24 Killed In DR Congo Gold Mine Collapse

 

Twenty-four people were killed when a landslide engulfed a gold mine in DR Congo’s eastern Ituri province after days of torrential rain battered the region, an official said Sunday.

“Our teams on the ground .. have pulled out 24 bodies and saved two people,” provincial minister of mining Dieudonne Apasa told AFP. As rescuer workers were still searching, the toll could rise, he said.

“The incident happened yesterday between 5:30 pm (1530 GMT) and 6:00 pm. They were taken by surprise by a landslide, which engulfed them,” Apasa added.

“The almost daily rains that have been falling recently on the region are the main cause of this landslide.”

The gold panners were working at Ndiyo mine around 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Watsa, the main town in the Watsa territory of Upper-Uele province.

Further to the south, civil authorities said landslides caused by the incessant rain had killed 31 people between December 7 and 14 at Bukavu in eastern South Kivu province.

A similar disaster in a makeshift mine at Maniema further to the west killed 31 people in October, and landslides caused by heavy rains were blamed for at least 41 deaths in the capital Kinshasa on November 26.

Accidents in DR Congo’s makeshift mines are a common occurrence, and are often deadly. Because many such mines are in remote areas, however, the accidents are under-reported.

The miners sell what they find to local traders, who sell it on to large foreign companies.

Six Dead In Protests Against Indian Citizenship Law

 

 

Angry protesters in northeast India vowed Sunday to keep demonstrating against a contentious citizenship law as the death toll from bloody clashes opposing the bill rose to six.

Tension remained high at the epicentre of the unrest in Assam state’s biggest city, Guwahati, with troops patrolling the streets amid tight security.

In Assam, four people died after being shot by police, while another was killed when a shop he was sleeping in was set on fire and a sixth after he was beaten up during a protest, officials said.

Some 5,000 people took part in a fresh demonstration in the city on Sunday, with hundreds of police watching as they sang, chanted and carried banners with the words “long live Assam”.

The legislation, passed by the national parliament on Wednesday, allows New Delhi to grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighbouring countries on or before December 31, 2014 – but not if they are Muslim.

Besides stoking concern among Muslims, the proposed changes have also led to demonstrations by residents unhappy about an influx of Hindus from neighbouring Bangladesh who stand to gain citizenship.

“Assam will continue to protest. India is a democracy and the government has to listen to us,” said Karan Mili, a colleague of one of the victims, 25-year-old Iswor Nayak, who died Sunday.

“We don’t want violence but protests will continue… Assamese will not stop until government revokes the law,” another demonstrator, Pratima Sharma, told AFP.

Officials said oil and gas production in the state were hit by the curfew, although the restrictions were eased during the day on Sunday with some shops opening.

In West Bengal state, where protests stretched into a third day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee — who has spoken out against the national government’s push for the law — suspended internet services in several districts.

Demonstrators set fire to tyres, staged sit-ins on highways and railway tracks, and torched trains and buses, with riot police brought in to disperse protesters and train services suspended in some parts of the east.

In India’s capital New Delhi, video shared on social media showed a bus on fire and police appearing to fire tear gas at protesters.

Calls for Calm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed the opposition Congress party for the violence.

“To give respect to those who fled to India and were forced to live as refugees, both houses of parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill,” he said Sunday at a rally in eastern Jharkhand state.

“Congress and its allies are stoking fire over the Citizenship Act but people of northeast have rejected violence… They (Congress supporters) are resorting to arson because they did not get their way.”

Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday called again for calm, saying local cultures in northeastern states were not under threat.

“Culture, language, social identity and political rights of our brothers and sisters from the northeast will remain intact,” Shah added in Jharkhand, News18 television network reported him as saying.

For Islamic groups, the opposition, rights activists and others in India, the new law is seen as part of Modi’s Hindu-nationalist agenda to marginalise India’s 200 million Muslims. He denies the allegation.

Rights groups and a Muslim political party are challenging the law in the Supreme Court, arguing that it is against the constitution and India’s secular traditions.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ally in Assam, Asom Gana Parishad, which had supported the bill in parliament, told local media Sunday it now intended to challenge the law in the Supreme Court.

UN Chief ‘Disappointed’ By Climate Talks Outcome

File Photo: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during Jordan’s King Abdullah II receiving the 2018 Templeton Prize at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC on November 13, 2018. MANDEL NGAN / AFP

 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Sunday he was “disappointed” by the results of a major UN climate summit in Madrid, calling it a missed opportunity to tackle the global warming crisis.

