N-Power reveals what volunteers of N-Teach must do before August 31
Aug 23, 2017 11:32 AM
The N-Power scheme has given latest update on its N-Teach programme.
The empowerment scheme said N-Teach volunteers who are yet to write their test and have no BVN issue should log on to its website because the assessment test closes on August 31.
A statement on its website reads, “If you applied for N-Teach and you haven’t written your test and your BVN records match your application, please log in to write your assessment tests. Assessment tests close on the 31st of August, 2017.”
The scheme had earlier announced a new method of fishing out volunteers collecting its stipend while also in another employment.
The scheme said the federal government empowerment programme was solely for unemployed graduates.
For this reason, it said those already employed should stay off.
Restructuring: Southern Nigerians take agitation to UK
Aug 22, 2017 4:42 PM
Southern Nigerian groups have resolved to take the agitation for the restructuring of the country to United Kingdom with a maiden international summit.
To that end, an inaugural meeting for the campaign is being held today, Tuesday, August 22, 2017.
The groups involved in the Diaspora agitation for restructuring are South East /South South Network, Afenifere Renewal Group UK, Bendel Foundation and Igbo Ekunie Initiative.
In a statement issued by the groups and signed by Coordinator, Dr Philip Idaehor, the Southern groups would use the medium to draw the attention of the international community to the need for restructuring the country for better performance.
According to the groups, the meeting will be first in a series of round-table consultations to deliberate on the way forward for Nigeria following the defeat of constitutional amendments aimed to restructure the federation at the National Assembly.
“The round-table series will be a platform to ponder on various problems bedevilling the country since attaining independence and fashion out ways out of the country’s age long crisis”, the statement said.
“Planned to be a quarterly event in the Diaspora, the round-table Southern Nigerians summit will address various issues facing the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and at the end of the meeting, the groups will come up with memorandum that will be submitted to National Assembly”, the statement concluded.
According to punch corespondent, Adelani Adepegba , Abuja
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board on Tuesday pegged the minimum cut – off mark for admissions into universities at 120 .
The decision was taken in collaboration with Vice Chancellors , Rectors and Provosts of higher institutions in the country at a combined policy meeting on admissions into universities , polytechnics and other higher institutions in Nigeria , in Abuja , on Tuesday .
The stakeholders also adopted 100 as the minimum cut -off mark for admission into polytechnics.
They agreed that admission into first choice universities should close on October 15 while December 15 , 2017 was set as the closing date for second choice admission by institutions .
JAMB Registrar , Prof . Is -haq Oloyede said universities , with the decision, are not to go below the minimum 120 cut -off points adopted by the meeting for admissions .
He called for the adoption of flexible cut -off marks for admission processes by higher institutions in the country .
He said , “What JAMB has done is to recommend ; We will only determine the minimum , whatever you determine as your admission cut -off mark is your decision.
“The Senate and academic boards of universities should be allowed to determine their cut -off marks .”
The Registrar said the board discovered over 17 ,160 illegally admitted students by higher institutions , adding that the body has regularized some of them .
He said , “30 % of those in higher institutions do not take JAMB or have less than the cut – off marks .
“The admission process is now automated with direct involvement of the registrar of JAMB for final approval .
“We have agreed to regularize admissions that were done under the table this year . From next year we will not accept anything like that. ”
Minister of Education , Adamu Adamu described as a mistake, the Federal Government ’s ban on tests conducted by universities after the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations .
He explained that post-UTME was banned because it had become an avenue for corruption .
Adamu however encouraged higher institutions to conduct aptitude tests for candidates seeking admission , and pegged the fee for the test at N 2000.
Popular Nigerian actresses who have been warned against smoking but can’t quit
Aug 21, 2017 1:00 PM
Smoking, though it is an unhealthy and life threatening practice is quite popular worldwide. In Nigeria, the habit is becoming rampant, especially among celebrities. Female celebrities, specifically, have increasingly resorted to what may seem as a distasteful act to some. These females smoke either for fun or for escape. Popular among smokers usually go for cannabis, cigarettes, and the new craze, shisha. In this article we will examine some popular female Nigerian celebrities who participate in the act. If you are interested, continue reading this article.
