Tobacco pipe could connect people to enslaved ancestors
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A tobacco pipe found along Generals Highway could connect people with African ancestors who were enslaved in Anne Arundel.
African soccer official wants meeting over leaked letters
A member of African soccer's ruling executive committee warned of a situation "spiraling out of control" if sharp internal criticism of the organization's president, who is also a FIFA vice president, isn't dealt with.
Sierra Leone president declares rape a national emergency
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's president has declared a national emergency over rape and sexual violence, saying perpetrators are getting younger and their acts more violent.
In a keynote address on Thursday, President Julius Maada Bio said hundreds of cases of rape and sexual assault are reported each month in the West African nation against women, girls and babies as young as three months old.
US doctor who survived Ebola honored for service in Liberia
HOLDEN, Mass. (AP) — Almost five years have passed since he nearly died of Ebola in Liberia, but Richard Sacra has never wavered from his commitment to the struggling West African nation.
The 56-year-old family doctor from Massachusetts was among a handful of Americans treated and cured of Ebola during West Africa's deadly epidemic in 2014, which was the worst ever outbreak of the virus, claiming more than 11,000 lives over two years, primarily in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
LeBron, pickle juice help Tiafoe reach Australian Open QFs
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Frances Tiafoe just kept shaking his head and calling the whole thing "crazy" and "unbelievable." Which it all kind of is.
That he reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal on his 21st birthday by beating No. 20 seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6 (6), 6-7 (1), 7-5 at the Australian Open on Sunday.
That he did it with the hydrating help of pickle juice guzzled during changeovers to fend off cramps.
Suspended Sierra Leone’s qualifier against Kenya canceled
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's African Cup of Nations qualifier against Kenya on Sunday has been canceled as the West African nation remains suspended by FIFA for government interference in its national association.
It's the third Sierra Leone qualifier to be canceled after back-to-back games against Ghana were called off last month.
Sierra Leone's suspension has left its qualifying group for next year's African championship in Cameroon in limbo.
Sierra Leone suspended as 7 days of African qualifiers start
Sierra Leone's two matches with Ghana in African Cup of Nations qualifying have been canceled and it's unclear if they will be re-scheduled, leaving one of the groups in disarray.
FIFA suspends Sierra Leone to punish government interference
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA says it suspended Sierra Leone from international football because of government interference in how the national federation is run.
FIFA acted on Friday, six days before Sierra Leone is scheduled to play a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game in Ghana.
The intervention aims to protect the elected president Isha Johansen, a rare example of a woman heading a FIFA member federation, and her CEO-like general secretary.
Sierra Leone military truck flips, kills at least 10
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's defense ministry says at least 10 people are dead and several others are wounded after a military truck had brake failure, flipped and caused an accident in the capital, Freetown.
Sierra Leone soccer head barred from entering headquarters
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's anti-corruption commission has barred soccer federation head Isha Johansen and secretary general Chris Kamara from entering the federation's headquarters, following through on an ultimatum to the two to temporarily stand down from their posts while they are on trial for corruption.
Officials from the ACC removed staff from the Sierra Leone Football Association premises and instructed them not to conduct business with Johansen and Kamara.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's anti-corruption commission says a former vice president and former minister have been arrested as the West African nation's new leader takes aim at graft.
Commission spokesman Abubakarr Turay says former Vice President Victor Foh and former Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources Minkailu Mansaray were detained Thursday.
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Amnesty International is calling on Sierra Leone's new government to end police crackdowns on peaceful protesters and improve human rights.
In a new report, the rights group says nine protesters have been killed and more than 80 injured in peaceful demonstrations over the past decade but no police officer has been held criminally responsible.
SAO PAULO (AP) — A group of African migrants set sail last month on a 1,900-mile (3,000-kilometer) journey across the Atlantic to Brazil, but quickly ran into trouble and were adrift for weeks before fishermen towed them ashore, Brazilian authorities said Monday.
SAO PAULO (AP) — About two dozen African migrants were brought ashore in northeastern Brazil after being rescued at sea by fishermen, Brazilian authorities said Sunday.
The government of Maranhao state said that 25 people from Senegal, Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde along with two Brazilians landed Saturday.
The boat with the migrants was adrift when they were rescued, according to the G1 news portal, which also said they had been at sea for weeks.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Members of Sierra Leone's All People's Congress party have walked out of parliament after police escorted at least 15 of their colleagues from the chamber for disrupting proceedings.
Sierra Leone's newly elected lawmakers were sworn in Wednesday.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — A member of the losing political party has filed a legal challenge to Sierra Leone's presidential election, claiming irregularities and asking for a fresh vote.
Sylvia Olayinka Blyden's petition asks the Supreme Court to nullify the results of the election in which Julius Maada Bio last week was declared the winner.
Bio, his Sierra Leone Peoples Party and the national election commission were being served copies of the petition on Wednesday.
Sierra Leone’s losing candidate to challenge presidential results
Losing candidate in Sierra Leone's presidential run-off election, Samura Kamara, has said his party, the All People's Congress will challenge Julius Maada Bio presidential win in court.
