Syria opposition claims hundreds dead in ‘gas’ attacks

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Government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have carried out a "poisonous gas" attack near the capital Damascus that has left hundreds dead, Syrian opposition groups claimed Wednesday.
 
Anti-government activists are saying that regime forces fired "rockets with poisonous gas heads" in the attack. The number of reported deaths has ranged from 100 to close to 800. The claims and reports could not be independently confirmed.
 
The Syrian government said there was no truth to the allegations "whatsoever" that chemical weapons were used.
 
"They are an attempt to divert the United Nations commission on chemical weapons from carrying out its mission," the state-run SANA news agency said.
 
U.N. chemical weapons inspectors are in Syria this week to investigate claims that chemical weapons have been used there by both sides in a bloody and protracted civil war.
 
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the shelling was intense and hit the eastern suburbs of Zamalka, Arbeen and Ein Tarma. Rami Abdul-Rahman from the SOHR says he has documented at least 100 deaths from Wednesday's attack. He says it's not clear whether the victims died from shelling or toxic gas attacks.
 
The Local Coordination Committees said hundreds of people, perhaps as many as 775, were killed or injured in the shelling. Such different figures are common in the immediate aftermath of attacks in Syria.
 
Videos and images that appeared to show victims with symptoms consistent with a chemical attack surfaced online Wednesday, although their veracity could not be immediately confirmed.
 
The Syrian government has long denied claims by the opposition on chemical weapons use, saying rebels fighting to overthrow Assad's government have used such weapons.
 
Wednesday's claim of the chemical attack, if confirmed, would be the most serious since the March 19 incident in Khan al-Assal when at least 30 people were killed. Assad's regime and the rebels have blamed each other for that attack.
 
Unrest in Syria began in March 2011 and later exploded into a civil war. More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
 
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague was among the first international leaders Wednesday to comment on the reports, saying he was "deeply concerned" by the allegations. The United Kingdom will raise the alleged attack with the U.N. Security. Council.
 
"It is clear that if they (the reports) are verified, it would mark a shocking escalation in the use of chemical weapons in Syria," Hague said.
 
He called on the Syrian government to allow immediate access to the area for the U.N. team currently in Syria.
 
France has asked the U.N. delegation to visit the site of the alleged attacks.
 
That request would seem to fulfill the U.N. requirement that a member state make a formal request before such action can occur. Syria would also need to agree to the request. It was not immediately clear whether that would happen.
 
Syria's ambassador to Russia dismissed the allegations, Russia's Interfax news agency reported.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Egypt Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie held

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The spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, General Guide Mohammed Badie, has been arrested in Cairo, Egyptian officials say.
 
Reports said he was detained at a residential flat in Nasr City.
 
A state of emergency is in force in Egypt amid turmoil following a crackdown on Islamists in which hundreds have died.
 
Three days of mourning are being held for 25 police killed in Sinai by suspected Islamic militants.
 
And 36 Islamist protesters died in a prison van in the capital Cairo on Sunday.
 
Almost 900 people, including more than 100 police and soldiers, are reported to have been killed in Egypt since Wednesday, when the army cleared protest camps set up by supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi, many of them members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
 
Protests suppressed
Hundreds of members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been detained over recent days.
 
Mr Badie had been on the run as the military-backed interim authorities in Egypt try to suppress protests at the ousting of Mr Morsi.
 
He is facing charges of inciting violence and murder over the killing of eight anti-Brotherhood protesters outside the movement's headquarters in Cairo last June.
 
Officials and state media said Mr Badie was detained in a flat in Nasr City in north-east Cairo, near the site of one of the protest camps bloodily broken up last week.
 
His arrest comes days after his son Ammar Badie, 38, was shot dead during protests in the capital's Ramses Square.
 
Mr Badie's deputy, Khairat al-Shatir, was arrested in the days following Mr Morsi's overthrow.
 
Correspondents say his detention will further ratchet up tensions in the deeply divided country, where an indefinite dusk till dawn curfew is in place.
 
