Thursday, January 31, 2019

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UGANDA: Snowboarder Revives Goal of Representing Nation at Olympics (VIDEO)

Snowboarder Brolin Mawejje trains in Utah in this undated image taken from a video on his Instagram account.

Snowboarder Revives Goal of Representing Uganda at Olympics

By VOA


SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — It's always in the back of Brolin Mawejje's mind, whether he's soaring over the snow or fine-tuning his rail technique: What more can he do to become an Olympic contender in snowboarding?

The 26-year-old hopes to enter the record books as the first African competing in his sport at the highest echelon on behalf of his native Uganda. He was close to qualifying for the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea when a medical condition threw him off course.

"It's a life circumstance," he said matter of factly.

The setback arose last February at the Winter University Games in Kazakhstan, where he fell ill during practice. Medical tests revealed arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat that can be fatal.

Mawejje packed up his gear and headed back to Utah. After consulting with his coaches and doctors, Mawejje shifted his focus to the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

"My goal has not changed or wavered. My goal is to still represent my home nation of Uganda at the world games," Mawejje said during an interview last year at Westminster College in Pennsylvania.

Mountains provide a spectacular backdrop for the liberal arts college, where Mawejje is completing a master's degree in public health, emphasizing epidemiology.

Mawejje has been back on the slopes since shortly after his diagnosis; the Mayo Clinic lists regular exercise among protective factors for his condition. He trains in Park City, Utah, and Jackson, Wyo., near the home of the American family that took him in. He also runs, lifts weights and bounces on a trampoline to improve his balance for the jumps, flips and twists of freestyle snowboarding.

"I have not won any major trophies this year," Mawejje acknowledged in an email. But he'll have a home advantage for his next competition: The FIS World Championships open this weekend in Park City. Athletes earn points at events sanctioned by the FIS, short for International Ski Federation, which countries consider when they pick athletes to represent them at the Olympics.

Unusual path

Mawejje took an unlikely trail to snowboarding. He never saw snow until he was 12, when he moved from his family home outside Uganda's capital, Kampala, to a suburb of Boston, Mass. His mother had relocated there when he was a toddler.

"I came to the U.S. for more opportunities and better education," he said.

At 14, an after-school program introduced him to skiing and snowboarding.

"I wanted to have friends, so I joined in," Mawejje said.

Through close pal Philip Hessler, he got a second family, moving with them to Jackson Hole, Wyo., in 2009. Both boys later enrolled at Westminster College.

Hessler traced Mawejje's development as a snowboarder and young man growing up in a foreign land in the 2014 documentary Far From Home, shot while both were students. Hessler went on to co-found the video production agency WZRD Media and works as a filmmaker.

Hessler regards Mawejje "as my brother and one of my best friends," he told VOA, lauding Mawejje's perseverance and ability "to thrive in new circumstances. ... He is able to straddle being a part of many worlds."

That includes Uganda. Mawejje says his mother gave him the opportunity and "understanding that I need to go back home and give back to my people and to my community." He's concentrating now on the Olympics, but aims to later attend medical school to become a doctor.

"To have a career that impacts a lot of people … is greater than sports," he said.

Kaye Stackpole, a Westminster official who's among Mawejje's mentors, expands on his point.

"He has personally experienced great medical care and average-to-low medical care," she said. "He wants to elevate education and medical care, especially in his country of Uganda. ... I think that every step he takes is toward his goal of helping others."

Charity work

Meanwhile, Mawejje works with charities such as the Kampala-based advocacy group Joy for Children on "initiatives that empower the youth and future of Uganda," he said.

The athlete travels to Uganda and to snowboarding events around the world as a goodwill ambassador for Visa financial services. On Instagram, he tags that company and other corporate sponsors. He also has worked since he was in high school, as a lab analyst at Massachusetts General Hospital and as an instructor at snowboarding camps, among other jobs.

While in Kampala recently, Mawejje participated in a charity event and met with Uganda's Olympic Committee president to "discuss the path to the Olympics with their support," he said.

The committee has provided verbal encouragement but, to date, no "tangible support," Mawejje said. Economic growth slowed in the East African country in the last few years, the World Bank has reported, noting that roughly a fifth of its 40 million residents live in poverty.

Mawejje hopes to get support from Uganda, the African continent and the diaspora. He says his Olympic quest is not just for himself.

"I am just the face going through the journey. … A lot of people in Africa go, 'Why help him?' … You are not helping me, you are helping the idea of all of us. It's really the Olympic goal."

He cites the three Nigerian women who last February made up the first African bobsled team at the Olympics. Though they placed last, "I am proud just to hear of the ladies of Nigeria," Mawejje said. "And I just want East Africa to have the same representation."

KENYA to lift ban on Uganda poultry imports

Kenya has hinted at lifting the ban on Ugandan poultry products. PHOTO | NMG
By THE EAST AFRICAN

The deadly bird flu that led Kenya to place a ban on Ugandan poultry products has now been controlled, paving the way for the lifting of the embargo.

Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimutai says Uganda has submitted the report on eradication of the disease to World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

“Uganda has submitted the report to OIE and we are waiting for the same, we are going to lift the ban on poultry exports from Uganda as soon as we get it,” he said.

The ban imposed in January 2017 would have been lifted last November but Kenya said it did not get the status report on the disease in Uganda.

Currently, only three Ugandan firms are allowed to export their poultry products to Kenya following a partial lift in August 2017. They are Hudani Manji Holdings, SR Afrochick and Kukuchic.

At the time, Kenya spelt out tough conditions including that chickens be held in secured premises free from the disease for at least six weeks; there should have been no other outbreak in the surrounding 10 kilometres radius for 30 days; hatching eggs originate from breeding flocks free of the disease and must have been present in a hatchery for at least six weeks before export.

The outbreak of the virulent H5 strain of avian flu in Uganda in January 2017 significantly crippled the poultry industry, which is driven by exports into the region.

Avian flu is a highly infectious disease that affects many animals, including humans, rats, mice and dogs.

The outbreak was first detected in wild ducks on the Ugandan side of Lake Victoria at Lutembe beach near Entebbe in Masaka and Wakiso districts.

UGANDA: Govt officials robbed me of Shs2.4b, man tells land probe - YOU ARE LUCKY THEY DID NOT ABIRIGATE YOU

The chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire. FILE PHOTO
Government officials robbed me of Shs2.4b, man tells land probe
By DAILY MONITOR

Kampala. The man, who allegedly bought Sir Edward Mutesa II’s land, left Justice Catherine Bamugemereire dumbfounded after he revealed how a clique of government officials known to him used his name to sneak Shs2.4b from the Treasury and later took all the money. 

Dr Muhammad Buwule Kasasa told the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters in Kampala yesterday that he received the money for his disputed Mutungo land on paper but ‘certain people’ he declined to name for fear of his life took all the money. 

Dr Kasasa, 87, told Justice Bamugemereire’s team that the money was for 12 plots of land he sold to government in 2002 to build the headquarters of the External Security Organisation (ESO).
“They took me to a bank next to Parliament. 

They opened an account in my names, deposited the cheque and made me sign for the money and they took all of it. For example, when Shs186m came, I begged them to give me at least Shs6m to send to my son in London but they refused,” he narrated, adding that he was told he would receive the next release but still he got no money. 

Prince David Kintu Wasajja, the youngest son to Muteesa II, dragged Dr Kasasa to the Commission, accusing him of stealing his father’s 639 acres. The prince also accused the late Benedict Kiwanuka and others of grabbing Mutesa’s land.

Concealed identifies
When Mr Ebert Byenkya, the Commission lead counsel, pressed Dr Kasasa to reveal the identities of the government officials who pocketed public funds in a disputed land deal, he begged for the indulgence of the commission for fear that his word might get to the suspects and they harm him.
Dr Kasasa told the Commission that he was shocked to learn that the same people who took his first payment of Shs2.4 billion were again pursuing another Shs7b in accrued interest from late payment.
Responding to accusations by Prince Wasajja, Dr Kasasa told the land probe that there was no sale agreement between him and Kiwanuka’ s Lake View Properties that allegedly sold him the disputed 639 acres now claimed by Mutesa’s family.
He also explained that he bought 60 land titles with the help of the late Nsubuga Nsambu at Shs1m. The commission tasked him to provide the commission with copies of the titles. The Commission is still investigating the matter.

