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Nigeria elections.
Spreadsheet claiming Abubakar victor of Nigeria’s elections fake
28 February 2019, 5:55 AM

A report by the AFP news agency has found that a spreadsheet that has gone viral on social media in Nigeria is in fact a fake.

A screenshot of the spreadsheet, which claims to be from the Nigerian Electoral Commission, has been shared by more than six-thousand people on Facebook and Twitter.

It shows that Atiku Abubakar of the opposition PDP Party was actually the victor in the 2019 general election.

The ‘Hope For Nigeria’ Facebook page, which is notorious for spreading misinformation, first circulated the image.

The image was also shared by Eunice Atuejide, the presidential candidate of the National Interest Party (NIP).

According to official INEC figures, President Muhammadu Buhari won the election.

This result was verified by various local and international election observers.

Michael Cohen.
Former personal lawyer to Trump describes him as a racist, conman and cheat
28 February 2019, 5:30 AM

The former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump has described his former boss as a racist, a conman and a cheat in explosive testimony before the House Oversight Committee.

In hours long testimony before lawmakers from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, Michael Cohen spoke at length about the President’s character, confirmed that Trump knew in advance about stolen emails that would hurt his presidential opponent during the 2016 campaign but said he had no direct evidence that Trump colluded with Russia to bolster his Presidential ambitions during the 2016 campaign.

Cohen, who will from May this year spend up to three years in jail for financial crimes and for previously lying to Congress, came to correct the record and he wasn’t holding back on his former boss.

“Mr. Trump is a conman. He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it, which I did. Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets. She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly – and she did not deserve that.”

Cohen said there was something odd about the President’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin but stopped short of confirming any collusion.

But he did admit that he earlier lied about the then candidate’s business dealings with Russia, confirming that Trump directed negotiations for a real estate project in Moscow even while he was publicly denying any business dealing with Russia during the campaign, and this revelation about hacked email during the 2016 campaign.

“A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of time. The answer is yes. As I earlier stated, Mr. Trump knew from Roger Stone in advance about the WikiLeaks drop of emails. In July 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr. Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of “wouldn’t that be great.”

Republican lawmakers continually tried to undermine Cohen’s credibility as a witness portraying him as an irredeemable liar who is tarnishing the President’s image only because he got caught out for his own crimes. Cohen was undeterred.

“Mr. Trump is a racist. The country has seen Mr. Trump court white supremacists and bigots. You have heard him call poorer countries “shitholes.” In private, he is even worse. He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a “shithole.” This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States. While we were once driving through a struggling neighbourhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way. And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid. And yet I continued to work for him.”

Cohen was once one of Mr Trump’s closest confidants and fiercest defenders for 10-years but turned against the President after being caught up in the special counsel’s probe, later pleading guilty to a variety of financial crimes while cooperating with prosecutors.

Indonesia gold mine.
Dozens buried in Indonesia gold mine collapse: official
27 February 2019, 6:32 AM

One person was killed and dozens more were buried in the collapse of an illegal gold mine in Indonesia, the country’s disaster agency said Wednesday.

Rescuers on the island of Sulawesi scrambled to find survivors in the rubble after the collapse triggered a landslide on Tuesday evening, the agency said.

At least one person had been found dead and 15-others were injured in the Bolaang Mongondow region of North Sulawesi, a statement said.

“When dozens of people were mining for gold at this location, suddenly beams and supporting boards broke due to unstable soil conditions,” said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

“It is estimated that as many as 60 people are buried under the landslide.

Officials said on Wednesday morning the victims were still responding to rescuers’ calls but it was not clear how many were still alive.

Efforts to evacuate the victims were being hampered by unstable ground conditions due to the number of holes dug by the miners.

“We still have hope, when we called them they still responded from down there, asking for help,” local disaster agency official Abdul Muin Paputungan said.

Efforts to evacuate the victims are hampered by the ground unstable condition due to the number of holes dug by the miners.

