FANFAN: Pioneering Mauritian musician passes away

Pamplemousses – VIJAY SHAH via Mo Ti News

Louis Gabriel Joseph, one of the pioneers of the national music of Mauritius, has passed away aged 88 yesterday, local news site Mo Ti News reports. Known among his peers and generations of listeners as ‘Fanfan’, Joseph passed on from age-related issues at the Hospice Saint Jean de Dieu in the town of Pamplemousses, in the island’s north.

 

Fanfan was widely revered as one of the signature personalities behind the development of sega music as a popular genre from the 1940s until fairly recently. Sega is a musical style peculiar to Mauritius, sung in Mauritian Creole (Kreol, or simply Mauritian) to the beat of drums, triangles and more recently, keyboards and synthesizers. It was developed by people of mixed African and French origins, most descendants of slaves who used their heritage of African music to get over the drudgery of their lives and enjoy what little spare time they could get.

Joseph was a stalwart and proponent of ‘sega tipik’ (typical or traditional sega), which was in vogue until around the 1980s before it was usurped by other genres, many from outside the island.

During his career, which began after the Second World War, Joseph recorded fifty songs. He cut his first record, titled “Ma Bolema”, in 1949, and released his last production, “Kito Lev Néné”, fifty years later under the Ballerina Music label. Joseph considered himself a guardian of the traditional form of sega, a dying art now, and with contemporaries such as Serge Lebrasse and Ti Frère, tried to actively promote the cultural values of his country.

SOURCES:

Mo Ti News, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/motinews/

“[Vidéo] Musique locale : Fanfan s’éteint à 88 ans” – Mo Ti News (18 August 2018) https://moti.news/video/video-musique-locale-fanfan-seteint-a-88-ans

“The Recording Industry in Mauritius” – Sabrina Quirin and In-House DRC, Music in Africa (30 September 2016) https://www.musicinafrica.net/magazine/recording-industry-mauritius

VIDEO CREDIT:

“Fanfan: «Mo dimann Dieu le Père ramass mwa»” – l’express, YouTube (via Mo Ti News) (28 July 2016) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxMoPmS_dmI

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SOUTH LONDON MAYHEM: Four children stabbed

London – VIJAY SHAH via RICHARD HARTLEY-PARKINSON and Metro

The crimewave affecting London now has taken an even nastier turn, as newspaper Metro reported yesterday that four children in the south of the city were attacked during a scuffle, with one harmed so badly that witnesses said they were ‘disembowelled’.

A fight was alleged to have broken out between two groups of teenagers, aged 15 to 16 years, at the Landor House, a block of flats on the Elmington estate in Camberwell. Four children were taken to hospital, with one boy suffering serious injuries and is now fighting for his life. The incident occurred on Thursday at around 5:25 pm.

 

Six of the attackers were arrested by police. Pictures and videos from the scene show police officers huddled around the injured, desperately administering first aid, as they awaited the arrival of an ambulance crew, Metro reported.

One teenager was heard to shout ‘help!’ as he was ambushed. Witnesses to the disorder reported seeing one youth lying on the ground with his intestines spilling out of his torso. Others described the scene of the fight, saying that it was ‘bloodied clothing, trainers and medical equipment’. Locals believed the teenagers were from outside the estate. One witness told Metro: “Ten minutes before the stabbing I saw a whole heap of youths run down… (towards the crime scene)”. Metropolitan police sources gave an update on the conditions of the victims, stating: “One remains critical, one is in a serious but stable condition and the remaining two did not suffer serious injuries.”

‘Then 10 minutes later I heard people shouting and bawling out the back there. When I looked round the back there, I saw the youth come running from the block.’

‘He came to the corner and dropped. He was holding his belly and all of his intestines were falling on the ground.”

Local police superintendent Annmarie Cowley told Metro: “This incident is in its very early stages and at present we cannot speculate on what the nature of it may be. What we can say for certain is if there needed to be an example of the utter senselessness of knife crime, then this is it.

‘Four males are in hospital, and at this stage we cannot say how serious their injuries are. It is beyond comprehension.”

Police have increased their presence around the Elmington estate and surrounding areas. Legislation has been invoked to grant officers powers to deter further trouble overnight, in the likelihood of revenge attacks from associates of the victims.

