Tag Archives: Happening

Lebanese engaged with alarming crackdowns

Advertisements

Rights organisations say 3,599 people were arrested on charges of defamation between 2015 and May 2019.


Lebanese authorities are engaged in an “alarming” crackdown on critical free speech aimed at suppressing widespread demands for accountability over corruption and mismanagement, 14 rights organisations said on Monday.

The newly formed Coalition to Defend Freedom of Expression in Lebanon said 3,599 people were interrogated on charges of defamation between 2015 – when large anti-government protests took place – and May 2019.

That is an average of about two people questioned per day by just one of the country’s main four security agencies – the Cybercrimes Bureau. The Lebanese Army, General Security and State Security also regularly interrogate and detain activists.

New arrests have spiked since October 2019 when the country witnessed its biggest-ever mass protests. At least 60 people were investigated for social media posts alone since demonstrations ushered in a new wave of outspoken criticism of the country’s ruling class.

Advertisements

Attack on prominent Lebanese activist raises concerns
“Lebanon’s politicians have failed to provide for citizens’ most basic needs, and their corrupt practices have squandered away billions of dollars of public funds,” said the coalition in a statement.

“Yet, instead of heeding protesters’ calls for accountability, the authorities are waging a campaign of repression against people who expose corruption and rightfully criticise the government’s significant failings.”

Lebanon is still seen as a rare beacon of critical free speech in a region where dictators and autocrats ruthlessly enforce the official state narrative.

But signatories to the statement – including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, local watchdogs ALEF and Legal Agenda, independent media platforms Megaphone and DARAJ Media as well as an alternative media syndicate – warn this status is in jeopardy.

Advertisements

‘Police state’ fears
“We’re very concerned that Lebanon is becoming a police state,” Doja Daoud, a Lebanese journalist and founding member of the Alternative Media Syndicate, told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media). “Those in power are trying to lower the ceiling of freedoms so much that it may crash onto our heads as they try to hide the truth of their corruption.”

Lebanon regularly ranks among the world’s most corrupt countries. Its ruling class of former military leaders and business tycoons have long been accused of plundering state coffers and mismanaging the economy, pushing the country into a disastrous financial crisis.

In addition to the crackdown via courts and security services, several activists have been beaten by supporters of establishment parties in recent weeks.

These include Bashir Abo Zeid, the editor of an independent newspaper named after the October 17 protests, and Wassef Harake, an outspoken anti-establishment activist and former independent candidate for parliament.

Advertisements

“They definitely don’t want strong independent media and free expression to hold them accountable,” Daoud said. “We’re raising our voices now because soon, we fear we may not be able to speak.”

Coalition members described as “jarring” a large army presence outside the venue where their launch event was held on Monday, including armoured vehicles and gun-wielding soldiers.

The number of arrests has jumped following anti-government protests that started in 2015 [File: Bilal Hussein/AP]

Intimidation tactics
Among the violations documented by the coalition are “a range of physical and psychological interrogation tactics” by authorities that people affected “believed were intended to humiliate, punish, and deter them from publishing content deemed to be insulting to or critical of powerful people”.

“The prosecution and security agencies acted improperly – and sometimes illegally – to intimidate and silence people charged in these cases,” the coalition said.

Advertisements

Lebanon’s constitution guarantees freedom of expression but sets limits within the law, including defamation of public officials, punishable by up to one year in prison, in addition to insulting the president or religious rituals which carry a maximum of two year and three-year sentences, respectively.

Insulting the Lebanese flag or army is also punishable by up to three years in prison.

These laws, many of them older than the country’s independence from France in 1943, are enforced by prosecutors today.

Lebanon has detained at least 100 activists since October
On June 15 the country’s top prosecutor ordered a security agency to investigate social media posts deemed offensive to the president.

Advertisements

Soon after, Michel Chamoun, a government critic, was arrested for criticising the crackdown.

Parliament and government are together working to amend the country’s aged media laws, saying they want to bring them into the digital age.

The coalition warned it was not privy to discussions and said the most recent draft they obtained included increased penalties on some charges. They urged authorities to abolish criminal defamation and recognise the public interest of criticising officials involved in wrongdoing.

“At this critical juncture for the country, Lebanon needs laws that protect people exposing corruption and misconduct rather than punishing them,” the coalition said.


#Newsworthy…

Africa Anti-corruption Day: Buhari calls on Asset Recovery

Advertisements

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged African leaders to ensure the immediate actualization of the Common African Position on Assets Recovery (CAPAR), as the continent celebrates Anti-Corruption Day, July 11, 2020.

In a letter to South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairman of African Union, the Nigerian leader asked for a re-commitment to the anti-corruption war by leaders on the continent to engender an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena.”

The President laments that “the massive corruption being perpetrated across our national governments has created a huge governance deficit that has in turn created negative consequences that have worsened the socioeconomic and political situation in Africa.”

Advertisements

The letter by President Buhari reads in part:

“As Your Excellency is aware, the continental fight against corruption has been premised on an irreducible minimum that can pave the way for Africa’s transformation. In this effort, the emphasis has been on the continent’s collective determination to forge resilient partnerships among our national governments, civil society organizations and other interest groups, such as women, youth and the physically challenged, to ensure improved socio-economic, political and security development and ultimately, the improvement of our continent.

Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari

“The concern of the African Union is that the massive corruption being perpetrated across our national governments has created a huge governance deficit that has in turn created negative consequences that have worsened the socio-economic and political situation in Africa.

“Your Excellency may recall that these continental concerns led our colleagues at the African Union, to appoint my humble self as the African Union Anti-Corruption Champion. I believe that the efforts and focus of the Nigerian Government at home, partly informed this decision as well as the need for Africa, as a continent, to recommit herself to the fight against corruption and the imperative to free resources for meaningful development.

Advertisements

“I am, therefore, in full support of the call for the issuance of a continental message to commemorate this day, on July 11, 2020, to re-commit the African Union to the continental fight against corruption, including through a robust approach to assets recovery, hence the need for a strategic framework on a Common African Position on Assets Recovery (CAPAR).

“Happily, in February 2020, at the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, CAPAR was adopted. In my view, the African Union must go beyond the mere annual celebration of the Africa Anti-Corruption Day by moving swiftly to operationalize the African Common Position on Assets Recovery by all member states. This is an excellent way to drive Africa’s Agenda 2063, for an ‘integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena.’

“As current Chair of our Union, I sincerely commend to you, this suggestion that seeks to call our leaders in Africa to recommit ourselves to this very important task of reclaiming our continent from the vice of systemic corruption.
“Please accept, Your Excellency and Dear Brother, the assurances of my highest consideration.”


