Viral Picture: Speaker Feeds Baby During Parliamentary Debate

Photo Credit: Trevor Mallard/Twitter

 

New Zealand Speaker Trevor Mallard babysat a baby during Parliamentary Debate on the chamber floor on Wednesday.

The picture of Mallard feeding the one-month-old baby as he presides over a debate ha since gone viral.

“Normally the speaker’s chair is only used by presiding officers but today a VIP took the chair with me,” Mallard tweeted as he shared pictures of him bottle-feeding the baby.

He excitedly shared the pictures on his verified Twitter handle @SpeakerTrevor and congratulated father of the baby who is also a lawmaker, Tāmati Coffey.

 

Coffey just returned from paternity leave and sat close by the Speaker in the pictures. He also later reshared the pictures of himself carrying his baby during parliament.

 

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden made history last year when she brought her baby to the United Nations Assembly hall in September.

Buhari’s Cabinet Is ‘Heavily Political,’ Says Adebajo

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday swore in 43 ministers into his cabinet and assigned their respective portfolios. Popular economist, Tilewa Adebajo in reaction says the cabinet is ‘heavily political.’

In an interview on Channels Television, Adebajo, who is also the CEO of CFG Advisory said the government needs to run with a clearly defined economic goal to revive the nation’s economy.

READ ALSO: I Do Not Feel Impact Of Returning Ministers, Says Bode George

“This is a heavily political cabinet with ex-governors and ex-senators dominating. What is more important now is for the government to put together a clearly defined policy that will stimulate growth in the Nigerian economy,” he said.

Adebajo also stressed that economic indicators are negative and the nation’s economy might be heading for recession if the Federal Government does not go back to the drawing board.

“With the way Nigeria’s economy is going if caution is not taken, as the CBN has said we will be heading for a recession.

“The key economic indicators are not very positive. Right now, we are about over $70billion in debt. We are using 65% of our revenues to service debts, clearly, this is not sustainable.

“It is important that the government take a look at its economic recovery growth plan.”

The need to revamp Buhari’s administration’s economic plan is vital. Adebajo added that there is a need for the government to tell Nigerians their plan on how the economy will be handled.

He said, “What we need is a plan that can grow the economy.”

Indonesia Shuts Internet Over Unrest Fears

Papuan students taking part in a rally push toward a line of police and military blocking them in front of the army’s headquarters in Jakarta on August 22, 2019, as riots and demonstrations have brought several cities in Indonesia’s eastern province of Papua to a standstill this week.
PHOTO: BAY ISMOYO / AFP

Indonesia has blocked internet access in unrest-hit Papua over fears that a stream of offensive and racists posts online will spark more violent protests in the region, the government said Thursday.

Riots and demonstrations brought several Papuan cities to a standstill this week, as buildings were torched and street battles broke out between police and protesters in Indonesia’s easternmost territory.

A rebel insurgency against Jakarta’s rule has simmered for decades in the island region, which shares a border with Papua New Guinea.

But the riots appear to have been triggered by the arrest of dozens of Papuan students — who were also pelted with racist abuse — in Java at the weekend.

Indonesia slowed internet service in recent days to clamp down on hoaxes, provocative comments and racist abuse targeting Papua’s ethnic Melanesian population. But it shut down service completely late Wednesday.

“As of this morning, there is still a full block on internet access,” communications ministry spokesman Ferdinandus Setu told AFP.

“The amount of racist and provocative content online was very high… and it went viral.”

The region’s three internet providers cooperated with the shutdown, but many users managed to get around the block, Setu said.

“The restrictions have not been that effective,” he added. “We’re still evaluating the situation… and will probably lift the block by this afternoon if possible.”

Calm appeared to have been mostly restored Thursday after Indonesia sent in 1,200 extra police and military to Papua, with some 45 protesters reportedly arrested.

Indonesia’s chief security minister Wiranto, who goes by one name, flew to the island late Wednesday with the head of the military and Indonesia’s national police chief.

They were expected to hold a press briefing Thursday in riot-hit Manokwari city.

In Jakarta, more than 100 demonstrators calling for Papuan independence scuffled with police near the presidential palace, while dozens of placard-holding demonstrators protested in Bali’s capital Denpasar.

The unrest was sparked by reports that authorities tear-gassed and briefly detained some 43 Papuan university students in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-biggest city, on Saturday — the country’s independence day.

Police in riot gear stormed a dormitory to force out students who allegedly destroyed an Indonesian flag, as a group of protesters shouted racial slurs at them, calling them “monkeys” and “dogs”.

Papua has been the scene of a decades-old rebel insurgency aimed at gaining independence from Indonesia, which took control of the former Dutch colony in the 1960s.

