Tag Archives: Happening

Update: Dr. Funmilayo respond to Dr. bola Aseyan’s rape allegation

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UK-based Nigerian medical doctor, Dr Funmilayo Harvey was accused of rape by another doctor Dr Bola Aseyan, has responded to the allegation.

In a post he just made on Twitter, the doctor stated that they met on Twitter in 2019 and despite never setting eyes on each other, the relationship was never stable.

Dr Funmilayo responds to rape allegation – We had sex twice

Read Also;

Dr. Funmilayo Rape Allegation: Dr. Bola Aseyan drops more Fact

He further revealed that Bola, who is a practicing doctor in Nigeria, and not the UK, insisted on coming to the UK to visit, for reasons best known to her, as her Visa was initially not granted.

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According to him, they had consensual sex, twice. The 1st being after they were both drunk, only for her to tell him the next day she didn’t give her consent to the sex they had.

He then mentioned that he specifically asked her if she was insinuating he sexually abused her and she replied saying NO.

In his rebuttal, Harvey wrote on how he accommodated Bola for 4 months in his apartment despite the duo not being in talking terms, and his only crime was him not allowing her into his heart.


#Newsworthy…

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Top Story: CAC deregister Ohanaeze Ndigbo

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The Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, has reportedly scrapped the registration earlier granted to a splinter Ohaneze Ndigbo group.

The commission in a statement on social media on Tuesday said that it withdrew the registration of the splinter Ohaneze group which appointed one Basil Onyeachonam as its president general because it has not fulfilled all the requirements for registration.

The statement by the CAC reads: “This is to inform the general public that the certificate of registration No. IT 1444918 issued inadvertently to the Trustees of OHANEZE NDIGBO GENERAL ASSEMBLY has been withdrawn by the Corporate Affairs Commission.

“The Trustees of the Association have been advised to return the said certificate to the commission as same has been cancelled. The conditions for the issuance of the certificate have not been fully fulfilled,” it concluded.

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Reacting to the development yesterday, the Deputy Publicly Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr Chuks Ibegbu said that the main stream Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief John Nnia Nwodo was in support of the move by the Corporate Affairs Commission.

He said: “There are due process to register such an organisation and it was not followed. The circumstance that led to the registration should be probed. Something must have gone wrong in CAC. I think that the enemies of Ndigbo are at work.

“These chaps are enemies of Ndigbo and desperadoes. They should be arrested for impersonation.

“Ohanaeze leadership under Nwodo is intact. There is no crack whatsoever. Enemies of Ndigbo are behind this and we shall soon unmask them,” he added.


#Newsworthy…

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Buhari names Adesoji Adesugba new NEPZA MD

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Professor Adesoji Adesugba as the new Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority(NEPZA), a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

The President’s approval was given in a letter addressed to the Minister, dated 26th June 2020 and signed by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to the President.

According to a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday by the Media Assistant to Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Julius Toba-Jegede, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo hailed President Mohammadu Buhari over the appointment of Prof Adesoji Adesugba.

The Minister who expressed confidence over the choice of Adesugba said his wealth of experience coupled with his academic exposure would add value to the attainment of NEPZA’s core mandate, urging the new appointee to pilot the affairs of the agency with transparency and an open-door policy that will accelerate Federal Government’s target for economic zones across the country, especially in the area of job creation.

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Prof. Adesugba, an accomplished specialist in Investment Promotion and Economic Development, is a lawyer and a veteran of business promotion within and outside Nigeria

An accomplished specialist in Investment Promotion and Economic Development, Adesoji Adesugba is known for his proficiency in organizational development and institutional reforms. He has combined the best in private sector entrepreneurial acumen with an expert ability to navigate public sector practice.

Adesugba is the National Legal Adviser of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and the Chairman of its Education Committee. Adesugba lectures part-time as a Professor of Business Administration at the Roegate College in Dublin, Ireland, and also lectured Investment Promotion at the Baden International Business School, Baden, Switzerland. Until recently, he was a visiting Professor at the American University of West Africa, Banjul Gambia.

Adesugba is the founder and the Provost at the Business Entrepreneurship Skills and Technology (BEST) Centre and a Vice President at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). Prof. Adesugba is also the founder and President of the first Gemological Institute in West Africa, the Gemological Institute of Nigeria (GIN). He is also the founder and the National Coordinator of the Gemstones Miners and Marketers Association of Nigeria (GMMAN). Prof. Adesugba is a Vice President at the Nigerian Chamber of Mines.

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A certified international arbitrator and mediator, Prof. Adesugba worked as the Chairman of the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP), a Federal Government of Nigeria agency set up for the resolution of industrial disputes. Before working at the IAP, Prof. Adesugba served as a Director at the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), where he was responsible for the development of strategies to promote and target investments into the Nigerian economy.

Between 2005 to 2007, Adesugba was seconded from the NIPC to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) as the Head of Marketing, Communications, and External Relations, to help reinvigorate the privatization exercise of the Federal Government of Nigeria. At the BPE, he served as a member of the National Council on Privatization, subcommittee on marketing, media, and publicity.

Prof. Adesugba started his career in the public service as a Superintendent Collector Grade II, at the Nigerian Customs Service in August 1982 and rose to the rank of Chief Superintendent before leaving the service for the NIPC in 1999.

He serves on the boards of various non-profit organizations dedicated to youth empowerment, economic development, gender, and policy issues.

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Prof. Adesoji Adesugba obtained his doctorate in Business Administration with the highest distinction from the California Southern University in the USA. He has an M.Sc. degree in Investment Promotion and Economic Development from the Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, UK, and his MBA from the Ogun State University in Nigeria, his first degree was a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration from the University of Lagos in 1981.

