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The spread of COVID-19 risks devastating countries across East Africa, where food insecurity could more than double in just three months, the United Nations warned Tuesday.
The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that some 20 million people currently do not have secure provisions of food across nine countries in the region: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda.
Compared to other parts of the world, these countries have so far registered few confirmed COVID-19 cases, with numbers still counted in the dozens or hundreds.
However, due to their often weak economies and poor health infrastructure, they are considered highly vulnerable to the impacts of the mounting crisis.
“WFP projections are currently that the number of food insecure people in the region is likely to increase to 34 or up to 43 million during the next three months due to the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19,” spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told journalists in a virtual briefing.
In the worst-case scenario, “food insecurity will have more than doubled,” she stressed, adding that nearly half of the projected 43 million people affected were expected to be acutely food insecure.
Oxford University Coronavirus vaccine trial has been paused after a participant had a suspected adverse reaction in the UK.
Spokesman for AstraZeneca, the company working with a team from Oxford University said the trial was placed on hold after to review the “potentially unexplained illness” in one of the participants.
The spokesperson told Guardian;
“As part of the ongoing randomised, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process was triggered and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data by an independent committee.
“This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials. In large trials illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully.
“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimise any potential impact on the trial timeline. We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials.”
The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine is seen as a strong contender among dozens being developed globally. Hopes have been high that the vaccine might be one of the first to come on the market, following successful phase 1 and 2 testing.
Its Phase 3 testing in recent weeks has involved some 30,000 participants in the US as well as in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. Phase 3 trials in vaccines often involve thousands of participants and can last several years.
The vaccine, which had been expected to be publicly available as early as January, is one of two projects on which the Australian government plans to spend $1.7bn as part of a deal to ensure free vaccines for all citizens.
British-Ghanaian rapper, Solo 45, has been jailed for 24 years for repeatedly raping and assaulting four women while he held them against their will.
The Grime star, whose is real name is Andy Anokye was known by his stage name Solo 45. He was found guilty at Bristol Crown Court of 30 charges relating to a two-year period.
The 33-year-old was convicted of 21 rapes and five counts of false imprisonment, two counts of assault by penetration and two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm by a court in the southwestern city of Bristol.
The offences were committed between February 2015 and March 2017.
Police began investigating Anokye in 2017 after one of his victims told friends and police that she had been raped. After his arrest, officers discovered harrowing footage filmed by Anokye on his mobile phone, and this led police to three other women.
He met these victims at his gigs and developed relationships with them before assaulting them, his trial heard.
One of his Anokye’s victims who testified in court told the Guardian newspaper: “He put me on the bed and put a flannel over my face and poured a bottle of water over it, which made feel like I was drowning,” she said.
Another said she was stabbed in the thigh and held at knifepoint.
Anokye told the court that all the acts were consensual role play in a game called “catch me, rape me”.
The trial heard he forced one woman to lie in a bath of freezing cold water, held a shotgun to the head of another woman. and made one sit with a bottle of water tied to her finger with a shoelace.
According to prosecutors. his abuse included holding a cloth covered in bleach to women’s faces, with one woman telling jurors he had forced a mobile phone down her throat.
Giving evidence, Anokye told the court he had dacryphilia – sexual arousal from tears.
Graphic video clips filmed by Anokye were played to the jury, in which the rapper was seen interrogating the women about previous sexual partners, slapping them, insulting them, and raping them.
One clip showed a woman crying and saying ‘I hate you’, with the musician laughing and making a thumbs-up sign to the camera.
The videos were so intimate and extreme that Judge William Hart cleared the public gallery of the courtroom when they were shown.
During sentencing, Judge William Hart imposed an extended sentence, meaning Anokye will serve 24 years in prison and five on licence, and ordered he must sign the sex offenders register for life.
The judge told Anokye, who appeared by video link from HMP Long Lartin, he had ‘no sexual boundaries or empathy for those concerned’.
He said Anokye had ‘become addicted’ to the ‘perverted pleasure’ he took from abusing the women in the case.
