Category Archives: World News

Breaking: Four killed in Russian church shooting

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Four people have been killed after a gunman opened fire on people leaving a church service in Russia’s Dagestan region.
Russian news agency Tass reported that the gunman killed four and wounded four others in an attack in the town on Kizlyar.
Tass quoted Kizlyar’s mayor, Alexander Shuvalov, on the number of people killed and injured in the attack.

Herdsmen’ poison lions, vultures

As Nigeria tries to work out a way to solve the herdsmen-farmers conflict, Tanzania is facing a different dimension of the problem.

Herdsmen have been involved in clashes with operators of wildlife parks in the East African country.

During the week, six lions and 74 vultures were found dead near a national park, south of the country.

 

Gaudence Milanzi, permanent secretary for natural resources and tourism, said the way the animals were killed suggested they had been poisoned by local herdsmen amid an escalating human-wildlife conflict in the country.

“I can confirm that six lions were poisoned in the wildlife management area just outside of the Ruaha National Park. We are investigating this incident,” Milanzi said, according to China’s news agency, Xinhua.

“An investigation launched by the government has been able to arrest one suspect, with samples of the poisoned lions and vultures taken to the chief government chemist laboratory to identify the type of poison used,” he said.

Tanzania’s $2billion tourism sector, which depends heavily on wildlife safari, is the biggest foreign exchange earner, but there are growing clashes between wildlife populations, farmers and livestock keepers.

Conservationists described the latest mass poisoning of lions and endangered vultures near the Ruaha National Park as a “devastating scene,” with the scavengers killed after eating a poisoned cattle carcass.

“Six lions… had been killed, apparently from poison, as they were all found close to a scavenged cattle carcass,” the Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP), part of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), said in a statement.

“This event had additional tragic consequences, with dozens of critically endangered vultures found dead or badly affected.“They eventually found 74 dead vultures as well as the six lions.

“Four other sick vultures were taken to the Ruaha National Park for treatment. One died shortly after arrival, but the others are doing well. It appears as if someone poisoned a carcass after lions attacked cattle.”

Alarmingly, poisoning is a common response to conflict,” said the Ruaha Carnivore Project, which is monitoring lion populations in Tanzania.

In 2014, a herdsman near the Ikona Wildlife Management Area in Serengeti district in Mara region poisoned to death seven lions after they attacked his cows.

Donald Trump’s Wife, Melania Appears To Snub Him Again Amid Cheating Scandal. Photos

American President, Donald Trump was left clinging onto wife Melania’s thumb as they alighted Air Force One following allegations he had an affair with a Playboy model. The President and First Lady touched down in Florida on Friday to meet with victims of the horrific school shooting, which left 17 people dead on Valentine’s Day.

But Melania appeared to ignore the searching hand of her husband as they disembarked their plane after touching down at West Palm Beach today.

The flight started off in an equally frosty manner when Mrs Trump broke from tradition and boarded Air Force One in DC without her husband.

An earlier advisory said the pair would board together, but a spokeswoman said the change was due to scheduling.

It comes a day after an explosive report claiming former Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal had a nine-month fling with Trump while married to Melania, which was then “covered up” by a newspaper – allegations both he and the paper strongly deny.

While coming down from the plane, the First Lady appeared to awkwardly pull her hand away at the time her husband went to grab it. Quickly covering up the apparent mishap, Trump put his hand around his wife and they walk down the plane stairs…

McDougal said she met Trump at a party for “The Apprentice” in 2006 and told The New Yorker in a hand-written note that he “immediately took a liking to me”.

Karen McDougal

She alleges that after talking for a couple of hours the pair had sex, and he offered her money when they had finished.

McDougal wrote: “I looked at him (and felt sad) and said, ‘No thanks – I’m not ‘that girl.’”

 

She also claimed the National Enquirer – run by a pal of the US president – helped to cover up the scandal, paying her $150,000 (£107,000) for the exclusive rights to the story, but then never published it.

McDougal ended their nine-month affair in April 2007, according to the article because she could not look at herself in the mirror any more.

