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At 90, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe says he has the energy of 9-year-old

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Robert Mugabe celebrated his 90th birthday on Sunday, having spent more than a third of his life as leader of Zimbabwe, lauded as a liberation hero by some and condemned as a human rights abuser by others.

At a birthday party-cum-political rally in a football stadium, Mugabe, showed no signs of ill health after returning from Singapore for what aides said was a cataract operation.

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“I am made to feel youthful and as energetic as a boy of nine,” a smiling Mugabe told thousands of supporters at the party, held a few days after his birthday due to the Singapore trip.

Zimbabwe’s sole ruler since the former Rhodesia gained independence from Britain in 1980, Mugabe is under Western sanctions. He denies human rights abuses and election fraud and blames former colonial power Britain for smearing his name.

“The British, we don’t hate you, we only love our country better,” he told the crowd, saying he had received many birthday greetings from compatriots and from foreign leaders including those of China and Russia.

Mugabe’s age and concerns about his health have fuelled a succession battle inside his ZANU-PF party. Vice-President Joice Mujuru leads the field but faces a challenge from Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, a powerful former defense and security minister known as “the Crocodile”.

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In an apparent response to questions over his health, Mugabe said his abstinence from alcohol and tobacco kept him fit, but he gave no indication of when he planned to retire. His aides have denied speculation he has been treated for prostate cancer.

“God, I can’t thank you enough for that gift of life,” Mugabe said during the event where he spoke for over an hour and walked around the stadium in the small farming town of Marondera, 100 kms (65 miles) east of Harare.

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He told the crowd he intended to crack down on officials, including cabinet ministers, implicated in corruption and fraud in state companies.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Writing by Cris Chinaka; Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa and Robin Pomeroy)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Greenland isn’t for sale but it is increasingly valuable*

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President Donald Trump's reported wish to buy Greenland may have been rejected by Denmark, but it underscores the rapidly rising value of the massive, ice-covered island due to global warming and to China's drive for an Arctic presence.

The accelerating polar ice melt has left sparsely populated Greenland, a self-governing part of Denmark, astride what are potentially major shipping routes and in the crosshairs of intensifying geopolitical competition between superpowers.

It also has untapped natural resources like oil, minerals and valuable rare earth elements that China, the United States and other major tech economies covet.

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US issues warrant for seizure of Iranian tanker in Gibraltar

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The US Justice Department issued a warrant Friday for the seizure of the Iranian oil supertanker Grace 1, one day after a Gibraltar judge allowed the release of the detained vessel.

The Justice Department alleged the ship was part of a scheme "to unlawfully access the US financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps," which the US has designated a foreign terrorist organization.

The warrant says the vessel, which remained anchored in the British Mediterranean territory late Friday, and all the oil aboard are subject to forfeiture based on violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as well as bank fraud, money laundering, and terrorism statutes.

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Hundreds of Mexican women protest police rape of teenager

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Hundreds of women demanding protection from Mexico City's police force took to the streets Friday after a number of high-profile sexual assault cases involving serving officers.

To shouts of "I do believe you!" and "My friends protect me, you don't," the initially peaceful rally ended with some participants lighting a fire on the second floor of a police building and vandalizing a bus station.

The protesters also sprayed graffiti on the capital's Independence Monument, adorning the base of the stone edifice with the slogan "damned pigs!"

Two reports of attacks on women this month have sparked outrage and bitter recriminations against the city's police force, with protesters mobilizing on social media through the hashtag #NoMeCuidanMeViolan, or "They don't protect me, they rape me."

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