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Pope leads 1.2bn Catholics to work ‘with determination’ against death penalty

Pope Francis has declared the death penalty wrong in all cases, a definitive change in church teaching that is likely to challenge Catholic politicians, judges and officials who have argued that their church was not entirely opposed to capital punishment

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Pope Francis has declared the death penalty wrong in all cases, a definitive change in church teaching that is likely to challenge Catholic politicians, judges and officials who have argued that their church was not entirely opposed to capital punishment.

Before, church doctrine accepted the death penalty if it was “the only practicable way” to defend lives, an opening that some Catholics took as license to support capital punishment in many cases.

Read Also: Last to abolish slavery, Mauritania still hunts anti-slavery activists

But Francis said executions were unacceptable in all cases because they are “an attack” on human dignity, the Vatican announced on Thursday, adding that the church would work “with determination” to abolish capital punishment worldwide.

Francis made the change to the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, the book of doctrine that is taught to Catholic children worldwide and studied by adults in a church with 1.2 billion members. Abolishing the death penalty has long been one of his top priorities, along with saving the environment and caring for immigrants and refugees.

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President Tinubu renames Nigeria’s National Theatre after Nobel Laureate Soyinka

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The Nigerian National Arts Theatre has been renamed after the country’s only Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

President Bola Tinubu who made the announcement on Friday in a tribute he wrote to celebrate Soyinka birthday on July 13th said the foremost playwright was a national treasure that should be celebrated.

In the tribute titled, “Professor Wole Soyinka at 90: Tribute to a national treasure and global icon,” Tinubu expressed his delight to “join admirers around the world in celebrating Soyinka,” adding that “July 13 would be the climax of the series of local and international activities held in his honour.”

“Professor Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986, deserves all the accolades as he marks the milestone of 90 years on earth,” Tinubu said.

“Having beaten prostate cancer, this milestone is a fitting testament to his ruggedness as a person and the significance of his work.

“It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us. I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.”

Tinubu also stated that Nigeria not only celebrates Soyinka’s remarkable literary achievements, but also his unwavering dedication to the values of human dignity and justice.

“When he turned 80, I struggled to find words to encapsulate his achievements because they were simply too vast. Since then, he has added to his corpus with his series of Interventions, which have been published in many volumes.

Professor Soyinka is a colossus, a true renaissance person blessed with innumerable talents. He is a playwright, actor, poet, human rights and political activist, composer, and singer.

“He is a giant best riding not just the literary world but our nation, Africa, and the world,” the Nigerian President said.

The President further stated that Prof. Soyinka is one Nigerian whose influence transcends the Nigerian space and who inspires people around the world.

“Beginning from his 20s, he took personal risks for the sake of our nation. His courage was evident when he attempted to broker peace at the start of the civil war in 1967. Detained for two years for his bravery, he narrated his experience in his prison memoir, ‘The Man Died.’

“Despite deprivation and solitary confinement, his resolve to speak truth to power and fight for the marginalised was further strengthened.

“Our paths crossed during our struggle for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election,” Tinubu stated.

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Ghanaian woman sets Guinness World Record for ‘Most Cars Washed’ in 8 Hours by an individual

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The Guinness World Records (GWR) has officially confirmed a Ghanaian woman, Felicity Asantewaa, as the record holder for “Most Cars Washed” in eight hours by a single individual.

The official confirmation from the GWR came in a statement posted on its highlighting Asantewaa’s “remarkable achievement” which took place on March 9, at the Executive Club in East Legon, Accra.

According to GWR, during Asantewaa’s record-breaking attempt, she successfully washed 60 cars within the eight-hour period, breaking the previous record by five cars.

The GWR statement reads:

“The most cars washed in eight hours by an individual is 60 and was achieved by Felicity Asantewaa (Ghana) in Accra, Ghana, on 9 March 2024. Felicity broke the record by 5.

“Her determination and efficiency in washing 60 cars in such a short time frame have earned her a well-deserved spot in the Guinness World Records and put Ghana on the map for such remarkable accomplishments.

“This achievement becomes a source of pride for Felicity who is known as a car enthusiast.”

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