Security forces have long been accused of committing rights abuses against Papuans who say they have not shared in the region’s vast mineral wealth.

AFP

Man Who Swallowed 68 Cocaine Packets Arrested In Thailand

This handout from the Office of the Narcotics Control Board taken on August 19, 2019, and released on August 21, 2019, shows capsules of cocaine found in the possession of Kenyan national Glenn Chibasellow Ooko at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. 
PHOTO: Handout / OFFICE OF THE NARCOTICS CONTROL BOARD / AFP

A Kenyan man was stopped at Bangkok’s airport for allegedly trying to smuggle more than 60 packets of cocaine in his stomach, Thai authorities announced on Wednesday.

Authorities said Glenn Chibasellow Ooko, 43, had flown on Monday from Ethiopia to the Thai capital’s Suvarnabhumi airport, where he was detained.

An x-ray showed dozens of oblong items in his stomach, which were filled with cocaine, according to photos provided by the Office of the Narcotics Control Board.

“He swallowed cocaine weighing 1.2 kilograms, which were in 68 packets,” the ONCB announced in a statement Wednesday.

Ooko was arrested along with Nigerian national Osita Joseph Ukpa, who police said had hired the Kenyan to smuggle the drugs.

“This is part of a drug network in Thailand,” the statement said.

Thailand has long been a major drug smuggling hub, with its porous borders and lax law enforcement making it easier for transnational crime networks to transport their goods.

The country also serves as a transit point for a multi-billion methamphetamine trade route, smuggled through Myanmar and Laos before moving on to countries like Australia and Japan.

I Do Not Feel Impact Of Returning Ministers, Says Bode George

The former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bode George

 

The former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bode George, says he didn’t feel the impact of the returning ministers.

George, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, asked the newly sworn-in members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet to discharge their duties in the overall interest of Nigerians.

“Let me talk as a Nigerian. Those who were there before, to me personally, I didn’t see any impact in their performance.

“I am hoping that having been given a second chance, they must make a difference. Nigerians are at the precipice,” he said.

The PDP chieftain believes the citizens yearn for good and qualitative governance as President Buhari’s cabinet officially kicks off.

READ ALSO: Buhari Assigns Portfolios To Ministers (FULL LIST)

He noted that Nigerians “are hungry and therefore are angry. Let them go back and make sure that this nation has given them another opportunity to have achievements at the hearts of the people of Nigeria.”

When asked if he is impressed with the deployment of former Bayelsa State governor, Timipre Sylva as the Minister of State for Petroleum, George called for the availability of fuel across the nation.

He, however, asked Sylva to convince the people of the Niger-Delta region to allow peace reign so that petroleum products can easily be accessible.

“For the last four years, fuel was flowing right through this country and there we occasions they were going to increase the petroleum prices that set up a lot of crisis.

“Now that we know it is the President himself that is the Minister of Petroleum, I will only appeal that as an oil-producing country, we must perpetually have fuel, no back-stabbing or back play.

“Timipre himself is from the oil-producing region. I hope he will be able to convince the people there that there must be peace for the easy flow of the fuel,” he said.

George’s comment comes hours after the President inaugurated his long-awaited cabinet in Abuja and also assigned portfolios to the ministers.

Eight Quick Facts About New Minister Of Youth And Sports

Sunday Dare is the newly appointed Minister for Youths and Sports. He has a rich portfolio worth sharing.

Here are eight quick facts about him:

Before his current appointment as the Minister of Youth and Sports, he was the Executive Commissioner, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).


He is a veteran journalist with over two decades of journalism experience spanning over 25 years.


Multi-media and Communications expert: He was the brain behind the birth of Social Media Clinic (SMC), a Media/Information Technology (New Media) program aimed at providing information as well as educating private citizens on IT development and sensitising the members of the public on the usage of new media as a tool for building responsive society.


He is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) honours in International Studies. He also has Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the University of Jos, Plateau State.


He was a Freedom Forum Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the School of Journalism – New York University (NYU) in 1998, Harvard Nieman Journalism Fellowship at Harvard University between 2000 and 2001.


In 2011, he won the Reuters Foundation Journalism Research Fellowship at University of Oxford, United Kingdom.


He served as Chief, Hausa Service, African Division at Voice of America (VOA) in Washington, DC between 2001 to 2009


He is listed as a member of International Committee to Protect Journalists Citation in 2000 in New York, USA in recognition of his spiritedness as a journalist.

