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Top Story: Anti Gov’t Protesters in Thailand back on street.

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Anti-gov’t protesters renew calls for parliament’s dissolution, rewriting of constitution and protection of dissidents.

Pro-democracy protesters are gathering in Thailand’s capital, in what is expected to be the largest rally in weeks of anti-government demonstrations and the biggest since a military coup in 2014 that brought Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to power.

Thousands of protesters on Saturday forced their way onto the campus of Bangkok’s Thammasat University, an institution that has long symbolised democracy in the country’s shaky political history. Later, they made their way into the adjacent Sanam Luang field near the royal palace.

The rally is expected to draw tens of thousands of people, with protesters planning to stay out until Sunday. Police said they would deploy thousands of officers.

“Today, we will continue to push for our demands,” said Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak. “As citizens, we should be able to fight for our rights. You cannot stop us. We have now broken through these first gates and we will continue to break through until we have democracy,” added the student activist as he mobilised a large group of protesters on the outer limits of the university.

Moments earlier, tensions had risen as a scuffle broke out between an anti-government protester and a security guard.

Democratic reforms
The student-led, anti-government movement has been calling for three significant changes to Thailand’s power structure: the dissolution of parliament, the rewriting of the military-drafted constitution and an end to the intimidation of dissidents.

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Protesters believe that their votes in last year’s long-delayed general election have been disregarded after Prayuth, a former army general, stayed on as prime minister with the backing of an unelected Senate and smaller parties, despite the pro-military Palang Pracharat party finishing second.

Following the 2014 coup, Prayuth scrapped the country’s constitution and had the military write a new charter that increased the king’s powers and allowed the military to appoint the 250-member Senate that was to have a say in selecting the new prime minister.

Protesters have also been openly discussing Thailand’s powerful monarchy in public, with some calling for it to be reformed and have its political power reduced. This level of public criticism and debate is unprecedented in modern times, as the kingdom’s royal institution is protected by strict lese majeste laws that can carry prison sentences of up to 15 years.

The anti-government movement has been brewing since mid-July, but its origins began when Thailand’s top court in February moved to dissolve the popular Future Forward Party (FFP). Led by charismatic billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the FFP won the third-highest number of parliamentary seats in the March 2019 election and was seen as a threat to the political establishment.

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The coronavirus pandemic momentarily halted the movement in March but protests resumed as cases started to fall. And in June, the disappearance of Wanchalerm Satsakit, a well-known activist who was abducted in plain sight outside of his apartment in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, was the spark that pushed people to take to the streets.

The initially youth-led demonstrations have since grown consistently larger, drawing citizens from all age groups and walks of life amid rising discontent over Thailand’s widening economic inequality.

Mook, 21, a recent university graduate, said she was participating in the protest to fight for “a better future”.

“We’re unhappy with the government, it’s very simple,” she told Noble Reporters Media‘s known Media. “Last year, when I was in university, it became obvious to us [other students] how difficult our future will be if we don’t ask for this [three demands],” she said.

“So today, I’m joining this activity because I think Thailand desperately needs democracy.”

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Police estimate up to 50,000 people could show up at Saturday’s protest, but student leaders believe there could be up to 100,000. Some are worried of an impending crackdown as Prayuth recently warned protesters to not “violate the palace”.

“I’m coming here to help the young people,” said Peeja Plahn, 53. “Many of them have not seen political rallies like this and they won’t know what to do if things get bad. We’re here to support their cause, but we’re also here because this government doesn’t work,” he added.

“Thailand needs to move on.”

At least 28 activists have been arrested on various charges, including sedition, since the protests began months ago.


#Newsworthy…

Justin Bieber – Holy (ft. Chance The Rapper) | Video

Watch video here – Holy – Noble Reporters TV

Politicians, Celebs, others pay tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Politicians and celebrities are paying tribute to the late Supreme Court justice, who died from cancer Friday aged 87.

As word of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death spread on Friday, tributes quickly poured in from celebrities, athletes, and Democrats and Republicans alike.

