Sunday, May 31, 2020

UGANDA: A new hope in AI for news media - @RugyendoQuotes

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A new hope: AI for news media

By Jarno Koponen@ilparone, July 12, 2018, TECHCRUNCH

To put it mildly, news media has been on the sidelines in AI development. As a consequence, in the age of AI-powered personalized interfaces, the news organizations don’t anymore get to define what’s real news, or, even more importantly, what’s truthful or trustworthy. Today, social media platforms, search engines and content aggregators control user flows to the media content and affect directly what kind of news content is created. As a result, the future of news media isn’t anymore in its own hands. Case closed?

The (Death) Valley of news digitalization
There’s a history: News media hasn’t been quick or innovative enough to become a change maker in the digital world. Historically, news used to be the signal that attracted and guided people (and advertisers) in its own right. The internet and the exponential explosion of available information online changed that for good.

In the early internet, the portals channeled people to the content in which they were interested. Remember Yahoo? As the amount of information increased, the search engine(s) took over, changing the way people found relevant information and news content online. As the mobile technologies and interfaces started to get more prominent, social media with News Feed and tweets took over, changing again the way people discovered media content, now emphasizing the role of our social networks.

Significantly, news media didn’t play an active role in any of these key developments. Quite the opposite, it was late in utilizing the rise of the internet, search engines, content aggregators, mobile experience, social media and other new digital solutions to its own benefit.

The ad business followed suit. First news organizations let Google handle searches on their websites and the upcoming search champion got a unique chance to index media content. With the rise of social media, news organizations, especially in the U.S., turned to Facebook and Twitter to break the news rather than focusing on their own breaking news features. As a consequence, news media lost its core business to the rising giants of the new digital economy.

To put it very strongly, news media hasn’t ever been fully digital in its approach to user experience, business logic or content creation. Think paywalls and e-newspapers for the iPad! The internet and digitalization forced the news media to change, but the change was reactive, not proactive. The old, partly obsolete, paradigms of content creation, audience understanding, user experience and content distribution still actively affect the way news content is created and distributed today (and to be 110 percent clear — this is not about the storytelling and the unbelievable creativity and hard work done by ingenious journalists all around the globe).

Due to these developments, today’s algorithmic gatekeepers like Google and Facebook dominate the information flows and the ad business previously dominated by the news media. Significantly, personalization and the ad-driven business logic of today’s internet behemoths isn’t designed to let the news media flourish on its own terms ever again.
From observers to change makers

News media have been reporting the rise of the new algorithmic world order as an outside observer. And the reporting has been thorough, veracious and enlightening — the stories told by the news media have had a concrete effect on how people perceive our continuously evolving digital realities.

However, as the information flows have moved into the algorithmic black boxes controlled by the internet giants, it has become obvious that it’s very difficult or close to impossible for an outside observer to understand the dynamics that affect how or why a certain piece of information becomes newsworthy and widely spread. For the mainstream news media, Trump’s rise to the presidency came as a “surprise,” and this is but one example of the new dynamics of today’s digital reality.

And here’s a paradox. As the information moves closer to us, to the mobile lock screen and other surfaces that are available and accessible for us all the time, its origins and background motives become more ambiguous than ever.

The current course won’t be changed by commenting on or criticizing the actions of the ruling algorithmic platforms.

The social media combined with self-realizing feedback loops utilizing the latest machine learning methods, simultaneously being vulnerable for malicious or unintended gaming, has led us to the world of “alternative facts” and fake news. In this era of automated troll-hordes and algorithmic manipulation, the ideals of news media sound vitally important and relevant: Distribution of truthful and relevant information; nurturing the freedom of speech; giving the voice to the unheard; widening and enriching people’s worldview; supporting democracy.

But, the driving values of news media won’t ever be fully realized in the algorithmic reality if the news media itself isn’t actively developing solutions that shape the algorithmic reality.

The current course won’t be changed by commenting on or criticizing the actions of the ruling algorithmic platforms. #ChangeFacebook is not on the table for news media. New AI-powered Google News is controlled and developed by Google, based on its company culture and values, and thus can’t be directly affected by the news organizations.

After the rise of the internet and today’s algorithmic rule, we are again on the verge of a significant paradigm shift. Machine learning-powered AI solutions will have an increasingly significant impact on our digital and physical realities. This is again a time to affect the power balance, to affect the direction of digital development and to change the way we think when we think about news — a time for news media to transform from an outside observer into a change maker.
AI solutions for news media

If the news media wants to affect how news content is created, developed, presented and delivered to us in the future, they need to take an active role in AI development. If news organizations want to understand the way data and information are constantly affected and manipulated in digital environments, they need to start embracing the possibilities of machine learning.

But how can news media ever compete with today’s AI leaders?

News organisations have one thing that Google, Facebook and other big internet players don’t yet have: news organizations own the content creation process and thus have a deep and detailed content understanding. By focusing on appropriate AI solutions, they can combine the data related to the content creation and content consumption in a unique and powerful way.

News organizations need to use AI to augment you and me. And they need to augment journalists and the newsroom. What does this mean?
Augment the user-citizen

Personalization has been around for a while, but has it ever been designed and developed in the terms of news media itself? The goal for news media is to combine great content and personalized user experience to build a seamless and meaningful news experience that is in line with journalistic principles and values.

For news, the upcoming real-time machine learning methods, such as online learning, offer new possibilities to understand the user’s preferences in their real-life context. These technologies provide new tools to break news and tell stories directly on your lock screen.

An intelligent notification system sending personalized news notifications could be used to optimize content and content distribution on the fly by understanding the impact of news content in real time on the lock screens of people’s mobile devices. The system could personalize the way the content is presented, whether serving voice, video, photos, augmented reality material or visualizations, based on users’ preferences and context.

Significantly, machine learning can be utilized to create new forms of interaction between people, journalists and the newsroom. Automatically moderated commenting is just one example already in use today. Think if it would be possible to build interactions directly on the lock screen that let the journalists better understand the way content is consumed, simultaneously capturing in real time the emotions conveyed by the story.

By opening up the algorithms and data usage through data visualizations and in-depth articles, the news media could create a new, truly human-centered form of personalization that lets the user know how personalization is done and how it’s used to affect the news experience.

And let’s stop blaming algorithms when it comes to filter bubbles. Algorithms can be used to diversify your news experience. By understanding what you see, it’s also possible to understand what you haven’t seen before. By turning some of the personalization logic upside down, news organizations could create a machine learning-powered recommendation engine that amplifies diversity.
Augment the journalist

In the domain of abstracting and contextualizing new information and unpredictable (news) events, human intelligence is still invincible.

The deep content understanding of journalists can be used to teach an AI-powered news assistant system that would become better over time by learning directly from the journalists using it, simultaneously taking into account the data that flows from the content consumption.

A smart news assistant could point out what kinds of content are connected implicitly and explicitly, for example based on their topic, tone of voice or other meta-data such as author or location. Such an intelligent news assistant could help the journalist understand their content even better by showing which previous content is related to the now-trending topic or breaking news. The stories could be anchored into a meaningful context faster and more accurately.

Innovation and digitalization doesn’t change the culture of news media if it’s not brought into the very core of the news business.

