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Taiwan reports largest incursion yet by Chinese air force

Twenty-eight Chinese air force aircraft, including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers, entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday, the island’s government said, the largest reported incursion to date. While there was no immediate comment from Beijing, the news comes after the Group of Seven leaders issued a joint statement on Sunday scolding China for a series of issues and underscored the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, comments China condemned as “slander”. Chinese-claimed Taiwan has complained over the last few months of repeated missions by China’s air force near the self-ruled island, concentrated in the southwestern part of its air defence zone near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands. The latest Chinese mission involved 14 J-16 ...

Unknown writers threaten Delta with mayhem for banning open grazing

A group of unidentified persons on Sunday threatened to attack Asaba and Agbor in Delta State should Governor Ifeanyi Okowa fail to withdraw his support for the ban on open grazing within 72 hours. An unsigned letter containing the threat was pasted at strategic locations in Asaba, including the fence of the Living Faith Church, aka Winners Chapel along Infant Jesus road. The letter, titled, ‘Fulani jihadist warning: An open message to Delta State,’ was dated June 13, 2021. It read, “This is to inform Delta State that the Fulani of Usman Dan Fodio leadership shall do everything it can to uphold the legacy of our heritage of open grazing; for we are nomadic people from origination and shall never negotiate the ownership of Nigeria, West Africa and Sub-Sahara. “We hereby demand the Governor ...

Femi Falana charges Nigerian government to dialogue with agitators, secessionists

Nigeria’s foremost human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) yesterday challenged the federal government to dialogue with various groups agitating for secession from the federation. Falana justified this demand on the premise that it “is on the roundtable the grievances can be sorted out” in the interest of peace, security and development He made this at the 25th anti-corruption situation room, which the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) organised in Lagos yesterday. Speaking on the subject, “Assessing The Fight Against Corruption,” said it was the promise to fight corruption that made Nigerians vote for President Muhammadu Buhari. The human right lawyer said it was the corruption in the system that culminated in agitating for secession, noting that it “is better for the fe...

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...

US prioritises students’ visas

US Embassy in South Africa The U.S. Mission Country Consular Coordinator, Susan Tuller, has said the Mission in Nigeria will continue to prioritise student visa appointments throughout the summer months. Tuller disclosed this during the celebration of the U.S. Consulate’s “Student Visa Day.” According to her, there are over 13,000 Nigerian students and soon a few more may join them in studying in the U.S. She added that the Mission has interviewed over 2,500 student applicants since this year. Tuller noted that student visa numbers have gone down worldwide due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. According to her, student numbers from Nigeria were up to 2.5 per cent for the 2019/2020 school year, adding that in the eighth year in a row, the percentage has increased. Tuller encouraged students ...

Sokoto governor rejects honorary degree by Sudanese university

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State has rejected the honorary degree offered to him by a Sudanese University on the ground of the insecurity in the country. Nahda International University College (NIUC), Khartoum, Sudan, proposed to confer on the governor, who was attending the graduation ceremony of the 38 students of Sokoto who bagged degrees in Medicine among other related courses in the institution and Ibn Sina University. A statement signed by the spokesman of the governor, Muhammad Bello, said Tamuwal informed the management of the two universities that he would not accept the offer because of the prevailing security situation in Nigeria. “I won’t be able to oblige your humble request because of the condition in which my country finds itself at this time,” he said. “But yo...

Israel lawmakers to vote Sunday on anti-Netanyahu government

After weeks of political wrangling, the Israeli parliament is set to vote Sunday on whether to install a “change” coalition and end Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s record 12 consecutive years in power. Announcing the date for the confidence vote, speaker Yariv Levin, a Netanyahu ally, said on Tuesday “a special session of parliament” would debate and vote on the fragile eight-party alliance, after the country’s fourth inconclusive election in two years back in March. Later in the day, the prime minister’s office announced that a march by Jewish nationalists through Jerusalem would go ahead in a week’s time, potentially de-escalating tensions with Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group which went to war with the Jewish state for 11 days last month. Israeli right-wing groups had the day b...

Minister: We’ve used 98 percent of coronavirus vaccine in FCT

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Bello, has said his administration had used 98 per cent of the COVID-19 vaccines allocated to the territory. Bello made the disclosure shortly after he took the second jab of COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday in Abuja. The jab was administered on him alongside the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, and the acting Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr Mohammed Kawu. He expressed delight over the reduction in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the FCT, and urged health workers to strive to ensure that residents were protected against the virus. The minister admonished FCT residents to avail themselves of any opportunity that was brought forward to them to be vaccinated. “Unless we get a substant...

Group urges President Buhari to suspend NDDC forensic audit

The South South Reawakening Group, has called for the immediate suspension of the ongoing forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), describing it as a “circus of corruption”. Converner of the group, Joseph Ambakederimo, in a statement, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a board for the NDDC to start a new phase for the development of the region. According to them, it was no longer news that the forensic audit ordered by the President has now been turned into “a circus for mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds to oil the machinery of political interests of a few, while the region and its people continue to suffer the perpetual psychological torture of these buccaneers.” The group recalled that the NDDC is still presently being run by an interim s...

South Sudan to return 72 000 coronavirus vaccines to Covax

South Sudan will return 72 000 doses of donated Covid-19 vaccines after concluding it cannot administer the jabs before they expire, a health ministry official told AFP on Tuesday. The country received 132 000 doses of the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine in late March from Covax, the global initiative to ensure lower-income countries receive jabs, but so far has administered less than 8 000 shots. The rollout has been hampered by vaccine hesitancy and major logistical hurdles in the vast and underdeveloped country of 12 million, which, apart from the pandemic, faces an emergency food crisis and widespread armed insecurity. “There’s a plan to deliver back 72 000 doses to Covax,” Angelo Goup Thon, the head of Covid-19 operations at the health ministry, told AFP. He said the decision was made late...

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