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Zimbabwean First Lady urges ageing Mugabe to name successor (0)
Zimbabwean First Lady urges ageing Mugabe to name successor

Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe has confronted her husband, Robert, asking him to name his preferred successor to end deepening divisions in the ruling party. She believes that ageing Robert Mugabe’s successor could stem the crisis over the future leadership of the ZANU-PF party. Africa’s oldest leader, Mugabe, 93, has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1980 but has insisted that ZANU-PF, and not him, will choose his eventual successor when the time comes. However, at a meeting of ZANU-PF’s women’s wing in Harare, Grace Mugabe contradicted the veteran leader, who also attended the meeting, saying he should name a successor. “The First Lady and Zanu PF Secretary for Women’s Affairs have challenged the President to name his successor saying this has been the trend in other countries. “The First Lady said there is nothing wrong with Mugabe naming his successor, saying the move will enable all members to rally behind one candidate,’’ ZBC said. However, Mugabe did not speak at the meeting. Fighting over leadership of a post-Mugabe ZANU-PF has intensified in the last three years, with two distinct camps emerging, one supporting Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the other rooting for Grace Mugabe. Mugabe is ZANU-PF’s presidential candidate for the 2018 election, his last under the constitution. Report says he will be 99 years if he wins and completes the five-year term. According to the constitution, elections are due after July 21, 2018. However, political analysts said Mugabe could call for an early vote, citing his frail health, and that he may want to take advantage of divisions within opposition ranks. Zimbabwe has since independence always held elections in March, with the exception of 2000 and 2013, both years when elections were delayed by a constitutional referendum. (Reuters/NAN)

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he Nigeria Union, South Africa (NUSA) says it has protested alleged beating of five Nigerians, a day after the killing of Mr Olamilekan Badmus, 25-year-old native of Ogun, by Police in South Africa. Its President, Mr Adetola Olubajo, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Johannesburg, South Africa. Olubajo said the union received information that the police in South Africa had brutalised another five Nigerians in the same area where Badmus was killed. The NUSA president said information made available to the union indicated that the police were looking for the witness who saw the killing of Badmus. “In the process, some Nigerians were picked up and beaten by the police. “We also understand that the witness, a flat mate of Badmus, was arrested and beaten by the police. “In all, five Nigerians are hospitalised, because of the beating they allegedly received from the police. “The union has protested again this act. We condemn this cruel treatment of our people, because they did not commit any crime,” he said. Olubajo, however, urged Nigerians in the area to be calm and remain law abiding. “Investigation on the killing of Badmus has commenced. “A special police unit, the Independent Police Investigating Directorate (IPID), is handling it. We have met them and on top of the situation,” he said. Olubajo said that the union had reported all incidents to the Nigerian Mission in South Africa. I found this interesting

U.S. and South Korean wartime operational plans, including a plan to wipe out the North Korean leadership, were stolen by North Korean hackers last year, a South Korean ruling party lawmaker said on Wednesday. Some 235 gigabytes of military documents were taken from South Korea’s Defense Integrated Data Center in September last year, Democratic Party representative Rhee Cheol-hee said in radio appearances on Wednesday, citing information from unidentified South Korean defense officials. In May, an investigative team inside the defense ministry announced the hack had been carried out by North Korea, but did not disclose what kind of information had been taken. The disclosure came as the U.S. military flew two strategic bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force late on Tuesday, just as President Donald Trump met top defense officials to discuss how to respond to any threat from North Korea. Tensions have soared between the United States and North Korea following a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang and a string of increasingly bellicose exchanges between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea has launched two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth nuclear test in recent weeks as it fast advances toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. The two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers were joined by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement on Wednesday. After entering South Korean airspace, the two bombers carried out air-to-ground missile drills in waters off the east coast of South Korea, then flew over the South to waters between it and China to repeat the drill, the release said. The U.S. military said in a separate statement it conducted drills with Japanese fighters after the exercise with South Korea, making it the first time U.S. bombers have conducted training with fighters from both Japan and South Korea at night. The U.S. bombers had taken off from the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. In August, Pyongyang threatened to fire intermediate-range missiles toward the vicinity of Guam, a U.S. Pacific territory that is frequently subjected to sabre-rattling from the North. GUARD RAISED South Korean and U.S. government officials have been raising their guard against more North Korean provocations with the approach of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s ruling party, which fell on Tuesday. Trump hosted a discussion on Tuesday on options to respond to any North Korean aggression or, if necessary, to prevent Pyongyang from threatening the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons, the White House said in a statement.

