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Ukraine’s new president urges dissolution of parliament



Ukraine’s new president urges dissolution of parliament


“I dissolve the Verkhovna Rada of the eighth convocation,” Zelensky told the legislature. He demanded snap elections by the end of July, instead of October as had been planned.

Many current members of parliament have connections with the former president, Petro Poroshenko, whom Zelensky defeated in a run-off last month with about three-quarters of the votes.

Zelensky also requested that the prime minister’s cabinet resign during his inauguration speech. In response, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman announced he would comply.

“I have decided to tender my resignation immediately after the next cabinet meeting is conducted on Wednesday,” Groysman, an ally of Poroshenko, said in a televised address.

Previously a television actor, Zelensky, 41, campaigned as an alternative to a political establishment that has long struggled with entrenched corruption.

He came to fame with his role as a fictional president on a popular TV show, “Servant of the People.” Unlike the veteran politician Poroshenko, Zelensky had never before held public office.

Five years ago Poroshenko was swept to power by a pro-Western revolution.

He led Ukraine through its toughest post-Soviet period, marked by a pro-Russian separatist rebellion in the country’s east.

The ensuing violence has claimed about 13,000 lives, according to UN estimates.

Amid the conflict, Poroshenko appeared slow in enacting promised reforms.

Restoring peace to Eastern Ukraine is the top priority for the incoming administration, Zelensky said in his inauguration speech.

“Our primary task is ceasefire in Donbass,” Zelensky said. “I can assure I am willing to do everything for our heroes not to die anymore.”

“I am sure that the first step towards starting this dialogue will be the return of all our captives,” Zelensky told the parliament.

The rebellion erupted in early 2014, shortly after Kiev ousted its pro-Russian president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych, in a political pivot towards the West.

Russia responded to the ouster by annexing Ukraine’s Southern Crimea region, the site of a major Russian naval base since the Soviet era, and supporting the separatist movement.

Russia has justified such actions as protecting the interests of Russian-speaking groups within its sphere of influence.

It has repeatedly denied Ukraine’s accusations that it has fuelled the conflict with weaponry supplies or active servicemen.

The conflict appears to have pushed the rest of Ukraine closer to the West, including a drive to join the NATO military alliance. Zelensky is widely expected to continue on that path.

The Kremlin suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin would congratulate Zelensky only after the “first successes on the issue of settling the internal conflict” in Eastern Ukraine, according to Russian state media.

Putin has previously represented rebel groups from Ukraine’s conflict regions at international peace talks.

The Kremlin has affirmed that it is interested in having such talks continue with Zelensky.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has helped broker such talks, pledged assistance to Ukraine in restoring its territorial integrity.

Speaking at a NATO base in Northern Germany, Merkel welcomed Zelensky’s comments in his inaugural address that ending the conflict was a priority.


Edited by Donald Ugwu



Burkina Faso, Cape Verde says climate change affects the region





Abuja, Nov.21, 2019( NAN) Parliamentarian from Burkina Faso and Cape Verde on Thursday said that Climate change was one of the major challenge affecting the countries.

The Parliamentarian said this during their countries reports at the Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament held in Abuja.

Hon. Jeremie Sankara, Member of the Parliament from Burkina Faso said that Climate change has adversely affected the rural development due to the constant decline in rainfall.

He said that degradation has affected 34 per cent of land in the country which represents more than nine millions hectares of arable lands.

“Climate change is adversely affecting rural development, owing to the constant decline in rainfall in terms of volume and quality of precipitation as well as high temperatures, upsurge in the number and intensity of floods, droughts and wind storms.

“These extreme weather conditions hampers the performance of agricultural, livestock and animal production systems which had lead to increase population movement as well as serious humanitarian problems and economic losses.”

According to him, the government is set to implement a specific action plan to improve on the agricultural production.

“To improve the living conditions as well as the production and consumption patterns of the people to prevent environmental degradation and the degradation of the living environment.

“The government has fast-tracked the implementation of Specific actions and measures defined in the second National Rural Sector Programme (PNSR 11) to ensure the sustainability of agricultural production in the country.”

He said that to facilitate the transition to free economy, the government would take actions to improve environmental governance, promote the reduction of green house gas emissions and enhance the resilience of grassroots communities to climate change.

Hon. Carlos Delgado from Cape Verde delegation said that Climate change is a major challenge in the country.

He said that integrated policies are being implemented in the field of environment, aiming at ensuring greater environmental sustainability, competitiveness and territorial organisation.

