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Imo Police Officer on Stop-and-search Crushed by Truck

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On Wednesday, a police officer on a stop-and-search was crushed to death by a truck along Owerri-Okigwe expressway in Imo State.

The incident which occurred at Atta in the Ikeduru Local Government Area of the state caused panic in the area.

The lifeless body of the police officer was seen on the ground, but gun-wielding police officers did not allow onlookers to come close.

A trailer and other vehicles were seen around the scene of the incident, but it was not clear as of the time of filing this report if the truck that killed the cop was among those parked at the scene.

A motorist said that a heavy-duty truck killed the officer after the cop had waved at it to stop.

He said that the trailer which was on a speed lane rammed into the police officer who was on the road.

He said, “A truck crushed him after he flagged it down and the driver refused to stop. The victim, who was on a stop-and-search duty with his colleagues, were on the main road. Other police officers went after the killer truck driver, but I am not sure if they were able to get him. This is tragic.

When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, said that the command had been communicated.

He said, “We have just been told. I am just hearing it. Necessary action has been activated by the command. The command is saddened by the sad development.”

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Gen. James Mattis breaks his silence: Says, President Trump is a threat to the United States Constitution

Compares Donald Trump to NAZIS, accuses him of ‘mockery of the Constitution’ and ‘abuse’ of power and slams ‘military leadership’ for taking part in ‘bizarre photo-op’

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compares Donald Trump to NAZIS, accuses him of 'mockery of the Constitution' and 'abuse' of power and slams 'military leadership' for taking part in 'bizarre photo-op'

The highly esteemed and revered four-star general, a man who rarely speaks, Gen. James Mathis has broken his silence. He was the immediate past Defense Secretary appointed by President Trump. In a blistering rebuke, James Mattis became the highest-ranking Army general in the United States to publicly denounced President Trump. You will recall James Mattis resigned in protest over Donald Trump’s Syria policy. Since leaving office, this is the first time the general broke his silence, with what news talking heads describe as an ‘extraordinary .’ In a released statement, the former Marine General writes:

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”
He goes on to contrast the American ethos of unity with Nazi ideology. “Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was “Divide and Conquer.” Our American answer is “In Union there is Strength.”‘ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.”

“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago,” he writes, “I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”
He goes on to implicitly criticize the current secretary of defense, Mark Esper, and other senior officials as well. “We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate.’ At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.

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SMEs must reinvent to remain competitive – Heritage Bank CEO, Sekibo

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Managing Director/Chief Executive, Heritage Bank Limited, Mr. Ifie Sekibo has advised Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to reinvent themselves in order to remain competitive and overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on “Converting ideas into reality with focus on SME’s”, Sekibo also stressed the need for SMEs to continually embrace partnership and function as an integral part of a value chain.

He said: “For SMEs to strive, they must continually re-invent themselves, one big plus for SMEs is that they are quite small, and they can easily change. Cooperation is key at this very time. I advocate always, competition is good but complementing each other is better, it comes with value chain principle.

“When you plan yourself in a value chain, you gain more because the big dinosaurs need the small SMEs to survive. The economy of Nigeria needs the SME to survive. I recommend that partnerships are developed in the space of SMEs, one-man business find it difficult to survive in an economy that is changing on daily basis or even hourly. If you want to remain viable, your dreams being viable, partnerships are good way to go.”

Sekibo also counselled SMEs on the need to adapt to the realities of a new world occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the increased adoption of electronic channels (E-Channels) for productivity and product marketing.

He said: “The truth is that even after this pandemic, we can never return to the normal way because this is the new normal and in our desperation to find solution, mistakes abound, failures will set in and most of us will hide from our failures other than face it.

“We will blame everybody for it and some of us will throw in the towel. My advice to SMEs at this critical time is that since this is a failure not caused by you or anybody, you should accept the failure. Let us begin to make amends. We are having a conference today and it is on E-Channel, can we begin to sell our products by E-Channel, can we begin to sell our ideas on E-Channel, can we begin to work at home and still be as productive and disciplined as we should. Those are the new normal. So, if we know the new normal, then we should courageously face it and go on.”

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Op-ed. Biden Can Beat Trump … if He Doesn’t Blow It, by Charles Blow.

This is not the first time Biden has lied about his relationship to the black community. He has repeatedly lied over the years about marching in the civil rights movement, even though advisers warned him to stop it. And, he repeatedly said that he was arrested in South Africa trying to see imprisoned anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.

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Biden Joe being stuck at home during an election year may turn out to be a good thing.

