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    Saraki mourns, extols late Jibrin
    By Ifeanyi Nwoko

    President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has expressed sadness over the Jibrin, the Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives, who died in the early hours of Friday.

    In posts on his social media pages, Saraki said that Nigeria has lost another seasoned legislator and champion of the common man.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family and constituents of the late Rt. Hon Umar Buba Jibrin, deputy leader of the House of Representatives, who passed away early this morning.

    As a former Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Jibrin, was a seasoned legislator and a conscientious lawmaker who always put the interests of the common man first and championed them at the federal level. He will be greatly missed.

    My deep condolences go out to Speaker Dogara, his colleagues in the House of Representives and the government and people of Kogi State over this great loss, Saraki said.

    My deep condolences also go out to Speaker Dogara and the government and people of Kogi State over the loss of Hon. Jibril.

    May the Almighty forgive his shortcomings and grant him a place amongst the righteous ones in Aljannah Firdaus. Amin.

    Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki)

    Jibril, a three time member of the house, died in the early hours of Saturday in Abuja, one of his political associates, Mr Amuda Dan Sulaiman confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) .

    He was until his death, the Deputy Majority Leader of the house, as a member of the All Progressives Congress.
    He was also a former Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly.

    Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello expressed deep shock over the demise of Jibril, who he described as one of the states most astute politicians.

    Bello described the late Jibril as a man who lived in the hearts of his people, saying the vacuum he left in the state and the ruling party will be difficult to fill, according to a statement by Kingsley Fanwo, the Director General of Media and Publicity.

    Source: NAN

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    Presidency to PDP: Apology not enough, return your loot
    The Nigerian Presidency has advised Nigerians to be cautious of the less-than-honest apology offered by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Mr. Uche Secondus.

    It rebuffed the opposition partys apology and instead asked it and its members to return the money stolen from the public till, during the partys 16 years in the saddle.

    In a statement Malam Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, said PDPs apology should be seen in the context of a former ruling party which is desperate to recapture power because it no longer has unhindered access to national resources for private uses.

    The PDP has not even acknowledged the fact that it plundered the national economy, and for a party that dismissed the anti-corruption war as a political witch hunt, it is impossible to believe that its public apology comes from the bottom of the heart.

    Shehudescribed as apt an earlier statement by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that there are heavy moral duties that go with apologies if the culprits want to be taken seriously.

    Even desperate thieves apologise because they are caught and not because they are incapable of repeating the crime if they had another opportunity.

    We believe that the PDP should not only apologise for the imposition of candidates, and the culture of impunity, but must also come clean and acknowledge that they participated in large scale corruption and massive diversions of public funds to private pockets while poverty was ravaging the ordinary Nigerians.

    We challenge individual PDP leaders to publicly and voluntarily tell Nigerians how much they stole and then agree to cough up their illegal acquisitions of wealth if they want their apology to be taken seriously.

    Apology borne by desperation to recapture power without a desire to admit how much they stole and the reluctance to return the loot is morally hollow. This goes beyond rebranding. Nigerians are not interested in brands. They want their money back.

    For such apology to gain acceptance, the offenders must first of all show remorse; then return that which was unlawfully taken or restore the damage caused the nation; and commit to never doing the wrong they did again. The PDP has done none of these for them to be taken seriously by anyone.

    Instead of addressing this cogent issue raised by the Minister, the PDP veered off to accuse this administration of borrowing money but failed, in that regard to admit that they borrowed to steal, while Buhari administration is borrowing to set up long-delayed infrastructure.

    They accused the President of unevenness, of inflaming ethnic and religious tensions, when it is on record that they gave this country its divisive president who chose the hallowed premises of places of worship to read important national statements.

    President Buhari never fails in his duty as the Chief Security Officer of the nation. He acts fast whenever and wherever there are incidents by ordering law-enforcement agencies to do their job and fact-finding mission to give him actionable reports.

    PDPs uncaring attitude to these matters, including the kidnapping of 270 girls from Chibok is the hallmark of the long years of misrule.

    Another issue of moral and political significance is about the recent disclosure by US investigators that the PDP government engaged in massive data theft that included the hacking of Candidate Muhammadu Buharis personal data before the last general elections. PDPs continued silence on this reprehensible heist only goes to confirm their remorselessness even as more and more facts are emerging that the same unfair method was the modus operandi that they used to capture political power in the 2017 elections.

    Source: NAN

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    Lagos  to introduce 5,000 new buses
    Lagos is to introduce 5,000 new buses and 13 terminals as part of its plan to improve the it transport sector.

    The state is also to introduce an assembly plant for the production of buses, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, said this during the inauguration of the Ikeja Bus Terminal alongside President Muhammadu Buhari.

