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Live Reporting

By Uwa Nnachi and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    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 today's wise words:               

    Quote Message: It is better to get nine now, than perhaps 10 later" from A Swahili proverb sent by Vin in Mwanza, Tanzania
    A Swahili proverb sent by Vin in Mwanza, Tanzania

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

    And we leave you with this image of a Nigerian woman dressed to impress as she gets ready for a night out in the country's largest city Lagos, where music is inescapable:

    Nigerian women dressed in colourful attire
  2. Eid horsemen parade in Nigeria

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC Africa, Bauchi

    Horseman

    The second day of Eid al-Fitr has been celebrated in Bauchi in northern Nigeria with traditional horse riders parading through the streets.

    Children climbed a statue in the city to catch a glimpse of them:

    Children

    Some residents told me that they were happier this year because the celebrations are taking place in a peaceful atmosphere, unlike past Eids that were marked with fear, tension and violence.

    Horsemen in Bauchi, Nigeria

    The Islamist group Boko Haram has targeted Eid events in the past with bomb and gun attacks.

    But the residents said that this year the festivities had been dampened by the high cost of living.

    Watch the parade below: 

    Video content

    Video caption: Eid celebrations in Nigeria's Bauchi city
  3. IAAF call for increase in Kenya's Jeptoo ban

    The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to increase the ban imposed on Kenyan athlete Rita Jeptoo to four years.

    The two bodies held a hearing today to discuss the athlete's two-year ban imposed for failing a drugs test in 2014.

    Jeptoo, who is appealing for her original ban to be lifted, says she may have been prescribed the drugs at a local hospital after a road accident.

    She briefly joined today's hearing by telephone but opted to leave after opening statements as it was reportedly conducted in French which she finds hard to understand.

    The CAS panel decided to proceed with the hearing despite her absence.

    Athletics Kenya did not participate in the hearing despite previously announcing that they would attend.  

    Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons, became Kenya's first high-profile athlete to fail a test. 

    For more background, read this BBC story

    Rita Jeptoo
    Image caption: Rita Jeptoo celebrates winning the Chicago Marathon in 2014
  4. Nigerian killed in racist attack fled Boko Haram

    Emmanuel Chidi with his partner Chinyery
    Image caption: Emmanuel Chidi with his partner Chinyery

    Emmanuel Chidi, the 36-year-old migrant who was killed in Italy on Tuesday (see earlier post), fled Nigeria with his partner Chinyery, 24, after their families came under attack from Islamist group Boko Haram.

    Their families were killed in an attack on a Nigerian church in 2015, Italian media reported.

    As the couple made their way across the Mediterranean, their baby died.

    They finally arrived in Fermo, on Italy’s west coast, last November and were taken in by a local Christian charity.

    They had a wedding ceremony in January, conducted by local priest Father Vinicio Albanesi, which was unofficial because they had lost their documents, Rai TV reported.

    What happened on Tuesday evening is unclear.

    Police say a row broke out when racist abuse was hurled at Mr Chidi’s partner.

    The attacker, who has now been arrested and charged, is believed to have subjected Chinyery to racist chanting and then grabbed her.

    At that point the traffic pole was pulled out of the ground as Mr Chidi and his attacker came to blows. He was taken to hospital in a coma but never recovered.

    The hashtag #Emmanuel is now trending across Italy.

    Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is among many across Italy who have taken to social media to express disgust at the killing:

    View more on twitter

    Visiting the town, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano told reporters, that the seed of racism had to be stopped before it could bear fruit and also announced that Mr Chidi's partner had been granted refugee status.

    Read the BBC News story for more

  5. Workers of Gambian origin killed in UK collapse

    Onlookers at the site in Birmingham, UK
    Image caption: Friends of the victims said they had been celebrating Eid with the men yesterday

    In the UK five workers have been killed at a recycling site in Birmingham when a retaining wall holding scrap metal collapsed.  

    The Press Association is reporting the men killed are believed to be Spanish nationals, originally from The Gambia.

    They were working next to a "large concrete structure containing metal" when it collapsed, said the fire service.

    The BBC's Andrew Dawkins at the scene says dozens of friends and relatives of the victims have been anxiously waiting outside the plant during the recovery operation.

    One of them, Lang Dampha, says two of the dead were his lodgers - and that he had known one of them since childhood.

    "I feel sad about it. We come from the same town - Noo-Kunda in Gambia," he said.

    Another man in the crowd told our reporter that the five men who died were from different families, but all knew each other well through attending mosques in the city.

