The Centralian Advocate Tue 28 Sep 2021
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14 WORLD TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2021 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 R1 Kids freed on ransom KANO: Gunmen who kidnapped more than 100 students from a school in northwest Nigeria more than two months ago released 10 more of the hostages after receiving a ransom payment. Assailants stormed Bethel Baptist High School on July 5 on the outskirts of Kaduna city, abducting 121 students who were sleeping. The Bethel abduction was one of a string of kidnappings by armed gangs known locally as bandits who terrorise northwest and central Nigeria. The kidnappers released 10 more students today after we met their financial demand, an official said. Another 11 children are still being held. Aussie diving star Rhiannan Iffland repeats her world championship-winning form at Polignano a Mare in southern Italy. Picture: Getty Images ROME: Australias Rhiannan Iffland has officially secured another cliff diving world title, this time in Polignano a Mare in Italy. The Newcastle native, 30, won the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in style in Polignano, on Italys southeast coast, on Sunday, local time. She had already wrapped up the title by winning an event at Puglia a few days earlier. I can breathe easily now going into the last event of the season, she said after winning at Puglia. Now Im really excited for that one to just enjoy it. Iffland has picked up her fifth title in a row in the home of European cliff diving. She trained as a gymnast when she was at school and later trained at the NSW Institute of Sport with future Olympic medallists Matthew Mitcham and Melissa Wu. She has completed a number of stunning diving feats, including earlier this year when she became the first person in the world to dive out of a moving hot air balloon. TOP OF THE WORLD: ITS RARE AIR FOR WORLD CHAMP BEIJING: North Korea wants an official end to war with the South, Kim Jong-uns sister has said, in a move thought to be aimed at persuading the US to ease sanctions. Two statements by Kim Yojong on the weekend indicated the North was willing to resume talks with the South if certain conditions were met. Ms Kim (pictured), who handles inter-Korean affairs, said: I felt that the atmosphere of the South Korean public desiring to recover the inter-Korean relations from a deadlock and achieve peaceful stability as soon as possible is irresistibly strong. We too have the same desire, she added, stressing it was her personal view. The Korean War ended in 1953 with a ceasefire, leaving US-led UN forces technically still at war with Pyongyang. South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for a formal end to the war in an address to the UN general assembly last week. The US insists the North must first give up its nuclear weapons. Seouls unification ministry responded to Ms Kims call, saying: For these discussions, the inter-Korean communication line must be restored. The North ceased answering calls in August. The London Times Kim seeks an end to Korea war WHO pushes China in new Wuhan lab probe ATLANTA: The World Health Organisation is to restart its investigation into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak and will appoint a new team of experts with a mission to look for further evidence of how the virus emerged in China. The new panel will include experts in laboratory safety, biosecurity and genetics, as well as animal disease specialists who are experts in how viruses spread to humans, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The team will redouble efforts to establish whether the virus leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan towards the end of 2019 before going on to kill more than 4.7 million people across the globe. China denies the allegation and is demanding that the WHO investigates whether the virus originated in other countries, including the US. The new WHO team, announced after Washington urged further investigation, comes after President Joe Biden ordered the US intelligence agencies to investigate the lab leak theory. The White House had previously accepted Chinas claim that Covid-19 jumped from bats to humans. A US report, published last month, was inconclusive, saying both theories were credible. A WHO spokesman said the new teams priority needs to be data and access in the country where the first reports were identified. China has refused to say if the new team will be allowed into the country to conduct its investigation. The foreign ministry said that Beijing had co-operated fully with the previous inquiry, a point disputed by members of the last WHO team. The earlier WHO investigation, run by 10 international experts who visited Wuhan, recommended that China further scrutinise the earliest suspected cases. It is not known whether Chinese officials carried out this work. In its final report, the team said the data provided by the Chinese was insufficient to answer the critical questions of when, where and how the virus began spreading. It did conclude, however, that it was extremely unlikely that the virus escaped from a lab. The decision to restart the inquiry is likely to anger Beijing, which is desperate to avoid being blamed for the outbreak. Senior members of the Biden administration have lobbied WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to begin a new probe. The London Times President Xi Jinping. Be inspired by Gabby, says father NEW YORK: Relatives and friends gathered on Sunday (Monday AEST) at the funeral service for Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old American woman whose disappearance and murder made international headlines, as a manhunt intensifies for her boyfriend. Her father Joe Petito told mourners at the service in New York, as well as the American public, not to be saddened by her tragic death but instead be motivated by her brief, adventurous life. When you leave here today, be inspired by what she brought to the table because the entire planet knows this womans name now, he said. I couldnt be more proud as a father. A live feed of the service showed loved ones hugging in front of bouquets of flowers and large photographs of Gabby. Dozens of police and other first responders were seen lining up to pay their respects. Her family had reported her missing on September 11 after not hearing from her since August. Her body was later found in the western state of Wyoming, near where the white camper van she and Brian Laundrie were travelling in was reported seen. Gabbys death has since been ruled a homicide. Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie over fraudulent use of a credit card and have broadened their search for the 23-year-old, who remains at large.Richard Gere. GERE A SHOW TRIAL RISK ROME: Plans for actor Richard Gere to testify against former Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini for abuse of migrants threaten to turn the case into a show trial, the far-right leader said on Sunday. Gere will testify against him in the so-called Open Arms case, according to remarks Mr Salvini made at a political meeting that were reported by the Ansa news agency. If someone wants to turn the trial into a show and wants to see Richard Gere, let him go to the cinema, not to a court, the head of the populist and nationalist League party said, according to Ansa. Mr Salvini is accused of kidnapping and abuse of power in August 2019 by preventing more than 100 migrants from disembarking from a rescue ship even as conditions on board deteriorated.