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Easter: Sen. Adeola calls for more prayers against COVID-19

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Chairman, Senate Committee on  Finance, Sen. Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos-West) has called on Christians to continue to abide to the precautionary measures against COVID-19 and remain prayerful as they celebrate the Easter.

Adeola, in his message conveyed in a statement by his Media Adviser, Chief Kayode Odunaro on Friday in Abuja, appealed to all to exhibit the Christian virtues of sacrifice and love.

He also urged all citizens to always abide in faith for a better tomorrow, as exemplified in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

According to the senator, the COVID-19 pandemic provides Nigerians  the opportunity to exhibit their faith in relation to being their brother’s and sister’s keeper as scripturally endorsed.

“From the much or little we have, I urge all of us to reach out, for sustenance to the poor and vulnerable in these uncertain times of lockdown, so that we all survive beyond the COVID19 pandemic with hope of a new beginning and a better future,” he said.

Adeola called on Nigerians to remain hopeful and support government’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19.

He said as a federal legislator, he would always do his bit in provision of palliatives for the people in need and support legislative initiatives in the interest of the people.

Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Oluwole Sogunle
(NAN)

Kingsley Okoye: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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Large haul of stimulants, ICE seized in Myanmar’s eastern state

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Myanmar authorities seized large haul of stimulants and methamphetamine (ICE) in Shan state, according to a release from the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) on Sunday.

Acting on tip-offs, the anti-narcotic police force stoped and searched a car travelling to Moe Mate township from Mantong township on Saturday, and 168,000 stimulants worth 336 million kyats (240,000 U.S. dollars) were confiscated from the car along with one suspect.

The township police filed a case against the suspect and further investigation is underway under the country’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law, the release said.

On Friday, 124 kg of methamphetamine (ICE) and 248,000 stimulants were seized from a car in Ywangan township of the same state.

According to a latest release issued by the President’s Office, a total of 1,123 drug-related cases were registered across Myanmar while 1,724 suspects were charged in connection with the cases as of May 16 this year, since the formation of the Drug Activity Special Complaint Department on June 26, 2018.

(XINHUA)

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Moderate quake strikes off eastern Indonesia

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A 5.5-magnitude quake jolted Indonesia’s eastern province of Maluku early Saturday, the country’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said.

The quake rocked at 7:13 a.m. Jakarta time (0013 GMT) with the epicenter at 186 km northeast of Maluku Barat Daya district and the depth of 63 km under the seabed.

The quake did not potentially trigger a tsunami.

Indonesia has been frequently stricken by earthquakes as it lies on a quake-prone zone in the “Pacific Ring of Fire.”

(XINHUA)

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UN expresses concern over military courts’ death sentences in eastern Libya

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The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Friday expressed concern over a number of death sentences issued by military courts in eastern Libya.

“We have been informed of at least 13 death sentences issued by the Benghazi High Court and four by an al-Bayda Court, in potential violation of Libya’s international human rights law obligations,” the UNSMIL said in a statement.

There have been reports that defendants have not been permitted to present their cases, or have evidence against them examined, and that following trials, sentences have been handed down secretly, with no written, reasoned judgements provided to defendants or lawyers, which is of deep concern to the UNSMIL, said the statement.

Hundreds of defendants are detained in prisons in eastern Libya, most of whom were arrested during the east-based army a few years ago.

According to international and local human rights organizations, most of the defendants did not have a fair trial, as judgments were passed in secret and far from the media.

Libya has been suffering chaos and political division since the 2011 uprising that toppled leader Muammar Gaddafi.

(XINHUA)

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5.3-magnitude quake hits off eastern Indonesia

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A 5.3-magnitude earthquake jolted 257 km northwest of Saumlaki, eastern Indonesia, on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake, which occurred at 0013 GMT, was initially determined to be at 7.138 degrees south latitude and 129.1327 degrees east longitude, with a depth of 127.76 km.

(XINHUA)

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Most Middle Eastern countries to celebrate Eid el-Fitr on Sunday

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Muslims in most Middle Eastern countries will celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival on Sunday, marking the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, with anti-coronavirus restrictions in place across the region.

The royal court in Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, declared that Saturday is the final day of Ramadan and Sunday would mark the first day of the month of Shawwal and the beginning of the three-day Eid al-Fitr, one of the holiest occasions in the Islamic calendar.

The beginning and end of Islamic months are determined by the sighting of the new moon.

Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and the Yemeni government will also celebrate on Sunday.

