Category Archives: In the news

Twitter boils hot at Trump again.

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Trump was a prolific user of Twitter during his campaign and in his four years at the White House, using the platform for policy announcements

Twitter will not allow former president Donald Trump back on the platform even if he runs for office again, the company’s chief financial officer said Wednesday.

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“The way our policies work, when you’re removed from the platform, you’re removed from the platform, whether you’re a commentator, a CFO or a current or former public official,” Ned Segal said in an interview with television network CNBC.

Trump’s “de-platforming” by Twitter came after a violent uprising by his supporters leading to a deadly siege at the US Capitol on January 6. Facebook and other social networks also banned Trump after the incident.

“Our policies are designed to ensure that people are not inciting violence,” Segal said.

“And if anybody does that we would have to remove them from the service and our policies don’t allow people to come back.”

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Trump was a prolific user of Twitter during his campaign and in his four years at the White House, using the platform for policy announcements, to settle scores and for his political campaign.

He had more than 80 million followers when his account was suspended.

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#Newsworthy

COVID-19: Immunization processes under scrutiny.

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The physician, however, said Nigeria should not abandon the efforts to vaccinate her populace, but should look at other options of achieving the same objectives.

Nigeria’s plan to vaccinate 30 per cent of citizens against COVID-19 this year could be delayed for scrutiny, after South Africa paused its rollout of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine.

The South African move had followed a study, which showed that the vaccine offered reduced protection from the COVID-19 variant first identified in the country. South Africa’s Minister of Health, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, said the hold would be temporary as scientists tried to figure out how to most effectively deploy the vaccine.

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Consequently, Nigerian medical experts called for caution and greater scrutiny of vaccines ordered by the Federal Government before they could be administered on citizens. They expressed apprehension over claims that the $8 AstraZeneca vaccine, one of the cheapest and most suited for Nigeria, could be appropriately stored and deployed with the country’s existing cold chain infrastructure.

According to the experts, it could cost the country a lot more than anticipated to procure, distribute and vaccinate targeted population with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Interestingly, the Federal Government on Monday said Nigeria was no longer expecting the 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BIONtech vaccine through the COVAX facility, but had been allocated about 16 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is expected to start arriving the country in two weeks.

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COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX, is a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and others.

The FG, however, said the country is yet to isolate and confirm the circulation of the South African COVID-19 strain.

A public health physician and Executive Secretary, Enugu State Agency for the Control of AIDS (ENSACA), Dr. Chinedu Arthur Idoko, told NoRM‘s known Media yesterday that it was important for Nigeria to get more reliable, verifiable details of the exact strains/ variants of COVID-19 it should be dealing with before exhaustively engaging in vaccine procurement.

“There has to be a more organised, precise and focused information gathering from the different hospitals/ COVID-19 service outlets in the country on particular symptoms/ presentations/ pathways of confirmed cases they have experienced in the recent past,” he said.

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Idoko said that Nigeria should not abandon the plans but would have to tread cautiously, taking a more appropriate and evidence-based decision on procurement.

He said Nigeria could make its vaccine procurement from any country, depending on whether or not it meets its preferences and set targets. “If China offers that window, then it does serve an option,” the public health physician said.

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A virologist/vaccinologist and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Innovative Biotech, Keffi, Nasarawa State, and Innovative Biotech, United States of America (USA), Dr. Simon Agwale, said the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing severe illness was not established in the South African study, but expressed the hope that subsequent study would be looking to address the issue.

Agwale said efforts are already ongoing by manufacturers to develop a new generation of vaccines that would allow protection to be redirected to emerging variants as booster doses.

Agwale, who leads COVID-19 vaccine task team of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative, said the implication would be that Nigeria should immediately set-up a systematic genomic surveillance to first determine the proportion of the various variants in the country and then monitor emerging variants going forward.

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Going forward, he said that Nigeria’s rollout should be evidence-based, which would require it to conduct small clinical trials, similar to what South Africa is doing, to determine the effectiveness of the vaccines before implementation.

“Updating the vaccines is not a challenge because it will take about six to 12 weeks to update the current vaccines, but how will the vaccines be manufactured at a scale to meet global demand? We are still battling to manufacture the first-generation vaccines for the world, and when then are we going to get the updated versions of the vaccines manufactured?,” Agwale wondered.

A consultant Obstetrician and gynaecologist and Medical Director, Optimal Specialist Hospital, Surulere, Lagos, Dr. Celestine Ugochukwu Chukwunenye, told The Guardian that Nigeria did not have the health facilities and manpower to achieve the feat of vaccinating 140 million people in two years.

“Develop countries are battling with slow distribution of the available vaccines in their countries. They are able to handle the vaccines from various sources. We are certainly not. It is bordering on mere wishful thinking, to hope that by 2022 Nigeria would have vaccinated 70 per cent of her population.

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“However, it is still better to start making the arrangements to vaccinate Nigerians now. With the added costs of Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, and Moderna vaccines, it will seem practically impossible for Nigeria to vaccinate 70 per cent of her population in two years.”

The physician, however, said Nigeria should not abandon the efforts to vaccinate her populace, but should look at other options of achieving the same objectives.

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“China has become one of our trading partners and traditional allies. There is nothing wrong with approaching China. We should be careful in our approach,” he said.

A consultant pharmacist, Dr. Lolu Ojo, however, argued that there was no global rejection of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine yet. According to him, the fact that South Africa (SA) was slowing down on it should not invalidate the claims of the organisation regarding the efficacy of the vaccine.

“There’s really no serious threat to Nigeria’s plan on vaccination as a result of SA’s experience,” the pharmacist said.

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Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, told journalists on Monday that the country’s decision to switch to AstraZeneca vaccine was based on epidemiological and equity assessment done by the WHO.

He said Nigeria was actually considered as one of the ready countries to receive the Pfizer vaccine, “but because the distribution intended to achieve public health value, it was not practical to provide every capable country with the Pfizer vaccine, due to its limited quantity. This necessitated further review by a multi-agency committee to narrow down the selection process. WHO disclosed this information to us.

“As stated by the WHO Regional Director, a number of factors were considered in allocating the small quantity of 320,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccines to the 13 countries in Africa. These include mortality rate from COVID-19, the number of new cases, the population of the countries involved and the availability of appropriate cold chain equipment. Evidently, Nigeria is by no means ahead of a country like South Africa in terms of mortality or incident rate of COVID-19, and it is not the least populated in comparison to the other countries.

“Consequently, the replacement of the initial 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccines with the 16 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is in fact a welcome development, as it will enable a wider reach of our population and is a better option using our routine cold chain system; even though we still had an ultra cold chain capacity that would have been able to store more than 400,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.”

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On the suspension by South African Government of their vaccination with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in response to findings from a study, which showed that the vaccine was less efficacious against the B.1.351 strain of the COVID-19 virus, which is the predominant strain in South Africa, Shuaib said that Nigeria was yet to isolate the strain. “The NCDC working with Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and other researchers will intensify the search for this strain from samples collected. In the meantime, we will continue to work with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to ensure that only a vaccine which is effective against the predominant COVID-19 strain in Nigeria will be administered.”

