Category Archives: Medical & Health Care

President Ramaphosa conveys condolences on the passing of acclaimed actor-playwright Mr Winston Ntshona

President Cyril Ramaphosa joins the creative sector and audiences in South Africa and beyond in paying tribute to the widely acclaimed and uniquely talented actor and playwright, Mr Winston Ntshona, who passed away today, 02 August 2018.

President Ramaphosa has extended his heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and comrades of MrNtshona who will be remembered for his immeasurable contribution to the creative industry and performance art in particular, which he leveraged as a platform of resistance against apartheid.

In 2010, MrNtshona was awarded the National Order of Ikhamanga in Silver for his excellent contribution to theatre and the arts scene in South Africa. MrNtshona’s shining gifts in performance art were widely appreciated when he collaborated with his peers � the equally celebrated John Kani and Athol Fugard � in the political dramas SizweBanzi is Dead and The Island.

MrNtshona was a protest theatre stalwart who captivated audiences globally and earned a prestigious Tony Award for Best Actor from the American Theatre Wing and Broadway League in recognition of his exceptional perfomances.

President Ramaphosa said: We are saddened by the loss of a leading light in our creative sector; one who caused us in the audience to focus attention on his compelling performance, while he caused us to reflect on ourselves and the human condition.

Winston Ntshona embodied in the important role that artists played in exposing the injustices of apartheid and moving people in South Africa and elsewhere to act against an unjust regime. As an artist with a just cause, he ensured that the curtain would never come down on our Struggle”‘.

Winston Ntshona is a one-of-a-kind, one-in-a-generation artist whose impact on our world today is inscribed on South Africa’s history for generations that follow to draw lessons from and uplift our nation as he has done in his lifetime. Our hearts are heavy as a towering tree of knowledge has fallen, and yet we are comforted to know that his work will continue through those he helped shape in instilling social consciousness through arts and culture. May his soul rest in peace.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

President Ramaphosa conveys condolences on the passing of acclaimed actor-playwright Mr Winston Ntshona

President Cyril Ramaphosa joins the creative sector and audiences in South Africa and beyond in paying tribute to the widely acclaimed and uniquely talented actor and playwright, Mr Winston Ntshona, who passed away today, 02 August 2018.

President Ramaphosa has extended his heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and comrades of MrNtshona who will be remembered for his immeasurable contribution to the creative industry and performance art in particular, which he leveraged as a platform of resistance against apartheid.

In 2010, MrNtshona was awarded the National Order of Ikhamanga in Silver for his excellent contribution to theatre and the arts scene in South Africa. MrNtshona’s shining gifts in performance art were widely appreciated when he collaborated with his peers � the equally celebrated John Kani and Athol Fugard � in the political dramas SizweBanzi is Dead and The Island.

MrNtshona was a protest theatre stalwart who captivated audiences globally and earned a prestigious Tony Award for Best Actor from the American Theatre Wing and Broadway League in recognition of his exceptional perfomances.

President Ramaphosa said: We are saddened by the loss of a leading light in our creative sector; one who caused us in the audience to focus attention on his compelling performance, while he caused us to reflect on ourselves and the human condition.

Winston Ntshona embodied in the important role that artists played in exposing the injustices of apartheid and moving people in South Africa and elsewhere to act against an unjust regime. As an artist with a just cause, he ensured that the curtain would never come down on our Struggle”‘.

Winston Ntshona is a one-of-a-kind, one-in-a-generation artist whose impact on our world today is inscribed on South Africa’s history for generations that follow to draw lessons from and uplift our nation as he has done in his lifetime. Our hearts are heavy as a towering tree of knowledge has fallen, and yet we are comforted to know that his work will continue through those he helped shape in instilling social consciousness through arts and culture. May his soul rest in peace.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

Somalia, Eritrea Mend Ties as Change Sweeps Horn of Africa

The presidents of Somalia and Eritrea on Monday signed an agreement to establish diplomatic ties after over a decade of animosity, in the latest lightning rapprochement between Horn of Africa rivals.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s three-day visit to Asmara coincides with an extraordinary peace process between Eritrea and Ethiopia part of dizzying change in a region burdened by war, proxy conflicts, isolation and iron-fisted rule.

“The two countries will establish diplomatic relations and exchange ambassadors,” read a “joint declaration on brotherly relations” signed in Asmara by Eritrean President IsaiasAfwerki and Mohamed.

The declaration came just three weeks after Ethiopia and Eritrea declared an end to two decades of conflict, rapidly restoring diplomatic ties and flights between their capitals.

The history of the three nations, and their fallouts, have been intertwined.

Somalia and Eritrea were once close. Under Somali dictator SiadBarre, the military regime in Mogagishu backed Eritrea’s long fight for independence from Ethiopia, which was attained in 1993.

In 1998, Ethiopia and Eritrea began a bloody two-year war over their shared border which left 80,000 dead before settling into a bitter cold war.

After the fall of Barre in 1991, Somalia fell into chaos.

By around 2006, it became the site of what observers called a proxy war between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Ethiopia backed a weak interim government in Mogadishu while Eritrea was accused of backing the Islamic militants fighting to overthrow it, a charge it denied.

The United Nations Security Council in 2009 imposed an arms embargo and targeted sanctions on Eritrea for its alleged support of the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants, which continue to launch regular deadly attacks despite losing territory in recent years.

The declaration placed special emphasis on its support for the Somali government.

“Eritrea strongly supports the political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia as well as the efforts of the people and government of Somalia to restore the country’s rightful stature and achieve the lofty aspirations of its people,” it said. The document, posted on Eritrea’s information ministry website, also said the two nations “will endeavor to forge intimate political, economic, social, cultural as well as defense and security cooperation.”

