Category Archives: WorldNews

Again, Israeli jets strike Syrian military facility in Hama

Israeli fighter jets have struck a military facility in western Syria, killing two people, according to a Syrian commander quoted by the state-run news agency SANA.

The army statement said the air strike caused material damage near the town of Masyaf and warned against the “dangerous repercussions of this aggressive action to the security and stability of the region”.

The site is in Hama province, 46km north of Homs.

The air strike was carried out from Lebanese airspace and two people were killed at the site, SANA said, adding that it would embolden “terrorists” in Syria fighting the government.

An Israeli army spokesperson declined to discuss reports of the air strike, saying the army did not comment on operational matters.

“Israeli warplanes at 2:42am today fired a number of missiles from Lebanese air space, targeting one of our military positions near Masyaf, which led to material damage and the deaths of two members of the site,” the Syrian army said in a statement.

Masyaf is a town in western Syria, approximately 60km east of the coastal city of Tartus, where Russia maintains a naval base.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the site targeted by Israel is home to a research centre sanctioned by the US as part of Syria’s non-conventional weapons agency.

An AFP news agency report said Syria’s army operates a military facility north of Masyaf that includes a training camp and a branch of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC).

The US has accused the SSRC of developing the sarin gas weapon allegedly used in a chemical attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in April, which left dozens dead.

On Wednesday, UN war crimes investigators announced they had an “extensive body of information” indicating Syrian warplanes were behind the attack.

Syria’s army did not mention the SSRC in its statement. The government has rejected accusations of chemical weapons use in Khan Sheikhoun as “fabrications”.

North Korea’s missiles ‘could reach Europe sooner than expected’ – French minister

North Korea could develop missiles that can reach Europe sooner than expected, the French defence minister has warned.

Reuters reports that Florence Parly told the French military in Toulon there are risks to the continent from intercontinental ballistic missiles being built by Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Her comments came after Russian leader Vladimir Putin said that any new sanctions against North Korea because of its nuclear programme would be “useless” and “ineffective”.

Ms Parly said in a speech: “The scenario of an escalation towards a major conflict cannot be discarded.

“Europe risks being within range of (North Korean President) Kim Jong Un’s missiles sooner than expected.”

A report overnight said that the North is moving what appears to be an intercontinental ballistic missile towards its west coast.

South Korea’s Asia Business Daily cited an intelligence source as saying the rocket was spotted moving on Monday, the day after Pyongyang’s sixth and largest nuclear test.

The North Korean missile programme’s launch facilities are on its west coast – and the move was reportedly made during the night to avoid surveillance.

South Korea’s defence ministry said it could not confirm the report, but it said on Monday that its neighbour was ready to launch more missiles.

In July, North Korea tested two ICBMs capable of flying about 6,200 miles, threatening parts of the US mainland.

The closest European country to North Korea is Norway, which is a straight-line distance of around 3,900 miles away.

But that doesn’t take into consideration the fact that a missile would have to leave the atmosphere and return to earth.

The minister’s warning comes days after North Korea claimed to have carried out a hydrogen bomb test – estimated by South Korea to have been three times as powerful as the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

One of North Korea’s top diplomats said his country was ready to send “more gift packages” to the United States.

Han Tae Song, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, told a conference on disarmament: “I am proud of saying that just two days ago on the 3rd of September, DPRK (North Korea) successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test for intercontinental ballistic rocket under its plan for building a strategic nuclear force.

“The recent self-defence measures by my country, DPRK, are a ‘gift package’ addressed to none other than the US,” he added.

“The US will receive more ‘gift packages’ from my country as long as its relies on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on the DPRK,” he concluded without elaborating.

Theresa May’s spokesperson told reporters that the North Korea nuclear programme threatens the whole international community and the whole international community, including China, must work together to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

BREAKING: King Salman meets Saraki, other Islamic world leaders in Jeddah

Senate President Bukola Saraki along with Presidents and heads of parliaments of other nations met with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia at an annual reception in Jeddah.

Saudi’s leading English daily newspaper “Arab News” reported that the annual reception held at Mina Palace for heads of state, Islamic dignitaries, guests of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, guests of government bodies and heads of delegations and pilgrim affairs offices who performed Hajj rituals in 2017.

At the outset of the reception, King Salman shook hands with Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir; Gambia’s President Adama Barrow; Comoros President Osman Ghazali; Yemen’s Vice President Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmr; Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail; Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam; Princes Hashem and Hamzah bin Al-Hussein of Jordan; Iraq’s Representative Council Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri; Jordan’s House of Representatives Speaker Atef Tarawneh.

The King also exchanged handshake and pleasantries with President of the Nigerian Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki; Niger’s National Assembly President Ousseini Tinni; Mauritius Vice Prime Minister Showkutally Soodhun; Bangladesh’s former President Hussain Mohammed Ershad among others.

Other countries who had representatives at the meeting include: Russia, Afghanistan, Comoros, Lebanon, and senior officials from a number of Islamic countries.

King Salman congratulated the guests while praying to Allah Almighty to accept pilgrims’ Hajj and prayers, praising Him that pilgrims perform their Hajj rituals in tranquility, security and ease.

