Thursday, 31 December 2015
Hundreds of flights were cancelled on Thursday from Istanbul's two main airports after the city was hit by a picturesque but troublesome snowfall on the last day of the year. The heavy snowfall left the historic capital of the Ottoman Empire veiled under a curtain of white with snow covering the domes of mosques and the Bosphorus hills. National carrier Turkish Airlines said it had cancelled 265 domestic and international flights from Istanbul's Ataturk Airport as well as 37 at Sabiha Gokcen airport on the Asian side of the city.
|Uwinkindi was the former head of a Pentecostal church in Kigali|
Rwanda's High Court has sentenced ex-pastor Jean Uwinkindi to life in prison for his role in the 1994 genocide. Uwinkindi reportedly organised and participated in attacks on the minority Tutsi ethnic group, the court ruled. Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by militias from the majority Hutu ethnic group. The 64-year-old Hutu pastor was the first genocide suspect to be sent back to Rwanda for trial by the Tanzanian-based UN tribunal.
Islamic State’s (ISIS) all-female police force, Al-Khansaa Brigade reportedly mutilated and murdered a mother after seeing her breastfeeding her son in public. The group, which includes members from western European countries as well as the Middle East, has become notorious for ruthlessly enforcing ISIS’s interpretation of Islamic law in Raqqa, Syria, News.com.au noted. The mother was reportedly standing under a tree, and had tucked her baby under her burqa to conceal him from public view. But members of the brigade caught sight of her and meted out the punishment.
|King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo|
King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for kidnapping, assault and arson of his subjects has reported to prison after his legal attempts to overturn his conviction failed. The case was related to a dispute he had with some of his subjects about two decades ago. He comes from the Thembu clan, to which Mr Mandela, South Africa's first black president belonged and he is the first monarch to be jailed in South Africa since minority rule ended in 1994.
A huge fire engulfed a Dubai skyscraper, The Address Hotel, on Thursday just hours before New Year's celebrations with a number of explosions heard in and around the building. The massive blaze quickly shot up the 63-story Address Hotel in the downtown area of the Gulf metropolis, covering nearly the entire structure and sending hundreds of people fleeing for safety.
"The left side of the hotel is completely gone," Al Jazeera's Diana al-Rifai reported from the scene. "There was a minor stampede - panic set in and people ran away."
Wednesday, 30 December 2015
|Billionaire Nasser al-Kharafi|
This is supposedly the grave of late Kuwaiti businessman Nasser Al-Kharafi who was considered the 77th richest man in the world. His business spread across engineering, construction, oil, hospitality, power, energy, food,Telecom, Banking,etc. Al-Kharafi died on 17 April 2011 from a cardiac arrest at the age of 67.
The picture of the grave after the cut
Born in Equatorial Guinea, 50-year-old Rita Bosaho moved to Spain more than three decades ago, working as a nurse before she made the jump to politics. Motivated by what she calls an “obsession” for human rights and worried about what kind of world she was leaving behind for her child, she decided to add her name to the list of Podemos candidates in the coastal city of Alicante. “It’s a window that’s open to the future,” she said of her party.
The amount of attention she has received in recent weeks has surprised her, she told Spanish news agency Efe. “Why is it so striking that a black woman could end up in parliament? What does that say about us all being integrated?”
Nur Elita, 20, was accused to have allegedly committed khalwat (affectionate contact by an unmarried couple) with another university student, who was not a relation. Screaming in agony and amid the pitiless heat and humidity of the afternoon, she was thrashed repeatedly with a cane. Her face becomes a mask of pain and humiliation until she collapses forward on to the ground, clutching pitiably at her shoulder.
This incident is the latest example of Sharia law as enforced in the Indonesian province of Aceh; a remote jurisdiction where this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations have also been banned by the strict Muslim authorities.
