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Archive for January 13th, 2009

Failure to air Michelle Obama tape: Fox News Network USA to be formally informed on Thursday by API about the filing of the case against their two officials

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2009

API decided last week to take up a legal battle against Fox News Network, USA and has now finally decided where the case is to be filed.

Fox News Network broke the agreement when they did not air the Michelle Obama tape as was agreed between the two parties.

The names of the two officers attached to Fox News Network will be informed of the caseagainstthem on Thursday. While informing them, their names will also be made public following the court documents that will be filed.

During the court proceedings, Fox News Network will get an offer to compensate API hugely and be free from our demands to air the tape, or with a smaller compensation but on condition they air the tapeunedited – all the 54 minutes as earlier agreed. It is important taking such action because big news outlets should not think they can ask for monopoly of a tape, or any news item and sit on it, only to decide, due to political thinking to cancel the deal already made.

Summons will be directed against the two Fox News Network employees who initiated the talks that led to the deal and they will be made personally responsible.

API regrets that this has taken long and that it has to end this way – through battling it out in the courts and yet the deal was struck in a good and friendly atmosphere and a shake of hands in New York City after the verification of the tape.

Chief Editor Korir

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Yemen: “Myiasis has spread to the western region of Tehama where temperature is high

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2009

YEMEN: Teams deployed to stem myiasis outbreak in northeast


Photo: Muhammed al-Jabri/IRIN
A dirty environment is one of the factors responsible for the spread of the screwworm fly, according to experts

SANAA, 11 January 2009 (IRIN) – The General Department for Animal Health and Veterinary Quarantine (GDAHVQ) in Yemen’s Ministry of Agriculture has deployed 21 field teams in the northeast to combat a new outbreak of myiasis, an infestation of human or animal tissue with fly larvae (maggots).

The disease first appeared in Saada Governorate near the border with Saudi Arabia in December 2007. It then spread to the governorates of Hajjah, al-Hudeidah, and al-Mahwit, putting livestock at risk. Last summer the disease disappeared as a result of high temperatures in these areas.

Mansour al-Qadasi, director-general of the GDAHVQ, said the screwworm fly, which causes myiasis, thrives in mild conditions with a specific level of humidity, preferring areas with plants.

“Myiasis has spread to the western region of Tehama, where the temperature gets up to over 40 degrees centigrade in summer. Because of the high temperature, last summer the screwworm moved into the versants of al-Mahwit’s mountains, where the weather was temperate,” he told IRIN, adding that pesticide use in the area had played a role in combating the infestation.

Over the past two months, however, screwworm flies have spread from al-Mahwit and are now moving west into al-Hudeidah Governorate and north into Hajjah Governorate, he said.

“We are trying to confine the screwworms to this triangle-like area despite our limited resources. If the disease increases rapidly, regional cooperation will be needed.”

Over 1,700 animals killed in al-Mahwit

Myiasis has spread to five out of nine districts in al-Mahwit Governorate – Hufash, al-Mahwit, Melhan, Bani Saad and al-Khabt. So far the disease has affected some 4,000 animals and killed another 1,756 in those districts, according to Mohammed al-Sirmi, head of the Agriculture Office in al-Mahwit Governorate.

“In al-Mahwit, livestock is the main source of income for a lot of villagers. The disease has affected their lives: we have found miserable cases of people who have lost the livestock on which they depended for a livelihood,” al-Sirmi told IRIN.

Yemen has an estimated 15 million sheep, 1.4 million cattle and 250,000 camels, according to GDAHVQ.

Raising awareness among villagers was necessary to combat the disease: “Combating the disease locally is best, since maggot flies can spread rapidly. When a field team finishes fighting myiasis in one area, it can be surprised by its appearance in another area,” al-Sirmi said.

“Field teams are also carrying out awareness campaigns to help teach villagers fight the disease. People can fight the disease. They can cover animals’ wounds and remove the eggs from them.”

