• WHO declares end of Ebola epidemic in West Africa

    14/Jan/2016 // 165 Viewers


    AFP - The world breathed a sigh of relief Thursday as a two-year Ebola epidemic that killed 11,000 people and triggered a global health alert was declared over, with Liberia the last country to get the all-clear.

    The deadliest outbreak in the history of the feared tropical virus wrecked the economies and health systems of the three worst-hit west African nations after it emerged in southern Guinea in December 2013.

    At its peak, it devastated Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with bodies piling up in the streets and overwhelmed hospitals recording hundreds of new cases a week.

    "Today the World Health Organization declares the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia and says all known chains of transmission have been stopped in West Africa," the UN health agency announced in Geneva.

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon has warned the region can expect sporadic cases in the coming year but added "we also expect the potential and frequency of those flare-ups to decrease over time".

    "The end of Ebola transmission in west Africa is testament to what we can achieve when multilateralism works as it should, bringing the international community to work alongside national governments in caring for their people," he told a General Assembly briefing on Wednesday.

    "Let us pledge to maintain our vigilance, our commitment and our solidarity for the people of west Africa and our world."

    Liberia, the country worst hit by the outbreak with 4,800 deaths, discharged its last two patients from hospital – the father and younger brother of a 15-year-old victim – on December 3, 2015.

    Fear of global pandemic

    Africa's oldest republic was the last country still afflicted by the outbreak that infected almost 29,000 people and claimed 11,315 lives, according to official data.

    The real toll is suspected to be much higher, with many Ebola deaths believed to have gone unreported.

    After the last patient is declared in the clear, a 42-day countdown -- twice the incubation period of the virus -- begins before the country is proclaimed Ebola-free.

    Ebola causes severe fever and muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea. In many cases it shuts down organs and causes unstoppable internal bleeding. Patients often succumb within days.

    The virus is spread through close contact with the sweat, vomit, blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person, or the recently deceased.

    From a Guinean infant who was the first victim the epidemic quickly spread into neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, notching up more deaths than all other Ebola outbreaks combined.

    Liberia was first to be declared free of human-to-human Ebola transmission in May, only to see the virus resurface six weeks later. It was officially credited with beating the epidemic for a second time in September before another small cluster of cases emerged.

    Mali, Senegal and Nigeria also recorded a small number of cases.

    The WHO came under fire for its sluggish response to the epidemic, which local healthcare systems were woefully underequipped to handle. Over 500 healthcare workers died in three west African countries at the height of the outbreak.

    Economic ruin

    While Cuba sent doctors, Western governments offered little until foreign aid workers started falling ill and returning home for treatment, sparking fears of a global pandemic.

    The concerns inched higher when three cases of infections came to light outside Africa – two in the United States and one in Spain.

    The US, Britain and other countries eventually rallied to the cause, sending thousands of troops and medics to Africa in 2014 and developing a number of promising potential vaccines and treatments.

    But the economic ravages of the epidemic are still being felt.

    The World Bank estimates the economic damage of the outbreak, which devastated the mining, agriculture and tourism industries in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, at $2.2 billion over 2014-15.

    "Ebola has reduced me to a pauper," said textile dealer Mohamed Sow, one of numerous entrepreneurs interviewed by AFP in Sierra Leone this week, describing how his creditors skipped town when the outbreak started.

    On the health front, many painful lessons have been learned.

    An overhaul of the WHO's epidemic response guidelines means the deployment of medical staff, virus-blocking suits, medicines and other material is likely to be much faster next time.

    WHO director Margaret Chan described the next three months as "the most critical," as foreign medical groups shut down operations in west Africa and national health ministries take over.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Wednesday his country had developed an Ebola vaccine, although he did not say what it was called, how it worked, who was developing it or if it had gone through trials.




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  • : Breaking: PRESIDENT survives heart attack!

    14/Jan/2017 // 3245 Viewers


    PARIS, JANUARY 14, 2016: (DGW)    Reports filtering say what would have caused nationwide mourning was  fortunately averted thus dousing serious tension that hung over the country as Sudan President Omar Al Bashir survived a heart attack and left hospital after undergoing a cardiac catheterization.

