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Entries open for Walk the Talk 2017

Entries open for Walk the Talk 2017

The countdown to Johannes...

A Day in the Negev

A Day in the Negev

Imagine pineapples, viney...

Joburg City Parks wins two international awards

Joburg City Parks wins two internat…

Congratulations to Johann...

Accolades for City of Joburg’s council chamber

Accolades for City of Joburg’s coun…

The multimillion-rand Cit...

A lifetime achievement award for Ramaphosa

A lifetime achievement award for Ra…

Deputy President Cyril Ra...

Microbreweries – Craft beer is art

Microbreweries – Craft beer is art

Craft beer brewing has ev...

Minister visits mnyamandawo

Minister visits mnyamandawo

Police Minister Fikile Mb...

Lest we forget june 16 - A message from ANC Johannesburg

Lest we forget june 16 - A message …

June 16 holds a special p...

Students should be sharp when choosing courses

Students should be sharp when choos…

Be focussed and be discer...

Crime has no nationality – Makhura

Crime has no nationality – Makhura

Gauteng premier David Mak...

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42 Somali refugees killed off Yemen's coast

 

Hodeida, Yemen - A military vessel and a helicopter gunship attacked a boat packed with Somali refugees off the coast of Yemen overnight Friday, killing at least 42 people, according to a UN agency, Yemeni officials and a survivor who witnessed the attack.

Yemen's Shiite rebels accused the Saudi-led coalition of carrying out the attack. The coalition has been heavily bombarding the nearby coast around the Yemeni city of Hodeida, and it accuses the rebels, known as Houthis, of smuggling weapons into the port in small boats. There was no immediate coalition comment.

A Yemeni trafficker who survived the attack said the boat was filled with Somali refugees, including women and children, who were trying to reach Sudan from war-torn Yemen.

Al-Hassan Ghaleb Mohammed told The Associated Press the boat had left from Ras Arra, along the southern coastline in Yemen's Hodeida province, and was 30 miles (50 kilometers) off the coast, near the Bab al-Mandab strait, when the military vessel and then the helicopter gunship opened fire.

He described a scene of panic in which the refugees held up flashlights, apparently to show that they were poor migrants. He said the helicopter then stopped firing, but only after dozens had been killed. Mohammed was unharmed in the attack.

A top official with the U.N.'s migration agency said 42 bodies have been recovered from the attack. Mohammed Abdiker, emergencies director at the International Organization for Migration in Geneva, said the attack at around 3 a.m. on Friday was "totally unacceptable" and that responsible combatants should have checked who was aboard the boat "before firing on it."

He said about 75 men and 15 women who survived the attack were taken to detention centers, and some bodies were laid in a fish market in the town of Hodeida because of a lack of space in mortuaries. Laurent De Boeck, the head of the IOM's Yemeni office, said the U.N. agency believes all those on board the stricken vessel were registered refugees.

The Houthis said they had shot down a helicopter gunship in the same area a day earlier, without providing evidence. They also said the coalition had carried out a wave of airstrikes over the past 48 hours in southern Hodeida, including a helicopter gunship assault on a fishing vessel that killed a number of fishermen hours before the strike on the migrant boat.

The Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition began striking the rebels and their allies in March 2015, hoping to drive the Houthis from the capital, Sanaa, and restore the internationally recognized government. The rebels remain in control of Sanaa and much of northern Yemen, and the conflict, which has killed an estimated 10,000 civilians, is in a stalemate.

A Yemeni medical official in Hodeida said only 14 bodies had arrived so far, adding that women were among the dead. Another 25 wounded people, including some who had lost arms and legs, were brought to the hospital, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

The U.N. refugee agency said on its Twitter account that it was "appalled by this tragic incident, the latest in which civilians continue to disproportionately bear the brunt of conflict in Yemen."

Despite more than two years of fighting in Yemen, African migrants continue to arrive in the war-torn country, where there is no central authority to prevent them from travelling onward to a better life in neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

More than 111,500 migrants landed on Yemen's shores last year, up from around 100,000 the year before, according to the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, a grouping of international agencies that monitors migration in the area.

The turmoil has left migrants vulnerable to abuse at the hands of the armed trafficking rings, many of which are believed to be connected to the multiple armed groups involved in the war.

