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Summary

  1. Law could stifle criticism of Sisi regime
  2. Madonna visits hospital in Malawi
  3. Obama suggests reading list ahead of Africa trip

Live Reporting

By Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Scroll down for this week's stories

We’ll be back on Monday

Dickens Olewe

BBC Africa

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:

When the river runs out of fish, frogs can be caught."

Sent by Gabriel Chuol Kwany Ruei in South Sudan, and Adoumu Manga in Nigeria.

Click here to send in your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this shot of a rugby match between Kenya and Uganda. It's one of our favourite pictures of the week.

Rugby match between Kenya and Uganda
AFP

UN imposes South Sudan embargo

The UN Secuirity Council has imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan and sanctions on two militarity officials.

Nine countries backed the US-drafted resolution. Russia, China and four other countries abstained.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council that support for the arms embargo will send a message to South Sudan's leaders that "we are fed up with delays and stalling".

"These are the weapons that armed groups used to shoot fathers in front of their wives and children, to hold up convoys of food aid, or to assault women and girls," she added.

South Sudan won independence from Sudan in 2011 and has been beset by a civil war which has killed thousands and displaced more than 4.5 million.

Countless efforts to bring peace have failed.

A recently signed ceasefire deal between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar has already been breached.

Will South Africa's Anderson do it again?

Kevin Anderson
AFP

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson is battling USA's John Isner in a Wimbledon semi-final.

The latest score is: Isner 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (11-9) 4-6 6-5 Anderson*. Follow the coverage on the BBC Sport website.

Anderson is the number eight seed while Isner is ninth.

The winner will play either Serbia’s Novak Djokovic or Spain’s Rafael Nadal who play in the second semi-final.

Alarm over HIV rates in Mozambique army

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

Mozambique military
Getty Images

Health authorities in Mozambique have expressed concern at the prevalence of HIV among the country's militarily.

They say 11.5% of the force is HIV-positive.

The head of military health, Agueda Duarte, said the force also had a lower level of adherence to anti-viral treatment compared with the civilian population.

The agency has introduced a rapid testing and treatment programme which will see all HIV-positive soldiers receiving treatment immediately after diagnosis.

Mr Duarte said: "One of the biggest challenges continues to be the increasing number of people with HIV starting treatment and maintaining the regimen. What we want is continuous efforts to reduce the prevalence – reduce as much as possible."

The Mozambican military received a lot of support from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

HIV prevalence among Mozambicans aged between 15 and 49 is 13.2%.

However, only 64% know their HIV status.

Kenya to investigate rhino deaths

Rhino relocation
Getty Images

Kenya's Tourism Minister Najib Balala has said "disciplinary action will definitely be taken" if it is found that rangers acted unprofessionally while handling eight endangered black rhinos that died while being moved.

As we reported earlier, the animals were among 14 rhinos being translocated from two national parks to the Tsavo National Park, the country's largest park.

The three-week programme was being undertaken by the Kenya Wildlife Service and WWF.

Mr Balala also ordered the immediate suspension of the relocation programme and said that a full report would be available next week, a ministry statement said.

Prominent Kenyan conservationist Paula Kahumbu said officials must take responsibility and explain what went wrong, and quickly.

"Rhinos have died, we have to say it openly when it happens, not a week later or a month later," she said. "Something must have gone wrong, and we want to know what it is."

Obama announces 'African summer read'

Former US president Barack Obama has tweeted a list of books by African authors that he recommends for his annual summer reading list.

They include: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Return by Hisham Matar.

Mr Obama said the authors were the "best writers and thinkers – each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways".

He made the announcement ahead of his trip to the continent, which will see him visit his ancestral home in Kenya and then head to South Africa where he will deliver the annual Mandela Day lecture.

View more on twitter

SA launches gold coin for Mandela anniversary

Mandela coin
Reuters
Sindiso Nyoni shows off his design

South Africa have launched a limited edition of bank notes and gold coins to mark the 100th anniversary on 18 July of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

The South African Reserve Bank said the notes depict key moments of Mandela's life including his upbringing in rural Eastern Cape as the son of a chief, his 27-year incarceration and the end of apartheid in 1994 when he became president.

