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China's Communist Party will likely begin its much-anticipated congress on October 18
Law & Politics
The Chinese Communist Party will likely begin its much-anticipated
congress on Oct. 18, state media said, officially starting the clock
on the country’s biggest political reshuffle since 2012.
The 19th Party Congress’s proposed start date was announced Thursday
after a meeting of the party’s Politburo, according to the official
Xinhua News Agency. While the schedule is technically a recommendation
and requires approval from the broader Central Committee, that’s
usually a formality.
The gathering of some 2,300 party delegates -- held every five years
in Beijing -- will provide President Xi Jinping his biggest
opportunity to reshuffle scores of top positions across the government
and write his policies into the party’s guiding documents. As many as
five of the seven officials on the Politburo’s elite Standing
Committee -- and roughly half of the broader Central Committee --
could be replaced.
The Politburo said the congress came during a “critical period of the
development of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” according to
The week-long event will determine Xi’s ability to implement policies
such as overhauling the world’s largest military or reducing China’s
$33 trillion debt pile. The pageantry begins with a speech by Xi
detailing the party’s policies for the next five years and ends with
curtain call by the new Standing Committee line-up.
Gasoline Surges as Storm Harvey Closes Major U.S. Fuel Pipeline
Gasoline surged in New York, extending its longest rally since 2013 as
an important conduit of fuel from the Gulf of Mexico to the U.S. East
Coast began to close due to the effects of Tropical Storm Harvey.
Motor-fuel prices climbed as much as 8 percent in New York, advancing
for an eighth session. Harvey has shuttered about 23 percent of U.S.
refining capacity, potentially cutting fuel-making ability to the
lowest level since 2008 and depriving the Colonial Pipeline of
supplies. Its operator was forced to shut the main diesel line late
Wednesday and planned to halt its gasoline line Thursday, meaning
motorists from Maine to Florida may soon see higher prices at the
As gasoline surged to a two-year high, U.S. oil prices lost more than
3 percent since Harvey made landfall as demand from refiners fell.
This sent cracks -- the premium of the refined fuel over crude --
higher in New York, while the storm also triggered a flurry of
trans-Atlantic gasoline trading and disrupted exports of liquefied
petroleum gas, causing prices to rise in Asia.
“Harvey is driving cracks to the sky,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief
commodities analyst at SEB AB in Oslo. “Crude-oil prices have declined
while oil-product prices have increased.”
Gasoline for September delivery, which expires Thursday, advanced as
much as 15.07 cents to $2.0354 a gallon on the New York Mercantile
Exchange, the highest in more than two years. The more-active October
contract rose 2.4 percent to $1.6764 as of 9:03 a.m. local time.
No Country for Civilians Jason Patinkin
KAJO KEJI, South Sudan — Brig. Gen. Moses Lokujo stood in the ruins of
Loopo, a strategic hilltop village in South Sudan’s lush southern
Equatoria region. Less than two miles to the east, telephone poles
poked over a green ridge, marking the outskirts of Kajo Keji, the seat
of the county of the same name, where rebels under Lokujo’s command
stared down government forces across a deserted marketplace, one of
dozens of front lines in a grinding, three-year civil war that no one
It was late April, about two weeks after the South Sudanese army had
attacked Loopo from the southwest, blasting through two lines of rebel
defenses and wreaking havoc through the village. When the government
forces eventually retreated to their base along the Ugandan border,
the rebels moved back in to find the place destroyed. The homes were
torched, the shops looted. A rocket-propelled grenade had cratered the
wall of a primary school building, leaving behind sheaves of white ash
that used to be books.
The army had attacked again, flanking the rebel positions around Kajo
Keji just days before I arrived, but Lokujo’s men had repulsed them
under heavy fire. “This is my location,” said Lokujo, a tall,
well-built ethnic Kuku armed with a quick laugh and a black 9 mm
pistol strapped to his hip. “The enemies will not come out and kill
1 million South Sudanese have flooded into Uganda, including
three-quarters of Kajo Keji’s population, amid what the U.N. has
described as a campaign of ethnic cleansing. It is the largest sudden
exodus in Africa since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Veteran Diplomat Named 'Acting' State Department Africa Chief
Donald Yamamoto, who has extensive diplomatic experience in Africa
including two tours as a U.S. ambassador, will take office as Acting
Assistant Secretary of State for Africa on 5 September. He is the
second career official tapped for a senior policy position on Africa
in the Trump administration. Senior CIA analyst Cyril Sartor was hired
as senior director for Africa at the National Security Council earier
this month Key Africa jobs at the Defense Department (DOD) and the
U.S. Agency for International Development remain vacant.
