COVID-19: Britain stops further reopening

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Britain on Friday “put the brakes on” easing lockdown measures and imposed new rules on millions of households in northern England, following concerns over a spike in coronavirus infections.

The reopening of high-risk activities such as casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks, which was meant to begin on Saturday, will be delayed until at least August 15, as will the reintroduction of indoor performances and pilot schemes of larger crowds at sporting events, Boris Johnson announced.

“I have said our plan to reopen society and the economy is conditional.. that we would not hesitate to put the brakes on if required. Our assessment is that we should now squeeze that brake pedal,” the Prime Minister said in a Downing Street briefing.

Johnson, who earlier this week warned of a “second wave” of cases in Europe, added that Britain “cannot be complacent” about increasing infection numbers.

Increase in new infections
His announcement came hours after the government increased regional lockdown measures — under which people from different households are banned from meeting indoors — for some four million people across Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the restrictions were being brought in because people were “meeting and not abiding to social distancing”.

Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock/ AFP

“We take this action with a heavy heart, but we can see increasing rates of COVID across Europe and are determined to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe,” Hancock said on Twitter.

Government data released Friday showed there was “some evidence that the incidence of new infections has increased in recent weeks” in England.

However, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said “I don’t think it is helpful” to talk yet of a second wave sweeping across Europe.

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The local measures came into effect at midnight (2300 GMT Thursday), just hours after being announced.

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, backed the measures due to an increase in infections.

A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament’s Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows Britain’s main opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer speaking during Prime Minister’s Question time (PMQs) in the House of Commons in London on July 22, 2020.
JESSICA TAYLOR / PRU / AFP

“The picture in Greater Manchester has changed over the last seven days,” he told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media).

“We have a rise in nine out of the 10 boroughs, the reality on the ground is changing.”

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Scots should avoid Manchester
But the new measures have come under criticism from the opposition Labour party for being announced late at night.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said on Twitter: “Announcing measures affecting potentially millions of people late at night on Twitter is a new low for the government’s communications during this crisis.”

They also come into force just as celebrations of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha begin. Areas affected by the latest lockdown have significant Muslim populations.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned her citizens against travelling to the affected areas.

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“To… minimise risks of onward transmission here, @scotgov is STRONGLY advising against non-essential travel between Scotland and these parts of the north of England,” she wrote on Twitter.

A handout image released by 10 Downing Street, shows Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson attending a remote press conference to update the nation on the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic inside 10 Downing Street in central London on July 31, 2020. Andrew PARSONS / POOL / 10 Downing Street / AFP

It is not the first local lockdown to be put in place — England has lifted most of its restrictions nationally but imposed store closures around the central city of Leicester at the end of June.

Hancock said Leicester would now follow the same ban on meetings between different households being applied to Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire.

Britain’s official virus death toll stands at 45,999 but is believed to be as high as 65,000 if excess deaths are used as a guide.


#Newsworthy…

Super eagle’s Osimhen signs contract with Napoli

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Italian side, Napoli have signed Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, the club confirmed in a statement on Friday.

“Welcome to Napoli, Victor, ” the club said on their Twitter handle while confirming the arrival of the Nigerian from French side, Lille.

“Can’t wait to put on this iconic jersey, thank you for the warm welcome @sscnapoli #forzanapolisempre,” the player tweeted following the confirmation of his switch.

Although no official fee was announced for the signing of the 21-year-old striker, several sources claim the deal is worth over $96 million (81.3m Euros) which makes the forward the most expensive African player of all time.

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Osimhen’s move to the Gli Azzurri trumps the prize Arsenal paid for Ivory Coast forward, Nicolas Pepe last year.

Last term, the former Charleroi (from where he moved to France) man scored 18 goals in all games for Lille and has been linked with a move to Naples in recent times.

His stellar showing for the French side saw him winning the Lille Player of the Season just as he made it to Ligue 1’s team for the 2019/2020 campaign.

The Edo-born footballer came into limelight after he helped the Nigerian U-17 team win the 2015 World Cup in Chile, scooping the Golden Boot and Silver Ball awards.

