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At least 17 young people were found dead at a nightclub in a township in South Africa’s southern city of East London on Sunday, police said.

“We got a report about 17 (people) that died in a local tavern in Scenery Park which is based in East London,” a provincial police chief brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana told AFP.

“We are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident,” he added.

He said the victims were aged between 18 and 20 years.

Unverified pictures shared on social media showed bodies with no visible signs of injuries, strewn on the floor of the club.

Local television showed police officers trying to calm down a crowd of people gathered outside the club in the city, which lies on the Indian Ocean coast, nearly 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of Johannesburg.

Business

Sri Lanka central bank holds rates steady

Policy makers are assessing effects of interest hikes this year on cooling price growth, amid an unprecedented economic crisis.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has kept its key rates steady, a widely anticipated move as it awaits the effect of past hikes to trickle through the economy while a fall in global commodity prices is also expected to soothe domestic inflation.

The Standing Lending Facility rate stayed at 15.5 percent on Thursday, while the Standing Deposit Facility Rate remained at 14.5 percent.

Eleven out of 15 economists and analysts polled by the Reuters news agency had expected rates to remain unchanged.

The central bank has raised rates by a record 950 basis points so far this year to battle high inflation in Sri Lanka, which is wilting under a severe economic crisis.

A foreign exchange shortage has left the government struggling to pay for essential imports of fuel, fertilisers, food and medicine.

Inflation hit 60.8 percent year-on-year in July, and food costs expanded by a searing 90.9 percent, according to the latest government data.

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News

Japanese fashion pioneer Hanae Mori dies

Japanese fashion designer Hanae Mori, nicknamed “Madame Butterfly” for her signature winged motifs, has died. She was 96.

She died of old age in her Tokyo home on August 11 and was given a private funeral, local media reported.

Mori was most famous for being the first Japanese – and Asian – designer to join the hallowed ranks of haute couture designers in 1977.

The exclusive Parisian club is seen as the pinnacle of high-end fashion.

Born in western Japan in 1926, Mori graduated from the Tokyo Woman’s Christian University.

She opened her first atelier above a noodle shop in Tokyo in 1951. She has described meeting Coco Chanel during a trip to Paris in the 1960s as a “turning point” in her career, and said that Chanel inspired her to design for women to stand out rather than fit in.

Mori went on to dress Hollywood celebrities such as Grace Kelly and famous personalities such as Nancy Reagan. Japan’s then-Crown Princess Masako – now empress – wore a Hanae Mori wedding gown for her marriage to Emperor Naruhito in 1993.

Her outfits, often featuring butterfly prints, were also popular among career women. When she began to make a name herself in the fashion world, it was still unusual for a woman to head business, much less one of global fame.

Mori’s designs often mixed elements from the East and West, such as dresses with inspired by kimonos.

She also created costumes for on-stage performances, including traditional Japanese Noh and Kabuki theatre and a performance of “Madame Butterfly” in 1985.

She was presented with the Legion of Honor by the French government in 2002.

Agencies

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Arabic and international

CDC: Gorgeous island nation in Asia now at ‘high’ travel risk for Covid

The CDC added three new destinations on Monday to its “high” risk list for Covid-19, including an Asian island nation in the Pacific beloved by tourists for its stunning beaches.
The Philippines, a country of 7,000 tropical islands featuring stunning oceanic scenery, delicious food and people renowned for their hospitality, joins Russia and mountain-trekker favorite Nepal in the “high” risk group, also called Level 3.
Locations at Level 3 now account for almost 130 of the roughly 235 places monitored by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — more than half of all listings.
Level 3 became the top rung in terms of risk level in April after the CDC overhauled its ratings system for assessing Covid-19 risk for travelers.
The designation applies to places that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Level 2 and Level 1 are considered “moderate” and “low” risk, respectively.

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