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15 April, 2018

Mikel Scores In China In Preparation For Russia 2018

Former Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, has scored his first goal of the season for Tianjin Teda.
Mikel netted his first goal for Teda in their 2-1 win over Guangzhou R&F F.C. on match day six in the Chinese Super League on Saturday at the Tianjin Olympic Sports Centre.
Guangzhou R&F opened the scoring through Zhizhao Chen in the 9th minute but the Nigerian captain equalized for the home team 27 minutes later, his first goal in the league this season.
Mikel found the net when Ghanaian Frank Acheampong’s shot was blocked by Jihong Jiang in the area, but he somehow managed to rolled the ball past the goalkeeper despite being challenged by two defenders.
Jiakang Hui made it 2-1 for Tianjin Teda with a header in the 29th minute.
Breaking times.
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China to showcase MILITARY STRENGTH in support of Russia following Syria airstrikes

CHINA will conducted in a number of navy drills in a show of support for Russia following the US, UK and French airstrikes in Syria, it has been claimed as World War 3 fears grow.
There are concerns Beijing has chosen to firmly back Vladimir Putin on the issue of military intervention in Syria.
A number of drills by China’s sea force will be carried out in the Taiwan Strait in a show of military strength and support for Moscow, according to a source cited by the South China Morning Post.
Speaking to the Asian newspaper the source said: “Donald Trump’s warning of military attacks on Syrian forces was a bit of a surprise for Beijing and Moscow.
“As Russia’s strategic partner, Beijing is trying to cause some well-timed and controlled trouble for the US, a drill in the Taiwan Strait being the most plausible option that will benefit both Xi and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.”
China have conducted military drills to send a message to Trump
In the early hours of Saturday US-led airstrikes hit the Barzah Research and Development Centre outside Damascus with 76 missiles and what the US military described as the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Complex outside the city of Homs.
The strikes were an act of retaliation after an alleged chemical attack by the Assad regime on Syrian civilians a week ago.
However, both the Syrian government and Russia deny any incident took place, and China consequently called for both sides to find a diplomatic solution to the issue.
Following the launch of airstrikes Beijing released a statement condemning the actions of the US, UK and France.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: “We consistently oppose the use of force in international relations, and advocate respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries.”
They were angry the action had been taken without approval from the UN Security Council, in what they saw as a violation of international law.
Ms Chunying continued: “China believes that a political solution is the only realistic way out for the Syrian issue.“China urges all the relevant parties to return to the framework of international law and to resolve the issue through dialogue and consultation.”
The airstrikes have divided the globe with different countries taking sides on the issue as a bitter dispute between the US and Russia heats up.
While most of the West have supported the action taken by the US, UK and French military, Iran have condemned the attack.
China have conducted a number of military drills already this week
Turkey, a long time ally of the US, announced its support for the action but has also held secret conversions with the Kremlin.
In a phone call yesterday Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to work together to create a political solution to the Syrian civil war.
scientific research: the place where destroyed Damascus
A statement released by the Kremlin said: “The Russian and the Turkish sides proceed from the fact that in the light of what has happened it is necessary to intensify bilateral cooperation aimed at real progress in the process of a political settlement in Syria.”
Sunday Express.

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Salah Becomes First African to Score 30 Premier League Goals - Megafetch


Mohamed Salah yesterday scored his 40th goal of the season as Liverpool produced a scintillating performance to overcome Bournemouth and top off the perfect week as they cemented their place in the top-four of the Premier League.
With the goal, he becomes the first African player to reach 30 Premier League goals in a single season. Didier Drogba was the previous highest African scorer with 29 goals in 2009-10.
Salah’s goal means he’s now the first player to 30 league goals in Europe’s big 5 leagues this season and marks the 40th in all competitions in a remarkable campaign that still has a minimum of six and possibly seven games to run. He also becomes only the seventh player in history to score 30 goals in a 38-game Premier League season.
Sadio Mane got the Reds off the mark after only five minutes with his 17th goal of the season, to ensure Jurgen Klopp’s side had something to show for a blistering first-half display.
After beating Manchester City to clinch their place in the semi-final of the Champions League where they will meet Roma, Klopp insisted his side wouldn’t be distracted domestically, and there was little doubt Liverpool were motivated for the tie as they carved Eddie Howe’s side open time and time again.
The German named a strong starting line-up, making just one change from the side on Tuesday night, but a combination of profligate finishing and stout defending meant it looked like Liverpool may have to endure a tense finish to the game.
However, Salah produced a moment of magic in the 69th-minute when he headed a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross past Asmir Begovic to put the result beyond doubt and further furnish an already incredibly impressive first season at Liverpool.
The third member of the Reds’ irrepressible front three, Roberto Firmino, added a third in the last minute to put further gloss on an already polished performance.
Liverpool are now only a point behind second-placed Manchester United and move 10 points clear ahead of Chelsea in fifth, while Bournemouth remain 11th.
Few expected Salah to make an appearance let alone start the match after the club’s adventure in Europe during the week, but the Egyptian – quite remarkably – showed little sign of fatigue and even completed the 90 minutes. Only three players – Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez – have managed 31 goals in a single Premier League season, but with four games remaining Salah is bound to smash that record.

