UNKNOWN GUNMEN ATTACK NIGERIAN CORRECTIONAL SERVICE IN IMO STATE, FREE UNSPECIFIED NUMBER OF PRISON INMATES
Unknown gunmen on Monday attacked a Nigerian correctional service in Imo state and freed an unspecified number of prison inmates.
An Owerri-based journalist, Joseph Oliver who monitored the incident gathered that the attack occurred in the early hours of today.
Gunmen set ablaze the correctional services, the police command and burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command headquarters.
The attack lasted for all of 3 hours with the hoodlums singing solidarity songs close to the government house for about 30 minutes before finally attacking the facilities.
James Madugba, Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Imo State, confirmed the attack on the command by suspected bandits at about 1am on Easter Monday.
COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS
In Southern Africa, Zimbabwe is close to rejoining the Commonwealth of Nations as re-engagement efforts continue to bear fruits.
The country is already in the second stage of the application process.
In May 2018, President Emerson Mnangagwa wrote to the Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland expressing Zimbabwe’s willingness to return to the group after nearly two decades of isolation.
The Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries with 2.4 billion people, then initiated a four-step process to assess Zimbabwe’s suitability to regain its membership.
The new administration led by Mnangagwa is opening Zimbabwe for business and is eager to end the isolation of the country on the global stage.
GRAND ETHIOPIAN RENAISSANCE DAM
Foreign Ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have held talks in Kinshasa the DRC capital over Addis Ababa’s contested giant dam on the Nile, seen as vital by Ethiopia and a threat by downstream Egypt and Sudan.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry believes the negotiations represent the last chance the three countries must seize to reach an accord.
The accord should allow the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) to be filled in time to begin operations in the coming months, before the next rains.
The dispute over the GERD, built across the Blue Nile, has been simmering for around a decade.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported 82 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to over a hundred and sixty three thousand.
The NCDC said active cases stand at over 9 thousand in the last 24 hours with the national recovery rate now at 93.14 per cent of the total case load.
The West African country’s daily new cases continue to decline from an all-time high of over two thousand on January 22 to 48 by March 29.
Of the 163,195 confirmed cases, 151,998 have been discharged and 2,058 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The NCDC said the new cases are reported from eight states- with Lagos recording 33, Yobe 15, Abia 11, and Rivers 10.
LIBYA VACCINATION PROGRAM
In North Africa, Libya has received a shipment of 101,250 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine which arrived in the capital Tripoli.
Libya’s Minister of Health Ali Zanati noted the vaccines were donated by the United Arab Emirates.
Experts supervised the distribution of the vaccines to special medicine cooling stores across the country at -18 degrees Celsius.
A vaccination campaign is expected to begin soon and Ali Zanati will be the first to receive the vaccine.
Libya expects about one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine on April 11.
According to Libya’s National Center for Disease Control, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases so far is 162,294, including 2,737 fatalities.
ETHIOPIA COVID-19 UPDATE
Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health registered 1,878 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 215,189 on Sunday.
The ministry said 27 new deaths from COVID-19 were reported during the same period, bringing the national death toll to 2,963.
The East African country reported 742 more recoveries, taking the national count to 161,968.
According to the ministry, Ethiopia currently has some 50,256 active cases, of which 857 are said to be under severe health conditions.
Ethiopia has so far reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the East Africa region, being the fourth most affected country in Africa in terms of positive cases.
ZIMBABWE RECORDS NEW CASES OF COVID-19
In Southern Africa, Zimbabwe has reported 12 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 36,923.
Ministry of Child and Health Care said the country’s active cases stand at 650 in the last 24 hours with the national recovery rate now at 94 per cent of the total case load.
5,709 citizens have so far received the first dose of the covid-19 vaccine while 276 have received their second doses.
India has stepped up its coronavirus vaccination drive amid a deadly second wave of infections.
The South Asian country on Sunday breached the 100,000 daily caseload mark for the first time since the pandemic began making everyone above the age of 45 now eligible for a jab.
Some states are also targeting specific groups like bank workers and lawyers.
About 80 million doses have been given so far, mostly to frontline workers and people above the age of 60.
The northern state of Uttar Pradesh has announced it will run special vaccination drives for journalists, bank employees and lawyers.
Neighboring Uttarakhand state also plans a similar targeted drive.
At least 100 people have died after flash floods and landslides hit Indonesia and East Timor on Sunday.
Torrential rain sparked widespread destruction in the South East Asian countries, with water from overflowing dams submerging thousands of homes.
The affected area stretches from Flores Island in eastern Indonesia to East Timor.
In Indonesia alone, about 80 people have died with dozens still missing. Officials warn the toll could still rise.
More than 40 people are still missing in Indonesia, and officials warn the death toll could rise further while at least 21 people have also died in East Timor.
TAIWAN TRAIN CRASH
A construction site manager whose lorry slid on to a railway track and led to Taiwan’s worst train disaster in decades has expressed deep regret.
Lee Yi-hsiang’s flatbed lorry was parked on an embankment but it slipped down, causing the train to derail on Friday near the city of Hualien.
At least 50 people were killed and more than 200 injured in the crash.
Investigators say CCTV footage from the front carriage showed the train driver had only 6.9 seconds to respond.
The probe is now looking into whether Lee failed to set the emergency brake or whether there was a mechanical failure in his vehicle.
50TH ANNUAL ACCOUNTANTS CONFERENCE
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), has charged accounting professionals in the country to promote integrity and accountability, in the discharge of their duties.
ICAN President, Onome Adewuyi, in Abuja during a reception organized in her honor ahead of the institute’s 50th Annual Accountants’ Conference reiterated the need for accountants to be accurate and serve with integrity.
The session aimed to provide opportunities that would enable delegates get acquainted with new innovations in the accounting profession.
Bosede Ikhanoba, Chairman, ICAN Abuja and District Society, added that the COVID-19 pandemic made it more important for accountants to embrace the use of technology.
RETALIATORY TRAVEL BAN
Kenya Airways has announced two additional flights to the UK to beat the April 9th travel advisory, and this has spiked short term demand to the destination. The airline has added the new flights on 4th and 8th April, to allow travelers enter the UK before the restrictions kick in.
According to a statement released by Kenya Airways, due to the increased demand for travel to the UK before the advisory takes effect on April 9, 2 new flights have been added for April 4th and 8th. Customers impacted by this directive have the opportunity to change their bookings for later travel or request a refund with all penalties waived.
British, Irish Nationals and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK will be able to enter the country after April 9, undergoing a mandatory 10-day quarantine in a government-approved facility.
WORLD HALF MARATHON
Kenya’s Ruth Chepng’etich has broken the world record for half marathon, beating an old record by 29 seconds to be crowned the new world half marathon record holder in the mixed gender category.
Chepng’etich tore the field apart to win her third at the Istanbul Half Marathon title in one hour, four minutes and one second (1:04:02), smashing the previous world record held by Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh by 29 seconds.
She managed to shake off the rich field, exchanging leads with Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw before surging forward in the last two kilometres to bag victory.
The world marathon champion was over the moon at the finish line and couldn’t believe that she had broken the world record.
Yalemzerf finished a distant second in 1minute 04 seconds in a race that saw debutant Hellen Obiri and world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei struggle to keep up with her pace.
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