An arrest warrant has been issued for entertainer Bill Cosby for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple employee Andrea Constand at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania mansion in January 2004. Dozens of women have come forward to accuse Mr. Cosby of sexual misconduct and assault in recent years. He has denied the allegations and this month opened a lawsuit against seven of the women, accusing them of defamation and denying their allegations (You can read the story here).
More details to follow shortly
Tuesday, 29 December 2015
Gambian lawmakers have passed a bill criminalizing female circumcision and introducing prison terms of up to three years for anyone flouting the ban. The National Assembly voted by a large majority to write the ban into the criminal code, a month after President Yahya Jammeh branded the practice outdated and ordered its immediate cessation. Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy told legislators the new law would "enforce the constitutional rights of women and girls not to be subjected to practices that are harmful to their health and well-being".
Guinea was declared free of Ebola transmission on Tuesday after more than 2,500 people died from the virus in the West African nation, leaving Liberia as the only country still counting down the days until the end of the epidemic. The announcement made at a ceremony in the capital comes 42 days after the last Ebola patient tested negative for a second time. The country now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance, the U.N. World Health Organization said.
The world's worst Ebola outbreak began in Gueckedou, eastern Guinea, in December 2013 before spreading to Liberia, Sierra Leone and seven other countries. In all, more than 11,300 people died, almost all in the three worst-affected nations. Despite Tuesday's milestone, people in the capital, Conakry, greeted the declaration with mixed emotions, given the deaths and the damage the virus did to the economy and the country's health and education sectors. About 6,200 children have been left orphaned, said Rene Migliani, from Guinea's Ebola coordination centre.
|ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmet|
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been ordered to serve 18 months in jail for bribery. Olmert had been sentenced to six years by a lower court in 2014, but this was reduced by the Supreme Court. The 70-year-old was convicted over a property deal that took place while he served as mayor of Jerusalem, prior to becoming prime minister in 2006. Olmert, who stepped down in 2009, will become the first former Israeli head of government to go to prison. He is due to begin serving his sentence on 15 February.
|Suspected shooter Guarionex Candelario Rivera (left) and the three victims he shot (C)PuertoRicoPolice|
A policeman in the Puerto Rican city of Ponce entered the office of his commanding officer, held her and two other members of the force hostage, and then fatally shot all three. The shooter, identified as Guarionex Candelario Rivera, was arrested immediately afterward. The incident took place Monday morning following an argument at work that temporarily shut down the station in the U.S. territory's second largest city, authorities said. Police did not yet have information on a motive, Ayala said.
According to local media, 50-year-old Candelario spent 19 years on the force but had been kept on restricted duties for long stretches because of “problematic behavior.” He worked in the anti-drug division.
Petr Cech is the new Premier League record holder for the most clean sheet after surpassing David James whose record stands at 169 matches. Arsenal's 2-0 win over Bournemouth saw the giant Czech stopper record his 170th blank, one more than the former England 'keeper.
It has taken Cech 352 appearances for Chelsea and Arsenal to reach 170 clean sheets, giving him the highest average clean sheet record since 1992 with 0.48. Cech joined the Gunners in a £10m deal last summer and his eighth clean sheet for the club helped them return to the top of the Premier League.
Monday, 28 December 2015
An overnight fire at a hospital in southern Saudi Arabia has killed at least 25 people and injured more than 100 others, officials say. The blaze broke out in the intensive care and maternity departments of the Jazan General Hospital, the Civil Defence Agency tweeted. The cause of the blaze is still unknown as one witness told Saudi television an electrical fault appeared to be to blame, and that the fire had swept through the building in minutes, the BBC reports.
"We could hear the women screaming," the man said.
A 3-year-old boy who was left alone at home died when he fell from the third-floor balcony of his parents' Roodepoort flat, Gauteng, South Africa police said on Wednesday.
"The child took a chair and jumped over the balcony," Warrant Officer Nonhlanhla Khumalo said.
