China’s leader elevated to the level of Mao in Communist pantheon

 
China’s Communist Party enshrines ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ in constitution
Chinese president Xi Jinping’s political thought was enshrined in the Communist Party’s constitution Oct. 24, putting Xi on par with Mao Zedong, the founder of modern China.(Reuters)
 October 24 at 5:59 AM
 China’s Communist Party formally elevated President Xi Jinping to the same status as party legends Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping on Tuesday, writing his name into its constitution and setting the nation’s leader up for an extended stay in power.The move will make Xi the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, with ambitions to tighten party control over society and make his country a superpower on the world stage.The unanimous vote to enshrine “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in a New Era” in the constitution came on the final day of the week-long 19th Party Congress, a five-yearly gathering of the party elite in the imposing and cavernous Great Hall of the People on the western side of Beijing’s iconic Tiananmen Square.The meeting effectively marks the start of Xi’s second five-year-term as party general secretary, but the chances are now higher that this will not be his last — although in the opaque world of Chinese party politics, nothing is certain.“The amendment of the party constitution effectively confirms Xi Jinping’s aspiration to be the Mao Zedong of the 21st Century — that means a top leader with no constraints on tenure or retirement age,” said Willy Wo-Lap Lam, a political expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

 “The fact that he has become the new helmsman of the ship of state, providing guiding principles for party, state and military, provides the perfect justification for him to stay number one well beyond the normal 10 years,”

The inclusion of Xi’s name in the party’s document makes him only the third Chinese leader to be so honored, with his ideology joining Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory as a “guide to action.” It will now become compulsory learning for Chinese students from primary schools through to universities.

China’s Communist Party imposed a system of collective leadership after the death of Mao, scarred by the madness, cruelty and famine one man had imposed through the disasters of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

As a result, Xi’s two predecessors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao ruled through consensus — as the “first among equals” at the top of the ladder — and were limited to two terms in power.

Now the party is moving back in the other direction.

Xi’s power is not unlimited, and many of his key policy measures reflect ideas adopted by the party before he took power. Yet the past week has seen an explosion of sycophancy toward China’s leader, after his mammoth three-and-a-half-hour speech kicked off proceedings last Wednesday. This is a personal style of rule, much like Vladi­mir Putin’s in Russia.

Throughout the week, senior officials lined up, one after the other, to abase themselves, lauding Xi’s profound, courageous, thrilling, insightful masterpiece of a speech, that shone “the light of Marxist Truth” and moved some of them from the bottom of their hearts.

“In retrospect it was an overwhelming assertion of authority to a degree unseen since Mao,” said Francois Godemont, director of the China-Asia program at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Xi would have to still have to overcome significant obstacles if he wants to remain in power beyond the next party congress in 2022 when he will be 69 — not the least a convention that officials retire if they are aged 68 or above, said Yanmei Xie, a China policy expert at Gavekal Dragonomics in Beijing.

There had been speculation Xi would break from convention by asking his right-hand-man, the powerful head of the anti-corruption authority Wang Qishan, to stay on for another five years. Yet the 69-year-old Wang’s name does not appear on a new list of Central Committee members, implying the retirement convention remains in place, at least for now.

He would also have to amend the constitution if he wanted a third term as president — or appoint a crony and remain in power behind the scenes, a trick Putin pulled off in 2008.

Nevertheless, the fact that Xi’s name figures in the constitution puts him on a par with the party’s “immortals,” Mao and Deng, who had no term limits and didn’t retire, said Xie.

And the constant drumbeat of propaganda about loyalty to his leadership makes it more difficult for anyone who dares challenge him.

“The introduction of Xi Thought makes the question of succession while Xi is alive a moot issue,” said Bill Bishop, pubisher of the Sinocism newsletter. “So long as Xi has not met Marx, he is is the man with an eponymous theory in the party constitution, so no one will have more authority than him,” — no matter what title Xi holds.

Xi Jinping Thought embodies two important principles, experts say: first that the party is in control of every aspect of life in China, from the economy to the Internet, from politics to culture and religion. The party must be more disciplined, and more responsive to people’s needs, but its leadership must not be questioned.

The second is that China is on a path to become a true global superpower — very much on its own terms.

