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By Thomas Escritt THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Kenya said the International Criminal Court's case against its two highest elected officials risked destabilising the entire east African region at a meeting of the court's member states on Thursday. At a debate to discuss the crisis resulting from the court's cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, the Kenyan attorney-general said the court and its member states were playing "Russian roulette" with the country. "Our country is the linchpin in the peace and security involving more than 250 million people from Djibouti to Eastern Congo and everybody in between," Githu Muigai told a special debate called at the request of the African Union. He said Kenya - an ally of the West in the fight against militant Islam in neighbouring Somalia - was a "pillar of security" in Eastern Africa, to loud applause from many African delegates at the conference.
By Elias Biryabarema KAMPALA (Reuters) - Leading Ugandan opposition figure Kizza Besigye was charged on Thursday with belonging to an unlawful society, a police official said. Besigye, who has lost three presidential elections, led mass protests in 2011 against Uganda's long-serving president Yoweri Museveni. "He was produced in court today and charged with belonging to an unlawful society but he asked for bail and the court granted it," Patrick Onyango, a police spokesman told Reuters. Besigye has been arrested several times at public rallies since the peak of the 2011 protests and although he stepped down last year as leader of FDC, Uganda's biggest opposition party, police have kept him under close scrutiny.
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) (AFP) - A notorious Malaysian wildlife trafficker dubbed the "Lizard King" for his smuggling of endangered reptiles is back in business, according to an Al Jazeera report that prompted outraged wildlife activists on Friday to demand action. Anson Wong was arrested in August 2010 at Kuala Lumpur's international airport while attempting to smuggle 95 endangered boa constrictors to Indonesia. Malaysian authorities had said in the wake of Wong's arrest that his licences for legitimate wildlife trading were revoked. But, in an investigative report, Al Jazeera said Wong and his wife Cheah Bing Shee were believed to be trading albino pythons and other wildlife from their base in the northern Malaysian state of Penang.
By Madjiasra Nako N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Chad's President Idriss Deby named a new prime minister on Thursday, hours after the previous head of government resigned along with his cabinet as parliament prepared to examine a motion of censure against them. Kalzeubet Pahimi Deubet an economist who currently heads Chad's government-owned cotton parastatal, was appointed under a presidential decree read on state television. Previous prime minister Joseph Djimrangar Dadnadji tendered his resignation earlier on Thursday, a day before lawmakers from his own ruling majority had planned to examine a motion of censure against his government. Seventy-four legislators introduced a motion on Monday criticising Dadnadji for chronic instability in the government and for failing to tackle Chad's high cost of living.
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has overhauled his starting line-up to ensure fresh legs as the world champion All Blacks look to complete a perfect season against Ireland on Sunday. We've gone around the world twice -- this will be our seventh Test in nine weeks," he told New Zealand media. Hansen was forced to make two changes for the Lansdowne Road clash, with star fly-half Dan Carter and prop Tony Woodcock out injured, but said he decided on a more extensive revamp to give some players a break. No international team in the professional era has enjoyed a perfect calendar year, with the All Blacks side led by Wayne Shelford -- that won all seven of their Tests in 1989 -- the last major nation to achieve the feat when rugby union was still an amateur sport.
The United States signaled to North Korea on Thursday that it could improve its strained ties with Washington by releasing U.S. citizens, after Pyongyang detained an 85-year-old retiree from California who is an American veteran of the Korean War. Months of hostile rhetoric early this year pushed tension to some of the highest levels in years with North Korea, which has conducted nuclear tests, threatening a nuclear strike on the United States and South Korea. North Korea last month detained Merrill Newman, a veteran of the Korean War and a retiree from the upscale Northern California city of Palo Alto, taking him off a plane as he was about to leave the country where he had been visiting on a tourist visa. The reclusive Asian nation has also held Korean-American Christian missionary Kenneth Bae since November 2012, sentencing him to 15 years of hard labor.
Superstar quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady square off Sunday when Manning leads Denver into New England in an NFL clash that could see Broncos receiver Wes Welker facing his old team. "It's always a great matchup," Broncos interim head coach Jack Del Rio said of the Manning-Brady duel. Brady has the best winning percentage in the NFL's modern era and is at plus-101 for his career (143-42) while Manning is third overall in winning percentage and plus-92 (163-71).
Kevin Durant scored 28 points and handed out eight assists to lead Oklahoma City to a 105-91 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in a battle of NBA Western Conference powers. Serge Ibaka added 17 points and Russell Westbrook scored 12 for the Thunder, who have won all five of their home games so far this season. Oklahoma City also avenged a 111-103 loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles last week in a game that saw both Matt Barnes of the Clippers and Ibaka of the Thunder ejected after a shoving match in the first half.