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The controversial South African pastor, Penuel Mnguni of End Time Disciples Ministries during sermon at the weekend, summoned members of his congregation who needed deliverance and stepped on them as if he was walking on a bare floor, DailyPost reports..
It will be recalled that the controversial pastor, who had in the past given his members snakes, grass and fabrics to eat as part of his deliverance session, says he heals the sick by stepping on them.
During his sermon last Sunday, Penuel was pictured stepping on his followers who came forward for deliverance and reports have it that the followers responded by saying they felt no pain afterwards.
Lower state revenues, higher inflation and hesitant investors are only some of the reasons African oil producers are suffering from drop in the oil price. This is how eight African countries are affected.
Nigeria: Huge economy deeply in debt
Oil revenues make up almost 80 percent of Nigeria's export revenues. The oil money finances a great part of the budget of Africa's biggest economy. "We expect Nigeria's current budget deficit to double due to the low oil price," said Francesca Beausang, Africa analyst at the London based BMI Research firm. According to the Financial Times, Nigeria expects a budget deficit of around $15 billion. The public expenditure has also risen sharply, as the country tried to boost its waning economy through increased spending. The problem is, with the rising national debt, investors are also asking for higher interest rates for new loans.
Sudan and South Sudan: The cost of pumping the oil
Crisis surrounds the oil regions that straddle the border between Sudan and South Sudan. In 2011, South Sudan which now owns the majority of the region's oil fields, gained independence from Sudan. Since that time, South Sudan has had to pay transit charges to its northern neighbor which runs the pipelines. These charges amount to around 22,50 euros ($24.42) per barrel in addition to the pumping costs. At an oil price of less than 30 euros, South Sudan is suffering major losses. If Sudan's government does not agree to lower its charges, South Sudan would have to stop its production altogether, stated South Sudan's oil minister in January.
Angola: One sack of rice, a bottle of cooking oil and a bag of sugar
In 2013, Angola exported $68 billion worth of oil. That's according to data from the United Nations. Since the oil prices have dropped by two-thirds in the last year, ordinary Angolans have felt the pinch. Angola imports a great amount of its food from abroad . Due to the reduced revenues that have come with the falling oil price, the country has also had to reduce its imports. "There are fewer goods on the market and that is pushing the food prices sky high," said Antonio Panzo, an Angolan economist.
In many parts of Angola, supermarkets and traders have started rationing their goods: One sack of rice per customer, one bottle of cooking oil and a packet of sugar. The traders hope that this will stop a run on the goods and prevent the growth of the black market. Additionally the state has announced a 25 percent reduction of the national budget. Infrastructure projects like the building of new roads, sea ports, airports, hospitals and schools will particularly be affected by this.
Congo (Brazzaville): Spending to boost the economy
As elections draw closer, the Republic of Congo, has set a different course. The government in Brazzaville aims to triple its budget even though the country's growth slowed down to a staggering one percent. In 2014, the economy was still growing by 6.8 percent but according to the International Monitory Fund (IMF), the country's debts almost doubled at the same time.
Oil remains an important source of income for Congo. The country hopes to attract more investment through new oil projects. At the same time, it plans to diversify its economy by putting more emphasis on infrastructure, forestry and mining. Yet experts doubt that the country can sustain its new budget, without falling even further into debt.
Mozambique: Not only oil, but gas prices are low
Mozambique has experienced an economic upswing in the last couple of years and has set its hopes on newly discovered gas fields. Companies from the US and Italy said that they plan to build facilities to produce liquefied natural gas. But unfortunately for them, not only the oil price, but also the gas price is at an extreme low.
The fear is therefore, that Mozambique won't get the billions it had hoped for from its gas fields. Yet oil and gas expert Chris Bredenhann of Pricewaterhouse Coopers says there is no reason to panic. The commodity prices constantly go up and down. "Companies make long-term investments where they can see the potential of the future return. So they are not trying to get a return in a two or five year period. It is a 20 or 30 years planning horizon they are looking at," he explains.
Zimbabwe and Malawi: Profiting from the cheap oil
The falling oil price is however not bad for all. Landlocked countries like Malawi and Zimbabwe which have no oil deposits themselves profit from the lower fuel and transport costs. The two countries have some of the highest fuel prices in Africa. The low price of oil has reduced fuel costs in Malawi by a quarter in the last two years.
A few days ago, Gloria Magombo, head of Zimbabwe's energy authority (Zera), announced that fuel prices would drop even further in the next few weeks. In late February, Zimbabweans could buy a liter of petrol at $1,24 and a liter of diesel at $1. "Zimbabwe is relying on diesel for quite a bit of its power generation. So the cost of doing business in generating power is reduced," explained Bredenhann.
The benefits for the economy? "I suppose there is more disposable income in the hands of the general population because the transportation and energy costs go down which means investments and spending in the economy that could stimulate the economy growth a little bit," added Bredenhann.
A senior Facebook Inc executive was released after nearly 24 hours in a Brazilian jail due to a disputed court order demanding data from the company's WhatsApp messaging service for a confidential drug-trafficking investigation.
An appeals court judge handling the case in Sergipe state overturned a lower court decision to arrest Diego Dzodan, Facebook's vice president for Latin America, court officials said on Wednesday.
Law enforcement officials withheld further information about the nature of their request to the messaging service acquired by Facebook in 2014, saying it could compromise an ongoing criminal investigation.
