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World Leaders Condemn Lekki Tollgate Massacre



World Leaders Condemn Lekki Tollgate Massacre

Political leaders across the world, have condemned the attack on the peaceful #EndSARS protest at Lekki Tollgate in Lagos, on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

Amongst them are – Raila Odinga, the former Prime Minister of Kenya, Mike Pompeo, the United States of America’s Secretary of State, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia.

Newsrand had reported that scores of #EndSARS protesters were killed by men in military uniform at a peaceful protest ground at the Lekki tollgate.

Reacting to the incident, Odinga said there can be no excuse for the amount of brutality on unarmed protesters in Nigeria. He, therefore, urged the African Union (AU) and the Nigerian government to investigate actors of the brutality.

“The Police brutality and abuses that have gone on in Nigeria for the last couple of days, leading to multiple deaths and injuries of unarmed civilians are extremely worrying and unacceptable. There can be no excuse for that amount of brutality on unarmed civilians protesting misconduct on the part of the police,” Odinga said.

He added that the brutality that was meted out on the protesters is a reminder of “how precarious and threatened Africa’s march towards democratization, respect for rights and freedoms and the rule of law remains.”

On her part, Sirleaf noted that “the right to peacefully protest must be protected. I join the calls for an immediate de-escalation of violence against the #EndSARS protestors. It is critical that we listen to, and engage with, the voices of the youth—not try to silence them.”

Also condemning the attack, Pompeo said the United States strongly condemns the incidents of military forces firing on unarmed protestors in Lagos.


Diego Maradona Dies Of Heart Attack At 60



Diego Maradona Dies Of A Heart Attack At 60
Diego Maradona

Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona dies of a cardiac arrest at the age of 60, barely two weeks after he recovered from a brain injury.

The football star has been ill for a while but recently discharged from the hospital after undergoing surgery.

Diego Maradona is an iconic figure in the soccer industry as he is regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

Read Also: Former Ghanaian President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead

He helped Argentina win the world cup as a player in 1986.

He has played for clubs like Napoli, Barcelona, Sevilla, and the likes of others, winning the Balon D’or in 1995.

He also has so many other accolades to his name, and he is famous for “The Hand of God” that saw England eliminated from the 1986 World Cup Tournament.

The Argentine news outlet Clarin broke the news on Wednesday afternoon, describing the news of Maradona’s passing as having a “worldwide impact”.

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World News

Trump Excludes Nigeria From $15,000 Visa Bond



Trump Excludes Nigeria From $15,000 Visa Bond

President Donald Trump of the United States (US), excluded Nigeria from the $15,000 bond imposed on tourist and business travellers from 24 countries, including 15 African nations with high overstay rate of 10% or higher in 2019.

Nigerian travellers escaped paying the bond as their overall score was below the threshold of 10% and above overstaying rate.

The new temporary rule requires travellers to the US from the affected countries to pay a bond from $5,000 to $15,000 with effect from December 24.

The programme runs through June 24 and targets countries whose nationals have higher rates of overstaying B-2 visas for tourists and B-1 visas for business travellers.

The African countries affected are -Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, Burundi.

A Department of Home Security report shows the worst offenders were typically from Chad (44.94%), Djibouti (37.91%), and Mauritania (30.49%).

The list also includes Iran at 21.64% and Afghanistan at 11.99%, as well as Bhutan, Laos, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria and Yemen.

According to the DHS, out of 177,835 Nigerians who visited the US in 2019, 17,566 overstayed, of which 764 departed late and 16,802 stayed in the country.

The overstaying rate was put at between 9.45-9.88% but in other classifications, 11.12% of 9,336 Nigerian non-immigrant and exchange visitors overstayed.

Another 13.67% of in-scope nonimmigrant visitors also overstayed same year.

According to Reuters, the Trump administration said the six-month pilot programme aims to test the feasibility of collecting such bonds and will serve as a diplomatic deterrence to overstaying the visas.

Trump, who lost a re-election bid earlier this month, made restricting immigration a central part of his four-year term in office.

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Donald Trump Finally Allows Power Transition To Biden



Donald Trump Finally Allows Power Transition To Biden

After two weeks of grandstanding, U.S. President Donald Trump has finally accepted to allow a transition of power to his potential successor, Joe Biden.

In a Monday evening tweet, Trump said he had recommended that the General Services Administration (GSA) “do what needs to be done” in that regard.

The president’s tweet came amid reports by local media that the GSA has determined Biden to be the winner of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Read Also: US Election: Biden’s Transition Website Is Live

GSA Administrator, Emily Murphy, sent Biden a letter earlier on Monday to inform him that his transition could now begin.

ABC News quoted an unnamed official of the Biden transition team as confirming that the former Vice President had received the letter.

With this, the president-elect’s transition team can now access government resources, including funds, for a smooth transition of power.

The GSA is a federal agency responsible for enabling the transition of power from one administration to another, and it controls the funds for the process.

By law, the head of the agency must first “ascertain” the winner of a presidential election before setting the transition ball rolling.

But with Trump’s refusal to concede, the GSA administrator, who was appointed by the president in 2017, had held back from starting the process.

Murphy had come under fire from Democrats and other critics, who accused her of allowing political influence to interfere in the agency’s independence.

Defending her decision in the letter to Biden, the GSA head denied being influenced by the White House or official of the executive branch of government

“I have dedicated much of my adult life to public service, and I have always strived to do what is right.

“Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts.

“I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official—including those who work at the White House or GSA—with regard to the substance or timing of my decision,” she said.

In his tweet, Donald Trump said he advised the agency to start the process because he did not want Murphy, her family, and employees of the GSA to continue to suffer harassment and abuse.

“I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country.

“She has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA”, Trump said.

The president, who is in court challenging the election results in key battleground states, said his case would continue.

“Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!”

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