It appeared the mother had locked the child inside the flat when she went to the shops on Saturday, reports News24. When she returned and realised what had happened, she allegedly tried to commit suicide by drinking poison. She was taken to hospital and was discharged on Tuesday. Khumalo said the child's father had asked police to give them time to prepare the funeral before continuing their investigations. An inquest docket was opened.
Police still had to get the mother's side of the story, Khumalo said.
A chief medical officer in UK has warned that gonorrhea is at risk of becoming un-treatable. This is coming in the wake of a new drug-resistant strain of the infection. The strain, which is resistant to the antibiotic azithromycin, was first reported in March. All cases reported involved heterosexual patients, and some people have reported partners from other parts of England, Mail Online reports.
At least 16 cases were detected in northern England this year, including 12 in Leeds where the mutated strand was first recorded. In her letter, the chief medical officer said: 'Gonorrhea is at risk of becoming an untreatable disease due to the continuing emergence of antimicrobial resistance.'
|Serena Williams taking pictures with the couple|
Serena Williams shocked everyone on Saturday when she decided to crash an unsuspecting couple's wedding wearing nothing but a leopard print one-piece. The Grand Slam champ was enjoying a day at the beach with fellow tennis player and friend Caroline Wozniacki when she saw a couple exchanging vows on the beach. Her spontaneous side must have taken over as she decided to invite herself to the wedding. The couple seemed to have welcomed the uninvited guest with open arms as they posed for pictures with the tennis player.
More pictures after the cut
A 52-year-old man survived an 80m plunge off a bridge on the N2 in KwaZulu-Natal after he lost control of his car on Monday morning, paramedics said. He was reported to have veered off the bridge over the Nonoti River. Police search and rescue teams struggled to get to the man, who was trapped in his car. He was afterwards airlifted to Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban.
More pictures after the cut
Drone-jamming equipment to be deployed at public events in an attempt to curb terrorist drone-attacks
|Picture for illustration|
A device to block drones flown by terrorists will be used at major public and sports events following a successful trial at London’s Remembrance Sunday parade. The system was installed on the roof of Scotland Yard, close to where the commemoration took place – the first time it has been deployed by police in the UK. The equipment, designed and built by a British consortium, can detect, track and intercept small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flown by enemies – potentially saving hundreds of lives.
Tuesday, 22 December 2015
|55-year-old Dawn Meikle is facing battery charges for beating her husband|
When Donald’s flatulence continued, “Dawn began kicking him and eventually kicked him out of their bed,” police noted. Donald said that he eventually returned to bed, where he “passed gas again.” Not surprisingly, “Dawn began elbowing and kicking him again.”
Monday, 21 December 2015
Feminist group applauds nightclub for decorating Christmas tree with tampons to help revellers through festive 'period'
|The Camel Club in Huddersfield|
The festive spruce at the Camel Club in Huddersfield has been decorated with tampons - and dubbed the ‘Sani-tree’. An accompanying sign reads “helping you through the festive period.” A feminist group has applauded a club’s initiative saying the tree helps to “normalise a part of nature that is often presented as vulgar and offensive”. The group also said it makes light of the recent tampon tax controversy where the Government eventually agreed to try to scrap VAT to sanitary towels, reports the Huddersfield Examiner.
See the picture of the after the cut
Oleg Belov told a court he killed his entire family during a savage ten-minutes because of his six-year-old son’s “parrot” haircut. Speaking during his trial in Russia, he told how his wife Yulia, 32, wanted to divorce him and said they had been arguing over his son's haircut.
He told the court: “She cut him like a parrot. I asked her "Are you kidding or what?’
“I tried to grab the hair clipper and a fight broke out.”
Belov says he then hit his wife twice before she ran screaming into a hallway and began knocking on the doors of his neighbours. As reported by The Sun, he went on to describe how his wife was “screaming to loud” and he was “very scared” because he did not want the authorities to take away his children. Belov admits killing his wife because he feared losing his children: adding: “I killed the children so they would stay mine".
|Chelsea and her dad, former president Bill Clinton|
The former First Daughter announced Monday on Twitter that she’s expecting her second child after giving birth to her daughter Charlotte a year ago.
