ZIMBABWE

With funding pinch, sale

of elephants considered

Zimbabwe is considering the sale of as many as 62 live elephants to China, France and the United Arab Emirates because Hwange National Park, the country's biggest game reserve, isn't receiving adequate state funding.

Elephants can be sold for between $40,000 and $60,000 each, depending on age, and the revenue could help meet the $2.3 million annual running costs of the park in the northwest of the country, Director for Conservation at the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authorities, Geoffreys Matipano, said in a Thursday interview at Hwange.

"We are pursuing it aggressively as part of conservation efforts because we have plenty of elephants here," Matipano said. "We don't receive state funding and we rely on selling animals for our day-to-day operations, we are nowhere near what we want."

The size of Zimbabwe's economy has halved since 2000, according to the government, after the seizure of commercial farms for redistribution to subsistence farmers slashed exports and triggered a near-decade-long recession.     - Bloomberg
NIGERIA

27 die in two bombings

At least 27 people were killed in bombings at a bus station and market in Nigeria's northeastern cities of Gombe and Bauchi, according to the Red Cross and witnesses. The first explosives went off in a car in Gombe, killing at least 20 people about 11 a.m. Monday, said Abubakar Yakubu Gombe, the Red Cross secretary for Gombe state. A second bombing hit Bauchi's central market about 5 p.m., killing seven, according to Sani Garba, another Red Cross official. - Bloomberg
GAZA STRIP

Official: Aid hasn't arrived

International donors have so far failed to deliver billions of dollars in aid money that was promised to rebuild the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian official said Monday, saying the rift between rival Palestinian factions is deterring governments from sending aid. After a 50-day war over the summer, donors promised $2.7 billion to help rebuild Gaza. But Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa said "not even one penny" has been received from major donors such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey. - AP