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  1. Tunisian MPs handed prison sentence over assault

    BBC World Service

    A military court in Tunisia has issued prison sentences to four MPs on charges of assaulting policemen last year.

    Those sentenced include Saif Eddine Maklouf, who heads the Karama Party in the dissolved parliament.

    A prominent critic of President Kais Saied, he has been sentenced to five months in jail - three other members of the party received similar sentences.

  2. SA accountant-turned-baker who makes life-size cakes

    A South African accountant-turned-baker who made a life-sized cake of Grammy Award winning DJ, Black Coffee, told the BBC’s Newsday programme that the cake was delicious and was built with metal structures to support it.

    The cake was 6.5ft (2m) tall and weighed more than 15 stone (100kg).

    “To begin I had to get metals that resembled the bone structure,”,Kurhula Makhuwele said.

    “I started with the head, that was the most difficult part because it had to look like him,” she continued.

    She said despite her focus on the aesthetics, the way the cake tastes is the most important thing.

    “Would you believe it? It was eaten on the same day that it was delivered, almost half of it.”

    Black Coffee made history in April when he became the first African artist to win a Grammy award for Best Dance/Electronic Album.

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  3. Zimbabwe lifts suspension on bank lending

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC News, Harare

    Zimbabwe's central bank has lifted the suspension on bank lending services that was meant to stop the slide of the local currency.

    Authorities have gradually walked back from the proposal.

    Inflation has surged to over 96% in the country, as the government blames currency speculators who it accuses of taking out bank loans in the local currency to buy foreign currency on the black market.

    Meanwhile some economists blame the government's control over the exchange rate for the slide in the value of the currency.

    In a social media post, Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya said that the ban would still apply to entities that are under investigation for abusing loans "to the detriment of the economy".

    On Saturday the authorities said ordinary Zimbabweans would be allowed to import certain basic commodities like cooking oil, sugar and bath soap duty free following price increases by local retailers.

  4. Ethiopia tension amid Amhara bid to register private arms

    Kalkidan Yibeltal

    BBC News

    Image caption: It’s not clear how many people carry unregistered weapons in Amhara

    Tensions are high in the northern Ethiopian region of Amhara as authorities launch a campaign to register all individual firearms in the region.

    The move comes amid fears that new fighting could break out along disputed areas in western Tigray that are currently under control of Amhara forces.

    It is not clear how many people carry unregistered weapons in Amhara, but northern Ethiopia’s bloody civil war - now in its 18th month - has prompted a surge in individual gun ownership.

    Now, those armed in the region have four days to get legal documentation for their weapons.

    Regional authorities say the move is aimed at tackling lawlessness.

    However, critics see it as part of a wider effort to control a group of loosely connected informal armed groups known as the Fano.

    The group is implicated in gross abuses by rights groups, but its supporters say it is being targeted because it is seen as a threat by the federal government in Addis Ababa.

    Recent weeks have seen continued de-escalation between the government and Tigrayan forces and an increase in the amount of aid reaching to war-torn Tigray.

    However, with Tigrayan demands to resume basic services like the internet and banking in the region still unmet, and territorial disputes between them and neighbouring Amhara still unaddressed, there is still a long way to go to end the war.

  5. Family of SA urination victim to press charges - reports

    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    Image caption: The university said the victim was in shock

    The family of a 20-year-old black student who was the victim of a suspected racial incident at Stellenbosch University will open a criminal case against the alleged perpetrator, local media report.

    He has yet to comment on the controversy, and was suspended from the university on Monday over urinating on the belongings of the black student over the weekend.

    Further action may be taken if he is found guilty, university officials who are investigating the matter, have said.

    Meanwhile the victim's family are reporting a case of damage of property to police, according to IOL’s Weekend Argus newspaper.

    The incident recorded on video, which has been widely circulated, has caused outrage at the institution, with students protesting and calling for the alleged perpetrator's expulsion.

    In a video filmed by the victim, he can be heard asking the student why he is urinating on his belongings – which included a now damaged laptop.

    Stellenbosch University – like many on social media who have seen the widely shared clip – has said the incident appears to have been racially motivated.

    In a statement Stellenbosch University spokesperson, Martin Viljoen, said the university "strongly condemns the destructive, hurtful and racist incident”.

    The victim, is receiving counselling over the incident, university officials have said.