He said that the Holy Land was determined more than ever before to provide best services during hajj to increase the facilitation of Hajj performance and the safety of the visitors of the Grand Holy Mosque and the Prophet’s Holy Mosque.

“We are completing in our works the gigantic efforts exerted by the kings of this blessed country since the era of its founder late King Abdul Aziz (May Allah bestow mercy upon his soul),” he added.

“The arms of terrorism have sought to harm the holy sites without any consideration to their sanctities. However, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — with Allah’s help and in cooperation with the Kingdom’s brothers and friends — have achieved great successes in eradicating terrorism and drying up its sources firmly and persistently.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represents the heart of the Muslim world. Therefore, it senses the hopes and pains of Muslims everywhere, strives to achieve unity, cooperation and solidarity in our Muslim world, and achieves security and peace in the whole world.

“I pray to Allah Almighty to help our brothers the pilgrims of the Grand Holy Mosque to complete Hajj rituals and return home safely.

“I wish that you are well every year. May Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.” He said.

Minister of Islamic Affairs and Traditional Education of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Ahmed Ould Ahl Dawood, who delivered a speech on behalf of the guests congratulated King Salman and the crown prince on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha and the great facilities and services being provided to the pilgrims.

UN Labels N/Korea “Global Threat”

North Korea has evolved from being a regional menace to a “global threat,” the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog has said.

Drug Suspect In U.S Jumps Into Ocean To Evade Police, Swims Near Huge Shark & This Happened (Photos)

A North Carolina man unknowingly jumped into shark infested waters as he tried to escape arrest.

US gives Russia 48 hours to close three missions or this will happen

In a retaliatory move, the U.S. has given Russia 48 hours to close three of its missions in San Francisco, Washington D.C. and New York.

The spokesperson of the U.S. Department of State, Heather Nauert, said in a statement on Thursday that the move was to achieve parity in diplomatic missions.

Moscow had asked Washington to reduce its missions officials in Russia in retaliation for the seizure of property belonging to Russians and expulsion of dozens of Russian nationals by President Barack Obama.

Mr. Obama took the decision on the eve of the end of his tenure in January in retaliation against Russia’s alleged meddling in the Nov. 8, 2016, U.S. presidential election.

“The United States has fully implemented the decision by the Government of the Russian Federation to reduce the size of our mission in Russia.

“We believe this action was unwarranted and detrimental to the overall relationship between our countries.

“In the spirit of parity invoked by the Russians, we are requiring the Russian Government to close its Consulate General in San Francisco, a chancery annexe in Washington D.C. and a consular annexe in New York City.

“These closures will need to be accomplished by September 2. With this action, both countries will remain with three consulates each.

“While there will continue to be a disparity in the number of diplomatic and consular annexes, we have chosen to allow the Russian Government to maintain some of its annexes in an effort to arrest the downward spiral in our relationship,’’ the department said.

The U.S. said it hoped that having moved toward the Russian Federation’s desire for parity, it could avoid further retaliatory actions by both sides and move forward to achieve the stated goal of both of the two countries’ presidents.

The department noted that the goal of both President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin was improved relations between the two countries and increased cooperation on areas of mutual concern.

“The United States is prepared to take further action as necessary and as warranted,” the department added.

It said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson phoned his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, “to inform him that we had met their required reduction in size by their deadlines.’’

“And he also informed him of our plans to close the facilities in question.

“There was also a meeting between our acting Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs John Heffern, who conveyed the decisions and our response to the Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Dmitry Zhirnov,” it added.

Explosion rocks chemical plant, See where it happened this time

A resounding blast and thick black smoke has been seen issuing from the Arkema plant at Crosby, BBC reports.

Due to the heavy rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, the complex lost its ability to refrigerate chemical compounds that need to be kept cool. At that, there surely was no way to prevent an explosion and the company did warn of it.

It should be noted that, The Arkema chemical plant, which is 21 miles (34km) from Houston, shut down its production on Friday just before the storm made landfall. But, with a 40in (102cm) of rainfall in the area which flooded the plant site, the power disconnection and back-up generators flooded was unavoidable.

The chemical plant manufactures organic peroxides compounds which are effective in the production of pharmaceuticals and construction materials among others, and can become dangerous at higher temperatures.

The CEO, Richard Rowe told Reuters  before the reports of explosions that, “Any fire will probably resemble a large gasoline fire. The fire will be explosive and intense.”

“ The black smoke produced would irritate skin, eyes and lungs. The high water that exists on site, and the lack of power, leave us with no way to prevent it” – he added.

However, as part of precautionary measures to prevent a major disaster, residents have been evacuated in a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) radius around the plant as a precaution – though, the fire is expected to be mostly contained to the site itself but.

The last remaining workers at the site were evacuated on Tuesday and Federal Aviation Administration has issued a temporary ban on flights near the plant.

Tension As US deploys warships, Reason Will Shock You

The Pentagon has identified two warships, hundreds of vehicles, dozens of aircraft and more than 400 troops that could be made available to respond to emergencies for hurricane relief in the next 24 hours in the Hurricane Harvey-ravaged Texas.

Two U.S. Navy warships, the USS Kearsarge and the USS Oak Hill, are also being deployed to Texas, where the disaster has claimed at least 20 lives, the Navy announced Wednesday.

