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​Ramadan terror attack in London claims 6 lives

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Ramadan terror attack in London claims 6 lives

    

By Associated Press –
Terror struck at the heart of London on Saturday night as attackers killed six people in a series of vehicle and knife attacks before police shot them dead.
The assault began when a van veered off the road and barreled into pedestrians on London Bridge. Three men fled the van with large knives and attacked people at bars and restaurants in nearby Borough Market, police and witnesses said. More than 30 victims were treated at London hospitals and a number of other patients were treated for less serious injuries.
The violence turned a summery night in an area packed with revelers into a scene of panic and chaos, with officers running through crowded streets screaming for people to flee. Lifeboats on the River Thames helped evacuate the area.
The Metropolitan Police force declared the attacks “terrorist incidents.” Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said that while they believe all the attackers were killed, the investigation continued.
“We believe three people were involved, but we still have got some more inquiries to do to be 100 percent confident in that,” he said.
As dawn broke over the capital, a large area on the south bank of the River Thames remained cordoned off. Police told people to avoid the area, leaving tourists and revelers struggling to get home.
Only hours before, bursts of gunfire echoed through the streets — likely from armed police — and at least three blasts rang out as officers performed controlled explosions. One image taken by a witness showed a man on the ground surrounded by police; he appeared to be wearing a vest with canisters attached to it.
“The suspects were wearing what looked like explosive vests,” Rowley said. “But these were later established to hoaxes.”
Gerard Vowls told The Guardian newspaper that he saw a woman being stabbed by three men at the south end of London Bridge. He said he threw chairs, glasses and bottles at the attackers in a bid to stop them.
“They kept coming to try to stab me . They were stabbing everyone. Evil, evil people,” he told the newspaper. “I want to know if this girl is still alive. I’ve been walking around for an hour and a half crying my eyes out. I don’t know what to do.”
Bartender Alex Martinez said he hid in a garbage bin for a half hour when a man stormed the restaurant where he worked, which was nearly full.
“I saw that man with a knife in his hand and after that a man started screaming so I knew something wrong was happening,” he said.
Medics treated the injured near the market as shocked people cried and shouted around them. Police officers yelled at people to run from the area.
Simon Thompson told Sky News that he was just outside Borough Market when he saw crowds fleeing.
“We ran for like 100 meters and then saw loads of police cars turned up and there was kind of a period of quite intense gunfire,” he said. “I hid in a restaurant basement for about an hour. … Police told us to get out and then there was more gunfire.”
Police received the first call of reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians on London Bridge at 10:08 p.m. (2108 GMT). Rowley said the attackers were dead in eight minutes.
Multiple witnesses reported a vehicle veering off the road and hitting as many as six pedestrians.
Soon after, reports started coming in of stabbings at Borough Market, a nearby area full of bars and restaurants surrounding a popular food market.
Photographer Gabriele Sciotto said he was on his way home from a pub when he saw a man running toward him telling him to turn around and run because there was a terrorist attack. As a documentary filmmaker, though, his instincts were to keep going.
The 25-year-old said that at first, “it didn’t look too dangerous.”
The men went into Borough Market, but then turned around and ran toward the Wheatsheaf Pub after being confronted by a police officer, he said, and suddenly a lot of police came from the other direction.
The attackers “had no clue what they were doing. They were scared. The police were scared,” he said.
After one of the men was shot, Sciotto, captured a photo of the suspect on the ground wearing what appeared to be canisters strapped to his chest.
Police initially said officers were also responding to a third incident, in the Vauxhall neighborhood, but later said that turned out to be an unrelated stabbing.
Police tweeted a warning telling people in the area to run to safety, hide and then call police if it is safe to do so. They asked Londoners to “remain calm but be alert and vigilant.”
Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the attack “is being treated as a potential act of terrorism” and said her thoughts were with “those who are caught up in these dreadful events.” May’s office said she would chair a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee on Sunday.
As thousands of people flooded from the area of the attacks — many unable to get home with nearby subway stations shut — locals were quick to offer assistance.
The Royal Oak pub, near the area of the attacks, opened its doors to people evacuated from hotels. At least one taxi company offered free rides to people stranded in the area. Phaldip Singh, who describes himself as an entrepreneur and youth activist, tweeted that Sikh temples were open to provide food and shelter for those affected.
It was the third attack to hit Britain in as many months.
In March, a British convert to Islam ran down people with a vehicle on Westminster Bridge, killing four, then stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament.
On May 22, a British suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured dozens at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. After that attack, Britain’s official threat level from terrorism was raised to “critical,” meaning an attack may be imminent. Several days later it was lowered to “severe,” meaning an attack is highly likely.
A charity concert for victims of the Manchester attack, featuring Grande and other stars, is due to be held in the northwest English city on Sunday.
Grande, who visited victims of the Manchester attack in the hospital on Friday, found herself confronted with another terror attack.