Donald Trump said Ginsburg, who died at age 87 of complications from metastatic pancreas cancer, “was an amazing woman” who “led an amazing life.”

The US president’s remarks came shortly after a rally in Minnesota where he said one reason the upcoming presidential election is so important is because of possible Supreme Court vacancies.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, also following a campaign stop in Minnesota, called Ginsburg “a beloved figure” and said, “My heart goes out to all those who cared for her and care about her. And she practiced the highest American ideals as a justice, equality and justice under the law, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood for all of us.”

In a statement announcing her death, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said the US had lost “a jurist of historic stature”.

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“We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her – a tireless and resolute champion of justice,” he said.

Former President George W Bush said Ginsburg was an inspiration to “more than one generation of women and girls” while former President Jimmy Carter called her “a beacon of justice”:

Carter on Ginsburg: ‘A beacon of justice’
Former President Jimmy Carter called Ruth Bader Ginsburg “a beacon of justice,” in a tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice whom he initially appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals and paving her…

In a tweet, Hillary Clinton thanked Ginsburg, who was appointed to the US Supreme Court by her husband President Bill Clinton in 1993, for paving the way for women – including herself.

“There will never be another like her,” Clinton wrote:

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Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG.

Ginsburg died on Friday at age 87 from complications related to cancer, the US Supreme Court said in a statement.

She was only the second woman ever appointed to the nation’s top court when she took her seat 27 years ago.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that flags are flying half-staff over the US Capitol in honour of Ginsburg:

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Tonight, the flags are flying at half staff over the Capitol to honor the patriotism of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Every woman and girl, and therefore every family, in America has benefitted from her brilliance.

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised Ginsburg before laying down a political marker, stating unequivocally that any potential nominee Trump puts forward to fill Ginsburg’s seat “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

The Senate and the nation mourn the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life.

My full statement:

Democrats will argue vociferously against Trump nominating someone to fill her seat so close to the election on November 3.

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However, knowing the golden opportunity they have to replace a reliably liberal justice such as Ginsburg with a conservative justice, Trump and his Republican Party will likely move full steam ahead.

Joe Biden insisted Trump wait until it’s clear who will be the next president before nominating a new justice. “There is no doubt, let me be clear, that the voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” Biden said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed, saying that Ginsburg’s seat “should not be filled until we have a new president”:

The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.

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US Senator Lindsey Graham, who as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee will oversee the nomination hearing of Ginsburg’s successor if a nominee is put forth before January, left the upcoming political battle out of his tribute:

US Senate candidate, SC
It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Justice Ginsburg.

Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who possessed tremendous passion for her causes. She served with honor and distinction as a member of the Supreme Court.

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Justice Ginsburg.

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Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who possessed tremendous passion for her causes. She served with honor and distinction as a member of the Supreme Court.

US Senate candidate, SC
While I had many differences with her on legal philosophy, I appreciate her service to our nation.

My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

May she Rest In Peace.

At the beginning of her tenure on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg was considered left of centre; over the years, she developed into a reliably liberal firebrand, lionised by progressives.

US Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called her passing “a tremendous loss”:

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The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a tremendous loss to our country. She was an extraordinary champion of justice and equal rights, and will be remembered as one of the great justices in modern American history.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is one of US President Donald Trump’s lawyers and does not usually have many kind words for Democrats, also praised Ginsburg.

He said while he “disagreed with many of her decisions … they were all well reasoned and well argued”:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a credit to the Court.

I disagreed with many of her decisions but they were all well reasoned and well argued.

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She was a close friend of her ideological opposite, Justice Scalia.

They both loved opera, law and the U.S.A.

May She Rest In Peace

World leaders offered up tributes as well, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said her “impact will undoubtedly be felt for generations”:

A profound and fearless advocate for women, equality, and justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s impact will undoubtedly be felt for generations. My thoughts are with her family, colleagues, and all who were inspired by her lifetime of service.

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As only the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court (Sandra Day O’Connor was the first), Ginsburg was an icon to liberal women.

US football star Megan Rapinoe called Ginsburg’s death “devastating”.

