White House To Ban Personal Cell Phones Over Security Concerns

The White House is considering a ban on employees using personal cell phones, according to a new report.

The proposal to ban personal devices comes amid cybersecurity concerns, reports Bloomberg, with one official saying that personal phones are not as secure as government-issued devices.

It has not yet been decided whether the proposed ban would apply to all staff in the executive office of President Donald Trump – and the potential effect on Trump’s own devices is unclear.

After assuming the presidency, Trump was forced by security officials to hand in his Android phone, and has been issued an iPhone loaded with the Twitter app and nothing else, according to Axios.

Trump and his top aides all have government-issued phones that are highly secure, of course, but those devices are severely curtailed in their capabilities.

They can’t send or receive text messages, for example, prompting concerns that White House staff would be cut off from contact with their families while at work if personal devices are banned.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is said to be leading the push for the ban.

Kelly himself was hit by hackers earlier this year, when his personal phone was compromised.

The White House already takes certain precautions with personal devices, requiring that they be left outside of the room when classified material is being discussed.

Daily Mail

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Zimbabwe Declares Mugabe’s Birthday As Public Holiday

Zimbabwe has announced former President Robert Mugabe’s birthday a public holiday, a state daily reported this on Monday, nearly a week after the long-time ruler stepped down.

“It is hereby declared that February 21 of every year henceforth shall be a public holiday to be known as the Robert Mugabe National Youth Day,” The Herald newspaper reported, citing a government gazette.

The 93-year-old was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was vice president until Mugabe fired him just weeks ago.

The declaration of his birthday as a holiday is the latest of many accolades.

Zimbabwe’s school of intelligence was named after him while a $1-billion Robert Mugabe university is also in the works.

Several buildings and roads across the country are also named after him.

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Court Increases Pistorius’ Jail Term To 13 Years

South Africa’s Supreme Court has increased Oscar Pistorius’ murder sentence to 13 years and five months after the state argued his original sentence of 6 years for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was “shockingly lenient.”

Pistorius was jailed in July last year after being found guilty on appeal of murdering Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013 in a case that attracted worldwide interest.

Steenkamp’s family, who were not in court for the ruling, welcomed the sentence and said it showed justice could prevail in South Africa.

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85 Killed In Attack On Egyptian Mosque

At least 85 people have been killed after a gun and bomb attack at a packed mosque in Egypt’s North Sinai province on Friday.

Another 75 people are reported to have been injured, state media confirmed.

The attack took place near the provincial capital of El-Arish during Friday prayers, police officials said, at the Al-Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed.

An improvised explosive device (IED) is believed to have been used to target the worshipers.

The bomb was followed-up by machine gunfire from multiple gunmen.

Police said militants in four off-road vehicles bombed the mosque and fired on worshipers during the sermon segment of Friday prayers.

President Abdel Fattah al Sisi convened an emergency security meeting soon after the attack, state television reported.

Egypt’s security forces are battling an Islamic State insurgency in north Sinai, where militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since fighting there intensified over the last three years.

Militants have mostly targeted security forces in their attacks, but have also tried to expand beyond the peninsula by hitting Egyptian Christian churches and pilgrims.

Daily Mail

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Emmerson Mnangagwa Sworn-In As Zimbabwe President

Mr. Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been sworn in as President of Zimbabwe, following the exit of Robert Mugabe who ruled the country for four decades.

Taking his oath of office, the 75-year-old former security chief known as ‘The Crocodile’ vowed to uphold the constitution of the former British colony and protect the rights of all Zimbabwe’s 16 million citizens.

Mugabe, the world’s oldest serving head of state, resigned on Tuesday as parliament started to impeach him, a week to the day after the army stepped in to seize power.

Mnangagwa assured Mugabe he and his family would be safe in Zimbabwe when the two men spoke for the first time since Mnangagwa returned home this week, the state-owned The Herald newspaper reported on Friday.

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Breaking: US Aircraft With 11 People On Board Crashes In Pacific Ocean

A United States (US) Navy aircraft with 11 people on board has crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Japan.

It crashed into the Philippine Sea off the southeast of Okinawa while flying to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

‘A United States Navy aircraft carrying 11 crew and passengers crashed into the ocean southeast of Okinawa,’ a statement from the Navy said.

‘Personnel recovery is under way and their condition will be evaluated by USS Ronald Reagan medical staff.’

Daily Mail

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Mugabe Finally Resigns As Zimbabwean President

Embattled Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe has finally resigned. 

According to the parliament’s speaker, Jacob Mudenda, Mugabe resigned in a letter addressed to him.

The surprise announcement came as lawmakers debated an impeachment motion against the 93-year-old leader in a joint sitting of parliament.

Mr Mugabe had previously refused to resign despite last week’s military takeover, and days of protests against his rule.

