By - Adedoyin Shittu
This week recorded series of trending news stories across various media outlet which was made up of controversial happenings and apparently, the social media was agog drawing unending backlash, criticism and other reactions.
In light of the recent controversies surrounding these stories, it is noteworthy to mention that social media platforms played a very important and vital role in addressing these issues.
Jeffrey Epstein: The financier charged with sex trafficking
It was announced on August 10 that the billionaire pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide by hanging himself in prison a day after lawsuit by one of his ‘sex slave’ was unsealed. The document implicated many rich and powerful men from the elite circles Epstein was once a member of, included in the lawsuit were top ranking democrats and the Duke of York, Prince Andrew.
The disgraced financier, 66, was also accused of using his plane to fly in his powerful pals – and young girls to entertain them, court documents claim.
Epstein’s alleged ‘sex slave’ Virginia Giuffre claimed she was “lent out” to the sex beast’s influential pals when she was just 17. Epstein’s death raised questions about how such a high-profile suspect could die under the care of the federal government. The Department of Justice has opened investigations but conspiracy theories have flourished. New York City’s chief medical examiner said an autopsy on Jeffrey Epstein shows he hanged himself in his jail cell.
Huawei employees help African governments spy on political opponents, says Wall Street Journal
A Wall Street Journal investigation found that Huawei employees helped governments in Uganda and Zambia spy on political opponents.
The investigation did not find evidence that executives in China were aware of or approved the activities.
The U.S. government has previously expressed concerns that Huawei’s technology could be used by the Chinese government for espionage.
Uganda has denied allegations it hacked into the encrypted communications of musician-turned-MP Bobi Wine.
Zambia has also rejected the report. The Information Minister of Zambia, Dora Siliya, tweeted that it was “malicious” and that Zambia’s constitution guaranteed the right to privacy.
Huawei Technologies sent a letter to The Wall Street Journal on Friday, denying the publication’s bombshell report
British police freeze $121 million in accounts on bribery fears
British police have frozen eight bank accounts containing a total of more than 100 million pounds ($121 million), which is suspected to have derived from bribery and corruption overseas.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said on Wednesday a London court had approved the Account Freezing Orders (AFOs), the largest granted to date, and that police would recover the funds if investigators proved it had been intended for unlawful use.
The NCA said it could not provide any details that could identify individuals related to the accounts.
London has long attracted corrupt foreign money, especially from Russia, Nigeria, Pakistan, former Soviet states and Asia, and the NCA estimates that around 100 billion pounds of dirty money is moved through or into Britain each year.
US bans entry to former Sudan intelligence chief, Salah Gosh
The United States of America said late Wednesday, 14th August, that it barred entry to a former director general of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) over his involvement in human rights violations.
Salah Ghosh headed Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) until he resigned in April this year, two days after the army ousted the country’s leader Omar al-Bashir after months-long protests.
“The designation of Salah Gosh and his family underscores our support for accountability for those involved in gross violations of human rights,” the State Department said.
“We make this announcement today (Wednesday) in support of an effort by the Sudanese people to place the Bashir regime, with its long record of human rights violations and abuses by Gosh and other officials, in the past for good,” the statement added.
The United States said it seeks a civilian-led government in Sudan that protects human rights and differs fundamentally from the Bashir regime.
The US non-profit group Sentry welcomed the action and urged the Trump administration to add asset freeze to visa ban.
Car bomb in Benghazi kills three UN staff
A car bomb explosion in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi killed three United Nations’ staff on Saturday.
The explosion happened in front of a shopping mall and bank. At least one burned out U.N. car could be identified at the scene.
LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari told reporters two of those killed were guards with the U.N. Libya mission (UNSMIL). He added that 10 people had been wounded, including children.
Around the time of the blast, LNA commander Khalifa Haftar announced a halt to military operations for 48 hours during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, which started on Saturday, according to a statement from his forces in Benghazi.
Killing of 3 Police officers and a Civilian: Army arrest captain who ordered gunfire on cops
The captain who ordered the killing of three Police officers transporting a kidnap suspect in Taraba state have been arrested. The captain was arrested by the Army on Sunday night, August 11, after he was invited by the panel set up to investigate the incident for questioning . A source said the captain ordered the soldiers to shoot at the bus conveying Wadume with an instruction that no police officer in the vehicle escapes while the kidnap suspect is freed.
