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A view of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility 250 km (155 miles) south of the Iranian capital Tehran, in this Maxar Technologies satellite image taken last week and obtained by Reuters on April 12, 2021. Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

Iran says it begins 60% uranium enrichment following nuclear site incident

Iran has begun 60% uranium enrichment, the country’s chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi told state media on Tuesday, a day after Tehran accused arch-foe Israel of sabotaging a key nuclear site.
A view of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility 250 km (155 miles) south of the Iranian capital Tehran, in this Maxar Technologies satellite image taken last week and obtained by Reuters on April 12, 2021. Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

Israel made a ‘very bad gamble’ by sabotaging Iranian nuclear site – minister

Iran’s top diplomat said on Tuesday that an attack on its Natanz nuclear facility which it blames on Israel was a “very bad gamble” that would strengthen Tehran’s hand in talks to revive a 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.

Former diplomat unfolds blueprint to salvage troubled Nigeria

Amid increasing social discontent in Nigeria in recent times, a scholar and former diplomat, Nnamdi Onochie, has unfolded a blueprint to put Nigeria back on track to achieve peace, prosperity and progress for survival as an entity.
FILE PHOTO: European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell attends a news conference after a EU-Georgia association council in Brussels, Belgium, March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool/File Photo

China, Russia undermine international Myanmar response – EU’s top diplomat

The European Union’s top diplomat said on Sunday Russia and China were hampering a united international response to Myanmar’s military coup and that the EU could offer more economic incentives if democracy returns to the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday commended the early response of the military and the Kaduna State Government towards the rescue of 180 students and eight staff members of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, in Igabi LGA.

President Buhari appoints new DTCA, NIIA chiefs

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Ambassador Rabiu Dagari as Director-General of the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa (DTCA).
Department spokesman Ned Price told a news briefing that the United States is “gravely concerned” about accounts last week by CNN and the BBC of a massacre in the region by Ethiopian forces.

US loosens restrictions on Taiwan contacts in defiance of China

The State Department has announced that it will make it easier for US officials to meet Taiwanese representatives, defying pressure from China at a time of high tensions, and as the US Congress considers sweeping legislation to counter Beijing’s influence.
FILE PHOTO - Anti-coup protesters burn a Chinese flag in Yangon, Myanmar April 5, 2021. REUTERS-Stringer

China in touch with ‘all parties’ in Myanmar – embassy

China’s embassy in Yangon said on Friday it had been in touch with “all parties” in military-ruled Myanmar, when asked about a report that a diplomat had spoken to a parallel government representing Aung San Suu Kyi’s ousted administration.
FILE PHOTO: European External Action Service (EEAS) Deputy Secretary General Enrique Mora and Iranian Deputy at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abbas Araghchi wait for the start of a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria April 6, 2021. EU Delegation in Vienna/Handout via REUTERS

Official: Iran has produced 55kg of 20% enriched uranium since January

Iran has made 55 kg of uranium enriched to up to 20% - the point at which it is highly enriched - indicating quicker production than the 10 kg a month rate required by an Iranian law that created the process in January, Iranian authorities said on Wednesday.

North Korea accuses UN of ‘double standards’ over missile launches

North Korea said on Monday that the UN Security Council’s position (UNSC) on missile launches by Pyongyang amounted to double standards that violated the country’s sovereignty and right to self-defence.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd R), joined by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (R), speaks while facing Yang Jiechi (2nd L), director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Wang Yi (L), China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister, at the opening session of U.S.-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. March 18, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/Pool via REUTERS

Sellers of t-shirts, phone cases make most of China’s diplomatic riposte

T-shirts, umbrellas, handbags, lighters and mobile phone cases bearing phrases used by China’s top diplomat during a testy exchange with U.S. officials in Alaska have become hot items on Chinese e-commerce platforms.
Amaju Pinnick

The many parts of Amaju Pinnick

Let me join all Nigerians to congratulate Mr. Melvin Amaju Pinnick, the current President of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, for his amazing victory at last week’s elections for a seat on the exalted Executive Committee of FIFA.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday called on the African Union and other international partners to help address a deepening crisis in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region as he condemned alleged atrocities in fighting there.

Top U.S., Chinese diplomats clash at start of first talks of Biden Presidency

The first high-level U.S.-China talks of President Joe Biden administration got to a fiery start with both sides rebuking others’ policies in a rare public display that underscored the level of bilateral tension.
“At this moment, l cannot say how many students were taken away by the gunmen until l get there, but we have already mobilized security men and members of the vigilantatè who are now in pursuit of the abductors,” the commissioner stated.

Former Nigerian ambassador urges government to negotiate with bandits

A former Nigerian ambassador to the Philippines and Algeria, Orefo Onochie, has told the federal government to consider the option of negotiating with the insurgents, currently terrorising Nigeria, if that would make the bandits to embrace lasting peace.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a plenary meeting of the Workers' Party central committee in Pyongyang, North Korea in this photo supplied by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on February 10, 2021. KCNA via REUTERS

US official: North Korea unresponsive to behind-the-scenes Biden administration outreach

North Korea has not responded to behind-the-scenes diplomatic outreach since mid-February by President Joe Biden’s administration, including to Pyongyang’s mission to the United Nations, a senior Biden administration official told Reuters on Saturday.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers his first prime time address as president, marking the one-year anniversary of widespread shutdowns to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and speaking about the impact of the pandemic during an address from the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 11, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

U.S., India, Japan and Australia agree to provide a billion vaccine doses in Asia

U.S. President Joe Biden met leaders of Australia, India and Japan on Friday, a group central to his efforts to counter China’s growing military and economic power, and said a free and open Indo-Pacific region was crucial to all of them.
President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the family of the former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ambassador Sam Edem, whose remains will be buried on Saturday, March 23, 2021.

