Showing posts with label US. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US. Show all posts

Buhari mourns 85-year-old Nigeria’s ambassador to U.S.

President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the family, friends and associates of Nigeria’s out-going Ambassador to the United States (US), Justice Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor, over his demise.

In a telephone call to Jane, widow of the retired Justice in New York, yesterday, the President described Nsofor as “an outstanding Judge of rare courage and truth, who is not afraid to give justice to whom justice is due.”

Apparently referring to the 2003 presidential election during which Nsofor delivered a minority judgment as a member of the Election Appeal Panel in his favour as candidate of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the President said the country would miss people with such exemplary pedigree.

Buhari, who directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work with Nsofor’s family on the burial arrangements, prayed to God to comfort all that mourn the departed jurist and grant his soul eternal rest.

Nsofor reportedly died on Thursday night at 85.

A retired Justice of the Court of Appeal, Nsofor assumed office as Nigeria’s ambassador to the US on November 13, 2017. He succeeded Professor Adebowale Adefuye, who died towards the end of his tenure.

Born on March 17, 1935 in Oguta, Imo State, Nsofor graduated from London’s now-defunct Holborn College of Law in 1962 and bagged an LL.M from the London School of Economics in 1964. Theguardianng

US election results: Zimbabwe mocks America as Russia issues warning over delays

As the world reacts to the delay in declaring the winner of the presidential election in the United States, Zimbabwe has declared that it has nothing to learn from America.

Speaking through Patrick Chinamasa, the ruling ZANU-PF party’s spokesman, the country said, “We have nothing to learn about democracy from former slave owners,” according to Al Jazeera.

Russia on its part, has also issued concerns over the ongoing process in the world’s oldest democracy.

Kremlin Spokesman, Dimitry Peskov, said, “Any uncertainty in the most powerful world economy, in one of the largest countries, has and could potentially have negative consequences for global affairs.”

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, added, “Obvious shortcomings of the American electoral system are evident … partly due to the archaic nature of the relevant legislation and the lack of regulation in a number of fundamental points.”

Speaking from the White House on Thursday, President Donald Trump, who had on Wednesday said he has won the election, added, “We were winning in all the key locations, by a lot actually, and then our numbers started getting miraculously whittled away in secret and they wouldn’t allow legally permissible observers.

“There’s been a lot of shenanigans and we can’t stand for that in our country.”

However, Democratic Party presidential candidate, Joe Biden declared his readiness to fight President Donald Trump in court.

The presidential hopeful also called for every vote to be counted, in reaction to President Trump’s attempts to halt the counting of ballots in key states through lawsuits Dailypost

In Lagos: Denial of over-flight permit stalls evacuation of US nationals

HUNDREDS of Americans scheduled to be evacuated from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to United States capital, Washington DC, had their hope dashed as the airline, Omni Air International, was denied over-flight permits by some African countries.

An Immigration source hinted that the US nationals, who were already checked-in by the airport authorities, were seen collecting their baggage from arrival baggage belts with the plan to go back home.

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The Immigration source hinted that the flight to be operated by Omni Air International on charter operations was “cancelled due to the inability of the airline get over-flight permit.”

Over-flight permits are authorizations from Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) to overfly any country’s airspace.

Overflight permits differ from country to country in terms of regulations and airspace coverage area.

According to global aviation requirements, over-flight permits are mandatory requirements to be procured in advance third party provider for any  planned route of flight.

Meanwhile, 637 French and German citizens were on Thursday evacuated from Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos by their governments.

Air France’s A330 airplane, which was the first to land, departed at 13.56hr while Lufthansa German Airline departed with her nationals at 15.46hr.

Before their departure, the Germans underwent airport security formalities and screening for COVID-19  as they awaited the Lufthansa flight which landed few hours after for the evacuation under ’emergency’ and ‘humanitarian’ flight operations. Thenationonlineng

Can the US control its coronavirus outbreak?

The World Health Organization has warned the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic could shift to the United States.

Although Italy, Spain and China have higher death tolls, the US now has nearly 165,000 infections - more than anywhere else in the world.

