US court halts two executions

  The top court in Arkansas has halted two executions that were due to start a series of seven in 11 days. The state’s Supreme Court acted hours before convicted murderers Don Davis and Bruce Ward were due to die, but the Davis decision could yet be reversed. Their lawyers had argued they were mentally unfit to face execution and were denied proper assessment. But there was a victory for the state when a federal court lifted an order that blocked all seven executions. A blanket ruling made on Saturday…

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Ekiti guber aspirant preaches unity among APC members

Ahead of the 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State, an aspirant, Mr. Yinka Akerele, yesterday advised members and leaders of the opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to close ranks and ensure the party’s victory at the poll. According to him, the mission of taking over power from those he described as usurpers must dwarf other tendencies among the party members. He added that they needed to remain united until APC records success democratically. He spoke when he visited the party’s secretariat where he officially notified…

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Furore over WAEC’s new examination diet

DISAGREEMENT Less than one week that the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) unfolded plans to introduce a new diet for external candidates, key stakeholders have faulted the move, kicking that it would not see the light of the day   While Nigerian students and their parents are yet to recover from the confusion generated by this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) registration, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), last week, introduced a new diet in its examinations, which has continued to generate debate among stakeholders. With the new diet,…

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Umahi promises more dividend of democracy for Edda people

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has promised the people of Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area of the stateof more dividends of democracy even as he said that the people will not be left behind in his developmental strides. The governor while speaking on Easter Sunday at the country home of his friend and chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Julius Amah Orji at Nguzu Edda, said the people were dear to his heart. He said it was the special love he has for his friend in…

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Fate of the Furious breaks global box office record

The Fate of the Furious has raced to the top of the box office chart – breaking an international record in the process. The eighth film in the action thriller franchise took an estimated $532.5m (£424.7m) globally over Easter weekend. The figure makes it the strongest worldwide debut ever – marginally overtaking the $529m (£421.8m) taken by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, the film’s US takings were down sharply on the previous movie. Furious 7 took $147.2m (£117.3m) in the US when it was released in 2015 – but…

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Slippery crude oil swap

The recent payment of over $202 million to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) downstream entities by Aiteo Energy Resources Limited for fraudulent deals under the scrapped crude oil swap arrangement has reaffirmed the need to fully unravel all transactions surrounding the controversial barter plan during the last administration. The amount includes Aiteo’s share of the $184 million total indebtedness by three companies on crude swap obligations and other downstream liabilities. Televaras Group of Companies has also pledged to make a tranche payment of $17.2 million while NNPC is still…

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Pensioners restate need for harmonisation

The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Akwa Ibom chapter, has restated need for pension harmonisation in order to put all retirees on the same scale. Making the appeal to the state government, in Uyo, the Secretary of NUP in the state, Mr Cosmos Essien, noted that harmonisation had become necessary so that those that retired years back and others that retired recently could receive the same amount as pension. He said : “We still cry for harmonisation so that the very old people that retired earlier can get something reasonable…

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Turks in key vote on presidential powers

  Voting is under way in Turkey in a landmark referendum that will determine whether President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be granted sweeping new powers. Erdogan is seeking to replace Turkey’s parliamentary system with an executive presidency. Supporters say the move would streamline and modernise the country, but opponents fear it could lead to greater authoritarianism. A “yes” vote could also see Erdogan remain in office until 2029. On Saturday, Turkish politicians made their final appeals to voters preparing to cast their ballots on one of the most sweeping programmes…

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