One Dead, Seven Missing In Nepal Monsoon Flood

Residents stand along the banks of the overflowed Melamchi River following heavy monsoon rains in Sindhupalchok, some 70 km northeast of Kathmandu on June 16, 2021.
PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP

 

At least one person died and seven others were missing after houses and bridges were washed away when a river burst during heavy monsoon rains in Nepal, officials said Wednesday.

The annual monsoon rains in the Himalayan nation revitalises farms and waterways but also trigger deadly landslides and floods.

Officials said a landslide caused by the monsoon deluge blocked a river, which then burst and sent a flood of water downstream late Tuesday, inundating a settlement in Sindhupalchowk district near the capital Kathmandu.

“One body has been recovered and seven others are missing from different places in the flood,” district official Baburam Khanal told AFP.

Residents stand along the banks of the overflowed Melamchi River following heavy monsoon rains in Sindhupalchok, some 70 km northeast of Kathmandu on June 16, 2021.
PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP

Rescuers from the police and army rescued at least 60 people, officials added, using helicopters for difficult-to-reach areas.

The river started swelling suddenly on Tuesday evening, locals told AFP.

“None of the residents have slept tonight, we haven’t slept at all looking at this terrifying situation,” resident Sailesh Khadka said.

“It all happened after 8pm or 9pm at night.”

A further two people died and four others remained missing after flooding in other districts over the past two days, Dil Kumar Tamang of Nepal’s National Emergency Operation Center said.

“We are also sending relief materials to the affected but the weather is making the process difficult,” Tamang said.

Heavy rains were forecast for at least the next two days, the weather bureau said.

The number of deadly floods and landslides has increased in recent years in Nepal. Experts say climate change and more road construction could be triggering the deadly disasters.

More than 200 people were killed in landslides and floods in Nepal during last year’s monsoon season.

Second Maradona Nurse To Be Questioned Over Star’s Death

File photo of Argentine legend, Maradona. Credit: AFP

 

A second nurse accused of neglecting football icon Diego Maradona during the last days of his life was due to be questioned by Argentine prosecutors on Wednesday.

Dahiana Gisela Madrid, 36, is one of seven people under investigation for manslaughter after a board of experts looking into Maradona’s death found he had received inadequate care and was abandoned to his fate for a “prolonged, agonizing period”.

The football legend died of a heart attack last November at the age of 60, just weeks after undergoing brain surgery for a blood clot.

An investigation was opened following a complaint filed by two of Maradona’s five children against neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, whom they blame for their father’s deteriorating condition after the operation.

A panel of 20 medical experts convened by Argentina’s public prosecutor said last month that Maradona’s treatment was rife with “deficiencies and irregularities” and the medical team had left his survival “to fate.”

If found guilty, the seven, who are barred from leaving the country, could face between eight and 25 years in prison.

Madrid was Maradona’s daytime nurse.

On Monday, his nighttime nurse Ricardo Almiron, 37, was the first of the seven to be questioned by prosecutors in San Isidro, on the outskirts of the capital Buenos Aires.

He claimed to have been “told by his superiors not to disturb the patient,” Almiron’s lawyer, Franco Chiarelli told reporters on Monday.

Chiarelli said Almiron “always treated Maradona as a patient with a complex psychiatric” condition but was never told about “an issue related to heart disease.”

– Fabricated report –
Madrid was one of the people to have found Maradona showing no signs of life and had tried to revive him, she said in a previous witness statement.

She also said that when arriving for her shift, she had not performed a routine check on Maradona as she wanted to leave him to rest.

A written report then emerged in which Madrid claimed to have tried to check on Maradona but the World Cup winning captain had turned her away.

The nurse later admitted that was a lie and said her boss, Mariano Perroni, who is also under investigation, had asked her to fabricate the report.

Nursing coordinator Perroni, 40, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov, 35, psychologist Carlos Diaz, 29, medical coordinator Nancy Forlini, 52, and Luque are all due to be questioned by prosecutors over the next two weeks.

A judge will then decide whether the matter should go to trial in a process expected to last months, or even years.

Maradona had battled cocaine and alcohol addictions during his life.