    The incident has once again shone a spotlight on South Africa’s struggles with race decades after the end of apartheid.

  6. At least four dead after blast near Nigeria school - police

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC News, Abuja

    At least four people have been killed and a shop destroyed in an explosion near a primary school in the northern Nigerian city of Kano, police say.

    Part of the school’s roof has also been blown off by the impact of the blast.

    An investigation is under way police say, but initial reports indicate it was caused by a gas cylinder from a welding shop, which rules out an attack.

    Soon after the explosion, emergency services and security forces rushed to the scene in Sabon Gari neighbourhood.

    The authorities say there were no schoolchildren among the casualties.

    The explosion has caused a lot of tension and panic across the commercial city.

    Kano is the most populous city in northern Nigeria.

    For several years, it has been largely spared from the extremist group Boko Haram and its offshoot, the Islamic State West Africa Province, as well as armed kidnapping gangs behind deadly violence in the region.

    But nearly a decade ago a massive bomb attack by Boko Haram had killed more than 100 people in a mosque in the city.

  7. Video content

    Video caption: Sales of male grooming products surge in Africa

    African men are investing more and more money in their appearance.

  8. DR Congo marks 25 years since fall of Mobutu’s rule

    Emery Makumeno

    BBC News, Kinshasa

    Image caption: DR Congo has a national holiday on 17 May

    The Democratic Republic of Congo will on Tuesday mark 25 years since the collapse of the authoritarian rule of Mobutu Sese Seko.

    Mr Mobutu ruled DR Congo, then Zaire, for more than 30 years but fled the capital, Kinshasa, on the eve of 17 May 1997 as rebel troops advanced on the city.

    Then rebel leader, Laurent Kabila, seized power and renamed the country the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Mobutu died later that year in exile in Morocco where he was buried.

    In 2013 President Joseph Kabila said the government will repatriate the body but no action followed the announcement.

    Mobutu's critics accused him of being a ruthless and corrupt ruler who crushed internal dissent and plundered DR Congo's mineral resources.

    The 17 of May is now a national holiday when the country celebrates its armed forces. A parade is due to take place in Kinshasa to mark the day.

  9. Third of mosquito bites happen in the day - study

    BBC World Service

    Image caption: The new study suggests that malaria defences should be expanded beyond homes

    A study of biting behaviour by malaria-carrying mosquitos in the Central African Republic has found that as many as a third of blood-feeds happen indoors during the day.

    Previous research - based on the assumption that the insects bite mostly at night - has focused anti-malarial efforts on bed nets treated with insecticide.

    The new study suggests that malaria defences should be expanded beyond homes - to schools, workplaces and shops.

    Researchers writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences based their conclusions on a year-long study of mosquitos collected after biting events in the Central African Republic's capital, Bangui.

    Malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people each year, most of whom are young children in Africa.

  10. BreakingBlast near primary school in northern Nigeria

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News, Abuja

    Reports from Kano in northern Nigeria say an explosion has occurred near a primary school within the Sabon Gari area of the city.

    Details of the blast are not yet clear but several school children are thought to have been affected.

    Kano is a major commercial hub and the most populous city in northern Nigeria.

  11. Africa cities conference opens in Kenya

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Heads of State, football legends and a Hollywood star are among thousands of delegates gathering in Kenya’s lakeside city of Kisumu for the ninth Africities summit.

    The pan African conference is convened every three years to discuss the challenges of urbanisation and climate change in Africa.

    The attendees - who include the football stars Didier Drogba and Samuel Etoo, as well as the actress Lupita Nyong'o - will also discuss the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Lupita's father is the current governor of Kisumu county, which is hosting the conference.

  12. Clashes in Libya as rival PM tries to take power

    BBC World Service

    Image caption: Fathi Bashagha was named prime minister by an eastern Libya-based parliament

    There's been a brief outbreak of factional fighting in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

    Members of an eastern faction arrived overnight in an attempt to claim power.

    They then left the city after several hours of clashes.

    The armed escort had accompanied Fathi Bashagha, who was named as prime minister by a parliament based in eastern Libya.

    He has been trying to take over from Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, who was appointed prime minister after UN-brokered negotiations last year.

    Mr Bashagha says his western rival forfeited his claim to office when he failed to hold elections as scheduled.