“Under his reign, there is no more hope of convergence,” said Godemont, referring to the idea that China would become more open, more ruled by law and more democratic, as it became wealthier, that its interests and political system with ultimately converge with those of the West.

The idea of political reform in a Western sense is now firmly out of the window.

Xi’s message is one of a nationalist, assertive China, one that he says will not threaten the world, but will resolutely defend its interests.

If Mao’s era was one of revolution and nation-building, while Deng’s was one of reform and opening that set China on the path to becoming a global economic power, Xi’s era is, perhaps, one of control and nationalism.

Deng’s influence on the course of Chinese history was massive but his power was wielded less explicitly, often from a position behind the scenes. As a result, his “theory on socialism with Chinese characteristics” was not formally incorporated into the party constitution until after his death.

Former leader Jiang’s ideological contribution is recognized in the document as the “Theory of Three Represents,” as is Hu’s “Scientific Outlook on Development,” but neither man is mentioned by name.

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What we know and don’t know about the deadly Niger attack

Washington (CNN)Defense Secretary James Mattis wants answers regarding the ambush by 50 ISIS-affiliated fighters that left four US soldiers dead and two wounded in Niger two weeks ago, three senior US defense officials told CNN Wednesday.

Mattis is dismayed at the lack of detailed information he has received about about the attack, but there is no indication he is trying to unduly hurry the investigation being carried out by US Africa Command, according to all three officials — all of whom are in a position to have knowledge of how Mattis views the situation.
“This was a hard fight, this was a very tough fight,” Mattis told reporters last week — providing little detail about what multiple US officials have described to CNN as a scene of confusion on the ground during an unexpected firefight.
The investigation will be an effort “to get all the facts correct,” an administration official familiar with the review has told CNN.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders was asked Wednesday whether Trump was satisfied with the information he has received about the mission and ambush.
“I believe they’re still looking into the details of that,” Sanders replied. “But I don’t think that the President can ever be satisfied when there’s loss of life from men and women in uniform.”

What we know

Details related to the deadly military breakdown remain murky two weeks after the incident in Niger as investigators work to determine precisely what happened, a US official has told CNN.
Experts working for Africa Command are trying to establish an hour-by-hour timeline of what happened as part of a comprehensive investigation that includes all the military branches and elements of US intelligence agencies that were involved in the mission.

Very little has been said publicly, but the information that has emerged in the wake of the attack paints a troubling picture of what transpired.
Here is what we do know:
Four US soldiers were killed and two wounded: In what is the deadliest combat mission of Trump’s short presidency to date, the Defense Department has identified all four service members killed in the ambush that occurred near the Niger-Mali border by up to 50 fighters from ISIS in the Greater Sahara, a US official said.
Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright died as a result of the October 4 attack, after helping local forces in Niger combat terrorists.
The 12-member US team was leaving a meeting in unarmored pick-up trucks when they began taking fire from small arms, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, according to a US defense official.

Niger map

With window glass exploding all around them, the service members, including multiple Army Special Forces soldiers, exited the vehicles, ran for cover, and began returning fire, killing some of the attacking militants.
Officials said the 12-man Green Beret-led team had just completed a meeting with local leaders and were walking back to their unarmored pick-up trucks when the unexpected ambush resulted in a firefight that lasted 30 minutes until French Mirage jets arrived overhead to fly low passes in an attempt to disperse the attackers.
Sgt. La David Johnson was separated: A large-scale search-and-rescue operation involving US, French and Nigerien troops was launched soon after US officials realized one of the US service members was unaccounted for.
Johnson was later identified as the fourth service member killed in the attack.

Sgt. La David T. Johnson who was part of a joint U.S. and Nigerien train, advise and assist mission. Sgt. Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Florida, died October 4, 2017 in southwest Niger as a result of enemy fire.

