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British Home Secretary, Amber Rudd Resigns After Windrush Scandal |RN

Nicola Slawson

Video provided by Press Association

 

Amber Rudd has resigned as home secretary after repeatedly struggling to explain her role in the unjust treatment of Windrush generation migrants.

The home secretary had faced mounting pressure over her role in setting the culture and policies that led to long-term residents of Britain from Caribbean countries being denied healthcare, pensions and benefits and in some cases being threatened with deportation.

                     © Getty

Rudd had been due to appear before parliament on Monday to explain apparent discrepancies between her evidence to the home affairs select committee last week and a memo leaked to the Guardian that linked her to targets for removing migrants.

Challenged repeatedly about such targets by Labour MP Yvette Cooper at the home affairs select committee, Rudd had insisted: “That’s not how we operate.”

Downing Street sources said that in preparing for her Commons statement on Monday, new information had become available that convinced her she must resign. However, they continued to insist that the “ambition” for a 10% increase in removals mentioned in a separate leaked letter was not a formal target.

Rudd spoke to the prime minister by telephone on Sunday evening to tender her resignation.

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Labour said she was effectively acting as a “human shield” for May, whose policy when she was home secretary of creating a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants was blamed for causing the problems they now faced.

The Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, Sir Ed Davey, said: “It’s clear that Amber Rudd has ended up, at least partly, being the fall guy to protect the prime minister. Theresa May must face questions now, given these dreadful failures largely took place under her watch as home secretary.”

Amber Rudd has resigned after mounting pressure in recent days.Rudd’s departure will also upset the delicate balance within the cabinet between leavers and remainers ahead of a crucial meeting of the Brexit “war cabinet” on Wednesday to discuss Britain’s future customs relationship with the European Union.

The environment secretary, Michael Gove, one of the leading Brexiters in the cabinet, was being touted as the front-runner to replace her at the Home Office.

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, tweeted in reaction to Rudd’s resignation: “The campaign for justice on behalf of the Windrush generation is not just about political scalps.

© Getty

“At its heart, this crisis is about a system that was allowed to dehumanise and victimise Windrush British citizens. Amber Rudd resigned because she didn’t know what was going on in her own department and she had clearly lost the confidence of her own civil servants. The real issue is the hostile environment policy that caused this crisis in the first place.”

Anthony Bryan, 60, who has spent five weeks in immigration removal centres over the past two years, despite having lived in the UK for over half a century, was one of the first people interviewed in the Guardian last November about the Home Office’s behaviour towards him. He said he “nearly fell over” with shock when he heard the news of her resignation.

“It’s a shock. I feel like I helped bring down the home secretary. I wouldn’t say I am pleased; I feel sorry for her in a sense because it looks like she is taking the punishment for Theresa May,” he said.

But he acknowledged that Rudd had not handled things well in her answers on deportation targets. “Either she was lying or she didn’t know. I think she resigned because she didn’t want to face Monday.”

Amber Rudd has resigned after mounting pressure in recent days.               © Getty

Bryan was eight when he arrived in the UK, where he worked and paid taxes for more than four decades until he was told that was illegal and he had no right to work, welcomed the news as a sign that the Windrush scandal was finally being taken seriously.

Cardlin Johnson, whose brothers were both Windrush victims, said that the news was bittersweet. “Rudd had to go because of her performance and because of her denials of the targets,” she said.

“But we all know that Theresa May is the architect of that 2014 migration policy. I feel like it is one down, one to go. My personal opinion is Theresa May next. May should be looking over her shoulder now.”

But she added that she was concerned that the resignation could slow down the process of trying to get practical problems solved for the Windrush victims. “More than likely this will slow up compensation,” she said. “But that’s a question for later. People now just need to get the papers they need so they can get their life back on track.”  (The Guardian)

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Mass Killings: Catholic Bishops Ask President Buhari To Resign |RN

Rev. Augustine-Akubueze
                     Rev. Augustine Akubeze

Alexander Okere and Justin Tyopuusu

Amidst growing concerns about the recent killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the country, including two Catholic priests and 15 other worshippers in Benue State, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign.

