West

Jihadists kill all male Christians in two Nigerien towns, women flee

Jihadists in Niger Republic have killed all the male Christians in Fantio and Dolbel, two towns in the Tillabéri region in the south west. Survivors of the attack, a group of women, with small children and babies fled to the Dori region of Burkina Faso. AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED (ACN), which reported the attacks, quoted the women as saying the terrorists attacked the towns twice, killing the men. The two towns were abandoned by the rest of the inhabitants. In Fantio, the jihadists took a statue of the Virgin Mary, liturgical books and musical instruments and burned them. They then desecrated the Blessed Sacrament by throwing the sacred hosts on the ground and finally setting the church on fire. This is the third parish in this part of Niger that has been abandoned due to terrorist attacks ...

Dick van Burik: Kevin-Prince Boateng could have reached Lionel Messi’s level

Retired former Dutch professional footballer Dick van Burik believes Kevin-Prince Boateng had the potential to reach Lionel Messi’s level. The former centre-back captained Hertha Berlin and played with the Ghanaian in the same team between 2005 and 2007. The West African, recently, made a return to the team where he started his career and signed a one-year contract. The now 47-year-old Dutch concedes the qualities of the attacker in the German team were world-class and much was expected from him. “Even when Kevin came from the youth to the first team, his potential was immediately world-class,” Van Burik said as quoted by Ghanaweb. “He can do things that you go to the stadium for. Even then he had the… attitude and simply showed what he can do. “He has become a great player but I actually ...

U.S. blocks websites linked to Iranian disinformation

The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday blocked some three dozen websites, many of them associated with Iranian disinformation activities, a U.S. government source said, adding an official announcement was expected. The source in Washington spoke after notices appeared earlier on Tuesday on a number of Iran-affiliated websites saying they had been seized by the United States government as part of law enforcement action. Iranian news agencies said that the U.S. government had seized several Iranian media websites and sites belonging to groups affiliated with Iran such as Yemen’s Houthi movement. Some sites later started to display as normal. The website of the Arabic-language Masirah TV, which is run by the Houthis, read: “The domain almasirah.net has been seized by the United States Governm...

White House: No plans for Joe Biden to meet new Iranian leader

There are currently no plans for U.S. President Joe Biden to meet with Iran’s newly elected leader, according to the White House, which downplayed Ebrahim Raisi’s influence. Raisi, a strident critic of the West, will take over from pragmatist Hassan Rouhani on Aug. 3 after an election on Friday. In a news conference on Monday, he backed talks to salvage a tattered nuclear deal with Washington but ruled out personally meeting with Biden. read more White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that little had changed because Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the key decision maker in Tehran. “We don’t currently have any diplomatic relations with Iran or any plans to meet at the leader level,” she told reporters. “Our view is that the decision maker here is the Supreme Leader.” ...

Senegal readies for first LNG-powered electricity

Senegal is set to be partly powered by liquefied natural gas for the first time with the arrival at the capital, Dakar, on Wednesday of a floating gas facility from Singapore, the West African nation’s state power company, Senelec, said. The floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) is the result of a joint venture between Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd (MOL) and Turkey’s Karpowership, which supplies power from its fleet of ships mainly to eight African nations. Once up and running, the unit will supply LNG to a Karpowership vessel, which covers around 15% of Senegalese supply and has until now run on oil like most of the country’s power plants. “This project aims to provide reliable, affordable and cleaner power,” Senelec said. It did not say when the FSRU would be opera...

UK: Some countries are using coronavirus vaccines as a geopolitical tool

British foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Friday there was no doubt some countries were using vaccines as a diplomatic tool to secure influence but Britain did not support so-called vaccine diplomacy. Raab was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a G7 summit in Cornwall, southwestern England, that was likely to be dominated by the West’s attempts to reassert its influence as the world looks to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. Western diplomats fear Russia and China are using their vaccines to gain influence across the world, especially in poorer countries that do not have their own production or the means to buy shots on the international market. Asked whether he was concerned that China and Russia could use vaccines in exchange for influence, Raab said: “There’s no doubt there’s...