The launch forms part of events across the world, which will culminate locally in an annual Mandela Day lecture by former US president Barack Obama next week.

Mandela died in 2013 aged 95.

The gold coin was designed by Zimbabwe-born Sindiso Nyoni.

"Growing up and living most of my life under a dictatorship, we were not able to experience this feeling of democracy that South Africans have," he is quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Senegal jails teachers over baccalaureate exam fraud

Classroom
AFP

A teacher in Senegal has been given a five-year prison sentence and another has been fined $32,000 (£24,300) for selling exam papers.

French, English, history and geography baccalaureate tests had to be scrapped last year after the question sheets circulated on social media and WhatsApp.

Several other teachers and dozens of pupils have also been punished.

Their sentences range from two-month suspended terms to two years in jail

The headmaster of Lycée de Kahone in Senegal's capital city, Dakar, admitted selling exam papers but said he was not motivated by the money.

Read the full story

SA launches massive telescope

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

MeerKAT, the largest and most powerful radio telescope in the Southern hemisphere
@SKA_Africa

South Africa has officially launched MeerKAT, the largest and most powerful radio telescope in the southern hemisphere, with a display of the clearest radio image of a super massive black hole yet taken.

The telescope is made up of 64 antennas spread across an area of 8km (5 miles).

It is an integral part of the wider Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a 3,000 - dish project which will be the largest radio telescope in the world upon completion.

Each of the dishes has a diameter of 13m, weighs 42 tons and is 19m high.

South Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza unveiled the project in the small town of Carnavon, in the sparsely populated Northern Cape Province.

He said: “Africa has a lot to do for the advancement of science. This is the time for Africa. We invite the world to come and witness what a united effort and collaboration of all partner nations can achieve to advance human civilisation.”

The project has created 7,284 jobs in the resurfacing of the road to the site, the installation of power lines and fibre cables.

The other African countries involved are: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zambia.

MeerKAT, the largest and most powerful radio telescope in the Southern hemisphere
@SKA_Africa

Ethiopians urged to welcome Isaias

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

The Ethiopian government has urged the public to come out in large numbers to welcome Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, who begins a three-day state visit on 14 July, hosted by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Ethiopia's Communication Minister Ahmed Shide said there would be various events held to mark Mr Isaias' visit.

He urged Ethiopians to show "discipline and love":

We urge residents of Addis Ababa and its environs in Oromiya Regional State to come out in large numbers to extend their brotherly welcome to HE President Isaias Afwerki and his delegation in the Ethiopian cultural way, with discipline and love.

Prime Minister Abiy led a high-level delegation in a visit to Eritrea's capital, Asmara, on 8 July, which led to the signing of a peace agreement between the erstwhile bitter rivals.

Pictures of crowds celebrating his arrival - like this one - were shared on Twitter:

View more on twitter

Ethiopia's communication minister said the two leaders will address 25,000 invited guests on Sunday at the Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa.

"This is a great event where we will express our respect, love and brotherly feelings to our Eritrean brothers in a civilised and disciplined manner," Mr Ahmed said.

South African town where residents took back control

Koster town lies in South Africa's north-west region - same as the country's rich platinum mines - but nothing about this town speaks of the wealth surrounding it.

Kim Medupe's eight-year term as the town's mayor has been characterised by erratic water supply, unreliable electricity, potholed roads. A place where raw sewage flows through some homes.

Residents also accused her of corruption and chased her out of town during violent demonstrations. She denies the allegations and has not been charged.

But the final straw came in Koster when the council seemingly prioritised the tarring of a road to Ms Medupe's four-star guesthouse over one to a clinic.

The BBC's Pumza Fihlani visited the town and spoke to residents.

Read her full story on the BBC website

Koster reporting
BBC

Living with facial scars in Nigeria

Like many children in the Yoruba community in Nigeria, Olatunbosun Damilola was given scars on her face by her parents when she was young.

The practice is used in some parts of Nigeria, with the marks signifying the family's tribal or ethnic heritage.

But with the custom becoming less common, Olatunbosun says she faces daily discrimination.

