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  1. Law could stifle criticism of Sisi regime
  2. Madonna visits hospital in Malawi
  3. Obama suggests reading list ahead of Africa trip

Live Reporting

By Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

  1. Good morning

    Welcome back to the BBC Africa Live page, where I'll be bringing you the latest news and views from around the continent.

  2. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back on Friday

    BBC Africa Live

    Farouk Chothia

    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 our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: All monkeys cannot hang on one branch." from Sent by Anne Ngenye in Nairobi, Kenya
    Sent by Anne Ngenye in Nairobi, Kenya

    Click here to send in your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this photo of a woman making baskets used to catch fresh water crabs at her home in Malcolm Jay Town in Liberia's Grand Bassa County:

    An elderly villager, Wrusayeworie Gbogde makes baskets, made of woven palm leaves and used to catch fresh water crabs, at her home in Malcolm Jay Town, Grand Bassa County, Liberia, 07 July 2018
  3. Nigeria's first metro line opens

    Muhammadu Buhari attends a reception at the closing session of the Commonwealth Business Forum at the Guildhall in London, Britain on April 18, 2017.
    Image caption: President Buhari tooki a ride on the new train

    Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has opened the country's first metro-rail service in the capital Abuja - some eight years after the project was initiated.

    “The completion of this very important project is a dream come true,” Mr Buhari said during the opening ceremony.

    “This accomplishment clearly demonstrates our commitment to addressing critical infrastructural projects,” he added.

    Mr Buhari and other digntaries took a ride from the Abuja Metro Station to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. A second line runs between the central business district to northern neighbourhoods.

    The entire metro system, comprising 290km (180 miles), is being built by a Chinese firm at a cost of $824m (£623), Bloomberg news agency quotes officials as saying.

    It will cover the entire city and will be developed in six phases.

  4. Nigeria jails 113 for Boko Haram links

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    A court in Nigeria has jailed 113 people for links with the Islamist militant group Boko Haram as part of a series of mass trials of thousands of suspects.

    Judges at the civilian court which has been set up in a military facility in central Nigeria's Niger state gave them sentences of between 20 and 30 years for terror-related offences.

    One of those convicted took part in an attack on a military barracks from where military vehicles were stolen and used to abduct more than 200 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in 2014.

    More than 200 others have already been jailed whilst 500 were found not guilty.

    his picture taken on March 5, 2015 shows an arial view of the burnt-out classrooms of a school in Chibok,in Northeastern Nigeria
    Image caption: The raid on the boarding school in Chibok caused global outrage
  5. Historic win for SA woman at Wimbledon

    Nick Cavell

    BBC Africa Sport

    The first black South African woman to play at the Wimbledon tennis championships, Kgothatso Montjane, has won her match, beating Germany’s Katharina Kruger by two sets to one (6-3, 2-6, 6-1).

    She will now face top seed Diede De Groot of the Netherlands for a place in the wheelchair singles final.

  6. Bid to free teen jailed for killing 'rapist' husband

    Noura Hussein
    Image caption: Noura Hussein was sentenced to five years in jail

    Lawyers for the Sudanese teenager who killed her husband after he allegedly raped her have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court to demand her unconditional release.

    Judges last month scrapped the death sentence imposed on Noura Hussein, 19, and sentenced her to five years in prison.

    Judges also ordered the payment of $18,600 (£14,000) to the family of her late husband, Abdulrahman Mohamed Hammad.

    The original sentence had caused outrage, and international celebrities like Naomi Campbell and Emma Watson backed an online campaign, #JusticeforNoura, to demand her release.

    In a statement, Faiza Mohamed, the Africa director of campaign group Equality Now, said:

    Quote Message: Noura has suffered enough! One cannot be married off as a child, brutally raped and still be asked to serve a prison term and pay a fine over and above that.
    Quote Message: This appeal is therefore necessary to say - enough! The violations stop here and justice must be done.”

    In May, a court had sentenced Ms Husein to death by hanging, following her conviction for the premeditated murder of her husband.

    Ms Hussein said her husband had recruited some of his own cousins who allegedly held her down as he raped her.

