By - Adedoyin Shittu
Highlights of the Week
Outside the Continent
Hong Kong Protest Resumes this week
After weeks of mass demonstrations against a controversial extradition bill, Thousands of protesters in Hong Kong have widened their agenda beyond the scrapping of the legislation, with rallies spreading out to more areas and taking on a greater number of public grievances.
After Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam suspended the extradition bill, protesters have continued to stage rallies — sometimes more than one a week — demanding, among other things, a formal retraction of the bill and an independent probe into use of police force against protesters.
Demonstrators marched in heat of about 32 degrees Celsius (89.6°F) in Sha Tin, a town between Hong Kong island and the border with China that has previously been a battleground for those upset by the flood of Chinese day-trippers
More Leaks published
More leaks from UK ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch have been published by The Mail on Sunday, despite police warning that it may be a criminal act.
The newspaper published a second wave of private communications from Sir Kim, in which the diplomat describes Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal as “diplomatic vandalism” intended to spite his predecessor Barack Obama.
Trump Set to Sanction Turkey
Trump administration officials have reportedly decided to impose economic sanctions on Turkey after its NATO ally refused to back down from a deal to purchase a Russian-made air defense system.
Despite repeated warnings by Washington, Turkey on Friday began receiving components of the much-awaited aerial defense system. Four cargo planes carrying S-400 parts arrived at an airfield outside Ankara on Friday and Saturday. Two more planes with S-400 equipment are expected to arrive today (July 14).
According to the officials, Trump will announce the sanctions sometime later this week, after Monday’s anniversary of the 2016 coup attempt against President Recip Tayyip Erdogan. They said Washington did not want to announce the sanctions too close to the anniversary to avoid further speculation in Turkey that the US was behind the failed uprising.
Go back to fix totally broken, crime infested places you came from: Trump
United States President, Donald Trump has been accused of racism after posting tweets attacking four Democratic congresswomen.
The women are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley, who were born in the US, and Ilhan Omar, who came to the US as a refugee. They have all called the president racist, and have been backed by members of the Democratic Party.
Tlaib was born in Detroit to Muslim, Palestinian immigrants and Omar was born in Mogadishu but her family fled Somalia to the US to escape the war.
The tweets were directed at four congresswomen, after Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, clashed with the four women over a border security bill, one week ago
In a three-tweet thread, Trump accused the four congresswomen of viciously criticizing the US policy saying, ‘So interesting to see ‘progressive’ Democrat congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.’
He added, ‘Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came? Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!’
The national survey, conducted on Monday and Tuesday after Trump tweet showed his net approval among members of his Republican Party rose by 5 percentage points to 72%, compared with a similar poll that ran last week.
White house welcomes Eritrean gospel singer and Nigerian
Eritrean gospel singer, Helen Berhane, who was held in a shipping container for 32 months because of her faith, has met US President Donald Trump at the White House. President Trump also met Nigerian Esther Bitrus, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014
Christine Lagarde Resigns
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, has resigned. Her resignation takes effect from September 12, 2019
Iran Says It Could Close Strait of Hormuz, But Doesn’t Want To
Last week, the head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy Force, Alireza Tangsiri, said that Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz- if the country was unable to use it, according to Fars News Agency.
The statement came amid growing tensions between Tehran and Washington, as earlier in April, the US blacklisted Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation, while the Islamic Republic retaliated by officially designating the US Central Command (CENTCOM) as terrorists.
The country’s foreign minister in reiteration also said, Iran is capable of shutting the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial choke-point for oil flows, but doesn’t want to do it.
“We certainly have the ability to do it, but we certainly don’t want to do it because the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf are our lifeline,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York. “It has to be secured. We play a big role in securing it, but it has to be secure for everybody.”
The Strait of Hormuz, a narrow stretch of water between the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, is considered one of the world’s most important choke points for world oil trade. More than 18 million barrels of oil pass through the narrow waterway each day, accounting for 30 percent of the world’s oil shipments by sea, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
Tension is heightening between Washington and Tehran.
The United States shot down an Iranian drone on Thursday over the Strait of Hormuz, located between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
According to US President Donald Trump, the Iranian drone approached within 1000 metres of the USS Boxer, which took “defensive action”.