Cameroon minister ambushed in restive region

Several attackers were killed on Thursday after a convoy transporting Cameroon's Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo was ambushed while heading for a visit to a military post seven kms (four miles) from the town of Kumba in the restive South-West region, state radio reports.

The convoy had 30 vehicles, including an armour-plated vehicle that was carrying the minister and six generals, a reporter with state daily the Cameroon Tribune told news agency AFP.

Gregoire Djarmaila, who was injured in the attack by flying glass, said that they encountered a roadblock and their car was riddled by gunfire.

The military escort returned fire, enabling the convoy to reach the military post, he said.

"But no sooner had we left the post than we were attacked again. This time, they looked more numerous and determined... (they fired) on all the vehicles in the convoy."

"Our good luck was that they were using home-made hunting guns" rather than military weapons, adding that he experienced "40 minutes of hell," Djarmaila said.

Cameroon map
Map

Separatists in Cameroon's two mainly English-speaking areas - the North-West and South-West regions - have been demanding independence saying they are being discriminated against by the French-speaking majority.

Rwanda debates education qualification for religious leaders

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

The Rwandan parliament is debating a draft law whereby clerics would have to have a degree in theology before being allowed to preach.

The authorities say it is important to bring order into churches and mosques, where unqualified clerics often mislead congregations.

Earlier this year, about 700 churches were shut down in Rwanda for noise pollution and failing to comply with building regulations.

There has been an explosion in the number of Pentecostal churches in the country. Some are huge and attract enormous crowds.

Others are tiny structures built without planning permission.

Seven Kenya rhinos 'die after relocation'

Seven of 14 endangered black rhinos that were part of a three week relocation programme in Kenya have died, news agency AFP reports quoting an anonymous source at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

Local news site Capital FM, also quoting a source at KWS, reports that KWS has launched an investigation:

View more on twitter

The rhinos were being transported from Nairobi National Park and Lake Nakuru National Park to Tsavo East National Park, the country's largest park.

The move was conducted jointly by KWS and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Capital FM reports that Kenya has a rhino population of 1,258.

We will keep monitoring the story and update you when we learn more:

Cameroon's President Biya to run again

Cameroon's President Paul Biya has announced that he will be a candidate in the 7 October presidential election that would, if he wins, extend his 35-year-rule.

Mr Biya tweeted in French and in English: "I am willing to respond positively to your overwhelming calls. I will stand as your candidate in the upcoming presidential election."

View more on twitter

The 85-year-old leader has been in power since 1982, making him one of Africa's longest-serving leaders.

Under his rule, Cameroon has survived an economic crisis and moved from being a one-party state to multiparty politics.

But it has also been marked by endemic corruption and reversal of democratic gains, leading to the abolition of term limits in 2008, which allowed the octogenarian to run for re-election in 2011.

The country is currently going through a period of strife sparked by calls for a breakaway state by residents of the English-speaking regions, who say they are discriminated against by the francophone majority.

Mr Biya's government has responded with force, sparking deadly clashes with secessionist militias in the Anglophone North-West and South-West regions.

The BBC’s investigative unit - Africa Eye - found evidence of torture and abuse by both sides in the conflict:

Witnessing Cameroon's descent towards civil war

Read more: Paul Biya: Cameroon's 'absentee president'

Dozens in hospital after Egypt chemical factory blast

At least 12 people were injured and taken to hospital after an explosion on Thursday night in a chemicals factory outside Egypt's main airport in Cairo.

A plume of smoke could be seen rising from at the scene of the explosion:

View more on twitter

Egyptian army spokesman said the blast was caused by high temperatures in a storage facility belonging to a local petrochemicals company.

Aviation Minister Younis al-Masri said air traffic at the airport was unaffected by the explosion, which could be heard across the area.

UN to vote on South Sudan sanctions

Refugees
Getty Images
The civil war in Sudan has killed thousands and displaced more than 4.5 million people

The UN Security Council will vote on Friday on a draft resolution to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan and renew sanctions against it for another year.

The US says the resolution is essential to end the continuing violence in a five-year civil war. But China and Russia say the extension of punitive measures against South Sudan at this time could jeopardise moves towards peace between the warring sides.