The Oak Hill, a smaller dock landing ship, will bring supplies and join the Kearsarge in supporting “federal, state and local authorities ongoing relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey,” according to the Navy.

‘We are leaning as far forward as we possibly can to ensure that military assets are postured to support the needs of Texas and, potentially, Louisiana,” Maj. Gen. James Witham, Director of Domestic Operations at the National Guard Bureau, said.

About 30,000 more Guard members stood ready to assist in responding to hurricane relief efforts if needed as response to Hurricane Harvey will be a long-term, sustained effort, Witham said, in a statement by Department of Defense.

“More than 4,300 Guard members were already on duty in Texas, primarily assisting local authorities with search and rescue operations, while the entire Texas National Guard, numbering around 12,000 soldiers and airmen, have been called up to work,” he said.

Witham said some 30 helicopters are now in use by Guard aircrews, the general said, and additional helicopter assets have been requested through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which allows Guard elements from one state to assist in other states in emergencies.

Aircrews are supporting not only airborne search and rescue efforts with hoist capacity, but also medical evacuation capacity as required, Witham said.

“As you talk response and recovery, our response is very sustained,” Witham said, adding that the storm’s unprecedented amount of rainfall has made for a different sort of hurricane response.

“When the Guard responds to hurricane-type events, normally we talk about that first 72 to 96 hours for the lifesaving and life-sustaining that takes place. Then, we’re into the recovery effort.

“Due to the nature of this storm as it spun across southeast Texas for days and dumped historic levels of rainfall, our response has been very different than what we’ve looked at before.”

The U S. Coast Guard has 39 helicopters and seven airplanes stationed at two operating bases in New Orleans and Houston available for rescue response efforts in Texas and Louisiana, according to a tweet from the service.

The H-65 Dolphin and HH-60 Jayhawk are the two helicopters primarily used by the Coast Guard while the C-130 aircraft serves as the service’s main fixed-wing cargo plane.

The U.S. Marine Corps is deploying 690 U.S. Marines aboard the USS Kearsarge and the USS Oak Hill set to sail on Thursday.

The official said additional aviation assets will include: eight MV-22B Ospreys, three CH-53E Super Stallions and three UH-1Y Hueys. In addition to the air assets, the Marines will also have water purification and storage capability.

Israel declares Hebron an official Jewish settlement, Biafra Next?

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman upgraded the municipal status of Hebron’s Jewish community, separating it from the Palestinian municipality, which governs the West Bank city.

Liberman announced the change in the status of the 1,000 Jews in Hebron during a briefing with reporters in Tel Aviv.

A 1997 agreement split the city, of what is now more than 220,000 Palestinians, leaving 80% under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority and 20% under Israel. But the Hebron Municipality is expected to provide basic services to the Jewish community, which has limited ability to government its own life.

The upgrade severs them from the Hebron municipality and allows them to independently seek services from the Civil Administration, which oversees civilian life in Area C of the West Bank.

The move was necessitated this year after the Palestinians in Hebron elected as their Mayor Sheikh Tayseer Abu Sneineh, who had been convicted and served time for his role in killing six Israelis in a terrorist attack.

“For years, Hebron’s Jewish residents lived without a municipal authority to take care of all the services required for normative civilian life,” said Deputy Defense Minister Eli Dahan (Bayit Yehudi). “After the election of a murderer for mayor of Hebron, the idea that they will receive these services from the municipality has become even more absurd.”

He added: “This is another important step in normalizing the lives of the Jews in Hebron, in particular, and in all of Judea and Samaria, in general.”

The upgrade comes during a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

In July, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization registered Hebron’s old town and the Tomb of the Patriarchs to the State of Palestine on its World Heritage List.

The inscription focuses on preserving the Muslim character of the 3,000-year-old-city with ties to three monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Most of Hebron’s Jewish community of close to 1,000 people, live in the city’s old town.

It also comes as the Defense Ministry is in the midst of fierce negotiations to sway 15 Jewish families in Hebron to peacefully evacuate Beit Hamachpela, a three-story apartment building they illegally moved into in July.

The families have worked for the last five years to register their property claim and have provided documentation to show that they purchased it from the Abu Rajab family, which disputes the claim and has filed a petition before the High Court of Justice, seeking the removal of the Jewish families.

SOURCE: The Jerusalem Post

President Buhari condoles with victims of US Hurricane Harvey

​President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commiserated with victims of the recent Hurricane Harvey in Houston, USA.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who issued a statement on behalf of the President and people of Nigeria specifically commensurate with Nigerians who are living over there, describing the incident as unfortunate.

The press release made available to DAILY POST Tuesday evening by Dabiri-Erewa’s Media Aide, Abdurrahman Balogun, expressed concern about the damage done to the homes of those living in that area, thus rendering thousands homeless.

The statement reads, “With over four million estimated Nigerians living in the US, statistics show that Houston hosts one of the highest community of Nigerians in that country.

“It must be noted that at the very least 80 per cent of Nigerians resident in places like Galveston, Cypress, Houston and the Bayou area have had their properties and personal belongings damaged.

“There was a case of a rescued Nigerian from Akwa Ibom state on Monday by speed boat having lost his car, home and personal belongings.

