West Africa - the best personalized free web-based Email en en West Africa AP Exclusive: UN health agency slammed for high travel costs LONDON (AP) — Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, traveled to Guinea earlier this month to join the country's president in celebrating the world's first Ebola vaccine. After praising health workers in West Africa for their triumph over the lethal virus, Chan spent the night in the presidential suite at the beach-side Palm... Mon, 22 May 2017 14:58:00 GMT 2017-05-22T14:58:00Z AP Exclusive: Health agency spends more on travel than AIDS LONDON (AP) — Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, traveled to Guinea earlier this month to join the country's president in celebrating the world's first Ebola vaccine. After praising health workers in West Africa for their triumph over the lethal virus, Chan spent the night in the top-tier presidential suite at the beach-... Mon, 22 May 2017 09:55:00 GMT 2017-05-22T09:55:00Z AP Exclusive: Strapped UN health agency spends big on travel LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization routinely spends about $200 million a year on travel — far more than what it doles out to fight some of the biggest problems in public health including AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press. As the cash-strapped U.N. health agency pleads for more money to... Mon, 22 May 2017 05:23:00 GMT 2017-05-22T05:23:00Z Pope names cardinals for Laos, Mali, Sweden, Spain, Salvador VATICAN CITY (AP) — In a surprise announcement Sunday, Pope Francis named new cardinals for Spain, El Salvador and three countries where Catholics are a tiny minority: Mali, Laos and Sweden. "Their origin, from different parts of the world, manifests the universality of the Church spread out all over the Earth," Francis said, speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace ... Sun, 21 May 2017 18:02:00 GMT 2017-05-21T18:02:00Z Freed Nigerian schoolgirls meet families after 3 years ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The 82 Nigerian schoolgirls recently released after more than three years in Boko Haram captivity reunited with their families Saturday as anxious parents looked for signs of how deeply the extremists had changed their daughters' lives. Brightly dressed families rushed through the crowd in the capital, Abuja, and embraced. One small ... Sat, 20 May 2017 18:12:00 GMT 2017-05-20T18:12:00Z Macron calls for countries' support in fighting extremism GAO, Mali (AP) — On his first official trip outside Europe, new French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday highlighted his determination to crush extremism but said "other countries can do more" to help protect Europe from the threat. He was visiting France's largest overseas military operation, which is combating jihadist groups in West Africa. The regio... Fri, 19 May 2017 17:25:00 GMT 2017-05-19T17:25:00Z The Latest: Macron says intel-sharing with US to continue GAO, Mali (AP) — The Latest on French president's first official trip outside Europe (all times local): 4:55 p.m. France's new president Emmanuel Macron is praising a "crucial" and "exemplary" relationship with the United States in intelligence-sharing for military operations in Africa's Sahel region. ... Fri, 19 May 2017 16:56:00 GMT 2017-05-19T16:56:00Z AP Explains: Why France's new president is visiting Mali JOHANNESBURG (AP) — France's new president has chosen the West African nation of Mali for his first official visit outside Europe. Why? Here's a look at Emmanuel Macron's trip on Friday to France's largest overseas military operation — in a country where multiple extremist groups pose a growing danger to the region. WHAT'S THE THREAT? Several jihadist gro... Fri, 19 May 2017 10:58:00 GMT 2017-05-19T10:58:00Z French President Macron talks to Putin, faces media uproar PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron held a special security meeting, spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and convened his Cabinet for the first time Thursday — all under a growing cloud of concern that his office is trying to control the press. The government, appointed Wednesday, is a carefully calibrated balance of 22 prominent and unk... Thu, 18 May 2017 20:22:00 GMT 2017-05-18T20:22:00Z The Latest: French media voice access concerns to Macron PARIS (AP) — The Latest on French President Emmanuel Macron's first week in office (all times local): 9:35 p.m. More than 20 French media organizations have signed an open letter to France's new president, Emmanuel Macron, to express concerns about restrictions on coverage. The letter came as tensions arose over Macro... Thu, 18 May 2017 20:03:00 GMT 2017-05-18T20:03:00Z UN: 300,000 children migrating solo, up nearly fivefold DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Authorities have documented more than 300,000 children migrating alone worldwide over a two-year period, marking a dramatic escalation of a trend that has forced many young refugees into slavery and prostitution, the U.N. children's agency said Wednesday. UNICEF said 170,000 of those children sought asylum in Europe in 2015-2016, man... Wed, 17 May 2017 21:46:00 GMT 2017-05-17T21:46:00Z Nigeria: Too soon to close camps for Boko Haram's displaced MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Camps for tens of thousands of people displaced by Boko Haram will have to stay open beyond the end of this month as Nigeria's military continues to fight the extremists in so-called liberated areas, officials say. The governor of the northern state of Borno, Kashim Shettima, told reporters on Tuesday that it is not yet safe to r... Wed, 17 May 2017 12:40:00 GMT 2017-05-17T12:40:00Z Ivory Coast says deal reached with mutinous soldiers ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Ivory Coast's government has reached an agreement with mutinous soldiers who had taken to the streets in the West African nation's largest cities to demand more pay, the defense ministry said. Residents of Bouake, the epicenter of the mutiny and Ivory Coast's second-largest city, said Tuesday that soldiers had left the streets ... Tue, 16 May 2017 17:22:00 GMT 2017-05-16T17:22:00Z Benin, Mozambique planes come off EU air safety blacklist BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has removed all airlines from Benin and Mozambique from its air safety blacklist after the companies addressed the bloc's safety concerns. EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said Tuesday that the airlines' removal from the blacklist showed their reforms and cooperation have paid off. The blacklist ... Tue, 16 May 2017 14:20:00 GMT 2017-05-16T14:20:00Z Military unrest, gunfire paralyze city areas in Ivory Coast ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Gunfire and continued threats by mutinous soldiers in several cities in Ivory Coast led banks, schools and businesses to close Monday amid fears of fighting. Former rebels who joined the army and demand bonuses shot gunfire into the air, taking over strategic parts of Yamoussoukro, San-Pedro, Bouake and Abidjan. Mon, 15 May 2017 17:23:00 GMT 2017-05-15T17:23:00Z 20 killed in mosque attack in Nigeria over land dispute WARRI, Nigeria (AP) — Police in Nigeria say at least 20 people are dead after a suspected reprisal attack on a village. Niger State police spokesman Bala Elkana said Monday that the Etogi community mosque had been targeted the day before during morning prayers. The killings are believed to be in retaliation for the death of a herdsman w... Mon, 15 May 2017 16:06:00 GMT 2017-05-15T16:06:00Z Congo announces 9 suspected Ebola cases, including 3 deaths KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — One person has been confirmed dead from Ebola in an outbreak in a remote corner of northern Congo as health authorities look into a total of nine suspected cases, including two other deaths, the country's health minister and the World Health Organization said Friday. One case of the hemorrhagic fever was confirmed out of the five te... Fri, 12 May 2017 22:27:00 GMT 2017-05-12T22:27:00Z Nigeria negotiating with Boko Haram for more Chibok releases DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Nigeria's government is negotiating "seriously" for the release of more than 110 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls still held by Boko Haram and will exchange more detained members of the extremist group for them if needed, an official said Thursday. "We will not relent until all are back," the minister of women's affairs and social develo... Thu, 11 May 2017 17:46:00 GMT 2017-05-11T17:46:00Z The Latest: Italy arrests Libyan man over migrant slaying BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on migration issues in Europe (all times local): 2:50 p.m. A Libyan migrant smuggler has been arrested in Sicily for his alleged role in the slaying of a migrant who failed to remove his cap when ordered. Prosecutors say that the suspect was one of two alleged Libyan traffickers jailed in Ca... Thu, 11 May 2017 12:53:00 GMT 2017-05-11T12:53:00Z Parents of freed Nigeria schoolgirls still wait to see them ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Parents of the 82 Nigerian schoolgirls released over the weekend from Boko Haram captivity said Wednesday they still were awaiting word from the government on exactly when they will be able to meet their daughters. Community leaders were headed from the capital, Abuja, to the town of Chibok with photos of the newly released girls so ... Wed, 10 May 2017 16:39:00 GMT 2017-05-10T16:39:00Z Nigeria spokesman says 1 Nigeria Chibok girl refused release ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — One of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 and who had the opportunity to be released on Saturday chose to stay with her husband, the spokesman for Nigeria's president said Tuesday. Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said officials originally had been negotiating for the release of 83 girls, but one said she wanted... Tue, 09 May 2017 21:04:00 GMT 2017-05-09T21:04:00Z Nigeria identifies 82 freed Chibok girls; parents await word ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian newspapers published the names Monday of 82 Chibok schoolgirls set free three years after being kidnapped by Islamic extremists, but they remained behind closed doors and their parents awaited word on whether they could see them. It was unclear if many of the parents in the remote northeastern town of Chibok had seen the lis... Mon, 08 May 2017 19:27:00 GMT 2017-05-08T19:27:00Z Nigeria leader meets Chibok girls, leaves for medical trip ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari expressed joy Sunday night at meeting with the 82 Chibok schoolgirls newly freed from Boko Haram extremists — then jolted the country by announcing he was leaving for London immediately for medical checkups as fears for his health continue. "We've always made it clear that we will do everything in ... Sun, 07 May 2017 21:32:00 GMT 2017-05-07T21:32:00Z Nigeria leader leaves for medical checkups amid health fears ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's president was departing Sunday night for further medical checkups in London, renewing fears over his health after he spent weeks overseas on medical leave earlier this year and said he'd never been so sick in his life. The announcement came shortly after 74-year-old President Muhammadu Buhari met at his official residence w... Sun, 07 May 2017 21:16:00 GMT 2017-05-07T21:16:00Z The Latest: Buhari leaves for London amid health fears ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The Latest on the release of Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped three years ago by Boko Haram extremists in Nigeria (all times local): 9:05 p.m. The departure of Nigeria's president for more medical checkups in London is renewing fears for his health in Africa's most populous country. Sun, 07 May 2017 20:44:00 GMT 2017-05-07T20:44:00Z Nigeria says 82 Chibok girls free in Boko Haram exchange MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Eighty-two Chibok schoolgirls seized three years ago by Boko Haram have been freed in exchange for detained suspects with the extremist group, Nigeria's government announced early Sunday, in the largest release negotiated yet in the battle to save nearly 300 girls whose mass abduction exposed the mounting threat posed by the Islamic State-linked fig... Sun, 07 May 2017 00:35:00 GMT 2017-05-07T00:35:00Z The Latest: Nigeria says freed Chibok girls to meet leader ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The Latest on the release of Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped three years ago by Boko Haram extremists in Nigeria (all times local): 12:25 a.m. Nigeria's government says the 82 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls who have been released in an exchange for detained Boko Haram suspects are expected to meet Pr... Sat, 06 May 2017 23:27:00 GMT 2017-05-06T23:27:00Z US, UK say Boko Haram wants to kidnap foreigners in Nigeria ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The United States and British governments are warning that the Boko Haram extremist group is actively planning to kidnap foreigners in northeast Nigeria. The British warning says the extremists are targeting Western foreign workers in the Bama area of Borno state, close to the Cameroon border. The Nigeria-based Bok... Sat, 06 May 2017 09:52:00 GMT 2017-05-06T09:52:00Z French forces kill 20 jihadists on Mali-Burkina Faso border BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — French forces fighting extremism in Africa's Sahel region say they have killed at least 20 jihadists in a forest on the border between Mali and Burkina Faso. A statement Sunday from Operation Barkhane says soldiers also discovered large amounts of arms, ammunition, rocket launchers and explosives in the Foulsare forest. Sun, 30 Apr 2017 20:56:00 GMT 2017-04-30T20:56:00Z Pescara's Muntari walks off in protest at racist abuse CAGLIARI, Italy (AP) — Pescara's Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari walked off the pitch in protest during his side's Serie A match at Cagliari on Sunday after being booked for complaining to the referee about racist abuse from fans. "They were chanting against me from the start," Muntari said. "In the first half, I saw that there were some children in th... Sun, 30 Apr 2017 19:56:00 GMT 2017-04-30T19:56:00Z