As the United States’ death toll raced toward 100,000, Donald Trump went golfing.

The number of deaths never had to reach such a staggering figure — and it will surely climb far beyond it — but it did because in the early days, Trump made excuses for the Chinese response, dragged his feet on an American response, and repeatedly made statements that defied truth and science.

Joe biden and trum
Joe being stuck at home during an election year may turn out to be a good thing.

Trump put politics, his own political fortunes, over the lives of the American people, and the result has been catastrophic.

As CNN has reported, researchers at Columbia University created a model gauging transmission rates from March 15 to May 3, and found that if the United States had started social distancing just two weeks earlier, it could have prevented 84 percent of deaths and 82 percent of cases.

But Trump had spent the previous week downplaying the severity of the virus and blaming growing coverage of it and alarm over it on the media.

On March 10, when there were 959 confirmed cases and 28 deaths, Trump said to reporters after a meeting with Republican senators: “We’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”

The very next day the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic, but it wasn’t until March 13 that Trump declared the virus a national emergency, and it wasn’t until March 16 that he announced social distancing guidelines.

But, that may well have been too late. The virus wasn’t aware of the politics of the moment. The virus wasn’t aware that he had been lying and deflecting. The virus wasn’t aware that it should wait until the American president was cowed into correct action. It was doing what viruses do: It was spreading and it was killing.

Trump dragged his feet, trying to con his way through a pandemic, to rewrite reality, to pacify the public until the virus passed, and that has led to untold numbers of people dead who never had to die.

There is not only blood on Trump’s hands, he is drenched in it like the penultimate scene from the movie “Carrie.”

No amount of deflecting blame to China or Obama or the governors can change this. No amount of playing to people’s impatience about reopening and optimistic desires that the worst is behind us can change this.

In America, this is Donald Trump’s plague, and he is yoked with that going into the election in November.

Joe Biden needs to do little, despite what many pundits may think. He doesn’t need a daily presence in the news. He doesn’t need to “own the internet.” He doesn’t need large rallies or even that much sizzle.

In fact, his being stuck in his house and giving limited interviews from his basement may be the best thing to ever happen to his campaign.

Biden is a well-known gaffe machine. Every time he speaks, there is the very real chance that he will do more damage than good. America doesn’t need that. We just need a person to replace Trump who is, for one thing, not so cavalier about deaths connected to his poor response or poor policy — whether they be hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, children separated from their parents at the border or victims of a virus.

But, Biden continues to commit unforced error, like the hubbub he created and later apologized for when he said at the end of an interview with The Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne tha God: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

It was so cavalier and comfortable that it was shocking. Biden doesn’t get to define blackness nor excommunicate anyone from it.

But that wasn’t the only problem in the interview. He said just seconds after that statement that “The NAACP has endorsed me every time I’ve run.” That never happened, and the NAACP had to release a statement to clarify that it “is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse candidates for political office.”

This is not the first time Biden has lied about his relationship to the black community. He has repeatedly lied over the years about marching in the civil rights movement, even though advisers warned him to stop it. And, he repeatedly said that he was arrested in South Africa trying to see imprisoned anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.

None of this ever happened. What gives? None of this is necessary. Compared to Trump’s avalanche of lies, these may seem small, but for black voters, particularly younger, more leery ones, they are baffling and off-putting.

Black voters rescued the Biden campaign and likely delivered him the nomination. These kinds of Breakfast Club flubs have the potential to dampen enthusiasm among “the one that brung you,” as we say in the South.

Biden has a good chance to beat Trump in the wake of his disastrous pandemic response, if Biden doesn’t blow it.

Charles Blow joined The Times in 1994 and became an Opinion columnist in 2008. He is also a television commentator and writes often about politics, social justice and vulnerable communities.  @CharlesMBlow 

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op-ed. It’s not obesity, it’s slavery-Sabrina Strings

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Black People

About five years ago, I was invited to sit in on a meeting about health in the African-American community. Several important figures in the fields of public health and economics were present. A freshly minted Ph.D., I felt strangely like an interloper. I was also the only black person in the room.

One of the facilitators introduced me to the other participants and said something to the effect of “Sabrina, what do you think? Why are black people sick?”

It was a question asked in earnest. Some of the experts had devoted their entire careers to addressing questions surrounding racial health inequities. Years of research, and in some instances failed interventions, had left them baffled. Why are black people so sick?

My answer was swift and unequivocal.

“Slavery.”

My colleagues looked befuddled as they tried to come to terms with my reply.

