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International

SA mayor defends virgin scholarships for students

A South African mayor has defended the decision to award scholarships to 16 female university students, which are conditional on them remaining virgins. Dudu Mazibuko told the BBC that the scheme was intended to “reduce HIV, Aids and unwanted pregnancy” among young girls in the Uthukela district of eastern KwaZulu-Natal province. Those receiving the bursary would have to provide proof ...

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Malaysian PM cleared over $681m gift

Malaysia’s top prosecutor has cleared Prime Minister Najib Razak of corruption in a long-running financial scandal that has gripped the nation. The attorney-general’s office said the $681m (£479m) that Mr Najib received in his bank account was a personal donation from the Saudi royal family. Critics had alleged the money came from state-owned investment fund 1MDB. Mr Najib has consistently ...

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Suicide bombers strike northern Cameroon town

At least 25 people are reported to have been killed after suicide bombers struck a town in northern Cameroon near the border with Nigeria. A local official said many of those who died had been in the market in Bodo. At least three suicide bombers were said to be involved. The Nigeria-based militant group Boko Haram is suspected of carrying ...

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Explorer Henry Worsley dies crossing the Antarctic

Explorer Henry Worsley has died after suffering exhaustion and dehydration as he tried to cross Antarctica unaided. The ex-Army officer, from London, had been rescued 30 miles shy of his goal. His wife Joanna said she felt “heartbroken sadness” after he died of “complete organ failure”. Mr Worsley, 55, was trying to complete the unfinished journey of his hero, Sir ...

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Malawi president collapses in a pit

With reports of bad health about Malawi President Peter Mutharika circulating in the country, his recent submission to the force of gravity has just made the situation worse. According to media reports, President Peter Mutharika on Saturday had a rude awakening when he planted himself into a hole he had dug for a tree. It is said that after Mutharika ...

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I could shoot someone and not lose voters – Donald Trump

Donald Trump suggested he could shoot someone in a crowded area and still keep voters, speaking at a rally in Iowa Saturday. Multiple reporters, including ones from CNN and CBS, quickly picked up Trump’s remarks. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” Trump said. The Trump campaign could not immediately ...

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South Sudan misses deadline to form unity government

South Sudan has missed a key deadline to create a transitional government, after the president increased the number of provinces from 10 to 28. The plan for a unity government was part of a peace deal in August to end the civil war which began in 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his then-deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. ...

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Europe could take more refugees – UN

EU states could take more genuine refugees from Syria if they worked together better, the new head of the UN refugee agency has told the BBC. Italian diplomat Filippo Grandi, who took over the post from Portugal’s Antonio Guterres this year, was speaking on a visit to Lebanon. Mr Grandi also urged the EU to do more for Syrian refugees ...

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Iran eyes Boeing plane purchases as sanctions end

Iran is considering buying planes from US manufacturer Boeing as it moves to upgrade its fleet following the removal of UN sanctions. Iran’s deputy transport minister Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan told Reuters that Iran is interested in buying 100 aircraft. UN sanctions were lifted a week ago, allowing Airbus to negotiate a deal to sell 114 aircraft to Iran. US trade ...

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Teenager charged over Canada school shootings

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder after shootings in Canada’s western Saskatchewan province, police say. The boy – who cannot be named because of his age – is also charged with seven counts of attempted murder. Four people were killed and several injured after the shootings at La Loche Community School and another location. ...

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