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Kinshasa (AFP) The United Nations on Saturday called on the Democratic Republic of Congo to publish a timetable for elections which are due by the end of the year. Under a deal brokered last New Year’s Eve, President Joseph Kabila agreed to a transitional arrangement enabling him to stay in power pending presidential and legislative elections by the end of 2017. In a statement, the UN’s special representative for DR Congo, Maman Sidikou, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) “to publish an official, consensus-based timetable, without further delay”Read More
Bamako (AFP) About 2,000 people rallied Saturday in conflict-torn Mali against a constitutional referendum over concerns the proposed changes hand the president too much power, an AFP correspondent said. During the demonstration in the capital Bamako, which organisers say attracted 10,000 people, protesters held signs reading “Don’t touch my Constitution”, “No, means no” and “No to the referendum”. The protest, which authorities said was not authorised under the state of emergency, took place on the eve of the so-called “G5 Sahel” summit aimed at consolidating Western backing for a regionalRead More
Buenos Aires (AFP) A Southern Kings team facing the Super Rugby axe next week triumphed 31-30 in Buenos Aires on Friday as a horror run by the Jaguares continued. It was the fourth win in six matches for the one-time South African whipping boys, and the seventh loss in eight games for an Argentine outfit who began the season promisingly. Jaguares led 20-14 at half-time in an often scrappy, error-strewn round 15 tussle in which only pride was at stake in Estadio Jose Amalfitani as neither team can reach theRead More
Rio de Janeiro (AFP) The worn paving stones discovered under a thick layer of modern concrete in Rio de Janeiro don’t look like much at first. But it was here that some million slaves from Africa took their first steps in Brazil. “It’s a unique memorial, containing the last remaining vestiges of the slaves’ arrival,” said anthropologist Milton Guran. Next week, the UN cultural body UNESCO will consider whether to award what’s known as Valongo Wharf world heritage status, winning protection as a site of global importance. The wharf, orRead More
London (AFP) Batsman Gary Ballance has been give a chance to revive his England Test career after being named in the squad for next Thursday’s first Test against South Africa. The Zimbabwe-born 27-year-old has battled his way back into contention with a superb season for Yorkshire in the County Championship after being dropped following a torrid series against Bangladesh last October. “Gary Ballance could play his first Test since October,” said England national selector James Whitaker. “He has been in fantastic touch with the bat in the Championship averaging overRead More
Geneva (AFP) The new director general of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom, took over managing the UN health agency on Saturday, the WHO said. A specialist in malaria, Tedros served as health minister and later as foreign minister for Ethiopia. The 52-year-old is the first African to head the global health organisation and he takes over from Margaret Chan of China, who led the WHO for nearly 10 years. Tedros was elected to the post in May in what was the first time the WHO director-general was chosen byRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) At the 2012 London Olympics, before 80,000 roaring fans and a constellation of camera flashes, it took Oscar Pistorius 45.44 seconds to become a global icon. The South African’s sprint around the 400m track was the first time in history that a double-amputee had raced at the Olympic Games. The race capped an Olympian triumph over adversity for Pistorius. His journey from disabled child to world-class athlete seemed to embody the very best of sporting endeavour and the human spirit. Then on Valentine’s Day in 2013 his achievementsRead More
Johannesburg (AFP) Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is within touching distance of South Africa’s top job, previously had his presidential hopes dashed and opted for life in business that brought him spectacular wealth. After failing to clinch the ANC nomination to succeed president Nelson Mandela in 1999, the veteran trade unionist swapped politics for a lucrative foray into business that made him one of the wealthiest people in Africa. His failure came as a surprise to many as he was seen as Mandela’s preferred candidate — with Mandela describing RamaphosaRead More