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New York Gov resigns over sexual harassment scandal

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Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said he would resign effective in two weeks because of a sexual harassment scandal that has crippled his administration.

The announcement of his resignation came in a live stream from his Manhattan office minutes after his lawyer during her own statement to reporters again flatly denied claims that he had sexually harassed anyone during the Democrat’s three terms in office.

Cuomo’s resignation, however, comes a week after a report issued by the state Attorney General’s office found he had sexually harassed current and former staffers, along with a state police trooper assigned to his protective detail, and women outside of government.

Cuomo said he had to resign because he did not want to distract the state from important work to be done.

He said he was motivated to step down to avoid months of distraction for the state, which is continuing to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, from an all-but-certain impeachment of him over allegations he sexually harassed at least 11 women.

“Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government.

“And therefore that is what I’ll do, because I work for you, and doing the right thing, is doing the right thing for you,” Cuomo said

While continuing to deny some of the more serious claims against him, Cuomo conceded he had offended some of his accusers with what he considered friendly or incidental physical contact and comments that were normal for men of his generation.

“In my mind, I have never crossed the line with anyone,” he said. “But I didn’t realise the extent to which the line has been redrawn.

“Thank you for letting me serve you. It has been the honour of a lifetime,” Cuomo said.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will replace Cuomo, and become the Empire State’s first female governor.

The White House while reacting to the announcement that Cuomo will resign in 14 days stated that it was what President Biden had advocated for.

Biden had on Aug 4 at a White Press Conference called for the resignation of Cuomo after an investigation found that he had sexually harassed 11 women.

When asked if the governor should be impeached, Biden said, “Let’s take one thing at a time here.“

“I think he should resign. I understand that the state legislature may decide to impeach, I don’t know that for a fact. I haven’t read all that data,” the president said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed any concerns that Cuomo’s announcement overshadowed passage of a key bipartisan agenda item.

“The president made clear his views last week and those stand. Our view is that this is a story about these courageous women who came forward, told their stories, shared their stories.

“And the investigation overseen by the attorney general that, of course, completed today in an outcome that the president called for just last week,” Psaki told reporters at the Tuesday briefing.

Psaki said Biden has not talked to Cuomo and there are “no plans that I’m aware of” to speak with him.

Psaki said that Biden has “not yet” spoken with Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who will become New York’s first female governor when Cuomo’s resignation takes effect.

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International

UN Secretary-General visits Buhari At State House

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The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday paid visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.

He was received by top government officials.

Buhari’s conversation with Guterres centred on the need to ensure peaceful and democratic elections as well as the robust participation of women and young people in all areas.

President Buhari also thanked the UN boss for the visit, stressing that it came at a time when the world is focussing on the Russia/Ukraine crisis. Buhari also believes that the visit underscores the assurance that the world is with Nigeria.

On his part, the UN scribe called for developed nations to ramp up vaccine support to countries in the global north, halt the asymmetrical distribution and reform the global financial system.

Earlier in the day, he visited the UN House in Abuja alongside some top officials and diplomats of the agency.

Guterres is on a two-day official visit to Nigeria – the first of such.

The UN chief had arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday and also visited Borno State where he proposed the reintegration of repentant terrorists. This, he said, is key to the restoration of peace in the North East region.

“The best thing we can do for peace is to reintegrate those, that in a moment of despair, became terrorists but want to become now citizens and to contribute to the well-being of their brothers and sisters,” he told a gathering at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp.

The UN scribe is also expected to perform the wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the August 26, 2011, suicide bomb attack victims.

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Ukraine : UN Agencies Condemn Attacks On Health Care Facilities

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UN agencies on Sunday called for an immediate ceasefire and an end to attacks on healthcare professionals and facilities in Ukraine, describing such incidents as acts of “unconscionable cruelty”.

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 31 attacks on health care have been documented via the WHO’s Surveillance System for Attacks on Health Care (SSA), the heads of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Fund and the World Health Organization said in a joint statement.

“To attack the most vulnerable -– babies, children, pregnant women and those already suffering from illness and disease, and health workers risking their own lives to save lives –- is an act of unconscionable cruelty,” they said, calling for an immediate ceasefire.
In 24 of the reported attacks, health care facilities were damaged or destroyed, while in five cases ambulances were hit. A total of 12 people were killed and 34 injured, according to the UN agencies’ statement.

“Humanitarian partners and health care workers must be able to safely maintain and strengthen essential health service delivery, including immunisation against Covid-19 and polio, and the supply of life-saving medicines for civilians across Ukraine as well as to refugees crossing into neighbouring countries,” said the statement, signed by UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell, UNFPA counterpart Natalia Kanem and WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

At least three people were killed, including a young girl, in an attack Wednesday on a children’s hospital in Mariupol in southern Ukraine.

According to the United Nations’ reproductive health agency two other Ukrainian maternity hospitals had already been attacked and destroyed before that strike.

“Attacks on health care and health workers directly impact people’s ability to access essential health services -– especially women, children and other vulnerable groups,” the UN agency chiefs said in their statement on Sunday.

“We have already seen that the health care needs of pregnant women, new mothers, younger children and older people inside Ukraine are rising, while access to services is being severely limited by the violence,” the statement added.

Oxygen and medical supplies, including for the management of pregnancy complications, are running dangerously low, they warned.

“The health care system in Ukraine is clearly under significant strain, and its collapse would be a catastrophe. Every effort must be made to prevent this from happening,” the UN agencies warned.

“We call for an immediate ceasefire, which includes unhindered access so that people in need can access humanitarian assistance. A peaceful resolution to end the war in Ukraine is possible.”

AFP

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Yoon Suk-yeol wins South Korea’s presidential election

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Yoon Suk Yeol
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Yoon Suk Yeol, a conservative former top prosecutor, has been elected South Korea’s new president, defeating his chief liberal rival in one of the country’s most closely fought presidential elections.

With more than 98 percent of the ballots counted, Yoon had 48.6 percent of the votes against his rival Lee Jae-myung’s 47.8 percent.

Yoon said on Thursday that he would honour the constitution and the parliament and work with opposition parties when he takes office as the country’s next leader, calling the election result a “victory of the great people”.

“Our competition is over for now,” he said in an acceptance speech, thanking and consoling Lee and other rivals.

“We have to join hands and unite into one for the people and the country.”

At a separate ceremony with supporters, Yoon said he would put top priority on “national unity,” adding all people should be treated equally regardless of their regional, political and socioeconomic differences.

“I would pay attention to people’s livelihoods, provide warm welfare services to the needy, and make utmost efforts so that our country serves as a proud, responsible member of the international community and the free world,” he said.

Yoon is to take office in May and serve a single five-year term as leader of the world’s 10th-largest economy.

 

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