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The Big 5: Nigerian breaks Guinness World Record for longest reading marathon, Trump praises Xi Jinping’s power grab and other top stories

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These are the top five stories you should be monitoring today.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is set to unite all opposition parties and groups for the purpose of unseating the All Progressives Congress (APC) from power in the 2019 elections.

The party is already reaching out to such opposition parties and groups, The Nation reports.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen has said the judiciary is not relaxing the efforts to restore its pride.

Unfolding 13 reforms designed to sanitise the judiciary and rid it of corruption, the CJN said he must henceforth approve all overseas’ trips by judges.

The Reforms include: establishing new modalities for appointment of judicial officers; tightening judicial discipline regulations; fashioning out a speedy way to clear backlog of cases, speedy and transparent delivery of justice; Rules of Court Procedure now to contain provision for the award of punitive cost by the Court for frivolous litigation or delays; reviving and strengthening the Inspectorate Division to ensure judicial officers go to work and sit in their courts from Monday to Friday from 9 am to at least 4 pm; President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to assist the NJC with a separate assessment report on all NBA candidates being considered for judicial appointment; all Judges of Lower Courts and other public officers such as Chief Registrars and Secretaries, among others, are henceforth required to write examinations before being appointed; to constitute more committees to investigate allegations against judges; all Heads of Courts to designate some courts in their jurisdictions as Special Courts to handle corruption cases; 20% of Judiciary Budget to be devoted to Corruption and Financial Crimes Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO); all travels outside Nigeria by judges will now be with the permission of the CJN after an application would have been made; all Judges of Lower Courts in the country have been directed to submit Returns of Cases quarterly to the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).

The Senator who introduced a bill for the establishment of Independent National Commission for Hate Speeches, Sabi Abdullahi, has explained why a penalty of death sentence was included in the bill.

The proposed commission would enforce hate speech laws across the country, and ensure the “elimination” of hate speech, the bill says.

The bill which passed for second reading at the Senate prescribed death by hanging for any person found guilty of any form of hate speech that results in the death of another person.

Abdullahi explained that the bill has slated some processes which must be exhausted before a person is subjected to the maximum punishment.

The bill provides that ‘all persons who make hate speeches would die by hanging‘, the Senate spokesperson said the penalty is only for those who are found guilty of any form of hate speech that results in the death of another person after judicial processes in a Federal High Court.

A Nigerian, Bayode Treasures-Olawunmi, has set a new Guinness World Record for “The Longest Reading Marathon (Read Aloud).”

Bayode set the new record at exactly 3:30 on Saturday, at the YouRead library, Yaba, Lagos.

The father of three began reading at 1:30 pm on Monday and set the new record of 120 hours over a period of five days.

He beat Nepali Deepak Sharma’s record of 113 hours 15 minutes set in 2008 reading mostly Nigerian literature by Toni Kan, Leye Adele, Sarah Ladipo Manyika and many others.

As the 2019 general elections draw near, the caucus of the rulling All Progressives Congress (APC) is set to consider a proposed budget of N14.82 billion for its activities in 2018.

This was contained in a memo titled “Financial report for 2016, 2017 and presentation of 2018 budget to the National Caucus”, item 8 on the agenda of the meeting, Punch reports.

The party said it intends to finance this budget largely from the nomination fees, fundraising, levies on elected and appointed office holders and the sale of party membership cards.

And stories from around the world…

US President Donald Trump has stepped up his war of words over trade tariffs, threatening to “apply a tax” on imports of cars from the European Union.

Trump said other countries had taken advantage of the US for years because of its “very stupid” trade deals.

Trump has celebrated China‘s Xi Jinping’s bid to shepherd the country back into an era of one-man dictatorship, suggesting the US might one day “give that a shot”.

China’s authoritarian leader took power in 2012 and had been expected to rule until 2023. However, last week it emerged that Xi would attempt to use an annual meeting of China’s parliament, which kicks off on Monday morning, to abolish presidential term limits by changing the Chinese constitution.

North Korea Saturday, said that it would “counter the U.S.” if military exercises were conducted, and the U.S. will “own all responsibilities for the ensuing consequences,” Reuters reports.

If the U.S. finally holds joint military exercises while keeping sanctions on the DPRK, the DPRK will counter the U.S. by its own mode of counteraction and the U.S. will be made to own all responsibilities for the ensuing consequences,” says North Korea’s news agency KCNA.

South Africa‘s parliament voted 241-83 on a motion that would allow land to be transferred from white to black land owners without financial compensation, the Independent reports.

This original sin that was committed when our country was colonised must be resolved in a way that will take South Africa forward,” says President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday, said the Kremlin can’t respond to charges that Russian nationals meddled in the 2016 president election if those involved did “not violate Russian laws.

Putin said during in and interview with NBC New’s Megyn Kelly that he cannot know whether Russian law was violated and would need to “first see what they’ve done.”

Read » The Big 5: Nigerian breaks Guinness World Record for longest reading marathon, Trump praises Xi Jinping’s power grab and other top stories on YNaija

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