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Ayanna Pressley becomes Massachusetts’s first African-American Congresswoman

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The state of Massachussets in the United States has just voted its first African American congresswoman in the person of Ayanna Pressley.

The 44-year-old Democrat won the party’s primaries beating an incumbent who had been in office for two decades, Mike Capuano. She will take her seat in November 2018 because she’s running unopposed.

She will become the first African American congresswoman to represent the state. In her victory speech she asked, are you ready to come to congress with me? Are you ready to bring change to Washington?

The seventh congressional district which she represents is the only district in her state to have a majority non-white population.

Ayanna’s website describes herself as “an advocate, a policy-maker, an activist, and survivor.” Her election in 2009 to the Boston City Council marked the first time a woman of color was elected to the Council in its 100-year history.

Before becoming a councillor she worked for Senator John Kerry and Rep. Joseph Kennedy II – whose uncle, John F Kennedy held the seat Ms Pressley is set to win before he became president.

Her campaign focused on migrants’ rights and gun control. She continued in her speech: For the families and victims of senseless gun violence, change can’t wait. For our brothers and sisters behind the wall change can’t wait.

She also spoke about the plight of immigrants and women stressing that for all those marginalized groups, ‘change can’t wait.’

Her competitor also had nice words about her: “Ayanna Pressley is going to be a good congresswoman, and I will tell you that Massachussets will be well served.”

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Nigeria: Ohaneze charges youths against violence in 2019 Election build-ups

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The Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo, an apex Igbo socio-cultural group, has called on youths to shun violence and hooliganism throughout the electioneering period in the country.



The President of Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo Enugu State Chapter, Chief Alex Ogbonna, gave the advice while receiving the Governorship Candidate of United Progressive Party (UPP), Mr Ekele Uzodinma, in Ohaneze National Secretariat, Enugu on Tuesday. 

Ogbonna noted that the body wanted youths to embrace tolerance and peace in this period, adding that political parties must stick to issue-based campaigns and “not campaign of character assassination and hatred.’’ 

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“We are appealing to all candidates, especially their youthful followers, to conduct themselves with dignity and shun violence, thuggery and hooliganism in all forms. 

“We are working towards a peaceful and development-oriented electioneering in the entire South-East,’’ he said. 

According to him, for now, Ohaneze only know that two candidates are contesting the governorship seat in Enugu State; and they are Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr Ekele Uzodinma of UPP. 

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“It is only these two candidates that have deemed it fit to notify us of their ambitions and seek our prayers as an apex body and highest Igbo collective authority, with the `offor Ndi-Igbo’ (staff of prayer and authority of all Igbo-land),’’ he said. 

Ogbonna noted that he was impressed with Uzodinma’s articulated programmes to revamp and reposition Enugu State, adding; “I can see you have good layout of programmes, which can be followed practically.’’ 

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US: Two Somalia airstrikes leaves 37 Militants dead

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The US military killed 37 militants in two separate airstrikes in the vicinity of Debatscile, Somalia, on Monday, according to a statement from US Africa Command, which oversees military operations on the continent.



The strike targeted the militants associated with al-Shabaab, al Qaeda’s largest affiliate.
A US defense official told CNN that the strikes were carried out by unmanned drone aircraft and that the target of the first strike was an al-Shabaab camp.
Africa Command said the “precision strike was a planned and deliberate action” that killed 27 militants in the first strike and a subsequent strike the US says they killed an additional 10 militants.
“These precision airstrikes were conducted in support of the Federal Government of Somalia as it continues to degrade al-Shabaab. Airstrikes reduce al-Shabaab’s ability to plot future attacks, disrupt its leadership networks, and degrade its freedom of maneuver within the region,” the statement said.

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The US military currently assesses that the airstrikes did not injure or kill any civilians.
While the US has now conducted 31 airstrikes against al-Shabaab in 2018, the strikes usually target small groups of militants.
The last major strike against al-Shabaab took place last month and killed some 60 al Qaeda-affiliated fighters.
In March of 2017, President Donald Trump authorized the US military to carry out precision strikes targeting al-Shabaab in an effort to bolster the federal government of Somalia.
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Prior to that, the US military was only authorized to carry out airstrikes in self-defense of advisers on the ground.

The US has some 500 troops in Somalia, primarily in advisory roles.
While the Department of Defense recently announced plans to reduce the number of US troops in Africa, the Pentagon has said that US forces in Somalia will be unaffected by the drawdown.
A senior US defense official told CNN last week that the US was concerned about international terror threats emanating from East Africa which is one of the reasons US counterterrorism forces in Somalia were shielded from the cuts.
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