Benin

Jean Gregoire Sagbo is Russia's newly elected councilman of Novozavidovo, a rural community about 65 miles north of Moscow. Russia is still entrenched in the enigma of racism and plagued with systemic violence. But among the 10,000 residents here, 48-year-old Sagbo, though an immigrant from Benin, is perceived as a Russian who cares about his adopted hometown, reports

Four former Beninese Ministers may be tried at the country's High Court of Justice for corruption charges, according to a request for indictment from President Boni Yayi to the National Assembly. The Ministers include two former allies of President Yayi and two who served und er the government of his predecessor, Mathieu Kerekou.

Malaria researchers in Benin say they may have found a replacement for DDT in areas where mosquitoes are resistant to common insecticides. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) of insecticides is a major part of malaria control. But worries over toxicity and environmental persistence have led to calls for DDT to be phased out, and mosquitoes are growing resistant to widely used pyrethroid insecticides. Alternatives are expensive and short-lived.

Officials from the United Nations health agency and the Beninese Government are urging the West African nation’s citizens to be extra vigilant in observing good hygiene amid a recent cholera outbreak that has already claimed several lives. Since the outbreak began in early January, 131 cases have been confirmed of which two resulted in death, according to Léon Kohossi with the UN World Health Organization (WHO) in Benin.

Solar-powered irrigation systems can boost food and income levels in rural Sub-Saharan Africa, researchers have found. Irrigation is known to reduce poverty in Asia, they wrote in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week (5 January), but the success of the technique is not well-documented in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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