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China confirms all 132 people on crashed airliner dead as second black box found

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The China Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC), has confirmed that all 132 people on board a China Eastern Airlines aircraft which crashed on Monday are dead.

The confirmation came on Sunday after searchers recovered the second black box of the jetliner which crashed in the forest mountains of southern China.

The CAAC said they have so far identified 120 of the victims using DNA testing, including 114 passengers and six crew members.

The flight MU5735 was on its way from the southwestern city of Kunming enroute to Guangzhou with 123 passengers and nine crew members on board, when it lost contact over the city of Wuzhou, the CAAC said in a statement.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined but the recovery teams said the recovery of the second black box which contains details of the flight data recorder such as speed, altitude and heading, would aid in determining the cause.

Rescue teams had combed the crash site and the surrounding forests for survivors and the black box after the first one was found on Wednesday, wading through thick mud due to heavy rains in the southern China’s Guangxi region, while desperate family members waited for news of their loved ones.

The crash of the Boeing 737-800 plane is China’s worst air disaster in more than a decade, according to the country’s aviation bureau.

Musings From Abroad

Uganda turns to China for $150 million loan after World Bank halts funding

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East African country, Uganda will now seek to borrow $150 million from China’s Export-Import Bank (Exim), following lending restrictions by the World Bank for its anti-homosexuality law.

The action highlights the country’s growing dependence on Chinese lenders after the World Bank’s decision earlier this year stopping all new loans to the country.

Uganda is negotiating a loan to finance the construction of a pipeline to help export its crude oil to foreign markets with the Chinese export credit organisations SINOSURE and Exim Bank.

The money, the finance ministry says, is “to finance the supply, installation, commissioning, and support of the national data transmission backbone infrastructure.”

A law prohibiting LGBTQ was passed by the Ugandan legislature in May. Several stringent regulations were incorporated into the legislation, which drew strong criticism from the international community, including the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and major corporations like the World Bank.

Before lending to Uganda was suspended by the World Bank, it was the country’s largest development partner.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act imposes severe penalties, including death, for a variety of homosexual offences.

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Musings From Abroad

Russia’s free grain to hit 6 African countries this week

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Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s promise to send free grain to six African countries in July, Russian shipments of donated grain are due to begin landing in Africa within days.

The supply will give fresh impetus to Russia’s bid to bolster its influence on the continent after criticism over its invasion of Ukraine and withdrawal from a deal that facilitated the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea linked to pushing up global food and fertilizer prices.

The Russian Agriculture Ministry stated earlier this month that the shipments would amount to 200,000 metric tonnes by the end of the year, with Somalia and Burkina Faso scheduled to be the initial recipients. According to Putin’s July statement, Zimbabwe, Mali, Eritrea, and the Central African Republic are also expected to receive between 25,000 and 50,000 metric tonnes of grain each.

Two of the top exporters of grain and vegetable oil worldwide are Russia and Ukraine. Russia’s bombardment of Ukrainian ports and stores has affected the world’s supply of both commodities during the war. Russia in July also quit a year-old agreement that had allowed Ukraine to ship grain from its Black Sea ports, which, according to a study by a South African agency, helped feed about 95 million people but fell short in ensuring that fertilizer-originating from Russia could flow freely to global markets. Had that happened, food could have been produced to feed about 199 million people.

However, Putin, in order to fulfil what he claimed was Moscow’s crucial role in ensuring global food security, stated that Russia was prepared to replace Ukrainian grain exports to Africa on both a commercial and assistance basis.

While most African countries have adopted a non-aligned posture in the war, Russia’s influence in the continent has been on the rise lately, particularly with regard to defence relations.

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