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During the competition, he struck 10 times after which he bagged Africa’s Youth Player of the Year for 2015.

He immediately joined German side, Wolfsburg following his exploits in the cadet competition, turning down Arsenal of England.

Thereafter, he teamed up with Charleroi in Belgium, initially on loan, after a barren spell with the Bundesliga outfit.

Since his debut for the senior national team in June 2017, he has played 10 matches and bagged four goals.


#NobleSport

COVID-19: Hong Kong postpone local elections till 2021.

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…activists fleeing overseas

Hong Kong’s democracy supporters were dealt a huge blow Friday as authorities postponed local elections for a year because of the coronavirus, capping a devastating month of political disqualifications, arrests for social media posts and activists fleeing overseas.

The city’s democracy camp has come under sustained attack since Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law last month — a move China’s leaders described as a “sword” hanging over the head of its critics.

The ensuing weeks have sent a chill through a city used to speaking its mind and supposedly guaranteed certain freedoms and autonomy in a “One Country, Two Systems” deal agreed ahead of its 1997 handover from Britain.

On Friday evening chief executive Carrie Lam, a pro-Beijing appointee, announced that September elections for the financial hub’s legislature would be delayed for a year using emergency anti-virus powers.

She denied the move was a political decision to hobble the city’s opposition.

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“I am only paying attention to the current pandemic situation,” she said.

Beijing welcomed the move as “necessary, reasonable and legal”.

This file photo taken on July 11, 2020 shows information posters posted on a wall at a New Territories East polling station during a primary election in Hong Kong. May JAMES / AFP

But the decision infuriated democracy supporters who had warned against any move to delay the polls, accusing authorities of using the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid a drubbing at the ballot box.

“This is a sleazy, contemptible political act to help thwart any victory on the part of the democrats in the original election,” opposition lawmaker Claudia Mo told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media), warning that public anger could explode.

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The postponement came a day after a dozen prominent democracy activists were barred from standing for election because their political views were deemed unacceptable.

“Beyond any doubt (this) is the most scandalous election fraud era in Hong Kong history,” Joshua Wong, one of the city’s most recognisable democracy figures, told reporters Friday before the elections were postponed.

Wong was one of those disqualified, along with other young firebrand activists and some older, more moderate democracy campaigners.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (C) speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 31, 2020. Anthony WALLACE / AFP

Banned political views
Hong Kong is not a democracy — its leader is chosen by pro-Beijing committees.

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But half of its legislature’s 70 seats are directly elected, offering the city’s 7.5 million residents a rare chance to have their voices heard at the ballot box.

Planning to capitalise on last year’s huge and often violent anti-Beijing protests, democracy activists had been hoping to win their first-ever majority in September.

But officials have begun scrubbing ballot lists of candidates.

Examples given by authorities of unacceptable political views have included criticising the new security law, campaigning to win a legislation-blocking majority and refusing to recognise China’s sovereignty.

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Earlier in the day a coalition of democracy parties warned any bid to delay the elections would herald “the complete collapse of our constitutional system”.

Around half of Hong Kong’s nearly 3,300 COVID-19 cases have been detected in the past month alone and authorities fear hospitals are on the verge of being overwhelmed.

According to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, at least 68 elections worldwide have been postponed because of the virus, while 49 went ahead.

This file photo taken on November 24, 2019 shows political campaigners holding up signs to arriving voters during the district council elections in North Point in Hong Kong. VIVEK PRAKASH / AFP

New security law
Hong Kong is going through its most politically turbulent period since its return to Chinese rule, and last year seven straight months of pro-democracy protests swept the city.

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The pandemic and mass arrests have helped throttle the movement, but anger towards Beijing still seethes.

In response, China imposed its security law on June 30, bypassing the legislature and keeping the contents of the law secret until it was enacted.

Beijing said the law would restore stability and not impact political freedoms.

It targets four types of crime — subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces — with up to life in prison.

