Ethiopian Is Next WHO DG

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from Ethiopia, has been elected as the next Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

He will be the first African to head up the UN agency, after winning the most votes from 186 member states.

Tedros, 52, was former Ethiopian minister of health and foreign affairs, and chairman of the board of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria.

He will be taking over from Margaret Chan, who will step down from her 10-year post at the end of June.

 

Manchester Attack: A Dastardly Act, Says Ag. President Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has on Tuesday condemned the attack in Manchester, United Kingdom, that killed 22 people.

 

Osinbajo described the attack as a dastardly act and heinous crime.

In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo assured Prime Minister Theresa May that the prayers and thoughts of Nigerians are with the British people as they mourn the victims.

“On behalf of the people and Government of Nigeria, Prof Osinbajo expressed heartfelt condolences and solidarity with the government and people of the United Kingdom in the period of grief.

“He prayed that God Almighty will comfort the bereaved families and also wished a speedy recovery for the injured,” the statement added.

Manchester Arena Attack: Police Confirm 19 Dead

At least 19 people have been killed and 50 injured in what is being investigated as a suspected suicide bombing of a crowded pop concert in Manchester, the most deadly attack in Britain in a decade.

The horror unfolded at around 10.30pm on Monday at the end of a concert by the American singer Ariana Grande, whose music is popular with children and teenagers.

The attack, which took place in the foyer area of the arena, left hundreds of people fleeing in terror, with young people at the concert separated from their parents in the chaos. It left carnage inside the concert venue, with medics describing treating wounds consistent with shrapnel injury.

One witness said he could see nuts and bolts strewn on the floor of the foyer after the attack, which could suggest a nail bomb was involved.

Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, said: “We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.

“All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected.”

The Guardian

University Graduates Stage A Walk Out As US VP Mike Pence Speaks

Dozens of graduates walked out of Notre Dame University’s commencement exercise on Sunday to protest a speech by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who warned graduates of the prestigious Catholic school against suppressing free speech.

The protesters, among the thousands of graduates and guests assembled in the university’s football stadium, stood up when the conservative Republican began his speech and streamed out of the ceremony, to the jeers of some of those who remained.

A few of the students had messages of protest attached to their traditional “mortarboard” graduation caps. One of them displayed an inverted U.S. flag, a sign of protest popularized during the Vietnam War era, and the words “Are we great again yet?,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.

In his speech at the Indiana school, Pence squarely addressed the festering controversy of what constitutes free speech on campus, an issue that has intensified at many universities since Trump’s election victory last year.

“I would submit that the increasing intolerance and suppression of the time-honored tradition of free expression on our campuses jeopardizes the liberties of every American. This should not, and must not be met with silence,” Pence said, in an apparent reference to efforts to bar him from speaking.

Protests, some of them violent, have erupted at schools across the country in recent months to stop appearances by conservative commentators such as Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos. In at least some cases, schools have canceled the events, citing safety concerns.

Organizers of the Notre Dame protest said they wanted to voice their objections to policies advocated by Pence as part of the Trump administration and while he was governor, including a proposal to suspend immigration from some Muslim-majority countries that has so far been blocked in courts.

“The participation and degree-conferring of VP Pence stand as an endorsement of policies and actions which directly contradict Catholic social teachings and values,” undergraduate Xitlaly Estrada was quoted as saying in a statement from We Stand For ND, a group that helped organize the walk-out.

Pence, who served as Indiana’s governor before his election as vice president, also took issue with efforts at some U.S. universities to shelter students from what they consider objectionable points of view or to recommend language to be used in classes or other school functions.

“Far too many campuses across America have been characterized by speech codes, safe zones, tone policing, administration-sanctioned political correctness all of which amounts to nothing less than the suppression of the freedom of speech,” Pence told the audience at the campus in South Bend.

Pence delivered his address as Trump completed the initial day of the first overseas trip of his presidency. In a speech in Saudi Arabia, Trump called on Middle Eastern leaders to do their fair share to defeat Islamist extremists.

Reuters

Trump Signs $110bn Arms Deal With Saudi Arabi

Hours after landing in Saudi Arabi, U.S. President Donald Trump signs arms deal worth $350 billion over the next 10 years.

Trump is embarking upon his first international trip in his nine-day, five-country visit  across the Middle East and Europe.

Trump’s Air Force One touched down mid-morning at the King Khalid airport in Riyadh, where Trump was greeted on a red carpet-bedecked tarmac by King Salman and other high-level Saudi officials.

