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Ukraine. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for international inspectors to be given access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after Ukraine and Russia traded accusations over the shelling of Europe's largest atomic plant at the weekend.
Kenya. Kenyans are heading to the ballot box on Tuesday. The race pits presidential frontrunners Raila Odinga, the former prime minister, and deputy president William Ruto against each other. Odinga is going in backed by an unexpected ally: his longtime political rival, President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Israel. Israel and the Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad have declared a truce, raising hopes of an end to three days of Israeli bombardment in Gaza that has killed at least 44 Palestinians, including 15 children. While both sides had agreed to halt the fighting, each has warned the other that it would respond with force to any violence.
In an evening televised address, President Richard M. Nixon announces his intention to become the first president in American history to resign. “By taking this action,” he said in a solemn address from the Oval Office, “I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.”
Nigerian governors have asked president Mohammadu Buhari to urgently take steps to halt the current slide towards economic collapse, and have made suggestions on how to do it.
What are their suggestions?
Expressing concern over the deteriorating state of the economy and the potential effect on the 2023 general elections, the governors urged the president to immediately take steps to instil fiscal discipline, to avoid the potential catastrophe that may result from the worsening revenue-expenditure crisis. The suggestions were made during a recent meeting between the governors and the president. The measures recommended involve making significant cuts to government spending.
What are these measures?
The governors urged president Buhari to immediately halt the Central Bank of Nigeria’s financing of the government’s budgetary expenditures and convert its N19t debt owed to the CBN into a 100-year bond. As part of measures to reduce the government's recurrent expenditure bill, the governors urged the federal government to offer civil servants who are 50 years or older a one-off retirement package to exit the civil service. These and other measures, according to the governors, will enable the FG save trillions of naira and be better placed to finance critical obligations.
Are there details of how the savings will be achieved?
The measures recommended, with estimated savings in bracket, include; reduction of FG's expenditure, reducing personnel cost, and redefining the CBN's role in the economy. Their suggestions include;
• Eliminate PMS subsidy/under-recovery (N6-7t),
• Eliminate NNPC’s Federation-funded projects (N300b),
• Cap Social Investment Program (SIP) and National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) budgets to N200b (N570b),
• Eliminate extra-constitutional deductions from FAAC (N100b),
• Reduce SWV items for SDG and NASS Constituency projects (N300b),
• Reduce duplications (e.g. empowerment programmes) and waste (N100b), and
• Reduce 1% granted to NASENI to 0.2%. Amend the Act in the 2022 Finance Bill.
On reducing personnel cost, they urged the FG to, among others;
• Begin implementation of the updated Stephen Oronsaye Report (N1t),
• Expedite privatization of non-performing assets. (Billions of Naira),
• Reconsider the planned 22% increase in salaries,
• Reduce fiscal deficit to no more than 2% of GDP in 2023 – 2025, and
• Halt foreign trips by MDAs, including budgetary-independent agencies such as CBN, FIRS, NPA, NIMASA and NCC, for at least one year. Source
It appears that this is a season of mending political fences in West African French-speaking countries, as Ivory Coast's president Alasanne Ouattara pardoned his predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo.
Where else did such happen?
This is coming after former president Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso apologized to the family of his predecessor and slain friend, Thomas Sankara. Honouring an invitation by the country 's current leader last month, Campaoré visited Burkina Faso - his first visit since leaving office in 2014 - and begged for forgiveness from the country 's citizens, especially the family of his late predecessor who was killed in a coup d'état in 1987.
Why was Gbagbo pardoned?
In a statement to mark the country's 62nd independence anniversary on Saturday, Ouattara said the pardon was aimed at enhancing social cohesion. Gbagbo had received a 20-year sentence for his role in the violence that rocked the country when he refused to leave office after his defeat in the 2011 election. In addition to the pardon, Ouattara ordered the unfreezing of Gbagbo's bank accounts and the payment of his life annuity.
Following his arrest after about 3000 deaths that resulted from post-election violence in 2011, Gbagbo was tried for alleged war crimes, but was acquitted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). After his acquittal at the ICC, Gbagbo was handed a 20-year sentence for the robbery of funds at the Abidjan Central Bank, which occurred after the election. He has always denied the allegations. Source
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Colombia’s new president, Sen. Gustavo Petro, was sworn into office on Sunday, becoming the country's first leftist president.
How did he get there?
A former member of Colombia’s M-19 guerrilla group, Petro won the presidential election in June, beating conservative parties that offered moderate changes to the market-friendly economy. Frustrated by rising poverty and violence against human rights leaders and environmental groups, Colombian electorates voted against the status quo, breaking from a history of electoral disaffection for left leaning candidates - for their alleged softness on crime.
What are his plans?
Petro has declared that his focus will be on fighting inequality and bringing peace to Colombia, a country rocked by violent conflicts between the government, drug traffickers, and rebel groups. With a promise of pursuing economic policies that would end longstanding inequalities and ensure “solidarity” with the most vulnerable, Petro declared the country's war on drugs a failure.
What's he going to do differently?
He has expressed willingness to begin peace talks with armed groups across the country. Petro has also called on the United States and other nations to change their strategy on drugs, advocating for measures that prevent drug consumption instead of policies that are focused on the prohibition of substances, which have in turn fueled violent conflicts across the country and other Latin American nations. Source
Nigeria wins historic C’wealth Women’s 4x100m title
More states to procure AK-47 as insecurity worsens
Brilliant Brume shatters record in gold medal leap
15 deregistered parties back Obi
Plateau deregisters all private schools
Gunmen kidnap Ondo village head, three others
Wizkid performs in Saudi Arabia
Oyedepo tells ‘Winners’: Be obedient
‘No place in America’: Biden denounces killing of four Muslims
Buyout deal: Elon Musk accuses Twitter of fraud
Muslim-Muslim Ticket: MKO Abiola Was No Tinubu
On July 10, 2022, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria's 2023 general elections, Bola Tinubu announced former governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima, as his running mate on the party's presidential ticket. As expected, the reaction to the announcement has been mixed, with supporters of the two candidates justifying the decision to pick Shettima, while others - including members of the APC - have expressed outrage over the decision, decrying the party's insensitivity to the feelings, and fears, of non-Muslims.
The Art of Friendship: How to Navigate Your Differences. Shonda Land
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The world's most remarkable trees. Mossandfog
To kick off a conference among countries that have signed a nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that “humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.”
Let's turn potential 'vawulence' into a trivia question: Can you name the nine countries that have nuclear weapons?
Check answers at the end of this page and share our newsletter!
NUCLEAR TRIVIA ANSWER
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