Friday, October 4, 2013

Clashes erupt at pro-Morsi demonstrations in Egypt

Clashes have erupted between supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi, opponents and security forces in the capital, Cairo, and Alexandria. There has been heavy gunfire and explosions in the city centre. State TV reported further clashes in the northern Sharqiya district and to the east in Giza, as well as in the northern port city of Alexandria. Hundreds have been killed since the military deposed Mr Morsi in July. Our correspondent says the protesters in the capital's Agouza district were chanting "Rabaa, Rabaa", a reference to the square next the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque where a sit-in was cleared by force in August. Thousands of members of the Muslim Brotherhood have also been detained in the past two months. Several senior figures, including Mr Morsi and the movement's general guide Mohammed Badie, are being held on charges such as incitement to violence and murder. The authorities portray the crackdown as a struggle against "terrorism". Before Friday's clashes, soldiers and police had tightened security around key sites in Cairo, including Tahrir Square, the focus of the mass protests against Mr Morsi and his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. Morsi supporters said they would be intensifying their demonstrations in the lead-up to Sunday's 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

One shot as police and youth battle in Majengo, Mombasa

One person has been shot as rioting youth engage police in running battles in Majengo area, Mombasa. The youth are protesting Thursday's night killing of Sheikh Ibrahim Rogo and three others by gunmen. A church has also been torched. Two people were rushed to the Coast General Hospital by the Red Cross as the unrest spread to Kisauni. Several others including hawkers have also been injured. Businesses in the Central Business District have been closed turning the coastal city into a ghost town. Schools have been closed and learners sent home. A contingent of General Service Unit (GSU) and regular police battling with rioters.

Four killed in Mombasa(Aboud Rogo style)

The successor of the slain Muslim cleric Sheikh Aboud Rogo, Sheikh Ibrahim Rogo was gunned down with three others on Thursday night by unknown assailants. Mr Rogo with four others were heading home from Musa mosque where he had just finished preaching when their vehicle was sprayed with bullets killing four of the five occupants about half a kilometre from Bamburi police post. The others in the vehicle were Gadaffi Mohammed who is said to be a carpenter, Issa Abdalla whose sister is married to Gadaffi was the driver of the car, Omar Abu Rumeisa and Salim Aboud who survived the attack by playing dead. Salim Aboud said they were heading home in a Toyota Fun Cargo when people on foot started shooting at their car until the car veered off the road. "We have finished them," Mr Salim Aboud heard them say as he pretended to be dead. The assailant are said to have sped-off in a Mark X. Other Muslim leaders, including Sheikh Abubakar Sheriff alias Makaburi who arrived at the scene later, pointed accusing fingers at the Anti Terrorism Police Unit. "The ATPU were here, why have they run way? What are we going to do next and why are they killing us? We have not killed any one but the police are killing innocent Muslims," said Mr Makaburi. "This actions are being led by Americans and Israelis, Sheikh Ibrahim was not at Westgate during the attack. Western governments do not want Muslims to talk about Jihad. It is part and parcel of Islam, kill us all," he said.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Gunmen attack Russian embassy in Libya's Tripoli

The Russian embassy in Tripoli, Libya, came under fire and there were attempts to get into Russia’s diplomatic compound, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. One of the attackers was killed. “There has been an incident in Tripoli tonight, in which there was shelling and attempts to enter the territory of the Russian embassy in this country,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich told RT.   Libyan authorities say one assailant was killed. Four others were injured, AP reported. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, there were no injuries among embassy staff. The ITAR-TASS news agency's witnesses said attackers tore down a Russian flag. The situation was soon brought under control and there are currently no intruders on Russia’s embassy territory. According to reports, around 10 attackers drove to the embassy in two cars. Libyan News Agency (LANA) reports that they first opened fire on a parked diplomatic vehicle. A video still from Ruptly's exclusive footage shows a car burning in an almost deserted street outside the embassy. Video still from Ruptly’s exclusive footage shows the Russian Embassy in Tripoli, Libya after an attack by unknown militants on October 2, 2013. After setting the car ablaze, the attackers opened fire on the diplomatic building itself, LANA reported. But  as security forces arrived at the scene, they drove off in an unknown direction. Libya’s Interior Ministry believes the attack on the Russian embassy could have been a reaction to the reported killing of a Libyan air force pilot by a Russian woman on Tuesday. The woman was arrested by Libyan authorities and is accused of murdering the pilot, writing offensive graffiti in his blood, and stabbing his mother.  The reason for the murder is not known, but Libyan authorities noted that the graffiti expressed anti-opposition sentiments.  There has been no confirmation of this incident from Russian diplomatic channels. A similar attack on Russia’s Tripoli embassy took place in February 2012 when protesters stormed the compound, condemning Russian and Chinese decisions to block the UN resolution against Syria. No one was injured in that attack. Nearly two years after Gaddafi was deposed and killed, Tripoli and other Libyan cities have been plagued by violence, lawlessness and factional infighting. The presence of militiamen remains more visible than actual state security forces in the capital, while vast portions of the oil-producing desert country remain completely out of the central government’s control. Libya’s prime minister has appealed for international help as the country struggles through political turmoil amid stunted oil exportation which is costing the country $130 million a day. As Libya continues to be mired in post-Western intervention disarray, Gaddafi's overthrow has not shown to have yielded a conciliatory political climate as many had hoped.  “Ever since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s government we’ve seen in Libya the mob rule of countless militias or death squads,” activist and journalist Sukant Chandan told RT. One of the most vicious attacks on foreign embassies in Libya took place in September 2012, when the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed as armed militants assaulted Washington's consulate in Benghazi.

Global population to rise to 9.7bn in 2050 - French study

The world's population will rise to 9.7 billion in 2050 from the current level of 7.1 billion, according to a bi-annual report by the French Institute of Demographic Studies (Ined). It projected there would be 10 to 11 billion people on the planet by the end of the century, AFP reported. A parallel UN study in June said the global population would swell to 9.6 billion in 2050. Ined said Africa would be home to a quarter of the world's population in 2050 with 2.5 billion people, more than double the current level of 1.1 billion. The world's most populous nation is currently China with 1.3 billion people, followed by India (1.2 billion). In 2050, India with 1.6 billion will overtake China, Ined said.

UK Islamic school shut down after accusations of strict religious practices

A school in central England has been closed following controversy over its harsh Islamic line and a subsequent assessment by Government inspectors. It has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks for its treatment of female students and teachers. A spokesperson for Ofsted, the schools watchdog, told RT: “We can confirm that Ofsted is currently undertaking a two-day inspection of the Al-Madinah School in Derby.” The BBC has reported that it ‘understands’ findings were “so damning” that the head was forced to immediately shut it down. The school had previously caused a media sensation in the UK after it was alleged that it enforced segregation by gender, meaning girls were forced to sit at the back of the classrooms. It also reportedly forced female members of staff – including non-Muslims- to wear the hijab.  The acting headmaster of Al-Madinah in Derby was prompted to shut the school without delay as the Ofsted assessment was underway, posting a message on the school’s website: “Owing to a health and safety issues, I have taken the decision to close the school to primary and secondary pupils until I am confident that all children are safe on site,” said acting Principal Dr. Stuart Wilson. “As parents, you will be informed directly, and on the website, when you are able to send your children back to school. I expect this to be in the very near future.” Parents have been gathering outside the school demanding answers. “Yesterday, I received a one-line letter telling me the school would be closed but not giving any reasons,” Ali Mohammed, who has a six year old daughter at the school, told the Derby Telegraph. “I've come down here to ask some questions. I want to know what is going on and, if there are health and safety issues, then I'm very concerned,” he said. The school, which opened in September 2012, had already been placed under investigation by the Education Funding Agency; as a free school, Al Madinah is eligible for public, central government-funding from the agency, while also being required to enter its pupils for standardized public examinations, for example GCSEs – a nationwide exam taken at the age of 16. Al-Madinah was already on the Department of Education’s radar prior to the Ofsted investigation. “The Department for Education said it discussed the school with Ofsted before we undertook the inspection,” a spokesperson for the watchdog told RT. Teachers have recently been coming forward over the harsh restrictions placed on their attire whilst tutoring in the classroom. Female teachers have faced particularly harsh victimization, with one recently quitting amidst a row over her dress. A male colleague looked her up and down and told her that she had failed to observe ‘common decency,’ according to Britain’s Daily Mail. “If I had known that it was compulsory for non-Muslim women staff [to cover up] before I started the job, I would never have accepted the post,” the anonymous teacher said.  Sue Arguile, of the National Union of Teachers, said that “Free schools set their own rules – but forcing people to agree to contractual changes could breach employment law.” The Education Funding Agency has also been investigating alleged financial irregularities, according to the BBC. The wearing of the hijab has been an ongoing source of controversy in the UK, with even Cameron voicing his support for a ban on wearing full veils in UK schools. “In a school, it’s very difficult to teach unless you can look at your pupils in the eye,” UK Prime Minister David Cameron told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday. The niqab face veil is currently banned in France and Belgium, and debate was sparked last month following the dropping of a ban at the West-Midlands based Birmingham Metropolitan College amid protests.

Hinkley C nuclear plant deal 'within weeks' of completion

A contract to build the UK's first nuclear plant in a generation is said to be "within weeks" of completion. Energy Minister Michael Fallon told the Financial Times he was "working intensely" to seal a deal for the £14bn Hinkley Point C reactor in Somerset. Long negotiations have taken place with France's EDF over the price it could charge for the electricity generated. Government approval to build the first in a planned set of new nuclear sites in the UK was granted in March. "We're not quite there yet, but I hope we will be in the next few weeks," Mr Fallon told the FT. Talks between EDF and the government stalled earlier this year over the guaranteed price at which the electricity could be sold. China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group has a co-operation agreement with EDF and could claim a stake of up to 49% in the project, the FT reports. Price concern The government's plan to meet its emissions reduction and renewable energy targets were outlined in last year's Energy Bill. It hopes the UK can become more self-sufficient in its energy by increasing the use of both nuclear and wind power, as well as other forms of clean sources such as biomass. He suggested the deal with EDF, which has not commented on the reports, would pave the way for further negotiations on new nuclear plants planned by Japan's Hitachi in Anglesey and Oldbury, in Gloucestershire. There is also said to be interest in further investment in the UK's nuclear sector from companies in South Korea, China and Japan. Mr Fallon said: "There's intense interest there because people can see that finally we're getting our civil nuclear programme moving again after the long, dead Labour years." However, environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth have raised concerns over the potentially high price for electricity the government will agree to in order to get the new plants built, and the issue of nuclear waste. Hinkley Point C will be the third nuclear plant at the Somerset site and will have the potential to provide power for five million homes. Hinkley A, which is now being decommissioned, began generating in 1965 and was closed down in 1999. Hinkley B, which started generating in 1976, is due to be turned off in 2023. The last nuclear plant built in the UK was Sizewell B in Suffolk, completed in 1995.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Gambia to withdraw from Commonwealth