In an address to mark Eid al-Fitr, Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmed Al Sabah Sheikh Sabah paid tribute to health workers, security personnel and all front-line staff for their efforts during the pandemic.

“We should rejoice in the happy Eid and draw on hope and optimism and spread them to family and relatives,” the emir said, urging people to abide by the preventative measures.

Countries in the region have announced different measures for Eid.

Saudi Arabia will impose a nationwide 24-hour curfew from May 23 to 27, allowing people to go out briefly to buy food.

In Jordan, a three-day curfew went into effect on Friday, banning people from leaving their houses for any reason until Monday morning.

The event is usually marked with special prayers, while families exchange visits and share cookies filled with dates or nuts.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Libya’s UN-backed gov’t takes over al-Asaba from eastern-based army

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The forces of the UN-backed Libyan government on Thursday said it had taken control of al-Asaba city, some 120 km west of the capital Tripoli, from the rival eastern-based army.

“Our brave forces took complete control of al-Asaba city,” Mohamed Gonono, spokesman of the UN-backed government’s forces, said in a statement, adding that fighter jets continue reconnaissance in the city to “monitor any movements of the fleeing remnants” of the eastern-based army.

On the other hand, the eastern-based army announced it had destroyed nearly 20 military vehicles and four Turkish-made drones of the government’s forces in different areas in southwestern Libya.

The eastern-based army and the UN-backed government have been fighting for more than a year for control of Tripoli, which killed and injured hundreds of civilians and displaced more than 150,000 others.

The government’s forces have been making significant progress lately against the eastern-based army, which includes taking over a major military base in southwestern Libya.

(XINHUA)

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At least 10 killed in super cyclone Amphan in eastern India state: official

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Chief Minister of India’s eastern state of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee Wednesday night said at least 10 to 12 people were killed in super cyclone Amphan.

The deaths, according to officials, have been caused due to uprooting of trees, collapsing of houses and other falling structures.

“Districts like North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Kolkata, West Midnapore, East Midnapore, even Puruli Bankura have been affected by Amphan,” Banerjee said while speaking to media at state secretariat.

“The whole of South Bengal has been affected. We are shocked. It will take three to four days to assess the damage done.”

Cyclone Amphan made landfall in coastal areas of West Bengal at around 2:30 p.m. (local time) on Wednesday, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

According to the India Metrological Department, the very severe cyclonic storm Amphan crossed West Bengal-Bangladesh coast with wind speed of 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph.

Banerjee said even the state secretariat building has suffered major damages, adding communications have snapped in most of the places. There was no drinking water, the electricity has been snapped and bridges have been cut off in several areas.

A number of embankments were breached in coastal areas and low lying areas were flooded in several areas in South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas districts.

The local government has evacuated half a million people from the affected areas to relief shelters. Over 158,000 people were also evacuated in the adjacent Odisha state.

Amphan is reported to be one of the worst storms over the Bay of Bengal in years. Video footage on television shows huge tidal waves crashing into beaches and coastline, besides heavy rain lashing the areas.

Authorities have deployed 41 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in West Bengal and Odisha.

Amphan comes at a time when India is fighting COVID-19, which has infected at least 106,750 people in the country and killed 3,303.

(XINHUA)

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Libya’s UN-backed gov’t destroys air defense systems of eastern-based army

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Spokesman of the UN-backed Libyan government’s forces, Mohamed Gonono, on Wednesday said the UN-backed Libyan government’s forces attacked the rival eastern-based army in western Libya, destroying a number of air defense systems.

A total of six Russian-made air defense systems have been destroyed in different areas in western Libya since early Wednesday, Gonono said in a statement.

The UN-backed government on Monday announced taking over a major air base from the eastern-based army in southwestern Libya, seizing a Russian-made air defense system.

Meanwhile, the eastern-based army announced launching an attack on the UN-backed government’s forces near the city of Gharyan, some 80 km south of capital Tripoli, killing dozens of troops and destroying more than 20 military vehicles.

The eastern-based army and the UN-backed government have fighting since April 2019 for control of Tripoli, which has killed and injured hundreds of civilians and displaced more than 150,000 others.

(XINHUA)

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Workers disinfect railway station in eastern Pakistan’s Lahore

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Workers disinfect a railway station in eastern Pakistan’s Lahore, on May 19, 2020. The train services in Pakistan will be partially restored from Wednesday under standard operating procedures to enable people to celebrate upcoming Eid al-Fitr holidays. (Photo by Sajjad/Xinhua)

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Germany, Eastern Europe aim for gradual removal of border controls

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The leaders of Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia on Tuesday agreed to gradually dismantle border checks put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.

