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Uganda hails new King Oyo

FORT PORTAL, Uganda — When a lanky Ugandan teenager recently took charge of one of his country’s oldest tribal kingdoms it was difficult to tell how the young monarch felt about the job he’d inherited. Eighteen-year-old Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV technically became the king of western Uganda’s Tooro kingdom at age 3, when his father died suddenly of a heart attack. But Tooro custom dictates that a king cannot fully assume the duties of office until adulthood.

Deadly explosions hit Somalia mosques

NAIROBI, Kenya — Another bloody week in Mogadishu was on the face of it like so many others: dozens of civilians blown to pieces or maimed by explosions, shot to death or injured. But this week’s attacks were different, signalling a change in the fighting that rages between Islamist insurgents and the United Nations and Western-backed government. The recent bombings indicate bitter faction fighting within the Islamist fundamentalist rebels of Al Shabaab, according to local residents.

Opinion: Mugabe retains grip on foreign affairs

HARARE, Zimbabwe — When European nations in the 19th century wrested accountable governance from their monarchs by putting in place parliamentary systems, one area remained outside their scope. Foreign policy, it was said, was the “domain of the king.” That view is alive and well in today’s Zimbabwe. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs might as well close down. It is a mere cipher. President Robert Mugabe, 86, exercises sole power and despite the formation of a government of national unity (GNU) he brooks no interference from his purported partners.

Senegal's Taxi Sisters break new ground

DAKAR, Senegal — Much more is riding in the backseat of Amy Ndiane’s chic neon yellow cab than the occasional passenger. A Muslim woman, 30, who supports two kids from the fares she negotiates, Ndiane is an official, supported-by-the-president “Taxi Sister” — one of the select few female cabbies in Senegal. “I heard there is a woman in the United States who drives a taxi,” mused Ndiane, a former data entry typist. “For Africa, this is a first, for a woman to have a taxi.”

Johannesburg's rock and roll church

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Entering the Rivers Church in Sandton, one of the richest neighborhoods in this city, feels more like entering a concert hall than a house of worship.

10 worst man-made environmental disasters

NEW YORK — The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico is now about the size of Puerto Rico. It's already reached the marshes of Louisiana. Oil-covered wildlife are starting to show up along the shores. Shrimp, fish and oyster harvest areas have been closed. Residents of Mississippi and Alabama are just waiting for the oil to hit. As environmental calamity for the Gulf Coast appears imminent, GlobalPost looks at 10 other man-made environmental disasters — both forgotten and infamous — that could have been prevented.

South Africa sells out World Cup tickets

South Africa sells out World Cup tickets

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Irene Mokwatu, 53, wears a plastic garbage bag wrapped around her waist to protect her dress from the dust she is sweeping off the street. "I was born here," says Mokwatu, 53. "This World Cup will not benefit us, they won't even let us sell mautuana during the cup." She leans over, with a big smile, to make sure I spell the word right. "Mautuana is what we Africans like to eat when we see football. It is salted chicken's feet and livers," she says with a conspiratorial gleam in her eye.

Living beneath a volcano

GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo — The streets are corrugated with black volcanic rock, while far above a pool of lava glows red in the night sky. The volcanoes in the eastern Congo, near the border with Rwanda, haven’t caused havoc to air travel like Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull — in fact, most days in Goma are punctuated by the conversation-stopping roar of planes constantly ferrying aid in or minerals out — but they have killed hundreds of people in recent years and forced tens of thousands to flee.

Volcano tourism

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo — It’s just past dusk at the summit of Mount Nyiragongo, and though a pool of molten lava churns 2,600 feet below, Emmanuel Munganga shivers in the evening chill as he recounts the tragic story of eastern Congo.
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