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Gordon Brown backs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to lead WTO

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Former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has endorsed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to lead the World Trade Organisation, arguing that she has a record of delivering results in “the toughest of jobs”.

The former prime minister claimed that Dr Okonjo-Iweala, from Nigeria, would make an “outstanding success” of running the Swiss-based regulator, which is facing an existential crisis while searching for its next director-general and grappling with the global economic disruption caused by Covid-19.

With this backing and declaration that Dr Okonjo-Iweala and is respected “across the whole of the world”, Mr Brown, a former Labour leader and chancellor, has passed over Liam Fox, the former Conservative trade secretary, whom Britain has nominated in the contest

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World’s richest banker Joseph Safra dies aged 82

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Joseph Safra

Lebanese-Brazilian banking magnate Joseph Safra, the wealthiest man in Brazil, died Thursday at age 82 of natural causes, his bank said.

Safra, who had an estimated fortune of $23.2 billion, ranked 63rd on Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s wealthiest people.

Born in 1938 to a Lebanese Jewish family in Beirut, he emigrated with his family to Brazil, where his father founded what would become Banco Safra.

In 1962, he and his brothers took over the bank from their father, who died the following year.

They turned it into a major financial group, with operations in more than 25 countries.

A patron of the arts and philanthropist, Safra donated part of his fortune to medical research, and also purchased artworks for Sao Paulo’s Pinacoteca, one of the leading museums in Brazil.


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US Removes Visa Reciprocity Fees For Nigerian Applicants

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The United States has removed the reciprocity fee imposed on visa applications for Nigerians.

The development which took effect from December 3, was disclosed in a statement on Friday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The ministry of foreign affairs wishes to inform that the United States government has removed all visa reciprocity fees for Nigerian citizens seeking visas to the United States,” the ministry’s spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonye, said.

In August 2019, the United States had increased the cost of visa application for Nigerians.

The US Consulate explained that the increment was to “reciprocate” the extra visa fee that the Nigerian government had charged American citizens.

Consequently, Nigerians were required to pay a fee called visa ‘issuance fee’, or ‘reciprocity fee’, for all applications for non-immigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications.

But the Nigerian Government announced Friday that the extra fees have been reversed.

Nwoye said the development “is in line with the removal of excess visa application, processing and biometric fees for United States citizens applying for Nigerian visas by the Nigerian government”.

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