According to the spokesman to Chancellor Angela Merkel, Steffen Seibert, who participated in a video conference with its Eastern European counterparts from the Visegrad Group, no time frame was given for the easing of travel restrictions.

Seibert said Merkel held a bilateral call with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, in which cooperation on re-opening the two neighbours’ border was also discussed.

Merkel and Babis also discussed joint projects, including developing the train line that connects the capitals of Berlin and Prague.

The chancellor is also said to have explained central aspects of a Franco-German proposal for a 500-billion-euro (or 545-billion-dollar) European recovery fund in response to the coronavirus crisis.

However, it was not initially known the response of other leaders about the idea.

Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Libyan gov’t forces attack eastern-based army near Sirte city

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Libya’s UN-backed government forces said on Tuesday that they have launched airstrikes against the rival eastern-based army near the city of Sirte, some 450 kilometres east of the capital Tripoli.

“The air force, on Monday, launched four airstrikes in Arwagha road, south of Sirte, destroying two military vehicles, an ammunition vehicle and a fuel vehicle supporting the terrorist militias of Haftar (commander of the eastern-based army),’’ Mohamed Gonono, spokesman of the UN-backed government’s forces, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The airstrikes killed and injured five soldiers of the eastern-based army, the statement said.

The eastern-based army has been leading a military campaign in and around Tripoli since April 2019 in an attempt to take over the city and topple the UN-backed government.

The fighting has killed and injured thousands of people and forced more than 150,000 to flee their homes.

On Monday, the UN-backed government announced that it has taken over a major airbase from the rival eastern-based army in southwestern Libya.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Libyan gov’t forces attack eastern-based army near Sirte city

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Libya’s UN-backed government forces said on Tuesday that they have launched airstrikes against the rival eastern-based army near the city of Sirte, some 450 km east of the capital Tripoli.

“The air force launched on Monday four airstrikes in Arwagha road south of Sirte, destroying two military vehicles, an ammunition vehicle, and a fuel vehicle supporting the terrorist militias of Haftar (commander of eastern-based army),” Mohamed Gonono, spokesman of the UN-backed government’s forces, said in a statement on earlier Tuesday.

The airstrikes killed and injured five soldiers of the eastern-based army, the statement said.

The eastern-based army has been leading a military campaign in and around Tripoli since April 2019 in an attempt to take over the city and topple the UN-backed government.

The fighting has killed and injured thousands of people and forced more than 150,000 to flee their homes.

On Monday, the UN-backed government announced that it has taken over a major air base from the rival eastern-based army in southwestern Libya.

(XINHUA)

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IS executes 7 pro-gov’t fighters in eastern Syria: watchdog

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The Islamic State (IS) militant group on Monday executed seven pro-government fighters in the desert region of Deir al-Zour Province in eastern Syria, a war monitor reported.

The seven fighters were executed in the desert of Deir al-Zour between the countryside of Deir al-Zour and the town of Sukhneh in the remote eastern countryside of Homs Province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The execution comes hours after the IS cut off the road connecting Deir al-Zour with the capital Damascus.

The Britain-based watchdog said the Syrian forces brought reinforcements to the area amid battles with the IS militants.

The IS lost key areas in eastern and northern Syria but is still holding parts of the Syrian desert in the east of the country.

(XINHUA)

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Eastern African region to experience unusual wetness from June to September

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The eastern African region will experience unusual wet weather coupled with rainfall during the month of June to September, the Nairobi-based Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC) said in a forecast released on Monday.

According to ICPAC, the greater horn of the African region that has recently grappled with severe flooding occasioned by heavy downpour should be prepared for a prolonged wet and rainy season that is conducive for agricultural activities.

“A wetter than usual rainy season is expected over western and central Sudan, southwestern Ethiopia, southeastern South Sudan, western Kenya and Central Uganda. The season is expected to start early in most farming areas of the region,” said ICPAC.

“A colder than usual season is expected for the central parts of the region, including central and eastern South Sudan, western Ethiopia and Lake Victoria basin,” said ICPAC.

The agency urged national governments and humanitarian agencies to utilize the latest weather forecast to enhance response to floods, desert locust invasion and COVID-19 pandemic that are impacting negatively on livelihoods in the Horn of the African region.

