France’s new President Emmanuel Macron has acknowledged that the “invasions” of foreign forces in Libya to end Colonel Muammar Gadhafi’s rule in 2011 was an error. In an interview with European Media, a part of which was published by Il Corriere della Sera newspaper, the French President said “(France) was wrong to join the war in Libya.” France under then president Nicolas Sarkozy was a leading player in the call for European intervention in the North African country. The UN Security Council approved the imposition of a no-fly zone, which, analysts said, was abused by Western countries. “I do not want that to happen in Syria” the French president said even though French forces are still part of the U.S.-led air campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He revealed NATO’s plan to build a modern ministry of defense, a joint military staff, and intelligence services under civilian control in Libya.
June 22, 2017 17:37 UTC
As Egypt’s fiscal year for 2017-2018 will be commencing on July 1, the Finance Ministry has announced that a “social package” aimed at easing the pain of the ongoing austerity measures will be included in the budget. More than 90% of the citizens will benefit from the package through food subsidies, tax breaks and increment of remunerations, the Ministry said. The North African country has been engulfed in an economic and financial crisis since the public protests that ended President Mubarak’s regime in 2011. Inflation has since then rose by around 30% and the currency has lost almost half of its value. According to the Finance Ministry, $4.17 billion will be earmarked for the “social spending package” in the budget with majority of it destined for monthly food subsidies, which account for more than 50% of the amount.
June 22, 2017 17:26 UTC
June 22, 2017 16:39 UTC
People across Sheffield will have woken up this morning to find their cars covered in a mysterious red dust. But what has caused this layer of muck to be deposited on on your car bonnets, roofs and windscreens? This sand then travels for thousands of miles high up in the atmosphere before it is deposited in rain. The dust is likely to be sand from the Sahara DesertLast night the heatwave came to an abrupt end with heavy downpours bringing with them the Saharan sand. The Sahara Desert is the world's largest hot desert spanning a number of African countries including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Sudan.
June 22, 2017 15:33 UTC
This theme and recent developments in disaster risk reduction (DRR), disaster risk management (DRM) and early warning systems are reviewed in this update. [WMO Press Release] [UNISDR Press Release]In light of increased disaster risk, recent adaptation developments have focused on DRR, early warning systems and climate services. The multi-hazard early warning advisory system seeks to improve forecasts and warnings about hazards such as floods, severe storms, droughts and heat waves. Participants also agreed to seek support from partner States and donor agencies to strengthen DRR and DRM efforts in the region. [Science for DRM 2017: Knowing Better and Losing Less] [Executive Summary] [Publication Landing Page] [Climate-ADAPT Press Release]
June 22, 2017 15:33 UTC
At least 127 people have been arrested in the ongoing “hirak” protests in Al Hoceima and the wider Rif region of Morocco, including prominent activist Nasser Zafzafi who was arrested on May 29. Zafzafi was severely beaten by police following his arrest, according to an account released jointly by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International on Thursday. His arrest has mobilized activists whose protests continued this week in Casablanca, and whose numbers have grown across the country beyond Rif and beyond Morocco’s own borders. “Besides Zafzafi and Ghattas, many other Rif protesters and activists have reported police brutality following arrest,” said Heba Morayef, North Africa research director for Amnesty International. Activists are planning new protests this weekend in solidarity with the detainees, to coincide with Eid al Fitr celebrations marking the end of Ramadan.
June 22, 2017 15:24 UTC
Demonstrators hold pictures of Nasser Zafzafi, leader of the Rif region's protest movement, during a demonstration against corruption, repression and unemployment in the northern city of al-Hoceima. (AFP)Tunis - The leader of a protest movement in northern Morocco was "severely" beaten and verbally abused by police during his arrest, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said on Thursday. Nasser Zefzafi - leader of Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or the "Popular Movement" - was detained on May 29 in a village 50km from the city of Al-Hoceima along with two fellow activists. The police then transported the men to the northern city of Al-Hoceima before flying them, hooded and handcuffed, to Casablanca, they said. Five detained activists including Zefzafi have threatened a three-day hunger strike over the conditions of their detention, their lawyers said.
