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Your World This Week – Global News

Cii News | 22 August 2014/26 Shawaal 1435

News that Made Headlines on various newswires accross the globe

MONDAY

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck a remote area in western Iran, leaving dozens injured and causing considerable damage.

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit 36km southeast of the western city of Abdanan, in Ilam province, close the border with Iraq.

Iran’s state news agency, IRNA, reported at least 60 injuries and said aftershocks could also be felt in three provinces including Ilam, Lorestan and Khuzestan.

The local governor, Mohammad Reza Morvarid, said an unspecified number of people had been injured but residents were prepared following minor quakes in the area on Sunday.

Iran sits on a series of seismic fault lines and experiences one slight quake a day on average.

In 2003, about 26,000 people were killed by a magnitude-6.6 quake that flattened the historic southeastern city of Bam.

——

Syrian regime forces had reportedly hammered Raqqa with more than two dozen air strikes, ending an undeclared truce between the government and Islamic State group which controls the city.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported at least 31 fighters from the Islamic State were killed and dozens wounded in the attacks on Sunday.

The Observatory said 26 strikes hit Islamic State buildings, including the military court and bases in the city.

Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, has long painted the uprising in Syria as a foreign-backed conspiracy and his enemies say he has allowed the Islamic State to grow to promote that idea.

The attacks come after the Islamic State group on Thursday captured the headquarters of Syria’s 17th Division, based in the Raqqa area.

The Observatory says more than 170,000 people have been killed in Syria’s civil war. The UN stopped counting at about 100,000 deaths more than a year ago

—–

The humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip got worse more than a week after a ceasefire was agreed between Israelis and Palestinians.

Most of the blockaded enclave hadbeen without power for 18 hours a day since Israel attacked the territory’s sole power plant on July 29.

The damage is said to take up to a year to fix.

On Saturday, the Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority said it will be able to continue supplying Gaza with six hours of electricity a day for another two months.

People in Gaza also face a shortage of water, with reports indicating that various diseases are spreading among the population that has been displaced due to the Israeli war.

According to reports, the displaced Palestinians living in UN-run schools struggle for access to water.

They say there is no water in the bathrooms and that the dirt in the area causes serious problems for them.

The UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said it may take months to repair the damage Israel inflicted on Gaza’s infrastructure.

—–

Health officials in the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi said that a Nigerian woman who arrived on a flight transiting the city and who may have been infected with the Ebola virus has died.

The city’s Health Authority said in a statement carried by state news that the 35-year-old was travelling from Nigeria to India for treatment of advanced metastatic cancer.

Her health deteriorated while in transit at Abu Dhabi’s main airport and as medics were trying to resuscitate her.

They found signs that suggested a possible Ebola virus infection.

The woman’s husband and the five medics who treated her are being isolated pending test results.

—–

Kurdish forces aided by an expanded US air campaign advanced to within kilometres of Iraq’s largest dam, less than two weeks after it was captured by the Islamic State group.

Yesterday, the Kurdish military forces, known as Peshmerga, took control of Tel Skuf, about 15km east of the dam, as well as the towns of Sharafiya and Batnaya, from the Islamic State group, formerly known as ISIL.

Their advance was aided by US air strikes on Islamic State positions.

The US central command said it had launched 14 raids on Sunday, to support Iraqi security forces and Kurdish defence forcesto combat ISIL.

This suggests its role in northern Iraq had expanded beyond of “supporting humanitarian efforts”.

The White House said that the air strikes were ordered by President Barack Obama because the Islamic State’s control of the dam represented a clear threat to Iraqi and US interests.

“These operations are limited in their nature, duration, and scope and are being undertaken in coordination with and at the request of the government of Iraq.”

—–

Teachers and principals at schools in the Western Cape revealed that a disturbing game is being played by schoolchildren called “rape, rape”.In the game, boys chase and catch girls – who are willing participants – and then simulate rape with them. 

Once she had been ‘raped’, she was out of the game.

The game ends when the last girl has been ‘raped’.

A school governing body association said there are fears that the game will normalise the violent act for children.

The cape time reported that The game is played by children as young as 10-years-old.

The provincial education department said it was horrified by news of the game and will launch an investigation.

The Mitchells Plain School Governing Body Association said about 150 cases of rape, attempted rape and sexual harassment at primary and high schools in the area have been brought to its attention in the past year.

There have been several cases recently of child on child rape.

This comes just days after Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga revealed that more than 300 teachers had been charged with sexually abusing girls over the past three years.

——

An Ebola quarantine centre in Liberia had been looted by a gang who reportedly took bloodstained sheets and forced 17 patients to flee, raising the chances of the virus spreading.

The attack happened at a unit in the West Point area of Monrovia late on Saturday.

Rebecca Wesseh, who witnessed the attack, told the AFP news agency on Sunday that the gang were mostly young men armed with clubs.

Wesseh said she heard the attackers shouting anti-government slogans and insisting there was “no Ebola” in Liberia, adding that they broke down the door and looted the place.

The head of Health Workers Association of Liberia, George Williams, said the unit had housed 29 patients who were receiving preliminary treatment before being taken to hospital.

The Ebola outbreak has already killed 1,145 people in five months in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

Liberia has the worst toll, with 413 people dead.

——

President Jacob Zuma signed into law the Local Government Municipal Property Rates Amendment Act as well as the Labour Relations Amendment Act.

Spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in the first instance the act regulated the categories of property in respect of which rates may be levied, the time frames of publication of the resolutions levying rates, and what must be contained in the promulgated resolution.

It also provided for the exclusion from the rates of certain categories of public service infrastructure.

It further gave powers to a municipality to levy different rates on vacant land.

The Act would also give power to the MEC of local government to extend the period of validity of a valuation roll by an additional two years.