Buhari Remains Minister Of Petroleum

President Muhammadu Buhari; National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, Adams Oshiomhole during after the swearing-in of the Ministers on Wednesday, August 21.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has retained his position as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Buhari made this disclosure while assigning portfolios to the new Ministers after they took the oath of office on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Mamman Becomes Minister Of Power, Fashola To Handle Works And Housing

The President announced Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa State) as the Minister of State, Petroleum and noted that “under the President”.

Other ministers who retained their portfolio include:

Adamu Adamu (Education)

Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs)

Hadi Sirika (Aviation)

Abubakar Malami (Justice)

Lai Mohammed (Information)

Rotimi Amaechi (Transport)

Ogbonnaya Onu (Science and Technology)

*Babatunde Fashola’s ministry was split into two. He is now the Minister for Works and Housing.

Click here for the full list of the Ministers.

Mamman Becomes Minister Of Power, Fashola To Handle Works And Housing

President Buhari has named Sale Mamman as the Minister of Power with Babatunde Fashola named as the Minister of Works And Housing.

The President announced this after inaugurating his cabinet in Abuja on Wednesday.

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Mr Fashola had served as Minister of Power, Works, and Housing under President Buhari’s first term.

Mamman was a former assistant director electrician in the Ministry of works. He retired in 2002 to become a full-time businessman and politician.

The inauguration of the new Ministers was held on Wednesday at the Council Chamber, State House Abuja.

Click on this link for the full list of the Ministers.

LIVE UPDATES: Buhari Swears In Ministers

 

Welcome to our live coverage of the inauguration of the 43 ministers-designate.

The inauguration is holding at the Council Chamber, State House at the nation’s capital, Abuja. The Senate had earlier screened and cleared the 43 nominees sent by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 30, 2019.

The ministers are yet to be assigned portfolios. It is expected that the presidency will announce their portfolios after the swearing-in.

 

10:23 am The Ministers-Designates arrived for their inauguration.


10: 55 am Senate President Ahmed Lawan; Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, SGF Boss Mustapha and others arrived the venue.


11:00 Recitation of the national anthem


11:04 Introductory remarks by the special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.


11:20 Citation and swearing-in of the Secretary-General of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.


 

11:25 The first batch of ministers-designate take the oath of allegiances. The Minsters are grouped into batches and sworn-in by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The first batch includes:

Abia – Uchechukwu Samson Ogah

Adamawa – Mohammed Musa Bello

Akwa Ibom – Godswill Akpabio

Anambra – Dr Chris Ngige

Anambra – Sharon Ikeazu

 

11:31  The second batch of minister-designates take oath of allegiance. The second batch includes:

Bauchi – Adamu Adamu

Bauchi – Ambassador Mariam Kategu

Bayelsa – Timipre Sylvia

Benue – George Akume

Borno – Mustapha Baba Shehuri.


11:44: The third batch of minister-designates take oath of allegiance. They include:

Cross River – Goddi Jeddi Agba

Delta – Festus Keyamo

Ebonyi – Ogbonnaya Onu.

Edo – Osagie Ehanire

Edo – Clement Agba


11:58 The fourth batch of minister-designates take oath of allegiance. They include:

Ekiti – Adeniyi Adebayo

Enugu – Geoffrey Onyeama

Gombe – Isa Ibrahim Pantami

Imo – Emeka Nwajiuba

Jigawa – Sulieman Adamu


 

12:10 The fifth batch of minister-designates take oath of allegiance. They include:


Kaduna – Zainab Ahmed

Kaduna  – Muhammad Mahmood

Kano State – Sabo Nanono

Kano Sate – Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi

Katsina – Hadi Sirika


 

12:22: The sixth batch of minister-designates take oath of allegiance. They include:

Kebbi  – Abubakar Malami

Kogi – Ramatu Tijjani

Kwara – Lai Mohammad

Kwara – Gbemisola Saraki

Lagos – Adeleke Mamora


The seventh batch of minister-designates take oath of allegiance. They include:

Lagos –  Babatunde Fashola

Nasarawa – Mohammed H. Abdullahi

Niger – Zubair Dada

Ogun – Olamilekan Adegbite

Ondo –Tayo Alasoadura


12: 48 The eight batch of minister-designates take oath of allegiance. They include:

Osun  – Rauf Aregbesola

Oyo – Sunday Dare

Plateau  – Paulen Talen

Rivers – Rotimi Amaechi

Sokoto – Maigarai Dingyadi


12: 48 The ninth and final batch of minister-designates take oath of allegiance. They include:

Taraba- Saleh Mamman

Yobe- Abubakar Aliyu

Zamfara- Sadiya Umar Farouk


1:08 A moment of silence was observed for late State House official, Tijani Yusuf. Prayers were also made in the Islamic way. Yusuf, before his demise, was the Special Assistant (Special Duties) to Jalal Arabi, Permanent Secretary, State House.