While conducting research, I discovered that majority of smokers are men. I also found out, even though it was quite obvious, that it is more socially acceptable for men to smoke than for women. Females who smoke, begin to do so to feel a sense of calm and ease, in other words, they smoke ultimately to de-stress in the most cases. Other times, they smoke for fun and due to peer pressure. In Nollywood, the attention received can be quite overwhelming. It is no surprise that females are more emotional when compared to men, and as a result, they handle criticism and negative attention very differently. As a result of the overwhelming scrutiny and attention, they tend to look for an escape, something that would make them calm and forget all about it for a while.
READ ALSO: Osinbajo set to implement 9 new laws on SMOKING in Nigeria.
Celebrities, whether they accept it or not, are role models, especially to the younger generation. Due to the fact that they are so influential, the responsibility to be careful and demonstrate a positive and responsible character is automatically placed upon them. Below is a list of some of the beautiful and famous Nigerian ladies who have picked up the smoking trend.
I am not surprised. Are you? It is quite evident that Angela is a diva and a boss at everything she does. Well seasoned into the industry with over a hundred films, I am not surprised that she tried smoking and still is enjoying the practice.
A wife and mother of three, Mrs. Idibia is also a model, presenter, and actress. She enjoys a good smoke.
She has said it herself, motherhood has not changed her one bit. If her children can not change her, what makes you think her husband can? He came, saw and accepted her for who she is. Ayo is a multiple award winner and nominee, she continues to be the same person we know her to be and she too enjoys smoking every now and then.
This popular actress has secured a name for herself in the film industry. She has made appearances in Owo Blow, Out of Bounds, and Husbands of Lagos. Among her talents, smoking has made its way onto the list. It has been rumored that because of smoking, the forty-seven year old was on the “singles” market for quite some time. If she continues, she might be left on the market for another decade, but for her sake, I hope someone comes along to accept for who she is or that she quits and settles down.
Smoking has never distracted Bimbo Oshin from her dreams and goals. The happily married nominee of multiple awards including Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actress of the Year and Best Female Indigenous Actor enjoys a smoke or two in her leisure time.
Binta Ayo Mogaji
Popularly known as Igbanladogi, this troubled actress is a legend in the industry and a legendary smoker. Regrettably, this actress’ habits are too old to die out.
Actress, producer, video vixen, and singer, Cossy Orjiakor has an outgoing and fun personality. It is no surprise that she is a smoker. A girl like her seems to love experimenting. I am not shocked at the fact that she tried it and liked it.
Dayo is a modern day phenomenal woman who has many achievements under her belt. She is the winner of the Best Lead Actress and Best Film Award 2013 at the Best of Nollywood Awards and Yoruba Movie Academy Awards, respectively. Smoking is her habit.
Known for her feature in the film “Jenifa”, this mother and wife who is also asthmatic picked up the act of smoking. Despite urges to quit smoking because of her illness, she continues as she finds it rather hard to resist.
Though she is a heavy smoker, this mother of three does not smoke in the presence or surroundings of her children. Much respect to her for preserving her children’s health from second-hand smoke.
Looks can be deceiving. At first glance, Genevieve Nnaji may not have been seen as the kind of woman who would put a cigar in her mouth. Well, things are not always what it seems. This beautiful Nigerian actress and winner of the Best Actress in a Leading Role 2015 at the Africa Movie Academy Award, smokes privately.
Halima has been acting since 2001. So no, this is not a surprise either.
Absolutely no shame. Ini Edo smokes publicly and even in private and she loves it!
I guess almost all female actresses have skeletons in their closets. Mercy Johnson, mother of three has also been added to the list of smokers. Though we are not sure if she does it secretly from her children but her husband is also a smoker. If the children are not enough to cause her to quit then I doubt her husband and smoking partner would be of much help, unless he quits too and they support each other.
