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Summary

  1. Nigerian senators launch investigation into oil deals
  2. Pastor who predicted Mugabe's death fails to get charges dropped
  3. Illegal drink claims nine lives in Tanzania
  4. US and Niger soldiers killed in ambush
  5. Zimbabwe police seize foreign currency in raids
  6. Sudan 'informs US it has cut diplomatic ties with North Korea'
  7. Kenya restarts maize subsidy ahead of elections
  8. Rights group denounces 'sexual slavery' in CAR
  9. Suspected monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria

Live Reporting

By Natasha Booty and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We’ll be back tomorrow

    That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: One hand cannot tie a bundle." from An Oku proverb sent by Clevis Tata in Oku, Cameroon
    An Oku proverb sent by Clevis Tata in Oku, Cameroon

    Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this shot from the Instagram feed of the 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair which opened its doors in London today:

    View more on instagram
  2. Germany studies African human skulls

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Germany has started an investigation to determine the origins of more than 1,000 human skulls from its former colonies in Africa.

    Most of them are believed to come from Rwanda. The skulls were shipped to Germany about 100 years ago for an anthropologist who was studying the development of humankind.

    They spent decades in storage and became badly damaged.

    The skulls have now been reassembled but most of the associated paperwork is missing.

    Researchers say the best clues are notes scribbled on the bones themselves.

    Igor Cesar (L), ambassador to Germany of Rwanda, and Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz), attend a press conference on October 5, 2017 in Berlin to comment on a provenience research of human skulls
    Image caption: The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation will carry out the research
  3. SA actor: 'I was told I wasn't black enough'

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    South African soap star Cedric Fourie says casting directors have told him that he doesn't "look black enough" to play certain roles.

    The Soweto-born actor told the Times Live news site:

    Quote Message: I got to a point where I almost felt like I was wasting my time when auditioning for a black male role. How could I be told that I wasn’t black enough just because I am few shades lighter than what Europeans have tagged as black?"

    Fourie, who plays a "shrewd and manipulative" businessman in SABC drama Skeem Saam, says being able to play a breadth of roles is important to him:

    Quote Message: I want to sell myself as [a] multi-dimensional actor. One who is able to play anything from a drag queen to businessman.”
  4. Equatorial Guinea banned from 2019 Women's World Cup

    A close shot of the winner's trophy
    Image caption: Equatorial Guinea team are set to miss the next four major international women's tournaments

    Equatorial Guinea have been expelled from the 2019 Women's World Cup in France for fielding 10 ineligible players and using forged documents.

    The players all took part in qualifying for the 2016 Olympic women's tournament in Brazil.

    The latest sanctions come on top of their ban from taking part in the 2020 Olympics, which was issued last year.

    Fifa has also imposed a fine of US$102,000 on the country's football association.

    Read the full story on the BBC Sport website.

  5. Nigeria probe into 'oil deals worth $26bn'

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    The Nigerian senate has launched an investigation into alleged financial mismanagement at the state-owned oil company.

    This follows the leaking of a letter from Ibe Kachikwu, the state minister for oil, to President Muhammadu Buhari.

    It accuses the managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru, of awarding contracts worth more than $26bn (£19.8bn) without due process.

    There has been no word so far from Mr Baru. The NNPC's spokesman said it was not possible to comment as the company had not received a copy of the letter.

    Nigeria's oil sector has been accused of corruption and mismanagement for decades.

    A worker inspect facilities on an upstream oil drilling platform at the Total oil platform at Amenem, 35 kilometers away from Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta
    Image caption: Along with Angola, Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer
  6. French troops in 'counter-attack' in Niger

    French forces are involved in a counter-attack near Niger's border with Mali following the killing of US and other troops by suspected militant Islamists, Reuters news agency has quoted the French army spokesman as saying.

    Fighter jets had been sent to the area and French helicopters had been used to evacuate the wounded, Reuters reported Colonel Patrick Steiger as saying.

    Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou said there had been a "large number of casualties" when the joint Niger-US patrol was ambushed, AFP news agency reported.

    At a meeting of first ladies of the West African regional group Ecowas in Niger's capital Niamey, Mr Issoufou called for a minute's silence in memory of "our soldiers who have fallen on the field of honour" and in memory of "all victims of terrorism", AFP reported.

    Three US soldiers have been killed and two others wounded in an ambush in Niger near the border with Mali, the US Africa Command confirmed earlier today.

    Another soldier from a "partner nation" had also died in the attack, it said.

    Mr Issoufou did not give details of casualties.

    US Africa Command soldiers conducting training exercises - Archive shot July 2016
    Image caption: The US has strong military presence in Africa to tackle militant Islamists
  7. La Niña: Drought and flooding warning

    Russell Padmore

    Business correspondent, BBC News

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    The impact of the La Niña weather pattern usually affects countries of the pacific basin like Australia, Indonesia and Latin America nations.

    However, southern Africa could receive heavier rainfall than expected and East Africa could see drier conditions than normal, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) warned today.

    Farmers across Africa may find these changes to the La Niña weather pattern hits their crops.

    That said, WMO weather experts have stressed that a La Niña occurred last year and if it does develop this year it will be weak.

  8. Cameroon soldier kills superior

    A soldier in the Cameroonian army has killed his commander before fatally shooting himself in the head.

    It happened in the town of Mora, in the country's Far North region.

    It comes three months after a similar incident in the town of Kousseri.

  9. 'I build fast and furious vintage cars'

    Video content

    Video caption: The South African woman building Shelby vintage cars

    The Shelby Cobra is such a rare vintage car that a South African factory builds replicas to meet demand.

    Zandile Dlamini works there welding the car chassis.

    She's one of the few women working on the factory floor in an industry dominated by men.

    Video producers: Taurai Maduna and Mark Sedgwick

  10. Mugabe death prophecy pastor's court case fails

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC Africa, Harare

    Patrick Mugadza, the pastor who predicted Mugabe would die in October
    Image caption: Zimbabwean authorities took a dim view of Pastor Mugadza's death prophecy on President Mugabe

    Zimbabwean pastor Phillip Mugadza has failed in his bid to get the country's top court to throw out charges against him for prophesying that President Robert Mugabe will die later this month.

    Chief Justice Luke Malaba said the process which led to the case being brought before the Constitutional Court was flawed.

    The case would now return to the magistrates court, where Pastor Mugadza - the leader of The Remnant Church - has been charged with "causing offence to persons of a particular race and religion or alternatively causing criminal nuisance".

    He got into trouble after predicting in January that Mr Mugabe, 93, would die on 17 October.

    At the time of his arrest, his lawyer Gift Mtisi told the BBC:

    Quote Message: He's admitting to the facts. He says he didn't lie - that's a message from God. Police will have to prove God didn't say it."

    Pastor Mugadza's lawyers asked the Constitutional Court to throw out the charges on the grounds that they violated his right to free speech.

    The prosecution alleges that the pastor insulted the Christian religion and African tradition by predicting Mr Mugabe's death.

    Predicting the death of a leader is taboo, according to traditional beliefs.

  11. Illegal brew kills nine in Tanzania

    Sammy Awami

    BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

    At least nine people have died and several others have been admitted to hospital in Tanzania's main city Dar es Salaam after consuming illicit alcohol.

    Local authorities believe the liquor contained an industrial chemical called 'GV' or Gentian violet, an antiseptic dye normally used to treat infections of the skin, which is suspected to have caused the deaths.

    While local brews are usually made using seeds, grains or vegetables in homes, some brewers are believed to be including deadly chemicals in an attempt to make the liquor more concentrated and attract more customers.

    No arrests have yet been made in connection with the incident.

    The local brew, gongo, is consumed more than any other liquor because it is cheaper than commercial brews.

