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Hugh Lawson

French President Emmanuel Macron, Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Sudan's Sovereign Council Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burha attend the International Conference in support of Sudan at the Temporary Grand Palais in Paris, May 17, 2021

Sudan clears final hurdle for debt relief at Paris conference

International Monetary Fund member countries have agreed to clear Sudan’s arrears to the institution, France’s president said on Monday, removing the final hurdle to the African nation getting wider relief on its external debt of at least $50 billion.
FILE PHOTO: Soldiers attend the state funeral of late Chadian President Idriss Deby in N'Djamena, Chad, April 23, 2021. Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Chad rebels ready for ceasefire; opposition presses for civilian rule

Rebels in northern Chad are ready to observe a ceasefire and to discuss a political settlement after the battlefield death of President Idriss Deby last week, a rebel spokesman said on Sunday.
FILE PHOTO - Media mogul Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, leaves the Court of Final Appeal by prison van in Hong Kong, China February 9, 2021. REUTERS-Tyrone Siu-File Photo

Hong Kong tycoon gets 14 months in prison for unauthorised assembly

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was sentenced to 14 months in prison while nine other activists received jail time or suspended sentences on Friday for taking part in unauthorised assemblies during mass pro-democracy protests in 2019.

Mozambique army says town attacked by insurgents is now secure

The town in northern Mozambique that was attacked by Islamic State-linked insurgents in late March is now secure after the military killed a “significant number” of militants and cleared one final area, an army spokesman said.
Vjosa Osmani took over as acting president of Kosovo last November when her predecessor, Hashim Thaci, resigned ahead of his impending war crimes trial in the Netherlands.

Kosovo parliament elects new national president

Kosovo’s parliament has appointed a 38-year-old U.S.-educated female law professor and candidate of the ruling Vetevendosje party as the country’s new president, following an election in February.

Gunmen kill 30 people in attack in western Ethiopia – witnesses

Gunmen killed 30 people in an attack on a village in the west of the Ethiopian region of Oromiya late on Tuesday, witnesses said.
Sudan’s Finance Minister Jibril Ibrahim said clearance of the arrears would enable the country to secure financing from the World Bank Group and other multilateral institutions and move forward with transformative development projects.

Sudan closer to debt relief with U.S. loan to clear World Bank arrears

Sudan has settled its debts with the World Bank after nearly three decades, moving the heavily indebted African country closer to a much-needed international debt-relief package, the World Bank, U.S. Treasury and IMF said on Friday.
Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus Vaccine

WHO approves J&J vaccine for emergency listing

The World Health Organization has approved the emergency-use listing of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, the U.N. agency said on Friday, broadening access to the shots.

China urges Australia to close offshore detention centres

China on Friday said it was “deeply concerned” by what it described as the Australian government’s operation of offshore detention centres, and it called for the sites to be closed immediately.
President John Magufuli. AFP Photo-Daniel Hayduk

Tanzania denies President Magufuli sick with coronavirus

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli is in good health and working normally, two officials said on Friday, after reports that he had been flown to Kenya and then India in a critical condition with COVID-19.
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.
Nicolas Sarkozy leaves the courtroom during his trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling in Paris in December. Benoît Tessier-Reuters

Convicted former French president likely to escape jail time

A French court found former President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of trying to bribe a judge and influence peddling on Monday and sentenced him to three years in prison, a stunning fall from grace for a man who led France and strode the world stage for five years
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, wearing a protective face mask, arrives for the verdict in his trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling, at Paris courthouse, France, March 1, 2021. REUTERS-Gonzalo Fuentes

Former French president convicted of corruption, handed prison sentence

A French court found former President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of trying to bribe a judge and influence peddling on Monday and sentenced him to three years in prison, a stunning fall from grace for a man who led France and strode the world stage for five years.
“Now countries are still pursuing deals that will compromise the COVAX supply,” WHO senior adviser Bruce Aylward told a briefing. “Without a doubt.”

WHO: Countries threaten global COVAX vaccine supply by making own deals

Countries seeking their own vaccine doses are making deals with drug companies that threaten the supply for the global COVAX programme for poor and middle-income countries, the World Health Organization said on Friday.
“A general lockdown will be imposed from 17-00 (1500 GMT) on Sunday for two weeks,” a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said.

Israel, Bahrain leaders discuss Iran, possible vaccine plant

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Thursday discussed Iran and the possible involvement of the Gulf state in establishing a vaccine plant in Israel, the two countries said.
A medical worker prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Sao Jose Hospital in Lisbon, Portugal, January 19, 2021. REUTERS-Pedro Nunes

Portugal to share coronavirus vaccines with its former colonies in Africa, East Timor

Portugal will send 5% of its COVID-19 vaccine shots to a group of Portuguese-speaking African countries and to the tiny nation of East Timor in the second half of the year, Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said on Wednesday.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday signed into law the Finance Bill 2019 (now Finance Act), which among other objectives, seeks to increase government revenue while supporting struggling small businesses in Africa’s largest economy.

