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Russian police detain suspected murderer of 2 dozen elderly women



Russian police detain suspected murderer of 2 dozen elderly women

…As S.korea new virus cases bounce back to over 500***

Russian police have detained a suspect in the murders of more than two dozen elderly women at various locations around the country, the country’s top investigative agency said on Tuesday.

The suspect, a 38-year-old man, who has been working as a locksmith in the central Russian city of Kazan, was linked to the 26 murders through genetic evidence, the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

The suspect is believed to have killed the women to steal their property.

The incidents occurred in 2011 and 2012, the statement read. “The suspect is currently confessing,” it added.

Also read: MASS MASSACRE: Ethiopian rights body says nearly 600 killed in Tigray massacre

In the meantime,  the daily number of new Coronavirus cases in South Korea bounced back to over 500 again on  Wednesday.

This calls for concern as the country faces a bigger wave of the pandemic in winter amid tougher social distancing measures.

The country added 511 more COVID-19 cases, including 493 local infections, raising the total caseload to 35,163, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

It reported no additional Coronavirus fatalities, bringing the total to 526.

The daily virus tally has appeared to be slowing over the past three days, staying in the 400 range after peaking at an eight-month high of 581 on Nov.26, the KDCA said.

An average of 467 daily new cases were reported over the past week, it added.

Authorities said they will continue to vigorously monitor the current situation, stressing that social distancing measures will be quickly elevated if needed, amid worries over a possible surge in virus cases during winter.

The authorities also urged people to refrain from non-essential activities outside of their homes as hundreds of thousands of students are scheduled to sit for the annual state college entrance exam on Thursday.

They also warned that the country could report daily virus cases of between 700 and 1,000 in the next one or two weeks unless the current pace is curbed, as the country continues to report sporadic infection clusters of various sizes.

The greater Seoul area that includes the capital city, the surrounding Gyeonggi Province and the western port city of Incheon is under Level 2 social distancing measures in the five-tier system, but tighter restrictions have been applied to virus-prone facilities.

All other areas are under Level 1.5 distancing measures, up one notch, for two weeks.

Under the tougher distancing measures, the use of saunas and steam rooms in bathhouses is not allowed for one week in the greater Seoul area.

Nine kinds of indoor exercises practiced in groups, including Zumba dancing, aerobics and kickboxing, were also banned

Hotels, party rooms and other guesthouses are also banned from hosting year-end or New Year’s parties that are known to be prone to virus transmission.

By region, 192 new virus cases were reported in Seoul, 143 cases in Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital and 21 cases in Incheon, west of Seoul, accounting for more than 70 per cent of the daily new locally transmitted cases.

The greater Seoul area is home to around half of the nation’s 51.6 million population.

Other municipalities reported new infections, with the southern port city of Busan reporting 31 cases, followed by North Jeolla Province with 26 and North Chungcheong Province with 16 new cases.

A total of 137 new cases were reported outside of the greater Seoul area on Wednesday, exceeding the 100-mark for the past nine straight days.

Among virus clusters, a cram school in Gangnam, southern Seoul, added 17 new cases, bringing the total to 18, while a high school in Guro Ward in western Seoul reported three more cases, raising the total to 18.

A dance academy in western Seoul added four more cases, bringing the total to 219, according to the agency.

An additional seven people tested positive in cases traced to a singing class in Gyeongsan, raising the total to 44, the authorities said.

An additional two people tested positive in cases traced to a religious facility in Busan, raising the total caseload to 32.

The number of seriously or critically ill COVID-19 patients came to 101 as of midnight, up from 97 a day earlier.

Amid concerns over a possible shortage of hospital beds for patients in critical condition, health authorities said they have added 30 such beds at the National Medical Center in Seoul.

The country added 18 imported cases, sharply down from 31 a day earlier, coming mainly from the United States and Asian countries, excluding China, the KDCA said.

