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US, China stocks gains, dollar weaker as Democrats win House

By News Desk,

Wall Street stock futures and Asian shares held earlier gains on Wednesday after Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives, boosting the party’s ability to block President Donald Trump’s political and economic agenda.

The Democrats’ House win creates a clear hurdle for Republicans to easily pass legislation through both chambers of Congress, clouding the outlook for some of Trump’s key economic proposals.

In Asian trade, major broadcasters projected the Democrats would wrest House control, while the Republicans were seen retaining the Senate.

While both outcomes were broadly in line with market expectations, a reason markets did not sell off, the prospect of political gridlock creates some uncertainty for investors. The dollar weakened against most of its major counterparts.

In equities markets, U.S. S&P500 futures ESc1 rose 0.3 percent, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3 percent and Japan’s Nikkei gained 1.2 percent

“It has clearly become difficult for Republicans to pass additional tax hikes or amendments to Dodd-Frank regulations (on financial institutions) for instance,” said Tomoaki Shishido, fixed income analyst at Nomura Securities.

Investor sentiment had been volatile in Asian trade with stocks and the dollar swinging on the Republicans’ fluctuating prospects of retaining the House.

While a split Congress would put a brake on Trump’s agenda, such as tax cuts or deregulation, some investors think the Democrats may agree to more spending.

“There are still areas with compromise for spending, so even with a split government I expect more fiscal stimulus ahead. There is some possibility for compromise on infrastructure spending as well,” said Steve Friedman, New York-based senior economist at BNP Paribas Asset Management.

“If there is additional fiscal stimulus, it suggests that fiscal policy is more of a tailwind for U.S. growth and it should, all things equal, be supportive for stocks.”

On the other hand, many investors also expect Trump to continue to take a hard line on tariffs, which he can impose without Congressional approval. That keeps alive worries about a trade war between China and the United States.

Trump’s massive tax cut, enacted in December, and a spending agreement reached in February have helped lift the U.S. economy, but they have also widened U.S. federal budget deficit.

As a result, Treasury supply has been growing, pushing U.S. bond yields higher.

The election results pushed down the 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield about 2 basis points to 3.193 percent, off its seven-year high of 3.261 percent touched a month ago. But the debt market also remains under pressure from this week’s record volumes of longer-dated government debt supply.

Oil prices were soft after a 2 percent fall the previous day, with U.S. crude futures hitting an eight-month low as Washington granted sanction waivers to top buyers of Iranian oil and as Iran said it has so far been able to sell as much oil as it needs to.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures traded 0.5 percent lower at $61.91 a barrel having hit a low of $61.31 on Tuesday, the weakest price since March 16.

In the currency market, the dollar dipped on the U.S. election results. Against the yen, it was 0.2 percent lower at 113.23, reversing earlier gains to one-month high of 113.82 yen.

The euro rose 0.3 percent to $1.1467 and the British pound gained 0.3 percent to $1.3140, hitting a three-week high.

Sterling extended gains made the previous day on hopes of a Brexit deal breakthrough after Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said “Thumbs Up” on his way out of a cabinet meeting.

That helped sterling recover losses following remarks from a senior member of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party earlier that it looked like Britain would exit the EU without a deal.

Presidency refutes N30,000 minimum wage approval claim

The Presidency has frowned at the misinterpretation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s remarks when he received the report of the Tripartite Committee on the Review of National Minimum Wage from the committee’s chairman, Ama Pepple, on Tuesday.

A presidential source, who preferred not to be named, said the president did not endorse N30,000 as proposed by committee as being reported by some sections of the media.

He, however, stated that President Buhari had expressed his commitment to ensuring the implementation of a new National Minimum Wage.

“But the president’s speech at the event was immediately made available to the media and nowhere indicated that the president endorsed N30,000 Minimum wage.

“It is not the duty of the president only to endorse a new national minimum wage. The process involves the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the National Economic Council (NEC) and the National Assembly.

