Over 2,000 killed in Yemen uprising

Yemen government officials confirmed on Sunday that over 2,000 people were killed in the nation’s year-long political uprising which led to the ousting of embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The nation’s ministry of Human Rights reported that the 2,000 or more casualties include armed fighters, civilians and 120 children that were felled in the spate of violent protests and nationwide clashes.

It also confirmed that some 22,000 individuals were injured in the fighting. The numbers that were revealed as crowds of protesters marked one year since the start of the battle to dethrone long-term leader Saleh.

The figures proved to be much higher than what international organisations had estimated. Earlier this year, London-based human rights group Amnesty International, put the number of protesters killed in the uprising at 200.

For almost one year, armed men in plain clothes loyal to Saleh had taken to the streets, systematically wiping out anti-government protesters.

After much negotiation, Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down last month, accepting an internationally backed deal that exempted him from prosecution, provided he hand over power to his vice.

Despite the terms of the deal, protesters today still called for the arrest and prosecution of Saleh as they remembered the 50 protesters killed last year by snipers loyal to ousted leader.

Violence still roams the streets of Yemen, despite the end of the infighting. Two gunmen on motorcycle shot and killed an American teacher working at the language institute in Taiz city, a government official confirmed.

The teacher, Hamoud al-Sufi had been gunned down in his car, but officials were not clear who the killers might be.

Security officials also claimed that a Swiss research had been kidnapped by tribesmen. She had been abducted in the western city of Hodeida.

Tribesmen deny having a hand in her kidnapping, blaming militants instead. Kidnappings had been common in Yemen even before the conflict, but the year-long war has taken an added toll on the nation’s tenuous security, making matters even worse.

Putin Win Triggers Protest in Moscow

Protesters have taken to the streets of Central Moscow to protest Vladimir Putin’s success in the recent elcetion which he was declared winner and asked for his immediate resignation.

Thousand of protesters came out  agitating for Putin’s resignation because of electoral fraud and the rally is seen as a test of the opposition being able to to maintain it strength after the election purportedly won by Vladimir Putin.

Putin who won the election which was held on Sunday by 64% will be manning the Kremlin for the next 6 years, although violations at the presidential vote were numerous, observers, however, viewed the vote as fairer compared to the December parliamentary vote.

City authorities have given permission for a rally of up to 50,000 on the pavement of a central Novy Arbat avenue which is part of the route used by high-speed motorcades that whisk top figures to and from the Kremlin.

Rallies protesting the widely reported fraud in the parliamentary election have attracted up to 100,000 people in the largest display of discontent in Russia’s post-Soviet history.

Obama says Ghana is ‘good-news story’ from Africa

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Ghana's President John Evans Atta Mills in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

President Barack Obama praised the African state of Ghana on Thursday as a model of democracy and growth in a continent that many Americans associate with poverty and violence.

“There’s sometimes a tendency to focus on the challenges that exist in Africa – and rightfully so,” said Mr Obama, who sat beside Ghana’s president, John Atta Mills, in the Oval Office.

“But I think it’s important for us to also focus on the good news that’s coming out of Africa, and I think Ghana continues to be a good-news story,” he said, warmly thanking Mills for the hospitality shown the U.S. first family when the Obamas visited the country in 2009.

Ghana, the world’s second biggest cocoa producer, posted double-digit growth in 2011 and is one of the more stable countries in West Africa.

The U.S. president commended Mills for his action on human rights and governance, voicing Washington’s approval of the stability that Ghana provides in a fragile region of Africa.

Its neighbour, Cote d’Ivoire, suffered months of violence last year after a disputed election, and other near-neighbours Liberia and Sierra Leone experienced years of brutal conflict.

“Ghana has proven, I think, to be a model for Africa in terms of its democratic practices,” said Obama, noting that both leaders faced re-election in 2012.

Mills told Obama, “We are going to ensure that there is peace before, during, after the election, because when there is no peace, it’s not the elitists who will suffer, it’s the ordinary people who have elected us into office.”