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Chinese Embassy Reacts to Foroyaa News Story

The Chinese Embassy in The Gambia has reacted to a news story carried on Foroyaa newspaper which indicated that the Navy in collaboration with Ministry of Fisheries and Sea Shepperd, intercepted three Chinese fishing vessels
 
See below the press release from the Chinese Embassy;
 
The Ministry of Fisheries of The Gambia has confirmed that the detained so-called “Chinese fishing vessels” were neither from China nor registered in China. They are actually the vessels registered in The Gambia, and belong to some Gambian fishery companies, which received partial investment from Chinese individuals.
 
he China-Gambia economic cooperation has been developing rapidly, and investment from China has been promoting employment and development in The Gambia. The investment in the fishery industry offer good working opportunities to more than 400 Gambian workers with decent salaries and working conditions. They also help increase revenue to the Gambian Government, and contribute to the Gambian society in boosting employment and empowering the youth。
 
The Chinese Government and Chinese Embassy require that all Chinese investors in The Gambia should abide by local law and regulations, implement relevant corporation social responsibilities including promotion of environment protection, green and sustainable development, etc. Regarding the case of the vessels, we hope that relevant Gambian authorities would treat the case in accordance with law and regulations.
 
We are looking forward to a continuous fast and sound development of China-Gambia practical cooperation.

Guinea’s prosecutor asks for five year jail term for protest leaders

Public prosecutors of Guinea on Friday requested before a court in Conakry the maximum penalty of five years in prison for the main leaders of the protest against a possible third term bib of President Alpha Conde.However the court will issue it’s final judgement on Tuesday.

In a court under high police protection and full of people, Prosecutor Sidy Souleymane Ndiaye requested the same five-year prison sentence against seven of the eight defendants, with a fine of two million Guinean francs each (194 euros)

In prison or in freedom, I will fight against Alpha Condé’s policy for a third term, I will fight to prevent Alpha Condé from having a third term

He requested the release of the eighth defendant.

The defendants are leaders of the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution, a coalition of political parties and civil society groups behind demonstrations in Conakry and several cities in Guinea.

The prosecutor likened their action as an “insurrection”. He spoke of “insidious, serious and dangerous statements to disturb public order”.

The authorities claim these protests are illegal stressing police did not approve of them. From the beginning, he justified the repression of the protests on grounds of public safety. The prosecutor also noted that the FNDC had called for the paralysis of mines, banks and all economic activity.

The defendants’ lawyers contested that their clients had called for the demonstrations and requested for their release.

“In prison or in freedom, I will fight against Alpha Condé‘s policy for a third term, I will fight to prevent Alpha Condé from having a third term,” said one of the defendants, Ibrahima Diallo.

“The Guinean Constitution is not a rag,” said one of the lawyers, Halimatou Camara, calling supporters of a third term of office “arsonists”, in a warning against the risk of escalation if Alpha Condé confirmed his plans.

The protest has already resulted in ten deaths among the demonstrators and 70 gunshot wounds, and nearly 200 arrests, according to the FNDC. The authorities claim nine people have lost their lives.

The FNDC intends to block President Condé‘s plan to have the Constitution revised to run for a third term in office when his second term expires in October 2020. Guinea’s current Constitution limits a president to two term limits.

The NGO Human Rights Watch has called for an end to the repression, the release of those arrested and an investigation into the violence. The authorities have banned all demonstrations since July 2018, but repression has intensified in recent days.

It recalls that in the past it has extensively denounced the “excessive use of lethal force” by Guinean police and gendarmes during demonstrations and acts of brutality against demonstrators. It denounces the “almost total impunity” of the security forces. “The systematic ban on all demonstrations, the arbitrary arrest of civil society leaders and the use of violence to disperse demonstrators show that the government is prepared to trample on human rights to repress the protest,” the statement noted.

The international community is alarmed by the current tensions in a poor country despite its significant mineral resources, with uncertain stability and a tradition of extremely violent protests and repression.

Lady Gaga plummets off stage in a fan’s arms during Vegas show

Lady Gaga fell head over heels off into the audience during the latest date of her Las Vegas residency.

The star had invited a fan called Jack to join her on stage and jumped into his arms – but he lost his footing and the pair plummeted to the floor.

“We legitimately thought she was dead,” wrote one audience member on Reddit.

