Category Archives: International

Abuja to Hosts Miss Heritage Global Pageant.

Abuja, the Nigerian capital city, has been selected to host this year’s edition of the Miss Heritage Global pageant with beauty queens from 60 countries already booked to compete for honours in the show which is tagged #Abujatotheworld and slated for October 2021.

The 2019 edition of the pageant was hosted in Accra, the Ghanaian capital city.

The event, which is billed to last 10 days, will commence with an international Entertainment Economic Summit in the last week of September at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja, Monday, President of Miss Heritage Global, Nhlanhla Shabangu, said the event will showcase Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage in cuisines, fashion, dance etc., as the contestants will also undertake a tour of the country’s heritage sites to learn about Nigeria as well as experience everyday culture in “Africa’s most culturally influential country”.

“Nigeria is at the front of putting African culture forward on a global stage and so it has been our goal to host Miss Heritage global in Nigeria from inception. Everywhere around the world people are listening to afrobeat and eating African food because of Nigeria’s influence and now we are bringing the world to experience the source of all this cultural creativity”, said Shabangu.

According to him, “hosting Miss Heritage Global puts a global spotlight on Nigeria’s culture in an educative and entertaining experience that has something for everyone”

Shabangu said the Miss Heritage Global 10-day experience will allow the world to see the authentic side of Nigeria outside of mainstream media narratives through the contestants’ firsthand experience which they will share online.

“The 10 days event programme also aims to promote cultural diplomacy by engaging the diplomatic corps from participating countries in the host country through various networking events that opens up the opportunity for international business and collaboration. All of this culminating into a captivating live show celebrating world culture through music, fashion, and dance which will be broadcast live on www.missheritage.org”, he stated.

Commenting on the kind of beauty that will wear the Miss Heritage crown, Vice President and creator of Miss Heritage Global, Ronald Tisauke, who was also at the Press briefing, said, “Miss Heritage Global is the woman who has demonstrated openness to learning a new culture, while displaying pride for her own. At the core of the MHG brand is unity in diversity, so the Miss Heritage Global Queen is a cultural ambassador who embodies the ability for humanity to come together and despite our cultural differences”.

Contestants in the pageant are expected to arrive Nigeria on October 1, 2021 and will take part in several pre-pageant events fixed to boost the show.

Earlier in his welcome address, President of Entertainment Economic Summit Africa Group (EESA), who chaired the event, Alhaji Musa Mantu, said the event will be held in collaboration with federal government agencies to promote Nigeria’s rich heritage.

Stating that EESA aims at driving new initiatives and partnerships for the good of the new digital economy and the sustainability of the entertainment industry in Nigeria and indeed Africa at large, Alhaji Mantu thanked organizers of the event for selecting Abuja as host city from over 120 interested cities across the world.

Mantu said entertainment and tourism have the potentials to boost Nigeria’s economic fortunes, away from oil, if properly harnessed.

Quoting PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Mantu said “apart from the tourism, arts and digital economy industries, the media and entertainment industry contributes more than $717 billion to the United States economy. The film and television industry alone contributes more than $41 billion each year to the economy and provide nearly two million people with employment. Nigeria as the highest content producing country in the world at the moment can be a direct beneficiary and If Africa can create one market, then, we can compete favorably well with any market globally.”

Speaking also, Media Partner for the event, Charles Ndudim, said Abuja is about to experience a show that will turn its fortunes around.

According to him, the Miss Heritage Global pageant is the biggest event in the tourism and entertainment calendar scheduled for 2021 adding that all Covid-19 prevention protocols will be fully observed in the management of the event.

He urged Nigerians to be ready for an event that will not be easily deleted from their memory in a long time.

American Broadcaster, Larry King of CNN Dies At 87

Famous American broadcaster, Larry King, and longtime CNN host who became an icon through his interviews with countless newsmakers and his sartorial sensibilities, has died. He was 87.

According to CNN, his son, Chance, confirmed King’s death Saturday morning. King hosted “Larry King Live” on CNN for over 25 years.

