Somalis enjoy first public film screening in 30 years

Somalia has hosted its first public film-screening in 30 years – raising hopes of a cultural revival in the war-ravaged country. Two short films by Somali director Ibrahim CM were shown at the National Theatre in the capital Mogadishu, where heavy security was in place. The theatre has been a suicide bomb target and a base for warlords. Theatre director Abdikadir Abdi Yusuf said it was a “historic night for the Somali people”. “It shows how hopes have been revived… after so many years of challenges,” he told the AFP news agency. “It’s a platform that provides an opportunity to… … Continue reading Somalis enjoy first public film screening in 30 years

South African Airways resumes flights after bankruptcy

South Africa’s embattled national airline on Thursday flew its first plane since March 2020 after emerging from bankruptcy proceedings.The SAA flight readies for takeoff at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo airport Passengers on the South African Airways (SAA) flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town were greeted on their departure by singing and dancing airline staff. Once Africa’s second-largest airline after Ethiopian Airlines, SAA had survived for decades on government bailouts and was shedding routes even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. The government agreed in June to sell a 51-percent stake to a group of investors called the Takatso Consortium, opening the way … Continue reading South African Airways resumes flights after bankruptcy

Taiwan seeks entry into key trade pact before China

Taiwan has filed an application to join a key Asia-Pacific trade pact just days after China submitted an application. But it warned that its bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) could be put at risk should China join first. The two places have a complicated relationship. Taiwan considers itself as an independent nation, but China regards it as a breakaway province. On Thursday, Taiwan’s chief trade negotiator John Deng told reporters that if China joined the CPTPP first, “Taiwan’s case to become a member will be at risk, this is fairly obvious”. The unanimous … Continue reading Taiwan seeks entry into key trade pact before China

Three men indicted for bootleg cable tv scheme that allegedly made $30m

Three men across three states have been indicted on federal crimes stemming from an illegal scheme involving lucrative copyright infringement deals, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Bill Omar Carrasquillo of Swedesboro, New Jersey, Jesse Gonzalez of Pico Rivera, California, and Michael Barone of Richmond Hill, New York, are all accused of running a multi-functional cable theft scheme between March 2016 and November 2019. The three defendants, according to court documents, allegedly received cable television accounts and resold the copyrighted material to thousands of personal subscribers. The defendants also reportedly communicated with banks and merchants in a fraudulent matter to … Continue reading Three men indicted for bootleg cable tv scheme that allegedly made $30m

Algeria closes airspace to all Moroccan planes

Algeria’s presidency has announced the closure of the country’s airspace to all Moroccan planes, according to the presidency, in the latest dispute between the two neighbours at odds mainly over Western Sahara. The move on Wednesday was announced after a meeting of the High Security Council chaired by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. A statement said the immediate shutting down affected “all civilian and military aircraft as well as to those registered in Morocco”. The decision came “in view of the continued provocations and hostile practices on the Moroccan side”, it added. There was no immediate reaction by Morocco. A source at … Continue reading Algeria closes airspace to all Moroccan planes

Update: Hundreds more evacuated as La Palma lava nears sea

An erupting volcano on La Palma in the Spanish Canary Islands has forced authorities to evacuate another village in the path of lava gushing towards the sea. The evacuation of El Paso was ordered after lava started spewing from a new crack in the Cumbre Vieja volcano. More than 6,000 people have fled from lava that has buried hundreds of homes since the eruption began on Sunday. Four earthquakes hit the island shortly after the new eruption vent opened. Local officials said the lava could trigger a chemical reaction that causes explosions and the release of toxic gases when it … Continue reading Update: Hundreds more evacuated as La Palma lava nears sea

Ukraine leader’s aide survives assassination attempt

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has promised a strong response after one of his top aides survived an apparent assassination attempt. Serhiy Shefir’s car was struck with a volley of bullets as he left his home south of the capital Kyiv on Wednesday morning. His driver was wounded. It is not known who carried out the shooting, but Mr Zelensky said it could have been a foreign or domestic attack. The Kremlin has categorically denied any Russian involvement. Describing the moment that bullets struck his vehicle, Mr Shefir said “we had to speed up a little, it was scary”. He praised … Continue reading Ukraine leader’s aide survives assassination attempt

Lithuania urges people to throw away Chinese phones

Consumers should throw away their Chinese phones and avoid buying new ones, Lithuania’s Defence Ministry has warned. A report by its National Cyber Security Centre tested 5G mobiles from Chinese manufacturers. It claimed that one Xiaomi phone had built-in censorship tools while another Huawei model had security flaws. Huawei said no user data is sent externally and Xiaomi said it does not censor communications. “Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible,” said Defence Deputy Minister Margiris Abukevicius. Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 10T 5G phone was found … Continue reading Lithuania urges people to throw away Chinese phones

Shares in crisis-hit Evergrande jump as debt deadline looms

Shares in Evergrande have jumped in Hong Kong after the troubled property giant struck an agreement with Chinese bond holders on Wednesday. The announcement helped to calm some investor concerns over debts over more than $300bn (£220bn). But the world’s most indebted developer is also due to make a $83.5m interest payment on an overseas bond on Thursday. The Hong Kong market was closed on Wednesday when the deal was announced. In volatile trade, Evergrande shares jumped by more than 20%, before giving up some of those gains to stand at around 10% higher by mid morning. The firm’s shares … Continue reading Shares in crisis-hit Evergrande jump as debt deadline looms

Hero of ‘Hotel Rwanda’ given 25-year jail sentence

Paul Rusesabagina, a one-time hotel manager portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood film about the nation’s 1994 genocide was found guilty of being part of a group responsible for “terrorist” attacks and sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Rwandan court. Rusesabagina boycotted Monday’s verdict after declaring he did not expect justice in a trial he called a “sham”. The case has had a high profile since Rusesabagina, 67, was arrested in August 2020 after what he described as a kidnapping from Dubai by Rwandan authorities. He was accused of supporting an armed wing of his opposition political platform, … Continue reading Hero of ‘Hotel Rwanda’ given 25-year jail sentence

Coup attempt fails in Sudan – state media

State TV in Sudan has said a bid to overthrow the government has failed. “There has been a failed coup attempt, the people should confront it,” state media reported, but did not identify the plotters. Reports from the capital city Khartoum and nearby Omdurman say there has been intense military activity, and bridges across the River Nile have been closed. The plotters had tried to take over the state media building, AFP news agency quotes a government source as saying. Video on social media appears to show armoured vehicles on city streets. The government is reported to have said measures … Continue reading Coup attempt fails in Sudan – state media

Jeez: Nearly three tonnes of heroin seized at Gujarat port

Indian anti-smuggling intelligence officials have seized nearly three tonnes of heroin, reportedly worth around $2.7bn (£1.9bn) – in a major bust at a port in Gujarat state. Forensic testing is still underway to determine the exact value of the seized drugs, officials said. Two people have been arrested and several others are being investigated, a statement said. The shipment originated in Afghanistan, where it was declared as talc stones. And it was shipped to Gujarat’s Mundra port from Iran. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said that it received intelligence that a shipment from the Bandar Abbas Port in Iran … Continue reading Jeez: Nearly three tonnes of heroin seized at Gujarat port