“This is to send my heartfelt concern to Nigerians living in Houston, and indeed all residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. It is really sad and disturbing”.

Dabiri-Erewa on behalf of President Buhari then called on Non- Governmental Organisations, corporate bodies as well as well-endowed individuals to join in raising funds for victims of hurricane Harvey in Houston.

“We should always be our brothers keepers and lend a helping hand as

we are now one big global family”, Dabiri-Erewa pleaded.

The President in the statement, however, commended the efforts of the US government in giving succor to the victims as she prayed unto God to protect those living there.

Africa Should Be Ashamed Of Leaders Seeking Treatment Abroad – South African Minister

South Africa’s Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has criticised African leaders for seeking medical treatment abroad.

BREAKING!!! Israel Reacts to Fresh Move by FG to Re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu

Following the unscrupulous move to re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu, an international offshore battle commandant of the Isreali Defence Force (Name Withheld) Has issued a serious stern warning to the Nigerian government and her security forces, stating that any attempt to arrest Kanu will ignite and trigger the beginning of an unwanted situation with the country. And the IDF will not sit and watch you repeat the senseless and bias prosecution melted on innocent harmless agitators.

From the time’s past records have it that the Youths from the Northern part of Nigeria (Arewa Youth Coalition) have made several threats and treasonable offences, not even that they were not arrested by never did the sick puppet president reprimand them. If Nigerian government are serious about the unity and equity of that country they should take a bold step to arrest the northern youth and broker a dialogue with the Biafra freedom agitators. We will proliferate Nigeria disastrously if the

“We will proliferate Nigeria disastrously if the government senselessly miss calculates and take a step that will be a monumental mistake. Nigerian government is hereby urged to handle every domestic issues with democratic processes. The IDF will continue to watch and monitor the move of Nigerian security force, and we will repeat any attempt to arrest Kanu will put Nigeria into a disastrous beginning.”

BREAKING: Suicide bomber kills many, see where it happened this time

A suicide bomber blew himself up on a busy shopping street near the US embassy in central Kabul Tuesday, killing four people and injuring several others, officials said.

It was the latest in a series of deadly attacks to hit the Afghan capital, and comes three months after a massive truck bomb ripped through the same area, killing about 150 people.

Najib Danish, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s interior ministry, told AFP the explosion happened outside a private bank.

The blast happened Tuesday morning atpected to be collecting their salaries ahead of this week’s Eid holiday.

Kabul Bank, the private institution hit by the blast, usually pays the salaries of security forces personnel and government employees.

Images broadcast on Afghan television showed the bank’s mangled exterior.

Waheed Majroh, a health ministry spokesman, said one dead body and eight wounded people had been brought to Kabul hospitals so far.

The blast occurred on a street lined with shops and banks leading to Massoud Square, near the United States embassy and Kabul’s diplomatic area.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Taliban insurgents are currently at the peak of their summer fighting season, and have launched several deadly assaults around the country in recent weeks.

Since NATO forces ended their more than a decade-long combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, Afghan troops and police have struggled to beat back the resurgent Taliban, while facing the growing menace of the Islamic State group.

North Korea missile test, another provocation – US

North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test that flew over Japan on Tuesday is “another provocation” and a big concern, the U.S. disarmament ambassador said.

U.S. envoy Robert Wood told reporters in Geneva that Washington still needs to do “further analysis” of the missile that flew over Japan’s northern Hokkaido island into the sea.

“It’s another provocation by North Korea, they just seem to continue to happen.

“This is a big concern of course to my government and to a number of other governments,” Wood said before a session of the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament where North Korean Ambassador Han Tae Song was to speak.

The test, one of the most provocative ever from the reclusive state, came as U.S. and South Korean forces conduct annual military exercises on the peninsula, to which North Korea strenuously objects.

North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests under young leader Kim Jong Un, the most recent on Saturday, but firing projectiles over mainland Japan is rare.

“North Korea’s reckless action is an unprecedented, serious and a grave threat to our nation,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters.

Abe said he spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday and they agreed to increase pressure on North Korea.

 

 

Trump also said the United States was “100 per cent with Japan”, Abe told reporters.

South Korea’s military said the missile was launched from near the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, just before 6 a.m. (2100 GMT Monday) and flew 2,700 km, reaching an altitude of about 550 km.

Four South Korean fighter jets bombed a military firing range on Tuesday after President Moon Jae-in asked the military to demonstrate capabilities to counter North Korea.

South Korea and the United States had discussed deploying additional “strategic assets” on the Korean peninsula, the presidential Blue House said in a statement, without giving more details.

North Korea remained defiant.

Wow!! Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg Welcomes His Second Baby, August. See Photo

Facebook Owner, Mark is sure going to be a very happy daddy as he welcomes his Second daughter today…

Another War Loading!! North Korea Shrugs Off UN Sanctions, Fires 3 New Missiles

The crisis in the Korean Peninsula is far from being resolved as North Korea on Friday fired “several projectiles” into sea off its eastern coast.

North Korea’s Kim ‘starting to respect US’ – Trump

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is “starting to respect” the United States, President Donald Trump declared, even as Pyongyang revealed plans for its missile development Wednesday and Kim ordered a production boost.

