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Police Arrest Four Over Illegal Possession Of Lion

Three retired senior Police, Navy and DSS officers have been arrested alongside a security guard over the illegal possession of a lion in a residential building on 229, Muri Okunola Street in Victoria Island, Lagos.

The two-year-old lion named ‘Kiara’ believed to be owned by a yet-to-be-identified Indian man was discovered and taken to a zoo in the state.

In an exclusive chat with Channels Television, Chairman of the Lagos State Taskforce on Environment and special offences, Olayinka Egbeyemi, explained that the three retired officers, who double as Chief Security Officer to the cat owner, said they were aware of the presence of Kiara within the building since it arrived.

RELATED: PHOTOS: Lion Discovered At Residential Building In Lagos

VIDEO: Police Evacuate Lion From Lagos Home

Although the Indian owner is yet to present himself to the authorities for questioning, the four arrested have been transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Depart (SCIID) in Yaba for further investigation and possible charges.

Kiara In Stable Condition

Meanwhile, the lion is in a stable condition after regaining consciousness and has acclimatised to its new environment.

The lion was tranquilised and taken to a zoo on Monday.

In a short video obtained exclusively by Channels Television, Kiara is seen reacting to its strange vicinity, while being served a meal.

Hong Kong protests: What is the end game?

Police in Hong Kong are accused of intensifying a crackdown, with many demonstrators holding out.

The protests that began in Hong Kong six months ago show no signs of dying down.

A days-long standoff at Hong Kong Polytechnic University has led the United States Senate to pass a bill aimed at censuring Beijing.

The new Hong Kong Human Rights bill has infuriated China, which accuses the US of ignoring protesters’ violence.

Neither side looks like backing down. So, how will this end?

Presenter: Halla Mohieddeen


Einar Tangen – Political analyst and adviser to the Chinese government

Benedict Rogers – Cofounder of human rights organisation, Hong Kong Watch

David Zweig – Director at Transnational China Consulting Limited

Source: Aljazeera

As India's JNU protests fee hike, poor students fear for future

A JNU student reacts as police try to detain her during a protest against a proposed fee hike in New Delhi [Danish Siddiqui/Reuters]

New Delhi, India – Since he was 16, Syam Kumar has been doing odd jobs to fund his education and help his divorced mother run the household.

He started paying tuition after passing his 10th-grade exams, worked as a labourer at a brick kiln and as a cleaner in a bakery shop. His mother worked as domestic help, earning 200 rupees (three dollars) a day, and supplementing that meagre income by selling lottery tickets.

The family, which also includes Kumar’s brother and sister, lives in a rented house in Mannady village in the southern Indian state of Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district.

Aspiring to become a university professor, Kumar’s dream of studying in a premier university came true in 2016 when he was selected for an MPhil course in International Studies at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

‘Only option is to quit studies’

However, for nearly a month now, Kumar has been among thousands of JNU students protesting against an increase in their hostel fee and other charges, which he fears might force him to quit his university course.

Currently, Kumar pays approximately 2,500 rupees ($35) a month for his hostel and food. If the JNU administration goes ahead with the increase, that figure could go up to 8,000 rupees ($112).

“I get a monthly scholarship of 5,000 rupees ($70) for my research. I can’t afford to pay more as my hostel and mess charges. If the order is not rolled back, the only option before me is to quit studies,” he told Al Jazeera.

Jnu story

Indu Kumari, 25, from Bokaro city in the eastern state of Jharkhand, is pursuing her MPhil in Women’s Studies at JNU. Her father runs a tea stall, earning 10,000 rupees ($140) a month while her mother is a homemaker.

Kumari claimed to be the only one from her extended family to get a university education, which she says was made possible by a “deprivation points model” at JNU – a unique method used to facilitate the entry of students, especially women, from backward regions.

After finishing her classwork, Kumari gives tuitions and writes for websites, earning between 3,000 rupees ($42) to 5,000 rupees ($69) a month, which allows her to send some money back home. “Those 1,000 or 2,000 rupees means a lot to my family. I know it’s nothing to people here,” she said.

Kumari said her family was reluctant to send her to JNU owing to their financial condition. “They wanted me to take a job and get married,” she said. “But even these places are now under a threat of privatisation.”

