Egypt and Moroco into Final Four

January 24th, 2005

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/4200271.stm

gypt, Morocco into final four
The Morocco under 20 team
Morocco are through to the semi finals of the African Youth Championship
Defending champions Egypt and Morocco qualified from Group B for the semi-finals of the African Youth Championship in Benin on Sunday.

Morocco edged out Angola 1-0 at the Rene Pleven Stadium while on the other side of Cotonou, Egypt easily beat Lesotho 4-1 at the Friendship Stadium.

The Egyptians raced into a two goal lead in the opening 12 minutes of their match.

Abdalllah Abdou opened the scoring in the seventh minute and Ahmed Farag doubled the lead just five minutes later.

The other three goals of the match all came in the final fifteen minutes of the second-half.

Abdallah Mohammed extended Egpyt's lead to 3-0 in the 75th minute before Mahmoud Alla Fadl put the game beyond doubt with an 82nd minute strike.

Lesotho got a late consolation through a penalty converted by Lintho Korie.

Morocco secured their semi-final place with their narrow win over Angola as Mouhssine Iajour grabbed the only goal of the game in the 39th minute.

The results mean that Egypt win Group B thanks to a better goal difference over Morocco with both sides on seven points from their three matches.

Lesotho, who were playing in their first ever continental finals, finished third in the group with three points while the Angolans return home without securing a single point.

In Wednesday's semi-finals Egypt face Group A runners-up Benin while Morocco face Group A winners Nigeria, who have won all their matches in the tournament so far.

All four semi-finalists automatically qualify for Fifa's World Youth Championships in Holland in June.

Ethiopia-Eritrea: Military Officer Says Troop Movements Near Border 'Provocative'

January 23rd, 2005

Link: http://allafrica.com/stories/200501210005.html

Ethiopia-Eritrea: Military Officer Says Troop Movements Near Border 'Provocative'

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
NEWS
January 21, 2005
Posted to the web January 21, 2005
Addis Ababa

A senior Eritrean military official has dismissed guarantees that Ethiopian troop movements near their common border were purely defensive, according to the United Nations.

Eritrean Col Zecarias Ogbagaber said he believed the troop deployment was "provocative", the UN peacekeeping mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) said.

His comments came at the 28th Military Coordination Commission (MCC) meeting hosted by UNMEE to try and ensure peace between the two sides on Monday.

Ogbagaber "expressed serious concerns about the movement of additional Ethiopian troops towards the northern border of Ethiopia", UNMEE said in a statement.

"He said that he did not consider these deployments defensive in nature and interpreted them to be provocative," the statement added. Ogbagaber also "expressed the hope that with the beginning of a new year, there would be fresh impetus, which [would] help move the peace process forward".

Ethiopian Gen Yohannes Gebremeskel stressed "the redeployment of Ethiopian army troops along the Eritrean border was a purely defensive measure and part of the reorganisation process of the army".

Ethiopia first announced in December it would redeploy troops near the border region, providing details to the UN peacekeeping force. UNMEE force commander, Maj-Gen Rajender Singh told the MCC that the military situation remained "stable and calm".

Singh said he was "fairly satisfied" with the security situation and urged both countries not to take any steps that would jeopardise the situation. He also added that the "sanctity and the stability" of the 25-km demilitarised zone was being "maintained effectively" by the 3,800 UN peacekeepers.

On 13 January, he told reporters that the movements did not indicate that Addis Ababa was preparing for a new war with its neighbour, adding that the Ethiopians were merely strengthening their defences in Badme and Zalambesa - two disputed areas where fierce fighting occurred during their two-year border conflict.

"I am of the opinion that no large-scale mobilisation on the Ethiopian side is taking place," Singh said. "I am also of the opinion that considering the movement of troops on both sides - it does not seem that they are preparing for any conflict situation."

According to UNMEE, the MCC discussions were held in a "cordial and a constructive environment". Both countries expressed their willingness to cooperate fully with UNMEE, the peacekeeping force added.

Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a two and a half-year border war between May 1998 and December 2000 in which tens of thousands of people were killed. Although a peace deal was agreed, tensions remain over their still disputed common frontier.

Recently, a UN envoy said millions of people had remained in abject poverty as a result of the impact of the border dispute. Lloyd Axworthy said both impoverished nations were missing vital trade and social opportunities that would lift millions out of their dire economic situation.

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

FIFA ranking

January 19th, 2005

Ethiopia is up 20 in FIFA ranking. Ethiopian Team now ranks 129 in the world.

1 Brazil
2 Czech Republic
3 Argentina
4 Netherlands
5 France

128 Faroe Islands
129 Ethiopia
130 Palestine
130 Tahiti
169 Eritrea
189 Somalia
201 Djibouti
Check the rankings here

FIFA Complete Rankings

Khat plant 'boosts sperm power'

June 28th, 2004

Khat plant 'boosts sperm power'
By Caroline Ryan
BBC News Online health staff in Berlin

Story published on 28 June, 2004

A chemical found in the khat plant could boost the power of men's sperm, researchers have found.

Lab tests by King's College London found treated sperm became fertile faster, and stayed fertile for longer, than untreated sperm.

Khat is mild narcotic, producing a high when chewed, but its use has been linked to long-term problems.

The study was presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Berlin.

The researchers say their findings could lead to products to help couples conceive.

"It might be relatively easy to develop products"
Lynn Fraser, King's College London

Chewing khat leaves, which is particuarly popular in parts of East Africa, releases cathinone, a stimulant that produces the feelings of euphoria linked with the plant.

When cathinone is broken down in the body, it produces chemicals including cathine and norephedrine, which have a similar structure to amphetamines and adrenaline.

The researchers from the Centre for Reproduction, Endocrinology and Diabetes at King's College examined the effect of cathine on mouse sperm.

They found that the chemical accelerated the development of sperm, so it reached the stage where it was fertile more quickly.

It then remained in this stage for longer than normal.

This is important because, when sperm meets an egg, it needs to connect using a "lock and key" system.

If is past its 'peak', and its membranes are no longer intact, sperm will not have its part of this mechanism, meaning fertilisation cannot take place.

Investigation

Early tests on human sperm suggest it is affected by cathine in the same way.

Other studies in rabbits have shown chewing khat leaves could also increased sperm production.

However, there is some concern that prolonged use could actually damage sperm.

Around seven tonnes of khat leaves are estimated to be imported into the UK each week.

The Home Office is currently investigating the plant's long-term health effects, following concern it may be linked to heart and mental health problems.

It is due to report later this year.

'Not a high dose'

The researchers say they will now carry out more analysis of human sperm.

Lynn Fraser, Professor of Reproductive Biology at King's College London, told BBC News Online: "It might be relatively easy to develop products.

"Compounds related to the ones we studied are being used in over-the-counter and prescription medicines, for dietary treatments and asthma."

"And the amount that's required isn't that high, so it's not a question of taking very high doses and therefore becoming overstimulated."

She said khat-based products could be used to help couples who are having trouble conceiving naturally, and in clinics as additives to sperm used in IVF or artificial insemination.

Professor Fraser said if the research on cathine improving sperm production was proven: "We could give it to men to improve sperm production, and to women because it is in the female reproductive tract that the sperm go through this process to become fertile."