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Trump’s ‘this is a great day for Floyd’ remarks slammed: Live

Protests continue over police brutality as several cities hold memorials to honour George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.  Twitter has removed President Donald Trump’s campaign tribute video to George Floyd on its platform, citing a copyright complaint. Rights groups in the US have sued the Trump administration, claiming officials violated the civil rights of protesters when it removed peaceful demonstrators outside the White House earlier this week.  Mayor of Washington, DC, called for the withdrawal from the city of military units sent from other states to deal with protesters. She also renamed a section of a street near the White House, “Black Lives Matter Plaza” Latest updates: Friday, June 5 22:28: ...

WHO now backs masks as coronavirus precaution: Live updates

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday changed its position on masks, now encouraging people to wear them in crowded places, citing anecdotal evidence that supports their value in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.  US President Donald Trump called for a shift in strategy against the coronavirus pandemic to focus resources on protecting “high-risk populations” while calling for a total end to stay-at-home orders in states throughout the country. India’s COVID-19 deaths passed 6,000 after it registered 260 deaths in the last 24 hours. The country registered 9,304 new cases in yet another record single-day spike in infections, raising its totals to 216,919 cases with 6,075 deaths, the health ministry reported on Thursday. The coronavirus death toll in Brazi...

DC mayor inaugurates ‘Black Lives Matter’ Plaza near White House

Days after security forces in the United States pushed back peaceful protesters with flash grenades and tear gas, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday renamed the area in front of the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza”. The slogan painted in huge yellow letters on the roadway is in an apparent rebuke of President Donald Trump’s militaristic response to protests against police brutality. More: Bowser tweeted footage of the street painting on a section of 16th Street in the US capital with a message to Breonna Taylor, a Black woman killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky, who has inspired nationwide protests along with George Floyd, a Black man who died on May 25 in Minneapolis police custody. “Breonna Taylor, on your birthday, let us stand...

Biti, Kore arrested as police seal-off MDC HQ to aid Khupe takeover

HARARE – Police arrested five senior MDC Alliance officials on Friday after they attempted to enter the party’s Harare headquarters, which is being occupied by a rival faction. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was thrown into turmoil by a March 30 Supreme Court ruling which said Nelson Chamisa’s ascendancy to the MDC-T party leadership was irregular – but Chamisa had by then formed the MDC Alliance party, which contested the July 2018 elections, winning 110 seats in the National Assembly and Senate. Thokozani Khupe, Chamisa’s leadership rival in the MDC-T who participated in that election as leader of the MDC-T, won two seats. Most MDC members still regard Chamisa as their leader and accuse President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of siding with Khupe’s faction in the battle for c...

Traffic at Beitbridge doubles

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) says the volume of traffic at Beitbridge Border Post has doubled in the last few days. BY MTHANDAZO NYONI Beitbridge Border Post is one of the busiest inland ports in sub-Saharan Africa and links the northern and southern corridors, with 500 vehicles and 10 000 travellers passing through the port daily. In a statement yesterday, Zimra spokesperson Francis Chimanda confirmed a surge in traffic at the border post. “The increase has been largely attributed to the different COVID-19 testing protocols implemented by different countries in the region, which have seen transporters diverting their trucks from some routes to and from South Africa and transiting through Zimbabwe, resulting in the increase in the flow of traffic through Beitbridge,” he said. “Th...

ASL seeks to snap up Dawn Properties

Hotelier African Sun (ASL) has made an offer to snap up Dawn Properties in a deal that will see it assume ownership of the property firm’s key assets and its delisting from the local bourse. BY FIDELITY MHLANGA Currently, Dawn Properties owns hotels that are being leased by ASL but both companies are owned by Arden Capital, formerly Brainworks. ASL company secretary Venon Musimbe said should the acquisition be approved by shareholders, it intended to apply to the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange for a voluntary delisting of Dawn Properties. “Shareholders are advised that African Sun Limited (African Sun) is in discussions with Dawn Properties Limited (Dawn) for the acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital of Dawn in exchange for African Sun shares based on an agreed price,” Musimbe said. “Sh...

