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Archive for August 22nd, 2008

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

PM Raila Odinga visits the Ministry of State for Public Services stand at the Kenya Public Service week exhibition at the KICC, Nairobi on Wednesday. The PM has hinted that the retirement age for civil servants could rise. Photo/JOSEPH MATHENGE

ByKENNETH OGOSIA

In Summary

  • Raila hints backing for calls to increase age to 60 announced by Public Commission head.
  • PM warns civil servants against corruption, nepotism and incompetence.
  • Says that the Government will face public disaffection if transparency and accountability are not observed.

Civil servants retirement age could rise to 60 years if a recommendation by the Public Service Commission is implemented.

Its chairman, Mr Titus Gateere, announced on Wednesday that the PSC supports calls to increase the retirement age from the current 55 years to 60, a move that Prime Minister Raila Odinga also seems to back.

While launching the second annual Public Service Week, Mr Odinga said: You heard what Mr Gateere said… pay keen attention to it.

The PM warned civil servants to toe the line by avoiding corruption, nepotism and incompetence.

Even if you are my own brother and you cant deliver on the services, I have no reason but to kick you out. The Government is well balanced and nobody should say because this factory is in our place, the chief executive officer must come from here. Lets rise above cheap thinking, he said in apparent reference to recent calls made by some Coast MPs over the running of Kenya Ports Authority.

Zero tolerance

We want to ensure that the Government operates with zero tolerance to corruption, he added.

Mr Odinga urged the public to shun giving bribes to civil servants, citing the rampant practise in the Police Force and Provincial Administration as a worrying trend which needs to come to an end.

He said that the Government will face public disaffection if transparency and accountability are not observed.

Kenyans have proven to us that they know their power and have the ability to throw out not only MPs, but even a whole government, he explained.

He said Government services must reflect what the people seek and that the era when the Government was King was long gone.

The heavy-handed, top-down approach is no longer tenable, he added.

The theme of this years Public Service Week is: The Citizens Service Delivery Charter.

The charters provide essential information needed to understand the functions and services of all public institutions. With this information, wananchi will be in a position to hold the Government to account.

The PM explained that this years theme had gone a step further of last years theme: Huduma Bora ni Haki Yako (quality service is your right) by clearly defining what Huduma Bora (quality service) is.

He said civil servants had a major role to play as the Government embarked on building the economy. And while we will never be able to deliver everything we are required to, discourtesy and lethargy are unacceptable in the civil service, he said.

Mr Odinga also said that the Public Complaints Standing Committee, which he launched recently, would help build institutional complaint handling capacity to strengthen public sector institutions and improve delivery of public services.

He said that the Government still performed poorly in areas such as technology adoption, which is the trend worldwide.

Mr Odinga thanked all civil servants for embracing and championing reforms which have changed the face of the public service.

Performance contracting, he said, had brought the country at par with the best in the continent. We want to aim even higher and be rated with the best in the world, Mr Odinga added.

Staff training

He said training of staff to improve professional skills, continuous revision of salaries and meritorious promotions will be enhanced.

The launch was also attended by several Cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries and top Government officials. Similar functions are also being carried out in the districts.

Mr Odinga toured the exhibition stalls of all ministries and parastatals showing their performance standards.

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ICC prosecutor reviewing Georgia conflict for war crimes – Will he touch the white European leaders as he does with black African leaders

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

ICC prosecutor reviewing Georgia conflict for war crimes
Abigail Salisbury at 1:40 PM ET

Photo source or description

[JURIST] International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] announced [press release] on Wednesday that his office is reviewing allegations [Reuters report] that war crimes have been committed during the recent conflict over Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia [BBC report]. On Monday, Russian officials had expressed their intent to file a complaint [JURIST report] against Georgia with the ICC, and said that their government is considering filing another complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website]. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also called for Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to be tried for war crimes before the ICC. Last week, Georgia filed a complaint [text, PDF; press release, PDF] against Russia with the ICJ, alleging that invading Russian troops have also engaged in the murder, rape and mass displacement of civilians [JURIST report].