The former Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli star was suffering from liver, kidney and cardiovascular disorders when he died.

Maradona is an idol to millions of Argentines after he inspired the South American country to only their second World Cup triumph in 1986.

His death shocked fans around the world, and tens of thousands queued to file past his coffin, draped in the Argentine flag, at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires amid three days of national mourning.

Ibeju Lekki-Epe Highway Project Will Be Delivered By First Quarter Of 2022, Says Sanwo-Olu

Special Adviser to Lagos Governor on Works & Infrastructure, Mrs. Aramide Adeyoye; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and representative of the contractor, Craneburg construction during an inspection of the ongoing rehabilitation and upgrading of the Lekki-Epe expressway

 

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has assured Lagosians that the 18.7 kilometres six-lane Ibeju Lekki-Epe highway project will be delivered by the first quarter of 2022.

Sanwo-Olu was excited by the pace of work on the road, persuading the contractor handling the project to increase its momentum in order to push the progress to an encouraging level before the end of the year.

The Governor flagged off the first phase of the expansion on the Lekki-Epe Expressway last November, kick-starting the rehabilitation of the 40-year-old infrastructure. The second phase of the project, which will start later this year, stretches 26.7Km from Eleko Junction to Abraham Adesanya Junction in Eti-Osa axis.

Ongoing rehabilitation and upgrading of the Lekki-Epe expressway (Eleko Junction to Epe T-Junction) inspected by Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and members of the State Executive Council on Monday, June 14, 2021.

 

At the time of the Governor’s inspection, the contractor had completed a stretch of 3km on the lane from Eleko Junction inward Epe, while the right-of-way for the entire project has been fully cleared.

After communicating the work progress to the Governor, representatives of the contractor led Sanwo-Olu and cabinet members on legwork for assessment of features on the completed stretch, including drainage channels, kerb and segregated lane for heavy-duty vehicles.

The Governor was optimistic the project would be delivered on record time, charging the contractor to scale up the pace of work.

Ongoing rehabilitation and upgrading of the Lekki-Epe expressway (Eleko Junction to Epe T-Junction) inspected by Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and members of the State Executive Council on Monday, June 14, 2021.

 

He said: “This exercise is an on-the-spot assessment to view the status of the 18.7Km six-lane rigid pavement road construction we are doing from Eleko Junction to Epe. The contractor has been active on-site in the last six months, and they have touched every part of the entire stretch. We are currently assessing the project from the 3km lane already completed. On either side are three lanes.

Two lanes are for cars, while the last lane is for heavy-duty vehicles. There will be a 1.5km pedestrian walkway on both sides.

“We are happy with the progress of the project because the contractor works day and night. I believe the work is on track. Residents on this corridor are also happy with the level of work done. They are waiting on us to hand over this important infrastructure to them in earnest.

“The beauty of the work is that it has reduced the journey time, even as the road is still being constructed. There is no hindrance on the road; motorists have the right-of-way for free movement.

Not until when we finish the entire construction, we would have the full benefit of this investment. We are happy with what we have seen and we believe that the contractor should be rounding off the work by the end of this year or first quarter next year.”

Gunmen Kill Five Security Personnel In Zamfara

In this file photo, a man is seen holding some guns tied together.

 

Gunmen have killed four policemen and an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Zamfara State.

The gunmen also left another person critically injured.

The spokesperson of the state police command, Shehu Mohammed confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

It was gathered that security operatives were killed in an ambush by heavily armed bandits along Gora Community in Maradun Local Government Area of the state.

Mohammed said the ambush followed the killing of an unspecified number of bandits who blocked the Bakura – Gusau road on Sunday afternoon.

He said, “Yes, they ambushed our troops killing four policemen, one Civil Defence personnel and another was critically injured but receiving treatment in an undisclosed Hospital”.

The Command according to him has sent a reinforcement of troops and traced the bandits to the forest.

He disclosed that six rifles belonging to the police were recovered from the bandits after a gun duel that lasted for hours, noting that peace has returned to the area.

El-Rufai Flags Off N15bn Green Economic Zone Project, Says It Will Tackle Unemployment

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has flagged off the 15billion naira Green Economic Zone Project, saying it will tackle unemployment and boost investment in the state.

