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Archive for July 29th, 2008

Kibaki’s support for sports in the country will help in strenghtening young talents

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

Government cash awards for medalists doubled

Written By:PPS

Caption: President Mwai Kibaki in a group photograph with the Kenyan Team to the Beijing Olympics Games after he presented the National Flag to them at State House, Nairobi.

Kenyan Gold medalists in the forthcoming Beijing Olympic Games in China shall earn Shs 750,000 while Silver and Bonze medalists shall earn Shs 500,000 and Shs 250,000 respectively.

President Mwai Kibaki made the announcement Mondayat State House, Nairobi during a colourful occasion to hand over the National Flag to Kenya’s National Team to the 29th edition of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

During the occasion the Head of State also announced far-reaching programmes to revamp the sports industry to provide lucrative career opportunities to sportsmen and women in the country.

He revealed that plans to establish an International Sports Academy as a flagship project under the Vision 2030 were underway in order to prepare athletes to cope with the ever-increasing demand for excellence and offer specialized training for the local athletes.

Other measures unveiled to promote sports include establishment of a National Sports Lottery to generate funds to drive various sports programmes in all parts of the country an initiative the President directed the concerned ministry to give top priority.

The government has also directed the ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to ensure that the recently allocated 210 million shillings for constituency sports development was efficiently utilized to tap and nurture more talent.

President Kibaki observed, “The purpose of investing in such projects is to enable the Government provide a suitable environment for our young and talented sportsmen and women to train in order to sharpen their skills so as to become internationally competitive.”

The government will also be building modern sports facilities in each of the country’s provincial headquarters.

He further appreciated the role of sports in promoting good health and providing invaluable recreation for citizens adding that the industry promotes patriotism and national cohesiveness by availing forums for communities as well as individuals to interact freely.

President Kibaki assured the national team that the Government had allocated enough resources through the Ministry of Youth and Sports to cater for all logistics in terms of equipment, uniforms, air tickets, accommodation and upkeep allowances.

He said, “In this regard, let me assure you that my government fully supports you. We have, for instance, set aside over 100 million shillings to prepare and facilitate your participation in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Commending the team members for their individual painstaking effort to earn a slot in the hotly contested national qualifying events, President Kibaki urged the team to remain focused during the entire competition period in order to translate their hard and rigorous training into a harvest of medals.

“The Olympic Games have evolved into one of the most highly recognized sports event globally. As you travel to Beijing to compete in the games, I urge you to bear in mind that you are participating at the very top of sports achievement,” noted the President.

During the occasion the Head of State emphasized the role of sports in the modern society adding it was the key reason for the Government to initiate bold steps to strengthen the sports industry by steadily increasing funding and expanding investments in sports facilities.

Thanking the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in conjunction with stakeholders for their efforts to promote sports in the country, President Kibaki noted that Kenya’s unrivalled achievements in sports are as a result of the dedication of sports persons and the technical staff who have defied many challenges.

The President noted, “Among the athletes gathered here today, there are those who are ready to take over from the older generation and continue to raise the flag of our nation high. This succession is what has made Kenya a consistent high-flyer in sports.”

Thanking the coaches for the superior preparation they have given to the team President Kibaki also commended all sponsors and volunteers for their support to the team to ensure that the legacy of Kenya’s legendary sportsmen and women will never fade.

He reassured the team that the attention and prayers of all Kenyans were with them adding the entire country shall break into celebration whenever they earned medals.

Addressing the same occasion Youth Affairs and Sports Minister, Prof Hellen Sambili thanked President Kibaki for institutionalizing cash awards to sportsmen which has tremendously boosted their morale.

Kenya will be participating in five disciplines during the Beijing Olympics namely Athletics, Boxing, Tae Kwon-Do, Rowing and Swimming.

During the occasion Kenya’s representatives to the recently concluded World Junior Championships held in Poland were honoured with cash awards for their sterling performance in which they finished as number three out of over 180 countries that participated in the championships.

Other speakers during the occasion were Chef De-Mission to the Olympics, Mr David Okeyo and Chairman, National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK).

In attendance were the Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Internal Security Minister, Prof George Saitoti, Education Minister Prof Sam Ongeri and Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Amb. Francis Muthaura among other senior government and corporate officials.

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Korir.API/Kbc.ke

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The Ngoma Africa Band To Thrill Fans at Frankfurt Afro-Caribbean Festival

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

The Ngoma Africa Band Will Thrill Fans at biggest festivals in major three cities!

