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Friday, 14 July 2017

Beyonce twins: Sir Carter and Rumi pictured for first time

Beyonce's Instagram postImage copyrightINSTAGRAM/BEYONCE
Beyonce has shared the first picture of herself with her twins to celebrate them turning one month old.
The US singer also confirmed they are called Sir Carter and Rumi - which had been rumoured after she and husband Jay-Z filed a trademark for the names.
The picture showed the 35-year-old mother-of-three and the twins draped in a purple floral sheet, while she wore a blue veil.
It clocked up more than two million likes on Instagram in an hour.
Beyonce wrote: "Sir Carter and Rumi 1 month today", with a string of emojis of prayer hands and a woman, man, little girl and two babies.
As well as the twins, a boy and a girl, Beyonce and rapper Jay-Z are also parents to five-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy.
The style of the image, in which Beyonce stands in a garden barefoot in front of a floral archway, echoes the photoshoot she used to announce her pregnancy on the network. That post, in February, became the most-liked in the history of Instagram.
Grab of Beyonce's Instagram post with picture of her and the announcementImage copyrightBEYONCE/INSTAGRAM
Image captionThe picture which Beyonce used to share news of her pregnancy
The world had been eagerly awaiting the first glimpse of the babies ever since American media reported the Lemonade singer had given birth last month.
But neither she nor Jay-Z had confirmed any details of the twins until now.
Her father Mathew Knowles had tweeted on 18 June, saying: "They're here!" and "Happy birthday to the twins" - but the timing of Beyonce's post suggest they were actually born on 14 June.
It's no surprise that fans were quick to share their thoughts on the picture.
BBC Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo wrote on Twitter: "Soooo extra and I LOVE it."
But dad Lee Simpson reacted to the picture by tweeting: "Our 1st photo was in Jessops with me in the background eating a packet of quavers."

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Trump travel ban: Judge expands definition of 'close relative'

A family hug each other at Washington Dulles Airport on 26 June, 2017, after the U.S. Supreme Court granted parts of the Trump administration's emergency request to put its travel ban into effectImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe ruling means grandparents and other relatives of people in the US can now visit
Grandparents and other relatives of people living in the US cannot be barred from entering under President Trump's travel ban, a judge has ruled.
The order, by District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii, is a fresh legal blow to Mr Trump's immigration crackdown.
The judge said the ban had interpreted a Supreme Court ruling too narrowly.
That decision, made last month, partly reinstated the ban on refugees and travellers from six Muslim-majority countries.
It said only those with "bona fide" family ties would be let into the US.
But the Trump administration decided that did not include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins.
Judge Watson, however, disagreed - and ordered that those restrictions should not be enforced.
Media captionThe Trump voters caught up in the crackdown
The judge condemned the government's definition of a close relative as "unduly restrictive".
"Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members", he wrote.
Judge Watson's ruling has far-reaching consequences for the United States, and not just Hawaii.
He is one of about 700 judges in the district courts, which - despite the name - are part of the federal system, rather than local state courts. Their role is to interpret the law on federal issues using powers devolved to them by the Supreme Court.
Tweet from @neal_katyal: Sweeping victory in #hawaiivstrump just now. Court: Image copyrightTWITTER
Image captionA prominent Hawaii lawyer labelled the decision a "sweeping victory"
The new ruling also offers hope to refugees who have a close relative already in the US, as they should now be able to enter - despite the fact that Mr Trump's 50,000 cap on refugee admissions for the year was reached earlier in the week.
Another disputed issue was whether a refugee group agreeing to take someone in counted as the type of close connection needed to circumvent the travel ban.
But Judge Watson ruled that assurances from a resettlement agency were adequate.
"An assurance from a United States refugee resettlement agency… is formal, it is a documented contract, it is binding… bona fide does not get any more bona fide than that," he wrote.
Hawaii's attorney general, Douglas Chin, said the ruling meant the government could not ignore the "scope" of the Supreme Court decision "as it sees fit".
"Family members have been separated and real people have suffered enough. Courts have found that this Executive Order has no basis in stopping terrorism and is just a pretext for illegal and unconstitutional discrimination," he said.
Hawaii is continuing to prepare for the Supreme Court hearing later in the year, he added.
Mr Trump's ban on travel to the US for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been controversial since its announcement.
The Supreme Court is still considering the current version of the law, and allowed a temporary ban to come into effect in June pending their full judgement.

