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Tunisian Riot Police Break Up Second Day of Protests

Tunisian police fired tear gas and clashed with crowds of protesters demanding the resignation of the country's caretaker government on Friday. Protesters took to the streets of the Tunisian capital, Tunis, for the second day, chanting they want "a new revolution."  Demonstrators say they believe members of ousted president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali...

Study: Connection Between Corruption, Recent Revolutions

A study by Global Integrity, an international nonprofit organization, says corruption risks increased in Egypt, some Middle Eastern, North African and Eastern European nations before this year's popular uprisings that swept the region. Global Integrity Managing Director Nathaniel Heller likened corruption to a black hole when he spoke to reporters...

Journalists: Ethiopia Hijacked Press Freedom Day Conference

An Ethiopian observance of World Press Freedom Day was marred Tuesday by a walkout of independent journalists after a dispute with a rival group of state-run media employees.  It was organized as a conference on critical topics of interest to Ethiopian journalists.  But before the meeting began, staff members of Addis Ababa’s private newspapers...

Global Press Freedom at Lowest Level in More Than Decade

A U.S.-based group that monitors human rights says the number of people with access to free and independent media has declined to its lowest level in more than a decade. In its newly released annual survey of 193 countries and territories, Freedom House says it rated 68 as "free," 65 "partly free" and 63 as "not free.”The group says during the...

Rwandan Journalist Undeterred by Government Prosecution

The exiled editor of Rwanda’s Umuvugizi newspaper, Jean Bosco Gasasira, one of Rwanda’s most outspoken journalists, says the Rwandan prosecutor’s request to the country’s Supreme Court to sentence him to 10 years in prison will not deter him from doing his job. From his exiled home in Sweden, Gasasira says he will continue to expose corruption and...

British PM Says NATO Targeting Libyan Decision Makers

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Sunday NATO forces are targeting Libya's command and control units, not specific people.Mr. Cameron refused to comment on media reports that a son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had been killed in a NATO airstrike.Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said late Saturday that 29-year-old Saif al-Arab...

Press Freedom Day Notes Impact of Citizen Journalism

May 3, 2011, the United Nations will mark World Press Freedom Day.  This year’s event comes at a time when social media, mobile phones and the Internet are playing an increasing role in giving a voice to the oppressed.  As recent events in the Middle East and North Africa have shown, so-called "citizen journalists" are playing a major role.Syria...

Ugandan Opposition Leader Released, Bail Conditions Decried

Uganda’s top opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, has been granted bail after seven days in jail. Besigye, who is the head of the Forum for Democratic Change, was arrested for leading protests against increases in the cost of food and fuel.He was freed today by the magistrate’s court in Nakasongola, 100 km outside the capital, Kampala.  A condition...

Kenyan Prayer Meetings Spark Criticism, Controversy

In Kenya, debate has been sparked about countrywide prayer meetings held before and after six high-profile suspects traveled to The Hague in connection with post-election violence charges.  Organizers say the prayer meetings were attempts to sow peace among Kenyans, while critics contend they were thinly-disguised political rallies that will grow...

Libya Crisis Prompts Call for Extraordinary AU Summit in May

The African Union will hold an extraordinary meeting of heads of state next month to examine more rapid and effective ways of responding to continental crises. Our correspondent at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa reports the summit call was prompted by concerns that the organization is being sidelined as big powers dictate solutions to African...

Africa's Governments Confront Social Media Protests

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders has condemned the Uganda Communications Commission for ordering telecom companies to block access to social networking websites.  The order came earlier this month as activists were planning protests against higher prices and corruption. The commission said it took the action to reduce the threat of violence....

Southern Sudan Ready to Negotiate With Militias to End Violence

South Sudan’s chief of mission to the United States and United Nations has called on militia groups to lay down their arms and join his government. He says continued fighting risks destabilizing the region, ahead of south Sudan’s independence scheduled for July. This came after South Sudanese officials say the army has killed at least 55 rebel...

Nigeria Gubernatorial Vote to Proceed Despite Unrest

An official of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says his organization has postponed elections in both Bauchi and Kaduna states after violence erupted there after last week’s presidential poll. Riots broke out in the predominantly Muslim north last week after incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the...

At Least 55 Killed in South Sudan Fighting

Officials in south Sudan say the army has killed at least 55 rebel fighters during a clash in volatile Jonglei state.Hundreds have died in fighting between the southern army and various rebel groups since January, when southern Sudan voted to split from the north.  Southern leaders accused the north of supporting the rebellions to destabilize the...

Bomb Explodes in Northern Nigeria

Authorities said there has been an explosion in northern Nigeria where dozens are reported to have been killed this week in post-election violence.Security sources said the blast on Friday evening hit in the city of Kaduna, the capital of the state of the same name. Reuters news agency says at least two people were killed as they accidentally...