The Labour Relations Amendment Act sought to respond to the increased informalisation of labour to ensure that vulnerable groups received adequate protection and were employed in conditions of decent work, said Maharaj.

The Act was also to ensure that labour legislation gave effect to fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to fair labour practices, to engage in collective bargaining, and the right to equality and protection from unfair discrimination.

—–

Mousa Abu Marzouk of Hamas’s political bureau said that Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the Egyptian initiative entirely and took the truce talks in Cairo back to square one.

In facebook remarks, abu Marzouk added that Netanyahu had become a hostage to internal contradictions after he lost the battle in Gaza and did not achieve anything of his stated goals.

He said the ceasefire may not be extended for the third time, and the Palestinian delegation will never forsake the rights of their people.

In a related context, Hamas spokesman Husam Badran said his Movement is not concerned about extending the ceasefire in Gaza without Israel responding to the just demands of the Palestinian people.

He added that the Palestinian resistance would not give the Israeli side a chance to play for time in order to create new predermined demands on the ground in the coming days.

The spokesman denied there were differences between members of the Palestinian delegation to Cairo talks, especially with regard to accepting the last Egyptian proposals.

He also asserted that the resistance weapon was never tabled during Cairo talks because it is a non-negotiable issue.

——

A 37-year-old man suspected of having Ebola tested negative for the deadly haemorrhagic disease.

The health department reportedly confirmed that the man had tested negative.

The 37-year-old man, who has not been identified, was working as health and safety officer in a mining operation in Liberia, which has been hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak.

On 14 August, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said there were no known Ebola cases in South Africa.

A Guinea woman, suspected to have been infected with the virus, has tested negative for Ebola.

She was admitted at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital because she was in labour, she had high fever and she was screened for the virus.

The Ebola outbreak has already killed 1,145 people in five months in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

Liberia has the worst toll, with 413 people dead.

—-

An 83-year-old woman died after she was beaten and raped in the Sereni village outside Makhado at the weekend.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the woman was attacked in the early hours of Saturday.

HE said It is alleged that the pensioner was asleep when two suspects forced their way into her room and demanded money.

Mulaudzi said “the two then dragged the gogo to nearby bushes where they allegedly raped and assaulted her.”

They left her in the bushes, returned to her house and set it alight.

She was admitted to the Elim Hospital where she later died. No arrests had been made.

—–

The party of Pakistan’s opposition leader Imran Khan had quit the national assembly and vowed to intensify anti-government protests.

This camea day after he called for a campaign of civili disobedience in protest at the government of Nawaz Sharif.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the vice-chairman of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, said they were resigning from the National assembly, Punjab assembly, Baluchistan assembly and Sindh assembly.

The party is Pakistan’s third largest.

Qureshi said it was still making a decision about what to do in northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, where they are in power.

Khan has rallied with thousands of supporters in Islamabad in recent days, demanding the government step down and hold fresh elections and alleging fraud in last year’s general election.

However the protest failed to attract the vast crowds Khan had promised and other opposition parties distanced themselves from his call for a campaign of civil disobedience, leaving him looking isolated.

——

The number of people killed when a house collapsed at the Meyersdal Eco Estate in Alberton, south-east of Johannesburg  has risen to nine

Nine people were also injured and transported to hospital.

The house had collapsed while builders were busy working on it on this morning.

Erlier ER24 spokeswoman Luyanda Majija said two of the 27 workers were still missing.

The labour department said it had sent a team of inspectors to investigate the building collapse.

The estate confirmed the accident.

The Meyersdal Eco Estate is the property from where two giraffes were removed last month.

The giraffes were being transported on the N1 highway on a truck when one of them hit its head on a bridge and died.

Last week, the Gauteng agriculture department said the estate was being investigated over whether it had the correct permits to bring in and keep giraffes.

——

TUESDAY

Protesters blockaded roads in Daveyton on the East Rand after they were prevented from invading land in the area.

Police Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago said the situation started on Monday when people tried to illegally invade land and law enforcement took action and prevented them from doing so.

He said at 5am they started barricading roads with rocks, tree-trunks, tires and other objects.

The roads affected were those leading in and out of Daveyton.

He said the blockaded roads included Gumede Street, Eiselen Street and Laurie Road.

Police were trying to remove some of the barricades.

No arrests had been made and no injuries had been reported.

—–

Israel and Palestinian leaders agreed to extend a Gaza truce by another 24 hours, minutes before an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire was set to expire.

The agreement was reached as gaps on key issues continued to dog efforts to achieve a long-term deal between Israel and the emcraticaly elected leaders in the Gaza Strip.

The month-long war ended more than a week ago when Egypt secured a three-day truce, extended by another five days that expired last night.

A Palestinian official close to the talks in Cairo said the latest extension would give both sides time to complete the negotiations.

In Gaza a senior Palestinian official said agreement had been reached on all but two points drafted by Egypt for a wider deal, including opening Gaza’s crossing to allow a freer flow of goods, and extending maritime limits in the Mediterranean Sea.

Issues still not agreed upon include Hamas’s demands to open a seaport and an airport, which Israel has said it would only discuss at a later stage, in addition to freeing Palestinian prisoners held by Israel and Hamas handing over remains of two Israeli soldiers killed in the war, a Palestinian official said.

The Palestinian Health Ministry put the Gaza death toll at 2,016 and said most were civilians in the small, densely populated coastal territory.

Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel have been killed.

—–

US police fired tear gas and stun grenades at protesters in Ferguson, Missouri after a week of unrest sparked by the shooting death of a black unarmed teenager by a white policeman.

The police action came after hours of street protests on Monday that had been tense but mostly peaceful.

National Guard troops were also deployed to help quell days of racially charged rioting and looting spurred by the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Missouri’s governor lifted the curfew for the St Louis suburb that had been in place from midnight to 5am since Saturday.

