Namibia: 57 000 Sign petition against Elephant hunting

About 57 508 people across the world have signed a petition for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to stop the hunting of desert elephants in Namibia.

Iris Koch from Esslingen, Germany, started the online petition on Change.org website.

She stated in the petition that Namibia’s desert elephants are iconic and highly endangered.

“These animals are among the rarest creatures on this and have adapted to extremely arid desert conditions.
Unfortunately, their extraordinary status makes them a preferred target for trophy hunters, and even though they are survival experts, desert elephants don’t stand a chance against the rifles of hunters,” she stated.

She added that they are horrified that the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has sold three more permits for the hunting of desert elephant bulls in the Ugab region.

Koch said the small population in that area is on the brink of extinction, adding that the elephants left in the Ugab area in 2016 had gone down to 30, declining drastically year by year.

“A shocking five out of five newborn calves died, three adult females were lost, while the total number of breeding bulls in the Ugab river region amounted to five,” she said.

She noted that they were under the impression that desert elephants have been designated as a top priority for protection by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Angels get Johnson, international bonus space from Braves

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Angels have acquired pitcher Jim Johnson and the Atlanta Braves’ remaining $1.21 million in international bonus signing allocation for minor league left-hander Justin Kelly, a deal that raises Los Angeles’ possible bonus offer to Shohei Ohtani to $1,315,000.

Los Angeles had been 28th among the 30 teams in bonus space for Ohtani. The trade Thursday listed the Angels to seventh behind Texas ($3,535,000), the New York Yankees ($3.5 million), Minnesota ($3.07 million), Pittsburgh ($2,266,750), Seattle ($1.557,500) and Miami ($1.49 million).

Ohtani, coveted as a pitcher and an outfielder, could be posted as soon as Friday by the Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League and be available to any major league team willing to pay his team’s posting fee, expected to be the $20 million maximum.

A 34-year-old right-hander, Johnson had 22 saves while spending the first four months of last season as the Braves’ closer. He had 51 saves over parts of three seasons with Atlanta.

Johnson pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015. He had the best seasons of his career with Baltimore in 2012 and 2013, racking up a combined 101 saves.

Johnson gets $4.5 million next year in second season of a $10 million, two-year contract.

Kelly had a 3.53 ERA while pitching at five levels of the Angels’ minor league system last season. He made his pro debut in 2016.

Atlanta was penalized by Major League Baseball last week for violating international signing rules.

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Tiger makes long-awaited return from injury

(Reuters) – Tiger Woods did not take long to display his vintage fist pump on his much-anticipated return to competition on Thursday at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas where the former world number one seemed unbothered by his troublesome back.

Woods, competing for the first time after a near 10-month layoff during which he had spinal fusion surgery, appeared pain free through nine holes at the Albany course on the island of New Providence as he moved to one under par.

The left him in a tie for 10th place and three shots behind Britain’s Tommy Fleetwood, who was four under through 10 holes at the elite 18-man event featuring eight of the world’s top 10 golfers.

After narrowly missing birdie putts on his opening two holes a comfortable-looking Woods hit his approach shot at the par-five third to about 40 feet and went on to tap in for birdie.

On the next hole Woods caught his chip heavy and was left with a 15-footer from just off the green from where he coolly rolled his ball into the middle of the cup before pumping his right fist to the delight of the cheering gallery.

Woods, who turns 41 this month, delivered a more subdued fist pump at the par-three eighth where he rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt after his tee shot settled just on the right edge of the green.

Playing alongside friend and FedExCup champion Justin Thomas, Woods showed his first bit of frustration at the par-five ninth hole when, after failing to reach the green in two, he made a mess of a chip.

Despite being about 30 feet from the cup after two shots Woods settled for his first bogey of the day to reach the turn in one-under 35.

A 79-times winner on the PGA Tour who was world number one for a record 683 weeks, Woods lost form in recent years due to injuries and his ranking has plummeted to 1,199th.

This marks the second consecutive season that Woods is making his return to action at this tournament after a lengthy absence.

He finished 15th in the 17-man field 12 months ago after a 15-month layoff.

Woods then missed the cut at Torrey Pines in January and withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic the following week because of a back spasm.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)

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Vermont city thanks French city for misspelled jerseys

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont’s capital city has said merci via Skype to a French city it’s named after for some misspelled soccer jerseys that were sent its way.

Montpelier (mahnt-PEEL’-yuhr), Vermont, says Montpellier (mahn-peel-YAY’), France, ordered jerseys for its professional soccer team and fans but the jerseys came in misspelled, with just one L instead of two. The city in southern France decided to send the jerseys to Montpelier, Vermont, which is spelled with one L, not two.