A US naval ship with 1,000 hospital beds has arrived in New York to provide relief to overwhelmed hospitals.

Emergency medical centres have been set up across the country.

However, health workers say they are running out of supplies and testing kits.

President Donald Trump, who has been criticised for downplaying the crisis, said the number of cases would not reach its peak for another two weeks.

The pandemic has become a major political issue.

Can the US prevent the crisis from spiralling out of control?


China: Chinese diplomat promotes conspiracy theory that US military brought coronavirus to Wuhan



A prominent Chinese official has promoted a conspiracy theory that the United States military could have brought the novel coronavirus to China -- and it did not originate in the city of Wuhan, as thought.

Posting to his more than 300,000 followers on Twitter, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian republished a video of Robert Redfield, the director for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, addressing a US Congressional committee on March 11.

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In the clip, Redfield said some influenza deaths in the US were later identified as cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Redfield didn't say when those people had died or over what time period, but Zhao pointed to his remarks in support of a growing conspiracy theory that the coronavirus did not originate in Hubei province in central China. He did not offer any further evidence for the claim.

"CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!" the Foreign Ministry official said.

Hundreds of athletes from the US military were in Wuhan for the Military World Games in October 2019.

The video of Redfield was also published to Twitter by other state media outlets, including national broadcaster CCTV and the popular Global Times tabloid.

On Friday, Zhao's fellow Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said there were "varied opinions" on the origin of the virus in the international community.

"China always considers this a scientific question, which should be addressed in a scientific and professional manner," he said, avoiding questions on whether Zhao's tweet represented the Chinese government's official position. CNN

US House of Representatives intensifies move to sack Donald Trump as Senate receives articles

The US House of Representatives has on Wednesday submitted the articles of impeachment charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress to the Senate.

This has now set to motion a historic trial that threatens Trump’s stay in office.

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Senate leader, Mitch McConnell (Republican) revealed that the House has submitted the articles and announced that they would be formally read to the chamber on Thursday at noon (17:00 GMT).

After reading, the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will be sworn in to preside over the trial, Al Jazeera reports.

Senators will then be sworn in as jurors on Thursday and preparations will get underway for an impeachment trial that will begin on Tuesday, January 21.

“This is a difficult time for our country, but this is precisely the kind of time for which the framers created the Senate,” McConnell said, referring to the authors of the US Constitution.

The two articles of impeachment are one for abuse of power and the other for obstructing the House investigation.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, (Democrat) said as she signed the articles, “So sad, so tragic for our country, that the actions taken by the president to undermine our national security, to violate his oath of office and to jeopardise the security of our elections, has taken us to this place.

“This president will be held accountable,” she said, adding: “No one is above the law.”

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Trump became only the third president in history of the United States to be placed on trial in the Senate.  Al Jazeera.

US: France, Britain, Germany send message to Iran as Macron reveals next action

France, Britain and Germany have told the grieving Iran to refrain from any violent action and respect arrangements laid out in the JCPOA 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.


Iran on Sunday threatened to attack the US White House, following warning of retaliation by President Donald Trump.

Just last night, multiple rockets were launched near the US embassy in Baghdad Iraq.

This is coming few hours after Trump had vowed to attack 54 important sites in Iran if they attacked any US assets or citizens, and also declared readiness for war.

France, Germany and Britain also highlighted the importance of de-escalating tensions in Iraq and Iran.


The three countries reaffirmed their determination to fight Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

“We reaffirm our commitment to continuing the fight against Islamic State, which remains a priority. It is essential that we keep the coalition, in this regard.

“We call on the Iraqi authorities to continue to supply the necessary support to the coalition,” the trio said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera.


    “We are ready to continue talks with all parties in order to contribute to de-escalating tensions and re-establishing stability in the region.”

The office of French President Emmanuel Macron added that he was expected to hold talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the coming days.

The killing of Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian army chief and some other top officials of the country’s military by the US government has generated a wide range of reactions from world leaders.  Al Jazeera

US Jails 49-year-old woman who stole $200,000 to pay Nigerian fraudster

A jury in the United States District Court at St. Loius has sentenced one Wende Anne Terril, an American citizen to one year in prison.

