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Two-Year-Old Boy Shoots, Kills Pregnant Mom in US

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A pregnant woman and her unborn child died last week in the US state of Ohio after her two-year-old son shot her ithe back with a handgun left loaded in the house, police said.

Police chief David Smith told local media on Tuesday that 31-year-old Laura Ilg had called 911 on the afternoon of June 16.”She explained she was 33 weeks pregnant and her two-year-old had accidentally just shot her in the back with a firearm,” Smith said to local ABC affiliate News 5 Cleveland.Police on Friday arrived quickly at the home in Norwalk, Ohio, and Ilg was rushed to hospital, but her unborn baby could not be saved after an emergency c-section, Smith said.Ilg died from her injuries hours later, he added.

Early Saturday, the Norwalk Police Department said on its Facebook page that it offered “sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and all those affected by the tragic passing of the young mother and her unborn son.”

Ilg was conscious when police arrived and told officers that her son had somehow gotten into the usually locked bedroom while she was doing laundry and started playing with the gun, according to Smith.

He said police found a Sig Sauer Micro 9mm handgun on a nightstand as well as two other loaded firearms. Ilg’s husband, who was not at home at the time of the incident, said they belonged to him, according to media reports.

The accidental shooting is the latest in a long line of such incidents in the United States, a country of around 330 million people and some 400 million guns.

In March, a three-year-old girl accidentally killed her four-year-old sister with a handgun near Houston, Texas, despite the presence of five adults including their parents in their home.

About 40 percent of US households have guns, according to the Pew Research Center, with most of those also including children.

But less than half of the households with guns store them safely, according to Johns Hopkins University’s School of Public Health.

Police chief Smith said there had been some safety measures in place at Ilg’s home, but urged gun-owners to take precautions.

“Trigger locks, gun safes, there are a million varieties, they’re not that expensive. At the very least, leave them (guns) unloaded,” he told News 5.

AFP

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Middle East

Helicopter Carrying Iran’s President Crashes, IRNA Begins Search

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A helicopter carrying Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, has been involved in an incident while he was visiting neighbouring Azerbaijan, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on X on Sunday according to CNN.

“Some of the president’s companions on this helicopter were able to communicate with Central Headquarters, raising hopes that the incident could have ended without casualties,” it added.

It is unclear what the exact status is of Raisi’s helicopter, CNN reports.

The helicopter was part of a convoy of three helicopters. Two of those helicopters were carrying ministers and officials who arrived at their destination safely, according to Tasnim.

“Seyyed Mohammad-Ali Al-Hashem, Tabriz’s Friday Prayer Imam, and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were also reportedly on the helicopter with the president,” Tasnim said on X.

Meanwhile, the IRNA, according to IRCG, has initiated a Search and rescue operation to locate the helicopter carrying Iranian President Raisi and FM Amir-Abdollahian, which went down in the forest area of Dizmar between the villages of Uzi and Pir Dawood.

More than 20 rescue teams equipped with drones, search dogs, and full equipment, along with groups of rangers and special armed forces, have been dispatched to the site.

The area, located north of Varzeghan in East Azarbaijan province, is difficult to access, and adverse weather conditions, including thick fog, complicate the search efforts.

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Africa

Info Analytics Poll: Mahama Gaps Bawumia by 20% Votes

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With nine months before the next General election in Ghana, the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr. John Dramani Mahama, is commanding a 20 per cent lead over his closest rival, Dr. Mahamudu Bawunia of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

This was revealed in a new poll conducted by research agency, Global Info Analytics.

The poll show that over 50 per cent of Ghanaians has expressed interest to vote Mahama as against nearly 35 per cent for the incumbent vice president.

Other candidates in the election shared the remaining percentage of a little over 15 per cent.

The Ghana election is expected to hold on December 7.

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Africa

Bassirou Faye Sworn-in As Senegal’s Youngest President

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Bassirou Diomaye Faye, a left-wing pan-Africanist, has been sworn-in as Senegal’s youngest president after sweeping to a first-round victory on a pledge of radical reform 10 days after he was released from prison.

The 44-year-old has never before held an elected office but several African leaders attended the ceremony in the new town of Diamniadio, near the capital Dakar.

“Before God and the Senegalese nation, I swear to faithfully fulfill the office of President of the Republic of Senegal,” Faye said before the gathered officials.

He also vowed to “scrupulously observe the provisions of the Constitution and the laws” and to defend “the integrity of the territory and national independence, and to spare no effort to achieve African unity”.

The formal handover of power with outgoing President Macky Sall will take place at the presidential palace in Dakar.

Faye was among a group of political opponents freed from prison 10 days before the March 24 presidential ballot under an amnesty announced by Sall, who had tried to delay the vote.

Faye’s campaign was launched while he was still in detention.

The former tax inspector becomes the West African state’s fifth president since independence from France in 1960 and the first to openly admit to a polygamous marriage.

Working with his populist mentor Ousmane Sonko, who was barred from the election, Faye declared their priorities in his victory speech: national reconciliation, easing a cost-of-living crisis and fighting corruption.

The anti-establishment leader has vowed to restore national sovereignty over key assets such as the oil, gas and fishing sectors.

Faye wants to leave the regional CFA franc, which he sees as a French colonial legacy, and to invest more in agriculture with the aim of reaching food self-sufficiency.

But he has also sought to reassure investors that Senegal “will remain a friendly country and a sure and reliable ally for any partner that engages with us in virtuous, respectful and mutually productive cooperation.”

After three tense years and deadly unrest in the traditionally stable nation, his democratic victory was hailed from Washington to Paris, via the African Union and the European Union.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday spoke with the president-elect by telephone and “underscored the United States’ strong interest in deepening the partnership” between their two countries, the State Department said.

On the international stage, Faye seeks to bring military-run Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger back into the fold of the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc.

New generation of politicians

Commonly known as Diomaye, or “the honourable one” in the local Serer language, he won the election with 54.3 percent of the vote.

It was a remarkable turnaround after the government had dissolved the Pastef party he founded with Sonko in 2014, with Sall postponing the election.

Faye, a practising Muslim from a humble background with two wives and four children, represents a new generation of youthful politicians.

He has voiced admiration for US ex-president Barack Obama and South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.

However, Faye and the government he must unveil will quickly face major challenges.

He does not have a majority in the National Assembly and will have to look to build alliances to pass new laws, or call a legislative election, which will become an option from mid-November.

The biggest challenge will be creating enough jobs in a nation where 75 percent of the 18-million population is aged under 35 and the unemployment rate is officially 20 percent.

Many youths have considered the future so bleak they have risked their lives to join the waves of migrants trying to reach Europe.

Sall, meanwhile, has been appointed special envoy of the Paris Pact for People and Planet, created to combat poverty, protect the planet and support vulnerable countries.

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