At least 21 people have been killed and 40 people wounded in a double bombing at a busy market in the centre of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, officials say.
The explosions happened near shops selling spare parts for cars in the al-Sinak market, according to police quoted by Reuters news agency.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Iraqi capital has been experiencing frequent militant attacks that mainly target crowded and public areas.
One bomb was triggered by a suicide attacker while the other was a planted explosive, an interior ministry official told Reuters.
There had been reports that both bombs were improvised explosive devices.
Police in Brazil say the Greek ambassador to the country was killed by a local police officer who was having an affair with the envoy’s wife.
Kyriakos Amiridis had been missing since Monday. His body was found in a burnt-out car on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.
Police say the ambassador’s Brazilian wife, Francoise Amiridis, plotted the murder with her lover.
Sergio Gomes Moreira Filho confessed to strangling him to death, police said.
Ms Amiridis, 40, has been detained along with Mr Moreira, 29, and his cousin, Eduardo Melo.
Mr Melo is said to have been paid about 80,000 reais ($25,000; £20,000) to act as a lookout.‘Crime of passion’
The three suspects have been questioned and will be held in police custody for another 30 days.
Investigator Evaristo Pontes Magalhaes described the murder as “a tragic, cowardly act,” which police are treating as “a crime of passion”.
“Francoise initially denied the facts. She said she had nothing to do with that. We managed to make her see that she had no alternative and that there was no point in continuing to deny it,” said Mr Magalhaes at a press conference.
“She fell into contradictions, burst into tears and began to say that the police officer [Sergio Moreira] had carried out her husband’s murder,” he added.
Mr Magalhaes said Mr Moreira had a fight with the ambassador and ended up killing him when he went to confront the diplomat about claims of violence against his wife.
He said he acted in self defence. But Brazilian police have dismissed his statement.
They say the policeman’s cousin confessed to moving the ambassador’s body and gave full details of the plot to murder Mr Amiridis, implicating both Mr Moreira and Mrs Amiridis.Charred body
The 59-year-old ambassador had travelled from Brasilia to the city of Nova Iguacu, north of Rio, to spend the Christmas and New Year holidays there with his wife and her parents.
The couple had been living together for 15 years and their daughter is 10 years old, local reports said.
Mrs Amiridis reported her husband missing on Wednesday.
She told police that he had left on Monday in a car he had rented. The burnt-out vehicle was found on Thursday under a flyover on one of the main access roads to Rio with a body inside.
The body was burned beyond recognition, but police said it was that of Mr Amiridis.
Investigators also said that they had found blood stains on the sofa in the house where the couple was staying and say he was probably stabbed to death there.
Mr Amiridis served as consul in Rio de Janeiro between 2001 and 2004 and returned to the country as ambassador earlier this year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided not to expel US diplomats in reprisal for Washington’s recent sanctions.
“We will not create problems for U.S. diplomats. We will not expel anybody,” Putin said in a statement on Friday.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed to expel 35 US diplomats in retaliation for a similar move by Washington.
The ministry also asked President Putin to ban diplomats from using a holiday home located in western Moscow and a warehouse in the north of the Russian capital in reaction to US President Barack Obama’s decision to close two Russian compounds.
On Thursday, Obama ordered a series of new sanctions against Russia as well as the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, accusing them of being spies.
The US president had also imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over allegations that they had interfered in the 2016 presidential election in the US by cyber attacks. Russia denied the hacking accusations.
Putin slammed the sanctions as a “provocation aimed to further undermine Russian-American relations.” He regretted that Obama was ending his term in such a way.
“The Russian diplomats returning home will spend the New Year Holidays with their relatives and dear ones,” the Russian president added.
He further said in the statement published on the Kremlin’s website that Moscow would watch the policy of President-elect Donald Trump when he takes office next month to decide on ties between the two countries.
“Reserving the right to retaliatory measures, we… will be planning our next steps in restoring US-Russian relations based on the policies pursued by the administration of President Donald Trump,” the Russian president said.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also regretted the new US sanctions, saying on his official Facebook page that Obama was ending his term in “anti-Russia agony.”
Meanwhile, the TASS news agency quoted the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying that 96 Russians, including expelled diplomats and their families, were expected to leave the US due to the sanctions.
Mali has sent back two people who were deported from France on the same planes they arrived on, questioning whether they were even Malian citizens.
The pair were flown to Bamako using European travel permits or “laissez-passer”, not passports or other Malian papers, the government said.
The government said it could not accept people “simply assumed to be Malian”.
Recent reports of a deal with the EU to repatriate failed Malian asylum seekers have sparked protests.
In a statement, the Malian government condemned the use of the European “laissez-passez” in cases of expulsion, describing it as “against international conventions”.
It also warned airlines not to let people using the document fly to Mali.
The French authorities have not yet commented.
Malians are among the sub-Saharan African nationalities most deported from France:
- Senegal – 540
- Mali – 290
- Ivory Coast – 270
- Nigeria – 235
- Guinea – 165
Source: Eurostat, 2015
There is a large Malian community in France, the former colonial power, who support their relatives back home by sending money.
More than 360,000 people have reached Europe by crossing the Mediterranean this year.
Many pass through Mali on their way although Malians are not among the 10 nationalities most likely to attempt the journey.
A $1.9bn (£1.2bn) European Union-backed fund to tackle African migration was announced in November 2015, with African leaders agreeing to allow the return of failed asylum seekers in return for development aid.
Congolese President Joseph Kabila will step down after elections held before the end of 2017, under a draft deal struck by political parties, according to a lead mediator from the Catholic Church.
Under the deal made on Friday, but not yet signed, Kabila will be unable to change the constitution to extend his mandate and run for a third term, said Marcel Utembi, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A transitional government will be put into place by March next year, said Al Jazeera’s Fahmida Miller, reporting from neighbouring Kenya.
“During the time of the transitional government, they will be looking at appointing a prime minister from the opposition. That was vital for the opposition because it needed a bigger stake in the government,” she said before adding politicians in exile may also be allowed to return without a fear of prosecution.
“But there seems to be a number of questions around opposition politicians within DRC who have been arrested. They won’t necessarily be freed any time soon,” she said.
“What this agreement is talking about is a sort of commission being set up that would look at these political prisoners case by case and determine their fate.”Peaceful transfer of power
If the deal is finalised, it will be DRC’s first peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1960.
Kabila’s two-term mandate ended on December 19, but authorities have effectively extended it until 2018.
His actions sparked demonstrations, with security forces killing about 40 people last week.
Western and African powers feared the failure to secure peaceful transition of power could lead to a repeat of conflicts seen between 1996 and 2003 in eastern Congo in which millions died, mostly from starvation and disease.
The social media row between motor-mouthed journalist Andrew Mwenda and FDC supporters have so far taken another level by bringing the inner feelings of disdain from both sides.
Following his attack on Besigye supporters that they are the stupidest people he has ever seen in political history, Mwenda is yet to regret why he ever said this.
In a war that dominated all social media platforms this week, Mwenda has faced the wrath of radical and extremist supporters of FDC and Dr. Besigye.
While Besigye is still silent about the issue, Mwenda is being badly attacked by Besigye’s self-appointed personal assistants with the likes of the controversial former Makerere lecturer Stella Nyanzi.
Nyanzi said Mwenda is a gay and a prostitute who was bought at a price by Museveni to discredit opposition strongman Dr Besigye and his supporters.
Very many other FDC supporters have come out to publicly attack Mwenda for his accusations thereby calling him all sorts of names including; rapist, defiler, gay, and prostitute among others.
The recent person to attack Mwenda is FDC’s iron lady and Secretary of mobilization Ingrid Turinawe, who believes boycotting Mwenda’s Independent magazine, is much better than engaging him in a war of words.
Ingrid also believes her boycott would get followers thus punishing Mwenda for his uncalculated words.