“Our colleagues (police operatives) also exchanged pleasantries with the army personnel at the checkpoint before they pursued then on the captain’s instruction and fired at them,” the source said.
According to the source, the road to Ibi village is a narrow and only road that leads to the area. “That was why when the policemen encountered the soldiers at the three checkpoints, they introduced themselves and stated what they came for. They chatted, joked and exchanged pleasantries,” the source said.
The source said the soldiers and operatives know each another, but the phone call from a top military personnel changed the whole scenario.
“Thereafter, two policemen and one civilian agent were shot dead by the soldiers at close range. The policemen were shot despite presenting their police identification cards, and also adorning police jackets,” the source said.
Authorities have established strong links between the army captain and the notorious kidnapper, alleging that the army captain was on the kidnapper’s payroll. Police investigation carried out so far has revealed that telephone conversations between the kidnap kingpin, Wadume and the Captain, were about 191 within the space of one month between July 9, 2019 and August 6, 2019. The source explained that the police authorities believed that the army captain might have been providing cover for the kidnapper, who is said to have received hundreds of millions as ransom from his victims.
The Army Captain currently undergoing interrogation at the Defence Headquarters Abuja, was arrested alongside five other Army personnel, who were alleged to have taken part in the horrific killing of the three policemen and their two civilian agents in an operation to arrest a notorious kidnapper, Alhaji Hamisu Balla, alias Wudume, in Ibi area of Taraba State.
DJ Arafat is dead
Ivorian musician DJ Arafat has died of injuries he sustained in a motor bike accident, his management told CNN on Monday.
The 33-year-old, whose real name is Ange Didier Houon, died on Monday in a hospital in Abidjan. He had been undergoing treatment after the accident on Sunday, his spokesman Yves Roland Jay Jay told CNN.
“He was involved in an accident in the Angre neighborhood and later died in hospital. He died at 8:10 am this morning,” Yves Jay Jay confirmed by telephone on Monday.
While no injury was sustained in the attack, the fender and the radiator of the car the popular Abia politician was traveling alongside one of his staff, identified as Prince, was however riddled with bullets.
Nigeria’s Shi’ite leader heads to India for medical treatment
Leader of Nigeria’s Shi’ite sect Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife Zeena were flown out of Nigeria to India on August 12th to seek medical treatment.
The Shia leader Ibrahim El Zakzaky and his wife made a dramatic return to the country, three days after arriving in India to receive medical treatment.
El Zakzaky reportedly refused treatment at an Indian hospital when his preferred medical team was changed, and he requested to be sent back to Nigeria.
In a video circulated on social media, the controversial IMN leader complained of unfair treatment and tough restrictions by security operatives deployed to the medical facility.
“He lost all hope in the hospital,” his lawyer, Harun Magashi, told Al Jazeera.
“They were trying to sneak in some doctors to treat him against his wishes, and they treated him like a criminal, placing armed Indian police even inside his room,” Magashi said.
The detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and Zeenat Ibrahim on Friday landed in Abuja’s international airport from New Delhi on an Ethiopian Airlines flight, according to supporters and lawyers.
They were received by security operatives and taken back into custody.
Ganduje forbids Kano district heads from attending Emir Sanusi’s Eid Durbar
The Kano State Government on Sunday prevented district heads outside the Kano Emirate from participating in the Sallah Durbar of Kano emir, Mohammed Sunusi.
A statement issued by Abba Anwar, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, announced the directive to the district heads to shun the annual religious event.
Ex-Police chief reveals those behind insecurity in Nigeria
Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, says politicians are responsible for the activities of bandits terrorising the country
“Banditry and insecurity are created by politicians and the politicians know who the bandits are. They know why these people are doing this.
Tsav added that increased level of corruption and porous borders had also contributed in the ongoing security challenge as most arms were smuggled into the country through the borders.
“In the police service, for instance, we have few policemen and most of them are attached to politicians. In fact, the government should reduce salary of the legislature to fund the new intake.