Montpelier Mayor John Hollar thanked Montpellier Mayor Philippe Saurel by Skype on Thursday.

Student soccer players at Montpelier High School wore the donated jerseys for the event.

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AU, EU leaders call for immediate evacuation for migrants in Libyan detention centers

More than 700 thousand migrants held in Libya are to be evacuated urgently.

The question of migrants and their mistreatment dominated the just concluded AU-EU Summit, where this immediate move to save the mostly sub Saharan Africans held in Libyan detention camps was agreed on Thursday.

While Morocco has offered to facilitate air transport for the return trips, African and European leaders want networks of smugglers destroyed.

“We decided to set up Special Forces in some countries to fight against the traffickers and then to seize the accounts,” Alpha Condé, President of Guinea.

“President Deby seized 18 billion, president Issoufou even more, and President Macron informed us that there are also accounts in the Middle East, Dubai and the secretary general of the UN said there are also accounts in Europe”, Condé added.

Migration is a joint responsibility. Our common duty to step up fight against unscrupulous criminals and bring them to justice. Worst we can do is to start blame game. This also applies to situation in Libya, which needs both European and African help. eucopresident pic.twitter.com/xeWbMpBm2f— EU Delegation to AU (EUtoAU) November 30, 2017

When Europe was asked to open its doors to young Africans during the summit, the European Council president, Donald Tusk, said they were already helping.

“I think to say today that there are not enough legal ways of immigration is not correct. Last year, the European Union countries issued almost 3.4 million residence permits to nationals of developing countries and Middle East and Africa citizens are the main beneficiaries”.

Tusk made a reminder that “Europe accounts for 45 percent of foreign students in the world, including those living in Africa.”

An alternative solution discussed is the need provide jobs and financial support for youth.

The situation of migrants in Libya has topped discussions at the AU-EU Summit in Abidjan, but their safety and repatriation depends on how fast the African and European leaders will act.

Families collect the bodies of 9 victims killed during NASA protests

NASA legislators led by Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris on Thursday joined the families of those killed in confrontations with the police  during NASA leader Raila Odinga’s chaotic return from the united states two weeks ago. At least 9 bodies taken by families and friends for burial ceremonies.

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Israel pleased Giro has fixed ‘West Jerusalem’ reference

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli officials on Thursday declared victory in a battle over semantics surrounding the upcoming Giro d’Italia, saying it had persuaded the cycling event to remove any reference to “West Jerusalem” from their website.

The Giro, one of cycling’s three major races, will open in Israel next May, with the first day set to take place in Jerusalem.

The route has become a sensitive issue for the race because Israel’s control of east Jerusalem, captured in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed, is not internationally recognized. Israel considers the entire city, including east Jerusalem, home to the iconic Old City and its sensitive holy sites, to be its eternal capital.

The race is set to go near the Old City, but after consultations with Italy’s Foreign Ministry, will not go through any land the international community considers occupied.

The Giro referred to “West Jerusalem” on a map on its official website this week. Furious Israeli officials threatened to drop out if the wording was not amended, and on Thursday the site was changed merely to “Jerusalem.”

In a joint statement, Sports Minister Miri Regev and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said they were “pleased.”

The Giro said the original wording was “devoid of any political value.”

In a statement, the grassroots Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel criticized the Giro organizers.

It accused the race of “yielding to political pressure” from Israel and “lending recognition to Israel’s illegal hold over occupied east Jerusalem.” It said the Giro is “directly complicit in Israel’s propaganda claim” that Jerusalem is a unified city under its sovereignty.

The group also urged Pope Francis to reject a reported Israeli invitation to launch the event in Jerusalem.

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Nairobi county Gov’t embarks on a massive clean up exercise

The Nairobi County Government Thursday kicked-off a massive clean-up exercise of the city with the launch of over 40 garbage collection trucks. The vehicles will  now be distributed to each ward to ensure the daily collection of garbage following outrage from residents over mounting heaps of garbage in the city.

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Pres.Kenyatta affirms KDF’s commitment to curb terrorism, protecting the borders

President Uhuru Kenyatta has affirmed that the Kenya Defense Forces will not relent in the fight against terrorism until all Kenyan borders are secured from militant insurgents. Speaking when he presided over the pass-out parade of cadets at the Kenya Military Academy in Lanet Nakuru county in his first public function since his inauguration for …

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Devils acquire defenseman Vatanen from Ducks for Henrique

The New Jersey Devils acquired defenseman Sami Vatanen in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday in exchange for center Adam Henrique and forward Joseph Blandisi.

New Jersey gets a conditional 2019 or 2020 third-round pick along with Vatanen. The Devils also sent a 2018 third-round pick to Anaheim.

