US Rapper 21 Savage Arrested For Overstaying His Visa

 

Rapper 21 Savage, who has long said he is from the US state of Georgia, was detained on Sunday by US immigration officers who say he is actually British and overstayed his visa.

The news sent shockwaves through social media as the Grammy-nominated 26-year-old rapper — whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham Joseph — says he is a local act from Atlanta, the capital of hip hop.

“We are working diligently to get Mr Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with the authorities to clear up any misunderstandings,” the rapper’s lawyer, Dina LaPolt, said in a statement to AFP.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox told the local Atlanta Journal-Constitution outlet that 21 Savage is an “unlawfully present the United Kingdom national” who entered the United States in 2005 on a visa that expired one year later.

The US agency also told the paper he had been arrested and later convicted for felony drug charges in 2014 — but at the time, ICE was unaware that he was in fact British.

READ ALSO: Chris Brown Detained In Paris Over Rape Claim

According to the paper, 21 Savage was arrested in a “targeted operation.”

The artist, known for his conversational rap delivery and no-nonsense sincerity, released his debut studio album in 2017.

His lyrics touch on everything from drugs and violence to systemic racism and police brutality.

His sophomore album, “I Am > I Was” debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 in December 2018, holding the number one spot for two consecutive weeks.

The rapper is up next week for two Grammys for his work on fellow rapper Post Malone’s smash hit “Rockstar,” including for the major Record of the Year award.

AFP

US Closes Embassy In Nigeria Indefinitely Over Government Shutdown

US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington

 

The United States Embassy in Nigeria has announced its decision to shut down operations indefinitely.

In a Facebook post on Monday, the embassy blamed the development on the government shutdown in the US.

“Due to the current U.S. government shutdown, the American Centers located in the Embassy, Abuja and Consulate General, Lagos are unfortunately closed. They will re-open once the U.S. government shutdown is resolved. Sorry for any inconvenience to our valued patrons,” the statement read.

READ ALSO: US Ambassador, 2Baba Urge Youths To Shun Vote Buying

The implication would mean that thousands of Nigerians will miss their visa appointments following the incident.

Also, persons who have applied for tourist, study, business visas, immigrant visas or any other travel document will have to cancel their plans.

The embassy charges N57, 600 in visa fees which is non-refundable. However, it was not clear whether any concessions would be made to applicants since the development was no fault of theirs.

President Donald Trump and the legislative arm have been at loggerheads for nearly two months over his decision to build a wall along the Mexican border.

Building a wall was one of Trump’s major campaign promises as part of efforts to curb illegal migration and crime.

He had boasted during his campaign that the Mexican government would pay for the wall.

But the Democrat members in Congress have, however, rejected Trump’s proposal.

US Visa Seekers Will Have To Disclose Social Media Identities

Photo: Eric BARADAT / AFP

 

Travellers to the United States will soon have to submit their social media identities, previous telephone numbers and email addresses, a measure that could touch 10 million people per year.

According to a State Department plan published Friday, visa seekers — whether visitors or would-be immigrants — will be presented with a list of social media platforms.

Applicants will be required to identify which they use and provide “any identifiers used by applicants for those platforms during the five years preceding the date of application.”

“Other questions seek five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, and international travel,” the notice, published in the Federal Register, revealed.

When these new rules were first suggested last year as part of what US President Donald Trump has called “extreme vetting” of would-be visitors, civil liberties groups sounded the alarm about privacy.

But officials say they could identify potential extremists, such as one of the attackers in the December 2015 San Bernadino shooting — who got a visa despite allegedly advocating “jihad” on social media.

The measures apply both to the DS-260 “Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Form” and the DS-160 “Application for Nonimmigrant Visa.”

In the last fiscal year, 559,536 people applied for US immigrant visas and 9,681,913 for various forms of visitor visa. Friday’s announced measures will not touch diplomatic or official travelers.

The announcement begins a 60-day period in which interested bodies and members of the public will be allowed to submit comments on the rule changes, which are expected to be approved on May 29.

AFP

Trump Approves Tougher Visa Vetting, Social Media Checks

The Trump administration has rolled out a new questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants worldwide that asks for social media handles for the last five years and biographical information going back 15 years.

The new questions, part of an effort to tighten vetting of would-be visitors to the United States, was approved on May 23 by the Office of Management and Budget despite criticism from a range of education officials and academic groups during a public comment period.

Critics argued that the new questions would be overly burdensome, lead to long delays in processing and discourage international students and scientists from coming to the United States.

Under the new procedures, consular officials can request all prior passport numbers, five years’ worth of social media handles, email addresses and phone numbers and 15 years of biographical information including addresses, employment and travel history.

Officials will request the additional information when they determine “that such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting,” a State Department official said on Wednesday.

The State Department said earlier that the tighter vetting would apply to visa applicants “who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities.”

President Donald Trump has vowed to increase national security and border protections, proposing to give more money to the military and make Mexico pay to build a wall along the southern U.S. border.

He has tried to implement a temporary travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority nations that a U.S. appeals court refused to reinstate, calling it discriminatory and setting the stage for a showdown in the Supreme Court.