Thisday.
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Federal Govt not aware 98 Chibok girls are dead, says Garba Shehu

Chibok girls
The Presidency on Saturday said that the government was not aware of the series of information revealed in the tweets by Mr Ahmed Salkida, a journalist known to have access to the leadership of the Boko Haram group on the Chibok girls.
 A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, also said that Mr Salkida was not involved in the processes that led to the release of over 100 Chibok Girls.
 Salkida had stated that only 15 out of the remaining 113 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls with Abubakar Shekau insurgents group are alive.
 According to Salkida, 98 of the 113 remaining abducted schoolgirls had died as a result of cross fires and bombardments of the security forces.
 Garba however  said “Following the numerous press enquiries on the information contained in the series of tweets by Mr Ahmed Salkida, we wish to reiterate that the information is not known to the officials of this administration either from the captors of the Chibok girls or the international intercessors who are working with us.
“We wish to confirm that Mr Salkida is not involved, on behalf of the Nigerian government in the processes leading to the release of the over 100 Chibok Girls that have returned to their families, so far , and is not involved in the current processes to secure the release of those still held in captivity.
 “If there is any information he has concerning the remainder of those girls, he has, up till this moment not approached the government Nigeria with it. All press enquirers on the subject should therefore be directed to Mr. Salkida.
 “The facts as known to our officials and the international contacts assisting this process are that the remaining Chibok Girls are there and we are not relenting on getting their release.
 “As stated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, the government is not relenting. We will continue to persist, and the parents should please not give up. They also advised not to lose faith in this government’s ability to fulfill its promise, that the girls will not be abandoned or forgotten.” he said

The Nation.
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Israel's Netanyahu voices 'total support' for Syria strikes - Megafetch

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday voiced his "total support" for US-led air strikes against Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons. 

Netanyahu made a statement after the strikes on the Prime Minister’s Office’s official Twitter account
"A year ago I gave Israel's total support for (US) President Donald Trump's decision to mobilise against the use of chemical weapons," he said, referring to American strikes against the Syrian regime in April 2017 after a sarin gas attack on a rebel-held town.
"Israel's support remains unchanged," Netanyahu said.
"This morning the United States, France and the United Kingdom showed that their commitment is not limited to declarations of principles," he added in a statement.
The three countries had carried out a wave of pre-dawn missile strikes, hitting targets near Damascus and in Homs province, Western officials said.
Netanyahu warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that his "ceaseless efforts to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction... put Syria in danger."
Israeli public radio reported that Western allies had given Israel, which remains technically at war with neighbouring Syria, advance notice of the air strikes.

Dailymail.
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14 April, 2018

Rivers State politics:Rivers South-East Senatorial District Endorses Wike For Second Term

Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike

Rivers South-East Senatorial District has endorsed Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for a second term on the strength of the countless projects executed by the governor in the area.
The senatorial endorsement was unanimously approved by thousands of PDP faithful in a voice vote during the Rivers South-East Senatorial District Solidarity Rally held in honour of the Rivers State Governor at Bori on Saturday.
Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike Speaking at the rally ground
Moving the motion for the adoption of Rivers State Governor as the sole candidate for the 2019 Governorship Election, Senator Lee Maeba said there is no vacancy for anyone from Rivers South-East Senatorial District to contest for the governorship seat .
He said: "Governor Wike will be re-elected and sworn-in for a second term in office on May 29, 2019. Governor Wike's Development Records speak for him. He will be promoted for a job well done ".
Senator Maeba said the people of Rivers South-East will resist any attempt to use the military to steal their votes.
Seconding the motion, Senator Olaka Nwogu said the people of Rivers State deserve a performing leader in the class of Governor Wike to consolidate on the gains of his state-wide development.
Presiding, Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr Ikunyi-Owaji Ibani said that the people of the area will work hard to deliver Governor Wike.
Chairman of the occasion, Chief Moses Wifa (SAN) said the Rivers State Governor has performed beyond measures.
He said the Rivers State Governor is imbued with vision, character and strength to serve the people.
Chief Wifa said in the face of the failure of the APC Federal Government, Governor Wike has stood firm as the hope of down-trodden.
In a welcome address on behalf of the people of Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Administrator of Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Ambassador Desmond Akawor said with the immense said that the governor need not campaign because his legacy projects and human capital development will speak for him.
In their goodwill messages by Former Deputy Governor, Engr Tele Ikuru and Former Senate Majority Whip, Senator Adawari Pepple assured that the people of the area will mobilise for the re-election of Governor Wike.
Responding, Rivers State Governor , said the support and endorsement of the people of Rivers South-East Senatorial District will never be in vain.
mammoth crowd gathered to endorses Governor Wike for Second term
He said already, the district has benefited from life changing and economic enhancing programmes such as Sakpenwa-Bori Road, Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road, Bori Zonal Hospital, Opobo General Hospital, Ngo General Hospital, Camp Mbano Road , Kpopie-Bodo Road, Bodo General Hospital and Eleme-Oyigbo Road.
He said: "All promises are being fulfilled for the people of the senatorial district. We shall continue to work for the benefit of Rivers people ".
The governor said that his administration will never abandon the people of Rivers South-East Senatorial District.
The governor said on the other side, the APC has abandoned the people of the area, denying them key projects.
"APC Federal Government promised you clean-up, but they are now planning to build a prison in the area. They take our oil, pollute our environment, but will never invest in the environment.
"They don't deserve a second chance . Anybody from Rivers State who is still supporting the APC must be examined ", he said.
Hundreds of APC members defected to the Peoples Democratic Party at the rally.

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WW3 FEARS: President Trump celebrates Syria missile strikes

