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Summary

  1. Everton's footballers are given a huge welcome in Tanzania
  2. Police break up opposition protest in Zimbabwe
  3. Somalia detains teachers accused of meeting militant Islamists
  4. Plane carrying journalists crashes in Kenya
  5. Nigeria court rules on PDP leadership row
  6. Nigeria's acting leader says President Buhari is 'recuperating fast'
  7. South African jazz legend Ray Phiri loses battle with cancer
  8. Chinese troops head to Djibouti base

Live Reporting

By Paul Bakibinga and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Wednesday'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:

A snake is not a rope."

A Yoruba proverb sent by Ademola Adesina in Barcelona, Spain

Click here to send us you African proverbs

And we leave you with this Instagram photo of a girl's drawing of her pregnant mother in Uganda:

View more on instagram

Plea to release Algerian journalist accused of spying

Said Chitour
Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Said Chitour denies passing secret documents to foreign diplomats

The press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders is calling on Algerian authorities to immediately release Said Chitour, a freelance journalist who was arrested and accused of spying.

According to the watchdog body, Mr Chitour - who works for the BBC, the Washington Post and other media outlets - is being held "arbitrarily" since intelligence services arrested him at Algiers airport on 5 June.

Intelligence sources have told AFP news agency that Mr Chitour is accused of passing secret documents to foreign diplomats.

However, his lawyer, Khaled Bourayou, says he denies the allegations.

Mr Bourayou told AFP that no confidential document was listed in the case against Mr Chitour.

Appeal to Ghana to scrap death penalty

Thomas Naadi

BBC Africa, Accra

Anti death penalty protestors
Amnesty International

Amnesty international is calling for the abolition of the death penalty in Ghana. The human rights organisation has expressed concern about the deplorable conditions of prisoners on death row.

According to a new Amnesty report, nearly 150 inmates on death row live in deplorable conditions in Ghana. Prisons are often overcrowded, poorly maintained and in some cases have seven toilets for more than 100 prisoners.

Many of the inmates Amnesty spoke to said they did not receive adequate legal representation.

Only one in four prisoners on death row has been able to appeal to a higher court. The rest have been have been denied legal aid, Amnesty said.

IAAF under-18 championships under way in Kenya

Idris Situma

BBC Swahili, Nairobi

resident of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta speaks during the opening ceremony on day one of the IAAF U18 World Championships at the Kasarani Stadium on July 12, 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Getty Images
President Kenyatta says he supports efforts to end "unfair practices" in athletics

In athletics, the tenth edition of the IAAF World U18 Championships has been officially opened in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

More than 800 athletes from 131 countries, as well as a refugee team, are taking part in the global championships, which will end on 16 July.

According to the Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper, Mr Kenyatta called on the country’s athletes to maintain the high standards of integrity.

My administration fully supports the fight against unfair sporting practices as part of developing this industry”.

While the games officially opened this afternoon, the competitions started earlier in the morning with the heats.

The first event was the Boys 100m decathlon followed by the crowd's favourite - the 100m boys qualifiers. There were also qualifiers for 1500m, 400m and the discus.

Later in the day the athletes had to brave torrential rain.

'Mass graves found' in DR Congo

BBC World Service

The United Nations says it has identified an additional 38 probable mass graves from recent violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It said this would bring the number of such graves found in the central Kasai region to at least 80.

Map
BBC

More than 3,000 people have been killed and a million displaced in fighting in the area which erupted after a militia leader was killed last August.

The government has blamed the Kamuina Nsapu militia for the mass graves. But eyewitnesses say they have seen army trucks dumping bodies into the ground.

Read: What is behind the conflict?

Nigeria court rules on PDP leadership row

Ibrahim Shehu-Adamu

BBC Africa

The crisis rocking Nigeria's largest opposition party, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), has ended after the country's highest court declared Ahmed Makarfi its leader.

The Supreme Court overturned the February ruling of the Court of Appeal, that his rival, Ali Modu Sheriff, was the party's leader.

Branded umbrellas and with symbols of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are displayed with photographs of presidential candidate Goodluck Jonathan and running mate Namadi Sambo on March 24, 2015
afp
The PDP has battled to come to terms with the loss of power

The court was asked to rule after the PDP, once the most powerful party in Nigeria, failed to resolve the leadership dispute which marred its 2016 convention.

