Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace and two key figures from her G40 political faction are under house arrest at Mugabe’s “Blue House” compound in Harare and are insisting the 93 year-old finishes his presidential term, a source said.
The G40 figures are cabinet ministers Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere, who fled to the compound after their homes were attacked by troops in Tuesday night’s coup, the source, who said he had spoken to people inside the compound, told Reuters.
Mr Mugabe is resisting mediation by a Catholic priest to allow the former guerrilla a graceful exit after the military takeover.
The source could not provide details of the talks, which appear to be aimed at a smooth and bloodless transition after the departure of Mr Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.
Mr Mugabe, still seen by many Africans as a liberation hero, is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa’s most promising states.
The volunteers are returning next week to progress the project and focus on providing food and sanitation.
Volunteer Jeevanjot Singh, from the Indian branch of the organisation, was pictured sharing his last bottle of water with Rohingya refugees, who are described as the “world’s most persecuted minority”.
“We had come prepared for providing relief to some 50,000 people, but there are more than three lakh (300,000) here,” Amarpreet Singh, director of Khalsa Aid India, previously told The Indian Express.
Gravitational waves have been picked up from another black hole merger.
It is the fifth time such an event has been validated, and the sixth occasion overall that ripples in space-time have been detected from far-off phenomena.
The LIGO-VIRGO collaboration, whose laser labs sense the waves, issued the news via a simple press release.
Previous events have had the fanfare of major international media briefings, which suggests the detections are almost now being seen as routine.
That in itself should be regarded as remarkable.
For decades, science chased the possibility that these very subtle signals might be observable, with a good many people doubting it would ever be achieved.
So to have arrived at a situation where the astonishing accomplishment is bordering on the ordinary is noteworthy in itself.
“I think we feel now that with the black hole binaries – unless we come across something that is qualitatively different then it really has started to become cataloguing if you like,” commented Prof Ken Strain, a collaboration member from Glasgow University, UK.
A minimum of two labs must detect an event for it to be validated, and this observation was somewhat fortuitous in that one of the US labs was just returning to observations from a period of maintenance when the trigger occurred.
The absence of VIRGO’s involvement this time meant a tight triangulation of the location on the sky of the collision was not possible.
Gravitational waves – Ripples in the fabric of space-time
Gravitational waves are a prediction of the Theory of General Relativity
It took decades to develop the technology to directly detect them
They are ripples in the fabric of space-time generated by violent events
Accelerating masses will produce waves that propagate at the speed of light
Detectable sources ought to include merging black holes and neutron stars
LIGO/VIRGO fire precision lasers into long, L-shaped tunnels
The beams sense the way the waves stretch and squeeze the tunnels
Detecting the ripples opens up the Universe to completely new investigations
The very first gravitational waves detection was made in September 2015. All observations since have also been black hole mergers, apart from the event picked up on 17 August this year.
All the labs are now offline for improvements. They should come back online next October with the ability to sense twice the distance, with hopefully therefore eight times the detection rate.
“Roughly speaking that means that instead of one event a month, we should see perhaps two a week,” said Prof Strain. “Those would be ‘candidates’ that would have to be followed up and confirmed. That’s the broad expectation but it depends on the upgrades going as planned.”
Interesting targets not yet observed, but which should trigger the laser interferometers, include the supernova explosions themselves and “lopsided” neutron stars.
The latter is a particularly fascinating possibility. Neutron stars are expected to be nearly perfectly spherical, but if they have tiny “mountains” on their surfaces they ought to generate gravitational waves as they spin.
“One day we will find one of these pulsars (a special class of neutron star) where we actually see the gravitational wave signal synchronised to the rotation rate of the pulsar because this mountain, which may be a millimetre or so high, is going around and around,” Prof Strain told BBC News.
It is “nonsense” for baby boomers to suggest millennials are unable to afford homes because they spend too much on “smashed avocado”, Sajid Javid has said, as he suggested next week’s Budget will pledge new action to tackle the housing crisis.
