There Is No Part Of Nigeria Where Projects Are Not Ongoing – Lai Mohammed

There Is No Part Of Nigeria Where Projects Are Not Ongoing – Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, has said that the Federal Government continues to embark on various infrastructural projects across the nation.

According to him, there is no part of the country where projects are not currently on-going.

The minister said this on Tuesday while briefing journalists about the achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration at his hometown in Oro, Kwara State.

He said, “There is no one part of Nigeria today where road projects, power projects, water projects, agricultural projects are not going on and the whole country today has been turned into one mighty worksite and this is what we believe a government should do.

“It’s because they know they cannot fault us on our records that they decided to take on inconsequential things and fake news”.

Explaining further, he said the government has rehabilitated about 650 kilometres of roads across the country.

He also stated that the economy, as well as the security situation in the country, have witnessed a major improvement, adding that the administration has delivered the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

“As a government, we are very confident that we’ve delivered the dividends of democracy to Nigerians and that we will be rewarded in the coming election by your trust and confidence and like I always say, we are going to win by the grace of God with a larger margin than we won in 2015.

“We have managed to rehabilitate 650 kilometres of roads, we’ve been able to build 750 kilometres of roads, all within this administration.

“Once again, we have good news that the Federal Government’s proactive steps have stopped the killing dramatically.

“The war against insecurity, we’re winning,” Mohammed said.

Eid-el-Kabir: Osinbajo Calls For Peaceful Co-existence

Eid-el-Kabir: Osinbajo Calls For Peaceful Co-existence

Osinbajo

The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has appealed to Nigerians to live in peace in the spirit of the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.

He made the appeal on Tuesday while speaking to journalists after a meeting with community leaders and constituents of the Bariga Local Development Area in Lagos.

Star Wars: Kelly Marie Tran 'won't be marginalised' by abuse

Star Wars: Kelly Marie Tran 'won't be marginalised' by abuse

Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran has broken her silence after a barrage of sexist and racist abuse led her to delete her social media in June.

The actress is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees and the first lead woman of colour in the franchise.

Writing in the New York Times, Ms Tran says the abuse revived feelings she experienced growing up.

The article addresses her feelings of cultural shame, racial stereotypes and society’s narrow definitions of beauty.

“Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole life: that I was ‘other’, that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t good enough, simply because I wasn’t like them,” Tran writes.

“I believed those words, those stories, carefully crafted by a society that was built to uphold the power of one type of person – one sex, one skin tone, one existence.”

Tran also reveals she and her parents changed their first names after coming to the US so they would be easier for Americans to pronounce.

The actress began to receive abuse after being cast as mechanic-turned-Resistance fighter Rose Tico in 2017’s The Last Jedi.

She writes that their comments “awakened something deep inside me – a feeling I thought I had grown out of. The same feeling I had when at nine, I stopped speaking Vietnamese altogether because I was tired of hearing other kids mock me. ”

But the actress says she came to realise she had been brainwashed, and shared her hopes for the future.

“I want to live in a world where children of colour don’t spend their entire adolescence wishing to be white. I want to live in a world where women are not subjected to scrutiny for their appearance, or their actions, or their general existence.

“I want to live in a world where people of all races, religions, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, gender identities and abilities are seen as what they have always been: human beings.”

She ends the piece by listing her achievements and writing: “You might know me as Kelly… My real name is Loan. And I am just getting started.”

The honest opinion piece comes at a time of renewed discussion in the US about the importance of racial representation.

Crazy Rich Asians topped the US box office on its debut and Netflix’s new teen rom-com adaption To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is being praised for keeping the novel’s Asian-American lead.

Fans online welcomed Tran’s honesty in the New York Times piece on Tuesday.

One social media user wrote: “HIRE KELLY TRAN FOR EVERYTHING!!! AND USE HER REAL NAME!!!”

Another said: “Immature misogynistic fan boys can’t ruin Star Wars, as much as they’d like to try.”

Tran is not the first Star Wars star to fall victim to cyberbullying.

Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley also deleted her Instagram account temporarily in 2016, reportedly due to abuse she received.

