At least 17 people were killed in a car bomb explosion in an Afghan city south of Kabul on Thursday, officials and a medic said, just hours before the scheduled start of a ceasefire.
“Seventeen bodies and 21 wounded people were brought to our hospital,” Sediqullah, a senior doctor at a hospital in the city of Puli Alam in Logar province, told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media).
The interior ministry confirmed the blast, which occurred ahead of a three-day ceasefire starting Friday between the Taliban and Kabul.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commiserated with the family of former Minister of Science and Technology, Maj. Gen. Sam Momah.
The condolence message was contained in a statement signed by spokesman Femi Adesina.
“The President believes the former administrator, engineer and officer, who distinguished himself in academics, and greatly improved the intellectual capacity of the military, lived a memorable life, serving the country and humanity with all his God given gifts,” the statement read.
“President Buhari urges family members, friends and associates to find solace in the huge investments of Maj. Gen. Momah in people and institutions, which include the strategic roles he played in enhancing Nigeria’s educational system as Director of National War College, member of the Governing Council of University of Jos, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and Fellow, Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Uwana.
“As a former Chief Administrator and Adjutant General of the Nigerian Army, the President notes that Maj. Gen. served the army meritoriously, attracting many honours.
“President Buhari prays for the repose of his soul.”
Senegalese singer Balla Sidibe, a founding member of the legendary Orchestra Baobab which ruled the airwaves during the 1970s, died on Wednesday in Dakar, the country’s musical association said.
Orchestra Baobab’s unique blend of Cuban rhythms, soul and jazz, along with traditional sounds drawn from across the African continent, made them one of the most successful groups to emerge from the time.
Sidibe was in his sixties and died in his sleep “after a very full day of rehearsals with his musical comrades”, the association said in a statement, adding that it had lost “a father, a sage and a friend”.
Local media said Sidibe died after “a short illness”, without giving further details.
Sidibe was at the heart of the booming African music scene of the 1970s.
After a long hiatus, Orchestra Baobab reformed to international acclaim in the early 2000s.
“Sidibe was the doyen of the Orchestra. Frankly, we have lost two monumental musicians without compare since he was a singer and a timpani drummer — bringing the two roles together. It’s very difficult,” bandmate Thierno Kouyate told the Senegal Press Agency.
Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister, Perrance Shiri, an ex-airforce commander who headed an army unit accused of a notorious massacre in early 1980s, died on Wednesday aged 65, the government said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who made the announcement, paid tribute to Shiri as a “true patriot” but gave no details about the cause of the death.
Shiri was commander of an elite North-Korean trained unit, the Fifth Brigade, that cracked down on a revolt in the western province of Matabeleland province in the newly-independent Zimbabwe.
Known as the Gukurahundi Massacre, the bloodbath claimed some 20,000 lives, according to the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, a figure suported by Amnesty International.
Mnangagwa was state security minister at the time.
Shiri served for years as commander of the airforce before taking up a post as land and agriculture minister under Mnangagwa after a coup that ousted longtime ruler Robert Mugabe in November 2017.
Mnangagwa described Shiri as “a long time friend and colleague… a true patriot, who devoted his life to the liberation, independence and service of his country.”
According to a news media (known to Noble Reporters Media), Shiri had been quarantined at a private hospital after he was said to have been exposed to coronavirus virus by his driver, who died at the weekend.
Critics took to social media to vent their emotions.
“It’s tragic that Shiri has departed without facing justice over the Gukurahundi atrocities he committed in Matabeleland and Midlands Provinces in the 1980s nor telling the truth about those atrocities to help heal the nation. May God rest Shiri’s victims in eternal peace,” tweeted exiled former minister Jonathan Moyo, who served under Mugabe.
No fewer than 10 passengers escaped death on Tuesday’s evening when their boat capsized on Lagos Waterways, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said.
Alhaji Ibrahim Farinloye, NEMA Acting Coordinator in Lagos State, who made this known in a statement, said, “10 passengers were rescued live when their boat capsized.
According to him, the boat took off from Lagos Island going to Ikorodu before it capsized.
