Vladimir Putin Elected Russia’s President For Fourth Time

Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin is set to serve his country for another six (6) years after ‘winning’ an election with no real opposition’.

Putin, who has ruled Russia for almost two (2) decades, stood against seven (7) other candidates, but his most vocal critic Alexei Navalny was barred from the ballot for legal reasons and the final outcome was never in doubt, AFP reports.

The exit poll by state-owned pollster VTsIOM at 1,200 voting stations around Russia projected that Putin had won 73.9 percent of the vote, up from 64 percent six years ago.

The central election commission said turnout was 60 percent after the authorities used both the carrot and the stick to boost participation.

A report by AFP says selfie competitions, giveaways, food festivals and children’s entertainers were laid on at polling booths in a bid to create a festive atmosphere around the election.

Russia Fires Back At UK, Announces Plan To Expel 23 British Diplomats

The Russian foreign ministry announced Saturday it will expel 23 British diplomats within a week in a tit-for-tat response to London’s measures over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter.

“Twenty three diplomatic staff at the British embassy in Moscow are declared persona non grata and to be expelled within a week,” the foreign ministry said in a statement after summoning the British ambassador Laurie Bristow.

Details soon…

Air Hostess Falls Out Of Plane While Preparing For Boarding

An air hostess is seriously injured after falling from an Emirates aircraft’s emergency exit in Uganda.

The woman was rushed to hospital from Entebbe International Airport, near the capital Kampala, after falling from the doorway on Wednesday.

The Boeing 777 had landed shortly before, and was preparing to welcome passengers on board before departing for Dubai.

The circumstances surrounding the fall are being investigated, with conflicting reports emerging about the incident.

However, the Dubai-based airline has confirmed the fall.

“We can confirm that a member of our cabin crew unfortunately fell off from an open door while preparing the aircraft for boarding on flight EK729 from Entebbe on 14 March. The injured crew member was brought to the nearest hospital.

We are providing all possible support and care for the affected crew, and will extend our full co-operation to the authorities in their investigation.”


Mali Militia Offers To Return US Vehicle After Attack

A Malian militia has offered to return an American vehicle abandoned in a deadly attack which left four US special forces and four Nigerien soldiers dead.

The four wheel drive vehicle, which is understood to have been abandoned during the ambush in Niger in October, has come into the hands of The Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA), a Tuareg militia group.

MSA say they seized the vehicle, along with guns belonging to the US, during a clash with “armed bandits” on the border at the start of this week.

It is unclear if the bandits had any relation to the Islamic State militant group, an affiliate of which claimed to be behind last year’s attack.

MSA, which shared photos of its haul, has now offered to return it to the US “through legal channels”.

Colonel Mark Cheadle said the US military’s Africa Command was investigating the claim.

The October attack, which saw a joint force come under fire from machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, marked the first time the US has lost soldiers in Niger.


UK To Expel 23 Russian Diplomats Over Spy Poisoning

The United Kingdom will expel 23 Russian diplomats from the country after concluding that the Russian state is responsible for the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

This will be the single biggest expulsion of Russian diplomats in over 30 years, Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday. They will have only one week to leave.
“For those who seek to do us harm, my message is simple. You are not welcome here,” she said in a statement to the House of Commons following a meeting of Britain’s National Security Council.
The Skripals are critically ill in hospital after being exposed to the nerve agent, known as Novichok and developed in Russia, on March 4. Thirty-eight other people in Salisbury were seen by medics after the exposure. One, a police officer, remains hospitalized.
May said Monday it was highly likely that Moscow was behind the poisoning. The Russian ambassador to the UK was summoned to the UK Foreign Office to explain whether the attack was directed by Russian authorities, or whether
Moscow had lost control of the nerve agent.
Russia denies any involvement in the attack.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Takes oath Of Office For Fourth Term

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday took the oath of office in parliament, launching her fourth-term government in Europe’s biggest economy.

Lawmakers in Berlin’s glass-domed Reichstag had elected her with a margin of 364-315 with nine abstentions. Merkel was then formally appointed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before taking the oath of office in the lower house.

British Scientist Stephen Hawking Dies At Age 76

Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking, whose mental genius and physical disability made him a household name and inspiration across the globe, has died at age 76, his family said Wednesday.

