Russian forces reached the outskirts of Kiev on Friday as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said invading troops were attacking civilians and explosions could be heard in the besieged capital.
The predawn explosions in Kiev set off a second day of violence after Russian President Vladimir Putin defied Western warnings to unleash a large-scale ground invasion and airstrike on Thursday that quickly claimed dozens of lives and displaced the less than 100,000 people.
The United States and its allies responded with a barrage of sanctions, but Russian forces looked to press their advantage after a series of key strategic victories on day one.
“Dreadful Russian rocket attacks in Kiev,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba posted on Twitter after the initial explosions were heard in the capital on Friday morning.
“The last time our capital experienced something like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany. Ukraine defeated that evil and will defeat this one.”
Zelensky then delivered a video message criticizing Russian troops.
“They say civilian property is not a target for them. But this is another lie from them. They don't really distinguish between the areas in which they operate,” Zelensky said.
"Ukrainian air defense systems are defending our skies," he said. "Ukrainians are showing heroism."
At least 137 "heroes" were killed during the first day of fighting, Zelensky said Thursday, as he called for conscripts and reservists across the country.
Zelensky said there was now a "new iron curtain" between Russia and the rest of the world, adding in a later speech that his nation had been "left alone."
“Who is ready to fight alongside us? I do not see anyone.
And as the United States moved to impose sanctions on Russian elites and banks, it emphasized that US forces would not fight in Ukraine.
NATO said it had activated "defense plans" for allied countries.
But NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said there was no plan to send alliance forces to Ukraine.
'War in Europe'
Among the highest-profile strategic developments on Thursday, Ukraine said Russian forces had seized the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, sparking concern from international nuclear watchdogs.
Zelensky called the attack on Chernobyl "a declaration of war on all of Europe", while 18 people were killed at a military base near the Black Sea port of Odessa, in the deadliest single attack reported by Kiev.
Witnesses also told AFP that Russian paratroopers took control of the strategic Gostomel airfield, on the northwestern outskirts of Kiev.
“The helicopters arrived and then the battles began. They were firing machine guns, grenade launchers,” said resident Sergiy Storozhuk.
Russian ground forces had initially moved into Ukraine from the north, south and east, forcing many Ukrainians to flee their homes as the sound of shelling rang out.
Moscow's Defense Ministry said Thursday that its forces had "successfully completed" their objectives for the day, earlier claiming to have destroyed more than 70 Ukrainian military targets, including 11 airfields.
Western intelligence confirmed that Moscow had established "complete air superiority" over Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces said they had killed "around 50 Russian occupiers" while fending off an attack on a town on the front line with Moscow-backed rebels, which could not be immediately confirmed by AFP.
Ukraine also said a military plane with 14 people on board had crashed south of Kiev and authorities are still determining how many people were killed, while a transport plane crashed in Russia killing the crew.
Olena Kurilo was among 20 people injured by flying glass shards after an explosion in the eastern Ukrainian city of Chugiv.
“I will never, under any conditions, submit to Putin. It is better to die,” said the 52-year-old teacher, her face covered in bandages.
In the Ukrainian village of Starognativka, near the front lines where separatists have clashed with Kiev's forces, official Vladimir Vesyelkin said missiles had rained down since Friday morning and there was no electricity.
“They are trying to wipe the town off the face of the earth,” he said.
Weeks of diplomacy failed to deter Putin, who massed more than 150,000 troops on Ukraine's borders in what the West said was Europe's largest military buildup since World War II.
Western allies initially imposed some sanctions on Russia in an effort to deter Putin, and then on Thursday vowed to hit Russia hard economically.
US President Joe Biden announced export controls against Russia to cut off more than half of the country's high-tech imports, along with sanctions on Russian elites he called "corrupt billionaires" and banks.
He will meet with other NATO leaders in an extraordinary virtual summit on Friday to discuss the security situation in and around Ukraine later.
The EU moved to impose "massive" sanctions on Russia's energy and finance sectors, while French President Emmanuel Macron called on Putin to "demand an immediate end" to the offensive but said the door must be held. open for dialogue.