Joining Trump on the trip are Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon, senior advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and Trump’s former bodyguard, Keith Schiller.

Rouhani Wins Iranian Election With 57% Of Vote

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has won Saturday’s re-election.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli confirmed the result on state television, saying Rouhani had won 23.5 million votes.

“I congratulate the great victory of the Iranian nation in creating a huge and memorable epic in the continuation of the path of ‘wisdom and hope’,” tweeted Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, referring to the government’s slogan.

“Rouhani’s vote, particularly in rural areas, shows that Iranian people no longer believe in economic populism and radical change,” said Ali Vaez, Iran analyst for the International Crisis Group, a think tank.

“They have the maturity to understand that the solution to their country’s predicaments are in competent management of the economy and moderation in international relations,” Vaez told AFP.

 

I Have ‘Absolute Right’ To Share Info With Russia Says Trump

Embattled US President Donald Trump insisted Tuesday he had the right to share “facts” with Russia, one day after bombshell allegations that he divulged highly classified intelligence to Russian diplomats in the Oval Office.

According to an explosive report from the Washington Post, Trump revealed highly classified information on the Islamic State group during a meeting last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Moscow’s man in Washington Sergey Kislyak.

In a shock twist, the information reportedly came from a US ally who had not authorized Washington to share it with Moscow, a potential blow to intelligence relationships based on trust that secrets will be kept.

“As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety,” Trump pushed back in an early morning tweet.

Trump wrote that he was motivated by “humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”

The US leader’s disclosure of classified information did not break the law, according to the national security blog Lawfare, but such revelations could expose sources and methods and “substantially harm” US intelligence gathering partnerships with foreign governments.

“This is perhaps the gravest allegation of presidential misconduct in the scandal-ridden four months of the Trump administration,” the blog said. “This story is likely to be immensely consequential.”

National Security Advisor HR McMaster denied the president revealed “intelligence sources or methods,” but acknowledged that Trump and Lavrov “reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday dubbed the news “nonsense,” saying it was not worth confirming or denying.

Guardian

Boko Haram: FG Commends UN

The Federal Government has commended the efforts and partnership of the UN with Nigeria in addressing the huge humanitarian challenges caused by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Sola Enikanolaiye, delivered the Federal Government’s message to the UN when he visited Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Monday in New York.

Enikanolaiye also commended UN agencies and partners working to address the huge humanitarian challenges in the North East, as well as other environmental and development challenges in the country.

“We wish to commend the UN agencies and organizations working in the North East Nigeria.

“We reassure the UN of the Federal Government’s commitment to the security and safety of humanitarian workers and relief supplies to the victims of Boko Haram in the region.”

He also conveyed Nigeria’s gratitude to the UN for the funding of the Ogoni clean-up exercise.

Enikanolaiye emphasized that Nigeria stood ready to deepen partnership with the UN in addressing the humanitarian situation and ecological challenges in the Niger-Delta region.

He pledged the Federal Government’s deep commitment to the peaceful resolution of the Niger-Delta crisis through several measures.

According to him, through dialogue and empowerment, the situation in the region has begun to stabilize with obvious implications on environmental sustainability.

He lauded the recent visit by members of the Security Council to the Lake Chad region, saying it signified the renewed commitment by the UN for a quick return of peace and stability to the region.

He reassured of Nigeria’s firm commitment to the total stabilization of north-east and looked forward to the visit of the Secretary-General and global development institutions to the region

“The Lake Chad Climate Resilience Action Plan outlines the concept that there is a need to turn Lake Chad into a rural hub for regional development in parallel to the restoration of peace and security.

“We appeal to the UN for financial and technical support for the initiative,” the permanent secretary said.

He drew Mohammed’s attention to the need to create opportunities for Nigerians at the UN System through the Junior Professional Officers’ (JPO) Programme, including an internship for young Nigerian graduates.

Congratulating Mohammed on her appointment, he said Nigeria and Africa were convinced that deliberations on Africa within the UN system would move from the negativity of war, terrorism, and pandemics to focusing on development.

Enikanolaiye solicited the continued support of the UN in facilitating the containment of communicable diseases like meningitis in Nigeria and the re-emergence of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In her response, Mohammed said with a new UN envoy, Nigeria should take the lead within the African Group.

She hinted of a proposed visit of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Lake Chad region, urging Nigeria to concentrate on the deliverables so that the purpose of the visit would be served.

The deputy UN chief also assured of the readiness of the organisation to collaborate with Nigeria in ensuring a nimble UN.

