A dust cloud from the desert could see ‘blood rain’ fall across the country as it mixes with incoming thunderstorms, forecasters have said.
Wednesday night brought heavy rainfall to most regions with a yellow warning for thunderstorms being issued by the Met Office.
The showers, lightning and strong winds could continue into the week as residual clouds and rain clearing past the southeast of England.
Wind and rain are expected across the northwest, edging towards Northern Ireland on Thursday evening, with some patches of rain in southern England.
It comes after Britons basked in the country’s hottest day of the year on Tuesday, after temperatures in the southeast peaked at 27.5C (81.5F).
Met Office meteorologist Richard Miles said: “There are some dust concentrations in the atmosphere above the UK at present which might well be washed out in the rain [on Wednesday night], but it’s likely to be relatively small amounts on the whole.”
“There’s a warning out for thunderstorms for the southeastern third of England tonight, and a squally cold front will bring wind and sometimes heavy rain to Northern Ireland and northwest Scotland this evening.
Red rain – known colloquially as blood rain could fall in part of the country as high concentrations of dust lifted from the Sahara Desert mixes with water droplets.
Proper blood rain, which actually appears red in colour, is relatively rare in the UK with the rainfall often being more orange or brown in colour.
Cars and windows may be covered in a thin layer of dust after the water has evaporated.
The rest of the week will see a band of rain moving across Northern Ireland and west Scotland before turning showery over the rest of the UK on Friday.
Saturday is seemingly mild with sunny spells to start, but rain spreading into northwestern areas, with showers expected in the southeast on Sunday.■
THE Federal Government is set to re-arraign the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, on an amended six-count of treasonable felony.
The amendment came on a day the trial Judge, Justice Binta Nyako fixed to hear an application Kanu filed to be released on bail, pending the determination of the charge against him.
A member of Kanu’s legal team, who craved anonymity, says the FG had in the amended charge, listed some lawyers representing the embattled IPOB leader, including Misters Ifeanyi Ejiofor and Maxwell Opara, as accomplices of the defendant.
It is gathered that the FG alleged that the said lawyers, were constantly in contact with Kanu after he jumped bail and fled the country.
Justice Binta Nyako had on April 8, struck out eight out of the 15-count treasonable felony FG preferred against Kanu.
Justice Nyako held that the charges were mere repetitions that did not disclose any offence that could be sustained by the proof of evidence before the court.
Scenes from the court showed Kanu, his lawyer Mike Ozekhome and supporters in triumphant celebration over the amendment.
FG had in the counts that were struck out, purported that Kanu had through his broadcasts, incited members of the public to not only stage a violent revolution but to attack police officers and also destroy public facilities in Lagos State.■
THIS is purposely to inform my esteemed readers that IPOB and MASSOB are pro-Biafran groups but are not exclusive in seeking the right to self-determination of the people of Biafra.
I want to inform every foreign embassies, emissaries, high commissions and diplomatic posts that the people of Biafra are not restricted to members of IPOB and MASSOB but these are Indigenous peoples domiciled in the old eastern region of Nigeria and suffered greatly a genocide between 1967-70.
This is specifically to appeal to the British High Commission in Nigeria on its decision to exclude Indigenous Biafrans from all asylum and human rights claims made in the UK.
As much as its decision is for those persons affiliated with IPOB and MASSOB, efforts must be made not to enforce the commission’s decision to non-members of these pro-Biafran groups.
Though it must be noted that the proscription of IPOB by the Nigerian government has an ongoing law suit filed by attorneys of the directorates of IPOB for the de-proscription of the pro-Biafran group as a terrorist sect.
I beg to question, on what ground is MASSOB also included in the exclusion for asylum in the UK?
The UK government must understand that Indigenous Biafrans are been targeted with violence including killings by the Nigerian security forces for seeking the right to self-determination as recognized by international laws and instruments.
Indigenous peoples rights are collective rights. In essence, they are vested in Indigenous individuals that organise themselves as peoples.
The international community clearly affirms that Indigenous people require recognition of their collective rights as peoples to enable them to enjoy human rights.
Also, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples articulates in its Article 1 & 2 that Indigenous peoples and individuals are: free and equal to all peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin and identity.
The British High Commission should understand that the right to self-determination in Nigeria is grossly abused by the Muhammadu Buhari led government as he openly disclosed in a press interview with Martin Dennise of Aljazeera in March 2016 in which he blatantly refused to watch the video clip of the shooting and killing of peaceful IPOB demonstrators which occurred in Aba, Abia State.
