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{UAH} Mirundi: Museveni Isn’t Scared of Losses, But His Team Isn’t Telling the Truth on Arua Chaos

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{UAH} WHY ARMY AND POLICE MUST REMAIN SEPARATE


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{UAH} Bobi Wine’s American Lawyers Talk Visa Ban for Ugandan Officials

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{UAH} NOTE TO IDIOTS


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{UAH} Free Bobi



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Gwokto La'Kitgum
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"I want first-time offenders to think of their appearance in my courtroom as the second-worst experience of their lives … circumcision being the first." Judge Judy
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{UAH} New Zealand lawmaker bikes to hospital to give birth

MEAN WHILE KAYIBANDA MUSEVENI SENDS HIS DAUGHTER TO A GERMAN HOSPITAL IN AN EMPTY AIRPLANE TO PUKE A BABY AT  A COST OF $250,000 TO THE UGANDAN TAX PAYER.

At 42 weeks pregnant, a New Zealand lawmaker made her own way to a hospital to have her baby, from her suburban home to a maternity ward on a bicycle.

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{UAH} Mourning my friend Mohamed, the dry cleaner of Mogadishu

Mourning my friend Mohamed, the dry cleaner of Mogadishu

Mohamed Mahamoud Sheikh with a dry-cleaning machine

Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, has been described as the most dangerous city in the world. But some people there are trying to bring life back to the place. During her regular visits, BBC World Service Africa editor Mary Harper came to know one of them - an entrepreneur named Mohamed Mahamoud Sheikh. Then she received some bad news.

The last time I saw Mohamed, he gave me flowers. He chose one of the biggest and most colourful bunches from the display in his florist's shop. Next door, machines whirred at a dry cleaners - which also belonged to him.

Stopping off to see Mohamed was always one of my favourite things to do when I visited Mogadishu. While the world's media spoke of famine, pirates and suicide bombs, he quietly and determinedly got on with his life, bringing what many would see as entirely normal, mundane services back to his country.

He also encouraged others. He set up a community of people involved in start-ups, and became something of an inspirational figure - but always remained modest.

Lots of brave new businesses have sprung up, from the young man with a motorbike who has started a food delivery business to the girl who has set herself up as a mechanic.

Visiting Mohamed in Mogadishu was not entirely straightforward. As for all my other appointments in the city, I never fixed a precise time. Sometimes I would just show up outside the metal gates of the Somalia Premium Laundry on the busy Maka al-Mukarama road. I always travelled there with heavy security - at least six bodyguards in one vehicle, a couple more in the other.

Mary Harper and Mohamed outside his dry cleaning business

It is best to be unpredictable - people say phone calls are listened in on and that there are informants everywhere.

But taking care with information and security is no guarantee of safety.

Earlier this month, Mohamed was driving in his car in full daylight in a heavily guarded area, known as Kilometre Five. Two men appeared and shot him. This unassuming but influential young man died later in hospital.

So far, his murderers have not been caught.

Now Mohamed won't be able to realise the other dreams he told me about - of opening a gym, a playground for children, of growing all the flowers for his shop in the fertile fields of Afgoye, not far from Mogadishu. He dreamed of greening the city and had already brought in flowering trees to plant there.

Somali social media was soon awash with comments from people whose lives he had touched. Many were accompanied by the hashtag #WeAreNotSafe.

Three days after he died, a rare demonstration was held in Mogadishu. Young people wearing white headbands held up banners emblazoned with phrases like "Stop Killing Youth". They asked how and why people like Mohamed were being killed, and why nobody was being held accountable.


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Mohamed Mahamoud SheikhImage copyrightTEDX
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On that very same day, a car bomb exploded outside a restaurant in the city, killing at least three people.

I first heard about Mohamed when a friend called to tell me about someone who'd given up a safe, well-paid job in Dubai to return home and set up the first dry cleaners in Mogadishu for more than two decades.

I thought this would make a great story - Somalis like Mohamed, who'd lived in peaceful countries abroad, coming home to rebuild their nation.

The dry cleaning element also appealed. Every time I flew out of Mogadishu, politicians and businessmen would board the plane carrying vast piles of dirty suits to be cleaned in neighbouring countries. Once at a summit held in Ethiopia's most luxurious hotel, I was astonished to see Somalia's top politicians marching down the corridors with armloads of freshly dry-cleaned suits.

Mohamed had spotted an excellent business opportunity.

Dry cleaning rail

His murder has thrown up questions about the nature of violence in Somalia. About who is killing who. People often rush to blame the Islamist group al-Shabab which for more than a decade has spread terror in Somalia and beyond. But the jihadists are not the only killers.

It could be a politician who doesn't like what you do or say, a business rival… or caused by a property dispute, or plain jealousy. People are quick to reach for their guns in Somalia. I have been stuck in traffic jams where the guard in my car has rolled down the window and fired live bullets into the air, just to get the other vehicles moving.

Mohamed was not the only rising young star to have his life cruelly cut short. Abbas Abdullahi grew up in a refugee camp and was named a government minister last year. He was shot dead accidentally by the attorney general's bodyguards. Young journalists are murdered on a regular basis.

It seems strange that, with all the billions spent on security in Somalia, the presence of tens of thousands of African Union troops, US drones and special forces, there is little protection for people like Mohamed.

Fishermen on the beach in MogadishuImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

I keep catching myself thinking about him - about our friendship, his welcoming gap-toothed smile and his unswerving commitment to making life better.

I wonder about his businesses. Are they standing empty now, the dry cleaning machines quiet and still, the flowers wilting?

Is anybody watering the pots of plants he tended so carefully and sold to people trying to bring a bit of brightness into the homes and businesses they are rebuilding in Mogadishu?