“I am not the stupidest person as Andrew Mwenda claims, reason why sales of the independent magazine will fall by one copy.
I won’t buy the independent magazine anymore. No turning back.” Turinawe wrote on her Facebook page.
We therefore wait to see how this will come to an end.
By Serestino Tusingwire
Masaka district leaders have halted the construction of the Bank of Uganda currency centre alleging unlawful acquisition of golf course land.
Masaka district leaders, accompanied by Bukoto East MP Florence Namayanja, stormed the construction site of the Bank of Uganda currency centre as they moved to block the start of its construction
The Masaka district chairperson, Jude Mbabaali, insists the land belongs to the Uganda Golf Union and was fraudulently acquired.
“It is very surprising, I have checked records at the district and municipality and they all clearly indicate that this land is a green belt that is reserved for golf union of Uganda.” Mbabali said.
However, the Masaka municipality mayor, Godfrey Kayemba, said the council leaders leased the land to a businessman in the 1990s for the construction of a hotel, he failed to do so and subsequently parceled part of it out to Bank of Uganda.
“Finally, after going through all the processes, the municipal council accepted and approved bank’s plans to have this investment done here.” Kayemba said.
The Uganda Golf Union is currently embroiled in several disputes with at least four districts over the parcelling out of land meant for the development of the sport to developers.
By Serestino Tusingwire
Police has this morning raided Kiwatule mosque arresting several people including their Imam Sheikh Yunis Kabuye.
A total of 11 people who were found at the mosque were arrested. These include 6 Indians named; Muhammed Shamam Khan, Sufiyan Ahamed Ansari, Akhaque Najuruden Khan, Mohamed Mobin Shaikh, Muhammad Ahamad Aziz and Abdul Salam, and five Ugandans named; Badru Kakooza, Musa Lubega, Ibrahim Kityo, Yunus Kabuye and Muhammad Nakayenga.
According to Kampala Metropolitan Spokesperson Emilian Kayima, the raid followed a tip from Kiwatule residents that these were a security threat in the area.
“On receiving the intelligence tip we acted accordingly by arresting all the 11 people. They will be made to record statements and then we shall see the way forward,” Kayima said.
The raid comes two after the police raided Nakasero Tabliq mosque arresting over 15 people who are suspected to be in connection to the murder of Maj Suleiman Kiggundu.
Kayima however, said today’s raid is not connected to the ongoing investigation on murder of Muslim clerics.
In a bid to improve playing staff and keep them fit, KCCA FC has loaned five of its players to Police Football for the remainder of the 2016/2017 season.
The loaned players include defenders Martin Mpuuga, Paul Willa and Brian Ochwo; the others are midfielders Hakim Senkumba and Yasin Mugume.
Paul Willa has been on loan at FUFA Big League side but struggled to get playing time something that has been guaranteed to him at Police.
Yasin Mugume was also at Lweza for the first round and he is expected to be a much improved player while at Police, he was also on loan at The Saints on the second round of the 2015/2016 season.
League winners Martin Mpuuga and Hakim Senkumba have also not been regulars with injuries and struggle to gain full fitness the reason for their failure to feature consistently in Mike Mutebi’s side.
“They are all good players and very much part of the project, we also have faith in the coaching staff at Police to help them get better, but the players also in return help Police get to the next level.” KCCA FC manager Mike Mutebi said.
He believes this move will also help the players rehabilitate and improve their talent.
On 31st December, all Kampala roads will lead to Trends bar and Lounge Bugolobi for their hyper new year Rave Party porgies.
The venue has been transformed into a modern disco arena for the partiers to endlessly enjoy their money. Trends Lounge is located in Bugolobi just next to royal suits.
The partiers are therefore encouraged to be braced for a fantastic adventure seeing them through 2016 and usher them into 2017.
According to the management, security has cleared the venue for a colorful fireworks display that are meant to last for more than 15 minutes.
The party will mix smart, nautical and casual attires creating one of the most outlandish club experiences to be found in the city.