The Last Jedi’s director Rian Johnson described some of the franchise’s fans as “manbabies” for abusing Tran.

A “man-only” fan edit of the film, which cut out female characters, was also mocked by Tran’s co-stars Mark Hamill and John Boyega.

Boyega has called on fans to stop abusing actors, tweeting: “If you don’t like Star Wars or the characters, understand that there are decisions makers [sic] and harassing the actors/actresses will do nothing.

Trump Administration Moves To Relax Coal Pollution Rules

Trump Administration Moves To Relax Coal Pollution Rules

US President Donald Trump speaks on immigration laws before the National Space Council meeting in the East Room of the White House on June 18, 2018 in Washington,DC.
Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP

President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday announced a plan to weaken regulations on US coal plants, giving a boost to an industry that former leader Barack Obama had hoped to wind down in order to cut harmful emissions that drive global warming.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule would allow states the flexibility to set their own standards for performance at existing coal-fired power plants, rather than follow a single federal standard.

The EPA says it is designed to replace Obama’s 2015 Clean Power Plan which called for cuts to greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, and a shift toward solar, wind, and less polluting natural gas.

The move marks the latest effort by Trump’s administration to roll back the environmental legacy of his Democratic predecessor, having pulled out of the 2015 Paris climate accord aimed at slashing global fossil fuel emissions.

Obama’s energy plan aimed to usher in the strictest anti-pollution measures in history on power plants but was put on hold in 2016 by the US Supreme Court.

Trump, whose ascent to the presidency effectively killed off the plan, had blasted it “intrusive” and claimed it would “kill jobs.”

The president is due to trumpet the new plan as he rallies supporters Tuesday night in the coal-producing state of West Virginia.

“The era of top-down, one-size-fits-all federal mandates is over,” said EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler, in a phone call with reporters.

The new plan could take months or even years to take effect. Legal challenges are already lining up, as the proposal awaits a 60-day comment period before it can be finalized.

Environmental advocates blasted the proposal, saying it will boost emissions from power plants, which emit about 28 per cent of US greenhouse gases and worsen global warming.

“The plan calls for only modest efficiency improvements at individual power plants, which will barely make a dent in cutting heat-trapping emissions from the electricity sector, and could even, under some circumstances, lead to increased emissions depending on how much the plants are run,” said Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“This proposal would also result in more pollution from nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury and other harmful pollutants.”

Coal in decline

The White House said in a statement that if finalized, the rule “will significantly decrease bureaucratic red tape and compliance costs, keeping American energy affordable and competitive on the world stage.”

The White House claimed it would also save $6.4 billion in compliance costs for industry, compared to the Obama plan.

“We’re the only country in the world doing this, looking at coal as the future instead of understanding the future is about clean air, the future is about clean energy,” Gina McCarthy, the former EPA administrator under Obama, said on CNN.

Despite Trump’s support for coal plants, they continue to shut down. Some 40 per cent of coal plants in operation in 2010 are now closed or slated for closure, according to estimates from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

According to Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, “EPA is now proposing a plan that will essentially be ignored by most of the industry.”

Bill Wehrum, administrator for EPA’s office of Air and Radiation, acknowledged that the industry “continues to transform in front of our eyes,” he told reporters.

“What we see is an ongoing significant shift in the direction of natural gas and renewable energy generation.”

Wehrum said that because of the shifting energy landscape, he expected emissions to fall at a rate “roughly comparable” to the goals outlined under the Obama-era plan, which called for a 26 per cent cut in greenhouse gases from power plants by 2025, compared to 2005 levels.

Asia Argento: #MeToo figurehead denies sexual assault of minor

Asia Argento: #MeToo figurehead denies sexual assault of minor

Italian actress Asia Argento, a leader of the #MeToo movement, has strongly denied an allegation of sexual assault.

Legal documents seen by the New York Times were reported to show she paid former co-star Jimmy Bennett $380,000 (£298,000) after he accused her of sexually assaulting him when he was 17.

In a statement, she says: “I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett”.

The actress says she strongly denies the contents of the NYT article.

Quoting documents exchanged between lawyers for Bennett and Argento, the paper details an incident alleged to have taken place in 2013 in a California hotel room when he had just turned 17 and she was 37.