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South Africa’s Jacob Zuma faces 18 criminal charges on multi-billion rand payments for arms deal

 

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, president until Wednesday when he resigned on live TV, faces an uncertain future as his legal challenges mount and his support network crumbles.
Analysts sketch several scenarios for Zuma, an anti-apartheid activist who rose to the presidency only to become thickly tarred by a reputation for graft.
These include prosecution over a series of corruption charges and then securing a presidential clemency from his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa.
He may also quietly disappear into retirement in his home province of Kwa-Zulu Natal — or even skip the country, according to these narratives.
Zuma faces 18 criminal charges over 783 payments he received linked to a multi-billion rand 1990s arms deal, and the clamour for him to face justice has been growing in recent months.
The charges were set aside just weeks before he became president in 2009. It will now be down to the National Director of Prosecutions to decide whether to reinstate them.
A court recently ruled that the Zuma-appointed chief prosecutor Shaun Abrahams — dubbed “Shaun the Sheep” by media — is compromised and must be replaced.
Ramaphosa’s choice of successor could directly influence the outcome of the decision on whether the charges against Zuma are revived.
Zuma may also face charges over state corruption arising from his links to a controversial Indian business family, the Guptas.
“We are looking at a very awkward, troublesome and uncertain period for Zuma as he defends himself on all these fronts,” commentator Daniel Silke said.
If convicted, Zuma could face decades in jail. Zuma previously spent 10 years in jail on the notorious Robben Island between 1963 and 1973 after being convicted by the apartheid regime of conspiring to overthrow the government.
If Zuma is prosecuted and convicted, the next question is whether Ramaphosa would intervene to pardon the erstwhile president.
On one hand, Zuma was a celebrated anti-apartheid struggle figure who was close to Nelson Mandela and still has huge support — especially in the ANC’s rural heartlands.
On the other, a pardon could taint Ramaphosa’s clean-hands image and give the opposition a stick with which to beat the ANC. General elections are due in 2019.
“Nobody is above the law, even if you are the president. There is no immunity,” said constitutional law expert, Pierre de Vos.
But as sitting president, Ramaphosa “can pardon anyone who has been convicted of a crime,” he said.
With backroom deals being a well-worn feature of South African politics, in return for a quiet departure, Zuma, 75, could have received assurances that he will not be prosecuted or pursued in his elder years.
In that case, it is most likely that he would retreat to his rural Nkandla farmstead in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal in the country’s east.
He could even, after a time, be rehabilitated as a benign national father figure like his two living predecessors Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe.
South African media has reported that Zuma’s sons have extensive business interests in Dubai and have received personal guarantees from the UAE’s leaders.
In June, the Citizen newspaper published a story headlined “United Arab Emirates a safe haven for SA fugitives hoping to avoid extradition.”
That would mean that Zuma and his family would likely be beyond the reach of South African prosecutors in the sunny emirate.
But analysts predict he will not head abroad.
“Why would Jacob Zuma, who says he has done nothing wrong, want to flee the country?” asked Silke.
“It would be an unpatriotic act not to face the law of the country, especially for a former president.”
At the heart of many scandals surrounding Zuma are the Guptas, whose wealth and influence are huge. However, the family’s power has been shaken in recent days.
Police this week raided the palatial family home in Johannesburg making several arrests and issued a further warrant for family linchpin, Ajay.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin congratulates new South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa

 

