Select Your Language!



  • Google
  • BBC
  • Reuters
  • U.S State Dept
  • Error
  • Economist
  • RFI

BEIT UR AL-FAUQA, West Bank, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Sitting under an olive tree in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Muftia Tlaib scoffs at the attention she has recently received from the president of the United States. Tlaib is the grandmother of U.S. congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, at the centre of an affair that has drawn Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu together against U.S. Democrats. On Thursday, bowing to pressure from Trump, Israel barred a visit by Rashida Tlaib and fellow Democrat Ilhan Omar that it had initially said it would allow.

The pilot of a small plane in a deadly crash near New Orleans' Lakefront Airport radioed the control tower shortly after takeoff about unspecified problems and sought clearance to return, federal investigators said Saturday. The pilot and an award-winning television journalist aboard were both killed in the crash Friday afternoon. The National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement that the pilot contacted the tower just before the Aerotek Pitts S-2B went down in a field not far from the airport.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's exit from presidential race means other candidates have an opportunity to win over his supporters.

The Isis fighter known as Jihadi Jack has been stripped of his British citizenship, prompting a diplomatic row between the UK and Canada, it has been reported.  Muslim convert Jack Letts, 24, who had held dual UK and Canadian citizenship, declared he was an "enemy of Britain" after travelling from Oxfordshire to Syria at the age of 18 to join the terror group. He has begged to be allowed to return to the UK, insisting he had "no intention" of killing Britons, after he was captured by Kurdish forces in 2017.  The Home Office has now stripped Letts of British citizenship, meaning he is the responsibility of the Canadian government, The Mail on Sunday said. It was reportedly one of the last actions of Theresa May’s administration. Isil Rise and fall of a caliphate The decision is understood to have angered officials in Ottawa, prompting fears of a row between Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Boris Johnson when they meet at the G7 summit in France next weekend. Letts, who travelled to the Middle East in 2014, is now among more than 120 dual nationals who have been stripped of their British citizenship since 2016, including Isis bride Shamima Begum. Ms Begum was one of three girls from Bethnal Green, east London, who left the UK aged just 15 in February 2015 and travelled to Syria to join Islamic State. It was thought Ms Begum may have a claim in Bangladesh because of her family background, something Bangladeshi officials denied. The move can only be made against people with two passports, because international law prevents the Government from making anyone "stateless".  John Letts and Sally Lane, the parents of a Muslim convert dubbed Jihadi Jack Credit: PA It will come as a blow to Lett's parents, Sally Lane and John Letts, who were found guilty at the Old Bailey in June of funding terrorism and given 12-month sentences suspended for 15 months. In an interview after their conviction, they said: "Jack is still a British citizen and we have pleaded with the Government to help us to bring him to safety, even if that meant that he might be prosecuted in the UK." A Home Office spokesman said: "This power is one way we can counter the terrorist threat posed by some of the most dangerous individuals and keep our country safe." In an interview with ITV earlier this year, Letts said he felt British and that he wanted to return to the UK, but admitted he did not think that would be likely. "I'm not going to say I'm innocent. I'm not innocent. I deserve what comes to me. But I just want it to be... appropriate... not just haphazard, freestyle punishment in Syria," he told the broadcaster. Struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourette's when he was at school, Jack converted to Islam at the age of 16. He used to attend the Bengali mosque in Cowley Road, Oxford, before he came into contact with men with a more radical ideology. Jack has previously admitted he was at one time prepared to carry out a suicide attack, telling the BBC: "I used to want to at one point, believe it or not. Not a vest. I wanted to do it in a car. I said if there's a chance, I will do it." He also said in the interview, which took place in October last year but was not broadcast until after his parents' trial had ended, that he realised he had been "an enemy of Britain" but added that he had made "a big mistake".

Five people were taken to the hospital Friday night after malfunctioning roller coaster failed to stop in Ocean City, Maryland.

The infant was left in a wooded area in suburban Washington on a 90-degree day without so much as a diaper, according to police.

An “instant party” in Texas ended with a car chase and several people shot, police say.

Israeli warplanes struck at least three targets in the Gaza Strip early on Saturday but caused no apparent casualties, a Palestinian security source said. The strikes, which came after Palestinians fired a rocket from the territory at southern Israel late Friday, hit a Hamas observation post in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, an unidentified target near Gaza City and open ground near Deir El Balah in the central part of the territory, the source said.