    Read the BBC News story for more

  6. Israeli PM meets Ethiopian palace lions

    Lions in Ethiopian palace

    One of the titles that Ethiopia’s last emperor held was “Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah” – and to this day there are lions that live in the palace grounds in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

    Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tweeted this footage about his introduction to the big cats:

    View more on twitter

    But he wasn't as brave as Ghana's independence leader Kwame Nkrumah, who actually petted Emperor Haile Selassie's pet lion - watch the clip from 1958 below:

    View more on youtube
  7. Nigerian police hunt for missing king

    Police officers in Ondo State in south-western Nigeria are hunting for the traditional ruler Oba Abiodun Zachaus Oyewumi who it is reported to have been kidnapped, the Vanguard newspaper reports.

    Oba Oyewumi was taken from his palace on Monday night by a group of heavily armed men who also stole personal belongings, according to the Sahara Reporters news site.

    The police commissioner of information in Ondo told the BBC that they were investigating "a case of abduction" and hoped to rescue the victim unhurt. 

    Speaking to Nigeria's Nation Online in May, the 90-year-old monarch said he believed that his simple approach to life had greatly helped him handle the affairs of his town.

    He said his leadership had been made easy because he enjoyed promoting local interests.  

    These pictures from an exhibition by photographer George Osodi give a rare glimpse of Nigeria's many regional monarchs, who although they have no constitutional power wield great influence. Some rule over large regions, while others are traditional rulers of a village or town.

  8. African Union 'to leave Somalia by December 2020'

    The African Union says it plans to withdraw its 22,000-strong force from Somalia by the end of 2020, the Associated Press news agency reports.

    Under its exit strategy, security responsibilities will be transferred to Somalia's military gradually between 2018 and December 2020, an AU Security Council statement is quoted as saying.

    The first contingent of AU troops arrived in Somalia in March 2007 - and has since expanded as Somalia's neighbours have tried to help the country battle the Islamist militant group, al-Shabab.

    The force, known as Amisom, has suffered some serious attacks this year - and Uganda, the biggest contributor, has already announced it will withdraw its soldiers by December 2017.

    AU soldiers in Kismayo, Kenya
    Image caption: Amisom has helped push al-Shabab out of most of Somalia's major towns

    Attacks on Amisom troops:

    2016

    • 9 June: Al-Shabab said they killed 60 Ethiopian soldiers in Halgan - Ethiopia denied any soldiers were killed
    • 21 April: Six Ethiopian troops killed in blast in Bay Region
    • 22 February: 15 Ethiopian troops dead in clashes in Lower Shabeelle
    • 15 January: Scores of Kenyan troops killed in an attack on base in El Adde

    2015

    • 1 September: More than 20 killed in suicide attack on base in Janale, including at least 12 Ugandan troops
    • 26 June: At least 50 Burundian troops killed in attack on base near Mogadishu

    2011

    • 20 October: 70 Amisom and Somali troops killed in clashes in Mogadishu.
  9. Free train travel in Nigeria

    Isa Sanusi

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Abuja railyway station

    Free transport and working trains – what more of an Eid gift could Nigerians wish for?

    In Abuja today, a free train service began between the capital and Kaduna to the north.

    Many people who work in Abuja actually live in Kaduna because of the high cost of housing. Their families stay in Kaduna and they commute home for the weekends.

    In recent years, traffic had also made the road from Abuja to Kaduna dangerous, with fatal accidents recorded on an almost daily basis.

    So there was great excitement this morning when officials allowed people to use the new Chinese-built railway link that has just been finished. It will be officially opened by President Muhammadu Buhari at the end of the month.

    Abuja railway station

    Until then, the Nigerian Railway Corporation says commuters can travel the 186km (115 miles) journey, which takes two hours, for free.

    Inside one of the new trains

    The project is part of a rail infrastructure plan that will connect the southern cities of Lagos, Port Harcourt, Warri with the more northern cities of Abuja, Kaduna, Kano and Bauchi.  

    Train in Abuja, Nigeria
  10. Libya denies Gaddafi's son has been freed from jail

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent

    Saif al-Islam
    Image caption: Saif al-Islam was captured in November 2011 by a militia from Zintan

    Officials in western Libya have denied that Saif al-Islam, son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, has been freed.

    France 24, quoting his new lawyer, reported yesterday that he had been released from jail in April.

    A senior local official in Zintan, where he is being held, told the BBC:

    Quote Message: This is a rumour that has been plaguing Zintan for months. This will not be the last time, I do not understand the motive of this lawyer."

    Last year, a court in the capital, Tripoli, sentenced Saif al-Islam to death over war crimes linked to the 2011 revolution.