“It is imperative for us to always avoid misinterpreting a written speech,’’ he added.

At the submission of the report of the Tripartite Committee that negotiated a new minimum wage with labour and other stakeholders, President Buhari pledged that the Federal Government would soon transmit an Executive bill (on National Minimum Wage) to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.

He said: “Our plan is to transmit the Executive bill to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.

“I am fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future.’’

Buhari also expressed delight that the committee had successfully completed its assignment in a peaceful and non-controversial manner.

“Let me use this opportunity to recognise the leadership of the organised labour and private sector as well as representatives of State and Federal Governments for all your hard work.

“The fact that we are here today, is a notable achievement.

“As the Executive Arm commences its review of your submission, we will continue to engage you all in closing any open areas presented in this report.

“I, therefore, would like to ask for your patience and understanding in the coming weeks.”

The President, however, enjoined the leadership of the labour unions as well as the Nigerian workers to avoid being used as political weapons.

“May I therefore, employ workers and their leaders not to allow themselves to be used as political weapons,’’ he said.

In her remarks, Pepple explained that the recommendation made by the committee was predicated on the high cost of living, occasioned by the exchange rate as well as the rising inflation rate in the country.

She said that the committee also considered micro-economic indicators including the revenue and expenditure profile of the government.

Pepple expressed the hope that the implementation of the recommended minimum wage would boost the purchasing power of the working class, increase consumption expenditure, and stimulate economic growth.

France detains 6 over plot to attack Emmanuel Macron

By News Desk,

French police have arrested six people over alleged plans to stage a “violent” attack against President Emmanuel Macron. Security sources say the suspects are members of the radical far right.

Six people from France’s far right have been detained on suspicion of plotting to attack President Emmanuel Macron, an official has said.

Sources cited by news agencies said the domestic spy agency (DGSI) made the arrests in three different French regions after receiving intelligence about an “imprecise and loosely formed” plan for “violent action” against the president.

The alleged scheme was uncovered days before world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, are due in France for ceremonies marking 100 years since the armistice that ended World War I.

‘Concrete threats’

The six suspects — five men and one woman aged between 22 and 62 — were detained at properties in the Alps to the southwest, Brittany in the northeast and Moselle on the border with Germany and Luxembourg.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters the suspects are believed to be far-right activists, and that authorities feared “concrete threats” from the group.

Prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into an alleged criminal terrorist association, according to a judicial source.

This is not the first attempted plan to attack Macron. In July 2017, a 23-year-old was charged with plotting to assassinate the president during France’s Bastille Day military parade.

Nigeria’s ‘Mona Lisa’ shown at home for first time since it resurface

By News Desk,

The Nigerian Mona Lisa, a painting lost for more than 40 years and found in a London flat in February, is being exhibited in Nigeria for the first time since it disappeared.

“Tutu”, an art work by Nigeria’s best-known modern artist, Ben Enwonwu, was painted in 1974. It appeared at an art show in Lagos the following year, but its whereabouts after that were unknown, until it re-surfaced in north London.

The owners – who wished to remain anonymous – had called in Giles Peppiatt, an expert in modern and contemporary African art at the London auction house Bonhams, to identify their painting. He recognized Enwonwu’s portrait.

“It was discovered by myself on a pretty routine valuation call to look at a work by Ben Enwonwu,” said Giles Peppiatt, director of contemporary African art at Bonhams. “I didn’t know what I was going to see. I turned up, and it was this amazing painting. We’d had no inkling ‘Tutu’ was there.

How it got there remains a bit of a mystery, Peppiatt said.

“All the family that owned it know is that it was owned by their father, who had business interests in Nigeria. He traveled and picked it up in the late or mid-70s.”

The family put the portrait up for sale, and it was auctioned for 1.2 million pounds ($1.57 million) in February to an anonymous buyer. The sale made it the highest-valued work of Nigerian modern art sold at auction.

