXFAM)Senegal's Baaba Maal visits Mauritania with Oxfam: "The scale of this crisis is so great that I have to speak out so that the world reacts"

During a 48 hour visit to the Gorgol region of Mauritania, the musician Baaba Maal discovered the harsh reality for communities affected by a food crisis that now touches one in four people across the country. Today 700,000 people are food insecure in Mauritania.

"What is happening in this part of Africa is so close to my heart. People are suffering, especially children. I cannot watch and do nothing,” declared Senegalese singer Baaba Maal after visiting Mauritanian communities at the center of the current food crisis in the Sahel. Low rainfall, poor harvests, a lack of pasture and rising food prices are among the key factors driving this crisis.

Baaba Maal, who met populations in the south of the country, not far from his home village in Senegal, noted: “Some families have almost nothing to eat, and I worry about how they will feed themselves until the next harvest.”

(PHOTO: The Senegal River, which forms the natural border between Mauritania & Senegal, is too low for the crop season/Irina Fuhrmann, OXFAM)The Senegalese singer, internationally renowned and recognized for his commitment to development in Africa, launched an appeal to the international community for urgent action: “We cannot watch and do nothing while our brothers and sisters in Mauritania are victims of such a crisis. I have been able to see the solutions that are being put in place. We have to support and strengthen them."

"I met Hamila, a mother of five children, who had just bought a bag of rice thanks to money provided by Oxfam. This money will allow her to feed her family over the coming weeks. Hamila is among the most vulnerable people in her community but there are many other people who need our help,” explained Baaba Maal.

Last December, Oxfam and its partners launched a humanitarian response in the south of Mauritania in order to provide assistance to 30,000 people, and are planning to scale up operations to avoid a major crisis. In coordination with the emergency plan developed by the Government, the organisation has put in place cash transfers to allow populations to protect their livelihoods. Other actions to improve access to clean drinking water are also underway in order to prevent water-borne diseases that lead to malnutrition, especially in children.

"When I was young, this region was totally green but every year I see it becoming more and more dry. Yet water is there, in the river and in the ground. We have to work together and join forces to solve the problem, so that we never see this situation repeated again,” added Baaba Maal.

Oxfam is calling for urgent interventions to avoid the worst over the coming months, as well as long-term investments to strengthen the resilience of populations, allow communities to cope with bad years, and prevent crises of the future. As well as Mauritania, Oxfam is actively supporting communities affected by this crisis in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Senegal.

--- This piece originally appeared on OXFAM

Thursday
Feb162012

Warnings of Second African Drought in Sahel (NEWS BRIEF)

As many as 10 million people are threatened by drought in the Sahel. CREDIT: Shannon Howard/WFP

(HN, February 16, 2012) -- A persistent drought in the Sahel region of Africa could turn into a famine and threaten up to 10-million people.

This was the main conclusion of an emergency meeting of UN agencies, NGOs, governments and donors hosted Wednesday in Rome by the World Food Programme (WFP).

"We have a short time to act. We have two to three months, no more than that," the head of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, José Graziano da Silva, said in no uncertain terms at a press conference after the meeting.

Also attending were representatives of the African Union and the Economic Community Of West African States - as well as the executive director of WFP, Josette Sheeran, the UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Valerie Amos, the administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark, the assistant administrator of USAID, Nancy Lindborg and the EU commissioner for humanitarian aid, Kristalina Georgieva.

Said Sheeran: "We are having an emergency meeting to avoid a full blown emergency, before we see the effects which are long lasting and devastating. We know what needs to be done. We have learned some lessons from the Horn of Africa. While we can't prevent drought, we can prevent famine. "

More than 10 million people in the Sahel are threatened because late and erratic rains have ruined harvests in parts of Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso and northern Nigeria.

Food shortages have pounded the region at least five times in the past 10 years. Farmers in the region have seen harvests fall by 14 percent in Burkina Faso and 46 percent in Mauritania, says WFP.

The government of Niger says that over 5.5 million people in the country are at risk of going hungry and that a rapid response will be needed to avert a full scale food crisis.  In Chad, 6 out of 11 regions in the Sahelian parts of the country are reporting “critical” levels of malnutrition, with the other 5 at levels described as “serious”.

However the crisis cannot only be blamed on Mother Nature - fighting in Mali has resulted in thousands of refugees fleeing into neighbouring states, including Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso.

- HUMNEWS staff

Friday
Jan272012

Nigeria's Boko Haram vows to fight until country establishes sharia law

A spokesman for Boko Haram tells the Guardian exclusively that the Islamist group says it will not stop deadly attacks until country is ruled according to dictates of Allah.

The Islamist group Boko Haram, which has killed almost 1,000 people in Nigeria, will continue its campaign of violence until the country is ruled by sharia law, a senior member has told the Guardian.

"We will consider negotiation only when we have brought the government to their knees," the spokesman, Abu Qaqa, said in the group's first major interview with a western newspaper. "Once we see that things are being done according to the dictates of Allah, and our members are released [from prison], we will only put aside our arms – but we will not lay them down. You don't put down your arms in Islam, you only put them aside."

Qaqa, whose name is a pseudonym, said the group's members were spiritual followers of al-Qaida, and claimed they had met senior figures in the network founded by Osama bin Laden during visits to Saudi Arabia.

The interview comes a week after Boko Haram claimed responsibility for Nigeria's single deadliest terrorist attack, which killed 186 people in the northern city of Kano.

In an audio message posted on YouTube on Friday, the group's current leader, Abubakar Shekau, threatened to bomb schools and kidnap family members of government officials.

"If [security forces] are going to places of worship and destroying them, like mosques and Quranic schools, you have primary schools as well, you have secondary schools and universities, and we will start bombing them."

Shekau rejected calls for a negotiated peace from President Goodluck Jonathan, who on Thursday called for the shadowy sect to step out of the shadows and engage in dialogue.

Nigerian officials have voiced hopes for a negotiated settlement with "moderate elements" of the group. "Under the circumstances, if you look hard enough, you can find moderate elements you can communicate with," General Andrew Azazi, the national security adviser to the president, told the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

Western diplomats say Boko Haram has splintered and the hardliners leading the factions responsible for the wave of violence that has killed some 250 people this year appear to have rejected any suggestion of dialogue.

The Guardian was able to contact Abu Qaqa through an intermediary from the group's home state. The go-between has been in contact with the group since its inception, and met with its founder, Mohammed Yusuf, several times before he was killed in 2009. For most of the interview he used a voice modulator, but local journalists confirmed that his undisguised voice matched recordings of previous interviews.

Qaqa said Shekau and others had travelled to Saudi Arabia for training and funding. "Al-Qaida are our elder brothers. During the lesser Hajj [last August], our leader travelled to Saudi Arabia and met al-Qaida there. We enjoy financial and technical support from them. Anything we want from them we ask them."

He said recruits from neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger had joined the group. A recent UN report said weapons from Libya may have been smuggled to Boko Haram and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghre via Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

Security officials and diplomats in Abuja said they had no evidence of a link with al-Qaida in Saudi Arabia, but an official confirmed that "elements of Boko Haram have made contact with external groups". The extent and frequency of that contact was unknown, the official said.

In the decade since it first appeared, Boko Haram has graduated from crude driveby attacks on beer parlours to bombing security buildings in the northern Muslim heartland. Its most audacious attack targeted the United Nations building in the capital, Abuja, killing 25 in August. In recent weeks, Christians institutions have increasingly come under fire. A Christmas Day bomb attack on a packed church just outside the capital claimed almost 40 lives.

But Qaqa said the rights of the country's 70 million Christians, who represent half of Nigeria's population, "would be protected" under the group's envisioned Islamic state. "Even the prophet Mohammed lived with non-Muslims and he gave them their dues." But he said everyone must abide by sharia law: "There are no exceptions. Even if you are a Muslim and you don't abide by sharia, we will kill you. Even if you are my own father, we will kill you."

Speaking fluent but non-native Hausa, the lingua franca across the Sahelian belt on the cusp of the Sahara desert, he said: "It's the secular state that is responsible for the woes we are seeing today. People should understand that we are not saying we have to rule Nigeria, but we have been motivated by the stark injustice in the land. People underrate us but we have our sights set on [bringing sharia to] the whole world, not just Nigeria."

Sharia law is already in place across 12 states in the Muslim-majority north. Few believe the group's radical ideology has traction in Nigeria's mainly Christian south, which is also home to millions of Muslims and has so far been out of the group's reach.

Raising his voice for the only time during the interview, Qaqa denied reports that some governors in northern Nigeria paid the group monthly allowances in exchange for immunity from attacks. "May God punish anyone that said so," he said, before adding that the group has popular support in the north.

