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A United Nigeria Airlines flight destined for Abuja on Saturday landed in Asaba, the capital of Delta state.

Passengers said they only realised the mistake after the cabin crew announced “Welcome to Abuja” when they landed in Asaba.

“We departed Lagos about an hour ago on Fly United to Abuja and upon arrival, the cabin crew confidently announced that we had arrived Abuja only for us to realise that we landed in Asaba,” Salihu Yakasai, the Kano governorship candidate of Peoples’ Redemption Party in the 2023 election, wrote on X.

After about half an hour on the tarmac, the plane was redirected to Abuja. This was after the pilot announced that the “honest mistake” was caused by a mix-up in the flight plan given to him.

“People were thinking that there’s something we were not being told. Until the pilot announced to us that he received a wrong flight plan, that’s when calmness was restored,” a passenger on the flight said.

But in its defence few hours after the incident, United Nigeria Airlines claimed the flight was diverted to Asaba as a result of bad weather.

Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, the airline spokesperson, said the pilot was properly briefed about the diversion, noting that the cabin crew made “wrong announcement upon landing safely in Asaba [and] created confusion among the passengers.”

“A united Nigeria Airlines flight, NUA 0504, operating from the MM2 in Lagos enroute Abuja on Sunday, November 26, 2023, was temporarily diverted to the Asaba International Airport due to poor destination weather,” the statement reads.

“At all material time, the Pilot of the aircraft was aware of the temporary diversion and was properly briefed. However, a wrong announcement was made by cabin crew upon landing safely in Asaba creating confusion among the passengers.”


The Cable

Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio said most of the leaders of an attack on a military barracks in the capital Freetown earlier on Sunday had been arrested, adding that security operations and an investigation were ongoing.

"We will ensure that those responsible are held accountable," Bio said on national television.

"As your commander-in-chief, I want to assure everybody who is resident in Sierra Leone that we have overcome this challenge," he said, and calm had been restored.

Earlier, the government said security forces had repelled "renegade soldiers" who attempted to break into a military armoury in Freetown during the early hours of Sunday.

A nationwide curfew was imposed. Gunfire was heard across the city as the assailants attacked a prison and a police station.

It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties in the barracks attack or during the gunfire in Freetown on Sunday.

The country's former president Ernest Bai Koroma, said in a statement that a military guard assigned to his residence in the capital was shot point blank, while another was "whisked away to an unknown location".

Koroma did not say who shot the guard. He condemned the killing and the attack on the barracks.

"I am deeply concerned that once again our beloved nation could be subject to such insecurity," he said.

The West African country's civil aviation authority urged airlines to reschedule flights after the curfew was declared, while a soldier on its frontier with neighbouring Guinea told Reuters they had been instructed to shut the border.

A Reuters journalist, who earlier witnessed an armed group of men commandeer a police vehicle near the Wilberforce barracks, said streets were mostly empty on Sunday as residents hunkered down.

"We'll clean this society. We know what we are up to. We are not after any ordinary civilians who should go about their normal business," one of the masked men, who was dressed in military fatigues, said before driving away.

Sierra Leone has been tense since Bio was re-elected in June, a result rejected by the main opposition candidate and questioned by international partners including the United States and the European Union.

In August 2022, at least 21 civilians and six police officers were killed in anti-government protests in Sierra Leone, which is still recovering from a 1991-2002 civil war in which more than 50,000 were killed. Bio said the protests were an attempt to overthrow the government.

In his address to the nation on Sunday night, Bio called on Sierra Leone's political and traditional leaders, and civil

society to work to preserve peace.

"Let us not succumb to fear or division," he said.

Information minister Chernor Bah said earlier on Sunday that security forces were making progress in apprehending those involved in the attack, but gave no further details.

A video on social media showed three men, two in fatigues and one in civilian clothes, with their arms tied behind their backs sitting in a military truck surrounded by soldiers. Reuters has not authenticated the video.

Bah said that major detention centres including the Pademba Road prisons were attacked and inmates released by the unidentified assailants.

It was not immediately clear how many prisoners had broken out of the facility, which a U.S. State Department report said was designed for 324 inmates but held more than 2,000 in 2019.

Videos posted on social media, which were not authenticated by Reuters, showed several people fleeing from the area of the prison, while gunshots could be heard in the background.

"The security forces were forced to make a tactical retreat. The prisons were thus overran," said Bah, who had earlier declared a nationwide curfew and called for people to stay indoors.

The Economic Community of West African States condemned what it called an attempt by certain individuals to "acquire arms and disturb constitutional order" in Sierra Leone. The U.S. embassy in Freetown said such actions were not justified.