This is devastating, an incalculable loss. We owe so much to RBG. Rest in Power Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #RIPRBG

Tributes flowed in from all corners of Hollywood: singers and musicians as well as television and movie stars, from the likes of Barbara Streisand, Katy Perry and Julia Louis-Dreyfus:


#Newsworthy…

Funny moment lady begs Aboki for kiss on highway | Video

Watch video here – Mediagist – Noble Reporters TV

China blast United States over Tik Tok, WeChat ban.

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China warns of necessary measures to safeguard interests of its companies after US bans downloads of TikTok and WeChat.

China has accused the United States of “bullying” and threatened to take “necessary” countermeasures after Washington banned downloads of the Chinese video-sharing app, TikTok, and effectively blocked the use of the messaging super-app, WeChat.

Separately, Beijing also launched on Saturday a mechanism enabling it to restrict foreign entities that it deems a threat to its sovereignty and security, in a development seen as retaliation to US penalties against other Chinese companies such as telecom giant Huawei.

The latest Chinese moves come as tensions with the US escalate on a range of issues from trade and human rights to the battle for tech supremacy.

In a statement on Saturday, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce condemned Washington’s decision on Friday to ban TikTok and WeChat from US app stores, saying: “China urges the US to abandon bullying, cease its wrongful actions and earnestly maintain fair and transparent international rules and order.”

It then warned: “If the US insists on going its own way, China will take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”

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The US Department of Commerce announced the bans in response to a pair of executive orders signed in August by US President Donald Trump, in which he said the two Chinese-owned apps presented a threat to the country’s national security.

China and the companies, however, have denied US user data is collected for spying.

WeChat app would lose functionality in the US from Sunday onwards, while TikTok users will be banned from installing updates but could keep accessing the service through November 12.

WeChat developer Tencent Holdings called the order “unfortunate” and said it “will continue to discuss with the government and other stakeholders in the US ways to achieve a long-term solution”.

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The owners of TikTok, which has 100 million users in the US, said it will challenge “the unjust executive order”.

A picture of US President Donald Trump is seen on a smartphone in front of displayed Tik Tok and WeChat logos [Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters]

‘Very, very popular’
Friday’s order follows weeks of deal-making over TikTok, with Trump pressuring ByteDance to sell TikTok’s US operations to a domestic company to satisfy Washington’s concerns over TikTok’s data collection and related issues.

California tech giant Oracle recently struck a deal with TikTok along those lines, although details remain foggy.

Trump said on Friday said he was open to a deal, noting that “we have some great options and maybe we can keep a lot of people happy,” suggesting that even Microsoft, which said its TikTok bid had been rejected, might continue to be involved, as well as Oracle and Walmart.

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Trump noted that TikTok was “very, very popular,” said “we have to have the total security from China,” and added that “we can do a combination of both”.

ByteDance has now asked a US judge to block the action against it, according to Bloomberg News.

Amid the escalating row, the Chinese commerce ministry issued on Saturday regulations for its “unreliable entity list” aimed at foreign companies it says endangers its sovereignty, security or development interests.

Companies that end up on the list could be banned from importing or exporting from China, and may be barred from investing in the country. Other measures include imposing fines, entry restrictions on employees into China, and revoking their work or residence permits.

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The launch of the “unreliable entities list” ups the ante in the escalating commercial fight with the Trump administration, which has used its own “entity list” to bar Huawei from the US market on national security grounds.

The Chinese announcement did not mention any specific foreign entities, but in May, state-run tabloid Global Times reported the measures would target such US companies as Apple Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Qualcomm Inc, while suspending purchases of Boeing Co aeroplanes.

Authorities will set up a working mechanism and an office to help implement work related to the list, the ministry added.

Foreign firms could be removed from the list if they correct their behaviours and take steps to eliminate the consequences of their actions, it said.