Terril, 49, was sentenced on Friday with an order to pay back about $200,000 she stole from her company to help her ‘fiancé’, a Nigerian scammer, who conned her in an online romance scam.

According to the prosecutors, Terrill wrote five-figure cheques and sent one wire transfer from her employer, Midwest Petroleum, to other accounts between January 27, 2017 to March 31, 2017.

The woman was the company controller and the accounts were associated with companies with which Midwest was not doing business, court documents showed.

The money was almost immediately transferred overseas. Several links in the chain of money transfers had Nigerian connections, prosecutors have said in court documents.

After Terrill left the company, a Midwest official discovered emails between her and others about ‘fiancé’ Santino Gallo, who was supposedly an oil rig worker with outstanding debts.

Prosecutors said the 49-year-old was the victim of a Nigerian romance fraud scheme in which scammers create fake online profiles, develop a romantic relationship with their victims before making series of requests for money until the victim’s finances are exhausted.(Saharareporters)

FBI LIST: EFCC gathering data in indicted Nigerians in US –Magu

80 suspects, most of whom were Nigerians, were allegedly involved in the crimes investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, in the U.S.

Magu who spoke through the Zonal Head of the Ibadan zonal office, Friday Ebelo, during a press conference held at the Commission’s Ibadan office, said the massive data collection was part of the collaborative activities between the EFCC and FBI to ensure that criminal elements are exposed and made to pay for their crimes.

Journalists in attendance at the event were held spellbound when Ebelo took them through the intricate connections between the local Yahoo Boys and their offshore criminal collaborators.

According to him, the essence of the data mining exercise was to establish any form of relationship the indicted individuals may have with the Nigeria-based crime suspects, and how this could help in furthering the fight against economic and financial crimes in the country.

He said some of the information earlier collected has led to the arrest of many internet fraudsters, adding that one of the kingpins was nabbed during a recent raid in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

The kingpin Ajayi Gbenga Festus, he added, was found to be deeply involved in many internet-related frauds from which he had benefited up to N75 million in the last eight months.

Ebelo also disclosed that in the course of the year, the zone has arrested 263 suspects for cybercrimes among whom 111 were convicted.

Apart from the landed properties, vehicles, laptops and other valuables forfeited on the order of a court, huge sums of money in local and foreign currencies traced to internet fraud were also recovered.(Channelstv)

US, Japan to reduce energy poverty in Nigeria, other sub-Saharan African Nations

The United States of America and Japan have signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) to expand US-Japan energy cooperation in sub-Saharan Africa and renew each country’s commitment to reducing energy poverty and increasing access to sustainable energy in Africa.

A statement by the US Department of State made available to SaharaReporters said the signing took place at the Seventh International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) and was signed by Power Africa Coordinator Andrew Herscowitz and Ambassador Masahiko Kiya, Deputy Director-General of African Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Power Africa, the US government-led partnership coordinated by USAID to double electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa, has two distinct goals to increase new generation capacity by 30,000 megawatts and to help create 60 million new electricity connections by 2030.(Saharareporters)

Man who brings honey into US spends 82 days in jail

A Jamaican national was detained for nearly three months in the United States after bringing in bottles of honey from the Caribbean island that customs agents mistakenly believed to be liquid methamphetamine.

Leon Haughton had visited family back in Jamaica every Christmas since taking up residence in Maryland about a decade ago, the Washington Post said Friday, retracing his Kafkaesque entanglement in US customs and immigration bureaucracy.

Haughton’s long ordeal began December 29 at Baltimore-Washington International Airport when customs agents had a dog sniff his bags.

Inside they found three bottles duly labelled as honey that Haughton, a 45-year-old father of three, uses to sweeten his tea.

According to the charging document, the agents suspected him of transporting liquid methamphetamine, and placed him in detention.

Laboratory results from Maryland took more than two weeks to arrive: they were negative. Haughton thought that was the end of it. He was wrong.

