Tuesday, 19 August 2008


President Mwanawasa of Zambia is dead
By Shapi Shacinda Reuters
LUSAKA: Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa died in a French hospital on Tuesday after suffering a stroke several weeks ago, Vice President Rupiah Banda said.
The Zambian leader, 59, was a favourite with Western donors for tackling corruption in the southern African country and he had been one of the strongest critics in the region of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.
"Fellow countrymen, with deep sorrow and grief, I would like to inform the people of Zambia that our president Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa died this morning at 1030 hours (0830 GMT)," Banda said on state television.
"I also wish to inform the nation that national mourning starts today and will be for seven days."
Banda is expected to take over as acting president according to Zambia's constitution and elections would be called.

Mwanawasa built his reputation as a lawyer for the former opposition, cultivating an earthy image, and was credited for turning copper-rich Zambia into a rare African success story.
The International Monetary Fund and other Western donors extended billions of dollars in debt relief after he curbed government spending and launched the biggest anti-corruption drive since Zambia won independence from Britain in 1964.
He had been more critical of Mugabe than the leaders of many of Zimbabwe's other neighbours and had said that Zimbabwean elections held earlier this year would bring embarrassment to Africa.
His economic policies helped usher in strong growth, which averaged 5 percent over the last six years, while inflation declined to single digits in April 2006, for the first time in over three decades.
Despite the debt relief package and major investments from China and India, Mwanawasa has battled a growing public perception that his strong fiscal record had done little to benefit most of Zambia's 11.5 million people.
Mwanawasa became vice president in 1991 after Frederick Chiluba ousted founding President Kenneth Kaunda in landmark multiparty elections.
Soon after winning the presidency in late 2001, he stunned observers by turning on Chiluba.
Mwanawasa narrowly defeated opposition leader Michael Sata in a presidential election in 2006. Sata accused Mwanawasa of selling out Zambia to Chinese and Indian companies.
(Writing by Michael Georgy; editing by Marius Bosch)

New Report From Essential Action and Global Exchange:

Key Findings
Executive Summary
Section One: Threats to the livelihood of Communities by the operations of multinational oil corporations in the oil-producing areas of the Niger Delta
Section Two: Social and economic impacts of corporate practices on the communities in the oil-producing areas.
Section Three: Oil companies' responses to local communities' protests
Section Four: Existing contraints on grassroots activitism and the flow of information.

Strictly Come Dancing 2008
BBC Television Centre

Grab your scorecards and dust off your dancing shoes, Strictly Come Dancing is back!

Packed full of glitz, glamour, show-stopping moves and more sequins than ever before, the fabulous sixth series is putting the sparkle back into Saturday nights on BBC One. The legendary Bruce Forsyth and his glamorous co-host Tess Daly will once again host this BBC One Saturday night extravaganza. This year due to the overwhelming response we get every year, we are operating a random draw, in order to make the allocation of tickets fairer. To enter the Strictly Come Dancing random draw for 2008, phone lines and email registration forms will be open on Thursday 28 August from 9am and will remain open until 5pm on Sunday 7 September 2008. No applications will be processed before or after these dates and times.

Please also note that applications for tickets will only be received by phone or via the website. You can apply at any time between the above dates and times as all successful applicants will be randomly drawn during the week beginning Monday 8 September. You may only apply for one date and will be allocated 2 tickets for that date. In your application please provide all contact information including email and a daytime contact number. Please note that entering the random draw does not guarantee tickets and you will only be notified of your successful application on receipt of your tickets. To enter the random draw call the BBC Ticket Line on 0370 901 1227* or visit the website at http://shows.external.bbc.co.uk/inxmail1/url?vmyb000d0n4b0bbfs3a15 between Thursday 28 August at 9am and Sunday 7 September at 5pm. Good luck with your application.
Kind regards
BBC Studio Audienceshttp://shows.external.bbc.co.uk/inxmail1/url?vmqb000d0n4b00bwq3a15
UK-wide rate charged at no more than 01/02 geographic numbers: calls may be recorded for training.