The fight spooked global financial markets, with stocks falling and oil prices rising above $100.
IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said the unrest carries a "significant economic risk" to the world, but Putin insisted he was not seeking to undermine the global economic system.
Demonstrations across Europe
In a televised speech, the Russian president justified the assault as a defense of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics in eastern Ukraine.
The Kremlin said earlier that the leaders of the two breakaway territories had asked Moscow for military help against Kiev after Putin recognized their independence on Monday.
A conflict between separatists and government forces has dragged on since 2014, killing more than 14,000 people on both sides.
Russia has also long demanded that Ukraine be barred from joining NATO and that US troops be withdrawn from Eastern Europe.
Protesters took to the streets of European capitals to condemn the Kremlin, but a small anti-war protest in Moscow was quickly stopped by police, with more than 1,700 people arrested at demonstrations across Russia.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
Queen Elizabeth II canceled two engagements on Thursday after she tested positive for coronavirus over the weekend, Buckingham Palace said.
"The two virtual hearings that were previously scheduled for today will now be rescheduled for a later date," a spokesperson said.
Royal officials announced on Sunday that the 95-year-old head of state had tested positive and had "mild" covid symptoms, but would continue on "light duty".
Her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, tested positive for the second time since early 2020 on February 10, two days after meeting his mother at Windsor Castle.
The queen, who is in her record year of 70 years on the throne, canceled similar virtual engagements planned for Tuesday but spoke to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday.
The monarch and the prime minister hold regular weekly meetings in private. They were held over the phone rather than in person due to coronavirus restrictions.
No further engagements are planned for this week, but the latest cancellation will inevitably stoke further fears for his health, given his advanced age.
As a precaution, the queen and her husband, Prince Philip, moved to Windsor, west of London, in March 2020 as the global pandemic hit Britain.
The couple, who were married for 73 years, went into isolation with a small number of domestic staff. Philip, 99, died in April 2021 and his funeral was held under virus control.
He returned to his official duties after his death and when restrictions were lifted. She but she was forced to slow down on medical advice in October last year.
The palace was forced to confirm that he spent the night in hospital after undergoing unspecified tests. Since then, his appearances have become more rare.
He had a public engagement at his Sandringham residence in the east of England on February 5, on the eve of the anniversary of his accession to the throne in 1952.
Preparations are underway to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, with four days of public parades, shows and parties planned for early June.
They are expected to lighten the mood after a disastrous start to the historic milestone.
Her second son, Prince Andrew, 62, settled a US civil case for sexual assault earlier this month, after years of scandal over his friendship with convicted sex offenders Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
Public outrage on both sides of the Atlantic prompted the queen to strip Andrew of his honorary royal titles and charitable posts, in a move designed to protect the institution from further reputational damage.
Charles himself has also come under scrutiny after London police announced an investigation into "honours money" claims linked to one of his charities.
Meanwhile, his son Prince Harry, in self-exile in the United States with his wife Meghan and their two children, caused a sensation with another legal case against a British newspaper.
On Wednesday, he filed a libel suit against Associated Newspapers over a report on a separate court case against Britain's Home Office and the funding of his private security.
But the royals were keen to give the impression business as usual, announcing a series of royal tours to eight of the 14 Commonwealth countries outside of Britain, where she is also queen and head of state.
Charles and his second wife, Camilla, will visit Ireland from March 23-25, while their eldest son, Prince William, and his wife, Catherine, will travel to the Caribbean.
They will be in the Commonwealth countries of Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas from March 19-26, and the visit is likely to be closely watched after Barbados removed the queen as head of state in November last year.
The queen's youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife Sofia will visit Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from April 22-28.
And his only daughter, Princess Anne, will be in Papua New Guinea from April 11-13.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
Britain's Prince Harry has launched a new legal action against one of the country's largest newspaper groups, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
The complaint against Associated Newspapers, which publishes the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, follows his wife Meghan Markle's recent victory in a separate long-running case against the same group.
