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UK Sends Warship Through Taiwan Strait

UK sends warship through Taiwan strait for first time in more than a decade

Britain sent a warship through the Taiwan strait on Monday for the first time since 2008, a move that challenges Beijing’s claim to the sensitive waterway and marks a rare voyage by a non-US military vessel.

HMS Richmond, a frigate deployed with Britain’s aircraft carrier strike group, sailed through the strait on a trip from Japan to Vietnam, Britain’s defence ministry said.

“Wherever the Royal Navy operate, they do so in full compliance with international law,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The UK has a range of enduring security interests in the Indo-Pacific and many important bilateral defence relationships, this deployment is a sign of our commitment to regional security,” it added.

Britain said it was the first time one of its warships had travelled through the narrow waterway separating Taiwan and mainland China since 2008, when HMS Kent made the voyage.

US warships regularly conduct “freedom of navigation” exercises in the strait and trigger angry responses from Beijing, which claims Taiwan and surrounding waters – and almost all of the South China Sea.

The US and most other countries view those areas as international waters that should be open to all vessels.

China’s initial response to the British warship’s passage was muted on Monday.

“We hope the relevant countries can do more to build mutual trust between countries and uphold peace and security in the region,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters.

Until recently, Washington was the main global power willing to sail through the Taiwan Strait.

But a growing number of US allies have transited the route as Beijing intensifies its military threats towards Taiwan and solidifies its control over the disputed South China Sea.

Canadian, French and Australian warships have all made voyages through the Taiwan Strait in recent years, sparking protests from China.

A Royal Navy survey ship, HMS Enterprise, transited through the strait in 2019 but it was not a warship.

Taiwan’s defence minister Chiu Kuo-cheng confirmed to reporters that a foreign vessel had sailed through the waterway but did not state which country it was from.

Taiwan’s 23 million people live under constant threat of invasion by authoritarian China, which has vowed to seize the island one day – by force if necessary.

Beijing has stepped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, who views the island as “already independent”.

Last year, Chinese military jets made a record 380 incursions into Taiwan’s defence zone, and the number of incursions for the first eight months of this year has already exceeded 400.

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MFM Varsity Name Founder, Olukoya Professor

The General Overseer of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Dr Daniel Olukoya, has been appointed by Mountain Top University, MTU as a professor of Biotechnology.

In a statement on Wednesday, the university said that the  appointment of Olukoya, who is also the university’s Chancellor, was a result of the positive consideration shown by a relevant review by the council and the assessments of his publications by some of the world’s best scholars in biotechnology.

The statement read, “This is the result of the positive consideration given by relevant review committees and the Council of the University following the assessments of his publications by some of the world’s best scholars in Biotechnology, each of whom found him to be eminently appointable as Professor of Biotechnology.

“It needs to be underscored that this appointment is indeed well-deserved by Prof. D. K. Olukoya, who is an epitome of all-around excellence.

“He also engaged himself as a distinguished researcher and exceptional geneticist at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research between 1984 and 1998, during which he produced more than 70 scientific publications in the best local and international journals in the area of Microbiology and Biotechnology.

“He has also been cited more than a thousand times by scholars across the world.

“Not only has the new Professor of Biotechnology cut a niche for himself among eminent scholars in Microbiology and Biotechnology across the world, he has equally supervised many postgraduate students and continues to serve as a mentor and motivator to many Nigerian Microbiologists and Biotechnologists, many of whom have risen to professorial cadres in universities in and outside Nigeria.”

The statement added that Olukoya was severally offered the position in the 1990s by many universities, saying he chose to pursue his ministerial calling as directed by God.

 

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INEC Says 132, 626 Voters Cards Uncollected In Anambra

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that 132,626 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) are yet to be collected in Anambra State.

The commission added that it has relocated six local government area collection centres in the state, as a result of the insecurity ravaging most parts of the country.

The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Queen Elizabeth Agwu, stated this on Wednesday, during a meeting with stakeholders at the state headquarters of the commission.

Agwu who addressed all the political parties representatives, traditional rulers and civil society groups said the local government areas where the relocation of collation centres took place include Ihiala, Nnewi South, Onitsha North, Orumba North, Awka North and Awka South.

She said:“The collection of PVCs has been extended to Saturdays and Sundays in Anambra State.

“We need enough security to carry out this function. If people fail to collect their PVC, they will be shortchanging themselves, and doing a disservice to the people of their area.

“The 2023 general elections will be free, fair and credible, not only in Anambra State but the entire country. We have done the necessary work, and we hope to deliver.”

She gave a breakdown of the figures of uncollected PVCs in most local government areas as follows:

Ayamelum – 1,960; Dunukofia – 6,222; Idemili South – 4’589; Anaocha – 885; Orumba South -6,656; Onitsha South – 12,274; Idemili North – 16,256; Aguata – 12675; Njikoka – 7,009; Ogbaru – 10,755 and Anambra East – 7,717.

Others are Nnewi South – 1,841; Awka North – 1,153; Anambra West – 1,387; Orumba North – 2,393; Oyi – 7,982; Onitsha North – 9,990; Ihiala – 4,058; Nnewi North – 8,700; Ekwusigo – 3,350 and Awka South – 4,971.

 

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Osun LP Guber Candidate, Lasun Rejoins PDP

Yusuf Lasun, a former deputy speaker of the house of representatives, has rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke made the announcement on Wednesday at the PDP presidential rally in Osogbo, the Osun capital.

“The former deputy speaker has joined the PDP family. He used to be in PDP, but today, he has decided to come and join the PDP family,” the governor said.

Lasun, who was present at the rally, hailed supporters after a terse remark.

Lasun had contested the 2022 governorship election in Osun on the platform of the Labour Party (LP).

Adeleke came first in the election; Gboyega Oyetola of the APC placed second; Kehinde Atanda of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) came third; while Lasun came a distant fourth.

He was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until February when he resigned from the party after losing the party’s governorship ticket.

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