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Young Kenyan journalist, organizer of Earthfest felled by cancer

Crusading BBC journalist Anne Waithera of Kenya, stricken by cancer, passed away this week at the age of 39. Waithera was the first BBC bilingual — English and Swahili — reporter in Addis Ababa. Prior to working for the BBC, she worked at Royal Media Services’ Citizen TV and Nation Media Group’s Easy FM radio station in Kenya. BBC Africa editor Solomon Mugera described her as “a brave, well-organized and ta ...

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UN urges countries to shelter Somalis fleeing deepening war

The U.N. refugee agency is appealing to countries not to deport Somali asylum-seekers to their country of origin as the situation in southern and central Somalia is still unsafe and Somalis fleeing those areas are in need of international protection. Asylum-seekers who are forcibly returned risk persecution or serious harm, warned U.N. spokeswoman Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba. “Monthly fatalities fluctuated betwe ...

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Rights activist enters race for South African presidency

The largest opposition party in South Africa, the Democratic Alliance, has announced anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele will be their Presidential candidate for this year’s elections which take place in April. Helen Zille, the president of the DA, stated there was “no better person” for the presidential nomination. Ramphele, who heads her own independent party, has taken on the ruling ANC with scathi ...

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Women to enjoy rights under new Tunisia constitution

Tunisia’s new constitution is being called “a revolution in itself” for its promises to women of gender equality and other rights. “It’s a big, historic step, not only for Tunisian women,” said Lobna Jeribi, a member of the Ettakattol party, one of the secular coalition partners within the Islamist-led government. “It was a very emotional moment for me when it passed” on Jan.26. ...

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Gleaming new city for the wealthy leaves historic Lagos in the dust

As developers rush to complete a dream city of soaring glass and steel high-rise buildings with luxury housing for 250,000 amidst a leafy boulevard with ritzy shops and high-end restaurants, hopes for a better future are growing dim for the sister city of Lagos, the largest city in Africa with 17.5 million residents. Eko Atlantic, the new project, is rising on Victoria Island — now connected by an artificia ...

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Ghanaian journalist who inspired younger writers is remembered

An accomplished and much-admired news writer from Ghana was recently recalled as “the face and voice of Africa — a new young, enterprising, internationally-connected, ambitious Africa, with a can-do attitude.” Komla Afeke Dumor passed unexpectedly this week at age 41 from cardiac arrest at his London home. ...

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Military service still risky, destructive and bad for Africa

In 2005, bewildered U.S. Army recruiters scratched their heads because the number of Black enlistees had plummeted by 40 percent over the preceding five years. The Army’s own research eventually showed young people of African descent listened to pastors, teachers and other community leaders who admonished them to have no part in the Iraq War. At the time, one would-be Black soldier told a reporter: “Until t ...

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African ‘ghettos’ in Israel

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The streets of South Tel Aviv were teeming with people. We first saw a very large wedding party heading toward a park. We then saw hundreds of young men hanging out, socializing, walking, and sometimes just looking for something to do. The shops were closed on this Jewish Sabbath and this multitude had time on their hands. You would not have believed that this was Tel ...

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