Thursday 20 September 2018
News ID: 57275
Publish Date: 11 September 2018 - 22:23
ACCRA, Ghana (AP) -- Ghanaians are paying their respects to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan ahead of Thursday's state funeral.
Annan died in August in Switzerland at age 80. The grandson of tribal chiefs, he was the first black African to become the UN leader and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.
Ghanaians have thronged at a conference center in Accra to remember him.
"God should have spared him a few more years to help improve the world," 75-year-old retired teacher Kwaku Atiemo tells The Associated Press. "He was a son Ghana is proud of and Africans felt good about him."
"God should keep him in a good place," 40-year-old Yawa Doe says.
Ghana has said several African heads of state from Zimbabwe, Liberia, Ivory Coast and elsewhere are expected to attend the funeral.

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) -- The Serbian president's praise of Slobodan Milosevic as a "great" leader triggered outrage in neighboring states where his nationalist policies in the 1990s caused bloodshed and destruction.
In his keynote speech while visiting Kosovo's Serbs on Sunday, Aleksandar Vucic called for peace and reconciliation with Kosovo Albanians, but also praised former Serbian leader Milosevic.
 He also criticized the former Serbian pro-Western officials for handing over Milosevic and his generals to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.
Milosevic, who died in 2006 while on trial at the tribunal, is widely considered the most responsible politician in former Yugoslavia for the bloody breakup of the federation and the death of at least 120,000 people in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.
Vucic, an ultranationalist during the wars in the Balkans, was Milosevic's information minister in 1999.
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said Monday that praising Milosevic was "a provocation."
"We heard words of peace, understanding and good neighborly relations," Thaci said. "But we also heard praise for Milosevic and his generals. The two things don't go together."
 
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PARIS (Reuters) -- France on Tuesday said the International Criminal Court should be able to do its work without hindrance, a day after the United States threatened sanctions if the tribunal investigated U.S. activities in Afghanistan.
"France, with its European partners, supports the International Criminal Court, both in its budgetary contribution and in its cooperation with it," Foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a statement.
"The court must be able to act and exercise its prerogatives without hindrance, independently and impartially, within the legal framework defined by the Rome Statute," it said.

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AFP) -- Ryanair said it will cancel 150 out of 400 flights to and from Germany on Wednesday after pilots and cabin crew announced a 24-hour walkout in a festering row over pay and conditions.
"We apologize to all affected customers," Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs told a Frankfurt press conference on Tuesday, adding that passengers would be offered alternative flights. The Irish no-frills airline has blasted the strike as "unnecessary."

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LAFIA, Nigeria (AFP) -- Nine people were killed and dozens more injured, some of them critically, in an explosion and fire at a gas filling station in central Nigeria, the state governor said on Tuesday.
The accident happened on Monday in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa state, 190 kilometers by road east of Abuja.
Conflicting tolls of dead and injured are not unusual in Nigeria and getting corroboration of figures is often problematic.
President Muhammadu Buhari's office had earlier said "several" people were killed, without specifying numbers, while a senior road safety official told AFP three died.

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NEW DELHI, Sept 11 (Reuters) -- An overcrowded bus plunged into a gorge in southern India on Tuesday, killing at least 55 people and injuring several more, in one of the worst such accidents this year, authorities said.
The bus, part of the state-run network in Telangana, was returning from a hilltop temple in the district of Jagtial, about 190 kms (118 miles) from Hyderabad, the state capital, a district official said.
"The driver lost control and the bus skidded off the road and fell into the valley,” a top district official, G. Narendhar, told Reuters. "The majority of the passengers have suffered severe injuries.”
Media cited brake failure as the possible reason for the tragedy, but Narendhar said that needed to be investigated, adding that the 94 people on board the bus, including its driver and conductor, had exceeded the legal limit of 52.
"The bus accident ... is shocking beyond words,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on social network Twitter. "Anguished by the loss of lives.”
India has the world’s deadliest roads, with almost 150,000 people killed in accidents in 2016, the latest government data shows, up 3.2 percent from a year earlier. (Reporting by Malini Menon; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)




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