SOURCES:

Sherrie Bachell/Facebook

Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

“Four children stabbed in south London with one boy being ‘disembowelled’ ” – Richard Hartley-Parkinson, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (17 August 2018) https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/17/four-children-stabbed-south-london-one-boy-disembowelled-7850208/?ito=social

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Sears Street, Camberwell” – Nick, Flickr (15 February 2009) https://www.flickr.com/photos/34517490@N00/3281064251

 

SOCIAL HOUSING: British government launches report on tenant experiences, housing reforms

London – VIJAY SHAH

The UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has unveiled a report detailing the experiences of people living in social housing and the inequalities and stigma they face as social tenants, HEM News Agency exclusively reports.

Ministers with the MHCLG, formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government, launched through their social media outlets a document, the ‘Social Housing Green Paper‘, as part of an ambition to tackle the widespread stigma against families and individuals residing in council-owned and housing association-owned properties and estates. The paper also highlights the government’s intention to give support to ‘thriving communities’ based around social housing in the United Kingdom.

 

The green paper forms part of the governmental open consultation on a ‘new deal for social housing’, which may signal a change of direction for the country’s ruling Conservatives, who have been castigated by liberal sections of British society for enacting policies that have targeted the welfare state , an attack on the poor and deprived, according to critics of government policy.

In it, the MHCLG has proposed ‘fundamental reforms’ in the social housing sector in order to benefit users, give greater rights and voices to renters and to re-balance the relationship between tenants and landlords, as the national housing crisis forces more and more to rent from private landlords and associations.

The paper also proposes changes to the controversial ‘Right to Buy’ policy. Instituted by the late prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, in the 1980s, this policy allowed council tenants to buy their rented homes direct from the council, but has been criticised for causing a explosion in sometimes exploitative buy-to-lets and reductions in the numbers of available social housing. One change put forward is to give local government bodies greater powers to replace homes purchased by former tenants.

The paper was released today on the UK government’s official online portal, along with a promotional video which summed up the main points of the consultation document.

SOURCES:

HEM Businesses, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Govt, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/mhclg

“Open consultation A new deal for social housing” – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government/GOV.UK (14 August 2018) https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-new-deal-for-social-housing

SCOOTER HATERS: Electric scooters attacked by angry Californians

Santa Monica – VIJAY SHAH via FOX News and other sources

The U.S. state of California is well known for being at the vanguard of revolutionary new technologies, especially if they are environmentally friendly. Its also the birthplace of many a technological trend that has spread across the world. According to Fox News, however, there is one new eco-transport trend that has not only irritated some locals in the Golden State, it’s pushed them to commit vandalism against the objects fuelling that same trend.

Electric two-wheeled scooters, usually popular with youngsters, have become the latest must-have kind to the environment mode of transport. A firm called Bird even has public banks of scooters you can pay to borrow for the day, just like the bicycle docks found in many world cities. But some Californians in the south of the state, sick to death of the new vehicles appearing in random locations and getting in their way, have taken to setting them on fire or throwing them into the Pacific Ocean, Fox News reports.

 

Another report from local paper the Los Angeles Times claims that city hygiene workers in Santa Monica have found several scooters left for dead amidst the spray of the sea and abandoned in public bins. A policeman in the city of Venice even claimed to have seen dumped scooters stacked up high in piles of ten, but the dumping has not been reported to authorities.

Most of the scooters found dumped are branded ones issued by Bird. Marked with the company logo in simple black and white livery, the company rents out the scooters to the public for as little as US $1 a day and the firm currently operates across the United States and in Paris, France. The problem of scooters being dumped and vandalised has become so commonplace that one wit opened up a Instagram account, Birdgraveyard (@birdgraveyard), that chronicles and celebrates the various unfortunate final resting places of the two-wheelers across California.

A spokesperson with the scooter firm told Fox: “We do not support the vandalism or destruction of any property and are disappointed when it takes place,’

‘Nor do we support the encouragement, celebration or normalization of this behavior.”

Bird appealed for people who spot damaged vehicles to report the sightings to the company directly.

Opponents of scooter rental schemes like Bird’s say the vehicles are often carelessly left in public places and they are an eyesore. Some cities in the US originally opposed Bird expanding into their streets but relented and allowed them in, due to their enviro-credentials. The Californian town of Beverly Hills, however voted to ban scooters for six months, citing safety concerns. The town’s council member, Lili Bosse, said last month: “If you imagine just walking on the sidewalk and somebody on a scooter at 15 miles an hour hits you, it can be fatal…”

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

Chris, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Chris_1791

“Southern Californians are tossing electric scooters into ocean, burning them: report” – Fox News, Greg Norman and Associated Press, Fox News channel/FOX News Network, LLC. (13 August 2018) http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/08/13/southern-californians-are-tossing-electric-scooters-into-ocean-burning-them-report.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

“Bird” – Bird https://www.bird.co/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Bird scooters on the sidewalk in San Jose.jpg” – Grendelkhan, Wikimedia Commons (30 May 2018) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bird_scooters_on_the_sidewalk_in_San_Jose.jpg

BA FLIGHT: Indian family allegedly discriminated against, made to leave plane due to crying child

New Delhi – VIJAY SHAH via ALIX CULBERTSON and Sky News

The UK national air carrier British Airways (BA) has been accused of racism after a family hailing from India was evicted from a flight after a child in their group would not stop crying, reported Sky News.