On 9th August 2007 stage an Open air African-Caribbean festival at Robestock ParkFrankfurt City, where thousands of fans arewaiting to shake their bodies with extraordinary Rhythm Tanzanian”bongo dance” Live and direct with most popular “the Ngoma africa band.
On August 29 the band will shake audience at biggest Africa Festival at Hamburg City and 30 August 2008 at Africa Festival Krefeld.
Bandleader Ebrahim Makunja a.k.a Ras Makunja will lead the band which has also been named “The Golden Voice of East Africa” With many multi-talented musicians like soloist Christian Bakotessa a.k.a Chris-B. They will present hot swahili songs from Tanzania and neighbouring East African contries.
The Band is famous by driving fans crazythrough its “extraordinary rhythms”
Ngoma Africa band new hit “Apache Wacha Pombe” (apache stopdrinking alcohol”)
continues to dominate International airwaves in East Africa and Europe.

From Makunja Ebrahim and msemakweli2007

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Published by Korir, Chief Editor, African Press International – API

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African business forum to take place in October 20 – 21 at Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

The forum is organised bythe company, Titlas Inc. with offices in Dubai,
Lagos, London and Miami USA. WWW.TITLAS.COM.

The purpose of the forum is to bring together Ministers of Trade and
Industry from African Countries. The forum also targets the Executive Business People from Africa.

The gathering will enable them to meet with their Counterpartsin Dubai. A conference of this kind is good for the development in the African Continent and will help create much more needed healthy working relationship among nations in Africa and the Arab world.

The Conference is supported by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and
African Embassiesbased in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

For information, please get to the website, www.abfdubai2008.

For details, contact:

Karen Ndisha Mtambo,
Event Coordinator.

Tel: +97142280442,
Fax: +971 4 2280443,
Mob: +971501583301.
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Published by Korir, Chief Editor, African Press International – API

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CNN show “Being Black in America”.

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

Many African Americans have expressed their disappointment with the CNN show”Being Black in America”. Many complain that the show merely reinforced many of the negative stereotypes about we Black people. However in reality shouldwe reallyhaveexpected the show tocontradict its previousdeplorable negative imagery of us that it so routinely depicts before the entire world ?

Should wehave actually expected the program tocontradict –therefore countering the affects–of itsgovernment’s ongoingmass media psychosocial treatment of we Black peoplethat is deliberately used to renderconfusion, self hatred, self loath, disunity ,and profound feelings of hopelessness among our race as a means of ensuring that its white dominance and control is maintained.
The national media is corporate owned and government controlled and its negative stereotypical portrayal of African Americans is an important deliberated factor within their mass propaganda driven psychosocial program.This immense social engineering programis 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 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.
The U.S. Government has an extensive 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. Given that the nineteen sixties were a period of massive black rebellion and unrest that eroded the American global image and increasingly placed the nations peace and stability in dire jeopardy 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.
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.
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 overrepresentation 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.
When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions.
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, but it also provides a more socially acceptable way to assure that the masses of African Americans remains the most racially devalued and most economical exploited and suppressed group in America. The medias constant, fraudulently inaccurate, negative 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 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 governmental psychological conditioning program stripped African Americans of the national and international support that was acquired during the 1960’s civil rights struggles. It 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 present despairing state of Black America is neither a baffling phenomenon nor the result of some divine ethnic curse, but is rather instead the result of the White elites innate proclivity for reinventing devious methods to suppress its Black population.
The objective of the United States government has always been to maintain its White dominance and control over its Black population, and clearly, psychological warfare meets this need. It was the logical choice because it covertly provided the U.S. Government with a far more sophisticated, proficient, and socially accepted means of covertly controlling and suppressing its Black population. 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.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 that included many devious strategies and methods that prevented Blacks from becoming registered voters. And let us not forget the horrific Tuskegee experiments where of in which from1932 and 1972, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) conducted dangerous syphilis experiments on four hundred Black men. These men were deliberately left to degenerate painfully under the ravishes of the disease with symptoms including blindness, tumors, paralysis, insanity and death to allow the U.S. Government to collect the needed data from their autopsies. And let us also not forgetof the CIAs involvement in flooding the Black communities of Los Angeles with drugs and high powered weaponry and then disseminated these drugs and weaponry to many African American communities throughout the United States destroying the lives of millions of African Americans while stimulating the economy through the prison industry. The historic and demonstrative evidence overwhelmingly reflects the reality that the U.S. government does manifest a proclivity for reinventing devious methods to suppress 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.
When the truth comes along and you know in your bones that its the truth yet you still refuse to accept and defend it you then really begin to die.
THE BLACK MATRIX:
THE MODERN CONTINUED MENTAL AND SOCIAL SUPPRESSION OF AFRICAN AMERICANS UNDER NATIONAL INTEREST 2006, 2008
by Franklin G. Jones
Our lives began to end when we stopped speaking up for the things that matter
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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API