The Gambia is to withdraw from the Commonwealth, 48 years after joining. The west African nation branded the 54-member grouping, which includes the UK and most of its former colonies, a "neo-colonial institution". The withdrawal was announced on state TV but no other reasons were given. Two years ago President Yahya Jammeh accused the UK of backing his political opposition ahead of elections. The UK said it would "very much regret" The Gambia leaving the Commonwealth. There is a history of tension between President Jammeh, who came to power in a 1994 coup, and the UK. Earlier this year, a Foreign Office report singled out The Gambia for its human rights record, citing cases of unlawful detentions, illegal closures of newspapers and discrimination against minority groups. In August last year The Gambia was criticised by Amnesty International and others for executing nine prisoners by firing squad. The Commonwealth was founded in 1931 but acquired its modern shape after 1949 as former British colonies and protectorates, including The Gambia, started to achieve self-government and varying degrees of independence. 'Colonialism extension' The Gambia joined the Commonwealth in 1965 The grouping dropped the word British from its name and the allegiance to the crown from its statute and other independent nations joined. In its statement, The Gambian government said it had "withdrawn its membership of the British Commonwealth". It said it had "decided that The Gambia will never be a member of any neo-colonial institution and will never be a party to any institution that represents an extension of colonialism". The last time a nation left the Commonwealth was in 2003, when Zimbabwe withdrew. The UK's Foreign Office said: "Decisions on Commonwealth membership are a matter for each member government. We would very much regret Gambia, or any other country, deciding to leave the Commonwealth." Queen Elizabeth II, who is 87, is the head of the Commonwealth, which holds its next heads of government meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, next month. However, the gathering will be the first that the Queen has not attended. She is sending her son, the Prince of Wales instead, with Buckingham Palace saying she is making fewer overseas trips because of her age.

FA accused of match-fixing inaction

The Football Association has been accused of a "dereliction of duty" after failing to question three non-league clubs about suspicious betting activity on a number of games. Billericay Town, AFC Hornchurch and Chelmsford all came under scrutiny from the FA after bookmakers stopped taking bets on several matches involving the clubs in the Football Conference South last season. The FA promised to act and told clubs to "remind players and officials of their responsibilities under the rules". But the chairmen of all three Essex clubs have told BBC Sport that none of them have been questioned or even approached. The former head of the FA's compliance unit, Graham Bean, said the governing body's failure to contact the clubs was "disgraceful". He added: "It is my belief that the FA tend to stick their heads in the sand at suggestions of match-fixing and tend to give a perception that they don't think it actually exists. "When I was at the FA, I once raised the idea of having an intelligence hotline where anonymous contact could be made to report wrongdoing. I was laughed at for the suggestion." The chairman of Billericay Town now wants the FA to conduct a thorough investigation. "I am calling for the authorities in this country to investigate the possibility of match-fixing at our level of football," said Steve Kent. "How can they investigate alleged match-fixing involving my club when not a single person from the police, the FA, or the league made any kind of approach to us whatsoever? It's amazing." Last month, a group of British players in Australia were arrested and charged with match-fixing offences while playing for the Melbourne-based Stars in the second-tier Victorian Premier League. All four of the accused played non-league football in England before moving to the Stars. Three of them - Joe Woolley, Reiss Noel and Nick McKoy - joined from AFC Hornchurch. "In the light of recent events in Australia, it's time for a proper investigation," said Kent. "I'm not saying match-fixing is rife or commonplace, but from the information I have been gathering it certainly warrants an investigation. "When I saw the names involved I was shocked. The names I was reading I was so familiar with. Last season, they were all playing at our level. We played against them. That's what shocked me the most. "You don't know if it's gone on. There were rumours last year in the press so it makes you wonder. I didn't believe that there could be match-fixing at this level, I thought the players were too honest." Colin McBride, the chairman of AFC Hornchurch, told the BBC he was backing Billericay's stance and said the FA had been "amateurish". "It's surprising the FA didn't contact us, you'd have thought we'd have got a courtesy call," he said. "We feel in limbo. We can't draw a line under it and we want to move on. That's the disappointing thing, I think we deserve an answer." McBride said he hoped his former players, who he described as "good lads, good footballers", were acquitted. "I truly hope they're innocent," he said. "I'm deeply shocked and deeply upset. I truly hope they're found not guilty." The BBC has learnt that concerns were raised at the FA and within the betting industry when irregular amounts of money were gambled on certain Conference South matches last season. For example, despite being a match in the sixth tier of the English game, played out in front of just 408 spectators, hundreds of thousands of pounds was placed on Billericay's away match at Welling in November, the vast majority of it on Asian betting exchanges. "It was a phenomenal amount of money," said Kent, who has conducted his own inquiries into why bookmakers suddenly stopped taking bets on matches involving his club. "There was more money bet on our game than on the Barcelona game [that week]. That's where the story came from. The FA and the league picked up on that but they did nothing about it. "If there is a problem, let's sort it out, get rid of it and move on. The FA are the only ones that can do it really - they have the power." Kent said not everyone is happy he has decided to speak out, but he is determined the issue is addressed. He added: "We don't want cheating, we don't want to win or lose just because someone has identified our club as vulnerable, or someone wants to make a fast buck. "We want to know that when we go to a game our players have given their best." Sources at the FA have told the BBC that a lack of direct contact with Billericay, AFC Hornchurch and Chelmsford does not mean enquiries have not been made. The BBC has also learned that the governing body has been sharing information with the authorities in Australia. "The FA takes the matter of integrity extremely seriously," said a spokesman. "The FA does not confirm any details of investigations or enquiries made, or indeed whether they are ongoing." Former FA chairman Lord Triesman told the BBC he was "astonished" to learn that no-one at Billericay, Hornchurch or Chelmsford had been interviewed by the FA. He added: "It seems to me to be one of the first obligations of the organisation to ensure the sport's properly regulated and scrupulously fair. "Match-fixing, which has been a huge problem in leagues around the world, is one of the most critical problems. It destroys the ethics of the game." Asked if he thought match-fixing was going on in English football, Triesman added: "You can never be complacent about it. "If there's a credible allegation, it should be investigated immediately by the regulatory body. That is their duty."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

67 armed robbery suspects in ‘Kimbunga’ dragnet

AT least 67 armed robbery suspects have been nabbed in the first week of the second phase of a special operation against illegal immigrants, nicknamed ‘Kimbunga’ that focused on identification and deportation of aliens living in the country without proper accreditation. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in Dar es Salaam on Monday quoting a special report compiled by the operation’s news team on the ground, some 134 illegal immigrants have been arrested in Kagera, Kigoma and Geita regions between September 21st and 27th, this year. “The assortment of weaponry impounded include one Sub-Machine Gun (SMG), a pistol, 17 muzzle guns (gobole) and 115 rounds of ammunition, 102 of them used for or SMG and the remaining 13 for pistol. Several pairs of Burundi military uniform were also impounded,” reads part of the statement availed to the media yesterday. Out of 134 illegal immigrants, 114 came from Burundi while 20 others originated from Rwanda. However, three residents were also arrested after being found giving refuge to illegal immigrants. Challenges related to the presence of illegal immigrants in the country has prompted an important meeting by Karagwe District Administration in Kagera Region, the area perhaps affected most in the last few years. The District Commissioner of Karagwe (DC), Ms Dari Rwegasira, has convened a meeting for local government leaders from different levels of administration. The aim of the meeting was to deliberate on the problem of illegal immigrants and agreed on concrete measures to redress the situation. The meeting, held at the Karagwe District Conference Hall, last weekend brought together ward and divisional executives and agreed, among other issues, on the need for all leaders, starting with the village level, to take responsibility and regularly check on arrival or presence of illegal immigrants in their places of domicile and report to higher authorities for appropriate action. “Cattle rustling, armed robbery, farm land boundary disputes and indiscriminate killing of civilians has frequently been reported in Karagwe District, hampering development activities. Some other places like Kimisi Forest in the district has become ‘no-go’ area as armed robbers took cover in the forest,” says the statement. To prove the magnitude of crime in the area, 271 litres of illicit brew, gongo, were impounded in the process in addition to fox hides, three kilogrammes of marijuana (bhang) and 12 under-size fishing nets. Among other deliberations at the end of the joint meeting include the compulsory commitment by local authorities at all levels in addressing the problem of illegal immigrants in a sustainable manner. All leaders had to take an oath of allegiance and sign the commitment which reads; “Illegal immigrants should not be allowed to stay in the villages, herds of livestock must be restricted and all sponsors of illegal immigrants who provide them with shelters and other necessities should be exposed for disciplinary measures against them,” entails part of the joint communiqué. It was further agreed that any of illegal immigrants still seen in villages should be reported, failure to which would lead to taking of responsibility by the respective local authorities. “Meticulous inspection should be carried out immediately to expose all illegal immigrants said to be hiding in the forest or livestock ranches located in the area. The inspection will involve different security and defence units and every village leadership should keep an up-to-date record of visitors to their places,” reads another item related to the agreement. Finally, delegates to the meeting agreed that all deported illegal immigrants should not be allowed to return to the country and all residence permits previously issued to aliens should be reviewed for verification.

War on illegal drugs failing, medical researchers warn

llegal drugs are now cheaper and purer globally than at any time over the last 20 years, a report has warned. The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy said its report suggested the war on drugs had failed. The report, published in the British Medical Journal Open, looked at data from seven international government-funded drug surveillance systems. Its researchers said it was time to consider drug use a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue. The seven drug surveillance systems the study looked at had at least 10 years of information on the price and purity of cannabis, cocaine and opiates, including heroin. The report said street prices of drugs had fallen in real terms between 1990 and 2010, while their purity and potency had increased. In Europe, for example, the average price of opiates and cocaine, adjusted for inflation and purity, decreased by 74% and 51% respectively between 1990 and 2010, the Vancouver-based centre said. The report also found there had been a substantial increase in most parts of the world in the amount of cocaine, heroin and cannabis seized by law enforcement agencies since 1990. Most national drug control strategies have focused on law enforcement to curb supply despite calls to explore other approaches, such as decriminalisation and strict legal regulation, it said. It concluded: "These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market through law enforcement are failing." Co-author Dr Evan Wood, scientific chairman of the centre, said: "We should look to implement policies that place community health and safety at the forefront of our efforts, and consider drug use a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue. "With the recognition that efforts to reduce drug supply are unlikely to be successful, there is a clear need to scale up addiction treatment and other strategies that can effectively reduce drug-related harm." The study comes two days after a senior UK police officer said class A drugs should be decriminalised. On Sunday, Chief Constable Mike Barton, of Durham Police, said drug addicts should be "treated and cared for, not criminalised". The chief constable, who is the intelligence lead for the Association of Chief Police Officers, told the Observer he believed decriminalisation would take away the income of dealers, destroy their power, and that a "controlled environment" would be a more successful way of tackling the issue. He said prohibition had put billions of pounds into the hands of criminals and called for an open debate on the problems caused by drugs. Mr Barton is among a small number of top police officers in the UK who have called for a major review of drugs policy. 'Tackle organised crime' Danny Kushlick, of the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, welcomed Mr Barton's comments and said prohibition of drugs had been a "miserable failure". "We desperately need to shift the regime from a prohibitionist one to one of legal regulation," he said. He said criminalising drugs had "gifted one of the largest commodity trades on earth to organised crime". "It's an absolute no brainer for any government that is thinking responsibly about how best to regulate these things that they look after them and don't leave it in the hands of criminals," Mr Kushlick added. The Home Office said drugs were illegal because they were dangerous. It said the UK's approach on drugs was clear: "We must help individuals who are dependent by treatment, while ensuring law enforcement protects society by stopping the supply and tackling the organised crime that is associated with the drugs trade."