Kamara in a live broadcast by state media alleged the March 31 run-off poll was marred by "massive ballot stuffing, over-voting" and other electoral irregularities.
DAKAR, Senegal — A former military commander and rebel leader who later went to graduate school in the United States and Britain was declared the winner of Sierra Leone’s presidential runoff on Wednesday after a campaign season marred by reports of violence and irregularities.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's new president in an interview with The Associated Press is pledging to avoid the "ethnic cleansing" of clearing out government posts for his supporters.
Julius Maada Bio spoke the day after winning the West African nation's runoff election. The former opposition candidate and military leader now faces the challenge of helping the country of 7 million people recover from the devastating Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's former ruling party intends to challenge the results of the presidential runoff vote in court, the losing candidate announced after the opposition party won for the first time in a decade.
The National Electoral Commission announced late Wednesday that Julius Maada Bio with the Sierra Leone Peoples Party party had won. Bio, who had lost the presidential election in 2012, was swiftly sworn into office just before midnight.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's election commission declared main opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio as the West African nation's new president Wednesday, giving the opposition party its first presidency in 10 years.
Chief Justice Abdulai Charm swore in the new leader along with Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh just hours after the announcement. Bio pledged to govern for all Sierra Leoneans at the ceremony.
Madonna is set to direct the new Michaela DePrince biopic 'Taking Flight'.
The 59-year-old singer and actress has joined MGM Studios for the upcoming biopic which has reportedly been in development since 2015, according to Variety.
The movie - which is based on the 23-year-old ballerina's memoir 'Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina' - follows DePrince's life as an orphan in Sierra Leone and her journey to being a world-renowned dancer.
Sierra Leone presidential election heads to second round
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Election officials in Sierra Leone say balloting to choose the country's next president is heading to a second round in two weeks.
Samura Kamara, outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma's pick as successor, will face off against Julius Maada Bio, who lost to Koroma in 2012.
Bio took 43.3 percent to Kamara's 42.7 percent in the first round of voting last week, according to results released late Tuesday. The two emerged from a crowded field of 16 candidates.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Madonna is pirouetting back into the director's chair.
MGM Motion Picture Group president Jonathan Glickman says Tuesday that the pop music icon will direct a film based on ballet dancer Michaela DePrince's memoir "Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina."
DePrince overcame a childhood in war-stricken Sierra Leone to become a world class ballerina. She made her debut at age 17 in South Africa's Joburg Ballet and also appeared in Beyonce's "Lemonade."
Sierra Leone hopes election can move nation past its misfortunes
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — A deadly mudslide. A horrible Ebola virus that killed thousands. And a nation still in recovery from a civil war that killed more than 50,000 people.
As Sierra Leoneans go to the polls on Wednesday, they hope to elect a leader who can help them overcome these tragedies. More than a dozen candidates are vying for votes in Wednesday’s election in what officials hope will be a peaceful democratic transition more than five decades since Sierra Leone gained independence.
Sierra Leone police quash clashes after voting ends
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Riot police put down skirmishes Wednesday in Sierra Leone's capital as political tensions mounted after authorities visited the office of the leading opposition candidate.
At least one person was treated for stab wounds following the melee that erupted after an SLPP opposition spokesman said police had come to search the party's offices without a warrant.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — The Latest on Sierra Leone's election (all times local):
Authorities in Sierra Leone's capital report clashes have broken out amid political tensions on Election Day.
Voters were choosing between 16 candidates, though the skirmishes were reportedly between supporters of the two front-runners.
Riot police have intervened and at least one person has been stabbed in the melee and is being treated for wounds at the hospital.
Minnesota friends follow ‘dream’ of saving new moms and babies in Sierra Leone
When Alice Karpeh worked as a midwife in her native Sierra Leone, she saw birth and death entwined with shocking frequency.
I saw so many young women dying in childbirth from causes I now know are preventable, she said. I had a dream that this didnt have to be.
709-carat diamond found in Sierra Leone sells for $6.5M
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Officials say a 709-carat diamond found in Sierra Leone has been sold for more than $6.5 million.
The diamond is said to be the 14th-largest ever discovered, according to the Rapaport Group, which auctioned the stone in New York on behalf of Sierra Leone's government.
Red Cross: $6 million for Ebola fight stolen through fraud
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Fraud by Red Cross workers and others wasted at least $6 million meant to fight the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the organization confirmed Saturday.
The revelations follow an internal investigation of how the organization handled more than $124 million during the 2014-2016 epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
African soccer executive Johansen faces corruption charges
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Confederation of African Football executive committee member Isha Johansen was charged with 10 counts of corruption and abuse of office in her home country of Sierra Leone on Monday.
Johansen, the president of the Sierra Leone Football Association, pleaded not guilty to the charges, which relate to her work at the association.
Sierra Leone awaits 27 citizens being deported from US
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's government says it has issued the necessary documents and awaits the arrival of 27 citizens being deported from the United States for drug crimes and other offenses.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Turay said Tuesday that the Sierra Leoneans were still in custody in the U.S.