    He said the plan of the government is to introduce the buses within a space of three years and also introduce 820 environment-friendly buses before the last quarter of 2018.

    The Ikeja Bus Terminal is one of our flagship transport infrastructure under the State Bus Reform Initiative.

    The first phase of this programme will see 13 new Bus terminals introduced including major terminals at Oshodi, Yaba, Ojota, Agege and the already completed Tafawa Balewa Bus Terminal.

    We have commenced the introduction of 5,000 new buses into the Lagos economy in the next 3 years.

    We will inject 820 environmentally-friendly high capacity buses in the first phase of this reform by September 2018, 300 New Bus Stops, 3 Bus Depots, and Intelligent Transport System which will aid Lagosians to plan their journeys on our public transport system, he said.

    Furthermore, the governor explained that the success of the state largely depends on the efficiency of the transport system, hence the need to invest more in the sector even beyond road transport.

    This according to him, will help to meet the connectivity and mobility needs of Lagos residents as well as promote healthy lifestyles.

    Our concentration is not only on bus/road transportation. We are promoting Non-Motorised Transport such as walking and cycling paths to give our people modal choices while promoting healthy living.

    Work is ongoing on the 27-kilometre Blue Line Rail project from Okokomaiko West of Lagos to Marina in Central Lagos. We are in discussions with various investors and stakeholders on our urban rail project, the Red Line from Alagbada to Marina.

    The success of a highly populated, cosmopolitan smart city-State like Lagos is strongly dependent on the efficiency of its transportation system.

    We are committed to a functional, efficient and integrated transport system which will support our population and facilitate our commerce and we will continually work till we achieve this objective and we will always count on your usual support, , he said.

    Source: NAN

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    Audu Ogbeh loses younger brother
    Clement Ogbeh, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has died.

    He died last week in an accident along Markudi-Lafia Road on his way to Benue.

    Until his death, he was the Principal Manager at Central Bank in Abuja. He will be buried today.

    Clement was the younger brother of Chief Audu Ogbeh, the minister of agriculture and Rural Development.

    President Muhammadu Buhari has sent condolences to Audu Ogbeh, Clement Ogbehs nucleus family, his friends and colleagues at the CBN.

    According to a statement from Senior Special Assistant on media to the President , Garba Shehu President Buhari prays that God will comfort the family of the departed, and grant his soul eternal rest.

    Source: NAN

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    Cancer in coffee: Judge orders retailers to give health warning
    A judge in Los Angeles, California, United States has ordered coffees globally known retailer Starbucks Corp and other coffee sellers to put a cancer warning on coffee sold in the state.

    A little-known not-for-profit group sued some 90 coffee retailers, including Starbucks, on grounds they were violating a California law requiring companies to warn consumers of chemicals in their products that could cause cancer.

    One of those chemicals is acrylamide, a byproduct of roasting coffee beans that is present in high levels in brewed coffee.

    Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said in a decision dated Wednesday that Starbucks and other companies had failed to show there was no significant risk from a carcinogen produced in the coffee roasting process, court documents showed.

    Starbucks and other defendants have until April 10 to file objections to the decision.

    Starbucks declined to comment, referring reporters to a statement by the National Coffee Association (NCA) that said the industry was considering an appeal and further legal actions.

    Cancer warning labels on coffee would be misleading. The U.S. governments own Dietary Guidelines state that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle, the NCA statement said.

    In his decision, Berle said: Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health.

    Officials from Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds Corp , Peets and other big coffee sellers did not immediately respond to requests for comment, Reuters reported.

    The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT). It calls for fines as large as $2,500 per person for every exposure to the chemical since 2002 at the defendants shops in California.

    Any civil penalties, which will be decided in a third phase of the trial, could be huge in California, which has a population of nearly 40 million.

    CERTs lawyer Raphael Metzger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Starbucks lost the first phase of the trial in which it failed to show the level of acrylamide in coffee was below that which would pose a significant risk of cancer. In the second phase of the trial, defendants failed to prove there was an acceptable alternative risk level for the carcinogen, court documents showed.

    Several defendants in the case settled before Wednesdays decision, agreeing to post signage about the cancer-linked chemical and pay millions in fines, according to published reports.

    Source: NAN

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    Czech Republic extradites Russian hacker Nikulin to US
    The Czech Republic has extradited Russian citizen Yevgeniy Nikulin to the United States where he is accused of hacking social networks including LinkedIn.

    The Czech Justice Ministry announced the extradition on Friday.

    The decision by Minister Robert Pelikan defied Russia, which had also sought his extradition after Nikulin was arrested in Prague in cooperation with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2016.

    We confirm extradition to the United States, a Justice Ministry spokeswoman said in a text message after earlier reports. He has already flown out.

