Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Sunday vehemently denied that she ever received a special CIA warning about an imminent terrorist attack on the United States, angrily refuting new allegations about her culpability in U.S. policy failures before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by al Qaeda.

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McCain Calls For More Investigation on Russian US Election Probe
The Arizona Senator Making A Statement

McCain Calls For More Scrutiny

Arizona Senator John McCain said "there's a lot of shoes to drop" regarding more information about President Trump and his team's ties to Russia. He said several aspects related to Trump's connections with Russia required more questioning. More Shoes to drop on the matter, we have many questions yet unanswered on this matter the republican senator said on Sunday round national interview.

What Queen Elizabeth Wants for Kate Middleton
Anxious Queen or eager to start summer vacation right

As the world anxiously awaits the arrival of the royal baby, it appears that one member of the royal family is getting impatient: Queen Elizabeth II! While making an appearance on Wednesday, the Queen was asked by a young school girl whether she was hoping for a boy or a girl. The Queen replied:

"I don't think I mind. I would very much like it to arrive. I'm going on holiday." Coincidentally, the Queen is scheduled to begin her annual summer holiday in Scotland next week. It's unknown whether she will postpone her trip for the baby's arrival.

Kate Middleton, who is now overdue, has been tucked away at Kensington Palace and her family's home in Berkshire. There is still no word as to whether she's been admitted to the hospital or not. According to CNN, the Palace will make an official announcement when Kate is admitted.

Nigeria’s Jonathan Reappoints Former Ministers in New Cabinet

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan appointed 14 new cabinet members, including 12 former ministers who will be returning to their old portfolios, state-owned national television said today.

Diezani Alison-Madueke returns as energy minister in Africa’s largest oil producer, while Mohammed Adoke and Shamsudeen Usman return as justice and national planning ministers, respectively.

Lawmakers have so far approved 14 members of a 34-member cabinet proposed by Jonathan after winning elections in April. Ex-Finance Minister Olusegun Aganga is among the proposed members and is due to appear before a senate hearing next week.

Jonathan has pledged to invest in roads and railways and reform the petroleum industry, the mainstay of the economy, to boost growth. His new government must also deal with growing insecurity. While an armed insurgency in the oil-producing Niger River delta remains subdued, parts of the north have been hit by violence by the radical Islamic sect, Boko Haram, inspired by Afghanistan’s Taliban movement.

NAPEN chairman cautions President Jonathan on govt of national unity

NAPEN chairman cautions President Jonathan on govt of national unity

Written by Isaac Shobayo, Jos Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Executive Chairman, National Association of Peaceful Election in Nigeria (NAPEN), Professor Suleiman Bogoro, has implored President Goodluck Jonathan not to succumb to the pressure on him to embrace the Government of National Unity as being proposed by a cross- section of Nigerians.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune in Jos, Plateau State, Professor Bogoro said those proposing the idea among the opposition parties had no plan for the country, but simply wanted to be part of the government to have a share in what they called the ‘national cake.’

“I am not comfortable, because in Nigeria, when you talk of the government of national unity, what you are likely to see is that some of the parties take advantage to nominate ill-prepared and incompetent persons,” he said.

Professor Bogoro, commended the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for opting out of the arrangement, adding that the party had positioned itself as an opposition party and was ready to play its part of check and balance, for the progress of the country and, as well as demonstrated that it had enlightened electorate.

He said; “I am happy that the ACN officially opted out of the arrangement but, mark it, the people of the South-West, now controlled by the ACN, voted for President Jonathan and then the message was that South-West have educated electorate, they said we don’t want to be part of the government of National Unity, though they voted for the president, the people are largely ACN by ideology, but saw something good in President Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and voted for him.”

He strongly condemned the ongoing squabble in some states between chapters of the PDP and their governors over nominations for ministerial and other political offices, adding that with the bickering and struggle, no good material could emerge.

Oyo PDP challenges Ajimobi’s victory
Oyo PDP challenges Ajimobi’s victory

Oyo PDP challenges Ajimobi’s victory
•I’m not afraid of EFCC, says Alao-Akala

Oyo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said it has filed a petition against the victory of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)in the governorship election.

ACN’s candidate Senator Abiola Ajimobi defeated Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala.

The governor’s Special Adviser on Public Communication Dotun Oyelade said the PDP and not the governor petitioned the tribunal.