Moreno-Ocampo has recently come under heavy criticism for his prosecutorial tactics and choices. Earlier this week, the president of Human Rights Watch [official website], mediation advisors, and other NGO leaders expressed doubt regarding his judgment [The Guardian report; JURIST report] and concern that his behavior could threaten the credibility of the court. Moreno-Ocampo has also received sharp criticism from both the League of Arab States (LAS) and the African Union (AU) [official websites] for his decision to seek the arrest [JURIST report] of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile, JURIST news archive]. In June, a Sudanese ambassador was quoted as calling Moreno-Ocampo a “terrorist” [JURIST report].

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Published by Korir, Chief Editor – African Press International – API /Source.jurist – legal news research

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Mps adopt draft amendments to revolutionise parliament

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Written By:Naisula Lesuuda

Members of Parliament have adopted the draft amendments to the standing orders aimed at revolutionising the operations of the August house.

House Speaker Kenneth Marende said the adoption of the standing orders is a major step towards efficiency and good governance.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga called on members of parliament to pass the motion once it is tabled when parliament resumes in October.

It was an important forum for members of parliament to critically look at standing orders that were last reviewed by the 7th parliament in 1997 with a view to making them more relevant.

They agreed on new radical amendments to be adopted by the legislators by March next year.

Some of the fundamental proposals include, elections of the speaker by secret ballot, and that the speaker be mandated to recall parliament from recess in case of an urgent issue to be discussed.

They also want parliament given the freedom to discuss matters arising in court.

The also want the Prime minister given 45 minutes every Wednesday to respond to ministerial questions, visiting dignitaries be allowed to address the assembly, all MPS be subjected to security checks while allowing women MPS to carry their handbags inside the chambers and loss of allowance among disciplinary action for MPS among others.

The house also recommended an increase in the number of departmental committees to 25.

Standing orders aside, the PM maintained that the judiciary, like other public servants, should not be immune to performance contracts.

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Bishop arrested in rape and murder saga

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Written By:Rose Kamau/KNA

Police in Naivasha have arrested a Church Minister implicated in alleged incidents of rape, torture and drinking human blood.

New Hope for All Nations Church Bishop Jeremiah Paragyo was arrested Thursday morning after a suspect believed to be a serial killer and rapist claimed he had requested him to secure some human blood for him.

Shocked residents thronged the Naivasha police station including worshipers at the bishop’s church, expressing disbelief at the happenings of the last one week in the town.

Journalists also had a hectic time trying to catch a glimpse of the man implicated by the suspect, Geoffrey Njoroge Matheri in the gruesome rape, torture and murder in the town.

However a shocked Bishop Paragyo told the reporters that his detractors were trying to malign him in public.

Speaking while being led to the police cells Paragyo said that he had been called by the CID officers to record a statement after being adversely mentioned by the leader of a street gang who is suspected to have raped several women, abducting them and killing others.

Naivasha acting OCPD Paul Kisang’ told the press that they were holding Bishop Paragyo for interrogations after he was mentioned as an accomplice of Matheri.

Kisang’ said the Bishop would remain in police custody to shed more light on the saga that has left many people reeling in shock and disbelief.

Earlier police arrested 15 street urchins after they were implicated in the serial rape and murder.

Matheri is claimed to have confessed to the security forces in Naivasha that he drunk human blood but sold the body parts to members of a religious cult.

On Wednesday, police exhumed the body of a woman found in the suspect’s house at Kihoto estate with some parts missing.

He was arrested over the weekend after two women were rescued from his house where he had held them for a week, raping and torturing them.

When word went round that the Bishop had been allegedly involved in the bizarre acts of drinking human blood which the suspect was supplying him at the church, the Naivasha resident s threatened to burn the mega church but police were called in and managed to turn the mob away.

There was also heavy security at the Bishop’s home as irate members of the public camped at the venue threatening to burn the house.

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API/Source.kbc.ke

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Norway’s ‘handball girls’ squeak into the finals

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Norwegian handball star Gro Hammerseng threw in a goal just as the buzzer sounded, resulting in the narrowest of victories over South Korea’s squad. The South Koreans, though, weren’t inclined to accept defeat.