    A U.S. federal grand jury in California indicted the 29-year-old Nikulin in 2016 on suspicion of hacking into the U.S.-based social media firms LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring in 2012.

    LinkedIn has said the case was related to a 2012 breach that it previously said might have compromised the credentials of 100 million LinkedIn users, prompting it to launch a massive password reset operation.

    Nikulin has in the past denied any wrongdoing in comments to Czech media. Reuters could not immediately reach his attorney on Friday.

    After Nikulins arrest in Prague, a Moscow court issued a warrant for his arrest in November 2016 for the alleged theft of $3,450 via Webmoney in 2009, the Czech Justice Ministry said then.

    The U.S. embassy in Prague welcomed Nikulins extradition.

    We value immensely our cooperation with the Czech Republic on a range of issues including judicial, law enforcement, and police matters, it said in a statement.

    Courts in the Czech Republic, an EU country and U.S. ally in NATO, ruled extradition to both countries was permissible, and the decision was up to Pelikan.

    Prime Minister Andrej Babis said he was in favor of extradition to the United States but Pelikan said President Milos Zeman, who often takes a pro-Russian stance, had urged extradition to Russia.

    Pelikans decision was closely watched because Babis needs Zemans support as he tries to build a new government after his minority cabinet lost a confidence vote last month. Zeman has the right to appoint prime ministers and has promised Babis another try at installing a government.

    Pelikan refused in 2016 to extradite two Lebanese citizens charged in the United States with an attempt to sell ground-to-air missiles, cocaine trafficking and other crimes.

    Another Czech cabinet minister said at the time that this decision was connected with the return of five Czechs from a presumed kidnapping in Lebanon.

    Source: NAN

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    Ekiti Govt. disburses N400m to owners of demolished houses

    The Ekiti Government says it has paid N400 million as compensation to those affected by the ongoing demolition exercise in the state.

    The State Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Tayelolu Otitoju disclosed this during a press conference in Ado-Ekiti on Friday.

    Otitoju explained that governments action on the demolition was not to deliberately render residents homeless, and thereby make life difficult for them, as being insinuated.

    He said that the exercise was part of the Urban Renewal programme of the present administration, aimed at giving Ado Ekiti, the state capital and other major towns a facelift that would make it wear the toga of a real state capital.

    The beneficiaries received between N100,000 to N2 million as compensation, depending on the nature and size of the structure because, some of them were either built with mud while others were modern houses.

    The Commissioner disclosed that more than 300 houses had so far been demolished under the exercise in Ado Ekiti, Ikere Ekiti, Efon Alaaye, Omuo Ekiti, Ise Ekiti, Emure Ekiti and Ijero Ekiti, among others.

    He said the relatively high number of houses demolished by the present administration was as a result of the rapid development going on in the state.

    He emphasised the level of development witnessed in the state in the last three and a half years adding that it was a confirmation of the determination of Governor Fayose to improve the lot of the people.

    Otitoju said that government embarked on the project to ease traffic congestion and adhere to urban policy of any civilized society.

    The Commissioner, however announced that government would not compensate owners of demolished houses that were built on waterways noting that the recalcitrant property owners had treated several government notices of contravention with disdain.

    He warned developers in the state against further construction without approved building plan and enjoined interested developers to henceforth avail themselves with the status of any plot of land before the purchase.

    He added that necessary title deeds must first be obtained from the Ministry before commencing construction in order to prevent avoidable embarrassment in future.

    Source: NAN

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    Anxiety as Chinese space lab Tiangong-1 crashes back to Earth
    An out-of-control Chinese space laboratory, Tiangong-1 that will plunge back to Earth in the coming days is unlikely to cause any damage, Chinese authorities say, but will offer instead a splendid show akin to a meteor shower.

    The Chinese assurances came amidst anxieties about where the 8618.255 kg craft will make its landing.

    The concern is expressed by the US-based Aerospace Corporation over possible exposure by humans to hydrazine, the deadly chemicals, used as rocket fuel. It is cancerous and may cause liver and nerve damage, the agency said.

    But there is no need for people to worry, the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) said on its WeChat social media account.

    Such falling spacecraft do not crash into the Earth fiercely like in sci-fi movies, but turn into a splendid (meteor shower) and move across the beautiful starry sky as they race towards the Earth, it said.

    Chinas space agency said on Thursday that the nearly eight-tonne Tiangong-1 will re-enter the atmosphere some time between Saturday and Monday. The European Space Agency has a smaller window between midday Saturday and early Sunday afternoon GMT time.

    The lab was placed in orbit in September 2011 and had been slated for a controlled re-entry, but it ceased functioning in March 2016 and space enthusiasts have been bracing for its fiery return.

    Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar space programme as a symbol of the countrys rise. It plans to send a manned mission to the moon in the future.

