• Breaking News! Finally, Guterres sworn in as UN Sec Gen, Amina Mohammed to emerge Deputy

    13/Dec/2016 // 986 Viewers

     

    The former Portuguese Prime Minister and UN refugee Chief, Antonio Guterres was sworn in yesterday as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

    According to Reuters,  diplomats said Guterres is expected to shortly name Nigeria’s environment minister, Amina Mohammed, as his deputy secretary-general. He is also planning to appoint a woman as his chief of staff before the end of the year, diplomats said.

    Guterres is the ninth UN chief in the organisation’s 71-year history.


     
    Guterres who was formerly the UN refugee chief was nominated to the top job by acclamation in the General Assembly in October. He will take over duties from Ban Ki-moon on the 1st of January 2017.

    He got the position among 13 candidates competing for the job in informal polls in the Security Council. After the sixth poll, the council nominated him by acclamation.

    The swearing-in ceremony was held in the UN’s General Assembly hall in New York City following tributes to outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

    The General Assembly president John William Ashe has said, “We have every confidence he will lead our organisation with wisdom and rectitude.”

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    After the oath taking, the former UN Refugee Chief spoke about his goals as Secretary General, stating that the optimism that was felt at the end of the Cold War has been replaced with a multiplication of old wars, and new wars created.
    “The UN was born from war. Today we must be here for peace,” he stated.

    “As part of my good offices I am ready to engage personally in conflict resolution where it brings added value,” he told the 193-member General Assembly.

    Guterres beat out 12 other candidates, seven of whom were women, amid a push for the first woman to be elected. He said on Monday he aimed to have gender parity among senior U.N. leadership within his five year term.

    Before the appointment of Mohammed,  who’s to emerge deputy secretary-general as environment minister a year ago, she was Ki-moon’s special adviser on post-2015 development planning – a role that culminated last year with the adoption by the General Assembly of sustainable development goals for the next 15 years.

    Guterres is the first former head of government to be elected to run the world body and that experience will be reflected in how he operates, diplomats said.

    “He’s looking for a big shake-up, reshuffle,” said a senior U.N. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He’s looking to create … a different feeling, with the under-secretary-generals much more part of a collective leadership of the U.N.”

    “Having what he calls a cabinet, like when he was prime minister, his senior officials would come together every week and collectively they would have responsibility for the totality of the organization,” the diplomat said.

    Diplomats are now watching to see who Guterres appoints to senior U.N. positions amid speculation by diplomats and U.N. officials that China would like one of its nationals to head peacekeeping and that Russia is keen to have a senior role.


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  • Breaking News: Finally, US Govt blows hot, condemns Buhari administration, announces on VOA, KANU, DASUKI, others mentioned

    13/Dec/2016 // 17366 Viewers

     

    The USA government has condemned the actions of the Buhari administration over what it termed as neglect of rule of law.The USA government made the announcement through the Voice of America radio broadcast in the Hausa version that was aired on Monday.

    The condemnation came as the USA government examined the manner the Buhari administration conducted itself against the Shitte movement in Kaduna,  the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the detained former National Security Adviser  Sambo Dasuki;  the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and others.

    The USA government condemned the indiscriminate killings of Nigerians by the Buhari- led Army and the illegal detention of Nigerian citizens.

    The USA government in its broadcast, mentioned the leader of Shitte Muslims in Nigeria by name. They indicated that the continued detention of Zakzaky was illegal and remains illegal.

    They indicated that the killing of Shitte Muslims by the Nigerian Army was illegal and tantamount to whatever is obtainable under military dictatorial regime, not in a democracy as in Nigeria.

    In recent times, the Buhari administration has grown brazenly open with the manner it continues to detain Nigerian citizens without court trials or a charge.

    Journalists and activists have found themselves repeatedly under the grips of the Nigerian security men over frivolous claims.

    The claims, interestingly,  are never presented to court as charges. This was according to the broadcast of the VOA.

    The ECOWAS court had ruled recently for the release of the leader of IPOB,  Nnamdi Kanu and the former National Security Adviser, Dasuki Sambo.

    But the Buhari administration ignored the ruling.


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  • Protests end Wonder Woman's fight for equality at United Nations

    13/Dec/2016 // 268 Viewers

     

    NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Wonder Woman's battle for equality for women and girls at the United Nations has come to a untimely end.