Punch

The Turkey I No longer Know By Fethullah Gulen

As the presidents of the United States and Turkey meet at the White House on Tuesday, the leader of the country I have called home for almost two decades comes face to face with the leader of my homeland. The two countries have a lot at stake, including the fight against the Islamic State, the future of Syria and the refugee crisis.

But the Turkey that I once knew as a hope-inspiring country on its way to consolidating its democracy and a moderate form of secularism has become the dominion of a president who is doing everything he can to amass power and subjugate dissent.

The West must help Turkey return to a democratic path. Tuesday’s meeting, and the NATO summit next week, should be used as an opportunity to advance this effort.

Since July 15, following a deplorable coup attempt, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has systematically persecuted innocent people — arresting, detaining, firing and otherwise ruining the lives of more than 300,000 Turkish citizens, be they Kurds, Alevis, secularists, leftists, journalists, academics or participants of Hizmet, the peaceful humanitarian movement with which I am associated.

As the coup attempt unfolded, I fiercely denounced it and denied any involvement. Furthermore, I said that anyone who participated in the putsch betrayed my ideals. Nevertheless, and without evidence, Erdogan immediately accused me of orchestrating it from 5,000 miles away.

The next day, the government produced lists of thousands of individuals whom they tied to Hizmet — for opening a bank account, teaching at a school or reporting for a newspaper — and treated such an affiliation as a crime and began destroying their lives. The lists included people who had been dead for months and people who had been serving at NATO’s European headquarters at the time. International watchdogs have reported numerous abductions, in addition to torture and deaths in detention. The government pursued innocent people outside Turkey, pressuring Malaysia, for instance, to deport three Hizmet sympathizers last week, including a school principal who has lived there for more than a decade, to face certain imprisonment and likely torture.

In April, the president won a narrow referendum victory — amid allegations of serious fraud — to form an “executive presidency” without checks and balances, enabling him to control all three branches of the government. To be sure, through purges and corruption, much of this power was already in his hands. I fear for the Turkish people as they enter this new stage of authoritarianism.

It didn’t start this way. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came into power in 2002 by promising democratic reforms in pursuit of European Union membership. But as time went on, Erdogan became increasingly intolerant of dissent. He facilitated the transfer of many media outlets to his cronies through government regulatory agencies. In June of 2013, he crushed the Gezi Park protesters. In December of that year, when his cabinet members were implicated in a massive graft probe, he responded by subjugating the judiciary and the media. The “temporary” state of emergency declared after last July 15 is still in effect.

According to Amnesty International, one-third of all imprisoned journalists in the world are in Turkish prisons.

Erdogan’s persecution of his people is not simply a domestic matter. The ongoing pursuit of civil society, journalists, academics and Kurds in Turkey is threatening the long-term stability of the country. The Turkish population already is strongly polarized on the AKP regime. A Turkey under a dictatorial regime, providing haven to violent radicals and pushing its Kurdish citizens into desperation, would be a nightmare for Middle East security.

The people of Turkey need the support of their European allies and the United States to restore their democracy. Turkey initiated true multiparty elections in 1950 to join NATO. As a requirement of its membership, NATO can and should demand that Turkey honor its commitment to the alliance’s democratic norms.

Two measures are critical to reversing the democratic regression in Turkey.

First, a new civilian constitution should be drafted through a democratic process involving the input of all segments of society and that is on par with international legal and humanitarian norms, and drawing lessons from the success of long-term democracies in the West.

Second, a school curriculum that emphasizes democratic and pluralistic values and encourages critical thinking must be developed. Every student must learn the importance of balancing state powers with individual rights, the separation of powers, judicial independence and press freedom, and the dangers of extreme nationalism, politicization of religion and veneration of the state or any leader.

Before either of those things can happen, however, the Turkish government must stop the repression of its people and redress the rights of individuals who have been wronged by Erdogan without due process.

I probably will not live to see Turkey become an exemplary democracy, but I pray that the downward authoritarian drift can be stopped before it is too late.

This piece was first published in The Washington Post

* Fethullah Gulen is an Islamic scholar, preacher and social advocate.

Ghanian Sara Yeboah Receives Most Outstanding Associate Ward Clinician Award

Multiple Award winning Ghanaian Nurse and Social Entrepreneur, Sara Nana Yeboah has being awarded Ghana’s Most Outstanding Associate Clinician (Ward) at the 2017 HELEH Africa People’s Choice Practitioners Honours held in Kumasi.