President Buhari mourns Ex-NDDC chairman Sam Edem

President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the family of the former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ambassador Sam Edem, whose remains will be buried on Saturday, March 23, 2021.
Irina Sorgovitskaia of Belarusian band Galasy ZMesta performs during a concert in Minsk, Belarus December 5, 2020. BelTA-Handout via REUTERS

Belarusian Eurovision song entry riles opposition

A rumbling political crisis in Belarus spilled over into the Eurovision Song Contest this week, as the country’s state broadcaster nominated a band that has released songs mocking protests against President Alexander Lukashenko.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on The Biden Administration's Priorities for U.S. Foreign Policy on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., March 10, 2021. Ken Cedeno-Pool via REUTERS

Top U.S., China diplomats to hold first in-person talks of Joe Biden presidency

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with top Chinese officials on March 18 in Alaska, the White House said on Wednesday, the first high-level in-person contact between the two sparring countries under the Biden administration.
A health worker holds a multiple-dose vial containing the vaccine against COVID-19 by British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, in Genoa, northern Italy, February 10, 2021 [Luca Zennaro-EPA]

EU, UK in new skirmish over vaccines as post-Brexit ties sour

A senior EU diplomat in London was summoned to the British foreign ministry on Wednesday as the two sides traded barbs over COVID-19 vaccines, the latest in a series of disputes that bode ill for post-Brexit cooperation.
FILE PHOTO - Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a joint news conference in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, January 11, 2020. Pavel Golovkin-Pool via REUTERS

EU: Germany is main target of Russian disinformation

Germany is the top target of Russian disinformation campaigns in the European Union, a report said on Tuesday, as ties between Moscow and the West hit new lows over the poisoning and jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
Tokunbo Awolọwọ-Dosunmu

Nigeria today faces an unprecedented threat to its very existence

It is a great honour and privilege for me to welcome you to the 2021 edition of the annual Ọbafẹmi Awolọwọ Lecture Series. Chief Awolọwọ was born 112 years ago today.
Security force officers hold shields in Nyaung-U, Myanmar, March 7, 2021, in this picture obtained from social media by Reuters.

Protests erupt across Myanmar; Suu Kyi party official dies in custody

An official from the party of deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi died overnight in police custody, associates said, while protests were held in at least half a dozen cities in some of the most widespread action against the coup last month.

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The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has supported 32 Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) survivors in Borno.

UNFPA provides marginalised communities with SRHR information

The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, through its Youth Participatory Platform, YPP, has empowered girls in marginalized communities with sexual reproductive health Information and Services.
The Commissioner for Information in Ebonyi State, Mr. Uchenna Orji, who stated this in Lagos yesterday, said given Governor Dave Umahi’s pedigree, he would be the best candidate for the job.

Ebonyi commissioner: South-east needs consensus candidate to win presidency

The South-east zone have been urged to learn from the past, close ranks and present a formidable consensus candidate that will win the presidency in 2023.
The Nasarawa State Government has begun the vaccination of its frontline medical workers against the COVID-19 pandemic.

NPHCDA: Nigeria inoculates 1.04 million residents with first dose of coronavirus vaccine

One month into the national COVID-19 vaccination exercise in Nigeria, a total of 1,043,737 eligible Nigerians have so far been vaccinated with the first dose pf the vaccine, representing 51.9 per cent of the proportion vaccinated.
Newest entrant into Nigeria’s aviation industry, United Nigeria Airlines, has recorded about 25,000 passengers within four weeks of commencing operations on the local routes.

United Nigeria Airlines ferries 25,000 passengers in 8 weeks

Newest entrant into Nigeria’s aviation industry, United Nigeria Airlines, has recorded about 25,000 passengers within four weeks of commencing operations on the local routes.

Kano consumer protection agency seizes N1 billion fake drugs

The Kano State Consumer Protection Council (KSCPC), has seized over N1 billion worth of fake drugs and unwholesome foods across the state in the past three months of the year.

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Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has felicitated with Nigerians on the occasion of Christmas celebration and urged everyone to adhere strictly to COVID-19 protocols.

PDP governors urges President Buhari to stem ethnic, religious tension

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of utmost urgency, stem the tide of endless ethnic and religious tension spreading like wildfire in the country.

MSF: Maiduguri, environs record 1,158 cases of measles

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) known as Doctors Without Borders said that 1,158 cases of measles were recorded within Maiduguri and environs within the past five months.
Senate President Ahmed Lawan has described the recent attacks on public assets in Imo state as an attempt to distract the government, saying such actions can lead to insurgency.

Senate president: Imo attack can lead to insurgency

Senate President Ahmed Lawan has described the recent attacks on public assets in Imo state as an attempt to distract the government, saying such actions can lead to insurgency.
FILE PHOTO: A Congolese man buys groceries at an open air market, amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Kenny Katombe

Congo to start delayed coronavirus vaccination with AstraZeneca shots

The Democratic Republic of Congo will start its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on April 19 with 1.7 million AstraZeneca doses it received from the COVAX global vaccines sharing scheme after delaying the rollout for more than a month.
The president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Samson Ayokunle, says he stands by the call for a Christian president to emerge in 2023.

CAN rejects anti-religious discrimination bill

The Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) has rejected the Religious Discrimination (Prohibition and Prevention) bill currently before the House of Representatives.