The CBCN urged President Buhari to stop presiding “over the killing fields and mass graveyard” that the country had allegedly become and choose the part of honour by considering “stepping aside to save the nation from total collapse.”

The CBCN made the call in a communique signed by its President, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze, and Secretary, Most Rev. Camillus Umoh, and made available to The PUNCH on Thursday evening.

The bishops, in the communique, titled, “When will this barbarism end?” condemned the increasing attacks by the suspected herdsmen, whom they said had turned the country into a massive graveyard.

They also described the killing of the priests and 15 parishioners in the Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State on Tuesday as a dastardly act that was “carefully planned.”

The communique read in part, “That our two priests, Fr. Joseph Gor and Fr. Felix Tyolaha, along with their parishioners were waylaid in the course of the celebration of the Holy Mass early in the morning, suggests very clearly that their murder was carefully planned. This wicked act cannot be said to be a revenge attack (as is often claimed).

“Whom have these priests attacked? Indeed, we have just discovered that on January 3, this year, Fr. Gor tweeted, ‘We are living in fear. The Fulani are still around here in Mbalom (where they (priests) were killed). They refuse to go. They still go grazing around. No weapons to defend ourselves.’

“Their desperate cries for security and help went unheeded by those who should have heard them. They could have fled but, true to their vocation, they remained to continue to serve their God unto death.”

The communique continued, “We are sad. We are angry. We feel totally exposed and most vulnerable. Faced with these dark clouds of fear and anxiety, our people are daily being told by some to defend themselves.

“But defend themselves with what? The Federal Government, whose primary responsibility it is to protect lives, for its part alleges that those who ask the people to defend themselves are inciting them to take the laws into their own hands. But how can the Federal Government stand back while its security agencies deliberately turn a blind eye to the cries and wailings of helpless and harmless citizens who remain sitting ducks in their homes, farms, highway and now, even in sacred places of worship?”

The Catholic bishops lamented that in spite of several calls on the President in the last two years to reconfigure his security apparatus and strategy, “which the President has deliberately placed in the hands of the adherents of only one religion,” and the lack of confidence expressed by the CBCN in the security agencies, the bloodletting and destruction of homes and farmlands had increased “with intensity and brutality.”

They also noted that the rate of insecurity in Nigeria had become an embarrassment in the international community, as the Catholic body found it difficult to continue to give excuses about the continuous killings in the country, where “a nation’s landscape is littered with the bodies of its own citizens.

“We are sad and fear that the clock is ticking. The bomb must be defused quickly before it explodes,” the statement added.

It continued, “Since the President, who appointed the heads of the nation ’s security agencies has refused to caution them even in the face of the chaos and barbarity into which our country has been plunged, we are left with no choice but to conclude that they are acting a script that he approves of. If the President cannot keep our country safe, then he automatically loses the trust of the citizens.

“He should no longer continue to preside over the killing fields and mass graveyard that our country has become. Repeated calls from us and many other Nigerians on the President to take very drastic and urgent steps to reverse this ugly tragedy that threatens the foundation of our collective existence and unity as a nation have fallen on deaf ears.

“It is clear to the nation that he has failed in his primary duty of protecting the lives of the Nigerian citizens. Whether this failure is due to inability to perform or lack of political will, it is time for him to choose the part of honour and consider stepping aside to save the nation from total collapse.”

The bishops further advised Nigerians to be courageous and stand for their fundamental rights to life and security, even as it faulted the recent mop-up exercise by the Nigeria Police, “since those we pay to protect us have failed to do their duty.”

The statement added, “Government should encourage and empower citizens to secure themselves and their environments. This is not the time to disarm people with legally procured weapons of self-defence.

“These are not normal times since those we pay to protect us have failed to do their duty. Nigeria can return to normal times if we put our heads together with sincerity.” (Punch)

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Jacob Zuma, South African President, Resigns |The Republican News

Jacob-Zuma-SA-President
                     South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma

 

South Africa’s embattled President Jacob Zuma has resigned his office with immediate effect..

