Boko Haram attacks military bases in Nigeria, steal arms: sources
Outrage As Gunmen Abduct 28 Passengers In Ondo
Buhari, Ooni of Ife meet in Villa, Abuja
Killings: Buhari orders increased security presence in Katsina…President departs for Niger Republic
Local MP Christian Stein told Germany news agency DPA: “Our main goal is to protect the evacuated villages from the flames. We haven’t been able to push back the fire but none of the buildings have been damaged.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing growing accusations of racism for his incendiary tweets, President Donald Trump is seeking to deflect the criticism by labeling a leading black congressman as himself racist.
In the latest rhetorical shot at lawmakers of color, Trump said his weekend comments referring to Rep. Elijah Cummings’ majority-black Baltimore district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live” were not racist. Instead, Trump argued, “if racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess.”
“His radical ‘oversight’ is a joke!” Trump tweeted Sunday.
After a weekend of attacks on Cummings, the son of former sharecroppers who rose to become the powerful chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Trump expanded his attacks Monday to include a prominent Cummings defender, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who was traveling to Baltimore to hold a press conference in condemnation of the president.
“Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score,” Trump tweeted ahead of the press conference, adding that the civil rights activist and MSNBC host “Hates Whites & Cops!”
Trump appeared to dig a deeper hole even as a top White House aide sought to dismiss the controversy by describing Trump’s comments as hyperbole. Two weeks ago, Trump caused a nationwide uproar with racist tweets directed at four Democratic congresswomen of color as he looked to stoke racial divisions for political gain heading into the 2020 election.
Speaking in television interviews, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump was reacting in frustration to the Democrats’ unrelenting investigations and talk of impeachment. He said Trump swung hard at Cummings and his Baltimore district because he believes such Capitol Hill critics are neglecting serious problems back home in their zeal to unfairly undermine his presidency.
“I understand that everything that Donald Trump says is offensive to some people,” Mulvaney said. But he added: “The president is pushing back against what he sees as wrong. It’s how he’s done it in the past, and he’ll continue to do it in the future.”
Mulvaney, a former congressman, said he understood why some people could perceive Trump’s words as racist.
Mulvaney said Trump’s words were exaggerated for effect — “Does the president speak hyperbolically? Absolutely” — and meant to draw attention to Democratic-backed investigations of the Republican president and his team in Washington.
“Instead of helping people back home, they’re focusing on scandal in Washington D.C., which is the exact opposite of what they said they would do when they ran for election in 2018,” Mulvaney said, pointing at Democrats who now control the House.
He asserted that Trump’s barbs were a reaction to what the president considered to be inaccurate statements by Cummings about conditions in which children are being held in detention at the U.S.-Mexico border.
At a hearing last week, Cummings accused a top administration official of wrongly calling reports of filthy, overcrowded border facilities “unsubstantiated.”
“When the president hears lies like that, he’s going to fight back,” Mulvaney said.
Trump’s tweets Saturday also charged that Cummings’ district, which includes Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Social Security Administration and the national headquarters of the NAACP, is “considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States.”
Condemnation followed from Democrats over the weekend, including some of the party’s presidential candidates. Statements from a spokesman for Maryland’s Republican governor and from the lieutenant governor defended Cummings’ district and its people.
The president has tried to put racial polarization at the center of his appeal to his base of voters, tapping into anxieties about demographic and cultural changes in the nation in the belief that the divided country he leads will simply choose sides over issues such as race.
Mulvaney argued that Trump would criticize any lawmaker, no matter the person’s race, in a similar way if Trump felt that individual spoke unfairly about the president’s policies. He volunteered that if Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who leads the House Intelligence Committee, had made the same remarks as Cummings, Trump would have pushed back.
“It has zero to do with the fact that Adam is Jewish and everything to do with Adam would just be wrong if he were saying that,” Mulvaney said. “This is what the president does. He fights and he’s not wrong to do so.”
To Mulvaney, Trump was “right to raise” the challenges faced in Cummings’ district at the same time that Cummings and other Democrats are “chasing down” the Russia investigation undertaken by Robert Mueller and pursuing “this bizarre impeachment crusade.”