There have been eight military coups in West and Central Africa since 2020.



Hamas releases third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the militants freed 17 more hostages, including 14 Israelis and the first American, in a third exchange under a four-day truce that the U.S. said it hoped would be extended. In turn, Israel released 39 Palestinian prisoners.

Most hostages were handed over directly to Israel, waving to a cheering crowd as they arrived at an air force base. Others left through Egypt. Israel’s army said one was airlifted to a hospital, and the director of Soroka Medical Center said Elma Avraham, 84, was in life-threatening condition as “a result of an extended period of time when an elderly woman was not taken care of as needed.”

The youngest hostage released was Abigail Edan, a 4-year-old girl and dual Israeli-American citizen whose parents were killed in the Hamas attack that started the war on Oct. 7. “What she endured was unthinkable,” Biden said of the first American freed under the truce. He did not know her condition and did not provide updates on other American hostages. Biden said his goal was to extend the cease-fire deal as long as possible.

In all, nine children ages 17 and younger were on the list, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. Three more Thai nationals were released. Separately, Hamas said it released a Russian hostage “in response to the efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin.” The Russian-Israeli citizen was the first male hostage to be freed.

The Palestinian prisoners released were children and young men, ages 15-19, largely accused of public disorder, property damage and in some cases causing or threatening physical harm to Israeli officers by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. Many were scooped up from protests and confrontations with troops. In turn, many Palestinians view prisoners held by Israel, including those implicated in attacks, as heroes resisting occupation.

A fourth exchange is expected on Monday — the last day of the cease-fire during which a total of 50 hostages and 150 Palestinian prisoners are to be freed. Most are women and minors.

International mediators led by the U.S., Egypt and Qatar are trying to extend the cease-fire that began Friday.

“We can get all hostages back home. We have to keep pushing,” said two of Edan’s relatives, a great aunt and cousin, in a statement thanking mediators.

Hamas for the first time said it would seek to extend the deal by looking to release a larger number of hostages. Netanyahu issued a statement saying he had spoken to Biden and reiterated his offer to extend the cease-fire by an additional day for every 10 hostages Hamas releases. But he said Israel would resume its offensive “with all of our might” once the truce expires.

Ahead of the latest hostage release, Netanyahu donned body armor and visited the Gaza Strip, where he spoke with troops. “At the end of the day we will return every one,” he said of the hostages, adding that “we are continuing until the end, until victory. Nothing will stop us.” It was not clear where he went inside Gaza.

This is the first significant pause in seven weeks of war, marked by the deadliest Israeli-Palestinian violence in decades. More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed, roughly two thirds of them women and minors, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza. The war has claimed more than 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians killed in the initial attack.

In New York, hundreds of Jewish protesters and allies demanding a permanent cease-fire in Gaza shut down vehicle traffic on the Manhattan Bridge in both directions for several hours Sunday. A New York police spokesperson could not immediately provide an exact number of how many people were arrested.


Hamas’ military wing released a video showing militants handing over the hostages to Red Cross workers and paramedics, with some of the balaclava-wearing fighters and hostages waving goodbye to each other.

Families from the southern Israeli town of Kfar Aza embraced, cried, and applauded Sunday at the news that hostages from their town had arrived in Israel. More than 70 members of the kibbutz of around 700 people were killed and 18 were kidnapped.

The freed hostages have mostly stayed out of the public eye. Hospitals said their physical condition has largely been good. Little is publicly known about the conditions of their captivity.

Merav Raviv, whose three relatives were released on Friday, said they had been fed irregularly and lost weight. One reported eating mainly bread and rice and sleeping on a makeshift bed of chairs pushed together. Hostages sometimes had to wait for hours to use the bathroom, she said.

Pressure from families has sharpened the dilemma facing Israel’s leaders, who seek to eliminate Hamas as a military and governing power. Hamas and other militant groups seized around 240 people during the incursion into southern Israel that ignited the war. Fifty-eight have been released, one was freed by Israeli forces and two were found dead inside Gaza.


The pause has given some respite to Gaza’s 2.3 million people, still reeling from relentless Israeli bombardment that has driven three-quarters of the population from their homes and leveled residential areas. Rocket fire from Gaza militants into Israel also went silent.

War-weary Palestinians in northern Gaza, where the offensive has focused, made their way through entire city blocks gutted by airstrikes.

But those among the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled the north have been turned back by Israeli troops while trying to return to check their homes.

“They open fire on anyone approaching from the south,” said Rami Hazarein, who fled Gaza City.

