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Zimbabwe’s President Robert
Mugabe fired the country’s vice
president, Joice Mujuru, overnight.
Mugabe fired Mujuru and
eight other Cabinet ministers
with immediate effect, according
to a statement released by the
“It had become evident that her
conduct in the discharge of her
duties had become inconsistent
with the expected standard,
official responsibilities and private
interests,” the statement issued by
the cabinet secretary, on behalf of
Mugabe recently accused Mujuru
of plotting to assassinate him and
branded her a witch. Mujuru and
her allies were kicked out of their
senior positions in the ruling
party, Zanu-PF, at a meeting last
weekend. The 90-year-old president
said he would, however, allow them
to retain ordinary membership of
Mugabe has also accused Mujuru
of holding secret meetings at the
United States Embassy in Harare.
Mujuru has denied the claims,
calling them “ridiculous” in her first
public statement, released a day
before she was fired.
“I have become the fly in a web
of lies whose final objective is the
destruction of Zanu-PF,” Mujuru
said in a statement overnight.
Mujuru, who has been a member
of Mugabe’s cabinet since he
became president in 1980, said no
evidence has ever been brought
Mujuru is the first vice president
to be fired since Zimbabwe gained
independence in 1980. Her four
predecessors all died in office.
The ministers of energy, education,
public ser vice and social welfare,
presidential affairs, communication
and postal ser vices are among the
other members of Cabinet who
were fired. — AP
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 7
Britain’s Prince William and his
wife Kate have visited the 9-11
memorial in the pouring rain,
placing a bouquet at one of the
reflection pools on the final day of
their New York tour.
It was a sombre start to the day
after a night spent hanging with
American basketball superstar
LeBron James and chatting to
music power couple Beyonce
The National September 11
Memorial is dedicated to the
memory of nearly 3000 people
killed in the 2001 al Qaeda strikes
on the World Trade Centre, as
well as six people who died in a
first attack on the Twin Towers in
The Duke and Duchess of
Cambridge paused for a moment
of contemplation at one of the
memorial’s two reflecting pools,
shielded from the chilly rain by
large black umbrellas.
The names of every person who
died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks
are inscribed into bronze panels
along the edges of the pools,
which are built in the footprint of
the Twin Towers.
Five months pregnant with
her second child, Kate wore her
hair pulled back in a sleek pony
tail, while William wore a dark
The royal couple were greeted
by 9-11 Memorial president
Joe Daniels before visiting the
museum, built into the bedrock
of the Twin Towers and which
documents the 2001 attacks, their
impact and legacy.
The royal couple’s lightning
three-day visit — their first to
America’s biggest city — is a mix
of diplomacy, supporting their
favourite causes and promoting
Second in line to the throne after
his father Prince Charles, William
is increasingly taking on more
long-haul work for the British
monarchy as Queen Elizabeth II
approaches her 90s. — AFP
Royals on US tour
Prince William talks to rapper Jay Z at an NBA game overnight.
Sinead O’Connor, long a critic of
church and state in Ireland, says she is
joining the Irish nationalist Sinn Fein
party — and wants its leaders to step
aside for younger voices free of IRA
The 48-year-old singer, who recently
released her 10th album I’m Not Bossy,
I’m the Boss, says Sinn Fein is the only
left-wing party able to steer Ireland
toward social equality.
But O’Connor says senior figures Gerry
Adams and Martin McGuinness, who
oversaw the outlawed Irish Republican
Army, should retire. The 66-year-old
Adams has led Sinn Fein since 1983.
She told Facebook followers:
“There’d be a zillion per cent increase
in membership of Sinn Fein if the
leadership were handed over to those
born from 1983-1985 onward and no
one associated in people’s minds with
frightful things.” — AP
Sinead O’Connor joins
Irish political party
Eleven people including many high
school students have been killed after
a bomb exploded aboard a bus in the
southern Philippines, the military says.
The bus operated by the Rural Transit
company was travelling through the
town of Maramag in the strife-torn
island of Mindanao when the bomb
went off, regional spokesman Major
Christian Uy said.