    “The Presidency confirmed that Al Bashir has undergone an exploratory cardiac catheterisation at Royal Care hospital and the results were very reassuring,’’ a presidency official said.

    He said that the president left the hospital immediately after the procedure.

    The office of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir had in November 2016 denied rumors that the president had passed away of a heart attack.

    Taha Othman, the director of Bashir’s office, told Al-Arabiya.net that the president was in good health and was resuming his presidential tasks.
    “I am sitting next to President Bashir in Morocco and enjoying the rain. We are getting ready to leave in a while to Guinea to participate in the Arab-African Summit,” Othman said.

    A rumor had circulated on social media platforms claiming that the Sudanese president has died of a heart attack.

    Al-Bashir had been outside the country since Nov. 14.

    He participated in the UN climate change conference (COP22) in Marrakech and the Fourth Africa-Arab Summit Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

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  • 2 French top ministers due in Ivory Coast on Tuesday after attack

    14/Mar/2016 // 879 Viewers



    PARIS, MARCH 14, 2016: (DGW)  IN an obvious expression of solidarity France  has dispatched two top ministers to sending two top ministers to its former colony Ivory Coast after Sunday deadly attack on a beach resort, DailyGlobeWatch has been reliably told.

    No fewer than 16 people were killed in the attacks yesterday. Foreign Affairs and Interior Ministers  Jean-Marc Ayrault and Bernard Cazeneuve are expected to make the visit to the West African state that came under attack by gunmen on Sunday.

    Read: 2 plane parts to be examined in Australia for links to MH370

    Meanwhile, in a statement issued by President Hollande of France which was made available to newsmen, the president while expressing shock condemned the attack by Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb describing it as ''cowardly and odious attack''.

    Read: Survivors of Ivory Coast attack recount ordeal

    France reportedly  lost one of its citizens in the attack, DailyGlobeWatch reliably gathered.




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  • Survivors of Ivory Coast attack recount ordeal

    14/Mar/2016 // 599 Viewers


    GRAND-BASSAM, Ivory Coast (AP) — Survivors of the first attack by Islamic extremists in Ivory Coast described scenes of confusion and fear as the jihadists gunned down defenseless civilians at a beachfront resort town. The attack left 16 dead.


    Those who make a living off tourism believed the attack on three hotels Sunday would deal it a huge blow.

    "Here, we work every day so foreigners (can) come here to relax ... With all that has happened, I don't think that the clients are going to come back now," said Francois Tanon, who rents beach chairs to tourists.

    Frenchman Charles-Philippe d'Orleans said he was at the beach with a friend when he heard the first shot, and thought it was a firecracker; then he heard another and louder one. A security guard told beachgoers not to worry, that some youths had tried to enter the paid-access beach and that another guard had fired his weapon into the air, d'Orleans told French radio RTL.

    But then more shooting broke out and d'Orleans and others hid behind a wall with gunmen "to the right, to the left, toward the road and toward the beach," d'Orleans told the radio interviewer. He said that when the gunfire receded he and his friend sped away in a car.

    "Afterward we said 'Wow, we actually escaped something big," he said.

    Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara is scheduled to preside over an emergency cabinet meeting Monday to respond to the attack by al-Qaida extremists.

    The attack on Grand-Bassam was the first of its kind in Ivory Coast. Officials had been bracing for one in the wake of similar assaults by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb in neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali.

    Despite heightened security measures in recent months, the extremists attacked civilians at one of the country's top destinations for both Ivorians and foreigners, but security forces apparently responded quickly.

    Ivorian newspapers on Monday morning featured graphic photos of dead bodies sprawled on the beach. The headline for one paper, Le Patriote, read: "We are Grand-Bassam!"

    "These terrorist attacks can happen anywhere, at any time," Ouattara said Sunday after visiting the Etoile du Sud hotel, one of the hotels where gunmen opened fire. "We have shown that we have the capacity to contain the damage that can result."

    France's Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will travel to the West Africa country on Tuesday alongside Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. One French citizen was killed.

    French President Francois Hollande condemned the attack as cowardly and odious.

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier confirmed in Berlin that a German woman was killed.

    The 16 dead included 14 civilians and two Ivorian special forces, Ouattara said. Six assailants were also killed and at least 22 people — 19 civilians and three special forces — were wounded, Ouattara said.

