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Africa Brief - Compiled by situation room

Wednesday 29 July 2015
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) " The latest information on the Minnesota hunter and guides in Zimbabwe who killed a protected lion during a hunt in the African nation (all times are Central): 12:20 p.m. A Zimbabwean judge has granted bail to the two men arrested for helping an American tourist illegally hunt a protected lion. Defense lawyer Givemore Muvhiringi said Wednesday that professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst and his co-defendant, farm owner Honest Trymore Ndlovu, were release on $1,000 bail. The two Zimbabweans allegedly helped Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer lure and kill a protected lion named Cecil.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
* Nigeria, Cameroon ties strained by border dispute. * Talks to focus on tackling wave of Boko Haram attacks. * Nigeria keen to get regional taskforce up and running. By Sylvain Andzongo. YAOUNDE, July 29 (Reuters) - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari began a two-day visit to Cameroon on Wednesday in a bid to soothe fractious ties between the West African neighbours and strengthen cooperation against Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Buhari's first visit to Cameroon since his election in March comes as the militant group, which has sworn allegiance to Islamic State, has launched a fresh wave of attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
ISMAILIA, EGYPT— Egypt has finished building its New Suez Canal, its overseer said on Wednesday, a project President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi sees as a symbol of national pride and a major chance to stimulate an economy suffering double-digit unemployment. The army led work 11 months ago on the $8 billion canal, flanking the existing, 145-year-old waterway and part of a larger undertaking to expand trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia. The Suez Canal is a vital source of hard currency for Egypt, particularly since the 2011 uprising that scared off tourists and foreign investment.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
UNITED NATIONS (AP) " Move over: The world's population is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, a new United Nations report says. And there should be 11.2 billion people on Earth by the end of this century. Meanwhile, India's population is set to pass China's in size around 2022, according to the report released Wednesday. The population estimates play a huge role as the international community tries to figure out how to slow the danger of global warming, while pursuing the ambitious goals of eliminating both poverty and hunger. The current world population is 7.3 billion.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
Dhaka - Asian minnows Bangladesh are confident of pulling off an upset victory against world number one South Africa in the deciding cricket Test starting on Thursday, captain Mushfiqur Rahim said. Speaking to reporters in Dhaka on Wednesday, Rahim said his players dominated the last Test against the Proteas in Chittagong before rain forced a draw. "It is an opportunity against the world's number one team and (to) put them under pressure," Rahim said. "We almost dominated them in every sessions of the last match and we have the capability to pick up 20 wickets.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
MOGADISHU - The UN envoy for Somalia on Wednesday insisted the country was making progress, a day after the government said elections cannot be held as promised in next year. On Tuesday, Somalia's government admitted that insecurity and lack of political progress means there cannot be "one man, one vote" elections in 2016 as envisaged by the United Nations, foreign diplomats and the government itself. "The road to democracy is there, but 2016 will be a stepping stone short of full democracy," said Nicholas Kay, the top UN diplomat in Somalia. Kay said the announcement, which was greeted with dismay in Somalia, was "no surprise".

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
AP File picture Cape Town – The amount of compensation farmers are paid for land expropriated by the state should be as close to the market value of their properties as possible, Agri SA argued on Wednesday. Briefing Parliament’s Public Works Committee during public hearings on the Expropriation Bill, which is meant to replace the 1975 Expropriation Act, Agri SA’s Annelize Crosby praised government attempts at providing a clearer, more legally sound process of expropriation, but said they had serious concerns about how the compensation to farmers affected by expropriation would be calculated.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
* Punjab security forces unprepared for militant attacks. * Much of India-Pakistan border not heavily guarded. * Indian police say attackers who killed seven came from border. * Hallmarks of Pakistani group LeT, Modi yet to respond. By Andrew MacAskill and Frank Jack Daniel. DINANAGAR, India/NEW DELHI, July 29 (Reuters) - Three men carrying assault rifles, bombs and a rocket launcher who went on a murderous rampage in a small Punjab farm town this week have shown how vulnerable India is to attacks that challenge tentative peace overtures with neighbour Pakistan.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
Cape Town - A member of the Western Cape legislature has called on residents of Cape Town to step up to the plate and help make the 80th birthday of a well-known Rondebosch flower seller a truly special occasion. African National Congress MPL Cameron Dugmore made the public appeal ahead of Naomi Ward’s birthday on Monday August 3. “Naomi Ward, seller of flowers and nicotine at Rondebosch Fountain Centre will be turning 80 on Monday,” Dugmore said. “The ladies from Harrington Laundry and I will be arranging a tea party for her at 8am.” Dugmore said Ward, who has been selling flowers on a corner....