    When he allegedly attempted to do the same the following day she lashed out at him with a knife and stabbed him to death.

    Read more about her story here

  7. Klaasen and Venus power into Wimbledon final

    Nick Cavell

    BBC Africa Sport

    South Africa's Raven Klaasen and New Zealand’s Michael Venus have made it to the final of the men’s doubles at the Wimbledon tennis championships after beating Denmark’s Frederik Nielsen and the UK’s Joe Salisbury by three sets to one (7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4).

    Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Michael Venus of New Zealand returns against Alex Bolt of Australia and Lleyton Hewitt of Australia
    Image caption: Raven Klaasen (L) and Michael Venus (R) are seeded 13

    It is Klaasen’s second grand slam final of his career after finishing as a runner-up at the Australian Open in 2014.

    The number 13 seeds will now play either UK’s Dominic Inglot and Croatia’s Franko Skugor (15th seeds) or the US duo of Mike Bryan and Jack Sock (seventh seeds) in the final.

    Their match has gone into a fifth and deciding set.

  8. Army sharp-shooters to protect Uganda MPs

    Yoweri Museveni gestures during his swearing in ceremony as newly elected President in Kampala on May 12, 2016.
    Image caption: President Museveni says he is worried about criminality and "terrorism"

    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has ordered extra security for Uganda's 456 lawmakers, including the deployment of sharp-shooters and armoured escort vehicles.

    The moves comes after a ruling party lawmaker was shot dead on 8 June, and the earlier killing of a senior police officer and prosecutor. The murders have remained unsolved.

    In a letter to the finance ministry, Mr Museveni said he had discussed incidents of "criminality and terrorism" with the MPs.

    He wanted the finance ministry to "act fast" and release money so that their security could be bolstered, Mr Museveni said.

    The state-owned New Vision newspaper also quoted him as saying:

    Quote Message: The MPs already have some police guards. Those will stay with them. I will, however, add two other elements: the sharp-shooters of the army and follow pick-ups that will be used by these sharp-shooters.
    Quote Message: The pick-ups will be protected, in simple ways, against small arms bullets. I can assure you, they will not be interesting targets for terrorists using Kalashnikovs [AK-47 rifles].
  9. Ghana's Opare aims for a fresh start in Belgium

    Oluwashina Okeleji

    BBC Sport

    Belgian club Royal Antwerp has signed Ghana international defender Daniel Opare on a free transfer.

    The 27-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the four-time Belgian champions.

    His move comes five months after he was told to look for a new club by German side Augsburg.

    Read the full BBC Sport story here

    Ghana's Daniel Opare
    Image caption: Ghana's Daniel Opare had not played for German side Augsburg since January
  10. 'Everything changed when I got these legs'

    South African Paralympic athlete Ntando Mahlangu only walked for the first time at the age of 10, after finally getting prosthetic legs.

    Four years later, as a 14-year-old, he won the silver medal in the T42 category 200m sprint at the Paralympic games in Rio.

    Video content

    Video caption: The 16-year-old blade runner
  11. South Sudan president's term extended

    President Salva Kiir participates in the second round of talks between two bitter rivals, aimed at ending South Sudan's four-and-a-half year brutal civil war, in Khartoum on June 25, 2018
    Image caption: President Salva Kiir has not faced the electorate since independence

    South Sudan's parliament has voted to extend President Salva Kiir's term in office until 2021 amid failure to hold elections this year.

    Mr Kiir has been in power since South Sudan's independence in 2011 and elections in 2015 were also postponed.

    The move could undermine ongoing peace talks aimed at ending almost five years of civil war in the country, says BBC World Service Africa editor Will Ross.

    Last month Mr Kiir signed a deal with his rival Riek Machar in which both agreed to a permanent ceasefire.

    The agreement was supposed to be followed by further negotiations and the setting up of a power-sharing government - with Mr Machar reappointed as a vice-president and other opposition politicians also taking up positions in an expanded cabinet.

    Mr Kiir's critics accuse him of being an authoritarian ruler clinging to power. He denies the allegation.

