Tuesday, June 15We Break the News

CRISIS

MDFC rebel base captured in Casamance by Senegalese military operation

MDFC rebel base captured in Casamance by Senegalese military operation

AFRICA, CRIME, CRISIS, PAN AFRICA, POLITICS, Security, Senegal, West Africa
Senegal’s army reported Monday that it had captured several rebel posts and camps in Casamance of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) around Badème -- and along the border between the towns of Bagame and Bouniak. The offensive left two army personnel wounded, an officer who stepped on an anti-personnel mine and a soldier who was shot, a local commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Mathieu Diogaye Sene, told reporters in Ahinga, a few kilometres from the border. Details of the means used or possible confrontations with the rebels were not shared and he did not say anything about possible losses to the enemy. The military operation launched two weeks prior is to tighten control of the border with Guinea-Bissau to the south. An area separated from the north of Senega...
DR Congo: President Tshisekedi assesses volcanic damage in Goma

DR Congo: President Tshisekedi assesses volcanic damage in Goma

ADVOCACY, AFRICA, CRISIS, DRC, EMERGENCY, PRESIDENT
President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Félix Tshisekedi -- accompanied by wife and first lady Denise Nyakéru, paid a visit on Monday to Goma city where the recent volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo devastated the area. The Head of State took time to assess the damage inflicted in and around the city by the volcano's fiery spurts and promised the locals that all houses destroyed by the lava would be rebuilt. "Hello everyone, we cannot help but sympathise with you. I myself and my wife your mother are always by your side and we will never leave you." Victims of the natural disaster said they had the opportunity to share their concerns and grievances with their Congolese leader. Abigael Byenda, a local resident affected by the natural disaster, feels heard but still...
S Korea holds naval drills amid row over Japan Olympics map

S Korea holds naval drills amid row over Japan Olympics map

CRISIS, INTERNATIONAL, SOUTH KOREA, WORLD
Spat about an Olympics map escalates as South Korea kicks off naval drills near disputed islands and leaders call off planned talks. Seoul and Tokyo have been at odds over the sovereignty of the islets called 'Dokdo' in South Korea and 'Takeshima' in Japan, which lie about halfway between the neighbours in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea [File: Handout via AFP] South Korea’s military began annual drills on Tuesday around a set of islands also claimed by Japan, days after planned talks between the two countries’ leaders were called off amid a spat about an Olympics map. Seoul and Tokyo have been at odds over the sovereignty of the islets called “Dokdo” in South Korea and “Takeshima” in Japan, which lie about halfway between the two countries in the Sea of Japan, also ...
With millions unemployed, gov’ts not worried about inflation

With millions unemployed, gov’ts not worried about inflation

COVID-19, CRISIS, HUMAN INTEREST STORIES, INTERNATIONAL, WORLD
Governments can just keep interest rates low and spending high to support virus-hit economies. One reason why so many policy makers are refusing to panic about inflation is that the world economy is still short so many millions of jobs. The global employment shortfall from the pandemic is predicted by the International Labour Organization to be 75 million this year. Nor does it expect the gap to be closed in 2022, when it reckons the world will still be 23 million jobs short of its pre-Covid path even as economies rebound. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development echoes the warning, saying unemployment will remain above pre-crisis levels in many countries next year. With so many workers still on the sidelines, it should be harder for those in employmen...
US Navy aircraft carrier USS Reagan enters South China Sea

US Navy aircraft carrier USS Reagan enters South China Sea

China, CRISIS, HUMAN INTEREST STORIES, INTERNATIONAL, POLITICS, POWER, Security, TENSION, USA, WORLD
The ship was accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh and the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey in a ‘routine mission’ A Super Hornet aircraft lands on the flight deck of the US Navy’s USS Ronald Reagan [Courtesy of US Navy/ Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Samantha Jetzer] A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Ronald Reagan has entered the South China Sea as part of a routine mission, the US Navy said, at a time of rising tensions between Washington and Beijing, which claims most of the disputed waterway. The carrier is being accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh and the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey, the US Navy said on Tuesday.China frequently objects to US military missions in the South China Sea, saying they do not help promote ...
Novavax COVID vaccine 90 percent effective, study says