Police said at least 31 people were arrested.

——

Kurdish and Iraqi government forces took control of the Mosul dam from the Islamic State group, after days of fighting aided by multiple air strikes from US jets and drones.

US president Barack Obama said co-operation between the government and Kurdish forces was an example of how to combat the Islamic State.

He also pledged a long-term US mission to defeat the group.

The advance of the Kurdish fighters and about 120 Iraqi soldiers has been aided by continuous US air strikes.

The Pentagon says US aircraft have carried out 35 strikes against Islamic State targets over the past three days, destroying more than 90 targets.

In an online video statement, reported by the Reuters news agency The Islamic State meanwhile said it would retaliate against the US.

—–

According to EWN Airports Company South Africa said new thermal scanning machines can detect if passengers have high fevers.

It’s working with the health department and the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure South African airports are protected from the Ebola virus.

Acsa’s Unathi Batyashe-Fillis said South Africa’s various airports have implemented various strategies to protect travellers.

The news sources said as the country overcame yet another false Ebola alarm, reports emerged that growing fear of the deadly virus is beginning to impact the country’s tourism industry.

Yesterday the health department revealed that a 37-year-old man who worked in Liberia and was isolated at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital has tested negative for Ebola

—–

A senior UN official said the Gaza Strip had suffered an “unprecedented amount of destruction” as a result of Israel’s offensive against the coastal enclave, calling for an end to the Israeli siege of Gaza.

UN Mideast envoy, Robert Serry, told the UN Security Council that the reconstruction of Gaza remains the main priority once a durable truce is agreed between the Palestinian resistance and Israel.

Some 16,800 housing units were demolished or severely damaged in the Israeli attacks.

Serry noted that the devastation is three times worse than the damage caused during the previous Israeli war against Gaza in 2008-2009.

Talks over the reconstruction of Gaza are expected to face resistance from the Israeli regime, which has in the past severely limited the flow of supplies as part of its siege of the Palestinian sliver.

—–

As twin protests in Pakistan’s capital enter a fifth day, demonstrators planned to march on Islamabad’s Red Zone in a bid to bring down Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

On the eve of the march, police conducted an arrest sweep in the eastern province of Punjab to prevent supporters of the protest leaders to join protests.

About 150 supporters of protest leaders were detained overnight.

Opposition leader Imran Khan and anti-government cleric Tahir ul-Qadri have led thousands of supporters from Punjab to Islamabad, accusing Sharif of vote rigging and corruption.

The government has said Khan and Qadri are free to demonstrate peacefully but will not be permitted to enter the Red Zone, which is home to many Western embassies, the Supreme Court and government ministries.

——

Liberia was desperately searching for 17 Ebola patients who fled an attack on a quarantine centre in the capital Monrovia, as the outbreak appeared to overwhelm authorities in west Africa’s worst-hit nation.

Searches of the teeming West Point slum have so far failed to turn up any of the missing victims as neighbouring Guinea said a wave of sick Liberians had begun crossing the border.

Officials were considering sealing off the area – home to 75,000 people – to stop the nightmare scenario of people with the highly contagious disease wandering the city where unburied corpses have lain abandoned in the streets.

Information Minister Lewis Brown said youths who looted the centre over the weekend are now probable carriers of the disease.

They took mattresses and bedding that were soaked with fluids from the patients

Community leaders, however, said the patients have long gone.

The outbreak also led the African Union to cancel its summit scheduled for September 2 in Ouagadougou, although Burkina Faso to date has been unaffected.

—–

City Power said that it had suspended five employees for the theft of drums of cable worth R4.5m at the Randburg depot in Johannesburg.

Each of the cable drums stolen carries cable that is 300 metres long.

According to Fin24 City Power said the arrest of the three electricians and two team leaders followed a thorough audit and inventory of cable equipment, told.

The suspects will be charged with fraud and theft.

Cable theft in South Africa is a big industry.

There were over 58 000 major cable thefts last year at a cost to the economy of over R10bn, but only 374 scrap dealer personnel had been convicted for their involvement since May 2012.

Since City Power embarked on their anti-corruption and anti-cable theft drive, about 227 suspects had been arrested and the conviction rate stood at about 86%.

——

According to new figures published on the United Nations’ World Humanitarian Day, The number of aid workers killed, kidnapped and seriously wounded has reached record numbers.

According to a new report titled Humanitarian Outcomes published by the UN, in 2013, 155 aid workers were killed, 171 were seriously wounded and another 134 were kidnapped.

Preliminary numbers show that 79 workers have been killed in 2014 alone with the months of July and August observing a rise in the level of attacks and incidents involving aid workers including in Gaza and South Sudan.

Overall the figures show a 66-percent increase in the number of victims from the previous year, much of it attributed to conflicting parties deliberately targeting aid workers.

While violence against aid workers has increased worldwide, three quarters of all attacks took place in Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan, Pakistan and Sudan.

Of the 81 aid workers killed in 2013, Afghanistan is still the country with the highest number of attacks.

World Humanitarian Day itself is a tribute to aid workers worldwide, a commemoration to those who have lost their lives and a celebration of the spirit of humanitarian work around the world.

Globally, there are 108 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and humanitarian organisations require some $17.1bn to meet their needs.

—–

Iraqi forces launched an operation to retake Tikrit, the hometown of toppled President Saddam Hussein, from Islamic State fighters.

Al Jazeera sources reported that the troops were advancing from the south and southwest and heavy clashes with the armed group were taking place 10km from the the city.

Tikrit fell to the group formerly known as ISIL on June 11 and has since been controlled mostly by Sunni armed groups, including former members of Saddam’s ruling Baath party.

The army had abandoned their positions in much of the Sunni heartland in June when the IS group took control of that territory.

