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Palestine Envoy Decries Killing Of 29,878 In Ongoing Gaza War ….Raises Alarm Over Impending Famine, Humanitarian Catastrophe

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No fewer than 29,878 people have been killed in the ongoing Israeli -Palestinian war, the Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Abdullah M. Abu Shawesh has decried.

The envoy who expressed concern over possible famine and outbreak of epidemics in Gaza, told Diplomatic Correspondents over the weekend in Abuja, that 70,215 people have been injured and around 8,000 people still missing under the rubble since the 7 October 2023 siege on Gaza by the Israeli military began.

He said: “As of yesterday, the death toll in the Gaza Strip was 29,878 martyrs, with 70,215 injuries and around 8,000 people still missing under the rubble.”

The Ministry of Education declared that in the last 144 days, 5427 students were martyred, 5379 in Gaza and 48 in the OWB, while 9193 were injured, 8888 in Gaza and 305 in the occupied West Bank, (OWB), 97 was arrested in the OWB, including East Jerusalem. 255 teachers and administrative staff were martyred and 891 were injured in the Gaza strip.

“286 government schools and 65 UN schools were subjected to bombardments and sabotage, with 40 of them completely destroyed in Gaza, while 57 schools in the OWB were attacked and sabotaged by the IOF. 620,000 students in Gaza are still deprived of the right to learn, while the majority of students are suffering from trauma and facing devastating health situations.”

He alleged that Israel’s authorities have hidden agenda, which is to make Gaza inhabitants uncomfortable living in their homeland.

He said, “The clear policy is to make Gaza an unlivable place after the war, so that even if the inhabitants are not forced to leave under the fire, they will do so voluntarily due to the lack of hospitals, schools, universities, drinkable water, and other basic necessities for human life.

”The envoy also alleged that within last 144 days, “more than 7270 in the OWB, 228 women, 460 children, 56 of journalists and issued more than 3,800 administrative detention orders.”

He also added, “Eleven of the detainees martyred in the Israeli prisons due to the torture and ill treatment. All this is only from the OWB including East Jerusalem.

“There is no specific number or information about the detention cases of Gaza and Israel is still hiding all the information about them.

”The total number of the Palestinian prisoners on the Israel detention camps is now around 9000 including 3484 administrative detainees.”

He equally alleged that more than 200 fanatic Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque guarded by the occupation force where they performed Talmudic ritual, insisting that meanwhile, the occupation authorities continue to impose restrictions on the Muslim worshiper’s entry to Al-Aqsa preventing all the young men and boys from entering while subjecting all others to be extensively checks.

He added that: “We still insist that the Israeli fanatic and messianic regime is spared no efforts igniting a religious war that if erupted will spare no one.”

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10 African countries with the lowest income earners in 2024

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

In many African countries, a significant portion of economic activity occurs in the informal sector. This includes small-scale trading, subsistence farming, and other forms of unregistered economic activities. As a result income for the average person can be low due to an inability to maximize the market.

While not entirely representing the income levels of any given country, GNI per capita nonetheless, highlight the symptoms of economic problems, and is typically a great indicator of the income level of an economy.

African economies often face other challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, limited access to education and healthcare, and weak governance, all of which contribute to low levels of cash flow within an economy, and as a result, the GNI per capita is influenced.

Gross National Income (GNI) per capita is a widely used metric for assessing the economic performance of a country. It calculates the average income of a nation’s citizens and is often used to compare living standards across countries.

However, relying heavily on low-income earnings as a measure of GNI per capita may not be completely forthright for African countries. For example, in some African countries, a tiny elite may control a sizable share of the national revenue, while the bulk of the people remains poor.

Nonetheless, the GNI per capita is a key indicator in assessing the health of any economy on the planet.

According to a World Bank report titled World Development Report 2024, there are now 26 low-income, 108 middle-income, and 83 high-income economies in the globe as represented by their GNI per capita.

This report also highlights the GNI per capita in Dollars of the regions be it low, middle, or high income, and below are 10 African countries with the lowest GNI per capita.

10 African countries with the lowest income earners in 2024

RANK COUNTRY GNI PER CAPITA CLASS

1. Burundi $240 Low-Income Economy

2. Somalia $470 Low-Income Economy

3. Central Africa Republic $480 Low-Income Economy

4. Mozambique $500 Low-Income Economy

5. Madagascar $510 Low-Income Economy

6. Sierra Leone $510 Low-Income Economy

7. Democratic Republic of Congo $590 Low-Income Economy

8. Niger $610 Low-Income Economy

9. Malawi $640 Low-Income Economy

10. Liberia $680 Low-Income Economy

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South Africa’s Ramaphosa Re-Elected After Coalition Deal

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South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected for a second term on Friday after his humbled ANC cobbled together an unprecedented coalition government.

Lawmakers in Cape Town voted overwhelmingly to put Ramaphosa, 71, back in office for another five years after the May 29 general election that produced no outright winner.

“I accordingly declare honourable M.C. Ramaphosa duly elected President,” Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said after the votes were counted.

Last month’s election marked a historic turning point for South Africa, ending three decades of dominance by the African National Congress of the late Nelson Mandela.

The party that led the struggle to end apartheid won only 40 percent of the vote and, for the first time, lost its absolute majority in parliament.

It has now struck a deal to form what it calls a government of national unity.

ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula said on Friday the broad coalition brings together a majority of the 18 parties that won representation in the 400-seat National Assembly.

These include the centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA), the Zulu nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and other smaller groups.

Ramaphosa was re-elected by fellow MPs with 283 votes in a secret ballot.

He saw off a last-minute challenge by Julius Malema, the firebrand leader of the radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), whose candidacy gained 44 votes.

Ramaphosa will be sworn in next week in Pretoria and then unveil his new cabinet.

Earlier, Zondo had opened the parliament’s first sitting, swearing in MPs in batches ahead of votes on the election of a speaker and deputy speaker.

The first post went to the ANC’s Thoko Didiza and, in a first sign the power-sharing deal was working, the second went to the DA’s Annelie Lotriet. Both are women.

Lawmakers cast their ballot one by one in a lengthy ceremony held in a Cape Town convention centre, as the parliament building is being rebuilt after a 2022 fire.

EFF members took the oath wearing red overalls and in some cases rubber boots and plastic construction worker helmets.

They declined to support the incoming administration, having refused to countenance joining an alliance with right-wing or white-led parties.

“This is not a government of national unity, this is a grand coalition between the ANC and white monopoly capital. History will judge you harshly,” Malema said after conceding defeat.

Graft-tainted former president Jacob Zuma’s new party uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), which came third in the May 29 election, has disputed the results and its MPs boycotted Friday’s sitting.

“The sitting of the national assembly today as far as we’re concerned is illegal and unconstitutional,” MK spokesman Nhlamulo Ndhlela told AFP.

A former trade unionist turned millionaire businessman, Ramaphosa will preside over a government combining radically different political views.

The ANC is a historically pan-Africanist, progressive party of the left that has overseen welfare and economic empowerment programmes for poor, black South Africans.

The largest coalition party, the DA, pushes a liberal, free-market agenda. Smaller parties that are understood to have agreed to join the government range from the left to the far right.

“At the heart of this government of national unity statement is a shared respect and defence of our constitution and the rule of law,” DA leader John Steenhuisen said.

The agreement extended to Johannesburg’s Gauteng province and KwaZulu-Natal.

Zuma’s MK won the most votes in the latter but was left empty-handed as coalition members managed to get a wafer-thin majority of 41 out of 80 provincial councillors.

Steenhuisen added that the coalition agreement included a consensus mechanism to deal “with the disagreements that will inevitably arise”.

“This is not the end of the process. And the road ahead will not be an easy one,” Steenhuisen said, explaining that the two-week deadline imposed by the constitution to form a government did not leave enough time to iron out all details.

Ramaphosa first came to power in 2018 after Zuma was forced out under the cloud of corruption allegations.

Under his watch South Africa suffered from record power cuts, the economy languished and crime remained rife. Unemployment is at almost 33 percent.

He will now have the arduous task to bridge conflicting views within government to turn around South Africa’s economic fortunes.

“Rapid, inclusive and sustainable economic growth” was listed as a top priority in a draft of the coalition deal.

GDP grew by only 0.6 percent in 2023 and was down 0.1 percent in the first three months of 2024.

AFP

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Biden reacts to his son’s guilty verdict

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President Biden issued a statement in response to his son Hunter Biden being convicted on three felony gun charges in federal court in Delaware on Tuesday, with the president saying he will accept the outcome of the case and loves his son. The president is leaving Washington for Delaware on Tuesday afternoon, in a change to the president’s schedule.

The jury determined Hunter Biden illegally purchased and possessed a gun while he was addicted to crack cocaine, violating federal law that prohibits users of illegal drugs from owning firearms. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

“As I said last week, I am the president, but I am also a dad,” the president said in his statement. “Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery. As I also said last week, I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal. Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that.”

Mr. Biden has generally declined to comment on the case, but said previously that he would accept the jury’s decision and won’t issue his son a pardon. He hasn’t specifically commented on whether he would commute any sentence his son may receive.

Hunter Biden issued his own statement after the verdict, expressing gratitude toward his family and in particular toward his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden.

“I am more grateful today for the love and support I experienced this last week from Melissa, my family, my friends, and my community than I am disappointed by the outcome,” Hunter Biden said. “Recovery is possible by the grace of God, and I am blessed to experience that gift one day at a time.”

Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said they are “naturally disappointed” by the verdict but respect the process and will “vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available.”

The verdict was reached and read quickly Tuesday, and first lady Jill Biden, who has been present for most of the trial, didn’t make it back to the courtroom in time to hear the verdict read. She walked out of the court hand-in-hand with Hunter Biden.

President Biden was at the White House when the jury handed down the verdict.

Other Biden family members have been present for the trial to offer support, including the president’s brother, James. Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi testified in court.

Hunter Biden was indicted on three felony gun charges in September after a proposed plea deal with federal prosecutors unraveled.  He is due to appear in federal court in California to face separate tax charges in September. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

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