A spokesman for the couple told AFP that Harry had filed a complaint, without specifying its nature or the publication being sued.
Multiple UK media reports said Harry, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, was suing for libel over a Mail on Sunday article that alleged he had tried to keep a request for protection from British police secret.
Markle, 40, and Harry, 37, live in California after stepping down from royal duties in 2019, causing them to lose their UK taxpayer-paid protection.
Last month, Harry appealed to the UK courts after the government refused to allow him to pay for police protection out of his own pocket, arguing the decision means he cannot return home.
A lawyer for Harry told a London court last week that the UK "will always be his home" but that his own private security team in the US does not have the proper jurisdiction or access to intelligence. from the UK needed to keep your family safe.
The government's lawyer dismissed Harry's offer to pay for police protection as "irrelevant", writing to the court that "police personal security is not available privately".
The couple recently took legal action against several publications, alleging invasion of privacy.
Following her second court victory against Associated Newspapers in December for violation of privacy over publication of a letter she wrote to her estranged father, Markle called for a reform of tabloid culture.
The industry, he said, "conditions people to be cruel and profits from the lies and pain they create."
Source Credit: TheGuardian
Strengthening value chains between Africa and the European Union (EU) is a priority objective for sustainable growth and decent employment on both continents. Recent market imbalances and disparities, involving supply chain disruptions and inattention to social and environmental impacts on vulnerable groups, indicate the importance of business collaboration and impact investing to address challenges and leverage common opportunities.
Africa is home to more than a billion people, 60% of whom are under 25 years of age. The continent is experiencing steady economic growth, with a projected GDP increase of 3.8% in 2022, and the fastest growing middle class in the world. Until now, the EU has been Africa's largest trading and investment partner, accounting for a third of Africa's commodity exports in 2018. Most of it is primary goods, including raw materials and agricultural products. Proximity and strong historical and cultural ties add value to the Africa-EU trade relationship.
Furthermore, textiles and clothing is a fast-growing industry in several African countries. In fact, the apparel and footwear industry in sub-Saharan Africa amounts to US$31 billion and is expected to grow by 5% until 2024. Currently, the African continent is responsible for 5.8% of the world's production of cotton and employs more than 450,000 people. While China and India have been the biggest producers in the garment industry, “made in Africa” is gaining momentum. Trends of proximity to African regions by apparel and footwear players are emerging as an opportunity to better address value chain disruptions and bottlenecks.
However, the EU regulatory environment and the growing demand for sustainable business models in the textile industry risk hampering business operations. While there are noble goals behind promoting sustainable business practices through compliance with environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, such initiatives can also pose challenges for African exports by incurring costs related to the need for better human resources, managerial skills and technological skills. Advanced technologies and new requirements in the EU risk widening the knowledge gap between different actors in the supply chain, especially affecting vulnerable actors located in remote areas.
Mobilizing resources for compliance with due diligence policy and legislation
“Building the traceability of sustainable value chains in the two continents with the support of blockchain technology” was the central theme of recent discussions at a side event organized by the UNECE-ITC initiative to improve transparency and traceability of sustainable value chains in clothing and footwear. , with OACPS; the Egyptian Garment Export Council and the Bishara Group; Filming Spa; Hugo Boss; and UNIDO Egypt. It was part of the 7th EU-Africa Business Forum 2022, jointly organized by the African Union (AU) Commission, the EU and European business organisations, bringing together more than 15,000 experts, government representatives, international organizations and stakeholders.
“Increasing sustainability measures in the EU requires education, access to technical knowledge and increased assistance in the Global South. Affordable medium- and long-term financing is needed to achieve integration into global value chains and compliance with changing legislation. Instead of individual actions, we need greater collaboration between the Global North and the Global South, especially through public-private partnerships, to avoid trade barriers in the future”, highlighted Mr. Escipión J. Oliveira Gómez, Deputy Secretary General of the OACPS.
