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Russia Expelled From Council Of Europe Amid War With Ukraine

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The Council of Europe says it has expelled Russia with immediate effect after 26 years of membership because of the Ukraine war.

The Committee of Ministers took the decision in a special session, the rights body announced in the French city of Strasbourg on Wednesday.

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Earlier, Russia had already declared its withdrawal from the Council of Europe after it had taken steps to exclude it.

On Tuesday evening, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted unanimously in favour of Russia’s exclusion.

Russia joined the Council of Europe on Feb. 28, 1996.

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Together with the formal notification of the withdrawal, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe also received information from the Russian Federation on Tuesday about its intention to denounce the European Convention on Human Rights.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, the leaders of the Council of Europe once again condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

READ ALSO: Ukraine: Horror As Russian Forces Shoot People Queuing For Bread

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They expressed their solidarity with the Russian people, who continue to belong to the European family and share its values.

The body said it would continue to stand by Ukraine in the fight against the aggressor.

The Council of Europe monitors the observance of human rights in its 46 member states and is not part of the European Union.

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The body reacted to the Russian invasion of Ukraine two weeks ago by suspending Russia’s membership, this decision was considered historic.

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National Grid Collapse: Pastor Tunde Bakare, Wike, Obaseki Under ‘Attack’

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Deji Adeyanju, an Abuja-based rights activist, on Tuesday, criticized Pastor Tunde Bakare, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State over the collapse of the national grid.

Adeyanju said Bakare, Wike, and Obaseki should be calling out the President Muhammdu Buhari-led Federal Government over the collapse of the national grid and not be silent or fighting themselves.

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He lamented that Buhari and his wife Aisha are out of the country while everything in the country is collapsing.

In a chat with DAILY POST, Adeyanju lamented that Nigeria is currently battling with fuel scarcity, electricity, lack of diesel, while the president and his wife are both out of the country.

According to Adeyanju: “National grid has collapsed. All 19 power plants built by corrupt PDP are now generating zero power.

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“Fuel & diesel have become gold. The CHANGE Govt 7yrs later has nothing to offer except more corruption and failure. Everything has collapsed including the economy and governance.

READ ALSO: Edo PDP Crisis: ‘We’ll Capitalize On It To Take Over Power’ – APC

“Just imagine despite all that Nigerians are currently going through -no fuel, diesel, no light, insecurity everywhere; that GEJ is in a London hospital chilling and Dame is in Dubai like Aisha Buhari living her best life.

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“By now, Pastor Tunde Bakare & the then opposition would have shutdown Nigeria but useless PDP is sleeping. Wike and Obaseki are only interested in fighting.”

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NYSC Trust Fund To Lift Nigerians Out Of Poverty – DG

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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), says the proposed trust fund would help actualise President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s vision to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

NYSC’s Director-General, Maj.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, stated this at the closing ceremony of the 2022 Batch “A” Stream 1 Orientation Course, on Tuesday in Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

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Ibrahim, represented by Alhaji Namadi Abubakar, NYSC Coordinator in the state, said this would be made possible as soon as the trust fund become operational.

The NYSC boss added that as soon as the Trust Fund became operational, the quality of the scheme’s Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme would further be enhanced.

This, he said, would be achieved through the provision of adequate training materials and engagement of more specialist trainers.

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“It may interest you to know that the desire to make the SAED programme more impactful, partly informed our advocacy for the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund.

“All trainees with bankable business proposals will be supported with start-up grants.

“You will in turn, be expected to step down vocational training or employ a good number of youths of your host community.

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READ ALSO: Emulate Aisha Buhari’s Humanitarian Gesture, NYSC DG Urges Nigerians

“That way, we will be pulling millions of Nigerians out of poverty, thereby stemming the tide of youth restiveness and tendency for criminality,” he said.

Ibrahim lauded the National Assembly for the progress made on the legislative processes on the bill for the establishment of the trust fund.

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“I wish to passionately appeal to the appropriate authorities to facilitate the success of the remaining processes that will bring the trust fund to fruition.”

