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United States

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berryWomen who ate at least three servings of blueberries and strawberries per week had fewer heart attacks. These berries contain high levels of compounds that have cardiovascular benefits.

Eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries per week may help women reduce their risk of a heart attack by as much as one-third, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

These fruits contain high levels of naturally occurring compounds called dietary flavonoids, also found in grapes and wine, blackberries, eggplant and other fruits and vegetables. A sub-class of flavonoids, called anthocyanins, may help dilate arteries and counter the buildup of plaque, according to the study.

“Blueberries and strawberries can easily be incorporated into what women eat every week,” said Eric Rimm, senior author of the article and associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “This simple dietary change could have a significant impact on prevention efforts.”

Blueberries and strawberries were part of this analysis because they are the most-eaten berries in the United States. Other foods might produce the same results, researchers said.

Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States and the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, conducted a prospective study among 93,600 women ages 25 to 42 who were registered with the Nurses’ Health Study II. The women completed questionnaires about their diet every four years for nearly two decades.

During the study, 405 heart attacks occurred. Women who ate the most blueberries and strawberries had a 32 percent reduction in their risk of heart attack compared to women who ate the berries once a month or less — even in women who otherwise ate a diet rich in other fruits and vegetables…

Read More: sciencedaily.com

 

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The meeting in Zambia has drawn one of the largest U.S. delegations to Africa in years.

LUSAKA, Zambia—U.S. officials and business leaders have gathered here for a bout of soul-searching on how to lift trade and investment in Africa, underlining a broad recognition that American companies are trailing those from China and India in tapping the continent’s economic opportunities.

The meeting in Zambia has drawn one of the largest U.S. delegations to Africa in years. It includes U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who arrives in the capital Lusaka on Friday. She is the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Zambia in 30 years.

Mr. Kirk said he was “sobered by the reality that we are just at the beginning” of a broader economic ties with Africa.

The focus of the meeting is the African Growth and Opportunities Act, or Agoa, an 11-year-old piece of U.S. legislation that provides preferential access to the American market for more than 1,800 African products. It covers 37 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with a handful of others disqualified because of coups and corruption.

Many participants say the U.S. needs a new approach to a continent that is projected to grow faster than any other global region over the next five years. They say trade assistance, along with humanitarian aid, together aren’t enough to tap a market with a billion potential consumers.

“America has more medical doctors and Ph.D.s here than businessmen,” says Greg Marchand, who runs a telecommunications and consulting company in Zambia called Gizmos Solutions Ltd. “And we wonder why we aren’t doing a lot of business.”

The U.S. remains the top donor to Africa, disbursing $7.6 billion in 2009, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

China isn’t a member of the OECD, and doesn’t provide detailed breakdowns of aid and investment to Africa. But in 2009, China became Africa’s largest trade partner. In the first 11 months of last year, China’s trade with Africa amounted to $114.81 billion, according to the Chinese government’s White Paper on the topic. U.S. trade with Africa for the period reached $103 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

China has tied much of its trade and investment to Africa with preferential loan deals, often aimed at securing supplies of oil, gas and minerals. Top-ranking Chinese officials regularly visit African countries to cement these agreements.

“The goal of China is mercantilist; they do what they need to do to get access to natural resources,” says Paul Ryberg, the Washington-based president for the African Coalition for Trade, which represents African companies in the U.S. The centerpiece of U.S. economic engagement, Agoa, says Mr. Ryberg “is economic development, creation of jobs and the creation of a middle class to buy our products.”

But while Agoa boosted African exports to the U.S.—10 times from its inception to 2008—it has failed to broaden significantly the trade relationship. Energy exports account for about 90% of sub-Saharan African trade to the U.S., according to a study published last month by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

That type of trade relationship is seen as too narrow to seize new opportunities linked to Africa’s accelerating economic growth and new consumers.

