The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned Governor Bello Matawalle against defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The opposition party in a statement released by its spokesperson Kola Ologbondiyan, strressed that no law allows Matawalle to defect to another party since he was elected on the platform of the PDP.

Members of the national assembly and the state house of assembly who were elected on PDP’s platform were also warned against defecting as they risk losing their seats. 

The PDP further disclosed that its national working Commitee (NWC) has approved the dissolution of the Zamfara state executive council.

The statement read;

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is watching developments in Zamfara state as they concern reports of plans by the state governor, Bello Matawalle, to cross over to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“The PDP categorically cautions Bello Matawalle to know that his plans amount to a decision to vacate office as no law allows him to cross over to any other party with the governorship mandate statutorily given to the PDP through the ballot box, as already established by the provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the standing judgment of the Supreme Court.

“A combined reading of Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution as the pronouncements of the Supreme Court in Faleke v INEC (2016) is clear in holding that it is the political party that stands for election, that votes scored in election belong to the political party and that the candidate nominated to contest at an election by his party, acts only as the agent of his party.

“Members of the national assembly and the state house of assembly should not allow themselves to be pushed into losing their seats as the provisions of the constitution is very clear in barring lawmakers from cross-carpeting, except in a situation of a division in the political party upon which platform they were elected.

“There is no division in the PDP to warrant to defection of any of our lawmakers. 

“The PDP hopes that Bello Matawalle as well as members of the National and State Assembly from Zamfara state will take caution.”


“This is as clear a case of conspiratorial homicide”- Douglas Aniemena, friend of Super TV boss, Uwaifo Ataga, writes

Mr. Usifo Ataga’s close friend, Douglas Aniemena, has published an article in which he gave his opinion on how the Super TV boss was killed.

In his piece, Douglas who is a childhood friend of the deceased expressed doubts that Chidinma Ojukwu, the UNILAG student who was with the deceased carried out the murder all by herself. He opined that this is a case of conspirational homicide. He averred that Ataga’s murder was neither an accident nor a drug-fuelled sexcapade gone wrong.

He opined that it was a premeditated, well-set-up conspiracy to murder. According to Douglas, one person, however strong could not have tied and gagged Usifo Ataga and then carried out all that was done alone.

Read what he wrote below

Finally, we have an arrest in the ongoing saga of the murder of Usifo Ataga, and we also have a ‘confession’. An apprehended suspect has spoken, and, in a nutshell, she tells the World that it was a crime of passion.

The same crime of passion angle that was rushed, planted, and disseminated via the social media by person(s) unknown, barely hours after the news broke. In whose interest is it if we all accept this as a crime of passion?

The culprit, Chidinma Adaora Ojukwu, an innocent looking, soft spoken 21-year-old University of Lagos female undergraduate, spoke to the assembled press in a calm and measured tone, stating that basically, they had a drug-fuelled sex tryst that got out of hand when he tried to rape her, hitting her head against the wall and she grabbed a knife and stabbed him twice.

She also stated that she stole his money afterwards, using his ATM card and pin number that he had freely given her prior, asking her to take any amount she wanted but that she had declined, telling him that it was not what she wanted.

She also admitted to ‘helping’ herself with some money from his account after killing him and that she only stole N380,000 as opposed to N5m that was transferred from his account, and when asked why she stole from him, she answered that she needed the money for her school fees.

The Police have since also released a statement saying amongst other things, that the suspect CONSPIRED WITH OTHERS, NOW AT LARGE, and allegedly murdered one Michael Usifo Ataga. The short service apartment where the alleged murder was committed was secretly booked by the suspect on the 13th of June 2021 and that she left the apartment after the deed had been done on the 15th of June 2021.

A fake driver’s license bearing Mary Johnson with the suspect’s photograph, was found amongst her belongings at her home, as well as a blood-stained cloth, ostensibly worn on the day of the murder.

The suspect confessed to using a kitchen knife to stab the deceased and that she took away the evidence, the blood-stained knife and discarded it in a dustbin by her house. She also admitted to stealing his iPhone.

The owner/manager of the service apartment said that the suspect called to book using a USA WhatsApp number and claimed that she had just arrived in the country and was at the airport and needed a place quiet to quarantine and that her passport was held at the airport because of Covid.

After taking the apartment, the suspect called the Manager/Owner and security guard a few times and all the time, she made sure to block her number, including after committing the murder, to extend her stay and ask them not to disturb the room, and again to enquire from her if the deceased’s vehicle had been taken away, unaware that the said Owner/Manager was already helping the Police.

