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Archive for July 28th, 2008

Another Pariah State on the Rise in West Africa?

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

By Scott A Morgan

Even though most Security Specialists in the Gulf of Guinea region have their focus on the Niger Delta, there is ample evidence that they should focus some of their attention on Guinea-Bissau.

Currently an attempt to build Reform and stronger Democratic Ideals under the Stability Pact has several problems notably resistance from the Military Establishment and a glaring weakness in the structure of the Government. There has not been any attempt since 1974 to enact any reforms.

The stakes not only for the Country but the region as a whole are high. The Structure that is currently in place invites the Military to seemingly take over the Government on a whim. In a region where tensions in the Guinea are simmering at best and Liberia and Sierra Leone had Civil Conflicts that led first to Regional Intervention followed by UN Peacekeeping Operations this can be construed as a recipe for disaster.

Right Now Guinea-Bissau is at the crossroads of some of the regional tensions. The Country is being used as a point for the Trans-Shipping of Narcotics from South America to Europe. It also has created a Refugee Crisis by driving the Casamance Rebels from their Bases in the Country into Gambia. There are current fears that the current Government could return Gambian Dissidents home by Force in the near future as well.

Also the release of a Report by the United Nations in 2006 describing the Prominent Role of Government Officials in the Drugs Trade implemented a Crackdown on the Media as well. One Journalist went into hiding after the Navy Chief of Staff filed Deformation Charges Against Him. Currently there have been no reports of Intimidation of Journalists within the Country.

This year saw the Inaguration of the APS (Africa Partnership Station) by the United States. The Gulf of Guinea has been deemed to be a vital Security Interest of the United States. So with the formation of AFRICOM (AFRIca COMmand) this means that the US could have an increased role in any future Crisis in the Region. This is a concern of those who fear that the US is Militarizing the Continent of Africa.

Nation Building in this County is Imperative for Regional Security. Whether or not the US will or have to play a role in any future endeavor is yet to be seen. Whether or not Conflict on a Low Intensity or a Regional Scale is not clear either.But it is apparant that the Future Stability of West Africa may hinge its success upon a Stable Guinea-Bissau.

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API

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Kibaki puts striking students on notice

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

President Mwai Kibaki addresses leaders from Central Province at Sagana State Lodge, Central Province on Saturday.

President Kibaki decried the wave of unrest in secondary schools on Saturday and warned parents that they will have to take responsibility for the behaviour of their children.

And, to the striking students, he had an equally terse message: choose between learning or leaving school altogether.

Some things are not acceptable. The unrest is worrying and one wonders what the students want, the President said.

Saying that the government was fully committed to improving education standards in the country, the President added: parents must take full responsibility. They will have to cater for the cost of rebuilding the structures affected.

School administrators, he said, should not readmit those behind the strikes. The President advised parents to ensure that they moulded their children to be disciplined.

President Kibaki spoke at the State Lodge, Sagana, when he met leaders from Nyeri.

The leaders presented the President a list of proposed projects they want implemented before his second and final term as the Head of State expires.

Among the projects are hospitals, roads, an airstrip and markets. The leaders would also like the government to write off debts that various local authorities owe various institutions and groups.

The meeting was attended by about 200 leaders from the larger Nyeri district (Nyeri North and South districts). They included MPs Kabando wa Kabando (Mukurwe-ini), F.T. Nyammo (Tetu), Ephraim Maina (Mathira), and Nemesysus Warugongo (Kieni). Others were civic leaders, CDF officials and some local leaders.

Mr Kabando, who is also the assistant minister for Youth Affairs, read the 14-point memorandum.

The leaders called for the upgrading of the Nyeri Provincial General Hospital into a referral facility, rehabilitation of the Nyaribo airstrip near Nyeri town into an airport and conversion of Kimathi Institute into a full-fledged university.

They also called for speedy resettlement of internally displaced persons, saying most of them came from Central Kenya.

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API/Nation.ke

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KEJA opposes levies for journalists

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

Written By:Doreen Apollos

The Kenya Journalist Association (KEJA) has opposed the move by the Media Council to introduce a subscription levy for journalists and the media organizations in the country.

Addressing the press on Sunday KEJA’s representatives said it is punitive for the media council to levy the subscriptions without prior discussions with the practitioners claiming that so far, the journalist have not felt the benefits of the council’s representation.

The new gazette notice requires every journalist to pay 2,000 shillings annually and upto 100,000 shillings per month for media organizations with national coverage while magazine publishers are expected to pay 20,000 shillings per year.

However KEJA claims that since the inception of the media council in October last year, little or no benefits have been felt by the journalists.

KEJA further says the Council membership does not include media stakeholders and that it has so far offered no explanation of the need for the fee being levied.

The association therefore says that the media council should streamline its activities to avoid any clashes of interest between arbitration and registration tasks.

KEJA further says it is working on being a professional body to champion for the recognition of journalists as a serious profession and demand for its rightful place in the society.

The announcement for the levies contained in the latest publication of the Kenya Gazette earlier this week says the measure is pursuant to the Media Act 2007 which established the council as a regulatory body.

The chairman of the Media council of Kenya Wachira Waruru pegged the monthly levy for large media houses which have five or more media outlets or those that use high power frequency with national reach at 100,000 shillings.

Medium media houses that have between two and four media outlets or use medium power frequency will pay 75,000 shillings while those that use low power frequency will pay 50,000.

A media house with one outlet will pay 20,000 while magazine publishers will pay 10,000 shillings monthly.

The payments are to be made quarterly.

Waruru also stated that apart from local journalists who will have to part with 2,000 shillings per year, foreign journalists also have to pay 10,000 shillings while foreign journalists on short term assignments not exceeding three months will pay 5,000 shillings. The journalists have upto 30th September this year to pay their subscriptions.

But KEJA is opposed to the move saying since its inception in October last year, the Council has been conspicuously silent over matters relating to the profession.

KEJA officials who included Vitalis Musebe of the Board of Trustees and Bob Wekesa, the Executive Commissioner of KEJA say the two thousand shillings levy is beyond the reach of many journalists who are poorly remunerated.

“The Media Council gazette notice also includes a schedule for media owners. It has not clarified whether the fees are in respect of journalists employed by those media houses. If that is the case, it amounts to double taxation”, they said.

They accused the council of levying the charges to raise funds for its operations while at the same time it has inclinations towards government funding for its activities.

The officials urged the Council to suspend the move to pave way for “a well thought out structure that would be just, fair and consultative”.

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API/KBC.ke

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Black America is neither a baffling phenomenon, a divine curse, nor the result of some innate Black racial deficiency