AFRICAN churches boom in London's backstreets

Members of the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim & Seraphim Church, London, sing as they celebrate their annual Thanksgiving on July 29,2018. PHOTO | SIMON DAWSON | REUTERS 
By REUTERS

On a cold, grey Sunday morning, in a street lined with shuttered builders’ yards and storage units, songs of prayer in the West African language of Yoruba ring out from a former warehouse that is now a church.

The congregation, almost entirely dressed in white robes, steadily grows to around 70 people as musicians playing drums, a keyboard and a guitar pick up the pace of the hymns. Some women prostrate themselves on the floor in prayer.

In the sparse formerly industrial building, its interior brightened by touches of gold paint, a speaker reminds the group of a list of banned activities — no smoking, no drinking of alcohol, no practicing of black magic.

In a street outside, a pastor flicks holy water over the car of a woman who wants a blessing to ward off the risk of accidents.
Worshippers bless a vehicle to keep it safe after a member of the congregational had a revelation during Sunday service at the celestial church of Christ Grace of God Parish on April 29, 2018. PHOTO | SIMON DAWSON | REUTERS
The busy scene at the Celestial Church of Christ is repeated at a half a dozen other African Christian temples on the same drab street and in the adjacent roads - one corner of the thriving African church community in south London.

African Christians

Around 250 black majority churches are believed to operate in the borough of Southwark, where 16 percent of the population identifies as having African ethnicity.

Southwark represents the biggest concentration of African Christians in the world outside the continent with an estimated 20,000 congregants attending churches each Sunday, according to researchers at the University of Roehampton.

Reflecting the different waves of migration to Britain in the 20th Century, Caribbean churches began to appear in the late 1940s and 1950s as workers and their families arrived from Jamaica and other former British colonies.
Add caption






African churches opened their doors in London from the 1960s, followed by a second wave in the 1980s.


Migrants, many of them from Nigeria and Ghana, sought to build communities and maintain cultural connections with their home countries by founding their own churches, often founded in private homes, schools and office spaces.


A pedestrian walks past the Holy Ghost Zone church on the Old Kent Road on December 24, 2018. PHOTO | SIMON DAWSON | REUTERS




As the communities grew, the churches moved into bigger spaces in bingo halls, cinemas and warehouses, gathering congregations of up to 500 people where services are streamed online by volunteers with video cameras.


A television cameraman films Pastor Andrew Adeleke as he speaks during 'Super Sunday' service on December 23, 2018. PHOTO | SIMON DAWSON | REUTERS

There is a striking contrast with the empty pews at many traditional Church of England churches where congregations have dwindled for years.

“We pray for this country,” said Abosede Ajibade, a 54-year-old Nigerian who moved to Britain in 2002 and works for an office maintenance company.

“People here brought Christianity to Africa but it doesn’t feel like they serve Jesus Christ any more.”

Worshippers
Anyone traveling around south London on a Sunday morning will see worshippers, often dressed in dazzlingly coloured African clothes, making their way to churches, each with their different styles of worship.

Hymns are sung only in African languages in some temples, or only in English at others. Some pastors take worshippers for full immersion baptisms in the cold of the English Channel.
Senior members of the Apostles Of Muchinjikwa Christian church baptise members on August 25, 2018 PHOTO | SIMON DAWSON | REUTERS
Others believe that when congregants suddenly start speaking in unknown languages it marks the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Common belief

But the researchers from the University of Roehampton found things that many churches have in common, including a drive for professional advancement, a commitment to spend three hours or more at Sunday service and typically very loud worship.

“That is how we express our joy and gratitude to God,” Andrew Adeleke, a senior pastor at the House of Praise, one of the biggest African churches in Southwark, in a former theatre.

Worshippers greet following a nighttime Christmas Eve service at the Celestial Church of Christ in Elephant and Castle on December 25, 2018. PHOTO | SIMON DAWSON | REUTERS

“The church is not supposed to be a graveyard,” Adeleke said. “It is supposed to be a temple of celebration and worship and the beauty is to be able to express our love to God, even when things are not perfect in our lives.”

For some, the noise from amplified services is a problem, leading to complaints to local authorities from residents.

But many churches face bigger challenges than unhappy neighbours: Some provide food for people struggling to make ends meet, or work with young people at risk of recruitment by gangs.

Worshippers dance during 'Super Sunday' service at the House of Praise church on December 23, 2018. PHOTO | SIMON DAWSON | REUTERS

Andrew Rogers, who led the University of Roehampton researchers, said pastors had to juggle retaining the churches’ African identity while appealing to children of first generation immigrants, many of whom have never lived outside Britain.

They typically have a more liberal world view which can be hard to reconcile with conservative Pentecostal teachings.

Rogers recalled speaking to one pastor who lamented he was unable to talk about religious miracles to his children.

“If the church doesn’t adapt, then they are going to leave and look elsewhere,” Rogers said.

UGANDA: @MakerereU University worried donors might pull out - AND DONORS SHOULD PULL OUT till @ProfNawangwe is fired

Some of the students in class
Mak impasse: Management 'worried' donors might pull out

Written by URN for THE OBSERVER

The management of Makerere University has expressed fears that the ongoing staff strike, if not immediately resolved, is going to have a negative effect on the institution's donor-funded projects. Some top managers feel they are "held at ransom by uncompromising staff."

Staff at Makerere went on strike about two weeks ago following the suspension of the association leaders including Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, Bennet Magara and Joseph Kalema. Dr Kamunyu chairs the academic staff association (Muasa) while Magara is the chairperson Makerere Administrative Staff Association (Masa). Kalema is Masa general secretary.

The trio was suspended for what vice chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe termed as indiscipline and inciting staff. Kamunyu in particular was also accused of intimidation of university officials, using abusive and or insulting language, insubordination and making false statements among others despite several warnings.

The staff however demanded for the unconditional reinstatement of their leader, arguing that he was suspended illegally and irregularly. And by way of protest, the staff downed tools since the opening of semester on January 19. This standoff between Makerere management and staff has left teaching activities paralysed.

Projects affected

URN has accessed an internal communication between the top university management team including the vice chancellor and his deputies, college principals, school deans and heads of department.

The communication reveals that the university management is concerned that the strike could have adverse effects on research projects which are donor-funded. A senior female academic staff from the department of nursing in the school of health sciences said in the conversation, that the university management appears to be held at ransom by the uncompromising staff.

"This time around we feel that we are being held hostage as these matters can be resolved at a totally different level than we the staff. I would advise that people here attend the next general assembly and voice our concerns. This is a real threat to hard earned grants and future collaborations," she said.

In response, Prof William Bazeyo, the deputy vice chancellor in charge of finance and administration, who is currently on leave following the death of his wife late last year, confirmed that projects are unlikely to continue if the teaching does not normalise.

"Staff can only do projects under normal university business. [Management] will have no option but to actually halt ALL project activities until normality is achieved. This will hurt many of us though," Bazeyo said.

In what appears to be an attempt to secure consensus among the top leadership, Bazeyo threatened to inform the funders about the impasse.

"At the same time, we should know that funders do fund us when university recognises our presence but if university activities are halted or suspended, management should or will take steps to inform the concerned funders and let them know and appropriately advise. We all can predict their advice. These are my thoughts as I try to stabilise and come back to serve!" Prof Bazeyo said in a post.

A professor from the college of education and external studies expressed worries that unless the current stand-off is quickly mitigated, the institution risks closure. He relates the issue to the November 2016 university closure when heavy security was deployed and staff locked out of offices for at least two months.

"The environment won't be conducive at all for project operations. We shall painfully lose the hard gotten projects. For instance, we will lose a NORPART [Norwegian Partnership Programme for Global Academic Cooperation] project whose agreement signing was slated for 15th February," he said.

The senior academic further lamented: "Do we have any avenue of averting the standoff? At the moment, our only tool is to 'force' an EGA [Emergency General Assembly], which I understand is also "an effort in futility" as per legal minds in Muasa executive. We are really in a hostage situation."

Other senior officials observed that the 'university image' has become a mystery where efforts aimed at protecting it have actually damaged it.