A statement posted on his verified Facebook announcing his passing read, “With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host, and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,” the statement said. “For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster.”

A cause of death was not provided, but CNN reported earlier this month that King was fighting coronavirus, citing a source close to his family.

King survived a major heart attack in 1987. In 2017, he revealed he had been treated for lung cancer; two years later he had an angioplasty and suffered a stroke.

In a career spanning six decades, King interviewed a staggering number of celebrities, political leaders and public figures, including every US president from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump.

Obaseki parleys US govt, private investors on agribusiness drive, targets $32m investment outlay

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said his government is focused on building the capacity of the people to attract private investments in agro-industrialization.Obaseki speaking during a virtual meeting with the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, high-ranking US government officials and agribusiness investors, said the focus of his administration on agribusiness development is to attract investors into the oil palm sector as well as production and processing of cassava into high value Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG).This is as a private investor, Fayus Inc., secured 5000 ha in the state for a plantation, commenced the development of nurseries for oil palm 600,000 seedlings and fast tracking on processing CPG for export.Governor Obaseki stated that efforts to reposition the agricultural sector in his first term in office shifted from lamentation to getting the job done by instituting the framework for the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP) in support of oil palm value chain development in the state.He said: “At the sub-national tier of government, we have focused on moving from lamentation to getting the job done. This paradigm shift in the establishment of the EDSOPP will now include a move towards renewed focus on Cassava Industrialization Programme through land administration and civil service reforms.”“We want to build the capacity of our people to attract private investments in agro-industrialization,” the governor added.During the parley, agribusiness investors including Fayus Inc., among others present committed to investing $43.7 million in industrial food ingredients and CPG cassava value creation, food science and technology knowledge transfer and increased trade and investment inflows between the United States, Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries.The firm further disclosed plans to invest over $32 million in cassava value creation in Nigeria and an additional $18 million in Ghana and Togo with support of the USAID funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (WATIH).The chairman of Fayus Inc., Fatai Yusufu, noted: “We are ready to get the job done in Nigeria and in Edo State. Over the next four years, I promise you, we will be milling oil palm in Edo State from our investment in the newly allocated 5,000 Ha land by Governor Obaseki’s administration.”Fayus is one of six new oil palm investors in Edo State with state-of-the-art nurseries boasting of over 600,000 high-performance seedlings ready for planting by 2021.“Fayus is committed to sustainable cassava supply chain infrastructure development and value creation in Nigeria to meet its latent demand of 50,000 MT High-Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) for export to North American, European, and Australian markets in addition to in-country manufacturing of CPG in Nigeria and the United States.”

Joe Biden’s Inauguration: Foremost Activist asks Osinbajo to emulate Mike Pence

A Human Right Activist, Patriot Patrick Eholor has asked the Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo to emulate his outgoing United States of American counterpart, Mr Mike Pence who stood on the path of truth when he was ordered by his Boss, Mr Donald Trump to upturn the results of the Presidential Elections.

Patriot Patrick Eholor who is Global President, One Love Foundation, spoke in Benin City against the recent statements credited to Professor Yemisi Osinbajo to the Presidential effect that the Presidency will soon be empowering over twenty million People.

The Human Right Activist observed that whereas the Nigerian Vice President blindly agrees with the President Mohammed Buhari even on enforcement of unpopular Policies which bothers directly on the welfare of the populace, the outgoing American Vice President, Mr Mike Pence identified with the constituents when he was challenged to protect the common interest of the people.

He said it was very unfortunate that in Nigeria, the Vice President who is an ordained clergy man has not exhibited an iota of a trait befitting of the pulpit , which he observed has become a common character amongst many pastors nowadays.

Patriot Patrick Eholor who single handedly mobilized advocacy which few years ago compelled the Federal Ministry of Works to rehabilitate Federal Roads in the South South Region asked the Federal Government to invest massively in Agriculture, Manufacturing, Health, Energy, Transportation and Technology sectors rather than paying meagre allowances to youths across the country.