President Donald Trump declared "mission accomplished" in Friday night's strike on three Syria targets and argued that it "could not have had a better result."
"A perfectly executed strike last night," Trump tweeted Saturday. "Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!"
The President added that he's "so proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest that our Country has ever had. There won't be anything, or anyone, even close!"
Later in the morning, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley emphasized that the United States is ready to keep pressure on Syria following military strikes that targeted the country's ability to use chemical weapons.
"The United States is locked and loaded," she said at an emergency UN Security Council meeting. "When our President draws a red line, our President enforces a red line."
Haley blasted Russia for protecting Syria and said that Moscow has emboldened Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government to continue its attacks.
NATO also expressed "full support" for the strikes.
"I am not saying that the attacks last night solved all problems, but compared to the alternative -- to do nothing -- it was the right thing to," the alliance's secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, told reporters in Brussels on Saturday.
The Russian ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia, meanwhile, said Washington had embarked on an "illegal military venture."
"Russia condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack against Syria where Russian military personnel are assisting the legitimate country and their counterterrorism efforts," Nebenzia said, reading a statement from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Nebenzia also said recent inspections by the UN's Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons found no "traces of activity that would contravene the chemical weapons convention" at scientific research facilities targeted in the strikes.
"The scientific facilities in Syria are used only for peaceful activity which is aimed at enhancing the economic effectiveness of economic activity of Syria," Nebenzia said.
SYRIA STRIKES: US, UK and French missiles launched early this morning
Vice President Mike Pence echoed Haley's and others' remarks Saturday, saying US, British and French strikes in Syria "degraded and crippled chemical weapons capabilities of Syria."
"President Trump made it clear the United States will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons," Pence said during a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, adding the US was prepared to sustain its effort.
Trump announced from the White House on Friday night that the US, in coordination with France and the United Kingdom, had launched strikes on Syria following a week of threats of retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians by the Assad regime. The strikes were launched at 9 p.m. ET, the early hours of Saturday morning for Europe and the Middle East.
AFTERMATH: Bombing raids destroyed chemical weapons facilities in Syria
Trump's remarks on Twitter Saturday are reminiscent of President George W. Bush's 2003 speech announcing an end to major combat operations in Iraq on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, with a big sign that read, "Mission Accomplished" in the backdrop. Those words later took on an irony as the war dragged on, and at the end of his presidency, Bush called the use of the phrase "a mistake."
The Pentagon on Saturday echoed the President's assessment.
"Last night, operations were very successful," Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said at a briefing Saturday morning. "We met our objectives. We hit the sites, the heart of the chem-weapons program. So it was mission accomplished."
Trump had said Friday that the US is "prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents."
But US Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters Friday that the missiles were a "one-time shot" for now, and that the strike sent a "strong message" to "deter" Assad from carrying out another chemical attack.
"Clearly the Assad regime did not get the message last year. This time our allies and we have struck harder," Mattis said.
The Pentagon repeated Saturday that the President has the authority under the Constitution to defend US interests, but what happens next is up to the Assad regime and Russia. The US mission in Syria remains to defeat ISIS and not get involved in the country's civil war, White said
A total of 105 missiles were launched in the strikes, according to the Pentagon. The strikes "successfully hit every target" and the allies "took every measure and caution" to only hit the intended targets, White said Saturday morning.
The Pentagon also said that it was not aware of any civilian causalities at the time.
Syria state TV, however, claimed that three civilians were wounded in Homs after "several" missiles were intercepted by Syrian air-defense systems.
Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff, said that none of the aircraft or missiles involved in this operation were successfully engaged by Syrian air defenses, and there is no indication that Russia air defense systems were employed.
Syrian armed forces said in a statement, however, that the country's defense systems "intercepted most of the missiles, but some hit targets including the Research Center in Barzeh," a suburb of Damascus.
Russian Army Colonel Gen. Sergey Rudskoy put a number to the claim, telling reporters that 71 of the cruise missiles were intercepted by Syria's air defense systems.
"It proves high efficiency of the Syrian armament and professional skills of the Syrian servicemen trained by the Russian specialists," Rudskoy said at a Ministry of Defense media briefing. "Over the last 18 months, Russia has completely recovered the Syrian air defense systems, and continues its development."
The Pentagon assessed that nerve agents were present in the Barzah research center and that the Syrian regime employed about 40 surface-to-air missiles, but those launches occurred after the last impact of the US and its allies' strike.
White also said Russia has begun a disinformation campaign on the situation.
"There has been a 2000 percent increase in Russian trolls in the last 24 hours," White said. "Therefore, we will keep you all abreast of the facts moving forward."
Defense Secretary James Mattis said Friday night that the US was expecting a disinformation campaign by those aligned with the Assad regime.
Cnn.
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Egypt further extends state of emergency one year after Palm Sunday bombings - Megafetch

By Press Association

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has extended a state of emergency in Egypt for another three months.
The decree said the armed forces and police should take all necessary measures "to confront the threats and funding of terrorism and maintain security throughout the country".
It was published Saturday in the official gazette.
The state of emergency has been in place since April 2017 after bombings struck two Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday, later claimed by the Islamic State terror group.


In February, Egypt began a large-scale anti-militant operation, mainly in the volatile Sinai Peninsula, the epicentre of a years-long Islamic insurgency.
It involves land, sea and air forces and covers parts of Egypt's Nile Delta and the Western Desert, along the porous border with Libya.
You can hear Premier's Eno Adeogun's documentary on the anniversary of the Palm Sunday bombings in Egypt here:

Christian Radio
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We’ve Not Received $1bn Arms’ Request From Buhari – Reps