#Newsworthy…

Ondo govt react to workers planned strike

Advertisements

The workers had on Friday threatened to embark on strike action over the failure of the state government to pay some of their emoluments and accumulated salary arrears.


Despite threats by workers in Ondo State to embark on a strike action, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has said that the reasons given by the workers for their planned act were not new to his government.

The workers had on Friday threatened to embark on strike action over the failure of the state government to pay some of their emoluments and accumulated salary arrears.

But Akeredolu said the issues and demands raised by the agitated workers in their letter were not peculiar to Ondo State.

Speaking on behalf of Governor Akeredolu, Commissioner for Information in the state, Donald Ojogo, said, “It is on record that as at today Ondo State ranks among those with a higher level of worker-friendliness in Nigeria.

Advertisements

“Our inherited liabilities as well as unforeseen occurrences notwithstanding, this culture of commitment shall be heightened.

Ondo Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu

“In this regard, Mr Governor will meet the leadership of all such concerned bodies between Monday 13 and Wednesday 15 of July 2020. This is with a view to engendering a very robust engagement and interface.

“Government, therefore, uses this medium to appeal to all workers to await the outcome of these series of engagements aimed at deepening industrial harmony.”


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

Rivers: Fishermen butcher Manatee sea cow | Video

Advertisements

Fishermen in Adada Community, Odual Kingdom, Rivers State in Nigeria, caught, killed a Manatee Sea Cow with a spear and began buttering the animal for community consumption.

Manatee, otherwise known as the sea cow, is a marine mammal, considered to be among the world’s endangered species which are not to be killed.

A Twitter user, by name Julius Diamond (@juliusdiamondd), posted on the social media site a video and photos of the manatee / sea cow when it was caught and while it was butchered and cut in pieces.

He wrote;

Community jolliment: Fisherman kills Sea Cow with Spear in Adada Community, Odual Kingdom, Rivers State.

All households in the community usually get a share of the meat.

Congratulations sir.

Advertisements

Watch video below.

In January 2018, some villagers in Sapele in Delta State, South-south of Nigeria.reportedly caught the sea cow (manatee) and cut it to pieces for community consumption. That year, Edem Eniang, a biodiversity conservationist in Nigeria, described the killing of the manatee as a big loss and a shame to Nigeria.

Mr. Eniang, who is a senior lecturer and a specialist in Wildlife Resources Management ‏at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, said he was aware of the incident and that he has notified other interested experts around the world.

“It is not only in Sapele; in Lagos State alone, three manatees have been killed since December, last year, to this January,” he told Media on Monday.

“There is also a story of a stranded whale in Ondo State. A young whale got stranded by a seashore. While it was still alive, Nigerians only found it necessary to stand on top of it to take selfies and posted it online.

Advertisements

“They started butchering the whale when it was still breathing.

“And the most painful components, aside from the killing of the manatee and the whale, if you read people’s commentary online, you will find out, very sadly, that 70 per cent or more of the Nigerian population are stark illiterate as far as conservation is concerned,” Mr. Eniang said.

Mr. Eniang appealed to the Nigerian media to help enlighten the people on the importance of conservation.

Nigeria is mentioned among the countries where the hunting of manatee is reported to be worst in Africa.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

Lagos govt seek residents’ cooperation to rebuild Otto-Wolfe road

Advertisements

The Lagos State Government on Friday appealed to residents of Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area to cooperate with it during the reconstruction of the Otto-Wolfe/Mba-Cardoso Road.

Dr Idris Salako, the state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, made appeal at a stakeholders’ meeting at the council’s secretariat in Ajegunle.

He was represented by a director in the ministry, Mr Bola Aliu.

Noble Reporters Media repirts that Otto-Wolfe/ Mba-Cardoso Road links Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and serves as a major bypass connecting Ajegunle through Boundary to Lagos Island.

Contract for the 3,550-metre road was awarded to Messrs Banci Nig. Ltd. in March 2020 with a completion period of 18 months.

Advertisements

Salako said the state government required the residents to remove all encumbrances on the way of the project because the road was vital for rapid economic growth.

“It is important that we all give our full cooperation for the project to come into fruition so that we can reap its many benefits.

“In this regard, your total support is very essential,” he urged.

Salako said the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration was committed to even infrastructure development of the state.

Advertisements

“The reconstruction of the road represents another giant leap that will enhance the transportation and socio-economic development of this community and its environs.

“The administration of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has, as a matter of deliberate policy, articulated the THEMES Agenda and maintained a consistent focus on improving the intermodal transportation system of the state,” Salako said.

Salako said the state government had within 13 months constructed and rehabilitated many major roads to ease transport across the state.

He said that the stakeholders’ meeting was held to establish mutual understanding and cooperation required for the smooth execution of the project.

Advertisements

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said that the project was intended to bring succour to the people of the area by enhancing connectivity and socio-economic activities.

Adeyoye promised that the government would do its best to minimize inconveniences during the construction.

Mr Lukman Olumoh, Lawmaker, representing Ajeromi-Ifelodun Constituency 1 in the state House of Assembly, lauded the government for the project.

He assured of the community’s cooperation during the road construction.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

WTO: Final Eight Candidate

Advertisements

The nomination process for the office of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has finally closed, and all the candidates for the WTO top job are now known.

There are eight candidates in the race; three from Africa, two from Europe, one from the Middle-East, one from North America, and one from Asia.

In the race are three women — Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Amina Mohammed and Yoo Myung-hee — and four men. If any of the women win, she would become the first female WTO DG since the organisation was set up 25 years ago.

