Opposition demonstrators tear-gassed in Kenya

A man makes his way through rising tear gas fired by riot police officers to disperse supporters of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga in Nairobi, on Friday. (Reuters)
Updated 17 November 2017
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Opposition demonstrators tear-gassed in Kenya

NAIROBI: Kenya police used tear gas and water cannon Friday on a large crowd of supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga who gathered to welcome him from a trip overseas.
Odinga has called for a "National Resistance Movement" to protest the outcome of a repeat presidential election, which was ordered by the Supreme Court after it annulled the results of an August poll over procedural irregularities.
In what is seen as the last chance for legal scrutiny of the vote, the court will rule on Monday on cases that seek to nullify the rerun election. The political crisis has stirred fears for the stability of the east African nation, a regional hub for trade, diplomacy and security.
In Friday's violence, people threw stones at the police and threw up burning barricades on Mombasa Road, the highway that links Nairobi's downtown business district and the airport.
Despite a partial police ban on protests in the capital, demonstrators had gathered in the morning near the airport to wait for Odinga's return. Police checked vehicles headed from the city centre to the airport in another attempt to stop the demonstration from building.
Kenyan TV channels broadcast footage of what they said was Odinga's motorcade leaving the airport after he landed just before midday. Motorcycle taxi drivers and people on foot shouted their support as the motorcade moved toward downtown.
President Uhuru Kenyatta won a second, five-year term with 98 percent of the vote in the repeat election after Odinga boycotted the contest. Only 39 percent of registered voters took part.
In Monday's Supreme Court rulings, judges could order a fresh vote or clear the way for the incumbent to be sworn in for his second term. If the election is upheld, Kenyatta will be sworn in on Nov. 28.
Dozens of international flights depart and arrive daily at Nairobi's main airport. The national airport authority said on its official Twitter handle just before midday that operations were running normally.
Kenya's prolonged election season has disrupted its economy. Human rights groups say at least 66 people have died in bloodshed surrounding the two elections.
Ahead of Monday's Supreme Court ruling, Kenya Airways' chairman told an investor briefing on Friday morning: "Hopefully we don’t have another presidential election so we can get on with life."


South African court says marijuana use in private is legal

Members of the African Democratic Change political party sing outside the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg on September 18, 2018, as South Africa's top court is ruling over a law banning cannabis use. (AFP)
Updated 19 September 2018
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South African court says marijuana use in private is legal

  • The court also ordered parliament to draft new laws within 24 months to reflect the order
  • Previous court hearings on the emotive issue have drawn protests by those opposed to legalising cannabis, as well as by those in favour of decriminalisation

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s top court says adults can use marijuana in private.
The Constitutional Court on Tuesday upheld a provincial court’s ruling in a case involving Gareth Prince, who advocates the decriminalization of the drug.
Prince says cannabis should be regulated in the same way as alcohol and tobacco. Government authorities have said cannabis is harmful and should be illegal.
The top court says an adult can cultivate cannabis in “a private place” as long as it is for personal consumption in private. It says the right to privacy “extends beyond the boundaries of a home.”
The court says it would be up to a police officer to decide if the amount of marijuana in someone’s possession is for personal consumption or dealing.