An Iranian tanker caught in a stand-off between Tehran and the West has raised an Iranian flag and has had a new name painted on its side, Reuters images of the stationary vessel filmed off Gibraltar showed on Sunday. British Royal Marines seized the vessel in Gibraltar in July on suspicion that it was carrying oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran, in violation of European Union sanctions. Video footage and photographs showed the tanker flying the red, green and white flag of Iran and bearing the new name of 'Adrian Darya-1' painted in white on its hull.

Sixteen southern Africa countries say US and EU economic sanctions are harming the region.

The power-sharing agreement comes after months of protests following the toppling of the president.

Gas company P&ID has been locked in a legal dispute with the Nigerian government for almost a decade.

Some countries are seeking extra protection while others want to re-open ivory markets at key trade meeting in Geneva.

The government hopes to boost agriculture but will it lead to higher prices?

Police violently disperse protesters who gathered before the illegal rally was called off.

Uganda and Zambia reject a report that they used Chinese telecoms firm Huawei to spy on the opposition.

Some people tried to steal oil instead of rescue those trapped in the vehicle, witnesses say.

The leader of Nigeria's banned Shia Muslim group returns to Nigeria without receiving medical treatment.

Mohammed Adam Oga says 14 others died as they waited to be rescued in the Mediterranean.

For Luis Joaquin Caro, who was about 2 years old when Argentina last defaulted on its debt in 2001, casting his vote for left-leaning Peronist candidate Alberto Fernandez in the country's recent primary election was a no-brainer.

Greenland is not for sale and the idea of selling it to the United States is absurd, Denmark's prime minister said on Sunday after an economic adviser to President Donald Trump confirmed the U.S. interest in buying the world's largest island.

Hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters rallied peacefully in Hong Kong on Sunday, filling major thoroughfares under torrential downpours in the eleventh week of what have been often violent demonstrations in the Asian financial hub.

China's embassy in Ottawa warned Canada on Sunday to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs a day after the country issued a joint statement with the European Union in defense of the "fundamental right of assembly" for Hong Kong citizens.

The Iranian tanker caught in a stand-off between Tehran and the West left Gibraltar on Sunday night, shipping data showed, hours after the British territory rejected a U.S. request to detain the vessel further.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he would likely wait until after Israel's Sept. 17 elections to release a peace plan for the region that was designed by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees to a pact with the United States.

Canada said on Sunday that Britain's decision to strip Jack Letts - dubbed "Jihadi Jack" by the media - of his British citizenship was an attempt to shift responsibility for what to do with him onto Canada, where he also has citizenship.

A wildfire sweeping across Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands led to the evacuation of 4,000 people on Sunday and officials warned tackling the blaze was being complicated by a combination of high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity.

Spain on Sunday offered to allow a charity boat situated off the coast of Italy with more than 100 people on board to dock at the nearest Spanish port after the Open Arms charity rejected a plan to dock in Algeciras because it was too far away.

As in the past, you will be able to choose from several Department of State RSS feeds to get the latest news from the Department delivered directly to your desktop via an RSS reader or news aggregator. Or sign up to get updates via our email subscription service.

RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: Recv failure: Connection reset by peer

IT IS OFTEN said of countries that their real wealth lies in their people. Few say this about Gabon. With 2m people and twice the land mass of England, it is among Africa’s richest countries, with a GDP per person of $8,300. Almost all of this comes from natural resources. Gabon exports oil, timber and palm oil. It is also the world’s third biggest producer of manganese, a metal used in producing stainless steel. The wealth masks the fact that Gabon is one of Africa’s worst-run countries. It has had only two presidents since 1967. The first, Omar Bongo, was a flamboyant despot. He kept a pet tiger, hobnobbed with French presidents and turned the country into a one-party state. After he died in 2009 his son, Ali, took over. He won an election in 2016 that many believe was rigged (turnout in his home province was 99.93%, with 95% voting for the president). Last year Ali (pictured) suffered a stroke and spent months in Morocco recovering. In January a few junior army officers tried, unsuccessfully, to mount a coup. Since then the state has shut down most news outlets and repeatedly blocked the internet. The economy is stagnant, largely thanks to growing corruption. A big new scam has targeted foreign businesses in Libreville, the capital. It relies on a law inherited from France, the former colonial power, that...