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But the broadly worded law instantly outlawed certain political views such as promoting independence or greater autonomy for Hong Kong.

One provision bans “inciting hatred” towards the government.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 31, 2020. Anthony WALLACE / AFP

Critics, including many Western nations, say it has demolished the “One Country, Two Systems” model.

Since it came into force, some political parties have disbanded while at least three prominent Beijing critics have fled overseas.

Libraries and schools have pulled books deemed to be in breach of the new law.

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At least 15 arrests have been made so far.

On Wednesday four students were arrested under the new law for “inciting secession” through posts on social media.

Others have been arrested for shouting pro-independence and other protest slogans, or possessing objects emblazoned with them.

A man who allegedly drove his motorbike into a group of police officers while flying an independence flag was the first to be charged under the law, with terrorism and secession offences.


#Newsworthy…

Beyonce drops “Black is King” visual Album

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Beyonce’s highly anticipated visual album, Black Is King, arrived in early hours of Friday morning (July 31), premiering on Disney+ about a year after the 2019 release of the Lion King remake, which Beyonce voiced Nala in.

Black Is King includes a cast of notable and familiar faces, such Yemi Alade, Shatta Wale, WizKid, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams and JAY-Z, and moves across the world — from New York, to Los Angeles, South Africa, different parts of West Africa, to London and Belgium

On Instagram, Beyoncé shared that the film is meant to “celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry.”

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“I typically keep comments short and sweet, but I just watched the trailer with my family and I’m excited. 🎶please don’t get me hype🎶🤪 “Black Is King” is a labor of love. It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching, and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours. It was originally filmed as a companion piece to “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack and meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry. I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose.
The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey. We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books.
With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy.
I spent a lot of time exploring and absorbing the lessons of past generations and the rich history of different African customs. While working on this film, there were moments where I’ve felt overwhelmed, like many others on my creative team, but it was important to create a film that instills pride and knowledge.
I only hope that from watching, you leave feeling inspired to continue building a legacy that impacts the world in an immeasurable way. I pray that everyone sees the beauty and resilience of our people.
This is a story of how the people left MOST BROKEN have EXTRAORDINARY gifts.❤️✊🏾 Thank you to Blitz, Emmanuel, Ibra, Jenn, Pierre, Dikayl, Kwasi and all the brilliant creatives. Thank you to all at Disney for giving this Black woman the opportunity to tell this story.
This experience has been an affirmation of a grander purpose. My only goal is that you watch it with your family and that it gives you pride.”

Produced by Beyoncé’s production company, Parkwood Entertainment, Black is King also includes four full-length videos for the tracks “Already,” “Brown Skin Girl,” “Mood 4 Eva” and “My Power,” which was featured in the latest trailer.


#Newsworthy…

Eid-el-kabir: Tinubu plead Muslims to pray for COVID-19 patients

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National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has asked Muslims to pray for those who have contracted the COVID-19 virus as well as those who have lost their lives to the pandemic.

He appealed to them not to fret about not being able to gather to pray but rather, reflect on the lessons of Eid-El Kabir and practice it in their daily activities.

“Not gathering for the Eid for this Sallah celebration is due to the circumstance and the environment and its for the sdafety of all of us and that is crucial.

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“The essence of today in our religion is about sacrifice. So, demonstrate it, to be able to pray for our health, those who have lost their lives, pray for forgiveness for them,” the APC chieftain said in an interview on Friday.

– Gov. Zulum’s Convoy Attack –

B.A.T also reacted to the security issues in Borno State, while saluting the courage of Governor Babagana Zulum.

He assured Nigerians that the Federal Government will win the war against insurgency across the country.


#Newsworthy…

Kaduna Killings: El Rufai link attacks to bandits

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has linked the attacks in the southern part of the state to banditry.

Southern Kaduna has been in the news lately after scores of persons were killed in the area, despite efforts by the Federal Government.

But El-Rufai said Kaduna is not the only state facing security challenges, explaining that Northwest and Northeast have been battling similar situations.

