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Live Reporting

Clare Spencer and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

    We'll be back on Thursday

    That's all for today for the BBC Africa Live page. Listen to the Africa Today podcast and keep up-to-date with stories from across the continent on the BBC Africa News website.

    Today's African proverb: "You cannot hide the smoke when a house is burning". A Kirundi proverb sent by Jean Baptiste Niyongabo, Bujumbura, Burundi.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this picture from the BBC's Bashkas Jugsooday of a fruit seller at a market in Wajir town in north-eastern Kenya:

    Fruit seller
  2. Egyptians die in heatwave

    A heatwave in Egypt has killed at least 61 people in three days, the health ministry says, as temperatures soared to 47C (116F).

    Forty died after suffering heatstroke on Sunday and Monday, and another 21 died on Tuesday, state media reported.

    An Egyptian farmer carries a fan through a street in Cairo (11 August 2015)

    Another 581 people have been admitted to hospital with heat exhaustion.

    Most of the victims were elderly, but local media reports said that they also included several detainees and patients at a psychiatric hospital.

  3. Helicopter crash in Lagos

    A helicopter has crashed in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, killing three people and wounding three others, Reuters news agency quotes emergency officials as saying.

  4. Filming Kenya's orphaned elephants

    It is estimated that 36,000 elephants are killed each year.

    At this rate, campaigners say, there could be no elephants left in the wild in 15 years.

    On World Elephant Day, the BBC visited an elephant orphanage in Kenya's capital Nairobi.

    This is what happened when cameraman Kelvin Brown tried to film:

    Kelvin Brown with an elephant
  5. Did Shakespeare smoke cannabis?

    There has been renewed interest in the theory considering whether William Shakespeare smoked a pipe with cannabis while he wrote his world-acclaimed works.

    In its latest edition, the South African Journal of Science has an article by Francis Thackeray, who conducted a study on pipes found in the garden used by Shakespeare.


    However, he told the BBC's Milton Nkosi that he can't say for sure that Shakespeare smoked. So it could be much ado about puffing. (Sorry, we couldn't resist).

  6. UN chief acts on 'sexual exploitation scourge'

    Nick Bryant

    BBC News, New York

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon demanded and accepted the resignation of the head of the UN mission in Central African Republic, Babacar Gaye, following allegations that peacekeepers raped a girl.

    But Mr Ban also noted that the problem went beyond one conflict and one person.

    UN troops in CAR
    Image caption: The UN took charge of operations in CAR last year

    To that end, he is convening a special session of the UN Security Council on Thursday to discuss what he called the scourge of sexual exploitation.

    He will also hold a video-conference call bringing together the force commanders of all peacekeeping operations to underscore their responsibility to uphold the values of the UN.

  7. Saudi money for Sudan

    Saudi Arabia has deposited $1bn (£0.64m) in the central bank of sanctions-hit Sudan over the past two months, the state minister for finance has said, AFP news agency reports.

    The deposit was made in two instalments, Abdul Rahman Dirar told a press conference.

    He did not elaborate.

    In April, the finance ministry announced that Qatar would make a $1bn deposit to its central bank to boost its foreign exchange reserves, although no further statements were made about that, AFP reports.

  8. Namibian charcoal 'from protected trees'

    Charcoal workers
    Image caption: Fern says working conditions in charcoal production are unacceptable.

    Namibia is the world's sixth largest exporter of charcoal.

    Charcoal burner

    But an NGO that keeps track of the European Union's involvement in forests, Fern, says protected trees are illegally being cut down.

    It is something a member of the Namibian Charcoal Producers Association, Willem Enslins, denied on BBC Focus on Africa radio.

    He said "woods replace themselves at a disturbing pace".

  9. Three African teams lose in netball

    At the Netball World Cup in Australia today Malawi lost to New Zealand 57-49.

    Jodi Brown of New Zealand competes with Towera Vinkhumbo of Malawi during the 2015 Netball World Cup Qualification round match between New Zealand and Malawi at Allphones Arena on August 12, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.
    Image caption: Jodi Brown of New Zealand competes with Towera Vinkhumbo of Malawi

    Malawi are currently second in their group and if they can hold on to that spot they will qualify for the semi-finals.

    Meanwhile South Africa lost heavily (66-31) to reigning world champions Australia.

    Adele Niemand of South Africa is challenged by Caitlin Thwaites of the Diamonds during the 2015 Netball World Cup Qualification round match between Australia and South Africa at Allphones Arena on August 12, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.
    Image caption: Adele Niemand of South Africa is challenged by Caitlin Thwaites of Australia

    The winner of their match with England on Friday will go through to the next round.

