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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Medieval coin from Africa found in Australia

    What is a medieval coin from Africa doing in northern Australia?

    That's the question being asked after the discovery of a 1,000 year old coin, which could rewrite the history of Australia.

    Scientists believe it to be a coin from Kilwa, more than 10,000km (6,000 miles) away in what is now known as Tanzania, dating from before the 15th Century. We spoke to the historian Mike Owen and first to the archaeologist, Mike Hermes.

    Video content

    Video caption: Discovery could change what we know about the history of Australia
  2. Dubai plane crash kills Britons and South African

    View of Dubai airport with city in background
    Image caption: Dubai airport was closed for a short while following the crash

    Three Britons and a South African have been killed after a small plane crashed near Dubai International Airport.

    The four-seat plane came down at about 19:30 local time, killing the pilot, co-pilot and two passengers.

    The flight was owned by UK-based Flight Calibration Services. It flies staff around the world to inspect and calibrate navigation aids, which include radars and landing systems for airports and airfields.

    Flights were delayed and diverted as the airport - one of the world's busiest, based on international passenger traffic - was closed for 45 minutes.

    US engineering and aerospace company Honeywell said it had hired Flight Calibration Services and the DA42 plane for work in Dubai.

    "We are deeply saddened by today's plane crash in Dubai, and our heartfelt condolences are with the victims' families," it said in a statement.

    Civil aviation officials in Dubai said an investigation was under way into the cause of the crash.

  3. Facebook bans Israeli firm over 'fake Africa accounts'

    Larry Madowo

    BBC Africa Business Editor

    Facebook logo
    Image caption: Facebook has been under pressure to stamp out misinformation on its platform

    Facebook has banned an Israeli company it believes was behind hundreds of fake accounts, pages and groups mostly targeting elections in six African countries.

    The American social media company says the people behind the network of what it calls "coordinated inauthentic behaviour" pretended to be locals in Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia.

    They posted frequently about political news such as elections and included candidate views and criticisms of political opponents.

    They had names like Hidden Africa and the Secret Democratic of Congo. One post seemed to support of Felix Tshisekedi, the new president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and urged an opposition candidate to concede victory.

    Facebook reported in a blog post that the manipulative activity originated in Israel and also covered Latin America and south-east Asia.

    The social network's head of cyber-security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, wrote that 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts, Facebook pages, groups and events had been removed for abusing its platform.

    The people behind the phantom accounts spent around $812,000 between December 2012 and April 2019.

    Five of the six African countries targeted have had elections since 2016 and Tunisia will hold national polls later this year.

    A website for a Tel Aviv-based company called Archimedes Group, which appears to be the same one banned by Facebook, says it is a leader in large scale campaigns worldwide.

    The only product listed on the website is called Archimedes Tarva, described as capable of large scale platform creation and unlimited online accounts operation.

    The BBC has approached Archimedes Group for comment.

    The now-defunct Cambridge Analytica was also accused of exploiting Facebook's platform to interfere in African elections in countries like Nigeria and Kenya.

    Officials at Facebook previously told the BBC they were working to combat misinformation in major African elections.

    In the just concluded South African election, Facebook ran advertisements in national newspapers warning against the spread of fake news on WhatsApp, which it owns.

    Read: Fake news 'is killing Nigerians'

  4. Friday's wise words

    Our African proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: A strong man is remembered on the day of the fight, and a glutton on the day there is surplus pounded yam." from Sent by Hockens Obeng Ameyaw in Sunyani, Ghana.
    Sent by Hockens Obeng Ameyaw in Sunyani, Ghana.
    Illustration
  5. Good morning

    Welcome back to BBC Africa Live for the latest news and trends from around the continent.

  6. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back on Friday

    BBC Africa Live

    Damian Zane

    That's all from BBC Africa Live for now. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast and check the BBC News website.

    A reminder of our wise words of the day:

    Quote Message: If our feet leave the earth we no longer live in peace." from A Sudanese proverb sent by Tut John Nyuon in Gambella, Ethiopia.
    A Sudanese proverb sent by Tut John Nyuon in Gambella, Ethiopia.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this picture sent by our reporter Alastair Leithead of protesters in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, breaking the fast with an Iftar meal:

    People eating a meal
  7. Pupil 'shot dead' at DR Congo protest

    Emery Makumeno

    BBC Africa, Kinshasa

    A 12-year-old schoolboy has been shot dead in Kiwanja, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as police cracked down on a demonstration against repeated kidnappings of civilians by gunmen in the local area, Joseph Tsongo, a local journalist, has told the BBC.

    The demonstration had been mainly peaceful apart from some tyres being burnt and the officers who came and started shooting in the air, he added.

    It is not clear if the victim was taking part in the protest or just a bystander.

    Local activist Jonas Pandasi said the policeman responsible had been identified and arrested.

    This was the second protest this week by people in the area complaining about kidnappings.

    Map showing location of Kiwanja
  8. Eyewitness: The barricades in Khartoum

    Alastair Leithead

    BBC Africa correspondent, Khartoum

    Protesters on baricades

    The barricades spread to Nile Street in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, this week, which is outside the main protest area, and the street has become a focus of the clashes between protesters and soldiers.

