Briefing: 14/9/17

Here is CurrentHow’s Briefing™ for the 14th of August, 2017 :-

1. 17 killed in Burkina Faso restaurant attack :-

Seventeen people have been killed in a restaurant attack in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, the government said.

“The attack claimed 17 victims, their nationalities are yet to be confirmed, and eight injured,” according to a government statement, a copy of which was sent to AFP.

Gunmen attacked the Aziz Istanbul restaurant even as security forces launched a counter-assault to try to end the attack, news agency Reuters reported.

“We evacuated 11 people but one of them, a Turk, died on arriving at the hospital,” a doctor told AFP.

Another doctor said a dozen injured people were taken to the hospital.

“Three of them have died. The rest of the wounded are in a critical condition,” the surgeon told AFP.

“A terrorist attack at Istanbul restaurant on Ouagadougou’s Kwame Nkrumah Avenue claimed 17 victims, their nationalities are yet to be confirmed, and eight people are injured,” a government statement said.

Communication minister Remis Dandjinou said it was not known how many assailants were involved.

“They are confined to one part of the building they attacked. Security and elite forces are conducting an operation,” he said on television.

2. Search ends for Japanese climber missing on Mont Blanc :-

Rescuers called off their search Sunday for a Japanese climber who went missing on Mont Blanc, a day after a Czech mountaineer died while descending Europe’s highest peak.

No one had seen Hironobu Shimosawa, 35, since Monday, after he set out on his own to scale the 4,810-metre (15,780-feet) summit.

The PGHM rescue service, based in the French Alpine town of Chamonix, said Shimosawa had contacted a friend via Facebook on Wednesday asking for help.

Search efforts using mountaineers and helicopters were hampered by bad weather.

Despite relatively warm temperatures during the day, the peak remains treacherous even in the height of summer.

A Korean climber was found dead on the mountain on August 2, a week after two Germans froze to death on its slopes after being caught in a snow storm.

PGHM said Saturday that they had located the body of the 42-year-old Czech mountaineer who had fallen to his death.

3. Bhutan rejects Beijing’s claim that Doklam is under Chinese territory :-

The Bhutanese government on Thursday rejected China’s claim that Bhutan had conveyed had conveyed through diplomatic channels to China that Doklam in not in its territory, news agency ANI reported.

“Our position on the border issue of Doklam is very clear. Please refer to our statement which has been published on the web site of Bhutan’s foreign ministry on June 29, 2017.” ANI quoted official sources in the Bhutanese government as saying.

The sources said Bhutan has conveyed to China that construction of the road in Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the 1988 and 1998 agreements.

“Bhutan has conveyed to the Chinese side, both on the ground and through the diplomatic channel, that the construction of the (motorable) road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the (written) agreements (of 1988 and 1998) and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between our two countries,” Bhutan’s official statement reads.

AWang Wenli, Deputy Director General of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs in China’s foreign ministry, told a visiting Indian media delegation on Wednesday that Bhutan has conveyed to Beijing through the diplomatic channels that the area of the stand-off is not its territory.

“After the incident, the Bhutanese made it very clear to us that the place where the trespassing happened is not Bhutan’s territory,” Wang was quoted, as saying.

“Bhutanese find it very strange that the Indian border troops are on the Chinese soil,” she further said.

4. Hundreds killed in Sierra Leone mudslide – Vice President :-

Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed when a mudslide struck the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown on Monday, Vice President Victor Foh said.

The Red Cross put the number of bodies so far at the central morgue at 179.

Earlier, an official at the morgue at Connaught Hospital in Freetown said it had received 70 bodies and police and soldiers were bringing in more.

The death toll is expected to rise as more bodies are recovered, Red Cross spokesman Abu Bakarr Tarawallie said.

“It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble,” Foh told Reuters at the scene in the mountain town of Regent. He said a number of illegal buildings had been erected in the area.

“The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken,” he said. “We’re trying to cordon the area. Evacuate the people.”

Standing in the rain, people cried and gestured toward a muddy hillside where dozens of houses once stood, a Reuters witness said.

Mudslides and floods are fairly common during the rainy season in West Africa, where deforestation and poor town planning has put residents at risk.

5. Merck CEO pulls out of Trump panel, demands rejection of bigotory :-

Merck’s chief executive resigned on Monday from a business panel led by Donald Trump, citing a need for leadership countering bigotry in a strong rebuke to the U.S. president over his response to a violent white nationalist rally in Virginia.

The departure of Kenneth Frazier from the president’s American Manufacturing Council added to a storm of criticism of Trump over his handling of Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, in which a woman was killed when a man drove his car into a group of counter-protesters.

Democrats and Republicans have attacked the Republican president for waiting too long to address the violence, and for saying “many sides” were involved rather than explicitly condemning white-supremacist marchers widely seen as sparking the melee.

A 20-year-old man said to have harbored Nazi sympathies as a teenager was due in court on Monday to face charges he plowed his car into protesters opposing the white nationalists, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 people.

Frazier did not name Trump or criticize him directly in a statement posted on the pharmaceutical company’s Twitter account, but the rebuke was implicit.

“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy,” said Frazier, who is black.

Trump immediately hit back, referring to a longstanding gripe about expensive drugs. Now he had left the panel, Frazier would have more time to focus on lowering “ripoff” drug prices, Trump said in a Twitter post.

The outrage over Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville violence added to a litany of problems for the president.

Opponents have attacked him for his explosive rhetoric toward North Korea and he is publicly fuming with fellow Republicans in Congress over their failure to notch up any major legislative wins during his first six months in office.

Trump was specifically taken to task for comments on Saturday in which he denounced what he called “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

Under pressure to take an unequivocal stand against right-wing extremists who occupy a loyal segment of Trump’s political base, the administration sought to sharpen its message on Sunday.

The White House issued a statement insisting Trump was condemning “all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups.” Vice President Mike Pence also denounced such groups on Sunday.

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