Noble Reporters Media reviewed the biography of all seven candidates and here is how they stand:

JESÚS SEADE KURI

Jesús Seade Kuri
COUNTRYMEXICO
Age73
OccupationChemical Engineer, economist, diplomat, politician
Current jobUndersecretary for North America in Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
EducationChemical Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); master and PhD in economics from the University of Oxford
Previous international jobsWorld Bank chief economist; founding deputy director-general of the World Trade Organization; senior advisor at the IMF; vice-president of Lingnan University in Hong Kong
Previous local jobsNorth American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiator for Mexico
Current international jobsProfessor of Economics at Lingnan University in Hong Kong
AwardsN/A
Selling pointExperience in the creation of WTO and at its highest level of governance
WTO experienceWorked at the WTO from inception till October 1998
Quotable quote“Digital trade is an opportunity to expand availability, choice and lower the price.”
Quick factSpeaks all official languages of the WTO — English, Spanish and French

TUDOR ULIANOVSCHI

Tudor Ulianovschi
COUNTRYMOLDOVA
Age37
OccupationPolitician, diplomat
Current jobSenior Vice President at Grasshopper Energy
EducationA Ph.D. candidate at the Free International University of Moldova
Previous international jobsPermanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva; President of the Trade and Development Board at UNCTAD, Vice President of the General Assembly at WIPO, President of the Steering Committee on Trade at UNECE.
Previous local jobsForeign minister of Moldova; Moldovan Ambassador to Liechtenstein and Switzerland;
Current international jobsNone
AwardsMoldova distinguished personality of the year – 2018 by VIP Magazin; Man of the Year 2019 by Aquarelle media
Selling pointExperience at the highest level of the WTO
WTO experienceChair of the Balance of Payments Committee of the WTO; Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization
Quotable quote“No one should be left behind; this is not just a simple phrase, it is important to have an inclusive approach.”
Quick factThe diplomat who speaks English, Russian, French,  Arabic and Romanian has 15 years of experience in diplomacy and international trade

MOHAMMAD MAZIAD AL-TUWAIJRI

Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri
COUNTRYSAUDI ARABIA
Age60
OccupationPilot, banker, politician
Current jobRoyal Court advisor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
EducationB.Sc Aeronautics at King Faisal Air Force Academy, MBA from King Saud University
Previous international jobsGroup managing director, deputy chairman and CEO at HSBC, UAE.
Previous local jobsFormer minister of economy and planning; managing director and CEO of JP Morgan, Saudi Arabia; head of risk management, Saudi British Bank.
Current international jobsNone
AwardsN/A
Selling pointRepresenting a large bloc — middle east and north africa
WTO experienceNone
Quotable quoteN/A
Quick factIf he wins, he would be the first WTO DG from an Arab nation

AMINA MOHAMED JIBRIL

Amina Mohamed Jibril
COUNTRYKENYA
Age58
OccupationLawyer, diplomat, and politician
Current JobCabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage, and Culture in Kenya
EducationLLM in International law from the University of Kiev, Ukraine and Postgraduate diploma in International Relations from the University of Oxford, UK.
Previous International JobsChair of the International Organization for Migration, chair of the World Trade Organization’s General Council, assistant secretary-General of the UN and deputy executive director at UNEP.
Previous local JobsCabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs; Cabinet Secretary for Education
AwardsKnight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity (Cav.O.S.S.I.); Life Member of the Red Cross Society; Honorary Doctorate from KCA University; Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (2017)
Selling pointExperience at the highest level of the WTO
WTO ExperienceShe ran for the office of the DG in 2013 but lost to Roberto Azevedo, the current DG
ControversyRan against the AU candidate for the WTO top job in 2013 — both lost
Quotable quote“The best years of this organisation (WTO) are not in the past, they are in its future; there is always a golden past, but the best is never in the past”
Fun factShe speaks Somali, English, Russian, Swahili and has a working knowledge of French

LIAM FOX

Liam Fox
COUNTRYUNITED KINGDOM
Age58
OccupationMedical doctor, politician and diplomat
Current jobMember of the British Parliament since 1992
EducationStudied Medicine at the University of Glasgow
Previous international jobsNone
Previous local jobsSecretary of state for international trade; secretary of state for defence; general practitioner (Medical doctor); chair of the Conservative Party; parliamentary under-secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs; lord commissioner for treasury.
Current international jobsNone
AwardsN/A
Selling pointExperience in international trade
WTO experienceNone
Quotable quote“Above all, trade has been the greatest liberator of the world’s poor, harnessing the forces of globalisation to spread prosperity and lift millions from poverty.”
Quick factFox supported Brexit, and may not get EU votes

YOO MYUNG-HEE

Yoo Myung-Hee
COUNTRYKOREA
Age53
OccupationLawyer, politician
Current jobMinister of trade
EducationJuris Doctor from Vanderbilt University Law School, and masters in public policy from Seoul National University
Previous international jobsNone
Previous local jobsPresidential spokesperson; deputy minister for FTA negotiation; First Secretary (2007-2008) and then Counsellor (2009-2010), Korean Embassy in China; Director-General for Bureau of Trade Policy
Current international jobsNone
AwardsN/A
Selling pointExperience negotiating trade at the highest level of governance in and out of the WTO
WTO experienceNone
Quotable quote“South Korea can become a bridge, connecting developing countries and advanced countries”
Quick factShe is regarded as the “devil’s advocate” in Korea, due to her aggressive trade negotiations, and she is the first woman to become minister of trade in Korea — after 70 years of male domination.

ABDULHAMEED MAMDOUH

Abdulhameed Mamdouh
COUNTRYEGYPT
Age68
OccupationLawyer, diplomat
Current jobSenior Counsel at King & Spalding LLP
EducationJuris Doctor degree at Cairo University
Previous international jobsDirector of the Trade in Services and Investment Division of the WTO; secretary of the WTO Council for Trade in Services since the establishment of the WTO in 1995.
Previous local jobsTrade negotiator with the diplomatic service of Egypt
Current international jobsVisiting Professor at Queen Mary London University
AwardsLifetime Achievement Award by The Coalition of Service Industries
Selling pointExperience at the highest level of the WTO
WTO experienceWorked at the WTO from inception in 1995 till October 2017
Quotable quote“Successful relationships don’t only depend on the extent to which we agree, but mostly on how we deal with our differences.”
Quick factSpeaks Arabic, English and French

NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
COUNTRYNIGERIA
Age65
OccupationDevelopment economist, diplomat
Current jobChair, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
EducationBachelor’s in economics from Harvard University and PhD in regional economics and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Honourary degrees from over a dozen universities worldwide.
Previous international jobsMD of the World Bank; co-chair of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation; UN Secretary General’s high-level panel on the post-2015 development agenda
Previous local JobsTwo-time minister of finance in Nigeria; minister of foreign affairs. The first female to take up both jobs.
Current International JobsBoard member at Twitter, Standard Chartered Bank, and African Risk Capacity; co-Chair of the Global Commission for the Economy and Climate; member Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) international advisory board; IMF external advisory board; AU special envoy.
AwardsGlobal Finance Minister of the Year 2005 by Euromoney; Top 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2014 by TIME Magazine, 2014; Top 100 Global Thinkers 2011, 2012 by Foreign Policy; the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World by Forbes Magazine 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014; National honours from Nigeria, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.
Selling pointExperience at the highest level of the World Bank, and easily one of Africa’s most trusted technocrats
WTO ExperienceNone
Quotable quote“The best way to help Africans today is to help them to stand on their own feet. And the best way to do that is by helping create jobs.”
Quick factKidnapper who held her mother captive requested her resignation as minister of finance for her role in seeking transparency with fuel subsidy payment in Nigeria. She refused.