    China sent another lab into orbit, the Tiangong-2, in September 2016 and hopes to turn it into a crewed space station by 2022.

    Experts have downplayed any concerns about the Tiangong-1 causing any damage when it hurtles back to Earth, with the ESA noting that nearly 6,000 uncontrolled re-entries of large objects have occurred over the past 60 years without harming anyone.

    The CMSEO said the probability of someone being hit by a meteorite of more than 200 grammes is one in 700 million.

    During the uncontrolled re-entry, atmospheric drag will rip away solar arrays, antennas and other external components at an altitude of around 100 kilometres, according to the Chinese space office.

    The intensifying heat and friction will cause the main structure to burn or blow up, and it should disintegrate at an altitude of around 80 kilometres, it said.

    Most fragments will dissipate in the air and a small amount of debris will fall relatively slowly before landing, most likely in the ocean, which covers more than 70 percent of the Earths surface.

    Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, estimates that the Tiangong-1 is the 50th most massive uncontrolled re-entry of an object since 1957.

    Much bigger things have come down with no casualties, McDowell told AFP.

    This thing is like a small plane crash, he said, adding that the trail of debris will scatter pieces several hundred kilometres apart.

    At an altitude of 60-70 kilometres, debris will begin to turn into a series of fireballs, which is when people on the ground will see a spectacular show, he said.

    Source: NAN

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    PDP, APC throwing pebbles

    Still battling to put its pieces together, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , has launched an attack on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), describing it as confused.

    APC also picked hole in the national apology tendered by PDP early in the week, describing it as feeble and unacceptable until looted funds were returned.

    PDP which is still battling leadership crisis since its ouster in 2015, said on Tuesday that the confusion in National Executive Committee (NEC) further exposed the raging impunity, primitive impositions and other undemocratic tendencies in APC.

    PDP which tendered a public apology early in the week for running the country aground, said that it was clear that the APC went into a chaotic mode following the renewed interest of Nigerians in the rebranded PDP.

    PDPs National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the confusion in APC directly explained why the country had been in shambles in the last three years.

    There is no way a party which cannot conduct its affairs in a democratic norm will be able to function in government.

    We are therefore not surprised that President Muhammadu Buhari went back to his partys NEC and ordered members to reverse earlier decisions, which they had claimed conformed with the provisions of their constitution.

    It is amazing that a party, which boasts of belonging to the progressive bent, does not even understand its own rules or the applications thereof.

    In one breath, the party sought the elongation of tenure for its officials and then in another breath it reversed itself.

    Nigerians are no longer at loss as to the reasons for failure of governance, policy summersaults and gross incompetence that have brought our nation to its knees in the last three years.

    Ologbondiyan urged all democrats still the APC to immediately exit and join other good-spirited Nigerians in the rebranded and repositioned PDP to make life better for Nigerians.

    The Minister of Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had earlier attacked PDP for tendering a shallow apology Nigerians for the massive looting of the nations treasury.

    Mohammed called on the PDP to go the whole hog with its apology to Nigerians by returning all the funds looted from the public treasury under its watch during its 16 years in power.

    Mohammed, also challenged PDP to show the genuineness of its apology through a discernible change of attitude.

    The PDP presided over an unprecedented looting of the public treasury, perhaps the worst of its kind in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world.

    Therefore, the best evidence of penitence for such a party is not just to own up and apologize, but to also return the looted funds. Anything short of that is mere deceit, Mohammed said. (NAN)

    Source: NAN

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    Myanmar gets new president

    Myanmars parliament elected Aung San Suu Kyis confidant Win Myint as the countrys new president on Wednesday, a week after predecessor Htin Kyaw abruptly stepped down from the position.

    Both houses of parliament voted the ruling party National League for Democracy (NLD) stalwart into the position with 403 votes from the 636 lawmakers.

    The 66-year-old former lower house speaker became Myanmars 10th president and takes the position after the NLD swept to power in elections in 2015, the first fully democratic polls after decades of military rule.

    Both Win Myint and his predecessor are close to Suu Kyi, who is barred from the presidency and rules the civilian government under the title of state counsellor.

    Suu Kyi observed the vote from parliaments gallery alongside other ministers.

    Myanmar and Suu Kyi in particular have been criticised internationally for the treatment of the countrys minority Rohingya, nearly 700,000 of whom have fled to Bangladesh during a military campaign described as ethnic cleansing by the UN.

    Win Myint has been described as strong-willed in his role as speaker and an assertive politician, leading observers to predict he may take on a fuller role as president, rather than the ceremonial one performed by Htin Kyaw.

    Win Myint, who represented the lower house, beat two other vice presidents representing the upper house and the military respectively to secure the presidency.

    Source: NAN

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