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Zimbabwe politician, wife killed in US helicopter crash

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Roy Bennet, Zimbabwe opposition Leader
Roy Bennet, Zimbabwe opposition Leader(File Photo)

Washington, Jan 19: Leading Zimbabwe opposition politician Roy Bennett has been killed with his wife in a helicopter crash in New Mexico state of the US, authorities said.

The private helicopter crashed in a mountainous area on Wednesday, killing the couple and three others but the deaths were confirmed by authorities on Thursday.

One person survived the accident, the BBC reported.

Bennett, a 60-year-old former farmer, was a leading figure in the Movement for Democratic Change. He was elected to Parliament in 2000.

The politician, who had been in exile in South Africa since 2010 after having been jailed by Parliament for pushing a fellow MP, was in the US to spend time with friends at a ranch belonging to Texan businessman Charles Burnett III.

Bennett’s wife Heather, Charles Burnett III, pilot Jamie Coleman Dodd and co-pilot Paul Cobb were also killed in the crash, the police said.

Cobb’s daughter and Burnett’s partner Andra Cobb was the only survivor.

IANS

Disaster

Covid cases shatter record in US, Trump and Fauci haven’t met for ‘months’

In recent days, Trump has called Fauci and his ilk “idiots” and claimed that Americans are tired of “Covid, Covid, Covid” all the time.

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Fauci over Trump

New York, Oct 24 : US president Donald Trump and his top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci have not met in “several months” and White House virus task force meetings have been reduced to once a week, according to new revelations into the inner workings of a disastrous coronavirus response in the world’s wealthiest country.

The US recorded 71,671 new cases Thursday, with several states setting records across the Midwest and West. This is the single highest daily tally since the pandemic began. Texas leads with maximum new cases. The seven-day rolling average for new daily Covid-19 cases in the US was 44,647 two weeks ago.

The virus has killed more than 223,000 people in the US and sickened more than 8 million.

Less than 24 hours after the final presidential debate on October 22, US President Donald Trump was back at the White House holding a mini superspreader event while the country’s top infectious diseases expert is urging the government to see the logic of a “golden mean” that factors common sense public health guidelines to reopen the economy. Trump had 30 people huddled around him in the Oval Office on Friday and only one woman in that group was wearing a mask.

“Every time I talk about these things, people get concerned about shutting down. We’re not talking about shutting down, but we’re talking about doubling down on some of the fundamental public health measures that we need to adhere to – the universal wearing of masks,” Fauci said during a television interview on Friday.

During the same interview, Fauci revealed that Trump hasn’t attended a coronavirus task force meeting for months.

Days ahead of the US 2020 election, the coronavirus pandemic continues to haunt incumbent Donald Trump both in debates and his poll numbers. He trails Biden in both national and battleground polling.

In recent days, Trump has called Fauci and his ilk “idiots” and claimed that Americans are tired of “Covid, Covid, Covid” all the time.

Trump has mocked Biden for wearing masks and for adhering to public health guidance. “We can’t live like that,” Trump has said often, and continues to hold superspreader rallies and aggressively push the idea of herd immunity.

Fauci has pinned America’s failure to contain the virus on the lack of a uniform guidance from the top, without mentioning Trump. “I’ve always felt that uniformity of response and consistency of response is always a good thing. People know where they stand, know what they need to do and it was certain fundamental things that have not been adhered to consistently,” he said on Friday.

In the US, at least 5 vaccine candidates are in Phase 3 trials. The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech is among several leading candidates in final testing. Two studies which started trials on July 27 are fully enrolled and ready to start collecting data.

Fauci said we’ll likely know about vaccine efficacy and safety latest by early December and that vaccine doses will be made and ready to go by the end of the year for frontline workers and the most vulnerable. The vaccine will be available widely only by the summer of 2021, according to US public health officials.

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Kim Jong-un pays tribute to fallen Chinese soldiers

He then paid tribute to Mao Anying, the son of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, who died in the conflict, and a floral basket was laid at his grave, the KCNA said.

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Kim Jong Un

Seoul, Oct 22 : North Korean state-media on Thursday reported that the country’s leader Kim Jong-un visited the cemetery of Chinese soldiers who fell during the 1950-53 Korean War, to mark the anniversary of their participation in the conflict.

It appears to be in line with Kim’s push to further strengthen bilateral ties with China at a time when the North is in need of support from the ally amid stagnant economic growth and stalled nuclear negotiations with the United States, Yonhap news agency reported.

Kim visited “the martyrs of the Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV) in Hoechang County, South Pyongan Province, and paid a high tribute to them on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the entry of the Chinese People’s Volunteers into the Korean front,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Hoechang is where the headquarters of the Chinese soldiers was located during the war.

“He said with deep emotion that even though 70 years have passed since the excellent sons and daughters of the fraternal Chinese people made an entry into the sacred Fatherland Liberation War fought by the Korean people, the immortal exploits and heroic feats made by the CPV by sacrificially supporting us… remain vividly in the memory of our people.” the KCNA added.

Kim lauded the participation of Chinese soldiers in the Korean War as a “historic contribution to the great victory in the Fatherland Liberation War.”

“The great victory won by the armies and peoples of the North and China while linking their destiny as one and sharing weal and woe with each other is, indeed, of great significance no matter how much water flows under the bridge,” Kim was quoted as saying.

He then paid tribute to Mao Anying, the son of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, who died in the conflict, and a floral basket was laid at his grave, the KCNA said.

In July 2013, Kim visited the cemetery and paid tribute to the fallen Chinese soldiers to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean armistice agreement that ended the war, followed by another visit in 2018 to mark the 65th anniversary.

“The difference this year is that they marked the 70th anniversary of China’s participation in the war,” he added.

The North has been seeking to maintain closer ties with its traditional ally amid an impasse in nuclear negotiations with Washington.

Earlier this week, Kim pledged to further boost friendly relations with China in a reply message to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who sent a congratulatory letter to Kim to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party.

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Lucknow Covid team’s data includes US couple & one long dead

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Corona Death Body

The district health department in Lucknow has released Covid reports of two persons who are in the US and one, who died years ago.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Sanjay Bhatnagar said an employee was suspended and show cause notice was served to another on Tuesday after a probe found them guilty of the lapse.

According to reports, Ashray Jaiswal, a bank executive, tested Covid positive on October 6.

Two days later, a contact tracing team came to his rented house in Rajajipuram area to collect the samples of his wife and two children for tests.

The team gave Ashray a link of the portal where he could login to see the test results.

When Ashray opened the portal the next day, he was shocked to see reports of five other persons, along with his family members, with the same residential address.

“The reports of my wife and children stated that they were tested through the RT-PCR method. While my son tested positive, wife and daughter came negative. However, of five other names, three were of my landlord’s family — two of them were the couple who own the house and are currently in the US — while third report was of the landlord’s father who had passed away a few years ago. The remaining two persons are not known to me,” he told reporters.

The team, apparently, noted the names of the landlord’s family from the nameplate outside the house without actually collecting samples.

Ashray reported the matter immediately on the Covid helpline. “Thereafter, a contact team personnel arrived and apologised while promising to get my family’s tests done again”.

Source: IANS

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