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

The present despairing state of Black America is neither a baffling phenomenon, a divine curse,nor the result of some innate Black racial deficiency, but rather instead the result of the White elites innate proclivity for reinventing devious methods of suppressing its Black population as a means of maintaining its white dominance and control.
No this is not an attempt to peddle victim hood to absolve ourselves of our own responsibilities by wrongly blaming whites this is the truth that they don’t want we Black people to ever know and unify ourselves behind!
Although today most African Americans do not experience racism the way their parents experienced it, they do, however, still experience White racism. White racism in the U.S. persists as a current and devastating problem that now prevails with sophistication and is employed more covertly and more proficiently than ever before. The decline of the blatant, overt racism used in the United States to suppress African Americans through the 1960’s coincided with the introduction of a well-camouflaged, more intensified, sophisticated, and covert method of White racism better suited for the times.
Though Blacks today are measurably more successful than their predecessors in every field, the U.S. Government is resolute in its commitment of maintaining its white dominance and control. As a result of this unyielding commitment today, African Americans are still the largest, most racially devalued, most deliberately exploited and suppressed group in America, only the methods for doing so have changed.
For the most part the manner in which we African Americans approach and/or confront White racism is extremely outdated. The common approach may be compared to that of an old prize fighter shadow boxing in the corner of a ring long after and totally unaware that his opponent has moved behind him, now pulverizing him from the rear. These commonly taken approaches at addressing white racism may also equate to a matador in a bull fight waving his red cape in the wind, taunting the bull to attack, not realizing that the bull has already done so, having gouged out his heart in the process. These brutal examples are very appropriate in describing how Black America is faring against todays much more sophisticated system of White racism.
Today, unfortunately, whenever the topic of racism is discussed among African Americans, this implies (for most) the images of police brutality, racial profiling, driving while Black, and, of course, the Ku Klux Klan and similar White, anti-Black organizations. While these are all serious elements of racism that does deserve our attention, they are neither the most prevalent nor do they represent the most detrimental form of racism faced by African Americans today. Because the past, blatant methods of insuring White dominance caused momentum for resistance because they were so obviously immoral and unjust, the U.S. government secretly implemented a far more sophisticated methods of maintaining its white dominance. It is a far more proficient and sophisticated method that avoid those conventional, blatant, now morally unacceptable methods of the past. In fact, one may compare Americas old system of white racism used against African Americans in the past, to its modern type by saying that the previous system had a GED while todays methods have a PhD. For todays system is far more sophisticated, elaborate and proficient than any system of racism previously faced by African Americans even slavery.
The present despairing state of Black America is a deliberate occurrence carefully contrived by Americas ruthless white ruling elites. Although the formal covert Counterintelligence Program [COINTELPRO] deployed by the FBI directed against African Americans during the period of 1956-1971 was discontinued. However, in truth today there is a far more sophisticated and massive governmental scheme being implemented against the entire African American population as a means of ensuring that white dominance and control is maintained. This present system uses the applied science of psychology through the methods of propaganda techniques based upon the works of renowned psychologist Dr. Edward Bernays.
Dr. Edward Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud and one of the most skillful experts in mass manipulation. He invented the modern day Madison Avenue advertising Agencies by using his Uncle Sigmund’s knowledge of the human psyche to make people feel they needed whatever product was being advertised. Edward Bernays also invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud’s ideas to manipulate the masses. Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn’t need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.
His most notorious feat was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. Bernays was convinced that this mass method of manipulation was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. For him it was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle, Sigmund Freud, had identified, people could be made happy, docile, angry, self hating or even confused.
During World War I, Bernays and journalist Walter Lippman were hired by then United States President, Woodrow Wilson, to participate in the Creel Commission, the mission of which was to sway popular opinion in favor of entering the war, on the side of Britain. The war propaganda campaign of Bernays and Lippman produced such an intense anti-German hysteria as to permanently impress Americas governmental elites with the potential of large-scale propaganda to control public opinion. Edward Bernays advised US presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Eisenhower and served numerous corporations and business associations. This was the start of the mass media and governmental psychological manipulation programs which has come to covertly dominate today’s world. One of Bernays biggest fans was Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, a fact about which Bernays bragged proudly. A common pattern used repeatedly by Bernays was to turn a harmless entity into a fearsome enemy through lies and manufactured news items. Then use the “threat” to justify attacking the entity. Edward Bernays coined the terms “group mind” and “engineering consent”, important concepts in practical propaganda work.
Bernays said in his 1928 book Propaganda, that; “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in a democratic society.Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. He further states that; If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it. The current public relations industry is a direct outgrowth of Bernays’ work and his method of mass psychological manipulation is also still currently used by the United States government.
Today, in carrying out many of its social-engineering agendas, the United States Government has acquired a long history of conducting planned campaigns of extensive strategic psychological operations [based upon the works of Benays] through the national media to influence and direct the perception and climate of the nation towards its governmental objectives. Because the nineteen sixties were a period of massive black rebellion and unrest that eroded the American global image, increasingly placed the nations peace and stability in dire jeopardy and that caused the U.S. Government to fear the uprising of a violent Black revolution–and perhaps most particularly because the nations top sociologist and psychologist knew that those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. This quite logically necessitated that the U.S. Government employ these same proven methods of mass psychological manipulation against its entire African American population.
Although this modern system now also uses the American educational system to mortifyingly mis-educate, disesteem and retard the aspirations of black students. And uses the judicial and prison systems to severely reduce Black Americas ability to procreate through disproportional higher and longer incarceration sentencing and reduces Black upward mobility by the lost of voting rights upon conviction, its most significantly detrimental aspect is its ability to harmfully manipulate and shape the minds and collective consciousness of Black America. The U.S. Government now secretly deliberately disseminates false deplorably racially devaluing statistics and propaganda about its Black population that are deliberately designed to adversely manipulate and shape the minds and collective consciousness of its African American population– corrupting African Americans sense of unity, cohesion, and reason– and fostering a consensual national environment of where in which its Black population is more easily divided, exploited and ultimately suppressed.
When most people hear the term of psychological manipulation they usually think in terms of the classic “conspiracy theory” that refers to overt mind control such as mind altering drugs with carefully hypnotic programming. However, the real and true dangers are Bernays well proven methods of affecting the unconscious mind by using deception, and psychological manipulation. It is neither magical nor mystical, but a process that involves a set of basic social psychological principles. The constant relentless bombardment with deplorably negative images of themselves that of which African Americans are so inundated with, through a white controlledmedia, is a very carefully and deliberately designed psychological conditioning program. Its unrelenting daily assault on the Black psycheis designed to corrupt African Americans sense of racialunity and cohesion, mold the character of self-hatred, engender self-doubt, self-loathing, and distrust among their group. And while insinuating that Blacks admire, respect, and trust only Whites.
This method of psychological manipulation works by affecting the unconscious mind through deception. It uses the psychology of deceit to adversely affect the recipient group in terms of their behavior. Here is a simplified example of how this is being implemented against African Americans. Let us, for example, imagine that a crew of people was aboard their own massive ship and that this ship was being shadowed by another neighboring ship that was constantly broadcasting derogatory messages to the first group. Such messages as that their ship was lesser, smaller, not seaworthy, perhaps slowly sinking or that their crew was incompetent and was planning a mutiny. With time, the group receiving the negative messages, being unable to refute or to confirm these derogatory messages and deficiencies will grow weary and paranoid of the negative messages and will eventually comes to accept these negative assessments of themselves. The perception created by the taunting now unconsciously influences how the taunted group perceives themselves, subsequently causing them to become distrustful of themselves, doubting themselves, hating themselves and, eventually, fighting among themselves. The taunted group may even become so besieged by deep feelings of inadequacy that they may even jump into the sea and attempt to swim towards the taunting ship now believing it to be superior to their own ship even if their own ship was in fact better.
