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Global agency urges caution around Somali waters amid rise in sea piracy

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Mogadishu, July 11 (IANS) Piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia still pose a threat, with eight incidents reported in the first six months of 2024, including three hijackings, a global anti-piracy body said in a new report released Thursday.

The latest report by the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) called on shipping vessels to be vigilant when transiting the Somali coastline and the Gulf of Aden, as piracy remains a threat despite a decrease in attacks since 2017.

“From Jan. 1 to June 30, three vessels were hijacked, two vessels each boarded and fired upon and one reported an attempted approach in the waters off Somalia/Gulf of Aden,” the IMB said in the report, reports Xinhua news agency.

It said recent incidents demonstrate the continued capability and capacity of the Somali pirates to target vessels up to 1,000 nautical miles off the Somali coast.

The anti-piracy body called for sustained vigilance to protect seafarers amid increasing violence despite an overall drop in the number of incidents reported in the IMB’s mid-year report for 2024.

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According to the report, incidents have dropped from 14 to 10 in the Gulf of Guinea, but threats to crew safety and wellbeing continue to be a cause of concern.

The IMB reiterated the need for a continued and robust regional and international naval presence to respond to these incidents and safeguard life at sea.

–IANS

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US Secret Service shares details of assassination attempt on Trump (2nd Ld)

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Washington, July 14 (IANS) Former US President Donald Trump was shot at an election rally in a possible assassination attempt just a day before the Republican Party is scheduled to begin its convention to formally declare him its nominee for the White House.

Trump touched the right side of his face after what seemed like the first two shots and dropped to the ground.

Secret Service agents threw themselves on him to protect him. When they rose, the agents had him inside protective of their bodies.

The former President appeared to be bleeding on the right side of the face. He raised a fist in the air as he was led away.

He was taken to a local medical facility for treatment.

“I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear,” former President Trump said in a post on Truth Social, the media platform he launched after he was banished from Twitter, which is now called X.

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“I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, and shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Much bleeding took place, so I realised then what was happening.”

The shooter, who remains unidentified, was shot dead.

Local authorities said he was in a low-rise building outside the rally venue.

A member of the audience is also dead. Another person was grievously wounded.

The Secret Service said in a statement: “During former President Trump’s campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, on the evening of July 13 at around 6:15 p.m., a suspected shooter fired multiple shots toward the stage from an elevated position outside of the rally venue. US Secret Service personnel neutralised the shooter, who is now deceased. The US Secret Service quickly responded with protective measures and the former President is safe and being evaluated. One spectator was killed, and two spectators were critically injured. The incident is currently under investigation and the Secret Service has formally notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

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President Joe Biden said in remarks to the nation that he had tried to speak to Trump — addressing him as “Donald” for probably the first time in public.

“I plan on talking to them shortly, he said, adding, “There’s no place in America for this kind of violence. It’s sick sick… The bottom line is (the) rally should have been conducted peacefully without any problem.”

–IANS

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International

Trump shot at in assassination attempt (Ld)

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Washington, July 14 (IANS) Former US President Donald Trump was shot at an election rally in a possible assassination attempt just a day before the Republican Party is scheduled to begin its convention to formally declare him its nominee for the White House.

Trump touched the right side of his face after what seemed like the first two shots and dropped to the ground.

Secret Service agents threw themselves on him to protect him. When they rose, the agents had him inside protective of their bodies.

The former President appeared to be bleeding on the right side of the face. He raised a fist in the air as he was led away.

He was taken to a local medical facility for treatment.

The shooter, who remains unidentified, was shot dead.

Local authorities said he was in a low-rise building outside the rally venue.

A member of the audience is also dead. Another person was grievously wounded.

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President Joe Biden said in remarks to the nation that he had tried to speak to Trump — addressing him as “Donald” for probably the first time in public.

“I plan on talking to them shortly, he said, adding, “There’s no place in America for this kind of violence. It’s sick sick… The bottom line is (the) rally should have been conducted peacefully without any problem.”

Biden refused to answer questions from a report if this was an assassination attempt.

He said he had an opinion but he will wait for facts.

The “Secret Service has implemented protective measures and the former President is safe,” said Anthony Guglielmi, the Chief of Communications for the Secret Service, in a statement.

The former President Trump is “fine and is being checked out at a local medical facility,” Trump Communications Director Steven Cheung said in a statement.

–IANS

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Trump removed from election rally after incident

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Washington, July 13 (IANS) Former US President Donald Trump was removed from an election rally in Pennsylvania after an incident that possibly involved shooting.

He appeared to have blood on the right side of his face.

The “Secret Service has implemented protective measures and the former President is safe,” said Anthony Guglielmi, the Chief of Communications for the Secret Service, in a statement.

The former President is “fine and is being checked out at a local medical facility,” Trump Communications Director Steven Cheung said in a statement.

The incident took place about seven minutes into the rally in Butler, in western Pennsylvania, on Saturday.

The former President dropped to the ground holding the right side of his face and was soon covered by Secret Service agents who shortly rose with him and led him off.

Trump could be seen raising a fist while leaving.

US President Joe Biden has been briefed about the incident.

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–IANS

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11 dead due to landslide in Vietnam

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Hanoi, July 14 (IANS) At least 11 people on board a minibus died after being buried by a landslide in Vietnam’s northern province of Ha Giang while four others were critically injured, according to the latest update by the stste media reports.

When the vehicle was trapped by a landslide on a road in Bac Me district, all the people on board got out for help. The minibus was reportedly carrying around 16 people.

Thousands of cubic metres of soil from above poured onto the road, burying all the people, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, rainfall in the area where the accident happened early Saturday morning was recorded at 280-290 mm from 7 p.m. on Friday until 7 a.m. on Saturday.

Natural disasters in Vietnam left 68 people dead or missing and injured 56 others in the first six months of this year, said the General Statistics Office.

The total property losses incurred were more than 1.7 trillion Vietnamese dong ($66.9 million), which was 2.5 times higher than the same period last year.

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–IANS

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7 killed by wildfires in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province

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Johannesburg, July 14 (IANS) Seven people were killed this past week and 196 homes have been completely destroyed as a result of raging wildfires in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province, the provincial government said.

The wildfires that started a week ago have affected a total of 751 people, and have damaged farms and homes in districts, including King Cetshwayo, Ilembe, uThukela and Zululand, the Provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs said on Saturday in a statement.

More than 14,000 hectares of grazing land have been destroyed by the fires with 1,600 animals lost, the department added as reported by Xinhua news agency.

The number of houses destroyed is increasing as the wildfires are going on, according to Siboniso Duma, an official from the Provincial Council of Transport and Human Settlements, who added that they are still working to profile affected families.

–IANS

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