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  1. Fifa appoints Senegal's Fatma Samoura as secretary general
  2. Nigeria shopping mall collapses in Ogun state, killing at least one person
  3. Rwandan cricketer breaks world record
  4. Uganda's opposition leader 'charged with treason'
  5. North Korea 'arming DR Congo', UN experts find
  6. SA court allows gold miners to sue over lung disease
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Friday 13 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back on Monday

That's it from us this week. 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:

It is with a light basket that one escapes the rain"

A Luo proverb sent by Owino Onyango Mak'Oburu in Kenya

We normally rely on readers to tell us what the proverb means but today people have been completely baffled.

Click here to send us your African proverbs. 

If you’re in the Senegalese capital this weekend, you could take in some art as the city is full of exhibitions as it hosts Dak’Art, the contemporary African art biennale.  BBC Afrique has put together a gallery to whet your appetite.

A painting by Hypolitte de Volta
Hypolitte de Volta

And we leave you with this picture of a Rastafarian in the South African town of Knysna from our pick of the week's best images:


Ugandan opposition leader 'charged with treason'

Kizza Besigye being arrested in February 2016
Kizza Besigye has been arrested several times this year

Uganda's opposition leader Kizza Besigye has been charged with treason, the country's Daily Monitor newspaper is reporting.

He was arrested ahead of President Yoweri Museveni's inauguration yesterday for a controversial fifth term in office.

The Forum for Democratic Change leader denounced Mr Museveni's victory in February's election as a "sham" and held his own mock swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday.

His wife told the BBC yesterday that she had no idea where the authorities had taken him after his arrest and she had heard a rumour that he'd been flown to the north-east of the country.

The Daily Monitor says that he is indeed in the north-eastern Karamoja region, remanded in custody at the Moroto government prison until 25 May for a court appearance.

Analysis: African gets most important job in football

Piers Edwards

BBC Africa Sport

Fatma Samoura
Fatma Samoura is making history

Fatma Samoura’s appointment as Fifa’s first female secretary general (see 16:47 post) is significant in several ways .

Of the 209 football association presidents around the world, just two are women - while it was only four years ago that football’s world governing body appointed its first female executive.

This gives an indication of the enormity of this decision.

She is also an African - a continent that has never had an elected Fifa president.

Ms Samoura can now claim to have the most important job in world football because Fifa’s new reforms, which were implemented earlier this year, means that the president, Gianni Infantino, has less powers.

In football parlance, this is a major upset.  

Get Involved: Why are so many buildings collapsing in Kenya?

Getty Images
More than 50 people died in the Nairobi building that collapsed earlier this month

In our series of letters from African journalists, Joseph Warungu considers what the collapse of a building in Nairobi reveals about Kenyan society.  

More than 30 buildings have collapsed in the last 10 years in different parts of Kenya, killing and injuring people.    

He says impunity means you can put up an unsafe building in an unsafe area and stuff it with desperate families.

Some people on Facebook have reacted angrily to such harsh criticism:

That's not the situation in Kenya. I am proudly Kenyan, and we have a perfect country, we don't deserve your poor judgments."

Evans Terer

While others defend the article:

From the outset one might want to just dismiss it as negative journalism but the pain, loss of life and suffering for those poor people deserves that harsh critic and light and truth be told."

Mezzorater Mungai

Film starring UK Pidgin-speaking actress released in Nigerian cinemas

The first Nollywood film starring a British actress speaking Pidgin is going on general release in cinemas across Nigeria today.

The actress Claire Edun posted a snippet from the film ATM on Instagram:

View more on instagram

Mrs Edun became famous in Nigeria after posting on YouTube comedy rants in Pidgin, using the pseudonym "Oyinbo Princess". Oyinbo means white person in Pidgin.

The director of the romantic comedy, Lacelot Oduwa, told the BBC's Martin Patience that her language skills fill him with joy.