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said Nigeria subscribed to two multilateral vaccine access platforms; the first being the COVAX facility that will supply members, including Nigeria, vaccines free of charge, to cover 20 per cent of country’s population.

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#Newsworthy

WHO-China’s COVID origin probe ‘unsuccessful’ – New step taken!

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In France, a row is brewing over restrictions on cultural institutions, with one local mayor allowing museums to reopen despite a nationwide ban.

A much-anticipated inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic wrapped up its mission in China on Tuesday with no breakthrough discovery, as investigators ruled out a theory that Covid-19 came from a lab but failed to identify which animal may have passed it to humans.

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While the coronavirus likely jumped to humans from animals, it is still unclear which species first transmitted it, said Liang Wannian, who headed up the Chinese contingent of an inquiry carried out jointly with World Health Organization (WHO) experts.

The WHO mission — which China repeatedly delayed — was dogged by fears of a whitewash, with the US demanding a “robust” probe into the origins of the pandemic in late 2019, and China firing back with a warning not to “politicise” the investigation.

During the closely monitored mission — which included a visit to a propaganda exhibition celebrating China’s recovery — reporters were largely kept at arms’ length from the experts.

Liang, supported by WHO expert Ben Embarek, said there was “no indication” the sickness was circulating in Wuhan before December 2019 when the first official cases were recorded.

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Embarek, who said identifying the virus’ pathway from animals to humans remains a “work in progress”, also scotched a controversial theory that the virus had leaked from a lab, calling it “extremely unlikely”.

‘Martyrdom’ of health workers
As investigators have struggled to pinpoint the origins of a virus that has now killed more than 2.3 million people, governments are continuing to grapple with its daily consequences.

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Vaccination campaigns are gaining pace worldwide, with Iran the latest country to begin its rollout of Russia’s Sputnik V jab.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the vaccination was being carried out in “memory of the martyrdom of health workers”, as medics at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini hospital received the first shots.

Peter Ben Embarek (3rd-R) and Marion Koopmans (2nd-R) attend a press conference to wrap up a visit by an international team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) in the city of Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province on February 9, 2021. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

Iran is also expected to receive 4.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines under the Covax scheme, which intends to ensure jabs are distributed across the world and not hoarded by richer nations.

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The AstraZeneca vaccine makes up the bulk of initial Covax deliveries to some 145 countries but it suffered a setback in recent days with a trial showing it only offers minimal protection against the coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa.

The results forced South Africa to delay the start of its vaccinations, but the WHO insisted Monday that the AstraZeneca shot remained vital to the global fight against Covid-19.

Richard Hatchett, head of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), said it was “vastly too early to be dismissing this vaccine”.

“It is absolutely crucial to use the tools that we have as effectively as we possibly can,” he told a WHO press briefing.

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AstraZeneca has stood by its vaccine, and said researchers are working on an updated version that can be effective against the new variants. WHO authorisation for the shot is expected next week.

‘Let’s get used to it’
Despite the vaccine rollouts, life is far from back to normal for most people.

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The pandemic and associated restrictions have crushed entire sectors of the global economy, laid waste to sports and cultural calendars and confined hundreds of millions to their homes.

In France, a row is brewing over restrictions on cultural institutions, with one local mayor allowing museums to reopen despite a nationwide ban.

“There is a virus and it will be with us for a long time,” said Louis Aliot, the far-right mayor of the southern city of Perpignan. “Let’s get used to it and start by trying things out.”

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As the pain of shutdowns has bitten hard, governments have turned to other measures to try to facilitate reopening — mass testing campaigns and quarantines for travellers are still prominent tools.

Britain is the latest country to order international travellers to undergo several tests while under quarantine.

But the surest sign that the world is far from back to normal comes from Tokyo, where organisers of this summer’s Olympic Games have issued a 33-page booklet of rules on social distancing.

Athletes’ time in Japan will be minimised to reduce the risk of infection and those staying at the Olympic Village will be expected to “avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact”.

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Despite this, organisers told AFP on Tuesday that they still plan to hand out roughly 150,000 free condoms to athletes.

“If you have been to the Games before, we know this experience will be different in a number of ways,” the guidebook warns, adding that breaching the rules could result in expulsion.

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#Newsworthy

Joe Biden pushes to legalise Homosexuals rights in Nigeria..

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One of the countries with a restriction against the legalisation Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons globally is Nigeria – with a law prohibiting their acts.

United States President Joe Biden has directed American Embassy in Nigeria and other countries to push for the legalisation of homosexuality in their respective countries of residence.

Biden gave the directive in a White House statement on Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons Around the World.

The United States president said the memorandum reaffirms and supplements the principles established in the Presidential Memorandum of December 6, 2011 (International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons).

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“It shall be the policy of the United States to pursue an end to violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, and to lead by the power of our example in the cause of advancing the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world,” Biden said in the memorandum.

“Through this memorandum, I am directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that United States diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons”

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Biden said the memorandum calls for “Swift and Meaningful United States Responses to Human Rights Abuses of LGBTQI+ Persons Abroad.

“The Department of State shall lead a standing group, with appropriate interagency representation, to help ensure the Federal Government’s swift and meaningful response to serious incidents that threaten the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons abroad.”

Biden noted that “When foreign governments move to restrict the rights of LGBTQI+ persons or fail to enforce legal protections in place, thereby contributing to a climate of intolerance, agencies engaged abroad shall consider appropriate responses, including using the full range of diplomatic and assistance tools and, as appropriate, financial sanctions, visa restrictions, and other actions.”

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One of the countries with a restriction against the legalisation Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons globally is Nigeria – with a law prohibiting their acts.

The Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA), signed into law in 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan, was enacted on the premise that the Nigerian culture is antithetical to homosexuality.

With the population of the country largely divided between Christians and Muslims, there was also a religious urgency to the prohibition. Persons of the LGBTQ+ community risk up to 20 years jail term in Nigeria.

However, Amnesty International said the prohibition by the government exposes persons of the LGBTQ+ in the country to harm and called for a reversal of the law. US President Biden shared the same sentiment in the memorandum.

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“All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love,” Biden said.

He said the United States belongs at the forefront of this struggle — speaking out and standing strong for members of the LGBTQ+ and holds the values of treating people with dignity regardless of race, colour or sexuality.

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#Newsworthy

Catholic Pope, Francis ‘defile all odds’ in new appointment.

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A special synod on the Amazon in 2019 saw 35 female “auditors” invited to the assembly, but none could vote.

Pope Francis has broken with Catholic tradition to appoint a woman as an undersecretary of the synod of bishops, the first to hold the post with voting rights in a body that studies major questions of doctrine.

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Frenchwoman Nathalie Becquart is one of the two new undersecretaries named Saturday to the synod, where she has been a consultant since 2019.

File Photo: French National, Nathalie Becquart appointed as first ever senior synod under Pope Francis’ ruling

The appointment signals the pontiff’s desire “for a greater participation of women in the process of discernment and decision-making in the church”, said Cardinal Mario Grech, the secretary-general of the synod.

“During the previous synods, the number of women participating as experts and listeners has increased,” he said.

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“With the nomination of Sister Nathalie Becquart and her possibility of participating in voting, a door has opened.”

The synod is led by bishops and cardinals who have voting rights and also comprises experts who cannot vote, with the next gathering scheduled for autumn 2022.

