Four Nigerians Win Election Into British Parliament

Four Nigerian-born Britons  were yesterday elected as members of the British Parliament.

They are Chuka Harrison Umunna, Helen Grant, Chi Onwurah and Kate Osamor.

Umunna, the  Labour Party Shadow Business Secretary was re-elected to represent  Streatham .He is aged 36 and was first elected in 2010.

Grant, 53, is also returning to the parliament  but on the platform of the Conservative Party.

She is representing  Maidstone and The Weald in Kent and the current Minister for Sport, Tourism & Equalities. Grant is the Conservatives’ first female black MP.

Onwurah  was re-elected  by her constituents in Newcastle upon Tyne Central  on the  ticket of the  Labour Party.

She was  first elected in 2010 to replace Jim Cousins, who decided to step down .

Osamor is also of the Labour Party  and she is representing   Edmonton constituency in London.

Meanwhile, another Nigerian-born Dr.Benjamin Ola.Akande was yesterday named  the 21st president of the 164-year-old Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri,USA.

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20 Year Old Student Wins Parliamentary Election In UK, Becomes Youngest MP Since 1667

A 20 year old student, Mhairi Black, has won the parliamentary seat to represent Paisley and Renfrewshire South in the just concluded UK general elections.

She defeated the Labour Party candidate Douglas Alexander, with a 5,684 votes in one of the biggest coups by the Scottish nationalists.

Her victory as the SNP candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire South puts her as the youngest MP in Parliament and the youngest since the 19th century.

“This is a real chance,” she said. “Things like this don’t come along very often,” Ms Black had said in April when speaking about her chances of clinching the seat.

She will go to London to be enrolled in her first graduate job – member of Parliament – and a couple of weeks later return to take her final Glasgow University exam, on Scottish politics.

 

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Saudi Arabia Used U.S.-Supplied Cluster Bombs in Yemen – Report

(CNN)Human Rights Watch has accused Saudi Arabia of dropping U.S.-supplied cluster bombs in the fight against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The small bombs, if unexploded, can lay dormant and then detonate when people stumble upon one by chance, killing or maiming them as a result.

An international treaty against cluster bombs has been adopted by 116 countries, but the United States, Saudi Arabia and Yemen are not among them.

The particular cluster munition systems HRW said were used are CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapons, which are guided bombs intended to take out tanks and other armored vehicles with a flurry of explosions spread out over an area.

If the cluster bombs fail to detect their target, they are designed to self-destruct in the air, or if that fails, to deactivate themselves after a short time. But sometimes those mechanisms don’t work, posing a lethal danger for those who later encounter them.

Saudi Arabia has denied there are any coalition forces in Yemen and says there are only Yemeni forces that Saudi Arabia is supporting, according to Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri, a Saudi military spokesman. He told CNN Saudi Arabia has been using CBU-105 in Yemen against armored vehicles and not in the city.

“There is no foreign fighters in Yemen, so far,” Asiri told CNN on Sunday.

Asiri also criticized the Human Rights Watch organization on how it obtains information, saying it is getting it from Houthi militia.

“The (HRW) report itself defines the 105 as anti-vehicle weapons. We do not use it against persons. We don’t have any operation in the cities. So the allegation which is in the report it is, I think it is not so solid.”

Read full on CNN

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Norway Apologizes for Selling Military Wares to Nigerian Insurgents

Nigeria – Norwegian Defense Chief Haakon Bruun-Hansen, at a military inquiry yesterday apologized for doing a poor job of selling several surplus vessels in 2012 and 2013, as they’ve wound up in the possession of Nigerian warlords.

According to NewsinEnglish.no, Bruun-Hansen admitted that military officials did not carry out a thorough check of the company, CAS Global, that bought six missile torpedo boats (MTBs) and the support vessel KMN Horten three years ago.

“The fact that the vessels have landed in Nigeria under Nigerian flag reflects a breakdown in our systems, and I apologize for that,” Bruun-Hansen said.