One in four people in Africa have to pay bribes to access services
The 10th edition of Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa, released on African Anti-Corruption Day by Transparency International in partnership with Afrobarometer, reveals that more than half of all citizens surveyed in 35 African countries think corruption is getting worse in their country.
59% of people think their government is doing badly at tackling corruption.
More than 1 in 4 people who accessed public services, such as health care and education, paid a bribe in the previous year. This is equivalent to approximately 130 million people.
The report also highlights that corruption disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, with the poorest paying bribes twice as often as the richest. Young people pay more bribes than those over 55 years old.
On Saturday, July 13th, thousands of Sudanese protesters lit candles and released balloons in Khartoum to mourn dozens killed last month (June 3) in a brutal raid on a protest camp.
Sudan’s pro-democracy movement postponed a scheduled meeting with the country’s ruling generals for a second time on Sunday, saying “further consultations” were needed before they would sign a power-sharing deal with the military. Activists leaders said the meeting was pushed back to Tuesday.
Activists also said paramilitary forces opened fire on demonstrators in a southeastern town, killing at least one protester and wounding seven others.
Scores of Sudanese demonstrators took to the streets in a Khartoum district on Monday night to protest against the killing of a civilian allegedly by paramilitaries the previous day. Riot police also beat several protesters and loaded them into trucks, while large numbers of police were deployed in the area. Witnesses said similar demonstrations took place in other parts of the capital.
Sudan’s protesters and ruling generals on Wednesday inked a power-sharing deal, paving the way for a civilian administration, a key demand of demonstrators since president Omar al Bashir was deposed in April.
The two sides initialled a document called the “Political Declaration”, after intense talks through the night over fine details of the agreement.
Thousands of Sudanese demonstrators converged Thursday on a prominent square in Khartoum in a march to honour comrades killed in the months-long protest movement that has rocked the country.
Witnesses said men, women and school children waved Sudanese flags as they headed towards the Green Yard from different parts of the capital.
As they marched, the demonstrators shouted slogans that have been the rallying cries of the uprising that led to the April toppling of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir: “Civilian rule, civilian rule!” and “Freedom, peace, justice!”
Sudanese protest leaders said Friday talks with the country’s army rulers have been postponed, just days after the two sides signed a power-sharing deal.
The delay in the signing of the second and possibly more contentious part of a power-sharing agreement with the country’s military comes as the opposition says it needs more time to resolve differences among its members over the deal.
“The talks have been postponed,” said prominent protest leader Omar al Digeir.
“We need more internal consultation to reach a united vision,” he added, with no new date set for negotiations to resume.
Army commander and at least 20 soldiers killed
An Army commander, and at least, 20 soldiers have been killed in an ambush by Boko Haram insurgents in Yobe State.
The troops were ambushed on their way from Borogozo in Yobe where the headquarters of the army’s 29 task force brigade to Benisheikh in Yobe, where they have a forward operating base (FOB).
A military source in Sector 2 Headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole told newsmen that the incident happened around 6pm, last Wednesday.
“They were on their way to Benisheikh when they ran into the enemy. The commander of that brigade, a colonel, and about 20 soldiers were killed,” he said.
A reinforcement was reportedly sent to the town and it was confirmed that the brigade commander had been killed.
Among the bodies reportedly identified were that of a captain and four soldiers.
Imam honoured by the US government
A Nigerian imam, who saved 262 Christians from killer herdsman in Barkin Ladi area of Plateau state by hiding them in his mosque and home, has been honoured by the US government..
The imam had told the BBC that he wanted to help because more than 40 years ago the Christians in the area had allowed the Muslims to build the mosque.
“I first took the women to my personal house to hide them. Then I took the men to the mosque,” the imam said.
The Imam by name, Abubakar Abdullahi – 83, received the International Religious Freedom Award alongside four others from Cyprus, Sudan, Brazil and Iraq.
More than 80 others were killed in the attack that targeted Christians in the area, and the number could have been more without the intervention of the imam.
The imam had previously received a “handshake and national honour” from Nigerian President Muhamadu Buhari.
Submit to e-registration, President Buhari advises migrants
President Muhammadu Buhari hinted on an e-registration last Friday when he declared: “It is on this note therefore, that I am declaring a six-month amnesty period for illegal migrants already in the country to submit themselves to the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) for the purpose of this registration.”
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha, the president explained: “The registration will be carried out without any payment or penalties. I’m enjoining all migrants staying in Nigeria whether regularly or otherwise, to take advantage of the amnesty window to register with the NIS.”
The move by the Federal Government to electronically register illegal migrants in the country has come under criticism, with some observers describing it as a backdoor to unleash an “army of occupation” on Nigerians.
Obasanjo writes presidency again
Reacting to the letter written by Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Miyetti Allah called for his arrest regarding his position taken on the national issue in the letter.
While the Igbimo Odo Yoruba has dared the federal government to arrest ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo over the letter he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari following the killing of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin by suspected herdsmen.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday, July 15, in a letter warned President Muhammadu Buhari that Nigeria is tipping towards a dangerous cliff and only the president could forestall such a looming disaster.
Mr Obasanjo said Nigeria has been consumed by violence and ethnic divisions since Mr Buhari assumed office four years ago, in a manner not seen for decades and the world, especially Western countries, has been warning Nigeria against descending into a state of violence because any outbreak would be difficult to contain.
He warned that for Mr Buhari to be able to stop the “smouldering ethnic agitations”, he would have to stop fanning “the embers of hatred, disaffection and violence.”
Presidency Orders Investigation Into Death Of Nigerian PhD Student Who Died In Malaysian Custody
The Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has called on the Nigerian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to open an investigation into the death of a Nigerian PhD student, Thomas Orhions Ewansiha.
Ewansiha, aged 34, who was undergoing his PhD programme at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Malaysia, was reported to have died in detention, leaving behind a wife and two kids.
Ewansiha, according to the Director General of the agency, Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud, had been detained during a raid on July 4 at 10.45 pm at the Desa Aman Puri area in Kuala Lumpur.
“Ewansiha also fled but was successfully arrested by operation officers. The subject then presented his passport and checks showed that subject had a student pass that was still valid,” Dzaimee Daud was quoted to have said in a statement made available to MalayMail.
Chinese Quarries, Others In Search Of Solid Minerals Endanger Lives In Ogun State
Quarry communities in Ogun are losing to both health and wealth to mining companies, which are breaking everything, including the mining laws. In search of solid minerals, foreign quarries including China quarries endanger the lives of settlers in the community
Everyday, the rural folks contend with regular blasts of explosives, rocking their homes to the foundation, clouds of dust carrying granite particles, and jarring sounds of trucks moving all day long on the gravelly road that leads from Asun, in Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, to the hinterland.
Ebola virus reaches Congolese city of Goma
Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo confirmed on Sunday that the Ebola virus had spread to the city of Goma. Goma is the capital of North Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
This is the first case in the lakeside city of 1 million people, which is more than 350 km (220 miles) south of where the second-largest Ebola outbreak on record was first detected a year ago.
The patient was a priest who became infected during a visit to the town of Butembo, 200 km (124 miles) north of Goma, where he interacted with Ebola patients, Congo’s health ministry said in a statement.
He developed symptoms last week before taking a bus to Goma on Friday. When he arrived in Goma on Sunday he went to a clinic where he tested positive for Ebola.
Appointment of Burundian militia appointed as state broadcaster by the government
The head of a Burundian militia accused of atrocities has been named to lead the state broadcaster, Radio Télévision National du Burundi (RTNB), sparking condemnation by human rights groups.
Human Rights Watch said the appointment of Eric Nshimirimana was “a blow to all victims of abuse perpetrated by the Imbonerakure, as well as freedom of the press in Burundi”.
The Imbonerakure has allegedly killed, raped and robbed opposition activists.
The government of Burundi has denied allegations of human rights abuse.
Cows to be issued birth certificate in Uganda
The Ugandan Government has made it mandatory for farmers in the country, to get birth certificates for their cows.
Vincent Ssempijja, the country’s Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, announced this on Wednesday.
The registration is part of requirements for food exportation to European countries.
At least 26 people have died after the hotel attack in Somalia.
Officials and survivors say a suicide bomber rammed a car containing explosives into the Asasey hotel in the port of Kismayo, and gunmen then stormed the building where local leaders and politicians were meeting.
Canadian-Somali TV journalist Hodan Nalayeh and her husband are among those reported to have been killed.
