Friday, February 23

World

Christopher Saunders: Former Bishop of Broome charged with rape in Australia
World

Christopher Saunders: Former Bishop of Broome charged with rape in Australia

Australian bishop Christopher Saunders has been charged with rape and a string of historical sex offences - some against children.The 74-year-old was arrested in Broome on Wednesday, after parallel investigations ordered by Western Australia police and the Pope.Mr Saunders has indicated he will plead not guilty to all charges against him.He is one of the most senior Catholic clerics to face charges of this nature.Mr Saunders is charged with two counts of rape, 14 counts of unlawful and indecent assault, and three counts of indecently dealing with a child as a person in authority.The alleged offending occurred in the remote West Australian towns of Broome, Kununurra and the Aboriginal community of Kalumburu between 2008 and 2014.He was released on bail on Th...
Special forces blocked UK resettlement applications from elite Afghan troops
World

Special forces blocked UK resettlement applications from elite Afghan troops

Image caption,Some of the commandos from Triples units, pictured training with British troops, are now in hiding in AfghanistanUK Special Forces blocked Afghan troops they had fought alongside from relocating to the UK after the Taliban seized power, BBC Panorama can reveal.Leaked documents show special forces rejected applications despite some containing compelling evidence of service alongside the British military.Afghan commandos accompanied British special forces on some of the most dangerous missions of the conflict.The Ministry of Defence said it was conducting an independent review.When the Taliban swept to power in August 2021, members of Afghan Special Forces units CF 333 and ATF 444 - known as the "Triples" - were among the groups most at risk of reprisal, ha...
William Ruto and Bola Tinubu: Africa’s ‘flying presidents’ under fire
World

William Ruto and Bola Tinubu: Africa’s ‘flying presidents’ under fire

Image caption,Critics have targeted both Kenyan President William Ruto (L) and Nigerian President Bola Tinubu (R) for the number of trips they have madeSince Kenya's William Ruto and Nigeria's Bola Tinubu became presidents, they have faced similar criticism over their frequent trips abroad.The two men have been the subject of unflattering descriptions - the costs associated with their alleged penchant for air travel often contrasted with tough economic conditions at home.A Kenyan newspaper, the Standard, nicknamed Mr Ruto the "Flying President". It said "so great is his love for flying that it appears that he cannot pass up any opportunity" despite pressing domestic demands, such as dealing with the high cost of living.Last month, as Mr Tinubu made yet another trip to Euro...
Papua New Guinea ambush: Dozens shot dead in Highlands region
World

Papua New Guinea ambush: Dozens shot dead in Highlands region

Image caption,The Highlands region has long struggled with tribal violenceDozens of people have died in a tribal dispute in Papua New Guinea's remote Highlands region, authorities say.The victims were shot dead during an ambush in the Enga province over the weekend, a national police spokesman told the BBC.The Highlands area has long struggled with violence, but these killings are believed to be the worst in years.An influx of illegal firearms have made clashes more deadly and fuelled a cycle of violence.Authorities initially said at least 64 people have died. But later reports said they had miscounted and revised the toll down to 26. The BBC has asked the Papua New Guinea police for confirmation.Police started collecting bodies at the scene near the town of Wabag ...
Sacked Twitter staff in Ghana finally get pay-off
World

Sacked Twitter staff in Ghana finally get pay-off

Image caption,Twitter, now X, staff in Ghana at the time of the takeover, many of whom subsequently lost their jobsX, formerly known as Twitter, has finally paid off the staff it sacked in its African headquarters more than a year after they were laid off, the agency which represents them has said.Most had only been in the job, based in Ghana's capital, Accra, for a few months when the social media platform fired them in November 2022.They had threatened to take X to court for failing to pay the redundancy money they said they were promised.The company has not commented.X has previously said that it had paid ex-employees in full.Elon Musk, who took over the company in 2022, embarked on a massive global cull of employees, sacking more than 6,000 people. He had said ...
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Rejects Hamas Ceasefire Proposal, Prepares for Military Action
World

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Rejects Hamas Ceasefire Proposal, Prepares for Military Action

In a decisive move, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rebuffed a ceasefire proposal from Hamas, signaling a continuation of the ongoing violence in Gaza. Netanyahu's rejection dashes hopes for an immediate pause to the conflict that has gripped the region.Moreover, Netanyahu announced that Israeli forces have been instructed to prepare for operations in Rafah, a city situated on Gaza's border with Egypt. Rafah serves as a refuge for over one million Palestinians, representing more than half of the territory's entire population.The ceasefire proposal put forward by Hamas, as reported by a Lebanese daily newspaper with access to insiders, outlined terms calling for Israeli forces to eventually withdraw entirely from Gaza. Additionally, Hamas proposed the release of Palestinia...
U.S. Drone Strike Kills Kata’ib Hezbollah Leader in Baghdad, Pentagon Confirms
World

U.S. Drone Strike Kills Kata’ib Hezbollah Leader in Baghdad, Pentagon Confirms

In a targeted drone strike in Baghdad, a senior leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah, a militia group implicated in recent attacks against American personnel, was killed, announced the Pentagon. The strike, conducted by U.S. Special Operations, aimed to dismantle the militia's leadership structure.According to both Kata’ib Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, two commanders were among those killed in the operation. However, Iraq’s security services condemned the strike, citing a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and warning of potential repercussions in the region.Kata’ib Hezbollah, recognized as an Iranian proxy operating in Iraq, has long been designated a terrorist organization by the United States. The recent drone strike follows a retaliatory campaign initiated by President Biden ...
Diplomatic Tensions Rise as Burkina Faso Considers Consultation with Mali and Niger on Trade Decisions
World

Diplomatic Tensions Rise as Burkina Faso Considers Consultation with Mali and Niger on Trade Decisions

In a move that has potential diplomatic ramifications, Burkina Faso's Military leader, Ibrahim Traoré, has announced that his country will engage in consultations with Mali and Niger to make a final decision on whether to permit Ghanaian traders and other West African nationals to conduct business within their borders.Traoré affirmed Burkina Faso's commitment to pan-Africanism, expressing openness to Africans wishing to visit the country. However, he stated that a conclusive determination on trade matters, particularly involving Ghana, Nigeria, and other West African countries, would be reached after consultations among the leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger."We remain pan-African. Anyone in Africa or an African who wants to come to Burkina is welcomed. We will decide what measur...
US ambassador applauds Liberia for setting an example
World

US ambassador applauds Liberia for setting an example

EPACopyright: EPAThe US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield has rated Liberia as an example for democracy for the whole of Africa. Following her recent visit of the region, she told journalists in New York that with the second post-civil war democratic transition and a sitting president gracefully accepting defeat, Liberia “is truly an example for not just West Africa, but the entire continent of Africa". "We really should commend Liberians for that success," she said. Her comments follow a spate of coups in the region which some have equated to a lack of faith in democracy in the region. President Joseph Boakai was sworn in a fortnight ago after he defeated football icon turned President, George Weah, by a slight margin. Ambassador Greenfield attended the ceremony ...
US approves plan to strike Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq, officials say
World

US approves plan to strike Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq, officials say

The US has approved plans for a series of strikes on Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq, officials have told the BBC's US partner CBS News.The strikes would take place over a number of days, officials say, and weather conditions will likely dictate when they are launched.It comes after a drone attack killed three US soldiers in Jordan, near the Syrian border, on Sunday.The US has blamed an Iranian-backed militia group for the attack.The Islamic Resistance in Iraq - which is believed to contain multiple militias that have been armed, funded and trained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards force - has said it was responsible for the strike.Iran has denied any role in the attack which injured 41 other US troops at the military base.While US officials h...