Insight and investigations from our expert reporters
from Isaac Esipisu:
By Aaron Maasho
Ethiopia and Eritrea are still at each others’ throats. The two neighbours fought hammer and tongs in sun-baked trenches during a two-year war over a decade ago, before a peace deal ended their World War I-style conflict in 2000. Furious veRed Sea, UNrbal battles, however, have continued to this day.
Yet, amid the blistering rhetoric and scares over a return to war, analysts say the feuding rivals are reluctant to lock horns once again. Neighbouring South Sudan and some Ethiopian politicians are working on plans to bring both sides to the negotiating table.
Asmara has been named, shamed and then slapped with two sets of U.N. sanctions over charges that it was aiding and abetting al Qaeda-linked rebels in lawless Somalia in its proxy war with Ethiopia. However, a panel tasked with monitoring violations of an arms embargo on Somalia said it had no proof of Eritrean support to the Islamist militants in the last year.
Nevertheless, Eritrea's foreign ministry wasted little time in pointing a finger of accusation at its perennial rival. “The events over the past year have clearly shown that it is in fact Ethiopia that is actively engaged in destabilising Eritrea in addition to its continued occupation of sovereign Eritrean territory in violation of the U.N. Charter,” the ministry said in a statement last month.
from Africa News blog:
By Cosmas Butunyi
The dust is finally settling on the storm that was kicked off in South Africa by a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.
The country that boasts one of the most liberal constitutions in the world and the only one on the African continent with a constitutional provision that protects and defends the rights of gays and lesbians , had its values put up to the test after an artist ruffled feathers by a painting that questioned the moral values of the ruling African National Congress .
On a tidy campus in his capital of Tripoli, dictator Muammar Gaddafi sponsored one of the world's leading Muslim missionary networks. It was the smiling face of his Libyan regime, and the world smiled back.
from Global News Journal:
Tim Large, editor of Thomson Reuters Foundation’s AlertNet humanitarian news service, gives the back story to his special report Crisis grips North Korean rice bowl <http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/07/us-korea-north-food-idUSTRE7956DU20111007> . Any opinions expressed are his own.
Malnourished children presented at a clinic in North Korea during a guided tour of a disaster-hit province. (Reuters/Tim Large)
Back in May, Matthew Goldstein wrote about commodities trader and hip-hop promoter Tyrone Gilliams in the special report “A fame-seeking Philly trader’s rap falls flat.”
Today Gilliams was arrested on charges of running a $4 million investment scam.
Time to re-read the original story, which detailed allegations by Ohio businessman David Parlin that Gilliams used some of Parlin’s money to sponsor a glitzy black-tie charitable event in Philadelphia attended by rappers and local politicians.
from Unstructured Finance:
By Matthew Goldstein
For months now we've been hearing a lot about the $14 trillion in debt owed by the U.S. government. But there's been far too little talk about the almost equally high debt tab owed by U.S. consumers.
The Federal Reserve recently reported that total outstanding debt owed by U.S. consumers was $11.4 trillion, down from its third-quarter 2008 peak of $12.5 trillion. At that pace, it could take years for U.S. consumers to delever, or in plain English--reduce the debts they owe on their homes, credit cards, autos and student loans. But when it comes to the staggering sum of consumer debt in this country, it's pretty clear that time is not on our side.
Emma Thomasson and Edward Taylor tell the inside story of UBS’s turbulent week in today’s second special report “How a rogue trader crashed UBS.”
UBS chief Oswald Gruebel’s decision to resign after the bank said a rogue trader lost as much as $2.3 billion was not just a response to the immediate crisis. It was also an admission that the bank’s latest scandal has effectively undone all his efforts over the past two years to lobby against tougher bank regulations.
Today’s special report from Detroit, “Crunch time for America’s richest union,” takes a close look at the finances of the historic United Auto Workers union.
Over its 76 years, the UAW has built up a more than $1 billion war chest that has proven to be its big stick at the negotiating table and on the political stage.