Mass protests

Mr Trump says the restrictions are needed to keep America safe and prevent terror attacks.
However, critics including states and refugee advocacy groups have said the ban discriminates against Muslims.
An initial version of the ban, published in January, sparked mass protests at airports and a series of legal challenges that prevented its implementation.
Mr Trump drafted a new version in March, dropping Iraq from the list of countries, clarifying the position of "green card" holders, removing priority for "religious minorities" in mostly-Muslim countries, and softening a tough stance on Syrian refugees.
But courts struck down the new version within days, with a Virginia court claiming it was "rooted in religious animus" toward Muslims.
That prompted the Trump administration to go to the Supreme Court for a ruling, where conservatives hold a majority of five to four.
The nation's highest court allowed the ban to go ahead temporarily, until it makes a full decision in October.

Buhari's government cancels dichotomy between HND and university degrees

The Nigerian government has reportedly stopped the dichotomy between holders of university degrees and Higher National Diploma (HND). This regularization that comes after many years of agitation, is now to be implemented in all government services. Channels Television reports that the decision was reached after a meeting of the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Board (CDFIPB) and chaired by the minister of interior, retired Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau.

“The board has directed that all officers with HND to be upgraded to COMPASS 08, which is the salary Grade Level for holders of degree certificates at entry point. “While the nomenclature for the HND holders will start with the rank of Senior Inspector, the Degree holders are with the rank of Assistant Superintendent II,” a statement from the permanent secretary of the ministry, Abubakar Magaji said.

Zxntct learnt that the board also approved the commencement of the 2017 promotion exercise for all the services and that this would commence with effect from July 17. The report further said the establishment of the Institute of Domestic Security was also approved by the board to boost internal security mechanism in the country. The federal government also approved a re-organisation of the Nigeria Immigration Service saying this was in line with the provision of the act that set it up. The report quoted the minister as saying the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration places a high premium on the welfare of its workers. He urged the workers to show their appreciation by improving on their performances and dedication to duty. 

The chairman of the committee, Sen Binta Garba, commented on the process in Abuja saying: "Again what we are doing as a committee on tertiary institution; we are trying to come out with a conference on legislative agenda on education. We are trying to look at all other summits on education, trying to look at policies of government on education and trying to see how we can have a balance."

Thursday, 25 May 2017

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James Bond star Roger Moore is dead



James Bond star Roger Moore


British actor Roger Moore, who played the womanising superspy James Bond over two decades with a suave wit, died Tuesday aged 89, his children announced. “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer,” they said in a statement published on Twitter.

“We are all devastated,” Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian said, adding: “Thank you Pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people.” Moore won fame as the smooth-talking adventurer Simon Templar in British television show “The Saint” in the 1960s, and also starred alongside Tony Curtis in “The Persuaders” in the 1970s.

 But it was not until 1973, at the age of 45, that he won the role that for many fans would come to define him, as Bond novelist Ian Fleming’s fictional secret agent. Moore made his debut as 007 in “Live and Let Die”, following it with six more films, only bowing out with 1985’s “A View to a Kill”, when he was 57. In later years Moore became known for his humanitarian work, notably through his activities as a UNICEF ambassador, helping raise funds for under-privileged children.
“With the passing of Sir Roger Moore, the world has lost one of its great champions for children – and the entire UNICEF family has lost a great friend,” the UN agency’s executive director Anthony Lake said.

Moore’s children said he considered the UNICEF work — for which he was given a knighthood in 2003 — his “greatest achievement”. “We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for UNICEF, which he considered to be his greatest achievement,” they said. “The affection our father felt whenever he walked on to a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year, through to his last appearance in November 2016 on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall. “The capacity crowd cheered him on and off stage, shaking the very foundations of the building just a short distance from where he was born.”

They said their thoughts were with his fourth wife, Kristina, adding that there would be a private funeral in Monaco.


Monday, 15 May 2017

"Even the Devil can't stop me" - Mercy Aigbe declares as she returns back to work


Mercy Aigbe has fully returned to work after her marriage crashed over allegations of domestic violence. Responding to people saying she should slow down, Mercy captioned the photo above; 
"Did I hear someone say slow down? Even the Devil can't stop me."