Governor El-Rufai said that despite the security challenges confronting the state, investors have continued to recognise and respond to the government’s commitment to partner with the private sector to create the jobs that will help reduce poverty and accelerate the development of the State.

The Governor gave the assurance at the groundbreaking ceremony for the development of the Green Economic Zone located in Maraban Jos area of Igabi local government area of Kaduna state.

He explained that while the government makes effort to improve the security of lives and property of citizens of Kaduna, it will also work hard to create more jobs for the teeming youth population in the state.

The second Green economic zone is domiciled in Maraban Jos axis in Igabi Local Government Area and is designed to provide a “plug and play” facility for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to enable them to operate competitively.

According to the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA), the project is one of two industrial parks designated by the Nasir El-Rufai administration as part of its strategic intent to fast-track the industrialisation of the state and attract more investments.

The project is also expected to provide critical infrastructure to enable firms to set up manufacturing plants within the industrial park, with an estimated completion period of 24 dry months.

Matawalle Inaugurates Anti-Illegal Mining Committee

A file photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.

 

The Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle has set up an anti-illegal mining committee that will curb the activities of mining in the state.

Governor Matawalle said the inauguration of the committee was imperative in the light of the continued illegal mining activities despite outlawing the practice which, in itself, is counterproductive.

The governor made this known while inaugurating the Anti-illegal mining committee in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital.

Matawalle says there are over 100,000 artisanal miners in the State who produce ten tonnes of gold annually before the current suspension of mining activities by the Federal Government.

He said the artisanal miners produce 10 tonnes of gold per year which they sell at a local value of 70-80% of the international price.

The Federal Government had announced a ban on mining activities in Zamfara State in January 2019, when it believed there is a nexus between escalating insecurity and the mining activities in the state.

It later constituted an anti-illegal mining squad to checkmate the activities and ensure compliance with the banned.

The inauguration of the Anti-illegal mining committee by the Zamfara State Government is meant to complement the Federal government Anti-illegal mining squad to check the activities of the illegal miners.

He said the link between the worsening insecurity and illegal mining underscore the need to check the activities in the state with a view to eradicating criminals.

Insecurity: Buhari Calls For Collaboration Among West African Countries

President Muhammadu Buhari receives in the audience the New Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General of the United Nations Office for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS) Mr Mahamat Saleh Annadif.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for collaboration among countries in the West African sub-region and those in the Sahel to fight the security challenges confronting them.

The President stated this on Tuesday at State House, Abuja, while receiving the new Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mr. Mahamat Saleh Annadif.

New Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General of the United Nations Office for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS) Mr Mahamat Saleh Annadif exchange pleasantries

 

President Buhari in a statement by his Special Adviser, Femi Adesina, said “You are our neighbour. You have vast experience on matters affecting the Sahel, having served for five years in Mali. I hope you will get the countries to work together to confront the issues affecting them.”

Describing the problems as “enormous,” President Buhari noted that Boko Haram has exacted a heavy toll in terms of lives and resources in Nigeria and some neighbouring countries, while Mali equally has a large swathe of the country occupied by militants.

‘I hope under the auspices of UNOWAS, you will help get the problems sorted out. Most of them have to do with the instability in Libya, and it affects all of us”, Buhari noted.

The President pledged Nigeria’s assistance to the Special Representative in his assignment.

In his response, Mr Annadif said he was visiting shortly after his appointment because he recognised the crucial role of Nigeria in West Africa.

He admitted to being familiar with the problems of the Sahel region and would depend on the help of Nigeria to succeed.

READ ALSO: Buhari Commends France For Supporting Anti-Terrorism Fight In West Africa

A ‘Shrinking’ Lake Chad

 

President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking synergy in the fight against insecurity

 

President Buhari had in the past linked insecurity in the region to climate change, particularly the shrinking of Lake Chad.

“The lake was a major source of livelihood to more than 45 million inhabitants of the region,” he told the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2018.

“It’s shrinking meant loss of livelihood and they are now rendered poor and vulnerable to the activities of extremists and terrorist groups.