Images of Mr Badie shortly after his arrest were shown on the private channel ON TV – a sign that the interim government is bent on humiliating the Brotherhood and weakening it as much as they can prior to any possible negotiations, says Youssef Taha, Middle East producer for the BBC's World Service.
 
He says there is no obvious candidate of Mr Badie's calibre to step into his shoes and a vacuum may ensue.
 
The attack on the Sinai police convoy, close to the town of Rafah on the Gaza border, was one of the deadliest on security forces in several years.
 
It is not clear who carried out the attack. Sinai is home to a range of militant groups, some of which have links to al-Qaeda.
 
The off-duty police officers were reportedly ordered to leave the buses before being shot in the back of the head.
 
State television showed their flag-draped coffins arriving by plane in Cairo.
 
"Those Brotherhood terrorists have to be killed now by the hands of decent citizens," Ayman Mohamed – introduced as a cousin of one of the dead – was shown saying, according to Reuters news agency.
 
The BBC's Jeremy Bowen says Egypt's official media has not connected the killings to the Muslim Brotherhood, but the deaths add to the sense of crisis.
 
In a separate incident, another police officer was killed in the north Sinai town of el-Arish.
 
Attacks by Islamist militants on the Egyptian security forces have surged in northern Sinai since 2011 – they have been close to daily in recent weeks.
 
Mubarak 'to be released'
European Union foreign ministers will meet on Wednesday to decide whether to cut some of the billions of euros in aid pledged to Egypt.
 
Meanwhile, Egyptian prosecutors have added a further 15 days to ousted President Morsi's detention while they investigate fresh allegations against him.
 
He has reportedly been accused of complicity in acts of violence against protesters outside the presidential palace last December. His detention had already been extended by 30 days in a separate case on Thursday.
 
And a lawyer for another former leader, Hosni Mubarak, has said he hopes his client could be released from prison within the next two days.
 
Lawyer Fareed al-Dib told the BBC that Mubarak had been cleared of one corruption charge and they were waiting for the court to check whether he still had to be held in custody on other counts.
 
Mubarak is facing a retrial for corruption and complicity in the deaths of protesters during the 2011 uprising which ended in his removal from power after 30 years.
 
While it is still no more than a rumour, his release would be seen by many Egyptians as a signal that the military is rolling back the changes that flowed from the uprising of 2011, the BBC's Kevin Connolly reports from Cairo.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Egypt’s ex-president Mubarak may be freed soon

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Read Time:4 Minute, 54 Second
CAIRO — Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades before his ouster in 2011, could be released from prison this week, according to his lawyer and judicial sources.
 
The stunning twist in the Egyptian saga comes against a backdrop of more violence, including the death Monday of 25 policemen in the north Sinai desert.
 
Separately, Egyptian security officials and state television said the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, was captured early Tuesday in an apartment in the eastern Cairo district of Nasr City. Badie and his deputy Khairat el-Shater, who is in custody, go on trial later this month for their alleged role in the killing of eight protesters outside the Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters in June. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
 
Mubarak, who was ousted from power in February 2011, could soon be released from detention within two days after being cleared of corruption charges, according to judicial officials who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
 
He is still being retried for charges related to the killing of hundreds of protesters during his overthrow. But he can't be held anymore since there is two-year limit pending a final verdict for the case, which began in August 2011, the AP reported.
 
"All we have left is a simple administrative procedure that should take no more than 48 hours," Mubarak's lawyer, Fareed El-Deeb, told Reuters. "He should be freed by the end of the week."
 
Separately, The New York Times , citing state media, reported via Twitter that judicial authorities and security officials in the nation have ordered Mubarak's release.
 
"Mubarak is just the icing on the cake and it shows what we're seeing is a restoration of the old order, and probably worse than that," said Shadi Hamid, director of research for the Brookings Doha Center.
 
The army, he said, isn't even pretending to uphold revolutionary ideals and support the democratic process that Egyptians sought when they overthrew Mubarak two years ago.They're "not even going through the motions," he said.
 