AI solutions could be used to help journalists gather and understand data and information faster and more thoroughly. An intelligent news assistant can remind the journalist if there’s something important that should be covered next week or coming holiday season, for example by recognizing trends in social media or search queries or highlighting patterns in historic coverage. Simultaneously, AI solutions will become increasingly essential for fact-checking and in detecting content manipulation, e.g. recognizing faked images and videos.

An automated content production system can create and annotate content automatically or semi-automatically, for example by creating draft versions based on an audio interview, that are then finished by human journalists. Such a system could be developed further to create news compilations from different content pieces and formats (text, audio, video, image, visualization, AR experiences and external annotations) or to create hyper-personalized atomized news content such as personalized notifications.

The news assistant also could recommend which article should be published next using an editorial push notification, simultaneously suggesting the best time for sending the push notification to the end users. And as a reminder, even though Google’s Duplex is quite a feat, natural language processing (NLP) is far from solved. Human and machine intelligence can be brought together in the very core of the content production and language understanding process. Augmenting the linguistic superpowers of journalists with AI solutions would empower NLP research and development in new ways.

Augment the newsroom
Innovation and digitalization doesn’t change the culture of news media if it’s not brought into the very core of the news business concretely in the daily practices of the newsroom and business development, such as audience understanding.

One could start thinking of the news organization as a system and platform that provides different personalized mini-products to different people and segments of people. Newsrooms could get deeper into relevant niche topics by utilizing automated or semi-automated content production. And the more topics covered and the deeper the reporting, the better the newsroom can produce personalized mini-products, such as personalized notifications or content compilations, to different people and segments.

In a world where it’s increasingly hard to distinguish a real thing from fake, building trust through self-reflection and transparency becomes more important than ever. AI solutions can be used to create tools and practices that enable the news organization and newsroom to understand its own activities and their effects more precisely than ever. At the same time, the same tools can be used to build trust by opening the newsroom and its activities to a wider audience.

Concretely, AI solutions could detect and analyze possible hidden biases in the reporting and storytelling. For example, are some groups of people over-presented in certain topics or materials? What has been the tone of voice or the angle related to challenging multi-faceted topics or widely covered news? Are most of the photos depicting people with a certain ethnic background? Are there important topics or voices that are not presented in the reporting at all? AI solutions also can be used to analyze and understand what kind of content works now and what has worked before, thus giving context-specific insights to create better content in the future.

AI solutions would help reflect the reporting and storytelling and their effects more thoroughly, also giving new tools for decision-making, e.g. to determine what should be covered and why.

Also, such data and information could be visualized to make the impact of reporting and content creation more tangible and accessible for the whole newsroom. Thus, the entire editorial and journalistic decision-making process can become more open and transparent, affecting the principles of news organizations from the daily routines to the wider strategical thinking and management.

Tomorrow’s news organizations will be part human and part machine. This transformation, augmenting human intelligence with machines, will be crucial for the future of news media. To maintain their integrity and trustworthiness, news organizations themselves need to able to define how their AI solutions are built and used. And the only way to fully realize this is for the news organizations to start building their own AI solutions. The sooner, the better — for us all.

A new hope: AI for news media

To put it mildly, news media has been on the sidelines in AI development. As a consequence, in the age of AI-powered personalized interfaces, the news organizations don't anymore get to define what's real news, or, even more importantly, what's truthful or trustworthy.

Eddy Kenzo - Sitya Loss

Eddy Kenzo - Sitya Loss

Music video for Sitya Loss performed by Eddy Kenzo. Site: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram: Copyright (C) 2014 Eddy Kenzo. -- Powered by #EddyKenzo #SityaLoss #Vevo #World #VevoOfficial #OfficialMusicVideo

NTVUganda has added GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS: Los Angeles put under state of emergency video

GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS: Los Angeles put under state of emergency

The governor of the US state of California has instituted a state of emergency on Los Angeles, the city that has seen some of the worst riots that broke out across the United States after outrage over the death of a black man at the hands of white police officers. NTV Reporter Maurice Ochol is in Los Angeles California and gives us a sense of what is happening on the ground #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

NTVUganda has added COVID-19 PANDEMIC: Stranded foreign students ask for food video

COVID-19 PANDEMIC: Stranded foreign students ask for food

Over 100 foreign students at Nkumba University are stranded without food after failing to travel back to their countries due to the lockdown and prohibition of travel out of the country. The situation has prompted the students to reach out to the authorities in Entebbe to seek relief without any success. Some of the students say their countries have no embassies in Uganda, which they might have turned to for help. Ivan Walunyolo spent time with some of these students and he now brings us more of the challenges they face. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

NTVUganda has added HEALTH FOCUS: Why menstrual hygiene management is important video

HEALTH FOCUS: Why menstrual hygiene management is important

Menstrual Hygiene is vital to the empowerment and well-being of women and girls worldwide. It is about ensuring women and girls live in an environment that values and supports their ability to manage their menstruation with dignity. As we conclude the world menstrual hygiene week a lot more is required to ensure that girls and women here are not affected by poor menstrual hygiene. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

NTVUganda has added Seven health workers test positive for COVID-19 video

Seven health workers test positive for COVID-19

The ministry of health has confirmed that the total number of frontline health workers who have tested positive now stands at 7 (Seven). This after initial reports of two health workers from Lira regional referral hospital being the first health workers directly involved with caring for COVID-19 patients to test positive. The new cases have raised concerns about the safety of health workers involved in handling COVID-19 patients. The State minister for health for General Duties Robina Nabbanja has urged other health workers and the public to stay grounded in the fight against COVID-19 as the government will handle the matter with the urgency it requires. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

NTVUganda has added Rural electrification contractors need to fix some issues - Kiwanuka video

Rural electrification contractors need to fix some issues - Kiwanuka

The Chairperson of Parliament’s Natural resources committee has highlighted some shortcomings in the implementation of rural electrification projects. Kiwanuka, who was on an assessment visit of electrification projects in the Kiboga area says though there is a marked increase in the number of homesteads connected to the grid, there still remain some outstanding issues that need to be quickly dealt with by the contractors before they affect the overall impact of the project. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

NTVUganda has added What COVID-19 has cost Namugongo martyrs day businesses video

What COVID-19 has cost Namugongo martyrs day businesses

The cancellation of this year’s martyrs day celebrations has not only affected those for whom the day is an important date in their religious calendar but it has also disrupted the projections of the different businesses that depend on the boost in sales that are linked to the annual event. NTV reporter IVAN KIMULI KIGOZI looks at the economic impact of the cancellation Martyr’s day celebrations at Namugongo. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

NTVUganda has added Upward COVID-19 trajectory worries authorities video

Upward COVID-19 trajectory worries authorities

The Ministry of Health says that the increasing cases of COVID-19 infections are worrying because the health facilities will get overstretched. Speaking to NTV, Robinah Nabbanja the state Minster of Health for General duties said that as the government continues to deal with the surge mainly from truck drivers, the public should remain vigilant and adhere to the preventive measures. This follows a steady rise in the numbers of positive cases mostly from cross-border truck drivers and their contacts with 84 being added to the country’s tally on Saturday alone. While Uganda still has significantly lower numbers than its neighbours, there is a fear that if the current trajectory continues it will not be long before the health system starts to feel the burden #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

