Category: Foreign

Christmas market Shooting in Strasbourg leaves 2 dead and 11 critically injured

At least 2 people have died and 11 people are critically injured after shots were fired close to a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France.

The shooting incident happened close to a Christmas market in the central square of Strasbourg, Place Kleber.

It is not yet clear if there was any link to a terrorist group.

Police report that they know the identity of the gunman and are desperately trying to track him down.

Meanwhile, The French Interior Ministry has called on the public to remain indoors following the shooting.

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6 dead, dozens hurt in Italy nightclub stampede

Italy_Nightclub_Stampede_72324At least six people died and dozens were injured in a stampede when panic broke out during a rap concert at an Italian nightclub early Saturday.

Media reports said the suspected use of a pepper spray-like substance sparked the chaos at the venue in the town of Corinaldo, near Ancona in central Italy.

The cause may have been the dispersal of a stinging substance, the young people fled and trampled over each other. Sadly, six people died and dozens are injured,” the fire service said in a statement on Twitter.

The victims include five people under the age of 18 — three girls and two boys – and an adult woman who accompanied her daughter to the concert.

Local fire chief Dino Poggiali said that 14 of the injured were in a critical condition, and 40 less serious.italyfeed

As the crowd panicked, people ran for the three emergency exits, one of which led to a small bridge and the car park, according to a preliminary investigation.

The force of the fleeing crowd made a railing collapse and dozens of people fell, crushing those below to death.

– ‘You can’t die like that! –

A pile of abandoned shoes testified to the chaos of the stampede, with survivors and the bereaved weeping outside the nightclub as emergency vehicles tended to the injured, local newspaper Ancona Today reported.

“It can’t be! You can’t die like that. Wake up Mattia, I beg you,” one unnamed woman cried as she knelt by her son’s body, the paper said.

Around 1,000 people — many of them young — were in the Lanterna Azzurra (Blue Lantern) club for a performance by Italian rapper Sfera Ebbasta, known as “the king of the trap” for his style of Hip Hop.1d2e1dcea16f48e9bdc4de07c159bc0a_18

The accident happened at around 1am (0000 GMT).

“We were dancing and waiting for the concert to start when we smelt this pungent odour,” a 16-year-old boy who was taken to hospital told the media.

“We ran to one of the emergency exits but we found it blocked, the bouncers told us to go back.”

The injured were taken to hospital in the nearby town of Senigallia and the most serious on to Ancona.

In 2017, a woman died and 1,500 were injured in a crush during the outdoor broadcast in Turin of a Champions League football match final when rumours of a bombing sparked panic.

Around 30,000 people had gathered in June last year to watch the broadcast from Cardiff, Wales, of the local team Juventus play Real Madrid when pepper spray was shot into the crowd as part of a robbery attempt.

Erika Pioletti, 38, died two weeks later after being left in a coma by the crush. She had gone to watch the game in the square with her boyfriend.

Eight people were arrested on suspicion of causing the scramble by dispersing the irritating substance.

China unveils Nelson Mandela statue to mark diplomatic relations with South Africa

A bust sculpture of Nelson Mandela, known as Madiba in South Africa, was unveiled at the Beijing Jintai Arts Museum to commemorate 100 years since Mandela’s birth.

It was also used to mark 20 years of diplomatic relations between South Africa and China.

The bust and inscription were contributed to by the SA Embassy in Beijing and Consulates General in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

SA Minister of Arts and Culture Mr. Nathi Mthethwa was present as a guest of honor alongside other senior government officials.

During the unveiling, the national anthems of the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China were played, and a number of guests placed flowers under the statue.

2018 marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela. The former South African President is globally renowned for his selfless contribution to the global struggle against oppression and the fight against apartheid in South Africa.

“Globally, Madiba is renowned for his role as a great negotiator and a living symbol of reconciliation. He is a symbol of unity in a country, South Africa, which is courageously grappling with the legacy of a vicious past,” Mthethwa said during his speech.

He explained that when Mandela and his compatriots were jailed for life in 1964, China was among the countries that sent protest notes and called for their release. Subsequently, China was one of the countries that Mandela visited after his release from prison.

Given the historical ties between South Africa and China, said Mthethwa, it was Mandela who embraced and ultimately promoted the one-China diplomatic policy, which saw South Africa and China establish diplomatic relations on Jan. 1, 1998.

During her speech before the unveiling, Ambassador Dolana Msimang said, “It is most fitting that we celebrate our 20 year anniversary together with Madiba’s centenary, as he was the main architect who built, shaped and nurtured our relations with China.”

Micheal Cohen should serve a long prison term’ – President Trump Tweets about his ex-lawyer

President Donald Trump has called for a long jail term for his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen, who admitted lying to Congress about pursuing a real estate deal with Russia on Trump’s behalf during the 2016 election campaign.

Trump also praised another former advisor, Roger Stone, for refusing to testify against him drawing accusations of witness tampering and illegally obstructing the Russia collusion investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump accused Cohen of fabricating stories about his Russia dealings to minimise his sentence on multiple counts of tax evasion, financial fraud and campaign finance violations that he has admitted in federal court in New York.