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{UAH} Chief al-Qaeda bomb maker 'killed in Yemen strike' - US reports

Chief al-Qaeda bomb maker 'killed in Yemen strike' - US reports

Saudi interior ministry handout showing Ibrahim al-Asiri (7 May 2012)Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionAl-Qaeda has not commented on the reports or published a eulogy for Ibrahim al-Asiri

US officials are confident that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's suspected chief bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, has been killed, reports say.

US media cited sources as saying they believed the Saudi militant died in a US drone strike in Yemen last year.

Asiri is alleged to have been behind the 2009 underwear bomb plot and made devices found on cargo planes in 2010.

Intelligence suggesting he was working on a bomb hidden in a laptop or tablet led the US to ban them on some flights.

A UN report published last week, which also said Asiri might have been killed, said his death would represent "a serious blow" to AQAP's operational capability.

A Yemeni tribal leader told the Associated Press on Friday that Asiri was killed in a missile strike, along with two or four associates, in Marib province.

AQAP has not commented on the reports or published a eulogy for Asiri, as it has done for other leaders and field commanders killed by the US and its allies.

The US designated Asiri, 36, as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" in 2011 and has offered a $5m (£3.9m) reward for any information leading to his capture.

Before joining AQAP, he was part of an al-Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia and was allegedly involved in planned bombings of oil facilities in the kingdom.

Asiri gained notoriety for the recruitment of his younger brother, Abdullah, as a suicide bomber.

In August 2009, Abdullah detonated a bomb concealed within his body in an attempt to assassinate Saudi Arabia's then security chief, Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, who escaped with minor injuries.

The bomb contained the explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), and used a detonator with a chemical fuse, which was not spotted by a metal detector.

Handout US government image provided by ABC news shows the underwear bomb worn by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (28 December 2009)Image copyrightABC NEWS VIA GETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe bomb concealed in Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's underwear failed to detonate fully

After the death of his brother, Asiri is thought to have designed the underpants bomb allegedly used by a young Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, in an attempt to blow up a US passenger jet as it flew into Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. That device also contained PETN and had a chemical fuse.

He is also believed to have made PETN bombs hidden in two printer cartridges, which were found on cargo planes in Dubai and the UK in October 2010. The cartridges were inside packages sent from Yemen to the US.

Intelligence reports that Asiri was developing bombs that could be hidden in portable electronic devices led to the US authorities banning uncharged laptops and mobile phones from flights to the US from Europe and the Middle East in 2014.

And in March 2017, reportedly after fresh intelligence about AQAP's activities was obtained in a raid in Yemen, the US banned all laptops and large mobile devices in hand luggage on flights from major airports in the Middle East.

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{UAH} Here's who was inside the 'cursed' Egyptian sarcophagus (PHOTOS)

Here's who was inside the 'cursed' Egyptian sarcophagus (PHOTOS)

Here's who was inside the 'cursed' Egyptian sarcophagus (PHOTOS)
The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has released details about the skeletons found inside the mysterious sarcophagus unearthed in July and opened despite all the warnings about the ancient curses it might unleash.

The ominous black granite sarcophagus, dating back to up to the 4th century BC, was excavated in Alexandria to the protesting cries of Twitter doomsayers everywhere, and was found to contain no curses – at least, no readily-evident ones. Instead, inside were three skeletons floating in icky dark fluid (which an impressive number of people want to have a sip of).

On the more scientific side, the skeletons have now been studied by a team of scientists from the Antiquities Ministry, who have determined their age, gender and other details. While not really the stuff of a fresh 'Mummy' reboot, the findings are still interesting. They've been posted, along with photos of the bones, on the Antiquities Ministry's Facebook page.

The skeletons belong to two men and a woman, all different ages. The woman was the youngest, 20 to 25 years old and 160 to 164 cm (slightly over 5 ft) tall. One of the men was 35 to 39 years old and only marginally taller, while the other one was the oldest, at 40 to 44 years, and also the tallest, at an impressive 179 to 184.5 cm (around 6 ft). 

Small gold plates were also found among the bones. Measuring about 5cm by 3cm (about 2in by 1in), the plates feature delicate artwork that may refer to military ranks, according to researchers cited by Ahram online. The plates are now being studied in more detail.

Another peculiarity the Egyptian scientists have discovered is a hole in one of the men's skulls. The hole was not the cause of death, however, since its condition indicates that the person had survived for a long time with it. Instead, the scientists say, it's the result of trepanation, an ancient form of surgery.

"This surgery is the oldest surgical intervention ever known since pre-history but was rare in Egypt," Dr. Zeinab Hashish, the head of the researchers' team, said. She added that only a few skulls from ancient Egypt were found to have undergone the procedure.

Trepanation has been practiced for millennia to treat cranial diseases and, in some cases, what was considered abnormal behavior. A hole was drilled or scraped into the patient's skull, which was sometimes believed to release evil spirits posessing the person. Trepanation is indeed effective in relieving blood pressure and swelling, and is used to treat those symptoms in modern-day medicine.

More studies are now being performed on the bones, including DNA analysis and CT scans, to determine whether they were members of a single family. The dark liquid found in the sarcophagus is also being analyzed, and scientists have confirmed that it is, indeed, sewage water tinted by the corpses' decayed wrappings.


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Gwokto La'Kitgum
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"I want first-time offenders to think of their appearance in my courtroom as the second-worst experience of their lives … circumcision being the first." Judge Judy
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

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Disclaimer:Everyone posting to this Forum bears the sole responsibility for any legal consequences of his or her postings, and hence statements and facts must be presented responsibly. Your continued membership signifies that you agree to this disclaimer and pledge to abide by our Rules and Guidelines.To unsubscribe from this group, send email to: ugandans-at-heart+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com

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