    And Zambia narrowly lost 55-53 to Samoa. They are now playing for 13th to 16th places at the tournament.

    Read more on BBC Sport

  10. UN chief 'ashamed' about sex abuse reports

    Mr Ban said he could not put into words how "anguished and angered and ashamed" he was by reports of sex abuse by UN peacekeepers.

    "Enough is enough,'' the UN chief said.

    Mr Ban added that would hold a special meeting on Thursday with the heads of all peacekeeping missions around the world to stress their responsibilities to "act decisively'' when receiving allegations of sex abuse.

    Earlier, Amnesty International said it had interviewed a 12-year-old girl who alleged that she had been raped by peacekeepers in Central African Republic (see 09:11 post).

  11. BreakingBreaking News

    The head of the UN mission in Central African Republic has been forced to resign, amid allegations of child sex abuse by peacekeepers.

    Babacar Gaye, a Senegalese, "tendered his resignation at my request", UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.

  12. Croatia fears Egypt hostage dead

    Croatia says it fears the worst for one of its nationals abducted in Egypt but cannot confirm he has been beheaded by militants affiliated to Islamic State.

    Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic addressed the nation following claims by an Egyptian jihadist group to have killed Tomislav Salopek.

    "We are in constant contact with security agencies of many friendly countries and will never stop looking for new information. Until there is a sign of hope, we will not stop," he said.

    "Let me say again, we cannot confirm with a 100% certainty but I am afraid that the worst has happened to a Croatian citizen."

  13. Kenyans 'suffer' in Saudi Arabia

    Kenyans on Twitter are debating whether people should go to Saudi Arabia to work.

    It follows a report that a Kenyan worker is hospitalised in the kingdom, amid speculation that she was the victim of violence (see 10:33 post). 

    Many African workers in Saudi Arabia complain that they are treated badly. 

  14. Nigeria football coach optimistic

    Nigeria coach Emmanuel Amuneke says his squad will improve for October's Under-17 World Cup football finals in Chile.

    The Golden Eaglets are in Group A with hosts Chile, Croatia and the US.

    The defending champions only just qualified for this year's edition after finishing fourth at the African championship in March.

    "We were erratic in the qualifiers but we will improve in Chile because we've been working hard to prepare," Amuneke told BBC Sport.

  15. Profile of new Anglican leader

    John McManus

    BBC News

    Archbishop Idowu-Fearon

    Perhaps it's no surprise that Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon decided to leave Nigeria and take up his new role as secretary-general of the Anglican Communion.

    From his own admission, his attempts to promote unity between Christians and Muslims in the face of Boko Haram's attacks weren't always welcome.

    And his opposition to Nigeria's new anti-homosexuality laws put him at odds with many people of faith, including most of his own church hierarchy.

    The archbishop though, is resolute, telling me he wouldn't be dissuaded, even by a statement from the Church of Nigeria which distanced itself from him when his new appointment was announced.

  16. Fleeing from Yemen to Somalia

    The UN says more than 28,000 refugees have fled from Yemen to Somalia and the breakaway republic of Somaliland, since April.

    Its newly appointed humanitarian chief for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, said he was concerned about the influx of Yemeni refugees, and Somalis returning home because of the conflict in the Middle Eastern state.

    There were already more than 200,000 internally displaced people in Somalia's north-eastern region of Puntland and Somaliland, in need of food, water and shelter, he said.

    Yemeni pro-government forces, loyal to exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, stand on a drowning tank they said belonged to Shiite Huthi fighters on the road to the town of Shaqra, in Abyan province on August 11, 2015
    Image caption: Yemen has been hit by months of conflict

    The two areas are separated from Yemen by the Gulf of Aden.

    Somalia has been hit by more than two decades of conflict, and many of its citizens had fled to Yemen until it became unstable.

  17. The sugar deal and the female brigadier

    Two very different stories make the front page of Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper:

    The Daily Nation front page 12 August 2015

    A story about the president questioning whether the country should import sugar sits side-by side with the news that the Kenya Defence Forces appointed their first ever female brigadier.

  18. Croatian PM to speak about Egypt hostage

    The Croatian prime minister is to address the nation following reports that militants affiliated to the Islamic State (IS) group have killed a Croatian national taken hostage in Egypt.

    There has been no official confirmation of the death of Tomislav Salopek.

