“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

DR Congo ushers in new president in historic transition

Yahoo – AFP, Bienvenu-Marie BAKUMANYA, January 24, 2019

Handshake: Outgoing president Joseph Kabila, left, and his successor,
Felix Tshisekedi (AFP Photo/TONY KARUMBA)

Kinshasa (AFP) - Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was sworn in on Thursday as president of Democratic Republic of Congo, marking the country's first peaceful handover of power after chaotic and bitterly disputed elections.

Tshisekedi took the oath of office before receiving the DR Congo flag and a copy of the constitution from Joseph Kabila, leaving office after 18 turbulent years at the helm of sub-Saharan Africa's biggest country.

In his inaugural address, Tshisekedi promised a new era of respect for human rights, addressing one of the most notorious failings of the Kabila era.

All political prisoners will be released, Tshisekedi promised, adding that his presidency would guarantee fundamental freedoms and "banish all forms of discrimination."

A moment of drama came when the newly minted president was taken ill during his speech.

After a 12-minute interruption, Tshisekedi returned to the microphone, apologising for the episode, which he blamed on the stresses of the election campaign.

Thousands of Tshisekedi supporters, many of them dressed in white, celebrated the 
historic event outside the Palace of the Nation, the seat of the presidency (AFP
Photo/John WESSELS)

Thousands of Tshisekedi supporters, many of them dressed in white, celebrated the historic event outside the Palace of the Nation, the seat of the presidency.

"We hope that this will be a real change, especially as he has taken power without bloodshed," said Saddam Kongolo, a member of Tshisekedi's Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS).

One of Tshisekedi's first tasks will be to appoint a prime minister in a move which will see him sharing power with Kabila's supporters, who hold an overwhelming majority in parliament.


The ceremony caps more than two years of turmoil sparked by Kabila's refusal to step down when he reached the constitutional limit on his term in office.

Profile of Felix Tshisekedi (AFP Photo/Juliette VILROBE)

A country the size of continental western Europe, the former Belgian colony lived through two regional wars in 1996-97 and 1998-2003.

The last two presidential elections, in 2006 and 2011 -- both won by Kabila -- were marred by bloodshed and dozens died in a crackdown on protests after he chose to remain in office in 2016.

The ballot, which took place on December 30 after three postponements, surprised many by the lack of violence, but a political storm swiftly brewed over the vote count.

Tshisekedi was declared winner with 38.5 percent of the vote, over his opposition rival Martin Fayulu, who was credited with 34.8 percent.

Fayulu branded the result a stitch-up between Kabila and Tshisekedi.

Double take 2: Doppelgangers of past DR Congo leaders, with (from left) former 
dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, ex-premier Augustin Matata Ponyo, outgoing president 
Kabila, assassinated president Laurent-Desire Kabila and slain premier Patrice
Lumumba (AFP Photo/TONY KARUMBA)

But his legal challenge to the Constitutional Court failed, and foreign support for his position fizzled out.

Praise for rivals

Tshisekedi on Thursday offered an olive branch to Fayulu, a notable absentee at the inauguration, hailing the outspoken critic of Kabila as a "soldier of the people".

He also thanked third-placed candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who was Kabila's preferred candidate.

And he paid tribute to his deceased father, Etienne, who launched the UDPS opposition party in 1980 as a dissenting voice to dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.

After Tshisekedi senior died in Brussels in February 2017, his son was voted in as party leader.

His ascent to the presidency has taken many people aback, for he has never held high office and failed to match the crowd-pulling popularity of his father.

Kabila, 47, has been in power for 18 years, taking over at the age of 29 after his father 
Laurent-Desire Kabila was assassinated by a bodyguard (AFP Photo/John WESSELS)

Many challenges

Analysts say Tshisekedi faces a raft of pressing problems.

He must defuse the anger of Fayulu's supporters, carry out his pledge of ending the "gangrene" of corruption after the Kabila era, and forge a power-sharing arrangement with the outgoing president's bloc.

The pro-Kabila Joint Front for Congo (FCC) controls 337 seats in the 500-member National Assembly against 102 for Fayulu's coalition, Lamuka, and 46 for Tshisekedi's coalition, Heading for Change (Cach).

"Tshisekedi will have little margin for manoeuvre," said Stephanie Wolters at South Africa's Institute for Security Studies (ISS) think tank.

Kabila himself will become a senator for life under the constitution. He is widely expected to wield influence through his supporters.

His family has acquired a wide range of assets during the many years in power.

Democratic Republic of Congo compared to regional neighbours: socio-economic
indicators (AFP Photo)

Conflict and poverty

Beyond politics, Tshisekedi has to root out brutal militias who control parts of the country's strife-torn east where an Ebola epidemic is also unfolding.

He also has to meet expectations about easing poverty, which afflicts the vast majority of the country's 80 million citizens.

Despite the poverty, DR Congo boasts a treasure trove of minerals, ranging from gold and diamonds to copper and coltan -- a mineral essential for the batteries used in hand-held electronic devices.

