Pensioners paralyse commercial activities in Benin

Pensioners in Edo on Monday paralysed commercial activities at the city centre in Benin over the alleged non-payment of several months of pension arrears, as well as their gratuity.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in their hundreds, the pensioners blocked the King’s Square area of the Edo capital, thereby giving motorists a hectic time to connect to other parts of the city.

Charly boy leads protest to demand for Buhari's return or resignation

Members of a civil society organization have defied rain in Abuja to protest the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The organization, Concerned Nigerians on Monday, August converged at the Unity Fountain in Abuja urging the president to either resume duty or resign.

The group's leader Deji Adeyanju said members of the Concerned Nigerians will march to the Presidential Villa to demand the resignation of the President.

North Korea vows to retaliate against US over sanctions

North Korea has vowed to retaliate and make "the US pay a price" for drafting fresh UN sanctions over its banned nuclear weapons programme.

The sanctions, which were unanimously passed by the UN on Saturday, were a "violent violation of our sovereignty," the official KCNA news agency said.

Separately, South Korea says the North has rejected an offer to restart talks, dismissing it as insincere.
The sanctions will aim to reduce North Korea's export revenues by a third.

The unanimous UN Security Council decision followed repeated missile tests by the North which have escalated tensions on the peninsula.

Anambra church shooting

Blood stains at the scene of the deadly shooting at St. Philip's Catholic Church, where an unknown gunman killed 11 persons and injured 18 others during 7:30 am church service in Umuezekwe Ofufe Amakwa community of Ozubulu, Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra on Sunday (6/8/17)

Death toll rises, police confirm attack linked to Igbos living abroad.

The death toll in an attack on worshippers in a Catholic Church has increased to 11, the police have said.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Garba Umar, who provided the update said that the command would leave no turn unturned to bring the attackers to justice.

Mr. Umar, who spoke at a news conference in Awka on Sunday, gave the updated figures of casualties as 11 dead and 18 injured.

He also confirmed that the attack was mainly linked to a feud between some Igbos living abroad.
He ruled out the possibility of a terror attack, and spoke about an isolated feud between individuals in the community.

Australian Navy locates missing US aircraft

Australian Navy locates missing US aircraft

The Australian Navy has located a missing US military aircraft that crashed off Australia's east coast on Saturday, Defense Minister Marise Payne said in a statement Monday. Three US Marines have been missing since what the Marine Corps calls a "mishap" with an MV-22 aircraft. Twenty-three of the 26 personnel on board the aircraft were rescued, the Corps said.

Google employee anti-diversity memo causes row

A Google employee's opinion criticising the firm's diversity initiatives is causing a furore at the firm.

In an internal memo, a male software engineer argued the lack of women in top tech jobs was due to biological differences between men and women.

"We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism," he wrote in the piece which was widely criticised.

But the author said he had received "many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude".

Posted on an internal discussion board, the article was published in full by tech website Gizmodo.

It argues that "the abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership".

British woman 'shot in Brazil after getting lost'

The Foreign Office is in touch with authorities in Brazil following reports a British woman was shot after mistakenly driving into a favela.

A couple and their three children were travelling in Angra dos Reis when their car was approached by an armed group, Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported.

According to the paper, the woman was shot in the abdomen on Sunday but is not thought to be at risk of death.

The rest of the family were unhurt, the paper reported.

The Swedish physicist revolutionising birth control

Inventing the first app in the world to be approved as a contraceptive started as a hobby project for Elina Berglund Scherwitzl.

The nuclear physicist, who'd been working on the team that discovered the Higgs boson, was tired of using hormonal contraception but wasn't ready to have a baby.

So the Swede set about using her data skills to find an alternative.

"Like many women I had tried many different contraception options since my teenage years and hadn't really found a solution that fit me," she explains.

"It was in my quest for an effective natural alternative that I discovered that you can see when you're fertile by your temperature, and for me that was really a revelation."

Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announce separation after eight years

US actors Chris Pratt and Anna Faris have announced that they are separating after eight years of marriage in joint statements shared on social media.

The couple, who met in 2007 while filming the romantic comedy Take Me Home Tonight, said attempts to save their relationship had failed.

"We tried hard for a long time, and we're really disappointed," Pratt wrote in a post on Facebook on Sunday.

Pratt, 38, and Faris, 40, were married in 2009. They have a son named Jack.
"Our son has two parents who love him very much and for his sake we want to keep this situation as private as possible moving forward," the statement said.

Brexit negotiations 'have not begun well' - Sir Simon Fraser

The UK's Brexit negotiations have not begun well amid "differences" inside the cabinet, a former head of the diplomatic service has said.

Sir Simon Fraser, chief mandarin at the Foreign Office until 2015, said the UK side had been "a bit absent" from formal negotiations in Brussels.

Sir Simon, who now advises businesses on Brexit, said he was concerned the UK had not put forward a clear position.

The government is expected to publish "position papers" on key issues soon.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour, Sir Simon said he feared divisions within the cabinet were preventing the government from presenting a united front.

India media storm over 10-year-old pregnant rape victim

A 10-year-old girl who is pregnant and has been refused an abortion is at the centre of a media storm in India. The BBC's Geeta Pandey travelled to the northern city of Chandigarh to piece together her story.