The Israeli military has ordered Palestinians not to return to the north or approach within a kilometer (around a half-mile) of the border fence. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said Israeli forces opened fire Sunday on two farmers in central Gaza, killing one and wounding the other. An Israeli military spokesperson said they weren’t aware of the episode.

The United Nations says the truce made it possible to scale up the delivery of food, water and medicine to the largest volume since the start of the war, but it calls the 160 to 200 trucks a day “hardly enough.”

It was able to deliver fuel for the first time since the war began, and to reach areas in the north for the first time in a month. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said 50 Egyptian aid trucks crossed through Israeli checkpoints to reach Gaza City and northern areas Sunday.


Hamas announced the death of Ahmed al-Ghandour, who was in charge of northern Gaza and a member of its top military council. He is the highest-ranking militant known to have been killed in the fighting. Israel’s military confirmed the death.

Al-Ghandour had survived at least three Israeli attempts on his life and was involved in a cross-border attack in 2006 in which Palestinian militants captured an Israeli soldier, according to the Counter Extremism Project, an advocacy group based in Washington.

Hamas said he was killed along with three other senior militants, including Ayman Siam, who Israel says was in charge of Hamas’ rocket-firing unit. The Israeli military mentioned both men in a Nov. 16 statement, saying it had targeted an underground complex where Hamas leaders were hiding.

The Israeli military claims to have killed thousands of militants, without providing evidence.

Elsewhere, the war has been accompanied by a surge in violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Palestinian health authorities said Sunday that five Palestinians were killed in an Israeli military raid in the West Bank city of Jenin that began the day before. The war toll in the West Bank is now 239.

The Israeli army has conducted frequent raids and arrested hundreds of Palestinians since the start of the war, mostly people it suspects of being Hamas members.




Zelenskiy praises Ukrainians for battles with Russia and the weather

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday thanked Ukraine's military for fighting Russian attacks and its rescue services for tackling the consequences of extreme winter weather that he said had deprived about 400 settlements in 10 regions of power.

In his nightly video address, Zelenskiy said relentless, intense battles were ongoing in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Kharkiv, while "extremely challenging weather" was affecting areas from Kyiv region in the north to Odesa in the south.

In Russian-controlled territory, Oleg Kryuchkov, a senior Moscow-installed official, said nearly half a million people were without power in Crimea, the peninsula Russia annexed in 2014.

The Russian-installed heads of Crimea, of the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, and of the part of Kherson region under Moscow's control, declared days off for Monday amid reports of high winds, flooded homes and snowbound roads, and damaged buildings.

Ukraine's border service said Moldova had temporarily suspended vehicle access to its territory from two crossing points in Odesa region. Moldovan authorities also asked local schools to consider closing due to snowfall and high winds.

Odesa Mayor Henadii Trukhanov urged residents of his Black Sea port to stay at home. Local authorities warned that water supplies were being interrupted by power cuts that stopped pumps from working and urged people to preserve supplies.

Power grid operator Ukrenergo shared a photograph of a transmission tower in Odesa region whose leg had snapped in two due to high winds, adding, "We are doing everything possible to overcome the consequences of the bad weather as soon as possible and restore light to every home."



Twenty-four Ukrainian drones destroyed up to now – Russian Defense Ministry

The Russian Air Defense means destroyed four more Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over Bryansk, Smolensk and Tula Regions, the Defense Ministry reported.

The number of drones downed on Sunday climbed therefore to twenty-four.

"On November 26, at about 09:30 a.m. Moscow time [06:30 a.m. GMT], an attempt of the Kiev regime to commit a terrorist attack by fixed-wing aircraft type UAVs against facilities on the territory of the Russian Federation was prevented. Air defense assets on duty destroyed four Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles over the territory of Bryansk, Smolensk, and Tula Regions," the ministry said.

Early in the morning on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry informed about destroying eleven, and then nine more drones over the territory of Moscow, Tula, Kaluga, and Bryansk Regions.



Throughout much of the Western world’s history, the wealthiest have been viewed in their communities as a potentially unfavorable presence, and they have attempted to allay this sentiment by using their riches to support their societies in times of crises like plagues, famines or wars.

This symbiotic relationship no longer exists. Today’s rich, their wealth largely preserved through the Great Recession and the Covid-19 pandemic, have opposed reforms aimed at tapping their resources to fund mitigation policies of all kinds.

