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Azerbaijan strongman appoints wife vice president
Azerbaijan strongman appoints wife vice president

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday appointed his glamorous wife as first vice president, the latest move seen as tightening the family's iron grip on the oil-rich Caspian nation. The elevation of Mehriban Aliyeva -- a prominent socialite and lawmaker -- sees her now become the country's second most senior official after her husband. "She is professional, educated, experienced, principled, and magnanimous," Aliyev told a National Security Council meeting.

Afghan villagers flee Pakistani cross-border firing: aid group

Hundreds of Afghan families have been displaced by cross-border rocket and artillery fire by Pakistani troops, an aid group said on Monday, as tension rose after Pakistan said militants implicated in recent attacks had taken shelter in Afghanistan. As many as 200 families have been displaced from their homes, while some civilian casualties have also been reported after Pakistani border troops fired rockets and artillery, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). Islamic State's regional branch claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on Thursday at a Sufi shrine in Pakistan's Sindh province.

Libya
Libya's Seraj sees Russia as possible intermediary with eastern commander

By Shadia Nasralla and Andreas Rinke MUNICH (Reuters) - Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Seraj of the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli said on Sunday he would like Russia to help overcome deadlock in the country, which is struggling with divisions among militias and an Islamist militant threat. In an interview with Reuters, Seraj expressed hope that Moscow might act as an intermediary between him and Khalifa Haftar, a military commander who is supported by factions based in the east of Libya. Seraj's Government of National Accord has been trying to formulate plans for unified Libyan security forces since arriving in Tripoli in March, but has made little progress.

New U.S. travel ban to spare green card holders: Trump official

A new version of a Trump administration travel ban will not stop green card residency holders or travelers already on planes from entering the United States, U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security John Kelly said on Saturday. U.S. President Donald Trump's initial attempt to clamp down for security reasons on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and on refugees snarled to a halt amid a judicial backlash and chaos at airports.

Sanctuary holds 7 cows saved from slaughter to promote peace
Sanctuary holds 7 cows saved from slaughter to promote peace

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) - An Arizona sanctuary is sheltering seven cows that were intended for slaughter as part of an effort that owners believe promotes peace and good health.

Blair urges pro-EU Britons to
Blair urges pro-EU Britons to 'rise up' against Brexit

Former British prime minister Tony Blair on Friday urged Britons who support the European Union to "rise up" and persuade Brexit voters to change their mind about leaving the bloc in a high-profile speech. "This is not the time for retreat, indifference or despair but the time to rise up in defence of what we believe," he said at an event organised by Open Britain, a campaign group lobbying for Britain to retain close ties with the EU. "We have to build a movement that will stretch across party lines," he said, announcing that he was creating an institute that would also develop arguments against Brexit and keep ties with the EU.

Sanders Proposes Social Security Tax Hike For Wealthy
Sanders Proposes Social Security Tax Hike For Wealthy

The Vermont senator offered Thursday an increase in the taxable income threshold to keep the program solvent until 2078.

Islamic State readies for close combat in alleyways of west Mosul
Islamic State readies for close combat in alleyways of west Mosul

By Ahmed Rasheed BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State militants are developing a network of passageways and tunnels in the narrow alleys of west Mosul that will enable them to hide and fight among the civilian population when Iraqi forces launch an attack that is expected any day now. "They opened these holes and threatened us not to close them," one resident told Reuters by telephone, asking not to be identified by name or location because Islamic State executes anyone caught communicating with the outside world. The militants are essentially under siege in western Mosul, along with an estimated 650,000 civilians, after U.S.-backed forces surrounding the city dislodged them from the east...

Donald Trump Press Conference Live Stream
Donald Trump Press Conference Live Stream

Trump is set to host an unexpected news conference Thursday.

Storm Dineo kills at least two people in Mozambique

Tropical storm Dineo lashed Mozambique on Thursday, raising the risk of flooding and crop damage in an impoverished southern African nation susceptible to such disasters. "The system will pose a great risk for the next 36 to 48 hours, particularly in terms of further exceptionally heavy rainfall and resultant flooding," the South African Weather Service said in a statement. One of the world's poorest countries that is in the throes of a financial crisis, Mozambique is prone to flooding.

