World news in brief

By Drum Digital
16 January 2014

Some of the stories making headlines on the continent and around the world.

Goodluck Jonathan appoints new Nigerian military commander

In a major shakeup of the high command of Nigeria's military which is battling an Islamic uprising, President Goodluck Jonathan appointed an air force officer from the troubled northeast Thursday as his new top military commander, and new chiefs of the army, air force and navy.

Air Marshal Alex S. Badeh, 57, has the top job as chief of defense staff and services, with immediate effect, according to a statement. Badeh had been chief of air services since 2012. It did not say what will happen to his predecessor, Adm. Ola Sa'ad Ibrahim, who had headed the military since 2012.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Tobiah Jacob Minimah is the new chief of army staff. Rear Adm. Usman O. Jibrin takes over the navy and the new chief of air staff is Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu.

Several other senior army officers got new assignments last month.

Badeh takes over as Africa's biggest oil producer battles Islamic extremists in the northeast. Badeh's home state of Adamawa as well as neighboring Borno and Yobe states have been under a state of emergency since May. Thousands of security forces deployed to the area quickly drove Boko Haram insurgents out of major urban centers but there has been a resurgence in attacks recently. - AP

At leaset seven people killed in overnight violence in CAR

At least seven people were killed in overnight violence in the Central African Republic's capital of Bangui, according to a compiled toll Thursday from the Red Cross and AFP.

AFP reporters saw the bodies of three people, including a teen boy, killed by bullets in a city mosque, while the country's Red Cross office said it had collected the corpses of four men killed by machete.

Tensions remained high in the city, where French forces are patrolling in a bid to quell unrest that continues to simmer between Muslim ex-rebels and the Christian majority. - Sapa-AFP

Angry wife outs Indian minister's affair on Twitter

India's top-tweeting minister scrambled to save his career Thursday after his wife exposed his alleged adultery on Twitter and revived a cricket scandal that led him to resign from cabinet in 2010.

The damaging quarrel began late Wednesday when a curious series of messages appeared on the Twitter account of suave thrice-married human resources minister Shashi Tharoor, seen by his two million followers.

They showed private exchanges purportedly between the 57-year-old (@shashitharoor) and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar (@mehrtarar), in which she professed her love for him and he said his wife had discovered his affair.

Tharoor quickly responded by saying his account had been "hacked," but furious wife Sunanda spoke to two newspapers overnight confirming herself as the author of the messages.

"Our accounts have not been hacked and I have been sending out these tweets," Sunanda told the Economic Times, adding to the Indian Express that she "100 percent" stood by the messages.

Tarar denied having an affair with the former high-flying UN diplomat.

Tharoor had to resign from his first ministerial post after revelations that then-girlfriend Sunanda had been given a free stake in a new Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team.

Opposition parties said the stake, reportedly worth up to $15 million, was for Tharoor's behind-the-scenes services in putting together a consortium that bought a franchise in his home state of Kerala.

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