Female suicide bomber kills six in Chad, says army officer
A female suicide bomber killed six people including a soldier after blowing herself up in Kaiga-Kindjiria, western Chad early Wednesday, a senior army officer said, in an attack attributed to Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadists.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Kaiga-Kindjiria lies in Lac province, which abuts the vast Lake Chad — a region shared by Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.
No forex for food importation, Buhari directs CBN
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria not to provide foreign exchange for the importation of food, saying his administration has achieved food security.
Mr Buhari said this in Daura, Katsina, on Tuesday as he hosted APC governors to Eid-el-Kabir lunch, his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said in a statement.
“Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country,’’ the president was quoted as saying.
“We have achieved food security, and for physical security we are not doing badly,’’ he said.
He said the country’s foreign reserve should be conserved and used strictly for diversifying the economy not “encouraging more dependence on foreign food import bills.”.
Ebola drugs show ‘90% survival rate’ in breakthrough trial
Ebola may soon be a “preventable and treatable” disease after a trial of two drugs showed significantly improved survival rates, scientists have said.
Four drugs were trialled on patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where there is a major outbreak of the virus.
More than 90% of infected people can survive if treated early with the most effective drugs, the research showed.
The drugs will now be used to treat all patients with the disease in DR Congo, according to health officials.
Oil discovery ‘could almost quadruple’ Congo’s output
Two oil exploration companies have announced the discovery of the first on-shore oil field in northern Congo-Brazzaville, reports Radio France Internationale.
The oil discovery in Republic of Congo could produce nearly 1 million barrels of oil per day, a company involved said on Monday August 11, possibly quadrupling the nation’s output and propelling it into the same league as Africa’s largest producers.
Congo’s cash-strapped energy industry has been boosted by major recent finds from Italy’s ENI and France’s Total, lifting an economy hobbled by debt, civil unrest and corruption, and raising output to about 350,000 barrels per day.
Car Bombs Hit Government Military Base in Southern Somalia
A government military base in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia was struck by car bombs and gunfire on Wednesday, residents said, and the al-Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the attack.
The mid-morning attack occurred in Awdheegle, an agricultural district along the Shabelle River, 70 km southwest of the capital Mogadishu.
“We heard two huge blasts and gunfire from the direction of the Somali military base. I saw several soldiers running away from the base to escape but we cannot know how many were killed,” Awdhigle elder Aden Abdullahi told Reuters.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had killed 50 soldiers and two of its fighters had died.
“Two mujahideen driving two car bombs, one after the other, entered the Somali base in Awdhigle district today. We killed 50 government soldiers and burnt their vehicles,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman said.
3 sentenced to death for killing albino in Malawi
The High Court of Malawi on Tuesday convicted and sentenced two men and a woman to death for killing a person with albinism.
The three, identified as Douglas Mwale, Fontino Folosani and Sophie Jere, were accused of murdering albino Priscott Pepuzani in 2015, using a metal bar and a hoe handle, before chopping off his limbs and later buried his body in a garden.
Persons with albinism in Malawi are facing attacks and killings due to a negative mystification of albinism and their body parts is used for ritual purposes.
World Bank labels Kenya manufacturing growth ‘mediocre’
The World Bank has described the pace of growth in manufacturing jobs in Kenya as “mediocre”, pouring cold water on the country’s ambitious plan to create over a million new jobs by 2022.
The global lender in a new report also paints a bleak picture of Kenya’s attempt at upstaging Ethiopia in creating over 600,000 jobs in the textile and apparel value chain.
Titled “Jobs in Global Value Chain” (GVC), the report released last month shows that in 14 years to 2014, Kenya’s growth of jobs produced by firms engaged in manufacturing activities linked to the global supply chains such as textile, car assembly or food production has been “mediocre.”
Tanzania governor wants to create a national database for married men in a bid to curb infidelity
The governor of Tanzania’s largest city has announced a plan to create and publish a national database of married men to protect women from “heart breaks.”
Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda said he has received a lot of complaints from women who were abandoned by their lovers after a marriage proposal, and that the planned database will help combat infidelity.