"We have seen lots of cases of teenage pregnancies involving 14 to 15-year-olds, but this is the first ever case that I have seen of a 10-year-old," said Mahavir Singh, of the Chandigarh State Legal Services Authority.

Mr Singh has been involved in a case which has shocked Chandigarh and the rest of India, that of a 10-year-old girl who became pregnant after allegedly being repeatedly raped by a relative.
That relative is now in jail, pending trial.

Australian terror suspect 'planted plane bomb on brother'

A terror suspect in Australia tried to smuggle a bomb on to a plane by planting it on his unsuspecting brother, say Australian police.

The plan was one of two alleged terror plots recently uncovered by authorities, who made several arrests across Sydney on Saturday.

The suspects were allegedly aided by the so-called Islamic State (IS).
The other plot involved building and setting off a device that could release toxic gas in a public enclosed space.

Police said the plans had been "completely disrupted".

Manus Island: Asylum seeker found dead in Australia-run centre

An asylum seeker who was being held at the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island has been found dead.

Police say the man's body was found near the East Lorengau refugee transit centre on Monday morning.

Australia's Immigration and Border Protection department said Papua New Guinean (PNG) authorities are investigating the death.

PNG police said the man, who is from Iran, took his own life, though reports say other residents contested that.
The man's name has not been released.

Asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat are detained at the Manus Island centre and on the nation of Nauru as part of the government's long-standing policy.

Australia 'golden girl' Betty Cuthbert dies aged 79

Australian sprinting legend and four-time Olympic gold medallist Betty Cuthbert has died aged 79.

At the age of 18, Cuthbert won three gold medals at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics - the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relays.

Known as Australia's "golden girl", she went on to win gold in the 400m at the Tokyo Olympics eight years later.

She passed away in Western Australia on Sunday night after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull led tributes on social media calling the runner an "inspiration and a champion on and off the track".

Mike Pence denies planning 2020 presidential bid

US Vice-President Mike Pence has dismissed as "disgraceful and offensive" a report suggesting he is preparing a run for president in 2020.

The New York Times said a "shadow campaign" had been set up by some Republicans on the assumption Donald Trump would not stand again.
Citing multiple sources, the article said Mr Pence had implied that he would plan to run if Mr Trump did not.

Mr Pence said the report was an attempt to divide the administration.
The Times story said the turmoil around the White House, including investigations into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during last year's election, had prompted some Republicans to take steps "unheard-of so soon into a new administration".

Neymar: Paris St-Germain must pay £198m 'in full' to sign Barcelona forward

Barcelona have told Paris St-Germain they must pay a world record 222m euro (£198m) fee "in full" before Neymar can join them.

The Brazil international arrived at training on Wednesday with his father and representative, and told the Spanish club he wanted to leave.

He was then given permission by Barca manager Ernesto Valverde not to train and to "sort out his future".

PSG are understood to be ready to pay the 25-year-old's release clause.

The latest development comes two days after it emerged Barca were ready to push for a Financial Fair Play investigation if PSG signed Neymar.

Beyoncé inspires fight to save Australian bowls club

What do Beyoncé, her hit All The Single Ladies and an Australian lawn bowls club have in common?

Well, up until recently, absolutely nothing.
But that changed when the Chadstone Bowls Club in Melbourne decided the song would be the perfect way to promote their campaign to save the venue from demolition.

In just three days, their adapted rendition and resulting video, complete with the moves that made it a favourite on dance floors across the globe almost a decade ago, has had a million views.

It is fair to say the reaction has taken the Chadstone bowlers by surprise.
"We had no idea that it would have the following that it did," Wyn Hewett, 72, told the BBC, before admitting that, when the idea was first suggested, she had not heard of Beyoncé Knowles.

Same-sex marriage: 'Profound shift' in Australian views

Australians have considerably increased their support for same-sex marriage in the last decade, a report has found.

The wide-ranging survey found that 67% of women and 59% of men want to see same-sex marriage made legal in Australia.

In 2005, it was 43% of women and 32% of men, according to the annual survey of the same 17,000 people.

Report author Prof Roger Wilkins said it revealed a "very profound shift" in attitudes in the country.
"It is quite clear that community sentiment has shifted in favour of marriage equality," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Debate over legalising same-sex marriage has intensified in Australia this week amid speculation that a government MP may soon introduce a bill to parliament.

How a dual citizenship crisis befell an immigrant nation

First two Australian senators resigned on learning they held citizenship of New Zealand and Canada.

Then a third stood down from his cabinet post on discovering that although he had never even been there, he was a citizen of Italy.

The past two weeks have been a minefield of frenzied activity from elected Australian politicians as they check if they hold dual nationality. It's all been done under the suddenly menacing shadow of the 116-year-old Section 44 of the nation's constitution, which forbids anyone holding citizenship of another country from running for parliament.

It's an issue which says much about Australia as an immigrant nation, as federal MPs who were born overseas - 25 of them in total - have raced to check which country, or countries, count them as citizens.