Cutting Energy Costs With The Eco Stove That Works With Reusable Volcanic Rocks

Cutting Energy Costs With The Eco Stove That Works With Reusable Volcanic Rocks

According to the Uganda National Household survey of 2016/17, 94 per cent of Ugandans prefer using charcoal and firewood as the main source of fuel for cooking, the shows. However, today a bag of charcoal costs over Shs100,000. This has made energy a looming challenge in Uganda, but also, a business opportunity for the innovators like the makers of the Ebenezer Stove. Jane Nabukwasi, an Engineer at Ebenezer Energy Saving Stoves Ltd takes us through how the stove works. Watch the next episode of Money and Markets Uganda on NTV Uganda on Wednesday at 8.30pm and repeats on Friday at 3.30pm. To get the latest updates: - Subscribe to our YouTube channel at - Like our page on Facebook: - Follow us on Twitter: - Instagram TV: #MoneyandMarketsUg #Uganda #BusinessNews

UGANDA: Lockdown hits poultry farmers' profits

Chicken farming. /Social Media
Uganda: A key supplier of eggs and chicken in East Africa

By CGTN, May 30, 2020

Poultry production in Uganda has been steadily rising over the years. The country is now a key supplier of eggs and chicken in East Africa. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the outlook for poultry farmers. They are struggling to recover after the nation went into one of the continent’s strictest lockdowns.

CGTN’s Leon Ssenyange met Anthony Serunjogi who lives and works on his one-acre farm on the outskirts of the capital Kampala.

From his 13,000 birds, he sells eggs and chicken. But it has been a tough two months since the COVID-19 crisis began in March

Poultry farmer, Anthony Serunjogi: “We have been hit by inaccessible markets, lack of feeds or insufficient feed ingredients that doesn’t allow production to flourish.”

The coronavirus crisis has however put a crack in his earnings. He has lost more than twenty thousand dollars monthly.

Leon Ssenyange says, ” With the restrictions on transport, Serunjogi has not been able to offload thousands of birds. And that has greatly affected his production plans.”

With many hotels, restaurants and fast food establishments shut, the crisis pushed egg and chicken prices down as well. A tray of eggs now costs 2 dollars; half the price before the crisis.

“The buyers are in their homes. We need to access them but we cannot because we are not allowed to drive around so we are stuck with stock that no one is willing to buy at the it goes down to the prices dipping actually nose diving,” Poultry farmer, Anthony Serunjogi submits.

That has been the concern for over 500,000 intensive poultry farmers. While the crisis has exposed major unknowns in the sector, there is already a push to get back to business as usual.

Robert Serwanga, member, Association of Uganda Poultry Industry:”Poultry having a short payback period in terms of birds, we are going to recover very fast because..when people start coming to town to work, they must eat and one of the things they eat is chicken as fast as possible, when fast food restaurants start working, when they open universities and schools…”

The Uganda government has started easing its lockdown restrictions. And farmers like Serunjogi hope that will mean accessing feed and medicines more easily, putting them back into business.

UGANDA: A Major Oil Pipeline Project Strikes Deep at the Heart of Africa

A girl walks past a sign for the Kingfisher oil field near Lake Albert in Uganda in January. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
BY FRED PEARCE • MAY 21, 2020, Published at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Despite the global plunge in oil prices, a major pipeline that would carry oil 900 miles across East Africa is moving ahead. International experts warn that the $20 billion project will displace thousands of small farmers and put key wildlife habitat and coastal waters at risk.

Imagine a tropical version of the Alaskan oil pipeline. Only longer. And passing through critical elephant, lion, and chimpanzee habitats and 12 forest reserves, skirting Africa’s largest lake, and crossing more than 200 rivers and thousands of farms before reaching the Indian Ocean — where its version of the Exxon Valdez disaster would pour crude oil into some of Africa’s most biodiverse mangroves and coral reefs.

Such a project is ready for construction, to bring to the world oil from new oil fields in the heart of Africa. It is the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.

The middle of a global pandemic, during which oil demand is in freefall and prices at rock bottom, might seem an odd moment to boost the world’s oil production. But the petrochemicals industry is always looking for new reserves to replace those being exhausted. And two oil fields discovered on the shores of Lake Albert, which straddles the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are currently among the biggest and cheapest new reserves available. They contain an estimated 6 billion barrels, roughly half the size of Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay field.

Construction work has begun at the Kingfisher and Tilenga oil fields, where the China National Offshore Oil Corporation and French giant Total intend to sink 500 wells. They have already spent an estimated $4 billion on infrastructure, and made enemies among local communities by grabbing land and providing paltry compensation.

NGOs estimate the carbon footprint of the oil from the pipeline, once burned, will be roughly that of Denmark.

But the wells still need a pipeline to get the oil to the outside world. To do that, the companies plan the world’s longest heated oil pipeline, stretching 900 miles from Lake Albert to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean port of Tanga. The pipeline will carry 216,000 barrels of crude oil a day, and will require heating to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), because the oil is low in sulphur and will otherwise solidify in the pipe. NGOs estimate the carbon footprint of the oil, once burned, will be roughly that of Denmark, and thousands of farmers will lose their land.

The companies claim they have resolved local environmental and social issues for the oil fields and pipeline, and that environmental and social impact assessments have given the $20 billion project a clean bill of health. Total, which is heading up the pipeline project, claims it consulted 58,000 people, and chose a route to “minimize the number of residents relocated.”

But local NGOs and international experts in environmental and social impact assessments disagree. They say that the environmental risks of the pipeline and production facilities are huge, and that consultations with communities amount to little more than what Oxfam-Uganda’s Gerald Byarugaba calls “box-ticking.”
The East African Crude Oil Pipeline will stretch 900 miles from Lake Albert in western Uganda to the Tanzanian port of Tanga on the Indian Ocean. MAP: YALE ENVIRONMENT 360 / SOURCE: TOTAL
Yale Environment 360 has seen reviews of the impact assessments conducted by the Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment (NCEA), an independent body set up by the Dutch government. It found the assessments unquestioning on environmental issues, biased in balancing positive and negative impacts, “vague” on land ownership, and, in the case of the pipeline, “not fit for purpose.”

WWF Uganda, in a 2017 report, warned that the pipeline “is likely to lead to significant disturbance, fragmentation and increased poaching within important biodiversity and natural habitats” populated by elephants, lions, and chimpanzees that are on the international Red List of threatened species. It “has a greater environmental and social risk” than other pipelines planned in the region, said Paolo Tibaldeschi of WWF Norway, an author of the 2017 report. It is “longer, and crosses a hilly and seismic region near Lake Victoria, and several biodiversity habitats down to the coast,” he noted.

In Uganda, chimpanzee, hippopotamus, and crocodile populations will be at risk around Lake Albert, where the oil fields are. Total plans to sink 32 wells into the Tilenga oil field from within the Murchison Falls National Park, on the northeastern shore of the lake.

It is “not the ideal location of a multi-billion-dollar oil project,” says Romie Goedicke of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in the Netherlands. Yet, she says, the Ugandan government and its partners are “seemingly unconcerned about the threat to biodiversity.”

