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After The ProphetThis month’s preferred reading is After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam by Lesley Hazleton.

In this gripping narrative history, Lesley Hazleton tells the tragic story at the heart of the ongoing rivalry between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, a rift that dominates the news now more than ever.
Even as Muhammad lay dying, the battle over who would take control of the new Islamic nation had begun, beginning a succession crisis marked by power grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was embroiled in civil war, pitting its founder's controversial wife Aisha against his son-in-law Ali, and shattering Muhammad’s ideal of unity.
Combining meticulous research with compelling storytelling, After the Prophet explores the volatile intersection of religion and politics, psychology and culture, and history and current events. It is an indispensable guide to the depth and power of the Shia–Sunni split.




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from The Daily Star.. By Md Fazlur Rahman October 20, 2014 Consumers in Bangladesh have a largely optimistic economic outlook despite the continued uncertainty in the global economy, MasterCard said in a report. The country recorded the biggest improvement among the 27 countries from the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region covered in the study. In Bangladesh, consumer confidence jumped a whopping 25.9 points in the first half of 2014 to 66.4 points from the previous
from The Cyprus Mail..By Constantinos PsillidesOctober 19, 2014 THE FACT that Cyprus is lagging in areas where other EU countries are advancing rapidly is hardly newsworthy. So it comes as absolutely nobody’s surprise that Cypriots pay too much on their internet connection, at the same time putting up with slower speeds than their EU counterparts. According to data from the EU Digital Agenda Scoreboard, Cypriots pay an average of €91 for fast and ultra-fast internet connections (this
from the Financial Times.. By William Wallis in Lagos October 19, 2014 Nigerian pupils wash their hands as part of an anti-Ebola campaign in Abuja, the country's capital Lawal Bakare broke a world record last year when he corralled 200,000 school children in Lagos into brushing their teeth at exactly the same time. This year, the 31-year-old dentist and social media activist felt compelled to lend his organisational skills to the campaign to fight Ebola. Alongside other volunteers
from Ventures Africa..By Niyi AderibigbeOctober 18, 2014 The biggest challenge global institutional investors see when they approach Africa is the lack of established fund managers. VENTURES AFRICA – Despite its impressive economic growth, which is attracting more foreign investments, Africa remains a marginal lurer of Private Equity and international investment capital. About $300 billion was raised globally for private equity last year, 12 percent of which was reserved for emerging markets, of that – an already minority share
from Ventures Africa..By Niyi AderibigbeOctober 18, 2014 Approximately half of Africa's fast-growing population lives in extreme poverty despite a sprouting economic fortune, as lack of access to energy remains a strangler of development, according to the International Energy Association (IEA), in its Africa Energy Outlook. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects sub-Saharan Africa to grow by 5.8 percent next year, up from an estimated 5.1 percent for 2014. This growth rate albeit impressive has barely translated to proper
Tagged in: Energy
from The EastAfrican..By JASTON BINALAOctober 18, 2014 Tanzanian business people are protesting against a plan by the government to charge for services in US dollars, saying it undermines the shilling and makes prices unpredictable. Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) executive director Daniel Machemba said because Tanzanians are paid in shillings, charging for services in dollars by government departments will exert inflationary pressure and raise the cost of living. The dollar is increasingly being accepted for
Tagged in: Currencies
from The EastAfrican..By ALLAN OLINGOOctober 18, 2014 East Africa’s growing GDP, a stabilised political environment, the discovery of natural resources like oil and gas and intensified infrastructure development have placed the region in pole position for private equity investments. Last year, Kenya benefited from 46 per cent of the total number of private equity deals in East Africa and 69 per cent of the total reported value, according to the Private Equity Confidence Survey by Deloitte & Touche.

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from The Economist.. October 18, 2014 | SARAJEVO | From the print edition IT IS easy to write off Bosnia as a dysfunctional country hobbled by unnecessary layers of government in which nothing works. In fact, despite an unduly complex system of government that was the price of ending the war in 1995, Bosnia works—but badly. The elections held on October 12th will probably not alter that. Yet to dismiss them as just one more round of political musical chairs
from The Economist.. October 18, 2014 | BELGRADE | From the print edition Vladimir Putin’s visit and a football match rekindle rows in Serbia UNDER Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s prime minister, the country is caught between its European ambitions and his autocratic drift. This week’s visit by Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, highlights Serbia’s dilemmas. Its main strategic goal is to join the European Union, yet it is refusing to apply EU sanctions on its traditional ally, Russia. Indeed, to celebrate Mr

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from a LinkedIn post.. By Michael Gorman, Managing Director. Independent LLC. Mongolia. Octiber 18, 2014 In recent days we have been treated to a plethora of news emanating from Mongolia. First came the following link However, I am hearing it rumoured all over UB from both Mongolians and expats alike that there is little chance that Rio Tinto will sign anything worthwhile whilst this current ‘Democratic’ farce of a Government is in power. If true, who could blame them?Perhaps