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News Blog

A collection of longer form stories, submitted, sourced, or written by our team, that would not make sense to cover in a traditional broadcast news format, but which we wanted to share with you anyway.

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Iono - Behind the Bulletins

Week in Review - 28 October 2017

No-one could have missed the fuss caused by that CNN article alleging that Namibia had maintained ties with North Korea in defiance of United Nations sanctions and how this could potentially lead to the UN imposing sanctions on us in response. There were those who believed the article, those who didn't – labelling it fake news and part of an ongoing war between the broadcaster and the current US president, and even those who seemed to get slightly confused thinking that it was the United States trying to tell us what to do and who to be friends with. Government was perhaps slightly slow in responding but did issue a statement denying all allegations and reassuring Namibians that we had said goodbye to the North Koreans in the country a long time ago and that we were in full compliance with the UN sanctions regime on North Korea … but then they told us that last year as well.
 
Sticking with conspiracy theory type news, the long withheld JFK files were released this week, or at least most of them were – the FBI and CIA managed to ensure that roughly 300 documents have been kept secret for a further 6 months, when their release will once again be reviewed, due to reasons of 'national security', which will of course do nothing to calm the conspiracy theorists out there down.
 
Getting back to local news it was reported that Unam students with outstanding fees will be allowed to write their examinations on condition that 50% of their tuition fees are settled, Namwater agreed to loan government N$ 600 million towards settling part of the outstanding debt on the Neckertal Dam project, we found out that Namibians are the heaviest alcohol drinkers per capita on the continent, and in news that, in light of that last fact, may have caused some to raise a toast and others to perhaps drown their sorrows the Bank of Namibia decided to leave the Repo rate unchanged at 6.75%.
 
South Africa waited in hope this week for some good news in Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's mini-budget speech but were left disappointed as he seemed to leave all major decisions on turning the economy around to next year's budget in February while also revealing that the revenue shortfall had grown to R50.8 billion from an anticipated R30 billion. There was some good news from the country though as it is reported that a cheap mass-produced plastic heart value that has the potential to save millions of people is to undergo a full clinical trial, and justice was served in the case of two men who forced another into a coffin and threatened to douse him in petrol and set him alight when they were sentenced to 11 and 14 years in prison respectively.
 
Kenyans took to the polls this week, or at least some of them did as many polling stations reported record low turnout in a re-run of an earlier election annulled by the Supreme Court, counting was delayed due to violence in which at least 4 people lost their lives but incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta was expected to win by a landslide after rival Raila Odinga and his National Super Alliance boycotted the poll. Elsewhere in Africa the World Health Organisation warned up to 9 countries to be on high alert for the so-called black death plague, the third place finisher in Liberia's presidential elections submitted a complaint and called for the results to be annulled, and calling and sending text messages could become cheaper as regional integration blocs in sub-Saharan Africa have agreed to abolish roaming charges.
 
Internationally China has put the cat amongst the pigeons and has surely upset the United States by announcing that they will launch a yuan-denominated oil contract as early as this year, Australia got one step closer to the passing of the country's first assisted dying law, Japan's Prime Minister secured a big victory in Sunday's election and is talking tough on North Korea, and in possibly the worst news all week worldwide wine production has fallen 8.2 percent to a 50 year low so it may be wise to stock up while you can.

Week in Review – 20 October 2017

We start with Somalia, where on Saturday, October the 14th; the Horn of Africa Nation experienced the deadliest single attack ever since an Islamist insurgency began in 2007. The director of an ambulance service in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu said on Monday that the death toll from last week Saturday’s truck bombing was now at 300. This attack is also one of the world’s worst in recent years. According to the Xinhua News Agency, residents came out in large numbers to donate blood to help save the lives of injured victims as over 290 people sustained injuries following the terrorist attack. News24 reports that more than 70 critically injured people were airlifted by Monday Morning to Turkey for treatment as more international aid came flooding in. Showing their support, the US Military said that it was ready to boost its support for the Somali government by providing training and advice for the Somali military and also logistic support; while the Eiffel Tower in Paris dimmed its lights in solidarity with Somalia on Monday. The al-Shabaab extremist group is claiming responsibility for a number of recent attacks in Somalia – but not Saturday’s huge bombing that left more than 300 dead. 
 
In local news, more candidates were endorsed to contest the top four leadership positions at the upcoming Swapo Party Congress in November. Jerry Ekandjo and Nahas Angula will now challenge President Hage Geingob who was the sole candidate for the party presidential position. 
In Swakopmund, more than 300 politicians and administrators from varies local authorities in Africa on Monday convened a first joint annual general meeting to deliberate on better service delivery mechanisms. The 6-day event also included the final regional preparatory meeting for the upcoming Global Judicial Integrity Network, for Anglophone and Lusophone African Countries. 
Following the anthrax outbreak that killed over 100 hippos, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has called on communities living in the vicinity of the Kavango River, not to eat or handle fish from the area. The Namibian Stock Exchange celebrated its 25th Anniversary on Thursday while the bank of Namibia cautioned the country this week about an online financial scheme known as My Life Change 247. The bank appealed all members of the public to refrain from participating in the scheme as you will be committing an offence and if found guilty, could be subject to a fine or imprisonment.  
 
South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba expressed his concern regarding the reinstatement of the corruption charges against South African President Jacob Zuma and the effect that it will have on the economy. Following the reinstatement, Rights Group Afriforum said on Tuesday it would privately prosecute Duduzane Zuma, the son of Jacob Zuma. He will be charged with culpable homicide after a 2014 car accident where one person was killed. According to Reuters, South African Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, will prosecute Duduzane on behalf of the rights group. Tuesday saw a Cabinet Reshuffle for the second time this year, a move set to deepen tensions before the ANC chooses a new party leader in December.  Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande; a veteran member of the South African Communist Party, which is a key political ally within the ruling ANC Alliance was ousted by Zuma, causing the South African Communist to lash out at Zuma, calling it an attack on the tripartite alliance. 
 
In Other News, Kenyan universities are embracing biometric registration of students in bid to curb terror networks within the institutions; in Zimbabwe, more than 50 people, including women, have applied for the post of hangman; and Bangladesh announced plans to build a refugee camp that could accommodate around 800,000 Rohingya Muslims pouring over the boarder from Myanmar. 
 
And finally, Australia launched an online portal to report revenge porn on Tuesday, after research showed woman were having intimate images shared without their permission on a mass scale; two Stellenbosch University students found that by continually distracting their users, smart phones are harming students’ ability to concentrate; and world renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough has called for the world to cut back its use of plastic in order to protect our oceans. 
 

The Benghazi Court of Appeal suspends decision

  The Benghazi Court of Appeal yesterday suspended a decision of the Tripoli-based Presidential Council to form seven military zones.