The release of Mubarak, if it comes, will represent a jarring shift from the days when Egyptians crowded around their TVs in awe to see their once-impervious leader in a courtroom, behind bars, just months after his ouster. It was a moving moment for the Arab world as people embraced hope for justice.
 
A year later, in 2012, the country held its first democratic presidential election, voting in the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi. It was also a stark shift from decades when many Islamists faced a repressive security system.
 
Then the tables turned yet again: Morsi was forced out by Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on July 3 after millions rose up against him, disgusted with his one year in rule and determined not to wait three more years for the next election.
 
A sizable chunk of the interim government appointed since Morsi's ouster is made up of Mubarak-era figures, and signs indicate the government could exclude the Brotherhood from the current political transition.
 
Many Egyptians support the new leadership and applaud Al-Sisi as a heroic figurehead, undeterred that the political shift signifies a return to old order.
 
"The Egyptian public opinion is extremely mollified and it changes its attitude at a very high speed," said political analyst Mazen Hassan in Cairo.
 
Even many diehard activists who spurred the campaign against Mubarak, before taking on the group of ruling army generals who temporarily replaced him, supported Al-Sisi's intervention. There was no other way to oust Morsi, they said.
 
Still, Mubarak's release would be "something terrible," said Amal Sharaf, an activist with the April 6 Youth Movement, a group vital to the uprising against Mubarak. "We're back three years now" if Mubarak released from jail.
 
"But the thing is that we don't have many solutions, many choices," she said. "We have to fight terrorism by any means. Now people don't think about anything except fighting terrorism in Egypt."
 
"Terrorism" is how the military-backed government and its supporters describe the actions of Islamists who oppose its rule. Authorities cleared two major pro-Morsi protests camps in the capital last week after saying they threatened national security: The protesters were blocking roads and harboring arms, the government said.
 
Amnesty International, a human rights watchdog, found evidence indicating Morsi supporters tortured political opponents. And once the protests were cleared, officials found "a big quantity of arms, live ammunition and Molotov cocktail bottles" at the sites of the sit-ins, the government said in a statement.
 
In retaliation for the ongoing crackdown that has led to many Brotherhood arrests and hundreds of deaths, dozens of churches and security posts were attacked.
 
On Monday, 25 policemen were killed in the north Sinai peninsula. Militants forced the security personnel out of two mini-buses, forced them to lie on the ground and then shot them, security officials told the AP.
 
It is unclear to what extent Mubarak's release could fuel more backlash against the state.
 
"If he remains silent, which would be the best behavior, then nothing major will pass," Hassan said. "But if he gives interviews and make pubic statements … ll sorts of implications will surface."
 
If Mubarak stays quiet "people might forget about this," Hassan said.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Great news guys! Konga.com is hiring! We are getting bigger and we love it!

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Read Time:1 Minute, 55 Second

?Great news guys! Konga.com is hiring! We are getting bigger and we love it!
We are always looking for great people. Not only do you need to be passionate and good at what you do, but we’re also looking for folks who have got the Konga Kulture — that is, who fit into our company culture.
Have you got what it takes to be a Konga.com team member?
We are currently expanding our operations and are looking for candidates to be considered for the following roles:

    •    Inventory Manager
    •    HR Manager
    •    Executive Assistant
    •    Facilities Manager
    •    Stylist/Merchandiser
    •    Fashion Photographer
    •    Content Uploader
    •    Customer Representative
    •    Senior Returns Officer
    •    Senior Replacement Officer
    •    Purchasing Analyst (x2)
    •    Business Process Analyst
    •    Finance Analyst
    •    SAP Core Developer
    •    IT Programme Manager
    •    IT Database Administrator (expert at using MySQL Databases)

What you need to do
To be a part of the Konga.com team,
    •    Simply follow Konga.com on Linkedin—–> http://bit.ly/ShopKonga
    •    Visit our website at www.konga.com, Facebook: www.facebook.com/shopkonga and twitter at www.twitter.com/shopkonga.
    •    Send your CV and covering letter briefly highlighting your skills and experience by email to: careers@konga.com.
    •    Please ensure you state the role you are applying for in the subject header.
    •    Check out these videos to catch a glimpse of how life at Konga.com is — Working at Konga.com

 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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GE highlights importance of public and private sector partnerships in energy sector at EAPIC in September

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GE highlights importance of public and private sector partnerships in energy sector at EAPIC in September
“Platform for likeminded power professionals to connect and find solutions”

“GE is committed to working with public and private sector stakeholders to address the region’s current and future energy challenges. EAPIC offers a platform to engage industry stakeholders on this topic.”  This is according to Mr Jay Ireland, GE President and CEO for Africa.  GE is the diamond sponsor for the 15th annual East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC) in Nairobi from 10-11 September.
 