“Tutu” was loaned to the Art X Lagos fair, held from Friday to Sunday, by Access Bank, the organizers said in a statement. Peppiatt said Access arranged the loan but is not the painting’s owner.

“‘Tutu’ is referred to as the African ‘Mona Lisa’ by virtue of this disappearance and re-emergence, and it is the first work of a modern Nigerian artist to sell for over a million pounds,” said Tokini Peterside, the art fair’s founder.

The original Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, was stolen from the Louvre in 1911. The thief, Vincenzo Peruggia, eventually took it to Italy, where it was recovered and in 1914 returned to the Louvre.

The Nigerian painting is a portrait of Adetutu Ademiluyi, a grand-daughter of a traditional ruler from the Yoruba ethnic group. It holds special significance in Nigeria as a symbol of national reconciliation after the 1967-70 Biafran War.

Enwonwu belonged to the Igbo ethnic group, the largest in the southeastern region of Nigeria, which had tried to secede under the name of Biafra. The Yoruba, whose homeland is in the southwest, were mostly on the opposing side in the war.

Enwonwu painted three versions of the portrait. One is in a private collection in Lagos, while Peppiatt is hunting the third in Washington D.C., the expert said. Prints first made in the 1970s have been in circulation ever since and the images are familiar to many Nigerians. Enwonwu died in 1994.

Girl, 10yr-old in court over killing baby in day care

By News Desk, with Agency Report,

A 10-year-old Wisconsin girl was led into court in handcuffs Monday morning and charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of a 6-month-old boy.

Accompanied by her parents, the girl sobbed throughout a 10-minute bond hearing in Chippewa County Circuit Court, where Judge James Isaacson ordered her held on $50,000 cash bond.

Girls identity undisclosed because her case likely will be referred to juvenile court. Under Wisconsin law, first-degree homicide charges must initially be brought in adult court if the accused is age 10 or older.

Wearing a colorful striped skirt, a black hoodie and pink sneakers, the girl buried her head in her mother’s arms, moaning and crying as Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell described the charge against her.

According to Newell, police responded to an emergency call on the afternoon of Oct. 30. A 6-month-old boy at a licensed day care center in the rural town of Wheaton, just west of Chippewa Falls, was found unresponsive and bleeding from the head. The baby was taken to a local hospital and then flown to Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, where he died Nov. 1.

Police questioned one adult and three children who were present at the day care center. They quickly settled on the girl as the prime suspect, said Chippewa County Sheriff James Kowalczyk.

According to Kowalczyk, the girl said she was holding the baby when she dropped the infant, who hit his head on a footstool. When the baby cried, she panicked and stomped on the child’s head, the sheriff said. A local doctor who examined the baby determined that the injuries were not accidental, he added.

Although the girl’s biological parents were with her in court, authorities said she had been removed from their home in September and placed in foster care with the same family that also runs the day care center where the infant’s death occurred. The reason the girl was placed in the foster home was not disclosed.

“It’s not been a good morning for Chippewa County,” Kowalczyk said, referring to the infant’s death as well as the continuing investigation into the deaths of three Girl Scouts and one of their mothers, who were hit and killed by a truck Saturday near Chippewa Falls in an incident that resulted in homicide charges against 21-year-old Colten Treu.

Trump stop playing our music – Axl Rose, Rihanna

By News Desk,

Rihanna wasn’t happy. Neither was Axl Rose.

Both musicians took to Twitter this past weekend, responding to reports from people who had heard their songs at President Trump’s rallies — in Rihanna’s case, “Don’t Stop the Music,” and in Rose’s, “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” the Guns N’ Roses hit. Both songs have been slotted into the playlist the president uses to fire up the crowd before he takes the stage, along with songs by the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Journey and others.

Rose, the Guns N’ Roses frontman, said that the group had requested that the Trump campaign stop playing its songs.

Rihanna’s tweet, responding to a reporter’s amusement about hearing her song at a Trump rally, suggested that she, too, wanted the music to stop.

