Agnieszka's Feed
Jan 12, 2012

S.Africa, Swaziland to build $2 bln rail line, network

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African logistics group Transnet and Swaziland Railways have agreed to build a new rail line via Swaziland that would ease congestion on a main coal export line and boost trade in the region, the companies said on Thursday.

The total project, estimated to cost up to 17 billion rand, includes the construction of a new 146 km (90 mile) rail line from Lothair in South Africa to Sidvokodvo in Swaziland and upgrades to existing infrastructure linking the new line with ports in South Africa and Mozambique.

Jan 9, 2012

Electricity only reaches one in three Afghans

KABUL (Reuters) – Only one in three Afghans has access to electricity despite years of spending to improve supply, and the country is still far too dependent on imported power, the head of the country’s state owned power utility told Reuters.

Abdul Razique Samadi, the chief executive officer at Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), said the situation in the capital, Kabul, is far better than the rest of the country, with around 70 percent of households connected.

Jan 2, 2012

Afghan girls throw punches, aim for Olympic gold

KABUL (Reuters) – Teenage Afghan sisters Shabnam and Sadaf Rahimi are taking the fight for women’s rights more literally than most of their peers, throwing punches in a ring as members of their country’s first team of female boxers.

They practice inside a spartan gym with broken mirrors, flaking paint, four punching bags, and a concrete floor padded with faded pink and green mats. Some girls wear face masks to keep away the dust coming up from the floor.

Jan 2, 2012

Afghan girls throw punches, aim for Olympic gold

KABUL (Reuters) – Teenage Afghan sisters Shabnam and Sadaf Rahimi are taking the fight for women’s rights more literally than most of their peers, throwing punches in a ring as members of their country’s first team of female boxers.

They practice inside a spartan gym with broken mirrors, flaking paint, four punching bags, and a concrete floor padded with faded pink and green mats. Some girls wear face masks to keep away the dust coming up from the floor.

Dec 24, 2011

Afghanistan food aid at risk as donors trim support

KABUL (Reuters) – More Afghans will go hungry next year and may be dependent on food aid for longer as school feeding programmes and projects to develop the country’s crumbling agriculture sector have to be trimmed due to waning donor support, the United Nations warned.

The UN’s World Food Programme WFP.L raised only about half its annual $400 million Afghanistan budget in 2011, and even less was expected for 2012, Bradley Guerrant, the agency’s deputy director for Afghanistan, said this week.

Dec 23, 2011

Afghan president to replace top human rights officials

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai will replace four people at the national human rights commission to bring fresh blood into the group, and not because he is seeking to remove some of his most outspoken critics, his spokesman said on Friday.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) is appointed by the state but acts independently. Any move by the government to oust its workers could raise questions about the state’s commitment to protecting human rights.

Dec 11, 2011

Private sector finance eyed for U.N. forest projects

DURBAN (Reuters) – Private investors may be allowed to earn carbon credits by paying poor countries to halt the destruction of tropical forests, but a U.N. climate summit failed to agree the details needed to get the ambitious program off the ground.

The felling of trees that capture the heat-trapping gases responsible for global warming accounts for about 20 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions, and studies show an acre (0.4 hectare) of forest is lost every second around the globe.

Dec 11, 2011

U.N. climate talks agree legal pact on global warming

DURBAN (Reuters) – U.N. climate change talks agreed a pact Sunday that for the first time would force all the biggest polluters to take action to slow the pace of global warming.

The deal follows years of failed attempts to impose legally-binding, international cuts on emerging giants, such as China and India, as well as rich nations like the United States.

Dec 10, 2011

Host struggling to save U.N. climate talks

DURBAN (Reuters) – South Africa struggled on Saturday to find a compromise deal that could save U.N. climate talks from collapse.

Ministerial negotiations in the South African port city of Durban were put off until Saturday afternoon but with many delegates due to head home there was a strong chance real decisions would be put off until next year.

Dec 10, 2011

Climate talks in extra time after row over draft deal

DURBAN (Reuters) – U.N. climate talks stalled after a rebellion by developing states most at risk from global warming, forcing host South Africa to push the conference into extra time on Saturday in an effort to prevent the negotiations collapsing.

Deliberations were due to resume around midday after haggling in the South African port city of Durban continued into the early hours.