After weeks of protest, the university partially rolled back the fee hike last week, which the protesting JNU students rejected, calling it a “gimmick” and vowing to continue their protest.

The rollback included 300 rupees (about five dollars) a month for single occupancy rooms, which was originally proposed at double that figure. For double occupancy rooms, the rent was brought down to 150 rupees (about three dollars) as opposed to the proposed 300 rupees for poor students.

Earlier, the charges for such rooms were 20 rupees ($0.28) and 10 rupees ($0.14) respectively.

Weeks of protest

JNU student

On Monday, as hundreds of JNU students marched towards the Indian parliament in New Delhi, they were stopped and baton-charged by the police and paramilitary forces. Around 100 of them were also detained by the police.

India, which has a per capita income of 10,534 rupees ($147) a month, faces a massive economic disparity.

In its 2019 Global Wealth Report, financial services company Credit Suisse said 78 percent of India’s adult population had wealth below $10,000, while 1.8 of its richest people had more than $100,000.

In the same report in 2018, the richest 10 percent of Indians owned 77.4 percent of the country’s wealth, while the bottom 60 percent owned just 4.7 percent.

Moreover, according to JNU’s annual report for 2017-18, of the 1,556 candidates admitted in that academic year, almost 40 percent belonged to lower and middle-income groups, where the family income was less than 12,000 rupees ($167) a month.

The students said any hike in their fee would mean a direct hit on those coming from underprivileged backgrounds.

They have found support from the JNU faculty members, who on Tuesday evening took out a protest march in the campus demanding the revocation of the order.

Jnu Story

“The reason so many students are marching on the streets is because close to 40 percent of those students will not be able to come back next semester if these hostel fees are implemented,” JNU professor Nivedita Menon told Al Jazeera.

Surajit Mazumdar, general-secretary of the JNU Teachers Association, said the government is trying to impose a “self-financing model where every expenditure in running the hostel, including electricity, water and maintenance charges, and even the salaries of the staff working in the hostels will be passed on the students”.

But GVL Narasimha Rao, spokesman for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), defended the increase in hostel rent, which he says has not been revised in decades.

“Room rents at 10 rupees and 20 rupees per month are ridiculously low and a change was necessary,” he told Al Jazeera.

Following the protests, however, the government was forced to constitute a high-level committee to listen to the grievances of students.

“All charges only amount to a partial recovery of actual expenses incurred and are being paid by students of other central universities across the country. The increased costs have been subsidised by 50 percent to the students from marginal or poor backgrounds,” Rao said, adding that the protests were “unreasonable and unacceptable”.

The BJP leader alleged that the JNU students were “being used by the left parties”.

“The acts of vandalism and violent protests by JNU students have seriously eroded its image. The modest fee hikes in JNU have widespread public support and the students have lost heavily in the court of public opinion,” he told Al Jazeera.

The overall project is to end the public university system.

JNU, which has a history of left-wing activism, has produced some of India’s most prominent academics and activists.

‘Education our basic right’

Since 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, many at the university have also rallied to accuse him and his Hindu nationalist BJP of targeting public universities and curbing free speech.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) leader and activist Kavita Krishnan alleged the government is promoting “its pet crony capitalists who want to run the education businesses”.

She feared that if fees are increased in JNU despite a strong pushback from its students and teachers, the policy could be extended to other public universities as well.

“Spending money on public education and health is not wasting taxpayers’ money. The government is waiving corporate taxes to the tune of lakhs of crores, which if recovered could fund 250 such JNUs,” she said.

Menon said many in the Indian government think of JNU as a “hard nut to crack” because of its relentless opposition to the right-wing forces in the country.

“The overall project [of the government] is to end the public university system,” she said.

Meanwhile, sitting with a cup of tea at one of JNU’s many canteens, Kumari thinks education is not “a commodity that the government can put on sale”.

Source: Aljazeera

Ex-AGF, Adoke arrested in Dubai – Sagay

Prof. Itse Sagay, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke in Dubai.

He was said to have confirmed Adoke’s arrest during a visit to the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Channels TV quoted Sagay as saying that the arrest was the latest success in the fight against corruption under the federal government.