Farinloye said that with the special support by operators and volunteers, they pulled resources together, and rescued the passengers.
Also confirming the incident, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), said that the authority was still compiling information about the accident and the cause.
Emmanuel said the boat left Lagos Island, which experienced a lot of water activities.
The general manager, however, told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) that he would make a further pronouncement on the accident later.
NRM learnt that LASWA had on June 18, celebrated zero record of boat mishap in the last six months in the state waterways.
On June 23, a local boat with four adult males on a boating expedition capsized due to water turbulence; three of the passengers were rescued while one was missing.
Also, on July 3, a-20 capacity passenger boat with the name “Lalek Marine” said to have left Ebute Ero Jetty around 8.00 p.m. after the approved sailing time of 6.00p.m, did not arrive at its Ikorodu Terminal.
Twenty-one people were on board of the ill-fated boat, in which 14 were rescued, while seven died.
During a visit to the area, Governor Bello described the incident as unfortunate but expressed concern over the lack of adherence to urban development laws by the residents in the area.
While describing the incident as unfortunate, the governor, however, said the residents of the area do not comply with the open development laws.
“It is very unfortunate what has happened. About 12 or 13 people have died as a result of the flood. Our prayers are with the families of the deceased.
Governor Abubakar Bello says residents of the area flout existing laws by building houses on the waterways in the state.
“They are going through challenging times at the moment, they are grieving. I am also concerned that we have not been able to recover some of the bodies yet.
“I also understand there is an ongoing search for the remaining dead bodies. Hopefully, they will be found soon. On a separate note, I also noticed that in Suleja and some of our towns, people have made it a habit to build along waterlines and waterways.
“When you build along waterways, it is just a matter of time, it could be one, five or 10 years later, eventually the water will find its way,” he said.
A staggering 900-plus girls and women are missing and feared dead in Peru since COVID-19 confinement began, authorities said Monday.
The Andean nation home to 33 million people long has had a horrific domestic violence problem.
But COVID-19, which has compounded home confinement combined with job losses and a health crisis, has seen an already scary situation grow worse in just 3-1/2 months, according to Eliana Revollar, who leads the women’s rights office of the National Ombudsman’s office.
Seventy percent of that figure are minors, she added.
“During the quarantine, from March 16 to June 30, 915 women in Peru were reported missing,” and feared dead, said Revollar.
Before COVID-19, five women were reported missing in Peru every single day; since the lockdown, the number has surged to eight per day.
Revollar said Peru’s situation was grim because the lack of a national missing persons registry made it hard for authorities to keep track of the crisis.
Walter Gutierrez, the ombudsman, told RPS Radio: “We need to know what has happened to them.”
Revollar said she would push for the creation of a missing persons registry.
Women’s rights groups and NGOs however say that very often police refuse to investigate domestic violence, make fun of victims, or claim that the missing have left their homes willingly.
But that doesn’t address the fact that Peru has a problem with domestic violence and other violence against women, as well as human trafficking and forced prostitution.
In January, the case of a university student and activist for women’s rights and safety, Solsiret Rodriguez, was in the headlines here — but only when her body was found three years after she went missing.
Last year there were 166 killings of women in Peru; just a tenth of those were cases of a person first being reported missing. And there were just under 30,000 calls to report domestic violence, according to the Women’s Ministry.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has expressed regrets over the death of a mother and her four children in Abuja on Saturday, after torrential rainfall in Gwagwalada area council that swept away some houses.
Speaking in Gwagwalada after an on the spot assessment of the damage done by the rainfall, the director, planning. research and forecasting of NEMA, Mr. Kayode Fagbemi advised residents of flood-prone areas to immediately move out to avoid more disasters.
He said, “It is unfortunate, especially because we have lost lives. This is exactly what we have been trying to educate people on.
“There is a culvert over there, it’s likely it has been blocked, and so the water had to find its way above the road and then affected the house or houses.
“We still want to educate people, we are still going to have more rainfalls, we want the people to please clear all their drainages, waterways should be cleared of waste, and people should move, people that are close to waterways like this should move.