"Poor people are tired of the injustice, people are crying for saviours and they know the messiahs are Boko Haram.   "People were singing songs in [northern cities] Kano and Kaduna saying: 'We want Boko Haram'," Qaqa said, describing how the group can blend into the communities in which it operates. "If the masses don't like us they would have exposed us by now. When Islam comes everyone would be happy," he said.

Diplomats say Nigeria's security services are belatedly attempting to gain control of the situation, which was previously dismissed as an internal, northern squabble often fuelled by politicians with personal grievances.

"There is an ongoing review of all security agencies," the presidential aide Ken Wiwa said. "This is a relatively new phenomenon in Nigeria and the administration is working hard to improve its capacity to respond. There are various other initiatives which will be implemented but this is as much a political as a security issue."

An official said Nigeria's central bank was involved in measures aimed at strangling the group's external funding sources, including speeding up a cashless economy.

(By the Guardian’s Monica Mark in Abuja, Nigeria.  READ MORE HERE)

Friday
Jan132012

THE HUM - WORLD HEADLINES - JANUARY 13/14, 2012

(PHOTO: Poppy field in Afghanistan/UN NEWS CENTRE)Afghanistan 

UN-backed survey shows sharp rise in opium production and prices

Albania 

Energy shortages mean a difficult winter for Albanians

Albania Condemns Call for Blockade of Serbia

Albania to Sell Nine Obsolete Chinese-Made Military Aircraft

World Bank will provide a fund worth USD 40 mln to the Albanian government

Tirana Airport – an unlikely East European success story

Algeria 

Algeria chairs G-77, vows group "will be heard" in 2012 

Algeria’s Leader Tells Turkey to Stop Making Political Capital Out of Massacre History

Desertec Nation Algeria to Host Huge Solar Trade Fair in Algerica

Angola 

Over 200 Tried for Helping Illegal Immigration

Minister admits development of culture industry

Media organs must promote morally uplifting songs

(PHOTO: Runner Ray Miller recently returned fr/Antarctica, where he ran in the Antarctica Ice Marathon. For Miller, it completed a goal of running a marathon on every continent/Post Crescent)

American Samoa 

American Samoa lawmaker says 14 too young for marriage

American Samoa census puts population at 55,500

Antarctica 

Runner braves Antarctica during trek across globe

Beleaguered Antarctica Mission Cut Short

Mawson commemoration in Antarctica

Helen Skelton’s a Blue Peter World Beater

Warming helps albatross speed - for now

Antigua & Barbuda 

Antigua Power Plant - No Straight Answers

Policy on agriculture complete

Customs Officers Worried About Overtime

Argentina 

Argentina and IMF moving closer, admit holding regular bilateral contact

Argentina faces a continuous drought

Argentina Heat Stresses Summer Crops

Armenia 

OSCE chair concerned about Armenian-Azerbaijani contact line

Armenia ranked 39th in annual Index of Economic Freedom

Armenian Urban Development Minister to lead ruling coalition party headquarters - newspaper

Iran, Armenians and Armenia‎ (Perspective)

Australia 

Three whaling activists transferred to customs boat

New global seed bank where deposits are guaranteed to grow

Australian man sentenced to lashings in Saudi Arabia for blasphemy conviction returns home

Australia fumes over smoking kangaroos

Dwarf left wheelchair-bound after being dropped on night out celebrating his birthday

Miranda Kerr named new Qantas ambassador

Australia ranked highest on nuclear security (Press release)

Austria 

(PHOTO: Youth Olympics Opening Ceremony firworks at the Bergisel Stadium in Innsbruck/Tom Degun)Innsbruck 2012 winter Youth Olympic Games get off the ground

Aruba 

Missing American teen Natalee Holloway declared legally dead

Azerbaijan 

Turkish FM to visit Azerbaijan to attend a trilateral meeting of Azerbaijani, Iranian and Turkish ministers 

Azerbaijani FM says African challenges should be addressed diplomatically

Azerbaijan’s non-oil sector provided 52.5% of budget tax revenue in 2011

(PHOTO: Mehriban Aliyeva is the First Lady of Azerbaijan) First lady of AZ to open exhibition of Azerbaijani art and culture in Davos

Bahamas 

Marathon Bahamas ready for the off

The Bahamas to launch wage and productivity survey with IDB support

New Fast Ferry Links Grand Bahama Island & Ft. Lauderdale, US

Bahrain 

Bahrain tries police for beating detainees to death

Bahrain: Rights Activist Attacked says Human Rights Watch

Major road projects planned in Bahrain

Ashrafs to build $10.6m tower 

Bangladesh 

(PHOTO: Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari confers the honorary Doctor of Literature on Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Agartala on Thursday. Also seen in the picture is HRD Minister Kapil Sibal./THE HINDU) Connectivity will generate economic vibrancy: Hasina

India, Bangladesh to cooperate in power sector

Biswa Ijtema begins, 6 devotees die

Barbados 

300 km natural gas line to Barbados coming

Belarus 

Belarusian Presidential Candidate Gets Three Years In 'Closed Regime'

Belarus Ranks 26th from End in Economic Freedom Rating

Have Belarusians Always Used the Cyrillic Alphabet?

World Ice Hockey Championship as leverage over Belarusian regime (Perspective)

Belgium 

Agreement reached in Belgium on Google Street View privacy concerns

Belgium Grocery Chain Food Lion to Cut 5,000 Jobs in U.S., EU

Belgian minister wants anti-gay Primate replaced

Belize 

Belize Maintenance Workers Rage Against City Hall

Belize's Minister of Education at a Georgia US college on BC Monday

PM's Wife Donates Wheelchairs

Belizean Studies Focus On Culture

Benin 

IMF co-hosts civil service reform conference in Benin

(PHOTO: Congolese rapper Baloji put behind him the life of an illegal migrant who survived for years through petty crime/TELEGRAPH)Water sectors of Benin and the Netherlands join forces

Bermuda 

Bermuda Marathon this weekend

Bermuda registers 54 new insurance companies in 2011

Soldiers are in line to get new uniforms

'Leaving Bermuda saved my life' (Perspective)

Bhutan 

Bird Flu back in Bhutan

Consumer protection bill passed

A new village takes shape in the woods after water source dries up

Bolivia 

Bolivia's Morales set for another showdown

Bolivian Parliament to Prioritize 70 Bills from Social Summit

Urban Growth Contaminating Lake Titicaca

McDonald’s Left Bolivia in 2002; Fast Food Still Abundant on City Streets

Bosnia-Herzegovinia 

Illegal weapons worry BH law enforcement

Botswana 

Botswana Diamonds beefs up efforts to find new deposits

Botswana bans South Africa imports of cloven animal products after new outbreak of foot and mouth disease

Prolonged blackouts in Botswana go unresolved

Alcohol consumers contribute positively to economy says official

Botswana metal head rock subculture on show in San Francisco, USA  

(PHOTO: The Pacific Island Nation of Kiribati votes for its President today/FILE) Brazil 

Brazilian orange juice in chemical scare

Brazilian security director for 2016 Olympics faces fraud charges

Heavy rain disrupts operations at Brazil's major iron ore miners

Floods, mudslides kill 39 in Brazil

Overtime pay for Brazil employees who answer work emails after shift

British Virgin Islands 

British Virgin Islands to grant Taiwan visa-free entry 

Brunei Darussalam 

Brunei Minister attends tourism meetings in Asia

Brunei hotels expect brisk business on Chinese New Year

Tainted ‘symbiotic partnership’ between Brunei regime and Shell (Perspective)

Bulgaria 

Bulgaria launches anti-mafia tribunal

Burundi 

Burundi opposition leader arrested in Tanzania 

Government officials cleared of embezzling debt repayment funds

Cameroon 

Teenage Mum Raped By Uncle Dares to Speak Out

Banana Production - Cameroon Targets 500,000 Tons Annually by 2013

(PHOTO: An Irrawaddy dolphin emerges from the Mekong River in Cambodia/ABC]Cambodia

Cambodian govt working to save Mekong dolphins

Canada

Canada PM to visit China in bid to secure higher oil sales

Billionaire jailed for failure to complete US-Canada Ambassador Bridge project

Conservatives to change civil marriage law

Cape Verde

Water Resources Group capital raising supports lead up to maiden contract

Cayman Islands

Mayo Clinic takes on Cayman’s overseas patient car

(PHOTO: Hydrothermal ‘black smoker’ vents near the Cayman Islands may offer new clues to the dispersal of deep sea organisms/NOAA)Caribbean yields deepest-ever ‘black smoker’ vents

Central African Republic

UN highlights "security vacuum" as northern clashes continue

Can you make a film about corruption in Africa and not be corrupted?

