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341 persons confirmed dead in South Africa flood

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The death toll from South Africa’s “unprecedented” floods climbed to 341 on Thursday as helicopters fanned out across the southeastern city of Durban in an increasingly desperate search for survivors.

With roads and bridges washed away by freak rainfall this week, rescuers battled to deliver supplies across the city, where some residents have been without power or water since Monday.

“The level of devastation of human life, infrastructure, and service delivery network in the province is unprecedented,” said Sihle Zikalala, the premier of KwaZulu-Natal province.

“A total number of 40,723 people have been affected. Sadly, 341 fatalities have been recorded,” he told a news conference.

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At a small airport north of Durban, helicopters carried rescuers in and out. The air support was pulled from military and police, but also a fleet of volunteers, private contractors, and schools.

But one day after the rains finally subsided, fewer survivors were being found, said Travis Trower, a director for the volunteer-run organisation Rescue South Africa.

From 85 calls on Thursday, he said his teams had found only corpses.

“It’s unfortunate, but we do the best we can for as many people as we can,” he said.

The government has given no indication of how many people are missing. Zikalala predicted that the bill for damage will run into billions of rand (hundreds of millions of dollars, euros)

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (C) and Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs of South Africa, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (R), speak to various grieving family members at the United Methodist Church of South Africa in Claremont, near Durban, on April 13, 2022 of the 4 children that passed away in the surrounding area following heavy rains and floods.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared the region a state of disaster to unlock relief funds.

Authorities said they had established 17 shelters to accommodate over 2,100 displaced people.

Entering their fourth day without power or water, Durban’s poorest residents lined up on Thursday to collect water from burst pipes and dug through layers of mud to retrieve their few possessions.

There was a sense of despair amid the stench of sewage, growing stronger as the rains which wrought so much devastation stopped and the tropical heat returned.

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Sporadic protests erupted in some areas over slow restoration of services and a lack of relief.

Durban’s city government appealed for patience.

“We understand the frustration and anxiety of our residents,” it said in a statement.

“We are working as quickly as we can. Our teams are hard at work to resume services. However, it may take a while to fully restore all services because of the extent of the damage to access roads.”

The government of KwaZulu-Natal province has also put out a public call for aid, urging people to donate non-perishable food, bottled water, clothes and blankets.

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But many survivors said they had been left to fend for themselves.

In Amaoti, a township north of Durban, residents balanced precariously on the embankment of a collapsed road, trying to fetch clean water from a broken pipe underneath.

“We don’t have water, there is no electricity… people from (everywhere) are coming to get water,” Thabani Mgoni, 38, told AFP in the midst of the crowd.

Philisiwe Mfeka, a 78-year-old grandmother, said her water supply stopped on Tuesday.

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Even water from the fractured pipe was being rationed to one bucket per person, with children, some as young as 10, coming to fetch one bucket each.

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At a riverside, families washed what clothes they could recover in muddy water, amid severed pipes that poked from earth.

In a pitch-dark hall in Durban’s Glebelands, volunteers in a dingy apartment block used mobile phone torches to illuminate their registration of scores of displaced people overnight.

“We are just helping the people because we care,” said Mabheki Sokhela, 51, who helped organise temporary shelter at a community hall.

He urged fellow residents to shelter the victims. “There is not enough space,” he said.

Many victims slept on chairs or on cardboard on the floor.

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Weather experts say apocalyptic levels of rain were dumped on the region over several days.

Some areas received more than 450 millimetres (18 inches) in 48 hours, amounting to nearly half of Durban’s annual rainfall of 1,009 mm, the national weather service said.

The South African Weather Service has issued an Easter weekend warning of thunderstorms and localised flooding in KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring Free State and Eastern Cape provinces.

The country is still struggling to recover from the two-year-old Covid pandemic and deadly riots last year that killed more than 350 people.

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Two Americans, One Dane Win Chemistry Nobel

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The Nobel Chemistry Prize was on Wednesday awarded to a trio of chemists from the US and Denmark who laid the foundation for a more functional form of chemistry.

