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11 Kenyan Varsity Students Die In Road Crash

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A bus carrying students from a top Kenyan varsity collided with a truck on a busy highway after skidding in heavy rain, killing 11 of them and seriously injuring 42, police said.

The accident occurred at 5:50 pm (1450 GMT) Monday at Maungu, 360 kilometres (220 miles) from the capital Nairobi, when the students from Kenyatta University were travelling to the coastal town of Mombasa.

Ten people from the Kenyan varsity died on impact and another died later in hospital, police said, adding that 42 people were seriously injured.

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“The driver of (the) university bus was overtaking a fleet of motor vehicles and as it was raining heavily, the bus skidded to the right side of the road,” the police report said.

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This “prompted the driver of the truck to avoid head on collision, hence hitting the left side of the university bus,” it added.

The bus was carrying 58 people on an academic trip.

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The injured were taken to a hospital in the nearby town of Voi, the Kenyan Red Cross said on X, formerly Twitter.

Kenyatta University said on Tuesday it was “deeply saddened” by the accident and had set up a help desk at the main campus to provide “assistance during this challenging time”.

“Some of the injured students are in the process of assessment for possible evacuation to Nairobi,” it said.

Road accidents are common in the east African nation, where road conditions are often poor and traffic regulations violated or ignored.

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According to figures by the National Transport and Safety Authority, 4,324 people were killed and 18,561 injured in 2023 in road accidents in Kenya, down 7.8 percent from the previous year.

However, the start of 2024 was deadly, with 536 people killed between January 1 and February 11, a five-percent rise over a similar period last year.

The most high-profile incident led to the death on February 11 of 24-year-old world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum.

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Five people were killed and 18 others injured Tuesday when their van rammed a tractor in western Kenya.

On Saturday, a high school student and a teacher died when their bus with 63 on board lost control and rolled several times down a slope.

AFP

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[JUST IN] US Elections 2024: Biden Drops Out Of Presidential Race Amid Pressure

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United States President Joe Biden has heeded calls to withdraw his re-election bid, thrusting this year’s already high-wire race for the White House into an uncertain territory.

The announcement on Sunday by the oldest sitting president in US history came amid mounting pressure from his fellow Democrats, with more than 30 Congress members publicly pushing for his exit.

In a post on X, Biden, 81, said he will remain in his role as president and commander-in-chief until his term ends in January 2025 and will address the nation this week.

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“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as your President. And while it has been my intention to seek reelection, I believe it is in the best interest of my party and the country for me to stand down and to focus solely on fulfilling my duties as President for the remainder of my term,” Biden wrote.

His initial statement did not include an endorsement of Vice President Kamala Harris, but he followed up a few minutes later with an expression of support.

Harris, 59, would become the first Black woman to run at the top of a major party ticket in the country’s history.

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The Democratic backlash against Biden came after he delivered an unsteady performance at the first presidential debate of the 2024 election season as he lost his train of thought and struggled to articulate basic talking points.

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The 46th US president’s departure from the race leaves the Democratic Party in an unprecedented situation, with only a month until the Democratic National Convention and less than four months until the November 5 election.

It was unclear whether other senior Democrats would challenge Harris for the party’s nomination – she was widely seen as the pick for many party officials – or whether the party itself would choose to open the field for nominations.

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Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna, reporting from Washington, DC, said Biden had been under a lot of pressure recently.

“It is very difficult to say what made him make the decision now,” he said. “What we do know is that he has been repeatedly insistent that he would not step down … So it comes as a bit of a surprise and a bit of a shock that Biden is saying he will step down after weeks of saying he won’t.”

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Three Nigerians sentenced To 235 Years In US Prison

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A court in Mississippi, United States of America has sentenced three Nigerians to 235 years in prison.

The jury found all the three personguilty of mail fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud and theft of government property.

Oladimeji Seun Ayelotan, 30, was sentenced to 95 years in prison, while Rasaq Aderoju Raheem, 31, got 115 years jail term.

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Also, Femi Alexander Mewase, 45, received 25 years in jail.

They were convicted for running online scams.

They were said to have duped people of tens of millions of dollars.

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Deadly Blaze Kills Even In France

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An apartment building blaze early Thursday killed seven people in the southern French city of Nice and police were investigating the fire as a possible arson, authorities said.

The dead include three children – 5, 7 and 10 years old – and a 17-year-old teenager who tried to escape by jumping from a window, they said.

The apartment was occupied by a family believed to have Comoran origins, the regional prefect Hugues Moutouh said, referring to the southern African island nature.

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Ten people were inside when the fire broke out.

Rescuers were alerted at around 2:30 am (0030 GMT) to the blaze on the seventh floor of the building in the low-income neighbourhood of Les Moulins, known for being a drug-dealing hub, in the west of the city.

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In spite of the substantial resources deployed, “unfortunately seven people died during this fire”, firefighters said.

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Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on social media that the quick arrival of firefighters “probably prevented more deaths”.

Nice prosecutor Damien Martinelli said investigators were looking into a “criminal” cause for the fire.

“In light of the initial evidence, I have opened an investigation into acts of arson leading to death,” he told reporters at the scene.

The authorities said the blaze probably broke out on the building’s second floor and spread to higher floors.

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Rescuers said that three people were taken to hospital, one of them with life-threatening injuries.

They said firefighters were confronted by a “raging apartment fire” on the seventh floor of the building. They carried out three aerial ladder rescues and evacuated dozens.

In total, 25 fire engines and 72 firefighters tackled the fire.

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Twenty people were evacuated to a temporary shelter, with Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi saying a crisis unit to help anyone affected by the fire.

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