Chad

Work to begin on Chad rail network

Chile

Chile needs to boost hydroelectric output - govt

Syrah tops Wines of Chile Awards

Coma reclaims Dakar lead 

China

China's food prices increase as inflation drops in December

Beijing Reports Air Quality in Real Time

China vows to advance people-to-people links with Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova

China to build "maritime highway"

(PHOTO: A Hello Kitty themed restaurant opens in Beijing/SCMP)Chinese vice premier calls for advancing poverty alleviation, reconstruction

A New Approach to Solving Climate Change, Part 4: China

Beijing Apple store egged after iPhone delay

Hello Kitty themed restaurant opens in Beijing

China cannot stop buying Iranian oil (Perspective)

Christmas Island

Shipwreck a disaster that keeps on taking from Christmas Island

Cocos Islands

How TVShack blazed a trail for illegal downloaders

Colombia

Former Head of Colombian Army Denies Links to Paramilitaries

4 survive as Colombia plane make emergency landing

(PHOTO: The clove market in Comoros & other countries is on the rise/GK Nair) Comoros

Cloves market revives on upcountry buying

Congo

Baloji: the sorcerer of African rap

Congo (DRC)

Smugglers bleed DRC dry

Cook Islands

Cook Islands police confirm amount stolen in Aitutaki bank robbery

Costa Rica

Trade visit boosts Costa Rica ties with Germany

Costa Rica: Low Temperatures Cause Pineapples To Fruit Early

Costa Rica Measles And Rubella Free: First In The Americas

Costa Rica: Rolling Back of Speeding Fines Generates Frustration 

Croatia 

Zagreb-Belgrade flights to take off this summer

Cuba 

French Mayor Demands Release of Cuban Five 

Cyprus

Hundreds delayed at Larnaca airport after unannounced strike

`Supercomputer’ unveiled at Cyprus Institute

Group of experts continues meetings in Cyprus on natural gas issue

Postal services go online

Euronews secures DTT in Greece and Cyprus

(PHOTO: German Minister of Economic Cooperation Dirk Niebel talks with a worker during a visit Wednesday to the Valle Central Wind Project in Santa Ana, Costa Rica southwest of San José/TICO TIMES)Czech Republic

Czech Facebook campaign calls for Klaus to be renamed Havel

Denmark

Danish presidency seeks a greener, safer Europe

Kurdish TV in Denmark to Appeal ‘Terrorism’ Ruling

Half a million more join Denmark’s e-Boks digital mail service

Dominica

Dominica Social Security to invest in millionaire club resort in Barbados

IMF approves funds for Dominica

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Repatriates 1st Group Deported from U.S. in 2012, 132 Ex-Convicts

East Timor

East Timor to hold presidential elections in March

Ecuador

Ecuadorian Military Contingent to Travel to Haiti on Saturday

Egypt

Jimmy Carter disappointed with women's meager representation in Egypt's parliament

Carter: Egypt's Military Should Be 'Subservient' to Elected Officials

El Salvador

El Salvador to Declassify Reports from Commission on Truth 

Life in San Salvador (Video)

(PHOTO: On the streets of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea/SKYCRAPER CITY)Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea agrees to sell crude oil to Swaziland

Equatorial Guinea’s Malabo II, a metaphor of Africa’s rejuvenation (Perspective)

Eritrea

Youth Olympics bring ancestry into focus for Eritrean Alpine Skier

Estonia

Ex-Estonian spy chief charged with piracy

Ethiopia

Africa’s largest dam to lift Ethiopia out of poverty

Wars At Home And Abroad

Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands dispute gets heated

William Hague warns against Falklands intimidation

Argentina says no change in Mercosur decision to bar Falklands’ flagged vessels

Chile ratifies its position and denies existence of a Malvinas blockade

Fiji

Fiji TV investigated over belated text poll win for Bainimarama

Fiji Attorney General says New Zealand media "obtuse"

(PHOTO: Indonesian Fitria Nahdi left a job working for an international company to start a career as a collector & maker of jewelry. She has shown off her collection around the world, in countries as diverse as Singapore, Algeria, Germany, France & Japan/JG Photos)France

France to Lose AAA Rating From S&P, Finance Minister Says

France wants independent probe into death of journalist in Syria

French Polynesia

Suspected Tahiti bank robber identified as known musician

Gambia

Gambian president-elect Jammeh to be sworn in

Gaza and West Bank

'Gaza hackers' target Israel fire service website

Controversial Makeover for Gaza’s Beachfront

Georgia

President: Georgia is a small country and must fight for its citizens

Germany

Forced marriage in Germany: Turkey, Serbia, Kosovo leading the list

Ghana

Ghana’s oil find to affect women negatively – Research

Women Still Sidelined Politically As 2012 Election Approaches (Perspective)

(PHOTO: Gangs of San Salvador/ALJAZEERA)Greece

Price hikes making Greeks put out their cigarettes

Guatemala

Guatemala Overwhelmed by Seizures of Drug Chemicals

Guatemala ratifies UN-backed treaty banning nuclear tests

Guinea-Bissau

Angola donates US$16.5 million to rehabilitate Guinea Bissau armed forces

Death of West African leader leaves nation in disarray (Perspective)

Guyana

Guyana government calls out US mining company

Haiti

Haitian Diaspora Tests Brazil's International Solidarity

Haiti to Host Music Festivals Network Africa-Caribbean-Pacific 

Red Cross movement helping empower affected Haitians

Honduras

Hugo Chávez: "We Need Honduras"

Iceland

Iceland placing “great emphasis” on mackerel peace deal 

Iceland Unemployment Rate At 7-month High

Danish unions in action against Icelandic-owned airline

Northern Lights tour in Iceland holds 80 percent sighting rate

(PHOTO: Jeremy Clarkson of the BBC's `Top Gear' program & the controversial 'muffins' banner in the India special/BBC)India

Top Gear special prompts complaint from Indian high commission

Sagar fish found to have uranium

Yoko Ono on India’s ‘fertile ground’

Indonesia

Putting Sabah, Sarawak on the global map

Indonesian Culture, Illustrated in Jewels

Iran

EU to delay oil embargo on Iran for sx months

Ahmadinejad visits Ecuador

Iranian speaker visits Turkey

Tehran supports idea of holding nuclear talks in Turkey

Iraq

Iraqi PM cancels Czech visit, talks on L-159s to go ahead

Israel

Iran paper calls for retaliation against Israel for assassination

Was Israel behind Iran nuclear scientist's assassination? (Analysis)

Ivory Coast

Clinton to visit Ivory Coast, other W. African countries

Former finance minister Bohoun Bouabré dies

Jamaica

Give PM space to paint her legacy (Perspective)

(PHOTO: After 21 years, Croatia Airlines restarts the Zagrb-Belgrade route between Croatia & Serbia/CROATIAN AIR)Japan

Japan PM shuffles cabinet to rescue tax hike plan 

Jordan

Jordan authorities deny people injured in demonstration

Kazakhstan

Four Belarus’ MPs to monitor parliamentary election in Kazakhstan

Kenya

New crop varieties can cut poverty, study finds

UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bündchen Backs ‘Small is Beautiful’ Energy Solutions on First Official Fact-finding Mission to Africa / International Year of Sustainable Energy for All

Kenyan Security Forces Accused of Abuses Against Somalis

Kiribati

Kiribati heads to the polls to pick President

Kosovo

Analysts urge greater emphasis on Kosovo's agriculture sector

(PHOTO: Head of the Asian & Kuwaiti Olympic bodies Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah/GOVT) Kuwait

Kuwait ranks 71 on ‘economic freedom’ 

Kyrgyzstan 

Kyrgyzstan intends to take an active part in Afghanistan’s restoration – Ruslan Kazakbaev

Laos 

Nine more Cambodian ‘loggers’ nabbed in Laos

Latvia

Latvian PM promises foreign investors to continue improving judicial system

Secretariat for Latvia’s EU presidency likely to start work in February

Lebanon

UN chief to start trip to Lebanon, United Arab Emirates

Luxembourg

Luxemburg Speedway loses its promoters

Macedonia

Subsidies give boost to housing sector

Luxurious suburbs spring up in Macedonia

E-democracy: making government closer to the people in Macedonia

Orthodox Macedonians celebrate faith, family

Malawi

Malawians paying highly for tolerating bad governance

Malaysia

Malaysia ranked as No. 1 halal-friendly OIC nation

Maldives

Maldives faces tides of change

(PHOTO: The affluent Zlokukjani suburb in Macedonia reflects the new living arrangements in the country's capital/SETimes]Mali

Mali boosts security as desert festival starts in Qaeda zone

India loans $100 million to Mali for power project 

Marshall Islands

Dengue fever declines in Majuro but on increase on Ebeye

Mauritius

Mauritius tops African household lighting survey

Mexico

Mexico expects millions to visit for 2012 solstice

US GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mexican roots unearthed

Calderon Adviser Falls Short in Defending Boss' Security Policy (Perspective)