South African Generations star Mandla Hlatshwayo killed

Mandla HlatshwayoImage copyrightFACEBOOK
Image captionMandla Hlatshwayo's father was also killed trying to stop a robbery
South Africans are paying tribute to a former actor on popular local TV series Generations who was killed during a mugging on Sunday night.
Mandla Hlatshwayo and his friend were shot after confronting a group of men who had robbed women of their mobile phones in a pub in Soweto.
Those who knew the 40-year-old have described him as a selfless man.
South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world with more than 50,000 cases reported every year.
Many are using social media to send message of condolences to the family of Mr Hlatshwayo, who was also a disc jockey for local radio station Jozi FM.
The hashtag #RIPMandla has been trending since news of his death broke on Monday morning.
Jozi FM head Mpho Mhlongo, who confirmed the star's death, noted that Mr Hlatshwayo's father was also killed some years ago during a robbery.
Mr Hlatshwayo's death has sparked a debate around how to tackle the country's rampant crime levels but it makes many realise there are no easy solutions, says the BBC's Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg.
There have been no arrests yet.

South African Generations star Mandla Hlatshwayo killed

Mandla HlatshwayoImage copyrightFACEBOOK
Image captionMandla Hlatshwayo's father was also killed trying to stop a robbery
South Africans are paying tribute to a former actor on popular local TV series Generations who was killed during a mugging on Sunday night.
Mandla Hlatshwayo and his friend were shot after confronting a group of men who had robbed women of their mobile phones in a pub in Soweto.
Those who knew the 40-year-old have described him as a selfless man.
South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world with more than 50,000 cases reported every year.
Many are using social media to send message of condolences to the family of Mr Hlatshwayo, who was also a disc jockey for local radio station Jozi FM.
The hashtag #RIPMandla has been trending since news of his death broke on Monday morning.
Jozi FM head Mpho Mhlongo, who confirmed the star's death, noted that Mr Hlatshwayo's father was also killed some years ago during a robbery.
Mr Hlatshwayo's death has sparked a debate around how to tackle the country's rampant crime levels but it makes many realise there are no easy solutions, says the BBC's Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg.
There have been no arrests yet.

Primary school pupils in Kenya block road with desks after their school was demolished

Movement was paralysed along Mbagathi Road, Kenya on Monday morning after pupils of Kenyatta Golf Course Academy, barricaded the busy road to protest the demolishing of their school.

Details are still sketchy but reports indicate that the private school was demolished by unknown persons over the weekend following a land dispute.

The pupils placed their desks across the road and sat on them, blocking traffic in the morning rush hour.
"We want our school, we want our school, we need to study in school" they chanted. I like my class and I like studying. They have now removed our class and there is no way we can study. All the students want to study," one pupil stated.
 More photos below...



Primary school pupils in Kenya block road with desks after their school was demolished

Movement was paralysed along Mbagathi Road, Kenya on Monday morning after pupils of Kenyatta Golf Course Academy, barricaded the busy road to protest the demolishing of their school.

Details are still sketchy but reports indicate that the private school was demolished by unknown persons over the weekend following a land dispute.

The pupils placed their desks across the road and sat on them, blocking traffic in the morning rush hour.
"We want our school, we want our school, we need to study in school" they chanted. I like my class and I like studying. They have now removed our class and there is no way we can study. All the students want to study," one pupil stated.
 More photos below...



Bin Laden’s son Hamza threatens U.S. over father’s death

Hamza, Osama Bin Laden's son threatens U.S.

Hamza, Osama Bin Laden’s son Hamza threatens U.S.


