International News

Obasanjo: West Africa must confront political weaknesses

West Africa must openly confront its political and governance weaknesses to curb the growing drug trade in the region, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said on Wednesday.
"West Africa is no longer only a transit zone of drugs but an attractive destination where pushers take advantage of the weak political system to perpetuate their trade," Obasanjo, who chairs the West Africa Commission on Drugs (WACD), said while presenting his report to Ghana's President John Mahama.
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Violence erupts in Liberia's Ebola-hit slum

Violence erupted in an Ebola quarantine zone in Liberia's capital on Wednesday when soldiers opened fire and used tear gas on protesting crowds as they evacuated a state official and her family.
Four residents were injured in the clashes that flared in Monrovia's West Point slum, which has been sealed off as part of new security measures aimed at containing the deadly virus.
The crackdown in Liberia comes as authorities around the world scramble to stem the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola, which has killed at least 1 350 people across West Africa this year.
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Thai army chief named prime minister

The move by the top general to shed his uniform and take the premiership is seen as cementing the military's control of the politically turbulent nation Read more about Thai army chief named prime minister

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Obama warns of jihadist ‘cancer’

US President Barack Obama has demanded that the world take action against the “cancer” of jihadist extremism in Iraq, as Washington revealed it had failed in an operation to free US hostages in neighbouring Syria. It came a day after the so-called ‘Islamic State’, which has seized much of eastern Syria and northern Iraq, released a video showing a masked militant beheading American reporter James Foley, provoking worldwide revulsion and condemnation. Read more about Obama warns of jihadist ‘cancer’

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365 Ebola deaths traced back to one healer

It has laid waste to the tribal chiefdoms of Sierra Leone, leaving hundreds dead, but the Ebola crisis began with just one healer's claims to special powers.
The outbreak need never have spread from Guinea, health officials revealed to AFP, except for a herbalist in the remote eastern border village of Sokoma.
"She was claiming to have powers to heal Ebola. Cases from Guinea were crossing into Sierra Leone for treatment," Mohamed Vandi, the top medical official in the hard-hit district of Kenema, told AFP.
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Pakistan army urges talks

Pakistan's powerful military called yesterday for talks to resolve a week-long political drama as tens of thousands of protesters marched on parliament in a bid to depose the prime minister.
Men, women and children of all ages staged a sit-in outside the parliament building after defying a government ban on entering Islamabad's "red zone", which houses key buildings including the official residences of the prime minister and the president and foreign embassies.
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Silva could win Brazil vote after running mate's death

Environmentalist Marina Silva could unseat incumbent Dilma Rousseff in Brazil's October presidential vote, a poll found on Monday, a stunning political twist after Silva's running mate was killed in a plane crash.
Silva, a 56-year-old former environment minister, has moved into second place ahead of the October 5 first-round vote and would defeat Rousseff in an October 26 runoff, the survey by Datafolha found.
It was the first poll taken after Socialist Party candidate Eduardo Campos's death in the August 13 plane crash.
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Liberia 'losing grip on Ebola'

Liberia is desperately searching for 17 Ebola patients who fled an attack on a quarantine centre in the capital Monrovia, as the outbreak appeared to overwhelm authorities in West Africa's worst-hit nation.
Searches of the teeming West Point slum have so far failed to turn up any of the missing victims as neighbouring Guinea said a wave of sick Liberians had begun crossing the border, which it had officially closed 10 days ago.
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SADC summit wraps up

Southern African leaders ended a two-day summit on Monday resolving to develop their industries to boost regional cooperation and set up a fund for its projects.
In a statement at the end of the two-day meeting in Zimbabwe's tourist resort town of Victoria Falls, the heads of state from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said "industrialisation should take centre stage on SADC's regional integration agenda".
The bloc tasked a ministerial panel "to develop a strategy and roadmap for industrialisation in the region".
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Police fire tear gas in US town

Police fired tear gas on Monday in another night of unrest in a Missouri town where a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, just hours after President Barack Obama called for calm.
US National Guard troops rolled into Ferguson earlier in the day, but they kept a low profile as police in riot gear dispersed about 100 demonstrators around 23:00, arresting several of them.
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