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BREAKING: Iran Apologises For ‘Mistakenly’ Shooting Down Ukrainian Plane

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Iran has apologised its military “unintentionally” shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 on board.

The statement on Saturday morning blames “human error” for the incident, adding that the military mistook Flight 752 for a “hostile target”.

Press TV also quoted Iran’s General Staff of the Armed Forces as saying that the plane had flown close to a “sensitive military site”.

The military said it was at its “highest level of readiness” amid the heightened tensions with the United States.

“In such a condition, because of human error and in a unintentional way, the flight was hit,” the military said.

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It apologised and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent future tragedies.

In a statement posted on social media, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani wrote that the country “deeply regrets this disastrous mistake”.

“My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences,” he said, adding that “investigations continue to identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake”.

Iran had denied for several days that a missile downed the aircraft.

But then the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believe Iran shot down the aircraft.

On Friday, Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran’s civil aviation authority, said it was impossible due to close coordination between Iran’s air defence and the civil aviation department.

“What is obvious for us, and what we can say with certainty, is that no missile hit the plane,” Abedzadeh told reporters in Tehran.

The jetliner, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukraine International Airlines, went down on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at US forces in Iraq.

In a social media post, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that “human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to the disaster”.

“Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims and to other affected nations.”

The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, when it was shot down.

“This is the right step for the Iranian government to admit responsibility and it gives people a step toward closure with this admission,” said Payman Parseyan, a prominent Iranian-Canadian in western Canada who lost a number of friends in the crash.

“I think the investigation would have disclosed it whether they admitted it or not. This will give them an opportunity to save face,” he told AP news agency.

(Al Jazeera)

Tech

BREAKING: Google Is Now A $1 Trillion Company

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Google has recorded a milestone achievement of $1 trillion, joining the likes of Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon.

The search engine company was able to achieve the feat on Thursday, after its parent company, Alphabet ended the day’s trading at $1,451.70 per share, up 0.87 percent.

With Thursday’s achievement, Google became the fourth S&P 500 component to top the lofty level. Business Insider reported that while Apple and Microsoft are still valued at more than $1 trillion, Amazon which was the second US firm to ever hit the $1 trillion level back in September 2018 has since fallen below the number.

This is the first time that three American companies are worth at least $1 trillion at the same time. The most valuable company on the planet is still the oil giant Saudi Aramco, who went public last month at a valuation of $2 trillion and is currently worth around $1.8 trillion.

Alphabet’s record market valuation came after a historic change in leadership at the company. Recall that Sundar Pichai became the CEO of both Google and Alphabet after co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced that they would step back from the company which they founded in 1998.

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Entertainment

Actress Rita Dominic Reacts To Ihedioha’s Removal, Says ‘A Zoo Is Better Than Nigeria’

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Veteran movie goddess Rita Dominic has fumed over the recent sack of Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha as Imo State Governor by the Supreme Court.

The light-skinned screen diva who hails from Imo was apparently shocked by the ruling of the apex court.

Recall that the Supreme Court Tuesday, January 14th annulled the March 9th 2019 election of Emeka Ihedioha as governor of Imo state.

In a lead judgement read by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the apex court ruled that records before it proved that election results from 388 polling units during the election, were unlawfully excluded from the overall collated results that declared Ihedioha winner of the state governorship election.

It noted that results from the cancelled polling units amounted to 213, 295 votes, adding that Ihedioha was returned elected, based on wrong computation of results.

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According to the apex court, the tribunal and the appellate court failed to properly award justice to Uzodinma when he petitioned them because they misinterpreted his petition.

Reacting apparently on the Supreme Court’s ruling, on micro-blogging site, Twitter on Tuesday, Rita Dominic expressed her disappointment, stressing that a zoo is better than Nigeria.

She wrote:

“Oh my goodness! A zoo is better than here to be honest.”

The actress however deleted the tweet almost immediately. A visit to the link shows that it is no longer available on her timeline which means she deleted it.

Meanwhile, senator Hope Uzodinma has since been sworn in as the governor of Imo State.

The governor-elect and his deputy, Professor Placid Njoku, were sworn in on Wednesday, January 15th, by the Chief Justice of the state, Justice Paschal Nnadi.

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News

UPDATED: Uzodinma Sworn In As Imo Governor

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Senator Hope Uzodinma has been sworn in as the governor of Imo State.

The governor-elect and his deputy, Professor Placid Njoku, were sworn in by the Chief Justice of the state, Justice Pascal Nnadi.

The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Imo State Government House, hours after Senator Uzodinma received his certificate of return from INEC in Abuja and one day after the Supreme Court nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha and declared him the elected governor of the state.

The National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, former Governor of the State, Senator Rochas Okorocha and governorship candidate of APGA in the 2019 governorship election, Ifeanyi Ararume were among those in attendance at the swearing-in ceremony.

Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka, who had predicted that Senator Uzodinma will emerge as governor of the state, was among those who were present at the event.

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The priest had drawn a large crowd upon his arrival as many swarmed his car praising him for his prediction.

Several APC chieftains, including APC National Vice Chairman, Emma Eneukwu, APC National Organising Secretary, Emma Ibediro, the Speaker of the Imo House of Assembly Chiji, as well as Ahmed Gulak and Andy Uba, were also in attendance.

Earlier, Senator Hope Uzodinma had said that he owes his gubernatorial victory at the Supreme Court to a functional judiciary.

Speaking after he received the Certificate of Return from the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) as the governor-elect of Imo State, Sen Uzodinma stated that the Supreme Court’s judgment is justice for the Imo People.

“We owe this victory to the almighty God, we owe it to the functional judiciary, the Supreme Court used the eagle eyes of the law and gave us justice, and there is so much excitement down there in Imo state,” Uzodinma said.

Senator Uzodinma told newsmen that the verdict was the wish of the Imo people who came out and voted for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and himself.

Mr. Uzodinma also noted that there is happiness in Imo State, adding that this is a sign that the peoples’expectations and the mandate which they have given him, was protected.

The governor-elect promised to deliver for the Imo people, stating that he owes them that much.

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