Participants discussed the importance of traceability in fashion and apparel value chains through advanced technologies, such as blockchain, as a key driver for ESG compliance and due diligence, as well as promoting business models. sustainable.
“Increasing consumer interest in transparent supply chains calls for more traceable actions at the business end. Blockchain is a crucial mechanism for enabling visibility and capturing trusted information throughout the supply chain, from cotton growers to consumers. However, we need a standard approach to implement the technology and make it accessible to all, particularly as traceability is a key success factor for more responsible business and consumption patterns”, stressed Ms. Elisabeth Tuerk, Director of Economic Cooperation and Trade . Division at UNECE. “UNECE, with the UN/CEFACT blockchain pilots, seeks to implement universal standards that can be widely adopted in the garment industry to bridge the digital divide,” she concludes.
Declaration calls for innovative financial instruments and technical support to accelerate sustainable value chains
To deliver results, the Forum launched the EU-Africa Joint Business Statement to influence policy-making and business activities, and reconcile concrete actions for a sustainable fashion and textile industry of the future:
Support for the transition of SMEs towards sustainable business models by financing measures in production processes and reducing trade barriers.
Greater investment to achieve the economic integration of MSMEs and take advantage of the full potential of advanced technologies for the traceability of sustainability performance.
Capacity building to accelerate MSME compliance with ESG requirements.
Implementation of Textile Industry Centers in Africa, based on the experience of the African Cotton and Textile Industry Federation (ACTIF).
Trade incentives in the form of tariffs, access to finance and trade facilitation.
Prevention and monitoring of the transfer of costs to providers of sustainability compliance measures by international organizations or EU agencies.
The statement calls for a concrete business outcome: to establish an "EU-Africa Fund for Ethical Fashion and Apparel" to:
Window I: "Technology transfer and ESG support for capacity building and enhancing partnerships between value chain actors" to promote compliance with ESG standards and technology and knowledge transfer, and harness the potential of advanced technologies and digital solutions for performance traceability and sustainability credentials. , for small and vulnerable actors.
Window II: "Green Textiles, Green Garments and Ethical Fashion in Africa and Europe", to support SMEs in the overall green transition towards sustainable value and supply chains, for those that are not yet ready.
Looking ahead, we must respond to the needs of African MSMEs to better integrate them into global markets. While external factors are reshaping the industry, UNECE, together with its partners, calls for action to promote sustainable trade in an inclusive manner, especially through advanced technologies.
Precious Chikwendu has been prevented from making comments that could lead to the identification of the children whose custody issues have been brought before him for investigation by an FCT Family Court sitting in Wuse Zone II Magistrates District, Abuja. determination.
Chiwendu is the ex-wife of former Aviation Minister Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, the applicant in question.
The presiding judge, Njideka Duru, gave the order following an ex-parte motion that moved Adeola Adedipe's lawyer in that direction.
Subsequently, the judge granted the injunction order restricting Chikwendu "from publishing the names, address, school, photographs or making any comments, presenting any speech or document, whether at a public meeting or during a program described as 'Green Shift' (Apostolic Round Tables) scheduled for February 24”.
It also granted the order prohibiting the ex-wife from commenting “on any social media platform any information that may lead to the identification of any of the children whose custody issues have been submitted to this court for determination, pending determination. of the motion. on notice of interlocutory precautionary measure”.
Adedipe, in the ex-parte motion marked: MN/05/2022 filed on February 14 on behalf of Fani-Kayode, asked the court for four orders, including “an order granting the applicant permission to modify the origin process filed in this case.Ex-wife of Fani Kayodes, Beautiful with the children but they have forbidden her
Requested a superseded order of notice to defendant of the amended origin motion, motion on notice of interlocutory injunctive relief, and notice of hearing.
The attorney also requested an order providing for a closed hearing, the conduct of any or all of the proceedings in this case, in the best interests of the children involved; to preserve their respective rights to dignity and privacy.
He also applied to the court for an interim injunction preventing Chikwendu or his associates from making appearances at any public meeting or social media platform of the broken relationship.