AT THE HEART of Rwanda’s capital sits the Kigali Convention Centre, a $300m monument that lights up the night with the national colours of blue, yellow and green. It symbolises modernity and prosperity in a country that has bounced back from a genocide in 1994 when perhaps 500,000 people, mostly Tutsis, were killed. As impressive as the skyline are Rwanda’s economic statistics. In the past decade the economy has expanded by 8% a year. The share of people classified as poor has fallen by seven percentage points since 2011, to 38% in 2017. Numbers such as these impress investors, donors and other African leaders. Many see Paul Kagame, the former general who ended the genocide and has called the shots in Rwanda ever since, as providing a model of development: that of an authoritarian who gets things done and helps the poor, even if he also tramples human rights. But what if the numbers are wrong? Questions have hung over Rwanda’s statistics since the government claimed in 2014 that poverty had declined to 39% from 45% in 2011. A closer examination of the data by Filip Reyntjens of the University of Antwerp found that the fall was largely due to a change in how it calculates the numbers. In 2011 Rwanda’s poverty line reflected the cost of consuming a basket of the foods that poor Rwandans were buying. For its 2014...

AT HIS PENTECOSTAL church in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, Bishop Never Muparutsa sighs at the empty pews. In recent weeks, as the economy has deteriorated, his congregation has shrunk from 400 to 120. Mr Muparutsa sends Bible verses via WhatsApp to those too poor to travel. He tries to keep sermons upbeat. But he is worried about his formerly ebullient flock. “The joy I used to see is gone,” he says. “They might as well be Anglicans.” Zimbabwe is facing its worst economic crisis in a decade. Electricity is available for just six hours a day. Clean tap water runs once a week. Petrol stations either have no fuel or long queues. About 7.5m people, roughly half the country, will struggle to eat one meal a day by early next year, says the World Food Programme, a UN agency. Annual inflation is running at about 500%, reckons Msasa Capital, a local advisory firm. “I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,” says one businessman. “Just the light from an incoming train.” The government blames the weather. Cyclone Idai, which hit southern Africa in March, and a regional drought have contributed to a poor harvest. Scant rainfall has cut the supply of water to Lake Kariba, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and thus to an adjacent hydropower plant. Though the climate has been cruel to Zimbabwe, the mess is mostly man-made....

FRANTZ FANON, a great theorist of colonialism, wrote that “every colonised people...finds itself face to face with the language of the civilising nation.” This confrontation can persist years after independence. Just ask Morocco. Some in the former French colony are up in arms over a law reintroducing French as a language of instruction in schools. It is a return “to the language of the coloniser”, said Abdelilah Benkirane, a former prime minister. Most of the law in question, passed on August 2nd, is uncontroversial. It aims to reform Morocco’s dysfunctional education system. But article two allows for the teaching of science, maths and technical subjects in French (and other languages). Whereas most Moroccans speak Darija (or Moroccan Arabic), French is the language of business, government and higher education. The measure aims to equip students for this reality. The controversy is more about politics than pedagogy. Morocco’s two official languages are modern standard Arabic (MSA) and Tamazight (the Berber tongue). Many feel that only MSA is suitable for teaching. Even the inclusion of a few words of Darija in a textbook last year caused an uproar. Members of the Islamist Justice and Development Party, such as Mr Benkirane, now fear the “Frenchification” of education. Plenty of Moroccans, though, see merit in...

SAUDI ARABIA’S air strikes in Yemen have often missed their mark, causing hundreds of civilian casualties. But when the kingdom bombed its own allies on August 11th it was no mistake. The target was southern separatists, who had seized the city of Aden from Yemen’s internationally recognised government a day earlier. On paper, at least, the Saudis, the separatists and the government are all on the same side in Yemen’s war—members of a fragile alliance battling Iranian-backed Shia rebels called the Houthis. It has been more than four years since the Houthis pushed the government out of Sana’a, the capital, and captured most of the country. The Saudi-led coalition has since retaken the south, but it has failed to oust the Houthis from the north (see map). The fighting has shattered what was already the region’s poorest country. Tens of thousands of people have been killed. Hunger and cholera stalk the living. As if Yemen were not miserable enough, the war is growing more chaotic, making a lasting peace harder to imagine. ...

