“In four short months Iran will be able to freely import fighter jets, attack helicopters, submarines, large-caliber artillery systems, and missiles of certain ranges,” Hook said during joint remarks alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the PM‘s office in Jerusalem.
Hook added that Iran will then could export these weapons and technologies to its proxies, including Hezbollah, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Shia militia groups in Iraq and Syria, militant networks in Bahrain, and the Houthis in Yemen.
“The last thing that this region needs is more Iranian weapons,” he said, calling on the UN Security Council to continue the embargo.
He added that the United States and Israel are working together to “ensure in one way or the another that the arms embargo will not expire.”
Netanyahu called for more sanctions against Iran. “I believe it’s time to implement snapback sanctions,” he said. “I don’t think we can afford to wait. We should not wait for Iran to start its breakout to a nuclear weapon, because then it will be too late for sanctions.”
Israel considers Iran its arch-foe.
Former nurse admits killing 7 United States military retirees
A former nursing assistant on Tuesday pleaded guilty to murdering seven military retirees in the United States, according to the Department of Justice.
Mays, 46, admitted in federal court that she deliberately injected eight elderly patients with lethal doses of the insulin, which led to the death of seven of them.
She also pleaded guilty to one count of assault with intent to commit murder involving the death of the eighth veteran.
The justice department said in a statement that Mays was working the night shift during the same period of time the veterans died in her care while on admission there.
“Nursing assistants at the VAMC are not qualified or authorised to administer any medication to patients, including insulin.
“Mays admitted to administering insulin to several patients with the intent to cause their deaths,” the statement read in part.
It stated that Mays faced up to life in prison for each count of second-degree murder, and up to 20 years in prison for assault with intent to commit murder.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
United States bows to pressure, rescinds policy targeting foreign students
United States District Judge in Massachusetts, Allison Burroughs, announced this on Tuesday at a court hearing on a suit filed by two higher institutions against the policy.
The policy reversal comes exactly a week after it was announced and a day before the government’s deadline for universities to submit a change of plans by Wednesday.
On July 7 United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it would begin enforcement of in-person requirements on F-1 and M-1 visas.
It stated that foreign students would not be allowed to remain in the country if their institutions moved classes fully online.
The department said affected students would face “immigration consequences”, including deportation, if they failed to comply.
The rule, according to the agency, applied to holders of F-1 and M-1 visas, which are issued to academic and vocational students, respectively.
The announcement triggered a wave of opposition across the country, with Harvard and MIT being among the first critics to challenge it in court.
Many other lawsuits followed, including from a group of 18 states led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
New York, California and Washington filed separate suits in addition to Johns Hopkins University and the University of California public school network.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
United States judge orders delay of first federal executions in 17 years
A United States judge on Monday ordered a delay in federal executions, hours before one was to be carried out for the first time in 17 years, hampering the Trump administration’s plan to revive capital punishment by the federal government.
Washington district Judge Tanya Chutkan issued a preliminary injunction to allow the continuation of legal challenges of four death row inmates against the government’s new lethal injection protocol announced last year.
“The public is not served by short-circuiting legitimate judicial process,” she wrote in an order.
The Department of Justice immediately appealed the ruling.
The department planned to carry out the first executions at a federal level since 2003 over the next few weeks, starting with Daniel Lewis Lee, who is convicted of murder, in the US state of Indiana on Monday.
The move has been mired in legal battles. Chutkan’s order came just hours after a federal appeals court had overturned a lower court’s ruling halting Monday’s execution over coronavirus concerns.
Attorney General William Barr last summer announced he was bringing back the death penalty, of which President Donald Trump has been a long-time vocal advocate.
United States states individually decide whether to use capital punishment in their criminal justice systems. The federal system is separate to those of the 50 states and other jurisdictions.
Some 20 states have banned the death penalty, while others have not carried out executions in decades.
Part of the legal challenge to the use of the death penalty at the federal level relates to appeals over the protocol of execution, which is lethal injection.