Freetown's mudslides and the slippery slope of urban risk in Africa IRIN NEWS
On Monday 14 August, the world awoke to reports of devastation caused
by large-scale mudslides and localised flooding in Freetown, Sierra
Leone’s rapidly urbanising capital.
The death toll rose within a few days to approximately 500, with
several hundred more people reported missing and thousands displaced.
The full extent of this disaster and the exact losses are not
immediately known and may never be fully investigated.
As harrowing images drew in global sympathy, predictable post-disaster
patterns ensued: sporadic inputs of disaster relief, political
speeches and tours of affected sites, and a few days of “declared”
However, beyond this short-term intervention, the persistence of
African urban risk and frequent disaster events raise issues that
require urgent attention.
Many other African towns and cities such as Accra, Nairobi, Dar es
Salaam, Kampala, Monrovia, and Dakar have recently also experienced
small- and large-scale disasters including floods, large structural
collapse, fire outbreaks, and disease epidemics, often following a
repetitive seasonal or yearly cycle.
Much can be learnt from the recent disaster in Freetown, which was
caused by multiple interrelated factors: weak and fractious planning,
inadequate governance and disaster preparedness, lack of affordable
land leading to extensive land use change, deforestation, and
land-grabbing in hazardous locations.
Opposition leader warns Zambia faces violence if talks with president fail
“Let me assure you, today in Zambia if you wore a UPND T-shirt, my
party’s T-shirt, you would be committing suicide because you can be
killed for wearing that,” he told media in Cape Town.
Nevertheless, Hichilema said he was confident the talks would succeed
in preserving order in the southern African nation.
“If we were not confident, we would not embark on it, we would not be
part of the process (talks). But, there is no alternative to that, the
alternative is brutality and counter-brutality and lives will be
lost,” he told media in Cape Town.
Angola accounts for about two-thirds of China's oil imports from sub-Saharan Africa
There was a point when Nigeria's oil riches made it a natural partner
for China -- but as Beijing has diversified supplies, other countries
have stepped up. China doesn't care that much about the rule of law in
countries where it invests -- but it does care deeply about stability.
Nigeria has been unable to provide this, as underlined by the
back-and-forth over the Mambilla project and at Addax
Petroleum.Sub-Saharan Africa's most populous nation was for much of
the past decade its biggest recipient of foreign direct investment.
These days, it trails not just Angola, but Mozambique and Ghana too.
When even China's unfussy investors are having second thoughts, you
know you're in trouble.
Kenya: The Election & the Cover-Up Helen Epstein @nybooks ‏
When Kenya’s electoral commission announced on August 11 that
President Uhuru Kenyatta had won another five-year term with over 54
percent of the vote, observer teams from the African Union, the
European Union, and the highly respected US-based Carter Center, led
by former Secretary of State John Kerry, commended the electoral
process and said they’d seen no evidence of significant fraud.
Congratulations poured in from around the world and Donald Trump
praised the elections as fair and transparent.
But not everyone was happy. Raila Odinga, leader of the opposition
National Super Alliance party, or NASA, declared the election a sham
as soon as the results began coming in. On August 18, he submitted a
petition asking Kenya’s Supreme Court to annul it and order a re-vote.
The petition claims, among other things, that nearly half of all votes
cast had been tampered with; that NASA’s agents, who were entitled by
law to observe the voting and counting, had been thrown out of polling
stations in Kenyatta strongholds; and that secret, unofficial polling
stations had transmitted fake votes. The Supreme Court is expected to
rule on September 1, but on August 29, the court registrar reported
that some 5 million votes, enough to affect the outcome, were not
Shortly before departing Kenya, John Kerry praised the electoral
commission for having done an “extraordinary job to ensure that Kenya
has a free, fair and credible poll.” He then urged the opposition to
“get over it and move on.”
There was clearly plenty of malfeasance but it did not change the result.
Following Kenya’s recently concluded elections, I took a walk on my
Laikipia farm and lit up a cigar, stale because I had saved it for a
day when I might hear a bit of good news that never seemed to come. I
felt it was the end of a terrifying five-year ordeal when I frequently
sensed my life was in extreme danger. A few weeks before at a rally on
the plains near our farm boundary, our local MP, Mathew Lempurkel, had
allegedly declared: ‘If we win this election we will take this land…
We will make sure all wazungus (white people) go to their homes.’
This speech was recorded by witnesses, and Mathew was arrested and
charged with incitement. But my MP was no stranger to criminal cases.
