June 7, 2018

South Africa’s Henri van Breda given life for axe murder of family

South Africa's Henri van Breda given life for axe murder of family Image copyright EPA Image caption Henri van Breda was 20 years old when he killed his family A South African man who murdered his parents and brother with an axe has been sentenced to life in prison. Henri van Breda, 23, was also given 15 years for the attempted murder of his teenage sister, Marli, during the frenzied January 2015 attack. Sitting in the High Court, Judge Siraj Desai said the "cold-blooded murders" had been carried out with "excessive and gratuitous violence". Van Breda's defence lawyer says he intends to appeal. The man who killed his family with an axeThe case has horrified South Africans, with one paramedic telling the court the scene in the family's upmarket Stellenbosch home was the worst thing he had seen in a career spanning almost four decades. Van Breda, then just 20, used an axe to slaughter his father, Martin, 54, his mother, Teresa, 55, and older brother Rudi, 22, as they slep..
June 6, 2018

Ethiopia offers Eritrea chance to end Africa’s longest war

Ethiopia offers Eritrea chance to end Africa's longest war Image copyright AFP Image caption Ethiopia says it will withdraw its troops from the Badme region, as Eritrea has long demanded Ethiopia's surprise announcement that it will abide by a 2002 border ruling raises the prospect of a final end to what was Africa's deadliest border war and peace with its long-time rival, Eritrea. Tens of thousands of people were killed in the two-year conflict and Eritrea remains on a war footing, demanding that Ethiopia withdraws from the "occupied territory". How genuine is this peace offer?It seems pretty genuine. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed signalled in his inauguration speech in April that a major policy shift could be in the offing - he called on Eritrea to resolve their differences, saying the two neighbours were "not only intertwined in interests but also in blood". Now, the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has announced it will ful..
June 6, 2018

Scores of Ethiopians drown off Yemen coast

Scores of Ethiopian migrants drown off Yemen's coast Image copyright IOM Image caption Survivors say at least 100 people were on the boat At least 46 migrants trying to cross from Somalia to Yemen have drowned when their boat capsized, UN officials say. Another 16 people are missing after the vessel overturned in rough seas off Yemen's coast, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says. Survivors say the smuggler's boat was carrying at least 100 people who had left the port of Bosaso to find work in Yemen and other Gulf countries. All the migrants were Ethiopian nationals, reports say. Are migrants paying price as EU targets smugglers? Can jobs in Ethiopia keep Eritrean refugees out of Europe? The IOM says the boat capsized in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday morning. Among the victims were 37 men and nine women. A number of passengers on board the crammed vessel were without life jackets, survivors say. "Over 7,000 poor migrants take this perilous journey ev..
June 6, 2018

Ghana and Nigeria top abortion pill searches

100 Women: The modern face of the 'DIY abortion' Image copyright Getty Images Global online searches for abortion pills have more than doubled over the last decade, BBC analysis of Google searches shows. The findings also suggest that in countries where abortion laws are more restrictive, there is greater search interest in abortion pills. By buying pills online and sharing medical advice through WhatsApp groups, women are increasingly turning to technology to sidestep legal barriers to abortion. This is the modern face of the so-called "DIY abortion". Countries with the strictest laws, where abortion is allowed only to save a woman's life or banned altogether, have over 10 times higher search interest in abortion pill Misoprostol compared to countries with no restrictions, BBC analysis shows. There are two main methods of inducing abortion; surgical and medical. A medical abortion typically involves taking a combination of pills, Misoprostol and Mifeprostone, to induce..
June 5, 2018