Soldiers, police help Khupe seize control of MDC Alliance HQ

HARARE – Troops and armed police on Thursday night seized the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance’s headquarters in central Harare, before facilitating the building’s occupation by a rival faction, the party said. “In the dead of night, armed soldiers and police aided (Douglas) Mwonzora youths to forcibly enter Harvest House,” the MDC Alliance said in a statement early Friday. “Their unlawful actions have nothing to do with constitutionalism and everything to do with capturing the opposition at any cost. Political power comes from the people, not soldiers.” Mwonzora, the MDC Alliance’s former secretary general, previously wrote to the police in April on behalf of a party called the MDC-T, asking for help in capturing the building. The latest political manoeuvres follow a ruling of the ...

Iran marks new daily record in coronavirus cases: Live updates

Iran marked its highest daily jump since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak with 3,574 coronavirus cases. The figures marked the third consecutive day that the country recorded more than 3,000 daily new infections. After two months of restrictions, mosques, churches, ports, business activities, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to re-open from Sunday.  The coronavirus death tolls in Brazil and Mexico have soared to new daily records, with 1,349 and 1,092 confirmed fatalities, even as the countries begin to ease lockdown restrictions. Brazil now has more than 32,000 deaths, while Mexico has over 11,000. Around 6.5 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 388,000 people have died, including some...

Cameroonian journalist Samuel Wazizi dies in gov’t detention: RSF

Cameroonian journalist Samuel Wazizi, who was arrested in August for criticising the government’s handling of a separatist revolt, has died in detention, rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has said.   Wazizi worked for CMTV, a local broadcaster based in Southwest Region, one of two areas where separatists in 2017 launched an armed campaign to establish an independent homeland for Cameroon’s English-speaking minority. More: “Wazizi died in detention,” RSF said in a statement issued late on Wednesday that called for a “thorough and independent investigation” into what happened.  He was arrested on August 2, 2019, and “accused of speaking critically on the air about the authorities and their handling of the crisis,”...

Remembering George Floyd: Minneapolis bids farewell – Live

More than 10,000 people have been arrested in protests that have rocked the United States since the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, according to an Associated Press tally.  All four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s death have been charged. Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree murder, which was upgraded from a previous charge of third-degree murder. He also faces a second-degree manslaughter charge. The other three are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. US President Donald Trump was rebuked by his former defence secretary, James Mattis, who said he was trying to sow divisions. Trump’s current defence chief, Mark Esper, also said he opposed Trump’s t...

MDC rejects activists’ abduction ‘cover-up’, presses for independent probe

HARARE – The MDC Alliance on Thursday poo-pooed the interim findings of a government investigation into the abduction, torture and sexual assault of three female party activists, saying it was not credible. Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe on Thursday read out an eight-page “update” on “progress made so far” by a government-ordered multi-agency inquiry into the May 13 incident, concluding that the women – who include Harare West MP Joana Mamombe – had lied about their abduction and torture. The MDC Alliance said Kazembe’s statement was an “unfortunate and desperate attempt by the authorities to stage a cover-up and save face following the state’s well documented history of enforced disappearances.” Mamombe, Netsai Marova Cecilia Chimbiri, who had earlier participated in an anti-govern...

Zimbabwe raises $20 million in T-bill sales to fight coronavirus

Finance Minister of Zimbabwe Mthuli Ncube, gestures during an interview with AFP at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, on January 22, 2019, in Davos, eastern Switzerland. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) The outbreak has hit an economy that was experiencing its worst crisis in a decade, marked by shortages of food, medicines and foreign currency. Minister Mthuli Ncube said the funds would be spent on protective equipment and go towards payouts to those families worst impacted by COVID-19. In all, the government aimed to raise 1 billion Zimbabwe dollars in emergency coronavirus funding, with the rest coming from “the insurance and pension funds”, he told a parliamentary committee, without giving details. Banks and other local investors are usually the main buyers of Zimbabwe’s ...