This is a historically exceptional development. Helping foot the bill of major crises has long been the main social function attributed to the rich by Western culture. In the past, when the wealthiest have been perceived to be insensitive to the plight of the masses, and especially when they have appeared to be profiteering from such plights (or have simply been suspected of doing so), society has become unstable, leading to riots, open revolts and anti-rich violence. As history has the unpleasant feature of repeating itself, we would do well to consider recent developments, including legislators’ inability to increase taxes on the rich, from a long-term perspective.

Let us begin with the consideration that the presence of very rich, or even superrich, individuals has always been somewhat troubling for Western societies. Medieval theologians regarded the rich as sinners and thought that the building of large fortunes should have been discouraged. At the very least, the rich were expected not to appear to be wealthy and to provide generous bequests to charitable institutions to the benefit of their souls.

But with time, as new economic opportunities in trade and in finance led to the accumulation of fortunes of unprecedented size, the increased presence of extremely wealthy individuals within the community could no longer be dismissed as an anomaly. From the 15th century, and beginning with the most economically developed areas of Europe such as central-northern Italy, the rich were assigned a specific social role: to act as private reserves of money into which the community could tap in times of dire need.

Nobody made this point better than the Tuscan humanist Poggio Bracciolini. In his treatise “De avaritia” (“On avarice”), completed in 1428, he argued that cities that follow the tradition of instituting public granaries to build up food reserves should also be well provided of “many greedy individuals, in order … to constitute a kind of private barn of money able to be of assistance to everybody.”

There is abundant historical evidence that for centuries, across the West, the rich have dutifully fulfilled their role of “barns of money” in a variety of ways, which included accepting to pay exceptional taxes during crises or to provide loans to governments. Often, in early modern times, these were technically “forced” loans to ruling authorities, although the fact that they were not a prerogative of absolute monarchies but were also required, usually in wartime, by republican governments such as that of Venice should make us wary of considering them the mere expression of an arbitrary power. Indeed, the rich merchants who were the main “victims” of forced loans were also the rulers of patrician republics and understood they were contributing their private resources to the public good. For example, forced loans were imposed by Venice upon its richest citizens after the terrible plague of 1630 as well as to fund an exhausting war with the Ottoman Empire during 1645-69, although on both occasions the republic was able to raise much greater amounts from its own patricians by means of voluntary loans.

This is not altogether different from the patriotism with which many among the rich subscribed to various emergency loans during the World Wars, such as the Liberty Bonds issued in the United States in 1917-18 to contribute to funding the Allied war effort. These loans proved to be a poor investment, as the interest tended to become negative in real terms because of hyperinflation. But in the 20th century as in the 17th, the boundary between free choice and constriction was blurred, as governments welcomed any opportunity to increase the social pressure on those reluctant to contribute. Sometimes they went even further: In Britain in 1917 the chancellor of the Exchequer explicitly threatened the nation’s financiers with confiscation of company assets unless specified minimum amounts of capital were raised by a new, “voluntary” War Loan.

In the 20th century, the real novelty in how the rich were required to step up their wartime contribution was the expansion of progressive taxation, with substantial increases in the top rates of the personal income tax (in the United States the historical maximum was reached in 1944-45, at 94 percent for incomes over $200,000) and of estate or inheritance taxes. Of course, historically, wars provide the best possible motivation to ask citizens to contribute more: either with their blood or with their cash. But in the 20th century, also during peacetime economic crises, most notably the Great Depression of the 1930s, the rich were expected to contribute considerably more than the general population to foot the bill of public action. For example, this was explicit in the fiscal package introduced in the United States as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.

In the past 15 years we have experienced the Great Recession, which in some countries also led to the sovereign debt crisis, followed by the worst pandemic in a century or so, then by an ongoing war in Ukraine and the looming threat of large-scale conflict in the Middle East. Based on history, one would expect that in this period the rich would have been called once again to fulfill their traditional role, and indeed, proposals of this kind have entered the political debate in many Western countries.

But so far, in most of them discussion has not been followed by action, and recent fiscal reforms appear to have done little to make the rich contribute more. Recent surveys of fiscal reforms by European countries in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic show that increases in the top rates of the personal income tax or (where they exist) of wealth taxes have been rare and modest. In the United States, proposals by the Biden administration to increase taxation for the richest, such as the “billionaire minimum income tax,” have repeatedly failed to gather sufficient political support.

This is troubling, because the rich have stopped fulfilling the social role that has been their own for many centuries, making their position in society somewhat unclear.