"Deployment of security to protect property nails down the image further," one of the leaders said.

There was a consensus among top university managers on the need for Makerere to rethink and style up in enabling a right research and learning environment if they were to achieve their goal of a research-led university.

Empty rooms, notice in newspapers

The top managers also agreed that they need to devise a strategy focusing on bringing back students to the lecture rooms. Some of the members argued lecture rooms are largely empty. One official explained that reports in the media have convinced students that there are no lecturers going on at the university.

A top official from the school of women and gender studies advised the group to encourage some of the willing staff ready to teach to come to class and teach whoever comes.

She said: "We had a similar problem. We did the following: Ask the student leaders to post in their WhatsApp groups about the start of lectures; teach whoever comes, whether 1 or 2; introduce the course outline at least; allow them to take pictures of the session and post on the WhatsApp groups as evidence of the classes going on. From two students at the beginning we now have 20 and the numbers are still increasing," she said.

This view was supported by Prof Nawangwe, the vice chancellor, who in a post said; "We will put a notice in the media on Thursday."

Indeed, in both The New Vision and Daily Monitor on Thursday, January 31, the vice chancellor placed the notice.

"The vice chancellor Makerere University informs all students, parents, guardians and the general public that Makerere University opened on Saturday, 19th January 2019. Teaching commenced on Monday, 21st January in all colleges. All students who have not reported for classes should do so immediately," reads the notice.

Nawangwe in a phone interview says that although the strike is illegal, the staff have refused to return to work and the teaching business has been all but sluggish.

“It is obvious that if the university is not running normally, nothing can run normally not even research because research can only thrive in an atmosphere when the university is normal and students are being taught and everything else is being run normally. So if other things are not being run normally, research will have to suffer. And this happens every time when the university gets closed and we want very much to avoid that. There is no doubt that if the university remains not fully functional, even research will have to suffer.” said Nawangwe.

Isaac Semakadde, the lawyer for affected staff in an interview said that the university managers had buried their heads in sand and resorted to propaganda over the normalcy at the institution.

Semakadde described the situation as acts of 'fear victimisation and cult-like respect' for the vice chancellor currently advanced by a section of staff in support of his administration.

“I want to warn the few departments that have decided to spread propaganda among students that everything is normal in the university whereas not. I warn those few department heads that are engaging in unpatriotic acts of teaching a class with one, two or three students for the purpose of taking a WhatsApp photo on student platforms. That 'I issued coursework - you better turn up' when there is no conducive learning environment. The media has reported excessive deployment of police during the day and excessive deployment of the military during the night. This is not the environment in which students can learn freely.”

SUDAN: al-Bashir Says Elections Only Means of Political Change - SO DO ALL AFRICAN DICTATORS

Sudanese protesters wave their national flag and chant slogans during an anti-government demonstration in the capital Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman on Jan. 31, 2019.

CAIRO (VOA) — As protesters demonstrated in parts of the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Thursday, President Omar al-Bashir visited the northeastern state of Kassala, announcing that the border between neighboring Eritrea and Sudan would be reopened, after a year of closure.

Al-Bashir said that he greets the people of Eritrea and its president and he proclaims that the border between the two countries is now open because they are our dear brethren, despite the fact that politics has caused division among us.

Al-Bashir went on to tell supporters that it was the "duty of the government to have a dialogue with young people" and that the government must "educate them and provide for their needs."

He said that there will be no change of government or of the president via Facebook or WhatsApp, and vows that change will only take place at the ballot box.

FILE - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir delivers a speech at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum, Sudan, Dec. 31, 2018.

Call for more protests

Sudan's Association of Trade Unions called for another day of protest against the government Thursday, prompting a number of demonstrations in Khartoum and other parts of the country. The group's spokesman, Mohammed Asbat, told Alhurra TV that the government's appeal for dialogue with young people and the release of prisoners is not sincere.

Asbat said that the government's message that it is releasing prisoners and undertaking dialogue is intended for the consumption of outside countries who have been warning it not to arrest peaceful protesters and to release them.

Opposition leader Miriam Sadeq al-Mahdi, who was briefly detained by Sudanese security forces Wednesday, told Alhurra TV that the government's efforts at dialogue "have failed," and that in the face of a "growing revolution," it has resorted to "arresting young people."

Al-Mahdi said that President Bashir's round of visits to far-flung provinces does not reflect any desire on the part of the Sudanese people that he remain in power and that it is normal for dictators to draw their supporters around them to make it look like they are popular.

Official meets with young protesters

Sudan's intelligence chief, General Salah Gosh, has met with a number of young protesters who have been jailed for taking part in demonstrations, but opposition leaders said that he and the government have released "very few prisoners," out of the several thousand they said are being detained.

Gosh insisted in a speech to military cadets that outside forces are trying to create chaos inside the country.

He said that there are forces trying to create chaos in the country and cause economic hardship for its people, but that (the security forces) will combat them with force and determination and restore order.

Al-Arabiya TV reports that Gosh asserted that "leftist parties are trying to overthrow the government," and state that a number of armies or militia groups are "waiting for Khartoum to be engulfed in chaos, in order to march on the capital and seize power."

APPLE restores Facebook's teen tracking tool

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2014, file photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York. Facebook says Apple is restoring a key development tool that the iPhone maker disabled Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2019. Apple's earlier move followed disclosure of a Facebook program that paid users, including teens, to download a "research" app that could extensively track peoples' app and internet usage. (AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof, File)
Facebook says Apple is restoring a key developer tool

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says Apple is restoring its access to a key development tool that the iPhone maker disabled Wednesday.

Late Tuesday, TechCrunch reported that Facebook paid teens and other users who agreed to download an app called Facebook Research. That app could extensively track their phone and web use. Apple said Facebook was abusing the tool , known as a developer enterprise certificate, to distribute the app on iPhones in a way that allowed the social network to sidestep Apple restrictions on data collection.

By revoking the certificate for the iOS software that powers the iPhone and iPad, Apple closed off Facebook’s efforts to sidestep Apple’s app store and its tighter rules on privacy.

Apple did not immediately respond to a message for comment Thursday afternoon. Facebook did not say whether it agreed to any conditions for the certificate restoration.

In an internal memo sent on Wednesday, Facebook told employees it is “working closely” with Apple to reinstate access. It also told workers to install the public versions of apps from the app store. Apps that it said “may not work” included internal versions of Facebook, Workplace, Instagram and the Ride app, which helps workers with transportation. WhatsApp was not affected.

While Facebook engineers could still write code and work on iPhone apps during the shutoff, their ability to test them in the field was limited.

In a statement, Facebook said it is “in the process of getting our internal apps up and running.” The company noted that the issue had no impact on its consumer services.

During the shutoff, Facebook also lost the ability to create and push out iPhone apps such as internal tools and apps to its own employees. That’s a big deal since Facebook publishes tools and future products to its own team to test before providing them to the public, said Marty Puranik, CEO and founder of cloud hosting company Atlantic.Net.

Puranik, who regularly works with developers, said the certificate revocation also meant developers lost the ability to publish their iPhone apps without vetting by Apple. Those in the program can skip Apple’s compliance and user safety checks, which leads to faster updates.

Still, the shutoff didn’t seem to debilitate Facebook’s ability to work. Its developers work on code on Facebook’s internal systems. And version 206.0 of the Facebook app for iPhones was sent out on Thursday morning, while the shutoff was still in effect.

Google said Thursday that Apple has also revoked its enterprise certificate, blocking Google employees from testing new app features on iPhones.

But the company seemed confident it would quickly regain its access. “We’re working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps, which we expect will be resolved soon,” the company said in a statement.

Google declined to say why it lost the certificate, but came a day after the company voluntarily withdrew market-research app called “Screenwise Meter” that had been distributed to consumers, although not to teens.

Google and Apple have a lucrative business relationship worth billions of dollars a year, since Googles pays a commission for the ads that it sells as the built-in search engine on iPhones.

UN extends Central African Republic arms embargo

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to extend an arms embargo on Central African Republic for a year but also raised the possibility that it could be lifted earlier as the government has urged.

The French-drafted resolution says the council intends to establish benchmarks by April 30 on security sector reform, the demobilization and reintegration of combatants, and the management of weapons and ammunition that could guide a review of the arms embargo.