The basis of this concept of mind manipulation is that the human being’s most critical aspect is the mind and it works by affecting the mind through deception. It uses the psychology of deceit to adversely affect the recipient group in terms of their behavior. It is implemented by, first, simply learning everything about the targeted group, their beliefs, likes, dislikes, strengths, and vulnerabilities. Once you know what motivates your target, you are ready to begin psychological operations against them.
Within a real life setting this mortifying psychosocial treatment is precisely what is being deliberately done to African Americans through corporate owned and governmentally controlled media outlets that deliberately subjected them to seeing only the fraudulently worst in themselves. This is done through an immense campaign of false derogatory misinformation and false negative media reports and statistics that are created by U.S. governmental agencies and then leaked to its collaborators in the news media, which either knowingly or unknowingly carry the stories as their own. These false information about African Americans are then disseminated unrelentingly everywhere; it is deliberately perpetuated through news releases in magazine articles, radio, television, press releases, documentaries, and false census reports perpetuating and framing the myth of Whites racial, moral, and ethical superiority over its Black population. However, the weapon is not in how the message is carried, but is instead within the messages that it carries and how these messages detrimentally affects the Black population at large.
The over representation of Black crimes and grossly exaggerated statistics of Black on Black violence within this psychosocial program are intentionally designed to create fear, hatred, and distrust thus molding the character of disunity and self-hatred among the Black community. [Blacks own personal negative experiences and interactions with their fellow Blacks then merely confirm the programs perpetuated message that it is they that are their own worst enemies]. The ultimately goal of this governmental psychosocial treatment of African Americans is to destroy the Black unity and cohesion that was historically the cornerstone of civil rights gains and that was a crucial factor of the survival of African Americans through more than four hundred years of racial oppression. [Logic dictates that given that unity and cohesion among African Americans was responsible for the demise of White Americas past system of blatant, institutionalized racism, then destroying this unity would be an essential objective of this psychological manipulation program.]
All African Americans have experienced the burden of this system of applied psychological conditioning, some more severely than others have. It is experienced every time we [Blacks] read a newspaper, watch the evening news, listen to a radio report, enter a classroom and read its racially biased textbooks. To the detriment of many African Americans, it has been an extremely effective. It has successfully conditioned many African Americans to accept the dominance of Whites and white institutions over their lives by misleading them to believe that they are, themselves, their own worst enemies, therefore engendering an aberration of internalized self contempt that pulverizes Black unity and halts Black upward mobility. It is at the root of both the profound division and self hatred now afflicting so many Black Americans and is at the heart of internalized feelings of superiority that many whites possess.
And while many African Americans have successfully navigated through this psychologically mortifying mine field and have gone on to lead successful, productive lives, for far too many this immense devaluation can seem inescapable and tragically, over time, many begin to accept subconsciously and painfully the negative portrayals of themselves. Many also become discouraged by the acceptance that their society is also preconditioned to see the worst in them and that, therefore, if they were ever to gain acceptance, if it is to be won at all, that success would be hard won. This in turn manifests negative internalized psychological pain and distress within many African Americans that can take many forms. In fact, this governmental mortifying psychosocial treatment of African Americans may be the most aggravating, if not core, factor of the national phenomenon of self hatred; loss of educational aspirations; loss of unity, cohesion and racial pride; and fragile psyches of many African Americans today. It is in fact so fundamentally detrimental to the Black human condition and psyche that it may even affect the extent to which many African Americans realize their full human potential. This type of psychological manipulation program has also been proven very effective in rapidly destroying a groups ethical and moral values and engendering negative cultural norms with regard to violence, brutality, and even murder. All people, to some degree, are products of cultural conditions and their worldviews operate outside of their level of consciousness. Therefore, no group can be preconditioned to see only the worst in themselves and not exhibit some degree of negative psychological impact.
Not only does this massive governmental psychological manipulation campaign negatively impacts Blacks self perceptions, it also ensures that the masses of African Americans remains the most racially devalued and most economical exploited and suppressed group in America. The medias constantly depicted deplorable imagery of Black Americans is designed also to create a shift of victimization that changes the root problem of racism in America to be due to Blacks behavior rather than Whites proclivity for racism. Therefore insinuates that America would be a better society as a whole if African Americans were gone, thus engendering increasingly prejudiced distorted perceptions and acrimonious beliefs about African Americans that are designed to makes the nation and the entire world insensitive to their plight, tranquilizes efforts on their behalf, lessens pressure for social change on their behalf, and makes any serious criticism of White racism almost impossible today. Therefore fostering a national setting of where in which Blacks are more easily exploited and ultimately consensually suppressed. Moreover, some studies have shown that this shift of victimization now reflects increasingly acrimonious beliefs and prejudiced perceptions about and against African Americans that are arguably stronger today than they were after emancipation This governmental psychological conditioning program is what stripped African Americans of the national and international support that was acquired during the 1960’s civil rights struggles..
This campaign also attempts to discouragemiscegenation between Blacks and whites, and creates a false justification for the legal systems mistreatment of African Americans wherein they are disproportionately incarcerated, given stiffer sentences, and are more likely than other racial groups to be treated brutally, beaten, and fired upon by police officers while they are unarmed. These injustices now goes ignored because the perception has subconsciously become that its all now justified. When contempt of Blacks is made to appear to be justifiable, it is the fiercest and most effective type of racism because its witnesses, bystanders, and even world audiences will sit by idly allowing African Americans to be brutally mistreated under the belief that it is justified. This is what Dr. Edward Bernays referred to as engineering consent. This societal social engineering also today affects attitudes that when enacted through governmental policies, laws, and other legislation actions, serve to ensure that African Americans will not advance. Its effects are manifested in ideas, education, governmental policies, economic stratification, social segregation, housing markets, hiring and promotion practices, psychological issues, and minority access to a variety of social services and opportunity.
The U.S. Governmentusing its well proven method of mass psychological manipulation to maintain its White dominance and control over its Black population was clearly the logical choice. Because through this method the U.S. Governmentis able to both influence the national climate and engender personal psychological feelings among itsBlack population that meet its objectives of maintaining its white dominance.
Furthermore, history overwhelmingly demonstrates that the White races innate proclivity for racism, control, and dominance is much too deeply ingrained for them to just merely give up their practices of implementing suppressive methods over its African American population. As seen within the abolitionist struggles and Civil rights struggle white America has a tradition of resistant against the advancement of its Black population. This tradition of resistant has always correlated with the necessity of U.S. Government to reinvent newer forms of institutionalized racism.
The records of history show that the reincarnation of suppressive methods into forms more acceptable to the changing times is a common practice of the United States government. As seen after the abolishment of slavery wherein its methods of using racist, oppressive treatment of its Black population was reincarnated into Jim Crow inequalities maintained by regional authorities and condoned by the U.S. Government. A Governmental condoning that facilitated a national environment of where in which African Americans were brutally mistreated, lynched and were made victims of many devious strategies and methods that prevented them from becoming registered voters. And let us not forget the horrific Tuskegee experiments or of the CIAs involvement in flooding the Black communities of Los Angeles with drugs and high powered weaponry. The historic and demonstrative evidence overwhelmingly reflects the reality that the U.S. government does manifest a proclivity for reinventing devious methods against the advancement of its Black population. This proclivity has led to the U.S. Government using its proven method of mass psychological manipulation to control the advancement and growth of its Black population. It was the next logical choice because the evils of racism thrives best when its victims no longer recognizes the evil. In fact the reincarnating of methods of suppressing sub-groups is not at all uncommon. In examining the records of history, we often find that, among those mighty empires which were ruthless, greedy, and racist, those behaviors did not decay quickly even after the fall of the empire. These patterns of racism were often reincarnated into forms more acceptable to the changing times.
For more info visit www.DivineBlackTruth.org
THE BLACK MATRIX: The Modern mental and social Suppression of African Americans under National interest. (c) 2006,2008 By Franklin Jones
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API