President Vladimir Putin of Russia has congratulated Cyril Ramaphosa on his election as the President of South Africa, the Kremlin’s press service said Friday.
Putin also expressed appreciation for his contribution to the struggle against apartheid and the emergence of a democratic society in the country.
“Putin sent a congratulatory telegram to Ramaphosa on the occasion of his election as the President of South Africa.
“The Russian leader expressed appreciation for Ramaphosa’s contribution to the struggle against apartheid and the establishment of a democratic society in South Africa, and expressed the belief that his work as the president would further advance the country toward progress and prosperity,” the press release read.
Ramaphosa took over as president of South Africa on Thursday, immediately vowing to fight corruption in a direct reference to accusations levelled against his predecessor, Jacob Zuma.
Ramaphosa’s appointment as head of state came less than 16 hours after his rival Zuma resigned, having defiantly refused to leave office for days.
Within minutes of the result of a parliamentary vote being announced t in Cape Town, Ramaphosa said he would move to tackle endemic graft in South Africa.
“Issues to do with corruption, issues of how we can straighten out our state-owned enterprises and how we deal with ‘state capture’ are issues that are on our radar screen,” he said, in a reference to improper influence over government institutions, ministers and state-owned businesses by Zuma’s associates.
Ramaphosa, 65, sat quietly while lawmakers from the ruling African National Congress stood, clapped and sang in celebration.
He was elected unopposed.
In a short speech, the former deputy president reached out to opposition parties, telling parliamentarians that “South Africa must come first in everything we do”.
““This is not yet uhuru (freedom). We have never said it is uhuru. We are going to seek to improve the lives of our people on an ongoing basis, and since 1994, we have done precisely that,” Ramaphosa said.
The ANC has a substantial majority in parliament and the vote was effectively a formality.
Although deeply divided, the party has already closed ranks after the crisis of recent days and rallied around Ramaphosa.
Party officials who nominated him described the president as “a revolutionary cadre who has served the people of South Africa all his life and will strength the unity of our country”.
Patrick Maesela, an ANC MP, said: “Africa and the world are pinning their hopes on your revolutionary leadership.”
The Economic Freedom Fighters, a radical leftwing opposition party, walked out of parliament, saying the assembly was illegitimate and new elections were necessary.
Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, offered congratulations and said his party would “cooperate” if the president “acts in the interests of the people of South Africa”.
Maimane said the country did not have a “Jacob Zuma problem but … an ANC problem”.
Ramaphosa, a former anti-apartheid activist turned successful businessman, is the standard bearer for the moderate, reformist faction of the ANC.
Commentators said Zuma, 75, represented the party’s more populist, nationalist elements.
The latter’s resignation put an end to an intense political crisis that threatened to inflict significant damage on the ANC, which has ruled South Africa since the country’s first free elections in 1994.
In a televised address to the nation late on Wednesday, Zuma said he was a disciplined member of the party, to which he had dedicated his life.
“I fear no motion of no confidence or impeachment.
“I will continue to serve the people of South Africa and the ANC. I will dedicate my life to continuing to work for the execution of the policies of our organisation.
“The ANC should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect,” Zuma said.
The announcement ended an extraordinary day in South African politics, which begun with a dawn raid on the home of the Guptas, a business family at the centre of recent corruption allegations levelled at Zuma.
Ajay Gupta, one of the three Gupta brothers accused of having improper links to Zuma, was declared a fugitive from justice on Thursday after failing to hand himself in to police.
Zuma, who has led the ANC since 2007 and been South Africa’s president since 2009, was due to leave power next year.
His tenure was marred by economic decline and multiple charges of graft, undermining the image and legitimacy of the party that led the struggle against apartheid.

Jacob Zuma’s Five Biggest Career Scandals

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Submits Resignation After Protests(Photos)

BREAKING!! President Shocks Citizens, Resigns(Photo)

Palestine threatens legal action against Israel, US

Palestine is considering legal options in case Israel and the U.S. choose to derail negotiations on the Israel-Palestine settlement, Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki told Sputnik in an interview.
Palestine has been seeking a new format of peace talks with broader mediator participation since refusing to let the U.S. remain the sole main mediator following the latter’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“We are asking for advice from many internationally recognised legal experts to help us also to focus on different specific legal tracks and to see what we could do in the near future when it comes to this.
“You know, if the negotiations track is closed by the rejection of Israel and the U. S., that means that they are not leaving us with many options but to focus on the legal one,” Maliki said.
Maliki underlined that Palestine has signed over 100 international conventions and agreements containing certain conditions on how member states should or could act.
“We believe will be reviewing all these bylaws of the hundreds of conventions and agreements, we’ll see if we could also utilise them in order also to use them within the legal track also in that sense,” the minister stressed.
According to Maliki, Palestine may ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank or could go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) or courts within different countries to hold Israel accountable for its actions.
“First of all, Israel represents an occupying power, and this is something we should really address maybe through the ICJ.
“When it comes to the criminal actions committed by the Israeli government then we could back to the ICC, when it comes to some actions taken by Israel like trying to sell settlement products then we will go to the European court, or to the national country courts,” he explained.
He also said the Palestinian government does not intend to self-dissolve and hand control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to Israel.
On Monday, Nabil Shaath, the foreign affairs adviser of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told Sputnik that some within the Palestinian National Authority were discussing the option of dissolving the administration of the autonomy and let Israel bear the full brunt of running the occupied West Bank.
“No, you know, the current status of the Palestinian authority was created by Oslo agreements and was supposed to end in 1999 with moving into a full-fledged state.
“This did not happen, so obviously, if we want to move from where we are, we are not talking about a regression to the status, we should really talk about how we can really move closer to the state which was given to us by the UN resolution of Nov. 29, 2012, which says that the state of Palestine is under occupation,” Maliki said.
Commenting on Shaath’s words, the foreign minister stressed that these were referring to the mood of some in the administration who are dissatisfied with the fact that Israel continues to occupy the West Bank but does not pay any of the costs while refusing to move closer to the two-state solution.
“This is really a discussion that continues to be heard within the Palestinian circles just to give back Israel full responsibilities of the occupation and let them really face all this financial and others security challenges,” he said.
The minister said the main objective was nevertheless to “move forward” to declaring a full-fledged Palestinian state.

