The African Union said it recognized the “Zimbabwean people have expressed their will,” but praised Mr Mugabe for a “lifetime of service to the Zimbabwean nation” rather than criticize him for misrule.
“President Mugabe will be remembered as a fearless pan-Africanist liberation fighter, and the father of the independent Zimbabwean nation. Today’s decision will go down in history as an act of statesmanship that can only bolster President Mugabe’s political legacy,” Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the Commission of the African Union, said in a statement.
China, which emerged as a major investor in Zimbabwe during Mr Mugabe’s authoritarian rule, said it respected Mr Mugabe’s decision to step down and would continue “friendly” relations with the country
“China respects Mr Mugabe’s decision to resign, and he is still a good friend of the Chinese people,” Lu Kang, a foreign ministry spokesman, said. Beijing avoided taking sides during the past week’s political crisis in Zimbabwe.
General Constantino Chiwenga, the head of the Zimbabwean armed forces and the architect of the coup that brought down Mr Mugabe, visited China shortly before the coup.
At the height of his fame, he had a huge fan club – bigger than those of The Beatles and Elvis Presley.
Here, you have been sharing your stories of your encounters with the former teen heartthrob.
Sandra Burnham from Bristol: “From the moment I caught my first glimpse of David I was in love.
“One of the best days of my teenage years was going to see him at the Empire Pool – now called Wembley Arena. Travelling from Bristol on the train with a friend, we arrived to a sea of screaming girls. I clearly remember the crush to get inside and being carried along in the crowd, my feet not touching the ground.
“I needed to get to the front! I left my seat and my friend and made my way down the aisle between the blocks of seats. Others had the same thought and the aisles soon became full.
“There were barriers and security guards to stop fans from getting through, however, I quietly made my way to each barrier and waited until the guard was sorting out another screaming or fainting fan and slipped through, eventually making my way to the very front. But of course, he didn’t notice me.”
“I am now 60 years old and in the process of moving house. Consequently, I have been clearing the loft but nothing could make me throw out my David Cassidy scrapbooks, a record of those wonderful innocent teenage years and my one and only true heartthrob.
“To hear today that he has passed away is so sad and I find myself more upset than I would have expected. I will always keep these special memories in a corner of my heart reserved for David.”
Jan Barber from Bristol: “I was gutted when as a teenager my mum wouldn’t let me go to London to see David Cassidy arrive at the airport. But many years later I saw David Cassidy perform on his 52nd birthday at the Hammersmith in London in 2002 and waited outside afterwards.
“He came out onto a balcony with his son Beau. Somebody came over who had been to his party after the show and asked who his biggest fan was. I shouted the loudest and she gave me a piece of his birthday cake which I shared with several other fans. I kept that teeny piece of cake for years.”
A huge star
Richard Sacks from Hampshire: “I photographed David Cassidy at Wembley in the seventies in front of screaming teens. I was working for a group of magazines which included the official David Cassidy Magazine.
“I vividly remember seeing him backstage being rushed out into a van after the gig by four security guys with screaming fans banging on the doors as they drove off.”
“I took a photo of a girl being carried out of his concert in Wembley due to people being pushed against the barriers in front of the stage.
“He was that popular. He was huge.”
Carol Morton from Reading: “David Cassidy was my idol.
“He was my first concert experience when I was 15 in 1973 at Wembley. He sat on the edge of the stage to sing Tears of a Clown. When we came out in the masses of girls I lost my David Cassidy “rosette” and my dad had to go back and get me another one as I was in pieces.
“Many years later, in 1987, I saw him in the musical Time in London. We went to the stage door after the show but for some reason I thought I would walk around the theatre.
“I saw a Jaguar going very slowly down the side and wondered if it was for him. I grabbed the opportunity and ran towards him. He looked a bit like a startled rabbit but calmed down when he realised it was only me and about half a dozen others who had also caught on.
“I finally got my idol’s autograph and my photo taken with him.”
Sian Holland Clarke from Wales: “I attended a David Cassidy concert in Manchester in 1973. It was a magical experience.
