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Attenborough: Food aid to African famine is 'barmy'

David Attenborough's new series Rise Of Animals: Triumph Of The Vertebrates will begin on Friday. Credit: PA

Sir David Attenborough has dismissed sending food aid to countries enduring famine as "barmy" as he urged for more debate about population control.

The natural history broadcaster warned that the world is "heading for disaster" and without action the "natural world will do something", he told The Daily Telegraph.

He added that the natural world has been doing it "for a long time" and more discussion is needed.

"What are all these famines in Ethiopia, what are they about?" he said.

"They're about too many people for too little land. That's what it's about. And we are blinding ourselves.

"We say, get the United Nations to send them bags of flour. That's barmy."

Gunmen rob British school pupils on Africa trip

Gunmen forced a group of 16 British school pupils and staff from their vehicle during a roadside ambush on an expedition in Africa.

Money, cameras and mobile phones were stolen as the robbers rifled through their belongings during the hold-up in the Tabora region of Tanzania.

The pupils attend the private Cranbrook School in Kent. Credit: Google Street View

The 14 students, aged 15 to 18, and two staff members from the private Cranbrook School in Kent were "shaken" but uninjured following the robbery last month.

Headmaster John Weeds said, "We understand that the police have got to the bottom of who was responsible," as local reports suggest four men are due in court after admitting robbery.

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Nigerian president declares state of emergency

Goodluck Jonathan, 57, has been Nigerian president since May 2010. Credit: Reuters

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states, ordering in more troops to try to stem an increasingly violent Islamist insurgency.

"It has become necessary for Government to take extraordinary measures to restore normalcy," he told his country.

"Those insurgents and terrorists who take delight in killing our security operatives, whoever they may be, wherever they may go, we will hunt them down, we will fish them out, and we will bring them to justice. No matter what it takes, we will win this war against terror."

Islamist sect Boko Haram has intensified its attacks on security forces and government targets in its northeast stronghold this month, prompting Jonathan to declare an emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

Midwives called upon to stop African childbirth deaths

VSO has called for "experienced midwives, senior trainee doctors and nurses" to volunteer. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

British midwives have been urged to volunteer to train African nurses to deliver babies in a bid to reduce the number of women and children who die in childbirth in sub-Saharan Africa.

Every year 350,000 women die in childbirth across the globe, with the majority of the deaths taking place in developing countries, volunteer organisation VSO said.VSO's UK director, Angela Salt, said many lives could be saved if health workers in developing countries were given better training.

"I urge experienced midwives, senior trainee doctors and nurses to consider volunteering," she said. "You could help hospital staff identify solutions to problems, train new students or work in health ministries in countries with the greatest need, such as Sierra Leone, Malawi and Ethiopia."

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Jolie and Hague visit Africa for anti-rape campaign

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and Foreign Secretary William Hague have visited the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of a campaign to raise awareness of warzone rape.

Mr Hague said: "Sexual violence in conflict has to be resolved if conflicts are to be resolved. When rape is used as a weapon of war it makes communities harder to bring together.

Jolie added that is was "due time" to make the issue "a world-wide focus, it's been going on every war, every crisis".

Poaching elephants and rhinos 'fuels war and conflict'

Poaching in Africa has rocketed in the past five years in the face of soaring demand in the Far East for ivory and rhino horn, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Businesswoman and entrepreneur Deborah Meaden said: "This has got to stop. On my watch - in my lifetime - we cannot see these animals disappear."

Deborah explains:

"In our lifetime we could lose elephants in the wild. We could lose rhinos in the wild.

"What is probably less understood is that we know where the money comes from, but where is it going? Often it will be fuelling war and conflict."

Archbishop faces challenge in keeping Anglican Church united

Among the many challenges facing the new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is that of uniting the Anglican Church at home and abroad.

The issue of gay marriage among others is creating divisions in Africa and the Archbishop will have to tread very carefully.

Home to some 40 million worshipers, Africa is the new home of Anglicanism in terms of numbers.

ITV News' Africa Correspondent Rohit Kachroo reports from South Africa:

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