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Mugabe ‘unloved’ on his birthday

In our series of letters from Africa, Zimbabwean journalist-turned-barrister Brian Hungwe considers the fate of ousted President Robert Mugabe as he celebrates his 94th birthday. A famous quote by Machiavelli advises politicians: “It is better to be feared than loved – if you cannot have both.” However, the Italian Renaissance author and statesman then warns […]

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Air strikes follow bomb blast on Gaza border

The Israeli military has carried out a number of strikes against Palestinian positions overnight in the Gaza Strip. They came in response to a bomb attack on Saturday which wounded four Israeli soldiers. Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli tank fire in Gaza. The Israeli air force also claimed to have destroyed a number of […]

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Plane carrying 66 people crashes, killing everyone on board

An Iranian commercial aircraft carrying 66 people crashed, killing everyone on board, on Sunday in southern Iran, a semi-official news agency reported. A spokesperson for Iran’s Aseman Airlines has told state TV that an airplane crash in southern Iran has killed all 66 people who were on board. Mohammad Taghi Tabatabai spoke to state TV […]

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Morgan Tsvangirai mourned in Harare

Zimbabwe’s president has called on all citizens to unite to mourn opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who died of colon cancer last week. A memorial service for Tsvangirai was held in a packed church in the capital Harare, while outside hundreds of supporters of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) gathered. Tsvangirai died in hospital in […]

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Israel’s Netanyahu attacks Iran

Israel’s prime minister has launched a stinging attack on Iran, telling a security conference in Munich it is the “greatest threat to our world”. Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would “not allow Iran’s regime to put a noose of terror around our neck”. In a moment of drama, he brandished what he said was a piece […]

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Oxfam faces fresh claim of abuse in South Sudan

Scandal-hit British charity Oxfam was reeling on Tuesday after fresh claims of sexual assault and rape, this time between aid workers in South Sudan. Helen Evans, former global head of safeguarding, also warned of assaults on children volunteering in Oxfam’s hundreds of high-street charity shops in Britain. She accused senior managers of failing to act, […]

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Commonwealth in secret succession plans

The Commonwealth has secretly begun considering who might succeed the Queen as its head, the BBC has learned. The issue is hugely sensitive because the role is not hereditary and will not pass automatically to the Prince of Wales on the Queen’s death. The Commonwealth has set up a “high level group” to look at […]

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Russian train introduces stop for a single schoolgirl

  A key railway route in northwestern Russia has introduced a stop to serve just two passengers: a 14-year-old girl and her grandmother. According to the Gudok newspaper, the Saint Petersburg-Murmansk train route has begun to serve remote Poyakonda, to help 14-year-old Karina Kozlova get to and from school. For the last decade, Karina’s grandmother […]

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AU dismisses China bugging claims

The chairman of the African Union (AU) commission has dismissed as lies allegations, published in the French press, that China spied on the organisation and bugged its headquarters in Addis Ababa. Speaking on a visit to Beijing, Moussa FakiMahamat said it was not in China’s interest to spy on the AU as it did not […]

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UN in $1bn appeal for North-east

The United Nations (UN) has launched a $1bn (£720m) appeal to help north-eastern Nigeria – the region devastated by Boko Haram’s insurgency for almost a decade. The UN office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs says the money will provide life-saving emergency assistance to the most vulnerable. Nearly eight million people are in need of […]

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Bangladesh ex-PM jailed amid clashes

Bangladeshi police have clashed with thousands of protesters, as opposition leader Khaleda Zia was jailed for five years for corruption. Ms Zia, a former prime minister, denies misusing international funds donated to a charitable children’s trust. The jail sentence may mean the 72-year-old is barred from parliamentary polls due later this year. The case is […]

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Twitter posts first quarterly profit

Twitter has reported its first quarterly net profit helped by a rise in video advertising sales. The news sent Twitter’s shares surging more than 18% in early morning trading in New York. That was despite the number of people using the social network coming in below expectations. Twitter’s previous failure to make a profit had […]

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UN hopes for Libya elections ‘by end of 2018’

UN envoy GhassanSalame said on Wednesday he hoped for elections in Libya by the end of 2018 but that conditions in the strife-torn country were not yet ready for polling. “There are several conditions. For the time being, we have only achieved one: the start of voter registration,” the UN envoy for Libya told a […]

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Mozambique deports Ethiopians

Mozambique has deported more than 50 Ethiopians who had entered the country illegally, in some cases after a six-week journey, officials say. All of them were detained in December – 40 were found in the bush in the central district of Gorongosa, and the others were arrested in other parts of the country. They had […]

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Syria war: US bombs government forces

The US has carried out rare air strikes on Syrian pro-government forces after what it called an “unprovoked attack” on allied Kurdish and Arab fighters. An estimated 100 pro-government fighters were killed in the overnight incident in Deir al-Zour province. They had allegedly tried to take ground east of the River Euphrates, captured from the […]

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Zimbabwean opposition MDC picks acting leader

Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has appointed Nelson Chamisa as interim acting party leader until Morgan Tsvangirai, can return to Zimbabwe, MDC spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka said. Mr. Tsvangirai, is in a South African hospital, suffering from colon cancer for the past two years, and has several times since had to take to Twitter […]