Her lawyer, Jordan Siev, followed up on Monday with a “cease and desist” letter to the White House. “As you are or should be aware, Ms. Fenty has not provided her consent to Mr. Trump to use her music,” Siev wrote, using Rihanna’s given name, Robyn Fenty. “Such use is therefore improper.”

So how does it happen that politicians can blast anthems to their supporters written by musicians who despise them? The answer lies in the intricate thicket of licensing and copyright law, which in the past has given political campaigns a lot of leeway to choose whatever songs they like.

But Rihanna and Rose may be in luck. In recent years, certain rules have given musicians more of a say in whether their voices can be used to fire up a sea of MAGA hats.

There is a long history of horrified musicians learning their songs were being played by politicians they did not support, and it has almost always been Republicans on the receiving end of the complaints. Sting and Tom Petty objected to former President George W. Bush’s use of their music. The group Heart asked Sarah Palin to stop playing “Barracuda” when she was running for vice president in 2008. Bruce Springsteen, an outspoken liberal, has chafed at Republicans’ use of “Born in the U.S.A.”

Just last week, Pharrell Williams sent a scathing letter to the president after the song “Happy” was played at an event on the day of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. But the National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Organization, the group that hosted the event, said it was their organist who played the song, without any input from the campaign.

Some lawsuits have been filed over the years, and almost invariably have been settled before any court could rule on their arguments. But often, there wasn’t much a musician could do.

Playing music at a public event requires a license, which generally comes from a few big music-rights agencies like BMI and ASCAP. Usually, the arenas where politicians appear already possess a blanket license that allows the venue to play any song in the agencies’ vast catalogs.

The agencies advise political campaigns to purchase their own blanket licenses so they can play music wherever they are, whether it’s a hotel ballroom, an airplane hangar, or the edge of a soybean field. Trump’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment, but major campaigns generally have such licenses.

In recent years, BMI and ASCAP have written exemptions into these contracts giving musicians the right to stop a politician from using their songs. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith had his music removed from Mr. Trump’s licenses with both BMI and ASCAP, according to his lawyer, Dina LaPolt.

“Before Trump was even elected president, he was using Steven’s songs,”LaPolt said. “Fans and colleagues and even loved ones were very confused because it looked like he was endorsing Trump.”

LaPolt had to send numerous letters to the Trump campaign. She argued that playing Tyler’s songs at rallies was creating a false impression that he was a Trump supporter, an argument that Rihanna’s lawyer also made.

This past August, LaPolt finally received the answer Tyler had been hoping for. Jones Day, the law firm that represents the Trump campaign, wrote a letter saying, “Without admitting any liability, and to avoid any future dispute, we send this response to confirm that the Trump campaign will not use your client’s music in connection with its activities going forward.”

On Twitter, Rose accused the Trump campaign of relying on venue licenses to defy the group’s demand to be excluded from the playlist.

“Unfortunately the Trump campaign is using loopholes in the various venues’ blanket performance licenses which were not intended for such craven political purposes, without the songwriters’ consent,” Rose said, in a tweet that ended with a poop emoji.

Music industry experts say that assuming a venue’s license will cover a politician can be problematic. BMI’s college and university license, for example, excludes events that are “promoted or sponsored by a third party.”

“There is risk involved if a campaign attempts to rely on a venue license to cover its music use for events,” a BMI spokeswoman, Liz Fischer, said in an email. “Many venues where campaign events are held do not have licenses, and venue licenses are not intended to cover campaign events in the first place.”

Of course, legalities aside, there is also a basic political concern.

“It’s easier for artists to find out that their music is being used at rallies than it was in the pre-internet days,” said Victoria Sheckler, the deputy general counsel for the Recording Industry Association of America. “And no campaign wants to have an artist saying ‘Don’t use my music, I don’t like you’ hanging over their head.”

As is often the case, though, the Trump campaign could be the exception.