Hawking, whose 1988 book “A Brief History of Time” became an unlikely worldwide bestseller and cemented his superstar status, dedicated his life to unlocking the secrets of the Universe.

His genius and wit won over fans from far beyond the rarified world of astrophysics, earning comparisons with Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton.

Hawking died peacefully at his home in the British university city of Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” Professor Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in a statement carried by Britain’s Press Association news agency.

“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.”

Hawking defied predictions he would only live for a few years after developing a form of motor neurone disease in 1964 at the age of 22.

The illness gradually robbed him of mobility, leaving him confined to a wheelchair, almost completely paralysed and unable

President Trump Fires Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson

President Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and will nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him.

The change of Trump’s top diplomat comes as the US is engaging in delicate, high-stakes negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear program and the prospect of Trump meeting Kim Jong Un this spring.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he respected Tillerson’s “intellect” and said he “got along well with Rex.”
“I think Rex will be much happier now,” Trump said.
Tillerson did not speak to Trump and is unaware of the reason behind his firing, Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Steve Goldstein said.
Sources close to the President say it was clear Tillerson didn’t support Trump. They say Tillerson wanted to handle foreign policy his own way, without the President. Trump didn’t feel that Tillerson backed him, a source told CNN.

Burkina Faso Coup Plotters On Trial

The trial of the alleged masterminds behind 2015’s attempted coup in Burkina Faso is opening in the capital Ouagadougou.

More than 80 people are due to appear in court in a trial described as a test for the country’s judiciary.

Hundreds of members of the security forces have deployed around the court for the opening of the trial.

No less than 84 defendants will appear in court, including two prominent generals, Gilbert Diendere and Djibril Bassole, close allies of former president Blaise Compaore.

Under the former regime, Gen Diendere was the head of the presidential guard.

Along with soldiers of this elite unit, he is accused of attempting to overthrow the transitional government of Burkina Faso, just one year after the departure of long time ruler Blaise Compaore.

General Diendere and his co-defendants are charged with treason, undermining State security and murder.

Sierra Leoneans To Elect New President March 7

Sierra Leoneans will on March 7, 2018, go to the polls to elect a new president and vote into office a new parliament.

According to the Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission (NEC) sixteen candidates have filed to run for president. They include two women and fourteen men.

The ruling All Peoples’ Congress (APC) have picked former foreign minister Samura Kamara as flagbearer whiles the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party (SLPP) is fielding a former military ruler Julius Maado Bio, who lost the last election to Bai Koroma.

Both parties have been hit by breakaways as some top guns on both sides have left to form parties with the hopes of upsetting the odds.

Revenue Authority Intercepts Gold Worth Almost $1 Million At Airport

Kenyan Revenue authority says it has intercepted and arrested a man traveling with over 32, 255 gold bars at the Jomo Kenyata International Airport  in Nairobi Kenya.

The suspect, a fourty six year old Tanzanian national had arrived at the airport Friday 16th February with a local airline and was about to board a Kenyan Airways flight heading to Dubai.

Also found on the Suspect was an accompanying invoice of $ 889,890.

“The Suspect was seized following intelligence alert. He had arrived  at JKIA at 1505 hours, 16th February on board Precision Airlines from Mwanza via Kilimanjaro and was heading to Dubai, the statement by the KRA said.

The gold bars are now under the custody of the Kenyan Revenue Authority, Customs and Border Control as officers investigate the case.

Sudan Releases Over 80 Political Prisoners

Sudan’s government has released more than 80 political prisoners, following a directive from president Omar Al-Bashir.

The detainees, among them women, students and journalists, were arrested last month following protests over the high cost of living.

Families and friends, who camped outside prisons, celebrated as the detainees walked free.

The deputy head of the main opposition party, Fadlallah Burma, is among those released.

An official statement said the government would seek solutions with other parties to resolve the grievances of protesters.

Sudan devalued its currency last month and cut wheat subsidies, which doubled the price of bread a development that triggered the protests.

Sudan has struggled economically since south Sudan seceded in 2011, taking some of the oil fields which were vital to its economy.

The country is also recovering from 20 years of economic sanctions, which the US lifted last year.

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