On Lake Albert’s eastern shore, the NCEA’s analysis says the Kingfisher project leaves the future of the 400-square-kilometer Bugoma Forest — which has been protected for 90 years and has a large population of chimpanzees — “bleak.” The forest faces encroachment by pipelines, roads, an airport, and migrants who will come to work on the project and will likely clear land to grow crops and cut trees for charcoal.
Elephants in Uganda's Murchison Falls National Park, where the French oil giant Total plans to drill 32 wells. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
South of the lake, more chimpanzees will find the pipeline crossing their 88-square kilometer Taala Forest Reserve. Meanwhile, the NCEA also assesses as “bleak” the future of fish in the lake, which it says currently provides 30 percent of Uganda’s fish catch.

Across the border in Tanzania, the pipeline will bisect the Biharamulo game reserve, which contains one of the world’s last five populations of ashy red colobus monkeys, as well as hippopotami, elephants, zebras and, tour companies claim, mountain gorillas. Further east, it will traverse 32 kilometers of the Wembere Steppe, a seasonally flooded grassland known for its birdlife. Outside the reserves, WWF says, 510 square kilometers of elephant habitat is likely to be disrupted.

The 24-inch-wide pipeline will be buried to a depth of up to 2 meters for most of its journey, but its footprint on the landscape will still be large. For one thing, it will require more than 80 control stations along the route: for pumping, managing pressure, isolating potential leaks, and keeping the oil heated. Also, Total requires that a 30-meter-wide corridor of land above the pipeline is kept clear of buildings, trees, and crops, which will disrupt farms, ecosystems, and wildlife migration.

Beside the disturbance to wildlife habitat and farming, an additional threat is pollution from oil leaks.

For a third of its journey, the pipeline travels through the drainage basin of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake and a source of the Nile, including passing close to its shoreline for 33 kilometers. The danger of oil leaks into the lake is increased by the risk of earthquakes, says WWF. In 2016, a 5.6-magnitude quake here killed 20 people and destroyed at least 900 buildings.

Two-thirds of the pipeline will pass through farmland, with an estimated 9,500-14,500 farms affected by construction in Tanzania alone.

The NCEA is particularly worried that the pipeline will cross an estimated 230 rivers. It questions the intention for the pipeline to cross rivers through open trenches on the river bed. These, it says, risk erosion that exposes the pipeline and causes “significant negative impacts, particularly in wetlands.”

But pollution risks may be greatest around the pipeline’s ocean terminal on the Chongoleani peninsula near the Tanzanian port of Tanga, where tankers up to 300 meters long will be loaded. “Transportation of oil will take place over mangrove and coral reef area,” where “intricate coastal environments make oil recovery and cleanup very difficult,” says WWF. Nearby, it points out, are two marine protected areas — the Pemba-Shimoni-Kisite reserve on the border with Kenya, and the Tanga Coelacanth marine park — which are noted for their coral reefs, dugongs, dolphins, and sea turtles.

The oil fields and pipeline also threaten local communities. The Chinese-run Kingfisher field will be built in a “small, formerly isolated area,” where local communities are heavily dependent on natural resources such as fish and firewood, says the NCEA. It says the impacts report is unclear on whether the company plans to compensate communities for loss of common grazing land and water sources; and it warns there could also be ethnic tensions between locals and Congolese migrant workers.

Two-thirds of the pipeline will pass through farmland. Total estimates that between 9,500 and 14,500 farms will be effected by construction in Tanzania alone. Thousands of households face being “economically displaced,” warns the NCEA.
Containers of crude oil at a test drilling site in the Kingfisher oil field on the shores of Lake Albert. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
The signs are not good. In Uganda, 7,000 people from 13 villages have already lost land in Hoima district, on the eastern shore of Lake Albert, to make way for infrastructure, including an airport to fly in equipment for the oil fields. Reuters in 2018 interviewed angry farmers required to give up their fields. “I don’t know where to go when this land is taken,” said 73-year-old James Mubona, whose 20 children and numerous grandchildren rely on his 22-acre farm. Many of those expelled now live in concrete houses in a resettlement village. They complain of cramped conditions, long walks to their new fields, and no room for their livestock.

Others claim they were cheated of cash compensation by local contractors who fabricated land valuations, failed to document all their buildings, and required them to fill out valuation forms in pencil. In January, a court in Nanterre, France, where Total is based, dismissed a case brought against the company by French and Ugandan NGOs, which claimed that the company was breaching its “duty of vigilance” in leaving the work to contractors. Total has stuck by its contractor policy, arguing that it is not responsible for the actions of its agents.

After a stuttering start, the two oil fields and the pipeline are reputedly ready to go. Uganda’s new energy minister, Mary Goretti Kitutu, is keen to push ahead and make the country sub-Saharan Africa’s fifth biggest oil producer. In January, the Tanzanian environment minister Mussa Azzan Zungu gave the pipeline an environmental certificate.

The financing appears firm. Last month, the African Development Bank denied NGO claims that it planned to offer funds to the project, noting that it was committed to supporting renewable energy projects. But two key investors, Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Bank and the South Africa-based Standard Bank remain on board.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, (center), with Tanzania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Augustine Mahiga (right), during a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline in 2017. GAEL GRILHOT/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
A dispute among the corporate partners ended in April when Total bought out Tullow Oil, the UK company that originally discovered the oil reserves 14 years ago. This month, Tanzania’s energy minister Medard Kalemani announced that following the buyout, a final investment decision (FID) by the companies to go ahead with the project could be made in time for construction of the pipeline to begin in April 2021. It would be delivering crude in 2024.

The low global price of oil could be the last obstacle. But industry analysts say even continued low oil prices are unlikely to be a bar. The oil around Lake Albert is close to the surface and drilling conditions are easy, making production costs unusually low — just $20-25 per barrel for the Tilenga oil field. Even when government pipeline tariffs are added, Norway-based consultants Rystad Energy rated Tilenga oil the cheapest, as well as the biggest, new oil project on the continent.

The project remains “very competitive,” one local newsletter, East African Business Week, reported in late April. “While Total is following a global trend of drastically cutting expenses in light of Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse of oil demand and prices, the project’s economics make it one of the most likely to get FID in the near future.”

None of which alters the bottom line for environmentalists: whatever the price, further development of fossil fuel reserves is incompatible with the Paris climate agreement. As a letter from NGOs to the African Development Bank in March put it, “the reserves in currently operating oil and gas fields alone, even with no coal, would take the world beyond 1.5 degrees C” of warming. The last thing the world needs is more coming on line.

THE AUTHOR, Fred Pearce is a freelance author and journalist based in the U.K. He is a contributing writer for Yale Environment 360 and is the author of numerous books, including The Land Grabbers, Earth Then and Now: Amazing Images of Our Changing World, and The Climate Files: The Battle for the Truth About Global Warming

#GeorgeFloyd protestors in Chicago clash with police

#GeorgeFloyd protestors in Chicago clash with police

This is a video from May 31, 2020 currently playing on Twitter and some media houses have picked it up and are reporting on the ongoing protests in the USA (violent or non violent). Copyright is likely MK-Ultra News whose Twitter handle is @mkultranews I suppose the country is reaching a boiling point with all the pent up anger against "the system" and persistent killings of young black men (women too and also other people of colour) plus the blatant encouragement of racism and discrimination by America's President Donald Trump. Not only that, the continued inciting of Americans to hate non white people, to discriminate against immigrants, to treat black people like second class citizens while being cheered on by even black people...this is insane. Go ahead. MAGA (make your America great again) and continue preaching to the rest of the world about your Democracy and Human Rights! History will judge you harshly. MLN

Martha Leah Nangalama

NTVUganda has added SEEDS OF GOLD: Role of integrated farming in COVID-19 times video

SEEDS OF GOLD: Role of integrated farming in COVID-19 times

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UGANDA: Museveni slams big changes on Kampala post Covid-19

Parliament of Uganda on Twitter: "Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala ...
Gen. Katumba Wamala, the Minister for Works and Transport - Image may be subject to copyright
Post Covid19: Government to Introduce New International  Driving Licenses, Taxi Touting Prohibited

May 31, 2020

In a bid to streamline the country’s transport system, the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Works and Transport is set to introduce new changes in the post covid19 period.