The offensive in Tikrit came a day after Kurdish Peshmerga forces regained control over the strategic Mosul dam from Islamic State fighters after days of fighting, aided by dozens of air strikes from US jets and drones in the north.

Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr said there’s a risk of this becoming a Sunni-Shia war because the Iraqi army now is dominated by Shia’s and they’re getting the support of Shia militias.

—–

The World Health Organization has announced that the number of deaths from the Ebola outbreak in four West African nations has climbed to 1,229.

The UN health agency said that death toll jumped between August 14 and 16, the period which registered 113 new cases.

Doctors Without Borders said the Ebola epidemic is moving faster than authorities can handle and it could take six months to bring under control.

Yesterday the WHO called on the affected countries to carry out exit screenings of travelers at international airports, seaports and major land crossings.

There is currently no known cure for Ebola, which is a form of hemorrhagic fever with diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding as its symptoms.

It remains one of the world’s most virulent diseases, which kills between 25 to 90 percent of those who fall sick.

——

Bullion producer Harmony Gold said it would temporarily close its Target 3 shaft because it is bleeding money, a move that could affect up to 1 500 jobs.

Harmony said it would take measures to minimise and try to prevent job losses because of the placing of the operation on “care and maintenance”, which means it will be closed for an indefinite period of time.

Aarmony said in a statement that there was an operation that has continued to record cash flow losses.

Harmony last week said it fell to a fourth-quarter loss because of a R1.4bn write-down on an expansion project at its Phakisa operation, which was shelved because it would have required too much capital.

The company said it expected output of about 1.2 million ounces of gold in its 2015 financial year after producing 1.17 million ounces last year.

—–

Israel launched air strikes in Gaza after it claimed that three rockets were fired from the territory into Israel, as the two sides were observing a 24-hour truce.

The AP and AFP news agencies, quoting Palestinian and Israeli sources, reported that air strikes had been carried out in the north of the strip, although there were no further details.

The attacks come as Palestinian and Israeli negotiatiors tried to thrash out a permanent ceasefire to end the July-August war that killed more than 2,000 people.

A temporary truce was due to end at midnight local time

Al Jazeera’s Jayne Ferguson, reporting from the Jabaliya area of Gaza, said the rockets were fired from the Shujayea area of Gaza.

No group has claimed responsibility for the rocketfire.

——

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said it’s up to Parliament to weigh President Jacob Zuma’s response to the findings on public spending on his private Nkandla home.

Her remark came as the ANC proposed that an ad hoc parliamentary committee be set up to mull the matter.

She told SAPA that the letter Zuma sent to Parliament last week made plain that he was refraining from comment on her report on the R246m improvements at his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

In her report, titled “Secure in Comfort” Madonsela found Zuma had benefited unduly and should repay a portion of the state money spent.

In April, Zuma declined to respond in full to Madonsela’s report within the requisite fortnight.

Zuma’s eventual blanket response last week cautioned that it should not be read as a “critique” of their findings, but that his decision not to comment on them “is not reflective of the fact that I am accepting of the same”.

—–

An Egyptian groom ran away from his bride just after she arrived at a Saudi airport after he was shocked at how she looked.

The man had waited for hours at the airport to receive his bride whom he had married after seeing her photographs sent by his brother.

The Egyptian Arabic language daily Al Watan said the man in Saudi Arabia had agreed to marry the woman in the photograph.

It said when she arrived at the airport in Saudi Arabia, the groom instantly ran away after seeing her face.

Security men chased the man and caught him after thinking he had stolen something,But he told them that he was shocked by his bride’s appearance and that he no longer wanted to be with her.

The bride later filed for a divorce and compensation.

—–

Local officials said hundreds of Taliban fighters are battling Afghan security forces in Logar, a key province near the capital Kabul.

This summer the freedom fighters mounted increasingly intense assaults across several provinces, involving hundreds of fighters, as the country braces for the withdrawal of foreign combat troops after 13 years.

Abdul Hakim Esaaqzai, the police chief of Logar province, said the fighters, armed with heavy machine guns, were fighting Afghan forces from residential areas in Charkh district.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the rebels were battling Afghan forces from all sides to overrun the district.

He said the area was under siege and they have already taken over many security outposts and killed many Afghan forces.

Foreign troops are due to pull out of Afghanistan later this year.

Afghanistan’s security arrangements beyond 2014 are unclear, as Kabul and Washington have yet to sign a bilateral security agreement designed to keep a small force of American soldiers in Afghanistan next year and into 2016.

The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, has refused to sign the agreement, although the two men vying to replace him have vowed to implement it immediately upon taking office.

Four months after going to the polls, a winner in the presidential poll is still not clear.

Karzai appealed for the two candidates to end their dispute over election results and save the country from further violence and economic decline.

—-

WEDNESDAY

The military wing of Hamas vowed to deliver crushing blows to Israel after the Tel Aviv regime violated a ceasefire and resumed its merciless onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said the Israeli regime had “opened the gates of hell on itself” through its latest killings in the blockaded territory and warned that the Tel Aviv regime would “pay the price for its crimes.”

Israel renewed its military strikes against the Gaza Strip ahead of the expiration of a recently-agreed truce.

Three Palestinians, including a Palestinian infant, were killed in Israeli airstrikes against the besieged enclave on Tuesday.

The Tel Aviv regime claimed that the strikes were in response to earlier rocket fire from the blockaded enclave.

Hamas, however, has rejected Israeli accusations that the Palestinian resistance movement breached the temporary ceasefire in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Israel launched the strikes with the aim of sabotaging the truce talks between officials from Palestine and Israel in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Nearly 2,020 people, mostly civilians, have lost their lives and some 10,200 have been injured in the Israeli war on Gaza

—–

Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters armed with wire cutters and backed by cranes have marched on Pakistan’s parliament.

