Kenyan has taken far reaching steps to stop people with some health conditions, including high blood pressure, from driving.
Those with high blood pressure are among those who may not be allowed to have a drivers licence.
The countrys National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) released the new driving curriculum with recommendation of mandatory medical tests for epilepsy, high blood pressure, sight and hearing problems for all drivers.
According to the new curriculum, drivers are supposed to renew their licences every 10 years, and only after submitting a medical report.
However, motorists above 60 years must submit a medical report every year.
The medical tests will also include a range of brain-related conditions and diseases that disable mobility and muscle movement such as stroke.
In the curriculum, eye conditions lead a long list of mandatory medical tests for new drivers as well as old ones seeking licence renewals.
According to NTSA Deputy Director in charge of safety, Dr, Duncan Kibogong, some conditions will lead to automatic disqualification.
For epilepsy, it is a no. The fact is, no one, including the driver, has any idea when the seizures can occur, said Dr Kibogong.
The medical tests will also include the drivers heart condition as well as sleep, alcohol and drug-related disorders.
The tests will also look out for a drivers susceptibility to non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and stroke.
Kibogong said NTSA would work closely with the Ministry of Health to ensure that only those who were fit were allowed on the road.
In some cases, it does not make sense to even allow you to train as a driver when we know you are not fit, said Kibogong.
He however insisted that the mandatory health clearance should not be viewed as discrimination against certain conditions.
In most of these cases, it is just about correcting them. For example, for poor eyesight, you can be given glasses and you will be fine. There are only a few conditions that we may not allow, he said.
Drivers to be affected by the new rules are those applying for new licences and those seeking renewals this year.
The practice of pegging the issuance of drivers licences to medical tests may be new in the country but has been in force for years in other parts of the world.
In New York, for instance, if one loses the use of a leg, arm, eye or ear, such information must be included on the driving licence.
Such drivers are then only allowed to operate customised vehicles.
Similarly, if the drivers hearing is not acceptable, a restriction of hearing aid or full-view mirror is added to the driver licence.
Those who wear hearing aids and cannot pass the hearing test must use full-view rear mirrors.
South Sudans President Salva Kiir has dismissed army commander Marial Chanuong Yol and Finance minister Stephen Dhieu Dau.
Kiir fired them without giving reasons.
Yol, nicknamed Tiger, was the commander of the presidential guard, before he was appointed the army chief of operations, training and intelligence last year.
He was blacklisted by the UN Security Council in 2015 for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the onset of war in December 2013 against members of the the Nuer ethnic group.
Mr Dau was appointed Finance minister in 2016, with the hope of improving South Sudans straining economy.
However, the economy of the young nation has never been stable, especially since the 2015 devaluation of the South Sudanese Pound (SSP).
Former technical advisor at the Ministry of Trade Salvatore Garang Mabiordit, was named the new Finance minister.
South Sudan attained independence in 2011 following a referendum whose outcome favoured the separation from Sudan with a 98 per cent approval.
However, it soon descended into another round of conflict pitting President Kiirs loyalists and those allied to his former deputy Riek Machar.
The current phase of the South Sudan war has claimed more than 100,000 lives, according to the International Crisis Group.
Over 2 million South Sudanese have become refugees in neighbouring countries and another 1.9 million others remain internally displaced, according to the UN.
The war has also caused one of the worlds worst humanitarian crises after the Rwanda 1994 genocide, the UN added.
Multiple human rights abuses have also been documented by various group
More than 8,000 Ethiopian refugees have arrived in Moyale Town, Marsabit County in Kenya with tales on how they were evacuated from their homes by soldiers.
They fled the country in the wake of their governments crackdown on dissidents, with Ethiopian soldiers being accused of killing at least 13 people on Saturday.
The refugees accused the Ethiopian government of abdicating its responsibility of protecting its citizens.
The camps where the 8,200 Ethiopians are staying in Moyale are at Butiye Social Hall, Somare, an NGO camp at Moyale, a plot owned by Marsabit Governor Mahmoud Mohamed and Dambala Fachana Village.
Mr Harsame Halakhe, a 68-year-old father of 19, said that when the soldiers raided their homes, they ordered them to lie down and shot some of them dead.
Even places of worship, including mosques, became chambers of death. People were killed in a mosque as we watched. We escaped death narrowly and fled with children and cattle, he said.
Ms Kashure Guyo, 18, said the soldiers attacked them on Saturday at Shawa-bare, a town located three kilometres from the Kenya-Ethiopia border.
She said the soldiers shot at anyone they came across. She was injured in the leg and hand as she fled. They just came to the market and started shooting. We had to flee for our lives with bullets flying all over.
Ms Abdia Galma, a 56-year-old mother of 11, said the conflict had been building up over the past several years.