Naturalist Nse Ikpe knows and appreciates her roots. This fearless wife has won our hearts through the many different characters she played in her films. Some of my favorite movies with her were Reloaded, Mr. and Mrs., and A Trip to Jamaica.
Being a mother these days is just like another major accomplishment. It does not change much personality wise when you are a smoker, except during your pregnancy. Oge Okoye has been married since 2005 and has been blessed with two lovely children. I hope that, for their sake and health, she does not smoke around them. I can not speak about smoking in front of her husband, however.
Rita, apart from being drop dead gorgeous, is courageous and carefree. She has absolutely nothing to hide when it comes to smoking. She is proud and not ashamed of who she is and what she does. Rita loves to smoke and she is comfortable with smoking in both public and private.
Despite an innocent face, Stella is a little rebellious when she wants to be. I would say she has an alter ego who loves to have fun when it is called for and love to relax when it is necessary. Her alter ego also loves to smoke.
Multi-talented indeed. Tonto Dikeh does anything she puts her mind to, apart from being an actress, she is also a singer, songwriter, and philanthropist. She created quite a stir in the entertainment industry with controversial adult scenes that were alien to the film industry back then, at the beginning of her career and continues to do so today. Tonto loves to smoke cannabis as well.
Toyin has a vibrant personality and is addicted to smoking. Unlike some of the others, Toyin has tried to quit but soon became a prisoner of the harmful habit again.
Actress, screen-writer, and film producer is just a few achievements Uche is popularly known for. Although we know that she smokes, she does so out of the public and her husband’s eye.
From the information gathered above, it seems to me that smoking is also linked to the time spent in the entertainment industry. Though it is an unhealthy practice, we have a clearer understanding as to why these females resort to smoking. I think it is safe to say, the longer you are in the entertainment industry, the more prone you are to experimenting. For many Nigerian celebrities, smoking is a way to escape the intense work load and to de-stress from the busy schedule at home and work.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has delisted management courses of some universities in its current admission brochure.
They are Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Modibbo Adamawa Federal University of Technology, Yola (MAUTY), Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) and University of Agriculture, Makurdi (UAW).
This is sequel to an order by the federal government that the universities of Agriculture and Technology should stop running management courses and focus on their core mandates.
The directive was issued by the Ministry of Education after it was approved recently by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
JAMB’s spokesperson, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, explained that the decision to delist the programmes was not taken by the Board as being suggested by the some staff and students of the universities affected.
“It was a ministerial decision based on FEC meeting and as an agency of government, we are to implement government decisions.,” he told Sun.
“So, in the concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), the concerned institutions did not field candidates.”
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the House Committee on Tertiary Education have queried the directive.
Reacting, ASUU FUNAAB chairman, Dr. Adebayo Oni, said the national body of the union was aware of the government decision but noted that it was done without proper consultation with affected universities and stakeholders.
He said: “FUNAAB branch took the issue to our zonal branch meeting which reported same at the national level. The delisting of the programme was done in haste and it is illegal by JAMB.
“The courses were accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and relevant bodies. University vice-chancellors were not carried along.”
FG Demands IPOB Leader’s Immediate Return To Prison
Aug 18, 2017 10:49 AM
The Federal Government has urged the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to revoke the bail it granted Nnamdi Kanu and return him to prison.
FG argued that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who was granted bail on April 25, 2017 on health grounds had not only breached the conditions attached to his bail but had conducted himself in manners that threaten public peace.
In a counter-motion, filed by Magaji Labaran of the Federal Ministry of Justice, FG urged the court to dismiss an application by Kanu, seeking a review of his bail conditions. In the suit, FG argues:
“The offence for which he (Kanu) is standing trial is not ordinarily bailable; the court, not withstanding, granted bail to the 1st defendant/applicant (Kanu) on health grounds on 25th April 2017.
“Among other conditions for the bail of the 1st defendant is that he should not be seen in a crowd exceeding 10 people; that he should not grant any interviews, hold or attend any rallies; that he should file, in court, medical updates of his health status every month. The bail conditions were perfected by the 1st defendant/applicant, which he is currently enjoying.
