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Liberia Gets First Female Defense Minister Amidst Shakeups

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Liberia has, for the very first time, received a Woman as Minister of National Defense after President Joseph Joseph Nyumah Boakai, Sr. appointed Brigadier General Geraldine George (Retired).

General George, who was recently retired from the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) upon her appointment as Deputy Minister of Defense for Operations, was promptly promoted upon the resignation of Defense Minister Major General Prince Charles Johnson lll.

Brigadier General George was Deputy Chief Of Army Staff to Major General Prince Charles Johnson lll.

Major General Johnson resigned following major protest actions by wives of currently serving Liberian Soldiers, who demanded his resignation on grounds that he has neglected the welfare of Liberian soldiers.

According to the protesting wives, soldiers a left to live in squalid conditions in their barracks as General plays a deaf ear to their pleas for improved living conditions while he was Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia.

Upon his nomination by President Boakai as Minister of National Defense, the protest began and did not stop until he resigned late Monday evening.

Johnson’s resignation comes just days after wives of soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia staged road blockades and protests in the capital Monrovia and various parts of the country.

Johnson, in a statement says he is stepping down for the common good of the country and the institution he has served for the past 18 years. He wants to make sure discipline is instilled in the army and any allegation of him misusing funds is totally false.

Johnson’s resignation comes as the Boakai administration was forced to call off the annual Armed Forces Day celebration. The Proclamation of the day is in consonance with an Act of National Legislature of the Republic of Liberia, declaring the 11th day of February of each year as Armed Forces Day to be observed as a National Holiday.

On the eve of the day, President Joseph Boakai, issued a directive for a scaled-back observance.

The President’s call for reduced activities comes amidst ongoing protests from the wives and widows of Armed Forces personnel. They have urged President Boakai to reconsider his nomination of the former Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. (Retired) Prince C. Johnson III as Minister of Defense.

For the past two days, the women have carried out protests, blocking the main route leading to the country’s only international airport and other major routes.

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Iran launches attack on Israel in retaliation move

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Iran has launched an attack on Israel with drones and missiles.

The drones are expected to take several hours to reach Israel.

The attack is believed to be a retaliatory move following an April 1 attack reportedly carried out by Israel on the Iranian embassy in Syria, which killed seven Iranian military officers.

The attack will escalate the tension in the Middle East amid the ongoing war between Isreal and Hamas, which has recorded high casualty.

The United States had earlier warned that Iran could launch a major attack on Israel with more than 100 drones and dozens of missiles aimed at military targets inside the country.

The US State Department has issued a travel advisory to Americans in Israel not to move outside major cities in order to be protected by the Dome missile defense system.

While addressing the nation, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, said the country is ready for the attack and will respond accordingly.

“Citizens of Israel, in recent years, and even more so in recent weeks, Israel has been preparing for the possibility of a direct attack from Iran,” Netanyahu said.

“Our defense systems are deployed, and we are prepared for any scenario, both in defense and offense. The State of Israel is strong, the IDF is strong, the public is strong.”

Joe Biden, president of the United States, on Friday, said the country would defend Isreal in the event of an attack from Iran.

“We will support Israel; we will help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed,” Biden said.

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Watch the moment sun eclipsed in Dallas

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Nigerian United States-based couple in Dallas captures the moment of the total solar eclipse that crossed North America, passing over Mexico, the United States and Canada.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration had earlier announced that on Monday, a total solar eclipse would traverse North America, spanning across Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

Watch video here

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Time, path, duration… what to know about today’s solar eclipse

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Today, April 8, the moon will block the sun for approximately four minutes in a natural phenomenon known as a solar eclipse.

The expected eclipse is an experience many say will be one of the recent most spectacular celestial events.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said a total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth and, for a short time, completely blocks the face of the sun.

For residents of the United States, where some of the eclipse will be happening, it will particularly be a treat.

The last one was in August 2017 but an interval of seven years is unusual. The previous one before that took place in 1979, and the next one will be in 2044.

Here are some things to know about the solar eclipse.

WHY ARE ECLIPSES NOT FREQUENT?

There are different kinds of eclipses — solar, lunar, annular, partial, and hybrid.

Depending on how they align, they provide a unique, exciting view of either the sun or the moon.

While an eclipse season happens twice a year, a solar eclipse only happens occasionally, because the moon does not orbit in the same plane as the sun and earth do.

As such, people in the centre of the moon’s shadow will experience a total eclipse when it hits earth.

The sky will darken and if there is favourable weather, those located in the path of a total solar eclipse can see the sun’s corona, the outer atmosphere, which is otherwise usually obscured by the bright face of the sun.

WILL IT ONLY HAPPEN IN THE US?

Mexico’s Pacific coast is the first point of totality on the path, expected at 11:07 a.m. PT (19:07 p.m. local time) before the eclipse begins its journey across North America.

The total solar eclipse will be visible in parts of Mexico, Canada, and more than 10 US states, while a crescent-shaped partial eclipse is expected to appear in 49 other states — if the weather permits.

HOW TO VIEW SOLAR ECLIPSE

Except during the brief total phase when the moon shrouds the sun, solar viewing is not safe without specialised eye protection.

Those living in the path of totality have a front-row seat to the eclipse. However, people in a different zone can watch NASA’s live stream here.

Also, via NASA’s eclipse explorer, you can enter any US address or zip code to find out what will be visible from that location.

IMPACT ON THE PLANET (WEATHER CHANGES)

During a solar eclipse, sunlight wanes and stops heating the ground, leading to a cooling effect on the lower atmosphere. This cooling can impact various aspects of the weather, such as inducing thunderstorms in areas where it isn’t cloudy, affecting wind patterns, increasing relative humidity, and even causing clouds to dissipate, especially low-level cumulus clouds.

The eclipse’s influence on weather can be observed not only during the event but also in the aftermath, with changes in wind direction and speed being noted during and after eclipses.

HAS NIGERIA EVER EXPERIENCED A SOLAR ECLIPSE?

Nigeria has experienced a total solar eclipse in the past. The most recent total solar eclipse in Nigeria occurred on March 29, 2006, and lasted for about four minutes.

The eclipse was visible in parts of the country, including Benue, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa, and Oyo.

The next total solar eclipse in Nigeria is expected to occur in 2034.

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