His body was recovered in a remote area of the northwestern African country by Nigerian troops nearly 48 hours after he was discovered missing in the wake of the attack, according to US officials.
His body was returned to Dover Air Force Base on October 7.
Intel rated it “unlikely” US team would face opposition: One official has told CNN that the military’s intelligence said it was “unlikely” that the team would run into enemy forces.
“This was not expected,” US Africa Command spokesman Army Col. Mark Cheadle said.
“Had we anticipated this sort of attack we would have absolutely devoted more resources to it to reduce the risk and that’s something we are looking at right now,” he added.
ISIS affiliate likely responsible: CNN has reported that 50 fighters of the regional ISIS in the Greater Sahara were responsible for the attack.
The Pentagon has claimed the group emerged in Niger because of defeats suffered by ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Sen. John McCain was pressed Wednesday on whether the administration was being up front about the ISIS-affiliated attack, McCain answered bluntly: “No.”
“We do have information on the group that did it, their nature, their disposition and so on and so forth and appropriate organizations within the United States military are digging deeper into that and will take appropriate action if required,” Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, told reporters last week.
There are about 800 US troops in Niger and the US military has maintained a presence in the northwest African country for five years, with small groups of US Special Operations Forces advising local troops as they battle terrorist groups, including ISIS in the Greater Sahara, the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram.
Private contractor conducted evacuations: A US private aviation contractor conducted evacuations of US and Nigerien troops after they were ambushed, according to US Africa Command spokesperson Robyn Mack.
Mack said that US private contractor Berry Aviation was “on alert during the incident and conducted casualty evacuation and transport for US and partner forces.”
US officials previously told CNN that French military Super Puma helicopters also evacuated the wounded Americans along with those killed in action while also providing covering fire. The wounded were first flown to the capital Niamey and later to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
McCain wants answers: Sen. John McCain argued Wednesday that the Trump administration is not being forthcoming about the attack in Niger.
Asked if he thinks Congress should launch an investigation into the attack, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee told reporters that first he would like to get the information that his panel “deserves and needs.”
“Then you decide whether a quote investigation is needed or not,” he said.
The Arizona Republican did not go into detail about what kind of information he was looking for, saying only that he was interested in “all the specifics.”
Calls for Benghazi-like investigation: The incident is already raising the prospect of a Benghazi-like investigation similar to when Congress looked into the attack an on American diplomatic compound in Libya that resulted in four US deaths in 2012.
Asked about the prospect of hearings similar to those following the attack in Benghazi, Sen. Mike Rounds said: “In the Benghazi incident you had a case of where there was clear testimony information coming out saying there were hours of activity going on. If similar facts were to be determined in this particular case, you may very well see the same type of a demand for a review.”

What we don’t know (but the military might)

Missed indicators that ISIS was operating in the area?: CNN has previously reported that the fighters who carried out the attack were part of an ISIS-affiliated group called ISIS in the Greater Sahara but the Trump administration is yet to mention ISIS as the responsible party.
Officials familiar with the initial after-action reports say there was confusion and uncertainty on the ground after what was a completely unexpected attack. The team was particularly vulnerable because it was in two separate locations when the attack began. Some were walking back from a meeting with local villagers. Others were waiting outside, guarding the vehicles that the US troops were using.
US officials assess that terrorist groups view Chad, Niger and Mali as being particularity important as they serve as bridges between north and sub-Saharan Africa, saying that local al Qaeda and ISIS affiliates use control of these transit routes to gain revenue that helps them recruit, expand and export attacks.
ISIS uses these North-South transit routes to move fighters northward, where they can more easily access Europe and the West.
One official told CNN that ISIS is attempting to illegally infiltrate the gold mining industry in Niger to sell on the black market and finance world terrorism.
Why did it take so long for Trump to mention the casualties?: Perhaps wary of the political ramifications President Donald Trump has still not publicly stated that an ISIS affiliated group was responsible.
White House officials prepared and circulated internally a statement to be issued on the President’s behalf the day after the attack. But the statement, obtained Wednesday by Politico and confirmed by CNN, was never officially released.
It wasn’t until nearly two weeks later that the President, an avid Twitter user, mentioned the deaths when he asked about them during an impromptu news conference Monday in the White House Rose Garden.
Commenting for the first time Monday on the attack, Trump said he had written letters to those families over the weekend and they were being sent out that night.
The ambush occurred amid news that ISIS self-declared capital in Raqqa, Syria was on the verge of collapse meaning Trump may have been inclined not highlight an attack showing ISIS’s staying power abroad.
There is also the issue that Trump allowed US troops to be in a country that does not allow offensive air operations.
While French Mirage jets arrived overhead within 30 minutes of the firefight to fly low passes in an attempt to disperse the attackers, the aircraft did not have permission to drop bombs, multiple US officials told CNN.
Trump has received criticism for his long silence following the attack and handling of the aftermath — particularly his public feud with Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat, over Trump’s phone call with Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson.
After multiple visits to the area, why was there an attack at this time?: Last week, Joint Staff director Lt. Gen. Kenneth Mckenzie said the patrol that was attacked had completed 29 patrols in the area without contact with hostile fighters over the previous six months or so and there was no indication an attack would occur on October 4.
How did the body of Sgt. La David Johnson get left behind?: It is unclear how Johnson became separated from the rest of the advisory team during the firefight. None of the other soldiers with Johnson witnessed him being captured or taken away by enemy forces.
The US military said it does not believe Johnson ever fell into enemy hands, but had reason to believe he might be alive. Military officials launched an urgent search-and-rescue mission after receiving electronic signals that indicated Johnson might be alive in the field.
While French helicopters were able to get the team to safety, the critical failure to find Johnson for another 48 hours has not been explained.
His body was eventually found in a nearby area, but military investigators do not know why he was left behind during the French led evacuation and if he was alive even for a short period of time, US officials tell CNN.
Questions remain about how and when Johnson was killed.
Were aircraft contractors in full communication with the French?: While CNN has reported that both a private contractor aircraft and French military helicopters took part in the evacuation mission it remains unclear if both parties shared all necessary information related to the operation.
It is unknown which aircraft carried the dead and which was responsible for the wounded.
The failure to anticipate an attack and the fact there were no US rescue and recover assets close by meant nearly an hour went by before the evacuation of the two wounded and three dead US troops by French Super Puma helicopters could be completed.
Mattis said the rescue was timely stating: “I completely reject the idea that that was slow.” But he did say an investigation will determine if changes are needed. “We will look at this and say was there something we have to adapt to now? Should we have been in a better stance.”

