Madagascar tropical storm claims 46 lives

A NASA satellite photo shows Tropical Cyclone Bansi off Madagascar on January 14, 2015 (AFP Photo/)

Antananarivo (AFP) – A tropical storm which battered Madagascar at the weekend left 46 people dead, according to a final toll published by the authorities on Wednesday.

More than 120,000 people were also affected by Storm Chedza which lashed the Indian Ocean island with heavy rains for days, according to the national disaster management office.

Cyclone Bejisa: French island of Reunion on red alert

waves beating shoreline

Meteorologists say cyclone Bejisa could reach winds of up to 200km/h

(SOURCE)  The French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean has been put on red alert in preparation for the arrival of cyclone Bejisa.

Officials said the “danger was imminent” and residents have been told to remain indoors.

Meteorologists say the cyclone is heading from the north to the south-east of the island.

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Madagascar mob kills Europeans over ‘organ trafficking’


(BBC) Two European men have been burnt to death in Madagascar by protesters who suspected they were trafficking human organs after a child went missing.

A local man had been arrested in connection with the disappearance on Wednesday on Nosy Be, a tourist island resort in Madagascar’s north-west.

A crowd then rioted outside the police station believing him to have been paid to remove the child’s organs.

The mob proceeded on “a manhunt” for the foreigners, police said.

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Acid thrown on two British women in Zanzibar

Two British 18-year-old women were the targets of an acid attack by men riding a motorcycle on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar late on Wednesday night, police said.

British teens acid attack

Kirstie Trup (left) and Katie Gee were the targets of an acid attack by men riding a motorcycle on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar Photo: Barcroft


Kirstie Trup, from Hampstead, north London, and Katie Gee both suffered injuries to their faces, chests and hands, and were transferred to a hospital on the Tanzanian mainland where their injuries were described as “mild”.

They were in the final week of their trip, working as volunteers at a charity art programme on the island, a popular tourist destination famous for its white-sand beaches and spice plantations.

They were attacked as they walked in Stone Town, the island’s capital, on Wednesday evening at a time when the streets were deserted as locals broke their Ramadan fast.

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Nuclear-capable vessels offer to destabilize Beijing’s expansion agenda



WASHINGTON – India recently test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead – something that is of serious concern not only to New Delhi’s arch-rival Pakistan, but also to China, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

China recently has been concerned about India’s efforts to expand its influence in the East and South China Seas, where Beijing has asserted exclusive jurisdiction especially over maritime resources. Beijing is upset with India over its assistance to Vietnam in off-shore oil exploration.

At the same time, New Delhi has been equally concerned about China’s expansion into the Indian Ocean. Beijing strategists see the Indian nuclear ballistic missile submarine capability as threatening its access to the Indian Ocean through the Malacca Strait, where 25 percent of global trade takes place.

At the same time, India could use its future ballistic missile submarine force to block Chinese oil imports through the Strait, thereby causing major disruptions in the Chinese economy.

In response to this future prospect, China has set up a network of forward-deployed naval bases to protect its oil shipping lanes to the Middle East. Some of these facilities will be in the Indian Ocean, which New Delhi sees as a plan by Beijing to surround it.

However, New Delhi’s deployment of these SLBMs could complicate that strategy and actually position Indian submarines off of China’s shores, resulting in the threat to China of a ballistic missile attack.

India’s ability to launch a ballistic missile submarine will ensure that neither China nor Pakistan will be able to destroy New Delhi’s nuclear capability in a first strike. With the ability to launch a ballistic missile from a submarine, it completes New Delhi’s nuclear triad – launching a nuclear attack from land, sea or air.

The missiles will be placed on India’s Arihant nuclear submarine. It will be outfitted with four launch silos designed to hold 12 of the new missiles that have a range from 700 kilometers to 3,500 kilometers.

The Arihant is expected to be operational this year, with three more planned for construction and put into operation by 2025.

Sources say that this reflects a new Indian strategic direction to make the Indian Ocean its own area of influence in competition with the Pakistanis.


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