The House of Representatives said on Thursday that it had yet to receive any request from President Muhammadu Buhari, seeking approval for the $ 1 bn proposed for spending on the procurement of military hardware to fight Boko Haram insurgents .
But, it clarified that whenever the President sent such a request, lawmakers would consider it like any other request from the President.
The Chairman , House Committee on Media and Public Affairs , Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas , who spoke on the issue in Abuja, explained that the position of the legislature remained that it had not received any request from the President .
He said, “Our position on this matter is this: Mr . President has not sent any communication to us on the $ 1 bn. All we know is that it is work in progress at the level of the executive . We have yet to be informed.
“However , it is the job of the National Assembly to appropriate funds from the Federation Account . Any time a request on the $ 1 bn is forwarded to us, we will work on it .
“This is the position of the House on this matter. We want to lay to rest the frequent inquiries into this matter. We don ’ t have a request before us. Anytime it comes , we will work on it .”
Namdas , who also gave an update on the 2018 budget , said the April 24 date set for its passage remained unchanged.
“We earlier gave a date . We are working within that date, which is before the end of the month . April 24 is almost like the end of the month . So , we will pass the budget, ” he added .
The budget of N8. 612tn was laid before the National Assembly on November 7 by President Muhammadu Buhari .
Meanwhile , the House in plenary, passed a resolution to investigate the proposed payment of $ 17m to lawyers by the Attorney General of the Federation ( Mr . Abubakar Malami), for the recovery of funds stashed abroad by the late Gen . Sani Abacha .
The House , following a motion moved by an All Progressives Congress member from Benue State , Mr. Mark Terseer-Gbillah, described as strange , a decision by Malami to hire two Nigerian lawyers for $ 17m, when indeed the Federal Government had in 1999, engaged , a Swiss lawyer , Enrico Monfrini, to do the same job .
It noted that the $ 321 m ‘ Abacha loot ’ recently negotiated with the Swiss Government came from the past actions of the government .
The House noted that members could not understand why Malami was proposing another $ 17m ( about N6 bn) for the Nigerian lawyers.
The two lawmakers were previously lawyer to Buhari when he founded the defunct Congress for Progressive Change.
The motion reads in detail, “( The House is ) aware that Mr . Enrico Monfrini, a Swiss lawyer , was engaged by the Nigerian Government since 1999 to work on recovering the Abacha loot for which the sum of $ 321 m was a part and had finished the Luxembourg leg of the job since 2014 when Mohammed Bello -Adoke was the Attorney General of the Federation .
“That Mr . Mofrini had since been paid by the Federal Government for his legal services for the recovery of the money, which was then domiciled with the Attorney General of Switzerland, pending the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Nigeria to avoid the issues of accountability around previous recoveries.
“( The House ) notes that all that was left was the signing of the MoU , which is a government- to - government communication for the money to be repatriated to Nigeria.
“Also aware that Abubakar Malami, SAN , the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation , had curiously engaged the services of another set of Nigerian lawyers in 2016, namely , Oladipo Okpeseyi , SAN ) , and Temitope Adebayo for a fee of $ 16 .9 m ( about N6bn ), without due process .
“( The House ) recalls that both lawyers had worked for President Muhammadu Buhari’ s Congress for Progressive Change, a legacy party of the APC when Malami was the legal adviser to CPC .
“Also recalls that the terms of the agreement reached with Mr . Mofrini for the recovery clearly spelt out that no other lawyer would be engaged for the return of the money to Nigeria .”
 PUNCH .
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13 April, 2018

WWE legend Jerry 'The King' Lawler suffered a stroke during sex - Megafetch

WWE legend Jerry 'The King' Lawler
WWE legend Jerry 'The King' Lawler suffered a stroke whilst having sex.
The 68-year-old star - who is known for his professional wrestling and commentary career with the WWE - has revealed he was taken into hospital in March after having a stroke while he was making love to his girlfriend Lauryn McBride at his home in Memphis.
Speaking on his 'Dinner With The King' podcast, Jerry explained: ''I got up and I said something to Lauryn and I didn't really feel anything, and she said 'what did you say?'.
''And I realised then that whatever I said didn't sound right, and then she looked at me - we made eye contact - and she said 'oh my god Jerry, go look in the mirror.'
''I walked around to the bathroom and I look in the mirror and the whole right side of my mouth is drooping all the way down to my chin.''
Jerry soon realised he wasn't able to speak at all, prompting his girlfriend to scream, ''Oh my god, you're having a stroke''.
Jerry - who was left unable to speak for three days, but returned to good health in time for WrestleMania 34 - originally said that the dramatic incident occurred while he and Lauryn were ''expressing love for each other in a certain way''.
But later, his co-host Glenn Moore clarified on Reddit that Jerry suffered the stroke during sex.
Meanwhile, Jerry recently revealed that he and the recently-retired WWE star Paige shared a joke about a photo that appeared to show him staring at her backside.
The wrestler-turned-commentator insisted that wasn't hit intention and that the photo just happened to be taken at the moment he was turning around.
He said: ''It sailed around the internet everywhere and she and I had a good laugh about it.
''We recreated the picture back in the locker room with her looking at my backside, so that's the kind of stuff that can happen with pictures like that.''
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Syria 'chemical attack': Trump decision on strike 'fairly soon'