The blast also injured 21 people.
Many of the victims were high school
students who had just boarded the bus as
it passed a school in the town, lieutenant
Norman Tagros, spokesman for a local
infantry brigade, said.
The bomb went off almost immediately
after the students got on.
Tagros said extortion was being eyed
as the likely motive. The bombing was
the latest in a series of attacks on the bus
Last month a bomb exploded aboard a
Rural Transit bus in Mindanao, leaving
four people injured.
Ten people were killed when a bomb
exploded aboard a bus operated by the
same company on Mindanao in 2010,
which was blamed on an extortion
scheme linked to Muslim extremists.
Armed groups have proliferated in
the southern Philippines since Muslim
guerrillas began fighting in the 1970s to
set up an Islamic state in that part of the
largely Christian Philippines. — AFP
11 dead in Philippines bus bombing
Two prisoners were killed, three were
injured and 13 escaped in India’s eastern
state of Jharkhand overnight after they
threw chilli powder in the faces of police
bringing them back to jail from a court
Police said the two prisoners under
trial, suspected of being Maoist
insurgents, were killed in a shootout in
front of the jail in the town of Chaibasa,
in the mineral-rich district of West
Jharkhand police spokesman Anurag
Gupta said police had launched a search
operation to capture the fugitives who
were among a group of 54 prisoners
being brought back from the court.
“Police have identified all the prisoners
that have escaped,” Gupta said. “As per
information available, only one of those
escaped is an important Maoist — the
others are criminals facing different
Jharkhand, car ved out of the state of
Bihar in 2000, is part of the so-called
Naxalite belt that runs down India’s
eastern flank and is the scene of a tribal
insurgency that has defied government
efforts to enforce order.
The state, which has a population of
33 million, is holding elections to its
assembly with Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata party
hoping to achieve gains. — Reuters
A fourth Qantas plane has been forced
to turn back mid-flight, marking the
second day of technical difficulties for
the national carrier.
The Boeing 717 was forced to turn
back 20 minutes into its flight from
Hobart to Melbourne yesterday evening
after an indicator light in the cockpit
reportedly went off.
The Boeing 717, which holds 110
passengers, is being assessed by engineers
in Hobart, the ABC reports.
It was the fourth time in two days a
Qantas plane had been forced to make
an unscheduled landing.
Qantas chief Alan Joyce earlier played
down the recent aircraft troubles, saying
such events “happen all the time”.
“ We have really high reliability. We
have low levels of turnbacks compared
to most of the world fleets,” Mr Joyce
Yesterday an unplanned landing
involved a Qantas flight on the way to
About four hours into the flight, the
aircraft was turned back to Sydney
because of problems with the in-flight
entertainment system and troubles with
some of the toilets.
Earlier, two planes made unscheduled
landings at Perth Airport because of an
unusual odour, a faulty warning system
and issues with the air-conditioning
Mr Joyce says airlines turned back
“thousands upon thousands” of flights
across the globe every year because of
issues affecting passenger comfort and
safety. — AAP
back in two days
Football’s World Cup and the Ebola
outbreak topped the list of topics most
shared by Facebook users around the
globe in 2014.
The World Cup was the most shared
item globally, followed by the Ebola
crisis, Brazilian elections, the death of
actor Robin Williams and the ice bucket
challenge to raise funds for research on
Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Rounding out the top 10 were the
conflict in Gaza, Malaysia Airlines —
which lost two aircraft during the year
American football’s Super Bowl, the
Ferguson, Missouri protests over the
police shooting death of an unarmed
black man, and the Sochi Winter
But the most shared items varied
considerably in different countries.
In the United States, Ebola and the
ice bucket challenge were the top two
items, followed by Robin Williams, the
Super Bowl and the Ferguson, Missouri
protests. The World Cup was No 6 for
United States users.
Britain’s most shared topic was the
Scottish referendum, followed by the ice
bucket challenge and the World Cup.
In Australia, Robin Williams topped
the list followed by Prime Minister
Tony Abbott and Malaysia Airlines.
World Cup, Ebola top Facebook sharing list
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