More than 500 power professionals will attend the event which will address the various challenges in the region’s power industry, including unstable and unreliable electricity supply which is hindering economic growth, as well as the high demands being put on already aged infrastructure, causing frequent black outs.  

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum Hon. Minister Davis Chirchir and Uganda’s Minister of Energy, Hon. Minister Irene Muloni, are heading up a top level government and industry contingent who will address and participate at the event.  They will join other regional ministerial dignitaries in a panel discussion about East Africa’s new energy roadmap during the opening session.

GE excited about doing business in Africa
GE’s Jay Ireland says the company is excited about doing business in Africa because “the East Africa region is experiencing steady economic growth thereby increasing the need for an improved infrastructure and access to world class technological solutions.  These needs can be partially and in some instances fully met by GE’s diverse technologies, services and solutions in key sectors.”  

He continues:  “last year, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement with Kenya to develop projects in key sectors such as power, rail, healthcare, aviation and training & capacity building to deliver on the country’s Vision 2030 plan. These sectors are well positioned to propel the East Africa Region and in particular Kenya to be a top 30 global economy by the year 2030. We are therefore excited to be an integral part of contributing towards supporting the region to attain the projected positive economic growth.”
 
In Tanzania, GE recently signed a 400MW Joint Development Agreement with Symbion Power Tanzania for the development of a natural gas-fired power plant for Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO). This partnership is part of USA President Obama’s recently announced “Power Africa” initiative aimed at combining $7 billion in U.S. support with more than $9 billion in commitments from the private sector to help U.S. companies build independent power plants in the region.

Successful track record in Tanzania
According to the GE President and CEO for Africa the company has a successful track record in Tanzania with our Aero- derivative gas turbine technology which is running in the Symbion plant in Ubungo (112MW) and Songas (140MW) respectively.  He continues:  “we also have a great waste to energy project here in Kenya at the Biojule Farm which is using two of GE’s Jenbacher biogas engines to generate 2.8 MW of electricity from vegetable waste.  The project, owned by Tropical Power, marks the first biogas engine project in sub-Saharan Africa for Clarke Energy, GE’s authorized Jenbacher gas engine distributor in the region.”

Achieving stable power supply
Other regional projects that GE is excited about include the recent partnering with the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) to launch and co-fund the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge (the Power Africa Challenge), a three-year, USD $2 million challenge. The funding will award 20 or more grants of up to $100,000 each to indigenous African organizations providing off-grid solutions that deploy renewable resources and power economic activities.

Says Jay Ireland:  “we are also supplying Safaricom with GE Durathon batteries which will capacitate the Safaricom network to run efficiently during power outages. The battery provides reliable and cost-effective power at reduced fuel costs and is one of the first batteries in the world to be designed specifically for Charge Discharge Cycling (CDC) telecom applications.”

EAPIC:  likeminded power professionals
EAPIC’s programme director, Christa Robijn says “the East African Power Industry Convention is the platform for likeminded power professionals to connect and find solutions to the region’s pressing energy challenges.  GE’s participation as diamond sponsor is complementary to what we want to achieve:  stable power supply that will drive the economy in East Africa.  Their message of the importance of public and private sector partnerships in the energy sector dovetails nicely with our event theme, namely:  “Security East Africa’s energy future through private sector participation”.

