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African press review 18 August 2014

Liberia's press is buzzing with the attack on an Ebola care unit in Monrovia, Kenya's press tallies up the bill for the war on terror and tyres get a second lease on life in South Africa.


Liberia's New Dawn reports that the attack on the Ebola care unit in West Point, the crowded slum in Monrovia, went unchallenged by police because they wanted to play it cool to avoid casualties. Allowing a quarantine center to be stormed and looted... is perhaps playing it a little too cool ... the paper notes that police did not intervene because they in fact feared catching the bug.

Front Page Africa looks at why anyone would walk into a highly infectious Ebola care unit of their own free will.

The scuffle actually began as the Ministry of Health dispatched food and mattresses to the center and some people started to throw stones at the vehicles. Tensions have been high over scant resources, and the area has become notorious as a secret body-dumping place.

Journalists who saw the center before it was stormed compared it to a prison - with isolated patients calling from behind glass panes that they were being held against their will and had not been fed in over a week. A mother bringing food to her husband and son was denied entry, sparking outrage with the community.

Too small to hold all the people hit by the virus, the clinic has told some to stay at home. Front Page reports on mounting panic there, as authorities continue to be slow in picking up the dead from private homes.

With many citizens feeling abandoned by their government, Front Page wonders what Liberia is doing with all the foreign aid money it has received for battling the outbreak.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

Kenya'sStandard looks at the human cost of the war on terror. According to the paper, there were over 100 terror-related attacks over the last three years. This means terrorists kill on average one person every three days.

The paper goes on to tally monetary costs, saying Kenya has spent the equivalent of 220 million euros on anti-terrorism operations. The report comes at an opportune time, after the Kenyan President announced a major cabinet reshuffle.

And with the country's top spy having resigned last week, the Standard thinks change is in the air.

What's most important is keeping disgruntled Kenyans from turning violent. Al-Shebab militants rely on the help of locals, which is why the government has issued a general amnesty for any Kenyans recruited by the group. But the paper says the move has been ineffective so far.

South Africa's Business Day reports on a tyre-recycling project that has seen promising success and drawn international attention.

Up to 100-million old tires have piled up in South Africa, with another 11 million abandoned every year. Most of these end up in landfills, but the government started a plan to recycle them two years ago.

And it got rolling. The nation-wide project is run by independent tyre-collectors who work with regional depots and recyclers. Used rubber goes to various industries, with a second life ranging from door mats to sidewalks. And researchers at Stellenbosch University are also looking into other possibilities, such as using rubber in landscaping.

And finally, Uganda's Daily Monitor has the story on how art is useless, according to the President Yoweri Museveni. At the launch of science lab last week, he said art students think too much and do too little and urged them to joing the army, police or prison services.

It should come as no surprise then that the country's educators may not be good at music.
In another article, the Monitor reports that many school teachers don't know the national anthem, sung in school every single morning.

The teachers were found out at a leadership forum in Kampala, where many faked singing at a function - to the Education minister's surprise and horror.


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