Last week Cohen also admitted to lying in testimony about contacts with powerful Moscow figures over building a Trump Tower in Moscow.

See the tweets below

Former U.S President George H.W. Bush dead at 94

george-h-w-bush-flag-portrait-gty-jc-180416_hpMain_1_16x9_992President George H.W. Bush the former helmsman of the US who ruled over the end of the Cold War is dead. He died on Friday night at the age of 94, said a family spokesman.
Bush’s regime was also noteworthy because he routed Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army. died on Friday night at the age of 94, a family spokesman said.
Bush, the 41st president of the United States, lived longer than any of his predecessors. His death at 10:10 p.m. Central time was announced in a statement issued by longtime spokesman Jim McGrath.
Bush lost a chance for a second term after breaking a no-new-taxes pledge. But his son who bears his name came, in as the 43rd President after the era of Bill Clinton.
The death was also announced by his family Friday night on Twitter.
“George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and two siblings,” the former president’s office said in a statement.
“He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline “Robin” Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or “Bucky” Bush.”
His son George W. Bush, who served as the country’s 43rd president, released a statement of his own from the family. “Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died,” George W. Bush said. “George H. W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens.”george-hw-bush-gty-jt-180527_hpMain_16x9_608
Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital with a blood infection on April 22 — two days after the funeral for his wife of 73 years, former first lady Barbara Bush. He is survived by his five children, including former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Bush was with his wife when she died at the age of 92 on April 17.
“He, of course, is broken-hearted to lose his beloved Barbara, his wife of 73 years. He held her hand all day and was at her side when [she] left this good earth,” a statement from his office said after her death. “But it will not surprise all ofyou who know and love him, that he also is being stoic and strong, and is being lifted up by his large and supportive family.”`

#Ebola: 198 reported dead within four months

EbolaMainAt least 198 people have died of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo since the start of an outbreak in late July, the country’s Health Ministry said on Friday. According to the Health Ministry, among the 426 cases of reported hemorrhagic fever, 379 of them were confirmed to be Ebola cases. It has been reported that more than 126 people have recovered from the virus.

Some 38 people died after they had a hemorrhagic fever, but it couldn’t be verified whether they died of Ebola because they were buried without an autopsy. A total of 37,559 people were administered anti-Ebola vaccines in the country with a campaign which started on Augut 8.

“The risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as to neighboring countries, remains very high,” said the World Health Organization in a written statement Thursday.

As the risk of national and regional spread is very high, it is important for neighboring provinces and countries to enhance surveillance and preparedness activities,” the statement read.

Ebola — a tropical fever which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo — can be transmitted to humans from wild animals. It can also reportedly spread through contact with the body fluids of infected persons or of those who have succumbed to the virus.

Ebola caused global alarm in 2014 when the world’s worst outbreak began in West Africa, killing more than 11,300 people and infecting an estimated 28,600 as it swept through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

First transgender political candidate reappears after kidnapping fears in India

ChandramukhiA transgender candidate in state elections in southern India has presented herself at a police station after her disappearance prompted fears of a kidnapping, police said on Thursday.

Chandramukhi Muvvala disappeared minutes after she left her one-room home on Tuesday morning in an informal settlement in Hyderabad, capital of Telangana state, where she is the only transgender candidate participating in December 7 elections.

She walked into Banjara Hills police station in Hyderabad late on Wednesday night with her lawyer, said R. Govinda Reddy, an officer at the station, who added that Muvvala has yet to give a statement about what happened to her.Chandramukhi Muvvala

“Right now we do not suspect anybody. But if she makes an allegation against anyone in her statement, we will inquire into it,” Reddy told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Muvvala was “extremely disoriented” when she reappeared, said her campaign aid Bittu Karthik.

Muvvala is an activist with the Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samiti, a local advocacy group for hijras – or transgender women – which campaigns against transphobic violence.

India has about 2 million transgender people, according to the 2011 census. Although the Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that transgender people have equal rights under the law, they are often shunned and many survive through begging or sex work.

Muvvala’s disappearance sparked concern in the transgender community about her safety, according to Karthik, who is also a member of Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samiti.

“There is disproportionate amount of violence against transgender people and as an electoral candidate, we fear physical violence can be used,” Karthik said on Wednesday.

Police said they had deployed special teams to trace Muvvala after a local court ordered them on Wednesday to produce her in court by Thursday morning.

Karthik said in a text message on Thursday morning that Muvvala would appear in court.

‘Robert Mugabe Can No Longer Walk’ – President Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe’s ex-President Robert Mugabe is in Singapore for medical care and now unable to walk because of ill health and old age, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Saturday.

Mnangagwa told his ZANU-PF party supporters at a rally that the 94-year-old Mugabe had been receiving medical care in Singapore for the past two months.

“He (Mugabe) is now old. Of course, he now is unable to walk but whatever he asks for we will provide,” Mnangagwa told hundreds of supporters in Mugabe’s home area of Zvimba, about 100 km (60 miles) west of the capital Harare.

“We are looking after him. He is the founding father of the nation of Zimbabwe. He is our founding father of free Zimbabwe.”

He said Mugabe was expected back in the country at the end of this month.
“He should have been back on October 25 but his health was not yet good,” Mnangagwa said.

“But yesterday we got a message that he thinks he is getting better. He will come back on 30 November.”
This month marked a year after Mugabe was toppled in a brief military intervention to end his 37-year grip on power.

Mnangagwa took over from Mugabe and was elected in disputed July 30 elections. He has vowed to revive Zimbabwe’s ailing economy by attracting much needed foreign direct investment.

President Xi Jinping Visits the Philippines to Deepen Ties With the U.S. Ally

Xi JinpingChinese President Xi Jinping received a red-carpet welcome in the Philippines on Tuesday, as he paid his first visit to the U.S. treaty ally with offers of infrastructure loans and new accords to prevent clashes and possibly explore for oil and gas in the disputed South China Sea.

Xi was met by top officials as a military brass band played in Manila, the last stop in a three-nation swing through Asia in which he’s offering infrastructure loans and aid and championing free trade in a rivalry for influence with the United States.

Classes were suspended in Manila and thousands of police were deployed to secure the overnight visit of Xi, who Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte once called “a great president.” More than 300 protesters with placards that read “Philippines not for sale” and “Hands off our land and seas” rallied in front of the Chinese Consulate in Manila.

Xi’s visit to the Philippines is the first by a Chinese president in 13 years.

“We have reopened the door of friendship and cooperation … bringing real benefits to our peoples and making an important contribution to regional peace, stability and prosperity,” Xi said in a statement issued after his arrival.

Beijing’s relations with Manila stagnated over long-seething territorial rifts in the South China Sea until Duterte won the presidency in mid-2016 and rebuilt ties with China while often pillorying U.S. security policies in a dramatic pivot. The administration of Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, brought the disputes with China over the strategic waterway to international arbitration and won, but China has ignored the outcome.

Duterte has refused to immediately demand Chinese compliance to the landmark ruling, which invalidated China’s sweeping claims to the waters, where Beijing has transformed a string of disputed reefs into missile-protected island bases.

Duterte’s rapprochement has fostered a new era of warming relations with the Asian economic powerhouse, with which he has sought trade and investment, infrastructure financing and weapons to fight insurgents. While Western governments have sharply criticized Duterte’s brutal crackdown against illegal drugs, China has not. Both Xi and Duterte have often been in the crosshairs of human rights groups.

After a wreath-laying ceremony at the monument of Philippine national hero Jose Rizal in a Manila seaside park that was cordoned off by police, Xi and his entourage will meet Duterte and top Philippine officials later Tuesday at the nearby Malacanan presidential palace.

Two Philippine officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Duterte’s administration would likely sign a memorandum of understanding to support Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” an ambitious infrastructure loan program that has been criticized by the United States as endangering debtor nations to debt bondage and could compromise their independence.

Xi has denied the Chinese loans could lead to “foreign debt trap.”

The Philippine government won’t likely immediately accede to proposals for oil and gas exploration in disputed waters but may sign an agreement “to explore maritime cooperation” and establish a committee and a task force to hasten talks that may lead to a decision for a joint hunt for undersea fuel deposits, said the Philippine officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the touchy issue.

China has sought a so-called “Maritime and Air Liaison Mechanism,” an arrangement for forces of both countries to coordinate their naval and aircraft movement to prevent “incidents” in the contested waters, but the proposal has been opposed by Philippine defense officials, the officials said.

Filipino nationalists have warned that any agreement that can undermine the Philippines’ internationally recognized exclusive rights to fish and exploit resources within a 200-nautical-mile stretch of waters from the country’s coast would violate the Philippine constitution.

“The Philippines should not waive our sovereign rights as affirmed by the arbitral ruling,” said Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, who has made extensive studies on the territorial conflicts.

Aside from their trade disputes, China and the United States have wrestled over the South China Sea. Chinese officials have asked Washington to back off from what they say is a purely Asian dispute, but the U.S. has vowed to maintain a presence in the waters, where it has no claims but has vowed to continue naval patrols to promote freedom of navigation and overflight despite Chinese warnings.

“We will continue to fly and sail wherever international law allows and our national interests demand; harassment will only strengthen our resolve. We will not change course,” U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in a weekend meeting in Papua New Guinea that was attended by Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum leaders, including Xi.

police officer injured as an active shooter opened fire inside a Chicago hospital

An undisclosed number of people have been wounded, including a police officer, after an ‘active shooter’ attack at a Chicago hospital.

Reports says, the Chicago police officer was critically injured after gunfire broke out at Mercy Hospital, located in the city’s South Side, around 3.20pm on Monday.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the officer is ‘in critical condition but receiving excellent care’ at University of Chicago Hospital.

The gunman reportedly targeted a woman who was dressed in hospital scrubs in Mercy’s parking lot and shot her multiple times.

An official said that fewer than six people were believed to have been shot and at least ‘one possible offender’ was also shot.

According to An eye witness identified as Hector Aditia said he saw the gunman shoot one victim ‘multiple times in the parking lot’ and then exchange gunfire with responding officers.

A fellow witness Maria Correa told CBS Chicago she heard multiple shots and saw blood in one of the hospital’s entrances.

Police are continuing to do a ‘methodical search’ of the hospital, according to Guglielmi while emergency crews were called to the hospital around 3.20pm and 15 ambulances arrived at the scene.

Pastor Storms Mortuary To Resurrect His Dead Wife In Kenya

pastore

A pastor caused a stir at the Gakwegori Funeral Home in Kenya when he stormed the mortuary to resurrect his dead wife.

Pastor Robinson Karumba of Eagle Wings Prophetic Ministries, arrived at the mortuary with his members in the early hours of Wednesday, demanding the body of his wife released to him,The deceased, Ms. Polly Rosa Ng’ endo who died following an undisclosed illness on Sunday, was released to his husband, who then took her into a secluded room, laid her naked body on a table and applied anointing oil.

Sources say after the pastor applied anointing oil on his late wife, he and his members started singing praise songs accompanied with a guitar and keyboard.

According to the pastor, who brought along clothes and shoes for his wife, he was following the teachings of Jesus which, he claimed, directed the believers would be raised from the dead after four days.
‘We believe she is not dead, but merely resting.

She is a believer like me and has preached in many places and with prominent preachers. I had to do what I have always preached. Jesus was called to Lazarus home after he had died for four days.’ he said.

Explaining while he brought along musical instruments to the Mortuary, he said:

‘Even Daughter said my mother will come back on Wednesday and that is why I came today. We are playing guitar and other instruments because she was a musician.’

The preacher also said people are preparing for her burial scheduled for Saturday, but if she resurrects before then, he will stage up a thanksgiving ceremony instead.

‘Back at home, people have been preparing for the burial. If she resurrects, Saturday would be a thanksgiving ceremony. We will be marking her resurrection,’ he said.

Panic in Tanzania As Denmark withholds £7.5m aid to over ‘unacceptable homophobic comments’

magufuliDenmark has said it is withholding almost £8m in aid money from Tanzania over its human rights abuses and ”unacceptable homophobic comments“ made by a government official.

It came on the same day the World Bank announced it had scrapped a plan to loan Tanzania $300m (£235m) after the country reaffirmed its policy of banning pregnant girls from school and recently made it a crime to question official statistics.

Copenhagen, Tanzania‘s second-biggest donor, provided 349 million crowns (£41m) to the East African country last year.

“I am very worried about the negative development in Tanzania, the latest being the completely unacceptable homophobic statements from a commissioner,” minister for development cooperation, Ulla Tornaes, said on Twitter.

The comments in question were made by administrative chief of the capital Dar es Salaam, Paul Makonda, who earlier this month announced an anti-gay crackdown in the city, a spokeswoman for the Danish minister said.

However, President John Magufuli’s government has also been criticised by opposition politicians and international rights groups for what they say is growing authoritarianism and intolerance of dissent. The government rejects the criticism.

Last week, authorities carried out physical examinations on 10 men arrested at a gay wedding on the island of Zanzibar, according to police.

They were checked to see if there were any signs of same-sex relations, local police chief Suleiman Hassan said. Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania and can be punished by a sentence of up to 30 years imprisonment.

Amnesty International previously warned the men could be subjected to a forced anal examination as part of the investigation.

Seif Magango, the organisation’s East Africa deputy director, said it was “the government’s method of choice for ‘proving’ same-sex sexual activity among men”.

“This appalling attack on Tanzanian people simply exercising their human rights shows the danger of inflammatory and discriminatory rhetoric at senior levels of government,” he said.

“This is a shocking blow following the Tanzanian government’s assurance that no-one would be targeted and arrested because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Wife of Malaysian ex-prime minister granted bail after corruption charges

MALAYSIA-CORRUPTION-POLITICSRosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to corruption charges over an agreement in 2016 for a solar panel project for schools in eastern Malaysia.

Rosmah was released on a one million ringgit bail (238,560 dollars).

Her former aide, Rizal Mansor, was also charged in a separate courtroom over the same case and was also released on a one million ringgit bail.

Rosmah pleaded not guilty to two counts of soliciting and accepting a 189 million ringgit bribe for a 1.25 billion ringgit solar energy project involving 369 rural schools in Sarawak state on Borneo.

The 66-year-old Rosmah, who already faces multiple money laundering and tax evasion charges, appeared to be calm and composed as the new charges were being read out to her in court.

Upon leaving the building, a smiling Rosmah escorted by her husband Najib shed tears for the first time in public since his electoral defeat in May.

Emotional supporters approached her through a media scrum and heavy security.

In a separate unrelated case on Thursday, the court heard Adnan Mansor, former Federal Territories Minister during Najib’s tenure, pleading not guilty to receiving 3 million ringgit worth of bribes related to various land deals in Kuala Lumpur.