He said during his appearance on Media TV (known to Noble Reporters Media) and claimed that the crises have gained much attention due to the injection of ethnic and religious connotations.

“I think the issue is not just in Kaduna State. We have security challenges all across the Northeast and Northwest,” the former FCT Minister explained.

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“But I think what makes Kaduna’s case situation unique and headline-grabbing is because of the injection of religious and ethnic connotations to the attacks and the clashes between the various ethnic groups.”

Since Kaduna has a long history of ethno-religious intolerance, he added, every criminal situation in the Northwest is given ethnic and religious connotation.

“That complicates things more difficult to resolve because religion, ethnicity and political are identity issues,” he said.

“They are very emotive and people tend to lose their calm and their heads in situations like this. That’s what complicates the issues.”

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Lawmakers Irresponsibility
On some federal lawmakers from the southern part of the state raising the alarm of planned attacks in Kaduna after the Sallah celebration, El-Rufai berated them for being “irresponsible”and showing a “lack of leadership.”

The lawmaker representing Kachia Kagarko Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable Gabriel Saleh during an interview decried the spate of killings in Southern Kaduna.

He claimed that they (lawmakers) have a habit of not presenting the facts and always in a hurry to go the press instead of sending intelligence reports to security agencies.

“I think they should provide this kind of useful intelligence to security agencies,” El-Rufai said, noting that it will help the law-enforcers nip such plans in the bud.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: ‘Don’t let down your guard’ – WHO warns Young People

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The World Health Organization on Thursday warned that spikes in coronavirus transmission in a number of countries were being driven by young people “letting down their guard”.

“Young people are not invincible,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference in Geneva.

While the pandemic, which has killed nearly 670,000 and infected more than 17 million people worldwide, has disproportionately impacted the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions, he stressed that “younger people are at risk too”.

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“Young people can be infected, young people can die, and young people can transmit the virus to others.”

Tedros lamented that a major challenge in trying to rein in the novel coronavirus was “convincing younger people of this risk”.

He pointed to evidence that “spikes of cases in some countries are being driven in part by younger people letting down their guard during the northern hemisphere summer”.

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“Young people must take the same precautions to protect themselves and protect others as everyone else,” he insisted.

WHO ‘s technical lead for COVID-19 Maria Van Kerkhove lamented in particular that nightclubs in a number of places had become “amplifiers” of transmission.

“We are asking for all people, including young people, to be your own risk manager” and avoid behaviours that could easily increase transmission of the disease.

File photo: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference organised by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, on July 3, 2020 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. Fabrice COFFRINI / POOL / AFP

– Long term impacts –

Michael Ryan, WHO’s emergencies director, also stressed that very little is still known about the long term effects of even mild COVID-19 infections.

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“This disease while it may be mild, it may be moderate, it can affect many organs,” he told Thursday’s briefing.

“We just don’t know what the long-term impact of those infections will be,” he said, pointing to a study in Germany following COVID-19 patients who were never admitted to hospital, which hinted the long-term impacts could be serious.

MRI scans of their hearts had found shown “profound changes, inflammatory changes in the cardiac linings of the heart and the cardiac muscles,” he said.

While those issues will likely pass for most patients once the virus is out of their system, he warned that “inflammatory responses can also in themselves do damage and they can do long-term damage”.

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“Any inflammatory process in the cardiovascular system can lead to longer term heart disease and can actually accelerate other chronic heart conditions that may develop much later in life,” he pointed out.

“We just don’t know… Why take the risk?”

Young people, he warned, should of course try to rein in transmission as an altruistic act to avoid spreading the virus to more vulnerable groups, he said, but they should also do so out of consideration for their own health.

“Play it safe,” he said.

“Use your brain… Don’t take a risk that you cannot quantify.”


#Newsworthy…

Eid al-Adha: Buhari marks Eid prayers at home, celebrate Muslims

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President Muhammadu Buhari has wished all Muslims a happy and safe Eid as the country joins other Muslims across the world to mark the 2020 Eid El-Kabir celebrations.

