|News Round Up
Miriam Makeba, Queen of African Music Passes On
The 76 year old South African singing star, Miriam Makeba whose career took off in the 1950s is best remembered for her stand against apartheid that saw not only her, but also her music banned in South Africa.Christened 'Mama Africa,' she died of cardiac arrest after a concert in Italy, on behalf of an Italian writer who has received death threats from the Mafia. Makeba, whose album Homeland was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2000 collapsed on Sunday as she was leaving the stage in the town of Castel Volturno, near Naples.
Zimbabwe’s Inflation Alarming
inflation last month hit the quintillion percent mark, an indication that the country's economic woes are far from over, a report by an internationally renowned economist has revealed. Professor Steve Hanke, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in the United States, said Zimbabwe's annual inflation had soared to 2.79 quintillion percent, a world record in many respects. A quintillion is a figure with 18 zeroes and is a rung above a quadrillion. Hanke developed the Hanke hyperinflationary index, a metric derived from market price data, which can be used to calculate inflation in the absence of information from the government's statistical bodies, as in the case of Zimbabwe. "Zimbabwe is the first country in the 21st century to hyper inflate," said Prof Hanke, who has played a prominent role in designing and implementing monetary reforms that have reduced high attitude inflation in eight countries.
Sudan and Chad restore relations
African neighbours Sudan and Chad have resumed diplomatic relations and exchanged ambassadors to end a six-month diplomatic rift. The two countries fell out over mutual accusations of support for rebels. The new ambassadors gave a joint media conference in Sudan's capital Khartoum. They described the rapprochement as the first step in solving the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region, next to Chad. he reconciliation process was led by Libya and the African Union. In the Libyan capital of Tripoli last month, Chad and Sudan agreed not to help rebel groups.
Algerians in Guantanamo Challenge Detention
Six Algerian inmates of Guantanamo Bay have begun a legal bid to be released from their detention, in the first such challenge in a US civilian court. A federal judge in Washington is hearing arguments from both sides and will make a decision later this month. This is the first such case since the US Supreme Court granted Guantanamo Bay detainees the right to challenge their detention in civilian courts in July. Some 270 men are held at the naval base on suspicion of links to terrorism.
The six Algerians were arrested in Bosnia in the weeks following the 11 September 2001 attacks on New York and Washington and have been held without charge ever since.
They deny government claims that they were planning to travel to Afghanistan to fight with al-Qaeda and the Taliban against US troops.
Ban Calls for Urgent Measures to End Congo Crisis At Nairobi Summit
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for urgent measures to contain the crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), stressing to a United Nations-backed summit in Nairobi that neither the vast African nation nor the surrounding region can risk a return to conflict. Fighting in the province of North Kivu between Government forces (FARDC) and the National Congress in Defence of the People (known as the CNDP), a militia led by former general Laurent Nkunda, has displaced as many as 253,000 Congolese in recent months. The summit, hosted by the African Union (AU), brings together DRC President Joseph Kabila and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, which borders North Kivu, as well as the leaders of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Africa.
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