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Farmers mad at government

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

Norway’s farm lobby was crying the blues on Monday after Norwegian negotiators went along with calls for cuts in protective tariffs at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over the weekend. Many farmers still hoped the WTO summit would end with no international agreement.

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stre has been trying to negotiate a WTO agreement in Geneva this week.

PHOTO: TRYGVE MELLVANG-BERG/SCANPIX

Stre’s government colleague Lars Peder Brekk, the agriculture minister, may have some explaining to do.

PHOTO: SVEIN ERIK FURULUND

Officials within the small Center Party, which traditionally represents farmers’ interests, were angry with one of their own, Lars Peder Brekk.

He now serves as Norway’s agriculture minister, and several party colleagues implied he’d sold out their interests at the WTO meeting in Geneva.

That was after Norway’s left-centre government coalition, of which Brekk is a member, had accepted proposed tariff cuts.

The cuts will likely lead to more and cheaper imports of foreign products into Norway, thus threatening the Norwegian farmers’ expensive hold on the domestic market.

Farming advocates have claimed the tariff cuts will threaten thousands of farms within Norway. Brekk has said that’s exaggerated, and has gone along with Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stre’s support for a WTO deal.

“I’ve been very surprised over what’s been happening,” the head of the Center Party in Nordland told newspaper Nationen. “Brekk better have a good explanation for this.”

Olaf Godli of a group representing small farmers demanded that Norway reject any agreement that would cut subsidies and tariffs.

Brekk has said the deal under discussion in Geneva would still protect 70 to 80 percent of Norwegian agricultural production. Talks were in a critical and decisive phase on Monday.

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Korir.API/Aftenposteneng

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Franchises sue McDonald’s

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

All 56 franchise holders of McDonald’s restaurants in Norway are suing the national organization McDonald’s Norge. They’re unhappy about high maintenance and insurance costs they’re being forced to pay.

Holders of McDonald’s franchises in Norway aren’t happy.

“This isn’t exactly a Happy Meal,” one of the franchise holders in Kristiansand told newspaper Dagens Nringsliv (DN) on Monday.

The conflict centers around the money that franchise owners must pay to McDonald’s Norge for exterior maintenance and insurance.

Alf Flrnes, one of the few franchise holders willing to speak publicly despite the franchises’ fear of reprisal from McDonald’s management, said he only was given 30 minutes to read and sign his 50-page franchise contract, which was written in Danish. Now he and others claim McDonald’s Norge is “squeezing” them while refusing to negotiate.

“It’s not the McDonald’s system there’s anything wrong with, it’s how the management in Norway operates,” claimed Flrnes.

McDonald’s Norge officials refused to comment to DN, as did McDonalds lawyer.

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Korir.API/Aftenposteneng

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Lufthansa downplays strike

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

A strike by Lufthansa ground and cabin staff over pay has barely disrupted flights to and from German airports, the airline claimed on Monday. Lufthansa shares many routes with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), but early morning flights from Oslo and Bergen weren’t affected.

Lufthansa said their flights were leaving on time, at least so far.

PHOTO: DANIEL ROLAND / AP

Airports and passengers were bracing for delays and cancellations later in the day, however, as effects of the strike were expected to spread.

Tens of thousands of air passengers had faced travel chaos because of the strike by the Verdi union, which started at midnight Sunday. It had threatened to hit support areas from catering and cargo to maintenance and repairs.

Lufthansa officials, however, said that “almost 100 percent” of the airline’s flights were flying on time despite planned walkouts at several of Germany’s largest airports, including international hubs Frankfurt and Hamburg.

Union spokesmen said the effects of the strike were “likely to grow in the course of the day and in coming days.” Verdi, which represents 52,000 air industry workers, wants a 9.8 percent pay rise for one year. Lufthansa, Europe’s second-largest airline by passenger numbers, is offering 6.7 percent over 21 months and a one-time payment.