The judge, who granted the substitute notification orders and the modification of the origin process, also granted amparos 1, 2, 3 and 4(b) of the lawsuit.
He adjourned the matter until March 24 for hearing.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that Chikwendu, a former beauty queen, appeared before Judge Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja on 14 February for attempted murder of her ex-husband, Fani-Kayode.
Although she pleaded not guilty to charge number: FHCABJ/CR/1/2022 filed with the Police Commissioner against her and three others, the ex-wife is alleged to have attempted to stab Fani-Kayode with a kitchen knife on November 24, 2018. in Asokoro, within the jurisdiction of the court.
Prosecution attorney John Ijagbemi had also told reporters that the complaint planned to amend the charge to include an attempt to kill the four children she had by the former minister who was at the disposal of the police.
Judge Ekwo had set April 27 for the trial.
Chikwendu, who was accused of infidelity to the minister, was also said to have withdrawn several civil cases filed against Fani-Kayode.
Also read: Ex-wife of Fani Kayode arrested for alleged attempted murder
Although the duo had parted ways, the former minister said Chikwendu had always been given access to his children under close supervision due to his alleged mental issues that could result in harming children.
The former minister also alleged that Chikwendu stopped calling the children on the phone for about seven months, contrary to his custom in the past.
In a related development, it reports the ex-wife's accusation in an alleged defamation of character lawsuit filed against him. Grace Bent, on January 24, before FHC Judge Obiora Egwuatu stalled due to Chikwendu's absence from court.
Chikwendu, was not in court and no lawyer represented her and the judge set March 10 for her arraignment.
The President, Ogun State Customary Court of Appeal (OGCCA), Justice Mobolaji Ojo has said Customary Court is committed to prompt and cheaper justice delivery to the people.Justice Ojo stated this at the commissioning of the Grade II Customary Court, Odosenlu, Ijebu North East Local Government Area, adding that the court was designated to cover the areas within its jurisdiction, such as Odoregbe, Itamarun, Padi, Igede, Egenolu, Idofin, Eruwon, among others.He noted that apart from the facilitation of Customary Courts building in some parts of the State, the present administration had also embarked on a gradual process of repositioning all Customary Court systems, as well as employment of more staff to strengthen its workforce."The Grade II Customary Court Odosenlu is competent to adjudicate in proceedings for a declaration of title to land, as far as the land in dispute is situated in a non-urban area and is subject to the customary right of occupancy within its area of jurisdiction, as well as matters of dissolution of marriage contract under native law and custom", Ojo said.He stated that the court had introduced periodic capacity-building programs such as workshops, seminars as well as retreats for the President, members and other officers for better service delivery, imploring designated communities to approach customary courts for issues within its jurisdiction.In his address, the Olu of Odosenlu-Alaro, Oba Adedotun Odusanya said the inauguration of the court would foster easy access to justice, saying "justice delayed is justice denied".Oba Odusanya commended the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Chief Judge, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, the President of the Customary Court and the entire team, expressing hope that additional projects that would contribute to the development of the community would soon emerge.In her remark, the Chief Registrar, Customary Court, Mrs. Oriyomi Shofowora, appreciated the Governor for providing amenities required for the comfort and functionalities of the courts which in no doubt would bring justice closer to the people.
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on nations, institutions and agencies, both private and public, to return Nigerian artifacts in their possession.
Presidential spokesman Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement Monday in Abuja, said the Nigerian leader made the appeal after the return of two important Nigerian artifacts from Britain.
The president welcomed the official handover, on Saturday, of the Okwukor and Head of an Oba of Benin bronzes to the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II.
They were repatriated from the University of Cambridge and the University of Aberdeen, respectively, in the United Kingdom, 125 years after their departure from the territory of present-day Nigeria.
While urging other countries to follow the example of the institutions, the president promised that the federal government would vigorously pursue the repatriation of Nigerian artifacts.
According to him, the government will ensure that they are put to good and proper use upon their return in museums and other facilities along with the royal families and kingdoms that lost these artifacts.