I meant what I said: The era of slavery was when white Americans determined that black Americans needed only the bare necessities, not enough to keep them optimally safe and healthy. It set in motion black people’s diminished access to healthy foods, safe working conditions, medical treatment and a host of other social inequities that negatively impact health.

it is not obesity
The era of slavery was when white Americans determined that black Americans needed only the bare necessities, not enough to keep them optimally safe and healthy. It set in motion black people’s diminished access to healthy foods,

This message is particularly important in a moment when African-Americans have experienced the highest rates of severe complications and death from the coronavirus and “obesity” has surfaced as an explanation. The cultural narrative that black people’s weight is a harbinger of disease and death has long served as a dangerous distraction from the real sources of inequality, and it’s happening again.

Reliable data are hard to come by, but available analyses show that on average, the rate of black fatalities is 2.4 times that of whites with Covid-19. In states including Michigan, Kansas and Wisconsin and in Washington, D.C., that ratio jumps to five to seven black people dying of Covid-19 complications for every one white death.

Despite the lack of clarity surrounding these findings, one interpretation of these disparities that has gained traction is the idea that black people are unduly obese (currently defined as a body mass index greater than 30) which is seen as a driver of other chronic illnesses and is believed to put black people at high risk for serious complications from Covid-19.

These claims have received intense media attention, despite the fact that scientists haven’t been able to sufficiently explain the link between obesity and Covid-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42.2 percent of white Americans and 49.6 percent of African-Americans are obese. Researchers have yet to clarify how a 7 percentage-point disparity in obesity prevalence translates to a 240 percent-700 percent disparity in fatalities.

Experts have raised questions about the rush to implicate obesity, and especially “severe obesity” (B.M.I. greater than 40), as a factor in coronavirus complications. An article in the medical journal The Lancet evaluated Britain’s inclusion of obesity as a risk factor for coronavirus complications and retorted, “To date, no available data show adverse Covid-19 outcomes specifically in people with a BMI of 40 kg/m2.” The authors concluded, “The scarcity of information regarding the increased risk of illness for people with a BMI higher than 40 kg/m2 has led to ambiguity and might increase anxiety, given that these individuals have now been categorised as vulnerable to severe illness if they contract Covid-19.”

Promoting strained associations between race, body size, and complications from this little-understood disease has served to reinforce an image of black people as wholly swept up in sensuous pleasures like eating and drinking, which supposedly makes our unruly bodies repositories of preventable weight-related illnesses. The attitudes I see today have echoes of what I described in “Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia.” My research showed that anti-fat attitudes originated not with medical findings, but with Enlightenment-era belief that overfeeding and fatness were evidence of “savagery” and racial inferiority.

Today, the stakes of these discussions could not be higher. When I learned about guidelines suggesting that doctors may use existing health conditions, including obesity, to deny or limit eligibility to lifesaving coronavirus treatments, I couldn’t help thinking of the slavery-era debates I’ve studied about whether or not so-called “constitutionally weak” African-Americans should receive medical care.

Fortunately, since that event I attended five years ago, experts focused on the health of African-Americans have continued to work to direct the nation’s attention away from individual-level factors.

The New York Times’ 1619 Project featured essays detailing how the legacy of slavery impacted health and health care for African-Americans and explaining how, since the since the era of slavery, black people’s bodies have been labeled congenitally diseased and undeserving of access to lifesaving treatments.

In a recent essay addressing Covid-19 specifically, Rashawn Ray underscored the legacy of redlining that pushed black people into poor, densely populated communities often with limited access to health care. And he pointed out that black people are overrepresented in service positions and as essential workers who have greater exposure than those with the luxury of sheltering in place. Ibram X. Kendi has written that the “irresponsible behavior of disproportionately poor people of color” — often cited as an important factor in health disparities — is a scapegoat directing American’s attention from the centrality of systemic racism in current racial health inequities.

Evaluating the inadequate and questionable data about race, weight and Covid-19 complications with these insights in mind makes it clear that obesity — and its affiliated, if incorrect implication of poor lifestyle choices — should not be front and center when it comes to understanding how this pandemic has affected African-Americans. Even before Covid-19, black Americans had higher rates of multiple chronic illnesses and a lower life expectancy than white Americans, regardless of weight. This is an indication that our social structures are failing us. These failings — and the accompanying embrace of the belief that black bodies are uniquely flawed — are rooted in a shameful era of American history that took place hundreds of years before this pandemic.

Sabrina Strings is an associate professor of sociology at the University of California at Irvine and the author of Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia.

Sabrina Strings is an associate professor of sociology at the University of California at Irvine and the author of Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia.

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