Mugabe in hospital

ZW News   

The official line from the president’s office yesterday was that Mugabe was on a “private visit to Dubai”

Moses Mudzwiti, Sipho Masondo and Sapa

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is receiving treatment in a Dubai hospital following a serious health scare. The Times has established that Mugabe was whisked off in secret to a United Arab Emirates hospital on Sunday. He has not been seen in public since Tuesday last week, when he returned from a visit to Namibia. It emerged yesterday that Mugabe, who is 85, was not well and was undergoing specialist treatment in the UAE. It is believed he is being treated by a Malaysian urologist, Awang Kechik, who has for many years treated Mugabe for a prostate condition. Sources at Harare International airport said Mugabe arrived last week without the usual glitz and glamour. There were no sirens and no officials lined the tarmac. Passengers aboard the scheduled Air Zimbabwe flight on which Mugabe traveled said the president appeared gaunt. He was accompanied by his wife, Amai Grace. Well-placed sources said the octogenarian was unwell at the weekend. Mugabe’s daughter, Bona, was said to have traveled to Dubai from Hong Kong, where she attends university.  Continue reading Mugabe in hospital

Brazil calls Obama over US bases

BBC

Mr Lula has said that the "climate of unease" in Latin America disturbs him
Mr Lula has said that the "climate of unease" in Latin America disturbs him

Brazil’s leader has called on US President Barack Obama to meet South American leaders to calm fears about the US military presence in Colombia. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed his concerns in a phone call to President Obama, Brazil’s foreign minister said.He wants guarantees that US troops will be restricted to fighting drugs and terrorists within Colombia only. Continue reading Brazil calls Obama over US bases

Solar Powered Mobile Phone Launched in Kenya

News from Africa

By Philip Emase

A Kenyan telecommunications firm has launched a cheap solar powered mobile handset for the low income market. The firm, Safaricom, developed the phone in partnership with Chinese telecoms firm ZTE barely two months after Samsung began selling the world’s first commercially released solar-powered cell phone in India. Continue reading Solar Powered Mobile Phone Launched in Kenya

Scores of children rescued from organized slave labour in INTERPOL-led operation conducted by Côte d’Ivoire police

Scores of children rescued from organized slave labour in INTERPOL-led operation conducted by Côte d’Ivoire police

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Specially trained investigators in child exploitation and trafficking interview the child victims

3 August 2009

InterPol Website

INTERPOL’s first ever police operation targeting child

trafficking in West Africa has resulted in the rescue of more than 50 child workers and the arrest of eight people in connection with the illegal recruitment of children.

Two-pronged operation

Nearly 300 Ivorian law enforcement officers participated in the two-day operation (18-19 June) during which eight teams (six mobile and two fixed) simultaneously targeted a selection of plantations believed to be using illegal child

Children were discovered working under extreme conditions, forced to carry massive loads seriously jeopardizing their health
Children were discovered working under extreme conditions, forced to carry massive loads seriously jeopardizing their health

labour. In addition, vehicles travelling on the main roads leading from Ghana were systematically checked for potential child victims. Codenamed ‘BIA’ after the river which separates Ghana from Côte d’Ivoire, the operation resulted in the rescue of 54 children of seven different nationalities, clearly demonstrating the extent of transnational child trafficking in the region.   Continue reading Scores of children rescued from organized slave labour in INTERPOL-led operation conducted by Côte d’Ivoire police

Home Is…

A hymn for the planet

View the video

HOME is an ode to the planet’s beauty and its delicate harmony. Through the landscapes of 54 countries captured from above, Yann Arthus-Bertrand takes us on an unique journey all around the planet, to contemplate it and to understand it. But HOME is more than a documentary with a message, it is a magnificent movie in its own right. Every breathtaking shot shows the Earth – our Earth – as we have never seen it before. Every image shows the Earth’s treasures we are destroying and all the wonders we can still preserve. “From the sky, there’s less need for explanations”. Our vision becomes more immediate, intuitive and emotional. HOME has an impact on anyone who sees it. It awakens in us the awareness that is needed to change the way we see the world. (HOME embraces the major ecological issues that confront us and shows how everything on our planet is interconnected.) Continue reading Home Is…

Scientists uncover new ocean threat from plastic

The Independent

By Stecve Connor, science editor

Plastic pollution is not just unsightly but it could be to toxic to humans and animals GETTY IMAGES
Plastic pollution is not just unsightly but it could be to toxic to humans and animals GETTY IMAGES

 

Scientists have identified a new source of chemical pollution released by the huge amounts of plastic rubbish found floating in the oceans of the world. A study has found that as plastics break down in the sea they release potentially toxic substances not found in nature and which could affect the growth and development of marine organisms. Continue reading Scientists uncover new ocean threat from plastic

Backgrounder on Zimbabwe

 USCCB

 In Zimbabwe … the situation remains critical and considerable humanitarian assistance is needed.

— Pope Benedict XVI, January 8, 2009

BACKGROUND

Over the last nine years the government of Zimbabwe, led by President Robert Mugabe, has carried out a reign of repression over this once free and prosperous country of 11 million people. Inflation once the highest in the world was only ended when the country abandoned the Zimbabwe currency for the U.S. Dollar. The economy has shrunk by 60%; unemployment is about 85%, and 90% of the population lives in poverty (ICG). Up to a third of the country’s 12 million people have fled the country for political and economic reasons and have taken refuge in neighboring countries (many in South Africa), Europe and the U.S.. Zimbabwe is also suffering from the effects of the worst harvest in memory. The World Food Program estimates that 7 million people will rely on food aid in 2009, up from 5.1 million last year. Continue reading Backgrounder on Zimbabwe

Partnering Against Trafficking

Washington Post

By Hillary Rodham Clinton

Twenty-year-old Oxana Rantchev left her home in Russia in 2001 for what she believed was a job as a translator in Cyprus. A few days later, she was found dead after attempting to escape the traffickers who tried to force her into prostitution. Oxana’s story is the story of modern slavery. Around the world, millions of people are living in bondage. They labor in fields and factories under threat of violence if they try to escape. They work in homes for families that keep them virtually imprisoned. They are forced to work as prostitutes or to beg in the streets. Women, men and children of all ages are often held far from home with no money, no connections and no way to ask for help. They discover too late that they’ve entered a trap of forced labor, sexual exploitation and brutal violence. The United Nations estimates that at least 12 million people worldwide are victims of trafficking. Because they often live and work out of sight, that number is almost certainly too low. More than half of all victims of forced labor are women and girls, compelled into servitude as domestics or sweatshop workers or, like Oxana, forced into prostitution. They face not only the loss of their freedom but also sexual assaults and physical abuses. Continue reading Partnering Against Trafficking