Scores killed in Sudan’s Darfur clashes

Tribal clashes in Sudan’s Darfur region have killed at least 83 people in the latest bout of violence, according to a tally by the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD). “The death toll from the bloody events taking place in the city of al-Geneina has increased since Saturday morning [to] 84,” CCSD, a local branch of the country’s doctors’ union, said in a statement on Twitter, the statement added that the clashes left 160 wounded, including members of the armed forces. Saturday’s clashes initially pitted the Massalit tribe against Arab nomads in al-Geneina, about two weeks after the United Nations … Continue reading Scores killed in Sudan’s Darfur clashes

Samsung heir gets prison term for bribery scandal

Samsung heir Lee Jae Yong has been sentenced to two years and six months in prison by a high court in South Korea, the bribery case is a retrial of an earlier one involving the country’s former President Park Geun-hye, who was also jailed for bribery and corruption. Lee has been the de facto head of Samsung Electronics since 2014, the ruling is likely to have ramifications for the future of his role at the tech giant. News of the sentence sent Samsung electronics shares more than 4% lower before they began to claw back some ground. Lee’s jail term … Continue reading Samsung heir gets prison term for bribery scandal

Indonesia earthquake: Heavy rain hampers search for survivors

Indonesian officials say heavy rain is hampering the search for survivors following a powerful earthquake on Sulawesi island on Friday, the death toll has now risen to 78, including five members of one family. Thousands of people left homeless are living in makeshift shelters, and there are fears of a Covid outbreak there. In recent days Indonesia has endured deadly landslides, the loss of a Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 with 62 people on board, and a volcanic eruption. The epicentre of Friday’s 6.2-magnitude tremor was six kilometres (3.7 miles) north-east of Majene city at a depth of 10km. Excavators, cranes and other heavy-lifting … Continue reading Indonesia earthquake: Heavy rain hampers search for survivors

Paraplegic athlete in wheelchair climbs 820 feet up Hong Kong skyscraper

Paraplegic athlete Lai Chi-wai attempting to climb the 89-storey Nina Tower in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, on January 16. On Saturday, Hong Kong residents watched paraplegic athlete Lai Chi-wai strap himself to his wheelchair and climb up one of the city’s towering glass-paned skyscrapers. Over more than 10 hours, Lai managed to pull himself up more than 250 meters (about 820 feet), in an effort to raise money for spinal cord patients. “I was quite scared,” Lai said. Climbing up a mountain, I can hold onto rocks or little holes, but with glass, all I can really rely on is … Continue reading Paraplegic athlete in wheelchair climbs 820 feet up Hong Kong skyscraper

Armed group captures military base in northeast Nigeria

Government troops and hundreds of residents have been forced to flee after an armed group overran a town and captured a military base in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state in an attack claimed by the ISIL (ISIS) group, security sources said. Machinegun-wielding fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked the base in the town of Marte in the Lake Chad area overnight on Friday into Saturday, two sources told AFP news agency. “The priority now is to reclaim the base from the terrorists and an operation is under way,” one of the sources said on Saturday. “We took … Continue reading Armed group captures military base in northeast Nigeria

Two Afghan female judges shot dead in Kabul ambush

Two female judges have been killed by unknown gunmen in an ambush early on Sunday in Afghanistan’s capital, the attack on the Supreme Court judges took place as they were driving to work, Ahmad Fahim Qaweem, a court spokesman, said, Kabul police confirmed the attack. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack and spokesman for the Taliban armed group Zabihullah Mujahid said the group was not responsible. Violence has surged across Afghanistan in recent months despite ongoing peace talks between the Taliban and government especially in Kabul where a new trend of targeted killings aimed at high-profile figures has sown … Continue reading Two Afghan female judges shot dead in Kabul ambush

Several dead as freight ship sinks off Turkey’s Black Sea coast

A Palau-flagged freight ship has sunk off the coast of Turkey’s Black Sea province of Bartin, killing at least three crew members, according to Bartin Governor Sinan Guner. Guner had said earlier on Sunday that the ship, the Arvin, was a Russian dry freight vessel that sank off the coast of the Inkumu region in poor weather, but later corrected that. “The Arvin ship attempted to take refuge at the Bartin port due to poor weather conditions as it carried cargo from Georgia to Bulgaria,” Guner was quoted as saying by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, the coastguard said the … Continue reading Several dead as freight ship sinks off Turkey’s Black Sea coast

Australia may not open borders in 2021, even with vaccines

Australia may not fully reopen its international borders this year even if most of the population is vaccinated against coronavirus, the head of its health department said on Monday, as the country recorded no new local cases of COVID-19. Australia is looking at potential adverse effects of the Pfizer vaccine after Norway reported a small number of deaths in older people who received the shot, but is due to begin its immunisation programme next month. “Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” Brendan Murphy told the … Continue reading Australia may not open borders in 2021, even with vaccines

DRC honours Patrice Lumumba 60 years after his assassination

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has honoured independence hero Patrice Lumumba, marking 60 years since his assassination in a plot linked to the fledgeling country’s colonial master, Belgium. President Felix Tshisekedi on Sunday paid tribute to the charismatic political leader at a site in the capital, Kinshasa, where a memorial is to be installed in his honour. Lumumba became the country’s first democratically elected prime minister after independence from Belgium in 1960, his government lasted just three months before he was overthrown and assassinated by firing squad. Lumumba’s body will never be recovered, however. Shot by Katangan separatists … Continue reading DRC honours Patrice Lumumba 60 years after his assassination

Trapped Chinese miners’ note sparks hopes for rescue

Rescuers say that 12 miners trapped underground after an explosion in a Chinese gold mine a week ago are still alive, state media reports the workers managed to send a note to rescuers seven days after the accident. The fate of another 10 miners missing after the explosion remains unclear, mining accidents in China are not uncommon and are often due to poorly enforced safety regulations. The 22 were trapped at the Hushan mine near Yantai in Shandong province in eastern China on 10 January after an explosion damaged the exit and the communications system of the mine, which was … Continue reading Trapped Chinese miners’ note sparks hopes for rescue

Brazil approves and rolls out AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines

A nurse has received the first vaccine dose of Brazil’s Covid-19 immunisation programme after health regulators gave emergency approval to two jabs. Regulator Anvisa gave the green light to vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca and China’s Sinovac, doses of which will be distributed among all 27 states. Brazil’s vaccine programme has started later than many of its regional peers. This is despite the severity of its epidemic, and the world’s second highest death toll. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has played down the pandemic from the beginning, has come under renewed fire in recent months as Brazil has gone through a devastating … Continue reading Brazil approves and rolls out AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines

China’s economy grows in fourth quarter, bucking global trend

China’s latest official figures have confirmed it was the only major economy to see growth in 2020. The world’s second largest economy says it grew 2.3% last year, with the final quarter seeing growth of 6.5% – up from 4.9% in the third quarter. Shutdowns from Covid-19 had caused the economy to slump by 6.8% in the first three months of 2020, strict virus containment measures and emergency relief for businesses helped the economy recover. However, Covid-19 still had a major impact, with nationwide shutdowns of factories and manufacturing plants forcing economic growth to its slowest rate for four decades. … Continue reading China’s economy grows in fourth quarter, bucking global trend