According to al-Qadasi, Yemen recently received assistance from international organisations to combat myiasis. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) purchased medicines for combating myiasis at a cost of US$42,000; the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) donated diagnostic equipment at a cost of US$50,000. The Arab Organisation for Agriculture Development (AOAD) provided Yemen with microscopes and training for field workers.

maj/ar/cb source.irinnews.org

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On 4 January the Iraqi government said squatters had until March to vacate government property or face legal action – axing the squatters

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2009

IRAQ: Calls to delay evicting squatters from government property


Photo: jamesdale10/Flickr
A displaced Iraqi woman living in the Adhamiyah neighbourhood of Baghdad. Over 60 percent of internally displaced Iraqis are from Baghdad

BAGHDAD, 12 January 2009 (IRIN) – A parliamentary committee and local NGOs have called on the government to delay implementing its decision to evict all squatters from government property (land and buildings).

It is the governments right to evict these people but in our opinion the government should take into consideration the plight of squatters and offer them alternatives, for example, land or good financial aid, said Abdul-Khaliq Zankana, head of parliaments Displacement and Migration Committee.

The law must prevail, but I do believe the best way to deal with this issue is to postpone the implementation until the middle of the year as it is winter now and we cant turf those people out onto the street. This will affect the attendance of their children at schools, Zankana told IRIN on 11 January.

The ministries of finance, and displacement and migration, should work out appropriate compensation for these people based on the number of family members and their economic situation, he said, adding: we shouldnt create more problems when solving a problem.

In the aftermath of the US-led invasion in 2003, hundreds of homeless people scrambled to find somewhere to live. Many moved into government-owned property – especially buildings damaged in attacks by US-led coalition forces and vacated by officials of Saddams regime.


Photo: MCT
A map of Iraq showing the origins of internally displaced people

Zankanas concerns were echoed by Iraqi activist Basil al-Azawi, who heads the Baghdad-based Commission for Civil Society Enterprises, an umbrella group of over 1,000 NGOs operating inside and outside Iraq. He said: The law must be respected but its hasty implementation could lead to more social problems, such as a higher crime rate or more homelessness.

Al-Azawi offered two solutions: Accommodating them in furnished government residential complexes where they would pay rent; and the drawing up of long-term plans to revive the countrys economy.

Over 60 percent of internally displaced Iraqis are from Baghdad, according to the International Organization for Migration in Iraq. Some two million refugees are living abroad, mainly in Jordan and Syria.

On 4 January the Iraqi government said squatters had until March to vacate government property or face legal action, and offered them grants of US$850 to US$4,300 to help them find alternative accommodation.

sm/ar/cb source.www.irinnews.org

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Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2009

January 11, 2009

NationalPride

On another note I was driving down to Clifton the other day and as I was coming up from the underpass face do Talwar I noticed PPP flags lining the avenue. and I got to thinking In other countries atleast the ones I have travelled to Malaysia being the last example where I saw this done one sees more of the National flag fluttering around everywhere not just pulled out on their National daybut its a part of the city.. on roads everywhere in Pakistanone sees more of the flags of the political parties depending on who won and which area one is in as opposed to Pakistans flag guess that says a lot! Any political party that comes into power wants to stamp into our minds that now it is the PPP or the MQM or PML(N) or is it (Q) or XYZ..whoever is in power at that time and place. Streets names are changed to satisfy egos. I even heard that our sitting President even tried to have the name of the Agha Khan University Hospital changed to .you guessed it Benazir Bhutto Hospital! Im surprised that we dont have a province or city renamedor why stop therelets just rename the whole country names like Bhuttostan.? I do not deny that the way Benazir Bhutto was killed was a terrible thingbut that in no way makes her a saint of this country we have such short memories. Doesnt anyone remember what it was like the first time she was in power? or how about the second? and now we have the same party back in power not because of democracy because I think its a pretty well established fact that democracy in Pakistan right now is a joke but for whatever higher reason the powers that be have decided that these guys need to be there. and we keep acceptingthose of us who can and want to leave the country.those of us who cant be bothered to just stay silent, stay under the radar and hope somehow that atleast we wont be affected Just random ramblings.thought Id share.

source:AyeshahAlamsWeblog

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This coming week is the Rubicon for the regime. They must decide to either go with the deal, conclude the steps necessary to complete its implementation or to refute the deal – Zimbabwe

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2009

Zvakwana

Zimbabwes Comical Ally

I am sure we all recall that press conference in Iraq when the Minister of Information for the Iraqi government was holding forth on the status of the war against them launched a few days earlier by the Americans. He boldly declared that the American forces would never reach the city of Baghdad. Behind him and clearly visible on camera, were American tanks crossing the bridge into the suburb where the press conference was being held.

