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China limits HK Parliament to "patriots."

Views expressed in this geopolitical news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

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Accessed on 30 March 2021, 1100 UTC, Post 1117.


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Russ Roberts

BBC News World

Latest Updates

  1. Police now say Magufuli funeral stampede killed 45

    Munira Hussein

    BBC Africa

    Hundreds of Mr Magufuli's supporters entered the airport in Dar es Salaam to try to catch a glimpse of his casket
    Image caption: Hundreds of Mr Magufuli's supporters entered the airport in Dar es Salaam to try to catch a glimpse of his casket

    The Tanzanian police have now confirmed that 45 people died in the stampede as mourners gathered to view the body of former President John Magufuli.

    Thirty-seven other people were injured in the stampede in Dar es Salaam.

    The police did not give the names of the victims.

    The police had initially given a death toll of five. They have been under pressure to confirm the actual numbers, more than a week after it happened, after a family confirmed losing six members in the incident.

    The family was part of the thousands who went to bid farewell to their president but never made it back home.

    One man lost his wife, two children, a nephew and a niece. The family's maid was also found dead a few days later.

    Video footage circulating on social media showed residents entering the stadium using unofficial entry points, as crowds grew larger.

    President Magufuli died on 17 March from what government officials said was from heart complications.

  2. Is the pandemic forcing children out of school?

    Alan Kasujja

    BBC Africa Daily podcast

    A student walks in a school corridor in Johannesburg (taken in February 2021).

    South Africa’s teachers are worried: children seem to be dropping out of school at alarming rates.

    Experts say the problem isn’t new, but it certainly hasn’t been helped by the coronavirus pandemic.

    As many as 380,000 students may disappear from the school system during the 2020-2021 period, estimates the Zero Dropout Campaign.

    “Young people are having to make the decision about whether to go back to school or take up a job and try to find some means of income,” says the campaign’s head Merle Mansfield.

    And, as I found out, this is not an easy choice to make.

    “My son stopped going to school last year after I lost my job,” 22-year-old Elizabeth told me.

    The Africa Daily team found her begging at a busy traffic junction in Johannesburg.

    “I couldn’t afford his uniform and school fees. I feel sad because he is constantly asking when will he be going back to school.”

    What is this absence from school doing to an entire generation of South Africans? And what can the country do to deal with the problem?

    Find out in Tuesday’s edition of Africa Daily.

    Subscribe to the show on BBC Sounds or wherever you get your podcasts.

  3. South Sudan postpones Covid vaccine rollout

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Coronavirus vaccine
    Image caption: South Sudan received its first batch of 132,000 doses last week

    South Sudan has postponed the launch of its Covid-19 vaccination campaign, but did not offer a specific reason for the delay.

    The vaccination programme was supposed to start on Monday in the capital Juba as announced last week by the health ministry.

    Government official John Romunu said the vaccination exercise was postponed "for simple logistical reasons".

    He said they are yet to receive information on when the vaccinations will take place.

    South Sudan received its first batch of 132,000 doses of the vaccine on 26 March.

    The country has recorded 10,119 cases and 108 related deaths.

  4. Tanzanian finance minister confirmed as vice-president

    The Tanzanian parliament has confirmed the appointment of Finance Minister Philip Isdor Mpango as the country’s vice-president.

    President Samia Suluhu Hassan nominated the minister to the position on Tuesday, which was announced by the parliamentary speaker Job Ndugai ahead of the approval vote.

    MPs applauded as his name was mentioned.

    Dr Mpango fills in the chair of vice-presidency that became vacant after President Samia became president following the death of President John Magufuli on 17 March.

    Addressing parliament immediately after his name was submitted, Dr Mpango said he was surprised and that he was ready to take on the responsibility.

    Philip Mpango is an economist who has held various senior positions including as a senior economists at World Bank.

    Mr Mpango was among two ministers who were re-appointed by former President Magufuli as he started his second term.

    Before being appointed by Mr Magufuli as a finance minister, he served as an economic adviser to former President Jakaya Kikwete.

    The minister was last month seen in a viral video coughing during a press conference while paying tribute to senior government officials who had died of suspected Covid-19.

  5. S Africa ballet school offers socially distant classes

    A ballerina dancing
    Image caption: Children have had to stop the ballet classes because of coronavirus

    A South African ballet dancing school and a shopping mall have joined forces to offer socially distanced ballet dancing lessons to children.

    This has been hailed as beneficial to the children during the coronavirus pandemic as most children have not been able to attend their dancing classes.

    A ballet dancer Aviwe November from Mzansi Ballet School told the BBC's Focus on Africa the pandemic made it too hard for them to dance.

    "It's like being caged, there's nothing you can do. You have all this energy building up inside and you want to express it in the best way you can but you are not allowed to do that," he says.

    Proceeds from the dancing classes are used to support the less fortunate children.

    The dance school hopes to scout for more talent by exposing the classes in public.

    Parents like Pali Makopo say the mall environment is safer.

    "This is actually a wonderful opportunity for her to come in and interact with other kids. The environment is completely safe considering the climate we in at the moment. I was happy with how everything was done and for me to actually have a session where its very interactive for mummy to come and join it was much fun for her and I think we will be doing it going forward," she told Focus on Africa.

  6. Slovakia changes PM and French hospital numbers: Latest around Europe

    French anaesthesiologist Caroline Tesse treats a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit at Cambrai hospital, France, March 25, 2021.
    Image caption: The number of intensive care cases in France's is now higher than the peak in November

    Slovak President Zuzana Caputova will appoint Finance Minister Eduard Heger as PM in an attempt to end a government crisis surrounding outgoing PM Igor Matovic's secret acquisition of two million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine. Half the cabinet have resigned over the purchase. The EU’s medical regulator hasn’t approved the vaccine yet, and Slovakia’s health authority hasn’t either – but it can be given on a voluntary basis.