On Tuesday they forced their way through barbed wire and road barriers blocking the way to Islamabad’s “red zone”,

The red zone holds the president and prime minister’s ceremonial homes and many diplomatic posts.

Police officers watched as an estimated 30,000 protesters moved into the government area, to back opposition politicians Imran Khan and Tahir ul-Qadri’s call for the resignation of the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.

Two Pakistani security officials told the AP news agency a total of 700 troops had also been deployed to guard the area, adding to an estimated 30,000 members of the country’s security forces already there.

Authorities pleaded for calm ahead of the march, than later warned of possible bloodshed.

The demonstrators have held two rallies in Islamabad in the last week. Khan and Qadri have vowed to keep up the sit-ins until Sharif resigns.

——-

Liberia’s government has imposed a nationwide night curfew in an effort to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Liberia’s information minister, Lewis Brown, told the Reuters news agency that the authorities were considering even tougher restrictions on movements in addition to a 9pm-6am curfew.

The epidemic of the hemorrhagic disease has killed nearly 1,300 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and has also affected Nigeria.

Between August 14-16, Liberia recorded the most new deaths, 53, followed by Sierra Leone with 17, and Guinea with 14.

The World Health Organisation says it’s working with the UN’s World Food Programme to ensure food delivery to one million people living in Ebola quarantine zones cordoned off by local security forces in a border zone of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

—–

The United Nations is due to send 7,600 troops and police to Central African Republic to take over peacekeeping duties from an African force in the conflict-torn country.

Babacar Gaye, the UN envoy to CAR says that the initial number of troops will enter the country on September 15

They represent about 65 percent of a nearly 12,000-strong UN force authorised by the UN Security Council in April.

Peter Wilson, Britain’s deputy ambassador, said Gaye told council members he expects the full force to be on the ground early next year.

Central African Republic has been in turmoil since Muslim rebels overthrew the long-time president in March 2013.

An armed Christian movement began retaliating against their human rights abuses, and thousands have died in sectarian violence in the past 16 months.

—–

An 83-year-old woman who was being treated for a respiratory infection in the Mediclinic Kimberley, reportedly underwent heart surgery when she was mistaken for another patient.

According to the beeld, Mediclinic spokesperson Denise Coetzee said a misunderstanding between two specialists led to Rita du Plessis being operated on on 25 July.

She was in the same ward as another elderly woman and both were patients of the same physician.

During ward rounds the physician realised his mistake when he saw that Du Plessis was not there and he was told she was in surgery.

Beeld reported that the physician contacted the family to apologise and after the surgery the surgeon called Du Plessis’s family to tell them the operation was a success.

According to the report, the hospital apologised for the confusion and the hospital, the surgeon, and the anaesthetist did not charge for the operation.

—–

Sources in Gaza said that Israeli airstrikes that began at midnight, with the ending of the temporary ceasefire, continued throughout the night until this morning.

This morning airstrikes reportedly killed 7 in central Gaza City, mainly from the Allouh family.

This was in addition to three civilians, including a small child, who were killed last night.

Some reports said that one of the more than thirty airstrikes fired by Israeli forces in the early hour the morning was meant to target Mohammed al-Deif, the current head of the armed wing of Hamas, and ended up killing his wife and child.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, denied that Hamas fired any rockets toward Israel.

The Israeli airstrikes hit Beit Lahia, al-Zaitoun, al-Maghazi camp, Dir al-Balah, Al-Qarara, Khuzaa, Tal al-Hawah, Rafah and eastern Sheja’eyya.

As the Israeli air force launched its renewed air raids on Gaza, the Israeli government recalled its envoy from the negotiations in Cairo.

—–

A five-year-old girl from Pretoria screamed so hard during a hijacking that the robbers stopped the car and ran away, according to a report.

Beeld newspaper reported that Annamarie van Greunen was left in the car when an armed man and two accomplices forced her aunt out of the vehicle in Danville, Pretoria, on Sunday afternoon.

The girl reportedly asked one of the hijackers if he would take her back home if she listened to him but he replied “no”.

This was her cue to start screaming.

And Annamarie did not stop screaming until the three men stopped the car and ran off with some of her aunt’s possessions.

Annamarie got out of the car and ran to the street where a member of the community policing forum — which had been alerted to the hijacking –picked her up.

——-

Hamas’ spokesperson Fawzy Barhoom said the European Union’s boycott of products from Israeli settlements is a step in the right direction

He said “This step should be followed by more strict measures against the Israeli occupation as a punishment for the crimes that it has committed against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.”

On Sunday, the EU decided to halt the import of dairy products and poultry from Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Israel has responded to the European Commission’s step by deciding to end the export of dairy products and poultry.

Israel has always refused to label products which come from settlements.

The EU decision to stop importing dairy products and poultry from Israel will come into effect from September 1.

—–

Turkish shipbuilder Karadeniz Holding said that it will send an electricity generating vessel to Gaza to provide urgently needed power following the Palestinian Authority’s request on Tuesday.

The ship would be sent within 120 days, once necessary approvals had been obtained, Karadeniz said in a statement.

The Istanbul-based company is the world’s only manufacturer of self-propelled floating power stations,

It already produces electricity for Iraq and Lebanon as part of its fleet of seven power ships with a combined capacity of 1,200 megawatts.

—–

According to “Blow the Whistle” the number of rapes this month reached a staggering 45 402.

Blow the Whistle is an anti-rape initiative that works at empowering women and children by giving them their voices back.

It aims to give vulnerable women and children platforms to feel safe, by creating awareness of the crisis of rape in South Africa.

The groups director Mike Rowley, said In August 2014, statistically there’ll be a total of 74,400 rapes.

Their online counter can be seen on the Blow the Whistle Website until the end of August as part of their “How Many More?” campaign.