Days after the incident, no one could describe her because according to the Owner/Manager and all her staff, she always wore face masks. The Security guard at the premises stated that the suspect had come to the gate to receive delivery from a delivery man who later told him after the suspect had taken her delivery, that it was drugs.

All parties involved in this ugly incident have now spoken, barring Usifo Ataga, who is no more. The dead cannot talk, so it is with Usifo. Who will speak for Usifo Ataga? I pray the facts of the case speak for him, especially as we consider that no amount of chicanery, sophistry, blatant lies and/or conjectures can defeat the evidence of solid facts.

What are the facts that we know? Usifo died a horrific death. He was not stabbed 2 or even 5 times; he was stabbed multiple times. His hands were bound tightly, and the marks were still all over his wrists, accompanied with evidence of torture and assault even as his corpse lay in the morgue.

And no one in the entire building heard his screams because he was gagged. Let that sink in: he was bound, gagged and tortured! The now-viral video of the room with the deceased lying on the floor, shows a room with blood-stained walls and floor, evidence of a ferocious struggle. One person could never have carried these out!

She claims that Usifo Ataga tried to rape her. How preposterous can one really get? The truth is that the allegation of an attempted rape is such an easy and convenient one for any woman alone in a room with a man to make.

Even if both of them are alive, without CCTV, how does the man conclusively prove that he didn’t make such an attempt? The credibility of those involved and circumstances around the case must come into play in search of the truth.

A man you claim to have been sleeping with and that you were so eager to sleep with him that you eagerly booked an apartment yourself and came to expressly sleep with him, not for a few hours but for days on end, and that he had already slept with you twice, tried to rape you and hit your head against the wall with no evidence of head bruises, even as you left the apartment that same day? Come on, the story doesn’t add up.

This is the same woman it has now come to the fore that at least on one occasion, 3 to 4 years ago, was arrested for blackmailing a married man and using an innocent security man’s bank account to collect the money. She must have been at most, 18 years old then, if not younger! She is clearly a pathological liar, remorseless, calm and assured, and didn’t start today.

She said they did drugs. The toxicology reports are not out yet, but if any drug is found in Usifo’s system, then it makes this dastardly act even worse, he must have been surreptitiously drugged!

In this day of bank transfers, whoever gives you their Bank card and pin number, when they can easily transfer any amount to you, if indeed he gave her his card and said take anything you want, as she claimed? Did he also give her his BVN? How did she obtain it?

Usifo Ataga’s company had some substantial amount of money in an Escrow account, and the first attempt was to try and move the money. Was this done before or after Usifo Ataga had been killed? Then someone sent in instructions trying to change his Banking security details, and that flagged up the account and the account was promptly blocked.

She claimed that she wanted money for school fees, did she need a billion Naira for her school fees? The fact was that because these funds were in an Escrow account, torture Usifo Ataga all you wanted then, he simply could not, and was not able to move even a dime from the money even if he wanted to!

Then, his money in another account was now moved to his account that they had his ATM card and then went on siphoning his funds. The speed and sophistication of these dealings were alarming.

The facts in a nutshell tell us that this incident was neither an accident nor a drug-fuelled sexcapade gone wrong! It was a premeditated, well-set-up conspiracy to murder. One person, however strong could not have tied and gagged Usifo Ataga and then carried out all that was done, talkless of this woman.

The police who have more evidence than I have stated here, have explicitly stated as such. Those still pandering to these salacious slants of these social media stories are just unnecessarily muddying the waters. This is as clear a case of conspiratorial homicide as you will ever get given the circumstances.

And just as Abel’s blood cried out for vengeance from the ground, as the good Scripture says, and in the absence of anyone speaking for Usifo Ataga, may Usifo’s blood shed so callously all over that apartment floor and walls by cowards, speak volumes on his behalf”.

Omg watch the video here oooo


Russia says people can decline its vaccine. But for many, they’ll get fired if they do

If you ask the Kremlin whether Covid-19 vaccination in Russia is voluntary, its officials will tell you it is. Yet authorities in Moscow have put together a policy that essentially gives people in public-facing roles little choice but to get their shots.

Faced with stubbornly low vaccination rates, Moscow authorities announced just over a week ago that at least 60% of staff in service industries — spanning everything from catering to housing and transport — must get vaccinated with at least one shot by July 15. 

Vaccination remains voluntary,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

But while Peskov says someone can refuse a vaccine, they just might lose their livelihood for doing so.

“If a Muscovite works in the service sector and he has to get a vaccine but he has made a decision not to get vaccinated, he simply has to stop working in the service sector. And if he wants to, he will look for a job in another place that is not connected with those areas where the mandatory presence of vaccinations is imputed,” he said. 