The International Monetary Fund predicts sub-Saharan Africa—a collection of 47 countries—will grow 5.5% this year and 6% in 2012. Over the next five years, the IMF predicts that average growth of sub-Saharan countries will be higher than other regions. The African Development Bank Group estimates a new consumer class on the continent of 300 million people.

Yet the continent remains burdened by political corruption and poor infrastructure—problems that ratchet up the price of goods, particularly in many landlocked countries. Most African countries rank at the bottom of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey.

Companies from China, India and Brazil generally have been less daunted by such challenges. Bharti Airtel Ltd., India’s largest phone company, now operates in 16 African countries, part of a dramatic expansion of Indian investment in Africa. This month, Bharti Airtel said it signed a deal with China’s Huawei Technologies Co. to help manage and modernize its network in Africa.

U.S. officials say American companies, not the government, must pursue African business opportunities. In most African countries U.S. investment lags far behind American aid. In Zambia, for example, the U.S. foreign direct investment was $79 million in 2008, up 3.9% from the year before, according to USTR. Meanwhile, the U.S. Agency for International Development estimated it spent $390 million in Zambia last year, up from $300 million in 2009.

Outside Lusaka, China has invested more than $1 billion in an investment zone near the Chambishi copper belt. The zone includes 14 Chinese companies, mostly mining and equipment makers.

China’s investment in Zambia hasn’t been without its troubles. In March, 600 workers went on strike demanding a 50% pay increase, the latest in a long list of labor disputes. Meanwhile, Zambia’s opposition politicians have accused China of taking away jobs from Zambians and subjecting their country to a new form of colonization.

At the same time, the southern African economy is showing signs of moving beyond its dependence on minerals. Lusaka’s commercial real-estate market is crammed with new tenants, even as new buildings and shopping malls go up.

The 36-year old Mr. Marchand, an entrepreneur from Chicago, says he arrived in 2005 with four laptops, a printer and $100,000 to start his telecom and consulting company. The U.S. government assistance, he says, was minimal. “They issued me a passport.”

At least now the U.S. government is paying attention, says Mr. Marchand, who is also the president of a new American Chamber of Commerce in Zambia. On Saturday, U.S. Secretary Clinton and U.S. Trade Representative Kirk are scheduled to attend the chamber’s opening ceremony.
—Jackie Bischof in Johannesburg contributed to this article.

One in three Africans is middle class, a rising group of consumers to rival those of China and India, researchers have found.

Record numbers of people in Africa own houses and cars, use mobile phones and the internet and send their children to private schools and foreign universities, according to the African Development Bank.

Mthuli Ncube, the bank’s chief economist, said the findings should challenge long-held perceptions of Africa as a continent of famine, poverty and hopelessness.

“Hey you know what, the world please wake up, this is a phenomenon in Africa that we’ve not spent a lot of time thinking about,” Ncube said. “There is a middle class that is driven by specific factors such as education and we should change our view and work with this group to create a new Africa and make sure Africa realises its full potential.”

Ncube said the study used an absolute definition of middle class, meaning people who spend between $2 and $20 a day, which he believed was appropriate given the cost of living for Africa’s nearly 1 billion people.

The study found that, by last year, Africa’s middle class had risen to about 34% of the continent’s population, or about 313m people – up from around 111m (26%) in 1980 and 196m (27%) in 2000.

The growth rate of the middle class over the past 30 years was about 3.1%, slightly faster than that of the total population. Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt had proportionately the biggest middle classes in Africa, while Liberia, Burundi and Rwanda had the smallest.

The Africa middle classes are more likely to have salaried jobs or own small businesses. They tend not to rely entirely on public health services, seeking more expensive medical care. The middle classes tend to have fewer children and spend more on their nutrition and schooling.

Sales of fridges, TVs and mobile phones have surged in virtually every African country in recent years, the report said. Possession of cars and motorcycles in Ghana, for example, has gone up by 81% in the past five years.