The shrill protests and hysterical claims of the regime in Harare take on a similar character. I include in that the statement by Mugabe at the Bindura conference of Zanu PF that he would never, never, never give up Zimbabwe is mine. I found it curious that my last letter headed Let it Crash and Burn has evoked a storm of debate in the State controlled media here. I have also been attacked by the War Veterans and called all sorts of names..
They seemed frightened of the prospect of being left to their own devices in the chaotic situation we are living in here at present. A bit like the horror of a killer who finds himself locked into the room containing the body of his victim and forced to sit there while it stinks and rots and the killer himself faces the prospect of dying from thirst and hunger.

The reality is that Zanu PF finds itself hooked on a line that leads back to a transitional government that will in fact be controlled and managed by MDC with the obligation only to consult and gain consensus with the Zanu PF minority in its ranks. This fish is fighting the line, but losing the battle. This coming week they must decide whether to tear the hook out of its mouth and dive into deep water, or to allow it to be landed on the beach.

The situation is quite clear, Zanu and MDC have signed an agreement, that agreement is backed and guaranteed by regional and continental bodies and leaders. It provides for the formation of a transitional government that will last about 27 months before a free and fair election under a new constitution and observed by the international community. In that transitional authority, Zanu is in the minority in every organ of the State. All it has is consultation rights and the need to agree with the MDC on what has to be done to fix the economy and our shattered society.

Zimbabwe is mine Mugabe is stripped of much of his power, has to deal with Tsvangirai on all policy issues and before any senior appointments are made.
The JOC is replaced with a new National Security Council that is dominated by the MDC and is democratic in character. The Zanu PF Politburo saw the implications immediately after the SADC signing ceremony and has been furiously fighting a rear guard action ever since. But the pressure from the region on the regime has been relentless.

This coming week is the Rubicon for the regime. They must decide to either go with the deal, conclude the steps necessary to complete its implementation or to refute the deal and go ahead with the formation of an illegitimate government without the MDC or the approval of the region. This decision must be made before Parliament is convened on the 20th of January.

If they decide to go into the transitional government then they must accept what the MDC is proposing a draft of new legislation to set up the National Security Council, the equitable allocation of ministerial portfolio s and they must accept that all the senior appointments made since June 2008, in violation of the MOU and the GPA be rescinded and new appointees agreed with the MDC and substituted.

Once this happens then everyone can expect that events will move quite rapidly; Parliament will debate and adopt the new legislation followed by the appointment of both Mugabe and Tsvangirai to their respective posts, followed by the nomination and swearing in of all Ministers. This could all be over by the 31st January and a new government could start work on the 2nd of February.

If however they decide not to go this route, they will walk away from the deal and in the process walk into the wilderness. Their problems will multiply exponentially; they have no idea how they are going to finance salaries this month, whatever they pay civil servants and the army and police, and it will be worthless. They will plunge the region as a whole into a real crisis they could jeopardize the prospects for the World Cup next year, (over 400 000 people crossed the Beitbridge border post in December), South Africa would be swamped with economic refugees.

The Zimbabwe regime would be even more isolated and regional leaders would have no choice but to repudiate the new government. Internationally, sanctions would be tightened and broadened to include financial restrictions on all deals with Zimbabwe. China and Russia would not be able to maintain their neutrality and political pressure would grow for fresh, internationally supervised elections. Elections that Zanu PF would lose totally.

What the criminals in the Mugabe regime have also got to understand is that this is their last chance to avoid their very worst fears becoming a reality. Inside the new transitional government, working with and not against the MDC, the leadership of Zanu PF would be able to avoid prosecution and probable imprisonment for various crimes for at least the period during which they would be in the transitional government. It is unlikely that the government, operating on a consensual basis, would agree to going over all the violations of the past 30 years and bringing the perpetrators to book.

In fact, for the Ministers and other senior officials in the present regime, it would take the form of a type of enforced community service. They would have to accept the failure of their policies in the past and their shortcomings in many areas. They would be confronted by the very people they beat and tortured yesterday and be required to work with them in repairing the damage and helping to build a new Zimbabwe.