Rwanda denies Burundi rebel allegations

Rwanda's leader Paul Kagame (L) and Burundi's leader Pierre Nkurunziza (R)
Rwanda's President Kagame (L) and Burundian leader Pierre Nkurunziza (R) used to play football together

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has denied allegations by UN experts that his country is continuing to support rebels in neighbouring Burundi (see 09:40 post).

His Twitter feed said the problems in Burundi originated from within the country, not elsewhere:

View more on twitter

Burundi has suffered a violent political crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term last year.

It is exactly a year since Mr Nkurunziza survived a coup attempt.

Rwanda denied similar allegations about supporting rebels made in a previous UN report in February.

The BBC's Great Lakes service has put together a gallery of Burundi's year of violence.

One construction worker dies in Nigeria mall collapse

Abdullahi Kaura Abubakar

BBC Africa, Abuja

The shopping mall which has collapsed in Abeokuta, Nigeria

One construction workers has died after being injured when a four-storey shopping mall being built in a busy area of Abeokuta in Nigeria’s Ogun state collapsed (see 11:23 post).

Fifteen other workers believed to have been at the site were rescued; seven of them have been injured.

Rescue work is ongoing at the site in case hawkers who often go there to sell food are affected. Unconfirmed reports say 10 bystanders may have died.

Building collapses are not uncommon in Nigeria as sometimes builders try to cut corners by using inferior materials.

They often bribe corrupt officials so as to avoid complying with building regulations. 

Crowds looking at a shopping mall which has collapsed in Abeokuta, Nigeria
Crowds looking at a shopping mall which has collapsed in Abeokuta, Nigeria

EU-Libya anti-smuggler mission 'failing'

The European Union (EU) naval mission to tackle people smuggling in the central Mediterranean is failing to achieve its aims, a British parliamentary committee says.

In a report, the House of Lords EU Committee says Operation Sophia does not "in any meaningful way" disrupt smugglers' boats.

The destruction of wooden boats has forced the smugglers to use rubber dinghies, putting migrants at even greater risk, the document says.

The BBC's Christian Fraser has been tweeting from a charity vessel, the Aquarius, assisting Italian officials to rescue migrants.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Operation Sophia:

  • Almost 14,000 migrants rescued since operation began (22 June 2015)
  • 114 people smugglers' boats seized
  • 69 suspected smugglers and traffickers arrested by Italian authorities
  • Operation has five warships - Italian flagship Cavour, two German, one UK, one Spanish
  • And seven aircraft (three helicopters, four planes)

Source: EUNavFor Med - Operation Sophia, 13 May 2016

Read the BBC News story for more details..

Senegalese woman appointed Fifa secretary general

Fatma Samoura from Senegal has been appointed to run Fifa, the body that governs world football.

View more on twitter

For the last 21 years, Ms Samoura has worked for the United Nations.

Earlier this year, Fifa banned its former secretary-general Jerome Valcke from all football-related activity for 12 years.

Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time.

She has a proven ability to build and lead teams, and improve the way organisations perform. Importantly for Fifa, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organisation.”

Fifa president Giovanni Infantino

Ms Samoura will be in charge of the day-to-day running of Fifa, which has had a troubled year amid corruption scandals.

BBC partners with Nigerian innovators on chatbot pilot


The BBC has announced it is working with Nigerian developers to make chatbots which will talk to people on instant messenger apps.

A chatbot is a computer software programme that is able to communicate with humans, using artificial intelligence.

The project is part of the BBC's Connected Studio which has been working with developers across Africa.

You can try out the BBC's pilots on BBC Taster and read more about chatbots on the BBC News website:

Kenyan minister to fly to Canada for urgent anti-doping meeting

Kenya’s Sports Minister Hassan Wario

Kenya’s Sports Minister Hassan Wario will be leading a delegation to Canada for urgent talks with the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) after it ruled that Kenya was in breach of global anti-doping rules.

He made the announcement after a lengthy meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta (13:39 post).

Mr Wario said Wada’s decision was regrettable but maintained that the government would work to ensure sport was drugs free sport in Kenya and that Kenyan athletes are able to take part in Rio Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee (OIC) said there could be a number of reasons for the non-compliance ruling.