    Appearing on state television Sunday night, Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said the 14 civilian victims came from countries including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, France, Germany and Mali. The toll could rise, Bakayoko said.

    Officials were not ready to provide information on the attackers, though authorities were in possession of mobile phones and other evidence that would allow them "to go to the source" of the attack, Bakayoko said.

    He urged Ivorians to remain strong in the face of the extremist threat.

    "It's a grave event, but we must face it," he said.

    The attack in Grand-Bassam was the third major attack on a tourism center in West Africa since November. Dozens of people were killed in a siege at a Malian hotel in November and an assault on a hotel and cafe in Burkina Faso in January. Analysts had warned for months that Ivory Coast could also be hit by jihadists.

    Bakayoko said authorities had taken steps to prepare the country for an attack, crediting their work with reducing Sunday's loss of life.

    "There was anticipation. You know that our country has been targeted for a few years. We did whatever we could," Bakayoko said.

    He said security forces had responded within 30 minutes and that within two hours the assailants had been killed.

    Sites in Grand-Bassam were among more than 100 that had been under heightened surveillance in recent months, Bakayoko said, adding that those measures were going to continue.

    "Count on us. We are going to reinforce the surveillance," he said.

    Statements condemning Sunday's attack came from countries including the United States and Britain. The Paris prosecutor's office said it had opened an investigation into the attack, calling it murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise. Anti-terrorism investigators will handle the probe because there was a French victim.

    Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility, according to SITE Intelligence Group which monitors jihadist websites.

    Human Rights Watch also issued a statement condemning the "horrific terrorist attack." The group, which has accused Ivory Coast of rights abuses in response to past security challenges, also called for human rights to be respected as the investigation progresses.

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  • 4 French nationals died in Ivory coast beach attack - French Presidency

    14/Mar/2016 // 1241 Viewers


    PARIS, MARCH 14, 2016: (DGW) - As against earlier reports that one French national died in the beach resort attack, the French Presidency in a statement  released  on Monday said  that four French nationals actually lost their lives in Sunday attack.

    President Hollande has, therefore, vowed to intensify cooperation with governments  in the West African subregion, the epicentre of Islamist militancy on the continent to ensure the terrorists are defeated adding that ''four French victims have now been reported''.

    This is, however , contrary to earlier reports by Ivorian officials that eighteen people were killed including three gunmen.


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  • Breaking News: Sierra Leone goes four weeks without new Ebola cases: official

    14/Oct/2015 // 589 Viewers


    Sierra Leone has not recorded a single new case of Ebola in the past four weeks, the authorities said, keeping the west African country on course to being declared free of the killer virus next month.

    The last two known Ebola patients were discharged from hospital in late September, allowing Sierra Leone to begin the standard 42-day countdown to becoming Ebola-free.

    "Sierra Leone has no Ebola-positive case recorded in the country for the fourth consecutive week," the head of the government's National Ebola Response Centre, Palo Conteh, said at a press conference, adding that there were no more people in quarantine either.

    Since first emerging in December 2013, the worst outbreak of Ebola in history has infected 28,000 people and left some 11,300 dead -- almost all in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.



    All three countries have now gone two straight weeks without any new confirmed cases, a new milestone in the fight against the haemorrhagic fever. Liberia has already been declared free of transmission.

    The World Health Organization says a country can be declared Ebola-free 42 days after the last confirmed case has tested negative twice for the virus, once after each 21-day maximum incubation period.

    For Sierra Leone, that day falls on November 8.

    But the country's progress was overshadowed Wednesday by news of a study which found that the virus may persist in some men's semen for nine months after they were initially infected, longer than previously known.

    The first long-term study of its kind, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, adds to growing evidence that Ebola can linger in the body, causing health problems for months or even years.

    AFP with DailyGlobeWatch

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  • Breaking! Militant attack kills 12 soldiers, wounds 80 on Friday

    14/Oct/2016 // 11604 Viewers


    Security and medical officials say suspected Islamic militants have attacked an army checkpoint killing twelve soldiers and wounding no fewer than eighty soldiers, Al Jazeera has reported.

    Egyptian officials say the Friday attack about 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of the Suez Canal wounded another eight soldiers. They had no word on casualties among the militants.

