Gunman Kills 15 At Texas Elementary School

FILE PHOTO: A Bryan police officer blocks access to an industrial park near the scene of a mass shooting in Bryan, Texas on April 8, 2021.  Sam Craft / AFP

 

An 18-year-old gunman killed 14 children and a teacher at an elementary school in Texas on Tuesday, according to the state’s governor, in the nation’s deadliest school shooting in years.

The attack in Uvalde, Texas — a small community about an hour from the Mexican border — is the latest in a spree of deadly shootings in the United States, where widespread horror at gun violence has failed to spur action to head off future killings.

The assailant “shot and killed, horrifically and incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher,” Governor Greg Abbott told a news conference.

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The governor said the suspect, a local teenager, was also “deceased,” adding that “it is believed that responding officers killed him.”

It was the deadliest such incident since 14 high school students and three adult staff were killed in Parkland, Florida in 2018 — and the worst at an elementary school since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, in which 20 children and six staff were killed.

President Joe Biden has been briefed on the texas shooting, and was to speak about it later Tuesday, his spokeswoman said.

Local police had previously said a suspect was taken into custody following the shooting, which began at around noon.

Abbott said the shooter was believed to have “abandoned his vehicle and entered into the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with a handgun, and he may also have had a rifle.”

The school — which teaches more than 500, mostly Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students from second through fourth grade — called on parents not to pick up their children until all were accounted for.

“Please do not pick up students at this time. Students need to be accounted for before they are released to your care. You will be notified to pick up students once all are accounted for,” the school said on its website.

Ted Cruz, a US senator from Texas, tweeted that he and his wife are “lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde.”

Wave of gun violence

“Thank you to heroic law enforcement & first responders for acting so swiftly,” Cruz added.

The deadly violence in Texas follows a series of mass shootings in the United States this month.

On May 14, an 18-year-old white man shot 10 people dead at a Buffalo, New York grocery store.

Wearing heavy body armor and wielding an AR-15 rifle, the self-declared white supremacist allegedly livestreamed his attack, having reportedly targeted the store because of the large surrounding African American population.

The following day, a man blocked the door of a church in Laguna Woods, California and opened fire on its Taiwanese-American congregation, killing one person and injuring five.

Despite recurring mass-casualty shootings, multiple initiatives to reform gun regulations have failed in the US Congress, leaving states and local councils to enact their own restrictions.

The United States suffered 19,350 firearm homicides in 2020, up nearly 35 percent compared to 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its latest data.

FIBA Threatens Sanctions Over Nigeria’s Basketball Suspension

The Nigerian girls had lost their fight game against China. Photo: FIBA

 

World basketball body FIBA has threatened to sanction Nigeria over its decision to withdraw from international competitions for two years.

FIBA in a letter signed by its Head of Legal, Jaime Lamboy, and dated May 18, 2022, the body said Nigeria’s decision was in breach of Article 9.7 of FIBA’s General Statutes.

“National member federations shall manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties,” the letter addressed to Nigeria Basketball Federation President, Musa Ahmadu-Kida, read in part.

Article 10.2 of the FIBA Statutes stated that on the initiative of the Secretary-General, FIBA Central Board may suspend a national member federation for the breach of Article 9.7.

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The implication of the sanction would mean that Nigeria will miss out on the 2024 Olympic Games, as well as the 2025 World Championships for the male and female teams.

FIBA also reacted to a letter earlier written to them by the Ahmadu-Kida-led NBBF board.

“In such letter, you pre-emptively informed FIBA of the apparent decision by the Nigerian Government (Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports Development) intending to have Nigeria take a break from all international engagements for two years and enabling an Interim Management Committee to run the affairs of the basketball in Nigeria,” the letter read.

“As you already are aware, Nigeria is due to participate in the following FIBA competitions in the upcoming months: FIBA 2023 Basketball World Cup Qualifiers (FBWC23 Qualifiers) FIBA 2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup (FWBWC22).