“Next summer, Charlotte is going to be a big sister! Feeling very blessed & grateful this holiday season,” she tweeted.
The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton posted a black-and-white photo of Charlotte reading a book called “Big Sisters are the Best.”
Picture of the tweet after the cut
|Man on his knees during the proposal|
A man's elaborate marriage proposal flopped when his girlfriend turned him down because the diamond on the ring was too small. Cringe-worthy photos showed the man get down on one knee while hired dancers performed in front of her in an elaborate display. The young woman initially seems overcome by the performance on a street in Chengdu, the capital city of south-west China's Sichuan province. At one point she started to cry as her boyfriend walked towards her. But when he went down on one knee and held up the box, opening the ring for her to see, she was less than impressed.
|Mollie came 3 months early|
A picture of Mollie with her dad's wedding ring around her arm - illustrating how tiny she was - went viral after she was born on April 27. But after 20 weeks in hospital Mollie defied the odds and has finally been allowed home. She now weighs 8lbs and is preparing to spend her first Christmas with her family, a moment they never thought they would share.
More pictures of Mollie and family after the cut
|Many still missing after the landslide on Tuesday in China due to heavy rains (C)Reuters|
Hundreds of rescue workers are looking for survivors after a landslide hit 33 buildings in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Nearly 60 houses were buried in rocks and mud, and about 4,000 villagers were forced to flee their homes. According to reports, about 85 people are still missing. The landslide occurred when a huge man-made mound of earth and construction debris lost stability and collapsed.
The landslide has blanketed a vast area of 380,000 sq m (455,000 sq yards) covering it with up to 10m (32ft) of mud at an industrial park, Shenzhen's emergency management office said on its official microblog.
|Michel Platini (left) and Sepp Blatter (right) (C)GettyImages|
Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini were each banned for eight years by FIFA's ethics committee on Monday in a stunning takedown of world football's most powerful leaders. FIFA president Blatter and Platini, his onetime protégé, were kicked out of the sport for conflict of interest in a 2 million Swiss franc (£1.35 million) payment deal that is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland. The bans are effective immediately. Blatter's FIFA career looks set to end in disgrace after more than 17 years as president and 40 years in total with the governing body.
Sunday, 20 December 2015
|El Nino climate phenomenon has deepened a severe drought in Ethiopia|
The East African country is currently facing a humanitarian crisis caused by below normal rainfalls in many parts of the country. The El Nino weather phenomenon has aggravated the situation and has caused low agricultural productivity and the deaths of domestic animals.
|Children using a refrigerator as a boat (C)AFP|
Meanwhile, the state weather bureau forecasted cloudy skies with moderate to occasional heavy rains and thunderstorms over Mindanao, Bicol region, Central and Eastern Visayas, and the provinces of Aurora and Quezon. These may trigger flash floods and landslides, according to the Philippines state news agency (PNA). President Benigno Aquino declared a state of "national calamity" to speed up relief and rehabilitation efforts in areas hit by Typhoon Melor and to control the prices of basic commodities, the Philippines Star reported.
|The Karni Mata Temple in Rajasthan, India|
An Indian temple is overrun with more than 20,000 rats - and the devotees couldn't be happier. The Karni Mata Temple in Rajasthan, India, is known for its devotion to the furry animals, often seen as the scourge of urban areas. Rats scurry throughout the temple, where they are worshiped, fed and protected. Devotees have even gone to extreme lengths to protect the species by building netting and grills to keep out predators such as raptors.
