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The Hidden Billions Behind Economic Inequality in Africa

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The Hidden Billions Behind Economic Inequality in Africa.

Reports this year of illicit moneys from African countries stashed in a Swiss bank – indicating that corruption lies behind much of the income inequality that affects the continent – have grabbed international news headlines.

Secret bank accounts in the HSBC’s Swiss private banking arm unearthed this year by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) were said to hold over 100 billion dollars, some of which came from Africa, including some of the poorest nations on the continent.

When these funds leave the region, they deny the very nations that need them most…

‘Small girl’ with explosives strapped to her kills five

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‘Small girl’ with explosives strapped to her kills five.

A young girl with explosives strapped to her killed five people and wounded dozens at a security checkpoint outside a market in the northeast Nigerian town of Potiskum on Sunday, witnesses said.

“(She) refused to be checked at the gate to the market and an argument ensued,” witness Ibrahim Maishago said. “She let off the bomb, killing herself and five others, while many were injured.”

No one claimed responsibility for the bombing, which bore the hallmarks of Islamist militant group Boko Haram. The insurgents have suffered a string of defeats in a military offensive by Nigeria and neighbours Cameroon, Niger and Chad

Smartphone addiction time-bomb ‘ready to explode’ – Independent.ie

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Smartphone addiction time-bomb ‘ready to explode’ – Independent.ie.

A third of internet users now access online content on mobile phones – up from just 10pc two years ago – and internet users are expected to surpass PC users by next year, according to the latest research by Dublin-based Statcounter.

Counsellors now fear internet addiction, fuelled by 24/7 access via mobile phones, will be the next wave of compulsive disorders that they will be treating.

Gerry Cooney, an addiction counsellor at the Rutland Centre, said they are already seeing a massive surge in the number of people – typically young men under the age of 30 – who are seeking treatment for online gambling and pornography addiction, which is exacerbated by 24-hour access through smartphones and other mobile devices.

And while the people he is currently treating at the centre’s residential treatment programme have sought help for gambling and other impulse control disorders, he believes smartphone addiction will be the next wave of illness due to the “mood-altering and compulsive” nature of social media, gaming and other forms of online entertainment.

“It’s not necessarily a young person’s issue,” Mr Cooney told the Sunday Independent.

“Facebook is something that a lot of people are now struggling with, the constant need to stay in touch.”…

Fraud, organized crime costing Africa billions per year: study – Al Arabiya News

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Fraud, organized crime costing Africa billions per year: study – Al Arabiya News.4

Africa loses at least $50 billion a year to illicit practices like tax fraud, corruption and organized crime, a worrying situation that is hurting the continent’s economies, a UN-mandated study group warned Sunday.

Illicit financial flows — which range from international corporations dodging taxes to the trafficking of weapons and minerals — are a barrier to creating jobs on the world’s poorest continent, according to the group headed by ex-South African president Thabo Mbeki.

“Large commercial corporations are by far the biggest culprits of illicit outflows, followed by organized crime,” said Mbeki in the report commissioned by the United Nations and African Union to study illicit cash flows.

“We are also convinced that corrupt practices in Africa are facilitating these outflows.”…

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