Mozambique cyclone death toll climbs, Pakistan Day celebrations, and other news in pictures

Flood water covers the ground between rubble where there once use to be houses at an informal settlement in Beira, the fourth largest city in Mozambique, on March 23, 2019. The man lost his house in Cyclone Idai and he has been rebuilding it the past week. The U.N. is stepping up calls for help in Mozambique as aid agencies struggle to assist tens of thousands of people battered by one of southern Africa’s most powerful cyclones.

Flood water covers the ground between rubble where there once use to be houses at an informal settlement in Beira, the fourth largest city in Mozambique, on March 23, 2019. The man lost his house in Cyclone Idai and he has been rebuilding it the past week. The U.N. is stepping up calls for help in Mozambique as aid agencies struggle to assist tens of thousands of people battered by one of southern Africa’s most powerful cyclones.   | Photo Credit: AFP

 

6 pm

Mozambique cyclone death toll climbs to 417

The death toll in Mozambique climbed to 417 after a cyclone devastated swathes of the southern African country, flooding thousands of square km, the government has said.

Cyclone Idai smashed into the coast of central Mozambique on March 15, unleashing hurricane-force winds and rains that flooded the hinterland and drenched eastern Zimbabwe.

"At this time 417 deaths have been recorded," Lands and Environment Minister Celso Correia has told reporters in the port city of Beira. 

The new numbers have taken the combined death toll of the two neighbouring countries to 676.

Nearly 90,000 Mozambicans have been moved into shelters, while thousands of others are still stranded in floodwaters.

The government estimates that around one million people have been affected by the storm.

"We are living an unprecedented natural disaster. A disaster that only matches major disasters," the Minister has said. 

"Unfortunately no one in the region and in the world could predict a disaster of this size," he has said as the UN stepped up calls for aid for the ravaged and impoverished country.

5 pm

 

Pakistan showcases military might on national day

Pakistan has celebrated its national day with a military parade showcasing its missiles, tanks and aircraft, even as Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi exchanged goodwill messages.

Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi has marked the national day by saying the region needs peace, not war, and that Pakistan wants to live peacefully with its neighbors. He said Pakistan’s war is against hunger, poverty and unemployment.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Malaysiam counterpart Mahathir Mohamad during the Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad on March 23, 2019.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Malaysiam counterpart Mahathir Mohamad during the Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad on March 23, 2019.   | Photo Credit: AFP

 

“Our desire for peace shouldn’t be construed as our weakness. Let’s end the hatred and sow the seeds of peace in this region for prosperity of the people,” Mr. Alvi has said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is the chief guest of the parade, in which troops marched through the streets of Islamabad and warplanes staged acrobatic flyovers. Authorities suspended mobile phone services and blocked roads as part of security precautions.

4 pm

 

Kurdish-led forces pronounce death of Islamic State’s caliphate

Kurdish-led forces have pronounced the death of the Islamic State group's nearly five-year-old “caliphate” after flushing out diehard jihadists from their very last bastion in eastern Syria.

Fighters of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have raised their yellow flag in Baghouz, the remote riverside village where diehard jihadists of a variety of nationalities made a desperate, dramatic last stand.

The SDF's victory caps a six-month operation in which it took heavy casualties and will go down as a symbolic date in a war that changed the face of the region and spurred a spate of global terror attacks.

An image grab released by the Kurdish Ronahi TV on March 23, 2019 shows the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) raising their flag atop a building in the Islamic State group's last bastion in the eastern Syrian village of Baghuz after defeating the jihadist group.

An image grab released by the Kurdish Ronahi TV on March 23, 2019 shows the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) raising their flag atop a building in the Islamic State group's last bastion in the eastern Syrian village of Baghuz after defeating the jihadist group.   | Photo Credit: AFP

 

“Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and 100 per cent territorial defeat of ISIS,” spokesman Mustefa Bali has said in a statement, using another acronym for IS.

In Al-Omar, an oil field used as the main SDF staging base for the final phase of the assault, fighters in their best fatigues have laid down their weapons and broke into song and dance.

