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Zimbabwe arrests 9 trying to get into SA as citizens look to flee West, Central African countries – News24

Nine Congolese nationals have been arrested.

Nine Congolese nationals have been arrested.

Catherine Falls Commercial, Getty Images

  • There has been an increase in migrants from war and terror affected East and Central Africa flooding to South Africa.
  • Zimbabwe is a transit zone with 15 000 refugees at Tongogara Refugee Camp, where hundreds escape to before they move to South Africa.
  • The Migration Policy Institute says South Africa hosts the largest number of immigrants on the continent.

Zimbabwean authorities on Monday arrested nine Congolese men who allegedly slipped into the country in transit to South Africa where they intended to start new lives.

A local magistrate in Chinhoyi – a small town 116 kilometres north east of the capital Harare – fined them ZW$2 500 (about R250) or 10 days in jail, thereafter, deportation.

The court heard that they were arrested aboard a Harare-bound bus after passing through the one-stop border post of Chirundu, which linked Zimbabwe to Zambia.

With conflict, famine and terrorism rife in East and Central Africa, traffic had increased to the southern parts of the continent which are relatively peaceful.

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) said the major reason for the migration, which usually ended up in South Africa, was “due to its middle-income status, stable democratic institutions, and comparatively industrialised economy”.

It said South Africa hosted the largest number of immigrants on the African continent.

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Official government statistics say 2.9 million people living in South Africa are foreigners.

The majority, 24% are from Zimbabwe, followed by Mozambique with 12%. Lesotho 7%, Malawi 3%, Botswana, Eswatini, Angola, Somalia each contribute 2% to the foreign population.

Most illegal immigrants who attempt to enter South Africa first go through Zimbabwe.

Those who failed, end up at the Tongogara refugee camp in Chipinge District which sits on the border with Mozambique.

The camp is home to 15 000 refugees from the DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea.

The camp has its challenges. Currently residents are rejecting government’s efforts to immunise them against Covid-19 because they feel they are isolated from danger.

However, with new arrivals, exposure chances are higher.

With Zimbabwe also facing economic challenges, remaining at the refugee centre was not an option for many.

In August, a hundred Congolese nationals including children and women escaped from the centre only to be arrested in Bulawayo at a house where they were plotting how they would travel to South Africa via Botswana.


The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that, as of last year, South Africa was officially home to 225 000 “forcibly” displaced persons.

Only 30% of that number were recognised refugees, the rest were regarded as asylum seekers.

The latest statistics from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees indicated that of the refugee and asylum seeker population in South Africa, Ethiopia had 25%, DRC 23%, Somalia 11% and Zimbabwe last with 6%, because those from Zimbabwe were mostly economic migrants not fleeing persecution and other political reasons.

Khangelani Moyo, a researcher at the Global Change Institute (GCI) at the University of the Witwatersrand, said South Africa had one of the best refugee protection policies.

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“South Africa’s refugee protection is often internationally lauded, and as recently as 2019 by UNHCR’s Fillipo Grandi, as being one of the best systems in the world. Refugees are not kept in camps in SA; for instance, in Zimbabwe and other African countries, they are kept in camps.

“But in South Africa, they have a chance to maintain a semblance of normalcy in their lives. Imagine being kept in a camp – and as you know most of these conflicts in Africa are protracted – look at the instability in DRC, it has been there for over 20 years – imagine if you were living in a camp for 20 years. South Africa, on the other hand, has no camps.”

– The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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Dinosaur Tail Found In Chile Could Point To Discovery Of New Species – NDTV



Dinosaur Tail Found In Chile Could Point To Discovery Of New Species

Paleontologists have discovered 80 percent of the dinosaur’s skeleton.


Chilean paleontologists on Wednesday presented their findings on a dinosaur discovered three years ago in Patagonia which they said had a highly unusual tail that has stumped researchers.

The remains of the Stegouros elengassen were discovered during excavations in 2018 at Cerro Guido, a site known to harbor numerous fossils, by a team who believed they were dealing with an already known species of dinosaur until they examined its tail.

“That was the main surprise,” said Alexander Vargas, one of the paleontologists. “This structure is absolutely amazing.”

“The tail was covered with seven pairs of osteoderms … producing a weapon absolutely different from anything we know in any dinosaur,” added the researcher during a presentation of the discovery at the University of Chile.

The osteoderms — structures of bony plaques located in the dermal layers of the skin – were aligned on either side of the tail, making it resemble a large fern.

