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Turkey/Syria Quake: 16000 Persons and Counting Confirmed Dead, Hope Dims for Survivors Under Rubbles

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More than 16,000 people have been confirmed dead from the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday.

Turkey’s death toll has risen to 12,873 while the most recent figure from Syria stands at 3,162.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had warned that the death toll may reach 20,000 as rescuers sift through the rubble of thousands of collapsed buildings amid freezing weather conditions, faced with the risk of aftershocks.

The earthquake which was felt in many neighbouring countries is one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years.

Experts say the survival window for those trapped under the debris or otherwise unable to obtain basic necessities is closing rapidly.

More than 90 percent of earthquake survivors were rescued within the first three days and it is now just over 72 hours since the first earthquake struck.

“The first 72 hours are considered to be critical,” CBS news quoted Steven Godby, a natural hazards expert at Nottingham Trent University in England, to have said.

“The survival ratio on average within 24 hours is 74%, after 72 hours it is 22% and by the fifth day it is 6%.”

There has been outrage in Turkey over the government’s “slow response” to the disaster.

On Wednesday, President Recep Erdogan of Turkey admitted to “shortcomings”, saying the state initially “had some problems” at airports and on roads, but insisting the situation was now “under control”.

He had earlier announced a three-month state of emergency across the affected 10 provinces in Turkey to enable rapid search-and-rescue operations.

Meanwhile, analysts fear that Syria may be sidelined from receiving as much international help as Turkey.

The Syrian regime is shunned by most Western countries owing to its brutal suppression of an uprising in 2011.

What began as protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime quickly escalated into a full-scale war between Syria—backed by Russia and Iran—and anti-government rebel groups—backed by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and others in the region.

Syria has used the earthquake as a reason to call for sanctions against it to be lifted even as international bodies such as the WHO assured that aid would be delivered to the conflict zone.

TheCable

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Cyril Ramaphosa Re-elected As South African President

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The South African Parliament has, during its first sitting of the 7th Parliament on Friday, re-elected Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa as the President of the Republic of South Africa. He has been re-elected to serve a second term as the President.

Thia was hours after his African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance (DA) agreed to form a coalition, setting aside their rivalry in a historic governance pact.

In terms of the Constitution, the National Assembly must, at its first sitting after its election, elect a woman or a man from among its members to be the President.

Mr. Ramaphosa was elected with 283 votes against Mr Julius Malema with 44 votes. The Constitution states that when elected President, a person ceases to be a member of the National Assembly and, within five days, must assume office by swearing or affirming faithfulness to the Republic and obedience to the Constitution.

The President-elect will be inaugurated during a ceremony in Pretoria which, according to the Constitution, should take place within five days after the President’s election.

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Finidi George Resigns As Super Eagles Coach

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Newly appointed Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, has resigned his appointment,  according to a post by ex-Super Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye on X.com on Saturday.

He wrote, “News just in. Finidi George #FinidiGeorge_FG has resigned from his #NGSuperEagles manager position.”

The resignation follows the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) decision to appoint a foreign coach to oversee him, despite his recent appointment in May.

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Appeal Court Insists Amaewhule, 26 Others Not Members of Rivers House of Assembly

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Friday, refused to set aside a judgment ordering the removal of Martins Chike Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

Justice Charles Wali of the Rivers State High Court, Port Harcourt, on May 30 declared the seats of the 27 lawmakers who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in October last year vacant.

The judge, who delivered the ruling in a suit filed by the Speaker of the Assembly, Victor Oko Jumbo, and two others, also restrained Amaewhule from parading himself as Speaker of the Assembly.

Dissatisfied with the verdict, the aggrieved lawmakers approached the appellate court to set it aside.

However, at a virtual hearing of the matter on Friday, a three-member panel of the appellate court declared that the reversal of the lower court ruling would amount to pre-judging the appeal currently before it.

The panel, thereafter, fixed June 20 for the hearing of the appeal filed by the lawmakers in their quest to regain their seats in the Assembly.

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