They will, in addition, “work in unison to foster regional peace, stability and economic integration.”

End of ‘epoch of conflict’

At a state banquet on Sunday, Afwerki bemoaned the gloomy post-Cold War history of the Horn of Africa.

He said the region had been destroyed by “ethnic and clan cleavages” and “external pillage and internal thievery” in the speech which also lashed out at the “micromanagement of anarchy” by the United Nations and NGOs.

“Under these bleak realities, interventionist and expansionist regional agendas in the name of religion, cultural intoxication under various extremist ideologies, terrorism, piracy, human trafficking, as well as trade in weapons and narcotics became the new normal,” he said, according to a speech posted on the information ministry’s website.

“But this epoch of crises, conflict and instability is not inherently sustainable. As such, it is nearing its end. We are indeed entering a new, transitional phase.”

Ethiopia, which is undergoing lightning reforms under new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, has already formally requested that sanctions be lifted against Eritrea.

And in the wake of Ethiopia’s peace with Eritrea, its other neighbor and rival Djibouti asked the U.N. Security Council for help mediating a long-standing border dispute that has soured relations with Asmara.

Source: Voice of America

Pakistan’s Khan Tells Indian PM Wars Can Breed Tragedies

Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi spoke to Pakistan’s prime minister-in-waiting, Imran Khan, Monday evening, congratulating him for his election victory and calling for both countries to adopt a joint strategy for improving bilateral ties.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the largest political party in the July 25 parliamentary polls and appears set to lead a coalition federal government as well as in Punjab, politically important and the most populous of the country’s four provinces.

India desires progressive relations with Pakistan. Both countries must adopt a joint strategy to develop and strengthen better ties, Modi told Khan, according to a statement by PTI.

The statement said that Khan thanked the Indian leader for the congratulatory message and warm wishes, and stressed the importance of dialogue for resolving bilateral disputes.

Wars can breed tragedies instead of facilitating resolution of conflicts, Khan told Modi, according to PTI.

An Indian statement issued after Modi spoke to Khan said the Indian prime minister expressed hope democracy would take a deeper hold in Pakistan and reiterated his vision of peace and development in the entire neighborhood.

Islamabad’s relations with New Delhi have deteriorated to historic lows in recent years, particularly since Prime Minister Modi’s government has taken charge.

The Indian leadership has been refusing to engage in peace talks with Pakistan, accusing the rival nation of covertly helping militants to plot attacks on Indian soil, including the 2008 Mumbai terrorist raids that killed over 166 people. Islamabad has rejected the charges and called for addressing mutual concerns through negotiations.

In his election victory speech on Thursday, Khan emphasized the need for the two countries to have a friendly relationship and invest in combating regional poverty. We need to have trade ties, and the more we will trade, both countries will benefit, he said.

Khan repeated Pakistan’s traditional stance that the divided Kashmir region was a core issue with India and called for leaders of the two countries to resolve it through table talks.

“It’s not going anywhere. We are at square one right now [with India]. If India’s leadership is ready, we are ready to improve ties with India. If you step forward one step, we will take two steps forward, said the Pakistani prime minister-elect.

Kashmir has been the issue that sparked two of the three wars between India and Pakistan. The territorial dispute remains at the center of bilateral tensions.

There are long-standing fears another war could escalate into a nuclear exchange now that Indian and Pakistani armies both possess nuclear weapons.

Source: Voice of America

US Travel Ban Waiver Process is a Fraud, Lawsuit Claims

A group of 36 people have filed the first legal challenge to the Trump administration’s travel ban after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it in June.

Muslim Advocates, Lotfi Legal LLC, the Immigrant Advocacy and Litigation Center PLLC, and Public Counsel have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of some who had visa applications “wrongfully denied” or “stalled” by the administration.

The president’s proclamation, which was upheld by the nation’s highest court in June, allows for exemptions from the travel restrictions it imposes.

These waivers are granted on a case-by-case basis in instances where people can prove that the restrictions would cause an undue hardship, that they are not a threat to national security and that their coming to the U.S. would be in the country’s interest.

But the plaintiffs write in their brief that few waivers are being granted and, therefore, the offer of waivers is fraudulent.

They are asking a U.S. district court to order the administration to stop its unlawful practice, rescind its previous visa denials, review each application on a case-by-case basis and provide precise guidelines on who is eligible for a waiver.

The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of California under the name Emami v. Nielsen. It names Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and representatives of other government agencies as defendants.

One of the plaintiffs is Sudi, a U.S. and Somalia citizen, who married in 2016. She went to South Africa to meet her soon-to-be husband. The wedding took place in South Africa, and Sudi became pregnant. She returned to the U.S., then petitioned for a family-based immigrant visa for her husband in October 2016.

“The petition got approved around March, and I was really excited he would be here maybe by the time I gave birth,” she told reporters during a conference call Monday.

That didn’t happen.

Somalia is one of five Muslim countries, along with Iran, Syria, Libya and Yemen, that are under the travel ban’s restrictions.

Sudi had a son May 26, 2017.

“I gave birth all by myself in the hospital with my mom instead of my husband. I waited for a while, and I was hoping when the baby turned a couple of months, maybe he would be here. My son turned one, and on his first birthday, his father is still not here,” she said.

Her last hope was the U.S. Supreme Court.

“But on June 26, when the Supreme Court [ruling] took place, I felt like I wasn’t welcomed here. My husband was denied [a visa] because of his nationality and religion he practices. Now, I am so devastated. I don’t know what to do. This ban is affecting my family,” she said.

In front of the nine Supreme Court justices, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued in June that if people met the criteria for a visa waiver, they would not be denied entry to the U.S. However, the groups said there has been no guidance issued, and the administration has been denying or stalling virtually all visa issuance and waiver grants.

Source: Voice of America