A team of scientists has traced the spread of AIDS and the HIV virus to the city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1920s. Its report states that a growing sex trade, along with rapid population growth and unsterilized needles used in health clinics facilitated the spread of the deadly virus.
Published in Science Magazine, the report describes that the HIV virus originated in chimpanzees in the early 20th century and spread to humans, likely because central African hunters ate infected meat. This occurred on a number of occasions, which placed into circulation different HIV viruses, including the HIV-1, which would go on to infect millions of people around the world.
A BBC News summary of the report states that scientists traced the source of the spread of HIV to the city of Kinshasa in 1920s, then part of Belgian Congo, which was undergoing rapid population growth at the time. more >>
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau appeared in a new video Thursday where he dismissed claims that he had been killed, and announced that he is implementing strict Sharia law on towns in Nigeria that have been captured by the terror group.
"Here I am, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath," Shekau says in the video that was obtained by AFP. He adds that he is "running our ... Islamic caliphate" and administering strict Sharia punishments.
The video puts an end to hopes that Shekau might have been killed by anti-terror efforts, as the Nigerian army had earlier suggested. more >>
Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic runner dubbed the "Blade Runner," will be facing sentencing in October, after his trial regarding the fatal shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide instead of murder on Sept. 12.
His sentence will be carried out on Oct. 13 later this month.
Pistorius had been initially acquitted of murder but he had told authorities that he thought an intruder had breached his home and was hiding behind the bathroom door. Pistorius had shot his girlfriend four times. The sentence will be carried out by Judge Thokozile Masipa and will range from a timed suspension and a fine, or up to 15 years in jail. Judge Masipa was also the one who carried out the verdict. more >>
U.S. military personnel are in West Africa assisting with relief efforts to help contain the spread of the Ebola virus, which has now killed over 3,000 people.
"There is no argument the disease is out in front of the response," said Ken Isaacs, vice president of programs and government relations for Christian relief group Samaritan's Purse.
A controversial South African Pastor, Lesego Daniel, made his congregants drink petrol after claiming that it can miraculously turn into pineapple juice.
Daniel, leader at the Rabboni Centre Ministries near Pretoria, is the same pastor who drew international media attention earlier this year when he convinced his congregation to eat grass. Although his preaching methods are unconventional, many took his lead in hopes that the poisonous liquid would cause a miracle.
A recently opened mosque in Cape Town, South Africa, that welcomed openly gay residents and allowed women to lead prayers, was criticized by the local Muslim community and subsequently shut down by the government, reportedly for violating city bylaws regarding parking spaces.
Taj Hargey, a Muslim academic and founder of The Open Mosque, lashed out against the city's order, however, saying it has more to do with controlling the freedom of religion.