“It should also be noted that Cape Verde faced three conservative years of drought with very low rainfall; the country has faced and continues to face serious problems with lack of grazing for animals.

“The government has been required to implement emergency mitigation plans to address years of drought, fortunately, it has been able to count on some of its partners.

“Cape Verde continues and will continue to participate in global and regional environmental research networks, particularly those dealing with investigation of its effects of the phenomenon of climate change.”

Nigeria News Agency reports that the Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament which commences on Nov. 20 will end on Dec. 14.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Morocco seizes 3.657 tonnes of cannabis in anti-smuggling raid



Morocco seizes 3.657 tonnes of cannabis in anti-smuggling raid


Rabat, Nov. 21, 2019 (Xinhua/NAN) The Moroccan police on Thursday said  that they seized 3.657 tonnes of cannabis in an anti-smuggling raid near the Northern city of Nador.

According to a police statement, two suspects, aged 37 years and 40 years, with connections to international drugs rings were arrested during the raid late Wednesday.

The statement said that investigations are underway to uncover more accomplices.

A car and a large quantity of equipment were also seized.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime said that in spite of efforts to crack down on cannabis cultivation in the past decade, Morocco remains one of the world’s largest producers of the narcotic plant.

The Moroccan security authorities seized more than 112 tonnes of cannabis and its derivatives by Sept. 15 this year, official statistics show.

Edited by Halima Sheji/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Chinese scientists develop lab grown meat from animal cells




Nanjing, Nov. 21, 2019 (Xinhua/NAN) Chinese scientists have produced 5 grams of meat cultured from animal muscle stem cells, according to a university in east China’s Jiangsu Province.

The Nanjing Agricultural University announced this on Thursday that the team led by Zhou Guanghong harvested the meat after cultivating pig muscle stem cells for 20 days.

It is the first meat developed from muscle stem cells in China, according to the China Association of Agricultural Science Societies, which conducted an evaluation of the technology.

Current manmade meat mainly refers to plant based meat that is made by extracting plant proteins from soybeans, peas, wheat and other vegetables and grains with a similar taste to that of meat fibers.

Cultured meat, however, is produced by painlessly harvesting animal cells and nurturing them to create muscle tissue.

According to Zhou, the cultured meat they developed has similar texture and color to ordinary minced pork, but safety evaluations and large scale production technology are required before it hits the market.

Plant based meat has already come onto the market.

Impossible Foods Inc., an American company that develops plant based substitutes for meat products, made its debut on the Chinese mainland at the second China International Import Expo earlier this month in Shanghai to seek opportunities in China.

A Chinese team in Beijing also introduced plant based meat into the market in September by selling mock meat stuffed moon cakes.

Edited by Halima Sheji/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim downing of spy drone near Saudi border



Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim downing of spy drone near Saudi border


Sanaa, Nov. 21, 2019 (Xinhua/NAN) Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Thursday claimed they shot down a spy drone near Saudi Arabia border.

The group’s al-Masirah TV reported “our air defense downed a spy drone belonging to the Saudi-led coalition in al-Sawh area near the border of the Southern Saudi region of Najran.’’

There was no immediate confirmation from the Saudi-led coalition, which has been battling the Iran-allied Houthi group in Yemen for over four years.

The coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015 to support the internationally-recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. (Xinhua/NAN)

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Acting Lega serie A chief named after 2018 election irregularities



The Italian football federation (FIGC) has appointed a provisional president of the Lega Serie A to replace Gaetano Micciche, who resigned after the revelation of irregularities in his election. The federation on Thursday approved the appointment of Mario Cicala, the head of FIGC’s supervision body, as acting Lega chief until the Serie A clubs vote in a new president in an election set for December 2.

Cicala would take full charge only in case the Lega fail to appoint a new boss; he would then have to organize new elections before March 2020.

Micciche quits his job this week before the FIGC closed investigations into his election in March 2018.

Federation president Gabriele Gravina said that no counting of the votes followed what was described as an election by acclamation, which contravened Lega’s secret ballot rules and invalidated the procedure.

Edited by Halima Sheji/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Toddler in India dies after falling into hot curry pot




New Delhi, Nov.21, 2019 The police on Thursday told dpa  that a four-year-old boy in India fell into a hot pot of curry and later died of injuries.

The police said the accident happened on Monday when the child was playing near the pot.

The family, from the city of Shabad in the state of Telangana, were holding a party at the time.

The boy died a day later in hospital because of severe burns.

The police are now investigating the circumstances of the incident.

Edited by Halima Sheji/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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