The NYSC boss urged the corps members to integrate into their host communities, through learning of their languages and cultures.

He also advised them to devote time to identify the needs of their host communities as well as initiate personal and group community development projects that would uplift their standard of living.

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Ukraine Economy Could Collapse If War Drags On, IMF Warns

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The government in Kyiv continues to function, the banking system is stable and debt payments are viable in the short term, but the Russian invasion could plunge Ukraine into a devastating recession, the IMF said Monday.

The Washington-based crisis lender also warned the war could have broader repercussions, including by threatening global food security by causing prices to rise and hampering the planting of crops, especially wheat.

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At a minimum, the country would see “output falling 10 per cent this year, assuming a prompt resolution of the war,” the IMF said in an analysis of the economy in the wake of the Russian invasion.

Though the lender warned of “massive uncertainty” around the forecasts, it said if the conflict is prolonged, the situation will worsen.

Citing wartime data for conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, the IMF said the “annual output contraction could eventually be much higher, in the range of 25-35 per cent.”

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The country’s economy grew 3.2 per cent in 2021 amid a record grain harvest and strong consumer spending.

READ ALSO: Russia-Ukraine War: Award-winning American Journalist Killed

But in the wake of the Russian invasion on February 24, “the economy in Ukraine dramatically changed,” said Vladyslav Rashkovan, alternate executive director for Ukraine on the IMF board.

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That includes the destruction of hospitals, schools and houses as well as “tens of kilometres of roads, and countless objects of critical infrastructures,” the official said in a statement.

Oleg Ustenko, economic adviser to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, last week estimated the damage at $100 billion so far.

– ‘Hunger in Africa’ –

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Despite the destruction, the government and banks in the country have continued to function, Rashkovan said, and as of March 1, the country held foreign reserves of $27.5 billion, “which is sufficient for Ukraine to meet its commitments,” according to a statement dated March 9.

The IMF, which last week approved a $1.4 billion emergency aid program for Ukraine, said “debt sustainability does not appear to be at risk” in the short term, although there are “very large” uncertainties.

Beyond the human and economic losses in the country, the IMF cautions about the likely spillovers from the war to the global economy.

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Since the conflict began, the prices of energy and agriculture have soared worldwide, and the fund warned they could worsen, fueling rising inflation.

Disruptions to the spring agriculture season could also curtail exports and growth and imperil food security,” the report said.

The initial impact will be on prices, which would also push costs of other food like corn higher, according to the IMF.

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Ukraine and Russia are considered agricultural breadbaskets because they are among the largest wheat exporters in the world, and an extended conflict could hit global food supplies if farmers are unable to plant.

“War in Ukraine means hunger in Africa,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Sunday on CBS.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday that the world must act to prevent a “hurricane of hunger and a meltdown of the global food system.”

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This war goes far beyond Ukraine. It is also an assault on the world’s most vulnerable people and countries,” Guterres told reporters in New York.

– Avoid hoarding –

The UN World Food Program in a report Friday cautioned that countries that rely heavily on imported grain will also feel the pain, including “hunger hotspots such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Syria and Yemen.”

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World Bank President David Malpass on Monday urged consumers to avoid hoarding flour and gasoline, which will only make matters worse.

And he said producers in advanced economies like the United States and Canada “have substantial potential for supply increases that can soften this blow.”

The World Bank on Monday announced an additional $200 million in aid for the country, on top of the $723 million approved last week, of which $350 million has already been disbursed.

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READ ALSO: War: Deadly Airstrike Hits Ukraine’s Capital, Kyiv

Malpass said the initial funds would provide financing to help the most vulnerable people and “to bridge those gaps during a time of extreme disruption.”

The lender is building $3 billion of financing for projects in Ukraine, which Malpass said will be ready in the next six to eight weeks.

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The UN on Monday said it allocated $40 million funds to ramp up the humanitarian effort to deal with this “grim and escalating crisis.”

PUNCH.

 

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