Lufthansa is one of SAS’ many partners in the Star Alliance frequent flyer program, and many SAS passengers are often booked on Lufthansa flights when making international connections. It remained unclear whether those flights would be disrupted.

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API/Aftenposteneng

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Three more arrested after asylum center attack

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

Police were holding three more Chechen men on Monday after they allegedly returned to an asylum center south of Oslo that was the target of an attack last week. A total of eight Chechens are now charged, while several Kurdish men involved in the attack face deportation.

Two of those caught in the attack on the asylum center said the Chechens went from room to room, beating Kurds with clubs and other weapons.

PHOTO: SCANPIX

Several residents were prevented from returning to their rooms, and many were in despair.

PHOTO: KYRRE LIEN/SCANPIX

Police continue to patrol the grounds of the Nordbybrten asylum center in Vler, after conflicts among residents led first to a brawl and then an attack by as many as 40 Chechen men from outside the center.

Eight persons were being held early Monday, but six were later released by a local court. The assault charges against them remain, and the two others face a custody hearing Tuesday morning.

Newspaper Aftenposten reported over the weekend that the violence apparently stemmed from a fight on Wednesday between Kurdish and Chechen women living at the center. Two Chechen women reportedly were annoyed that a fellow Kurdish asylum seeker allowed her two-year-old child to run around the center with shoes that made noise.

The Chechen women complained that their own children were being kept awake, and a fight broke out between the Chechens and the Kurds. Another refugee from central Africa attempted to break them up, but then one of the Chechen women called her brothers who lived in Oslo. They headed for the center.

Meawhile, some Kurdish men confronted and beat one of the Chechen women. That inflamed the other Chechens, and on Thursday night several arrived at the center, broke in and attacked any Kurdish refugees they could find, both men, women and children. It took around an hour before police arrived, “much too long,” according to one resident from Liberia.

Tensions have long been high at the center, which houses many residents due to be deported because their asylum applications have been rejected. Frustrations can run high, and the center at Vler is relatively large, housing up to 250 persons from all over the world.

Many have come arrived directly from wars in their homelands, they have different religious backgrounds, living conditions are crowded and stress levels high.

The combination of many people with little to do, few staff members, crowded conditions and fresh memories of violence back home can lead to more violence at the asylum center, warns Berit Berg, a researcher affiliated with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitetet, NTNU).

Other refugees from Chechnya who earlier won asylum in Norway worry that the violence last week can spark new prejudice and hurt their reputation. “There’s no reason why Chechens and Kurds should be fighting,” said Mouslim Kourakaev of a Chechen youth group in Oslo.

Other Chechens said they don’t condone the violence, but understand it. “In our culture it’s completely unacceptable for anyone to touch a woman they don’t know,” said Ibja-Shapi Shaihi, who joined around 50 other Chechens in an Oslo park on Sunday. He blamed the Kurds for setting off the brawl.

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Korir.API/Aftenposteneng

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Madona’s health reportedly deteroriating – Is it due to African Vodoo?

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

Superstar Madona

It has been reported that Modona’s health has deteroriated and doctors have not revealed what might be the cause.

Madona adopted an african boy from Malawi amid controversy and in the African way of looking at it there may be a curse from the village where she took the child from.

This, however, is only speculation, but unless doctors can say what it is that is causing Madona’s health to deteroriate, many may choose to believe that African vodoos may have taken action on the popular woman who made it to the African village and adopted a child without the blessing of many people in the region.

Madona is known for high-life partying and at times shocking behaviour in the world of fame.

Her choice of Africa when she decided to adopt a child has been criticised as misconceived by many who had a hope that if she wanted to help, the best way was either build an orphanage for the many kids that suffer the same fate as the boy she adopted from the area.

Her adoption has been characterised as that of a person who is selfish and one who used the adoption to continue building her image within the famous male-female circles.

Related story:Malawian Judge to rule on Madonnas adoptioncase!

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Korir/African Press International – API

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Kiir to run for Sudan president

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

KHARTOUM, Sunday – Sudans former southern rebels said today their leader would run for the presidency in elections due next year under a landmark 2005 peace deal which ended Africas longest civil war.

Sudans north-south civil war ended with an accord that shared power and wealth, created a semi-autonomous south Sudan, and envisaged democratic elections and a southern vote on secession by 2011.

The southern Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) joined the national government and its head, Salva Kiir, became first vice president.