A special synod on the Amazon in 2019 saw 35 female “auditors” invited to the assembly, but none could vote.

The Argentinian-born pope has signalled his wish to reform the synod and have women and laypeople play a greater role in the church.

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He named Spaniard Luis Marin de San Martin as the other under undersecretary in the synod of bishops.

Becquart, 52, a member of the France-based Xaviere Sisters, has a master’s degree in management from the prestigious HEC business school in Paris and studied in Boston before joining the order.

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#Newsworthy

Pope Francis snubs Catholic rules to appoint first ever woman as senior synod.

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The Argentinian-born pope has signalled his wish to reform the synod and have women and laypeople play a greater role in the church.

Pope Francis has broken with Catholic tradition to appoint a woman as an undersecretary of the synod of bishops, the first to hold the post with voting rights in a body that studies major questions of doctrine.

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Frenchwoman Nathalie Becquart is one of the two new undersecretaries named Saturday to the synod, where she has been a consultant since 2019.

The appointment signals the pontiff’s desire “for a greater participation of women in the process of discernment and decision-making in the church”, said Cardinal Mario Grech, the secretary-general of the synod.

“During the previous synods, the number of women participating as experts and listeners has increased,” he said.

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“With the nomination of Sister Nathalie Becquart and her possibility of participating in voting, a door has opened.”

The synod is led by bishops and cardinals who have voting rights and also comprises experts who cannot vote, with the next gathering scheduled for autumn 2022.

A special synod on the Amazon in 2019 saw 35 female “auditors” invited to the assembly, but none could vote.

The Argentinian-born pope has signalled his wish to reform the synod and have women and laypeople play a greater role in the church.

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He named Spaniard Luis Marin de San Martin as the other under undersecretary in the synod of bishops.

Becquart, 52, a member of the France-based Xaviere Sisters, has a master’s degree in management from the prestigious HEC business school in Paris and studied in Boston before joining the order.

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#Newsworthy

Nigerians, Celebrities lament Crypto ban.

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In December 2020, Quartz Africa reported that Nigeria was number two in the global Bitcoin market after trading 60,215 Bitcoins in the last five years.

The recent order by the Central Bank of Nigeria which prohibits commercial banks and all non-banking financial institutions from transactions involving cryptocurrencies, has sparked reactions from Nigerians including celebrities.

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NoRM recalls that CBN gave the order this afternoon, stressing that all the institutions are to close the accounts of customers with cryptocurrency transactions immediately.

The CBN directive further added that breaches of the order will attract severe regulatory sanctions.

As expected, many Nigerians have taken to social media to express their displeasure.

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Human rights activist, Segun Awosanya described the CBN’s move as ill-advised, saying, “This is yet another developing horror story in our dying society. The govt via @cenbank is now shutting down cryptocurrency in a desperate move to block any ray of hope for the huge youth demographic they have largely failed. This won’t end well. This is ill-advised.”

Senator Ben Murray Bruce faulted the apex bank’s decision, saying, “I thought it’s universal knowledge that decisions or policy regarding finance or economy should never be hasty?”

Blogger Japhet Omojuwa said, “Individuals that can fund the entire Nigerian budget for donkey years are betting on Bitcoin but Hassan and Musa are afraid it could make Nigerians wealthy. Welcome to the Dark Age! Others are in the Age of Deep Learning. We are in The Age of Deep Poverty.”

In December 2020, Quartz Africa reported that Nigeria was number two in the global Bitcoin market after trading 60,215 Bitcoins in the last five years.

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Nigeria got to the position in the market after young citizens who were shut out from local payment methods by the government opted for Bitcoin to fund the October 2020 EndSARS protest against police brutality and bad governance in the country.

DJ Switch, who partook in the EndSARS protest, expressed displeasure at the CBN order, saying, “If the ban on crypto by CBN is true, it points yet again to the ill-informed, backward, poverty promoting dinosaurs T-Rex leading us. Use your time to investigate and close accounts sponsoring terrorists in the country if you don’t know what to do!”

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#Newsworthy

Sex Kills Love! – Adigun Michael Olamide

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At the point when we, guys and ladies, engage in sexual relations, the attention is on what the sex give us and not on how we really feel.

We need to accept that by having intercourse, we’re “having intercourse” thus numerous individuals talk about “having intercourse” to portray their sexual experiences or acts.

Love is the component that drives the world as we know it and it in a real sense does precisely that; not sex. Love-energy is the part that causes all that live to exist and without it we can’t and won’t exist.

Since we presently know, from research and past articles that “sex isn’t love,” sex in all actuality executes the adoration that should be all finished – the affection that we should insight toward uncommon individuals in our daily routines, toward living substances in our lives and toward our “neighbors.” Visit :- คลิปโป๊ XXX

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Sex particularly kills the possible development of affection in a man, in light of the fact that a man can just develop adore and connect with his emotions when sex is avoided him – kept out of the relationship for the right timeframe while the couple become more acquainted with one another, are caught up with collaborating to get viable with each other, to see one another, to develop love to full limit and to get lenient toward each other.

Every one of these things require some serious energy and when we conflict with nature and the creation things simply don’t work any longer.

We were not made to have intercourse first, at that point experience passionate feelings for and finally get hitched. It simply doesn’t work that route around as that is the incorrect path around.

File Photo: Sexual Act | Noble Reporters Media | Adigun Michael Olamide | NoRM News

In the event that we need to have a dispassionate relationship-bond with another in a probably extraordinary relationship, for example, a day to day existence association or marriage, we can have intercourse with any individual we so pick, simply the manner in which men figured it very well may be accomplished for quite a long time, even millenniums.

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Then again of we need the connection between life-accomplices to be significant and profound, the best way to accomplish that, is develop love and not sexual experience, delight or fascination. All in all, the emphasis ought to be on affection and not on sex!

At the point when we, guys and ladies, engage in sexual relations, the attention is on what the sex give us and not on how we really feel.

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A female could accept she has met her genuine romance, when in all actuality she just made a passionate association because of the sex, catching her in something she shouldn’t be a piece of.

A male then again, never gets to that degree of adoration, being not able to associate with his actual emotions when sex is a piece of the relationship, as there isn’t a need to arrive at that degree of affection, since what he should get as an award for getting in contact with his actual sentiments and encountering genuine profound love, he got in the first place.

There are consistently the special cases; where individuals fall head over heels in love profoundly in a brief time and whose affection endure forever, however these are generally superiorly secure and entire individuals, ready to build up their adoration at super speed.

Most of us genuinely typical individuals need time to appropriately and altogether begin to look all starry eyed at, also, to become acquainted with a potential life-accomplice totally all around.

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There are individuals who get hitched via an organized marriage and there are individuals who decide to wed prior to knowing the other party well or even prior to having any affections for the other.

This could possibly work if the two players are completely secure and know inside, they can cherish any individual who treats them with nobility and regard, who acts well and who contributes rather sully.

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This way the spirits are combined first through the pledges; and the unifications in the soul world is sufficiently able to withstand any test and obstruction.

The lesson of the story here again is love. Just when two individuals are secure, which signifies “effectively loaded up with adoration” to contribute the affection to the relationship, could an organized marriage succeed and by and large it does.

