• June 15, 2021

10 Must-Read News Items This Friday Morning

Good morning readers! This is a summary of some top news stories:

1=.US President Joe Biden on Thursday expanded a blacklist of Chinese firms that are off-limits to American investors over their links to Beijing’s “military-industrial complex,” in a sign of Washington’s continued pressure campaign against China. Former president Donald Trump had prohibited Americans from buying stakes in 31 Chinese companies that were deemed to be supplying or supporting China’s military and security apparatus, and Biden’s move expands the blacklist to 59.

2=.Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, yesterday visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, with an allegation that external bodies are fanning the embers of disunity in Nigeria “in order to sell their arms and ammunition in the event of crisis.”Ayade, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) about a fortnight ago, told journalists after his meeting with the president that Nigeria’s foreign enemies are precipitating the current crisis, including secessionist propagations in some parts of the country, so as to have it balkanised for the purpose of selling their weapons.

3=.The Nigerian Bar Association in Imo has accused the police of illegally arresting and detaining innocent people in the state. Therefore, the NBA has set up a helpdesk to collate data of persons arrested and detained unjustly by the police in Imo. This is contained in a statement issued by the association’s spokesman, Uzor Enwere, in Owerri on Thursday.

4=.The Bayelsa State Police Command says it has uncovered plans by members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), to set up cells in the state. The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mike Okoli, made the revelation in a statement released in Yenagoa on Thursday.

5=.The Senate has foreclosed the demand and agitation for a brand new Constitution for the country. The Deputy President of the Senate and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, made the position of the Senate known on Thursday during the national public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution.

6=.Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has distanced himself from statements making the rounds on social media, suggesting that he supports the agitation for the Yoruba Nation. In a statement seen on Thursday, the laureate urged the general public to ignore the utterances of those he described as “contemptible interlopers” who lack the courage of their conviction and thus take to Identity Theft for the furtherance of their views.

7=.Queen Elizabeth II will hold her first in-person meeting with a foreign leader in over a year when she hosts US President Joe Biden on June 13 after he attends a G7 summit, Buckingham Palace announced Thursday. It said the 95-year-old monarch will meet the president and First Lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle west of London, where she has largely lived since the coronavirus pandemic first swept Britain in March 2020.

8=.France said Thursday it will suspend joint military operations with Malian forces after the country’s second coup in nine months, “awaiting guarantees” that civilians will return to positions of power. The decision comes after Mali’s military strongman Assimi Goita, who led last year’s coup, ousted the country’s civilian transitional president and prime minister last week in what French leader Emmanuel Macron has called a “coup d’etat in an unacceptable coup d’etat”.

9=.Ronald Koeman has escaped the Barcelona axe with club president Joan Laporta announcing on Thursday the Dutchman is to continue as coach next season. “We’ve decided to give continuity to a contract already in place,” Laporta confirmed after a meeting of the club’s directors.

 10=.The Handball Federation of Nigeria has unveiled a final list of sixteen players who will represent Nigeria at the Africa Women’s Handball Championship scheduled to begin on June 6. Team Nigeria is expected to travel to Yaoundé, Cameroon on Friday, June 4. They will play in group B against host Cameroon, DR Congo, and Kenya.

Agenda Watchdog

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