This followed a recent approval of the new Traffic and Road Safety Act by President Yoweri Museveni and Parliament.

The law was passed by parliament on January 29, 2020, and President Museveni assented to it on May 20, 2020.

The Act that comes with 20 new major changes in the transport system was announced by Gen. Katumba Wamala, the Minister for Works and Transport.

According to Gen. Katumba, in the new changes, driving permits will be renamed to “driving license” and will be used globally.

He said that name change is to harmonize with international standards and achieve uniformity.

“The initial international recognition of the new driving license will be the East African Community (EAC) then other parts of the world will also follow,” Gen. Katumba said

The new licenses will be renewed after 5 years and not 3 years as previously required.

This law will also effect change in ownership of motor vehicles. That is; one will be required to notify authorities about ownership of their cars within 14 days and failure to do so, it shall attract high penalties.

The Minister may also enter into an agreement with a private party, in accordance with the Public-Private Partnership Act 2015 to undertake driver testing on behalf of the Government to issue driving licenses.

On Boda bodas, all cyclists shall be required to obtain a Class M commercial motorcycles as a new class of operator vehicles license.

Further, changes will also streamline online ride hiring services such as Uber, safe boda and Bolt by licensing and regulating them.

In regards to public service vehicles, it has become a crime for failure to pay taxi fares.

If a taxi operator demands for payment from passenger and he or she refuses, it becomes an offense.

Meanwhile, touting has been prohibited and if one is caught making noise in an attempt to attract passengers, they will be fined between Shs 300,000/=  to 6 million as taxi owners will also be required to register them under SACCOs.

Roadside bomb near Somalia’s capital kills 8 civilians

For Representation. A general view shows of Somalia. REUTERS/Feisal Omar
For Representation. A general view shows of Somalia. REUTERS/Feisal Omar
NAIROBI, Kenya (Associated Press) — A Somali police officer says at least eight civilians were killed when a minibus hit a roadside bomb outside the capital on Sunday morning.

Abdullahi Ahmed says the minibus hit the bomb in the Hawa Abdi area near Mogadishu.

The death toll may rise because many of the surviving passengers were seriously wounded, Ahmed said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. However Somalia’s extremist group al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaida, has carried out a series of bomb attacks in the area in recent months.

Wikipedia's Article of the Day May 31, 2020: British hydrogen bomb programme

The British hydrogen bomb programme was the ultimately successful British effort to develop thermonuclear weapons. The successful test of an atomic bomb in Operation Hurricane in 1952 made Britain a nuclear power, but hopes that the United States would be sufficiently impressed to restore the Special Relationship were soon disappointed. In 1954, Cabinet agreed to proceed with the development of the hydrogen bomb.

The scientists at the Atomic Weapons Establishment did not know how to build one, but produced three designs: Orange Herald, a large boosted fission weapon; Green Bamboo, an interim design; and Green Granite, a true thermonuclear design. The first series of Operation Grapple tests (newsreel featured) were hailed as a success, but Green Granite was a failure.

In November 1957, they successfully tested a thermonuclear design. Subsequent tests demonstrated a mastery of the technology. Together with the Sputnik crisis, this resulted in the 1958 US–UK Mutual Defence Agreement, and the Special Relationship was restored.

Learn more on Wikipedia

Today in History - May 31 -- Library of Congress

Today in History - May 31

Walt Whitman, American poet, journalist, and essayist, was born on May 31, 1819, in West Hills, New York. Continue reading.

Click here to search Today in History for other historic moments.

Read more on Today in History - May 31

U.S. Cities Wracked by Another Night of Protests: Video

NTVUganda has added Minister Kyambadde calls for use of local raw materials in industries video

Minister Kyambadde calls for use of local raw materials in industries

The Minister of trade, Industry and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde visited a number of factories in Jinja and Buikwe districts to assess their production during this time of COVID- 19.. Kyambadde says Uganda is now moving forward and more people should embrace the Buy Uganda Build Uganda policy. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

NTVUganda has added Koboko COVID-19 taskforce criticised for quarantine laxity video

Koboko COVID-19 taskforce criticised for quarantine laxity

The Koboko district COVID 19 has come under criticism after three more community infections were announced. Koboko South LC 3 chairperson Elly Asiki says one of the quarantine centres in the district is not well managed and at the time two of the positive cases were announced, the patients were at home. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

NTVUganda has added Archbishop Lwanga asks Govt to open up worship centres video

Archbishop Lwanga asks Govt to open up worship centres

The Archbishop of Kampala Cyprian Kizito Lwanga has asked Government to open up places of worship saying these are the only places where people can run to seek God’s guidance, protection and intervention because of the current challenges facing the world. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

NTVUganda has added COVID-19 pandemic costs local Govt millions in revenue video

COVID-19 pandemic costs local Govt millions in revenue

The report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Local Government and Service Delivery has been launched with a call to government to come up with mechanisms to compensate local governments for revenues lost during the pandemic as. The report by the United Nations Capital Development Fund was launched in the Northern town of Gulu by the minister of Local government Raphael Magyezi. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

NTVUganda has added Mbale councillors fight over relocation of district headquarters video

Mbale councillors fight over relocation of district headquarters

There was drama in the Mbale district main hall when the district councillors who were supposed to pass a budget turned rowdy and started fighting and throwing chairs at each other. The exchange started when councillors demanded to add the issue of relocating the district headquarters on the order paper since Mbale was granted city status. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

NTVUganda has added Heap of murram buries two in Lira video

Heap of murram buries two in Lira

At least two people have been confirmed dead after they were buried in a murram quarry site in Lira District. Patrick Opio Obote, the LC1 of Lela-Peta Village in Anai Parish, Lira Sub-county in Lira District said the two were on Friday morning loading murram on a tipper lorry when a hip of murram fell on them killing them instantly. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on Messenger via

Defending lockdown easing, UK foreign minister says it's the 'right step'

via @PerilofAfrica British foreign minister Dominic Raab defended on Sunday the government's "careful" loosening of the coronavirus lockdown, saying it was the "right step to be taking at this moment in time". Reuters World News

Russian Health Ministry Approves Anti-Coronavirus Drug Avifavir

'We're Sick of It': Anger Over Police Killings Shatters U.S.

Canada to promote holidays at home because of COVID-19 border closures

via @PerilofAfrica Canada will invest C$30 million ($21.8 million) to enable its provinces and territories to promote holidays in their "own back yard" because of the closure of the country's borders due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Reuters World News

Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Latest: National Guard called out in Utah after violence

Armed protesters climb on a flipped over police vehicle Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Thousands of people converged on downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and some demonstrators set fire to a police car and threw eggs and wrote graffiti on a police station. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
By The Associated Press

The Latest on the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck:


SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has activated the Utah National Guard after protesters angry over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis turned violent during a demonstration at which some participants carried rifles in Salt Lake City.

