By Wendell Roelf CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African police fired stun grenades on Thursday to disperse crowds outside parliament, hours before the annual state-of-the-nation speech by President Jacob Zuma, whom the opposition accuse of mismanaging the flagging economy. Backed by several armoured vehicles, mounted police and a water cannon, police scuffled with protesters outside the assembly as opposition supporters clashed with Zuma supporters. Zuma's speech is expected to highlight policies to revive a flagging economy, hampered by years of weak growth, at a time the president is under fire over a taxpayer-funded 250 million (then $23 million) upgrade to his private home.
By Makini Brice DAKAR (Reuters) - Chad's former ruler Hissene Habre faces a three-month wait to learn his fate after a landmark human rights trial in Senegal at which victims gave harrowing accounts of arbitrary detention, torture and prisoners being forced to dig mass graves. Defence lawyers were addressing the court on Thursday, and the three judges are expected to rule in May. Habre ruled from 1982 to 1990, when he fled into exile in Senegal. Two years later, a truth commission in Chad said 40,000 acts of political murder and torture occurred during his tenure, mostly by his feared Documentation and Security Directorate.
By Phil Stewart and Robin Emmott BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The United States pressed allies on Thursday to contribute more to a U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State that it says must be accelerated, regardless of the fate of diplomatic efforts to end Syria's civil war. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter started talks on Thursday in Brussels with more than two dozen defense ministers, including from key ally Saudi Arabia, which renewed its offer potentially to send troops into Syria.