It asks the panel of experts monitoring the arms embargo and sanctions against individuals, which were also extended, to assess progress on the benchmarks by July 31, and says the council will review the arms embargo measures by Sept. 30.

France’s U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said the government’s “message was heard loud and clear” and the roadmap “could in a few months time” lead to lifting of the arms embargo.

Central African Republic has been wracked by interreligious and intercommunal fighting since 2013, and violence has intensified and spread in the past year.

Jan Egeland, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s secretary general, said last week that the country “is steering toward a catastrophe” unless a new round of peace talks in Sudan succeeds.

He said repeated cycles of violence in one of the world’s poorest nations “have pushed people’s resistance to breaking point,” and a majority of Central African Republic’s 2.9 million people “urgently need humanitarian support.”

The resolution adopted Thursday welcomes “the significant efforts made by the CAR authorities” to advance security sector reform, including by developing a national defense plan and national security policy.

It acknowledges “the urgent need for the CAR authorities to train and equip their defense and security forces to be able to respond proportionately to threats to the security of all citizens in the CAR.”

Russia and the European Union have sent military advisers to train CAR’s poorly equipped army.

The panel of experts said in its latest report that it granted several exemptions to allow shipments of weapons from France, Russia, China, the United States and Belgium for CAR’s army.

AFRICA: EAC leaders meet in Tanzania Friday

East African Community presidents at a summit in Kampala, Uganda in February 2018. They are scheduled to meet in Arusha, Tanzania on February 1, 2019. PHOTO | NMG 
By THE EAST AFRICAN

Rwanda has confirmed that President Paul Kagame will attend the East African Community Heads of State Summit scheduled for Friday, erasing doubts that he would skip and opt to mark Heroes Day celebrations in his country.

The meeting of the presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, will be held on February 1 in northern Tanzanian city of Arusha, where the EAC Secretariat is headquartered.

The summit has aborted twice -- the first on November 30 when Burundi pulled out forcing its cancellation and a subsequent meeting planned for December 27 failing to take place.

“The agenda will be that of November 30 and we don't intend to add any other item. And the Burundi/Rwanda relations are not on the agenda. We are dealing with the issue bilaterally with Uganda,” Mr Olivier Nduhungirehe, State Minister for EAC Affairs told The EastAfrican on Thursday.

The presidents are expected to tackle key issue amongst the member states with priority given to resolution of long outstanding non-tariff barriers; the progress report on the adoption of Political Confederation as a Transitional Model to the East African Political Federation.

Other items on the agenda include; the roadmap for the accelerated integration of the Republic of South Sudan into the EAC, and; the verification exercise for the admission of the Republic of Somalia into the Community.

The Heads of State are also expected to assent to key Bills including the EAC Polythene Materials Control Bill, 2018, which will now see the region have a common framework on the elimination of the use of plastic bags.

The Summit is also expected to discuss modalities for the promotion of motor vehicle assembly in the region in a bid to reduce importation of used vehicles, as well as review the textile and leather sectors.

Rows among partner states will not feature despite Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza request for the EAC to convene an extraordinary summit to address differences pitting his country and Rwanda.

However, Burundi’s EAC Minister Isabelle Ndahayo told The EastAfrican in Bujumbura last month that they are ready for the summit and are committed to discuss the “issues that will be on the order paper.”

It is, however, not clear if President Nkurunziza will attend the meeting, seeing as since the coup attempt of 2015 when he was attending a summit in Dar es Salaam, he has delegated such events to his first vice-president Gaston Sindimwo.

Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, South Sudan's Salva Kiir and the host president John Magufuli are expected to attend.

NIGERIA: Opposition Candidate to Consider Amnesty for Corruption Suspects

FILE - Nigeria's main opposition party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar speaks during an interview with Reuters in Lagos, Nigeria, Jan. 16, 2019.

Nigerian Opposition Candidate to Consider Amnesty for Corruption Suspects

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian opposition presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar said on Wednesday he would consider an amnesty for corruption suspects in order to help recover billions of dollars stashed abroad by the country's politicians and government officials.

Abubakar is the main challenger to President Muhammadu Buhari in the Feb. 16 election, where corruption, security and the economy have been key issues. Buhari is hoping his anti-corruption agenda can win him a second term.

Nigerian state coffers have in past years been ransacked by government officials and their associates, and corruption is prevalent throughout society. Buhari was elected in 2015 in part on a promise to rid the country of graft.

The West African nation launched a whistleblower scheme two years ago entitling those who help find stolen assets to up to 5 percent of the recovered sums, part of a drive by Buhari to root out endemic corruption.

Abubakar said the amnesty program would encourage looters to voluntarily return some of the stolen funds badly needed to fund infrastructure investment and recommended sanctions for election rigging.

"Why can we not have an election fraud commission?" Abubakar said during a televised town hall meeting to woo voters. "So that we bring to book any individual, whether a member of a political party, INEC (electoral commission), or security services who infringes."

Abubakar and his vice presidential candidate Peter Obi were repeatedly challenged on their track records regarding corruption, and about investing government funds in private businesses, some of which they owned shares in, while in public office. Both candidates denied any allegations of graft.

He also said he would be more than willing to investigate allegations of corruption in senior ranks of the military, as the military faces shortages of weapons and other resources in its war against Islamist insurgencies.

Critics have often accused the Nigerian military's senior officers of corruption, alleging that the graft drains resources and weapons from the northeast, where they are needed to fight advancing Islamist insurgencies.

Earlier on Wednesday Abubakar said in a speech he would create a $25 billion fund to support private sector investment in infrastructure if elected next month, as part of plans to revive the economy.

Nigeria's oil-dependent economy, which vies with South Africa's to be the largest in Africa, has performed below par since 2016, when it suffered its first recession in 25 years.

UGANDA Seizes Ivory Smuggled in Timbers and pangolin

FILE - A Zimbabwe National Parks official inspects the country's ivory stockpile at parks headquarters in Harare, June 2, 2016. Ugandan authorities on Jan. 31, 2019, announced the confiscation of about 750 pieces of ivory plus pangolin scales brought in from South Sudan.
Uganda Seizes Ivory Smuggled in Timbers

By VOA

KAMPALA, UGANDA — Ugandan authorities have confiscated roughly 750 pieces of ivory and thousands of pangolin scales trucked into the East African country from northern neighbor South Sudan.

Authorities announced the seizure Thursday, saying that two Vietnamese nationals had been taken into custody. They allegedly attempted to smuggle the contraband, worth millions of dollars, through Uganda's border post at Elegu.

Smugglers reportedly had hidden ivory pieces and pangolin scales in melted wax that had been poured into hollowed logs. A scanner revealed the illegal cargo, transported in trucking containers.
Click the image to read VOA's special report.

"We got intelligence that these people were concealing these items, and we controlled the trucks' arrival in Kampala," said Dickson C. Kateshumbwa, customs commissioner for the Uganda Revenue Authority.

The ivory's origins and destination are still unknown, he said. Investigators were looking into who was behind the contraband operation.

"Obviously, we are investigating the whole racket because trade in these items can aid conflict in the region," he said, noting "we are talking of millions of dollars involved. That's why we are trying to investigate the entire chain, so that we have the whole network taken to court."

Kateshumbwa said the interception should send a warning to prospective smugglers that Uganda's borders are becoming increasingly impenetrable.

FILE - A pangolin from the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital is taken to a nearby field to forage for food near Johannesburg, March 16, 2018. Their scales — made of keratin, the same material as in human fingernails — are in high demand for Chinese traditional medicine, to allegedly cure several ailments, although there is no scientific backing for these beliefs.

International trade in ivory is banned. Eight species of pangolin are listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.

Authorities estimate 20 metric tons of ivory were trafficked through Uganda, mainly to Asia, from 2009 to 2014.

Kateshumbwa estimated that, given the amount of ivory taken in the latest seizure, 300 of the creatures were killed.

Poaching and conflict have reduced the number of African elephants to just over 415,000 as of last year, the World Wildlife Fund reports.

This report originated in VOA's English to Africa service.

Wikipedia article of the day for February 1, 2019 Tropical Storm Marco (1990)



The Wikipedia article of the day for February 1, 2019 is Tropical Storm Marco (1990).