Event dates and location:
Conference days:  10-11 September 2013
Pre-conference workshop:  9 September 2013
Site visit:  12 September 2013

Location:  Safari Park Hotel, Kasarani Off Thika Road, Nairobi, Kenya

Event website:  www.eapicforum.com

Information:
Communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Telephone: +27 21 7003558
Mobile:  +27 82 5627844
Email:  annemarie.roodbol@clarionevents.com

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Spark Secures $2Mn Investment

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African Internet Group Owned by Internet Entrepreneur Jason Njoku of iROKOtv Attracts International Interest

19 August 2013. London. SPARK, the Lagos-based Internet Group that invests in Nigerian start-ups, has raised a $2Mn investment from a syndicate of 17 international high net individual investors, based on a $10Mn valuation for the three month old company. The investment comes swiftly after Internet entrepreneurs Jason Njoku, Bastian Gotter and Mary Remmy-Njoku of Nollywood VOD start-up iROKOtv fame, officially launched the company, when they announced a $1Mn fund to revolutionize Nigeria’s angel investment eco-system, focusing solely on the country’s Internet startup scene. 

Njoku and Gotter will use the $2Mn to expand the company’s offices, initially in Lagos, before opening Spark hubs across Nigeria. The investment will also provide further follow-on rounds of seed-investments for Spark companies.

Spark companies currently employ 130 people across the nine launched companies, three of which have already secured second-round seed investments totaling an additional $700k from Njoku and Gotter, primarily to build upon their current market leading positions, compete more effectively and enable them to expand fast enough to meet consumer demand. Spark companies collectively generate $50,000 turnover a month and this figure is expected to increase significantly as the companies begin to really build traction. To-date, Spark has invested in some of Nigeria’s most exciting Internet startups including hotel room booking site, hotels.ng the undisputed leader in hotel room booking service in Nigeria; bus.com.ng; Nigeria's number one bus ticketing website and ToLet.com.ng, who are revolutionising the customer facing lettings space in Nigeria.

Jason Njoku, Spark Managing partner says: “We set out to grow the Spark companies to be market leaders. This requires capital. Our companies are laser focused, totally exceeding our initial expectations and showing increasingly strong metrics. Every Spark company focuses and generates revenue which we feel is essential to the survival of any Internet startup in Nigeria. Bastian and I were impressed with their output, as were our investors, hence we have been able to raise the sum of $2Mn in nine days from high network individuals, a mere three months after the official Spark launch. We expect to raise more money in the coming months to cement Spark as one of the preeminent Internet groups in Nigeria and Africa."

Bastian Gotter, Spark Managing partner adds: “Capital here in Nigeria is prohibitively expensive for most, so start-ups tend not to be able to grow at the rate that is required to become a mature and profitable business. Spark companies now have the capital behind them to invest in technology, good staff, building out their inventory – whatever is required to make them into a stronger long-term business. Jason and I have previously been vocal on the shortcomings of Nigeria’s business eco-system and how investment does not reach the right people. With this additional investment of $2Mn, we are now able to channel even more funds to the companies who will one day lead the continent’s Internet space.”   

Following the launch of Spark in May 2013, a number of high net worth individuals from Lagos, Singapore and London approached Njoku and Gotter to discuss the potential of investing their private capital into Africa. Their direct approach and the fact that Spark opened and closed the round in nine days demonstrates how international investors’ interest in Nigeria’s Internet industry is growing, revealing the huge potential the continent holds in terms of building an exciting and profitable Internet marketplace. Currently, the Internet sector in Nigeria is valued at $250Mn, but industry experts have calculated that this will increase to $1Bn by 2016. Spark companies are positioned to take on and be front-runners in the race for Nigeria’s top Internet start-ups.

