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‘Whitening’ creams undergo a makeover, but colorism persists

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—The world’s biggest cosmetics companies have been selling a fairy tale that often goes something like this: If your husband’s lost interest in you, if your colleagues dismiss you at work, if your talents are ignored, whiten your skin to turn your love life around, boost your career and command center stage. No company has had greater...

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia battle for Nile River rights

During recent talks by phone between Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa—current chairperson of the African Union (AU)—El-Sisi reiterated concern about Ethiopia’s filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). El-Sisi said he seeks a fair and balanced agreement and rejects any unilateral filling of the dam’s reservoir. Ramaphosa said he hopes “intensive coordination” between...

Tunisia appoints new prime minister

Tunisia’s president has appointed Interior Minister Hichem Mechichi as the new prime minister of the country to form a new government and end months of political deadlock. President Kais Saied in late July designated Mr. Mechichi to succeed Elyes Fakhfakh, who resigned over allegations of a conflict of interest. The new prime minister has one month to form a government capable...

Ravages of acute hunger will likely hit six in 10 in Zimbabwe: WFP

By UN News The World Food Program (WFP) is urgently seeking more international support to prevent millions of Zimbabweans plunging deeper into hunger. The Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated an already severe hunger crisis in Zimbabwe, UN humanitarians warned on July 30. In an appeal for an additional $250 million to support emergency relief for millions of vulnerable people, the World Food...

Number of fires more than doubles in Brazil’s Pantanal

BRASILIA, Brazil—The number of fires in Brazil’s Pantanal, the world’s biggest tropical wetlands, more than doubled in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to data released by a state institute. Officials said it was the largest number of fires in a six-month period in the last two decades. The sharp increase in fires...

Libya’s unclear future marred by internal, external conflict

Civil war is currently ratcheting up in Libya as internal saber-rattling escalates and foreign actors involved take sides and add to heightened threats of military action. Libya has been absent a cohesive government since a United States-led overthrow of Muammar Gadhafi and the Great Jamahiriya government in 2011. Since the U.S. and NATO (North Atlanta Treaty Organization) invasion, resulting in...

Challenging cultural norms and removing stigma is key to confronting Lesotho’s rape culture

Commentary THABA-TSEKA, Lesotho—The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and given rise to a new, deeply concerning wave of rape culture in Lesotho. Although the true extent is not known yet, we have noticed concerning reports that the onset of the pandemic has worsened sexual violence with more women and girls being confined to small living places whilst social tensions are exacerbated. According...

U.S. entertainment, music industry exploits South African musicians

Copyright is the most important type of protection available to musicians. It has even been boldly asserted that “the recording industry is built on copyrights.” Without copyright, wrote Stellenbosch University professor Owen Henry Dean in a 2015 study, “there is very little protection available to musicians and producers.” Taking music without compensating the original creator is at the heart of a fight...

Zindzi Mandela, an offspring of struggle, dies at 59

There is no doubt, the name Mandela is synonymous with a legacy of struggle for the soul and transformation of South Africa. Zindziswa “Zindzi” Mandela was an offspring in that line who continued that legacy of service into the 21st Century. Ms. Mandela, the youngest daughter of the late iconic figures Nelson and Winnie Mandela died in Johannesburg, South Africa....

The Motherlands powerful influence on Islam

An important collection of historical accounts about the spread of Islam in the Motherland is captured in “Africa’s Islamic Experience: History, Culture and Politics” edited by among others A. Ali Mazrui, a famed Kenyan-born political scientist and one of Africa’s leading public intellectuals. The book was published in 2011 and Dr. Mazrui is now deceased.   But the work gives...