Although he wasn’t the defense chief at the time, Hansen took responsibility for the sales which became a scandal under his tenure.

Tompolo and Dokubo

The so-called “Nigerian boats” scandal emerged after a series of reports in newspaperDagbladet, and several members of the parliamentary committee noted on Thursday that a simple Internet search would have revealed that CAS Global only had a postbox address. Defense department officials nonetheless received the Nigerians who represented CAS Global and wanted to inspect the vessels that were up for sale.

Norwegian regulations prohibit the sales or export of material or services to private buyers who may arm the vessels and offer them for use in areas of conflict, and those regulations were violated.

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UN Report: 14 French Soldiers Raped Boys in Central Africa Republic

A French judicial source on Thursday in Paris confirmed that some of the French soldiers alleged to have sexually abused children in Central African Republic while on peacekeeping duties have been identified.

The source said the matter came to light earlier in the week, when Britain’s Guardian newspaper said it had acquired UN report that raised allegations of the rape of young boys by French troops.

The report said 14 soldiers were involved in the alleged abuse, which took place between December 2013 and June 2014.

The judicial source said soldiers of other nationalities were also implicated by the report, as subsequent French inquiries had identified some of them.

He said the case risked damaging the reputation of France’s military operations in Africa.

President Francois Hollande has been a strong advocate of using French military muscle to help secure peace in former colonies such as Central African Republic or Mali.

Read full on PT

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Xenophobia: South Africa Reacts Angrily To Nigeria’s Recall Of Her Ambassador

The South African government has reacted angrily to Nigeria’s decision to recall its ambassador from Pretoria over a wave of mob attacks on African migrants that killed at least seven people

In a statement by the South African foreign ministry on Sunday, the government said it is not aware of the reason the Nigerian government took that decision.

“We are not sure which actions or behaviour of the South African Government the Nigerian Government is protesting,” the statement said.

“If this action is based on the incidents of attacks on foreign nationals in some parts of our country, it would be curious for a sisterly country to want to exploit such a painful episode for whatever agenda,” the ministry said, lamenting Nigeria’s “unfortunate and regrettable step.”

Taking aim at its rival for economic and political dominance in Africa, Pretoria said it had held off blaming Nigeria’s government when 84 South Africans were killed in the collapse of a church building in Lagos last year.

South Africa had also refrained from blaming Nigerian authorities for the “more than nine months delay” in the repatriation of the bodies “or for the fact that when these bodies eventually returned, they were in a state that they could not be touched or viewed as required by our burial practice.”

The testy statement from Pretoria comes a day after Nigeria announced it was recalling its ambassador in Pretoria for consultations over “the on-going xenophobia” in the country.

South African President Jacob Zuma deployed troops last week to quell the violence in Johannesburg and the port city of Durban, which forced thousands of people from their homes over the past few weeks.

No deadly attacks have been reported in the past week.

The Nigerian foreign ministry said the attacks by mobs accusing foreigners of stealing their jobs had “created fear and uncertainty” among African migrants in “the former apartheid enclave.”

On Wednesday, the country’s junior foreign minister Musiliu Obanikoro summoned South Africa’s High Commissioner in Abuja to demand Pretoria take “concrete steps to quell the unrest”.

Obanikoro also demanded South Africa compensate the victims of the attacks.

Hundreds of Zimbabweans, Malawians and Mozambicans have been repatriated by their governments over the unrest, which has drawn fierce criticism of South Africans from Africans in other parts of the continent.

In its statement Sunday, South Africa’s foreign ministry hit back, reminding Nigeria of its own security shortcomings, as laid bare by the Boko Haram insurgency.

“We hope that the more than 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram will someday be reunited with their families,” South Africa said referring to a group of students kidnapped in the northern Nigerian town of Chibok that have been missing for over a year.