China open to talk trade with US – VP

By News Desk, with Agency Report,

A top deputy to Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing remained ready to discuss a trade solution with the U.S., but cautioned that the country wouldn’t again be “bullied and oppressed” by foreign powers.

Vice President Wang Qishan — one of China’s best-known economic reformers — told Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum in Singapore that trade was still the “anchor and propeller of China-U.S. relations.” Wang prefaced his support for talks — a refrain Chinese leaders have repeated for months — with a warning about the dangers of “right-leaning populism” and “unilateralism.”

“The Chinese side is ready to have discussions with the U.S. on issues of mutual concern and work for a solution on trade acceptable to both sides,” Wang told the crowd of more than 400 business and political leaders Tuesday. “China will stay calm and sober-minded and embrace greater openness to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.”

Still, Wang — a long-time friend of Xi’s — said that China had been “bullied and oppressed by imperialist powers” and must “blaze its own trail.”

Wang was speaking the day after Xi pledged at a Shanghai trade expo to further open his country’s markets, while taking a few veiled swipes at U.S. counterpart Donald Trump. The rare speech by Wang comes amid an effort by top Communist Party leaders to reassure global investors spooked by the U.S.-China trade war and a deepening slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.

‘Dig In Their Heels’

While Trump has asked cabinet officials outline the terms of a possible deal with Xi, Bloomberg News reported Friday, Chinese officials have given no indication they are ready to meet key U.S. demands, such as halting forced technology transfers or rolling back support for state-owned enterprises. On Monday, Trump told a campaign rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that he still believed he and Xi could settle the dispute.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent Tuesday, trimming last week’s rally. The yuan weakened as much as 0.16 percent to 6.9240 per dollar in offshore trading after its best week since March.

“We’re going to see these two sides continue to dig in their heels — both sides still think they have the upper hand,” Scott Kennedy, deputy director of China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told Bloomberg Television. “For President Trump, even though he’s signaling that it’s possible they want a deal, there’s actually no monster benefit to him economically or politically. So I think they’ll continue to do this dance and all of us will continue to watch.”

Diplomatic Talks

Even as the U.S. and China spar over everything from tariffs to American support for the democratically run island of Taiwan, the two sides have sought to preserve broader ties. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced Monday that they would host their Chinese counterparts Friday in Washington for a regular diplomatic and security dialogue.

Wang was introduced Tuesday by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP. The company owns both Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Media Group, which organized the New Economy Forum.

‘Rising Populism’

The Chinese vice president, who was making his third overseas trip since assuming the government’s No. 2 post in March, used the speech to express concerns about growing populist sentiment. He said the trend, along with rapid technological advances and global demographic shifts, demanded a new approach to global governance.

“We are facing the challenge of rising populism and unilateralism,” Wang said. “Such rapid changes have split some countries and societies. The polarization of right-leaning populism has manifested itself in political demands, which has led to unilateral policies against globalization and seriously affected the international political ecosystem.”

Wang, who last year retired from China’s supreme Politburo Standing Committee, has been called on to handle some of China’s most difficult tasks over the years. From 2012 to 2017, he oversaw Xi’s unprecedented crackdown on corruption, which ensnared more than 1.5 million officials including the country’s former top general and ex-domestic security chief.

‘Trumpian Rhetoric and Disaster’

Wang also helped set up China’s first investment bank with Morgan Stanley in the 1990s. He maintains close ties with prominent Wall Street figures, including former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, another NEF attendee. He has also played a more diplomatic role, receiving foreign dignitaries, including Stephen Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist.

Peter Mandelson, a former U.K. trade representative in Brussels and chairman of Global Counsel, told an NEF panel discussion on trade Tuesday that China must take a more active role, if it wanted to preserve global governance bodies such as the World Trade Organization.

“China has to do very, very much more than it is in taking the initiative and exercising that responsibility in stepping up to the plate in helping everyone else lead a reform process in the WTO,” Mandelson said. “If we don’t see China doing that, then you are going to see more Trumpian rhetoric and disaster.”