“It does not mean that the athletes will be stopped from participating in the Olympic Games,” the OIC said in statement to BBC Africa Sport.

Kenyan man survives helicopter ordeal

Nairobi News has posted this video of a man hanging off the helicopter which was carrying the body of the controversial Kenyan businessman Jacob Juma, who died last week:

View more on youtube

Mr Juma had been driving home from a bar to his home in an upmarket suburb of the capital, Nairobi, when unknown gunmen attacked his car and killed him.  

Nairobi News reports that Mr Juma's body was being flown to his family's home after it had been displayed for public viewing.

One tweeter said the man managed to survive:

View more on twitter

Meanwhile the hashtag #Bungoma, the area in western Kenya where this happened, is trending on Twitter.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

After 51 hours of batting record breaking cricketer does this...

We reported earlier that the captain of Rwanda's national cricket team has broken a world record for batting in the nets.

He batted for 51 hours.

You'd think he would be resting up right now. But Eric Dusingizimana has other ideas.

View more on twitter

US debates its walkout from Museveni's inauguration

The US embassy in Uganda has taken to Twitter to explain why its ambassador walked out of yesterday's inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni:

First, the presence of President Bashir, who has outstanding ICC warrants against him for genocide & other atrocity crimes in Darfur.

Second, Pres. Mueveni's disparaging comments against ICC, which were truly unfortunate given UG's obligations as signatory to Rome Statute.

But some Twitter users were not going to leave it there, with many pointing out that the US hasn't itself signed up to the International Criminal Court (ICC):

@usmissionuganda and why aren't you signitories?

@framug18 While we are not signatories, we support the ICC's operations, and have assisted with certain cases & investigations

But people weren't going to leave it there:

@usmissionuganda @KamuntuJ Who should then speak for thousands more being killed in Syria and Lybia with your money, weapons and personnel?

@gatabibedda @KamuntuJ ISIL and Assad regime responsible for most deaths in Syria. ISIL and militias responsible in Libya.

This feisty debate is taking place while access to some social media sites has been restricted. 

The government asked telecoms companies to restrict the access for security reasons.

More than 90 dead after floods in Ethiopia

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Nairobi

At least 90 people have been confirmed dead in Ethiopia following days of heavy rains that have caused flash floods and landslides. 

The head of Ethiopia’s National Disaster Management Commission Mitiku Kassa told me that there would have been far more deaths if people had not been evacuated so quickly.  

The heavy rain came after Ethiopia's worst drought in decades.

Roads and bridges have been destroyed, which has made it difficult to deliver assistance to those in need. 

'No Kenya athletics ban mentioned'

Anthony Irungu

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is currently chairing a crisis meeting with top sports officials after the country was declared to be in breach of global anti-doping rules, his government's official Twitter account says:

View more on twitter

On Thursday the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) ruled the country "non-compliant" citing issues with anti-doping legislation.

This surprise move means some of the world's top athletes are at risk of missing August's Olympic Games in Rio.    

In February, Kenya missed a deadline to pass a law establishing a new national anti-doping agency so that more testing could take place – but this was passed last month.

Sports Minister Hassan Wario said Wada had now written to him attaching areas of the legislation they “want re-written or rectified for us to regain full compliance ASAP”.

“As soon as parliament reviews those highlighted bits of the legislation we are fully compliant. No ban was mentioned in the body of the letter,” he said

South Africa celebrations over ruling for gold miners

BBC Afrique's Sophie Ribstein captured the celebrations outside the High Court in South Africa's main city of Johannesburg today:

Cheering people outside South Africa's High Court in Johannesburg - Friday 13 May 2016

Families of former mine workers and their supporters cheered when they heard that the court had ruled in favour of their class action (see 09:06 post).

The ex-miners say they contracted silicosis, an incurable lung disease, after years of working in the mines. 

A man raising his first outside the high court in Johannesburg, South Africa - Friday 13 May 2013

The ruling means that more than 40 lawyers, representing hundreds of former and current mine workers, can launch a joint case against gold mining companies.

