Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
MASERU (Reuters) - Lesotho has brought forward 2017 elections by two years to try to resolve political tensions in the southern African country after an attempted coup in August, South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday. General elections will now be held towards the end of February next year, Ramaphosa, who has been mediating between rival political factions, told a news conference in the capital. The king of the mountainous kingdom, which is completely surrounded by South Africa, will reconvene parliament on Oct. 17, Ramaphosa added.
MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia sought to assure the public that the kingdom was safe and free of health scares as an estimated 2 million Muslims streamed into a sprawling tent city near Mecca on Thursday for the start of the annual Islamic hajj pilgrimage.