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Updated: 42 min 7 sec ago

South Africa: Ramaphosa crackdown on corruption extends to state attorneys

11 hours 5 min ago

As South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa steps up efforts to crackdown on corruption, the justice minister said on Tuesday that they will probe allegations that state attorneys defrauded government of billions of dollars by deliberately losing cases.

Ramaphosa, who replaced former president Jacob Zuma in February, has made the fight against corruption a key plank of his administration as he seeks to restore investor confidence after the scandal-plagued Zuma era.

Attorneys accused of colluding

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU), a state entity which probes malpractice in government, will look into hundreds of cases where state attorneys are accused of colluding with private lawyers to agree the settlement of fictitious claims.

“The investigation will help the Department of Justice to lay to rest concerns that have been raised,” Justice Minister Michael Masutha told reporters.

“Where appropriate … disciplinary action as well as criminal investigations will be initiated against alleged perpetrators to ensure that firm action is taken to uproot corrupt activities.”

In the health ministry, one of the departments worst affected by the alleged fraud, claims totalling 56 billion rand ($4 billion) will be investigated, Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi said at the same briefing.

ALSO READ: South Africa court declares appointment of state prosecutor by ex-president Zuma ‘invalid’

REUTERS

Gross misuse of dollar by US will lead to its weakness and switch to national currencies – Lavrov

11 hours 6 min ago

Preview Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the role of the US dollar as a global reserve currency may be diminished as more countries switch to national currencies in trade.
Read Full Article at RT.com

US orders $480mn-hypersonic missile prototype suitable for ‘great power competition’

11 hours 41 min ago

Preview The US Air Force paid $480 million for a second top-spec hypersonic missile prototype to gain ground “in the era of great power competition,” following reports of Russia’s successes in developing unrivaled high-speed weapons.


Read Full Article at RT.com

Parrot trapped on roof for three days tells rescuers to ‘f**k off!’

11 hours 43 min ago

Preview A foul-mouthed parrot, who was stuck on the roof of a London home for three days, told firefighters to “f**k off” when they tried to come to her aid.
Read Full Article at RT.com

FBI warns of imminent hack attack on ATM machines worldwide

11 hours 43 min ago

Preview Bank ATMs around the world are at risk of an "imminent" cyber attack with millions of dollars expected to disappear from accounts, according to a confidential alert by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Whatsapp business for SME's [Sci tech]

11 hours 47 min ago

It’s a big one for smaller businesses around the world as whatsapp’s business app continues to grow. Call it the whatsapp version of a facebook page. Whatsapp first launched the app earlier this year in select markets in the US, UK, Italy among others and now it is available worldwide. This means if you are a small business, it’s a pretty convenient way to keep up with customers and grow your clientele. We speak to Josiah Kwesi Eyison, CEO of Ghanaian-based iSpacegh for his thoughts.

Samsung on Thursday unveiled its latest smart-phone model, the Galaxy Note 9, as it grapples with a sharp slowdown in sales. The world’s leading smart-phone seller, saw a 22 percent drop in mobile revenues and is banking its hopes on this model to boost sales.

And, a wave of medical research is providing fresh evidence that marijuana may help dogs and cats cope with arthritis, epilepsy, anxiety and other maladies without the side effects of traditional drugs.

Demand for information is so strong that a “Cannabis and Cats” panel discussion was packed on Sunday, August 5, the world’s biggest cat-centric event, Catcon in California.

Ignatius Annor has more details on Sci tech.

@IgnatiusAnnor

Crash at London’s Parliament treated as terrorist incident – Met police

11 hours 47 min ago

Preview Car ramming incident near the UK parliament is currently being treated as terrorist attack and the Met's Counter Terrorism Command is now leading the probe. The driver was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences, police say.
Read Full Article at RT.com

DR Congo employs experimental Ebola treatment as epidemic spreads to Ituri

11 hours 48 min ago

Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry has started using the experimental mAb114 Ebola treatment on patients in the east of the country, the first time it has been deployed against an active outbreak.

The outbreak in eastern Congo’s North Kivu province has now spread to neighbouring Ituri province, where a person who was a confirmed case died after returning home from the flare-up’s epicentre in the North Kivu town of Mangina, the ministry said in a statement.

Five new cases have been confirmed, the statement said, bringing the total number of cases to 57 — 30 confirmed and 27 that are considered probable. Forty-one people are believed to have died in all from the haemorrhagic fever.

[Explainer]Profile of the much-feared killer that is Ebola

The mAb114 treatment was developed in the United States by the National Institutes of Health using the antibodies of the survivor of an Ebola outbreak in the western Congolese city of Kikwit in 1995.

