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Tanzania cancels Independence Day celebration, to use $445k budget for school dormitories

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Tanzania’s President Samia Hassan has cancelled the country’s Independence Day celebration.

The Independence Day celebration was scheduled to hold on Friday.

Hassan, the country’s first female president, directed that the event’s budget of $445,000 be used to build eight dormitories for children with special needs in primary schools around the country.

She said the unnecessary extravagance of the celebrations informed her decision to use the allocated budget to handle a more urgent project.

In a statement on Monday, George Simbachawene, the country’s minister of state, said the money had already been disbursed.

“The debates and conferences will be preceded by various schedules for regional and district leaders to carry out social activities in different areas including cleaning hospitals, schools, elderly homes and groups with special needs,” he added.

The funds will be channeled to the schools through the president’s office – regional administration and local government (PO-RALG).

This is not the first time Tanzania has cancelled the celebrations.

In 2015, former President John Magufuli diverted the Independence Day funds towards the building of a road in Dar es Salaam, the country’s commercial capital.

In 2020, he did the same and directed that the budget be used to support medical facilities.

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41 passengers killed as bus plunges off bridge in Pakistan

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At least 41 people have been killed after a passenger bus fell into a ravine in Lasbela, Pakistan on Sunday morning.

A ravine is a narrow steep-sided valley that is larger than a gully and smaller than a canyon.

Hamza Anjum, Lasbela’s assistant commissioner, told Dawn, a local news site, that the bus caught fire after it crashed into the ravine.

Nearly 48 passengers were on board, he added.

“Due to speeding, the coach crashed into the pillar of a bridge while taking a U-turn near Lasbela. The vehicle subsequently careened into a ravine and then caught fire,” Dawn quoted Anjum as saying.

“It is feared that the driver may have fallen asleep,” News18, another news site, quoted the commissioner as saying.

Anjum said the bodies were charred beyond recognition, adding that DNA tests would be used to determine the identity of the remains which had been “badly mutilated”.

“We will investigate the causes of the accident,” he said.

Three people, including a child and a woman, had earlier been rescued alive. However, one of the injured persons died from injuries on the way to the hospital.

Anjum said the number of casualties could further increase to 48, adding that a rescue operation was ongoing.

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US imposes visa ban on Nigerians complicit in undermining recent election

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The United States says it has imposed visa ban on certain individuals in Nigeria for “undermining democracy” in the country.

In a statement on Wednesday, Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, said the actions were taken after it was observed that some persons were found found complicit in undermining democracy in Nigeria.

The most recent elections in Nigeria were the Ekiti and Osun governorship polls.

According to Blinken, the bans were a show of commitment and support to strengthening democracy in Nigeria.

“Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process in a recent Nigerian election,” the statement reads.

“Under Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, these individuals will be found ineligible for visas to the United States under a policy to restrict visas of those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.”

The ban may also affect certain family members of the affected individuals.

Blinken also said the restrictions were not targeted at the general populace of the country or the government, but that it was aimed at curbing corruption.

“The visa restrictions announced today are specific to certain individuals and are not directed at the Nigerian people or the Government of Nigeria,” the statement reads.

“The decision to impose visa restrictions reflects the commitment of the United States to support Nigerian aspirations to combat corruption and strengthen democracy and the rule of law.

“Additional persons who undermine the democratic process in Nigeria—including in the lead-up to, during, and following Nigeria’s 2023 elections—may be found ineligible for U.S. visas.”

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Adani Group, owned by world’s third richest man, has been accused of account manipulation

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The shares of the Indian conglomerate Adani Group plummeted on Wednesday morning after activist investing company Hindenburg Research accused it of fraud.

Hindenburg Research said that Adani Group companies, which are owned by the world’s third-richest person Gautam Adani, “engaged in a brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades”.

The accusation: In the report released Wednesday morning, Hindenburg further warned that “even if you ignore the results of our investigation, Adani Group’s core listed companies have 85% downside merely on a fundamental basis owing to sky-high valuations.”

Adani Group responds: In a statement shared with Forbes, Jugeshinder Singh, Adani Group’s Chief Financial Officer, said the conglomerate was shocked by the Hindenburg report. He described it as “a malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless, and discredited allegations”.

Singh further noted that the timing of the report, coming days ahead of a share offer by Adani Enterprises, was intended to “undermine the Adani Group’s reputation” and damage demand for the upcoming offering. He added that the group “has always been in compliance with all laws”.

The statement added that the company was never contacted by Hindenburg and criticizes the timing of the report’s publication, saying it “clearly betrays a brazen, mala fide intention to undermine the Adani Group’s reputation with the principal objective of damaging the upcoming Follow-on Public Offering from Adani Enterprises.

Adani shares plummet: In the meantime, the Shares in seven listed Adani Group companies were down 4.6 per cent on average in afternoon trading in Mumbai, with those in flagship business Adani Enterprises falling as much as 3.7 per cent.

The declines brought the combined loss in market capitalization for Adani Group stocks to about Rs762 billion ($9.4 billion).

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