"Diego's detention was an extreme, disproportionate measure, and we are pleased to see the court in Sergipe issue an injunction ordering his release," a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
The arrest came as technology companies face mounting pressure from governments around the world to help them eavesdrop on users. Apple Inc and U.S. law enforcement officials are in a standoff over unlocking the iPhone of a shooter in the San Bernardino, California, attacks.
Court officials said the judge in Brazil resorted to the arrest after issuing a fine of 1 million reais ($250,000) to compel Facebook to help investigators get access to WhatsApp messages relevant to the confidential drug-trafficking investigation.
The move is likely impossible because WhatsApp began using end-to-end encryption technology in 2014 that prevents the company from monitoring messages that travel across its network, according to Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist with the American Civil Liberties Union.
U.S. and Malaysian officials say that based on early reports, a piece of debris found in Mozambique likely comes from a Boeing 777 jet — the same type of plane as missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.
Minister of Transport Liow Tiong Lai cautions that officials "are not able to conclude that the debris belongs to MH370 at this time."
Writing on Twitter, the transport minister says Malaysia's civil aviation authority is working with Australian officials to retrieve the debris.
US official's theory
A U.S. official says the debris appears to be the leading edge of the right-hand horizontal stabilizer of a Boeing 777.
Flight MH370 was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew when it disappeared two years ago on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The flight veered far off course about an hour after takeoff, and investigators believe it flew into the southern Indian Ocean for several hours before crashing. Last year, authorities found a piece of the plane's wing on the shores of Reunion Island.
A white Alabama police officer faces murder charges for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, authorities said on Wednesday.
Montgomery police officer Aaron "A.C." Smith, 23, is free on $150,000 bond after investigators found "probable cause" that he broke the law when he shot and killed Gregory Gunn last Thursday, Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey said.
The case now goes to a grand jury, he said.
Police killings of African-Americans, many of them unarmed, have sparked repeated protests over excessive use of force in the past few years.
An attorney for Smith told a reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper that the officer had stopped Gunn and started to search him "for his own safety" when Gunn broke from him and ran, according to an interview posted on the reporter's Twitter feed.
The attorney, Mickey McDermott, told the newspaper that Smith tried six times to use non-lethal force, including using his Taser and baton, to subdue Gunn, but that Gunn picked up a weapon and Smith had to use deadly force "as he was trained."
McDermott could not be reached by Reuters on Wednesday.
In remarks to reporters earlier Wednesday, Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley declined to confirm initial reports that Gunn had brandished a stick-like weapon.
"It's possible," Finley said. "At the end of the day, we're going to wait for the entire report from the DA's office or the SBI (State Bureau of Investigation)."
Mayor Todd Strange said he was not aware if there is any video of the incident.
Strange said the police department, composed of about 500 officers and 45 percent black, has made big strides in community relations over the years and will continue to reach out to citizens in the wake of the shooting.
"We have bridges to build again, but let's don't tear down what we have done," Strange said.
In front of the family home in Montgomery, a woman identified as Gunn's mother spoke to reporters.
"God is still in charge. And heaven knows what happened," she said in a video posted by the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper. "Man may not know. Only one that did it and one that got done to. But heaven knows."
Turkish President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday assured Nigeria of its support in the fight against terrorist, Boko Haram.
He gave the assurance at a joint press conference after holding bilateral talks with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Stressing that his country and Nigeria suffer the same constant threats of terrorists’ attacks, Erdogan said that it is better for the two countries to collaborate to defeat the menace.
The Turkish President, who spoke through an interpreter, noted that more Muslims have died in the terrorists’ attacks in Turkey and Nigeria and that people should not try to associate terrorism with any tribe or group as it would only serve to “assist the terrorists”.
He harped on the need for collaborative efforts in the anti-terror war as he condoled with Nigerians on the death of thousands of citizens resulting from Boko Haram attacks.
According to him, he would not allow any group in Turkey with peculiar interests dictate the pace or direction of his government’s efforts to tackle terrorism.
Arriving Nigeria with 150 Turkish businessmen, he said that Nigerian and Turkish entrepreneurs should mutually invest across the two countries which have a combined population of 260 million and the volume of trade between the two countries standing at $1.1billion.
He said: “Our total trade volume is currently at $1,145billion our export is $314million and our import is $831million. As you see the result is to the favour of Nigeria.
“I believe that if the two countries combine forces making use of our own respective resources we would be able to come up with even better outcomes.
“I want to call on Nigerian business people to also make investment in Turkey. We are ready to expand all the sectors that we can to them, particularly Turkish construction contracting companies which rank second in the world.
“We are ready to share our experiences particularly in the area of irrigation and agriculture.” he said
President Buhari thanked Turkey for training the Nigerian police and giving Nigeria quality equipment.
He said that his government and Nigeria would not be demoralized by the activities of Boko Haram.
Buhari also commiserated with Turkey on the deaths and carnage perpetrated by terrorists in that country, stressing that if far developed countries could be struck by terrorists, it showed how vulnerable less developed countries are.
According to him, delegations of both countries just signed memoranda of understanding on trade and economic cooperation and industrial cooperation, while others will still be signed on energy and security.
Buhari accepted Erdogan’s invitation to embark on a state visit to Turkey as soon as possible.