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December 3, 1989
While the media are understandably preoccupied with momentous events in Europe, and with dour and dastardly events in Latin America, I was gratified to read your editorial on the need to face grim facts in Africa ("Facing Facts in Africa," Nov. 27). In essaying to predict the geopolitical structure of the world in the next decade, the temptation is strong to overlook the second largest of the continents--not only because Africa still seems remote and strategically inconsequential to the rest of the world, but because its grave problems and acute suffering appear to be beyond solution and therapy.
April 27, 2014 | By Mark Gevisser
In South Africa today, as the country celebrates the 20th anniversary of its democracy and prepares for elections, two deeply flawed folk heroes - one venal, the other violent - have commandeered the headlines. The president, Jacob Zuma, was recently found by the Public Protector, an independent constitutional body, to have misappropriated $20 million to upgrade his private home. And Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee who awed the world with his speed running on prosthetic legs, is being tried for murder in the killing of his girlfriend.
August 19, 2009 | Robyn Dixon
Even before he became president, Jacob Zuma vowed to "transform" the South African judiciary. Translation: There were too many white male apartheid-era judges and too few nonwhites and women. Now Zuma will appoint four new judges to the 11-member Constitutional Court in coming months, his chance to effect a transformation that will shape the country's highest court on constitutional matters. But the nebulous definition of "transformation" has some people worried. To critics, the term has been so diluted by nepotism and cronyism that it's come to mean appointing your political friends.
April 23, 2014 | By Los Angeles Times staff
The father of a 15-year-old boy who stowed away in the wheel-well of a Hawaii-bound plane "thanked God" his son survived the ordeal, saying the boy may have been trying to return to Africa, according to the Voice of America . “When I watched the analysis about the extraordinary and dangerous trip of my son on local TVs and that Allah had saved him, I thanked God and I was very happy,” Abdilahi Yusuf Abdi, of Santa Clara, told VOA's Somali...
February 4, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
A disturbing new law in Nigeria establishes sweeping restrictions on homosexuality and has already led to dozens of arrests. Even before the law went into effect, it was illegal to engage in same-sex relations. But the new law goes further, prohibiting civil unions and same-sex marriages and threatening to slap a 10-year prison sentence on anyone who officiates at such a marriage. The law bans public displays of affection between people of the same sex, outlaws gay support organizations and makes it illegal for gay groups to meet.
August 5, 2013 | By Alan Eyerly
“Unintended Consequences” - the most dramatic episode this season of HBO's “The Newsroom” - focuses on a tragedy in Africa that devastates associate producer Maggie Jordan (Alison Pill) and might, unintentionally, cripple the ACN cable network. First Amendment attorney Rebecca Halliday (Marcia Gay Harden) believes a multimillion-dollar lawsuit facing ACN hinges on Maggie's fragile state of mind. That's why Rebecca's nervous. “I'm fine,” insists Maggie. But her psyche is obviously shattered, as symbolized by spiky red hair replacing her lovely blond locks.
August 8, 2009
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's seven-nation tour of Africa reaffirms the administration's pledge to keep the long-neglected continent in its sights. On her first stops in Kenya and South Africa this week, Clinton stuck with the message of tough love that President Obama delivered in Ghana last month, balancing trade and development talk with the need to confront lawlessness and impunity. It's a good beginning to an Africa policy still in the making. Africa is an area where Democrats and Republicans have found agreement, although too often what they have agreed is to pay little attention to it. President George W. Bush's support for HIV/AIDS and malaria programs were widely hailed on the continent, even when his global "war on terror" made him personally unpopular.
August 20, 1998
As I read the story of all the young girls being raped and infected with HIV ("Africa's Silent Shame," Aug. 16) in Africa, I was reminded of what a great nation we live in. We are spending upward of 40 million taxpayer dollars to determine if two consenting adults had sex. Imagine what we could do for those girls in Africa with even a fraction of those funds. I'll bet you anything we won't even give that story a second look, as obsessed as we are with the antics of wealthy white folks.
August 4, 1998
Re "S. Africa Frees 4 Killers of Southland Student," July 29: I am highly opposed to South Africa's decision on its law and the four killers. I understand that South Africa is trying to rid itself of violence, but letting killers loose won't help. They may say it was a political act, and maybe it was, but it was still murder. If they want to get rid of violence they should take those four and others like them and put them in a rehabilitation center, not jail. Teach them to deal with society and its many views.
