Eton, UK’s most elite school, apologizes to former pupil for racism

Eton, UK’s most elite school, apologizes to former pupil for racism
Some notable figures who attended Eton college include Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and princes William and Harry. (File/Shutterstock)
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Updated 23 June 2020

Eton, UK’s most elite school, apologizes to former pupil for racism

Eton, UK’s most elite school, apologizes to former pupil for racism
  • Onyeama was previously banned from visiting Eton for writing a book about the racist abuse he faced there

LONDON: The head of Britain’s Eton College said Tuesday he will invite back a black former student to apologize in person for racism he experienced at the top fee-paying school in the 1960s.
Simon Henderson said he wanted Dillibe Onyeama to feel welcome after he was previously banned from visiting Eton for writing a book about the racist abuse he faced there.
“We have made significant strides since Mr.Onyeama was at Eton but... we have to have the institutional and personal humility to acknowledge that we still have more to do,” Henderson said in a statement.
“We must all speak out and commit to doing better — permanently — and I am determined that we seize this moment as a catalyst for real and sustained change for the better.
“I will be inviting Mr.Onyeama to meet so as to apologize to him in person, on behalf of the school, and to make clear that he will always be welcome at Eton.”
The school’s move follows anti-racism protests across Britain, sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, during a police arrest in the United States.
The demonstrations have focused renewed attention on racism in Britain, as well as the toxic legacy of its colonial past, including calls for it to be taught in schools.
Nigerian writer Onyeama, who graduated from Eton in 1969, wrote a book about his experiences at the exclusive private boys’ school, near Windsor, west of London.
The school has become a byword for elitism and Britain’s class divide.
Annual fees cost more than £42,000 ($52,000, 46,000 euros) per year. Old boys include Prime minister Boris Johnson, and princes William and Harry.
Onyeama told the BBC he had been taunted on a daily basis by fellow students, and asked questions like “why are you black?” and “how many maggots are there in your hair?“
When he struggled in academics or flourished in sports, the students attributed it to his race, while when he excelled in exams he was accused of cheating, the broadcaster said.
After detailing his experiences in a 1972 memoir, he received an official letter informing him that he was banned from visiting Eton.
Onyeama said although the apology now was not necessary, it “compels the recognition that prejudice on the grounds of color or race dehumanizes its victims in a way that ordinary forms of prejudice do not.”
He added that his overall experience at Eton was “positive.”
Henderson said he was “appalled” to learn of the racist abuse Onyeama faced, and his “absolute priority” was to make Eton an “inclusive, compassionate and supportive community for all.”
“Racism has no place in civilized society, then or now,” he added.


6.3-magnitude earthquake hits central Greece

6.3-magnitude earthquake hits central Greece
Updated 03 March 2021

6.3-magnitude earthquake hits central Greece

6.3-magnitude earthquake hits central Greece

ATHENS: A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit central Greece on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, prompting residents in the city of Larissa to rush into the streets according to local media.
The Institute of Geodynamics in Athens said the quake, which could be felt across central and northern Greece, had measured at a magnitude of 6.0.
According to the Athens observatory, the epicentre of the quake was 21 kilometres (13 miles) south of the town of Elassona, near Larissa.


Made in India: Ministers, officials prefer locally-developed vaccine over AstraZeneca

Made in India: Ministers, officials prefer locally-developed vaccine over AstraZeneca
Updated 03 March 2021

Made in India: Ministers, officials prefer locally-developed vaccine over AstraZeneca

Made in India: Ministers, officials prefer locally-developed vaccine over AstraZeneca
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier opted for an Indian-made COVID-19 vaccine

NEW DELHI: Government ministers and officials were following Prime Minister Narendra Modi lead by opting on Tuesday for an Indian-made COVID-19 vaccine approved without late-stage efficacy data, instead of the AstraZeneca one.
India’s health, foreign and law ministers, and state governors, all flocked to Twitter to express support for the much-criticized Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN vaccine, after it was administered to Modi on Monday.
“Made-in-India vaccines are 100% safe,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said after being inoculated with COVAXIN.
Many state officials and doctors have refused to take COVAXIN before its effectiveness could be proved. Bharat Biotech says it has completed the late-stage trial and results will be out this month.
The company said the endorsement by Modi and other ministers would set an example for other Indians and reduce “vaccine hesitancy.” It is seeking to sell COVAXIN to countries including Brazil and the Philippines.
COVAXIN and the AstraZeneca vaccines were approved by India’s regulator in January. The government has distributed to states a total of 50 million doses of the vaccines but only 12 percent of the 12 million people immunized so far have taken COVAXIN, according to government data.


