UAE signs $1.3bn weapon deal

The United Arab Emirates' yearslong war in Yemen alongside Saudi Arabia bled into the start of a biennial Abu Dhabi arms fair Sunday, which saw the Emirates sign $1.3 billion in weapons deals.

One manufacturer displayed a model of a machine gun on sale that is now in the hands of Emirati-backed militiamen in Yemen, while the armored personnel carriers and tanks used in the war in the Arab world's poorest country also could be seen at the show.

Japanese Abe decline comment on Trump Peace Prize nomination

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declined Monday to say if he had nominated U.S. President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize, though he also emphasized he did not deny doing so.

Trump's assertion Friday that Abe had nominated him for the honor and sent him a copy of the letter has raised criticism in Japan.

Questioned in parliament about Trump's claim that he had done so, Abe said, "In light of the Nobel committee's policy of not disclosing recommenders and nominees for 50 years, I decline to comment."

China crackdown on online lenders

China's policy ministry says it investigated 380 online lenders and froze $1.5 billion in assets in a crackdown following an avalanche of scandals in the huge but lightly regulated industry.

The ministry said Monday it launched the investigation in June because the industry was increasingly risky and rife with complaints about fraud, mismanagement and waste.

Regulators have steadily tightened control over Chinese online lenders following a string of failures and fraud cases that prompted protests and complaints of official indifference to small investors.

German demolishes coal-fired power plant

A long-shut coal-fired power plant in western Germany has been demolished with the help of more than 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of explosives.

AP said the former Knepper power station on the outskirts of Dortmund was brought down in two explosions on Sunday. The first destroyed the main body of the plant and the second collapsed its 128-meter (420-foot) high cooling tower and its 210-meter (689-foot) tall chimney.

German news agency dpa reported that about 120 nearby residents had to leave their homes as a precaution.

The power plant was shut down in 2014.

Venezuela bars EU parliamentarian

The government of embattled President Nicolas Maduro has barred five European parliamentarians from entering the country.

They had been invited to visit by Maduro’s rival for power, Juan Guaido.

The Venezuelan government on Sunday blocked a group of representatives from the European Parliament from entering the country.

The lawmakers had been invited by Juan Guaido, who appointed himself interim president in early February in a challenge to long-acting President Nicolas Maduro, triggering a power crisis.

NGOs, International observers back INEC

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and International Republican Institute (IRI), both NGOs, joint international observation mission have thrown their weight on INEC’s postponement of the Feb. 16 elections to ensure credible polls.

This was expressed in a statement on Monday in Yola by Mr Tony Awesu, Head of Media of NDI, for the mission on Nigeria’s 2019 election.

According to Awesu, NDI/IRI fully endorsed the postponement of the 2019 elections in Nigeria and will continue to support Nigeria’s democratic development.

Commonwealth deploys observer group for Nigeria election

The Commonwealth has deployed a 20-member Observer Group, led by former President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, for the Feb. 16 Nigerian presidential election.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, constituted the observer group following an invitation from Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), according to Commonwealth Secretariat.

ECOWAS solicits $100m for conflict prevention

ECOWAS is seeking about 100 million dollars for its conflict prevention framework aimed at promoting regional peace, security and economic development.

Representatives of the commission highlighted 15 components of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) in an official launch in Abuja.

The 15 components captured human rights, rule of law, media, cross border initiatives, natural resource governance, youth empowerment, women, peace and security, ECOWAS standby force, humanitarian assistance, among others.

UN warns against flow of bigotry on Internet

The UN has raised an alarm over what it termed the “alarming increase” in bigotry fuelled by the Internet.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gave the warning at the 2018 International Holocaust Remembrance Day to honour the memory of some six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust during World War Two.

Guterres also denounced the rise in anti-Semitism, recounting many other victims of what he called “unprecedented, calculated cruelty and horror”.

“We see bigotry moving at lightning speed across the Internet”, the UN chief said.

Nigerians in U.S. to invest $3bn in Nigeria

A Nigerian professional forum in the U.S. have put measures in place to attract an estimated $3 billion investment into the Nigerian economy in the next three years.

The Nigerian American Business Forum (NABF) stated at its 2019 Investment Conference with the theme: ‘Entrepreneurship in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities’ at Tampa, Florida.

The President of the forum, Mr Kenneth Shobola, said the forum aimed to impact the wealth of experience of accomplished Nigerian Diasporas for the rapid development of their homeland.