Tropical Storm Marco was the only tropical cyclone to make landfall in the United States during the 1990 Atlantic hurricane season.

The 13th named storm of the season, Marco formed from a cold-core low pressure area along the northern coast of Cuba on October 9, and tracked northwestward through the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Its circulation produced 65 mph (100 km/h) winds over the western portion of Florida before weakening to a tropical depression and moving ashore near Cedar Key.

The cyclone combined with a cold front and the remnants of Hurricane Klaus to produce heavy rainfall in Georgia and the Carolinas.

After interacting with the nearby Hurricane Lili, Marco continued northward until being absorbed by a cold front. In Florida, the cyclone triggered flooding of some roadways. Rainfall across its path peaked at 19.89 inches (505 mm) in Louisville, Georgia.

The flooding caused 12 deaths, mostly due to drowning, as well as $57 million in damage.

CAMEROON: Arrested opposition leader faces 8 charges

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — The lawyer for Cameroon’s arrested main opposition leader says he now faces eight charges including sedition, insurrection and inciting violence.

Christopher Ndong told The Associated Press Thursday that Maurice Kamto also faces charges that include hostility against the fatherland and disruption of peace. If he is found guilty, he could face five years to life in prison.

Kamto and members of his Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon party were arrested on Monday in Douala. The party over the weekend had called for protests against what it called irregularities in the Oct. 7 election that saw President Paul Biya easily win a seventh term. Official results said Kamto finished a distant second.

More than 100 protesters were arrested in various cities. International rights groups have called for their release.

UGANDA: Over 42,334 fail 2018 UCE examinations (O LEVELS) - just eliminate the useless exams

Mr Daniel Odongo
Over 42,334 fail 2018 UCE examinations

By DAILY MONITOR

The Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) has released the 2018 Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) results.

The examination body registered a slight improvement in the performance of Senior four students who sat for the exams last year.

While releasing the results in Kampala, the executive secretary of Uneb, Mr Daniel Odongo said that out of the 330,721 candidates who sat for the exams, 288,387 passed in various divisions.

According to the results, 27,696 candidates passed in Division One, 52,706 in Division Two, 70,347 in Third Division while 137,058 passed in Fourth Division.

He said 42,334 students failed to attain any grade and are supposed to repeat senior four.

However, according to Mr Odongo, 41.4 % of the candidates passed in fourth grade.

He said the highest cases of malpractices were registered in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics.

He said the affected students were given external assistance while some candidates colluded to cheat.

Mr Odongo said that impersonation and substitution were the common cases of examination malpractices.

He said results of 1,825 students were withheld over malpractices.

The Uneb Board Chairperson Prof Mary Okwakol dismissed recent allegations that the examinations body under marks schools in Kampala saying they do not use a grading system that takes advantage of any category of schools in any part of the country.

She said they have a one standardised marking scheme that is used by all examiners.

She said Uneb adopted a conveyor belt marking system where a candidate script is marked by a group of examiners.

Education and Sports Minister, Ms Janet Museveni presided over the exercise.

ZIMBABWE: Teachers unions to strike next week over pay

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe’s teachers unions say they will strike for better salaries starting on Tuesday after plans for a collective action by all civil servants failed.

The strike by some 100,000 teachers presents a fresh headache for President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose deployment of soldiers to crack down on protests over a dramatic fuel price hike has received global condemnation.

Most Zimbabweans, already struggling to put food on the table, rely on the cheaper public schools for their children’s education.

The Zimbabwe Teachers Association and the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe are demanding “meaningful” salaries.

The average public school teacher’s salary is $100, using black market exchange rates relied on by most businesses.

Zimbabwe’s public education sector was once one of the best in Africa but the economy has collapsed in recent years.

North America Polar Votex and the Freezing Business


Depending on which news you read, the number of dead is 8 or 12 or 15.  It is freezing so much even my brain is also frozen.

On such cold days, municipalties issue cold alerts (advisories). But think of the homeless people. They really do not have anywhere to go and some do not even want to be helped.  Generally, in Canada and maybe the US, you will see police and volunteers walking the streets to take people off the streets into shelters to avoid deaths.

First experience with homeless was in Toronto Canada.  Many homeless sleep on the streets above the vents of which, underneath is the subway.  Or above the vents which air out heating from commercial buildings.  Imagine the carbon monoxide or other fumes from sleeping above these vents.

BUT THAT IS NOT THE STORY.

One summer, Laurie and I were working in the Information Booth for the City of Toronto.  Not really the city but more like MTCVA (Metro Politan Convention Visitors Association) where a bunch of kids are deployed in different parts of Toronto to work in booths where we give information to tourists and whoever needs to know where to eat, sleep, party or visit.

Laurie was at MacMaster University taking her Bachelors in Engineering.  I was at Trent University taking my Bachelors in Business / Computers.

We were young and stupid but kind.  We were in the main booth by the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario).  Life was good.  All sorts of people used to come to our booth for information and we happily shared it. Then, some homeless people used to also come just to annoy us or entertain us.  One could not tell.

This one time, the cops (OPP) are rounding up the homeless people. We did not understand why they were asking us why the two gentlemen were at our booth.  So we told them to back off.  These two gentlemen were our friends so what is the problem really?

That summer, Laurie and I learned about homelessness.  One of our friends had become homeless when he had lost his job, his family, his home and hit the streets.  The other friend had just lost his wife to someone and the wife cleaned him out.  So they ended up on the streets and had given up on life and it was not easy for Laurie and I to listen to their stories.  It was as if they had lost hope.  Indeed, they had lost hope.  In Toronto, there are many shelters and people can even get food from food banks, stay in the shelters and rebuild their lives.

However, supposing that the only reason you live is your family and your kids are taken away. How do you rebuild your life?  AND then you end up on the streets and everyone judges you without walking a thousand miles in your shoes.  You then close off and shut people out.

Naturally, Laurie and I being young and optimistic, we did not go into the details of how much these two gentlemen had suffered before they started frequenting our booth daily as soon as we would open.  They would bring us coffee.  Talk to us.  Step aside when tourists showed up.  Then when it was not busy, they would return and ask us "what are you taking at school? Are you working hard? Do you go to the library? What will you become when you grow up?  Will you get a good job?  Will you fight for justice?"  Nebilala nebilala.

Laurie and I came up with a plan.  We could not help them much but we could eat together.  So for the entire summer, Laurie and I used to pack 2 lunches, 2 snacks, 2 drinks. Laurie would split her lunch bag with one gentleman.  I would split mine with the other gentleman.

Summer came to an end and it was time to return to school and hit the books.  We told them a week prior that we were returning to school.  They also knew it too.

On our last day in the information booth, the AGO gave each of us a portrait of their art, which I still have.  The two gentlemen were missing all day. Then at lunch time they show up with lunch for us.  But we had packed lunch for them.  Except they knew we loved Chinese so they bought us hot Chinese food from Spadina.  It was fantastic.

BUT THEY WERE NOT DONE YET.

They had taken all their money (the change they used to get off the street) and bought each of us a watch.  While we were eating, they each gave us a watch from their hard earnings on the cold cold streets and told us "Be steady.  May the heavens open up for you.  May you never lack.  May the angels wipe away your tears.  May you never lack a friend.  May your life be full.  May you be blessed with opportunities wherever you go. May you work hard at school and succeed. May you never forget the plight of all of us.  May you have children who will be pretty like you. REMEMBER US".

We cried and cried. Then cried and cried some more. Of all the summer jobs in the world, our biggest opportunity and learning was befriending two homeless gentlemen?  How is that even possible?  If you look at Laurie, rich kid from a very rich family with a great future. The other kid, an immigrant black kid with a good future and here we are being taught life lessons by 2 wonderful gentlemen.  Packing lunch has never been the same.

Truly, being homeless should not be judged until you have walked in the shoes of the homeless. Losing everything is not easy and the world is now learning that anyone can be homeless.  We are all just one pay cheque away from being homeless.

Maybe, perhaps, and I hope.  The next time you see a homeless person or the ones some of you call beggars, I hope you stop and think.  There are many lessons to be learned from homeless people. We are the reason why they are homeless.  OR, some do choose to be homeless but how about you also try it?

