Harrowing scenes after Cyclone Idai with inland ocean visibl

  As many as “300 to 400” bodies line the banks of a road out of the city of Beira in Mozam

bique, according to an eyewitness account, and flood waters have formed an inland

ocean that is visible from outer space.The harrowing scene, described by Zimbabwea

n Graham Taylor, suggests that the human toll of Cyclone Idai is likely to far exceed officiaal estimates. It follows reports fr

om aid agencies on the ground detailing how entire villages and towns have been completely flooded in the wake of last Thursday’

s high-end Category 2 storm.Taylor said the bodies were located on a 6 kilometer (3.7 mile) t

rack of highway, where flood waters had created an inland ocean, submerging entire villages around a “densely populated” s

ugar-cane plantation. The area is a mere fraction of the land in the southeast African nation left flooded after two major rive

rs burst their banks in the days following the storm.The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red

Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Friday that the destruction left by the cyclone is “worse than

we imagined” and warned that the humanitarian needs “will tragically only deepen in the coming weeks.”

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But information has been slow to emerge and communicati

  ion with affected areas remains limited. On Monday, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said that “everyth

ing indicates that we can have a record of more than 1,000 dead” — a figure that some experts now believe could be conservative.

  The mortuary at the central hospital in Beira “is full and dozens of bodies need to be

removed and handled in a dignified way,” according to IFRC. Beira is still flooded, which makes it impossible to bury bodies, IFRC said.

  It is premature to say how many people have died while affected areas remain i

naccessible, Stephen Fonseca, regional forensics manager at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), told CNN.

  On Friday morning ICRC set up a new base in Chimoio, near the border with Zimbabw

e. Fonseca said identifying victims is “a monumental task” that will take months or years rather than days or weeks.

  ”The agony of not knowing what happened to your loved one in a disaster like Cyclone Idai is

indescribable,” Diane Araujo, an ICRC delegate deployed to Beira, said in a statement Friday.

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As dawn broke, those sobs began to make sense as a “ter

  rible sight” emerged, Taylor said.

  ”Dead bodies had floated up (and the) current of the flood water had washed the bodies up against the road,” said Tay

lor. “The road had subsided about 10 inches (25.5 centimeters). So these bodies had been washed up against the main highway.”

  Taylor said the smell of bodies and livestock was palpable.Hundreds of others were also attempting to make the congested seven-ho

ur walk from the village of Lamego — about 90 kilometers (56 miles) inland from Beira — to Nhamatanda, on higher ground. In places whe

re the current of the flood waters was strong, about 50 people joined hands to make a human chain, said Taylor.

  ”I’m 6 foot 2 inches (187 centimeters), but the force of water at knee level w

as powerful,” Taylor said. “You had to pay attention and concentrate where you put your feet.”

  Taylor said he saw an elderly woman carry her husband on her back.

  On the road out of Beira, he said “the entire area, as far as I could see, was one lake of flood

water,” adding that groups of up to 10 people had climbed eucalyptus, cashew and mango trees waiting to be rescued.

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Some have said the killings robbed New Zealand of its i

innocence. But that is probably being too simplistic as we live in a complex world.

Indeed, New Zealand is about as far away as you can get from the violence we see alm

ost daily in other war-torn places. That is not to say New Zealand has been immune to violence.

The quiet seaside town of Aramoana, near Dunedin, saw 13 people gunned down in No

vember 1990 when a local resident went berserk after an argument with his next-door neighbor. Five years lat

er, in April 1995, across the Tasman Sea in Australia, there was the Port Arthur massacre on the island state of Tas

mania where 35 people were killed by a lone gunman. That was an act of pure evil rather than of hate or race.

Both acts of violence saw changes to gun laws. In Australia’s case, it w

as a radical overhaul. New Zealand will change its gun laws in 10 days, said Ardern on Monday. In N

ew Zealand, it is estimated 250,000 gun-owners own about 1.5 million firearms and the laws governing guns are weak and exploited.

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Six people arrested in Kenya after seizure of fake $20 millio

Police in Kenya have arrested six people in connection with the seizure of counterfeit notes worth more than $20 million.

The fake banknotes were found in a personal safety deposit box of a Barclays Bank bran

ch in the capital Nairobi, Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations said on Tuesday.

“Six people were arrested… by DCI detectives in connection with fake currency a

mounting to slightly over $20 million at Barclays Kenya Queensway Branch,” the statement read.

6 People were arrested today evening by @DCI_Kenya Detectives in conn

ection with Fake currency amounting to slightly over 20Million US Dollars @Ba

rclays_Kenya~Queensway Branch. The fake notes in 100 Dollar denominations were recovered from the Bank’s

“The fake notes in $100 denominations were recovered from the bank’s safe room.”