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30.000 young soccer players came to Oslo in the weekend

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

The colourful event will be witnessed by many who are entusiastically looking forward to the games that bring world nations together to the tiny country at the north pole. It is an experience for many who are involved yearly in arranging the event. (API)

The Norway Cup is considered the world’s largest soccer tournament. 30.000 players between 12 and 19 years old will represent 50 countries in Oslo.

The soccer team Gifts Gambia were met by the welcome committee, when they came to the Norway Cup in 2005.

PHOTO: RN E. BORGEN

The week-long tournament starts on Sunday (yesterday), with competitors from 1.430 different clubs. The teams and referees come from 50 nations. Belarus and Kosovo are represented for the first time this year.

The run up to the competition has been marred by a decision of the Norwegian immigration authority (UDI) not to issue visas to a team from Iraq, fearing that the players might ask for asylum in Norway.

“This is both sad and incomprehensible. The team has appealed the decision, but we are afraid that it may be too late for this year’s event,” says Maria Jacobsen speaking for the organizers.

“We cannot understand why they think that these 13 year-olds might want to remain in Norway. They come from affluent homes in Northern Iraq and were coming without their parents. When you are 13, you want to return to your parents,” says Jacobsen.

The organizers think that it has become more difficult for players from developing countries to get visas, and think that the Schengen agreement is largely to blame.

“The agreement allows each of the 24 member countries to veto applications from players who want to take part in the Cup. Previously, the German authorities have stopped a team from Iran from coming,” says Jacobsen.

“We think this is a very sad development. The Norway Cup is based on the ideal of allowing young soccer players from all over the world to meet each other,” says Jacobsen.

The UDI has also rejected applications from two Albanian teams, one team from Nigeria and another from the Ivory Coast. In these cases the players were older.

Anne Kari Kollstrm, speaking for the UDI, says that Norway has to conform to the way the other Schengen countries operate, but she disagrees with claims that it has become more difficult to get visas to Norway as a result of the Schengen agreement.

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Korir.API/Aftenposteneng

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EU ministers disagree on illegal immigration measure

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

European Union interior ministers clashed on Thursday over how employers of illegal migrants should be punished, their latest disagreement over immigration policy. Twelve states — including all the EU’s Mediterranean nations, which receive flows of illegal migrants by sea — agreed with EU president France that the bloc should agree criminal sanctions to punish employers of illegal migrants. But eight others, including Germany, Poland, Sweden and the Netherlands, have opposed the idea of an EU-wide measure, saying each country should be free to decide how to handle the issue. EU states also disagreed about a French proposal for an EU-wide objective of sending inspectors to at least 5 percent of companies in sectors with the highest levels of illegal employment, which often include construction, hotels and agriculture. “There are other ways to fight illegal employment … minimum criminal measures are not justified,” German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told ministers in a televised debate. Schaeuble also opposed any quota for inspections. “It’s not the number which counts but the quality.” The European Union has beefed up its fight against illegal migration over the past few years, but has struggled each time to find a middle ground between diverse national policies. The European Commission estimates there are up to 8 million illegal immigrants in the 27-nation bloc and says that illegal employment is the main pull-factor for illegal migration. EU Commissioner for migration Jacques Barrot argued on Thursday that criminal sanctions were needed to punish the most serious abuses and discourage hiring of illegal migrants. (Reuters)

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API/Aftenposteneng

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More tourists are coming but many are spending less

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

More cruise ships are arriving and more hotel rooms are being booked in Oslo. Americans are spending less, but Russians and Germans are taking buying more.

Andrew Sather and Kit Emory think Oslo is fantastic, but the low exchange rate for the dollar makes Norway a very expensive place for a holiday.

PHOTO: CHARLOTTE WIIG

More cruise ships are arriving and more hotel rooms are being booked. However, while the number of tourists arriving in Oslo is growing, the amount they spend in falling significantly. Taxfree sales were down by 10 percent during the first six months of this year, compared with the same period in 2007. Americans have been hit particularly hard by the falling dollar. They are spending half the amount that was spent last year, even though the same numbers are coming to Oslo.

“For the first time since 1985 Americans are no longer the most free spending visitors. Both the Russians and the Germans are buying more. Since Americans have been so important to the to the tourist industry in Oslo, a decline of this kind could have big consequences,” says Sissel Guleng, the market director for Global Refund Norge.

North American travellers now think twice before buying souvenirs. Oslo Sweater Shop has firsthand experience of the change.

“When the Americans convert our prices to US currency, they are shocked. Then they buy a key-ring instead of a knitted sweater, says shop manager John Olav Johnsen to daily newspaper Aftenposten.

The change is already having an effect. More inexpensive items like magnets and key-rings are being ordered, and greater efforts directed at the Eastern European tourists are being made.

“Weve already hired two shop assistants who speak Russian and weve started to look for items that are more to their taste,” says Johnsen.

Kit Emory for New York is still very happy that she came to Oslo, even if she feels she has to keep an eye on how much she spends.

“Oslo is beautiful, clean and there are hardly any panhandlers here compared to New York, Paris and other big cities,” she says.

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Korir.api/aftenposteneng

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Is Queen Rania of Jordan using youTube to escape from her husband and the religion?

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

http://blog.sweetestmemories.com/default.asp?Display=16Queen Rania of Jordan

BBC had on the 27th a documentary on Queen Rania’s youTube project that started in April and is to end on the 12th of august this year.

On the documentary, we see a woman who is very active and committed in what she is doing for the Arab world and the rest of the world at large in an effort to mend bridges. This is good. Many however say it is a publicity stunt, an effort to get out of a boring Royal life in the palace.

But one major thing forgotten is the way a muslim woman is expected to behave both at home and in public. Queen Rania could not have behaved as freely as she does on the net and when meeting people if she had not caused the project to be initiated in order to give her freedom from the rules of Islam and the fact that she cannot go around mingling with other men without her husband.

By having the program on the net, she can easily use that as an excuse to escape from the husband and travel alone meeting men and women world over, just like when she was seen having a chat with the co-founder of you Tube, something that could not have happened if she had not managed to convince the husband that her trips abroad are only meant for thepromotion of the poject.

Is she benefitting alone? Can any other muslim woman do the same as her without being accused of violating islam?

There are many questions left unanswered. We do hope that there are no other reasons why Queen Rania is out there meeting both men and women as freely as she does – a lifestyle contrary to what we know to be acceptable within the Islamic belief, especially when it comes to women mingling with men.

We only hope that it will not lead Ranato the style of life that was brought upon the late Diana, The Princess of Wales, who was so free, had many projects going and ended up having secret affairs with a number of men. A thing that saw her and her husband Prince Charles separate.

Queen Rana should stick to her Royal duties and be more devoted to her Husband Abdallah, The king of Jordan. Too much freedom may lead to affairs with men out there who are already saying openly that she is very beautiful. Caused bad blood in marriage can easily lead to a separation in the end. (API)

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BBC programme highlights Queens YouTube channel successes
Her Majesty Queen Rania prepares for an interview with the BBC. In a special programme airing today, Her Majesty discusses the successes of her YouTube channel devoted to breaking down stereotypes of the Arab and Muslim worlds (Photo by Nasser Ayoub)
Her Majesty Queen Rania prepares for an interview with the BBC. In a special programme airing today, Her Majesty discusses the successes of her YouTube channel devoted to breaking down stereotypes of the Arab and Muslim worlds (Photo by Nasser Ayoub)
AMMAN (JT) – The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Saturday aired a special programme on Her Majesty Queen Rania and her YouTube channel, which seeks to challenge and address misconceptions of the Arab and Muslim worlds.

The programme, titled, Queen Rania: The YouTube Queen, highlighted the Queens achievements and carried an interview with Her Majesty in which she expressed hope that her channel could serve as a means to communicate with people from across the world.

Im hoping that this will really become a channel of communication and hopefully one of many between East and West, because I really think that our world is very much in dire need of that, the Queen told the programme anchor.

You know, recently weve seen the tensions really become very strong between the Arab and Muslim worlds and the West. I do feel that our world is in a bit of a crisis at the moment; violence has overtaken dialogue and compassion has lost out to a combination of anger and bias. All have led to inflame the tensions between East and West, the Queen added.

During the interview, the Queen talked about her role in promoting dialogue and understanding between East and West.

It is not something that I had planned to do, but particularly after 9/11 I was always asked: Why do your people do this? Or, why do your people think that? Or, why do your people dislike us? And I found myself very much in the position where I had to defend or try to dismantle stereotypes, she explained.