As of Monday, people in Moscow are now required to show to show proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test result or proof of a past Covid-19 infection in the last six months to be allowed entry to the city’s cafes and restaurants.

Russian officials have been giving regular updates on television and in briefings on the rapidly worsening situation across the country. Worrying images have started popping up again on Russian social media sites illustrating the increasing burden of coronavirus across the country. Both Moscow and St. Petersburg reported record high daily death tolls Monday, according to Russia’s anti-coronavirus crisis center.

Patients have been seen lying in hospital corridors in St. Petersburg — which is currently playing host to a number of Euro 2020 soccer matches — as an overburdened medical system battles an increasing number of infections. Images of queues of ambulances waiting outside hospitals to admit patients are reappearing.

Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin warned Monday that the burden was also growing on hospitals in the capital. “Over the past week, we have broken new records for the number of hospitalizations, people in intensive care, and the number of deaths from coronavirus,” he said, according to state media agency RIA Novosti. 

Despite being the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, for use in August 2020, Russia has since lagged behind much of the world in vaccination rates.

As of Monday, 23 million people in Russia — a country of around 146 million — had been vaccinated with at least one dose, the health minister told state media. Some 16.7 million people have had both shots, according to figures released by the government last week. That’s around 11% of the population. Around 46% of people in the US have been fully vaccinated. In the UK, it’s about 48%.

As of Monday, Russia had reported 5,472,941 coronavirus cases and 133,893 deaths, according to official state figures, though the true toll is believed to be much higher due in part to the way Russia classifies coronavirus deaths.

Even though the pandemic has hit Russia hard, the idea of being forced into vaccination is unpopular.

While the Russian government insists it has not introduced a blanket mandatory vaccination scheme, testimony from ordinary workers — who did not want their full names to be used — suggests a huge sense of pressure and urgency to get vaccinated across the board.

Among the Muscovites lining up outside a vaccination center opposite Gorky Park in the blistering June heat were people working in hospitality, construction and business, as well as students. The center’s receptionist said that in the last few days people had been lining up between 8 a.m. right through to closing time at 10 p.m.

“I have to get vaccinated because of my work, because I work in the catering industry,” said 29-year-old bartender Dmitry, who was waiting for his first shot

“But I know that I would have to do this one way or another. Sooner or later they will press everyone to the point that we will all have to do it,” he said.  

Also waiting in line was Yegor, an IT specialist. Despite not having a client-facing role, he said he had no choice about taking the vaccine.

“My work made me,” he said, also declining to give his full name. “They told me at work that I need to [get vaccinated].” 

“I actually think it’s bad that they did this. It’s supposed to be voluntary, while in fact it is ‘voluntary-compulsory,'” Yegor said referring to an ironic term harking back to the Soviet-era meaning people have freewill, but in reality have no choice but to comply with what authorities want. 

“It is not right. Every person has to have a free choice whether or not to get vaccinated.”

Russian authorities have tried to cajole people to get the shot by offering sweeteners, such as free cars and circus tickets. But now they are also turning to more restrictive measures. Employees in Moscow face losing their jobs if they don’t get vaccinated when asked to, and employers could be subject to fines or administrative suspension of their businesses for up to 90 days if they don’t meet their targets.

Moscow authorities appear to have known the policy would face some resistance — they announced the new policy as Russians’ attention was drawn to a highly anticipated meeting between President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden.

Around 500 people protested in the Novopushkinsky square, in the center of Moscow, on Saturday, state-run media TASS reported. They were demanding the right to choose whether to be vaccinated, and to stop the dismissal of workers and immediately restore them in their jobs, according to independent monitoring site OVD-Info. They called for the removal of coronavirus restrictions in the catering industry “and any kind of Covid discrimination in society and business,” according OVD-Info.

62% of Russians don’t want a Sputnik shot

Beyond the Russian capital, other regions are also introducing restrictions. The governor of the southern Russian region of Krasnodar, home to the vacation resort city of Sochi, announced that from July 1, hotels will only accommodate guests with a negative coronavirus test result or a vaccination certificate, and from August 1, only vaccinated travellers will be allowed in. 

Anna Popova, the head of Russia’s public health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, has said compulsory vaccination could be introduced in other regions of the country “if necessary.”

Part of the major uphill battle for Russia is that vaccine hesitancy is rife in the country. A survey published last month by independent pollster Levada-Center suggested 62% of Russians are unwilling to get vaccinated with Sputnik V.  

Alexandra Arkhipova, a social anthropologist and researcher at the university RANEPA in Moscow, also said there was a “crisis of people’s confidence in political and medical institutions.” Arkhipova has been studying trends of social media engagement and internet searches of Russian citizens and said that many believe there is no “clear and transparent information” about the vaccination process, so they are driven to look for ways to get around the system.

