Rape: Almost 15,000 sign petition to strip D’Banj of UN appointment

Almost 15,000 people have signed an online petition calling on the United Nations to strip Oladapo Oyebanjo aka D’Banj of his appointment as United Nations Ambassador for Peace.

They also called the attention of brands such as Heritage Bank Africa, One Africa, CSA Global, and other establishments associated with D’Banj to end their commercial relationship with him and stand in support of victims of sexual violence.

The petition which was started by one E.Pooola 20 hours ago on Change.Org had hit 14, 310 as of 11.10 am on Friday.

It read in part, “We call on the United Nations, and United Nations Women Africa organisations to remove Nigerian artiste Mr Dapo Oyebanjo as a youth ambassador and distance themselves from his actions following the sponsored kidnap of Seyitan who accused D’Banj of rape and sexual assault which happened in 2018.

“Women in Nigeria are increasingly at risk of sexual violence and the United Nations and United Nations Women Africa as an entity committed to the empowerment of women should not be seen to associate themselves with alleged rapists, abusers, and kidnappers.

“We ask the United Nations and United Nations Women Africa to support and lend their influence in helping Seyitan get justice for the abuse she endured in 2018 and the harassment and bullying in the past weeks.”

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had ordered a probe into the allegations of rape levelled against D’Banj.

Seyitan’s friend, Benjamin Ese, in a Twitter thread in early June, had told the story of how D’Banj allegedly raped Seyitan at a hotel two years ago – in December 2018.

She said it happened at an all-white party where D’Banj allegedly offered her friend some money to spend the night which she rejected until he surprisingly showed up in Seyitan’s hotel room around 2am – at midnight.

“D’Banj drove all the way from Eko hotel where he was lodged and came down to glee hotel in Victoria Island at midnight 2.40 am and collected the spare key from the receptionist,” Ese said in the thread which has since sparked an outrage.

She said D’Banj allegedly “got into my friend’s room and forcefully threatened he would walk her out of the room naked, kept his fingers in her vagina, and repeatedly raped her.”

The rape experience, Ese said had caused Seyitan some trauma since the incident happened.

One month after Ese’s tweets, Seyitan came out publicly to present herself as the lady who was allegedly raped by D’Banj in December 2018.

The musician, however, denied the allegations levelled against him and asked his accuser to make a public apology and also pay him the sum of N100m in damages.

On Tuesday, however, some policemen allegedly acting on the instruction of the Oliver Twist crooner detained Seyitan for over 24 hours and intimidated her, making her delete all chats, social media posts, and other vital information from her phone.

The incident had sparked outrage on social media with D’Banj trending since the last two days

D’Banj is one of Nigeria’s biggest artists having won several music awards, including the awards for Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007, Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009, Best International Act: Africa at the 2011 BET Awards, and Best-selling African Artist at the 2014 World Music Awards and the Evolution award at the 2015 MTV Africa Music awards.

Nobel prize winner, Malala, graduates, eight years after shooting

Nobel Prize-winning activist Malala Yousafzai, who moved to Britain after being shot for campaigning for girls’ education in Pakistan, described her joy Friday at graduating from Oxford University. Almost eight years after she was attacked by the Taliban on her school bus in the Swat Valley, the Malala, 22-year-old, posted her photos on Twitter of her celebrations with her family.

“Hard to express my joy and gratitude right now as I completed my Philosophy, Politics, and Economics degree at Oxford,” the new graduate, Malala said. “I don’t know what’s ahead. For now, it will be Netflix, reading, and sleep.” The photos show Malala covered in brightly coloured bits of paper and foam — a student tradition — and having a cake with her family, decorated with the words “Happy Graduation Malala”.

Malala first rose to prominence aged just 11 with a blog for the BBC’s Urdu-language service charting her life in Swat under the Taliban. She was shot in the head by a Taliban hitman in October 2012, and after being flown to Britain for life-saving medical treatment, the family settled in Birmingham, central England. She was at school there when she heard in 2014 that she had won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” The youngest ever Nobel laureate, she has continued to speak out for girls’ education.

[AFP]

Paul Pogba: Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking for leadership from midfielder

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to see some leadership on the pitch from Paul Pogba.

The club record signing, 27, has made just two appearances since September because of a fractured foot.

But despite speculation about his future, Pogba’s chances of staying at United have increased – with the transfer market expected to collapse because of Covid-19’s financial impact.

“Paul is one of the best midfielders in the world,” said Solskjaer.

“He is a World Cup winner and we want to have that leadership on the pitch.”

Pogba last played for United on 26 December as he attempted a comeback from his injury, but suffered a setback and required surgery on his foot in January.

With United set to resume their Premier League campaign at Tottenham on Friday – more than three months after the campaign was halted by the coronavirus pandemic – Solskjaer wants to see the France midfielder make a bigger impact.

“Now that he is fit and training and available, I can see from his mentality and focus, that he is ready to play again,” Solskjaer said.

“Whether that is for 45 minutes this time, or 60 I don’t know but gradually, over these next few months, we hope to work him back up to his best.”

BBC Sport understands United’s coaching staff were encouraged by the pairing of Pogba and January signing Bruno Fernandes in the same team during last week’s friendly defeat by West Brom at Old Trafford.

With Scotland international Scott McTominay one of United’s best performers of the season and both Fred and Nemanja Matic improving as the campaign went along, the midfield area – once a weakness – has become a strength.

“Any of them would be capable of playing a full season as a regular at Manchester United so it’s given me a nice challenge to pick the right ones against the right opponents,” said Solskjaer.

By the time they take to the field at Tottenham, 103 days will have elapsed since United beat Manchester City at Old Trafford in their last Premier League match.

The victory moved them to within three points of a place in the top four and extended their unbeaten run to 11 games, matching the run they went on after Solskjaer replaced current Spurs boss Jose Mourinho in December 2018.

“Beating City in front of our own fans was a proud moment,” said Solskjaer.

“We are always going to be about young players with courage who try to express themselves and play with pace and power. But we also need consistency at the back, which was probably the main reason for our win that day.”

Modi meets opposition as India seeks to ease China tensions

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is meeting top opposition leaders as the government tries to lower tensions with China after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in hand-to-hand combat in a Himalayan border region.

India and China accuse each other of instigating the fight this week in the Galwan Valley, part of the disputed Indian-administered Ladakh region. It was the deadliest conflict between the two sides in 45 years. China has not said whether it suffered any casualties.

India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the heads of various political parties on Thursday to discuss a consensus on the situation.

Modi on Friday hosted the leaders of more than a dozen opposition parties in a virtual meeting.

Some political parties, including Delhi’s governing Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Bihar state-based Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) expressed anger over not being invited to the all-party meeting.

The main opposition Congress party said the country deserves to know the truth. “It deserves a leadership that is willing to do anything before allowing its land to be taken,” it said in a statement.

War unlikely, say experts

India and China said they were communicating through military and diplomatic channels, and stressed the importance of their broader relationship. Experts say the two nations were unlikely to head to war, but that easing tensions quickly will be difficult.

On Thursday, India’s foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will take part in a trilateral virtual meeting with Russia and China next week.

But the deadly Himalayan clash has also fanned growing anti-Chinese sentiments in India, which were already high because of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in China late last year. India’s caseload has climbed to fourth-highest in the world

Emotions were on display in the southern city of Hyderabad, where thousands watched the funeral procession of Colonel B Santosh Babu, one of the casualties in Monday’s clash.

An Indian business confederation called for a boycott of 500 Chinese goods, including toys and textiles, to express “strong criticism” of China’s action in Ladakh.

‘China will never be friendly’

Taylor Fravel, director of the Security Studies programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said China was trying to put pressure on India, and he did not think Beijing wanted a violent clash between their armies.

From a strategic perspective, Fravel said, China should want to drive a wedge between India and the United States to prevent any kind of counter-balance coalition.

“The deaths and the clash on Monday night will probably very quickly and much more rapidly push India closer to the United States, which I think is probably not what China wants,” he said.

G Parthasarathy, a retired Indian diplomat, said both China and Pakistan – another hostile neighbour of India’s – were aiming at low-cost containment of India. “China has a hangup against India and its civilisation. For us to expect China will be a friendly neighbour … it will never be a friendly relationship.”

The clash escalated a standoff that began in early May, when Indian officials said Chinese soldiers crossed the border in three places, erecting tents and guard posts and ignoring warnings to leave.

That triggered shouting matches, stone-throwing and fist fights between the opposing sides, much of it replayed on TV news programmes and in social media.

The deadly brawl on Monday night took place along a remote stretch of the 3,380-kilometre (2,100-mile) Line of Actual Control – the border established following a war between India and China in 1962 that resulted in an uneasy truce.

China denies detaining soldiers

Indian officials said the 20 deaths were caused by severe injuries and exposure to sub-freezing temperatures.

The Indian army said 76 other soldiers were hospitalised with injuries, with 56 among them likely to return to work “within a week”.

On Friday, Indian media reports said China freed 10 Indian soldiers seized in the clash following several rounds of talks between the two sides late on Thursday.

But hours later, China denied it had detained Indian soldiers.

China claims about 90,000 square kilometres (35,000 square miles) of territory in India’s northeast, while India says China occupies 38,000 square kilometres (15,000 square miles) of its territory in the Aksai Chin Plateau in the Himalayas, a contiguous part of the Ladakh region.

India unilaterally declared Ladakh a federal territory while separating it from disputed Kashmir in August 2019. China was among the countries to condemn the move, raising it at forums including the UN Security Council. India was elected to the council this week.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

Longshore Union to Shut Down all West Coast Ports on Juneteenth — South Seattle Emerald

The Most Revolutionary Act

by Cindy Domingo


In a show of worker power, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) will shut down all twenty-nine West Coast ports for eight hours on Friday, June 19 in celebration of Juneteenth, standing in solidarity against police violence and calling for an end to white supremacy.  Juneteenth originated in Texas, where slaves were not freed until 1865, more than two years after the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation was signed.  It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of chattel slavery in the United States. The ILWU action follows on the heels of a June 9 action in which the East and West Coast longshore workers stopped working and took an eight-minute, forty-six second moment of silence to coincide with the funeral of George Floyd in Houston. The work stoppage was also to honor Breonna Taylor and all victims of police repression.

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