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Akinwunmi Adesina re-elected as AFDB president

Saturday, 16 January 2016

(BREAKING NEWS)WORLD NEWS: IRAN - Iran nuclear deal: IAEA says implementation can go ahead

The international nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, says Iran has put in place all the measures necessary to start implementing the nuclear deal, paving the way for the lifting of sanctions.

Director General Yukiya Amano said it was "an important day for the international community".

NEWS: NIGERIA - Nigerian capital market slips further by N250bn

Trading activities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for the fifth consecutive days on Friday, sustained a negative trend with the market capitalisation dropping by N250 billion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the market capitalisation lost N250 billion or 3.0 per cent to close at N8.086 trillion compared with N8.336 trillion on Thursday amid sales pressure.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Fayose cautions Buhari over probe of military chiefs, says $2.1bn arms deal is a scam

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Weekend, advised President Muhammadu Buhari on his order for 18 Military Generals to be probed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged involvement in the $2.1 billion arms deal.

Governor Fayose, who reacted to President Buhari’s order for the 18 serving and retired military chiefs to appear before the EFCC from Monday, through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said the military officers ought to have been probed in accordance with the armed forces rules of engagement.

WORLD NEWS: UN Security Council welcomes political development in West Africa

The UN Security Council on Saturday commended the positive political development in some West African countries following elections conducted in 2015.

The Security Council commended in particular the conduct of free and peaceful elections in Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Côte-d’Ivoire.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Woman loses 3 kids to fire in Bayelsa

A fire outbreak in the Ogbia area of Bayelsa on Saturday killed the three children of one Mrs Favour Udoh at her residence, the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports.

The spokesman for the Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr Asinim Butswat, who confirmed the incident, said that preliminary findings indicated that the fire at Elebele community was caused by candle light.

NEWS: NIGERIA - NOUN convocation: Fmr President Obasanjo bags Master’s Degree, 15 get 1st class honours

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Saturday in Abuja bagged a Master’s Degree in Theology at the fifth convocation of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Vincent Tenebe, said in his address at the ceremony that Obasanjo was among other notable Nigerians in the list of the 10,653 graduands in which 15 of them made first class honours.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Buhari leads Nigeria’s delegation to World Energy Summit in UAE

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Sunday embark on a three-day official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to participate in this year’s edition of the World Future Energy Summit.

This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday by the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu.

WORLD NEWS: IRAN - US; Jason Rezaian and three other US prisoners freed in Iran

Iran has released Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and three other Iranian-American prisoners as it anticipates the lifting of international sanctions.

Rezaian, 39, was convicted of espionage in Iran last year.

Iranian state TV named the other three as Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and and Nosratollah Khosravi.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Lagos State Govt. launches campaign against street begging

The Lagos State Government has launched a campaign to sensitise the public on its zero tolerance to begging and destitutes on the streets of the metroplolis.

This is contained in a statement by Mrs Kemi lkotun-Adekusibe, Head, Public Affairs of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development on Friday in Lagos.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Lassa Fever: 3 dead, 200 under observation, says Rivers Commissioner

The Commissioner for Health in Rivers, Dr Theophilus Odagme, has confirmed that three persons have died, while more than 200 others are currently under observation, following the outbreak of Lassa Fever in the state.

Odagme made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Saturday.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Tompolo: Militants hit major oil/gas pipelines

Chevron Nigeria Limited and other oil companies in the riverside areas of Delta state are shutting down their operations on Saturday after after another wanton destruction of oil facilities crippled a large portion of production.

It was gathered that the major crude and gas line to the Chevron Tank Farm in Escravos were hit over night by militants in the wake of Government Ekpemupolo’s face-off with the EFCC.

WORLD NEWS: AUSTRIA - BURKINA FASO; Two Austrians kidnapped in Burkina Faso

Two Austrian citizens, a doctor and his wife, were kidnapped overnight in northern Burkina Faso near the border with Mali, the West African nation’s security ministry said on Saturday.

WORLD NEWS: TAIWAN - Taiwan elects first female president against China's wish

Tsai Ing-wen (Photo credit - The Forefront)

Tsai Ing-wen has been elected Taiwan’s first female president.

