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Live Reporting

By Lucy Fleming and Natasha Booty

All times stated are UK

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  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: You don't call a hungry dog when empty-handed." from A Dagaare proverb from Ghana sent by Simon Aaternir in Darwin, Australia
    A Dagaare proverb from Ghana sent by Simon Aaternir in Darwin, Australia

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

    And we leave you with Yemi Alade's video for her 2014 hit Johnny about a no-good boyfriend, which has become the most-watched Nigerian music clip on YouTube with over 79 million views and counting.

    View more on youtube
  2. Mugabe wants return of death penalty

    Robert Mugabe - 1 November 2017
    Image caption: Robert Mugabe made the comments today at a funeral

    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has called for the death penalty to be reintroduced.

    His comments come after a justice ministry official revealed last month that more than 50 people applied for the post of hangman.

    The last execution in Zimbabwe was in 2005 when its hangman retired, the AFP news agency reports.

    Speaking at the burial of a political ally in the capital, Harare, the 93-year-old leader said:

    Quote Message: Let's restore the death penalty.
    Quote Message: People are playing with death by killing each other.
    Quote Message: Is this why we liberated this country? We want this country to be a peaceful and happy nation, not a country with people who kill each other."

    More than 90 prisoners are on death row, according to official figures quoted by the Associated Press agency.

  3. Ethiopia opposition leader's bail suspended

    Bekele Gerba
    Image caption: Bekele Gerba was arrested in December 2015

    Ethiopia’s Supreme Court today suspended a decision to grant bail to Bekele Gerba, first secretary general of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) party after an appeal by prosecutors.

    On Monday, the court had granted bail to the opposition leader for 30,000 birr ($1,100; £830).

    At that point his lawyer told the BBC Afaan Oromoo service that “unless there is a special condition to happen”, he expected his client to be released that afternoon.

    But then the Qilinto prison administration delayed his release because of complaints that the file number in the court's letter ordering his release was incorrect.

    Now his lawyer Abduljebar Hussein says the Supreme Court has suspended bail.

    “We are worried because we know all the charges against him were politically motivated,” Bekele’s daughter Bontu Bekele told The Addis Standard newspaper after the court granted him bail on Monday.

    The court has now adjourned until 22 November.

    Mr Bekele is a high-profile opposition leader who was arrested in December 2015 and charged with terrorism.

    In July this year, the court downgraded the charges relating to violence against the state.

  4. 'A good story is a good story anywhere'

    A new African anthology of short stories by Ghanaian author Ivor Agyeman-Duah had its launch this week in London.

    Entitled The Gods Who Send Us Gifts, the collection of stories by 20 contemporary writers includes some by established writers paired with new talent.

    Agyeman-Duah shares an excerpt from one of his favourites with Focus on Africa's Jenny Horrocks:

    Video content

    Video caption: Author Ivor Agyeman-Duah talks about his new anthology of African short stories.
  5. Keep the peace, urges Liberia's outgoing president

    Supporters of George Weah
    Image caption: Former footballer George Weah won 38.4% of first-round votes

    Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has urged for all those taking part in the delayed second-round of presidential elections to "remain peaceful".

    The Supreme Court has ordered preparations for Tuesday's presidential run-off to be halted amid allegations of fraud in the first round (see earlier posts).

    Ms Sirleaf met some presidential candidates from the first round, including George Weah, Benoni Urey, Alexander Cummings, along with the presidents of Guinea and Togo, after which she issued a statement.

    It said the transition remains on course and she had "noted that the process must be concluded in time for her to turn over to a successor".

    Liberia's outgoing president also called on "all those who took part in the process to remain peaceful, and respect the elections laws of Liberia and give the process a chance to go on peacefully and successfully".

    Her statement urges the candidates "to realise that they believe in peace, in the Liberian nation and should commit themselves to staying the course of peace and commit to remaining in the country, following the elections".

    A man gestures by an electoral poster of Joseph Boakai, presidential candidate for Liberian political party Unity Party, at the Rally Time market, in Monrovia.
    Image caption: Deputy President Joseph Boakai, shown here in on a campaign poster for "Uncle Joe", won 28.8% of the first-round vote
  6. Mozambique outrage over luxury cars

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    The Mercedes S500
    Image caption: The Mercedes S500 is reportedly one of the vehicles that has been bought

    Mozambique’s government is under fire for buying 45 cars at an estimate cost of $2m (£1.5m) in a time of austerity.

    According to independent TV station STV, the vehicles include models from Mercedez, Toyota land-cruiser, Ford Ranger, Hyundai and Peugeot.

    Civil society activists point to the fact that this year the government expects to spend almost the same amount - about $2.2m - on purchases for passenger transport.

    Government spokesperson Ana Comoana declined to comment on the matter, recommending that journalists contact the National Directorate of State Assets which ordered the vehicles.