Courtesy CNN

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NSE, SEC Confirm Decision To Suspend Trading On The Shares of Oando Plc

Further to the market development news reported: Trading on the Shares of Oando Plc Suspended; Reasons Unknown ; the regulator and bourse have both issued a release just now on the decision taken to suspend trading on Oando Plc shares.

Kindly find below:

Circular to the General Public on Oando Plc – SEC Release
The Securities & Exchange Commission received two petitions from Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal and Ansbury Incorporated. The Commission carried out a comprehensive review of the petitions and made the following findings amongst others;

· Breach of the provisions of the Investments & Securities Act 2007

· Breach of the SEC Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies

· Suspected insider Dealing

· Related party transactions not conducted at arm’s length

· Discrepancies in the shareholding structure of Oando Plc. Etc.

The Commission’s primary role as apex regulator of the Nigerian Capital Market is to regulate the market and protect the investing public. The Commission notes that the above findings are weighty and therefore needs to be further investigated. After due consideration, the Commission believes that it is necessary to conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of Oando Plc. This is pursuant to the statutory duties of the Commission as provided in section 13(k), (n), (r) and (aa) of the ISA 2017.

To ensure the independence and transparency of the exercise, the Forensic Audit shall be conducted by a consortium of experts made up of auditors, lawyers, stockbrokers and Registrars.

To further ensure that the interest of all shareholders of Oando Plc are preserved during the course of the exercise, the Commission directed the Nigerian Stock Exchange to place the shares of Oando Plc on technical suspension.

However in view of the fact that it is not technologically feasible for the Exchange to effect a technical suspension except after 48 hours, the Commission directed as follows;

1. Effective for forty-eight (48) hours from today, 18 October 2017 to 20 October 2017, The Nigerian Stock Exchange should implement a full suspension in the trading of the shares of Oando Plc; and

2. Effective from 20 October 2017 and until further directive, The Exchange should implement a technical suspension in the shares of Oando Plc.

NSE Suspends Trading in the Shares of Oando Plc on SEC Directive – NSE Release

The Securities and Exchange Commission has directed The Nigerian Stock Exchange to suspend trading in the shares of Oando Plc as follows:

1. Effective for forty-eight (48) hours from today, 18 October 2017 to 20 October 2017, The Exchange should implement a full suspension in the trading of the shares of Oando Plc; and

2. Effective from 20 October 2017 and until further directive, The Exchange should implement a technical suspension in the shares of Oando Plc. A full suspension is the halt of trading activities in a listed security for a period.