“They own houses and they account for the bulk of housing ownership,” Ncube said. “They own cars – people are driving cars in Lagos, in Kampala, in Harare, in Ouagadougou – it’s the same middle class. You can even see it in the consumption of petrol. The bulk of them are consuming ICT services and mobile telephony, although the poor are also consumers of mobile telephone services.. They would also send their children to school, preferably private schools, but also schools outside the continent. The same class is sending their children to universities outside their home country, in South Africa, in Australia, in Canada, naturally Europe – France is a bigger absorber from the French-speaking countries – and the US.”

The middle class was responsible for at least half of Africa’s GDP of $1.6tn, he added. The trend reflected years of sustained economic growth, with sub-Saharan Africa projected at 5.5% this year.

“This has implications,” Ncube said. “How should the rest of the world engage with Africa, given this middle class? I think it means that those who want to invest should take the opportunity and look for partners within Africa to invest jointly with.”

The focus of aid and development assistance would also have to change in the next 10 to 15 years, he argued. “It will have to concentrate less on the bottom of the pyramid and move to the middle, which means it has to be supportive of private sector initiatives, which then are the way middle class people conduct their lives.”

Africa has a relatively young population and has seen millions migrate from rural areas to cities, where shopping malls with designer labels and smart coffee shops are springing up across the continent. Ncube acknowledged that a widening, internet-literate middle class could pose a threat to autocratic leaders, as seen in Egypt and Tunisia.

“The middle class is a source of democracy in Africa in a sense that they are custodians of democracy. They are the people who are educated, they know how to vote, they know what they want, they’ve got interests to protect. Supporting this class in a way also helps institution building in Africa.

But the research found that poverty remains deeply entrenched, with 61% of Africa’s population living on less than $2 a day. An estimated 21% earn only enough to spend $2 to $4 a day, leaving about 180 million people vulnerable to economic shocks that could knock them out of the new middle class.

At the top of the pyramid, an elite of about 100,000 Africans had a collective net worth of 60% of the continent’s gross domestic product in 2008, the report said./guardian.co.uk

We can recall a time when Zambians came to the United Kingdom to pursue an honourable life with similarly honourable intentions, but that was way back in the 1970s and before! We could stomach being called ‘Golly Wog, Black Wog, Black Monkey’ and told ‘Go back home!’ or ‘Go back to your own country!!’ Wow, I don’t recall any indigenous black Africans ever telling any white explorers or slave masters to piss off back to their own country!

You’d think we could take a leaf out of that book and learn some hard lessons. But no!

In fact, even the West Africans in the western world have more ‘respect’ for their fellow black African countrymen than a huge majority of Zambians.  The Zambians that used to be here waaay back in the day were full of dignity and respect for their fellow black Zambian comrades. Unfortunately today, it’s a very different and sad, sad story indeed.

It used to be quite a proud thing to be able to stand up and be counted as a Zambian in the UK before the 1990s. There was dignity in ‘The Zambian’ and it was wholly recognised. Zambians respected one another and would go out of their way to genuinely help (FOR FREE!) one another very heartily. Anything to do with the Zambian embassy or ZAL Holdings and Zanaco London was dignified and respectful. You felt proud to be associated with any Zambian entity; Zambians were considered hardworking, timid folk with a heart full of gold and no mind for crime or being problematic. Most Zambians who lived here were on full private sponsorship or their family had a home here and they could live here peacefully, honestly and truthfully. They were either students or private wealthy individuals all with a view to returning back home to Zambia to engage in a professional trade or career of some sorts. Of these, most were students being sponsored by the Mines (ZCCM) or the banks (BOZ, ZANACO) and would soon return back home to further their careers and help develop the nation. Some were second generation Zambians who had moved to the UK with their families and were earning an honest living and bringing up their children quietly.

Crime and fraud was something not associated with Zambians in the UK in comparison to some of our African brothers who were fierce and greatly feared for it as they were doing it on a super large scale! They were mastering their craft in a profitable way and improving their economies back home (not that it is condoned) but kind of reminds us that if we’re going to do it, we should do it well (and not get caught!) But ofcourse, we only know how to get caught! So why do it in the first place! We are good at being good honourable, honest citizens so why trade that in?