“Rather than observing all the conditions listed above, the 1st defendant, in fragrant disobedience to the court order, flouted all conditions given by the court.
“The 1st defendant equally incited his members to disrupt, disallow and boycott elections in South East states, starting with Anambra State gubernatorial election scheduled for November 18 if the Federal Government failed to hold referendum for the realisation of the state of Biafra.
“The 1st defendant has already declared the bail conditions given by the court unconstitutional before approaching this court with the application for variation. Rather than showing remorse for his actions, the 1st defendant approached this court with an application for a review of the same conditions for the bail which he grossly flouted.
“Considering the above, that the 1st applicant has violated the conditions on which the terms of his bail were premised, we urged this court to commit the defendant to prison by invoking the provision of Section 173(2)(B) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
“We categorically state that justice would have been denied the state by this court, if the state is not protected from the offences being perpetrated by the 1st defendant/applicant, who is currently on bail.”
Nnamdi Kanu and four other IPOB members – Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Bright Chimezie – are being tried before the Federal High Court, Abuja on offences relating to conspiracy and treasonable felony.
In a related development, three Igbo groups – the World Igbo Youth Movement, Igbo Students’ Forum and Igbo Diaspora Women Professionals have warned the Federal Government against any plans to re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu.
The groups argue that the action of the Coalition of Northern Youths which issued a quit notice to Igbos residing in the north, was more offensive than the activities of Kanu’s IPOB.
They warned that they would not watch calmly as Igbos are driven out of the north, adding that IPOB was simply seeking how to actualize a sovereign Biafran state, through peaceful means.
In a joint statement signed by Mazi Alex Okemiri for the World Igbo Youth Council; Prof. Helen Ogbonna for the Igbo Diaspora Women Professionals and Comrade Obi Izuo for the Igbo Students’ Forum, the groups stated:
“We caution that Nigeria may cease to exist if Nnamdi Kanu is re-arrested.
“This may also be the fate of the country if the planned October 1 massacre is carried out against Ndigbo living in the north.”
The groups also urged Igbo indigenes to run for the presidency in the 2019 general elections adding that there was no turning back on the Igbo presidency project in 2019.
The two most populous countries in the world are dangerously close to armed conflict. Both are fast-growing and ambitious nations with something to prove — and they have nuclear weapons. Yet you’ll find surprisingly little discussion of the issue in Washington, where President Trump’s ongoing controversies and the threat of terrorist attacks (more on the horrific attack in Barcelona later in the newsletter) continue to dominate the discussion.
The military standoff between India and China over a remote plateau in the Himalayas has been going on for months now. This week, The Post’s Annie Gowen and Simon Denyer took a look at the complicated dispute, which was sparked by China’s move to build a road in territory claimed by Bhutan, a close ally of India that does not have formal diplomatic relations with Beijing.
Territorial disputes between in the area are far from new — India and China briefly went to war over contest territory in 1962. And much of the present dispute dates back to an 1890 border agreement made between British India and China’s Qing Dynasty, one of a number of lingering problems caused by colonial cartographers.
But experts say the current standoff is the worst in decades and has taken on a different tone than previous flare-ups. “It would be very complacent to rule out escalation,” Shashank Joshi, an analyst with the Royal United Services Institute in London, told The Post. “It’s the most serious crisis in India-China relations for 30 years.”
Here’s how Chinese troops tried to deal with a previous standoff with India in 2013. (Associated Press)
Both India and China are speaking openly and seriously of armed conflict, with Beijing’s state media striking an indigent and at times uncharacteristically vulgar tone. An English-language video posted by the Xinhua news agency Wednesday accused India of “trampling international law” and “inventing various excuses to whitewash its illegal moves” — before showing a Chinese actor in a Sikh turban who spoke in an insulting Indian accent.
