UN chief Antonio Guterres issues ‘alert’ to the world

As year 2017 winds down, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has issued what he termed “a red alert for the world” ahead of the year 2018.

The UN chief, in a New Year message, expressed regret that in 2017, the world went in reverse to the appeal for peace.

He said that when he assumed office one year ago, he had appealed for 2017 to be a year for peace.

Mr. Guterres said: “On New Year’s Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert – a red alert for our world.

“Conflicts have deepened and new dangers have emerged. Global anxieties Continue reading “UN chief Antonio Guterres issues ‘alert’ to the world”

George Weah elected Liberian president

 

football star and the candidate of the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), has scored an unassailable lead in the Liberian presidential run-off election.

In results announced on Thursday by the chairperson of the country’s electoral Commission, Jerome Kokoya, Mr. Weah scored 720,023 votes which is 61.5 percent of the total votes so far collated and counted.

He has effectively been elected president of the west African nation.

The incumbent vice president and candidate of the Unity Party, Joseph Boakai, scored 451,088, which is 38.5 percent of the vote cast.

Mr Jerome, during a press conference attended by the head of the Economic Commission of West African State (ECOWAS) observer team and former Continue reading “George Weah elected Liberian president”

Mutaru Muqthar emerges African of the Year 2017

A 34-year-old Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar has been named AFRICAN OF THE YEAR award winner for 2017.

Former President of Botswana and chairperson of the award jury, Festus Mogae, said the young Mr. Muqthar was selected for his exemplary work on counter-terrorism, which led to de-radicalization of would-be extremists in Africa.

He said the seven-member jury noted with satisfaction the effectiveness of Mr. Muqthar’s engagement with dozens of would-be terrorists, including a 21-year-old who was dissuaded from joining ISIS in Syria.

President Mogae said the extra-ordinary advocacy being undertaken by this ordinary African will help to deepen the understanding of violent Continue reading “Mutaru Muqthar emerges African of the Year 2017”

Earthquakes rattle San Jose, but not deadly

 

Two earthquakes more than three hours apart rattled the San Jose area of California  late Tuesday, but no damage was reported, authorities said.

The U.S. Geological Service said a magnitude-3.1 quake struck at 7:19 p.m. local time a few miles east of San Martin. A stronger quake, registering 3.9. and centered northeast of Alum Rock, rolled through the area at 10:32 p.m., USGS said.

“A good shaker,” Sanjay Khandelwal, of Los Gatos, told The Mercury News. “My daughter felt it as well. She sleeps in a bunk bed and felt it move.”

Christiane Hinsch, in nearby Morgan Hill, posted on the CBS San Francisco Facebook page that she “heard it before it happened. Lasted about 5 Continue reading “Earthquakes rattle San Jose, but not deadly”

Dozens killed in an attack on Shiite cultural center in Afghanistan

 

Dozens of people were killed when suicide bombers set off multiple explosions at a Shiite cultural center in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Thursday.

At least 41 people died and 84 were wounded when an unknown number of attackers set off an explosion outside the center in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood in the west of the city, authorities said. The militants stormed the two-story building before setting off other devices in the basement.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said scores of people had Continue reading “Dozens killed in an attack on Shiite cultural center in Afghanistan”

Israel to name new train station in Jerusalem after Trump

 

A new train station to be built near the Western wall in Jerusalem would be named after United States President, Donald Trump, an official has said.

Israel’s Minister of Transport, Yisrael Katz, made the announcement on Wednesday.

Mr. Katz said he decided to honour Mr. Trump this way following the president’s decision early this month to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to ultimately move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

“The Western Wall is the holiest site of the Jewish people and I have decided to name the train station leading to it after the president of the United States, Donald Trump, following his courageous and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel,” the Associated Press quoted Mr. Katz as saying.

Mr. Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has drawn condemnations from leaders across the world. The move was also condemned by the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly.

Mr. Katz approved the recommendations of an Israel Railways steering committee, which proposed the development of the Western Wall train station at the Cardo, an ancient street in the Jewish Quarter near the Kotel.

Donald John Trump station, as Katz called it, was one of two stations proposed for an extension to a new high-speed line nearing completion between Tel Aviv and the western entrance to Jerusalem via Ben-Gurion International Airport and the city of Modi’in.

Mr. Katz called the rail extension to the Old City, “the Transportation Ministry’s most important national project.”

The cost of the project was estimated at 2.5 billion shekels, approximately, $720 million.

The Western Wall is the holiest site where Jews can pray. In May, Mr. Trump was the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall.

Russia accuses U.S. of training ex ISIS fighters to destabilise Syria

 

The chief of the Russian General Staff on Wednesday accused the U.S. of training former Islamic State fighters in Syria  to destabilise the country.

Valery Gerasimov’s allegations, made in a newspaper interview, centre on a U.S. military base at Tanf, a strategic Syrian highway border crossing with Iraq in the south of the country.

Russia says the U.S. base is illegal and that it and the area around it have become “a black hole” where militants operate unhindered. Continue reading “Russia accuses U.S. of training ex ISIS fighters to destabilise Syria”

Eboue gets lifeline from former club, After being broke

Some form of help is already coming the way of Ivorian football star, Emmanuel Eboue, as one of his former clubs, Galatasaray, has offered him a coaching job.

The gesture is to help Eboue pick up the pieces of his life after a harrowing experience in which he even contemplated suicide.

Eboue, who played football at its peak, slept in a palatial home and drove expensive cars, recently disclosed he is bankrupt after a bitter divorce battle with his ex-wife.

He played for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side between 2004 and 2011.

Speaking to The Sunday Mirror, he said: “I want God to help me. Only he Continue reading “Eboue gets lifeline from former club, After being broke”

Santa School: It’s hard work to be Father or mother Christmas Says Holly Valent

Being Santa is a serious business. It requires hard work. And conscientious study.

“It’s a cardinal sin to forget the words to Jingle Bells,” says Holly Valent. “And the names of your reindeers — Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.”

With husband Tom, Holly Valent is the co-dean of the Charles W. Howard Santa School in Midland, Mich. Founded in 1937, it is the oldest continuously run Santa school in the world.

The school is named after an actor and teacher who worked as a Santa for Macy’s in New York. Howard died in 1966, but the Valents uphold his legacy, preserving the tradition of Father Christmas and the Santa ethic.

Growing up in Salamanca, N.Y., Tom and Holly knew each other as children but never talked until college. Tom decided he wanted to be a Santa when they were expecting their first child.

He remembers loving the Santa that visited his farm in New York State. He enrolled at the Charles W. Howard School, becoming dean in 1987. Holly brought their five children to the classes. They never knew.

“My job was to keep the kids away from the windows when he drove away Continue reading “Santa School: It’s hard work to be Father or mother Christmas Says Holly Valent”

U.N. General Assembly rejects Trump on Jerusalem decision despite his threat

The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Thursday to rejects President Trump’s controversial declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump threatened to withhold aid in retaliation for a vote condemning his position.

The U.N. body voted 128-9 to declare Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void.” Thirty-five nations abstained.

The measure, drafted by U.S. ally Egypt, urges nations to support U.N. resolutions dating to 1967 — when Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan — that call for Jerusalem’s status to be decided through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel says a united Jerusalem will remain its capital, while Palestinians Continue reading “U.N. General Assembly rejects Trump on Jerusalem decision despite his threat”