Is Kenya drastic plastic bag ban working?

By News Desk, with Agency Report,

Kenya’s ban comes with biggest fines and businesses are struggling to find affordable alternatives, but in Nairobi’s shanty towns the clean-up is changing lives. Food chain consumed are less contaminated with plastic, Waterways are clearer and there are fewer “flying toilets”.

One year have fast gone since Kenya announced the world’s toughest ban on plastic bags, and eight months after it was introduced, the authorities are claiming victory – so much so that other east African nations Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan are considering taking same path as Kenya.

But it is equally clear that there have been significant knock-on effects on businesses, consumers and even jobs as a result of removing a once-ubiquitous feature of Kenyan life.

“Our streets are generally cleaner which has brought with it a general ‘feel-good’ factor,” said David Ong’are, the enforcement director of the National Environment Management Authority. “You no longer see carrier bags flying around when its windy. Waterways are less obstructed. Fishermen on the coast and Lake Victoria are seeing few bags entangled in their nets.”

Ong’are said abattoirs used to find plastic in the guts of roughly three out of every 10 animals taken to slaughter. This has gone down to one. The government is now conducting a proper analysis to measure the overall effect of the measure.

The draconian ban came in on 28 August 2017, threatening up to four years’ imprisonment or fines of $40,000 (£31,000) for anyone producing, selling – or even just carrying – a plastic bag.

In Nairobi’s shanty towns, one immediate impact was on the practice of defecating in a plastic bag, tying it up and then throwing it on to the tin roofs, a convenience known as “flying toilets”.

“I don’t know when the flying toilets started, but they are not good,” says Johnson Kaunange, a wheelchair user. “You never know where they are going to land or where they will fall when it rains. My wheelchair often rolls over the bags and splits them, and then the stink on the wheels is disgusting.”

In the Mathare community, this is good news. Since the ban was introduced, many more people are using a communal toilet, which charges 5 Kenyan shillings (4p) for single use or 100 shillings for a month-long family pass.

The facility is on the bustling thoroughfare leading down into Mathare valley. One of the administrators Caleb Omondi said he has already noticed a difference now that flying toilets are effectively prohibited.

“The number of users is now much higher. We used to get about 300 people a day. Now it’s over 400,” he said. “I’m overjoyed. This is making the community cleaner and we get more income.”

In broader society, the ban appears to be working, albeit imperfectly. Among the hundreds of people who walk the street, there are only two who are carrying or selling plastic bags.

 

Of course, any indiction has to come with enforcement, and this has not always been pretty.

In Mathare, a group of slums home to half a million people, one local trader, nicknamed Onya, was arrested after police caught him using plastic bags to sell chicken heads. The judge fined him 15,000 shillings (£110), much lower than the maximum penalty but equivalent to six weeks’ work. “That seems harsh for a new law,” said one of his customers.

Other stallholders are asking their customers to bring plastic bowls or traditional bags made from sisal fibre. This has led to complaints. The bowls spill easily. The sisal bags are expensive because the plants, which were once common, have been replaced by cash crops.

There has been push-back. On 1 March, the manufacturer, Hi-Plast filed a lawsuit against the government for compensation and argued the ban has been selectively implemented.

In Kenya as a whole, the prohibition on plastic bags has caused headaches for retailers and manufacturers.

“The ban has shaken the economy. In several areas, business is at a standstill,” said Samuel Matonda of the Kenyan manufacturers association, who complains that the policy should have been introduced gradually.

He estimates 80% of member companies are affected and close to 100,000 people have been laid off because the outlawing of flat plastic bags has been very broadly interpreted to include almost all packaging, which hurts exporters of food and flower products to Tesco, Walmart and Carrefour, as well as producers of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals.

Matonda is now part of a panel that is working with the government to create more exemptions and put a greater emphasis on improving waste management.