April 7, 2012 | By Katie Burke, Special to the Los Angeles Times
"Wanna share Sangria?" his text said. "Sure. Just walked in. Wearing a gold jacket. " "I'm in a white sweat shirt. " I walked into the crowded bar looking for an African man who led a nonprofit promoting social entrepreneurship among people of African descent. That was all I knew about him. I was deeply in love with Africa, having returned from my first trip there eight months before. I had spent two weeks there, teaching primary school children in a Nairobi slum to write their personal stories.
April 8, 2014 | By Aamera Jiwaji
British businessman Shrien Dewani has been extradited to South Africa to stand trial on murder charges in the death of his Swedish bride. His arraignment in a Western Cape High Court earlier Tuesday, where he was formally charged with the murder of his wife, Anni, could spell the start of a second emotionally wrought murder trial for South Africa, spellbound already by revelations in the case against Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius. The 28-year-old Anni and her husband were on a slum tourism trip through a Cape Town township during their 2010 honeymoon when they were carjacked at gunpoint.
April 7, 2014 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - A British businessman accused of arranging his bride's murder while on their honeymoon was put on a plane to South Africa on Monday after losing a three-year battle against being extradited to face trial. South African authorities allege that Shrien Dewani took out a contract on his wife's life almost immediately upon the couple's arrival in the country in November 2010 to celebrate their marriage. Anni Dewani, 28, was shot dead and her husband thrown out of their taxi in an apparent carjacking outside Cape Town.
April 6, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
PRETORIA, South Africa - Johan Gerber is a shy, neat man with iron-gray hair, a ready smile and a quiet voice. But on the streets, he has taken to carrying an open pocket knife with a mean 4-inch blade, concealed in an envelope and ready to use. Last month, three men accosted him in broad daylight, one of whom hit him in the stomach and grabbed his cellphone. A few years back, eight men surrounded him, held a knife to his throat and stole his wallet. His car and two trailers also have been stolen.
March 27, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
CAPE TOWN, South Africa - When South African airport officials threatened to send Dr. Paul Semugoma back to his native Uganda, he shook with fear. Semugoma, an outspoken gay activist, was determined to remain in this country, where he has lived for two years, rather than be sent back to one of Africa's most homophobic countries. Held by immigration officers after returning to South Africa with an expired visa, he was allowed to stay only after an outcry from human rights groups mindful of new legislation in Uganda calling for life in prison for those who engage in repeated acts of gay sex. The harshness of the law signed days later by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni - and similar strictures in more than three dozen African nations - is triggering a profound reaction in Africa.
March 26, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
The documentary gods are smiling on us this week. One of the real knockout docs of 2013 is back in town. That would be "Big Men," an astonishing look inside the world of oil capitalism in the West African nations of Ghana and Nigeria. The film took director Rachel Boynton seven years to make and was worth every minute. Boynton's last film was the excellent "Our Brand Is Crisis," and she specializes in the kind of insider access filmmakers only dream about. In this compelling doc, she offers an incisive look at how the enormous wealth oil creates subverts the morality of individuals, corporations, even entire countries.
March 24, 2014 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon said Monday that it is stepping up the search for fugitive rebel leader Joseph Kony in Central Africa, deploying 150 Air Force special operations troops and four tilt-rotor transport planes to Uganda to help with the manhunt. The aircraft -- V-22 Ospreys that can land and take off like helicopters -- will be used to move African troops and their U.S. advisors faster and farther across the vast distances in the  countries where Kony's Lord's Resistance Army operates.
March 19, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - South African President Jacob Zuma personally benefited from a $23-million state-paid “security” upgrade to his private residence in rural KwaZulu-Natal, according to South Africa's public protector, an official with the duties of an ombudsman. Her findings over a scandal known in South Africa as “Nkandla-gate” -- a reference to the name of Zuma's homestead - are highly damaging to the governing African National Congress with less than two months to an election.
March 13, 2014 | Bill Dwyre
A strange desert wind blew through Indian Wells and its Taj Mahal tennis facility in late afternoon Thursday, turning a women's quarterfinal into Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey. But it disappeared in time for the appearance of the evening's royalty, the Swiss king, Roger Federer. He was the feature of the day, the 7 p.m. match, the one where the ticket scalpers made their hay for the day. His name is legendary in tennis. Most legends build with time, after retirement, when history can be embellished a bit and reality can be retouched.
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