Photo

Iran’s smog, blackouts made worse by power-sapping crypto mining

Outages have been compounded by cryptocurrency mining, which uses banks of high-powered computers. Cities across Iran have been cloaked in thick layers of toxic smog and darkened by blackouts, as the alleged use of low-quality fuel and power-sucking cryptocurrency mining deepen the country’s hardships. Tehran’s Hamshahri newspaper, the country’s most-read daily, ran the headline, “20 Days Living in Smoke,” on Wednesday over a photo of the capital covered in smog. Power plants have been forced to switch to burning low-grade fuel oils to generate electricity because high levels of domestic consumption have led to natural-gas shortages, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh denied earlier this week that any of Iran’s power stations are us...

Indonesian plane crashes after take-off with 62 aboard

A Sriwijaya Air plane crashed into the sea on Saturday minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta. The plane was on a domestic flight with 62 people on board and their fate was not known. The Boeing 737-500, en route to Pontianak in West Kalimantan, disappeared from radar screens after taking off just after 2.30 p.m. (0730 GMT) – 30 minutes after the scheduled time because of heavy rain. Indonesian Transport Minister, Budi Karya, told a news conference that 62 people had been aboard Flight SJ 182, including 12 crew. The detik.com website quoted him as saying the plane crashed near Laki Island, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the airport. Rescue agency Basarnas said in a statement it would send a team to the Thousand Islands area to help in the search for victims “after th...

U.S. agents search Nashville blast site, seeking clues behind Christmas explosion

Police and federal agents were scouring the charred site of a Christmas Day explosion in Nashville on Saturday, trying to determine how and why a motor home blew up and injured three people in the heart of America’s country music capital. The fiery blast, heard from miles away, destroyed several vehicles, damaged more than 40 businesses and left a trail of glass shards around the area. The motor home, parked on a downtown street of Tennessee’s largest city, exploded at dawn on Friday moments after police responding to reports of gunfire noticed the recreational vehicle and heard an automated message emanating from it warning of a bomb. The means of detonation and whether anyone was inside the RV when it blew up were not immediately known, but investigators were examining what they believed...

Germany starts coronavirus vaccines a day early

A 101-year-old woman in an elderly care home became the first person in Germany to be inoculated against coronavirus on Saturday, a day before the official vaccination campaign was scheduled to get under way in both Germany and the EU. Edith Kwoizalla was one of around 40 residents and 10 staff in a care home in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt to receive a jab of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the home’s manager Tobias Krueger told AFP. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine became the first to get the go-ahead for use in the West, when Britain gave its approval on December 2. As other nations from the United States to Saudi Arabia to Singapore followed suit, Germany impatiently prodded the EU’s drugs regulator, the European Medicines Agency, to bring forward its decision from December 29. The EMA f...

Official: Amotekun corps never killed anybody in Ibadan

The Commandant of Oyo State Security Network, codenamed Amotekun Corps, Col Olayinka Olayanju (retd), has dismissed the media report that operatives of the agency opened gunfire on some residents of Ibadan, killed two and injured many. He confirmed that there was a crisis around Born Photo and Isale Osi area, where the men of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) faction of late Dr Frederick Fasehun, was trying to deal with some hoodlums. According to him, the operatives of Amotekun Corps were invited and its operatives went to the scene. The personnel of the agency that went to the scene, he said were returning from an operation, where a Lebanese man was rescued from his abductors on December 15. The incident reportedly occurred at Asaka area of Ibadan. But two persons and many other people, a...

President Buhari: Improved Nigeria-South Africa relations will quicken African development

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed optimism that improvement in relations between Nigeria and South Africa would speed up the process of development on the African continent. Speaking in concurrence with the Chairman of the African National Congress (ANC) and South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, who came to the State House, Abuja on Friday as Special Envoy of his country, President Buhari cited his last trip to South Africa during which he and President Cyril Ramaphosa worked together in resolving the migrants’ crisis between two brotherly nations. The President in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu said, “There was this ‘small problem’ between our countries. I went there and we resol...

Aviation, education ministries, others make presentations at FEC meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over the seventh virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Newsmen report that the Federal Ministries of Aviation; Niger Delta; Education as well as Works and Housing are expected to make presentations at the meeting. Those at the meeting include Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and the National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno. Newsmen observed that 11 cabinet ministers joined the president at the Council Chamber for the virtual meeting while other ministers are participating directly from their respective off...

Rivers governor demolishes two hotels for flouting lockdown order

Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike on Sunday monitored the demolition of two hotels for flouting the state’s lockdown order. This was in line with the state executive order 6, which banned the operation of hotels across the 23 local government areas of the state. The hotels demolished are Prudent Hotel in Eleme and Etemeteh Hotel in Onne. Governor Wike who spoke to journalists shortly after the demolition said that the law must be obeyed, hence the decision to enforce it. He said: “Government has no alternative but to apply the executive order which I signed before the lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt. I called all the traditional rulers and council chairmen and told them to ensure that no hotel operates in the state. “We are not saying it will be forever. This is for now, so that w...