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NATO confirms plans for US military storage in Poland

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The Wall Street Journal reported that the $260 million facility will be located in Powidz, some 200 km (120 miles) west of Warsaw, and will house armoured vehicles, ammunition and weapons for a brigade.

Building work will start later this year and is expected to take two years, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg told the Journal. A NATO official confirmed the report was accurate.

NATO has increased defences along its eastern flank in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its role in the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

Battlegroups have been deployed in the three Baltic states as well as Poland and NATO has launched an overhaul of its command structure and is taking steps to improve how quickly it can move troops and equipment around Europe in case of incursion.

The practice of “pre-positioning” equipment in strategic locations is also aimed at making it easier to deploy resources quickly in a crisis.

Stoltenberg told the Journal the new facility would “underpin the increased US presence in Poland”.

Poland’s government has been beefing up its military ties with the US, last month agreeing to buy American mobile rocket launchers worth $414 million and a year ago signing a $4.75 billion contract for a US-made Patriot anti-missile system.

Warsaw has also been pushing for the US to open a permanent military base. Nearly 5,000 American troops are already stationed on a rotational basis as part of NATO operations.



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Serbian late strongman Milosevic’s widow buried

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Dozens of people — but no close family — attended the service which was conducted by a Serbian Orthodox priest in eastern Pozarevac.

A black urn containing the ashes were buried in the grave where Milosevic was buried following his death in The Hague in 2006. She died in Russia on April 14 at the age of 76.

In 2003, Markovic — a former sociology professor who was known to have a huge influence on her husband — left Serbia, where she was charged with abuse of power and was suspected of cigarette smuggling and political assassination.

Russia granted both her and her son Marko Milosevic political asylum in 2008 after Serbia issued an international arrest warrant for them in connection with the alleged cigarette smuggling.

Milosevic died in a prison cell in March 2006 while on trial for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity before the UN war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague for his key role in the 1990s wars that tore the Balkans apart.



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Sudan protest leaders, army rulers to talk on power transfer

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The talks come on the eve of the protest leaders’ planned announcement of a ruling civilian council that they say will replace the military body.

“The military council will hold talks with the Alliance for Freedom and Change at 8:00 pm (1800 GMT),” Siddiq Yousef, a senior member of the umbrella group leading the protest movement, told AFP.

Since the ouster of veteran president Omar al-Bashir by the army on April 11, Sudan has been ruled by a 10-member military council.

But protesters, who have camped outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum, demand that the council hand over power swiftly to a civilian body.

Another member of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) that launched the initial campaign against Bashir confirmed that talks would take place on Saturday.

“Five representatives from the alliance will go today to the military council to discuss with them the transfer of power to civilian rule,” Ahmed al-Rabia told AFP.

He said if the military rulers refused to hand over power, then the protest leaders would go ahead with their planned announcement of a “sovereign civilian council” on Sunday.

“If they are willing to negotiate, then there is a chance that tomorrow’s announcement could be postponed,” Rabia said.

“What we want from them is a timetable to hand over power, so things don’t drag.”

He said that since the ouster of Bashir, the military council has held two rounds of talks with the protest leaders.

“During these talks we’ve felt that the military council has no desire to hand over power,” Rabia said.

‘Easy part’ done

On Friday, the SPA announced it would name members of a civilian ruling council at 1700 GMT on Sunday outside the army complex where thousands have camped since April 6, first demanding the ouster of Bashir and now against the military council.

“We are done with the easy part (of toppling Bashir). We want to remove the entire regime,” said Rabia.

Protest leaders say the civilian council would form a transitional government to rule Sudan for a four-year term, followed by elections.

The military council has so far appeased the protesters by agreeing to some of their demands like detaining Bashir, lifting a night-time curfew and releasing many political detainees and protesters held during the demonstrations against the longtime leader.

Prominent Sudanese journalist Khalid Tijani said the protest leaders were also in a “tough situation” over finalising the civilian council.

“If they are not ready with the names, it will send a negative signal, and this will not be to the benefit of the revolution,” said Tijani, editor of economic weekly Elaff.

Calls for handing over power to a civilian body have also come from the international community, including the United States.

Washington is sending Makila James, assistant secretary of state, to Khartoum for an on-the-ground assessment of the situation.

Washington’s short-term goal is to “get the military folks out of centre-stage,” a senior US official said on condition of anonymity earlier this week.

The official called for transitional authorities to prepare the way for “a truly democratic government that will reflect the will of the Sudanese people”.



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Corrupt leaders are using churches as avenues for money laundering – Raila Odinga ▷ Kenya News

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– Raila said the church was slowly turning into a stumbling block in fight against graft

– He faulted churches for taking donations from leaders without questioning the source of their money

– The former prime minister urged the churches to join the president in war against corruption

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has hit at corrupt leaders saying they have turned churches into their avenues for laundering money obtained illegally from public coffers.

According to the influential Orange Democratic Movement party leader, religious centers were slowly becoming a stumbling block in the fight against corruption as they are among the major beneficiaries of the looted money in terms of donations and fundraisers.

READ ALSO: Raila to accompany Uhuru to China for KSh 380 billion SGR loan

Opposition leader Raila Odinga during a past function. Photo: Facebook / State House
Source: Facebook

READ ALSO: Retired president Moi’s eldest son is dead

Speaking on Saturday, April 20, during a church function in Ahero, Kisumu county, the fiery Opposition honcho called on religious leaders to support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the fight against graft.

“What we have been saying is that we have seen churches being used as avenues for laundering money acquired illegally. We cannot fight corruption if we cannot fight it’s tentacles, every weekend people are going for Harambees in churches and donating money with the faithfuls clapping for them without questioning the source of their money,” he said.

Although the former prime minister did not make reference to anybody in particular, TUKO.co.ke understands he has been at loggerheads with Deputy President William Ruto over the latter’s huge donations in church fundraisers.

READ ALSO: Maadhimisho ya Pasaka: Balozi wa Israel apendekeza safari za moja kwa moja kutoka Kenya hadi Israel

Ruto’s penchant for church donations has been a subject of heated debate with a number of Kenyan leaders questioning the source of the millions he has been using to bankroll church activities all over the country.

However, the man from Sugoi village in Uasin Gishu county has often defended his donations saying he remains a strong Christian believer dedicated to spreading the Gospel through whatever means including supporting church development.

Do you have an inspirational story you would like us to publish? Please reach us through [email protected] or WhatsApp: 0732482690. Follow us on Telegram: Tuko news

Source: Tuko.co.ke





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