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Eight newborns die in fire at Algerian hospital

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Eight newborns died in a huge fire that broke out at the maternity unit of an Algerian hospital on Tuesday, the civil defence authority said.

The fire broke out in the early hours of Tuesday at the hospital in Oued Souf, an area 700 kilometres south-east of the capital Algiers, according to the authority.

The babies died of burns or smoke inhalation, it said, adding that 11 other infants and 65 people, including 37 women, were rescued.

In 2018, a huge fire ripped through the same hospital, causing damage to large parts of it.

(dpa/NAN)

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11 injured, four abducted in Cameroon separatist attack

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At least 11 plantation workers were seriously injured and four others abducted on Monday night by armed separatists in Tiko, a locality in Cameroon’s restive English-speaking region of Southwest, local authorities said on Tuesday.

Four of the injured workers on a rubber plantation of state-owned Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) were rushed to the hospital early Tuesday with life-threatening wounds.

“They (armed separatists) arrived when the workers were about to sleep and assembled them in the yard and started flogging one after another with machetes.

“They chopped off the fingers and hands of some of them. And then abducted four men and left for the bush,” Lygonga Mbonde, one of the unit managers of CDC said.

Separatist groups had vowed on social media to make the English speaking regions of Cameroon ungovernable.

They consider CDC a legitimate target, according to security reports.

The CDC runs banana, palm oil, and rubber plantations in Cameroon’s troubled Southwest and Northwest regions.

In August 2018, the agro-industry said more than 6,000 of its 20,000 workers had fled sporadic attacks, killings and kidnapping from armed separatists.

Cameroon’s English-speaking regions have been hit by a separatist rebellion since 2017.

A national dialogue to end the separatist conflict was held in the country in early October and recommended that a special status should be granted to the two regions.

(Xinhua/NAN)

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Incumbent president, 12 candidates on provisional list for Guinea-Bissau elections

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The Supreme Court of Justice of Guinea-Bissau on Monday published a provisional list of 13 candidates for the November 24 presidential elections, including the incumbent President Jose Vaz.

According to the list, Vaz will run as an independent candidate.

Winning of the legislative elections in March, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) will be represented by former Prime minister Domingos Pereira.

Three other major candidates are Umaro Embalo for the Movement for a Democratic Alternative (Madem G-15), Nuno Gomes Na Biam for the United People’s Assembly – Guinea-Bissau Democratic Party, and former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior as independent candidate.

The six unsuccessful candidates, including the only female candidate Nancy Schwartz, were not validated due to “incomplete files”.

However, they have 48 hours to appeal to the Supreme Court.
However, presidential elections will be held in Guinea-Bissau on Nov. 24 with a second round planned for Dec. 29, if no candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the vote.

Legislative elections held in Guinea-Bissau on March 10.
The African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) won 47 of the 102 seats and remained the largest party.

Although its loss of ten seats resulted in a hung parliament, pre-election agreements with the Assembly of the People United (five seats) and the New Democracy Party (one seat).

The Union for Change (one seat) gave the PAIGC-led coalition a six-seat majority in the National People’s Assembly.

(Xinhua/NAN)

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South Korean justice minister resigns over corruption scandal

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South Korean Justice Minister, Cho Kuk, on Monday resigned over an escalating corruption scandal barely a month after being appointed.

The opposition had accused him of misconduct as his family was being investigated on allegations of questionable financial transactions.

Kuk, 54, said in a statement that he would resign and not be a burden to President Moon Jae-In who had appointed him in September. Jae-In accepted his resignation.

Jae-In, however, apologised for causing national discord over Kuk’s appointment.

Earlier, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand Kuk’s dismissal as well as Jae-In’s resignation.

Kuk’s family was being investigated on suspicion of investing in a holding company suspected of involvement in market manipulation and illegal transactions.

Liberal groups had spoken in support of Kuk as the architect of Jae-In’s plans to reform the National Prosecutor’s office, however, conservatives considered him unqualified for the position.

(dpa/NAN)

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