Burundi becomes 1st country to quit ICC

 

Burundi has become the first country to pull out of the International Criminal Court, a spokesman for the court in the Hague said on Friday.

The country had launched the process of leaving the court 2016, with the government saying the ICC was biased against African nations.

Gambia and South Africa had announced their withdrawal in 2016, but changed their minds, leaving Burundi as the only country to officially leave.

There are now 123 member states.

Inspite of the withdrawal, the court will continue a preliminary Continue reading “Burundi becomes 1st country to quit ICC”

Spanish flags taken down as Catalonia declares independence

 

Catalonia’s parliament declared independence from Spain on Friday in defiance of the Madrid government, which at the same time was preparing to impose direct rule over the region.

Although the declaration was in effect a symbolic gesture as it will not be accepted by Spain or the international community, the moves by both sides take Spain’s worst political crisis in four decades to a new level.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy immediately called for calm and said the rule of law would be restored.

The motion passed in the regional parliament in Barcelona — which was boycotted by opposition parties — said Catalonia constituted an independent, sovereign and social democratic state.

It called on other countries and institutions to recognise it.

It also said it wanted to open talks with Madrid to collaborate on setting up the new republic.

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Malta offers one million euro reward for information on slain journalist

 

Authorities in Malta on Saturday offered an “unprecedented” 1 million euro reward and full protection for anyone with information on who killed an investigative reporter with a car bomb.

A government statement called the October 16 car bomb slaying of Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, whose reporting on corruption targeted the prime minister and other top figures on the southern Mediterranean island, a “case of extraordinary importance.”

It said, in an “unprecedented measure,” it was offering the money to “whomever comes forward with information leading to the identification of those responsible” for her slaying.

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Saudi King Salman issues decree to scrutinise use of Hadith

 

Saudi Arabia is to monitor interpretations of the Prophet Mohammad’s teachings to prevent them being used to justify violence or terrorism, the Culture and Information Ministry has said.

In a decree, King Salman ordered the establishment of an authority to scrutinize uses of the “hadith”, accounts of the sayings, actions or habits of the Prophet that are used by preachers and jurists to support teachings and edicts on all aspects of life.

The ministry said that the body’s aim would be to “eliminate fake and extremist texts and any texts that contradict the teachings of Islam and justify the committing of crimes, murders and terrorist acts”.

The body will be based in Medina and overseen by a council of senior Islamic scholars from around the world, according to the decree.

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Scientists for the first time witness collision of two neutron stars, also finds how gold is formed

 

Scientists for the first time detected both the ripples in space and time and the light produced and emitted during the same cosmic event: the spectacular collision of two neutron stars.

The discovery would soon reveal secrets of the cosmos, including how gold was created.

Neutron stars, formed when massive stars explode in supernovas, are the smallest, densest stars known to exist. A teaspoon of a neutron star has a mass of about a billion tons.

The collision of neutron stars is known as a kilonova — an explosion similar to a supernova but on a smaller scale.

The crash generated a fierce burst of gamma rays and a gravitational wave, a faint ripple in the fabric of space and time first theorized by Albert Einstein a century ago.

“This is the one we’ve all been waiting for,” said David Reitze of CalTech Continue reading “Scientists for the first time witness collision of two neutron stars, also finds how gold is formed”

ECOWAS Court orders Nigerian govt to pay $75,000 to family of dead military cadet

 

The ECOWAS Court of Justice has ordered the Nigerian government to pay $75, 000 to the family of a deceased cadet of the Nigerian army, Elshadai Kwasu, for alleged violation of the deceased right to life.

The deceased, a 19-year-old military cadet, died during the conduct of a waterman-ship training in April 2015.

Following his death, the late cadet’s father, Danladi Kwasu, approached the court to demand the invocation of relevant sections of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the grounds of alleged violation of his child’s right to life.

Continue reading “ECOWAS Court orders Nigerian govt to pay $75,000 to family of dead military cadet”

Australians hand in 51,000 guns during three-month amnesty

 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday said Australians handed in 51,000 guns during a three-month amnesty, though he rejected calls to extend it following the weekend’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

“I am not suggesting we won’t have gun amnesties in the future, but this one has been very effective because it has, as I said, a beginning, middle and an end.

“Every single one of those 51,000 guns could have been used in a crime where Australians could be killed. Now they can’t,’’ he told journalists in Sydney.

The amnesty, from July 1 to September 30, was the first since a gun buy-back scheme following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, in which a lone gunman killed 35 people over a two-day period.

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Death toll rises on terrorist attack on Nigerien, American soldiers

 

Four Nigerien troops and three U.S. soldiers were killed in an attack earlier this week in southwest Niger near the border with Mali, the Defence Ministry said on Friday.

The ministry updated the casualty figures from the ambush on Thursday, adding the death toll of their own forces to the three soldiers already named by the U.S. side.

Eight other Nigeriens were wounded, as were two members of the U.S. forces who are providing training to the Nigerien Army on combating extremists in the region.

The joint patrol was ambushed by terrorist elements in a dozen vehicles and on 20 motorbikes,” Niger’s Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou said in an earlier address that the terrorist attack had claimed “a significant number of victims.”

“Our country has once again been the victim of an attack by terrorist groups,’’ Issoufou said in a speech on Thursday at the opening of an economic forum in the capital Niamey.

The U.S. Africa Command has said their two injured servicemen have been evacuated to Germany for medical treatment.

The attack took place around 200 kilometres north of Niamey, near the border with Mali, where the terrorist group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is active.

U.S. Republican lawmaker resigns after sex scandal

 

U.S. Republican Congressman Tim Murphy has announced his resignation after his affair with a young woman came to light, official statement said on Friday.

“Upon further discussion with my family, I have made the decision to resign my position,’’ Murphy, an eight-term member of the House of Representatives, serving since 2003, said.

The statement came one day after the 65-year-old said he would not seek re-election to Congress at the end of his current term, which would terminate in 15 months.

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