Information round to clock
- Tuesday 19 April
South Africa declares state of emergencyAfricanews - 09h41
President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a state of national disaster in South Africa. This comes a week after terrible floods left at least 443 people dead in the Durban area on the east coast
The authorities expect hundreds of millions of euros in damage. A €63 million (R1 billion) emergency fund has been released by the government after the region already suffered massive destruction in July during an unprecedented wave of rioting and looting
- Thursday 12 August
At least 13 dead and dozens trapped after landslide hits highway in northern IndiaCNN - 16h50
At least 13 people have died and dozens are missing after a landslide caused rocks and heavy boulders to crash onto a highway in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday.The landslide hit in the morning local time, leaving a bus and several other vehicles trapped on the mountainside highway.Photos from the scene show rescue workers navigating crushed vehicle parts, flipped cars and scattered debris, with portions of the highway blocked completely by loose earth fallen from the mountain above.
Messi meets his new PSG teammates at first Paris training sessionFrance 24 - 16h49
After a rapturous reception from PSG fans a day earlier, Argentine football superstar Lionel Messi got to meet some of his new teammates for the first time at Paris Saint-Germain’s Camp des Loges training facility on Thursday.
Much has been made of Messi joining a team that includes Brazil’s Neymar and France striker Kylian Mbappé in what will be a fearsome offensive line for PSG in their quest to win their first Champions League since 1993.
World Cup winner Mbappé was one of the first to extend his welcome to Messi after his official arrival, with the 22-year-old posting his best wishes to the newcomer on social media.
Sexual violence against women and girls in Ethiopia’s Tigray region amount to war crimes, Amnesty saysCNN - 16h49
Troops and militias aligned with the Ethiopian government have subjected hundreds of women and girls to sexual violence in Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region, according to a new report by Amnesty International.The report details widespread rape and sexual violence carried out by members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), the Eritrean Defense Force (EDF), the Amhara Regional Police Special Force (ASF), and Fano, an Amhara militia group. To conduct the report, Amnesty interviewed medical professionals and 63 survivors of sexual violence between March and June 2021.
Flash floods kill 11 as Turkey reels from multiple disastersFrance 24 - 16h48
Turkish rescuers distributed food and relocated thousands of people into student dormitories Thursday as the death toll from flash floods that swept across several Black Sea regions rose to 11.
The torrential rains descended on Turkey’s northern stretches just as rescuers reported bringing hundreds of wildfires that have killed eight people since late July under near total control in the south.
Turkey has been grappling with drought and reeling from a rapid succession of natural disasters that world scientists believe are becoming more frequent and intense because of climate change.
Taliban capture the strategic city of Ghazni, leaving Afghan capital Kabul increasingly isolatedCNN - 16h47Ghazni fell to the militant group on Thursday morning local time after “long and intense fighting,” according to Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, head of Ghazni provincial council.A Taliban spokesman tweeted Thursday that the city had been seized, including the governor’s office, police headquarters and prison. CNN cannot independently verify the Taliban’s claims.
US mandates Covid-19 shots for federal health care workersfrance 24 - 16h47
The US health department said Thursday it will require all its public-facing health care workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19, amid a surge in hospitalizations driven by the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus.
The policy will apply to around 25,000 Department of Health and Human Services employees who could come into contact with patients — just under a third of its total workforce.
“Our number one goal is the health and safety of the American public, including our federal workforce. And vaccines are the best tool we have to protect people from Covid-19, prevent the spread of the Delta variant, and save lives,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
Palestinians get 150,000 doses of Pfizer virus vaccineFrance 24 - 16h43
The Palestinian Authority said Thursday it had taken delivery of 150,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine, amid an upsurge of Covid-19 cases in the occupied West Bank.
A health ministry statement from the Ramallah-based PA said that of four million doses ordered from the pharmaceutical giant, one million have been received so far.
The rest should be delivered in batches by the end of the year, it added.
Italy may have hit Europe’s hottest day on record as anticyclone ‘Lucifer’ sweeps inCNN - 16h43
Authorities in Italy say the island of Sicily may have set an all-time heat record for Europe, hitting a temperature of 48.8 degrees Celsius (119.8 degrees Fahrenheit).The city of Siracusa hit the blistering record on Wednesday afternoon, as an anticyclone — which Italian media reports are referring to as “Lucifer” — swept in and continues to moves north up the country. A persistent heat wave around the Mediterranean in Europe and North Africa has contributed to some of the worst fires seen there in years.