Kuwait pledges $2 billion for Iraq’s reconstruction

 

Kuwait will lend one billion dollars to Iraq and commit a further one billion dollars of investment to the country, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Sabah told an international conference on Iraq’s reconstruction on Wednesday.
Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait this week to discuss efforts to rebuild Iraq’s economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a devastating conflict with Islamic State militants who seized almost a third of the country.
“Kuwait will earmark one billion dollars in loans to Iraq and will commit to another one billion dollars as investments in Iraq,” said Sheikh Sabah.
Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December, having taken back all the territory captured by the militants in 2014 and 2015.
The fighters have also been largely defeated in neighboring Syria.
Rebuilding Iraq after three years of war with Islamic State will cost more than $88 billion, with housing a particularly urgent priority, Iraqi officials say.
At the same conference the U.S. said it was extending a three billion dollars credit line but was not providing any direct government assistance.
International NGOs have so far pledged 330 million dollars in humanitarian assistance.
Iraq has suffered from decades of war and it is striking that it is holding its reconstruction conference in Kuwait, which it invaded in 1990, leading to defeat by a U.S.-led coalition and more than a decade of sanctions.
Kuwait will celebrate Liberation Day from Iraq in two weeks and Iraq still pays it reparations.
NAN reports that the director-general of Iraq’s planning ministry, Qusay Adulfattah, on Monday said rebuilding Iraq after three years of war with Islamic State will cost more than 88 billion dollars.
Adulfattah told the international donors’ conference that rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilising the states of the region and the world,” said Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili.
The seven provinces attacked by the militants, he said, suffered 46 billion dollars in direct damage, including the destruction of 147,000 housing units, and the security forces took $14 billion in losses.
He said tens of billions more were lost indirectly through damage to the wider economy and years of lost growth.
Iraq has published a list of some 157 projects for which it is seeking investment.
They include rebuilding destroyed facilities such as Mosul airport and new investments to diversify the economy away from crude oil sales, developing transport, agriculture and oil-related industry including petrochemicals and refining.
Rebuilding homes, hospitals, schools, roads, businesses and telecommunications will be key to providing jobs for the young, ending the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people and putting an end to decades of political and sectarian violence.

BREAKING!! Political Crises: President Zuma Bows To Pressure, Agrees To Resign

South Africa’s ANC To Remove Jacob Zuma As President

Donald Trump Daughter-In-Law Hospitalized After Opening Suspicious Envelope Containing White Powder

Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law has been taken to hospital after opening a letter containing a white powder. The letter had been addressed to Vanessa Trump’s husband Donald Jr – the president’s eldest child with ex-wife Ivana.

Donald Trump Jr’s wife taken to hospital

The letter had been addressed to Vanessa Trump’s husband Donald Jr – the president’s eldest child with ex-wife Ivana.

The 40-year-old was taken to hospital as a precaution at around 10am when she opened the envelope at her apartment in New York.

It is unclear what the suspicious powder was but Vanessa’s mum was also taken to Weill Cornell Medical Center as she was in the house at the the time along with a third person.

The NYPD and officials from the departments of Health and Environmental Protection were scrambled, along with the Office of Emergency Management.

Law enforcement sources told New York Post the powder turned to be cornstarch.

The NYPD’s intelligence division and the Secret Service are investigating the incident.