The BBC reports that Zuma made the announcement in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening.

Earlier, Zuma’s governing ANC party had told him to resign or face a vote of no confidence in parliament on Thursday.

The 75-year-old had been under increasing pressure to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s new leader.

Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, had been accused of corruption.

His resignation came at the end of a long speech in which he said he disagreed with the way the ANC had acted towards him.

He said he did not fear a motion of no confidence, adding, “I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability.”

Meanwhile, the governing African National Congress said it would elect Zuma successor’s on Thursday (today).

“We will possibly elect a new president on Thursday … if not Friday,” ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile told journalists.

“We want certainty. We would like the incoming president to hold the postponed State of the Nation address without delay.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the vote of no confidence, requested by the opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, was initially scheduled for February 22.

The ANC caucus in parliament decided to move the vote forward after it formally asked Zuma to resign on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said that Zuma would speak “at 0800 GMT and satellite trucks were in position at Pretoria’s Union Buildings, the seat of the country’s government.”

But Zuma’s office said there was no “official communication” of any impending address but urged the media to wait.

The Secretary-General of South Africa’s ANC said Zuma did not threaten to challenge his removal by the party in court as speculated by the local media.

The scribe of the ANC, Ace Magashule, had told a news conference that Zuma would respond by Wednesday on the decision to “recall” him.

“President Jacob Zuma has behaved like a leader of the ANC. He has never threatened us with any court action, not at all. He did in fact confirm that he would respond by tomorrow.”

The ANC ordered Zuma to step down as the head of state after marathon talks over the fate of a leader whose scandal-plagued years in power darkened and divided Nelson Mandela’s post-apartheid “Rainbow Nation.”

Leading members of the ANC want new party leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, to replace Zuma as president, Magashule told a news conference.

Zuma has been living on borrowed time since Ramaphosa, a union leader once tipped as Mandela’s pick to take over the reins, was elected as head of the 106-year-old ANC in December, narrowly defeating Zuma’s ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

In spite of the damning decision to order Zuma’s recall, the domestic media have speculated that the 75-year-old might defy the party’s wishes, forcing it into the indignity of having to unseat him in parliament. (Punch)

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Robert Mugabe Has Agreed To Resign, Drafts His Resignation Letter – CNN Says

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has agreed to stand down and his resignation letter has been drafted, CNN said on Monday, citing a source familiar with his negotiations with the generals who seized power in Harare last week.
Under the terms of the deal, Mugabe and his wife Grace would be granted full immunity, CNN said. Two senior government sources told Reuters late on Sunday that Mugabe had agreed to resign but did not know details of his departure.

(Source: Reuters)

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Calls For Buhari’s Resignation Are Wrong, Says Bode George

Bode-George

Chief Olabode George

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olabode George, on Thursday, faulted calls by some politicians on President Mohammed Buhari to resign over his ill-health.

He faulted the calls while speaking with some journalists in Lagos, describing them as wrong and inflammatory.

George said it was inhumane of anyone to pressure the president to step down from office just because he was having some health challenges.

The PDP chief pointed out that it was only the president and his managers who could decide when he was incapacitated, adding those making the calls are taking politics too far.

He said though he had always been in different camps with the president, he was always praying for his quick recovery,  urging all Nigerians, irrespective of political allegiance, to do the same.

He said, “You see, I don’t support the call by some people that the president should resign because of his health.

“Even though I have always been on different camps with the president, I do not think it is right for anybody to have evil thoughts towards him.

“He is ill and we can only wish him good health and pray for him; calling him to resign because of this is getting beyond politics. He is a human being and only God knows the appointed time for everyone.

“The holy book says we should always pray for people in authority; I think the president deserves everyone’s prayers, not comments that could even outrage some people and create unnecessary tension.”