The match against South Korea was a thrilling close one.

PHOTO: HEIKO JUNGE / SCANPIX

South Korean officials objected to the referees’ acceptance of Hammerseng’s goal, claiming it came in overtime. The handball secretariat, however, stood firm, leaving the score at 29-28 in Norways favour.

Chaos reigned on the court, and while the Norwegian women filed out to head for the showers, the South Korean team refused to leave the floor. They finally did, however, after around 20 minutes.

“We have been told that we won the match and are in the finals,” Norwegian coach Marit Breivik told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “We rely on the secretariat, which accepted the goal. We’ll have to see whether South Korea turns in an official protest.”

NRK’s own pictures show that Hammerseng’s shot was a few millimeters over the goal line when time ran out. Korean officials delivered a formal protest later on Thursday.

Russia, meanwhile, narrowly beat Hungary in its own semi-finals match, indicating that the ultimate winner of the Norway-South Korea match would face Russia in the finals.

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API/Source.aftenposteneng

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Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Posted to API by F. Jones

Although the formal COINTELPRO covert operations employed by the FBI directed against African Americans during the period of 1956-1971 was discontinued. However, in truth–because the nineteen sixties were a period of massive black rebellion and unrest that caused the U.S. Government to fear the uprising of a violent revolution– the U.S. Government did not cease its formal domestic counterintelligence programs against African Americans, but instead actually advanced itmore broadly and secretively.

Today there is a far more sophisticated and massive counterintelligence program being implemented against the entire African American population. Because the U.S. Governments socialist and psychologist were well aware of the fact that those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable, it became necessary to create a more sophisticated system of white racism that deliberately wears only the appearance, if any, of being totally self afflicted by African Americans themselves.
TheUnited States Government has acquired a far more insidious and covert method of ensuring that its white dominance is maintained that exists behind a clever shroud of secrecy and deceit. A system of white governmental racism thatis concealed andprevails through the usage of Psychological Warfare implemented through the national media that is deliberately designed to adversely affects Black self perception and foster a national consensual environment for the mistreatment of its Black population.
The U.S. Government has an extensive history of conducting planned campaigns of extensive strategic psychological operations implemented through the national media to influence and direct the perception and climate of the nation towards its governmental objectives. [These programs are based upon the works of mass propaganda specialist Dr. Edward Benays]
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. This quite logically necessitated that the U.S. Government employ itsproven method of mass psychological manipulation against to control 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 controlled media, is a very carefully and deliberately designed psychological conditioning program. Its unrelenting daily assault on the Black psyche is designed to corrupt African Americans sense of racial unity 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 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, 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 discourage miscegenation 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.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 forget of 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

www.DivineBlackTruth.org

Our lives began to end when we stopped speaking up for the things that matter
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Published by Chief Editor Korir, African Press International – API

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Handball Day 13 Review: History repeats itself — Norway to duel Russia for gold

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Updated: 2008-08-22 00:49:35

(BEIJING, August 21) — Norway and Russia proved why they were favorites to battle it out for the gold medal in the Women’s Handball competition, while China and France secured their chances to compete for fifth place after day seven of action at the National Indoor Stadium.

5-8 Placement Matches

Sweden vs. China: 19-20

China honed their play and showed some promising performances in this Olympic match, defeating Sweden by a narrow margin. Now they will compete for fifth place with France, whom the Asian side outplayed in the preliminary round on August 23 at the National Indoor Stadium.

In the first half, both teams underperformed with passive play, fumbling and missing passes as well as executing shots that missed the goal by 5m; China took only a one goal lead before the break, 8-7.

The second half saw an energetic Sweden, with left-back Linnea Torstenson netting six goals out of fifteen shots to be the game’s top scorer. But China took advantage of the opponent’s disorganized defense and broke through, with Wang Shasha netting a team-high five times. China finally finished the game with a slight advantage.

In the match overall there were 35 technical faults, 19 from Sweden and 16 from China.

Sweden, after this loss, will face European powerhouse Romania in the seventh to eighth place classification match.

