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Fire Razes Home For Disabled, Kills Eight, Injures 30

Eight people were killed and 30 were injured in a fire at a Czech home for people with disabilities early on Sunday, fire and state officials said. The blaze occurred in a home where mostly men with mental and other disabilities lived, in Vejprty on the country’s northwest border with Germany. It was the second deadliest blaze in the country’s three-decade post-communist history. In 2010, a fire in an abandoned building often used by homeless people in Prague killed nine people. A hotel fire in the capital in 1995 killed…

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Trump’s Legal Team Says Impeachment Charges ‘Brazen, Unlawful’

The legal team of United States President Donald Trump has issued its first formal response to the impeachment charges against him, describing them as a “dangerous attack” on democracy. The document said the impeachment articles failed to allege any crime and were a “brazen” attempt to interfere with the 2020 presidential elections. The response came as the Democrats filed their brief for the proceedings. Opening statements in the trial will begin next week. Trump is only the third US president in history to face an impeachment trial. He is accused…

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Harry, Meghan Drop Royal Duties, HRH Titles

Prince Harry and Meghan will no longer use their HRH titles and will not receive public funds for royal duties, Buckingham Palace has announced. The couple will also no longer formally represent The Queen. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex intend to repay £2.4m of taxpayer money for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home, the statement added. The new arrangement comes into effect in spring this year, the palace said. The statement comes after senior royals held talks on Monday about the future role…

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ECA,  Zimbabwe Sign Agreement Ahead Of Sustainable Development Forum

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Zimbabwe government on Wednesday signed an agreement in preparation for the forthcoming Sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) which Harare is hosting in Victoria Falls from 24-27 February, 2020. Director of the African Centre for Statistics, Mr. Oliver Chinganya, signed on behalf of the ECA, while Mr. Simon Masanga, Permanent Secretary of the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Ministry, signed for Zimbabwe. “Signing the agreement adds impetus to preparations for this very important forum that will see Zimbabwe flying…

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Bombshell: Trump ‘Knew Exactly What Was Going On’, Says Giuliani’s Aide

…..As Senate Impeachment Trail Begins An aide to Rudy Giuliani claims President Donald Trump “knew exactly what was going on” regarding efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son. Lev Parnas, a close associate of Mr Trump’s lawyer, made the comments in an interview with MSNBC. Parnas, who is facing separate criminal charges, said Mr Giuliani was never investigating corruption. The intention was to damage a potential Democratic rival to President Trump. The president denies the allegations. Donald Trump was impeached in the United States…

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Captain Diverts Flight Due To Medical Emergency, Passenger Dies As Plane Landed

An Air Canada flight bound for Australia diverted to Honolulu over the weekend because of a dead passenger. Passenger Christopher Woodgate, 38, was pronounced dead when the flight landed in Honolulu on Saturday, said Kira Paiva-Kimura, an administrative services officer for the Honolulu medical examiner’s office. An autopsy will be conducted. The flight from Vancouver was headed for Brisbane, Australia, when it diverted to Honolulu because of a medical emergency, said Peter Fitzpatrick, an Air Canada spokesman. He would not provide details about what happened to the passenger. “Out of…

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Queen Elizabeth Agrees To Prince Harry, Meghan’s Canada Move

Queen Elizabeth II has agreed to what she calls a “period of transition” in which Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, “will spend time in Canada and the UK.” The UK monarch stated that “Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family,” she is “entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.” Buckingham Palace released a statement after senior royals – the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Prince William –…

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Experts To Review ECA’s Flagship Economic Report On Africa 2020

An expert group meeting to review the Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) flagship Economic Report on Africa (ERA2020) has been scheduled for 16 – 17 January 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The report is titled, “Innovation for Private Sector Development in Africa.” It looks at current knowledge on innovations in finance, including financial technologies (fintech) and how such innovations can make a clear breakthrough in financing business sector development in Africa. The Economic Report on Africa is ECA’s main flagship publication. Each edition appraises recent economic and social developments in…

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Qassim Soleimani: Hezbollah Vows Fresh Threat To US Troops

The leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah said Sunday that Iran’s missile attacks on two bases in Iraq housing United States forces was only the start of the retaliation for America’s killing a top Iranian general in a drone strike. Hassan Nasrallah described Iran’s ballistic missile response as a “slap” to Washington, one that sent a message. The limited strikes caused no casualties and appeared to be mainly a show of force. The leader of Hezbollah, which is closely aligned with Iran, said the strikes were the “first step…

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Ukraine Plane Crash: Protests Rock Iran,  UK Ambassador Arrested

Britain’s ambassador to Iran, Rob Macaire, has been arrested in Tehran during protests outside a university, the United Kingdom Foreign office has said. Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, said the arrest of Rob Macaire was a “flagrant violation of international law’’. He was detained for more than an hour before being released, the Iranian Tasnim news agency reported. He is said to have been one of a number of individuals held on suspicion of organising, provoking and directing radical actions. In a statement, Mr Raab said: “The arrest of our ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation…

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