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Lesotho’s first lady to be charged with killing PM’s former wife

The first lady of Lesotho is set to be charged with murder in connection with the 2017 killing of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s former wife, Lipolelo, police said on Tuesday. Maesaiah Thabane, who fled the country on January 10 to escape arrest, returned to the small southern African kingdom on Tuesday afternoon and handed herself to police…

Lesotho’s first lady to be charged with killing PM’s former wife

The first lady of Lesotho is set to be charged with murder in connection with the 2017 killing of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s former wife, Lipolelo, police said on Tuesday.
Maesaiah Thabane, who fled the country on January 10 to escape arrest, returned to the small southern African kingdom on Tuesday afternoon and handed herself to police in the capital, Maseru. Police said she had been hiding in neighbouring South Africa.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Mokete Paseka said Maesaiah Thabane, 42, would spend the night in custody and will be taken to court after the director of public prosecutions prepares the chargesheet.
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“She has been charged with murder alongside eight others who are in Lesotho and South Africa,” Paseka told reporters, adding that the investigation had been “satisfactorily completed”.
He said police had a “strong case” against the first lady, who was unable to appear in court on Tuesday due to logistical reasons.
An arrest warrant for the first lady was issued the day she fled the country after she refused to report to police for questioning in connection with the murder.
Maesaiah Thabane was picked up on the border with South Africa following an arrangement between her lawyer and the police.
Will the PM step down?
The killing occurred two days before Thomas Thabane’s inauguration for a second term in 2017, and two years after a court ruled that Lipolelo was the lawful first lady and entitled to benefits.
Thomas Thabane, 80, married his current wife two months after Lipolelo’s death. 
Two weeks ago, police interrogated the prime minister following the alleged use of his mobile phone to communicate with whoever was at the scene of the killing.
The prime minister last month announced he was planning to step down after the governing party considered him no longer fit to lead. The premier did not specify when he would resign, only saying it would occur “when all is in order”.
The murder of 58-year-old Lipolelo Thabane sent shockwaves through the tiny mountain kingdom, which is ringed by South Africa and has a long history of political turmoil.
Senior members of the governing All Basotho Convention (ABC) party have accused the prime minister of hampering investigations into the killing.
Last month, hundreds of opposition supporters marched through the streets of Maseru as the prime minister was questioned by the police, demanding he step down with immediate effect.
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firing

UAE starts first nuclear reactor at controversial Barakah plant |NationalTribune.com

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Saturday that it has started operations in the first of four reactors at the Barakah nuclear power station – the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world. Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), which is building and operating the plant with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) said in…

UAE starts first nuclear reactor at controversial Barakah plant |NationalTribune.com

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Saturday that it has started operations in the first of four reactors at the Barakah nuclear power station – the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world.
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), which is building and operating the plant with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) said in a press release that its subsidiary Nawah Energy Company “has successfully started up Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, located in the Al Dhafrah Region of Abu Dhabi”.
That signals that Unit 1, which had fuel rods loaded in March, has achieved “criticality” – a sustained fission chain reaction.
“The start-up of Unit 1 marks the first time that the reactor safely produces heat, which is used to create steam, turning a turbine to generate electricity,” said ENEC.
Barakah, which was originally scheduled to open in 2017, has been dogged by delays and is billions of dollars over budget. It has also raised myriad concerns among nuclear energy veterans who are concerned about the potential risks Barakah could visit upon the Arabian Peninsula, from an environmental catastrophe to a nuclear arms race.

