Officials

White House does not rule out Haiti request for U.S. troops

The United States is still reviewing a request for troops made by Haiti’s interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph to help secure key infrastructure after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Monday. Psaki said Haiti’s political leadership remains unclear and that it was vital for the country’s leaders to come together to chart a united path forward. Moise was shot dead early on Wednesday at his Port-au-Prince home by what Haitian authorities describe as a unit of assassins formed of 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans. Haitian police said on Sunday they had arrested another key suspect. The death of the president has plunged the troubled country into deeper turmoil, and U.S. officials traveled there on Sunday to assess the situation and ...

South Africa extends tight coronavirus restrictions for another 14 days

South Africa extended tight COVID-19 rules on Sunday for another 14 days, maintaining restrictions that include a ban on gatherings, a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. and a prohibition on the sale of alcohol. The country, the worst-hit on the African continent in terms of recorded cases and deaths, is in the grip of a third wave of infections driven by the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant. “Our health system countrywide remains under pressure,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised address to the nation. Early this month South Africa recorded a new record of over 26,000 daily cases, stretching hospitals to breaking point. Ramaphosa moved the country to the fourth level of a five-tier restriction scale in late June as infections climbed, promising to review the restrictions af...

Majority of Brazilians support impeaching President Bolsonaro, poll shows

For the first time, a majority of Brazilians support impeaching President Jair Bolsonaro, according to a poll released on Saturday, as serious graft allegations related to vaccine procurement hit the right-wing leader’s already battered image. According to the survey by Datafolha, 54% of Brazilians support a proposed move by the country’s lower house to open impeachment proceedings against Bolsonaro, while 42% oppose it. In the last Datafolha survey on the issue, released in May, supporters and opponents of impeachment were essentially tied. In a separate Datafolha poll, released on Thursday, 51% of Brazilians said they disapproved of Bolsonaro, the highest figure since he took office in January 2019. In recent weeks, Brasilia has been rocked by allegations that federal officials solicited...

Haiti asks US, UN to send troops after president’s assassination

Haiti has asked Washington and the UN for troops to secure its ports, airport and other strategic sites after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise opened a power vacuum in the crisis-hit Caribbean nation, an official said Friday. The United States has already said it will send FBI and other agents to Port-au-Prince, two days after Moise was shot dead in his home. In the wake of the slaying “we thought that mercenaries could destroy some infrastructure to create chaos … During a conversation with the US secretary of state and the UN we made this request,” elections minister Mathias Pierre told AFP. The US State Department and Pentagon both confirmed receiving a request for “security and investigative assistance” and said officials remain in contact with Port-au-Prince, but did not s...

Dutch FA opens talks with Louis van Gaal over return to national team

Louis van Gaal has moved a step closer to returning as Netherlands coach for a third time after meeting with Dutch football association officials to discuss the job, local media reported on Friday. The reports said the 69-year-old held talks at his home in Portugal on Thursday with KNVB directors Nico-Jan Hoogma and Eric Gudde, who are responsible for the choice of a new coach after Frank de Boer’s resignation. De Boer resigned after their Euro 2020 last-16 defeat to Czech Republic on June 27 and the KNVB said it would move swiftly to find a replacement, with the team set to resume their World Cup qualification campaign in September. Van Gaal, who officially retired in 2019 but stepped away from the game two years earlier after leaving Manchester United, had two previous spells at the helm...

Haiti police say they have president’s suspected killers, still hunting masterminds

Haiti’s police has killed or apprehended the suspected killers of President Jovenel Moise, officials said on Thursday, and are hunting for the masterminds behind the assassination that stunned the impoverished Caribbean nation. Moise, 53, was shot dead early on Wednesday at his home by what officials said was a commando of apparently foreign, trained killers, pitching the poorest country in the Americas deeper into turmoil amidst political divisions, hunger, and widespread gang violence. Police Chief Leon Charles said in a televised briefing on Thursday that authorities had tracked down the suspected assassins to a house near the scene of the crime in Petionville, a northern suburb of the capital Port-au-Prince. A fierce firefight lasted late into the night and six suspects were taken in c...

German football gets green light for fan return next season

Bundesliga clubs and other German sports venues will be allowed to welcome up to 25,000 spectators from next month, the city of Berlin said on Tuesday after a meeting of officials from Germany’s 16 states. Most matches in Germany’s top football league were played behind closed doors last season because of the Covid-19 virus. The new Bundesliga season starts on August 13 and with infection rates having fallen sharply, sports stadiums could be at 50 percent capacity, with the total number per match or event capped at 25,000. The only exception is reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, where up to 20,000 fans will be allowed into home games at the 75,000-capacity Allianz Arena because officials in Bavaria are allowing only 35 percent of capacity. The new rules apply until September 11 a...

#EndSARS: VP Osinbajo urges States to send judicial panels’ progress reports

As plans for next year’s budget begins to gather pace, the National Economic Council (NEC) has endorsed the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) which was presented to it at an emergency meeting of the Council today. Besides the MTEF presentation, the NEC also updated its focus on the reports of the State Judicial Panels set up across the country after last year’s #EndSARS protests. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, urged States where the panels are still sitting to also send interim reports so as to measure progress. According to the Vice President, in a statement by his media aide Laolu Akande, the reports are now being received ahead of a Council meeting where presentations would be made on them, both for States where the panels have conclude...

Myanmar protesters burn junta leader’s images on his birthday

Protesters burned mock coffins and pictures of Myanmar’s army ruler Min Aung Hlaing on Saturday in the latest demonstrations against the coup over five months ago that has plunged the Southeast Asian country into chaos. “May you not rest in peace” and “may your birthday and deathday be the same,” read the messages on funeral wreaths in Theinzayet township in eastern Mon state. Similar protests took place in many parts of Myanmar. “We are burning this as a curse,” said one protester in the second city of Mandalay, setting ablaze a small pile of picture of the general, 65. A spokesman for the military authorities did not respond to requests for comment. Min Aung Hlaing took power on Feb. 1, overthrowing elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and cutting short a decade of democratic reforms that had...

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma mounts last-ditch legal fight against jail term

South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma on Friday mounted a last-ditch legal bid to avoid prison after the country’s top court ordered him jailed for failing to appear before graft investigators. In a landmark ruling, the Constitutional Court on Tuesday handed Zuma a 15-month term for contempt after he snubbed a probe into the theft of state assets under his tenure. If the 79-year-old fails to turn himself in by Sunday, police will be given a further three days to arrest him and take him to jail to start the sentence. As the deadline loomed, Zuma pleaded on Friday that the order be “reconsidered and rescinded.” “It will not be futile,” Zuma said in papers filed to the court, “to make one last attempt to invite the Constitutional Court to relook its decision and to merely reassess whether it...