Chile’s Air Force on Tuesday said one of its cargo planes had crashed with 38 people on board after going missing in an isolated area between South America and the Antarctic.
The Air Force added that a rescue team was searching for survivors.
The Hercules C130 aircraft took off at 4.55 p.m. (1955 GMT) on Monday from the southern city of Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia.
The plane was heading to a base in Antarctica, but operators lost contact with the plane shortly after 6.00 p.m.
The Air Force said in a statement it had yet to locate the military cargo plane or determine whether there were any survivors.
But, it said it had concluded the plane must have crashed given the number of hours it had been missing.
The plane was carrying 17 crew members and 21 passengers, the Air Force said.
It added that its rescue team was scouring the area “where it lost communication with the plane, with the goal of rescuing possible survivors’’.
The crash comes at a turbulent time for Chile and President Sebastian Pinera, who has been grappling with rising discontent that has sparked almost two months of riots in capital city Santiago and heaped pressure on his government.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the 38 crew members and passengers of the FACh (Air Force) C-130 plane,’’ Pinera wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
The region, where the plane disappeared, is a vast, largely untouched ocean wilderness of penguin-inhabited ice sheets off the edge of the South American continent.
The plane had been travelling to perform logistical support tasks for the maintenance of Chilean facilities at the Antarctic base, the Air Force said.
Edited by: Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde
United States initiates ‘snapback’ process to reimpose sanctions on Iran – Pompeo
The United States has initiated the so-called snapback process to restore almost all previously lifted UN sanctions against Iran, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Saturday.
“Today, the United States welcomes the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and anti-Semitism,” Pompeo said.
He said the snapback of previously terminated UN sanctions became effective at 8 pm Washington time (0000 GMT).
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the United States move, saying that the snapback mechanism and reimposed sanctions were invalid.
“This step is not supported by the UN Security Council because the United States is no longer in the nuclear agreement and accordingly no longer plays a role in UN resolution 2231,” Zarif said referring to the resolution in which the UNSC backed the Iran nuclear deal signed in Vienna in 2015.
The move by Washington was merely a “propaganda trick” ahead of the United States election, Zarif said on Iranian state television.
Washington’s plans to reimpose international sanctions on Iran have been met with overwhelming opposition from other countries.
Other members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), including key United States allies who are part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, have rejected Washington’s move and have vowed to ignore it.
Under the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Tehran limited its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief.
“Sanctions are being re-imposed on Iran pursuant to the snapback process under UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2231. On August 20, the United States notified the President of the Security Council of Iran’s significant non-performance of its JCPOA commitments,” Pompeo said in the Saturday statement.
“Virtually all @UN sanctions have returned on Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism and anti-Semitism.
“This includes a permanent extension of the arms embargo. This is great news for peace in the region!” Pompeo added on Twitter.
He later added that Washington would soon “announce a range of additional measures to strengthen enforcement of @UN sanctions on Iran.”
“Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until it stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed,” he said.
United States special representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams had already signalled Washington’s determination to reimpose sanctions on Tehran earlier this week.
The United States launched a formal bid in August to revive the UN sanctions under the “snapback” mechanism included in the Iran deal.
Those sanctions include the indefinite extension of an arms embargo that would otherwise expire in October.
But few countries believe Washington’s move is legal, as United States President Donald Trump unilaterally exited the JCPOA in 2018.
Washington said it would provide more information this weekend and next week on how the United States intended to enforce the global sanctions.
“In the coming days, the United States will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable,” Pompeo said in Saturday’s statement.
“Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until Iran reaches a comprehensive agreement with us to rein in its proliferation threats and stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed,” Pompeo asserted.
Trump is likely to address Iran in his speech next week to the UN General Assembly’s largely online meeting of world leaders.
The stand-off between the United States and other member states over the issue threatens a diplomatic crisis at the world body.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Anambra FA Caretaker Committee enrolls club owners in health insurance scheme
The Caretaker Committee of Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA) has commenced the enrollment of club owners in the state into a health insurance scheme.
Emeka Okeke, Chairman of AnSFA Caretaker Committee, said on Saturday in Awka that the programme was part of the support provided for grassroots football development.
He added that it would also enhance their beneficiaries’ access to affordable health care.
“The enrollment is in fulfilment of my promise at a meeting with the club owners.”
Okeke had promised that the caretaker committee would do all that was possible to provide an enabling environment for them to thrive.
Anayo Obiako, proprietor of Awka City FC, said he was happy that for the first time, club owners in Anambra were enjoying a welfare programme courtesy of the FA.
Obiako, who described it as a promise kept, said it would help many of them to enjoy free medical services especially now that the cost of healthcare services was high.