World War: Russia successfully tests new air defense missile

 

The Russian military has successfully tested a new air defense missile at a range in Kazakhstan, a local newspaper reported Monday.
A new modernized air defense missile has successfully fulfilled the task and reached the target with specified accuracy in Sary Shagan of the Kazakhstan firing range, Andrei Prikhodko, deputy commander of Aerospace Forces’ air and missile defense taskforce, told Russia’s Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper.
Prikhodko also highlighted that the missile’s tactical and technical characteristics regarding the range, precision and life span far outweigh the ones currently in service.
All parts of the missile are Russian manufacturers-made, said Prikhodko.
The new modernized air defense missile can handle both single and multiple strikes, including with the use of the new generation intercontinental ballistic missile, added Prikhodko.

Trump Has Touched The Lions Tail, Pakistan Taliban Blow Hot After US Airstrike killed Their Dep Chief

Pakistan Taliban says deputy chief killed in US drone strike

 

The deputy chief of the Pakistani Taliban has been killed in a US drone strike, the militant group said in a statement Monday, as Washington continues to intensify attacks along the Afghan border region.
Khalid Mehsood, deputy leader of the umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, died after the pre-dawn strike in North Waziristan tribal agency on February 8, the militants said in the emailed statement.
The group’s leaders have nominated Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud to take his place, the statement said, adding Mehsud has “undeterring trust” in Pakistani Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah.
US officials in Islamabad had no immediate comment. Much of the border with Pakistan’s northwestern tribal areas is off-limits to foreign journalists, and strikes along the porous frontier are difficult to verify.
The statement comes as the US has massively stepped up its air offensive in eastern Afghanistan, targeting Taliban drug labs and Islamic State hideouts as President Donald Trump looks to the sky to force the insurgents to the table.
But militants have reacted violently, launching a wave of deadly attacks across the war-torn country, including in Kabul, in a devastating display of defiance.
Officials admit the US strategy is not without risk, and the longer it runs the more costs will accrue.
More bombing almost invariably means more civilian casualties, which could further mobilise Afghans against the United States.

There will be no room for Muslims in America after us: Trump sanctions 3 people, 3 firms for supporting Islamic State

 

The U.S. on Friday said it has imposed sanctions on three people and three companies in the Philippines, Turkey and Somalia that supported the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
The U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that the sanction also include a business that procured parts for an unmanned aircraft.
According to the statement, the sanction was imposed on Abdulpatta Abubakar for providing financial and material support for IS and its network in the Philippines, Yunus Sakarya and his Turkey-based firm Profesyoneller Elektronik for procuring parts for unmanned aircraft for IS.
He said that it also sanctioned Mohamed Yusuf and his firms Liibaan Trading and Al Mutafaq Commercial Company for activities supporting IS in Somalia.
The Trump administration had on Feb. 2 attacked Hezbollah’s financial network by imposing sanctions on six people and seven entities in an effort to turn back Iran’s influence in the Middle East and beyond.
According to Mnuchin, “the administration is determined to expose and disrupt Hezbollah’s networks, including those across the Middle East and West Africa, used to fund their illicit operations.
“The six sanctioned individuals included five Lebanese and one Iraqi, most of them linked to Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting.
“The seven entities were firms based in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Lebanon and Ghana,” the Treasury Department said.

Thousands Of Venezuelans Trying To Enter Columbia To Escape Economic Crisis(Pic

Thousands of desperate Venezuelans are trying to enter Colombia in a bid to escape the hunger and soaring crime rate caused by the spiralling economic crisis.

Incredible pictures show the mass exodus of refugees crossing the Simon Bolivar international bridge trying to flee the political crisis threatening to engulf Venezuela.

Colombia along with its neighbour Brazil has sent extra soldiers to patrol their porous border with the country after officially taking in more than half a million migrants over the last six months of 2017.


The country is also tightening its border controls in a bid to stem the flow.

The dire economic conditions have led to lawlessness in parts of Venezuela’s capital Caracas, with truck drivers subjected to ‘Mad Max’ violence as looters target heavy goods vehicles carrying food.

Company Gives Sex Dolls For Free To Customers After Being Forced Out Of Its Building

A brothel is given away sex dolls for free after being forced out of its building. Lovedoll UK was selling the custom-made silicone dolls out of an industrial estate in Gateshead – but are now being forced to move after receiving renting complaints from neighbours.