Even though he has a goal and three assists in 15 games this season, Vatanen gives the Devils the offensive defensemen they were looking for. The 26-year-old is signed for two more seasons at a salary-cap hit of $4.875 million.

“It’s a good deal for both teams that we both had needs to fill,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said on a conference call. “Hopefully this one works out for both teams.”

Vatanen has 126 points in 280 regular-season NHL games.

“In acquiring Sami, we bring on a right shot, top-four defenseman who can play in all situations,” Devils GM Ray Shero said. “This move also gives us contract certainty on the back end for the next two-plus years.”

In Henrique, the Ducks get center depth as they deal with injuries to Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler. The 27-year-old has four goals and 10 assists in 24 games this season and is signed through 2018-19.

The conditional pick is exchanged in 2019 if the Ducks sign Henrique prior to making their third-round pick at that draft and in 2020 if they sign him afterward. If they don’t re-sign Henrique, no pick is exchanged.

New Jersey’s forward depth, including the return of Travis Zajac from injury, gave Shero the ability to deal from a position of strength to address a need.

“Adam has been a key member of our organization for nearly 10 years since he was drafted,” Shero said. “His contributions both on and off the ice will always be appreciated by our organization and fans.”

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3 suspects linked to the Thika bank heist released on Kshs. 4M bond each

Three suspects including two brothers who have been linked to the theft of more than 50 million from the Kenya Commercial Bank- Thika branch have been released on bond. Halford Munene Murakaru, his brother Charles Mwangi Murakaru and their friend Julius Ndungu Wainaina were released on a 4 million shillings bond each and two sureties of the same amount by …

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Gov’t unveils new initiative to harmonize issuance of education certificates

The government has Thursday unveiled a new initiative to harmonize the issuance of education certificates and curb the rampant  forgery of education certification. Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i  presided over the launch of the national qualification framework that will harmonize the certification and qualification process of national and foreign certificates and determine the qualifications issued by institutions of …

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Jubilee, NASA present list of their EALA nominees to parliament

Another showdown is expected in the house when parliament commences debate to determine Kenya’s nine representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly. This is after clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai and his senate counterpart Jeremiah Nyegenye approved 27 nominees for the coveted seats, 15 from the ruling Jubilee party and 12 from the opposition NASA. 24 …

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ANC wants Ayub Savula named deputy minority leader in the N.assembly

NASA principals are expected to convene a parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday next week to avert a fall out in the opposition outfit over  parliamentary leadership positions. This is after one of the NASA affiliate parties,Amani National Congress,ANC demanded key house leadership slots allocated to their ODM counterparts protesting that the  coalition agreement  signed before the …

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No practice, no problem as Atwal opens with course record

BEL OMBRE, Mauritius (AP) — Arjun Atwal began with a course-record 62 despite the Indian having no time for a practice round at the Mauritius Open, firing seven birdies and an eagle on his first look at the layout for a four-shot lead on Thursday.

Atwal’s first-round performance came after he arrived in Mauritius in a hurry because of commitments as Team Asia captain for the EurAsia Cup in January. He had some promotional work to do in Malaysia and that didn’t leave him any time to get a feel for the Heritage Golf Club course.

He was still in superb form with the putter to race to 9 under par on the opening day, already well clear of five players who started with 66s and are tied for second on 5 under. They are Miguel Tabuena, Adilson da Silva, Ockie Strydom, Sebastian Heisele and Louis de Jager.

“I was tired and I didn’t really expect anything,” Atwal said after a 16-hour trek to Mauritius via Dubai. “Sometimes when you don’t expect much, you get a lot out of it.”

The 44-year-old Atwal was the first Indian to win on the U.S. PGA Tour but hasn’t claimed a European Tour title since 2008. Starting on No. 10, he birdied his first hole, made eagle on the par-5 No. 14, and then really got going around the turn with a run of six birdies in 10 holes.

Louis Oosthuizen (67) is part of a large contingent of South Africans who made the short trip across to the Indian Ocean island, a much easier journey than Atwal’s. Oosthuizen is one of 13 players tied for seventh on 4 under.

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Haut-Katanga : 12 morts dans un accident de circulation sur la route Lubumbashi-Kasumbalesa

Douze personnes sont mortes ce jeudi 30 novembre dans un accident de circulation survenu sur la route Lubumbashi-Kasumbalesa. Un mini bus est entré en collision avec un grand camion remorque. C’était entre les villages Sumbiriri et Lumata.

Des témoins parlent d’une vingtaine de morts. La police de circulation routière, elle, donne le bilan de 12 personnes tuées.

Elle fait remarquer que l’excès de vitesse et un mauvais dépassement de la part du chauffeur du mini bus sont les causes de ce drame.

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