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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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Aspirant Confirms Receiving Refund From Delegates After Losing Primaries 

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Adam Namadi, son of former Vice President Namadi Sambo, has confirmed receiving a refund from delegates after losing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives ticket for Kaduna North Federal Constituency.

Reports earlier emerged that drama ensued when Namadi who allegedly gave each delegate N2 million and promised to add N1.5 million if given the ticket, asked them to refund the money.

Reacting, in a statement on Wednesday, the former aspirant justified his action, saying “there was nothing dramatic about the request, and it is unfortunate the media has been purporting it as such”.

According to him, there was an agreement between the delegates and stakeholders in the constituency prior to the primary election that those not favoured by the outcome of the election should be refunded.

He said, “Delegates themselves are aware of the directives given by the major stakeholders of the PDP in the Kaduna North constituency, that any sums given to delegates by various aspirants for their support should be returned to those unsuccessful in their primary elections.

“This was done to encourage delegates to vote for the aspirants based on their qualities and not just their perceived spending power and to hold them accountable for the candidates they put forth.

“As a mark of respect for that agreement, some delegates in the Kaduna North constituency started to reach out to the unsuccessful State House of Assembly aspirants whose elections were held before ours, followed by my fellow contender, Shehu Usman ABG and I.

“Therefore, I am not acting in isolation or making any ludicrous demands.

“I take their decision in good faith and will continue to labour with the PDP and do all my best to protect its good fortunes”.

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“Absolute Agony” says Alex Ferguson, As He Presents Manager of the Year Award to Jurgen Klopp

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Sir Alex Ferguson joked that it was “absolute agony” to have to present Jurgen Klopp with the trophy named after him at the League Manager’s Association (LMA) awards last night.

Liverpool boss Klopp was named Manager of the Year after guiding the Reds to League Cup and FA Cup glory, plus second in the Premier League and this weekend’s Champions League final.

Klopp was presented with the Alex Ferguson Trophy by the man himself – who admitted, with tongue in cheek, that doing so was especially painful.

Watch: Ferguson in “agony” as he honours Klopp

Why would that have pained Ferguson?

As manager of Manchester United, Ferguson made them undisputed kings of English football, overtaking Liverpool as the club with the most national league titles – as the Scotsman once put it, knocking them off their perch.

The balance of power has shifted in recent years, however, with Ferguson retiring and Klopp being appointed at Anfield, with the German bringing consistent domestic and European success back to Liverpool.

United have not won the Premier League since 2012-13 – Ferguson’s last season in charge – or any trophy at all in the last five seasons, while Liverpool won the league in 2019-20 and the Champions League the year before.

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Nigeria lauds improved collaboration in AFI Region, signs MoU with Sierra Leone, Rwanda

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MINISTER of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has commended International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) stressing that it’s leadership stance in collaboration has led member states of the African Indian-Ocean ( AFI) region to pool resources in resolving challenges and enhance safety in the Sub-region.

Sirika made this known at the 7th AFI Aviation Week in Abuja, Nigeria holding from 16th – 20th May where the nation signed Memorandum of Understandings, (MoUs) with Sierra Leone and Rwanda for technical support to enhance safety and security of Civil Aviation in the region.

According to him, ICAO’s leadership has set the bar for Member States to collaborate in resolving challenges particularly in the area of enhancing safety in our Sub-region.

He explained that one of the outcomes of such collaboration is the Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa, which metamorphosized in the West Africa region into the Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight Organization (BAGASOO), in Abuja, which is hosted and substantially funded by Nigeria stating that this organisation has continued to support the Member States in improving their safety oversight capabilities and human resource development.

On the MoUs, Sirika said they will aid to strengthen safety and efficiency of the sector as well as cooperation in the region.

The Aviation Minister stated that, aviation being an enabler and a positive factor for growth, development and robustness of the economy, informed the sector to enter into partnerships with other countries.

From left, Commisioner Banjul Accord Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA), Engineer Charles Irikefe Erhueh with Minister of Aviation, Nigeria, Senator Hadi Sirika and Commissioner Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria, Engineer Akin Olateru at the opening ceremony of the 7th AFI Aviation Week in Abuja, Nigeria holding from 16th – 20th May

“This is the only way to continue to make these initiatives relevant and sustainable, while contributing to the strengthening of safety, security and facilitation in the region, bearing in mind that a safe, secure and efficient air transport system is a natural impetus for socio-economic development of the region and a means to support trade and tourism”.

The MoUs were signed by the Nigeria’s Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu and representatives of the two countries at the opening ceremony of the Conference in Abuja.

Explaining further, the NCAA Director General, Captain Nuhu said, the partnership with the two African countries is to assist each other where there are gaps or deficiencies in the system, adding that no civil aviation authorities globally have the capacity to do everything.

The experience of the last two years, Captain Nuhu emphasized has underscored the fact that overcoming challenges and achieving meaningful growth in the industry, can only be done through cooperation, collaboration and co-ordination amongst stakeholders.

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