However, diplomats say the US resolution is likely to be adopted.

At the end of June, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar signed a ceasefire which both sides accuse the other of violating.

Eritrean president to visit Ethiopia

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki will visit neighbouring Ethiopia on Saturday, the country's information minister has tweeted.

Yemane Meskel said the president will lead a delagation to "cement... the joint march for peace and cooperation".

View more on twitter

It comes after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made an historic visit to Eritrea last weekend, where the leaders signed a declaration ending the state of war between the two countries.

Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a bitter war over territory between 1998 and 2000.

After taking office in April Mr Abiy agreed to comply with a ruling of a border commission to hand over the disputed territories.

During the Eritrea visit, the two nations also agreed to re-establish trade and diplomatic ties.

An aide to the Ethiopian prime minister tweeted that the Eritrean leader will be in the country for three days, he added: "We thank HE President Isaias for honoring us with a visit & we welcome him warmly!".

Over the next few days bus services between the two countries will resume, and next week Ethiopian Airlines will operate its first commercial flight to Asmara since the war broke out in 1998.

Friday's wise words

Our proverb of the day:

When the river runs out of fish, frogs can be caught."

Sent by Gabriel Chuol Kwany Ruei in South Sudan, and Adoumu Manga in Nigeria.

Click here to send in your African proverbs.

Good morning

Welcome back to the BBC Africa Live page, where I'll be bringing you the latest news and views from around the continent.

Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back on Friday

BBC Africa Live

Farouk Chothia

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page today.

Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.

A reminder of our proverb of the day:

All monkeys cannot hang on one branch."

Sent by Anne Ngenye in Nairobi, Kenya

Click here to send in your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this photo of a woman making baskets used to catch fresh water crabs at her home in Malcolm Jay Town in Liberia's Grand Bassa County:

An elderly villager, Wrusayeworie Gbogde makes baskets, made of woven palm leaves and used to catch fresh water crabs, at her home in Malcolm Jay Town, Grand Bassa County, Liberia, 07 July 2018
EPA

Nigeria's first metro line opens

Muhammadu Buhari attends a reception at the closing session of the Commonwealth Business Forum at the Guildhall in London, Britain on April 18, 2017.
Reuters
President Buhari tooki a ride on the new train

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has opened the country's first metro-rail service in the capital Abuja - some eight years after the project was initiated.

“The completion of this very important project is a dream come true,” Mr Buhari said during the opening ceremony.

“This accomplishment clearly demonstrates our commitment to addressing critical infrastructural projects,” he added.

Mr Buhari and other digntaries took a ride from the Abuja Metro Station to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. A second line runs between the central business district to northern neighbourhoods.

The entire metro system, comprising 290km (180 miles), is being built by a Chinese firm at a cost of $824m (£623), Bloomberg news agency quotes officials as saying.

It will cover the entire city and will be developed in six phases.

Nigeria jails 113 for Boko Haram links

Ishaq Khalid

BBC Africa, Abuja

A court in Nigeria has jailed 113 people for links with the Islamist militant group Boko Haram as part of a series of mass trials of thousands of suspects.

Judges at the civilian court which has been set up in a military facility in central Nigeria's Niger state gave them sentences of between 20 and 30 years for terror-related offences.

One of those convicted took part in an attack on a military barracks from where military vehicles were stolen and used to abduct more than 200 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in 2014.

More than 200 others have already been jailed whilst 500 were found not guilty.

his picture taken on March 5, 2015 shows an arial view of the burnt-out classrooms of a school in Chibok,in Northeastern Nigeria
AFP
The raid on the boarding school in Chibok caused global outrage

Historic win for SA woman at Wimbledon

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

The first black South African woman to play at the Wimbledon tennis championships, Kgothatso Montjane, has won her match, beating Germany’s Katharina Kruger by two sets to one (6-3, 2-6, 6-1).

She will now face top seed Diede De Groot of the Netherlands for a place in the wheelchair singles final.

Bid to free teen jailed for killing 'rapist' husband

Noura Hussein
Amnesty International
Noura Hussein was sentenced to five years in jail

Lawyers for the Sudanese teenager who killed her husband after he allegedly raped her have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court to demand her unconditional release.