Rowly said it needs to be acknowledged that there’s an epidemic in the form of rape.

—–

A Palestinian human rights organization had called for the launch of an investigation into Israel’s potential usage of chemical weapons during its military campaign in besieged Gaza.

Al-Damir Association for Human Rights said in a press statement that ever since Israel has initiated its aggression on Gaza, Palestinians and professional authorities, particularly medics, had mounting suspicions that Israel might have fired mortars and rockets that released gases similar to the ones discharged by burned trash.

Medics have had mounting suspicions that Israel unleashed deadly weapons which have cut the bodies of Gaza civilians into shreds, leaving no shrapnel traces over the casualties’ bodies.

In light of such violations, Gaza medics strongly believe that the Israeli occupation has been using DTMEK-based mortars and rockets that caused several limb amputations among Palestinian civilians.

The human rights organization raised alarm bells over the repercussions of such potential Israeli violations, dubbing them “flagrant breaches of international laws.”

Al-Damir called on the International Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to immediately step in so as to investigate Israel’s potential use of chemical weapons and the aftermaths of such crimes on the Palestinian citizen and environment.

—–

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said clashes between police and protesters in Missouri shows that “apartheid is flourishing” in the US, similar to South Africa during the apartheid era.

Navi Pillay condemned the excessive use of force by police against demonstrators protesting last week’s fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer named Darren Wilson.

During a wide-ranging interview in her office along Lake Geneva, Pillay also urged US authorities to investigate allegations of brutality and examine the “root causes” of racial discrimination in the country.

Pillay said she thinks that there are many parts of the United States where apartheid is flourishing.

She said coming from apartheid South Africa, she has experience of how racism and racial discrimination breeds conflict and violence.

On Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged US authorities to deal with the demonstrations according to international standards.

—-

Authorities say fighting in Ukraine’s mostly rebel-held region of Donetsk had killed 34 local residents and wounded 29 others in the past 24 hours.

Government troops trying to quell the pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine have been focusing on encircling Donetskand driving the rebels out of the city of Luhansk.

Several neighbourhoods in Donetsk have been hit with artillery fire in the last few days as fighting on the outskirts of the city has intensified.

Earlier, a Ukrainian official said nine troops were killed in overnight fighting in a town near Donetsk as the government battled to gain control of a major railroad and highway.

Fighting is reported to be continuing in Ilovaysk after more than a day of hostilities although government forces have gained overall control over the town.

So far killed more than 2,000 people were killed and 300,000 displaced since fighting began in mid-April.

——

THURSDAY

At least 26 Palestinians were killed and over 200 had been injured in the extensive Israeli bombardment targeting different parts of Gaza.

Hamas’ armed wing confirmed that three of its top commanders were killed in an airstrike.

Meanwhile Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip may be an extended operation.

According Reuters news agency Netanyahu added that he saw a “new diplomatic horizon” ahead for Israel in the region, alluding to possible diplomacy with Palestinians ahead once the war was over.

Fighting resumed on Tuesday after a week-long truce in Gaza collapsed with both sides blaming each other for breking the ceasefire deal.

At least 21 people were killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza since the ceasefire collapsed, raising the total death toll to 2,035 since the beginning of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge”.

——

Police in the Liberian capital fired live rounds and tear gas to disperse a stone-throwing crowd trying to break an Ebola quarantine imposed on their neighbourhood.

Witnesses said at least four people were injured in clashes with security forces in the sprawling oceanfront West Point neighbourhood of Monrovia.

It was unclear whether anyone was wounded by the gunfire, though a Reuters news agency photographer saw a young boy with his leg largely severed just above the ankle.

Witnesses said the clashes in West Point started after security forces blocked roads to the neighbourhood with tables, chairs and barbed wire early on Wednesday.

Residents said they were not warned.

The epidemic of the hemorrhagic fever, which can kill up to 90 percent of those it infects, is ravaging the three small West African states of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The death toll from the epidemic in West Africa hit 1,350.

—–

Fighting between international peacekeepers in the capital of Central African Republic and local armed men has reportedly killed one Red Cross volunteer and injured at least 31 people.

The neighbourhood is home to some 2,000 Muslims who have braved sectarian violence to remain in the capital.

Clashes broke out after residents of the PK-5 neighbourhood in Bangui accused the European Union force of shooting dead a man late on Tuesday.

A crowd of protesters brought a man’s body to UN headquarters on Wednesday, saying he had been shot dead by EUFOR in his home, before taking him to a mosque in the PK-5 neighbourhood.

Residents and Doctors Without Borders reported that shortly afterwards, heavy gunfire and shelling was heard around the PK-5 neighbourhood,.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement said one of its volunteers, Bienvenu Bandios, was shot dead while evacuating casualties from PK-5.

—–

Daveyton was quiet on Thursday morning following days of protests that resulted in looting and barricading of roads.

Ekurhuleni metro police Superintendent Vusi Mabanga said Everything had gone back to normal, adding that No other incidents were reported since yesterday.

The protests in Daveyton began on Monday when residents tried to illegally invade land and erect shacks but were prevented from doing so by authorities.

On Tuesday night, shops owned by foreigners were looted in the area, and six people were arrested.

Rocks which were used to block roads on Tuesday were removed by Wednesday, but some intersections remained blocked.

A meeting between protesters and officials was scheduled for Wednesday to try and resolve the issue.

Another meeting was planned for Thursday.

….

Ukrainian troops said they made a significant push into rebel-held territory, claiming control over a large part of the separatist stronghold of Luhansk and nearly encircling Donetsk.

Donetsk is the largest city still in rebel hands.

The army’s advance against pro-Russian separatists came as the civilian death toll is mounting from sustained artillery strikes and rebel cities are slipping into a humanitarian disaster.