A technical suspension is the interruption of price movement in a listed security for a period so that any dealings in the securities which occur during the period of the suspension will not result in any change in price, which change may have occurred had the suspension not been implemented.

In the 48-hour period commencing today, there will be no trading in the shares of Oando Plc. Thereafter, effective 20 October 2017, investors will be able to trade in Oando Plc’s shares but such trading will not result in any movement in the price of the shares.

The above is for your information and records update please.

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Two NYSC members drown in Nasarawa

The National Youth Service Corps in Nasarawa State has said that two members of the service drowned in a river in Assakio community, Lafia Local Government Area of the state.

The NYSC Coordinator in the state, Hajiya Zainab Isah, on Tuesday said that Oguntola Babatunde and Danjuma Salihu went to the river on the evening of October 8 to swim but drowned, following which an Assistant Commissioner of Police informed the service about the incident.

“It is very sad but I know God will grant them eternal rest and grant all of us, including their families, the fortitude to bear the loss. I can only say that we are bereaved but God knows better,” she said.

She called on other corps members to be very careful and always obey the rules of their host communities.

 “What I heard from a very reliable source was that some farmers had drowned in that river some years back.

“So when corps members enter a community, they should ask questions and watch their steps,” she said.

Isah added that the bodies of the deceased had since been deposited at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital in Lafia.

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10 Categories Of People That May Not Afford To Browse When Data Rate Increases

 Despite the quagmire state of the nation, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has chosen to add to our problems by mandating local service providers to increase their data rates for irrelevant reasons, starting from the 1st of December.

Without deceiving ourselves, this directive from NCC will be unfavorable to subscribers as many may denied frequent internet access

Without wasting time, the following people may no longer have access to the internet when data rates increases

1. Broke Guys 

 Recession has turned many financially buoyant guys to become broke that they can’t even boast of two square meal let alone subscribe for a full month data plan. Many will agree with me that NCC will only be compounding these people’s problems because they will have to borrow phones from their enemies just to check their Bet9ja tickets.

2. Whatsapp Subscribers 

The whatsapp subscribers are so economical that they can manage 10MB for a whole year without getting exhausted. By the time 20MB monthly whatsapp plan is reduced to 2MB per month, these people will only switch on their data once in every 23 hours just reply the pending whatsapp messages

3. Facebook Subscribers 

Once data rates increases, monitoring spirits on facebook will drastically reduce as guy will not be able to ass-lick ladies on social media. In fact, they will only view ladies profile pictures on Facebook and will not be able to comment since they will be managing their weekly data plans which might be reduced to from 25MB to 10MB

4. Stingy/Greedy People 

These are the people that have money yet stingy to themselves. Even if they’re being offered 50GB for N1, 000, they will still wail and complain that they deserve more. These people are likely to use their money to gulp beer and devour nkwobi when data rate is Increased as they see it as waste of money.

5. Night Crawlers 

These are the people that can’t browse during the daytime but will have to wait till 12am so that they can subscribe for N25 night browsing just to dowload from naijauncut and xvideos. I believe it’s cruelty if service providers increase data rates and cease night browsing plans because these people will no longer have any hope of surfing the net even at midnight

6.Cheap phones users 

Some people are using cheap phones that can’t even subscribe Airtel 3GB monthly plan. When data rates is increased, they may choose not to subscribe again since their monthly data plan can even buy their phones.

7. Those who relay on people for data sharing 

Those who rely on people to share data with them will be put to shame because, increase in data rates will make those who share data with them become stingy. These people will become wailers and will begin to rain curses on Buhari and NCC

8. Ladies who rely on men for subscription 

I know that thing will soon go worse that most guys will not be able to subscribe for themselves let one subscribe for ladies. Therefore, ladies will be willing to trade their virginity for data subscription so that they can have access to Facebook and whatsapp. The ones who can’t do this will be stranded as life will become boring to them.

9. Data resell Scammers 

Those who spam social media with ridiculously cheap data plans may not be able to even subscribe let alone spam websites in a bid to scam people.

10. Thugs/Derailers 

I have already predicted that an increase in data rates will bring about peace on social media as hooligans, bashers and derailers will not be able to subscribe let alone bash people on social media. This implies that only the rich will be found on social media

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