The child’s father claims he was subjected to ‘humiliation and racist behaviour’ and Indians are demanding a boycott of the airline, according to the report.

 

The father, AP Pathak, a civil servant, was travelling with his family from London City Airport to Berlin on the 23rd July, 2018, was placing his three-year-old son in a special child seat when the infant began to cry. Pathak’s wife began consoling the child. It was at that point that Pathak alleged a cabin crew member approached them and threatened to throw the child out of one of the plane’s windows while directly scolding the little boy.

The crew member then returned a second time where he also said the family would be ‘offloaded’ if the child refused to stop crying. The response of the unnamed crew member was said to have left the Pathaks ‘petrified’, Sky News reported.

The plane was then returned to the terminal, where security officers boarded it. The Pathaks were approached and were forced to give up their boarding passes. Another family, also Indian, were also relieved of their passes. Both families were then marched off the aircraft.

In a complaint letter about the flight written to India’s aviation minister, Suresh Prabhu, the father also claimed that the same crew member also made racial comments about ‘bloody’ Indians.

Representatives of BA have claimed the Pathaks were repeatedly asked to sit their son down and fasten his seatbelt for safety reasons, otherwise the plane would not have been able to take off.

The controversy has made headlines in the media in India, where many have urged Indians to stay away from BA. Some critics on social media described the treatment of the two families as ‘shameful’. A small number though said that BA was right in their decision to remove the Pathaks, with one saying “I don’t feel bad about this at all, we Indians don’t respect or value our Indian resources, be it trains or airplanes, this is good learning for us”. Another, identified as Khushi tweeted: “Indian parents start howling too when kids start howling – three-year-olds outside India are taught how to behave socially.”

SOURCES:

Shere Singh/Facebook.

“Indian family thrown off British Airways flight over ‘crying child’ ” – Alix Culbertson, Sky News/Sky UK (9 August 2018) https://news.sky.com/story/indian-family-thrown-off-british-airways-flight-over-crying-child-11466706

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Condor Airplane on Grey Concrete Airport · Free Stock Photo” – Pixabay via Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/condor-airplane-on-grey-concrete-airport-163792/

LUIGI: Has the green brother of Super Mario been killed off?

Tokyo – VIJAY SHAH via WIL JONES and Joe

Super Mario, the games franchise featuring an Italian plumber who rides dinosaurs and has a penchant for golden rings, has been an icon of the video games circuit since its explosion in popularity. As anyone who has played the games knows, Mario has a taller, greener brother named Luigi. While not as regarded as his shorter sibling, Luigi is the quintessential sidekick, always supporting his brother in his endless quests to liberate royalty from towers guarded by baddies.

But, according to online magazine Joe, Luigi has now passed away. Killed off by his creators, Nintendo, Luigi shuffled off his mortal Kart only yesterday, reports Joe, and fans have reacted in protest and faux mourning.

 

The late Luigi, known only by his first name, made his debut in the very first Mario Bros arcade game in 1983. He soon became a fixture in further versions of the series, popping up in Super Mario Bros, Mario KartSmash Brothers, Mario Tennis and Mario Party. While at first Luigi was kept firmly in the pillion seat, he got his first lead act in Luigi’s Mansion, released on the now-archaic Dreamcube, back in 2001. He also made the leap from computer screen to the silver screen when he appeared in the Super Mario Bros movie, earlier in 1993.

Word first got out that Luigi was, as they say in Italian “la storia” (history) was when Nintendo organised an event to mark the launch of Super Smash Bros Ultimate on the new Nintendo Switch console. In the trailer accompanying the event, Luigi’s demise is actually shown. The unfortunate plumber has an encounter with the Grim Reaper, who literally scares him to death while he appears to be trapped in some kind of prison cell. Luigi’s ‘soul’ is seen departing his body.

As fans on Twitter mourned his death, things have started to be a bit less straightforward it seems. Nintendo UK Versus claimed on the social network that “Luigi is okay”, but did not give any further details. Could it be that Luigi managed to escape the clutches of the Grim One? As we all know, the entertainment industry have a habit of ‘killing’ off their characters only to resurrect them by some twist of the tale. The mystery continues.

