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Afghanistan: “attacking Americans who are merely evacuating civilians is not only senseless but also baseless” – Islamic Group blasts Taliban

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The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned Thursday’s attacks which happened outside the Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

About 13 people were reportedly killed in a twin explosion while about 72 others were injured.

MURIC’s condemnation of the attack came via a statement issued on Thursday by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

MURIC said, “Thirteen people were reportedly killed by a suicide bomber outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan. More than seventy two (72) others were injured. About three (3) Americans were alleged to be among the injured.

“We strongly condemn this terror attack. It was callous, cowardly and barbaric. Any attack on unarmed civilians deserves the condemnation of civilised people.

“In particular, attacking Americans who are merely evacuating civilians is not only senseless but also baseless.

“This was not a war situation. Real men wait for a situation of hostilities before launching attacks.

“The Kabul Airport attack of Thursday was therefore cowardly, cold-blooded and devoid of any scintilla of gallantry.

“MURIC will not support any group that relies on violence and terror attacks to achieve its objective. We are the ‘dialogue’ group. Our motto is ‘Dialogue, No Violence’ and we have been committed to non-violence since the formation of our organisation in 1994. Nothing can make us shift this honourable position. Ours is an intellectual struggle.

“We remind the Taliban of its commitment to a peaceful exit of American troops. It is equally important to remind the Taliban of the high premium which Islam places on honour and the fulfilment of promises.

“The Glorious Qur’an chapter 23 verse 8 refers to those who keep their covenants and their trusts as true believers who will inherit al-Jannah (Paradise) and dwell there forever (Qur’an 23:1 – 11).

“We therefore charge the Taliban to keep to its agreement with the United States on the evacuation of both American troops and citizens.”

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Just In: Former French President, Sarkozy sentenced to jail for illegal campaign financing

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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday, was sentenced to one year in prison for illegal campaign financing in his failed 2012 re-election bid.

This makes him the first French head of state in modern times to receive two jail terms.

The judge said Sarkozy could serve the sentence by wearing an electronic bracelet at home, CNN reports.

“Nicolas Sarkozy knew the spending limit, he knew he shouldn’t exceed it,” the judge said.

Speaking outside of the courtroom on Thursday, Sarkozy’s lawyer Thierry Herzog told French media that he would be launching an appeal.

This is the second criminal case involving Sarkozy. In March he was handed a three-year prison sentence, two of which were suspended, for corruption and influence peddling. The 66-year-old has appealed the March conviction.

The criminal investigation dubbed the “Bygmalion case”, which first started in March 2014, discovered that Sarkozy’s campaign spent more than $54 million during the campaign by using fake invoices, way above the limit of $24 million set by French electoral laws.

Sarkozy fought a lengthy legal battle trying to prevent the trial from happening but his appeal was rejected in late 2018 and the trial opened on May 20, 2021, after having been delayed for two months due to a key defendant’s lawyer being hospitalized for Covid-19.

The legal ceiling for campaign funds was a well-known fact within Sarkozy’s campaign team. On March 7, 2012, they received their first memo from their accountants warning them of the quickly expanding campaign cost, urging them to “correct the trajectory,” said Guillaume Lambert, Sarkozy’s 2012 campaign manager, in an interview with France 2 television earlier this year.

Lambert said he told Sarkozy about the memo and indicated to him the necessity to cut campaign spending, while Sarkozy maintained that he had no knowledge of the overspending.

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Chinese Banks Set To Establish Operations In Nigeria

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The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchin, has disclosed that his country is working towards the establishment of Chinese-owned bank operations in Nigeria

Mr Jianchin this known in Abuja while addressing journalists during the commemoration of the 2021 Chinese Moon Festival and China-Nigeria Cultural week on Tuesday.

Jianchin who said he was in talks with Chinese-owned banks, noted that among the world’s 10 biggest banks, six were in China.

“Before my departure from Beijing to Abuja, I talked to several banks in China. When you list the world’s 10 big banks, six are in China. The banking sector is very important because, without money, we cannot build our industries.

“What I am thinking here is best to talk to the governor of the central bank, and how we can allow the Chinese banks to run office here and now, they are doing the feasibility studies on that.”

He explained that it would boost Nigeria’s economy and expand trade relations between the two nations.

Establishing Chinese banks in the country would also be a point of discussion during the China-Nigeria Bi-national Committee meeting, Jianchin said.

“I am working hard that in the bi-national meeting, I hope we can make a big decision and give a big push to let the banking industry and insurance industry because financial integration and institutions are key.

“If you go to China, you will find our banking industry is very powerful, not only for business but a change in the way of life.”

Extolling the extant China-Nigeria trade relations, the Chinese ambassador noted that the trade volume between China and Nigeria was nearly $20 billion, increasing from 2020’s $19.2 billion.

Mr Jianchin affirmed that the 2021 celebration is special as it coincides with the 50th anniversary of China-Nigeria’s bilateral relations and that the countries share October 1 national day.

According to News Agency of Nigeria, he disclosed that the Chinese embassy would honour 50 Nigerian employees of Chinese companies in Nigeria for their outstanding performance and contribution to strengthening diplomatic ties.

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Breaking: The United Nations has spoken out, calling for an end to school attacks.

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The United Nations (UN) has reiterated its condemnation of attacks on schools in many countries.

On Thursday, Secretary-General António Guterres told the international community that “attacks on schools must stop’’.

The UN chief spoke at a virtual event to commemorate the International Day to Protect Education from Attack.

Noting that education provides knowledge, skills and transforms lives, Guterres said schools must be places of learning, safety and peace.

He lamented the horrors that conflicts inflict on learning, how schools are targeted, destroyed and used for military purposes, while children face violence, exploitation and recruitment to fight.

Guterres revealed that between 2015 and 2020, over 13,000 reports of strikes on education or the military use of educational facilities, were recorded around the world.

“The loss is incalculable. And this threat is not lessening, as the horrifying events in Afghanistan are showing us so starkly”, he said.

The scribe called on all countries yet to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration to do so as soon as possible.

The declaration, currently endorsed by 111 States, outlines concrete steps for governments to protect schools and learning.

Guterres charged countries to “hold perpetrators accountable” by making attacks on schools “unacceptable and punished”.

He called for increased support for the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as they work hard to protect education, students, teachers and schools.

Schools in Nigeria’s North-East and North-West regions have been targeted by bandits and terrorists.

Hundreds are not open at the moment after state government ordered their closure to forestall further attacks.

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