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
LONDON: Indian writer Anuradha Roy's latest work on the malaise of sexual abuse in India has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. Her book 'Sleeping on Jupiter' that tells the story of Nomi and is set in Jarmuli - a city of temples and a centre of healing on the edge of the ocean has made it among the 13 books selected for the £50,000 literary prize. The story is about Nomi, a young girl who is taken from her family and finds herself in an ashram, overseen by a charismatic guru. But Guruji's charm masks a predatory menace and the young girl faces danger. Around 20 years later, Nomi returns to Jarmuli with a documentary film crew.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
Paramount has released the first trailer for Michael Bay’s movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, about the 2012 attack on the US compound in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador to Libya, J Christopher Stevens. Related: Michael Bay: how the people’s pyromaniac redefined action cinema The film is adapted from Mitchell Zuckoff’s book about the attack entitled, 13 Hours: A Firsthand Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi. The film focuses on the security team sent in to try and rescue the American ambassador. Words on screen read: “When everything went wrong, six men had the courage to do what was right.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
REUTERS Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's most prominent son, Saif al-Islam, gestures during a youth rally in Tripoli, in this file picture taken March 10, 2011. London - Three years and eight months after he was captured trying to flee the country in the chaotic aftermath of Libya's revolution, Muammar Gaddafi's son and heir apparent, Saif al-Islam, has been sentenced to death after being convicted of committing war crimes. But Libya has become a fractured state since the fall of Colonel Gaddafi, following Nato intervention, and it remains uncertain whether the man who became the....

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
The credibility of the state's second witness in the trial of nine Daveyton policemen accused of killing Mozambican taxi driver, Mido Macia, was challenged in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday. Mahlatse Sekwati, who recorded a video showing part of the confrontation between Macia and police - first seen on Tuesday - was told by defence lawyer Marius van Wyngaardt she was not present on the scene prior to the start of the video. "Am I correct... there is no indication whatsoever that the licence of the deceased was ever handed over either to accused one or two?" he said.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
Three members of the Somali terror group Al-Shabaab were killed on Wednesday in a battle with the Kenya Defence Forces. Col Obonyo said one of their vehicles was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), seven kilometres from Basuba area. He said the troops, who were on patrol, engaged the Al-Shabaab in a fight, killing three of them. "Others escaped with multiple bullet wounds...five KDF soldiers were injured, two of them seriously and are receiving medical attention," said Col Obonyo. Locals said they heard gunshots and saw smoke billowing from Boni Forest where KDF is said to be conducting an operation to root out the Al-Shabaab.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
DUBAI, 3 days ago Mobile operator Ooredoo Kuwait reported a 30 per cent fall in second-quarter profit on Sunday, mainly due to losses in Algeria and Tunisia, extending a lengthy earnings slump. The subsidiary of Qatar's Ooredoo, which competes domestically with Zain and Saudi Telecom affiliate Viva, had reported falling profits in 11 of the previous 14 quarters. Ooredoo Kuwait made a net profit of KD12.6 million ($41.6 million) in the three months to June 30, down from KD18 million a year earlier, it said in a statement. Second-quarter revenue was KD184.8 million, against KD196.7 million a year ago.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
ADDIS ABABA, Jul 28 2015 (IPS) - U.S. President Barack Obama, in a meeting with regional African leaders, threatened new sanctions for the warring factions in South Sudan if a peace deal is not be reached by Aug. 17. “The possibilities of renewed conflict … is something that requires urgent attention from all of us,” Obama said. “We don’t have a lot of time to wait.” Pres. Obama outlined the options at a meeting Monday in Addis Ababa with leaders of Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, the chair of the African Union and the foreign minister of Sudan. “Liberating” South Sudan, with support from the U.S.

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Wednesday 29 July 2015
At least 1,500 migrants attempted to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in France late Tuesday to cross under the Channel into England, resulting in one death. It was the ninth such death since the beginning of June, and followed a wave of attempts overnight by migrants hoping to make it through the tunnel to Britain. Eurotunnel said the company was up against "systematic, massive, maybe even organised invasions", as France promised to send 120 additional police officers to help secure the site. Following is a roundup of reported deaths among migrants trying to reach the UK via the rail tunnel over the past five years.

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Debriefing on the Field Mission to Burundi; Update on the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa[Read More ...]
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Open Session on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD)[Read More ...]
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