Ms Tsai, 59, leads the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that wants independence from China, reports say.

In her victory speech, she vowed to preserve the status quo in relations with China, adding Beijing must respect Taiwan’s democracy and both sides must ensure there are no provocations.

NEWS: NIGERIA - PDP loses one seat in House of Representatives

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) capacity was reduced by one seat with a loss of its representative in the House of Representatives on Tuesday as Ferdinand Dozie Nwankwo representing Njikoka/Anaocha/Dunukofia federal constituency of Anambra State took over the seat.

Nwankwo of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who was returned duly elected by the Appeal court was administered the oath of office by the Clerk of the House , Sani Omolori.

WORLD NEWS: Burkina Faso hotel siege 'over' amid reports of new attack

A siege is over at a Burkina Faso hotel seized by suspected Islamist gunmen, the government says, but reports say a nearby hotel is now under attack.

In all, 126 hostages were freed at the Splendid Hotel in the West African state's capital, Ouagadougou, the interior minister said.

WORLD NEWS: UK-US; UK MPs to debate banning Trump

British MPs are set to debate whether US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump should be banned from entering the UK, after a petition calling for him to be barred gathered more than 500,000 signatures.

The politicians will discuss the motion on Monday in the House of Commons and debate, for three hours, whether Trump should be prevented from the UK on account of what the 573,149 signatories called his "hate speech"

WORLD NEWS: SOMALIA - Al-Shabab attacks African Union base in Somalia

Fighters from the al-Shabab group have attacked a base for African Union peacekeepers in southwestern Somalia, blasting their way into the compound and exchanging fire with peacekeepers, a Somali military official told Al Jazeera.

Dozens of al-Shabab fighters on Friday assaulted the military base, which is run by Kenyan troops who are part of the AU force in the town of El-Ade, not far from the Kenyan border.

Reminisce (Today in World History) - New post series on the forefront.

This day 16th January:

27 BC - The title Augustus is bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian by the Roman Senate.

WORLD NEWS: Burkina Faso attack: Hostages freed from Ouagadougou hotel

About 30 hostages have been freed after an attack on a hotel in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, that reportedly killed at least 20 people.

Several masked men stormed the Splendid Hotel, taking hostages, after car bombs went off outside, eyewitnesses said.

WORLD NEWS: Taiwan's building a church and it's a giant glass shoe

The marvels of modern architecture abound around the world. There's a building that looks like a banknote in Lithuania, a building called the "friendly alien" in Austria, and now, a church shaped like a high-heeled shoe in Taiwan.

The church, a tinted blue glass structure, is 55 feet tall at the top of the heel, and 36 feet wide. Based on that and guessing it's roughly 75-80 feet from toe to heel, we'll call it a size 880.

WORLD NEWS: IRAN - US, EU and Iran to discuss progress in nuclear dea

The US, Iran and the EU will meet in Vienna on Saturday to discuss progress towards implementing Iran's nuclear deal, the US State Department says.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

There is widespread speculation Iran has met the terms of the deal and the lifting of sanctions is imminent.

WORLD NEWS: BURKINA FASO - Burkina Faso attack: 'At least 20 dead' in Ouagadougou hotel

Gunmen have attacked a hotel used by Westerners in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, taking hostages and reportedly killing at least 20 people.

Several masked men stormed the Splendid Hotel taking hostages after car bombs went off outside, eyewitnesses said.

French ambassador Gilles Thibault tweeted that an operation to free the hostages was under way. Witnesses said part of the hotel was on fire.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Oshiomhole: How Jonathan threatened to cage me

Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has disclosed how former President Goodluck Jonathan threatened to contain him after May 29 for throwing his weight behind the candidature of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 general elections.

Speaking at a meeting with APC leaders across the three Senatorial Districts of Edo State on Thursday, an elated Oshiomhole said: “Around this time last year, the tension in Nigeria was such that prophets of doom around the world were almost unanimous that Nigeria would not survive 2015, but as you can see, man proposes, God disposes.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Lassa fever hits Lagos State.

