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Quick Reads + Breaking News

Media archive · 1789 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Breaking News

AC/DC Call It a Night After 41 Years

Daryl Mason pays tribute at The Ostrahyun blog to iconic rock band AC/DC following reports that they will retire after 41 years.

More than a month ago, founding member, rhythm guitarist, co-producer and co-songwriter Malcolm Young had a stroke, which left a blood clot on his brain.

Confirmation may come at a media conference on Wednesday 16 April 2014. Fans can follow developments at the #acdcretire hashtag on twitter.

The Overlooked Crisis in Burundi

While neighboring Rwanda is making news with the commemoration of the 1994 genocide and the increased tension with France, Burundi is marred in an overlooked political crisis and surge of violence that opposes, again, Hutus and Tutsis.  Tshitenge Lubabu in Burundi opines that the roots of the crisis [fr] are the current political leaders:

 La plupart de nos dirigeants, bien ou mal élus, malgré de longues années de pouvoir, se sont illustrés par leur impéritie [..] Tous les mensonges sont bons pour confisquer le pouvoir. Quand leurs mandats, limités par la Constitution, arrivent à terme, des courtisans zélés, jamais repus, les supplient de ne pas partir. Comme si, sans eux, le soleil risquait de ne plus apparaître 

Most of our leaders, properly elected or not, despite long years in power, stand out by their incompetence [..] Any lies are good to seize or stay in power. When their mandates come to an end as stipulated in the Constitution, their overzealous entourage, never sated, beg them not to leave power. As if without them, the sun might not rise tomorrow. 

A 80 Year-long Wait: Niger Gets its First Train Station

On April 7, Niger inaugurated in the capital Niamey its first train station ever [fr]. The authorities already projected the construction of the train station 80 years ago but the project never took off. The event will kick start the construction of railroads between Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire. Twitter user Tanoussou in Niamey posted a photo of the train station :

 

The Kidnapping Industry Takes Hold in Cameroon

The Matango Club blog reflects upon the kidnapping of two italian priests and a canadian nun [fr] on April 4, 2014 in Northern Cameroon:

 Pour l’histoire, les kidnappings de ce genre ne datent pas d’aujourd’hui. Rappelons que  dernièrement, le rapt du prêtre français Georges Vandenbeusch, 42 ans, a fait beaucoup de bruit. Il avait été kidnappé un 14 novembre 2013 dans son monastère, la paroisse de Nguetchewe, près de Koza, dans le nord du pays, à 700 kilomètres de la capitale Yaoundé, une zone considérée comme très dangereuse. Avant lui, le 19 février 2013, la famille Moulin-Fournier avait elle aussi été enlevée. Ces deux derniers kidnapping avaient connu un tapage médiatique international à tel point que les soupçons qui pesaient sur le groupe islamique Boko Haram ont fini par être confirmés par le chef Abubakar Shekau, leader du groupuscule depuis 2009.

Tout juste après la libération de la famille Moulin-Fournier, la presse camerounaise et beaucoup d’opinion diverses soupçonnaient le gouvernement camerounais d’avoir donné une rançon au groupe islamique Boko Haram pour la libération des français. Ces soupçons se sont encore renforcés lorsque la même France a encore eu maille à partir avec le kidnapping du prêtre Georges qui a été libéré quelque semaines après. Ces séries de rapts et de libérations à n’en plus finir font penser que c’est devenu un marché tant du côté du Nigeria que du  Cameroun.

 Kidnapping of this kind is not new in Cameroon. The abduction of French priest Georges Vandenbeusch, 42, made ​​a lot of noise recently. He was kidnapped on November 14, 2013 in his monastery, in the parish Nguetchewe near Koza, 700 kilometers north of the capital city Yaoundé, an area that is considered very dangerous. Before him, on February 19 2013, the Moulin-Fournier family were also kidnapped. These last two kidnappings were covered to a certain extent in the international media with suspicions aimed at the Islamic group Boko Haram. These suspicions were eventually confirmed by Boko Haram's leader since 2009 Abubakar Shekau.  Just after the release of Moulin- Fournier family, the Cameroonian press suspected that the Cameroonian government paid a ransom to Boko Haram for the release of the French hostages. These suspicions were further strengthened when France seems involved in the release of priest Georges Vandenbeusch some weeks later. These series of kidnappings and releases suggest that the kidnapping industry has become a booming sector in Nigeria and now in Cameroon as well.

Jamaica: Vybz Kartel to Face Additional Charge

Even though he has already been sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, Jamaican dancehall performer Vybz Kartel is to face the courts on a charge of perversion of justice related to the case. Jamaican View reports.

Massive Online Campaign to Free Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera

Photo from Facebook page 32xOscar.

