A large Lebanese Shia clan said its military wing has kidnapped at least 23 people in Lebanon in a bid to secure the release of one of its family members allegedly kidnapped near Damascus this week.
"They were kidnapped because a member of our family was taken the day before yesterday in Syria," family member Abu Ali al-Meqdad said on Wednesday, adding that one of the Syrians was injured.
A prominent Bahraini activist has been jailed for three years for instigating and participating in "unauthorised" protests against the Sunni Al-Khalifa monarchy, his lawyer says.
Mohammed al-Jishi said on Thursday that Nabeel Rajab was given one year for each of the three cases all related to participating in peaceful protests.
Sierra Leone's government has declared a cholera outbreak a national emergency after 176 deaths and 10,800 reported cases since January, health ministry sources said.
"A decision has been taken to declare cholera as a national emergency," a source at the health ministry said on Thursday on condition of anonymity.
Crowds in Uganda have given a hero's welcome to Stephen Kiprotich, the country's first Olympic gold medal winner in 40 years.
Kiprotich, a prison warden who won the men's marathon on Sunday, was then presented with a cheque for $80,000 (£51,000) by President Yoweri Museveni.
Thousands of Tunisians have protested in the capital, Tunis, against moves by the Islamist-led government which they fear will reduce women's rights.
The government has unveiled a draft constitution which refers to women as "complementary to men".
The London 2012 Olympics have ended with a spectacular musical closing ceremony and the official handover to the next host city, Rio de Janeiro.
Change could be about to hit Cuban radio. After five decades, the government has done away with a blacklist of musicians and singers that had seen dozens of artists banned from the nation's airwaves.The list was never officially published, but artists who abandoned the Communist-run island and spoke out against the 1959 revolution found themselves struck off radio playlists.
The trial of Gu Kailai for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood has ended in the Chinese city of Hefei, after one day.
A court official told reporters Ms Gu had not contested the charge that she killed Mr Heywood by poisoning in 2011.
A South African couple married this week after a bout of unusually cold weather allowed them to fulfill a light-hearted promise to tie the knot the next time Johannesburg was covered in snow.
One of the men accused of killing honeymooner Anni Dewani has been sentenced to 25 years in jail after pleading guilty to her murder.
Mziwamadoda Qwabe admitted kidnapping, robbery, murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm during a pre-trial review at the Western Cape Court.
At least 16 people have died in severe floods in the Philippine capital, Manila, officials say.
More than 80,000 people are in emergency shelters, as torrential rain left low-lying areas under water. Soldiers and rescuers are using rubber boats to reach people stranded in their homes, but some are refusing to leave amid fears of looting.
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South Africa’s Competition Tribunal has placed a fine of R449-million on South Africa’s fixed-line operator Telkom, for uncompetitive behaviour between 1999 and 2004.
After the fine was imposed, shares in Telkom dropped by 3.38% to R17.44 a share on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
US President Barack Obama has signed a covert order authorising support for Syrian rebels, US media report.
Approved earlier this year, the directive permits the CIA and other US agencies to provide assistance to help oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.