DJs ACE and MARK are ready to mix fantastic music till dawn. The will be in company of other guest DJs like SLICK STUART and ROGER.
The hangout is popularly known for hosting classy, juicy babes from MUBS and UCU girls.????????????????????????????????????
This New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday, giving a great opportunity for relaxing and recovering from fatigue and hungover on Sunday before reporting to work on Monday.
Parliament’s Committee on Public Service and Local Government has set January 17, 2017 as polling date for village council elections.
This means the only Shs10bn will be used instead of Shs15bn as the electoral commission had requested. The government insisted on providing only Shs10bn for the exercise.
The committee chaired by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi was however not happy with the refusal of the concerned ministers to appear before it on Wednesday afternoon as agreed upon.
“We shall have a special note on ministers who have refused to come and meet the committee, this is total refusal.” Magyezi said.
Those expected included Justice and constitutional affairs minister, Finance minister Local government minister and minister for Gender, but the committee waited in vain.
Drama ensued in the committee when the Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze chased away the finance and local government representatives for failing to come with their bosses.
“Even before the chairperson rules, disappear very quickly before I open my eyes.” Namboze told the representatives.
The committee is expected to report to parliament next week, explaining the status of village council elections which were last held 15 years ago.
Sudanese lawmakers have voted for a constitutional amendment that will reinstate the post of prime minister after more than two decades.
President Omar al-Bashir annulled the position of prime minister after he came to power in 1989.
On Wednesday, all the 387 lawmakers present out of a total of 425 voted for the amendment, which will give the prime minister, who will be appointed by the president, responsibility for “executive power in the country.”
However, the president is still allowed to form a government or dismiss ministers.
The move comes as part of reforms proposed by a national dialogue between the Sudanese government and some opposition groups.
The dialogue, which was launched in October last year, is aimed at resolving Sudan’s economic and political crises and putting an end to insurgencies in the border regions.
On October 10, Bashir submitted a “national document” to serve as a framework for a new Sudanese constitution after the conclusion of year-long talks that were, however, boycotted by most mainstream opposition and armed groups.
Sudan currently has a transitional constitution adopted in 2005 following the signature of a peace agreement between the country’s north and south that ended two decades of civil war and led to the independence of South Sudan in 2011.
Makerere University students have rejected the deadline to pay tuition saying it’s too close and many students will not be able to pay by that date.
The University’s vice chancellor Prof John Dumba Ssentamu on Wednesday this week directed students to complete tuition payment in only two week from the reporting date which is January 2.
Ddumba insisted that without full payment, no student will be allowed to sit for exams.
However, the Guild president Roy Ssemboga rejected the deadline arguing that management should instead be considerate citing that since the closure of the university, students and parents incurred unplanned expenditures when the university was closed.
“Hope this is not a joke, not all students will be able to pay by that time. We shall strongly stand against it.” Ssemboga said.
He argued that students should be left to pay tuition at their convenience.
Semboga vows to rally all student leaders to use their powers to ensure that every one sits for exams.
This might cause another strike as soon as students report since students believe their powers are in strikes.
Real estate tycoon Ibrahim HB Matovu wrapped 2016 in style by legalizing bonking with the sexy adopted daughter to president Museveni.
According to Daily Monitor Sqoop, HB Matovu was finally introduced by the Ruth Katushabe, the Bukomansimbi North Member of Parliament to her parents and relatives on Boxing Day.
HB Matovu, real estate dealer was introduced in the multicultural ceremony which embraced both the Kinyankole and Ganda cultures.
The lavish party which those who attended compared to that of SK Mbuga, happened in Nakateete village in Bigasa Sub County, Bukomansimbi district.
President Museveni who was the Omuhingizi (someone who gives away the wife), made people laugh when he warned the husband to never mistreat the wife if he wishes to remain at peace with him (Museveni).
“If you mistreat her, you will see me,” Museveni jokingly warned Matovu prompting people to burst into laughter.