The purpose behind this is that the guardians are so associated with their youngster’s life, which gives the security and love that the kid could get hitched to any individual, the guardians have picked and make an accomplishment of it.

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Guardians pick out of rationale and not because of misinterpreted passionate activities and emotions, something that ends up peopling everywhere on the globe when sex is included.

Individuals have such a longing to be made sure about some place and since the vast majority mistake sex for adoration, they engage in sexual relations with some unacceptable individuals and afterward power marriage or a daily existence organization when it should occur.

At the point when sex is brought into a relationship, it stops the advancement of affection, as sex is the award to a set up and secure relationship and not the beginning of making a relationship.

Sex can never be utilized as establishment for a safe relationship, yet many attempt to and even in the wake of understanding the error, they actually attempt to drive it to be like this.

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Sex is the announcement and obvious act, demonstrating to have a place with another, another spirit, not in lawful terms or in principle, but rather by activity.

The issue here is that a huge number of individuals don’t uphold love and the improvement of affection, but instead sex that would at last bring about the obliteration of encountering genuine romance.

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#Newsworthy

Red Cross pledges to help 500,000,000 get vaccinated.

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IFRC health director Emanuele Capobianco it was already supporting vaccination campaigns in Austria, Brazil, Morocco and Kuwait, among other countries.

The Red Cross launched a plan Thursday to help vaccinate 500 million people against Covid-19 in over 100 countries, warning that leaving out the world’s poorest could seriously backfire.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it would throw its weight into the distribution and acceptance of vaccines among some of the hardest-to-reach communities.

The Geneva-based IFRC said it would spend 100 million Swiss francs ($111 million, 92.5 million euros) on the push and was already working with governments in more than 60 countries to see where its help could be the most effective.

“The current lack of equity in the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines is alarming and could backfire to deadly and devastating effect,” IFRC secretary general Jagan Chapagain told reporters.

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He said nearly 70 percent of vaccine doses administered so far had been in the world’s 50 richest countries while only 0.1 percent had been deployed in the poorest 50.

FILE PHOTO: A specialist wearing protective gear walks to spray disinfectant on a truck of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at a checkpoint on a way linking Ukrainian government-controlled territory and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, near the settlement of Olenivka in Donetsk Region, Ukraine June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

“It could prolong or even worsen this terrible pandemic,” Chapagain said, noting that if the virus continued to circulate and mutate in large areas of the globe, even those who have been vaccinated in wealthier countries would not be safe.

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He called for richer countries to share vaccines once they had immunised their most vulnerable populations.

Otherwise, “the emergence of variants in far-away low-income countries will shatter the illusion of safety in wealthier countries,” said Chapagain.

The IFRC, which calls itself the world’s largest humanitarian network, said it will bolster national vaccination efforts, including supporting logistics and countering misinformation about vaccine efficacy.

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IFRC health director Emanuele Capobianco it was already supporting vaccination campaigns in Austria, Brazil, Morocco and Kuwait, among other countries.

It is also aiming to reach refugees and undocumented migrants.

On Wednesday, the Covax programme to ensure equitable worldwide access to Covid-19 vaccines published its first distribution list.

Some 145 countries are set to receive an initial 337.2 million doses — enough to immunise 3.3 percent of their collective population by mid-2021, with first deliveries expected in late February.

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For many poorer countries, the scheme will be their only way of accessing vaccines.

“The equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines between and within countries is more than a moral imperative: it is the only way to solve the most pressing public health emergency of our time,” said Chapagain.

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#Newsworthy

COVID-19: Pfizer estimates $15bn 2021 sale of vaccine.

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For all of 2020, Pfizer reported profits of $9.6 billion, down 41.4 percent from 2019, with revenues up two percent to $41.9 billion.

Sales of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech could reach up to $15 billion in 2021 and go higher if Pfizer signs additional supply contracts, Pfizer said Tuesday.

The projections came as Pfizer projected full-year 2021 sales of between $59.4 billion and $61.4 billion, meaning that about one-fourth of estimated total sales will come from the Covid-19 vaccine.

The forecast reflects “a continued recovery in macroeconomic and healthcare activity throughout 2021 as more of the population becomes vaccinated against Covid-19,” Pfizer said.

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“These assumptions are guided by the trajectory of current infection rates in many parts of the world and the expected timeline for broad access to effective vaccines.”

(FILES) In this file photo vials of undiluted Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine are prepared to administer to staff and residents at the Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, a senior living community in Falls Church, Virginia, on December 30, 2020. – Sales of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech could reach up to $15 billion in 2021 and go higher if Pfizer signs additional supply contracts, Pfizer said on February 2, 2021. The projections came as Pfizer reported fourth-quarter and full-year profits and released forecasts for 2021. Pfizer projected full-year 2021 sales of between $44.4 to $46.4 billion, excluding sales for the Covid-19 vaccine. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

Pfizer reported fourth-quarter net income of $594 million, compared with a loss of $337 million in the year-ago period.

For all of 2020, Pfizer reported profits of $9.6 billion, down 41.4 percent from 2019, with revenues up two percent to $41.9 billion.

Pfizer’s fourth-quarter revenues included $154 million in sales of the Covid-19 vaccine.

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The vaccine began winning approval from authorities late last year. Pfizer said it expects it could potentially deliver up to 2 billion doses in 2021 based on several factors, including adding more suppliers and contract manufacturers.

Shares of Pfizer rose 0.5 percent to $35.94 in pre-market trading.

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#Newsworthy

Another deadly virus, dangerous than COVID-19 may root from China.

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The first cases of Nipah virus infection were identified in 1998, when an outbreak led to 105 deaths.

Areport by the Access to Medicine Foundation (ATMF) has revealed an outbreak of a more fatalistic virus than the coronavirus could be imminent even as pharmaceutical companies tend to neglect its threat while currently focusing COVID-19.

Jayasree K Iyer, executive director of the Netherlands-based Foundation points out that the Nipah virus, with a fatality rate of up to 75 percent, could be the next pandemic.

“Nipah virus is another emerging infectious disease that causes great concern. Nipah could blow any moment. The next pandemic could be a drug-resistant infection,” She said to NoRM‘s known Media.

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While there is no current outbreak of the virus, in 2018, an outbreak in southern India killed 17 people.

The virus, though rare, is spread by fruit bats and can cause flu-like symptoms and brain damage.

The report by ATMF monitors 20 major drug companies and places the Nipah Virus as one one of 10 infectious diseases classified by the WHO as the greatest public health risks.

In January, Moderna announced that it is creating new vaccines in new development programs.

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The development programs announced were vaccines to fight against the seasonal flu, HIV and the Nipah virus.

This development program is dependent on the company’s clinical successes against its infectious disease vaccines.

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#Newsworthy

COVID vaccine works against variants – Moderna.

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To study the effect of the existing vaccine, called mRNA-1273, Moderna took blood samples from eight people who had received two doses of the vaccine and two primates that had also been immunised.

Moderna has said it believes its COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the coronavirus, although it will test a new booster shot aimed at the strain discovered in South Africa after tests showed the antibody response could be reduced.

