President Donald Trump on Friday signed the $2.2 trillion (N827 trillion) financial stimulus package to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
This came hours after the country’s House of Representatives approved the bipartisan bill, which the Senate passed on Wednesday.
U.S. is currently the hardest-hit country in terms of the COVID-19 infections, accounting for no fewer than 99,000 cases.
Under the law, the government will make direct payments totaling $290 billion (N109 trillion) to Americans earning below $99,000 (N37 million) per annum.
They are expected to get directly get up to $1,200 (N451,000) each, in addition to $500 (N188,000) per child.
On Wednesday, a record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits amid massive job losses occasioned by the pandemic.
The package includes the payment of another $260 billion (N97 trillion) to jobless and laid-off workers for up to four months.
Small businesses with less than 500 employees and airlines will get a total of $881 billion (N331 trillion) as soft loans to cushion the economic effect of the virus.
In brief remarks, after the signing at the White House in Washington, Trump thanked “Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first”.
He said the package would pave way for economic recovery in the U.S., adding that the country would have “a tremendous rebound’’.
BREAKING: Music Legend, Majek Fashek Is Dead
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.
“Trump Is A Fool And Racist” — Lady Gaga Says As She Calls For Change Following George Floyd’s Murder
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’.
‘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.’
$500,000 Bail Set For George Floyd’s Killer Police Officer, Derek Chauvin
A $500,000 bail has reportedly been set for Derek Michael Chauvin, the white police officer who killed George Floyd, a Black man who was unarmed when he was arrested.
Chauvin was charged on Friday, May 29, 2020 with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd was accused of using a fake $20 note to buy cigarette in Minneapolis.
After his arrest, Chauvin was seen in videos that have since gone viral, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for about seven minutes, leading to his death.
“I can’t breathe, man,” Floyd can be heard saying in the new video. “Please, let me stand. Please, man,” Floyd, 46 was heard saying in the video.
However, Minneapolis police said Floyd “physically resisted” the officers.
Surprisingly, a preliminary autopsy revealed that the combined effects of Floyd being restrained, potential intoxicants in his system and underlying health issues, including heart disease, contributed to his death, pointing to a natural cause of death.
The autopsy report says there was no physical findings to support strangulation as the cause of death.
However, Floyd’s family, according to their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, is upset that Chauvin wasn’t charged with a more serious offense.
“We expected a first-degree murder charge. We want a first-degree murder charge. And we want to see the other officers arrested,” the family noted in a statement.
If convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, Chauvin faces 25 years in prison on the first charge and up to 10 years on the second, reports say.
Mass Arrests, Protests
There have been mass protests across at least 30 cities in the United States over the death.
Over 100 people were reportedly arrested in Chicago on Friday night in relation to the protests, with 200 others including a CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez arrested in New York.
There have been reports of casualties including a 19-year teen believed to have been killed.
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