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Women to train as Russian air force pilots
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Aug 12, 2017

Deadliest African floods over past two decases
Freetown (AFP) Aug 14, 2017 - The massive flooding in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown, which has left hundreds of people dead, is among the worst on the African continent over the past two decades.

Here are Africa's most deadly floods during that period:

- El Nino in East Africa -

From October 1997 to January 1998, more than 6,000 are killed in flooding caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon, which pounds Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In Somalia, 1,800 die and 230,000 are left homeless when the Juba river overflows its banks on October 18.

- Algiers under water -

On November 10, 2001, 764 people die and 125 are listed as missing after heavy floods in the north of Algeria. The flooding devastates part of Algiers, the capital, where 713 are killed, mainly in the residential neighbourhood of Bab El-Oued.

- Devastation in Mozambique -

In February to March 2000, unprecedented floods in Mozambique leave 699 dead and 95 missing, and about 60,000 people are sheltered in camps set up by the authorities.

Then, in January 2015, the Licungo river, which cuts Mozambique in two, surges by 12 metres (39 feet), a phenomenon which had not been seen since 1971.

The floods devastate the province of Zambezie, where 160 are killed and 177,000 made homeless. In neighbouring Malawi floods kill 176 people and leave 153 missing, while more than 200,000 are displaced.

- Carnage in Ethiopia -

In August 2006 at least 639 die in deadly flooding in Ethiopia. An additional 35,000 people are displaced and 200,000 affected by the floods which strike the east, the southwest and north of the country.

- The 2010 rainy season -

Flooding during the 2010 rainy season, one of the most deadly ever recorded, leaves at least 377 dead and impacts 1.5 million people in West Africa.

The countries recording the most deaths are Nigeria (118), Ghana (52), Sudan (50), Benin (43), Chad (24), Mauritania (21), Burkina Faso (16), Cameroon (13) and Gambia (12).

- 2006: Horn of Africa -

From October to November 2006, flooding caused by unseasonal rains leave more than 140 people dead in Somalia, with many drowned but others killed by crocodiles or succumbing to a malaria epidemic.

Flooding also hits Kenya, where 114 die, and Ethiopia, with 80 victims.

Female candidates are to be accepted for the first time to train as pilots for Russia's air force, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Saturday, adding there were so many applications that "we can't ignore them".

"There are many young women who would like to become military pilots. We have received hundreds of letters," he said, according to a ministry statement.

"That's why we've decided that this year we will enrol a first group of women at the military academy of Krasnodar," in southern Russia, he said.

"There will be few of them, 15 in all. But given the quantity of applications that we receive, we can't ignore them. From October 1, the first group of women will start to train to become pilots," he said, adding that he hoped they will be qualified in five years.

Since 2009, the Krasnodar flying academy has accepted female students but not for pilot training, according to the TASS news agency.

In 2014, a senior defence ministry official, Ruslan Vassilev, told Echo Moskvi radio that some 45,000 women serve in the Russian army, although they are barred from some functions, notably combat roles.

In total Russia's armed forces numbered nearly 2 million people this year, including 1 million on active service, according to official figures.

France and Germany announce new joint fighter program
Washington (UPI) Jul 14, 2017
France and Germnay announced they are planning to develop a new joint fighter plane following a French-German cabinet meeting Thrusday. French president Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the plan at a news conference following the meeting. The two leaders also confirmed their countries committment to the "Euro-drone" program and other defense and economic pro ... read more

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