“I have been receiving complaints from women who have been promised marriage by men, yet the men didn’t fulfill the promise. I know women who have been paying bills yet the men walked away …” Makonda said in native Kiswahili.
“If possible we will set up a database in the regional commissioner’s office in each region that every man who promises a woman marriage, this should be registered in the database which will allow women to check to see whether the person asking is married …,” Makonda said at a Monday news conference.
At least 60 people killed in Tanzania in petrol tanker explosion
At least 60 people have been burned to death in Tanzania during a scramble for free fuel following a tanker crash.
Police confirmed that at least 60 bodies had been found after the fireball explosion in the eastern town of Morogoro.
Most of the dead are said to be motorcyclists killed while trying to siphon fuel for themselves, according to local reports. Others among those killed and injured are said to be street vendors plying their trade nearby.
Around 70 other people were seriously injured in the explosion.
Police disperse crowd as Zimbabwe opposition calls off mass protests after court ban
Riot police in Zimbabwe on Friday fired teargas and beat demonstrators who defied a protest ban, as the opposition accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of surpassing Robert Mugabe’s regime in brutality.
Scores of people gathered in a square in the capital Harare to demonstrate against the country’s worsening economy, despite massive police deployment and a ban upheld by a court the same morning.
South Africa’s debt becoming “unsustainable” – IMF
South Africa’s public debt, which is approaching rating agencies’ red line of 60% of economic output, is reaching uncomfortable levels, an IMF official said on Thursday.
Public finances in Africa’s most industrialised economy are under strain as growth has proved weaker than expected and a clutch of state companies have needed large cash injections.
In July, the government said it would give power utility Eskom 59 billion rand ($4.1 billion) of additional financial support over the next two years, on top of an already-promised bailout of 230 billion rand spread over the next decade.
Zimbabwe Increases Fuel Prices. Petrol Now $9.09 Per Litre
The price of fuel has gone up again. ZERA announced the new prices on social media Sunday evening. The price of Petrol will now be $9.09 cents, slightly up from $9.01. Diesel will now be $9.27, up from $9.06.
The last price increase was made on 3 August 2019 which is just over a week ago.
47 weekend murders recorded in Cape metro
Cape Town saw its deadliest weekend since the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) deployment in crime hotspots last month, according to province’s forensic statistics.
A total of 47 murders were recorded in the metro region of the Western Cape over the weekend with 27 shootings, 13 stabbings and seven murders by other means, Premier Alan Winde said on Monday.
Among the dead were a mother from Kuilsriver who was stabbed by her teenage son, and a 29-year-old taxi driver who was shot in the face multiple times.
“This weekend was another devastating weekend in the metro with 47 murders recorded. In addition to these weekend deaths, we also saw the tragic shooting of Sadiqah Newman, who was eight months pregnant, in Manenberg, and the discovery of Meghan Cremer’s body on Thursday. Both of these young women had their lives cut short by senseless violence. We need to put a stop to this,” Winde said in a statement.
Foreigners flee Soweto after residents loot their shops
Many foreign-owned shops in Soweto were empty shells of themselves on Thursday morning, August 15, after residents ransacked, trashed and looted them on Wednesday night.
The looting occurred in different parts of Soweto such as Moroka, Dlamini, Protea Glen, Dobsonville, Rockville and Zola.
Although residents claimed that the looting was triggered by the Joburg raids, however, Gauteng Premier David Makhura disapproved of the act.
The chaos started around 6pm in White City where groups of locals started invading foreign-owned shops and looted their stock. The violence quickly spread to other parts of the township. This forced many shop owners to flee, leaving the shops unattended.
The fortunate ones got assistance from police who gave them protection while they were packing their stock into their vehicles. In some cases police had to fire rubber bullets to fend off looters.
Nkosinathi Ngubelalanga, a Soweto resident, said he did not approve of the looting but understood where it comes from.
“The money they take from the community doesn’t stay here, it goes back to their home countries,” he said.
He sympathised with the shop owners but said they should follow the law.
“The government is the reason foreigners are here. They wouldn’t be here if the government hadn’t allowed it,” he said.
He said a lot of people, especially the youth, were unemployed and this was another major reason for the looting.
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