Teachers strike over pay and pensions

Members of the two biggest teaching unions in the UK are striking in a row over pay, pensions and workloads. The walkout is affecting schools in 49 authorities in the east of England, the Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber. It is part of a continuing campaign of rolling regional strikes involving members of the NUT and NASUWT. The government said the strike action would disrupt pupils' learning, inconvenience parents and damage the reputation of teachers. Between them, the two unions represent nine out of 10 teachers. They are angry about changes to their pensions, increased workload and about government plans to bring in performance-related pay, from this autumn. 'Relentless attacks' NUT general secretary Christine Blower, said: "No teacher takes strike action lightly but the intransigence of this education secretary has left teachers with no choice. "We cannot stand by and watch our profession be systematically attacked and undermined. "There needs to be a change in the government's attitude to teachers and education." Susi Artis, a spokeswoman for the NUT in Nottingham, said: "I recognise that for a lot of parents this is really inconvenient and we're very sorry for that. Striking is very much a last resort." Ian Lever, from the NUT in Leicester, said: "Teachers are very angry about what is happening to the education system in this country and are prepared to make a stand on it. "These are relentless attacks from this government, not just on our pay and conditions, but on the education system in general. "As professionals, as people who care about education, teachers are saying 'enough is enough' - we have to do something about this." 'Share childcare' Jane Lucas, a parent from Coventry, said one of her children is at home and one at school. She said: "Luckily, there's a couple of mums that we've managed to rally round and we're going to share the childcare today. "It's difficult because I do support any worker who wants to fight for the right of their pensions and pay, it's just unfortunate that it's affecting children." Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: "Strike action is a last resort, teachers have been left with no choice but to demonstrate their anger and frustration in the face of their genuine concerns being dismissed and trivialised. "Teachers of course deeply regret any disruption to children and families. "Such action would have been unnecessary had the Secretary of State been prepared to engage in genuine discussions." A Department for Education spokesman said: "It is disappointing that the NUT and NASUWT are striking over the government's measures to allow heads to pay good teachers more. "Industrial action will disrupt pupils' education, hugely inconvenience parents and damage the profession's reputation in the eyes of the public at a time when our reforms are driving up standards across the country. "In a recent poll, 61% of respondents supported linking teachers' pay to performance and 70% either opposed the strikes or believed that teachers should not be allowed to strike at all." A further regional strike is planned in London, the North East, South East and South West on 17 October. Plans for a national one-day walkout before Christmas have also been announced by the two unions.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Was it a Satellite?

Due to the incident ocured yesterday,some says what they saw is not an undentified flying object but it is just a man made satelite,some said that satelite was sent by american to track al shabaab fighter in the region! Am writting this article so everyone can understand what is a satellite? As a professional science teacher graduated from the best college in Tanzania (Mpuguso) I will try my best that all of you will be satisfied with my article! This is first part of my article! Let's start by definition! What is satellite? In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an artificial object which has been intentionally placed into orbit. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon. The world's first artificial satellite, the Sputnik 1, was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. Since then, thousands of satellites have been launched into orbit around the Earth. Some satellites, notably space stations, have been launched in parts and assembled in orbit. Artificial satellites originate from more than 50 countries and have used the satellite launching capabilities of ten nations. A few hundred satellites are currently operational, whereas thousands of unused satellites and satellite fragments orbit the Earth as space debris. A few space probes have been placed into orbit around other bodies and become artificial satellites to the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Vesta, Eros, and the Sun. Satellites are used for a large number of purposes. Common types include military and civilian Earth observation satellites, communications satellites, navigation satellites, weather satellites, and research satellites. Space stations and human spacecraft in orbit are also satellites. Satellite orbits vary greatly, depending on the purpose of the satellite, and are classified in a number of ways. Well-known (overlapping) classes include low Earth orbit, polar orbit, and geostationary orbit. As per the latest estimates, the total number of artificial satellites orbiting the Earth today is around 8,300. Of these, about 3,000 are not operational having lived out their useful life and are part of the space debris. Satellites are usually semi-independent computer-controlled systems. Satellite subsystems attend many tasks, such as power generation, thermal control, telemetry, attitude control and orbit control. Inthe next article I will give you the complete history of satellite! For any comments be free to text me +27783262958

Sunday, September 29, 2013

UK A&Es seeing 'drunk children'

Nearly 300 children aged 11 or under were admitted to A&E units across the UK last year after drinking too much, a BBC Radio 5 live investigation shows. Revealing UK-wide data for the first time, it said a total of 6,500 under-18s were admitted with alcohol-related illnesses in 2012-13. The data came from 125 of the 189 UK NHS organisations following Freedom of Information requests. More girls than boys are now being admitted, a reversal of the past trend. Over the last five years A&E departments across the UK have dealt with nearly 48,000 incidents where under-18s have been admitted for drink or drug related illnesses. 'Hiding away' Ayrshire and Arran Health Board dealt with the highest number of cases last year - with 483 alcohol-related admissions. Morten Draegebo, an A&E consultant at Cross House Hospital in Kilmarnock, said children were exposing themselves to significant danger. He said: "There is a problem with their ability to defend themselves. The typical patient may be found in a field. "They often need to hide away from any sort of adults in the area so they're picked up by the ambulance service. "They have difficulty locating where they are because the description comes through from a distressed half-drunk teenager potentially saying that they're under a tree somewhere in a large park. "Eventually they're found but even in summer-time in Scotland they're vaguely hypothermic. "They have vomited. The vomit may go down the wrong way into the lungs. They are unable to defend themselves even from assault." Dr Draegbo added: "We have had many cases where teenage, young teenage females have come in saying that they may have been sexually assaulted and they're that intoxicated and are distressed and say, 'I may have been', but they don't even know if they have been or not. "On a humane level that is very distressing. I'm a parent, I would hate for that to happen to my daughter." Heavy burden There has been a long-term fall in the number of children admitted to A&E after drinking too much - with 2,000 fewer under-18s admitted to A&E last year than in 2009. Charities and public health bodies agree fewer children are drinking across the UK, but say the amount being consumed has stayed the same - suggesting those who do drink are drinking more. Public Health England says one in four underage drinkers consumes more than 15 units a week - the equivalent of seven pints of lager. The official advice from the chief medical officers across the UK is that no children should be given alcohol until they are 16, and alcohol should only be given to older teenagers under supervision of a carer or parent, and never on more than one day a week. A Department of Health England spokesman said: "We know that fewer young people are drinking and being admitted to hospital as a result. "But with more than one million alcohol-related hospital admissions overall in the last year we know too many people are drinking too much and that alcohol places a heavy burden on the NHS, costing around £3.5bn every year. "

Teachers of Coast Region private school in Tanzania complete Dubai tour

The head teacher of Victory Secondary Schools in Mkuranga, Coastal Region, Christopher Segeleti, on Friday urged the government to motivate teachers to put more efforts in teaching, which would increase the number of passing students. He said authorities should pay salaries in time, especially in rural areas, so that they would stop frequent strikes in the country’s schools. Segeleti made the remark at the J.K. Nyerere International Airport after arrival from Dubai where he and other 25 teachers had attended a two-week teaching training, funded by Thadei Mutembei, the owner of St Mathwe's, Victory, Ujenzi and St. Mark's schools. Segeleti who had led the delegation said they went for ‘teaching training’ in Dubai to learn various techniques used in that country, one of the richest in the world. He expressed confidence that the techniques they learnt in Dubai would enable them to be better teachers who would make many students to do well in their examinations. "We learnt many teaching techniques and promise to use them and make many more students to pass.” He added that the school has strategic plans for increasing the number of students passing examinations from the present 98 per cent to100 per cent He revealed that besides the Dubai trip, the owner of the schools has donated a car and a computer to each one of them.

Dar vows to battle acid attacks

Tanzanian President Dr Jakaya Kikwete has expressed his government’s commitment to ensure that the increasing acid attacks on people on the Mainland and in Zanzibar are brought to an end. For a start, he said, the Police Force conducted a special manhunt in Zanzibar for acid attack suspects. So far, ten people have been apprehended for allegedly being involved in throwing acid onto people’s faces. A statement issued in Dar es Salaam by the Directorate of Presidential Communications said that President Kikwete told the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon that the acid attack incidents have many fronts. However, he assured the UN Secretary General that the government will solve the problem once and for all within a short period. Mr Kikwete was responding to an enquiry by Mr Moon who wanted to have a clearer picture on the increasing number of acid attacks. President Kikwete said that there are more such attacks in Zanzibar than the Mainland. “It is true that we are experiencing acid attack problems especially in Zanzibar where there are more such atrocities compared to those in the Mainland. The Police Force conducted thorough investigations into he problem in a quest to apprehend culprits. “Ten suspects have been apprehended so far and will be prosecuted in courts of law soon,” he said. “At the beginning it was the Zanzibar Chief Sheikh’s secretary, Sheikh Fadhil Suleiman Soraga, who was attacked. “We thought the attack had been carried out by his opponents. But attacks on other people continued,” said Mr Kikwete. Meanwhile, Mr Ban Ki-Moon commended the contribution made by Tanzanian soldiers in peacekeeping in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the UN contingent. He said that Tanzanian soldiers in DRC are doing a commendable job. The UN Secretary General also expressed his condolence to President Kikwete over the deaths of seven Tanzanian soldiers in Darfur under the UNAMID and two under MONUSCO. “I thank you for allowing your soldiers to take part in Eleven plus Four in DRC. The Tanzanian soldiers have proved to be a different outfit in the mission with a high degree of discipline and standard,” he said. Tanzania has become proactive in contributing troops to the UN peacekeeping operations with over 2,500 peacekeepers in Lebanon, Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Globally it is the 12th contributor of peacekeepers. President Kikwete thanked Mr Moon for his condolences over the fallen Tanzanian peacekeepers in Sudan and DRC, insisting that the country will continue with the noble endeavour as members of the UN with the duty of advancing and upholding the ideals of the esteemed organisation. On the souring relationship with Rwanda, President Kikwete was optimistic that after a meeting in Kampala, Uganda, with President Paul Kagame the situation would return to normal.