The Zambian community saw a huge influx of indigenous black Zambians into the UK and US after 1990 and it suddenly felt soooo good to encounter Zambians speaking in Nyanja, Bemba, Tonga or Lozi in some of the most unlikeliest of places like on the tube, along Oxford Street or on the subway! I still smile to myself when this happens as it invokes a deep sense of belonging!

 

It feels so outrageous that one feels compelled to speak up and state that there are a number of Zambians who fellow countrymen. Jealousy is a bad, bad destructive thing with repercussions. It can cause misplaced hatred to grow very quickly.

 

They seem to forget that Zambia is a developing nation in the heart of Africa. Coming to the west is a very big deal indeed; it is life-changing and a majority of black indigenous Zambians that come here are literally feeding their families one way or another back home. It’s called survival! This is the land of milk and honey and everybody has so many opportunities here that they can tap into and change the course of their lives in an instant. They are making a living and trying to survive. Why then do some fellow Zambians feel the need to whistle blow on their fellow countrymen or falsely accuse them as if they themselves are the rightful heirs to this land? (Let who is without sin cast the first stone). Are they holier than thou? Or are they the only ones entitled to be in the western world? Does it belong to them and them alone? This is not your land! In fact, let me go so far as to say that perhaps they are getting ‘paid’ pieces of silver to do the dirty deed just like a proper little Judas! And what does it gain them in the end? For God’s sake, Zambia is a Christian country; do we no longer respect the Holy Bible and its teachings? Money is the root of all evil and ofcourse, jealousy will kill you!!!

 

Abasungu bakatupela chinshi kuno kubulaya? Tapali!! Nothing is for free! Na Mugabe ali landapo! Kuno ni kwabene! Balishile kumushi, ba patulula imishi batuchita displace; balitu shitisha kubanabo ngembwa;  balitu funya mumishi nemfuti batuposa pambilibili, elo mulefwaya bese batuchene nafuti, when all we are trying to do is feed our families. Mule tontokanya bwino before mwa butukila uku chena abanenu! Umulomo pakanwa, bula letelela. Instead yakuti musambilile kuba nenu abaishile akale, abanenu ama Nai, ama Ghanaians, abena Kenya na Uganda, abena Africa bonse bali ikatana buti abena Zambia bena bafwayafye ukuba nga Judas umutuntulu! Why? Ninshi  kanshi babela so? In case you do not know those pieces of silver are like blood money!

 

Inga niku Zed, kwaliba ama Zedians who will sell you in an instant! Imagine this….

You have a decent Zambian lady married to a US citizen umusungu, with children, all real and kosher. Wife decides marriage is done and wants to split; takes the children to Zed (they are young and custody is usually awarded to the mother anyway), starts working for a high-profile firm with a massive salary to match, enrols the children into the International school and re-settles in Zed. Being a US citizen, hubby gets all high and mighty and decides to ‘kick ass’ by enlisting US immigration and other foreign US embassy officials to fight his corner in Zed to ensure the children are reinstated back in the US. To their dismay and shock, upon an in-depth investigation, it is revealed that the children are in a much more secure environment (they have nannies, servants, private drivers and tutors) to cater for their everyday needs and are in an ‘international’ school (akin to private) left wanting for nothing compared to the wretched lifestyle of suffering that ‘hubby’ was fighting tooth and nail to return them to in the US (mostly at tax-payers expense). Aba sungu bali sula Zed, it’s like a playground to them and they can do whatever they want! One can’t imagine ba shushushu coming kubulaya to even say ‘boo’ to any government kubulaya in order to protect any of their citizens. What a great pity some people just still don’t get it. Do you think it could happen ku Nigeria nangu ku Ghana? They have a genuine love and respect for their constitutional laws, for Ghana/Nigeria, for the human life of their black African comrades and for one another they will do their upmost to protect their ‘own’ right across the board. Nomba abaku Zed, prepare to sell to the highest bidder! Let’s not forget about the Zambian party in the US when the host called immigration to come and scoop illegal aliens of Zambian origin so they could be deported. Does that give the instigator a feeling of achievement and the right to a red carpet to heaven? More like hell cos what goes around comes around.

