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Tutu speaks out on 20 years of South African freedom

Nobel peace laureate, anti-apartheid icon and government gadfly Desmond Tutu was due to speak out Wednesday on 20 years of freedom in South Africa, the country he dubbed the "Rainbow Nation". Anglican archbishop emeritus Tutu, 82, is still regarded as a moral beacon for South Africa in the mould of the first post-apartheid president Nelson Mandela, who led the country from 1994 to 1999. But he has been openly critical of current President Jacob Zuma's graft-tainted administration.

Washington calls S.Sudan violence an 'abomination'

The White House has expressed horror at what it called the "abomination" of spiralling violence in South Sudan's civil war, where rebels have been accused of massacring hundreds of civilians. The rebels seized the oil hub of Bentiu last week, unleashing two days of ethnic slaughter as they hunted down civilians sheltering in mosques, churches and a hospital, butchering dozens on the roadside, according to the United Nations.

S.African mother held over children's deaths in London

A South African woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder after her three disabled children were found dead at their London home, British police and media said Wednesday. The Metropolitan Police said a 42-year-old woman was in custody after the bodies of a four-year-old girl and two three-year-old boys were found on Tuesday evening. The parents were named in the media as Gary Clarence, a senior executive at banking group Investec, and his wife Tania Clarence, a graphic designer. They are both from South Africa.

Pirates raid oil tanker off Malaysia, take away three crew

By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah and Keith Wallis KUALA LUMPUR/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Armed pirates raided an oil tanker off the coast of Malaysia and took three crew members with them, Malaysian maritime officials said on Wednesday, underscoring increasing threats to shipping in one of the world's busiest waterways. The incident in the Malacca Strait, a route for about a quarter of the world's seaborne oil trade, has fuelled fears piracy could be on the rise in the area and drive up ship insurance premiums.

Missouri executes convicted killer in 1993 cattle-stealing plot

By Carey Gillam KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Missouri on Wednesday executed a man who had been convicted in 1993 of murdering an elderly farming couple in a plot to steal their cattle, a state official said. William Rousan, 57, was pronounced dead at 12:10 a.m. (1.10 a.m. EDT) at a state prison in Bonne Terre, said Mike O'Connell, a spokesman for the state's Department of Public Safety.

Mauritius may need to tighten monetary policy: IMF

By Jean Paul Arouff PORT LOUIS (Reuters) - Mauritius will need to tighten monetary policy if inflationary pressures intensify, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday, and encouraged the country to adopt a formal inflation-targeting framework.

Kenya government under attack over rights record

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's first year in office has been marked by a string of "worrisome cases" of rights infringements and by rampant impunity, two rights groups said in a report Wednesday. The Kenya Human Rights Commission( KHRC) and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) said Kenyan authorities "have attempted to clamp down on dissenting voices, either through the adoption of restrictive legislation aimed at further regulating the NGO or media sectors."

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Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble Wednesday notched a modest increase in profits as it contends with a lackluster economy and tough pricing pressure from competitors. Earnings came in $2.6 billion, up 1.7 percent from the prior year. "P&G's third quarter results came in as we had expected," said chief executive A.G. Lafley. "We're operating in a slow-growth, highly competitive environment, which places even greater importance on strong innovation and productivity improvement."

Thai PM given more time in critical legal case

Thailand's Constitutional Court on Wednesday gave crisis-mired Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra more time to submit her defence against allegations of abuse of power which could see her removed from office. The premier, who is facing a cascade of legal challenges to her tenure as well as months of sometimes violent street protests, must give her defence by May 2, the court said in a statement. The case pivots on the transfer of then-national security chief Thawil Pliensri after Yingluck was elected in 2011.

S. Korean cosmetics firm LG Household eyes Elizabeth Arden

South Korea's LG Household & Healthcare said Wednesday it was considering a purchase of global cosmetics giant Elizabeth Arden. "We are considering acquiring two or three big cosmetics firms, including Elizabeth Arden," the company spokeswoman told AFP. "But nothing has been decided yet," she said without elaborating further. LG Household & Healthcare -- an affiliate of South Korean conglomerate LG Group -- has business portfolios including cosmetics, drinks and household items such as toothpastes and detergents.
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