Al Shabaab Escaped through Tunnel

As Kenya and foreign detectives continue to comb the Westgate debris in search of missing bodies and answers to the Westgate terror attack, shocking revelations have emerged that may catch Kenyans unaware following the 4-day horror they went through. This is after detectives discovered a huge underground tunnel, also used as sewerage tunnel, which runs several metres from the Westgate Mall to the neighboring Nakummatt Ukay Mall. The detectives noted that the Al-Shabaab terrorists are likely to have escaped through the tunnel, and left their explosives in the Westgate Mall, whose explosions have continued to be heard even after the Kenya Defence Forces secured the Westgate Building. According to impeccable sources from the intelligence community, KDF did not kill any Westgate terrorist after all, because there is no sign of any of them in the debris even after combing the rubble for days now. This comes as KDF through Interior Cabinet Secretary, Joseph Ole Lenku, insist they killed five terrorists, but have since failed to prove their assertion.

hawa ndo viumbe wanaopatikana katika chombo kiluchoonekana angani jioni ya leo

kwa mujibu wa tafiti ziluzofanywa na wana sayansi mbalimbali kuhusiana na maswala ya UFO,imebainika kwamba katika vyombo hivyo ambavyo huonekana kwa nadra sana duniani kuna viumbe kama huyo kwenye picha hiyo.. kwa habar zaid kuhusiana na tukio hili ka ajabu endelea kupitia blog hii na kama umeshuhudia tukio zima na unataka dunia ijue ulichokiona tafadhali tuma ujumbe mfupi kwenda namba +27783262958 anza na neno UFO kisha andika ujumbe wako au nitumie kupitia

Unidentified flying Object in East Africa

There are rumours that in some areas in East Africa that today 29/09/2013 they saw unidentified flying object in the sky! Let's see if what they saw is what scientist calls "UFO" What is UFO? An unidentified flying object, or UFO, in its most general definition, is any apparent anomaly in the sky (or near or on the ground, but observed hovering, landing, or departing into the sky) that is not readily identifiable as any known object or phenomenon by visual observation and/or use of associated instrumentation such as radar. These anomalies were referred to popularly as "flying saucers" or "flying discs" during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The term "UFO" (or "UFOB") was officially created in 1953 by the United States Air Force (USAF) to replace the more popular terms because of the variety of shapes described other than "discs" or "saucers." It was stated that a "UFOB" was "any airborne object which by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features, does not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type, or which cannot be positively identified as a familiar object." As originally defined, the term was restricted to those fraction of cases which remained unidentified after investigation, with USAF interest being for potential national security reasons and/or "technical aspects." (See Air Force Regulation 200-2.) The term UFO became more widespread during the 1950s, at first in professional literature, but later in popular use. UFOs garnered considerable interest during the Cold War, an era associated with a heightened concern for national security. Various studies, both governmental and civilian, have reached varying conclusions, some saying that the phenomenon does not represent a threat to national security nor does it contain anything worthy of scientific pursuit (e.g., 1953 CIA Robertson Panel, USAF Project Blue Book, Condon Committee), while others have reached the opposite conclusions (see, e.g., 1999 French COMETA study, 1948 USAF Estimate of the Situation, Sturrock panel). A number of military personnel and others have given statements about having witnessed UFOs themselves or having been privy to information about them. Culturally, the phenomenon has often been associated with extraterrestrial life or government-related conspiracy theories, and has become a popular theme in fiction. If this is what they saw in Dar es Salaam Tanzania we must stay alert! UFO is real,they are coming for us!

Mwananchi na Mtanzania Yafungiwa

SERIKALI imeyafungia magazeti ya Mwananchi na Mtanzania kutokana na kuandika habari na makala za uchochezi. Gazeti la Mwananchi linalomilikiwa na Kampuni ya Mwananchi Communications limefungiwa kwa muda wa siku 14, wakati Mtanzania linalomilikiwa na Kampuni ya New Habari 2006, likifungiwa kwa miezi mitatu, kutokana na kutaka kuhatarisha amani na mshikamano uliopo nchini. Akitoa tamko hilo la serikali, Mkurugenzi wa Idara ya Habari (MAELEZO), Assah Mwambene alisema kuwa serikali imefikia hatua ya kuyafungia magazeti hayo kutokana na habari za uchochezi na uhasama kwa nia ya kusababisha wananchi wakose imani na vyombo vya dola na kuhatarisha amani na mshikamano uliopo. Akizungumzia kuhusu kufungiwa kwa gazeti la Mwananchi, alisema gazeti hilo limefungiwa muda wa siku 14 ambapo adhabu hiyo ilitangazwa kwa tangazo la serikali namba 333 la Septemba 27, mwaka huu. Alisema gazeti hilo hivi karibuni lilichapisha habari zenye mwelekeo wa uchochezi na uvunjifu wa amani, ambapo alitolea mfano gazeti la Julai 17, mwaka huu toleo namba 4774 ilichapisha habari iliyokuwa ikisema "Mishahara Mipya Serikalini 2013" ambao ulikuwa ni waraka uliozuiwa kwa matumizi ya vyombo vya habari kwa kuwa ulikuwa ni wa siri na haukupaswa kuchapishwa magazetini. "Aidha, katika toleo la Jumamosi, Agosti 17, mwaka huu lilichapisha habari yenye kichwa kisemacho “Waislamu Wasali Chini ya Ulinzi Mkali" habari hiyo ilikolezwa na picha ya mbwa mkali mwenye hasira. Habari na picha hiyo ilitoa tafsiri ya kuwa Jeshi la Polisi lilipeleka Mbwa katika maeneo ya ibada ya waumini wa dini ya Kiislamu, jambo ambalo halikuwa la ukweli," alisema Mwambene. Alisema katika siku hiyo polisi haikupeleka mbwa katika maeneo ya misikiti kama gazeti hilo lilivyoripoti, kwani serikali na jeshi la Polisi linaheshimu na kuzingatia maadili ya dini ya Kiislamu na kwa hiyo Jeshi lake haliwezi kupitisha au kuingiza mbwa katika maeneo ya ibada. Aliongeza kuwa gazeti hilo kwa kuchapisha habari iliyokolezwa na picha ya mbwa ni uchochezi wa kulichonganisha Jeshi la Polisi na waumini wa dini ya Kiislamu, kwani mbwa ni najisi hapaswi kuingia katika maeneo ya ibada. Akizungumzia gazeti la Mtanzania, alisema limefungiwa kuchapishwa kwa siku 90 (miezi mitatu) kwa kuchapisha habari zenye uchochezi, ambapo alisema gazeti hilo limeonywa mara nyingi kwa kutakiwa kurekebisha mtindo wake wa uandishi na lizingatie maadili, Sheria na Kanuni za fani ya Habari. "Pamoja na kuonywa gazeti hili halikuonesha kuzingatia maelekezo ya Msajili wa Magazeti, mfano katika toleo na. 7262 la Machi, mwaka huu, liliandika habari yenye kichwa kisemacho; “Urais wa Damu”, na Juni 12 katika toleo namba 7344 lilichapisha makala isemayo “Mapinduzi Hayaepukiki”. "Aidha, siku ya Jumatano, Septemba 18, mwaka huu katika toleo Namba 73414 ukurasa wa mbele lilichapisha kichwa cha habari kisemacho; “Serikali yanuka Damu” taarifa hiyo ilikolezwa na picha zilizounganishwa kwa ustadi mkubwa kwa kutumia kompyuta kutapakaza rangi nyekundu mithili ya damu nyingi kumwagika. Katika habari hiyo, gazeti hilo limedai bila uthibitisho kuwa Jeshi la Polisi linahusika na waathirika walioumizwa na watu wasiojulikana kwa kumwagiwa tindikali na waliovamiwa na kujeruhiwa vibaya," aliongeza Mwambene. Gazeti hilo pia limeishutumu serikali kuwa goigoi katika kushughulikia matukio yenye sura ya kigaidi nchini. Alisema kwa ujumla habari hiyo ni ya kichochezi, ina lengo la kuwafanya wananchi wavichukie vyombo vya ulinzi na usalama wavione kuwa haviwasaidii. “Kutokana na makosa yaliyotajwa hapo juu serikali imelifungia gazeti la Mtanzania kutochapishwa kwa muda wa siku 90 kwa Tangazo la Serikali Namba 332 la Septemba 27, mwaka huu”. "Serikali inawataka wamiliki, wahariri na wanahabari kwa ujumla kuwa makini, kuzingatia weledi, miiko na madili ya taaluma ya uandishi wa habari. Vile vile inawataka wamiliki na hasa wahariri kuhakikisha kuwa habari wanazoziandika na vipindi wanavyoviandaa vinazingatia taaluma na kuweka mbele maslahi ya taifa letu, kwa kuwa na uzalendo wa hali ya juu," alisema. Aliongeza kuwa serikali inavionya vyombo vya habari vinavyoutumia uhuru wa habari bila wajibu kuwa haitasita kuvichukulia hatua kali ikiwemo ya kuvifungia. "Serikali haitakubali kuona vyombo vya habari kuwa chanzo cha uvunjifu wa amani

