The United States blacklisted Bensouda on Wednesday over her investigation into whether American forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan, under sanctions authorised by President Donald Trump in June that allow for asset freezes and travel bans.
Sanctions were also imposed on Phakiso Mochochoko, the Head of the Hague-based ICC Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division.
““The sanctions … are unacceptable and unprecedented measures that attempt to obstruct the court’s investigations and judicial proceedings,” Josep Borrell said in a statement.
Washington should “reconsider its position and reverse the measures it has taken,” he added.
The United States sanctions reflect the Trump administration’s view that the tribunal threatens to infringe on United States national sovereignty.
They are the latest move by Washington to go against the stance of long-standing European allies, which have largely supported American policy and whose trade and security ties are intertwined with the United States
The EU condemned Trump’s decision to halt funding to the World Health Organisation in April and said the United States’ withdrawal from other treaties and accords undermined Western priorities.
Similarly, France called on the United States to withdraw sanctions on ICC prosecutor Bensouda.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday that the measures announced were “a grave attack against the court … and put into question multilateralism and the independence of the judiciary.”
Le Drian pledged France’s unwavering support for the court and its staff.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)https://nnn.ng/eu-france-call-on-united-states-to-drop-sanctions-against-icc-staff/
Golf: DeChambeau muscles his way to United States Open victory
A bulked-up Bryson DeChambeau bashed his way to a six-shot United States Open victory on Sunday, silencing any lingering questions as to whether his brawny game could translate to the major stage.
World number nine DeChambeau, who began the day two shots back of United States Open debutant Matthew Wolff, clinched his first major title with a mix of jaw-dropping drives and clutch putts.
He shot a virtually flawless three-under-par 67 to reach six under for the tournament at Winged Foot.
“On nine is when I first thought, ‘OK, this could be reality’,” DeChambeau, speaking during the trophy presentation, said of his mindset after an eagle at the par-five ninth.
“I made that eagle, long eagle putt and I shocked myself by making it, too, and I thought to myself, ‘I could do it’. And then immediately after, I said, ‘nope, you’ve got to focus on each and every hole’.”
Wolff (75), appearing in only his second major, was one shot back of DeChambeau at the turn but fell apart over a back nine that included two bogeys and a double-bogey.
A fearless DeChambeau, whose final round included the eagle, two birdies and a bogey, attacked at every chance.
For his efforts was the only player to break par in the final round as he cruised to a maiden major at his 16th attempt.
He attacked Winged Foot all week like few other golfers can.
So confident in his approach, DeChambeau unleashed his driver on practically every par-four and par-five hole as he figured the birdie chances would outweigh the risk that Winged Foot’s nasty rough creates.
DeChambeau grabbed the solo lead after five holes, hit a perfectly-paced 40-foot eagle putt at the ninth to maintain a one-shot cushion.
It was a tournament that came down to a two-horse race between him and Wolff as they made the turn.
The 21-year-old Wolff was bidding to become the first player to win the United States Open on his tournament debut since Francis Ouimet in 1913.
But he bogeyed the 10th and 14th holes, before a double-bogey at 16.
“I battled hard. Things just didn’t go my way,” said Wolff. “But first United States Open, second-place is something to be proud of and hold your head up high for.”
Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen (73) birdied the last to finish alone in third-place, a distant eight shots back of DeChambeau.
He was one shot clear of Harris English (73), who made a double-bogey at the first where he lost his tee shot.
Xander Schauffele (74) looked ready to make a back-nine charge after making the turn fresh off back-to-back birdies.
But the world number seven made five consecutive bogeys from the 13th and finished in fifth-place.
Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy (75), who finished in a share of eighth-place, was almost left in a state of disbelief at DeChambeau’s win.
This was given his inaccuracy off the tee at a tournament renowned for its thick rough.
“I don’t really know what to say because that’s just the complete opposite of what you think a United States Open champion does,” said McIlroy.
“Look, he’s found a way to do it. Whether that’s good or bad for the game, I don’t know.
“But it’s just – it’s not the way I saw this golf course being played or this tournament being played. It’s kind of hard to really wrap my head around it.”
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Schools resumption: Lalong urges parents to teach children COVID-19 safety protocols
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has urged parents in the state to teach their children the safety protocols against COVID-19, preparatory to resumption of schools targeted for end of October.
Lalong had in a broadcast to the people of the state said schools would resume October ending, but was not definite on the date.
