News Brief

Hundreds of Rescued Migrants Begin Their Journey to Spain After Italy Refused To Take Them In

630 "exhausted" migrants are finally making their way to Spain after Italy refused to allow a rescue ship to dock.

The Aquarius, a search and rescue ship carrying 630 migrants and had been stranded in the Mediterranean since Sunday, is now making its four day journey to Spain, CNN reports.


The ship was stranded between Malta and Sicily, after Italy's new populist government turned it away. The Aquarius had been carrying 120 unaccompanied minors and seven pregnant women. On Tuesday, 250 people were transferred to the Italian Navy's Orione, and 274 where transferred to the Coast Guard's Dattilo ship to alleviate the Aquarius.

Annelise Borges, a journalist for Euronews and NBC who was on board the Aquarius tells CNN that "everyone is extremely hot and very tired." She also describes the fear that the migrants were experiencing as "so present, so palpable."

The Aquarius has no showers or sinks for migrants on the ship, and the rescue workers rely on disinfectant spray to use for people's hands before their meals. On Tuesday morning, Italy sent some medical supplies to the Aquarius where 21 people where suffering from chemical burns from the mix of salt water and spilled fuel that had been in the rubber boats.

Italian far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had posted on Facebook, "VICTORY! 629 migrants on board of Aquarius ship, Spain-bound, our first goal has been reached!"

William Lacy Swing, the director general of the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM), also posted on social media, tweeting, "I fear a major tragedy if states start refusing to accept rescued migrants as was threatened."

The Aquarius will now dock in Valencia, which is 800 miles from where the ship had been stranded. While this avoids a larger crisis, it can hardly be described as a "victory" in the long run, since the Mediterranean remains the deadliest migration route in the world.

News Brief
Photo by ER Lombard/Gallo Images via Getty Images.

COVID-19 Cases Surge To Five Million In Africa

As the world approaches a post-pandemic era, South Africa, Kenya, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Ethiopia and Egypt top the list of countries contributing to Africa's alarming five million COVID-19 cases.

Africa has reportedly reached a highly concerning number of COVID-19 cases. Recent statistics show that over five million Africans have contracted the coronavirus since its discovery in 2019. These numbers are alarming despite Africa's large population of over 1.2 billion, marking a reported increase of 16 percent in death rates. South Africa, which is officially in a third wave, leads the numbers and accounts for almost half of the deaths across the continent. On the contrary, cases globally have been declining for the sixth consecutive week.

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Photo by Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images.

African Diplomats Kicked Out Of South Africa For Selling Booze Illegally

So far, Lesotho and Malawi diplomats were expelled after South African officials discovered that they had been involved in illicit alcohol trading.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of South Africa recently informed the Kingdom of Lesotho and Malawi that a number of its diplomats and their dependants were caught abusing their diplomatic privileges. The announcement also included the fact that the diplomats involved in this alcohol scandal have been declared Persona Non Grata in the Republic of South Africa and given three days to leave the country with their families.

Widespread media reports divulged how Lesotho and Malawi diplomats have been smuggling alcohol into South Africa without paying duty, and reselling it at local bars and restaurants. It is expected that over 200 diplomats from other countries accused of the same crime will also be kicked out in the coming weeks.

In response to the news, the Lesotho Ministry of International Relations announced that it condemned the actions of the diplomats, and was disappointed in the activities of its officers. It further stated that disciplinary action would follow once the officers returned to Lesotho.

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News Brief

Watch Blxckie and Nasty C’s Music Video For ‘Ye x4’

Blxckie and Nasty C take over infamous Joburg inner city building Ponte in new striking visuals for 'Ye x4'.

Blxckie has finally released the visuals for "Ye x4", one of the hottest South African hip-hop songs currently. "Ye x4" is a watershed moment—Nasty C, a Durban native, jumps on a song with a rapper from his city whose rise was as ferocious and rapid as his.

For the song's visuals, Blxckie finds himself in what was once one of his wildest dream. He and Nasty C perform "Ye x4" at the basement of Ponte, an infamous residential building in Hillbrow, which is a huge part of the Joburg skyline with its animated Vodacom branding visible from any angle of the tower.

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