“With two others, we found out which hotel he was staying at and on the way home, stopped there and stood outside in case he came out. A journalist with a photographer turned up. The entrance was a glass foyer and the photographer stepped inside. The journalist asked us all to bunch up and reach out pressed to the glass.
“The three of us were picked to sit in the car and be interviewed. That night it was announced on Radio Luxembourg that the interviews would be in the Daily Mirror. I was going to school the next day and a little embarrassed that my picture and interview would be seen by my schoolmates.
“We did get to see David leaving in a car in the end. He waved to us.”
“I know how difficult a decision this has been for George, but in the end the emotional pull of settling back in Wales outweighed his desire to remain in Northampton and we respect that.
“I remember him joining the club almost five years ago as someone with an enormous talent and potential to be a really top class international. Since then he has developed into a world-class player and a very popular member of the club. He’ll be greatly missed both on and off the field.
“I have no doubt that for the rest of the season George will put all his energy into firstly rehabilitating from his current knee injury as quickly as possible and then ensuring Saints have a strong second half of the season.”
Wales head coach Warren Gatland warmly greeted the news that North will be returning to Wales next season, suggesting the benefits of a National Dual Contract would help him excel in the coming years.
“At just 25, George is in the prime of his career and signing an NDC, with all the playing and non-playing benefits associated with it, will allow him to flourish,” Gatland said.
“It is great for the game here in Wales to see a player of George’s stature and reputation return home to play his domestic rugby.
It has been four years since we’ve seen a Gran Turismo game being released. Way back in 2013, Gran Turismo 6 was released for the PS3, with over 1,000 cars available and an absurd amount of driving to do. GT Sport is finally coming after that break, and is a new generation of Gran Turismo. It’s out now, so here’s all we know about the game.
What is GT Sport’s release date?
GT Sport came to Europe on 18 October, 2017. In the US, released a day early, on 17 October, 2017.
What platform is GT Sport on?
Like all previous Gran Turismo games, this one is locked to a PlayStation console: GT Sport is only coming to PlayStation 4.
What is GT Sport?
This release isn’t too recognisable as they’re dropping the Gran Turismo series name, at least partially by shortening it down to GT. In case that doesn’t help either, Gran Turismo is a series that has been running since 1997, all about racing cars. The graphical fidelity of the cars, the large number of accurate and licensed cars, and the ability to drive in a realistic manner with accurate physics and handling have typically been the series’ draws.
GT Sport isn’t quite like other games in the series though: there’s fewer cars than previous releases, it’s in higher resolution than ever before, and even has VR support. As the first Gran Turismo game for this generation, there looks to be a real leap from the last iteration of the series.
In separate tweets, Trump branded the father of US basketball player LiAngelo Ball an “ungrateful fool” after he refused to thank the President for his role in securing his son’s release from prison in China.
UCLA basketball players Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were released from detention on shoplifting charges. The three thanked Trump during a news conference after their release but Ball’s father – LaVar – played down the President’s involvement.
On Wednesday Trump tweeted: “It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence – IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair.
“Just think LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!”
Silvio Berlusconi was the victim of rough justice befitting gladiators and slaves in an ancient Roman amphitheatre when he was banned from holding public office, a British lawyer told a European court on Wednesday.
The 81-year-old billionaire, the head of a resurgent centre-Right coalition, is desperate to have the ban overturned so that he can put himself forward as a candidate for prime minister at Italy’s general election, due to be held in the Spring.
Mr Berlusconi “was deprived of his seat with a vote in a Senate composed in majority by his adversaries: this was not justice but a Roman amphitheatre in which a majority of thumbs down or thumbs up decide whether one sinks or not,” said Mr Fitzgerald, who practices alongside Amal Clooney at Doughty Street Chambers in London.
The three-times prime minister, who resigned from office in 2011 following a series of lurid “bunga bunga” sex scandals involving striptease-performing starlets and models, was banned from public office after being convicted of tax dodging in 2013.