politics

Major security partners: US hails Bahrain, UAE after Israel deal

White House statement ties designation to normalisation deal with Israel, saying it reflected ‘extraordinary courage’. The United States called Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates “major security partners” on Saturday, a previously unheard of designation for the two countries home to major American military operations. Separately, President Donald Trump received Morocco’s highest honour on Friday for his work in advancing a normalisation deal between the kingdom and Israel. A White House statement tied the “major security partners” designation of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to normalising ties with Israel, saying it “reflects their extraordinary courage, determination and leadership”. It also noted the two countries have long taken part in US military exercises. It was uncl...

Trump administration carries out 13th, final federal execution

US President Donald Trump’s administration carried out its 13th federal execution since July, an unprecedented run that concluded just five days before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden – an opponent of the federal death penalty. Dustin Higgs, convicted in the killings of three women in a Maryland wildlife refuge in 1996, was the third to receive a lethal injection this week at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. Trump’s Justice Department resumed federal executions last year following a 17-year hiatus. No president in more than 120 years has overseen as many federal executions. Higgs, 48, was pronounced dead at 1:23am local time on Saturday (20:23 GMT on Friday). The number of federal death sentences carried out under Trump since 2020 is more than in the previous 56 ye...

Syria sanctions inflict suffering as al-Assad regime marches on

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is going nowhere. He withstood the military threat posed by a decade-long war and even as the country faced its worst food and economic crisis over the last few months he has managed to cling to power. Some in the West had hoped the economic pressure, exacerbated by sanctions, would force his own Alawite community to overthrow him, but the discontent has not culminated in a second uprising. The lives of Syrians in regime-controlled territory, however, have worsened immeasurably. Queues outside bakeries and fuel stations have become the new normal while a shortage of electricity has adversely affected local businesses and exacerbated unemployment. Ahmad and his brother take turns to queue outside a bakery in Damascus to buy subsidised bread. “Today was my tu...

Mnangagwa mourns liberation ‘key player’ Moton Malianga

HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has paid tribute to the late nationalist Moton Malianga, describing him as a “key player” who contributed immensely to Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence. Malianga died Thursday aged 91. “The death of Moton Dizzy Paul Malianga has robbed the country of one of the few surviving nationalist leaders who pioneered the struggle of our national independence,” Mnangagwa eulogized. “The late Cde Malianga hailed from a politically active family and was a key player at each turn and shift in our protracted struggle for statehood. “From 1959 when he joined the Southern African National Congress, after completing his studies in South Africa, Malianga involved himself in the founding of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Zapu and Zanu-PF, all the time assuming ...

Harare mayor Jacob Mafume finally freed, Job Sikhala bail denied

HARARE – Suspended Harare mayor Jacob Mafume was finally freed on $40,000 bail by a High Court judge Friday after languishing in remand prison for a month. Mafume was arrested on December 14 last year on allegations of trying to bribe a key witness in his pending criminal abuse of office case. High Court judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero released Mafume saying a lower court had misdirected itself in denying him bail. “The judge ruled that the lower court erred by denying my client bai,” Mafume’s attorney Tonderai Bhatasara told ZimLive. “A full judgment will be made available later.” As part of his bail conditions the MDC Alliance politician was ordered to report to police every Friday, reside at his given address and not to interfere with witnesses. Mafume had battled poor health for weeks...

Covid-19 claims Manicaland provincial affairs minister Ellen Gwaradzimba

HARARE – Ellen Gwaradzimba, the Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs has died aged 61. Gwaradzimba succumbed to Covid-19, according to deputy sports minister Tino Machakaire. She is the second minister after Perrance Shiri, who was lands and agriculture minister, to die from the respiratory illness. Machakaire, who posted news of Gwaradzimbas death on Twitter, said: “She succumbed to Covid-19. We have been robbed once again of a hardworking and dedicated cadre. I am praying for peace and comfort for her family and those of us who knew her.” Born Ellen Munyoro, Gwaradzimba was born in Gutu in 1960 and studied at the University of Zimbabwe and eventually at University of Fort Hare in South Africa. She did her primary education at Ngwindi in Hippo Valley before doing her second...