At least 52 deaths were reported yesterday, along with 64 wounded.

Due to the dangers of the war zone in eastern Ukraine, no deaths were reported from Luhansk, meaning the actual toll could be even higher.

Ukrainian troops have been trying for weeks to drive the rebels out of Luhansk and cut off Donetsk, a city of 1 million that has shrunk by a third as frightened residents fled.

The renewed offensive comes as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gears up for a meeting in Minsk with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the heads of Belarus and Kazakhstan, and EU officials next week.

—–

The British government refused to halt arms exports to the Israeli regime despite earlier pledges that it would rescind weapons sales licenses if military attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip resumed.

Earlier this month, 12 licenses for British companies to sell arms to the Tel Aviv regime were threatened with suspension if hostilities continued in the region.

Since 2010, the UK government has licensed 42 million pounds worth of military licenses to the Israeli regime, including targeting systems and drone components.

The UK-based Campaign Against Arms Trade has filed a lawsuit against the British government over the lucrative weapons deals with Tel Aviv.

Rosa Curling, of the human rights team which represents the CAAT, warned that if London failed to act, the government’s current policy would be unlawful and “susceptible” to legal challenge.

—–

Thieves broke into the Pretoria building that houses Interpol and the Hawks for the second time in three weeks.

According to police spokesperson Solomon Makgale, two to three people stole laptops from the elite police unit, presumably over the weekend

Police suspect that they were more interested in the laptops than the information contained there.

In July criminals made off with computers and other equipment from the International Police office in the same building.

Suspects gained entry with access cards and codes, raising concern over security measures at the building, which also hosts non-police entities.

The Times quoted a security source as saying this was the fifth break-in in three weeks at the building.

—–

Democratic Republic of Congo has sent its health minister and a team of experts to the remote northern Equateur province after several people died there from a disease with Ebola-like symptoms.

It was not immediately clear if there was any connection with Ebola.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office said an illness was spreading in Boende but they don’t know the origin.

The government has sent a team of experts from the National Institute of Biomedical Research yesterday led by the health minister FelixKabange Numbi .

Congo does not share a border with any of the countries affected by the virus in West Africa.

However the country has seen several outbreaks since the first case was detected near the Ebola River in northern Congo in 1976.

——

The ANC Youth League’s statement that it is financially sound was welcomed by the EFF because it said it vindicated party leader Julius Malema.

Economic Freedom Fighters’ spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement that the convenor of the ANCYL has in the past blamed Malema, for the supposed financial problems of the organisation.

Yesterday, the ANCYL convenor indicated that the finances are in a good place, inadvertently dispelling his self-made misconceptions about the commander-in-chief.”

During Malema’s time as African National Congress Youth League leader, the organisation got itself into extensive debt, which led to liquidation cases against it.

There were allegations that millions of rands of the ANCYL’s money had gone missing.

ANCYL convenor Mzwandile Masina denied this, saying the ANCYL’s financial problems had been resolved.

—–

Israeli officials continued to prevented human rights observers and experts employed by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch from entering Gaza to conduct independent investigations.

Bothe Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch employees had been unsuccessful in their attempts to bring observers into Gaza during the Israeli invasion.

The groups called on both Israel and Egypt to lift the restrictions on human rights observers, and allow their employees to enter Gaza.

In a press release,the two groups called on Israel to immediately allow access to Gaza so they can investigate allegations of violations of international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict.

Both groups have also requested access from Egyptian authorities, who so far have not granted it.

It says if Israel is confident in its claim that Hamas is responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza, it shouldn’t be blocking human rights organizations from carrying out on-site investigations.

—–

The Special Investigating Unit handed over its final report on Nkandla to President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma submitted a response on the R246m upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete last week Thursday.

The presidency said he had taken all reports into account.

There were three different investigations into the upgrades, done by the joint standing committee on intelligence, the public protector, and the SIU.

Earlier this year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from the upgrades and recommended that he repay some of the money.

Zuma declined to respond to Madonsela’s report in full within the required fortnight and said instead he would wait for the SIU’s findings.

Meanwhile Economic Freedom Fighters MPs were the only ones left in the National Assembly after refusing to listen to Speaker Baleka Mbete’s order that they leave.

Mbete’s order came when the MPs began shouting “pay back the money!” in reference to the upgrade of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

Mbete earlier ordered party leader Julius Malema and the other members all dressed in red overalls to leave and said she would get security to remove them.

Proceedings were suspended until they had been removed.

——

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said Cabinet issued a travel ban for non-South Africans from Ebola infested countries.

He said South Africans coming from such West African countries would be questioned, and medically examined if need be

However non-South African citizens will not be permitted to enter the country from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia

The minister made the announcement following Cabinet’s approval of heightened surveillance mechanisms to identify infected people.

Earlier Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa had featured high on the agenda.

The Cabinet reiterated that no person has been found positive with the disease in South Africa.

So far over 1,350 deaths have been reported in West Africa

——

FRIDAY

Ukrainian authorities said that trucks from a Russian aid convoy crossed into Ukraine without permission.

Ukraine’s state security chief reportedly said this amounted to a “direct invasion” by Russia.

Ukrainians state security chief says that Ukraine will not use force against the convoy “to avoid provocations”.

Earlier today, Russia said it was no longer prepared to tolerate any delays to the aid convoy heading for Ukraine and that the trucks were starting to move towards Luhansk, where pro-Russian rebels are fighting Ukrainian government forces.

Reuters reported that at least 90 trucks crossed the border into eastern Ukraine.

It is thought they are being escorted by pro-Kremlin separatists and will now head to Luhansk.

The trucks are loaded with water, generators and sleeping bags intended for civilians of the besieged city, where pro-Russian separatist fighters are besieged by Ukrainian forces.

