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‘I hope I can inspire others’ British teen youngest person to row solo across any ocean | UK News

A British teenager has become the youngest person to row solo across any of the world’s oceans.

Lukas Haitzmann – The Wild Oarsman – rowed 3,000 miles (4,800km) from the Canary Islands to English Harbour in Antigua as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Arriving in Antigua on Saturday, the 18-year-old, from Windsor, Berkshire, beat two world records by becoming the youngest person to row across any ocean solo, and the first Austrian – his father is from Austria – to row solo across the Atlantic.

He was also the fastest solo rower from the 2018 challenge, completing it in 59 days, eight hours and 22 minutes.

While most young people leaving school last summer were thinking about the universities they would be going to, the jobs they could get or where they would travel, Lukas decided he needed a serious challenge.

Having grown up rowing and sailing, he decided to put university off for a year to row across the Atlantic.

Lukas Haitzmann, 18, said he didn't miss having a phone too much while at sea for two months

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Lukas Haitzmann, 18, said he didn’t miss having a phone too much while at sea for two months

His dyslexia was put to the test trying to fundraise enough money to buy a specially-built ocean rowing boat and everything he would need, from food to suncream.

He told Sky News: “To be honest, the fundraising bit was harder for me than the training – I already had the fitness from rowing for the past five years.

“I really like to challenge myself and think it’s important to. My mum wasn’t so impressed when I first told her but I managed to persuade her eventually.

“I didn’t realise I was going to be the youngest person to ever cross an ocean solo until I started doing a bit of digging, because others who have done it have broken some records.

“It wasn’t why I did it, but that did help push me along during the row.”

Lukas said the most difficult part was when his water changer broke

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Lukas said the most difficult part was when his water changer broke

Many people who do the Atlantic Challenge hallucinate and struggle with the loneliness, but Lukas said he felt it was quite peaceful.

He would sleep for about five hours in the middle of the night as his boat drifted, then a couple of hours around lunchtime to get his energy back up in the heat of the day.

“I didn’t really talk to myself, it was more talking my thoughts out loud. My music ran out after a month so that was a bit hard for the second half.

“I think the most difficult part was my water changer broke after 10 days so I had to use a manual pump to change sea water into drinking water which was very tiring, but I finally managed to fix it.”

During his nearly two months at sea Lukas said he saw dolphins, which he swam with, a whale swam under his boat, and he saw a turtle and fish.

“I had a storm petrel, a type of bird, following me for a while which was really great, he kept me company, although he wasn’t great at conversation!

“I thought I’d see a lot more though, it wasn’t like there was wildlife every single day, which was quite sad.

“I did see a lot of pollution, some which had been there for a long time, which was awful.

“Being out on the ocean for that long made me really respect it. There’s no messing around, and you really have to have your wits about you.”

The teenager is hoping his feat will help inspire other youngsters to push themselves at whatever they want.

Lukas said he hopes he can inspire people of all ages to challenge themselves. Pic: Atlantic Campaigns

Image:
Lukas said he hopes he can inspire people of all ages to challenge themselves. Pic: Atlantic Campaigns

“I’m just a normal kid really, I’m not Superman, I just really enjoy a challenge and this was a way of really pushing myself,” he added.

“I hope it shows people that no matter what age you are, you really can do more than you think. If you don’t succeed, it doesn’t matter, just keep trying and try something else to challenge you if that doesn’t work.”

Not one to remain on terra firma for long, Lukas is going to use his time in Antigua to go sailing with his family before going back to the UK where he wants to go to university.

“After uni, we’ll see, I want to get an education, and actually being at sea really made me appreciate learning more because I couldn’t Google what fish that was, or why the clouds were forming like they were.

“I did miss not being able to pick up my phone all the time, but actually I really relished it because it made you appreciate the ocean.”

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World News

Nigeria postpones presidential election at last minute | World News

Nigeria’s presidential election has been postponed just hours before polls were due to open.

The country’s election commission said it was delaying the vote to 23 February due to unspecified “challenges”, amid reports that voting materials had not been delivered to some areas.

The delay is expected to spark anger in Africa’s most populous nation and largest democracy after many people had relocated for the chance to vote.

A police officer oversees the distribution of election materials in Yola

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The presidential election is now due to take place on 23 February

Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said: “This was a difficult decision to take but necessary for successful delivery of the elections and the consolidation of our democracy.”

A review of logistics led the commission to conclude that going ahead with the election as planned was “no longer feasible,” he said.