Moldova

Fowl cholera spreading actively in Moldova and Ukraine

Mongolia

China, Mongolia to boost ties

Montenegro

Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro sign free travel agreement

Morocco

Senior Libyan official denies imposition of visa restriction on Moroccans

Mozambique

Seed management improving food security in Mozambique

(PHOTO: Burmese negotiators & opposition work to ink peace deall/KUENSEL)Myanmar

End in sight for Burma's 63-year old insurgency

Myanmar frees more political prisoners

Namibia 

Fitch Maintains Our BBB - Rating but the Outlook Slips From Positive to Stable

Nepal 

Nepal detains 90 illegal Tibetan immigrants - police

Nicaragua

Maquilas Shift to El Salvador and Nicaragua

Nigeria

Negotiations Fail to End Strike in Nigerian Fuel Subsidy Showdown

Nigerian oil shutdown to begin Sunday: union

Protests: 4,000 displaced in Benin, 300 injured nationwide —Red Cross

North Korea

Kim Jong-il to be embalmed and put on display

North Korea Launches English Version Of Party Newspaper

Northern Mariana Islands

New Northern Mariana Islands cargo airline on Guam leg

Pakistan

President Zardari’s exit fuels Pakistan coup fears

Papua New Guinea

PNG watchdog warns of govt’s growing irrelevance

Philippines

Women killed, found in bag at Philippines airport

Qatar

Doha 2020 using the YOG to fine tune their bid / GOALS event in Doha

Russia

Users pour cold water on Putin's Internet foray

Rwanda

Man accused in Rwandan genocide wins temporary reprieve

Some Truth and Justice for Rwanda at Last (Perspective)

Saint Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts crowned in regional teen pageant 

(PHOTO: St. Lucia/GOVT) Saint Lucia

St Lucia Ranks Highest in Caribbean for Economic Freedom: Report

Sao Tome and Principe

President of Sao Tome and Principe to visit Angola

Saudi Arabia

Saudi forces shoot dead Shiite protester 

Senegal

Senegal, Burkina Faso regulators sign co-operation agreement

Serbia

Plugged in: Serbians embrace social media

Media war crimes under investigation in Serbia

Policies on Kosovo ignite Serbian bloggers

In Serbia, an effort to encourage organ donation

Solomon Islands

Former Solomon Islands prime minister says re-arming is a positive sign

Somalia

ICRC Suspends Food Aid to 1.1 Million Somalis

AU Asks UN Security Council to Expand Somalia Mission

South Africa

Durban listed as South Africa's most costly city: study

South Korea

South Korea’s National Assembly arrives in Azerbaijan  

Spain

Spanish Navy Thwarts Pirate Attack in Indian Ocean

Gays in Spain get retirement home

Tanzania

Tanzania Leads in Region On Well-Being

(PHOTO: Flooding in Thailand/New Strait Times)Thailand

Possible terrorist attacks in Bangkok, warns US

More flood victims evacuated in Pahang

Tokelau

Below average rainfall predicted for Tokelau and Tuvalu this wet season

Tonga 

Tonga’s parliamentary speaker yet to return despite impending court appearance

Tonga’s public servants threaten industrial action over retirement fund

Tunisia

Several Arab leaders invited to Tunisian celebrations 

Turkey

Gul can’t serve second term - parliamentary commission

Turkish FM set to visit Russia and US for nuke, Syria talks 

Turkish court charges Britain’s Fergie over orphan TV show

Uganda

Country Improves in Democratic Rankings

Ukraine

Tymoshenko is granted asylum in Czech Republic

United Kingdom

Bahrain visit loses sparkle as Arab jewels cause controversy for Crown

United States

Wealth conflict trumps racial hostility: Pew study

US President, Israeli Premier discuss Iran

I will pay if you will, Buffett tells Republicans

US first lady wins thousands of followers as @michelleobama

US FDA tests Brazilian orange juice at Port Newark after fungicide scare

Coca-Cola Warns FDA of Fungicide

Global Challenge: Springfield students test their knowledge of world geography

(PHOTO: The image of Che Guevara appeared briefly during a presentation by Dieter Zetsche, head of Daimler AG's Mercedes unit, at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas/The Miami Herald/Daimler)Venezuela

Use of Che Guevara image by Mercedes-Benz outrages South Florida's Cuban exiles

Vietnam

Vietnam to launch earth-monitoring satellites

Wallis and Futuna Islands

Wallis and Futuna pulls out of Pacific Arts Festival citing financial concerns

Wallis senator says cost of living concerns remain

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's Swav gaining in African handset market

World

The State of Global Ultra-Wealth

Despite end-of-year decline, 2011 food prices highest on record – UN

Development: Ban, Al-Nasser task G-77 on development agenda

Africa begins to rise above aid as the domestic private sector becomes the engine of growth

New cables to Africa bring hope for telecom sector

South American weather dominates market news

Addicted! Scientists show how internet dependency alters the human brain

IRENA meeting heralds new Regional Energy Era

GLOBAL: Branch campus growth has moved to Asia

Container and Bulk Freight Handling Company Sees a Century Milestone

(PHOTO: Sizing up exoplanets: this chart compares artists' concepts of the smallest known exoplanets, or planets orbiting outside the solar system, to our own planets Mars & Earth/NASA/JPL-Caltech)Brics look nothing like a solid investment (Perspective)

Destabilizing the world (Perspective)

Space

Space station avoids orbiting junk

Astronomers discover three alien planets smaller than Earth

(PHOTO: Youth Olympic Rings, Innsbruck, Austria/EPA)SPECIAL FOCUS:

Winter Youth Olympics open at Innsbruck, Austria for the first time ever Friday, 1/13/12.  

Innsbruck ready to host record third Olympic event

Olympics: Youth Olympics get winter world premiere in Innsbruck

Youth Olympic Games get underway

Heavy snowfall will not stop us hosting great Games, says Innsbruck 2012 chief

There will be no gigantism at our Opening Ceremony, reveals Innsbruck 2012

Youth Olympics: Great rehearsal for Sochi 2014

Asian, Kuwaiti Olympic chief heads to Innsbruck for Winter Youth Games

Doha, Baku, Promote 2020 Summer Games Bids

Innsbruck 2012 will prove truly inspirational just as Singapore 2010 did, says IOC President (Perspective)  

Curlers gear up for Winter Youth Olympics

Taekwondo kicks in for youth at Team Trials

 

Athletes:

Austria hockey goalkeeper dedicates Winter Youth Olympic Games to his friend

Highly touted forward to play in inaugural Winter Games in Austria, Kemptville hockey player skates to Youth Olympics

Nicholson set to take on world at Winter Youth Olympic Games

(PHOTO: Thomas Scoffin from Whitehorse, Canada will head to Austria to compete in the Winter Youth Olympic Games. He is the skip for the Canadian Youth Olympic Curling team/CBC)Whitehorse teen to compete in winter youth Olympics  

Local skier headed to Youth Olympics

Cayman’s teen skier to make Olympic youth debut

Travers injury may halt Olympic quest

Kim Yu Na encourages young athletes to enjoy first-ever winter YOG

Youth Olympics bring ancestry into focus for Eritrean Alpine Skier

Iranian teenage girl competes in Winter Youth Olympics

Ireland’s Florence Bell at Youth Winter Olympics

Winter Youth Olympics: Woodward leads Team GB in Innsbruck

(PHOTO: Skiier Sive Speelman flying the South African flag at the Winter Youth Olympics/Gap 2011)McNeill sets her sights on Olympic success

Small to carry flag at Winter Youth Games

Menzies targeting Olympic glory after schools success

Summerhayes to Carry Flag for Team GB at Youth Winter Olympics

Brakeman Sawyers ready to go full throttle for bobsleigh medal

South Africa teen off to Winter Youth Olympics

Gordon honoured by refereeing role at first Youth Winter Olympics

Sackville woman to represent Canada at 1st Youth Olympic Winter Games

Jake Peterson chosen as Team USA flag bearer for inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck

(PHOTO: Skiier Katie Summerhayes for Great Britain) NZ flag bearer for Winter Youth Olympic Games named

Russian Youth Olympics Team leaves for Innsbruck

Holy Ghost’s Kerr to Play in Winter Youth Olympics

Park City snowboarder excited about Youth Olympics invite

Three locals ready for Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck

Edwin Minney of Wind Gap to play in Winter Youth Olympic Games

Willowbrook speed skater competing at inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games

Eau Claire teen soars to Youth Olympics (updated)

Thursday
Jan122012

THE HUM - WORLD HEADLINES - JANUARY 12, 2012

(PHOTO: In Armenia, drug manufacturers eye the Uzbek market/NEWS.AM)Afghanistan 

Karzai leads wave of condemnation over video of urination on corpses

Afghan life expectancy improves by 18 years since 2001

Albania

Worried Albanians in northern Greece prepare to go home

Algeria

Clinton, Algerian FM discuss Arab mission in Syria 

Andaman Islands

Andaman Islanders 'forced to dance' for tourists - video

Andaman & Nicovar islands: Government orders probe into Jarawa video as outrage grows