1: 12 Designates take group photographs.

1: 12 Buhari delivers his speech, assigns portfolios for Ministers.

Thanks for following our live updates.






 

Trump Accuses Jewish Democratic Voters Of ‘Great Disloyalty’

US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on August 20, 2019. PHOTO: MANDEL NGAN / AFP

 

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats display “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” sparking accusations that he is promoting and politicizing anti-Semitism.

His comments, which drew fierce rebuke from Jewish groups, came amid his ongoing dispute with Democratic Muslim congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, both of whom support a boycott of the Jewish state for its treatment of the Palestinians.

“Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this — even three years ago — of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people — I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation. Where has the Democratic party gone?” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

“I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

Israel last week barred Omar and Tlaib from entry on the grounds that they support the boycott against the country, and after Trump urged the Jewish state to block the two.

Trump’s comments prompted condemnation from Jewish groups, which charged the president with anti-Semitism by questioning the loyalty of Jewish citizens, part of a longstanding trope accusing Jewish people of dual allegiance.

“It’s unclear who @POTUS is claiming Jews would be ‘disloyal’ to, but charges of disloyalty have long been used to attack Jews,” tweeted Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.

“It’s long overdue to stop using Jews as a political football.”

Executive Director for the Jewish Democratic Council of America Halie Soifer echoed the sentiment, saying the president “has no right to tell Jewish Americans he knows what is best for us or to demand our loyalty.”

“Trump needs a reality check — we live in a democracy and Jewish support for the @GOP has been halved in the past four years,” she tweeted.

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders also took to Twitter to denounce the president’s words.

“I am a proud Jewish person and I have no concerns about voting Democratic,” the Vermont senator wrote, adding he intends to vote for a Jewish man — himself — in the 2020 presidential election.

AFP

‘No Cause For Alarm,’ Ambode Reacts To EFCC Investigation

Former governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode has reacted to the investigation of his administration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The governor in a statement signed on Tuesday by his media aide, Habib Aruna urged his supporters and the public to remain calm and law-abiding as there was no cause for alarm.

Ambode added that the Commission, till date, has not opened any direct communication with him on any issue,

According to him, he is ready and willing to respond if or when they do so.

READ ALSO:

‘We Are Investigating Ambode,’ Says EFCC

EFCC Raids Ambode’s Home

“This morning, operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission visited the Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, former Governor of Lagos State, with warrants to conduct a search. These searches were carried out extensively and at the end of the exercise the operatives left without any incident.

“The former Governor reiterates that the EFCC has till date not had any direct communication with him on any subject matter whatsoever and if or when it occurs he is ready and willing to respond.

“The former governor wishes to assure his supporters and the generality of Lagosians to continue to remain calm and law-abiding as there is no cause for alarm,” the statement read in part.

The former governor said he believes in the rule of law and due process and remains grateful for the opportunity to have served Lagos State diligently and conscientiously.

It would be recalled that Ambode, in an earlier response to allegations by the EFCC that it had frozen certain accounts linked to him, insisted that no account of his contained N9.9bn let alone being frozen by the Commission as those accounts were opened and operated by the Lagos State Government.

Fayemi Bans Use Of English At Traditional Events

 

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has banned the use of the English Language as a means of communication during any traditional event in the state.

The governor gave the directive on Monday in Ado-Ekiti during the First Ekiti State Arts and Culture Stakeholders’ Forum.

He said it has now become an offence for anyone to communicate in the English Language during traditional events anywhere in the state.

READ ALSO: Kaduna Emergency Agency Warns Residents To Quit Flood-Prone Areas

Fayemi, who was represented at the event by the Head of Service Mr Deji Ajayi insisted that culture must be promoted and preserved, and speaking in Yoruba language and Ekiti dialects at traditional fora will be a necessary step in that direction.

“From today, henceforth, the government has banned the speaking of English in any cultural programme. Whoever that will participate in any traditional programme must speak Yoruba or our dialect.

In the primary school teachers’ recruitment exercise we advertised recently, we wanted to employ 1,100 teachers and over 19,000 had applied on our website. This shows that the government must develop the skills and capacities of our youths to be able to be on their own.

“We are going to organise Ekiti State Festival of Arts and Culture in December this year to enhance our capacities in crafts, dancing, weaving and other vocational areas of arts.

“We should not forget to teach our children those values that will make Ekiti to remember their heritage and sustain our culture as a people.”

Fayemi said that the government would build a new traditional rulers’ Secretariat for monarchs in the state to make them more active and functional.