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President Biden bars Mali, Burkina Faso and others from US-Africa summit

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United States President Joe Biden has barred Mali, Burkina Faso, Sudan and Guinea from attending the US-Africa Leaders Summit slated for 13 – 15 December, 2022.

This was made known by the White House National Security Council, adding that the four African countries have been suspended by African Union (AU) due to coups d’etat staged.

A US official who revealed this said, “Currently four countries – Burkina Faso, Guinea, Sudan and Mali – are suspended by the AU and were not invited.”

He further stated, “President Biden invited all sub-Saharan and North African governments that have not been suspended by the African Union, and states the US Government recognises and states which we exchange ambassadors.”

While Zimbabwe has been invited for the first time, its president cannot attend because of travel restrictions, according to Today News Africa.

The United States will host 49 African heads of state, and the African Union envoy, in Washington for a three-day summit.

It is the second such summit under Biden’s administration, with the inaugural one hosted around the same time last year.

The summit will ride on the advantage that the Russia-Africa version is not forthcoming as Russia is engaged in war with Ukraine.

The US and Russia perceive each other as competitors in their approach to Africa and the war in Ukraine has given the floor to the former.

The US Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs’ deputy assistant secretary, Robert Scott, and the special assistant to the president and National Security Council senior advisor for the US-Africa Leaders Summit, Dana Banks, spoke to a group of African journalists about the upcoming summit.

Banks said, “The summit reflects the US strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa, which really emphasises the critical importance of the region in meeting this era’s defining challenges.”

“Africa’s voting patterns at the UN General Assembly on the war in Ukraine were an indicator of the continent’s interests,” she added.

“Africa is a key geopolitical player, one that is shaping our present and will shape our future.”

“We do have plans to incorporate members of their civil societies and their communities in the dialogue and in the conversation in the civil society forum and perhaps in some other engagements that are planned,” Banks said.

According to Scott, there will be a series of forums – an African and Diaspora Young Leaders forum; a civil society forum; a peace, security and governance forum – on the first day.

“There will be discussions on climate, as well as on health,” Scott said.

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Apple is threatening to remove Twitter from App Store for no reason – Elon Musk raises alarm

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Elon Musk, owner and chief executive officer of Twitter, has accused Apple of threatening to remove the microblogging app from its Store.

Musk said this in a tweet on Monday evening.

His allegation comes amid social media discussions on the possibility of Apple and Google kicking off Twitter from their app stores over content moderation issues.

“Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why,” the tweet reads.

Musk also replied “yes” to a user question on whether Apple was threatening Twitter’s presence in the App Store or making moderation demands.

In another tweet, the billionaire said that Apple had cut back on its advertising on the platform.

“Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?” he tweeted.

He then tagged Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer, asking, “What’s going on here?”

Musk went on to publish a poll asking if Apple should “publish all censorship actions” taken that impact customers and he began retweeting content from companies that Apple has had discussions with on moderation.

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US extends drop box eligibility period for non-immigrant visa renewals in Nigeria

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The United States has extended the eligibility period for drop box or interview waiver for non-immigrant visa renewals in Nigeria.

The waiver, which began in March, had an eligibility period of 24 months.

In a statement on Friday, the US embassy said the eligibility period has now been extended to 48 months.

Non-immigrants whose US visas expired within the last 48 months or will expire in the next three months may now qualify to renew their visas without an interview.

“The US mission is also opening thousands of visa renewal appointments to assist applicants who wish to renew their visas,” the statement reads.

To be eligible for a no-interview visa renewal, your application must for a B1/B2, F, M, J (academic only), H, L or C1/D (combined only) visa.

You must also meet the following criteria:

Your previous visa was issued in Nigeria
Your previous visa is in the same classification as your current application


Your previous visa was a full validity, multiple entry visa

Your previous visa expired within the last 48 months or will expire in the next 3 months from the date of application

You have all your passports covering the entire period since receiving the previous visa and the passport with the most recent visa

You have never been arrested or convicted of any crime or offence in the US, even if you later received a waiver or pardon
You have never worked without authorisation or remained beyond your permitted time in the US
“Please note that processing times for the program are expected to be up to two months and you will not be able to retrieve your passport during that time,” the statement reads.

“Each applicant must individually meet the criteria; minors can apply without an interview only if they meet the eligibility criteria on their own.”

The embassy warned against dubious entities seeking to scam unsuspecting persons with false visa offers, and advised applicants to fill out forms themselves via the official websites.

Qualified candidates can visit https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng to start their application, while further information is available at https://ng.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/.

“As future opportunities for interview waiver appointments become available, they will be communicated via our website,” the statement reads.

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Police arrests Malawi’s vice-president, Saulos Chilima over $280,000 bribery allegation

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Saulos Chilima, vice-president of Malawi, has been arrested over allegations of corruption.

The country’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) announced the development in a statement on Friday.

Egrita Ndala, ACB’s spokesperson, said the arrest was over allegations that the vice-president received $280,000 in exchange for awarding government contracts to Zuneth Sattar, a British-Malawian businessman.

ACB had, in June, submitted a report to Lazarus Chakwera, Malawi’s president, detailing allegations of bribery against public officers, including Chilima, in connection to dealings with Sattar.

In response, Chakwera stripped the vice-president of all delegated powers after the ACB report.

“I have decided to withdraw all delegated functions from vice president Saulos Chilima,” Malawi’s president said.

Chilima said he would not interfere with the investigations but would challenge his implication within legal means.

Speaking on his arrest, the ACB spokesperson said the vice-president would be charged to court on three counts of corruption.

“On 25th November, 2022, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, vice president of the Republic of Malawi on allegation that between March 2021 and October 2021, he received advantage in form of money amounting to USD 280,000 and other items from Zuneth Sattar as a reward for Dr. Chilima to assist Xaviar Limited and Malachite FZE, which are companies connected to Zuneth Sattar to be awarded contracts by the Malawi government,” the statement reads.

“Dr. Chilima will be taken to court where he is expected to be charged as follows:

“Three counts of corrupt practices by a public officer contrary to section 24(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act as read with section 34 of the Corrupt Practices Act.

“Two counts of receiving advantage for using influence in regard to contracts contrary to section 29 (1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices Act as read with section 34 of the Corrupt Practices Act.

“One count of failing to make a full report to a police officer or an officer of the bureau that an advantage had been corruptly given contrary to section 36 (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.”

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