Paleontologists have discovered 80 percent of the dinosaur’s skeleton and estimate that the animal lived in the area 71 to 74.9 million years ago. It was about two meters (almost seven feet) long, weighed 150 kilograms (330 pounds) and was a herbivore.

According to the scientists, who published their research in the journal Nature, the animal could represent a hitherto unknown lineage of armored dinosaur never seen in the southern hemisphere but already identified in the northern part of the continent.

“We don’t know why (the tail) evolved. We do know that within armored dinosaur groups there seems to be a tendency to independently develop different osteoderm-based defense mechanisms,” said Sergio Soto, another member of the team.

The Cerro Guido area, in the Las Chinas valley 3,000 km (1,800 miles) south of Santiago, stretches for 15 kilometers. Various rock outcrops contain numerous fossils.

The finds there allowed the scientists to surmise that present-day America and Antarctica were close to each other millions of years ago.

“There is strong evidence that there is a biogeographic link with other parts of the planet, in this case Antarctica and Australia, because we have two armored dinosaurs there closely related” to the Stegouros, said Soto.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Google Pixel mail-in repairs have allegedly twice resulted in leaked pics and a privacy nightmare – The Verge

After game designer and author Jane McGonigal sent her Pixel 5a to Google for repair, someone allegedly took and hacked her device. This is at least the second report in as many weeks from someone claiming they sent a Google phone in for repair, only to have it used to leak their private data and photographs. McGonigal posted a detailed account of the situation on Twitter on Saturday and advised other users not to send their phones in for repair with the company.

In October, McGonigal sent her broken phone to an official Pixel repair center in Texas. She tweeted later that Google said it never received the phone, and during the ensuing weeks, she was charged for a replacement device.

But according to McGonigal, FedEx tracking information shows the device arrived at the facility weeks ago. Late Friday night — a few hours after she says she finally received a refund for the device — someone seems to have used the “missing” phone to clear two-factor authentication checks and log in to several of her accounts, including her Dropbox, Gmail, and Google Drive.

The activity triggered several email security alerts to McGonigal’s backup accounts. However, she speculates that whoever has the phone may have used it to access her backup email addresses and then dumped any security alerts into her spam folder.

“The photos they opened were of me in bathing suits, sports bras, form-fitting dresses, and of stitches after surgery,” McGonigal writes. “They deleted Google security notifications in my backup email accounts.”

In a statement emailed to The Verge, Google spokesperson Alex Moriconi says, “We are investigating this claim.” It’s still unclear whether the device might have been intercepted within the repair facility or while it was in transit, or who has it now. Google’s official repair instructions recommend backing up and then erasing a device before sending it in. Still, as Jane McGonigal points out, that’s either hard or impossible, depending on the damage.

The whole situation reminds us of the security concerns whenever we hand over our devices for repair, and unfortunately, such activity has precedent. In June, Apple paid millions to a woman after repair technicians posted her nude photos to Facebook. Apple recently said it would start selling DIY repair kits, giving users the chance to fix their own phones, or at least have the task done by someone that a user trusts, as opposed to sending it in or dropping it off at an Apple Store.

For Pixel phones, your options for official service are either via mail-in or, in some countries, local service through an authorized provider. In the US, Google partners with uBreakiFix franchises. Whatever phone you have, the options for repairs are still somewhat limited, and you end up having to trust that no one with bad intentions will get their hands on your phone while it’s out of your possession.

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Facebook Messenger is getting a new bill splitting feature – news –

Meta (previously Facebook) has introduced a new feature called “Split Payments” on Facebook Messenger.

As evident from its name, the new feature lets you split the expenses easily with your friends and family for free – whether it’s a restaurant bill or house rent.

To split the bill, all you need to do is click on the “Get Started” button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Then, you can split the bill evenly among the group or modify the contribution amount for each individual with or without including yourself.

After that, enter a personalized message and confirm your Facebook Pay details, and your request will be sent to the group, viewable to everyone in the chat thread.

Facebook Messenger is getting a new bill splitting feature

Meta will begin testing the new feature in the US starting next week, but it’s unclear when it will expand to other regions.

Aside from introducing the bill splitting feature, Meta also added four new AR-based Group Effects to Facebook Messenger, created in partnership with King Bach, Emma Chamberlain, Bella Poarch, and Zach King. You can check them out below.

The company also reminds us of a new chat theme and two soundmojis recently launched for Stranger Things fans, and one new soundmoji released to celebrate Taylor Swift’s new album “Red.”


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