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Here’s a rundown of 5 of the hottest news topics…
1. New Zealand ban guns
New Zealand has decided to ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high capacity magazines following the mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch that left 50 people dead and several others injured, the Prime minister announced on Thursday.
The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, had swiftly swung into action by announcing the country’s intention to reform the gun laws in the country which allowed an estimated 1.2 million guns in circulation—one for every three people. She said it was a bid to make the country a safer place.
“Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terror attack on Friday will be banned,” Arden stated, adding that the legislation will be drafted and introduced as a matter of urgency and should be in place by April 11.
As a result, many people who legally owned the proscribed weapons would no longer be able to possess them. In the interim, amnesty will be put in place for the weapons to be handed in from Thursday as the cabinet has directed officials to develop a buy-back scheme.
2. EU agrees to Brexit delay
The European Union has agreed to a Brexit delay which will avoid the UK crashing out of Europe without a deal. After hours of negotiations, the EU rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposal for a conditional Brexit delay, imposing their own two-part timetable.
The deal was agreed after the Prime Minister failed to persuade British lawmakers to pass her overall withdrawal agreement last week thereby avoiding a no-deal Brexit on March 29.
Under the EU’s plan, if the House of Commons passes the deal, Britain will leave the EU on May 22. But if May’s agreement is once again rejected, the UK will get an unconditional Brexit delay until April 12 to bring new proposals for a way out. If that happens, and the UK agree to take part in the European Parliament election in May, the possibility would be open for a further extension of several months.
The Prime Minister said there was now a “clear choice” to be made by the UK MPs who could vote for the third time on her deal next week. However, as many as two million people have signed a petition to halt Brexit altogether.
3. Federal Government close Onnoghen’s case
The Federal G
After calling out three of six witnesses listed for the trial, the prosecution counsel announced that it was closing its case. Following this, the defence counsel then opted to file a ‘no case’ submission which meant that the defence will contend that the prosecution has failed to make a case against the defendant, Justice Walter.
The tribunal chairman adjourned hearing in the no case submission to March 29.
4. Three schoolgirls jailed in Burundi
Three schoolgirls have been jailed and are facing five years imprisonment for drawing on Burundi’s President’s face in their school books. The girls who are all minors, were arrested last week and recently charged with “insulting the Head of State”. The girls remain in remand as they await trial.
It isn’t the first time school children in Burundi have been jailed for similar offences, Human Rights Watch reports. In 2016, agents of the National Intelligence Service of Burundi arrested eight secondary schoolgirls for allegedly insulting President Pierre Nkurunziza by writing phrases like “Get out” or “No to
The same year, hundreds of children were expelled from several schools for scribbling on the President’s face in their books.
Human rights Watch said the case was “quickly becoming the benchmark for a crackdown of freedom of expression since 2015”. The organisation also added that it would apply pressure on the government of Burundi to release the girls.
5. Popular Korean singer arrested in sex-tape scandal
K-Pop star Jung Joon-young has been arrested over allegations that he shared sexually explicit videos of women filmed without their knowledge or consent. The 30-year old star Jung delivered a statement to the press last week admitting responsibility for the charges.
An arrest warrant was issued hours after he appeared at a court hearing during which he apologised to the victims for his actions. Following the hearing, he was escorted in handcuffs to a central Seoul police station where he has remained in remand.
He faces a 5-year sentence or a fee of up to 30 million won ($26,424) under the Korean law if found guilty. His management company MakeUS Entertainment have severed ties with the star in the light of the allegations.
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