Fifteen people arrested for intruding into Jarawa areas

When neglect of a place is projected as an attraction (Perspective)

Andorra 

New snow parks will be opened in Andorra

Angola 

Angola warns Namibia farmer settlers

Antarctica 

Helen Skelton's Polar Challenge: the latest

(PHOTO: In Austalia, the seizure by federal police from captured Spaniards of $80 million in cocaine is the 5th largest ever/Australian Federal Police) Antigua & Barbuda 

Monaco Royal couple compliments Antigua

Argentina 

DirecTV builds its first 70K Argentinean STBs

Armenia 

Armenian drug manufacturers wish to conquer Uzbek market 

American Samoa 

Concern at over-crowding at American Samoa high school

Australia 

Spaniards to face court over cocaine seizure

Police worried shootings linked to turf war

Azerbaijan 

Baku Tightens Control over Mobile Phones

Bahrain 

Bahrain race circuit reinstates protest staff

Bahrain economy is on the mend

(PHOTO: Oily birds & fish are eginning to wash ashore on Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean after last weeks tanker sinking off New Zealand/THE AUSTRALIAN) Bangladesh 

Bangladesh to extend trade with Nepal, Bhutan

Barbados 

US companies to build gas pipeline to the Eastern Caribbean

Belgium

Belgian tax authorities investigate EU trade chief

Belize

Belize opens its border to Mexico for 72 hrs

Benin

West Africans would pay more for pesticide-free food

Bolivia

Bolivia to Increase Gas Shipments to Argentina in 2012 

Bosnia-Herzegovinia

Bosnian Parliament appoints a new prime minister, 15 months after election

Botswana

Power crisis to linger on 

Brazil

Brazil milk imports soar as its own farms struggle 

Brazil announces plan to rein in immigration from Haiti

(PHOTO: In Europe, Poland recently handed over teh EU Presidency to Denmark/EPA)Bulgaria

Bulgaria PM Scandalously Scolds Killed Girl Family, Lauds Police

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso to bust corruption

Burundi

Burundi's military lags behind in fight against HIV/AIDS: survey

Cameroon

Boko Haram infiltrates Cameroon-report

Cambodia

Khmer Rouge genocide trial continues

Medicines clash in Cambodia

Canada

Canada to spend $11 million updating diplomatic mission in Sri Lanka

Cape Verde

Cape Verdean government plans to invest in improving conditions at fishing port

Central African Republic

Central African rebel group quits peace process 

(PHOTO: The Straits of Hormuz from space/NASA) Chad

Senegal stops extradition of former Chad dictator Hissene Habre

Chile

Chilean grape importers expect stronger markets

China

China Internet users top half a billion, many more to go

China defends Iran oil trade despite U.S. push

China warns US against interfering after it expressed concerns about Tibetan self-immolations

Chinese Smartphone Maker ZTE Passes Apple Globally, Targets U.S.

Christmas Island

Oil-covered birds, red crabs in island clean-up

Colombia

Colombia begins historic process of land restitution

Costa Rica

Costa Rica drops in peace ranking

(PHOTO: Great Britain is getting read to rebrand itself & its manufacturing industry with the `Make it in Great Britain' campaign.) Croatia

Croatia, Slovenia discuss border dispute

Cuba

Iran, Cuba call for new world order 

'A new kind of torture' as Guantanamo detainees lose hope  (Perspective)

Cyprus

Cyprus stops Syria-bound Russian ammunition ship

Djibouti

Djibouti government refutes Al Shabaab's claims

Iraq’s Warka Bank enters Djibouti Market

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic, Haiti join hands to uproot cholera

East Timor

East Timor Settling Down A Bit: UN To Leave This Year

(PHOTO: Romanian president Traian Basescu wears an apron at a Chinese New Year celebration in Bucharest./Romania Business Insider)Ecuador

Iran's Ahmadinejad arrives in Ecuador

Eritrea

Eritrean refugees kidnapped, killed: UNHCR chief

Ethiopia

Two convicted journalists to seek pardon

Falkland Islands

'Mercosur members reconfirmed agreed policies over Malvinas,' Timerman

Fiji

Invasive weed alert

France

French journalist killed in Syria on official trip

Gaza and West Bank

Gaza Hamas leader to visit Iran, Qatar: report

Mahmoud Abbas Will Not Attend Tunisia’s Celebration of the Revolution

Palestinian Liberation Requires Unity (Perspective)

Georgia

Released Georgian sailors returning home

(PHOTO: Message in a bottle from Vanuatu. Rudie Langevelt with the message in a bottle he found on Grey Rocks Beach, Bingie in Australia on Friday morning./NaroomaNews.com)Ghana

Panelists advocate restructuring of educational system 

Guyana

Guyana Water Incorporated launches countrywide disconnection campaign

Haiti

Twitter exposed epidemic in Haiti before health officials

Hungary

Hungarians bank on Austria to secure savings

Hungary President Denies Plagiarizing Bulgarian Researcher

India

Over 40 Percent of India’s Children Malnourished - report

Central Asian sex workers reaching India: Missions told to scan women visitors from region

Indian bureaucracy rated the worst in Asia

India scores major victory in battle to eradicate polio

(PHOTO: The famous Nike `Swoosh'/NIKE)Indonesia

Nike agrees to just pay it in Indonesian workers' compensation deal

Iran

Pirate Attacks Target Iranian Vessels

Japan

Japan, Singapore Officials Discuss Key Maritime Issues

Japan proposes Saudi Arabia and UAE to increase oil export 

Jordan

Jordan activist charged after torching king's picture

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan faces grain storage problem

Kenya

Kenya military spokesman in Twitter war over graphic photos

Kenya on edge as terror attack threat looms

Kuwait

Sheikh Sabah Khalid meets Yemeni FM

Legal workers stage strike, call for rights

(PHOTO: In Dubai, UAE volunteers are trying to ckean up the beach from cigarette butts./SUPPLIED) Lithuania

Russia refuses Lithuanian request to interrogate Gorbachev

Mexico

Remittances to Mexico are rebounding

Myanmar

Myanmar in ceasefire with Karen rebels

New Zealand

Millions spent on travel for judges and spouses

Photo essay: Work's a bowl of cherries

North Korea

N. Korea reopens door to food-for-nukes deal with U.S.

Norway

Norwegian Prime Minister Slams Turkey Over Free Press

Oman

Omani-Dutch ties growing stronger

Muscat Festival: One month to showcase traditions of Oman 

Pakistan

Pakistan speeds pursuit of Iranian pipeline

Lead figure in MemoGate Mansour Ijaz to appear before the Memo Commission on January 16, 2012-source

PM urged to take notice of nine new Indian dams on Indus, Chenab rivers

(PHOTO: In South Korea, 9 sites have been temporarily added to the UNESCO World Heritage list including Dosan Seowon, built 1574/YONHAP)Papua New Guinea

World's tiniest frogs found in Papua New Guinea

PNG eligible for work program in the US

Paraguay

Paraguay culls 168 livestock in response to Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak

Peru

Peru, Phillippines among emerging-economy stars by 2050: HSBC

Philippines

Saudi Arabia to lift ban on Filipino maids

New strawberry varieties pop out of school lab

Poland

Poland hands over EU Presidency to Denmark

Portugal

Portugal posts highest inflation rate for 10 years

Puerto Rico

Famed astrologer Walter Mercado hospitalized in Puerto Rico

Qatar

Qatar, Unveiling Tensions, Suspends Sale of Alcohol

Qatar Investments in Sudan Reach US$2 Billion

Romania

Romanian president puts on apron and prepares traditional food at Chinese New Year reception

Romanian president Traian Basescu posed wearing an apron a

Russia

UN Slams Russia on Syria Monitor Vote

Russia calls for Asian-Pacific unity on environment-protection laws

Rwanda

French Probe Seemingly Clears Rwanda's Kagame in Genocide Events

US NGO Donates Computer Lab to Kigali School

Voices of the most vulnerable children heard at Rwanda’s annual National Children’s Summit by Unicef correspondent Suzanne Beukes

Saint Kitts & Nevis

Increase in local vegetable production projected

Female arrested for attempting to smuggle drugs into prison

Saint Lucia

Guyanese National Becomes St Lucia's New Attorney General

Saint Vincent & The Grenadines

Cyprus releases Russian Syria-bound 'ammunition' ship flying the Saint Vincent and Grenadines Flag 

(PHOTO: In Zimbabwe bungee jumping has been suspended while the government conducts an investigation as to why an Australian tourist plunged to the Zambezi river after snapping her rope/NEW ZIMBABWEAN) Saudi Arabia