Iran says nuclear talks policy won’t change after presidential vote

Iran’s policy in talks with world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear accord will remain unchanged after a June 18 presidential election because the issue is decided by its highest leadership, a government spokesman said on Tuesday. A host of barriers to the revival of the nuclear deal remain firmly in place ahead of talks due to resume this week, suggesting a return to compliance with the accord is still a way off, diplomats, Iranian officials and analysts said. “We have shown that we adhere to our international obligations under all circumstances, and this was a national decision,” cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei told a weekly news conference. Rabiei said Iran’s nuclear policy, set by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is not linked to internal developments and that the new government wou...

Exam malpractices: Lagos fines 27 schools N13.5 million

The Lagos State Government has fined a total of 27 private schools N13.5 million as part of punishments for being involved in examination malpractices during the 2020 Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) which was conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). Each of the affected schools is to pay N500,000. This decision was contained in a statement issued on Monday by the Office of the Education Quality Assurance (OEQA) of the state’s ministry of education. The statement, which was signed by the spokesman for the OEQA, Emmanuel Olaniran, noted that the decision followed a report by the regional examination body which indicted the concerned private secondary schools. According to Mr Olaniran, WAEC officials, who monitored the conduct of the examination across the stat...

Senegalese navy seizes 8 tonnes of cannabis resin from boat

The Senegalese navy on Sunday intercepted a boat smuggling over 8 tonnes of cannabis resin through the waters off the West African nation’s coast, the armed forces ministry said in a statement. The vessel, which was flying a Togolese flag, was stopped 140 kilometres (87 miles) from the coastal capital of Dakar with seven crew members on board. After escorting the boat to a naval base in Dakar, the authorities discovered the 8.37 tonnes of hashish split between 279 bags. The boat was also carrying sacks of plaster, the ministry said on Monday. It did not provide a street value for the seized drugs. Earlier this year, authorities in Niger seized 17 tonnes of cannabis resin worth around 31 million euros ($37 million), the largest bust in the country’s history. According to Interpol, drug king...

ISWAP confirms Boko Haram leader’s death

TIME The Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) militant group said in an audio recording heard by Reuters on Sunday that Abubakar Shekau, leader of rival Nigerian militant Islamist group Boko Haram, was dead. Shekau died around May 18 after detonating an explosive device when he was pursued by ISWAP fighters following a battle, a person purporting to be ISWAP leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi said on the audio recording. “Abubakar Shekau, God has judged him by sending him to heaven,” he can be heard saying. Two people familiar with al-Barnawi told Reuters the voice on the recording was that of the ISWAP leader. A Nigerian intelligence report shared by a government official and Boko Haram researchers have also said Shekau is dead. Last month, Nigeria’s military said it was investigating She...

Constitution Review: Sultan canvasses unrestricted usage of hijab

Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, has advocated the use of Hijab by Muslim women, without restrictions and in total observance of the freedom of religion in the country. The Sultan, who is also the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), stated this in Birnin Kebbi, on Tuesday, at the North West Zonal Public Hearing on the Constitution Review organised by the House of Representatives for Stakeholders from Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara. Abubakar wondered why the wearing of the Hijab would be a problem for others who were not using it, stressing that the other religions could also be encouraged to adopt what their religions ordered them to do. “The most important issue is the issue of religion. Almighty God created us to worship Him and you m...

NCC: Internet subscription hits 154 million in Nigeria

Fix Africa News Magazine Executive Vice Chairman, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, on Monday disclosed that the number of clusters of access gaps has been reduced to 114 from 217, in the Commission’s efforts to ensure that more Nigerians are digitally-included in the ICT ecosystem. He revealed that Nigeria’s telecoms sector had reached basic internet subscription of 154 million; over 87 million broadband subscriptions, representing 45.93 per cent broadband penetration; over 207 million voice subscriptions with teledensity standing at 108.94 per cent as at October, 2020. Danbatta made the disclosures when hosted a delegation from Autoridade Reguladora Nacional (ARN), the Telecom National Regulatory Authority of Guinea-Bissau who were in a week-long ben...

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