United States, Uk, Norway welcome Sudan peace deal, urge followup actions



The United States, UK and Norway have welcome the peace agreement between the transitional government of Sudan and rebel groups.

The deal, signed in neighbouring South Sudan on Monday, seeks to end 17 years of conflict in western Darfur and southern states.

In a joint statement, the three countries said the the agreement was the “first step in a long process to rebuild hope and stability for conflict-affected communities in Sudan”. 

“The peace agreement lays a foundation for sustainable peace and stability in Darfur and other conflict-affected areas that is critical for Sudan’s democratic transition.

“We recognise the concessions all have made to conclude these negotiations and call on all parties to implement the agreement in good faith.

“This should be done with the same spirit of partnership and compromise, and in a way that complement the ongoing talks with other groups,” the statement said.

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has reportedly described the deal, involving the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and other groups, as the beginning of the road to peace.

But reports say two key rebel groups refused to sign over land ownership, power sharing and the return home of millions displaced by the fighting, among other issues.

The United States, UK and Norway said they believed the deal would be followed up with local peace and reconciliation efforts in the conflict-affected areas.

“We urge the government and its partners to establish the Peace Commission and the Transitional Legislative Council and begin to bring accountable administration and justice to all of Sudan. 

“A just Sudan requires neutral and professional security services that protect and safeguard all Sudanese equally. 

“We urge the SRF, other opposition groups, and political parties to put aside differences and personal ambitions for the good of their entire country. 

“The Troika urges Sudan’s diverse communities to overcome old enmities and to unite to support this singular opportunity for lasting peace,” they said.

The troika lauded the South Sudanese government for its role in mediating the peace negotiations.

They also acknowledged valuable support provided by the United Nations and regional and bilateral partners that helped make the peace agreement possible.

“The Troika will continue to support the Sudanese people in their quest for freedom, peace, and justice,” the added.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)


Bleak winter ahead for sports in UK as fans kept out of stadiums



Sports in the UK faces a bleak winter and, for some, a fight for survival in the cold months ahead.

This came to reality Tuesday after the postponement of plans to allow a limited number of fans back into stadiums from October.

What had been seen as a glimmer of light at the end of a tunnel now looks like another long stretch of darkness for clubs and sports.

They are already in crisis-management after being forced to do without their ticketing income stream.

The government had planned to allow 25 to 33 percent capacities from Oct. 1.

But senior cabinet minister Michael Gove said on Tuesday that was set to be postponed to tackle a second wave of COVID-19.

A coalition of more than 100 sports bodies had called on Monday for emergency funding in the light of the expected development.

These include the tennis, cricket and rugby governing bodies, as well as the Premier League.

They warned also of “a lost generation of activity”.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters recently said a failure to allow fans back as soon as possible would cost clubs 700 million pounds (896.63 million dollars) in 2020/2021.

While the top tier enjoys lucrative television deals, the financial picture for those whose business models rely heavily on gate receipts remains stark, with some warning of collapse without a bailout.

English Football League chief executive David Baldwin said last week that EFL clubs lost 50 million pounds in gate receipts in 2019/2020.

“It is estimated a further 200 million pounds will be lost if crowds do not return during the 2020/2021 campaign,” he said.

“The contribution to football’s finances made by match-going supporters… is critical to the viability of League football and all EFL Clubs.”

The Rugby Football Union had hoped for a 20,000 crowd at Twickenham for England’s game against the Barbarians on Oct. 25.

But they have now suspended ticket sales for what would have been a major revenue stream.

In July, the RFU projected a short-term revenue loss of 107 million pounds due to the closure of Twickenham and proposed making 139 positions within the organisation redundant.

The entire backbone of the sport’s funding across the UK is the money made from hosting internationals.

The RFU make around 10 million pounds from each Twickenham full house and its internationals at the venue provide around 85 percent of its income.

Without those funds it has warned of a devastating knock-on effect on the grassroots game and now even a smaller figure from a 50 percent or 25 percent capacity looks in jeapordy.

Rugby Football League (RFL) chief executive Ralph Rimmer said this month that the potential impact on revenues of not being able to admit fans was up to two million pounds a week.

The prospect of thousands of people travelling to venues, even if well separated once inside, jars with a message for people to work from home where possible and avoid social mingling.

“The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors, but it’s in the nature of major sports events that there’s a lot of mingling.” said Gove.

The UK has the biggest official COVID-19 death toll in Europe.

Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN
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Trump says he is ‘Constitutionally Obligated’ to fill supreme court vacancy



United States President Donald Trump has mocked Democrats over their criticism of his plan to put forward a Supreme Court nomination as soon as possible.

“Did you hear, today, the latest? They impeached me for a perfect phone call.

“Now they want to impeach me again if I nominate somebody as I’m constitutionally obligated to do to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States,” Trump said.