Saudi oil output nearing capacity limit-report

Crown prince, Yemen premier hold key talks in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia to continue fuel donation to Yemen

Saudi-Israeli hacking scandal continues

Saudi Arabia restaurant offers free meals to the needy

26-day cold snap in Arabia as Shabt season begins

Senegal

Senegal 'to lose US aid unless it extradites Habre'

Senegal's President pardons jailed opponents

Global Greens Congress to be held in Dakar, Senegal, Mar. 29-Apr. 1 2012 (Press Release)

Singapore

Singapore, Japan should cooperate in anti-piracy acts (Perspective)

Slovakia

Slovak UN envoy elected new president of Economic and Social Council

Slovenia

Slovenian MPs reject candidate for PM

Solomon Islands

New Zealand FM McCully visits Solomon Islands to talk business

Solomon Islands Ratifies Anti-Corruption Convention

(PHOTO: In Yemen, aid workers who are coping with unrest are turning to the community for collaboration/IRIN)Somalia

Somalia: Wounded have difficulty reaching medical facilities

Somalia Militants Flogging Woman Over Christian Conversion

UNDP compound in Mogadishu attacked

South Africa

South Africa: Zuma in New York for UN session

World’s most expensive fuel arrives in Gauteng

South Korea

'S. Korea in great need of Iran's crude'  says official  

S. Korea puts 9 sites on UNESCO's temporary heritage list

Woman has Deceased Dog Cloned in S. Korea (Video)

South Sudan

US Military to Help Build South Sudan

Spain

Spain adopts austerity plan (Video)

Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka's central bank leaves rates unchanged

Tamil refugees slowly return from India

New wave of student protests

Female unemployment rises with education

Sudan

Filipinos urged to leave Sudan as crisis worsens 

Sweden

Sweden Announces Plans for Massive 700 Megawatt Wind Farm in The Baltic Sea

Sweden's teachers free to ban Islamic veils

Swedish Companies Take Advantage of Cheap Labor in U.S.

Swaziland

‘Maintenance tax won’t change sexual behaviour’

100 jobs lost as water project funding dries up

(PHOTO: In Tunisia, an unprecedented multi-artist mural goes up in Kairouan as the country readies to mark 1 year since revolution/TUNISIA LIVE)Switzerland

Swiss may say no to European workers

Syria

Syria's Assad blames unrest on 'foreign conspiracy'

400 killed in Syria since late Dec: UN

Turkey seizes alleged Iranian arms shipment to Syria

Taiwan

Taiwan's top election issue: rich earn 6 times more than poor

Sewage system in Taiwan highly tainted with antibiotics

Paparazzi hounding of bereaved father spurs call for news boycott

Tajikistan

Tajik President congratulates Iranian counterpart

IMF approves US$20.1m disbursement for Tajikistan

Teenager confesses to committing Santa Claus murder in Dushanbe

Tanzania

Head of Iran's National Library to visit Tanzania 

More than 130,000 young people are HIV positive 

Women's climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro shouts for Freedom from trafficking

Thailand

Thailand To Host Two Global Conferences For The Blind In 2012

Water levels behind Thailand dams a worry

Shrimp outlook promising

Thai growers protest over low rubber prices

Thailand needs to reform its educational system for 2015

Thailand's Education Ministry Builds End-to-End IPTV Communications Network

UN rapporteur says Thais need freedom of expression

L'Oreal sitting pretty here

(PHOTO: In Dubai, UAE officials inaugurate a new 1-Gigawatt solar park/Khaleej Times)The Arctic

Vast methane ‘plumes’ seen in Arctic ocean as sea ice retreats

Britain set to probe impact of Arctic 'oil and gas gold rush'

Tokelau

Pacific island makes renewable a reality

Tonga

‘Terrors of Tonga’ arrested, guns seized 

Trinidad and Tobago

Emotions flow as Trinidad's 'daughter PM' visits Bihar village

India, Trinidad and Tobago ink key pacts to boost bilateral trade  

Police storm television station in Trinidad and Tobago to seize video of sexual assault

Dubai’s Next Top Stylist: Derek Khan

Tunisia

Tunisian woman kills herself by self-immolation, 4th case ahead of uprising anniversary

Tunisia forum to enhance economic cooperation between Turkey, N. Africa

Major Tunisian Secular Parties Announce Merger

Unprecedented Tunisian Mural Goes Up in Kairouan

Tunisian Mehdi Gharbi Awarded the 2012 Martin Luther King Prize

Qatar Telecom pledges investment in Tunisia

Revolution Through Arab Eyes - Tunisia: The Revolt Continues (Perspective/Video)

Turkey

Climate negotiator Rende: Turkey ready to do its part on climate change

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan to build rail for high-speed trains

Turkmenistan adopts new law on political parties in bid to boost competition

Turkmenistan, UN seek to boost cooperation

Uganda

Bank of Uganda issues new consumer protection rules

Uganda Faces Inflation Dilemma

Ugandan President Meets with Senior Chinese Official

Uganda: What to Consider When Investing in Land

Minister Urges Development in Information Technology

'International pay' promise for Ugandan scientists

Uganda plans to fence off national parks

Jailed Journalist Applies For Bail

Uganda's plantation workers' fate in limbo (Video)

Ukraine

Ukraine parliament votes down moonshine bill

Ukraine expects to resume cooperation with IMF after completion of talks with Russia on gas price, says social policy minister

Ukraine opposition demands parliament investigate Tymoshenko health

Restrictions of land use to result in shadow leasing

Ukraine's grain crop likely to fall-report

Ukraine introduces discount on transit cargo transshipment at commercial sea ports in 2012

90% of asylum seekers in Ukraine turned down-report

(PHOTO: Are Abu Dhabi's party days over? The Abu Dhabi headquarters of Aldar Properties, which received a $10 billion government bailout/National Journal) United Arab Emirates

UAE-Greece joint committee meeting begins

UAE Says Customers Responsible for Hormuz Security

Talent shortage threatens Gulf retail banking expansion

UAE corporate sector set for 23% growth

Bankruptcy no longer crime under draft law

UAE- Another 'The World' island for sale at USD28.6m

UAE’s Dubai Launches 1-Gigawatt Solar Power Project

513,554 butts on the beach in Dubai

UAE-126 women graduate in medicine, pharmacy

UAE to host third Crisis and Emergency Management Conference

After the Party in One of the World's Richest Cities (Perspective)

United Kingdom

U.K. Film Industry Gets Commercial Clarion Call From Prime Minister David Cameron

UK spy agency MI5 named as gay-friendly employer

UK to reintroduce computer science teaching in schools

High speed rail will be great for city - minister

U.K. Men on Trial For "Death Penalty" Antigay Fliers

Al Gore’s Current TV UK Accuses BSkyB of Forcing it to Shut Down

McDonald's To Offer Books Instead Of Happy Meal Toys In The UK

London 2012 Olympics: BOA nominate Great British Olympians for torch relay

Olympic Summit to give £1 b boost for British biz

Planting trees now will return England to forest cover of Domesday

Sledge hired for 'Make it in Great Britain' campaign

92 Percent of UK Dieters have Fallen Off Their Resolutions Already-Poll

Great Britain on the brink of break-up: Furious Scottish nationalists at war with London over independence referendum (Perspective)

(PHOTO: Zimbabwe’s mobile saturation raches 74.7% says the country's Post & Regulatory Authority/The Zimbabwe Mail)United States

US defense chief condemns Afghan corpse video

NY Judge Drops Binladen Group as 9/11 Defendant

United States EPA: Power Plants Main Global Warming Culprit

U.S. icebreaking technology lacking, as ships charge toward Nome, Alaska (Perspective)

Uruguay

Citrus exports are reduced

Alleged Haiti abuse victim 'ready to testify' (Video)  

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan in its determination for development always relies on China’s support - president

BRIEF: Uzbek banks' share capital reaches almost $1 billion 

Vanuatu

Message in a bottle all the way from Vanuatu

The charms of island obscurity

Venezuela

Iran asks Venezuela to repay debts exceeding USD 290 million

Venezuela mulls revival of neglected ports

Children's Mission Spreads Nationwide

Prison Standoffs Spiral Across Venezuela (Perspective)

Vietnam

Ties with India a priority for Viet Nam 

UNAIDS, Vietnam work to fight HIV/AIDS

Vietnam to use Japan model / Tokio Marine to help Hanoi make nuclear plant insurance plan

Vietnam fishermen accuse foreign ship of causing boat wreck 

Vietnam ex-cops receive suspended sentences for torturing woman

Vietnam’s sustainable forest target deemed unattainable

Andrew Yee for ELLE Vietnam, Fashion

(PHOTO: In Abu Dhabi at the World Future Energy summit, Un Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announces the UN Year of Sustainable Energy/UN) Yemen