The infighting in the PDP has allowed the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) to implement its policies for two years without being seriously challenged by the opposition.

Senior members of the party have also defected to the APC, weakening it considerably.

The PDP has been in crisis since it was voted out of government in 2015. It had ruled Nigeria for 16 years since the restoration of democracy in 1999.

Mr Makarfi's faction enjoys the support of most organs of the PDP, and will be hoping to rebuild the party now that the court battle is over.

Everton players visit school in Tanzania

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Adamola Lookman Everton player
BBC
Idrissa Gueye of Everton ready to play with blind kids at the disabled school

As we reported earlier English Premier League side Everton are in Tanzania for their first ever tour of East Africa.

Today, four Everton players - Yannick Bolasie, Leighton Baines, Ademola Lookman and Idrissa Gueye - visited a primary school supported by the UK government.

The Uhuru Machanganyiko primary school for disabled children in Dar es Salaam mainly caters for deaf and blind pupils.

Everton players meet Tanzanian school children
BBC
Bolasie, Baines and Lookman. greet children

Trump delays decision on Sudan sanctions

ULY 08: U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for the morning working session on the second day of the G20 economic summit on July 8, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany
Getty Images
President Trump has delayed decision on Sudan sanctions

US President Donald Trump has decided to extend by three months a deadline on whether to permanently lift sanctions against Sudan, regarded by the US as a "state sponsor of terrorism".

The 20-year US restrictions have severely affected Sudan's economy.

President Trump was to decide by today whether to permanently lift the US sanctions after his predecessor Barack Obama eased the embargo in January but put Sudan on a six-month review period.

Economic sanctions were imposed on Sudan in 1997 for its alleged backing of Islamist militant groups.

Osama bin Laden, the killed al-Qaeda leader, was based in Khartoum from 1992 to 1996.

Mr Obama had indicated that the permanent lifting of sanctions depended on Sudan's progress in five areas of concern at the end of the review period.

However President Trump in his executive order stated:

I have decided more time is needed for this review to establish that the Government of Sudan has demonstrated sufficient positive action across all of those areas."

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said he regretted Mr Trump's decision as there had been "long negotiations" between the two countries, AFP news agency reports.

On Monday, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), a body comprising all UN bodies operating in Sudan, issued a statement recommending that the sanctions be lifted

Any relief on sanctions relief would not change Sudan's designation by the US as a "state sponsor of terrorism", Reuters news agency reports.

Teachers detained for 'meeting al-Shabab'

Somali Al-Shabab fighters gather on February 13, 2012 in Elasha Biyaha, in the Afgoei Corridor, after a demonstration to support the merger of Al-shebab and the Al-Qaeda network.
AFP
The militants are fighting for Islamic rule in Somalia

Head teachers from seven private schools in Somalia have been arrested for meeting militant Islamist group al-Shabab to discuss possible changes to the school curriculum, a state minister has told the BBC.

Al-Shabab issued a statement in April, threatening to punish teachers and parents who gave children a secular education.

The seven teachers, from Jowhar town, would be charged with meeting members of an outlawed group, the Education Minister for Somalia's Hirshabelle state, Mahad Hasan Osman, told the BBC Somali service.

He added that schools were expected to adhere to the official curriculum, and could not change it because of pressure from al-Shabab.

Mr Osman said the teachers were arrested some 15km outside Jowhar as they were returning from the talks with the al-Qaeda-linked militants:

They had meetings with al-Shabab and they were attempting to change the school’s curriculum to suit what the group believes, which is implementation of strict Islamic law’’

The militants control territory outside Jowhar, which is some 90km (55 miles) from the capital, Mogadishu.

Angelina Jolie in Namibia

US actress Angelina Jolie and her children flew to Namibia earlier this month to open the Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary for elephants and rhinos targeted by poachers, according to this tweet:

EXCLUSIVE: Inside Angelina Jolie and Shiloh's sweet trip to Namibia - see the photos! peoplem.ag/2LVgmbJ

EXCLUSIVE: Inside Angelina Jolie and Shiloh's sweet trip to Namibia - see the photos! peoplem.ag/2LVgmbJ

SA wants to drop the need to pass maths

The Education Ministry in South Africa wants to remove the need to pass maths exams in Grades 7-9 at school.

The proposed measure is targeting children ending their primary education and those who have just reached secondary level.