“We don’t want to lose more lives, we don’t want to lose people. We want people to know that flood this year has been predicted and whatever we can do to save lives we will do”.
Earlier in the year, the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Retired Air Vice-Marshal Muhammadu Muhammad cautioned Nigerians residing in areas identified as flood risk areas to evacuate their facilities immediately to avert any form of disaster that may arise as a result of flooding.
According to Air Vice-Marshal, Muhammad about 102 local governments are expected to experience a high rate of flooding, he, however, notes that the agency has put in place measures to mitigate the impact.
In a statement, Mr. Muhammad said Kaura and Zaria local government areas in Kaduna state are among the high-risk areas and urged state emergency management agencies to help sensitize residents and prepare to evacuate communities.
The late United States Representative John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the final time on Sunday as remembrances continue for the civil rights legend.
A crowd began gathering near the bridge that became a landmark in the fight for racial justice when Lewis and other civil rights marchers were beaten there 55 years ago on “Bloody Sunday,” a key event in the fight for voting rights for Black Americans.
A horse-drawn hearse retraced the route through Selma from Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where the 1965 march began.
As the wagon approached the bridge, members of the crowd shouted “Thank you, John Lewis!” and “Good trouble” – the phrase Lewis used to describe his tangles with white authorities during the civil rights movement.
Some crowd members sang the gospel song Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed on Jesus. Later, some onlookers sang the civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome and similar tunes.
The hearse paused atop the bridge over the Alabama River as the cicadas sang in the summer heat.
On the south side of the bridge, where Lewis was beaten by Alabama state troopers in 1965, family members placed roses that the carriage rolled over, marking the spot where Lewis spilt his blood and suffered a severe head injury.
As a military honour guard lifted Lewis’s coffin from the wagon into an automobile hearse, state troopers saluted Lewis.
A native of Pike County, Alabama, Lewis became involved in the civil rights movement as a young man.
In 1965, he and other marchers, calling for equal rights for all voters regardless of race, were beaten in Selma as segregationist Alabama Governor George Wallace ordered a crackdown.
The news coverage of the event help galvanise support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Amid current national anti-racism protests and a movement to abolish Confederate monuments and symbols, calls have grown to rename the bridge in honour of Lewis.
It is currently named after Edmund Winston Pettus, a former Confederate brigadier general and leader of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan.
Week of Memorials Lewis’s body will later be brought to the Alabama Capitol in the afternoon to lie in repose.
A series of events began on Saturday in Lewis’s hometown of Troy, Alabama, to pay tribute to the late congressman and his legacy. He will lie in state at the US Capitol next week before his private funeral on Thursday at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, which the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr once led.
Frank and Ellen Hill drove for more than four hours from Monroe, Louisiana, to watch the procession.
Frank Hill, 60, said he remembers, as an African American child, watching news footage of Lewis and other civil rights marchers being beaten by law enforcement officers.
“I had to come back and see John Lewis cross the bridge for the last time,” said Hill. It’s funny to see the state troopers here to honour and respect him rather than beat the crap out of him,” Hill told The Associated Press.
Olivia de Havilland, a two-time Oscar winner and one of the last links to Hollywood’s legendary Golden Age, died Sunday at the age 104, her publicist said.
De Havilland, who starred in blockbusters like “Gone With the Wind” and played opposite such leading men as Errol Flynn, personified the glamour and elegance of a bygone age of moviemaking.
In a statement, her publicist Lisa Goldberg said de Havilland “died peacefully from natural causes” at her home in Paris, France.
Born Olivia Mary de Havilland on July 1, 1916 in Tokyo, the star had lived in Paris since the early 1950s, and received honors such as the National Medal of the Arts, France’s Légion d’Honneur, and the appointment to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
She was married twice — first to author Marcus Goodrich from 1946 to 1953 and then to journalist Pierre Galante, editor of the French magazine Paris Match.
De Havilland was most known for her role as Melanie Hamilton in 1939’s “Gone With The Wind,” but also had starring roles opposite Flynn in “Captain Blood” (1935) and “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938).
The novel coronavirus has killed at least 645,715 people since emerging in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.
At least 16,072,290 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 9,061,300 are now considered recovered.