“The instability it has caused in the subregion, intensified internal displacement, among other consequences to intense economic competition especially between farmers and herdsmen.”

Ondo Election: Court To Decide Jegede’s Case Against Akeredolu On June 16

Rotimi Akeredolu and Eyitayo Jegede

 

The Federal Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital will on June 16 decide the case filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Eyitayo Jegede against the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer, Rotimi Akeredolu in the October 10, 2020 governor election.

The court will decide whether the case was a pre-election matter or not.

A three-man panel of judges, led by Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua, fixed the date for the sitting.

The lead Counsel to the PDP candidate, Oyeachi Ikpeazu, SAN, had earlier approached the Appeal Court, claiming that the APC candidate’s nomination was not constitutional.

[READ ALSO] Ondo Election: Tribunal Strikes Out PDP’s Jegede Case Against Akeredolu

The election petition tribunal led by Justice Umar Abubakar that sat on the case had via a virtual platform ruled on April 20 2021 that the qualification of the APC candidate and his deputy were not a pre-election matter, but a constitutional matter, which is not within its jurisdiction.

Justice Abubakar ruled that “The issue raised therein in this petition are settled issues of internal affairs and Management of a political party which this tribunal has no jurisdiction”.

The position of the tribunal is in line with the argument of the counsels of Akeredolu, the APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Subsequently, counsel to Jegede, not satisfied with the tribunal judgement approached the Court of Appeal insisting that the case was not a pre-election matter.

Biden Arrives In Geneva Ahead Of Putin Summit

US President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One as he arrives at Cointrin airport in Geneva on June 15, 2021, on the eve of a US – Russia meeting.
DENIS BALIBOUSE / POOL / AFP

 

US President Joe Biden arrived in Geneva on Tuesday ahead of his first summit with Vladimir Putin, as tensions between Moscow and Washington stand at their highest in years.

Biden flew into Geneva at 4:16 pm (1416 GMT) on the last leg of his first foreign trip as president, after mending relations with Washington’s closest allies during G7 and NATO summits in Britain and Brussels.

He arrived in Geneva on the eve of the first meeting between US and Russian leaders since 2018 when Putin met Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump in Helsinki.

Switzerland’s President Guy Parmelin (R) welcomes US President Joe Biden stepping off Air Force One as he arrives at Cointrin airport in Geneva on June 15, 2021, on the eve of a US – Russia meeting.
DENIS BALIBOUSE / POOL / AFP

 

Biden was greeted on the Geneva Airport tarmac by Swiss President Guy Parmelin, flanked by the heads of the Geneva cantonal and city authorities and US diplomats based in the city.

After handshakes and a few brief exchanges, he climbed into his armoured limousine known as “The Beast” and was whisked off to the five-star Intercontinental Hotel, just a mile (1.6 kilometres) away.

Switzerland has launched a massive security operation to ensure the safety of Biden, Putin and their large entourages, deploying around 4,000 police, troops and security personnel to guard the summit from all angles.

The summit venue, the La Grange villa, and its surrounding park has been ringed with two kilometres of barbed wire-topped security fencing.

Several blocks around Biden’s hotel, near the United Nations’ European headquarters, were also blocked off with barbed-wire fencing.

Switzerland’s President Guy Parmelin (R) welcomes US President Joe Biden stepping off Air Force One as he arrives at Cointrin airport in Geneva on June 15, 2021, on the eve of a US – Russia meeting.
DENIS BALIBOUSE / POOL / AFP

 

The international city, which on Tuesday was flying the US and Russian flags on its main bridge crossing the end of the picturesque Lake Geneva, is well accustomed to hosting heads of state and other dignitaries.

But such showpiece summits are rare — the last time leaders from Washington and Moscow met in the neutral country was back in 1985, when US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met each other for the first time.

Wednesday’s summit comes as Washington and Moscow find themselves at loggerheads over a long list of disputes — from cyber-attacks and election meddling to the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and designation of his organisations as “extremist” groups.

Expectations for the talks are low, with officials on both sides repeatedly saying the two leaders are unlikely to find much common ground.

