May 15, 2018

Saudi declared Thursday as first day of Ramadan

Saudi Arabia declared that Ramadan will begin on Thursday May 17, 2018. It was officially announced today. KhaleejTimes reported. The Saudi moon-sighting committee met on Tuesday […]
May 14, 2018

Sam Nzima: The man behind the iconic photo of the fight against apartheid

Sam Nzima: The man behind the iconic photo of the fight against apartheid Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A woman holds the iconic photograph taken by legendary photographer Sam Nzima in 1976 South African photographer Sam Nzima dashed to the scene of a shooting during the June 1976 students' uprising against apartheid just in time to see a child falling to the ground. It was when another student picked up the dying 13-year-old Hector Pieterson that Nzima clicked to take one of the most iconic photographs in history, becoming a symbol of the brutality of the white minority regime, which flashed around the world. In a 2010 BBC interview, Nzima, who has died aged 83, recalled: "I didn't know who it was. I saw a child falling down. "I rushed there with my camera. "And I saw another young man pick him up and as soon as he had picked him up, I started shooting the pictures. "It was a very high risk because this picture was taken under a shower of bullets," he said. ..
May 14, 2018

DR Congo: Why tourists go to Virunga National Park

DR Congo: Why tourists go to Virunga National Park Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mountain gorillas are one of Virunga's main attractions One of Africa's most stunning parks - Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo - has suffered a major blow following the killing of a ranger, and the abduction of two British tourists, who were later released. The attack has forced the park's boss - Belgian prince Emmanuel de Merode - to announce a suspension of tourism. This will be another setback to efforts to earn much-needed income to protect the World Heritage Site from the lawlessness that has gripped the region since the fall of long-serving ruler Mobutu Sese Seko more than two decades ago. How dangerous is Virunga?Boasting Africa's most diverse wildlife, Virunga - which stretches across 7,800 sq km (3,000 sq miles) - is one of the most dangerous parks on the continent. The extent of the threat is reflected by the fact that between 1,500 and 2,000 armed f..
May 14, 2018

DR Congo: Kidnapped Brits ‘very grateful’ after release

DR Congo: Kidnapped Brits 'very grateful' after release Image copyright Bethan Davies and Robert Jesty Image caption The pair were abducted north of the city of Goma, North Kivu province Two Britons kidnapped in a national park in DR Congo have said they are "very grateful" after their release. Bethan Davies and Robert Jesty were among three people held when their vehicle was ambushed in Virunga National Park on Friday. They paid tribute to the "excellent support" they had received and said they would not comment any further. Park ranger Rachel Masika Baraka was killed by the kidnappers; a driver was injured and released. The 25-year-old ranger is the eighth to be murdered at the park this year. Park director Emmanuel de Merode said: "Ranger Baraka's life was tragically cut short in service to Virunga National Park. "She was one of the park's 26 female rangers and was highly committed, showing true bravery in her work. "We wish to extend our sincerest condolences ..
May 13, 2018

Why does Ebola keep coming back?

Why does Ebola keep coming back? Image copyright Getty Images The Ebola virus has reared its head again, this time in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While it is impossible to predict exactly where and when the next outbreak will occur, we now know much more about how to prevent a crisis. The news of an Ebola outbreak in the town of Bikoro in north-west DRC instantly brings to mind the horror of the epidemic that took 11,000 lives and infected 28,000 people in West Africa between 2014 and 2016. It is a nightmare no-one wants to relive - or should have to. Since 4 April in the DRC, there have been more than 30 possible cases - involving 18 deaths - although only two incidents have so far been confirmed as Ebola. So why does Ebola keep coming back and what work is being done to prevent a repeat of the tragedy in West Africa? Out of controlEbola can spread rapidly, through contact with even small amounts of bodily fluid of those infected. Its early flu-like symptoms are not always obv..
May 13, 2018

Britons held in DR Congo freed

Britons held in DR Congo freed Image copyright AFP Image caption Eight rangers have been killed at Virunga National Park in 2018 so far Two British men held hostage in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been released unharmed, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has announced. Mr Johnson paid tribute to the DRC authorities and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation for their "tireless help". The men are receiving "support and medical attention", according to a statement by Virunga National Park. A park ranger killed by the kidnappers has been named as Rachel Masika Baraka. The group's driver was injured and released shortly after the abduction, which took place near the village of Kibati, just north of Goma. Earlier, tributes were paid to 25-year-old Ms Baraka, the eighth ranger to be be murdered at the park this year. Mr Johnson said his thoughts were with Ms Baraka's family, the injured driver, "and the released British nationals as they recover from this traumati..
May 13, 2018

South Africa direct rule for North West province

South Africa direct rule for North West province Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionRubber bullets were fired when police clashed with protesters in April South Africa has taken over direct administration of North West province where corruption allegations have led to violent protests. There have also been calls for the regional premier to resign. The decision to intervene was taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has made the fight against corruption a priority. Last month, he cut short his attendance at a Commonwealth summit in London to return home and deal with the crisis. Ramaphosa: union leader, mine boss, president Zuma's fall a chance to take moral leadership in Africa The province's regional premier, Supra Mahumapelo - a political ally of former President Jacob Zuma - has refused to step down but went on leave. His administration has been accused of corruption and the misuse of state funds - accusations he denies. After complaints about..
May 12, 2018

Icebergs and empty pools: Five things Cape Town’s Day Zero taught us

Icebergs and empty pools: Five things Cape Town's Day Zero taught us Image copyright AFP Image caption Despite being surrounded by water, Cape Town found itself at risk of running out of water When Cape Town revealed it was fast hurtling towards the moment it would become the first city on earth to run out of water earlier this year, it caught the world's attention. Initial predictions said the taps in this South African city of four million people should have run dry by April. But despite the odds appearing stacked against it, the dams never fell to 13.5% - the level needed to reach "Day Zero", which has now been pushed back to next year at the earliest. The rains have finally arrived, and Cape Town appears to pulled itself back from the brink - for now. So, what lessons have been learned? Icebergs could be the answerAt times like this, it is probably always worth thinking outside the box. But when Nick Sloane - a South African salvage captain known for righting the Costa ..
May 12, 2018

The couple who care for stricken dogs in an Indian beach town

The couple who care for stricken dogs in an Indian beach town Image copyright Street Dog Watch Image caption Family and friends might be thousands of miles away, but there's no shortage of company During a 10-year exile in India, a British couple have spent £300,000 of their own money to help stricken dogs in a beach town. Why? It was supposed to be a trip to see some of the world after taking early retirement. After spending some time in Gran Canaria, Mary and Steve Muscroft booked a two-week package holiday to Kovalam in Kerala, south India. They did not get on their return flight. Instead, they stayed to look after two dogs that had captured their hearts. Ten years on and they now have almost 100 dogs, run an animal clinic with three staff and have set up Street Dog Watch Association - an organisation that rescues stricken dogs and feeds, vaccinates and sterilises the area's strays. Image copyright Street Dog Watch Image caption Rambo, seen here getting his first haircu..
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