In March he was arrested following the shooting of my friend and
neighbour Tristan Voorspuy, though charges were dropped for lack of
evidence linking him to this cold-blooded murder. In another pending
criminal case he is accused of threatening to burn down my local
police station if its commander did not release his cohorts from the
cells. In yet another pending case, he is accused of assaulting Sarah
Korere, his arch rival for the Laikipia North parliamentary seat. He
allegedly beat her up in a government office last November, after
which he sent her an SMS threatening: ‘Withdraw this case you
prostitute or you die idiot.’
I have known Mathew since even before I bought my land 14 years ago.
His people are the local cattle-keeping Samburu, but he was partly
raised by an elderly Italian Catholic priest. He promoted himself as a
militant Samburu leader during a bloody feud with the neighbouring
Pokot tribe in which hundreds died. He seemed frequently to crash
vehicles and he had a reputation for hard drinking. I sensed he
loathed white people, but I always showed him respect, because he was
prominent in his community.
Mathew had strong political ambitions but funding election campaigns
in Kenya is an expensive business. Before the 2013 national polls, his
Italian patrons claimed that he had run down a Catholic charity set up
to organise operations for small children suffering severe heart
In the years since I started building up my farm, life in Laikipia had
always been very peaceful for us. The trouble kicked off the day
Mathew won his election. For three nights running, extremely violent
bandits hit the farm, rustling cattle. Shots flew every-where. A
gunman emptied an entire clip of AK-47 bullets into my car — from such
close range that sparks from the muzzle bounced off the windscreen —
as I drove to help my neighbours, who suffered cattle raids every
night for a week.
In the succeeding years, the violence escalated all around us. Hordes
of Samburu armed with guns, spears, knobkerries (a form of club) and
swords pushed multitudes of cattle into ranches owned by white farmers
— but also into the maize patches and pastures of poor smallholders
from rival tribes.
Mathew was always making headlines. In 2014 he was kicked off an
Emirates flight, accused of drunkenly assaulting flight attendants and
throwing glasses around while demanding to be served alcohol before
takeoff. Dubbed a ‘rogue’ passenger by the airline, he later
complained: ‘I just wanted a Tusker.’ When he returned to the Catholic
charity and started loading up computers and other property to take
away, locals tried to lynch him.
In 2015 a gang of warriors, known as morans, who were allegedly
herders for some of Mathew’s large mobs of cattle, entered my land.
Several men threw rocks at me while shouting: ‘Kill! Kill!’ I used my
left hand to fend off one missile, the injuries festered and the
doctors nearly had to amputate my fingers. I adore Kenya, where my
family has been since the 1920s, but as I lay in hospital for a week I
wondered whether farming in Laikipia was worth the risk.
Early last year, Mathew — who has repeatedly denied the numerous
offences of which people have accused him — came to visit me on my
farm. He is a short man with a falsetto voice and an otter-like
sleekness. He is clearly intelligent but he has this disturbing habit
of grinning when a nasty subject comes up in conversation. I implored
him to be a leader for all ethnic communities in Laikipia rather than
just the disgruntled, unemployed Samburu youths who followed him
around. Our constituency is beset with some ghastly social problems:
child marriage and the clitoridectomy of young brides.
All children should attend primary school by law in Kenya, but in
Laikipia you see tiny boys herding cattle — a perilous task in the
African bush. In 2015 I saw a photo of a small Samburu child herder
half eaten by a lioness. Mathew had a budget of millions of pounds
earmarked for social projects in education, health and so on — but in
the shanty that was his powerbase, a few kilometres from the farm, he
had built a single-roomed structure the size of a garden shed, which
he called a ‘school’.
I told Mathew I had met men like him before — in Rwanda in 1994, Hutu
warlords driven by hatred for the Tutsis. The young militias they
incited to kill others eventually turned on them and practically ate
their leaders. Mathew blinked and played with his phone. A few months
later he told my farm workers that he would break down my gates and
I survived another ambush with gunshots flying as I drove home one
night. In late October, as Kenya heated up for this year’s elections,
my Samburu neighbours came to tell me Mathew was inciting a mob of
young moran warriors to invade my farm. I refused to believe this
claim, because I was doing plenty of business with my Samburu
neighbours. I had bought £30,000 worth of cattle from them that year
and I was about to start giving them pasture for their cattle at the
onset of the dry season.
A few days after this on 27 October, 300 warriors armed with bolt
cutters smashed through our electric fences and poured 10,000 cattle
into the farm. Within ten minutes of the alarms sounding, I phoned
Mathew and implored him to withdraw his supporters. He denied that he
was behind the invasion, jeered at me and said, ‘Bring the witnesses
to testify in court’, before cutting the line.
