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Mo’ Salah’s strike sends Egypt into AFCON 2019 round of 16

Record seven-time champions Egypt secured a place in the last 16 on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo

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Egypt's Mohamed Salah takes on a free kick during the 2019 as Egypts qualified for the next round

Mohamed Salah scored his first goal of the Africa Cup of Nations as hosts Egypt secured a place in the last 16 on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ahmed Elmohamady prodded Egypt ahead on 25 minutes after a wicked Salah cross and the Liverpool star slammed in a second shortly before half-time to spark frenzied celebrations at a packed Cairo International Stadium.

Record seven-time champions Egypt rode their luck at times as DR Congo twice struck the crossbar in the first half but the Group A leaders held firm to join Nigeria as the first teams through to the knockout phase.

Egypt overcame the distraction of Amr Warda being banished from the squad earlier in the day over mounting sexual harassment allegations. The claims surfaced earlier this week on social media platforms. Multiple women posted screenshots and testimonies of Warda’s alleged lewd comments.

“I think the team is strong and the squad is strong but we are not happy to lose a member of our family,” said coach Javier Aguirre. “The team focused more on our match and played the 90 minutes in a serious manner. I don’t think the Egyptian team will be affected by the absence of anyone.”

Aguirre fielded the same side that defeated Zimbabwe 1-0, with centre-back Ahmed Hegazy sporting a mask after breaking his nose in the opening game of the tournament. Salah was guilty of missing a hatful of chances in the curtain-raiser and this season’s English Premier League joint top scorer again threatened inside five minutes here when an interception broke his way only for the Egyptian to skew wide under pressure.

After four days of small crowds, another capacity 75,000 crowd turned out to cheer on the hosts in the capital, but they were nearly silenced when Marcel Tisserand slammed against the bar at a corner. 

Related: AFCON 2019 host defeat Guinea in a warm-up match

Salah takes over

DR Congo came to Egypt as one of the most unpredictable qualifiers having finished third in 2015 only to make a quarter-final exit two years ago, and they fell behind for the second straight game as Elmohamady forced home after the ball fell kindly to him following an aerial challenge with Christian Luyindama.

Having created the opener with his vicious right-wing cross, Salah then stung the palms of Ley Matampi with a powerful 25-yard free-kick. Egypt would be rescued by the woodwork once more though when a deep cross was nodded back across goal by Bokadi Bope and Jonathan Bolingi’s looping header bounced back off the bar.

With his side riding their luck, Salah rose to the occasion and settled Egyptian nerves two minutes before half-time with a typically brilliant finish. Played into space down the right by Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan, Salah skipped inside Tisserand and ripped a crisp low drive inside Matampi’s near post to cue a volcanic eruption from the masses of Egyptian supporters.

Mohamed El Shenawy produced an excellent sprawling second-half save to claw out a Jacques Maghoma header, but despite an improvement on a horror first outing, DR Congo now knows they must beat Zimbabwe in their final game in order to possibly advance as one of the four best third-place finishers.

“The feelings are mixed when you play such a match. Unfortunately, we lost so the feeling is one of hurt, particularly for my players. They gave a lot and fought hard but didn’t get the result,” said DR Congo coach Florent Ibenge, whose side fell 2-0 to Uganda in their opening match.

Related: Cameroon warns rivals ahead of AFCON group stage

“We’ve got one match left against Zimbabwe and we can hope for third place. We’re going to fight until the end.”

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5 killed in a rap concert in Algeria

Seven people who were still in hospital in a critical condition

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Stadium where five young people were killed and dozens more injured

Five young people were killed and dozens more injured in a stampede at a packed rap concert in the Algerian capital, a spokesman for rescue services said Friday. The stampede took place Thursday night as fans thronged an entrance of the August-20 Stadium where rapper Soolking was to perform.

The 29-year-old has won a huge number of fans in the country, his song “La Liberte” becoming a mainstay of anti-government protests that enter their seventh month on Friday.

Captain Nassim Bernaoui of the civil protection unit told reporters there were five killed in the crush: “two young girls aged 19 and 22 and three boys aged 13, 21 and 16.”

five young people were killed and dozens more injured in a stampede at a packed rap concert
A picture shows on August 23, 2019, the exterior of Algiers’ August-20 Stadium where five young people were killed and dozens more injured in a stampede at a packed rap concert the previous night. – The stampede took place as fans thronged an entrance of the stadium where rapper Soolking was to perform. AFP there were five victims of the crush: “two young girls aged 19 and 22 and three boys aged 13, 21 and 16.” (Photo by RYAD KRAMDI / AFP)

Similar News: Protests in Algeria force resignation of lower parliament speaker

Dozens of people were lightly injured, Bernaoui said, 86 of whom were treated on the spot with another 32 taken to hospital. Eight others were transferred to the Mustapha Pacha hospital in Algiers in critical condition, he added.

A medic, who asked to remain anonymous, later said seven people were still in hospital in a critical condition, without giving details on the eighth. In front of the hospital, Ahmed Kadi had red eyes as he waited to collect the body of his 18-year-old daughter Chourouk.

“I didn’t even know that my wife and my daughter had gone to the concert,” he said, holding back tears. They had been separated in the stampede. “The organisers did their job badly,” he said.

Nearby, Abderezak accompanied his friend Rachid Kadri as he collected the body of his 19-year-old daughter Chiraz. “Chiraz wasn’t planning to go but as she had passed her high school exams, her father wanted to give her a present and let her go with her friends,” he said.