#Newsworthy…

Rumble as Edo State tends to elect governor today. [Nigeria]

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Be Neutral, All Eyes On Us, INEC Chair Charges Electoral Officers
Electorate Eager To Vote Amid COVID-19.
CDD: Blame INEC, Police, Politicians If Anything Goes Awry.
Edo South- 1,281,414 Voters, Edo North – 564,122, Edo Central- 364,998
Godfatherism, 2023 Dominate Poll

There was uneasy calm yesterday in most parts of Edo State ahead of the governorship election holding today.

Though a total of 14 political parties are participating in the polls, the battle for Osadebe House seems to be between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC)- battle for the soul of the state, with intermittent clashes of members and supporters, especially during the campaigns.

A late evening rain in some parts of the state yesterday helped to douse the atmosphere, as the people prepared to troop out to cast their votes this morning.

Ahead of the poll, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has charged the Commission’s staff to be neutral in today’s governorship election in Edo State.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu (3rd left), Resident Electoral Commissioner, Edo State, Dr Johnson Alalibo Sinikiem (2nd left), Administrative Secretary, Elder Uwom Ephraim (left) and another official during Yakubu’s inspection of non-sensitive materials at the Ikpoba-Okha local council to ascertain the Commission’s readiness for the Edo Governorship Election.

Yakubu in a message to the electoral officers deployed for the poll, yesterday, said: “All eyes are on INEC to deliver a free, fair and credible process.”

He urged the electoral officers to ensure that no political party or candidate is accorded any advantage over the other, adding that the international community is watching.

He said: “I have no doubt that our staff members will rise to the occasion. We have done it several times before and we can do it again.

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“The Commission deeply appreciates the never ending sacrifices made by our staff at all times, often beyond the call of duty, to ensure that we carry out our mandate. The management will continue to improve the welfare and conditions of service of staff within the available resources.

“Let me appeal to all of you to remain steadfast and committed to the ideals of the Commission; Nigerians and the international community expect so much from us. They are watching. It is important that we all remain above board in the performance of our respective duties.

“We must ensure that no political party or candidate is accorded any advantage over the other. We must be neutral at all times and stick strictly to our code of conduct and oath of neutrality to which we have all subscribed. For, at the end of the day, we would have all contributed to the sustenance of democracy and a strong electoral process that all Nigerians can trust.”

The main actors in today’s governorship election, apart from the voters, particularly the INEC, security agencies, led by the Police, and politicians would determine how the exercise pans out.

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On Thursday, the Police organised a show of force, while INEC distributed materials, but despite the diligent deployment of materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office in Benin City, there were reports of intimidation in some areas.

INEC had always complained of logistic challenges, in term of terrain, and how far the commission sustains the transparent distribution of its men and materials this morning would determine how prepared they are to organise a credible process.

Executive Director of Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Idayat Hassan, told The Guardian on phone that the actors in the election management should be blamed if anything goes awry today.

Hassan noted that the show of force by the Police was not well perceived in some quarters, stressing that reports of intimidation, false and unverified reports on the social media helped to sustain tension.

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She observed that barring any logistic challenges or sabotage, INEC has earned an average performance to win public support, adding that the distribution of materials today would give a clear picture of INEC’s capacity to deliver on its mandate.

She stated: “Things remain tense, activities are ongoing as INEC is distributing materials. A lot of false reports, substantiated and unsubstantiated videos, releases from the political parties, especially unverified claims, are not encouraging.

“These things circulating on the social media give cause for worry, but I think everybody is hopeful. We expect to see how things will pan out in reality.”

The CDD director said judging by the way materials were distributed, INEC has shown signs of readiness, noting, however, that the Commission has the reputation of perennial complaint about logistic issues.

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She noted: “INEC kept saying they are ready, but by 8.30 this morning, we will actually know whether they are ready. Things are moving on clear. Really, I think the deployment of materials and the way it was actually done from the CBN was quite commendable.

“But the actors in this election, the election management body and most importantly, the political class, would be the ones to determine the quality of the exercise and how it would round off.”

She disclosed that partners and observers met yesterday to check-in on issues and happenings in their locations, pointing out that in Igueben, for instance, security was housed in the premises of the council office, adding: “Last night, the tension of the final campaign was high, fear of political rituals has dropped, people are calm, no cause for alarm.