The United States-based biotech company said in a press release on Monday that the move was out of “an abundance of caution” after preliminary lab tests suggested its shot produced a weaker immune response to that variant.

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“We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine should be protective against these newly detected variants,” said Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO.

“Out of an abundance of caution and leveraging the flexibility of our mRNA platform, we are advancing an emerging variant booster candidate against the variant first identified in the Republic of South Africa into the clinic to determine if it will be more effective to boost titers against this and potentially future variants.”

Study findings
Vaccine manufacturers have been testing their shots against the mutated strains including two that first emerged in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

For the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the UK, there was no impact on the level of neutralising antibodies – which bind to the virus and prevent it from invading human cells – that were produced by the shots.

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But for the South African variant, B.1.351, there was a sixfold reduction in the neutralising antibody level.

Even so, it remained above the quantity that was shown to be protective in earlier tests on primates that were infected on purpose.

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The company, which carried out the studies with the National Institutes of Health, has submitted the study to a preprint server so it can be analysed by the wider scientific community.

No ‘escape’
Dr Ali Fattom, senior vice president of vaccines research at BlueWillow Biologics and an adjunct associate research professor at the University of Michigan, told NoRM‘s known Media that the study appeared to show the virus variants would not “escape” the vaccines that are currently being rolled out.

“We are not losing the protective efficacy of the vaccine because of these variants. They are variable in their level of protection, but still we are protected against them, so there is no issue with regards to ‘vaccine escape’ in this case,” he said.

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“It means that you may need a stronger immune response to tackle this virus, but still the virus is susceptible to the immune response. There is some kind of resistance. The efficacy might not be 90 percent, it could be going down to 70 percent,” he continued.

Dr Fattom noted that the variants would be covered by other vaccines that produce a similar immune response as the Moderna shot.

“The immune response that the Moderna vaccine induces is similar to other vaccines. Therefore any good news from one place is good news for the others,” he said.

Dr Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the US Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel, said that he was only mildly concerned that the vaccine would not be protective against the variants, the news agency Reuters reported.

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“It is a little worrisome that you see a lesser neutralising antibody response, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are unprotected,” he said, noting that even these lower levels may still be enough to protect against serious infections.

“The goal of this vaccine is to keep you out of the hospital and to keep you out of the morgue. If you get asymptomatic infection or mildly symptomatic infection that is not a burden to the healthcare system,” Offit said.

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#Newsworthy

The Nigerian President warns Youths on continual protests

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Muhammadu Buhari accuses demonstrators of threatening ‘national security’ as violence continues across the country.


Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari spoke to the nation about the unrest that has gripped the country in recent days without making any mention of the deadly shooting of peaceful protesters that prompted international outrage.

Buhari called on Nigerians to stop demonstrating and engage with the government in a short televised speech on Thursday. The shootings have been widely condemned, but he did not speak of them at all during his address.


“I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy,” said Buhari.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari before giving a televised address in Abuja, Nigeria [Reuters]
“For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and law and order… Under no circumstances would this be tolerated.”
He called on Nigeria youths “to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions. Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding”.

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Chaos continues

Gunfire rang out in the affluent Ikoyi neighbourhood of Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos on Thursday with witnesses saying assailants attacked a detention facility in the area that is home to government offices.

Smoke was also seen rising from the direction of Ikoyi correctional facility, and trucks carrying police were seen heading towards the prison. The wreckage of a dozen cars smouldered in the upscale Ikoyi neighbourhood and two official buildings were ablaze.

“The Ikoyi prison is mainly surrounded by government buildings and security establishments. Residents said they saw hoodlums armed with clubs and then gunfire was heard and the fires and smoke were later seen,” said Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting from the capital Abuja.

Other accounts suggested the gunfire resulted from an attempted jailbreak by prisoners. It was unclear if any inmates escaped.

Soldiers patrolled the streets of the city on Thursday a day after several buildings – including police stations, a TV channel and the port – were torched.

The city of 20 million is under a round-the-clock curfew imposed after nearly two weeks of protests against police brutality – the West African nation’s biggest wave of unrest since the end of military rule in 1999.

Amnesty International said at least 12 people were killed by the Nigerian army and police in a crackdown on protesters on Tuesday that drew international condemnation. Overall, 56 people have died across the country since demonstrations against police abuse and bad governance began on October 8.

Several states are also under curfew and the oil-producing Delta state said it would enter a 48-hour curfew from 6pm (17:00 GMT) on Thursday.

A Lagos state spokesman later said the fire at Ikoyi prison was under control and officers were at the scene. He did not say how it started or comment on the reports of gunfire.

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“It’s time for everybody to … calm the nerves so we can get the youth and the protesters off the streets,” state Governor Sanwo-Olu told Arise TV.

He said the army had offered on Wednesday to send in soldiers to keep the peace, but did not go into further details or say whether he would take up the offer.

‘Premeditated, planned’
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said his “heart goes out” to the victims of Tuesday’s shooting, as well as policemen and others who have lost their lives in several days of turmoil in Africa’s most populous country.

“The pain of these terrible events is palpable in our towns and cities, and some losses are irreplaceable, but we can and will get justice for all of them,” Osinbajo said in a statement.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said reports that lights were turned off and surveillance cameras removed at the scene before Tuesday’s attack suggested it was “premeditated, planned and coordinated”.

Violence escalated on Wednesday as groups of young men and armed police clashed in some neighbourhoods following the shooting at a toll gate in the Lagos district of Lekki.

The army has denied soldiers were at the site of the shooting, where people had gathered in defiance of the curfew. A military spokesman declined further comment, saying reporters should wait for the outcome of a Lagos state investigation into the incident.

Lagos governor Sanwo-Olu said footage from CCTV cameras near the scene of Tuesday’s shooting would be studied by investigators and would be released to the public.

Al Jazeera’s Idris reported violence also erupted again in Lekki on Thursday and security forces were deployed to the area.

“We have heard calls from religious and community leaders calling on the president to address concerns about escalating violence across the country, the abuse allegedly committed by security forces, and the way things are getting out of hand,” said Idris.

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“Looters and arsonists are now taking over what started as decent protest marches.”

People hold banners as they demonstrate against poverty in Lagos [Sunday Alamba/AP]
‘Immediate investigation’
The United States on Thursday condemned what it called excessive use of force by the Nigerian military for firing on unarmed demonstrators.

“We welcome an immediate investigation into any use of excessive force by members of the security forces,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Nigeria’s army has dubbed as “fake news” reports that soldiers opened fire on demonstrators. Police Minister Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi told the BBC that troops were not ordered to open fire on protesters.

Pompeo said those involved “should be held to account in accordance with Nigerian law”.

“The right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are essential human rights and core democratic principles,” Pompeo said.

Nigeria’s president called on the international community on Thursday to “know all facts”.


#NobleSports

Hurray!! Fans, Today is our First Anniversary. [Your Wishes Means Alot] Sept-27

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Kindly wish us as your wishes would serve as our accolade and motivation.

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• About Noble Reporters Media •

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N5tr debt: Intervene – AMCON pleads Senate. [Nigeria]

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The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has asked the Senate to help drive the recovery of N5 trillion yet to be recovered from debtors.