    Tomislav Salopek
    Image caption: Tomislav Salopek had been working in Egypt for the French geoscience company CGG

    A photo purporting to show his body was posted on Twitter by a user associated with the jihadist group Sinai Province.

    Last week, Sinai Province said it would kill Mr Salopek if Egypt did not release imprisoned "Muslim women".

  19. Dramatic airlift of Mediterranean migrants

    A film of a dramatic rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean has been released by the Italian navy.

    People in the navy helicopter spotted people clinging to a rubber dinghy that was sinking.


    They filmed the people getting airlifted.


    This man was winched to safety after being spotted clinging to a barrel:

    Migrant rescue by Italian Navy on 11 August 2015

    Italy's navy said it had rescued 52 migrants from the dinghy, but about 50 others were missing.

  20. Defeating Boko Haram with talking

    Text asking if Christians can play a role in fighting Boko Haram

    Can better links between Nigeria's Christians and Muslims really help defeat the militant Islamist group Boko Haram?

    That's the suggestion from top Anglican cleric Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon.

    Tune in to the BBC World Service now to listen to the debate on World Have Your Say.

  21. Oil tycoons sacked in Mozambique

    Zenaida Machado

    BBC Africa

    Mozambique's government has sacked the heads of two state-owned companies responsible for overseeing the development of offshore oil and gas reserves.

    No reasons were given for the dismissal of Nelson Ocuane and Arsenio Mabote, who headed the National Hydrocarbons Company (NHC) and National Institute of Petroleum (NIP) respectively.

    Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Omar Mitha has taken over from Mr Ocuane while Mr Mabote has been replaced by Carlos Zacarias, who was a member of NIP's board.

    The changes come as the country prepares to select explorers of new oil and gas blocks.

  22. Eritrea migrants protected in Sweden

    Police in central Sweden have increased security at refugee accommodation centres after two Eritrean asylum seekers were arrested on suspicion of murdering two people at an Ikea furniture store.

    Local officials feared a backlash from "dark forces" who wanted to exploit the case, police chief Per Agren said.

  23. Is Nigerian archbishop wrong?

    Nigerians are discussing on the BBC Africa Facebok page a leading Anglican archbishop's comments on the insurgency by Boko Haram (see 11:28 amd 09:02 posts)

    Men claimed to be Boko Haram fighters
    Image caption: Boko Haram fighters in a video in April

    Mike Eric from Enugu says the archbishop ignores the root cause of Boko Haram.

    He says it goes back to 15 years ago when Muslim leaders didn't oppose the implementation of sharia law in northern states.

    "Until sharia laws is repealed fully to become a pure religious private issue, the future of Boko Haram is very bright," he says.

    John Nwaeze from Awka is bemused:

    "Are you now blaming Boko Haram on Christians? What kind of talk is this?"

    Adetunji Afolabi Olubunmi from Lagos calls Boko Haram "demons who do not negotiate" and says there should be "more tangible solutions".

  24. Boko Haram 'decapitated'

    Will Ross

    BBC News, Lagos

    Nigeria-based militant Islamist organisation Boko Haram is a decapitated group, Chad's leader Idriss Deby has said.

    Abubakar Shekau was no longer its leader, having apparently been replaced by Mahamat Daoud who was open to dialogue with Nigeria's government, Mr Deby added.

    This screen grab image taken on February 18, 2015 from a video made available by Islamist group Boko Haram shows Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau making a statement at an undisclosed location.
    Image caption: Mr Shekau led Boko Haram into alliance with Islamic State militants

    In recent months, Mr Shekau had not featured in Boko Haram's propaganda videos, leading to speculation that he had been killed.

    Earlier this year, Chadian troops played a key role in a regional effort to retake towns and villages held by Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria.

    Last year, the Chadian leader was said to be brokering peace talks with Boko Haram.

    But the negotiations never happened and were widely seen as a sham so some analysts will question how much credence to give to Mr Deby's latest comments about the jihadist group.

  25. BreakingBreaking News

    Chad's President Idriss Deby says that the jihadist group Boko Haram has a new leader.

    Mr Deby did not say what had happened to Abubakar Shekau, but said he had been replaced.

    There has been no independent confirmation of Mr Deby's statement.

  26. New front in South Sudan war

    Two South Sudanese rebel generals say they are now at war with their former fellow rebels and the government.

    Gathoth Gatkuoth and Peter Gadet said they had split from the rebel group led by Riek Machar.

    Last month, Mr Machar said he had sacked them.