It was 100 percent effective when tested on monkeys.

The ministry said that several other experimental treatments have arrived in the regional hub of Beni and are awaiting approval from an ethics committee, including Remdesivir, Favipiravir and REGN3450, REGN3471 and REGN3479.

REUTERS

Tunisian President voices support for equal inheritance draft bill

11 hours 50 min ago

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi on Monday announced his support for a bill that will ensure that men and women have equal rights to inheritance.

The draft inheritance equality bill has sparked controversy as it departs from a principle inspired by the Koran in many Arab countries.

In a televised speech to mark Tunisian women’s day, Essebsi said the law would allow the testator the possibility “to either apply the Constitution or choose freedom’‘.

‘‘I propose to make equality in inheritance a law.God willing, Mr. President [of the Tunisian Parliament], when this law comes to you, you will look at it with an open mind because it is a project for the future, for the future of Tunisia and I hope it will unite [people] “, Essebsi said.

The current law, which is based on Islamic law, provides that, as a rule, a man inherits the double of a woman of the same degree of kinship.

Meanwhile, pro-social reforms protesters gathered in the Tunisian capital on Monday to support proposed reforms by President Beji Caid Essebsi that will allow men and women to have equal rights to inheritance.

The nearly two thousand protesters largely made of women thronged the streets of Tunis to defend their rights.

Equal inheritance is one of the most debated issues among a series of societal reforms proposed by a commission created by the Tunisian president in 2017.

This Commission for Individual Freedoms and Equality suggested that the family patrimony should be shared by default equally between male and female heirs. The owner of the estate would however have the opportunity to go to a bailiff-notary to divide his property according to the rule of two-thirds. 

The announcement comes as the ruling party, Nidaa Tounès, founded by President Beji Caïd Essebsi in 2012, is deeply shaken by a power struggle in his leadership in the run-up to the legislative and presidential elections scheduled for 2019.

The president called on elected officials of Ennahdha to vote for the bill, which he said must be presented to the deputies at the end of the parliamentary recess. 

AFP

‘Dismantling global security’: Russian lawmakers dismiss US claims of Open Skies violations

11 hours 53 min ago

Preview High-ranking members of the Russian parliament have stated that Washington’s refusal to cooperate with Moscow on the Open Skies Treaty is based on unfounded charges as Russia has always stuck to its obligations.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Swedish PM ‘pissed off’ as masked youths set scores of cars on fire across country (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

12 hours 5 min ago

Preview Youths have vandalized Swedish cities unhindered overnight, setting fire to dozens of cars in what are believed to be coordinated acts of arson. The attacks infuriated officials, with a minister demanding “the thugs” be punished.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Turkey to boycott iPhones & other US electronic products - Erdogan

12 hours 9 min ago

Preview Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a boycott of American electronic products in response to Washington’s economic pressure against Ankara after the detention of a US pastor in Turkey.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Uganda's Bobi Wine is missing after deadly clashes with Museveni's security

12 hours 28 min ago

The whereabouts of vocal musician and legislator Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine remain unknown after Uganda Police confirmed on Tuesday morning that they do not have him in their custody.

Bobi Wine was last heard from on Monday evening when he took to Twitter to say that his driver had been shot dead, adding that ‘my hotel has been cordoned off by police and SFC’

Arua’s bloody by-election

Campaigns to replace the slain legislator of Arua Municipality, Ibrahim Abiriga, became riotous and deadly on Monday as supporters of the independent candidate Kasiano Wadri clashed with SFC security operatives, who are charged with protecting the president of the country.

President Museveni had spent the day in Arua campaigning for the ruling party candidate Nusura Tiperu, while Bobi Wine was also in the area to support Wadri.

Residents of Arua will cast their votes on Wednesday 15th August.

What happened?

Bobi Wine’s announcement of the death of his driver shook many Ugandans who bemoaned the violent twist that the election had taken, recalling that Abiriga, whose replacement was being sought, had also been violently killed in June.

Senior Press Secretary, Don Wanyama quickly sent out an explanatory tweet saying opposition supporters attacked the president’s convoy, provoking the subsequent crackdown.

President KagutaMuseveni car that was hit by opposition supporters this evening in Arua town. The police will issue a statement on this incident shortly. nbstv newvisionwire DenisNabz FrankTumwebazek mollykamukama JustineLumumba pic.twitter.com/qlT9jwePJ0

— Don Wanyama (nyamadon) August 13, 2018

Police later confirmed this version of events, saying the president’s convoy had been blocked by opposition supporters before and after a rally he addressed in Arua.

