Nairobi outlaws sneezing, loud noise

The city council of Nairobi passed a series of by-laws yesterday outlining new illegal activities for the streets of Kenya's capital. Newly outlawed activities include blowing one's nose in public without using a hankercheif and spitting into trash cans. Another of the laws criminalizes loud noise.

This particular ordinance may have the biggest impact on the economy of Nairobi, in which street hawkers, cab drivers and store owners rely on verbally cajoling customers into their services. One resident argued the city is just trying to make money, either from imposed fines or bribes, and directly ignoring the needs of its citizens:

"We get our daily bread here,We are not making noise. The council must know that we are self-employed."

The city maintains that the purpose of the news laws is to make the city more habitable and reduce general nuisance. 



The little Palestinian brewery that could

It's 1993. The Oslo Accords have just been signed, and your wealthy Palestinian family has money for new business ventures. Why not a brewery?

Yes, fifteen years on from its official founding, Taybeh Brewery is still going strong. The conditions may not be ideal: as the Guardian points out,"the population is predominantly teetotal Muslims. It operates in bleak economic conditions, with high unemployment and the extra costs and challenges of dealing with the checkpoints and delays that make up Israel's military occupation. And, on top of that, they have to market their Palestinian beer to Israeli customers."

But the brewery, run by Nadim Khoury, who learned to brew beer at home while living in the US, has overcome these obstacles and even harder times (business almost completely died off during the Second Infitada) on its way to being the first Palestinian product in Germany, and a popular beer in Japan. Their latest venture is a non-alcoholic variety marketed at young Palestinians. With the Palestinian economy recovering slightly, Khoury hopes the brewery can continue to show that "we have a right to enjoy life. Enough is enough with the fighting."