Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 8th 2013 Contents A37
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A man suspected of being South
Africa's worst known serial rapist has
been found dead in his prison cell hours
before he was to go trial on charges
that included sexually assaulting 34
children, prosecutors said.
Sifiso Makhubo, 42, was facing a total
of 122 charges for murder, rape,
kidnapping, robbery, and attempted
murder by infecting his victims with HIV,
the virus that causes Aids.
He was thought to have hanged
himself with a blanket in his prison cell
and authorities were investigating the
circumstances of his death.
The horrific nature and breadth of the
crimes shocked South Africa, a country
inured to some of the world's highest
levels of sexual violence.
In the year to April 2012, more than
64,000 sexual offences, including rape,
were reported among South Africa's 50
million people. Of these, more than
25,000 were assaults on children.
In 2010, South Africa recorded 132.4
cases of reported rape per 100,000
population, by far the highest among
countries that reported statistics to the
United Nations, compared to 27.3 in the
United States or 2.1 in Uganda.
South Africa's 'worst rapist' hangs himself before trial
NAIROBI---A fire engulfed Kenya s
main airport yesterday, forcing the
suspension of international passenger
flights and choking a vital travel gate-
way to east Africa.
The country s anti-terror police boss
said he did not believe that there was
a terror link to the fire even though it
coincided with the 15th anniversary of
a twin attack by Islamist militants on
the United States embassy in Nairobi
and Dar es Salaam, the commercial cap-
ital of neighbouring Tanzania.
Authorities said they will today begin
preparing the airport s domestic termi-
nal, which escaped the blaze, for han-
dling international flights, using tents
to create extra space. Domestic flights
had resumed by yesterday evening, and
outward-bound cargo flights were due
to resume hours later.
The raging blaze engulfed the terminal
buildings and lit up the early morning
sky, sending billowing clouds of black
smoke rising in a plume that was visible
from miles away.
The intense heat repeatedly drove
back firefighters who battled for five
hours to put out the fire, the worst on
record at Jomo Kenyatta International
Airport, east Africa s busiest.
Boniface Mwaniki, head of the anti-
terror police unit, said there was no
connection with "terrorism".
"We don t want to speculate, but at
this stage we do not think there is any
such link," he told Reuters. "Even if we
are commemorating the 15th anniversary
of the bomb blasts, we don t think it is
Nevertheless, authorities had beefed
up security at the airport and key instal-
lations in east Africa s biggest econo-
my.Security analysts said there was no
indication of any link to Islamists that
Kenyan soldiers are battling in neigh-
bouring Somalia as part of an African
There were no immediate reports of
casualties from the fire, which started
in the arrivals and immigration area.
The blaze stranded thousands of pas-
sengers at the airport and exporters of
perishable produce, mainly flowers,
feared for their export-driven business,
a leading source of foreign currency
earnings for Kenya alongside tea exports
The fire was also a blow to Kenya
right at the start of the peak tourism
season, a key sector for the Kenyan
Mahmud Jan Mohamed, the manag-
ing director of Kenyan hotel operator
TPS Serena, said "the last thing we need
is this", but added that it was still a little
early to tell the full impact of the dis-
ruption to tourism.
Business travellers and tourists were
diverted to other airports, mainly to the
port city of Mombasa.
Shares in Kenya Airways, which uses
the airport as its hub, fell as much as
two per cent, before recovering.
The airline said its overnight flights
from London and Bangkok would land
as scheduled in Nairobi on Thursday
morning, the first overseas flights at the
airport since the fire.
Preparations to handle more inter-
national flights would be carried out
today at the airport s domestic terminal,
said Michael Kamau, cabinet secretary
"From tomorrow we will be preparing
this unit ... as an international terminal
for departures and arrivals," Kamau told
reporters. "We started pitching tents on
the airside for handling departing pas-
Foreign carriers using the terminal
include Emirates, British Airways, Qatar,
KLM), Turkish Airways, South African
Airways and Ethiopian airlines.
Fire guts Kenya's main airport,
chokes regional gateway
WASHINGTON---President Barack Obama yesterday
abruptly cancelled a Moscow summit with President
Vladimir Putin planned for next month in a retaliation for
Russia s decision to grant asylum to fugitive US spy agency
contractor Edward Snowden.
The cancellation marks a stark low point in US-Russian
relations in the years since Obama embarked on a "reset"
in ties to try to gain more diplomatic cooperation, only to
find that deep differences remain.
"Following a careful review begun in July, we have reached
the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in
our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a US-Russia summit
in early September," White House spokesman Jay Carney
said in a statement.
The Russian government expressed disappointment at
the decision, which means Obama will skip Moscow talks
with Putin but still attend a G20 summit in St Petersburg
September 5-6. Obama will stop in Sweden on September
4 to replace the Moscow visit.
Speaking with reporters in a Moscow phone conference,
Putin s foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov said the cancellation
was caused by the dispute between the two countries over
He said Russia s invitation for Obama to visit Russia still
Beyond Snowden, however, a long list of grievances separate
the two governments, topped by Russia s support for Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad in Syria s civil war. (Reuters)
CAIRO---Egypt s army-installed government said yesterday
diplomatic efforts to resolve the political crisis had failed
and signalled it was gearing to take action against sup-
porters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi gathered at
two protest camps in Cairo.
Envoys from the United States, European Union, Qatar
and the United Arab Emirates had been trying to defuse the
crisis and prevent further bloodshed.
But President Adli Mansour s office said the period of
international efforts, which began more than ten days ago,
had "ended today".
Soon after, interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said
the government s decision to dismantle the protest camps
was final and its patience had nearly expired.
The protesters had "broken all the limits of peacefulness",
Beblawi said, accusing them of inciting violence, blocking
roads and detaining citizens.
Any use of weapons against policemen or citizens would
"be confronted with utmost force and decisiveness," he said.
The breakdown in mediation efforts and the threat of
action against the protesters brought the political crisis in
the Arab world s biggest nation to a dangerous new phase.
"I didn t know it was this bad. These folks are just days
or weeks away from all-out bloodshed," US senator Lindsey
Graham told the CBS network after he met officials from
both sides in Cairo on Tuesday. (Reuters)
meeting with Putin
over Snowden decision
Egypt crisis enters
tense new phase as
A blaze rages at the international arrivals hall at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday. The Kenya
Airports Authority said the Kenya's main international airport has been closed until further notice so that emergency teams
can battle the fire. AP PHOTO
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