SA on ‘White Widow’ terror alert

South Africa was placed on a high security alert last Sunday after “White Widow” Samantha Lewthwaite – believed to be the mastermind behind the terrorist attack in Kenya – was allegedly seen doing surveillance of embassies in Pretoria three weeks ago. This comes as it emerged that scores of Somali youngsters targeted by al-Shabaab in Mogadishu had fled the country and found refuge in South Africa for the past three years. Intelligence sources this week told The Sunday Independent that, as a result of the sighting, South Africa’s preparedness rating escalated to level 4 last Sunday, a security alert colour-coded orange. Only a red alert – which defines the security risk as “severe” – is more intensive, and could lead to the evacuation of foreign diplomatic personnel. According to security analyst and forensic investigator Chad Thomas, the sighting was brought to the attention of South Africa’s police intelligence by a security organisation linked to the Jewish community in South Africa. However, efforts to contact the organisation’s representatives – on the Jewish Sabbath – for confirmation, proved unsuccessful. Responding to questions State Security Agency spokesman Brian Dube remained non-committal, pointing out that “countries around the world continually assess and monitor security environments and grade them in line with their national interests”. As conveyed to the police’s crime intelligence, the information was characterised as “uncorroborated, but from a reliable source”. While Nairobi battled the aftermath of the Westgate mall shooting, in which 67 people were killed, Lewthwaite dominated headlines this week, after reports that the 29-year-old mother of two had lived in South Africa and Kenya for the past four years, travelling between the countries with at least one fraudulently obtained passport in the name of Natalie Faye Webb. Lewthwaite has figured for two years on intelligence watch lists after the discovery of this fraudulent identity. After the claimed Lewthwaite sighting some three weeks ago, South Africa had been at a level 3 alert, compounding fears around the suspected presence of al-Shabaab and other al-Qaeda offshoots in the country. And earlier this week, Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko confirmed that the top policing unit had been tracking the movements of al-Shabaab for the past year. Amir Sheikh, chairman of the Somali Community Board in Southern Africa, said that between 2006 and 2010 large numbers of young people fled the country after being targeted by al-Shabaab. The board estimates there are 50 000 Somalis in South Africa, of which 80 percent were young people aged between 18 and 35, targeted by the group. The board was aware of the Hawks’ investigations into al-Shabaab. The probe, said Sheikh, had been initiated after a phone conversation in Somali between a Somali national in Khayelitsha in Cape Town and an al-Shabaab member was intercepted by policing agencies. Sheikh said communication between the policing agencies and the community was on a good footing, and that they had been willing to assist the investigators. This week, coinciding with the escalation of the terror security alert, an Interpol red notice was issued at the request of Kenya for Lewthwaite’s arrest as an internationally wanted person. The red notice binds all of Interpol’s 190 members to arrest its subject, and is considered the most potent weapon at the disposal of the international policing umbrella body. “By requesting an Interpol red notice, Kenya has activated a global ‘tripwire’ for this fugitive,” Interpol secretary-general Ronald Noble said. “Through the Interpol red notice, Kenyan authorities have ensured that all 190 member countries are aware of the danger posed by this woman.” Prior to the issuing of the red notice, Lewthwaite had been wanted in South Africa for identity fraud, and in Kenya for being in possession of illegal explosives, as well as for conspiracy to commit a crime. Like the South African charges, those from Kenya date back to 2011 – four years after Lewthwaite first came to the attention of law enforcement agencies as the wife of British suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay, who blew himself up with 26 commuters in the horror London bombings of July 7, 2007. At the time, British investigators accepted her story that she had been innocent of all knowledge of the bomb conspiracy.

How SA let 'White Widow' slip away

Samantha Lewthwaite, who is believed to have been one of the masterminds in the Nairobi shopping mall atrocity, was in the cross hairs of South African intelligence for at least three years. But, in spite of her using a false passport in South Africa, she was able to slip out of the country in February 2011. Since then the 29-year-old mother of three, dubbed the "White Widow" by British media, has managed to elude key intelligence agencies, including those of South Africa, the US and Britain. Lewthwaite, at the time pregnant with her second child, was given her nickname when her husband, Germaine Lindsay, killed 26 people in a suicide bomb attack in London in 2005. She expressed remorse for the attack, but now appears to have thrown in her lot with Somali extremists. Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for her this week in connection with a 2011 criminal case in Kenya. Although she was not linked directly to the deadly Westgate attack in Nairobi, international investigators are convinced that Lewthwaite is the chief financier, recruiter, coach and trainer for al-Shabab in East Africa. Lewthwaite travelled in and out of South Africa, held down a R24500-a-month job, rented a house in suburban Johannesburg and ran up debts totalling more than R60000. Reports of Lewthwaite's possible link to the Westgate attack were sparked when Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed said a "British woman" was involved . New reports yesterday claimed she may have been stationed in a "secret lair" close to the mall. The Sunday Times has confirmed through two independent intelligence sources that Lewthwaite was flagged locally as a person of interest when she landed in South Africa on a Virgin Atlantic flight in 2010. She was monitored at the request of two foreign intelligence agencies and was suspected of having links to a wanted al-Shabab bomb-maker, Habib Ghani. Ghani is believed to have been killed by one of his own bombs in a remote village in Somalia two weeks ago. Local intelligence officers confirmed that her arrival and movements were documented and that she had lived with a Cape Town family for two months and later surfaced in Johannesburg. "We handed the information over to the FBI," said a source. State Security Ministry spokesman Brian Dube would not confirm or deny whether it had, at the behest of foreign intelligence agencies, monitored her, saying: "Confirming or denying the nature of our investigations would be self-defeating because it will compromise the very same work that we do." What was seemingly not known when the local operation on Lewthwaite started in 2010 was that the elusive Briton had already obtained a South African identity document and passport through a "late registration of birth" process. The Sunday Times has confirmed that she signed a lease agreement with property agency Chas Everitt in November 2009 - as Natalie Faye Webb, an employee of a halaal pie business then registered in Lenasia. She lived in the three-bedroom house in a quiet cul-de-sac in Bromhof, northern Johannesburg, until August 2010, when the lease expired. She left the country four months later. The estate agency was visited by the Hawks last year. They wanted information on Lewthwaite, including copies of the ID, bank statements and pay slips she provided to secure the property. Chas Everitt's Randburg manager, Dave Pride, said that although he never met Lewthwaite, he was told by staff that she was an "ordinary person". Her R24500 salary was paid directly into her Standard Bank account. "I'm told she was just like everyone else, nothing out of the ordinary. Her bank account and details she gave us all checked out ... She fell behind on the rent at one stage, but caught up and when she moved out she didn't owe anything," he said. The current occupants of the Bromhof property said they were shocked to learn the home was once occupied by the notorious "White Widow". Other neighbours said she was a loner and was rarely seen outside. Two of them said they had seen Lewthwaite with a nanny at times. A woman who lives with her two children in the Bromhof house that Lewthwaite occupied said: "We were watching this Kenya story unfold on the TV and two days later we hear this woman, whose face is all over, lived here. It feels surreal." The main tenant said: "I find myself lying in bed at night wondering if she was lying here planning these attacks." Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said records showed that Lewthwaite first arrived in South Africa in 2008. She left the country in February 2011 as Natalie Faye Webb. Pressed for details, home affairs deputy director-general for immigration services Jackie McKay said he did not have the "clearance" to provide them . On Thursday, Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for Lewthwaite in connection with the 2011 criminal case. It stems from a raid on a property in Mombasa in December 2011 when the police found explosives, AK47 ammunition and Lewthwaite's fake South African passport. She is being tried in absentia along with another British national. Although present when the police pounced, Lewthwaite got away by pretending to be South African Natalie Webb. Meanwhile, Kenyan authorities continue to count the cost of the deadly four-day standoff with the militants. By yesterday, more than 70 people were confirmed dead and close to 200 injured. The local Red Cross said at least 61 were still missing. Cape Town businessman James Thomas was among the 18 foreigners killed. He is scheduled to be buried on Wednesday. There has been some international criticism about the fact that the Kenyans requested the Interpol red notice only in the aftermath of the Westgate attack. It has now also emerged that the Kenyan government had been warned of an attack to be launched in September and that it had failed to act on the warning. Lewthwaite's stay in South Africa is one of a number of signs that point to an a l-Shabab presence in the country: In May 2010, the Sunday Times revealed that local intelligence services were accused of being slow to react to warnings that al-Qaeda and al-Shabab operatives were planning an attack during the World Cup; Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state at the time, met Minister of International Relations Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in 2009 and warned that al-Shabab was recruiting in South Africa. She said the minister was also aware of this; In 2009, intelligence sources also told of a threat to the US embassy in Pretoria. It allegedly originated from a public phone in the Southgate mall in Johannesburg. Another call was made to parliament; and Just before the 2010 World Cup, intelligence agencies told the Sunday Times that they had intercepted a telephone call from Khayelitsha in the Western Cape to known members of al-Shabab. During the recorded conversation, the parties discussed an alleged plot " to blow up American interests". Somali expatriates in Mayfair, Johannesburg, told the Sunday Times that they feared the al-Shabab link to the Kenyan attack could be damaging for their community. "It's not fair that there's been fear here this week because people did bad things elsewhere," said businessman Said Abdullah. -

Pakistan explosion: Dozens killed in Peshawar market

An explosion has ripped through a market in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar, leaving at least 31 dead and dozens wounded, officials say. Police said a bomb had exploded in the Kissa Khwani market, with shops and vehicles set alight. The blast comes a week after a double suicide bombing that killed at least 80 people at a church in the city. On Friday, at least 17 people were killed in the bombing of a bus carrying government employees near Peshawar. Peshawar, the main city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has been hit by numerous bomb and gun attacks blamed on Taliban insurgents in recent years. Hospital emergency Police said they suspected the explosion was caused by a car bomb. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper quoted the health minister as saying that the main Peshawar police station may have been the main target. However, bomb disposal chief Shafqat Malik said it appeared the blast had taken place some way from the station. He told Agence France-Presse that a parked car had been "converted into a remote controlled bomb". An emergency situation was declared at the Lady Reading Hospital as it received the injured, many of them badly burned. Officials said 76 people had been hurt. Rising violence has hindered new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's overtures to end the insurgency through peace talks with the Taliban. On 21 September, Pakistan released from the jail the co-founder of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. But the Pakistan Taliban have consistently rejected the country's constitution and demand the imposition of Sharia law. Mr Sharif is in New York at the UN and is to meet Indian PM Manmohan Singh later on Sunday. Mr Sharif strongly condemned the Peshawar bombing in a message from New York, calling it an attack on humanity. Ahead of the talks, Mr Singh said Pakistan must stop being "the epicentre of terrorism". Last week's church bombing sparked grief and anger across Pakistan Last Sunday's attack on the historic All Saints church - thought to be the deadliest attack against Christians in Pakistan - sparked angry protests nationwide. Two Islamist militant groups with Taliban links said they had ordered the attack to hit back at US drone strikes. More than 120 people were wounded. Friday's bus bomb targeted government employees returning home in the Gulbela area, some 15km (9 miles) north-east of the city. In addition to those killed, at least 34 people were injured.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Clashes as Iranian President Returns to Tehran

TEHRAN — Hard-line protesters hurled eggs and a shoe at President Hassan Rouhani of Iran as he returned to Tehran on Saturday after supporters cheered him for reaching out to President Obama. Mr. Rouhani was standing in his car, waving through the sunroof as he passed supporters at the airport. But moments later, security guards tried to shield the president with an umbrella as protesters threw eggs and a shoe at his car while others blocked the road by praying on the pavement. “Long live Rouhani, man of change” the president’s supporters shouted, as a small contingent of police struggled to control the crowd. The hard-liners responded by shouting “our people are awake and hate America.” Security guards eventually pulled Mr. Rouhani back inside his car as it sped off, leaving supporters and opponents behind, some fighting with each other. One protester was almost run over after he threw himself in front of Mr. Rouhani’s car. The incident illustrates the tensions in Iran as Mr. Rouhani returned from a historic trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. His foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday, and Mr. Rouhani received a phone call from President Obama on Friday as he was on his way to Kennedy Airport, the first contact between an American and Iranian president since before the hostage crisis 30 years ago. In comments after his arrival in Tehran, Mr. Rouhani elaborated on the call with Mr. Obama. “Yesterday as we were getting ready to head to the airport, the White House called and expressed willingness to set up a phone call between the American president and me,” the semiofficial Fars News agency quoted Mr. Rouhani as saying. “A call was made to our ambassador’s cellphone,” Mr. Rouhani said. “The conversation mostly focused on the nuclear issue.” The Iranian president also explained why a much-anticipated meeting between him and President Obama did not take place. “A meeting between the two presidents needs some preparation, and since the ground was not prepared, this meeting did not take place,” Fars quoted Mr. Rouhani as saying. On Saturday morning, tensions spilled over outside the gates of the capital’s inner city airport. Dozens of Iranian families and youths had gathered to welcome the president back to Tehran. “Welcome, Lord of peace’, read a placard held by a woman in a colorful scarf. A man holding a baby smiled as supporters chanted slogans in support of the president. “I am here to show my support for Mr. Rouhani,” said Vida, 50, a fashion designer who declined to give her family name. Her daughter, wearing purple lipstick — Mr. Rouhani’s campaign color during the June elections — stood behind her, yelling “Long live reforms.” Her mother smiled. “This time our country will really change,” she said, “I am sure of it.” Down the road, about 50 protesters held placards saying, “we will never be humiliated,” and “talks to U.S. will not solve any problem.” All Iranian presidents have to deal with mysterious pressure groups that are supported by hard-line elements in Iran’s political establishment. “We are here because we hate America and Iran will never have relations with America,” said a man who refused to be identified. “Rouhani must listen to us.” Both groups clashed as Mr. Rouhani’s convoy came through the gates of the airport. As the president’s car drove off one man shook his head in despair. “Why must everything always be destroyed?” he asked. “The whole world is looking at us, and now people are throwing eggs at our president.”

U.S. and Iran Agree to Speed Talks to Defuse Nuclear Issue

WASHINGTON — The long-fractured relationship between the United States and Iran took a significant turn on Friday when President Obama and President Hassan Rouhani became the first leaders of their countries to speak since the Tehran hostage crisis more than three decades ago. In a hurriedly arranged telephone call, Mr. Obama reached Mr. Rouhani as the Iranian leader was headed to the airport to leave New York after a whirlwind news media and diplomatic blitz. The two agreed to accelerate talks aimed at defusing the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program and afterward expressed optimism at the prospect of a rapprochement that would transform the Middle East. “Resolving this issue, obviously, could also serve as a major step forward in a new relationship between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, one based on mutual interests and mutual respect,” Mr. Obama, referring to Tehran’s nuclear program, told reporters at the White House after the 15-minute phone call. “It would also help facilitate a better relationship between Iran and the international community, as well as others in the region.” A Twitter account in Mr. Rouhani’s name later stated, “In regards to nuclear issue, with political will, there is a way to rapidly solve the matter.” The account added that Mr. Rouhani had told Mr. Obama, “We’re hopeful about what we will see from” the United States and other major powers “in coming weeks and months.” President Obama suggested the discussion could be a starting point for renewed relations between the two countries, who once were allies. The conversation was the first between Iranian and American leaders since 1979 when President Jimmy Carter spoke by telephone with Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi shortly before the shah left the country, according to Iran experts. The Islamic Revolution that toppled the shah’s government led to the seizure of the American Embassy and a 444-day hostage crisis that have left the two countries at odds with each other ever since. Although both Republican and Democratic presidents have reached out to Tehran in the interim, contact had been reserved to letters or lower-level officials. The call came just days after Mr. Obama had hoped to encounter Mr. Rouhani at a luncheon at the United Nations and expected to shake hands. Mr. Rouhani skipped the luncheon and later indicated it was premature to meet Mr. Obama. But a meeting on Thursday between Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran was described as constructive and led Iranian officials to contact the White House on Friday to suggest the phone call, according to American officials. A senior Obama administration official, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities, said the White House had expressed the president’s interest in meeting Mr. Rouhani to the Iranians this week but was surprised when they suggested the phone call. Mr. Obama placed the call from the Oval Office around 2:30 p.m., joined by aides and a translator. President Obama announced having a phone conversation with President Hassan Rouhani. He opened by congratulating Mr. Rouhani on his election in June and noted the history of mistrust between the two nations, but also what he called the constructive statements Mr. Rouhani had made during his stay in New York, according to the official. The bulk of the call focused on the nuclear dispute, and Mr. Obama repeated that he respected Iran’s right to develop civilian nuclear energy, but insisted on concessions to prevent development of weapons. Mr. Obama also raised the cases of three Americans in Iran, one missing and two others detained. In a lighter moment, he apologized for New York traffic. The call ended on a polite note, according to the official and Mr. Rouhani’s Twitter account. “Have a nice day,” Mr. Rouhani said in English. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran at a news conference Friday at a hotel near the United Nations. He then headed to the airport. “Thank you,” Mr. Obama replied, and then tried a Persian farewell. “Khodahafez.” By talking on the phone instead of in person, Mr. Rouhani avoided a politically problematic photo of himself with Mr. Obama, which could have inflamed hard-liners in Iran who were already wary of his outreach to the United States. As it was, conservative elements in Tehran tried to reinterpret his statements acknowledging the Holocaust while he was in New York. The state news channel, the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, had not mentioned the phone call with Mr. Obama as of midnight Friday after word of it broke, and the original messages on Mr. Rouhani’s Twitter account were deleted and replaced with more anodyne comments. But Mr. Rouhani’s office announced the call in a statement carried by the Iranian state news agency. “This voice contact has for now replaced the actual shaking of hands, but this is clearly the start of a process that could in the future lead to a face-to-face meeting between both leaders,” said Amir Mohebbian, a political adviser close to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Abbas Milani, an Iranian scholar at Stanford University, said Mr. Rouhani wanted to avoid looking as if he was making concessions. “The U.S. and the West have wisely decided to allow the regime to make its claims of victory at home, so long as they play earnest ball in meetings abroad,” Mr. Milani said. A call to a leader on the way to the airport may not be normal protocol, he added, but “in this case it was adroit policy for both sides.” American advocates of closer relations between the two countries were optimistic. “The phone call wasn’t just history,” said Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, an arms control group, who attended a dinner with Mr. Rouhani in New York. “It helped fundamentally change the course of Iranian-U.S. relations. We’re on a very different trajectory than we were even at the beginning of the week.” But others expressed caution, arguing that Iran was reaching out only because of the sanctions that have strangled its economy. “The economic pain now is sufficient to oblige a telephone call, though not a face-to-face meeting,” said Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which supports stronger sanctions against Iran. “We will see whether the pain is sufficient for the Iranians to shut the heavy-water plant at Arak and reverse Iran’s path to a rapid breakout capacity with enriched uranium.” Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the Republican majority leader, criticized Mr. Obama for not pressing Iran to halt what he said was its support for terrorism and for Syria’s government. “It is particularly unfortunate that President Obama would recognize the Iranian people’s right to nuclear energy but not stand up for their right to freedom, human rights or democracy,” he said. In announcing the call with Mr. Rouhani, Mr. Obama said that only “meaningful, transparent and verifiable actions” on the nuclear program could “bring relief” from sanctions. “A path to a meaningful agreement will be difficult, and at this point, both sides have significant concerns that will have to be overcome,” he said. “But I believe we’ve got a responsibility to pursue diplomacy, and that we have a unique opportunity to make progress with the new leadership in Tehran.” Recognizing the delicacy of the outreach effort, Mr. Obama made a point of trying to reassure Israel that he would not jeopardize an ally’s security. “Throughout this process, we’ll stay in close touch with our friends and allies in the region, including Israel,” he said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is scheduled to visit Mr. Obama at the White House on Monday. Before leaving New York, Mr. Rouhani said his government would present a plan in three weeks on how to resolve the nuclear standoff. “I expect this trip will be the first step and the beginning of constructive relations with countries of the world,” he said at a news conference. He went on to say that he hoped the visit would also improve relations “between two great nations, Iran and the United States,” adding that the trip had exceeded his expectations. Mr. Rouhani and his aides have been on an extraordinarily energetic campaign to prove that they are moderate and reasonable partners and to draw a stark contrast with his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But Mr. Rouhani has yet to propose anything concrete to suggest how different the Iranians really are in their approach. The first glimpse of that is due to come on Oct. 15 and 16, when Iran plans to present its own road map in Geneva. Mr. Rouhani emphasized that his government had the authority and the will to reach a nuclear settlement within what he called “a short period of time.” But he was visibly irritated when asked whether his diplomatic blitz was merely designed to buy time with his Western interlocutors. “We have never chosen deceit as a path,” he said. “We have never chosen secrecy.”

Chelsea's summer arrival Willian had 'signed a contract' with Tottenham before late switch

Reports suggest the Brazilian had put pen to paper with the White Hart Lane side three days before moving to Stamford Bridge instead Boy in blue: Willian switched to Chelsea Chelsea's summer arrival Willian signed a contract with Tottenham before deciding to switch to Stamford Bridge, according to reports. The 25-year-old surprised many in August having been set to finalise a move to the North London side from Anzhi Makhachkala. But having completed a medical at Spurs, the Brazilian opted for Chelsea instead. And according to The Times, Willian was so close to moving that he had even put pen to paper on a deal before heading to west London three days later. All eyes will be on Andre Villas-Boas and Jose Mourinho this lunchtime as the two line up against one another 24 hours after the Special One hit out at his former protégé. The Spurs boss said of Mourinho earlier this week: "We had a great personal and professional relationship before that we don't have now. Divided: Villas-Boas and Mourinho have fallen out   "I don't think we need explanations on friendship and personal relationships. But our relationship broke down." And speaking yesterday about his fractured friendship with Villas-Boas, Mourinho hit back: “It’s a personal thing, and I’m not here to discuss that. I don’t care about what he says. I’m not interested. “If I have something to discuss here, we go upstairs, have lunch and speak about it. I’m not here to discuss it in public."

Shujaa Hajji

Mwanamke Mmarekani mama wa watoto watatu aishiye Nairobi siku ya tukio aliondoka nyumbani na familia yake na kwenda katika duka hilo na kujikuta amenaswa katika shambulizi hilo akiwa na mabinti zake watatu. Katherine Walton, ambaye alikuwa Afrika akifuatana na wanawe na mumewe Phillip, tangu miaka miwili iliyopita, alijikuta amenasa chini ya meza nje ya duka hilo. Anasema kama asingekuwa mwanamume aitwaye Abdul Haji, hana uhakika kama yeye au wanawake na watoto aliokuwa amenasa nao kwa saa kadhaa, wangetoka wazima. Familia ya Walton ilielezea mkasa huo kwa Telegraph la Uingereza ikifafanua kilichojiri na hata Haji kuonekana akiwaokoa huku milio ya risasi ikirindima na miili yenye damu ikionekana kila mahali. “Tulikuwa tukienda kuonana na wanangu wawili wakubwa wa kiume katika duka hilo tuliposikia mlipuko,” Walton (38), ambaye aliingia Kenya akitoka North Carolina, aliiambia Telegraph. “Niliwashika mabinti wale na kuanza kukimbia. Mwanamke alituvuta nyuma ya meza. Niliweza kuona risasi zikigonga juu ya maduka na kusikia vilio katika sehemu tuliyokuwa.” Walton na wanawe walinasa pamoja na mwanamke Mkenya na wanawake wawili Wahindi chini ya meza kwa saa kadhaa. Wanawake wengine walimsaidia Walton kutuliza mabinti zake. “Walionekana kutulia kimya,” Walton alisema. “Mwanangu alikuwa akilia huku milio ya risasi ikiendelea, baadaye alilala. Wakati fulani mapambano yakiendelea, mwanangu wa miaka miwili na mtoto mwingine walikuwa wakichezea simu yangu. Sikuwaelewa kufanya vile kana kwamba mambo yalikuwa mazuri.” Baada ya kilichoonekana sasa kama mvumo wa risasi huku vilio vya magaidi na waathirika vikichangia, Walton ghafla aliona mtu akiwa na bastola akijibu mashambulizi ya magaidi hao. Alikuwa ni Haji, mtu ambaye alipata mafunzo ya kivita na baba yake ambaye alipata kuwa Waziri wa Usalama, na alikuwa akijaribu kuelekeza wanawake wamfuate. Mtoto ajitokeza Walipokuwa wanahofia kutembea kama kundi, mwanawe mwenye umri wa miaka minne, Portia ambaye alijitokeza chini ya meza alimfuata Haji. “Sijui alijuaje kufanya hivyo lakini alifanya,” Walton aliiambia Telegraph. “Alifanya alichoambiwa kufanya na alikwenda.” Picha za Portia na Haji zilisambazwa katika mitandao mingi na zingine zikimwonesha Haji akiokoa wanawake na watoto. Walton alifarijika kubaini kuwa wanawe wa kiume aliokuwa akutane nao dukani pale walikuwa salama nyuma ya mstari wa Polisi nje ya duka. Walton aliiambia Telegraph: “Nilikuwa nahofia familia Marekani kuona picha hii, kwa sababu sijawasilimulia lolote kuhusu tukio kamili. Kwangu mimi najua habari yote kwa undani na kwamba ilimalizika salama. Nadhani Haji ananidai fadhila.” Haji alipoulizwa kuhusu ujasiri wake, alisema :”Nadhani nimefanya kile ambacho Mkenya yeyote katika hali kama ile angeweza kufanya kuokoa maisha, kuokoa binadamu wengine bila kuangalia uraia, dini au imani.” Mashuhuda wa tukio hilo waliiambia AP na vyombo vingine vya habari, kwamba magaidi walizingira wateja na kuwauliza juu ya Uislamu na kwamba Mwislamu anapaswa kuufahamu na kuwataka Waislamu kuondoka. Lakini bado baadhi ya Waislamu walikuwa miongoni mwa waliouawa. Al Shabaab ilipoulizwa kama nia yao ilikuwa kuua wageni, ilisema: “lengo letu lilikuwa ni kuishambulia Serikali ya Kenya katika ardhi yake na eneo lolote ndani ya Kenya ni lengo letu halali … na Kenya inapaswa kuwajibishwa kwa hasara hiyo ya maisha, yawe ya mgeni au mwenyeji.” Akihojiwa na NTV, Haji alikiri kwamba kaka yake – aliyempeleka kwa mara ya kwanza kuokoa katika duka hilo – ni mpambanaji dhidi ya ugaidi na hadi shambulizi linatokea alikuwa akiifanya kazi hiyo kwa siri. Alisema wao na baba yao walipokea vitisho dhidi ya maisha yao siku moja kabla ya shambulio hilo na sasa ni dhahiri kwamba kaka yake alikuwa akifanya kazi ya kupambana na makundi kama al Shabaab. Kiongozi wa al Shabaab, Ahmed Godane, alisema katika taarifa yake Jumatano kwa njia ya redio, kwamba shambulizi hilo lilifanyika ili kulipiza kiasi kwa mataifa ya Magharibi yanayounga mkono uvamizi wa Kenya nchini Somalia na ‘maslahi ya kampuni zao za mafuta’. Ingawa Kenya kupitia kwa Waziri wa Mambo ya Nje mapema ilisema raia wawili au watatu wa Marekani walihusika na shambulio hilo, ofisa wa mataifa hayo alisema baada ya kuchunguza pasipoti na kumbukumbu za wakimbizi, hakuna ishara yoyote inayothibitisha Wamarekani kushiriki. Majiji kadhaa ya Marekani hususan Minneapolis, yana jamii nyingi za Wamerakani wenye asili ya Somalia. Magaidi Jumatano waliendeleza mashambulizi mengine safari hii wakishambulia mji wa Wajir, katika mpaka na Somalia ambako inaarifiwa mtu mmoja aliuawa na wengine wanne kujeruhiwa, baada ya mtu mwenye silaha kuwafyatulia risasi na kuwarushia mabomu, Wizara ya Mambo ya Ndani ya Nchi ilisema. Maofisa wa mochari jijini Nairobi wamejiandaa kupokea idadi kubwa ya miili ambayo bado imo dukani. Maofisa wa Serikali waliiambia AP kwamba kituo hicho cha biashara, bado kinaweza kuwa na idadi kubwa ya miili. Serikali imethibitisha jumla ya vifo 72: raia wakiwa 61, maofisa usalama sita na magaidi watano. Chama cha Msalaba Mwekundu kinasema watu 71 haijulikani waliko. Balozi wa Marekani nchini Kenya, Robert Godec alisema Jumatano kwamba nchi yake inatoa msaada wa kiufundi na vifaa kwa vikosi vya usalama vya Kenya na wahudumu wa afya. Godec alisema Marekani inasaidia uchunguzi ili hatimaye kupata magaidi waliohusika na kuwafikisha mbele ya sheria. Maofisa wa Serikali ya Kenya wamesema washukiwa 11 wanashikiliwa wakiwamo saba ambao walikamatwa katika uwanja wa ndege wakijiandaa kuondoka. Wanahojiwa, alisema msemaji wa Serikali. JK atoa pole ubalozini Wakati huo huo, Rais Jakaya Kikwete jana alitembelea Ubalozi wa Kudumu wa Kenya katika Umoja wa Mataifa(UN), New York, Marekani na kusaini kitabu cha maombolezo kutokana na vifo vya watu 69 na mamia kujeruhiwa katika shambulio hilo. Rais aliwasili ubalozini hapo saa 8:30 mchana baada ya kutembea kwa miguu na walinzi wake kutoka makao makuu ya UN karibu na ubalozini hapo na kupokewa na Balozi Koki Muli Grignon, Naibu Mwakilishi wa Kudumu wa Kenya katika UN kwa niaba ya Balozi Macharia Kamau ambaye yuko nje ya Marekani. Baada ya kusaini, Rais alizungumza kwa ufupi na wafanyakazi wa ubalozi huo, akisema alikwenda kuelezea majonzi na hasira yake kutokana na vifo vya watu hao na mamia wengine kujeruhiwa. “Siku ile ya tukio nilikuwa natoka Canada kuja hapa na nililiona kwenye televisheni, nikiwa Canada. Nilimpigia simu Rais Uhuru Kenyatta na kuzungumza naye. Nilimweleza masikitiko yangu na hasira yangu kwa shambulio hilo dhidi ya watu wasiokuwa na hatia na raia wasiokuwa na ujuzi wowote wa kupigana,” Rais Kikwete alisema na kuongeza: “Nilimweleza utangamano wa Watanzania na Wakenya katika tukio hilo. Nilimwambia kuwa wananchi wa nchi zote mbili wako pamoja katika kipindi hiki kigumu, ni majirani na watu wale wale. Nilimwambia kuwa tutaendelea kushirikiana kupambana na ugaidi kwa sababu wakati wa tukio la Septemba 1998, Nairobi na Dar es Salaam wote waliathirika. “Nilimwambia Tanzania iko tayari kusaidia kuchangia mawazo na rasilimali kutafuta suluhisho la tukio hili kama msaada wetu ungehitajika. Nilimtakia yeye na wananchi wa Kenya moyo wa uvumilivu na subira katika kipindi hiki kigumu.” Balozi Koki Muli Grignon amlimwambia Rais Kikwete: “Umetupa heshima kubwa kuja hapa, umetupa hamasa na ari. Tutapambana pamoja kukomesha ugaidi katika eneo letu la Afrika Mashariki. Ujio wako umetushangaza, umemshangaza kila mtu kwenye ubalozi. Hatukutarajia kabisa. Tunakushukuru Rais.”

Friday, September 27, 2013

Msanii Ahukumiwa Miezi Sita Kwa Kuimba Matusi

Msanii wa kizazi kipya nchini Tunisia, Ahmed Ben Ahmed, anayejulikana kwa jina la kiusanii, Klay BBJ, amehukumiwa jela kwa miezi sita kwa kuwatusi maafisa wakuu kupitia kwa muziki wake. Mahakama ilitupilia mbali kesi yake ya rufaa baada ya yeye na mwanamuziki mwenzake kupatikana na hatia mwezi jana ya kuwatusi maafisa wakuu katika tamasha la muziki eneo la Hammamet. Wawili hao awali walihukumiwa bila ya wao kuwepo mahakamani kutumikia kifungo cha miezi 21 lakini hukumu hiyo iliondolewa. Weld El 15, aliyepatikana na kosa kwa kuimba wimbo wake huo, kuwa 'Ploisi ni Mbwa', hakukata rufaa na sasa yuko mbioni. Hata hivyo Kaly BBJ lisema kuwa wimbo wao ulikuwa unaelezea hali ilivyo nchini Tunisia na kuhusu serikali. Muungano wa vyama unaoongozwa na chama cha wanasiasa waisilamu wenye msimamo wa kadri, Ennahda, uliingia mamlakani baada ya mapinduzi ya kiraia yaliyomwondoa mamlakani aliyekuwa rais Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali mwezi Januari mwaka 2011 na uchaguzi kufanyika baadaye mwaka huo. Klay anasemekana kuambia mahakama kuwa wimbo wao unakosoa hali ya sasa serikalini na kote nchini Tunisia tu. Alisema yeye ni mmoja wa wanamuziki wanaokosoa sana serikali na ndio maana wamekuwa wakimsaka sana. Lakini majaji walikataa rufaa aliyowasilisa na kusema hukumu yake ya miezi sita gerezani inastahili kuanza mara moja. Wakili wake alisema kuwa watawasilisha rufaa nyingine kupinga hukumu dhidi yake.