Osama bin Laden’s son reportedly seeks to avenge his father’s death and is poised to become the new leader of Al Qaeda.
Personal letters seized in the raid that killed bin Laden show that his son, Hamza, is set on avenging his father’s death, Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent, told CBS News in an interview that will air Sunday.
“He tells him that…he remembers ‘every look…every smile you gave me, every word you told me,” Soufan said about bin Laden’s son. Soufan also told CBS News that Hamza wrote that he considers himself “to be forged in steel.”
Soufan said that Hamza’s path to become the leader of the terrorist organisation was created years ago when he was used as a propaganda tool in bin Laden’s videos.
He was seen sometimes holding a gun.
The agent added that he has even started to sound like his father.
“His recent message that came out, he delivered the speech as if it’s his father, using sentences, terminology that was used by Osama bin Laden,” Soufan said.
Hamza is believed to be about 28 years old and has been named as a “specially designated global terrorist” by the U.S., as he has recorded four audio messages in the last two years, aimed at the U.S.
“He’s basically saying, ‘American people, we’re coming and you’re going to feel it,” Soufan said.
“And we’re going to take revenge for what you did to my father. Iraq, Afghanistan’. The whole thing was about vengeance.”
Source: Fox News

North Korea says missile could carry large nuclear warhead

(CNN)North Korea says the missile it tested Sunday is capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead, state media said Monday.
The country's leader, Kim Jong Un, supervised the launch of the Hwasong-12 missile that reached an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers (1,312 miles) and flew 787 kilometers (489 miles), according to state news agency KCNA.
    The test was "aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead," KCNA said.
    North Korea warned the United States not to provoke it, saying the "US mainland and Pacific operations" are within range of North Korean missiles.
    Analysts called this North Korea's most successful missile test ever and a significant advancement in its quest to build a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
    An image from North Korean state media Rodong Sinmun shows Sunday's missile launch.
    "North Korea's latest successful missile test represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile," aerospace engineer John Schilling wrote on the blog 38 North, published by the US Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
    The high altitude and long flight time -- 30 minutes, the US said -- indicate a missile with an extended range, according to David Wright, co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
    Writing on his organization's blog, Wright pointed out that if the missile did reach that height and fly that far, it could reach the US territory of Guam in the Pacific.

    Step towards long range missile?

    Guam is home to Andersen Air Force Base, through which the US Air Force rotates heavy bombers including B-1s, B-2s and B-52s.
    KCNA said the test showed North Korea "has all powerful means for retaliatory strike" should Washington take any military action to stop its nuclear weapons program.
    Tong Zhao, an analyst with the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, said if the missile does have the range to hit Guam, it could give North Korea "a regional nuclear deterrence," meaning it might not need to pursue an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which could reach the US mainland.
    But Melissa Hanham, senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in California, said it could be a stepping stone to just that.
    "This may become half or a third of an ICBM," she said, pointing out that ICBMs are built in two or three stages stacked atop of each other.
    An image from North Korean state media shows leader Kim Jong with a missile on a mobile launcher.
    Hanham also said the fact that the missile's re-entry vehicle flew so high above the Earth put it under more stress than a warhead might undergo when fired on a more normal, flatter trajectory
    North Korean engineers "may well be able to draw warhead re-entry data from that which is applicable to their ICBM ambitions," said Euan Graham, an expert on North Korea at Australia's Lowy Institute.
    "Given speculation over the past months about the possibility of military action by the Trump administration to prevent Pyongyang from acquiring such weapons, the possible testing of ICBM subsystems in this low-key manner may be a North Korean hedge against the possibility of such action," 38 North's Schilling wrote.
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un surrounded by officials on the day of the May 14 missile launch.

    Differing assessments

    US officials said the missile launched near the city of Kusong, in western North Korea, flew across the country and into the Sea of Japan/East Sea, hitting the water about 60 miles from Vladivostok in eastern Russia.
    Russia, however, said the missile fell 310 miles (500 kilometers) from its coast, according to a report on RT.com.
    Russia initially responded to North Korea's test by putting its far eastern air defenses on high alert, according to a report from the RIA-Novosti news agency.
    Russian President Vladmir Putin reportedly discussed the launch with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Beijing. "Concern was expressed about the escalation of tension, including in connection with the launch (of the missile of the DPRK)," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying in Russian state media.
    Sunday's test is the first from North Korea since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office last week. Moon has advocated dialogue with North Korea to denuclearize.
    Moon said the missile test violates UN Security Council resolutions and called it a severe challenge to the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and the world, presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.
    South Korea needs to show the North that even though talks are possible, it will only be possible if North Korea changes its attitude, the President told staff.
    He said South Korea would respond to provocations.

    Messages from Pyongyang?

    North Korea's Kim launched Sunday's test as Chinese leader Xi Jinping hosted a major trade and infrastructure summit with multiple world leaders in Beijing.