 

Most Zedians kubulaya do not even want to sit or be associated with Zedians with much familiarity, just at a distance. Getting too close to Zedians will culture a breed of insecurity, adverse competition and bitter ‘I’m better than you and deserve better than you’ syndrome. Innocent Zedians shy away and just befriend other Africans as if there’s something terribly wrong with our own people. Instead of helping one another simply because none of us honestly knows what tomorrow shall bring, most of you just choose to kill one another slowly when lack of education, poverty and hunger is already killing us in Zed. How blind do we need to become before we realise we are not seeing the bigger picture? Are we not ashamed that we are already in the west surrounded by tools to help develop our nation back home yet we rather opt to destroy our brothers and sisters right here in the west? Can we get more selfish than this? Can we get more stupid than this? It’s time to stop hating as we are only destroying ourselves and becoming a laughing stock amongst our fellow Africans!

 

This is the final part to this series. I hope you have read Part I and II before you comment.

By Lady C

Whilst some of you admit that having sex outside your marriage is exciting and different, it is still immoral and a big sin within your own conscience, in your family, in your own respectable self and most importantly in God’s eyes.

We call it a big sin as it affects not only you but the other person you choose to lay down with, as well as your spouses, children, families, dear and not so dear friends.

It is a silent killer that slowly cracks the rock foundation used to build good healthy relationships that bond together families and special friends. (Like a cracked mirror that shatters lives). It’s a big sin likened to a disease in the sense that it directly contravenes one of God’s Commandments and His stance on that is very clear.

Some folks do it because they are able to elude their spouses and control something so daring and keep it hidden from their spouse – they feel smarter for it!

Some do it for the sheer thrill of it. Others do it simply because they can and want to prove that point to their stupid inner self and moral-less friends that they can hook a hotter catch than their so-called peers, whilst a majority do not stop to think twice about their actions – what they are actually doing and the consequences of their actions – they feel the fear and do it anyway.

For the ladies, it’s all about enjoying new hot sex with a new person, being pampered intimately, exploring each other’s bodies sexually and making them FEEL special, loved and beautiful. Basically, getting shafted on the side by someone who seems new, fresh, exciting, ‘very good-looking’ and ‘influential’; willing to spend some money on you, like pay your school fees or rent (in order for him to get what he wants – a bit like paying you for having sex with him!), willing to buy you expensive toys (that stunning designer item or beautiful car/house), but never spending Christmas and New Year, Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, Weddings, Christenings, Mother’s / Father’s Day, attending Sunday Church Service, meeting his parents/family, special family functions with you, you, you! Suddenly, you find yourself all alone when it’s time to attend those special occasions ‘accompanied’.

You do not exist in the daytime when it matters, only at night time when it is dark – you’re a dirrrty little secret – when he needs to fornicate with you, you then become available. Yet, you are not worthy to meet his whole family let alone his parents lest you be deemed a ‘prostitute’ coming to break up their marriage and happy home.

Yes, they call you ‘husband snatcher’, ‘home-breaker’ and even a tart (polite term of endearment for a whore). Some of these men would never ever acknowledge you in the presence of their spouse or family/close friends and naturally ignore you ‘cold’ as though you were not even standing there right under their nose! Painful is not even the word – what they are showing you is your real self worth in reality. You are nothing of value, not worthy of a small hello for fear of a can of worms opening up. You immediately realise that all the deceit, the lavish gifts, the dirty sex sessions and lurid liaisons in unrespectable joints have been used to secretly label you in the community and it’s just not worth the shame, the humiliation, the disrespect and deep pain.

