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Brian Mulroney, former Canadian PM, dies at 84

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Brian Mulroney, the former Canadian prime minister, is dead. He was 84.

Mulroney’s death was announced by Caroline, his daughter, on her X account on Thursday.

She said the 18th Canadian prime minister died “peacefully, surrounded by family”.

“On behalf of my mother and our family, it is with great sadness we announce the passing of my father, The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, Canada’s 18th Prime Minister,” the post reads.

Justin Trudeau, the incumbent prime minister, described Mulroney as “generous, tireless, and incredibly passionate”.

He also praised Mulroney’s role in “building the modern, dynamic, and prosperous country we all know today”.

“Brian Mulroney loved Canada. I’m devastated to learn of his passing. He never stopped working for Canadians, and he always sought to make this country an even better place to call home,” Trudeau wrote.

“I’ll never forget the insights he shared with me over the years – he was generous, tireless, and incredibly passionate. As we mourn his passing and keep his family and friends in our thoughts, let us also acknowledge – and celebrate – Mr. Mulroney’s role in building the modern, dynamic, and prosperous country we all know today.”

Mulroney was the prime minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993. He won an overwhelming election victory with his Progressive Conservative Party in 1984.

One of his achievements was the negotiation of the North American free trade agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, the US and Canada, which came into force in 1994.

He also strengthened relations with the US and campaigned against apartheid in South Africa.

However, he fell out of favour during his second term in office because of the ongoing recession, high unemployment, the introduction of new taxes and the failure of a constitutional reform.

The reform was aimed at integrating the predominantly French-speaking province of Quebec more closely into the federation with more rights.

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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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