World News

  • Malawi cracks down on 'vampire' lynch mobs

    Police in the south-east African state of Malawi say they have arrested 140 members of lynch mobs who attacked people suspected of being vampires. At least eight people are believed to have been killed, including two men on Thursday in the second city, Blantyre. One was set on fire and the other stoned, according to police.

    Two others were arrested for threatening to suck people's blood but police say they have no medical reports of any actual bloodsucking.
    Vigilante killings started on 16 September when three people suspected of being bloodsuckers were killed by a mob.

    Traditional leaders in southern Malawi believe the vampire rumors started across the border in Mozambique where rumors of blood sucking have led to violence this week.

    In Mozambique, protesters have targeted police because they believe they are protecting the supposed vampires, leading a northern town's administrator to flee the city. The villagers in these areas believe human blood sucking is a ritual practiced by some to become rich. They also believe they are failing to catch the blood suckers because they use magical powers.

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  • U.S. Congress Should Call Ethiopia’s Bluff

    Dr. Rajiv Shah, left, USAID administrator speaks with Ethiopian Prime Minister H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn in 2014. (© Flickr USAID)

    by Yoseph Badwaza, Senior Program Officer, Africa

    Addis Ababa has halted a human rights resolution in the House by threatening to break off security cooperation with the United States.

    When Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO) addressed a gathering of mostly Ethiopian-origin constituents in late September, he told them that according to the Ethiopian ambassador in Washington, Ethiopia would stop counterterrorism cooperation with the United States if Congress went ahead with a planned vote on a resolution calling for human rights protections and inclusive governance in the country (H. Res. 128).

    The threat appears to have worked: The floor vote on the resolution has been indefinitely postponed.

    This may be viewed as just another instance of an authoritarian government playing the counterterrorism card to avoid international criticism for a bad human rights record. But in the case of Ethiopia, it is more than that.

    H. Res. 128 has strong bipartisan support, with 71 cosponsors. The resolution passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously on July 27 and was scheduled for a vote by the full House on October 2. As the author of the measure, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), said during the committee mark-up, the resolution is like a mirror held up to the government of Ethiopia, and it is intended to encourage them to recognize how others see them and move forward with reforms.

    While the resolution contains provisions that call for sanctions—under the Global Magnitsky Act—against Ethiopian officials responsible for committing gross human rights violations, the more important reason why the government took the severe step of threatening the U.S. Congress is the damage that this resolution could do to the country’s image.

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  • Nigerians are wondering why Jacob Zuma now has a statue in their country

    (CNN)South African President Jacob Zuma visited Nigeria's Imo state on Friday and had a giant bronze statue unveiled in his honor, a decision that has caused outrage in some parts of the country.

    The two-day visit happened just as South Africa's Supreme Court ruled that President Zuma should face corruption charges.

    Zuma visited Governor Rochas Okorocha in Owerri in a surprise visit that was only announced the same day by the South Africa presidency.

    As well as the statue, Zuma was given a chiefaincy title and had a road named after him.

    Local media reported that the cost of the statue was around 520million Naira -- equivalent to $1.4 million.

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  • Liberia election: Weah and Boakai headed for presidential run-off

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    Former football star George Weah and Vice-President Joseph Boakai are headed for a run-off in Liberia's presidential election.

    Nearly all the results from Tuesday's poll have been counted, the election commission says.

    Mr Weah, the first African to win the Ballon D'Or football award, is leading with 39%, while Mr Boakai is in second place with 29%.

    A second round between the pair is expected next month.

    They lead the field of 20 candidates who competed to succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female elected president and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Fewer than 5% of polling stations have yet to declare results, and lawyer Charles Brumskine is in third place with 9.8%.

     

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  • New Entry Period for Diversity Visa Program (DV- 2019)

    Addis Ababa, October 16, 2017; Due to technical issues, the registration period for DV-2019 is being restarted, and all entries made prior to October 18, 2017, will need to be resubmitted for the entrant to be considered. We regret the inconvenience to Diversity Visa entrants.

    The new registration period for DV-2019 opens for electronic entries at noon, Eastern Daylight Time, Wednesday, October 18, 2017, and closes at noon, Eastern Standard Time, Wednesday, November 22, 2017.

    If you entered before Wednesday, October 18, 2017, that entry will not be considered, and you will need to submit another entry during the new registration period. You may submit one new entry without being disqualified for submitting multiple entries. Individuals who submit more than one entry during the new registration period will be disqualified.

    Applicants can access the electronic DV entry form (E-DV) at the official E-DV website, dvlottery.state.gov, during the registration period. DV instructions also are available on the Department of State’s public webpage at usvisas.state.gov/dv/ instructions.

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  • Liberia election: Ex-football star George Weah takes early lead

    Partial results from Liberia's presidential election show former football star George Weah has taken an early lead.

    Figures from the National Elections Commission (NEC) put Mr Weah ahead in 11 out of 15 counties, although most votes have yet to be counted.

    His main rival, incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai, leads in one county and is second in most others.

    A candidate needs more than 50% of the votes for outright victory.

    If no-one achieves that, a second round will be held in November.

    The election is to choose a successor to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - Africa's first elected female president and a Nobel Peace laureate.

    As the results came in, the manager of Arsenal Football Club, Arsene Wenger, was apparently duped by false reports that Mr Weah had won.

    "I would like to congratulate one of my former players, who became president of Liberia," Mr Wenger told reporters.

    "It's not often you have a former player who becomes president of a country. So well done, Georgie.

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