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On day one, Biden issues orders reversing key Trump policies

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…..US rejoins WHO, Paris Climate Accord

…..Lifts travel ban on Muslims

U.S. President Joe Biden used his first day in office to issue a raft of executive orders undoing some of former President Donald Trump’s marquee policies on climate change and immigration.

Among the 17 executive orders and presidential actions Biden signed on Wednesday were moves to rejoin the Paris climate accord, end a travel ban from several Muslim-majority countries, and halt Trump’s withdrawal from the World Health Organisation.

“There’s no time to waste,” Biden said before signing executive orders in the White House.

“These are just all starting points,” he added.

Biden made rejoining the climate agreement a key point of his presidential campaign, vowing to undo former president Donald Trump’s policy.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed the U.S. president’s move.

“Following last year’s Climate Ambition Summit, countries producing half of global carbon pollution had committed to carbon neutrality,” Guterres said.

“Today’s commitment by President Biden brings that figure to two-thirds,” the UN chief added.

Trump, who long railed against the global agreement signed by almost every country, notified the UN of his intent to exit the deal in 2019 and the U.S. formally left in November 2020.

The move also led to a sharp decrease in U.S. contributions to a fund to help poorer nations cope with climate change.

Biden also ended the entry ban on citizens from over a dozen countries, including Eritrea, Yemen, Nigeria, and Sudan.

The American Civil Liberties Union, a non-profit civil rights organisation, applauded the move calling the travel policy a “cruel Muslim ban that targeted Africans.”

Critics had called the policy – one of the first moves by Donald Trump when he became president in 2017 – a “Muslim ban.”

However, the ban was changed, in part due to legal challenges, and included some non majority-Muslim nations.

Biden has described the policy as discriminatory and an affront to the country’s values.

The president also submitted a letter to UN chief Guterres saying the U.S. intended to stay in the WHO, halting Trump’s withdrawal, which was scheduled for July of this year.

The U.S. will be a “full participant and a global leader” in confronting the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and other public health threats, Biden said in a letter to UN chief Guterres that rescinded U.S’s. withdrawal from WHO.

Biden issued an executive order halting construction of a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, dealing a blow to one of Trump’s signature policy goals meant to keep South American immigrants out of the US.

The president also signed an executive order mandating that people wear masks in all federal buildings and on federal lands in an effort to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

“Wearing masks isn’t a partisan issue — it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives.

“It’s time to mask up, America,” Biden wrote on the official presidential Twitter account.

Trump had long downplayed the need to wear masks and avoided wearing masks in public even as COVID-19 pandemic killed over 400,000 people during his tenure as president.

As part of his executive order, Biden asked everyone in the U.S. to wear a mask when in public for at least the next 100 days.

Biden’s transition team said earlier that the executive orders were meant to reverse “the gravest damages of the Trump administration.”

The Democrat made the policies cornerstones of his presidential election campaign, seeking to reverse tougher immigration rules, a lax attitude on public health and an aversion to international cooperation on climate change seen under his predecessor.

The president has also sent a bill to Congress to overhaul the country’s immigration system, his team said earlier.

The legislation aims to provide pathways to U.S. citizenship for undocumented people, address the root causes of migration and speed up the reunification of families after children were separated from parents at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Biden has already made it clear he aims to push for another 1.9 trillion dollars in relief and stimulus to help the economy through the coming months of the pandemic.

This will involve working with Congress, where he is likely to meet some resistance to more spending, after the U.S. government has already pumped trillions into the economy since March.

However, jobless data is worrying and business are suffering. (dpa/NAN)

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Ebonyi Head of Service Position: Umahi Throws Application Open

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Against the usual practice of picking from the top echelon of the Civil Service,  Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi on Tuesday threw the position of Head of Service (HoS) of the state open, asking civil servants on Grade Level 14 and above to apply within two weeks.

Umahi, in a statement by the Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji, said civil servants across the 13 LGAs of the state are qualified to apply within two weeks.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi requests applications from Civil Servants from Grade Level 14 and above to fill the vacancy of the Head Of Service (HOS), who shall be bowing out of Civil Service on 30th June 2021 after a meritorious and selfless service to the government and people of Ebonyi State,” the statement read in part.

The Governor further directed the civil servants to forward their applications to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG): “All applications are to be addressed to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, and submitted with all relevant credentials no later than 30th June, 2021.

Umahi added that “In replacing the outgoing Head of Service, the Government will be looking for the best for the State to continue the good work that the outgoing Head of Service began.

He applauded the loyalty, committed efforts and selfless service rendered by the out-going Head Of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele, in the state and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Federal High Court Issues New Practice Direction For Filing Of Processes As Workers Resume

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, has issued a new practice direction on exemption of payment of default fees for filing of processes.

The development, according to a statement by Catherine Oby-Nwandu, Chief Information Officer of FHC, on Friday night, followed the resumption of work after the two-month strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was called off on on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUSUN had, on April 6, shut down all courts nationwide to demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level.

Although the industrial action was called off on Wednesday, June 9, the workers union directed all its members to resume work on Monday, June 14.

Justice Tsoho, in the statement, therefore ordered that notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the court rules, 2019, on computation of time for filling of court proceedings as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time, the period covering the JUSUN strike action would be exempted.

The statement reads: “Following the resumption of work after the strike action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June 2021 which affected court proceedings and filling of processes, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, announces to Hon. Judges, stakeholders and the general public, the essential need for a new Practice Direction on EXEMPTION OF PAYMENT OF DEFAULT FEES FOR FILING OF PROCESSES computation of time for the payment of default fees for extension of time for filing processes in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for the above period.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on him, he thereby issues the following Practice Directions:
“COMPUTATION of Time for filing of court processes and payment of default fees for extension of time;
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 on computation of time for filling of court proceedings or doing an act as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period covering the JUSUN strike action, being from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June, 2021, is hereby exempted.

“APPLICABILITY; These practice Directions shall, save to the extent or as may be otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, apply to both criminal and civil causes and matters in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

“CITATION; These Practice Directions shall be cited as the Federal High Court (Exemption of Payment of Default Fees for Filing of Processes) Practice Directions (No. 2) 2021.

“The Practice Directions take effect from Tuesday, June 15, 2021.”(NAN)

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BUHARI REMOVES ARMSTRONG IDACHABA, REPLACES HIM WITH SHEHU ILELAH AS NBC DG.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, as the new director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement made available to NAN in Abuja on Friday.

The statement said Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

Ilelah

It added that Ilelah is a veteran broadcaster.

Ilelah takes over from the acting director-general of the agency, Armstrong Idachaba, who had been acting since the removal of Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, the esthwhile director-general who was removed over alleged corruption last year.

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