Middle East’s ’empty broken shopping baskets’ —they looked at the wrong numbers

Middle East’s ’empty broken shopping baskets’ —they looked at the wrong numbers

CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!Inflation in the Middle East is typified by the same economic factors affecting most Sub Saharan AFRICAN countries.

Across the world, surging international food prices have become a major cause for concern and topic of debate. This is especially so in the Arab world, which is home to some of the largest food importers and where rising food prices have been one of the factors in recent political unrest.

In the context of ongoing political developments, governments across the region are responding to the rise in commodity prices with hikes in fuel and food subsidies, civil service wage and pension increases, additional cash transfers, tax reductions, and other spending increases. These measures will help poor households maintain their purchasing power and limit further increases in domestic food prices.
Continue reading Middle East’s ’empty broken shopping baskets’ —they looked at the wrong numbers

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Salif Keita: ‘Democracy is not a good thing for Africa’

Salif Keita: ‘Democracy is not a good thing for Africa’

He is in Paris to promote his 14th album Un Autre Blanc (Another White), the title a reference to his struggles as a singer-songwriter with albinism. Keita says it is definitely his last. “I will do some concerts and perhaps some tours. Nothing major and not another album.” He shakes his head. “Too much work. I am going to rest.”

Going “back to the country” means returning to the village of Djoliba, 23 miles south of the Malian capital Bamako, which takes its name from the local Mandingue language for the river Niger on whose banks it sits. Keita grew up here, during the last years of French colonial rule – Mali became independent in 1960 – as one of 10 children in a family directly descended from the warrior king Sundiata Keita, the 13th-century founder of the Mali empire. They were aristocratic, but dirt poor.

The musician has said his father was shocked but not entirely surprised when he was born with albinism, a condition caused by the absence of melanin pigmentation in the skin. There had been others with the condition on his mother’s side of the family. “It is a problem in places where cousins marry, a problem of culture,” he explains.

Continue reading Salif Keita: ‘Democracy is not a good thing for Africa’

Pope Convenes Summit To Address Clergy’s Sexual Abuse Of Children

Pope Convenes Summit To Address Clergy’s Sexual Abuse Of Children

Concrete, effective actions and courage, not merely “simple condemnations,” is what Pope Francis said he’s expecting from a Feb. 21-24 Vatican summit on clerical abuse that opened Thursday morning.

The pontiff pointedly said this is what the People of God want, watching the 190 men and women meeting over the next four days in Rome.

Thursday’s opening session included several voices acknowledging that the Catholic Church has failed victims, and that crimes of sexual abuse of minors by clergy have been covered up by bishops.

“The Holy People of God are watching us and wait for more than simple condemnations, they expect concrete and effective measures. We need concreteness,” Francis said in a short opening speech. Continue reading Pope Convenes Summit To Address Clergy’s Sexual Abuse Of Children

Kenya hotel terror attack: Luke Potter named as Briton killed, 22 people reported killed, figure likely to rise

Kenya hotel terror attack: Luke Potter named as Briton killed, 22 people reported killed, figure likely to rise

A British man killed in an attack on a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, has been named as Luke Potter by the international development charity he worked for.

In a statement, Gatsby said it was “shocked and saddened” by the death of its Africa programmes director.

Mr Potter was among at least 21 people killed. It is understood a member of the UK Special Forces was involved in a rescue operation at the complex.

The Somalia-based militant group al-Shabab said it was behind the attack.

Gunmen stormed the complex in the capital on Tuesday. Gunfire and explosions continued into Wednesday before President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the siege had ended. Continue reading Kenya hotel terror attack: Luke Potter named as Briton killed, 22 people reported killed, figure likely to rise