Togo bans planned opposition protests, coalition defiant

6 days 10 hours ago

The Togolese government on Thursday banned demonstrations by the opposition coalition.

In a statement cited by AFP, Togolese Minister of Territorial Administration, Payadowa Boukpessi said the protest poses ‘’ very high risk of serious disturbances to public order’‘.

The protest was scheduled between December 8 and 18 against holding of the December 20 legislative elections.

The fourteen parties of the main opposition coalition, which did not submit lists and denounce irregularities, on Wednesday called for new demonstrations to demand halting the electoral process.

According tot the statement, the government fears that the caravans and procession of the opposition coalition will clash with those of the political parties participating in the legislative polls.

The opposition immediately reacted on Thursday morning and assured that the demonstrations will go as planned.

The opposition coalition is calling for constitutional reforms to allow the limitation of presidential and legislative terms,recomposition of the office of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) and the resumption of all activities already conducted by the electoral body.

Togo has been going through a serious political crisis over a year, with massive demonstrations calling for the resignation of President Faure Gnassingbé. Gnassingbé succeeded his father in 2005 who had ruled Togo for thirty eight years.

Evangelical, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches of Togo on Wednesday called for ‘‘postponement of the legislative polls for a few months”, while denouncing the “non-consensual conditions” in which the poll is to be held.

AFP

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Moscow Meddling, Trump-Putin Dialogue: Secretary of Defense Mattis Tells All Without Any Evidence

6 days 10 hours ago

The insanity runs deep in Washington but it has also briefly surfaced at Simi Valley in California at the Reagan National Defense Forum, which ran through last weekend. United States Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis was the keynote

The post Moscow Meddling, Trump-Putin Dialogue: Secretary of Defense Mattis Tells All Without Any Evidence appeared first on Global Research.

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Video: Netanyahu Kicks Off War on Hezbollah ‘Attack Tunnels’ in Northern Israel

6 days 10 hours ago

On December 4, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced that they had launched Operation Northern Shield in order to “expose and neutralize” alleged Hezbollah cross-border attack tunnels heading from Lebanon to Israel.

According to the Israeli side, the IDF eliminated …

The post Video: Netanyahu Kicks Off War on Hezbollah ‘Attack Tunnels’ in Northern Israel appeared first on Global Research.

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Selected Articles: Truth and Human Rights vs. Fraud and Corruption

6 days 11 hours ago

Do you value the reporting and in-depth analysis we provide, free of charge, on a daily basis? Do you think this resource should be maintained and preserved as a research tool for future generations? Bringing you 24/7 updates from all

The post Selected Articles: Truth and Human Rights vs. Fraud and Corruption appeared first on Global Research.

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Pakistan’s Government in Military Hands — Again?

6 days 11 hours ago

Imran Khan, Pakistan’s leading ex-cricketer, became the country’s prime minister in August after his political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), or the Pakistan Justice Movement, won an election marred by shocking violence—including two suicide bomb attacks in Balochistan province

The post Pakistan’s Government in Military Hands — Again? appeared first on Global Research.

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Kenya's futuristic fashion industry with fish skin

6 days 11 hours ago

Kenya’s fashion industry in the future will all be about fish skin. For many in Kenya’s north rift valley of Kitale, fish is a culinary delight. When the most desired parts of the fish are sold off, the rest is wasted.

A local foods factory in Kitale is turning the wasted fish skin into leather. Victorian Foods works with roughly 300 fishermen from Lake Turkana in Kenya’s north, who provide it with Nile perch.

The fish skin is put in a tannery machine after its scales are removed and soaked for an hour.

They add banana extract to remove fish odour and salt to strengthen the fiber. It is then soaked for a further eight hours.

“Fish leather is considered exotic leather, like reptile leather, and you know the reptiles are endangered. We have crocodile leather or snake leather which is endangered, but fish leather, it’s a good alternative to that. You don’t require “CITES”, you know, the permit that you use to export the leather for endangered animal species, you don’t need that. So I think very soon, as it gains popularity, there is going to be a lot of demand for it in the market”, said James Ambani, CEO of Victoria Foods.

Victorian Foods has been working with the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization as part of its Blue Initiative. It aims to add value and increase employment in the fishing industry.

Jamil Walji is head of JW Coutour. She was challenged by the global organization to create garments for a show that was recently held in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

“I was inspired actually to create garments with it, infuse our local fabric, the leso, together with the fish skin and the European materials. I wanted to bring out a combination that has never been done before, to bring out a totally new image and a new look to how we look at leather products”, Walji said.

Victorian Foods said the fish skin leather has been used to make shoes, jackets, handbags and purses.

The company also said there’s growing interest from the automobile industry to use fish leather for car interior decor.

Reuters

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ClandesTime Special – The Royal Family, Brexit and Union Jackboot

6 days 11 hours ago
This week, I welcome Matt Alford to the show to talk about the media manipulation of the image of the British Royal Family, and how it relates to British foreign policy, including Brexit. From the killing of rare animals to closet fascism, to interfering in politics and criminal investigations, we look at numerous stories that reveal the dark underbelly of the Royals. We also discuss Matt’s new book Union Jackboot: What Your Media and Professors Don't Tell You About British Foreign Policy, and make a few tentative predictions about Brexit.

(Read more...)

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Economic reforms offer scant relief in heart of Tripoli

6 days 11 hours ago

Libyans suffer from a devaluation of currency, despite an economic reform package by the U.N.-backed government, in Tripoli aimed at easing galloping inflation.

After a month strolling the gold market in Libya’s capital,Tripoli, retired public servant Milud Farhat was unable to find any jewellery he could afford for his daughter’s wedding.

The 60-year-old is typical of Libya’s once well-to-do middle class, impoverished by high inflation and devaluation during years of conflict in what used to be one of the Arab world’s wealthiest countries.

“I have been coming every day for a month hoping that (gold) prices go down. Since they devalued the currency last month, (price of gold) has never gone below $105). The decline is very slow,” said Farhat.

In contrast, armed groups whose commanders cruise Tripoli’s pot-holed streets in luxury cars have become rich by forcing authorities to hire them and grant them cheap dollars they can change on the black market for a premium.

To tackle this “war economy”, Tripoli’s internationally recognised government in September effectively devalued the exchange rate to 3.9 dinars per dollar from 1.3.

Gold prices have dipped a little to around 180 dinars ($46) an ounce since the devaluation, but are still triple their level in 2014 when the dinar started diving due to volatile oil revenues, Libya’s lifeline.

Vice President of Libya’s presidential Council, Ahmed Mu’Aitaq said the goal of the decisions and amendments as well as the presidential decree number 1300 is to end the presence of the black market and to have all the transfers taking place through the central bank.

“The rate (of the dollar) will be close to the official rate. Meanwhile, the imposed fees will be lowered as per the decision of the presidential council in order to gradually reach a fair rate that truly express the real rate of the Libyan dinar” he added.

Mu’Aitaq said they expect that the results of the economic reforms will be clearer by the beginning of next year. Adding that the liquidity problem is about to be solved.

“During the past three months, we have seen some very positive results since the (application of) reforms. The liquidity problem will be the first to be solved, after that the exchange rate will gradually (change) until the difference between the black market and the banks will be very minor” he said.

For a small and well-connected elite, money is still flowing as they keep a grip on business and oil revenues.

In Tripoli’s upmarket neighbourhoods, sleek stores sell international fashion brands and new restaurants and cafes are opening.

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