Jubbaland region’s president Mohamed said, Kenyans, Americans, Britons and Tanzanians are also among the dead in the Somalia terrorist attack. He also added that at least 56 people were injured, including two Chinese citizens. He said: “Among the dead was also a Jubbaland presidential candidate named Shuuriye.
According to him, “Four militants attacked the hotel. One of them was the suicide car bomber, two were shot dead and one was captured alive by Jubbaland security forces.”
Islamist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
World marks International Nelson Mandela Day
Today marks the 10th anniversary of International Nelson Mandela Day. Popularly known as Mandela Day – the day embodies the words of Mandela when he said “It is in your hands to make of our world a better one for all”.
On this day, ordinary people take 67 minutes out of their day to clean-up their neighbourhoods, volunteer at shelters and give to the less fortunate through various acts of service.
The 67 minutes symbolise the 67 years Madiba dedicated to social justice.
Celebrated annually on Mandela’s birthday, 18 July, the 2019 leg comes on what would have been Mandea’s 101 birthday.
Court acquitted Duduzane Zuma, the son of former president Jacob Zuma of manslaughter
A South African court on Friday (July 12) acquitted Duduzane Zuma, the son of former president Jacob Zuma, of manslaughter charges over a fatal late-night car crash in 2014.
Duduzane, 35, had pleaded not guilty at a magistrates’ court in Johannesburg to causing the death of Phumzile Dube after his Porsche hit a minibus.
One woman died in the crash, three others were injured and another passenger died in hospital weeks later.
Magistrate Tebogo Thupaatlase said the state had failed to prove the manslaughter charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
“The accused is found not guilty,” he said.
Soldiers deployed to areas rocked by Gang violence in South Africa
South African soldiers were seen patrolling the streets of some Cape Town suburbs, which have been plagued by gang violence.
With armoured vehicles and heavily armed soldiers, the army arrived on Thursday (July 18) to some fanfare, but also concern from residents.
They’ve been conducting stop and search operations in Manenberg, an area known for gang violence.
More than 40 people were killed last weekend and mortuary statistics show a sharp increase in the number of deaths in the area, with more than 1,000 people killed this year alone.
Last month, six police officers from the anti-gang unit were shot and seriously wounded while on patrol.
It has taken troops just over a week to deploy to help reinforce police in their fight against a surge in the murder rate.
Troops will be deployed to 10 troubled suburbs on the Cape Flats.
This is not the first time the defence force is being deployed. Four years ago, the army accompanied police and other government departments on an anti-crime operation.
South Africa’s corruption watchdog has accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of deliberately misleading parliament.
The finding was made at the same time that the country’s former President Jacob Zuma announced he was withdrawing from a separate corruption inquiry.
Busisiwe Mkhwebane said the current president had misled parliament over a donation his election campaign received, via his son.
Mr Ramaphosa insists he knew nothing about the donation at the time.
Canadian couple pose with their kill
The Internet at large is boiling over with outrage over a new trophy hunting photo circulating on Facebook. The picture shows a Canadian couple kissing as they pose with a lion they have just killed in South Africa. To many, this is a bizarre display of cruelty.
The couple in question is Darren and Carolyn Carter, hailing from Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. They were pictured on a trip to South Africa where they signed on with Legelela Safaris, a firm offering trophy hunts for tourists. According to a report by the Daily Mail, they charge just over $3,000 for these massive undertakings.
Inflation hits Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe annual inflation hit 175.66 per cent in June, up from 97.85 per cent in May, statistics agency ZIMSTATS said on Monday, the highest rate since 2009.
ZIMSTATS said on a month-on-month basis, the consumer price index rose 39.26 per cent in June compared to 12.54 per cent in May, nearing the monthly 50 per cent figure that would mark the start of hyperinflation.
Prices of basic goods from sugar to cooking oil to building materials soared during the month as much as 200 per cent, the agency added as the local currency fell.
South African former footballer Marc Batchelor shot dead near his home in Johannesburg
Batchelor played for Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa.
“He was attacked by two men who were driving a motorbike,” a police spokesman Col Lungelo Dlamini told South African Broadcasting Corporation.
“He was about to drive into his premises. The suspects shot several times at him.”
Dlamini added: “He died inside the car and they drove away without taking anything.
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