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New Newspaper Hits South African Streets

A new newspaper hit the streets today in South Africa. The New Age  newspaper is owned by a family said to be close to South African President Jacob Zuma but its editors say the daily will be independent. The first edition of the New Age  newspaper sold briskly in its first hours on the streets. A crisp electronic version also opened on the...

Polls in Egyptian Runoff Close Under Protest

Egypt held a second round of voting for parliamentary elections, but with two major opposition groups pulling out because of what they say has been widespread fraud. President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party is expected to win in a landslide.For many this Sunday, the pollution blanketing the capital served as a metaphor for the...

Mbeki In Ivory Coast to Mediate Presidential Standoff

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki is in Ivory Coast to help mediate the country's deepening political crisis. Mbeki arrived in Abidjan Sunday, a day after both candidates from last week's presidential election announced they had taken the oath of office.President Laurent Gbagbo was sworn in after Ivory Coast's Constitutional Council...

ECOWAS Urges Ivory Coast to Resolve Election Impasse

A top official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) told VOA the president of the commission is holding talks with all stakeholders in Ivory Coast to resolve the ongoing impasse surrounding the results of the presidential run-off vote. Sonny Ugoh, communications director of the West African sub-regional bloc, called on both...

Zimbabwean Editor Arrested Over Report

Authorities in Zimbabwe have arrested the editor of a weekly newspaper that said police are hiring "war veterans" to bolster the force ahead of possible elections.Police said Tuesday they had arrested Nevanji Madanhire of the independent Standard newspaper.  The editor's lawyer, Chris Mhike, said Madanhire has been charged with publishing false...

Human Rights Watch Warns of Shrinking Political Space in Burundi

<!--IMAGE-->   After a flawed series of elections in Burundi, Human Rights Watch says the ruling party has used its victory to shut out opposition and restrict free expression. From May until September, Burundi held a series of regional and national elections that international observers hoped would cap its transition to a full-fledged...

Sudan’s Ruling Party Welcomes IGAD Summit Recommendations

A senior member of Sudan’s ruling party has expressed confidence that both his ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) will resolve all outstanding issues ahead of the 9th January referendum. Rabie Abdelati Obeid welcomed the recommendation by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)...

Former Gambian Diplomat Says break with Iran Presidential Cover-Up

A former Gambian ambassador to the United States said President Yayah Jammeh might have severed relations with Iran to cover up his reported involvement with an arms shipment confiscated last week by Nigerian authorities. Gambia Monday night gave Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave the country. A statement issued by the Gambian foreign ministry...

Referendum Commission 'Encouraged' by Sudan Voter Registration

The spokesman for Sudan’s referendum commission told VOA his organization is encouraged by the increase in registration in the north because of what he described as an intensified media education campaign ahead of the 9th January referendum. George Benjamin said the chief of the referendum commission has urged both the governing National Congress...

Company Provides Affordable Medicines to South Africans

The chief executive officer of The Wellbeing Company, a South African-based medical trading firm, told VOA his organization’s aim is to provide “the highest quality medicines” to improve the quality of life to South Africans who cannot afford needed medications. Darryl Combe said his company is an efficient and entrepreneurial business which...

Voters Remain Pessimistic as Egyptian Elections Approach

Egypt's parliamentary elections are less than a week away and even though government officials insist the balloting will be free and fair, many Egyptians remain pessimistic the process will lead to fundamental change.Some are too busy simply trying to make a living in tough economic times to get involved in politics. Others are skeptical about the...

Nigerian Militants Say Fighters Surrendered

Nigeria's main militant group said one of its commanders and 62 of his followers were not captured by the military, but rather turned themselves in for a promised cash reward.The military had said it arrested the militants Friday in southern Nigeria's Rivers State. On Saturday, it paraded the men in front of the media at an air force base in the...

Egypt Rejects International Election Observers, Domestic Monitors Frustrated

The Egyptian government has rejected calls to allow international monitoring of parliamentary elections to be held next Sunday.  The government says foreign oversight would infringe on state sovereignty. However, there are indications that authorities are also not keen on domestic monitors. During voting for the Shura Council, Egypt's upper house...

Persecuted Journalists to Receive Awards for Their Work

The Committee to Protect Journalists lists 25 journalists from around the world who were murdered this year because of their work.  And countless others face threats, prison time and harassment.  Each year, the U.S.-based Committee honors journalists who risk their lives to do their jobs. This year, four journalists will receive the International...

Watchdog Group Calls for Media Reform in Ivory Coast

The international media watchdog group, Reporters without Borders, is calling on Ivory Coast's two remaining presidential candidates to discourage media supporters from using inflammatory language during the run-off election and, if elected, to institute media reform. Official campaigning kicks off Saturday for Ivory Coast's Nov. 28 presidential...