U.K. PM May warns of 'uncharted waters' if lawmakers reject Brexit deal

U.K. PM May warns of 'uncharted waters' if lawmakers reject Brexit deal

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LONDON — Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May is warning lawmakers they could take Britain into “uncharted waters” and trigger a general election if they reject her Brexit deal in a crucial parliamentary vote this week.

May is fighting to save her unpopular Brexit plan and her job ahead of a showdown in Parliament planned for Tuesday, when lawmakers are widely expected to reject the Brexit divorce deal she struck with the European Union.

Her Downing Street office insisted that the vote will go ahead amid speculation the government may be forced to delay it.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper, May said rejecting her deal would “mean grave uncertainty for the nation with a very real risk of no Brexit or leaving the European Union with no deal.”

Meanwhile former British foreign minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that May could stay on as prime minister and go back to Brussels to renegotiate the divorce agreement if she loses Tuesday’s vote.

Johnson, a leading Brexit campaigner who is seen as a possible successor to May, said Brussels would listen if she asked for the removal from the deal of the Irish “backstop,” an insurance policy designed to prevent a post-Brexit hard border between E.U. member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland.

Asked if she could stay on as leader and go back to the E.U. to renegotiate the deal if she loses the vote, Johnson told the BBC: “Of course, that is exactly what needs to happen.”

“What people want to hear now is not stuff about leadership elections and personalities, what they want to hear is that there a plan to get out of this mess,” he said.

China warns of 'grave consequences' if tech giant executive is not released

China warns of 'grave consequences' if tech giant executive is not released

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China has warned of “grave consequences” if a top executive of leading tech giant Huawei isn’t released after being detained in Canada.

Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng told the state media outlet Xinhua News Agency on Saturday that he had summoned Canadian Ambassador John McCallum to protest the detention of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer.

Meng faces extradition to the United States after being arrested in Vancouver, British Columbia on Dec. 1. A bail hearing is set to resume on Monday.

Le said he warned that Canada will face consequences for violating her rights and ignoring the law, calling the arrest “unreasonable, unconscionable, and vile in nature.”

Dec. 6, 201801:16

Meng’s arrest came just as U.S.-China trade tensions showed signs of easing, with President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreeing to hold off on new tariffs to give more time for officials to reach an agreement.

But the arrest, which happened on the same day as the Trump-Xi meeting, caused markets to nosedive as fears of a prolonged trade war were renewed.

On Sunday, the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said that while China would not “cause trouble,” it also did not fear trouble and that nobody should underestimate China’s determination on this case.

“Only if the Canadian side corrects its mistake and immediately stops infringing upon the lawful, legitimate rights of a Chinese citizen and gives a proper accounting to the Chinese people can it avoid paying a heavy price for this,” it said in an editorial.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denied there were any political motivations or interference in Meng’s arrest at a press conference last week. “We respect the independence of our judicial processes,” he said.

Meng first appeared in a Vancouver court Friday for a bail hearing.

The court heard that the U.S. government believes she lied about her ties to a Hong Kong company that tried to circumvent trade sanctions against Iran.

A lawyer for the Canadian Justice Department told a Vancouver judge that Meng misled U.S. banks to believe her company had no ties to Skycom Tech, which tried to sell American computer equipment to an Iranian mobile phone company.

American investigators believe Skycom works as a subsidiary of Huawei, Canadian authorities said.

Meng faces up to 30 years in prison in the United States, making her an extreme flight risk, according to the Canadian government lawyer.

But Meng’s attorney David Martin said she would submit to electronic monitoring and wouldn’t skip bail.

The hearing is expected to continue Monday to determine whether Meng will remain in custody.

Huawei, which recently passed Apple as the second-biggest maker of cellphones after Samsung Electronics, has been the target of deepening U.S. security concerns. Under Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, Washington has pressured European countries and other allies to limit use of its technology.

Huawei’s founder and Meng’s father, Ren Zhengfei, is a former Chinese army engineer and part of the country’s political elite.

The U.S. sees Huawei and smaller Chinese tech suppliers as possible fronts for Chinese spying and as commercial competitors. The Trump administration says they benefit from improper subsidies and market barriers.

Trump’s tariff hikes this year on Chinese imports stemmed from complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. But American officials also worry more broadly about Chinese plans for state-led industry development they believe may erode U.S. industrial leadership.