Debt-ridden Zambia votes in closely contested general electionFrance 24 - 16h39
Zambians were voting in a general election on Thursday after a tense campaign dominated by economic woes, a debt crisis and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sixteen presidential candidates are vying for the top job, but the frontrunners are incumbent Edgar Lungu, 64, and his long-time rival Hakainde Hichilema, a business tycoon, who are facing off at the polls for the third time.
Hichilema, 59, who is running for a sixth time, is backed by an alliance of 10 parties.
A flagging economy and rising living costs have eroded Lungu’s support base in recent years, surveys suggest, and the election could be even tighter than 2016 polls when he narrowly scraped a victory over Hichilema.
Ship runs aground and splits in two in JapanCNN - 16h37
A Panamanian-registered ship ran aground in a northern Japan harbor, then split in two and was leaking oil, but there were no injuries among the 21 crew and the oil leak was being controlled with no signs it had reached shore, the Japan Coast Guard said.The 39,910-ton vessel, the “Crimson Polaris,” was carrying wood chips when it ran aground on Wednesday morning in Hachinohe harbor.It managed to free itself, but due to poor weather was unable to move far and ended up anchoring about 4 kilometers (2.4 miles) out from the port.
- Monday 09 August
Taliban seize more provincial capitals in blitz across northern AfghanistanFrance 24 - 19h05
The Taliban seized a sixth Afghan provincial capital on Monday following a weekend blitz across the north that saw urban centres fall in quick succession and the government struggle to keep the militants at bay.
Insurgents entered Aibak without a fight after community elders pleaded with officials to spare the city from more violence following weeks of clashes on the outskirts, said Sefatullah Samangani, deputy governor of Samangan province.
“The governor accepted and withdrew all the forces from the city,” Samangani added, saying the Taliban were now in “full control”.
A Taliban spokesman confirmed the city had been taken.
Covid-19 cases are rising in countries praised for stopping outbreaks. Do they need to change their strategies?CNN - 19h05
A year and a half since the first Covid-19 cases were identified, many countries in Asia-Pacific feel right back where they started.While Britons hit the nightclubs after a long winter of coronavirus restrictions, millions of people in Australia and China are back in lockdown. Health systems in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are overwhelmed. And countries like the Pacific island nation of Fiji, which last year had only reported a handful of cases, are now battling major outbreaks.To some, it’s hard to understand why Asia-Pacific is being hit so hard. Many Asia-Pacific countries turned themselves into hermit nations, closing off borders to almost all foreigners, imposing strict quarantines for arrivals, and introducing aggressive testing and tracing policies to catch any cases that slipped through their defenses. They lived with these tough border rules so cases could be brought down to zero — and keep people safe.
Grealish relishing £100 million tag as he targets Champions League, World Cup gloryFrance 24 - 19h04
Jack Grealish said on Monday he is enjoying the tag of becoming England’s first ever £100 million ($139 million) player after joining Premier League champions Manchester City from Aston Villa.
Grealish left his boyhood club last week in a transfer that saw him become the most expensive player in Premier League history, surpassing Paul Pogba’s move to Manchester United in 2016.
“I actually like it, I think it is a good tag to have,” said the 25-year-old as he was unveiled at the Etihad Stadium.
English football club ready for sale to ‘criminal’: reportFrance 24 - 19h02
An investigation by the Al Jazeera broadcaster to be released Monday found that middlemen were prepared to enable a fictitious criminal investor to buy a storied English football club.
The investigation found that, with the help of a fixer, Derby County FC was prepared to go through with a £99 million ($137 million) sale to a fictitious Chinese buyer, despite a ban on serious criminals purchasing a club.
Under the English Football League’s owners and directors’ test, anyone with an unspent conviction that carried a custodial sentence of more than 12 months is barred from acquiring a club.
Biden unmoved on Afghan exit as Taliban sweep provincesFrance 24 - 19h02
The Taliban are making swift gains in Afghanistan but President Joe Biden is standing firm on a US exit with limited options appearing to be on the table to reverse the insurgents’ momentum.
The Taliban’s advances, including seizing six provincial capitals within days, may appear startling in their speed but were not unexpected in Washington as the US military completes the pullout ordered by Biden by August 31.
