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US Alleges Russia’s Deployment Of Chemical Weapons In Conflict With Ukraine

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The United States has leveled accusations against Russia, alleging violations of the global ban on chemical weapons in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

According to the US Department of State, Russia stands accused of deploying the choking agent chloropicrin against Ukrainian soldiers, alongside the use of riot control agents as a method of warfare.

The statement from the US Department of State on Wednesday highlighted concerns over the repeated use of such chemicals, suggesting a strategic motive to dislodge Ukrainian forces from fortified positions.

As a response, the US announced new sanctions against entities linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Chloropicrin, known for its severe irritant properties on the eyes, skin, and lungs, was reportedly used in significant quantities during World War I.

Russia has denied these allegations, maintaining its adherence to international law. However, pressure mounts for transparency regarding its alleged use of toxic chemicals.
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Gowon Lauds NIPR on National Cohesion

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Gowon Lauds NIPR on National Cohesion

…As Institute Partners SNECOU Group
Nigeria’s former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) has applauded the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) for its efforts in driving national unity and cohesion since its establishment in 1963.

 

The former Nigerian leader made the commendation while receiving a delegation of the Institute led by the President and Chairman of Council, Dr. Ike Neliaku who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Tuesday.

“I am happy for the efforts your Institute is making and the support you are rallying to make sure that people believe in Nigeria, which shows that Nigeria is not just a geographical expression as some people have assumed”, he noted.

Speaking further, Gen. Gowon said he desires a nation where everyone will work together like the NIPR to keep Nigeria together.

In the same vein, Sen. Nicholas Ukachukwu, Chairman of SNECOU Group, who earlier received the NIPR delegation in his Corporate Headquarters in Abuja, expressed satisfaction with the quality of the current leadership of the Institute since inauguration in August, 2023.

Sen. Ukachukwu, a real estate developer and investor said he was willing to partner with the NIPR on a number of projects, including construction of a befitting office complex for the Institute.

The NIPR President said the visit to former Head of State was part of his administration’s initiatives to engage critical stakeholders on issues of nation-building; while the engagement with SNECOU Group was in line with the Institute’s efforts towards fostering mutually beneficial relationship with the private sector.

He stated that the Institute’s forthcoming Diamond Anniversary scheduled to hold on 27th June, 2024, at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja will be a platform to celebrate outstanding Nigerians, who have contributed immensely to the success story of the country.

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Transition: Saraki’s Mother Dies At 89

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Madam Florence Morenike Saraki, mother of former Senate President Bukola Saraki is dead. She was 89 years old, according to reports.

It was learnt that the late Octogenarian went into a coma before she was rushed to an undisclosed hospital in Lagos State over age related ailment.

Several members of the Saraki dynasty who preferred not to be named confirmed the development to Newsmen in Ilọrin last night.

According to one of the sources, “The incident happened this evening when Mama went into a coma and was rushed to the hospital in Lagos state. She was later placed at an intensive care unit (ICU) before she died.

“Saraki was informed about it in Ilọrin and he left about two hours ago with his wife following the incident”, the source added.

The late Florence was the widow of Olusola Saraki, who was a Senator in the Second Nigerian Republic and political godfather in Kwara until his death in 2012.

Apart from Saraki, the late matriarch of the Saraki family who celebrated her 87th birthday in 2022, was survived by the former minister of state for transport, Gbemisola, Tope Saraki-Edu and Laolu.

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Dangote refinery enters Asian market, ships first low-sulfur oil to Singapore

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Dangote Refinery is set to send a shipment of low-sulfur straight-run fuel oil (LSSR) from Nigeria to Singapore this week, according to ship tracking data and market sources, making the first time breaking into the Asian market.

This shipment initiates a fresh trade route from the recently opened refinery to Asia, which consistently lacks the low-sulfur fuel oil needed for refueling ships at Singapore, the largest bunker hub globally.

The Dangote refinery, which began operations in January after a $20 billion investment, has the capacity to process up to 650,000 barrels of products per day. Once it reaches full capacity, it will be the largest refinery in Africa and Europe.

Since March, the Dangote refinery has increased its LSSR exports, predominantly sending cargo to the Americas and Europe, as reported by ship tracking data from Kpler and Vortexa.

The first shipment bound for Asia is due to arrive on Wednesday. The Glencore-chartered vessel, Front Brage, will deliver approximately 124,000 metric tons (787,400 barrels) of LSSR to Singapore.

Market sources suggest that the cargo was redirected to Asia due to weaker demand in Europe. Data from LSEG indicates that the east-west spread for front-month 0.5 percent LSFO, reflecting the price difference between these regions, stayed above $40 per ton this week.

Dangote’s LSSR cargoes are priced against Rotterdam’s 0.5 percent LSFO quotes on a free-on-board basis, although the specific pricing differential for this shipment was not disclosed by market sources.

Another LSSR shipment from the Dangote refinery, containing around 157,000 tons, is expected to reach Singapore in July aboard the vessel Stena Suede, based on ship tracking data.

LSSR is generally mixed with other fuels to create low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) for bunkering or used as feedstock in various refinery processes.

In February, Dangote started exporting oil products and began purchasing crude oil, mainly from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, in December 2023.

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