The UK government must accord to Indigenous Biafrans the same respect and human rights protection as accorded the people of Scotland seeking the same right to self-determination.■
THE armed wing of the Biafra Nations League [BNL], ‘Black Marine’ has denied responsibility for the killings of two oil workers during an attack on a military gunboat in Abana, a coastal area of the Bakassi Peninsula.
In the early hours of Tuesday, an attack was reported at the Abana Waterlines involving the armed freedom fighters and a gunboat on a joint military patrol of the Nigerian and Cameroonian security forces.
The attack reportedly took death casualty of a sailor and an oil worker, with scores injured.
The Black Marine were the suspected attackers linked to revenge as a commander of BNL was killed in his home located at the Idadeto area of the disputed peninsula by Cameroonian security forces.
A high rank member of BNL pleading anonymity to SUNBIGHT MEDIA, described the allegation as false, disassociating the group from the attack in the Gulf of Guinea.■
<SUNBIGHT>~Opinion~Nkwo~24th April,2022 @ 14:57 WAT
20 Years Today: Bakassi marks Cameroon takeover of Peninsula
Is 20 years today that a part of the Eastern end of the Gulf of Guinea, an oil rich Peninsula, was transferred to Cameroon after a tough fight , both armed and legal battle between Nigeria and Cameroun.
Today’s release by Cross River government that the old names of towns in Bakassi remains unchanged, confirms my broadcast few days ago when I gave reasons why we will not recognize those foreign names imposed on our territory, I also recalled many times we have pulled down Cameroonian billboards and flags from the Peninsula.
I’m happy, we are speaking for the people and the people are hearing us, no doubt BnL is carrying all Biafrans along in the liberation struggle.
As a freedom fighter without ethnic sentiments, I studied the issues, I had sympathy for the issue, I carried everyone along in the question for freedom. Today the history of the Peninsula is incomplete without mentioning me and without mentioning BnL, as I have seen already researchers placing me after Tony Ene Asuquo, the first Militant leader on the screenshot posted below, it shows that out efforts in liberating everyone is being counted, and I’m glad.
Our struggle is for everyone within the defunct eastern territory to get justice, and the only justice is a separate entity where easterners will govern themselves, we fight for everyone and that’s why we bring to the notice of the public issues affecting all our people especially in our areas of operations.
As a household group in the Peninsula today, we have raised consciousness of how people in the region are being intimidated by external Forces, and how the refugees on the Nigerian sides of Ikang wards are also facing torture by Nigerian security operatives whenever they protest, through our activities the long forgotten issue of Bakassi is still fresh in memories.
What many people do not know about the blockade of Biafra.
Recall that in 1975, at the end of the Biafran war, the both countries (Nigeria and Cameroon) led by Yakubu Gowon and late Banjamin Ahidjo went into an agreement known as ‘Maroua Accord’ which saw the defeat of Biafra as it’s main purpose, they had agreement on how to control the territory with defined boundary hence Cameroon was able to fulfill it’s task successfully in 1968 blockade by preventing Biafra troops from direct link to the outside world when they first raised their flag in Bakassi and blocked the entire Peninsula, this enable Nigerian Troops of ‘Operations Tiger Claw’ to disarm Biafra troops at Ikang-Cameroon borders, and Atimbo in Bakassi and Calabar respectively.
Later on when oil was discovered, Nigeria under the administration of Gen. Sani Abacha broke the ‘Maroua Declaration’ by deploying troops to reclaim the territory, it led to armed conflicts, and later the Cameroon government opted for legal battle and headed to the international court to defeat Nigeria.
The transfer of sovereignty was facilitated by Olusegun Obasanjo, and when that happened, natives of Bakassi decided to arm themselves, groups like Bakassi Freedom Fighters emerged, led by Tony Ene Asuquo who had mobilized Ijaw Militants to join forces with Bakassi Militants, Movements for emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) and Southern Cameroons People’s Organization (SCAPO) joined the fight, according to his second in command who briefed me months ago said Ene had two options, one option raised by SCAPO was for him to join the Ambazonians, second suggested to him was to proclaim a separate entity, and he opted for an independent Republic of Bakassi which lasted for weeks following his death due to fatal accident, his second in command who later took over from him is still alive, and has been a good mentor.