SPARK is a company that builds companies and invests time, money and expertise into some of the country’s most promising tech entrepreneurs – www.spark.ng

-ENDS-

For further information or media interviews with Jason Njoku or Bastian Gotter contact Jessica Hope, Spark Head of Communications – jess@spark.ng| +44 (0) 207 401 2802
 
Notes to editors:
 
Visit www.spark.ng for further information
SPARK is headed by Jason Njoku, Bastian Gotter and Mary Remmy-Njoku. The company was officially launched in May 2013 and is located in Lagos, Nigeria
SPARK has seed-funded nine companies in Lagos: Hotels.ng, Christians.com.ng, Bus.ng, Giddimint.com.ng, Borro.com.ng, Insured.ng,  ToLet.com.ng, Foto.com.ng,  and Drinks.ng
Jason Njoku and Bastian Gotter are co-founders of iROKOtv, the world’s largest online catalogue of Nollywood movies. Launched in 2011, the company is VC backed by US-based hedge fund Tiger Global.
 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Militants kill 25 Egyptian policemen execution-style

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Read Time:2 Minute, 18 Second
CAIRO — At least 25 policemen were killed Monday when assailants ambushed two mini-buses carrying security personnel in Egypt's North Sinai Peninsula, which shares a border with Israel and the Gaza Strip and has been a restive center for militant activity.
 
The attack is among the deadliest in the peninsula since the 2011 overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak and part of a larger backlash against the state over what militants view as a slew of injustices.
 
"What I can say about the future is that violence will not disappear anytime soon," said Egypt expert Khalil Al-Anani. "We should expect a new cycle of violence — religious, political and social violence, and sectarian violence."
 
Nearly 900 died in four days of violence last week that began when security forces cleared two protest camps where thousands gathered to protest the July 3 overthrow of president Mohammed Morsi, who comes from the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Clashes between anti-military protesters and security forces, street battles and retaliatory attacks on dozens of Christian sites and security posts have taken place since Wednesday.
 
Since Morsi's ouster militants staged almost daily attacks against security forces in the Sinai peninsula, where security forces and militants have long battled. Last week, a rocket hit the Israeli border town of Eilat, previously subject to other cross-border attacks.
 
Conflicting reports emerged over the cause of Monday's deaths. Security officials told the Associated Press that the 25 police were killed execution-style when militants ordered the two vehicles to stop, forced the men to lie on the ground and then shot them.
 
Officials first said the policemen were killed when militants fired rocket-propelled grenades on the two vehicles.
 
The Sinai is an arid stretch of mountainous and desert land that has grown increasingly lawless. Since police were pulled from the streets during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak the state has failed to regain control, giving militants in much of the north free reign. Residents set up informal sharia courts as society has proved increasingly detached from the central state, and visibly hardline Islamic.
 
Criminal activity thrives in the Sinai including a tunnel trade with the Gaza Strip and arms smuggling. Weapons flowed from Sudan and more recently Libya, including surface-to-air missiles. Many weapons have gone into Gaza while others have stayed in the peninsula.
 
Human trafficking has also been rife. Thousands of sub-Saharan African migrants, asylum seekers and refugees who were kidnapped in Ethiopia and Sudan, or willingly sought to go to Israel seeking a better life, have been held and tortured by Bedouin criminals for ransom. Countless of them died in the desert.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Egypt tourism takes massive hit amid unrest

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Read Time:1 Minute, 42 Second
Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said Saturday that no other archaeological sites were exposed to attacks and that security measures at museums and historic sites nationwide were boosted, state news agency MENA reported.
 
The fresh hit to the tourism industry began when millions rose up against former president Mohammed Morsi at the end of June. But the troubles date back even farther — to the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
 
Tourism is one of Egypt's largest industries, employing 2.83 million professionals, according to the Egyptian Tourism Federation, a non-governmental group. That doesn't include informal workers.
 
In 2011, the industry generated an average of 11.3% of Egypt's GDP with receipts that year valued at $8.7 billion, the federation said. In 2011, the number of visitors to Egypt dropped by a third from the previous year. The industry improved slightly in 2012 and saw an uptick of visitors in the beginning of 2013, according to official statistics, but was far from making a full recovery, particularly in Cairo.
 
The continuing downturn is devastating for many Egyptians who work as tour guides, sell souvenirs such as papyrus and perfumes, or offer horse rides into the desert.
 
"I don't have money," said Mahmoud Al-Houry, 21, holding the reins of a horse and hoping tourists would come Saturday. "The horses don't eat."
 