When you are in the public eye, invariably you will have some kind of filters along the way, she said.

So, the information that gets to you is sometimes, you know, manipulated in one way or the other, but communicating via the Internet or a channel like YouTube means that you are getting the raw and honest information. You are kind of exposing yourself, youre throwing yourself into the thick of things, youre taking bullets from both sides but at the end of the day, its been a steep learning curve and a very enlightening experience for me, the Queen told the BBC.

She added that her recent video on her YouTube channel affirms that terrorism affects all people, regardless of their origin or religion.

Terrorism affects all of us regardless if they were from the East or West, whether they were Christians or Muslims. For example, Jordan was itself a victim of terrorist attacks three years ago when we had three bombs go off in three different hotels. We lost 60 people as a result and, you know, the psychological scars are still here and people are still feeling it, she noted.

Referring to the dialogue on women and their choices in the Arab and the Muslim worlds, she said: It was a video to try to showcase the different roles that women play, to showcase our talents in Jordan and to really celebrate their successes.

The video also illustrated womens success stories in Jordan, but in her interview the Queen explained that it did not represent all women.

I dont think that any one video can be representative of all women because women in Jordan are very diverse, the Queen said.

Its part of my job to try to really spotlight the achievements and successes of these women because theyre very quietly and proudly eroding some of the negative cultural stereotypes, she added.

The programme will be aired again today at 12:10am, 7:10am, 3:10pm and 7:10pm GMT on BBC World.

The dialogue on stereotypes over Her Majestys YouTube channel, which was launched earlier in March, will continue until International Youth Day, observed on August 12.

(Source: Jordan news)

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Published by African Press International – API

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Raila seems to know what the country requires of him. Putting the interest of the country ahead of the needs of his ODM party individuals.

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

If Raila continues this way, there is no reason why he cannot lead the country after President Kibaki’s term ends. He has, in a short period, shown that he knows what the country requires of him and he has given priority to that than to ODM party individuals who want to see him as their quardian in the Grand Coalition.

If the PM continues this way, then Kenyans have no choice but to get behind him and give the country the development needed. (API)

Raila: A man of all seasons

By Sunday Standard Team

Prime Minister Raila Odinga is walking a tight rope, reaching out for trust by the potentially hostile Party of National Unity, without losing his Orange constituency.

In between, the most talked-about politician is repositioning himself to be the countrys choice after President Kibaki.

But as he juggles responsibilities of office, his voice in November at the launch of Orange Democratic Movement manifesto, during which he submitted his application letter for State House, resonates across the land: I am that bridge the bridge that links the historic moments of our past to the golden tomorrows of our future…

Today it is the perfect picture of a man and his dream, the pursuit of acceptance as a leader, not the politician imbued with a rebellious streak, and a statesman statesman who can forgive and forge ahead.

He also casts the image of the man who at the manifesto launch beseeched Kenyans, Trust me, I will deliver.”

But even as he juggles the potentially elusive balls, he is also spreading his stature across the boundaries, in ways such as speaking out at home and abroad against President Robert Mugabes sham election in Zimbabwe.

In Britain last week like in the US the month before, Raila was accorded stellar welcome.

He was a cut above a visiting African minister, and was the leader of a Cabinet and business delegation.

The landing and take off marked the arrival of Raila in the exclusive club of world leaders.

International television stations formed a beeline to interview the man who came so close to power, and whose disputed loss took Kenya to the precipice, forcing a negotiated power sharing arrangement, with the party that claimed a discredited win.

About 100 days after the Dr Kofi Annan peace deal created for the second time in Kenyas history the office of the PM, Raila appears to have shed, at least not showing so in public, his ODM side, preferring to talk more as the PM, even on sensitive matters as the Mau Forest conservation, where his loyal supporters could be uprooted.

He exhibits the confidence of a man who has won over his traditional rivals.

Two weeks now the political grapevine has been throbbing with claims he finally has a political settlement with Justice Minister Martha Karua, with whom he has had public spats.

Portfolio wars

The PM, at the risk of looking timid even in the face of amnesty and portfolio wars, is credited with helping stabilise the Grand Coalition Government.

There are very few people, in PNU or ODM, who are hostile to Raila now, a Cabinet minister from the PNU side said.

In a fairly short time, the PM has built trust across parties and come through as the Prime minister of Kenya, not of his party, the minister added.

Some members of his ODM party marvel at how easily he has put behind the bitterness of the election and victory they believe was stolen from him.

MPs from his party say that although in his mind and that of his supporters the PM won, he has showed deference for President Kibaki. He now recognises him, in addition to shouldering a lot of blame intended for the President.

The PMs Cabinet sub-committees are also said to be revolutionising the way the Government deliberates over issues and responds to public concerns.

With the Cabinet sub-committees, no Cabinet Minister works alone, giving real meaning to the idea of collective responsibility, a Cabinet minister said.

Recently, according to one Cabinet Minister, the Ministry of Transport proposed to build an elegant hotel at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the PM brought together various ministers, including Finance, Nairobi Metropolitan, and infrastructure-related ministries; to thrash out all the issues before the proposal was taken to the Cabinet.

That way, by the time the matter goes to the Cabinet, all outstanding issues have been thrashed out and people do not end up discussing one item for hours, the minister said.

Recently, the PM waded into the controversial Mau Forest and created a task force to look into the resettlement of inhabitants of the endangered water tower.

The PMs communications director Salim Lone says within a short time, Raila has eliminated propaganda spread against him.

The PMs politics is geared towards stability and he has brought that to the Government. This is a great achievement. He has restored confidence in the country, Lone says.

Grand Regency

In the Grand Regency sale, Salim says the PM was the first Government official to ask questions and demand answers.

The team the PM put together worked expeditiously and gave feedback to the public. When was the last time the Government acted so expeditiously on a major corruption issue? Lone asks.

Without doubt, he is making incremental headway. It is slow but it is there. It took a lot of courage for the PM to constitute that committee on Grand Regency, especially given that the President was abroad, he adds.

Given co-ordination and supervisory roles in the Government of more than 40 ministries while his office operates with just about four officials, the PM has carved out his space.

Somehow, the PM has turned his position, which some saw as a trap to finish him politically, into a serious office by sheer force of charm and determination to push his way and succeed.

Power has not gone into his head. We have not seen in him a changed person trying to look important. That is in some of his ministers, but not in himself, an MP said.

But some of his supporters fear he could have got in too fast, too early.

The disquiet around the centre has not gone to the grassroots. But the PM should find time to go to the people and keep touch with his traditional base regularly, an MP said.

There are also concerns the PMs leadership is lacking in the drive for a new constitution.

Yet among the diplomatic community particularly, he is seen to be best suited to champion the agenda

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Korir.API/Standard.ke

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Has the PM become too big such that accessibility to him has shrunk?

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

Leaders may promise as much as they want or wish when vying for office, but once in office, they become unaccessible to their confidants. This may happen due to responsibilities that come with the office.

Such change in a leader may affect future search for power. Now it is said that Raila after becoming PM has forgotten his people – the confidants. There may be no truth in this claim.

His confidants and ODM party members must grow up and understand that once their leader became PM in a coalition, he has to serve all and not be seen as ODM party PM. What will happen when in 2012 he may want to try and get the top seat is the question that may bother many? However, if the PM do a good balancing act, he will not have a problem in vying for presidency in 2012. (API)

Is power isolating the Prime Minister?

By Dennis Onyango

Prime Minister Raila Odingas growing stature along with increased workload as he settles in office was bound to alienate him from the company he loves – Orange leaders and followers.

But nothing could probably isolate him more than the logistical and teething challenges of his Treasury Building office, as well as the disjointed and disorganised nature of core staff.

