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King Charles III takes oath to protect the Church of Scotland

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By Francesca Iwambe, Abuja

Charles III has sworn an oath as he was proclaimed king during an elaborate ceremony at St James’ Palace, London on Saturday.

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The death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II was formally announced by the Accession Council.

It was after then that Charles III was named as king.

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About 200 people gathered in the room all then said ‘God save the King’ before documents were signed.

Flags that were lowered in mourning for the late Queen will fly full-mast for a short time, BBC reports.

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Recall that yesterday, the King pledged to follow his “darling mama’s” life of service in his first address to the nation.

The Queen, the UK’s longest-reigning monarch, died peacefully at Balmoral Castle on Thursday afternoon at the age of 96.

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Kenyan socialite Vera Sidika removes butt implants, warns girls over body enlargment + Photos

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By Francesca Iwambe

Kenya socialite and social media personality, Vera Sidika has advised young girls not to allow peer pressure to plunge them into activities that could ruin their future.

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Sidika gave the advice via her post on her verified Instagram page

Her advise followed her latest surgery to reduce her butt size as she admonished young girls to appreciate their natural bodies.

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The 33-year-old social media influencer previously had butt implants which gave her a well-endowed body but had to remove them due to medical complications she had suffered.

“Due to health risks and complications, I had to undergo surgery,” Sidika said.

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In the extensive revelation on social media, Sidika said she was fortunate to be alive while attributing this to God’s love for her as well as appreciating her husband and other members of her family.

Sidika said: “THE REBIRTH …This has been the hardest phase in my life. Due to health risks, I had to undergo surgery. It’s still very unbelievable. But I’ve come to terms with it and learnt to love myself regardless.

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“Ladies; please learn to love yourself and don’t ever let peer pressure rush you into things that will ruin you in future. I’m lucky to be alive, God loves me so much.

Honestly, it’s been pretty hard, I didn’t even celebrate my birthday this year, but here we are.

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“Happy birthday to me. New me. I’ve come to appreciate life and never take things for granted. Thanks to my family, especially my husband for being there for me. To my fans: I am still the same sweetest. Vera Sidika and that hasn’t changed. I appreciate y’all love and support and pray you will walk through this journey with me.

“I will be posting my surgery journey videos here, for those who have been thinking of getting booty surgery or changing anything on their bodies this might change your mind. Peace and Love.”

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ECOParl: MPs Say Covid-19, Russia-Ukraine War, Low Import Duties, Reason For Low Remittances of Community Levy

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By Gloria Ikibah

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, have attributed the causes of low remittance of community levy by member states to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, low import inflow, the effect of Covid-19 on the global economy leading to recession among other factors.

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Speaking with Journalists at the ongoing 2nd Extra-Ordinary session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Lome, a cross-section of Parliamentarians from different countries also blamed the development on negligence on the part of some member states.

The Ghanaian Head of Delegation, Hon. Alexander Afenyo Markin, asserted that the current economic downturn experienced across regions is a major deterrence to remittance of levies.

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“Without attempting to speculate, I should think that the recent downturn in business is a result of economic crisis leading to low import could be a factor, in the sense that now we are having this Ukraine- Russia war which came just after COVID obviously import have come down, it has reduced drastically, and this levies are imposed on import at our Ports so obviously.

“It could also be the slow pace at which member states transmit or transfer such levy as collected so we need that political will from the Commission, the Heads of States, or those responsible for this, and those coordinating to ensure that these levies as at when they are collected are transmitted to ECOWAS on time.

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While MP from Seirra-Leon, Hon. Veronica Sesay said the possible cause of countries non-remittance of levy was negligence.

“This could be out of negligence. We cannot move, we cannot succeed, even ECOWAS Parliament committees cannot come to Lome or go to Abuja without paying of levies, and that is why we are asking the other member states to pay their levies because it is sometimes unfair if others pay their levies on time then you benefit on time, so I don’t want to call it parasitic because we have to work together as a team”, she said.

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Hon. Adjaratou Traore from Cote d’Ivoire said, “without the community levy there will be no ECOWAS Parliament, there will be No ECOWAS Commission, every country need to contribute, we have to make sure our government take this issue very seriously to make the operation of the regional body smooth, so all Member States have to work hard on it”.

Similarly, Nigerian Delegate to the session, Sen. Smart Adeyemi said, “There is a global economic recession now, I think as the economy improves maybe next year, some of these West African Countries will be able to meet up their obligation to the ECOWAS Parliament”.

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Hon. Siryon from Liberia added “the pandemic came in and interrupted countries economic plans, I feel that is the reason why some of them have not been able to pay, no matter what, they have to pay, if they have problems, they have to come to us, they have to come and let ECOWAS know the problem, they put the Act together, they sign it and I believe that they will pay” she said.

The Parliamentarians furthermore called for mechanism to be put in place to fast track payment by making sure that such funds come to the Commissions by the use of technology.

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They also believe that, bureaucracy of collection and transmitting should be eliminated by creating a network which will automatically ensure that ECOWAS and other institutions receive their payment directly from the Member States once charges are made in their Ports. That according to them will be one way of resolving that issue of non-remittance of community levy.

“There will be no excuses as to what the Member States have collected and refused or delayed. It is these levies that are used for capacity building, for all activities, for stability and for work to progress, and also for salaries of workers, our community institutions depend on this levy, that is our only source of income and funding for our activities as a Sub-Region, for me, it is a key thing that must be considered”.

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North Korea fires two missiles, blames US

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North Korea fired two ballistic missiles Thursday and claimed its recent blitz of sanctions-busting tests were necessary countermeasures against joint military drills by the United States and South Korea.

As the United Nations Security Council met to discuss Pyongyang’s Tuesday launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, North Korea blamed Washington for “escalating the military tensions on the Korean peninsula”.

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The recent launches — six in less than two weeks — were “the just counteraction measures of the Korean People’s Army”, Pyongyang’s foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have ramped up joint military drills in recent weeks, including large-scale naval manoeuvres and anti-submarine exercises.

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