You are selling yourself so cheaply, you become worthless in an instant. It’s such a great pity because oftentimes young ladies, you do not understand their own actions clearly and just go with the flow and have fun. You realise that as a single lady you ought to be dating a single man – that way life is less complicated. But as time goes by, your reputation is tarnished and you scramble to alter your image, drop meaningless friends and totally change your circle of friends. You realise you are somebody – your own mother carried you in her womb for about nine months only for you to bring yourself to this level – how would she feel if she saw her baby in this cobweb of pain? Aside from all the money, worldly ill-gotten gains, would she really be proud of your performance, your actions? Would she really be proud of her little baby’s achievements?

Life is about making personal choices and sometimes we make bad choices, but this behaviour is degrading and affects your moral judgements. Such actions can limit your successes in life as they may come back to haunt you in later ‘successful’ life.

(Former US President Bill Clinton could have achieved so much more but chose to throw it all away for fornication! Leaving yourself open to this type of jeopardy attracts a bigger price to pay; the higher up you climb, the greater the fall and the longer the walk of shame).

“Everyone stamps his own value on himself. Man is made great or little by his own will” – Schiller.

Leaving that lifestyle behind and starting afresh or even keeping it squeaky clean in the first place would be a good place to be in life. You only get one life; you only get one shot at life; so aim well and give it your best shot!

And now for the men folk; is it really worth it in the end?

All that heartache, disgrace and shame on your own family, talk less of on your own self after building yourself a very good reputation. Just one moment of foolishness and you throw it all away.

Many guys like to hide behind their super huge ego and state that it’s a man’s world. Man’s world indeed! If it’s a man’s world then why didn’t God create Adam and Adam? Remember, God created Adam and Eve for a purpose and He didn’t just do it for the fun of it. Whatever we do on earth, we shall answer for when we meet our Creator on judgement day.

Nevertheless, most guys just shrug their shoulders and say ‘Oh well, life is for living and I wanna live it my way’ or ‘I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it but for now, I’m not gonna miss out on all this beautiful free pussy’, ‘I am in the right place at the right time’. Blissfully unaware that the devil is tempting them and claiming lives when God has already ordained a bright future for you! All you have to do is claim your destiny but you rather stumble at the first hurdle and please the devil.

Okay, rather than weigh you down with religious ethics as this is not a Christian sermon (“Ahhh!” I hear you sigh), let me add that you will surely reap whatsoever you sow!

Let me ask the guys one thing. As a married man, what on earth do you really get out of taking out another woman and having sexual relations with her? I mean, flaunting her in front of all your mates and acting as though you are very ‘capable’ of doing what you are doing (and so what?!!) and then shagging her silly before going back to your beloved wife and children? I doubt whether most of you would even consider using a condom as it (most probably) defeats the objective for you. You need to feel the real thing because it’s so much sweeter and besides, she hasn’t got HIV or other STDs. (Like she printed that on her forehead) !She’s my little angel and she’s very innocent, very clean…….mmmm…….one actually wonders whether HIV didn’t sneak into many happy marriages that way. Not that using a condom makes it better, but does today’s man really need to go down that route at all?

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Zambia has been given another B plus sovereign credit rating by Standard and Poor’s, a Rating Agency in the USA.

The new rating is the second after FITCH; another Rating Agency gave Zambia a B plus rating about a month ago.

Sovereign credit ratings give investors insight into the level of risk associated with investing in a particular country and also include political risks.

At the request of the country, a credit rating agency will evaluate the country’s economic and political environment to determine a representative credit rating.

Obtaining a good sovereign credit rating is usually essential for developing countries in order to access funding in international bond markets.

Government has already announced intentions to issue a 500 million dollar international bond.

Another common reason for obtaining sovereign credit ratings, other than issuing bonds in external debt markets, is to attract foreign direct investment.

To give investors confidence in investing in their country, many countries seek ratings from credit rating agencies like Standard and Poors, Moody’s, and Fitch to provide financial transparency and demonstrate their credit standing.

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