In May, the South African government approved Walmart's bid to buy Massmart for more than $2 billion. Massmart is the largest retail chain in southern Africa, operating in 14 countries. But now the government is reconsidering that ruling.
Workers' unions have long opposed the plan because of concerns that the deal could lead to significant job losses, and the government has worries of its own in a time of high unemployment.
South Africa has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, with roughly 1 in 300 people behind bars. This has inspired a growing number of prison outreach programs. In Cape Town, one such program isn't turning criminals into angels. But it's helping rehabilitate young men -- and apparently producing some fine actors.
The people of Southern Sudan will choose next month whether to break up Africa's biggest state into north and south and create the world's newest nation. Much is at stake, including most of Sudan's oil reserves and -- potentially -- peace in one of the continent's more volatile countries.
The biggest question looming as the Jan. 9 referendum approaches: Will the north and its Arab-led government let the mostly ethnic-African south go without more bloodshed?
These days, an air of melancholy hangs over Khartoum, Sudan's dusty desert capital.