(XINHUA)

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Libya’s UN-backed government take over air base from eastern-based army

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Libya’s UN-backed government on Monday announced taking over a major air base from the rival eastern-based army in southwestern Libya.

Watya air base, located some 140 km southwest of the capital Tripoli, had been controlled by the eastern-based army since 2014. Over the past few weeks, the UN-backed government’s forces have been launching ground and air attacks trying to take it over.

“Today’s victory does not mean the end of the fight. However, it brings us closer than any time before to the big victory day when all areas and cities are completely liberated and the project of domination and tyranny (of eastern-based army), which threatens hopes and aspiration of the Libyans to build a democratic civil state, is eliminated,” the UN-backed government said in a statement.

The air base is 50 square km wide and can accommodate 7,000 troops, according to the UN-backed government’s forces.

The eastern-based army has been attempting to take over Tripoli for over a year by leading a military campaign against the UN-backed government.

The violence killed and injured hundreds of civilians and forced more than 150,000 others to flee their homes.

(XINHUA)

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Earthquake hits eastern Afghanistan, felt in Kabul

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An earthquake jolted eastern Afghanistan and was felt in the capital Kabul on Monday, causing panic among people.

No detail was immediately available of possible casualties and damage of the quake, which occurred at 12:57 p.m. local time.

(XINHUA)

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Unknown warplanes kill 7 pro-Iran fighters in eastern Syria

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Unknown warplanes struck Iranian positions in eastern Syria overnight, killing seven pro-Iran fighters, a war monitor reported on Sunday.

The warplanes struck the Moezileh base in the countryside of the al-Bukamal city near the Iraqi-Syrian border, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It added that the death toll could likely rise due to the number of critically wounded fighters.

The observatory said the targeting of the base comes days after back-up pro-Iran fighters reached the base.

On May 5, Israeli airstrikes on Iranian positions in eastern Syria killed 14 pro-Iran fighters, said the observatory.

Israel has repeatedly targeted Iranian positions and Syrian military bases in Syria as part of the Israeli determination to undermine the Iranian military presence in Syria.

(XINHUA)

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11 killed by torrential rains in eastern Tanzania – Police

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Killing

Dar Es Salaam, May 16, 2020 At least 11 people, including four from the same family, have been killed by torrential rains in Tanzania’s eastern region of Morogoro, the Police said on Saturday.

Wilbroad Mutafungwa, the Morogoro Regional Police Commander, said the four members of the same family were killed on Friday night after a landslide from nearby mountains pushed down walls of their house.

“The walls fell on the victims, including a five-year-old child,’’ he told a news conference in Morogoro, adding that the grisly incident occurred in Matombo ward.

Mutafungwa said another seven people, including five children, were also killed on Friday night after flash floods from Uluguru Mountains swept them away.

He added that the victims were living on the slopes of the mountains.

He urged the public to be extra vigilant as heavy rains continued to pound in different parts of the region referred to as a breadbasket.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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5.7-magnitude quake hits Southeast of Easter Island — USGS

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 jolted Southeast of Easter Island around 23:55 on Wednesday (0555 GMT on Thursday), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 10.0 km, was initially determined to be at 35.7934 degrees south latitude and 102.8879 degrees west longitude.

Easter Island, known for its giant stone-carved heads facing out to sea, is located at the southernmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in the South Pacific, and is considered one of the world‘s remotest inhabited regions.

(XINHUA)

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Massive truck bomb kills 5, wounds 46 in eastern Afghanistan

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At least five civilians were killed and 46 people, including several military personnel, were injured after a massive truck bomb explosion rocked Gardez city, capital of Afghanistan’s eastern Paktia province on Thursday, authorities confirmed.

“The explosion occurred at morning rush hour roughly at 08:30 (local time). The blast sent a thick gray smoke to rise above the site. The number of the people affected in the incident may change,” a provincial official told Xinhua anonymously.

“The terrorist tried to assault a provincial directorate of the Ministry of Defense but he was intercepted by the army soldiers. Then the attacker detonated the truck bomb near the facility and affected nearby provincial military court and provincial finance and tax offices,” he said.

The blast also caused massive destruction, destroying several building, shops and vehicles, according to the source.

Earlier in the day, Tariq Arian, spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, blamed Haqqani militant group, a military wing of Taliban insurgents, for the attack, but no group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

It is the latest in a spate of such attacks when the Afghans are observing the fasting month of Ramadan.

(XINHUA)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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