She said the genesis of the crisis was land that had been allocated to some members of one community she did not name.
The refugees spoke even as the Kenya Red Cross Society sounded the alarm over the influx. The society appealed to the humanitarian and security agencies to set up a proper camp for the refugees.
Even as more refugees arrived in the Kenyan border town yesterday, there was no designated area for the consolidation of the numbers and their registration, KRCS upper eastern coordinator Talaso Chucha said.
She noted that the refugees were arriving in the villages, where they were being assisted by their Kenyan relatives and friends, with no proper record of how many they were. Ms Chucha also decried the security risk as there was no system in place to screen and monitor the movement of the refugees arriving in the town.
So far, they are 8,200 and more are arriving every hour. We have identified at least five points, where they have been assisted by the local community, but we cannot coordinate help when they are scattered. There is a need for a camp to enable us to mobilise resources and avert a crisis, she said.
At least 15 paramedics had been deployed to Moyale to help the refugees, she said.
There is a major potential health risk for the refugees and the host community because there are no amenities in the places where they are staying. There is no food, clean water and bedding.
Children are defecating in the open. Although, so far, there are no reported cases of serious diseases, we cannot rule out an outbreak of cholera if the situation is not addressed, Ms Chucha warned.
The National Drought and Management Authoritys Marsabit County boss, Mr Golicha Guyo, Tuesday said they had called an emergency meeting with all the stakeholders to assess the situation.
We want to come up with an urgent solution to the crisis because more than 50 people are living in one home, he said.
Egypt has established a hotline to gather complaints of fake news in the traditional or electronic media.
The countrys judiciary announced the hotlines with the instruction that only those issues that could pose a threat to national security would be entertained.
Two weeks ahead of elections in Egypt, the media have been under close scrutiny, with an increase in cases of journalists being arrested and websites blocked.
The Egyptian judiciary has set aside mobile telephone numbers to receive complaints on the instant messaging app WhatsApp and by SMS, so long as the name of the complainant and their personal details are given, it said in a statement.
It said the initiative was aimed against premeditated fake information damaging to national security and the countrys interests
The decision has started generating reactions in the social media with Rahmy Botros @ramygerges tweeting I am correct in every statement, I lived in Egypt, USA, and visited UK, walked the streets, I tweet what I actually c, i dont believe in traditional media , sheeple news outlet, and social media, but lately decided to do my part and try to fight the fake news and stereotype.
Sofia Ahmed @sofiaas23 said: HARD TO SWALLOW Pop star Sherine Abdel Wahab jailed in Egypt for fake news after joking about catching parasites from polluted River Nile . Sherine Wahab jailed for Nile River joke.
Ganzeer @ganzeer Call me biased but it seems to me that Egypt has been setting the precedent for a number of trends over the past few years. Arresting journalists for the dissemination of fake news could, very dangerously, be one of them.
(dpa/NAN) President Rodrigo Duterte of Philippines on Wednesday announced the withdrawal of the countrys ratification of the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC).
I therefore declare and forthwith give notice, as president of the Republic of the Philippines, that the Philippines is withdrawing its ratification of the Rome Statute effective immediately, he said in a statement.
Duterte alleged that the ICC was being utilised as a political tool against the Philippines after its prosecutor prematurely announced a preliminary examination of allegations against him relating to killings amid his campaign against illegal drugs.
NAN reports that in February, the ICC said it had started a preliminary examination to establish whether it had jurisdiction, and if crimes against humanity had been committed.
The complaint, which says Duterte is complicit in the illegal deaths of thousands of Filipinos during his war on drugs, was a waste of the courts time and resources and the examination would be the end of the process, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
About 4,000 mostly urban poor Filipinos have been killed by police in the past 19 months in a brutal crackdown that has alarmed the international community.
Activists believe the death toll is far higher.
Roque said he had discussed the ICC issue for two hours the previous night with Duterte, a former prosecutor, adding that the president more than willing to face trial.
The website of the ICC, which sits in the Hague in the Netherlands, carried no new information concerning the complaint against Duterte.
The courts office could not immediately be reached for comment.
Since it was set up in 2002, the ICC has received more than 12,000 such complaints or communications, just nine of which have gone to trial.
Duterte dared it to bring him to trial and said he would rot in jail to save Filipinos from crime and drugs.
His tirades against the court are notorious, and include calling it bullshit, hypocritical and useless, stemming from one of its prosecutors saying there could be grounds for an investigation into his bloody crackdown.
He also threatened to cancel the Philippines ICC membership and said European lawyers were rotten, stupid, and had a brain like a pea.
Police say those thousands of killings were during legitimate anti-drugs operations in which the suspects had violently resisted arrest.
Duterte has boasted about killing thousands of drug dealers and has told police they can kill if they believe their lives are in danger.