Instead, Gaga returned to play Million Reasons with Jack at her side. “It’s amazing,” she said. “We love each other so much we fell off the damn stage.”

“We fell into each other’s arms. We’re like Jack and Rose from Titanic.

“I suppose we should have some tea after that.”

Fans were concerned for Gaga’s wellbeing as she lives with fibromyalgia, a rheumatic condition like arthritis that can impair the joints, and cause chronic pain.

In 2013, she had to cancel her Born This Way tour after fracturing her hip.
But the singer shrugged off Thursday night’s fall, calming the audience as security guards helped her to her feet.

“Everything’s OK,” she said. “The only thing that’s not OK is we need some stairs for the damn stage so I can get back up.”

The star also consoled Jack, who was in tears after the accident.

“Don’t worry, everything’s fine. It’s not your fault,” she said, adding: “Could you promise me something? Could you forgive yourself right now for what just happened?”

“She brought him up on stage and asked everyone on the internet to be nice to him,” observed Reddit user UltimaterializerX.

“Poor guy was crying most of the time until she cheered him up.”

Later in the show, Gaga proved the fall had caused no permanent damage by performing an intricate, athletic routine to her signature song, Bad Romance.

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage and sitting

Boris Johnson can’t celebrate his Brexit win for long

Boris Johnson has taken the first step up his Brexit mountain. If he’s careless, he could be buried under an avalanche.

As he travels back to London from Brussels, the British Prime Minister has good reason to feel upbeat. He was told he’d never get a new Brexit deal and that his plans to replace the Irish border backstop were a non-starter. Yet, as his swaggering senior advisers were keen to point out to journalists here in Brussels, he’s proved everyone wrong.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that he might have kicked off a chain of events that could bring his time as Prime Minister to a premature end. He now faces what will be two of the most painful days of his career back in London.
On Friday, Johnson will have to convince lawmakers across the political divide that they should back his new Brexit deal.
It’s a tough ask. The main opposition Labour Party hates the deal, and wants to negotiate its own one and then put that deal to a public referendum. Other opposition parties want to scrap Brexit altogether. His supposed allies in the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party have rubbished his plan and said they won’t support it. And even some hardline Brexiteer members of his own Conservative party are looking shaky.
It’s easy to see why. Johnson’s new deal looks a hell of a lot like Theresa May’s hated deal. In reality, pretty much all that Johnson has done is remove one part of the Withdrawal Agreement — the Irish backstop — and replace it with something much more complicated. And Johnson, it mustn’t be forgotten, voted against May’s deal — twice. His resignation from May’s cabinet over her Brexit plans began the backlash that ultimately ended her premiership.
His reasons for voting against May were numerous and extended well beyond the backstop. And now he, Boris Johnson, must look the Brexiteers he led in the eye and say that his deal is worth £39 billion (about $50 million) where May’s was worth nothing.
That’s Friday. On Saturday, the rubber meets the road, when Johnson will bring his deal before Parliament for a special weekend sitting. He will have to spend the day sat in Parliament listening to his deal be criticized from all corners of the House of Commons. As Johnson’s time at his first, and possibly last, summit as leader of an EU member state came to an end, he told media that he hoped when his “colleagues in parliament study this agreement, they will want to vote for it on Saturday.”
Right now, the numbers are not there for Johnson. Generous predictions currently give him a narrow loss. But if everything falls apart for him in the next 48 hours, it could be a crushing defeat.
If that happens, he will be legally obliged to request an extension to Article 50 and delay Brexit — the one thing he promised he’d never do. At that point, it’s very likely that the gradual slide towards the inevitable general election speeds up. Once the extension has been granted, both Johnson and his opponents will be chomping at the bit to get on the campaign trail. Johnson will point at his enemies and say that they stole Brexit. They will shout back that he is a failure.

Mexico drug wars: Fighting erupts as El Chapo’s son goes free

Heavy fighting broke in northern Mexico after the security forces seized one of the sons of jailed drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Fighting raged for several hours after Ovidio Guzmán López was found during a routine patrol in the city of Culiacán.

Footage on Mexican TV showed armed men with heavy weapons firing on police, with vehicles, bodies and burning barricades strewn across the street.

Mr Guzmán was later released – to avoid further violence, the authorities said.

Mexico’s security minister, Alfonso Durazo, said a patrol of National Guard militarised police came under heavy fire from within the house where Mr Guzmán was being held, forcing them to retreat for their own safety.

