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Five US soldiers killed after aircraft crashes over Mediterranean sea during training



The United States European Command (EUCOM), one of the 11 unified combatant commands of the US military, says it has lost five service members in an air crash.

EUCOM confirmed the accident in a statement on Sunday, saying the service members died after their military aircraft “suffered a mishap” and crashed over the eastern Mediterranean Sea on Saturday morning during a routine training mission.

The military officials said the aircraft search and rescue efforts began immediately.

All five service members on board the aircraft were determined to have died.

The statement added that an investigation into the crash is underway, though military officials say there are no indications of any hostile activity involved.

“Our service members put their lives on the line for our country every day,” President Joe Biden said.

“They willingly take risks to keep the American people safe and secure. And their daily bravery and selflessness is an enduring testament to what is best in our nation.

“Jill and I are praying for the families and friends who have lost a precious loved one—a piece of their soul.

“Our entire nation shares their grief. And, during this weekend when we pause to honor our nation’s veterans, we once more affirm the sacred obligation we bear to those who volunteer to serve our nation as well as their families, caregivers, and survivors. We pray for the families of all our fallen warriors today and every day.”

Identities of the victims would not be released until 24 hours after their families are notified, EUCOM said.


Biden introduces Zelenskyy as ‘Putin’, calls Kamala Harris ‘Trump’ at NATO summit




US President Joe Biden referred to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as “President Putin” during the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) summit in Washington DC.

During a separate event at the summit, Biden verbally slipped again, referring to US Vice-President Kamala Harris as “Vice-President Trump”.

“Look, I wouldn’t have picked Vice-President Trump to be vice-president if she is not qualified to be president,” Biden said.

He did not correct himself afterwards.

The gaffes come as some leaders of the Democratic Party pile pressure on Biden to quit the presidential race.

Some House Democrats have gone public with their reservations about Biden remaining at the top of their party’s ticket, citing a potential ripple effect on down ballot races.

There have been heightened concerns from within the Democratic Party over Biden’s mental alertness and age since his halting debate performance against Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, on June 28.

During the debate, Biden stuttered, delivered slurred ripostes to Trump’s jibes, left his mouth hanging open on occasion, and mangled his talking points.

Biden, 81, blamed a cold and jet lag for his feeble debate performance afterwards.

Some fundraisers and donors have also called on Biden to drop out of the race, amid reports that an expert on Parkinson’s has made visits to the White House in the last year.

Presidency officials have repeatedly swatted posers that Biden is dealing with a neurological ailment.

George Clooney, Hollywood actor and prominent Democratic fundraiser, implored Biden to drop out of the presidential race in an opinion piece in the New York Times.

“This is about age. Nothing more. We are not going to win in November with this president,” Clooney wrote.

The actor’s comments arrived after Nancy Pelosi, former house speaker, said time was “running short” on Biden to decide whether to stay in the race or not.

Biden has insisted that he would remain in the race. On Thursday, a defiant Biden told White House correspondents that he is in the best mental and physical shape to last the distance and defeat Trump in November.

“If I slow down and can’t get the job done, that’s a sign I shouldn’t be doing it,” Biden said.

“But there’s no indication of that yet.”

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Kenya youths demand Ruto’s resignation, mull fresh protest




Young Kenyans on Friday dismissed President William Ruto’s decision to sack most of his cabinet, with some warning that they would resume street protests unless he steps down.

Ruto has been scrambling to contain the fallout of deadly protests against proposed tax hikes after last month’s peaceful rallies descended into violence and tapped into widespread anger against his government.

Organised online and led largely by young, Gen-Z Kenyans, the protests have plunged Ruto’s administration into the most serious crisis of his two-year presidency, forcing him to abandon the finance bill containing the tax hikes.

In the latest move to defuse tensions, Ruto on Thursday dismissed all cabinet ministers including the attorney-general, with the exception of Foreign Minister Musalia Mudavadi and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

But the announcement, while welcomed by some, did not appease some young Kenyans frustrated with Ruto’s failure to deliver on his 2022 election promise to create jobs and boost their fortunes.

Hyrence Mwangi, 25, said: “We will be back on the streets until Ruto goes. He has wasted two years in office travelling and telling lies.”

Initially peaceful, the protests sharply escalated when police fired at crowds who stormed parliament, ransacking the partly ablaze complex.

While large-scale street protests have subsided, anger against the government has not, particularly towards the police, with rights groups saying that 39 people were killed in the demonstrations.

“When we first went to the streets, Ruto dismissed us as a bunch of hired goons and criminals, only to come later and start saying he will make changes,” said 27-year-old Jackson Rotich.

“We can’t trust him.”

Law student Melisa Agufana, 24, said she wanted to “thank the president for listening”, adding that ministers had “wasted two years doing nothing apart from being driven around with our national flag.”

Analysts said the move offered the possibility of a fresh start but warned of further risks.

“The challenge that Ruto now faces is forming a new cabinet that includes various vested interests, whilst simultaneously calming popular anger”, Gabrielle Lynch, professor of comparative politics at the University of Warwick, told AFP.

Last week, Ruto announced sharp cuts to government spending, including travel and refurbishment costs, and said he would increase borrowing to pay for some services even as Kenya grapples with massive foreign debt equivalent to roughly 70 percent of GDP.

The crisis led US-based Moody’s to downgrade Kenya’s debt rating further into junk territory, warning of a negative outlook, which will make borrowing even more expensive for the cash-strapped government.

Ruto said Thursday that he would “immediately engage in extensive consultations across different sectors and political formations, with the aim of setting up a broad-based government”, without elaborating further.

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George Clooney implores Biden to quit presidential race




George Clooney, Hollywood actor and prominent Democratic fundraiser, has implored US President Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race.

Clooney made the call in a New York Times opinion piece published on Wednesday and titled: ‘I love Joe Biden. But we need a new nominee’.

The request also comes just weeks after the producer headlined a major fundraiser for Biden’s re-election campaign.

Concerns about Biden’s re-election bid heightened after his shaky debate performance against Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party.

Biden, 81, blamed a cold and jet lag for his feeble performance.

A slew of Democrats have however privately and publicly expressed fears that their party could lose the White House with Biden at the top of the ticket.

“I love Joe Biden. As a senator. As a vice president and as president. I consider him a friend, and I believe in him. Believe in his character. Believe in his morals,” Clooney wrote.

The actor said the Biden he saw during the June 15 fundraiser, which also included former President Barack Obama, “was not the Joe big F-ing deal Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020″.

The Hollywood star said Biden has won many battles in the last four years but “the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time”.

“He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate,” Clooney opined.

“Our party leaders need to stop telling us that 51 million people didn’t see what we just saw.

“This is about age. Nothing more. We are not going to win in November with this president.”

Clooney added that his concerns matched those of “every member of congress” he has spoken with.

The actor’s comments also come after Nancy Pelosi, former house speaker, said time was “running short” for Biden to decide whether to stay in the race or not.

But the president has repeatedly said he is confident of beating Trump and would remain in the race.

“I don’t walk as easily as I used to, I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to, and I don’t debate as well as I used to. But what I do know is how to tell the truth,” Biden told a cheering crowd after the debate.

The US president acknowledged that age affected his fluency during the debate but insisted that he “could do the job”.

The White House said the reasons Biden cited were not excuses but provided context for the situation.

The presidency also added that Biden is “clear-eyed” and would stay in the race.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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