Romania vs. France: 34-36

France is making a coming back in high morale after two strong matches with 2007 world champion Russia and red-hot medal favorite Romania. They now get a chance to grab fifth place in these Olympics.

This match went into two extra-time periods, just as France’s match with Russia had. The difference here was a decisive three straight goals by France’s left-wing, Paule Baudouin, who ended the game six minutes into the second extra-time with a two-goal lead.

The whole match was very physical though, with players on both teams either receiving two-minute suspensions or getting injured. But Romania’s top scorer, Ramona Maier, stayed out of trouble and contributed nine goals, becoming the tournament’s top scorer with 41 goals.

Semifinals

Norway vs. the Republic of Korea: 29-28

The clash between two medal favorites resulted in the European dynamo’s narrow win, sealing a victory and entrance into the final fight for gold. The defeated Republic of Korea will face Hungary for the bronze medal match.

The ROK had the upper hand for the first half and took a 15-14 lead over Norway before the break, thanks to a series of goals via sharp long shots from top scorer Moon Pil-hee. Pivot Huh Soon-young helped Moon orchestrate play for the ROK team. Meanwhile Norway kept making bad passes, leading to give-away steals for the ROK team, and many shots fell short of accuracy.

The second half saw Norway tighten its defense and block two of the ROK’s key players. Also goalie Katrine Lunde Haraldsen (NOR) saved an excellent 43 percent of shots. With playmaker Gro Hammerseng in the driver’s seat, the whole team played with efficient tactics and edged out the ROK with a last-minute goal, fulfilling their wish to stand on the final stage of the Beijing Olympics.

Hungary vs. Russia: 20-22

Russia secured their spot in the final and shattered Hungary’s hopes of fighting in the gold medal match. On the last day of the Women’s Handball tournament, history repeats itself as old rivals Norway and Russia meet again.

In control of the whole game, Russia proved too strong for the Hungarians, forcing coach Janos Hajdu (HUN) to take an early time-out, but it was not enough to rally the whole team. Also, star player Anita Gorbicz didn’t perform at her best, with only three of her thirteen goal attempts successful.

Duo Irina Poltoratskaya and Irina Bliznova ruled the Russian attack, sending a total of thirteen goals past Hungarian goalie Katalin Palinger. Hungary closed the gap towards full time, but it was not enough to take down Russia.

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API/Source.olympic games website

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Russia goes for gold in Women’s Handball

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Updated: 2008-08-21 23:37:00

(BEIING, August 21) — Russia brushed aside Hungary with a score of 22-20 in the second semifinal match of the Women’s Handball tournament at the National Indoor Stadium on Thursday, August 21.

The semifinal victory paves the road for the Russian girls’ gold medal match on the last day of the Women’s Handball tournament on August 23, where they will duel European powerhouse Norway for the title of Olympic champion.

In the lead all through the game, Russia proved too strong for the Hungarians in the last semifinal.

Hungary’s coach, Janos Hajdu, took an early team time-out eight minutes into the game but was unable too get his team on the right track.

After 16 minutes, and before she had time to make any goal contributions to her team, key player Orsolya Verten was forced off the court with a leg injury. So far in the competition Verten had netted an impressive 27 goals.

The Hungarian attack also suffered as the normally very accurate shooter Anita Gorbicz never managed to tune in her shots. She made 13 attempts, but only succeeded in three.

Always two and three goals ahead, Russia kept pushing their way through the Hungarian defense and shooting from the 9m line. Irina Poltoratskaya and Irina Bliznova ruled the Russian attacks, sending a total of 13 goals past goalkeeper Katalin Palinger (HUN).

Giving everything in defense was Russia’s Liudmila Postnova. With one two-minute suspension in the first half and another early in the second, she was sent off the field of play with a red card when she received her third suspension nine minutes before full time.

In the eight last minutes of the game Hungary impressed when they went from 20-15 down to being just two goals under at 21-19. But it was never enough to take down the world champion.