#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

FG announces traffic diversion point amid 3rd mainland bridge closure

Advertisements

The Federal Government has announced the different phase’s points of diversion of traffic during the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for repair works.

Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Engr Olukayode Popoola, who disclosed this during a press conference at Alausa, appealed to motorists and Lagos residents to cooperate with government and appropriate agencies during the 6 months partial closure which is expected to start on July 24.

Engr. Popoola revealed that there would be diversion of traffic in 2 phases during the partial closure of the bridge between Friday, July 24, 2020 and January 24, 2021.

He said the First Phase of the diversion, which will last for 3 months of repairs of the Oworonsoki bound lane of the Third Mainland Bridge, would be for morning traffic from 12:00 am to 1:00 pm from Oworonshoki to Lagos Island on the Lagos Island-bound lane, while the afternoon traffic from 1:00 pm to 12:00 am would be from Lagos Island to Oworonsoki on the Lagos Island-bound lane.

Advertisements

Engr. Popoola said the Phase 2 of the diversion, which would last also for three months of repairs of the Lagos Island-bound lane of the Third Mainland Bridge, would be for morning traffic from 12:00 am to 1:00 pm from Oworonsoki to Lagos Island on the Oworonsoki bound lane, while the afternoon traffic from 1:00 pm to 12:00 am would be from Lagos Island to Oworonsoki on the Oworonsoki bound lane.

Popoola said, “Motorists are advised to also ply these alternative routes: First, from Carter Bridge through Iddo through Oyingbo to join Adekunle ramp inward Oworonsoki. Secondly, from Ijora Olopa through Western Avenue to Ikorodu Road.”

On his own part, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde said priority will be given to those driving from Mainland to the Island in morning and afternoon to use the Third Mainland while those driving against traffic will use the alternative routes.

Dr. Oladeinde assured motorists that Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) will work with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in all the alternative routes to ensure that motorists have a smooth journey during the partial closure of the bridge.

Advertisements

The commissioner advised those who don’t have any genuine reason to be on the road to stay at home to reduce vehicular movement during this period while adding that the public vehicles would be available and affordable for road users.

Dr. Oladeinde also advised people of Lagos State to use alternative transport such as ferries. He said there will be an increase in the number of fleets by the Lagos Ferry Services in the morning for people from Ikorodu and Mile 2 as alternative transportation.

Also speaking, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, said Lagos State Government has commenced necessary preparatory works on all the alternative routes in the state to make them motorable for the commuters.

She also warned trucks and vehicles that are not road worthy or serviceable to stay away from Lagos roads.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

COVID-19: Kenya set to reopen to international flights

Advertisements

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday announced a “phased reopening” of the country, with the resumption of international flights from August 1 as well as the lifting of internal travel restrictions.

The move comes as pressure mounts to kickstart the country’s ailing economy after nearly four months of coronavirus restrictions that have devastated key industries such as tourism.

Kenyatta said in a televised address that “international air travel into and out of the territory of Kenya shall resume effective 1 August 2020.”

He also announced the lifting of a ban on movement in and out of the capital Nairobi, the port city of Mombasa and northeastern Mandera.

However, a curfew from 9pm to 4am will remain in place for another 30 days, effective immediately.

Kenya has recorded 7,886 cases of the virus and 160 deaths — the highest official figures in East Africa — and has seen a steep increase in numbers in recent weeks.

Advertisements

Fewer than 200,000 people have been tested in a population of 51 million people.

In June, Kenyatta had said that before lifting restrictions, the country would need to have contained infections with numbers headed downwards; the health care system must be prepared to deal with a surge in infections, and the capacity for surveillance and contact tracing must be in place.

He said Monday that experts looking at those conditions determined “we have not met the irreducible minimum 100%”.

However, they agreed “we have reached a reasonable level of preparedness across the country to allow us to reopen,” he said.

Advertisements

Kenyatta also warned the reopening was “conditional”.

“Any trends that signal a worsening of the pandemic, we will have no choice but to return to the lockdown,” he said.

Kenyatta also announced that places of worship will be allowed to reopen, but with a maximum of 100 people attending.

He urged citizens to continue to implement social distancing, and to avoid travel as much as possible, asking them to, “exercise cautious optimism and avoid reckless abandon.”


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

Algeria bury remains of anti-colonial fighters after 150 years

Advertisements

The skulls of 24 combatants laid to rest after being repatriated from France where they were kept in a Parisian museum.


Algeria buried the remains of 24 resistance fighters returned from Paris after more than a century and a half as it marked the 58th anniversary of its independence from France.

The skulls of the fighters – shot and decapitated in the early years of the French occupation – were laid to rest on Sunday during an emotional ceremony at El Alia cemetery.

Coffins draped with the national flag were lowered into freshly dug graves in the Martyr’s Square of Algeria’s largest burial ground, alongside national heroes such as top revolt leader Emir Abdelkader.

An elite unit of the Republican Guard presented arms while a funeral march played in the background, an AFP news agency correspondent reported.

The skulls, once viewed as war trophies by French colonial officers, were flown into Algiers international airport on Friday and then moved to the Palace of Culture where they were placed on display.

The return of the skulls was the result of years of efforts by Algerian historians, and comes amid a growing global reckoning with the legacy of colonialism.

Advertisements

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who took part in the ceremony, on Saturday said it was time to turn a page on years of frosty relations with France, calling on Paris to apologise for its colonial past.

“We have already had half-apologies. The next step is needed … we await it,” he told news channel France 24 in an interview.

Republican Guard troops stand with 24 coffins during a ceremony to lay to rest the remains of resistance fighters [Algerian Presidency Press Office/AFP]

Algeria receives remains of fighters from FranceThe return of the skulls was the result of years of efforts by Algerian historians [Anadolu]
An apology was necessary to “face the problem of memory that jeopardises many things in the relations between the two countries”, Tebboune said.

It would “make it possible to cool tensions and create a calmer atmosphere for economic and cultural relations”, especially for the more than six million Algerians who live in France, he added.

Advertisements

Long process
Despite stifling heat, a long queue formed outside the palace and some men and women, waiting to pay their respects, wept, according to footage broadcast by several television stations.