The judge added: ‘You have a background that includes gang associations and criminal violence.
‘I’m entirely satisfied that your career as a music artist was flourishing at the time of this offending and that you would have gone to great heights.
‘You were part of a well-known collective – Boy Better Know. The fellow artists from that collective have achieved great success.’
The judge said none of those fellow artists were aware of Anokye’s behaviour, or ‘dark side’.
‘They are in no way tarnished by your misdeeds which you carried out in a private way,’ the judge told Anokye.
‘Your convictions have deprived you of that career but the fault is yours alone.’
Anokye, who was signed to Island Records and had collaborated with Stormzy, JME and Wiley, was described as a ‘violent, controlling narcissist and a bully’ by prosecutors during the case.
Relief has come the way of a Nigerian mother, Suliyat Tijani and her quadruplets stranded in a hospital after the Dubai Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum paid their hospital bills.
Channels Television had on July 19th reported that Suliyat, 29, had planned to return to Nigeria for delivery since she and her husband, Tijani Adigun Shakiru could not afford doing so in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
But travel restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, left Suliyat, an Oyo State indigene, and her husband with no choice than to do so in the Arab nation.
She was to later gave birth to quadruplets, two days before her planned return to Nigeria.
Since Suliyat and her family had no medical insurance, having racked up about $108,000 (400,000 AED) in medical expenses since the birth (prematurely) of the two boys and two girls, they went on soliciting for help.
Although the Nigerian community in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) rallied around and paid part of the bills ($11,500), the Dubai Crown Prince stepped in to foot the medical expenses after their story went viral.
Local radio stations in Dubai and the CNN said the Latifa Hospital for Women and Children where the babies were born through an emergency C-section confirmed the Crown Prince’s gesture.
The quadruplets were placed on ventilators at the neonatal intensive care unit, are doing well and will soon be ready to go home, the hospital explained.
Her husband, Shakiru, obviously elated by the Prince’s magnanimity, described it as a huge favour, admitting that payment of the medical bills gave him sleepless nights.
As a sign of gratitude to the Dubai royal family, the chef told local media Khaleej Times that three of the babies will be named Hamdan, Mohammed and Lathifa.
An Expensive Joke?
“I never thought of having four babies, because there’s no money,” Shakiru had told Channels Television.
According to Shakiru who relocated to the UAE with his family in 2017, “When my wife told me she was pregnant, and she went for a scan, I told her she was joking.”
Men of the Rivers state police command have arrested a 47-year-old man, Eromosele Mahmud, for allegedly impregnating his 16-year-old daughter after raping her over a period of five years.
According to the spokesperson of the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, Mahmud who is a single parent and father of three from the Esako West Local Government Area of Edo State but resident in Port Harcourt, confessed that he has been raping his own daughter since she was 12.
He told the police his daughter began enjoying their sexual intercourse and was the one who initiates it sometimes. He said he doesn’t know what pushed him to start sleeping with his own child.
When interrogated, Mahmud said
This is a battle I have tried to fight over the years and it seems to be much bigger than me. I am not going to withdraw any fact or truth as far as this case is concerned. If this is the only way my daughter can be liberated if I go to prison, then it is good. My happiness is that I am relieved even as I speak to you now.
I can’t really remember when it started, but like I told you, it’s more of a spiritual thing. It is very unusual for a father to be sleeping with his own daughter. I am not a party to abortion, so whatever it is, the social welfare people and other government officials involved in this matter know the best way to handle this pregnancy. As a father, I cannot support abortion for my daughter, what if anything happens to her in the process.
I don’t rape her regularly; it happens once or twice in a year; she used to be very cooperative, even when I don’t want it, she tries to force herself on me.”
The victim said her father becomes hostile towards her and would stop paying her school fees if she refuses to have sex with him.