Zimbabweans are a unique people in many respects, if these erstwhile masters accepted their fate and willingly gave themselves to the task of reconstruction, many would find forgiveness and reconciliation. I think the decision facing Zanu PF this week is quite simple and straight forward, but then we have been there before.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 11th January 2009

source.mensnewsdaily

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Dirty Asian rope in Prime Minister Raila Odinga, as family is named in corruptive practices in mega oil suply deal scandal

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2009

Investigative Report By A Special Correspondent, Kenya

A local newspaper in Kenya has named the Prime Minister Raila Odinga as being a key player to what the weekly termed as mega oil scandal involving millions of shillings.

This is the first time in Railas chequered political career, and since he became the Prime Minister in Kenya in a shaky and unstable grand coalition headed by President Mwai Kibaki.

The grand coalition government came into the office early last year following peace accord negotiated by the former UN Chief Dr. Kofi Annan after the violent engulfed the country as the result of the disputed presidential election in December 2007. Close to 1500 people died ,while property worth billions of shillings torched in various parts of the country rendering more than 350,000 people internally displaced.

The article incriminating Raila Odinga and his family in suspect oil deal, which also involved a cartel of wealthy Asian wheeler dealer appeared in the latest issue of the Nairobi s publication, the WEEKLY CITIZEN, which is one of the mushrooming alternative press, commonly called Gutter Press. The paper is credited for its in-depth investigative report, making it a lethal weapons to the politicians.

In a page one leading article the articles says.Towards the end of 2008, Kenyans were forced to grapple with an unreliable supply of fuel and artificial rise in its pricing.

On more than one occasion, the Managing Director of the National Oil Pipeline Mr George Okungu gave a widely televised interviews to reassure Kenyans that there was no fuel shortage or crisis as such in the country. But between December 28 and 29th,December 2008 most filling stations upcountry had no fuel to supply to the motorists. Workers returning from Holiday, particularly those travelling from Western Kenya back to the City got briefly stranded in Kisumu and other towns..

During the same period, a medium sized oil firm called Triton Limited, which is run by Kenyan of Asian origin, Mr Yagnes Devani and another trader Mr Pankaj Somaia was reported to have allegedly rendered legally bankrupt, suddenly appeared in the oil trading scene.

The duo, according to CITIZENs article have their roots in the lakeside Kenyan City of Kisumu and it is in Chemelil area within the Nyanza sugar belt, where the first few Triton Limited outlets were set up. What was most intriguing is that in-spite of its definite inability to source and service the largest oil order in the country, Triton Ltd, is alleged to have secured the government tender to purchase national oil supplies for a six month quota through the alleged intervention of the Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is said to have personal and family interests in the oil industry as a major player.

Triton Ltd beat all other seasonal firms such as OilLibya{formerly Mobil} and She/BP.

Yagness Devani is the brother to the late Harish Devani who owned the multimillion complex, Simmers Plaza in in a Nairobi suburbs of Westlands, but alleged to have committed suicide a couples of years ago after swindling those close to former President Daniel Arap Moi billions of shillings in tenders scams supplies at the Kenyan Ports Authority {KPA}and Kenya Power and Lighting Company {KPLC}

.

The CITIZENS article further alleged that Yagnes Devani is a well known drug addict, but he still allowed to do roaring business with the KPA!.

Indeed Triton Ltd had no capacity, to deliver on such a huge consignment of oil to the nation, but immediately after securing the government tender set upon sub-contracting the same to its rivals companies at a profit without any actual direct importation,

In addition, Triton Ltd, according to the report was that oil suppliers refused to give in to the Tritons sordid machinations, and this is what caused the brief artificial fuel shortage in Kenyan , which in turn raised the fuel prices even much higher..

To compound the saga, Afri Global Ltd, a firm belonging to Raila Odingas elder brother Dr. Oburu Oginga MP who is the Finance Assistant Minister and which is run by Dr. Ogingas son a pint sized fellow called Elijah Abonyo Oburu was one of the key beneficiaries.

After this scam Elijah Oburu had since bought a brand new show room Mercedez Benz limousine 350 valued at colossal amount of Kshs 24 million which he now drives around Kisumu City ..

Another firm, African Oils Ltd, which belong to the Prime Ministers son Fidel Castro Raila Odinga was also occasioned adequate favor to profiteer from the scandal, charged the paper article.

And not to be out done was the Prime Minister himself with his company Bakri Ltd, operated by one Mr. Mike Njeru who joined the lists of compliant firms that allegedly benefited from the tender pool sharing and in turn sold the same to the highest bidder!.