Sierra Leone’s 709 carat diamond lands in Antwerp for sale
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Media in Sierra Leone report that a 709-carat diamond found in the country's eastern Kono District has been taken by a sales team from the National Minerals Agency to Antwerp, Belgium.
The diamond's discovery in March caused a sensation and is the second-largest ever found in this West African nation. The gem, a bit smaller than a hockey puck, is among the 20 largest diamonds ever found.
Three years ago, the largest Ebola outbreak in recorded history erupted in West Africa.
From early 2014 through March 2016, the highly infectious virus sickened more than 28,000 people and killed at least 11,300, terrorizing the countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and threatening public safety around the world.
Capt. John Redd, a medical epidemiologist for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calls the crisis the “most grave public health challenge in a generation.”
Denver high school is a melting pot of 62 countries
DENVER (AP) — When a passenger on a Denver city bus publicly insulted all Muslims earlier this year following terrorist attacks in France, Jeneba Berety, then a senior at South High School, spoke up.
She defended her faith, telling the man that Muslims are good people. After realizing that no other passengers were backing up her statements, Berety got off the bus, a little shaken but proud that she had taken a stand.
Sierra Leone soccer head indicted on corruption charges
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone Football Association president and Confederation of African Football executive Isha Johansen has been indicted on six counts of corruption, deepening the problems for soccer in the West African country.
Johansen, one of the few female presidents in international soccer and a popular figure at FIFA, was charged by Sierra Leone's Anti-Corruption Commission alongside association secretary general Chris Kamara.
Pence applauds UN resolution on peacekeeping reform
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Security Council backed reforms Wednesday to reduce inefficiencies, corruption and abuse in the U.N.'s far-flung peacekeeping operations, a key priority of the Trump administration at the U.N. General Assembly.
Sierra Leone agrees to accept 27 citizens deported from US
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's government says it will accept 27 of its citizens being deported from the United States because of various crimes.
The move comes as President Donald Trump's administration places visa restrictions on four African and Asian nations that have refused to accept citizens deported from the U.S.
US limits visas for African, Asian nations over deportations
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The United States will stop issuing certain visas to Eritrean nationals and officials of Cambodia, Sierra Leone and Guinea as of Wednesday because they have refused to take back deported citizens, the State Department said Tuesday.
Under federal law, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson can stop all or specific types of visas from being issued to such nations.
New ambassador to Sierra Leone hails from northwest Indiana
PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — A northwest Indiana native is the new U.S. ambassador to Sierra Leone.
Portage native Maria Brewer has served in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and other locations during her career with the U.S. State Department, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports .
Sierra Leone president addresses abandoned Hajj pilgrims
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's anti-corruption commission has declared that three senior government officials and two special assistants have been fired for allegedly selling government funds intended to assist poor people to make the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Local leaders say 1,000 dead from Sierra Leone mudslides
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — More than 1,000 people have died from the mudslide and flood that hit Sierra Leone's capital nearly two weeks ago, a local leader and a minister said Sunday during services honoring the disaster's victims.
The government had earlier put the death toll for the Aug. 14 mudslide at 450 dead, while rescuers and aid groups warned that many of the more than 600 people missing would likely not survive.
US to limit visas from 4 nations that won’t take deportees
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is poised to impose visa restrictions on four Asian and African nations refusing to take back their citizens who've been deported from the United States, officials said Thursday.
Orphaned kids build new lives after Sierra Leone’s mudslides
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Seven-year-old Ali Mansaray must build a new life for himself after surviving the mudslides and flooding that killed nearly 500 people, including his parents, in Sierra Leone last week.
Now he is being looked after by his grandmother, who was spared because she was sleeping at a friend's home the night of the Aug. 14 disaster.
Sierra Leone mudslide survivors remember day the mountain moved
“It happened as if it was a dream,” says Gabriel Fattah Manga, recalling the day his world came tumbling down around him, and his life changed forever.
Early morning Aug. 14 Manga, 25, was preparing to head to work as a carpenter in the Regent area of Freetown, Sierra Leone, when he realized something was badly wrong
Hospital officals: Nearly 500 dead in Sierra Leone mudslides
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Churches across Sierra Leone held special services Sunday in memory of those killed in mudslides and flooding earlier this week, as hospital officials announced the toll had risen to nearly 500 bodies collected.
More than 600 people remain missing and rescue officials have warned that the chances of finding survivors are decreasing each day. The death toll earlier stood at 450.
Hundreds missing in Sierra Leone mudslides likely dead
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Survivors picking through the debris of Sierra Leone's deadly mudslides were facing the reality Saturday that most, if not all, of the hundreds of people missing are dead, as relief and aid efforts intensified.
The death toll is already above 450 from the flooding and mudslides in the capital, Freetown, early Monday.
The number of missing could go higher than 600, according to Sierra Leone's deputy minister of information and communications, Cornelius Deveaux.
Sierra Leone death toll now up to 450 after mudslides
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Rescue officials in Sierra Leone warned Friday that the chances of finding survivors in the debris of this week's mudslides "are getting smaller every day," as bereaved and homeless survivors faced the magnitude of all they have lost.