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Jill Biden meets with Congo’s sexual violence survivors

In a three-nation tour of the continent, Jill Biden, the wife of the U.S. vice president, met this week with survivors of sexual violence in the eastern Congo. It was her third tour to Africa since her husband Joe Biden became vice president in 2009. A teacher of English at a Virginia community college, the “Second Lady” also works to support military families, to highlight the work of community colleges, a ...

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African Union Summit hears call to review relationship with the west

At a summit June 20-27 of African heads of state, the president of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea strongly rebuked western countries for “interfering” in Africa, and urged leaders to end economic dependence on the West. Teodoro Obiang Nguema, hosting a two-day summit of the 54-nation African Union, said a post-colonial relationship of unequals was holding back the continent from sustainable development. The 72- ...

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Child marriage: Nigeria’s other scourge

Nearly 300 school-age girls are still in the hands of Boko Haram, a Nigerian terrorist group. But they’re not the only group of young women yanked from school against their will and made to work at the beck and call of husbands they did not choose. A new exposé rips Nigeria for its record number of child brides — some as young as 9 years old. According to the U.N. Population Fund, Nigeria has one of the hig ...

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Black South Africans get new chance to seek redress for stolen land

South Africa will restart the claims process that provides compensation to black families who were illegally removed from their land during white rule. The window for those claims had been shut 16 years ago. In a published statement, President Jacob Zuma assented to the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act, which among other things reopens the period to make a claim for those who missed the previous dea ...

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Smith & Wesson off the hook for arms-to-Africa bribe deal

After a whirlwind round of dinners in fancy hotels, Smith & Wesson’s vice president of sales was one of a group of arms dealers in a congratulatory mood after winding up what they thought was a major weapons sale to an African leader. To get the deal, worth $15 million, all the dealers — top-level execs — agreed to pay a 20 percent “commission,” even after being told that half would go into the pocket of th ...

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Kenyan round-up of refugees nets 300 children

As part of a controversial anti-terrorism operation, Kenya is rounding up and detaining Somali refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers, separating parents from young children. Some of the children are said to be confined to a Nairobi stadium without a parent or guardian. Emanuel Nyabera, spokesman for the UN Refugee Agency, expressed concern for some 300 Somali children, including babies as young as a few mon ...

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Botswana’s Okavango Delta a ‘world heritage site’

The Okavango Delta — Africa’s last-remaining wetland wilderness — has been listed as the 1,000th World Heritage site by UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural body. The vast “Okavango wilderness” will be counted alongside such majestic formations as the Galapagos, Amazon, Arctic and Great Barrier Reef. It contains a number of endangered species and is unusual in that it is inland and does not flow into a sea. ...

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Africa and the World Cup

The home continent for all human beings, Africa, is no longer represented in the World Cup, as the quarter-final round begins. On June 30, Nigeria lost to France, and Algeria lost to Germany in the round of 16. This was the first time in the history of the competition that two African teams made it to the round of 16 together. Egypt appeared for the first time during the second FIFA World Cup in 1934, but f ...

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Female genital mutilation: A horror of dominance

When a girl in the United States and the western world, prepares for marriage, she plans her trousseau and shops for her wedding gown. I recently learned from Angela Peabody, author of “When the Games Froze,” that in parts of Africa, the preparation for marriage is far removed from trousseau and wedding gowns. For too many, the practice of female genital mutilation (FMG) is at the top of the list for marria ...

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Terrorism in Africa won’t be defeated by failed Iraq war strategies

As conditions in Iraq deteriorate, a war-weary American public watches nervously as policy-makers debate prospects for renewed military intervention in that country. Heavy U.S. casualties that were the product of a seemingly pointless, endless conflict left many with no appetite for further military engagement in Iraq — or for that matter in any country. Nevertheless, while all eyes are on Iraq, the Pentago ...

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