The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.
Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases.
On Saturday, 6,003 new deaths and 260,578 new cases were recorded worldwide. The countries with the newest deaths were Brazil with 1,211, followed by the United States with 1,067 and Mexico with 729.
The US is the worst-hit country with 146,463 deaths from 4,178,730 cases. At least 1,279,414 people have been declared recovered.
The next hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 86,449 deaths from 2,394,513 cases, the United Kingdom with 45,738 deaths from 298,681 cases, Mexico with 43,374 deaths from 385,036 cases and Italy with 35,102 deaths from 245,864 cases.
The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Belgium with 85 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by the United Kingdom with 67, Spain 61, Italy 58, and Sweden 56.
China — excluding Hong Kong and Macau — has to date declared 83,830 cases (46 new since Saturday), including 4,634 deaths and 78,908 recoveries.
Europe overall has 207,869 deaths from 3,061,857 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean 182,511 deaths from 4,329,332 infections, while the United States and Canada have reported 155,381 deaths from 4,292,245 cases.
Asia has recorded 57,019 deaths from 2,456,523 cases, the Middle East 25,238 deaths from 1,087,157 cases, Africa 17,513 deaths from 829,127 cases, and Oceania 184 deaths from 16,057 cases.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has officially handed over to the Nigeria Police the three suspects involved in the incident that led to the death of late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile.
According to a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore, Ibikunle Daramola, the suspects namely Nehemiah Adejoh, Igbekele Folorunsho and Festus Gbayegun, were handed to the police on Friday at the NAF Base Kaduna.
Giving a brief highlight of the events that led up to the death, the Commander 453 Base Services Group (453 BSG), Group Captain Hadi Ahmed, recalled how, on 14 July 2020, at about 4:30 pm, a KIA Serento SUV, driven by Mr Adejoh, with the two others as passengers, knocked down the Flying Officer while she was walking along the Air Marshal Ibrahim Alfa Road in the NAF Base Kaduna.
The three former classmates of Arotile who were involved in her death o n July 14, being handed over to the police.
Group Captain Ahmed highlighted that the three persons involved in the accident, who were former schoolmates of the late Flying Officer at the Air Force Secondary School Kaduna, were on their way to visit the wife of a serving senior officer residing in the Base before the accident occurred.
He stated that the NAF would continue to cooperate with the Nigeria Police and provide all necessary support to enable it carry forward the case to its logical conclusion.
The Nigeria Air Force on Friday said it has handed over three suspects involved in the incident that led to the death of flying officer Tolulope Arotile, to the police.
The Air Force revealed this in a statement signed by spokesman Ibikunle Daramola on Friday.
Arotile, who was buried with full military honours on Thursday, had died from head injuries sustained after a car reversed and hit her at the Air Force base in Kaduna.
The handover also took place at the base.
According to the Air Force’s statement, the suspects include “Mr Nehemiah Adejoh, Mr Igbekele Folorunsho and Mr Festus Gbayegun” all of who were former classmates to Ms. Arotile.
According to Group Captain, Hadi Ahmed, as quoted in the statement, the suspects, on July 14, were in a “KIA Serento SUV, with Registration Number AZ 478 MKA (Kaduna)” when the car knocked down Arotile as “she was walking along Air Marshal Ibrahim Alfa Road in NAF Base Kaduna, leading to her eventual death.”
The trio “were on their way to visit the wife of a serving senior officer residing in the Base before the accident occurred,” Ahmed said.
Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa has died age 81 in a Dar es Salaam hospital, the government announced Friday.
He was the country’s third president after independence from Britain in 1962 and ruled from 1995 to 2005.
“I’m saddened by the death of the third president of Tanzania and that is a big loss for us as a country. Let’s pray for him and more information will follow later,” said President John Magufuli in a short televised speech.
He did not reveal the cause of death.
Mkapa was born in 1938 to a poor family in south-eastern Mtwara.
He earned a degree in English in Uganda and later worked as a journalist before being appointed the press secretary for the country’s first president Julius Nyerere.
