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Photo Courtesy, Ripples Nigeria

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on European countries and global financial institutions to consider granting debt relief for African countries.

Buhari who is currently in France where he is attending the Financing Africa Summit held at Grande Palais Ephemere, said on Tuesday that such a relief would assist African countries in reducing the devastating effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the continent. 

In a statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, titled ‘President Buhari seeks debt relief for African countries, says PPP will reduce corruption, speed growth,’ the President is quoted as saying that the fall in “commodity prices as COVID-19 took a toll on the global economy further slowed growth in some countries and strained health facilities.”

Read also: Buhari’s govt piling up ‘debt that leads to death’

“It is in this vein that we solicit the support of the French government with its influence in the European Union to lend its voice to the efforts being made to mobilise additional resources for developing economies most especially Africa in order to strengthen the quantum of investments to our economies. 

“This financial support should also be extended to the private sector,” the statement reads. 

According to Buhari, many African countries were already experiencing debt distress and the Debt Service Suspension by France and G-20 does not go far enough, adding that there was a need for more sustainable and affordable financing solutions, including debt relief and further debt restructuring. By Isaac Dachen, Ripples Nigeria…

Trevor Noah on the perennial, lopsided conflict between Israel and Palestine: ‘I’m not trying to answer the question, nor do I think I’m smart enough to solve it.’ Photograph: Youtube/ Photo Courtesy, Guardian

Late-night hosts discuss the surge in violence between Israel and Palestine, a scandalous report about Trump’s Secret Service and Jeff Bezos’s super-yacht 

Trevor Noah

On Late Night, Trevor Noah cautiously dug into one of the thorniest topics in international relations: the conflict between Israel and Palestine, which in recent weeks has escalated into some of the most deadly violence seen in Jerusalem in years. “Even saying that sentence means I’m losing followers online and I’m on the verge of being blocked in all social media and in life,” Noah opened. “That’s how contentious this topic is.” 

“But guys, we have to talk about it,” the host continued. “Because this is one of the most difficult stories that have existed in our lifetime.”

Tensions in the region have boiled over in recent weeks after Israeli forces evicted Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem and injured more than 100 people in a raid at the al-Aqsa mosque using teargas and rubber bullets. Hamas, the terrorist group based in the Gaza strip, then fired more than 200 rockets at Israel – almost all either falling short or stopped by Israel’s missile defense system; Israel’s bombardment in response has killed dozens of Palestinians, including 14 children, according to the Gaza health ministry.

 
Stephen Colbert: ‘The only GOP purity test is loyalty to Mayor McTreason’
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“What makes Israel-Palestine such a difficult topic to even broach is all the layers that are packed into it,” Noah explained. “No matter how much you try and break it down, people are always going to say that you’re leaving out some crucial piece of context. And you know what? You’re probably right.” The origin of blame and conflict shifts depending on the timeline, he added, going back and back and back.

“I don’t want to have that argument and the noise that goes back and forth on this thing because, honestly, I don’t know that any TV show in 10 minutes is going to come close to solving Israel-Palestine,” he said. “Ten minutes isn’t even enough time to explain the Mortal Kombat conflict. So I’m not even trying to come in and do that.”

Instead, Noah posed a different question: who’s dead, and who’s alive this week? “In Gaza, Israeli air strikes have reportedly killed 28 people, including 10 children. Over 150 people have been wounded,” he answered. “In Israel, Hamas rockets have killed two people. And this exchange of fire comes after the Israeli assault in and around the al-Aqsa mosque that left more than 600 Palestinian protesters, worshippers and civilians wounded. And a few dozen Israeli police.”

“Personally, I cannot watch that footage and hear those numbers and see a fair fight,” Noah said. Given that Israel has one of the most sophisticated missile defense systems in the world, Noah posed what he called an “honest” question: “If you are in a fight where the other person cannot beat you, how hard should you retaliate when they try to hurt you?”

Noah advanced an admittedly imperfect analogy about differences in power, and likened the weapon imbalance to bringing a knife to a gunfight. “What’s the right response? Everyone has a different answer to the question,” he said, referring to Israel. “And I’m not trying to answer the question, nor do I think I’m smart enough to solve it. All I’m asking is: when you have this much power, what is your responsibility?”