Russia has warned the US that launching air strikes in response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria could spark a war between the two countries.
"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war," Moscow's UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Thursday.
He accused Washington of putting international peace at risk and said the situation was "very dangerous".
Western powers are thought to be preparing for strikes but Russia, a Syrian ally, opposes such action.
"We cannot exclude any possibilities, unfortunately," Mr Nebenzia told reporters after a private meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.
He said there was a heightened "danger of escalation" because of the Russian military presence in Syria.
Senior Russian figures, including the head of the military, have warned that US missiles will be shot down and their launch sites targeted if Russian personnel come under threat.
Mr Nebenzia also called for the UN Security Council to meet again on Friday to discuss the possibility of Western military action.
The White House says it is continuing to assess intelligence and talk to its allies on how to respond.
Meanwhile, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says experts are travelling to Syria and will start investigations on Saturday.
The call for action comes after a suspected chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Douma in the Eastern Ghouta on Saturday, which killed dozens of people, according to opposition activists, rescue workers and medics.
Chemical weapons attacks are suspected to have taken place in Syria before. Last year, the US launched a retaliatory strike against one said to have taken place in Khan Sheikhoun, where victims had tested positive for sarin poisoning.
President Bashar al-Assad's government - which receives military backing from Russia - has denied involvement in any chemical attack, calling the reports "fabricated".
After six weeks of heavy fighting and an estimated 1,700 civilian deaths in the Eastern Ghouta region, the Syrian government is now said to have control of the area, which lies just outside of Damascus.
The Violations Documentation Center (VDC), which records alleged violations of international law in Syria, said bodies were found with foam at the mouth, discoloured skin and burns to the eyes.
On Thursday, US officials said they had blood and urine samples from victims which had tested positive for chlorine and a nerve agent, according to NBC News.
 
Western leaders have been planning a response to Saturday's suspected chemical attack

The officials said they were "confident" in the intelligence, though not 100% sure, the news site added.
French President Emmanuel Macron said he had "proof" that the Syrian government had attacked Douma with chemical weapons, without giving further details.
In the UK, cabinet ministers agreed that it was "highly likely" the Assad regime was responsible for the alleged attack and said the use of chemical weapons must not "go unchallenged".
During a phone call late on Thursday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump agreed on the need to deter chemical weapon use in Syria.
They agreed to "keep working closely" on the issue, Mrs May's office said in a statement.
On Sunday, the day after the attack, the US president said Russian President Vladimir Putin bore responsibility for the "atrocity" in rebel-held Douma, because of his support for the Syrian government.
Mr Trump, who has cancelled a planned trip abroad to latin america, has been canvassing support for strikes from the leaders of France and the UK.
On Wednesday he said the missiles were "coming", but on Thursday he tweeted that he had "never said when". It "could be very soon or not so soon at all", he said.
He later told reporters at the White House: "We're having a meeting today on Syria... We have to make some further decisions. So they'll be made fairly soon."
Also on Thursday, US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis told a congressional panel: "I believe there was a chemical attack and we are looking for the actual evidence and that the US military stood ready "to provide military options if they are appropriate as the president determines". "Defence Secretary

Russia has described the reports of a chemical attack as a "provocation" designed to justify Western intervention.
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that he hoped common sense would prevail and that the situation would stabilise.
He added that Russia would "keep all its international obligations in full".
BBC
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Prof. Itse Sagay Panel Asks JAMB To Clarify N36m ‘Swallowed By Snake’ - Megafetch

