Monday, 18 Jan 2021

Biggest Mideast Mobile Operator’s CEO Quits After Two Years

Darth Vader Actor Dave Prowse Dies at Age 85

Dave Prowse, the Bristol actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died aged 85.

The weightlifter-turned-actor, who also earned an MBE for playing the Green Cross Code Man to promote road safety, died after a short illness, his agent Thomas Bowington said in a Facebook post.

Prowse won the role playing Vader due to his impressive 6ft 6in physique, but with his West Country accent deemed not quite suitable, the part was instead voiced by James Earl Jones.

“May the force be with him, always!” Mr Bowington said in a statement to the BBC.

“Though famous for playing many monsters – for myself, and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives.”

Mr Bowington called the actor’s death, after a short illness, “a truly and deeply heart-wrenching loss for us and millions of fans all over the world”.

Prowse represented England in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games in the early 1960s before embarking on an acting career.

He was reportedly spotted by Star Wars director George Lucas when playing a bodyguard in the 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, and invited to audition for the roles of Darth Vader and Chewbacca.

He once told the BBC he chose Vader over his hairy co-star because “you always remember the bad guys”.

Somali Military Executes Three Al-Shabab Militant Group Members

The Somali military executed three members of the Al-Shabab militant group who were convicted of several killings in the capital Mogadishu.

The three included Mohamed Haji Ahmed Ilkacase, chief of Al-Shabab’s assassination unit in Mogadishu, according to military court officials. They were executed by firing squad on Sunday morning, the attorney general of the Somali military court, Abdullahi Bulle Kamey, told reporters.

“The members were found to be behind a series of assassinations in Mogadishu against government officials and senior army officers,” he said.

The Al-Shabab militant group is a threat to Somalia as the East Africa nation prepares for presidential elections in early 2021. On Saturday, at least seven people were killed and more than 10 others injured in a suicide bombing at a popular ice cream and bakery shop in Somalia’s capital, the latest attack carried out by the group.

Indonesia reports record daily rise in coronavirus infections

JAKARTA (REUTERS) – Indonesia reported its record daily rise in coronavirus infections on Sunday (Nov 29) with 6,267 cases, bringing the total to 534,266, data from the country’s Covid-19 task force showed.

This was the third record high in a week for the South-east Asian country.

The data showed 169 new coronavirus deaths, taking the total fatalities to 16,815.

Indonesia has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in South-east Asia.

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Eritrean Capital Hit By Rockets From Ethiopia for Third Time

Forces in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region fired missiles toward the capital of neighboring Eritrea for a second consecutive day after Ethiopian federal troops routed them from their own regional capital, according to foreign diplomats with knowledge of the attack.

Officials from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front have blamed Eritrea for helping Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed advance against them as the conflict in Africa’s second-biggest nation spills beyond its borders.

The U.S. embassy in Asmara, Eritrea’s capital, reported half a dozen explosions at about 10:13 p.m. on Saturday, in a statement on its website. A single blast occurred in the city on Friday night, the embassy said. At least three rockets were fired at Eritrea from Tigray two weeks earlier.

The foreign diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they cannot speak publicly on the matter.

Conflict broke out in Ethiopia on Nov. 4 in retaliation for an alleged assault on an army base that Abiy blamed on the Tigray region’s government. Relations between Tigray and Abiy’s administration have been strained since he took office in 2018 and began consolidating power, sidelining the TPLF, once the nation’s pre-eminent power broker.

TPLF President Debretsion Gebremichael didn’t respond to a text message seeking comment. Calls to Eritrean Minister of Information Yemane Gebremeskel weren’t immediately returned.

NBA Says Kobe’s Delayed Hall Induction Coming in May 2021

Springfield, Mass. (AP) — Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett will finally enter the Basketball Hall of Fame in May 2021.

The NBA said Saturday that the delayed Hall of Fame weekend — it was to have taken place in Springfield, Massachusetts in August, before being pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic — will be held from May 13-15.

Bryant, Duncan and Garnett — with a combined 48 All-Star Game selections and 11 NBA championships between them — were the headliners of the class that was announced back in April. They all got into the Hall in their first year as finalists, as did WNBA great Tamika Catchings.

Others had to wait a bit longer for the Hall’s call: Two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich got in this year, as did longtime Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, 1,000-game winner Barbara Stevens of Bentley and three-time Final Four coach Eddie Sutton.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, along with daughter Gianna and seven others. Sutton died May 23.

Also going in as part of this class is former FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann, who was chosen by the international committee. Baumann died in October 2018.

Biggest Mideast Mobile Operator’s CEO Quits After Two Years

Saudi Telecom Co., the biggest mobile operator in the Middle East, said its chief executive officer resigned after just over two years in the role.

Nasser Al Nasser is leaving STC, as the company is known, due to personal circumstances and will remain in his role until March 28, the company said in a statement on Sunday. A search for a successor is underway.

Al Nasser was appointed CEO in June 2018 to replace Khaled Biyari, who was named assistant minister of defense for executive affairs. Biyari had been in the role for about three years. STC shares have risen almost 20% since Al Nasser was appointed, compared with a 4.2% increase for the Saudi stock exchange.

The departure comes amid a flurry of activity by the company to expand outside Saudi Arabia and into new lines of business. STC is in talks to buy out Vodafone Group Plc’s stake in its Egyptian business, and raised $200 million selling a stake in its digital payments unit stc pay to Western Union earlier this month.

It’s also planning to sell shares in its internet services unit Solutions by STC next year, and is continuing to invest in startups through its $500 million venture capital arm, STV.

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