If India and China were to go to war, it would be no small matter. Over 2.6 billion people live in the two nations. Between them, they are estimated to have 380 nuclear weapons (though both China and India subscribe to a “no first use” policy, which should — hopefully — mean they wouldn’t be used in such any conflict).
In a briefing last month, the U.S. State Department urged restraint. During a press briefing last week, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, “It’s a situation that we have certainly followed closely. And as you know, we have relationships with both governments. We continue to encourage both parties to sit down and have conversations about that.”
The dispute centers not only on the territory in question — an obscure, 34-square-mile area known as the Dolam Plateau that is claimed by both Bhutan and China — but a narrow strip of strategically important Indian land called the Siliguri Corridor. This tract, unaffectionately nicknamed the “chicken’s neck,” connects the bulk of the India with its remote east. Delhi has long feared Chinese troops could cut across the corridor if war broke out, effectively cutting the country in half. It’s not an unreasonable fear, given that the region is just 14 miles wide at its thinnest point; Ankit Panda of the Diplomat once dubbed it a “terrifyingly vulnerable artery in India’s geography.”
It is widely assumed that Washington would side with India in the dispute. Trump is a frequent critic of China, and some in his administration have pushed for tough responses to other territorial claims made by Beijing, such as the ongoing disputes in the South China Sea. Trump called Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on India’s Independence Day this week, which some media outlets interpreted as a gesture of support for New Delhi.
And yet, there is a nagging sense among some in India that Trump won’t have Modi’s back if push comes to shove. “If ever there was a war with China, America would never come to our rescue,” one government official told Indian journalist Barkha Dutt recently, according to a story Dutt wrote for The Post’s Global Opinion section.
Washington also may be diplomatically limited in the region: A number of key State Department positions that would have responsibility for handling an India-China crisis remain unfilled. Another part of the problem is simply the complexity of the issue, which could prove hard to communicate to a leader with seemingly limited knowledge of the world and a notoriously short attention span.
President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 26. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
There is also an argument that perhaps Trump should keep his nose out of this. The Post’s Jackson Diehl wrote he didn’t find much enthusiasm for U.S. involvement in the dispute while in Delhi last week. The U.S. president has gained a reputation there for being hotheaded and impulsive — even the drawdown in tensions with North Korea seems to have happened in spite of his involvement, not because of it.
Diehl noted that Modi had sought a closer relationship with the United States in the hope that Trump would be tough on China and terrorism while forging closer ties to Russia, an old Indian ally. Instead, as Diehl writes, the Indians have received “contradictions and chaos,” with some wondering if the White House currently is even capable of handling complicated geopolitical situations.
To be fair, Trump is not alone in being more interested in the standoff with North Korea or terrorist attacks like the one that took place Thursday in Barcelona. He’s also in the midst of his own domestic crises.
However, Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution noted recently that the 1962 Indo-Chinese war was resolved with the help of President John F. Kennedy, who used military support for India and clever diplomacy to limit the scope of the conflict. Remarkably, this all happened at the same time as the Cuban missile crisis, the “most dangerous moment in human history.” Given that, what is Trump’s excuse?
• By now you’ve heard of the vehicle attack in Barcelona on Thursday, which left at least 13 people dead and dozens more injured. You can read The Post’s coverage of the attack in the next section of the newsletter, but it’s also worth looking back a couple of months to an article in Spain’s El País newspaper. In June, investigative reporter Jose María Irujo published a look at the threat posed to Spain by jihadist terror networks, which hadn’t struck Spain since 2004. The piece emphasized that integration was vital to avoiding the kinds of recurring attacks happening in France and Belgium, not just proactive policing:
“It’s a combination of factors, says an analyst from the anti-terrorist fight. ‘Here we don’t have ghettos as they do in France. The integration of the Muslim population is greater, and there is an incipient second generation. The radicalization is not so great. If there were 100% integration, the phenomenon would not exist.’
