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President Ghazouani Doubles Pension, Allowances on Mauritania’s 60th Independence

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President Mohamed Cheikh El Ghazouani, has announced 10 social measures for the most vulnerable segments of the population in a message to mark the celebration of the 60th independence anniversary of the country.

They include a 100 per cent increase in the basic pension for all pensioners, a doubling of the pension of widows and their health insurance benefits and the monthly payment of retirement pension.

There is also the generalization of the chalk allowance to include all primary and secondary school principals granted over a period of 12 months instead of the previous nine months.

The President also announced an increase in the rural allowance and the supervisory allowance for inspectors of basic and secondary technical education to the tune of 10,000 old ouguiyas (about US$27).

Others include a 30 per cent increase in the salaries of health workers and a generalization of the risk premium to all health personnel.

In addition, there is a 50 per cent increase in the care of patients with kidney failure and people living with disabilities, and the granting of monthly cash transfers of 15,000 old ouguiyas (US$ 40) to them.

Health insurance for the benefit of all persons living with a disability and the payment of monthly cash transfers of 20,000 old ouguiyas (US$ 54) for disabled children are the latest measures announced by the Mauritanian president.

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Pirates Kill One, Abduct 15 Sailors in the Gulf of Guinea

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Nigerian Pirates

Fifteen sailors were abducted by pirates from a Turkish container ship – M/V Mozart, reports said on Sunday.

A sailor was killed in the attack, which occurred on Saturday and has been described as brazen and violent.

Accounts from crew, family members and security sources described a sophisticated and well-orchestrated attack in which armed pirates boarded the ship and breached its protective citadel, possibly with explosives.

Three sailors remain on the Mozart, which was approaching Gabon’s Port Gentil on Sunday and expected to dock.

The Liberian-flagged vessel was headed to Cape Town from Lagos when it was attacked 160 kilometres off Sao Tome island on Saturday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s office said on Sunday he was orchestrating officials in the “rescue of kidnapped ship personnel”.

Erdogan spoke twice by phone with the ship’s fourth captain, Furkan Yaren, who remained aboard after the attack, his office said.

Yaren reportedly claimed he had been “cruising blindly” toward Gabon with damage to the ship’s controls and only the radar working. The pirates beat crew members and left him with an injured leg while another still aboard the ship had shrapnel wounds.

Turkey’s foreign ministry said the pirates had not made any contact with Ankara.

Seyit Kaya, brother of the ship’s kidnapped 42-year-old captain Mustafa Kaya, a father of two, said in an interview he awaited details from the ship’s owner on any possible ransom.

“Since that area is where many attacks take place, they take cautions against pirates,” said Kaya, who is also a sailor.

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Nigerian Celebs Mourn Late U.S Broadcaster, Larry King

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Some Nigerian celebrities are mourning late American broadcaster, Larry King, who died on Saturday morning January 23, aged 87.

These celebrities took to their Instagram handles to pay tribute and mourn the ace broadcaster who had contributed immensely to American Journalism.

Veteran Nollywood Actress, Joke Silver wrote on her page with the broadcaster’s picture “Rest well Larry King. You were the king of interviews. Always polite, always listening”.

Renowned Comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka said “Legends don’t die, they transit to glory. Rest in peace Larry King”.

Also Ace Comedian, Atunyota Akpobome, popularly known as “Alibaba” mourned the late broadcaster saying “Rest on” with King’s picture displayed.

The Giant of American broadcasting, Larry King was reported to have battled health problems over the years like prostrate cancer and type-two diabetes.

Recall that he contracted the Coronavirus earlier in January.

King began as a local Florida journalist and radio interviewer in the 1950s and 1960s and gained prominence beginning in 1978 as host of The Larry King Show, an all-night nationwide call-in radio programme heard on the Mutual Broadcasting System from 1985 to 2010.

He hosted the nightly interview television programme Larry King Live on CNN.

His works were recognised with awards including two Peabody, an Emmy award and 10 Cable Ace awards.

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Cyclone Eloise Rages on Africa’s East Coast, Leaves Several Dead

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Power utility EDM said power supplies were shut down as the cyclone uprooted some electricity poles thereby damaging power lines.

Also walls around low-lying buildings collapsed, swaths of land were flooded and vehicles were submerged in water in Beira.

South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Eswatini have also been impacted by the recent rains.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Department has advised communities in Jozini, Mtubatuba, Ulundi and Umlalazi areas and its surroundings to be vigilant over the stormy weather.

Cogta spokesperson Nonala Ndlovu
said
“We are trying as hard as we can to make sure that people predicted to be on the path on that storm are moved.

Those that can be moved so that when the storm hits, they are not severely affected”

Cyclone Eloise originated close to Madagascar where, there was at least one death, swamped settlements and displacement.

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