He has been in power since independence in 1980.

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Kenya’s Supreme Court Upholds Kenyatta’s Re-Election

Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday upheld the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta in last month’s repeat presidential vote.

Chief Justice, David Maraga, said the court dismissed two legal challenges to the vote in a unanimous decision by six judges.

“As a consequence, the presidential election of Oct. 26 is hereby upheld,” he said.

The petitioners had argued, amongst other reasons, that the outcome should be voided because the election board did not seek fresh nominations after the earlier Aug. 8 poll was invalidated, and because the vote was not held in each of Kenya’s 291 voter constituencies.

The repeat election had been ordered by the Supreme Court after it nullified the results of the August presidential election.

The ruling clears the way for Kenyatta’s swearing-in on Nov. 28, but it is unlikely to end the worst political crisis in East Africa’s richest and most developed economy in a decade.

Police said on Sunday at least four people were killed overnight in a Nairobi slum that is a stronghold of opposition leader, Raila Odinga.

He accused the government of being behind the killings, which followed at least five deaths on Friday as police tried to disperse opposition supporters.

In several areas of the capital, riots broke out on Sunday in response to the deaths, as residents lit cars and buses on fire and police responded with tear gas.

The court, created by a 2010 constitution that followed a violent political crisis three years earlier, made history on the continent when it nullified Kenyatta’s win in August elections, citing irregularities.

Odinga successfully petitioned against Kenyatta’s initial victory in the Aug. 8 vote and subsequently boycotted the repeat poll on Oct. 26, saying it would be unfair because the election commission had failed to implement reforms.

Kenyatta won with 98 per cent of the vote, though opposition supporters staged a boycott and prevented polls from opening in the west of the country.

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Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip Marks 70th Year Of Marriage

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip celebrate 70 years of marriage on Monday, becoming Britain’s first reigning couple to mark a platinum wedding anniversary.

The decades-spanning marriage of the Queen — the nation’s longest serving sovereign — has outlasted those of all prior British monarchs.

The royal couple will not hold any public events but have invited family and friends to Windsor Castle for a private dinner on Monday evening, according to media reports.

Earlier in the day the bells of Westminster Abbey, where Elizabeth married the Duke of Edinburgh on November 20, 1947, will ring out in full celebratory peal.

The abbey’s company of ringers — a team of 10 — will deliver the tribute uninterrupted for around three hours and 20 minutes, from 1300 GMT.

Also in honour of the occasion, Buckingham Palace on Saturday issued new photographic portraits of the Queen and the Prince, taken earlier this month in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle.

They are framed by Thomas Gainsborough’s 1781 portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte, whose 57-year union — bridging the 18th and 19th centuries — is the next longest British royal marriage.

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Plane Crash Kills Eleven Persons In Tanzania

Eleven people including American and German tourists are dead after a plane crash in Tanzania, on Wednesday.

Two Americans, two Germans, six Tanzanians, and a South African pilot were all killed when their Cessna Caravan aircraft crashed in Ngorongoro National Park.

Coastal Aviation, which owned the aircraft, said it is not clear what caused the crash, but confirmed investigations are ongoing.

The names of those on board are being withheld so their families can be informed.

‘We are deeply saddened to report that eleven people have died after a single-plane accident this morning in Northern Tanzania,’ the company said in a statement published on its website.

‘Obviously, we are in shock. This is devastating,’ said Coastal Aviation managing director Julian Edmunds.

Daily Mail

 

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Ex Govt Official Commits Suicide After Corruption Allegations

A former Argentine government official has killed himself after being accused of taking bribes in testimony during a U.S. trial looking into corruption in world football.

Jorge Delhon, a lawyer who worked in the administration of former Argentina President Cristina Fernandez, killed himself on Tuesday by jumping in front of a train in Buenos Aires.

A ministry official in Buenos Aires province confirmed the death, but could not be identified because of not being authorised to speak on the subject.

In the trial in New York, sports marketing executive Alejandor Burzaco told a judge on Tuesday he had paid millions in bribes to Delhon and Pablo Paladino in exchange for broadcasting rights to soccer matches.

Paladino worked for a government-run TV show that broadcasts matches, Futbol para Todos (Football for All).

The ministry official contacted by The Associated Press said Delhon left a suicide note that read in Spanish: “I love you all,” and added “I can’t believe [what’s happening].”

Delhon worked under Fernandez’s chief of staff, and dealt with Futbol para Todos.

The Fernandez government, which ended in 2015, created the free-to-air soccer program on Argentine public television and used it largely as a way to promote her government.

Earlier this year an Argentine court opened criminal proceedings against two of Fernandez’s former chiefs of staff — Anibal Fernandez (no relation) and Jorge Capitanich — for allegedly taking public funds earmarked for Football para Todos.

ESPN

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