Coping with unrest - aid workers turn to the community

Zambia

Zambia's tourism minister bungee jumps from Victoria Falls to reassure visitors after snapped rope sent backpacker plunging

Zambian minister offers to bungee-jump with Australian who plunged

Airtel Zambia blocks callers to its call center if they call more than 3 times in a day -ZICTA

AfriConnect picks Airspan for 4G network in Zambia

Region set to enjoy reliable power supply

Zambian government to review mining policy: minister

DFID provides UNICEF with new funding to help Zambia reach health and environment MDGs with Equity (Press release)

Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls bungee jumps suspended

India Pledges to Transform Zimbabwe Economy

Chinese Contractor Denies Abusing Local Workers

Zimbabwe Constitutional Draft Excludes Language Protecting Gay Rights

Teachers Report for Duty Despite Strike Threats

Zimbabwe’s tele-density rises to 74.7%

Exiled Zimbabwean newspaper to launch redesign Thursday

Brown Revolution Brings New Hope

Time to Use Drama, Film to Spread Gospel

10 fundamental reasons why I endorse Zimbabwe internet/facebook/social media politics, by Presidential Candidate Jones Musara (Perspective)

(PHOTO: Lebanon’s Jabbour Douaihy is one of 6 authors shortlisted for this year's International Prize for Arabic Fiction/THE NATIONAL) World

Financial crisis lays seeds of 'dystopian future' – WEF Analysis

Ban Ki-moon to Launch UN's International Year of Sustainable Energy for All at World Future Energy Summit 2012 in Abu Dhabi (Press release)

Shortlist for Arabic fiction prize released

What's in a gTLD?  And what does it mean for you and your business

Thursday
Jan132011

World Bank Ups Growth Forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa (Report)

(HN, January 13, 2010) - Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa - the world's poorest region - will expand by as much as 5.3 percent in 2011, up from 1.7 percent in 2009, acccording to the World Bank.Tourism remittances are up in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, boosting economic prospects 

"In Sub-Saharan Africa, if you take out South Africa then we are at average growth rates of above 6 percent, similar growth rates as they achieved during the period before the crisis; overall, a very strong growth picture," said Hans Timmer, Director for the Prospects Group at the World Bank.

The latest Bank forecast for economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is an increase from 5.1 percent and is connected to the global economy recovery, and improved outlook for oil producers such as Nigeria and Angola.

The biggest risk to the continent's growth is another slump in the global economy as most African countries have “depleted the fiscal space they had created during the pre-crisis period and have not had time to rebuild it,” the Bank said.

Some countries saw a welcome uptick in tourist arrivals - especially South Africa, thanks to the World Cup. However, Cape Verde, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tanzania also experienced an increase in tourism revenue, the Bank said.

Also positive is that remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa, which remained nearly flat during the crisis, registered a modest 1 percent gain in 2010 to reach $21 billion, the Bank says.

Remittance flows are important in supporting household consumption in a number of Sub-Saharan African countries, accounting for up to 25 percent of GDP in Lesotho and about 10 percent in Cape Verde, Senegal and Togo.

There are some dark clouds on the horizon for the region - especially climate change, which weighs heavily on the Bank's agenda for Africa.

Africa is facing an annual loss of 1 to 2 percent annual GDP because of climate variability, the Bank said in its latest Annual Report.

"Global temperature increases are expected to lead to reduced rainfall, water shortages, and compressed growing periods in Western and Southern Africa, and to increased rainfall, heavier flooding, and fiercer and more frequent cyclones in Northeast Africa," said the Bank.

An ongoing drought in Niger, Chad and northern Nigeria is ruining harvests and has forced thousands of families to seek emergency food aid for their severely malnourished children.

A mother holds her child at the Intensive Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre, which treats undernourished children in Niger. CREDIT: UnicefToday, UNICEF announced a new 3-million Euro commitment from the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) for emergency food aid for more than 50,000 children in seven drought-hit states in northern Nigeria. The children's agency has reported a spike in admission of severely malnourished children to therapeutic feeding centres in places like Niger. Soaring food prices are partially to blame.

"When prices of staples soar, the poor bear the brunt. Without global action, people in poor countries will be deprived of adequate and nutritious food, with tragic consequences for individuals and for the future prosperity of their countries." World Bank President Robert Zoellick said recently in an opinion piece.

- HUMNEWS staff, World Bank

Wednesday
Dec222010

At Christmas, Mia Farrow Wants People to 'Get Angry' (Interview)

(HN, December 21, 2010) - Acclaimed actress and humanitarian activist has served as a Goodwill Ambassador to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) for the past decade. She has travelled extensively to places such as Darfur in Sudan, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo - meeting with the victims of conflict and working to bring greater international attention to humanitarian crises.Actress Mia Farrow in the field. CREDIT: UNICEF

Just a few days before Christmas, Farrow says she wants people to feel a real outrage about fellow human being who have literally nothing.

"I think the saddest person in the world is the one who did nothing because they could only do a little. We can all find ways to reach out to those who are in need," Farrow told UNHCR in an interview.

Recently, she completed a personal project to match photographs taken during her travels to the John Lennon song, "Imagine." The video can be seen on YouTube.

Excerpts of the interview:

What was your idea behind making this project?

I have taken a lot of photographs over the years  some of them on trips with UNICEF, some of them on my own journeys  and I was listening to the song at the time that would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday. I came to the line, "Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can," and I went to some of the photographs where it didn't require imagining for me. I've witnessed people with nothing. And then I thought: Was there something I could put together? I think the song is such a beautiful song, in its message, in its melody. I chose the pictures to go with the lyrics. I had returned from Uganda with UNICEF and I wanted to bring it emotionally to the destructive forces that have displaced all the people in the photographs. And I wanted to end with the dreamer and the thought: "If only the world could live as one."

Did you set out to illustrate the song with your photographs or the other way around?

No, it was hearing the song and the words and then coming up with the right photograph. For me, these photographs are not just pictures, they are of people I have spent time with. So I started imagining. Then I went to my photographs and played the song and began to assemble them in batches that would go with each wave of imagining. My daughter-in-law helped me with the technical side. But the people in the photographs are with me always. I couldn't hear a song like that without my mind going to the people.

Many of the photographs are of refugees and refugee children. Was that a deliberate choice?

Yes. My focus has been on people who are displaced primarily by conflict. Exceptions would be places like Haiti, but there, too, people are longing for peace. So many people there have nothing and they're longing for peace, peace of mind. There are all kinds of peace.

You have been able to move between these two extreme worlds of people in refugee camps and then life in the United States. Do you think that people understand what it's like to be a refugee?

How can we? Even though I might spend a lot of time in these situations  I've made 13 journeys to the Darfur region alone  I have a passport out. While I have experienced their circumstances, the huge difference is that I can leave and they can't. So I can never really fully understand their position and I hope I never will be in a similar position. But if I am, I hope that I will have the grace and the strength to maintain the hope that they have.

Were you hoping the slide show would inspire people or to provoke them in some way?

I wanted people to get angry, really. I wanted people to feel a sense of outrage that while we go about our business  and I know many people in my country and elsewhere are having difficult times  that we can scarcely imagine having nothing. I think that if people look into the eyes of our fellow human beings who have literally nothing, not even safety, then are we not compelled to do something?

On December 14, UNHCR marked 60 years since its creation. What are your thoughts looking forward?

I think in the face of displacement it's our feelings of helplessness that are our worst enemy. They are an indulgence that we can't give in to. And that comes to why I love UNHCR so much, because you're addressing the needs of the most vulnerable population on earth. I think the saddest person in the world is the one who did nothing because they could only do a little. We can all find ways to reach out to those who are in need.

