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Fight erupts in Bolivian Parliament over jailed governor

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A heated debate over the fate of a jailed governor escalated into a physical altercation on the floor of the Bolivian parliament, prompting condemnations from leaders across the political spectrum.

The incident, which occurred on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, unfolded as rival lawmakers engaged in a fierce dispute regarding the imprisonment of a governor described by the opposition as a political prisoner.

The brawl, involving only women lawmakers, erupted when pro-government MPs attempted to seize placards held by opposition members bearing messages such as “With political prisoners, there is no democracy.”

The confrontation quickly spiraled out of control as punches and kicks were exchanged among the furious politicians. While some lawmakers expressed regret over the incident, others engaged in a blame game, with one even announcing her intention to pursue legal action.

The altercation underscored the deepening polarisation within Bolivia, a country where the opposition claims nearly 180 political prisoners are being held.

The confrontation unfolded during a session where Minister of Government Eduardo del Castillo delivered a report on the arrest of Luis Fernando Camacho, a conservative governor from the Santa Cruz region and a prominent opposition figure.

Del Castillo, a member of the leftist government led by President Luis Arce, staunchly defended the legality of Camacho’s arrest and levied harsh criticisms against members of Camacho’s party. Referring to them as “radical, thieving, violent groups that came to steal the wallets of the Bolivian people,” the minister further escalated tensions in an already charged atmosphere.

As Del Castillo spoke, opposition lawmakers brandished banners and placards, labeling him the “minister of terror.”

Attempts to seize the signs ignited the violent confrontation involving approximately 20 lawmakers. The brawl lasted several minutes but concluded without any severe injuries reported.

In response to the incident, Vice President David Choquehuanca, who also serves as the president of Congress, pledged to convene a meeting between the two political factions to address the underlying issues and prevent such scenes from recurring in the future.

The arrest of Luis Fernando Camacho, the conservative governor of Bolivia’s influential Santa Cruz region, on terrorism charges triggered widespread protests throughout the country. Camacho, a leading opposition figure, was implicated in the ouster of leftist President Evo Morales in 2019. Morales resigned amid military withdrawal of support and widespread strikes and protests following disputed elections, during which he sought a fourth term.

Camacho’s detention mirrored the 2021 arrest of former president Jeanine Anez, who received a 10-year prison sentence in June 2022 for allegedly plotting Morales’ overthrow. Many dismiss the allegations against Anez as baseless, and she has consistently decried the charges as political persecution.

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Missing plane carrying Malawi’s VP found with no survivors

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The wreck of a plane carrying Saulos Chilima, Malawi’s vice-president, has been found with no survivors.

President Lazarus Chakwera made the grim announcement in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The aircraft which had the 51-year-old vice-president and nine others aboard went missing after it failed to land at the Mzuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, the capital.

Chilima was on his way to represent the government at the burial of Ralph Kasambara, former minister, who died four days ago.

Shanil Dzimbiri, former first lady, was also on the flight.

The plane, which flew in bad weather, was turned back from landing at the airport because of poor visibility.

After receiving the news of the missing plane on Monday, Chakwera cancelled a trip to the Bahamas and ordered national and local authorities to “conduct an immediate search and rescue operation to locate the whereabouts of the aircraft”.

“The search and rescue operation I ordered to find the missing plane that carried our vice president and nine others has been completed,” the president said while providing an update.

“The plane has been found. I am deeply saddened and sorry to inform you that it has turned out to be a terrible tragedy.”

The president said the rescue team found the aircraft completely destroyed.

Chilima had been vice-president of Malawi since 2014.

Despite coming from two different political parties, the vice-president and president teamed up to form an alliance during the 2020 elections.

The vice-president left behind a wife and two children.

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Woman killed and swallowed whole by 16-foot python in Indonesia

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A woman has been found dead inside the belly of a snake after it swallowed her whole in central Indonesia, a local official said Saturday.

The husband of 45-year-old Farida and residents of Kalempang village in South Sulawesi province discovered her on Friday inside the reticulated python, which measured around five metres (16 feet).

The mother-of-four had gone missing Thursday night and failed to return home, forcing a search effort, village head Suardi Rosi told AFP.

Her husband “found her belongings… which made him suspicious. The villagers then searched the area. They soon spotted a python with a large belly,” said Suardi.

“They agreed to cut open the python’s stomach. As soon as they did, Farida’s head was immediately visible.”

Farida was found fully clothed inside the snake.

Such incidents are considered extremely rare but several people have died in Indonesia in recent years after being swallowed whole by pythons.

Last year, residents in Southeast Sulawesi’s Tinanggea district killed an eight-metre python, which was found strangling and eating one of the farmers in a village.

In 2018, a 54-year-old woman was found dead inside a seven-metre python in Southeast Sulawesi’s Muna town.

And the year before, a farmer in West Sulawesi went missing before being found eaten alive by a four-metre python at a palm oil plantation.

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UN adds Israel to list of nations committing violations against children

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Antonio Guterres, the United Nations (UN) secretary-general, says Israel’s military has been added to the global list of offenders committing violations against children.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s envoy to the UN, was informed of the decision on Friday.

Guterres is expected to notify the UN security council of the resolution on June 14.

The development follows Isreali’s eight months bombardment of Gaza.

On May 8, the UN published data showing that 34,844 people had been killed, including 4,959 women and 7,797 children, since the war started.

‘IT’S SHAMEFUL’

The Israeli envoy described the UN resolution as a “shameful decision”.

“I am utterly shocked and disgusted by this shameful decision of the secretary-general,” Erdan said.

“Israel’s army is the most moral army in the world so this immoral decision will only aid the terrorists and reward Hamas.”

Israel Katz, Israel’s foreign minister, said the decision “will have consequences for Israel’s relations with the UN”.

Israel has always had a strained relationship with the UN which further deteriorated during the Israel-Hamas war.

Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, and Yoav Gallant, the country’s defence minister, have been accused of war crimes.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking an arrest warrant for Netanyahu, Gallant, and three Hamas chiefs — Yahya Sinwar, leader of the Palestinian militant group; Mohammed Al-Masri, leader of the Al Qassem Brigades; and Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political leader.

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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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