Officials say that, at the moment, if some children do not pass maths they cannot choose certain subjects at school, so this reduces their options and leads many to drop out.

Teachers say they will not support what they see as a move that "lowered standards" for pupils.

Elijah Mhlanga, spokesperson from the Department of Basic Education in South Africa gave BBC Newsday's Tom Hagler his reaction.

Cameroon bishop was 'murdered'

BBC World Service

Church officials in Cameroon say there were signs of violence on the body of a Roman Catholic bishop found in a river last month.

This contradicts the results of an official autopsy which said drowning was the most likely cause of death and there were no suspicious marks on the body.

In a statement, Cameroonian bishops said they stood by their earlier claim that Jean-Marie Benoit Bala had been murdered.

A number of Cameroonian priests have been killed in the recent past. Their murders have gone unsolved and it is not clear why they were killed.

Plane carrying journalists crashes in Kenya

A light aircraft carrying three journalists crashed shortly after taking off from Wilson Airport, near Nairobi, the Daily Nation is reporting.

The Cessna plane was carrying two reporters and a cameraman from Citizen TV, who were going to cover an opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) rally in Baringo.

The journalists and crew have been taken to Nairobi West Hospital and are said to be in a stable condition.

The paper says Police Air Wing commandant Rodgers Mbithi confirmed the crash.

View more on twitter

Morocco lifts US laptop in airline cabin ban

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

If you’re flying to the US from Morocco, you’ll soon be able to hang on to your large electronic devices.

The laptop ban on direct flights from Morocco to the United States will be lifted tomorrow, according to the North African country’s national carrier Royal Air Maroc.

The United States has gradually backtracked on the so-called "laptop-ban" and lifted the restriction on six airlines after airports adopted stricter screening measures for explosive devices.

The original laptop ban affected flights to the US from eight countries, including Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey.

The ban on laptops and other large electronic devices in cabins came into affect in March.

Egypt Air said it expected the ban to be lifted today, and this will reportedly be followed by Air Maroc tomorrow, and Saudi Arabian Airlines next week.

A Libyan traveller packs his laptop in his suitcase before boarding his flight for London at Tunis-Carthage International Airport on March 25, 2017.
AFP
Laptops were banned inside cabins on direct flights to US

Riot police broke up Harare protest

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

Poster
Other

Scores of supporters of Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) took to the streets of the capital, Harare, earlier today, accusing the electoral commission of planning to rig next year's polls so that President Robert Mugabe and the ruling Zanu-PF party remain in power.

But riot police intervened, using tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons to disperse the protesters who held up placards which called for an end to Mr Mugabe's 37-year rule.

Several shops were forced to close as a result of the police action.

Opposition protesters in Harare
BBC
The opposition supporters were marching peacefully

The MDC is also demanding reforms that include the re-composition of the electoral commission.

It also wants the commission to ensure that voter registration is done transparently ahead of elections, when the MDC hopes to break Mr Mugabe's and Zanu-PF's grip on power.

See earlier post for more details

Liverpool's Sadio Mane to miss Asia trip

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

There is mixed news for Senegal and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane - he continues to recover from a knee operation but will miss the club’s pre-season trip to Asia.

Mane missed the end of last season when he damaged his knee on 1 April.

Sadio Mane of Liverpool receives treatment from the medical team during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on April 1, 2017 in Liverpool, England.
AFP
Mane receives treatment during the 1 April match between Liverpool and Everton

He has begun light training with his team-mates as he prepares for the new season.

Manager Jurgen Klopp told the Liverpool website.

He is really, really good. He is close; he is closing on coming back to team training.

In this moment we think it will be when we are in Asia, so then it makes no sense to take him to Asia because he needs to then do the first steps in kind of team training."

Ugandan reggae hits ground running as MP

Bobi Wine poster
Twitter
Popular musician Robert Kyagulanyi won a by-election last month

Uganda's newest MP - Robert Kagulanyi, better known as Afrobeats star Bobi Wine - has been appointed to the parliamentary committee on presidential affairs, Daily Monitor newspaper reports.

According to the paper, the committee performs an oversight role over President Yoweri Museveni's activities as well as the Kampala Capital City Authority, which is responsible for running the capital.

There have been concerns about the cost of running State House which is at an estimated $150000 (£115,000) a day.