Stephen Colbert 

On the Late Show, Stephen Colbert recapped scandalous details from a new book about the Trump family’s tight relationship with the Secret Service. Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, by the Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig, alleges that members of the Trump family got “inappropriately close” to Secret Service agents.

Vanessa Trump, ex-wife of Donald Trump Jr, started dating one of the agents, Leonnig reports. “I’d say that’s unprofessional, but it wasn’t secret, and I’m guessing someone was being serviced,” Colbert joked.

Additionally, the “marginally sentient spray-tan in the Oval Office”, as Colbert put it, was “consumed” with getting overweight Secret Service agents removed from their posts. “He was particularly upset with the agent they posted in his mirror every morning,” Colbert joked.

“That wasn’t the only complaint from the oaf in office,” Colbert added, as Trump reportedly also proposed a multimillion-dollar renovation to dig up and replace all the lowered gates, because he hated the bump he felt when his limo drove over them.

“I’m surprised the former president couldn’t handle that,” said Colbert. “Rumor is, Don Jr loooooves a little bump.”

Jimmy Kimmel 

And in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel mocked the $500m super yacht reportedly commissioned by the Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, which is so big it requires a support yacht with a separate helipad. “This is like the billionaire version of having a second fridge in your garage,” said Kimmel. The super-yacht will be 417ft long – “it’s so big the Suez Canal would get stuck in it.

“Jeff Bezos made $75bn last year. He makes more money every second than the average American worker makes in a week,” Kimmel added. “Every minute, he makes more than three average workers make in a year. When he walks by ATMs they just start shooting out money like confetti.”

In other news, “here in California, Caitlyn Jenner is learning that running for governor isn’t exactly like running in the Olympics,” Kimmel said. The reality star is polling at just 6% for the recall election after a string of public gaffes. Most recently, Jenner admitted she didn’t vote in the past election because she “couldn’t get excited” about any of the propositions and chose to go golfing. “Instead of voting, she played golf – maybe she should be running for president instead,” Kimmel joked. By Adrian Horton, Guardian

 

 

Five Pakistanis arrested in Kisumu on suspicion of links with terror groups have been transferred to Nairobi for interrogation.

Anti-Terror Police Unit and their DCI counterparts made the arrests on Saturday and Sunday.

Kisumu county police boss Samuel Anampiu told reporters the suspects will be interrogated to ascertain their mission in the country.

On Saturday, two of the suspects were apprehended at the Kisian area in Kisumu West subcounty. Others were arrested at the Ahero junction.

"Today again, along Kisumu-Ahero road, we had an operation and we managed to arrest three more aliens bringing the number to five so far," Anampiu said on Sunday.

He appealed to the public to share information that could help the police apprehend any suspicious persons in their midst.

"Let us feel free to give the police as much information as possible," he said. 

"There should be no cause for alarm as we are on the ground firmly, alert and vigilant."

Hundreds of motorists were caught up in the operation that caused a huge traffic snarl-up on the Kericho-Kisumu highway.

The arrests come as preparation to host the June 1 Madaraka Day celebrations in Kisumu gathers pace.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga are expected to attend the fête. 

The event will be held at Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Kisumu located at Mamboleo show ground.

Over the weekend, Sports CS Amina Mohamed said the Sh415 million facility will be completed by this week.

"The contractor assured that the stadium will be completed by 15th May and ready for handover on 23rd May," she said on Twitter. 

Amina's visit comes a week after Interior PS Karanja Kibicho said that preparations for celebrations in Kisumu were in top gear.

Kibicho was accompanied on his tour by PS Jerome Ochieng (ICT), Joe Okudo (Sports), Gordon Kihalangwa (Public Works) and Governor Anyang Nyong’o.

“We are satisfied with the ongoing preparations and we have assured that the construction works will be complete by then,” he said.

This is the first time Kisumu will host a national celebration day which is expected to spur economic activities in hotel and transport sector.

Kibicho said that they will observe Covid-19 protocols by restricting access to the stadium to invited guests.

He said Kenyans will follow the celebrations virtually.

“We will have live celebrations and have various points where Kenyans will access to follow the celebrations,” the PS said.

Already, works on Mamboleo Road are ongoing ahead of the event. It is part of the 63km Mamboleo-Miwani-Chemelil-Muhoroni-Kipsitet road being tarmacked at a cost of Sh4.9 billion. - Faith Matete, The Star

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