According to AMCON’s Managing Director, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, who led the management of the commission to appear before a technical session of the Senate Committee on Banking Insurance and other Financial Institutions in Abuja, stressed that some of the top debtors still hide under legal technicalities to tie AMCON in courts.

He maintained that a recovery of the huge sum will have a positive impact on the Nigerian economy which has been hit by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

“We want the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to pile pressure on some of our obligors through the Senate Committee on Banking Insurance and Other Financial Institutions under the leadership of Senator Uba Sani as Chairman.

“Some of these obligors are very important members of the society and, as distinguished senators, I know they have all it takes to intervene and even compel AMCON obligors to meet their obligation.”

Mr. Kuru stated that the support received from the legislature has been tremendous with the aid of the National Assembly to addressing some of the challenges in the 2019 Amendment Act, but needs to be done to recover the debt.

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He stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic had an adverse effect on its debtors and the Commission is working on ways to provide moratorium for some of his loyal debtors.

“COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has had a monumental impact on the globe and Nigeria in particular. Not only has it adversely affected the global economy, but the entire health system of the world has remained on its knees. AMCON, one of the institutions of government saddled with the responsibility of revitalising Nigeria’s economy is not immune to this monumental global disaster.

“The pandemic has impacted negatively on the various sectors of our economy, particularly the sectors, which AMCON is substantially exposed to, like Aviation, Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, and Retail sectors,” he stated.

The AMCON boss averred, “The continuous rise in inflation and Naira depreciation has also affected the purchasing power of the public thereby affecting obligor’s capacity to repay. Noting the untoward hardship caused by COVID-19 pandemic on most businesses and indeed the economy at large, the Corporation has begun consideration of granting moratorium to deserving obligors that had hitherto shown commitment/seriousness towards resolving their indebtedness. On our day-to-day operations, the Corporation has taken several measures to withstand and curtail the spread of this pandemic.”

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He added that despite the challenges in recovering bad debt, the Commission has been able to recover N136.73billion in assets under management, with about N112.03bn worth of propriety assets as of August this year.

Reacting, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Uba Sani stressed that the tactics being employed by the debtors have been noted and the Committee will brainstorm on ways to address the challenges through policies and procedures, implementation strategies, and assets recovery in the heat of COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Sani said the engagement with the management of AMCON has provided a window of opportunity for the committee to also address e continued reduction of the high rate of Non-performing Loans (NPLs).

He added that the provision for a Loan/Credit Tribunal will assist AMCON in its loan recovery efforts and the Senate will strongly consider all recommendations, which if strengthened, will further enhance the efforts of AMCON.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Nigeria reports 250 cases.

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Nigeria records 250 COVID-19 cases as total infections drive towards 54,000 benchmark.

Total death toll hit 1011 and total recoveries hit 41,314.

Plateau State records highest cases of 69 followed by Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with 41 cases and then comes Lagos State with 21 cases.

Gombe and Imo State records least single day cases of 1.

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Stands•

250 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Plateau-69
FCT-41
Lagos-21
Delta-14
Kaduna-14
Bayelsa-13
Enugu-13
Ekiti-11
Bauchi-9
Ogun-8
Edo-7
Oyo-7
Rivers-6
Adamawa-4
Osun-4
Nasarawa-3
Ebonyi-2
Kwara-2
Gombe-1
Imo-1

53,727 confirmed
41,314 discharged
1,011 deaths


#Newsworthy…

We will ensure Nigerians safety – Air Force Chief pledge

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The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar on Saturday said the Nigerian Air Force is committed to ensuring the security of Nigerians so they can “pursue their legitimate aspirations without fear.”

The message was contained in a statement signed by NAF Spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola, and released after Abubakar inspected air maritime facilities in Benin-city.

According to the statement, Abubakar commended personnel of the 107 Air Maritime Group (107 AMG) in Benin for their contributions to the efforts of 2the NAF to ensure a secured Nigeria.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, spoke to reporters on August 29, 2020.

The Air Force chief also reiterated that the NAF, in collaboration with other security agencies, will continue to work round the clock to keep the country safe.

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READ THE NAF’S FULL STATEMENT

NATIONAL SECURITY: CAS INSPECTS FACILITIES AT 107 AIR MARITIME GROUP BENIN, COMMENDS PERSONNEL FOR COMMITMENT TOWARDS ENSURING A SECURED NIGERIA

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, has commended personnel of the 107 Air Maritime Group (107 AMG) Benin for their contributions in the efforts of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to ensure a secured Nigeria. While making the commendation, the CAS also reiterated that the NAF, working in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, would continue to work round the clock so that Nigerians in every part of the country would be able to pursue their legitimate aspirations without fear. Air Marshal Abubakar made this commitment today, 29 August 2020, while on an operational visit to the 107 AMG to inspect facilities and infrastructure preparatory to the deployment of special mission aircraft to Benin as part of the Federal Government’s Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure aimed at comprehensively tackling insecurity in Nigeria’s territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), up to the Gulf of Guinea.

The CAS, who was accompanied by Branch Chiefs, Directors and other senior officers from the NAF Headquarters, was received on arrival in Benin by the Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command (AOC TAC), Air Vice Marshal Olusegun Philip. He was subsequently briefed on the activities of the 107 AMG by the Commander, Air Commodore Enebong Effiom, before proceeding to inspect the Aircraft Hangar and Taxiway, proposed site for Aircraft Shelters, Bulk Fuel Installation (BFI) facility as well as existing office and residential accommodations both within and outside the NAF Base, including the ongoing construction of a 30 x one bedroom accommodation for airmen.

In his remarks after the inspection, Air Marshal Abubakar expressed satisfaction with the contributions of the 107 AMG in the NAF’s efforts towards ensuring that Nigeria is secured. He noted that the ATR-42 aircraft, which operates from Benin, had been flying combat support missions all over the Country, including Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger States, amongst others. “As I speak to you now, the ATR-42 aircraft, NAF 930, is currently conducting missions in the North East of the Country. So clearly your Unit is contributing significantly to what we are doing to ensure that our country is secured and our people can pursue their legitimate aspirations without fear”, the CAS added.

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Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar revealed that the purpose of his visit was to assess facilities and infrastructure for the imminent deployment of additional air assets to Benin by the Federal Government. “We are here to look at the infrastructure available and also identify gaps”, he said. “The Hangar facility is adequate. However, there will be need for aircraft shelters and some Ground Support Equipment in order to make the deployment possible”, he added. He further noted that many additional pilots, engineers and technicians, who, he said, had already been nominated for conversion training on the new aircraft, as well as force protection elements, comprising NAF Special Forces personnel, would also be deployed to Benin. He observed that additional office and residential accommodation would therefore be required. “Like I said, we have looked at all the infrastructure available, including office and residential accommodation, and we know that there are gaps. We will try to ensure that these gaps are bridged before the special mission aircraft will be deployed here”, he added.

Air Marshal Abubakar again commended the AOC TAC as well as the Commander and all personnel of the 107 AMG for ensuring that the ATR-42 aircraft remains serviceable to continue contributing its quota to the NAF’s operations all over the Country. He urged them to be prepared to provide the same kind of support to the special mission aircraft when it arrives, noting that the aircraft would undoubtedly add value to the security arrangements in Nigeria’s Maritime environment.