AND then the beggars. Would you rather earn a living being a beggar?  You see, in our arrogance, we have forgotten that when communities lived together as community, when the village or kraal cared for everyone, when we used to share everything, when we used to be human, the suffering was less.  We have moved into this new era of no compassion, no kindness, no sharing, no caring and we now blame the victims of our greed.  EXACTLY WHERE DID WE GO WRONG?

Bring back compassion. Humans are born kind.  Where do we learn cruelty? Because Cruelty is not human at all.  Where did we learn GREED?  Because Greed is not human.  We can go through life blaming our parents, our leaders, our pastors, preachers, priests but the onus is on us.  It is us who must change the world.  AND change we must.  What is the point of you eating and enjoying and then paying to lose weight when so many millions are hungry?

What do you gain from living in the biggest mansion while donating food to the homeless. Ever thought of employing them? Do you know that finding a job as a homeless person is next to impossible?  You do not even have an address to which a job offer can be sent to.

What about education? Do you know that education makes a very big difference? Okay, do not feed and house people.  Just give them a chance at education.  Education is the balancing act.  Support a school.  Set up a scholarship.  Walk the streets and talk to the people who are freezing homeless.  Buyt a meal for the hungry. Go out. Go and see how the other half live. For it is one thing to talk about helping the world and then it is another to go out there and live among the people.

MARTHA LEAH NANGALAMA
It is a cold cold world out there. Spread some warmth.
You can check out my other stories about the homeless by doing a search on NANGALAMA.BLOGSPOT.COM "Homeless" because I have lived and worked among these great people and we have plenty to learn from them.
====

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, MR. WENDAL LYRICS

Here, have a dollar
In fact, no brotherman here, have two
Two dollars means a snack for me
But it means a big deal to you
Be strong, serve God only
Know that if you do, beautiful heaven awaits
That's the poem I wrote for the first time
I saw a man with no clothes, no money, no plate
Mr. Wendal, that's his name
No one ever knew his name cause he's a no-one
Never thought twice about spending on a ol' bum
Until I had the chance to really get to know one
Now that I know him, to give him money isn't charity
He gives me some knowledge, I buy him some shoes
And to think blacks spend all that money on big colleges
Still most of y'all come out confused
Go ahead, Mr. Wendal
Mr. Wendal has freedom
A free that you and I think is dumb
Free to be without the worries of a quick to diss society
For Mr. Wendal's a bum
His only worries are sickness
And an occasional harassment by the police and their chase
Uncivilized we call him
But I just saw him eat off the food we waste
Civilization, are we really civilized, yes or no
Who are we to judge
When thousands of innocent men could be brutally enslaved
And killed over a racist grudge
Mr. Wendal has tried to warn us about our ways
But we don't hear him talk
Is it his fault when we've gone too far
And we got too far, cause on him we walk
Mr. Wendal, a man, a human in flesh
But not by law
I feed you dignity to stand with pride
Realize that all in all you stand tall
Go ahead, Mr. Wendal 
Mr. Wendal, yeah
Lord, Mr. Wendal
Songwriters: Todd Thomas / Todd A. Thomas
Mr Wendal lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Uganda extra judicial murders under Museveni regime - told by one of the killers



Uganda extra judicial murders under Museveni regime - told by one of the killers

This is an audio recording from a person who called into Radio Munansi talking about how he was recruited with others and was being paid to commit murder and now he is in hiding for his life.

ETHIOPIA: ‘Resurrected’ Ethiopian man dies


By BBC Afaan Oromo


SIBU SIRE COMMUNICATIONCopyright: SIBU SIRE COMMUNICATIONHirpha Negero woke up in a coffin in NovemberImage caption: Hirpha Negero woke up in a coffin in November

An Ethiopian man who woke up in his coffin during his burial two months ago has died.

Hirpha Negero was pronounced dead in November and was placed inside a coffin, where he lay for five hours, but during the funeral villagers heard knocking from inside the coffin.

Mr Hirpha told the BBC at the time what he experienced:
Quote Message: I heard someone crying. I was suffocating and trying to tear away the shroud. I was so weak, unable to speak out."

I heard someone crying. I was suffocating and trying to tear away the shroud. I was so weak, unable to speak out."

Then he said he managed to start calling, "Is there anybody around?"

The village undertaker Etana Kena said that people were shocked and ran away and he had had to open the coffin alone.

After the initial shock, the burial ceremony then turned into a celebration.

The undertaker, who is also Mr Hirpha’s uncle, said: “I have buried more than 50 or 60 bodies. I have never anything seen like this before. He seemed to be dead.”

Mr Hirpha said he had had visions when he was unconscious of “a beautiful green place” where a man dressed in white told him to "go back".

Dr Birra Leggese told the BBC that Mr Hirpha had probably been in a “deep coma”.

The same undertaker buried Mr Negero for the second time on Thursday, one day after he died.

He said that this time he was certain his nephew was dead because he had witnessed his long sickness.

Football Through Film and Other Primary Sources - LIBRARY OF CONGRESS (PHOTOS)

January 31, 2019 by Danna Bell

This post is by Carolyn Bennett, the 2018-2019 Library of Congress Teacher in Residence.

Football tends to be on students’ minds this time of year. What can they discover about football and American history through Library of Congress primary sources? An entertaining fictional film available on the Library’s National Screening Room can lead students to discover a football legend from the early twentieth century.

Always Kickin’, a 1932 short football comedy, has as much drama, suspense, and romance as any modern football flick. Students may notice anachronisms – telephones, cameras, scoreboards, and safety equipment all looked quite different, but the film employs many timeless tropes. Ask questions to help students think and reflect: Why is an underdog hero such a compelling literary device? How is the young woman’s encyclopedic sports knowledge received by the other characters? How do Mrs. Smith’s opinions mirror current concerns about concussions and player safety?

This fictional story has deeper historical roots than may initially be evident. Jim Thorpe, a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, makes a cameo appearance. His real-life football career changed the sport. In the film, the sports editor cites Thorpe’s most famous game: On November 11, 1911, the Carlisle Indians beat the Harvard Crimson 18-15, and Jim Thorpe scored the lion’s share of Carlisle’s points. Thorpe went on to become a record-breaking Olympic decathlete and played professional football, baseball, and basketball. Read background about Jim Thorpe at America’s Library or Today in History and then introduce primary sources to help students learn more about Jim Thorpe’s career and the 1911 Harvard game.





Classroom Scene, Carlisle Indian School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Frances Benjamin Johnson, 1901.




Students in Dining Hall, United States Indian School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Frances Benjamin Johnson, 1901




Chapel Service, Carlisle Indian School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Frances Benjamin Johnson, 1901


The Carlisle Indians were the football team of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, the first federal, off-reservation Indian boarding school. Browse images, including the photographs featured above; what can students discover about the school? What questions do the photographs bring to mind about the students’ experiences? Select prompts or follow up activity ideas from the Teacher’s Guides and Analysis Tool to help students dig deeper into the images and other featured primary sources.

What can students discover about the game’s context through this newspaper article published on the morning of the big game?





“Carlisle Coach Sure of Beating Harvard.” Norwich bulletin. (Norwich, Conn.), 11 Nov. 1911




“Indians No Like School.” Webster City freeman. (Webster City, Hamilton County, Iowa), 08 Aug. 1911


This newspaper article describes how some Sac and Fox families reacted to off-reservation compulsory schooling in 1911. How might that reaction have affected the football players and their classmates, far from home?

What can this political cartoon show students about past and present perceptions of Native Americans in the early twentieth century, and their relationship to Carlisle football? How might the team’s classmates have felt about their success?


The American Indian Past. Present. Albert Levering, 1906

After examining the true football legend behind Always Kickin’, ask students why renowned director James Gleason might have linked his football drama with the inspiring story of Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indians. As students rapturously follow their favorite team’s current season, Always Kickin’ can remind them of the timelessness of the sport: The big games that capture our eyes; the athletes’ struggles that capture our hearts. The Carlisle Indians football team fought past adversity to find victory, well beyond the gridiron.

SUDAN: al-Bashir mocks social media protests - MAYBE HE DID NOT READ ABOUT HOW THE ARAB SPRING GOT GOING!