    It is unclear how many troops the new rebel faction command, but analysts say both generals have long been powerful commanders on the ground and their defection could have a major impact on the peace process.

    Gathoth Gatkuoth (r) with his fighters
    Image caption: Gathoth Gatkuoth (r) is an influential rebel

    Mediators have imposed a deadline of 17 August for a peace deal.

    South Sudan's civil war broke out in 2013 between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and supporters of Mr Machar, his former deputy.

  27. Suing over Marikana massacre

    Widows cry on 16 August 2014 in Marikana during a ceremony in tribute to miners who where gunned down by the South African police during a strike two years ago

    Families of the miners killed in the Marikana massacre in South Africa have sued the government, demanding financial compensation for loss of income.

    The families were destitute and lived in "unbearable conditions of grinding poverty" since the death of the miners, their lawyers said.

    "The families also claim a formal apology from the minister of police for the loss of their loved ones," they added.

    A judge-led inquiry blamed police for the killing 34 striking workers in 2012 at the Marikana platinum mine owned by UK-based firm Lonmin.

    It was the deadliest police action in democratic South Africa, and caused global outrage.

  28. 'Lone' passenger to Zimbabwe

    One passenger flew on an Air Zimbabwe flight from South Africa's commercial capital, Johannesburg, to Victoria Falls, a major tourist site in Zimbabwe, Quartz Africa business news site reports.

  29. Ghana's leader condemns doctors' strike

    Sammy Darko

    BBC Africa, Accra

    Ghana's President John Mahama has ordered doctors in Ghana to return to work, saying their strike was illegal.

    He was speaking in a live radio interview with the state broadcaster.

    About 2,800 doctors from public hospitals have been on strike for nearly two weeks.

    Their demands include still being paid their salary when they retire.

    Other demands are for free healthcare, free post-graduate education and increases in allowances from clothing to vehicle maintenance.

    Mr Mahama said the demands of the doctors could not be met.

    The Ghana Medical Association, which represents the striking doctors, says it is convening a meeting on Friday to review their decision to resign en masse.

    The strike is dominating the front pages of the newspapers:

    Daily Graphic front page
    The Chronicle
  30. Changing Christian attitudes in Nigeria

    John McManus

    BBC News

    Josiah Idowu-Fearon's new role as secretary-general of the Anglican church positions him just below the Archbishop of Canterbury at the helm of the organisation which represents 85 million protestant Christians around the world.

    And as a northern Nigerian, he has witnessed first-hand the suffering caused by militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

    The archbishop has a strong reputation for promoting dialogue between Christians and Muslims, but he says efforts to maintain unity were rejected by some fellow Christians.

    Residents look at a burnt motorcycles outside the central mosque in northern Nigeria's largest city of Kano on Novemer 29, 2014, a day after twin suicide blasts hit the mosque during weekly Friday prayers.
    Image caption: Boko Haram has targeted Muslims who disagree with it

    "We warned the leadership in my country, the Christian Association of Nigeria: 'Let us listen to the Muslim leadership, because the leadership is not in support of Boko Haram'.

    "'Oh no no no,' they said, 'they are always deceiving us. They are all the same,'" he told the BBC.

    The archbishop says those attitudes have now changed but that in the meantime more Muslims have been killed in the north-east of Nigeria than Christians.

  31. World Elephant Day celebrated in Kenya

    BBC Monitoring

    Janet Onyango

    Kenyan conservationists are celebrating World Elephant Day with an excursion for school children to meet elephants at Ol Tukai Conservancy in the south.

    US Ambassador Bob Godec is also joining the excursion.

    Kenyan Wildlife activist Paula Kahumbu wrote in the privately-owned The Star newspaper the excursion is "an effort to win these young hearts and create a generation of wildlife warriors." 

    She also had a message for Kenya's leader:

    Summary of requests by Wildlife Direct to the Kenyan President
  32. South Africa rugby racism controversy

    Matthew Kenyon

    BBC Africa Sport

    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen (L) talks with coach Heyneke Meyer of the Springboks after the rugby test match between South Africa"s Springboks and New Zealand's All Blacks
    Image caption: Heyneke Meyer (R) says he only chooses the best players

    The South African rugby team's former coach, Peter de Villiers, has issued a strong denunciation of his successor's selections, saying Heyneke Meyer's choices ahead of the defeat against Argentina last weekend "took the country back to the late eighties, when blacks supported the opposing teams because of apartheid".

    Whilst de Villiers' comment is made in relation to a particular selection, the language is powerful - especially coming as it does from the first (and so far only) black coach of the Springboks.