    People have been killed and injured as troops have tried to clear routes newly blocked amid frustration over the lack of progress in negotiations.

    When a breakthrough in talks came the protesters didn’t move back to the main sit-in area outside the military headquarters that they’ve occupied for weeks.

    It’s not clear if it's the stubborn protesters or the heavy-handed soldiers who are more to blame.

    But the way the stand-off today on Nile Street was dealt with gives hope there’s still space for the talks to restart and the tricky issue of who is on the ruling sovereign council can continue.

    The military backed down.

    Troops keen to reopen the road stopped short of using force and gave opposition leaders the chance to negotiate with their own protesters.

    They didn’t immediately succeed in persuading them to abandon the barricades and move back to a “protest zone” agreed with the ruling generals.

    These men banging sticks and chanting resolutely have lost friends in clashes and still don’t trust anyone - particularly the military.

    It does however show there’s room for manoeuvre and if the army can be reined in and the protesters pulled back to the sit-in site there’ll be space for the talking to begin again - as long as both sides have honourable intentions.

  9. 'I've not been eclipsed by Bobi Wine'

    Uganda's veteran opposition leader reflects on the rising political star

    Kizza Besigye meets supporters
    Image caption: Kizza Besigye was mobbed by supporters on his way to court in 2016

    Uganda's opposition leader Kizza Besigye once grabbed the headlines as he led mass protests and frequently got arrested.

    But over the last two years musician-turned-MP Bobi Wine has garnered more attention as the voice of the opposition to the long rule of President Yoweri Museveni.

    He has led a series of protests, said he was tortured by the security forces and is currently facing treason charges.

    So does Mr Besigye feel eclipsed by the newcomer?

    "Eclipsed from what?" he asked, responding to the question on the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

    "It's rather a misplaced concept. The struggle that is going on is not a struggle for leadership.

    "The contestation that is going on is for liberation, so that the country can be truly under the control of citizens.

    "There is interaction between all the fighters for freedom to regain that freedom."

  10. South Sudan sacks diplomats for not working

    BBC World Service

    The government of South Sudan says it has sacked 40 of its overseas diplomats after they failed to show up for work.

    In a memo, the South Sudanese foreign ministry said they had been on unauthorised leave for months or even years.

    It said that after fruitless attempts to contact and persuade them to return to work in the capital, Juba, it had no option but to fire them.

    The statement said some diplomats had been posted to embassies in the US and UK, other in missions in Uganda and Kenya.

    In the last three years, Juba has closed and downsized embassies because of the economic damage caused by five years of conflict.

    Nearly 400,000 people have been killed and a third of its population displaced.

    South Sudan flag
    Image caption: The government says the diplomats have not been representing their country
  11. Formula 1 in Morocco Grand Prix talks

    Formula 1 is in talks to hold a race in Morocco, according to commercial boss Sean Bratches.

    If the event comes off, it would be the first F1 race held in Africa since the 1993 South African Grand Prix.

    "We race on five continents and the last habitable continent that we don't race in is Africa," Bratches said.

    "We have proactively been approached by Morocco and Marrakech to take a grand prix there. There is a high degree of interest."

    Bratches said it was "really important" for F1's owner Liberty Media to have a race in Africa and that they were also looking at a race in South Africa "in the short term".

    The last grand prix to be staged in Morocco was in 1958.

    Racing car on a track
    Image caption: Formula E already holds races in Marrakech, Morocco

    Read more from BBC Sport

  12. South Africa slashes cost of inauguration

    South Africa will be spending 100m rand ($7m; £5.5m) less on President Cyril Ramaphosa's inauguration compared to the cost of swearing in Jacob Zuma for his second term five years ago.

    Announcing the change, Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said spending had to be reduced because "we all know there is economic difficulty in this country".

    View more on twitter

    As part of the cost-cutting measures, only southern African heads of state and the leaders of continental and regional bodies have been invited to the inauguration on 25 May.

    The government has also opted for a sports stadium in the capital, Pretoria, rather than the area in front of the Union Buildings, the office of the presidency, because it was cheaper to prepare, Dr Dlamini-Zuma explained.

  13. IS militants 'behind deadly Niger attack'

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    The Islamic State group (IS) has said it was behind a deadly attack that killed at least 28 soldiers in Niger near the border with Mali.

    In a statement, IS said its militants targeted a convoy of the Niger army in Tongo Tongo on Tuesday, killing or wounding 40 soldiers.

    The ambush took place in an area where four US troops were killed in October 2017 when a joint patrol of Niger troops and US special forces came under attack by militants.

    The latest IS statement also highlighted an attack by the group on Monday, saying its militants targeted Niger security forces in the vicinity of Koutoukale prison near the capital, Niamey, allegedly killing or wounding many of them.

    According to local media, the maximum security prison was targeted by heavily armed militants resulting in the death of one soldier.

    Niger authorities said they foiled the "terrorist" attack.

    IS has significantly stepped up its attacks in West Africa this year, particularly in Nigeria and its borders with Niger.