NAN

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Embattled DNC Asks All Staffers For Resignation Letters

 

by ALEX SEITZ-WALD
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez speaks at a protest against President Donald Trump's new travel ban order in Lafayette Square outside the White House, Monday, March 6, 2017, in Washington.© AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez speaks at a protest against President Donald Trump’s new travel ban order in Lafayette Square outside the White House, Monday, March 6, 2017, in…  

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has launched a major reshuffling of the party’s organization that has been stung by recent crisis — and the DNC has requested the resignation letters of all current staffers be submitted by next month.

Party staff routinely see major turnover with a new boss and staffers were alerted earlier to expect such a move. However, the mass resignation letters will give Perez a chance to completely remake the DNC’s headquarters from scratch. Staffing had already reached unusual lows following a round of layoffs in December.

Immediately after Perez’ election in late February, an adviser to outgoing DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile, Leah Daughtry, asked every employee to submit a letter of resignation dated April 15, according to multiple sources familiar with the party’s internal working.

A committee advising Perez on his transition is now interviewing staff and others as part of a top-to-bottom review process to help decide not only who will stay and who will go, but how the party should be structured in the future.

Major staffing and structure changes will be announced in coming weeks, one aide said.

The DNC declined to comment for this story.

Perez is the party’s third leader in the past year, which was one of its most difficult on record.

It began with accusations of favoritism leveled by two presidential candidates, continued with the wrenching exposure of hacked emails and abrupt resignation of former chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, then concluded with the shocking defeat of its presidential nominee and a divisive race for the new chairman.

The DNC was also hit with charges that it favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary while it was supposed to remain neutral in the contest.

The experience, which followed years in which Democrats felt the Obama White House ignored the party, has left the DNC with a crisis of confidence and competence at a time Americans are turning away from political parties in general.

Now Perez, who spent most of his career in government and not politics, has to rebuild the party, take on President Donald Trump, tap into a unique moment of grassroots activism, and run and fund a partisan bureaucracy all at once.

“I wouldn’t wish that on anybody,” California Gov. Jerry Brown told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “I was the Democratic Party chairman in California — it’s a miserable job. So, Tom, too bad.”

Perez has spent his first weeks on the job in “active listening mode,” hearing from Democrats in Washington and in small group meetings across the country before making any big moves.

“What we’re trying to do is culture change,” he told NBC News between stops of a listening tour in Michigan Friday. “We’re repairing a plane at 20,000 feet. You can’t land the plane, shut it down, and close it until further notice.”

“If your goal is you have to please everyone then you end up pleasing no one,” he added.

It’s a whirlwind job that took Perez from being feted at a donor conference at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington Thursday night to playing Solitaire on his iPhone in row 31 on a Delta flight to Detroit shortly after dawn the next morning.

The DNC will embark on a national search to fill key positions, overseen by the 30-odd members Transition Advisory Committee, which could take some time to fill.

The committee, whose members were told they are not eligible for DNC jobs, is also reviewing the DNC’s contracts with vendors and consultants, a source of complaints from many Democrats.

Progressives criticized the committee’s initial makeup, leading the DNC add several more members from their ranks.

The DNC also needs to sort out roles for its five vice chairs, with whom Perez spent a Friday retreat white-boarding, and Deputy Chair Keith Ellison, Perez’ rival-cum-partner.

Earlier this month, Perez held a meeting to discuss the issue with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sanders, both of whom supported Ellison in the DNC chair race, along with Ellison, Sanders aides Jeff Weaver and Larry Cohen, and others.

Schumer, pointing to Ellison and Sanders, told Perez, “If he’s happy, and if he’s happy, then I’m happy,” according to two sources.

Perez has included Ellison in many of the DNC’s public event so far, but the party’s charter makes no provision for a deputy chair, so Ellison does not actually have vote on the DNC. That could be fixed by naming the Minnesota congressman to one of the 75 slots the chairman gets to appoint to the national committee.

Ellison’s political director has also been helping to oversee staffing decisions in some key departments in the DNC, according to several sources.                                                                        (NBC News)

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