‘‘When President Museveni was going to Boma grounds for the final rallies, he was met by a tractor that had the red ribbons. When leaving the grounds, he was then met with Hon. Wadri’s supporters,’‘ explained Emilia Kayima, Uganda Police spokesperson.

Red is the color worn by several opposition politicians and supporters including Bobi Wine and Wadri.

The supporters insisted that we walk to the venue of today's rally in Arua and so we did#KasianoWadriForArua#UnityInDiversity #PEOPLEPOWER pic.twitter.com/jtoWJYsbfr— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) August 13, 2018

Where is Bobi Wine?

Police have confirmed that they have detained the independent aspirant for the Arua Municipality race, Kassiano Wadri, whose supporters were accused of attacking the president’s convoy.

‘‘But we have Hon. Wadri in our custody, we want to establish why he used force to evade police, was it a serious plan he had in mind to disorganize the campaigns!,’‘ said Jonathan Musinguzi, the West Nile Regional Police Commander.

They however claim not to have Bobi Wine in their custody.

‘‘Arua is calm and people are going on with their businesses. We don’t have Hon. Kyagulanyi at the moment but he’s one of the key suspects,’‘ Musinguzi added.

Earlier, the police spokesperson, Emilia Kayima, had confirmed that one death has been record and at least 30 people have so far been arrested.

Attacks on journalists

Videos circulating on social media showed journalists covering the deadly clashes on Monday evening, being assaulted.

Sabiti Joseph, a journalist with a local television station, NBS TV confirmed that he and a cameraman were safe, even after a scuffle with security operatives.

‘‘I can confirm that both our cameraman and reporter are safe, they managed to escape the security operatives who bundled them up earlier today while preparing to do a live link,’‘ Sabiti told the television’s morning show.

Sabiti added that journalists covering the by-election are worried about the ‘whereabouts of Herbert Zziwa’, a journalist with another television station, NTV who was arrested on Monday evening.

NTV has since confirmed that Zziwa and a correspondent he was working with, Ronald Muwanga, are ‘currently detained at Arua Central Police station’.

UPDATE: We can confirm that our reporter zziwaherbert and correspondent, Ronald Muwanga are currently detained at Arua Central Police Station. We are engaging the authorities to have them released. #NTVNews pic.twitter.com/a6TWC723k1

— NTV UGANDA (ntvuganda) August 14, 2018

The rise and rise of Bobi Wine

Since he joined parliament last year, Kyagulanyi has gained in popularity through his often biting criticism of Museveni’s government, which at times he expresses through his music.

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Government officials see his appeal, especially to young people, as a threat to Museveni’s hold on power which is fraying due to public anger over deteriorating public services, corruption and rights abuses.

Critics say Museveni is set for a life presidency after parliament last year removed an age cap from the constitution that would have barred him from seeking re-election in 2021.

Rwanda government sacks entire health unit [The Morning Call]

12 hours 29 min ago

A major crackdown on Rwanda’s Ministry of Health.has led to the sacking of an entire staff of one of the country’s vital units for gross mismanagement of public resources. This follows reports of serious financial flaws in the Health ministry.

Hamad Baligira, director of human resources and administration together with Théogène Namahungu, director of the Health Technology and Infrastructure Planning Unit have both been sacked and more ministry officials are likely to be prosecuted. We find out how this latest crackdown is affecting the country’s health sector.

Egypt's Sisi deeply concerned over security in the Red Sea after attack on oil tankers

13 hours 28 min ago

Egypt’s president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Monday expressed deep concern over security in the Red Sea following an attack by Yemen’s Houthis on two oil tankers that forced Saudi Arabia to temporarily suspend crude shipments through the strait of Bab al-Mandab.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his Yemeni counterpart, the Egyptian President also said Cairo was committed to helping Yemen regain its security after over three years of war that killed thousands of people.

“We categorically deny that Yemen would become a foothold for the influence of non-Arab forces, or a platform for security and stability threats against the brotherly Arab countries or freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait,” Sisi said, speaking alongside President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

In July, Saudi Arabia temporarily halted oil shipments through Bab al-Mandab citing security concerns after Iran-aligned Yemen’s Houthis attacked two oil tankers in the Red Sea near the strait with missiles, damaging one vessel.

Saudi Arabia resumed oil shipments through the strait several days later, but the incident has highlighted the magnitude of the situation in the area, where fighting between the Houthis and supporters of Hadi’s government has been raging since 2015.

Reuters

WHO delegation visits Ebola epicenter in DR Congo [The Morning Call]

14 hours 27 sec ago

The World Health Organisation is concerned about security and healthcare exposures in the latest Ebola outbreak in DR Congo. During his visit to Mangina, Director General of the health agency Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for free and secure access for responders working in the area, as part of efforts to contain the disease.