Six In The Morning Tuesday 21 May 2019

A legacy of lunacy haunts Kenya’s old railway. Will China’s $3.6B line be different?

Kenya took on huge debt to buy a modern railway from Beijing that it hopes will boost its economy … despite the controversy it has attracted.

Updated 0651 GMT (1451 HKT) May 21, 2019

In 1903, British colonial administrator Sir Charles Norton Edgecumbe Eliot made a bold statement: “It is not uncommon for a country to create a railway, but it is uncommon for a railway to create a country.”

The country was Kenya. The railway became known as the Lunatic Express.
Now 116 years later, another railway line has been built almost parallel to those same tracks in a bid to transform this part of Africa, but this time by a different world power: China.

Millions without water in Libya as armed group cuts off supply

Gunmen claiming to be loyal to Khalifa Haftar force shutdown in Tripoli and nearby cities

Water supplies to the Libyan capital and surrounding cities have been cut off after an armed group stormed a control room, leaving millions of people without water as summer temperatures begin to climb.

The gunmen arrived on Sunday at the control room in Jafara run by a consortium known as the Great Man-Made River project, which transports water via a vast underground network of pipes from the Sahara into Tripoli, a city of more than 2 million people, and other coastal areas. The group forced staff to shut down the water pipes connected to underground wells.

The group claimed to be supporters of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA). Haftar’s force dominates the east and south of Libya and has been trying to take the capital from the UN-backed government of national accord (GNA).

Trump is pushing Ukraine for an investigation into Joe Biden – but the evidence on the ground is painfully thin

The eastern European country has become a proxy for what could be the face off in the next US presidential election

Kim Sengupta

Volodymyr Zelensky, the former comedian who turned to politics and unexpectedly won Ukraine’s presidential race, marked his inauguration with the announcement of a snap parliamentary poll. But it is the coming election in the US in which his troubled country is set to play the most fractious and controversial role.

The Ukrainian connection was a combustible seam running through the investigations into whether Donald Trump was the Muscovian candidate for the White House. His former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was convicted and jailed over millions he earned from a former boss, Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian leader who had to flee to Russia following the revolution six years ago.

China: Thousands of North Korean women forced into prostitution: report

A UK-based organization has documented widespread violence against women in North Korea, claiming that thousands of the communist country’s women are being subjected to forced marriage and prostitution in China.

A report published by the Korea Future Initiative, a London-based NGO, reveals that thousands of North Korean women and girls are being subjected to forced marriage and prostitution in China.

The report, which was presented in the UK Parliament on Monday, forensically details the vulnerability of women and girls as young as 12, who are being tricked into escaping North Korea only to be sold as sex slaves in China.

Egypt to free ex-diplomat critical of Sisi’s rule: lawyer

Egyptian authorities have ordered the release of a former diplomat who was detained after proposing a referendum on the regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, his lawyer said on Monday.

Masom Marzok, a former assistant foreign minister, was arrested in August 2018 after publicly criticising Sisi and calling for a poll on the former military chief remaining in power.

Marzok, a veteran of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, was one of several activists detained on charges including partnering with a terrorist organisation and colluding to commit terrorist acts.

Christchurch shootings: Mosque attacker charged with terrorism

The man accused of killing 51 people in the Christchurch mosques attack has been charged with terrorism, New Zealand police have said.

Brenton Tarrant was charged with “engaging in a terrorist act”, police said in a statement on Tuesday.

He is already facing charges of murder and 40 of attempted murder following the attack on two mosques in the South Island city on 15 March.

The Australian is next due in court in June.