“We can’t use heavy machinery because the location is very steep … it could endanger the victims,” Paputungan said.

The country has numerous unlicensed gold mining sites subject to few if any safety regulations.

In 2016, 11 Indonesian miners died after a mudslide engulfed an illegal gold mine in Jambi province.

Twelve people were killed in October 2015 when a shaft collapsed after they tunnelled into a disused mine on Java Island looking for finding gold.

Traditional healers
Traditional healers call for the criminalisation of the term “witchdoctor”
27 February 2019, 6:10 AM

Traditional healers in South Africa have called for the criminalisation of the use of the word “witchdoctor”.

They say people should rather use the phrase “traditional healer”.

This is one of the recommendations adopted at the end of the 4th National Consultative Conference of the CRL Rights Commission in Pretoria.

Chairperson of the Commission Thoko Mkhwanazi Xaluva says traditional leaders have voluntarily asked to have their own peer review mechanism to regulate the sector.

“That we should work towards making sure that the term witchdoctor is seen as the K word. We have been asked that in the next five years let’s look at criminalising that term because if you are a doctor and you are practising witchcraft it’s something we don’t know where it comes from. If you are a traditional healer, you are healing people anything.”

SA’s Ambassador Jerry Matjila.
SA calls for Venezuela to determine their own destiny
27 February 2019, 5:43 AM

South Africa has called for the international community to promote a framework of inclusive internal dialogue in order for the people of Venezuela to determine their own destiny.

That was the message delivered by the country’s Ambassador Jerry Matjila during a Security Council debate on the unfolding crisis in the Latin American country in which he warned that military threats against Caracas run counter to the purposes of the United Nations (UN).

The United States (US), that called the meeting, has indicated it would introduce a draft resolution to compel the government of President Nicholas Maduro to accept humanitarian aid.

Inconsistent with the purposes of the UN. That was the message from Pretoria’s envoy Jerry Matjila who pointed to a divided Council grappling with the internal affairs of a fellow member state.

“For us in South Africa this sets a very bad precedent. We, on the African continent, have suffered a great deal as external forces used undemocratic tools of regime change to solve problems on the continent. In principle we are strongly opposed to this way of solving any problem. This approach takes away the basic rights of the people of the country to determine their own future.”

South Africa’s position runs counter to that of the Lima Group of Latin American states, supported by the United States and the European Union, that has called for fresh Presidential elections organized by opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido.

While Russia and China called for the UN Charter to be respected, Matjila warned that if dialogue was ignored, it would lead to a prolonged crisis in the country.

“Forcing the parties to accept a prescript to resolving their own crisis, including through ultimatums, will only encourage further antagonism and division.  Therefore, we call on this Council and all those truly interested in the peaceful resolution of the crisis in Venezuela to consider the question, “What is the alternative to dialogue?” The alternative, as we have seen in other cases where dialogue was ignored, will be a prolonged crisis and possible military entanglements. This will only be to the further detriment of the people of Venezuela.”

But that position went against the majority of Council members, with Germany’s Ambassador Christoph Huesgen taking particular issue with South Africa.

“I disagree with my South African friend, I think this belongs on the agenda, this is a threat for international peace and I thought we would agree on this that human rights is also not an internal affair but (and I quote from the universal declaration) “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”. And also I thought with your background that you would also support this view that human rights is something which is very important to respect and if human rights are blatantly violated, one has to look at this.”

The US envoy Elliot Abrams indicated that Washington would continue to impose sanctions on Venezuela.

“We do not get into hypotheticals, I think you can see what the policy is, as much diplomatic and economic and political pressure as we can along with the now I think 54 countries that have recognized Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, so support the Venezuelan people’s desire for democracy, that’s our policy.”

He denied that the United States was preparing to intervene militarily in Venezuela but reiterated the position of President Donald Trump, that all options remained on the table.

 

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