    But the militia group that captured him, based in Zintan, has refused to hand him over.

    In the years before the uprising that killed his father, Saif al-Islam was known for trying to introduce political and economic reforms.

    But as people called for the fall of Gaddafi's rule - he stood by him until the end.

  11. Gambia's Modou Barrow signs new Swansea deal

    Modou Barrow
    Image caption: Barrow was the first Gambian player to score in the English Premier League

    Gambian winger Modou Barrow has signed a new three-year deal with Swansea City, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

    Barrow has also added an additional one-year extension which sees him commit to the club until June 2019.

    He made 25 appearances for Swansea in all competitions last season.   

    The Welsh side, which finished 12th in the league table, will play their 2016-17 league opener against newly promoted Burnley on 13 August.

    Read the BBC Sport story for more

  12. Ancient ties between Ethiopia and the land of Israel

    Damian Zane

    BBC News

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Ethiopia and we posted earlier about the historical ties between the two countries - going back to the 1960s.

    But the connection, according to the Bible, is much older than that.

    Kings Chapter 10 tells the story of how the Queen of Sheba, who according to Ethiopian tradition came from Aksum in the north of the country, visited King Solomon in Jerusalem.

    The Ethiopian story, but not the Bible, then goes on to say that she became pregnant by Solomon, travelled back to Aksum and gave birth to a son, Menelik.

    Menelik then went on to found the dynasty of Ethiopian emperors who continued until Haile Selassie, who was overthrown in 1974.

    It is also believed that Menelik went to Jerusalem and brought back the biblical Ark of the Covenant (containing the 10 Commandments), which is now housed in a building in Aksum.

    Queen of Sheba and Solomn
    Image caption: The meeting between the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon has been recreated many times in art
  13. Nigerian striker Musa in Leicester

    Nigerian striker Ahmed Musa is in England ahead of his medical with Leicester City on Friday. 

    His former club CSKA Moscow and the Foxes have agreed on an undisclosed fee for the Nigerian international thought to be around £16m.

    Musa joined CSKA in 2012 and scored 54 goals in 168 games, and has scored 11 times in 58 appearances for Nigeria since making his debut in 2010.  

    Read more on this story:

    Musa Ahmed
  14. Marvel's new Iron Man is a young black girl

    The US Comic book maker Marvel has a new character - a young black girl, who will join the adventures in the latest episode of the series.  

    Her name is Riri Williams and she's a 15-year-old Chicago-born science genius studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

    Iron Man writer Brian Michael Bendis told Time Magazine that he came up with Williams' character after being struck by the "chaos and violence" of Chicago while working there.

    "And this story of this brilliant, young woman whose life was marred by tragedy that could have easily ended her life, just random street violence, and went off to college was very inspiring to me."

    Read more on this story:

    Marvel comics new character Riri Williams
    Image caption: Riri Williams is a science genius
  15. Israeli PM 'gets a history lesson'

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently addressing parliament in Addis Ababa.

    It seems rain has not affected play on the last leg of his African tour – the umbrellas were out for his inspection of the guard of honour outside the Ethiopian National Palace.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspecting an Ethiopian guard of honour

    He held talks with his Ethiopia counterpart,  Hailemariam Dessalegn, with whom he seemed to enjoy a good rapport:

    L: Benjamin Netanyahu and R: Hailemariam Dessalegn

    Ethiopia's ties with Israel could go back a very long way.  Ethiopia's royal family, overthrown in the 1974, based their right to rule on a dynastic line stretching back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba - as Mr Hailemariam appears to be pointing out in these tweeted photos:

    View more on twitter

    For more on the Israeli leader's comments about Ethiopian Jews, see earlier post.

  16. Olympic basketball: Angola, Senegal and Tunisia out

    Nick Cavell

    BBC Africa Sport

    Senegalese basketballer Antoine Mendy
    Image caption: Fiba said despite losing, Senegal could go home "with their heads held high"

    Africa’s hopes of having a second team in the men’s Olympic basketball tournament ended today as Senegal lost 68-62 to Turkey at a qualifying event in the Philippines.

    It means they have been knocked out of the tournament after they also lost to Canada yesterday.

    Angola and Tunisia also lost both their games at two other qualifying events and so African champions Nigeria will be the only team from continent in Rio in the men’s tournament. 

    Women’s African champions Senegal are also heading to Brazil for The Games that officially start on 5 August.

  17. Africa-Asia ivory crime networks: Four things we've learnt

    The East Asian ivory smuggling networks have expanded across Africa, a new report has found.  

