Turkey-Syria earthquake: Rescuers battle snowstorm to find survivors as death toll nears 4500
The death toll from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that ripped through Turkey and Syria on Monday has now climbed past 4,300 people.
Yunus Sezer, Turkey’s head of disaster services, said at least 2,921 people were killed and more than 15,800 others injured.
In neighboring Syria, at least 1,451 people have died, SANA, the Syrian state news agency, reports.
After the initial earthquake, a series of aftershocks reverberated throughout the day with the largest coming about nine hours after as a second quake that measured 7.5 in magnitude.
Nearly 1,000 search and rescue volunteers have been deployed from Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, along with dogs, trucks, and aid.
A host of countries have also sent rescue workers to help the disaster-struck region where a frantic effort to find and free trapped civilians is underway but a raging rain and snowstorm is hampering efforts.
Poor internet connections and damaged roads between some of the worst-hit Turkish cities, homes to millions of people, have also hindered efforts to assess the impact and plan help.
Residents of the southern Turkish province of Hatay told Reuters that they have had little help since Monday’s earthquakes.
Weeping in the rain, a resident who gave his name as Deniz wrung his hands in despair.
“They’re making noises but nobody is coming,” Reuter quoted him to have said.
“We’re devastated, we’re devastated. My God … They’re calling out. They’re saying, ‘Save us’ but we can’t save them. How are we going to save them? There has been nobody since the morning.”
Rescuers are working around the clock leaving them “very exhausted” as they wait for more aid.
23 dead, many injured as tornado rips through Mississippi
At least 23 people have died after a tornado tore through the US state of Mississippi on Friday night.
Dozens of residents have been injured while four persons are said to be missing.
The numbers are expected to rise as search efforts are underway to rescue people thought to be trapped under knocked-off buildings, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MSEMA).
The tornado caused devastation in several rural towns, yanking roofs off homes, nearly levelling some neighbourhoods and causing power outages.
Videos shared on social media showed piles of rubble, wrecked cars and search teams sifting through debris for survivors.
Uganda passes law criminalising identifying as LGBTQ
A new law in Uganda makes it a crime to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ).
The law which was passed on Tuesday in parliament includes penalties such as life imprisonment and death penalty.
BODEX BLOG had reported how the east African country was considering passing the law.
The proposed bill also threatened landlords who rent houses to gay people with a prison sentence.
According to Human Rights Watch, Uganda’s new law is the first to punish those merely identifying as LGBTQ.
The country’s penal codes permit life imprisonment for same-sex relations but the new law passes a death sentence for “aggravated homosexuality”.
Aggravated homosexuality involves gay sex with people under the age of 18 or when the perpetrator is HIV positive, among other categories, according to the law.
As well as making identifying as gay illegal, friends, family and members of the community would have a duty to report individuals in same-sex relationships to the authorities.
People who “promote” homosexuality and “abet” and “conspire” to engage in same-sex relations also face threats.
Videos on social media showed widespread support in Uganda’s parliament after the bill was passed.
Cheers and applause in Uganda parliament as new bill making it illegal to identify as LGBT passes https://t.co/qkPQsB5nNe pic.twitter.com/Svmasv95qQ— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 22, 2023
Human right groups and LGBTQ activists have since kicked against Uganda’s new law, saying it is “repressive” and would lead to fear of more attacks on gay people in the already deeply conservative east African country.
Same-sex relations are banned in about 30 African countries including Nigeria.
ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin over war crimes in Ukraine
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.
In a press statement on Friday, the ICC said the warrant became necessary following the applications submitted by the prosecution on February 22, 2023.
The ICC said Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the crimes committed in Ukrainian territory from February 24, 2022.
The court also issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the office of the president of the Russian Federation, on similar allegations.
“Today, 17 March 2023, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”) issued warrants of arrest for two individuals in the context of the situation in Ukraine: Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Ms Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova,” the statement reads.
“Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born on 7 October 1952, President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of the population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute).
“The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian-occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes, (i) for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others, and/or through others (article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute),
“And (ii) for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission, and who were under his effective authority and control, pursuant to superior responsibility (article 28(b) of the Rome Statute).
“Ms Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, born on 25 October 1984, Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute).
“The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian-occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Ms Lvova-Belova bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes, for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others (article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute).”
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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.
She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others
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