U.S. leaders are also concerned that Beijing is using the growth of Chinese business abroad to gain strategic leverage.

Olamide, Timaya other thrill fans at `Artistry Concert in Lagos

Olamide, Timaya other thrill fans at `Artistry Concert in Lagos

It was a combination of biggest stars in Nigeria’s music industry as they gave an enthralling experience at the Hennessey Artistry Concert, in Lagos, where fans were treated to most exciting moments.

olamide

Newsmen report that the Artistry Concert held on Saturday eve at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island was sponsored by Hennessey.


The Hennessy Artistry according to the organizers provide a unique integrated global platform that brings the art of blending to life by creating exceptional consumer momnets through fusion of music art and creative talents.

The electrifying concert had the assemblage of the shakers in the music industry such as, Lagos-boy, Olamide Adedeji, (Badoo), Wande Coal, Inetimi Odon (Timaya), Mayowa Emmanuel, (Mayorkun) and Chibuzor Azubike (Phyno).

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Others include; Olanrewaju Ogunmekun (Vector), Oluwaforijimi Amu (DJ Jimmy Jatt), Folarin Falana (Falz) and David Adeleke (Davido) and the popular dancer Kafayat Sharan, (Kaffy)

The music stars were on hand to deliver their popular tunes to the admirations of the audience who could not help but shout for more of the popular hits.

Dancers on the Sunday eve hit the stage as they were carried to the spectacle of excellent artistry by the singers.

Olamide during the concert deliver some of his hits such as Kana, Motigbana, Raggae Blues, Woman, Legendary Hustler, Abulesowo among others.

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Wande Coal deliver songs such as Iskaba, So Mi So, Babyface, Rotate and others, Perhaps the artist that held on to the mic most is Timaya.

Timaya spent much time delivering most of his hit songs such as Sanko, Bum Bum, Dance, Ukwu, Dem Mama, I like the way, Sexy Ladies, Bayelsa among others.

Timaya on the sidelines of the concert said urged the youth to believe in themselves adding that there were rooms for all to succeed if passion was followed.

“I want to say here that everyone can be successful, if someone like me who used to be a plantain seller can be successful, then why not everybody.

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“The youths need to believe in themselves because if they don’t, who will believe them. I want to advice youths to make money before friends.

“If the youths make money first, then the friends will automatically come; but there wont be a friend without money.

Alleged Bribery: SERAP Asks Court To Compel Buhari To Investigate Ganduje

Alleged Bribery: SERAP Asks Court To Compel Buhari To Investigate Ganduje

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has gone to court over the alleged failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to order an investigation into allegations of bribery against Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.

The group in a statement signed on Sunday by its Senior Legal Adviser, Bamisope Adeyanju, said President Buhari failed to order the probe after widely circulated video clips emerged, allegedly showing the governor receiving a bribe.

SERAP had in November asked President Buhari to direct the investigation of Mr Ganduje, stating that, “if there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence, for him to face prosecution at the expiration of his tenure as governor.” The organisation also sought protection for the journalist Jaafar Jaafar, who reportedly published the video clips.

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Consequently, the group filed a suit last week Friday at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos State, seeking an order for leave to apply for judicial review compelling President Buhari to immediately direct the investigation of the bribery allegations

“Investigating allegations of bribery against Mr Ganduje would be entirely consistent with the provisions of Section 15 Subsection (5) of the 1999 Constitution, which requires the government of the respondent to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power, regardless of the state where such practices are taking place,” the statement read in part.

The group also claimed that “growing allegations of corruption against many state governors have not been investigated and several of the governors involved are getting away with their alleged crimes.

According to SERAP, investigating Ganduje would assist the President to succeed in his fight against corruption and help to combat corruption.

“The Applicant’s requests are not onerous but simply based on issues of public interest, good governance, transparency and accountability. It is in the interest of justice to grant this application, as the Respondent has nothing to lose if the application is granted,” SERAP added.

‘Our Workers Are Safe’, UNICEF Says After Suspected Boko Haram Attack Rann Hospital

‘Our Workers Are Safe’, UNICEF Says After Suspected Boko Haram Attack Rann Hospital

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says all its workers operating in the hospital in Rann village of Borno State are safe.

The International Organisation’s response comes a day after an attack on the hospital by suspected Boko Haram terrorists on Friday night.

The attack affected other government-owned buildings even as federal forces engaged the intruders in a gunfight.

UNICEF Nigeria’s Communication specialist Kusali Kubwalo told journalists in Maiduguri that all staff have been marked safe.

The casualty figure for those affected is yet to be determined, as the affected population that fled while the attack lasted are still returning.

The Northeast Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, Bashir Garga, also disclosed that details about the present situation in Rann is still sketchy, and it’s still not clear how many lives were lost.

The recent attack by suspected Boko Haram is not the first in Rann. In March 11, Boko Haram terrorists launched an attack in Rann, killing scores of people and abducting three female aid workers.

While two of the aid workers have been executed, the third woman, Alice Ngadda, a UNICEF staff abducted from that same hospital remains in captivity.

Protesters demand tougher action at U.N. climate talks

Protesters demand tougher action at U.N. climate talks

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KATOWICE, Poland — Thousands of people from around the world marched Saturday through the southern Polish city that’s hosting this year’s U.N. climate talks, demanding that their governments take tougher action to curb global warming.

Protesters included farmers from Latin America, environmentalists from Asia, students from the United States and families from Europe, many of whom said climate change is already affecting their lives.

“Climate change is the thing that frightens me the most,” said Michal Dabrowski from Warsaw, who brought his young daughter to the march. “I’m a father and it’s kind of crucial that she will have a decent life.”

Marchers gathered in one of Katowice’s main squares before setting off for the conference center where delegates from almost 200 countries are haggling over the fine print of the 2015 Paris accord to fight climate change.

Some protesters were dressed as endangered orangutans while others wore breathing masks to highlight the air pollution in Katowice, which lies at the heart of Poland’s coal mining region of Silesia.

Inside the U.N. meeting negotiators were concluding the first week of talks, which are focused on finalizing the Paris rulebook that determines how signatories to the 2015 deal record and report their greenhouse gas emissions.

In a recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said drastic action would be needed to achieve the Paris accord’s most ambitious target of keeping global warming below 2.7 degrees.

“We still have a lot to do,” Michal Kurtyka, the Polish president of the U.N. talks, told a news conference. “It is very technical, very complex, very difficult.”

Delegates said a major issue was how to reassure developing countries that richer nations would deliver on promises to help finance the cost of shifting to a lower carbon economy.

Illustrating the sensitivity of this message for some governments, major oil exporting countries including Saudi Arabia and Russia objected to “welcoming” the IPCC’s report. The issue is now one of several that will be left to government ministers, who begin arriving in Katowice on Monday to try to break remaining deadlocks.

Environmental groups want countries to send a strong signal that they’re ready for more ambitious action in the years ahead, but some protesters Saturday felt that governments alone would not do enough to fight climate change.

“I’ve had enough of just sitting and looking at politicians deciding things for us. It’s time for us to tell them what we want and to start a grassroots revolution,” said Anna Zalikowska.

Dec. 3, 201800:48

Chanting “Wake up! It’s time to save our home!” and holding banners including one reading “Make the planet great again,” protesters marched through Katowice accompanied by a heavy police presence that included officers on horseback.

A group wearing polar bear costumes was expelled from the march after suggesting that fossil fuels should be replaced by nuclear power, a technology that many environmentalists object to.

The “March for Climate” passed largely peacefully, though three people were detained after a small scuffle with police, a Katowice police spokeswoman said.

Similar marches for the environment took place in France on Saturday, but those were overshadowed by a larger “yellow vest” protest in Paris staged by people angry over fuel tax increases.

The tax rise, now put on hold, was aimed at encouraging drivers to reduce their use of fossil fuels, a measure experts say is necessary to nudge consumers toward cleaner alternatives.

Resistance to the fuel tax is a blow to French President Emmanuel Macron, who sees himself as the guarantor of the Paris accord.

President Donald Trump, who has announced he’s pulling the United States out of the agreement, claimed Saturday that “people do not want to pay large sums of money … in order to maybe protect the environment.”

Economists say the price of curbing climate change is actually far lower than the eventual cost of coping with the catastrophic famines, storms and sea level rises that will happen with a warming climate.

The Climate Action Network, an umbrella group for environmental organizations, on Saturday gave its Fossil of the Day award to the United States after Washington’s diplomats objected to linking human rights to climate change.