    Traffic, a wildlife trade investigation agency, says its findings were based on the increasing number of Chinese and Vietnamese nationals arrested during illegal ivory seizures.

    "At the present time, Asian criminal networks, often in collaboration with local political and economic elites, completely dominate the supply of raw ivory out of Africa," the report prepared for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) said.  

    Here are four interesting facts from the report:

    1. The Togo connection: Togo in West African has become the latest hub for shipping large consignments of ivory, often trafficked from across the continent. It is then shipped from the port in Lome to Asia where ivory carvings are prized as status symbols.

    2. African ivory processing: It’s not just raw ivory that’s being trafficked. Now things like jewellery and chopsticks are being made in countries including Angola, Congo, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe – with direct Chinese involvement - and then trafficked.

    3. Mozambique magnet: Mozambique is the favourite place for East Asian syndicates trying to smuggle ivory and rhino horns into Asia mainly because ivory traffickers are not normally imprisoned. It is also estimated that poachers have killed nearly half the country's elephants for their ivory in the past five years.

    4. Ethiopia favoured air transport hub: Another favourite with smugglers is Ethiopia's Bole International Airport in the capital, Addis Ababa - because of its good links connecting Africa and Asia. In 2014, 87% of the seizures in Ethiopia involved Chinese nationals.

    Seized ivory haul in Kenya
    Image caption: African governments are finding it hard to stop the traffickers
  18. Ethiopian Jews 'to be moved soon'

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his government is still committed to reuniting thousands of Ethiopian Jews with their families who are now in Israel.

    At least 9,000 Ethiopians who claim Jewish ancestry are waiting to immigrate to Israel, after years of waiting.

    Speaking at a joint press briefing with his Ethiopian counterpart, he said the exercise would be conducted soon, though he failed to outline any clear timelines:

    Quote Message: On bringing to Israel members of the [Ethiopian Jewish] community that are still here, we are doing so, we have a commitment, we are fulfilling it on a humanitarian level of family reunification, it will not happen in the future it will happen now under the current budget - we are committed to a certain programme and we are advancing it."

    At least 130,000 Ethiopian Jews are now living in Israeli since the first airlift begun in 1984.

    Israeli government has come under intense criticism for its alleged failure to absorb and fully integrate the Ethiopian Jews into Israeli society.

    Over the past months, hundreds of Ethiopian Jews have taken to the streets in Israel part in protests that have turned violent, alleging racism.

    During the meeting, Mr Netanyahu also called for closer co-operation between Israel and Africa in tackling terrorism and boosting trade ties.

    Two bilateral agreements to improve agriculture and information technology were also signed.

    Read more: Plight of Ethiopian Jews in Israel

  19. Suspected killer of Nigerian migrant arrested in Italy

    James Reynolds

    BBC News, Rome

    Italian police have arrested a man accused of killing a 36-year-old Nigerian immigrant. 

    Emmanuel Chidi and his wife had been living in Italy since September 2015, after fleeing conflict in Nigeria. 

    He was attacked on Tuesday afternoon in the central Italian town of Fermo.

    Reports say that a local man racially insulted Mr Chidi's wife - this provoked an argument. 

    There are conflicting accounts of what happened next. It seems that one of the men picked up a traffic pole and attacked the other. 

    Mr Chidi died from his injuries a day later. The police have now arrested the suspected attacker - Amadeo Mancini - and charged him with racially motivated manslaughter. 

    His lawyer said he "did not mean to kill" and that he had punched the Nigerian in self defence.  

    The killing has drawn widespread attention and condemnation in Italy. Many worry that it is a sign of tensions created by the arrival of so many migrants from Africa.

  20. Zimbabwe shutdown threat: Five demands

    Zimbabweans on social media are patting themselves on the back after a successful campaign to "shutdown" the country on Wednesday.

    The stay away was organised, mainly through the messaging site WhatsApp, to protest at the lack of jobs and unpaid wages.

    It is not clear which group is behind the campaign, but several activists have issued five demands to be met in the next few days otherwise "the citizens will be shutting Zimbabwe down again on Wednesday 13 July and on Thursday 14 July", one tweet said:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    The demands are:

    1. Pay civil servants their outstanding June salaries - and ensure payments will never be late again
    2. Reduce roadblocks and stop officers harassing people for cash
    3. President Robert Mugabe should fire and prosecute corrupt officials
    4. Plans to introduce bond notes to ease a cash shortage should be abandoned
    5. Remove a recent ban on imported goods, which is a long list from coffee creamers and body cream to beds and fertiliser.