Luigi is ‘survived’ (maybe) by his partner Daisy, brother Mario, his alleged son Baby Luigi, and his evil alter-ego Waluigi.

SOURCES:

Ali Hassan Besher/Facebook.

“Nintendo has ‘killed’ Luigi, and it has not gone down well at all” – Wil Jones, Joe (8 August 2018) https://www.joe.co.uk/gaming/nintendo-has-killed-luigi-and-it-has-not-gone-down-well-at-all-193926

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Focus Photo of Super Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi Figurines · Free Stock Photo” – Pixabay via Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/focus-photo-of-super-mario-luigi-and-yoshi-figurines-163036/

SOCAL PLANE CRASH: Five reported killed

Santa Ana – VIJAY SHAH via ARTEMIS MOSHTAGHIAN and CNN

Five people have been reported killed after a small plane crashed into a car park in southern California state, USA yesterday according to a report published by news network CNN.

The Orange County Fire Authority told CNN that a Cessna 414 twin-engine craft en route to the John Wayne Airport in the same county lost control and crashed into the car park in the city of Santa Ana, according to the Fire Authority’s report source, Capt. Tony Bommarito, a public information officer.

 

The five who perished were all believed to have been on the Cessna, which came down around 12.30 pm local time. The plane was reported to have struck a parked and unoccupied car in the park, whose owner was out buying groceries. The crash occurred just a block from the South Coast Plaza, a popular local shopping centre. No deaths and injuries were reported among people on the ground, according to Bommarito.

The plane put out a mayday message before crashing, CNN said. The victims have not yet been identified. The American Federal Aviation Administration is to run an investigation into yesterday’s crash along with the National Transportation Safety Board.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

#AceBreakingNews, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/AceBreakingNews

“#Breaking144 – A small plane crashed into a parking lot, killing five people in Southern California, authorities say – @AceBreakingNews” – #Breaking144 @Breaking144/Ace Worldwide News Group/Sterling Publishing & Media News/WordPress (6 August 2018) https://acebreakingnews.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/breaking144-a-small-plane-crashed-into-a-parking-lot-killing-five-people-in-southern-california-authorities-say-acebreakingnews/

“Small plane crashes into parking lot, killing 5 in Southern California” – Artemis Moshtaghian, Amanda Jackson and Madison Park, Cable News Network (CNN)/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (6 August 2018) https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/05/us/orange-county-plane-crash/index.html

TWEET CREDIT:

CNN Breaking News, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/cnnbrk/status/1026235766513524737/photo/1

BUCKINGHAM PALACE POLICE ACCIDENT: Police car overturns during speedy chase in London

London – VIJAY SHAH via JOE ROBERTS and Metro

While the police in London are largely renowned for their exemplary vehicle handling during high-speed car (and moped) chases, one unfortunate squad car and its occupants came a cropper while chasing a moped near the world-famous Buckingham Palace, part-time residence of the UK’s royal family.

 

According to a report in tabloid newspaper Metro, the police vehicle was called out to a report of a stolen moped being driven by a seventeen-year-old boy and carrying one passenger at 4:30 am at Hyde Park Corner yesterday. The police gave chase and that chase carried on through central London. Upon arriving at Grosvenor Place’s junction with Chapel Street, just outside the Palace’s grounds, a second police car, which may have also been involved in apprehending the suspects, collided with the moped, leaving the bike’s driver with leg injuries that needed medical treatment. The police car itself flipped over and ended up resting on its roof at the side of the road near a high wall.

The 17-year-old was arrested by Metropolitan Police officers after being discharged from hospital. He is being charged for ‘a number of motoring offences’ according to police sources cited in the Metro. A police spokesperson said: “The vehicle, rider and pillion passenger matched the description of a moped believed to have been involved in a series of offences”

The passenger fled the scene and is being hunted by police. As is the norm in police situations where people are injured or killed, the incident has been forwarded to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for further investigation. An IOPC representative told Metro: “An independent investigation has been launched following a collision between a moped and a marked police car in Westminster, London, this morning.

‘A 17-year old boy has suffered serious leg injuries and been taken to hospital. A police vehicle overturned during the incident but no police officers have sustained injuries.”

Mopeds in London are often a popular choice of vehicle stolen by criminals due to their ubiquity, ease of theft, and that police are often unable to bring them to a halt, due to their high speeds and manoeuvrability.