“It was my father who impregnated me; he started having sex with me when I was 12-year-old till now. The first time he came and lay with me on the bed, when I tried to scream, he told me to shut up that my mates were doing the same thing and anytime I refused to allow him, he would not buy anything for me and he would refuse to pay my school fees.” she said
The state police command spokesperson said Mahmud would be charged to court once investigations have been concluded.
Pregnant British YouTube star, Nicole Thea died along with her unborn son Reign on Saturday morning, July 11. She was 24.
A statement issued through her Instagram account said Miss Thea and ‘her unborn son she and her partner Boga named Reign sadly passed away on Saturday morning’. Details of how she and the unborn child died were not revealed.
Nicole, who was popularly known for her dance videos on YouTube was just weeks away from her due date as she was 8 months pregnant before her sudden death.
The statement posted to her page read: ‘To all Nicole’s friends and supporters it is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Nicole and her son she and Boga named Reign sadly passed away on Saturday morning’
‘Also Nicole pre-schedule a few YouTube videos and Boga has made the decision to allow them to be aired.
As a family we ask that you give us privacy because our hearts are truly broken and we are struggling to cope with what has happened.’
‘Thank you her mum RIP My beautiful baby girl Nicnac and my grandson Reign, I will miss you for the rest of my life until we meet again in eternal heaven. Xxx’
Her Ghanaian partner, street dancer Global Boga, 20, whose real name is Jeffery Frimpong, shared a video of himself dancing with a pram early on Saturday. He wrote in his caption: ‘If you believe children are BIG BLESSINGS from God drop some ‘Rrrrrrr’ I Can’t wait to be taking my son to the parks & Playground.’
The Trump administration has carried out first federal execution in 17 years, putting White Supremacist Daniel Lewis Lee to death.
Daniel Lewis Lee, a convicted killer, was executed on Tuesday morning, July 14, in the first federal execution in 17 years after the Supreme Court reversed lower court ruling and ruled federal executions could proceed.
He received a lethal dose of the powerful sedative pentobarbital in Terre Haute, Indiana,
According to a pool report, Lee was pronounced dead by the coroner at 8:07 a.m. ET in Terrre Haute, Indiana. His last words were “I didn’t do it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life but I’m not a murderer. You’re killing an innocent man.”
Lee, a one-time white supremacist was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell, dumping their bodies in a lake.
Several executions were initially delayed when a judge ruled on Monday that there were still unresolved legal challenges. But the Supreme Court cleared the way for the resumption of the federal death penalty in an unsigned order released, wiping away a lower court order temporarily blocking the execution of Lee in a 5-4 vote as 5 conservative judges voted in favour while four voted against the execution.
The supreme court in an unsigned opinion said that the prisoners’ “executions may proceed as planned,” with Lee’s execution scheduled for about 4 a.m. EDT Tuesday, according to court papers.
Here are three more federal executions that are scheduled in the near future.
Wesley Ira Purkey, who was sentenced in Missouri in 2003 for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl whose body he dismembered, burnt and dumped in a septic pond, is due to be executed on Wednesday.
Dustin Lee Honken, sentenced in Iowa in 2004 for shooting dead five people including two girls aged six and 10, is due to be executed on Friday.
Keith Dwayne Nelson, sentenced in Missouri in 2001 for the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl behind a church, is set to be executed next month.
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has asked suspended EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, to direct his bail application to the Presidential Panel investigating the allegations of corruption against him and not the police.
LIB last week Friday July 15, reported that Magu had written a letter through his counsel, Oluwatosin Ojaomo, to the IGP asking for bail on self-recognizance. Magu has been detained at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) since Monday, July 6 when he first appeared before the presidential panel probing him over the allegations of corruption leveled against him by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Responding to his letter, the police chief said Magu is not being detained by the police but by the Presidential Panel investigating the activities of the EFCC. The letter written by his Principal Staff Officer, DCP Idowu Owohunwa, dated 14th July, 2020 reads
“Your letter OOC/TOL/89A/07/2020 of July 2020 on the above underlines subject, refers.