    Economist Antonio Francisco says the revelation discredits the government’s austerity measures, as it gives the impression that the government "is joking with people".

    Last year, foreign donors suspended their budgetary support after more than $2bn in hidden debts came to light.

  7. UAE-trained Somali soldiers to fight al-Shabab

    BBC World Service

    The government of Somalia has received more than 300 Somali soldiers trained by the United Arab Emirates in the capital, Mogadishu.

    They are expected to take part in a new offensive against al-Shabab, the Islamist militant group the government blames for a truck blast which killed more than 350 people in Mogadishu last month.

    Some Somali military officials have accused foreign countries of taking in Somali troops for training, but then not handing them back to the Somali army.

  8. WhatsApp 'unsend' feature has arrived... for some

    WhatsApp logo seen on a smartphone screen

    Online messaging application WhatsApp recently launched a "delete for everyone feature" allowing users to recall messages sent by accident or to the wrong person, but it doesn’t appear to be working for all users yet.

    That's because the feature is still being rolled out.

    An FAQ page on WhatsApp’s website explains that both you and the person you’re messaging must be using the latest version of the app for it to work.

    And if you want to delete a message, it adds, you only have seven minutes to do so after sending it.

    Spare a thought, then, for the Kenyan MP for whom this news has come too late.

    Newly elected Anthony Kiai posted a message with sex tips on his constituency WhatsApp group.

    The message, in the Kikuyu language, explained in detail how to give a woman an “utterly fulfilling intimate time”, the country's Daily Nation newspaper reported.

    Some people defended the MP, including one who said: "Is sex sin!!??"

    The politician, known as "Highflyer", appeared to have forwarded the message innocently, and asked members of the group to ignore it after he realised his mistake.

  9. Men have duty to rape, says Egyptian lawyer

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    A lawyer has angered many in Egypt by saying on live television that women who wear revealing clothing, such as ripped jeans, deserve to be raped as a matter of "national duty".

    Nabih al-Wahsh made the comments during a panel debate about a draft law on prostitution, on television channel Al-Assema:

    Quote Message: Are you happy when you see a girl walking down the street with half of her behind showing?
    Quote Message: I say that when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her.”

    Mr Wahsh added that women who wear revealing clothing are "inviting men to harass them", adding that "protecting morals is more important than protecting borders".

    The National Council for Women's Rights has condemned his comments, calling them a "flagrant call" for rape which also violate "everything in the Egyptian constitution".

    The council has now filed a complaint about the statement to the Supreme Council for Media Regulation about the broadcast which aired on 19 October.

  10. Emir of Kano receives Arsenal shirt from Kanu

    The Emir of Kano, one of Nigeria’s most prominent religious leaders, was the lucky recipient of an Arsenal football shirt as this photo taken at his palace yesterday shows.

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    Two football legends, Nigeria's Nwanwko Kanu (pictured above) and Senegal’s El Hadji Diouf, presented jerseys of Arsenal and Liverpool respectively to Muhammad Sanusi as they discussed plans to help raise funds for internally displaced people in Nigeria.

    According to today’s Vanguard newspaper, the two will play in a charity football match at a stadium in Kano on 14 December, dubbed Match-4-IDPs, which will be watched by the emir.

    Kanu was part of the "Invincibles", the Arsenal side that finished the UK's Premier League season in 2004 undefeated.

    Diouf made his name in the Premier League playing for Liverpool from 2002 until 2005.

    News website has more photos of the footballers' visit to the palace in Kano.

  11. Winner Mahrez absent from Caf's African Player of 2017 list

    Riyad Mahrez seend holding his 2016 award
    Image caption: Last year's winner Riyad Mahrez is missing from the Confederation of African Football's list for 2017

    The Confederation of African Football has revealed its 30-man shortlists for the African Player of the Year and Africa-Based Player of the Year.

    Gabon's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who won in 2015, features along with a host of Europe-based stars, such as Sadio Mane of Senegal who came third in 2016.

    But 2016 winner Riyad Mahrez of Algeria is a notable absentee from the main list.

    He has largely failed to produce the quality of football that he displayed last year when playing a key role in driving Leicester to the Premier League's most unlikely title triumph.

    Four players make both the best Africa Player and best Africa-Based Player shortlists.

    They are Tunisia's Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly), South Africa's Percy Tau, Uganda goalkeeper Dennis Onyango (both Mamelodi Sundowns) and Zambia's Fackson Kapumbu (Zesco United).

    The respective winners will be announced in the Ghanaian capital Accra on 4 January 2018.

    Votes from a combination of head coaches and technical directors from national teams, as well as members of Caf's Technical and Development Committee and a panel of media experts will determine the winners.

