Germany has raised it terrorist threat level after a fake bomb was found in the luggage of a passenger in Namibia heading to Germany. Nahemia Shafuda who works as airport security acted alone. The 51- year- old officer has not made a comment about his attempt to get a fake bomb on his flight to Germany last week. There had been warnings of an terrorist attack on Germany for the end of November. Mr. Shafuda was quickly taken away by security-journalist were unable to get a photo of the suspect. The charges he faces include contravention of the Aviation and Explosives Act- the hearing is on Dec. 9. Despite high media interest Namibians are still going about there daily business. They believe, according to BBC, that this is something that should be monitored however the still feel extremely safe. Germany is the former colonial power of Namibia and is a popular destination for german tourists.
In three West African nations an outbreak of polio is quickly sweeping through and already has a death toll of 97. The first case appeared in the Republic of Congo on November 4th, since than over 200 cases of the virus have been reported with almost 100 casualties confirmed. In response to this massive outbreak of the virus, the United Nations has decided to start an immunization campaign on Friday November 12th which will target over 3 million children and adults in order to prevent them from succumbing to the disease. The campaign will begin in the Republic of Congo and eventually carry over to other countries being afflicted by the epidemic.
UNICEF stated that the unusual reports of the disease began in mid October with over 70 cases being recorded in one week. The World Health Organization reported that the death toll started to rise in the city of Pointe Noire. Scientists are baffled at the massive outbreak of the disease, especially in the Republic of Congo who has not had a recorded case of polio since 2004. Earlier last month the World Health Organization began their own immunization campaign that target over 70 million people, mostly infants and toddlers. Over 290,000 member of the W.H.O planned to go door to door in order to administer the vaccine to children under the age of 5 that were in “high risk zones”.
The idea that a disease such as polio can sprout up in an African nation and spread to over 20 others in only a few short months is not only astonishing to me but also terrifying. But at the same time, seeing so many people from so many walks of life come together to aid those who desperately need it gives me hope for this world. To often do we see people dieing because they cannot afford the help they need. In my eyes, modern society has put a price on human life, and it is not cheap. But with groups such as the W.H.O acting in a generous way, devoting a huge amount of effort in order to help those who truly need it gives me hope that hopefully someday people will begin to worry about the people they can save instead of being paid.
News24.com reports that two people were taken hostage off of a yacht near the Somali coast. This became official on Monday (11/08). It is believed by the International Relations Minister (Maite Nkoana-Mashabane) that the suspects are indeed Somali pirates. The two abducted are believed to be a women and child after a male was murdered by the pirates on Sunday. However, a forth person aboard the boat was able to escape. The male that was killed is not said to be South African while the two abducted are in fact South African.
In a recent article by Uganda’s “The New Vision,” the people of the Sabiny tribe in Uganda have decided to proceed with a custom that circumcises females despite the practice being illegal. Female circumcision, which was just outlawed this past April, carries a punishment of 10 years and even longer if the victim dies. Though illegal in Uganda, this is a time-honored tradition for these people. In fact, not being circumcised has serious consequences within the village.
“I cannot milk a cow or climb into the family granary. Whenever I go to the well, other women throw scorn at me because I am not cut,” said Ana Chebet.
Chebet is just one of the over 200 women who will be undergoing the ritual this upcoming December. For Chebet and many others, this is how their people recognize the female passage from childhood to adulthood. In fact, this practice has been going on for close to 2,000 years. Because of its long-standing tradition and cultural significance, many politicians are afraid to enforce this law on the tribe. Some government officials even said they fear speaking up because they know they will not get re-elected.
I am clearly not from Uganda. I have never been to Uganda and know very little about the country or its cultural background. Though female circumcision seems completely sadistic and evil to me, these people look at it as a religious sacrament. Their process of female circumcision could be just as important to these people as me receiving a used car for my 16th birthday. It’s a rite of passage. Therefore, it’s hard for me, as a foreigner of all things Uganda, to judge these people and say what they’re doing is wrong. How can I? All I know is female circumcision has serious health side effects ranging from acquiring HIV/AIDS to being more susceptible to passing on birth defects. This is probably the only reason I can say I don’t agree with what this tribe is doing. I know people might not feel the same as me, but I try not to judge cultures I know nothing about.