News of the World: November 2018

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Paul Biya
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Ethiopian athlete who protested at Rio is back home

Exiled Ethiopian marathoner Feyisa Lilesa has returned home. Lilesa landed in the capital Addis Ababa after more than two years in exile. The 28-year-old came into the limelight in 2016 after he crossed the Olympic marathon finish line in Rio by holding his crossed wrists over his head—a gesture of solidarity with the anti-government protests that had been taking place in the Horn of Africa nation. The Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, along with the Amharas, were demonstrating to demand equal economic opportunities, political reform, and an end to the police crackdown. “My legs were running but my mind was preoccupied by all the suffering that was going on around me,” Lilesa had said about why he decided to protest as he won a silver medal.

China’s search for sand is destroying Mozambique’s pristine beaches

A Chinese company, Haiyu, has been accused of almost destroying an entire village in Mozambique, while mining sand. Following the allegations, Amnesty International launched a two-year investigation, and now local residents want the government to investigate Haiyu and negotiate compensation for the nearly 300 villagers. The operations of Haiyu likely contributed significantly to a flash flood in 2015 in the village of Nagonha, which destroyed 48 homes and left 290 people homeless. The Mozambican authorities’ failure to regulate the industry in the wake of this disaster has also contributed to the risks to the village from the company’s ongoing mining operations.

Biya to rule Cameroon for seven more years

Paul Biya, Cameroon’s long-serving president, was elected for a seventh term. Confirmation of Biya’s re-election came a full two weeks after the country conducted its presidential elections on October 7. Biya, 85, was declared winner with 71 percent of the vote. Until the official results were announced, Cameroonians faced a deluge of various “results” across social media platforms including Facebook and WhatsApp. The election results, like previous elections, have already been contested by opposition groups and parties who claim the process was not free and fair.

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