A lot of people do not know what the argument in court that favoured Cameroon actually was, In the case, Nigeria with its unprofessional lawyers relied solely on the 1960/61 referendum granted the Southern Cameroons to leave Eastern Nigeria, which Bakassi abstained from voting, and also the fact that the tribes have been part of Nigeria without making references or giving convincible reasons while the Peninsula should remain part of her, while Cameroon, very tactical with it’s legal gurus relied on the Anglo-German Treaty, a colonial treaty which fully placed Bakassi under Cameroon, the treaty also placed some Eastern tribes like the Ejagham, Boki and Usakedet under Cameroon (Southern Cameroons),
The treaty which Nigeria could not trash out in court, was technically dismissed by BnL when we made the ‘Ekukunela Declaration’ in Ikom in 2016 with copies circulated online, exposing the evil behind it, and why it is against the wishes of the people, most important points we raised on that resolution was that African territories were shared among European masters , and that indigenous tribes were never consulted about their rule, and so such treaty is an act of annexation of indigenous tribes territory.
And on the other hand, we have never respected even the maritime borders because we do not move To and Fro with international passports in the region , and that is how it will remain until we take capture the main maritime borders and stop the flow of oil which is the reason behind the ‘Greentree Agreement’ between Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Paul Biya.
It’s 20 years remembrance.
Princewill Richards, National Leader, Biafra Nations League, BnL. ■
IRAN has sent Israel “photos and maps of Israeli nuclear weapons stores” through a European mediator, an Iranian source said.
Al Jazeera quoted an unnamed source as saying: “Tehran had sent to Israel, through a European country, photos and maps of the Israeli nuclear weapons stores,” adding that “most of the pictures are terrestrial and not satellite.”
He pointed out that Tehran confirmed that it would target the stores and facilities if Israel decided to ignite a war with Iran, adding that Israel has previously changed the locations of its strategic warehouses, but the file sent by Tehran included the locations of the new stores.
On Monday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned that his country’s armed forces would “firmly” confront any move by Israel targeting the Iranian Republic.
“The Zionist entity must know if it seeks to normalise relations with the countries of the region, because our armed forces monitor every movement by it and in the event of taking any action against our people, our armed forces will target the centre of the Zionist entity, and disturb them,” he said.
Israeli media reported on Wednesday that while the negotiations aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and international powers have stalled, Israel is seeking to urge the White House to refrain from removing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from its terror list.■
ELON Musk has announced that he has secured $US46.5 billion ($63 billion) in funding for the purchase of Twitter, increasing pressure on the company’s board of directors to reach a deal.
Musk unveiled a bid to purchase the social networking site last week, offering $US54.20 per share, or almost $US43 billion in cash. His first statement did not specify how he planned to fund his purchase.
As reported on Thursday in papers filed with US securities authorities, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the money will come from Morgan Stanley and other banks, with part of it backed by his substantial stake in the electric vehicle manufacturer.
An official response from Musk has not been received by Twitter, which has implemented an anti-takeover mechanism known as a poison pill, which may make a takeover effort prohibitively costly.
On Thursday, the business said that it had received Musk’s modified proposal as well as “additional information on prospective finance,” and that its board of directors was “committed to undertaking a thoughtful, complete, and deliberate examination.”
Musk, who owns approximately 9% of Twitter’s stock, has indicated that he is considering a tender offer, in which he would attempt to persuade other shareholders to pledge their stock to him at a specific price on a specific date, bypassing the board of directors. Musk has previously stated that he is considering a tender offer.
In the event that a sufficient number of shareholders agree, Musk may use it as leverage to persuade the board of directors to remove the poison pill defense against his bid.
Musk, on the other hand, hasn’t determined whether or not to do so. The “poison pill” defence, which was accepted by Twitter’s board of directors last week, may render a takeover bid prohibitively costly. If someone were to purchase a 15% interest in the firm, it would result in a massive dividend distribution to shareholders, which may cause Twitter to go bankrupt.
Barclays, Bank of America, Societe Generale, Mizuho Bank, BNP Paribas, and MUFG are among the other financial institutions that have contributed to Musk’s finance. Morgan Stanley is one of Twitter’s largest stockholders, ranking third after Vanguard Group and Elon Musk in terms of value.
Musk’s documents state that $US13 billion in financing came from Morgan Stanley and other banks, that up to $US12.5 billion would be loans secured by his Tesla stock, and that he has committed $US21 billion in equity, “directly or indirectly,” from himself, though he did not specify where the funds would come from.
According to the filing, the equity commitment may be lowered as a result of contributions from others or the assumption of new debt.