“IN RWANDA IT’S not easy to get a job,” says Jean-Paul Bahati, a student at Kepler, founded in Kigali in 2013. But the 22-year-old believes his course will help him stand out. He studies health-care management, a growing industry in Rwanda. Kepler’s degrees are accredited by Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), which runs one of the largest online universities in America. The first six months are a crash course in skills such as critical thinking, English, communication and IT. “I like that Kepler knows what employers want,” says Mr Bahati. In recent decades millions of young people like Mr Bahati have swelled the number of students in sub-Saharan Africa. Today 8m are in tertiary education, a term that includes vocational colleges and universities. That is about 9% of young people—more than double the share in 2000 (4%), but far lower than in other regions (see chart). In South Asia the share is 25%, in Latin America and the Caribbean, 51%. Both the number and share of young people in tertiary education in sub-Saharan Africa will keep growing. The region has about 90m people aged 20-24, a figure projected to double over the next 30 years. Whereas 42% of that age group had completed secondary school in 2012, 59% are forecast to do so by 2030. If African countries are to meet the aspirations of educated young people...

TO OUTSIDERS, BEIRUT’S taxi-hailing rituals can seem baffling. A flurry of honks announces the arrival of a driver, who peers out of his window with eyebrows raised. Hesitate a moment too long—as the uninitiated often do—and he’ll speed off, leaving the would-be passenger breathing exhaust fumes and wondering what went wrong. But beneath this brusque treatment lies a rich set of norms and customs that have helped the shared taxis, known as “service” taxis (or “servees”), survive the incursion of Uber into Lebanon’s capital. The service taxi system relies on split-second individual negotiations, rather than prices imposed by meters, regulations or ride-sharing software. When a driver spots a potential passenger, he slows down until the passenger names a destination. If the driver agrees, the ride costs a modest 2,000 Lebanese pounds ($1.33), usually less than what Uber charges. He may also ask for twice the fare or, for an out-of-the-way trip, suggest that the passenger buys all the seats for 10,000 pounds. This system allows drivers and passengers to reach agreements based on factors such as traffic conditions and whether the route is likely to provide more passengers. “You have clear, true market economics,” says Ziad Nakat of the World Bank. “It’s not regulated or constrained—just supply and...

UNDER THE corrugated-iron roof of the Bong Intellectual Centre, a tea house in Gbarnga in northern Liberia, the air is thick with anger. Dozens of people sit on plastic chairs, discussing politics. They complain that their businesses are failing, corruption is rising and food prices have doubled in recent months. “The hungry man is an angry man,” says Augustin Jalla, a 55-year-old social worker. “If something does not change there’s going to be an uprising.” That is alarming talk, in a country that suffered an on-and-off, 14-year-long civil war that killed about 250,000 people—almost a tenth of the population at the time—and destroyed the economy. Liberia’s conflict also devastated the region. The country’s former president, Charles Taylor, started or fuelled wars in three neighbouring countries: Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast. After the fighting stopped in 2003, the world poured in aid to support Liberia’s transition to democracy and to prop up the administration of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a wily World Bank veteran who was elected president in 2005. By 2010 the west African nation was receiving $360 in aid per person. Helping to keep the peace was a UN mission that cost more than $500m a year. Since then, however, the world has lost interest. By 2017 aid had slumped to just $132 per person. In 2018 the UN’S...

EXCEPT FOR the glow of a mobile phone behind the watermelons, the fruit-and-vegetable shop on a busy Cairo street looks deserted. The owner says his wares are 25% more expensive than last summer. As prices rise, buyers skimp: regulars who used to buy a kilogram of fruit now settle for half. He keeps the lights off between shoppers to save a few pounds. There are no lights either at the butcher’s next door, who reckons revenues are down by 20%. “I sell a lot of bones for soup,” he says. Last year Egypt vowed to halve poverty by 2020 and eliminate it by 2030. It is going in the wrong direction. On July 29th the national statistics agency released a long-delayed report on household finances. It found that 33% of Egypt’s 99m people were classified as poor last year, up from 28% in 2015. Even that dismal finding may not be dismal enough. The government has fixed the official poverty line at just 736 pounds ($45) a month, a figure that many economists say is too low. The World Bank said in April that 60% of Egyptians were “either poor or vulnerable”. The numbers are a stinging assessment of the economic reforms overseen by the president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Backed by the IMF, which approved a $12bn loan in 2016, his government cut fuel subsidies, let the currency depreciate and imposed a 14% value-added tax. These gave...

