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Visa ban: U.S. won’t publish names



The United States has again reiterated its threat to ban anyone who tampers with Nigeria’s electoral process from entering its territory.

It said the importance of the electoral process makes the need to ban offenders from entering the US.

The fresh warning comes as the governorship election in Edo State holds in less than 48 hours and that of Ondo, October 10.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, spoke on Wednesday at the end of the inaugural consular meeting with Nigerian officials to resolve the inclusion of Nigeria among countries placed on immigration restrictions.

Leonard said: “The integrity of the election process is so important to the fundamental trust of a compact between citizens and their government.  It is fundamentally important and that is why we are taking steps to identify people we believe can credibly be construed to have interfered in the process.”

She, however, said the names of offenders would not be made public as US visa processes are confidential.

Her words: “We will not publish a list; we do not make public who it is that would be subjected to this sanction.

“An individual who intends to travel or apply for a visa would be refused and impeded but it is not something that we advertise.

“Anyone who had been involved with election processes in Nigeria should reflect upon that notorious behavior. In this regard… there are consequences for their ability to travel to the United States.”

She commended Nigeria for its efforts towards addressing the issue of information sharing and   other concerns raised during the meeting

The Ambassador specifically mentioned information sharing on and handling of returnees from the US and other consular matters despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Sulaiman said Nigeria has fulfilled about 90 percent of the requirements on issues of information sharing, which had led to immigration restriction placed on the country.

Sulaiman said: “I think from the assessment of the recipient of our response,   we have accomplished 90 percent of the requirement that has been established in that regard.

“We have done so much and that is why I believe the US government is having the comfort to reevaluate otherwise, we wouldn’t have been a candidate for re-evaluation.

“Nigeria is waiting for the outcome of re-evaluation on the efforts put in place to address the various concerns raised by the US.”

The Donald Trump administration had on January 31, 2020, unveiled a new set of immigration restrictions that affected Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan

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Girl dies after her teacher flogged her for getting two math questions wrong



A schoolgirl has died after allegedly being beaten by her teacher for failing to answer two maths questions correctly.

The 10-year-old girl, identified by her surname Zhang, was a student at a primary school in the city of Guangyuan, central China.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, the teacher, identified by the surname Wang, beat the girl on September 10.

Zhang was beaten on her palms four times and ordered to kneel for four minutes.


Girl dies after her teacher flogged her for getting two math questions wrong


Feeling dizzy, she was sent to the hospital by her grandmother and the teacher and was pronounced dead later that day at 3.30 pm.

She also had her ears pulled and her head beaten.

Medical experts found no wounds and an investigation into her death is underway.

The Cangxi county government has set up a task force and the teacher has been suspended from work, along with the school’s principal.

The victim’s grandmother told local media that she had a twin sister who was in the same class. She said Zhang looked close to fainting during the beating.

The grandmother also mentioned that Zhang was scared of her maths teacher, who she claimed often gave corporal punishment to students.

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Former Mali dictator Moussa Traore laid to rest



Mali held a state funeral for ex-dictator Moussa Traore on Friday, attended by the head of the ruling military junta and other former leaders of the Sahel state.

Traore, who ruled Mali for 22 years before being deposed in a 1991 coup, died at age 83 in the capital Bamako on September 15.

The former autocrat was buried at a Bamako military camp on Friday, where a funeral band played at the arrival of his coffin, which was draped in the Malian flag.

Soldiers dressed in full regalia stood at attention, according to AFP journalists, while two planes performed a flypast overhead.

As a young lieutenant in 1968, Traore was the main instigator of a coup that overthrew Modibo Keita, the country’s first president after independence from France in 1960.

Traore became president the following year and ruled with an iron fist, before he himself was ousted in a military coup in 1991.

In recent years, the ex-dictator was increasingly seen as an elder statesman in the notoriously unstable country, with politicians soliciting his advice.

In attendance on Friday was the head of Mali’s ruling military junta Colonel Assimi Goita, part of a group of young officers who launched a coup ousting president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18.

Former President Amadou Toumani Toure — who deposed Traore in the 1991 coup — was also among the mourners, alongside other ex-leaders.

Russian diplomats attended the ceremony on Friday, according to AFP journalists, but no French or European Union diplomats were present.

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US to ban TikTok downloads, WeChat use from Sunday



The United States on Friday ordered a ban on downloads of popular Chinese-owned video app TikTok and use of the messaging and payment platform WeChat, saying they threaten national security.

The move, to be implemented Sunday, comes amid rising US-China tensions and efforts by the Trump administration to engineering a sale of TikTok to American investors.

“The Chinese Communist Party has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the US,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

The initiative would ban WeChat, an app with massive use among Chinese speakers, and TikTok from the online marketplaces operated by Apple and Google.

But while WeChat will effectively be shut down from Sunday in the US, existing TikTok user will be able to continue using the app until November 12 — when it would also face a full ban on its US operations.

But the Commerce Department said if national security concerns over TikTok were resolved before then, the order may be lifted.

TikTok’s brand of brief, quirky videos made on users’ cellphones has become hugely popular, especially among young people.

The plan follows through on a threat by President Donald Trump, who has claimed Chinese tech operations may be used for spying, and it ramps up the pressure on TikTok parent ByteDance to conclude a deal to sell all or part of TikTok to allay US security concerns.

A deal which appeared to be taking shape would allow Silicon Valley giant Oracle to become the tech partner for TikTok, but some US lawmakers have objected to allowing ByteDance to keep a stake.

The ban on WeChat, owned by Chinese giant Tencent, has the potential for disrupting the widely used social media and financial application.

US officials said in a recent court filing they would not target those using WeChat for ordinary personal.

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