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Archive for March 29th, 2013

The Search for Justice: Martine Vik Magnussen did not have to meet a cruel death in the hands of a monster killer!

Posted by African Press International on March 29, 2013

Joining hands for Martine’s sake – the search for justice and the thirst for the truth to know what happened that fateful day in her London flat.

The late Martine was a charm and a good-hearted young lady. She deserves justice. Yemeni authorities must act in order to redeem their reputation of being unnecessarily influenced by wealthy individuals whose actions are the extension of promoting injustice.

Norwegian student Martine Vik Magnussen who was only 23 years old when she met her death in the cruel hands of a rapist and monster killer. The incident took place on the 14th of March 2008. years.

According to the British police, there is only one suspect in the name of Farouk Abdulhak (22), who reportedly left London soon after the crime was committed and is said to be now hiding in Yemen being protected by his wealthy father Mr Shaher Abdulhak. There is no extradition treaty between the United Kingdom and Yemen. At the same time Norway has no treaty with the said country either. This contributes to the difficulties in trying to get the suspect to answer the charges in the such for the truth and justice in this case.

The family of the late Martine has told African Press international that they do not seek revenge but are demanding that justice must be done sooner rather than later.

www.africanpress.me/ The Late Martine Vik Magnussen, Norway (Prohibited - can only be re-printed on acquiring written permission.

http://www.africanpress.me/ The Late Martine Vik Magnussen, Norway (Prohibited – can only be re-printed on acquiring written permission.

www.africanpress.me/ Mr Odd Petter Magnussen, father to the Late Martine Vik Magnussen, Norway (Prohibited - can only be re-printed on acquiring written permission.)

http://www.africanpress.me/ Mr Odd Petter Magnussen, father to the Late Martine Vik Magnussen, Norway (Prohibited – can only be re-printed on acquiring written permission.)

www.africanpress.me/ Mr Odd Petter Magnussen, father to the Late Martine Vik Magnussen, Norway (Prohibited - can only be re-printed on acquiring written permission.)

http://www.africanpress.me/ Mr Odd Petter Magnussen, father to the Late Martine Vik Magnussen, Norway (Prohibited – can only be re-printed on acquiring written permission.)

This is in reference to the message out there:

“UK authorities have recently outlined why there are compelling reasons that Martine case should be tried in the country of the crime.  The offence occurred on British soil at a time when both the victim and the suspect were student guests in London. Therefore there is a presumption that the case will be heard in UK jurisdiction.  The witnesses, forensic evidence, and physical evidence are all in the UK.  Finally, in terms of sentence, while the UK has abolished the death penalty, it still exists in Yemen.”

Watch the video and listen to Mr Magnussen’s loss after his beloved daughter Martine was murdered in London: This video may be shared – permission granted.

Accordingly “In a Norwegian documentary in 2009 the suspect’s lawyer confirmed that the suspect was living at home in Sanaa and that his father paid for legal and living expenses.  The father allegedly assisted his suspected son fleeing the UK after the murder in 2008 by taking him a board his private plane en route from Cairo to Sanaa. The father, with roots in Kenya, will always be associated with any outcome of the Martine case irrespectively of his son’s whereabouts.

And “The Yemeni Constitution prohibits a non-voluntary extradition of Yemeni citizens. However, it cannot be assumed that this constitution was meant to protect Yemeni criminals from law enforcement following crimes committed abroad. This would also be inconsistent with all religions including the focus in Islam on ‘justice, tolerance respect for human life and dignity’.”

As all would expect “Being a conservative Islamic state the present regime would achieve greater legitimacy by contributing to an ethical solution in the Martine-case.  Beyond the Yemeni Foreign Minister claiming the Martine case put an extra burden on the government, also growing internal pressure following the political situation in Yemen, and the Arabic Spring in general, is felt strongly. The main argument is that Yemen should avoid being regarded as a safe haven for international fugitives.”

In all fairness to promote justice “New social medias have made the world more transparent, and universal justice and legal rights have become mainstream concerns globally both politically and in a CSR-perspective. Multinationals are important opinion leaders here. An ethical solution to this case will create a precedence benefitting all parties involved. Yemen will benefit by contributing to improve international legal order and combat cross border crime. Legitimacy for receiving further military and financial support from US/UK would also increase following justice prevailing in a high-profile case of this nature.”