In a statement on Friday, the President announced that he observed the Eid El-Kabir prayers at home with his family, in keeping with the advisories from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.

He also urged all Muslims to put into practice the noble teachings of the Islamic religion and put the fear of God in their daily activities in order to make our society better.

President Muhammadu Buhari marks the Eid El Kabir prayers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while observing physical distancing on July 31, 2020.

President Muhammadu Buhari marks the Eid El Kabir prayers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while observing physical distancing on July 31, 2020.

Speaking further, the President acknowledged that the preventive guidelines that have been introduced to contain the spread of the Coronavirus have unfortunately limited people’s freedom to gather & worship in large numbers in Mosques and Churches.

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He, however, called on Nigerians to continue to exercise patience and understanding until the nation and world overcomes the pandemic.

President Muhammadu Buhari celebrates the Eid El Kabir with his family at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on July 31, 2020.

Men are seen at a livestock market in Abuja ahead of Eid Al-Adha celebrations on July 30th, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

This is the second Eid prayer that the President would be marking at home with his family since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life, infecting millions across the world and thousands in Nigeria.

Just over two months ago, the President had observed the prayers for Eid El-Fitr at home in line with advice from the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

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The Eid El Kabir or Eid Al-Adha is an Islamic festival marked annually on July 31, to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ismail but after his faith was tested, a ram was provided and slaughtered instead. The slaughtering of cattle, remains symbolic for Muslims on this day.

In an earlier statement, he also noted that as part of efforts to stop the spread of the pandemic and flatten the curve, he would not be receiving visitors on Sallah homages.

The Eid El Kabir or Eid Al-Adha is an Islamic festival marked annually on July 31, to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ismail but after his faith was tested, a ram was provided and slaughtered instead. The slaughtering of cattle, remains symbolic for Muslims on this day.

Nigeria currently has 42,689 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the nation’s top disease control agency – the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

19,270 of those infected have recovered while 878 of them have died


#Newsworthy…

NBA elections: Opposition, Babatunde congratulates Olumide Akpata

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A contestant in the Nigerian Bar Association elections, Mr Babatunde Ajibade, has congratulated Mr Olumide Akpata who emerged as the 30th President of our association.

In a statement personally signed by him on Friday, Ajibade said he was proud of the level of the debate and the quality of the ideas that were brought forth during the elections which held on the 29th and 30th of July, for the improvement of our association, the welfare of its members and the good of our society.

He, however, pointed out that the processes leading up to and during the election itself have not been devoid of controversy, while also expressing hope that the repeated challenges with conducting objectively free and fair elections in the association will be resolved.

“It is unfortunate that the process leading up to and during the election itself have, once again, not been devoid of controversy. It is my fervent hope that we will get over these repeated challenges with conducting objectively free and fair elections into the leadership positions in the association.

“I remain resolute in my belief that we cannot succeed in addressing the challenges confronting our profession unless we unite and I urge the incoming President and his executive to take deliberate and proactive steps to unite the Bar,” Ajibade said.

Speaking further, he thanked all those who supported his aspiration to be elected President of the association, noting that although they did not achieve the desired goal, the experience was rewarding and fulfilling.

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“I say a heartfelt thank you to all the persons too numerous to mention, who supported my aspiration to be elected President of the Nigerian Bar Association.

“Though we did not get the result we wanted, the experience has been rewarding and fulfilling. I have met and established lasting bonds of friendship with colleagues from different parts of our great country Nigeria who share my values and aspirations for a better, stronger and united legal profession.

“To all those who sacrificed their time and resources, both material and otherwise, I owe a lasting debt of gratitude. I pray that God will reward each and every one of you.

“Thank you and God bless,” the statement read in part.


#Newsworthy…

AfDB: Former Liberian president Ellen Sirleaf congratulates Adesina

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A former Liberian President, Ellen Sirleaf is the latest in the list of those congratulating the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina after he was cleared of corruption allegations levelled against him by an anonymous group.

