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New Era Newspaper Friday February 16, 2018

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36 AFRICA Friday, February 16 2018| NEW ERA Morgan Tsvangirai, the enduring face of Zimbabwe’s opposition dies No more… HARARE Morgan Tsvangirai, who has died after a battle with cancer, was the face of Zimbabwe’s downtrodden opposition for decades. Jail, beatings by pro-regime thugs and perennial disappointment at the ballot box never dented the 65-year-old’s desire to move the country past the decades of autocratic rule by former president Robert Mugabe and his acolytes. The leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party on the country’s complex and sometimes violent political scene as a trade union activist in the 1980s. He went on to form a unity government with Mugabe after disputed elections in 2008 in which he beat the veteran autocrat -- now 93 years But violence against Tsvangirai’s supporters, which he claimed cost 200 lives, prompted him to pull out of the run-off. Only outside mediation helped put the lid back on Zimbabwe’s fractious politics and usher in a period of power sharing and relative calm. But Tsvangirai was quickly relegated to junior partner in the coalition and excluded from all major economic and foreign policy decisions, as well as from any debate over the role of the security services. He faced off against Mugabe three times at the ballot box and had been expected to oppose him once again - Photo: Nampa/AFP in presidential elections set for 2018. “ZANU-PF has not won recent elections, it has rigged them,” Tsvangirai told AFP previously. “Anyone who is interested in ending ZANU-PF should unite, in spite of ideological differences.” A teetotalling non-smoker from Zimbabwe’s majority Shona community, Tsvangirai had widely been seen as the best hope for reviving Zimbabwe’s divided politics and moribund economy and was a forceful anti-corruption advocate. Mugabe’s government detained him on numerous occasions over his vocal criticism of the regime. Security forces swooped on Tsvangirai in 1989 after he bluntly warned about the rising tide of political repression in the country. Tsvangirai also claimed to have been the target of four assassination attempts -- including one in 1997 in which he said attackers attempted to His political career almost ground to a halt in 2001 when he was tried over allegations he had conspired to kill Mugabe, levelled by a self-proclaimed ex-Israeli spy. Tsvangirai was eventually cleared. In March 2007, police violently cracked down on Tsvangirai and dozens of opposition activists when they attempted to stage an anti-government rally. Images of his bloody, mangled face were seen worldwide, leading to global condemnation of Mugabe and his security forces. “Yes, they brutalised my flesh. But they will never break my spirit. I will soldier on until Zimbabwe is free,” he said at the time. Tsvangirai was recognised on several occasions for his commitment to political change, and was widely thought to have been shortlisted for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2009, just three weeks after becom- post-independence power-sharing government, his wife Susan was killed in a car crash that also left him injured. But some commentators suggested that it was his crushing defeat in fraud-riddled elections in 2013 that he was never able to recover from. And in 2016 he announced that he was undergoing chemotherapy to treat colon cancer. Tsvangirai surprised many by outlasting Mugabe in active public life after the former president was eased from power following a military takeover that saw Mugabe’s former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa become president. Tsvangirai and Mnangagwa enjoyed a cordial relationship with the opposition veteran attending the new president’s inauguration. Welcome! 27 April - 05 May 2018 Gala dinner date: 31 March 2018 Exhibition date: 27 April - 05 May 2018 Registrations open: 02 February - 30 March 2018 Stall Application forms are for free Stall prices: 3x3m corporate stand in the hall N00,00 3x3m SME stand in the Hall (west wing) N00,00 Oudoor stand corporate N00,00 Food & Beverage kiosk (Katutura) N00,00 Oudoor SME stand N0,00 065-240 101 Follow us on:

Friday, February 16 2018| NEW ERA WORLD 37 17 killed in Florida school shooting by former student: sheriff PARKLAND Authorities in Florida could offer no explanation Wednesday night as to why a former student armed with an AR- earlier that day, killing at least 17 people. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel identified the gunman as Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland who had been expelled for “disciplinary reasons”, but was currently enrolled in Broward County Public Schools. Cruz, whose fellow students described him as “troubled”, was arrested without incident in the nearby town of Coral Springs after the Valentine’s Day rampage and taken to hospital with minor injuries, the sheriff said. He had mixed in with students fleeing the school before being “We have already begun to dissect his websites and things on social media that he was on and some of the things... are very, very disturbing,” Israel said. “If a person is predisposed to to a school and shooting people ... there’s not anybody or not a lot law enforcement can do about it.” Israel said both students and adults had been killed, 12 of whom have Fifteen people were killed at the school itself and 17 were taken to hospital, two of whom died of their of those killed was a football coach, and one student injured was a deputy sheriff’s son. “This is a terrible day for Parkland,” Israel said, speaking of the city of about 30 000 people, located 50 miles (80 kilometres) north of Miami. A teacher at the school said Cruz potential threat to his classmates. “We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” math teacher Jim Gard said in a Miami Herald interview. “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.” Cruz was also said to have been in Training Corps) programme while at school. A law enforcement source told CBS News that the gunman pulled The shooting, one of nearly 20 at a school since the start of the year, will once again throw the spotlight on the epidemic of gun violence in the United States, where there are 33 000 gun-related deaths annually. But when questioned at a press conference late Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott – who described Governor Rick Scott the massacre as “just pure evil” – declined to make a statement on gun control in the aftermath of the shooting. “There’s a time to continue to have these conversations about how through law enforcement, how through mental illness funding that we make sure people are safe, and we’ll continue to do that,” said Scott, a Republican. Attorney General Pam Bondi said the state will cover the costs of funerals and counselling for survivors. “We will continue to work together as a team, as a family, and love and take care of all of these victims and their family members,” she said. Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky told CNN she had spoken to a number of students after the shooting erupted shortly after 14h00 (1900 GMT). “They were very scared,” she said. “And almost in shock when they came out.” Students, some with their hands in the air, were led out of the school by team on the scene. Student Jeiella Dodoo told CBS News that she and her schoolmates evacuated calmly after hearing what “The alarm went off so we had to evacuate from our classes,” she said. “Then we heard gunshots. “I heard about six gunshots,” she said, “and then some people started running and then everyone started running because we were like ‘If it’s real, then just run.’ Teacher Melissa Falkowski told US networks that she had helped 19 students squeeze into a closet with her. “We were in there for probably 40 minutes. We were locked in the closet until SWAT came and got us,” she told CNN. Police officers in helmets, bulletproof vests and armed with automatic weapons could be seen stationed at several points around the sprawling school complex, which serves nearly 3 000 students. “Just a horrible day for us,” said the superintendent of the county’s school district, Robert Runcie. “This is very sad to me and our family too,” 61-year-old Joseph Panikulangara, whose 17-year-old niece Dhiya attends the school, told AFP. The FBI said it was assisting local law enforcement with the investigation. When asked about security, always stationed at the school and there is a “single point of entry.” President Donald Trump offered his “prayers and condolences to the families of the victims”. “No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school,” he said on Twitter. But since January 2013, there have been at least 291 school shootings across the country – an average of about one a week, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a non- control. “It is pretty clear that we’re failing our kids here,” said Falkowski, the teacher who helped shield her students from harm in a closet. - Nampa/AFP Thai ex-police chief questioned over US.5m loan from brothel owner A former Thai police chief was questioned yesterday over loans topping US.5 million from a fugitive brothel owner who faces sex trafficking charges, a case offering a rare window into the close links between cops and the kingdom’s rampant sex industry. Somyot Poompanmoung, who now runs Thailand’s Football Association, has admitted to receiving the massive loans from the owner of the “Victoria Secret” mega-brothel in the capital. Police raided the brothel last month, rounding up around 100 sex workers – including at least 13 of whom were underage girls from neighbouring Myanmar. have led to 15 arrests for modernday slavery offences, and the rescuing of 36 victims, according to police. The operation, which involved of London, targeted an organised crime group that police believe and drugs. A ledger found at the scene listed received free food, booze and even massages from the illegal business. The venue is one of scores Bangkok that offer sex services in dozens of private rooms equipped with baths. While prostitution is technically outlawed in Thailand, the lucrative plain sight thanks to an entrenched culture of bribes and protection fees. Raids are rare and normally only conducted when police believe that underage girls are involved. Yesterday, the straight-talking Somyot arrived at the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) for questioning over his ties to Kampol Belgian officers helped Britain’s immigration and police investigators. “This group is using hand car washes as a front for their criminal activity and we believe individuals Keynes, and might be the subject of modern slavery,” police said in a statement. 20 residential addresses. “We have seized a large quantity Wirathepsuporn, the alleged owner of Victoria Secret and several other massive massage parlours. “I came here as a witness to provide information. I cannot talk about details,” Somyot told reporters after the interrogation. Supat Thamthanarug, director pressed against the former cop. While police have detained seven pimps and brokers linked charges, Kampol and his wife remain at large. Authorities say they are still listed as patrons of the brothel on the ledger seized during the raid. Speaking to reporters last week, Somyot described Kampol as an old of cocaine, cannabis and also thousands of pounds worth of cash, and a Mercedes ML 250,” added the statement. A total of 15 arrests were made during Tuesday’s raids, while 30 suspected victims of slavery were “safeguarded.” The operation was sparked by the arrest in Belgium of an alleged people smuggler on Tuesday morning, according to the public friend who helped him with cash in times of need. He said the transactions were handled lawfully and reported to a government graft agency in 2015, the year he was Thailand’s national police commissioner. “Borrowing is borrowing, helping is helping and afterwards the money was returned,” he said last week, brushing off accusations of wrongdoing and explaining that he did not ask his friend how the money was made. Yet the close ties between a top law enforcer and a major brothel owner have grabbed the attention of a kingdom rocked by a succession of scandals, highlighting graft that insulates the kingdom’s wealthy and well-connected. The junta’s number two UK modern slavery raids save 36 victims Bruges. He was accused of being in the Albanians to the UK, including a 16- and 17-year-old boys. “This is the largest operation of its type carried out within the Thames Valley,” said British police detective Darran Hill. “As well as working with partner agencies and charities, we have also worked closely with the National Crime Agency, and the Belgium general is in the crosshairs for failing to declare a collection of some 25 luxury watches, while a construction tycoon was recently nabbed for hunting wildlife in a protected park. Both cases have ignited an equal measure of public frustration and ridicule aimed at the military junta that seized power in 2014, vowing to clean up corruption and a culture of impunity for the elite. “The regime is increasingly losing face and being perceived as the corrupt government that it claimed it was ousting back in 2014,” said Thailand-based analyst Paul Chambers. “It is not surprising that there is police corruption but what is interesting is it comes on the heels of these other scandals.” - Nampa/AFP Federal Police,” he said. Britain’s crime agency last month launched an appeal to tackle modern-day slavery, urging people to report suspicious activity. A report last year found that 3 805 people were referred as potential slavery victims in Britain during 2016. Among the more regular victims work in UK nail bars for no pay. - Nampa/AFP

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167