Silicosis, caused by inhaling the silica dust in gold-bearing rocks, can lead to breathing difficulties, regular coughing and chest pains, and it can also lead to tuberculosis.     

Nigeria fuel prices: 'We are suffering'

Haruna Shehu Tangaza

BBC Africa, Abuja

The petrol price in Nigeria has gone up by 67% this week after the government said that it was removing fuel subsidies in a bid to ease crippling fuel shortages.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is meeting today about the hike - a litre has risen from 86.5 naira ($0.43) a litre to 145 naira.

These residents in the capital told me what they thought of the move:

Nigeria fuel prices: 'We are suffering'

Closing Kenyan refugee camps 'risky'

Mohammud Ali Mohamed

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Dadaab camp in north-eastern Kenya
Dadaab, Kenya's largest refugee camp, was opened in 1991

Somalia says Kenya's decision to close its two biggest refugee camps is “risky” and will have serious security consequences for the whole of East Africa.

Last week, Kenya announced it would no longer host nearly 600,000 refugees, most of them Somalis.

In response, Somalia's foreign ministry has warned that the compulsory repatriation of the refugees would provide fertile recruitment ground for the Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabab.

This would fuel terrorism rather than stemming it, Somalia said. 

The Kenyan authorities believe militants have hidden in and planned attacks in Kenya from the camps.

Three years ago, an agreement was reached encouraging Somalis to go home voluntarily, but only a few thousand have gone back.

The Somali authorities want Kenya to encourage more voluntary returns, which it describes as a safe and dignified approach.

The UN and some Western government have also appealed to Kenya not to close down the camps.   

Social media still blocked in Uganda

BBC reporter in Uganda Patience Atuhaire has just told us that Facebook and Twitter are still not working in Uganda. 


She says all other sites she tried seem to be working fine.

The Ugandan communications regulator ordered mobile phone operators to block social networking sites temporarily on Wednesday.

They cited security issues ahead of Yoweri Museveni being sworn in as president. 

Read more on how Ugandans are getting around social media bans.

Gambia prisoners torture fears

Worrying reports suggest dozens of protesters arrested in Gambia’s capital, Banjul, last month are still in detention and have been tortured, the UN says.

It is very difficult to confirm what’s going on in The Gambia because of a lack of press freedom in the small West African nation.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN human rights commissioner, said there were reports that family members were not allowed to visit the prisoners and some were being denied access to medical care.

The authorities should release those detained “for simply having exercised their rights to freedom of expression, opinion and assembly”, Mr Colville said in a statement.

He also reiterated the UN’s call for an investigation into the reported death in custody on 14 April of Solo Sandeng, head of opposition United Democratic Party’s youth wing - which prompted the protests.

Two other female opposition figures feared to have died had been found in custody - but were reportedly in very bad condition, he said.

The government should also clarify the whereabouts of Alhagie Ceesay, director of the Teranga FM radio on trial for sedition, who was last seen alive on 11 April, Mr Colville said.

Gambian protesters in Banjul following the reported death of an opposition figure - 16 April 2016
There were protests following the reported death in custory of an opposition figure

DR Congo police fire tear gas at opposition supporters

Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo have fired tear gas to disperse several thousand supporters of powerful opposition figure Moise Katumbi the country's second city Lubumbashi, the AFP news agency reports.

View more on twitter

They are angry that he has been charged with hiring foreign mercenaries.

The protesters were gathered outside a courthouse where dozens of lawyers had arrived to give their backing to Mr Katumbi, who has denounced the allegations against him as "a grotesque lie", AFP adds.

Mr Katumbi is a millionaire businessman, who owns TP Mazembe - one of Africa's top football clubs.

Earlier this month he declared his intention to run for president in November's elections.

Read: Could football boss Moise Katumbi become DR Congo president?

The Congolese essay wizard helping students cheat

Back of head

Commercial essay writers are prepared to help those who can't be bothered.

One UK-based essay wizard from the Democratic Republic of Congo has revealed to the BBC that he charges about £2,500 ($3,600) for a dissertation. 

