We’re not only thanking God it’s Friday but we’re also happy Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift album has dropped. Find out the details in our Rave News Digest which summarizes some of the hottest global news you need to catch up on, saving you time and energy. Consider it your daily news fix.
Here is a rundown of five of the hottest news topics…
1. US honours Nigerian Imam who hid Christians from killers
Imam Abubakar Abdullahi has received the first-ever International Religious Freedom Award by the US Government, for hiding 262 Berom Christians in his mosque and in his house in June 2018 when herdsmen launched a bloody attack on 10 villages in Plateau State.
Imam Abdullahi, 83, received the International Religious Freedom Award alongside four others from Cyprus, Sudan, Brazil, and Iraq. The Imam had saved the Christians in the Barkin Ladi area of Plateau state who were running away from the killers. More than 80 others were killed in the attack that allegedly targeted Christians in the area, and the number could have been more without the intervention of the Imam.
The Imam had previously received a “handshake and national honour” from President Muhamadu Buhari for his heroic act. Other beneficiaries of the award are Mohamed Yosaif Abdalrahan of Sudan has worked tirelessly to defend the rights of Sudan’s religious minorities, both in his legal casework and through public advocacy. Ivanir dos Santos of Brazil who worked exhaustively to support interfaith dialogue, combat discrimination, and create mechanisms for the protection of vulnerable groups.
William and Pascale Warda of Iraq who has devoted their lives to advancing religious freedom and other human rights causes in Iraq. Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud of Cyprus who has fully committed herself to work with religious leaders, faith-based organizations, and religious communities on a broad range of issues, including religious freedom.
2. Three get the death penalty for Scandinavian tourist murders
Three Islamic State group supporters who murdered two Scandinavian hikers in Morocco have been sentenced to death. The verdicts for ringleader Abdessamad Ejjoud, Younes Ouaziyad and Rachid Afatti follow petitions on social media calling for their execution.
Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were found beheaded in the High Atlas Mountains in December. During the trial, it emerged that Ejjoud, 25, and Ouaziyad, 27, had beheaded the two women while Afatti, 33, filmed the murders on his mobile phone. A similar video appearing to show one of the women being beheaded was shared online by Islamic State supporters.
The three men all said they were IS supporters, although IS has not said it was behind the killings. The prosecution labelled the three killers as “bloodthirsty monsters” after the autopsy report found 23 injuries on Ms Jespersen’s decapitated body and seven on that of Ms Ueland. If the executions go ahead, they will be the first in Morocco to face capital punishment since 1993, the year that saw the country introduce a moratorium on capital punishment.
3. Arson attack on Kyoto animation studio leaves 33 dead
At least 33 people have died and 35 injured in a suspected arson attack at a renowned animation studio in the Japanese city of Kyoto on Thursday, according to police. Founded in 1981, Kyoto Animation – known as KyoAni – produces animations and publishes anime novels, comics and books. A 41-year-old man reportedly walked into the company’s 1st Studio building in Fujimi Ward, Kyoto City just after 10 a.m. and poured what is suspected to be gasoline around the building before lighting it.
Police identified the suspect as 41-year-old Shinji Aoba during a press conference on Friday and said he has unspecified mental health issues. Footage from the scene showed thick smoke billowing out of the four-story building, which is located in a residential area several kilometres south of Kyoto Station, as fire-fighters worked to douse the flames. Police said the victims of the Kyoto Animation Co. building fire included 12 men, 20 women and another individual whose gender was unknown.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tweeted that he was left speechless at the “gruesomeness of the crime,” and offered condolences to victims. Anime fans expressed anger, prayed and mourned for the victims at Kyoto Animation on social networks. A cloud-funding site also started up to help the company rebuild. The attack was the worst mass killing in the country since a 2001 arson attack on a building in Tokyo’s Kabukicho district, which killed 44 people.
4. Beyoncé drops The Lion King: The Gift Album
The highly anticipated The Lion King: The Gift, produced and curated by Beyoncé, is here at last, after dropping at midnight Friday, July 19. The star-studded 14-track album features four new solo songs alongside collaborations with Wizkid, Burna Boy, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Tiwa Savage, Childish Gambino, Pharrell, daughter Blue Ivy Carter and a number of other African artists.
Beyoncé executive-produced the full-length project inspired by Disney’s new CGI live-action remake of The Lion King, in which she voices Nala. The Lion King: The Gift also includes Beyoncé’s previously released single, the empowering “Spirit.” (Listen here). Nigerian pop stars Tiwa Savage and Mr Eazi perform the song Keys to the Kingdom, with the latter also appearing alongside fellow Nigerians Tekno and Yemi Alade on Don’t Jealous Me.
The album also features Burna Boy who has a solo track, Ja Ara E, while Cameroonian artist Salatiel appears alongside Beyoncé and Pharrell on Water. Other African artists include Nigeria’s Wizkid who joins Bey and Blue Ivy on Brown Skin Girl, Ghana’s Shatta Wale, and South Africa’s Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly.
Check out what Beyoncé said about the album here. What are you waiting for? Go get that album!
5. Amaju Pinnick dismissed as CAF vice-president
Nigeria’s Amaju Pinnick has been dismissed from his role as 1st vice-president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and replaced by South Africa’s Danny Jordaan. The Nigerian football administrator was relieved of his duty during Thursday’s CAF Executive Committee meeting in Egypt Thursday.
Pinnick, who is also the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, occupied the position last July after Ghana’s Kwesi Nyantakyi resigned due to allegations of corrupt practices. DR Congo’s Constant Omari becomes the new 1st Vice-President followed by Morocco’s Faouzi Lekjaa while South Africa’s Danny Jordaan climbs into the third Vice-President seat.
“It has been an excellent opportunity to serve as the number two football administrator in the entire African continent,” Pinnick said in a statement. “My commitment to the game is perpetual while my support for my colleagues in the Executive Committee remains steadfast.“
Muslihat Shaka reporting
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