NBS: Nigeria’s economy contracted 1.92% in 2020

Nigeria’s economy contracted by 1.92% in 2020, the statistics office said, marking the country’s second full-year recession since 2016, as a result of a fall in revenues due to an oil price slump on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Broken glass is seen at the Bright Castle Motors building after reports of mortar shells landing near Erbil airport, in Erbil, Iraq February 15, 2021. REUTERS-Azad Lashkari

Iraq rocket attack hits U.S. forces, killing contractor

A rocket attack on U.S.-led forces in northern Iraq on Monday killed a civilian contractor and injured a U.S. service member, the U.S. coalition in Iraq said, in the deadliest such attack in almost a year.
General view of a cross session of lawyers in a court during a hearing of a blasphemy case in Kano, Nigeria January 21, 2021. REUTERS-Stringer

Nigerian appeals court throws out blasphemy convictions that caused outcry

The two had been convicted in August by a sharia court in Nigeria’s northern, mainly Muslim state of Kano. Teenager Omar Farouq was accused of making blasphemous comments during an argument, while Yahaya Aminu Sharif was accused of having shared a blasphemous message on WhatsApp.
FILE PHOTO - A sign of a NHS vaccination centre is seen, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Wembley, London, Britain, January 18, 2021. REUTERS-Matthew Childs

British hospitals use blockchain to track coronavirus vaccines

Two British hospitals are using blockchain technology to keep tabs on the storage and supply of temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines, the companies behind the initiative said on Tuesday, in one of the first such initiatives in the world.
FILE PHOTO: Traders from BGC Partners, a global brokerage company in London's Canary Wharf financial centre wait for European stock markets to open early June 24, 2016 after Britain voted to leave the European Union in the EU BREXIT referendum. REUTERS/Russell Boyce

Global stocks waver as coronavirus fears trump recovery hopes

Global stock markets wavered on Monday as soaring COVID-19 cases offset investor hopes of a quick economic recovery, even after data showing that the Chinese economy rebounded faster-than-expected in the fourth quarter of 2020.
FILE PHOTO- A medical worker, wearing a protective suit and face mask, administers a nasal swab to a patient at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing centre in Le Bignon, France, December 22, 2020. REUTERS-Stephane Mahe

France records 20,262 more coronavirus cases, 159 more deaths in last 24 hours

France registered 20,262 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases and 159 more related deaths in hospitals in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed, as fears of a new wave of the virus mount in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy.

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Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (fifth from the left) and his colleagues during Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum meeting in Ibadan Oyo State on Monday.

APC: PDP governors’ meeting ‘mere jamboree’

The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has described Monday’s meeting of governors of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP as a jamboree and a complete waste of time, accusing the state executives of engaging in name calling and abuses.
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (fifth from the left) and his colleagues during Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum meeting in Ibadan Oyo State on Monday.

PDP governors asks President Buhari to summon Police Council meeting

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has unanimously has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately summon the meeting of the Nigerian Police Council...
Activities in Kaduna State have been paralysed as the five-day warning strike directed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over irregular sacking of civil servants began on Monday.

Kaduna strike: Nigerian governors appeal to NLC to exercise restraint

Governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to exercise calm and restraint in its engagement with the Kaduna State government.
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho believes his star man Harry Kane is surrounded by the ideal pieces.

Harry Kane tells Tottenham he wants to leave this summer

The 27-year-old has grown frustrated over the club's inability to compete at the highest level, having seen his side fall out of contention to secure Champions League football for next season.
Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso has revealed his struggles with an auto-immune disease, while claiming that when I eventually die, I want to go where I lived, on a football pitch..

Juventus considering Gennaro Gattuso as Andrea Pirlo’s replacement

Juventus are studying the future and are reportedly considering Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso as a possible alternative to replace Andrea Pirlo.

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The highly infectious variant of the novel coronavirus that is predominant in the United Kingdom may be up to 70 percent more deadly than previous strains, according to a report by the government’s scientific advisers.

NCDC: Rapid mutations, new changes escalating coronavirus cases

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has said the rapid mutations and new changes of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have led to escalation of cases in many countries.
Kidnap

Pastor’s wife: How my husband was kidnapped in Akure

The wife of a pastor, Otamayomi Ogedengbe, who was kidnapped at his church located in Irese, Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State, has called on the security agencies in the state to secure the release of her husband.

Former House member’s daughter wanted for certificate forgery

Miss Deborah Ighiwiyisi Agbonayinma, daughter of a former member of the House of Representatives, has been declared wanted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
At least 31 Nigerian soldiers were killed when IS-aligned jihadists ambushed a military convoy escorting weapons and overran a base in northeast Nigeria's Borno state, military sources told AFP Monday.

Nigerian, Nigerien Armies to collaborate to rescue Katsina abducted worshippers

The Nigerian Army has said that it will collaborate with its counterpart in the Niger Republic to track fleeing bandits and rescue their victims.
The Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) has commended the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity for granting recognition to the trade union in spite of an alleged deregistration plot against it by a rival union.

Niger government, Labour ministry disown ASUSS

The plan by secondary school teachers to float a different organisation from the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) may have hit the rocks following the rejection of the plan by both the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Niger State Government.