    Read more on BBC Sport

  12. Uganda's president 'threatens state of emergency' over strikes

    Catherine Byaruhanga

    BBC Africa, Kampala

    Masvigo hospital in Uganda seen from the outside

    A row has erupted in Uganda between President Yoweri Museveni and the country's medical union about proposed nationwide strikes over pay and working conditions.

    Dr Ekwaro Obuku, head of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA), told the BBC that President Museveni warned members he would call a state of emergency and arrest doctors if they go ahead with industrial action next week.

    But the president's senior press secretary denies any threats were made and insists the meeting, held last night, was cordial.

    Doctors are protesting about poor pay - the country's highest-paid public sector medics earn just more than $1,000 (£750) per month - as well as the lack of medicines and equipment, which they say leads to unnecessary deaths.

    But some fear a national crisis could result if doctors at all public hospitals and health centres do take industrial action.

    Dr Obuku told the BBC the president’s concern showed how valuable the doctors were.

    He also said that the president promised to review doctors’ salaries and hold future meetings on the matter.

    A final decision on whether to strike or not will be voted on by UMA members on 6 November, the union says.

    A women's ward in Uganda's Masvigo hospital
  13. 'Use your brain to find work' - Congo's wooden bikers

    Video content

    Video caption: DR Congo: Goma's chukudus drive youth employment

    Recycled motorcycle and truck parts find their way into "chukudus", the mostly wooden handcrafted bikes which cost around $100 (£75) to make and help to power the economy in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Hundreds of young people, like Tumaini Obedi, make around $2 per day using the bikes to ferry goods across the city of Goma. He says:

    Quote Message: Use your brain and you will find an opportunity. Customers call me in the morning and ask me to go and help them carry stuff. I don't choose what I transport, I deal with everything."

    But because it can be a dangerous job, Tumaini says chukudus drivers look out for each other:

    Quote Message: When one of us has an accident, we collect money and go and visit them."

    Tumaini ultimately wants to buy a motorbike or a bus, but is relying on his chukudu in the meantime.

    Video journalist: Horaci Garcia

  14. Zambia opposition leader: Prison was degrading

    The leader of Zambia’s opposition party, Hakainde Hichilema, has told BBC Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur about the conditions he faced in prison, describing them as "degrading":

    Video content

    Video caption: Hakainde Hichilema: My treatment in prison was 'degrading'

    Mr Hichilema, president of the United Party for National Development, was arrested in April on charges of treason, after allegedly obstructing the presidential motorcade.

    He said that he had been left for eight days in solitary confinement in a room without electricity, water or a toilet. Mr Hichilema was released from prison in August.

    Sources say the charges against Mr Hichilema and five aides were dropped after international mediation.

    He and his aides have “strongly” denied the charges against them.

    Watch the full interview on BBC World News and the BBC News channel on Wednesday 1 November 2017, or watch again on BBC iPlayer (UK only).

  15. Student scouted by top model agency on Instagram

    A South Sudanese-American university student has been signed to one of the world's biggest modelling agencies after this photo of her went viral, with more than 22,000 likes on Instagram:

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    Anok Yai, who is 19 and has lived in the United States since the age of two, told the Washington Post newspaper:

    Quote Message: When [the Instagram post] got to a couple thousand and it just kept going higher and higher, I was surprised. And I was happy. I always wanted it to happen, but it was something I never expected."

    Ms Yai is studying towards a degree in biochemistry at Plymouth State University in the US.

    She now joins famous faces like Yasmin Warsame, Karlie Kloss and Milla Jovovich on the books of Next Models agency in New York.

    View more on twitter
  16. 'Arrests' after protests in Eritrea's capital

    Tesfalem Araia

    BBC Tigrinya service

    Eritrea's security forces are reported to have made arrests – although the numbers of those detained are not known - following Tuesday's protests in the capital, Asmara.

    The authorities also appear to have cut the internet in the wake of the unrest.

    The protests were staged by students of a community-funded Muslim school called Diae Al Islam.

    They were angered by the interference of the authorities into the governance of the school.

    When the ministry of education's attempt to regulate the school was met by fierce resistance from members of the school's board, parents and students, the school’s chairman, 90-year-old Hajj Musa Mohammed Nur, and other members of the board were reportedly arrested.

    Their arrests seem to have triggered the protests, and the security force's response - as seen in this unverified footage from Twitter:

    View more on twitter

    According to a video circulating on social media that appears to show Mr Musa speaking before his arrest, he said that the authorities had demanded that the school drop religious teachings, ban the hijab and stop the separation of sexes at the school.

    The military has reportedly conducted round-ups of young men overnight, especially in the Akhria area of the city, where the school is located.

    Protests are extremely rare in Eritrea.

    The country has no constitution that guarantees the rights of citizens, including the right to protest.