Italy goes bananas over tropical trees next to Milan Duomo
Italy goes bananas over tropical trees next to Milan Duomo

The sudden appearance of a cluster of palm trees next to Milan's famous cathedral has sparked a row over the use of non-native plants beside an iconic Italian landmark. Adding insult to injury for some botano-nationalists is the fact that the planting project has been sponsored by Starbucks, the US coffee giant preparing for an assault on an Italian market based on the nation's cherished network of mostly independent bars. The 42 palm trees, some of them five metres (17 feet) tall, are the first plants to be installed under a plan that also involves placing banana trees in the shadow of the 14th-century Gothic cathedral, known as the Duomo.

Cyclone downgraded after wreaking havoc in Mozambique
Cyclone downgraded after wreaking havoc in Mozambique

Mozambique was battered by high winds, flooding and sea surges when cyclone Dineo made landfall late Wednesday but the storm has begun to die down, according to meteorologists Thursday. Dineo reached Inhambane, southern Mozambique, between 8:00 pm and midnight on Wednesday, buffeting the town with winds in excess of 100 kmh (62 mph), torrential rain and rough seas, according to the South African Weather Service (SAWS). Dineo was downgraded to a tropical depression by 8:00 am (0600 GMT) Thursday and renamed "ex-Dineo", according to SAWS, which warned that the weather system could still cause heavy rainfall and flooding as it heads inland toward South Africa.

G20 diplomats to discuss development, crisis prevention
G20 diplomats to discuss development, crisis prevention

BONN, Germany (AP) - Foreign ministers from the Group of 20 leading industrialized and emerging economies are starting two days of talks in the former German capital, with a focus on global development.

Heroic dog
Heroic dog 'Oddball' dies after a long life, protecting tiny penguins

Last week, a dog died. Not just any dog. It was Oddball, the famous maremma. Oddball was a lot of things: A penguin protector (seriously), loyal companion and the inspiration for a hit film, based on her life. SEE ALSO: Doggy tour bus shows adventurous pups the sights of London Oddball was part of a pioneering project developed by Allan 'Swampy' Marsh in order to protect the fairy penguin population of Middle Island in Australia's south-west Victoria from local foxes and other assorted predators. She was the very first dog sent to the island as part of the Middle Island Maremma Project, and definitively proved that maremmas were capable of protecting the at-risk penguin population. A...

S. Korea court mulls fresh bid to arrest Samsung heir
S. Korea court mulls fresh bid to arrest Samsung heir

The scion of South Korean giant Samsung appeared in court Thursday as judges deliberate a second attempt by prosecutors to arrest him over a corruption scandal embroiling impeached President Park Geun-Hye. Lee Jae-Yong, Samsung Electronics vice chairman, is accused of paying nearly $40 million in bribes to Park's secret confidante to secure policy favours. Lee, the son of Samsung group chairman Lee Kun-Hee, would face immediate incarceration at a detention centre for those awaiting trial, if the court opts to issue the arrest warrant.

France
France's colonial past muscles into presidential race

French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron drew a storm of criticism Wednesday after calling France's colonisation of Algeria a "crime against humanity". In a TV interview in Algiers this week, the centrist said French actions in Algeria, which achieved independence in 1962 after eight years of war, were "genuinely barbaric, and constitute a part of our past that we have to confront by apologising". Les Republicans candidate Francois Fillon on Wednesday denounced what he called "this hatred of our history, this perpetual repentance that is unworthy of a candidate for the presidency of the republic".

Republicans Asking For Investigation On Federal Employees Using Encryption App Signal
Republicans Asking For Investigation On Federal Employees Using Encryption App Signal

Republicans are after federal workers using encryption app Signal to communicate and have sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General requesting an investigation.

On a South African farm, despair over armyworm attack
On a South African farm, despair over armyworm attack

Peeling back the maize plant's leaves reveals a small brown caterpillar -- an armyworm that writhes as it burrows into the heart of the crop, producing a sticky dark paste. Eighty percent of the Prinsloo family's maize plants are under attack, as are those of other farmers in Haakdoringboom, a farming community 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of South Africa's capital Pretoria. "These worms are eating everything that they touch," said farmer Jacques Prinsloo, who held up a damaged leaf to demonstrate the alarming speed at which the fall armyworms devour the crop.

