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On Monday Oct. 1, Cameroon’s Anglophone separatists marked the first anniversary of their self-declared breakaway state, the Federal Republic of Ambazonia (Southern Cameroons) in a somber mood. This was a marked difference from last year’s outpouring of celebrations and rhetoric by locals to unilaterally and symbolically the declare independence of Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions.

That was because both the Cameroon government and the separatists themselves had decreed a total lockdown for the date, Oct. 1 and beyond—with an eye on a contentious national election less than a week away.

In order to circumvent the type of massive mobilization of English speakers which saw thousands on the streets last year, the government placed restrictions on movement. In the north-west region, movement of persons from one sub-division to another was prohibited for a period of 48 hours, spanning from Sunday Sept. 30 to Monday Oct. 1. The public gathering of more than four people was also temporarily outlawed. This added to a dusk-to-dawn curfew earlier in place.

The governor of the north-west region, Lele Lafrique Tchoffo Deben Adolphe said the temporary restriction of movement of people was an “appropriate measure taken to guarantee security of its citizens and their properties before, during and after this day [Oct. 1].”

In the south-west region, similar restrictions, including shutting down of all businesses, suspension of socio-cultural meetings, closure of motor parks and ban on circulation, were instituted by local administrators.

AMINDEH BLAISE ATABONG
A deserted street in Buea, Cameroon

However, despite the measures, pro-independence English-speaking Cameroonians hoisted the blue-white flags of Ambazonia, and chanted their national anthem in some towns like Muyuka, Santa, Pinyin, Fontem, Ndu, Bafut, and even in far-off London where demonstrations took place.

For their part, separatists started enforcing a lockdown expected to end on Oct. 10, in a bid to frustrate political campaigns and a presidential poll on Oct. 7 in the two English-speaking regions.

The lockdown and the fear of being caught up in fresh clashes sparked the mass exit of people. Thousands of residents in the north-west and south-west regions have crossed over to the French-speaking parts of the country while others have gone abroad. In the south-west region alone, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that 246,000 people have been internally displaced, with a further 21,000 having cross over the border to Nigeria as refugees.

To enforce the lockdown, separatists have sabotaged bridges linking different localities and used trees to block major highways in the restive areas. On Sept. 30, no fewer than five vehicles were set ablaze along the Kumba-Mamfe road and the wreckages used to block the road. Gunshots were also heard in towns like Buea and Bamenda, while clashes between the warring parties get more frequent and deadly.

Armed separatists are determined to forestall any election in “their region.” However, Paul Atanga Nji, Minister of Territorial Administration has said the presidential poll will take place across all 360 sub-divisions of the country, including those in the embattled English-speaking regions.

The race to for president involves nine contenders, including incumbent Paul Biya, 85, who is seeking to extend his 36-year rule by another seven years. Biya is campaigning on his “force of experience” to floor his eight challengers in the Oct. 7 poll. There is little likelihood the incumbent won’t win. Besides the fact that Transparency International says elections in Cameroon are often marked by irregularities, the challengers will have to share opposition votes, giving Biya an edge in a one-round election in which one requires just the highest number of votes to emerge winner.

President Paul Biya has reiterated his resolve to end the conflict which started as a modest protest by English speakers against real and perceived marginalization by his Francophone-dominated government. While launching his bid for re-election in the northern city of Maroua, on Sept. 29, he claimed the state had overcome the toughest ordeal in the conflict-ridden regions.

By Amindeh Blaise Atabong in Buea Cameroon

We have received numerous complaints from ground zero of people facing a lot of difficulties accessing the SCBC and other websites associated with Ambazonia, Southern Cameroons.

Today we bring to you a simple and very reliable method you can use to access SCBC and any other Ambazonia, Southern Cameroons associated websites blocked on ground zero without having to run any VPN app on your smartphones or pc

Here is what you have to do.

Open the Google play store app on your smartphones and search for puffin browser, download and have it installed.