He said that he never asked the son-in-law for bride price and instead gave the couple blessings and some gifts including houseware. He promised to add them 10 cows from his Kisozi farm.
Fred Mukasa Mbidde the Democratic Party Vice President was the best-man to Matovu yet the two are renowned political rivals.
The introduction party was attended by many big people including Members of Parliament, RDCs, ministers and high ranking police officers.
Unlike the “Shs3b Mbuga wedding” where guests ended up missing food, everybody who accessed Katushabe’s introduction ceremony was served to satisfaction and many locals were seen with polythene bags packed with food.
More than 50 people have died and thousands left homeless after severe flooding caused by torrential rain in the south-west of Democratic Republic of Congo.
This happened on Thursday when the torrential rain caused the Kalamu River, which flows through the city of Boma, to burst its banks.
The bodies of some of the victims had ended up in neighbouring Angola, after being carried away by the surge, a local governor said.
Locals said that some areas of the city were buried in up to a metre of mud.
“This is a cyclical phenomenon which happens every 10 years. It last happened in January 2015, but with climate change it’s now happened again in December 2016,” Jacques Mbadu, governor of Kongo Central province, told AFP news agency.
Waters hit a peak of 2m (six ft) above their usual level, he added.
Severe floods, droughts and storms are expected to increase as a result of climate change in Africa.
By Serestino Tusingwire
Kasese District leaders have requested President Yoweri Museveni to release the Rwenzururu leader, Charles Wesley Mumbere, who is currently remanded at Luzira Maximum Security Prison in order to allow room for dialogue and peace talks.
The leaders who met the president on Wednesday at his farm at Kisozi, in Gomba district, argued that releasing Mumbere would allow for dialogue and peace talks to calm the tensions that have plagued the Rwenzori region since 2014.
The leaders from Kasese District, including the district chairperson; Geoffrey Bigogo; Bishop of Rwenzori, Jackson Nzerebende; the Leader of Opposition, Winnie Kiiza and legislators including Williams Nzoghu and Robert Centenary met with the president to discuss the recent unrest in the district.
“Our meeting with the president was not for dialogue, we had requested if we are to engage in the dialogue regarding the Obusinga, the head of the delegation must be the king.” Centenary said.
He added that the group also presented their views on arbitrary arrests and extortion by security officers, which prompted the President to issue a warning against blackmail.
The Kasese leaders also want government to compensate families that lost their relatives and their property during the army operations against suspected Rwenzururu royal guards.
Centenary was quick to dismiss talk that their meeting with the President would compromise their stand against what they considered to be violations of human rights against the people of Kasese.
The President promised to look into the proposals and continue discussions on restoring peace in Kasese with the political leaders.
By Serestino Tusingwire
State has today defied court orders by failing to produce the former commander of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group, Jamilu Mukulu for trial.
Mukulu was expected to appear before Jinja high court today morning for trial on numerous charges not limited to; murder, treason and terrorism among others.
He allegedly committed these charges over two decades back when he was still a rebel leader.
Mukulu who was arrested in 2015 has since appeared before courts of law a few times which his lawyers Caleb Alaka, Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi and Samuel Muyizi Mulindwa are strongly against.
According Alaka, state has maliciously infringed the human rights of the suspect by failing to produce him to court for trial yet he is still presumed innocent.
“Prison authorities should start respecting court orders. When court issues production warrant they should have no reason to keep a person. Mukulu has a right to a fair hearing just like any other Ugandan.” Alaka said.
Meanwhile, following today’s botched court session, fresh production warrant has been issued for Mukulu to appear before court on 30th January 2017.
By Serestino Tusingwire
The Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura has justified the raid on Nakasero Mosque that was conducted in the early hours of Tuesday December 27.
Kayihura who addressed journalists at the police headquarters at Naguru yesterday, said it was necessary to enable police obtain key evidence in their ongoing investigations into the recent murder of Muslim cleric and soldier Maj. Muhammad Kiggundu.
He said the raid followed a tip by one of the people they arrested shortly after Maj. Kiggundu murder of 26th November.
