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image captionThe demonstrators have now broadened their demands to include better governance

The governor of Nigeria’s Osun state has escaped what officials call an “assassination attempt” when armed people attacked anti-police brutality protesters in the state capital Osogbo.

After marching with the protesters, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola was addressing them when shots were fired.

Mr Oyetola was not hurt but some of his aides were wounded.

Nigeria has been rocked by more than two weeks of protests against the Sars police unit.

Its officers are accused of extortion, torture and murder.

The government has promised to disband Sars (Special Anti Robbery Squad) but this has not satisfied the protesters, who have now broadened their demands, calling for an end to decades of corruption and mismanagement in Africa’s biggest oil producer, which has left many young Nigerians with bleak economic prospects.

Thousands of mostly young people have been taking to the streets of cities across the country every day.

The protests have also been backed by global celebrities such as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, US rapper Kanye West, footballers Mesut Ozil and Marcus Rashford as well as Nigerian superstars Davido and Wizkid.

What happened in Osun?

A group of people armed with guns and machetes opened fire at the time Mr Oyetola was addressing the protesters in the Osun state capital Osogbo – after he had marched and sang with them.

media captionHow and why did Nigeria’s End Sars protests turn into End Swat protests?

The officials were hurriedly taken into their vehicles for safety.

Stones were also hurled at the official convoy as it left.

The governor’s spokesperson told the BBC that the governor and his deputy survived the attack unhurt but some aides were wounded and a local journalist was in critical condition due to a serious head injury.

Map

Officials say the attack was not carried out by the protesters but by thugs.

Similar attacks on the protesters have also happened in the capital, Abuja, and the country’s biggest city, Lagos. It is not clear who is behind them.

Mr Oyetola is from the same party as President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress.

What do the protesters want now?

The hashtag #EndBadGovernance has now been shared by almost 1.8 million twitter users, while #BetterNigeria and #FixNigeriaNow are also being widely used.

They see us protesting, they call us jobless

They see us making a life for ourselves, they call us lazy youths

They see us fighting for our rights, they call us weak and send us thugs

Nigerians are tired, we the youths are tired! 💔🤬#ENDBADGOVERNANCE

— the kelechi † (@_igwilo) October 18, 2020

“As long as there is no positive change, we will be here,” one man told the BBC at a protest in Abuja on Saturday.

“The leaders, the elders have failed us. We need to begin the process of building a new nation by coming out like this,” he said.

An unprecedented challenge to Nigeria’s leaders

By Ishaq Khalid, BBC News, Abuja

The ongoing protests are clearly a strong message not only to the current government but to the entire political class in Nigeria.

The relentlessness of the young people is uncommon. Demonstrations like these rarely last for more than three days but these ones are now in their third week without any sign of a let-off. Instead, they appear to be gathering momentum.

As well as calling for an end to bad governance and poor economic conditions, some protesters are also beginning to demand more action from the government to tackle widespread insecurity in the north of the country, where armed criminal gangs carry out deadly attacks and ki

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Closest to Earth ‘black hole’ turns out to be rare kind of star, after all

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A growing body of research posits that the star system HR 6819 does not contain a black hole, contrary to earlier findings. It may instead boast a unique pair of stars.

The object located some 1,120 light-years from Earth has been preliminarily demoted from a bewildering black hole to a binary star system with a rather unusual orbit. 

The system consists of a very hot Be spectral type star which spins at approximately 200km per second, shooting out a disc of hydrogen gas which surrounds it.

Previously, it was found to be accompanied by a B3 III star, measuring approximately six solar masses, with a roughly 40-day orbit. The Be star, also measuring in at about six solar masses, seemed to be spinning on the spot, which made no sense as two objects of similar mass should spin about a mutual center of gravity. 

Following a serious amount of number crunching, researchers earlier this year concluded that the pair must be orbiting a third, massive object that wasn’t visible which would explain why the spinning top star was essentially locked in place – a black hole.




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However, as is often the case in science, there was a competing theory: that the B3 III star was actually a low mass star that had been worn down by its companion, and that the initial calculations were off.

If this were the case, the almost imperceptible movement of the larger Be star would be visible via wobbles and shifts in the hydrogen gas disc emanating from it. 

Sure enough, astronomers Douglas Gies and Luqian Wang of Georgia State University discovered variations in the disc which aligned with the B3 III star’s orbit. 

“This indicates,” they wrote, “that HR 6819 is a binary system consisting of a massive Be star and a low-mass companion that is the stripped down remnant of a former mass donor star in a mass transfer binary.”

In other words, the Be star took a huge chunk out of its companion and, according to the recalculations, the B3 III star would be between 0.4 and 0.8 solar masses.

By coincidence, a second paper, produced by researchers at KU Leuven in Belgium, conducted an independent analysis of the hydrogen disc emitted by the star and reached almost exactly the same conclusion as Gies and Wang. 

In their analysis, they found the pair to have solar masses of 0.4 and 6 respectively. 

“This indicates that the primary might be a stripped star rather than a B-type giant,” they wrote. “In the framework of this interpretation, HR 6819 does not contain a BH.”




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By yet more happenstance, a third paper, currently in preprint, produced by astronomers Kareem El-Badry and Eliot Quataert of UC Berkeley also found 0.47 and 6.7 solar masses for the B3 III and Be stars respectively, providing yet more evidence of an unusual bi

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Danish inventor who murdered & dismembered journalist captured after attempted PRISON BREAK with ‘bomb’

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A Danish man who murdered and dismembered a female journalist touring his homemade submarine in 2017 was recaptured after attempting to break out of prison while allegedly armed with a bomb.

Peter Madsen escaped from Herstedvester prison, located in a suburb of Copenhagen, after threatening guards with an explosive device, and also possibly a “pistol-like object,” local media reported. Security forces cornered him after he fled several hundred meters from the prison. A photograph shows the convicted murderer leaning against a fence as two security personnel, wearing helmets and body armor, lie on the ground as they point their weapons at him. Snipers, a bomb squad and police dogs arrived on site, according to reports. 

Police confirmed that they were responding to an attempted prison break and had cordoned off the area.

After a standoff, law enforcement personnel arrested Madsen, who was reportedly wearing a suspicious belt-like object be

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Sweden bans use of Huawei, ZTE equipment in 5G networks

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A Swedish regulator on Tuesday banned the use of telecom equipment from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE in its 5G networks. The move comes ahead of the spectrum auctions scheduled to start on 10 November.

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) has examined applications and approved four companies for participation in the 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz auctions. New legislation that came into force in January demanded the regulator consult the Swedish armed forces and the security service to ensure that the use of radio equipment in these bands will not “cause harm” to the country’s security.

And according to PTS, new installations for radio use in those frequency bands “must not be carried out with products from the suppliers Huawei or ZTE.” If existing infrastructure for central functions is to be used, “products from Huawei and ZTE must be phased out [by] 1 January 2025 at the latest.”

Central functions are equipment used to build the radio access network, the transmission network, and the core network, as well as their service and maintenance.

Participants in the auctions were also warned that dependencies on foreign states must be phased out or be replaced by functions or staff based in Sweden.




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