The Senegalese government has shut down social media platforms and deployed its military in the capital city of Dakar.
This follows eruption of violence over the sentencing of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.
Sonko, who was standing trial on allegations of rape and corruption, was sentenced on Thursday to two years in jail.
The court acquitted Sonko of charges of rape and issuing death threats, but found him guilty of corrupting the youth under the country’s penal code.
At least nine persons have died after violent clashes between protesters and security forces.
In a bid to control the situation and prevent it from escalating, the government banned social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Telegram, TikTok, WhatsApp and YouTube.
According to interior minister Antoine Félix Diome, the government imposed restrictions on social media to stop the “dissemination of hate and subversive messages”.
Sonko, who is the mayor of Ziguinchor city, is said to be popular among the youth.
Sonko’s PASTEF party has described the sentencing as political and a ploy to prevent him from contesting next year’s presidential election.
EU says ‘X’ is worst social media platform for misinformation
The European Union (EU) Commission has declared that X, formerly Twitter, is the social media platform with the largest ratio of misinformation and disinformation posts.
The Commission’s Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourova, stated this on Tuesday in a statement on the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation. She said X performed woefully during a pilot test of a new methodology developed by the Code signatories.
While other platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Microsoft, and Meta’s family apps were said to have taken some measures to address disinformation, X is said to be harbouring more disinformation actors.
But for the X owner, Elon Musk, his agenda is to use the platform to promote ‘free speech’ for people all over the world. Musk has yet to respond to the EU’s claim as of the time of filing this report.
X, former Twitter, who is not under the Code anymore is the platform with the largest ratio of mis/disinformation posts. The pilot also showed that disinformation actors were found to have significantly more followers than their non-disinformation counterparts and tend to have joined the platform more recently than non-disinformation users,” Jourova declared.
US surgeons carry out world’s second pig-to-human heart transplant
Surgeons in the United States have carried out the world’s second transplant of a genetically modified pig’s heart to a human being.
According to a statement issued on Monday by the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), the surgery was carried out on Lawrence Faucette, a 58-year-old patient who had terminal heart disease.
In 2022, the Maryland team had performed the world’s first transplant of a genetically modified pig’s heart into another dying man, David Bennett.
But the patient had died just two months after the procedure.
The current pig heart recipient was said to have been deemed ineligible for a traditional transplant with a human heart due to his pre-existing peripheral vascular disease and complications with internal bleeding.
This transplant of a pig’s heart was therefore the only option available.
The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency approval for the surgery on September 15 through its single patient investigational new drug (IND) “compassionate use” pathway.
This approval process is used when an experimental medical product, is the only option available for a patient faced with a serious or life-threatening medical condition.
The pig heart, provided by Blacksburg, Virginia-based Revivicor, has 10 genetic modifications, knocking out some pig genes and adding some human ones to make it more acceptable to the human immune system.
According to the statement, Faucette is currently breathing on his own, and his heart is functioning well without any assistance from supportive devices.
“He is recovering and communicating with his loved ones. This is only the second time in the world that a genetically modified pig heart has been transplanted into a living patient,” the statement reads.
Bartley P. Griffith, who surgically transplanted the pig heart into both the first and second patient, said the doctors are grateful to Faucette for his bravery and willingness to help advance their knowledge of the field.
“We are hopeful that he will get home soon to enjoy more time with his wife and the rest of his loving family,” he said.
34 killed, 20 injured in Benin Republic fuel explosion
A fuel explosion in Benin Republic has led to the deaths of 34 persons, while 20 others sustained injuries.
The explosion occurred at an illegal fuel depot in Seme-Podji, a town that sits near the border with Nigeria.
Speaking with reporters, Alassane Seidou, minister of interior in Benin Republic, said two babies were among the dead.
“Unfortunately we have 34 deaths including two babies. Their bodies are charred because the cause of the fire is smuggled fuel,” Seidou said.
He added that those who sustained injuries are receiving treatment in hospital.
Some of the petrol smuggled from oil rich Nigeria often ends up in Seme-Podji.
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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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