But his critics accuse him of incitement to murder and of refusing to properly investigate allegations that police are planting evidence, fabricating reports and executing users and dealers.
Duterte rejects such accusations and typically chides the international community for listening to what his government says are biased human rights groups that have no proof.
A Philippine lawyer filed the initial ICC complaint against Duterte and at least 11 senior officials in April 2017, saying crimes against humanity were committed repeatedly, unchangingly and continuously and killing drug suspects and other criminals had become best practice.
Senator Antonio Trillanes and Congressman Gary Alejano sent a supplementary communication several months later urging an ICC investigation, which included a list of public statements made by Duterte that they said amounted to shoot-to-kill orders.
Trillanes said the examination should jolt Duterte into realizing that he is not above the law.
Roque called the complainants domestic enemies of the state and said the ICC had no jurisdiction.
Syrian army has discovered a clandestine plant in Eastern Ghouta that was used by the terrorists to produce military-grade agents.
They deadly chemical plant had equipment of Saudi origin and materials presumably made in Western countries.
The plant is located in al-Shefounieh town in the area of Duma.
Among other toxic chemicals, chlorine was found at the site and that the papers of the Jaysh al-Islam militant group were also discovered.
A Syrian field commander said that high-tech equipment was found at the plant, which indicates that European and Saudi experts could have been involved in the illegal production, according to the agency.
On Monday, Syrian government troops discovered, during a mopping-up operation in a village in Eastern Ghouta, another secret workshop constructed for production of various chemical munitions.
Last week, Syrian authorities have sent more than 100 letters to the UN Security Council confirming that terrorist groups own chemical substances that they use against civilians.
However, the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) presented last October to the UN Security Council a report on the April 4 chemical incident that took place in Khan Sheikhoun of the Syrian Idlib province, reportedly killing over 80 people with a toxic nerve agent sarin.
The report blamed the Syrian government for the alleged gas attack. The panel also accused the Daesh terrorist group of using chemical weapons in an attack on Syrias Um Housh in September 2016.
The Russias Mission to the United Nations said that the report looked more like an amateur document and was based mostly on assumptions and selective use of facts.
Eastern Ghouta was seized by militants in 2012. According to Syrian Army estimates, there are 10,000-12,000 militants in the region.
Some Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions to the success of superhero flick, ‘Black Panther’, especially as the film hits a box office record of 1 billion dollars.
The Marvel-Disney film crossed the 1 billion dollars mark worldwide after debuting in China, which contributed 66.5 million dollars to a strong 100 million dollars international weekend.
Some respondents praised the movie and told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday, that it gave black people the chance to tell a story the way it suited them.
They also said that the featuring of African (especially Nigerian) artefacts such as the ‘Bronze heads’ from Benin gave a sense of inclusion; rewriting the stale, poor stereotypes of the African continent.
A lawyer, Kingsley Obade told NAN that he had seen the movie about four times, adding that he was almost addicted to the beauty of the almost all-black cast.
He said, “This is a different kind of Marvel or super hero film. This is one that holds so many lessons that we can teach our children and make them adore their colour and continent.
“The western world has portrayed us poorly for so long and it is only fair that we celebrate this film that has changed the narrative.”
A Chef, Chinwe Orji, said she did not feel the movie was over-hyped as speculated in some quarters, adding that the movie deserved to earn more than the current record breaking hit.
Orji said, “Everything in the movie, from the acting to the costume and the message speaks volumes. The movie deserves to make more money.”
Meanwhile, some other respondents told NAN that the producers of ‘Black Panther’ were acting on the ‘black sentiments to make more money.
They queried the fact that the producers were ‘whites’ who based the marketing on making blacks feel represented, knowing that it would make them rush to watch the film.
A copywriter, Rita Enemona, said the movie was over rated and was ‘doused in the colour of a black cast’ to make it look appealing.
“I was not too pleased with the trailer but decided to watch it because all my friends were pushing me to do so.
“To say the least, the movie did not meet my heightened expectations, it does not have the power to grip you, save the costumes and arts,” Enemona said.
A web developer, Osato Imariagbe, said the movie would have made more sense if real African scenarios were used, apart from the Chibok girls’ rescue.
“The movie wanted to paint a positive image of Africa and blacks in general, it would have used real life examples of how Africans have the upper hand, that way the inclusion will be legitimate.
“I don’t understand the hype as it is a Marvel comic that has existed for years, the story was only revised a bit for the film. There is nothing too special,” he said.
Black Panther, which is showing in cinemas, made its Nigerian debut on February 13, with an ‘African Royalty’ themed premiere.
The premiere featured celebrities and other cinema goers gracing the red carpet with African prints and attire.
It stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis.
