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  1. Egypt's leader lifts four-year state of emergency

    Youssef Taha

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

    Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has announced that he's ending the state of emergency which has been in force since April 2017 in the North African country.

    In a Facebook post, President Sisi announced that he would not be extending the state of emergency because Egypt had become "an oasis of security and stability".

    He imposed the strict measure four years ago in the aftermath of the bombings of two churches in the northern cities of Alexandria and Tanta.

    It gave police wider powers, curtailed civil liberties and put civilians on trial before military courts.

    Egypt is no stranger to states of emergency. The late President Hosni Mubarak imposed one following the assassination of his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, in 1981. It remained in place until he was toppled 30 years later.

    Mr Sisi has been Egypt's president since 2014, a year after he led the military's overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

    He was re-elected in 2018 in an election which was boycotted by the opposition and condemned by human rights groups.

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  2. Video content

    Video caption: Mohammed bin Salman: Exiled officer says Saudi crown prince is a 'psychopath'

    An exiled officer says the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman is a "psychopath".

  3. Video content

    Video caption: Middle East: Deadly Palestinian and Israeli clash

    Eight people have been killed and hundreds injured in protests at the occupied West Bank.

  4. Gambian migrants repatriated from Libya

    BBC World Service

    The United Nations says it has repatriated a group of Gambian migrants from Libya, after the authorities there allowed the resumption of evacuation flights.

    Nearly 100 people were flown home. Libyan officials had been blocking such flights for months.

    The UN has welcomed the permission to re-start the flights, but it says they can only benefit a small number of migrants and has urged the Libyan authorities to address the dire conditions they face in the country.

    Rights activists have condemned the treatment of more than 5,000 people who were recently detained in Tripoli. Many are said to have subjected to beatings and other abuse.

  5. Egypt ends case against activist Mozn Hassan

    BBC World Service

    Mozn Hassan, the executive director of a leading women's rights group Nazra for Feminist Studies, speaks to a journalist at her office in the Egyptian capital Cairo, on July 26, 2016.
    Image caption: Mozn Hassan, pictured here in 2016, says she'll now be able to think of the future without living in fear

    The Egyptian activist Mozn Hassan says the authorities have closed the case against her, after more than five years of an asset freeze and travel ban.

    Her non-governmental organisation - Nazra for Feminist Studies - and other NGOs had been accused of receiving foreign funding to harm national security.

    Reports say that a judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to press charges against them.

    The activist says she'll now be able to think of the future without living in fear.

    She took part in the protests of the Egyptian revolution of 2011 and worked to help those who were sexually assaulted at the time.

  6. Six African states invest heavily in spying - report

    Marco Oriunto

    BBC Focus on Africa radio

    Six African countries are investing heavily in the latest surveillance technology to spy on activists, business competitors, journalists, and other governments, a new report says.

    The Institute of Development Studies, which published the report, identified Nigeria as the biggest spender, with more than $127m (£92m) invested in surveillance-related activities and equipment in 2017.

    Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, and Sudan have also made significant investments on surveillance technology, the report said.

    Internet signal interception, citizens surveillance, and internet eavesdropping often happen despite laws granting the right to privacy of communication and correspondence, it added.

    "Privacy rights in Africa are very well guaranteed in most countries," Tony Roberts, one of the co-authors of the study, told BBC Focus on Africa radio's Bola Mosuro.

    "However, using this surveillance technology, governments are violating those rights," he added.

    National security and economic interests are cited as the most frequent justifications used by the governments to stretch their surveillance power, often in breach of the rights to privacy of private citizens and civil society organisations.

    Egypt is named as one of the countries with the weakest privacy protection laws. Without an independent oversight body, the state is the only "judge, jury and regulator" says the report.

    "To get governments to value and respect the legislation that does exist. It's important that the public are aware of the rights that they have," Mr Roberts said.