    The scantily clad, curvaceous comic book superhero has had her appointment as a United Nations honorary ambassador cut in less than two months following protests.

    A United Nations spokesman said the character's role at the 193-member state organization would end on Friday despite plans for Wonder Woman to be used in an empowerment campaign for women and girls into 2017.

    The move came after the Oct. 21 appointment of the superhero to fight for gender equality sparked heavy criticism, with nearly 45,000 people signing an online petition asking U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to reconsider selection of the character.

    "Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent 'warrior' woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character's current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions," the petition read.

    Wonder Woman, a DC Comics Inc. heroine, first appeared in 1941, fighting villains, rescuing victims and unearthing evil plots.

    Dozens of U.N. employees protested at the U.N. headquarters in New York City on the day of the appointment when Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment, said the Wonder Woman campaign would feature various initiatives "over the course of the next year."

    The U.N. did not provide further details as to why the Wonder Woman campaign was ending this week but spokesman Jeffrey Brez said campaigns using fictional characters often lasted no longer than a few months.

    He said "Angry Birds," a collection of animated characters that originated in an online video game, were used as climate envoys in March for a single day.

    DC Entertainment, which publishes DC Comics, said it was pleased with the exposure Wonder Woman brought to the U.N.'s global goals to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls by 2030.

    "Wonder Woman stands for peace, justice and equality, and for 75 years she has been a motivating force for many and will continue to be long after the conclusion of her UN Honorary Ambassadorship," said Courtney Simmons, from DC Entertainment,

    DC Entertainment is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. that is a division of Time Warner.

    Simmons said the release next year of a special-edition Wonder Woman comic book on the empowerment of women and girls, announced in October, is still planned.

    A full-length Wonder Woman movie, unaffiliated with the U.N. campaign, starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot is scheduled for release by Warner Bros. in June next year.


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  • Court Orders Immediate De-freezing of Governor Fayose’s Accounts

    13/Dec/2016 // 615 Viewers

     

    A Federal High court sitting in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to lift the restriction placed on some accounts belonging to Governor Ayodele Fayose in Zenith Bank.

    The court also set aside an earlier order of a Federal High court, Lagos empowering the EFCC to freeze two accounts domiciled in the new generation bank.

    The court has consequently ordered the EFCC to immediately defreeze the two accounts belonging to the governor without further delay, on the account that the anti-graft agency did not follow due process in confiscating them.

    Delivering his judgement, the presiding Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, said the rights of the governor had been unconstitutionally infringed upon, considering the circumstance of his office.

    Justice Taiwo declared that apart from the immunity which Mr Fayose currently enjoyed as a sitting governor under section 308 of the constitution, it was wrong for the EFCC to have gone ahead to seize his two accounts in apparent perpetuity without first investigating him or making him a party.

    He averred that rather than the EFCC freezing the governor’s accounts directly through the third party who did not enjoy any mandate from him, the governor himself ought to have been first investigated and brought into the picture.

    The judge described Fayose as “a genuinely deprived person who rushed to the court to seek constitutional protection”.

    The judge thereby gave a mandatory order the de-freezing, unblocking and making operational the two accounts by the respondents.

    He said it was also the duty of any presiding judge to protect the said constitution and its interpretations whenever the need arises.

    “The Plaintiff is entitled to be heard before his property or money can be seized, doing otherwise will amount to denying him fair hearing and constitutional rights”, he said.

    The judge however refused to grant other relief sought by the governor, including a perpetual injunction restraining EFCC or its agents from further tampering with his property, and another one asking for payment of N5billion as exemplary damages.

    “This court will not shield any person from due investigation and since Police cannot be stopped from investigating a crime, same goes for the First Respondent so as not to whittle down its functions”, the judge said.

    EFCC lead counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo was absent at the court but Fayose’s lead counsel, Ozekhome, in his reaction described the judgment as the best to be so made the EFCC in history, saying it would checkmate the agency against years of brazen arbitrariness and excesses.

    The EFCC had on June 21, 2016 confiscated the two accounts having allegedly contained a sum of N2.99billion out of the N2.3 billion arms money allegedly drawn by the governor from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki to prosecute his governorship election in 2014.

