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Obama Tests Positive For COVID-19

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Obama Tests Positive For COVID-19

Former United States President Barack Obama has tested positive for COVID-19.

Obama, who disclosed this in a tweet, said: “I’ve had a scratchy throat for a couple of days, but am feeling fine otherwise,” adding that his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, tested negative.

“Michelle and I are grateful to be vaccinated and boosted. It is a good reminder that, even as cases go down, you should get vaccinated and boosted if you haven’t already to help prevent more serious symptoms and giving COVID to others.”

READ ALSO: Trump And The Limits Of A Failed Experiment: A Review Article With Obama’s Remarks To The African Union

Obama becomes the second US President to contract the virus after President Donald Trump announced he did in October 2020.

 

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US Gunman Kills 19 Schoolchildren, Two Others

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US Gunman Kills 19 Schoolchildren, Two Others

A mass shooting in a school in Texas, United States has claimed the lives of 21 people including 19 schoolchildren and two adults.

The tragedy occured as a gunman opened fire in a Texas primary school which teaches children aged seven to 10, on Tuesday.

The attack at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, a small community in the south of the Texas state, just a few days before the end of the school year, according to the police, was carried out by a gunman identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, who was also shot dead by police.

The 18-year-old suspect was reportedly armed with a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines, and was suspected to have shot and killed his grandmother before going on the school-shooting rampage, investigators say.

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Chief of Police Pete Arredondo said the shooting began at 11:32 local time on Tuesday, adding that investigators believe the attacker “did act alone during this heinous crime”.

READ ALSO: 12-years-old School Pupil Dies After Flogging By Teacher

While reacting to the incident, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the gunman abandoned a vehicle before entering the school to “horrifically, incomprehensibly” open fire.

In a speech from the White House, President Joe Biden said he was “sick and tired” of responding to mass shootings, while calling for gun control.

“How many scores of little children who witnessed what happened – see their friends die, as if they’re in a battlefield, for God’s sake? They’ll live with it the rest of their lives,”

Biden said, before ordering that flags at the White House and other US federal buildings be flown at half-mast in honour of the victims in Uvalde.

 

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UAE President Dies

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UAE President Dies

The President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan died on Friday, according to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.

The ministry also confirmed there would be 40 days of official mourning with flags across the UAE drawn at half-mast, and the work of all UAE ministries at the federal and local levels, as well as those of the private sector, will also be suspended for three days, beginning on Friday.

READ ALSO: CAN Condemns Killing Of Student For Blasphemy, Warns Against Religious War

No official word is given yet on the cause of death. However, in a statement published in Arabic by the state news agency WAM, the ministry expressed its condolences to the people of the UAE and the Arab nations “on the death of the leader of the nation and the guardian of its journey, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the country.”

 

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Sri Lankan Prime Minister Resigns As Protests Persist

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Sri Lankan Prime Minister Resigns As Protests Persist

Amid raging protests, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday.

For many weeks now, there have been protests for he and his brother, the president, to step down over the country’s worst economic crisis in decades, an official said.

An aide to the prime minister, Wijayananda Herath, confirmed that Rajapaksa submitted a letter of resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. There was no immediate official confirmation from the president’s office.

The resignation comes after authorities deployed armed troops in the capital, Colombo, on Monday following an attack earlier in the day by government supporters on protesters who have been camped outside the offices of the president and prime minster.

The Indian Ocean island nation is on the brink of bankruptcy and has suspended payments on its foreign loans. Its economic woes have brought on a political crisis, with the government facing widespread protests and a no-confidence motion in Parliament. Trade unions also called Monday for a general strike until the president and the rest of his ruling family leave.

The resignation of the prime minister means that the entire Cabinet is dissolved.

Supporters of the prime minister rallied inside his office earlier Monday, urging him to ignore the protesters’ demand to step down. They then went to the front of the office where protesters have been demonstrating for several days.

READ ALSO: NATO Is A Threat To Russia – Putin

Television channel Sirasa showed government supporters attacking protesters with clubs and iron bars, demolishing and then burning their tents.

After the attack, hundreds of armed soldiers were deployed in capital, as the protesters accused police of not preventing the attack despite using tear gas and water cannons on protesters as recently as Friday.

Sirasa TV showed government lawmaker Sanath Nishantha among the government supporters who attacked the protesters.

At the main hospital in Colombo, 23 people were admitted with non-critical injuries, an official said on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the media.

The attack came as protesters marked their 31st day outside the president’s and prime minister’s offices demanding that they and other powerful Rajapaksa family members quit. Similar protests have spread to other locations, with people setting up camps in other towns across the country.

Three other Rajapaksas out of the five who were lawmakers stepped down from their Cabinet posts in April.

For several months, Sri Lankans have endured long lines to buy fuel, cooking gas, food and medicine, most of which come from abroad. Shortages of hard currency have also hindered imports of raw materials for manufacturing and worsened inflation, which surged to 18.7% in March.

People blocked main roads to demand gas and fuel. On Sunday, television channel Hiru showed people in some areas fighting over fuel.
Sri Lanka was due to pay $7 billion of its foreign debt this year out of nearly $25 billion it must pay by 2026. Its total foreign debt is $51 billion.

Sri Lanka’s finance minister announced earlier this week that the country’s usable foreign reserves have plummeted below $50 million.

As oil prices soar during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Sri Lanka’s fuel stocks are running out. Authorities have announced countrywide power cuts will increase to about four a day because they can’t supply enough fuel to power generating stations.

READ ALSO: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Resigns

Protesters have crowded the streets since March, maintaining that President Rajapaksa and his family — who have dominated nearly every aspect of life in Sri Lanka for most of the last 20 years — are responsible for the crisis.

On Friday, President Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency, which empowers him to authorize detentions, property seizure and search of any premises. He can also change or suspend any law in the interests of public security and for the maintenance of essential supplies. Diplomats and rights groups have expressed concern over the move.

Sri Lanka has been holding talks with the International Monetary Fund to get an immediate funding facility as well as a long-term rescue plan but was told its progress would depend on negotiations on debt restructuring with creditors. Any long-term plan would take at least six months to get underway.
AP

 

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