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Novak Djokovic sets up Another Australian Open final with Rafael Nadal

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Top seed Novak Djokovic set up a tantalising Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal by thrashing Lucas Pouille in a one-sided semi-final that lasted just one hour and 23 minutes with 6-0 6-2 6-2 scoreline.




Djokovic broke serve seven times as he outclassed 24-year-old Frenchman Pouille, seeded 28th and in his first Grand Slam semi-final.

Djokovic and Spaniard Nadal – who have 31 Grand Slams titles between them – meet on Sunday.

The world number one set up their first meeting in Melbourne since their epic six-hour final in 2012 – which the Serb eventually won – with a near flawless performance against Pouille.

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He made just five unforced errors and hit 29 winners on Rod Laver Arena.

“It is definitely one of the best matches I’ve ever had on this court,” said the 14-time major winner.

“Everything worked how I imagined it before the match – it was a tough one for Lucas.”

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Djokovic, is aiming for a seventh Australian Open crown, which would move him clear of Roy Emerson and Roger Federer in terms of all-time victories in Melbourne.

Nadal, who would trail Federer by two if he wins his 18th major, could become the first man to claim a second career Grand Slam in the Open era.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Hong kong train accident leaves eight injured.

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A rare train derailment disrupted services in Hong Kong on Tuesday, the rail operator said, threatening commuter chaos during rush hour.

The disruption to a usually seamless network used by nearly 6 million people every weekday happened after a train derailed while leaving a station in the Kowloon area, rail operator MTR Corp said.

The government’s information department said eight people were injured and five had been taken to hospital.

Rex Auyeung Pak-kuen, chairman of MTR Corp, told reporters that a derailment had not happened in many years and the cause was not immediately clear.

“We will work together with the government to find out the truth as soon as possible so as to continue to provide safe services,” he said. “We apologize that our passengers were injured in the accident.”

Hong Kong’s rail system has been a target of vandalism during recent pro-democracy protests, with activists angry that MTR has closed stations to stop protesters gathering.

Television footage showed hundreds of passengers trying to get off the derailed train. Public broadcaster RTHK said the train had suddenly swayed and a door had flown off before the train stopped.

Nearby stations were overcrowded, and intervals between trains were extended to 12 minutes from two.

MTR’s shares fell 1.1% in line with the broader Hang Seng Index, which was down 1%.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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