Guterres issued the statement as the COP25 concluded its marathon meeting voicing “the urgent need” for new carbon-cutting commitments but falling well short of what was needed.

“I am disappointed with the results of COP25,” Guterres said. “The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance to tackle the climate crisis.”

Rooney Confident He Could Still Thrive In Premier League

File Photo: Wayne Rooney attends a press conference during a media day at St George’s Park in Burton-on-Trent, central England on November 13, 2018, ahead of their international friendly football match against the USA on November 15.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Wayne Rooney believes he could still make an impact in the Premier League as the former Manchester United star targets a return to the top-flight with Derby.

Rooney will resume his career in England next month after joining second-tier Derby as player-coach from MLS side DC United.

The 34-year-old striker will work as an assistant to Rams boss Phillip Coco, with promotion back to the top flight the aim as he tries to prove he can still compete with the sport’s elite even in the twilight of his career.

“I still felt I could do it when I was at Everton, but other people made their decisions on that,” Rooney was quoted as saying in the British media on Sunday.

“Now my ambition is to get Derby back in the Premier League and hopefully play my part there for them.

“Ryan Giggs was able to play into his late thirties in the Premier League and Gareth Barry says he wants to do it at 40.

“It’s important to understand football. It is not all about running round, it is about using your head to play the game.

“Sometimes that gets lost, because you don’t score as many goals or whatever. Given the right team around me, then I could still play in the Premier League.

“The two teams I played for in the Premier League were Manchester United and Everton. I am at Derby now, and hopefully, we can get there with them.”

Former England captain Rooney, whose tally of 208 Premier League goals is bettered only by Alan Shearer, went to America in June last year after leaving first club Everton, whom he re-joined from United following a 13-year stay at Old Trafford.

Derby are 16th in the Championship, nine points off the play-off places after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Millwall.

Momota Wins 11th Badminton Title For Record-Breaking Year

 

World number one Kento Momota fought back from a game down to win a record 11th title of the year on Sunday with victory at the BWF World Tour Finals.

The peerless Japanese player defeated Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting 17-21, 21-17, 21-14 in 87 high-quality minutes in the final at the season-ending showpiece in Guangzhou.

Momota celebrates a new mark in men’s badminton, overtaking Malaysian great Lee Chong Wei’s 10 tournament wins in 2010.

“At this World Tour Finals I played carefully from the first match partly with the aim of winning an 11th title,” the 25-year-old Momota said.

“Even in tough games I did not give up.”

Momota was pushed all the way by the speedy Ginting and the Japanese fell 12-5 down in the deciding third game to the world number eight.

However, the reigning two-time world champion surged back.

Ginting was trailing 17-14 when he called the doctor on court for treatment on his right foot.

The fading Indonesian continued but Momota rammed home his advantage to seal a stellar season in style.

The 23-year-old Ginting has now tasted defeat in all five of his finals this year.

“He led (in the deciding game) but I was patient,” said Momota, who was banned for a year in 2016 for illegal gambling.

“And then I got to know that he was suffering pain so all I needed to do was stay calm.”

In the women’s final China’s Chen Yufei also roared back from a game down to defeat Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying 12-21, 21-12, 21-17.

Chen, who will replace Tai as world number one in the latest rankings, had lost 14 of their previous 15 clashes.

“I’m very excited,” said Chen.

“I didn’t think much about my 1-14 record against her, I had to focus on the task today.”

Kano Govt To Integrate Almajiri Children Into Formal Basic Education

 

The Kano State Government says it has concluded plans to integrate the Almajiri children, who constitute the over 40% of school children in northern Nigeria, into formal basic education.

The state Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje said this at a three-day retreat organised over the weekend in Kaduna State, for members of the state executive council.

He decried the high rate of out of school children in Kano, while attributing it to an influx of children from other neighbouring states since the government’s declaration of free education.

Read Also: I Did Not Teach Obaseki, Shaibu How To Lose Elections – Oshiomhole

He, however, reiterated that out of school children will continue to enjoy the free education policy of the state government from the primary to secondary school level.

750 Families To Get Permanent Shelters In Borno

Air Force Officer Dismissed For Raping 14-Year-Old IDP

 

The Borno State Government has revealed its plans to provide permanent shelters for displaced persons in Bama and Konduga Local Councils of the state.