The need for filling a loop-hole in international law is also reflected by a new resolution put forward to the OSCE by Norwegian parliamentarians, and signed by 56 countries, last July. The resolution was based on the experiences from the Martine case, and aimed at reducing international serious crimes such as trafficking, drug dealing, money laundry, kidnapping, rape, murder or terrorism in today’s mobile world. Thus it is important for the Yemeni authorities to see the Martine case as an opportunity to combat ‘cross border crime’ rather than a challenge to it’s sovereignty. The mutual advantages for to-day’s world to progress here outbalance any costs associated with such change.

This is a high-profile case touching on three countries and “Being considered a matter of ethics, rather than a question of extradition treaties, the longer the fugitive is made unavailable for UK authorities the more this case will build momentum – also in the Arabic world.  It is vital to see any solution-scenarios in light of this new logic.”

Leaders should stick to the “Rule of law, human rights and respect for cultures, religions and universal values is the ethical axis of our existence. The Martine-case is a vital test for our aspirations and motivation to contribute to a more humane world based on the principles of peaceful coexistence between nations.”

Taking responsibility seriously and respecting human life“It is still a hope that the suspect will ensure justice prevails by meeting his obligations as a former guest student in the UK and return to the country of the crime.  In this way the two families could reconcile, which would reinforce the only sustainable global truth that national and international interests must go beyond personal interests in a case of this nature.

May Martine receive the justice deserved and her soul rest in peace for eternity!

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Norwegian Odd Petter Magnussen on her late daughter Martine Vik Magnussen’s investigation

Posted by African Press International on March 29, 2013

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Norway: Release of a new CD titled “URU NNE BARA” (Mother’s role) by Juliet Okparaebo in June

Posted by African Press International on March 29, 2013

African Press International: Social Educator and artist Juliet Okparaebo to launch her CD in Oslo.
She will launch her CD in Oslo in June this year 2013. On this slides roll she shows to our viewers a ready CD waiting to hit the road. During the discussions with Juliet, here seated in her family home looking forward to the launcing date. is her daughter Ezinne Okparaebo who is 200 and 100 meters Norwegian champion since 2005 to this day and onwards hopefully…….

Acharaugo Dancing Group” (ADGIN)

Historical Background

Their musical genre is basically cultural/folklore. The music can be danced by both males and females, but “Acharaugo Dancing Group” (ADGIN) is made up of some of the Nigerian women living in Norway and membership is open to women of 18 years old and above.

ADGIN officially became registered in Norway in 2012, but prior to its registration, the founder and leader (performing artiste),  Juliet Okparaebo began her musical career since 2002.

LISTEN TO HER LEADERSHIP SKILLS:

The formation of ADGIN was in response to the vigorous campaign by various bodies—governmental and organizations for integration. For ADGIN cultural dancing was one of the fastest means of integrating with the Norwegian society through social and cultural interaction with other various organizations (Norwegians and foreigners). In addition to integration, ADGIN has the vision to achieve the following:

A)     To use its dancing group to entertain and to make  the public happy at special events.

B)      To leave a legacy for their off-spring through the promotion of their cultural heritage, hence they often bring along their children during dancing practices.

C)      To promote a healthy life-style through physical activity (dancing) as many of them do not regularly train at physical training studios.

Activities

They meet on regular basis for dancing practices and discussions on how best to meet their set goals. At intervals and when the need arises they visit one another. ADGIN on certain conditions accepts invitations from the public to do what they do best—folklore music and dancing. Since 2002, the performing artiste/leader of ADGIN, has been show-casing  her musical talent in a number of public events. In 2004 and 2005 for instance, she performed for Oslo “Kommune” (LGA) during some of its annual “Bjerke Mela” at Årvål Samfunnshus and at Slurpen (Mangfold og Integrering) activities,  to mention, but a few. And in January, 2013 she successfully produced her first album “Uru Nne Bara” (mother`s role).

 

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2013 Kenya Presidential Petition: Meet UHURU KENYATTA’s lawyer FRED NGATIA – giving RAILA sleepless nights – NEVER LOST a CASE

Posted by African Press International on March 29, 2013

www.africanpress.me/ Advocate Fred Ngatia

http://www.africanpress.me/ Advocate Fred Ngatia – 

In a span of over 3 decades in his legal practice, Fred Ngatia has never lost a case in any court of law in Kenya.
Ngatia, who is representing President electUhuru Kenyatta in the ongoing Court petition, has over the years represented top government officials in both criminal, consititutional and commercial cases.
The brilliant lawyer is regarded in legal circles as the guru of constitutional and judicial service cases. He has been the lawyer for the late Cabinet Minister George Saitoti and represented him at the Goldenberg Commission of Inquiry which recommended that the late Minister should face criminal charges for his role in the Goldenberg scandal.
Ngatia is also the lawyer representing former Kenya Power chairman Samuel Gichuru and former Minister Chris Okemo in an extradition case where they are accused of defrauding the parastatal millions of shillings.
Rumour has it that, Ngatia is giving CORD leaders sleepless nights.
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ArabDisaster Risk Reduction