    Authorities here have struggled to clamp down on illicit alcohol. Some local government officials are believed to be either customers or involved in the business themselves.

    A man smashes bottles containing alcohol
    Image caption: Crackdowns on illegal alcohol have taken place in neighboring Kenya in recent years
  12. Kenya commission opposed to election law changes

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Kenya's electoral commission says it is opposed to the governing Jubilee Party's proposed amendments to election law ahead of the re-run of August's annulled poll.

    One and half year-old male camel "Junior" is decorated with flags as his owner takes part in a voluntary campaign to support Kenya"s president and his Jubilee Party in Nairobi on September 18, 2017.
    Image caption: President Uhuru Kenyatta is running for a second term on a Jubilee ticket

    A commissioner, Roselyne Akombe, told the BBC it would not be possible to hold a credible election if the changes were made, as time was too short.

    With just three weeks to go before the re-run, the government has announced it is buying up Kenya's entire maize harvest and selling it at subsidised prices.

    A serious shortage earlier this year caused prices to double.

    See earlier post for more details

  13. 'Grace Mugabe underwear reporter' freed

    Grace Mugabe
    Image caption: Grace Mugabe is the second wife of President Robert Mugabe

    A Zimbabwean journalist, who was arrested after writing a story alleging that an MP handed out second-hand underwear to ruling Zanu-PF party supporters on behalf of First Lady Grace Miugabe, was freed on $200 (£150) bail yesterday.

    Kenneth Nyangani was also ordered to report to police in the eastern city of Mutare once a week.

    He denies charges of defamation following publication of the story on the privately-owned NewsDay website.

    Police in Mutare detained Mr Nyangani on Monday evening for "allegedly writing and publishing a story over the donation of some used undergarments" by President Robert Mugabe's wife, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said in a statement.

    Zanu-PF MP Esau Mupfumi distributed the underwear to Zanu-PF supporters in Mutare, and said Mrs Mugabe had donated it, NewsDay reported.

  14. US confirms killing of soldiers in Niger

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    The US military's Africa Command has confirmed that three US soldiers were killed and two others were wounded in an attack in Niger near the border with Mali.

    A soldier from a "partner nation" was also killed, it said in a statement, without specifying his nationality.

    The US army has been providing training to Niger's army to help combat Islamist militants in the region, including the North African branch of al-Qaeda.

    Read more on the BBC News website.

  15. Uber driver sacked over 'kidnap'

    Uber logo on a smartphone next to a taxi logo

    A taxi driver accused of kidnapping a young motorist after a traffic accident in South Africa has been struck off Uber's roster, eNCA news site reports.

    The news site has spoken to the father of the alleged victim.

    He says his son was forced to enter another vehicle by an Uber driver who attempted to extort money from him after a minor "bumper-bashing" near Wits University in Johannesburg:

    Quote Message: When I heard the news I sped like lightning to my my wife's workplace. The man tells me I need to pay him 1,500 Rand ($110; £85) [because] my son knocked into him."

    He says the kidnapper first demanded 2,000 rand ($147; £110) before lowering his demand by 500 rand.

    In a statement published by eNCA, Uber said:

    Quote Message: There is no excuse for the acts described, the driver’s access to our app has been removed pending a full investigation."

    The ride-hailing app has 1.8 million users on the African continent, with South Africa and Kenya being its two biggest markets.

  16. Mozambique mayor killed on Day of Peace

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    The mayor of Nampula city in northern Mozambique was shot dead outside his home yesterday - hours after he led a ceremony to celebrate the Day of Peace, a public holiday to commemorate the 1992 signing of an accord to end a 16-year civil war between the ruling Frelimo party and Renamo opposition.

    Mahamudo Amurane was shot three times in the abdomen by an unknown gunman, police said.

    The motive for the killing is still unclear.

    Mr Amurane was a member of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement, but fell out with it.

    He plan to run for a second term in next year's municipal elections for another party or as an independent.