The state proclaimed in mid-2014 by fugitive IS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi started collapsing in 2017 when parallel offensives in Iraq and Syria wrested back its main hubs Mosul and Raqa. The nearly five years of fighting against the most brutal jihadist group in modern history left thousand-year-old cities in ruins and populations homeless.

2 pm

 

BJP's 'chowkidar' campaign in Hyderabad

The Telangana BJP on Saturday conducted the party's MainBhiChowkidar  (I too am watchman) campaign on Saturday in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal.

Lat Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the MainBhiChowkidar campaign a notch higher, adding Chowkidar as a prefix to his Twitter handle name. BJP president Amit Shah and other party leaders followed suit.

Union Minister and BJP leader Piyush greeting Secunderabad Lok Sabha candidate G. Kishan Reddy during the “main bhi chowkidar” (I too a watchman) campaign in Hyderabad on Saturday. Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya is at the right.

Union Minister and BJP leader Piyush greeting Secunderabad Lok Sabha candidate G. Kishan Reddy during the “main bhi chowkidar” (I too a watchman) campaign in Hyderabad on Saturday. Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya is at the right.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

 

On Saturday, Mr. Modi tweeted that everyone fighting corruption, dirt and social evils, and working hard for the progress of India, was a Chowkidar (watchman). “Your Chowkidar is standing firm & serving the nation. But I am not alone... today, every Indian is saying-#MainBhiChowkidar.”

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12.30 pm

Voter awareness camp in Meghalaya

A hoarding put by Election Commission to create voter awareness in Tura, West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, on Saturday, March 23 March, 2019.

A hoarding put by Election Commission to create voter awareness in Tura, West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, on Saturday, March 23 March, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

 

To ensure maximum polling in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, awareness campaigns, distribution of pamphlets and other activities were carried out by the election officials at a camp in Tura, West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya on Saturday.  Voting in Meghalaya along with other north-eastern states like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura will take place on April 11.

11:10 am

President administers oath of office to Justice Ghose as Lokpal chief

President Ram Nath Kovind administers the Oath of Office to Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as the Chairperson, Lokpal, at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday.

President Ram Nath Kovind administers the Oath of Office to Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as the Chairperson, Lokpal, at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday administered the oath of office to Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as Lokpal chairperson.

“The oath was administered at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” according to an official statement.

Justice Ghose, the former Supreme Court judge, was on March 19 appointed as the country’s first Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman.

10.00 am

Djokovic, Osaka win Miami openers as Thiem tumbles

Caroline Wozniacki (right) of Denmark, shakes hands after defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Friday, March 22, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Florida, U.S.

Caroline Wozniacki (right) of Denmark, shakes hands after defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Friday, March 22, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Florida, U.S.   | Photo Credit: AP

 

Novak Djokovic put his Indian Wells disappointment behind him on Friday at the ATP and WTA Miami Open with a ruthless 7-6 (7/2) 6-2 destruction of Australian Bernard Tomic to move into the third round.

The Serbian world number one endured a meek exit at the hands of German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the California desert but arrived desperate to land what would be a record seventh title in South Florida.

Tomic, the current world No. 81, gave the 31-year-old a few problems yet the Australian struggles to consistently challenge the best players and this was evident once again as Djokovic eased through the gears at Hard Rock Stadium with just one hour and 13 minutes on the clock.

9.00 am

Campaign ends for Thailand General elections

 

Attendants at Thailand's Future Forward Party last campaign rally before the general election on March 22, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Attendants at Thailand's Future Forward Party last campaign rally before the general election on March 22, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Thailand's main political parties held their final major rallies ahead of Sunday's general election, urging their supporters on and highlighting policies they hope will bring them victory.  The polls follow five years of military rule that began with a coup during a long-running battle for power between supporters and opponents of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by an earlier coup in 2006.

The main parties' prime ministerial candidates spoke at rallies in stadiums in Bangkok, the capital. They included Prayuth Chan-ocha, who heads the current military regime, and Sudarat Keyuraphan, representing Thaksin's political machine, the army's main antagonist.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:47:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/thailand-gears-up-for-polls-miami-open-tennis-tournament-and-other-news-in-pictures/article26617814.ece

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