ALBERT AGISHA NTWALI was resigned to becoming a maths teacher at a secondary school. The 23-year-old from Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo was a stellar undergraduate at his local university. But his career options seemed limited until a professor told him about the African Institute of Mathematical Science (AIMS), a network of postgraduate academies that offers scholarships to budding African mathematicians. Last year Mr Ntwali enrolled at the AIMS campus in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital. “Now I can join a company, become a data scientist, do a PhD…” He goes giddy listing the options. For decades there were few possibilities for African mathematicians to reach their potential on the continent. Many gave up studying; others went abroad. Wilfred Ndifon, a Cameroon-born biologist who oversees research at AIMS, recalls that after he completed his PhD at Princeton in 2009, he was put off from returning home by the lack of computing power. “Universities mostly used Excel,” he says. The institute is making scholars think twice about forsaking study or moving overseas. In 2003 the first campus was founded on the outskirts of Cape Town by Neil Turok, a South African physicist. Today there are five more, in Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania and Rwanda. Funding for each one comes partly from the host country’s government...

Gambie: le rappeur et activiste Killa Ace en garde à vueLe rappeur gambien Killa Ace, militant des droits de l'homme et figure de l'opposition à Yahya Jammeh, a été arrêté samedi 17 août.

Afrobasket 2019: les Nigérianes gardent leur titre face aux SénégalaisesMalgré le soutien de leur public de Dakar et une superbe fin de match, les Lionnes du Sénégal se sont inclinées en finale du Championnat d'Afrique féminin de basket dace aux Nigérianes dimanche 18 août (60-55).  Les D'Tigeress ont eu bien plus de mal qu'il y a deux ans, mais elles conservent leur couronne face au même adversaire.

Niger: plus de 22 millions d'euros perdus à cause de la fraudeLes fraudes fiscales et douanières ont fait perdre 14,5 milliards de francs CFA au Trésor public entre 2017 et 2018 (22 millions d'euros), a annoncé la Haute autorité de lutte contre la corruption vendredi 16 août.

Côte d’Ivoire: Blé Goudé élu président de son parti le CojepL’ancien ministre de la Jeunesse de Laurent Gbagbo, libéré sous conditions par la CPI en janvier dernier, est toujours à La Haye. Mais il était présent dimanche en vidéo et en direct pour assister au premier congrès du Cojep dimanche 18 août.

Tchad: Idriss Déby déclare l'état d'urgence dans deux provinces de l'est du paysAu Tchad, l’état d'urgence a été déclaré dans deux provinces de l'est du pays. La décision a été prise par le chef de l'État pour les trois prochains mois, après des affrontements meurtriers entre communautés qui ont fait des dizaines de morts en août.

Jeux africains: le Maroc accueille l’Afrique du sportLes 12es Jeux africains se tiennent au Maroc du 19 au 31 août, principalement à Rabat qui abritera plus de 4.000 athlètes. Au programme : 26 sports, 29 disciplines et des possibilités de qualifications pour les JO de Tokyo en 2020. Le Maroc avait accepté de relever le défi de cette organisation après le retrait de la Guinée équatoriale.

Le judo gabonais brille aux Jeux africainsLe judo gabonais a brillé ce dimanche 18 août au Maroc avec deux médailles d’or et une de bronze. Karene Agono, Sarah Mazouz et Luc Manogho sont les trois héros du jour. Récit d’une après-midi pas comme les autres pour le judo gabonais.

Tunisie: la place des femmes en politiqueEn Tunisie, malgré la parité, instaurée en 2018 pour les élections municipales, il semble y avoir une régression de la participation politique des femmes pour les élections législatives à venir. Elles représentent 16 % des têtes de listes, ce qui est plus qu’en 2014 et en 2011, mais sont moins nombreuses dans le reste des listes.

Soudan: inauguration du Conseil souverain et transition vers un pouvoir civilAprès la chute de l’ex-président Omar el-Béchir sous la poussée de la rue, en avril dernier, le Soudan inaugure, ce dimanche 18 août, le Conseil souverain, son premier organe de transition ouvrant la voie à un transfert du pouvoir aux civils. Après la désignation des membres du Conseil souverain, la nouvelle instance devra confirmer, mardi, le nom du Premier ministre, Abdallah Hamdok, un ex-économiste de l’ONU.

Ebola en RDC: le Rwanda prend des mesures drastiques pour contrôler sa frontièreLe Rwanda a pris des mesures drastiques à ses frontières avec la République Démocratique du Congo (RDC) pour éviter la propagation du virus Ebola. Après la découverte de deux nouveaux cas dans la province du Sud-Kivu en RDC, plusieurs Congolais voulant traverser, entre Bukavu et Cyangugu, se sont vus refuser le passage.