Meanwhile, President Trump responded to the reports out of Barcelona in typical fashion: he tweeted a debunked story about a U.S. general who supposedly dipped his bullets in pig’s blood when fighting a Muslim insurgents in The Philippines (for more on the history behind these strange comments, read this story from last year by WorldViews’ own Ishaan Tharoor). As some people noted, the speed of Trump’s response was quite different to the incident in Charlottesville that has been characterized as terrorism by his own Attorney General. The tweet also came before the Islamic State had issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack.
• We’ve been talking to you a bit this week about the moves to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, better known as NAFTA. Talks officially began on Wednesday, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer set the tone with a forceful statement that demanded major changes to the agreement. That might seem unsurprising given President Trump’s outspoken scorn for the deal, but journalists at the site of the negotations described Lighthizer’s talks as a major breach of protocol that took Mexican and Canadian officials aback.
My colleagues Max Bearak and Amanda Erickson have undertaken the herculean task of breaking down the history of the deal and what might be in store. As for changes, they say the bottom line is this: “Political necessity has brought about this renegotiation, but whether it actually changes employment, wages and conditions for North American workers depends on how much Trump is willing to break with his Republican colleagues and their corporate backers.”
• First it was The Mooch’s turn, now it’s Steve Bannon’s. The American Prospect, a liberal Washington-based magazine, scored an amazing and unexpected scoop when the White House chief strategist called out of the blue on Tuesday. He did so to praise the views of its co-founder, Robert Kuttner, on China, but the conversation certainly did not end there. Bannon ended up dishing on China and North Korea policy, his moves against various other administration members, his supposed disdain for “ethno-nationalists” like the ones that showed up Charlottesville and other subjects.
The foreign policy revelations were embarrasing public admissions, and, like Scaramucci before him, Bannon claimed he hadn’t know the conversation was on the record. Either way, it’s worth a read.
• Speaking of Trump and Twitter, my colleague Philip Bump has come up with a genius new idea:He created a Twitter account that retweets everyone Trump himself follows, letting you see exactlywhat’s flashing across the president’s phone. It’s a fascinating window into the information that Trump recieves and seemingly uses to form much of his own thoughts — and certainly his social media presence.
The president only follows 45 accounts (no word if that’s a purposeful nod to his own place in history), but Bump says there’s one clear thread among all of them: They tweet extensively about Trump himself:
“The Trump name is mentioned 389 times in August tweets from these users. His Twitter handle is mentioned 230 times. Fox News’s Twitter handle is mentioned 184 times. The word “president” comes up 164 times and the news of the month, Charlottesville, 120 times.”
A woman cries after a vehicular attack on Las Ramblas in Barcelona on Aug. 17. (Pau Barrena/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)
As terrorists struck across Europe over the past year, Spain was spared from large-scale tragedy. No one had attacked there since the 2004 bombings of the Madrid rail system that killed 192 people, but authorities had long braced for another hit.
A driver swerved a van onto a pedestrian area in Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas district, breaking the peace of a warm summer afternoon in a packed, touristy area of the city at the peak of vacation season. The assault killed 13 people at the time of writing — authorities say the death toll could rise further still — and injured over 100 more.
A senior Catalan police official, Josep Lluis Trapero, told reporters they had arrested two people in connection with the attack — a Moroccan national and a Spanish citizen from the North African enclave of Melilla — but that the driver was still believed to be at large. Several hours after the incident, the Islamic State claimed responsibility.
The attack, which took place over a few terror-filled minutes just before 6:00 p.m. local time, set off a wave of panic and confusion as authorities sought to track down the perpetrator and fearful civilians hid for hours in barricaded shops, restaurants and churches.
Witnesses described chaos as the white delivery van suddenly swung off a street onto the wide pedestrian mall that draws strolling tourists and residents to its bars, cafes and shops. As people started to run away, the driver swerved the vehicle from left to right, in an apparent bid to inflict maximum damage.
When the van came to a halt, its front was smashed and crumpled inward from the impact of the people it hit. People were sprawled on the sidewalk, some not moving. Hats, handbags and other items were strewn nearby. Some people ran screaming from the scene.