Russian media has been filled with reports of some people buying illegal counterfeit vaccination certificates to circumvent the measures.

Sellers offering fake certificates which Russians can use as “proof” of getting the vaccine are prevalent on Russia social media sites and encrypted messenger app Telegram. Prices vary depending on whether the buyer just wants a physical certificate or if they want their data uploaded to state databases and registers, Russian media reported.

Russian state media has also been reporting on the government’s crackdown on what they call “scam artists,” with the interior ministry releasing video of sting operations against couriers and sellers of the counterfeit certificates.

“The constant feeling that officials are lying or forcing them to get vaccinated, hiding the truth about vaccines, makes people feel morally right to buy a fake vaccination certificate,” Arkhipova said.

A 31-year-old businesswoman from Moscow who wished to remain anonymous said she wanted to buy a fake certificate because she didn’t think enough was known generally about Covid-19 vaccines. 

“In Moscow, it’s prohibited to go to restaurants [without a negative PCR test or a proof of vaccination]. I live alone and eat out all the time, all my meetings take place at restaurants. Doing a PCR test every time I want to have a cup of coffee is not an option,” she said.


Winnie Mandela high school learners receive donations.

Ekurhuleni West Tvet College (EWC) donated packs to Winnie Mandela High School, which is a quintile one school, on June 24.

The college donated 500 school bags, 500 pencil cases, and 500 rulers. Learners without parents received 130 pairs of shoes and 85 blankets. The college also donated 2 400 mask.

The donation to the school was made to eliminate inequalities at school, such as learners wearing worn-out shoes and uniforms and carrying their books in unsuitable bags or plastics.

“Social protection remains important in reducing extreme poverty given the challenges that the country is facing,” said EWC acting principal Peter Mudau.

He added that if all South Africans live by the principles of ‘vhuthu’, ‘botho’, ‘vumunu’, ‘ubuntu’, they would be able to overcome poverty and social ills, as well as eliminate inequalities.

Advocate Chris Setlhako, the chairperson of the college council, commended EWC for an initiative that does not only touch the lives of the people but also helps in the prevention and spread of Covid-19.

“This initiative shows that the college does not only look at its own interest but also at the interests of the community it is serving,” said Setlhako.

On behalf of the Gauteng Department of Education, Nonceba Ntuta, director for GDE Ekurhuleni North district, expressed gratitude to the college and appreciated the donations.

A learner representative, Kgodisho Mokgapa, encouraged the college to continue lending a helping hand to those in need.

Hellen Ntlatleng, regional manager of the Department of Higher Education and Training, was also present at the ceremony.


North Koreans ‘heartbroken’ by Kim’s purported weight loss, Pyongyang resident tells state media.

Seoul, South Korea – North Korean state television aired an unusual interview Friday in which a Pyongyang resident said he and others living in the capital were “heartbroken” to see how much weight the country’s leader Kim Jong Un had lost.

Kim has been shown in North Korean state media looking noticeably thinner in recent weeks, surprising and befuddling many experts who study the country. Pyongyang has not officially acknowledged any changes to Kim’s weight or health, so the interview amounts to the most official confirmation to date of the secretive North Korean leader’s sudden change of appearance.

The unnamed individual told a reporter from KCTV, North Korea’s state-run television network, that “the people, including myself, were most heartbroken when we saw the respected General Secretary (Kim Jong Un’s official title) looking gaunt … everyone says it brought them to tears.”

It’s unclear who the interview subject is, why he was chosen or if his opinion is truly representative of the majority of people in Pyongyang. But it is unlikely the segment did not receive some sort of official blessing, given that all media aired in North Korea is approved by government censors.

However, the interview appears to have aired just once, meaning it’s also possible the piece simply slipped through the cracks. North Korea often reruns or recycles newscasts instead of constantly producing live programming.

Kim’s health is a closely guarded secret in North Korea, whose leaders are notoriously paranoid about the possibility of an impending invasion or regime change. The country is still technically at war with the United States and South Korea, and North Koreans are taught from an early age to believe the two capitalist powers are still actively plotting the demise of the communist North.

Kim and his family are treated like modern deities in North Korean state media, and his image is carefully crafted by Pyongyang’s propagandists. Even discussing rumors about his health can get a North Korean in trouble with the state’s security services, experts say.

Though rare, North Korean state media has acknowledged Kim family health issues in the past. Kim was reported to be experiencing “discomfort” during an unusual disappearance from the public eye in 2014.