Paul Dorfman, an honorary senior research fellow at the Energy Institute, University College London and founder and chair of the Nuclear Consulting Group, has criticised the Barakah reactors’ “cheap and cheerful” design that he says cuts corners on safety.
Dorfman authored a report (PDF) last year detailing key safety features Barakah’s reactors lack, such as a “core catcher” to literally stop the core of a reactor from breaching the containment building in the event of a meltdown. The reactors are also missing so-called Generation III Defence-In-Depth reinforcements to the containment building to shield against a radiological release resulting from a missile or fighter jet attack.
Both of these engineering features are standard on new reactors built in Europe, says Dorfman.
There have been at least 13 aerial attacks on nuclear facilities in the Middle East – more than any other region on earth.
The vulnerability of critical infrastructure in the Arabian Peninsula was further laid bare last year after Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais were attacked by 18 drones and seven cruise missiles – an assault that temporarily knocked out more than half of the kingdom’s oil production.
On Saturday, Dorfman reiterated his concern that there is no regional protocol in place to determine liability should an accident or incident at Barakah result in radioactive contamination spreading from the UAE to its neighbours. 
“Given Barakah has started up, because of all the well-rehearsed nuclear safety and security problems, it may be critically important that the Gulf states collectively evolve a Nuclear Accident Liability Convention, so that if anything does go wrong, victim states may have some sort of redress,” Dorfman told Al Jazeera. 
The UAE has substantial oil and gas reserves, but it has made huge investments in developing alternative energy sources, including nuclear and solar.
Experts though have questioned why the UAE – which is bathed in sunlight and wind – has pushed ahead with nuclear energy – a far more expensive and riskier option than renewable energy sources.
When the UAE first announced Barakah in 2009, nuclear power was cheaper than solar and wind. But by 2012 – when the Emirates started breaking ground to build the reactors – solar and wind costs had plummeted dramatically.
Between 2009 and 2019, utility-scale average solar photovoltaic costs fell 89 percent and wind fell 43 percent, while nuclear jumped 26 percent, according to an analysis by the financial advisory and asset manager Lazard.
There are also concerns about the potential for Barakah to foment nuclear proliferation in the Middle East – a region rife with geopolitical fault lines and well-documented history of nuclear secrecy.
The UAE has sought to distance itself from the region’s bad behaviour by agreeing not to enrich its own uranium or reprocess spent fuel. It has also signed up to the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog’s Additional Protocol, significantly enhancing inspection capabilities, and secured a 123 Agreement with the United States that allows bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation.
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Navy Blue Angels get first Super Hornet plane

The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron — better known as the Blue Angels — this week received their first F/A-18 Super Hornet, a cutting-edge plane that will replace the older aircraft used for the past three decades. The first Super Hornet arrived at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Monday, officials said. The Blue Angels are…

Navy Blue Angels get first Super Hornet plane

The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron — better known as the Blue Angels — this week received their first F/A-18 Super Hornet, a cutting-edge plane that will replace the older aircraft used for the past three decades.

The first Super Hornet arrived at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Monday, officials said. The Blue Angels are scheduled to fully transition to the Super Hornets by the end of the year.

“Acquiring our first Super Hornet is a momentous step in our inevitable transition scheduled for later this year and it required a herculean effort to get these fleet jets ready for our team,” said Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, commanding officer and Blue Angels flight leader.

The Blue Angels have used the original F/A-18 Hornet for 34 years. The new aircraft are capable of carrying 3,500 pounds of fuel and can move faster than the Hornet while carrying more weight, according to manufacturer Boeing.

The planes also include a new 19-inch, touch-screen display in the cockpit and a 9,000-hour frame lifespan, along with an advanced infrastructure network that boasts dramatically more computing power than its predecessors.

The Blue Angels were founded in 1946 and routinely hold air shows across the country. In April, the Blue Angels teamed up with the Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s flight demonstration squadron, for a flyover of major U.S. cities to honor health care workers and first responders battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The next Blue Angels show is scheduled for Sept. 12 and 13 in Baltimore, according to the group’s website.

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America

America First Action PAC ad attacks Biden defund police policies

A super PAC supporting President Trump’s policies is airing a new TV ad on Friday attacking Democrat Joseph R. Biden over defunding police, showing a fearful mother and child hiding under a bed from marauders while their frantic 9-1-1 call is placed on hold. The ad, titled “On Hold,” will air in the battleground states…

America First Action PAC ad attacks Biden defund police policies

A super PAC supporting President Trump’s policies is airing a new TV ad on Friday attacking Democrat Joseph R. Biden over defunding police, showing a fearful mother and child hiding under a bed from marauders while their frantic 9-1-1 call is placed on hold.

The ad, titled “On Hold,” will air in the battleground states of Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s part of America First Action PAC’s $23 million summer ad spending, The Washington Times has learned.

The ad depicts a young mother and her child retreating under a bed while a violent mob on the street outside their home menaces them. When the woman dials 9-1-1, an operator says, “You have reached 9-11 emergency services. Due to budget cuts and increased criminal activity, our agents are busy assisting other callers. The hold time is 17 minutes. Have a nice day.”

A similar national TV ad from the Trump campaign this week shows an older woman, alone at night, unable to get through to police on 9-1-1 as a masked intruder breaks into her home.

“Your family won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” said Brian O. Walsh, president of America First Action PAC. “He supports defunding the police and has defended the riots in Portland as ‘peaceful.’ While Biden is too weak to stand up to the leftist mob, President Trump will never bow down and will always ensure all Americans are safe.”

The latest Rasmussen Reports survey shows that just two in 10 Americans support defunding police.

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