“As you are aware, any withdrawal of Nigeria from the abovementioned competitions will trigger potential disciplinary sanctions as per the FIBA Internal Regulations. Furthermore, if the absence of Nigeria from international competitions for the next two years materialises, the consequences may spread out well past such a two-year period.

“For example, please note that the withdrawal from the FBWC23 Qualifiers is also a withdrawal from the Paris 2024 Olympic qualification process. Similarly, depending on third-party results, the same situation could apply with respect to FIBA AfroBasket 2025.”

“Accordingly, we request from the NBBF to immediately inform FIBA whether its participation in the abovementioned competitions is or not ratified.

“We take the opportunity to remind the NBBF of its obligations to manage its affairs with no influence from third parties, as per Article 9.6 of FIBA General Statutes.”

This is coming a week after President Muhammadu Buhari approved with immediate effect, Nigeria’s withdrawal from all international basketball competitions for two years, following a lingering leadership rift in the NBBF.

Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, had explained that the withdrawal would help the country revamp the sport from the grassroots, as well as put an end to the basketball crises.

No fresh plane crash in Lagos -LASEMA

The Lagos State Emergency Agency has debunked reports that a plane crash-landed in the Ikeja area of the state on Tuesday. The agency officials noted that “nothing of such happened” when contacted by our correspondent on the telephone. There had been reports that a plane crash-landed in Ikeja, causing panic among road users on Tuesday…

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday said the state government will go ahead with its proposed ban on motorcycles on highways and six local governments and nine Local Council Development Areas from June 1. He said security services and Lagos State Government are on the same page with respect to the banning of…

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BREAKING: 14 students, one teacher killed in Texas elementary school shooting

An 18-year-old gunman killed 14 children and a teacher at an elementary school in Texas on Tuesday, according to the state’s governor, in the nation’s deadliest school shooting in years. The attack in Uvalde, Texas – a small community about an hour from the Mexican border — is the latest in a spree of deadly…

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UN Security Council Calls For Reversal Of Taliban Policies On Women

In this file photo taken on September 23, 2019 the United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019. Ludovic MARIN / AFP

 

The UN Security Council on Tuesday called on the Taliban to “swiftly reverse” policies restricting human rights and freedoms for Afghan women, in a unanimously adopted statement.

The move comes just days after female TV presenters were ordered to cover up fully, including their faces, the latest in a slew of Taliban restrictions on civil society, many of which are focused on women and girls.

In the text drafted by Norway, the council’s 15 member states said they were particularly concerned with the Taliban’s “imposition of restrictions that limit access to education, employment, freedom of movement, and women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in public life.”

The council said it called on the Taliban “to swiftly reverse the policies and practices which are currently restricting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Afghan women and girls.”

It demanded the Taliban re-open schools for all female students without further delay and expressed “deep concern” over the announcement that women must cover their faces in public, including on television broadcasts.

According to diplomats, negotiations on the text, which lasted nearly two weeks, hit road bumps when China and Russia objected to a focus on human rights.

Consequently, the document also includes paragraphs expressing “deep concern regarding the volatile situation in Afghanistan” in terms of humanitarian, political, economic, social and security issues.

In particular, the text cites drug trafficking and terrorist attacks targeting civilians, in addition to the need to restore the country’s financial and banking systems.

AFP

 

Gunmen Kill Pregnant Woman, Four Children In Anambra

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Gunmen have killed at least 12 people, including a pregnant woman and her four children in Anambra State, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

The State Governor, Charles Soludo and the police have reacted to the killings but did not specify the number of persons killed.

A community leader told the BBC that the pregnant woman and her children were returning home on a motorcycle taxi when gunmen ambushed them in the Orumba area of the state.

The killings come about 24 hours after gunmen beheaded a lawmaker in the state, Okechukwu Okoye.

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But the latest killing appears to have taken an ethnic colouration.

In a statement on Tuesday, Governor Soludo said “there is no targeted ethnic or religious killings in Anambra State.

“As a matter of fact, Anambra indigenes have suffered more casualties as a result of the unfortunate killings.”

As part of efforts to quell the outrage over the killings, the State Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng has visited the Hausa communities in Amansea to assure them of adequate security and protection.