Those arrested include two bank officials, DCI said, adding that a person who woul

d have been defrauded by the suspects was cooperating with the police in the investigation.

Barclays Kenya confirmed on Tuesday that the police arrested a customer who had kept counterfeit dollar notes in a safety deposit box at the branch.

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At smaller services, shovels are used to move the dirt. So

many people attended Wednesday’s service that Akil said guests were invited to throw a small handful each.

Zaid was too weak to hold a shovel, Akil said, so one was taken to him, piled with dirt.

‘It’s their names we need to keep telling’

Zaid stayed to accept condolences before being taken back to Christchurch Hospital, A

kil said. It’s likely to be some time before he’s well enough to return to Cashmere High School, which his brother also attended.

Ardern visited Cashmere High on Wednesday to address the students who’ve been payi

ng tribute to Hamza and another classmate who was killed, Sayyad Milne, 14. Former student Tariq Omar, 24, also died.

New Zealand terror suspect planned third attack, police chief says

“You know some of the young people who lost their lives on Friday,” Ardern told the students. “It’s their names and their stories we need to keep telling.”

The prime minister invited questions from the assembly. The first was: “How are you?”

“Thank you for asking,” Ardern said. “I’m very sad.”

New Zealand will fall silent for two minutes this Friday to remember the victims of the massacre.

The call to prayer will be also broadcast over national television and radio uniting a country wracked by grief one week on.

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China will tip off its campaign against Cote d’Ivoire o

  Aug 31, followed by a match against Poland on Sept 2 before facing Venezuela two days later. All three games will be played at the 18,

000-seat Wukesong Arena in Beijing, where China finished eighth at the 2008 Summer Olympics to tie its best record at the Games.

  At the 2010 FIBA World Championship, China beat Cote d’Ivoire 83-73, but its last m

atch against Venezuela, at the 2016 Olympics, ended in a 68-72 defeat. China and Poland have never met before in official competition.

  Despite the favorable draw, Team China’s head coach Li Nan warned against undere

stimating the opposition.Spearheaded by former NBA player Yi Jianlian, fellow center Wang Zhel

in-a second-round draft pick for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2016-and young playmaker Guo Ailun, China’s primary aim

is to finish the tournament as the top Asian team in order to qualify directly for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

  However, Bryant, the tournament’s global ambassador, has urged China to aim even higher.

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China has been working to increase the access speed

 and reduce costs of internet services, which will be good not only for consumers but also for industrial upgrading.

The country’s three telecom carriers — China Mobile Communications, China United Network Comm

unications Group and China Telecommunications Corp — announced steps to scrap domestic long-distan

ce and roaming charges from Oct 1, 2017, and cancel data roaming fees within the country starting July 1, 2018.

However, increasing speed and cutting charges doesn’t bring less

revenue for telecom operators. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, du

ring the first half of last year, revenues from the telecom business rose 4.1 percent year-on-year to 672 billion yuan.

Mobile internet traffic jumped 199.6 percent to 26.6 billion gigabytes. Among them, inter

net usage via phones soared 214.7 percent to 26.2 billion gigabytes, accounting for 98.3 percent of the total.

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Meanwhile, 5G is becoming a new bright spot. In Decem

the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology allocated specific l

ow- and medium-frequency bands to the nation’s three telecom carriers. Currently, these carrie

rs are conducting 5G trial operations in a string of cities, enabling large-scale precommercial use.

According to the action plan, the country will speed up 5G research, and promote the construct

ion of 5G network and demonstration projects, aiming to fully commercialize the superfast technology by 2020.

E-commerce poverty alleviation

In the wake of information consumption’s development in China, e-commerce brings about a new idea for poverty alleviation in rural areas.

In recent years, some people sell local agricultural products nationwide via e-commerce platf

orms. It not only improves the livelihoods of impoverished people, but also contributes to the revitalization of rural areas.

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On Feb 28, Starbucks organized an online competition

a flash sale, if you will-for the limited-edition cups. Consumers would wait in front of their com

puters for long hours just to click “buy” several times in quick succession over a period of four days to March 3.

Only, millions of their ilk would also do the same thing at the same time. This meant, most of their attempts were destined to prove unsu

ccessful as buyers vastly outnumbered the special cups on sale. The cat-cups were sold out in nanoseconds after the sale opened.

Disappointed consumers accused Starbucks of resorting to “hunger market

ing”, a strategy to drive up demand by deliberately limiting supply, a charge that the cafe chain denied.

The Starbucks cup episode is the latest proof that pets, particularly cats, are stoking big-ticket

spending among affluent consumers in China, an economy that is witnessing consumption upgrade acr

oss all sectors-a topic close to the hearts of the Chinese lawmakers and political advisers who attended the annu

al sessions of the country’ top legislature and top political advisory body this month.

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