Explosion hits Dutch COVID-19 testing center, no injuries — police

Explosion hits Dutch COVID-19 testing center, no injuries — police
Updated 03 March 2021

Explosion hits Dutch COVID-19 testing center, no injuries — police

Explosion hits Dutch COVID-19 testing center, no injuries — police

AMSTERDAM: Dutch police on Wednesday said a coronavirus testing location north of Amsterdam appeared to have been intentionally targeted after an explosion went off at the location before the site opened.

The blast in the town of Bovenkarspel, 55 km north of the capital, shattered windows but caused no injuries, police from the province of North Holland said in a statement.

They said they had cordoned off the area to investigate.

The explosive “must have been placed” there, police spokesman Menno Hartenberg told Reuters, adding that “something metal” had caused the explosion.

“We don't know yet exactly what exploded, the explosives experts must first investigate,” Hartenberg said.

“What we're saying is that something like that doesn't just happen by accident, it has to be laid,” he spokesman said.


Pakistan Senate election kicks off as Imran Khan’s ruling party looks for majority

Pakistan Senate election kicks off as Imran Khan’s ruling party looks for majority
Updated 03 March 2021

Pakistan Senate election kicks off as Imran Khan’s ruling party looks for majority

Pakistan Senate election kicks off as Imran Khan’s ruling party looks for majority
  • Imran Khan’s coalition does not have a majority in the Senate, needed to pass key legislation

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: The ruling party of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his political allies will seek to wrest control of Pakistan’s Senate from opposition parties on Wednesday in indirect elections to 37 seats in the 104-member upper house of the country’s parliament.
Though his party won the 2018 general election, Khan’s coalition does not have a majority in the Senate, needed to pass key legislation – including legal reforms sought by global institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and money laundering watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
“They have difficulty in legislating, and many laws are stuck,” Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, head of the independent research organization PILDAT, said.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), which translates into Pakistan Movement for Justice, has 12 seats in the Senate, and the two main opposition parties Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) have 12 and 25 seats each.
PTI is looking to go up to 25 seats after the elections, and, along with other coalition parties and independents, have a slender majority in the Senate.
The electoral college for the Senate elections, which are held every three years on half of the chamber’s strength, comprises Pakistan’s four provincial assemblies and the lower house of parliament.
With opposition parties controlling the Senate, the government has had to pass interim legislation through Presidential Ordinances, which expire in 120 days.
The government’s legislators and allies in the lower house of parliament will vote on making Khan’s finance minister, Abdul Hafiz Sheikh, a senator. The result could show how much confidence there is in the administration.
“It could determine who has a majority in parliament... it will be an embarrassment for the government, and could even lead to seeking a fresh vote of confidence,” Mehboob said.
The lead up to the potentially pivotal election has been marked by the government and opposition charging each other with seeking votes through unfair means.


Daesh claims responsibility for attack on media workers in eastern Afghanistan

Daesh claims responsibility for attack on media workers in eastern Afghanistan
Updated 03 March 2021

Daesh claims responsibility for attack on media workers in eastern Afghanistan

Daesh claims responsibility for attack on media workers in eastern Afghanistan
  • Daesh fighters targeted three female employees of a television station

Daesh claimed responsibility for an attack that killed three female media workers in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday evening.
The militant group, which has a presence in Afghanistan, said its fighters had targeted the three female employees of a television station in the eastern city of Jalalabad, according to SITE Intelligence group.
Three women who worked for Enikas TV aged between 18 and 20 had died and a fourth was critically injured after being shot on their way home from work, Afghan officials had said.