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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

  1. 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:

    Quote Message: A snake is not a rope." from A Yoruba proverb sent by Ademola Adesina in Barcelona, Spain
    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
  2. Plea to release Algerian journalist accused of spying

    Said Chitour
    Image caption: 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.

  3. Appeal to Ghana to scrap death penalty

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC Africa, Accra

    Anti death penalty protestors

    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.

  4. 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.
    Image caption: 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.

    Quote Message: 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.

  5. '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

    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?

  6. 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
    Image caption: 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.

  7. Everton players visit school in Tanzania

    Sammy Awami

    BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

    Adamola Lookman Everton player
    Image caption: 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
    Image caption: Bolasie, Baines and Lookman. greet children
  8. 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
    Image caption: 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:

    Quote Message: 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.

  9. 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.
    Image caption: 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:

    Quote Message: 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.

  10. 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:

  11. 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.

    Video content

    Video caption: This has triggered a heated debate across the country
  12. 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.

  13. 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
  14. 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.
    Image caption: Laptops were banned inside cabins on direct flights to US
  15. Riot police broke up Harare protest

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC Africa, Harare

    Poster

    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
    Image caption: 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

  16. 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.
    Image caption: 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.

    Quote Message: He is really, really good. He is close; he is closing on coming back to team training.
    Quote Message: 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."
  17. Ugandan reggae hits ground running as MP

    Bobi Wine poster
    Image caption: 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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".
    Image caption: 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..

  20. 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:

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