The Activist observed that Nigerians in Diaspora have remained the best professionals in their different endeavours winning awards and breaking new grounds in researches and administrative acumen.

He said President Joe Biden was sent by the “almighty God to erase abnormalities instituted by the outgoing administration of Mr Donald Trump and give hope to those traumatized by his racist policies “.

Biden reverses ban on Nigeria, others, changes several other policies of Trump

The new President of the United States, Joe Biden started his first day in office by erasing some actions of former President Donald Trump.

In his first executive orders, Biden reversed Trump’s policies on the coronavirus pandemic, immigration, and climate change.

Biden canceled the ban which restricted travel to the U.S. from mostly Muslim nations.

The countries are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Chad, North Korea, Venezuela, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.

At the Oval Office’s Resolute Desk, Biden rolled out 15 orders and two other action items.

Biden has made mask wearing in all federal buildings and during interstate travel mandatory.

“It’s requiring, as I said all along, where I have authority, mandating masks be worn, social distancing be kept on federal property,” the President told reporters.

He also signed orders for America to formally rejoin the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Paris climate agreement.

Biden is stopping Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s actions that cause family separation.

He has halted construction of the wall along the US-Mexico border.

Two orders aim to provide immediate financial relief to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

Biden signed another three to address racial disparities and inequities within the U.S. government and its operations.

He inked a decree directing the federal bureaucracy to conduct reviews and isolate any racial inequities in how government resources are allocated.

This dissolves the 1776 Commission, a Trump advisory committee established last September.

Another order borders on federal workplace sex discrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans.

The administration will roll out a total of 53 executive actions over the next 10 days.

Eholor Condemns Siege On Bobi Wine’s Home; Urges AU To Intervene

Chairman of One Love Foundation, a frontline human rights group, Chief Patrick Eholor has condemned in strong terms the ongoing police and military siege on the house of Ugandan opposition leader, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine), ostensibly to arrest him and keep him out of circulation for President Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni to continue to perpetrate his dictatorial and anti democratic tendencies.

Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor, Democracy Observer General of Nigeria and Global President of One Love Foundation stated this in a statement in Abuja, describing the invasion as a part of President Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni administration’s latest strategy to forcefully incarcerate vocal members of the opposition in order to pave way for his backward agenda for Uganda and Africa.

He noted that having seen defeat staring at him before the global community for trying to forcefully impose himself on Ugandans, he is now in a panic and desperate mode to cling to power at all cost.

He insisted that resorting to illegal arrest and incarceration of major opposition figures in the country is a terror tactic already activated by the dictator’s administration to drive opposition underground.

According to him, the invasion of Bobi Wine’s house and the disconnection of his public utilities – power and water – including denying access to food stuffs amounts to visiting terror on an innocent opposition leader by a state funded security organization.

“This is condemnable and unacceptable in a democracy.”
Eholor said: “President Museveni is a dictator who has refused to learn from past dictators. The AU must urgently caution him to stop disgracing Africa and the tenets of democracy.”

“We must all condemn this terrorist act being visited on a Ugandan opposition leader. Today it is Uganda. Tomorrow it might be Ghana or South Africa. AU must urgently intervene by cautioning President Museveni to withdraw his men from the house of Bobi Wine. Africa cannot continue to be backward all the time.” He stated.

Car thief threatens to call police on mom who left her child in the back seat of the car he stole

Oregon police are searching for a man who stole a car Saturday morning without knowing a child was in the backseat and came back to lecture the victim of the car theft for leaving her child unattended.

When the suspect saw the child, he returned to the mother and reprimanded her, threatened to call the police on her and then drove away in her car, Beaverton Police Spokesman Officer Matt Henderson told CNN.

“He hopped in the car, drove it, realized there was a 4-year-old inside, and drove back and ordered her to take the child out of the car and then drove away again,” Henderson said. “We’re thankful he had the decency to bring the little one back.”

The little boy was unharmed, police said.