He noted that, in accordance with international law and practice, the export, import and control of antiquities were matters for national governments to exercise on behalf of sub-national authorities, institutions and agencies.
He thanked the UK Government who facilitated the return of these artifacts, prerequisites for export permits to Nigeria, free of charge, as well as the University of Cambridge and the University of Aberdeen who agreed to return these artifacts to Nigeria.
"These are unprecedented moves worth emulating by others," he said.
He added that the federal government hopes to work hand in hand in the future to encourage the return of more Nigerian artifacts from the UK.
”I also want to thank the Federal Republic of Germany which is planning the repatriation process of 1,130 Benin bronzes to Nigeria from many of the public museums in Germany. These returns are scheduled for this year.”
The President also commended Nigeria's High Commissioner to the UK, Sarafa Ishola, and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) for their collaborative efforts that led to the repatriation of these artifacts.
According to the president, it should be noted that several others are currently in the process of being returned, while talks are underway to repatriate many more.
Buhari recalled that the artifacts now returned to the Oba of Benin were removed in 1897 when they attacked the former Kingdom of Benin and took thousands of artifacts.
”These artifacts are part of the records of the history of the people of Benin.
”My directive to return these artifacts to the Oba of Benin marks the beginning of another aspect in the valuable relationship between the Nigerian Federal Government and our traditional institutions which are, in fact, the true custodians of our history, customs and traditions.
”This directive is also important because it will introduce a working relationship between the Federal Government as represented institutions where it negotiates the release of antiquities from foreign museums and institutions on behalf of Nigeria.
"And the traditional institutions that lost the antiquities and, together, take measures to ensure the valorization of Nigerians and Nigerians through these great artistic and cultural emblems," the president explained.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce an end to all pandemic legal restrictions in England on Monday, insisting it is time to move on despite political opposition and concern from the UN health agency.
Two years after covid-19 triggered the worst health crisis in generations, Johnson will address parliament to outline his plan, and he is going ahead despite news on Sunday that Queen Elizabeth II had tested positive for the first time. .
However, opposition parties accuse him of trying to distract public attention, with his position as prime minister in jeopardy as police investigate a series of lockdown-breaching parties in Downing Street.
"Today (Monday) will mark a proud moment after one of the most difficult periods in our country's history as we begin to learn to live with covid," Johnson said in a Downing Street statement.
“The pandemic is not over, but thanks to the incredible rollout of the vaccine, we are now one step closer to getting back on track and finally giving people their freedoms back while continuing to protect ourselves and others.”
Under the "living with Covid" plan, the government says it intends this week to end a legal requirement for people to self-isolate when infected with the coronavirus.
It says local authorities will need to manage more outbreaks with pre-existing legal powers, and are expected to phase out free Covid tests for the general public.
The NHS Confederation, which represents top managers of the state National Health Service, said internal polling showed a large majority of its members opposed ending self-isolation and free testing.
Matthew Taylor, executive director of the confederation, acknowledged that the government's mass vaccination program and the appearance of new treatments against covid offered "real hope".
"But the government can't wave a magic wand and pretend the threat is completely gone," he said.
'Very reckless indeed'
David Nabarro, the World Health Organization's special envoy for Covid, said scrapping the law on self-isolation was "really very unwise."
While the UK has suffered one of the world's worst per capita death tolls in the pandemic, it remains a country with "an enviable record of public health expertise", the British official told BBC radio on Saturday.
“It really worries me that Britain is taking a line that goes against the public health consensus — that other countries, other leaders will say if Britain is doing it, why can't we, and this will create a kind of domino effect around the world”, added Nabarro.
In the devolved UK system, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own health policies and remain largely more cautious than Johnson's intentions for England.
The opposition Labor Party said ending free trials was like replacing "your best supporter" with 10 minutes to go in a football match.
"Boris Johnson is declaring victory before the war is over, in an attempt to distract from the police knocking on his door," Labor Party health spokesman Wes Streeting said.
