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PUBLIC HEALTH: US assures commitment to Africa, signs Memorandum of Cooperation with African Union

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The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to expand a public health partnership between the United States and the African Union at the State Department.

Blinken and Chairperson Faki Mahamat met in Washington Friday as part of the Eighth US – African Union Commission High Level Dialogue and to reinforce President Biden’s commitment to Africa.

While previewing the dialogue, an official of the United State government, Ned Price in a video made available on Twitter on the official US government handle said “The United States has an unwavering and longstanding commitment to Africa. We are proud of our partnership with the Commission and the people and government…”

 

In their meeting the two dignitaries will discuss working together and through multilateral institutions like the African Union and the United Nations to face today’s global challenges.

Blinken said the US – AU partnership is vital to advancing global health security and combating COVID-19, strengthening democracy and human rights, security, climate change and building a strong and inclusive global economy.

Blinken said he looks forward to working with the AU chairperson to strengthen this partnership.

“The memorandum of cooperation that we are about to sign supports the AU’s call for a new public health order for Africa,” he said.

“If we can do that together and I’m convinced that we can, we will have, I think, demonstrated the force of this partnership.”

Musings From Abroad

‘Trapped in Closet’: American singer, R Kelly, sentenced to 30 years in prison for racketeering, sexual abuses

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American singer, Robert Sylvester Kelly, popular known as R. Kelly is now officially “trapped in the closet” of his ugly past as he has been sentenced to 30 years in prison over charges of racketeering and traping teenagers and women for sex.

The presiding judge, Ann Donnelly slammed the singer the term in the Brooklyn federal court nearly a year after the 55-year-old Kelly was convicted by a New York jury.

The was sentence confirmed was confirmed by the the US attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York said in a tweet on Wednesday. “The verdict is in: R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years,”

The District had earlier tweeted that the “United States Attorney Breon Peace will deliver remarks today following the sentencing of R. Kelly”

The prosecutors argued that Kelly still “poses a serious danger to the public, ” and prayed that the artist behind bars for at least 25 years.

Although the disgraced singer lawyers called for a lighter sentence with a maximum of approximately 17 years, R. Kelly was found guilty on all nine charges he faced, including the most serious of racketeering in September.

“His actions were brazen, manipulative, controlling, and coercive. He has shown no remorse or respect for the law,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

Many of his victims claimed they were assured he could bolster their music industry aspirations. But prosecutors argued all were instead “indoctrinated” into Kelly’s world — groomed for sex at his whim and kept in line by “coercive means of control,” including isolation and cruel disciplinary measures, recordings of which were played for the jury.

In his prime, Kelly was credited with helping to redefine R&B and hip hop, earning nicknames such as “the King of R&B”, “the King of Pop-Soul”, and the “Pied Piper of R&B”.He is known for his extensive discography of hits spanning three decades. His career has however been repeatedly tagged with accusations of sexual abuse with young adults and minors.

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Musings From Abroad

US Supreme Court abolishes abortion right after almost 50-year precedence

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The US Supreme Court on Friday reversed a nearly half century old constitutional right to abortion.

Justice Samuel Alito who wrote for the Majority argued that the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling which had favoured abortion right “must be overruled” because they were “egregiously wrong,” the arguments “exceptionally weak” and so “damaging” that they amounted to “an abuse of judicial authority.”

The ruling comes after leaked draft of Roe vs Wade ruling which guaranteed abortion rights across the country has caused outrage last month.

The Roe vs Wade, ruling was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

Although the supreme court declined comment at the time of the leak in May, the Friday ruling perhaps confirmed the fears of many.

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, in a series of tweets while reacting to the leak stressed that “an extremist Supreme Court is poised to overturn #RoeVWade and impose its far-right, unpopular views on the entire country. It’s time for the millions who support the Constitution and abortion rights to stand up and make their voices heard. We’re not going back—not ever

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has drawn reactions from top politicians in the US. One of such is veteran congressman and Democrat, Benie Sanders who tweeted that “overturning Roe v. Wade and denying women the right to control their own bodies is an outrage and in defiance of what the American people want. Democrats must now end the filibuster in the Senate, codify Roe v. Wade, and once again make abortion legal and safe.”

American singer, Taylor Swift, also reacted against the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are – that after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that.” The singer said on twitter.

Also reacting to the ruling is US former president, Barrack Obama, who said “today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues—attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.”

Meanwhile, there have also been reactions in support of the abolishing of the nearly 50 years of precedent, notably Americans with ideological sentiment with Republicans.

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