- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 12, 2005

BRITAIN

South African teen petitions to stay

LONDON — A South African teen facing deportation from Britain petitioned Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday in her fight to stay with her family in northern England.

Candice Chesher, 18, has been refused permission to stay with her parents, who moved to Britain from South Africa in 2003. Miss Chesher lives in Ripon, northern England, with her mother, who has an Irish passport, and her half brother and stepfather, who have British passports.

She has South African papers and has not seen her South African biological father since she was 10 months old.

AFRICAN UNION

‘Walls and prisons’ won’t stop illegals

BRUSSELS — The chief executive of the African Union (AU) warned yesterday that “walls and prisons” cannot prevent migrants from trying to enter Europe illegally, and lamented deaths on the Morocco-Spain border.

Alpha Oumar Konare said the underlying economic and social reasons must be tackled to avoid a repetition of the scenes in which African immigrants died trying to enter the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa.

ITALY

Africa next target for bird-flu virus

ROME — Deadly avian flu will more than likely spread from Asia to Africa in coming months, a veterinary specialist with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned yesterday.

Joseph Domenech, head of veterinary services at the Rome-based organization, told Agence France-Presse he is concerned about the continent’s lack of readiness to deal with the threat.

Mr. Domenech said he was not surprised, given migration patterns, that suspected outbreaks occurred in Turkey and Bulgaria in recent days; these presage the arrival of the bird-flu virus in Africa, in his view.

The arrival of migratory birds carrying the deadly H5N1 virus is expected this winter and spring in Africa’s Rift Valley. Scientists fear the strain could mutate to spread easily among humans.

Weekly notes …

South Africa’s fired Deputy President Jacob Zuma will go on trial for corruption in July, the National Prosecuting Authority announced yesterday. Spokesman Makhosini Nkosi said the prosecution and Mr. Zuma’s defense agreed the trial will start July 31. Mr. Zuma, 63, was fired June 14 after a businessman was found guilty of paying him kickbacks. … Cell phones are changing life in Africa. Amina Harun, 45, a farmer in Kenya, used to traipse around for hours looking for a working pay phone to call markets and find the best prices for her fruit. Now, “we can easily link up with customers, brokers and the market,” she said. About 100 million of Africa’s 906 million people are now wirelessly linked by cell phones, which made up 74.6 percent of African phone subscriptions last year, says the International Telecommunication Union.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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