Ukrainian Journalist Shot Dead In Suspected Russian Sniper Attack
A Ukrainian journalist, Bogdan Bitik was killed on Wednesday as he travelled to the city of Kherson with his Italian colleague.
Bitik, who was interpreting for La Repubblica reporter Corrado Zunino, was shot “most likely by Russian snipers” according to the Italian newspaper report.
Al-Jazeera reported that Zunino was shot in the shoulder and is now receiving medical treatment.
He told La Repubblica from a hospital bed that they had passed three Ukrainian checkpoints when they were suddenly hit.
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“I heard a hiss, and I saw Bogdan on the ground,” Zunino said.
“He wasn’t moving. I crawled out of the line of fire. I ran until I passed a civilian car. I was full of blood. I had to be taken to Kherson Hospital.”
He added that he had been trying to call Bitik, who he described as “a great friend”, but got no answer.
“It’s excruciating,” he said.
Both men were wearing press vests when they were attacked near the destroyed Antonivskyi Bridge, according to Zunino.
At least 15 media workers and journalists have been killed in Ukraine since Russia launched its full-scale invasion, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
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Sergiy Tomilenko, head of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, said the attack was a “new war crime of the Russians” as he called for Italian groups and newspapers such as La Repubblica to do more to protect Ukrainian reporters.
“I’m fine. But I’m sad to have lost a friend,” Zunino said in an interview on the Breakfast Club show at Radio Capital.
“I went on five missions with Bogdan. I’ve known him since I first arrived in Ukraine. He had returned to Ukraine from Indonesia, where he has a wife and a son. I have just spoken to his wife. They are all extraordinary, kind and generous people”.
It has not yet been possible to recover Bitik’s body, La Repubblica reported.
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Ukrainian forces liberated Kherson in November 2022 after the city had been occupied in the early weeks of the war.
Since then, Russian forces, which had retreated across the Dnipro River, have bombarded the region with regular artillery strikes, missiles, drone attacks and snipers.
In December 2022, two Italian reporters, Claudio Locatelli and Niccolò Celesti, accompanied by their interpreter, came under attack in a Russian strike in the Kherson region; they all survived but Locatelli was injured.
Govs Back Tinubu On Subsidy Removal
State Governors on Wednesday expressed strong support for President Bola Tinubu’s decision to end fuel subsidy payments in the country and other early policy initiatives of the administration.
The governors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, expressed their support to President Tinubu during the first meeting the President was having with them at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The state chief executives, who took turns to speak at the meeting were led by the NGF Chairman and governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who expressed happiness with the President’s subsidy-removal decision, all-inclusive leadership and statesmanship.
They congratulated President Tinubu for tackling the fuel subsidy behemoth, promising to work with him to ameliorate the short-term impact of the decision.
President Tinubu had earlier called on the governors to collaborate with the Federal Government in tackling the menace of poverty in the country, saying the level of impoverishment was unacceptable.
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The President advised the political leaders to downplay their differences and jointly focus on alleviating the sufferings and pains of the people.
“We can see the effects of poverty on the faces of our people. Poverty is not hereditary, it is from the society. Our position is to eliminate poverty. Set aside partisan politics, we are here to deliberate about Nigeria and nation-building,’’ he said.
President Tinubu stated that the nation should be seen as one big family.
“We are a family occupying one house, and sleeping in different rooms. If we see it that way and push forward, we will get our people out of poverty. A determined mind is a fertile ground for delivering on results,’’ he added.
The President said good governance would safeguard the future of democracy.
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“Present in this room is our diversity in culture and politics, but we are one nation. The unity and stability of the country rest upon us.
“We are in a democracy and we have to nurture the democracy. It is a hard-earned system and not easy to manage. If anyone thinks it is easy, look at other nations that are over a hundred years in democracy.
“We have managed ourselves very well to have a democracy. We have campaigned and arrived at our present destination. We must work for our people,’’ President Tinubu told the governors while assuring them that he would maintain an open-door policy.
The President said he was prepared to share ideas, strengthen institutions, and create bottom-up frameworks that will improve the livelihood of Nigerians.
“What do we do in the face of crushing poverty? What do we do with our development goals? We took the bull by the horns by removing the elephant in the room before the nation sinks.
“We need synergy to fight other vices like corruption. We are trying to get smugglers out of the way. How do we work together to galvanize the economy, and put resources in place? We must think and perform.
“After removing subsidy, there must be savings accruing to the Federation Account,’’ he noted.
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President Tinubu said the education sector must be improved as part of efforts to reduce poverty and penury:
“How do we address the unacceptable level of poverty? How much are we investing in education, which is the only tool against poverty? I am ready to collaborate with you.’’
The President also drew attention to the security problems in some states, admonishing the governors that all efforts should be put in place to tackle the security situation, without thinking it’s only for those facing it.
The Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRasaq, thanked the President for the invitation to deliberate on the challenges of poverty and security, promising that the governors would support the Federal Government in meeting the targets of human development.
“The NGF will follow the tradition of working constitutionally and harmoniously with you,’’ he said.
The meeting, which was attended by Vice President Kashim Shettima and new Secretary to the Government of the Federation George Akume, had 22 governors and two deputy governors from Edo and Niger States, in attendance.
The governors made suggestions highlighting the plight of citizens in their states, assuring the President of their support in proffering solutions through the National Economic Council.
3 Months After Arriving UK, Nigerian Masters Student Arrested For Allegedly [email protected] Minors
A Nigerian man identified as Cyril Kenneth has been arrested by the police after being accused of dating minors in Belfast, UK.
According to a video shared by Warriors of Children, Kenneth who arrived in February for his Masters degree, was arrested after multiple children between the ages of 14 and 15 reported him with evidence of him gr%oming and s£x¥ally hara§§ing them.
In the text messages he had with some of the victims, Kenneth sent his unsolicited indecent pictures, asked some of them for their house addresses, invited one of them to his house for s+x, amongst other di§turbing messages.
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The suspect, however, confessed to the crime and blamed it on temptation from the devil.
He said he contacted the kids because he needed friends as he was new to the country. He was subsequently handed over to the police for further investigation and possible prosecution.
Nicki Minaj Sued For Allegedly Damaging Borrowed Jewellery
American rapper, Nicki Minaj has been dragged to court over alleged unpaid bills for custom jewellery.
A West Hollywood jeweller, Roseark Jewellery store, is suing the rapper after she damaged some bling they loaned her.
Meanwhile, Nicki’s attorney said she’s not responsible, claiming the jeweller is just using her for publicity.
According to a new lawsuit, Nicki’s stylist, Brett Alan Nelson, signed a contract with Roseark Jewellery Store, with Roseark agreeing to loan Nicki jewellery for a public appearance.
The store also said the contract called for Brett to return the bling within a week and pay for any damages the jewellery might incur under his watch.
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However, Nicki’s stylist failed to return 66 pieces of jewellery by the agreed-upon deadline, and, when he finally did, there was noticeable damage to a set of earrings and a leaf ring.
A source close to Nicki told TMZ that everything was returned on time as promised, and it was only after items had been in the jeweller’s possession for some time that the store complained about a missing stone.
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