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  • South Africa's Zuma denies receiving bribes from private companies

    South Africa’s scandal-prone President Jacob Zuma told lawmakers on Thursday that he had received no payments from private companies or individuals during his tenure.

    “I did not receive any payments from private individuals or companies during my tenure as president of the Republic of South Africa, other than those disclosed or reported to the necessary authorities,” he said in an answer to a question in parliament.

    Zuma is accused of being influenced by the wealthy Gupta family in making government appointments and awarding contracts by state-owned firms.

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  • Trump calls for death penalty for NY attacker

    President Donald Trump called Thursday for the man charged over the New York truck attack to be executed, as a picture emerged of an Islamic State group sympathizer radicalized after struggling with life in America.

    Trump had said he was considering sending Sayfullo Saipov, 29, to the military's notorious Guantanamo Bay detention center, but backed off the idea in a blast of early morning tweets calling for the death penalty.

    "Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system," Trump tweeted.

    "There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!"

    Saipov appeared in a New York courtroom Wednesday on terrorism charges one day after he allegedly drove a rented pickup truck down a mile-long stretch of bike path in Manhattan, where children and their parents were preparing to celebrate Halloween.

    Eight people were killed, five of them friends from Argentina celebrating 30 years since their high school graduation.

    Twelve other people were wounded in the worst attack in New York since the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda hijackings. It ended when police shot Saipov in the abdomen.

    AFP / Jewel SAMADThe Home Depot pickup truck used in the attack

    Federal prosecutors have announced two charges so far: provision of material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, and violence and destruction of motor vehicles.

    The maximum punishment is life imprisonment, but attorneys could potentially seek the death penalty. A capital punishment case would be extremely rare in New York.

    The charging document said Saipov, an Uber driver and father-of-three who emigrated in 2010, confessed to acting in the name of IS and "felt good about what he had done," even demanding to hang an IS flag in his hospital room.

    He first planned an attack in the United States a year ago, before settling two months ago on a vehicle strike, choosing Halloween deliberately in a bid to kill as many people as possible, the complaint alleged.

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  • Togo's Gnassingbe and Guinea's Conde start Liberia mediation effort

    Embattled president of Togo Faure Gnassingbe and his Guinean counterpart Alpha Conde have entered Liberia’s political standoff ‘acting in a mediatory role,’ the AFP news agency has reported.

    Conde is in the team in his capacity as Chairman of the African Union (A.U.) whiles Faure is participating as leader of the regional political bloc of heads of state, ECOWAS.

    The Togolese leader confirmed via his official Twitter handle that the team had met with Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in order to discuss ways to complete the presidential polls in peace and in the interest of all parties. Reports indicate that they have also held talks with key members.

    The Liberian situation is currently at a stage where chances of the November 7 presidential run-off taking place is increasingly becoming slim. The country’s top court has halted the polls until it considers a challenge to first round results by a losing candidate who has alleged fraud.

    Third-place finisher Charles Brumskine’s Liberty Party contested the results of last month’s vote, which set up the run-off between former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai.

    The election is meant to usher in Liberia’s first democratic transition since 1944, after periods of military rule and civil war that ended in 2003.

    Faure who took over the ECOWAS Chairperson post from outgoing Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has political issues back home where an opposition coalition is pushing for him to step down immediately.

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  • Kenyatta wins 'chaotic' repeat poll with over 98%

    The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Monday declared incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta as winner of the poll re-run ordered by the Supreme Court.

    Deaths were recorded amid running battles between opposition members and the security forces as Kenyans returned to the polls to elect their president.

    The process was boycotted by the main opposition, NASA coalition led by former Prime Minister, Raila Amolo Odinga.

    Odinga called on all his supporters to “hold vigil and prayers away from polling stations”. That admonition has not been heeded as supporters continue to engage police in running battles.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta has on the other hand called on Kenyans to come out and vote. He said Kenya has underlined its democratic credentials with the process warning against tribal politics.

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  • Eritrea protest aftermath: military makes arrests, internet cut reported

    Eritrean authorities have made arrests following Tuesday’s rare protest in the capital, Asmara. The BBCTigrinya service said the military carried out overnight swoops where an undisclosed number of people were rounded up.

    Security forces fired gunshots to disperse protesting students who were resisting government involvement in affairs of their school reports say.

    The Diae Al Islam school is a community-funded institution whose leadership, parents and students have all kicked against attempts to regulate the school.

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