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First Ever Arctic Bank Robbery Goes South

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First Ever Arctic Bank Robbery Goes South

An armed man has robbed a bank in the world’s northernmost settlement on Norway’s remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard but he was caught shortly afterwards, authorities said on Friday.

The heist was the first ever bank robbery in living memory in the territory, which is located in the Arctic Ocean, about halfway between continental Norway and the North Pole.

“There was an armed robbery at around 10:40 am (09:40 GMT),” Terje Carlsen, a spokesperson for the local governor, told AFP.

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“A man with a gun seized a sum of money. He was arrested quite quickly” in the centre of Longyearbyen, the capital, he added.

Police said the suspected robber was a foreigner travelling in the region who was sent to the northern town of Tromso on the mainland where he will be questioned.

Authorities declined to give more details about the suspect’s identity, the amount stolen or the weapon used in the robbery.

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The odds of the heist succeeding were always low on the archipelago, famous for glaciers and its polar bears who outnumber residents.

Longyearbyen has around 2 000 inhabitants and practically everyone knows each other. The airport is the main means of leaving the settlement.

Commentators on social media were quick to make fun of the failed bank robbery.

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“The most reckless bank robbery in Norwegian history?” said one Twitter user.

“He probably forgot to think about his escape route,” commented another.

The Svalbard archipelago, roughly twice the size of Belgium, lies about 1 000km from the North Pole.

Temperatures in winter regularly plunge to below -20°C and can drop below -40°C.

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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African News

UN Appoints Adviser To Support AU Mediation Efforts In Sudan

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UN Appoints Adviser To Support AU Mediation Efforts In Sudan

U.N. Secretary-General, Antonio Gutteres, has appointed special adviser Nicholas Haysom to support the African Union’s mediation efforts in the Sudan, where the military has ousted longtime president Omar Al-Bashir last week.

The UN boss has spoken with chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahmat to offer Haysom’s services and assistance to the commission.

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Haysom was most recently U.N.’s top man in Somalia, but was expelled after four months by the Somali government after he tried to intervene on behalf of a former Al-Shabaab leader, who wanted to participate in the Somali elections but was banned by the country’s electoral commission.

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Haysom, a South African lawyer, was previously the UN special envoy for the Sudan and South Sudan.  He was head of the U.N. Mission in Afghanistan.

The African Union Peace and Security Council issued a strong statement on Monday condemning the military takeover in the Sudan as an unconstitutional change of government.  It has demanded the military hand over power to a transitional civilian-led political authority within fifteen days.

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