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The US government is proposing to collect social media identities from nearly everyone who seeks US Visa, according to a State Department filing on Friday.

The proposal, a broad expansion of the information gathered from applicants for U.S. visas, if approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), would require most immigrant and non-immigrant visa applicants to list all social media identities they have used in the past five years.

The information will be used to vet and identify them, according to the proposals, which would affect about 14.7 million people annually.

The proposals support President Donald Trump’s promise to institute “extreme vetting” of foreigners entering the United states to prevent terrorism.

Previously, under rules instituted last May, consular officials were instructed to collect social media identifiers only when they determined “that such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting,” a State Department official said at the time.

The State Department said then that the tighter vetting would apply only to those “who hav–e been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities.”

The American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern, saying the move would have a “chilling” effect on freedom of speech and association.

“People will now have to wonder if what they say online will be misconstrued or misunderstood by a government official,” Hina Shamsi, director ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement.

“We’re also concerned about how the Trump administration defines the vague and over-broad term ‘terrorist activities’ because it is inherently political and can be used to discriminate against immigrants who have done nothing wrong,” he said.

“There is a real risk that social media vetting will unfairly target immigrants and travelers from Muslim-majority countries for discriminatory visa denials, without doing anything to protect national security.”

The new proposal was published in the Federal Register on Friday. The public has 60 days to comment on the revised procedures before the OMB approves or rejects them.

If approved, the measures also will require applicants to submit five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses and their international travel history. They will be asked if they have been deported or removed from any country and whether family members have been involved in terrorist activities, the department said.

The department said it intends not to routinely ask most diplomatic and official visa applicants for the additional information

BIG STORY

I’ll Retrieve My Senate Mandate And Become Kogi Governor …Dino Melaye Reacts To Tribunal Sack Order

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The Kogi State National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has sacked Dino Melaye as the representative of the Kogi West senatorial district in the Senate.

Melaye beat his closest challenger, Smart Adeyemi, and other candidates in the election that was conducted on February 23, 2019 for a second term in the upper legislative chamber.

However, Mr. Melaye has allayed the fears of his supporters saying, “no cause for alarm”.

In a twitter message immediately after the tribunal ruling, Melaye wrote;

“On Tribunal judgement. No cause for alarm at all. Even if it went my way they will still go to the Appeal Court. Our mandate cannot be taken. We will get judgment at the Appeal Court.

There will be a fresh election in Kogi West because I will be governor. For my senate mandate, no shaking.”

Adeyemi filed a petition before the tribunal to contest the result, alleging that the process was plagued with irregularities and disorganizations.

The tribunal agreed with him and annulled the election in a ruling delivered on Friday, August 23.

In a unanimous judgment, the three-member panel, led by Justice A. O. Chijioke, ordered for a fresh election to be conducted in the district.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Tribunal Sacks Dino Melaye As Kogi West Senator, Orders Fresh Election

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The Kogi State National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal has nullified the election of Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West senatorial district.

Recall that Dino Melaye polled a total of 85,395 votes to defeat his APC opponent who scored 66,902 votes.

But the APC candidate, Sam Adeyemi proceeded to challenge the declaration on three grounds of irregularities, overvoting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

According to Vanguard, the three-man panel led by Justice A. O. Chijioke, in a unanimous judgment on Friday, accepted Adeyemi’s ground and ordered for another election in the senatorial district.

Details later…

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BIG STORY

Okorocha Stole N1trillion From Imo State, He Must Account For All His Evil Deeds —– Gov Ihedioha

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Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, has accused former Governor Rochas Okorocha, of stealing N1trillion while in power.

This was contained in a statement on Friday issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Steve Osuji.

“Available records show that in eight years, former Governor Okorocha mismanaged about One Trillion Naira belonging to Imo State”, he said.

“We are taking our time in unveiling the numerous atrocities of the last administration and certainly, he must answer for all the evil he did against the people of Imo State.

“It is very strange that a former Governor could sit and concoct lies. How could Governor Emeka Ihedioha spend N2.8b on sanitation? What was it used for? Okorocha’s problem is that he is so used to lies that he no longer knows the difference between lies and the truth.

“The state spends only about Twenty-Five Million Naira on sanitation and the bulk of the funds come from support from corporate organizations as part of their corporate social responsibility.

“Okorocha also alleged that Governor Ihedioha has, within two months in office, built a Hotel in Abuja and new houses in Owerri and his village. This further shows that the man, Okorocha is sick.

“As at today, Governor Ihedioha operates from his private residence in Owerri, following the pillage and vandalisation of Government House by former Governor Okorocha and his cronies.

“How could he say the Governor is building new houses when he owns a palatial residence in Owerri, where he operates from and mansions in his village, built many years ago? The question is – are houses built in two months?

“Only Okorocha can build a house in two months and it collapses after a short while. Imo people already know that Okorocha is a habitual liar and should not be taken seriously.

“The truth is that Okorocha wrecked Imo State. All he is doing is to attempt to divert the attention of Imo people. Unfortunately, Imo people are smarter than that.

“He also claimed that Governor Ihedioha did not win the last election. So who won? He cannot get over the fact that his puppet in-law failed; he is also in pains that he has not been able to extend his dynasty in Imo.

“But no amount of falsehood will deter the people’s governor, Ihedioha from fulfilling his electoral promise of rebuilding Imo State. The present administration shall remain on course in its efforts to recover Imo people’s funds and property looted by Rochas Okorocha and his cronies,” he said.

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