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China’s population falls for first time since 1961

China’s population has fallen for the first time in 60 years, with the national birth rate hitting a record low – 6.77 births per 1,000 people. The population in 2022 – 1.4118 billion – fell by 850,000 from 2021. China’s birth rate has been declining for years, prompting a slew of policies to try to slow the trend. But seven ...

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Iran sentences former president’s daughter to a 5-year prison term

The activist daughter of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been sentenced to five years in prison, her lawyer said on Tuesday. The lawyer did not give detail of the charges against Faezeh Hashemi. But Tehran’s public prosecutor indicted Hashemi last year on charges of “propaganda against the system”, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency. State media in ...

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Bodies of 28 people shot dead found in Burkina Faso

The authorities in Burkina Faso have launched an investigation into the circumstances of the deaths of 28 people whose bodies were found in the north-western town of Nouna. In a statement, the government said the killings were discovered on the night of 30 December and condemned the “unacceptable violence”. The Reuters news agency quotes prosecutors as saying that the victims were ...

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U.S. cuts off Burkina Faso from Africa duty-free trade program

The United States has dropped Burkina Faso from its AGOA trade preference program citing deep concerns over “unconstitutional change” in government in the West African country, the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office said on Sunday. Frustrations over the government’s inability to curb an Islamist insurgency spurred two military coups in Burkina Faso in 2022. Both the previous and current juntas ...

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UN Security Council urges Taliban to reverse restrictions on women

The UN Security Council has denounced Taliban government policies targeting women and girls in Afghanistan. The Taliban have banned women from attending university and working for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) within the last week. The 15-member Security Council said it was “deeply alarmed” by the increasing restrictions on women’s education. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the latest restrictions “must be revoked”. A statement from ...

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Angola’s top court orders seizure of Isabel dos Santos’s assets

Angola’s Supreme Court ordered on Tuesday the preventive seizure of assets of Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former president Eduardo dos Santos deceased in July this year. This is the second seizure of Isabel dos Santos assets in Angola since 2019.  The court order covers 100 percent of the shares of the company Embalvidro, of which the defendant is the beneficial owner as well as the balances of all bank ...

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Burkina Faso explosion: Minibus hits deadly landmine amid jihadist violence

A minibus has hit a landmine in Burkina Faso in West Africa, killing at least 10 people, officials say. Five others were wounded in the blast, which occurred in the east, near the border with Niger, on Christmas Day. The governor of the Fada N’Gourma region said the death toll could rise as some passengers were still missing. Burkina Faso ...

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Uganda arrests protesters over rising cost of living

The Ugandan police on Monday arrested at least a dozen protesters against the rising cost of living in Jinja, in south-eastern Uganda. “Eight of the leaders were arrested and will be charged with inciting violence on Tuesday, police spokesman James Mumbi told AFP. Witnesses said the protesters burned tyres and blocked a busy road in Jinja, about 80km east of ...

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Drivers queue for hours as Kenya reels from fuel shortage

Kenyan motorists endured another day of major fuel shortages on Monday, with hours-long queues and strict rationing at petrol stations as pumps across the country ran dry. The government blamed hoarding and panic buying for the snaking lines at bowsers that worsened over the weekend, but oil dealers said they were owed outstanding subsidy payments from the state. “If you ...

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African nations condemn reports of racism against students at Ukrainian border

Representatives from the three African nations on the UN Security Council — Kenya, Ghana, and Gabon — all condemned reports of discrimination against African citizens at the Ukrainian border during a meeting at the UN HQ in New York City Monday. There have been widespread reports from African students fleeing the country that they faced segregation, racism and abuse. “In the unfolding ...

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