Cummings is leading multiple investigations of the president’s governmental dealings. In his direct response to Trump on Twitter, Cummings said: “Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”
Cummings has also drawn the president’s ire for investigations touching on his family members serving in the White House. His committee voted along party lines Thursday to authorize subpoenas for personal emails and texts used for official business by top White House aides, including Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.
Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said Trump was engaging in “racial priming.”
“Using this language and taking actions to try and get people to move into their camps by racial and ethnic identity. That’s how he thinks he won in 2016 and that’s how he thinks he’s going to win in 2020,” Castro said.
Earlier this month, Trump drew bipartisan condemnation following his call for Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan to get out of the U.S. “right now.” He said that if the lawmakers “hate our country,” they can go back to their “broken and crime-infested” countries.
All four lawmakers of color are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S. The House later voted largely along party lines to condemn his “racist comments.”
Mulvaney was interviewed on “Fox News Sunday” and CBS’ “Face the Nation,” where Castro also appeared.
Nigeria targets $30bn as Buhari signs Africa free trade pact
Jennifer Lopez stopped her concert to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her fiancé Alex Rodriguez.
The baseball star turned 44 on Saturday (27.07.19), and to ring in his special day, Jennifer momentarily paused her concert in Miami, Florida, on Friday (26.07.19) to bring him out on stage to surprise him, along with her 11-year-old twins Max and Emme, his daughters Natasha and Ella, and her backup dancers.
Jennifer presented Alex with a four-tier Yankees themed birthday cake, and had the crowd yell “Happy birthday, A-Rod”, before leaning in to share a sweet kiss with her beau.
She then led the audience in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Alex.
After the show, the two celebrated his special day at a party with friends.
The special birthday treat comes just days after the ‘On The Floor’ hitmaker turned 50, and celebrated by dancing the night away with Alex in the Star Island neighbourhood of Miami Beach.
Posting on Instagram after the event, Alex said: “I am so sore from one night of dancing, I don’t know how Jennifer does it! Who else hates getting old?!”
He then went on to say he’s tried icing his body, having a massage and sitting in the sauna but he’s still struggling to get out of bed and function normally.
“Jennifer’s done 28 shows in about 58 days, she has two more here domestically in Miami. For her birthday, it was a big one, it was 50, I danced for about an hour and seven minutes … I couldn’t get out of my bed tonight.
“I’ve iced, done cryo [cold therapy], got stretched, got a massage, steamed, sauna. I’ve been drinking coffee all day. I’m a mess. She went out there [onstage] and destroyed it in Miami [Thursday night]. Killed it. Like if she slept 10 hours. Am I the only one that can’t recover anymore? Does it suck to get old or what?”
Nigeria’s latest world ranking released by Fifa
Beyonce’s mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, is sharing her thoughts on her granddaughter, Blue Ivy Carter, joining her mother on her new album, The Lion King: The Gift!
“Oh my god. That album is incredible,” she gushed to ET at The HollyRod Foundation’s 21st Annual DesignCare Gala honoring Eva Longoria on Saturday at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, California. “I can’t get enough of it and, of course, I’m not biased but that was wonderful and for Blue to be a part of it, it’s amazing.”
As fans know, the 7-year-old daughter of Beyonce and JAY-Z is featured on the track “Brown Skin Girl” alongside her famous mama, rapper and producer SAINt JHN and Nigerian singer WizKid. Blue even received her first-ever writing credit for the song.
While on hand, Knowles-Lawson also discussed Beyonce’s own relationship with the original, animated Lion King, which was released in 1994.
“I was very excited because when she was a kid we must have watched that show 20, 25 times,” she revealed. “So, I’m just so excited for her daughter to be able to see this, her kids and it’s very exciting. It’s a beautiful movie. Really beautiful.”
The Lion King: The Gift, isn’t the new photo-real film’s soundtrack, but instead a complimentary album created and curated by Beyonce herself. The single, “Spirit,” is on both The Gift and the soundtrack.
“I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa and not just, you know, use some of the sounds and give my interpretation of it,” Beyonce said in an ABC special on the film, which aired on July 16. “I want it to be authentic to what is beautiful about the music in Africa.”