The UK first sex doll company has claimed it was left with no choice but to leave its premises and with nowhere to store its sex dolls they are now being given away for free.

So far, around £30,000 worth of used sex dolls have been given away to customers who entered into a lottery-style draw to win a latex lover – with the draw continuing until tomorrow.

A spokesperson for Lovedoll UK, based in Tyne and Wear, said: “The time we were given to move out of the business centre did not allow us to arrange transport, storage and a new premises. “So we had to make the decision to pack up the existing stock and just ship it out.”

They said they were initially only given 24 hours but were able to have their time extended to three days.

The spokesperson said: “We did not want to have any downtime, so decided giving away free dolls would be a good way of keeping the business running. “A lot of people in the business centre have genuinely been sad to see us go, we have been there for a long time and so you get attached.

“Some didn’t even know what we did – but a very small percentage didn’t like it when they found out through the press coverage.”

 

Landlord Bizspace have confirmed that Lovedoll UK have left, saying that the business did not fit in with their “company values”.

ISIS: Saddam Hussein’s eldest daughter, Raghad declared wanted

Raghad, the eldest daughter of former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, has been declared wanted by the country’s security services.

She is on the “most wanted list” of 60 people released on Sunday, on suspicion of belonging to the Islamic State group, al-Qaeda or the al-Baath Party.

Raghad has denied being a member of ISIS.

According to Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV channel, she has vowed to confront those who “insult her” by suing them back.

Raghad fled to Jordan along with her sister, Rana, and their children in July 2003.

Since 2006, she has been on the list of those the new Iraqi government is seeking to prosecute for supporting violence.

However, the Jordanian government has turned down the request by Iraq to hand over Raghad, insisting that to do so would violate Arab traditions of hospitality.

Heavy Tensions Flare in Southern Cameroons After Buhari Detains And Extradites 46 Ambazonia

Tensions continue to climb in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon as separatist groups demand the release of their leader and 46 other prisoners extradited last month from Nigeria. The government has sought to reassure the population.

A woman and her husband cry at the Baptist Hospital mortuary in the English-speaking town of Mbingo, in northwestern Cameroon. The woman has just discovered the lifeless bodies of her younger brother and three others. She said they were arrested last Wednesday and accused of killing two gendarmes. She refused to grant an interview, but workers of the hospital told VOA the bodies were brought there by unidentified men.

The so-called Anglophone crisis began in Cameroon over a year ago, sparking bouts of deadly unrest and more recently, clashes between alleged separatist militants and security forces. The Anglophone community in Cameroon is protesting political and economic discrimination in the majority French-speaking country.

Joseph Banadzem, lawmaker from the northwest region, said the military is responding by violently cracking down on the population.

“The army who are supposed to maintain law and order, to protect property, to protect lives, [they] go on the rampage in villages, burning houses, burning food stuff, people’s stores and so. All ransacked. It is unbelievable. It is inacceptable. It is inhuman,” he said.

Colonel Didier Badjeck is a spokesperson for Cameroon’s military. He said the military is committed to preserving Cameroon’s territorial integrity.

He said the armed separatists are using mercenaries and carrying out abuses on the population, whom he said will very soon understand that they have to trust only the country’s military.

Violence has escalated since January when Nigeria detained and then extradited separatist leader Ayuk Tabe Julius and the 46 other alleged separatists to Cameroon.

The separatist groups are demanding their leaders be released. At least four schools have been burned as of last Friday and at least 12 people have been killed, according to local media, which report unconfirmed casualties among both armed separatists and soldiers.

Many businesses remain closed in the two English-speaking regions amid fears of more violence.

The 47 detainees extradited from Nigeria have not been seen in public. International human rights groups warned against the extradition, saying the detainees could face torture or worse.

Nigeria is now also facing criticism from the U.N refugee agency, which said that most of those handed over to Cameroon had applied for asylum in Nigeria and their “forcible return” violated Nigeria’s international obligations.

On Friday, Cameroon government spokesperson Issa Tchiroma issued a press release saying the detainees are safe and would be appearing in front of the law courts soon. He did not comment on the charges they would answer.