The crime took place at a meat market in Beaverton, where Crystal Leary left the engine of her car running and doors unlocked before going inside for a few minutes to purchase meat and a gallon of milk.

She was just 15 feet away from the car on the other side of the glass, Henderson said, but turned around at the wrong moment.

“As moms, we get really busy and we think we’re just running in for a second and this is just a perfect example of just letting our guards down and how terrible it could have ended,” Crystal Leary, the mother, told CNN affiliate KPTV.

“I am thankful that he is okay. It was so stupid and I’ll never do that again, but it’s that split second decision that can just change everything.”

The car, a 2013 silver Honda Pilot, was recovered a few hours later in Portland, just 8 miles away from Beaverton. Police are still searching for the thief, according to Henderson.

The suspect is described as a White male with long, dark brown braided hair. He wore a multi-colored face mask.

Anyone with information on the car theft can contact Beaverton police at 503-629-0111.

“This is a good learning lesson for all of us who have children,” Henderson said. “Be extra careful with your kids, take the extra step to make sure they’re safe.”

WhatsApp gives in, halts rollout of controversial update

WhatsApp will halt the rollout of its controversial new update amid protests from users.

People will now have three extra months to agree to its new rules, the company said.

And WhatsApp has committed to try and distribute more information about the rules in advance of the deadline in the hope of dispelling what it says is “misinformation”.

Users had originally been told they had to agree to the new rules by 8 February, or face having their accounts suspended or deleted.

Instead, users will have until 15 May before they are forced to agree to the rules, in the hope that they can “review the policy at their own pace”.

In the meantime, the company will “do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp”.

WhatsApp’s privacy policy began being pushed out to users in recent months and caused concern that it would be sharing more information with Facebook.

The company says that the new policy does not “expand our ability to share data with Facebook”, and that it is instead focused on its new business updates, which allow companies to host their shops on Facebook and communicate with users through WhatsApp. As such, the new rules do mention Facebook but primarily because communications with those businesses may be hosted on its servers.

But that has nonetheless led to a flurry of concerns that information and personal data from WhatsApp is being shared with Facebook.

That in turn has meant that users have rushed to competing apps such as Signal and Telegram, in pursuit of what they perceive to be better security and privacy.

In its announcement, WhatsApp suggested that those concerns were rooted in “confusion” and “misinformation”.

“We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update,” it said in the blog post that revealed the delay. “There’s been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts.

“WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages. It’s why we don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling. We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook.”

Facebook, Twitter lose $51bn in value after booting out President Trump

Facebook and Twitter , the two largest social media platforms to permanently ban President Donald Trump for his role in last week’s Capitol riots, saw $51.2 billion in combined market value erased over the last two trading sessions.

Companies across sectors have responded to the president’s rhetoric in recent days by pausing political donations, making statements decrying his inflammatory remarks, and pulling products with links to right-wing movements.

Facebook and Twitter possibly took the biggest retaliatory steps when they indefinitely banned Trump from their platforms on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Both companies cited the risk of additional violence for their bans, but investors largely balked at the action. Facebook tumbled 4% on Monday and another 2.2% on Tuesday as shareholders dumped the stock, likely fearing the ban could drive users off the platform. By the time markets closed on Tuesday, Facebook’s market cap sat $47.6 billion below its Friday level.

Twitter plunged 6.4% to start the week and dipped another 2.4% as the sell-off continued into Tuesday’s close. The declines saw Twitter’s market cap drop by $3.5 billion.

To be sure, Twitter rose as much as 2.9% on Wednesday while Facebook wavered at its previous closing level. And analysts haven’t lowered the stocks’ median price targets following the bans, signaling the slides were likely knee-jerk reactions that will reverse over time.

Other tech giants responding to last week’s insurrection have fared better through the week. Apple and Google have both climbed slightly since announcing after Friday’s close they would remove right-wing social network Parler from their app stores. Amazon shares are up 1.6% since announcing on Sunday that it kicked Parler off of its web hosting service.

