Venezuelan intelligence agents have returned opposition leader Antonio Ledezma to his home, where he is serving house arrest, after taking him to prison early Ledezma’s wife said via Twitter yesterday Ledezma and fellow opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, whom the opposition and many in the international community describe as political prisoners, were jailed after being accused of destabilizing the government of President Nicolas Maduro. It was not immediately evident whether Lopez would also be returned to house arrest. “Several minutes ago, Antonio was unexpectedly returned by the Sebin (intelligence agency) to our home,” wrote his wife Mitzy Capriles de Ledezma via Twitter. “We thank the people of Venezuela and the international community for their concern and solidarity.” The two men had called in the run-up to Tuesday’s raid for protests against the creation of a constituent assembly, which opposition leaders and governments around the world have described as an assault on basic freedoms in Venezuela.
by Blessing Bature More than 10,000 people attended the parade through central jerusalem with dozens of roads closed off by security two years after a 16-year-old girl was stabbed to death by an ultra-Orthodox Jew during the event. In Jerusalem the parade started at the municipality near Safra Square, and proceeded through Jaffa Street, Shlomo Hamelech and Agron before concluding at Independence Park. The parade was originally scheduled to take place last Friday but was postponed because of the death of one of the community’s activists, Alan Bier, in the suicide bombing of Bus No. 14 Thousands of revellers attended Jerusalem’s gay pride parade under police protection bringing the rainbow flag to the traditional conservative city. All marchers were inspected before joining, with carrying a weapon of any kind prohibited. Police said 12 people had been arrested before and during the parade, including one carrying a knife. Revellers carried rainbow flags, banged drums and sang...
By Salifu Usman, Abuja Nigerian minister of Youth and Sports, Barr Solomon Dalung yesterday assured the new executive committee of Association of National Olympics Committee of Africa (ANOCA) of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s determination to ensure completion of the organization headquarters building in Abuja under construction in quick time. The Minister gave the assurance while declaring open the ongoing 52nd Ordinary Session of ANOCA and inaugural meeting of the newly elected executive committee of the association at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. The Minister, who was represented by the acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Abdulrazak Salau, said the sum of N50millin (USD138, 888) was released to the contractor handling the project recently to fast track early completion of the building. He added that the Nigerian government will commit a total sum of N314m (USD 872, 222) to the completion of the project. “This administration headed by President Muhammadu Buhari will...
There is currently no evidence to indicate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has just been slapped with U.S. sanctions, has any money in the Mexican banking system, Mexico’s finance minister said on Tuesday. Jose Antonio Meade, speaking on local television, said if any of the Venezuelan officials who have been sanctioned by the U.S. government were found to have financial assets in Mexico, the country would be obliged to inform the United States and shut down the accounts. When asked if Maduro, who the White House has dubbed a dictator for “seizing absolute power,” had any bank accounts in Mexico, Meade said: “At this time, we don’t have any information that would allow us to confirm that he does.” Maduro mocked the sanctions Washington imposed on him on Monday after Sunday’s election of a new legislative superbody. Mexico has voiced its support for the sanctions and opposed the elections for the controversial...
One of the pope’s top advisers, Cardinal George Pell, makes his first court appearance in Australia this week on charges of historic sex crimes, a bitter reminder for his home town reeling from more than a dozen abuse cases. Pell, the Vatican’s economy minister, last month became the most senior Catholic to be charged with sex crimes. He has vowed to fight the still-unspecified charges, calling them false and the result of a “relentlelss character assassination”. He declined to respond to interview requests for this story. He is expected to appear before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday. Police have not released details of the charges, but the start of Pell’s court battle in Melbourne revisits a troubled past for Ballarat, the former gold town of 100,000 people 75 miles (120 km) to the west where Pell grew up and cut his teeth as a priest in the 1970s and 1980s. Before a 2013...
Press secretary Sean Spicer’s resignation on Friday let off a pressure valve, allowing an administration that is being pummeled on multiple and multiplying fronts the chance, at least for once, to dictate its own story. But Spicer’s departure after the most fraught six months of antagonism between the press and a West Wing that anyone can remember is just one move in a shuffle of personnel and tactics that augurs an aggressive White House fightback that is likely to intensify the current discord in Washington. Trump has beefed up his legal team and escalated his rhetoric in an apparent attempt to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller, and any results of his probe into alleged collusion between his campaign team and Russian officials. And in a shake-up in the communications team, he brought in Anthony Scaramucci, a swaggering, New York wheeler-and-dealer, to revive his political brand and promoted Sarah Huckabee Sanders to replace...
A Cairo criminal court on Saturday sentenced to death 28 people over the 2015 killing of Egypt’s top prosecutor after the death penalty was approved by the country’s top religious authority, and it also jailed 15 others for 25 years each. Public prosecutor Hisham Barakat was killed in a car bomb attack on his convoy in the capital, an operation for which Egypt blamed the Muslim Brotherhood and Gaza-based Hamas militants. Both groups have denied having a role. The court had in June recommended passing the death penalty to Egypt’s top religious leader, the Grand Mufti, who can approve or reject the recommendation. The mufti’s guidance is required when a court seeks the death penalty but his decision is not binding. The sentences, confirmed by the court in Saturday’s hearing, can be appealed. “The verdicts were shocking today,” said one of the defense lawyers, Ahmed Saad. “Others who had nothing to do with...
Fighting between the self-styled Libyan National Army and rival armed groups in Benghazi killed six troops and wounded eight as the LNA advanced into the last pockets of resistance in eastern Libya’s largest city, a commander said on Saturday. The LNA, led by Khalifa Haftar, also carried out air strikes on armed groups in the city of Derna, further east, who fired back with anti-aircraft cannon, witnesses told Reuters. Haftar’s eastern forces are engaged in a multi-sided conflict between factions that fought together to oust veteran Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but are now battling each other. A United Nations-backed government in Tripoli is trying to bring stability to the North African OPEC member, but it is struggling to impose its authority. Haftar has so far rejected the Tripoli government as his forces advance in eastern Libya. Two weeks ago, Haftar declared Benghazi’s “liberation” in a televised speech after three years of...
By Hilary Barde with Agency Report United States Senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, has been diagnosed with brain cancer. The tumor was discovered after Senator McCain underwent a procedure last week to remove a blood clot, U.S. media reported. McCain has represented Arizona at the U.S. Senate since 1986. This was disclosed in a statement by the Senator’s doctors. The statement reads: “At the request of Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and his family, Mayo Clinic released the following statement today: “On Friday, July 14, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot. “Scanning done since the procedure (a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision) shows that the tissue of concern was completely resected by imaging criteria. “The Senator and his...
By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah, Abuja The United Nations (UN) has called on the federal government to double it’s investment on the development of women on promotion of peace in the country. Deputy secretary general of the UN, Amina Mohammed made the call yesterday when she met with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja. She said, the UN team led by herself was at the villa to discuss the implementation of the agenda 2030 but also 2063 and see how Nigeria could be supported especially in regards to development of women. The UN deputy scribe who served as minister of Environment before her current position to the world organization explained that in achieving the desire of promoting women development, the Federal Government needs to begin to put women at the center of it affairs. She said “I am honoured to be leading a delegation with the focus on peace and development of women. “With...