Charles Taylor, the one-time president of Liberia who insists he had close ties to the U.S. intelligence services, will find out this week whether he will spend the rest of his life in prison. Taylor is accused of financing and arming rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone, encouraging and abetting their war atrocities.
Cheick Modibo Diarra is Mali's new prime minister, at least on an interim basis, and is key to hopes to restore democracy to what had been a very stable African nation. His roots are in Mali, but his education and work brought him to the United States, where he eventually was a key leader on the Mars Pathfinder mission.
About half of South Africa's gold miners suffer from silicosis, a life-threatening disease caused when silica from gold lodges in the lungs. Now, thousands of gold miners have signed on to the largest class action lawsuit in Africa's history.
A group of protesters in Tunisia, uneasy and unhappy about some of the reforms and restrictions that have been implemented by the new government. So, their protests have taken a new angle recently. They read books.
Spanish King Juan Carlos is generally popular with his people. On Wednesday, however, he was forced to apologize in the wake of a scandal over an all-expenses-paid hunting trip to Africa, where he shot and killed elephants.
Nigeria's seen a boom in gold mining in recent years, with the sky-high price of gold globally. But in Nigeria, unlike most places, gold runs with lead. As villagers mine the gold, they're also mining lead, leading to massive contamination of their villages and even deaths.
Eleven African countries are working to build a green wall of trees on the southern border of the Sahara. Their goal is to fight desertification in the Sahel region.
Politics in post-apartheid South Africa is dominated by two political parties: The Democratic Alliance, which is seen as a party of white and mixed-race voters, and the African National Congress, which is supported primarily by black voters. Recently, the Democratic Alliance has tried to attract more black voters and become the new majority party.
In Swaziland, the strained relationship between religious leaders and public health officials is improving, if slightly. The two groups are trying to work together more as the country battles an HIV infection rate among adults that may be as high as 25 percent.
Recent attention and criticism of Liberia's cultural practice of female genital cutting may have had a positive impact. Or, at the very least, something has changed. A group of female traditional leaders announced what amounts to a four-year suspension of the practice -- and the government is trying to make that suspension permanent.