Nightclubs Shut As DR Congo Hit By Third COVID-19 Wave

A DR Congo flag.

 

Nightclubs in DR Congo must close and funeral wakes will be banned for two weeks in the face of the third wave of Covid cases, President Felix Tshisekedi said Tuesday.

Speaking in the eastern city of Goma, Tshisekedi said he hoped the measures will be effective, notably against the “highly contagious” Delta variant first detected in India.

The vast central African country of at least 80 million people has had fewer than 40,000 cases and a total of 854 deaths since March 2020.

But daily cases have risen with 250 new infections recorded on Tuesday including 218 in the capital Kinshasa.

Tshisekedi said a nighttime curfew from 10 pm to 5 am will remain in effect, “with military patrols, (and) violators will be severely punished.”

Funeral wakes — a mainstay of Congolese social life — were also prohibited during the first wave of the pandemic in the former Belgian colony.

Tshisekedi also urged the Congolese to get vaccinated — the country has received 1.7 million doses of AstraZeneca and hopes to receive Pfizer, Russian and Chinese jabs.

The surge in Covid has forced the authorities to postpone a tribute to Patrice Lumumba, a revolutionary figure who helped steer the former Belgian Congo to independence.

The DRC’s first post-colonial prime minister was executed by separatists in the region of Katanga who were backed by Belgian mercenaries.

A Belgian policeman admitted dissolving Lumumba’s body in acid to get rid of the evidence of the crime but said he had kept a tooth.

The relic was to be handed over in a ceremony in Brussels on June 21 and then displayed in several DRC towns before being buried.

The tribute will now take place on January 8-17 2022, culminating on the 61st anniversary of his death, Tshisekedi said on Sunday.

US Bans Two Namibia Ex-Ministers Over Accepting Bribes

An image of the U.S. flag.
An image of the U.S. flag.

 

The United States said Tuesday it would ban the entry of two former government ministers from Namibia whose alleged acceptance of bribes caused a political uproar in 2019.

The State Department said that former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau and former justice minister Sacky Shanghala — as well as their immediate family members — would not be allowed into the United States.

“The United States continues to stand with all Namibians in support of democracy and the rule of law, and against those who would undermine these principles for personal gain,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

The two ministers resigned and were arrested in 2019 on allegations that they accepted $10 million in bribes from one of Iceland’s biggest fishing firms, Samherji, in return for awarding quotas on horse mackerel from the sparsely populated southwest African nation.

The scandal, triggered by the publication of documents by WikiLeaks, came shortly before elections in which President Hage Geingob won another term but with a sharply reduced majority.

President Joe Biden earlier this month ordered a review on how better to fight corruption globally, calling the issue a national security interest of the United States as graft “rots democracy from the inside” and boosts authoritarians.

Sanwo-Olu Congratulates Wahid Oshodi On Election As ATTF Deputy President

File Photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu 

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has congratulated former Lagos State Commissioner for Sports and Ex-President, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) Wahid Enitan Oshodi on his election as Deputy President of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF).

Governor Sanwo-Olu in a statement issued on Tuesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, to facilitate with Oshodi, said the elevation of the ex-President of NTTF to continental level is well deserved.

Oshodi was unanimously elected as the Deputy President of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) at the recent virtual General Assembly of the continental body.

Governor Sanwo-Olu in his message said Oshodi deserves the continental position, having contributed immensely to the growth and development of sports, especially the tennis federation at national and international levels.

Sanwo-Olu also congratulated Egypt’s Khaled El-Salhy on his re-election for a third term in office as the President of ATTF, as well as other new officers of the Federation.

He said: “On behalf of the Lagos State Government and millions of Lagosians, I felicitate with a worthy citizen of our dear State, Wahid Enitan Oshodi on his election as the Deputy President of the African Table Tennis Federation.

“The elevation of Oshodi to the position of Deputy President of ATTF is good news to us in Lagos. He really deserves the elevation, having distinguished himself in the sports industry, especially at the Tennis Federation with a high level of professionalism and integrity.

“We are proud of him and we believe that he will use his new position to lift the fortune of table tennis and raise the bar of the sport in Africa to compete with the rest of the world.