Sharia police arrest 12 men accused of planning to wed in Nigeria's Kano
Sharia police arrested 12 men accusing them of attempting gay marriage in Nigeria's second city of Kano, though 10 were later released, a spokesman for the board overseeing Islamic rules in the area said on Tuesday. Gay marriage, same-sex relationships and membership of gay rights groups were banned in January 2014 by President Goodluck Jonathan despite Western pressures over gay rights and threats of aid cuts to those passing laws that persecute homosexuals. Nigeria's population is roughly split between predominantly Christians in the south and Muslims in the north. A spokesman for the sharia law group, Mohammed Yusuf Yola, said the men were arrested at the scene of the ceremony on the outskirts of Kano on Sunday following a tip-off.
Obama tackles IS fight, Iran with new Saudi king
US President Barack Obama led a heavyweight delegation to Saudi Arabia Tuesday to meet new King Salman and discussed the two countries' ongoing fight against the Islamic State group. The leaders also tackled the issue of Iran's nuclear programme and human rights in the conservative kingdom, a senior US official said. Riyadh has been part of the US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against IS since last year and is a long-time regional ally of Washington. There has also been unease in the kingdom about Obama's pursuit of a nuclear deal with Shiite-dominated Iran, the regional rival of Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia.
Ghana back from brink of elimination to make quarters
MONGOMO, Equatorial Guinea (AP) — Ghana came back from the brink of elimination with two goals in the last 17 minutes to beat South Africa 2-1 and make the African Cup of Nations quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Algeria beats Senegal 2-0 to make African Cup quarterfinals
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea (AP) — Algeria scored early and late Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations with a 2-0 victory over Senegal.
African Union agrees 'substantive' transport deal with China
China and the African Union agreed Tuesday on an ambitious plan to develop road, rail and air transport routes to link capitals across the continent. African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma praised the proposal at "the most substantive project the AU has ever signed with a partner", although the ambitious project that includes highways and high speed railways is at present just a committment to develop the infrastructure, and contains few details. The memorandum of understanding was signed at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, ahead of a summit meeting of the leaders of the 54-nation pan-African bloc on Friday. At present, the quickest route to travel across from one side of Africa to the other can involve flight connections routed via Europe, although major airport hubs are rapidly growing, including Addis Ababa and Nairobi in the east, Johannesburg in the south and Abuja in west Africa.
Nigeria will not delay elections: commission
The head of Nigeria's electoral commission said on Tuesday the country will hold a presidential election as scheduled on Feb. 14, rejecting a call from one of the president's advisors to delay them. "We remain committed to implementing the timetable," commission head Attahiru Jega told a news conference. President Goodluck Jonathan's National Security Advisor Sambo Dasuki said last week that Nigeria should delay the election to allow more time for permanent voter cards (PVCs) to be distributed. How Nigeria, which has Africa's biggest economy, conducts the polls will be closely watched by investors and foreign powers since past ones were marred by thuggery and ballot box stuffing.
Obama meets new Saudi king to shore up ties
US President Barack Obama led a heavyweight delegation to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to meet new King Salman and shore up ties that have suffered in recent years. Since last year Saudi Arabia has been part of the US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against the Islamic State jihadist group. There has also been unease in the kingdom about Obama's pursuit of a nuclear deal with Shiite-dominated Iran, the regional rival of Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia.
Renewed Boko Haram raids kill many in northeast Nigeria
Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) - Scores of people have been killed and many others forced to flee to the mountains following a renewed series of Boko Haram raids in northeast Nigeria, a lawmaker and a relief agency official said Tuesday.
Child ritual killings spread alarm, anger in Ivory Coast
By Ange Aboa ABIDJAN (Reuters) - At least 21 children have been kidnapped in Ivory Coast since December and most have been found dead with their bodies mutilated, authorities said, in a wave of ritual killings some residents fear may be linked to upcoming elections. Police chief Brindou Mbia said security forces had been placed on high alert after the spate of child abductions but he declined to speculate what was behind the killings. Many said the kidnappings were likely linked to ritual killings by corrupt businessmen and politicians, who used body part in ceremonies supposed to confer supernatural powers. A spate of child abductions was recorded ahead of elections in 2010.
Russia's 2014 arms sales top $15 billion: Putin
Russia sold more than $15 billion worth of arms in 2014, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, adding that new signed orders stood at nearly $14 billion. Russia is the world's second-largest arms exporter after the United States. Putin also said Russia exported military equipment to more than 60 countries last year, when its ties with the West hit a rocky bottom over the conflict in Ukraine. "Russia will expand its presence on such prospective markets and the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, Latin America and the Carribbean," Putin told a meeting at the Kremlin.