The Office of Management and Budget granted emergency approval for the new questions for six months, rather than the usual three years.

CBN Explains Restriction On Naira Debit Cards

Naira debitThe Director, Monetary Policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Moses Tule, has been speaking on the recent restrictions on the use of naira debit cards and dollar transactions in the country.

At an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, Mr Tule said that naira debit cards can no longer be used outside the country due to the abuse it has suffered in the hands of some persons who use it to transfer foreign currencies illegally.

He said that the nation’s foreign reserves has been heavily depleted due to the fall in the price of oil and as such, the apex bank had to place some restrictions on the use of naira debit cards in addition to banning the use of the United States dollar as a substitute for the naira.

Obama To Sign Executive Order On Cyber Security

obamaThe U.S President, Barack Obama, is expected to sign an executive order on Friday which is aimed at encouraging companies to share information about cyber security threats with the government and each other, a response to attacks like that of Sony.

Obama will sign the order at a day-long conference on cybersecurity at Stanford University in the heart of Silicon Valley.

The order of the summit sets the stage for new private-sector led “Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations” (ISAOs) – hubs, where companies share cyber threat data with each other and with the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr Obama, who will be joining at the summit with top US security officials, is planning to call on private tech firms to share more information with law enforcement, potentially placing him at odds with the companies.

A senior member of Britain’s National Crime Agency is also due to appear, along with executives from Microsoft, Facebook and Google.

Mr Obama “wants to build support for efforts to better protect against cuber-threats and share more information about cyber-attacks”, the White House said.

Michael Daniel, Obama’s cyber coordinator, in a conference call with reporters said: “We believe that by clearly defining what makes for a good ISAO, that will make tying liability protection to sectoral organisations easier and more accessible to the public and to privacy and civil liberties advocates”.

Cybersecurity industry veterans said that Obama’s anticipated order would be a modest step in one of the president’s major priorities which is the defense of companies from cyber attacks.

Obama has proposed legislation to require more information-sharing and limit any legal liability for companies that share too much. Only Congress can provide the liability protection through legislation.

In the last summit, Obama said cybersecurity was a “challenge that we can only meet together, adding that ”it’s going to bring everybody together – industry, tech companies, law enforcement, consumer and privacy advocates, law professors who are specialists in the field, as well as students – to make sure that we work through these issues in a public, transparent fashion.”

Other dignitaries are microsoft vice-president Scott Charney and Chief Executives from Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

£1 million lottery scam: Man jailed for 30 months

Farrakh Nizzar a shop worker has been jailed for 2 years and 6 months for trying to defraud a couple of their £1 million lottery ticket.

When the pensioner couple asked Farrakh Nizzar who is 30 years old and an illegal over-stayer in the United Kingdom the state of their ticket and their ticket which is the EuroMillions ticket was not a winning ticket and asked if they wanted the ticket back.

The Holts’ told Nizzar afterwards to thrash the ticket since its worthless but after the couples left, Nizzar took the ticket scanned it at a cousin’s Best One shop in Oldham Greater Manchester where he also works and he was told by the terminal to tell the holders of the ticket to contact Camelot.

Rather than do just that, Nizzar who is now facing deportation back to his home country of Pakistan kept the ticket and later called the lottery company himself in an attempt to keep the prize. But the firm became suspicious when he was unable to answer questions about the winning ticket.

Nizzar came to the UK in 2007 on a student visa and completed a postgraduate diploma in business studies. But his student visa ran out, he was refused leave to remain in the UK and exhausted all his rights to appeal.

Camelot began investigation with the aid of a CCTV, the Tesco Clubcard belonging to Mr.Holt to trace the original owners of the ticket and the Holts’ were united with their £1 million prize.

Nizzar bowed his head and made no reaction as he was jailed at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester after he pleaded guilty last month to one charge of fraud by false representation which was committed on May 31 this year and has since written a letter of apology to Mr and Mrs Holt.

 

15 million Nigerians want to go to America – survey

Around 13 per cent of the world’s adults – or over 640 million people -would like to emigrate with roughly 150 million, including ten million Indians wishing to settle in America.

So suggests a new Gallup survey giving the US an undisputed title as the globe’s most desired destination for would-be migrants since Gallup began tracking patterns in 2007.

Would-be migrants who express desires to relocate to the US most likely come from populous nations such as China (22 million), India (10 million), Brazil (7 million), Nigeria (15 million) or Bangladesh (8 million).

In addition to the almost 1 in 30 adults globally who would like to permanently settle in the US, vast numbers are attracted to the UK (45 million), to Canada (42 million), to France (32 million), and to Saudi Arabia (31 million).

Despite large numbers of people in China, Nigeria, and India who want to migrate permanently to the US, these countries are not necessarily the places where the US is the most desired destination.

Potential migrants aspire to move to countries all over the world for the simple reason that they are in search of opportunity, Gallup said.

Opportunity could mean the chance to join family members who are already in other countries, to start a new business, to express one’s views without fear, or to live where children are treated with respect.

The reason the US is such a highly desired destination for potential migrants, in addition to being the land of opportunity, could be that many Americans are accepting of migrants in their communities, Gallup said.

Gallup.com’s latest figures on adults’ aspirations to move to