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News ID: 102357
Publish Date : 09 May 2022 - 21:52
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BEIJING (AFP) -- Millions of people in Beijing stayed home on Monday as China’s capital tries to fend off a Covid-19 outbreak with creeping restrictions on movement. Subway stations and offices were empty during rush hour Monday morning across Chaoyang -- the city’s most populous district -- after officials stepped up a work-from-home order on Sunday over rising Covid cases. Non-essential businesses in the district, home to 3.5 million people, were shuttered, with even the Apple store in the popular Sanlitun shopping area ordered to close after opening briefly in the morning. Beijing has reported hundreds of infections in recent weeks, with 49 new Covid-19 infections confirmed on Monday, a relatively tiny number by international comparisons but enough to stir restrictions in the political heart of the country.
 
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BOGOTA (AFP) -- The Colombian government reinforced a nearly 50,000-strong military deployment against a drug cartel that has burned cars and threatened people as reprisal for the extradition of its leader to the United States. An additional 2,000 troops and police were deployed to join about 50,000 others already on the ground in northern Colombia to take on the so-called Gulf Clan, Defense Minister Diego Molano said. They would be tasked, among other things, with securing roads so that hard-hit commerce can be restored, he said. The cartel, Colombia’s biggest, allegedly moves between 30 and 60 percent of all the cocaine originating from the world’s largest producer of the drug. Its leader, Dairo Antonio Usuga, or “Otoniel,” was extradited to the United States last week and pleaded not guilty to trafficking charges. The 50-year-old was the most wanted person in Colombia until his arrest last October, and now faces life in prison.
 
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PORT MORESBY (AFP) -- Security forces moved in Monday to halt gun battles between rival Papua New Guinea clans that police said had killed at least 17 people near a major goldmine in the rain forest-blanketed highlands. Clans also torched buildings in the town of Paiam and nearby Porgera during the three days of fighting, according to police, who were backed by troop deployments in the volatile region. Police in Porgera said at least 17 people had been killed over the three days. Four bodies had been taken to the morgue at Paiam District Hospital since the fighting began, medical superintendent Jerry Hoga told AFP.  Porgera is the site of a large gold and silver mining operation, in which Canadian mining firm Barrick Gold is seeking to take a 49-percent stake. The mine has been in “care and maintenance” for two years, the company said in a recent update.
 
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BUNIA, DR Congo (AFP) -- Raiders killed at least 35 people in an attack on a gold mine in Ituri, in the strife-torn northeast of Democratic Republic of Congo, local sources said Sunday. One local official, Jean-Pierre Bikilisende, of the rural Mungwalu settlement in Djugu, Ituri, said the CODECO militia had carried out the attack on the artisanal mine. Bikilisende said the militia had attacked the Camp Blanquette gold mine and that 29 bodies had been retrieved, while another six burnt bodies had been found buried at the site. Among the dead was a four-month-old baby, he added. Cherubin Kukundila, a civil leader in Mungwalu, said that at least 50 people had been killed in the raid. Several people had been wounded, nine of them seriously. They were being treated at Mungwalu hospital, he told AFP. 
 
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SHANGHAI (Reuters) -- China’s sea levels reached their highest on record last year, swelled by rising water temperatures and the melting of glaciers and polar icecaps, the government said in a report. Coastal sea levels were 84 mm (3.3 inches) higher in 2021 than the average over the period from 1993 to 2011, the National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center said in an annual bulletin. The report warned that rising sea levels brought by climate change were having a “continuous impact” on the development of coastal regions, and urged authorities to improve monitoring and bolster early warning and prevention efforts. The long-term effects of such rise include erosion of coastal ecoystems and the loss of tidal flats, while coastal cities face greater risks of floods and salt tides, said the center, a research unit of the national resources ministry.
 
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RABAT (AFP) -- At least 44 migrants drowned when their boat capsized off the coast of the Western Sahara, migrant aid agency Caminando Fronteras said. Twelve others survived the tragedy, which happened when the boat sunk off the coast of Cap Boujdour, the agency’s Helena Maleno tweeted. The survivors were arrested, Maleno wrote. The bodies of seven victims were brought back to shore but the others could not be retrieved, she added. There was no immediate confirmation from authorities in Morocco, which sees the disputed Western Sahara as an integral part of the North African kingdom. It was not clear where the boat was heading, but usually migrants leaving from that area try to reach Spain’s Canary Islands.
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