Downing Street confirmed Friday that Johnson had submitted a written response to police questions about the parties held over the past two years, as detectives investigate whether attendees breached strict social distancing and virus prevention rules in place at that time. moment.
He balked at questions about the "partygate" affair in a BBC interview over the weekend and refused to say whether he would resign if he was fined by police.
But Johnson insisted that despite apparent party infractions by him and his staff, the public would follow self-isolation guidance when necessary, even without a legal mandate.
“Look at the evidence, look at what the British people have done,” he said, referring to the general compliance with the rules since the pandemic hit in early 2020.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, 95, tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, a fortnight after her 70th birthday on the throne, but her aides said her symptoms were "mild".
The news comes at a stressful time of scandal for the royal family and after Prince Charles, the queen's eldest son and heir apparent, tested positive on February 10, two days after meeting his mother at Windsor Castle. .
No information was provided on whether Queen Elizabeth had had any covid tests.
She resumed in-person audiences at the castle last week but complained to an attendee that she suffered from stiffness and was photographed holding a cane.
"Her Majesty is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms but hopes to continue light duty at Windsor over the next week," it said.
"She will continue to receive medical care and follow all appropriate guidelines."
While the queen's health is normally kept secret, the palace has previously confirmed that she is triple vaccinated against covid-19.
The Press Association of Great Britain said that "it is understood that a number of cases have also been diagnosed among the Windsor Castle team."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "I am sure I speak for everyone in wishing Her Majesty The Queen a speedy recovery from Covid and a speedy return to vibrant good health."
Members of Johnson's cabinet joined in sending their best wishes. Keir Starmer, leader of the main opposition Labor Party, also tweeted his hopes for "a speedy recovery", adding: "Get well soon ma'am."
Nationwide celebrations to mark the queen's Platinum Jubilee will take place in June, after she turns 70 on the throne on February 6.
– 'Fighting and determined lady' –
On the eve of the 70th anniversary, the monarch gave a reception for locals at Sandringham, her estate in the east of England.
It was reportedly her biggest in-person public engagement since an unexplained health issue landed her in the hospital overnight last October.
The Covid scare comes with the royal family mired in scandal.
The queen's second son, Prince Andrew, settled a civil lawsuit for sexual assault in the United States last week, allegedly for 12 million pounds sterling (16.3 million dollars, 14.3 million euros), which the newspapers claim that she will finance part of it.
Meanwhile, London police have said they are investigating claims that a Saudi tycoon was offered honors in the UK in return for donations to Prince Charles's charitable foundation.
The queen, whose husband Prince Philip died aged 99 last April, has spent much of the coronavirus pandemic at Windsor Castle, with a small number of household staff dubbed "HMS Bubble".
Respecting government rules on Covid distancing, she sat alone at Philip's funeral, while Johnson and his staff are under police investigation for apparent breaches of the rules during lockdown parties in Downing Street.
The Johnson government intends to lift the remaining legal mandates covering Covid restrictions in England this week, with infections and hospitalizations from the Omicron wave apparently under control.
The government move will not be affected by the queen's illness, royal commentator Alastair Bruce said.
“That is not the nature of how this works. She is in no way an influencer or decision maker,” she told Sky News.
"You will be told about them, but you wouldn't want anyone to change any decisions based on your health status."
Bruce added that the queen would be "very well cared for" by royal doctors.
"I think for a very feisty, determined lady in her mid-'90s, she's more than ready to deal with what she's facing," she said.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
The Chief Imam of the Kafanchan Central Mosque, Sheikh Adam Tahir, has died at the age of 130.
Tahir, 290 grandchildren and more than 200 great-grandchildren survived.
Kafanchan Deputy Chief Imam Alhaji Muhammad Kassim said Sheikh Adam died on Wednesday night due to illness.
Kassim said the late imam would be greatly missed as he was a role model to all.
In a message of condolences, the Emir of Jema'a, Alhaji Muhammad Isa Muhammad II, described the Imam's death as a great loss for the emirate and for the people of southern Kaduna state.
Muhammadu prayed to God for the repose of the soul of the deceased.