Sirleaf said the declaration of Adesina as innocent, came as expected, according to a tweet on her official handle, Thursday night.

“We rejoice that, as expected, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina has been declared fully innocent of all accusations by the Independent Panel headed by Mary Robinson,” the former Liberian leader said.

Earlier in the week, President Muhammadu Buhari had in his message to the AfDB chief, said Adesina’s exoneration is further validation of his competence and integrity to lead the institution.

The Nigerian leader said the conclusion of the review should finally draw a curtain on the allegations that created distractions for the entire institution for a period and serve as an impetus for more diligence in handling responsibilities while fuelling the zeal to deliver on the promises of a greater Africa.

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Cleared Of Corruption Charges

An independent panel of experts, headed by former Irish president Mary Robinson, on Monday completely cleared Adesina of all charges in an investigation that has spanned seven months.

A file photo of President Buhari (right) and AfDB president, Adesina.

The panel of three experts also had the Gambia’s Chief Justice Hassan Jallow and the World Bank’s integrity vice president Leonard McCarthy as members.

Dr Adesina became the first Nigerian to helm the AfDB in 2015 — but a 15-page report in January claimed that under his watch the bank had been tarred by poor governance, impunity, personal enrichment, and favouritism.

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In May, the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), charged with investigating the charges cleared Adesina.

But the United States, which is one of the bank’s biggest shareholders, demanded an independent investigation into the allegations.

The outcome of that investigation was the same – Adesina was exonerated.

“The Panel concurs with the Committee in its findings in respect of all the allegations against the President and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the Committee,” Monday’s report concluded.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Pentagon awards Glaxo $342m contract for vaccines

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The Pentagon on Thursday announced a $342 million contract has been awarded to British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to deliver “mass quantities of COVID-19 vaccines” to US troops.

It said GSK was the only company to make a bid for the contract, which will consist of supporting “military locations and personnel throughout the continental US and outside the continental US.”

The work will be carried out in North Carolina “with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2021,” the Pentagon said.

In this file photo taken on July 10, 2020 A photo shows vaccines in prefilled, single-use syringes before the inspection and packaging phase at the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi’s world distribution centre in Val de Reuil, France.  JOEL SAGET / AFP

The US Army will supervise execution of the project.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Doctors in Brazil volunteers to test vaccines

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In Brazil, health care workers are on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic in more ways than one, treating patients but also volunteering to test some of the most promising experimental vaccines.

Brazil is the country with the second-highest number of infections and deaths in the pandemic, after the United States, and the virus is still spreading quickly here.

That is bad news in every way but one: it makes the South American country an ideal testing ground for potential vaccines against the virus.

The job of guinea pig falls to medical staff who work in facilities treating patients infected by the virus, because they are the most likely to come into contact with it, enabling researchers to run a controlled experiment to see how well it works.

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“I want to contribute, and this is my contribution — through science,” said pediatrician Monica Levi, one of 5,000 volunteers in Brazil helping test one of the most promising vaccines so far, developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Levi, 53, works at the Specialized Clinic for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases and Immunizations (Cedipi) in Sao Paulo, the epicenter of the outbreak in Brazil, where more than 2.5 million people have been infected so far, with more than 90,000 deaths.

In this file photo taken on July 10, 2020 A photo shows vaccines in prefilled, single-use syringes before the inspection and packaging phase at the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi’s world distribution centre in Val de Reuil, France. JOEL SAGET / AFP

“Vaccination is my cause. So I have to act on my beliefs,” she told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media).

Last week, Brazil also became the first country carrying out Phase 3 trials of Chinese vaccine CoronaVac, developed by pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech.

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Phase 3 clinical trials involve large-scale testing on humans, the last step before vaccines seek regulatory approval.

Medical workers play the starring role in testing that vaccine, too.

“They pick health care professionals because we are constantly at risk,” Levi said.

A patient affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus is treated at a field hospital set up at a sports gym, in Santo Andre, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, on May 11, 2020. Miguel SCHINCARIOL / AFP.