“A lot of the drums, the chants, all of these incredible new sounds, mixed with some of the producers from America, we’ve kinda created our genre,” she continued. “And I feel like the soundtrack, it becomes visual in your mind, it’s a soundscape, it’s more than just the music, because each song tells the story of the film.”
B’Haram fighters kill another army commander
“The terrorist group is known for its online media propaganda and quest to maintain a virtual caliphate,” he said.
Nelson Allison and Thelma Ibemere have been evicted from the ongoing Big Brother Naija show.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that they follow Avala, Isilomo, Ella, Kim Oprah and Tuoyo who had exited the show at one point or the other.
The two housemates became the sixth and seventh to be booted out of the house on Sunday during the live eviction show for having the least number of votes.
While in the house, Nelson, who was Mr Universe Nigeria, maintained a cool personality but had a love triangle with Frood and Esther.
NAN reports that he planned to use the prize money to care for himself and open a business.
He also stated that if he was a world leader, he would ensure the poor and rich had equal opportunities.
On her part, hair and beauty entrepreneur, Thelma, said she got into the show for the fame and planned to utilise it.
During her stint as a housemate, she gained attention in the first week for arguing with Tacha over food. Thereafter, she maintained a calm demeanour.
NAN also reports that all 16 housemates were put up for eviction during the last eviction show which caused some tension in the house.
The remaining housemates continue to battle for the Grand prize worth 60 million Naira. (NAN).
ABUJA, July 28 (Reuters) – Nigeria is backing its commitment to join Africa’s recently agreed free trade zone by setting up a committee to implement the agreement, and promising new laws where necessary to enact membership of the pact, the presidency said on Sunday.
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), launched by African leaders on July 7, will if successful create a $3.4 trillion economic bloc and usher in a new era of development.
Nigeria joined AfCFTA despite initial reluctance due to a desire to ensure it would not open local industries to dumping from countries outside the region, and its decision is an important endorsement as the largest economy on the continent.
The presidency said it would set up a committee made up of government agencies and private sector groups to implement the trade agreement.
In preparing Nigeria for the pact, President Muhammadu Buhari needs to approve a number of measures which would facilitate trade and boost local capacity to produce and export goods and services, among other policies, it said.
“Overall, the implementation of the AfCFTA is going to be a long journey,” it said. “Nigeria is committed to ensuring that Africa achieves a free and fair trade environment … through increased intra-African trade.”
The African Development Bank president told Reuters on Saturday that African nations will need to boost output of goods and services and integrate payment systems if they are to take advantage of the initiative.
The AfCFTA agreement, which creates a single market for goods and services and movement of persons to increase intra-African trade and deepen African economic integration, would be implemented in phases.
The first phase will be to establish a protocol for trade in goods and services and dispute settlement rules. The second will cover competition, investment and intellectual property rights, with negotiations due to start next year.
An attack this weekend by Boko Haram fighters on a funeral in northeast Nigeria has left 65 people dead, almost triple the initial toll, a local official said Sunday.
Dozens more bodies were discovered following the assault Saturday by gunmen on a village close to the regional capital Maiduguri.
“It is 65 people dead and 10 injured,” local government chairman Muhammed Bulama said.
Bulama said more than 20 people died in the initial attack on a funeral gathering. Dozens more were killed as they tried to chase after the jihadists.
The leader of a local anti-Boko Haram militia confirmed the death toll, while giving a slightly different account of the attack.
Bunu Bukar Mustapha told AFP 23 people were killed as they returned from the funeral and “the remaining 42 were killed when they pursued the terrorists”.
Bulama said he thought the latest attack was in retaliation for the killing two weeks ago of 11 Boko Haram fighters by local residents when the fighters approached their village. The residents also captured 10 automatic rifles.
Boko Haram fighters have repeatedly attacked the surrounding Nganzai district.
Boko Haram has waged a decade-long insurgency in northeast Nigeria that has killed around 27,000 people and displaced more than two million.
The group has splintered between the Boko Haram faction loyal to historic leader Abubakar Shekau and an affiliate of the Islamic State group.
Shekau’s group tends to hit softer targets including civilians, while the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) has since last year ratcheted up its campaign against the military.