“The decision to withdraw was made in full knowledge that what we are seeing happen now was likely to happen,” said Laurel Miller, until 2017 the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
London’s Tower Bridge is stuck open due to a technical faultCNN - 19h01A technical fault has left world-famous London landmark Tower Bridge stuck open on Monday afternoon, with cars and pedestrians unable to cross.City of London police confirmed in a tweet that the bridge was stuck due to “technical failure,” while numerous pictures and videos posted on social media show the bascules stuck in an upright position after being opened to allow a tall ship to pass through.Bascules are the movable sections of road on the bridge that can be raised and lowered using counterweights. According to the Tower Bridge tourism website, the bridge opens about 800 times a year.
‘Incinerated’: Before and after California’s monster wildfireFrance 24 - 19h00
Before one of California’s worst-ever wildfires hit Greenville, the sky turned dark red like a warning. After the flames tore through the tiny town, all that remained was charred walls, ash and smoke.
The horrific consequence of the Dixie Fire was captured by AFP in a series of before and after photos from the monster blaze that has consumed hundreds of structures and forced thousands to flee.
“I watched in shock as a post office, fire station, bank, museum and countless other businesses were incinerated and reduced to smoldering piles of rubble,” wrote AFP photographer Josh Edelson. “Dead animals lay on roadsides.”
New revelations expose future threat Trump posesCNN - 19h00
A burst of new disclosures exposing the extraordinary efforts by ex-President Donald Trump to steal power after his election defeat constitute a grave warning about the future and his potential bid to recapture the White House.The audacity of the former President’s attempts to subvert the law by weaponizing the Justice Department not only underscores how close the United States came to a full blown constitutional crisis this year. It also emphasizes that any attempt by Trump to use a war chest already worth $100 million to try to recapture the White House in 2024 would represent a mortal threat to democracy and the rule of law from a leader who was undeterred even by his own first impeachment.
US announces extra $165 mln in Yemen aidFrance 24 - 18h59
The United States on Monday announced an additional $165 million in humanitarian aid for Yemen, as the war-ravaged country continues to face what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Yemen’s conflict flared in 2014 when Iran-backed Huthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa, prompting a Saudi-led intervention to prop up the internationally recognised government the following year.
The fighting has killed tens of thousands, displaced millions and left some 80 percent of Yemenis dependent on aid.“The US is announcing today $165 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Yemen,” said Tim Lenderking, US special envoy for Yemen.
Lightning’s Cooper named Canada Olympic coachfrance 24 - 18h57
Jon Cooper, who guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to the past two NHL titles, was named on Monday as coach of Canada’s 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic team by Hockey Canada.
The appointment is contingent upon the NHL striking a deal with Olympic officials to participate in next February’s Games in China.
The Canadian squad seeks a gold medal for the third time in the past four Olympics, winning the title in 2010 and 2014 but settling for bronze in 2018 at Pyeongchang, where NHL talent did not participate.“It’s an honour to be entrusted with leading Canada’s men’s Olympic team next year in Beijing,” Cooper said.
“I have many fond memories of the Olympics, from watching games as a young kid to thrilling gold medal victories, and I look forward to helping create lasting memories for Canadians across the country while our team competes for a gold medal.”
- Friday 06 August
Thousands evacuated as wildfires rage near AthensFrance 24 - 16h55
Thousands of residents fled to safety from a wildfire that burned for a fourth day north of Athens early Friday, during an overnight battle to stop the flames from reaching populated areas, electricity installations and historic sites. The Greek health ministry said it had recorded the first fatality after a 38-year-old man was killed by a falling electricity pole north of Athens.
In heat wave conditions, the blaze tore through forest areas 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) north of the capital, destroying more homes. Ground crews of several hundred firefighters dug fire breaks and hosed the flames.
People of the pandemic: Parisian chef turns restaurant into local farmers’ marketfrance 24 - 16h53
Amandine Chaignot swapped her chef’s hat for a greengrocer’s apron during the first French lockdown to support producers and feed Parisians in search of quality products. Her small farmers’ market, a breath of fresh air in a time of crisis, inspired others to follow suit. This is the third installment in a series about people who found a new calling during the pandemic.
