Saturday, 19 December 2015

Somalia: Three killed in car bomb blast in Mogadishu

  • 48 minutes ago
  • From the sectionAfrica
A member of the Somali security forces stands guard at the site of a bomb blast near Makka al-Mukarama Road in Mogadishu on December 19, 2015.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionWitnesses said the attackers opened fire before detonating a car bomb
Three people have been killed in a gun and bomb attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
Witnesses told the BBC that gunmen opened fire and detonated the bomb on a busy main road.
Many others were injured, most of them civilians.
It is not clear who was behind the blast, but the Islamist militant group al-Shabab has carried out several attacks on the same road in the past few weeks.
People walk past the wreckage of a car at the site of a bomb blast near Makka al-Mukarama Road in Mogadishu on December 19, 2015.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe attack took place on a busy shopping street in central Mogadishu
Witnesses said Saturday's attack began when gunmen opened fire on a Somali government official's car, sparking a gun battle with his security escort.
"There was a drive-by shooting attack... then a car loaded with explosives was detonated after police reinforcements arrived," a police official told AFP.
"The gunmen riding in a car attacked the official and there was [an] exchange of gunfire... then there was a huge blast," said Abdi Mudey, who was near the scene.
Witnesses described seeing part of a supermarket and several cars destroyed by the blast.
Husayn Ali Wehliye, a regional governor, escaped with minor injuries, local media reported.
Al-Shabab ruled much of Somalia until 2011, when it was driven out of Mogadishu by African and Somali troops.
Map of Mogadishu, Somalia

Fish in Bristol lake to be killed to deter angling

  • 18 December 2015
  • From the sectionBristol
St George Park Lake, Bristol
Image captionThe local Neighbourhood Partnership has approved an option put forward by Bristol City Council to destroy the fish rather than relocate them
All the fish in a lake in Bristol are to be removed and destroyed in a bid to discourage fishing.
Last year, the local Neighbourhood Partnership voted to ban fishing at St George's Park lake to stop wildlife being harmed by fishing line and hooks.
It has now approved an option proposed by Bristol City Council to destroy the fish rather than relocate them.
But Maggie Waldon, from the Friends of St George Park Group, said it did not support "outright killing of the fish".
The old boating lake, according to Ms Waldon, was stocked with fish about 20 years ago and has been used as a fishing lake for many years.
"It's become very run down and there are far too many fish in there to support any kind of ecosystem," she admitted.
"We would really like to reduce the number of fish but we don't support the outright killing of the fish.
"There are some fish that are very unwell in which case that's fair enough but our policy would be to relocate them and find them new homes."

'Expensive to move'

But Rob Acton-Campbell, chairman of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership, said it "would be more expensive to try and move them".
"We've tried over the last two years to have a permit scheme to try and manage the fishing, but unfortunately there's still been injuries to the swans and the cygnets," he said.
"We were hoping we'd be able to move them somewhere else but the council have had a health check done on the fish and they are very unhealthy.
"And there's nowhere really local that we can move them too that would cope with the number of fish that we've got."

Syria war: US welcomes 'milestone' as UN endorses peace plan

An injured child in a field hospital in Damascus in November, 2015Image copyrightReuters
Image captionThe agreement demands that all parties cease attacks against civilians
A UN plan for Syria is a "milestone" in the efforts to end the conflict there, says US Secretary of State John Kerry.
He said the plan gave Syrians a "real choice... between war and peace".
The resolution, passed unanimously by the UN Security Council, sets out a timetable for formal talks and a unity government within six months,
However, the resolution makes no mention of the future role of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Western countries have called for his departure, but Russia and China say he should not be required to leave power as a precondition for peace talks.
Mr Kerry said Mr Assad had "lost the ability to unite the country" but he also said that demanding Mr Assad's immediate departure was "prolonging the war".
Media captionUK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond: ''We are confident that the opposition (in Syria) will engage with the process''
However, while Western and Arab nations accept that Mr Assad can be part of the transition, they also insist he must be gone at the end of it.
France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the idea of Mr Assad standing in elections was "unacceptable".
Syria's UN ambassador Bashar Jaafari said there was a "glaring contradiction" between outside countries talking about letting Syrians decide their future yet also insisting on replacing Mr Assad.

UN Security Council Resolution on Syria (No. 2254)

  • Calls for ceasefire and formal talks on a political transition to start in early January
  • Groups seen as "terrorist", including Islamic State and al-Nusra Front, are excluded
  • "Offensive and defensive actions" against such groups - a reference to air strikes by US-led coalition and Russia - to continue
  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon to report by 18 January on how to monitor ceasefire
  • "Credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance" to be established within six months
  • "Free and fair elections" under UN supervision to be held within 18 months
  • Political transition should be Syrian-led

The resolution foresees talks between the Syrian government and opposition in early January.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it would be possible to reach an agreement on a unity government for Syria within six months.
The plan sets out a timetable for UN-supervised elections within 18 months, and stresses that the Syrian people will decide the future of their country.
The plan also calls for a ceasefire, but there is also disagreement over which armed groups should be designated as terrorists and consequently excluded from any talks or ceasefire.
Actions against groups considered terrorist organisations would not be affected, allowing Russian, French and US air strikes against Islamic State to continue.
The agreement demands that all parties cease attacks against civilians.
The Syrian war, which is heading towards its fifth year, has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced millions more, the UN says.