Herbert says in a tweet that the Guard will help control “the escalating situation” in the downtown area following the unrest Saturday afternoon.

The protest started out peacefully, but degenerated into violence. A group of people flipped over a police car and lit it on fire. Some demonstrators smashed eggs and wrote graffiti on the walls of the Salt Lake City police station. Others marched through downtown to the state Capitol.

Some people in the protest openly carried rifles, which is legal in Utah.


LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has imposed a downtown curfew for Saturday night after some protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis turned violent.

With protesters were back out Saturday, Garcetti said everyone must be off down town streets by 8 p.m. and stay away until 5:30 a.m.

Several police cars were torched Saturday afternoon as some protesters ignored authorities’ call for peaceful demonstrations.

That followed a night of violence during which people smashed windows, robbed stores and set fires. Los Angeles police reported arresting 533 people during the night.


SEATTLE — The Washington State Patrol has closed Interstate 5 in both directions through downtown Seattle after a protest over the death of George Floyd spilled onto the freeway.

Thousands of people gathered in the downtown area Saturday for a largely peaceful demonstration, but some protesters turned rowdier as the afternoon worn on. Police used pepper spray on the demonstrators and deployed flash bang devices.

Police said arrests were made but an exact figure wasn’t available.

State patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement that ”the freeway is not a safe or appropriate place for demonstration.”


ATLANTA — A crowd has gathered in Atlanta to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and some people have started throwing objects at officers guarding the Georgia governor’s mansion.

Hundreds of people stood on a residential sidewalk Saturday evening across the street from the mansion in the city’s affluent Buckhead neighborhood. Cars and motorcyclists continued to sporadically drive by in front of the demonstrators.

Authorities responded by taking at least one person into custody.

Gov. Brian Kemp was not inside the home Saturday evening.

Earlier in the day, Atlanta’s mayor announced a curfew will be in effect in the city from 9 p.m. Saturday to sunrise Sunday. That order followed a night of violence that erupted in the city during demonstrations over Floyd’s death.


MINNEAPOLIS — Several Minneapolis City Council members are asking Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to appoint the state’s attorney general as a special prosecutor in the death of George Floyd.

Six of the council’s 13 members say they support a call from Floyd’s family for Attorney General Keith Ellison to handle the prosecution of the police officer who held his knee on Floyd’s neck Monday. The council members say they don’t think Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has the public trust necessary for the job.

Freeman on Friday charged now-fired officer Derek Chauvin with third-degree murder in Floyd’s death. Chauvin is white; Floyd was black.

The council members say Freeman waited too long in bringing charge. They say Ellison, who is black, is best qualified to handle the case. They also cite a working group he helped lead on deaths involving police.


WASHINGTON — Several hundred people shouting “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe” have converged on the White House for a second straight day to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and President Donald Trump’s response.

Trump earlier on Saturday belittled the protesters and he pledged to “stop mob violence.”

Speaking in Florida after watching the launch of a SpaceX rocket, the president said: “I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking justice and peace, and I stand before you in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack and menace. Healing, not hatred, justice, not chaos are the missions at hand.”

Three lines of barricades separate protesters from a loose line of uniformed police officers at Lafayette Park, across from the White House. At one point, the protesters left the park, chanting as they marched up a nearby street. A block from the White House, they held a moment of silence and brief sit-in.


ATLANTA -- Atlanta’s mayor has announced a curfew will be in effect from 9 p.m. Saturday to sunrise Sunday following violence that erupted in the city during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the curfew during a news conference Saturday evening. She called it a “very unusual and extreme step” after the violence that rocked Atlanta during Friday night.

Several other cities across the nation have order curfews following unrest surrounding demonstrations protesting Floyd’s death.

Georgia’s governor declared a state of emergency early Saturday to activate the state National Guard as violence flared in Atlanta.

In Friday’s protests, some demonstrators smashed police cars and spray-painted the iconic logo sign at CNN headquarters downtown. Police say at least three officers were hurt and there were multiple arrests as protesters shot at officers with BB guns and threw bricks, bottles and knives. Atlanta officials said crews were temporarily unable to reach a fire at a restaurant because of crowds of protesters.


NEW YORK — Protesters angry over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have returned to the streets of New York for a third straight day as Mayor Bill de Blasio pleads for calm after a demonstration in Brooklyn the previous night descended into chaos that left people bloodied and vehicles burned.

On Saturday, a large crowd marched through Harlem, chanted outside a police precinct and then blocked traffic on the highway along Manhattan’s East River.

Demonstrations of several thousand at Union Square and outside Brooklyn’s Prospect Park appeared mostly peaceful. Late in the day, protesters in Brooklyn confronted police, who shoved some of the demonstrators and used an irritating chemical spray.

De Blasio expressed solidarity with demonstrators upset over police brutality, but promised an independent review of the Friday night confrontation in which both protesters and police officers engaged in violence.

The mayor said he was upset by videos of the clashes in which “protesters were handled very violently” by police and by reports that a state senator and member of the state Assembly were among the people sprayed with irritating chemicals by officers.


CHICAGO — Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in downtown Chicago hours after protesters clashed overnight with police during a protest over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

A crowd converged on Chicago’s Loop for Saturday’s protest march, during which at least one flag was burned, and some protesters climbed onto a bus and a light pole and surrounded police officers.

Following the overnight clashes with protesters, Chicago officials are urging that demonstrators remain peaceful. Demonstrations are expected throughout the weekend over Floyd’s death.

Chicago police Superintendent David Brown says peaceful protests that began Friday afternoon turned more confrontational as the night wore on, resulting in 108 arrests. Protesters blocked traffic along major streets, threw bottles and other objects at police vehicles and shattered the windows of downtown businesses.


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The governor of Ohio is calling out the Ohio National Guard and also asking the highway patrol to help enforce laws in Columbus as the mayors of the state capital and Cleveland both announce 10 p.m. curfews following damage to businesses amid protests over the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd.

Gov. Mike DeWine said Saturday that the vast majority of protesters want “simply to be heard” and focus attention on the death of Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck.

But the governor adds that sadly the calls for justice and change are “being drowned out by a smaller group of violent individuals.” He says that “acts of violence cannot, and will not, be tolerated.”

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther says he believes racism “is a public health and safety crisis” and he wants to see a more equitable city, but “we are now at a point that we can no longer tell who is protesting for change and an end to racism and who has only chaos and destruction in mind.”

Ginther says more than 100 public and private properties in Columbus had been damaged and at least 10 robbed of goods. He says five police officers were injured by thrown bricks or rocks and police vehicles have been set afire.


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — President Donald Trump says he will not tolerate mob violence during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The president made the comment as he spoke in Florida after watching the successful launch of a SpaceX rocket Saturday. He turned his attention to the unrest in American cities following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis before he congratulated NASA and others involved in the space mission.

Trump says the rule of law is the crown jewel of the country and that “my administration will stop mob violence and we’ll stop it cold.”

Trump says that “I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking justice and peace, and I stand before you in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack and menace. Healing, not hatred. Justice not chaos are the missions at hand.”


AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has sent more than 1,500 state troopers to various Texas cities to help control protests over the death of Houston native George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Abbott said in a news release Saturday that troopers are being sent to Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says on Twitter that nearly 200 people were arrested Friday and most will be charged with obstructing a roadway as several protesters blocked an interstate and a highway.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Austin on Saturday outside police headquarters and then marched along Interstate 35.

Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.


COLUMBIA, S.C. — A television news reporter in Columbia, South Carolina, has been injured by rocks thrown during protests outside the city’s police headquarters over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

WIS-TV anchor Judi Gatson tweets that reporter Miranda Parnell was being taken to the hospital to be “checked out” after Saturday’s incident.

The tweet says Parnell reported that “a person wearing a MAGA hat showed up at the rally, protesters confronted that person & then rocks were thrown.”

Several hundred people participated in the demonstration, tearing down the U.S. flag and the South Caroline state flag in front of the police The State newspaper reports that some protesters swarmed a police car, breaking its windows.

Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.


LAS VEGAS — Police in Las Vegas say 80 protesters were arrested and 12 police officers injured during violence Friday that followed a peaceful protest over the death of George Floyd after he was restrained by Minneapolis police.

According to police, the protest on the Las Vegas Strip began with up to 300 people gathering peacefully. But police say rocks were thrown at police and property was damaged several hours later when officers tried to disperse the crowd as tensions mounted.

Police said the arrests were made when protesters refused to disperse. Police initially said at least 31 people were arrested.

Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.


DENVER -- Denver’s mayor has ordered a nighttime a curfew as demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis entered a third day.

Mayor Michael Hancock said Saturday that the Colorado National Guard will help enforce the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.

Downtown Denver has been the scene of clashes between protesters and police the past two nights. Some protesters broke windows and police fired tear gas, flash grenades and pepper pellets.

Thousands of people are expected to return Saturday night. A protest organizer is urging people to be safe and not put others in harm’s way.

Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck for several minutes, leading to protests in cities across the U.S.


BOSTON — The mayor of Boston hosted a prayer vigil with clergy and the city’s police commissioner to honor the memory of George Floyd.

Protests, some turning violent, erupted in cities around the country on Friday and Saturday over Floyd’s death. The officer was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh says the prayer vigil, streamed live on the Boston government website, was to honor Floyd and to reflect “on his murder.”

Walsh says, “If there‘s ever a moment to acknowledge injustice and re-commit our nation to eradicating it, it’s right now ... This is our moment in time to change as a nation.”


INDIANAPOLIS — Crowds angered by the death of George Floyd clashed with police in downtown Indianapolis overnight, prompting officers to fire multiple volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds that shattered storefronts.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says hundreds of city residents peacefully exercised their right to free speech to protest the horror of “the needless killing of George Floyd.” But he was saddened a smaller group turned violent and damaged businesses and caused injuries.

Fires were set in trash cans and a CVS store was set ablaze after protesters broke in and took items. Other stores were ransacked.


WASHINGTON — Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser lashed out at President Donald Trump for his tweets criticizing her and Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department after protests near the White House on Friday night.

Trump warned in a tweet Saturday that the Secret Service was ready to unleash “the most vicious dogs and the most ominous weapons I have ever seen” if protesters had managed to breach the security lines.

Bowser called Trump’s remark’s “gross,” saying the reference to attack dogs conjures up with the worst memories of the nation’s fight against segregation.

She says, “I call upon our city and our nation to exercise restraint, great restraint even as the president tries to divide us. I feel like these comments are an attack on humanity, an attack on black America, and they make my city less safe.”

Bowser say the MPD stood ready to coordinate with the Secret Service if the protests continue Saturday night.

She says people are desperate for change and “leaders who recognize this pain,” instead of “the glorification of violence against American citizens. What used to be heard in dog whistles, we now hear from a bullhorn.”


VATICAN CITY — A top Vatican cardinal is calling on U.S. pastors to plead for calm amid violent protests over the death of George Floyd in the United States.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, who is from Ghana, says the death of Floyd was “disgracefully inhuman & sad enough.” In appealing for a message of restraint to be delivered at Sunday services, Turkson tweeted: “Let us not add to it, making it & memory of Floyd ugly with violence.”

Turkson heads the Vatican office responsible for social justice and development issues. He is one of only a handful of African cardinals and one of only two to head a major Vatican department.

The leadership of the U.S. Catholic Church has strongly condemned Floyd’s killing, saying racism is a “real and present danger that must be met head on.” The U.S. bishops conference says while the church always seeks non-violence, “we also stand in passionate support of communities that are understandably outraged.


HARTFORD, Conn. — Demonstrators rallied in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and other Connecticut cities for a second day Saturday to protest the Floyd’s death.

Hundreds walked the streets of Hartford and gathered outside city police headquarters, shouting “no justice, no peace,” “black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe.”

The rallies followed similar demonstrations in several cities in the state Friday. There were no reports of violence or major property damage.

“We’re seeing people of color being just being murdered down in the streets,′ New Haven resident Remidy Shareef told WFSB-TV. “This is a tragedy. People of color and everyone with a heart and soul needs to know we cannot let this happen. Everyone has the right to leave their homes and come home safely.”

Four men have been killed by police on Connecticut this year, including three in January. A fifth man who lost consciousness in police custody died a natural death from heart disease, officials say. The four fatal police shootings remain under investigation.


PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland officials say they’ll track down those responsible for the damage to police headquarters, a shopping mall and many businesses.

Police arrested at least 13 people before dawn. Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone, who is African-American, says the anger and violence is not only about the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but a system that allows people of color to “feel fear every day.”

She says, “This is a moment of reckoning. We are going forward to create an actual community, where respect and dignity are our core values.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler imposed a State of Emergency and a curfew, which resumes Saturday at 8 p.m. and lifts at 6 a.m. Sunday.


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is urging Minnesota officials to get tougher with protesters who are destroying property and looting.

Trump spoke at the White House on Saturday after protests turned to rioting in some cities around the country. He says by getting tougher, political leaders in Minnesota would be honoring the memory of George Floyd.

Trump says the U.S. military is “ready, willing and able” to assist. He says “we can have troops on the ground very quickly if they ever want our military.”

Trump specifically called out the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey. He says the mayor “is probably a very good person, but he’s a radical, left mayor.” He then described how he watched as a police station in the city was overrun.

He says, “for that police station to be abandoned and taken over, I’ve never seen anything so horrible and stupid in my life.”


CINCINNATI —The mayor of Cincinnati has announced a 10 p.m. curfew Saturday and Sunday in areas of the city following damage to businesses during protests over the Floyd’s death.

Mayor John Cranley said hundreds of people had demonstrated peacefully, with no major issues before 11 p.m., but those who engaged in criminal activity ”were not part of the protest.” Eleven people were arrested and more arrests will come as suspects are identified, he says.

Cranley says the businesses targeted were just “trying to earn a living, and be active and productive members of our community.” The curfew in the downtown and Over-The-Rhine areas will allow police to clear the streets and more easily arrest the few who might commit criminal acts, he said.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported when many protesters began to disperse Friday night, other groups began to break windows and steal from stores. Some windows at the county justice center were broken and some restaurants and shops were broken into. About 50 businesses reported damage, officials say.

