Three of the five countries representing Africa at the world cup started their campaigns during the weekend, each of them losing their first games.
Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria were off to a losing start as they were beaten by Uruguay, Iran and Croatia respectively.
The Egyptian side missed star player Mo Salah due to injury, and seemed to be on their way to winning a point against Uruguay until a very late goal made sure they could not leave with a point.
Morocco meanwhile, were expected to win against the Iranian side, but were shocked as Iran stole the 3 points with a lone goal.
Having been touted the most fashionable team in the FIFA World Cup, 2018, lots of people expected at least a good showing from the youngest squad in the world, Nigeria. However, against a Croatian side who many have said are having their last opportunity to shine on the world’s biggest stage, the Nigerian team came up short, losing 2 goals to nil.
Elsewhere, the tagged favourites were not having things go their way as they and many others had expected:
Two times world cup winners, Argentina were held by World Cup debutants Iceland, in a game where star player, Lionel Messi missed a penalty.
Reigning world cup champions, Germany were defeated by Mexico, and Neymar-led Brazil were held by Switzerland.
More drama is expected during the world cup as the games continue today, with another African representative, Tunisia, starting their campaign against England.
Explosion At Astron Energy’s South African Refinery Kills At Least Two: Source
An explosion went off at Astron energy refinery in South African on Thursday. A source who works at the 100,000 barrel per day plant says, at least two persons are reported killed in the explosion and several others injured.
The plant, which was just starting up after undergoing extended maintenance, was shut down after a fire broke out early on Thursday.
The company- Astron energy `s spokesperson has not responded.
Mali Opposition Seeks To Curb President’s Authority In Reform Plan
Opponents of Mali’s president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita have sought on Wednesday to end a political crisis by proposing reforms to neuter his authority and hand executive power to a prime minister.
Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital Bamako twice in June to demand the immediate resignation of Keita saying he had been unable to resolve Mali’s numerous crises, while corruption and economic hardship have flourished.
A leader of opposition coalition, Choguel Kokala Maiga, presented a nine-point proposal this week that included the appointment of a prime minister by the opposition. But did not push for a demand for the president`s resignation.
Among the group’s proposals are the dissolution of the national assembly, a transitional legislative body, the renewal of members of Mali’s highest court, and a government of national unity.
Their proposal would effectively curtail Keita’s powers to that of a ceremonial head of state. 75-year-old Keita, was re-elected in 2018 for a second five-year term.
Mali has been in political turmoil since a disputed legislative election in march. The lead-up to the poll was marred by allegations of vote buying and intimidation and the kidnapping of opposition leader Soumaila Cisse.
As concerns about Mali’s political instability are growing, Boubacar Keita`s government has offered concessions, including a unity government, while mediators from the regional body ECOWAS have proposed new legislative elections in disputed constituencies. These have been rejected by the opposition.
The united nations, which has thousands of peacekeepers in the country, has also called for calm and dialogue. At a Sahel security summit on Tuesday, France, EU and regional leaders called for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
Burundi To Boost Testing, President Labels Covid-19 ‘Worst Enemy’
Burundi’s new president Evariste Ndayishimiye says his government will take the coronavirus pandemic more seriously than his late predecessor. Former president Pierre Nkurunziza who died last month was criticized for not taking the pandemic seriously.
Now, Ndayishimiye says screenings will be launched wherever clusters of cases are suspected, and that soap prices and water bills will be reduced. He called the coronavirus the country’s worst enemy.
Some countries and human rights groups have expressed hope that the new president, an ally of Nkurunziza, might break with certain ways of his predecessor.
Burundi has reported 170 confirmed coronavirus cases.
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