Pope Francis, Recep Erdogan discuss Jerusalem as scuffles break out near Vatican

Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the first visit by a Turkish president to the Vatican in 59 years on Monday, discussing the status of Jerusalem with Pope Francis, as scuffles broke out between police and demonstrators nearby.
Police, who put much of the centre of the city under lock-down for the visit, said two people were detained after demonstrators tried to break through cordons to get closer to the Vatican from an authorized protest several blocks away.
Returning a visit made by the pope to Turkey in 2014, Erdogan spoke privately with Francis for about 50 minutes in the pontiff’s frescoed study in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, which he uses mostly for ceremonial purposes.
A Vatican statement said the talks included ”the status of Jerusalem, highlighting the need to promote peace and stability in the region (Middle East) through dialogue and negotiation, with respect for human rights and international law.”
Both Erdogan and Pope Francis are opposed to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which many U.S. allies say could doom Middle East peace efforts..
At the end of the private part of the meeting, the pope gave Erdogan a bronze medallion showing an angel embracing the northern and southern hemispheres while overcoming the opposition of a dragon.
“This is the angel of peace who strangles the demon of war,” the pope told Erdogan as he gave him the medallion, made by the Italian artist Guido Verol.
“(It is) a symbol of a world based on peace an justice.”
The public part of the meeting, with reporters and Erdogan’s entourage, was cordial, although both men seemed stiff at the start while seated at the pope’s desk before journalists were ushered out.
Erdogan’s motorcade entered a virtually deserted St. Peter’s Square after the streets that are usually bustling with tourists were closed due to security fears.
An authorised demonstration of about 150 people including Kurds and their supporters outside nearby Castel Sant‘Angelo, a fortress on the banks of the River Tiber, turned violent when police in riot gear pushed back shouting and shoving protesters who tried to break through their lines.
At least one demonstrator was injured, a witness said.
Some 3,500 police and security forces were on duty in Rome and authorities declared a no-go area for unauthorized demonstrations that included the Vatican, Erdogan’s hotel and Italian palaces where he is meeting the president and prime minister.
Matteo Salvini, head of Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League, said in a tweet that it was “shameful” that the government was receiving Erdogan, calling him “the head of a bloody, freedom-killing Islamic regime”.
Erdogan and the pope spoke by phone in December after Trump made his announcement on Jerusalem and agreed that any change to the city’s status quo should be avoided.
The Vatican backs a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with both sides agreeing on the status of Jerusalem – home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions – as part of the peace process.
Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state, whereas Israel has declared the whole city to be its “united and eternal” capital.
Among Erdogan’s delegation was the Mehmet Pacaci, Turkey’s ambassador to the Vatican. Erdogan recalled Pacaci to Turkey in 2015 when Francis became the first pope to publicly call the 1915 killing of as many as 1.5 million Armenians “genocide” – something Turkey has always denied.

Kenya Shuts TV Stations Over Odinga Coverage

Just In: Donlad Trump Lampoons Buhari’s Government And Others Over Stand On Jerusalem

President Donald Trump on Tuesday slammed countries that voted at the UN General Assembly against US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Buhari’s administration was one of the nations that kicked against Trump’s decision.

The US leader, in his first State of the Union Address, wondered why there was opposition against America’s sovereign right to make the recognition.

In his speech, Trump noted that America had greatly improved under his leadership.

“American taxpayers generously send those same countries billions of dollars in aid every year.

“That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends.

“As we strengthen friendships around the world, we are also restoring clarity about our adversaries,” he said.

Reeling out his accomplishments in office in the past one year, Trump said 2.4 million jobs were created in the last one years while unemployment was at its lowest in 45 years.

The U.S. leader also said African-American unemployment stood at the lowest rate ever recorded in history and the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS’) defeat.

Trump touted the largest tax cut in American history saying roughly three million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses.

“Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.

“Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.

“”Small business confidence is at an all-time high. The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining eight trillion dollars in value.

“That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.

“And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history,” he said.

Trump, who started out his address recalling some of the perilous moments in the past one year, noted the unity showed by both Republicans and Democrats at such sad moments.

He, therefore, made bipartisan appeals for unity saying “it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy.

“Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.”