Related to this, we should also consider whether the exceptional resilience of the rich to recent crises has been obtained in such a way as to make society as a whole less resilient — for the rich, protecting their fortunes from crises also involves protecting them from extra taxation, thus stripping public institutions of resources that could have been used for stronger mitigation policies, including those aimed at abating the sufferings (economic or otherwise) of the poorer strata. To some degree, governments compensated for this by expanding the public debt, which raises the question of who will repay it. Given the fact that many Western fiscal systems do not burden their wealthy to the same degree they once did, it seems probable that the bill for the Covid-19 crisis will weigh on the shoulders of the rich to an extremely low degree relative to the burden during past crises.

How could this be, since the public debate across Western countries strongly suggests that in perfect continuity with history, many (including a part of the rich, as shown by the “In Tax We Trust” campaign) considered it rather natural to ask the affluent to contribute more in these exceptional times? Another cultural constant in the history of the West is the widespread suspicion that if the richest components of society become involved directly in politics, they can exert an outsize influence on the political debate. This was clear in the Middle Ages, when across Europe many republican city governments tried to prohibit the richest families from gaining access to top public offices. And in the Modern Age this suspicion resurfaced regularly: Think of the debate about the growing concentration of economic and financial power in the United States in the first decades of the 20th century, leading to (largely bipartisan) worries that a few superrich individuals might have determined the national politics as well.

But today, in many Western countries the political involvement of the very affluent is basically taken for granted, and in some of them, superrich individuals have even become presidents or prime ministers: Silvio Berlusconi, who was first elected prime minister of Italy in 1994, is an early case. Perhaps the recent attempts to make the rich contribute more during crises have been exceptionally unsuccessful because the rich themselves are so exceptionally well positioned to influence policymaking. After all, as affirmed by many of the superrich, in absolute terms they already pay more taxes than anybody else — an argument that could have come straight from the mouth of a 17th-century Venetian patrician, were it not for the fact that a patrician would not have felt compelled to provide any justification for his privileged fiscal treatment.

If the rich have been actively trying to avoid being made to contribute more, then they might not be doing themselves (or anybody else) a favor. In many Western countries, the electoral success of parties with a clear anti-establishment, anti-rich character most likely arises from widespread anger at an economic (and political) elite perceived as self-centered and self-serving. Arguably, this is also because the rich have reneged on a centuries-old social contract, shutting the doors to their barns of money.

** Guido Alfani is an economic history professor at Bocconi University in Milan and the author of the forthcoming book “As Gods Among Men: A History of the Rich in the West,” from which this is adapted.


New York Times

Oftentimes the consequence of being a reliable, effective worker is … more work.

And, while the reputation of being productive is generally a good thing, even the most organized, go-getter can’t do it all. 

If your boss consistently asks you to take on tasks for which you don’t have the bandwidth, it’s okay to say “no” sometimes, says Brandon Smith, a therapist and career coach known as The Workplace Therapist. 

This isn’t always so easy, though. Denying a request from a person who has some control of your income is understandably nerve wracking.

“You always want to treat a boss like the number one client or customer,” Smith says.

Here’s how to appease your manager and still set a boundary.

“Yes, and …” 

“We want to borrow from our friends in improv,” Smith says. Meaning, don’t flat out say “no.”

Instead, start your reply with “Yes, and …” 

After the “and,” state that it can’t be done right away. He offers up the following example:

“Yes, and I can get to that in a couple weeks.” 

If your boss says they need the task done faster, tell them the other tasks on your to-do list. 

“Share with them the priorities you have and say, ‘which one of these do we need to move?’” Smith says.

This way, you’re demonstrating how you’re an asset to the team, and communicating that right now is not the best time to put more on your plate.



At least 150 people, including women and children, were abducted with one person killed in a coordinated attack by gunmen on four villages in Nigeria's northwest Zamfara state, residents said on Saturday.

Kidnapping for ransom has become rife in northwestern Nigeria in recent years where armed gangs, often referred to locally as bandits, have targeted villages, schools, and travellers, demanding millions of naira in ransom and making it unsafe to travel by road or to farm in some areas.

The Zamfara police spokesperson did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment on the attack, which took place late on Friday.

Residents told Reuters that gunmen on dozens of motorcycles stormed the villages of Mutunji, Kwanar-Dutse, Sabon-Garin Mahuta and Unguwar Kawo in the Maru local government area of the state.

Dankandai Musa, a resident of one of the villages, told Reuters he managed to slip away unnoticed during the chaos. But 20 members of his household were taken.

"I managed to escape after they were regrouping us and the people from the three other villages that were attacked," he said. "I fled while they were dragging us to the bush."

A local village head said Lawali Damana, leader of the gunmen, had demanded 100 million naira ($119,000) from the villages as retribution after Nigerian troops killed four of his men earlier.