A 25-year old Nigerian has been killed during a police raid in Vaal near Johannesburg, South Africa. Ibrahim Badmus was killed on Tuesday, barely one week after 35-year-old Jelili Omoyele was shot dead in Johannesburg over an alleged 300 Rand (about N7,500) parking lot debt. According to eyewitnesses, the victim was allegedly handcuffed, tortured and suffocated while being questioned by about three policemen at his home. One of the witnesses, a flat-mate of the deceased and a Congolese, Steve Lumbwe, said, “I found Omo (the deceased), my tenant on handcuff. There was a plastic where they put paper spray on him.” “I asked the police ‘why are you doing this to him’? They said he’s a drug dealer, he must take out the drug and I was like ‘no, he doesn’t sell drugs’. “My tenant was on handcuff and he started calling ‘Steve, I can’t breathe’. I started fighting with them and tried to help the guy but the other one (police officer) took me out as well. “So when I went back inside, Omo was sleeping, looking at them and the police officers were like ‘he just fainted’ that they would call the ambulance,” Lumbwe added. The Nigerian Consul General Godwin Adama and the Police Commander of the local police station Brigadier Nikiwe Hoeane were at the scene, calling for calm while investigations were ongoing, Channels Tv reports. s

A Nigerian, Jelili Omoyele, 35-year-old cellular phone technician, was allegedly shot dead in Johannesburg on Saturday, the Nigeria Union, South Africa, has said. Its President, Mr Adetola Olubajo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Johannesburg that Omoyele, a.k.a Ja Rule and native of Ibadan, Oyo State, was killed at a parking lot at Doornfontein, Gauteng Province. He said a fact-finding team to the scene led by him and National Welfare Officer, Mr Trust Owoyele, met an eyewitness, Mr Sipususo Mkalipi, a South African taxi driver, who confirmed the killing. “The deceased and the son of the caretaker of a parking lot had an argument over an unpaid R300 (N11,400) rent. “The witness said that the deceased decided to leave his car in the parking lot till Monday because he had no money to pay, but the caretaker’s son shot him on his way out of the building. “Omoyele gave up the ghost a few minutes later,” he said. Olubajo said Mkalipi was the driver, who brought the victim to the parking lot. According to him, a murder docket has been opened at Jeppe police state near Johannesburg while the case has been forwarded to the union’s legal adviser, Mr Omoreige Ogboro, for a follow-up. The Nigeria Union President also said the incident had been reported to the Nigerian Mission in South Africa. “We implore the mission to give necessary support to the union in order to ensure that justice is served. “Omoyele is survived by a pregnant wife also in South Africa and his parents in Nigeria,” he said.

Rallies are expected in Spain against Catalonian independence, after Sunday’s disputed referendum. Demonstrations are planned in the capital Madrid and other cities, with supporters calling for a similar rally in Catalonia’s capital Barcelona. Meanwhile, Spain’s government representative in Catalonia earlier apologised to those hurt during police efforts to stop the referendum. But Enric Millo blamed the Catalan government for holding an illegal vote. In the first apology by a Spanish government official over the violence during the referendum, Mr Millo said he could not help but “regret it and apologise on behalf of the officers that intervened”. Hundreds of people were injured as police, trying to enforce a Spanish court ban on the vote, attempted to seize ballot boxes and disperse voters. Thirty-three police officers were also hurt. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont now plans to address the Catalan parliament on Tuesday at 18:00 local time (16:00 GMT), the speaker of the parliament in the autonomous north-eastern region says. Spain’s Constitutional Court had earlier suspended the Catalan parliament session that had been planned for Monday, BBC reports.

At least 58 people have been killed and 515 injured in a mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert, United States. A gunman, named as 64-year-old Nevada resident Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards an open-air music festival attended by 22,000. He killed himself as police stormed the room where 10 guns were found. Aerial view from the Mandalay Bay Hotel where the shooting occurred In an address from the White House, President Donald Trump described the attack as “pure evil”. He praised the efforts of the emergency services, saying their “miraculous” speed saved lives, and announced he would be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday. BBC reports that the attack is the worst mass shooting in recent US history. Paddock’s motives remain unclear. Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo described the shooting as a “lone wolf” attack. “We have no idea what his belief system was,” he said. So-called Islamic State later claimed to be behind the attack, saying that Paddock had converted to Islam some months ago. But the group provided no evidence for this and has made unsubstantiated claims in the past. The FBI says it has made no connection between the attack and any international terrorist group. A police statement said the shooting began at 22:08 local time on Sunday (05:08 GMT on Monday). Paddock came from the small town of Mesquite, some 60 miles (100 km) north-east of Las Vegas, and had resided in the hotel since 28 September. Police in Mesquite have searched his premises and recovered a number of weapons. But they say he had not crossed paths with the police in the past. Las Vegas police say the number of people injured now stands at 515. Among those killed was an off-duty police officer. Suspected gunman Stephen Paddock Earlier, police announced they were seeking a woman, Marilou Danley, in connection with the shooting. In his latest update, Sheriff Lombardo said she had now been located outside the United States and was not thought to have played any role. Marilou Danley is believed to have lived with Paddock, and Sheriff Lombardo said he used some of her identity documents to check in to the hote

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Roy S. Moore, a firebrand former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, overcame efforts by top Republicans to rescue his rival, Senator Luther Strange, defeating him on Tuesday in a special primary runoff, according to The Associated Press. The outcome in the closely watched Senate race dealt a humbling blow to President Trump and other party leaders days after the president pleaded with voters in the state to back Mr. Strange. Propelled by the stalwart support of his fellow evangelical Christians, Mr. Moore survived a multimillion-dollar advertising onslaught financed by allies of Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader. His victory demonstrated in stark terms the limits of Mr. Trump’s clout. In a race that began as something of a political afterthought and ended up showcasing the right’s enduring divisions, the victory by Mr. Moore, one of the most tenacious figures in Alabama politics, will likely embolden other anti-establishment conservatives to challenge incumbent Republicans in next year’s midterm elections. And more immediately, the party will be forced to wrestle with how to prop up an often-inflammatory candidate given to provocative remarks on same-sex marriage and race — all to protect a seat in a deep-red state. Mr. Moore’s incendiary rhetoric will also oblige others in the party to answer for his comments, perhaps for years to come, at a time when many Republicans would just as soon move on from the debate over gay rights. On Dec. 12, Mr. Moore will face Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor and the Democratic nominee, in a race that will test the party loyalties of center-right voters who may be uneasy about their nominee. It may also reveal just how reliably Republican the state has become in the quarter-century since a Democrat last won a Senate election here. Mr. Jones said in a statement that Alabama needed a serious senator who would rise above partisanship and work with everyone in Congress. He criticized the debate among Republicans leading up to Tuesday’s election as lacking substance. “I will never embarrass the people of Alabama,” Mr. Jones said. “I am running so the people of Alabama can be proud of their next senator.” But Mr. Moore, 70, has proved himself to be a political survivor. He has been effectively removed from the State Supreme Court twice — the first time in 2003, over his refusal to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments in the courthouse; the second time last year, when he urged the state’s probate judges to defy federal orders regarding same-sex marriage. And in recent days, both the president and Vice President Mike Pence had campaigned for Mr. Strange. Mr. Trump, an enormously popular figure in Alabama, visited the state on Friday, casting aside the tradition of presidents treading carefully in contested primaries, as well as the warnings from his own advisers that he was putting his persuasive powers on the line for a candidate trailing in the polls. Instead of delivering a tightly crafted testimonial, the president rambled for nearly an hour and a half about a range of topics, while openly questioning whether he was making a mistake coming into the state for Mr. Strange, who oriented his entire campaign around Mr. Trump’s endorsement and stood looking on with a red “Make America Great Again” hat atop his head. Mr. Strange conceded defeat on Tuesday night before a subdued audience at a hotel outside of Birmingham, acknowledging in a moment of striking candor that he did not fully grasp the forces at play in his loss. “We’re dealing with a political environment that I’ve never had any experience with,” Mr. Strange said. “The political seas, the political winds in this country right now are very hard to navigate. They’re very hard to understand.” He thanked Mr. Trump effusively, praising the president as a “loyal friend” and attempting to absolve him of any blame for the result. “If this causes him any trouble,” Mr. Strange said, “it’s not his fault.” For his part, Mr. Trump congratulated Mr. Moore in a tweet. “Luther Strange started way back & ran a good race. Roy, WIN in Dec!” he wrote. Mr. Strange’s defeat was the first time an incumbent senator with active White House support has lost since 2010, when Arlen Specter, the longtime senator of Pennsylvania, was beaten in a Democratic primary after switching parties. But his loss was not just a blow to Mr. Trump. Mr. Moore relentlessly linked the senator to Mr. McConnell, who has made a priority of protecting his caucus from intraparty challenges, but he is an increasingly polarizing figure among grass-roots Republicans. Despite the money and staff he directed to the race, Mr. McConnell became as much a liability as he was an asset, leaving Republicans nervously wondering what that may portend in other primaries next year. Mr. McConnell and his allies were jolted with another reminder of their limited control on Tuesday, when Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, a popular incumbent, announced that he would not run for re-election. As the first senator to opt out of seeking another term in 2018, Mr. Corker opened the way for another rowdy Southern primary in which the national party’s influence may be sorely tested. Mr. Strange’s demise was in some respects as much a local phenomenon as a national one, stemming from his appointment this year by then-Gov. Robert Bentley to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Strange, the state’s attorney general at the time, was overseeing an investigation into Mr. Bentley’s personal relationship with a close aide, suggesting to many in a scandal-weary state that there may have been a corrupt bargain. The newly appointed senator denied any wrongdoing, but never fully confronted the issue in a way that would eliminate the lingering cloud over the appointment. And by Monday, an adviser to Mr. McConnell, anticipating defeat, started to privately make the case that it was Mr. Bentley’s scandal and the circumstances around the appointment that was most to blame for Mr. Strange’s lackluster support. When the Alabama race started, it was with less fanfare, merely a side effect of Mr. Trump’s selection of Mr. Sessions as attorney general. Republicans typically win federal races in Alabama without difficulty, so there was little immediate concern about the fate of Mr. Sessions’s seat, and less still after the appointment of such a conventional politician as Mr. Strange. Mr. Strange’s status as a proxy for the Republican establishment and a test of the president’s sway came about almost by accident — a consequence of factors having little to do with Mr. Strange himself. Seeking to ward off insurgents like Mr. Moore and Representative Mo Brooks, who finished third in last month’s primary, Mr. McConnell forcefully backed Mr. Strange’s bid to have his appointment affirmed by voters. The Senate Republican leader treated Mr. Strange as the political equal of his elected colleagues and ordered strategists in Washington not to work against him. Mr. McConnell and a host of other senators lobbied an initially reluctant Mr. Trump to get involved on Mr. Strange’s behalf over the objections of some advisers. The confusing crosscurrents of the party were on vivid display when the president campaigned for Mr. Strange on Friday. As staff members from the party’s campaign arm allied with Mr. McConnell looked on, Mr. Strange told the conservative audience that they should elect him so he could “stand up to” Mr. McConnell. And then the president took the stage and assured attendees he would back Mr. Moore were Mr. Strange to lose, comments that were soon made into an online ad by an anti-establishment conservative group.

The South African policemen have done it again. They have tortured another Nigerian to death despite moves by the governments of both countries to stop the incessant killings of Nigerians in South Africa. Reports have it that a Nigerian identified as Obosi has been tortured to death by the South African police According to Star Boy Nino Brown who shared the sad news, the young man was beaten to death by Metro police in Johannesburg, South Africa. Angry Nigerians stormed the police station in protest to the young man’s death. May his soul rest in peace.

The conspiracy theorist who initially predicted the world would end on September 23 has reset Doomsday to 15 October. According to a report by Newsweek, David Meade, a self-proclaimed “researcher”, numerologist and Catholic, believes the end of the world as we know it, as foretold in the biblical Book of Revelation, will take place next month. He said the 23rd was simply a sign of the oncoming of the disaster. Meade on his website clarified his belief that the 23rd is the date of a “historical event” in the skies that would signal the oncoming rapture. Doomsday itself, he says, will begin on October 15. That date marks the beginning of a seven-year period of tribulation. “That’s when the action starts. Hold on and watch—wait until the middle of October and I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed,” he writes. Some things to watch out for are the loss of electrical power across the world, leading to war, famine and other perilous events. To be clear, Meade says, “Nothing is expected to happen in September.” Meade points to the total eclipse on August 21 as a significant event which he believes acts as a precursor to the beginning of the rapture. He says the date marks a 40-day countdown to the beginning of October. “October is the month to watch.” So, why was the 23rd of such significance? As Meade told the Washington Post last week, he deduced that Saturday would mark an important event that would act as a sign for the oncoming rapture. His prediction was based on analysis of verses and numerical clues in the bible. “Jesus lived for 33 years. The name Elohim, which is the name of God to the Jews, was mentioned 33 times [in the bible],” Meade said. “It’s a very biblically significant, numerologically significant number.” Saturday marked 33 days since the solar eclipse. Meade subscribes to the conspiracy that a 10th planet, Planet X or Nibiru, will either cross or collide with Earth, leading to a seven-year period of tribulation, or rapture. This will be followed by a millennium of peace. NASA has repeatedly denied the existence of any such planet, including as recently as September 20. “Various people are “predicting” that world will end Sept. 23 when another planet collides with Earth. The planet in question, Nibiru, doesn’t exist, so there will be no collision.”