When Kim’s father and predecessor, Kim Jong Il, died of a heart attack in 2011, state media attributed it to “overwork” from “dedicating his life to the people.”

Cheong Seong-chang, a North Korea expert at the Sejong Institute near Seoul, said it’s possible Pyongyang chose to publicly acknowledge Kim’s apparent change to “say that this is not a big deal.”

But Cheong said North Korean propagandists may be trying to frame the current leader’s state as a product of his efforts to improve life inside a country that’s reportedly struggling to feed its people.

“North Korea could be trying to sell people on the idea that Kim Jong Un is losing weight because he is overworking himself to make people’s lives better in North Korea,” Cheong said.

Right now, the situation inside North Korea appears grim. Kim opened an important political meeting earlier this month by acknowledging the country’s food supply is strained and “getting tense.”

The agriculture sector is still recovering from storm damage incurred last year. Replacing domestic food supplies with imports will likely be difficult because borders remain mostly closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Exports from China, North Korea’s biggest trade partner, tanked by 90% in May from the previous month, according to official statistics from Beijing, though it’s unclear why.

Kim did not disclose the scale of the shortages, but the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently estimated North Korea is short of approximately 860,000 tons of food, or equivalent to just over two months of nationwide supplies.

Prices of some staple goods in Pyongyang have reportedly skyrocketed. Experts say rice and fuel prices are relatively stable but imported staples such as sugar, soy bean oil and flour prices have gone up.

Residents said that non-staple items such as a small packet of black tea can sell for around $70, while a packet of coffee can cost more than $100.


I knew EOH was blackmailed by EC ANC for R1MN donation to win government tender “says” Kodwa.

Deputy State Security Minister, Zizi Kodwa, on Monday testified about receiving payments and luxury accommodation allegedly in exchange for influencing tenders.

JOHANNESBURG – Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa said he was aware that the Eastern Cape ANC blackmailed IT company EOH to make a R1 million donation when that company was bidding for a government tender.

Kodwa was on Monday testifying about receiving payments and luxury accommodation allegedly in exchange for influencing tenders.

He accepted that EOH director Jehan Mackay gave him money when he had financial difficulties, but said he made it clear that he couldn’t interfere with government contracts.

However, Kodwa knew that the ANC linked its requests for donations to tenders.

An email sent by EOH to Mackay saying the ANC Eastern Cape was pressurising the company to make a donation was forwarded to Kodwa.

Kodwa earlier said he didn’t receive payments from Mackay to influence tenders, but he said in this case, he persuaded EOH to make the donation.

Zondo said: “There appears to be something that was said and you might say, look I don’t think the ANC should pursue this donation, because if this donation is made and this entity gets the tender, there is going to be an impression that an ANC official used his or her influence to make sure that the tender went to a certain organisation.”


Trump’s false reality is being exposed on multiple fronts

Former President Donald Trump is facing a wall of accountability and truth as new revelations and investigations expose his abuses of power, delusional lies about the election and business conduct to ever greater scrutiny.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday announced a House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection Trump incited.
     • Details in new books about Trump’s misconduct in office underscore the depth of his autocratic threat.
     • A stunning report revealed that former Attorney General William Barr thought his voter fraud claims were “bull—,” shattering Trump’s voter fraud lies.
     • A GOP-led report into Trump’s delusional claims of a stolen election in Michigan turned up nothing.
     • Trump’s chief propagandist of voter fraud, Rudy Giuliani, already suffered the consequences for his campaign of falsehoods by seeing his law license suspended.
     • And, perhaps most seriously for Trump, the ex-President’s lawyers met prosecutors on Monday in a last-ditch effort to stave off criminal charges possibly targeting the Trump Organization and its namesake’s longtime financial guru, Allen Weisselberg.

The confluence of dangers facing Trump would usually be sufficient to doom any presidential legacy and rupture any hopes of a political comeback in 2024. Yet the question is now what it always has been: Will a twice-impeached former President who has always kept one step ahead of the law and political gravity by disdaining truth and ignoring shame pay a price for any of it?

Wild behavior

This issue is all the more acute in the wake of the former President’s wild rally in Ohio on Saturday night, when his unhinged rhetoric and dark demagoguery highlighted the peril he still poses to democratic values.

He took the stage facing legal, political and personal challenges that have grave implications for his hopes of a political rebound and the fate of his business, which forms the foundation of his legend of deal-making greatness. But as his rapturous reception showed, the former President’s impervious support among the Republican base and devoted millions of followers means there is probably nothing that emerges from any kind of investigation that will dent his personality cult.

And while in Ohio, Trump spelled out that he knows exactly what power he has over his base.