According to Forbes, Musk is the world’s richest individual, having amassed a fortune of almost $US279 billion. Much of his wealth, though, is invested in Tesla shares — according to FactSet, he owns approximately 17 percent of the firm, which is valued at more than $US1 trillion — and SpaceX, his privately-owned space enterprise. It’s not known how much money Musk has on hand.
Tesla enables senior officers to use their company’s stock as collateral for loans, but the amount of money they may borrow is limited to 25 percent of the value of the stock pledged. Musk has 172.6 million shares, which are worth $US 176.47 billion, according to Forbes.
According to a Tesla proxy statement, a little more than 51 percent of his stock has already been pledged as a kind of collateral. That implies Musk could use the remaining share to borrow around $21.5 billion, which is a significant amount of money.
Musk’s recent step, according to Donna Hitscherich, a finance professor at Columbia University, demonstrates that he is “ratcheting up the seriousness of purpose” by lining up important institutions that may fund his bid for the company.
“If you’re looking for funding, they are the obvious suspects,” she said. “However, it is moving in the direction that he may be able to make good on his intentions if he goes ahead and launches the tender offer.”
Following the announcement of the funding, Twitter’s stock price jumped marginally to $US46.95 in late-afternoon trade on Thursday. The stock is now trading at $US7.25, which is 13% below Musk’s offer.
In the filings, it is stated that Musk “is attempting to negotiate a formal deal for the purchase of Twitter… and is willing to initiate such discussions immediately.” Tender offers are attempts to persuade other shareholders to commit their shares in exchange for cash at a certain price and on an established date.
In the event that a sufficient number of shareholders agree, Musk may use it as leverage to persuade the board to abandon the poison pill defense. Musk hinted at the prospect of a tender offer in a series of tweets this week that included the term “tender” many times.■
<SUNBIGHT>~Internet~Nkwo~22nd April 2022 @ 23:14 WAT~India Today
Responding to a Twitter user over the weekend, Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey said referred to the board as “consistently the dysfunction of the company”.
TWITTER co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey has finally opened up on Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter for $43 billion. Last week, the Tesla CEO proposed an offer to buy the microblogging site for $54.20 per share in cash.
The board of directors has issued a new “shareholder rights plan” to block Musk’s offer, which comes as a major setback to the billionaire’s efforts to take full control of Twitter.
Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO last year, handing over responsibilities to Parag Agrawal. Responding to a Twitter user over the weekend, Dorsey said referred to the board as “consistently the dysfunction of the company”. He remains a board member till next month with his 2.2 per cent share.
Dorsey also agreed with venture capitalist Gary Tan that a badly run board “can literally make a billion dollars in value disappear”. When another Twitter user asked him if he was allowed to speak publicly on the matter, he clearly said “No”.
Musk recently said, “with Jack departing, the Twitter board collectively owns almost no shares!” “Objectively, their economic interests are simply not aligned with shareholders,” he also said.
Last week, Musk proposed an offer to buy 100 per cent stake in Twitter for 43 billion, which is $54.20 per share. And all of it in cash. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk said, “My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”
He also said that the microblogging site has “extraordinary potential”, which he wants to unlock. Twitter’s board of directors later issued a new “shareholder rights plan” to block Musk’s offer.
Speaking at the TED 2022 conference in Vancouver last week, the Tesla CEO said he has plan B if Twitter doesn’t accept his offer. He hasn’t revealed details of his next move yet.■
ISRAEL Aerospace Industries (IAI) and India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully carried out test firings of the Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) Air and Missile Defense System.
During the missile tests, four successful interceptions were conducted in various scenarios at different ranges and angles. The trials were conducted at the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur, near the coast of the Indian state of Odisha in the presence of DRDO and IAI engineers.
As a part of the test, two interceptors were launched from a portable land-based system and two others from a naval-based system. The system’s radar successfully detected all four interceptors.
“This successful trial is another example of the strong connection and quality of the technological partnership between IAI and India,” President and CEO of IAI Boaz Levy said.
“The trial proved, once again, IAI’s advanced capabilities in air defense, which are leading the global industry,” Levy added.
The success of the trials is seen as a major source of relief for the Indian military, which has been engaged in a standoff with China at the northern border in the Himalayas for over two years now.
The MRSAM resembles the Israeli Barak-8 missiles, but it has been incorporated with multiple changes and adaptations to cater to the local needs of India.
DRDO had successfully handed a customized version of the MRSAM to the Indian Air Force last year.
Capable of 360-degree defense against aerial threats, MRSAM is capable of shooting down fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, and missiles.
