News Digest: Pope Francis Urges End to Migrant Boat Deadlock; Nigeria Soldiers Raid Paper 'Over Boko Haram Article'
Jan. 07, 2019
1. Pope Francis urges end to migrant boat deadlock
Pope Francis has appealed to European leaders to show "concrete solidarity" and allow 49 migrants aboard two ships in the Mediterranean to land.
Issuing a "heartfelt appeal" in a public address in the Vatican, the Pope said the migrants needed "a safe port".
Both Italy and Malta have refused to allow the two ships to land.
Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said it could set a "precedent", while Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio called on Malta to "do its part".
2. Nigeria soldiers raid paper 'over Boko Haram article'
Nigerian soldiers have raided the main office of the private Daily Trust newspaper and confiscated computers.
It follows the arrest of some staff at the newspaper's office in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Daily Trust says it may be connected with its lead story on Sunday about the military preparing an operation to recapture territory.
The army denies it recently lost control of some towns to militants.
3. Egypt opens Middle East's biggest cathedral
President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has inaugurated Egypt's largest cathedral in the new administrative capital east of Cairo, a day after a deadly bomb blast near a Coptic church.
The newly built Cathedral of Nativity had its first Mass under heavy security on Sunday, the eve of Coptic Christmas.
On Saturday, a policeman died trying to defuse an explosive device hidden on a roof in Nasr City outside Cairo.
Copts make up about 10% of Egypt's Muslim-majority population.
Many say the state discriminates against them and does not offer them enough protection.
4. US and North Korea negotiating location for second summit
US President Donald Trump has said that a location for another summit with North Korea is being negotiated.
Mr Trump told reporters in Washington DC that "a good dialogue" was taking place with North Korea, but sanctions on Pyongyang would remain in place.
Mr Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last June, the first such meeting for a sitting US president.
No tangible progress has been achieved so far on the main US goal: North Korea's denuclearisation.
President Trump said last week that he had received a "great letter" from Mr Kim, although he did not reveal its contents.
5. 13 African Countries Beat Nigeria in Forbes Business Ranking
Thirteen African countries have been ranked higher than Nigeria in Forbes Magazine's Best Country for Business ranking for 2019.
Nigeria emerged as the 110th Best Country for Business, below South Africa, ranked 59, Morocco (62), Seychelles (66), Tunisia (82), Botswana (83), Rwanda (90), Kenya (93), Ghana (94), Egypt (95), Namibia (96), Senegal (100), Zambia (103) and Cape Verde (104).