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Turmoil In Chad As Rebels Move To Take Over Capital

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Turmoil In Chad As Rebels Move To Take Over Capital

Chad was in the grip of confusion on Wednesday after the death of President Idriss Deby as rebel forces set their sights on the country’s capital N’Djamena.

Schools and some businesses were open in N’Djamena on Wednesday but many people had opted to stay home and the streets were quiet, a Reuters witness said.

Authorities imposed a nightly curfew and closed land and air borders after Deby’s death was announced. A 14-day period of national mourning is being observed.

Deby, 68, died on Monday on the frontline in a battle against Libya-based fighters, shocking the nation and raising concerns among Western allies who had long seen him as an ally in their fight against Islamist groups. He had been in power since 1990 and had just been announced winner of a presidential election that would have given him a sixth term in office.

His son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, has been named interim president by a transitional council of military officers. Deby, who often joined soldiers on the battlefront in his military fatigues, was visiting troops after rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) invaded from Libya and advanced hundreds of miles towards the capital.

FACT rejected the military’s transition plan and said they would press on with their offensive on the capital. “Chad is not a monarchy.

There can be no dynastic devolution of power in our country,” FACT said in a statement. Opposition politicians also called for a move back to civilian rule. Deby had won friends abroad by sending his well-trained army to fight jihadists including Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin and groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the Sahel.

READ ALSO: Chad Army Dissolves Govt, Parliament As Deby’s Son Takes Over

His main ally, France, has about 5,100 troops based across the region as part of international efforts to fight the militants, including its main base in N’Djamena. His death, which Paris described as the loss of a courageous friend, poses questions about stability in the region and inside Chad itself.

As well as the rebel threat, the military is divided and the opposition to Deby’s authoritarian rule had been growing.

“The potentially explosive consequences of President Déby’s death cannot be underestimated – both for the future of Chad and across the region,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

The New York-based organisation said the military council must respect human rights and ensure that civilians were protected. It also called for a swift transition to democratic civilian rule, and free and fair elections.

“For years, international players have propped up Déby’s government for its support for counterterrorism operations… while largely turning a blind eye to his legacy of repression and violations of social and economic rights at home,” HRW said in a statement.
Reuters.

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How Eight Died In India Temple Collapse

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Indian Prime Minister Modi

No fewer than eight devotees died and about a dozen rescued on Thursday after about 25 people fell into a well at a Hindu temple in India, police said.

The worshippers plunged into the stepwell – a stair-lined communal water source – after the floor covering it collapsed in the central city of Indore.

“We have recovered eight bodies and rescued nearly a dozen,” police official Manish Kapooriya told AFP, adding that rescue efforts were still ongoing.

Television footage showed emergency workers using ropes and ladders to reach those trapped in the well in Madhya Pradesh state.

Other videos showed the caved-in floor and mangled steel bars, and policemen using ropes to seal the area.

Temples across India were brimming with devotees on the occasion of Ram Navami, the birthday of the Hindu deity Lord Ram.

AFP

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Police Fine British Prime Minister For Not Wearing Seatbelt In Car

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Police Fine British Prime Minister For Not Wearing Seat Belt In Car

The British Police have fined Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for not wearing a seatbelt in the back of a moving car while on a trip to northern England.

Sunak, who recorded an Instagram video on Thursday, was seen turning in his seat to talk to the camera without a seatbelt on, a video that has now been deleted from the social media site.

The PM’s office at Downing Street said the incident was a “brief error of judgment”, but Lancashire constabulary announced they were fining Sunak for the infraction, The Guardian UK says.

The force said: “You will be aware that a video has been circulating on social media showing an individual failing to wear a seatbelt while a passenger in a moving car in Lancashire.

“After looking into this matter, we have today issued a 42-year-old man from London with a conditional offer of fixed penalty.”

Reacting, a spokesperson for Sunak said: “The prime minister fully accepts this was a mistake and has apologised. He will of course comply with the fixed penalty.”

A fixed penalty means Sunak can pay a fine to avoid a court hearing.

The police did not disclose how much they had fined the prime minister, but according to the government’s safety campaign, any driver or passenger not wearing a seatbelt is breaking the law and is liable to be fined up to £500 if the case goes to court, according to The Guardian UK.

Sunak’s transportation habits were already a talking point in the United Kingdom before the incident, a report by AFP says.

 READ  ALSO: Rishi Sunak Becomes UK’s New Prime Minister

His political rivals have taken aim at his use of a private jet to make multiple short flights in recent days.

This is not the first time Sunak has been slapped with a police fine.

He was fined while serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer for attending a Downing Street party in June 2020 that violated the government’s rules on social distancing, according to an AFP report.

The latest fine makes Sunak the second Conservative prime minister to receive a police fine in less than 12 months. The Metropolitan police, in 2020, issued a fixed-penalty notice to Boris Johnson for attending a party during lockdown. Sunak was fined for attending the same event as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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World’s Oldest Nun Dies At 118

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World's Oldest Nun Does At 118

French nun Sister André who was the world’s oldest known person died at age 118 in the southern French city of Toulon, the city’s mayor Hubert Falco said on Wednesday.

Born in the southern French town of Ales on Feb. 11, 1904, as Lucile Randon, Sister André was listed as the oldest person alive by the Gerontology Research Group in April 2022.

The Frenchwoman worked as a home teacher in her youth and did not enter a religious community until she was in her early 40s.
Most recently, Sister André was confined to a wheelchair, and for several years she could no longer see properly.

READ ALSO: Eight Shot At Crowded Martin Luther King Day Block Party

She was an honorary citizen of Toulon, where she lived in a retirement home for several years.
Falco praised her as incredibly modern and a nun with a big heart.

Guinness World Records said Lucile, who took the name of Sister André in 1944, was the second-oldest French person and the second-oldest European person ever recorded.
More recently, Sister André received the record for the oldest COVID-19 survivor after an infection in 2021.

“It’s difficult to fathom that someone born before the patenting of plastic, zips or even bras were alive well into the 21st century, and robust enough to beat COVID-19’’, the Guinness World Records editor, Craig Glenday said in a statement.

“It’s been an honour to record her story in the pages of the Guinness World Records book, and she will live on in history as the fourth oldest person ever authenticated.’’

With her death, Maria Branyas Morera, who lived in Spain, assumed the title of the world’s oldest person at age 115.

 

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