Olympian athlete Oscar Pistorius has been cleared of all murder charges after South Africa judge Thokozile Masipa said on Thursday that prosecutors had failed to prove that he intended to kill his girlfriend, model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp, in an incident in February 2013.
"The state has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder," Masipa told the Pretoria High Court, according to Reuters. "There are just not enough facts to support such a finding."
Pistorius broke out in tears as the judge read the sentence. more >>
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest charities in the world, has said that it will pledge $50 million to help fight the Ebola virus crisis in West Africa, which has killed over 2,200 people.
The foundation said in a statement that the money will help international relief groups and national governments "to purchase badly needed supplies and scale up emergency operations in affected countries."
It will also "work with public and private sector partners to accelerate the development of therapies, vaccines, and diagnostics that could be effective in treating patients and preventing further transmission of the disease." more >>
Terror group ISIS, which is active in Iraq and Syria, is reportedly strengthening its ties with Boko Haram in Nigeria, offering the militants advice on how to build an African caliphate.
"Unless swift action is taken, Nigeria could be facing a rapid takeover of a large area of its territory reminiscent of ISIS's lightning advances in Iraq," The Nigeria Security Network warned.
The Independent noted that intelligence agencies have been raising concern that what initially looked like symbolic links between ISIS and Boko Haram have now developed "into a practical relationship" with the former offering advice on strategy and tactics. more >>
In a new book released Tuesday highlighting the events of the Sept. 11, 2012 Islamic militant attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the CIA security contractors that responded and defended the compound claim that they could have saved the life of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Information Management Services Officer Sean Smith had the team not been delayed at the Benghazi CIA Annex for over a half an hour by the top CIA Officer in Benghazi.
In the book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi, members of the Annex Security Team said they were told explicitly to "stand down" for over 30 to 40 minutes by the top CIA officer in Benghazi known publicly as "Bob".
The members of the Annex Security Team, who all work for an organization called Global Response Staff and are former military service members, said they were ready to deploy to the terrorist-stricken compound within five minutes of receiving the call but had to wait in the car until they received further instruction from "Bob." more >>
Church leaders in Nigeria have said that tens of thousands of Christians and Muslims are on the run as terror group Boko Haram captured the key northeastern town of Michika and engaged in separate battles with the Nigerian and Cameroonian armies that left hundreds dead.
"Several churches are in ruins and tens of thousands, mainly Christians, are running to escape Boko Haram," Fr. Patrick Tor Alumuku, social communications officer in the archdiocese of Abuja, told Fides News Agency.
"Boko Haram is determined to eliminate every sign of Christian presence and many churches have been destroyed or torched. Last week in a village in the area of Maiduguri, Boko Haram took over the parish for its local headquarters." more >>
Bodies are littered across the northern Nigerian town of Bama, captured two days ago by terror group Boko Haram, because the militants are reportedly preventing people from burying the dead.
"So many bodies litter the streets, and people are not allowed to even go and bury the dead ones. So the situation is getting worse and worse," Borno senator and lawmaker Ahmed Zanna told the BBC's Newsday program after speaking to a resident who fled the town.
Government officials had initially denied that the town had fallen, but said that close to 26,000 people have been displaced by fighting in Bama. more >>