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Fighting In Yemeni City Dies Down As Cease-fire Takes Hold

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Fighting In Yemeni City Dies Down As Cease-fire Takes Hold

Yemen’s key port city of Hodeida was calm on Tuesday morning, hours after a UN-mediated cease-fire went into effect between government-allied forces and the country’s rebels, Yemeni officials said.

Fighting subsided as the cease-fire took effect, with only the sporadic sound of automatic weapons fire heard in the city, where the port handles about 70% of Yemen’s imports. Yemen’s four-year conflict pits the internationally recognized government, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, against Shiite rebels known as Houthis.

The government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi called for its forces to “cease-fire in both Hodeida city and the province” also named Hodeida, according to a statement from Hadi’s Defence Ministry. The rebels also welcomed the cease-fire in the key port city.

The agreement came during UN-sponsored talks in Sweden last week. A joint committee led by UN officers will oversee the cease-fire and the redeployment of the warring parties’ forces out of Hodeida, which is currently controlled by the Houthis.

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Local authorities and police will run the city and its three port facilities under UN supervision, and the two sides are barred from bringing in reinforcements.

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UN envoy Martin Griffith has said the committee is expected to start its work swiftly “to translate the momentum built up in Sweden into achievements on the ground”.

The cease-fire is the first step in a process the UN hopes will lead to a province-wide truce in Hodeida and the demilitarisation of the Red Sea trade corridor, said Peter Salisbury, a consulting senior analyst on Yemen at the Brussels-based Crisis Group.

“But it’s important to note that the deal itself is quite specific in saying that this is not part of a wider peace process: It’s an agreement made for humanitarian rather than political reasons,” he said.

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“Both the prisoner swap agreement and the Hodeida agreement have clear language saying they should not be seen as political agreements or precedent for further deals.”

Delegations from the government and the rebels said earlier this month in Sweden that they have exchanged prisoner lists. The lists will be reviewed over four weeks, ahead of a final swap to be facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross, they said.

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World News

Portugal Confirms 29 Germans Killed In Bus Crash

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Portugal Confirms 29 Germans Killed In Bus Crash

Portugal’s foreign ministry has confirmed that all 29 people killed in a tour bus crash on Madeira Island were German.

The bus that was carrying 55 persons rolled down a steep hill after veering off the road on a bend east of Madeira’s capital, Funchal.

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Authorities say they are investigating the cause and would inspect the bus for mechanical problems. 28 others are injured and receiving treatment in the hospital.

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The bus was carrying German tourists, as well as a Portuguese driver and guide. People at the roadside are also thought to be among the casualties.

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Head of the Funchal, Tomasia Alves, says 28 persons were taken from the accident scene to a morgue, and another person died later in the hospital.

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African News

US To Toughen Measures Against Africans Who Overstay Short-Term Visas

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US To Toughen Measures Against Africans Who Overstay Short-Term Visas

The United States has announced tough new measures against Africans who overstay their short-term visas in the country.  This is in concert with president Donald Trump’s efforts to curb immigration.

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The wall street journal reports African national with high overstay rates, including Nigeria, Chad, Eritrea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, could be affected by the clamp-down.

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In a 2017 report, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recorded the African countries to be among those, under the non-visa waiver program, whose nationals have the highest populations of overstays among non-immigrants in the United States.

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African News

Advisor To The Presidential Ivanka Trump And OPIC Chief Announce $1Billion Women’s Investment Initiative

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Advisor To The Presidential Ivanka Trump And OPIC Chief Announce $1Billion Women's Investment Initiative

Advisor and daughter of the US President, Ivanka Trump, has joined with David Bohigian, acting president and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, to announce the launch of OPIC’s initiative to support investment in women in Africa. The announcement was made during a U.S. government delegation to Ethiopia.

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OPIC aims to unlock the full economic potential of women in Africa by catalyzing one billion dollars through the initiative, directly investing 350 million dollars in businesses and funds owned by women, led by women, or providing a good or service that intentionally empowers women on the continent.

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The women’s initiative will advance the white house-led government commitment to empowering women globally.

Ivanka Trump said for women to succeed as entrepreneurs and job creators, they must have equal access to the financing necessary to start and grow their businesses,

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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, (OPIC), was established in 1971 as a self-sustaining U.S. government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets.

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