“It’s a stimulus,” he says. “The ban has undoubtedly aroused more public awareness of the need for a clean environment. We have achieved more in six months than in the previous five years.”

The environment ministry says the attitude of manufacturers has changed. “The companies are now coming by themselves to offer solutions,” said Ong’are. With PET bottles next in the government’s sights, companies are proposing a self-management scheme to organise collection and recycling.

There is still a long way to go. The ban could add to problems not just for rich manufacturers but for poor communities unless there are policies to provide cheap alternatives. But at Mathare, a football ground once covered in six feet of plastic waste is testimony to the benefits that can flow from an improved environment.

As in other countries with similar bans, the policy is still being refined, but it has support. “It should definitely encourage other countries around the world, and not just in Africa, to ban plastic bags and other single-use plastics,” said Dr Arnold Kreilhuber, head of international environmental law at UN Environment.

“It is however important to engage in as much public consultation as possible to ensure a smooth transition through the ban to implementation. Banning plastic bags is a big win, but it’s just the beginning. We need more investment in waste management to guarantee Kenyans a clean and healthy environment.”

Police restrategise to tackle crimes

By News Desk,

Wise World Firm Consult Limited, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has trained some police officers in the use of technology in tackling crimes and insecurity in the country.

The training, organised by the Nigeria Police Force in Collaboration with the Wise World Firm Consults Limited in Abuja, was aimed at using technology in tracking security challenges in the country.

Christie Dagogo-George, the Managing Director of the firm, said that the training was to educate security officers in understanding modern day security threats and to upgrade their intelligence gathering skills.

“It was discussed that the Ministry of Interior should ensure a mechanism in which National Assembly members, Leaders, Service Chiefs, among others were exposed to such workshops to enhance their own security.

“At the workshop, they will be trained on various security technology and how to defend themselves.“

Hon. Lawal Abubakar, the Chairman, House Committee on Police Affairs, said that the world was changing into a technology era and the society was becoming more complex.

He said that the use of technology scanning machine is very important, especially during this period of election and stressed the need for Nigerians to be more vigilant and security conscious.

According to him, how we can add value to the women and men of police, it is to ensure that the security force are well educated on modern day technology.

Abubakar said that introducing new security technology would go a long way to improve the security of the nation and safety of lives of officers on duty.

However, Prof. William Waldo, the Guest speaker, said that the workshop would help the Nigeria Police Force on how to use technology to track offenders and criminals in the country.

He said that with the use of technology the insecurity situation in the country would drastically reduce.

Idris Elba is People’s sexiest man alive

By Entertainment Desk,

Actor Idris Elba, who James Bond fans are campaigning to be the next person to play 007, was named the sexiest man alive on Monday by People magazine.

The London-born actor, 46, said he didn’t believe it when the magazine told him.

“I was like, ‘Come on, no way. Really?’” Elba told the celebrity publication. “Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, ‘Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.’ But to be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise — an ego boost for sure.”

One of Britain’s best-known stars, Elba won a Golden Globe for his lead role in BBC television detective series “Luther”, played a Norse god in “Thor” and appeared in U.S. television series “The Wire.”

Other actors and singers who have been given the title by the magazine’s editors in recent years include Blake Shelton, Chris Hemsworth, Adam Levine, George Clooney and Channing Tatum.

Only two other non-white men – African-American star Denzel Washington in 1996 and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, whose mother is Samoan and whose father is black Canadian, in 2016 – have won the title since People started the feature in 1985.

Fans have been campaigning for Elba, the son of African immigrants to Britain, to take over from Daniel Craig as secret agent James Bond in the lucrative movie franchise after the next Bond film, due for release in 2020.

Elba in August stoked the rumors that he was set to become the first black actor to play Bond when he posted a cryptic message on Twitter using one of the character’s best-known lines – “My name’s Elba, Idris Elba.” Days later he flatly denied it was going to happen, however.

Elba appears on the cover of a special double issue of People that arrives on newsstands on Friday. people.com/sexiestmanalive2018