South Africa's Zuma rejects cabinet reshuffle rumors: statement
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has rejected rumors on social media that the nation's cabinet has been reshuffled, his office said on Thursday. "President Zuma strongly condemns this malicious dissemination of untruthful information by people who do not have the interests of the country at heart," his office said in a statement. (Reporting by TJ Strydom; Editing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng)
'Blood diamond' suspect dies in Belgian prison
A US-Belgian businessman accused of enslavement and diamond trafficking during Sierra Leone's civil war has died in a Brussels prison, officials said on Thursday. Michel Desaedeleer, 65, "died on Tuesday to Wednesday night, most likely of natural causes," a spokesman for the Belgian prosecutor's office told AFP. Belgium sought his arrest following a complaint filed in Brussels in 2011 by five former diamond mine slaves.
Africa elects Guinea, Ghana soccer officials to FIFA Council
CAIRO (AP) — African soccer leaders have elected officials from Guinea and Ghana to fill two new seats on the FIFA Council.
Ethiopia soil map arms farmers with new fertilisers in climate fight
By Pius Sawa ADDIS ABABA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A comprehensive digital map charting soil fertility in Ethiopia is proving an important tool in tackling the country’s low farm productivity, a challenge made more acute by climate change. The nationwide mapping effort was launched by the Ethiopian Soil Information System (EthioSIS) in 2012, and is due to be finished this year. The project in the Horn of Africa nation is already achieving results, with new fertilizer combinations boosting wheat yields from around 1 tonne to 3 tonnes per hectare on more than 40 percent of its agricultural land last year.
Australia's Starc says leg slashed to bone in grisly accident
Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc said he could see all the way to the bone as he detailed the gruesome extent of his leg lacerations after a freak training accident. Starc, 26, suffered deep cuts after colliding with training equipment at a Sydney ground earlier this month and needed nearly three dozen stitches to his left leg. "Unfortunately, it was a training accident that should have been avoided," Starc told Cricket Australia's official website on Thursday.
Rights groups question Kenyan police account of 'terror attack'
On a Sunday morning in September three young women were killed by officers at the main police station in Kenya's second city -- but that's the only fact beyond doubt in a case that activists say is further evidence of a police force gone rogue. In the official version of events, police thwarted an attempted terrorist attack on September 11 when the women -- who they say recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group -- entered Mombasa Central Police Station armed with a knife, a petrol bomb and a suicide vest. There were no weapons, they say, no suicide vest, no terrorist plot and no conspirators.
Suspected people smuggler charged in Australian court
SYDNEY (AP) — An Iranian citizen extradited from Indonesia was charged in a Sydney court on Thursday with attempting to smuggle 73 asylum seekers by boat to Australia.
African wax prints tackle rivals for place in the sun
In a bustling market in Abidjan, women browse through a bewildering array of intricately patterned wax-print fabrics, each of which has a unique and sometimes quirky name. Another bale of this brightly coloured fabric is labelled "jealousy". The name often reflects a key element in the pattern and those attached to the most popular styles often spread quickly as rumours and jokes around Adjame market in Ivory Coast's economic capital.
Protests grow tense after police slaying of black man in California
EL CAJON, Calif. (Reuters) - A second night of mostly peaceful protests over the fatal police shooting in Southern California of an unarmed black man said to be mentally ill climaxed on Wednesday as protesters confronted officers in riot gear who retreated as tensions rose.
Squire, Perenara to start for All Blacks vs Argentina
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Liam Squire will start a test for the first time and scrumhalf T.J. Perenara will make only his fifth starting appearance in 23 tests for the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship match against Argentina in Buenos Aires.