A case of Lassa fever has been confirmed in Lagos.

The victim ,identified as a 25-year-old student from the Ahmadu Bello University case, was diagnosed with the ailment at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Army kills 14 Boko Haram members as sect attacks military base in Yobe

Boko Haram insurgents yesterday attacked the 120 Task Force Battalion of the Army at Goniri in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe state.

The insurgents appeared to have come from Shettimari in the Borno axis of the town and engaged the soldiers in a fierce fight that lasted for almost four hours.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Tinubu refutes alleged comment on Buhari, defecting PDP members

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday refuted a report in an online platform, Newswire, alleging that he flayed the defection of some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members to APC.

He described the report as a figment of the imagination of the platform’s reporter and a plot to cause disaffection within the ranks of the APC.

NEWS: NIGERIA - N34bn fraud: EFCC slams 40-counts charge against Tompolo, Akpobolokemi, others

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted an order sought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to serve the summons, compelling ex-Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a. Tompolo, to appear before the court to face a 40-count charge of fraudulent conversion of several millions of naira, dollars and property belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, to personal use.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Bombshell: Biafra’s dead, Obasanjo insists

As the protagonists of Biafra intensify efforts for the realisation of their secession agenda, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, described the move as a dead agitation borne out of sheer ignorance and error of judgment. The former President said those involved in the current agitation for Biafra were embarking on hopeless and futile exercise, which no serious-minded Nigerian should engage in.

WORLD NEWS: ENTERTAINMENT - Bill Cosby’s attorneys call for dismissal of sexual assault charges

Attorneys for Bill Cosby on Monday asked a Pennsylvania court to dismiss sexual assault charges filed against the comedian late last month, saying prosecutors violated terms under which he gave a deposition in a civil lawsuit a decade ago.

Friday, 15 January 2016

WORLD NEWS: IRAN - US; 10 U.S. Navy sailors held by Iran were told by their captors to "act happy"

The 10 U.S. Navy sailors held by Iran were told by their captors to "act happy" while they were being videotaped during their detention, according to a U.S. defense official with access to the latest information about the debriefing of the sailors.

The U.S. commander who spoke on camera has indicated he felt pressure to talk about how well they were being treated. It's not yet clear if he was directly ordered to apologize, the official said.

WORLD NEWS: Dutchman arrested on suspicion of killing IS fighters

A former Dutch soldier has been arrested on suspicion of killing Islamic State militants while fighting alongside Kurdish militiamen in Syria.

The 47-year-old was later released but had to surrender his passport to stop him returning to Syria.

Prosecutors said that Dutch law did not allow the use of force apart from in exceptional circumstances.

WORLD NEWS: George W Bush tops Wikipedia 15th birthday list

Online encyclopaedia Wikipedia has marked its 15th birthday with a list of the most edited pages on the site.

The English language version of the site, which anyone can edit, has more than five million entries and has been edited around 808 million times.

A page about former US president George W Bush has attracted the most attention with 45,862 edits since its creation.

NEWS: NIGERIA - As Lassa Fever ravages Nigeria, Plateau announces fresh cases of bird flu

The Plateau Government on Friday announced a fresh outbreak of Avian Influenza, saying that the bird flu had so far affected six farms.

The announcement is contained in a statement signed by the state’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Doris Bitrus, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos.

NEWS: NIGERIA - MASSOB to resume mass protests Monday

The leadership of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) said it has directed its members to resume massive protests from Monday 18 January.

The directive came after rising from a one-day meeting of ‎ national executive officers at MASSOB headquarters, Okwe Onuimo Local council of Imo state.

NEWS: NIGERIA - PDP working to divert attention from anti-graft war, APC claims

The All Progressives Congress (APC) said on Friday that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was desperately working to divert attention from the ongoing corruption investigation, saying the government will not succumb to any blackmail from the opposition.

The party said the call for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari and resignation of two of the cabinet ministers and governor of the Central Bank was laughable.