More pictures after the cut
|Air France confirmed that the device was a fake made of cardboard and a timer|
Four people were being questioned Sunday over a suspicious device that was found in the restroom of an Air France flight, prompting an emergency landing in Kenya early in the day. The four had all been on board Air France Flight 463, a Boeing 777 bound from Mauritius to Paris, which was diverted to the coastal Kenyan city of Mombasa after the device was found. The object was analyzed and found to contain no explosives, the airline said.
Saturday, 19 December 2015
Telecoms company, MTN, has gone to court to challenge the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) decision to impose a N780 billion fine on the South African firm, two weeks before the deadline for it to pay up. The NCC sanctioned MTN for refusing to remove over 5.1 million unregistered telephone subscribers from its network (You can read the story here). The regulatory body fined the telecoms operator N1.04 trillion, but later reduced it by 25 per cent after amid pressure and with the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The family of a man in Saudi Arabia have demanded he divorce his wife after his mother witnessed his bride kissing a camel. Bizarrely, the woman's mother-in-law was left furious after witnessing the exchange and her demands to end the marriage have prompted a massive family dispute. Despite the protestations of the couple who remain happy together, the wife is now too scared to return to her husband's home where her mother-in-law also lives, the Gulf News reports.
But her furious mother-in-law considered it a breach of social and religious norms and demanded her son divorce her. According to the news site, the woman moved back to her own family's home and was now reluctant to return to her husband because she felt her mother hated her. The couple stated they wished to remain together, but she felt her mother-in-law was using the camel kiss as an excuse to attack her.
She added this may be because she had not given birth to a baby, and hoped the dispute could be resolved so she could live in peace with her husband.
Dad cries for help as teenage son faces execution in Saudi Arabia for attending anti-government protest
A heartbroken dad has begged the world for help as Saudi Arabia prepare to behead and then crucify his teenage son. Abdullah Al-Zaher was aged just 15 when he was arrested in the kingdom after attending a protest rally against the government. Now just 19, he faces being executed and crucified along with 51 other people.
Speaking to the Guardian, his desperate dad Hassan Al-Zaher said: “Please help me save my son from the imminent threat of death. He doesn't deserve to die just because he participated in a protest rally.”
The teenager’s family claim their son was tortured and claim that following his arrest in March 2012 he was beaten by security forces with wire iron rods. They say this resulted in them forcing a confession from him and prevented him from being able to speak to a lawyer. The teenager was sentenced to death in October last year.
Amnesty International say Saudi Arabia executed 102 people in the first six months of this year.
|Demonstrators protesting President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term|
Burundi's government has rejected African Union's decision to deploy a 5,000-strong peacekeeping force to curb ongoing violence in the troubled country, saying it will prevent foreign troops from entering its borders. The African Union's Peace and Security Council agreed on Friday night to deploy an African Prevention and Protection Mission (MAPROBU) for an initial period of six months - primarily to protect civilians after months of political violence following the disputed re-election of President Pierre Nkurunziza in July (You can read the story here).
The MAPROBU force is mandated to "prevent any deterioration of the security situation" as well as to protect civilians and "contribute to the creation of the necessary conditions for the successful holding of the inter-Burundian dialogue."
|Jay McGuinness and partner Aliona Vilani|
Jay McGuinness, of boyband The Wanted, has been crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2015. McGuinness and partner Aliona Vilani came bottom of the leaderboard at the end of the final show on Saturday night but triumphed in the public vote to take home the glitterball trophy. McGuiness looked shocked when co-hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman announced his name – he was not the best on the night, but the public vote secured his win.
“I feel spaced-out, really weird. It’s been one of the most special things I’ve ever done,” he said.
EastEnders’ Kellie Bright had to settle for joint runner-up alongside former Coronation Street actress Georgia May Foote.
|The new Miss World waving to the crowd (C)EPA|
Spain's Mireia Lalaguna Royo was named the winner of the Miss World 2015 competition on Saturday night in the southern Chinese island resort of Sanya, an event dogged by controversy over China's refusal to allow Canada's entrant to attend. Sofia Nikitchuk of Russia was the runner-up and Indonesia's Maria Harfanti took third place in the final following a lengthy competition featuring 114 women. The victory marked the first-ever win for a Spanish contestant.