“Go ahead. I want them — I want them to do that,” he added.

Speaking in Dayton, Ohio, Trump said he was going to announce his Supreme Court nominee on Saturday, or maybe even as early as Friday.

“It will be a brilliant person, I have five [people] that we’re vetting right now … it will be a woman,” Trump said.

Colorado Republican, Sen. Cory Gardner said that he was ready to vote on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and would vote to support the president’s pick if the nominee is qualified.

“When a President exercises constitutional authority to nominate a judge for the Supreme Court vacancy, the Senate must decide how to best fulfill its constitutional duty of advice and consent,” Gardner said.

Trump said earlier on Monday that he may choose his nominee for the United States Supreme Court by the end of the week and is considering picking from a list of five women candidates to replace the deceased justice Ruth Ginsburg.

Trump reiterated that he wants to see a vote on his United States Supreme Court nominee at the Senate before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

The United States president added that had already spoken to some of the candidates and plans to hold more meetings soon.

According to United States media reports, Trump has met with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, who is a circuit judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago.

Colorado Judge Allison Eid is also among those on President Trump’s short list for the Supreme Court nomination.

On Friday, United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer at her home in Washington.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Friday that the Senate would vote on Trump’s pick to replace Ginsburg regardless of criticism by Democrats who are calling for a postponement of the vote because of being in an election year.


The Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Source: NAN
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UN General Assembly annual debate to start with video speeches by Trump, Xi



The UN General Assembly’s annual debate kicks off on Tuesday, with world leaders addressing the forum via video speeches instead of gathering in New York for the first time ever due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Brazil is the traditional first speaker at the days-long event, followed by the United States

United States President Donald Trump’s speech will be the main focus of a “fairly boring” general debate, according to UN expert Richard Gowan from the think tank Crisis group.

Coming just weeks before the country’s presidential election in November, the “America First” president’s address will likely be geared towards a domestic audience.

The speech also comes as Washington is particularly isolated at the UN.

The United States insisted over the weekend that UN restrictions on Tehran had been reimposed, in spite overwhelming international opposition.

There had been some speculation that Trump would speak live, but last week, aides said he had decided against it, resulting in a “distinct lack of drama” at this year’s forum, according to Gowan.

Pre-recorded video speeches are also expected on Tuesday from Iranian President Hassan Rowhani, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron, among others.

The videos will be broadcast in the cavernous General Assembly Hall, where only one representative per state will be present.

The gathering, which typically sees thousands of dignitaries descend on the UN headquarters, will this year lack the usual side events and informal meetings where diplomatic breakthroughs often happen.

The debate begins a day after the UN held a largely online event to mark its 75th anniversary.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
Source: NAN
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Oil steady as United States storm eases but demand recovery fears persist



Oil futures were little changed on Tuesday after sharp overnight losses, as the latest tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico lost strength.

But worries about fuel demand persisted with flare-ups around the globe in coronavirus cases.

Brent crude futures edged three cents 0.1 per cent, lower to $41.41 a barrel at 0637 GMT thus, reversing earlier small gains.

United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for October, due to expire on Tuesday, slipped four cents or 0.1 per cent to $39.27 a barrel.

The more active November contract shed three cents or 0.1 per cent to $39.51.

Crude prices, which fell about four per cent on Monday, won some respite as Texas refineries stayed after a tropical storm was expected to keep losing strength, allaying worries about United States refinery demand for feedstock.

However, concerns about global demand held sway.

“The recovery in sentiment after the rout in risk assets seen a fortnight ago was clearly fragile,’’ said Vandana Hari, an energy analyst at Singapore-based Vanda Insights.

“This week, the market is recalibrating to a likely stalling of the economic recovery in Europe as several countries in the region impose fresh restrictions to contain a surge in the coronavirus.’’

Monday’s price slump was spurred by concerns that an increase in coronavirus cases in major markets could lead to fresh lockdowns and hurt demand.

That raised the possibility that a return of Libyan oil could come when it isn’t needed, as the country looks to ramp up exports.

“We had a pretty punchy risk-off session (overnight) … on fears around the risk that a COVID-19 resurgence starts to have negative impacts on demand again,’’ said Lachlan Shaw, National Australia Bank’s head of commodity research.

Markets are nervous about demand in places like the United Kingdom, where fresh restrictions are being imposed.

United States health officials are also warning of a new wave in the coming winter.

“When the virus resurges, governments lockdown, impose restrictions and individuals and businesses start to retreat.

It’s all bad for demand,’’ Shaw said.

Traders will be watching out for the American Petroleum Institute’s data on United States oil inventories due later on Tuesday.

United States crude oil and gasoline stockpiles likely fell last week, while inventories of distillates, including diesel, were seen climbing, a preliminary Reuters poll showed.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN
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