“I came as a fighter, as an invalid from the war of liberation, as a citizen who loves his country,” said Ali Zemlat.

The return of the skulls was the result of years of efforts by Algerian historians [Anadolu]

The 85-year-old fought in the brutal 1954-1962 war that ended France’s 132 years of colonial rule in Algeria.

The 24 fought French colonial forces who occupied Algeria in 1830 and took part in an 1849 revolt. After they were decapitated, their skulls were taken to France as trophies.

Advertisements

In 2011, Algerian historian and researcher Ali Farid Belkadi discovered the skulls at the Museum of Man in Paris, across from the Eiffel Tower, and alerted Algerian authorities.

The researcher lobbied for years for their return and Algeria’s then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, eventually launched the formal repatriation request.

President Macron agreed in 2018 to return the remains but the process was delayed over bureaucratic hurdles [Anadolu]

French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to the repatriation in 2018 but bureaucratic obstacles resulted in the delay of their return.

“We have recovered part of our memory,” historian Mohamed el-Korso told The Associated Press news agency. “But the fight must continue until the recovery of all the remains of the resistance fighters, which number in the hundreds, and the archives of our revolution.”


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

Suspensions followed due process – Ngige

Advertisements

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, insisted on Saturday the suspension of the Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Adebayo Somefun, and other top management staff of the organisation followed due process.

The minister was reacting to the claim by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) that the NSITF management staff’s suspension violated the disciplinary procedure approved by the president.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday ordered the indefinite suspension of Shomefun, three Executive Directors and eight other management staff of NSITF over alleged financial infractions.

The Federal Government also set up an investigative panel to look into the financial dealings by the affected officers.

Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige

In a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Press and Publicity in the Ministry of Labour, Charles Akpan, the minister dismissed NECA’s claim on the matter.

He said the removal of the NSITF management staff followed due process, adding that it was in line with the Constitution, Public Service Rules and NSITF Act.

Advertisements

Ngige said: “Some of the infractions uncovered include N3.4 billion squandered on non- existent staff training split into about 196 different consultancy contracts in order to evade the Ministerial Tenders Board and Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval.

“Non-existent unexecuted N2.3 billion was documented and paid while N1.1 billion is awaiting payment without any job done, all totalling N3.4 billion.

“Same goes for projects of construction of 14 Zonal/Regional offices in 14 states running into billions of naira- a policy issue being done without board or ministerial knowledge not to talk of approval.

“This was done in 2019 by the MD and his three-man Executive. Some of the projects are duplications and hence waste of funds, yet you are in the Board supposedly supervising!”


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

Security Law: U.S clash with China over Hong Kongers’ fate

Advertisements

China promised Thursday to take countermeasures against Britain if it presses ahead with plans to extend citizenship rights to Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed a sweeping security law on the restless financial hub.

Beijing has faced a groundswell of criticism from primarily Western nations over its decision to impose a new law outlawing acts of subversion, secession, terrorism, and colluding with foreign forces.

Adding to concerns, Hong Kong’s influential Bar Association published a new legal analysis warning that the wording of the law — which was kept secret until Tuesday — undermines the city’s independent judiciary and stifles freedoms.

Britain has said the law breaches China’s pre-handover “One Country, Two Systems” promise to grant residents key liberties — as well as judicial and legislative autonomy — until 2047.

Advertisements

It has responded by announcing plans to allow millions of Hong Kongers with British National Overseas status to relocate with their families and eventually apply for citizenship.

“We will live up to our promises to them,” foreign secretary Dominic Raab told parliament.

That move has infuriated Beijing, which says Britain promised not to grant full citizenship rights to Hong Kongers ahead of the 1997 handover.

Advertisements

“If the British side makes unilateral changes to the relevant practice, it will breach its own position and pledges as well as international law and basic norms governing international relations,” China’s embassy in London said Thursday.

“We firmly oppose this and reserve the right to take corresponding measures,” it added.

Riot police detain a man as they clear protesters taking part in a rally against a new national security law in Hong Kong on July 1, 2020, on the 23rd anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain to China. – Hong Kong police made the first arrests under Beijing’s new national security law on July 1 as the city greeted the anniversary of its handover to China with protesters fleeing water cannon. (Photo by DALE DE LA REY / AFP)
 

– Sanctuary calls –
Britain is not alone in announcing plans to offer Hong Kongers sanctuary or increased immigration rights as fears multiply over the semi-autonomous city’s future under the new law.

On Thursday, Australian leader Scott Morrison said he was “very actively” considering offering Hong Kongers safe haven.

Advertisements

Taiwan has opened an office to help Hong Kongers wanting to flee, while a proposed bill in the United States offering sanctuary to city residents has received widespread bipartisan support.

Beijing says the law is needed to quell seething pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and restore order after a year of political unrest.

But critics fear it will usher in a new era of political repression given similar laws are routinely used to crush dissent on the Chinese mainland.

The law has sent fear coursing through the city and rattled the legal community in a business hub that has built its reputation on the independence and reliability of its courts.

Advertisements

The Bar Association — which represents the city’s barristers — issued a scathing critique of the law, saying it dismantles the legal firewall that has existed between Hong Kong’s judiciary and China’s Communist Party-controlled courts.

The new national security offences were “widely drawn”, the group said, and “are capable of being applied in a manner that is arbitrary, and that disproportionately interferes with fundamental rights, including the freedom of conscience, expression and assembly”.

It also criticised “the total absence of meaningful consultation” with Hong Kongers before the law was passed.

– First arrests –
Thousands of residents defied a protest ban on Wednesday — the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China — to block roads and voice opposition to the bill in some of the worst unrest in months.

Advertisements

Police responded with water cannon, pepper spray and tear gas, arresting nearly 400 people.

Seven officers were injured, including one who was stabbed in the shoulder and three others hit by a protester on a motorbike.

Ten people were arrested under the new law, illustrating how holding certain political views had become illegal overnight.

Most of those arrested were carrying flags or leaflets advocating for Hong Kong independence.

Advertisements

The security law is controversial because it radically increases Beijing’s control over the city.

China says it will have jurisdiction over some cases and has empowered its security agents to operate openly inside Hong Kong for the first time, unconstrained by local laws.

It has also claimed global jurisdiction, saying the law covers national security offences committed overseas — even by foreigners.

Some trials will be held behind closed doors and without juries, while local police have been granted sweeping surveillance powers that no longer need judicial sign off.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

COVID-19: U.S daily report changes. [Live Updates]

Advertisements

49,286 cases in 24-hour period reported in the US as death toll hits 128,000 while infections in India surpass 600,000.