Volunteers must be between 18 and 55 years old, work in a patient care role and have no underlying medical conditions.

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Half the volunteers in the Oxford trial are receiving the vaccine and the other half a placebo.

A researcher works at the special techniques laboratory where a genetic test was developed to diagnose the new coronavirus, COVID-19, at Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 28, 2020. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
But they will only know which a year from now.

Levi got her shot on July 21, and had a headache and chills the first day, she said.

“But I don’t even know if they gave me the vaccine or the placebo,” she added.

While she waits to find out — and to learn whether the vaccine is the exit from the pandemic that the whole world is hoping for — she goes to regular check-ups where researchers monitor her health.

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Scientists worldwide are racing to develop and test a vaccine for the virus. There are more than 150 projects so far.

But there are no guarantees in the high-stakes race.

Brazil has a deal to make up to 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine if it proves effective.

But if it doesn’t, said Levi, “it will all go in the garbage.”


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Vietnam record first death

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Vietnam recorded its first coronavirus death Friday, state media reported, as the pandemic rebounds in a country previously praised for controlling the initial outbreak.

“The first death… is a 70-year-old man who lives in Hoi An city,” Vietnam News Agency reported, citing the Ministry of Health.

In this file photo taken on April 19, 2020, residents wearing face masks practise social distancing while shopping from behind a line as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at a wet market in Hanoi. Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP

Details later…


#Newsworthy..

Officially: Juventus releases new Kit for 2020/21 season

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The Old ladies shows off their new kit for 2020/21 season.

It’s below👇

Must Read

Final score: Cagliari 2-0 Juventus


#NobleSports

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House chores, that’s what women do in African marriages – Actress Lizzy Gold spills

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Nollywood actress, Lizzy Gold has revealed her distaste and displeasure for how African women are treated in their marriages.

According to her, she would not allow herself to be used up by her future husband for house chores as she is of the view that the husband also needs to help out with the home preparation and duties.

She took to social media to express her opinion on the subject of house chores and she wrote:

“I’ve realised 80 percent of marriages in Africa women are meant to do the house chores…
Please is this what marriage is about ?married couples I need your attention here..maybe if someone explains better to me I might change my mind about marriage”.


#Newsworthy…

Barcelona launches official new Jerseys for 2020/21 season

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The catalona giants launched their new home kit, away kit and third kit on Thursday evening.

As shown below….

Must Read

Man Utd transfer roundups: Dalot to Barcelona


#NobleSports

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BBNaija’5: Moment Kiddwaya give up on Erica, tells Tochi

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Kiddwaya is threatening to jump ship to avoid future heartbreaks due to the bad impression Erica has of him.

Recall with Noble Reporters Media that Erica questioned Kiddwaya why he makes sexual advances towards him and why he wants to sleep with him. Apparently, he took offense from the question but didn’t let her know.

Tochi quizzed him on the current state of his relationship after he noticed he has been distant from her, he replied that he can’t deal with it anymore because Erica has been making several assumptions about him which are not true.

He added that Wathoni has also started giving him attitude since the last truth or dare when he kissed Erica instead of her. According to him, he is detaching himself from all the girls and concentrate on the game.


#Newsworthy…

Just in: Olumide Akpata emerges NBA president

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A former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Section on Business Law, Olumide Akpata, has been declared the president-elect of the Association.

The Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA, Tawo Tawo (SAN), who made the declaration around 12:52am on Friday says, Akpata scored the highest number of votes cast and satisfied the provisions of the NBA constitution.

“I, Tawo Tawo, the Chairman, Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA), as the electoral officer for the 2020 National Officers’ Election, hereby declare Akpata Olumide Anthony, having scored the highest number of votes cast and satisfied the provisions of the constitution of the NBA 2015 (as amended), the winner of the election into the office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association,” Tawo said.

The election which were conducted via electronic voting began at 11pm on Wednesday and ended by 11pm on Thursday.

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Akpata scored 9,891 votes out of a total of 18,256 voters who participated in the elections, representing 54.3% of the votes.

