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South African police brutality at record levels, justice group finds

With the defeat of apartheid, a new Black leadership runs South African ministries, businesses and schools but an abusive police force appears to have survived the cultural and social changes. Last year, five thousand complaints were lodged against the South African police and 720 deaths in police custody were reported, according to the Witz Justice Project of South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand. ...

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Few tears in South Africa for Britain’s ‘Iron Lady’

While the public service record of Baroness Margaret Thatcher is praised in most western news accounts, the former U.K. Prime Minister was recalled critically among some South Africans. For starters, the British Prime Minister, known as the Iron Lady, was a warm friend of South African dictator P.W. Botha who was welcomed at No. 10 Downing Street in 1984. With this, Botha became the first leader of the Apar ...

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Novel wins high praise for young Nigerian writer

Mentored by Toni Morrison and endorsed by Salman Rushdie, young writer Taiye Selasi has produced a new book which is exciting literary circles worldwide. “Ghana Must Go”, her first novel, moves between West Africa and the east coast of the United States. Selasi examines both the fragility and durability of family life. In one scene in the book, a young woman who has developed an eating disorder in the press ...

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Eliminating health disparities is Liberian native’s passion

People of African heritage in Minnesota experience higher rates of chronic disease, morbidity and mortality compared to nearly every other cultural group in the state, according to fact sheets compiled by the Minnesota Department of Health. Yet, despite these dismal facts, which would discourage some and certainly overwhelm others, there are women champions in our community. ...

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Children break rocks to pay for school in Sierra Leone

Thousands of children in Sierra Leone are paying for their own education or helping their families make ends meet by working as rock-breakers for the country’s construction industry. Labor is nothing new in Sierra Leone, but the brutal job of breaking stones with a hammer for hours on end in the baking heat has raised particular concern. Even for adults the work is extremely tough, and injuries are common. ...

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