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
United States-based fertiliser coy to establish African branch in Kebbi
A United State-based organic fertiliser company, Biowish-Crop, on Monday, said it would establish an African branch in Kebbi.
Stevens said that the company, when completed, would employ over 1,000 workers.
She said that the company had earlier planned to establish the branch in South Africa but later opted for Nigeria.
“We don’t want to be importing fertilisers from the United States into Nigeria; rather, we want to have a factory here in this country.
“We have chosen Kebbi because the state has stable electricity for the industrial sector.
“Kebbi also has a lot of farmers and a lot of opportunities for the state to have a fertiliser company of pyre organics.
“So, we want to have such a company in Kebbi,’’ she said.
“Once the consumers patronise our product and they appreciate it, we can now start producing in Kebbi.
“So, there is no need to be importing any more.
“We can just be importing the inputs and be manufacturing here in Kebbi.
“If we start the factory, within the first year to five years, we can employ from 250 to 1,000, as we are expanding.
“This is because we are not only going to be producing fertilisers for Nigeria alone but for other African countries,” Stevens said.
She hinted that the company has reduced the price of the 250g organic fertiliser from N5,500 per bag to N5,000, as approved by the government.
The reduction, she said, came after vigorous deliberations with the farmers’ association.
Earlier, the state Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Abdullahi Shehu, said that the ministry had received a lot of complaints from farmers on alleged adulterated fertilisers in circulation.
“They bought the fertilisers at exorbitant prices without improved outputs.
“We have received many complaints from the farmers that they used the adulterated fertilisers and no results,’’ Shehu said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of AFAN in the state, Alhaji Usman Dan-Gwandu, welcomed the company to the state and appealed for a reduction in the price of the commodity, to enable farmers to buy at an affordable rate.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Japan, United States discuss jump in Coronavirus cases at United States military bases
Japan and the United States are sharing information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections at United States military bases after an outbreak provoked ire in the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, a top Japanese official said on Monday.
Of the 62 individuals Okinawa confirmed had tested positive from Tuesday to Sunday, 39 were at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, 22 at Camp Hansen and one at Camp Kinser.
Later on Monday, TV Asahi said 32 more cases were confirmed at Futenma.
“We will cooperate appropriately on this matter,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news briefing.
“Japan and the United States are sharing information about the activity history of the infected military individuals.”
But many Okinawans associate the bases with problems from crime to accidents, and want the Marines to reduce their presence there or leave altogether.
At the weekend, Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki said it was “extremely regrettable” that a large number of infections had occurred in a short time, adding that Okinawans were “shocked” by the news.
“I can’t help but have strong doubts about the United States military’s measures to prevent infections,” he said, adding that there are reports of personnel leaving base for beach parties and visits to night life districts around Independence Day on July 4.
On its Facebook page for Pacific bases, the Marine Corps said it was prohibiting off-base activity for all installations across Okinawa, except essential needs such as medical appointments approved by a commanding officer.
“We are trying to limit as much contact (with local people) as we can, as we look to contact tracing of infected personnel,” a United States military spokesman said.
Excluding the bases, Okinawa’s infections stand at 148, with seven deaths, the prefecture’s website shows.
Nationwide, Japan has recorded nearly 22,000 cases and 1,000 deaths.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
United States breaks own daily record, more than 66,000 new virus infections
The United States has broken its own record in three out of the last four days, according to the university’s tracker.
Florida, one of the states seeing the sharpest spike, reported more than 10,000 daily cases and 93 new deaths.
Disney resorts in the state are starting to reopen, beginning with the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom.
Governor Ron De Santis rejected the idea that he had pushed his state to reopen too quickly before the virus spread was under control.
This contradicts what Anthony Fauci, the government’s infectious disease expert has said.
Fauci warned that states, seeing surges of new cases, moved too swiftly in recent weeks and did not follow guidelines.
During a press conference on Saturday, De Santis said he would not be imposing a mandatory mask requirement state-wide.