Lyse Doucet, Chief International Correspondent, BBC News: "Hugely ambitious"

A man (with head bowed) walks in front of a burning building after a Syrian air force strike in Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus January 27 2013Image copyrightReuters
A stubborn gridlock in the UN Security Council has long blocked any step towards a political resolution of Syria's devastating war. For years, everyone insisted there was no military solution. Nobody made much effort to achieve it.
The UN's first envoy Kofi Annan bitterly blamed the world body when he quit in 2012 after only one year in the job. His successor Lakhdar Brahimi frequently beseeched the Council to do more and often apologised to the Syrian people for failing them.
Now UN envoy Staffan de Mistura is tasked with organising Syria talks. This unanimous vote is a crucial step forward. But the goal of "credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance" within six months is hugely ambitious.
President Assad's supporters will welcome a UN resolution that does not mention his role. Russia's growing diplomatic and military weight in this conflict helped achieve that compromise. But, for the opposition and their allies, it will continue to be the issue that will block progress every step of the way.

Christmas cards that shocked the web

  • 18 December 2015
For many families in America, Christmas is the time to send out cards with families dressed in matching jumpers or festive novelty outfits.
However, some stand out from the crowd and thanks to social media, these cards are seen by many more people than just those on the original mailing list.
BBC Trending looks at some of the season's most-talked about images.

'Peace on Earth'

This controversial Christmas photo polarised social mediaImage copyrightFacebook/Hannah Hawkes
Image captionThis controversial Christmas photo polarised social media
Meet the Johnson family from Louisiana. What began as an attempt at ahumorous card soon spiralled into an online debate. Some defended the family's right to portray themselves in whatever way they choose. Others argued it was sexist, with one user writing: "Nothing funny about teaching your daughters they have less value than their brother. This is terrible."
The photo was shared nearly 45,500 times on Imgur, prompting photographer Hannah Hawkes to respond to the number of comments she was receiving.
"After being silent, now isn't that ironic, I would like to speak," Hawkes wrote on her Facebook page. "I do not support abuse, or the degradation of women. My controversial photo was taken by request by the family, and was in no way meant to promote abuse. This photo was taken with humour in mind."Continue

Swiss probe Muslim group member over Syria videos

  • 2 hours ago
  • From the sectionEurope
A Swiss border guard controls the area at the Bardonnex border, 11 DecImage copyrightEPA
Image captionSwitzerland remains on high alert following the terrorist attacks in Paris
Swiss authorities are investigating a leading figure in a key Muslim organisation on terror-related charges over videos made in Syria.
The unnamed German citizen is a board member of the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ICCS).
He is suspected of using videos of his trips to Syria for propaganda purposes.
Switzerland remains on high alert following the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November that left 130 people dead.
Last week, the city of Geneva raised its security alert following a warning that a cell of so-called Islamic State (IS) was in the area.

Faah faahin qaraxii ka dhacay wadada Maka Al-Mukarama iyo Al-Shabaab oo sheegatay

December 19 (Jowhar)— Qarax xoogan ayaa abaarihii 2-dii duhurnimo ka dhacay wadada mashquulka badan ee Maka Al-Mukarama, iyadoo warar kala duwan uu ka soo baxayo qaraxa oo ahaa gaari waxyaabaha qarxa laga soo buuxiyay.
Ugu yaraan saddex ruux ayaa ku dhimatay, 8 kalena waa ay ku dhaawacmeen qaraxan oo ahaa gaari waxyaabaha qarxa laga soo buuxiyay oo wadada dhinaceeda la dhigay.
Wararka ayaa sheegaya in dadka dhaawacmay uu ku jiro Taliyaha Saldhiga Booliska degmada Waabari oo goobta soo gaaray ka hor inta aanu qaraxa dhicin oo isla goobtaas ay is rasaaseyn ka dhacday.
Goob joogayaal ayaa sheegaya in qaraxa uu waxyeelo u geystay goobo ganacsi oo ka ag dhow wadada Maka Al-mukarama, gaar ahaan xarunta Ganacsiga Al-Kowthar oo ka mid ah carwooyinka ugu waa weyn ee wadadaas ku yaal.
Qaraxa ka hor ayaa wadada Maka Al-Mukarama ayaa waxaa laga maqlay rasaas culus, kaasoo dabley hubeysan oo gaari saarnaa ku fureen gaari kale, waxaana mar dambe la ogaaday gaariga la rasaaseeyay uu saarnaa Guddoomiyihii Gobolka Galgaduud Xuseen Wehliye Cirfo, kaasoo ka bad baaday, waxaana ku dhaawacmay darawalkiisa.
Wararka ayaa intaa ku daraya in gaari rasaaseeyay gaariga uu la socday Guddoomiyaha Gobolka Galgaduud uu goobta ka baxsaday, ka hor inta aanu qaraxa dhicin.
Ciidamo isugu jira boolis iyo Nabadsugid ayaa goobta qaraxa uu ka dhacay soo gaaray, waxaana ay ka wadaan baaritaan, iyadoo wadada ay xiran tahay.
Wadada Maka Al-Mukarama ayaa ah wado mashquul badan oo ay gaadiidka isticmaalaan, waxaana ku yaala hotelo iyo xarumo ganacsi oo dadka ka dukaameystaan.
Dhinaca kale Al-Shabaab ayaa sheegatay mas’uuliyadan qaraxan, ayna ku weerareen saraakiil ka tirsan ciidanka dowladda.

Coronavirus Is Battering Africa’s Growing Middle Class

From Kenya to Nigeria, South Africa to Rwanda, the pandemic is decimating the livelihoods of the once-stable workers who were helping ...