Lalaguna is a 23-year-old model from Barcelona with a degree in pharmacology who plans to pursue a master's degree in nutrition. She placed first in the competition's top model contest and appeared to impress the judges with her public speaking. Not present was Miss Canada, Chinese-born Anastasia Lin, who had been prevented from boarding her connecting flight to Sanya from Hong Kong last month after China refused her a visa.
Friday, 18 December 2015
The Federal Government of Nigeria warns that Boko Haram is planning to stage abductions in order to raise funds
According to the government, the terrorists have been put on the run by the military but they are in dare need of food, medical and arms supply. In a statement issued by the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, in Abuja on Friday, said that the planned abduction is in line with the terrorists’ new modus operandi of focusing on soft targets, having been routed from their stronghold and their capacity to stage spectacular attacks substantially degraded.
He said: “While the largely defeated terrorists have now concentrated their attacks on soft targets, like motor parks, schools and entertainment centres, they have been decimated to a level that they are now incapable of staging spectacular attacks like they used to do.
A Florida woman who became seriously ill discovered that her condition was caused by mold growing inside her breast implants. Anne Ziegenhorn of Shalimar, Florida, said she first began experiencing symptoms in 2011, ABC affiliate WEAR reports. The woman, who had never dealt with any serious health issues in the past, suddenly gained weight, began losing her vision, and experienced severe pain. Her mental functioning also deteriorated to the point where she began to wonder whether she had Alzheimer's disease.
Kidnappings skyrocketed this year in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where at least 175 people were taken hostage for ransom, apparently by current and ex members of armed groups, Human Rights Watch said.
"The alarming increase in kidnappings is a grave threat to the people of eastern Congo," the US-based rights group said in a report released on Wednesday.
"Congolese authorities should urgently establish a special police unit to help rescue hostages and investigate and prosecute those responsible."
A four-year marriage between an Italian doctor and a Kenyan beach operator has collapsed, thanks to popular social networking website Facebook. Photos uploaded by the man on his wall with other women sparked a legal battle with his wife who works overseas, resulting in the court dissolving the marriage on the basis of adultery. The two married in 2011, in Watamu, Mombasa County, and had been living as man and wife although the woman works in Rome, Italy, reports the Standard Digital.
The court heard that Ebo Mahs Kabao took the advantage of his wife’s absence to go on a photo-taking spree. The woman, Luredana Piarulli, also accused him of sticking in the marriage for the sake of the money she was doling out to him. Although Kabao admitted the woman assisted him financially, he asked High Court Judge Said Chitembwe to dissolve the marriage as she did not fulfill his sexual needs.
|Mother Theresa 1910-1997|
Pope Francis has signed off on the miracle needed to make Mother Teresa a saint, giving the Albanian nun who cared for the poor in India one of the Catholic Church's highest honours just two decades after her death. The Vatican said on Friday that Francis approved a decree attributing a miracle to Mother Teresa's intercession during an audience with the head of the Vatican's saint-making office on Thursday, his 79th birthday. No date was set for the canonisation, but Italian media have speculated that the ceremony will take place in the first week of September - to coincide with the anniversary of her death and during Francis' Holy Year of Mercy.
The African Union (AU) said it was ready to send 5,000 peacekeepers to Burundi to protect civilians caught up it a growing crisis, the first time the bloc has invoked powers to deploy troops to a member country against its will. Burundi said on Friday no troops would get in without its permission. But its neighbours have growing increasingly alarmed about the violence in the central African state which the United Nations says is on the brink of civil war. Tensions have been running particularly high since gunmen attacked military sites in the capital Bujumbura last week, unnerving a region where memories of the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda are still raw.
|Dadaab camp, home to thousands of refugees|