He says he has a particular motive for the work he does - revenge.

He has an MBA and a PhD from a leading British university, and says he has applied for more than 300 jobs as a lecturer or researcher, but has got nowhere.

He believes he's a victim of racial discrimination.

Mr Jezek describes a network of black academics from African backgrounds that are unable to find work in universities.

Read more on the BBC News website.

'Shopping mall' collapses in Nigeria

It looks like a shopping mall has collapsed in Ogun State in south-western Nigeria.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Western Post Nigeria says it was a four-storey shopping plaza.

It is not clear if anyone is trapped under the rubble.

We also don't know why the building collapsed. 

But, a civil engineer who has studied why so many buildings collapse previously told the BBC that builders quite often use cheaper materials which aren't strong enough to withhold multi-storey buildings.

Analysis: First step for SA gold miners seeking justice

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

The lawyers representing the gold miners in South Africa believe today's high court ruling marks the first step towards justice (see 09:06 post).

It paves the way for what would become the largest class action in South African history.  

Most of the miners who allegedly contracted silicosis while working underground have been unable to work for many years and are dependent on government grants for a living.

The claims, going back decades, also involve former miners from neighbouring countries such as Lesotho.

A number of gold companies have been named in the suit including Anglo American, one of two companies which reached a $30m (£21m) suit with 400 miners in a separate silicosis case.

It is not clear if this class action will be settled out of court, but for the miners who say they have waited for too long, a speedy resolution would be a form of justice.

A gold miner with silicosis in South Africa
Thousands of former South African miners says they are suffering from silicosis

Should phones and computers be made in Africa?

African entrepreneurs should focus on designing rather than building phones, Luke Mckend, country director for Google South Africa, says.

Even if a device is built in China if the design and specification is made by the people who live here. I think it’s incredibly important for young African Entrepreneurs to have a voice and make sure the products are relevant for the people who are going to use them.

He was asked the question about whether phones and computers ought to be manufactured in Africa on our Google Hangout

The question came from a comment on our Facebook page.

You can watch the hangout about digital skills here:

View more on youtube

Rwandan cricketer breaks world record

Rwanda national cricket captain has just broken the Guinness World Record for the longest time spent batting in the nets. 

View more on instagram

  Eric Dusingizimana has spent a whopping 51 hours batting. 

View more on twitter

He was raising money to build the first international cricket ground in Rwanda.  

Dusingizimana even asked his president to bowl during the marathon:  

View more on twitter

President Paul Kagame didn't tweet back.

This might not be the end. 

Just before he broke the record Rwanda's New Times newspaper suggested he wouldn't give up straight away:

View more on twitter

Cheers for 'African legend' Mugabe

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe at the Ugandan leader's inauguration - 12 May 2016
President Mugabe came to witness Mr Museveni's inauguration for a fifth controversial term

Zimbabwe’ President Robert Mugabe must have felt loved during his visit to Uganda.

He received a standing ovation from other African heads of state at a dinner last night after the inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni.

Uganda’s state-run New Vision newspaper said the 92-year-old Zimbabwean leader walked in a few minutes after the opening prayer.

“Everyone sprang to their feet and cheered,” the paper said. 

For Zimbabwe’s state-owned Herald, this confirmed “his status as an African legend”.

Among the other leaders at the dinner where leaders from South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Niger and Equatorial Guinea. 

The New Vision did not say whether Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir was there.

But his presence at the swearing-in ceremony earlier on Thursday angered Western delegates. 

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir at the swearing-in ceremony for President Museveni in Uganda
Sudan's president seemed to be enjoying the occassion

US, European and Canadian diplomats left abruptly when Mr Museveni made disparaging comments about the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Mr Bashir is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide, which he denies.

Read the BBC News story for more

Rwanda 'continuing to support Burundi rebels'

A man holding Burundi's flag stands on a tank as people celebrate in Bujumbura after the radio announcement that President Nkurunziza had been overthrown - 13 May 2015
It is exactly a year since troops tried to overthrow President Nkurunziza

More on the confidential report to the UN Security Council seen by Reuters (see 09:03 post).