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API/Source.olympic games site

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Norway ready for final after scare from ROK

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Updated: 2008-08-21 21:27:49

(BEIJING, August 21) — Norway slipped through to the final by beating the Republic of Korea 29-28 on the buzzer in the first semifinal of the Women’s Handball competition at the National Indoor Stadium on Thursday, August 21.

With only five minutes left and leading by four goals, Norway could smell victory, but the ROK had by no means given up.

An Jung-hwa scored twice from her left-wing position, and left-back Moon Pil-hee added another two goals, interrupted by one goal from Gro Hammerseng of Norway.

With 15 seconds left, ROK pivot Huh Soon-young leveled the game at 28-28 and, just when it looked as if the match would go into extra time, Hammerseng made a fast break and fired the ball straight into the ROK’s net.

The ROK had the upper hand in the first half. Moon and center-back Oh Seong-ok orchestrated the ROK’s attacks with sharp long shots from 9m. Oh netted five goals in the first half and Moon, six.

Norway kept making bad passes that lead to give-away steals for the ROK, and too many shots sent the ball straight to ROK goalkeeper Oh Yong-ran.

Norway tightened its defense in the second half, blocking the ROK’s two top scorers. Oh didn’t manage to score once in the second half, and Moon only netted three. The Norwegian goalkeeper, Katrine Lunde Haraldsen, saved 43 percent of all ROK shots.

In attack, Norway concentrated on making fast breaks and scored on nine of 14 attempts. They were also free to play around the ROK defense, using left-wing Kari Mette Johansen well and making it possible for her to score six goals.

Playmaker Hammerseng was also back in form, contributing six goals, including the last two of the match.

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API/Source.official olympic website

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King Olav worked for US intelligence unit

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Norway’s late King Olav once worked for the US intelligence agency that later became the CIA, and so did the head of the Norwegian resistance movement during World War II.

Norway’s King Olav, who died in 1991, has a personnel file with the forerunner to the CIA.

PHOTO: HENRIK LAURVIK/NTB

Documents released late last week by the National Archives in Washington reveal that both Norwegian resistance leader Jens Christian Hauge and King Olav worked for the CIA’s forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). King Olav was still Norway’s crown prince at the time.

Newspaper Klassekampen reported Monday that Hauge’s name is listed in a catalogue of personnel files at the OSS of those employed from 1942 to 1945. Web site abcnyheter.no reported that a personnel file also exists for then-Crown Prince Olav.

Several other Norwegian politicians and military officials also have personnel files at the OSS, including the defense chief at the time, Wilhelm Hansteen.

It’s not clear what Crown Prince Olav did for the OSS, but royal biographer Lars Roar Langslet said he thinks the American intelligence agents sought contact with Norway’s heir to the throne in the 1940s. Norway was invaded by Germany on April 9, 1940, and Crown Prince Olav fled with his father, King Haakon, to London, where they led a Norwegian government in exile until the war ended in 1945.

Langslet doesn’t think the crown prince continued any work for the OSS after the war. He succeeded his father as king in 1957.

War historian Lars Borgersrud said the OSS was founded as a wartime intelligence agency, adding that it would have been “natural” for resistance leaders from US-allied nations to work for and with the US intelligence agency.

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API/Source.aftenposteneng

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SAS in mourning after crash

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Top officials of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) were in Madrid on Thursday after one of its subsidiaries, Spanair, suffered Europe’s worst airline accident in years.

Rescue workers said it was a miracle that anyone survived the crash of Spanair flight JK 5022 at Madrid. More than 20 on board the doomed flight were being treated in Spanish hospitals on Thursday.

PHOTO: AP

SAS chief executive Mats Jansson was among the management delegation that flew immediately to Madrid after a Spanair flight bound for Las Palmas in the Canary Islands crashed on takeoff from Madrid’s Barajas airport.

One of the engines on the MD-82 jet reportedly caught fire after the aircraft had lifted just a few meters off the runway. Witnesses heard a major explosion, the aircraft was quickly engulfed in flames and crashed to the ground, where it broke apart.

The flight’s departure had been delayed, and the aircraft had returned to the gate, reportedly because of technical problems. It was, however, cleared for takeoff.

