english news

Cattle rustlers kill at least 11 people during ambush in Kenya

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At least 11 people have been killed by cattle rustlers during an ambush in northern Kenya, police said. Eight officers, two civilians and a local chief are said to be among the victims of the violence in Turkana County on Saturday. Members of the National Police Service were pursuing bandits who had earlier raided a village and stolen livestock.  Clashes over livestock and water are common in the area, which is also facing a worsening climate. The area has been one of the hardest hit in one of the harshest droughts East Africa has seen in four decades. A fourth season of failed rains has resulted in large numbers of livestock dying and crops failing to grow. People are desperate for food and water, and the UN’s World Food Programme said up to 20 million people in East Africa are at risk of severe hunger. Kenya’s police called the attack a “criminal and cowardly ambush” on “innocent members of the public and police”.(BBC)…[+]

Four arrested in Belgian minister ‘kidnap plot’

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A fourth man has been arrested following a reported plot to kidnap the Belgian justice minister. The suspect, a 21-year-old Dutch man, was detained by police in the Netherlands, according to the National Public Prosecutor’s Office. Three other Dutch men were also arrested in Holland on Friday night. It comes after a car containing firearms was found outside Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne’s home earlier this week. The minister has since been placed under tighter police surveillance after a “serious threat”, federal prosecutors said Saturday. They said they were “informed last week of a possible threat” to the politician’s safety, which had been taken very “seriously”, and launched an investigation. However, the exact details of the threat was remain unclear. It is widely reported it was an attempted kidnapping, with some Belgian media linking the plot to drug criminals. The prosecutor’s office has not confirmed these details.(BBC)…[+]

Roger Waters gigs in Poland cancelled amid Ukraine backlash

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Planned concerts in Poland by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters have been cancelled amid outrage over the musician’s stance on the Ukraine war. The concert’s promoter, Live Nation Poland, confirmed the cancellation but gave no reason for it. The controversy was triggered by an open letter Waters wrote to Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska. In it, he said, “extreme nationalists” in Ukraine “have set your country on the path to this disastrous war”. He accused her husband, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, of failing to fulfil his election campaign promises to bring peace to the Donbas region and and made no mention of Russia’s responsibility for the war. In response, Mrs Zelenska wrote on Twitter that it was Russia which invaded Ukraine and was now destroying its cities and killing civilians. “Roger Waters, you should ask for peace from the president of another country,” she wrote. Mr Water’s open letter led Łukasz Wantuch, a Krakow city councillor, to urge people to boycott the concerts. City councillors have drafted a resolution to declare Mr Waters persona non grata, due to be voted on at a session on September 28.(BBC)…[+]

Whale stranding: 230 whales stranded on Tasmanian beach

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More than 200 whales have been found stranded on a remote beach on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia. Half of the pod, thought to be pilot whales, are believed to be still alive. Rescuers are being sent to the area. It’s unclear what caused the whales to beach on a sandflat at the entrance to Macquarie Harbour, the same remote location where Australia’s worst stranding occurred two years ago. It comes a day after a separate mass stranding in northern Tasmania. The incident on Tuesday saw 14 young sperm whales found dead on King Island, in the Bass Strait. Experts were planning a rescue of the 230 whales discovered on Wednesday but the operation would be “complex” due to the location, Tasmania’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment said in a statement. “It appears about half of the animals are alive.” Macquarie Harbour is a large, shallow inlet in a rural area. More of the whales are expected to die overnight.(BBC)…[+]

Germany nationalises gas giant amid energy crisis

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Germany is to nationalise gas giant Uniper in an effort to secure energy supplies amid the war in Ukraine. The deal will see the German government take on a 98.5% stake in the firm at a cost of €8.5bn (£7.4bn). Germany is Europe’s biggest importer of Russian gas, and has been particularly squeezed as Russia has reduced supplies in recent months. Chief executive Klaus-Dieter Maubach said the deal would help Uniper’s role as “a system-critical energy supplier”. Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine it supplied Europe with about 40% of its natural gas, and has responded to Western sanctions by gradually cutting off supplies. At the start of this month, it halted supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, claiming repairs were needed – but later said supplies would not resume until sanctions were lifted. Uniper is the biggest buyer of Russian gas in Germany. In recent months it has had to replace Russian supplies with alternatives from the open market, where prices have soared. Uniper’s Finnish owner Fortum said the company has accumulated close to €8.5bn (£7.4bn) in gas-related losses “and cannot continue to fulfil its role as a critical provider of security of supply as a privately-owned company”.(BBC)…[+]