It does not help matters that turf wars among the senior staff has not only thrown into shambles the gate keeping but could set off perception Raila shut doors on his backers once in office.

If it goes this far, it could be a factor in 2012 when for the third time he would bid for the State House job.

There is also worry in ODM some of his staff are barely useful to him.

Frustrated by undelivered telephone messages and unable to freely access Raila as they would when they went round the country selling the Peoples President, Orange Democratic Movement leaders discussed his inaccessibility at the National Executive Committee meeting on Thursday.

As the life around Raila appears to change, with many overseas trips and other official engagements clogging his diary, even some Cabinet ministers he seconded to the Grand Coalition complained it was no longer easy to reach him.

But they claim the problem is not the man but the shield those working for him have spurned around their boss. This issue is expected to feature at a dinner Rift Valley MPs plan for later this week.

The disorganised nature of Railas official staff, which is still skeletal, could be discerned on a Friday scheduled visit to his office by a top American diplomat. He waited for 30 minutes with his team of four and left without seeing any of Railas senior staff they were lined up to meet.

The deputy ambassador had an appointment to see the official at 11am on Friday. But at 10am, the official called the deputy ambassador and rescheduled the meeting for noon.

Five minutes to the appointed time, the deputy ambassador showed up with his team, waited for 30 minutes without word of where their host was. But one thing was certain; he was not in. They finally gave up and left.

Even Railas rivals acknowledge his capacity to re-engineer himself and his political career. That, largely, is the hope that currently sustains some diehard supporters of the PM who worry about the direction he is taking.

The PM was away as the US team visited. The Standard on Sunday established that the US team has been working on putting together a programme for a trade delegation the PM is to lead to the US in September. The team is also planning investment in social projects for Kibera in the PMs Langata constituency and was probably there for the two issues.

On Saturday, the PMs personal assistant Maj (Rtd) Mohammed Idris said he knew nothing of the meeting. He also denied claims the PM was being locked out from his people, including some ODM Cabinet ministers.

Railas strength

About seeing the PM, I dont think there are any difficulties. Unlike before when we used to deal with them directly, protocol has now changed. Diplomats now do their appointment with the PM through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Whenever we get request for appointments and we are committed, we say so and reschedule, Idris said.

Idris said there is a lot of demand for the PMs time. Irrespective of their political affiliation, a lot of people and organisations want to meet the PM. He tries to create time for everybody. By his nature, the PM likes meeting people. But he also has work to do. He has a mandate and at the end of his term, he would be judged not by how many people he met, but how much work he did for the country, he said.

For decades, the PM ran a political machine built on maintaining either direct contact with supporters or getting feedback from them through his aides and confidantes.

His is strength was in ability to speak to so many different people and remember what each said. That space has shrunk. The absence of those avenues is coming with some political cost. Railas constituency the youth, the restless and the disinherited feeling locked out, are drifting towards two people: Agriculture Minister William Ruto and Water Minister Charity Ngilu.

This was manifested during the PMs homecoming parties when the crowd objected to his attempt to explain the power sharing. The same crowd cheered the two ministers who are now seen to symbolise ODMs rebellious streak against President Kibaki, with whom they now serve one Cabinet.

The shift is not substantial yet. But there is an emerging pattern. Interviews with a number of politicians, including ODM Cabinet ministers, show worry the PM may be failing to strike a balance between his official and political responsibilities.

There is need for the PM to strike a balance between the intense demands on his time and the need to stay in touch with a significant group of his supporters, either directly or through a confidante, an ally who participated in his campaign said.

Power isolates even the most well-intentioned person. One of the challenges of power is how to fight isolation. The challenge is how to get a middle ground so you can meet your confidantes and reassure them, he added.

Politicians and technocrats who participated in the PMs election campaign say Railas supporters are looking for someone they can talk to or confide in and be sure that their messages reach him. They have no one.

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API. Standard.ke

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Man in court over hotel sale

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

Members of the team investigating the sale of the Grand Regency Hotel outside Chief Justice Evan Gicherus chambers after they were sworn in. They are, from left, Mr Wilfred Mati, Mr Kathurima MInoti, retired Chief Justice Abdul Cockar, Mr Anthony Ombwayo and Mr Charles arap Kirui. Photo/PAUL WAWERU

The controversy over the sale of the Grand Regency Hotel is far from over.

This time round a man has come out claiming he has been denied the chance to place his Sh15 billion bid for the five-star hotel. Mr Antony Cherogony has told the High Court that he was ready to place his bid if the hotel was subjected to the provisions of public procurement and disposal.

He believes the sale of the hotel to a Libyan company is illegal and ought to be quashed.

Seeking order

Mr Cherogony is suing Prime Minister Raila Odinga alongside Lands minister James Orengo and has listed the Commissioner of Lands, Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, Central Bank of Kenya and the Law Society of Kenya.

He is seeking an order to compel Mr Odinga to supervise and ensure that KACC and LSK investigate those involved in the transaction. He also wants LSK to investigate whether Wetangula, Adan & Makokha Advocates violated any of the societys rules by drawing up the sale agreement. Also sought is an order to quash the sale agreement between CBK and the Libyan firm.

Mr Cherogony based his application on grounds that the hotel is a public asset and its disposal was contrary to public policy.

At the same time, the members of a three-man committee appointed to lead investigations into the controversial sale of the hotel were sworn in on Monday. However, retired Chief Justice Abdul Majid Cockar, who is chairing the committee, said they would have to wait until the rules of procedure were gazetted to begin their hearings.

The swearing-in by Chief Justice Evan Gicheru was done in camera. The media were barred from accessing the CJs office. Mr Justice Cockar and his team will operate from the second floor of the Anniversary Towers in Nairobi. The committee has one month to complete its work.

Other members are Mr Kathurima MInoti, who is the chairman of the Law Reform Commission, and Mr Charles Kirui, a chartered accountant. State counsel Anthony Ombwayo was appointed secretary while lawyer Wilfred Mati was named counsel of the inquiry team.

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API/Nation.ke

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Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

Justice Minister Martha Karua address graduands during the 8th graduation ceremony at the Kenya Methodist University on Saturday. Karua said she was optimistic she would be able to market herself as a presidential candidate countrywide in 2012.PHOTO/CHARLES WANYORO

The battle for the presidency in 2012 seemed to go a notch higher on Saturday as Justice minister Martha Karua, who has declared her interest in the seat, dared other aspirants to crawl out of President Kibakis shadow and publicly declare their ambitions.

There are some people who want the seat but are hiding behind the President. Let them come out and face me in the competition, she said.

Speaking in Meru where she attended a graduation ceremony at the Kenya Methodist University yesterday, Ms Karua restated her resolve to vie for the presidency in 2012.It is now upon me to market myself to see if people receive and appreciate me, she said.

The minister, who is the Narc-Kenya, chairperson, said that PNU was not threatened in any way by her refusal to dissolve her party. You are the people who are dragging the President into these issues. The President is a democrat and I dont think he would be bothered, she said.

She said she would not step down for anybody in the Party of National Unity and expected a fair nomination for the presidency in 2012. Karua seemed to give a sneak of the intricate succession game that is playing out within PNU.

The minister denied that there was bad blood between her and other leaders who have shown interest in the presidency in 2012.

I respect Mr Uhuru Kenyatta and Prof (George) Saitoti and dont think declaring that we would be competing amounts to differences. Competition only enhances democracy, she said, when asked to comment on the apparent jostling for power within PNU. She however added that she did not expect to be handed the Narc-Kenya nomination on a silver platter.

Two weeks ago, while on a tour of Nyeri, President Kibaki called for an end to the succession debate, saying it was too early to start campaigning. The President later called for the dissolution of PNU constituent parties.

