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Zuma home not built with public funds PRETORIA: Public funds were not spent on building South African President Jacob Zuma a house in his home village, state investigators said on Sunday in a report that sought to end one of the biggest scandals to hit Zuma before elections next year.   The report did say the government had spent 206 million rand ($22.98 million) on security upgrades and related costs at the president's private compound, and that this decision was based on an assessment of threats to Zuma.   Opposition politicians and media have said Zuma used up to 250 million rand of state funds to upgrade his private residence in his home village of Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal province.   Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, who led the so-called "Nkandlagate" inquiry, said there was no evidence that public money was spent on Zuma's home or on any house belonging to him.   However, the state paid 71 million rand for security upgrades at the complex ...

Egyptian youths, police clash in fourth day CAIRO: Police fired tear gas at dozens of stone-throwing protesters in Cairo on Sunday in a fourth day of street clashes that have killed at least 41 people and compounded the political challenges facing President Mohamed Mursi.   In the worst violence, security sources said 32 people died in Port Said on Saturday when protests erupted following a court verdict sentencing 21 people, mostly from the city, to death for their role in a deadly stadium disaster ...
Gunfire scatters mourners at Egypt CAIRO: Shots were fired on Sunday in the Egyptian canal city of Port Said at the funeral of people killed in clashes triggered by death sentences on supporters of a local football team, witnesses told AFP.   Thousands participated in the funeral procession after noon prayers when loud gunfire sent mourners running in several directions amid chaotic scenes.   Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013 ...
French led troops in Mali nearing Timbuktu: PM SANTIAGO: French-led troops battling Islamist militants in Mali will soon be near the fabled northern city of Timbuktu, visiting French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in Chile on Saturday.   The French and Malian troops are currently "around Gao and soon near Timbuktu," he said in a speech to the French community of Santiago.   Ayrault, who is attending a two-day summit of Latin American and European leaders opening later Saturday, reiterated that the French troops backing Malian government ...
Uganda arrests opposition politician Besigye KAMPALA: Leading opposition politician Kizza Besigye was arrested for planning anti-government riots in the Ugandan capital Kampala, police said on Saturday.   Besigye has led protests for years aimed at toppling President Yoweri Museveni, to whom he lost a presidential election in February 2011. He denounced that poll as fraudulent.   His supporters were at the forefront of widespread anti-government protests against the high cost of living in 2011 and, after a lull last year, they led demonstrations again ...
French forces in Mali seize airport KONNA: French forces in Mali have seized the airport and the bridge over the Niger River at the Islamist rebel-held stronghold of Gao, the French Defence Ministry said on Saturday.   French and Malian troops have advanced rapidly against al Qaeda-allied Islamist militant fighters holding the Saharan north of the West African state after France intervened earlier this month at the request of the Malian government.   The announcement from Paris showed that the French and Malian units were ...
French special force in action at Gao in Mali KONNA: French special force were in action on Saturday at the Islamist rebel-held stronghold of Gao in northeast Mali, confronting "harassment" from rebel fighters, a French officer in Mali said on Saturday.   "The rebels have melted in to the local population. There is harassment. The operation is still under way.   It is a bit complicated," the officer, who asked not to be named, told Reuters. French aircraft were providing air support.   Copyright Reuters, 2010 ...


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