News Brief

Morocco Just Launched Its First Spy Satellite

Morocco launched and observational satellite on Wednesday to monitor military activity, surveillance of the country's borders and more.

Morocco has become the latest African nation to launch an official space program.

On Wednesday morning, the government launched The Mohammed VI-A satellite from Kourou, French Guiana. The satellite will be used for mostly observational purposes.

According to the Associated Press, this will include military activities, surveillance of the country's borders and coastline as well as monitoring of desertification.

A quote from the Associated Press reads reads:

The launch service provider Arianespace says that it will be used for mapping activities, spatial planning, monitoring of agricultural activities, prevention and management of natural disasters and monitoring of environmental developments.

A second satellite launch is already scheduled for 2018, though it is reportedly causing some concern in neighboring Algeria, where the Algerian Space Agency was launched back in 2002.

Morocco joins South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Egypt, where Space programs have been launched within the last decade.

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Photo credit should read KELVIN IKPEA/AFP via Getty Images

The Netherlands Returns Nigeria's Centuries-Old Stolen Artefact

The Netherlands has returned to Nigeria a 600-year-old stolen artefact, the Ife Terracotta, which has been received by Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

According to The Guardian Nigeria, the Netherlands has returned a 600-year-old artefact to Nigeria. This comes after the artefact was reportedly smuggled using fraudulent papers through Ghana to the Dutch country. Netherlands ambassador to Nigeria, Harry van Dijk, handed over the Ife Terracotta to Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture. The repatriation of the small but "priceless" Ife Terracotta has been a long journey considering it was reportedly smuggled out of Nigeria in 2019.

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