Guptill to miss South Africa T20, ODIs with hamstring strain

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - A hamstring injury has ruled opening batsman Martin Guptill out of New Zealand's Twenty20 international against South Africa on Friday and the first two matches of the five-match one-day series.

Burundi govt again refuses crisis talks with opposition
Burundi govt again refuses crisis talks with opposition

Burundi's government affirmed Tuesday it will shun peace talks with opposition figures planned for later this week in Tanzania, dragging out a political crisis that has stretched for over a year. Violence erupted when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a third term in office in April 2015. Mediator Benjamin Mkapa, a former Tanzanian president, has invited "a group of 33 key figures" comprising on one side the government and its allies, and on the other side, their opponents, an African diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

UN: Gambia formally reverses withdrawal from ICC

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - The United Nations has formally received Gambia's notice reversing its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Ethiopia dam causes Kenya water shortage: rights group
Ethiopia dam causes Kenya water shortage: rights group

A huge newly-built Ethiopian dam is cutting off the supply of water to Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, rights group Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday. The Gibe III dam, along with a network of sugar plantations, has caused the depth of Lake Turkana to drop by 1.5 meters from its previous levels since the dam's reservoir began filling in 2015, according to a HRW report. In one part of Turkana, the world's largest desert lake, the shore has receded by nearly two kilometres, threatening the livelihoods of fishing communities.

Gambia to remain in ICC, notifies UN of change
Gambia to remain in ICC, notifies UN of change

The Gambia's new government has asked the United Nations to halt the process of withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) begun by the regime of former leader Yahya Jammeh. The Hague-based court, set up in 2002, is often accused of bias against African nations, leading The Gambia, Burundi and South Africa to send notice last year they would no longer recognise the ICC's jurisdiction. "The Government of Gambia has notified Antonio Guterres in his capacity as depository of the Rome Statue of its decision to discontinue the withdrawal notice," said a statement issued by the government late Monday, referring to the UN secretary-general.

'Strange black soot' blankets Nigeria's oil hub

The Nigerian city of Port Harcourt used to be known as "The Garden City" because of its soaring palm trees and green open spaces. You step on your floor, everywhere is black," Steven Obodekwe, a Port Harcourt resident and environmentalist, told AFP. Timi Isiayei said there's no escape from the fine black dust.

Amnesty accuses Tunisia security forces of abuses in war with militants
Amnesty accuses Tunisia security forces of abuses in war with militants

Tunisian security forces are using methods in their war against Islamist militants that are associated with overthrown leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, including torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions, Amnesty International said on Monday. The human right group said in a report that such practices are threatening the road to democratic reform in a country that was the birthplace of the Arab uprisings against autocracy. Tunisia says it recognises that some of what Amnesty has charged exists, but says it only individual cases and that there is no systematic abuse or policy of torture by state forces.

Lebanese president in Egypt, defends Hezbollah's arms

CAIRO (AP) - Lebanese President Michael Aoun has arrived in Egypt for the first time since his inauguration, shortly after defending the militant group Hezbollah's arms role.

U.N. chief says Fayyad
U.N. chief says Fayyad 'right man' to be Libya envoy despite U.S. objection

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he believed former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad was the "right person" to be the world body's envoy to Libya after the United States raised objections to the choice. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has expressed disappointment over Guterres' choice, saying the world body has for too long been "unfairly biased in favour of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel".

Root named new England Test captain
Root named new England Test captain

Joe Root has been named as the new Test captain of England, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Monday. Yorkshire batsman Root, previously England's vice-captain, had been the overwhelming favourite to take over from Alastair Cook, who resigned as Test skipper last week after a national record 59 matches in charge. Root, who made his England debut under Cook, is now widely regarded as England's leading batsman.

U.N. air strikes in Central African Republic kill several - militia

A top militant and three others were killed in Central African Republic when a U.N. helicopter fired on fighters advancing towards the town of Bambari, a rebel group said on Sunday. The UN's mission known as MINUSCA shot at fighters from the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central African Republic (FPRC), on Saturday after they crossed a "red line" it had set north of the town, said spokesman Vladimir Monteiro. "We were looking to prevent war in Bambari," he said, referring to the town about 250 km (155 miles) northeast of the capital Bangui.