“It’s criminal to organise a concert like that at the August-20 Stadium,” he added. According to APS, the incident took place at around 1900 GMT, adding that the concert went ahead as planned but with a 30-minute delay.

 flyers of rapper Soolking lying on the ground outside Algiers' August-20 Stadium
A picture shows on August 23, 2019, flyers of rapper Soolking lying on the ground outside Algiers’ August-20 Stadium where five young people were killed and dozens more injured in a stampede at a packed concert by the musician the previous night. – The stampede took place as fans thronged an entrance of the stadium where rapper Soolking was to perform. AFP there were five victims of the crush: “two young girls aged 19 and 22 and three boys aged 13, 21 and 16.” (Photo by RYAD KRAMDI / AFP)

Similar Story: French police arrest 282 in riotous celebrations after Algeria football win

Algerian journalist Akram Kharief said thousands of fans began gathering outside the stadium from mid-afternoon. More than 30,000 people were estimated to have attended the concert, he reported.

“There were only four small entrances allowing people to enter one at a time,” Kharief said. “This caused a stampede… and people fell” as they pushed to get inside before the start of the concert, he added.

Four concert-goers contacted separately, who were already inside the stadium when the stampede took place, said they had not been informed about it. They said that when they left the venue at around midnight, no rescue services were visible.

The Algiers prosecutor’s office said Friday that it had opened an investigation into the “painful accident” and would identify those responsibly.

Stadium where five young people were killed and dozens more injured
A picture shows on August 23, 2019, Algiers’ August-20 Stadium where five young people were killed and dozens more injured in a stampede at a packed rap concert the previous night. – The stampede took place as fans thronged an entrance of the stadium where rapper Soolking was to perform. AFP there were five victims of the crush: “two young girls aged 19 and 22 and three boys aged 13, 21 and 16.” (Photo by RYAD KRAMDI / AFP)

France-based Soolking, whose given name is Abderraouf Derradji, shot to stardom last year and was to perform just a single concert in his home country Algeria. He dedicated the song “La Liberte” to protesters engaged in months of anti-government demonstrations.

Algerians launched the unprecedented protest movement in February, initially against a bid by veteran President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to seek a fifth term in office.

Bouteflika eventually resigned in the face of mass protests but the movement has not let up, continuing to rally weekly on Fridays to demand a complete overhaul of the political system.

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Mali’s new mining rules end tax exemptions

The regulatory change seeks to bring a “substantial increase” in the contribution of the mining sector

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New Mali mining law removes tax exemption

Mining companies operating in Mali will no longer be exempt from value-added tax during production and will only be protected from fiscal changes for a shorter period.

The regulatory change seeks to redress the “shortcomings” of a 2012 law by bringing a “substantial increase” in the contribution of the mining sector to the economy, the Mines Ministry said in a statement.

However, some industry watchers view the code change as a new instance of so-called “resource nationalism” and will likely spark tensions between the Malian government and mining companies.

Mali is currently Africa’s third-largest gold producer.

The regulation shortens the “stability period” during which mining companies’ existing investments are protected from changes to fiscal and customs regimes.

Changes to regulatory stability clauses have been strongly opposed by international mining companies elsewhere in Africa, most notably in the Democratic Republic of Congo where miners spent months at loggerheads with the government.

Under Mali’s previous law, stability was ensured for 30 years. It was however not made clear what the length of the new stability period would be, but the Economy Ministry said last year that the government aimed to reduce those protections to the lifespan of a mine.

“It’s the reality of the playing field at the moment, a lot of companies in Mali will have looked at what happened in DRC and Tanzania and they will have to be very cautious,” said Warren Beech, partner and head of mining at Eversheds Sutherland in Johannesburg.

Mali’s government had been negotiating with a working group of mining companies to draft a new code but said last year that it would move to implement a new law unilaterally if no compromise was reached.

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South Africa’s openly HIV-positive judge retires

Edwin Cameron, 66, won widespread praise for spearheading the fight for people with HIV two decades ago

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South Africa's openly HIV-positive judge retires
Edwin Cameron. (AFP)

A South African Constitutional Court judge and gay rights activist who openly disclosed his HIV status retired on Tuesday.

Edwin Cameron, 66, who hung up his gown after 25 years of serving as a judge, won widespread praise for spearheading the fight for people with HIV two decades ago when the infection rapidly spread under what he called the “AIDS denialism” of the then South African President, Thabo Mbeki.

He revealed his status in 1999 more than a decade after he contracted the virus.

He stirred up the 2000 International AIDS Conference in Durban with a speech detailing his own infection and how he was fortunate to be able to afford to buy antiretrovirals when treatment was so expensive and only accessible to the well-heeled.

“I have survived a pandemic many have perished living under,” he said at a special Constitutional Court sitting held in his honour in Johannesburg.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world — 19 per cent according to the UN AIDS agency — with more than seven million people living with the virus.

The country now has the largest state-sponsored anti-retroviral programme in the world, serving 2.5 million people.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng paid tribute to Cameron as “a brave and bold man” and for his catalytic role in mobilising authorities to roll out a mass ARV programme.

“When HIV and AIDS attracted stigma, he stood up and declared openly: ‘I am HIV positive’.”

“He could have chosen to mind his own business and care less about (others but) for the sake of the suffering masses, he not only spoke, but he acted.”

Openly gay, Cameron “helped secure the express inclusion of sexual orientation in the South African Constitution,” according to his official profile.

In 2006, South Africa became the sole African nation to allow gay marriage and it has become a haven for African homosexuals who flee persecution at home.

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