He was also released on one million ringgit bail.

Mahathir Mohamad, the country’s new prime minister, reopened the corruption case into a multibillion-dollar graft scandal against Najib after he defeated him in May’s elections.

34 churches shut-dawn over police operation in Angola

pixAt least 34 churches have been shut in Angola following an operation dubbed Operação Resgate (rescue operation), police confirmed.

The national police director for communication, Mr Orlando Bernardo, said 19 churches were shut in Cabinda Province, 11 in Luanda and four in Malanje province for operating illegally.

The government said recently that more than 50 per cent of churches operating in Angola were foreign, mainly from the DR Congo, Brazil, Nigeria and Senegal, adding that at least 1,116 of them operated illegally.

The police rescue operation started on November 6 and will run until the end of the year.

The operation aims at restoring the state authority by instituting order in worship, on the roads, fighting unregulated hawking and illegal migrations, among others.

During the operation’s first week, at least 509 people were arrested for several crimes. Three foreign nationals, two from DRC and one from the Republic of Congo, were among those detained.

Meanwhile, Angolan authorities have repatriated 26 DRC nationals for illegal stay in Zaire Province, the Foreign and Emigration Services (SEM) confirmed.

According to SEM, 16 people were repatriated from Luvo, six from Nóqui and four from Kimbumba border point.

Zaire Province is located some 481km north of the capital Luanda.

The cross-border Luvo market hosts about 1,000 businesspeople from Angola, DRC, the Republic of Congo and Namibia.

The market also receives customers from the four countries.

George Weah Meets Trump, Putin And Other World Leaders In France. (Photos)


President George Manneh Weah has praised his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron for advancing the cause of global peace through the maiden edition of the Paris Peace Forum which convened on Sunday, November 11, 2018 in Paris, France.

The Liberian chief executive said the convergence of world leaders in Paris to discuss the consolidation of world peace was a step in the right direction and that Liberia whole-heartedly supports such an initiative.

Speaking shortly following the close of the Peace Forum, President Weah said its is through the collective political will of leaders of the world, forming strong partnerships to resolve global problems that lasting peace, security and development can be attained and maintained.

Earlier, French President Macron hosted over 70 world leaders at his Elysee Palace residence.

President Weah used the occasion to hold brief discussions on peace and Liberia’s development objectives with several world leaders including US President Donald J. Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the host President Macron among others.

President Weah has directed Foreign Minister Gbehzongar Findlay to utilize diplomatic channels to ensure opportunities for deeper bilateral discussions with those leaders in the near future.

Meanwhile, the Liberian President will on Monday November 12, 2018, join President Macron, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and UNESCO Director -General Audrey Azoulay as a guest of honor during the launch of the 2018 edition of the Internet Governance Forum ath UNESCO headquarters.


Prior to the launch, President Weah will lead the Liberian delegation in bilateral talks with the UNESCO Director-General and her team.

Focus of the discussion will include ongoing cooperation between Liberia and UNESCO in the areas of Technical Vocational Education & Training (TVET), Education, Sports and preservation of Liberia’s cultural and historical heritage.

UN blows hot over kidnap of students in Cameroon

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe United Nations is angry over the kidnap of students and staff of a secondary school in Bmenda, North-West of Cameroon and warned that there could be no justification for crimes against civilians, particularly minors.

United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, condemned the Monday’s reported kidnap and called for their immediate release and return to their homes and families.

No fewer than 79 students were reportedly abducted on Monday morning with their teacher, the principal and a driver.

The abduction has prompted a massive search operation involving the Cameroonian army.

One student who hid under a bed said that events unfolded quickly as the kidnappers threatened to shoot, rounding up the older boys and leaving the smaller ones behind.

While no group has taken responsibility for the kidnappings, some journalists report that separatists complain that the Cameroon school system suppresses the English-speaking system inherited from the British.

The spokesperson of the UN, Stéphane Dujarric, quoted Secretary-General that there was the need for a peaceful solution to the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon through an inclusive dialogue process.

According to him, the UN stands ready to assist in this regard. (NAN)

Prince Charles and Camilla Begin Africa Tour As They Are Set To Visit Nigeria.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have touched down in The Gambia to begin their nine-day tour of Africa.

Charles and Camilla arrived at Banjul International Airport on Wednesday evening where they were greeted with a ceremonial welcome from dancers in colourful dress and a long line of dignitaries.

The couple were met on the red carpet by President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, and one of his wives; Mr Barrow practices polygamy and has four living children with his two partners.

Camilla, 71, looked smart in a white kaftan embellished with gold embroidery and matching wide-leg trousers, matching her glamorous Gambian counterpart and host Mrs Sarjo Mballow-Barrow.

Mr Barrow’s ‘second wife’, Fatou Bah, is not believed to have been present.
Later, the couple were officially welcomed to the country by the President at a ceremony in McCarthy Square in the Capital City of Banjul, and enjoyed a cultural performance at the Coco Ocean Hotel.