Novavax COVID vaccine 90 percent effective, study says

COVID-19, CRISIS, HEALTH, World Health Organization
A late-stage study in the US and Mexico finds Novavax shot effective against COVID-19 and its variants. Vaccine maker Novavax says its shot is highly effective against COVID-19 and also protected against variants in a large, late-stage study in the United States and Mexico, in a major boost to global immunisation efforts. The vaccine was about 90-percent effective overall and preliminary data showed it was safe, the company said on Monday. While demand for COVID-19 shots in the US has dropped dramatically, the need for more vaccines around the world remains critical. The Novavax vaccine, which is easy to store and transport, is expected to play an important role in boosting vaccine supplies in the developing world. That is still months away, however. The company says it...
DRC postpones Patrice Lumumba tributes over Covid-19 surge

DRC postpones Patrice Lumumba tributes over Covid-19 surge

ADVOCACY, AFRICA, African Union, BELGIUM, CRIME, CRISIS, DRC, PAN AFRICA
As the Health crisis worsens in the country, Democratic Republic of Congo's president Felix Tshisekedi has warned the DRC could face a deadly third wave of Covid-19 contaminations. Drastic measures are set to be announced in the days to come. "The situation of the Covid pandemic is serious. We have seen an upsurge in cases of infection and, unfortunately, in cases of death as well. Our hospitals are saturated," DRC president Felix Tshisekedi said. The Democratic Republic of Congo has recorded 3 deaths and 254 new contaminations on Friday, with 210 in capital city Kinshasa alone. "Drastic measures are required to face this increase in infection, which has the potential to be more virulent than the first two waves," Felix Thisekedi added. As a result of the recent surge o...
Zambia: President collapses from dizziness during televised ceremony

Zambia: President collapses from dizziness during televised ceremony

AFRICA, CRISIS, HUMAN INTEREST STORIES, PAN AFRICA, PRESIDENT, Zambia
The president of Zambia Edgar Lungu fainted on Sunday during the country’s televised official annual ceremony for the National Defence Forces Day -- which was immediately interrupted following the incident. The 64-year-old head of state -- who is running for re-election in August, suffers from the rare disease achalasia. The condition affects the oesophagus and causes hypoglycaemic attacks Lungu had previously taken ill in and been hospitalised in 2015. Sunday afternoon apparently saw Lungu experience a sudden dizzy spell. Nevertheless, Zambia’s leader has since recovered and continues to perform his duties -- as per the official statement issued by the presidency. Edgar Lungu first took office in 2015 and was maintained his powerful position in a disputed electi...
Thousands Protest Against Spain’s Pardons for Jailed Catalan Leaders

Thousands Protest Against Spain’s Pardons for Jailed Catalan Leaders

CRISIS, HUMAN INTEREST STORIES, INTERNATIONAL, PROTESTS, SPAIN, WORLD
Opposition lawmakers from the conservative People's Party (PP), the far-right Vox party and the centrist Ciudadanos joined the rally in Madrid's central Plaza Colon. adrid: Tens of thousands of Spaniards protested in Madrid on Sunday against government plans to pardon 12 Catalan politicians who were convicted over the region’s failed independence bid in 2017, a move the demonstrators see as a threat to national unity. Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo gave the clearest indication yet that the pardons of the Catalan separatists were “close” in an interview published on Sunday with La Vanguardia newspaper, but the issue has bitterly divided Spaniards. Around 63% of Spaniards oppose granting the pardons while some 25% backed it and about 6% were indifferent, according t...
Afrin Hospital Hit in Artillery Attacks

Afrin Hospital Hit in Artillery Attacks

Asia, CRIME, CRISIS, HUMAN INTEREST STORIES, INTERNATIONAL, Middle East, SYRIA, TURKEY, WORLD
The first attack struck a residential area while the second hit a hospital shortly after, civil defence sources said. Idlib, Syria: At least 13 people were killed and several wounded in two separate artillery attacks on the northern Syrian town of Afrin on Saturday, local medical sources and Turkey’s government said. The first attack struck a residential area while the second hit a hospital shortly after, civil defence sources said. Video footage on social media showed casualties amid the ruins of the Al Shifa Hospital. Ankara condemned the missile attack that it said was launched by the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, though the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US-backed militi...
11 fighters said killed in alleged Israeli strikes in Syria