Kenya police arrest US diplomat for fleeing accident scene

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - A Kenyan police official and a witness say a U.S. diplomat has been arrested for allegedly fleeing a scene of an accident after allegedly brandishing his gun at the other driver in the accident.

Nigerian airport workers threaten walkout while capital
Nigerian airport workers threaten walkout while capital's runway repaired

Nigerian airport employees may walk out over pay issues at the capital's temporary airport while the main airport's runway is being repaired, their trade union said on Saturday. The Abuja airport runway had deteriorated to such an extent that some major international airlines had refused to fly there, and some aircraft reported damage to their undercarriage. Nigeria's government has said airlines will be able to use the airport at the provincial city of Kaduna, 100 miles (160 km) north of Abuja during the six-week repair period from March 8.

UN chief defends choice of ex-Palestinian PM as Libya envoy
UN chief defends choice of ex-Palestinian PM as Libya envoy

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday defended his choice of former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad to be the UN peace envoy to Libya after the United States blocked the appointment.

U.S. expresses objection to Palestinian as U.N. envoy to Libya
U.S. expresses objection to Palestinian as U.N. envoy to Libya

The United States has objected to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' choice of former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad as the body's new representative to Libya. It was unclear whether the objection, expressed in a statement late on Friday by Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Haley, had ended Fayyad's candidacy.

IS group executes 5 Egyptians it accuses of spying for army
IS group executes 5 Egyptians it accuses of spying for army

The Islamic State group in Egypt claims to have executed five men it accuses of spying for the army, which is battling the jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula.

Angola probes football stampede that killed 17
Angola probes football stampede that killed 17

Angola on Saturday announced an investigation into a stadium stampede that killed at least 17 and injured scores in what was described as the southern African country's worst football tragedy.

US blocks appointment of former Palestinian PM as UN Libya envoy
US blocks appointment of former Palestinian PM as UN Libya envoy

The United States blocked the appointment of former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad to be the new UN envoy to Libya.

Boko Haram ambushes, kills troops in NE Nigeria
Boko Haram ambushes, kills troops in NE Nigeria

Nigeria's military on Friday said seven of its soldiers were killed and 19 others injured in a Boko Haram ambush, in the latest incident against troops and the security services in the country's northeast.

Forced evictions dragging down African investment: report
Forced evictions dragging down African investment: report

Forced evictions are at the heart of most African land disputes, and local anger over those displacements threatens investment across the continent, a report said Thursday.

Forced evictions dragging down African investment: report
Forced evictions dragging down African investment: report

Forced evictions are at the heart of most African land disputes, and local anger over those displacements threatens investment across the continent, a report said Thursday. A joint analysis conducted by consultancy firm TMP Systems and the US-based Rights and Resources Initiative found that 63 percent of land disputes focussed on cases of people driven off their land, often to make room for private development projects. "Most countries need to radically improve the governance of tenure rights to create an attractive and stable investment environment," said TMP Systems consultancy CEO Lou Munden.

Boko Haram kills 7 new army recruits, abducts female soldier

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) - Boko Haram insurgents ambushed a convoy of new recruits in northeast Nigeria, killing seven troops and abducting a female soldier, the Nigerian military and a self-defense commander said Friday. Nineteen soldiers were wounded.

Nigeria seizes $10 million from ex-state oil manager

Nigeria's anti-corruption agency says agents seized nearly $10 million from a safe in a slum building belonging to a former manager of the state oil company. Spokesman Wilson Uwujaren of the Economic and ...

From Arizona to Eritrea, a deadly start to 2017 for migrants: IOM

By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - More than 400 migrant deaths have been recorded so far in 2017, including on the Mediterranean crossings to Europe from North Africa and the route into the United States from Mexico, the International Organization for Migration said on Friday. The deaths were recorded in the slow winter months and the IOM fears the toll will rise in the warmer weather, spokesman Joel Millman told a U.N. briefing in Geneva. "Forty days into the year we've recorded almost 420 deaths worldwide of migrants, which is a rate of about 10 a day," Millman said.