"So yesterday, he came in the company of his boys and took away over a hundred people with him and we haven't heard anything from him since. One person was shot dead in the process of taking the hostages," said the village head, who didn't want to be named for fear of being targeted.

Nigeria faces numerous security challenges, including a 14-year Islamist insurgency in its northeast, separatist violence in the southeast, and frequent deadly clashes between farmers and herders in the central region.

President Bola Tinubu has yet to detail how he will tackle the insecurity. His economic reforms, including the removal of petrol subsidy and devaluation of the naira, have led to a sharp increase in the cost of living, angering citizens.



At least 11 people were killed and several others displaced when terrorists, locally referred to as bandits, on Friday evening attacked communities in Yantu and Ussa in Ussa Local Government, Taraba State.

Communities in Southern Taraba, where these two towns are located, have a history of attack by non-state actors.

A resident of Yantu, Yakubu Tinya, who narrowly escaped the mayhem, reported that several villages in Ussa town, including Ribasi, Nyichu and Ruyah, were attacked on Friday. He said nine people were killed.

He said another person was also killed in the Tukwog community along Takum- Manya road.

“They came in numbers to separate communities around 6 p.m. and killed anyone on sight. Some people were attacked right on their farms, some on their way back, some in their houses.

“They attacked me and my two brothers and killed one of us. Some of them are Fulanis, but some do not look like Nigerians. They appeared to us at a very close range,” Tinya said.

Peter Shamwun, chairman of Ussa Local Government confirmed the attack. He said the bandits laid siege along Takum- Ussa road to kill more people.

He said the bandits also attacked the Kpambo Yashe community and killed one person.

The chairman appealed to President Bola Tinubu and Governor Agbu Kefas to urgently send security operatives to the area.

“Information available to me now is that the bandits have laid siege along Takum-Ussa road and other areas around Yantu to kill more people.

“I do not know why the bandits have decided to concentrate in the area and have been operating freely without being antagonised by the security operatives. From where a man was killed yesterday evening in Ussa to the military barracks in Takum, is not up to a kilometre.

“The continued attack on the people has brought so much food insecurity. My people are being attacked anytime they go to the farm. We are at the mercy of bandits. I want both the state and federal governments to intensify efforts to flush out the bandits to allow my people to farm.

“There have been issues of Fulani bandits in our area but I am suspecting that the ones operating currently in the area are those that have been chased by the military operatives in Zamfara and other states in Nigeria. They have moved to settle in some local government in Taraba,” Shamwun explained.

Spokesperson, Taraba State Police Command, Usman Abdullahi, said the incident was being investigated.



Israel and Hamas complete 2nd day of swaps after tense delay, as Gaza cease-fire holds

Hamas militants on Saturday released 17 hostages, including 13 Israelis, from captivity in the Gaza Strip, while Israel freed 39 Palestinian prisoners in the latest stage of a four-day cease-fire.

The late-night exchange was held up for several hours after Hamas accused Israel of violating the agreement. The delay underscored the fragility of the cease-fire, which has halted a war that has shocked and shaken Israel, caused widespread destruction across the Gaza Strip, and threatened to unleash wider fighting across the region.

The war erupted on Oct. 7, when Hamas militants in Gaza burst across the border into southern Israel, killing at least 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducting some 240 others, including, women, children and older people. Israel immediately declared war, carrying out weeks of airstrikes and a ground offensive that have left over 13,300 Palestinians dead, according to health authorities in the Hamas-controlled territory. Roughly two-thirds of those killed in Gaza have been women and minors.

The cease-fire, brokered by Qatar and the United States, is the first extended break in fighting since the war began. Overall, Hamas is to release at least 50 Israeli hostages, and Israel 150 Palestinian prisoners. All are women and minors.

Israel has said the truce can be extended by an extra day for every additional 10 hostages freed, but has vowed to quickly resume its offensive and complete its goals of returning all hostages and destroying Hamas’ military and governing capabilities.

The plight of the hostages has gripped the Israeli public’s attention. Thousands of people gathered in central Tel Aviv on Saturday in solidarity with the hostages and their families. Many accuse Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of not doing enough to bring the hostages home. The releases have triggered mixed emotions: happiness, coupled with angst over the scores of hostages who remain in captivity.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced early Sunday that it had received a new list of hostages slated to be released later in the day in the third of four scheduled swaps.