Mr Kagulanyi was sworn in as an independent MP on Tuesday after he successfully contested a by-election last month.

Deadly suicide attacks in Nigeria

Four female suicide bombers blew themselves up in Nigeria's north-eastern Maiduguri city last night, killing at least 15 people, police have said, AFP news agency reports.

The bombers targeted four different areas in the suburb of Molai Kalemari, Borno state police commissioner Damian Chukwu was quoted as saying.

Militant Islamist group Boko Haram had its headquarters in Maiduguri, before it was driven out by the military and vigilante groups.

Zambia's parliament approves new security measures

Kennedy Gondwe

BBC World Service, Lusaka

Zambian President Edgar Lungu arrives to give a press briefing on July 6, 2017 at the Zambian State House in Lusaka. Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Thursday justified invoking a state of emergency by alleging that opposition parties were behind a string of arson attacks intended "to create terror and panic".
AFP
President Lungu says that stability is under threat in Zambia

Zambian lawmakers have unanimously voted to extend the semi-state of emergency by three months after the initial seven days announced by President Edgar Lungu last week.

Under the new security measures, police have been given more powers but rights of citizens have not been completely taken away.

Police can now search people without issuing a warrant and suspects can be held in custody longer than stipulated by the law.

Mr. Lungu announced last week that Zambia’s security was under threat after a series of fires, including the burning of the country’s biggest market in the capital, Lusaka.

David Mabumba, the Energy minister, is reported to have said that some Zambians have become "terrorists".

When the matter came up for ratification in parliament on Tuesday, lawmakers, mostly from the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), voted to extend the period by 90 days.

Lawmakers from the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) were not present, as the speaker had suspended them from parliament for boycotting an address by President Lungu in March.

David Mabumba, the Energy minister, is reported to have urged the government to consider killing people behind the fires considered as arson..

Zimbabwe police fire tear gas at protesters

Zimbabwean police have fired tear gas and water canons to disperse opposition supporters protesting in the capital, Harare, to demand electoral reforms, a journalist with Al Jazeera has tweeted from the scene:

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

The opposition accuses the electoral commission of being biased in favour of President Robert Mugabe, 93, and the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Mr Mugabe's main challenger in next year's election is expected to be long-standing rival Morgan Tsvangirai, who has failed in his previous bids to oust the president.

Mr Mugabe, the world's oldest ruler, has been in power since 1980.

Ailing Buhari will be 'back very shortly'

President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum at the Plaza Hotel, September 21, 2016 in New York City.
AFP
The government has failed to disclose details of the president's illness

Nigeria's Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is "recuperating fast", and he expects him back "very shortly".

Mr Osinbajo made the comments at a brief press briefing in the capital, Abuja. He met Mr Buhari in London on Tuesday - their first meeting since the president flew to the UK in May to be treated for an unspecified illness.

Mr Osinbajo said he met Mr Buhari for more than hour:

He is in very good spirits... His humour is all there."

See earlier post for more details

SA music star died 'with relatives at bedside'

Nomsa Maseko

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Ray Phiri
AFP
Ray Phiri suffered from cancer

South African jazz legend Ray Phiri, 70, was surrounded by family and friends when he died this morning at a private hospital in the eastern city of Nelspruit, family spokesman Paul Nkanyane has said.

Ray Phiri (L) and Nana of Sitmela performs on stage during the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz 2007 held in Newtown on August 25, 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
AFP
Phiri (L) and Nana of Sitmela perform on stage in August 2007 at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival in South Africa's main city, Johannesburg

The Stimela lead vocalist was hospitalised two weeks ago and his condition became public when close friend and former band member Richard Mitchell started a crowdfunding initiative to help pay for his medical bills.

The musician received many awards in recognition for his contribution to music, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

See earlier post for more details

Is Buhari's health improving?

Naziru Mikailu

BBC Abuja editor

The meeting in London between Nigeria's ailing President Muhammadu Buhari and Acting President Yemi Osinbajo lasted for about an hour.

Mr Osinbajo, the vice-president, was invited by Mr Buhari. I understand that the meeting was to update the president on the state of the nation.

It was the first time the two leaders have met since President Buhari flew to London in May to be treated for an unspecified illness. It suggests that the president’s condition is improving.