He held several cabinet posts, such as foreign minister and information minister and also served as ambassador to the United States before he was elected president.
Tanzania will hold a period of seven days of mourning, during which the national flag will be flown at half mast.
Mkapa had most recently attempted to mediate between Burundi’s government and opposition groups after a disputed 2015 election plunged the country into crisis, however the government repeatedly refused to take part and the talks went nowhere.
Uninvited guests including unaccredited journalists were politely turned back at the entrance to the cemetery as only vehicles of senior officers and immediate family members of the deceased are allowed to drive in, Noble Reporters Media gathered.
South Africa on Wednesday announced a record 24-hour increase of 572 coronavirus deaths, bringing its total number of fatalities to 5,940.
The country is the worst-affected in Africa and among the top five in the world in terms of confirmed cases, with 394,948 infections reported to date.
“Regrettably we report 572 new COVID-19 related deaths. This brings the cumulative number of deaths to 5,940,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a daily statement.
Almost half the total number of deaths have been reported in the Western Cape province, while the majority of positive cases are in Gauteng — South Africa’s financial hub and epicentre of the outbreak.
The mortality rate has remained low, however, at around 1.5 percent on Wednesday.
Almost 60 percent of the country’s COVID-19 patients have recovered from the virus.
• Concern rise over increased single day death •
South Africa has recorded a jump of nearly 60 percent in overall numbers of natural deaths in recent weeks, suggesting a much higher toll of coronavirus-related fatalities than officially reported.
“In the past weeks, the numbers have shown a relentless increase – by the second week of July, there were 59% more deaths from natural causes than would have been expected based on historical data,” the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) said in a report released late Wednesday.
The report by the council, which is government-funded but an independent unit, came as the health ministry announced a record increase of 572 coronavirus deaths over the previous 24 hours.
The author of the report, Professor Debbie Bradshaw, said “the weekly death reports have revealed a huge discrepancy between the country’s confirmed COVID-19 deaths and number of excess natural deaths”.
South Africa is the worst-affected country in Africa and among the top five in the world in terms of confirmed cases, with 394,948 infections reported to date including 5,940 deaths.
The mortality rate has remained low, however, at around 1.5 percent on Wednesday, according to the health ministry’s daily updates.
The SAMRC is charged with conducting research on disease trends and identifying the main causes of deaths in the country.
“The SAMRC has been tracking mortality for decades in South Africa, and this system has identified excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 epidemic,” said the council’s CEO professor Glenda Gray.
“These may be attributed to both COVID-19 deaths as well non-COVID-19 due to other diseases such as TB, HIV and non-communicable diseases, as health services are re-orientated to support this health crisis,” she said.
The Nigerian Press Organisation has renamed the newly constructed Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) house after Mallam Isa Funtua who passed away on Monday.
The organisation, comprising the Newspapers’ Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), disclosed this in a statement signed by its President, Nduka Obaigbena.
Obaigbena said the decision to immortalise the late media icon was to honour the life and times of Mallam Funtua who died of cardiac arrest a few days ago.
According to the statement, Funtua’s contributions to the development of journalism are innumerable in the country.
SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:
A STATEMENT FROM THE NIGERIAN PRESS ORGANISATION
For his untiring contributions to the development of Journalism and Freedom of the Press in Nigeria and around the world, it is the privilege of the Nigerian Press Organisation – Newspapers’ Proprietors Association of Nigeria ( NPAN) , Nigerian Guild of Editors ( NGE) and The Nigerian Union of Journalists ( NUJ) -to name the newly rebuilt Nigerian Institute of Journalism House, Adeyemo Alakija Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, as ISMAILA ISA HOUSE to honour the life and times of Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua, OFR, Mni, who died on Monday, July 20, 2020 after a life of dedicated service to Nigeria that spanned politics, business and media.
His contributions to the development of journalism is innumerable: including, but not limited to his co-founding of Democrat Newspapers; presidency of the NPAN at a time of national crises, and later a life patron; services to the international Press Institute where he served on the global board; contributions to journalism education as Chairman of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, ETC, ETC.
Samaila Isa Funtua, 1942 -2020, will be deeply missed but not forgotten.