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Gold Coast (Australia) (AFP) He’s tiptoeing lightly around the subject so whisper it, but South Africa’s Chad le Clos could just become the next Michael Phelps after making history at the Commonwealth Games. The 25-year-old shot to fame after taking down the American swimming legend at the 2012 Olympics, and proved over the past week on the Gold Coast that he will be a force to be reckoned with at the Tokyo Games in 2020. Le Clos became the first male swimmer to win three consecutive Commonwealth gold medals inRead More
Gold Coast (Australia) (AFP) Five athletes from conflict-hit Cameroon have gone missing from the Commonwealth Games in Australia, team officials said Wednesday. Three weightlifters and two boxers have not been seen since Tuesday, triggering suspicion they had fled with no intention of returning home. The matter has been reported to Australian police. Cameroon press attache Simon Molombe told AFP that he was shocked to learn weightlifters Olivier Matam Matam, Arcangeline Fouodji and Petit Minkoumba, along with boxers Christian Ndzie Tsoye and Simplice Fotsala, had apparently fled. “It came as aRead More
Gold Coast (Australia) (AFP) A total of eight athletes from conflict-hit Cameroon are now missing from the Commonwealth Games in Australia, team officials said Wednesday. Three weightlifters and two boxers were initially reported to Australian police after not being seen since Tuesday, triggering suspicion they had fled with no intention of returning to Cameroon. Cameroon press attache Simon Molombe told AFP the number of missing athletes had risen to eight — one third of the country’s 24-strong team. “It came as a complete surprise,” he said. “We have no ideaRead More
Washington (AFP) The United States announced Tuesday the lifting of its six-month ban on visitors and immigrants from Chad, saying the country had met key security requirements for vetting travelers. “The president announced today that Chad has raised its security standards to meet important baseline US national security requirements,” the Department of Homeland Security announced. “Therefore, its nationals will again be able to receive visas for travel to the United States.” The travel restrictions will be officially terminated on April 13. The central African country’s government, which the US callsRead More
Paris (AFP) Algeria has given the Vatican its approval for the beatification in Oran of seven French Trappist monks killed by Islamic insurgents in 1996, the country’s top diplomat said Tuesday. “The beatification will take place in a few months, in the coming weeks, in Oran,” Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel told France 24 television. The Holy See declared in January that the monks were martyrs for their faith, along with 12 other clergy slain in Algeria between 1994 and 1996 during a bloody civil war, including Bishop Pierre Claverie ofRead More
Paris (AFP) The Congolese government skirted requirements of the International Monetary Fund in 2003 through a financial fiddle created by French oil giant Total, the French daily Le Monde reported Tuesday. Total denied the report, saying in a statement that it “did not help the Republic of Congo escape the oversight of its international creditors.” Le Monde based its report on a deep dive into the trove of confidential documents published in 2016 and 2017 by the whistle-blowing International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that have become known as theRead More
Gold Coast (Australia) (AFP) Caster Semenya smashed Zola Budd’s long-standing South African 1,500 metres record at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday as her dominance on the track continued to be dogged by controversy off it. Semenya, who has elevated levels of male sex hormones, made her move on the last lap, overtaking Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech on the final bend and accelerating away to win in 4min 0.71sec. The 27-year-old’s victory by more than two seconds sliced 1.1sec off Budd’s 1984 South African record and earned Semenya her first Commonwealth medal,Read More
Gold Coast (Australia) (AFP) South Africa’s Chad le Clos likened himself to swimming legend Michael Phelps on Saturday after blasting his way to a hat-trick of Commonwealth Games titles in the 200 metres butterfly. The four-time world champion clocked a Games record one minute, 54 seconds flat to become the first male swimmer to win three consecutive Commonwealth gold medals in the same event. “I wanted to get the three-peat,” said le Clos, who shot to fame at the 2012 London Olympics by stunning Phelps in the 200m butterfly inRead More
Madrid (AFP) Three Spanish firefighters will stand trial in May in Greece for allegedly trying to help illegal migrants enter the country via Lesbos where they were taking part in sea rescue operations. The three, from the southern city of Seville, made the announcement late Thursday after meeting Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis in Madrid. “We’ve received commitment from the minister that we will get all the necessary consular help to face this process,” said Manuel Blanco, one of the accused. In a tweet, Dastis described the trio as havingRead More
Brussels (AFP) European law enforcement officials say they are tracking at least 65,000 migrant smugglers, twice as many as at the height of the migration crisis three years ago, as the illegal trade booms. Despite a drop in the number of migrants successfully crossing the Mediterranean since Europe’s biggest migration crisis since World War II erupted in 2015, the EU’s police agency Europol said demand for smugglers was still “huge”. Many new suspects have also been identified, Europol added, as investigators in European countries track one of the fastest growingRead More