 

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FOCUS ON AFRICA

Three suicide bombers kill four people in Nigeria

Three suicide bombers killed four people and injured eight others in a village near the north-east Nigerian city of Maiduguri, a police spokesman said on Sunday.

A man and two women blew themselves up when they were challenged by a member of the Civilian JTF, a government-approved militia group, just outside Maiduguri, the city worst hit by jihadist group Boko Haram's eight-year insurgency.

The blasts, in the village of Umariri around 7 kilometres from the city, occurred on Saturday, said Maiduguri police spokesman Victor Isuku.

"Four people which include a Civilian JTF, a woman and her two children died while eight others sustained injuries," he said.

It is the latest in a string of attacks in the last few days to bear the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which has killed around 15 000 people and forced more than 2 million people to flee their homes in Africa's most populous nation since 2009.

A man claiming to be the group's leader appeared in a video circulated on Friday in which he claimed responsibility for bombings in Maiduguri and a raid on the nearby town of Magumeri last week. He also denied that 5 000 hostages held by the group had been freed.

Boko Haram, whose attacks have increased since the end of the rainy season in late 2016, wants to create a state adhering to a strict interpretation of Islamic laws in north-east Nigeria. It also carries out cross-border attacks in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

 

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Uganda voted most attractive country in Africa

Worldwide, Uganda came 25th in the survey conducted on more than 14,000 respondents representing 174 nationalities and 191 countries or territories that took part and had their say on moving, living and working abroad. 

Uganda tops African countries with the most attractive environment where people would want to move, live and work, a survey has revealed.

Worldwide, Uganda came 25th in the survey conducted on more than 14,000 respondents representing 174 nationalities and 191 countries or territories that took part and had their say on moving, living and working abroad. 

Vietnam, Uganda, and Finland are the biggest winners this year while the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Hong Kong see the largest losses in the overall ranking.

“Uganda has gained 20 places in 2016, boosting it into the top half of the overall ranking. It comes in 25th out of 67 countries this year.  

From 2014 to 2015, it rose a more moderate six positions. In 2016, it has improved the most in the Working Abroad (53rd to 34th place), Personal Finance (40th to 24th), and Ease of Settling In Indices (10th to 3rd),” the survey states. 

For a country to be featured in the indices and consequently in the overall ranking, a sample size of at least 50 survey participants per country was necessary. The only exception to this is the Family Life Index, where a sample size of more than 30 respondents raising children abroad was required. 

The overall ranking was based on how people were satisfied with life abroad in general based on parameters of; “quality of life, ease of settling in, personal finance, working abroad and family life where applicable.” 

In 2016, 67 and 45 countries respectively met these requirements. The online survey ran from February 18 through March 13, 2016, and was promoted through the InterNations website. 

According to the survey, expatriates in Uganda are much more satisfied with their working hours and work-life balance. One of the expats was quoted as saying, “I love the lifestyle and the flexibility in the working hours in Uganda! The culture and people are great as well.”

In the previous year, only 57% were overall content with their working hours, but this has risen up to 68% in 2016.  Over seven in 10 expatriates (71%) are generally pleased with their work-life balance, and 18% couldn’t be happier. In 2015, these percentages were 59% and 12%, respectively.

Uganda was also ranked number three among the top 20 countries in the world where one can easily settle in with very friendly people. Uganda emerged number four among the top 10 countries in the world with the best climate and weather. On quality of medical care, however, Uganda was ranked number seven among the bottom 10.

 

The world ranking puts Uganda ahead of erstwhile global leaders, Switzerland, US and UK in the 67-country Expat Insider survey dubbed, “The World Through Expat Eyes”, which was published on Monday (August 29).

The US came 26th (down from fifth in 2014) and Britain 33rd (down from 21st in 2014), although the survey was carried out before Britain decided to leave the European Union in June. That vote has led to increased political instability and concerns about job security. 

Switzerland, which is safe and has a high quality of life with excellent schools, has fallen from fourth place in 2014 to 14th in 2015 to 31st this year because it is overpriced and unfriendly, according to the survey.  

Austria was in eighth place as the highest-ranked European country, ahead of Germany (17th) and France (41st). Italy, suffering from a struggling economy, low job security and political instability, came 59th, among the bottom 10.

 

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