Click here to download Puffin Browser from Google Play Store

Facing difficulties downloading Puffin Browser from Google Play Store. Click here for direct download

Once you have the Puffin browser app installed on your smartphones, you can access SCBC and any other Ambazonia websites blocked on ground zero without to running any VPN apps on your smartphones or pc

Puffin browser is also available for Windows Operating System (OS)

Click here to download Puffin browser for Windows Operating System

Puffin browser is also available on App Store

For iPad or iPhone users click here

NOTE: Always remember to open SCBC or any Amba websites if you are on ground zero with Puffin browser. To make it easier, set puffin browser as your default web browser on both your smartphones and PC.This applies only to Ambazonians on ground zero. 

Please share this info as much as you can.

SCBC TECH DEPARTMENT.

The twin factors of conflict and violence continues to adversely affect countries in East and Central Africa region, according to a September 2018 report by Geneva-based International Displacement Monitoring Center, IDMC.

In a list of the top 10 countries affected by instability leading to mass displacements, six African countries made the ranking with a combined displacement figure of over 3.5 million. The period under consideration being the first half of 2018 – January to June.

Ethiopia’s internally displaced figure of 1.4 million put it top of the ranking, 200,000 more than that of Syria. Democratic Republic of Congo came in third with 946,000 displaced.

The other Central African country on the list was Central African Republic in sixth spot with 232,000. Somalia (5th with 341,000) and South Sudan (7th with 215,000) completed the list for East Africa.

The sole West African country that made the list was Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation recorded an internally displaced figure of 417,000 as a result of Boko Haram attacks in the North East and communal clashes along the middle belt.

The non African nations listed were Syria (2nd – 1.2 million), Afghanistan (8th – 168,000), India (9th – 166,000) and Yemen (10th – 142,000).

Comparative review of figures January – June 2017 and 2018.

Ethiopia – 213,000 (2017) now 1.4 million
DR Congo – 997,000 now 946,000
Nigeria – 142,000 now 417,000
Somalia – 166,000 now 341,000
C. A. R. – 206,000 now 232,000
S. Sudan – 163,000 now 215,000

The above figures indicate that all the countries with the exception of DR Congo grew their internally displaced population as per figures of 2017 vis-a-vis 2018.

In the Central Africa region, there is also the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon that has caused internal displacements and caused others to flee across the border into Nigeria.

Much of Southern Africa remains relatively peaceful except for recent cases of violent attacks in parts of Mozambique. West Africa’s insecurity in the Sahel region is seen in combat between state actors and terrorist elements.

Andrea Constand said the assault “robbed” her of her trust in others in an impact statement given to the court

In addition to the label, Cosby still faces a maximum prison term of 10 years after an agreement between prosecutors and his defence team, but there is no mandatory minimum for the convictions.

The Montgomery County District Attorney, Kevin Steele, called for five to 10 years in jail for aggravated indecent assault.

Cosby’s defence is pushing instead for house arrest.

In June 2017, Ms Constand described how Cosby, whom she viewed as a “mentor”, gave her pills that left her “frozen” and unable to stop his assault.

In Ms Constand’s impact statement, provided to reporters by the prosecution team on Tuesday, she said: “To truly understand the impact that the sexual assault has had on my life, you have to understand the person that I was before it happened.”

Ms Constand wrote that she stopped eating, sleeping and socialising in the wake of the assault. She said she had been a “young woman brimming with confidence” before Cosby took that from her.

Presentational white space

“Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it. He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others.”

Lili Bernard and former model Janice Dickinson – both Cosby accusers present at the hearing – tweeted on Tuesday: “May justice be served! #MeToo”.

Cosby’s wife, Camille, has not been present at the sentencing.

Protester holding sign saying America's First #MeToo ConvictionImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionProtesters rallied outside the courthouse for Cosby’s sentencing

The comedian was arrested in 2015 and a deadlocked jury resulted in a mistrialin June 2017.

