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Ferry Boat Tragedy In Tanzania Leaves At Least 200 Dead, Captain Arrested

The overloaded capsule sank on Lake Victoria. 

The death toll in Tanzania continues to climb after an overloaded ferry carrying hundreds of people sank in Lake Victoria off the coast of Zanzibar Thursday (Sept. 20). At least 220  are confirmed to have drowned as the the MV Nyerere keeled over into the water, while dozens remain missing.

One survivor recounted the horror of jumping into the swaying waters and clinging to a car tire for 15 minutes before being rescued. Another man, an engineer, survived by locking himself in a small air pocket within the ship where he was later rescued.

"Till this morning we have been able to pull out 223 bodies out of the sea," Transport Minister Isack Kamwele told CNN on Sunday (Sept. 23). "The exercise is still going on, and at the moment we are trying to fix apparatus to lift the ferry out (onto) land." The deceased will all be identified and buried in one place, Kamwele said.

During a public address to the West African nation, President John Magufuli blamed negligence for the deaths of several “children, mothers, students” and the elderly. The MV Nyerere ferry was packed well over capacity with as many as 400 people aboard in addition to bundles of bananas, and bags of maize and cement, the BBC reports.

Magufuli ordered the arrest of “those involved in the management of the ferry,” and declared four days of national mourning. Those who have already been apprehended include the captain though he was not on board at the time, the president said. At least 40 people survived the disaster.

Amid reported criticism over the government's slow response to aiding victims, Magufuli steered the focus away from politics. “Let's leave designated authorities to investigate,” he said.

Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area and the world’s largest tropical lake, spanning more than 26,000 square miles. In 2012, close to 150 people died Tanzania when a ferry capsized in the Indian Ocean, and in 1996, as many as 500 lives were lost in another deadly ferry boat tragedy.

READ MORE: Flooding In Nigeria Leads To 100 Dead, Officials Declares A State Of Emergency

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Scott Olson

Remains Found In Alabama Landfill Believed To Be Missing Toddler

The search for missing toddler Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney has come to a tragic end. The 3-year-old girl’s remains were found in Alabama on Tuesday (Oct. 22) evening, more than a week after she was reported missing.

The Birmingham Police Department, along with the FBI, located her remains in a landfill, BPD Chief Patrick Smith confirmed in a press conference. “Our investigators have worked tirelessly 24 hours a day to look at this young child and bring her back, and to hold those accountable who are involved in her disappearance, her kidnapping, and ultimately, her demise,” said Smith.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall shared footage of the press conference on Twitter.

Tonight, I join all of Alabama in feeling deep sadness over the passing of little Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, and in praying for her family in this terrible time of loss. The BPD has worked this case tirelessly—and continues to do so. Those responsible will be brought to justice. pic.twitter.com/p58WWxCwQQ

— AG Steve Marshall (@AGSteveMarshall) October 23, 2019

Birmingham Mayor Randal Woodfin released a statement offering his “heartfelt condolences” to the child’s family, and thanking law enforcement. “Our prayers remain with Kamille’s family and all who have been touched by this nightmare.”

News of the gruesome discovery sparked the hashtag, #RipCupcake across social media. Kamille's story made national headlines after she went missing during a birthday party on Oct. 12. Two suspects, Derrick Brown and Patrick Stallworth, are in custody on suspicion of murder.

The child's body was reportedly found near a home where Brown and Stallworth were arrested. The motive is unclear, and the men appear to have no connection to Kamille’s family.

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Brandon T. Jackson Says ‘Big Momma’s House’ Ruined His Career

Brandon T. Jackson says appearing in Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son was a “negative” turning point  in his career. The actor and comedian dressed as a woman in the 2011 film where he starred alongside Martin Lawrence.

“Everything went wrong when I put on that dress,” Jackson told Comedy Hype in a new interview.

Jackson revealed that at the time of the film's release, his personal life was “in shambles,” while his career was soaring. He went on to admit that the film wasn’t very good, and that he wasn’t a fan of the premise. Following the success of the previous Big Momma’s House films, and Mrs. Doubtfire, Jackson felt that “the whole dress bit was already overdone,” at the time, but he agreed to be in the film mostly for a chance to work with Lawrence.

In the film, Lawrence’s reprised his role as Malcolm Turner, an FBI agent who goes undercover as an elderly woman. Jackson played Lawrence’s stepson, Trent Pierce.

Big Momma's House: Like Father, Like Son grossed close to $90 million worldwide, but Jackson said that he's had bad luck in the eight years since the film was released. “I believe it was cursed because nothing went right since then.”

Jackson added that Katt Williams publicly warned him against taking the role, and claimed that Lawrence hasn’t been the same since the Big Momma’s House films. He also shared thoughts on Tyler Perry’s Madea character.

Check above for the full interview.

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Tom Fox

Amber Guyger Takes Step To Appeal Murder Conviction: Report

Amber Guyger is taking preliminary steps to appeal her conviction in the murder of Botham Jean.

An attorney for the former Dallas police officer filed an intent to appeal her first-degree murder conviction and 10-year prison sentence, nearly two weeks after the verdict was handed down. Though the filing was publicized on Tuesday (Oct. 22), Guyger’s lawyer, Michael Mowla, reportedly filed on Oct. 16.

It’s unclear what Guyger will use as grounds for a potential appeal.

Earlier in the month, a Texas jury convicted Guyger of first-degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Guyger shot and killed Jean, her 26-year-old neighbor, in his home last year. Guyger maintained that she walked into Jean’s apartment thinking it was her unit, and subsequently killed the unarmed accountant out of fear that he was an introducer.

Her reported notice of appeal comes amid legal strife involving Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, and trial Judge Tammy Kemp. Creuzot, who is facing contempt charges for doing an interview that aired the night before Guyger's trial began, requested that Kemp be removed from  his case. Meanwhile, Kemp has come under fire after she hugged Guyger in court, and handed her a Bible. Kemp defended her actions, noting that Guyger asked for a hug after the sentencing phase was over. Kemp wasn’t alone in embracing Guyger, Jean’s brother hugged her as well.

A hearing in the contempt case is scheduled for Oct. 31.

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