“There was a really loud kind of crashing noise. I didn’t stop to look back,” said witness Ethan Spieby to the BBC. Hours after the attack, he said he was holed up in a church with about 80 tourists and locals.
Early Friday, police said they thwarted what they thought was an attempt at a second, connected attack, in the Catalan town of Cambrils, 60 miles southwest of Barcelona, by fatally shooting four suspects, and police were checking the bodies for what they believed were explosive belts. A fifth suspect later died of his injuries.
Catalan authorities said they would stand firm in the face of terrorism.
“Catalonia will always prevail in the face of terrorism,” said Carles Puigdemont, the president of the Catalan regional government. “We will always stand for democracy and freedom. We will always be united.”— William Booth, Michael Birnbaum and William Branigin
Supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta cheer in Nairobi after he was declared the winner of Kenya’s presidential election on Aug. 11. (Dai Kurokawa/European Pressphoto Agency)
The big question
Ahead of Kenya’s elections last week, Nairobi was transformed into a relative ghost town. The epic traffic jams vanished. Businesses closed. Those who could afford bus or plane tickets fled to more peaceful cities, or left Kenya entirely. Nairobians feared the result, whatever it was, could spark violence of the kind seen after the 2007 election, when hundreds were killed in post-election clashes. So far, there have been protests and a number of deaths — but a major upheaval hasn’t come to pass. So we asked Post Africa bureau chief Kevin Sieff: Does it look like Kenya has avoided widespread violence?
“It’s been nine days since the election. Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta has won, and his longtime opponent Raila Odinga is contesting the results in court. More than 20 people were killed in post-election clashes with the police. But the most extreme fears of Kenyans never materialized.
“So has Kenya’s democracy matured enough that even a disputed election doesn’t result in countrywide ethnic violence?
“More likely, Kenya avoided a more dramatic descent for two reasons. First, Kenyatta’s control of the security forces is absolute, and police had prepared for months to quell post-election demonstrations.Second, Odinga’s supporters — and Kenya’s opposition more broadly — have grown accustomed to losing national elections.
“To much of the opposition, each loss has cast more doubt on the country’s democratic process — and underscored the futility of fighting against the existing political establishment, led by Kenyatta’s Kikuyu tribe. The avenues to power for Odinga’s tribe, the Luo, are increasingly difficult to identify.
“The lack of more deadly violence should not be read as a testament to Kenyan democracy. The tribal tensions that lie just beneath the surface of the country’s politics are as alive as ever. Odinga was unable or unwilling to mobilize a violent response to his loss, but roughly half of Kenyans still feel spurned by the central government over tribal loyalties.That will not only make it difficult for Kenyatta to improve public faith in his government; it also deepens a rift that runs through East Africa’s most important nation, a vibrant democracy that could hardly be less inclusive.”
Steve Bannon’s gobsmacking interview did contain at least one bit of truth, according to The Post: There’s no way to stop North Korea’s nuclear program now. But what about the future? Project Syndicate takes a look at what it would take to make the Koreas one nation again. Speaking of unifications, the Independent argues that it’s time to bring Ireland back together to mitigate the effect of Brexit. And, in the New York Times, an outspoken and influential Trump backer says farewell to that allegiance.
It doesn’t seem like there is a scandal that can shake the faith of President Trump’s base, a large portion of which resides in rural America. Mother Jones reports how that faith is deeply alienating to the minorities living in those communities. Meanwhile, Eater explains how the craft brewery boom leaves out the contributions of people of color, while NPR shows where Muslim Americans are going to deal with the fear of rising animosity: summer camp.
Five days after white supremacist groups marched through the University of Virginia with torches, thousands of people gathered on the school’s ground in a candlelight vigil for slain counterprotester Heather Heyer. It was a powerful symbol of reclamation for many local residents, students and other associated with the school. Calling back to an anti-Semitic chant heard on Friday night, photos of vigil circulated online with a caption: “We Replaced You.” (Andrew Shurtleff /The Daily Progress via Associated Press)
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