In the West Bank, hundreds of people burst into wild celebrations for a second night as a busload of Palestinian prisoners arrived early Sunday. Teenage boys released in the deal were carried on the shoulders of well-wishers in the main square of the town of Al Bireh. But the mood of celebration was dampened by scenes of destruction and suffering in Gaza.

The start of the pause brought quiet for 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, who are reeling from relentless Israeli bombardment that has killed thousands, driven three-quarters of the population from their homes and leveled residential areas. Rocket fire from Gaza militants into Israel also went silent.

War-weary Palestinians in northern Gaza, where the offensive has been focused, returned to the streets, crunching over rubble between shattered buildings and at times digging through it with bare hands.

At the Indonesian hospital in Jabaliya, besieged by the Israeli military earlier this month, bodies lay in the courtyard and outside the main gate.

For Emad Abu Hajer, a resident of the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza City area, the pause meant he could again search through the remains of his home, which was flattened in an Israeli attack last week.

He found the bodies of a cousin and nephew, bringing the death toll in the attack to 19. His sister and two other relatives are still missing.

“We want to find them and bury them in dignity,” he said.

The United Nations said the pause enabled it to scale up the delivery of food, water, and medicine to the largest volume since the resumption of aid convoys on Oct. 21. It was also able to deliver 129,000 liters (about 35,000 gallons) of fuel — just over 10% of the daily pre-war volume — as well as cooking gas, a first since the war began.

In the southern city of Khan Younis, a long line of people with containers waited outside a filling station. Hossam Fayad lamented that the pause in fighting was only for four days.

“I wish it could be extended until people’s conditions improved,” he said.

For the first time in over a month, aid reached northern Gaza. The Palestinian Red Crescent said 61 trucks carrying food, water and medical supplies headed there on Saturday, the largest aid convoy to reach the area yet. The U.N. said it and the Palestinian Red Crescent were also able to evacuate 40 patients and family members from a hospital in Gaza City to a hospital in Khan Younis.


By nightfall, when hostages had been expected to emerge from Gaza, Hamas alleged that aid deliveries permitted by Israel fell short of what was promised and that not enough was reaching hard-hit northern Gaza. Hamas also said not enough longtime prisoners were freed in the first swap on Friday.

But Egypt, Qatar and Hamas itself later said the obstacles had been overcome.

Shortly before midnight, Hamas released the hostages — 13 Israelis and four Thais. The Israelis were turned over to Egypt and then transferred to Israel, where they were taken to hospitals to be reunited with their families.

Hamas released a video showing the hostages appearing shaken but mostly in good physical condition as masked militants led them to Red Cross vehicles headed out of Gaza. Some of the hostages waved goodbye to the militants. One girl was on crutches and wore a cast on her left foot as she was escorted away.

The Israeli hostages included seven children and six women, Netanyahu’s office announced. Most were from Kibbutz Be’eri, a community Hamas militants ravaged during their Oct. 7 cross-border attack. The children ranged in age from 3 to 16, and the women ranged from 18 to 67.

It was a bittersweet moment for the residents of Be’eri, who have been living in a Dead Sea hotel since their community was overrun. A kibbutz spokesperson said all the released hostages either had a family member killed in the Oct. 7 rampage or had left a loved one in captivity in Gaza.

The mother of one of the released hostages, 12-year-old Hila Rotem, remained in captivity, the spokesperson said. Another, Emily Hand, is a girl whose father believed her to be dead for weeks before finding out she was held as a hostage.

At their hotel, kibbutz residents gathered in a function room, cheering in excitement as they saw the first images of their loved ones being released on television.


Some of the Palestinian prisoners were released in east Jerusalem, while the bulk returned home to a hero’s welcome in the occupied West Bank.

Among those released was Nurhan Awad, who was 17 in 2016 when she was sentenced to 13 1/2 years in jail for attempting to stab an Israeli soldier with a pair of scissors.

In Jerusalem, Israeli troops evicted journalists who gathered outside the home of Israa Jaabis, who had been imprisoned since 2015 after being convicted of carrying out a bombing attack that wounded an Israeli police officer, and left Jaabis with severe burns on her face and hands.

Jaabis later told reporters at her home that she is “ashamed to be happy at a time when Palestine is injured.”

In Al Bireh, the teenage boys were paraded through the main square where they waved Palestinian flags as well as green banners of Hamas and yellow banners of the Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas. “May God make them strong. May God be with the Qassam Brigades,” said one of the boys, referring to Hamas’ military wing.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, an advocacy group, Israel is holding 7,200 Palestinians, including about 2,000 arrested since the start of the war.

