Monday, 19 February 2018

Kremlin says charges over U.S. election tampering prove nothing.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Monday that U.S. charges against 13 Russians and several Russian companies accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign contained zero proof of Russian state involvement.

The comments were the Kremlin's first reaction to charges drawn up by the office of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller which centered on a Russian businessman nicknamed 'Putin's cook' by the Russian media who U.S. officials say has extensive ties to the country's military and political establishment.

The full indictment, released on Friday, said that a Russian propaganda arm funded by the businessman, Evgeny Prigozhin, oversaw a criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign to support Donald Trump and disparage Hillary Clinton.

The charges are awkward for the Kremlin which is keen to try to build a relationship with Trump in the hope that could eventually lead to U.S. sanctions imposed over its role in Ukraine being lifted.

Full story at Yahoo News.
By Andrew Osborn and Jack Stubbs.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Buhari: President to discuss 2019 election with APC Governors in Daura.

The president might inform the governors about his reelection bid in the 2019 presidential election.

President Muhammadu Buhari is set to welcome governors of the All Progressives' Congress (APC) to his Daura home to discuss "very serious political developments" on Friday, February 16, 2018.

According to a report by Daily Trust, sources said the president might inform the governors about his reelection bid in the 2019 presidential election during the meeting in Katsina State.

According to a source, the president was originally scheduled to meet the governors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, but was rescheduled after he flew to his country home on Thursday, February 15.

The president had earlier on Thursday been in Kaduna State for the induction of the 'TSAIGUMI' Unmanned Aerial Vehicle which was indigenously designed and built by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

While the president's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed the meeting, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said whatever meeting he has in Daura would be a private one.

By Samson Toromade.

Full story at Pulse NG.

With a new president, a sense of optimism returns to South Africa.

Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged to draw line between his leadership of ANC and scandal-ridden Zuma years

There's something unnerving about the way the clouds can steal up to cover the top of Table Mountain before spilling over the edge and slipping down into Cape Town itself, shifting the mood of the city in the time it takes for a ray or two of sunlight to shine through.

The recent palace coup within the ruling African National Congress – and so South Africa – feels a little like that. As if the now departed President Jacob Zuma had disappeared behind a magician's cloak only to be replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa in a puff of smoke and carrying with him a long missing sense of optimism in this country.

Ramaphosa was sworn in as South Africa's fifth post-apartheid president on Thursday after being voted in by the National Assembly, where the ANC has a majority, less than 24 hours after Zuma was forced to resign.
And the mood has indeed shifted.

Full story at CBC.

By Margaret Evans.

Hire more young people from foster care and children’s homes, minister urges businesses.

Families Minister Kit Malthouse
Businesses are being urged by Families Minister Kit Malthouseto hire more young people who grew up in foster care and children’s homes.

To mark Care Day in the UK today, the senior Conservative and former deputy mayor of London is reminding businesses they can claim up to £1,000 from the Government for taking on an apprentice from such a background. 

He said: “Each year over 12,000 teenagers in England make the leap to independent living from care without the family support many of us have enjoyed. It’s up to all of us to help care leavers get the right opportunities and businesses play a vital role in this.”

By Kate Proctor.

Full story at Standard.

After Florida, is the tide finally turning on gun control?

Wednesday’s mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., is the latest tragedy to befall a nation accustomed to headlines of gun deaths and the partisan political response that follows them.

The gradual decrescendo that accompanies such horrific incidents — from outrage and thoughts and prayers to cooling off periods and eventual inaction — has long been familiar to Americans. Yet the killings in Parkland have come close on the heels of other acts of semi-automatic slaughter.

Three of the nation’s 10 most deadly mass shootings have happened in the last six months, taking the lives of more than 100 people.

By David Knowles.

Full story at Yahoo News.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Obamas' official portraits revealed at the Smithsonian.

Official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama were unveiled Monday. (Barack by Kehinde Wiley; Michelle by Amy Sherald; images courtesy the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery)
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery unveiled its commissioned portraits of former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Monday. Barack Obama image, painted by artist Kehinde Wiley, shows him seated in front of an ivy backdrop, while Michelle Obama was painted by Amy Sherald in a pale blue setting. Wiley and Sherald were the first black artists commissioned to paint a presidential couple for the Smithsonian.

“Kehinde was working at a disadvantage,” the 44th U.S. president joked at the ceremony. “His subject was less becoming. Not as fly.”

“I tried to negotiate less gray hair, but Kehinde’s artistic integrity would not allow it,” he added. “I tried to negotiate smaller ears —  struck out on that again as well.”

By Dylan Stableford.
Full story at Yahoo News.

Friday, 9 February 2018

2019: Removing Buhari will not solve Nigeria’s problems – Kukah.

Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Mathew Kukah, has said the ‘Third Force’ coalition, being promoted by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, will not help the development of Nigerian politics and democracy.

According to him, the problems plaguing Nigeria would not be fixed merely by removing President Muhammadu Buhari and bringing another leader to replace him.

Kukah made this known in Abuja on Thursday in a chat with select journalists on some burning national issues.

He said creating a new platform because of the perceived inefficiencies of the president government will only create new enemies which will further divide the country along ethnic and religious lines.

By Chijioke Jannah
Full story at Daily Post.

POLITICSFani-Kayode blasts Southern, Middle Belt leaders for making Fulani rule Nigeria.

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has hit at the Southern and the Middle Belt leaders, for always looking up to the North for leadership.

In a series of tweets on Friday morning, Fani-Kayode suggested that this is the “source and foundation of our national malaise”.

He tweeted: “At Nigeria’s independence in 1960, there were 41 secondary schools in the north and 842 secondary schools in the south.

“Despite that glaring disparity, the north took political power and have had it ever since. Is this not the very source and foundation of our national malaise?

“The truth is that there is something wrong with southern and Middle Belt leaders.
“They lament about northern domination all the time yet at the end of the day they always look to that same north for political leadership.

By Ifreke Inyang.

Full story a Daily Post.