Sunday, October 27, 2013

A selection of newspaper headlines and stories

We buy a newspaper occasionally to see what's happening (despite my twinges of guilt over the growing pile of newsprint we can't recycle).  Here are some of the headlines we've read in the last couple of months.  I realize it gives a very gloomy, negative view of things here...but US newspapers mostly focus on the negative too, don't they?

Looting at Capital Hill.  "Principal Accountant to Government caught with K3 million cash at the Capital Hill gate, US$25,400 cash found in his house."  Photo caption: "Capital Hill - the seat of government which has reportedly evolved into a free-for-all plunder centre."

Judiciary to computerise case management system.  They are still using a system of paper files; apparently some people's cases "fall by the wayside" because their files can't be found.

Farm Input Subsidy Program abuses.  FISP is a Malawi government program to get things like fertilizer to poverty-stricken subsistence farmers at heavily subsidized rates, but apparently rampant corruption means that beneficiaries pay too much to receive the inputs, receive underweight bags of inputs, or receive nothing at all.

Liberia students all fail varsity admission exam.  "Liberia's education minister says she finds it hard to believe that not a single candidate passed this year's university admission exam...'It's like mass murder.'"

A critical look at EU's proposed tobacco laws.  "The European Union Parliament plans to vote on regulations governing tobacco and cigarette ingredients...The directive will harm the farmer, without delivering any health benefits...Those most affected in Africa are Malawi and Mozambique...Tobacco makes up 53 percent of Malawi's exports..."  Alarming, unless you notice the byline of this feature article.  It was provided by the International Tobacco Growers Association.

Residents attack Malomo Police Unit.  "There was commotion at Malomo Trading Centre in Ntchisi on Friday after police arrested two suspects on allegation that they were involved in various cases of murder at the trading centre...The angry residents attacked the police unit to force police to release the suspects so that they could exact mob justice on the two."  When the police wouldn't hand the two over, the mob burned the suspects' house and vehicle.  It's not uncommon to read about "mob justice" scenes like this.

Water crisis hits Ntchisi hospital.  "Water shortage at Ntchisi District Hospital has reached crisis levels with the hospital not being mopped for some days and utensils being taken to Kasungu (over 100 km away) for sterilisation...Hospital spokesperson Bwanaloli Mwamulima has said the problem has been hitting the hospital over the past five years but reached critical levels in the past three years...With the situation, the hospital has not been doing well in the area infection prevention."  (The area has been experiencing water shortage with the Kaombe River flow smaller than normal, and then the hospital's well stopped working.  I guess it's a good thing that Eric didn't actually step on that python at Ntchisi Forest Reserve, because the hospital might not have been able to fix him up very well!)

The real cost of Cash-Gate: What 20 billion kwacha could fund  "The plundering of the staggering K20 billion from the public coffers has deprived the nation of a string of essential services which in some cases could last for decades..."  This is the best estimate of how much has been filched by government employees and politicians recently.  It's been front page news for several weeks.

And don't forget the classified ads.  My favorites here fall under the "Medicine" section, where the herbalists or "traditional doctors" advertise.  In addition to the category of things Viagra et al. is intended for, these also promise things like "Get back lost love (2 hours) pompo pompo" -- "Remove bad luck and bring good luck" -- "To attract any lover of your choice" -- "Same day quick job promotion" -- about this last one, Eric wonders who has to take the herbs for this to work, you or your boss?  They must work, because the ads say "Pay after the job is done!" 
On a sadder note, "Chinese herbal medicine - treats and cures HIV/AIDS 100% effective."

And in the category of inexplicable but kind of cool: One of the papers has a column called "Career of the Week" in which Eric's collaborator Dr. Patson Nalivata was interviewed.  (Patson is one of the people who sponsored Eric's Fulbright application, and he's the one who took us around Lilongwe on the giant shopping spree to get our house set up.)  For some reason they accompanied the article about what a soil scientist does with photos taken during Eric's 2010 visit to Malawi to see some maize field experiments.  This paper was sitting in the Maliro's house waiting to be shown to Eric, but Chrissy Andrea got to it first...she dearly loves shredding newspapers.

1 comment:

  1. iParrot Post is a global read and reporting news platform that enable users to post their account of events witnessed, worthy local and International news. iParrot Post is a breaking news portal.iParrot Post exists to provide independent news and information to the masses, comprised of news feeds from around the world. We enable our users and subscribers to submit local News that they see as important. It is also a portal to allow users and subscribers to comment and contribute to the News events of the day.
    Worldwide News UK
    English UK News
    Local UK News
    UK Political News
    English British Sports News
    Business UK News
    Breaking UK News
    Technology UK News