Image copyrightREUTERSImage captionOmar al-Bashir has ruled Sudan since June 1989

Sudan's Omar al-Bashir mocks 'Facebook protesters'
By BBC

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has ridiculed his opponents' use of social media to organise recent protests against his rule.

"Changing the government or presidents cannot be done through WhatsApp or Facebook. It can be done only through elections," he told his supporters.

He was speaking as fresh demonstrations were held in the capital Khartoum.

The protests started over cuts to bread subsidies in December but have since morphed into anger at Mr Bashir's rule.

The Sudanese government says 30 people have been killed in clashes since the unrest began. Human rights groups put the death toll at more than 40.
What did President Bashir say?

Mr Bashir used a rally of his supporters in the eastern city of Kassala to mock his political opponents.

He said only elections could bring about a change of government.

"This is our pledge and commitment before the Sudanese people. The decision is your right, the masses of the Sudanese people," the president said.

The Sudanese authorities have tried to block social media in the country.

But a medic in Khartoum told the BBC earlier this week that people have been bypassing the blockade by using Virtual Private Networks (VPN), which can hide a user's location.

In Kassala, near the Eritrean frontier, Mr Bashir also said that Sudan was reopening its border with Eritrea after about a year-long closure.

The eastern frontier was shut after Sudan declared a state of emergency in two regions to tackle weapons trafficking.
What's the latest on the protests?

As Mr Bashir was speaking in Kassala, new rallies broke out in the capital and elsewhere.Image copyrightAFPImage captionProtesters say President Bashir must resign

Riot police fired tear gas at crowds in Khartoum, a witness told the AFP news agency.

Protests were also held in several villages south of the capital.

The demonstrations are being led by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which represents health workers, lawyers, teachers and others.

The protests started over cuts to bread and fuel subsidies, but now demonstrators are calling for the 75-year-old president to resign.

Mr Bashir, who has won elections several times since coming to power in a coup in 1989, has struck a defiant note.

On Wednesday, the Sudanese armed forces - who back the president - warned they would not allow a collapse of the state.

UGANDA: Understanding Gen. Kasirye's licence to shoot



UNDERSTANDING GEN. KASIRYE'S LICENCE TO SHOOT

Gen (Rtd) Kasirye Gwanga was a Corporal in the Uganda Army (UA) at the time Iddi Amin was ousted in 1979. Gwanda was among the thousands of former UA soldiers who were incarcerated by the victorious Tanzanian and Ugandan exiles armies. Most of the detained forner UA soldiers attributed their humiliating and inhumane mistreatment to Museveni who was the then Minister of Defence under UNLF. When they were freed in early 1980s, Museveni had already taken to the bush for his Bush War. He badly needed the services of these same former UA soldiers.

When Iddi Amin was ousted in 1979, his soldiers who hailed from West Nile region withdrew to their home and eventuality fled to Congo and Sudan. Those from other regions simply hid in their homes while some were tricked into surrendering to the Tanzanian and exiles armies. This last category endured the wrath of Museveni and his backers. A few found their way to Museveni's Bush War - the likes of Tadeo Kanyankole, Italikire Kiiza, Mzee Barihona, Ahmed Kashilingi and a couple of others.

Eventually many detained former UA soldiers were released (including Corporal Kasirye Gwanga) but they shunned Museveni's NRA and instead joined Andrew Kayiira's UFM. That's how even a Munyarwanda, Stephen Ndugutse alias Kalisoliso ended up with Kayiira's UFM instead of Museveni's Banyarwanda infested NRA. When the UFM was dispersed, Kasirye Gwanga did not join the NRA but simply maintained his earlier secret contact with the NRA. It was until around late 1985 when the NRA took control of Mityana that Kasirye Gwanga who had now mobilised a few former UFM fighters surrendered to NRA's John Kazoora.

At the time of NRA's capture of Kampala, Kasirye Gwanga was under the artillery unit that was shelling Kampala from Mutundwe Hill. Kasirye Gwanga came to prominence when he betrayed the Baganda/UFM attempted coup that saw Andrew Kayiira, some Baganda politicians and army officers detained over treason. Unknown to the plotters, Kasirye Gwanga and Drago had been feeding the then Brigade Commander Central Region, Gen. Ssejusa with details of the plot up to the time they were rounded up in Colline Hotel, Mukono. The treason trial failed because the judiciary was still sound but a few days after Kayiira was released, he was assassinated. The UFM and Baganda military agitation was buried together with Andrew Kayiira.

Since then Kasirye Gwanga never got any deployment in command positions despite the advanced military training and promotions. The only serious position he held was Director of Barracks and Stores (housing, accommodation, home appliances) under the Chief of Logistics and Engineering (CLE). At one time he headed local government in Mubende as L.C 5. He thrived on handouts from individuals in State House, CMI and the office of CDF.

Gwanga renewed his loyalty in the early 2000 at the height of the Rwanda/Uganda sour relations. He reported and kept CMI's Brig. Mayombo informed about everything that Rwanda's then spy chief, Col. Karegeya and the exiled renegade Uganda army officers would confide in him. That is how Museveni brought Gwanga on board as a Senior Presidential Advisor on Buganda. At one time, Gwanga retired from the Amy but when the tough got going he rejoined. Even his recent so called retirement is meaningless because his status never changed. What was his role in military service that he retired from?? It was just a reprimand for having shot and burnt a landgrabber's grader. For Mueeveni, Kasirye had set a bad precedent that could be adopted by other citizens to save their land. Gwanda is still armed and commanding his squad of army bodyguards, he is earning from Public Service and thriving on handouts from the army and State House.

Kasirye Gwanga has the license to shoot, maim, destroy, and kill just because he is used by Museveni to hoodwink the Baganda into thinking that they also have their own in the regime's top security hierarchy. Museveni is very much aware that Kasirye Gwanga has never had any ideological commitment to Museveni's regime but is just a symbolic opportunistic Muganda army General driven by survival instincts.

"Police yesterday registered the ninth case against Maj Gen Kasirye Ggwanga in the last 10 years of his shooting impunity but none has ever been investigated to conclusion."
Daily Monitor - 31/1/2019.

You now know the reason.

INFORMATION IS POWER AND THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS MUSEVENISM



Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (Live at Rock Montreal, 1981) [HD]



Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (Live at Rock Montreal, 1981) [HD]

Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, and one of the most commercially successful musical acts of all time. The group originally consisted of Freddie Mercury, (lead vocals), Brian May (lead guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar), and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals). Queen's initial works were chiefly glam rock, heavy metal and progressive rock orientated, however with time the band incorporated diverse and innovative styles in their music, exploring the likes of vaudeville, electronic music and funk. The band digressed from using progressive themes in their music in the mid-1970s, with more conventional and radio-friendly works bringing them greater success. Throughout the 1970s, Queen disclosed the absence of synthesisers on their albums, yet their style continued to evolve. They eventually started using synthesisers in the 1980s, reflecting their experimental approach to music. "Bohemian Rhapsody" it was written by Freddie Mercury for the band's 1975 album A Night at the Opera. "Bohemian Rhapsody" is in the style of a stream-of-consciousness nightmare that has an unusual song structure, more akin to a classical rhapsody than popular music. The song has no chorus, instead consisting of three main parts including a ballad segment, an operatic passage, and a heavy rock solo. Because of its ambiguous style and arrangement, the song is rarely classified by the band or critics under a particular genre of music, however when done so it is usually described as a rock opera piece. Queen Rock Montreal is a live album by English band Queen. It was released in 2007 as a double CD / triple vinyl on 28 October in Australia, 29 October in Europe, and 30 October in the US. It was recorded in Montreal, Quebec, Canada at the Montreal Forum on 24 November and 25 November 1981, ten years to the date before lead singer Freddie Mercury died of complications related to AIDS. This marks the first official release of the film soundtrack to the concert film We Will Rock You on an audio-only format.