She noted, though, that vote-buying might enhance turn out, saying: “More voters may turn out to vote due to the peaceful atmosphere. The voting points are locked, most schools with a fence with a locked gate and that may be a challenge in the morning of the election.”

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CDD observed that the atmosphere in Ovia West was peaceful, but with high presence of Police, as politicians were returning home from the city, just as voter education increased for COVID-19 compliance.

In a bid to enhance popular participation in today’s poll, the state government declared yesterday a work-free day.

Observations of the election environment show that prospective voters, who have been handed out a condition of no facemask, no voting by INEC expect the politicians to play by the rules and eschew banditry and thuggery.

Records at the INEC office indicated that no fewer than 1.72 million persons are eligible to vote in the election, while 483,796 eligible voters will not participate on account of failure to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

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The consolidated figure of registered voters in the state as at August 2018 stands at 2,210,534 registered voters, while only 1,726,738 collected their PVCs.

The records show that Edo has 18 councils, 192 Wards and 2,627 polling units.

A further breakdown of the registered voters figure shows that the male accounts for 1,159,325 (representing 52 per cent), while 1,051,209 are female (or 48 per cent). Of these figures, the youth (18 to 35 years) account for 50 per cent (1,105,338); middle-aged (36 to 50 years) accounts for 29.1 per cent (643,551); the elderly (51 to 70 years) make up 15.99 per cent (353,508) and eligible voters classified as the old (70 years and above) account for 4.89 per cent (108,137).

Further distribution of registered voters in the three senatorial districts of the state shows that Edo South has the highest figure of 1,281,414; followed by Edo North with 564,122 and Edo Central has 364,998.

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Edo South is made up of seven council; Edo North, six councils and Edo Central, five councils.

According to the number of collected PVCs, Oredo zone has 240,197; Ikpoba-Okha, 214,882; Egor, 158,817; Etsako West, 128,188 and Akoko Edo, 115,343.

On the surface, the atmosphere in Edo State seems very charged, threatening to boil over, but among the residents, particularly of Benin City, the state capital, there is a general feeling of expectant relief that after today, life would return to normal.

Apart from the 2007 governorship election that produced Adams Oshiomhole as the state’s third civilian governor, no other such contest has generated the kind of tension engendered by the current exercise.

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Unlike in the past, today’s showdown between Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu has a lot of issues pushing up the hot narratives, chief among the troubling issues include 2023 calculations/godfather interests and partisan survival/geopolitics, among others.

The foregoing considerations have been feeding the tension and threats of violence that pervaded preparations for today’s strategic poll. There are indications that the real battlefield for the two front row candidates would be Edo South senatorial district, which has 1.2 million registered voters. The zone offers the true test of the power of incumbency, as both Obaseki and his main challenger, Ize-Iyamu, hail from there and how the people perceive Obaseki’s performance in the past four years could inform their choices.

To douse tension, the National Peace Committee (NPC), supported by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), organised a peace convention, where Obaseki of PDP and APC’s Ize-Iyamu committed themselves to non-violence.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has assured political parties/candidates and the people of a level playfield, declaring that the Commission would remain impartial, just as Chairman of the NPC and a former military head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, restated the committee’s commitment to free, fair and credible elections.

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Convener of NPC and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Father Matthew Hassan Kukah, described the signing of the peace accord as not just a mere ceremony, “but a spiritual vow among the candidates participating in the election.”

Earlier before the gladiators signed the peace pact, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, represented by Deputy Inspector General (Research and Planning), Adeleye Oyebade, reminded them of the need to respect the contents of the resolution, assuring: “We are here to ensure a hitch-free, fair and credible election and I have assured all that the Police will remain professional to the core.

“…Go back to speak with all your people about what you have signed. The electorate should come out to vote, because we are prepared to protect them. Edo will have the best of the best elections in Nigeria.”

The politics of 2023 and godfather investment were on virtually all discussions about the poll right from the build up. But it all comes down today, as both APC and PDP see Edo State as a very strategic outpost to enhance their chase of the ultimate triumph in 2023, with the thinking that whoever clinches the governorship would be midway to greater sphere of influence across the geopolitical zones.


#Newsworthy…

‘Love Goes’ Sam Smith announces release of third studio album come Oct. 30.

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The 28-year-old artist shared the news of the album, out Oct. 30, on their Instagram page Thursday.

“I’m extremely happy and overjoyed to announce my third album (I can’t believe I’m saying that) ‘Love Goes’,” Smith wrote. “This album marks a time of experimentation and self discovery in my life.”

They continued, “I wrote this from the age of 26-28 and it’s been one hell of a ride. I hope the people who listen to it enjoy it and love it like I have and do. You can pre-order now at samsmithworld.com”

The Thursday release of Smith’s single “Diamonds” was accompanied by a music video featuring the singer freely dancing to the upbeat anthem.

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In addition to “Diamonds,” Love Goes includes several of their previously released singles, including “Dancing With a Stranger,” “To Die For,” “I Feel Love,” “Promises,” “Fire on Fire” and the hit “How Do You Sleep?”

In March, Smith announced that the upcoming album would be delayed past its scheduled release date of May 1 and shared that the original name, To Die For, would be changed.

In a letter posted to their Instagram Thursday, Smith addressed the delay, apologizing to fans. “I am sorry it’s taken awhile,” they wrote. “But these unprecedented times gave me the room and space to fall in love with these songs all over again.”

Smith also reflected on the album as a whole in the letter, writing, “The last two years have been the most experimental time of my life, personally but also musically. Every time I went into the studio I promised myself I would shoot for the stars and have no limitations. The result has been so magical and so therapeutic and FUN.”

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They continued, “My love for music is so broad and all of my musical guilty pleasures became pleasures. No guilt, no shame, just the love of singing and creating and dancing.”

“Listen to these songs with an open heart, treat each song like a different flower from the garden and have fun with them. I tried not to take myself too seriously when writing a few of these songs and I hope they make you smile because they made and make me smile.

After it all I still believe love is the answer,” Smith added. “And with love in out heart and kindness in our words and actions, we sing on.”

Smith’s new album, Love Goes, will be available wherever you stream music on Oct. 30th.


#Newsworthy…

MP3 » Justin Bieber – Holy (ft. Chance The Rapper)

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Justin Bieber comes through with yet another new song titled “Holy” featuring Chance the Rapper

Year: 2020

Song: Holy

Artist: Justin Bieber

Album: N/A

Feat: Chance The Rapper

Prod:


Justin Drew Bieber ( /ˈbiːbər/ ; born March 1, 1994) is a Canadian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist . [4][5] Discovered at age 13 by talent manager Scooter Braun after he had watched his
YouTube cover song videos, Bieber was signed to RBMG Records in 2008.

#NobleSong

MP3 » Mayorkun – Ma Pariwo (Cover)

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Mayorkun comes through with yet another new song titled “Ma Pariwo (Cover)”

Year: 2020

Song: Ma Pariwo (Cover)

Artist: Mayorkun

Album: N/A

Feat: N/A

Prod:



#NobleSong

US Supreme Court loses 87 Year Old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to death.

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United States Supreme Court Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday, opening a crucial vacancy on the high court expected to set off a pitched political battle at the peak of the presidential campaign.

Ginsburg, 87, died after a fight with pancreatic cancer, the court announced, saying she passed away “this evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, DC.”

Affectionately known as the Notorious RBG, Ginsburg was the oldest justice of nine on the Supreme Court.

She anchored its liberal faction, whittled to four by two appointments since 2017 from President Donald Trump.

Coming just 46 days before an election in which Trump lags his Democratic rival Joe Biden in the polls, the vacancy offers the Republican president a chance to solidly lock in a conservative majority at the court for decades to come.

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That could lead to a court that would potentially limit abortion rights, strengthen the powers of business, and water down rights provided minorities and the LGBTQ community over the past three decades.

But Democrats are expected to fight tough to force a delay in her replacement until after the election — an uphill battle given the control Trump’s Republicans have on the Senate, which must approve any nominee.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the anchor of the court’s liberal faction. MANDEL NGAN / AFP

– Fought for women’s rights –
Ginsburg, who was Jewish, was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1933.

A legal scholar and law professor, she had a deep history in jurisprudence of standing up for women’s rights.

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She became only the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice when she was appointed to the court in 1993 by president Bill Clinton.

“Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement.

“Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

– Looming political fight –
There was no immediate comment on her death from the White House.

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Speaking to a rally in Minnesota and apparently still unaware of the news, Trump reminded the crowd of the likelihood that a new term would allow him to appoint new justices.

“The next one will have anywhere from one to four” justices, he said. “Think of that, that will totally change” the landscape on core legal issues, including abortion, he said.

ABC News later reported, citing well-informed sources, that Trump will move quickly to name a replacement.

In a pitch to conservative voters earlier this month, he unveiled a long list of possible replacements for court vacancies, all of them deeply conservative, that he would tap if reelected.

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Asked in August by radio host Hugh Hewitt if he would nominate a justice just before the election, Trump replied: “Absolutely, I’d do it.”

“I would move quickly. Why not? I mean they would. The Democrats would if they were in this position.”

Democrats were expected to fight hard to prevent a replacement from being named right away.

Ginsburg herself was acutely aware of the stakes of her health on the court balance, and her fans fretted at her increasingly frequent trips to the hospital over the past two years.

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According to NPR radio, Ginsburg raised the issue this week with her granddaughter Clara Spera.

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” she said, according to Spera.

But Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Friday he would move on any nominee from Trump, ignoring the precedent he set in 2016 in freezing Democratic President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill a vacancy before the election.

“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell said in a statement.


#Newsworthy…

Quote Of The Day

“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”

– Roy T. Bennett

COVID-19: Nigeria reports 221 cases; total cases nears 57,000.

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Nigeria reports 221 cases of COVID-19 as total infections hit 56,956.

Lagos reports highest cases of 59, follows by Abia state with 46 an Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with 22 cases.

Ogun state and Osun ties with 3 cases each as Bayelsa, Edo and Kano State reports lowest cases of 1 each.

Fresh cases of 221 was reported by eighteen states in Nigeria.

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Stands•

221 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Lagos-59
Abia-46
FCT-22
Gombe-20
Plateau-17
Rivers-11
Bauchi-7
Benue-6
Ekiti-6
Imo-6
Kaduna-4
Kwara-4
Ondo-4
Ogun-3
Osun-3
Bayelsa-1
Edo-1
Kano-1

56,956 confirmed
48,305 discharged
1,094 deaths


#Newsworthy…

Breaking: Thousands infected with ‘Brucellosis’ after China lab leaks.

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Thousands of people in northwest China have tested positive for a bacterial disease after a leak from a state-owned biopharmaceutical plant making animal vaccines last year.

Health officials in Lanzhou city said 3,245 people had contracted brucellosis, a disease often caused by close contact with infected animals or animal products that can bring about fevers, joint pain and headaches.

Another 1,401 people tested as an early positive for the disease, and health authorities said there was no evidence of person-to-person transmission so far.

Chinese authorities found a biopharmaceutical plant had used expired disinfectant in its production of Brucella vaccines for animals between July and August last year — meaning the bacteria was not eradicated in its factory exhaust.

Contaminated gas from the China Animal Husbandry Lanzhou Biopharmaceutical Factory in Lanzhou formed aerosols containing the bacteria, and this was then carried by wind to the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, infecting nearly 200 people there as of December last year.

More than 20 students and faculty members of Lanzhou University, some of whom had been to the institute, subsequently tested positive as well, according to Xinhua news agency.

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Lanzhou’s health commission said Friday that sheep, cattle and pigs were most commonly involved in the spread of the bacteria.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, person-to-person transmission of brucellosis is “extremely rare” but some symptoms may reoccur or never go away.

These include recurrent fevers, chronic fatigue, swelling of the heart or arthritis.

The factory — which apologised earlier this year — has had its brucellosis vaccine production licence revoked, Lanzhou authorities said.