The prince and duchess will tour the Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria on behalf of the British government on their tour, Clarence House announced last month.

The couple will return to London just in time for Prince Charles’ landmark 70th birthday on November 14.
However the Palace has indicated that the various birthday celebrations for the heir to the throne will take place throughout the year.

They set off for The Gambia on the day the Duke and Duchess of Sussex travelled back from their two-week tour of Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand – meaning the two couples will have just missed each other.

Key events in the tour include a visit to the Medical Research Council, which is a faculty of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The centre has undertaken pioneering research into malaria and other diseases which affect millions of people across Africa.

Ethiopia’s First Female President Sahle-work Zewde Sworn In

The sudden resignation of former President Mulatu Teshome on Wednesday, Ethopia’s parliament has appointed a new president.

The role has been given to Ms Zewde Sahle-Work, an experienced diplomat who most recently held a position with the United Nations.

Her election to the ceremonial position comes a week after Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, appointed a cabinet with half the posts taken up by women.

In her acceptance speech, President Sahle-Work spoke about the importance of maintaining peace.

She was voted in after the unexpected resignation of her predecessor, Mulatu Teshome yesterday October 24th.

Teshome, who has been the East African country’s head of state since October 2013, submitted his letter of resignation to the Ethiopian parliament’s two houses.

In the Ethiopian constitution, the post of president is ceremonial with the prime minister holding the political power.

Chinese And Russian Spies Hack Donald Trump’s Iphone

President Donald Trump’s cellphone conversations are being intercepted by Russia and China to gather information on his associates and policy positions.

According to a report by NYT, the discovery was made by White House officials who were alerted by individuals working within these foreign governments.

However, the names of the White House officials and individuals working within these foreign governments have remained anonymous for security reasons.

They said the Chinese have determined a list of contacts with whom the president speaks most frequently.

The president keeps two official iPhones with modifications by the National Security Agency, and a third personal phone for personal contacts, White House officials said, but using any cell phone poses some risk.

The report indicated Trump prefers using his cell phones over the White House’s more secure landline.

China has sought to use the information to form ties with Trump’s associates or “friends of the Trump friends” to ensure Beijing’s views will be delivered to the president, according to the officials cited in the report.

Two men named in the report were businessmen Stephen A. Schwarzman and
Steve Wynn , who both have dealings in China.

Russia does not monitor the president’s phone conversations to the extent of China because of Trump’s supposed affinity for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But Trump’s aides have reportedly warned that Russian spies are “routinely eavesdropping” on his calls, the report said.

Ethiopian president, Mulatu Teshome resigns

President Mulatu Teshome of Ethiopia filed resignation request to the Ethiopian parliament today.

Teshome, who has been the East African country’s head of state since October 2013, submitted his letter of resignation to the Ethiopian parliament’s two houses.

They are scheduled to consider his resignation.
The houses would eventually name his successor in a joint extraordinary session on Thursday.

The joint extraordinary session of the Ethiopian parliament on Thursday “will deliberate on the president’s application for resignation and will elect a new president.’’ according to ENA news agency.

The president, who conducted his doctoral studies in international law at Peking University in China, was unanimously appointed as Ethiopia’s president on October 7, 2013 while he was serving as Ethiopia’s ambassador to Turkey.

Teshome is a member of Oromo Democratic Party, one of the four member parties of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.

His imminent resignation also came shortly after Ethiopian government’s cabinet reshuffle. The Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives, the Ethiopian parliament’s lower house, earlier approved the appointment of 16 new cabinet members upon the endorsement of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in which only four of the previous cabinet’s members remained in their positions.

Teshome, 63, had served in various high-level Ethiopian government offices and ministries as deputy minister of economic development and cooperation, minister of agriculture, and spokesperson of the house of federation.

U.S To Call-Off A 30-Year-Old Landmark Nuclear Deal With Russia — Donald Trump

On Friday, President Donald Trump confirmed that the United States plans to leave a landmark nuclear weapons treaty with Russia
over claims Moscow has violated the deal.

The 30–year old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, known as the INF, was signed in 1987 by president Ronald Reagan.

‘We’re the ones who have stayed in the agreement and we’ve honored the agreement, but Russia has not unfortunately honored the agreement, so we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out.

Russia has violated the agreement. They’ve been violating it for many years.

I don’t know why President Barack Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out. And we’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons while we’re not allowed to’ Trump told reporters during a rally in Nevada.

Trump spoke as his National Security Advisor John Bolton was in Moscow to meet with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, ahead of what is expected to be a second summit between Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin this year.

The U.S.-Russia ties are under deep strain over accusations that Moscow meddled in the 2016 presidential election, as well as tension over Russian support for the Syrian government in the country’s civil war, and the conflict in Ukraine.

Saudi Arabia finally confirms the death of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi and 18 top officials have been detained

Saudi Arabia has just announced that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared in Istanbul more than two weeks ago, is dead.

Eighteen Saudi officials have been arrested and are being investigated in connection with the case, according to a statement released through state-run media.