Posted by African Press International on March 29, 2013

AQABA, – Nearly 300 government officials, scientists, aid workers and activists from across the Arab world are working together in Jordan to draw up the first joint regional platform for disaster risk reduction (DRR).In the last three decades more than 164,000 people in the region have been killed by natural hazards, which caused damage estimated at US$19.2 billion, according to new figures for the region from the Belgium-based Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED).

“All the people who are here now – they’ve been waiting for this for a few years. The conference has been scheduled and rescheduled, so there’s a pent up wish to discuss and tackle issues upfront,” Margareta Wahlstrom, special representative of the UN Secretary-General for DRR, told IRIN, blaming the Arab Spring for the delays.

The week of meetings is being held in Jordan’s coastal port, Aqaba, recognized as a leader in disaster preparedness in the region and one of many urban centres built on one of the four main regional fault lines – the Dead Sea Transform Fault, the Taurus-Zagros fault, the Nubia-Eurasia plate boundary in Maghreb and the NU-Aegean Sea and NU-Anatolia in Eastern Mediterranean region.

Conference speakers acknowledge that the region has been “lucky” in recent years to escape major natural hazard events, but historic records show cities like Beirut, Damascus and Alexandria have all been destroyed by earthquakes.

While the natural hazards may not be new, the risks have been aggravated in recent years by the nature of human development.

“In a relatively short period a number of crucial factors have magnified the exposure and vulnerability of cities in the Arab region to disaster and its aftermath,” said Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, president of the Jordanian Royal Scientific Society.

“The explosive increase in urban populations in recent decades, coupled with poor planning in land use, has expanded the potential of hazard to cause havoc in our cities.”

Around 55 percent of the population in the Arab world lives in cities, a figure predicted to reach 66 percent by 2020.

Prevention not cure

Disaster experts at the conference credit the Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster of 2004 with opening eyes internationally to the importance of preparing in advance for natural hazards.

Previously, Wahlstrom told IRIN, such disasters were thought of as things over which you had little control: “you deal with the immediate consequences, you rebuild, you pay for it and you move on.”

But she says governments increasingly realize that natural disasters happen when natural hazard events meet vulnerable and unprepared populations.

“You actually have to plan for it; you can mitigate the impact, and you can mitigate the costs.”

In early 2005, countries around the world signed up to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), which set five priorities over the 10-year period to 2015 for countries to strengthen institutional responses, set-up early warning systems, identify risks and build resilience at all levels.

It was the world’s first attempt to coordinate who should be in charge of what in a disaster.

Sometimes experience has shown itself to be the best teacher; Algeria improved building regulations for schools and hospitals after damage caused by the 2003 earthquake, while Lebanon – a regional leader on DRR – set-out to improve disaster management coordination after a recent plane crash saw four emergency operations rooms set up in the first four hours, but without any coordination between them.

Results

This is the first Arab conference on DRR, and the region is the last to meet ahead of a global DRR conference in Geneva in May, at which countries will plan the post-2015 strategies for resilience when the current Hyogo framework will need replacing.

“The explosive increase in urban populations in recent decades, coupled with poor planning in land use, has expanded the potential of hazard to cause havoc in our cities.”

What changes all this will have on the ground will depend on implementation, and so far Arab countries have been slow to put in place measures to improve preparedness; only nine of the region’s 22 countries have set up, or are setting up, a national loss database, while just 10 have submitted their HFA country reports to the UN Office for DRR (UNISDR).

“To be very honest with you, I share your fear that many of these things are paper products,” said Wahlstrom at the event’s press conference. “But when I look back at the conferences that we’ve had over the years, I see a very high level of coherence between the recommendations and commitments, and what people actually do.”

Funding prevention

Disaster experts at the conference stress that investing in prevention is a way to save money in the country; that a dollar spent on prevention is worth at least four after a crisis.

Natural disasters are often extraordinarily expensive – the floods that hit Saudi Arabia and Yemen in 2008 and 2009, for example, cost about $1.3 billion.

In addition, unprepared countries face far longer recovery times and affected cities and regions can be set back by years.