Friday
Oct292010

(HEADLINES) - October 29, 2010 - AFRICA

ALGERIA

(CREDIT: Tunisia Online) The 3rd congress of the Arab Women Organisation was held on Thursday afternoon in Tunis

ANGOLA

Angola at launching of Africa’s Food Security Day

Angola hosts fashion, beauty expo

BENIN

Benin: UN emergency flight arrives with aid for flood victims

BOTSWANA

Celebrating Botswana's amazing one-hit wonders

Flood victims cry out for help(CREDIT: MMEGI ONLINE)

Khama declares war on poverty

Fires in Botswana (PHOTO)

BURKINA FASO

Honesty must be predominant in social change (opinion)

CAMEROON

Transparency International launches Launches Corruption Perception Index @Cameroon Center

US$19.2 million IFAD loan to Cameroon to improve food security in rural areas

Cholera kills 550 in Cameroon

Cameroon Counts Over 93,000 Business Companies

CAPE VERDE

Atlantic sea turtle population threatened by egg infection

Cape Verde gets Africa's first giant wind farm(CREDIT: Afrol.com)

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Support for National Efforts Vital As UN Leaves, Says Secretary-General

COMOROS

Al-Rumaihi's Statement on Arab Committee for Development in the Comoros

Research and Markets: 3Q10 Comoros Mobile Operator Forecast, 2010 - 2014

Comoros Ambassador to Tehran Encourages Iranian Traders to Invest in Comoros

DJIBOUTI

Book Review: Elmore Leonard Takes His Crime-Writing Skills to ‘Djibouti’

Djibouti Food Security Outlook October 2010

Research and Markets: 3Q10 Djibouti Mobile Operator Forecast, 2010 - 2014

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

African women primed for big stage

ERITREA

Yemen, Eritrea summit boosting joint cooperation

Modern Machineries-Backed Crop Harvesting Underway in Dekemhare Sub-Zone

GABON

Gabon and Chinese in manganese project

UN to Open Conflict Prevention Office in Gabon

Korea, Gabon hold talks on energy cooperation

THE GAMBIA

Soldiers told to take proactive role in national development

Gambia to set up Science, Technology Park

GHANA

Iran's foreign minister flies to Ghana

Gov't Releases Funds To Control Black Flies

GUINEA

Guinea sets date for poll second round

GUINEA-BISSAU

UNDP to back civil society projects in Guinea-Bissau

Guinea Bissau to create more mangroves, parks by 2012

LIBERIA

WFP Supports Food Security in Liberia

Carbon Fraud Report Links Many

LIBYA

Chavez, Gaddafi meet in Libya to build power among global "south"

African Development Bank Launches First Project in Libya

MADAGASCAR

Parasite infects poor women's reproductive organs

MALAWI

Malawi: no longer begging

Sex for work at Labour offices

MALI

Mali: Restructuring Agriculture

Weather forecasting helps Mali farmers adapt to climate change

Cuba: Alarcon Meets with Mali Parliamentary Leader

MAURITANIA

Mauritania unveils counter-terrorism plan

Orangutans And Monk Seals Among Species To Benefit From Spain-Backed Conservation Boost

MAYOTTE

Coral deaths reach Mayotte, Comoros

MOZAMBIQUE

Child Registration Campaign

Nippon Steel to acquire interest in Mozambique coal project

Eight Detained for Cholera Disinformation

Central Bank of India to open branch in Mozambique

NAMIBIA

Coca Cola Happiness Ambassadors land in Namibia

NIGER

Niger to vote on constitution; critics question vote's significance months after military coup

South Korea to cooperate with Niger on nuclear energy

RWANDA

Hero of 'Hotel Rwanda' is declared enemy of the state

SAO TOME & PRINCIPE

World Bank to support state budget of Sao Tome and Principe

SEYCHELLES

Seychelles, from recession to new boom

SOMALIA

New radio show features Somali language

U.S. slips in corruption index, Somalia worst

SUDAN

Sudan’s Last Chance for Durable Peace

SWAZILAND

Swaziland Railway employees petition CEO

TANZANIA

Tanzania Teachers Start Second Taarab Workshop in Comoros

TOGO

21 dead in Togo as floods ravage west Africa

WESTERN SAHARA

Western Sahara: the difficult mission of Christopher Ross

Call for the protection of rock paintings of the desert

ZAMBIA

H.E joins London Mayor to Celebrate Africa @50

AFRICA GENERAL:

Africa's election Super Sunday

Bharti Airtel to establish call centers across Africa

Witchcraft in Africa a complex dilemma

WHO Launches Massive Polio Eradication Campaign 

All Afrika Expedition against malaria kicks off

Cholera continues to be deadly epidemic in most countries

Is the US backing governments who employ child war fighters? (opinion)

Cable exclusive: The secret Obama administration memo on child soldiers

4 African countries, 15 others join ECOSOC

Africa: from North to South, the economy is recovering

Two wheels to a better life in Africa

Monday
Oct252010

(REPORT) Benin suffering from the worst floods since 1963 

(Photo UN News) 

(HN, October 25, 2010) -- Nearly 700,000 people have been affected by severe flooding in the West African country of Benin and at least 60 people have been killed, according to the United Nations.

“Seasonal heavy rains have been hitting West Africa for several months and normally last until November,” said Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in a statement. “However, what has happened this year goes well beyond normal flooding for Benin.”

The deluge – the most extreme since 1963 – has had an impact on 51 out of 77 communes in the last five weeks. Along rivers and lakes, fragile huts have been submerged in up to two meters of water.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will begin airlifting supplies, including some 3000 tents, from its emergency stockpiles in Copenhagen.

Edwards said that while the UNHCR's normal work in Benin was with the refugee and asylum-seeking population of some 7,300, "we have been called upon to help with the emergency shelter needs of some of the homeless people in southern parts of the country where we have a presence.”  

Food production has also been badly hit by the floods. Elisabeth Byrs of the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said an appeal for funds and aid is being planned.
  
Experts had assessed needs for fresh water and purification measures, food and shelter, she added.

Earlier this month the U.N. reported that the floods affected 1.5 million people in regions in West and Central Africa with Benin being hit the worst. The floods have destroyed entire villages, killing more than 100 people in Nigeria alone. There have been 377 flood related deaths according to the report.

A cholera outbreak has added to the misery, with over 800 cases counted across Benin. In the aftermath of the flooding, Chad, Northern Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria are also facing serious cholera epidemics, according to the U.N.

The heavy floods are caused by torrential rains and high water level waters of the Niger and other rivers.

- HUM News Staff

Monday
Jul262010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - July 26, 2010 (Africa and the Middle East) 

ALGERIA

One killed in attack on Algeria security forces: resident

Algeria turns down Desertec project

Bougherra could still go (sports)

Moroccan music takes spotlight in Algiers festival (entertainment)

ANGOLA

Angola becomes China’s largest oil import source in H1

Angola: Transfers Palop presidency to Mozambique

Angolan basketball team stronger now player says (sports)

Angolan footballer Gilberto leaves Al Ahly of Egypt  

BENIN

3 to die by hanging over murder of Benin chief

Russia’s proud moment: First black (originally from Benin) gets elected into office

BOTSWANA

Botswana upholds guarantee not to execute death row inmate

Foreign criminal syndicates operating in Botswana - DIS

Botswana opens path for Bushmen to study at university

IFSC has helped match demands with right skills

Where is it all going wrong? (sports)

BURKINA FASO

Gold production booming in Burkina Faso

New leaders, new tools can transform fight against malaria

CAPE VERDE

Action not words will improve maternal and child health (opinion)

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Mills makes stop-over in Central African Republic

All we want it to celebrate the birth of our children (opinion)

Abused women in Africa demand justice

CHAD

ICC’s call to arrest Bashir is futile

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

The hired guns

ERITREA

Gerenfit inhabitants commend health service in their village

Effective Agriculture Activities Carried Out in Mogolo Sub-Zone

Dialogue can bring peace to Somalia

GAMBIA

Jammeh accuses Britain of stealing from Gambians

Nationwide AHINI vaccination campaign starts in Gambia

Gambia government demolishes M Sumareh and Sons business center

GHANA

Education Ministry asked to provide funds for research into Ghanaian languages

GUINEA-BISSAU

Security council calls on Guinea-Bissau to improve on rule of law

LIBERIA

Liberians observed 163 years of independence on Monday

Like water for Liberia

Liberia and Nigeria sign oil deal

LIBYA

Prince Andrea hosted VP guest from Libya as Cameron prepared to meet Obama over Megrahi storm

Libya stops diplomatic operations in South Korea

Gathafi muscles back into African Union

Russia has stronghold on Libyan weapons market – arms exporter

Italian minister hails cooperation between Libya, Italy and Malta on migration

MADAGASCAR

With Madagascar's Priceless Biodiversity on the Line, New Report Says 'Go for it' to USAID

MALAWI

Madonna performs for charity

President’s dogs dominate front pages

GAIN awarded injunction against USD 6.9 m fine

MALI

Al Qaeda kills French hostage in Mali, says Sarkozy ‘has opened the doors of hell’

Mali: water has become a “luxury”

MOZAMBIQUE

Mozambique’s retail sector set to soar

11 Nepali students missing in Mozambique

NAMIBIA

Shot in the arm for Namibian infrastructure projects (business news)

Land auction prices skyrocket

QATAR

Qatar telecom signs up English premiership coverage

Qatar airways confirms order of Bombardier jets

AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 online ticket sales start  (press release)

SIERRA LEONE

Midas: Algy Cluff striking more gold in Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, Paul Kamara breaks silence over youth commissions

How China is changing Sierra Leone (opinion)

SUDAN

African Union drops resolution barring arrest of Sudanese president in continent

UGANDA

Ugandan President rallies support for fight against terrorists

YEMEN

Yemeni forces kill 3 Al Qaeda members

Yemeni high court upholds death sentence

Yemeni President calls for end to tribal clashes