In the statement, the kingdom’s public prosecutor said that an investigation had found that an argument broke out between Khashoggi and men who met him inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd, leading to “a fistfight that led to his death.”

Turkish officials have said that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate by a team of 15 Saudi agents who had flown in to meet him. His body has yet to be found.

Former Sudan President, Abdulrahman Al-Dahab Dies At 83

Ex Sudanese President, Abdulrahman Al-Dahab has died in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

Al-Dahab, aged 83, was the fifth President of Sudan. The former army officer served as president of Sudan from April 6, 1985, to May 6, 1986, after staging a coup.

He became more prominent when a former President, Gaafar Nimeiry, appointed him chief of staff, and later minister of defence and general commander of the armed forces, in 1984. In 1985, he staged a coup ousting Nimeiry.

This made him to become the chairman of Transitional Military Council.
Following elections, he surrendered power to the government of Sadiq al-Mahdi in 1986.

50% Women Included in Ethiopia’s New Cabinet Push For Gender Equality

Ethiopia’s new cabinet boats 50% female in its Lawmakers, on Tuesday, October 16, unanimously approved the nominations put forward by Ethiopia’s reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The new cabinet, which reduces ministerial positions from 28 to 20, has women in the top security posts for the first time in Ethiopia’s history.

Although women have been in the cabinet before, they often held minor positions. In the new cabinet, the women hold key positions.

Women will now run key dockets including defense, trade, transport, and the newly-established ministry of peace that will tackle the wave of ethnic violence that has swept the country. Abiy said the move was meant to “show respect” to the women’s participation in nation-building and to “disprove the adage that women can’t lead.”

Awol Allo, an expert on Ethiopia at Britain’s Keele University, said this was especially important because the lack of gender equality is a persistent problem in the country, which has strong patriarchal traditions.
Allo said:

It is a very important and progressive move on the part of the prime minister and very consistent with the transformative agendas he’s been pursuing.

I also think it sends a strong message to young Ethiopian women that one day they can take up positions in the government.

Monk bags 16 years in prison for raping and impregnating 13-year-old girl in China

A court in Bangkok on Wednesday sentenced a former Buddhist monk known for his jet-set lifestyle to 16 years in prison for raping a 13-year-old girl who he also impregnated years ago.

Wirapol Sukphol became infamous when he appeared in a 2013 YouTube video in his monk’s robe aboard a private jet wearing aviator sunglasses with a Louis Vuitton carry-on by his side.

He was defrocked amid accusations that he had sexual relations with women – a major violation of the precepts guiding monks’ behavior – and had impregnated one. Because of the furor, he fled to the United States, where he was arrested in 2016 and extradited last year.

On Wednesday, the Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok handed Wirapol two eight-year prison terms, one for violating a minor under 15 and another for rape.

Wirapol is already serving a lengthy prison sentence. In August, the same court sentenced him to 114 years in connection with funds he fraudulently raised from followers.

He was found guilty of fraud, money laundering and violation of the computer crime act for spending money he had solicited for Buddhist statuary and temple improvements instead on cars and luxury goods.

Legal technicalities capped the 114-year sentence at 20 years, meaning he will now serve a 36-year prison sentence.

Wednesday’s court ruling said prosecutors charged that Wirapol abducted a 13-year-old girl and sexually assaulted her from January 2000 to the middle of 2001, during which time she also became pregnant.

The victim, now 32, said she was satisfied with Wednesday’s sentencing.

She said she would present the ruling to the Sisaket Juvenile and Family Court, where she has filed a lawsuit against Wirapol requesting 40 million baht (USD$1.2 million) in child support in a case the court had put on hold pending Wednesday’s ruling.

She said Wirapol had initially provided her 10,000 baht per month to take care of their child but he gradually stopped the payments.
According to the Department of Special Investigation, Wirapol at one point had accumulated assets estimated at 1 billion baht ($30.1 million).

During a shopping spree from 2009 to 2011, he bought 22 Mercedes Benz cars worth 95 million baht ($2.9 million), the department said.

An earlier civil court ruling ordered the confiscation of 43.5 million baht ($1.3 million) from Wirapo.

Canada becomes second country to legalise recreational marijuana

Canada has become the second country after Uruguay to legalise possession and use of recreational cannabis.

Medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001.

But concerns remain, including about the readiness for police forces to tackle drug impaired driving.

According to BBC News, Information has been sent to 15m households about the new laws and there are public awareness campaigns.

Ian Power, from the town of St John’s began queuing at 20:00 local time so he could “make history”.

Newfoundland is half an hour ahead of the next province to the west.
“It’s been my dream to be the first person to buy the first legal gram of cannabis in Canada, and here I finally am,” he said.

Canadian provinces and municipalities have been preparing for months for the end of cannabis prohibition. They are responsible for setting out where cannabis can be bought and consumed.

This has created a patchwork of more or less restrictive legislation across the country.

A woman whose husband pretended to have cancer has said his years of lying “stole so much of my life”.

