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Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari signs 2018 budget into law

21 June, 2018 - 11:19

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2018 appropriation bill, that is the nation’s budget containing the year’s federal spending.

The 25 billion dollars budget as approved by the nation’s parliament was assented to by the President on wednesday.

But just after signing the budget Mr Buhari lamented that the 2018 Appropriation Act, which he signed into law would be difficult — if not impossible — to implement.

This he says is because of the alterations members of the National Assembly had effected on the document he submitted to them since November 2017.

African artists sing against 'colonial' CFA Franc currency

21 June, 2018 - 11:16

For several years the debate against the French backed CFA Franc currency has been raging on in parts of West and central Africa.

Created in 1945, it is used in 14 African countries, 12 of which are former French colonies.

Critics say the common currency has hampered the region’s economic growth while France profits.

Recently, several West African artists came together to record a song against the CFA currency. The song titled “seven minutes against the CFA franc” is available on Soundcloud, YouTube and other social media platforms.

Togolese rapper and activist Elom 20ce is also featured on the song.

“I think that the CFA franc represents a currency for monkeys. It’s a metaphor to say that it’s a currency that does not represent us. We are still seen as monkeys, as animals. It’s not a currency that represents our economies. I think that today, it’s very important to reclaim ourselves,” he said.

Some credit the French-backed common currency with fostering stability; others decry it as a colonial hangover.

Those who support the CFA zone argue that African countries have the choice to leave, but it’s in their best interests to stay for the sake of having a stable currency and low inflation rates.

“At the moment, we can say that CFA Franc is a currency that guarantees us a certain security, especially when it comes to protecting us against structural economic shocks and it allows us to compete and to trade internationally, in a world that is increasingly globalised,” said Thomas Koumou an economist based in Lome.

Rapping and singing in Wolof, Bambara, English and French, the artists and producers behind the song hope it will reignite calls to do away with the CFA Franc.

France has said that it’s leaving the decision up to its former colonies.

Billboard urging liberals to leave Texas to be taken down after causing social media pandemonium

21 June, 2018 - 11:15

Preview A cheeky Texas billboard encouraging liberal motorists to keep driving until they’ve left the state will be taken down after photos of the roadside ‘advertisement’ sparked a social media uproar.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Fans Flood Russia for World Cup [Travel]

21 June, 2018 - 11:10

FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 is currently underway, and supporters from all across the world have gathered in the country to support their teams. They have spent hours on multiple planes just to get to Russia. But the long journey and huge costs have certainly not dampened the spirits of hundreds of fans from all over the world adding vibrancy and colour to the Russian capital.

FIFA has sold nearly 2.5 million tickets for this tournament.
Amidst all the excitement, there is a chance to know more of Russian culture as well as others to showcase what they have.

While your favourite players are making their mark on the world stage, passionate fans have been cheering for their teams with vigour. One such case are the Senegalese fans who have bringing real colour to the region. Elayne Wangalwa tells us more.

[Live] Day 8 at 2018 World Cup: All eyes on Lionel Messi as Argentina, France in action today

21 June, 2018 - 11:08

Argentina’s Lionel Messi will be hoping to put the memories of his missed penalty in the opening 1-1 draw against Iceland behind him, when his side takes on Croatia in the second round of matches in Group D.

Messi, who said he felt responsible for his team’s failure to take the maximum three points, has been backed by several of his admirers including Argentine legend Diego Maradona, who said he missed a few penalties himself.

The French stars including Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousaman Dembele will also be determined to put up a better performance, after their unconvincing 2-1 win against Australia in the opening game of Group C.

#DEN vs #AUS#FRA vs #PER #ARG vs #CRO

Matchday 8, let’s do this pic.twitter.com/8CfoAkjN0W— FIFA World Cup ? (@FIFAWorldCup) 21 juin 2018

Denmark vs Australia

Denmark who barely managed to win their opening game 1-0 against Peru, are prepared to go back to the basics to earn another three points today.

“I want to focus on how we will play because in the first match we were too focused on the result and so we didn’t perform to our best,” coach Age Hareide told reporters on Wednesday.

Australia, on the other hand, who put a brave performance against France, will be playing to win against a side their coach says is ‘more of a team’ than the French collection of stars.

“The Danish they are a strong team, they are number 12 in the world rankings and that says enough,” Van Marwijk told reporters on Wednesday.

Australia’s coach is yet to employ the services of the country’s record goal scorer’ 38 year old Tim Cahill.

“They are a physically strong team, very tall players, that’s their weapon and we played against France and they have more quality and creativity in their players, but I think the Danish are maybe more a team.”

