FROM Bronwyn Bruton
Obamamania and Africa's Future President Obama got a hero's welcome in Kenya , and his message of tough love was well received in the land where his father was born. Yet, there's evidence that he failed to meet expectations of closer ties created by his election six years ago. His broader theme of a "crossroads between terrorism and economic potential" applies to East Africa as a whole. Can the US help maintain civic order and help American investors catch up with China?
Kenya and a Perfect Storm of Trouble Yesterday, Kenya concluded its national mourning for 147 people who were massacred Thursday at Garissa University. Just four al Shabaab terrorists held the campus for 15 hours before trained commandos finally arrived and killed them all in just 15 minutes. The terrorists singled out Christians, but religion is only part of the story . Kenya is East Africa's economic leader, with a vast international presence: the US military, multinational companies, tourists and NGO's. It also has one of the world's most corrupt governments -- breeding terror and responding with crackdowns that reinforce corruption and create more violence. Last week's attack was the latest wake-up call with global implications.
As Ebola Crises Deepens, Will US Aid Be Enough? In West Africa, Ebola is spreading with unprecedented speed. For weeks, global health organizations have called for international aid—especially from the United States. This week, the President finally announced that 3,000 troops will be sent to Liberia, along with mobile labs, protective gear and facilities for training health workers. Meanwhile, Sierra Leone has just begun a three-day quarantine of all its six million people.
Insurgent Leader in Nigeria Says He Will Sell Girls as Slaves In the Nigerian village of Warabe, eight girls, aged 12 to 15, were kidnapped today by the Boko Haram. The Islamist militant group is said to have ties with al Qaeda. On a video released yesterday, its leader, Abubakar Shekau, claims responsibility for kidnapping at least 223 school girls several weeks ago, plus the girls that were seized today. We get an update from Heather Murdock, Africa correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and Voice of America , who's based in Ajuba, and from Bronwyn Bruton, Deputy Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council .
Fighting in South Sudan Leave Hundreds Dead Two years after breaking away from Northern Sudan, South Sudan is awash in weapons. Now, after an alleged coup attempt Sunday, between 400 and 500 are reported killed and 800 wounded. We get an update from Daniel Howden, East Africa correspondent for the Economist , and Bronwyn Bruton, Deputy Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council.
Zimbabwe Goes to the Polls Earlier this year, in the African country of Zimbabwe, voters adopted a new constitution—enshrining human rights and political freedoms—and setting a limit of two 5-year terms for the president. But today, 7-term President, 89-year-old Robert Mugabe is standing for re-election—and campaigning hard.
President Obama in Africa — at Last America's first black President is in Senegal today for only his second trip to Africa since a brief visit to Ghana during his first term. Tomorrow, he'll be in South Africa, where his visit may be overshadowed by the failing health of Nelson Mandela, that country's first black president. After creating high expectations for a new US relationship with the continent where his father was born, Obama's accused by some of being missing in action. We hear about shifting America's emphasis from aid to business investment, competition with China and whether Obama can polish his legacy.
Kenya Tenses as Election Results Come In After Kenya's presidential election in 2007, claims of vote rigging led to the deaths of more than 1000 people. When it was over, Uhuru Kenyatta was named deputy prime minister of a coalition government — but he was also indicted by the International Criminal Court for inciting the violence. After Monday's presidential election, Kenyatta still leads in the vote count. His opponent is his ostensible boss, Prime Minister Raila Odinga. We hear the background and the prospects for violence.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.