Trump’s remarks, at a rally in Phoenix, came hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said talks with the nuclear-armed North over its banned weapons programmes might be possible “in the near future”.

The comments are a marked contrast to the rhetoric of recent weeks, when Trump spoke of raining “fire and fury” on the North, and come as tensions have eased after Kim pulled back from a plan to send a salvo of missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam.

But Washington also imposed new sanctions on Chinese and Russian firms suspected of doing business with the North.

Pyongyang, meanwhile, revealed significant technological advances in its missile programmes and ambitious plans to further improve its capabilities.

On a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defence Science, Kim ordered stepped-up production of rocket engines and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) nosecones, state media reported.

At a campaign-style rally in Phoenix, Trump said his aggressive rhetoric was starting to bear fruit.

“Some people said it was too strong. It’s not strong enough,” he told thousands of supporters. “But Kim Jong-Un, I respect the fact that I believe he is starting to respect us. I respect that fact very much.

“And maybe, probably not, but maybe something positive can come about.”

Earlier Tillerson acknowledged Pyongyang’s recent “restraint” in not carrying out fresh nuclear or missile tests in response to tough new United Nations sanctions, the seventh set imposed on it.

“I am pleased to see that the regime in Pyongyang has certainly demonstrated some level of restraint that we’ve not seen in the past,” Tillerson said at a rare press conference, adding that talks may be possible “in the near future”.

US officials told AFP that Tillerson was not thanking Pyongyang, nor making any concession on Washington’s determination to halt Kim’s missile programme and negotiate the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

The Trump administration’s rhetoric has been highly variable but Washington has said it would be open to dialogue if Pyongyang took steps to calm tensions.

Tensions between North Korea and the United States and its allies soared last month after Pyongyang tested two missiles that appeared to bring most of the US mainland within range.

The North says it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself against the US — it regards current joint military exercises by Seoul and Washington as a rehearsal for an invasion.

It has made rapid technological strides under Kim, and released pictures on Wednesday of a visit by him to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defence Science, which develops the North’s missiles.

Analysts said the images revealed major advances and ambitions.

Kim, in a black suit, was shown next to a large brown tube that Joshua Pollack of the US Middlebury Institute of International Studies said on Twitter was a “wound fibre cylinder, evidently a large-diameter solid-rocket motor casing in the making”.

Such casings are harder to manufacture than metal ones but are much lighter, enabling longer ranges and heavier payloads.

Other pictures included missile schematics and what appeared to be production processes.

“We have diagrams and names on two apparent new solid fuel multistage North Korean nuclear capable missiles,” one of them an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and the other a medium- or intermediate-range device, said independent missile and nuclear analyst George Herbert.

The official Korean Central News Agency said the nosecones and engine jets were made of “carbon/carbon compound material”, and that Kim “instructed the institute to produce more solid-fuel rocket engines and rocket warhead tips”.

Many of the elements on show were objectives rather than currently existing technology, analysts said, but even so, Jeffrey Lewis, of the armscontrolwonk.com website, noted: “It’s all bad.”

“If I understand North Korean propaganda, this is their way of telling us what we’ll see in the air in the coming year.”

Trump has urged Beijing, North Korea’s only major ally, to bring greater pressure to bear in reining in its neighbour’s nuclear efforts, suggesting that the United States may offer concessions on trade in return.

On Tuesday the US Treasury slapped sanctions on 16 Chinese and Russian individuals and companies, accusing them of supporting North Korea’s weapons programmes and attempting to evade US sanctions.

Floods kill almost 1,000 in India, Nepal and Bangladesh

Almost 1,000 people have been killed over a period of two weeks in some of the worst flooding to hit South Aisa in decades, with residents running out of food and clean water, oficials said.

Bangladesh, India and Nepal have put the combined death toll at at least 800 since August 10.

The Red Cross said on Tuesday that 24 million people have been affected by the floods, with large areas of land submerged in water.

“The situation is going from bad to worse,” said Jagan Chapagain, Red Cross under secretary-general, as he confirmed the death toll given by regional authorities.

“This is the worst flooding that parts of South Asia have seen in decades.”

Flood waters in the three countries have killed hundreds of people who were stranded and cut off from road access. Many villages are now only accessible by boat.

The Red Cross says it needs more than $3.5m to help people in Nepal.

The charity is planning to launch a separate campaign to raise funds to help people in Bangladesh.


But the organisation said India has the resources needed to respond, without foreign help.

Victims in India blame the government’s inability to response adequately.

“There is water everywhere. Houses are under water, but no government help has reached us,” Kheya Ram, a resident of Bihar district Darbhanga, told Al Jazeera.

Almost one third of Nepal and Bangladesh is flooded, leaving residents vulnerable to water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, malaria, dengue fever and encephalitis.

“We have to sleep on the side of the road, and we will have to die on the side of the road. We don’t have a house, nothing to eat, everything was swept by the flood,” Mohammad Sahi Muddin, a flood vicitim from Nepal’s Birgunj city, told Al Jazeera.

The heavy rain has also taken a toll on wildlife, with rescue teams pulling stranded animals from raging waters in India’s Kaziranga National Park, including rare one-horned rhinos and other endangered species.

