Headlines 

Conflict and insecurity driving spread of diseases like Ebola, WHO chief warns

Deadly outbreak is global wake-up call, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tells Guardian The head of the World Health Organization has called the worlds the virus would inevitably return while political instability continued in North Kivu and Iruri, the provinces at the heart of the outbreak. Quick guide Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Show Hide How bad is the current outbreak? More than 2,100 people have been infected with Ebola in theDemocratic Republic of the Congo since August last year, making the outbreak the second largest in history.…

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South African ‘Spaceboy’ set to be first black African in space dies in crash

(CNN)Mandla Maseko, the South African former DJ who won a chance to become the first black African in space has died in a motorbike crash, his family said in a statement. I pledge to serve and defend my country and its people in accordance with the Constitution and the law and with honour, dignity, courage and integrity. A post shared by Mandla Maseko (@mandlamaseko) on May 15, 2019 at 2:18am PDT He went on to become a private pilot and was also a corporal with the South African National Defence…

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Mediterranean will be ‘sea of blood’ without rescue boats, UN warns

Refugee agency says risk of people dying attempting crossing is at its highest The risk of migrants and refugees becoming shipwrecked in the Mediterranean and dying at sea is the highest it has ever been due to a lack of NGO rescue ships and the conflict in Libya hastening departures at an alarming rate, the UN has warned. If we do not intervene soon, there will be a sea of blood, said Carlotta Sami, the spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, in Italy. With favourable sea conditions, thousands of…

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South Africa elections: Incoming results suggest ruling ANC set to win diminished majority

Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN)Despite years of corruption allegations, a sluggish economy and sustained electricity blackouts, South Africa’s ruling ANC looks set to win a substantial majority in a critical national election. In the previous election, in 2014, the ANC won with 62% of voter support. The election year before that — 2009 — the party won 66% of the vote. In 2004, it got close to 70% of the vote. The partial results show the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), trailing with just under 22% of the vote…

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Rhino poacher killed by an elephant and then ‘devoured’ by lions

Police say the man entered the park with a group intending to shoot and kill rhinos A rhino poacher is believed to have been attacked by an elephant and then eaten by a pride of lions during an incident in South Africas Kruger national park. Police brigadier Leonard Hlathi said police received information that a group of men had gone into the park on 1 April in order to hunt rhino, when suddenly an elephant attacked and killed one of them. His accomplices claimed to have carried his body to…

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The big picture: the Rwandan Daughters project

Portraits of Rwandan rape victims and their children reveal the aftermath of the genocide 25 years ago Today marks 25 years since the onset of the Rwandan genocide. In just 100 days, between 7 April and 15 July 1994, seven in 10 Tutsis living in Rwanda were murdered by their Hutu neighbours. As many as 1 million people, including 10,000 Batwa pygmies, died. Whats less well known about those terrible months is that up to 250,000 women were raped. Many were infected with HIV and later died of Aids-related illness.…

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Uganda: US tourist kidnapped and held for $500,000 ransom

Security forces are hunting gunmen who abducted a 35-year-old woman and her driver inside a national park close to the border Ugandan security forces are hunting gunmen who abducted an American tourist and her driver inside a national park close to the border with Democratic Republic of Congo. Four kidnappers stopped a group of tourists at gunpoint around dusk on Tuesday as they drove through the Queen Elizabeth national park to see wild animals. Police identified the American as a 35-year-old woman, and said the kidnappers had later used her…

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Odds and Ends 

Africa Roundup: Kenyas BRCK acquires EveryLayer, Nigerias TeamApt eyes global expansion

Kenyan communications hardware company BRCK acquired the assets of Nairobi-based internet provider Surf and its U.S. parent EveryLayer in a purchase deal of an undisclosed amount in February. Based in Nairobi, Surf is a hotspot service provider aimed at offering affordable internet to lower-income segments. BRCK is a five-year-old venture that pairs its rugged Wi-Fi routers to internet service packages designed to bring people online in frontier and emerging markets. With the acquisition, BRCK gains the assets of San Francisco-based EveryLayer and its Surf subsidiary, including 1,200 hotspots and 200,000 active customers…

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At least 21 killed as Kenya hotel siege is declared over

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN)An American and a Briton were confirmed to be among at least 21 people killed in an attack at a hotel complex in Nairobi as the incident was brought to an end Wednesday. Shortly before Kenyatta declared the attack over, gunshots and explosions could still be heard at the scene. Six more bodies were found late Wednesday at the scene, according to Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett, speaking live on local television station Citizen TV. That brought the death toll to 21. Boinett said 16 Kenyans, one…

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Ancient Baobab trees in Southern Africa are dying. Scientists blame climate change

(CNN)Driving beyond South Africa’s Limpopo province, into the village of Chivadini, people and grassland are scarce. But the oldest living organisms in Africa — baobab trees — are abundant. As the oldest seed producing trees in the world, their resilience — some are more than 2,000 years old — have earned them many names in myths, legends and folklore. The baobab has been called the tree of life, the monkey bread tree and the upside down tree — owing to its fat trunk with roots meandering toward the sky. But…

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Women win half of Ethiopia’s cabinet roles in reshuffle

Prime minister Abiy Ahmed creates new peace ministry in the latest in a string of changes Ethiopias prime minister has appointed women to half the posts in his cabinet and created a new ministry of peace in a sweeping reshuffle that will reinforce the momentum of his radical reform programme in the vast, strategically significant African country. Abiy Ahmed has turned the regions politics on its head with picked for the top job by the EPRDF council. He is the first leader from the former emperor, Haile Selassie.

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UK MP stages protest to free kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirl

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)A British member of parliament has launched a one-man protest outside the Nigerian embassy in London to help free kidnapped school girl Leah Sharibu, who friends say is being held by terror group Boko Haram for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. “There cannot be a clearer example of someone whose human rights are being ignored than that of Leah who is being detained just because she has maintained her Christian faith,” Brake said in an email interview with CNN. Brake said his protest will last 200 hours…

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City of Joy: the powerful Netflix documentary where ‘everything is about love’

The team involved with a centre in the eastern Congo that acts as a refuge for women who have survived violence discuss the impact of their work How does one find joy amid unspeakable tragedy? Madeleine Gavins documentary City of Joy, about a community built around women who have survived horrific violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), gives us a glimpse at both an incredible injustice still occurring today, and how Congolese women are combating it with their own grassroots movement. The documentary follows the beginnings of City…

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Zimbabwe opposition figure charged after forced return

UN accuses Zambia of violating international law after MDCs Tendai Biti is denied asylum A senior Zimbabwean opposition politician who was refused asylum in neighbouring Zambia and forcibly returned to his own country has been charged over his alleged role in last weeks post-election protests. We will keep on fighting, Tendai Biti told reporters, before being granted bail of $5,000 (3,885) and told to surrender his passport. The UN said it was gravely concerned that Biti, a former finance minister and senior figure in the Movement for Democratic Change, was…

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‘A Brexited flatland: Peter Gabriel hits out after Womad stars refused entry to UK

Festival co-founder urges government to make it easier for international artists to perform in Britain The musician Peter Gabriel has expressed alarm over UK foreign policy after a number of international artists were unable to perform at artists declined invitations to perform at Womad, with many citing the difficulty of entering the country under the automated visa system that first created issues for the festival in 2017. Whether their perceptions are real or inflamed, the reality is that artists are deciding that the hassle and cost of entering the UK…

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