Iraqi PM, in call with Trump, requests end to travel ban

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi asked U.S. President Donald Trump to lift the ban on people from his country travelling to the United States, in the first phone call between the two leaders, the Iraqi government said on Friday. "Mr. Trump stressed the importance of coordination to find a solution to this issue as soon as possible and that he will direct the U.S. State Department in this regard," the government said in a statement, adding that it was the U.S. president who had initiated the call on Thursday. Trump has said he will keep pushing to reinstate an executive order temporarily banning people from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

South African farmers battle crop-eating pest

By Tanisha Heiberg LIMPOPO, South Africa (Reuters) - Inspecting the damage on his 4,000 hectare farm, Petri van der Walt breaks open the stem of a sorghum plant to reveal the crop-eating pest that has for the first time been detected in Africa's biggest grain producer. Bearing four dark spots on its abdomen and a white Y-shaped marking on its head, the fall armyworm has invaded South Africa's northern province of Limpopo -- just months after farmers struggled though the worst drought in a quarter century. "It eats through the stem of the plant and damages the whole plant and then there will be no production," van der Walt told Reuters on his farm where he also grows sunflower and maize.

Hillary Clinton and Kellyanne Conway in Twitter spat over travel ban

Hillary Clinton and one of Donald Trump's top advisers, Kellyanne Conway, have become embroiled in an online spat over the President's controversial travel ban. After an appeals court upheld the suspension of the ban , Mrs Clinton, who was defeated by Mr Trump in the November Presidential election, took to Twitter. The former Democratic candidate trolled Mr Trump by writing "3-0", referring to the number of times the courts have opposed his plan to ban entry to the US to citizens from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Syria.

Kenya declares drought a national disaster, seeks help
Kenya declares drought a national disaster, seeks help

By George Obulutsa NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya declared a national disaster on Friday, calling for aid to counter drought that is posing a major risk to people, livestock and wildlife. The Kenya Red Cross has estimated around 2.7 million people are in need of food aid after low rainfall in October and November and the next rainy season not due before April. President Uhuru Kenyatta called for "local and international partners to come in and support the government's efforts to contain the situation," a statement from his office said.

Mourners honour South African legend Joost Van der Westhuizen
Mourners honour South African legend Joost Van der Westhuizen

Teammates from South Africa's 1995 World Cup winning squad carried the coffin of Joost van der Westhuizen into his memorial service on Friday in front of several hundred mourners. Van der Westhuizen, hailed as one of the greatest rugby players of the modern era, died on Monday aged 45 after a long and public battle with motor neurone disease. Francois Pienaar led the coffin-bearers at Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld stadium, where prolonged rounds of applause broke out to honour the celebrated scrum-half.

Swiss archeologist shines light on Sudan
Swiss archeologist shines light on Sudan's buried past

A veteran Swiss archaeologist has unearthed three temples in Sudan built thousands of years ago, a discovery he says promises to throw new light on Africa's buried ancient past. The round and oval shaped structures dating from 1,500 to 2,000 BC were found late last year not far from the famed archaeological site of Kerma in northern Sudan. Charles Bonnet, 83, considered a master student of Sudan's rich archeological heritage, told AFP that the sites unearthed during recent digs were unlike anything so far discovered.

African dance school hoping for P.E.I. location

A dance company that once performed for Barack Obama is planning to set up shop on P.E.I. The Maritime Centre for African Dance is starting workshops to teach basic dance styles from places like Africa and the Caribbean. Instructor Fisayo Hambolu said the workshops are about much more than just dance

Islamic State shifts to Libya
Islamic State shifts to Libya's desert valleys after Sirte defeat

By Aidan Lewis MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) - Islamic State militants have shifted to desert valleys and inland hills southeast of Tripoli as they seek to exploit Libya's political divisions after defeat in their former stronghold of Sirte, security officials say. The militants, believed to number several hundred and described as "remnants" of Islamic State's Libya operation, are trying to foment chaos by cutting power and water supplies and to identify receptive local communities, the officials said. For more than a year, Islamic State exercised total control over Sirte, building its primary North African base in the coastal city.

Top News: Africa

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