Raila Odingas younger sister Adhiambo is the managing director of the Petro Plus firm that has been involved in bulk oil sales in the high seas, a host received from Nigeria thanks to the closeness of the Prime Minister with the former ruler Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. Libya and Southern Sudan government as donations to finance democratic pursuits in Kenya .

So entrenched is the Odinga family interests in the oil industry the players advise that it is practically impossible to do serious oil business in Kenya without roping in a family member.

At the centre of the scheme, says the paper, is Pankaj Somaia, a wheeler-dealer in the Moi regime era and alleged wanted in various countries for questioning on an array of criminal activities.

In any oil sale scheme of the magnitude, Triton Ltd dabbed in the returns, kick-backs included run into hundreds of million of shillings. the report says.

It is widely rumoured that Devani heavily funded last years 2007 general campaign for ODM team an that those who benefited by Devani earl this year were only return ing a favor.

Indeed the grapevine has it that some senior Ministers in the grand coalition cabinet drive vehicles donated by Devani early this year. It is also an open secret that two MPs have been on Devanis payroll ostensibly so that they extend favors for their benefactors as and when needed. adds the paper.

Meanwhile Citizen reported that Mr. Devani himself is said to be holed up in some undisclosed destination abroad, but he keep in constant touch with the Prime Minister through one called Collins Odhiambo [formerly of Citi Bank}, and up to fortnight ago Triton Ltd, commercial director.

Mr Odhiambo is said to be in big panic since Triton Ltd, went burst and placed under the official receivers as in the case with an array of high placed personalities in the government.

Another employee who took cover only before the take-over of Triton Ltd, is a Mr Kioko who was in charge of the firms operations at the KPA in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa .

Immigration Minister Gerald Otieno Kajwang who has also been a regular visitor in Devanis office is together with his personal assistant{PA} is said to be working day and night to cover up five senior employees of Asian extractions who were irregularly employed by Triton Ltd over the last 10 months

Ends

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PNU DIEHARDS STILL DON’T GET IT, KIBAKI AND KALONZO ARE SILENT. RAILA IS A NEW MAN.

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2009

We need powerful ideas that have no bearing to tribe. In 2007, it was very
obvious that we will never get the change we desired from the politicians. We needed a new direction rather than supporting tribal chiefs. This circus will continue unless we take bold steps.

In my mind the problem is the “middle” class. If we can coalesce around the
right ideas irrespective of tribe then we can make progress.

In 2007, some of us pointed out that it was a mistake to support the parties
without taking to task the individuals in those parties that had looted the
country. We got what we asked for. The same corrupt guys looting the country and making wanachi suffer. We needed a new start and we missed it. Can anyone explain why politicians starve wanachi so that they can make money?

Can we start by clearly formulating what Kenya needs to do, how it needs to be done, when it needs to be done and then who needs to do it. If I had the
ability, I would make sure that we never elect any of the MPS who have been in parliament for more than 2 terms. They should all go home. There should be a way in which the bad MPS can be recalled. We need new ideas to be included in the new constitution so that it is not driven by politicians.

Recently the parties had elections or was it selections? How can anyone who is not part of the “gangs” be elected? It is impossible with the parties (or
tribal organizations)we have. It is called ruling by selection. Look at
the top 5 positions in Government and tell me whether leadership has changed since independence.

By Stephen

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Heavy fighting erupted in southern town of Somalia

Posted by African Press International on January 13, 2009

By Abdi asis Ibrahim from Mogadishu Somalia

API-Mogadishu, Somalia, Heavy battle between Ethiopian soldiers accompanied by Somali government soldiers and Islamist insurgents has broken out in Bardhere town in Geda region, southern Somalia early on Monday morning, an official said.

Mohamed Abdi kalil, a deputy district commissioner of Bardhere town and Col. Warfaa Sheik Aden, a government soldiers/officer in Jubba regions, southern Somaliasaid that there were more casualties including deaths and wounds but could not beconfirmed and denied that the fightinginvolved the Ethiopian troops.

The casualties between two groups is no clear

Reports from Bardhere town say that the fighting had stopped and the situation returned calm.

The Ethiopian troops arrived in Somalia in 2006 to help the transitional government oust Islamists from the capital.

The fighting comes as Ethiopian government announced it will withdraw its troops from Somali territory inthe past week but delayed the move.

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