The report by UN experts also accuses Rwanda of continuing to support Burundian rebels seeking to oust President Pierre Nkurunziza.

It says that training, financing and logistical support for the rebels did not stop last year, as some Western officials have assumed.

The UN Security Council sanctions committee is to discuss the report later today.

Rwanda denies claims that it is meddling in Burundi.

President Nkurunziza was elected for a third term in July last year, but his controversial decision to run again sparked months of violence – and it is exactly a year since he survived a coup attempt.

For more read Alastair Leithead's piece: Burundi's tit-for-tat killings spread fear

Sierra Leone anti-corruption singer's billboards attacked

Umaru Fofana

BBC Africa, Freetown

Adverts bearing the portrait of Emmerson Bockarie - a singer whose latest lyrics tackle corruption in Sierra Leone - have been attacked. 

Umaru Fofana

Even though the adverts for mobile company Airtel bear the faces of three other artists, only Mr Bockarie's face was cut out.

His face was removed from billboards or covered with graffiti in more than four areas of the city.

The singer told me that he's unperturbed by the attacks:

I have made up my mind to do what I am doing and cannot stop now"

His latest song tackles corruption in high places:

View more on youtube

French president visits CAR before withdrawing troops

Abdourahmane Dia

BBC Afrique

French soldier
France has said it is withdrawing troops by the end of the year

France's President Francois Hollande is making his third visit in four years to the Central African Republic (CAR), a former French colony.

His trip, which will only last a few hours, is just a few weeks after CAR's new President, Faustin Touadera, was sworn in. His election is seen as an important step towards restoring peace after several years of deadly religious unrest.

The decision to end French military operations in the CAR by the end of the year will likely be the main topic of discussion.   

The French presidency says the visit demonstrates Mr Hollande's commitment to support peace and stabilisation efforts in the country.

Since 2013 there has been fighting between mainly Muslim Seleka rebels and mostly Christian anti-Balaka militias.

Civil society leader Boniface Gonabana-Ndele told the BBC that the issue of the disarmament and reinsertion of armed groups should be discussed during Mr Hollande's visit. 

Many in the capital, Bangui, are also hoping that the alleged sex abuse cases involving French troops will not be ignored.

Get Involved: Could digital skills change your world?

Join our Google Hangout today where we will be discussing whether digital skills could change your world.

The country director for Google South Africa, Luke Mckend, the founder and creative director of African Digital Art, Jepchumba, and Tim Rimbui, the chief executive of audio production company Waabeh, will be with us.

We start from 09:00 GMT. 

So get involved in the discussion, send us your questions through Facebook and follow the event:   

View more on youtube

South Africa gold miners given permission to sue over lung disease

South Africa’s high court has ruled that more than 40 lawyers, representing hundreds of former and current mineworkers, can launch a joint case against gold mining companies.

The miners say they contracted silicosis, an incurable lung disease, from years of working in the mines.

Miners in South Africa holding a sign about silicosis

Read the BBC News story for more

North Korea 'arming DR Congo'

A confidential report by UN experts, seen by the Reuters news agency, reported that several officers in the Democratic Republic of Congo said North Korea had supplied troops and police with pistols.

They also said North Korea had sent 30 instructors to provide training for the presidential guard and special forces.

A UN arms embargo prevents North Korea from importing or exporting weapons and training.

An arms embargo on DR Congo requires states to notify the UN Security Council sanctions committee of any arms sales or training.

The experts said they found that several Congolese army officers, as well as several police deployed abroad in a UN mission, appeared to have North Korean pistols.

Congolese Republican Guard patrolling in Kinshasa, DR Congo
Instructors were sent to reportedly train presidential guard and special forces

Wise words

Here's today's African proverb:

It is with a light basket that one escapes the rain"

A Luo proverb sent by Owino Onyango Mak'Oburu in Kenya
A woman carrying baskets crosses a street in the Matonge district, Kinshasa, DR Congo

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we'll be keeping you up-to-date with news and trends today on the continent.