During the two-month invasion, I lost £282,000, according to an
assessment by the local government livestock production officer. After
the mobs had destroyed all the fences and pastures, leaving empty cans
of Red Bull and bottles of cheap hooch known as Trigger, I heard
Mathew held a celebration on the plains. Here he slaughtered two bulls
and allegedly said something along the lines of: ‘I gave you the grass
— now give me the votes.’
Impunity brings any perpetrator to a point of no return. What the
person has done wrong cannot be undone, and because after each
criminal act the stakes are raised ever higher, in order to survive he
must commit wrong after worse wrong.
During Laikipia’s invasions over the past ten months, dozens of people
have been murdered — most of them poor black smallholders — and losses
from vandalised property and lost business is estimated at around £30
million. A few weeks ago Mathew’s boss Raila Odinga, the opposition
leader, told the Times that white-owned farms in Laikipia would be
At press conferences Mathew seemed to be always at Raila’s side. In
the nights before election day on 8 August, I could not sleep a wink.
I felt the world was about to come to an end. A Samburu friend tells
me that Mathew began vomiting at the tallying centre as the votes
being counted showed that he was about to be trounced by Sarah
-Korere, the woman he had allegedly beaten last November. Sarah is
inclusive, a defender of the rule of law, pro-education, a promoter of
opportunities for women, and famous for breastfeeding her baby in
parliament where there were no facilities. The people had rejected
everything Mathew represents — and in the presidential elections,
Kenyans also rejected Raila’s crude populism and voted instead for
Uhuru Kenyatta and his promises of economic development. Raila
contests the result, claiming it was ‘rigged’.
For sure Kenya has a long way to go and corruption remains a giant
problem. But I had been preparing for the very worst under another
five years of Mathew. I now feel on top of the world about Sarah’s
election and the chance for all of us to help her rebuild Laikipia
from the ashes. This is what living in a young democracy is like.
Despair one day, the next great hope.
On his release Mathew’s followers began building a boma, or livestock
camp, up against my farm’s northern boundary.
Aidan Hartley Kenya is special like no other African nation @spectator
As I write this, my hands are seared and bruised from holding a hot
iron after branding our cattle. We have castrated our steers and piled
up the testicles on fence posts to fry later. We fought the cattle to
the ground. We pulled their tails and they bellowed.
I feel so happy. The cattle brand sizzles into the flesh with a hiss
and a cloud of smoke as it burns in the brand KH9, which has been the
Hartley mark here in Kenya since 1936. Finally we might have a stud
herd that can make a difference. This has all been going on in my
absence, but I have come home to the farm after covering dozens of
wars and crises for 25 years and I will do it no more. Cattle rustlers
and bandits will still shoot at me but I am going to be a farmer for
the rest of my life. And the farmer’s foot is the best manure for me
because I can personally fight off armed cattle rustlers and diseases
such as foot-and-mouth.
This morning I went for a walk on the farm and found myself lying on
my back, looking up at two African fish eagles calling triumphantly to
each other as they wheeled about the sky. I found a buffalo hoof mark
in the mud; a dik-dik midden, a swath of trashed bush where a herd of
elephant had passed like a cyclone — and a dung beetle rolling a ball
of turd like a miniature Sisyphus. Above the birdsong, in the
distance, from my neighbour’s farm several kilometres away there was
the sound of the weaner calves lowing plaintively for their mothers.
Sunlight and cloud shadow passed over the land in racing dapples.
After walking for an hour, I found myself in a corner of the farm I
had never found before, standing in front of a wild caper tree, with a
trail of bees emerging from a hole in the trunk like a line of musical
I am in one of the best places in the world. Near here, in November
1897, Lord Delamere, having trekked for a year down through the
burning wastes of Somalia and Kenya, rode his horse up the steep
escarpment from Lake Baringo in the hot trench of the Rift Valley to
the northern marches of the Laikipia plateau a few miles from my home.
Here he saw for the first time the cool waters, the green grass, the
fresh breeze and cavalcades of clouds that I see each day. In her
biography of Delamere, Elspeth Huxley wrote that these things
astonished and excited him. Here ‘was a promised land, the realisation
of a Rider Haggard dream of a rich and fertile country hidden beyond
impenetrable deserts and mountains. Here was a modern Eldorado,
waiting only for recognition.’
More than a century later, we have the cool nights, breezy days and
air that is clear and fresh. We still have the huge green circles that
are remnants of the boma enclosures of the Laikipia Maasai who were
exterminated by their fellow Maasai clans in the late 19th century.
The conflicts are not over and we have cattle rustlers and gunfire,
but when the fears of the night lift and I listen to pigeons in the
roof and lion at dawn I am a very happy man.