11 fighters said killed in alleged Israeli strikes in Syria

Asia, CRIME, CRISIS, INTERNATIONAL, Middle East, PALESTINE, POLITICS, WAR, WORLD
Reported strikes in Homs Province in central Syria are the first in the country attributed to Israel in more than a month At least 11 people were reportedly killed overnight Wednesday in Israeli airstrikes in Syria. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights — a pro-Syrian opposition organization of uncertain funding based in the UK — the government troops and militiamen were killed in Homs Province in central Syria. The monitor’s director, Rami Abdul Rahman, told AFP that “at least seven army soldiers and four National Defence Forces militiamen were killed” in the strikes shortly before midnight, adding that all of the dead were Syrian. May 1, 2020. (Syrian state media SANA) At least 11 people were reportedly killed overnight Wednesday in Israeli airstrikes i...
Shooting in downtown Austin, Texas wounds several people

Shooting in downtown Austin, Texas wounds several people

CRIME, CRISIS, INTERNATIONAL, Security, USA, WORLD
At least 13 people were injured when gunfire erupted early on Saturday morning along Sixth Street, a popular area filled with bars and restaurants. At least 13 people were wounded in a shooting in downtown Austin, Texas early, police said, adding the suspected shooter was still at large. Two of the injured are reported to be in a critical condition, Austin Police Department Interim Chief Joseph Chacon said in a statement. “I cannot say that there is no further public danger at this point because the suspect is not in custody. It appears at this point to be isolated to this one area," Chacon said. The incident took place at around 01:30 am (0630 GMT) in the Sixth Street Entertainment District area and there were no deaths reported at the time of the briefing, he added. F...
Private consortium takes over SAA with 51% stake, gov’t has 49%

Private consortium takes over SAA with 51% stake, gov’t has 49%

AFRICA, CRISIS, South Africa, TRADE, TRAFFIC, Transport, TRAVEL
South African Airways will now be 51% owned by a private consortium, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan announced Friday. At a virtual press conference, Gordhan said "The government has agreed that the financial partner will hold 51% of the shares and the government 49%." The Takatso consortium consists of the pan-African investor group Harith Global Partners and the aviation group Global Aviation, Gordhan added. Africa's second-largest airline was placed on a safeguard plan in December 2019 to avoid bankruptcy. In April, the independent administrators in charge of its restructuring declared SAA solvent again. The 635 million euros restructuring plan was followed by a large-scale layoff plan. South Africa’s national airline was heavily indebted and unable to ...
54 migrants rescued by Tunisia and await transfer to detention centre

54 migrants rescued by Tunisia and await transfer to detention centre

AFRICA, BORDER CROSSING, CRIME, CRISIS, EUROPE, LIBYA, TUNISIA, UN, UNHCR
Waiting at Tunisia’s port of El Ketef in Ben Guerdane to be transferred to a detention centre, the 54 undocumented migrants of different African nationalities aged between 15 and 40 years old -- who were rescued Friday while attempting to cross into Europe from Libya on Thursday night, from a sinking boat off the coast of the town near Tunisian waters by the country’s navy. Migrants from neighbouring Libya who have been shipwrecked in the central Mediterranean -- one of the most precarious migration routes, are regularly rescued by Tunisian agents. Information communicated by the United Nations which has counted 1,400 deaths in the Mediterranean last year and over 700 between January 1 and May 21 so far this year. Departures from Libya have risen sharply, with 11,000 departures f...
Mali: New government sees military in key ministerial positions

Mali: New government sees military in key ministerial positions

AFRICA, African Union, CRISIS, GOVERNMENT, MALI, PAN AFRICA, PRESIDENT, PRIME MINISTER, West Africa
In Mali Friday a new government has been formed. It sees the military -- which staged two coup d’états in nine months, in charge of the West African nation's key ministries. At its head -- albeit facing criticism of his position’s legitimacy, transitional president Colonel Assimi Goïta, who was sworn in on Monday. Ministerial positions of defence, security, interior and national reconciliation are all occupied by military personalities -- some of whom held these titles at the time they were also leaders of the August 18 2020 coup that removed then-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Namely, Colonel Major Ismaël Wagué who remains the Minister of National Reconciliation and Colonel Sadio Camara -- who is back as Defence Minister after being ousted in late May by the since rece...
This Indian village refused COVID vaccines, fearing a god’s wrath