Oyelade said: "While it is true that Governor Akala congratulated Senator Ajimobi after the April election and cited the need to reduce tension and actively support the growth of our fledgling democracy as his reason for his public remark, the issue must not be confused with the determination of the Party to challenge his victory at the Tribunal, which it has done yesterday.

"Governor Akala is not in a position to stop the decision of the Party to contest the result in the face of more daunting evidences which it may have in its possession."

Alao-Akala yesterday said he was not afraid of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which he alleged was being used to intimidate him.

He said he had not committed any financial crime that would make him lose sleep over the intimidation he alleged some people made on the pages of newspapers.

The governor described the threats of arrest against him as abstract, spurious and empty, adding that he had not committed any crime to make them tenable.

He said he had not soiled the good name his father left behind for generations.

Alao-Akala spoke when he received members of the state chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) at the Governor’s Office, Ibadan.

He urged reporters to be fair on him and members of his executive council when they write about his administration’s four years and 11 months.

Alao-Akala said: "I want you to be very fair on us after we have left office. I beg you journalists, when you hear anything about Akala, please call me. My phone numbers remain the same; call me and crosscheck your facts. We know what we have done while in office. As a government, we have been able to put a lot of smiles on the faces of the people of the state. So, we can always walk tall wherever we go.

"We have been able to make a difference in the lives of our people and we have been able to adhere strictly to our 13-Point Agenda since the inception of this administration. We have indeed added value to the infrastructure and we’ve ruled the state with the fear of God. We leave every other thing for posterity to judge. I saw a headline last time that said Akala, and …are on the list of EFCC. I’m not afraid of EFCC."

Praising journalists for shaping the society, the governor warned them against receiving money to tarnish the reputation of fellow beings, adding that those who did so in the past had not fared well in the profession.

NUJ Chairman, Comrade Gbenga Opadotun said the visit was for a farewell to the governor whom he said had supported the union.

Fulfill Your Promises
The Nation Newspaper

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has been urged to endeavour to fulfill all his electioneering promises to the people of the state even as he was charged to ensure the completion of the on-going mega city project in the state before the end of his term in 2015.

The advice was given by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos State branch in its congratulatory message to the governor, which was made available to The Nation.

The association applauded what it called the governor’s overwhelming and well-deserved re-election to govern the state, ascribing his success at the polls to his administration’s performance in its first term in the saddle.

In a letter of congratulation jointly signed by the chairman and secretary, Rev. Monsignor B.A. Okodua and Bishop George Amu respectively, the Christian body described Fashola’s re-election as a good omen for the state.

According to the congratulatory message, the CAN said it joined the many well wishers to congratulate Fashola on his re–election as the executive governor of the most populous state in Nigeria and the economic nerve-centre of our dear and great country, Nigeria.

CAN said: “Your victory which you attributed to democracy would not have been possible without your God-given dedication which manifested in the visible developmental projects in Lagos State.

“We would also like to attribute this victory to the untiring and prayerful support of your dear wife, Mrs. Dame Emmanuella Abimbola. May God in His infinite mercy grant you more wisdom, knowledge and good health of mind and body to perform better in the next dispensation,” CAN prayed

Reactions as Lagosians Review Fashola’s 1,400-Day Stewardship

Last week, traders, farmers, transport operators, artisans and public servants were among those that gathered at Onikan Stadium to mark Governor Babatunde Fashola’s 1,400 days in office.

The meeting provided an avenue for participants to evaluate the performance of the Fashola-led administration and its impacts on their lives.

Also, an array of officers of the state service agencies, and voluntary associations had a colourful parade.

Mr. Kunle Hassan said he could have died of kidney ailment if the state government did not intervene in his case. He narrated how the state government sponsored his medical trip to India, where he underwent kidney transplant successfully at the cost of N5m.

Another resident, Mr. John Omokolawole, said he took advantage of Lagos State Agriculture Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES), which empowered him to eke a living after wandering about streets after graduation in 2008 because he could not get a job. “I keyed into Agric-YES. The form was even free. I was selected after the exams. Now, I am living a meaningful life.”

Miss. Uzoma Okere who was assaulted by naval officers attached to Commodore Harry Arogundage on September 30, 2008 also spoke on how the Lagos State Office of Public Defence took her case up and pursued it to a logical end. And almost two years after, Okere f got justice in a state High Court, which awarded a claim of N100 million against the naval officers and their institution.

She said she could have been assaulted and harassed without justice if the state Office of Public Defence initiative was not “conceived, established and effectively operated to help the downtrodden in the state. “Even though I am not from Lagos, I benefitted from the state’s people-oriented policies. I was beaten. Governor Fashola heard about how the naval officers dragged me down from my car and assaulted me. He directed the OPD to intervene. I got free legal service from the state and a N100 million claim”.

A number of other actors in the informal sector flooded the stadium to appreciate government’s policies, which they claimed better their lives.

They therefore spoke on the need to ensure that the state “does not fall into the hands of political jobbers who have no record of accomplishment, but now seeking to experiment with Lagos.”

Fashola urged the people to protect their votes.

“I have had the privilege to serve you. Our votes remain the safest weapons to protect and preserve our common patrimony.”

He stressed that those present at the event represented “the inclusiveness and participatory nature of government and democracy in Lagos. The transformation that has won our state honours and recognition within and outside our fatherland has been delivered by that participation and inclusiveness which has allowed everybody to contribute to the development of our commonwealth.

“You have been the pillars of the successes of our administration. You have lived together peacefully, respecting each other’s diversity. This has

INEC To Meet With Parties Today

Following the concerns raised by the opposition parties that they were not ready for the National Assembly polls postponed to Monday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will meet with the parties today.

Separately, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) had urged the commission to move the polls to Saturday, April 9, to enable them mobilise funds to pay agents and meet other logistics.

Speaking on the issue, Mr. Kayode Idowu, chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, said, “If you listened to the chairman’s speech, he said INEC will meet with stakeholders and the political parties to seek their understanding. So, they are to meet before the elections on Monday.”

Asked if there would be a public holiday on Monday, he said: “INEC does not declare public holidays. It is the government.”

Nigerians go to Polls in General Elections Amidst Tight Security

Nigerians will go to polls today to vote in National Assembly election amidst tight security to avert violence and break down of law and order.

Reports reaching us have it that security network has been beefed up across the nation in today’s election which marks the commencement of the general elections.
In Abuja the federal capital territory and Nasarawa State, security operatives have
been redeployed to strategic locations as part of the measure for a violence free

About 17,000 policemen including anti bomb squads have also been drafted to the six area council of the city.

In Kano state North West, Nigeria, Governor Ibrahim Shekarau summoned an emergency security meeting ahead of the election.

The crucial security meeting which started as early as 10 o’clock on Friday, had in attendance the brigade commander of the 3rd-motorized division, the
commander, 303 flying training school and the state police commissioner.

It was also gathered that the Kano State Governor and the security chiefs resolved to deploy a joint security team, made up of the police, the army, air force and other allied security agencies to area identified as flash points within the state.

Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, an ANPP Presidential Candidate, who presided over the three hour meeting, was said to have commended heads of security agencies in the state, for working towards maintaining law and order, and urged them to sustain the peace throughout the election period.

Following today’s election will be presidential election slated for Saturday, April, 9, 2011, while governorship and state assembly elections are scheduled for Saturday April 16, 2011

Ivory Coast: 'Heavy fighting' near Gbagbo residence
New subtitle

Hamadoun Toure, spokesman for UN's Ivory Coast special representative: ''The countdown has started'
Troops supporting the UN-recognised president of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, appear poised for a final push to oust his rival, Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to give up the presidency.
In the main city, Abidjan, pro-Ouattara forces have launched an assault on the fortified presidential residence.
French troops have taken about 500 foreigners to a military camp amid increasing insecurity in the city.
Mr Ouattara's supporters launched a fresh offensive on Monday.
“Start Quote
The president is not going to step down - he's been elected for five years and we are going to put up a fight”
End Quote Abdon Georges Bayeto Gbagbo spokesman
The BBC's John James in the central city of Bouake says this looks like the final hours for Laurent Gbagbo's government.
An Abidjan resident said fighting was raging in the northern district of Cocody, where the presidential residence is located.
"I can still hear heavy gunfire and loud thud of mortar fire. And it is coming from the direction of Cocody," he told the BBC early on Friday.
Another resident told AFP news agency: "We are hearing deafening artillery shots, RPG7 (rockets) and machine guns."
Mr Gbagbo has not been seen in public for weeks. His residence is mainly protected by members of the elite presidential guard, and is located on a peninsula in Abidjan's lagoon.
It is not clear whether Mr Gbagbo is at the compound.
A spokesman, Abdon Georges Bayeto, told the BBC: "The president is not going to step down. He's been elected for five years and we are going to put up a fight."

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