    The civil war was sparked in 2013 because of rivalry between Mr Kiir and this then-deputy Mr Machar, who had ambitions to succeed him.

  12. Can snowsports take off in Lesotho?

    When you think of skiing and snowboarding, you probably picture the snowy slopes of Europe and North America.

    But what about Africa? Nestled in southern Africa, the mountain kingdom of Lesotho is starting to make itself known on the snowsports scene.

    Video content

    Video caption: Africa snowsports: Is Lesotho the next top resort?
  13. Trump vows to end 'vicious' African conflicts

    President Donald Trump speaks to the media at a press conference on the second day of the 2018 NATO Summit on July 12, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium

    US President Donald Trump has vowed to help end "vicious and violent" conflicts in Africa.

    Speaking to journalists during a Nato summit in Brussels, Mr Trump said Africa was on "our very strong list" of priorities.

    He added:

    Quote Message: Africa right now has got problems like few people would understand.
    Quote Message: They have got things going on there that nobody could believe in this room.
    Quote Message: If you saw some of the things that I see through intelligence - what's going on in Africa - it is so sad, it is so vicious and violent - and we want peace.
    Quote Message: We want peace for Africa. We want peace all over the world.
    Quote Message: That's my number one goal - peace all over the world and we are building up a tremendous military because I really believe through strength you get peace.
    Quote Message: We are going to have a military like we never had before."

    The US is active in counter-terrorism operations and training in Africa. There are about 7,000 troops and 34 individual US bases or staging posts across Africa - and probably many more secret facilities.

    Last year, four members of the US special forces were killed in an ambush in Niger.

    It was the largest loss of American military life in Africa since the "Black Hawk Down" killings in Somalia 25 years ago.

  14. Ethiopia land clashes 'leave 800,000 homeless'

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Months of clashes over land in southern Ethiopia have forced more than 800,000 people from their homes, the International Red Cross (ICRC) says.

    There is a rapidly swelling humanitarian crisis in Gedeo and West Guji, where the displaced are sleeping on the floors of crowded schools, office buildings and churches and food and water are scarce, the ICRC added.

    Last year hundreds of thousands of people were displaced during clashes between ethnic Oromos and Somalis.

  15. Italy accuses migrants of hijacking rescue ship

    The migrants eventually ended up on the coastguard ship Diciotti, seen in this June file photo
    Image caption: Italy is increasingly taking a tough stand against migrants

    Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has accused some migrants of hijacking the ship that rescued them off the Libyan coast.

    It is alleged that in order to avoid being returned to Libya, at least two passengers forced the ship to turn away from the inbound Libyan coastguard.

    The 67 passengers were eventually handed over to the Italian coastguard.

    Mr Salvini called two suspects "violent hijackers, who will have to get off the Diciotti ship in handcuffs".

    Read the full BBC story here

  16. SA stars in action at Wimbledon

    Nick Cavell

    BBC Africa Sport

    Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa in action during her match against Lucy Shuker of Great Britain on day 2 of The NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters at Loughborough University on November 30, 2017 in Loughborough, England
    Image caption: Kgothatso Montjane is the first black South African woman to play at Wimbledon

    After Wednesday's heroics from South Africa’s Kevin Anderson at the Wimbledon tennis championships, two of his compatriots will soon be in action at the All England Club.

    Raven Klaasen and New Zealand’s Michael Venus are in the semi-finals of the men’s doubles and take on Denmark’s Frederik Nielsen and the United Kingdom’s Joe Salisbury – Klaasen looking to reach the second grand slam final of his career after finishing as a runner-up at the Australian Open in 2014.

    Also playing on Thursday is the first-ever black South African woman at the tournament - Kgothatso Montjane and Germany’s Katharina Krüger take part in the women’s wheelchair doubles.

    They play Netherland's Diede de Groot and Japan’s Yui Kamiji in their opening game. The winners go into the final.

    Anderson, who came from two sets down to beat defending champion Roger Federer of Switzerland, will play USA’s John Isner in the semi-finals of the men’s singles on Friday.