The Communities Secretary hit out at home owners who have paid off their own mortgages and suggested that they should not be allowed to get in the way of the construction of homes for a younger generation “crying out for help with housing”.
He said baby boomers “are living in a different world” when they suggest Britain doesn’t need to build more homes.
Speaking in Bristol he said: “They aren’t facing to the reality of modern day life and they have no understanding of the modern market.”
Mr Javid also said next week’s Budget will show “just how seriously we are willing to fight to get Britain building”, just 24 hours after Philip Hammond warned there was no “silver bullet” to fix the crisis.
The Secretary of State hit out at baby boomers after an Australian millionaire suggested young people would be able to get a foot on the property ladder if they stopped eating avocado on toast.
Mr Rivers was appointed editor of the magazine last month, and would have been the UK’s first non-white editor of a gay men’s magazine.
Announcing his appointment at the end of last month the magazine said choosing Mr Rivers, a former marketing manager, was a “strategic move to best serve the magazine’s diverse and culturally inquisitive audience”.
Rolf Harris, the disgraced entertainer, has had one of 12 indecent assault convictions overturned by the Court of Appeal.
Three judges in London ruled that the conviction was “unsafe”, but rejected applications by the 87-year-old, from Bray, Berkshire, to challenge 11 other indecent assault convictions.
Lord Justice Treacy, Mrs Justice McGowan and the Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, announced their decision on Thursday morning.
The artist and musician was convicted of 12 indecent assaults at London’s Southwark Crown Court in June 2014, one on an eight-year-old autograph hunter, two on girls in their early teens, and a catalogue of abuse against his daughter’s friend over 16 years.
The five-year-old image stands out now amid rising incidents of animal-human conflict in India.
“When it looked up, it seemed to sense that we wouldn’t hurt it, that we were trying to help,” Mr Bora recalled in an interview with the BBC.
When the forest officers arrived, villagers told them the leopard had been swimming for the last 25 hours to stay afloat.
It was raining and the villagers had been diverting the rainwater to the well, thinking the leopard could swim to the top if the water level rose.
“We told them that the animal would drown in that time,” Suresh Wadekar, a senior forest officer, who supervised the rescue effort, told the BBC.
Instead, Mr Wadekar decided to let the leopard rest because he noticed that it was “breathing heavily”.
So with the villagers’ help, the officers lowered a wooden plank with two large tyres tied to it into the well. Once the leopard stepped on to the plank, some of them held it steady while the others went looking for a “charpoy”, a sturdy woven bed on wooden legs.
The leopard rested about an hour-and-half before they lowered the bed into the well. The leopard immediately jumped off the plank and on to the bed, Mr Bora said.
“When they pulled the bed all the way up, it stayed on the bed as it glanced around at the people who had gathered,” he added. “Then it suddenly leapt over the rim of the well and ran into the forest. It all happened in seconds.”
Hyenas, foxes and leopards often stray into sugarcane fields in the district while chasing prey or searching for water, and fall into wells or are trapped in other ways.
Mr Bora says he has photographed more than 100 rescue operations, including some that involved Eurasian eagle owls. One owl, which lost a wing in a fight with a crow, had to be treated for months before it could be released back into the wild.
Mr Bora, who has shot several efforts to rescue leopards, says the mission in Bubali was unusual because the villagers didn’t demand that the animal be tranquilised.
He remembered another instance where a leopard was trapped in a well and villagers threatened to hurt forest officers if they did not tranquilise it and take it with them.
“There was no pressure this time,” he said. Although many villagers were present during the effort in Bubali, Mr Bora said they remained calm and stayed away from the well because Mr Wadekar was concerned that the crowd would agitate the leopard.
Mr Wadekar, who has rescued leopards 137 times over 20 years, said he has used a tranquiliser in more than 100 of those operations. He believes that since this was a tribal village, they were more “accepting” of the animal’s presence.
Michel Aoun, Lebanon’s President, had said he would refuse to accept the resignation until Mr Hariri tendered it in person, accusing Saudi Arabia of coercing him into the decision and then detaining him against his will.