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1. Zimbabwe Court Rules Against Internet Shutdown
Zimbabwe’s High Court on Monday ruled that State Security Minister Owen Ncube had no power to order the internet shutdown which took place during last week’s nationwide protests.
It has become very clear that the minister had no authority to make that directive,” judge Owen Tagu said in a case brought by human rights lawyers and journalists.
The shutdown occurred as the security forces cracked down on protesters following a wave of anti-government demonstrations which turned violent.
2. Spanish Rescuers Continue Mission to Rescue Toddler
Spanish rescuers working round-the-clock to find a two-year-old boy who fell into a deep well said Monday they do not expect to reach the spot where he is believed to be before Tuesday at the earliest.
There has been no contact with Julen Rosello since he fell down the narrow shaft, some 100 metres (350 feet) deep, on January 13 while playing as his parents prepared a picnic nearby in the southern town of Totalan near Malaga.
After abandoning an initial plan to reach the boy with an angled tunnel because of repeated collapses and landslides, workers installed a giant drilling machine on Saturday at the site to start digging a parallel tunnel to a depth of 60 metres.
When they reach this level, the tunnel will be reinforced to protect against landslides, which could take five to six hours, said rescue team engineer Juan Lopez Escobar, adding the tunnel is currently at a depth of 52 metres.
3. Zuma’s Ally Caught in Bribery Scandal
A South African former executive on Monday told a corruption probe that his old company had paid monthly bribes for years to a minister who served under scandal-tainted ex-president Jacob Zuma.
Angelo Agrizzi, ex-chief operating officer of the Bosasa contracting company, has given days of bombshell testimony to a judicial commission probing allegations of government corruption under Zuma.
Agrizzi said he was responsible for counting and packing 50,000 rand ($3,600) in cash, which was to be delivered each month to Nomvula Mokonyane.
Mokonyane, who is currently environmental affairs minister, served as Zuma’s minister of water and sanitation between 2014 and 2018, and was earlier a provincial minister.
4. China’s Population Growth Declines Despite Two-Child Policy
China’s population grew at a slower rate last year despite the abolition of the one-child policy, official data showed Monday, raising fears an ageing society will pile further pressure on an already slowing economy.
China’s government raised the limit to two children in 2016 to rejuvenate the world’s most populous country, which has nearly 1.4 billion people, and experts say it may remove the cap next year.
But the change does not seem to have inspired couples to have more children, partly due to urbanisation and the higher cost of living in the world’s second biggest economy, according to experts.
There were 15.23 million live births in 2018, a drop of two million from the year before, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. With 9.93 million deaths, this led to a growth rate of 3.81 per thousand in 2018, a dip from 5.32 per thousand the previous year.
Still, China’s total population rose by 5.3 million in 2018 to 1.395 billion people, retaining its title as the world’s most populous nation.
5. Lionel Richie’s Son Arrested For Threatening To Detonate A Bomb
Lionel Richie’s son, Miles Richie, was arrested after throwing a tantrum at the Heathrow airport in the UK after threatening to detonate a bomb and punching a security guard, celebrity paparazzi site TMZ reports.
Witnesses claim that the 24-year-old model threat came after he was denied entry to a flight on Saturday.
According to the report by the Police at Scotland Yard, he “claimed he had a bomb in his bag, which he’d detonate if he wasn’t let on to the plane.”
“On Saturday, January 19, a 24-year-old man accepted a caution for communicating false information causing a bomb hoax and battery following an incident at Heathrow Terminal 5 earlier that morning.”
But this was thrown out after he accepted caution which also translates to him avoiding prosecution.
6. Court Bars Two Presidential Candidates from Contesting Feb. Election
Two political candidates have been barred from contesting next month’s elections.
enegal’s Constitutional Court has published an official list of five candidates to contest next month’s presidential election, including head of state Macky Sall — but excluding two prominent opposition figures.
The seven-member court late Sunday confirmed a provisional list issued last week that barred former Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall and ex-minister Karim Wade because of convictions for misuse of public funds.
Thousands of supporters of both barred politicians have staged protests in recent months calling for fair and transparent elections while challenging the impartiality of the justice and interior ministri
7. Two Killed in India Bull-Wrestling Festival
At least two spectators were gored to death at a bull-wrestling festival in India that animal activists say is cruel and want banned, police said on Monday.
The bulls broke through barricades separating fans from the action in the arena on Sunday in Pudukottai, a town in Tamil Nadu where thousands had swarmed to watch the Jallikattu festival.
Authorities said dozens of participants were also injured Sunday while trying to grab the charging bulls by their horns and rumps in the hope of winning prizes.
8. Pacquiao Sustains Injury that Could End His Career
Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao might have suffered a potentially career-ending detatched retina in his left eye in beating Adrien Broner on Saturday, the New York Daily News reported Monday.
Pacquiao, the first eight-division champion in boxing history, also was told by Los Angeles police that his home had been burglarized while he was in Las Vegas for the Broner fight, which he won by unanimous decision to keep his World Boxing Association regular welterweight title, a lesser throne to that of unbeaten American “super champion” Keith Thurman.
One camp source told the News that the fear among the Filipino icon’s insiders is that he suffered a detached retina, which could end Pacquiao’s career and scuttle talk of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather.
9. France Fines Google $57 Million for Privacy Rules Violation
A data-privacy agency for France said Google was in violation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and will be fined nearly $57 million, the Washington Post reports.
The agency said Google failed to fully disclose to users how their data is collected and what happens to it. In addition, the agency said Google made it too difficult for users to understand and manage preferences on how their personal information is used, especially in regards to personalized ads. Both are in violation of GDPR.
In a response, a Google spokesperson said, “People expect high standards of transparency and control from us. We’re deeply committed to meeting those expectations and the consent requirements of the GDPR. We’re studying the decision to determine our next steps.”
10. Egyptian TV Host Jailed for Interviewing Gay Man on His Show
Host Mohamed al-Gheiti, who has expressed his own anti-gay views in the past, was sentenced on Sunday.
He was also fined 3,000 Egyptian pounds (€129, $147, £114) by the misdemeanours court in Giza. He will be put under surveillance for one year after leaving prison.
Accused of promoting homosexuality and contempt of religion, al-Gheiti’s sentencing follows the interview in August 2018 in which he and the gay man discussed homosexuality on the LTC TV station.
The interviewee, whose face was blurred to protect his identity, discussed his being a sex worker and his relationships with men.
Following the transmission, the Supreme Council for Media Regulation suspended the channel for two weeks for ‘professional violations’.