Danish queen tests positive for Covid day after Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral

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The Queen of Denmark has tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time this year, the Danish Royal Court has confirmed. Queen Margrethe II has cancelled her appointments for this week after the diagnosis on Tuesday evening. The 82-year-old monarch was one of 2,000 guests who attended Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral on Monday. She is Europe’s longest-serving head of state following the British monarch’s death. She and Queen Elizabeth were third cousins, both being descended from Queen Victoria. Queen Margrethe has been vaccinated against Covid and last tested positive in February this year when she presented mild symptoms. In a statement on the palace website, a spokesperson said she would be recovering at Fredensborg Palace, north of Copenhagen.(BBC)…[+]

Justin Trudeau’s team defends singing Bohemian Rhapsody before Queen’s funeral

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Justin Trudeau’s office has defended the Canadian PM, after he was filmed singing by a piano in a London hotel, two days before the Queen’s funeral. In a video shared on social media, the prime minister can be seen singing Bohemian Rhapsody by the British rock band, Queen. The Queen was Canada’s head of state, and Mr Trudeau designated 19 September a national day of mourning in Canada. Critics accused the PM of a lack of respect – but others defended him. The video has been shared on social media, but while a spokesperson for the prime minister confirmed it was genuine, it is not clear who filmed it. It was taken at the Corinthia, where the Canadian delegation was staying, on the evening of Saturday 17 September. Mr Trudeau can be seen in a T-shirt, leaning on a piano as Gregory Charles, a musician from Quebec and recipient of the Order of Canada, plays Bohemian Rhapsody.(BBC)…[+]

Mudslides and flooding as typhoon batters Japan

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Rescue workers in Japan have warned of mudslides and flooding after one of the biggest storms in recent decades battered the country. Typhoon Nanmadol killed at least four people and injured more than 100 others after making landfall on the southern island of Kyushu on Sunday morning. By Tuesday, 140,000 homes were still without electricity. The storm has now been downgraded to a cyclone, after moving across much of the country and heading out to sea. State broadcaster NHK said one man was killed when his car was submerged in flooding, and another died after being buried in a landslide. Two more people were found “without vital signs”, a term often used to refer to a death before it is certified by a coroner. At least 114 people have been injured, 14 of them seriously. The super typhoon brought gusts of up to 234km/h (145mph), destroying homes, and disrupting transport and businesses. It is equivalent to a category four or five hurricane.(BBC)…[+]

Children killed after Myanmar army helicopters fire at school

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At least 11 children have been killed and 15 more are missing after army helicopters shot at a school in northern Myanmar, Unicef has said. Troops and helicopter gunships opened fire last Friday on the temple school in Sagaing region, a rebel stronghold. Myanmar’s military government said it had been an attack on insurgents they claimed were hiding in the school in Let Yet Kone village. The school’s students ranged from those in kindergarten to young teenagers. The BBC’s Burmese service had earlier confirmed that at least six children were killed – two boys aged seven and 14 and three girls aged seven, nine and 11. Another boy, aged 13, was hit by a bullet while fishing nearby with his father. Most of the children’s bodies were taken away by military troops, they said. Six adult villagers were also killed on the day by troops, said BBC Burmese, including five men and one woman.(BBC)…[+]

French air traffic control strike affects thousands of passengers

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Tens of thousands of passengers are set to be affected by a French air traffic control strike on Friday. Ryanair has cancelled 420 flights, most of which were scheduled to fly over France, affecting 80,000 passengers. EasyJet has cut 76 flights, British Airways has cancelled 22, while Air France said it would only run 45% of its short-haul flights. Separately, on Monday 15% of Heathrow Airport’s schedule will be altered during Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral. To ensure the skies over London fall quiet during the events, there will be flight cancellations, including 100 British Airways flights and four Virgin Atlantic flights.(BBC)…[+]