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King Celebrates Birthday by Renaming Country

Swaziland is now 'eSwatini'

(Newser) - As the absolute monarch of Swaziland, King Mswati III's powers include the ability to rename his country, and he proceeded to do so Thursday, announcing that it is now called the Kingdom of eSwatini. The new name, like the old one, means "land of the Swazis," reports...

17 Elephants Board Plane, Escape Death

Animal activists cry foul

(Newser) - A cargo plane packed with 17 African elephants touched down in Texas over the weekend, CNN reports, with the pachyderms headed to zoos in Dallas, Kansas, and Nebraska. The transfer to the US was a "rescue mission," Dallas Zoo President Gregg Hudson says, because the elephants were slated...

Answer to a Whole Nation's Poverty? Its Richest Person

Top billionaire could end poverty in 3 countries, make inroads in others

(Newser) - As the world's richest and most powerful people leave the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, there was growing discussion about the impact the world's wealthiest could have, single-handedly, on the poverty rates of entire nations. One analyst at the Brookings Institution crunched some numbers and found that,...

Swaziland Outlaws 'Rape-Provoking' Clothing

Miniskirts, midriff-revealing tops now off limits

(Newser) - Police in Swaziland are cracking down on rape—by putting women in jail. Authorities in Africa's last absolute monarchy have issued a ban on "rape-provoking" clothing, including miniskirts, midriff-revealing tops, and low-rise jeans, the AFP reports. Women caught wearing such clothing will be arrested, and face six months...

Activists: Coke Propping Up Swaziland Dictator

Huge Coca-Cola operation under fire

(Newser) - Swaziland's dictator keeps on going, thanks in part to support from Coca-Cola, activists are charging. King Mswati III has long been accused of human rights abuses and of looting the national treasury. Coca-Cola owns a large concentrate manufacturing plant in Swaziland, and has hosted trips by Mswati to its...

Swaziland Tries to Protect Albinos From Witch Doctors

Police set up national registry in wake of girl's murder

(Newser) - Swaziland police will keep a registry of every albino in the country to help protect them from witch doctors who wish to use their body parts for rituals, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The move comes after the killing of an 11-year-old albino girl , which many fear is the first...

Albino Girl Beheaded in Witchcraft Murder

Body parts believed to be magical

(Newser) - An 11-year-old girl has become the latest albino to be killed, ostensibly in a ritual murder. Banele Nxumalo was shot and beheaded in Swaziland by a man who grabbed her in front of friends as she washed clothes at a river. Police believe she was murdered because albino body parts...

King Sends Wives on Spree While Africans Starve

(Newser) - Swaziland King Mswati III sent several of his 13 wives on a multi-million-dollar shopping spree in the Mideast and Europe while two-thirds of his subjects continue to suffer in abject poverty, reports the Times of London. The move has triggered sharp criticism in Britain, which provides the impoverished nation with...

African Lawmaker Calls for 'Branding' HIV Sufferers

Swaziland MP slammed for suggesting compulsory testing, warning logos

(Newser) - A member of Swaziland's parliament has come under fire for suggesting making HIV tests compulsory and branding warning logos on the buttocks of those with the disease, the Telegraph reports. "Before having sex with anyone, people will have to check their partners' buttocks before proceeding," he explained. Health...

Swazi King's Birthday Bash Infuriates Suffering Public

Ruler spends fortune to celebrate turning 40

(Newser) - Swaziland's king is throwing a lavish 40th birthday party for himself and the kingdom this weekend—and Swazis are seething over the extravagance, the New York Times reports. The day marking the double birthday has been dubbed the "40-40 Celebration." But critics of the monarchy point out there's...

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