“This is a welcome development. We are happy. Normally we should pay something to access services, but the FA caretaker committee is doing that on our behalf.
“For many years, we have been working and paying all the necessary fees to enable us participate in FA programmes, but we never enjoyed any benefit. So, this AnSFA caretaker committee is doing well,” he said.
Also speaking, Ikenna Osueke, proprietor of Ozalla FC, said the programme would ensure adequate protection of the lives of beneficiaries.
Osueke said it was a huge addition to football development in the state.
Dozie Okpalaugo, coordinator of the AnSFA programme, said no fewer than 30 club owners would be captured in the first phase.
Okpalaugo said with just 1,000 Naira monthly and an annual 12,000 Naira premium, the enrollees would be able to access medical services in about 350 hospitals across the state.
“It covers a number of medical conditions, including malaria and minor surgery, Okpalaugo, who is the Senior Special Adviser to Gov. Willie Obiano on Health Scheme and Pension Matters, said.
He therefore urged the enrollees to take advantage of the gesture, assuring that the Anambra Health Insurance Scheme would ensure that health care providers render the expected services.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan and Olawale Alabi)
Sustain Ihedioha’s blueprint on sports development, administrator urges Imo governor
A seasoned sports administrator, Fan Ndubuoke, has appealed to Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo to sustain his predecessor’s blueprint on sports development.
Ndubuoke, the immediate past Chairman of Imo Sports Commission, made the appeal during an interaction with members of the state chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), on Friday in Owerri.
He said that Uzodinma’s predecessor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, had a clear vision on sports development.
Ndubuoke called on Uzodinma to implement some lofty policies of Ihedioha’s administration on sports development.
He said that Ihedioha’s administration established Imo Sports Commission aimed at eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks associated with the `old order’.
He urged the governor not to allow politics to kill sports in Imo, in the interest of the people.
On the crisis in Heartland FC of Owerri, Ndubuoke said that the problem was traceable to greed and selfishness.
Ndubuoke, a former Heartland FC Chairman, said he ran the club with N8 million monthly subventions and won trophies for the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that state government has yet to register Heartland FC players for the new season as directed by League Management Company, due to the crisis.
The state Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Dan Ogu, had recently announced the dissolution of Heartland FC’s Interim Management Board but the board Chairman, Babatunde Ezekwem, claimed that the commissioner lacked powers to dissolve the board.
According to Ndubuoke, the Ezekwem-led board ought to cease to be when the government established the sports commission through a law.
“The Interim Management Board was a child of circumstance; it was introduced when the government was waiting to perfect the law establishing the sports commission,” he said.
Ndubuoke, who expressed worry at the crisis, warned that it might lead to a setback for the club, if not urgently tackled.
According to the sports administrator, the way to sports development in Imo is through the sports commission.
He urged Imo Football Association to play a ‘fatherly’ role in resolving the crisis.
“I call on the FA Chairman in Imo, Mr Amanze Uchegbulam, to caution some of his members on the roles they are playing in the crisis in Heartland FC,” he said.
He also urged SWAN members not to be biased in reporting sports activities and the crisis in the club.
“You should use your various media to educate and inform the public properly; I beg you to be impartial and productive in your job,” he said. |
Edited By: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Ijeoma Popoola
Oil rises after OPEC warn members to stick to quotas
Oil prices rose for a fourth day in a row on Friday, putting crude on track for a weekly gain of about 10 per cent, after Saudi Arabia pressed allies to stick to production quotas and banks, including Goldman Sachs, predicted a supply deficit.
Brent crude was up 18 cents at $43.48 a barrel by 0756 GMT while United States oil futures rose 17 cents to $41.14.
Both contracts are set for their strongest weekly gains since early June after Hurricane Sally cut United States production while OPEC and its allies laid out steps to address market weakness.
Goldman Sachs predicted the market would be in a deficit of three million barrels per day (bpd) by the fourth quarter and reiterated its target for Brent to reach $49 by the end of the year and $65 by the third quarter of 2021.
Swiss bank UBS also pointed to the possibility of undersupply in the oil market, forecasting Brent would rise to $45 a barrel in the fourth quarter and $55 by mid-2021.
Meanwhile, a tropical depression in the western part of the Gulf of Mexico could become a hurricane in the next few days, potentially threatening more United States oil facilities.
The Saudi Arabian energy minister said those who gamble on oil prices would be hurt “like hell”.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers in OPEC+ are cutting 7.7 million bpd of output and the group stressed at a meeting on Thursday that it would take action against members not complying with the deal.
In the Gulf of Mexico, United States offshore drillers and exporters began a clear-up on Thursday after Hurricane Sally weakened to a depression and started rebooting idle rigs following their closure for five days.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde