Africa

Nigeria
7:12 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Explosion In Nigeria Hits Gathering Of World Cup Fans

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 8:13 pm

An explosion has rocked a northeastern Nigeria town where people had gathered to watch World Cup soccer on television, security officials say.

There were reports of casualties, but it was not immediately clear how many or whether anyone had been killed. Reuters quotes witnesses to the blast at the town of Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, as saying they saw several trucks carry bodies to a local hospital.

The BBC says:

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Kenya
9:40 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Militants Attack Kenyan Town, Leaving Dozens Of People Dead

A man observes the remains of destroyed vehicles and buildings in the town of Mpeketoni, about 60 miles from the Somali border on the coast of Kenya on Monday.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 12:52 pm

Kenya saw another deadly attack when armed militants stormed a small coastal town Sunday night, leaving at least 48 people dead.

Kenya's Standard Digital reports that police warned the death toll could climb higher. The Standard adds:

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Technology
9:15 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Central African Republic Bans Texting, Citing Need For Order

A Muslim shopkeeper uses a mobile phone in front of his shop in the PK5 district of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, on April 30. The nation, which struggles with conflict between Christian and Muslim militias, banned texting on Monday.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 8:53 am

The Central African Republic is an impoverished, troubled country. Yet many people have cell phones that are used to spread information, rumors — and to organize protests.

Authorities have now instructed cell phone providers to suspend all text message services, a ban prompted after a group attempted to organize a civil disobedience campaign through SMS messages.

Text messaging has not worked since Monday, Reuters reports.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Looking Back on Ukraine's Election; Interviews with Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka and Olu Oguibe

Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko
Kathrin Möbius Wikimedia Commons

This hour, we feature three international voices with Connecticut connections. We begin with a local professor, who recently returned from serving as an elections monitor in Ukraine. He tells us about his experience and talks about what lies ahead for the country and its people. 

We also talk with a Nigerian-American artist, who has found a way to create beautiful prints using just his fingers and an iPad. We learn as well the story of a Polish hero, and find out what a top Polish official in America thinks of Ukraine’s chances for success.

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Mass Kidnapping
7:00 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Nigerian Officials Say They've Located Missing Girls

Nigeria's chief of defense staff Air Marshal Alex S. Badeh speaks during a demonstration in Abuja calling for the rescue of girls kidnapped from their school in Chibok. Badeh says the government knows where the girls are — but that a rescue attempt would endanger their lives.
Gbenga Olamikan AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 4:14 pm

More than 200 girls who were abducted by militants in Nigeria's northeast have been located — but Nigeria's military says it's too risky to try to free them by force. The news comes after reports that the government had been negotiating for at least some of the girls' release.

The U.S. and other nations have contributed manpower and resources to the search for the girls, whose mass kidnapping inspired an international campaign demanding their safe return. U.S. surveillance aircraft have taken part in the search, using sensors that can detect body heat in complex environments.

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Mass Kidnapping
7:13 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Boko Haram Says Video Shows Missing Nigerian Girls

A still image taken from a video that the extremist group Boko Haram says is of more than 100 girls who were abducted from a Nigerian school last month.
AFP/YouTube

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 8:08 pm

The group that took more than 200 girls from a Nigerian school last month released what it says is a video of the girls, along with demands that the government release militants from prison. The group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, says the video shows around 130 of the girls.

In the undated video released Monday, a crowd of girls is seen outdoors, arranged as if for a class photo. They are wearing the full-length hijab; some portions of the footage show them praying.

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Mass Kidnapping
5:11 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

U.S. Offers Aid In Search For Nigerian Girls, But Is It Too Late?

Protesters march in front of the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday in support of the girls kidnapped by members of the Islamist group Boko Haram.
Gary Cameron Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:59 am

Nigeria is offering a $300,000 reward for anyone who can find the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist group Boko Haram. The U.S. is also pitching in with hostage negotiators and intelligence experts. President Obama says the U.S. will do everything it can to provide assistance to Nigeria.

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Mass Kidnapping
9:48 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Kidnappers In Nigeria Wore Uniforms, Escaped Girl Says

Muslim women march as part of a call for Nigeria's government to increase efforts to rescue more than 200 girls who were kidnapped from their school last month.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:38 am

The gunmen who abducted 276 girls from a school in Nigeria last month wore uniforms and said they were soldiers who had come to help, according to a girl who escaped her captors. The girls were led outside — and it wasn't until the gunmen stole food and set fire to the school that the girls became certain they were in trouble.

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Nigeria
9:29 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Dozens Dead, Scores Injured After Bomb Blast In Nigeria

A bomb blast and explosions that followed killed more than 70 people and injured more than 120 on Monday near Nigeria's capital, Abuja. Early speculation is that the attack was the work of the Boko Haram extremist group.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 2:00 pm

A rush-hour bomb blast Monday at a bus station near Nigeria's capital and other explosions that followed are thought to have killed more than 70 people and injured more than 120.

An Islamist group that believes Western education is sinful and takes other extremist stands is being blamed.

"Fingers are being pointed at Boko Haram, the terrorist network that has been threatening to attack Nigeria's capital," NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells our Newscast Desk.

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Rwandan Genocide
3:36 am
Thu April 10, 2014

A Reporter Reflects On Rwanda: 'It's Like A Madness Took Over'

NPR's Jackie Northam reporting from Rwanda during the country's genocide in 1994.
NPR

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 8:54 am

There was a thin mist in the early morning air when we set off for the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on April 11, 1994. The genocide had begun four days earlier.

There were no flights into the country, so I and three fellow journalists crossed into Rwanda from neighboring Burundi, hitching a ride with a French priest who was shuttling Tutsi nuns out of the country. He took us to the town of Butare, where a Belgian inn keeper rented us an old cream-colored Renault and drew us a map of how to get to Kigali.

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20 Years Later
5:58 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

How Abandonment In Rwandan Genocide Changed Peacekeepers' Role

Family photographs of some of those who died hang in a display in the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Rwanda's capital on Saturday.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 6:50 pm

It's been 20 years since the Rwandan genocide, in which political ideology and ethnic hatred gave license to thousands of Hutus to kill Tutsi families. But ethnic ideology may not have unleashed the genocide if the international community had not stepped back and allowed it to happen.

One notorious episode of abandonment changed forever the role of the United Nations peacekeeper. Early in the morning of April 7, 1994, thousands of Tutsis began arriving at a school on the outskirts of the capital, Kigali, seeking the protection of Belgian soldiers stationed there for the U.N.

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Long Wharf Theatre
7:22 am
Thu March 27, 2014

At 81, Playwright Athol Fugard Looks Back On Aging And Apartheid

In 1961, South African playwright Athol Fugard put black and white actors on stage together in his breakout play Blood Knot. He's pictured above in the 1970s.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 12:18 pm

Under apartheid, trying to make an artistic political statement was difficult — artists were subject to scrutiny and even arrest. On the other hand, making a political statement was easy: All one had to do was put black and white actors on a stage together.

That's exactly what South African playwright Athol Fugard did back in 1961 with his breakout play Blood Knot. His newest play, The Shadow of the Hummingbird, is now onstage at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn.

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African Orphanage
10:42 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Connecticut-Based Non-Profit to Build a Children's Village in Tanzania

Bekka Ross Russsell of The Small Things with children.
Credit The Small Things

A Connecticut-based non-profit has received a major grant to start construction on a village for orphaned children in Tanzania. The Small Things, based in East Haven and Africa, partners with the Nkoaranga Orphanage, which cares for youngsters from birth to five years old.

When they age out of the orphanage, some kids are able to move in with family members or live in foster homes, but most are sent away to boarding schools.

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Music
2:31 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

'Spirit Of Family' Unites Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Darren Phillip Jones

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 11:58 am

For fans of world music, South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo needs no introduction.

The group has been singing a capella together for 50 years, brought together by Joseph Shabalala, a young farmhand turned factory worker from the town of Ladysmith. He had a dream of tight vocal harmonies and messages of peace.

That dream developed, and the band came to the attention of Paul Simon, who had it record "Homeless" on his album Graceland. It introduced the group to the world.

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Music
11:56 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Perform in Connecticut This Weekend

Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The group will perform at UConn on February 1 at 8:00 pm.
Credit Lulis Leal

The South African a capella vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo will be in Connecticut this weekend. The group began performing over 50 years ago during the period of apartheid, and became a worldwide sensation after performing on Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland album in the 1980s. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Can Music and Art Bring Countries Together?

Credit Nic McPhee/flickr creative commons

Today's show originally aired October 29, 2013. 

From Faith Middleton: Music and art can make your life bigger. And, under the theory that the world is now “flat,” music and art just might dissolve boundaries, making the world a more manageable place.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Corruption, Concessions, and Campaign Contributions

Mark Pazniokas, The Connecticut Mirror
Chion Wolf WNPR

A state court threw out the convictions on corruption charges that would have sent former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez to prison; Connecticut withdrew its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving state unions and former Governor John Rowland; state Democrats are raking in campaign contributions from Northeast Utility executives; and former state officials reflect on meeting Nelson Mandela.

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Remembering Nelson Mandela
8:05 am
Tue December 10, 2013

In the Footsteps of Mandela: a Trip to Robben Island

A gate at Robben Island.
Joachim Huber Creative Commons

Official memorial services for late South African president Nelson Mandela will be held this week, in Soweto, in Pretoria, and in the remote village of Qunu, in the Eastern Cape province where he spent his childhood. But Mandela’s legacy will forever be linked to another remote destination: Robben Island, ten miles off the shores of Cape Town, where he served the majority of his 27 years in prison.