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South African Appears On Video Claiming To Be Killer Of Foreigners; Issues 14-Day Warning

The video you are about to watch may change your views on life permanently.

You are strongly urged to watch this video with careful composure.

There are no scenes of violence in the video however it does contain very disturbing speech.

The individual in this video who says he goes by the name, Sergeant Mabutu Butu Meseko Zuma, Ngugu, with his alleged friend, ‘Maseko,’ claims to be a South African behind the killing of many  fellow African foreigners in the country in the recent xenophobic unrest plaguing the nation that has government undertones.

This fellow praises and promises more killing of foreigners in South Africa.

South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma’s son has been accused by opposition activist Julius Malema of verbally promoting the xenophobic attacks.

We reported recently South Africa’s minister of small business actually suggesting support for looting against foreigners unless the ‘foreigners’ teach South Africans their ‘trade secrets.’

South Africa has deployed its army to Johannesburg and other violent regions.

Watch the video

 

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Xenophobia: Zimbabwean Woman Decapitated in South Africa

A Zimbabwean woman, Mrs Naume Garusa (41) featured image above, has become the latest victim of horrific xenophobic attacks after her body was found with her head decapitated following violent clashes in the Houghton suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, last Thursday.

Speaking at her funeral wake at a relative’s home in Mufakose, Harare, her son Brain Garusa, who is a student at the University of Zimbabwe, said he was shocked to receive reports of his mother’s death just two days after talking to her on her mobile phone.

“I am still in a state of shock because just a few days before her disappearance I had spoken to her. She had promised to send some money the following day.

“I asked her about the xenophobic attacks and she said the situation was tense but calm,” said Brian.

Mr Emmanuel Mhondiwa, who is brother to the deceased, said the family was devastated with the manner in which Mrs Garusa lost her life after working in South Africa for more than 12 years.

“She was the sole breadwinner to her children following the death of her husband and she had done so well as to be able to send one of them to university. When we started seeing images of xenophobic attacks on television we never imagined that our own flesh and blood could soon be a victim,” said Mr Mhondiwa.

He said his sister was reported missing on Thursday after some xenophobic disturbances in Johannesburg and the following day her body was found by police in a nearby bushy area with her head decapitated. Mr Mhondiwa said relatives in South Africa confirmed that his sister had been attacked by marauding xenophobic elements who targeted her as she came from her workplace.

“She has been working in South Africa since 2002 and her papers, including a work permit, were in order. We just don’t understand how fellow Africans could do this to another human being. We urge our Government to urgently deal with this matter as most deaths are not being reported,” Mr Mhondiwa said.

University of Zimbabwe Student Executive Council secretary-general Valentine Masaiti, who was part of a large contingent of students who visited the Mhondiwa family in Mufakose to commiserate with their fellow student, appealed to Government to liaise with the South African government to ensure that peace prevailed and reduce the loss lives. Mr Mhondiwa said Mrs Garusa’s body is expected to arrive in Zimbabwe tomorrow and will be buried in Chikombedzi, Chiredzi, on Wednesday. The Herald

400 Zimbabweans Repatriated As First Batch

Thupeyo Muleya in DURBAN, South Africa

THE first batch of 407 Zimbabweans who were displaced during the xenophobia-motivated attacks in the Chatsworth area of Durban in South Africa left for Zimbabwe last night by road via Beitbridge Border Post in a convoy of six luxury buses and a haulage truck.

They are expected to arrive in Zimbabwe late today.

These were part of the more than 3 000 people housed in nine tents at the Chatsworth holding camp with Mozambican nationals for the past seven days.

The transport was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to repatriate the victims and their luggage.

The group, comprising 112 woman, 92 children and 203 men, was enthusiastic to go home. The Zimbabwe Embassy assisted them with food and transport.