The movie featured Black Panther (Boseman), who on his return home as king of Wakanda, a fictional country found his sovereignty challenged by a long-time adversary thereby setting in conflict of global consequences.
It received praise for the screenplay, characters, direction, costume design, action sequences, soundtrack, and performances.
‘Black Panther’ has been referred to as one of the best films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), noting its cultural significance.
The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo is mobilising the to force President Joseph Kabila to organise elections and relinquish power.
The Church is also upping the ante against Kabila for continuing to stay put despite the expiry in December 2016 of his second term.
The huge rally is also to remember those killed in last months protest.
In a statement, the church said the Catholic church in Kinshasa is spearheading what it hopes would be a huge rally on March 16 at Notre Dame du Congo Cathedral as a focal point for the struggle against Kabilas prolonged presidency.
According to the new constitution adopted in 2006, Kabilas presidency was supposed to expire on December 20, 2016, ten years after he was elected for his first five-year term in office.
The electoral authority in DRC had announced in September 2016 that elections would not be held until early 2018.
Since then talks have focused on building a census over the handling of the elections which the constitution disqualifies Kabila from contesting.
We have our heroes for democracy. They have a name, a face, an age. They are dead, they are alive. They will continue to demand a rigorous and active citizen participation to avoid falling back into a new dictatorship that will cost human lives, a statement by the church said.
The church is referring to people who died on February 25 during a mass demonstration, including young Rossy Kadima who was killed in Lemba district in Kinshasa.
The church also urged the public to continue with their civil disobedience by ringing bells in parishes across the country at 9pm every Thursday, with others encouraged to use whistles, car horns and saucepans.
In addition to their campaign of non-violence, the church also undertook to launch diplomatic overtures targeting DRCs partners through the Congolese Diaspora, to ratchet up pressure on Kabila.
At the end of three huge marches between December 31, 2017 and February 25, 2018, the church claimed a series of victories from its civil disobedience aimed at unmasking a dictatorship hiding behind democracy.
The church also claimed it has conquered its own fear, transferring it to our political and military leaders, the police and other security operatives.
Another victory it is claiming is the moral authority it commands from its congregations, a trait admired by the rest of the world.
The decision to bring further pressure to bear on the government by the church comes after Bishop Fridolin Ambongo was inducted in his position as Coadjutor Archbishop of Kinshasa.
Bishop Ambongo replaces the retired Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo as head of the Catholic church in Kinshasa.
The House of Representatives has lifted the suspension placed on the former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Rep. Abdulmumin Jibrin (Kano-APC).
This followed a letter of apology signed by Jibrin which was presented by the Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dogara, at the plenary on Tuesday.
Jibrin was suspended in 2017 for 180 legislative days, for allegedly exposing budget padding scandal in the legislative arm of government.
While presenting the letter, Dogara said that the suspended legislator had met all the conditions necessary for him to resume his duties.
Dogara said that the lawmaker was free to resume his legislative duties whenever he so wished.
An FCT High Court, Maitama on Tuesday ordered the police to pay N3 million to one Kingsley Efobi, for violation of his fundamental right to personal liberty.
Efobi had on May 10, 2017, filed a suit against the Nigeria Police Force, the Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, for violating his fundamental right.
Justice Jude Okeke, delivering judgment in the suit filed by Efobi, held that there was no basis for the court to disbelieve the evidence of the applicant, which was not contradicted by the respondents.
He held that in order to ensure that the applicant was protected from further violation of his fundamental right to personal liberty, in facts of this matter, the court would be minded in line with the provision of 46 (1) of the Constitution.
Accordingly, an order of perpetual injunction is granted, restraining the respondents, their agents or servants from harassing the applicant on account of the subject matter of this suit.
The respondents jointly and severally are ordered to pay to the applicant a sum of N2 million damages for breaking his right to personal liberty.
N1million for violating his right not to be subjected to inhuman treatment, the judge held.
Okeke also ordered that the respondents jointly and severally return to the applicant a sum of N16, 500 being the money extorted from him by the officers of the respondent.
He also ordered that the respondent pay the applicant N50,000 for emerging successful from the suit.
Okeke held that the order by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to the applicant, to remove his sandals, sit on a bare floor, seized his handset was violation of his right to dignity of his person, even his arrest and detention.
Efobi noted that he was forced to write an undertaking for the payment of the debts he owed.
There is no evidence by the respondents showing that they arrested and detained the applicant upon a reasonable suspicion of having committed criminal offence.
It is unconstitutional and, therefore, unlawful, the judge said.
Okeke said that the applicant and two others were traders at Wuse Modern Market and deal in bedspread and allied materials.
The applicant noted that the bedspread dealers bought in large quantities on debt from one Madam Normal, who supplied them from Aba.
It was the dealer who reported the applicant to the police sometimes in May 2015, for debts he owed her. (NAN)