The tourism situation is worse now than it was in 2011, said Martha Kjoell, a Norwegian volunteer who provides medicine and food for horses in Giza. "It's a disaster, really."
 
Most don't have job alternatives. Unemployment is up, the economy has been in steady decline and over the past two years there has been a halt in foreign and domestic investment.
 
"I have a lot of people who come to me and say, 'I can't feed my horse, please help me,' " Kjoell said.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Saartje’s predicament embodied issues of racism, sexism and colonialism.

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Read Time:2 Minute, 41 Second

When Saartje (Sara) Baartman left the shores of Africa, little did she know that her body parts would be returned to her home land 187 years later and that she would fuel the racist notions of black inferiority and black female sexuality in Europe. Dubbed "The Hottentot Venus," she was exhibited as a freak and, in the process, juxtaposed against white ideals of superiority and sexuality. Initially, she was paraded naked at different venues around London and due to agitation by anti-slavery advocates, was taken to Paris. Saartje's predicament embodied issues of racism, sexism and colonialism.

Born in 1789 in the Eastern Cape of present-day South Africa, Saartje was a member of the Khoisan group, the original inhabitants of southern Africa. The Khoisan, pejoratively referred to as the Hottentots, are honey-colored and steatopygic—that is, fat is stored in their buttocks. Europeans viewed the latter feature to be an abnormality and an attestation of racial inferiority.

While in her teens, Saartje migrated to an area near Cape Town, where she was a farmer's slave until she was bought in Cape Town by William Dunlop, a doctor on a British ship. At age 20, Saartje headed for London with Dr. Dunlop where, it was agreed, that they would get rich by displaying her body to Europeans, catering to Europeans' sexual fascination with aboriginal peoples.

Prancing in the nude, with her jutting posterior and extraordinary genitals, she provided the foundation for racist and pseudo-scientific theories regarding black inferiority and black female sexuality. The shows involved Saartje being "led by her keeper and exhibited like a wild beast, being obliged to walk, stand or sit as ordered." Saartje's predicament drew the attention of a young Jamaican, Robert Wedderburn, who agitated against slavery and racism. Subsequently, his group pressured the attorney general to stop this circus. Losing the case on a technicality, Saartje spent four years in London and then went to Paris where she was exhibited in a travelling circus, and seen frequently controlled by an animal trainer in the show.

It was here that she crossed paths with George Cuvier, Napoleon's surgeon-general, who was also considered to be the dean of comparative anatomy. In his capacity of social anthropologist, he arrogantly and erroneously concluded that she was the missing link. She turned to prostitution and when she died poor in 1816, almost immediately Cuvier had her body cast in wax, dissected and the skeleton articulated. Her organs, including her genitals and brains, were preserved in bottles of formaldehyde. Her remains were displayed at the Musée de L'Homme in Paris until 1974.

In post-apartheid South Africa, efforts were made to retrieve Saartje's remains. In 1994, then-President Nelson Mandela appealed to his French counterpart, but it was not until 2002 that the French Senate approved a bill for repatriation of Saartje's remains to South Africa. In May 2002, her remains were brought home to South Africa after nearly 200 years of humiliation and abuse. In August 2002, she was finally laid to rest in the Eastern Cape.
(courtesy :
Black History page) 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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General Sisi kills his own family

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Read Time:49 Second

General Fatteh al-Sisi was denounced by a member of his own family following the death of another relative in the massacre at Rabaa al Adawiya. Hazem Lutfi Abdel Aziz Abdel Rahman al-Sisi, appeared in the video below to denounce General Sisi following the death of his brother, Khalid Lutfi al-Sisi. Khalid, a 46 year old engineer, was killed during the army and security forces raid on the anti-coup sit-ins at Adawiya on Wednesday.

Hazem said that he disowned General Sisi as a member of his family and called him a traitor and a killer. He went on to say that he was sure that General Sisi would be punished for his actions, even if justice was a long time coming, as well as the Minister of Interior, Mohammed Ibrahim. He concluded by saying that he hoped God would give everyone patience and insisted that Egyptians would not be silent in the fight for their rights.

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About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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