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23 Nigerians, One Frenchman Jailed In France Over Sex Trafficking

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A French court has sentenced 23 Nigerians and one Frenchman, all members of a Lyon-based sex trafficking ring to prison terms of up to seven years for forcing Nigerian women into prostitution.

It was the latest case to highlight the growing use of African migrants in the European sex trade.

Among those sentenced was Europe’s most wanted woman, fugitive Jessica Edosomwan, accused of acting as a France-based “madam” to women recruited mainly in Nigeria’s Edo State.

Edosomwan was tried in absentia.

Also sentenced was self-styled Pastor Stanley Omoregie, 35, who said he just wanted to help the people in his community.

He denied in court the accusation of being involved in running a prostitution racket and trafficking of young girls from Nigeria to Europe.

Half of the 24 defendants present are women, mostly under 35 years old, and suspected of being the “mamas” of the network, in other words pimps.

Nigeria was the main country of origin for the tens of thousands of migrants who crossed the Mediterranean to Europe by boat in 2016 and 2017.

Many were women and girls lured to Europe with false promises of jobs as hairdressers or seamstresses, only to find themselves selling sex to repay their smugglers.

Seventeen women filed complaints against the defendants but none of the victims attended the trial, with the exception of one former sex worker who found herself in the dock for luring another woman into the trade.

The accused had faced up to 10 years’ imprisonment on charges including human trafficking, pimping, money laundering and helping people live illegally in France.

Prosecutors estimated that the victims, aged 17 to 38, made up to 150,000 euros ($166,000) a month for the syndicate by selling sex in vans parked by the side of the road for as little as 10 euros.

A French mechanic who looked after the vans was among the 24 defendants.

Last year, 15 members of a Paris-based, female-led pimping ring known as the “Authentic Sisters” — many themselves former trafficking victims — were jailed for up to 11 years for forcing girls into slavery in France.

Similar gangs have also been dismantled in Italy and Britain.

The UN estimates that 80 percent of young Nigerian women arriving in Italy — usually their first port of call in Europe — are already in the clutches of prostitution networks, or quickly fall under their control.

Most of the women come from Nigeria’s Benin City, a human trafficking hotbed.

Many told investigators they had taken part in “juju” or black magic rituals before leaving Nigeria, during which they had to promise to repay the money for their passage to Europe.

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WHO Suspends Chloroquine Trial As Possible Cure For COVID-19

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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday May 25, announced that it has suspended the use of hydroxychloroquine in solidarity trial for the treatment of COVID-19.

The drug trial was suspended on grounds of safety concern following a report published by Lancet, which revealed that more people are dying from the use of hydroxychloroquine to combat COVID-19.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who made the announcement during an online briefing, added that other aspects of the WHO solidarity trial would continue.

Ghebreyesus said: “As you know, more than two months ago we initiated the Solidarity Trial, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations against COVID-19.

“On Friday, the Lancet published an observational study on hydroxycholoroquine and chloraquine and its effects on COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalised.

“The authors reported that among patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate.

“The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally.

“The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and in particular robust randomised available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug.

“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board.

“The other arms of the trial are continuing. This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloraquine in COVID-19.

“I wish to reiterate that these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria. WHO will provide further updates as we know more. And we will continue to work night and day for solutions, science and solidarity.”

Over 400 hospitals in 35 countries are actively recruiting patients and nearly 3500 patients have been enrolled for trials in 17 countries. At the moment, five states in the country – Lagos, FCT, Ogun, Kaduna, Sokoto and Kano have signed up to participate in the WHO’s solidarity trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19.

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‘In America, We Need More Prayer’ — Trump Orders Places Of Worship Reopen Immediately

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US President Donald Trump on Friday ordered governors to reopen worship centres; churches, synagogues and mosques “right now,” while also threatening to “override” state leaders’ restrictions if they do not do so by the weekend.

In the words of Donald Trump, it was an “injustice” that some state leaders have allowed “liquor stores and abortion clinics” to stay open during the Covid-19 pandemic while closing houses of worship.

It’s not right,” Trump said. “I’m calling houses of worship essential.”

“If there’s any question, they’re going to have to call me, but they’re not going to be successful in that call,” Trump said of state leaders.

“The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend,”

“If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.”

“It’s not right,” ”This move is aimed at correcting this injustice.”

“If there’s any question, they’re going to have to call me, But they are not going to be successful in that call.”

“In America, we need more prayer,” “Not less.” Mr Trump said before leaving the briefing room.

The White House had recently fought with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make its forthcoming guidelines for reopening areas of worship more lenient, NBC News reported Thursday.

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Ex-President’s Son Commits Suicide

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A son of Mexico’s former president Luis Echeverria Alvarez, who governed in the 1970s with an iron fist, has killed himself, authorities said Tuesday.

Alvaro Echeverria Zuno, 71, died on Tuesday morning at his home in the state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, the local prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Former president Echeverria, 98, led the country from 1970-1976 and is considered the main person responsible for Mexico’s “dirty war”, which featured the targeted assassinations and forced disappearance of students, leftist activists, and guerrillas by government agents.

The worst massacres in modern Mexican history took place in October 1968 – 10 days before the opening of the Olympic Games in Mexico City – when ex-president Echeverria was interior minister in the government of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz (1964-1970).

Hundreds of unarmed students and demonstrators – the exact number is still unknown – were slaughtered when soldiers and undercover agents opened fire on protesters at a plaza in the Mexico City neighborhood of Tlatelolco.

In 2006 Echevarria faced genocide charges, but given his age was granted home prison and eventually given conditional freedom.

(AFP)

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