Wednesday, January 26, 2005

 

InterWorld Radio bulletin

Today's bulletin (again, this stuff is great, it's short and to the point, not long and blathering, and you can look up the topics if you'd like more details):

The international Famine Early Warning System Network says 2.7 million Kenyans face severe food shortages. The agency says last year’s drought has reduced Kenya’s food stocks and unless Kenya can import more maize, it will start running out of food in April. But neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda have stopped exporting maize. Tanzania is protecting its own food supplies and Uganda’s maize surplus is being bought by the World Food Programme for its Sudan operation.

Children in the Indonesian province of Aceh have returned to school for the first time since last month’s tsunami. More than 100 school buildings reopened today and many more schools are operating out of tents. Almost a third of all children in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh died in the tsunami. The official toll of dead and missing in Indonesia as a whole is now 225,000.

The president of the Maldives has announced plans to establish a multi-party democracy within a year. Opposition leaders have welcomed the plans put forward by President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. The reforms will include creating the post of prime minister and having a directly-elected president. Mr Gayoom came to power in 1978 and is Asia’s longest-serving political leader.

The Swiss government has announced it will return stolen funds to Nigeria. The country’s former dictator Sani Abacha is believed to have taken more than 500 million dollars in Nigerian government funds and put it in a Swiss bank account. General Abacha was leader from 1993 until his death in 1998 and Nigerian authorities estimate that he and his associates took as much as 2.2 billion dollars during that time.

Cuba, the home of the cigar, is to ban smoking in public places. From February 6th smoking will not be allowed in offices, shops, cinemas and buses. More than half of all adults in Cuba are smokers and the authorities want to reduce the country's health problems caused by the habit. President Fidel Castro gave up smoking in 1986, and has famously said the best thing to do with a cigar is to give it to your enemy. Cuba earns 200 million dollars a year from exporting cigars.

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