Australia Approves Tough New Veto Powers Over Foreign Agreements Amid China Row
Australia’s parliament on Thursday passed legislation giving the federal government power to veto any agreement struck with foreign states, a move likely to anger China and intensify a bitter diplomatic spat between the two countries.
The law allows the Commonwealth to block any agreement between Australian states, councils or institutions and a foreign government, such as a controversial 2018 deal between the state of Victoria and China.
United States issues travel curbs for Chinese Communist Party members
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday issued new rules to restrict travel by Chinese Communist Party members’ and their families’ to the United States, the New York Times newspaper reported on Thursday.
The new policy limited the maximum validity of travel visas for party members and their families to one month and a single entry.
Twitter Bans Content Which ‘Dehumanizes’ Based On Race, Ethnicity
Twitter on Wednesday said it was expanding its definition of hateful content to ban language which dehumanizes people on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin.
Twitter said the latest update is based on feedback since it published expanded rules on hateful content in 2019.
A blog post from the Twitter safety team said while we encourage people to express themselves freely on Twitter, abuse, harassment and hateful conduct continue to have no place on our service.
Iran Passes Law To Boost Enrichment And Block Inspectors
Iran has moved to stop UN inspections of its nuclear sites and step up uranium enrichment under a new law approved by its parliament.
The bill would require the government to resume enriching uranium to 20% - well above the 3.67% agreed under a 2015 nuclear deal - if crippling sanctions are not eased in two months.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said he opposed the implementation of the law.
It comes after the targeted killing of Iran's top nuclear scientist.
Egypt Accused Of Execution Spree
Amnesty International has condemned a sharp rise in the use of the death penalty in Egypt - accusing the government of a horrifying execution spree.
The campaign group says the Egyptian authorities executed at least 57 people in October and November alone - nearly double the number recorded in the whole of 2019.
United Nations And Ethiopia Reach Agreement On Aid Pact For War-Hit Tigray
Ethiopia and the United Nations agreed on Wednesday to channel desperately-needed humanitarian aid to the northern region of Tigray, where a month of war is believed to have killed thousands of combatants and civilians.
Federal troops have been battling the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and have captured the regional capital Mekelle, and the pact announced by U.N. officials will allow relief into government-controlled areas of Tigray.
Central Bank of Nigeria Directs Banks to Close Naira Accounts for IMTO Proceeds
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday directed all banks to close all naira ledger accounts opened for receiving International Monetary Transfer Operators proceeds.
The letter was addressed to all managing directors of deposit money banks.
The letter stated that regarding operations of diaspora remittances, all banks are hereby directed to close all naira ledger accounts opened specifically for the purpose of receiving IMTO proceeds with immediate effect.
Federal Executive Council Approves N120.7bn for Road Reconstruction
The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved N120,717,387,596 for the execution of various projects in different parts of the country.
Of the total amount, about N117.5 billion was approved for the reconstruction of roads and bridges in different parts of the country.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fasola while addressing reporters at the end of the 26th virtual FEC meeting, presided over by President Muhamadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said he presented three memoranda to the council for the approval of N117,485,081,325.
Nigerian President To Address Lawmakers Over Insecurity Issues
President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed to address the House of Representatives on the state of insecurity in the country, as requested by the lawmakers.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila said a date has been agreed on and it will be communicated soon.
He stated this on Wednesday, noting that the president is more concerned than most on the insecurity of the nation and will speak to the Nigerian people through their representatives soon.
Nigeria Records 122 New COVID-19 Cases
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed 122 new cases of coronavirus in the country. This brings the total number of COVID-19 infections recorded in the country so far to 67,960.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control in a tweet showed that the 122 new cases are reported from 11 states
A total of 63,839 persons have recovered from the virus while the death toll now stands at 1,177.