Romania Protesters Await Corruption Decree Repeal

romania-flagRomania’s government is set to hold an urgent meeting to scrap a decree that would have shielded many politicians from prosecution for corruption.

The decree triggered the largest street protests in the country since the fall of communism in 1989.

According to the BBC, tens of thousands of protesters in Bucharest cheered the move, but vowed to keep the pressure on the cabinet.

They said they would continue their rallies until the decree – which was passed on Tuesday and was due to come into effect on 10 February – was actually repealed.

Meanwhile, some protesters are still demanding the resignation of the entire government.

FG Directs NBC To Investigate Big Brother Nigeria Location Controversy

nbc-nigeriaThe Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has asked the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the reported shooting of the ongoing Big Brother Nigeria Reality Show in South Africa.

In a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister said the NBC should determine whether Multi-Choice, by shooting the show in South Africa, has breached the Nigerian Broadcasting Code in any way, as well as the issue of possible deceit, since the viewing public was never told that the event would be staged outside Nigeria.

”As a country of laws, only the outcome of the investigation will determine our next line of action,” he said.

While expressing concerns that Nigerians have bombarded his office with calls to complain about what they regard as an anomaly (of shooting outside the country a show meant for Nigerians), he requested that they should remain calm while the NBC investigates the issue and submits its findings.

Pistorius Appeals Murder Conviction

PistoriusSouth African athlete Oscar Pistorius is to seek an appeal against his conviction for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The athlete’s defence lawyer has filed an application to South Africa’s Constitutional Court, urging a review of his murder conviction.

Pistorius killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013 after firing four times through a locked toilet door.

He claimed he mistook her for a bugler and prosecutors argued he did not plan to kill her.

The Supreme Court upgraded the 29-year-old athlete’s sentence to murder from culpable homicide, South Africa’s equivalent of manslaughter, for which he had received a five-year sentence.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis – whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.

Known as “Blade Runner” because of the carbon fibre prosthetic blades he used to race, Pistorius now faces a minimum 15-year jail sentence for murdering his girlfriend.

Pistorius won six Paralympic gold medals and was the first double-amputee runner to compete at the Olympic Games.

Oscar Pistorius Found Guilty Of Murder

Oscar PistoriusA South African appeals court overturned an earlier manslaughter verdict on Oscar Pistorius with the paralympic star now found guilty of murder.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis – whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.

Pistorious killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013 after shooting four times through a locked toilet door.

He is currently under house arrest after spending one year of his original five-year sentence in jail. He will have to return to court to be re-sentenced, for murder.

The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, but judges can apply some discretion.

In October 2014, a South African court had sentenced Oscar Pistorius to five years in jail.

The paralympic runner was convicted of culpable homicide for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, issuing the ruling in court in Pretoria, also gave Pistorius a three-year suspended sentence for a firearms charge.

The prosecution had called for a minimum 10-year sentence, while the defence called for community service and house arrest.

Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide but cleared of murder.

Oscar Pistorius Begins Community Service

Oscar PistoriusSouth African athlete, Oscar Pistorius, has begun serving community service, a month after he was released from jail.

The Paralympian was granted parole after serving one year of his five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013.

The community service is part of the terms under which he was released.

In his first public appearance since then, he reported to a police station in Pretoria on Saturday wearing sunglasses and carrying a backpack, the BBC reports.

He is serving the rest of his sentence under house arrest at his uncle’s home in the city.

The 28-year-old amputee was found guilty of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, over the death of his 29-year-old girlfriend.

He told his trial last year that he had shot her through a bathroom door because he had mistaken her for an intruder.

The prosecution is appealing against the verdict, saying Pistorius should have been convicted of murder.

India Submarine Blast: Lives Lost In Mumbai Port

A man watches Indian Navy submarine INS Sindhurakshak on fire in Mumbai August 13, 2013A number of crew have been killed in a huge explosion and fire on an Indian submarine berthed at a Mumbai dockyard, India’s defence minister says.

AK Anthony said he felt “sad about those navy personnel who lost their lives”. Earlier the navy said it feared 18 sailors had been trapped on board.

The blast on the INS Sindhurakshak took place after midnight and fire-fighters spent four hours putting out the blaze.

Officials said the diesel-powered vessel was badly damaged.

Mr Antony gave no further details about how many people were killed and if he was referring to deaths among the sailors still trapped on the submarine.

But one navy official said that “surviving an explosion of this huge scale” was rare.

Many sailors managed to jump to safety after the blast. Rescue teams are on scene and some of the injured were taken to hospital. The submarine remains partly submerged at its berth.

It is unclear exactly what caused the explosion but dramatic images on Indian television showed a large fireball illuminating the sky. Smoke from the blaze could be seen in many parts of the city.

A naval inquiry has been set up to look into the causes of the incident, but officials said they suspect it to be the result of an on-board error and not an act involving any outside agency.

The Russian-built submarine was upgraded recently at a cost of $80m (£52m).

Russian firm Zvyozdochka, which refitted the submarine, said the vessel had been fully operational when it was returned to India in January.

 

Nine Killed In Pakistan Second Attack

At least nine people were killed when gunmen opened fire outside a mosque in the second attack in Quetta in south-west Pakistan in as many days.

About 20 others were wounded in the attack, which came as worshippers left the Sunni Muslim mosque after sunrise prayers for the Eid al-Fitr festival. Bullets hit the car of Ali Madad Jatak, a former Pakistan People’s Party provincial minister, but he was unhurt.

On Thursday dozens of people died in a suicide bomb blast in Quetta. In the latest attack, four unidentified men opened fire on the former minister as prayers came to a close.

“They fled after killing innocent people,” Mr Jatak, former Balochistan minister said. “I was the target. They could have fired at me. They killed innocent worshippers belonging to different communities. This is against humanity. It is brutality on the level of animals.”

Mr Jatak held a ministerial role in the Balochistan provincial government, as a representative of the PPP, which headed the last national coalition government. Four people died at the scene while the others succumbed to their injuries in hospital, a senior local police official, Bashir Ahmad Brohi told the AFP news agency.

“When people came outside on the stairs, the terrorists were already present there,” Mohammad Adnan, a witness, told the Associated Press news agency. “They started shooting and targeting many people. Two children were among the martyrs and around 20 people were injured.”

No group has said it carried out the shooting, which took place near Quetta’s eastern bypass.Quetta has seen a recent surge in sectarian violence, mostly targeting the Shia Muslim minority.

Quetta is the provincial capital of Balochistan, which is plagued not just by the Taliban’s insurgency, but also by sectarian in-fighting between Sunnis and Shias and a rebellion by Baloch separatists.

On Tuesday militants from the separatist Baloch Liberation Army shot dead 13 bus passengers 70 kilometres (44 miles) south-east of Quetta.

The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to power in June after promising to negotiate with militant groups.

Officials said they were preparing a comprehensive security strategy, bringing together delegates from all political parties, in an effort to combat violent extremism.

However the strategy has not yet been released, and no all-party meeting has yet been scheduled.