She is alleged to have performed oral sex before engaging in full intercourse with Bennett, a successful child actor and rock musician. The age of consent is 18 in California.

Argento was one of the first to speak out against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women.

She is said by the NYT to have arranged the payment for Bennett “in the months that followed her revelations” about Mr Weinstein in October. The actress accuses Weinstein of sexual assault, which he denies.

The documents say the alleged encounter traumatised Bennett and threatened his mental health and career, according to the New York Times.

A lawyer for the actor, who played Argento’s young son in a 2004 film, is also quoted as saying his client decided to sue Ms Argento after seeing her present herself as a victim of sexual assault.

What does Argento say in her denial?

She admits a payment but denies sex.

The actress describes being “deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false”.

She states that the relationship was one of “friendship only” and that this ended after her involvement in the Weinstein revelations, when Bennett “unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me”.

At the time Argento was romantically involved with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who killed himself in June.

Bourdain, her statement says, wanted the matter to “be handled privately and this was also what Bennett wanted”.

“Anthony was afraid of the possible negative publicity that such person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought upon us.

“We decided to deal compassionately with Bennett’s demand for help and give it to him.”

The sheriff’s department in Los Angeles county, where the alleged assault took place, have said they are trying to contact the alleged victim.

What was the reaction to the allegations?

Most of the reaction came before Argento’s rejection of the New York Times account.

In a statement published by Vanity Fair, a lawyer for Mr Bennett said his client would not comment but would take the “next 24 hours, or longer, to prepare his response”.

Ben Brafman, a lawyer for Mr Weinstein, said the development revealed “a stunning level of hypocrisy by Asia Argento”.

“What is perhaps most egregious is the timing, which suggests that at the very same time Argento was working on her own secret settlement for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor, she was positioning herself at the forefront of those condemning Mr Weinstein, despite the fact that her sexual relationship with Mr Weinstein was between two consenting adults which lasted for more than four years,” the lawyer said.

Mr Weinstein was charged in New York this year with sexually assaulting three unnamed women, which he denies.

How did #MeToo react?

Tarana Burke, founder of the movement, said there was “no model survivor” and warned that the latest accusations would be used by some to discredit #MeToo.

She tweeted that the movement was there for male victims as well as female.

Photo, Video: 2019 Race: Buhari is as fit as a fiddle – Presidency

Photo, Video: 2019 Race: Buhari is as fit as a fiddle – Presidency

The Presidency has said the 800 metres trekking embarked upon by President Muhammadu Buhari from the Eid-ground in Daura to his private residence is an indication of his fitness to seek re-election in 2019.

After the Eid-prayers, President Buhari shunned protocol and opted to trek some 800 metres, acknowledging cheers from Nigerians to catch a glimpse of him.

The President’s action debunked Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state insinuations that the president is “too old’’ to continue to rule the country beyond 2019.

According to Tambuwal, President Muhammadu Buhari is just too old to be Nigeria’s leader, despite his integrity and impeccable character.

Tambuwal stated this during a solidarity visit of students and youth in Sokoto, last week.

He said: “We love President Buhari and that was why we supported him in 2015 unconditionally, and while doing that, we are too sure that he will seek re-election after his first term, but when things are wrong we have to tell him.

“We still believe in his integrity, patriotism and courage but these are not enough for a leader.

“We all know that there is a vacuum in the government occasioned by his disposition probably because of his old age or health condition.

“That is why Nigerians are yearning for younger ones to lead this country.’’

However, Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, said the trekking by the president was a response to Tambuwal’s diatribe on the president.

“I think there are two things here; one is to say that the President is responsive to the enormous support and commitment of his own people that had come out in their numbers to see him and he just decided that he couldn’t go on riding in a blacken vehicle and he came out and walked to the distance.

“The second thing, he is curious that these days, one or two people who are aspiring to be president are campaigning on their youthfulness and good health.

“I think the president has done one thing today – that the issue is not how old one is but how fit is he; how healthy is he. Now that the president has proven his fitness and well-being to continue in office is a settled matter

Source: PM News