Judges last month scrapped the death sentence imposed on Noura Hussein, 19, and sentenced her to five years in prison.

Judges also ordered the payment of $18,600 (£14,000) to the family of her late husband, Abdulrahman Mohamed Hammad.

The original sentence had caused outrage, and international celebrities like Naomi Campbell and Emma Watson backed an online campaign, #JusticeforNoura, to demand her release.

In a statement, Faiza Mohamed, the Africa director of campaign group Equality Now, said:

Noura has suffered enough! One cannot be married off as a child, brutally raped and still be asked to serve a prison term and pay a fine over and above that.

This appeal is therefore necessary to say - enough! The violations stop here and justice must be done.”

In May, a court had sentenced Ms Husein to death by hanging, following her conviction for the premeditated murder of her husband.

Ms Hussein said her husband had recruited some of his own cousins who allegedly held her down as he raped her.

When he allegedly attempted to do the same the following day she lashed out at him with a knife and stabbed him to death.

Read more about her story here

Klaasen and Venus power into Wimbledon final

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

South Africa's Raven Klaasen and New Zealand’s Michael Venus have made it to the final of the men’s doubles at the Wimbledon tennis championships after beating Denmark’s Frederik Nielsen and the UK’s Joe Salisbury by three sets to one (7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4).

Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Michael Venus of New Zealand returns against Alex Bolt of Australia and Lleyton Hewitt of Australia
Getty Images
Raven Klaasen (L) and Michael Venus (R) are seeded 13

It is Klaasen’s second grand slam final of his career after finishing as a runner-up at the Australian Open in 2014.

The number 13 seeds will now play either UK’s Dominic Inglot and Croatia’s Franko Skugor (15th seeds) or the US duo of Mike Bryan and Jack Sock (seventh seeds) in the final.

Their match has gone into a fifth and deciding set.

Army sharp-shooters to protect Uganda MPs

Yoweri Museveni gestures during his swearing in ceremony as newly elected President in Kampala on May 12, 2016.
AFP
President Museveni says he is worried about criminality and "terrorism"

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has ordered extra security for Uganda's 456 lawmakers, including the deployment of sharp-shooters and armoured escort vehicles.

The moves comes after a ruling party lawmaker was shot dead on 8 June, and the earlier killing of a senior police officer and prosecutor. The murders have remained unsolved.

In a letter to the finance ministry, Mr Museveni said he had discussed incidents of "criminality and terrorism" with the MPs.

He wanted the finance ministry to "act fast" and release money so that their security could be bolstered, Mr Museveni said.

The state-owned New Vision newspaper also quoted him as saying:

The MPs already have some police guards. Those will stay with them. I will, however, add two other elements: the sharp-shooters of the army and follow pick-ups that will be used by these sharp-shooters.

The pick-ups will be protected, in simple ways, against small arms bullets. I can assure you, they will not be interesting targets for terrorists using Kalashnikovs [AK-47 rifles].

Ghana's Opare aims for a fresh start in Belgium

Oluwashina Okeleji

BBC Sport

Belgian club Royal Antwerp has signed Ghana international defender Daniel Opare on a free transfer.

The 27-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the four-time Belgian champions.

His move comes five months after he was told to look for a new club by German side Augsburg.

Read the full BBC Sport story here

Ghana's Daniel Opare
Getty Images
Ghana's Daniel Opare had not played for German side Augsburg since January

'Everything changed when I got these legs'

South African Paralympic athlete Ntando Mahlangu only walked for the first time at the age of 10, after finally getting prosthetic legs.

Four years later, as a 14-year-old, he won the silver medal in the T42 category 200m sprint at the Paralympic games in Rio.

The 16-year-old blade runner

South Sudan president's term extended

President Salva Kiir participates in the second round of talks between two bitter rivals, aimed at ending South Sudan's four-and-a-half year brutal civil war, in Khartoum on June 25, 2018
Getty Images
President Salva Kiir has not faced the electorate since independence

South Sudan's parliament has voted to extend President Salva Kiir's term in office until 2021 amid failure to hold elections this year.