About 750 families are expected to benefit from the scheme.

According to the governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, the goal is to provide permanent shelters by remodelling the abandoned villages now in ruins.

Meanwhile, in combatting the hunger crisis, caused by the insecurity, the government says it has been distributing food and non-food items to the IDPs.

“In the past, we used to cultivate our farms but now we can’t, because of the problem of Boko Haram,” one of the displaced persons said.

“We can’t go into the bushes we can’t go as far as three kilometers. We need them (government) to help us and solve this Boko Haram problem.”

Details later…

14 Killed In Nepal Pilgrimage Bus Crash

 

At least 14 people died after a bus carrying pilgrims veered off a highway and rolled down a steep slope in central Nepal Sunday, officials said, the latest deadly traffic accident in the Himalayan nation.

Police said the bus carrying 32 passengers plunged 70 metres (230 feet) onto a lower stretch of the winding road in Sindhupalchowk district, around 80 kilometres north-east of the capital Kathmandu.

“We have recovered the bodies of 12 passengers from the accident,” police officer Prajwal Maharjan told AFP, adding that two others had died in hospital.

Four of the dead were children, traffic police added.

Some 18 passengers who were injured were taken to hospital, with officials unclear if the bus driver was among them or had fled the scene of the crash.

The passengers were returning from a pilgrimage to Kalinchowk Bhagawati, a popular Hindu temple located at a heigh of almost 4000 metres in the hills of Nepal’s Dolakha district, around 140 kilometres east of Kathmandu.

The cause of the accident was not yet known, but police said reckless driving down the steep and winding road could have been a key factor.

Deadly traffic accidents are relatively common in the impoverished Himalayan nation because of poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

At least 18 passengers were killed when a bus plunged into a gorge in central Nepal last month.

Bayelsa FRSC Preaches Safety, Warns Drivers Against Over Speeding

Bayelsa FRSC Commander, Ikechukwu Igwe

 

The statistics of road accidents within Bayelsa State this year, have witnessed a sharp reduction as against what obtained in 2018.

According to the Sector Commander of the Bayelsa State Command, Federal Road Safety Corps, Ikechukwu Igwe, about 1,602 persons had lost their lives in road accidents last year.

Igwe says the positive turn of events, is due to increased public enlightenment of motorists.

He says the yuletide season, is a good time to intensify awareness on the dangers of overspeeding, recklessness on the road to avoid road mishap.

Read Also: 1,700 FRSC Personnel Deployed To Oversee Traffic Activities On Highways During Yuletide

Meanwhile, in other states such as Lagos and Ogun, a total of 1,700 personnel of the FRSC have been deployed to oversee traffic activities on highways.

Specifically, the personnel would be overseeing the Lagos – Ibadan; Sagamu – Ijebu Ode; Sagamu – Mosinmi – Ikorodu; Abeokuta – Sagamu; Abeokuta – Ibadan; Abeokuta – Ifo, Sango – Ota and Idiroko corridors.

Nigeria’s Usman Knocks Out Covington To Retain UFC Title

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 14: UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (L) punches Colby Covington in their welterweight title fight during UFC 245 at T-Mobile Arena on December 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Usman retained his title with a fifth-round TKO. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP Steve Marcus / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

The Nigerian Nightmare’ Kamaru Usman has retained his UFC Welterweight Championship with a 5th round stoppage of American, Colby Covington at the UFC 245 in Las Vegas.

After a closely-fought four rounds, the end came in the fifth when Usman dropped Covington with a right hand.

Covington got to his feet but Usman dropped him again with another right and closed in with a flurry of hammer fists on the ground before referee, Marc Goddard, stepped in to call it a TKO.

Usman has now won 14 MMA fights in a row, including 11 straight in the UFC which is the third longest current winning streak in the promotion.

His 11-fight streak is the second longest in welterweight history behind Georges St-Pierre’s 12.

The 32-year-old is one of just four fighters to start a UFC career at 11-0 or better.

Anderson Silva, Khabib Nurmagomedov And Royce Gracie are the others.

I Did Not Teach Obaseki, Shaibu How To Lose Elections – Oshiomhole

 

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has reacted to comments by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Philip Shaibu, that he (Oshiomhole) taught them all they are executing today in the state including the fight against godfatherism.