Recovery concerns push Asian shares lower despite US boost

Asian shares stumbled lower in afternoon trade on Friday, reversing earlier gains as rising COVID-19 cases in China reinforced investor concerns over the prospects for a global economic recovery. European bourses were set to open lower. Pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures dropped 0.66 percent in early trade, while German DAX futures lost 0.65 percent and FTSE futures dipped 0.35 percent. Earlier on Friday, an Asian regional share index had edged near record highs after United States President-elect Joe Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan to jump-start the world’s largest economy and accelerate its response to COVID-19. In prime-time remarks, Biden outlined a proposal that includes $415bn aimed at the COVID-19 response, some $1 trillion in direct relief to households, and roughly $440...

Uganda: Bobi Wine says election marred by ‘fraud, violence’

The opposition leader did not give details about the accusations, as government says vote was peaceful. Bobi Wine, the main challenger of incumbent Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in the election, said early on Friday that Thursday’s vote had seen “widespread fraud and violence” but the opposition leader remained positive as ballots are being counted under an internet blackout. “Despite the widespread fraud and violence experienced across the country earlier today, the picture still looks good. Thank you Uganda for turning up and voting in record numbers,” Wine tweeted shortly after midnight (21:00 GMT), managing to bypass the blockage. The 38-year-old former pop star-turned-legislator did not give details about his accusations, which contradicted the government’s account that Thursday’s...

Pakistan fires 12 police officers for not protecting Hindu temple

Policemen fired over acts of ‘cowardice, irresponsibility and negligence’ for not trying to stop the mob as it attacked the temple in Karak district. Pakistani authorities have sacked a local police chief and 11 other policemen for failing to protect a Hindu temple that was set on fire and demolished last month by a mob led by hundreds of supporters of a religious party, police said. The 12 policemen were fired on Thursday over acts of “cowardice, irresponsibility and negligence” for not trying to stop the mob when it attacked the temple, with some having fled the scene. The regional government in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also suspended 33 other police officers for a year as punishment, provincial police chief Sanaullah Abbasi said. The punishments come amid government assurances th...

Drop ‘malicious’ charges against trio, demands Amnesty International

BULAWAYO – Amnesty International has called on the Zimbabwean government to drop “malicious” charges against journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and opposition MDC Alliance officials Fadzayi Mahere and Job Sikhala. The global human rights advocacy group says the trio’s continued detention is “part of a growing crackdown on opposition leaders, human rights defenders, activists, journalists, and other critical voices.” “It is consistent with the constant harassment and intimidation that we have seen against anyone who demands respect for human rights, transparency, and accountability in Zimbabwe in the recent past,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Southern Africa in a statement. The three are accused of “publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial t...

Indonesia’s struggle to identify the Sriwijaya plane crash dead

Jakarta, Indonesia – Yudi Qurbani has spent the last few days in an unexpected and unwanted role. He has become the family representative at the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) centre at Kramat Jati Police Hospital in Jakarta, coordinating with the team trying to locate the five members of his family who were on the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 that crashed into the Java Sea en route from Jakarta to Pontianak in Kalimantan on 9 January. “We know that there is a very small chance they will be found alive now, so our final hope is that we can get their bodies or body parts back for burial,” he told Al Jazeera. The authorities have identified four victims from the crash including a member of the cabin crew but the identification process has been hampered by the condition of many of the bod...

Olympic swimming medallist Keller charged over Capitol riot

Klete Keller was charged with illegally entering the Capitol, violent conduct, and obstructing law enforcement. US Olympic swimming gold medallist Klete Keller was charged by the Justice Department on Wednesday with participating in the January 6 attack on Congress by supporters of President Donald Trump. Keller was filmed as part of the crowd that illegally entered the huge Rotunda hall of the Capitol after violent protesters broke through police lines and forced their way in. A statement accompanying formal charges unveiled on Wednesday said police identified the three-time Olympian first by what appears to be an official team jacket bearing the large logo “USA” on the back and an arm patch that read “United States Olympic team”. He was charged with illegally entering the Capitol, violen...

  • 1
  • 2
  • 7