Fighting in the regions has severely affected civilians, many of whom are without sufficient food and water.

Energy supplies have also been cut off.

——

Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, executed 18 informants for Israel in the besieged Gaza Strip, a day after three Hamas commanders were assassinated in Tel Aviv’s onslaught.

Palestinian security officials said the executions occurred at the Gaza City police headquarters earlier today.

Sources say the convicts had been previously sentenced by the Gaza courts for collaborating with Israel.

Palestinian officials said they were executed after the completion of “legal procedures.”

On Thursday the resistance group had also executed three people on charges of cooperating with Israel.

The latest developments come after Israel said it had killed three top Hamas military commanders in an airstrike on a house in southern part of the Palestinian besieged enclave.

The three men were the commanders of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.

Hamas has said that the killing of the three commanders will demoralize neither the Palestinians nor the resistance movement, warning that the Tel Aviv regime will pay the price for killing them

—–

The Mexican government has increased its calculation of the number of people who have disappeared since the start of the country’s drug war in 2006 and now lists over 22,000 as missing.

It had said in May that 8,000 people were missing.

Assistant Attorney General, Mariana Benitez, said over 12,000 people went missing during the 2006-12 administration of President Felipe Calderon, who declared war on drug traffickers.

An additional 9,790 have disappeared since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office on December 1, 2012.

Benitez said that the list of people reported missing during Calderon’s government had gone past 29,000 but that authorities arrived at the figure of over 12,500 still missing after finding the rest alive or confirming their deaths.

Authorities have given conflicting figures on missing people since announcing in February 2013 there was an official list showing 26,000 people unaccounted for.

It is unclear how many of the missing were kidnapped or killed by drug gangs, which frequently bury their victims in clandestine graves.

—–

Paramedics said no injuries were reported when a 4.6 magnitude earthquake hit Johannesburg in the early hours of Friday morning.

Johannesburg emergency services spokesperson Nana Radebe said they were not called out to help anyone and there were no reports of injuries.

ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said they were on stand-by after the quake struck, but they were also not called out.

The US Geological Survey said on its website that the earthquake occurred 12 kilometres west of Orange Farm, a township south of Johannesburg.

The quake, which happened around 01:00, is the second in South Africa in less than three weeks.

—–

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the Economic Freedom Fighters trampled on Parliament’s dignity by disrupting proceedings in the National Assembly yesterday.

Mantashe said if one wants to destroy that institution which is parliment for a short term satisfaction, they will regret it.

He added that when there is no Parliament, there will be dictatorship.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete had to adjourn the House on yesterday following a stand-off between her and EFF members.

Mbete later announced that Parliament would establish a committee to probe the conduct of the EFF.

Mantashe said Parliament should use its rules to deal with the incident.

—–

At least 2090 Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing Israeli offensive rocking besieged Gaza since July 7.

The Al-Mezan center for human rights said the total death toll includes 494 children and 287 women.

Al Mezan figures did not include seven more casualties, who were buried without being identified in Rafah, pending further verification.

More Palestinians were recovered from under the rubble during these days.

The report said At least 963 people, including 310 children and 205 women, were killed inside their houses.

According to statistics from the health ministry, at least 10,391 people were injured during the same period, including 3,152 children and 2,013 women.

At least, 10,149 houses were destroyed or damaged during this period, of which 2,650 were destroyed completely.

The occupation forces directly and deliberately attacked 971 of the total number of damaged houses.  7499 homes sustained partial damage.

Until today, Israeli attacks have destroyed 92 schools, 149 mosques, 8 hospitals, 6 of which became out of service, 39 NGO institutions, 50 fishing boats, and 224 vehicles.

——

DR Congo’s Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said a hemorrhagic fever of unknown origin has killed 13 people in the country’s northwest in the past two weeks.

His comments came as fears grow that the Ebola outbreak will spread across Africa and beyond,

All 13 people who have died suffered from a fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and, in a terminal stage, of vomiting a black matter.

The first victim was a pregnant woman and the 12 others – including five medical workers – died after coming into contact with her.

About 80 people who had contact with the deceased are also under observation.

Samples taken from the victims are to be tested to find the exact strain of the pathogen and results are expected in a week.

——

An ex-policeman was arrested in Soweto, Johannesburg, for allegedly renting out police uniforms to criminals.

Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said they found police uniforms, blue lights, reflectors, name tags, which were used to commit crimes.

He said the man was renting “these things” to criminals.

The 35-year-old was arrested after a raid on a house in Moletsane, Soweto.

It is understood that he is a former policeman.

A stolen Audi A4 was also found on the scene.

The man, who was also suspected to have been involved in some of the crimes himself, would appear in court soon

—–

The iStore at Centurion Mall was robbed of goods worth over R1 million.

Spokeswoman Lt-Col Khensani Magoai said that iPhones, laptops, and tablets worth over a million rand were taken.

Four men allegedly entered the store pretending to be customers before holding up the store manager with a firearm.

They then helped themselves to the electronic goods.

Magoai said one of the guards at the mall gave chase but the gang started shooting at him..

This is the third iStore outlet to be hit in Gauteng in less than a month.

On August 13, the iStore at Cresta Shopping Centre was robbed and one person was injured when the gang made their getaway.

according to Eye Witness News, The Glen’s iStore was robbed a few days later.

—-

Police shot dead five cash in transit robbers in Bloemfontein.

Police spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko said Five are down, and Eight are arrested.

He said the police received information that a Protea Coin van had been robbed by a group of heavily armed men in Henneman road.

He said they were caught in fire with them and we managed to fatally shoot five of them.

Eight robbers were arrested.

The conditions of the robbers who were shot were not immediately known.

Ramaloko said police also recovered vehicles that were used in the heist attempt.

—–

 

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