Denmark will qualify for the last 16 if they beat Australia and Peru fail to win against France.

Pogba snatches winner in 2-1 victory over Australia as technology proves useful

France vs Peru

Peru’s coach has declared that his side will be playing for a win, saying they will not allow France to bully them in the Group C clash on Thursday.

Coach Ricardo Gareca said the Incas, who played some attractive soccer in going down 1-0 to Denmark in their first game, would not change their approach against the highly-fancied French on Thursday.

“This involves playing to our style and not letting France push us around. We are obviously not going to be able to control France all the time but we want to develop our style of play. Our intention is to win,” he told a news conference.
Argentina vs Croatia

Gareca will rely on the creativity and instinct of the country’s veteran striker Paolo Guerrero, who looked sharp as a substitute against Denmark.

France who have one of the youngest teams at the World Cup, featuring 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe and 21-year-old Ousmane Dembele, will be hoping to deal with the high expectations on them, having failed to inspire in the opening game where VAR and goal line technology helped them win.

SUGGESTED READING: Nigeria loses to Croatia 2-0, but Nigerian fans remain hopeful

Argentina vs Croatia

The pressure on five time world player of the year, Lionel Messi has caused his coach Jorge Sampaoli to ask fans to stop blaming the 21 year old star captain when the country does not perform to expectations.

“Messi can’t be the only guilty one. When he scores, all Argentines celebrate, so when he misses, we can’t jump on him alone … that’s too easy a way to think,” smarted Sampaoli on the eve of their next Group D game, against Croatia.

Croatia comfortably won their opening game 2-0 against African side, Nigeria and will be looking to capitalise on any weaknesses in the Argentine play.

“To beat Argentina, we’ll have to play the perfect match and we’ll have to work very hard, from the first second to the very last minute of stoppage time,” said Croatia’s Ivan Rakitic, who also plays with Messi at Barcelona.

‘Deepfake’ porn should be criminalized under upskirting bill, analyst says

21 June, 2018 - 10:47

Preview The “distressing” practice of creating fake porn images using pictures of real people should be outlawed in the same bill that criminalizes upskirting, an analyst has said.

Read Full Article at RT.com

Pics of the day, June 20, 2018

21 June, 2018 - 10:18

Africanews samples the best pictures of the day’s news.

Drones, gun fingerprints and tighter social media regulation: Museveni's security plan

21 June, 2018 - 09:45

Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni announced on Wednesday up to 10 measures his government will take to secure the population.

The president was addressing a special sitting of parliament that was called after the brutal murder of one of the country’s prominent legislators, Ibrahim Abiriga two weeks ago.

Uganda’s security agencies have been struggling to contain a wave of crime that has included kidnappings, political assasinations, murder and rape of women and terrorising of residents in towns and villages by machete wielding criminals.

CCTV, DNA and gun fingerprints

While the president has in the past shared several ways in which the government can combat crime including installation of CCTV cameras, capturing of DNA prints of all Ugandans and automobile tracking, he shared a few more new and ambitious projects to eliminate crime with parliament.

‘‘All legally held guns will be ‘finger-printed’ so that if any legally-held gun is used in crime, we shall trace it. This includes guns in private hands but licensed by the police,’‘ the president said, after revealing that he recently found out that every manufactured gun has a unique ‘fingerprint’ and can be traced using the cartridge fired to tell which gun discharged the bullet.

Automobile tracking and new helmets for ‘boda bodas’

The president further explained the interventions he had earlier proposed, saying the tracking of automobiles in the country through new electronic plates to be issued will be done without violating privacy of the owners.

‘Down with the pigs’: Museveni vows to eliminate assassins of Ugandan MP

Museveni also further emphasised the ban on hooded motorcycle riders, and the implementation of an order to have these riders acquire new helmets which have illuminated numbers at the back that can even be seen in the night.

‘You will be exposed’

Security measures will also include tighter regulation of social media, enforcement of truck scanning at border points to detect weapons and other illegal items sneaked into the country, in addition to having a strong, lean army.

“Those criminals will pay for their sins; whatever is done in hiding shall be proclaimed on the mountain. Whatever they say in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what they whisper in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs,” concluded the 73 year old president.

In another ambitious plan, the president told parliament that the police flying squad that responds to crime scenes, will be equipped with drones, light helicopters and motorbikes to improve their effectiveness.

Museveni prides himself on his government’s ability to restore security of person and property in the country, and often lists among the achievements of his 32 year reign, the defeat of armed rebellions like the Joseph Kony led war in Northern Uganda and the Allied Democratic Forces in Western Uganda.