More than 150 persons were confirmed dead, while nearly 30 survived. The airport’s runway was littered with burned wreckage and human remains.

SAS and Spanair executives vowed to do everything they could to assist Spanish authorities “with whatever they may need,” according to Norwegian executive Hallvard Bratberg. “Our thoughts go to the victims’ families and friends.”

Norway’s ambassador to Spain, where many Norwegians own property, do business and take holidays, told Aftenposten.no the crash had made a deep impression. “Three days of mourning have been declared in Madrid,” said ambassador Per Ludvig Magnus.

SAS’ stock took a heavy beating after the crash. Shares on the Oslo exchange fell 8.6 percent right after the accident occurred Wednesday afternoon, while shares in Stockholm fell 6 percent.

SAS, half-owned by the three Scandinavian governments, has been trying to sell Spanair in the light of heavy industry losses and a strategy to focus on core airline activities in and out of Scandinavia. The company announced more looming staff cuts earlier this month.

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API/Source.aftenposteneng

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Winning Olympic horse failed doping test, medals in danger

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Norway’s Olympic equestrian team was riding high after winning bronze medals on Monday, but fell into crisis on Thursday. Now neither horse nor rider will be allowed to go for the gold and Norway may be stripped of the medals.

Tony Andre Hansen and horse Camiro were riding high on Monday, shot down on Thursday.

PHOTO: DAVID HECKER/AFP

Tony Andre Hansen said he was in shock after being suspended from equestrian competition on Thursday.

PHOTO: METTE BUGGE

The first of two doping tests performed on the horse ridden by Tony Andre Hansen in the team jumping event, Camiro, was returned with positive results. The horse was provisionally suspended by the International Equestrian Federation (IEF), the equestrian sports’ international governing body.

Hansen, who had emerged as one of the best equestrians in the world with a chance at the individual gold medal, was also told on Thursday that he wouldn’t be allowed to start in Thursday evening’s individual jumping competition.

Norway’s entire equestrian team in Hong Kong was in shock, and no one could explain what had happened. IEF officials reported that an illegal salve, the pain-reducing capsaicin, had been detected on the horse’s legs.

The horse is owned by Norwegian financier Kjell Christian Ulrichsen, who has close ties to Norway’s royal family. Princess Martha Louise, a former equestrian herself and close friend of Ulrichsen’s daughter, was among those thrilled by Monday’s bronze medal.

Hansen says he can’t understand what happened, since the horse has been in fine form and had no need for any salves. “I feel really down right now,” Hansen told Aftenposten. “This is a huge shock for me.

“I don’t feel like a cheater, and don’t have any explanation for how this could have happened, and I need time to figure it out. Ive gone from the heavens to a place I dont want to be,” said the 29-year-old who earlier this week was given most of the credit for the bronze medal in team competition

There was no immediate word on whether Norway’s equestrian team would be stripped of its bronze medals from Monday’s team show jumping competition, although officials confirmed it was possible.

Three other horses suspended as well
A total of four horses in the Olympic equestrian team jumping competition were provisionally suspended Thursday for doping. Results from the first so-called A-test were positive for capsaicin in each case.

The other three horses are Ireland’s Lantinus, ridden by Dennis Lynch; Brazil’s Chupa Chup, ridden by Bernardo Alves; and Germany’s Coster, ridden by Christian Ahlmann.

Neither Hansen, Lynch nor Alves were allowed to ride in Thursday’s individual competition. Ahlmann wasn’t entered in the event.

‘Serious blow to the sport’
A second blood sample for each horse still must be tested, and if the so-called “B-test” is also positive, Norway likely will lose its bronze medal and its equestrian team will be disgraced. The salve capsaicin is prohibited for its pain-relieving properties.

Officials called the preliminary doping results “a serious blow to the sport.” Every single horse in every jumping class had been checked earlier, officials said, and no indications of “suspicious substances” were detected.

Norwegian sports officials have long prided themselves on being at the forefront in the campaign against doping. The news from Hong Kong on Thursday was a blow to the entire Norwegian Olympic effort.

