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Ofeibea Quist-Arcton

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It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

The New Road bus station in the heart of Kano is a scene of bedlam.

Men, women and children are milling around, with huge bundles and baggage in all shapes and sizes, waiting to be loaded onto half a dozen buses. Others are already onboard. They're in a desperate hurry to head south, leaving behind this troubled city in the north of Nigeria.

Kano, the largest city in Nigeria's Muslim north, is an ancient, sprawling metropolis of more than 9 million. Last Friday, the Muslim day of prayers was shattered by a series of coordinated bomb blasts.

Just down the street from one of the main market areas in the city, the road remains blocked off from a police station hit in the attacks. The radical Islamist sect Boko Haram claimed responsibility.

Sagir Ali, a security guard at a parking lot at the market, says he watched as nearby government offices were attacked.

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan is facing the most sustained challenge to his presidency as he confronts crises on two fronts.

His government recently removed fuel subsidies, which has sent transportation costs soaring and prompted nationwide strikes that were in their third day Wednesday.

And a radical Muslim group is warning of renewed sectarian violence in a country that has a roughly equal split between Muslims and Christians.

Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour made his name in music, and now he wants to be president of his homeland.

N'Dour gained an international audience in 1994 with his hit song "Seven Seconds," with Neneh Cherry. He went on to earn a Grammy in 2004 for the album Egypt, becoming one of Africa's most influential and popular singers.

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On November 28th, elections were held in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were only the second democratic polls in the nation's turbulent half-century of independence, and even before voters went to the polls there were signs that all was not well.

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This is a day for democracy, however imperfect, in two key African nations. We're following elections for parliament today, in Egypt. And observers say the voting has gone forward, today, despite days of protest and violence preceding the vote.

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And I'm Renee Montagne.

Yet another foreign army has sent its troops into Somalia.

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