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Protest rocks Mali after rejection of President Keita’s concessions

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Protest rocks Mali after rejection of President Keita’s concessions

Protesters staged another large demonstration in Mali’s capital Bamako on Friday after a coalition opposed to President Ibrahim Keita rejected concessions aimed at resolving a months-long political stand-off.


Thousands of protesters filled the city’s Independence Square, chanting and waving banners that said: “Enough is Enough” and “IBK, clear off”, referring to the president. It was the third mass protest in recent weeks.

The impasse since a disputed legislative election in March is a growing concern for Mali’s neighbours and outside powers, who worry it could further destabilise the country and jeopardise a joint military campaign against Islamist insurgents in the West African Sahel region.

On Wednesday Keita, or IBK as he is known, said he was open to form a government of national unity and renew members of Mali’s highest court, and if he could, dissolve the national assembly if it would not create a fresh crisis.

But his opponents said the proposals were not enough.

Protesters also gathered on Friday in Paris, which has a large Malian community.

Influential Muslim cleric Imam Mahmoud Dicko, one of the leaders of the opposition protest in Mali, told France24 television that they had dropped the demand for the president to resign but want further gestures from him.

“This is because we think it (the resignation) will cause more problems than it will resolve,” Dicko said. “Mali’s problem is not about a government of national unity. It is a problem of governance.”

However, some protesters at the Bamako rally were still calling for the president to step down.

“I see he can’t lead this country,” said 48-year-old storekeeper Alassane Cisse, who joined the protest despite once voting for Keita.

The protest follows two in June, when thousands gathered to demand that Keita resign for failing to offer solutions to the country’s security and economic crisis.

Keita was re-elected in 2018 for a second five-year term, but his leadership has faced mounting opposition amid a surge in jihadist violence and economic crisis.

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Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

Aregbeshola Isaac: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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Crew of UN plane that hard-landed in Mali to be evacuated to Bamako 

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The crew of the UN aircraft that made a hard landing in Mali will be evacuated to the country’s capital of Bamako later on Tuesday, the Russian Embassy in Mali told Sputnik.


The plane, en route from Bamako to the Malian city of Gao, made a hard landing on Monday, resulting in injuries for all the people on board — four UN staffers and seven crew members.

“Those injured have received medical assistance in the airport.

“The crew will be taken to Bamako today,” the embassy said.

It explained that the Russian citizen, who had his leg broken due to the hard landing is currently in hospital.

“We have not discussed the reasons (of the incident) with Utair, as we are mainly interested in the health condition of the Russian citizens.

“We have not asked them about the reasons, as we assume it is their business and the business of their clients,” the embassy said.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan resume talks on disputed dam

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Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have resumed negotiations on the filling and operation of a controversial dam being built by Addis Ababa on the Blue Nile.


The online meeting on Monday between the three Nile basin countries is the second of a new round of talks brokered by the African Union to resolve the years-long dispute about the hydroelectric Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, fears that the dam will reduce its water supply and is seeking a legally binding deal that would guarantee appropriate flows of water and a legal mechanism for resolving disputes before the dam starts operating.

Ethiopia wants the dam to boost its power exports, whereas Egypt relies almost exclusively on the Nile for farming, industry and domestic water use.

During Monday’s meeting, Egypt’s Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty expressed his country’s rejection of Ethiopia’s “unilateral measure” of starting the filling of the dam without consultation and coordination with Egypt and Sudan, which both lie downstream, according a statement issued by his spokesperson.

The minister said the move “gives negative indications that Ethiopia does not want to reach a fair agreement and runs counter to a previous agreement of principles.”

The three countries agreed that the legal and technical committees will discuss the contentious issues during the next two days. The results will be presented at a ministerial meeting on Thursday.

Tens of thousands of Ethiopians celebrated the first filling of the dam on Sunday, flooding the streets of the capital Addis Ababa in support of the project.

In July, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the country had completed the first filling of the dam thanks to seasonal rainfall.

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Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

 

 

 

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United States judge whose son was killed by gunman speaks out

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A United States Federal Judge whose son was killed and husband wounded by a gunman disguised as a FedEx driver detailed her last moments with her only child in an emotional video posted online.


“Two weeks ago, my life as I knew it changed in an instant and my family will never be the same,” United States District Judge Esther Salas said in the video posted to YouTube on Monday.

The attack on Salas’ family in New Jersey happened July 19. The accused gunman, attorney Roy Den Hollander, was later found dead in an apparent suicide in upstate New York.

He is described as an anti-feminist lawyer, and officials said Salas had recently presided over one of his cases.

That morning the Salas family was getting ready to clean up after a party. They had just celebrated her son’s 20th birthday.

“Daniel always wanted to spend his birthdays with his dad and me so he asked that we host a party for a few of his Catholic University of America friends,” she says in the video.

Despite the pandemic, they agreed.

“We thought we could adhere to safety guidelines,” she says.

After going to church with her husband, Salas said she went alone to the basement to wake up her son.

“We were chatting, as we always do, and Daniel said, ‘Mom, let’s keep talking. I love talking to you, Mom,’” Salas says, struggling to hold back tears. “And it was at that exact moment that the doorbell rang.”

Her son ran upstairs. Moments later, she heard gunshots and screams.

“I later learned that this monster, who had a FedEx package in his hand, opened fire,” she says in the video, her voice shaking.

“But Daniel, being Daniel, protected his father and he took the shooter’s first bullet directly to the chest.”

Her son later died. Her husband, Mark Anderl, a 63-year-old criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor, was shot three times, she explains. One bullet struck his chest, another his stomach, and the third his right forearm.

“While my husband is still in the hospital recovering from his multiple surgeries, we are living every parent’s worst nightmare,” she pauses for a moment, before adding: “Making preparations to bury our only child, Daniel.”

Salas noted that the gunman was easily able to find her personal information online. She then pleads for lawmakers to help protect the private details of federal judges, so no one else suffers the same fate as she and her family.

“My son’s death cannot be in vain, which is why I am begging those in power to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench,” she says.

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Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

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Insect can escape after being eaten by frog, scientists find

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The insect Regimbartia attenuata can escape even after being devoured by certain species of frog, among them Pelophylax nigromaculatus, Japanese ecologist Shinji Sugiura of Kobe University announced on Monday.


Like other kinds of frog, Pelophylax nigromaculatus’ lack of teeth makes it unable to kill the insect before eating it. This is done instead by the digestive tract.

But that mostly doesn’t work with Regimbartia attenuata, which, Sugiura says, stimulates the frog to defecate and, like Tim Robbins’ wrongly imprisoned Andy Dufresne in 1994 film “The Shawshank Redemption,” crawls through a river of excrement to its freedom.

It’s the first time that the flight of prey after consumption has been documented scientifically, according to researchers from the magazine Current Biology.

The aforementioned insect and frog are found in the same paddy fields in Japan. To investigate the insect’s capacity for self-defence, Sugiura fed it to young and adult frogs.

The frogs made light work of chowing down the insects. But, within six hours, 93.3 per cent of the impudent invertebrates had come out the other end – and all were as chirpy as ever after their improbable journey.

The insect apparently moves from the frog’s digestive tract to its intended exit at the anus, researchers said. Pressure from the frog’s sphincter keeps its anus closed, prompting the insect to stimulate the frog’s intestine.

This causes the sphincter to relax and allows the insect to take a triumphant log ride to freedom on the frog’s stool.

Researchers observed the same thing happen after consumption of the insect to four other species of frog: Pelophylax porosus, Glandirana rugosa, Fejervarya kawamurai und Hyla japonica.

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Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

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