“I represent what they want,” Trump said, speaking of a police officer he supposedly met while in office. “They want law, and they want order. And that’s what you want. That’s what this country wants.”

Still, Trump’s uncontrolled behavior and extremism helped devastate the Republican vote in suburbs in swing states like Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania. So while he might still be seen as the favorite for the 2024 GOP nomination, his chances of winning a national election may be further eroding.

While there has been a series of blows in recent days to Trump’s false narrative that he was deprived of a second term by a massive Democratic Party conspiracy, facts are again unlikely to tip the balance among supporters fed a stream of lies about the election by a compliant conservative media machine.

The former President is doing what he always does, portraying scrutiny and accountability as evidence of an establishment conspiracy biased against him, and painting a narrative of grievance that his supporters always buy in to. Such a conceit has always been at the center of his political appeal for voters who gravitated toward his assaults on a political system from which they felt alienated. To further his strategy, any legal cases against the Trump Organization are sure to be turned into a pageant of personal persecution by the former President.

Will the truth matter?

New evidence that November’s election was free and fair is also no more likely to convince his followers that their hero lost than the multiple cases thrown out of court.

A sham audit of votes in Arizona by Republican state senators is, in fact, likely to further fuel the former President’s volcanic behavior if it feeds the conservative narrative of irregularities that were rejected by multiple judges.

For example, after details emerged from an excerpt of a new book — “Betrayal,” by ABC’s Jon Karl — that depicts Barr as savaging Trump’s claim he was cheated out of power last November, the former President issued an extraordinary statement.

The more than 500-word rant not only blasted Barr, despite his repeated impression of tilting the scales of justice to benefit the ex-President. It also suggested that Trump has traveled even further from reality in his five months out of power as he pointed to “incredible facts” about cheating that were largely recycled and already disproven conspiracies born of conservative media.

It was unhinged rhetoric that gave a strong impression that the former President now exists in a bunker-like mentality, deeply convinced of his own invented version of reality.

Yet this is the same powerful political force that is still effectively the leader of the Republican Party — one who has left party leaders like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky afraid to take him on and is making support for his election lies the dominant issue in Republican Party primary races.

Trump’s fantastical claims of voter fraud are also the driving force behind multiple efforts by GOP state lawmakers across the country to make it harder for many Democrats, including minorities, to vote

Some bills equip partisan officials to interfere in local certification processes and institutionalize the kind of pressure that Trump placed on local GOP officials in Georgia to steal victory in November.

Former President Barack Obama warned on Monday that such measures could effectively make it easier for malcontents like Trump to cheat in future elections.

“If we don’t stop these kinds of efforts now … we are going to see a further delegitimizing of our democracy,” Obama said.

It’s also unlikely that Pelosi’s select committee will fracture the fallacies Trump supporters believe about January 6. In fact, Trump acolytes like Georgia’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene are trying to get appointed to the panel in order to turn its meetings into a circus.

A grave legal threat

There was fresh evidence of Trump’s incandescent state of mind as his lawyers met with prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office in an effort to persuade them not to pursue charges for alleged financial crimes by the company.

Trump claimed the team was “rude, nasty, and totally biased” against him, claimed they were trying to destroy him and the “Make America Great Again” movement and were radical leftists who were a disgrace to the nation.

The former President no longer has his social media accounts and cannot propagate his fury without the help of retweets and conservative media appearances. But his statement was a taste of the vitriol sure to flow from his camp if charges are brought against his organization.

A flurry of exposés from Trump’s desperate last days in office is emerging, meanwhile, from a series of forthcoming books. According to Karl, the then-President had “the eyes and mannerism of a madman,” in the words of one attendee at a meeting between Trump and Barr after the attorney general said there was no evidence of widespread election fraud.

In another account, by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender, Trump is depicted as getting into a shouting match with Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after saying he wanted to send the US military into cities that he claimed were in flames amid violence.

Critics often accuse the Washington media of addiction to insider accounts of the crazed behavior inside Trump’s West Wing. Yet while these books, and the contributions of officials like Barr, who spoke to Karl on the record, do come across as an attempt at reputation repair, they also perform a valuable service.

The accounts are building a record of malfeasance on the behalf of the former President. They show just how close American democracy came to the brink, thanks to a former commander in chief who tried to use tactics familiar to the autocrats, like China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who he so admired.

Trump’s certain attempts to make his enemies pay a price for a tightening vice of accountability mean that the process of healing from the trauma of his aberrant presidency is only just beginning, and is likely to further disrupt the country’s fragile political equilibrium.


Kim Kardashian’s Skims made team USA’s official loungewear for Tokyo Olympics.

Kim Kardashian has made another accomplishment in her career.