The Lebanese government’s decision to prioritize preparedness dates back to the destruction caused by the earthquake in Haiti, which was witnessed first-hand by officials from the prime minister’s office.

“The challenge is to convince governments to pay for what is not yet tangible, but which will become tangible in the coming years,” said Wahlstrom.

Just published figures from CRED show natural hazards have cost the world more than $100 billion a year for the past three years.

The Arab League has led the adoption of DRR in the region, and in 2012 it produced a strategy adopted by regional heads of state.

But Fatma Al-Mallah, DRR advisor and member of the Global High Level Advisory Group on HFA2, says more engagement is needed.

“This is not enough – there should be a political commitment from each government. We should have more political courage in our countries when we have problems.”

She warned governments that natural hazards such as drought were frequently an underlying cause of political unrest, citing Darfur and the Arab Spring as examples, and said that a lack of good governance on these issues risked bringing instability at the lowest levels of society.

Jordan Ryan, director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery at the UN Development Programme, said natural disasters invariably affect the most vulnerable.

“Forest fires in Lebanon and earthquakes in Algeria are all reminders of how vulnerable this region is. As in other parts of the world, we know who suffers the most – the poor.”

He said 95 percent of the 1.3 million disaster fatalities around the globe in the past two decades were the poor.

“Weak systems for disaster preparedness are as much to blame as the natural disasters that cause them,” said Ryan.

jj/cb source http://www.irinnews.org



 

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Government sells food aid

Posted by African Press International on March 29, 2013

MBABANE,  – Swaziland’s government has sold maize donated by the Japanese government to feed hungry Swazis for US$3 million and deposited the money in the Central Bank of Swaziland.

The nearly 12,000 metric tons of donated maize was sold by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development in 2011, but the sale was not made public until an item about the transaction appeared in a performance report the ministry presented to the Swaziland Parliament for review last week.

Swaziland has not produced enough food to feed itself since the 1970s. It depends on international food aid to bridge a gap that varies from year to year, ranging from two-thirds of the country’s 1.2 million people in 2007 to about one-tenth of the population this year, after a better than average rainfall, according to the World Food Programme.

Unanswered questions

The majority of Swazis reside on communal Swazi Nation Land, under the authority of chiefs appointed by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. Lacking title deeds to their ancestral farms, they are unable to secure bank loans to invest in irrigation equipment or farming machinery, relying instead on rainfall to water their crops. However, Swaziland’s climate is becoming increasingly arid and agricultural inputs are growing increasingly unaffordable.

Bertram Stewart, the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development’s principal secretary, acknowledged the sale of the food aid to Swazi media, and said it was not the first time this had been done. According to Stewart, the Japanese government was informed that the maize donation would be sold and that the money would be used to purchase farming inputs for subsistence farmers, but the Japanese government has yet to confirm this assertion.

In fact, government-funded farming inputs were scaled back during the past cropping season, with the Ministry of Agriculture citing a lack of funds.

Members of parliament (MPs) have asked the economic planning minister, Prince Hlangusemphi Dlamini, for an explanation as to why food donations intended for the poor and hungry were being diverted for other uses, but Dlamini, who was appointed to the ministerial position by his brother, the king, has yet to respond.

MPs also pointed out that the government has $50 million in unused funds that could be used to purchase food aid or to implement programmes recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to boost food production.

Economic decline

The government’s profligate spending, coupled with its failure to follow IMF guidelines meant to boost its economy and increase government tax revenue, has led to years of economic decline. Swaziland’s GDP fell by 3 percent last year, and is expected to drop again in 2013. IMF has predicted that, by 2014, the country’s economy will have replaced Somalia’s as the worst performing in the world.

A substantial portion of the government’s budget is provided by revenue from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), which distributes tax revenue from goods entering Southern Africa to its five member states. But revenues from SACU have plummeted in the wake of the global economic slowdown, helping to precipitate a fiscal crisis that has led to job losses and significant cuts in social spending, putting an increased strain on the two-thirds of the population already living in chronic poverty.

“The government is desperate for money and will grab it by hook or by crook, even taking food from the mouths of babies,” said one private sector accountant familiar with the government’s financial situation.

“At the same time, the government is used to the international community rushing in with aid to cover the government’s mismanagement of the economy and the humanitarian crisis here,” he said.

Two NGOs that did not wish to be named told IRIN they were worried the sale of Japan’s food donation and the lack of a full accounting by the government could negatively affect donors’ willingness to support the country.

tg/ks/rz source http://www.irinnews.org



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