Mourning the sisters killed as they taught handicrafts

  image captionAyesha and Irshad were buried, hours after they set out to work one Monday morning Ayesha Bibi and Irshad Bibi, who worked teaching handicrafts, were breadwinners for their family. Earlier this week the sisters were killed by gunmen in a former Pakistani tribal area where militancy is once more on the rise. Their brother Javed Khan’s voice was hoarse with grief as he told the BBC what happened. “We loved them. They brought hope and joy to our family. They left happily on Monday morning but later in…

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India in a ‘delicate phase’ of its Covid battle as cases surge

  image captionHealthcare workers are worried abut another wave After reporting a significant drop in the number of Covid-19 cases for months, some Indian states have seen a sharp uptick in infections in February. The BBC’s Vikas Pandey and Soutik Biswas report. In early February, physicians in Amravati district, some 700km (435 miles) from India’s commercial capital, Mumbai, noticed a sudden surge in the number of people suffering from Covid-19. Life in this cotton-growing district in the western state of Maharashtra had almost returned to normal after the first wave…

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Hotel Rwanda hero’s bid for Belgian trial fails

  “I am not Rwandan, I am a Belgian hostage. I was kidnapped,” Mr Rusesabagina said at the start of the trialImage caption: “I am not Rwandan, I am a Belgian hostage. I was kidnapped,” Mr Rusesabagina said at the start of the trial Rwanda’s high court has rejected a request by the man portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood film about the Rwandan genocide to move his trial on terrorism charges to Belgium. Paul Rusesabagina had said at the opening of the trial earlier this month that he…

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Cameroon soldiers ‘raped women in revenge raid’

  Cameroonian soldiers have been fighting separatists for several yearsImage caption: Cameroonian soldiers have been fighting separatists for several years Human Rights Watch (HRW) says it has gathered evidence of a revenge attack nearly a year ago by Cameroonian soldiers on a village where they raped at least 20 women. The raid on Ebam in the Anglophone South-West region, an area where separatists are fighting for an independent state of Ambazonia, was one of the worst atrocities carried out by Cameroon’s army in recent years, the rights organisation said. It…

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Bitcoin energy use ‘bigger than most countries’

image captionElon Musk made a paper profit of more than $900m following an investment in Bitcoin We’ve all heard the stories of Bitcoin millionaires. Elon Musk is the latest. His electric car company Tesla made a paper profit of more than $900m (£646m) after buying $1.5bn (£1bn) -worth of the cryptocurrency in early February. Its high profile support helped pushed the price of a single Bitcoin to more than $58,000. But it isn’t just the digital asset’s price that has hit an all-time high. So has its energy footprint. And…

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John F Kennedy: When the US president met Africa’s independence heroes

image captionPresident John F Kennedy met Ghana’s first President and leading pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah at the White House in March 1961. Before Kennedy became president in 1961, his country had made little attempt to understand the rapid changes that Africa was undergoing. By the time he was assassinated in 1963 the picture had radically changed. In his short time in office, Kennedy had received at the White House either the leader of every independent African state – numbering more than two dozen at the time – or its ambassador. image…

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The afrobeats tunes psyching up boxing champs

If someone used to work in McDonald’s and their nickname is “The Sauce” you may not necessarily expect them to be a 6ft 5in lean, mean fighting machine. But in a few weeks’ time Lawrence “The Sauce” Okolie will box for a world title for the first time. “I’m going to be bringing that world title back to Britain and I’ll be bringing it back to Nigeria.” The 28-year-old was born and raised in London but has parents from Nigeria: one Yoruba and one Igbo. “It’s a massive part of…

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Africa’s science laureate: ‘Women are as good as men’

Hulda Swai, a Tanzanian professor of life sciences and bio-engineering, has been declared the 2020 winner of the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Continental Awards for Scientific Excellence. Her work with nanotechnology has helped to study more effective anti-malarial medicines, and through the World Bank, she has helped to secure millions of dollars to fund African researchers. “I’m using nanotechnology, which is my training and expertise, to improve the availability of existing herbal extracts which are very potent but are lacking for example solubility,” she told the BBC’s Focus on Africa…

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No law says churches should pay tax and I can’t force them to – Religious Affairs Minister-designate

The Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister-designate has stated that he cannot compel churches to pay tax if mandated as Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs. Ebenezer Kojo Kum told Parliament’s Appointment Committee during his vetting Friday, that per the laws of the state, churches are not mandated to pay tax for religious activities, therefore, his outfit cannot act contrary to the laws by compelling churches to do so. “Churches, when they operate as churches are not amenable to pay taxes,” he told the Committee. This follows a controversial debate as…

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Algerians converge for huge anti-government protest

Thousands of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets of the Algerian capital, Algiers, with columns of marchers converging on the city centre. The gathering appeared to be a resumption of the weekly demonstrations on Fridays that were halted a year ago by the coronavirus pandemic. The street protests brought down President Abdulaziz Bouteflika in 2019, and then continued as the demonstrators pressed in vain for a sweeping away of the rest of the political establishment. source : bbc news

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