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The Gambia intensifies preparedness against Ebola

Ever since the deadly Ebola virus broke out in neighboring Guinea, the Gambian government through its Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and partners have been firm on their toes, and have been devising various strategies to prevent it from hitting the country. As part of these strategies, the Ministry in collaboration with the U.N. system, through the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Dis ...

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Ghanaian textilers demand end to Chinese knock-offs

Plagiarism by foreign manufacturers threatens to end Ghana’s standing as the maker of world-renowned textile patterns, while the country becomes an importer of its own imitated products, say local retailers. Artisans and retailers raised fears of their extinction due to the flood of cheap imports during a government-sponsored workshop for textile dealers. ...

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Principal pleads with kidnappers to release abducted girl students

While divers conducted their final searches in Korea for the high school students drowned in a misguided ferry excursion, in Nigeria, Principal Asabe Kwambula pleaded with kidnappers of over 100 high school girls to “have mercy on the students.” “I am pleading with the government to secure the release of the children, to save the lives of these innocents,” she said. “I am with the parents, praying continuou ...

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‘Lion of Zimbabwe’ recalls ‘Chimurenga’ on Independence Day

As Zimbabwe marks its 34th year of independence from colonialism, singer Thomas Mapfumo sent a salute “to the brave heroes and heroines who joined the war of liberation.” In a radio interview, Mapfumo — the “Lion of Zimbabwe” — recalled the time of the Independence War. “When we were singing — it was about freedom, justice, hence I coined my music “Chimurenga.” ...

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Beyond twists and dreadlocks: The military and the African predicament

Women of the Congressional Black Caucus recently asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to reconsider guidelines concerning hairstyles for military personnel. They were reacting to rules that, among other things prohibit dreadlocks and twists and styles that are “unkempt” or “matted.” In a letter, the Congresswomen said: “The use of words like ‘unkempt’ and ‘matted’ when referring to traditional hairstyles wor ...

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Hopes of quick and easy victory fade for the embattled ANC

As the May 7 election in South Africa nears, former friends and allies of the ruling African National Congress are betting voters will follow them out of the party or at least send a strong message the country’s current direction is not good enough. A number of veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle and former government leaders have even launched a “Vote NO!” campaign that could dash ANC hopes for a quick ...

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Long lines of voters in Guinea-Bissau could favor a newcomer

Thirteen candidates are in the running for the presidency in the West African country of Guinea-Bissau, which has yet to have an elected leader serve a full term since independence from Portugal in 1974. Reporters saw long lines at the polls last week with no reported problems or incidents. Politicians with the largest war chests include former finance minister José Mário Vaz of the African Party for the In ...

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West coast ‘Black Commentator’ and social justice activist passes

Longtime editorial writer, poet and political organizer Carl Bloice was remembered by friends and comrades at a gathering in San Francisco last week. The West Coast writer succumbed suddenly to a years-long battle with cancer. Bloice was known for his many widely-published columns on U.S. and international issues. He was on the editorial board of the Black Commentator. ...

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‘Blade runner’ tells court of nightmares on trial’s day 17

Former Olympic champion Oscar Pistorius told the South African courtroom he suffered from “terrible nightmares” leaving him unable to sleep since the day his gun went off, shooting his girlfriend as she hid from him in the couple’s bathroom. “I can smell blood. I wake up to being terrified,” testified Pistorius April 7, his first day on the witness stand. He confessed to taking antidepressants and sleeping ...

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