Focusing on Lewis Hine’s Photographic Technique - LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

January 31, 2019 by Barbara Orbach Natanson

The following is a guest post by Ryan Brubacher, Reference Librarian, Prints & Photographs Division



John Howell, an Indianapolis newsboy … Photo by Lewis Hine, 1908 Aug. (The shadow of the photographer and his camera are in the foreground.) National Child Labor Committee Collection //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/nclc.03225

Lewis Hine, at a certain point in his career, began to refer to himself as an “interpretive photographer” and not a social photographer as he’d been previously termed. While we might imagine him an investigative photo-journalist by today’s standards, his own assessment points to the degree that style and aesthetic decisions played into the images he created – even before he articulated the change. The Library of Congress holds two significant groups of Hine’s photographs, the images made for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) and his work for the American National Red Cross (ANRC) during World War I.

What drew me to the work and inspired a blog post was one particular aspect of many of Hine’s photographs, the extremely limited depth of field, or shallow focus. There are some technical reasons that make the use of this technique perhaps more likely, but I wanted to explore how much of the shallow focus was prescribed by circumstance and how much was an aesthetic decision on the part of Hine.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of depth of field, it refers to the area of a photograph that remains in focus. In photographs with deep depth of field, the entire image appears sharp. With shallow depth of field, as in Hine’s pictures, only a narrow plane appears unblurred. And unlike some photographers making use of this technique to blur out the background, Hine repeatedly uses it in a way that also blurs the foreground. In Hine’s images, he is allowing for a plane of focus sometimes no deeper than a few inches.

In the image below, the grass in the foreground is blurred, and the boys’ game is captured in focus for about 6-10 ft. before falling off again.


Chateau de Grand Val, Sucy-en-Brie. Country home for refugee children from St. Sulpice… Photo by Lewis Hine, 1918 August. American National Red Cross Collection. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/anrc.17213

In this photo, we can see that the table edge is fuzzy directly in front of the first girl’s bowl, and immediately behind her, such that her neighbor’s cup is already falling out of focus.


One of the most important occupations in life at La Jonchere. This is one of the colonies established by the Comite Franco-Americain pour la Protection des Enfants de la Frontiere… Photo by Lewis Hine, 1918 27 August. American National Red Cross Collection. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/anrc.09027

Were limitations of the equipment Hine used responsible for the shallow focus in his photos? In the case of Hine, my research revealed he was using large format cameras (most often cited as a Graflex, and most likely to be the PressGraflex, which was produced between 1907-1925) making 4×5 inch and 5×7 inch negatives. The use of larger format negatives, like these, allows greater control over depth of field than what is possible on smaller cameras. Hine also used wide angle lenses and open apertures to capture more light (allowing a faster shutter speed that reduced blur from movement), both of which contributed to shallower depth of field.

Additionally, the Graflex cameras were advertised for the new speed and accuracy by which one could focus and make pictures. A mirrored viewer allowed the photographer to see the exact image that was coming through the lens and allowed a photographer to more quickly make images than the earlier view camera (where the photographer had to focus under a dark cloth). Hine could make last minute adjustments to get the focus he desired moments before the shutter was released. Given the capabilities of his equipment, Hine was apparently making a conscious choice to keep the focus shallow.

Comparing pairs of Hine photographs might help us think about his aesthetic choices with regard to focus:

These two photographs show groups of individuals at about the same distance from the photographer in a work setting. The youngest of his subjects have the sharper focus while the facility and equipment is blurred, yet still purposely in the frame.





Newberry Mills (S.C.) Noon hour. All are working here… Photo by Lewis Hine, 1908 December. National Child Labor Committee Collection. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/nclc.01476




In centre is one of the young boys working underground in the Bliss Shaft of the D.L. & W. at Nanticoke, Pa. Photo by Lewis Hine, 1911 January. National Child Labor Committee Collection. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/nclc.01123


Both of these boys are shown at half-length, near a work environment, facing toward the photographer and centered. While one is outside and one inside, the depth of field is pretty shallow in both light situations.





Trapper Boy, Turkey Knob Mine, Macdonald, W. Va…Photo by Lewis Hine, 1908 October. National Child Labor Committee Collection. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/nclc.01070




Young Driver in Mine: Had been driving one year. (7 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Daily) Brown Mine, Brown, W. Va.Photo by Lewis Hine, 1908 September. National Child Labor Committee Collection. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/nclc.01059


These photos show little girls of a fairly young age engaged in very different activities. The depth of field is extremely shallow in both pictures, though in the Child Labor example Hine appears to have missed his mark, as the ground directly in front of his subject is in focus, but she is not.



Renee Grouyer, “the adopted daughter” of the Intelligence Section of the Army Field Clerks, 2nd Section, GHQ, [can’t] play ball very well… Photo by Lewis Hine, 1918 August. American National Red Cross Collection. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/anrc.17112




Little girl, apparently 6 yrs. old – but didn’t know her name or age – tending stand at Washington and 3rd St. for older sister…Hoboken, New Jersey. Photo by Lewis Hine, 1912 December. National Child Labor Committee Collection. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/nclc.03824


This comparison shows children in the same occupation as taken by Hine and Jacob Riis. In this Riis photo the bathroom and the newsboys are basically in focus and they are dispersed doing their washing up. In the Hine image, the newsboys are in a crowd with the foreground newsies out of focus and the center of the madness (boy crouched on the floor) very crisp.





“Washing up” in the newsboys’ lodging house. Copy of photo by Jacob Riis, ca. 1890. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a18571 (View original photograph at Museum of the City of New York)




Amusing themselves while waiting for morning papers…New York, NY. Photo by Lewis Hine, 1908 February. National Child Labor Committee Collection. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/nclc.03181


Below is a pair of portraits of younger girls. Situating them side by side allows us to compare the manipulation of focus by Hine with that of his contemporary Alfred Stieglitz. In the Stieglitz photo the girl, in soft focus, is surrounded by nature with tree branches and plant stems behind her and in front of her. She does not acknowledge the photographer and there is no obvious plane of focus. In the Hine image, the girls are shown in sharp focus looking directly toward the photographer, while the world around is blurry.





Spring. Photo by Alfred Stieglitz, published in Camera Notes, 1902 Jan. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b46416




Maud Daly, five years old. Grade Daly, three years old. … Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Photo by Lewis Hine, 1911 March. National Child Labor Committee Collection. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/nclc.00907


So what do we make of Hine’s aesthetic decisions? Why did he choose to emphasize selective focus? Does he use it differently in the two bodies of work, NCLC and ANRC? Is it photographing children that seems to provoke him to narrow his depth of field? From biographical accounts of his life alongside the notes and captions for his photos, I tend to think it was a strong and passionate desire to humanize his subjects – to make them appear as real as they would if one was really standing there. Perhaps also he liked the idea that a “slice of a life” is brought into focus, extracting individuals with little financial import from obscurity, and bringing clarity to a messy world of industrialization and war.

Hine’s use of shallow depth of field makes his photos more compositionally interesting, but also introduces a confusion for the viewer. The photos seem to provide objective facts by virtue of their crispness, but we are constantly made aware of things falling out of that precise focus. They play on this line between documentary “honesty” and artful composition. I don’t want to call them haunting since some of them have such smiling, lively subjects, but these photos develop a sublime quality the longer you look at them. They lift their subjects up as worthy of attention. Hine’s photos exhibit a beauty despite the ominous undertones of images depicting the realities of war and the conditions endured by young workers.

Learn More:
Explore the photographs Lewis Hine made for the National Child Labor Committee. The background and related documents provide context for this work and pointers for further research, and the “Bringing an NCLC Photo into Focus” essay discusses an example of a series of photos and their focus. The Library of Congress also has the textual records of the National Child Labor Committee – view the finding aid.
Take a closer look at the American National Red Cross Collection photographs that have been attributed to Lewis Hine. Read up on the background of the American National Red Cross Collection.
The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film has Lewis Hine’s personal papers and photographs. View George Eastman House’s blog entry (Sept. 26, 2012) about Hine, with links to photographs showing the photographer at work. See if you can spot the connection to one of the photos shared in this post!
If you want to read more about how to achieve different depths of field technically, there is a lengthy article in Wikipedia, “Depth of Field,” that covers quite a bit, including equations and scientific explanations of optics.
Enjoy a Library of Congress Blog post, “Inquiring Minds: Opening a Treasure Chest of Unfinished Stories,” highlighting the work of a researcher who became fascinated with the faces of the children in the National Child Labor Committee Collection and was inspired to trace their stories.