VOA

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Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn into office Saturday as South Africa's president before regional leaders and some 30,000 spectators in Pretoria, the capital. "I am humbled by the trust you have bestowed upon me," Ramaphosa said, "and I am also aware of the challenges our country faces, but I'm also alive to the fact that our people are filled with hope for a better tomorrow.

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From Egypt to Sudan to Algeria, women have become more active in participating in demonstrations demanding lasting change in their societies. But their vocal activism in these Islamic societies have been viewed by some as an unwelcome threat, leading security forces to react harshly — often sexually assaulting women as a tactic of control.

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Kenya’s high court on Friday upheld laws that criminalize gay sex. The much-anticipated ruling Friday was decided by a three-judge bench on Kenya’s High court in Nairobi. The laws, sections 162(a) and (c) and 165 of Kenya’s Penal Code, criminalize consensual sexual conduct between two adults of the same sex, an act that as of Friday’s ruling remains punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

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At New Tafo Hospital, health care workers watch the sky, listening for a distinct buzzing noise they have grown used to in the past month. In seconds, a small drone comes into view and quickly drops a package before it returns to its base.

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The U.N. secretary-general Friday honored a Malawian peacekeeper who was killed saving the life of a fellow soldier during a firefight last year in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  "He saved his comrades and helped the U.N.

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Southern Angola is facing the worst drought in decades, with at least 2.3 million people at high risk of suffering malnutrition because they couldn’t get enough food, the United Nations Children’s Fund says.

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East African countries moved a step closer to approving a ban on skin-bleaching products. The East African Legislative Assembly passed a resolution this month to ban the manufacture and importation of soaps, cosmetics and beauty products containing hydroquinone, an ingredient often used in skin bleaching.

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Southern Angola faces the worst drought in decades, says the United Nations Children's Fund, with at least 2.3 million people facing high risk of a food security crisis and malnutrition. Elizabete Casimiro narrates this report by Herculano Coroado, who traveled to Cunene Province, Angola, for this report.

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For decades, Kenya has hosted refugees fleeing conflict, drought and persecution in East Africa, including sexual minorities. Most gay refugees hope to resettle outside Africa to Western countries where gay rights are better protected.

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Central Africa Republic is observing three days of official mourning for the victims of Tuesday’s massacre, which left more than 50 people dead in a town near the border with Chad.

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The leader of the Central African Republic proclaimed three days of mourning starting Thursday for more than 50 people killed this week in a massacre attributed to an armed group called 3R.

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Sudan's public prosecutors have called for the dismissal of the director of the National Intelligence and Security Service after agents prevented police from arresting former security chief Salah Abdallah, known as Salah Gosh.

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Foreign observers of Malawi's presidential, parliamentary and local elections issued a preliminary assessment Thursday, saying that although the process was peaceful, it lacked a level playing field.  Incumbent leader Peter Mutharika held a small lead in the presidential election, partial results showed.

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East African countries are set to ban skin-lightening products that contain hydroquinone, a medical agent linked to health problems when used in high concentrations. The East African Legislative Assembly last week passed a resolution calling for a region-wide ban on the manufacturing and importation of products containing hydroquinone.

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The Somali government says it's not ready to take any action that could threaten its relationship with its neighbor Kenya. The announcement comes amidst simmering tensions over potential offshore oil deposits and an incident where Somali government officials and diplomats were denied entry to Kenya this week.

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The World Health Organization has certified Algeria and Argentina as malaria-free, following three consecutive years where no new cases of the deadly disease have been reported.  The malaria parasite, which kills more than 400,000 people each year, was discovered in Algeria in 1880.

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The UN named a pointman on Thursday to coordinate the global response to the devastating Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as it ramps up efforts to contain the outbreak.

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Veterinarian Dr. Karin Lourens has become known as Africa’s “pangolin doctor” for leading medical efforts to help the scaly anteaters rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. Case in point, she’s treating an endangered ground pangolin, one of a species found in South and Eastern Africa, and he’s lucky.

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Veterinarian Dr. Karin Lourens has become known as Africa's "pangolin doctor" for leading medical efforts to help the scaly anteaters rescued from the illegal wildlife trade to recover. Her pioneering tube-feeding and blood testing is helping to improve her endangered patients' survival rate.

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The United States says it is greatly disappointed with South Africa’s decision to send a former Mozambican finance minister home instead of to the U.S. to stand trial on fraud charges.

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An appeals court in Madagascar on Wednesday upheld a six-year prison term for three people trafficking in critically endangered radiated tortoises.    Two men and a woman were also fined more than $26,000 when they were convicted last month.

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In this episode of Straight Talk Africa guest-host Vincent Makori examines the role and influence of the African diaspora. He is joined by Yetunde Odugbesan-Omede, Visiting Professor of Global Affairs and Politics at Farmingdale State College and Vice Chair of Leadership of the United People for African Congress, Emira Woods of Africans Rising for Justice Peace and Dignity and Gizaw Legesse founding member of Vision Ethiopia.

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Islamic State's West Africa branch claimed responsibility on Wednesday for a raid in Nigeria two days earlier in which it said 20 soldiers had been killed, and released a video purporting to show the execution of nine other Nigerian soldiers.

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More than 30 people were killed and many more wounded when an armed group attacked villages in northwestern Central African Republic on Tuesday, the UN's peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA) said. The massacres took place in several villages near the town of Paoua, not far from the Chad border, Major General Pascal Champion, head of MINUSCA's police component, said at a press conference in Bangui on Wednesday.

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Authorities in Zimbabwe have charged five human rights campaigners arrested earlier this week, accusing them of plotting to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa, lawyers said Wednesday. "The five were charged with subverting a constitutional government," Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) spokesman Kumbirai Mafunda said in a statement.

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