Africa

Africa

Ethiopia’s government used Spyware to track journalists, activists, ethnic Oromos

A report released by The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto this month found that multiple Ethiopian government agencies used spyware to monitor journalists, activists, and lawyers. One of the report’s authors, Bill Marczak, told Motherboard that he too was targeted. According to the report, the government used commercially available spyware to target more than 40 dissidents living in 20 different countries including the U.S. and the U.K. Government attackers would send targets an email with a link to a hostile website. Once on the site, a pop-up would appear prompting the viewer to install an Adobe Flash update. If clicked on, the spyware would then infect the viewer’s computer without their knowledge. From there, the government could monitor all of their online activity. Among those targeted were dissidents from Ethiopia’s Oromia region—one of Ethiopia’s nine ethnically based regional states. The members of this ethnic group have been at the center of a large regional conflic..

Africa

South Africa’s largest political party fears split as Zuma loses grip on power

The African National Congress (ANC) has dominated South African politics since Nelson Mandela was elected in 1994, holding nearly three times as many seats as the next closest party in the National Assembly. However, as nearly 5,000 ANC delegates assemble this weekend to elect a new party leader to succeed President Jacob Zuma, the real task will be keeping the party from severing into two factions. Driving the risk of a split is the potential victory of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former wife of Jacob Zuma. Current Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has been battling Dlamini-Zuma for that same position, which is expected to ultimately decide who becomes president in 2019. Cyril Ramaphosa, 65, is one of the richest in the country, and has promised to revive South Africa’s economy whilst confronting allegations of “state capture.” State capture, or “state of capture,” refers to a widely spread report that President Zuma developed an all-too-close relationship with the wealthy Gupta fami..

Africa

Russia is attempting to build its own ‘independent Internet’

Russia may have its own independent internet infrastructure by August 1, 2018. That’s according to members of the Russian Security Council who reportedly discussed the creation of an alternative to the globally used Domain Name System or DNS. While Russian officials cite national security concerns as their prime motivator, critics fear the state may use this system to conduct offensive cyber-attacks. Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, heads the Cabinet meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo presidential residence outside Moscow on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service) According to Russian state media site RT, the move comes as a response to perceived U.S. and E.U. intervention. One of the members of the council reportedly stated, “The increased capacities of western nations to conduct offensive operations in the informational space as well as the increased readiness to exercise these capabilities pose a serious threat to Russia’s ..

Africa

Nation hasn’t had a democratic transfer of power since 1944

In a presidential runoff, Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party is facing off against former soccer star George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change. Weah won the first round in October with 38.4% of the vote, while Boakai received 28.8%, the National Elections Commission said.Because neither candidate garnered more than 50% of the vote, a runoff was initially scheduled for November 7. But claims of fraud and "gross irregularities" filed by Boakai's party and a smaller party delayed the November vote. Those complaints were dismissed and a December runoff was set."It is great day because it is a test for democracy," Boakai said Tuesday. "We went in one time (in the first round), there were 20 of us, now we are reduced to two. We have gone through the process, this is what the process has produced, we are willing to live with it."The West African nation of 4.6 million people has been ravaged by civil war, the Ebola virus and corruption and hasn't had a democrat..

Africa

Tourist jailed for carrying painkillers

Laura Plummer, 33, was arrested on October 9 at Hurghada International Airport on the Red Sea after police reportedly found 290 tablets of tramadol in her suitcase.Plummer, a shop assistant from Hull in east Yorkshire, was charged with drug possession and smuggling. Her lawyers argue the traveler misunderstood a question in court and gave a response that appeared to be a confession.While tramadol is legal in many countries as a prescription painkiller, it is illegal for a private individual to sell it in Egypt, where it is popular among lower-income sectors.Plummer said she had brought the drug to her Egyptian husband, Omar Abdel-Azim, who suffers from back pain.The pair met five years ago in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, when Abdel-Azim worked as a lifeguard. They were married in 2014 through an unregistered contract, known in Egypt as an "urfi" marriage. Plummer has been visiting her husband regularly since. A look at the court case In court, Plummer's lawyers arg..

Africa

Refugees escaping Libya slave auction arrive in Paris

France plans to take in 10,000 refugees by 2019, with 3,000 people coming from a resettlement program in Niger and Chad.French President Emmanuel Macron announced the plan in the aftermath of CNN releasing video footage that showed migrants being sold into slavery in the North African country, some for as little as $400 each.Further flights from Niger are expected to land Tuesday and Wednesday in Paris, with additional arrivals set for January. Formal investigation On Tuesday, 25 people from Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia arrived at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport in the first flight out from Niger.The prescreened group included 19 women and children, including a 2-month-old baby, and six men.They will be housed in a convent in eastern France's Alsace region for four months, where they will receive psychological support and instruction in French.Then the nonprofit group France Horizon will help each individual find permanent housing.After obtaining footage of a human auction i..

Africa

Ethiopia’s government used Spyware to track journalists, activists, ethnic Oromos

A report released by The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto this month found that multiple Ethiopian government agencies used spyware to monitor journalists, activists, and lawyers. One of the report’s authors, Bill Marczak, told Motherboard that he too was targeted. According to the report, the government used commercially available spyware to target more than 40 dissidents living in 20 different countries including the U.S. and the U.K. Government attackers would send targets an email with a link to a hostile website. Once on the site, a pop-up would appear prompting the viewer to install an Adobe Flash update. If clicked on, the spyware would then infect the viewer’s computer without their knowledge. From there, the government could monitor all of their online activity. Among those targeted were dissidents from Ethiopia’s Oromia region—one of Ethiopia’s nine ethnically based regional states. The members of this ethnic group have been at the center of a large regional conflic..

Africa

Harry Kane’s Premier League 2017 In Numbers

Harry Kane broke the record for the most Premier League goals in a calendar year as he netted a hat-trick against Southampton. The Tottenham striker matched Alan Shearer's previous record of 36 with his treble in Saturday's 3-0 win over...

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