The Inspector General of Police directs that your attention be drawn to the fact that the Nigeria Police Force is not investigating CP Ibrahim Magu (your client), and he is accordingly, not being detained by the Police but by the Presidential Panel that is investigating the activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Inspector General of Police therefore advises that you consider redirecting your request to the Chairman of the Presidential Panel for appropriate attention.
I am to convey the assurances of the warmest regards of the Inspector General of Police, please.”
The suspended boss of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has complained about the “unfortunate” handling of his investigation for alleged corruption, saying he has consequently been “paraded like a common criminal”.
Magu on Monday, July 6, appeared before the presidential panel investigating allegations of corruption leveled against him by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Premiumtimes reports that Magu in a letter written by his lawyer, Wahab Shittu, and sent to the Presidential Investigative Committee on Friday, July 10, said he had not seen the petitions containing the allegations against him nor has the committee availed him with their terms of reference. The letter which was reportedly sent to the Committee on Friday, July 11, reads in part
“Mr Chairman, since the 6th of July when our client honoured your invitation, he has been consistently applying to the Committee to be given the petitions containing the allegations of CONSPIRACY, CORRUPT ENRICHMENT, ABUSE OF POWER/OFFICE, which request has not been honoured or obliged till date. Our client has also informed us that he remains unaware of the terms of reference of this distinguished Committee.”
The letter also related Magu’s discomfort with his continued detention at the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department FCID “without being informed of the allegations against him and the deserved opportunity to timeously study and respond to same.”
Magu in his letter complained that “witnesses are called and examined by the Committee behind his back and without allowing him and counsel of his choice to participate in the proceedings involving these witnesses.”
The suspended chairman of the antigraft agency said he had been a target of campaigns of calumny by the media taking advantage of his detention to spread damaging, false and prejudicial allegations.
Among such “unfounded allegations which never featured in the proceedings of the Committee thus far,” the letter said, were that Mr. Magu gave Vice President Yemi Osinbajo four billion naira (an allegation Mr Osinbajo has denied); that he ran secret accounts; procured cronies to front for him; and that he acquired properties in Dubai.
“These campaigns of calumny have greatly affected the morale of our client and damaged his hard earned reputation and that of the Commission (EFCC)
It continued, “that our client as a result of this campaign of calumny has been paraded like a common criminal and subjected to all manners of insults and embarrassment just for serving his nation diligently and efficiently as the arrow-head of the anti-corruption campaign of this administration.
This unfortunate development is happening even before the determination of the petitions before this Honourable Committee with prejudicial consequences.” the letter read in part
Magu in his letter made seven requests from the committee, including its terms of reference; access to the petitions against him to “enable him study and prepare a robust defence”; intervention of the committee to facilitate his release from the FCID detention; and adequate time to respond to the allegations against him with necessary materials and evidence.
He also sought an opportunity to confront the petitioners with his own defense; and requested that witnesses be examined in his presence and his counsel. He then asked the committee to guarantee “his right to fair hearing including his right to liberty in the course of the proceedings of this distinguished Committee.”
The investigative committee is yet to comment on Magu’s letter.
Kiki Osinabjo, daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has reacted to the allegation she invested N800m in the property where she uses in running her business
Jackson Ude, the Former Director of Strategy and Communications under President Goodluck Jonathan administration took to Twitter this morning to make the allegation.
How did Kiki Osinbajo, VP Osinbajo’s daughter, earn N800million she invested in the property housing her Glam’d Africa Beauty House in Abuja on 10 Durban Street, Wuse 2. Abuja?”he tweeted
Taking to her Instagram page to react, Kiki described the allegation as a lie. She stated that she is a tenant in the property where she runs her business.
”For me it is completely UNBELIEVABLE that a grown man will sit in his home and LIE about me, a grown man who possibly has children my age! Like many young women in Nigeria I work hard , It may be difficult for people like him to understand that a young woman can work hard and succeed on her own steam. ANYONE can verify the ownership of the property of Glamd Africa at Agis in Abuja. I am a tenant in that property. My landlord’s name is Mr MUSA ADAMS” she wrote