  • New United States coronavirus cases rose by nearly 50,000, according to a Reuters tally, marking the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic. More than half of new cases each day come from US states of Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, home to 30 percent of the country’s population. More than 128,000 people have died in the US due to the pandemic. 
  • The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution demanding an “immediate cessation of hostilities” for at least 90 days in key conflicts including Syria, Yemen, Libya, South Sudan and Congo to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
  • New Zealand’s health minister, David Clark, resigned on Thursday, following recent slip-ups in the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and personal mistakes.
  • Italy’s hard-hit northern region of Lombardy accounted for considerably more than half of the nation’s latest confirmed 187 coronavirus cases – raising the total to 240,760 nationwide. The Health Ministry also reported 21 new deaths, raising to 34,788 the total of known deaths.
  • Close to 10.7 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, over 5.6 million have recovered, and more than 516,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

West Bank Annexation: US Democrats, Groups warn Israel

Advertisements

Ocasio-Cortez, Jewish students urge Trump administration to withhold US military aid if Israel annexes the West Bank.


A coalition of progressive Democratic politicians and Jewish groups are calling for withholding US military aid to Israel in response to planned annexation of Palestinian territories by Israel.

US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is gathering legislators’ signatures on a letter urging the Trump administration to take steps to block Israel’s planned annexation.

“The United States must remain committed to a future in which all Israelis and Palestinians live with full rights, dignity, and democracy,” Ocasio-Cortez and a dozen other legislators said in the letter.

“We therefore urge you to make clear to the Israeli government that such a move is unacceptable,” they said in the letter addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Advertisements

‘Lower standard’
Five other letters are circulating in the US Jewish community demanding accountability for the Israeli government and concrete actions by US Jewish institutions if a planned annexation goes forward.

Those letters have drawn more than 3,200 signatures, according to IfNotNow, a US Jewish group that opposes the occupation.

“It is time to stop holding America’s number one recipient of military funding – Israel – to a lower standard than we hold all other countries, exempting it from consequences when it violates our most basic values,” said Emily Mayer, political director of IfNotNow.

The influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) promptly condemned the Ocasio-Cortez letter, saying in a tweet that it threatens the US-Israel relationship.

Advertisements

Senator Bernie Sanders and other progressives who signed the letter issued statements opposing annexation in strong terms.

“I have long believed that the United States needs to engage in an even-handed approach toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Sanders said in a statement.

“We need a resolution that ends the Israeli occupation and enables a future of security, self-determination, and prosperity for both peoples,” Sanders said.

“Conditioning US aid is one of the tools we can use to help achieve this goal,” Sanders said.

Advertisements

The US politicians said they would pursue legislation that would tie future US military aid – now $3.8bn a year – to human rights conditions and withhold funding for Israeli arms purchases.

‘Perpetuate and entrench’
Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American, said the Netanyahu government uses aid “to formalise an apartheid system”.

US taxpayers are helping to “perpetuate and entrench human rights violations in Palestine, including limitations on freedom of movement, further expansion of illegal land theft, home demolitions, and cutting off access to critical resources like clean water,” Tlaib said.

The letters and statements reflect a widening rift between the progressive and establishment wings of the US Democratic Party over support for Israel. While critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, leading Democrats like presidential candidate Joe Biden have been reluctant to condition US military support for Israel on changes in policy.

Advertisements

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz last week, more than 190 House members voiced “deep concern” about the annexation plans but stopped short of threatening to withhold US military support.

“We understand that historically, US refusal to use its leverage – as we would do with other countries – has enabled a right-wing annexationist agenda to succeed in Israeli politics in the first place,” said Zoe Goldblum, a Democratic political organiser and former student leader at J Street, a pro-Israel advocacy group.

“We want lawmakers to know that young Jews are behind them,” she said.

Support for Israel within the Democratic party has been shifting as newer politicians have come into office.

Advertisements

Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, known in the US Congress as “The Squad” for their progressive stances, won election in 2016 and have been sharply critical of Trump administration policies towards Israel.

“Unilateral annexation is a violation of international law, a violation of Palestinian human rights, and directly counter to American values of democracy and self-determination,” Omar said.

Last week, progressive challenger Jamal Bowman won a primary election in New York, displacing Representative Eliot Engel, a 16-term member of the House who has been a strong backer of Israel and is currently chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Bowman, who has called for justice for Palestinians, was backed by Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

ICPC urges communities to own, monitor projects. | Details

Advertisements

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with the Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors have urged communities to own up projects executed in their areas.

The Head Constituency and Executive Project Tracking Group (CEPTG), Mr Tanko Abdullahi, made the call during project tracking of rural road at Amuro in Afikpo-North Local Government Area of the state.

Abdullahi said it was important for people to monitor projects situated in their areas to encourage competence, development and prevent substandard ventures.

According to him, the Commission created various enlightement activities to inform the public on its fight against corruption, acts that amount to wrong doing and to get them to be part of the crusade.

He called on town unions, traditional rulers, women, youth leaders and individuals, among other groups to show interest in taking responsibilities of the project.

The head further gave complaints platforms of the ICPC, if suspicious fraudulent act in the execution was discovered.

Advertisements

Abdullahi urged them to make use of the ICPC dissatisfaction toll-free telephone lines on 08031230280-2, 07056990190-1, email [email protected] and social media platforms, icpcnigeria1, icpc_pe.

“Once a project is awarded, communities should own the project by monitoring its execution to ensure quality work is done and not abandoned.

“They should help protect the projects from thieves and vandals so that money spent is not wasted, thus would pose the community to suffer the need.

“The projects is for the benefit of your community, therefore, do everything you can to ensure your community is not deprived of its use or benefit,” Abdullahi said.

Advertisements

The Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Ebonyi Chapter, Mr Ogbonna Ndubuisi, maintained that bill of quantity was key in tracking projects execution.

Ndubuisi said its application during an exercise would help to track worths, specifications and standards of project to be executed.

He described the bill as a document that encompassed work to be done and cost attached.

“It is used during tracking and also for evaluation,” Ndubuisi said.

Advertisements

Dr Kelechukwu Okezie, the Director, Neighborhood Environmental Watch Foundation and member of the tracking team, said that more enlightement programme would enable the general public to understand activities of the team.

He said that such responsibility by communities was key in fighting corruption through constituency and execution projects tracking.

“When projects are sited in a community, it is expected that they own up the project by monitoring,” Okezie said.

