Thursday, May 28, 2009

Can Obama Achieve Peace in the Middle East?

Israel must halt West Bank settlement activity and the Palestinians need to increase West Bank security to advance the Middle East peace process, President Obama said Thursday after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, left, meets with President Obama Thursday.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, left, meets with President Obama Thursday.

"I am confident that we can take this process forward if all the parties are willing to ... meet all the obligations that they have committed to," Obama said after meeting with Abbas at the White House.

Abbas said his Palestinian Authority was committed to fulfilling its obligations under the 2003 Middle East road map, and both men called for immediate progress in the peace process.

The talks came days before Obama is scheduled to meet with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh and deliver a long-awaited speech on relations between the United States and the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt

Last week, Obama pushed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a firm Israeli commitment to Palestinian statehood as part of the so-called two-state solution -- a position strongly advocated Thursday by Abbas.

Netanyahu has committed to removing illegal settlement "outposts" but has also pledged to continue expansion, or "natural growth," of existing settlements.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Black News: Kenyan Court Verdict Draws Outrage

Thomas Cholmondeley, center, listen to a judge as sentence is ...

In a case that stirred fierce resentments over race and land, a Kenyan judge on Thursday sentenced the son of a baron to eight months in prison for killing a black poacher on his vast family estate.

The sentence handed down to Thomas Cholmondeley — a fraction of the possible life in prison he faced — provoked shouts of protest fromMaasai tribesmen and sighs of relief from white landowners, both of whom packed into the crowded courtroom.

Judge Muga Apondi last week convicted Cholmondeley of manslaughter in the 2006 shooting of a 37-year-old black poacher, Robert Njoya. The judge had reduced the charge down from murder, saying he believed Cholmondeley's attempts to give Njoya first aid helped prove that he accidentally shot the poacher when aiming at his dogs.

On Thursday, the judge said he took the three years Cholmondeley had already served into account, concluding, "I hereby wish to impose a light sentence on the accused to allow him to reflect on his life."

Cholmondeley's parents, Lord and Lady Delamere, listened to the verdict along with Sarah Njoya, the widow of the dead poacher, and traditionally dressed Maasai activists whose elongated earlobes brushed the traditional red-checked blankets they wore.


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Monday, May 11, 2009

Black Global News: Kenyan Man Sues Over Lack of Sex

A Kenyan man has sued activists who called on women to boycott sex to protest the growing divide in the nation's coalition government.

James Kimondo said the seven-day sex ban, which ended this week, resulted in stress, mental anguish, backaches and lack of sleep, his lawyer told the state-run Kenya Broadcasting Corp.

The lawsuit filed Friday claims lack of conjugal rights affected Kimondo's marriage and seeks undisclosed damages from the G-10, an umbrella group for women's activists, KBC said.

The women's caucus caused a national debate when it urged women to withhold sex to protest increasingly frosty relations between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Citizens of the east African nation are frustrated by a shaky coalition government, which was formed after post-election violence killed more than 1,000 people in 2008. The wrangling between Kibaki and Odinga has sparked fears of more violence.

Gender activists say they are not worried about the lawsuit.


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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Africa News: Uganda President Calls for African Space Program

ENTEBBE, Uganda (AFP) – Africans must travel to the moon to investigate what developed nations have been doing in outer space, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said Saturday.

"The Americans have gone to the moon. And the Russians. The Chinese and Indians will go there soon. Africans are the only ones who are stuck here," Museveni said, addressing a meeting of the Uganda Law Society in Entebbe.

"We must also go there and say: 'What are you people doing up here?'."

Museveni urged the assembly of Uganda's top lawyers to support East African integration, arguing that one of the region's goals should be to develop a space programme.

"Uganda alone cannot go to the moon. We are too small. But East Africa united can. That is what East African integration is all about," he said. "Then we can say to the Americans: 'What are you doing here all alone?'."


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