Photo from Facebook page 32xOscar.

The international campaign to free Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera is asking people from all over the world to contribute in making the hashtag #freeOscarLopez a trending topic tomorrow, April 1st. Tweets should also include U.S. president Barack Obama's handle @BarackObama.

This year, López Rivera will have been imprisoned in the United States for 33 years on charges of “seditious conspiracy.” López Rivera, 70, is a fighter for the independence of Puerto Rico, a colony of the United States. Politicians, artists, and many people across different ideologies have united to ask the president of the United States, Barack Obama, to pardon López Rivera, who has been called the longest held political prisoner in the western hemisphere. For more information on Oscar López Rivera, see Facebook pages 32 X Oscar [es] and Free Oscar López Rivera Now.

Global Voices Author Raza Rumi Attacked By Unknown Gunmen In Lahore

Notable Pakistani, columnist, TV anchor and blogger (also a Global Voices author) Raza Rumi was attacked by unidentified gunmen near Raja market on Ferozpur road in Lahore, Pakistan. At 8:55PM tonight he tweeted:

According to reports, Rumi escaped with a minor injury after unknown gunmen opened fire at his car and he managed to take the injured guard and driver to the hospital. His driver succumbed to his injuries and the guard is fighting for his life.

Netizens’ reactions are pouring in:

Brazilian Congress Approves Pioneering Bill of Rights for Internet Users

Marco Civil has finally been approved in the lower house of Brazil's Congress and next should be voted in Senate. The bill of rights for Internet users became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, following a large-scale campaign that was promoted during the day of the vote, March 25, 2014, under the hashtags #MarcoCivil and #EuQueroMarcoCivil (I want Marco Civil).

The current version [pdf] of the bill preserves the provisions of net neutrality, freedom of expression and users privacy.

Former Minister of Culture, and famous musician, Gilberto Gil, who gave a face to Avaaz's petition “For a free and democratic Internet“, tweeted:  

We won! #MarcoCivil approved!! For a neutral web, freedom of expression and protection of privacy!

For Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web 25 years ago, this is “the best possible birthday gift for Brazilian and global Web users”. In a statement of support released on the eve of the vote he said the approval of Marco Civil “will help to usher in a new era – one where citizens’ rights in every country around the world are protected by digital bills of rights”:

Like the Web, Marco Civil has been built by its users – the groundbreaking, inclusive and participatory process has resulted in a policy that balances the rights and responsibilities of the individuals, governments and corporations who use the Internet. (…)  ultimately the draft Bill reflects the Internet as it should be: an open, neutral and decentralized network, in which users are the engine for collaboration and innovation.

Ukrainian Paramilitary Leader Assassinated, Moscow to Blame?

Over the past several hours rumors [uk] have spread [ru] through [ru] the Russian Internet claiming that Alexander Muzychko, second-in-command to Ukraine's ultra-nationalist “Right Sector” leader Dmytro Yarosh, was gunned down near the Western Ukrainian city of Rivno. Muzychko had earlier posted a YouTube video [ru] claiming he had information that he was going to be eliminated by Ukrainian security forces. If his death, yet unconfirmed, is true, it will be unclear who to blame — too many people have reasons to take him out of the picture. A Chechen blogger, Zulikhan Magomadova [ru], writing in Russian, blamed the Kremlin for the assassination, with the motive of fomenting civil war in Ukraine. Muzychko fought along side Chechen separatists during the first Chechen war. Magomadova ended with “Sleep well, our dear brother-in-arms. We will avenge you.”

Ebola Virus Outbreak Kills 59 in Guinea, Closes in on Conakry

Ebola virus virion via wikimedia Commons -  Public Health Image Library, #10816- public domain

Ebola virus virion via wikimedia Commons – Public Health Image Library, #10816- public domain

An Ebola outbreak killed at least 59 people in Guinea and a few suspected cases near the Capital Conakry suggest that it may have spread to the Guinean capital. Barbara Krief provides the latest updates [fr]:

Au moins huit agents de santé ont été tués à ce jour. En collaboration avec le ministère guinéen de la Santé, l'Unicef a rapidement livré dans les zones les plus affectées cinq tonnes de médicaments et d'équipements médicaux tels que des gants, nattes plastiques, couvertures, protège-nez, et des solutions de réhydratation orale et intraveineuse pour protéger le personnel médical et traiter les malades

At least eight health workers have been killed so far. In collaboration with the Guinean Ministry of Health, UNICEF has delivered in most affected areas five tons of medicines and medical equipment such as gloves, plastic mats, blankets, nose guard, and rehydration solutions to protect medical staff and treat patients.

Here is a video providing information on how to protect oneself from the Ebola virus :

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