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API/Source.aftenposteneng

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Botswana: Real men cry too

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Johannesburg (South Africa) – There is an African idiom that real men don’t cry. Over the years I have subscribed to this saying and I have been a “real man”.

I have watched men, including my father, my uncles and my friends, fight tears in difficult situations. I have only looked at them with admiration and respect for being “strong” and above all for being great “African men”.

I have seen my father mourn the death of his elderly mother the African way, or rather, the Tswana way. While my aunts and close female relatives shed tears my father remained calm, collected and seemingly emotionless when the news of his mother’s death was announced. I have never seen my father cry, though I have seen my mother weeping on several occasions.

She has mourned in public and there was nothing unusual about it because she is a woman. According to African tradition women are emotionally weak — tears are not only okay, they are expected.

Bob Marley underlined the point in his famous and evergreen song, No Woman, No Cry. In my culture women are supposed to cry — when they are angry, when they are mourning a close relative’s death and even when they are excited. Women who do not cry are said to be brave. In Setswana we say “Ba thata [they are strong]” or “Mosadi yo ke Monna [that woman is like an iron man]”. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is considered a “man” because of the position she once occupied and because of her tough ways — an iron lady.

Shaped by my culture and the men who surround me, I never thought I would cry in public. When my brother and my sister died in a horrific car accident in 2004 I nearly cried, but I didn’t. “Men don’t cry,” I told myself before stepping on to the podium to give a lengthy eulogy. Those who attended the funeral service later told me that I did a great job and said, “O monna monna [you are a real man]”.

But then something happened that exposed my weakness — as far as being a real African man is concerned. In May this year I lost my girlfriend to a fatal asthma attack. We were deeply in love and were planning bigger things together. We wanted to get married and start a family. The love we shared was wonderful.

It happened very suddenly. On May 25 her sister called me late at night to tell me that Bosa Gloria Kealotswe had succumbed to an asthma attack. We talked two hours earlier and she was fine. She had a history of asthma but her condition was stable. For the first time in my life I cried as a baby would, I failed to control myself. I tried to muster courage like real African men but it didn’t work. Like a woman, I cried and cried.

Before I went to work the following day I told myself that I was going to be strong. But somehow the situation was made worse by those who offered their condolences. “Oh shame. It will be fine, be strong,” one colleague said to me. I immediately lost it and burst into tears and sobbed — loudly — before my colleagues. I felt embarrassed, but not enough to stop crying. “I have lost the love of my life,” I told myself, “who cares about a little embarrassment?”

A day before Bosa’s funeral I met her mother and her aunts, who explained to me the events leading to her untimely death. Against all odds her mother was calm and began by saying, “My child, your friend is gone. Her death has devastated the family.” My eyes began to moisten. As she dwelt on the details, the tears spilled over and ran down my cheeks.

The next day things got worse. As the casket was being lowered into the grave memories of her flashed back and at that moment I cried before hundreds of villagers. I told myself that if crying in public meant I was losing my manhood, so be it. I couldn’t have cared less about what people were undoubtedly saying behind my back. And if that makes me a sissy, that’s fine with me.

Today I still cry whenever I listen to my girlfriend’s favourite songs — The Book of Love by Peter Gabriel and Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. I am not ashamed of crying or showing emotions in public. I am a human being and I cannot suppress my feelings for the sake of society. Society does not define me, I define myself.

* Ntibinyane Alvin Ntibinyane is a Francistown-based reporter working for Cbet, publishers of the Midweek Sun and Botswana Guardian

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API/source.Mail & Guardian (South Africa), by Ntibinyane Alvin Ntibinyane

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All Africa: Continent proving ground for ICC?

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Johannesburg (South Africa – The International Criminal Court (ICC) is using Africa as a guinea pig, and is too selective when it comes to arresting, indicting and prosecuting perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

This was one of the opinions raised during a recent seminar in Cape Town organised by the Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR).

“It seems that the court is using Africa as a test case, to determine in what way international law can obtain more legitimacy on the ground in Africa,” said Charles Villa-Vicencio. “The ICC focuses on economically weak and politically vulnerable countries, and on nations that are not able or willing to try perpetrators of crimes against humanity. Many African countries fulfill these criteria.”