He made the call on Sunday at a send off Church mass for the outgoing Prior Provincial of the Catholic Church Order of St. Augustine in Nigeria, Rev. Fr. John Abubakar, at the St. Monica’s Parish Rantya, Jos.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that St Augustinians in the Catholic Church were accredited with parish and pastoral work, scientific study, teaching and missions, among others.
The governor said he made the call because children easily emulated what parents did, more than instructions given to them elsewhere.
Besides, he said, children were most vulnerable to the disease and must be protected, first by the parents.
“I appeal to parents to comply with COVID-19 protocols for the children to emulate, they are most vulnerable because they move around more than us.
“It is the toughest decision we will make to allow innocent children to return to school, ” he said.
Lalong explained that Plateau was now an epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic resulting from the large number of people tested daily in its three testing centres.
“In the 36 states, we are the third in terms of testing capacity and recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for doing well.
“We test 500 people to 700 people daily, we want everyone to know their health status for appropriate action,” he said.
He commended the outgoing Prior Provincial for his diligence in service during his tenure for eight years and prayed for God’s blessings on him.
“In addition to establishing a new secondary school here, he told me he was lobbying for the establishment of an Augustinian University in Plateau,” he said.
The governor expressed optimism that the university would be a reality even in his absence, because of the foundation he had laid for the process.
He thanked the Prior Provincial for his contributions to the Catholic Church and Plateau, expressing the desire that his successor would consolidate on his achievements for greater successes.
Delivering the homily titled: ` God’s Unmerited Love’, Abubakar urged the congregation to focus on their gifts and talents and desist from comparing their lives with other people.
“We should seize opportunity to be impactful with our talents and gifts and stop the mistake of comparing yourselves with others. How God chooses to operate is up to him,”he said.
He said people were appreciated when they left an office because of the value they have added to lives.
Abubakar appreciated the Plateau Government and people of the state for the love they showered on him during his stay, saying their cooperation made his work easy while urging them to extend such gesture to his successor.
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye and Abdullahi Yusuf
Northern Governors mourn Emir of Zazzau
The Northern Governors Forum has described the death of the Emir of Zazzau , Alhaji Shehu Idris ,who died at the age of 84, as painful.
The Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong, in a condolence message by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham, on Sunday in Jos, condoled with his family, the people of Zazzau Emirate, Kaduna State and the nation for the big loss.
“The late Emir lived a very productive life and represented the virtues of truth, service and honesty in his 45 years on the throne.
“His leadership and goodwill attracted enormous development to the Emirate and also improved the living standards of his people.
“He connected easily with people from all parts of the country and offered wise counsel to Governments at all levels. He will surely be missed,” he said.
Lalong said the Northern Governors benefited from the counsel and knowledge of the royal father, who promoted unity, peace and security of the region and the nation.
He prayed God to grant him eternal rest.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Emir who ascended the Zazzau throne on Feb. 8,1975, died on Sunday Morning.
Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf
15th Abuja Int’l trade fair to feature 500 exhibitors – ACCI
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says its 15th Abuja International Trade Fair will feature not more than 500 local and foreign exhibitors.
ACCI Media Officer Latifat Opoola who made the disclosure on Sunday said the fair would hold in October at the Abuja Trade and Convention with the theme “Trade and Commerce Beyond Borders”.
According to Opoola, this year’s event in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols will only showcase indoor and virtual exhibitions to make room for a controlled environment that will ensure social distancing.
She noted that an average attendance of 100,000 visitors from both Nigeria and 150 countries, including U.K., United States, UAE, India, Malasyia and China would participate both physically and virtually at the fair.
She said other countries like Saudi Arabia, Ghana, South Africa, among others, were expected to participate.
She noted that over the years, the fair had been an amazing trade platform for international and domestic industry professionals, leading brands and MSMEs to transact, share market insights, cutting edge technology and expertise in an interactive environment.
“This year’s event will provide a platform for sharing of trade, investment and market opportunity as well as information. It will also help buyers, investors and traders to foster business relationships.
“Over 500 exhibitors from within and outside Nigeria in all sectors of the economy, including Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining, Electricity, Oil and Gas, Tourism, Textile, Transport, Telecommunications, Financial and Service sectors are expected to participate.
“With a team of trade professionals, we are persistent in providing a conducive trading atmosphere for our exhibitors, which will lead to strategies and tactics needed to innovate, grow and promote businesses,” she said in a statement.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22, while the closing ceremony holds on Nov. 2.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Ejiofor)