This year’s retrial occurred amid the #MeToo movement that has seen people worldwide come forward to share stories of sexual harassment and assault.

Life expectancy in the UK has stopped improving for the first time since 1982, when figures began.

Women’s life expectancy from birth remains 82.9 years and for men it is 79.2, the figures from the Office for National Statistics, for 2015-17, show.

In some parts of the UK, life expectancy has even decreased.

For men and women in Scotland and Wales, it declined by more than a month. Men in Northern Ireland have seen a similar fall.

For women in Northern Ireland, and for men and women in England, life expectancy at birth is unchanged.

The ONS said the stalling of life expectancy was linked to a particularly high number of deaths from 2015 to 2017, which coincided with a bad flu season and excess winter deaths.

It said there was “much ongoing debate” about the reasons behind this and what direction the trend may take in the future.

What’s happening

It is not clear what is driving the trend, but some academics have argued that government austerity policies, such as cuts to social care budgets in England, must have played a part.

Ministers have said that no such causation can be proved, although Public Health England has been asked to carry out a review of life expectancy trends.

Dr Kingsley Purdam, senior lecturer in social research methods and statistics at the University of Manchester, said the figures were “shocking”.

“Poverty, austerity and cuts to public services are impacting on how long people are living in the UK,” he said.

“We all need to look after our health but many of us, including the most vulnerable populations, need help at a time when evidence suggests that services are being cut.

“The lost years of life have an impact not just on the individual but on those people who are ultimately left behind including partners, children and grandchildren.”

Chart of life expectancy
Chances of surviving to 90

But Prof Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said there were other factors that might explain the stall in progress.

“We still do not know how much this is a result of direct health effects such as flu epidemics, how much is a result of social and economic factors, and how much is a failure to go on improving smoking cessation or other preventive measures,” he said.

The data also shows that the UK lags behind other leading countries for life expectancy, including Switzerland, Japan, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy.

Of the countries the ONS compared the UK with, Switzerland was the nation with the longest life expectancy for men. For women, it is Japan.

Men in Switzerland are expected to live to 81.5 years. Women in Japan are predicted to live to 87.

Changing trend

Throughout the 20th Century, the UK experienced steady improvements in life expectancy at birth, resulting in a larger and older population.

This has been attributed to healthier lifestyles among the population as it ages, such as reduced smoking rates, and improvements in treating infectious illnesses and conditions such as heart disease.

But in recent years, the progress has slowed. And in the latest data it has ground to a halt.

The population of people who are 90 or over is still increasing but this is due to previous improvements in life expectancy going back many decades.

The number of centenarians decreased slightly between 2016 and 2017, reflecting low numbers of births during World War One.

But the ONS said it was expected to continue to increase again from 2019.


Analysis

By Robert Cuffe, BBC News head of statistics

Since the 1980s, life expectancy has been going up by roughly two months a year every year, as we saw fewer deaths due to smoking or heart problems.

But after 2011, that rate of improvement has been slowing.

It could be because it’s hard to keep on improving every year. It could be because of hard winters or difficult flu seasons. But we’re not sure about exactly what has caused this trend.

So this data is really telling us about death rates in the UK for the past three years.

And we can be sure that picture in death rates is real.

How sure can we be that you’ll live as long as the ONS predicts?

Not very – the ONS is not making precise predictions about what will happen in the future to determine how long you live.

Medical breakthroughs, pandemics and the wars of the next 80 years are impossible to predict.


A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “Recent trends in life expectancy and mortality in the UK can also be seen in a number of countries across Europe, North America and Australia.

“As part of our long-term plan for the health service, we are taking action to help people live longer and healthier lives – cancer survival is at a record high while smoking rates are at an all-time low – backed by our additional funding of an extra £20.5bn a year by 2023-24, which will transform care for cancer and other chronic diseases.”

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has told Paul Pogba he will not captain the club again because of concerns about the midfielder’s attitude.