Before departing Benin, the CAS held a closed door interactive session with the officers, airmen and airwomen where he entertained questions and also received feedback as well as suggestions from them on how to move the Service forward for more effective and efficient service delivery.

IBIKUNLE DARAMOLA
Air Commodore
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force
29 August 2020


#Newsworthy…

Nigeria set to reopen Enugu airport; sirika gives date.

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The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Saturday landed at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

It was the airport’s first aircraft landing since the Federal Government shut it down for rehabilitation work in August 2019.

According to Mr Sirika, plans are in top gear for the official handing over of the airport on Sunday, even as work continues at the arrival and departure hall sections.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, spoke to reporters after landing at the Enugu Airport on August 29, 2020

“We are ready for tomorrow, the 30th,” Me Sirika said. “To God be the glory. We landed on the runway. The remaining news will be tomorrow.

“But I am glad that I am here and I am glad that we were able, also again, to achieve it on time and on budget.”


#Newsworthy…

Katsina State Transportation University To Be Ready By Sept. 2021 – FG

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The Federal Government on Saturday said the Transportation University being constructed in Daura, Katsina State, will be ready by September 2021.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, made the disclosure in Katsina during an inspection of the project.

The $50m project is a corporate social responsibility project of CCECC, the Chinese company handling the nation’s rail project.

Mr Amaechi explained that the Chinese company just got approval from the Katsina State Government as proper construction commences next month.

The Minister added that the CCECC will provide the manpower and technical skills for five years before the federal government will be able to take over.

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The groundbreaking ceremony of the university was done by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2019, but the coronavirus pandemic stalled efforts on the project.

FILE: President Muhammadu Buhari (centre) was part of the groundbreaking ceremony of the University in December 2019.

A Courtesy Call
Mr Amaechi visited Katsina on Saturday with a team of consultants to pay a courtesy call to Governor Aminu Masari.

The Minister thanked the Governor for his support in making the project see the light of day.

In his response, Governor Masari thanked the Federal Government for the decision to establish the Transport University in Daura.

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According to the governor, opportunities that come with education are limitless.

He assured the Minister of his administration’s commitment to making sure that the State remains hospitable to the project’s success.

Located in Sandamu Local Government Area in Daura Emirate, the specialised university will help the country build a retinue of competent railway engineers who can maintain and improve on the country’s new rail infrastructure, Mr Amaechi has said.

Amaechi also noted that about 150 Nigerians are presently studying in China through University scholarships paid for by CCECC


#Newsworthy…

Storyline: Buhari mourns Igala leader. [Nigeria]

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday commiserated with family, friends, and associates of His Royal Majesty, Attah Igala, Michael Idakwo Ameh Oboni II, over the transition of the Paramount Ruler of Igala Kingdom and President, Kogi State Council of Chiefs.

The President’s condolence was contained in a statement signed by spokesman Garba Shehu.

Extending his condolence to the Kogi State Government, Buhari noted that “the 27th Attah Igala will be greatly missed for his wise counsels and reputation for honesty, urging the people of his domain to sustain his achievements during his eight-year rule,” the statement said.

“The President prays that God will console the family of the revered foremost traditional ruler and all those who mourn him, and grant his soul eternal rest.”


#Newsworthy…

Diesel tanker crashes in Ondo; 4 casualties.

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Four persons have been reported dead while three others sustained various degrees of injuries in a road crash that occurred on Saturday in the Ikare-Akoko area of Ondo State.

The accident was said to have been caused by a tanker loaded with diesel, which lost control and crashed into a commercial area in the town.

Two commercial motorcyclists with their passengers were affected in the crash.

The Head of Operations, Ondo State Command of FRSC, Samuel Oyedeji confirmed the incident to Media (known to Noble Reporters Media).

A tanker loaded with diesel lost control and crashed in Ondo state on August 29, 2020.

He said the remains of those who lost their lives have been deposited in the mortuary at the State Specialist Hospital; while those who sustained injuries have been rushed to the hospital for medical treatment.

He attributed the accident to a brake failure on the part of the tanker and urged motorists to always make sure their vehicles are in good condition before traveling.


#Newsworthy…

Olumide Akpata describes ‘Parallel NBA’ Move As Unfortunate.

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President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, has described the formation of a parallel NBA as unfortunate, calling for a united body at a time when the country needs them the most.

Mr Akpata who was sworn in as NBA’s 30th President, while giving his inaugural speech on Friday, faulted the move to establish a regional bar.

“I am not unaware of very recent events and agitations that have tended to divide our Bar along regional and religious lines. This is rather unfortunate for an egalitarian Association like ours. The Bar that I want to lead henceforth is one that is united on all fronts and that recognises that our diversity is, perhaps, our greatest strength. I plead with all Nigerian lawyers to bear this philosophy of unity in mind as we commence a new journey together today.

“This enormous task cannot be achieved if we continue to fan the embers of division at a time when we desperately need to unite and speak with one firm voice. We must be kind, magnanimous, respectful, and sensitive in our words and actions, as doing otherwise would be a great disservice to our vision of building a stronger and formidable bar. Now is the time to come together because a divided Bar is a defeated Bar.”

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Following the withdrawal of the invitation extended by the Bar to the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, some lawyers had alleged discrimination against the governor.

Two lawyers based in Kaduna, Nuhu Ibrahim and Abdulbasit Suleiman, describing themselves as Convener 1 and 2, on Thursday, announced that they and others of like minds had formed a ‘New Nigerian Bar Association’ NNBA.

In a statement released on social media, the lawyers said: “The New Nigerian Bar Association members feel that their interests are no longer taken into consideration in major decisions of the NBA hence the formation of this Association.

According to them, membership of the NBA is not mandatory, adding that Section 40 of the Constitution permits freedom of association.

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The new NBA members said they were in consultations with “very Senior Lawyers of Northern Nigeria extraction and those practicing therein with a view to constituting the Trustees and for purposes of fixing a date for the formal inauguration of the Association.”

The NNBA also claimed that the NBA offices were lopsided against Northern lawyers.

“A cursory chronicle of the membership composition of major organs of the NBA would reveal lopsided representation despite having large numbers of Lawyers from all parts of the country and especially Northern Nigeria who have diligently paid their Bar practicing fees and have distinguished themselves in the legal profession.

“The New Nigerian Bar Association feels that Lawyers, as professionals like Doctors and Accountants should have more than one Association regulated by the General Council of the Bar.”

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Senior Lawyers Fault Move, Call For Caution
The news of a parallel body of the Nigerian Bar Association has elicited mixed reactions from lawyers across the country.

While some are opposed to the move, others say it is within the rights of the conveners to do the same.

Mike Ozekhome, SAN, who spoke at the handover ceremony of the NBA leadership on Friday, advised aggrieved members against forming an alternative association.

Ozekhome said, “drop all these issues of trying to form an alternative Bar, whether you call it new NBA or progressive NBA, it’s not going to work.

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“The reason is that when you begin to create a different Bar, calling it, for example, Northern Bar or new Bar, then people, very soon, are going to start calling for Southern Nigerian Army, Southern Nigerian Navy, Western Nigerian Air Force, Eastern Nigeria Tax Authority, etc; where are we heading to? That is nothing but balkanisation of Nigeria and God forbid.”