The weapon system consists of a mobile launcher system, which can launch eight canisterized missiles, and a multi-function radar to track and monitor targets. The combat management system uses the information sent from the radar to calculate the distance of the target and launch an attack.
MRSAM has a range of up to 70 kilometers (43 miles) and a maximum speed of Mach 2 (1534 miles per hour).■
<SUNBIGHT>~Russia~Nkwo~22nd April 2022 @ 21:05 WAT~The Telegraph
VLADIMIR Putin on Wednesday night boasted that he had unleashed the first successful test of a new nuclear missile known as “Satan II”, which carries a dozen warheads and could be used to strike enemies around the world.
The “superheavy” 200-tonne intercontinental ballistic missile was a “present to Nato”, according to the Kremlin, and would make Moscow’s enemies “think twice”.
Putin’s sabre-rattling came at a moment of extreme geopolitical tension, coinciding with the first days of the next phase of Russia’s eight-week old war in Ukraine as its troops began their assault on the eastern Donbas region.
On Wednesday night, Boris Johnson said it was hard to see how Ukraine could negotiate with Putin at this point in the conflict, adding: “How can you negotiate with a crocodile when it’s got your leg in its jaws?”
The new missile, officially known as Sarmat, was launched from a silo in Plesetsk, in Russia’s northwest, and delivered training warheads to a test range 6,000km away in the Kamchatka peninsula.
Putin said on Russian television that it was “capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defence. It has no analogues in the world and won’t have for a long time to come”.
The Russian president added: “This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure Russia’s security from external threats and provide food for thought for those who, in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country.”
He has previously claimed the missile would be able to hit a target anywhere on Earth. It can be fired over either pole, creating difficulties for ground and satellite-based tracking systems.
In a statement, Russia’s defence ministry said: “Sarmat is the most powerful missile with the longest range of destruction of targets in the world, which will significantly increase the combat power of our country’s strategic nuclear forces.”
The missile reportedly has a range of 18,000km (11,000 miles) and can deliver between 10 and 15 nuclear warheads at hypersonic speeds.
“This is probably the most destructive single weapon on earth,” Ian Williams, a fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies think tank, told The Telegraph. He said it “could destroy 10 cities with one missile” as the warheads it carries can be “independently targeted”.
According to one military analyst, if it was based in Russia’s extreme west, it could reach London in as little as 13 minutes.
Putin emphasised that the missile was made using only Russian equipment and so would not be affected by sanctions. It will be deployed at the end of the year, according to Russian news agencies.
Igor Korotchenko, the editor in chief of Russia’s National Defence magazine, said it showed Moscow was capable of “crushing retribution that will put an end to the history of any country”.
But in Washington, Jim Townsend, a former deputy assistant secretary of defence, told The Telegraph: “It’s a sign of their frustration, a sign of their insecurity, more than a warning that this is going to be in our future.”
Julian Lewis, the chairman of Parliament’s intelligence and security committee, said: “Russia and the Western nuclear states have had the ability to annihilate each other ever since they acquired strategic nuclear bombers, followed by intercontinental ballistic missiles, over 60 years ago.
“Putin adding this new missile to his pre-existing ‘overkill’ capability makes absolutely no difference to the effectiveness of our Trident nuclear deterrent submarines.”
The Pentagon said it had been notified of the test launch in advance. US officials sought to calm the situation, saying they viewed the test as “routine” and not a threat to America.
Kremlin insiders were said to increasingly believe Putin could resort to a limited use of nuclear weapons after devastating military setbacks in Ukraine. Insiders and business figures indicated there was no sign of him reversing course and suggested he may escalate, according to Bloomberg.
At the Kremlin earlier, the Russian president had told a group of schoolchildren that he dreamed of bringing peace to Donbas. He said: “As I have said from the very beginning, the purpose of this operation is to help people living in the Donbas, our people living in the Donbas. Just like you.”
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson will have a street named after him in Ukraine in tribute to Britain’s contribution to the war effort. The council of Fontanka, near Odesa, said: “The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is one of the most principled opponents of the Russian invasion.”
In the devastated city of Mariupol, a Ukrainian commander in the besieged Azovstal steel plant issued a desperate plea for help, saying his marines were “maybe facing our last days, if not hours”.
Serhiy Volyna, from the 36th Separate Marine Brigade, said: “The enemy is outnumbering us 10 to one.”
Top finance officials from the UK, US and Canada walked out of a G20 meeting in Washington when the Russian representatives spoke.
The cyber security agencies of the UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – which form the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance – issued a joint warning about potential increased Russian cyber attacks.■