A group of women sit at the entrance of a polling station in Gombi

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Nigerians sit at the entrance of a polling station in the town of Gombi

Nigeria also postponed its presidential election in 2015 because of deadly insecurity in the northeast of the country, which remains under threat from Islamic extremists.

More than 84 million voters had been expected to head to the polls on Saturday, in what is seen as a close and heated race between President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, a billionaire former vice president.

:: ‘Four’ killed in stampede at election rally for Nigeria president

igeria's main opposition party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar

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Atiku Abubakar has campaigned on the theme of ‘Let’s Make Nigeria Work Again’

Both men have pledged to work for a peaceful election even as their supporters, including high-level officials, have caused alarm with warnings against foreign interference and allegations of rigging.

Mr Buhari made history when he came to power in 2015 with the first defeat of an incumbent Nigerian president.

That election was hailed as one of the most transparent and untroubled ever in Nigeria, which has seen deadly post-vote violence in the past.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is bidding for a second term

Mr Buhari’s term has been marked by a crash in global oil prices that spun Nigeria’s economy into a rare recession, from which it only emerged in 2017.

Unemployment shot up and the country passed India as the nation with the most people living in extreme poverty. More than 13 million children are said to be out of school.

Many Nigerians also worry about Mr Buhari himself after he spent more than 150 days outside the country for an unspecified medical treatment.

In December, he bizarrely denied rumours he had died following a period of ill health and had been replaced by a Sudanese clone.



Muhammadu Buhari

Nigerian leader: ‘I am not a clone!’

Meanwhile, Mr Abubakar has followed in the footsteps of US President Donald Trump by campaigning on the theme of “Let’s Make Nigeria Work Again”.

He has vowed to apply his business acumen to privatise Nigeria’s state oil company and lift 50 million people out of poverty by 2025, but has faced years of corruption allegations.

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Entertainment

Vogue Brazil executive Donata Meirelles quits over ‘slavery’ party picture | World News

The style director of the Brazilian edition of Vogue has quit after an image taken at her 50th birthday party was condemned for depicting scenes of slavery from colonial times.

A guest at the lavish party, held in Bahia, northeastern Brazil, posted a picture showing Donata Meirelles sat on an elaborate, throne-like chair, flanked by black women in traditional white dress.

Critics likened the women’s clothes to the uniforms worn by house slaves, and pointed out the chair’s similarity to one commonly used by slave masters.

Marie Claire columnist Stephanie Ribeiro said on Twitter: “The black women were used as objects to create an exotic scene.

“It’s reminiscent of colonialism and romanticises those times. She was recreating the image where whites are superior and blacks are dehumanised.”

Ms Meirelles insisted in an Instagram post that the chair was an artefact from the Afro-Brazilian folk religion candomblé, and the clothes were traditional Bahian party attire.

“Even so, if I caused any different impressions, I am sorry,” she added.

In a statement on Instagram, the magazine said: “Vogue Brasil profoundly regrets what happened and hopes that the debate that has been generated serves as a learning experience.

“We believe in affirmative and purposeful actions and also that empathy is the best alternative for the construction of a more just society, in which the historical inequalities of the country are debated and faced.

Vogue has said it will also create a panel of activists and academics to help produce content to combat inequalities.

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Hausa

‘Yaki na sanadin mutuwar Jarirai 500 kullum’

Yemen
Image caption

Jarirai da yara na mutuwa saboda tsananin yunwa, da rashin abinci mai gina jiki

Wani sabon rahoto da aka fitar dauke da cewa Jarirai 5 ne ke mutuwa sanadiyyar yaki, kafin soja guda ya mutu.

Rahoton da kungiyar Save the Children ta fitar, ta ce shekaru biyar da suka gabata, jarirai dubu dari biyar ne ke mutuwa a kowacce rana, sanadiyyar yaki.

Wasu lokutan kuma 300 ko dai sanadiyyar yunwa da rashin abinci mai gina jiki, ko cututtuka kamar amai da gudawa da rashin kulawar likita da magani.

Kasashen da lamarin ya fi munana sun hada da Yemen da Syria da Afghanistan, da Jamhuriyyar Dimukradiyyar Congo.

Save the Children ta ce idan za a hada da yara ‘yan shekara biyar da ke mutuwa, adadin ka ya kai waDubu dari tara.

Haka kuma ba a sanya yaran da suka mutu a lokacin da ake gwabza yakin ba, ko dai ta harbin bindiga, ko tashin bam ko rikitowar gine-gine.

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