UGANDA: U.S. Government Begins Phase Two of Indoor Residual Spraying in Eight Districts


U.S. Government Begins Phase Two of Indoor Residual Spraying in Eight Districts

On May 25, the U.S. government’s President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) began the second phase of indoor residual spraying (IRS) in eight high-burden malaria districts in Lango and Teso sub-regions through its VectorLink Project. PMI is led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in partnership with the Ugandan Ministry of Health. Phase two of spraying is expected to last 24 days and will include the following districts: Otuke, Alebtong, Lira, Dokolo, Kaberamaido, Kalaki, Amolatar, and Serere. This second phase of spraying follows a March spraying completed by the VectorLink Project in Butebo, Pallisa, Kibuku, Budaka, Butaleja, Namutumba, Bugiri, and Tororo.

Indoor Residual Spraying has contributed to a significant decrease in malaria prevalence in children under the age of five, lower malaria prevalence during pregnancy and at delivery, improved birth outcomes, and a reduced risk of low birth weight, pre-term birth, and fetal/neonatal deaths. With U.S. government support through PMI, more than four million people in Uganda are protected from malaria every year through indoor residual spraying – 862,536 are children under five years old and more than 119,000 are pregnant women (Vectorlink Project Uganda 2019 End of Spray Report). The project will take all appropriate infection prevention and control (IPC) measures to protect both the spray operators and the beneficiaries.

Since 2006, the U.S. government has worked to prevent and control malaria in Uganda through PMI, helping to reduce child mortality by 53 percent and lowering malaria prevalence among children under five from 42 percent in 2009 to nine percent in 2019 according to the 2019 Uganda Malaria Indicator Survey. In spite of this significant progress, malaria remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Uganda, accounting for 30 to 50 percent of outpatient visits and 15 to 20 percent of hospital admissions, according to Ministry of Health reports. Ongoing efforts are needed at all levels – individual, household, community, and national – to prevent transmission and ensure rapid diagnosis and treatment in order to control the disease.

We encourage everyone in Uganda to utilize the protective measures available, such as insecticide treated bed-nets and intermittent prevention of malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) to prevent the spread of malaria. We all need to work together to embrace preventive measures including IRS in order to reduce the burden of malaria on Uganda’s health systems during a time when it is overburdened with maintaining routine health services during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We encourage those with questions and concerns about IRS to follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts during this next phase of spraying, while we work to provide accurate research-based information about IRS and dispel rumors and misinformation that often spread in response to IRS activities. For more information about IRS and the upcoming spraying, please see our May 21 Facebook Live discussion and Q&A here.

For additional information, please contact:
Dorothy Nanyonga
U.S. Mission Uganda

Tel: + (0) 414-250-314 x 6410 Cell: + (0) 772-138-194

Covid-19: Uganda's cases soar to 413 as 84 people test positive


Uganda has reported 84 new cases of Covid-19, the highest number registered in a single day ever since the first case was confirmed in the East African country in March this year.

The Ministry of Health on Sunday morning said the country’s total number of confirmed cases had risen to 413.

Of these, 52 cases are truck drivers, 50 of whom arrived from South Sudan via Elegu, while two arrived from Kenya through Busia.
Additionally, 32 cases are contacts to previously confirmed cases.

"All were under quarantine at the time of testing," said a statement posted on the ministry's social media platforms.

Relatedly, 51 foreign truck drivers who tested positive at points of entry were denied entry and handed over to their country of origin.

READ:Kasensero landing site quarantined after seven residents test positive for Covid-19

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So far, 72 people have recovered and been discharged from hospitals across the country.
The total number of people tested Saturday is 1,835.

Recently, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine expressed concern that the community contacts of the truck drivers might be spreading the disease because some of them are yet to be traced.

If Dr Atwine's fears are valid, the spread of the disease among communities during such a time when government is starting to ease the lockdown could cause a spike in the number of cases confirmed.
It is estimated that one asymptomatic COVID-19 patient can spread the disease to as many as 80 people or even more.

President Museveni is on Monday (June 1, 2020) expected to give further guidance on matters regarding COVID-19 and the way forward.
In his previous televised addresses, Mr Museveni said wearing a facemask would be made compulsory for everyone aged six and above as the country moves to ease the virus induced lockdown.

SOUTH AFRICA: Report Clearing Soldiers in South African Man's Death Sparks Anger

FILE - A member of the South African National Defense Force looks on during a patrol in an attempt to enforce a nationwide lockdown, aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Alexandra township, South Africa, March 28, 2020.
By VOA News

JOHANNESBURG - The legal team representing the family of a South African man allegedly beaten to death by soldiers enforcing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions reacted with outrage to a leaked army report that said they are not liable for his death.

Forty-year-old Collins Khosa died April 10 in this city's poor township of Alexandra, following an altercation in his yard with security forces. They had accused him of drinking alcohol in public, an offense under emergency regulations put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Witnesses say soldiers and police officers strangled Khosa, slammed his head against a cement wall and a steel gate, and hit him with the butt of a rifle. Afterward, Khosa couldn't walk or talk. He began vomiting. A few hours later, he was dead.

A postmortem described the cause of death as "blunt force head injury."
FILE - A member of the South African National Defense Force keeps watch as shoppers leave a grocery store, after being ordered by law enforcement during a lockdown to contain the coronavirus disease, in Alexandra, South Africa, March 27, 2020.
But VOA has seen a report by the South African National Defense Force, or SANDF, that concludes "the injuries on the body of Mr. Khosa cannot be linked with the cause of death."

The military board of inquiry report further states: "The board concluded that the death of Mr. Khosa was not caused by the SANDF members" nor police officers.

Wikus Steyl, an attorney on the legal team representing Khosa's family, called the report "rubbish."

"We do not accept it. The evidence completely contradicts this report," Steyl told South Africa's News.24.

The news outlet reported that police still are investigating.

Defense minister's response

During a media briefing Thursday, Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the only official ruling on the matter was a judge's decision to suspend the accused soldiers.

"That has been done; it is a correct decision," she said, declining to comment on "whether this was a murder case or not" until "all investigations have been concluded."

Military spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini said he was not aware of the report.

Dlamini declined to explain to VOA why a military inquiry had cleared the soldiers of wrongdoing if witnesses had not been interviewed and the investigation was incomplete.

The military board also found that Khosa and his brother-in-law were responsible for the altercation with security forces, as the two had been "provocative" and had "undermined" two female soldiers.

The report says the soldiers merely "pushed" and slapped Khosa when he refused to comply with their orders.

Due process

Pikkie Greeff heads the South African National Defense Union, which represents thousands of soldiers. Also a lawyer, Greeff said the army command hasn't followed due process.

"There should be a formal board of inquiry in terms of the Defense Act, which should make findings and recommendations, (which) should include that people be charged in a military court," Greeff said. In the case of a murder charge, "then the military court will not have jurisdiction. Then that will be trialed in a criminal, civilian court."

Khosa's widow, Nomsa, said she doesn't understand all the legal procedures involved in the case. But she no longer trusts the army and police to responsibly enforce COVID-19 regulations.

"Collins is gone; he's not coming back," she said. As for the soldiers allegedly involved in assaulting him, "we would like to see them behind bars. Behind bars for life."