    The UN Human Rights Commission accuses the Eritrean government of committing human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

    Although no official census has been conducted since independence in 1991, Eritrea's population is estimated at more than 5 million - of which approximately half are Christian and the other half Muslim.

  17. Ghana's ex-football star Abubakar dies aged 36

    Ghanaian football has been rocked by the death of former international Yakubu Abubakar at the age of 36.

    The former Black Star, a defensive midfielder, died in a hospital in the southern Ghanaian city of Tema on Tuesday.

    Ghana's football association tweeted:

    View more on twitter

    No reason has been given for the death of Abubakar, who won 16 caps for Ghana.

    Read the BBC Sports story for more

  18. SA football boss breaks silence over rape allegations

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Danny Jordan
    Image caption: Danny Jordan is the head of South Africa's football association

    South Africa's football boss Danny Jordaan has released a statement denying he raped singer and ex-ANC MP Jennifer Ferguson, two weeks after she publicly made the allegation.

    Now living in Sweden, Ms Ferguson said the #MeToo campaign on social media had encouraged her to speak out, nearly 24 years after the alleged assault in a hotel room in the South African city of Port Elizabeth.

    The statement released today by Mr Jordaan's lawyer, Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi, reads:

    Quote Message: Ms Ferguson has alleged that Dr Jordaan raped her 24 years ago. Dr Jordaan denies that he raped Ms Ferguson.
    Quote Message: In light of the scourge of gender-based violence in this country and Dr Jordaan’s sensitivity toward the issue he had to consider carefully his response, if any, in public to the allegations made by Ms Ferguson.
    Quote Message: Dr Jordaan’s perceived silence in the face of such serious allegations is because of his empathy with the victims of gender-based violence. Dr Jordaan has, however, after careful consideration decided to assert his innocence. "

    The statement continues, saying that Mr Jordaan - a prominent member of the ANC and president of the South African Football Association - has been advised not to speak publicly about the matter other than in a court of law.

    Quote Message: Whilst Dr Jordaan supports public debate as an essential tool to highlight the issue of gender-based violence, however, in this case there are two opposing versions that cannot be resolved in the media, or elsewhere, in substitution for a court of law.
    Quote Message: Mediation, as suggested by Ms Ferguson, runs the risk that the public will perceive that there is a cover-up away from the glare of public scrutiny; and that there is one law for the powerful and another for the masses.
    Quote Message: We have accordingly, as his attorneys, advised Dr Jordaan that he must not participate in a public discourse of the allegation made against him by Ms Ferguson.
    Quote Message: From a legal viewpoint, serious allegations of the kind made by Ms Ferguson can only be ventilated in a court of law, where the rights of all parties are protected."

    Mr Jordaan was largely credited for his leadership in the hosting of the 2010 World Cup by South Africa when it came to the continent for the very first in its history.

  19. The Pope ‘condemns Somali militant attackers'

    Pope Francis waves after delivering his message to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on 1 November 2017
    Image caption: Pope Francis waving this morning after delivering his message to crowds at the Vatican

    Pope Francis on Wednesday has condemned recent attacks in Somalia, Afghanistan and New York, saying militants were abusing the name of God to justify their violence, the Reuters news agency reports.

    The pontiff is quoted as saying:

    Quote Message: I am profoundly saddened by the terrorist attacks in these recent days in Somalia, Afghanistan and yesterday in New York.
    Quote Message: We ask God to convert the hearts of terrorists and free the world of hatred and of mad murder that abuses the name of God to disseminate death."

    There were two deadly attacks on the Somali capital, Mogadishu, last month.

    Last Saturday, 27 people died in an attack by al-Shabab militants.

    A lorry bomb two weeks earlier killed more than 350 people - the deadliest attack in Somalia's history.

  20. Tunisia knife attack pictures

    This is the scene outside Tunisia's parliament where a suspected Islamist militant was arrested after wounding two policemen in a knife attack this morning:

    Police officers are seen where a suspected Islamist militant was arrested after wounding two policemen in a knife attack near the parliament building in Tunis, Tunisia 1 November 2017

    Large numbers of police have been deployed to Bardo Square, which is opposite the parliament building and close to the Bardo Museum.

    Forensic officers are also there:

    A forensic officer outside the parliament in Tunis, Tunisia
    Forensic officers outside the parliament in Tunis, Tunisia

    One of the policemen has been taken to hospital for treatment after being wounded in the neck, the interior ministry said.

    The other officer was only lightly wounded.

    Bystanders outside the parliament in Tunis, Tunisia

    In March 2015, the Bardo museum came under attack, with gunmen killing 24 people.

    Tourists also came under attack at the beach resort of Sousse later that year when 38 people were killed.

    According to the Reuters news agency, since then security has been boosted at strategic sites and the authorities have dismantled dozens of militant cells.