June 22, 2017 14:26 UTC
Libstar could be valued at up to $1 billion in a share saleAbraaj Group is planning an initial public offering of South African food and personal care maker Libstar, which may value the firm at as much as $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Abraaj is also planning an IPO of its North African hospitals business, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month. Libstar is one of the largest unlisted food and personal care manufacturers in the country and employs about 6,700 people, according to Abraaj’s website. The company was founded in 2005 as an investment holding company, targeting firms in the consumer goods sector. Abraaj’s acquisition of a controlling stake helped the company to expand into Middle East and other parts of Africa.
June 22, 2017 14:26 UTC
Cyber-security firms ESET and Dragos have unearthed a new malware that can disrupt power grids leading to blackouts for days. The malware has been named Industroyer by ESET, while Dragos has termed it as CrashOverride in their respective analyses. As mentioned in both the reports, the Industroyer malware is suspected to have caused the power outage in Kiev, Ukraine on 17 December 2016. Ability of the Industroyer malwareThe malware in not designed to target any specific configuration or vendor. The impact may lead to widespread power shutdown for several hours or even days at a stretch.
June 22, 2017 14:03 UTC
His name may not be familiar to those outside Christian publishing, but few have impacted the church as much as Melvin E. Banks Sr., the founder and chairman of Urban Ministries Inc. (UMI). Banks has been recognized with an honorary doctorate by his alma mater, Wheaton College, where he served as a trustee for many years. Theon Hill, assistant professor of communication at Wheaton College, sat down with Banks at UMI’s headquarters to learn more about his pioneering vision. During my transition from Moody [Bible Institute] to Wheaton [College], I began to dream of a magazine that would be inclusive of people of color. Around that time, I was invited to work at Scripture Press Publishers, one of the Christian publishers at that time.
June 22, 2017 13:41 UTC
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June 22, 2017 13:29 UTC
The research firm, in a report released on June 20, says the increase in 4G mobile internet connectivity is important because it allows for households who would otherwise not have access to internet because of the prohibitive costs associated with acquiring internet at home. “Broadband connectivity in Africa will be achieved almost exclusively through mobile, with only a few households equipped with PCs and wireline broadband. The firm says 4G mobile subscribers are expected to reach 296 million by 2022 compared to 24 million for 2016. Significant disparities in 4G development and adoption still exist depending on the country, for instance, Morocco, with its 3.4 million 4G subscribers, accounts for 14 percent of total 4G subscribers in Africa. Mobile broadband subscribers are therefore expected to grow into the main part of mobile subscribers with 54 percent of total mobile SIMS,” says Dataxis in the report.
June 22, 2017 13:18 UTC
(Reuters)Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman just consolidated his position and power. Shortly after dawn on Wednesday, King Salman announced that his 31-year-old son, widely known as MBS, was now heir to the throne. His older cousin, former Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, had been pushed aside to make way. The initiatives the new crown prince has taken over those two years have, however, been unusually ambitious on almost every front. His Vision 2030 plan to wean Saudi Arabia off its near-total dependence on oil was well received by economists, at least in terms of its goals; some questioned the government’s ability to implement it.
June 22, 2017 12:36 UTC
By Mark BaberJune 22 – A newly formed partnership between Malawi and Morocco will see the Moroccan government inject $5 million into Football Association of Malawi (FAM) infrastructure projects via the Federation of Royal Moroccan Football (FRMF). The partnership is a ground-breaking one for African football where federations more generally rely on outside money – usually from FIFA grants – for infrastructure support. The Moroccan FA has also offered to host all the national football teams, including women and beach soccer, as part of the agreement. This is a landmark and the beginning of vibrant relationship with the Moroccan FA. Football in Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries, appears to be an early beneficiary of their relationship.
June 22, 2017 11:37 UTC
Diaspora remittances into the country dropped nearly seven percent in the first quarter of 2017, despite a three percent central bank incentive, official figures show. But the Treasury bulletin for the first three months of 2017 shows Diaspora remittances dropped 6,7 percent, to $180 million,compared to $193 million in the corresponding period last year. "The decline in Diaspora remittances is partly attributed to the sluggish performance of the global economy as well as errors and omission arising from conduct of remittances through informal channels," reads the bulletin. Zimbabwe has seen a 17 percent decline in official remittances, from $935 million recorded in 2015 to $780 million last year. Despite the decline, Zimbabwe hopes to receive at least $1,2 billion from its estimated three million non-resident citizens this year.
June 22, 2017 11:26 UTC