    The number of people in intensive care in French hospitals has reached 4,974, higher than during the second wave last November. Meanwhile, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer is coming under pressure to close French schools as the number of children affected rises to more than 20,000. At the moment classes go online as soon as a positive case is confirmed.

    Sweden’s vaccines coordinator Richard Bergstrom has told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that EU exports of AstraZeneca vaccines have virtually stopped. EU leaders backed export controls at the end of last week but emphasised the importance of global supply chains.

    The Irish government is planning to use the pandemic to reinvigorate rural Ireland. It aims to transform disused derelict buildings and pubs into remote working hubs.

    Dutch church’s front door has been slightly damaged in an apparent firework attack, linked to tensions involving continuing church services in the pandemic. Under Dutch rules worshippers are limited to 30 for services but the church at Krimpen aan de Ijssel has defied the restrictions. A reporter was harassed outside the church on Sunday.

    Italian PM Mario Draghi says the goal of half a million vaccinations appears not to be far off. He says Italians need to get out of “this situation of inactivity”. Meanwhile the north-western province of Liguria has barred Italians from visiting their second homes or boats over the Easter holiday to limit the spread of infection.

  7. ICC to rule on DR Congo 'Terminator' war crimes appeal

    BBC World Service

    Rwandan-born Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda is seen during his first appearance before judges of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, on March 26, 2013
    Image caption: Bosco Ntaganda was the first person to be convicted by ICC of sexual slavery

    The International Criminal Court will rule on Tuesday on an appeal by the Democratic Republic of Congo's rebel leader, Bosco Ntaganda, against his conviction for war crimes.

    The former commander, nicknamed "The Terminator", was given a 30-year jail sentence in 2019 after being found guilty on 18 counts including murder, rape and using child soldiers.

    He was the first person to be convicted by the court of sexual slavery.

    The charges related to crimes carried out in the mineral-rich Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003.

    Prosecutors are asking the judges to consider a tougher sentence.

  8. Hospitals face oxygen scarcity as Kenyans stock up

    Oxygen cylinders in a warehouse
    Image caption: Health ministry says 20,000 oxygen cylinders are being hoarded

    Kenya is facing an acute shortage of oxygen in hospitals across the country, the ministry of health says.

    This has been caused by a rising number of Covid-19 cases as the country experiences a deadly third wave - with some Kenyans and private institutions stocking up on the commodity.

    On Monday, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said Kenyans were hoarding some 20,000 oxygen cylinders in private facilities, homes and institutions.

    He said the cylinders were desperately needed in public hospitals to save lives - and appealed to Kenyans to take them back to manufacturers.

    “I wish to make an appeal to those holding cylinders, be they hospital facilities or individuals in other sectors, please return those cylinders to manufacturers so they can refill and use them in hospitals that need them," he said.

    The market demand for oxygen has more than doubled to a current demand of 880 tonnes from 410 tonnes before the arrival of the pandemic, according to the health ministry.

    The demand for oxygen cylinders - which are in short supply and expensive to manufacture in the short term - has caused challenges in the distribution of oxygen across the country.

    Kenya has confirmed more than 130,000 cases of coronavirus infections and over 2,000 deaths.

  9. Malawi ex-president blamed for run-down state house

    Malawi's president Lazarus Chakwera
    Image caption: President Chakwera has relocated as state house is being renovated

    Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera's press secretary has blamed the former administration for a neglected state house despite funds being allocated for renovations, local media has reported.

    Brian Banda says most state residences are in bad state and require renovations.

    The president has had to move to Mtunthama state residence for a month as renovations begin in the Kamuzu Palace.

    The vice-president is yet to move to his official residence as it requires renovations as well.

    "There was money allocated for renovations of state residences in the past, but looking at how things are right now, we do not believe that those renovations were indeed taking place," Mr Banda is quoted by Malawi 24 as saying.

    The press secretary said the government will follow probe how the money allocated for renovations was used.

  10. Ramaphosa: ANC members charged with graft must quit

    BBC World Service

    President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation address in parliament in Cape Town
    Image caption: Cyril Ramaphosa had pledged to clamp down on corruption in the ANC when he became president

    The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has told members of his party they must resign within 30 days of being charged with corruption or face suspension.

    Mr Ramaphosa was addressing an executive meeting of the African National Congress.

    Party officials have been asked to compile lists of those facing charges.

    Mr Ramaphosa has been at odds with the ANC secretary general Ace Magashule - who's denied corruption charges against him and has refused to step aside.

    The president pledged to clamp down on corruption in the ANC after becoming party leader in 2017.

    Mr Magashule is a close ally of the former President Jacob Zuma who was forced out of office by a corruption scandal.

  11. Nigeria president going for medical check in UK

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News, Abuja

    Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari (C) shows his Covid-19 vaccination certificate
    Image caption: President Buhari has made few public appearances recently

    Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is travelling to London on Tuesday for what his office says is a "routine medical check-up".

    He's expected to return home in the second week of April, according to a statement from the presidential spokesman Femi Adesina.

    The statement has not given any indication of Mr Buhari's condition.

    "The president meets with security chiefs first in the morning, after which he embarks on the journey,” Mr Adesina said.

    Since he became president nearly six years ago, Mr Buhari has travelled several times to the UK for medical care.

    The president, who is 78, spent more than three months abroad in 2017.

    A year later he went back to London and spent four days - a visit his handlers claimed "was to see his doctor".

    There have been growing concerns over the president’s health. Since the presidential election in 2019, his activities and public appearances have not been very frequent.


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