Huxley believed Delamere’s first encounter with Laikipia’s Elysian
pastures bound his allegiance to Kenya. Until then, Europeans had seen
East Africa simply as a place to be possessed, occupied, pacified or
administered. But Delamere saw it as a place ‘of fine possibilities’
where a man could feel alive and invigorated.
For decades people have baulked at Huxley’s emphasis on the whites’
colonial project coming at the expense of black East Africans. But the
truth is that the moment of that first encounter Delamere had with
Laikipia helped create a sense of manifest destiny for all Kenyans,
the recognition that we are special, in a way that is shared by no
other African nation. Oh, the light here at dusk, I wish you could see
ARM Cement reports H1 2017 EPS [-3.30] Earnings here
Par Value: 5/-
Closing Price: 19.45
Total Shares Issued: 495275000.00
Market Capitalization: 9,633,098,750
A mineral extraction and processing company which manufactures lime,
cement and other industrial fertilisers.
ARM Cement PLC H1 2017 results through 30th June 2017 vs. 30th June 2016
H1 Revenue 5.347487b vs. 6.670350b -19.832%
H1 [Loss]/ profit before tax [1.379980b] vs. [363.905m] -279.214%
H1 [Loss]/ profit after tax [1.413541b] vs. [266.782m] -429.849%
[Loss]/ earnings per share [3.30] vs. [1.10] -200.000%
No interim dividend
Total assets 49.363670b
Equity attributable to equity holders of parent company 26.381580b
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period 113.403m vs.
Kitchen-sinked these results.
HOME AFRIKA H1 2017 EPS [-0.22] Earnings here
Closing Price: 1.10
Total Shares Issued: 405255320.00
Market Capitalization: 445,780,852
Home Afrika Limited H1 2017 results through 30th June 2017 vs. 30th June 2016
H1 Revenue 92.474m vs. 54.346m +70.158%
H1 Cost of sales [75.274m] vs. [38.286m] +96.610%
H1 Gross profit/ [loss] 17.200m vs. 16.060m +7.098%
H1 Other operating income 7.638m vs. 5.473m +39.558%
H1 Total operating expenses [107.514m] vs. [64.593m] +66.448%
H1 Operating loss [82.676m] vs. [43.060m] +92.002%
H1 Finance costs [47.590m] vs. [53.958m] -11.802%
H1 Loss for the period [130.266m] vs. [97.018m] +34.270%
H1 Loss attributable to non controlling interests [13.133m] vs.
H1 Loss attributable to owners of the parent [89.786m] vs. [96.468m] -6.927%
Basic and diluted [Loss] per share [0.22] vs. [0.24] -8.333%
Current assets 3.358714b
Current liabilities [4.265775b]
H1 Ordinary share capital 405.255m vs. 405.255m –
H1 Share premium 68.842m vs 68.842m –
H1 Retained earnings [758.113m] vs. [649.285m] -16.761%
H1 Minority interests [29.070m] vs. 34.065m -185.337%
H1 Total equity [313.086m] vs. [141.123m] -121.853%
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of period 13.414m
No interim dividend
''the effect of the suppressed selling prices of the units sold off
plan in our Mitini Scapes development within Migaa''
The deferred revenue and deposits from sales of plots grew from 2b in
2016 to 2.2b in 2017
Book Value of group's sellable land or land Bank grew to 3.18b
process of fundraising ..has so far progressed very well.
Lake Victoria has been affected by years of mismanagement, environmental changes, and a burgeoning population @irininews _
Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, has been affected by years of
mismanagement, environmental changes, and a burgeoning population.
Desperate families use illegal nets and poison to catch fish, piracy
is on the rise, and alcoholism is rife. As fish stocks dwindle, more
and more families struggle to make ends meet.
Some fishermen still venture out onto the overfished waters. Among
them is Juma Otieno, a Kenyan with no land to farm. In order to make a
living, he travels in search of Nile perch to the island of Migingo,
ownership of which is contested by Kenya and Uganda. Over the seven
years he’s been working there, he’s become increasingly worried he’ll
soon have no means of making an income.
On the other side of the lake, on Uganda’s Ssese Island, Joseph Kibelu
has long given up fishing and is now producing palm oil. His trees
produce good fruit, he harvests and sells regularly, and he’s now able
to educate his children. However, the destruction of the island’s
natural forests to make way for palms has altered weather patterns and
the seasons have become less predictable. Compounding this is the poor
soil that demands a lot of fertiliser; something he knows can have a
direct and fatal effect on the fish-breeding grounds that surround the