NEWS: NIGERIA - I didn’t blow up pipeline, says Tompolo

Government Ekpemupolo (AKA Tompolo) has dissociated himself from the wanton attacks on oil installations in the Warri area of Delta state on Friday.

Tompolo, who condemned the attacks in a telephone chat with our reporter, did not rule out connection between the destruction and the arrest warrant issued by a Federal High Court in Lagos.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Ex-militants bomb Escravos gas pipeline in Delta

Suspected ex-militants, Thursday night, blew up a gas pipeline in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State conveying gas from Escravos–Warri-Lagos-Abuja, property of the Nigeria Gas Company, NGC, in what is believed to be a resumption of fresh hostilities in the Niger Delta region. 

NEWS: NIGERIA - Nigerian Army To Double In Size

The Nigerian Army will expand its current size of just over 100,000 to 209,000, Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai announced during a speech at the National Defence College on 13 January.

NEWS: NIGERIA - Armed Forces Probe; Buhari urges EFCC to probe Badeh and others

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate 17 retired and serving military officers of the Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Army for the past eight years over procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector.

He gave the order following the recommendation of the committee established to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector from 2007 to 2015.

WORLD BUSINESS: Shares on both sides of the Atlantic sink in investor sell-off

UK shares fell again on Friday, with mining stocks dragging the market lower as the prices of oil and commodities continued to tumble.

The FTSE 100 was down 124.9 points, or 2.1% at 5,793.3 points.

Overnight, BHP Billiton announced it was writing down the value of its US shale assets by $7.2bn amid the collapse in oil prices.

WORLD NEWS: US - Two US military helicopters collide near Hawaii

Two US Marine helicopters have collided near the Hawaiian island of Oahu, each with six people on board.

The crash occurred during a night-time training mission late on Thursday (American time zone) but it is unclear why.

News: Nigeria -Court arraigns and remands Metuh in prison

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday remanded the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, in Kuje prison.

News: Nigeria -Missing $49bn: FG to probe oil sector - Amaechi

Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday revealed that the Federal Government will beam its searchlight on the oil sector after the ongoing arms deal probe.

News: Nigeria -President To Process Demands On Abducted Girls

President Muhammadu Buhari will meet Bring Back Our Girls group (BBOG), national security adviser Mohammed Monguno said today.

News:Nigeria -Boko Haram Terrorists Now Disguise As Fruit And Vegetable Sellers – Nigerian Military

The Nigerian military has warned the public of a new tactic in use by the extremist Boko Haram sect to move Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) around in order to unleash deadly attacks on the public.

Introducing on The Forefront a new post segment: Reminisce (Today in History)

This day January 15th:

588 BC - Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah's reign. The siege lasts until July 23, 586 BC.

WORLD NEWS: INDONESIA - Indonesia arrests ISIL suspects after Jakarta attacks

Indonesian police have arrested three men over links to attacks in Jakarta that left seven people dead including five attackers, local TV reported. 

The arrests on Friday came less than 24 hours after the shooting and bombing rampage, the first such attack in the country since 2009.

NEWS: NIGERIA - BBOG, Chibok girls’ parents march on Aso Villa

Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign leader Dr. Oby Ezekwesili yesterday led members of the group and parents of the abducted Chibok Secondary School girls on a protest to the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Over 200 girls were abducted in their school in Borno State on April 14, 2014.

ENTERTAINMENT: NIGERIA - Ace Comedian Ali Baba rewards winner of his comedy show

King of Nigerian comedy, Ali Baba has made good on his promise to reward the star winner of the third edition of his annual comedy talent hunt show tagged “ Ali Baba’s Spontaneity, with a car gift.

The ace-comedian redeemed his pledge on Tuesday, as he handed over the key to a brand new car to the winner of the comedy show, Aderombi Adedayo popularly called Dee-One.

WORLD NEWS: ENTERTAINMENT - Brit Awards 2016: Adele, James Bay and Years & Years lead nominations

Adele looks set to take the limelight at this year's Brit Awards after being nominated for four trophies.

Her multi-million-selling album 25 is up for best British album, while she has also been shortlisted for best British female, single and video.