    Fayose through his lawyer, Mr Mike Ozekhome approached the court and sought for the enforcement of his fundamental rights, which involved the de-freezing of the two accounts.


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  • Again, ANGOLA displaces NIGERIA for the 3rd time in 10 months as AFRICA's largest oil producer

    13/Feb/2017 // 540 Viewers

     

    Angola has overtaken Nigeria to become the largest oil producer on the African continent.

    According to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Southern African country now leads the continent in oil production, despite perceived growth in the Nigerian managers’ index.

    This is the third time Angola will overtake Nigeria as the continent’s largest producer, following Niger Delta unrest in April, July 2016.

    OPEC via its monthly oil market report (MOMR), released on Monday said Angola’s production was now at 1.651 million barrels per day, according to secondary sources.

    For direct communications between the country and OPEC, production levels were put at an average of 1.615 million barrels per day.

    Nigeria, on the other hand, had its production levels at 1.576 million barrels per day and 1.604 million barrels per day, according to secondary sources and direct communications, respectively.

    OPEC confirmed its member countries production levels from secondary sources – traders in the industry – and via direct communication with the country’s leadership.

    Using both sources, Angola stands as Africa’s largest oil producer, after losing that spot to Nigeria in December 2016.

    OPEC also revealed that Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates recorded massive improvements in their economic outlook.

    “In Nigeria, operating conditions in the country’s private sector improved in January for the first time in a year, as suggested by the Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI,” OPEC said.

    “The index was supported by renewed accelerations in output, as well as new orders received that also supported input-buying activities. The index’s headline figure posted 51.9 in January, up from 48.1 in December.”

    In Saudi Arabia, “inflation posted a 1.7% y-o-y increase in the last month of 2016. The non-oil private sector showed strong signs of growth in January as the Emirates NBD Saudi Arabia PMI jumped to a 17-month high”.

    “The index posted 56.7 last month, up from 55.5 in December on the highest rate of increase in output since August 2015, alongside an increase in new business to a 14-month high.”

    Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, has said the country seeks to solve the problem of militancy in the Niger Delta in five months.


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  • Pulse Gay Club Orlando Killings: IS claims responsibility

    13/Jun/2016 // 787 Viewers

     

    ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deadliest mass shooting in US history and says the gunman who slaughtered at least 50 innocent party-goers in an Orlando gay club was one of its fighters. 

    Shooter Omar Mateen, 29, from Port St. Lucie in Florida, opened fire at Pulse nightclub in the early hours of Sunday, killing at least 50 people and injuring 53 others.

    This is the first time ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack on US soil. 

    Shortly before the attack, Mateen, who was born in New York to Afghan parents, called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, law enforcement officials told NBC News. 

    And the terror group's Amaq news agency said on Sunday the Islamist militant group was responsible for the shooting.

    'The armed attack that targeted a gay nightclub in the city of Orlando in the American state of Florida which left over 100 people dead or injured was carried out by an Islamic State fighter,' Amaq said.

    U.S. officials cautioned, however, that they had no immediate evidence of any direct connection with ISIS or any other foreign extremist group, nor had they uncovered any contacts between the gunman and any such group.

    During the attack, Mateen referenced the brothers who carried out the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, a Massachusetts State Police spokesman said on Sunday.

    'During a conference call with federal law enforcement officials a short time ago, Massachusetts State Police and other local law enforcement authorities learned that the Orlando nightclub gunman, during his rampage, pledged allegiance to ISIS and referenced the Tsarnaev brothers,' state police spokesman David Procopio said in an e-mail.
    The Tsarnaev brothers killed three people and injured more than 260 in the April 15, 2013, attack. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died four days later during a gun battle with police while Dzhokhar Tsaranev, now 22, has been sentenced to death for his role in the attack.  
     
    However Mateen's father, Mir Seddique, told NBC News the attack was 'nothing to do with religion' and said his son became angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami several months ago.

    'We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident,' he said. 'We weren't aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country.'

    This afternoon, the first victims of the massacre were identified. Stanley Almodovar III, who lived in Clermont, Florida, Juan Ramon Guerrero, and Edward Sotomayor Jr of Sarasota, Florida, were killed in the shooting.

    Sotomayor was a caring, energetic man known for wearing a silly top hat on cruises, said David Sotomayor, who identified himself as the victim's cousin.