US bombers have flown close to North Korea’s east coast to demonstrate the military options available to defeat any threat, the Pentagon has said. It said the flight was the farthest north of the demilitarised zone between the Koreas that any US fighter jet or bomber had flown in the 21st Century. BBC reports that tensions have risen recently over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme. At the UN, North Korea’s foreign minister said US President Donald Trump was on a “suicide mission”. Ri Yong-ho’s comments to the General Assembly mimicked Mr Trump’s remarks at the UN on Tuesday, when he called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a “rocket man on a suicide mission”. Mr Ri added that “insults” by Mr Trump – who was, he said, “mentally deranged and full of megalomania” – were an “irreversible mistake making it inevitable” that North Korean rockets would hit the US mainland. Mr Trump, the foreign minister said, would “pay dearly” for his speech, in which he also said he would “totally destroy” North Korea if the US was forced to defend itself or its allies. Shortly before his address, the Pentagon announced that the show of force underscored “the seriousness” with which the US took North Korea’s “reckless” behaviour, calling the country’s weapons programme a “grave threat”. “This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat,” it said in a statement. “We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the US homeland and our allies.” US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers from Guam, escorted by Air Force F-15C Eagle fighters from Okinawa, Japan, flew in international airspace, the Pentagon added. The flight follows a week of heated rhetoric between the leaders of both countries – after Mr Trump’s comments, Mr Kim called him “mentally deranged” and “a dotard”. Mr Ri did not comment on the Pentagon’s announcement. North Korea has refused to stop its missile and nuclear tests, despite successive rounds of UN sanctions. Its leaders say nuclear capabilities are its only deterrent against an outside world seeking to destroy it. After the North’s latest and most powerful nuclear test earlier this month, the UN Security Council approved new sanctions on the country. But speaking at the UN, Mr Ri repeated that the restrictions would not make the country stop its nuclear development. Meanwhile, a shallow magnitude 3.4 tremor was detected near North Korea’s nuclear test site on Saturday morning, but experts believe it was a natural earthquake. The quake was recorded at a depth of 0km in North Hamgyong province, home to the Punggye-ri site, South Korea’s meteorological agency said. The US Geological Survey also said it occurred in the nuclear test area, but added that its seismologists assessed it as having a depth of 5km. South Korea said no specific sound waves generated by artificial earthquakes were detected. China’s Earthquake Administration said the quake was not a nuclear explosion and had the characteristics of a natural tremor. The agency had initially said it was a “suspected explosion”. Analysts from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the UN-backed monitoring group, said the quake was “unlikely man-made”. CTBTO executive secretary Lassina Zerbo tweeted that the quake had occurred “about 50km from prior tests”. “The most probable hypothesis currently is that it is the consequence of the previous event… which could still have further repercussions,” Mr Zerbo told the AFP news agency, referring to North Korea’s massive nuclear test on 3 September. North Korea – which has recently carried out a series of nuclear tests – has so far made no comment. In a separate development, China moved to limit the North Korea’s oil supply and stop buying textiles from the country, in line with the latest UN sanctions. China is North Korea’s most important trading partner, and one of its only sources of hard currency. The ban on textiles – Pyongyang’s second-biggest export – is expected to cost the country more than $700m (£530m) a year. Clothing has often partially been made in North Korea but finished in China, allowing a Made in China label to be legally sewn onto the clothing, BBC World Service Asia-Pacific Editor Celia Hatton says. China also said its restrictions on refined petroleum products would apply from 1 October, and on liquefied natural gas immediately. Under a UN resolution, China will still be able to export a maximum of two million barrels of refined petroleum to North Korea annually, beginning next year. North Korea is estimated to have imported 6,000 barrels of refined petroleum daily from China in 2016 – the equivalent of nearly 2.2 million in total for the entire year, BBC reports.

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