Noble Reporters Media learnt that the team embarked on tracking construction of a supposed 700 meters rural access road in the community but 600 meters was executed.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

Update: Dr. Funmilayo respond to Dr. bola Aseyan’s rape allegation

Advertisements

UK-based Nigerian medical doctor, Dr Funmilayo Harvey was accused of rape by another doctor Dr Bola Aseyan, has responded to the allegation.

In a post he just made on Twitter, the doctor stated that they met on Twitter in 2019 and despite never setting eyes on each other, the relationship was never stable.

Dr Funmilayo responds to rape allegation – We had sex twice

Read Also;

Dr. Funmilayo Rape Allegation: Dr. Bola Aseyan drops more Fact

He further revealed that Bola, who is a practicing doctor in Nigeria, and not the UK, insisted on coming to the UK to visit, for reasons best known to her, as her Visa was initially not granted.

Advertisements

According to him, they had consensual sex, twice. The 1st being after they were both drunk, only for her to tell him the next day she didn’t give her consent to the sex they had.

He then mentioned that he specifically asked her if she was insinuating he sexually abused her and she replied saying NO.

In his rebuttal, Harvey wrote on how he accommodated Bola for 4 months in his apartment despite the duo not being in talking terms, and his only crime was him not allowing her into his heart.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

Top Story: CAC deregister Ohanaeze Ndigbo

Advertisements

The Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, has reportedly scrapped the registration earlier granted to a splinter Ohaneze Ndigbo group.

The commission in a statement on social media on Tuesday said that it withdrew the registration of the splinter Ohaneze group which appointed one Basil Onyeachonam as its president general because it has not fulfilled all the requirements for registration.

The statement by the CAC reads: “This is to inform the general public that the certificate of registration No. IT 1444918 issued inadvertently to the Trustees of OHANEZE NDIGBO GENERAL ASSEMBLY has been withdrawn by the Corporate Affairs Commission.

“The Trustees of the Association have been advised to return the said certificate to the commission as same has been cancelled. The conditions for the issuance of the certificate have not been fully fulfilled,” it concluded.

Advertisements

Reacting to the development yesterday, the Deputy Publicly Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr Chuks Ibegbu said that the main stream Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief John Nnia Nwodo was in support of the move by the Corporate Affairs Commission.

He said: “There are due process to register such an organisation and it was not followed. The circumstance that led to the registration should be probed. Something must have gone wrong in CAC. I think that the enemies of Ndigbo are at work.

“These chaps are enemies of Ndigbo and desperadoes. They should be arrested for impersonation.

“Ohanaeze leadership under Nwodo is intact. There is no crack whatsoever. Enemies of Ndigbo are behind this and we shall soon unmask them,” he added.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

Buhari names Adesoji Adesugba new NEPZA MD

Advertisements

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Professor Adesoji Adesugba as the new Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority(NEPZA), a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

The President’s approval was given in a letter addressed to the Minister, dated 26th June 2020 and signed by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to the President.

According to a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday by the Media Assistant to Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Julius Toba-Jegede, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo hailed President Mohammadu Buhari over the appointment of Prof Adesoji Adesugba.

The Minister who expressed confidence over the choice of Adesugba said his wealth of experience coupled with his academic exposure would add value to the attainment of NEPZA’s core mandate, urging the new appointee to pilot the affairs of the agency with transparency and an open-door policy that will accelerate Federal Government’s target for economic zones across the country, especially in the area of job creation.

Advertisements

Prof. Adesugba, an accomplished specialist in Investment Promotion and Economic Development, is a lawyer and a veteran of business promotion within and outside Nigeria

An accomplished specialist in Investment Promotion and Economic Development, Adesoji Adesugba is known for his proficiency in organizational development and institutional reforms. He has combined the best in private sector entrepreneurial acumen with an expert ability to navigate public sector practice.

Adesugba is the National Legal Adviser of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and the Chairman of its Education Committee. Adesugba lectures part-time as a Professor of Business Administration at the Roegate College in Dublin, Ireland, and also lectured Investment Promotion at the Baden International Business School, Baden, Switzerland. Until recently, he was a visiting Professor at the American University of West Africa, Banjul Gambia.

Adesugba is the founder and the Provost at the Business Entrepreneurship Skills and Technology (BEST) Centre and a Vice President at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). Prof. Adesugba is also the founder and President of the first Gemological Institute in West Africa, the Gemological Institute of Nigeria (GIN). He is also the founder and the National Coordinator of the Gemstones Miners and Marketers Association of Nigeria (GMMAN). Prof. Adesugba is a Vice President at the Nigerian Chamber of Mines.

Advertisements

A certified international arbitrator and mediator, Prof. Adesugba worked as the Chairman of the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP), a Federal Government of Nigeria agency set up for the resolution of industrial disputes. Before working at the IAP, Prof. Adesugba served as a Director at the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), where he was responsible for the development of strategies to promote and target investments into the Nigerian economy.

Between 2005 to 2007, Adesugba was seconded from the NIPC to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) as the Head of Marketing, Communications, and External Relations, to help reinvigorate the privatization exercise of the Federal Government of Nigeria. At the BPE, he served as a member of the National Council on Privatization, subcommittee on marketing, media, and publicity.

Prof. Adesugba started his career in the public service as a Superintendent Collector Grade II, at the Nigerian Customs Service in August 1982 and rose to the rank of Chief Superintendent before leaving the service for the NIPC in 1999.

He serves on the boards of various non-profit organizations dedicated to youth empowerment, economic development, gender, and policy issues.

Advertisements

Prof. Adesoji Adesugba obtained his doctorate in Business Administration with the highest distinction from the California Southern University in the USA. He has an M.Sc. degree in Investment Promotion and Economic Development from the Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, UK, and his MBA from the Ogun State University in Nigeria, his first degree was a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration from the University of Lagos in 1981.

Adesugba also studied law and obtained his LL.B. from the University of Lagos in 1987. Adesugba was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1989. Prof. Dr Adesugba has a certificate in Chinese Economic Development from the Normal University, Beijing China; a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK); and a certificate from the Columbia Law School in New York.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, a Fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria and a Fellow of the Chartered Taxation Institute of Nigeria.

Adesugba is also a media and communication enthusiast and serves as the Chairman, Editorial Board of Sahel Standard Media Group.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

News+: Judge ban ‘Tell-All’ book publication written by Trump’s niece.

Advertisements

Atell-all book by President Donald Trump’s niece cannot be published until a judge decides the merits of claims by the president’s brother that its publication would violate a pact among family members, a judge said Tuesday.

