• Al Jazeera report about Saudi arabai arrest of prince, ministers include Mohammed Al-amoudi

    IYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi King Salman appointed two new ministers on Saturday to key security and economic posts, removing one of the royal family’s most prominent members as head of the National Guard and boosting the kingdom’s young crown prince.

    The king also announced the creation of a new anti-corruption committee chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman which Al Arabiya TV said had already detained 11 princes, four current ministers and tens of former ministers.

    Among those detained was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the Middle East’s richest people, with investments in Twitter, Apple, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Citigroup, and the Four Seasons, Fairmont and Movenpick hotel chains.

    Saudi nationals have long complained of rampant corruption in government and of public funds being squandered or misused by people in power.

    Prince Mohammed, the king’s 32-year-old son, already serves as defense minister and was named heir to the throne in a June reshuffle that sidelined his older cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

    He has been responsible at the same time for running Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, dictating an energy policy with global implications and devising the plans for the kingdom to build a future after oil.


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  • Tanzania deports lawyers accused of ‘promoting homosexuality’

    Tanzania has deported three South African lawyers after they were accused of promoting homosexuality.

    They were among 13 people arrested on 17 October for taking part in a meeting to discuss challenging a law stopping private health clinics from providing HIV and Aids services.

    However, Sibongile Ndashe says they had no right to do so, and has accused authorities in Dar es Salaam of holding her and her colleagues “hostage”.

    Homosexuality is a crime in Tanzania.

    Lazaro Mambosasa, chief of Dar es Salaam police, told reporters after the lawyers initial arrests that “they were promoting homosexuality”.

    The arrests followed a September speech by Deputy Health Minister Hamisi Kingwangalla, who vowed in front of parliament to “fight with all our strength against groups supporting homosexuality in our country,” AFP news agency reports.

    But Ms Ndashe, who was deported along with two colleagues from South Africa’s Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) on Friday, told a press conference there was no crime they could be charged with, as the meeting was not about homosexuality.

    Human Rights Watch said the group was exploring “the possibility of mounting legal challenges to the government’s ban on drop-in centres serving key populations at risk of HIV, as well as the ban on importation of water-based lubricants, an essential HIV prevention tool”.

    Ms Ndashe said their demands to see the grounds on which they were deported were ignored.

    The group now intends to sue, she added.

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  • Petition for peace and stability in Ethiopia. Genuine democracy for Horn Africa


    Ethiopian American Civic Council

    To the Honorable Congressman and Senator:

    On behalf of the Ethiopian-American Civic Council across the United States, we would like to thank all the members of the Foreign Relations Committees of the United States Congress who voted for House Resolution 128, “Supporting respect for human rights and inclusive governance in Ethiopia,” and Senate Resolution 168, “A resolution supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.”

    We are very pleased that the two resolutions are now ready for consideration by the full House. We are also encouraged by the support that the two resolutions are already getting from both chambers.

    Ethiopian-Americans and Ethiopians across the globe have waited expectantly for a long time for the United States Congress to act in the face of the notorious crimes against humanity and corruption of the Ethiopian dictatorship. The vote in the House and the Senate will be a far-sighted, just and compassionate response to the hundreds of peaceful protest demonstrations and candlelight vigils held in front of the United States Congress and the White House over the last 25 years.

    With your support for these bills, Ethiopia will finally have a chance to become a stable and prosperous democracy. Your concern for the people of Ethiopia, and not merely for the tiny, unelected clique holding them hostage at gunpoint, will help build a stronger and more effective partner for the United States.


    The theft by Ethiopia’s senior leadership and its business cronies of an amount exceeding all US financial assistance, rendering American aid programs little more than a transfer of the US taxpayer’s money to private bank accounts and luxury properties, has been well-publicized in major Western media such as the Washington Post and Forbes. This flagrant and egregious abuse of the US taxpayer continues while the famines get larger every few years and the war against terror in the region continues to slip.

    The Ethiopian regime uses lobbying firms paid from the country’s meager resources to continue this fraud against the American people with fabricated economic data, claims of sovereignty and even threats to cease cooperation in the fight against terrorism. We are confident that your honorable institution will see the hollowness of these arguments. When you do, it will also become clear that an Ethiopian government forced by its illegitimacy and unpopularity to rely on military generals based on loyalty instead of talent and to keep Somalia weak and divided can never be an effective partner to America in the fight against Al-Shabab.

    Besides providing the American taxpayer with due accountability, these two bills represent a historic opportunity to bring peace, stability and better governance to a Horn of Africa region beset by drought, poverty, disease, emigration and conflict. It’s an opportunity that must not be lost.

    We therefore petition you, in the name of our tortured people, to support HR 128 and SR 168.


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