  13. Kenya's Sauti Sol threatens to sue presidential campaign

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Image caption: Sauti Sol is one of Africa's biggest male bands

    Kenyan music band Sauti Sol has threatened to sue former Prime Minister Raila Odinga's presidential campaign for alleged copyright infringement.

    Mr Odinga’s social media accounts are said to have used Sauti Sol's song Extravaganza as a soundtrack during the unveiling of Martha Karua as the running mate for the Azimio la Umoja Coalition.

    In a statement posted on Twitter, Sauti Sol decried the use of their music in ongoing political campaigns.

    They said they were not "aligned to nor associated with the Azimio la Umoja campaign or any other political movement and/or party".

    “We are disappointed by the Azimio la Umoja campaign’s blatant disregard of our right to control the use of our copyright.”

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    The ODM party, which is part of the Azimio coalition and which Mr Odinga belongs to, said they appreciated Sauti Sol's music, and "playing their song...was a show of love for their work".

    But some online users have lashed out at the band, pointing out that Mr Odinga’s coalition had paid the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) more than $4,800 in licence fees to use copyrighted musical works in their campaign.

    The MCSK is a state body that oversees the payment of royalties to artists in the country.

    Many artists however, including Sauti Sol, have faulted the copyright body on the structure it uses to compensate them.

    Sauti Sol is one of Africa's biggest male bands and won the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards.

  14. Stray lion attack seriously injures Mozambican man

    Jose Tembe

    BBC News, Maputo

    A 40-year-old man has escaped death after being attacked by a lion in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza.

    The victim suffered serious injuries and is currently receiving medical care in a hospital.

    A local administrator said the lion that attacked the man had escaped from the Limpopo National Park.

    He said inspectors from the park and the local district government would begin measures to scare away and control stray animals that in recent days have created panic in the communities.

    Conflicts between wildlife and human beings are common in Mozambique.

    Early this year, a lion was killed after it fatally attacked three people near a reserve in the northern Niassa province.

    The most common wildlife involved in the conflict have been lions, crocodiles, hippos, buffalos, elephants and hyenas.

  15. Miss Rwanda organiser cleared of rape charge

    Jean Claude Mwambutsa

    BBC Great Lakes, Kigali

    Image caption: Dieudonné Ishimwe was arrested last month

    A court in Kigali has dropped a rape charge against the Miss Rwanda pageant organiser but said he will be prosecuted for other alleged sex crimes.

    The court on Monday also denied Dieudonné Ishimwe bail following his arrest late last month.

    Mr Ishimwe was accused of rape, soliciting or offering sexual favours and harassment against the pageant contesters.

    He denied all the charges last week.

    The judge said there was insufficient evidence to charge Mr Ishimwe with rape.

    But the judge said the suspect would face charges of soliciting sexual favours and sexual harassment.

    The accusations against Mr Ishimwe are among the most discussed topics among Rwandans on social platforms.

    The Rwandan government last week suspended the Miss Rwanda beauty pageant following the arrest of its organiser.

  16. Nigeria arrests treasury head over alleged $200m fraud

    BBC World Service

    Image caption: The EFCC has been prosecuting politicians and civil servants linked to corruption

    The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Nigeria says it's arrested the country's accountant-general, Ahmed Idris, on suspicion he diverted almost $200m (£162m) of public funds.

    The commission said Mr Idris had used family members and close associates to defraud the government and invest the proceeds in real estate in Nigeria.

    There's been no comment from Mr Idris.

    Nigeria has struggled with corruption for many years, but the EFCC has successfully prosecuted politicians, police officers and civil servants.

    Last year it recovered around $750m in assets.

  17. Nigerian military kills four Biafran separatists

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News, Abuja

    Image caption: The military said they were on patrol when they were confronted by separatists

    The Nigerian military says it's killed four members of a Biafran separatist group in a clash in the south-east.

    It said one of its patrols had been attacked and had returned fire, killing some of the group and forcing the others to flee.

    There's been no independent verification of the claim.

    Rights groups have accused the Nigerian military of using excessive force against separatists in a region which fought in vain for its independence in the late 1960s.

    It comes as the trial of the most prominent Biafran separatist leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is due to resume on Tuesday.

    There are fears the killing of members of the separatist group could spark outrage among Mr Kanu’s followers in the south-east region.

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