    The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

    Egypt has for years battled militants in Sinai, but the insurgency has grown deadlier and spread into the mainland since the 2013 ouster of an elected Islamist president. The militants are now led by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group.

    There has been a recent surge in attacks in Sinai, but attacks elsewhere in Egypt have declined.

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  • Angola displaces Nigeria as Africa's largest oil producer

    15/Apr/2016 // 177 Viewers


    PARIS, APRIL 15, 2016: (DGW) - ANGOLA has again come from behind to displace Nigeria in crude oil production thus making her Africa's largest oil producer, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, (OPEC) has reported.

    Pipeline vandalism is reportedly responsible for this sharp drop which has become a major challenge.

    In its monthly report, Nigeria's production of crude oil fell from 1.744 million barrels in February to 1.677 million barrels per day. Angola's production output , the reports say , rose from 1.767 million barrels per day to 1.782.

    Angola had in November last year overtaken Nigeria when Nigeria's production output fell by 250,000 when production fell from 1.812 million barrels to 1.607 while Angola reportedly produced 1.722 million barrels per day compared to the previous month.

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  • Ghana government memo warns of possible militant attack

    15/Apr/2016 // 184 Viewers


    ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana and Togo are the next targets for Islamist militants following high-profile attacks this year in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, according to a memo from Ghana's Immigration Service.

    The memo calls for better border protection in the latest sign of a heightened government response to the threat to West Africa by militants based in northern Mali who have stepped up a campaign of violence in the last year.

    It says the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) has evidence from neighbouring Ivory Coast from the interrogation of a man suspected of orchestrating an attack on March 13 in which 18 people were killed. [nL5N16M30G]

    "Intelligence gathered by the ... NSCS indicates a possible terrorist attack on the country is real. ... The choice of Ghana according to the report is to take away the perception that only Francophone countries are the target," said the memo, dated April 9 and published by Ghanaian media.

    It ordered immigration agents on the northern border with Burkina Faso to be extra vigilant and said patrols should be stepped up along informal routes between the two countries.

    Ghana is one of Africa's most stable and peaceful democracies and has not suffered an attack by Islamist militants. Togo is the country's eastern neighbour.

    President John Mahama spoke about the memo in an interview on state radio's Sunrise FM on Thursday. He asked for public vigilance and said Ghana was also at risk from home grown militants, while noting that countries in the region share intelligence on militant threats.

    "We must deal with this without creating panic amongst our people," he said, adding that the memo should not have detailed the intelligence on which its calls for greater vigilance were based.

    Government spokesmen in the presidency and at the immigration ministry did not return calls requesting comment.

    Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for attacks on a hotel in the capital of Mali last November, a restaurant and hotel in Burkina Faso's capital in January and the Ivory Coast attack. In all, more than 65 people have died, many of them foreigners. 

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  • EgyptAir crash: Explosives found on victims, say investigators - BBC reports

    15/Dec/2016 // 417 Viewers


    Traces of explosives have been found on victims of the EgyptAir plane crash over the Mediterranean in May, investigators say.
    A criminal investigation would now begin into the crash of the Airbus A320, Egypt's civil aviation ministry said in a statement.
    Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo plunged into the sea on 19 May killing all 66 people on board.
    The cause of the crash has remained unclear.
    No distress call was made beforehand but the cockpit voice recorder revealed the pilots had fought to put out a fire.
    Automated electronic messages sent out by the plane showed smoke detectors going off in a toilet and in the avionics area below the cockpit, minutes before the plane vanished.
    Recovered wreckage showed signs of damage caused by high temperature and there was soot on the jet's front section.
    Although there were fears that an act of terrorism might have brought the plane down, no group has said it targeted the plane.
    The Egyptian ministry said on Thursday that, under Egyptian law, state prosecutors would take the investigation over "if it becomes clear to the investigative committee that there is criminal suspicion behind the accident".
    Those on board were 40 Egyptians, including the 10-member crew, and 15 French nationals.
    The crash came seven months after a Russian passenger plane was brought down by a bomb over Egypt's Sinai peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.
    An Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State group said it was behind that attack. However, there was no such claim following the crash in May.
    Map of EgyptAir flight route

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