The 3rd Longest Africa Serving Leader Is Stepping Down After 38 Years

 

For the first time in 38 years, tomorrow Angolans will have a new president.
Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the country’s long-time leader, announced in December 2016, that he would not seek re-election and, in his place, João Lourenço, Angola’s defense minister, has been chosen by the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) to seek the presidency. Dos Santos, 74, is said to have health issues. In May, after a prolonged absence, the government confirmed dos Santos was in Spain for one of his “regular health checks” and his daughter later was forced to deny reports of his death.

Given the MLPA’s dominance in Angolan politics—the party has ruled Angola since its independence from Portugal in 1975—Lourenço is expected to win the parliamentary elections.

But for the first time in decades, opposition parties believe they’ve got an outside shot at power. A pollcommissioned by the presidency predicts the ruling party will only secure 38% of the votes while National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the main opposition party, will receive 32%. CASA-CE, another party, is projected to win 26%. More damning, 91% of the more than 9,000 poll respondents said MPLA’s current leadership does not act in the best interest of Angolans. In 2012, the MPLA received 72% of the vote; in 2008, it received 82% of the the total votes.

Information reaching LOADEDCHUKS from Quartz Africa has it that Whoever wins, dos Santos and his family are is likely to retain significant power.

Last month, the government passed new laws which prevent the next president from firing the military, police, and intelligence chiefs. Dos Santos will continue as leader of the MPLA while his daughter Isabel will stay in charge of Sonangol, the state oil company, after being appointed in June 2016, and Jose Filomeno, dos Santos’ son, will remain in charge of Angola’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund. In June, Dos Santos was granted a seat on the Council of the Republic, a presidential advisory body whose members enjoy immunity from prosecution.

Lourenço has campaigned on anti-corruption measures in line with his hardline stance. In the late 1980s, as governor of Benguela province, Lourenço jailed some members of his own party for corruption.

The winning party will need to defuse anger at what is perceived to be large-scale corruption among Angola’s elite. Despite its vast oil wealth—Angola is Africa’s second largest oil producer—inequality remains high. Much of Angola’s development is concentrated in Luanda, its capital city, which is so littered with lush hotels and apartments that it is considered to be the most expensive city in the world for exert patriates. Meanwhile, infrastructure in the rest of the country is poor.

The 2016 Africa Prosperity Report by the Legatum Institute found that Angola has been “under-delivering” prosperity to its citizens. That reality has gotten worse over the past two years as oil prices have dipped, slowing the country’s growth. To cope with the fall in revenue, the government cut essential servicesincluding waste collection services. A deadly yellow fever outbreak which killed more than 400 people (pdf) has been cited as a costly fallout of that decision.
Opposition parties are working to boost an unlikely victory. To ensure transparency at the polls, CASA-CE hopes to leverage technology by using a computer program to calculate results based on data from party delegates at polling stations and minimize rigging. But MPLA is not standing by idly either. Citing security concerns, government authorities have banned protests and demonstrations by groups not contesting the elections.

Zimbabwe declares Mugabe’s birthday a national holiday

Zimbabwe has declared President Robert Mugabe’s birthday on February 21 a national holiday, a state daily reported Saturday, honouring the veteran politician in power since 1980 who opponents accuse of brutal repression and devastating the economy.

The declaration of the Robert Mugabe National Youth Day came after lobbying by the ruling ZANU-PF party’s youth league.

“In declaring this day, we would like to highlight to our youths the values and principles so brilliantly displayed by President R.G. Mugabe which have resulted in an exemplary life that our youths can emulate,” state-owned Herald newspaper quoted home affairs minister Ignatius Chombo as saying.

He said the cabinet made the decision after years of lobbying by the ruling party which also said it wants the country’s main airport named after Mugabe.

Last week the cash-strapped government announced plans to build a $1bn Robert Mugabe university, joining several other facilities named after him including the government’s school of intelligence, a main street in the capital Harare and the highway to his rural home.

Mugabe, now 93 years old, first came to power after Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain. He says he plans to contest elections due next year despite his advanced age and concerns over his frail health.

Zimbabwe’s economy has been run down, with output halved since 2000, while many basic services have collapsed and government salaries use up more than 90 percent of all public revenue.

Opposition parties are in talks to try to unite and field one candidate to oppose Mugabe in the next presidential poll.

Past elections, however, have been tainted by violence and intimidation by ZANU-PF operatives.

AFP

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White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is the latest top official under President Donald Trump to leave his post.

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Burkina Faso soldiers to get counter-terrorism training from Germany

Burkina Faso has agreed to a counter-terrorism training offer from Germany after the capital Ouagadougou was attacked late Sunday night resulting in the death of 18 people.

A top German official disclosed the training deal after a meeting with Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Kabore on Wednesday, Bloomberg news reports.

“Germany is engaged in Mali in the training of its forces, and we decided to enlarge it to the Burkinabe and they accepted,” Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Defense Ministry, Ralf Brauksiepe, said.

The recent attack in Burkina Faso is the second in less than two years after the January 2016 attack on the Splendid hotel that left over 30 people dead.

Sunday night’s siege extended to Monday leaving dozens of people injured at a Turkish restaurant where security forces exchanged gunfire with the gunmen who were subdued.

Troops from five Sahel countries are putting together a joint counter-terrorism force in the region to tackle jihadist threats.

The troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger are undergoing training in Mali.

The African Union (AU) has called on the international community to support the G5-Sahel Joint Force to strengthen security cooperation on the regional level.

See How This 22 Year Old OAU Student Created a Million Dollar Empire

At just 22, Christopher ‘King’ Bowofade, finds himself living a life that only few can even dream of. He is the head of Better Days Investments (BTD) who buy and sells futures and options daily on behalf of 7,902 individual investors who get returns anywhere from 10% to 30% monthly.

He has 15 full-time employees and over N600 million under management in just over 2 years which is a remarkable feat by someone so young.

In an interview with Victor Bella, a social media strategist, and Coach, Christopher told his story on how he started out.

The report reads in part;

In late 2012, he was a fresh Diploma graduate, second best in his Conservation Science and Tourism class with a 4.41 GPA, but he was determined to be more than that. During the long break that preceded his direct-entry application to the Department of Economics at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), he stayed back in school to learn about a variety of fields over free school internet. He quickly became adept at graphic design and web development. But what really caught his eye was the financial market: forex, futures, options and binary options. These quickly became an obsession.

He would lose his first investor (his mum)’s $100 in one week, but this didn’t deter him. He found some British fund managers who became his mentors. He learnt to give one of them his money to trade for him. The fund manager returned 50% in a month. He was ecstatic. Once he was able to achieve that kind of return month after month, he felt ready to raise more money.

One of his earliest investors and evangelists was Johnson Alabi, the third best student in the Conservation Science and Tourism Diploma class. Johnson was one of those who urged him to start a company. Christopher used his PHP and CSS skills to build the company website, and they were ready for business. Their first investors would mainly be students looking to earn extra money; their first part-time staff, too.

In November 2015, BTD registered as simply a Commission Agency with CAC (neither SEC or CBN regulates speculative funds in foreign markets) and started out with N1 million from 20 investors. As returns came, word of mouth spread. Christopher and Johnson created a structure where investors signed up to be agents and earned commissions to manage other investors they brought in. At some point, they were doubling investors and asset under management every month.

They were working so hard, they forgot to go to class. This was the first year as 200 level undergraduates at the Geography department at OAU. At the end of first semester, Johnson had a GPA of 2.6, Christopher had a 1.9.

Things were going well on a business angle if not an academic one but it got worse when the MMM program went under which also affected Christopher’s business severely.

In December 2016, when majority of his investors who had thought BTD was some kind of multi-level marketing scheme started to request to withdraw all of their funds following rumours that Nigeria’s largest multi-level marketing scheme, MMM, had crashed.

“This was depleting our capital so much that it challenged the company’s sustainability.” That was Christopher putting it mildly. This was an existential crises that could have wiped out over 80% of his fund, as well as BTD itself, in under a month. He took firm action and froze the fund. He also revealed himself to many of his Lagos-based investors for the first time (some who had exposure of up to N30 million), and organised an Investor Conference in February of this year to allay their fears.

The road to startup success is dotted with what sometimes are the truest tests of skill and character. Bowofade, as he is sometimes called by friends, has had to quickly learn programming and trading in the financial markets while proving that he can make tough decisions as a leader. “Not many people can trade binary options,”He quipped at some point in our chat, “It requires that you make really important decisions in a split second.” He has been an ardent student of Trading Psychology, a term popular among traders that describes the emotional and mental make-up needed to succeed as a trader, built on the three cornerstones: stamina, patience and discipline. In addition, he has to embrace fear and take risk without flinching.

BREAKING!!! Barcelona Truck Attack Kills 12, Injures 80

A popular promenade in Barcelona, Spain, became a scene of panic and devastation on Thursday after a van rammed pedestrians, leaving a dozen people dead and dozens more injured.

The incident took place on Las Ramblas, a long, tree-lined street that is typically packed with tourists and locals, around 5 p.m. local time (11 a.m. Eastern time).

Local media were at one point reporting that hostages were being held at a bar near the scene of the attack by other assailants, but later reports cast doubt on the matter. The Associated Press cited the regional president in reporting that two suspects had been arrested.

The Wall Street Journal, citing the jidahist-activity-monitoring organization SITE Intelligence Group, reported that Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the attack. Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, tweeted that terrorists would never defeat a united people who love freedom.

The seaside city was on lockdown in the immediate wake of the attack, with residents told to not leave their homes and many reported to be sheltering inside stores and restaurants and bars that closed the moment news of the attack reached them.

Media reports in Spain and the U.S. indicated the police were treating the incident as a terrorist attack. The police presence on streets in the Spanish capital Madrid, some 600 kilometers southwest of Barcelona, was sharply escalated in the wake of the Barcelona attack.

Nathalie Lezcano Sticchi, a 28-year-old resident of Barcelona who lives near the area, told MarketWatch she had passed the scene of the attack just five minutes before, stepping off the Ramblas to go into a Zara clothing store on a side street.

“When I was on the first floor, one of the guys who was working [at Zara] said, ‘You have to go outside, we are going to close because something is happening at the Ramblas,’ ” Sticchi said in a telephone interview. She said a friend had forwarded her a message from his mother, who had been at Las Ramblas and seen a truck crashing into people.