Vlila-Vicencio, former executive director of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation which aims to promote reconciliation, transitional justice, and democracy across the continent, said it is necessary to think critically not just about the purpose of ICC as an institution of justice, but also about the implications of the way it operates.

“We need to ask ourselves whether retribution is a sufficient deterrent to those who violate human rights. Is intervention by the ICC enough to stop crimes against humanity and war crimes in Africa and elsewhere in the world?”

The ICC was established in 1998 by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The tribunal, which is based in the Dutch capital, The Hague, opened in July 2002 after the ratification of the document by 60 countries. The ICC currently has 106 members, including 30 African countries.

Presently the ICC is dealing with various African cases presented to the court by Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic — all signatories to the Rome Statute. Additionally, the Security Council of the United Nations has referred the situation in Darfur, though Sudan is not a member state.

Vincent Nmehielle, former Principal Defender of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, added that the ICC has a political agenda. “The court should hold all tyrants accountable, but this is not happening. So far, most of the indictees are African. The powerful — the United States instance — will never be put on trial,” he says, referring to the fact that the U.S. government does not recognise the court. “Russia will probably not be tried for what is happening in Georgia. And the same counts for China.”

Villa-Vicencio asserted that the indictment of tyrants is not necessarily the best course of action. The international community must think about the possible consequences of arresting perpetrators of crimes against humanity, he said.

“Should we prosecute Mugabe, despite (the possibility) this could increase the chance of further deterioration of the situation in Zimbabwe, or should we give him the chance to walk off if this would contribute a more stabile peace situation?” he said. “I am not too much against the former if this will bring peace and stability to Zimbabwe.”

Claudia Perdomo — acting spokesperson of the ICC — told IPS that the court is not using Africa as a guinea pig. “The ICC is not an experiment. The court is permanent, and is here to stay and does not treat any part of the world as a test case.

“The fact is that Africa played an incredible role in the establishment of the court,” Perdomo added.

“The situations the ICC is investigating at the moment were put forward by the party states themselves, except for Darfur which was referred to the ICC by the UN’s security council. It is therefore untrue that the court is only targeting Africa as the Office of the Prosecutor has publicly announced that his office is monitoring situations in other parts of the world, in Colombia for instance and Afghanistan.”

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API/Source.Inter Press Service (IPS), by Miriam Mannak

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Cameroon : Confidentiality important in Aids campaign

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2008

Yaounde (Cameroon) – Confidentiality management is an important aspect in mutual health organisations. Many AIDS patients shy away from treatment centres because they fear that after screening their health condition will not be kept secret.

Gael E. who was diagnosed HIV/AIDS positive last year has constantly refused going to the hospital for treatment. She rather prefers to keep the disease to her self than to go for treatment or counselling.

Thousands of patients in Cameroon die due to the fact that they fear that they will be exposed. AIDS is disease that needs a lot of care as far as secrecy is concerned. It is for this reason that a two-day workshop on management of confidentiality and counselling in mutual health organisations opened in Yaounde last Monday.

Organised by the German Cameroon Health and AIDS Programme with the support of the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ) in its component on Micro Insurance and Mutual Health Organisation, the workshop brought together participants some 40 participants drawn from mutual health organisations from four provinces notably the West, South, North West and Centre Provinces.

For three days participants received lectures on topics such as introduction of counselling, introduction of confidentiality, among others. At the end of the workshop, it is expected that the participants who are also members of the micro insurance health programme will be used for better management of confidentiality as far as the status of people living with HIV/AIDS in concerned.

The technical advisor for the promotion of mutual heath organisations in the South Province, Dr Molioum T. told Cameroon Tribune that he will pass on the knowledge he has acquired in the training workshop to the mutual health organisations he is promoting and even support other promoters in the province.

The Mutual Health Organisation is a health insurance scheme that works with all categories of persons including people living with HIV/AIDS. One of the principal missions of the Mutual Health Organisation is to bring health care closer to the population.

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API/Source.Cameroon Tribune (Cameroon), by Elizabeth Mosima

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