  17. The unsung hero of West African photography?

    Video content

    Video caption: Taking portraits in Burkina Faso since the 1960s

    For more than 50 years Sory Sanle has worked as a photographer in Burkina Faso's second city, Bobo-Dioulasso.

    But he didn't place any long-term value on his photos, and was unknown outside of his local area.

    Now a gallery in London wants to bring him to the world's attention.

    More highlights from BBC Newsday.

  18. Bees attack Jubilee supporters in Kenya

    Bees disrupted a rally yesterday of Kenya's governing Jubilee Party in a town in Taita–Taveta County, some 360km south-east of the capital, Nairobi, the privately-owned Standard newspaper reports.

    Party supporters scampered for safety when the bees struck, but the insects disappeared after prayers were recited by a politician, it reported.

    Politicians blamed Satan for the attack on the rally in Wundanyi town, called to galvanise support for President Uhuru Kenyatta ahead of the 26 October election re-run.

    The Supreme Court annulled his victory over opposition candidate Raila Odinga in the 8 August election, saying the poll was marred by irregularities.

    A swarm of bees attacked police officers and others outside the court in the capital, Nairobi, when judges handed down their full judgement on 20 August.

    A man dashes to avoid bees after pouring soapy water on a handicapped begger who were unable to escape when a swarm of bees attacked police officers and journalists and got stung severely before being taken away by an ambulance in front of the Supreme Court where judges are delivering the full judgement on the nullified 08 August 2017 presidential election which declared the President Kenyatta the winner, in Nairobi, Kenya, 20 September 2017
    Image caption: A man dashes to avoid bees after pouring soapy water on a disabled homeless man - to protect him against a swarm of bees which attacked them outside court

    Read: Bible-bashing for votes in Kenya

  19. Kenya restarts maize subsidy ahead of elections

    Buyers pick maize at a market in Nairobi

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that the government will re-introduce the maize subsidy which had been stopped after the general election in August.

    Speaking at the Nairobi International Trade Fair yesterday, he said:

    Quote Message: As a caring administration, we had to take steps to cushion consumers against the high food prices.
    Quote Message: In this regard, we implemented a subsidized maize flour program that lowered the price of a 2kg packet of maize flour from $1.5 to $0.90."

    Maize is a key staple food in Kenya and the subsidy, which was introduced in May and repealed after the poll, will come as a relief to an electorate concerned about record food prices.

    President Kenyatta's decision to reintroduce the subsidy comes after the Supreme Court annulled his victory and ordered a re-run, due to take place in three weeks.

  20. Scale of jihadist threat in Sahel

    Tomi Oladipo

    BBC Africa security correspondent

    A picture taken on October 19, 2016 shows two members of Niger's security forces standing guard outside the home of a US aid worker who was kidnapped on October 14 by armed men in Abalak in the region of Tahoua
    Image caption: Niger's security forces are trying to contain the threat posed by militant Islamists

    The deadly attack on a joint US-Niger patrol will draw attention to the presence of US troops, not just in Niger but in other countries too.

    In a letter to the US Congress in June, President Donald Trump confirmed there were 645 military personnel deployed to Niger to support counterterrorism missions there.

    The US has long maintained that its troops play a "train, advise and assist" role with its partners, whether in the Sahel or the Horn of Africa.

    Its acknowledgement that the troops in south-west Niger were carrying out a "joint patrol" with local forces is being explained as the US providing "security assistance" but it is not clear how broadly this assistance is defined.

    The attack also highlights the scale of the jihadist threat in Niger, a vast nation with a varied jihadist presence - Boko Haram in Nigeria, militants linked to both al-Qaeda and so-called Islamic State in Mali, and uncertainty from unstable Libya in the north.

    For as long as the regional jihadist threat remains, the US and other Western powers will continue to strengthen their presence on the ground. Their target, the jihadists, will also be motivated to take them on.

    See earlier post for more details.