The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries stood at 28,065, up 180 from the previous day.



dpa with additional reports from Yonhap

Foreign News

Sri Lankan President Thanks Seychelles Defence Forces For Rescuing Sri Lankan Vessel From Somali Pirates



President Ramkalawan says Seychellois military boarded boat with utmost courage to take complete control

 The Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) Special Forces and Seychelles Coast Guards on board Coast Guards vessel Topaz led a successful operation to regain control of a Sri Lankan vessel hijacked by armed Somali pirates.

Seychellois special military forces boarded the boat with utmost courage to take complete control of the vessel and rescue our Sri Lankan brothers.

The Commander in Chief of the Seychelles, President Wavel Ramkalawan has spoken to the Chief of Defence Forces, Brigadier Michael Rosette to congratulate the Special Forces and Coast Guards team on a well-executed and successful mission.

“This is the spirit of the Seychelles Defence Forces. Professionalism, courage, and bravery are the tenets of the new spirit in the force. Though small, we will make our contribution to attaining maritime security, peace, and determination in the fight against terrorism to ensure that the world, especially in our part of the Indian Ocean remains a safe and peaceful region. Once again, I reiterate the  pride and confidence of the Seychellois nation in the Seychelles Defence Forces.”

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GoG: Promoting Trans-boundary Management For Sustainable Socio-Economic Development



…Mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of the Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME)

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 23, 2024/ — From January 21st to 27th, 2024, AU-IBAR is on a mission in the republics of Benin and Togo. The mission is dedicated to supporting the implementation of a Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) initiative between the two nations. Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), under the project “Conservation of Aquatic Biodiversity within the Framework of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy,” this initiative holds the promise of fostering socio-economic development through the judicious use of marine resources.

Collaborative Efforts: AU-IBAR is collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) body, the Abidjan Convention, and the World Bank-funded West African Coastal Area Management (WACA) Project. The SIDA-funded project, implemented by AU-IBAR, involves an assessment to map the extent of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) usage in Africa as a management tool for the conservation of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems in the west, central, and northern regions of Africa.

Mission Objectives: This mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME). The current objective is to secure joint expert validation of the SoME report and obtain high-level political endorsement for the provisions of the jointly validated report, demonstrating the commitment of both countries to the cause. Participants in the joint validation workshop include WACA project-nominated committee members from Benin and Togo, representatives from the Abidjan Convention, and government authorities from both nations, alongside relevant AU-IBAR staff.

Political Commitment: The opening statements during the joint meeting saw representatives from the Governments of Benin and Togo, the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention, and the representative of the Director of AU-IBAR express unwavering commitment to the transboundary marine management process. Both the Director of AU-IBAR and the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention reiterated their support for the Governments of Benin and Togo in realizing their shared vision for the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources in the designated shared maritime boundary.

Key Outcomes: The pinnacle achievement of the joint meeting is the validation of the study report on the state of the marine environment between Benin and Togo. This validation marks a significant milestone towards establishing the transboundary MSP between the two countries. AU-IBAR Director, DR Huyam Salih, emphasized that this accomplishment is a crucial step forward in enhancing aquatic biodiversity conservation and environmental protection in the Gulf of Guinea.

Conclusion: The joint expert consultation workshop serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts aimed at promoting transboundary management of shared marine aquatic ecosystems in the Gulf of Guinea. The validated report and political commitment from Benin and Togo are integral to realizing the socio-economic development potential inherent in the sustainable use of marine resources. As AU-IBAR continues its mission, the hope is that this initiative will serve as a model for other regions seeking to harmonize efforts for the conservation and management of their shared marine ecosystems.
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Foreign News

U.S.-British Strikes In Yemen Left 5 Dead, Say Houthi Rebels



The U.S. and British military strikes in Yemen have left five Houthi fighters dead and six others injured, the Iran-aligned rebels said on Friday, vowing retaliation.

“The American and British enemy bears full responsibility for its criminal aggression,’’ the Houthi military spokesman Yehya Saree said in a statement.

Saree said the massive attack had targeted several Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen including the capital Sana’a.

“It will not pass unanswered and without punishment.

“The Yemeni Armed Forces will not hesitate to target sources of threat and all hostile targets on the ground and in the sea,’’ he said. 

  • dpa
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