Samantha Lewthwaite

Speculation has been fuelled by the Kenyan foreign minister who has said one of the militants from the Somali-based al-Shabab group was a British woman. And suspicion was heightened when international crime agency Interpol issued a wanted persons notice for her arrest. But the warrant - requested by the Kenyans - relates to separate terror charges dating from 2011 and is not linked to the Nairobi siege. There has been no confirmation of Ms Lewthwaite's involvement, either as an attacker, organiser or fundraiser. Al-Shabab has denied that any women were involved. Whitehall officials continue to advise caution about reports linking her to the attack, says the BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner. A photo from a fake South African passport alleged to belong to Samantha Lewthwaite under an assumed name Her notoriety though, confirmed by the Interpol warrant, is not in doubt. Ms Lewthwaite, 29, was first thrust into the spotlight after the 7 July bombings in London in 2005, as the widow of bomber Germaine Lindsay, who killed 26 people when he blew up a Piccadilly Line Tube train near King's Cross. A Muslim convert dubbed the "White Widow" by much of the media, she has no terrorism record in the UK but was on the run from Kenyan Police before the Westgate attack, allegedly using a South Africa passport over suspected links to a terrorist cell that planned to bomb the country's coast. Interpol's red notice is a recognition that she is now considered an international threat, not just someone who should be regarded as a passport fraudster, says BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani. The notice says Ms Lewthwaite is "wanted by Kenya on charges of being in possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony dating back to December 2011". 'Mythological figure' After the 7 July attacks, Ms Lewthwaite condemned her husband's actions as "abhorrent", saying trips to radical mosques had "poisoned his mind". "How these people could have turned him and poisoned his mind is dreadful," she told the Sun. "He was an innocent, naive and simple man. I suppose he must have been an ideal candidate." But not long after the attack she disappeared. She was known to be in Kenya and, last year, officials said she had fled to Somalia and the police were hunting a woman who used several identities, including hers. Lewthwaite attended the Grange School in Aylesbury BBC journalist Peter Taylor, who has just returned from Kenya where he was making a Panorama programme on al-Shabab, said there was still a lot of speculation about the group involved in the attack on the shopping centre. However, he said: "If, as the foreign minister says, there was a British woman involved 'who had done this many times before', there is a strong possibility it may well be Samantha Lewthwaite. "If she is dead then she would have achieved the kind of martyrdom that her husband Germaine Lindsay achieved." He said Ms Lewthwaite had become an almost "mythological figure" and the search for her had been going on a "long time". "At the time of the 7/7 bombings, the impression was that she disapproved and was highly critical of her husband's action," he added. "Then she disappeared off the radar and turns up again in Kenya. It would appear she became involved with al-Shabab to fight jihad as her husband believed he was doing when he bombed the Tube." 'Follower not leader' Ms Lewthwaite spent much of her life in the Buckinghamshire town of Aylesbury, although her very early years were spent in Northern Ireland. Born to English soldier Andy Lewthwaite - who met and married Christine Allen while serving in Northern Ireland during the 1970s - she spent her childhood on the Whyte Acres estate in Banbridge, County Down. Ms Lewthwaite was still at primary school when her family moved to Aylesbury, where they lived in a modest terraced house. Her parents separated in 1995. Raj Khan, an Aylesbury councillor who has known her for decades, told the BBC she was an average girl. Samantha Lewthwaite married 7/7 bomber Germaine Lindsay in 2002 "I knew her when she was a child," he said. "She was very innocent, lacking confidence, shy and very easy to get on with. She was a follower not a leader." He said he could not imagine her being involved in the Nairobi attack. "It takes someone sophisticated to be involved in such an international terrorist organisation," he added. She became friendly with a local Muslim family who helped her to convert to Islam when she was a teenager. At the Grange School in Aylesbury, the new Muslim convert stood out, according to Novid Shaid who taught there. Speaking to BBC Radio 4's The Report last year, he said: "She seemed to be really proud wearing the hijab, there was a bubbly feeling around her." After a few years, "we noticed her wearing the full galabiya (full-length robe) which some converts tend to do when they become more serious," he said. Ms Lewthwaite's interest in religion developed further and she enrolled in a degree course in politics and the study of religions in 2002 at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. However, she left the course after two months. She met Jamaican-born Muslim convert Lindsay via an Islamic internet chatroom the same year and the couple married a few months later. They lived initially in Huddersfield but moved to Aylesbury in September 2003. Six months later, their first child was born. Their second child was born after the London bombings. Play Raj Khan: "If she is being radicalised to this extent where was it done? was it in Aylesbury?" It is thought she has since remarried and the papers say she now has either three or four children. Her father, sister and brother also distanced themselves from Lindsay after the 7 July attacks. "He was a good and loving husband and a brilliant father, who showed absolutely no sign of doing this atrocious crime," they said in a statement. "We as a family had no idea of his plans and are as horrified as the rest of the world." It is understood she has had little contact with relatives in Northern Ireland, including her 85-year-old grandmother Elizabeth Allen, since her conversion to Islam.

Jewellery missing

The summoning of the heads of the various security agencies to appear before the parliamentary defence committee on Monday comes amid rising concern among Kenyans over the authorities' preparedness for such an attack. "The time for responsibility and accountability has come," the defence committee's chairman Ndung'u Gethenji is quoted by Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper as saying. Local media have reported that National Intelligence Service boss Michael Gichangi, one of those asked to appear before the committee, passed on intelligence about a possible attack to the police. But the Daily Nation says that a highly placed police source denied that such information was received. New photos revealing some of the damage at the Westgate shopping centre have been released. They show how parts of the rooftop car park have collapsed down onto what is believed to be the supermarket area. The manager of a jewellery shop allowed back into Westgate showed the BBC photos she took, showing that the store had been looted. President Uhuru Kenyatta declared three days of official mourning this week. The funeral of his nephew and his nephew's fiancee took place in Nairobi on Friday. Amongst the funerals held on Thursday was that of Mitul Shah at the Hindu Crematorium. A marketing executive, his firm was reportedly sponsoring the children's cooking competition taking place in the car park. Irene Anyango, manager of a Westgate jewellery shop, is one of the few people allowed into the mall following the end of the siege. She said the mall was barely recognisable given the damage. "It was a nightmare… and the shop was a totally different place," she told the BBC. "So many things were not intact... a lot of things weren't there, a lot jewellery - we're talking about diamonds, necklaces - all the rings." Ms Anyango said 90% of the jewellery was missing from the shop, which is now flooded. "As far as we know for the last couple of days they were intact - we don't understand what's happening but they're not there," she said. Many people not only face the trauma of losing family and colleagues but also the possibility of losing their jobs, she added. On Thursday the funeral of pregnant television and radio star Ruhila Adatia-Sood was one of many funerals held. Some 2,500 people packed into the Muslim Ismaili community's sports and social club in Nairobi to pay their respects to her and another woman killed in the siege, the AFP news agency reports. They had been taking part in a children's cooking competition on the rooftop car park, when gunmen stormed the shopping centre. "We are a small community. In a tragedy like this we get together," Azym Dossa, who lent his fleet of coaches to ferry mourners across town, told AFP. Al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, has repeatedly threatened attacks on Kenyan soil if Nairobi did not pull its troops out of Somalia. About 4,000 Kenyan troops have been sent to Somalia to help pro-government forces battle al-Shabab. The group is banned as a terrorist group by both the US and the UK and is believed to have between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters. Its members are fighting to create an Islamic state in Somalia.

Rais Kikwete Kuifumua TANESCO

RAIS Jakaya Kikwete amesema Serikali yake inafanya mageuzi muhimu na marekebisho makubwa katika Shirika la Umeme Tanzania (TANESCO), kwa nia ya kuharakisha jitihada za Serikali kusambaza umeme kwa wananchi wengi zaidi. Pia, amesema Serikali imechukua hatua nyingi na kali za kupambana na rushwa, kwa nia ya kukomesha vitendo hivyo nchini na kuinua kiwango cha utawala bora. Alisema hayo juzi wakati alipokutana na kuzungumza na ujumbe wa Shirika la Changamoto za Milenia (MCC), ukiongozwa na Mtendaji Mkuu wake, Daniel Yohannes. Ujumbe huo umekutana na Rais Kikwete, New York, Marekani ambako Rais amefikia kwa ziara yake ya kikazi, ambako miongoni mwa mambo mengine, atahutubia mkutano wa 68 wa Baraza Kuu la Umoja wa Mataifa (UN), ulioanza Jumanne wiki hii. Katika mazungumzo hayo, Yohannes alimwelezea Rais Kikwete kuhusu maendeleo ya ombi la Tanzania kuingizwa katika awamu ya pili ya misaada ya Serikali ya Marekani kupitia MCC, chini ya Akaunti ya Milenia Tanzania (MCAT). Nchi nyingine za Afrika ambazo maombi yao yanafikiriwa katika awamu hiyo ya pili ni Morocco, Mozambique na Lesotho. Tanzania ndiyo nchi iliyopokea sehemu kubwa zaidi ya msaada wa MCC duniani katika awamu ya kwanza, ambako ilipewa kiasi cha dola za Marekani milioni 698 ambazo zimeingizwa katika miradi mikubwa ya ujenzi wa barabara, usambazaji wa umeme vijijini, miradi ya maji na ujenzi wa Uwanja wa Ndege wa Mafia. Serikali ya Tanzania imeamua kuwa fedha za awamu ya pili ya MCC zitaingizwa kupanua zaidi huduma za umeme na ujenzi wa barabara za vijiji kwa nia ya kuongeza idadi ya Watanzania wanaopata huduma za umeme na kwa nia ya kuboresha barabara za vijijini katika maeneo yanayozalisha mazao kwa wingi zaidi. Serikali ya Rais Kikwete imeliweka suala la usambazaji umeme kwa Watanzania mijini na vijijini miongoni mwa maeneo yake ya kipaumbele. Wakati anaingia madarakani mwaka 2005, ni asilimia 10 tu ya Watanzania waliokuwa wanapata umeme. Katika miaka saba iliyopita, asilimia hiyo imepata hadi kufikia 21 ikiwa ni asilimia 11 zaidi kuliko katika miaka yote 50 ya Uhuru. Lengo la sasa ni kuifikisha asilimia 30 ama zaidi mwaka 2015. Katika mazungumzo hayo na Rais Kikwete, Yohannes alitaka kujua ni hatua zipi Serikali inazichukua kurekebisha changamoto zinazoikabili TANESCO na hatua gani zinachukuliwa kuzidi kukabiliana na matatizo ya rushwa. Rais Kikwete amemweleza Yohannes: “Kama unavyojua, Shirika la Umeme Tanzania (TANESCO) limepitia safari ngumu na kukabiliwa na changamoto nyingi lakini sasa tumeamua katika Serikali kulifanyia mageuzi muhimu na marekebisho makubwa kwa maana ya muundo wake na pia kuangalia viwango vya malipo ambayo Shirika hilo linawatoza wateja wake. Mageuzi haya katika TANESCO ni muhimu sana na yameanza kufanyika na kwa hakika Serikali imedhamiria kukayamilisha mageuzi hayo katika muda mfupi iwezekanavyo.”