Mr Guzmán was arrested but later released, “to avoid more violence in the area and preserve the lives of our personnel and recover calm in the city”, Mr Durazo said.

Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he would hold a meeting of his security cabinet to discuss the incident.

Mr Obrador was elected on a platform of cracking down on Mexico’s drug cartels, and has tasked a new security force, the National Guard, with fighting them.

Under El Chapo’s leadership, the Sinaloa cartel was the biggest supplier of drugs to the US, officials say.

With El Chapo now behind bars, the cartel is said to be partially controlled by Ovidio Guzmán, who is accused of drug trafficking in the US.

Accident Claims 3 Lives in Jarra Bureng

A road accident has claimed 3 lives in the early hours of Wednesday, 16th October 2019.

A 22 – passenger vehicle coming from Basse area collided with a GTSC bus coming from the Kombo end.

According to an eyewitness, the incident occurred in the morning when the van driver was over speeding to overtake a GTSC bus not knowing there was another GTSC bus approaching on the other lane.

3 died instantly including the 32–year–old van driver Alieu Manneh (who sustained severe head injuries) and a 5–year–old girl. The third is an elderly man. Sources also say 16 others have sustained injuries, some of them severe.

This reporter visited RVTH hospital where he saw the dead and survivors who were receiving treatment there.

The police PRO confirmed the three deaths. The police spokesperson narrated the same story as eye witnesses, saying that the van driver was trying to overtake a GTSC bus and in the process, the accident happened. He enjoined drivers to drive carefully to ensure the safety of their passengers.

“Sanna Sabally Was Arrested Because Of Fear” Says Singhatey

Edward Singhatey said Yahya Jammeh feared Sanna Sabally so much so that he ordered for his arrest.

The three were members of the redundant Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) that ended the 29 – years rule of Sir Dawda K. Jawara.

Appearing before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission on Thursday, Singhatey said the relationship of their Council deteriorated and at the end, Sanna Sabally and Sadibou Hydara were arrested on allegation that the two were plotting an upheaval of their government.

He said the attitude of Sanna Sabally towards the then chairman of the Council, Yahya Jammeh changed. He said Sanna Sabally became disrespectful to Jammeh.

“Yahya Jammeh informed me that Sanna Sabally and Sadibou Hydara were going to launch a coup,” Singhatey said.

Singhatey said he was informed by former President Yahya Jammeh that the two were plotting a coup d’état to unseat him. He added that the former head of State informed him that the intention of both Sanna Sabally and Sadibou Hydara were to arrest them and take them to Mile II.

He said this was a time when the relationship among them as members of the defunct Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) deteriorated to a point. He said their relationship began to deteriorate when he chose Jammeh to lead the Council (AFPRC).

“My relationship with Sanna Sabally did deteriorate. We did not see eye to eye. There were problems,” Singhatey said.

He said his first problem with Sanna Sabally was his refusal to return a private vehicle that he seized from a wife of a former secretary general (Sara Janha) under the PPP government. Singhatey said the vehicle does not belong to the Government, but Sanna Sabally was adamant not to return the vehicle to the true owners. He said their second problem was Sanna Sabally’s threat to arrest his mother while he was abroad on an international mission. He said Sabally demanded that the private vehicle he was using in place of his official vehicle which was under repairs at the garage to be handed over to him. He added that the keys were with his mother because he left them with her. He said Sanna Sabally called his family and threatened to arrest his mother if the vehicle is not handed over to him.

“When I came, we held a meeting and we talked about. He apologized and we shook hands but my faith and trust in him dwindled,” he said.

He said Jammeh informed him that both Sabally and Hydara saw him as a close associate of Jammeh and therefore, he would be spared of their intended plan – that is both of them would be arrested and taken to Mile II.

“I have never asked Yahya Jammeh to arrest Sanna Sabally and Sadibou Hydara,” he said.

He said Jammeh informed him that the coup plot would have been launched on the night of the naming ceremony of Sanna Sabally’s child.

“On that night, I was outside my compound with my soldiers waiting for their eminent attack, but Sanna Sabally and Sadibou Hydara never came,” he said.

“Yahya Jammeh was afraid of Sanna Sabally. He was really threatened by Sanna Sabally,” he said.

He said Yahya Jammeh was obstinate that Sanna Sabally and Sadibou Hydara were definitely going to launch the coup.