He defeated Dr. Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) who scored 4,328 and Dele Adesina (SAN) who scored 3,982.

Other winners who emerged in the elections are: John O Aikpokpo-Martins as the first Vice President with 6,010 votes, and Adeyemo Kazeem Debo as second Vice President with 8,794.

NBA president-elect, Olumide Akpata. Photo: Twitter@Olumide Akpata

Others are Joyce Oduah as General Secretary; Nwadialo Esther Uchenna, Assistant Secretary; Mercy Ijato Agada, Treasurer; and Edun Olukunle, Welfare Secretary.

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Anagor Raphael Nnamdi emerged as Financial Secretary; Nduka Rapuluchukwu Ernest (PhD) as Publicity Secretary; and Naza Ferdinand Afam as Assistant Publicity Secretary.

The new officers of the association are expected to be sworn in at the forthcoming 60th annual general conference of the NBA holding virtually from the 26th to the 29th of August.

In a swift reaction to his victory at the polls, Mr. Olumide Akpata thanked his supporters and assured them that by the grace of God, transformational leadership would be witnessed in his administration.

In his words, “In 2 years from now, we would look back to this day with gratitude. We would say thank God that Olu became President. We would never regret this day. We would transform our association and the Bar will work for all”.


#Newsworthy…

BBNaija’5: Brighto gave shocking advise to Laycon on his feelings for Erica

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While most of the viewers believed him to be boring and has no vibe in the house, Brighto pulled a surprise last night whilst talking with Laycon.

Laycon has feelings for his crush, Erica but he feels the timing is wrong but then, she has feelings for Kiddwaya and the latest guy, Ozo.

Last night, he told Brighto he wants to back out and reduce communication. Brighto gave him a different view saying the ladies in the house, including Erica, had Eric as their target, until they lost him to Lilo.

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Erica is still hurt from that and can’t handle it because she was in pole position to occupy Eric’s heart until Lilo snatched him, that has made her sad and disappointed, She has seen it happening again between her and Kiddwaya and that is making her depressed, he said.

Laycon chipped in saying, she is a lot of work and if something should happen between him and her, he doesn’t want it to happen in the house.

Brighto encouraged him saying he should sit back and relax, Erica will approach him if she has feelings for him but if she falls for another guy, he should pull back and maintain the friendship they share.


#Newsworthy…

Eid al-Adha: Actress Bimbo Afolayan surprises parent with Mansion. [Photos]

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Nollywood actress Bimbo Afolayan has purchased a newly furnished mansion for her parents as a gesture of apprecaition for their sacrifices for her.

She gifted them the house as a gift to celebrate their Sallah with. Her mum has an altercation with her landlord sometime ago which was rife on social media as fans trolled the actress for allowing such a shameful act to happen to her mother.

She took to social media at that time to say: “A so called land lord broke a bottle on my mums head this morning while taking my daughter to school because of security fee. what punishment do you think the law will give him….my mum! I NEED HELP, THIS CAN’T GO, I CAN’T LET IT GO, I AM IN Pain.”

The actress has redeemed her parents from the hands of their landlord as she posted photos of their new home and captioned it as :

“CONGRATS TO MY MUM AND MY DAD ON THIS…ALHAMDULLILAHI…HOUSEWARMING×ILEYA” while Okiki Afolayan wrote “Double celebration..
Housewarming + Ileya…
Congratulations Baba Tawa and @alhaja_ojasope20
Relax and sleep well in your new abode.
May the life in the new house
be prosperous and free of pains.”


#Newswsorthy…

Reactions as Regina Daniels unveil her son’s face

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For the first time, young Nollywood actress, Regina Daniels has shown the face of his little son, Munir Neji Ned Nwoko.

Many people especially fans of Regina have been waiting for this day and it seems the actress listened to their plea.

The actress received a visit from a prominent Nigerian actor in the person of Harry B Anyanwu and in the course of the interaction, some photos were taken.

As expected, fans have dropped their reactions after seeing the photos.


#Newsworthy…