SUGGESTED READING: Uganda ex-police chief arrested over police spokesman’s killing

Priest loses temper & slaps toddler during baptism (VIDEO)

21 June, 2018 - 09:41

Preview A video has emerged online which shows a French-speaking priest slapping a crying toddler during a baptism. A shocked father grabs the child out of the clergyman’s arms.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Cameroon gov't says Anglophone separatists killed 81 officers, seeks $21m emergency aid

21 June, 2018 - 09:27

Anglophone separatists in Cameroon have killed 81 members of the security forces and more than 100 civilians in their months-long campaign for independence, according to a government report obtained by AFP on Wednesday.

Seventy-four soldiers and seven police have been killed by separatists since clashes erupted in the two regions in late 2017, it said.

It added that more than 100 civilians had been killed “over the past 12 months,” and at least 120 schools, a favourite target of the radicals, had been torched.

The document also calls for an emergency humanitarian aid plan worth $21m, funded from “the state budget, an appeal to national solidarity and contributions from international partners”.

The report coincides with a blaze of international criticism over the government’s crackdown in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, home to most of the English-speakers who account for about a fifth of a mainly French-speaking population of 22 million.

According to the International Crisis Group think-tank, at least 120 civilians and 43 members of the security forces have been killed since the end of 2016.

The UN says 160,000 people have been internally displaced and 20,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring Nigeria.

Gov’t dismisses Amnesty report

On June 12, Amnesty International issued a report saying the security forces had carried out “unlawful killings, destruction of private property, arbitrary arrests and torture” since late 2017.

The operation, far from resolving the crisis, had “empowered… more radical and violent movements,” it said.

The report was dismissed by the Cameroonian government as “crude lies” and “part of a strategy of harassment and destabilisation of our country”.

US accuses gov’t forces of ‘targeted killings’

And in May, the US ambassador in Yaounde, Peter Barlerin, sparked a diplomatic furore by saying the armed forces had carried out “targeted killings”.

He also said the separatists had carried out murders of gendarmes and other acts of violence, a fact noted by Amnesty which said “at least” 44 members of the security forces had been killed.

Cameroon is victim of separatist violence:gov’t replies US envoy

Evolution of the Anglophone crisis

The presence of a large English-speaking minority dates back to the colonial period.

It was once a German colony that after World War I was divided between Britain and France.

The French colony gained independence gained in 1960, becoming Cameroon. The following year, the British-ruled Southern Cameroons was amalgamated into it, giving rise to the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

In 2016, years of resentment at perceived discrimination culminated in protests, which escalated in the face of a government refusal to make concessions.

Violence surged in late 2017 after radicals declared an independent state, an entity named Ambazonia that has not been recognised internationally, and launched an armed campaign, which was met with a crackdown.


German intelligence chief says Russia tried to hack energy grid

21 June, 2018 - 08:10

The head of Germany’s domestic security agency has publicly blamed the Russian government for a large-scale cyberattack that has targeted German energy providers.

Nevada greenlights 1st execution in 12 years, furthering death row inmate’s quest

21 June, 2018 - 06:55

Preview Nevada has officially scheduled the execution of Scott Raymond Dozier, 47, for July 11. While Dozier has repeatedly stated the wish to die, the sentence was delayed due to ethical concerns over an unusual mix of drugs to be used.
Read Full Article at RT.com

'Shut This Place Down': Children Drugged and Given Forced Injections at Texas Detention Facility, Lawsuit Says

21 June, 2018 - 06:00

Children in federal custody at the U.S.-Mexico border have been given psychotropic drugs and forced injections, according to allegations in a recent lawsuit. As thousands of children remain in federal custody after being taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, federal court filings allege that children in at least one detention center in Texas have been forcibly given medications that have made them dizzy, lethargic, and even incapacitated.

The Billion-Dollar, Secretive Business of Operating Shelters for Migrant Children

21 June, 2018 - 06:00

The business of housing, transporting and watching over migrant children detained along the southwest border is not a multimillion-dollar business. It’s a billion-dollar one.

AT&T Successfully Derails California's Tough New Net Neutrality Law

21 June, 2018 - 06:00

In the wake of the FCC's ham-fisted net neutrality repeal, more than half the states in the country are now exploring their own, state-level net neutrality protections. California's proposal, Senator Scott Weiner's SB 822, was seen as particularly promising in that it went even farther on some important issues than the 2015 FCC rules it was intended to replace. The EFF went so far as to call California's proposal the "gold standard" for state-level net neutrality laws, noting it did a better job policing many of the problem areas where modern anti-competitive behavior occurs, such as zero rating or interconnection.