Africa’s first World Cup semi-finals, Germany’s foiled coup, Peru’s first female leader, others make global headlines

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Africa, for the first time in the history of the World Cup, entered the semi-finals on Saturday after Morocco beat Ronaldo’s Portugal 1-0.

The match that launched Morocco into the semi-finals ended with cheers and tears. While Morocco and its supporters made merry on the landmark win, Portugal’s Ronaldo just like Uruguay’s Suarez could not hold back the tears pouring from his eyes as he walked down the tunnel.

Morocco will play France on Wednesday, 14 December and may proceed to the finals, if they win while Croatia will play Argentina on Tuesday, 13 December.

Germany’s foiled coup

Police escort Prince Heinrich XIII P R in Frankfurt [Tilman Blasshofer/Reuters TV via Reuters]

25 people were arrested on Wednesday across Germany in connection to a plot to overthrow the government.

Germany’s federal prosecutor, according to news reports, said the 25 were supporters of the far-right group, Reichsbuerger Movement, who planned to storm the parliament by force to install as national leader a prince who had sought support from Russia.

Russia, however, has denied involvement in the plot.

About 3,000 officers conducted the raids at 130 sites across 11 German federal states against adherents of the so-called Reich Citizens Movement.

About 22 of the arrested individuals were German citizens and were detained on suspicion of “membership in a terrorist organisation” while three others allegedly supported the organisation, including a Russian citizen.

Peru’s first female leader

Dina Boluarte [PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters]
Dina Boluarte [PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters]

Peru on Wednesday swore in its first female leader following a long day of political imbroglio which saw the impeachment of former president Pedro Castillo.

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Dina Boluarte, 60, was vice to Mr Castillo who was impeached on Wednesday after announcing a state of emergency and the dissolution of parliament.

Following Mr Castillo’s impeachment, Ms Boluarte was called upon to take over leadership of the South American country. She was sworn in as president and would be in office till 2026.

She condemned her predecessor’s attempt to dissolve parliament, describing it as an attempted coup.

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She called for a political truce after months of instability, including two prior impeachment attempts, and said a new cabinet inclusive of all political stripes would be formed.

Ms Boluarte on Saturday amidst protests blocking highways and causing unrest, swore in a cabinet of 19 ministers with eight of them being women.

France24 reported that protests took a violent turn Saturday in the southern Andean city of Andahuaylas, where police used tear gas to quell thousands of marchers, some of whom used slingshots to repel police.

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Twenty people — including four police — were injured in the clashes, the national human rights ombudsman’s office said in a tweet. Two police officers who were taken hostage by protesters were later freed.

Iran begins protest-related execution

Moshen Shekari executed Iranian protester ( Photo Credit: iranintl)
Moshen Shekari executed Iranian protester ( Photo Credit: iranintl)

In the first publicly known execution, Iran on Thursday announced the execution of Mohsen Shekari, as identified by the official news website of the Iranian judiciary.

He was convicted for an alleged crime stemming from the country’s ongoing protests. He was convicted of “waging war against God” for allegedly attacking a security officer with a knife and closing off a street in Tehran.

Mr Shekari’s trial was with the speed of light as the judiciary said there was just over a month between the man’s first court session and his execution.

He was arrested on 25 September, just over a week after protests erupted across Iran following the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by the country’s morality police for allegedly not adhering to Iran’s mandatory dress code for women.

He received his preliminary death sentence on 20 November and was executed on Thursday morning shortly after being upheld by the country’s Supreme Court.

The UN and several western nations condemned Iran for the act.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Tuerk said he found the execution to be “very troubling and clearly designed to send a chilling effect to the rest of the protesters.”

The United States and Canada said in a joint statement Friday that they “have taken coordinated sanctions against Iranian officials connected to human rights abuses, including those committed as part of the ongoing brutal crackdown aimed at denying the Iranian people their human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Undeterred, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi was quoted by VOA as saying “the identification, trial and punishment of the perpetrators of the martyrdom [killing] of security forces will be pursued with determination.”

Climate action or Climate hypocrisy: UK approves coal mine

West Cumbria Mining Company to construct new coal mine. [PHOTO CREDIT: Metro UK]
West Cumbria Mining Company to construct new coal mine. [PHOTO CREDIT: Metro UK]

One year after convincing the world to consign coal to history, the UK on Wednesday approved a new coal mine.

Michael Gove, UK’s housing and communities secretary approved the plan to open the coal mine in Cumbria.

The proposed mine would dig up cooking coal for steel production in the UK and across the world.

Coal is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels, producing almost twice the emissions of natural gas.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo, others want conversations on climate change 

In defence of an outright violation of its own campaign against fossil fuels, supporters of the mine say it would create 500 jobs and cut coal importation.

The mine had initially received approval in 2020 but was halted in 2021 following the UK’s presidency of the Cop26.

While proponents of the coal mine say it will not affect the UK’s commitment, Alok Sharma, COP26 president, insists it will be a backward step for UK climate action and also damage the UK’s hard-won international reputation, through its COP26 Presidency, as a leader in the global fight against climate change.

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