The Presidents confidants are said to have urged him to unite the PNU affiliate parties to ensure they rally behind one leader who would succeed him.

The President chaired a meeting of parties representatives at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), which is said to have been initiated by his advisers who have been holding meetings to lay out a plan for the post-Kibaki period. The meetings are held in State House, Mr Musyokas Jogoo House office, Harambee House and at an exclusive club in the outskirts of Nairobi.

Their aim is to pull PNU out of the confines of corporate membership and recruit individual members. The original plan was to have a merger of all political parties under the PNU umbrella.
But Narc Kenya, Ford Kenya and Democratic Party of Kenya opposed the plan and their leadership declared they had other plans for 2012.

Nominated MP Musikari Kombo, who is the Ford-K leader, argued that PNU was conceived as a coalition of parties and must retain its identity until 2012. He advised those planning to use it to attain power in the next elections to look for other options because some affiliate parties may seek new alliances.

If they want to groom anybody for future purposes, they can use any other party and not PNU, which is a party of political parties. Coalitions by their nature, I do hold, are not till-death-do-us-part kind of relationships. Ford Kenya will remain loyal to PNU, a partner, until 2012, he said.

This compelled the party to appoint a committee, chaired by Forestry minister Noah Wekesa, to work out a way acceptable even to the rebel parties.

According to insiders, the strategy entailed creation of a party structure with President Kibaki as the leader.

The report by the 15-member committed has proposed the same structure with the President as the patron of PNU while Mr Musyoka is to take the deputy leaders seat.

Other positions include that of chairman, which they expect to be taken up by an influential politician from Western Province while the two positions of vice-chairmen are to go to Mr Kenyatta and Prof Saitoti.

Others are Nominated MP George Nyamweya as secretary-general and assistant minister Cecily Mbarire as treasurer.

Ms Karua, who has fought many battles of President Kibaki, does not feature anywhere in the line-up. This is because the business community from Central Kenya is understood to object to her ambitions to lead the community in the post-Kibaki era.

On Saturday, the Justice minister made it clear that no one will stop her from vying for the presidency in the next polls and that she will not hide behind the president.

I have been unequivocal in what I want and I am not hiding like others. I am going for the presidency on a Narc-Kenya ticket, she said, adding that she will mobilise Kenyans to rally behind her.

I am confident that I will marshal enough support to lead this country. My gender has never been a problem and those who think they can capitalise on it are in for a shock, she said.

Sack her

Asked if she does not fear that the President could sack her for the position she has taken on the plans to unite PNU, she asked: How can he sack me for expressing my views freely?
Ive known him long enough as a democrat who lets people speak their minds freely, she added.

Assistant minister and Narc-K organising secretary Danson Mungatana has accused Dr Wekesa and Mr Nyamweya of attempting to write a script for PNU affiliate parties, which completed their job by pushing for the re-election of President Kibaki in 2007.

The manufacturers manual of the PNU car was to take Kibaki across the country and when he arrives in Nairobi, the affiliate parties were to disembark and go home. Its philosophy, grounding and destination was Kibaki, he said.

He added that Narc-K was determined to push ahead with its plans for 2012 with Ms Karua as its presidential aspirant and himself eyeing the prime ministers post. |He said the party would not be manipulated by their coalition partners.

People like Wekesa cannot sit together and tell us what is going to happen in 2012. We have decided that Karua will vie for the presidency and I have declared my interest in the prime ministers post, he said.

Mr Nyamweya, one of the main players in the drive to unite PNU affiliate parties, said: All parties are designed to outlive their founders and PNU is not an exception, given that President Kibaki will not seek another term in 2012. It is true that part of what we are dealing with has to do with succession.

Sources have indicated that either Mr Kenyatta or Prof Saitoti could be the choice of those behind the plan. However, Mr Nyamweya was categorical that they were not tailoring the party for Mr Kenyatta or any other person to contest the presidency in 2012.

It must be clear that we do not have a specific person in mind. They year 2012 is far and it is not possible to tell what kind of alliances will come up or if we will be around at that time, he said.

Another party, the new Grand National Union that is led by assistant minister Mwangi Kiunjuri and former MPs from the Mt Kenya region has also come into the picture.On Saturday, the Grand National Union concluded a two-day retreat at Naivasha Holiday Inn where members proposed that it could be the vehicle to be used in 2012 if PNU proves to be a hard nut to crack.

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Korir.API/ Source.nation.ke

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Invitation: The Mile 19 Community Leadership Retreat Follow-up Meeting, holding from July 29 to August 1, 2008, in Mile 19, Cameroon.

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

Dear All,

It’s a few days to the Mile 19 Community Leadership Retreat Follow-up Meeting, holding from July 29 to August 1, 2008, in Mile 19, Cameroon.

Notwithstanding immense challenges facing people in Mile 19, the Community is making strides to resolve its issues. They want to do better, and would be honoured to have you as their guest(s). You do not have to worry about feeding and accommodation, which the Community will provide. So all you need do is get yourself to Mile 19 for the Meeting. If you have not already registered to attend the Meeting, you can do so online now, at: www.m19.eitdr.org/registeronline.htm.

The Mile 19 Meeting provides a wonderful opportunity to witness and engage a very affordable, inclusive, replicable and scalable intervention partnership development model at work. Resource rich countries, such as Cameroon, can and must be required to do more than achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Mile 19 Community example shows how this is possible with important and urgent reform agendas that need all our support.

I was able to talk about the Mile 19 example, its development paradigm significance and reform implications in governance and education, at the Fifth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open and Distance Learning (PCF5) that just held in London July 13-17, 2008. The paper can be accessed online via this link: http://www.wikieducator.org/ images/e/e6/PID_288.pdf

I am looking forward to getting feedback from you, and it will be great to see you in Mile 19 if you can make it there.

With great regards,

Mbwoge Daniel
Director, EITD Research
(Research for Enterprise, Industries, Technology and Development)
P.O. Box 168 Kumba. South West Province, Cameroon
Tel: (237) 33354623/77662395
Email:
info@eitdr.org Website: www.eitdr.org

From: info@eitdr.org
To: info@eitdr.org
Subject: Mile 19 Community Leadership Retreat Follow-up Meeting – Invitation
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2008 00:41:36 +0100

EITD Research               EITD Research Homepage       Contact EITD Research

Exhibition, Workshop, Seminar and Conference Services Contact Us

Mile 19 Community

3rd Leadership Retreat Follow-up Meeting

Tuesday July 29 to Friday August 1, 2008

Invitation

Dear Sir/Madam,

It is my honour to invite you to attend the forthcoming 3rd Mile 19 Community Leadership Retreat Follow-up Meeting holding in Mile 19, Tombel-Kumba Road, Cameroon, from Tuesday July 29 to Friday August 1, 2008. As you can see from the programme, this very important meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing our community and world today, to observe our continuing engagement with our community, and contribute to freeing society from corruption in democratic governance and economic development.

With record attendance expected, I want to assure you that we will do all we can to secure accommodation for you. Every family in Mile 19, for example, is prepared to host at least one Meeting participant free of charge. Similar negotiations are ongoing with neighbouring villages to secure quality accommodation for participants on a first-come, first served basis even as priority will be given to very important personalities (VIPs) and those coming from far away. Come live with us, experience our way of life and hospitality.

More information is available on the Meeting website. If you have any questions or special events organization suggestions or proposals, please feel free to call the attention of our Organizing Committee at (237) 7766-2395 or email mile19@eitdr.org.

Let me thank you in advance for the time and other resources you will take to make this Meeting the great success it promises to be.

I look forward to seeing you in Mile 19.

Yours sincerely,

Ndobe Solomon Metome

Regent, Mile 19.

Published by African Press International – API

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Can President Bush be next at the ICC?