New York state Supreme Court Judge Hal B. Greenwald in Poughkeepsie, New York, issued an order requiring the niece, Mary Trump, and her publisher to explain why they should not be blocked from publishing the book: “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” A hearing was set for July 10.

The book, scheduled to be published July 28, was written by Mary Trump, the daughter of Fred Trump Jr., the president’s elder brother, who died in 1981. An online description of it says it reveals “a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse.”

The judge banned “publishing, printing or distributing any book or any portions thereof” before he decides the validity of Robert S. Trump’s claims.

Robert Trump argues Mary Trump must comply with a written agreement among family members who settled a dispute over Fred Trump’s will that a book about them cannot be published without their permission.

Advertisements

Mary Trump’s lawyer, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, promised an immediate appeal.

“The trial court’s temporary restraining order is only temporary but it still is a prior restraint on core political speech that flatly violates the First Amendment,” Boutrous said.

“This book, which addresses matters of great public concern and importance about a sitting president in an election year, should not be suppressed even for one day,” Boutrous said in a statement.

Adam Rothberg, a Simon & Schuster spokesperson, said the publisher was disappointed but looks forward “to prevailing in this case based on well-established precedents regarding prior restraint.”

Advertisements

Charles Harder, an attorney for Robert Trump, said his client was “very pleased.”

He said in a statement that the actions by Mary Trump and her publisher were “truly reprehensible.”

“We look forward to vigorously litigating this case, and will seek the maximum remedies available by law for the enormous damages,” he said. “Short of corrective action to immediately cease their egregious conduct, we will pursue this case to the very end.”

In court papers, Robert Trump maintained Mary Trump was part of a settlement nearly two decades ago that included a confidentiality clause explicitly saying they would not “publish any account concerning the litigation or their relationship,” unless they all agreed.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

News+: India behind Karachi terror – Imran Khan says

Advertisements

Prime Minister Imran Khan while paying glowing tribute to martyred four security guards and policemen who defended Karachi Stock Exchange during Monday’s terrorist attack, has said that Pakistan has no doubt that this attack was planned and orchestrated by India.

Speaking in National Assembly on Tuesday, Imran Khan said “I pay tribute to all the four martyrs including Inspector Shahid and three security guards.” He said no powerful country of the world would have foiled this kind of terror attack like these four Pakistani heroes thwarted it.

In a treasury benches-clad parliament the members of the Opposition parties walked out amid verbal clashes between the rival speakers.

“India planned to destabilize Pakistan,” Imran Khan said, adding “We were all-prepared against such terrorist attacks. We had already foiled four such attacks. But no one can always stop such terror attacks.”

“The government knew that all our intelligence agencies were on high alert. They pre-empted at least four major attempts of terrorism and two of them were around Islamabad.”

The primer said the attackers of Karachi Stock Exchange wanted to make people inside the market as hostage. “The martyrs laid down their lives and saved the country from enemy’s big terror plan,” he said.

Advertisements

He said the defenders of the country, security guards and policemen and law enforcement agencies (LAEs) foiled the terrorist attack that was being orchestrated in the style of Mumbai-attacks.

“What happened in Mumbai, they wanted to do the same; they wanted to create an uncertain (environment). We have no doubt this was done by India,” Imran Khan.

He said Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were on high alert. “I want to pay tribute to the intelligence agencies of the country.”

Imran Khan responding to the opposition criticism of ill-handling of COVID-19 and other issues pertaining to sugar, wheat and oil scandals that hit the country recently said “Get ready for institutional reforms or get ready for tough times.” He said there is mafia sitting in every institution.

Advertisements

The Prime Minister said there are mafias in Pakistan International Airlines and now reforms are inevitable in institutions. “They {opposition} asked not to publish PIA report.”

Imran termed Opposition ‘liberally corrupt’. “My mission is to take on the mafia under the rule of law,” Imran vowed.

Criticising the main rival party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Imran Khan said that they had no principles as on the one hand they seek money from Taliban and on the other they become liberal in the US.

Earlier, Imran Khan thanked his team for their efforts which led to the passing of the budget although with some amendments. “There was a lot of speculation that a lot could happen, if you had watched TV you would have thought it was our last day,” he said, referring to fears the budget would be unable to sail through the National Assembly.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

Iran ask Interpol to arrest Trump over General’s murder

Advertisements

Iran said Monday it has called for Interpol to arrest President Donald Trump and 35 other US officials for the January killing of its top general in an American drone strike.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Qasi Mehr, quoted by state news agency IRNA, said 36 US political and military officials “involved in the assassination” of General Qasem Soleimani “have been investigated and were ordered to be arrested through Interpol”.

“These people have been charged with murder and terrorist acts,” he said.

“At the top of the list is US President Donald Trump, and his prosecution will continue even after the end of his term,” said the prosecutor, referring to his bid for re-election in November.

Advertisements

Qasi Mehr, quoted on the judiciary’s Mizan Online official website, said “the Iranian judiciary has issued arrest warrants against the 36”.

He called for the international police agency Interpol to issue red notices, which are not arrest warrants but issued for those wanted for prosecution or sentencing.

Trump ordered the killing of Soleimani in a January 3 drone strike near Baghdad international airport.

Advertisements

Soleimani, a national hero at home, was “the world’s top terrorist” and “should have been terminated long ago”, Trump said at the time.

Brian Hook, the US pointman on Iran policy, scoffed at the Iranian request to Interpol as a “propaganda stunt”.

“Our assessment is that Interpol does not intervene and issue red notices that are based on a political nature,” he told a news conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

“This is a political nature. This has nothing to do with national security, international peace or promoting stability,” Hook said.

Advertisements

“We see it for what it is. It’s a propaganda stunt that no-one takes seriously and makes the Iranians look foolish.”

The killing of Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, provoked massive outpourings of grief at home.

Iran retaliated by firing a volley of ballistic missiles at US troops stationed in Iraq, but Trump opted against responding militarily.

While the attack on the western Iraqi base of Ain Al-Asad left no US soldiers dead, dozens suffered brain trauma.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

Interstate travels: FG lift ban

Advertisements

The Federal Government (FG) Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 (PTF) has lifted the ban on interstate travel. This is part of the modification made when the PTF on Monday announced the extended phase two of eased lockdown for four weeks effective from tomorrow June 30 to July 27.

The slight modifications to the extended phase two of lockdown exist.

They include reopening of schools only for classes with terminal exams (Primary 6, JS3 and SS3), interstate movement outside curfew hours (10 pm to 4 am), and resumption of local flights as soon as practicable in line with local and international guidelines.

Details later…


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements