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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Press in Burkina Faso must be protected amid anti-government protests - CPJ

Police fired tear gas trying to prevent protesters from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on controversial constitutional amendments. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
Lagos, Nigeria - The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed that protesters stormed and looted the offices of Burkina Faso's national broadcaster Radiodiffusion Television du Burkina in the capital, Ouagadougou, today. 

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest a constitutional amendment that would allow President Blaise Compaore seek re-election next year, according to reports.

Burkina Faso: Ghost of 'Africa's Che Guevara'

By Kingsley Kobo
At the time of his murder Sankara was just 37 and had ruled for four years [La Vie de Sankara in Ouagadougou]
In the weeks before violent protests, some Burkinabes' thoughts turned to slain leader Thomas Sankara for inspiration.

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso - In the early hours of a night in 1987, one of Africa’s youngest leaders, Thomas Sankara, was murdered and quietly and quickly buried in a shallow grave.

Now, the man widely believed to be behind it, Burkina Faso's president, has watched as his parliament was set ablaze by furious protesters who want him gone.

President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso refuses to step down

President Blaise Compaore was seeking his fifth term in office [AP]
Long-time president Blaise Compaore refuses to heed protesters demands, seeking to lead transitional government instead.

Burkina Faso's president has refused to resign in the face of violent protests that posed the greatest threat to his 27-year rule, saying instead he will lead a transitional government after parliament was dissolved.

Protesters stormed the parliament building in the capital city of Ougadougou on Thursday and set part of it ablaze in a day of violence around the country to stop a parliamentary vote that would have allowed President Blaise Compaore to seek a fifth term in office.

Clap for Super Falcons, weep for soccer administration!

By Kayode Ketefe
“African Women Championship disaster: Weep not for Super Falcons.” That was the title of the piece I angrily penned two year ago when the Nigerian female national team, the Super Falcons, came back from the 8th African Women Championship held in Equatorial Guinea without a medal, being the only time it would happen since inception of the championship.  

Countries that normally trailed Nigeria in women soccer like Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and Cameroon scooped up gold, silver and bronze medals in that order, with Nigeria finishing in an embarrassing fourth position.

Burkina Faso parliament set ablaze

Demonstrators breached the security around parliament and set it on fire/BBC

Protesters angry at plans to allow Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year-rule have set fire to parliament. 

Correspondents say the city hall and ruling party headquarters are also in flames in the capital, Ouagadougou. MPs have suspended a vote on changing the constitution to allow Mr Compaore to stand for re-election next year. 

‘I am proud to be gay’ – Apple CEO Tim Cook

By Cavan Sieczkowski/The Huffington Post  
Apple CEO Tim Cook, Photograph by Ashley Gilbertson for Bloomberg Businessweek
Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as gay in a powerful essay for Bloomberg Businessweek.

In the essay, published Thursday, Cook said that he has never denied being gay, but has not publicly discussed his sexuality until now: "So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."

Zambia’s cabinet names Africa’s first post-Apartheid White leader after President Sata’s death

By Patrick McGroarty and Nicholas Bariyo

Zambia’s cabinet on Wednesday named Vice President Guy Scott, left, the first white head of state in Africa since the end of apartheid, following the death of President Michael Sata. Mr. Scott will serve on an interim basis while he organizes elections. Associated Press
Zambia’s cabinet on Wednesday named the first white head of state in Africa since the end of apartheid, following the death of President Michael Sata late Tuesday.

Mr. Sata died at a London hospital where he had been receiving medical treatment, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said on Wednesday. 

In Zambia, late President Sata never fulfilled promise of greater transparency

By Sue Valentine

Taxi drivers read the news of President Michael Sata's death in The Post special edition on October 29, 2014 in Lusaka. (AFP/Chibala Zulu)
"We'll see for ourselves on Friday," was a refrain on the lips of most journalists I met in Lusaka in mid-September, as they speculated on the health of President Michael Sata ahead of their country's opening of parliament, where the leader was due to speak.

But on September 19 only eight journalists from the state-owned newspapers, radio, and television as well as the privately owned Post were allowed into parliament's press gallery, according to news reports