This Indian village refused COVID vaccines, fearing a god’s wrath

COVID-19, CRISIS, HEALTH, INDIA, World Health Organization
In Malana, a village in the Himalayas, the local deity ‘told’ residents not to take the COVID vaccine – until a health worker persuaded them otherwise. On May 22, a team of health workers trekked for about 5km (3.1 miles) on foot to set up a coronavirus vaccination camp in Malana, a remote Himalayan village in northern India’s Himachal Pradesh state. Only 36 people turned up to take the shot in the village with more than 2,200 residents. But even this meagre turnout was a huge victory. Residents of Malana were reluctant to take the vaccine for months because the village council, a religious authority, had stonewalled the inoculation drive claiming the local deity, known as Jagadamani Rishi, had not agreed to it. According to the villagers, it took about five months of ritu...
Ilhan Omar hits back at ‘Islamophobic tropes’ by fellow Democrats

Ilhan Omar hits back at ‘Islamophobic tropes’ by fellow Democrats

CRIME, CRISIS, DIPLOMACY, Diplomats, FAMILY, HUMAN INTEREST STORIES, INTERNATIONAL, PEOPLE, Religion, USA, WORLD
The US congresswoman denies she drew ‘a moral comparison’ between the US, Israel, Hamas and the Taliban. US congresswoman Ilhan Omar has hit back after a rare rebuke from her Democratic Party colleagues over her remarks that seemed to place the United States and Israel in the same category as the Palestinian resistance group Hamas and the Afghan armed group Taliban. The Muslim American congresswoman on Monday tweeted: “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban”, drawing bipartisan condemnation and even seeing her accused of “anti-Semitism”. “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” she tweeted, along with a video of her questioning Secretary of State Antony...
Demolishing Palestinian homes for an Israeli religious theme park

Demolishing Palestinian homes for an Israeli religious theme park

Asia, CRIME, CRISIS, HUMAN INTEREST STORIES, INTERNATIONAL, ISLAM, Israel, JUDAISM, PALESTINE, POWER, Religion, WORLD
More than 100 buildings housing about 1,500 people in the al-Bustan area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem face demolition. Silwan, Occupied East Jerusalem – Nearly 120 Palestinian families face the destruction of their homes to make way for an Israeli religious theme park where the Israelis believe King David had a garden in biblical times. About 1,500 people living in more than 100 buildings in the al-Bustan area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem are under threat. On Monday, Jerusalem Municipality inspectors, accompanied by Israeli forces, delivered notices to demolish at least 13 of those homes and structures within 21 days, after an Israeli court ruled earlier they had been constructed without building permits. “Stating that the orders were delivered is somewhat ...
French President Macron declares end of Barkhane Operation In Sahel

French President Macron declares end of Barkhane Operation In Sahel

AFRICA, African Union, CRIME, CRISIS, France, MALI, PRESIDENT, TERROR, TERRORISM, WAR, West Africa
A "profound transformation" of the presence in the Sahel of the French military Barkhane forces. This will include the closure of French army bases and the establishing of the international anti-jihadist alliance, as announced on Thursday by the president of France Emmanuel Macron. "We will initiate a profound transformation of our military presence in the Sahel, the modalities and timetable of which will be specified in the coming weeks, I will do so by the end of June, and I will initiate this work in the coming days. "It will involve the transition to a new framework, that is to say, the end of the operation Barkhane, as an external operation for the implementation of an operation of support. "Support of cooperation to the arms of the countries of the region that wish it, a...
Emirates suspends flights from Uganda and Zambia

Emirates suspends flights from Uganda and Zambia

ADVOCACY, AFRICA, COVID-19, CRISIS, Transport, TRAVEL, UGANDA, Zambia
Media statement: In line with UAE government directives, Emirates will be suspending passenger flights from Zambia and Uganda to Dubai, effective 11 June 2021, until further notice. Emirates flights from Dubai to Lusaka, continuing on to Harare and flights from Dubai to Entebbe will continue to operate as normal. Furthermore, passengers who have connected through Zambia and Uganda in the last 14 days will not be accepted to travel from any other point to the UAE. UAE Nationals and their first degree relatives, holders of UAE Golden Visas and members of diplomatic missions accredited by the UAE and the two countries who comply with updated COVID‑19 protocols, as well as delegations and businesspeople who have received prior approvals, will be exempt for travel.‎ Emirates regre...