Very little of the wealth trickles down to the poor. The DR Congo ranks a mere 176th on the 189-nation Human Development Index compiled by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Monday, January 21, 2019

Zimbabwe court rules against Internet shutdown

Yahoo – AFP, January 21, 2019

The government shut down the internet amid a wave of violent anti-government
demonstrations ignited by fuel price increases (AFP Photo/Phill Magakoe)

Harare (AFP) - The Zimbabwe High Court ruled Monday that government had no powers to order a shutdown of the internet which was imposed as protests swept across the country last week.

State Security Minister Owen Ncube ordered service providers to switch off the internet as security forces cracked down on protesters following the wave of violent anti-government demonstrations ignited by fuel price increases.

Handing down judgement in a case brought by human rights lawyers and journalists, Judge Owen Tagu said "it has become very clear that the minister had no authority to make that directive,"

David Halimana, the lawyer representing the complainants, said the ruling meant "mobile network operators are with immediate effect required to give full and unrestricted access of internet to all their subscribers".

Halimana said that, in terms of the law, only the state president has powers to order an internet shutdown.

Authorities have launched a large scale crackdown on suspected protestors and organisers of the nationwide strike.

A union leader who backed the strike was arrested on Monday as the opposition reported five lawmakers had been detained in recent days.

"ZCTU (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions) Secretary General Japhet Moyo has been arrested at Robert Mugabe International Airport," Kumbirai Mafunda, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights group, told AFP.

He stands accused of plotting to overthrow the government in the wake of protests that rocked the country last week.

Police told him they will be "charging him with subverting a constitutionally elected government," the lawyers said in a statement.

- 'Full and unrestricted access' -

Moyo appeared on a video clip posted on the ZCTU's Twitter account last week urging workers to stay away from their jobs in protest at the more than doubling of fuel prices.

He is the latest of high-profile activist arrested after the strike turned into nationwide protests with some rioting and looting.

Leading Zimbabwean activist Evan Mawarire was arrested last week.

He is in custody on charges of subverting the government and inciting violence, apparently after backing the national strike on social media.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party said five of its lawmakers have been arrested so far.

A member of parliament Rusty Markham "has been arrested this morning," MDC spokesman Nkululeko Sibanda, told AFP, adding "there are several unaccounted for leaders and MPs".

President Emmerson Mnangagwa was on his way back home after cutting short a foreign tour on Sunday saying he wanted his country "calm, stable and working again" as criticism grew over a brutal crackdown in response to protests.

At least 12 people were killed and 78 treated for gunshot injuries over the last week, according to the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, which recorded more than 240 incidents of assault and torture.

Government last week ordered service providers to shut down the internet.

The High Court in Harare is expected on Monday to make a ruling on the legality of the shutdown.

The opposition MDC party has accused the government of trying to suppress information about the security operation, in which the authorities are said have arrested more than 600.

The situation was calm in the country on Monday, according to various witnesses, but roadblocks manned by both the military and police were mounted along several roads.

Business partially re-opened in cities and towns, with some banks, shops and fuel stations operating.

Public and privately-run commuter buses plied their routes freely but some schools, especially in the working class suburbs, remained shut.

In the small town on Chinhoyi, north of Harare, witnesses said one primary school opened and when soldiers arrived during morning assembly, teachers fled, some jumping over the perimeter wall.

Parents went to fetch their children.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Egypt university expels female student for hugging male friend

Yahoo – AFP, January 13, 2019

An Egyptian couple embracing during a stroll on Pharos Island in the port
of Alexandria (AFP Photo/MOHAMED EL-SHAHED)

Cairo (AFP) - Egypt's Al-Azhar university on Sunday said it had expelled a female student after she appeared in a video hugging a male colleague, accusing her of undermining the school's reputation.

The video, which went viral earlier this month, showed a young man carrying a bouquet of flowers kneeling before a young woman and then hugging her in what appeared to be a marriage proposal.

The video was apparently not filmed at Al-Azhar -- a branch of Egypt's highest Sunni Muslim authority -- but at another establishment, Mansoura University in the country's north.

Nevertheless the disciplinary council of the Al-Azhar University campus in Mansoura on Saturday "decided to expel the young girl definitively", university spokesman Ahmed Zarie told AFP.

He said the video had caused a "public outcry" and that the university's decision to expel her was because she had presented a "bad image" of Al-Azhar University, which strictly segregates the genders.

He said hugging between unmarried men and women violates "the values and principles of society".

The woman, however, can appeal the expulsion decision, Zarie said.

The young man who appeared in the video could also face sanctions, a spokesman for Mansoura University said, adding that the school's disciplinary council will meet on Monday to decide his "punishment".

Egypt, a predominantly Muslim country, is a largely conservative society.

Last year, prosecutors detained a female singer for four days for "incitement to debauchery" after an online video clip which included sensual oriental dances and suggestive gestures went viral.

And in 2017 another female pop singer was sentenced to two years in prison on similar charges, also over a video deemed provocative. Her sentence was reduced to a year on appeal.

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