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Rights group says defamation case has been dropped against prominent Angolan journalist

 By LYNSEY CHUTEL, Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A prominent Angolan journalist, jailed for his criticism of the government, has been released, a human rights group said on Thursday.
The criminal case against Rafael Marques de Morais has been stopped, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights group said. The reasons for the action are still unclear, said the group. Marques had been out on bail.
"This is an absolutely stunning turnaround," said Jeffrey Smith, Africa director of the Robert F. Kennedy group, lauding Marques' courage. "He stood face to face with Angola's most powerful and dangerous men, and he did not blink."
The journalist and human rights activist went on trial in March this year after a group of generals accused him of defamation, according to Marques' news website, Maka Angola.
The generals' accusations stem from Marques' 2011 book, "Blood Diamonds: Torture and Corruption in Angola." In it, Marques alleges more than 100 killings and 500 torture cases carried out by a private security firm owned by the generals, according to Maka Angola. Marques also accuses the Angolan Armed Forces of human rights abuses that took place in the country's diamond mining regions.
Marques asked the Angolan attorney general to investigate the allegations, according to an article on Maka Angola. The attorney general interviewed the alleged victims, but set the case aside. The generals in turn laid multiple charges of libel and defamation against Marques.
Marques faced up to nine years in jail or could have been fined up to $1.2 million in damages.


The walrus and the carpenteer
By Lewis Carrol

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright—
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done—
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying over head—
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it WOULD be grand!”
“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”
The eldest Oyster looked at him.
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head—
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat—
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more—
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—-and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.”
“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.
“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed—
Now if you’re ready Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”
“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue,
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said
“Do you admire the view?
"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf—
I’ve had to ask you twice!”
“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”
“I weep for you,” the Walrus said.
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size.
Holding his pocket handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter.
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?”
But answer came there none—
And that was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.



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