Americans Carolyn Bertozzi and Barry Sharpless, together with Denmark’s Morten Meldal, were honoured “for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry,” the jury said.

The award marks the second Nobel for 81-year-old Sharpless, who won the chemistry Nobel in 2001.

READ ALSO: Recent Winners Of The Nobel Physics Prize

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Only four other individuals have achieved the feat, including Polish-born Frenchwoman Marie Curie.

Click chemistry “is an elegant and efficient chemical reaction that is now in widespread use,” the jury said in a statement.

“Among many other uses, it is utilised in the development of pharmaceuticals, for mapping DNA and creating materials that are more fit for purpose,” it added.

“This year’s Prize in Chemistry deals with not overcomplicating matters, instead working with what is easy and simple,” Johan Aqvist, Chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, said in the statement.

The trio will share the Nobel award sum of 10 million Swedish kronor ($917,500), will receive the prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament.

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Sharpless, a professor at Scripps Research in California, “started the ball rolling” and “coined the concept of click chemistry” around 2000, the jury said.

“Shortly afterwards, Morten Meldal and Barry Sharpless –- independently of each other –- presented what is now the crown jewel of click chemistry: the copper catalysed azide-alkyne cycloaddition,” the jury said.

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Meldal, 68, is a professor of chemistry at the University of Copenhagen.

Bertozzi, who is a professor at Stanford in the United States, then took it to “a new level.”

“She developed click reactions that work inside living organisms. Her bioorthogonal reactions take place without disrupting the normal chemistry of the cell,” the jury said.

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“I’m absolutely stunned, I’m sitting here and I can hardly breathe,” Bertozzi told reporters via telephone, minutes after the announcement.

Last year, the academy honoured Germany’s Benjamin List and US-British dual national David MacMillan for their development of a precise tool for molecular construction known as asymmetric organocatalysis.

On Monday, the medicine prize went to Swedish paleogeneticist Svante Paabo for his discoveries on the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution.

Then on Tuesday, physicists Alain Aspect of France, John Clauser of the United States and Austria’s Anton Zeilinger were given the physics prize for developing experimental tools that helped prove quantum entanglement — a phenomenon Albert Einstein dismissed as “spooky action at a distance”.

The chemistry prize will be followed by the highly watched literature and peace prizes, announced on Thursday and Friday respectively.

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The peace prize is expected to hold a special significance this year given the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Religion

Tobi Amusan returns to Celestial Church of Christ for thanksgiving

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Many do not even know that Tobi Amusan, the iconic athlete whose basket of global victories and laurels, is overflowing and bursting at the seams, is a member of the Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide. The track queen, who was recently bestowed with the national award of Officer of the Order of Niger (O.O.N.) by President Muhammadu Buhari, is not just a member of the C.C.C. but also an active member of the choir.

Amusan’s many wins include the following: – Winner of the World Athletics Diamond League. – Gold Medalist from the World Athletics Championships 2022 in Eugene Oregon, U.S.A. – First Nigerian World Record Holder in Athletics, Eugene Oregon, U.S.A. – Triple Gold Medalist from the Commonwealth Games. – Double Gold Medalist from the African Athletics Championships.

Recently, Tobi Amusan returned to her spiritual fountain, the Celestial Church of Christ , to worship and to give thanks to God during a glorious Sunday Service

“C.C.C. Worldwide celebrates one of our own, Sister Tobi Amusan. We are very proud of you and we would not stop celebrating you. This is just the beginning. God’s glory in your life would continue to abide and multiply in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen,” SE Kayode Ajala, the head of CCC Worldwide media, wrote.

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VSE Joseph Olorunishola – Forgiven But Not Restored

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The official report of the meeting of VSE Joseph Olorunnishola and Rev. Pastor EMF Oshoffa on Thursday, September 29th, 2022.

Following a letter of apology from VSE Joseph Olorunnishola to Pastor EMF Oshoffa, a meeting was arranged for VSE Olorunnishola to apologize in person to the Spiritual Head and Pastor of Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide.