Adoke is facing criminal charges bordering on alleged abuse of office and money laundering with respect to the granting of the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 to Shell and ENI, brought against him and four others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

His arrest follows a warrant issued by a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja requested by the EFCC.

According to Sagay, the fight against corruption was gaining momentum under the Buhari-led Federal Government due to the fightback from its beneficiaries.

“The former attorney General Adoke has been arrested in Dubai. It’s a continuous thing, so when Nigerians pretend and say what is the difference this government has brought into the fight against corruption, what has been achieved? There is no difference, it amazes me. For me, it’s a sign of patent bad faith being expressed by the elite who were the beneficiaries of corruption.

“They are undergoing the pains of having to earn their living, rather than simply collecting easy money where people were building edifices without any sign of employment of any sort. There has been a lot of change and the EFCC activities are responsible for most of this change,” he said.

The EFCC had obtained a warrant of arrest on April 17 against Adoke, as well as a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete, and four others over the OPL 245 scandal.

Source: PM News

Baltimore museum will acquire art only by women in 2020

In 2020 the US state of Maryland’s Baltimore Museum of Art will showcase work created solely by women and at least one transgender artist [File: Courtesy/Baltimore Museum of Art]

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) has announced that in 2020 it will only buy works by female-identifying artists. This commitment is an extension of “2020 Vision”, BMA’s year of exhibitions and programs dedicated to female-identifying artists and leaders.

The museum sees this as an opportunity to extend that commitment while also working to shift the scales within its collections, BMA explained, acknowledging that women artists are still underrepresented in the museum field and within museum collections.


Announced November 14 by BAM’s director Christopher Bedford, “something radical must be done to rectify centuries of imbalance,” he said.

The Maryland museum acquired its first work by a female artist in 1916, two years after it was founded and three years before women gained the right to vote in the United States. Today, only four percent of the 95,000 pieces in its permanent collection were created by women.

Bedford says the museum is working to “correct our own canon” and address historical blind spots.

Source: Aljazeera

Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X dominate Grammy nods

Eilish, the 17 year-old Los Angeles “Bad Guy” alt-pop sensation, got six nods [Henry Nicholls/Reuters]

Pop newcomers Lizzo, Billie Eilish, and country rapper Lil Nas X dominated Grammy nominations on Wednesday in a list for the highest awards in the music industry that favoured diversity and women over established stars such as Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran.

Lizzo, the body-positive Truth Hurts and Juice singer, scored a leading eight nods, including in the top categories of album and record of the year and best new artist.

“Thank you,” tweeted Lizzo. “This has been an incredible year for music and I’m just so thankful to even be a part of it.”

Eilish, the 17-year-old Los Angeles Bad Guy alt-pop sensation, got six nods, along with black, gay country rapper Lil Nas X, 20, whose catchy Old Town Road with Billy Ray Cyrus topped the Billboard singles charts for a record 19 weeks this year.

The trio will compete in the album of the year race with indie band Bon Iver, pop-rocker Lana del Rey, pop singer Ariana Grande, rockers Vampire Weekend and R&B artist HER.

Grande got five nominations, including for her hit 7 Rings while Beyonce scored four, mostly for the songs she wrote for the new version of the animated film The Lion King, and for the Homecoming concert film of her 2018 Coachella show.

Five of the eight album of the year nominees were women and four female artists will compete for record of the year, injecting new life into the Grammy Awards that has a tradition of rewarding the same artists.

Deborah Dugan, the new chief executive of the Recording Academy whose members select the nominees and winners, said the nominations marked a new era for the organisation that “welcomes diversity, embraces creativity and champions young musicians on the rise”.

That meant that 10-time Grammy winner Swift, whose new album Lover is one of the year’s biggest sellers, was omitted for a second straight year from the album and record of the year categories, along with British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.

Swift got three nods – song of the year for Lover, best pop vocal album and pop solo performance.

Other acts snubbed by the Grammys included K-Pop band BTS, which has a huge following in the United States but got no nominations on Wednesday; Bruce Springsteen, whose album Western Stars was well reviewed; the newly re-united Jonas Brothers who got just one nod, for single Sucker; and British singers Sam Smith and Lewis Capaldi.

Source: Aljazeera