    Read: Why the Sahara is terror's new front line

  14. 'Bodybuilding helped me overcome my depression'

    Sheetal "Strong" Kotak was diagnosed with depression 10 years ago, but has since turned to bodybuilding to find both physical and mental strength.

    She tells BBC Africa why bodybuilding is her temple.

    Video content

    Video caption: 'Body building helped me overcome my depression'

    Video producers: Njoroge Muigai and Millicent Wachira

  15. MTN lists on Nigeria stock exchange

    Nkechi Ogbonna

    BBC Africa, Lagos

    MTN Nigeria Ltd, a subsidiary of Africa’s largest telecommunications company MTN Group, has been listed on the the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

    With 20 billion shares being offered initially at 90 naira ($0.25; £0.20) per share and a market capitalisation of $6bn, MTN Nigeria is the second largest listing on the NSE after Dangote Cement.

    MTN Nigeria's revenue from its services grew by 13% last year, partly driven by a big rise in the money it was getting from its data services.

    The company has at times had a difficult relationship with the Nigerian authorities.

    Last year, it was fined $8.1bn, a sum Nigeria's Central Bank said had been taken out of the country illegally.

    Last year MTN also agreed to pay $52.6mi to settle the Nigerian Central Bank’s claim over historic dividend repatriations.

    Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market in Africa with nearly 60 million customers at the end of last year. The company is also listed in South Africa and Ghana, with expectations to list in Uganda following a push for local ownership by authorities in Kampala.

    MTN vendor
    Image caption: MTN is one of the largest companies in Nigeria
  16. Kidnapped Cuban doctors 'providing medical services'

    The two Cuban doctors who were abducted from a town in north-east Kenya last month are reported to be providing medical treatment in Somalia, news agency AFP says quoting Somali sources.

    The two were taken on 12 April as they were being driven to hospital in Mandera. A policeman who was escorting them was killed.

    At the time, the authorities said al-Shabab Islamist militants were responsible for the kidnapping.

    A large ransom is being demanded for their return, AFP reports security sources as saying.

    Last year, more than 100 Cuban medical specialists were brought to Kenya to improve the health service.

    Soldiers standing next to a car
    Image caption: The doctors were ambushed when they were travelling in a convoy
  17. 'I weep over Saudi drugs charge trauma'

    The Nigerian student who was held in Saudi Arabia on drug-smuggling charges has been reunited with her family.

    Zainab Aliyu spent four months in prison following the discovery of illegal drugs in a bag tagged in her name on her arrival in Saudi Arabia.

    "I cried and cried until tears wouldn't run from my eyes," she told BBC News Hausa, recalling her time in detention.

    The student was later released from detention and the charges were dropped.

    Nigerian authorities have accused a cartel in Kano of planting the drugs.

    Video content

    Video caption: Zainab Aliyu: Nigerian student's Saudi drug charge trauma

    Video produced by BBC News Hausa's Ibrahim Isa

  18. 'Heated discussion' over Khartoum barricade

    People at a barricade in Khartoum

    Our reporter in Khartoum, Alastair Leithead, has sent us an update from a roadblock.

    Earlier he told us that this particular barricade was outside the designated protest area and soldiers were urging demonstrators to remove it.

    He says that now the activists are having heated discussions with representatives from the Sudanese Professionals' Association, a leading group in the anti-Bashir movement, about pulling back to the official sit-in zone.

    They have not come to an agreement, our correspondent says.

    The civilian leaders had earlier urged protesters to stick to the area close to the military headquarters.

  19. Crocodiles kill Mozambicans looking for clean water

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    The authorities in the southern Mozambican province of Maputo say crocodiles are killing people in the Incomati river, Ressano Garcia, close to the border with South Africa.

    Four people have died in the past four months.

    The authorities say the attacks occur when people venture into the river either to bathe or fetch fresh water.

    The area is short of drinking water sources and that is why the locals try to get it from the river.

    Local administration head Monica Macheque says plans are being drawn up to provide more boreholes as well as capture the crocodiles.

    Map showing location of Rossano Garcia
  20. Niger attack 'could be response to IS call'

    Analysis

    Louise Dewast

    BBC West Africa correspondent

    The deaths of 28 Nigerien soldiers in an ambush earlier this week was the deadliest attack recorded in western Niger, where government troops and their international allies are fighting affiliates of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

    Authorities say it was a complex attack in which the militants planted improvised explosive devices.

    Despite years of heavy deployments of French, US and UN forces, the region - including Niger - remains a tinderbox.

    The group called the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has recently been subject to counter-militancy operations, mainly led by the French, making large-scale attacks against government troops difficult.

    For one expert on the region, Héni Nsaibia, a researcher at the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data group, this attack could be the result of French forces shifting its focus to central Mali, and to the recent hostage-release operation in Burkina Faso.

    He adds it could also be that militants are heeding the call of Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who in a recent video explicitly called on them to intensify attacks against France and its allies in the Sahel region.

    French soldiers in a vehicle
    Image caption: French soldiers are deployed across Niger and Mali to help deal with the Islamist militant threat