The meeting took place at the New York Parish, Brooklyn before the CCC 75th Anniversary Service of the Founding of Celestial Church of Christ on September 29th.

VSE Joseph Olorunnishola was at the meeting with five of his elders and the USA diocese was also represented by total of six elders.

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Chiefly at the meeting, presided by the Pastor EMF Oshoffa, and sitting on the high table with Pastor were the Pastor’s head of Administration Worldwide, VSE S.F. Adeniyi and the Head of USA Diocese, VSE Olaitan Balogun.

Also at the meeting were the HOD deputies
VSE Solomon Yusuf and Sup. Evg. Ayo Homer-Williams. AVSE Kehinde Akano, Sup. Evg Oluwafemi Sanyaolu, and Sup. Evg. Felix Oziegbe.

Venerable Superior Evangelist Olaitan Balogun, Head of U.S.A Diocese, C.C.C. Worldwide.

Present at the meeting with VSE Joseph Olorunnishola was; Sup. Evg. Yomi Dodo Williams, Sup Evg. Victor Adewusi, MSE Sam Adebayo, Sup. Evg .Timothy Olatokun and Sup Evg Badmus.

The meeting lasted over 4 hours.

Summary:

  1. The meeting started with an opening prayer by the Pastor EMF Oshoffa
  2. The Pastor reiterated the need for peace and oneness in the diocese
  3. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola prostrated to apologize to the Pastor and everybody in the meeting also prostrated alongside VSE Olorunnishola for total forgiveness and spirit of oneness.
  4. The Pastor asked VSE Joseph Olorunnishola to explain himself.
  5. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola stated that he did not do anything wrong as he was simply carrying out the decision made by his then Executive Council members in the infamous March 5, 2021 memorandum of 7-point demand and Declaration of Independence notably from the Pastor.
  6. Superior Evangelist Homer Williams, Superior Evangelist Akande and Superior Evangelist Oziegbe all indicated their efforts at urging VSE Joseph Olorunnishola to rescind the letter as requested by the Pastor. But VSE Olorunnishola blatantly refused and responded to each of the above peace makers with a common “over my dead body”.
  7. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola requested to still be in control of the parishes under his leadership.
  8. The Pastor then requested VSE Olorunnishola to come to Nigeria for further discussions while the Pastor will consult with the elders of the church in Nigeria.
  9. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola replied that he does not have the grace to travel to Nigeria.
  10. The Pastor then asked VSE Olorunnishola to call him when the Pastor returns back to Nigeria.
  11. Superior Evangelist Sanyaolu reiterated at the meeting that for there to be true peace and truce, VSE Joseph Olorunnishola has to withdraw all his court cases with the USA diocese because VSE Olorunnishola is not the owner of Celestial Church of Christ in America. And that the Pastor is both the Spiritual and Administrative Head of Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide as per the Constitution.
  12. The meeting ended with closing prayer by the HOD VSE Olaitan Balogun
  13. The grace said by Pastor EMF Oshoffa
  14. It was gathered that after the grace, VSE Joseph Olorunnishola while walking away then said the status quo remains of which the Pastor did not respond.
  15. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola was asked by some representatives of the diocese to take back his false conclusion of the meeting that “the status quo remains” and a small skirmish ensued.
  16. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola, in his own mind, falsely concluded that the status quo remains, which perhaps could be his primary objective for coming to the meeting and thereby creating some form of legitimacy.
  17. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola was forgiven by the pastor but not restored.
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It is our prayer that the spirit of arrogance and disobedience will be cast away in our midst. And the owner of His church will continue to uphold and strengthen His church, in Jesus mighty name. Amen!

The Publicity and Media Team of the USA Diocese stands by the veracity of this report (Zechariah 8:16-17).

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Together, we move to higher glory.

The Publicity and Media Team
CCC USA Diocese

Venerable Superior Evangelist Joseph Olorunishola.

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