Singhatey will continue with his testimony on the arrest, detention and torture of Sadibou Hydara and Sanna Sabally.

Fifa U-17 World Cup: Senegal deny claims of age-fraud as they announce squad

Senegal denied reports of age-cheating as their 21-man squad for the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Brazil later this month was announced.

“The Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) wishes to inform the public that, to date, no player from the U-17 national team selected for the Fifa World Cup “Brazil 2019″ has been denied because of fraud on the part of age, as has been relayed by some local media,” the FSF said in a statement.

The tournament begins on 26 October with the final set for 17 November.

Senegal qualified to participate at the World Cup as one of Africa’s four representatives after Guinea were disqualified for fielding over-aged players at the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Tanzania in April.

The FSF stated that its players had undergone the usual MRI tests during that Nations Cup and that Fifa will conduct “random MRI tests (up to 4 players per team) between October 22 and 24 in Brazil.”

Senegal have made three changes to the squad that represented the country at the U-17 Nations Cup in April.

Midfielder El Hadji Gueye and forwards Meleye Diagne and Ousmane Diallo – who were part of that squad in Tanzania – have all been dropped by coach Malick Daf.

They have been replaced by Mamadou Aliou Diallo, Mbaye Ndiaye and France-based Ibrahima Sy who is the only foreign-based player in the squad.

The Teranga Lions cadets’ only goal-scorers at the tournament in Tanzania – Samba Diallo and Aliou Balde – are also on the list.

The other three representatives at Brazil 2019 are the African champions Cameroon, Nigeria and Angola.

Senegal, who are already in Brazil to prepare for the tournament, are in group D alongside USA, Japan and The Netherlands and will face USA in their opening game on 27 October.

They will lock horns with The Netherlands three days later before they play their final group match against Japan on 2 November.

More than 20 killed in Ghana floods

At least 28 people have been killed and several others injured following eight days of torrential rains in north-eastern Ghana.

More than 1,000 houses have been destroyed and several people have been displaced.

Authorities fear the casualty figures could rise.

The country’s National Disaster Management Organisation has started supplying relief items to the victims.

“The latest situational report indicates that 28 people have lost their lives in the Upper East region of the republic of Ghana. The rains are still ongoing. We have about 140 people displaced,” the agency’s spokesman George Ayisi said on Wednesday.

The displaced people are sheltering in churches and schools.

Ghana’s meteorological department has predicted more rains across the country in the coming weeks and has warned of the possibility of more flooding.

Relief organisations have appealed for more support for those affected.

Nigeria’s land borders closed to all goods, official confirms

 
Ban since summer on goods imported via land borders has pushed up food prices and pummeled neighbouring Benin’s economy.
 
Nigeria has closed its land borders to all movement of goods and has no timeline for reopening them, the head of the nation’s customs agency said.
 
“All goods, for now, are banned from being exported or imported through our land borders and that is to ensure that we have total control over what comes in,” Hameed Ali, comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Service told reporters in Abuja this week.
 
President Muhammadu Buhari unexpectedly closed Nigeria’s borders to imported goods in August declaring the time had come to end rampant smuggling across the porous frontiers.
 
The closure has had a devastating effect on Benin, Nigeria’s neighbour to the west, which has been a key exporter of foodstuffs to Africa’s most populous country.
 
It has also pushed up prices for staples such as rice at markets around Nigeria.
 
Ali’s announcement this week was the first official confirmation of a total shutdown in trade across Nigeria’s land borders – including goods that had been moving legally.
 
“We are strategising on how best the goods can be handled when we eventually get to the point where this operation will relax for the influx of goods,” he said.
 
He did not give a timeline for any relaxation of the controls.
 
The closure does not affect Nigeria’s oil exports, which are exported almost entirely via the nation’s ports and offshore oil platforms.
 
Ali said that all imports should now come through the country’s ports where they can be monitored more easily and generate much-needed revenue.
 
Nigeria relies heavily on imports to feed its booming population of some 190 million, but the government is seeking to bolster domestic agriculture as it looks to diversify the oil-dependent economy.
 
Unilateral border closures go against all commercial and freedom of movement treaties signed under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
 
The closure has also cast a shadow over a historic free-trade agreement, signed by 54 out of 55 African countries, that reached a key operational threshold in July.
 
Nigeria, as well as Benin, had signed onto the pact on the eve of the landmark day- a move hailed as a crucial push towards ending the continent’s trade barriers.
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