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U.S. military to restrict transgender troops starting in April

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U.S. military to restrict transgender troops starting in April

Troop

The new rules will go into effect on April 12, and while they do not fully conform with President Donald Trump’s attempt to totally ban transgender people from serving in the military, the new policy takes a large step in that direction.

People currently undergoing treatment for gender dysphoria may continue to serve.

However, from April, those in the process of transitioning will not be allowed to join the military.

“The Trump administration is once again cruelly and unfairly targeting transgender people who have been serving this country for years,’’ said GLAAD, a legal advocacy group.

Adam Smith, the chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, came out against the new rules and called for the Department of Defence to refrain from implementing them.

“Anyone who is qualified and willing should be allowed to serve their country openly.

“Make no mistake, this is a discriminatory ban on transgender people, not a ban on a medical condition and we will continue to fight against this bigoted policy,’’ said Smith.

Entertainment

Majek Fashek was a ‘lyrical wizard’- Charlyboy

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Maverick Nigerian showbiz maestro and activist, Charles Oputa, a.k.a Charlyboy, has paid tribute to late Nigerian music legend Majek Fashek, popularly known as ‘The Rainmaker’, describing him as a “ Lyrical Wizard”.

He extolled the late reggae icon in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Nigerian entertainment industry was thrown into mourning on Tuesday when Fashek’s death was announced by his manager, Omenka Uzoma, on his Instagram page, saying the singer died in New York, where he was receiving treatment.

Music lovers, celebrities and fans of Fashek across the world have taken to their social media platforms to mourn and pay tribute to him.

According to Charlyboy, Fashek was a revolutionary musician whose music send messages that addressed social issues that affects society.

The former president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) said he came in contact with the late artiste over three decades ago and worked together in the early days of their music careers.

“My father came from Lagos to Oguta, my home town, along with Majek Fashek, and he spent one good year with me.

“In fact, he sketched his hit song ‘Send down the Rain’ in my small studio then in the village, where I also learnt a lot from him about music.

“Majek was both handsome and talented as a music artiste, and he was a lyrical wizard because his lyrics were so powerful and revolutionary.

“There were other talented musicians during his era, but the message in his songs are so on point and that is why I so much admired him,” he said.

The ‘Areafada’ noted that although Fashek was no more, his songs will remain timeless because of the inspiration behind the lyrics.

He however prayed that God should grant the family of the departed artiste the strength to forge ahead, as death is an inevitable debt every mortal must pay.

NAN reports that Majek Fashek, born Majekodunmi Fasheke to  a Benin mother and an Ijesha father (Osun State), had a legendary music career that spanned over three decades before his demise at age of 57.

He was best known for his 1988 album ‘Prisoners of Conscience’, which consists of the acclaimed song ‘Send Down the Rain’, a hit that earned him the moniker ‘The Rainmaker”.

Some of the musical hits that defined Fashek’s career include ‘So Long, Too Long’ which was released in1991 with a strong political and pan-African message, and ‘Free Mandela, Free Africa’, his anti-apartheid anthem.

Others are ‘Majek Fashek Ina Newyork’,  a song about his experience the first time he visited New York, which later became his second home; ‘Religion Na Politics’, a hit in his 2012 album, ‘I & I Experience’.

In 2015, Fashek was reported bankrupt and battling drug addiction, and was admitted into a drug rehabilitation centre in Abuja where he recovered and returned to music.


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Health

COVID-19: Edo NMA donates support items to UBTH

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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Edo branch, has donated protective items to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) to support the response to COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Presenting the materials, the state NMA Chairman, Dr Valentine Omoifo, appreciated the UBTH management for protecting health workers while ensuring adequate healthcare even in the face of the  pandemic.

This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen by the branch NMA Public Relations Officer, Dr Eustace Oseghale, on Tuesday in Benin.

The association assured that presentation of such items to UBTH would be sustained.

“This would be a continuous thing as more personal protective equipments and other materials will be provided to UBTH soon,” it said.

Receiving the items, the Chief Medical Director of UBTH, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, thanked the NMA for the support.

Obaseki informed them that the hospital gates remained open and the hospital currently has about 400 in patients.

“Though this is telling on the hospital revenue as materials to protect staff and patients are now very expensive,” he said.

Obaseki encouraged NMA affiliates to copy the emulate Edo NMA as the hospital needs support.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items presented included cacatin face shields, face masks, sanitiser, washing soap and gloves.


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

Poverty rate at 41 pct in Angola

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Angola’s poverty rate stands at 41 percent, meaning that about 4 out of 10 Angolans have a consumption level below the poverty line of 12,181 kwanzas (21 U.S. dollars) per month, said the 2020 Poverty Report for Angola on Tuesday.

The poverty rate in rural areas is 57.2 percent, almost double that in urban areas, which is 29.8 percent, according to the report released by Angola’s National Statistics Institute.

Luanda has the lowest poverty rate of 20 percent, while Cunene Province and Moxico province have the highest rate of 62 percent, the report said.

(XINHUA)

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14 new COVID-19 cases reported in Libya, 182 in total

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The Libyan National Center for Disease Control on Tuesday reported 14 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in Libya to 182, including 52 recoveries and five deaths.

In a statement later Tuesday, the center said it received a total of 504 suspected samples, 490 of which tested negative and 14 positive.

Libyan authorities have taken a series of protective measures against the coronavirus, which include closing the country’s borders, banning public gatherings, and imposing a curfew.

Libya announced its first COVID-19 case in March and the first death in June.