The SPLM has officially decided to contest the elections on all levels including the presidents position, senior SPLM official Yasir Arman told Reuters after an SPLM leadership meeting lasting several days.

He said Mr Kiir would be nominated for the presidency.

The SPLM has registered tens of thousands of members in northern Sudan but some in the north say Kiir does not spend enough time in Khartoum. (Reuters)

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API/Nation.ke.reuters

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Malagasy leader visiting Gabon Monday

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

President Marc Ravalomanana of Madagascar was due on Monday in Gabon for a working and friendly visit, the state protocol revealed here in a statement.

According to the second Gabonese broadcast RTG2, the agenda of this visit centres on how to boost the cooperation between Gabon and Madagascar.

The two leaders may also taclke the crisis in the Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) as Senegal and Madagascar threaten to withdraw from the organisation.

President Bongo had already met his counterparts Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and Marc Ravalomanana of Madagascar on the issue on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia.

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API/APA

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AU urges Ivorian parties to prepare for peaceful election

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union has called on all actors in the Cote dIvoire peace process to work towards holding a peaceful presidential election come 30 November.

The call was made at the weekend following the PSC meeting held late on Thursday in at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Shortly before that meeting, the Council had received a briefing on the implementation of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement and the Additional Agreements, from the AU Special Representative to Cote dIvoire, Ambassador Ambroise Nyonsaba.

The AU expressed satisfaction over the progress made concerning the funding of the electoral process and encouraged all concerned actors to do their utmost to resolve the logistical problems.

It indicated that while striving to hold a free and fair election, it will be essential to avoid a pre-election and post-election crisis .

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API/APA

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AU urges Ivorian parties to prepare for peaceful election

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union has called on all actors in the Cote dIvoire peace process to work towards holding a peaceful presidential election come 30 November.

The call was made at the weekend following the PSC meeting held late on Thursday in at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Shortly before that meeting, the Council had received a briefing on the implementation of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement and the Additional Agreements, from the AU Special Representative to Cote dIvoire, Ambassador Ambroise Nyonsaba.

The AU expressed satisfaction over the progress made concerning the funding of the electoral process and encouraged all concerned actors to do their utmost to resolve the logistical problems.

It indicated that while striving to hold a free and fair election, it will be essential to avoid a pre-election and post-election crisis .

————–

API/APA

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Bush justifies expanded sanctions against Zimbabwe

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

President Bush has said he has endorsed expanded sactions against the regime of Zimbabwes President Robert Mugabe and his supporters because no regime should ignore the will of its own people and calls from the international community without consequences.”

“I have signed a new Executive Order that expands our sanctions against the illegitimate Government of Zimbabwe, he said at the weekend, adding, the new Executive Order significantly enhances our ability to designate individuals in and entities connected to the Mugabe regime.

Under the new Executive Order, the Treasury Department will designate several of these government-controlled entities.

Mr. Bush said that this action was the result of Mugabes regime disregarding calls from the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, and the United Nations to halt the attacks.

“Should ongoing talks in South Africa between Mugabes regime and the Movement of Democratic Change result in a new government that reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people, the United States stands ready to provide a substantial assistance package, development aid, and normalization with international financial institutions,” he added.

The American President then authorized the use of up to $2.5 million from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund to assist Zimbabwean refugees and asylum seekers who have been displaced due to the ongoing violence in their country.

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API/APA

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Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2008

President Thabo Mbeki said on Sunday that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir must not be prosecuted for war crimes, for fear of upsetting the peace process in Darfur.

Mbeki said Bashirs continued presence as head of state was also required to assist Sudans general post-civil war security.

“It is important that both of those processes should proceed and both of them require the very active participation of President Bashir,” Mbeki told South African public television in an interview given on Sunday in Bordeaux, France.

Mbeki is in France to attend a European Union-South Africa summit.

Mbeki, criticised on the international stage for being soft on Zimbabwes President Robert Mugabe during formal mediation over the political crisis there, told SABC-TV, he was ready to meet with Bashir to discuss the consequences of ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampos call last week for judges to issue a warrant for Bashirs arrest.

Moreno-Ocampo accuses Bashir of instructing his forces to annihilate three non-Arab ethnic groups in Darfur, masterminding murder, torture, pillaging and the use of rape to commit genocide.

A decision could take several months, but if granted it would be the first warrant issued by The Hague-based court against a sitting head of state.

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API/APA

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