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Archive March 2015

Smugglers Peddle ‘Conflict Diamonds’ from Central African Republic, Ignoring Ban

Since a coup d’etat and an extremely bloody aftermath, not much has improved in the Central African Republic and that suits the black market diamond merchants just fine. With news cameras turned away, their trade in ‘conflict diamonds’ is proceeding at a gallop, observers say, despite a global ban.

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Polls: FG shuts land, sea borders

ABUJA — All land and sea borders were closed last night while international flights to and from Nigeria will be suspended by midnight today as Nigerians go to the polls on Saturday to elect the President and members of the National Assembly. With just 48 hours to the election, residents besieged the markets to buy foodstuff with prices of food items sky-rocketing, even as the Department of State Services has urged voters to be vigilant in crowded environments.

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Focus on soil health to achieve SDGs

Humans are intricately tied to soil. Ninety-five percent of our food and fibre comes from it, and over 99.9 per cent of our fresh drinking water passes through the soil. We even define ourselves by our relationship to soil: the words “human” and “humanity” are linguistically rooted in “humus” – which is the fertile upper portion of the soil.

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Nigeria: In Election Year, Nigeria’s Press Feeling the Pressure

“Nobody is safe. Not the voter, not the journalist, not anybody!” The fears of Femi Adesina, president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, is echoed by stakeholders and observers of Nigeria’s general election. Amid the tension in the run up to presidential and federal parliamentary elections on March 28, and governor and state parliamentary elections on April 11, journalists can be easy targets.

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Gates Foundation Slammed for Plan to Privatise African Seed Markets

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has been attacked by activists over alleged support of a plan to privatise African agricultural markets. United Kingdom social justice organisation Global Justice Now levelled the claims at the Gates Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Monday, saying the two agencies were holding a “secret meeting” in London to promote a plan to help companies sell seeds in Africa, that will cut out small farmers.

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Rushdie and Dala: In defence of the ‘indefensible’

I think it’s fair to say that Salman Rushdie represents a defining existential and religious conundrum for questioning Muslims of my generation. It is the ultimate test of our faith. Here is an author who, with his other works, wrought images and brushstrokes of immense beauty and profoundness and who changed the course of post-colonial literature. Despite this, despite all his brilliance, all these works have been undone by one work of his; a work shocking for its vitriol and insensitivity.

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