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Trump Sanctions Cameroon’s President Paul Biya Over Rights Abuses

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Trump and Biya

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would end Cameroon’s preferential trade benefits from Jan. 1, citing what he called the country’s “persistent gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

In a letter to the U.S. Congress, Trump said Cameroon had failed to address U.S. concerns regarding extrajudicial killings, torture and other persistent human rights violations being committed by Cameroonian security forces.

“I am taking this step because I have determined that the Government of Cameroon currently engages in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, contravening the eligibility requirements of section 104 of the (African Growth and Opportunity Act),” Trump wrote in the letter.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney said the U.S. government remained deeply concerned about human rights violations committed by the Cameroonian government against its own citizens.

“This action underscores the Administration’s commitment to upholding the human rights criteria as required in the AGOA legislation,” he said in a separate statement.

Mahoney urged the government of Cameroon to work with the United States and the international community to strengthen protection of human rights under the law and to publicly hold to account those who engage in human rights violations.

In order to qualify for preferential benefits under the AGOA legislation, partner countries must meet certain eligibility requirements, including not engaging in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.

They must also demonstrate continual progress toward establishing the rule of law, political pluralism, establishing internationally recognized worker rights, and the elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment.

Sixty-five civil society organizations this week urged the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to address serious and systematic human rights violations in Cameroon.

In a joint appeal, they said violence in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions has led to 3,000 deaths over the past three years, forcing half a million people to flee their homes, and leaving over 700,000 children out of school.

Cameroon President Paul Biya, who has governed for nearly four decades, is seeking to calm unrest stoked by a disputed presidential election last year and the separatist insurrection.

Inside Nigeria

BREAKING: Buhari Nominates Okonjo-Iweala For WTO Director-General Position

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the nomination of Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, former coordinating minister for the economy, for the position of director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), TheCable reports.

In a document seen by TheCable on Thursday, Buhari withdrew the candidacy of Yonov Frederick Agah, Nigeria’s permanent representative to WTO, for the same position.

The election is scheduled to hold in Geneva, Switzerland in 2021 for a four-year term that would run from 2021 to 2025.

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BREAKING: Music Legend, Majek Fashek Is Dead

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Legendary Nigerian singer, songwriter and guitarist, Majekodunmi Fasheke popularly known as Majek Fashek, has died.

According to reports, the “Send Down the Rain” crooner, aged 57 died in a hospital in New York on Monday June 1. Our sources are yet to confirm the cause of his death.

He was born in Benin City to an Edo mother and a Ijesha father, but identifies with his Benin roots.

In the early eighties Fashek, who at the time went by the stage name Rajesh Kanal, joined the group Jastix with McRoy Gregg, and Drummer Black ‘Rice. They were best known as the in-house band on the show Music Panorama on NTA Benin, and toured with fellow reggae group The Mandators.

In 1988, shortly after Jastix disbanded Fashek, who now used the name Majek Fashek, signed with Tabansi Records and began a solo career by releasing the album Prisoner of Conscience and quickly became Nigeria’s top reggae artist after the song “Send Down The Rain” became the most popular song of the year, and in 1989 he won six PMAN awards for “Song of the Year”, “Album of the Year”, and “Reggae Artist of the Year” among others.

Fashek was married to Rita Fashek who inspired the song “Without You”; the couple had four children together, but have since divorced. In 2015, it was revealed that Fashek was bankrupt and battling drug addiction. After admitting that he needed help, he was admitted into a drug rehabilitation centre in Abuja, but has since recovered, and returned to music.

Besides his struggle with drug addiction, other health conditions required his hospitalization on several occasions. He was rumored dead in September 2019 but his manager quelled the rumors, confirming that Majek had indeed been critically ill, hospitalized at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, England, and in dire need of financial assistance

The ‘rain maker’ as he his fondly called has has worked with various artists worldwide including Tracy Chapman, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, and Beyoncé.

Majek’s life and work are still prominently celebrated by Nigerian music fans and beyond. His legacy of excellence in music and worldwide impact through instrumentation will live imminently.

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“Trump Is A Fool And Racist” — Lady Gaga Says As She Calls For Change Following George Floyd’s Murder

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Popular singer and Grammy Award winner, Lady Gaga, has called for change following the murder of George FLoyd as she called President Trump a fool and racist.

Mr Floyd was an unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes as he told them “I can’t breathe”.

Floyd’s death has sparked mass protests across the US, with governors in several states calling in National Guard troops in an attempt to maintain order.

Reacting to the death of George Floyd and the protests that followed thereafter, Lady Gaga in a lengthy statement hit out at the President for what she described as ‘fueling racist activity’.

She wrote;

‘I have a lot of things to say about this, but the first thing I want to say is I’m afraid to say anything that will incite further anger, although that is precisely the emotion that’s justified.’

‘I do not wish to contribute to more violence, I wish to contribute to a solution. I am as outraged by the death of George Floyd as I have been by the deaths of exponentially too many black lives over hundreds of years that have been taken from us in this country as a result of systematic racism and the corrupt syst.pems that support it

‘The voices of the black community have been silenced for too long and that silence has proven deadly time and time again. And no matter what they do to protest, they are still met with no compassion by the leaders that are meant to protect them.

Everyday people in America are racist, that’s a fact. ‘Right now is a critical time for the black community to be supported by all other communities so we can put a stop to something that is intrinsically wrong by the grace of God or whatever creator you do or do not believe in.’

‘We have known for a long time that President Trump has failed. He holds the most powerful office in the world, yet offers nothing but ignorance and prejudice while black lives continue to be taken.

‘We have known he is a fool, and a racist, since he took office. He is fuelling a system that is already rooted in racism, and racist activity, and we can all see what is happening.

It’s time for a change. I urge people to speak gently to each other, speak with passion, inspiration, and impress the importance of this issue until the systems that keep us sick die, instead of people we love.’

‘We MUST show our love for the black community. As a white, privileged woman, I take an oath to stand by that. ‘We haven’t, as a privileged community, done enough to fight racism and stand up for those people who are being killed by it. ‘This isn’t justice. This is an epic tragedy that defines our country and has for a long time. I am sad. I am angry.

And I will use the words that I can find to communicate what needs to change in as an effective and non-violent way as possible for me.’

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