    David, a drag queen who lives in Chicago, said Edward worked for a company that held gay cruises and often traveled to promote the company's events.

    'He was just always part of the fun,' he said, explaining they last exchanged messages late last week. 'You never think that's going to be the last time you speak to him. It's just heartbreaking to know it just can happen anytime.'


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  • Breaking News: Don't hunt down Avengers, US envoy warns FG

    13/Jun/2016 // 14575 Viewers

     

    Former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, has said the state governors instead of the Federal Government are to be blamed for insurgencies in the Niger Delta.

    He made the statement over the weekend during an interview on CNBC television station.

    While speaking on the continuous attacks on Nigeria’s oil pipelines by new militancy group, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), Campbell said funds for the region which have been released in the past by the Federal Government, ended in the pockets of the state governors.

    “What happens in many cases is the funds arrive on the state governor’s desk and there’s no further accounting for them,” Ambassador Campbell said.

    “The state legislatures are supposed to hold the governors accountable, but very often, the legislatures are part of the (patronage) network controlled by governors,” he said.

    Also contributing, Manji Cheto, senior vice president at advisory firm Teneo Intelligence said past experiences of funds diversion by the governors, have now triggered lack of trust in the Federal Government for further negotiation.

    “That system has now made the Delta people skeptical that talks between federal and local leaders will produce change,” Cheto said.
    Campbell further stated that the Nigerian military would do well to employ advanced method in tackling insurgency instead of the usual police method.

    “I think it would be very difficult to tackle this issue using essentially police methods. The delta doesn’t lend itself to military or police action, and in fact, it failed the last time there was an insurrection there,” he said.

    “Quite frankly, it’s almost impossible. It’s not like an insurgency in the classic sense… If they find these guys and hunt them down and shoot them, there will be another group the next day. What else can you do if you live there?” he said.

    According to Campbell, the FG would be opening more grounds for breeding of more deadly groups if it decides to kill the militants.
    “If they find these guys and hunt them down and shoot them, there will be another group the next day,” he said.

    He advised that the Buhari government could conceivably build goodwill by embarking on public works projects, “construction of a long-discussed road across the Delta region, for example, would employ a huge number of workers and open new areas to economic development, provided it functioned well” he said.

    “The delta ostensibly has institutions in place to execute such projects, but they have accomplished little,” said Cheto.
    The Niger Delta Development Commission was founded in 2000, followed by the Niger Delta Ministry in 2008.
    There is also an office dedicated to carrying out the 2009 amnesty program.

    The organizations carry out programs, but have no cohesive blueprint for development, and much of their funding falls into a “black hole,” Cheto said.

    The government should merge the three organizations, she said.

    “Quite clearly they didn’t see this as a priority. Now, with pipelines being attacked every week, it has to become a priority,” she said.

    Analysts do not doubt that Buhari is committed to the anti-corruption crusade he campaigned on, but they said his hands are tied by corruption at the state and local level, where oil revenue that is distributed by the federal government is frequently misappropriated.


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  • BREAKING: World's oldest person dies in New York at age 116

    13/May/2016 // 535 Viewers

    FILE - In this Monday, June 22, 2015 photo, Lois Judge, left, helps her aunt Susannah Mushatt Jones, during breakfast in Jones' room at the Vandalia Avenue Houses, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Jones, the world’s oldest person, has died in New York at age 116. Robert Young, a senior consultant for the Gerontology Research Group, says Jones died at a senior home in Brooklyn Thursday night, May 12, 2016. He said she had been ill for the past 10 days. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

    NEW YORK (AP) — Susannah Mushatt Jones, the world's oldest person, has died in New York at age 116.

    Robert Young, a senior consultant for the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, said Jones died Thursday night at a public housing facility for seniors in Brooklyn where she had lived for more than three decades. He said she had been ill for the past 10 days.

    Jones was born in a small farm town near Montgomery, Alabama, in 1899. She was one of 11 siblings and attended a special school for young black girls. When she graduated from high school in 1922, Jones worked full time helping family members pick crops. She left after a year to begin working as a nanny, heading north to New Jersey and eventually making her way to New York.

    "She adored kids," Lois Judge said of her aunt in a 2015 interview with The Associated Press. Jones never had any children of her own and was married for only a few years.

