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Moroccan National, Ayoub El Khazzani, On Trial Over 2015 Paris Train Attack

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The trial of four men accused of planning a 2015 terrorist attack on a train heading towards Paris is under way in the French capital.

One of the four men is Ayoub El Khazzani, a Moroccan national, who opened fire aboard the high-speed train in France.

El Khazzani was heavily armed when he opened fire and shot a passenger after the train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris crossed the border into France on August 21, 2015.

A Frenchman, a Briton and three Americans, two of them in the military but on leave at the time, tackled Khazzani and disarmed him.

Khazzani, 31, is charged with “attempted terrorist murder.” He had joined the Islamic State group in Syria in May 2015. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in jail.

A judicial source has said that Khazzani had confessed to investigators he planned to attack U.S. soldiers and not civilians.

The incident drew widespread attention and was turned into a movie when the attackers were thwarted by a group of U.S. tourists who overpowered the accused after one of them opened fire on the Thalys train.

Two people were injured in the incident.

The three Americans were given honourary French citizenship. Clint Eastwood made a film about the incident in 2018 titled “The 15:17 to Paris.”

The trial was supposed to be one of two such trials under way in Paris on Monday.

However, another trial against 14 people accused of offering support to the men who launched the January 2015 attack against French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and other targets had to be delayed.

One of the accused is infected with the novel coronavirus and is too ill to appear in court.

The trial is now expected begin on Nov. 23, at the earliest. The trial has already been delayed multiple times due to the virus’ spread.

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Former Niger President Tandja Dies Aged 82

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Former Nigerien President, Mamadou Tandja has died at the age of 82, the country’s government has announced.

His death was announced on radio and national television with a three-day national mourning declared.

Tandja twice won the Presidential election when the West African country moved back to civilian rule in 1999. He was however toppled in 2009 after he changed the nation’s constitution to fulfill his term elongation.

Tandja, a retired Colonel in the Niger Army was first elected in 1999 after the government of Baba Mainassara was toppled. Despite an uneventful firs term, he won his re-election in 2004 amid criticisms from the opposition.

He walked a lonely path when he attempted to extend his term through a referendum. He claimed Nigeriens loved his government and wanted him to finish what he started.

In a dramatic toppling in 2010, he was kicked out of the Presidential Palace in an action that gained global attention. He was arrested afterwards but was released peacefully, and ever since remained so before his demise.

Mamadou Issoufou, Niger’s current President has mourned his predecessor, as he has promised to leave office at the expiration of his term.

This has been hailed by citizens, who have compared him with Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara and Guinea’s Alpha Conde whose third term desires have caused conflicts in their country.

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Entertainment

Chika: Nigerian Rises From Suicidal Thoughts To Grammy Nomination

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Her very first music project, “No Squares” was released in April 2019. Ever since, Chika has been a Power Project herself. She gained greater reputation when she appeared in the movie starring Jamie Foxx and also wrote its theme song.

An overwhelming reaction when she discovered she’s been nominated for the Grammy Awards was a big statement of time and the things that have happened to the hugely talented rapper.

Born to Nigerian-American parents in 1997, Jane Chika Oranika, of Igbo descent, one of Nigeria’s foremost tribes, is one of America’s finest hip hop talents. She has walked paths that were never taken by her contemporaries; one of which was her open confrontation of Kanye West’s support for Donald Trump. Her freestyle using Kanye West’s ’Jesus Walks’ beats gave her massive attention, with stars like Erykah Badu, Jada Pinkett and others hailing her courage.

Chika’s 2019 singles, ‘High Rises’ and ‘Can’t Explain It’ are titles that perfectly describe the current time. Her high rising career almost has no explanation but the work has never stopped on her part.

She has used her music to fight against body shaming, as she once had suicidal thoughts over the lack of acceptance she suffered. Chika has also said in the past that she has never for once felt African-American.

On March 11 2020, she released ‘Industry Games’, her second EP to let out her feelings on what she has faced in the American music industry.

She was also featured on Jojo’s Sabotage which reached #18 on Billboard’s 100 and was also invited for the XXL’s 2020 Freshman Class.

Chika is highly rated in the United States as her fame keeps soaring. Earlier this year, her song ‘Crown’ was listed on Barack Obama’s 2020 Summer Playlist.

Chika, through her social media handles also supported #EndSARS protests in Nigeria and spoke against Police brutality in Africa’s biggest nation.

Her affiliation with Nigeria has never been hidden and she always calls herself one. She wears her roots with honour. Her favourite rapper is American hip-hop artiste of Nigerian descent, Wale Folarin.

In a 2019 interview with Kerby Jean-Raymond of Teen Vogue, Chika said;

“I’m Igbo. We’re all about our money. But it’s really just the energy that we bring to things. We’re a very family-oriented people.”

Battles Against Depression & Body-shaming

Chika hardly spares her thoughts on what she feels about body-shaming and what the society thinks of it.

With criticisms of movie roles by Eddie Murphy and other highly respected American legends, Chika says they played a part in the promotion of body shaming.

In various social media posts, she revealed how she rose through depression with music, a few friends, family members and her pet- a dog.

Her blossoming career has been tipped for even greater things and her Grammy nomination is the beginning she deserves.

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Conservation News

Ghana and Switzerland sign historic pact for Climate Action

Under the agreement, the National Clean Energy Access Programme (NCEP) will be implemented. It is expected to lead to the transfer of mitigation outcomes to Switzerland in exchange for financial resources and the extension of Swiss technical expertise as a demonstration of the scalability of Ghana’s conditional mitigation commitments.

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The government of Ghana and Switzerland has signed a bilateral pact as a framework for the implementation of Article Six (6) of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

After two years of negotiations between the two countries, the signing of the framework agreement marks the first of its kind in Africa, and second in the World. The new partnership will enable the adoption of green and low carbon technology solutions across the country resulting in social and environmentally beneficial outcomes.

With this Agreement, Ghana will receive funding from the Swiss side for sustainable development projects.  Switzerland will take carbon credits from the Ghanaian side for the emission cuts to meet her climate commitments without compromising Ghana’s effort to achieve her own climate actions.

The negotiations between technical teams of Ghana and Switzerland was further boosted by a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Bern between Ghana and Switzerland during the State visit to Switzerland by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in February, 2020.

​Read also: https://newscentral.africa/rwanda-to-create-green-energy-bank/

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner stated, “We are proud to have been able to facilitate the dialogue between Switzerland and Ghana, build trust in the process on both sides and offer our technical support in the implementation…”

Article six (6) of the Paris Agreement on carbon markets is an innovative voluntary instrument available to countries to mobilise finance and catalyse private sector investments for the implementation of nationally determined contributions.

Steiner further explains “…We hope this bilateral agreement will enable Ghana’s national clean energy access programme (NCEP) to fulfil its objectives by abating up to 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, providing energy access to millions and head towards a green recovery.”

Read also: https://newscentral.africa/experts-kenya-global-emission-challenge/

In his speech, the President of Ghana H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway called on the private sector of both countries to consider “this bilateral cooperation as a step to further strengthen collaboration between Swiss and Ghanaian companies to identify commercially viable and sustainable development projects over the next decade”.  

​In formulating this agreement both parties have highlighted practical ways of operationalising the envisioned architecture of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Credit: wri.org

Read also:https://newscentral.africa/fossil-fuel-human-cost-powering-africa/

Under the agreement, the National Clean Energy Access Programme (NCEP) will be implemented. It is expected to lead to the transfer of mitigation outcomes to Switzerland in exchange for financial resources and the extension of Swiss technical expertise as a demonstration of the scalability of Ghana’s conditional mitigation commitments.

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