Nigeria's Acting President Yemi Osinbajo speaks at the ground breaking for the construction Lagos-Ibadan rail line project at the Ebute-Metta headquarters of the Nigerian Railway Corporation in Lagos on March 7, 2017
AFP
Mr Osinbajo is said to have a good relationship with Mr Buhari

See earlier post for more details

Everton rock into Tanzania

Stanley Kwenda

BBC Africa

Wayne Rooney meets young fans in Tanzania
BBC
Rooney's debut return to Everton will be in Tanzania

English Premier League side Everton have arrived in Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, for their first ever tour of East Africa.

The visit is part of their pre-season tour ahead of the 2017/2018 Premier League season kick-off.

Everton, who finished seventh in the league last season, have brought the entire first team squad.

The team touched down at Dar es Salaam's international airport at 8am local time from Liverpool.

Among the travelling party is newly signed Wayne Rooney, who returned to the Toffees from Manchester United at the weekend on a free transfer.

Rooney is a big draw card and is expected to make his first appearance for Everton since he rejoined the club on Thursday in the friendly against Kenya's Gor Mahia at the 60,0000-seater National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Many fans have travelled from neighbouring countries to watch the game.

Those who gathered outside the team's Dar es Salaam hotel were chanting "Rooney Rooney" as he made his way out of the bus.

Also on hand was a sizeable group of nationals from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who were elated to see their hero Yannick Bolasie. They sung traditional songs, which Bolasie responded to with some dances.

Yannick Bolasie meets Congolese fans
BBC
Everton's Yannick Bolasie was greeted by Congolese fans in Dar es Salaam

Thursday's match is organised as part of Everton's new shirt sponsorship deal with football betting firm Sportpesa of Kenya.

During their visit, Everton players will conduct coaching clinics and play a match against Albino United to help raise awareness against attacks on albino people. Many albinos have been killed in Tanzania for ritual purposes.

Masaai warriors welcome Everton team
BBC
A traditional Masaai welcome was given to Everton in Tanzania

Chinese troops depart for first overseas military base in Djibouti

Chinese naval officers
CHINA NEWS SERVICE
The Chinese navy has visited Djibouti previously, with a ship docking at the tiny African nation's port in 2015

Ships carrying Chinese troops are heading to Djibouti to set up Beijing's first overseas military base, reports state media.

China says the support base will be used for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Africa and West Asia.

It will also be used for military co-operation, naval exercises and rescue missions, Xinhua said.

China has ramped up investment in Africa, as well as rapidly modernised its military in recent years.

Read the full BBC story here

Nigeria's ailing president meets Osinbajo

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses delegates at the start of a conference to tackle corruption at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London on May 11, 2016
AFP

Nigeria's Acting President Yemi Osinbajo held a "very good" meeting with ailing President Muhammudu Buhari in London on Tuesday, Mr Osinbajo's spokesman has said.

It was the first meeting between the two leaders since Mr Buhari, 74, flew to the UK on 7 May to be treated for an undisclosed illness.

In a tweet, the spokesman, Laolu Akande, said that Mr Osinbajo had returned to Nigeria after the meeting and would chair a meeting of the cabinet later today:

View more on twitter

On Monday, First Lady Aisha Buhari warned the "hyenas and jackals" will be banished in a cryptic Facebook post apparently aimed at officials suspected of plotting to succeed her husband, amid mounting concern about his heath.

Mr Osinbajo, the vice-president, has been acting in his place while he is out of the country, but there is no suggestion he is part of any plot against Mr Buhari.

Read: Should Nigerians be worried about Buhari's health?

Graceland star dies

Ray Phiri
AFP
Before his death, the musician appealed to the media to respect his privacy

South African jazz legend Ray Phiri has died at the age of 70 after a two-month battle with lung cancer.

The guitarist, producer and vocalist rose to fame when he featured on Paul Simon's Graceland album in 1986.

He was admitted to hospital a few days ago, while a public appeal was launched to help pay for his medical bills.

In an interview with South Africa's The Sowetan newspaper earlier this month, Phiri said:

Let me suffer [in peace with my] pain, on my own with my dignity."

Tributes have been pouring in for Phiri on Twitter:

View more on twitter
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Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

A snake is not a rope."

A Yoruba proverb sent by Ademola Adesina in Barcelona, Spain

Click here to send us you African proverbs

Good morning

Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news from around the continent.