    Meanwhile, South Africa's president has congratulated Anderson for beating defending champion Rodger Federer in Wednesday's gripping quarter-final:

    View more on twitter
  17. Kenya fury over MPs World Cup jamboree

    Kenyans have reacted furiously to news that 20 MPs have travelled to watch the World Cup, at taxpayers' expense.

    They are watching four games, including the final, in a two-week trip to Russia estimated to be costing hundreds of thousands of US dollars.

    The MPs caught the attention of Kenyans when they posted selfies in a stadium.

    One of those who travelled, Senator Millicent Omanga, certainly seemed to be enjoying herself, as her Facebook post shows:

    View more on facebook

    Sports Minister Rashid Echesa told the BBC he had authorised only six MPs to travel, to help understand how to organise such big events.

    Kenya have never qualified for a World Cup final and are currently ranked 112 out of 206 nations by football's world governing body, Fifa.

    However, the East African nation is one of the world's most successful at athletics, and has submitted a bid to host the 2023 World Athletics Championships.

    But many Kenyans thought the trip was a waste of money, in a country where the average person lives on $150 (£113) a month.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  18. Fulham sign Ivory Coast midfielder

    BBC Sport

    Jean Michael Seri of Ivory Coast during the international friendly match between Togo and Ivory Coast at Stade Pierre Brisson on March 24, 2018 in Beauvais, France

    English Premier League newcomers Fulham have signed Ivory Coast midfielder Jean Michael Seri from Nice on a four-year deal.

    The 26-year-old, who has 18 international caps, scored 12 goals in 103 appearances for the Ligue 1 side.

    Fulham have the option to extend his contract, which runs to 2022, by a further year.

    "I'm delighted to be here, it's a new adventure that starts for me and I'm hoping it will all go well," said Seri.

    Read the full BBC Sport story here

  19. Buhari: I am a slow reader

    Cyril Ramaphosa speaks to Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja, Nigeria July 11, 2018
    Image caption: Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari (R) has been hosting his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa

    Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has given ammunition to critics who call him "Baba Go-slow" after admitting that he failed to sign a continental free-trade agreement because he is a "slow reader".

    Mr Buhari said he intends to sign the agreement, reached by African leaders at a summit in Rwanda in March, soon.

    “In trying to guarantee employment, goods and services in our country, we have to be careful with agreements that will compete, maybe successfully, against our upcoming industries,” Mr Buhari said at a news conference on Wednesday, Reuters news agency reports.

    “I am a slow reader, maybe because I was an ex-soldier. I didn’t read it fast enough before my officials saw that it was all right for signature. I kept it on my table. I will soon sign it,” he added.

    Mr Buhari was speaking during a visit to Nigeria by South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa.

    Mr Ramaphosa had earlier told Nigerian business leaders that South Africa saw huge benefits from the continental free trade deal and that a draft agreement relating to the movement of people was being reviewed.

    This was Mr Ramaphosa's first visit to Nigeria since he became president in February.

    He said South Africa wanted closer relations with Nigeria. The two countries have the biggest economies in Africa.

  20. Is Africa's richest man seeking a wife?

    Aliko Dangote attends the 'TIME 100 Gala, TIME's 100 Most Influential People In The World' at the Frederick P Rose Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City
    Image caption: Nigeria's Aliko Dangote has three grown-up daughters

    Twitter users are offering their hand in marriage to Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, after the UK-based Financial Times newspaper reported that he is on the look-out for a wife.

    “I’m not getting younger. Sixty years is no joke... but it doesn’t make sense to go out and get somebody if you don’t have the time, Mr Dangote told the newspaper.

    "Right now, things are really, really very busy, because we have the refinery, we have the petrochemicals, we have the fertiliser, we have the gas pipeline,” Mr Dangote said, adding: "I need to calm down a bit.”

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

    But some people are offended that the focus of the interview with the twice-divorced Nigerian tycoon is on his personal life:

    View more on twitter

    Well, if you want to read the interview with "Africa’s undisputed King of Cement" - as the newspaper calls him - then click here.