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Liz Truss Chooses Cabinet Ministers, Appoints Kemi Bedenoch As Secretary of State for International Trade



British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, has appointed Kemi Badenoch as a member of her team in a cabinet reshuffle after she (Truss) assumed office on Tuesday.

A tweet posted to the verified Twitter page of the UK Prime Minister, @10DowningStreet, on Tuesday, stated that Badenoch was appointed as the Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade.

The post read, “Kemi Badenoch MP @KemiBadenoch has been appointed Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade @TradeGovUK

Other appointments made on Tuesday and approved by the Queen Elizabeth II, as contained in a press release by 10 Downing Street include:

  • The Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey MP as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. She will also be Deputy Prime Minister
  • The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP as Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • The Rt Hon James Cleverly MP as Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs
  • The Rt Hon Suella Braverman QC MP as Secretary of State for the Home Department
  • Wendy Morton MP as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip). She will attend Cabinet
  • The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP has been re-appointed as Secretary of State for Defence
  • The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis CBE MP as Lord Chancellor, and Secretary of State for Justice
  • The Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister for Intergovernmental Relations and Minister for Equalities
  • The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP as Lord President of the Council, and Leader of the House of Commons
  • Lord True CBE as Lord Privy Seal, and Leader of the House of Lords
  • The Rt Hon Jake Berry MP as Minister without Portfolio
  • The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP has been re-appointed as COP26 President
  • The Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • The Rt Hon Simon Clarke MP as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
  • Kemi Badenoch MP as Secretary of State for International Trade
  • Chloe Smith MP as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
  • The Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP as Secretary of State for Education
  • Ranil Jayawardena MP as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • The Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP as Secretary of State for Transport
  • The Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • The Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
  • The Rt Hon Alister Jack MP has been re-appointed as Secretary of State for Scotland
  • The Rt Hon Sir Robert Buckland KBE QC MP has been re-appointed as Secretary of State for Wales
  • Chris Philp MP as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He will attend Cabinet

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Grand Jury Indicts Former President, Donald Trump in New York




A Manhattan grand jury indicted Donald J. Trump on Thursday for his role in paying hush money to a porn star, according to people with knowledge of the matter, a historic development that will shake up the 2024 presidential race and forever mark him as the nation’s first former president to face criminal charges.

On Thursday evening, after news of the charges had been widely reported, the district attorney’s office confirmed that Mr. Trump had been indicted and that prosecutors had contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to authorities in Manhattan.

On social media channels associated with extremists and conspiracy theorists, people searched for an explanation behind former President Donald J. Trump’s indictment on Thursday, with some calling him a victim of a Democratic witch hunt to suppress his influence and others describing him as a grand master playing political chess to reclaim the presidency.

The scattered response reflects the shift in Mr. Trump’s power since a large group of his supporters stormed the Capitol after he lost the 2020 election. In the years since, Mr. Trump’s political movement experienced multiple electoral defeats. Some supporters were jailed after the attack on the Capitol. The social media landscape shifted, and Mr. Trump’s digital reach remains limited by an obligation that he first post on Truth Social, the social network he started last year that has far fewer users than Twitter and Facebook.

Source: New York Times

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UK Plans to Sanction Electoral Offenders, Collates List




The British High Commission has said the UK Minister of State for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell MP, is prepared to take action against those who engaged in or incited electoral violence during the just-concluded general elections.

The commission said the UK was already collating names of perpetrators and would impose sanctions “including preventing people from obtaining UK visas or imposing sanctions under our human rights sanctions regime.”

In a statement made available to our correspondent on Wednesday, the high commission said, “We can confirm that we are collating relevant information, with a view to taking action against some individuals.”

The high commission, which said it deployed observers in six states, noted, “There were notable points of concern.  Members of our observation mission personally observed violence, and voter suppression in numerous voting locations. We witnessed and received credible reports from other observer missions and civil society organisations of vote buying and voter intimidation, the destruction and hijacking of election materials and the general disruption of the process in numerous states including Lagos, Enugu and Rivers.

“In addition, we observed incidents of harassment of journalists. Freedom of speech and a free press is crucial for a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to go about their work without being threatened.

“The UK is concerned by the use of inflammatory ethnoreligious language by some public and political figures.  We call on all leaders not just to distance themselves from this kind of language, but to prevent those who speak on their behalf from doing so in this way.

“It is a testament to their commitment to democracy that many Nigerians were prepared to vote despite being faced with intimidation and hostility.”

It, however, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission for improving on its performance during the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections on March 18.

The Punch

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Turkey/Syria Quake: 16000 Persons and Counting Confirmed Dead, Hope Dims for Survivors Under Rubbles




More than 16,000 people have been confirmed dead from the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday.

Turkey’s death toll has risen to 12,873 while the most recent figure from Syria stands at 3,162.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had warned that the death toll may reach 20,000 as rescuers sift through the rubble of thousands of collapsed buildings amid freezing weather conditions, faced with the risk of aftershocks.

The earthquake which was felt in many neighbouring countries is one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years.

Experts say the survival window for those trapped under the debris or otherwise unable to obtain basic necessities is closing rapidly.

More than 90 percent of earthquake survivors were rescued within the first three days and it is now just over 72 hours since the first earthquake struck.

“The first 72 hours are considered to be critical,” CBS news quoted Steven Godby, a natural hazards expert at Nottingham Trent University in England, to have said.

“The survival ratio on average within 24 hours is 74%, after 72 hours it is 22% and by the fifth day it is 6%.”

There has been outrage in Turkey over the government’s “slow response” to the disaster.

On Wednesday, President Recep Erdogan of Turkey admitted to “shortcomings”, saying the state initially “had some problems” at airports and on roads, but insisting the situation was now “under control”.

He had earlier announced a three-month state of emergency across the affected 10 provinces in Turkey to enable rapid search-and-rescue operations.

Meanwhile, analysts fear that Syria may be sidelined from receiving as much international help as Turkey.

The Syrian regime is shunned by most Western countries owing to its brutal suppression of an uprising in 2011.

What began as protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime quickly escalated into a full-scale war between Syria—backed by Russia and Iran—and anti-government rebel groups—backed by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and others in the region.

Syria has used the earthquake as a reason to call for sanctions against it to be lifted even as international bodies such as the WHO assured that aid would be delivered to the conflict zone.


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