Pogba was told of the decision before Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie with Derby.

Mourinho has attempted to underline his authority after an error by Pogba led to Wolves’ equaliser at Old Trafford on Saturday and the player’s subsequent comments criticising United’s tactics.

Pogba, 25, tried to play down his comments in a tweet on Monday.

In his programme notes for Tuesday’s game with Derby, Mourinho said he was unhappy with some members of his squad.

“[The game against Wolves was] an important lesson; a lesson that I repeat week after week after week, a lesson that some boys are not learning,” he said.

“Every team that play Manchester United are playing the game of their lives, and we need to match that level of aggression, motivation and desire – 95% isn’t enough when others give 101%.”

Pogba was not named in the match-day squad.

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba suggested on Monday that too much had been made of his comments

Following last Saturday’s 1-1 draw, Pogba said the wanted the team to be able to “attack, attack, attack” at Old Trafford.

“We are at home and we should play much better against Wolves. We are here to attack,” said the France World Cup winner.

“When we play like [that] it’s easier for us.”

Pogba – who rejoined the club from Juventus for a then world record £89m in 2016 – fell out of favour at United last season and suggested he was dissatisfied with life at Old Trafford.

France boss Didier Deschamps recently said the perception of Pogba as “individualistic” was inaccurate, and that his midfielder was misunderstood by fans and the media.

Analysis – who will walk through United exit?

This feels like a significant moment for Manchester United.

It has been obvious for a while that Paul Pogba does not see eye-to-eye with the man responsible for paying a club record £89m to sign him from Juventus. It has also been clear for a while that Barcelona are keen on him.

Now, Jose Mourinho has opened the door.

But the big question is, which one of them will go through it?

Letting Pogba go would be viewed as a monumental failure for Mourinho and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward given it is only a few months since the player impressed as France won the World Cup.

The alternative is to stick with him, but that would almost certainly mean Mourinho’s position had become untenable given he was also blocked from signing the players he wanted in the summer.

Croatian international and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has been named the best footballer for the year 2018 by football’s world governing body, FIFA.

Modric beat off competition from Egypt and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and his former teammate and Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo.

Modric, was an integral part of Madrid’s Champions League winning team, before leading his national side to runners-up position at the 2018 World Cup. He has adjudged the best player at the tournament in Russia.

View image on Twitter

It is the second major award that Modric has beaten the duo to. In August this year at an event in Monaco, Modric was named Europe’s best player.

The award were presented at this season’s Champions League group-stage draw. The trophy returned to Madrid given that the holder till then was Ronaldo, who left Madrid to join Turin side, Juventus.

The Portuguese, who has three wins in total, and is the only player to have made the shortlist every year since UEFA created the award in 2011.

Salah’s one win, double loss

Egyptian international Mohamed Salah won the best goal award at the 2018 FIFA top awards ceremony. The event took place in London on Monday evening.

The Liverpool player’s goal against Merseyside rivals, Everton, in the Premier League was adjudged the best goal and winner of the Puskas Award.

The FIFA Puskás Award is an award established on 20 October 2009 at the behest of then-president Sepp Blatter, in order to award the player, male or female, judged to have scored the most aesthetically significant, or “most beautiful”, goal of the year.

South Africa have won the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championships after beating Cameroon 2-1 in the final. The Banyana Banyana played against guest team Indomitable Lionesses on Saturday, at Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

The Gabon football federation has been criticized by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for announcing his father, Pierre Aubame as new coach without his consent. They have admitted making a mistake, blaming the ministry of Sport for putting them under pressure.

These and more stories presented by Raziah Athman on Football Planet.

Protective suits are essential kit for some workers like firefighters and healthcare workers, but staying cool enough to work for long periods is a challenge.

A team at California’s Stanford University working on the regulation of body temperature have created a cooling system that could double the amount of time workers can spend wearing protective suits.