“Am satisfied because we got the evidence that we required, and it was based on tips given to us by a suspect who is in our custody,” Kayihura said before adding that, “you never know it could also lead us to other cases as well.”
In the raid, Police claim they discovered some firearms suspected to be used in killing of Muslim clerics and will be presented to court as the evidence pinning the suspects.
However, the Tabliq Muslim leaders refute the claim of being in possession of any firearms and accuse police for destroying property and stealing money amounting to Shs27m in the raid.
The police chief cautioned people against talk that the Police were unfairly targeting Muslims in their murder investigations.
By Serestino Tusingwire
Tabliq Muslims in Uganda have accused the police of destroying property worth eight million shillings during a raid on their mosque in Nakasero, Kampala in the early hours of Tuesday 27th December.
They also claim the police took away with a big sum of money equivalent to Shs27m from all the offices that were raided.
In a rare operation that was carried out in the wee hours of Tuesday, police claim they discovered some firearms suspected to be used in the killing of Muslim clerics.
“We found arms suspected of being used in the killing of Muslim leaders including 3 magazines, 138 rounds of ammunition, 1 bow and 7 arrows,” Emilian Kayima, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson said.
The Nakasero mosque leadership has however challenged the force to prove allegations that they discovered arms in the mosque during the operation.
“We want you to show us those arms you claim you discovered from the mosque, we challenge you to reveal that video,” Siraje Kifampa, Nakasero Mosque spokesperson said.
According to Police, the raid was conducted after one of the suspects of murder of Muslim clerics tipped them that guns used in the murder are hidden inside the mosque.
US actress Debbie Reynolds has died, a day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher, her son announced.
US media say the 84-year-old had a stroke. She was taken to a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday.
The Hollywood legend is best known for her role in the 1952 musical Singin’ in the Rain, opposite Gene Kelly.
Fisher – renowned for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars series – died on Tuesday aged 60, following a cardiac arrest on a plane.
Reynolds had been taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre after falling ill.
Announcing her death, her son Todd Fisher told AP news agency: “She’s now with Carrie and we’re all heartbroken.”
The stress of his sister’s death, he added, had been “too much” for their mother.
Celebrity news site TMZ reports that Reynolds cracked while discussing plans for Carrie’s funeral with her son, telling him: “I miss her so much; I want to be with Carrie”.
Fellow actors have been paying tribute to Reynolds on social media. Star Trek star William Shatner tweeted: “Debbie Reynolds was one of the last of Hollywood Royalty. It breaks my heart that she is gone.”
Joan Collins said she had been a “wonderfully warm friend and colleague”.
British comedian Stephen Fry, who earlier tweeted that it had been a “crushing blow to lose Carrie Fisher”, offered his “deepest sympathy” to the family at “this new blow”.
Reynolds was leading lady in a succession of major Hollywood musicals and comedies in the 1950s and 60s.
She rose to stardom with Singin’ in the Rain, at the age of only 19.
She received a best-actress Academy Award nomination for the 1964 musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
In 2015, she was given a lifetime achievement award by the Screen Actors Guild. The award was presented to her by her daughter.Fraught relationship
Reynolds married singer Eddie Fisher in 1955 and had two children, Carrie and Todd. The couple divorced in 1959 after news emerged of his affair with movie star Elizabeth Taylor.
Reynolds married twice more.
Carrie Fisher died days after suffering a massive heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles on Christmas Eve.
She had shot to fame in the initial Star Wars series but had a number of other roles including in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and When Harry Met Sally (1989).
Fisher was also an author and screenwriter. Her semi-autobiographical novel Postcards from the Edge was made into a film, starring Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and Dennis Quaid.
The story drew on Fisher’s struggles with drugs and her sometimes strained relationship with her mother.
The pair stopped speaking to each other for many years but became closer later in life.
In an interview last month with US radio network NPR, Fisher spoke of their relationship: “She’s an immensely powerful woman, and I just admire my mother very much.”