China has toppled America to become the biggest economy in the world, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund. The US has been the global leader since it overtook Britain in 1872, but has now lost its status as top dog. The latest IMF figures show the Chinese economy is worth $17.61 trillion compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Abuja (AFP) - Nigeria on Wednesday accused South Africa of blocking a legal arms purchase and threatened retaliation against major South African companies, including telecom giant MTN, if the spat is not resolved. A top official in the office of Nigeria's National Security Advisor (NSA) told AFP that the country had an agreement to buy $5.7 million (4.5 million euros) worth of military hardware in a deal brokered by a South African firm.
The official, who asked that his name be withheld, said Pretoria had frozen cash that had been wired to the South African firm's account. South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority made no immediate comment, but the asset freeze has been widely reported in both Nigerian and South African media. "The issue could affect bilateral relations between Nigeria and South Africa," the NSA official said.
He specifically mentioned MTN -- a South Africa-based mobile phone and Internet provider with tens of millions of subscribers in Nigeria -- as a company that could be targeted in tit-for-tat reprisals.
"You cannot be making so much money from Nigeria and then turn around and embarrass the people," the Nigerian official said.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
The government plans to begin taking the temperatures of travelers from West Africa arriving at five U.S. airports as part of a stepped-up response to the Ebola epidemic.
At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest said an additional layer of screening would begin at New York's JFK International and the international airports in Newark, Washington Dulles, Chicago and Atlanta. He said the new steps would include taking temperatures and would begin Saturday at JFK.
Earnest said the five airports cover the destinations of 94 percent of the people who travel to the U.S. from the three heavily hit countries in West Africa — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. He estimated that about 150 people would be checked a day under the new procedures.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Boko Haram, the extremist Islamic group in Nigeria, has released a video that shows the beheading of a man who identifies himself the pilot of a missing Nigerian Air Force jet. The video that emerged yesterday also allegedly features Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau - a terrorist who Nigeria's military claimed to have killed.
Officials announced last week that Shekau was dead and that a man who had been posing as the group's leader in the videos had been killed after fighting with troops in the far northeast.
Footage shows charred plane wreckage that appears to have Nigerian military markings, bolstering the group's claims that it shot down a fighter plane.
In the video, a man is seen kneeling in a camouflage vest with his right hand in a sling, with a fighter hovering over him with an axe, which is later used in his beheading.
Speaking in English, the victim identifies himself as a wing commander in the Nigerian Air Force and says he was undertaking a mission in Kauri area of northeast Borno state.