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

The decision by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, to charge the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir with genocide and war crimes continues to stir controversy with critics saying that the requested indictment sets a dangerous precedent. It is the first time that the Hague-based court issues charges against a sitting head of state. Moreno-Ocampo charged on July 14 that President al-Bashir waged a campaign of extermination against three Darfur tribes, the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa that has allegedly claimed up to 300,000 lives and displaced more than 2.2 million people since the conflict erupted in February 2003. Sudan claims that 10,000 have been killed.

Moreno-Ocampo filed 10 charges against al-Bashir for masterminding a campaign of extermination and rape specifically targeting three Darfuri tribes. The charges include three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of war crimes.

On 31 March 2005, the UN Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, adopted Resolution 1593, referring “the situation in Darfur since 1 July 2002” to the prosecutor of the ICC.

In May 2007, the ICC issued arrest warrants for two Sudanese suspects, Ahmed Harun, the current Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, and Ali Kushayb, a militia leader. The arrest warrants refer to crimes allegedly committed between August 2003 and March 2004 in the Darfur region. The ICC urged the Sudanese government to arrest them both and to hand them over to the Court. The government of Sudan, however, announced the suspension of all its cooperation with the ICC in March 2007, refusing to surrender the men. Sudan, which is not a party to the ICC, argues that the court has no jurisdiction over the case and that the matter relates to the Sudanese judicial system.

Although Sudan is not a signatory to the ICC, UN Security Council Resolution 1593 obligates Sudan to fully cooperate with the Court and to provide any necessary assistance to it and its prosecutors.

The reaction to the ICC’s requested indictment of President al-Bashir was mixed.

Sudan’s ambassador to the UN, Abdal Mahmood Abdal Haleem Mohamed, told Press TV on July 9th that the ICC is perpetuating ‘insurgency’ in Sudan as the Darfur rebels would not enter into talks with a government branded ‘criminal’.

US President George W. Bush, whose country is not a member of the ICC, offered only an ambivalent reaction. He said he wanted to see how an international prosecutor’s arrest warrant for al-Bashir “plays out.”

Bush also warned that Khartoum could face more sanctions. Observers say the US administration is reluctant to take steps that lend legitimacy to a court whose jurisdiction it has questioned and whose treaty it refuses to sign.

“The requested indictment marks a major step forward in international justice,” said Jean-Marie Fardeau, head of the NGO Human Rights Watch France. Fardeau believes the indictment against a serving president indicates the end of impunity for world leaders.

Ayman El-Amir, a former correspondent for the Al-Ahram in Washington says the ICC decision may be a blessing in disguise for the multi-ethnic population who have endured untold suffering.

Many critics have said that the decision by the ICC prosecutor was influenced by political intents. At a July 17 UN press conference, part of a series of events held at the UN to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Rome Statute establishing the court in 1998, Moreno-Ocampo rejected charges that it was a politically motivated decision to ask the court for an arrest warrant for al-Bashir just in time for the 10th anniversary celebration of the court.

The decision stirred negative reactions specifically in the Arab and African countries not only because it could derail the already fragile peace talks in the troubled region of Darfur but also for its repercussions for Sudan’s sovereignty and the dangerous precedent it sets.

The African Union (AU) expressed “concern” over the consequences for the shaky peace process in Sudan.

In an emergency meeting on July 19th, the Arab League foreign ministers criticized the ICC move as unbalanced, saying it would undermine the country’s sovereignty. In a strongly-worded statement, the Arab League voiced solidarity with Sudan “in confronting schemes that undermine its sovereignty, unity and stability and their non-acceptance of the unbalanced, not objective position of the prosecutor general of the Internal Criminal Court”. Djibouti Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssef, who chaired the meeting, criticized the decision by the ICC prosecutor as “double standards” adopted by the international community. He said “the world watches Palestinian suffering without moving” to end it.

The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) also warned that the indictment of al-Bashir could further complicate the already tense situation in Darfur.

Former Algerian President Ahmed Ben Bella has said that the charges could be “an unconstitutional way of pushing aside a head of state.”

China expressed “grave concern and misgivings about the ICC prosecutor’s indictment of the Sudanese leader.” Expressing concerns over the internal ramifications of the move for Sudan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said, “The ICC’s actions must be beneficial to the stability of the Darfur region and appropriate settlement of the issue, not contrary.”

Others, including the spokesman for the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, Nsereko Mutumba believe the ICC move “is another US-driven and economically-motivated move to steal Sudan’s oil resources.”

Algerian daily Algerie-News wrote, “The International Criminal Court is charging the Sudanese president… But what is it doing about the other crimes committed in the world and those carried out by the American administration in Iraq.”

The ICC’s proposed indictment of al-Bashir also gives ammunition to critics of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who say war crimes and massive human rights violations have been committed in these two countries as a result of the US invasion. They rightly argue that the casualty and refugee figures dwarf those of Darfur. They also argue that the ICC decision is a reflection of double standards and a Western-model of universal justice. Roland Marchal, an expert on Sub-Saharan Africa at the French-based CNRS research center says “The developing world sees the ICC and Western law as unrelentingly hounding the (African) continent.”

The events in Palestine are a blatant example of such duplicity. Violence and crimes against Palestinians have continued in the past several decades. The siege on Gaza and its 1.5 million population has not elicited an appropriate response from the international community, especially the UN security Council.

L. Ali Khan, Professor of Law at the Washburn University School of Law says the ICC ignores “the crimes” of Western leaders and generals.

“The ICC has so far shown no interest in prosecuting President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and State Secretary Colin Powell for the crimes they planned, organized, incited, and committed with the help of lethal weapons in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Ali Khan says.

A majority (over 62%) of 2382 respondents surveyed in an online Press TV poll said the ICC should first hear the case of President Bush’s war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Paul Craig Roberts, who was a US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, says he wonders why Pres. al-Bashir is picked by the ICC from the assortment of war criminals. He asks, “Is it because Sudan is a powerless state, and the International Criminal Court hasn’t the courage to name George W. Bush and Tony Blair as war criminals.”

Moreno-Ocampo’s office reported in February 2006, that it had received 240 communications in connection with the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 which alleged that various war crimes had been committed. In response to the communications, Moreno-Ocampo explained that the legality of the invasion was not within his competence because crimes against peace have not yet been incorporated into the Rome Statute; and that in the other cases none of them were of ‘sufficient gravity’ to warrant forwarding to the ICC. He, however, did not explain what level of gravity the cases should have to allow them to be brought up at the ICC.

Michael Kelly of Creighton University School of Law asks, “Now that Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has been indicted for war crimes, could George W. Bush be next?”

Kelly says the American exceptionalism is more the rule than the exception in modern international law.

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African Press International-API/Daryoush Bavar, PressTV, Tehran

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Suez Global LNG expresses interest to invest in Cameroon

Posted by African Press International on July 28, 2008

By Tansa Musa

YAOUNDE, July 26 – Suez Global LNG intends to invest in Cameroon’s petroleum and energy sectors, its CEO Philip Olivier told state television (CRTV) in YaoundeFriday evening after emerging from an audience with President Paul Biya.

“Cameroon possesses enormous resources that are very attractive toour company,” he said.

”Geographically, it is located in the Gulf of Guinea and is the main access into Central Africa.It has huge hydraulic and gas potentials for industrial development…We are currently carrying out studies for investments in the energy infrastructures sector with SNH (Cameroon’s Socit National des Hydrocarbures).”

He said Suez Global LNG, with a capital of 55 billion euros,employs some 200,000 people in five continentsand isresponsible for the SuezGroup’s energy activities outside Europe.

Its mission is to develop and to manage electricity and gas projects and to offer tailor-made energy solutions to industry and commercial customers.(END)

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API

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