Mr Kiir has been in power since South Sudan's independence in 2011 and elections in 2015 were also postponed.

The move could undermine ongoing peace talks aimed at ending almost five years of civil war in the country, says BBC World Service Africa editor Will Ross.

Last month Mr Kiir signed a deal with his rival Riek Machar in which both agreed to a permanent ceasefire.

The agreement was supposed to be followed by further negotiations and the setting up of a power-sharing government - with Mr Machar reappointed as a vice-president and other opposition politicians also taking up positions in an expanded cabinet.

Mr Kiir's critics accuse him of being an authoritarian ruler clinging to power. He denies the allegation.

The civil war was sparked in 2013 because of rivalry between Mr Kiir and this then-deputy Mr Machar, who had ambitions to succeed him.

Can snowsports take off in Lesotho?

When you think of skiing and snowboarding, you probably picture the snowy slopes of Europe and North America.

But what about Africa? Nestled in southern Africa, the mountain kingdom of Lesotho is starting to make itself known on the snowsports scene.

Africa snowsports: Is Lesotho the next top resort?

Trump vows to end 'vicious' African conflicts

President Donald Trump speaks to the media at a press conference on the second day of the 2018 NATO Summit on July 12, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium
G

US President Donald Trump has vowed to help end "vicious and violent" conflicts in Africa.

Speaking to journalists during a Nato summit in Brussels, Mr Trump said Africa was on "our very strong list" of priorities.

He added:

Africa right now has got problems like few people would understand.

They have got things going on there that nobody could believe in this room.

If you saw some of the things that I see through intelligence - what's going on in Africa - it is so sad, it is so vicious and violent - and we want peace.

We want peace for Africa. We want peace all over the world.

That's my number one goal - peace all over the world and we are building up a tremendous military because I really believe through strength you get peace.

We are going to have a military like we never had before."

The US is active in counter-terrorism operations and training in Africa. There are about 7,000 troops and 34 individual US bases or staging posts across Africa - and probably many more secret facilities.

Last year, four members of the US special forces were killed in an ambush in Niger.

It was the largest loss of American military life in Africa since the "Black Hawk Down" killings in Somalia 25 years ago.

Ethiopia land clashes 'leave 800,000 homeless'

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Months of clashes over land in southern Ethiopia have forced more than 800,000 people from their homes, the International Red Cross (ICRC) says.

There is a rapidly swelling humanitarian crisis in Gedeo and West Guji, where the displaced are sleeping on the floors of crowded schools, office buildings and churches and food and water are scarce, the ICRC added.

Last year hundreds of thousands of people were displaced during clashes between ethnic Oromos and Somalis.

Italy accuses migrants of hijacking rescue ship

The migrants eventually ended up on the coastguard ship Diciotti, seen in this June file photo
Reuters
Italy is increasingly taking a tough stand against migrants

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has accused some migrants of hijacking the ship that rescued them off the Libyan coast.

It is alleged that in order to avoid being returned to Libya, at least two passengers forced the ship to turn away from the inbound Libyan coastguard.

The 67 passengers were eventually handed over to the Italian coastguard.

Mr Salvini called two suspects "violent hijackers, who will have to get off the Diciotti ship in handcuffs".

Read the full BBC story here

SA stars in action at Wimbledon

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa in action during her match against Lucy Shuker of Great Britain on day 2 of The NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters at Loughborough University on November 30, 2017 in Loughborough, England
Getty Images
Kgothatso Montjane is the first black South African woman to play at Wimbledon

After Wednesday's heroics from South Africa’s Kevin Anderson at the Wimbledon tennis championships, two of his compatriots will soon be in action at the All England Club.

Raven Klaasen and New Zealand’s Michael Venus are in the semi-finals of the men’s doubles and take on Denmark’s Frederik Nielsen and the United Kingdom’s Joe Salisbury – Klaasen looking to reach the second grand slam final of his career after finishing as a runner-up at the Australian Open in 2014.

Also playing on Thursday is the first-ever black South African woman at the tournament - Kgothatso Montjane and Germany’s Katharina Krüger take part in the women’s wheelchair doubles.

