Africa

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Pair Traveling in Burkina Faso Disappears

Edith Blais, Luca Tacchetto have not been heard from in weeks

(Newser) - It was Edith Blais' "lifelong dream" to travel to Africa, her mother tells the CBC . But after the 34-year-old Quebec woman achieved that dream last year, she disappeared—she and her companion, 30-year-old Italian man Luca Tacchetto, have not been heard from since Dec. 15. They were in Burkina... More »

US Tourist Attacked by Irate Hippo in Zimbabwe

Local media insinuate she was reckless; her husband, mother-in-law push back on that

(Newser) - A tour company offering expeditions down Zimbabwe's Zambezi River is called Wild Horizons, but one Florida woman's canoe adventure turned a bit too wild. The Tampa Bay Times reports that Kristen Yaldor remains in intensive care in a South African hospital after she was attacked on the river... More »

Elephants Have Bad News for Poachers: We Evolved

More African elephants aren't growing tusks

(Newser) - How can elephants fend off ivory poachers? By never growing tusks at all. Some 32% of female elephants in Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park are now born tuskless—a far cry from the 2% to 4% naturally occurring in Africa's wild, per research published in National Geographic . Thousands of... More »

Meet the World's Deadliest Cat

The black-footed cat can stalk prey like no other

(Newser) - The world's deadliest cat is no leopard or tiger—in fact, it's the size of a house cat and appears just as cuddly. But the black-footed cat of southern Africa can hunt the grasslands like no other, Live Science reports. The PBS series Super Cats follows them on... More »

A Kidnapping of 78 on Sunday, a Release by Tuesday

Good news after mass child abduction in Cameroon

(Newser) - All 78 students kidnapped by anti-government separatists in Cameroon Sunday have been freed, officials now say, but the ordeal isn't over for everyone. The BBC reports that the children taken from Presbyterian Secondary School in Bamenda are now being questioned by authorities before they get to go home to... More »

Abducted Going to Gym, Billionaire Turns Up Near Tennis Court

Mohammed Dewji is now safe at home in Tanzania after 9-day ordeal

(Newser) - Africa's youngest billionaire is back home. Mohammed Dewji, who was seized Oct. 11 by masked gunmen while headed to the gym in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam, has been released, the BBC reports. "I have returned home safely," his company, MeTL Group, quoted the 43-year-old... More »

'Shock' as African Billionaire Is Kidnapped

Mohammed Dewji vowed to donate half his $1.5B to charity

(Newser) - A man reported to be Tanzania's only billionaire and the youngest one in Africa has been kidnapped in what the BBC is calling a "huge shock." Mohammed Dewji was seized by masked gunmen Thursday morning as he entered a hotel gym in the Tanzanian city of Dar... More »

44 Dead as Ferry Capsizes on Lake Victoria

Not clear how many were onboard

(Newser) - At least 44 people died when after a passenger ferry capsized on Lake Victoria, a Tanzanian official said late Thursday, and the death toll was expected to rise when rescue efforts resumed at daybreak. Thirty-seven people were rescued after the sinking Thursday afternoon, Mwanza regional commissioner John Mongella told the... More »

'Healthy' Couple's Death Gets a Little Clearer

John and Susan Cooper suddenly got sick and died at Egyptian hotel

(Newser) - A British couple that died unexpectedly at an Egyptian hotel may have fallen victim to severe food poisoning, the Sun reports. To recap: John Cooper and his wife Susan Cooper, both in their 60s and described as "fit and healthy," died Tuesday while vacationing at the Steigenberger Aqua... More »

'Fit and Healthy' Spouses Die Within Hours While Vacationing

Family of John and Susan Cooper don't get how they died so suddenly after stay at Egyptian hotel

(Newser) - A UK couple's family wants answers after the pair suddenly died within hours of each other while vacationing in Egypt. Daughter Kelly Ormerod, who was on holiday with John Cooper, 69, and Susan Cooper, said to be in her early 60s, at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel in Hurghada,... More »

Airport Facial Recognition Device Scores a Big First

Feds say it caught an impostor using a French passport

(Newser) - US Customs and Border Protection says a new facial recognition system has caught its first impostor, three days after it was put into use at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC. The system—which compares travelers' faces to passport photos to catch impostors humans might miss—flagged a 26-year-old man... More »

Trump's 1st Tweet to Reference Africa Gets Poor Reception

President wants Mike Pompeo to study 'killing of farmers'

(Newser) - After a morning spent tweeting about Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, President Trump on Wednesday night turned to a situation less close to home: "I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of... More »

Melania Trump Planning Solo Trip to Africa

It'll be her first major international trip alone as first lady

(Newser) - Melania Trump is planning her first big solo international swing with a trip through several African countries in October. The first lady told the AP in a written statement Monday that she's looking forward to learning about the issues that children living on the continent face, as well as... More »

Christian Monk Is Found in a Pool of Blood

And another monk confessed to killing Bishop Epiphanius

(Newser) - A bearded Christian monk lies dead in a pool of blood. A younger monk who clashed with him is defrocked. Another tries to kill himself. Now Coptic Christians in Egypt are grappling with this murder-at-the-monastery scandal as authorities suggest possible motives, the New York Times reports. Bishop Epiphanius, abbot at... More »

In an Ancient Jar, World's Oldest Cheese Is Found

Remnants of the stuff remain after 3,200 years

(Newser) - For thousands of years beneath Egypt's desert sands, a solidified whitish substance sat in a broken jar. Scientists now say it's "probably the most ancient archaeological solid residue of cheese ever found," per the AP . Archaeologists came across the finding while cleaning the sands around a... More »

Earliest Known Egyptian Mummy Is Discovered

He moves back the start of the embalming practice about 1,500 years

(Newser) - He was probably in his 20s and died nearly 6,000 years ago in Egypt. Beyond that, not much is known about the mystery man—except that he has helped scientists rewrite the book on mummification. Chemical analysis reveals that whoever buried him also embalmed him, and that pushes back... More »

Hippo Kills Chinese Tourist Taking Photos at Kenya Lake

The 66-year-old was one of two fatalities at Lake Naivasha over the weekend

(Newser) - A Chinese tourist was fatally bitten by a hippo while taking photos of it on a lake in Kenya over the weekend. Per BBC , the 66-year-old, identified as, Chang Ming Chuang, was trying to get a glimpse of the giant mammal at a wildlife resort outside Nairobi when it attacked.... More »

Weird Thing Killed Roman Emperors

Study links rainfall to the murders of Rome's leaders

(Newser) - Roman emperors not only had war, jealousy, and political infighting to worry about—there was also the rain. A new study linking climate data to Roman history finds that lower average rainfall boosted the odds of an emperor being murdered during the empire's roughly 500-year run, from 27 BCE... More »

New Ebola Outbreak Claims 13 More Lives

Congo had just declared another outbreak over with 33 reported deaths

(Newser) - The number of confirmed cases in Congo's new outbreak of the Ebola virus has risen to 13, including three deaths, the health ministry said late Saturday. The World Health Organization has warned that this new outbreak of the deadly virus in North Kivu province poses a particular challenge as... More »

A Hot New Precious Metal Lures Miners to US

Cobalt mining ramps up here for the first time in decades

(Newser) - For the last four decades, cobalt mining has been almost non-existent in the US. That's changing now with what the BBC labels a rush for the precious metal recently named as critical to the US economy. With increases in price and demand for the silver-blue mineral—used in everything... More »

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