The 40-year-old Keeping Up With The Kardashians star and business mogul revealed on Monday June 28, that her label has been made Team USA’s official loungewear for Tokyo Olympics in Japan. She would be designing the official undergarments, pajamas, and loungewear for Team USA ahead of the Summer Games.

In a lengthy Instagram post, she spoke about her love of the Olympics from her upbringing and how her relationship with stepfather Caitlyn Jenner, a retired Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete, gave her positive feelings toward the collaboration.

Kardashian wrote: “Ever since I was 10 years old, I’ve heard every single detail about the Olympics from my stepdad. As I would watch the athletes compete, I would grow to understand the dedication and honor being a part of the Olympics embodied,” she wrote. “I traveled w my stepdad and family to all different cities for the Olympic trials, the Olympics and track meets of @caitlynjenner’s and at every stop I would buy an Olympic t-shirt as a souvenir.”

She went on to say that when she “received the call inviting Skims to be a part of @TeamUSA, every moment I’ve spent admiring the strength and energy of the Olympians from the sidelines came full circle.”

Kim Kardashian?s Skims made Team USA?s official loungewear for Tokyo Olympics

Our top priority is providing our athletes with the tools and support needed to compete at the highest level, and we’re excited to work with SKIMS to bring this unparalleled level of comfort to Team USA athletes and fans,” he said.


Dead bodies of three missing friend s found inside forest in South Africa.

South Africa police are investigating cases of murder after three missing friends were found dead in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

KZN police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele, said the bodies of Zinhle Nqobile Mkhize, 33, Njabulo Lindani Khoza, 21, and Nonhlanhla Kubheka, 30, were found inside Babanango forest in Zululand on Saturday morning, June 26. The cause of their deaths has not been released.

“They were found after an intensive search conducted by the team immediately after they were reported missing,” said Mbele.

Last photo posted by Zinhle after returning from a funeral the day she was last seen

Last week, Nkandla police had requested assistance from members of the community in finding the trio who were last seen on June 19.

“They were last seen on 19 June 2021 at 18:00 while they were travelling together with Nonhlanhla Kubheka’s vehicle in the Nkandla area. Kubheka’s vehicle was found the following day at her cottage in Nkandla with the keys on ignition and the driver’s window broken but the victims were nowhere to be found.” police said.

A murder case has been opened as police appeal to anyone with information to contact the investigating officer, Sergeant Dlamini.

Meanwhile, a family source said Zinhle Ngobile Gcwabe returned from a funeral on June 19 before she left to meet the other two deceased. 

Bodies of three missing friends found inside forest in South Africa
Bodies of three missing friends found inside forest in South Africa
Bodies of three missing friends found inside forest in South Africa
Bodies of three missing friends found inside forest in South Africa

Sydney in lockdown, borders shut and hardly anyone vaccinated. How long can Australia go on like this?

In the window of a vintage shop in the Sydney suburb of Annandale, a sign expresses the frustration of many Australians with their country’s pandemic strategy.

“Dear Customers, We will be closed for the foreseeable future because Scott Morrison is a useless dickhead who only ordered enough vaccine to vaccinate 4% of the population 18 months into a pandemic,” reads the sign, shared on Twitter, in reference to the Australian Prime Minister.

Artist James Powditch put up the testy sign at the Roulette store and art studio he runs on Saturday, as the city of 5 million people, plus towns and cities in its surrounds, went into yet another hard lockdown, this time for two whole weeks. By Sunday, a cluster of coronavirus infections of the Delta variant that began in Sydney’s Bondi neighborhood had grown to 110 cases.

Australia was celebrated for its initial response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and for getting its economy more or less back on track long ago.

But with that security has come complacency, particularly in the federal government, which failed to secure enough vaccine doses to prevent the regular “circuit breaker” lockdowns that come every time a handful of cases emerge, or even the longer restrictions that Sydney is experiencing now. Australia’s borders, controlled by strict quarantine measures, have been all but shut for more than a year.

Now Australians, who basked in their early successes, are wondering how much longer this can go on.

“We can’t leave the country, people can’t come in, and we end up periodically in lockdowns, which cost a friggin’ fortune,” said Powditch.

“People have been accepting that this is a diabolically difficult situation, but once we start watching the rest of the world open up, we’re going to turn to anger over the way things like vaccines have been rolled out here.”

Already there are signs that Australians are getting weary of these sporadic disruptions to their lives. On Sunday, large crowds were seen on Bondi Beach, despite the stay-at-home orders. While outdoor exercise is allowed, images from Bondi showed people bathing in the winter sun and sitting on benches with drinks.