(XINHUA)

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United States ambassador to Germany Grenell resigns

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The United States Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has resigned from post and his deputy has temporarily filled in, local media Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) reported on Tuesday.

Grenell confirmed his retreat late Monday on his Instagram account without indicating his next post.

It has been widely speculated that he may join United States President Donald Trump‘s re-election campaign, according to the DPA.

Grenell’s deputy Robin Quinville has become the chargee d’affaires until a new ambassador comes.

During his tenure of more than two years in Germany, Grenell was seen widely by German media as an aggressive, unconventional and even rude diplomat, as he zealously presented Trump’s policies in Germany and Europe.

Shortly after his appointment in May 2018, he directly warned German enterprises not to work with Iran, which was criticized for meddling in other country’s internal affairs.

He tweeted many controversial statements, following Trump’s rhetoric, including the accusation about Germany’s insufficient military and the threat to withdraw U.S. troops from Germany.

He has also long been finding things to pick at about the Nord Stream 2 project, which is designed to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea.

Although German ministers have refrained from radical responses to Grenell, parliament members have often openly denounced his remarks, and some lawmakers even asked foreign ministry to declare him as “persona non grata” — an unwelcome or unacceptable person in diplomacy.

(XINHUA)

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Health

Nigeria records 241 new cases of COVID-19, total Infections hit 10,818

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday said it has recorded 241 new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country, taking the total number of infections in Nigeria to 10,818.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NCDC on its official twitter handle said that as at June 2, 2020, 15 deaths were recorded in the country.

The health agency stated that most of those who died were associated with co-morbidities, noting that three out of four of those who have been discharged were without co-morbidities.

It said this was consistent with the fact that risks were higher for those with other illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and other chronic non-communicable diseases.

The NCDC said that there was general reduction in mortality trend and continuous improvement in recoveries as shown in discharges compared to the increase in number of confirmed cases.

It stated that no new state have reported a case in the last 24 hours.

According to the body, till date, 10,819 cases have been confirmed, 7,266 of active cases, 3,239 cases have been treated and discharged, 314 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The NCDC said that the 241 new cases were reported from 14 states – Lagos(142), Oyo(15), FCT(13), Kano(12), Edo(11), Delta(10), Kaduna(9), Rivers(9), Borno(8), Jigawa(4), Gombe(3), Plateau(3), Osun(1) and Bauchi(1).

The health agency reassured that it would keep Nigerians informed on the public health response to COVID-19 through the daily situation report.

NCDC said that it was important for Nigerians to remember that there were humans behind the numbers.

NAN recalls that the first case of COVID-19 was reported on Dec. 31, 2019, in Wuhan, China.

Five months later, the disease continues to affect people in countries across the globe.

/MST 

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Uganda to evacuate over 2,400 nationals abroad amid pandemic

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Uganda plans to evacuate over 2,400 nationals stranded in 66 countries abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa said here on Tuesday.

The Ugandan government is in consultations with the United Nations (UN), airline companies and countries involved, to make the final evacuation plans, he said.

Airport and border closures amid the pandemic, which have been in effect since March 22, have caused troubles for Ugandans to return home.

Kutesa said that each returning citizen will be tested for the virus and only those who are negative will be allowed to return home. On arrival, they will undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantined and will be tested before being released to the communities.

The government has talked to airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines, since the company can arrange to pick up Ugandans from different locations and gather them to a more central place, from where special flights can be arranged to bring them back home, said Kutesa.

He added that discussions have also been held with the UN, asking the agency to consider placing stranded Ugandans on its humanitarian flights across Africa.

He noted that the United Arab Emirates has agreed to arrange at least three flights to bring back home the migrant workers stranded in the Arab country.

“Fortunately, many of these migrant workers already have air tickets which were provided by their former employers,” he said.

(XINHUA)

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United States anger spreads to Australia as thousands protest police brutality

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Thousands of people took to the streets in Australia on Tuesday evening, in solidarity with demonstrations taking place in the United States over police violence against minorities.

As they marched through Sydney, the protesters chanted, “I can’t breath” and “black lives matter,” the same slogans heard across the United States as demonstrations continued there.

Australia’s own issues with police misconduct were also on the agenda, with many displaying the Aboriginal flag in recognition of the high rates of indigenous incarceration and deaths in custody.

The demonstrations remained peaceful and many of those in attendance wore masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

“How many deaths in custody have we had and how many cops have stood up for us?” indigenous Gadigal man, Tristan Field told the crowd before the march.

“We need a huge upheaval right now, we need to stop black people dying in this country and around the world because it is just unjust.”

Despite making up only 2 percent of the Australian population, First Nations Peoples represent approximately 27 percent of the prison population.

The local protest came just hours after video went viral of an indigenous teenager being knocked to the ground by police in the State of New South Wales (NSW).

Police are investigating the incident which appeared to involve the boy threatening officers before being violently restrained.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Dollar changes hands around 108.81 yen level in early trade in Tokyo

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The U.S. dollar changes hands around the 108.81 yen level in early deals in Tokyo on Wednesday.

As markets opened here, the dollar was quoted at 108.81-82 yen in Tokyo compared with 108.64-74 yen in New York and 107.78-79 yen at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in Tokyo.

The euro, meanwhile, fetched 1.1185-1185 dollars and 121.69-71 yen against 1.1166-1176 dollars and 121.31-41 yen in New York and 1.1127-1129 dollars and 119.93-97 yen in late Tuesday afternoon trade in Tokyo.

(XINHUA)

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

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