The war in Gaza has been accompanied by a surge in violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Late Saturday, Palestinian health authorities said four Palestinians were killed in an Israeli military raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, hours after another raid in the same area killed the local governor’s 25-year-old son.

A 16-year-old Palestinian boy was also killed by Israeli fire near the city of Ramallah. The Israeli army, which frequently conducts military raids aimed at local militant groups, did not immediately comment.




Five wounded in Kyiv by largest drone attack yet on Ukraine

Ukraine's capital suffered what officials said was Russia's largest drone attack of the war on Saturday, leaving five people wounded as the rumble of air defences and explosions woke residents at sunrise after a week of intensifying attacks.

Saturday's six-hour air raid, on the day Ukraine commemorates the 1932-33 Holodomor famine that killed several million people, began hitting different districts of Kyiv in the early hours, with more waves coming as the sun rose.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that over the course of the week, Russia had carried out 911 attacks across the country, killing 19 Ukrainians and wounding 84.

"The enemy is intensifying its attacks, trying to destroy Ukraine and Ukrainians," he said in a post on the Telegram messaging app. It was doing so deliberately, "just like 90 years ago, when Russia killed millions of our ancestors," he said.

Ukraine's air force initially said 71 of the 75 drones had been shot down, but subsequently revised the number of downed craft to 74. Its spokesperson said on television that 66 of those had been downed over Kyiv and the surrounding region.

Air force chief Mykola Oleschuk praised the effectiveness of 'mobile fire' units - usually fast pickup trucks with a machine gun or flak cannon mounted on their flatbed. According to him, these downed nearly 40% of the drones.

Mayor Vitali Klitschko, writing on the Telegram app, said the attack had injured five people, including an 11-year-old girl, and damaged buildings in districts all across the city.

Fragments from a downed drone had started a fire in a children's nursery, he said.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy also pointed out that the attack had come in the early hours of commemorations of the famine, which is recognized by Ukraine and over 30 other countries as a genocide by the Soviet Union, which ruled Ukraine at the time and sought to crush its desire for independence.

"Wilful terror .... The Russian leadership is proud of the fact that it can kill," he wrote on Telegram.

Moscow denies the famine deaths were caused by a deliberate genocidal policy and says that Russians and other ethnic groups also suffered.

The target of Saturday's attack was not immediately clear, but Ukraine has warned in recent weeks that Russia will once again wage an aerial campaign to destroy Ukraine's energy system, as it sought to do last winter.

Ukraine's energy ministry said nearly 200 buildings in the capital, including 77 residential ones, had been left without power as a result of the attack.

"It looks like tonight we heard the overture. The prelude to the winter season," Serhiy Fursa, a prominent Ukrainian economist, wrote on Facebook.



Russian drone destroys fortified Ukrainian position

A video from a First Person View (FPV) drone, obtained by RT, has captured the moment a Russian kamikaze drone dismantles a fortified Ukrainian position near the town of Soledar in Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

The clip, released on Saturday, illustrates the skill of the Russian operator, who was able to fly the explosive-laden quad-copter UAV directly through the door leading into the outpost.

It also includes footage of the incident from another angle, showing the explosion caused by the drone.

Russian forces took Soledar in the northeastern portion of the DPR under their control in January after heavy fighting. The city is some 15 kilometers away from Artyomovsk (Bakhmut), the venue of the largest battle in the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, which ended with a Russian victory in May.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Ukrainian troops operating assault drones in the east of Donetsk were expressing concerns over Russia’s advantage in the number of UAVs.

“Their drones are always in the air, day and night. We can see they’ve implemented serial production of drones for reconnaissance, surveillance, and for strikes,” one of the troops was cited as saying.

According to his estimates, regarding UAVs, Russia had around double what Ukraine had in that part of the front. “Drones are a game changer in this war. If we mess this up, things will be difficult,” the Ukrainian soldier warned.

** Air defenses destroy 11 Ukrainian drones over four Russian regions

Russian air defenses have destroyed 11 unmanned aerial vehicles over the Moscow, Tula, Kaluga and Bryansk regions, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. "The Kiev regime’s attempt to use fixed-wing drones to carry out a terrorist attack on targets in Russia was foiled in the early hours of Sunday. On-duty air defenses destroyed 11 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles over the Moscow, Tula, Kaluga and Bryansk regions," the statement reads.

Bryansk Region Governor Alexander Bogomaz said on Telegram that two drones had been shot down over the region.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said earlier that air defenses had thwarted a major drone attack on the capital, dowing unmanned aerial vehicles near the town of Naro-Fominsk and the Odintsovsky Urban District outside Moscow, as well as in another three neighboring regions.



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