Lucy Witchard, of Leicester, said David Carroll, 35, told her he had leukaemia when they met in 2006 – they married in 2011 and have since divorced.

She said in 2015 her mother gave him £2,000 for treatment in the US after he said the cancer was terminal.
Carroll was given a suspended prison sentence for fraud at Leicester Magistrates’ Court last week.

Ms Witchard told the BBC the family became suspicious while Carroll was in the US – enjoying a holiday rather than receiving cancer treatment.
The 31-year-old said she confronted him on his return, but he went “ballistic” and tried to keep up the pretence.

“He even got a work colleague to call me pretending to be his doctor,” she said.

“I knew after that phone call that our marriage was over.”
Carroll later admitted he had lied about having leukaemia.
Ms Witchard said she still felt “incredibly hurt and angry”, as he “stole so much of my life”.

Finally Melania Trump speaks on her husband’s alleged infidelity

Melania sat for an interview with ABC News while she was in Africa and she spoke about her husband, Donald Trump’s alleged infidelity, being bullied online, and more.

Speaking to Chief National Affairs Correspondent Tom Llamas in an exclusive interview during her recent tour through Africa — her first solo international trip as first lady, US First Lady, Melania Trump brushed aside allegations of infideltiy on her husband’s part.

She said:

I’m a mother and a first lady, and I have much more important things to think about and to do.
It is not concern and focus of mine.

President Trump insists the alleged affair between himself and porn star Stormy Daniel never took place even though he admitted that his lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen paid Stormy hush-money.

In June, the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said the first lady “believes her husband, and she knows it’s untrue,” referring to Melania Trump’s thoughts on Stormy Daniels’ claims.

Asked about Giuliani’s comments, the first lady pushed back, telling ABC News that she never discussed the matter with Giuliani.

“I never talked to Mr. Giuliani,” she said. Asked why Giuliani made that claim, she added, “I don’t know. You need to ask him.”
In his exclusive interview, Llamas asked the first lady if she has been hurt by all the stories over the last year.

“It’s not always pleasant, of course, but I know what is right and what is wrong and what is true and not true,” Melania Trump said.

Despite the public’s constant focus on her personal life, the persistent allegations of infidelity and the onslaught of accusations of sexual misconduct against her husband, the first lady insists their marriage is good and that she loves her husband.

“Yes, we are fine,” she said. “It’s what media speculate, and it’s gossip. It’s not always correct stuff.”
Melania Trump later added: “I’m very strong, and I know what my priorities are.”

Hurricane Michael left ‘unimaginable destruction’

Hurricane Michael left “unimaginable destruction” as it ploughed into coastal areas of Florida, the state’s governor, Rick Scott says.

“So many lives have been changed forever,” he said. “So many families have lost everything.”

The worst hit areas of Florida’s northwest coast saw houses ripped from their foundations, trees felled, and power lines strewn across streets.

Hurricane Michael struck on Wednesday with winds of 155mph (250km/h).
It weakened to a storm as it moved inland towards the north-east, but at least six people have died, most of them in Florida.

More than 370,000 people in Florida were ordered to evacuate but officials believe many ignored the warning.
Governor Scott said the US Coast Guard carried out 10 missions overnight, saving at least 27 people.

Which areas are worst affected?

Michael ploughed into Florida’s Panhandle coast near the town of Mexico Beach at 14:00 (18:00 GMT) on Wednesday, one of the strongest storms to ever hit the US mainland.

Ranked four on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale and with a storm surge of 9ft (2.7m), it lifted homes from their foundations and heavily damaged others in districts closest to the sea in Mexico Beach, CNN helicopter footage showed.

Twenty survivors were found in the town overnight, AP reports, but 285 had refused to obey warnings to evacuate.
Head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, called Mexico Beach “ground zero” due to the damage.

Trees were downed in Panama City, northwest of Mexico Beach, buildings flattened, boats and electrical cables scattered.

Apalachicola, with 2,300 residents, was also badly affected, the mayor reporting that downed cables were making it difficult to get through the town.

Debris and floodwater are also making some of the worst-hit areas difficult to reach.

Governor Scott urged residents not to return until the authorities “make sure things are safe”, given the danger from power lines and other debris.

UK appoints Minister for Suicide Prevention and pledges £1.8 million to The Samaritans

UK Prime Minister, Theresa May has appointed the first ever Suicide Minister dedicated to reducing suicide across the country.

The PM promoted junior health minister Jackie Doyle-Price and pledged £1.8million to fund The Samaritans helpline for four years.

Mrs May said her appointee would lead a taskforce, introduce suicide prevention plans nationwide and work with victims’ families and charities.

Mrs May said her appointee would lead a taskforce, introduce suicide prevention plans nationwide and work with victims’ families and charities.

To mark World Mental Health Day, the PM said: “We aren’t looking after our health if we aren’t looking after our mental health. We need true parity between physical and mental health.”

Ms Doyle-Price said more must be done to tackle the “stigma” people with mental ill health face – and ensure they feel they can “reach out for help”.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said progress was being made, noting suicides rates are coming down.