BREAKING!! George Weah Shocks African Leaders, Takes Salary Cut

Kenya’s Self-Declared President, Odinga May Face Treason Trial

World’s tallest man meets world’s smallest woman in Egypt (PHOTOS)

The world’s tallest man, Sultan Kosen from Turkey, and the world’s smallest woman, Jyoti Amge from India, were invited to the site of the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt on Friday.

Politician Arrested For Soliciting Fund

Brazil’s ex-president barred from travelling, passport seized after this happened

 

Brazilian court has ordered former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to hand over his passport and not to leave the country.
Lula was planning a trip to Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia on Friday, where he was set to participate in a meeting with African leaders to discuss efforts to eradicate famine on the continent.
The decision came a day after an appeals court rejected Lula’s appeal against a lengthy prison sentence for corruption after the ex-president was found guilty of having received illegal benefits from the state oil company Petrobras.
Judge Ricardo Leite, from the 10th federal court in the federal capital of Brasilia, ordered the seizure of Lula’s passport. He said that the decision was not related to Lula’s corruption charges or his prison sentence.
Leie’s ruling came as Lula faced another case in which he is accused of using his influence to help the Brazilian air force buy jet fighters from Sweden.
Despite these setbacks, Lula on Thursday was named a presidential candidate by his Workers’ Party.

US embassy to open in Jerusalem in 2019 – Mike Pence


The American embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of next year, US Vice President Mike Pence told Israeli parliamentarians to enthusiastic applause. Greeted by a standing ovation on Monday inside the Knesset, Pence’s speech was in its introductory phase when a scuffle broke out as Palestinian lawmakers from the Joint Arab List alliance raised posters of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in protest before they were forcibly removed by security.
“America stands with Israel,” Pence said, undeterred by the disruption. “We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause. Your values are our values, and your fight is our fight.
“We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, and good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny,” Pence said to loud applause.
In an unprecedented move, the US embassy invited leaders of settler movements in the occupied West Bank to attend Pence’s speech in the Knesset – the first ever by a US vice president.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is a staunch supporter of illegal Israeli settlements and in the past headed an organisation that donated millions of dollars to one in the West Bank.
‘Gift to extremists’

Al Jazeera’s correspondent Harry Fawcett said Pence’s address was directed at two groups: Israelis and his Christian conservative base at home.
“It was a speech full of religiosity, talking about the Hebrew bible and its significance here in Israel,” Fawcett said, speaking from inside the Knesset in West Jerusalem.
Chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority Saeb Erekat derided Pence’s speech for its controversial religious nature.

“The messianic discourse of Pence is a gift to extremists and has proven that the US administration is part of the problem rather than the solution,” Erekat said, according to a tweet by the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s negotiations affairs department.
“His message to the rest of the world is clear: violate international law and resolutions and the US will reward you,” Erekat added.
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, highlighted the “scary” tone of Pence’s address, noting the American vice president’s Christian Evangelical background.
“This is a Catholic turned Evangelical. It’s like almost a Wahhabite turned Ayatollah politician that is really bent on a religious war in the Middle East,” Bishara said.
He also noted Pence spoke in terms of defending the Christians of the Middle East, while Christians in the region have refused to meet him.

“It’s quite frustrating to analyse a person who speaks in terms of wanting peace while at the same time demolishing the entire basis for peace,” said Bishara. “An entire sermon goes on without mentioning once that the Palestinians have been forced either into refugees or under occupation for the last 50 to 70 years.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, met with European Union leaders in Brussels on Monday and urged them to quickly recognise Palestine officially as a nation state.

“We truly consider the European Union as a true partner and friend and, therefore, we call its member states to swiftly recognise the state of Palestine and we confirm that there is no contradiction between recognition and the resumption of negotiations,” Abbas, 82, told reporters.
Pence visit to Egypt, Jordan
Pence’s visit to the Middle East marks the first by a senior US official after US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last month, exacerbating tensions with Palestinians who have protested against the declaration.

 

The vice president spent a whirlwind 36 hours in Egypt and Jordan, capping a visit that was marked by tense discussions with the two leaders who are opposed to the US decision.
King Abdullah of Jordan urged Pence to stick to the two-state solution, which would see East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Pence earlier told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi if the Israelis and Palestinians “accept it” then the US would adopt that solution.

The United States Government Has Officially Shutdown