Editor’s Note

Wole Soyinka, Nigerian Nobel prize winner, gives up green card over Trump

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG Africa’s first Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Wole Soyinka, has spoken for the first time since he said in October that he would cut up his green card if Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. While the writer and poet would not elaborate on whether or not he had torn up his green ...

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Egypt toughens penalties for female genital mutilation

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG Egypt has brought into effect an amended law that toughens penalties on those who perform female genital mutilation, a practice that reportedly affects over 90% of Egyptian women, the health ministry announced. The government this week told both state and privately-run health facilities that medics who carry out the procedure could now face up to 15 ...

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John Glenn, first American to orbit the Earth, dies at 95

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG “With John’s passing, our nation has lost an icon and Michelle and I have lost a friend,” Obama said. “John spent his life breaking barriers, from defending our freedom as a decorated Marine Corps fighter pilot in World War II and Korea, to setting a transcontinental speed record, to becoming, at age 77, the oldest human ...

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2nd Georgia officer dies; suspect dead

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG A man who fatally shot two police officers in southwest Georgia apparently killed himself Thursday morning, police said. The shootings occurred Wednesday at an apartment complex in Americus, prompting a manhunt and causing nearby Georgia Southwestern State University to tell students to take shelter for most of the day. Americus police Officer Nicholas Ryan Smarr, 25, ...

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US life expectancy declines for first time in 20 years

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG Life expectancy in the United States has declined for the first time in more than two decades. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics showed a drop for men from 76.5 years in 2014 to 76.3 in 2015, and from 81.3 to 81.2 for women. The preliminary figures show rises in several causes of death, ...

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India doctor to operate on ‘500kg’ Egyptian woman

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG An Egyptian woman, believed to be the world’s heaviest woman at 500kg (1,102lb), will soon be flown to India for weight reduction surgery. Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, 36, will be flown on a chartered plane to Mumbai where bariatric surgeon Dr Muffazal Lakdawala plans to operate. The Indian embassy in Cairo initially denied her visa ...

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Bail denied for South African ‘racist’ coffin pair

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG Two white farmers in South Africa accused of forcing a black man into a coffin for trespassing have been denied bail. Last month, Theo Martins Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen were charged with kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. They were arrested after a 20-second video, which was shot on 17 August, began ...

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Letter from Africa: What has gone wrong for Nigeria’s President Buhari?

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG Muhammadu Buhari’s second coming as Nigeria’s president one-and-a-half years ago was greeted with a lot of hope and excitement. There was a collective sigh of relief when he took over from the lacklustre Goodluck Jonathan, who symbolised everything that was wrong with the then ruling party. Eighteen months down the line, many Nigerians are openly asking ...

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Aleppo battle: Red Cross evacuates disabled civilians from frontline

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG The Red Cross says it has evacuated 148 mostly disabled and elderly civilians found in a part of the Syrian city of Aleppo recently recaptured by the army. They were trapped for days inside a former old people’s home in what was a rebel-held part of the Old City because of heavy fighting nearby. Many had ...

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Indonesia earthquake: frantic rescue efforts as at least 97 people killed in Aceh province

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG Astrong undersea earthquake rocked Indonesia‘s Aceh province early on Wednesday, killing at least 97 people and sparking a frantic rescue effort in the rubble of dozens of collapsed and damaged buildings. Maj Gen Tatang Sulaiman, chief of the army in Aceh, said at least 97 died while four people were pulled from the rubble alive. Most of ...

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