The bottles were sent to a second laboratory in Georgia after the first was judged to be insufficiently equipped to analyze the liquids.

Although he had a green card granting him legal residence in the United States, Haughton’s arrest set in motion a detention process with the US immigration service.

His lawyer had enormous difficulty contacting immigration authorities and for good reason. (AFP)


Two Nigerians arrested in US over multi-million dollar internet fraud

Two Nigerian men were arrested on Thursday as United States authorities clamped down on fraudsters trying to scam unsuspecting victims of $40m.

The group of fraudsters, numbering 80, have been implicated in several Internet frauds until their arrest.

The indictment alleges that at least $6m in fraudulently obtained funds were transferred through a money-laundering network run by two Nigerians – Valentine Iro, 33, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, who have both been arrested together with 78 others.

Federal prosecutors unsealed the dozens of indictments after 17 people were arrested and taken into custody in Los Angeles, California and elsewhere in the United States.

The suspects allegedly targeted the lovelorn, the elderly, and small and large businesses, using a variety of scams to persuade their victims to send money over the Internet, according to a report by the AFP.

“Some of the victims of the conspiracy lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fraud schemes, and many were elderly.

“Billions of dollars are lost annually and we urge citizens to be aware of these sophisticated financial schemes to protect themselves or their businesses from becoming unsuspecting victims,” said Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office.(AFP)

US offers $10M reward for information on Hezbollah

The United States is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information that disrupts the finances of Lebanon's Hezbollah militant organization.

The U.S. State Department announced the award Monday, saying it would be paid to those who give information about major Hezbollah donors and financiers as well as businesses that support the organization and banks that facilitate the group's transactions.

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The payments will be made by the State Department's Rewards for Justice program, which until now has focused on offering cash rewards for information that leads to the capture of wanted terrorists.

Hezbollah was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department in 1997.

The Shi'ite group, backed by Iran, has recently been increasing its influence on Lebanon's government. It has also been growing its regional clout, including sending fighters to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad.

The State Department said its Rewards for Justice program has paid more than $150 million to more than 100 people for giving information that helped brings terrorists to justice or prevented acts of terrorism. The program began in 1984. (VOA)

US supports rebel General fighting to overthrow Libyan Govt

The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump spoke by phone on Monday to Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar and discussed "ongoing counterterrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya."      


The statement said Trump "recognized Field Marshal Haftar's significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya's transition to a stable, democratic political system."

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It was unclear why the White House waited several days to announce the phone call.
On Thursday, both the United States and Russia said they could not support a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Libya at this time.


Also on Thursday, mortar bombs crashed down on a suburb of Tripoli, almost hitting a clinic, after two weeks of an offensive by Haftar's eastern troops on the Libyan capital, which is held by an internationally recognized government.

Trump arrived on Thursday at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, for the Easter weekend.
Russia objects to the British-drafted resolution blaming Haftar for the latest flare-up in violence when his Libyan National Army (LNA) advanced to the outskirts of Tripoli earlier this month, diplomats said.

The United States did not give a reason for its decision not to support the draft resolution, which would also call on countries with influence over the warring parties to ensure compliance and for unconditional humanitarian aid access in Libya. The country has been gripped by anarchy since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011.      

White House national security adviser John Bolton also spoke recently to Haftar.

Jalel Harchaoui, research fellow at the Clingendael Institute international relations think tank in The Hague, said the Trump phone call was tantamount to supporting Haftar's operation and thus is "creating an environment where a military intervention by foreign states, like Egypt, is likelier."

"One reason behind Trump's phone call is that Haftar's army has revealed itself less powerful than the Libyan strongman had claimed," Harchaoui said.      

Haftar was among officers who helped Colonel Muammar Gaddafi rise to power in 1969 but fell out with him during Libya's war with Chad in the 1980s. Haftar was taken prisoner by the Chadians and had to be rescued by the CIA after having worked from Chad to overthrow Gaddafi.

He lived for around 20 years in the U.S. state of Virginia before returning home in 2011 to join other rebels in the uprising that ousted Gaddafi. (Reuters)
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