18 Stories

Report: 130 Chinese Firms Export Torture Gear

Amnesty International identifies 'intrinsically cruel' equipment

(Newser) - Chinese firms are widely and in many cases "openly" distributing devices that can readily be used for torture, Amnesty International says in a new report. The number of companies involved has surged from 28 to more than 130 in the past decade, the activist organization notes, and most of... More »

US Ebola Contribution: 3K Military, $750M

'Significant' response will train hundreds of health workers, build hospitals

(Newser) - As part of his promised "scaled-up response" to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, President Obama is expected to announce during a visit to the CDC today that the US will be sending 3,000 military personnel in an effort that could cost up to $750 million over the... More »

Another Country Confirms Case of Ebola

Senegal says infected university student came from Sierra Leone

(Newser) - Ebola has spread to yet another country in Africa: Senegal. Local press reported today that a university student infected with the virus had traveled from Guinea into the West African nation, CNN reports. The student, 21, has been placed in quarantine in a hospital in Dakar and is in stable... More »

'Tip of Iceberg'? Ebola Toll Passes 500

Aid group blames 'gross misjudgement in gauging severity'

(Newser) - Deep in the forests of southern Guinea, the first victims fell ill with high fevers. People assumed it was the perennial killer malaria and had no reason to fear touching the bodies. Some desperate relatives brought loved ones to the distant capital in search of better medical care, unknowingly spreading... More »

What to Look for as Obama Tours Africa

Nelson Mandela reportedly on life support

(Newser) - President Obama has arrived in Senegal, the first of three countries he'll visit during his African tour—the other two being Tanzania and South Africa, the Wall Street Journal reports. His trip comes at a heavy moment for South Africa, the New York Times notes, with Nelson Mandela said... More »

Africa's 'Venice' in Peril

Two-thirds of Saint-Louis residents face flood risk

(Newser) - It's called the "Venice of Africa": Saint-Louis, Senegal, is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Senegal River, and the water has long been central to its economy. But now, like its Italian namesake , it's facing disaster from rising water levels. Some two-thirds of the city's... More »

African Troops Join Battle for Mali

11 civilians dead in first days of fighting

(Newser) - The first days of the battle against Islamic extremists holding Mali's north have left at least 11 civilians dead, including three children who threw themselves into a river and drowned trying to avoid falling bombs, a presidential spokesman said today as troops from Mali's neighbors are expected to... More »

President's Power Grab Riles Once-Stable Senegal

African nation faces rare unrest over leader's bid for third term

(Newser) - Protesters took to Senegal's streets last week after a court ruled that the country's president could serve a third term. Yesterday, paramilitary forces reportedly opened fire on demonstrators, killing two. It's an unusual moment of unrest in a West African democracy that's been largely stable, never... More »

N'Dour Halts Music Career in Bid to Be Senegal Prez

Global musical celeb changing his tune, running in next month's race

(Newser) - Global music celeb Youssou N'Dour is ready for a promotion—heading the nation of Senegal. The man who said he never wanted to go into politics has changed his tune. N'Dour, 52, has suspended his music career to take up the "supreme patriotic duty" of running in... More »

Protester Sets Self on Fire in Senegal

It's the latest self-immolation in Africa

(Newser) - A man set himself on fire in front of the presidential palace in Senegal today in the latest self-immolation on the African continent. He's being treated at a hospital, and his motive isn't known. The mutiny in Tunisia that ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was touched... More »

Gay Men's Bodies Desecrated in Africa

Death no reprieve from violence for gay men in Senegal

(Newser) - To the long list of abuse meted out to suspected homosexuals in Africa, Senegal has added a new form of degradation: the desecration of their bodies. Madieye Diallo's body had only been in the ground for a few hours when the mob descended on the cemetery with shovels. They yanked... More »

Senegal's $30M Statue May Need to Add Clothes

Government considers covering female figure's legs

(Newser) - Senegal's government is considering taking action against one of its most prominent women for a hemline that's too high—by about 30 feet. Having spent $30 million on a giant statue of an African family meant to tower over the capital Dakar, President Abdoulaye is considering a costly revision because... More »

Freed Gay Activists Flee Senegal Lynch Mob

(Newser) - Gay AIDS activists in Senegal are fleeing a mob that vows to turn them into "fish food," GlobalPost reports. Arrested late last year, the nine activists were sentenced to 8-year terms for “indecent acts against nature," but an appeals court freed them early this... More »

Car Batteries Killing Off African Town

18 children die before cause found; cleanup efforts unsuccessful

(Newser) - A mystery illness that plagued a Senegalese town and sparked fears of AIDS, polio, and curses came down to an odd source: car batteries, the AP reports. After 18 deaths and pleas for an investigation, a World Health Organization probe blamed lead for poisoning the village, a center for battery... More »

Coup Leader Takes Over Mauritania

New law confers presidential powers to head of military junta

(Newser) - The military junta that overthrew Mauritania's government last week adopted a law today transferring the power of the presidency to the head of the junta. A statement by the junta blames the deteriorating condition of daily life in Mauritania, the president's stonewalling of various government institutions, and his firing of... More »

Scrabble Seduces Senegal

Nation that has come to dominate French competition hosts world championships

(Newser) - Despite the country’s 40% literacy rate, Senegal considers Scrabble as important as the national soccer team, and this week hosts the Francophone Scrabble World Championships. Senegalese dominated last year’s event, the BBC reports, and hope to repeat on home turf. “Nowhere else in the world can you... More »

Defiant African Leaders Reject EU Trade Deal

Relations between continents sour over human rights, Mugabe

(Newser) - European-African trade talks at a tense Lisbon summit collapsed in their final session yesterday. If a new agreement isn’t reached by year’s end, the European Union may levy higher tariffs on African exports, further exacerbating tensions between the continents. A new, controversial set of agreements would have dropped... More »

Floods Devastate Africa

Deluge triggers humanitarian crisis

(Newser) - Several of Africa's poorest countries have been devastated by a catastrophic deluge of rain, washing away lives, communities and crops. As many as 18 of the normally driest countries in the world, from Senegal, Mauritania, Mali and Burkina Faso in the west, to Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia in the east,... More »

18 Stories