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The Big 5: Air Force deploys jets in search of missing 110 schoolgirls, N’Korea ‘providing materials to Syria chemical weapons factories’ and other top stories

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These are the top stories you should be monitoring today.

The Nigerian Air Force has deployed 100 fighter jets in the search of the 110 schoolgirls abducted on February 19.

The students of the Government Girls Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, Yobe were abducted from their hostels by suspected members of Boko Haram.

Twenty of the jets have flown 200 hours as at Monday evening, according to a fact sheet on the search released by Minister of Information, Culture and National Orientation, Lai Mohammed.

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the cold relationship between the Executive and the National Assembly is slowing down governance.

The President, who spoke at the National Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC), however, said the government was working hard to resolve the differences between the Executive and the National Assembly so that the country can move forward.

He said, “the stand-off between the executive and the National Assembly slowed down the process of government. We are working hard to resolve the differences so that the country can move forward.”

The United States government has imposed new sanctions on the terror group, Boko Haram, and its factional leader, Mus’ab al-Barnawi.

The new sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department targets the Islamic State and its affiliate networks around the world.

The U.S. department added Boko Haram, also known as ISIS-West Africa, to the sanction list for global terrorism.

President Buhari has given reasons he declined assent to the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill passed by the National Assembly in 2017.

In a letter titled ‘PRESIDENTIAL DECISION TO DECLINE ASSENT TO NIGERIAN PEACE CORPS (ESTABLISHMENT) BILL 2017 RECENTLY PASSED BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY’ read by the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara Tuesday, Buhari cited “security concerns regarding the proposed outfit being authorised to undertake activities currently being performed by extant security and law enforcement agencies.”

He also cited financial implications of funding the establishment and operations of the proposed peace corps adding that the scarce financial resources may pose serious challenge to the government.

The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) Tuesday, urged the National Population Commission (NPC) to present it with record of dead citizens since 2015 to enable it to “sanitise’’ the voter register.

The Chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu made the request when he visited the Chairman of the NPC, Eze Duruiheoma, in Abuja.

We are confident that you will oblige us so that we can further clean up our voter register ahead of the 2019 general elections,” Yakubu said.

And stories from around the world…

North Korea has been sending equipment to Syria that could be used in chemical weapons manufacturing, US media report, citing findings by UN experts.

The materials include acid-resistant tiles, valves and pipes, reports say.

An as-yet-unreleased UN report also says Pyongyang’s missile specialists have been seen at Syrian weapon-making facilities, the New York Times says.

A government critic has said, according to the BBC, that allowing Chinese President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely will be seen by historians as a farce.

In a rare show of public dissent, former state newspaper editor Li Datong sent an open letter opposing the proposal.

He says in the letter that scrapping term limits for the president and vice-president would sow the seeds of chaos.

Gerard Moreno scored an injury-time winner as Espanyol beat third-place Real Madrid for the first time in over a decade.

Real had won five games in a row but rested Cristiano Ronaldo and were made to pay for that.

La Liga champions Real remain 14 points behind Barcelona.

Papua New Guinea has been devastated by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that has claimed at least 16 lives.

The earthquake, the strongest ever to hit the country, struck the Southern Highlands, Hela Province and the Western Highlands region early on Monday morning, but the extent of the devastation took days to emerge because of the area’s remoteness.

Southern Highlands governor William Powi Wednesday, said that authorities in his region were still trying to assess the extent of the damage, and his people were traumatised, with the disaster causing “catastrophic havoc and destruction.”

Norway plans to ban semi-automatic firearms as of 2021, a decade after rightwing extremist Anders Breivik’s mass shooting that left 69 people dead, a Norwegian lawmaker said on Tuesday.

The minority rightwing government had presented a proposal on the ban last year.

Today, it has become clear that there is a parliamentary majority in favour of the government’s proposal. Semi-automatic weapons will therefore be banned in Norway,” Peter Frolich, a Conservative member of parliament’s standing committee on judicial affairs, told AFP.

Read » The Big 5: Air Force deploys jets in search of missing 110 schoolgirls, N’Korea ‘providing materials to Syria chemical weapons factories’ and other top stories on YNaija

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