SOURCES:

Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

“Police car flips over chasing moped near Buckingham Palace” – Joe Roberts, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (4 August 2018) https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/04/police-car-flips-chasing-moped-near-buckingham-palace-7799119/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Emergency Vehicle Operator’s Course aids JBPHH first responders in arriving on time, every time” – U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden, Pacific Air Forces (27 March 2014) http://www.pacaf.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/591508/emergency-vehicle-operators-course-aids-jbphh-first-responders-in-arriving-on-t/

FAIRLOP WATERS: Local conservationists protest lorry road plans for Ilford nature reserve

Hainault – VIJAY SHAH via AARON WALAWALKAR and Ilford Recorder

Redbridge environmental campaigners are protesting against plans to construct a ‘haul road’ for heavy-duty lorries near the scenic Fairlop Waters nature reserve in Ilford, Essex, in the UK, according to a report published by their local newspaper, the Ilford Recorder.

They fear the constant stream of large and noisy trucks carrying gravel on the new route will destroy the peace and feel of the Fairlop Waters Nature Park, which lies in the Hainault area, close to the A12 road and is Redbridge’s largest nature reserve and leisure spot. The park is home to species of rare birds like the long-eared owl and indigenous trees, which the campaigners say will be affected by the new road.

 

The borough council had authorised a map, seen by the protesters and the Recorder newspaper, which appears to show a 13-metre wide road snaking through the south-western reach of Fairlop park, a reserve protected by national law. The road would be used by lorries carrying minerals for construction and was being planned by the council since early 2016, it was reported.

Leading the protest is wildlife group Fairlop Birders. The group’s spokesperson, Chris Gannaway, told the Ilford Recorder: “This is a terrible state of affairs when one group of council officers take the trouble to develop and go through the Local Nature Reserve registering process with Natural England, while the planners allow developers Brett Tarmac to run roughshod over what is now a mature wildlife site.”

Redbridge’s local government have been accused of hiding the true extent of the plans for the road and operating with a lack of scrutiny regarding the future building of the slip route. The council’s planning committee are known to have given conditional planning permission to the road’s builders, Brett Tarmac Limited, as part of plans to extend Fairlop Quarry, in Hainault Road, on the 5th of June this year. Representatives of the council countered by saying the Brett Tarmac application was made through normal rules included site notices, advertisements in the local press, letters to Fairlop’s neighbours, public consultation and a planning committee meeting.

“Before development can proceed, we will be working closely with our partners and environmental agencies to ensure that the relevant planning conditions relating to biodiversity and vehicle movement are discharged.”, a council representative told the Recorder. Brett Tarmac also claimed that they also undertook responsible environmental surveys and public permission seeking before setting about plans for the new road.

SOURCES:

Ilford Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/IlfordRecorder/

“‘This is deplorable’: Wildlife campaigners condemn plans for haulage road near Fairlop Waters nature reserve” – Aaron Walawalkar, Ilford Recorder/Archant (3 August 2018) http://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/politics/wildlife-fairlop-waters-protest-haulage-road-1-5637593

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Long Eared Owl (9438319240).jpg” – Ian Kirk via tm, Wikimedia Commons (4 August 2013) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Long_Eared_Owl_(9438319240).jpg

NEW ORLEANS SHOOTING: Three killed, several injured in attack

New Orleans – VIJAY SHAH via Sunday Herald

 

Three people have reportedly been shot dead in an incident in the United States city of New Orleans, according to an article published in a Scottish newspaper today.

Seven people have also been injured in the shootout in New Orleans, around three miles from the city’s tourist hotspot, the French Quarter, the Sunday Herald newspaper reports. The shooting occurred on Saturday (yesterday) night at the 3400 block area of Claiborne Avenue, a main road which runs the length of the city, according to a local police source, Aaron Looney.

The injured were taken to local hospitals, although their condition was not known. There is no information as yet of the perpetrators or the possible motive or motives and circumstances of the atrocity. Local police are now investigating.

New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell, released a statement via her mayoral office condemning the violence. The statement said: “There is no place in New Orleans for this kind of violence. I speak for everyone in our City when I say we are disgusted, we are infuriated, & we have had more than enough. Three more lives — gone. It has to end… It’s unacceptable anywhere.”

“We are grateful to those on the scene tonight: the NOPD (New Orleans Police Department), EMS (ambulance service), the chaplains and the social workers. We will dedicate any resource necessary to ending this horror and seeing justice done”.

SOURCES:

HEM Newsbreakers, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-newsbreakers

HeraldScotland, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/heraldscotland

“Three killed in New Orleans shooting” – The Herald/Sunday Herald/Herald & Times Group/Newsquest Media Group (29 July 2018) http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16384626.three-killed-in-new-orleans-shooting/

Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/mayorcantrell