The Herald

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From Adeboye To A Sikh Temple…How David Cameron Went From ‘God’ To ‘gods’ [Photos]

By Jojo Kwebena

I was pleasantly encouraged upon hearing the news this morning that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, received prayers from our very own Nigerian Pastor Enoch Adeboye during the Festival Of Life Conference in London last night!

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Checking In On The UK General Election

General election time in the U.K. is always exciting, but so far this time around, the races have been particularly polarizing. Throughout 2015, neither the Conservative Party (also commonly referred to as the Tories) nor the Labour Party has managed to gain a significant advantage. Smaller parties, while operating without hope of securing a majority in Parliament, have made themselves heard. All of this has produced an especially compelling political race, and here’s what you need to know to follow it the rest of the way.

For starters, both major parties made headlines in the past week when their respective leaders released manifestos outlining their key goals and aspirations. Judging by The Telegraph’s at-a-glance look at the manifesto from Tory leader and current Prime Minister David Cameron, the Conservative Party’s approach is based largely on reaching out to working-class voters. As the article puts it, it’s a move to “shed their image as the ‘party of the rich.'” This approach includes an aim to lower or eliminate income tax for minimum wage workers, goals to produce significant numbers of new houses, jobs, and apprenticeships, and even the creation of 500 new schools without tuition. There are other highlights as well, in defense, immigration, and foreign policy. However, as often happens in political elections, the party appears poised to foc
us primarily on domestic and economic policy during the home stretch.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph produced a similar look at the Labour Party’s manifesto, presented by Ed Miliband and also geared largely toward domestic and economic policy. Overall, it does seem as if the Labour Party’s manifesto focuses more on the economy at the national level. There are plans to introduce a budget that cuts the national deficit every year while creating “a surplus on the current budget as soon as possible.” These goals were criticized as being somewhat vague, though they are appealing to those concerned with the economic direction of the country as a whole.

David cameron

So, which manifesto is resonating better with voters? At this point, it’s quite difficult to say. On Monday, Betfair political analyst Max Liu posted a sort of summary of various predictions that laid out the odds of success for each party and painted a pretty mixed picture overall. The key statistic within the article is that the Conservatives are currently 1.59 favourites to win the most seats come election day. However, perhaps just as significantly, Labour leader Ed Miliband is viewed as a 1.94 favourite to win the Prime Minister’s seat and take up residence at Downing Street. Perhaps the best way to take the projections at this stage is that neither party appears poised to take total control of British government. It may be that one party gains the most seats while the other has the Prime Minister; or, it may be that whichever major party “wins” still won’t have an overall majority in the House of Commons (that requires 326 seats).

If that last point—the winning party not gaining an overall majority—sounds a little bit strange, it can best be understood by looking at a projection model supplied by U.S. sports and political analysis site FiveThirtyEight. Known for incredibly accurate predictions in U.S. elections, FiveThirtyEight has been covering the U.K. general election as well. Going by their current predictions, it looks as if gains by the SNP (the Scottish National Party) may be largely to blame for there not being enough seats for a Conservative or Labour majority. The prediction sees the SNP bouncing from six to 42 seats, making it potentially the third-largest political party in the U.K.

Ultimately, the race should be fascinating to watch from now until May 7. With the two major parties locked neck-and-neck, and the SNP unexpectedly rising to become a formidable force in the elections, the next few weeks should amount to a frenzied power struggle with serious implications for the direction of the UK government.

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BBC is the Most Listened to International Radio in Somalia

13 April 2015. Almost every second adult in Somalia is a BBC radio listener, a new survey has found.  The survey also confirmed the BBC as one of the most trusted news sources in Somalia, and the most relevant and objective among the international broadcasters.

According to these figures, the BBC has further increased its reach on radio in Somalia, attracting almost half of the market.  With 1.7 million tuning in to its radio programming, BBC World Service is the country’s most listened to international radio.

In Somalia, the BBC broadcasts in Somali, English and Arabic.  Almost all of the BBC radio audience in this country tune in to the BBC Somali programming.