    Family members said last year that they credited her long life to love of family and generosity to others. Judge said at the time that she believed it helped that her aunt grew up on a rural farm, where she ate fresh fruits and vegetables that she picked herself.

    After she moved to New York, Jones worked with a group of her fellow high school graduates to start a scholarship fund for young African-American women to go to college. She also was active in her public housing building's tenant patrol until she was 106.

    Jones became Guinness World Records' official oldest person when 117-year-old Misao Okawa died in Tokyo last year.

    "Ms. Jones was the very last American from the 1800s," said Young, whose group tracks and maintains a database of the world's longest-living people.

    Young said 116-year-old Emma Morano, of Verbania, Italy, just a few months younger than Jones, is now the unofficial world's oldest person.


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  • SHOCKING VIDEO: Donald Trump obssesed with daughter's body, would have sex with her

    13/May/2016 // 945 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MAY 13, 2016: (DGW) Wonders, they say, will never cease.  The Republican presidential nominee Mr. Donald Trump obviously obsessed with his daughter's body would  to have sex with her.

    He actually loves her a little too much, as ‘The Daily Show’ pointed out all the times Donald said he would have sex with Ivanka if they weren’t related!

    “I’ve said that, if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I would be dating her,” Donald proudly admitted during the Dec. 9 debut of the TDS’s newest segment, Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants To Bang His Daughter. Donald’s boast came in a 2006 appearance on The View when he was discussing the chance of Ivanka posing nude in Playboy''! - hollywoodlife.com

    Watch video: 

     


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  • Journey to TRUMP presidency begins as British top politician meets Trump - BBC reports

    13/Nov/2016 // 858 Viewers

     

    Nigel Farage has become the first British politician to meet Donald Trump since he became US president-elect.
    A UKIP spokesman said the interim party leader discussed "freedom and winning" with Mr Trump on a visit to Trump Tower in New York.
    Mr Trump's spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway said the meeting had been "very productive".
    Downing Street said Mr Farage had "no role" in the government's relationship with the incoming US administration.
    Speaking after the meeting, Mr Farage said: "It was a great honour to spend time with Donald Trump. He was relaxed, and full of good ideas.
    "I'm confident he will be a good president. His support for the US-UK relationship is very strong. This is a man with whom we can do business."
     
    UKIP sources told me that Nigel Farage has made the prime minister look "very foolish". And on the surface it is embarrassing.
    Theresa May will not be meeting the president-elect until next year - yet a UK opposition politician has already popped in for a chat.
    But Downing Street say they are relaxed about it; that Mrs May has already spoken to Mr Trump by telephone and there will be no role - formal or otherwise - for Mr Farage as a "go-between" with the new US administration.
    Yet there are political dangers for the prime minister. Mrs May certainly will not be welcoming this opportunity for UKIP to bask in the reflected glory of a Trump victory.
    People were asking what was the point of the party after the Brexit referendum - so the prime minister really will not want them resurrected as the "British Trumps"- the voice of forgotten voters.
    She will have to renew efforts to claim that mantle for herself.
    Mr Farage asked Mr Trump to return a bust of Sir Winston Churchill to the White House Oval Office, a party spokesman said.
    The bronze, which had graced the Oval Office during the George W Bush administration, was returned to the British embassy at the outset of Barack Obama's presidency.
     
    Mr Farage said he had been "especially pleased" by Mr Trump's "very positive reaction" to the idea of the bust returning.
    Ms Conway said the two men "enjoy each other's company and they had the opportunity to talk about freedom and winning and what all this means for the world".
    A UKIP source said the meeting had "made the prime minister look very foolish".
    Mr Farage earlier told US media that Mrs May's team had been "quite rude" about Mr Trump, "so there are some fences to be mended".
    "Trump is an Anglophile, he understands and recognises what our two great nations have done together between us," he told Fox News.
    "And, thank goodness, we are coming towards the end of an American president who loathed Britain.
    "One of the things we can do, we can have between us a sensible trade relationship, cut tariffs, we are massive investors in each other's countries. There's a bright future."
    When asked ahead of the meeting if Mr Trump had invited him, Mr Farage joked to reporters: "We're just tourists."
    Mrs May plans to visit Mr Trump in the first three months of next year after his inauguration. - BBC


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