Ethiopia ‘accepts peace deal’ to end Eritrea border war

Ethiopia 'accepts peace deal' to end Eritrea border war Image copyright AFP Image caption Ethiopia has refused to remove its troops from the region around Badme, the dusty market town at the centre of the dispute Ethiopia says it will fully accept the outcome of a border commission, ending a dispute with Eritrea that sparked Africa's deadliest border war in 1998. The ruling EPRDF coalition says the decision was taken in an effort to make peace with neighbouring Eritrea. Tens of thousands of people were killed in two years of fighting. The two sides have remained on a war footing as Ethiopia refused to accept the ruling of the border commission set up as part of a peace deal in 2000. The commission said that some disputed areas, including the border town of Badme, were in Eritrea. As a result, Ethiopia refused to withdrawn its troops out of the disputed areas. This led Eritrea to accuse Ethiopia of forcefully occupying its territory. Eritrea has refused to hold any talk..
June 5, 2018

Crocodile kills Ethiopian pastor during lake baptism

Crocodile kills Ethiopian pastor during lake baptism Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption Crocodiles are found in freshwater habitats like rivers and lakes A crocodile has killed a Protestant pastor who was baptising followers near a lake in southern Ethiopia. Docho Eshete was conducting the ceremony for about 80 people on Sunday morning at Lake Abaya in Arba Minch town's Merkeb Tabya district. Residents and police told BBC Amharic a crocodile leapt from the water during the baptism and attacked him. Pastor Docho died after being bitten on his legs, back and hands. Africa Live: More on this and other stories"He baptised the first person and he passed on to another one. All of a sudden, a crocodile jumped out of the lake and grabbed the pastor," local resident Ketema Kairo told the BBC. Despite huge efforts, fishermen and residents could not save pastor Docho, policeman Eiwnetu Kanko said. They used fishing nets to prevent the crocodile from taking the pastor's..
June 5, 2018

ECOWAS-UEMOA Commissioners hold 17th meeting in Abuja

The high table at the opening ceremony of the meeting Abuja, 2nd June 2018. Commissioners of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Commissions met in Abuja on Saturday, 2nd June, 2018, to assess and consolidate the achievements of the Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS) of the two Commissions as well as discuss the challenges that adversely affected the harmonization of regional integration programmes and policies within the framework of the Joint Commissions cooperation. The one-day consultation ahead of the Heads of Institutions of ECOWAS and WAEMU Commission’s meeting scheduled for Monday, 4th June, 2018 noted among others, the progress of the implementation of convergence projects such as customs, trade liberalization, agriculture, education and culture which has led to the development of joint texts and harmonization of approaches in the organizations. On the other hand, the meeting lamented on the adverse e..
June 4, 2018

Could a text message save thousands of fishermen’s lives?

Could a text message save thousands of fishermen's lives? Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Much of the fishing takes place at night when lethal storms can blow up quickly We can't stop Nature when it unleashes its fury in the form of volcanoes, earthquakes, storms and avalanches, but we can use technology to warn us of imminent danger - and save lives. As the sun sets over Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, tens of thousands of fishermen ready themselves to head out on the water for the night, fishing mostly for tilapia and Nile perch. As they push off, they know they are risking their lives - some of them may never be seen again. Lake Victoria - a lake so big it straddles Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya - is notorious for its deadly storms. At this time of year, strong winds, rain, lightning and huge waves are a regular occurrence. Up to 5,000 fishermen lose their lives each year, says the International Red Cross. "The storms usually start at midnight and last ..
June 4, 2018

Henri van Breda: Axe murderer transfixes South Africa

Henri van Breda: Axe murderer transfixes South Africa Image copyright AFP Image caption Henri van Breda was 20 years old when his killed his father, mother and brother and attempted to kill his younger sister A paramedic describing the aftermath of the attack on the Van Breda family said it was the worst thing he had seen in his 39-year career. "Blood ran like a waterfall down the stairs," testified the now-retired Christiaan Koegelenberg. Henri van Breda used an axe to kill his mother, father and brother, while his younger sister managed to survive. The motive for the horrific murders is still not known - some believe it was to inherit his father's estate but this was never proven. But whatever the motive, investigators and South Africans alike have been left cold by the violent nature of the attack. Van Breda is due to be sentenced shortly for the killing of his wealthy family in a supposedly secure estate in South Africa's wine countryof Stellenbosch. It was in the morni..
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