Meghan Markle visits memorial to murdered South African woman

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A recent undated handout photograph released on September 28, 2019 by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shows Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex ties on a ribbon as she visits the memorial to murdered South African student Uyinene Mrwetyana in Cape Town. (AFP)
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A recent undated handout photograph released on September 28, 2019 by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shows Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex ties on a ribbon as she visits the memorial to murdered South African student Uyinene Mrwetyana in Cape Town. (AFP)
Updated 28 September 2019

Meghan Markle visits memorial to murdered South African woman

  • Meghan tied a ribbon to the memorial at the post office where 19-year-old university student Uyinene Mrwetyana was attacked last month
  • More than 100 rapes are reported every day in South Africa, and President Cyril Ramaphosa calls the country “one of the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman”

JOHANNESBURG: Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has visited a memorial to a young South African woman whose rape and murder inspired thousands of people to protest the country’s high rate of sexual violence.
In a quiet stop during a royal tour, Meghan tied a ribbon to the memorial at the post office where 19-year-old university student Uyinene Mrwetyana was attacked last month. The assault has led outraged women to march in the streets in major cities and rally behind an online campaign called #AmINext.
A post on the royals’ Instagram account called the death “a critical point in the future of women’s rights in South Africa” and said the visit was “personally important” to Meghan.
The duchess also has spoken with Mrwetyana’s mother, the post said, adding that “the Duke and Duchess had been following what had happened from afar and were both eager to learn more when they arrived in South Africa.”
More than 100 rapes are reported every day in South Africa, and President Cyril Ramaphosa calls the country “one of the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman.” He announced new emergency measures and vowed to be tougher on perpetrators, but some women weary of years of such pronouncements have suggested that South Africa bring back the death penalty for rapists.
The scope of the problem is well-known. More than 2,700 women were murdered in South Africa last year, and more than 1,000 children, the government says. One in five women over age 18 have faced physical violence from a partner.
Women’s empowerment is one of the many issues that Meghan and Prince Harry are highlighting on their first official tour as a family with their baby, Archie. The 10-day, multi-country visit continued on Saturday for Harry with a meeting in Angola with the president of the southern African nation.
On Friday the prince followed in the footsteps of his late mother, Princess Diana, whose walk through an active mine field in Angola years ago helped to lead to a global ban on the deadly weapons.


Philippines lowers volcano alert, thousands can return home

Updated 26 January 2020

Philippines lowers volcano alert, thousands can return home

  • The nation’s seismological agency said steadily shrinking ash and gas emissions were signs of “decreased tendency toward hazardous explosive eruption”
  • The immediate impact of the reduced warning was provincial authorities lifting the evacuation order for nearly all the towns that ring the volcano

MANILA: A major explosion of the Philippines’ restive Taal volcano no longer appears imminent, authorities said Sunday as they partially lifted a mass evacuation order but warned residents should still remain ready to flee.
Warning signs like earthquakes have been steadily waning since Taal burst to life two weeks ago, prompting at least 135,000 people into evacuation centers over fears of a massive eruption.
The nation’s seismological agency said steadily shrinking ash and gas emissions were signs of “decreased tendency toward hazardous explosive eruption,” leading them to drop the alert by a notch.
The immediate impact of the reduced warning was provincial authorities lifting the evacuation order for nearly all the towns that ring the volcano, a tourist attraction that sits in the middle of a lake.
“Residents of all towns under lockdown except Agoncillo and Laurel now have the option to return,” local governor Hermilando Mandanas told a press conference.
“There’s a possibility that the volcano may still erupt and we should still be ready to evacuate in one hour.”
The volcano shot ash 15 kilometers (nine miles) high and spewed lava in the January 12 eruption, which crushed scores of homes and killed livestock as well as crops.
However, seismologists warned the volcano could imminently unleash a much bigger eruption, posing a deadly risk to anyone in a 14-kilometer radius “danger zone.”
Taal, located just 60 kilometers from the capital Manila, is one of the most active volcanoes in a country where eruptions and earthquakes are a dangerous part of life.
Its last eruption was in 1977, but it has a long history of activity. In 1965, a Taal eruption killed some 200 people.
The most powerful volcanic explosion in the Philippines in recent years was the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila, which killed more than 800 people.

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