Georgia, also a hotspot, shattered its own record, with more than 4,000 new cases.
However, a fight is brewing between the mayor of the state’s main city, Atlanta, a Democrat, who is trying to roll back re-openings, and the governor, a Republican, who is refusing.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms warned of “alarming” spike in new cases.
The White House has downplayed the severity of the new outbreaks across multiple states, insisting, despite the evidence that the rising caseloads are only due to expanded testing and focusing on death rates.
While mortality figures have been in sharp decline, they are starting to tick back up, with places like Texas and Florida seeing sustained high levels, far surpassing their peaks earlier in the pandemic.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, has been urging citizens to wear masks, despite resistance and warned he may have to impose new rules if cases and hospitalisations continue to climb.
President Donald Trump, who generally does not wear a mask, is due to visit a military hospital and has said he likely would wear a face covering while spending time with injured soldiers.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
German students in United States turn to their govt for help
“We are counting on your support,” reads an open letter addressed to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and signed by almost 100 current, future and former German students in the US.
On July 6, United States immigration authorities announced foreign students attending universities offering online-only teaching due to the pandemic must transfer to another institution or leave the country.
Foreign students with a place at a university exclusively teaching online from next semester will not be allowed to enter the country.
The letter, published on Friday, slammed the United States for “an increasingly xenophobic immigration policy.”
It also asked Germany to “resolutely oppose the latest visa regulations in the interests of the European and international student body in the USA.”
“The move not only threatened students’ futures, but was “a serious attack on international academic exchange and knowledge transfer, as well as the freedom of teaching and research,’’ the letter stated.
Signatories to the letter voiced concern that Trump was trying to pressure universities into holding classes in person, even if this was not safe during the pandemic.
The German Foreign Ministry issued a response, noting the United States rule change and acknowledging the prerogative of all states to “take appropriate measures according to their particular situation” in the pandemic.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Felix Ajide (NAN)
UN arms embargo extension: Iran warns Europe against succumbing to United States pressures
“We have warned the European countries that if they give in to the political and diplomatic pressures from the United States, Iran has effective measures in response,’’ Abbas Mousavi, spokesman of the foreign ministry, told Tasnim.
The United States has recently pressed the UN Security Council for the extension of the UN arms embargo on Iran that will expire in October.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
United States warns citizens of heightened detention risks in China
The United States State Department on Saturday warned American citizens to “exercise increased caution” in China due to heightened risk of arbitrary law enforcement, including detention and a ban from exiting the country.
“United States citizens may be detained without access to United States consular services or information about their alleged crime,” the State Department said in a security alert issued to its citizens in China.
It added that United States citizens could face “prolonged interrogations and extended detention” for reasons related to state security.
“Security personnel may detain or deport United States citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government,” it added, without citing specific examples.
The state department also did not say what prompted the security alert.
The security alert came as bilateral tensions intensify over issues ranging from the coronavirus pandemic, trade, the new Hong Kong security law and allegations of human rights violations against Uighurs in the Xinjiang region.
Washington and Beijing recently exchanged visa bans against each other’s officials, underscoring the deteriorating relations.
The Chinese foreign ministry could not be immediately reached for comment outside of business hours on Saturday.
On Wednesday, Beijing called a similar warning issued by Australia about the risk of arbitrary detention in China “completely ridiculous and disinformation.”
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
- Major shake-up in Nigerian Army as 37 Generals redeployed
- Queens College PTA wants unity schools’ participation in 2020 WASSCE
- Rotary club president pledges more services to humanity
- Students urge FG to take proactive measures for schools reopening
- Environmentalist ticks out govt. for inability to enforce environmental policies
- Coronavirus: Kwara health workers demand hazard allowance
- Farm inputs: Women farmers laud Gov. Buni
- Coronavirus: Specialist hospital commends union for suspending strike
- United States-based fertiliser coy to establish African branch in Kebbi
- Bauchi SUBEB’s Chairman warns engineers against use of substandard materials for projects