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24 Hours Across Africa

Trump to end America’s IT threats.

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Source :BBC

President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to protect US computer networks from “foreign adversaries”.

He signed an executive order which effectively bars US companies from using foreign telecoms believed to pose national security risks.

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The order does not name any company, but is believed to target Huawei.

The Chinese tech giant said restricting its business in the US would only hurt American consumers and companies. Media captionOne potential problem with 5G tech may have more to do with castles than you’d expect

Several countries, led by the US, have raised concerns in recent months that Huawei products could be used by China for surveillance, allegations the company has vehemently denied.

The US has been pressuring allies to shun Huawei in their next generation 5G mobile networks.

In a separate development, the US commerce department added Huawei to its “entity list”, a move that bans the company from acquiring technology from US firms without government approval.

The moves are likely to worsen tensions between the US and China, which had already escalated this week with tariff hikes in a trade war.

Huawei has been at the epicentre of the US-China power struggle that has dominated global politics over the past year.

What does the order say?

According to a White House statement, Mr Trump’s order aims to “protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology infrastructure and services”.

It gives the secretary of commerce the power to “prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk to the national security”, the statement adds.

The move was instantly welcomed by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, who called it “a significant step toward securing America’s networks”.

The US had already restricted federal agencies from using Huawei products and has encouraged allies to shun them, while Australia and New Zealand have both blocked the use of Huawei gear in 5G networks.

In April 2018 another Chinese tech company, ZTE, was barred from buying US parts after it was placed on the same “entity list”. It resumed business after reaching a deal with the US in July.

How has Huawei responded?

Huawei has said its work does not pose any threats and that it is independent from the Chinese government.

“Restricting Huawei from doing business in the US will not make the US more secure or stronger,” the company said in a statement.

“Instead, this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the US lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of US companies and consumers.”

Huawei grown rapidly over a decade

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The company also said “unreasonable restrictions” on Huawei raised “other serious legal issues”.

During a meeting in London on Tuesday, Huawei chairman Liang Hua said it was “willing to sign no-spy agreements with governments” as concerns over the security of its products used in mobile networks continued to grow.

What does the national emergency mean?

By declaring a national emergency President Trump can effectively bypass other branches of government and gains access to a raft of special powers.

The Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan public policy institute, has compiled a list of more than 120 legal powers the president can use in such an event – they range from taking over farmland to calling up military reservists or seizing property with few or no restrictions.

President Trump has now declared five national emergencies, including most recently over the southern US border.

A rolling list of national emergencies compiled by the centre shows there are now 33 active national emergencies in the US.

The oldest emergency still in place was signed by President Jimmy Carter in November 1979 as a response to the Iran hostage crisis. Others signed by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama also remain in effect.


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24 Hours Across Africa

Kenya: Popular author and gay activist dies.

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Kenyans prolific writer Binyavanga Wainaina, who was born in Nakuru in Rift Valley Province has died after a short illness in Kenya.

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He is popularly known for his debut book, a memoir entitled One Day I Will Write About This Place, was published in 2011.

Image result for binyavanga wainaina

In January 2014, in response to a wave of anti-gay laws passed in Africa, Wainaina publicly announced that he was gay, first writing a short story that he described as a “lost chapter” of his 2011 memoir entitled “I am a Homosexual, Mum”, and then tweeting: “I am, for anybody confused or in doubt, a homosexual. Gay, and quite happy.

Prize-winning Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina has died in Nairobi after a short illness at the age of 48.

Wainaina was also named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2014 for his gay rights activism.

He “demystified and humanized homosexuality” author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote at the time.

Wainaina was one of the first high-profile Kenyans to openly declare he was gay and “he felt an obligation to chip away at the shame” that people felt about being gay, Adichie added.

Wainaina challenged Kenyans to rethink their negative stereotypes about homosexuality, Nyabola added.

“Inasmuch as homosexuality is illegal in Kenya, there are people who are very comfortable with their identity… but the public space for acceptance and respect has always been lacking and even characterised by violence,” Nyabola said.

“What he said is ‘look I’m here and I’m still the same person that you know and love and respect ‘… I think it’s incredibly powerful,” she added.

Homosexual relations are currently illegal in Kenya but the Supreme Court is due to rule on Friday whether to overturn the law banning them.


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24 Hours Across Africa

Algerians army Chief shun claims over political ambition.

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Algeria’s army chief of staff said on Wednesday he had no political ambitions in response to democracy activists who say that he intends to copy the authoritarian model of Egypt.

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The armed forces have been a pivotal power center in Algeria for decades and have been managing a transition after mass protests forced President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign last month after 20 years in office.

Street demonstrations have continued to press demands for a dismantling of the elite of independence veterans, security commanders and business tycoons that have run the major oil and natural gas producer since independence from France in 1962.

“Everybody should know that we have no political ambitions,” Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah told state television.

A presidential election has been scheduled for July 4 but an informed source said on Friday it might be postponed.

Algerian activists say they are concerned the army-steered transition toward democracy will prove illusory as in Egypt.

As Egypt’s army chief in 2013, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled freely elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, won election himself in 2014 and then suppressed Mursi’s supporters as well as the liberal opposition in a pervasive crackdown on dissent.

In Algeria, analysts the army fears the crisis will continue at a time of worsening disorder in neighboring Libya, where there is factional fighting for control of the capital Tripoli.

Salah also said a fight against corruption and cronyism, among protesters’ main grievances, would continue and that he disagreed with some officials who said this was not a priority.

Earlier this month a military judge placed Bouteflika’s youngest brother and two ex-intelligence chiefs in custody. They joined a string of businessmen and officials under investigation over corruption ahead of the presidential election.

Said Bouteflika, who served as a top adviser to the presidency, acted as Algeria’s de facto ruler after his brother suffered a stroke in 2013 that left him in a wheelchair.

Several businessmen, including Algeria’s richest man, Issad Rebrab, have also been placed in custody pending completion of investigations into corruption allegations.


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