They play Netherland's Diede de Groot and Japan’s Yui Kamiji in their opening game. The winners go into the final.

Anderson, who came from two sets down to beat defending champion Roger Federer of Switzerland, will play USA’s John Isner in the semi-finals of the men’s singles on Friday.

Meanwhile, South Africa's president has congratulated Anderson for beating defending champion Rodger Federer in Wednesday's gripping quarter-final:

View more on twitter

Kenya fury over MPs World Cup jamboree

Kenyans have reacted furiously to news that 20 MPs have travelled to watch the World Cup, at taxpayers' expense.

They are watching four games, including the final, in a two-week trip to Russia estimated to be costing hundreds of thousands of US dollars.

The MPs caught the attention of Kenyans when they posted selfies in a stadium.

One of those who travelled, Senator Millicent Omanga, certainly seemed to be enjoying herself, as her Facebook post shows:

View more on facebook

Sports Minister Rashid Echesa told the BBC he had authorised only six MPs to travel, to help understand how to organise such big events.

Kenya have never qualified for a World Cup final and are currently ranked 112 out of 206 nations by football's world governing body, Fifa.

However, the East African nation is one of the world's most successful at athletics, and has submitted a bid to host the 2023 World Athletics Championships.

But many Kenyans thought the trip was a waste of money, in a country where the average person lives on $150 (£113) a month.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Fulham sign Ivory Coast midfielder

BBC Sport

Jean Michael Seri of Ivory Coast during the international friendly match between Togo and Ivory Coast at Stade Pierre Brisson on March 24, 2018 in Beauvais, France
Getty Images

English Premier League newcomers Fulham have signed Ivory Coast midfielder Jean Michael Seri from Nice on a four-year deal.

The 26-year-old, who has 18 international caps, scored 12 goals in 103 appearances for the Ligue 1 side.

Fulham have the option to extend his contract, which runs to 2022, by a further year.

"I'm delighted to be here, it's a new adventure that starts for me and I'm hoping it will all go well," said Seri.

Read the full BBC Sport story here

Buhari: I am a slow reader

Cyril Ramaphosa speaks to Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja, Nigeria July 11, 2018
Reuters
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari (R) has been hosting his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has given ammunition to critics who call him "Baba Go-slow" after admitting that he failed to sign a continental free-trade agreement because he is a "slow reader".

Mr Buhari said he intends to sign the agreement, reached by African leaders at a summit in Rwanda in March, soon.

“In trying to guarantee employment, goods and services in our country, we have to be careful with agreements that will compete, maybe successfully, against our upcoming industries,” Mr Buhari said at a news conference on Wednesday, Reuters news agency reports.

“I am a slow reader, maybe because I was an ex-soldier. I didn’t read it fast enough before my officials saw that it was all right for signature. I kept it on my table. I will soon sign it,” he added.

Mr Buhari was speaking during a visit to Nigeria by South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mr Ramaphosa had earlier told Nigerian business leaders that South Africa saw huge benefits from the continental free trade deal and that a draft agreement relating to the movement of people was being reviewed.

This was Mr Ramaphosa's first visit to Nigeria since he became president in February.

He said South Africa wanted closer relations with Nigeria. The two countries have the biggest economies in Africa.

Is Africa's richest man seeking a wife?

Aliko Dangote attends the 'TIME 100 Gala, TIME's 100 Most Influential People In The World' at the Frederick P Rose Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City
Getty Images
Nigeria's Aliko Dangote has three grown-up daughters

Twitter users are offering their hand in marriage to Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, after the UK-based Financial Times newspaper reported that he is on the look-out for a wife.

“I’m not getting younger. Sixty years is no joke... but it doesn’t make sense to go out and get somebody if you don’t have the time, Mr Dangote told the newspaper.

"Right now, things are really, really very busy, because we have the refinery, we have the petrochemicals, we have the fertiliser, we have the gas pipeline,” Mr Dangote said, adding: "I need to calm down a bit.”

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But some people are offended that the focus of the interview with the twice-divorced Nigerian tycoon is on his personal life:

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Well, if you want to read the interview with "Africa’s undisputed King of Cement" - as the newspaper calls him - then click here.