    The intervention comes amid a continuing focus on what is seen as the slow pace of transformation in South African rugby.

    The main trade union federation, Cosatu, issued a statement on Tuesday, saying that a "white cabal still tries to control rugby" and it had been approached by players of all races who were unhappy with team selection within the Springboks.

    Jeronimo De la Fuente of Argentina during The Castle Lager Rugby Championship 2015 match between South Africa and Argentina at Growthpoint Kings Park on August 08, 2015 in Durban, South Africa.
    Image caption: Argentina beat South Africa 37-25 in Saturday's match

    The Springboks play Argentina for a second time this weekend in Buenos Aries, and coach Meyer has named a changed squad - with four black players in the starting line up instead of the two who began the first game in Durban last weekend.

    Meyer has been speaking about Cosatu's claims, saying many of his players had told him they backed him.

    "I don't look at colour, I look at the best players," he said.

  33. Kenyan in coma in Saudi trending

    #RescueMarthaFromSAUDI is trending on Twitter in Kenya.

    It comes after the Kenyan blog The Informer alleged a Kenyan woman working in Saudi Arabia has been in a coma for three months but her family only found out last month.

    Martha Nyaguthii was left in the hospital with her passport but beyond this a lot is still unclear, including who her employer is and how she became ill, the blog says.

  34. Bic apologises after sexism row

    Leading pen manufacturer Bic has apologised for a post on its South African Facebook page on Women's Day that has been heavily criticised for being sexist. 

     "Let’s start out by saying we’re incredibly sorry for offending everybody - that was never our intention, but we completely understand where we’ve gone wrong," Bic said. 

    The post featured a picture of a smiling woman in a suit next to the caption: "Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a boss" and included the tag #HappyWomensDay. 

    Bic removed it after a torrent of criticism on Twitter:

  35. UN probes rape allegations in CAR

    The UN has launched an investigation into allegations by a rights group that its peacekeepers in Central African Republic raped a 12-year-old girl and shot dead a teenager and his father.

    Amnesty International said the alleged incidents took place on 2 August and 3 August, as Rwandan and Cameroonian peacekeepers were conducting an operation in the capital, Bangui.

  36. 'Release cheetah who bit my son into the wild'

    The parents of a 10-year-old boy who was bitten by a cheetah in a zoo in South Africa have told BBC Newsday they want the cheetah released back into the wild.

    "We want the cheetah to be protected and placed in an environment that's suitable," Donnette Fry told the programme after being asked what she thinks should happen to the cheetah.


    The big cat bit Aiden Fry from KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, while he was on a school trip.

    According to his father, Craig Fry, the cheetah ran at him full pelt and managed to bend the bars of the enclosure, get his head out and bite the boy's shoulder.

  37. Sudan protests to Libya over rebels

    Sudan has summoned a Libyan diplomat to protest against the alleged presence of rebels from its Darfur region in the mostly lawless North African state, AFP news agency reports.

    The military attache at the embassy in Khartoum was summoned on Tuesday by the armed forces, Sudan's military spokesman Colonel al-Sawarmy Khaled Saad said, AFP reports.

    Sudan believed Libya's Tobruk-based government was interfering in its internal affairs and sheltering rebels from the Sudan Liberation Army led by Minni Minnawi, he is quoted by AFP as saying.

    Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) leader Minni Minnawi speaks during a press conference in Khartoum, 25 March 2007.
    Image caption: Suliman Arcua Minnawi is known by his nickname Minni Minnawi
  38. Anglican cleric in plea over Boko Haram threat

    A senior leader of the Anglican church has appealed to Nigeria's Christian clergy to work more closely with Muslims to combat the threat posed by militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

    In a BBC interview, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon said: "The leadership on that continent and even in the Arab world needs to look for men and women who value life, who do not support religious extremism, come together for the salvation of their own parts of the country."

    In this Monday, June 22, 2015 file photo, debris at the site of a suicide bomb attack at a market in Maiduguri, Nigeria.
    Image caption: The insurgency has caused widespread destruction in the mainly Muslim north

    He added that some Christian clerics in Nigeria feared that the country was being "Islamicised", and hampered his efforts to promote dialogue with Muslims.

    "Now they are singing a different tune, 'Oh well, we can work together.' After so many lives, and I tell you more Muslims have been killed than Christians in the north east of Nigeria."

    The archbishop is a northern Nigerian who has become the new secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, which represents 85 million Protestants worldwide.

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