Oshiomhole who reacted in a television programme at the weekend said he never thought them the violence that is being exhibited today in the state as well as losing elections.

“I have always been a winner,” he said.

“I have read several sayings that I thought them all they are doing today. This is laughable because I never thought them how to lose elections. As we speak today, the governor (Obaseki) lost his ward, Local Government and senatorial district in the last Presidential election.

“As we speak, the governor is being represented by the PDP in his Federal constituency and senatorial district. These in my view were early warning signals about need to change tactics. Stop threatening people, saying you will crush. Who are you crushing?

“I won my entire senatorial district for Mr President and I am being represented by an APC senator and House of Representatives. Then, his Deputy, Philip, in Jattu where he comes from, in his polling booth where he and his family voted, lost.

“He lost his booth during his own governorship election in which he was standing as Deputy governorship candidate. So if he learnt from me, he should have learnt well because I never lost election in my village.

“There is no body in my village who can work against me because when I go home I relate with them, I am an ordinary man. You see when you have power and you don’t use it you are even more powerful. And you must know when to talk tough and when to talk soft. When I am in my village I am just like an ordinary man. I argue and play with my people”.

Read Also: Adams Oshiomhole Officially Welcomes Ize-Iyamu To APC

According to Oshiomhole, the only man that was in the PDP in his village, is now one of his PA’s through persuasion and not force.

Lamenting that Governor Obaseki and his deputy have unleashed mayhem on APC members in Edo State, Oshiomhole stated that even as a professional fighter one must choose their fight.

“It is only Philip and his boss that talks about crushing APC members. If you become a crushing machine and God enable you to crush your people who will you govern assuming you win,” he asked.

“A political party is like a forest, in that forest you have many animals. The politician is the guy who goes into this forest, knowing fully well that all the dangerous animals are there but he is going for the antelope or the grass cutter which he wants to use to feed his family. He goes there get his antelope or grass cutter home and feast without being crashed.

“So the minimum requirement of political leadership is to be able to deal with all kinds of characters”.

Death Toll In New Zealand Volcano Eruption Rises To 18

File Photo

 

The death toll from New Zealand’s White Island volcano eruption rose to 18 Sunday, including two people whose bodies have not been recovered, police said.

A land search early Sunday failed to find any sign of the missing pair and divers returned to the sea in the afternoon amid increasing speculation both could be in the water.

Deputy police commissioner Mike Clement said there was “every chance” the bodies had been washed into the sea from the stream where they were last seen Monday.

He added that searchers were “satisfied that the area we searched near the jetty is clear of the bodies”.

“The rescue teams are frustrated. We understand completely how frustrating it is for loved ones who want the bodies back,” Clement said.

Forty-seven people were on the island — a popular tourist attraction — when the explosion happened.

The death toll now stands at 18 after an Australian victim who had been repatriated to Sydney died in hospital almost a week after the deadly eruption.

Another 26 survivors remain in New Zealand and Australian hospitals, of which at least 18 are listed as “critical” and fighting for their lives after the eruption on the desolate island, which is the country’s most active volcano.

The family of the latest victim have requested his name and age not be released.

Police on Sunday named seven victims who have been officially identified including New Zealand tour guide Tipene James Te Rangi Ataahua Maangi, 24.

Four were Australians — Zoe Ella Hosking, 15, her stepfather Gavin Brian Dallow, 53, 51-year-old Anthony James Langford and Karla Michelle Mathews, 32 — along with Matthew Robert Hollander, 13 and Berend Lawrence Hollander, 16, who were US citizens with Australian permanent residency.

Clement said although the land and sea searches had so far been unsuccessful in finding the remaining bodies, police had not given up hope.

“There will come a time when we’ve done everything we can do, when we’ve done everything that’s sensible but we’re not there yet… we don’t give up easily,” he said.

Scientists monitoring White Island said there had been no further significant activity since last Monday’s eruption but the risk remained with the volcano alert at Level Two, which indicates “moderate to heightened unrest with potential for eruption hazards”.

A glow was visible from the vent area overnight “which confirms there is a high heat flow present,” said Geoff Kilgour, a volcanologist with GNS Science, which monitors seismic and volcanic activity in New Zealand.

“This has been confirmed today by an aerial observation this morning that noted an active crater is emitting volcanic gas at a high rate and very high temperature” above 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit).

The disaster has raised questions about why tourists were allowed on a volcano where experts had recently raised threat levels.