Britain marks 75 years since Japan’s defeat in World War II



Britain was on Saturday set to observe the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Japan in World War II, with many events held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Victory in Japan (VJ) Day include a fly-past by jets from Britain’s Red Arrows air force display team over the capitals of the four nations in the United Kingdom – Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London.

VJ Day marks 75 years since Japan surrendered to the Allied forces, ending hostilities.

A formal surrender ceremony was held on Sept. 2 on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

Fighting in the Asia-Pacific had continued for several months after the defeat of Nazi Germany – Japan’s ally – in May 1945.

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his wife, Camilla, are on Saturday to attend a VJ Day national service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Some war veterans are also to be present at the televised event.

The couple are at 11.00 a.m. (1000 GMT) to lead a national two-minute silence and review a fly-past by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Britain’s Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II and father of Charles, is also expected to appear on screen.

Philip, 99, was present in Tokyo Bay in 1945.

Fighting in Europe ended in May 1945.

This is commemorated on May 8, Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

Many VE Day events across Europe were cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

The Imperial War Museums are also to release war-time testimonies under the headline “Voices of War” and have published historic photos and films.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)


EU executive to propose overhaul of migration and asylum system



The European Commission is to propose a long-awaited overhaul of the European Union’s migration and asylum system on Wednesday.

This is likely to set off an explosive debate over what is one of the bloc’s most politically sensitive issues.

The EU’s migration system has come under increasing pressure in recent years, with bottlenecks forming at external borders.

Under current EU rules, the country where people first generally arrive has to process their asylum claims.

This means countries with external borders carry a disproportionate burden.

While some countries argue for a mechanism to automatically redistribute asylum seekers, others – such as Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria – strongly oppose this.

Rights activists are concerned that the new measures could see a tightening of asylum rules, including increased detentions at the EU’s borders.

With the proposals set to cause fights between the EU countries, it is far from certain that they will be approved by the EU leaders and European Parliament.

Previous attempts have failed.

According to the commission’s document registry, the EU executive body is to propose a set of new and amended regulations, including on the screening of asylum seekers and on crisis situations.

In the wake of the disastrous fire, earlier this month, at the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, which hosted some 12,000 people, the commission is also expected to propose a solidarity mechanism for crisis moments.

The commission has previously highlighted that solidarity can mean not just taking migrants in, but also, for example, sending medical supplies.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN
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Oil down after United States crude inventories rise against expectations



Oil prices fell on Wednesday after an industry group reported a surprise rise in United States crude, adding to worries about demand that led to a steep selloff earlier in the week.

Brent crude was trading down 30 cents or 0.7 per cent at $41.42 a barrel by 0347 GMT, after gaining 28 cents on Tuesday while United States crude dropped 34 cents or 0.9 per cent to $39.46.

Both contracts fell more than four per cent on Monday, the most in two weeks.

Surging cases of coronavirus infections in countries including France and Spain, along with the likelihood of more restrictions in Britain have renewed worries about fuel demand, just as more supply may come onto the market from Libya.

In the United States, where the death toll from COVID-19 has passed 200,000, the world’s highest, crude oil inventories rose by 691,000 barrels in the week to Sept. 18, according to industry data, compared with analysts’ forecasts for a drop of 2.3 million barrels.

Gasoline stocks fell by nearly 7.7 million barrels, nearly eight times expectations suggesting some demand for fuel in the world’s biggest oil consuming nation.

Official data from the Energy Information Administration is due out later on Wednesday.

“Official United States crude inventory data assumes greater than usual importance,’’ said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

“A surprise increase could well be enough to initiate another downward leg in crude prices.’’

In Libya, the National Oil Company expects oil output to rise to more than a quarter of a million barrels per day (bpd) by next week, it said on Tuesday.

The NOC said it was restarting exports from the Zueitinia oil terminal after checking the security situation at the port and fields that pipe crude there.

An escalation in the country’s conflict led to a blockade of facilities, which is now easing, although analysts say they don’t expect Libya to reach the 1.2 million bpd of production it was pumping previously.

This year, “world oil demand will be down by more than 10 per cent on the year to around 90 million barrels per day (bpd) due to the COVID-19 crisis,’’ Eurasia Group said in a note.

“This will mark the biggest demand shock in industry history,’’ it said.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN
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Malaysia opposition leader Ibrahim says seeking to form new government



Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, said on Wednesday he has secured a “strong majority” from lawmakers in order to form a new government.

Ibrahim also said he was seeking an audience with the king to formalise his appointment as prime minister.

Ibrahim, who will need the king’s assent to replace current premier Muhyiddin Yassin, told a news conference his support from lawmakers “means that the administration of Muhyiddin has fallen’’.

The opposition leader’s claim comes less than seven months after Muhyiddin clinched the premiership, following political turmoil that saw the collapse of the previous administration under Mahathir Mohamad.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN
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Damilare, Christiana emerge winners in Big Dreams Nigeria talent show



Adaja Damilare and Christiana Nsolo on have carted home N1 million each as star prizes after emerging winners at the grand finale of Big Dream Nigeria Talent Show on Tuesday night.

The reality show is geared toward   discovering and developing young talents in acting and music.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the youngsters were announced winners  at the grand  finale of the maiden edition of the show which held  in Abuja.

The duo beat 12 other budding talents who made it to the final day of the  5-week-long  event  to clinch the highly coveted grand prizes.

Damilare, Ondo State –born model and upcoming singer, won the grand prize for the music category of the contest, while 22-year-old Christiana from Delta State clinched the grand prize for acting.

According to the organisers of the show, the two best winners are to receive a plot of land each in the Federal Capital Territory as part of the star prizes.

The organisers also announced a plot of land each for the first and second runners-up  in both music and acting categories of the show.

Amb. Kingsley Amafibe, CEO of Peace Ambassador Agency and Principal Executive of the Big Dreams project, told NAN on the sidelines of the grand finale that contestants were selected from a nationwide audition held at the beginning of the year.

He explained that 30 housemates started the show and that the number of contestants kept reducing in a weekly eviction process until the last two persons were announced winners.

According to him, the Big Dream Nigeria talent show initiative is àimed at offering talented and passionate youth a platform to express themselves and to be discovered in the creative industry.

He said that movies and music produced by housemates in the course of the show had been premiered and that all participants would be recommended  to relevant stakeholders  for music and movie roles.

“The reality show is aimed at building the next generation of talented Nigerians in the areas of music and acting.

“During their stay in the house, contestants were coached and mentored by seasoned filmmakers, actors, singers, and even leadership experts.

“They produced a movie and a song titled ‘9JA Go Beta’, which is to commemorate Nigeria’s  60 years of independence,” he said.

Amafibe said that the housemates  were earlier quarantined in preparation for the premiere  and commencement of the contest because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He called on relevant stakeholders, especially government at all levels to support initiatives such as the talent show in order to empower and gainfully engage teeming talented Nigerian youth.

“Our youths are talented but they need to be given platforms to express themselves, and that is why we want everybody to support this project so that we can get our youth off the streets.

“The entertainment industry can create the much needed jobs for our youth, especially as the country faces economic challenges,” he said.

Speaking with NAN, Christiana, a 300-level student of Architecture at the University of Benin, who won the star prize in Acting, expressed gratitude to the orgnisers.

She described the show às the kind of veritable platform talented and passionate young Nigerians needed for mentorship and direction in pursuit of their dreams.


Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN
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