Eyder Peralta

CAPE TOWN, South AfricaIn South Africa, the government tried to control the COVID-19 outbreak by banning booze to keep people from gathering. Plus, sober South Africans were less likely to violently protest a complete lockdown.

You couldn't sit at a bar; you couldn't order a glass of wine; you couldn't even buy beer at the store.

There was an immediate public health benefit that had nothing to do with COVID-19. Suddenly, emergency rooms were empty, devoid of alcohol-related accidents.

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Finally today, so you might not be surprised that a record titled "Preacher's Kid" by a musician whose father was a pastor would take the top spot on the iTunes Christian album chart. That happened last month with the new album by Grace Semler Baldrige, who performs as Semler. But the lyrics on that album tell a different story than the one you might be expecting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JESUS FROM TEXAS")

SEMLER: (Singing) My mom turned 18 in the 1960s, and she doesn't remember Stonewall.

In 2001, Maurine Murenga was pregnant and HIV-positive. She was living in Kenya, and a counselor encouraged her to fill out a memory book. She wrote directions to her village, details about her family so that when she died, someone would know where to bury her and where to send her child.

"It was nothing like preparing," says Murenga. "It was actually preparing us for death."

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni arrived at his ranch in Kisozi, about a five-hour drive from the capital Kampala, by helicopter. As the 76-year-old leader walked into an interview with NPR, he was jovial, cracking jokes, eager to show off the 10,000 cows that roam this ranch.

After 27 years as a global pariah, Sudan has been officially removed from the American State Sponsor of Terrorism list.

The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum made the announcement in a Facebook post, saying that the statutory 45 days had lapsed since President Trump gave Congress notice of the administration's intent to delist Sudan, so the declaration could now come into effect.

The heat is unrelenting in the middle of a December day in eastern Sudan. It's hard to find any shade in this arid landscape. It's mostly dust and boulders — and, for now at least, it is the temporary home of tens of thousands of Ethiopian refugees who have crossed the border to flee the fighting in their country.

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For more than a week, Ethiopian government forces have been fighting against a powerful regional government in the country's north and hundreds are reported to have died.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel Peace laureate, ordered the government offensive after accusing the rival Tigray People's Liberation Front of launching an attack against Ethiopia's military last week.

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