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Beijing lifts orders requiring people to wear masks outdoors

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Residents of Beijing no longer have to wear masks outdoors, in a further sign of China’s success at suppressing coronavirus.

Health authorities in the city have relaxed rules which previously made it mandatory to cover your face when outside your home after 13 days in a row with no new cases of Covid-19.

The rules on masks have previously been lifted before in April, although a second lockdown was then imposed to control a new outbreak of the virus in June.

It is not just the capital that is seeing progress in eradicating coronavirus – China has reported no new locally-transmitted infections on its mainland territory for five days.

Analysts say strict enforcement of local lockdowns has been behind China’s success in the pandemic, including mandatory mask-wearing, mass testing, and in places enforced home quarantines.

Although there have not been any reports of locally derived cases, there were 22 new imported cases of Covid-19 reported on Thursday. Most non-Chinese citizens are now being barred for entering the country.

The relaxing of the mask ordnance in the capital is the latest sign China appears to be gradually returning to normal.

Earlier this week pictures of thousands of people in Wuhan – the city where the pandemic began – cramming into a water park, unmasked and not socially distancing, went viral online.

Many in the West expressed astonishment that lockdown measures were being rolled back in the country where coronavirus first erupted, while many other nations are seeing case numbers and deaths rise.

Despite the easing of restrictions in Beijing, some residents said they would continue to mask up for the time being.

Some said they would feel safer if they carried on wearing masks, while others feared social opprobrium if they appeared in public to not be taking others’ health seriously.

“I think I can take off my mask anytime, but I’ll need to see if others accept it. Because I’m afraid that people would be scared if they see me not wearing a mask,” one 24-year old Beijing woman who gave her name as Cao told the Reuters news agency.

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Jilted taxi driver commits suicide after killing girlfriend who dumped him

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An investigation into the death of a 45-year-old taxi driver identified as Emmanuel Kwakye and his alleged girlfriend Georgina Lamisi Awuni Sayel has been initiated by the police in Cape Coast.

Kwakye’s lifeless body was found hanging on a tree at Bronyibima M.A. Basic school on Tuesday, September 22, while Sayel was also found dead in his room, a development that fueled suspicion of him committing suicide after killing his girlfriend of three years who ended their relationship.

The bodies were discovered after Kwakye’s friend filed a missing person complaint with the University of Cape Coast’s police station, Ghana.

It was gathered that a deep stab wound was found on Lamisi’s left rib with her bra and dress stained with blood. Further checks in the room revealed a kitchen knife with a bloodstain on it.

 

Jilted taxi driver commits suicide after killing girlfriend who dumped him

 

Insiders alleged that Kwakye and Lamisi dated for three years and he allegedly sponsored her tertiary education at the Ola College of Education in Cape Coast. Upon completing her tertiary education, Lamisi ended their relationship and left Kwakye heartbroken.

It is speculated that the jilted man killed his girlfriend out of vengeance as all effort to get her back was futile. Their bodies have been deposited at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital Mortuary.

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#Coup: ECOWAS court hears on Mali sanctions Friday

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The ECOWAS Court of Justice will on Friday begin hearing of the suit instituted by two Malian groups challenging the legality of the August 18, 2020 sanctions imposed on Mali following the military coup against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

A statement by the media unit of the ECOWAS Court stated that the suit was instituted by the two groups on September 9, 2020, against the ECOWAS Commission and Ivory Coast, one of the countries implementing the sanctions via closure of borders against Mali.
The statement added that the plaintiffs, Malian Coalition and the Consumers Association of Mali, both registered in the country, had filed interlocutory applications that would be heard on Friday.

The plaintiffs prayed the court in the applications to issue orders suspending the sanctions which were announced by the ECOWAS Commission and for the accelerated hearing of the substantive suit challenging the sanctions.

In the suit marked ECW/CCJ/APP/36/20, the two associations claimed that the President of the Commission acted ultra vires in imposing the sanctions, as the procedure was not in conformity with the relevant ECOWAS texts under which sanctions should be brought against member states for failure to honour their obligations to the Community as this is reserved for Heads of State and Government of the Community.

The plaintiffs, who are being represented by Mr Modibo Diakite, Mr Oumar Tounkara, Mr Abdrahamane Diallo. Mr Maxime Poma and the law firm of SCP d’Avocats Do-Fini Consult claimed that the sanctions, which were enforced by neighbours Ivory Coast and Niger with the closure of their borders, were negatively impacting on a population already “bruised by insecurity, the COVID-19 pandemic as well as poor governance.”

The groups claimed that the sanctions constitute not only the violation of the right of the people of Mali to the freedom of movement guaranteed in ECOWAS texts but also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the economic, social, and cultural rights of Malian citizens in the community as well as their right to non-discrimination.

Among the reliefs sought is an order for the payment of compensation for prejudices suffered in the sum of 1,000,000 CFA francs for each individual, another 10,000,000 CFA francs for each legal person as well as the payment of the same amount for the violation of human rights.

They also prayed the court to order Ivory Coast to pay a symbolic 1 CFA to the plaintiffs for the violation of their human rights through the discriminatory treatment of Malians.
The statement added, “A three-member panel of the court comprising Honorable Justices Dupe Atoki (presiding), Keikura Bangura and Januária Tavares Silva Moreira Costa will hear the case.

“The proceeding can be followed via “Zoom” using the ID: 849 4983 1562 with the passcode: 650799 on Friday, September 25, 2020 by 10am.”

 

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Eiffel Tower evacuated for two hours after bomb threat —Police

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The Eiffel Tower in Paris was evacuated for two hours Wednesday after an anonymous caller threatened to blow up the great edifice in the heart of the French capital, police said.

After an inspection, nothing suspicious was found and the Eiffel Tower was able to reopen to visitors.

“A man phoned up, shouted ‘Allah Akbar’ and said he was going to ‘blow up everything’” at the Eiffel Tower, said a police source, who asked not to be named.

A security cordon was put around the monument, traffic diverted and the Eiffel Tower evacuated at 12:15 pm (1015 GMT).

Its operator SETE said in a statement that after a thorough search nothing was found and the tower was able to reopen at 2:15 pm.

The monument had reopened on June 26 after its longest closure since World War II forced by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Eiffel Tower usually receives about seven million visitors a year, some three-quarters from abroad, although even after reopening numbers are down sharply due to travel restrictions amid the pandemic.

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