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Fidel Ramos resigns as special envoy to China

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Ex-Philippine leader Fidel Ramos has resigned as special envoy to China after criticising President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades against the United States and deadly war on crime.

Duterte said late Tuesday he had received a resignation letter from Ramos, an elderly stalwart of Philippine politics who had been a trusted ally of the new leader but recently branded his rule as a “huge disappointment and let-down”.

According to the president, the pair had disagreed on US relations and the domestic crime war, which has claimed more than 4,000 lives in four months.

“I know he is pro-Western. He is a military man who studied there (in the US). You must remember Ramos finished his (studies) in West Point. He really does not want to fight (with the US),” Duterte told reporters.

Duterte appointed Ramos, president from 1992 to 1998, as his envoy to mend relations with Beijing, which had soured under the previous administration over competing territorial claims to the South China Sea.

Ramos, 88, travelled to Hong Kong in August on an “icebreaker” trip to meet with senior Chinese officials.

But Ramos did not join Duterte in Beijing last month for a state visit that cemented better ties and secured billions of dollars in Chinese investments and loans.

Ramos told GMA7 television this week he had resigned because he had done what was needed to improve ties with China.

But Duterte’s comments pointed to a much deeper falling out with Ramos, who he had repeatedly publicly thanked for supporting his bid to become president.

Ramos, a former police and military general, has for decades been a powerful political force in the Philippines, and as armed forces vice chief of staff, he was key in turning the military against dictator Ferdinand Marcos during the 1986 “People Power” revolution.

Ramos has in recent weeks been openly critical of Duterte’s attacks on the US and threats to end the two nations’ military alliance.

Duterte’s tirades have been partly in response to American criticism of his war on crime.

“So, what gives? Are we throwing away decades of military partnership, tactical proficiency, compatible weaponry, predictable logistics and soldier-to-soldier camaraderie just like that,” Ramos wrote in a newspaper column to mark Duterte’s 100th day in office.

 

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria announce 21-Squad for U17 Fifa World Cup.

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Nigeria under-17 coach Manu Garbage has announce a final 21-man squad for the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Brazil later this month.

Nigeria are the most successful team in the history of the event with five wins (in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015) and three runners-up medals.

The West Africans are in group B alongside Hungary, Ecuador and Australia and will face Hungary in their opening game on 26 October.

They will lock horns with Ecuador three days later before they play their final group match against Australia on 1 November.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Sunday Stephen (Football College Academy), Joseph Oluwabusola (Bournemouth, England), Daniel Jinadu (West Ham United, England)

Defenders: Usman Ibrahim (Giant Brilliants FC), Quadri Edun (G12 FC), Charles Etim (Blessed Stars Academy), Ferdinard Ikenna (A&B FC)

Midfielders: Daniel Francis (FC Hearts), Monsuru Opeyemi (B. Angel FC), Ibrahim Said (Dabo Babes Academy), Samson Tijani (Collings Edwin FC), Hamzat Ojediran (Jossy United FC), Peter Agba (Falala FC)

Forwards: Wisdom Ubani (Giant Brilliants FC), Peter Olawale (Delta Warriors FC), Akinkunmi Amoo (Sidos FC), Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi (Sporting Dreams FC), Olakunle Olusegun (ABS FC), Ibraheem Jabaar (Ijebu FC), Abba Bichi (Talentbase Sport FC), Divine Nwachukwu (Riverline FC).

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24 Hours Across Africa

Victor osimhen bags player of the month award

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Lille’s Nigeria international Victor Osimhen has been named September’s French Ligue 1 Player of the Month.

The 20-year-old striker, who joined the club in August from Belgian side RSC Charleroi, scored twice and provided two assists in five matches last month as Lille climbed into the top five.

“It’s been an amazing time at this club and to get this award is surreal,” says Osimhen

“I’m grateful to those who voted, thankful to my teammates, our backroom staff and the entire Lille fans for the love.

“I never expected this to happen so soon but I guess this is what comes when you are surrounded by great players, loved ones and the blessings of God.”

Osimhen saw off the challenges of Monaco’s Algerian international Islam Slimani and veteran Nantes defender Nicolas Pallois to the monthly honour awarded by the Player’s Union (UNFP).

He succeeds Angola-born Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, who won the August award and became the youngest ever winner at the age of 16.

An incredible two months for Osimhen in the colours of Lille has resulted in eight goals in 11 appearances for the northern club.

Osimhen was the top scorer as Nigeria clinched a fifth Under-17 World Cup title in 2015 with 10 goals in Chile, which saw him win the Golden Boot and Silver Ball.

He also scored on his full debut for Nigeria in a 2-2 friendly draw against Ukraine in September.

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