A 48-hour lockdown was also imposed in parts of Australia’s Northern Territory, including its capital, Darwin, after four Covid-19 cases were linked to a worker at a gold mine. He is believed to have become infected during an overnight stay at a quarantine hotel in Brisbane. Now painstaking efforts to trace all 900 workers who have left the mine for cities across Australia over recent days are under way, as the country relies heavily on a robust track-and-trace system to keep clusters contained.

Vaccine hesitancy

Australia has recorded just 910 deaths in its population of 25 million, one of the lowest per capita death tolls in the developed world, and cases have remained low as well.

While it beat much of the world in getting its economy back up and running, its tourism sector has taken a massive hit, its universities are struggling without the fees international students usually bring and some Australians, who travel abroad in relatively high numbers, are starting to feel the itch to go on holidays overseas.

Even New Zealand — the only country with which Australians had an open travel corridor — announced a three-day suspension of quarantine-free travel between the nations starting Saturday because of the outbreaks.

Australia has fully vaccinated just over 4% of its population, compared with more than 46% in the US and 47% in the UK, according to Our World in Data. Its rates are more comparable with Indonesia and India, which, like much of the developing world, were left out of the agreements with pharmaceutical companies that secured hundreds of millions of vaccine doses for most of the rich world.

Compounding the problem is hesitancy towards Covid-19 vaccines in Australia. One survey by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, with research firm Resolve Strategic, found 15% of adults surveyed were “not at all likely” and 14% were “not very likely” to take a vaccination in the months ahead. The survey was taken after an April ruling that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was linked to a very rare blood disorder side effect, involving blood clots.

Australian officials have said they hope to reach herd immunity — the point at which about 80% of the population is vaccinated — before reopening its borders. Prime Minister Morrison earlier said that may not be until mid-2022. More recently, he was even unable to commit to a Christmas 2022 reopening

In a question to the Prime Minister, journalists on Channel 9’s Today program on Thursday suggested that Morrison and his slow vaccine rollout were responsible for the ongoing lockdowns.

Morrison replied by saying an increase in supply “will really kick in next month in July,” and that 600,000 Pfizer doses were due in next week.

“The challenge we’ve had, of course, has been with AstraZeneca. I mean, the medical advice has restricted its availability to those over 60, and prior to that over 50. Now, that was a big shock to the rollout and they are events outside of the government’s control,” he said, adding there were new supply arrangements with AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna.

“So, we’ll keep working towards that goal, by the end of the year, of offering that vaccine to everybody who would want one and there will be an escalating ramp-up as we move through the second half of the year,” he said.

Can’t get in, can’t get out

The government has also been criticized for leaving about 36,000 Australians stranded overseas. Caps on arrivals to the country have made booking seats on flights difficult and expensive, and the cost of quarantine is in the thousands of dollars. It’s the responsibility of the person arriving to foot the bill.

It’s just as hard for some living in Australia to get out. If someone from overseas has Australian citizenship or permanent residence, they need a government exemption to leave the country.

The result is not just holidays lost, but lost time with family and friends.

At the last census in 2016, around half the people living in Australia were either born abroad or had at least one parent born overseas.

One Brisbane resident from Canada, who is working in a hospital in health care, is hoping a speedier vaccine program will mean fewer border controls and, hopefully, a trip back home.

“I’m originally from Canada, and don’t know when I will see my family again. Honestly, I think at least 2 years,” the health care worker wrote in a message to CNN.

“We’re so frustrated! The vaccination process is ridiculous. I’m a health care worker in the top list of people and there was so much confusion. We were told to email and that we’d be contacted when our appointment was … then we’re told just to show up because that program was actually not recording anything,” she said.

“It’s still only open to [people age] 50+ even though spreaders are averaging 20-30 years of age. We’re sick of lockdowns, knowing the vaccine is out there.”

And for some residents with strong ties abroad, there are more serious implications to this global isolation.

Katerina Vavrinec, a 34-year-old from the Czech Republic living in Sydney, said she has sought counseling for mental health issues arising from the separation from her friends and family, and the anxiety that has come with it. She hasn’t been to her home city of Prague for three years.

“Keeping borders shut is going to have a huge impact on people’s mental health,” she said, pointing to the high number of Australians with family ties overseas. “So this is going to have huge impact on the mental health of millions of people.” 

Vavrinec is on maternity leave and due to return to work in just over a week, though she’s not sure what that will look like in lockdown. But she’s found a silver lining.

“I’m actually quite happy that we’re in lockdown because I’ve been quite frustrated with the indefinite border closures. So I’m hoping that the lockdown forces people to realize that completely isolating Australia from rest of the world is not going to get us out of this.”