The award ceremony organised by Media Men Ghana in Partnership with the Medical and Dental Council and patronised by His Royal Majesty Otomfuo Osei Tutu II, Ruler of the Ashanti Kingdom was meant to celebrate various individuals and organisations whose contributions to the health sector of Ghana have been enormous and duly deserved to be honoured for their selfless contributions.

Mrs Sara who has been celebrated for her philanthropic works across Africa through her NGO, the Sangy Foundation raised the bar when the organisers threw the spotlight on her selfless role in the nursing profession at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Ridge Hospital as the Most Outstanding Associate Ward Clinician in the whole of Ghana.

The Awards package which included a 32-Carat Gold Medal, Certificate of Honour and a Kente Slash were presented to her at the event hosted at the Kumasi Golden Tulip Hotel in the presence of various dignitaries and stakeholders in the Ghanaian health sector.

The awards also recognised Honourable Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng as the recipient of the highest honours among its categories, the HELEH Africa PCP Legend of the Year, for his continuous significant contribution towards the overwhelming enhancement of the medical field in Ghana and Africa.

Other Notable awardees include Okyeame Kwame, Ernest chemist, UTV, Vodafone Ghana, Holy Trinity Spa & hospital, Benson Owusu, Dr Ellen Boakye, Bisa App, Dr Richard Selormey etc.

Some distinguished awards received by Mrs Sara Nana Yeboah include: 2014 Africa Youth Awards Female Personality of the Year, Social Entrepreneur of the year at the annual Ovation Magazine Carols Night and Awards, Distinguished Service to Humanity Award (Public Health) by The Sun Weekend Newspaper, African Development Recognition Award for Philanthropy by Pleasures Magazine and other accolades from Reconnect Africa and Camfed Ghana.

Opera Announces Victor Moses As Brand Ambassador In Africa

Opera  is kicking off a partnership with football professional Victor Moses, Chelsea starter and Nigerian national team star player. Moses will be the brand ambassador of Opera Mini, the most popular browser in Africa. Starting today, Moses will be featured in the new Opera Mini TV commercial as well as a range of collaborative projects extending throughout 2018.

“Football is one of the most popular types of content consumed by Opera Mini users throughout Africa”, says Jørgen Arnesen, Global Head of Marketing and Distribution at Opera. “Victor Moses is a perfect match for Opera, being not only a high performer, but also a great role model and natural ambassador of his home country Nigeria.”

This coincides with Opera’s recent announcement to invest $100 million USD (30 billion Nigerian nairas) in Africa  over the next two years with the goal of strengthening the internet ecosystem in countries such as Nigeria.

Nigeria is home to the second largest population of Opera Mini users. Search, social networking and sport are the most popular content consumed by Opera Mini users in this country. One fourth of them check out live scores and sports news when browsing. This number is relatively higher than the ones in other African countries.

On the topic of the recent partnership, Victor Moses states, “I am proud to be in partnership with Opera and am looking forward to working together. The Opera team have taken me through their plans and vision for the brand in the Nigerian market and it’s made me incredibly excited about the future. I’m delighted to be a part of such a groundbreaking campaign.”

Opera recently launched its first nationwide TV and radio commercials to announce a faster and more affordable internet experience with the Opera Mini browser. Already airing in South Africa and Kenya, there will be a special version for Nigeria. Victor Moses will be challenging his on-field speed against Opera Mini’s.

Bin Laden’s Son Hamza Threatens U.S.

Osama bin Laden’s son reportedly seeks to avenge his father’s death and is poised to become the new leader of Al Qaeda.

Personal letters seized in the raid that killed bin Laden show that his son, Hamza, is set on avenging his father’s death, Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent, told CBS News in an interview that will air Sunday.

“He tells him that…he remembers ‘every look…every smile you gave me, every word you told me,” Soufan said about bin Laden’s son. Soufan also told CBS News that Hamza wrote that he considers himself “to be forged in steel.”

Soufan said that Hamza’s path to become the leader of the terrorist organisation was created years ago when he was used as a propaganda tool in bin Laden’s videos.

He was seen sometimes holding a gun.

The agent added that he has even started to sound like his father.

“His recent message that came out, he delivered the speech as if it’s his father, using sentences, terminology that was used by Osama bin Laden,” Soufan said.

Hamza is believed to be about 28 years old and has been named as a “specially designated global terrorist” by the U.S., as he has recorded four audio messages in the last two years, aimed at the U.S.

“He’s basically saying, ‘American people, we’re coming and you’re going to feel it,” Soufan said.

“And we’re going to take revenge for what you did to my father. Iraq, Afghanistan’. The whole thing was about vengeance.”

NAN

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