According to police spokesperson Mr. Tochukwu Ikenga, investigations to unravel the cause of the killings in the State have since commenced.

Much of the violence in Anambra State, as well as the entire south-east region has been blamed on the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which is seeking secession of the region from Nigeria.

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Euro Titles ‘No Help’ To Mourinho Ahead of Conference League Final

File photo of Jose Mourinho. NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP

 

Jose Mourinho said Tuesday that his experience of European glory will be no help to him as Roma are one step away from their first major continental crown.

Mourinho has won two Champions Leagues, the old UEFA Cup and the Europa League, but said he was feeling the same pressure ahead of Wednesday’s Conference League final with Feyenoord in Tirana.

“There’s not going to be anything else in my head until after tomorrow,” Mourinho told reporters.

“Previous experience isn’t helping, I thought it would but it’s not, I’m exactly as I was when I managed my first final.”

Mourinho, 59, has won over supporters after a broadly successful first season in the Italian capital in which he secured Europa League football and took Roma to their first European final in over three decades.

He got Roma into Europe’s second-tier competition thanks to a 3-0 win at Torino on the final day of the Serie A season which gave them sixth place.

“We managed to win that final and now we have another target to go for,” he added.

“Now that we’re here we have to do everything possible to make history.”

Captain Lorenzo Pellegrini said that he was going into the most important match of his career, leading his boyhood team out for the final of a competition which attracted doubters at the start of the season but has provided plenty of entertainment.

The Italy midfielder, who was born and raised in Rome and came through the club’s academy system, has been a standout player under Mourinho and is keen to give Roma their first trophy since 2008.

“It’s my first final and I’m going to play it wearing this shirt,” he said.

“I couldn’t ask for more.”

Borno Killings: We Are Investigating Incident, Says Army

A map of Borno, a state in north-east Nigeria.

 

The Theatre Command of Joint Task Force ‘Operation Hadin Kai’ in the North-East is yet to confirm the report on the killing of scores of farmers in Rann, the headquarters of Kala-Balge Local Government Council in Borno State.

Theatre Commander Major-General Christopher Musa said investigations are ongoing to confirm the nature of what transpired.

According to reports, at least 45 farmers were killed and buried on Monday while many others are yet to be accounted for.

Meanwhile AFP reported on Tuesday, quoting two militia leaders, that Jihadists killed 30 men in a revenge attack after their commanders died in military air strikes in Borno.

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Fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) seized the men in Mudu village in the Dikwa area on Saturday, the militia leaders said.

News of the incident emerged late due to poor communication as a result of the destruction of telecom towers by jihadists in the region.

“Most of the 30 men were slaughtered by ISWAP terrorists while a few who tried to flee were shot,” militia leader Babakura Kolo told AFP from the regional capital, Maiduguri.

“They were metal scrap scavengers who were in the area in search of burnt vehicles which dot villages in northern Borno following attacks by the terrorists,” he said.

He said the men had trekked from the town of Rann, 80 kilometres away, where they lived in camps for people displaced by the jihadist violence.

Another militia leader Umar Ari said ISWAP had accused the slain men of passing information on their positions to the military in the area.

“The 30 men were unlucky to have been in the area at that time when the terrorists were grieving the death of their two commanders killed in a military operation,” Ari told AFP.

In recent weeks, Nigerian military have carried out successful ground and air assaults against ISWAP and rival Boko Haram fighters, killing several high-profile Jihadist commanders.

ISWAP split from mainstream Boko Haram in 2016 and rose to become a dominant group in the region.

The two groups have increasingly been targeting civilians, particularly loggers, farmers and herders, accusing them of spying on them.

The jihadist violence has killed over 40,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes in the northeast since 2009, according to the UN.

Most of the displaced who live in camps rely on food handouts from aid agencies, forcing many to turn to felling trees in the arid region for firewood and scavenging for metal scraps which they sell to buy food.

Local authorities have been returning the displaced back to their homes despite serious concerns about their safety.

The jihadist uprising has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.