Meanwhile, another senior lawyer, Yusuf Ali SAN, said, “Nobody has contacted me about the formation of any parallel organisation. I’ve not been consulted, I’ve not been contacted, but I want to advise caution on all the sides.

“Our elders have a saying that beheading is not the answer for headache. We are better off with our numbers and diversity of the Association.”

He also said that if in the future such a split becomes necessary, “it shouldn’t be borne out of disagreement. It should be something that comes because our numbers have become so huge and that there are needs. It should also be a pan-Nigerian thing.

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“So, for me, this is just an event; it is quite unfortunate, but I think it is a matter that we should address at a conference table.

“I don’t think we should join Nigerian politicians to behave the way they normally do; you’re dissatisfied, form your own party. I’m dissatisfied, I form my own party. That’s not the best way to go, and as leaders in the country, by virtue of our training, we should show a good example and provide leadership to others to emulate us. We should not because we have issues within ourselves, balkanise our association.

“Some of us have our reservations about the decision of the NBA excluding Mallam El-Rufai, from the conference, but, that notwithstanding, we should still keep our heads and take rational decisions in the interest of our Association, our profession, and our country. I ask for understanding and caution.”

In his own reaction, Jibrin Okutepa SAN said the New NBA’s move was not surprising considering recent happenings in the Bar.

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He argued that many honest lawyers were disenchanted because the NBA had lost its values, and the New NBA members had the constitutional right to form another association.

“If you have read me in several papers – myself, Femi Falana and several others – we have spoken sufficiently to the Constitutional iniquities of making Nigerian lawyers be members of the NBA, particularly that the NBA has lost it value. “So, if any lawyer feels aggrieved that he wants to form a new association, what stops them from doing so?

That is within their rights under Section 49 of the Constitution. So, I do not share the views of those who say you must be forced to be a member of the NBA. I don’t share that view. We have chosen to be members of the NBA because we believe that the NBA will live up to the standard of its motto, which is promoting the rule of law.

“But in the past years have you seen NBA promoting rule of law? Or the rule of personal aggrandisement?, he asked.


#Newsworthy…

Just in: Olumide Akpata Sworn In As 30th NBA President.

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has sworn in its 30th President, Mr Olumide Akpata.

He was sworn-in at a short ceremony held at the NBA National Secretariat in Abuja.

The ceremony which was streamed live online marked the end of the tenure of the Paul Usoro administration.

Mr. Akpata immediately thanked the past executive for ensuring that the Association was held together after which he swore in members of his executives.

In his inaugural address after his swearing-in, Mr Akpata called on lawyers to unite as the work ahead of the Association is enormous

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Akpata, said he considers it a great honour and privilege on the epochal 60th anniversary of the NBA, “to be sworn in as the 30th President of the foremost professional membership association in Nigeria and the most influential network of legal practitioners in Africa.”

Akpata who was declared the winner of the keenly contested poll by NBA Electoral Committee on July 31, will lead the Affairs of the bar for the next two years.

The inaugural speech reads in part:

“It is apposite to begin the formal part of the address by tackling two major issues arising from the 2020 NBA election – the seeds of discord that were sown during the election campaigns and the issues pertaining to the election process itself.

The Need for Unity at the Bar

“I am not oblivious of the cleavages that emerged during the campaign and the attempt to pitch senior members of the bar against their younger counterparts. We were all witnesses to the widespread agitations against the holders of the enviable rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria to the extent that some people were eagerly anticipating a revolution. In some ways, this was understandable, having regard to the issues that characterised the election and the uniqueness of my candidacy, being the first non-Senior Advocate of Nigeria to win an election as NBA President in thirty years. However, the elections are now over, and we must, of necessity, retrace our steps.

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“One of the cardinal pillars of my campaign and on the basis of which I made myself available to run for this high office, was the promise to run an all-inclusive Bar. There is no gainsaying the fact that this necessarily includes giving due recognition and deference to the senior members of the Bar who are the builders of, and significant contributors to, our noble Association. Even as a candidate, I never saw myself as a harbinger of division between senior and young members of the Bar, but as bridge candidate to build better rapport between young and senior lawyers. This is a role I will approach will all seriousness.

“One of the first things I did after the result declaration was to call on my supporters to desist from joining issues or otherwise attacking other lawyers, especially senior members of the Bar, but instead to be magnanimous in victory. Permit me to repeat what I said in that publication. Ours is a noble profession that prides itself on a high sense of discipline, learning, respect for seniority and character for which its members are reputed. Let us therefore join hands to move the NBA forward. The mandate that I have from Nigerian lawyers is to work for all members of the Bar irrespective of who they voted for. There is so much work to be done to revitalise our Bar and make it work for everyone without discrimination.

“I am also not unaware of very recent events and agitations that have tended to divide our Bar along regional and religious lines. This is rather unfortunate for an egalitarian Association like ours. The Bar that I want to lead henceforth is one that is united on all fronts and that recognises that our diversity is, perhaps, our greatest strength. I plead with all Nigerian lawyers to bear this philosophy of unity in mind as we commence a new journey together today.

“This enormous task cannot be achieved if we continue to fan the embers of division at a time when we desperately need to unite and speak with one firm voice. We must be kind, magnanimous, respectful, and sensitive in our words and actions, as doing otherwise would be a great disservice to our vision of building a stronger and formidable Bar. Now is the time to come together because a divided Bar is a defeated Bar.

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Electoral Reform

“It is pertinent to state categorically that, in my view, the 2020 Election – the voting and result of which were monitored live by a significant proportion of Nigerian lawyers and non-lawyers alike – was ultimately free and fair, and the result was, by all estimation, truly reflective of the will of Nigerian lawyers. The above notwithstanding, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge that there were several glitches in the build up to the Election. As Nigeria’s foremost professional Association, our electoral process ought to be the standard for others to follow and should, to the extent humanly possible, be devoid of the glitches that we witnessed. It was with this in mind that I personally wrote two separate letters to the ECNBA Chairman on 20th July 2020 and 29th July 2020 to highlight the issues that threatened the conduct of a credible election and to recommend measures to immediately address those concerns.

“The consensus is that there is need to urgently review the 2020 elections and to institute urgent reforms of our electoral systems. Indeed, the Board of Trustees of the NBA in their letter of 19 August 2020 to Deacon Dele Adesina, SAN called for a major transformation of our electoral process and framework. Let me repeat what I said to the Board of Trustees in my letter to them in response to the petition of Deacon Dele Adesina, SAN; “as an Association that prides itself as Nigeria’s foremost and oldest professional membership organisation, we need to manage our electoral processes better. I pledged during the electioneering period to introduce an efficient data management system for the NBA and to follow that up with other institutional and structural reforms that would enable NBA to serve the benefit of its members and the Society. In the wake of the criticisms that trailed the Election, this is now a top priority issue for me.”

“One major complaint about the last election was the issue of the database of lawyers and resultant difficulties in coming up with a credible voters’ register. To address this, my administration will improve upon the membership portal introduced by the President Paul Usoro administration. Additionally, I am immediately constituting an Electoral Audit and Reforms Committee, comprising distinguished practitioners of the highest standards to audit our 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections and recommend reforms for our electoral systems and processes.


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