Africa

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High School Basketball Star Is Probably a 30-Year-Old Man

Sudanese immigrant always seemed much bigger than other boys on his team

(Newser) - No one disputed Jonathon Nicola was a big kid: The 11th-grader at Catholic Central High School in Windsor, Canada, stood 6 feet 9 inches, weighed 202 pounds, and wore a size 16 shoe, the Windsor Star reports. And no one initially disputed the Sudanese immigrant's age of 17—until... More »

Boko Haram Used 44 Kids as Suicide Bombers Last Year

They're brainwashed, sexually abused, and threatened

(Newser) - Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group terrorizing Nigeria and surrounding countries, is drastically increasing its use of children as suicide bombers, according to a UNICEF report released Tuesday. The Los Angeles Times reports Boko Haram used four children as suicide bombers in 2014. Last year, they used 44—33 of... More »

Calif. Couple Jailed in Africa After Buying Souvenir

They were told the carved giraffe bone was legal

(Newser) - A California couple on safari in Africa bought a souvenir that ended up being far more expensive than they could have imagined. Jon and Linda Grant picked up the souvenir, a 15- to 18-inch giraffe bone onto which a herd of elephants had been carved, at a game reserve in... More »

Attacks in Ivory Coast, Turkey Kill Nearly 50

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility for one attack

(Newser) - Apparent extremist attacks in the Ivory Coast and Turkey have left nearly 50 people dead. At least six armed men attacked beachgoers outside three hotels Sunday in Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast, killing at least 14 civilians and two special forces, sending tourists fleeing through the historic Ivory Coast resort town, says... More »

Researchers Stumble on 'Hidden' Lion Population

Study confirms lions live in Ethiopia park, possibly another in Sudan

(Newser) - Conservationists say they have confirmed the existence of lions in a remote national park in Ethiopia, a rare piece of good news for a threatened species whose numbers have plunged in many parts of Africa, the AP reports. Born Free, a charity based in Britain, said in a statement Monday... More »

Safari Raffle Riles Activists for Animal Rights

Bubye Valley Conservancy raffles off a lion hunt

(Newser) - A safari company has upset animal-rights activists by launching a "full lion trophy hunt" raffle —mere months after Cecil the lion's killing attracted worldwide attention, Sky News reports. Tickets for the Bubye Valley Conservancy raffle in Zimbabwe cost $1,500 each , with the winner getting the aforementioned... More »

No More Cecils: African Lions Now on Endangered Species List

And US hunters will need special permit to bring back 'trophies'

(Newser) - Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer caused an uproar when he killed Cecil the lion —and he may have expedited the latest Obama administration mandate. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is set to announce Monday that as of Jan. 22, lions in Africa will be protected under the Endangered Species... More »

Gabon Makes Huge Ivory Bust

Illegal haul was taken from about 20 elephants: government rep

(Newser) - Two Gabonese men—one of whom reportedly worked for the West African country's water and forest department—have been arrested for allegedly poaching, and a government rep tells Reuters that "We can confirm the seizure of around [440 pounds] of ivory, which represents about 20 elephants." That... More »

Ingenious Method Helps Track Elephant Killers

Fake tusk is implanted with GPS device in Africa

(Newser) - A National Geographic reporter looking into the increasing slaughter of elephants in Africa struck upon a great way to track the illegal trade of their ivory tusks: Bryan Christy enlists a world-class taxidermist to create fake tusks embedded with GPS devices. Christy's team then plants them in the black... More »

US Huntress Poses With Her Kills

Sabrina Corgatelli defends the hunting of animals in Africa

(Newser) - A huntress from Idaho has added her two cents to recent stories about Americans accused of hunting illegally in Africa—and attracted her share of outrage in return, the Telegraph reports. On July 25, Sabrina Corgatelli responded to the story of Cecil the lion's death by posting photos on... More »

Obama: 'I Think if I Ran, I Could Win'

But presidents aren't above the law, he tells African leaders

(Newser) - The quote about the 2016 election getting the most attention today comes from a guy who can't even run: "I actually think I'm a pretty good president—I think if I ran, I could win—but I can't." President Obama made the joke while addressing... More »

Earth Has Just 2 Giant Forests Left

The only 2 unfragmented forest habitats are the Amazon, Congo

(Newser) - To see the Earth's ecology forest for its trees, first we have to acknowledge there aren't many large, intact forests around. In fact, according to a new study published in Science Advances , there are only two such continuous forests left: in South America and Africa, Christian Science Monitor ... More »

Whale Fossil Provides Clues on Human Origins

Discovery sheds light on when uplift of African continent began

(Newser) - An ancient whale with a bad sense of direction is helping researchers figure out when the landscape of Africa changed in a way that drove the evolution of humans. The beaked whale in question apparently took a wrong turn into a river and swam into modern-day Kenya about 17 million... More »

How Slave Skeletons Were Finally Traced to Their Home

Tiny bits of DNA extracted from tooth roots helped identify 3 slaves

(Newser) - Though upward of 12 million Africans were enslaved and shipped to the Americas between 1500 and 1850, tracing their roots back home has been famously difficult—with poor record-keeping and poorly-preserved DNA samples partly to blame. Now researchers from Stanford University and the University of Copenhagen report in the Proceedings ... More »

The World Is Running Out of Chocolate

Two chocolate makers warn of huge annual deficit

(Newser) - Like grabbing a Snickers on the run or savoring a little dark chocolate in the evening? Then brace yourself, because chocolate production is failing to keep up with worldwide consumption and could fall behind by 2 million metric tons annually by 2030, two big chocolate makers tell the Washington Post... More »

Bill Gates' Hunger Fight Is Deeply Flawed: Report

Hardly any money goes directly to African groups

(Newser) - Though the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent $3 billion to fight hunger in poor countries, most of that money has gone to groups based in wealthy countries, a new report finds. Just 10% of the money has gone to African organizations, while more than 80% has headed to... More »

Spain: Nurse Wins Battle With Ebola

Blood test shows no signs of virus in Teresa Romero

(Newser) - An initial test shows that a nursing assistant who became infected with Ebola in Spain is now clear of all traces of the virus nearly two weeks after she was hospitalized, authorities said today. Teresa Romero, 44, is the first person known to have contracted the disease outside West Africa... More »

The Ebola Outbreak: It's Time for 'Plan C'

We need 500M doses of a vaccine we don't have: Michael Osterholm

(Newser) - Plan A for stopping Ebola calls for shutting it down where it's already occurring, and that's not working. There's no Plan B in place to prevent it from expanding even further, especially if it hits a busy area with limited health care. So it's time for... More »

To Fight Ebola, Sierra Leone Set for 'Lockdown'

Locals barred from going out for 3 days

(Newser) - After hundreds of deaths in the country due to Ebola , Sierra Leone is heading for a lockdown. That means that for at least three days, starting Sept. 19, locals won't be able to leave the vicinity of their homes, Reuters reports. The goal is to spot people in the... More »

World 'Losing' Ebola Battle: Doctors Without Borders

Top doc tells UN world has done nothing to stem spread

(Newser) - The picture of Ebola in West Africa is apocalyptic: Infected bodies decompose in the street, 150 health workers have died, overflowing clinics turn away the sick, to say nothing of food shortages and riots. And the disease is spreading at an unprecedented rate , Doctors Without Borders President Joanne Liu told... More »

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