The research was prompted by healthcare workers from Sierra Leone who experienced debilitating heat when wearing suits that protected them from the highly infectious Ebola virus.

Craig Heller, professor of biology in the School of Humanities and Sciences, said that they reported being able to work for just 20-30 minutes before overheating.

Overheating puts them at risk of illnesses like heat stroke and limits their mental and physical capabilities. This is a concern for workers who could be exposed to a deadly virus – especially with new outbreaks of the Ebola virus in Democratic Republic of Congo this year. Since the latest outbreak was declared on August 1, at least 90 people have died from the virus.

The cooling system developed by the Stanford researchers looks like a hydration pack used in sports like running or cycling. One “bladder” contains frozen water and lies next to another holding circulating fluid. Tubes from the backpack deliver cooling fluid through pads in the underside of fingerless gloves. A valve in the tubing of the system mixes warm fluid returning from the gloves with the colder fluid from the bladder, allowing the temperature of the glove to be regulated.

This works on the principle that most heat is emitted from palms of the hands, soles of the feet and the face

Heller’s data from previous research had suggested that water at a temperature of about 15 to 16 degrees Celsius (59-61 Fahrenheit) was most effective.

Senior research scientist Dennis Grahn said that colder temperatures caused blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow in these areas and limiting heat transfer.

The system has been tested on undergraduate students wearing similar protective suits to those work by Ebola health workers, walking briskly on treadmills with different gradients. Some wore the cooling system and others did not, and they could stop walking at any time.

However, they had to stop either when their heart rate reached 95 percent of their maximum, their core temperature hit 39 degrees Celsius (102 F) or after 40 minutes, whichever came first. Their nose temperature was measured with a 60cm probe inserted into their mouth or nose.

In these lab conditions, the cooling system allowed the students to spend at least double the time being active than without it, and some tripled or quadrupled the time spent being active.

The team is working on a prototype that can be mass produced and is continuing to study the effect of overheating on cognition.

A South African medical facility, the Clinix Botshelong-Empilweni in Vosloorus is celebrating a historic case of multiple birth. Vosloorus is a large township located in the Gauteng province.

Prudence Ndlangisa, a mother who expected triplets ended up delivering five newborns much to the amazement of the maternity team and to the shock of their father, Joe Buthelezi.

But for Dr. Moeng Pitsoe who led the delivery, the clinic took a lot of pride in the event which is the first such case since the 1960s. He called the kids a “special breed delivered and nurtured in a township and treated by local doctors who grew up in a township.”

I really think they are very special kids and they deserve special treatment. I need to now set up a trust for these kids. I mean, there is just no way she can cope with five kids.

He added that the facility was ready to support the family cater for the needs of the ‘Buthelezi quintuplets,’ as they have been named.

“These are the kind of things that usually happen in New York and big city hospitals in England and people can now walk across the road and say this hospital had this kind of event done by these people, that is a great story to tell.

“I really think they are very special kids and they deserve special treatment. I need to now set up a trust for these kids. I mean, there is just no way she can cope with five kids.

“Here is an opportunity for us to create an environment that we can look back with pride. Ten, twenty, thirty years from now. And if these kids grow up … they would have learned that they are who they are, because people helped and they can go on to help, and that’s how you really do it,” he added.

An elated mother told journalists that while she was happy to have five kids at a go, she felt they needed help: “I said to myself, I think I need help, because with these three, I was like ‘okay, we are fine, we’re fine, we gonna cope,’ but when it comes to five, I’m like, I think we need some assistance.

“We mums were born like this, no matter how hard the job is, no matter how hard things are, we can handle it,” she added.

The babies‚ who were delivered at 30 weeks on September 6‚ have been named Siyanda‚ Sibahle‚ Simesihle‚ Silindile and Sindisiwe, the Times LIVE portal reported.

Each of the babies weighed more than a kilogram at birth. They are expected to be released from hospital once they each weigh 2kg.

Times LIVE report on the Buthelezi quintuplets

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