Canada opens Montreal Olympic Stadium for migrants from US

Montreal is temporarily opening its Olympic Stadium as a shelter to host a sudden increase in asylum seekers arriving from the US.

More than 4,300 people have crossed into Canada seeking refugee status since January.
The majority of those have crossed into the province of Quebec, straining resources of government and community groups.

The stadium received the request for space last Friday.
Asylum seekers began to be moved into the building, one of Montreal's most well-known landmarks, on Wednesday morning.

Canada has seen a significant increase in the number of people crossing illegally into the country between official points of entry and seeking asylum.
Over 3,300 people crossed into Quebec between 1 January and 30 June.

Francine Dupuis, of Praida, a provincial programme for the reception and integration of asylum seekers, told the BBC that another 1,200 people crossed into the province in July, around 90% of them from Haiti.

German carmakers reach emissions-cutting deal

German carmakers have agreed with top politicians to cut harmful emissions by updating software in five million diesel vehicles.

New engine management software will improve emission filtering systems and cut toxic nitrogen oxide levels by 25-30%, the industry association VDA said.

The industry is under pressure since a diesel emissions scandal exposed cheating to manipulate test readings.

The deal was struck at a summit with top politicians in Berlin.
It was approved in Berlin by Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen and Opel, VDA said in a statement (in German).

Car firms are a crucial part of the German economy, providing more than 800,000 jobs.

Pressure to cut emissions increased last week, when a court in Stuttgart upheld a proposal to ban older diesel cars from the city.

It is the home city of Mercedes and Porsche, and one of Germany's pollution hotspots.

Kenyan election official Chris Msando 'tortured to death'

The Kenyan election official whose body was found earlier this week had been severely tortured and strangled to death, an autopsy has found.

Chris Msando had deep scratches and cuts on his back and hands, the chief government pathologist said.

Mr Msando was in charge of Kenya's computerised voting system for next Tuesday's presidential elections.

His body was discovered next to the corpse of a woman in a forest on the outskirts of Nairobi at the weekend.

"There was no doubt that he was tortured and murdered," Wafula Chebukati, chair of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), said on Wednesday.

Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan: My home was stripped bare

Nigeria's former President Goodluck Jonathan says that six televisions and three refrigerators were stolen from his home in Abuja - not 36 televisions and 25 refrigerators as some media outlets had reported.

Six policemen guarding the house have since been arrested, his spokesman added.

An investigation into the theft is now under way.

Mr Jonathan lived in the home when he was vice-president, local media say.

Confirming the theft, Mr Jonathan's spokesman said: "The house was totally stripped bare by thieves who stole every movable item in the house, including furniture sets, beds, electronics, toilet and electrical fittings, as well as all internal doors and frames."

He corrected "exaggerated reports in some media" about the items stolen, saying: "Being that the house is a modest, 4-bedroom duplex, it couldn't have been fitted with 36 plasma television sets and 25 refrigerators as falsely reported by some media outlets."

LASPOTECH workers begin indefinite strike

LASPOTECH workers begin indefinite strike 

Lagos – Academic and administrative activities were paralysed on Wednesday at the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) as workers of the institution down began an indefinite strike on Aug. 1.

A copy of the strike notice by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), LASPOTECH chapter, obtained said the strike was with effect from Aug. 1.
The notice said the strike would “remain indefinite, total and comprehensive until the demands of the unions were met’’.

NAN reports that the strike also affected other sister unions of ASUP — the Non-Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (NASUP) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnic (SSANIP).

The notice said the unions resumed their suspended strike due to a failure by the institution’s management to meet their demands following a month grace given.
According to the notice, the Lagos State Government had intervened in the strike by the unions through the House of Assembly Committee on Education and that was why it was suspended then.

“Congress had unanimously resolved that the committee that was to be set up by the House Committee on Education to find a lasting solution to the issues of migration arrears be given till 31st July 2017.
“Failure of which the union will resume its suspended strike without notice.

“It is rather sad to inform you that after the committee has identified substantial amount to pay 12 months as the first tranche, the management turned in a document from National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) to truncate an already laid process for payment,’’ it said.

According to the notice, the same authentic documents which the union presented to the press on the migration arrears are the same the management now mischievously flaunt to foot-drag and frustrate all resolutions on the payment.

“The flaunted documents, if allowed to fly, will cause more harm than good, it is going to affect us all from number one person to the least cleaner and this we have warned them about.
“As it stands, dear comrades, if by 12 midnight, the 12 months arrears in the first tranche is not paid, the strike will resume on Aug. 1; it is indefinite, total and comprehensive,’’ it said.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Head, Public Relations Unit, LASPOTECH, Mr Oluwasola Erinoso, confirmed to NAN that the strike had commenced.

Erinoso said that while the strike was suspended a month ago following the intervention of the House Committee on Education, an in-house committee to proffer a solution was set-up.

He said the in-house committee comprised of members of the House Committee on Education, the management team and the union members.

Erinoso said talk was still ongoing on how to pay the outstanding arrears and the process for the payment before the union resumed the strike on Aug. 1.
He, however, appealed to the unions to go back to dialogue with the management so that all the outstanding issues would be resolved and normalcy restored in the institution. (NAN)