Five things to know to start your Thursday

Abuja Police raid untended bushes, abandoned buildings, others

In a way to show proactiveness in dealing with the ever-growing threat to lives and properties in the Federal Capital Territory, the Abuja police force has commenced raids on abandoned buildings, untended bushes, and any likely hideouts for criminals and terrorists within the city centres and suburbs.

Josephine Adeh, the police spokesperson, disclosed this in a statement issued by the force headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.

Adeh believes that the exercise would help to flush out criminals who take shelter in abandoned buildings and untended bushes to carry out their evil plans.

She also used the opportunity to debunk reports about the existence of kidnappers’ hideouts within the FCT.

She pleaded with residents to cooperate with the police and not feel threatened by the heavy presence of policing in the coming days.

The raid comes barely 24 hours after the police promised to embark on intelligence gathering and intelligence-led raids, among other security measures.

Read also: Abuja police rescue kids locked in toilet by guardian, arrest suspect

Congo expels U.N. peacekeeping mission spokesman after protests

The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo has asked Mathias Gilman, the spokesman of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, to leave the country.

The president blamed him for the protests that occurred last week. Gilman was accused of making “indelicate and inappropriate” statements which contributed to tensions between the population and MONUSCO.

The protest claimed the lives of 36 people, including four U.N. peacekeepers.

According to Reuters, the protests that took place last week led to the vandalisation of U.N. buildings in several cities in Congo’s east.

Civilians accused the mission, which has been operational for over a decade, of failing to protect them from militia violence, which has long plagued the region.

The government had promised after the event occurred to reassess the withdrawal plan of MONUSCO, a decision that has been supported by the majority of the populace.

27 Chinese warplanes enter Taiwan’s air defence zone: Taipei

Political tension brewed much further on Wednesday following Nancy Pelosi, the US House Speaker, controversial visit to Taiwan.

In response to this visit, Beijing sent twenty-seven Chinese warplanes to fly over Taiwan’s air defence zone, Taipei alleged.

As captured by the BBC, the defence ministry said in a tweet, “27 PLA aircraft… entered the surrounding area of (Republic of China) on August 3, 2022,”.

SoftBank to reduce stake in Alibaba

SoftBank said that its plan to reduce its equity holdings in Alibaba has succeeded following its successful raising of more than $22 billion in cash.

The Japanese investor’s decision to cash in on some of its shareholding in the e-commerce giant comes after the company suffered massive financial losses in excess of $27 billion in its Vision Fund project during the previous year.

This year, according to some sources, SoftBank, which is led by Masayoshi Son, a Japanese billionaire, has sold about 33.3 percent of its stake in Alibaba, a company that he helped grow into one of the biggest companies in the world.

However, the company maintained that despite its decision to sell a sizeable portion of its shares, it still retains the right to buy back those shares.

SoftBank has been making aggressive moves to diversify its portfolio of investments and reduce its exposure to concentration risk on Alibaba, even though this experiment isn’t going as planned.

US Senate ratifies NATO membership for Finland, Sweden

The US Senate has ratified the proposal made some two months ago over Sweden and Finland’s requests to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

This latest move by the US upper legislative chamber is seen as a necessary step to bolster the NATO military alliance against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

According to Bloomberg, “the vote was 95-1, far exceeding the two-thirds majority required for the approval of treaties. If the ascension wins approval from all current members of the alliance, Finland will join Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland as NATO countries that share a land border with Russia. ”

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the vote marked a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation between the Senate leaders.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.