>> Former soccer star George Weah has won election as president of Liberia, setting up the first peaceful transfer of power in the western African nation since 1944. Weah defeated current Vice President Joseph Boakai in a runoff election with 61.5% of the vote, the country's election commission said Thursday.
Weah grew up in a slum in the capital of Monrovia, but went on to star for AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, and Chelsea, and is the only African to win the FIFA Player of the Year award. Liberia was founded by freed US slaves in 1847 and has had a troubled history, with a military coup in 1980, and a 14-year civil war that ended in only 2003.
Current President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first female head of state in Africa, and has ruled for 12 years but has faced criticisms of failing to root out elite corruption or persistent poverty.