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Sudan. Military forces have put Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok under house arrest, according to Al-Hadath TV, and detained several members of the country’s civilian leadership.
Yemen. More than 260 Houthi rebels were killed in fighting over the past three days near the strategic city of Marib, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition said on Sunday. The rebel deaths are the latest among hundreds the coalition claims have been killed in recent battles around the internationally recognised government’s last bastion in oil-rich northern Yemen.
Iran. Arab nations that normalised ties with Israel last year have “sinned” and should reverse such moves, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Sunday. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco agreed to normalise ties with Israel in 2020, as Washington under the administration of then-US President Donald Trump made Arab-Israeli rapprochement a foreign policy priority.
Colombia. Dairo Antonio Usuga, known as Otoniel, the man called the world’s most dangerous drug trafficker to the United States where he is wanted on a number of charges is on track to be extradited. He was captured by Colombia’s armed forces during an operation in a rural area of Colombia’s Uraba region on Saturday. The raid involved more than 500 members of Colombia’s special forces and 22 helicopters.
Military Tackles The Economist
The Story The Nigerian Army has countered an article by The Economist, which was critical of the federal government and the Nigerian army in their handling of the security challenges in the country.
What's in the article? The Economist, in an analysis of Nigeria's current socio-political reality, had criticised the federal government on the security challenges in the country. It also had a word for the Nigerian army's unimpressive response to fighters and other violent groups, describing “many” soldiers as “ghosts”. The article, published on Saturday, had made references to the army, the police, and other security agencies, noting that the government needs to do more to improve security.
Isn't that correct? Well, the army does not agree with The Economist's view of things. Decrying the impact of corruption in the country's ineffective handling of issues, The Economist said; “When violence erupts, the government does nothing or cracks heads almost indiscriminately. Nigeria’s army is mighty on paper. But many of its soldiers are “ghosts” who exist only on the payroll, and much of its equipment is stolen and sold to fighters".
How did the army counter this? In a statement issued hours after the article was published, the army criticised the position of The Economist on the efforts of the military, describing it as a report done “without due diligence”. “The vile report which the Economist chose to offer its platform for publication, spared no effort in trying to vilify and rubbish the image, character and reputational standing of the Nigerian Army, but failed woefully", the army said, as it described the content of the article as "toxic concoctions".
The Nigerian army, in the statement issued by its spokesman, Onyema Nwachukwu, also expressed displeasure over the report of the article by the Nigerian media. "Even more ludicrous was the embellishments of the said report by the notorious unprofessional media outlets that were quick to republish the obvious falsehood", the army said, adding that "despite the content of the article, it remains “undeterred, undistracted and unfazed" in its duties. SOURCE
Otedola Blindsides First Bank
The Story FBN Holdings Plc has confirmed that the Chairman of Calvados Global Services Limited, Femi Otedola, has acquired substantial shareholding in the company.
Why is there so much buzz around this? FBN Holdings Plc had earlier denied media reports that Otedola had acquired a significant shareholding in the company, stating that it had not received any notification of such acquisitions. "We operate in a regulated environment, which requires notification of significant shareholding by shareholders to the company, where shares are held in different vehicles, further to which the company will notify the regulators and the public as appropriate", the company said on Friday as it dismissed the reports.
How much is his acquisition worth in the company? In another statement on Saturday, signed by the company secretary, Mr Seyi Kosoko, FBN Holdings said it received a notification from APT Securities and Funds Limited on October 23, 2021, "that their client, Mr Otedola Olufemi Peter, and his nominee, Calvados Global Services Limited have acquired a total of 1,818,551,625 units of shares from the company’s issued share capital of 35,895,292,791." According to the announcement, the equity stake of Mr Otedola and his nominee in the company is now 5.07%, contrary to reports of a majority stake. SOURCE
Gbagbo for the Party
The Story Former Côte d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo launched a new party following his acquittal by the International Criminal Court and return from a decade abroad.
When was he acquitted by the ICC? He also vowed Sunday to continue in politics “until my death”. Gbagbo, president from 2000-2011, returned to Ivory Coast in June after being acquitted in 2019 by the Dutch-based court on war crimes charges for his role in a civil war sparked by his refusal to concede defeat in an election. The creation of the new party, called the African People’s Party – Cote d’Ivoire”, has fuelled speculation he intends to run in the 2025 presidential election.
What do Ivorians think of him? Gbagbo lost control of the party he founded, the Ivorian Popular Front, to a former ally while in prison for more than seven years in the Netherlands, but he retains a large and loyal base of supporters. The PPA-CI held its first congress before thousands of supporters packed into a hotel ballroom at the weekend in the commercial capital Abidjan. Gbagbo, 76, said “I am going to practise politics until my death,” to loud cheers during an hour-long speech that combined defiance, humour and nostalgia.
The International Criminal Court found there was insufficient evidence that Gbagbo was personally responsible for killings and other crimes committed by pro-government forces during the 2010-2011 civil war, in which more than 3,000 people died. Gbagbo still faces a potential 20-year prison sentence that was handed down in Ivory Coast in November 2019 on charges of misappropriating funds from the regional central bank during the war. The government has not said whether it plans to enforce the verdict, or whether Gbagbo will be pardoned. SOURCE
Water We Waiting For?
The Story Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered a triple meltdown in 2011 following a destructive earthquake and tsunami.
That's 10 years ago, why's it in the news now? A massive amount of treated but still radioactive wastewater was pumped up and continues to be stored in about 1,000 tanks, which will reach full capacity in late 2022. Contaminated cooling water has leaked from the damaged reactors since the disaster. In April, government officials and the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, announced plans to release the water into the Pacific Ocean over a span of decades, starting in spring 2023.
Is that a healthy thing to do? No, it's not. The plan is opposed by fishermen, residents, and Japan's neighbors, including China and South Korea. Officials have said disposal of the water is indispensable for the plant's cleanup, and that release into the ocean is the most realistic option. On Sunday, after a tour of the facility, Japan's new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the wastewater disposal cannot be delayed and that his government will do its utmost to address concerns that the water disposal will hurt local fishing and other industries. SOURCE