Compensation for patients would start in batches from October, according to local authorities.


#Newsworthy…

Douye Diri calls to amicably resolve dispute between Rivers and Bayelsa.

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Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has called on the Rivers State government to show understanding in order to amicably resolve the dispute between Oluasiri Clan in Bayelsa and their Kalabari neighbors in Rivers.

The Oluasiri communities in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa and their Kalabari Ijaw kinsmen are locked in dispute arising from the location of oil wells within the boundary area.

Diri made the plea in Yenagoa during a meeting with stakeholders from the Oluasiri clan led by the paramount ruler, Chief Iyerite Awululu.

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He sought the support of Ijaw leaders and elders to resolve the age-long feud between the two Ijaw communities.

In a statement by his acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, the governor said the state government will protect its territories and work with the communities to ensure safety of residents.

“I’m calling on my brother governor of our sister state that this is a time that we need to look at the realities.

“As a people from the old Rivers State, we need to sit together and resolve our internal disputes, which should be easy to do because both feuding communities are of the Ijaw extraction.

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“We have no difference between the Nembes and Kalabaris. They are all Ijaws and so no other person should beat the drums of war against two friendly Ijaw clans,” he said.

To this end, Diri directed his deputy, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, to chair a committee to drive the process of peaceful resolution of the boundary adjustment issues. He also restated his administration’s resolve to ensure the protection of lives and property across communities in the state.

The governor said his administration would engage security agencies on the need to curtail acts of lawlessness, particularly in the Oluasiri axis of the state.

“I will sit with my security commanders and see if we can beef up security in Oluasiri to protect lives and property.

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“We have already set the ball rolling and we will take some security measures in that area in the interim pending when a substantive police station will be set up,” he said.

Also, the governor directed the state Ministry of Health and Water Resources to make the cottage hospital built by Shell Petroleum Development Company functional as well as provide potable water.

Earlier, spokesman of the clan, Mr Iniruo Wills, highlighted a number of issues that require government’s intervention.

Wills said the meeting was to seek assistance in the areas of security and resolution of the legal dispute between the two states concerning the boundary delineation among others.


#Newsworthy…

Many Nigerians feud as FIRS enforces Bank self certification.

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said anyone who fail to register and submit their self-certification forms risk forfeiture of their bank accounts and other assets with financial institutions.

FIRS’s warning came after it announced that it is mandatory for all Nigerians operating bank accounts to register for self-certification at their respective banks.

“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc) are required to obtain, complete and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions,” FIRS chairman Muhammad Nami said in a circular on Thursday.

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“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions is required to complete and submit the form to each one of the institutions.”

Nami explained that “the forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.”

File photo of the Federal inland revenue service.

The FIRS boss noted that self-certification form is in 3 categories- form for entity, for controlling person (individuals having a controlling interest in a legal person, trustee, etc) and form for individual holders of bank accounts.

“Failure to comply with the requirement to administer or execute this form attracts sanctions which may include monetary penalty or inability to operate the account,” Nami said.

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The new requirement by the agency of the Nigerian government was not accepted by many Nigerians who criticised the government’s inability to harness all the data collected from people in the past.

Currently, Nigeria has multiple citizen’s collection data platforms – the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), National Identification Numbers (NIN), passport, driver’s license, SIM card registration and voters’ card. Persons without any of these cannot own and operate any bank account in Nigeria.

Many believed that all information required in the self-certification form has already been replicated in the existing citizens’ data platforms.

Others, however, argued that the new directive is part of the government’s plot to allegedly take control of their accounts for the multiplicity of taxation.

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A spokesman for Ahmad Lawan, Nigeria’s Senate president, Abubakar Usman said the directive will impose additional stress on Nigerians.

“For the past months, entering banks has been hell as a result of restrictions brought about by Covid-19 and now FIRS want us to go to each bank and fill form. Common,” Usman tweeted.

“What is BVN meant to serve if FIRS want us to go and do self certification?”

Other Nigerians are also not pleased with the directive.


#Newsworthy…

Quote Of The Day

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt