Tag Archives: international

US Capitol riot probe link to foreign Gov’ts

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Bitcoin payments can be traced because they are documented on a public ledger.

The FBI is investigating whether foreign governments, organisations or individuals provided financial support to people who helped plan and execute the January 6 attack on the Capitol, a news report said on Sunday.

As part of the investigation, the FBI is examining payments of $500,000 in bitcoin, apparently by a French national, to key figures and groups in the far right before the riot, one current and one former FBI official told NoRM‘s known Media.

The payments were documented and posted online last week by a company that analyses cryptocurrency transfers.

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The current FBI official was quoted as saying the bitcoin transfers appear to have been made by a French computer programmer who took his own life on December 8 last year after triggering the transfers, according to French media.

The cryptocurrency payments prompted the FBI to examine whether any of the money was used to fund illegal acts, which, if true, raises the possibility of money-laundering and conspiracy charges, the FBI official said.

On December 8, Chainalysis reported the donor sent 28.15 BTC – worth about $522,000 at the time of transfer – to 22 separate addresses, many of which belong to far-right activists.

The Chainalysis blog post, first highlighted by Yahoo News, said far-right podcaster Nick Fuentes received the most money, 13.5 BTC – worth about $250,000.

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Separately, a joint threat assessment issued last week by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and various other federal and DC-area police agencies noted since the deadly January 6 riot, “Russian, Iranian, and Chinese influence actors have seized the opportunity to amplify narratives in furtherance of their policy interest amid the presidential transition.”

Russian state and proxy media outlets “have amplified themes related to the violent and chaotic nature of the Capitol Hill incident, impeachment of President Donald Trump, and social media censorship”, the unclassified intelligence report said.

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“In at least one instance, a Russian proxy claimed that ANTIFA members disguised themselves as supporters of President Trump, and were responsible for storming the Capitol building.”

Chinese media, meanwhile, “have seized the story to denigrate US democratic governance, casting the United States as broadly in decline – and to justify China’s crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong”.

The examination of possible foreign influence related to the Capitol riot, which involves the FBI’s counterintelligence division, comes after years of what current and former FBI officials say is mounting evidence that Russia and other foreign adversaries have sought to secretly support “political extremists” on the far right and far left.

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‘Mutual affection’

Law enforcement officials and security analysts say there has long been “a mutual affection between Western white supremacists and the Russian government”, as two scholars put it in a February paper on the JustSecurity website.

Some senators were concerned enough about the issue that they inserted a requirement in the 2021 defence bill that the Pentagon “report to Congress on the extent of Russian support for ‘racially and ethnically motivated violent extremist groups and networks in Europe and the United States’ – and what can be done to counter it”.

Fuentes, who spoke at pro-Trump rallies last year in Michigan and Washington, DC, told the ProPublica news organisation he was at the “Stop the Steal” rally on Wednesday, January 6, but did not follow the mob into the Capitol.

One group of Fuentes’ supporters, which calls itself the Groyper Army, was filmed running through the Capitol carrying a large blue flag with the America First logo, ProPublica reported.

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“We’re looking at and treating this just like a significant international counter-terrorism or counter-intelligence operation,” Michael Sherwin, the US attorney in Washington, DC, said at a news briefing last week.

“We’re looking at everything: Money, travel records, looking at disposition, movement, communication records.”

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#Newsworthy

2023: Nigeria aims world’s first 70 in business ranking


The Secretary to Government of the Federation, (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, has revealed that Nigeria targets to secure a position among the first 70 by 2023 in World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking.

Mustapha stated this at the ‘Night with Maritime Stars’ of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Corporate Dinner and Merit Awards in Lagos on Friday. N.Rs learnt


The SGF, who was chairman of the occasion, said that currently, the country had moved up from 170 to 131, after President Muhammad Buhari signed the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) in July 2016.

He expressed optimism that with the PEBEC initiative, the 2023 target would be achieved.


Mustapha said that the government, in its bid to improve efficiency and productivity in the industry and country, had created the council to ensure an enabling environment for port efficiency.

“Government will continue to support the maritime sector because on it rests opportunities for wealth creation and economic growth,” the SGF said.


He said that there was still a long way to go, but there was a need to recognise the progress that had been made so far.

The SGF pointed out that the progress made so far by NIMASA was due to the commitment and drive of its staff and stakeholders in the industry, hence the need to appreciate them.


He urged the members of staff that were not recognized at the event to strive hard, for tomorrow could be their time.

In his welcome remarks, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, observed that since the introduction of the NIMASA annual staff commendation awards three years ago, the image and perception of the agency had been transformed.


Dakuku highlighted some of the achievements of the agency to include the introduction of the final billing system, annual maritime forecast, improved ship registry, increased ship tonnage, among others.

He attributed the achievements to the commitment of the members of staff at the agency.


According to him, this is the reason for celebrating outstanding as well as long-serving officers.

The NIMASA boss said that there was, however, still work to be done in order to build on the modest achievements.


He said that industry players had been a source of strength for the agency with the robust support they had given.

Long Service Award, 68 staff members were recognised for 25 years in service, 34 for 20 years and 69 for 15 years.

The Secretary to Government of the Federation, (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha


For Industry Stakeholders Merit Award, the Most Compliant International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Onshore Facility 2019 went to APM Terminal, while Best Terminal/Jetty Operator 2019 went to Tincan Island Container Terminal.

The Best Maritime Training Institution 2019 went to Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.


#Newsworthy…

China’s trade with BRI participating countries positively yield in 2019


China’s trade with countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) posted robust growth in 2019, revealing the resilience of the world’s biggest trader against economic headwinds, customs data showed Tuesday.

Trade with BRI partner countries totalled 9.27 trillion yuan (about 1.34 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2019, up 10.8 percent year on year, outpacing the country’s aggregate trade growth by 7.4 percentage points, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

In the 2014-2019 period, the total trade volume between China and BRI countries surpassed 44 trillion yuan, with an average annual growth of 6.1 percent. China has become the biggest trade partner of 25 BRI countries, GAC data showed.BRI countries’ share of China’s total trade approached 30 percent last year, up by 2 percentage points from 2018.


Zou Zhiwu, vice minister of the GAC, noted that alongside fast growth with its major trading partners like the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China has also seen its imports and exports expand rapidly with the BRI countries and emerging economies in Africa and Latin America.

“The Chinese economy has significant resilience, potential and room to maneuver. It is the same in terms of its foreign trade,” said Zou, describing China’s trading partners as “globally scattered” and “flowering in various regions.”


Zou attributed the solid trade growth momentum with the BRI countries to enhanced customs cooperation and trade facilitation measures.

China has signed the most Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) agreements in the world to facilitate customs clearance for enterprises. Among all the 42 countries and regions holding AEO agreements with China, 18 are BRI countries and regions, he said.

The country has set up seven fast customs clearance channels for agricultural products at borders with BRI countries including Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Mongolia and promoted the opening of China-Europe freight trains for mail service.

Zou also noted that Chinese customs signed 198 documents on inspection and quarantine cooperation in 2019, including 89 with B&R countries and regions.


#Newsworthy…

Just in: Egypt calls for state of emergency


The Egyptian parliament approved on Tuesday a three-month extension of an already-imposed state of emergency due to security challenges facing the country, a member of the parliament said.

The parliament approved a presidential decree to extend the emergency state by another three months, starting from Jan. 27, Mohamed Abou Hamid told Xinhua. Under the decree, military and police personnel should take necessary measures to face terrorism and maintain security across the country.


The state of emergency was first imposed in April 2017 after two church bombings killed 47 people. It has continued since then.

Egypt’s security forces have been fighting terrorist groups concentrated in North Sinai and launched a major operation in the remote region in February 2018.

“Extending the state of emergency provides concerned executive institutions with the legal tools for fighting terrorism,” Abou Hamid said, noting that all the parliament’s members have voted for the decision.

Under the Egyptian constitution, presidential decisions to renew emergency state must be approved by the parliament.


#Newsworthy…

Britain reject Iran’s plea to arrest Envoy Rob

…says it’s flagrant violation of international law


Britain’s Foreign Office has denounced the arrest of the country’s ambassador in Tehran as a “flagrant violation of international law”.

Earlier, the Tehran-based Tasnim news agency reported that British envoy Rob Macaire was arrested for several hours in front of Amir Kabir University for inciting anti-government protesters.


“The arrest of our Ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.

“The Iranian government is at a cross-roads moment. It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to de-escalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards,” Raab said.


#Newsworthy…

Singer Beyoncé says she may sing in ‘James Bond’ new tune


The film is premiering in just a few months but there’s no word on who will be singing the title song. Of course, the internet is going crazy with Queen Bey theories.

It may be a stretch, but eagle eyed fans noticed the singer may have dropped a rather large hint on Instagram while at the Golden Globes.


In the last in a series of photos from the night, Bey is seen sipping 007’s signature drink, a martini.

Followers also pointed out that before she released “Lemonade” in 2016, she mysteriously posted a selfie while holding a lemon.


Some on social media had some thoughts on her cocktail of choice.

“I think she’s going to be in [the] James Bond project. Martini is his signature drink,” wrote one.

Another wrote, “Beyoncé has been hinting at James Bond since her 2018 Coachella set when she sampled the theme tune during ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself.’”

“No Time to Die” is set to open in April. In the meantime, Beyoncé has been working on her highly-anticipated Ivy Park x Adidas collection ahead of its release later this month.


#Newsworthy…

Lady whose heavy Backside caused trouble at Ghana airport react (see photos)


The lady whose big ass caused commotion at terminal three passengers’ lounge in Kotoka International Airport Ghana, has been identified.

The lady spotted in a video which went viral was identified as Jaye Love. She is said to be an Instagram model, socialite, Club Host and a DJ.

(Read first story here)

Though there are claims that Jaye Love got the huge backside from plastic surgery, she has however debunked it by stating that her body is real.

Lady whose big ass caused commotion at airport has been identified (see more photos)

Here are more photos of her below;

Lady whose big ass caused commotion at airport has been identified (see more photos)

Lady whose big ass caused commotion at airport has been identified (see more photos)

Lady whose big ass caused commotion at airport has been identified (see more photos)

Lady whose big ass caused commotion at airport has been identified (see more photos)

Lady whose big ass caused commotion at airport has been identified (see more photos)

Lady whose big ass caused commotion at airport has been identified (see more photos)

Lady whose big ass caused commotion at airport has been identified (see more photos)


#Newsworthy…

Phillip Osundu, Ex-Nigeria Player Dies In Belgium

Ex-Nigeria junior international, Phillip Osundu, is dead.

A close friend of the family, Esther Ugochi Nwachukwu, said the diminutive former Nigeria junior international died in Belgium yesterday morning.

Osundu was said to have complained of feeling unwell while at work, on Thursday, and went to the hospital where he later died.

Born on November 28, 1971, in Aba, Abia State, Osundu was in the Golden Eaglets’ squad that featured at the FIFA U17 World Cup in Canada, in 1987, where Nigeria lost to Soviet Union in the final on penalties. He, however, won the Golden Ball as best player of the tournament.

He also played regularly for the other categories of the youth teams of Nigeria, but could not play for the senior national team, the Super Eagles.

He was a member of the Flying Eagles team that participated at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Saudi Arabia, in 1989 where Nigeria lost in the final to Portugal.

Osondu played for El Kanemi Warriors in the Nigerian League before he joined Belgian club, RSC Anderlecht, in 1988. A year later, the 18-year-old striker made his debut for the club’s first team in an away match against Germinal Ekeren in 1989, under coach Aad de Mos.

However, there was a lot of competition at Anderlecht with players like Luc Nilis, Luis Oliveira, Marc Van Der Linden and Gert Verheyen, which made Osondu which limited his playing time at the club. Between 1990 and 1992 he was loaned to neighbours, RWDM, where the coach, Hugo Broos, gave him more playing opportunities. He scored his first goal for the club in a 4-1 win over Beerschot VAV. A year later, Broos left for Club Brugge and Osundu was again relegated in the team’s pegging order and he had to return to Anderlecht during the summer transfer window.

In 1994 the petit striker moved to second division club, La Louviere, where he scored five times in 20 matches. A season later, he swapped La Louvière during the winter break for Union Saint Gillis, where he completed the rest of the season. Afterwards, he played several years for Diegem Sport and FC Merchtem 2000.

Osondu, who was highly regarded a great talent and excelled as a youth international, but could not fulfill his potential in Belgium. He is often cited as one of many young African footballers who were in a hurry to play abroad

#NobleSport