Sticchi ran to her house, as stores drew their shutters all around her. “People were running everywhere, and no one understood what was going on,” she said, “and I started hearing ambulances.”

Several metro lines were closed in Barcelona, and the

US Lawmaker threatens to introduce impeachment articles against Trump

U.S. Congressman, Steve Cohen, said on Thursday that he planned to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump because of the comments he made about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

According to a statement, Cohen, a ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, said he would be introducing articles of impeachment against Trump.

Cohen is quoted in the statement as saying he thinks Trump should be removed from office because of his failure to unequivocally condemn “hateful actions by neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Klansmen following a national tragedy.”

Trump failed the test of moral leadership required of a U.S. president by shying away from condemning hate, intolerance and bigotry, Cohen added.

On Saturday, white nationalists held a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest authorities’ plans to remove a monument of Confederate Gen. Robert Lee from a city park.

The rally subsequently led to clashes with left wing counter-protestors and culminated in a car-ramming attack that killed one person and injured 19 others.

Trump hesitated to condemn the white supremacists in a statement on Saturday, and instead spoke about racism and bigotry on “many sides.”

On Monday, Trump clarified his statement, expressing clear condemnation of white supremacists and other hate groups.

Trump’s remarks on Tuesday appeared to backtrack from his previous position of violence on “both sides” and that many of the “Unite the Right” group who were protesting were “not neo-Nazis” and “fine people.”

UN chief urges Trump, Kim to embrace diplomacy, not rhetoric

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on the U.S. and North Korea “to dial down rhetoric and dial up diplomacy” in addressing the growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Guterres, while speaking with the UN Correspondents in New York, stressed that the solution to the crisis must be political.

The UN chief reiterated that his good offices – the prestige and weight that his title and the UN represented to the world community – were always available.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviews the plan for landing missiles near the U.S. territory of Guam

“I will remain in close contact with all concerned parties and stand ready to assist in any way,” Guterres said.

He noted Tuesday’s meeting of the representatives of the Six-Party Talks, which include China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States.

Guterres also noted the UN Security Council strengthened sanctions against DPRK’s exports, which unanimously adopted resolution 2371 (2017) and imposed a full ban on the export of coal, iron and iron ore from the north-east Asian country.

He said that with that resolution, the international community must send a clear, coherent message to the leadership of the DPRK to “fully comply with international obligations, work towards reopening communication channels and support efforts to deescalate the situation.”

He noted that the resolution sent “an unambiguous message regarding the peace and security obligations” of DPRK.

It also represented “an opportunity to solve this crisis through diplomatic engagement and renewed dialogue”.

Guterres welcomed the “continued critical engagement” by Member States and supported “the call of the Republic of Korea to the DPRK to engage in credible and meaningful dialogue”.

These include steps as confidence-building measures to defuse tension and efforts to de-nuclearise the Peninsula, he said.

The tensions related to the crisis in the region “are at levels not seen in decades,” Guterres said, noting that more than three million people died in the Korean War, which ravaged the Peninsula from 1950 to 1953.

“We need to heed the lessons of history – not to repeat the mistakes,” he said, while noting also that the potential consequences of military action “are too horrific to even contemplate”.

 

NAN-

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Why Trump Rushed To Sack Nigerian Adviser From His Team

Nigerian born international CEO, Adebayo Ogunlesi has now ceased to be an adviser to embattled US President Donald Trump. Trump has just sacked him along with other distinguished CEOs counselling him via two councils on how to “Make America Great Again”.

Trump sacked Ogunlesi on Twitter, when he announced the dissolution of two business advisory councils, in one fell swoop, according to a News Agency of Nigeria report.

Ogunlesi was a member of the Strategic and Policy Forum, one of the two disbanded by the unpredictable president. The other group was the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative Council.

Ogunlesi, heads Global Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm and one of Fortune 500 companies. He was the only African on the panel.

The New York Times reported before Trump’s tweeted dissolution, that members of Ogunlesi’s panel were debating dissolving the body entirely as Trump wallowed deeper into bigotry quagmire. But Trump preempted their move.

“Corporate leaders had hoped that President Trump would help businesses by slashing taxes and gutting regulations. It is not clear how much he will deliver on that score. On top of that, he is putting many chief executives in the position of answering for a president with an unparalleled track record of outraging people, most recently at a contentious press conference on Tuesday when he drew a false equivalence between the white supremacists who protested in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend and counter-protesters.”, NYT reported.

Trump had earned rebuke and isolation from business leaders for supporting racial bigotry, White Supremacists and the KKK, following his remarks that failed to blame the tragic violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on the groups. Instead, he blamed all the sides and the group that challenged the racists.

The leaders of three companies — Kenneth Frazier of Merck, Kevin Plank of Under Armour and Brian Krzanich of Intel — were the first to resign from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative Council.

They resigned on Monday because Mr. Trump was slow to condemn the white supremacists during the weekend and blamed “many sides” for the violence.

When Trump moderated his tone on Monday by saying “racism is evil” and also condemned neo-Nazis, he did not assuage some of the CEOs working with him.

Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, an organization backed by the steel industry and the United Steelworkers resigned. He was followed on Tuesday by Richard Trumka and Thea Lee, the president and deputy chief of staff for the