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Apartheid death-squad leader Eugene de Kock, dubbed 'Prime Evil' for his role in the torture and murder of black South African activists in the 1980s and early 1990s, will learn on Friday whether he will be released on parole after 20 years in prison. Justice Minister Michael Masutha is due to announce his decision on de Kock's application for parole at 0730 GMT at a news conference in Pretoria. Masutha will also announce his decision on the medical parole application of right-wing politician Clive Derby-Lewis, who masterminded the 1993 assassination of South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani. As head of an apartheid counter-insurgency unit at Vlakplaas, a farm 20 km (15 miles) west of Pretoria, de Kock is believed to have been responsible for more atrocities than any other man in the efforts to preserve white rule.
TOKYO (AP) — Families of a Japanese journalist and Jordanian military pilot remained in limbo Friday, a day after the latest purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed with no further word from the Islamic State group holding them captive.
By Aaron Maasho ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The African Union has endorsed a West African plan to set up a regional task force of 7,500 to fight Islamist Boko Haram militants, a senior official said on Thursday, a vital step towards securing U.N. Security Council backing. Neighbours Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Benin agreed earlier this month to call on the African Union (AU) to seek U.N. Security Council support for their plan to take on insurgents who are fighting to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. Boko Haram has made incursions into neighbouring Cameroon and threatens the stability of a region that includes Niger and Chad. The next step is to submit (approval) to the U.N. Security Council," Smail Chergui, the commissioner of the AU's Peace and Security Council, told reporters on the sidelines of an African summit in Addis Ababa.