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.

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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.

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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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South Africa’s Ramaphosa Vows To Fight Corruption

Newly elected President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said his first duty as the No 1 citizen of the country is to confront endemic corruption and supervise mismanagement in state-owned enterprises.

Cyril  was elected president in a parliamentary vote yesterday after the resignation of scandal-ridden Jacob Zuma, on orders from the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

Ramaphosa will serve out the remainder of Zuma’s term until 2019 elections. Seen as an ally of Zuma, Ramaphosa was appointed deputy president in 2014.

Ramaphosa, while giving his pledge promised to work hard “not to disappoint the people of South Africa.”

He also said one of the first things he wants to do is have a meeting with the leaders of other political parties “so we can try and find a way of working together.” He said he will outline his policies in a state of the nation address tomorrow evening.

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Cyril Ramaphosa Elected As South Africa’s New President

Following the resignation from office by immediate past South Africa;s President, Jacob Zuma, after being alleged of gross misconduct and corruption charges, lawmakers have on Thursday,selected Cyril Ramaphosa as the country’s new president.

Ramaphosa, the leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), party since December, was the only candidate nominated during a session of parliament.

“I truly feel humbled to have been given this great privilege of being able to serve our people,” Ramaphosa said in an address to members of parliament moments after he was confirmed as President.
He pledged to act as a “servant of our people” and said he intended to lead with “humility, faithfulness and dignity.”
“I will try to work very hard not to disappoint the people of South Africa,” Ramaphosa added.
Zuma resigned on Wednesday as the ANC finally turned against him after a nine-year reign dominated by corruption scandals, economic slowdown and plummeting electoral popularity.

In an earlier TV interview on Wednesday, Zuma said he had received “very unfair” treatment from the party that he joined in 1959 and in which he had fought for decades against apartheid white-minority rule.

Zuma had been in a power struggle with Ramaphosa, his deputy president.

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South African President, Jacob Zuma Resigns

South Africa’s embattled President Jacob Zuma has resigned his office with immediate effect.

He made the announcement in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening.

Earlier, Mr Zuma’s governing ANC party told him to resign or face a vote of no confidence in parliament on Thursday.

The 75-year-old has been under increasing pressure to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s new leader.

Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, faces numerous allegations of corruption.

His resignation came at the end of a long speech in which he said he disagreed with the way the ANC had acted towards him.

He said he did not fear a motion of no confidence, adding: “I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability.”

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Somali Issues ‘Fatwa’ Banning Female Genital Mutilation

The Somali’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, on Tuesday, issued a “fatwa”, or religious edict, banning Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), in the country.

The edict said those who perform FGM would face punishment, and victims would be eligible for compensation.

“The reason that this harmful practice has existed for so long is that people believe it is because our religion or culture dictates that we should do it,” said Ayan Mahamoud, Somali land’s representative in Britain.

“The fatwa is basically a message from the government to everyone in Somali land that there is no religious or cultural basis for FGM,” Mahamoud added.

Mahamoud said the religious ban, which coincided with the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, was timely as it comes weeks before a bill outlawing the practice is expected to before parliament.

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Full List Of Oscars 2018 Nominations

After months of anticipation, this year’s Oscar nominations are finally being revealed.

Best Picture:

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards

Best Director: 

Jordan Peele, Get Out

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro, The Shape Of Water

Best Actress: 

Sally Hawkins

Frances McDormand

Margot Robbie

Saoirse Ronan

Meryl Streep

Best Actor: 

Timothee Chalamet

Daniel Day-Lewis

Daniel Kaluuya

Gary Oldman

Denzel Washington

Original Screenplay: 

The Big Sick

Get Out

Lady Bird

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards

Adapted Screenplay: 

Call Me By Your Name

The Disaster Artist

Logan

Molly’s Game

Mudbound

Best Animated film: 

Coco

The Breadwinner

Ferdinand

Loving Vincent

The Boss Baby

Original song nominees: 

Remember Me (from Coco)

Mystery of Love (from Call Me By Your Name)

This Is Me (from The Greatest Showman)

Mighty River (from Mudbound)

Stand Up For Something (from Marshall)

Best Documentary:

Faces Places

Icarus

Last Men in Aleppo

Strong Island

Small Enough to Jail

Best Documentary Short: 

Edith & Eddie

Heaven is a Traffic Jam

Heroin(e)

Knifeskills

Traffic Stop

Best foreign language:

A Fantastic Woman (Chile)

On Body and Soul (Hungary)

