Tuesday, June 15We Break the News

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Presidential welcome for ex-Ivorian leader upon his return from exile

Presidential welcome for ex-Ivorian leader upon his return from exile

ADVOCACY, AFRICA, African Union, DIPLOMACY, Diplomats, Ivory Coast, PAN AFRICA, POLITICS, PRESIDENT, TRAVEL, West Africa
A welcome fit for a king for the former president of Côte d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo. After ten years in exile, Gbagbo will finally return to his home country. Upon his flight's arrival, he will go through the airport's VIP facilities to then be received at the presidential pavilion -- as announced on Monday by the politician's party at a press conference. Assoua Adou, the general secretary of Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front political party. "Today I solemnly confirm that President Laurent Gbagbo will arrive in Abidjan on Thursday, June 17 2021 by scheduled flight from Brussels at 3.45 pm at Félix Houphouët-Boigny airport. " Gbagbo has been acquitted of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court -- charges he faced after 3000 people lost their in electoral ...
After a 17 year war over jet subsidies, US and EU eye a truce

After a 17 year war over jet subsidies, US and EU eye a truce

HUMAN INTEREST STORIES, INTERNATIONAL, TRAFFIC, TRANSFER, Transport, TRAVEL, UK, USA, WORLD
A deal to end or pause world’s largest corporate trade war will help dozens of industries caught in tit-for-tat tariffs. The dispute between the US and EU dates back to 2004 over subsidies to Boeing and Airbus [File: Edgar Su/Reuters] The United States and Europe are speeding efforts to reach a pact to end a 17-year-old dispute over aircraft subsidies but may settle for a prolonged truce in recent tariff wars, people familiar with the matter said. A deal to either end or pause the world’s largest corporate trade dispute would grant relief to dozens of other industries affected by tit-for-tat tariffs that were suspended in March. They face a renewed trade war within weeks if there is no progress. US Trade Representative Katherine Tai discussed the dispute in her first face-to-f...
Rwandair halts direct flights to Uganda over spike in Covid-19 cases

Rwandair halts direct flights to Uganda over spike in Covid-19 cases

AFRICA, COVID-19, EAST AFRICA, Rwanda, TRADE, TRAFFIC, Transport, TRAVEL, UGANDA
Rwanda’s national flag carrier has indefinitely suspended flights to and from Uganda, as the latter grapples with a spike in coronavirus infections. “Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in Uganda, RwandAir announces the suspension of its flights to Entebbe [International Airport] effective June 10, 2021, until further notice,” RwandAir said in a statement late on Thursday. The airline advised affected customers to request a refund or rebook and fly at a later date once flights resume. A record 1,438 new infections were registered in Uganda on Thursday, bringing the cumulative tally to 56,949. The country’s COVID-19 death toll crossed 400 this week, with health authorities blaming the deteriorating situation on citizens’ refusal to comply with safety rules. On Monday, the g...
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 ...
Kenya restores direct flights to Somalia

Kenya restores direct flights to Somalia

AFRICA, EAST AFRICA, KENYA, Somalia, Transport, TRAVEL
Kenya on Thursaday lifted a ban on direct flights from Somalia ending a month feud after the suspension of air travel between the two countries. Kenya through its Foreign Minister Said it has “taken due consideration of intercessions made and has decided to reopen Kenya’s airspace to all flights originating from Somalia and emanating from Kenya to Somalia.” Kenya-Somalia diplomatic relations have severed in recent months with the latter blaming Kenya of meddling in its internal political affairs. Somalia on Monday ordered all its diplomats in Kenya to leave within seven days while also ordering Kenyan diplomats to quit within the same period. Somalia has said its southern neighbor is backing Jubbaland state governor Ahmed Madobe, a key foe of President Farmajo. The two ...
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...

Flying taxi start-up Vertical Aerospace plots $2bn Osmond SPAC merger

DIGITAL, SMART PHONES, TECHNOLOGY, TRAFFIC, Transport, TRAVEL
Stephen Fitzpatrick's Vertical Aerospace is close to agreeing a merger with a SPAC set up by Hugh Osmond, Sky News learns. A British 'flying taxi' company set up by the founder of OVO Energy is in advanced talks about a $2bn 'blank cheque' merger that will see another major British technology company heading for the US public markets. Sky News can exclusively reveal that Vertical Aerospace, which was established by Stephen Fitzpatrick five years ago, is close to sealing a deal with Broadstone Acquisition Corp that will see it become a publicly traded company in New York. City sources said the merger with Broadstone - which was established by the businessman Hugh Osmond last year - could be announced as soon as Thursday. They added that the deal was likely to value Vertical...
U.S. imposes visa restrictions on perpetrators of violence in Cameroon

U.S. imposes visa restrictions on perpetrators of violence in Cameroon

AFRICA, Cameroon, DIPLOMACY, Diplomats, HUMAN INTEREST STORIES, POLITICS, TRAVEL, UN Human RiGHTS, USA, West Africa
The United States announced on Monday visa restrictions against "leaders" and "accomplices" of violence in western Cameroon, the scene of a four-year bloody conflict between armed Anglophone groups and the army. The sanctions are aimed at "those who undermine the peaceful resolution of the crisis," the U.S. State Department said in a statement, without naming those targeted by the ban. "We condemn those who undermine the peace by provoking or inciting violence, human rights violations and threats to peacekeepers and humanitarian workers," the U.S. diplomacy added. The statement further read "Washington is deeply concerned about the continuing violence and continues to call on the Cameroonian government and armed separatist groups to end the violence and engage in dialogue wit...