 

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Again, US to the rescue in ensuring free, fair election as Ondo Polls beckon

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Again, US to the rescue in ensuring free, fair election as Ondo Polls beckon

United States authorities has reiterated its commitment towards ensuring a free, fair and transparent voting process in the Ondo State governorship election.

Just before the Edo State Governorship election the US had slammed a visa ban on alleged election Riggers in the Kogi/Bayelsa Governorship election last year in November.
That intervention many analysts believed was responsible for the outcome of the election that was deviod of so much violence and rigging.
Speaking on the issue the US said,
“We reiterate our hope that all participants in the democratic process, including the INEC, political parties, and the security services, will take concrete steps to ensure a peaceful election that reflects the will of the people of Ondo,” US embassy in a statement.
The Ondo State governorship election takes place on Saturday, October 10.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in August released the final list of candidates and political parties contesting the governorship election.
Ondo State governor Rotimi Akeredolu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is seeking election alongside 16 other candidates.

The US, however, “urged all stakeholders to continue to work toward free, fair, transparent, and peaceful elections in Ondo State.
“The United States remains committed to the U.S.-Nigeria partnership as we work together to achieve our mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both our countries.”

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UNESCO says access to information is a matter of life and death post COVID-19

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UNESCO says access to information is a matter of life and death post COVID-19

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has indicated that the menace of Coronavirus pandemic in the last six months has more awareness on the importance of ensuring access to reliable and accurate information and knowledge

The representive of the regional director UNESCO Regional office abuja Mr Salifou Abdulahi, spoke on Monday at the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) 2020 held st NCCE building Abuja.

He harped on the importance of making information accessible through building of more inclusive, sustainable knowledge societies, trust and saving lives.

He said,
“This is the message of the international Day for Universal Access to informatmn (IDUAI), focusing on the key role that access to information plays in taking forward the Sustainabie Development Agenda.

“The international Day for Universal Access to Information was proclaimed on 15 October 2019 at the 74th UN General Assembly to be held on 28 September. “Initially the UNESCO General Conference designated the day on 28 September 2015, to raise awareness of the importance of universal access to information. “This year, the overall theme is ‘Saving Lives, Building Trust, Bringing Hopes”, focusing on the right to information in times of crisis and on the advantages of having constitutional, statutory and policy guarantees for public access to information through and beyond the COVID19 crisis.
He observed that Universal access to information means that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart knowledge.

This right he said is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression. “The media plays a vital role in informing the public about issues at interest and it relies much on the ability to seek and receive information.
informed citizens can make informed decisions, and the prerequisite of access to information is a cornerstone to pluralistic, equitable, open and inclusive knowledge societies.

He said the past six months of COViD~19 Pandemic in 2020 has shed light on the importance of ensuring access to reliable and accurate information and knowledge in the days and age of uncertainty as information itself is a matter of life and death, adding that the role of media and information literacy and open access is powerful instruments for mitigation of crises.
“In this time of evolvement in the media landscape, it has been witnessed that policy dialogue, the application of advanced technology, youth engagement, cultural diversity muitilingualism, and gender narratives and discourses are all involved. 

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US Visa ban sparks diplomatic row

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US Visa ban sparks diplomatic row

The visa ban slammed on election Riggers in Nigeria by the United State of America  is already sparking what looks like a diplomatic row between the two countries as the Nigerian Government has taken exception to the affront.

The Nigerian government through its foreign affairs ministry said it considers it disrespectful to the Sovereignty of the country for any foreign country to apply punitive measures such as visas restriction on its citizens.
In a statement issued by Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday in response to the recent announcement of the U.S. and the United Kingdom to impose visa restrictions on those who undermine electoral processes.
The Nigerian Government said it was committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Nigerian government has taken note of the concerns of some of our partners, especially the U.S. and UK governments regarding the elections in Edo and Ondo States.
“They have also expressed their intentions to take punitive measures against those who decide to, in what they termed as, undermine democracy.
“It is important to highlight that the responsibility for the conduct of elections in Nigeria solely resides with the Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions.
“The Federal Government, and especially the President, is committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The President has continually urged all parties and contestants to peacefully conduct themselves before, during and after the elections, and supported patriotic non-governmental initiatives such as the Abdusalami Abubakar-led Peace Committee.
“Furthermore, it should be noted that there are ample provisions in our laws to sanction violators and perpetrators of electoral violence and fraud.
“It would be considered disrespectful of the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of our citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally.
“While we appreciate the support and encouragement of our international partners such as the EU, we urge our equally valued partners such as the UK and U.S. to cooperate with our relevant agencies,” the government said.
The government called on the partners to support security agencies by providing them whatever concrete evidence of observed misconduct to allow our laws and regulations to take their course.
The Nigerian government also expressed solidarity with the government and people of the U.S. as regards their forthcoming election, which it hoped would be free from interference and violence.

This was coming after theKogi State Government in a protest letter expressed its disappointment with the US Government for meddling in the affairs of Nigeria like a self appointed police of the Globe.

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