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Morocco jails British paedophile for 20 years

Morocco Tuesday jailed a British man, previously convicted of child sex offences, for 20 years for kidnapping and attempting to rape three young girls, a rights activist at the trial said. Robert Bill, 59, a former teacher from North Wales, was found guilty by the court in Tetouan at a hearing attended by his victims, Mohammed Benaissa, who heads the Northern Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP. Bill, who had pleaded his innocence, saying there was no proof of the charges against him, has 10 days to appeal the verdict.

Morocco jails British paedophile for 20 years

Morocco Tuesday jailed a British man, previously convicted of child sex offences, for 20 years for kidnapping and attempting to rape three young girls, a rights activist at the trial said. Robert Bill, 59, a former teacher from North Wales, was found guilty by the court in Tetouan at a hearing attended by his victims, Mohammed Benaissa, who heads the Northern Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP. Bill, who had pleaded his innocence, saying there was no proof of the charges against him, has 10 days to appeal the verdict.

47 killed in Togo road crash

Forty-seven people died and 15 others were were seriously injured in a collision between a truck and a commercial bus in Talo, a village 185 kilometres (115 miles) north of the Togolese capital Lome, the government said on Tuesday. The accident happened late on Monday when a 56-seat passenger bus collided frontally with the heavy truck, said a statement jointly issued by the ministers of security and transport and read on national television.

South Sudanese flood into Ethiopia amid desperate conditions

Up to 1,000 refugees from war-torn South Sudan are fleeing to Ethiopia each day, many of them on the brink of death, the UN said Tuesday. A massive 95 percent of the arrivals are also women and children, added the UN, citing witnesses saying that both boys and men have been forcibly recruited by armed men or killed along the way. Since fighting erupted in December, refugees have been "arriving at a rate of 800-1,000 per day, and they are arriving on their last legs," Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, told reporters in Geneva.

Gambia bans flights from Ebola-hit nations

The Gambia has banned flights from Ebola-hit west African countries from landing in its territory, airport officials told AFP on Tuesday. Staff at Banjul International Airport said on condition of anonymity that President Yahya Jammeh had ordered airlines to cancel all flights from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. "This decision by the Gambian authorities has left prospective passengers travelling to Banjul ... stranded in these west African countries," said an airport official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Nigeria capital beefs up security after deadly bombing

Nigerian police boosted security across Abuja on Tuesday after a bomb blast ripped through a packed bus station killing at least 75 people, the deadliest attack ever to hit the capital. Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu, who visited some major hospitals in Abuja where the wounded are being treated, gave a new death toll of 75, three higher than the previous toll. Another 141 people were wounded in the blast, he said -- lower than the figure released Monday.

Rwanda parades gang accused of plotting attacks on leaders

Rwandan police on Tuesday paraded four people accused of planning grenade attacks on the country's leaders in revenge for the assassination of a former spy chief and fierce critic of President Paul Kagame. Kigali's former intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya, who lived in exile in South Africa, was found strangled to death in a Johannesburg luxury hotel on New Year's Day.

Gambia bans flights from Ebola-hit nations

The Gambia has banned flights from Ebola-hit west African countries from landing in its territory, airport officials told AFP on Tuesday. Staff at Banjul International Airport said on condition of anonymity that President Yahya Jammeh had ordered airlines to cancel all flights from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. "This decision by the Gambian authorities has left prospective passengers travelling to Banjul ... stranded in these west African countries," said an airport official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Gambia bans flights from Ebola-hit nations

The Gambia has banned flights from Ebola-hit west African countries from landing in its territory, airport officials told AFP on Tuesday. Staff at Banjul International Airport said on condition of anonymity that President Yahya Jammeh had ordered airlines to cancel all flights from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. "This decision by the Gambian authorities has left prospective passengers travelling to Banjul ... stranded in these west African countries," said an airport official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

South Sudan rebels say seize oil hub Bentiu, tell foreign firms to go

By Aaron Maasho ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - South Sudanese rebels said on Tuesday they have seized the capital of oil-producing Unity state, Bentiu, and warned oil firms to pack up and leave within a week. Thousands of people have been killed and more than one million displaced since fighting erupted in South Sudan in the middle of December, triggered by a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar.
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