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The African Union suspends Sudan membership

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The African Union (AU) has suspended Sudans membership days after the military launched a brutal crackdown on protesters that killed dozens of people.

The AUs Peace and Security Department said in a post on Twitter on Thursday that Sudans participation in all AU activities would be suspended with immediate effect – “until the effective establishment of a civilian-led transitional authority,” which it described as the only way to “exit from the current crisis”.

The announcement followed an emergency meeting by the AU in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia, after the violent dispersal of a protest camp in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, began on Monday.

At least 108 people have been killed and more than 500 wounded, according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD), while a health ministry official was quoted as saying the death toll stood at 61.

Al Jazeera is unable to independently confirm the differing tolls after its journalists were ordered not to report from the country.

Sudans pro-democracy leaders have vowed to continue their campaign of civil disobedience until the Transitional Military Council (TMC) – which has ruled Sudan since longtime leader Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a coup in April -is removed and killers of protesters are brought to justice.

The Sudanese Professionals Association on Thursday asked people to block main roads and bridges to “paralyse public life” across the country in retaliation for the military crackdown.

In response to the killings, AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat on Monday called for an “immediate and transparent investigation in order to hold all those responsible accountable”.

The AU had earlier warned of suspension if Sudans military did not hand over power, but extended the deadline on Saturday after the previous one was ignored.

The AU has met some criticism over its response to the crisis. Political analyst Joseph Ochieno told Al Jazeera before the suspension announcement that the emergency meeting was “coming rather late”.

The CCSD said 40 bodies were pulled from the Nile River on Tuesday and taken to an unknown location by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The TMC has not commented on the allegations.

Galvanising Sudan

The raid on Monday marked a pivotal moment in the weeks-long struggle between the powerful TMC and opposition groups over who should lead Sudans transition to democracy.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the TMC, said it was ready to resume negotiations with the opposition coalition.

But the opposition rejected the offer, saying the military could not be trusted.

Speaking about the TMCs hard line approach, Ochieno told Al Jazeera it was unclear what the ruling generals were trying to achieve with their violent response.

“If it is a way to negotiate … in this day and age, it is rather unusual,” said Ochieno. “If part of their trips to Saudi Arabia and Egypt were to show power and intimidate the opposition, they have actually galvanised the entire of Sudan,” he said.

“Some of these guys have extensions to the genocide in Darfur. They thought perhaps the old system of general intimidation and use of excess power and violence – to which they subjected the people of Sudan elsewhere – could be attempted in the streets of Khartoum in broad daylight.”

The RSF, accused of dispersing the protest camp with gunfire, grew out of the Janjaweed militia that human rights groups accuse of committing war crimes – including killings, rape and torture of civilians – in Sudans western region of Darfur after the outbreak of conflict there in 2003.

International response

On Thursday, the United Nations pulled all non-critical members of staff from Sudan amid concerns over the violence.

 

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The United States has called on Sudans military rulers to “desist from violence” and urged talks with protesters to resume.

“The United States condemns the recent attacks on protesters in Sudan,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement on Wednesday.

Russia said on Thursday it opposed foreign intervention in Sudan and the authorities in Khartoum must subdue what it described as “extremists”, Russias RIA news agency reported.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted as saying Moscow favoured a national dialogue about a transition period leading to new elections.

“Naturally, in order to do that, you need for order to be imposed, and you need to fight against extremists and provocateurs who dont want the stabilisation of the situation,” RIA quoted Bogdanov as saying.

“Thats the situation right now, but we are against any external intervention, the imposition of anything on the Sudanese.”

He did not identify which groups he considered to be “extremists” and provocateurs.

David Shinn, a former senior US diplomat in Sudan, said the prospect for talks was dim as long as the violence continued.

“You cannot have successful negotiations between the protest groups and the military so long as the security forces are killing fellow Sudanese. This has to stop. Until it does, I don't see any prospect for meaningful negotiations,” he told Al Jazeera.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is expected in Khartoum on Friday to launch mediation efforts.

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Cardi B tattoos Offset’s name on body

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Cardi B has tattooed her husbands stage name, ‘Offset’ on the back of her thigh.Cardi bRapper, Offset revealed this in a post via his Instagram handle: @offsetyrn on Sunday, July 21, 2019.

He posted a screenshot of Cardi showing him the tattoo during a facetime session.

However, this is not strange with the couple as Offset also has a tattoo of Cardi and his daughters name on his body.

View this post on Instagram

CANT WAIT TO GET HOME 👅👅👅

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COZA!!! Femi Falana Now Busola Dakolo’s Lawyer

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COZA!!! Femi Falana Now Busola Dakolo’s Lawyer

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered that petitions from the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Abuja, Biodun Fatoyinbo, and the Dakolos, be merged and investigated at the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Lawyer to the Dakolos, Mr Femi Falana, made the revelation during a telephone conversation with The PUNCH on Monday.

Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, told our correspondent that the IG had assured that justice would be done in the matter.


While denying that the police authorities had refused to act on the Dakolos’ petition, the human rights lawyer said the case would be brought to Lagos because the family were the first to petition the police.

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So Sad: Kidnappers Kill 8-Year-Old Girl In Kano

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A young girl of eight years, Aisha Sani, who was abducted two weeks ago in Tudunwada quarters of Kano State by unidentified lady and later turned to be an ally to kidnappers has been found dead.

Aisha, who was abducted when they closed from an Islamiyya School with her siblings, was took away by another lady who covered her face with veil and three days after no formal communication was made with her parents.

A week later, a text message was said to have sent to her parents; telling them she was in good health and they should not bothered.

But two days ago, according to a family member, who don’t want his names printed, the kidnappers demanded N200 million be paid as ransom.

Still in the kidnappers demands they asked that the money be given to her mother who would now take the money to them.

But, on Monday two weeks after, Aisha’s corpse was found hacked to death by her kidnappers and already her parents have taken custody of her body for burial.

When contacted, the Police in the State said they were investigating the matter and that whoever was behind the notorious action would be soon arrested and dealt with.

The Police assured that Kano would soon be safe completely against any form of dastardly acts from criminals as already they have started fleeing the state.

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A new research has shown that babies begin to show empathy from as early as 6 months old.

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A new research has shown that babies begin to show empathy from as early as 6 months old.

Ben-Gurion University (BGU) on Monday said Israeli research proves that babies start to show empathy as early as six months old.

In a study conducted by BGU and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI), the joint team looked at empathic preferences in babies of about six months old to understand which situations it is expressed in, and which not.

The researchers first showed the babies two videos in which a square-shaped figure with eyes goes up a mountain and meets a round figure halfway up.

In one of the videos, the character was friendly and pleasant, and the two characters together returned to the bottom of the mountain and express a positive-neutral feeling.

In the second video, however, the round figure behaves like a bully and hits the square figure until it descends to the bottom of the mountain.

Then the square figure expresses distress through crying and squatting.

Next, the team let the babies choose between the two square figures in different colours.

More than 80 per cent of the babies chose the figure in distress and expressed an empathic preference for it.

Then, the babies were shown videos with the same characters, and only this time the babies did not see what led to the emotional expression of the characters.

In this case, the babies showed no preference for either character.

The findings, according to the researchers, mean that during the first year of life babies are already sensitive to the distress of others, and even make complex judgments about the context in which the distress is expressed.

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El-Zakzaky: Shi’ites Speak On Clash With Police

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El-Zakzaky: Shi’ites Speak On Clash With Police

 

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, have denied killing a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and burning the outpost of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Abuja.

We had earlier reported that no fewer than six members of IMN, otherwise known as Shi’ites, and a journalist with Channels TV, were feared dead in a bloody clash involving the Muslim sect and the police in Abuja on Monday.

Speaking with us in Abuja, Abdullahi Musa, the Secretary of IMN’s Academic Forum, said the protest by the sect over government’s illegal detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, had been peaceful before armed policemen attempted to forcefully disperse them near the Federal Secretariat.

According to him, “Security forces led by the Nigerian police shot at our members and injured many others. I can confirm to you that, we have carried away six dead bodies belonging to our members.

“The security agents also lifted some corpses to unknown destinations. We are yet to account for some of our members who came out to protest today. We believe the number of casualties may increase before today ends.”

The IMN scribe also dismissed claims that members of the Islamic group provoked the police through undue confrontation before the shootings began.

“Our protest began from NITEL junction through Ahmadu Bello Way to the Federal Secretariat. On our arrival, we were still prepping to pray and disperse peacefully before live ammunitions were released at our members to forcefully send us home. We were unarmed.

We couldn’t have confronted armed policemen,” he added.

He accused security operatives of masterminding the vandalization of public properties and the killing of DCP Umar after the shootings to win public sympathy.

He said, “No member of our movement was involved in the setting ablaze of vehicles and the outpost of NEMA as alleged. But we know the authorities have been making frantic efforts to blackmail us and sway the public sympathy against IMN and Sheikh El-Zakzaky.

“We are aware the police have been sending paid agents in plain clothes to infiltrate our meetings and disturb public peace in the name of IMN. But the Nigerian people are already frustrated and oppressed by this administration. The government can’t get the public sympathy they desire, because its agents are committing crimes against humanity.”

Recall that the Muslim sect had last week clashed with the Police which resulted in several deaths, injuries and destruction of vehicles near the National Assembly.

In view of that, the Police restricted all street protests to the Unity Fountain in Abuja.

But the Shi’ites defied the police order, vowing o continue their protests on the streets of Abuja until the government implemented a 2016 Order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, directing the unconditional release of Sheikh El-Zakzaky.

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