BBC Africa Editor, Solomon Mugera, comments:  “Radio is the most popular platform and a very important source of news in Somalia, and it’s just great to see that people come to the BBC for news and information they can trust.  These new stats show BBC Somali’s firm presence – alongside other BBC services – as a vital, objective source for audiences in the region, bringing them reporting and analysis that is relevant to them.”

As part of the two and a half hours of news and current-affairs radio programming throughout the day, BBC Somali offers a one-hour radio show on Fridays, Waxa ay ila tahay (In My View), debating the hottest topic of the week with invited experts and audiences interacting via phones and Facebook.  The Monday sports programme, Barnaamijka ciyaaraha, brings 15 minutes of the week’s biggest regional and global sports stories.

While about 70% of listeners in Somalia tune in to the BBC radio on FM, about a third access this programming via mobile phones.  More than half of the traffic to the BBC Somali website bbcsomali.com also comes from mobile devices*.  BBC Somali also connects with its audiences via social media – on Twitter @bbcsomali, on Instagram @bbcsomali and the BBC Somali page on Facebook.

BBC World Service’s radio broadcasts are available on shortwave and via rebroadcasting partner FM stations in the country, Radio Daljir, Radio Shabelle, Star FM and SBC.  Audiences can also listen online and via mobile phones.

BBC Somali has a considerable audience outside Somalia, in the wider region as well as among Somalis in the worldwide diaspora.  In Kenya, 810,000 people tune in to BBC Somali radio every week.

The update of the BBC’s audience in Somalia (including Somaliland and Puntland) came as a result of a national media survey conducted between May and July 2014.

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President Sisi of Egypt Slammed Over Al Jazeera Claims

Al Jazeera has condemned a claim by President Sisi that its journalists are activists rather than impartial observers. The network has also strongly defended its
coverage of an airstrike by Egypt in Libya last month, after Sisi said it had fabricated footage of dead children. Al Jazeera had strongly proven the authenticity of the footage at the time.
Sisi’s comments were made to a group of visiting African journalists, when their first question was about the ongoing case of the two Al Jazeera journalists currently being retried in his country.
Sisi said: “The Al Jazeera reporters in Egypt had turned into activists instead of objective journalists. Look at what they reported about our intervention in Libya against the ISIS for killing 21 Egyptian (Coptic Christians). They went and picked a picture they took in Syria and claimed that was Libya as a result of our air strikes on the ISIS positions. They claimed we had killed children and women. Egypt is not going to tolerate this …. We are working on the constitutional review to address some of these issues.”
Al Jazeera had aired one report of children killed by airstrikes in Libya since Egypt’s intervention. The February 16 Al Jazeera Arabic report included
footage of children killed by Egyptian airstrikes in Darna. Despite false accusations of inaccurate reporting by Egyptian media, all witnesses of the attack verified the authenticity of the Al Jazeera report.
Al Jazeera spokesperson Osama Saeed said that claiming Al Jazeera would fake footage of dead children was a “shocking” accusation.
“Sisi’s attack on Al Jazeera’s factual reporting is a poor and misguided attempt to draw attention away from the facts of the ongoing retrial of our journalists in Egypt. Before their arrests, Baher and Mohamed helped produce our accurate, balanced and comprehensive journalism in Egypt. All the work they were  involved in is available to view online. The president has previously said that he wished this case had never arisen, and recently promised to free Baher and Mohamed. Rather than make misleading and false claims regarding Al Jazeera’s coverage, the president’s efforts should be concentrated on ending this miscarriage of justice.”
The next retrial hearing is tomorrow. The previous two court sessions were adjourned quickly after prosecution witnesses failed to appear, a delay that has been criticized. Al Jazeera has communicated to its journalists to continue to concentrate on the case and to forgo any public comments on the case that may harm the ongoing retrial.
Sisi’s full interview via New Vision : Egypt is working to strengthen African roots and ties

 

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