The Insult  (Lebanon)

Loveless  (Russia)

The Square (Sweden)

Best supporting actor nominees:

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards

Best Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Make-up & Hairstyling:

Darkest Hour

Victoria & Abdul

Wonder

Film Editing: 

Baby Driver

Dunkirk

I, Tonya

The Shape Of Water

Three Billboards

Visual Effects: 

Blade Runner 2049

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Kong: Skull Island

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

War for the Planet of the Apes

Best Original Score: 

Dunkirk

Phantom Thread

The Shape of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Three Billboards

Live Action Short Film:

DeKalb Elementary

The Eleven O’Clock

My Nephew Emmett

The Silent Child

Watu Wote/All of Us

Best Animated Short Film: 

Dear Basketball

Garden Party

Lou

Negative Space

Revolting Rhymes

Best Sound Mixing: 

Baby Driver

Blade Runner 2049

Dunkirk

The Shape of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Best Sound Editing: 

Baby Driver

Blade Runner 2049

Dunkirk

The Shape of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Best Costume Design: 

Beauty and the Beast

Darkest Hour

Phantom Thread

The Shape of Water

Victoria & Abdul

Cinematography: 

Blade Runner 2049

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

Mudboud

The Shape of Water

Production Design: 

Beauty & the Beast

Blade Runner 2049

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

The Shape of Water

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Mother Donates Two Organs To Save Her Son’s Life

A devoted mother has risked her own life to undergo a double organ donation for her four-year-old son.

Sarah Lamont, from Ballymena, Northern Ireland, recently donated one of her kidneys to her little boy, Joe, and just months later surgeons also removed a section of her liver.

Diagnosed with two aggressive organ diseases before his first birthday – polycystic kidney disorder and congenital hypatic fibrosis, a form of liver disease – doctors were concerned that Joe might not survive as his kidneys were so enlarged they took up his whole abdomen and crushed his lungs.

As such, the little boys kidneys were removed when he was just a few days old and he has been on dialysis ever since

Concerned that her son was “missing a huge part of his life”, the selfless mother took matters into her own hands and elected herself for organ donation.

“We waited for the call to come and it never did,” she told a local TV station -Barcroft.

“Then I thought, ‘If I can give a lobe of my liver, and Joe can receive a kidney, why can I not give both?’

“I’m so glad that I can help my little boy. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Independent

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Mother And Daughter Shot Dead While Immunising Kids From Polio

Gunmen have shot and killed a mother and her daughter who were immunising children against polio in Pakistan’s south-western city of Quetta.

The attack took place as hundreds of polio teams, many of them volunteers, were out working on a cSakina Bibiampaign against the disease, police official Naseebullah Khan said.

Sakina Bibi, 50, and her 20-year-old daughter, Alizah, were providing polio immunisation drops to children when two gunmen riding on a motorcycle shot them. “Both died on their way to the hospital,” said Khan.

It is the latest in a string of attacks on attempts to prevent children from contracting the crippling and sometimes deadly disease.

Pakistan’s prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, condemned the attacks. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

“Polio teams are rendering a huge national service to save our children from the crippling disease. Attack on these dedicated workers, risking their lives for their nation, is an attack on our future,” Abbasi’s office said in a statement.

Guardian

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Ethiopia Frees Leading Opposition Leader

People in Ethiopia’s Oromia regional state flooded the streets as they welcomed the release from detention of Merera Gudina, a leading opposition voice in the country.

Thousands of people clad in apparels that bore Gudina’s picture lined the streets leading to his residence where the authorities sent him after his release.

His release comes barely two weeks after the government said it was dropping cases against a number of politician prisonsers as a means of engendering national unity.

Gudina and over 500 others were released in the first phase of the announced reform.

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UN Brands Trump A Racist Over Remarks About Haiti And African Nations

The United Nations has decried comments United States President Donald Trump allegedly made about countries in Africa as ‘racist’.

Yesterday, Trump questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and ‘s***hole countries’ in Africa, rather than places like Norway in rejecting a bipartisan immigration deal.

‘There is no other word one can use but “racist”,’ U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a Geneva news briefing when asked about the comments.

‘You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘s***holes’, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.’

 The African Union continental body said it was ‘frankly alarmed’ by Trump’s comments.

‘Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice,’ AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said.

‘This is particularly surprising as the United States of America remains a global example of how migration gave birth to a nation built on strong values of diversity and opportunity.’

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress went even further and called Trump’s comments ‘extremely offensive.’

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