Lauds remittance of N7.8b in 2017
Prof. Itse Sagay

The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) has sought clarification on the N36 million cash allegedly swallowed by a snake at the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
It all began when a team of auditors working with JAMB arrived in Makurdi, Benue State to take an inventory of sold and unsold scratch cards and to audit the finances of the office in the state.
But a sales clerk in the office, Philomina Chieshe, told the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, and his team that she could not account for N36 million she made in previous years before the abolition of scratch cards.
In the course of interrogation, Chieshe confessed that it was her housemaid that connived with another JAMB official, Joan Asen, to “spiritually” steal the money from the vault in the accounts office.
“I was one of the four sales clerks attached to JAMB office in Makurdi. My responsibility was to sell scratch cards to candidates. I’m not involved in handling the money, it was the responsibility of Joan Asen and other senior colleagues. I only remit money of sold scratch cards. But a few months ago, there was an issue of fraud in the office. Auditors were sent from Abuja. The state coordinator, Obilo, was not around when the audit team came. But in the course of the audit, N36m was discovered to be missing from the account. An investigation was launched.
“I have been saving the money in the bank but I found it difficult to account for it. So, I started saving it in a vault in the office. But each time I open the vault, I will find nothing. I became worried and surprised how millions of naira could be disappearing from the vault. I began to interrogate everybody in the house and office, and no one could agree on what might have happened to the money.
“I continued to press until my maid confessed. She said that the money disappeared spiritually. She said that a mysterious snake sneaked into the house and swallowed the money in the vault,” Chieshe told the team,
But Oloyede had since dismissed the claim, saying the case was that of pure criminality and fraud on the part of an official.
The Chairman of PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay, who led other members of the committee to the headquarters of JAMB yesterday, said he was also interested in the other challenges being faced by the board that required the panel’s assistance.
JAMB had earlier explained that the fraud was committed before the coming of the current registrar. It said the fraud was discovered in one of the states when the Oloyede-led management embarked on a tour of the board’s offices to ascertain their actual financial standing and their general operations.
This prompted Oloyede to introduce reforms when he assumed office in 2016, including the recommendation that the use of scratch cards should be stopped and replaced with a more efficient and effective mode of pin vending.
Sagay commended Oloyede for his high level of integrity. JAMB had remitted about N7.8 billion in 2017 to the Federal government.
“We are also curious about some other things. For example, I remember in some time past, it used to be commonly believed that if you sit for a JAMB examination, different results would be prepared for you and you will score high marks and when you go to the university, you underperform.
“Has this problem been eliminated? Also, we read recently of some members of staff of JAMB at the lower level who accumulated a lot of cash and did not properly account for the money, leading them to make very absurd defences which have created a lot of fun nationwide.
Read More: JAMB still silent over candidates’ inability to access results
“What steps are being taken to ensure that monies realised from your work are now maintained in a guaranteed fashion that people do not have the opportunity to abuse them?”
The JAMB registrar, in his response before journalists were excused from the meeting, said it was unfortunate that Nigeria had gone down to the extent that serious issues were being trivialised, especially the “crazy talk” about a snake swallowing JAMB money.
Oloyede said: “Since I came here, nobody has called me to do any wrong thing. Nobody has called me and said somebody has done what is wrong, allow it to go.
“People who have authority over me have been the people who are even calling me to strengthen what I am doing. Whereas my fear when I came here was that I was not going to stay long because what we used to peddle in the university was that these politicians would be intervening on one’s activities.
“So, I have made up my mind that if they call me to do what I am not supposed to do, I will go,” he said.
The registrar, who blamed parents for aiding and abetting examination malpractice, said arrests were made during the just-concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), and the suspects were handed over to the police for prosecution.

The guardian.
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FG Worried As ICC Steps Up Investigations Against Nigeria - Megafetch.Com


The Federal Government is worried that the International Criminal Court is unrelenting in pursuing eight cases against Nigeria, says the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice , Mr. Abubabakar Malami ( SAN ).
He said this on Thursday while playing host to the newly elected President of the ICC , Prof . Chile Osuji , at his office in Abuja.
Malami said the ICC had “escalated ” eight potential cases against Nigeria from “the initial preliminary examination to preliminary investigation ”.
Six of the cases were said to be against Boko Haram and two against the military.
He said the stepping up of the investigation against Nigeria was worrisome because the government had demonstrated its willingness and ability to arrest , investigate and prosecute anyone that committed any offence that fell within the Rome statute of the ICC .
Malami said, “Presently, the ICC has escalated the eight potential cases against Nigeria – six against the Boko Haram and two against the military – from the initial preliminary examination to preliminary investigation.
“This is worrisome , as Nigeria has demonstrated beyond doubt , and in absolute cooperation with the ICC , that it is willing and able and , as a matter of fact , it is indeed arresting , investigating and prosecuting anyone that commits any offence that falls within the Rome Statute of the ICC .
“The above being the case, Nigeria views the escalation of the eight potential cases as uncalled for in the circumstance . ”
He assured the ICC president that Nigeria being “a country that believes in the operation of the rule of law, fundamental freedom and the need to fight impunity in all ramifications” the escalation of the eight potential cases “would not deter us from further expressing and demonstrating support to the ICC . ”
Responding, Osuji commended Nigeria for its support to the ICC and assured that the court would continue to work against injustice and abuse of powers in its area of jurisdiction.
The ICC President described as inaccurate and erroneous the impression that Article 27 of the Rome Statute that prohibits immunity being extended to any head of state or senior government officials was targeted at African leaders .
He said the provision and the reason for that portion of the Rome Statute predated independence of African states.
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