Still, the actions could come back to bite tech companies in the final week of Trump’s presidency. CNN reported on Monday that Trump might retaliate against tech giants for their bans. It’s not yet clear what the president’s actions would look like and if they will materialize before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

Facebook traded at $251.70 per share as of 10:25 a.m. ET Wednesday, down roughly 8% year-to-date.

Twitter traded at $47.94 per share, down 12% year-to-date.

UNICEF, WHO, IFRC and MSF announce the establishment of a global Ebola vaccine stockpile

The four leading international health and humanitarian organizations announced today the establishment of a global Ebola vaccine stockpile to ensure outbreak response.

The effort to establish the stockpile was led by the International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision, which includes the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), with financial support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The stockpile will allow countries, with the support of humanitarian organizations, to contain future Ebola epidemics by ensuring timely access to vaccines for populations at risk during outbreaks.

The injectable single-dose Ebola vaccine (rVSV∆G-ZEBOV-GP, live) is manufactured by Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Corp. and developed with financial support from the US government. The European Medicines Agency licensed the Ebola vaccine in November 2019, and the vaccine is now prequalified by WHO, and licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration as well as in eight African countries.
Before achieving licensure, the vaccine was administered to more than 350,000 people in Guinea and in the 2018-2020 Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under a protocol for “compassionate use”.

The vaccine, which is recommended by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization for use in Ebola outbreaks as part of a broader set of Ebola outbreak response tools, protects against the Zaire ebolavirus species which is most commonly known to cause outbreaks.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is reminding us of the incredible power of vaccines to save lives from deadly viruses,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Ebola vaccines have made one of the most feared diseases on earth preventable. This new stockpile is an excellent example of solidarity, science and cooperation between international organizations and the private sector to save lives.”

UNICEF manages the stockpile on behalf of the ICG which, as with stockpiles of cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines, will be the decision-making body for its allocation and release.
The stockpile is stored in Switzerland and ready to be shipped to countries for emergency response. The decision to allocate the vaccine will be made within 48 hours of receiving a request from a country; vaccines will be made available together with ultra-cold chain packaging by the manufacturer for shipment to countries within 48 hours of the decision. The targeted overall delivery time from the stockpile to countries is seven days.

“We are proud to be part of this unprecedented effort to help bring potential Ebola outbreaks quickly under control,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “We know that when it comes to disease outbreaks, preparedness is key. This Ebola vaccine stockpile is a remarkable achievement – one that will allow us to deliver vaccines to those who need them the most as quickly as possible.”

As Ebola outbreaks are relatively rare and unpredictable, there is no natural market for the vaccine. Vaccines are only secured through the establishment of the stockpile and are available in limited quantities. The Ebola vaccine is reserved for outbreak response to protect people at the highest risk of contracting Ebola – including healthcare and frontline workers.

“This is an important milestone. Over the past decade alone we have seen Ebola devastate communities in West and Central Africa, always hitting the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest,” said IFRC Secretary General, Jagan Chapagain. “Through each outbreak, our volunteers have risked their lives to save lives. With this stockpile, it is my hope that the impact of this terrible disease will be dramatically reduced.”

“The creation of an Ebola vaccine stockpile under the ICG is a positive step”, said Dr Natalie Roberts, Programme Manager, MSF Foundation. “Vaccination is one of the most effective measures to respond to outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases, and Ebola is no exception. An Ebola vaccine stockpile can increase transparency in the management of existing global stocks and the timely deployment of the vaccine where it’s most needed, something MSF has called for during recent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

An initial 6,890 doses are now available for outbreak response with further quantities to be delivered into the stockpile this month and throughout 2021 and beyond. Depending on the rate of vaccine deployment, it could take 2 to 3 years to reach the SAGE-recommended level of 500,000 doses for the emergency stockpile of Ebola vaccines. WHO, UNICEF, Gavi and vaccine manufacturers are continuously assessing options to increase vaccine supply should global demand increase.