Parisian chef Amandine Chaignot is never where you expect her to be. In fact, she was never supposed to work in the restaurant business at all. Born to scientist parents in 1979 in Orsay, south of Paris, the young Chaignot appeared set for a brilliant career in science. “I grew up in an engineering bubble between Polytechnique, INRA, CNRS and CentraleSupélec,” she said, listing France’s top academic research institutions. “I was destined to go down that path.”
Taliban kill top Afghan govt media official, seize provincial capital of Zaranjfrance 24 - 16h52
The Taliban captured an Afghan provincial capital and assassinated the government’s top media officer in Kabul on Friday, dealing twin high-profile blows to the Western-backed administration.
A police spokesman in southern Nimroz province said the capital Zaranj had fallen to the hardline Islamists because of a lack of reinforcements from the government.
Fighting to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ousting by U.S.-led forces, the Taliban have intensified their campaign to defeat the U.S.-backed government as foreign forces complete their withdrawal after 20 years of war.
Jailed former South African President Zuma admitted to hospital for medical observationCNN - 16h52
Jailed former South African president Jacob Zuma has been admitted to an outside hospital for medical observation, the country’s Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said Friday in a statement.“A routine observation prompted that Mr Zuma be taken for in-hospitalization,” the statement said, without providing further details to his condition.“As former president, the healthcare needs of Mr Zuma require the involvement of the South African Medical Health Services. This has been the case since his admission at Estcourt Correctional Centre,” the statement said.
Ellis claims hat-trick against Bangladesh on Australia debutfrance 24 - 16h51
Nathan Ellis claimed a hat-trick on his debut for Australia as they restricted Bangladesh to 127 for nine in their third Twenty20 international on Friday.
Australia needs to win the match to keep the five-match series alive after being beaten in the first two games in Dhaka.
Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah won the toss and chose to bat after the start was delayed for more than 90 minutes by rain.Mahmudullah was his side’s top scorer with 52 off 53 balls, but was also the first scalp for Ellis who came in to give fast bowler Mitchell Starc a rest and made his mark in the final three balls of the innings.
German prosecutors launch probe over deadly floodsfrance 24 - 16h49
German prosecutors said Friday they have launched an investigation against the district chief of the flood-hit region of Ahrweiler for negligence as warnings were made belatedly, resulting in the deaths of dozens of residents.
Some 189 people lost their lives in severe floods that pummelled western Germany in mid-July, raising questions about whether enough was done to warn locals.
Following an initial examination of the case, prosecutors in Koblenz said they have “affirmed the initial suspicion of negligent homicide and negligent bodily harm… and have initiated investigations.”
Nakagami quickest in practice for Styrian MotoGP, retiring Rossi in 16thfrance 24 - 16h48
Takaaki Nakagami recorded the fastest time in rain-hit practice for the Styrian Grand on Friday.
A day after announcing his retirement, Valentino Rossi began his official farewell tour in front of a sparsely populated grandstand and was 16th fastest out of the 23 riders.
Attendance restrictions have been lifted at the Red Bull Ring for fans who are vaccinated, tested or recovered from COVID-19.More than 130,000 spectators attended the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix at the track at the beginning of July.
Boris Johnson continued a trip to Scotland despite an official testing positive for Covid-19CNN - 16h48
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson continued a tour of Scotland after a member of his team tested positive for Covid-19, deciding not to self-isolate even as others on the trip did.Downing Street sources confirmed that a member of staff received a positive test result and is following the “appropriate guidance”, but insisted that the trip — which ended Thursday — was in full compliance with Covid guidance. The Prime Minister “has not come into close contact with anyone who has tested positive,” Downing Street said.However, a source familiar with the trip told CNN the person in question was with the Prime Minister most of Wednesday in Glasgow, before boarding a plane to continue the tour in Aberdeen. The source added that the person was tested on arrival in Aberdeen. The staff member who tested positive, and some other members of the entourage, then went into isolation.
UN Afghan envoy says Taliban attacks on cities ‘must stop now’france 24 - 16h47
The United Nations’ envoy to Afghanistan called on the Taliban Friday to cease its attacks on major cities immediately as she warned the conflict-torn country was heading for ‘catastrophe.’ Deborah Lyons, head of the United Nations Afghanistan aid operation, painted a grim picture of the country’s deteriorating situation during a special meeting at the UN headquarters in New York.