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Lebanon’s Prime Minister and entire government step down in wake of Beirut blast

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Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Hassan Diab and his entire government have stepped down, in the wake of last week’s Tuesday August 4 blast which decimated a large portion of the capital Beirut killing more than 160 people.

Lebanon

Lebanon was already suffering through a bad economic crisis, coupled with rising Coronavirus rates. The Lebanese government has been plagued by accusations of corruption and gross mismanagement.

The government has faced major criticism after it was revealed that the bomb blast was linked to a long forgotten stash of explosive chemicals stored at a port in Beirut.

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The blast sparked days of violent protests as dozens of protesters hurled stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at security forces who responded with several rounds of tear gas, leading to the resignation of three cabinet ministers and seven members of parliament last week.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab, addressing the nation on Monday Night in Beirut announced his resignation and that of his government calling the blast a “disaster beyond measure.”

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In his speech, Diab berated Lebanon’s ruling political elite for growing “an apparatus of corruption bigger than the state.”
“We have fought valiantly and with dignity,” he said, referring to members of his cabinet. 
“Between us and change is big powerful barrier.”

He compared the explosion to an “earthquake that rocked the country” prompting his government to resign. “We have decided to stand with the people,” he said.

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Diab, a self-styled reformer, became PM in December, two months after the previous government was brought down.


 His government was supported by major political parties, including the Iran-backed political and militant group Hezbollah.

According to the World Bank, more than half of the country’s population is projected to become poor in 2020 as Lebanon’s currency has lost around 70% of its value since anti-government protests began last October.

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”It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.” – President Buhari

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Nigeria’s President, Muhammed Buhari, has stated that ”It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia”.

The President made this known in his message to Nigerians on the celebration of the county’s 60th Independence Day Anniversary.

Read excerpts from the post below ;

Fellow Nigerians,

​I speak to you today as your President and fellow citizen on this epoch occasion of our country’s 60th independence Anniversary.

Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching.

As a government, we remain committed to our constitutional oath of securing the lives and properties of the citizenry. I, however, call on the citizenry to also support government by providing the necessary community level intelligence in addressing these challenges.

Sixty years of nationhood provides an opportunity to ask ourselves questions on the extent to which we have sustained the aspirations of our founding fathers. Where did we do the right things?Are we on course? If not where did we stray and how can we remedy and retrace our steps?

Fellow Nigerians, in addition to public health challenges of working to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, we have suffered a significant drop in our foreign exchange earnings and internal revenues due to 40 per cent drop in oil prices and steep drop in economic activities, leading to a 60 per cent drop in government revenue.

Our government is grappling with the dual challenge of saving lives and livelihoods in face of drastically reduced resources.

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Fellow Nigerians, let us collectively resolve to continue our journey beyond the sixty years on the clear understanding that as a nation we are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities.

In this regard, sustaining the level of petroleum prices is no longer possible.

Petroleum prices in Nigeria are to be adjusted. We sell now at N161 per litre.

A comparison with our neighbours will illustrate the point;

a.Chad which is an oil producing country charges N362 per litre

b.Niger, also an oil producing country sells 1 litre at N346.

c.In Ghana, another oil producing country, petroleum pump price is N326 per litre.

Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching.

Further afield, Egypt charges N211 per litre. Saudi Arabia charges N168 per litre. It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.

By the special grace of God we shall come through any transient challenges

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Police arrests youth for attempting suicide over unemployment, court grants him N200,000 bail

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An unemployed man identified as Solomon Okon, has reportedly been detained by the police for over a month for over alleged attempted suicide.

The 21-year-old was said to have drank a poisonous substance in a bid to end his life due his unemployed status.

It was learnt that the young man, who was a porter at Havana Hospital, Surulere, Lagos, drank the poisonous substance after receiving a letter terminating his employment.

According to The PUNCH, a relative of Okon said the incident happened in August, adding that the suspect had since been charged to court.

He said, “Okon was working at Havana Hospital and received N35, 000 a month. He was squatting with a friend and was using part of the money to take care of his mother in Akwa Ibom. In August, he received a letter terminating his employment.

“Out of frustration, he ingested a poisonous substance. However, because it all happened in the hospital, he was quickly attended to and was able to recover to some extent. The hospital management reported the matter to the Barracks Police Station and then he was arrested and detained.”

It was also gathered that the police arraigned Okon before a Magistrate’s Court in Yaba for attempted suicide.

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Confirming the incident, Muyiwa Adejobi, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, said Okon was still in police custody.

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He said, “The case has been taken to court. He was arraigned on August 28, 2020, before Magistrate Patrick N of Court two Yaba. Adjournment date: October 15, 2020. He is remanded in police facility at Surulere.”

Okon, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The magistrate also reportedly granted Okon bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties.

Okon’s relative revealed that there was no way they could afford the sum.

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“This young man tried to commit suicide because of poverty and frustration. Rather than get him a job, he is being detained and money is being demanded from him. This young man needs help. He needs assistance. He needs medical attention and counselling.

“The hospital tried by giving him medical treatment but it shouldn’t have reported the guy to the police. Now, we are all running all over the place. We need human rights lawyers to assist us.” he said.

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US 2020: Joe Biden releases his tax returns hours before presidential debate

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US presidential candidate, Joe Biden released his tax returns on Tuesday September 29, hours before he is set to square off with President Donald Trump in the first presidential debate in Ohio.

 

According to his tax returns, Joe Biden and his wife earned nearly $1million in 2019 and paid $346k in taxes.

 

Tweeting Tuesday night, Biden wrote; “The American people deserve transparency from their leaders, it’s why as of today, I’ve released 22 years of my tax returns.”

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US 2020: Joe Biden releases his tax returns hours before presidential debate

 

Biden’s tax release comes days after a bombshell report from The New York Times showed Trump paid just $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017.

 

The shocking figure reportedly paid by Trump was possible due to reported financial losses, a damaging blow to the successful ‘billionaire businessman’ image he has projected through out his career.

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Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said on Tuesday that they released the presidential candidate’s financial information to be transparent.

“This is a historic level of transparency and it will give the American people faith once again that their leaders will look out for them and not their own bottom line,” she said.

 

Trump has never released his tax returns claiming he can’t release them since he is being audited by the IRS.

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On Monday he also denied the New York Times report that said he paid only $750 as tax in 2016 and 2017.

 

When asked about the report at the White House, Trump simply said: “I paid tax.”
“I’ve paid a lot, and I’ve paid a lot of state income taxes, too,”

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