Briefly: U.N. counts 5,000 displaced in Congo fighting

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A team of investigators has already started visiting Chinese construction and mining companies to compile details of alleged abuses, Labor Minister Paurina Mupariwa said during the country’s Workers’ Day celebrations in the capital, Harare.

Labor officials say workers have complained of physical abuse by Chinese managers. They also accuse their employers of paying them less than the legal minimum, forcing them to work long hours and neglecting health and safety conditions.

Years of political and economic turmoil have seen an influx of Chinese businesses in a “Look East” policy announced by President Robert Mugabe.

The creation of the policy is meant to replace Western investors scared off by human rights violations and a black power program that envisions seizure of 51 percent of foreign-owned firms, excluding Chinese.


Boko Haram releases video of smiling bomber

LAGOS — A radical Islamist sect published a video this week showing a smiling suicide bomber driving into the offices of a major Nigerian newspaper and blowing himself up in an attack that killed at least three people and made journalists a new target of the terrorist group.

The 18-minute video Boko Haram terrorists posted on YouTube includes new threats against reporters and major Nigerian newspapers, as well as the Hausa- language services of Voice of America and Radio France International.

An unnamed male speaker also threatens new attacks against Nigeria’s weak central government, saying security forces continue to hold the wives and children of its followers hostage.

The video shows the suicide bomber drive a sport utility vehicle on April 26 into the Abuja offices of ThisDay, an influential newspaper. As a man softly prays, the car blows up, sending a massive fireball into the air.


Group linked to al Qaeda releases ransom demand

BAMAKO — An al-Qaeda splinter group wants a total of $60 million in ransoms for two female European aid workers and seven Algerian diplomats taken hostage, the group’s spokesman said Wednesday.

Adnan Abu Walid Sahraoui of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa gave the figure in reply to a written question submitted by the Agence France-Presse.

The two women, an Italian and a Spaniard, were kidnapped in October along with a Spanish man, while working in a camp for Western Sahara refugees in Tindouf in western Algeria.

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