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Nelson Mandela
12:02 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Remembering Mandela: "The People's Choice"

Credit Megan Torrey

When I was a young teen in the '80s, I remember watching the news and learning about apartheid in South Africa. I remember learning about a powerful man who had been jailed simply for believing in equality and freedom, all watching the evening news, and seeing protests at Yale against apartheid. 

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The World Grieves
5:16 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Reactions to Nelson Mandela's Death

Credit South Africa The Good News / Creative Commons

President Barack Obama reflected in a statement Thursday evening on the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela. "We will not see the likes of Nelson Mandela again," he said. "It falls to us to carry forward the example that he set."

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Nelson Mandela
5:14 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Mandela: A Rare Success As Liberation Leader And President

South Africa's Nelson Mandela was one of the few figures who managed to make the transition from liberation leader to successful politician and president.
Thomas White Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 6:56 pm

There are many examples of triumphant liberation leaders and successful political leaders, but it's rare to find someone who has managed the transition from one to the other.

George Washington did it in the 18th century. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk of Turkey did it after World War I. And Nelson Mandela also belongs to this exclusive club.

"It is hard enough to find someone courageous enough to lead a revolution, rarer still for them to have remarkable leadership skills," says Jack Goldstone, director of the Center for Global Policy at George Mason University.

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South Africa
5:09 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

World Reflects On The Life Of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela with South African President F.W. de Klerk in May 1990. Mandela died Thursday at 95.
Denis Farrell AP

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 8:18 am

Nelson Mandela, who became an icon of the struggle for racial equality during a decades-long struggle against South Africa's apartheid system, is being remembered across the globe on Thursday following his death at age 95.

Mandela died after a prolonged lung infection, which had been a recurring problem for him since his days as a prisoner of conscience on South Africa's Robben Island. He served 27 years at the notorious jail.

"He is now resting. He is now at peace," South African President Jacob Zuma said in an address to the nation.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:29 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Can Music and Art Bring Countries Together?

Credit Nic McPhee/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Music and art can make your life bigger. And, under the theory that the world is now “flat,” music and art just might dissolve boundaries, making the world a more manageable place.

Read more
Amistad Reparations
8:28 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Sierra Leone Spokesman Says Spain Owes Them Reparations

Spanish Slave Ship Amistad
Fabian Montojo Creative Commons

An official of the west African nation of Sierra Leone says the Spanish government should pay reparations to his country and the city of New Haven over the revolt of African captives aboard the slave ship Amistad. The remarks were made in the Elm City last week.

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News
8:04 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Hostages Trapped Inside Nairobi Shopping Mall

A line of soldiers from the Kenya Defense Forces runs around the front of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi this morning.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:28 am

Updated Sunday 5:46 a.m. ET


The death toll at an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi has increased to at least 52, and civilians are still inside as militants exchange sporadic barrages of gunfire with Kenyan security troops outside.

"The priority is to save as many lives as possible," Joseph Lenku, Kenya's Interior cabinet secretary told AP early today. Kenyan forces have already rescued about 1,000 people, he said.

He said that five to 15 attackers are involved in the standoff, but declined to estimate the number of hostages.

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Somalialand
4:37 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Somaliland 20 Years Later

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Erjkprunczyk

This week marks the 20th anniversary of Somaliland, a region where residents are fiercely proud of their independence from southern Somalia.

It has a population of three and a half million with its own President, flag, military, currency, and parliament, all separate from Somalia and war-torn capital, Mogadishu.

But the international community does not recognize it as an independent African nation.

Here in Connecticut, there are about 200 families from Somaliland. They call themselves Somalilanders.

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Desmond Tutu
5:46 pm
Thu May 19, 2011

Archbishop Desmond Tutu To Give Last U.S. Speech In Hartford

Serri Graslie/WNPR

Archbishop Desmond Tutu will give his last public speech in the U.S. tomorrow night in Hartford. Tutu says his message will call on young people to change the world.

Tutu says he'll warn his audience to look out for people like him -- "oldies," he calls them.

"For goodness sake, don't allow yourself to be infected by the cynicism of oldies. Dream, dream that this world can become better," he says.

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Africa
2:56 pm
Tue April 12, 2011

Discussion Of African Capital Markets At Yale

via WikiMedia Commons

The Deputy Chief Executive of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange was in New Haven on Tuesday.  She spoke about African capital markets at a special Yale University event.

Nicky Newton-King says its important to talk about, in her words, the “elephants in the room."  "Things that we don’t talk about that we should talk about if we’re trying to improve and  position capital markets on my continent to be really meaningful global players."

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Where We Live
11:08 am
Fri January 21, 2011

Awesome African Music Show

Spike & Jones

Recently a compilation came out covering 50 years of African music, an 18 CD compilation of 185 songs.  Many of these tracks crossed borders and helped build a new global awareness of Africa.  

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