Adesugba also studied law and obtained his LL.B. from the University of Lagos in 1987. Adesugba was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1989. Prof. Dr Adesugba has a certificate in Chinese Economic Development from the Normal University, Beijing China; a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK); and a certificate from the Columbia Law School in New York.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, a Fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria and a Fellow of the Chartered Taxation Institute of Nigeria.

Adesugba is also a media and communication enthusiast and serves as the Chairman, Editorial Board of Sahel Standard Media Group.


#Newsworthy…

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News+: Judge ban ‘Tell-All’ book publication written by Trump’s niece.

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Atell-all book by President Donald Trump’s niece cannot be published until a judge decides the merits of claims by the president’s brother that its publication would violate a pact among family members, a judge said Tuesday.

New York state Supreme Court Judge Hal B. Greenwald in Poughkeepsie, New York, issued an order requiring the niece, Mary Trump, and her publisher to explain why they should not be blocked from publishing the book: “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” A hearing was set for July 10.

The book, scheduled to be published July 28, was written by Mary Trump, the daughter of Fred Trump Jr., the president’s elder brother, who died in 1981. An online description of it says it reveals “a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse.”

The judge banned “publishing, printing or distributing any book or any portions thereof” before he decides the validity of Robert S. Trump’s claims.

Robert Trump argues Mary Trump must comply with a written agreement among family members who settled a dispute over Fred Trump’s will that a book about them cannot be published without their permission.

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Mary Trump’s lawyer, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, promised an immediate appeal.

“The trial court’s temporary restraining order is only temporary but it still is a prior restraint on core political speech that flatly violates the First Amendment,” Boutrous said.

“This book, which addresses matters of great public concern and importance about a sitting president in an election year, should not be suppressed even for one day,” Boutrous said in a statement.

Adam Rothberg, a Simon & Schuster spokesperson, said the publisher was disappointed but looks forward “to prevailing in this case based on well-established precedents regarding prior restraint.”

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Charles Harder, an attorney for Robert Trump, said his client was “very pleased.”

He said in a statement that the actions by Mary Trump and her publisher were “truly reprehensible.”

“We look forward to vigorously litigating this case, and will seek the maximum remedies available by law for the enormous damages,” he said. “Short of corrective action to immediately cease their egregious conduct, we will pursue this case to the very end.”

In court papers, Robert Trump maintained Mary Trump was part of a settlement nearly two decades ago that included a confidentiality clause explicitly saying they would not “publish any account concerning the litigation or their relationship,” unless they all agreed.


#Newsworthy…

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News+: India behind Karachi terror – Imran Khan says

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Prime Minister Imran Khan while paying glowing tribute to martyred four security guards and policemen who defended Karachi Stock Exchange during Monday’s terrorist attack, has said that Pakistan has no doubt that this attack was planned and orchestrated by India.

Speaking in National Assembly on Tuesday, Imran Khan said “I pay tribute to all the four martyrs including Inspector Shahid and three security guards.” He said no powerful country of the world would have foiled this kind of terror attack like these four Pakistani heroes thwarted it.

In a treasury benches-clad parliament the members of the Opposition parties walked out amid verbal clashes between the rival speakers.

“India planned to destabilize Pakistan,” Imran Khan said, adding “We were all-prepared against such terrorist attacks. We had already foiled four such attacks. But no one can always stop such terror attacks.”

“The government knew that all our intelligence agencies were on high alert. They pre-empted at least four major attempts of terrorism and two of them were around Islamabad.”

The primer said the attackers of Karachi Stock Exchange wanted to make people inside the market as hostage. “The martyrs laid down their lives and saved the country from enemy’s big terror plan,” he said.

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He said the defenders of the country, security guards and policemen and law enforcement agencies (LAEs) foiled the terrorist attack that was being orchestrated in the style of Mumbai-attacks.

“What happened in Mumbai, they wanted to do the same; they wanted to create an uncertain (environment). We have no doubt this was done by India,” Imran Khan.

He said Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were on high alert. “I want to pay tribute to the intelligence agencies of the country.”

Imran Khan responding to the opposition criticism of ill-handling of COVID-19 and other issues pertaining to sugar, wheat and oil scandals that hit the country recently said “Get ready for institutional reforms or get ready for tough times.” He said there is mafia sitting in every institution.

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The Prime Minister said there are mafias in Pakistan International Airlines and now reforms are inevitable in institutions. “They {opposition} asked not to publish PIA report.”

Imran termed Opposition ‘liberally corrupt’. “My mission is to take on the mafia under the rule of law,” Imran vowed.

Criticising the main rival party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Imran Khan said that they had no principles as on the one hand they seek money from Taliban and on the other they become liberal in the US.

Earlier, Imran Khan thanked his team for their efforts which led to the passing of the budget although with some amendments. “There was a lot of speculation that a lot could happen, if you had watched TV you would have thought it was our last day,” he said, referring to fears the budget would be unable to sail through the National Assembly.


#Newsworthy…

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Iran ask Interpol to arrest Trump over General’s murder

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Iran said Monday it has called for Interpol to arrest President Donald Trump and 35 other US officials for the January killing of its top general in an American drone strike.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Qasi Mehr, quoted by state news agency IRNA, said 36 US political and military officials “involved in the assassination” of General Qasem Soleimani “have been investigated and were ordered to be arrested through Interpol”.

“These people have been charged with murder and terrorist acts,” he said.

“At the top of the list is US President Donald Trump, and his prosecution will continue even after the end of his term,” said the prosecutor, referring to his bid for re-election in November.

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Qasi Mehr, quoted on the judiciary’s Mizan Online official website, said “the Iranian judiciary has issued arrest warrants against the 36”.

He called for the international police agency Interpol to issue red notices, which are not arrest warrants but issued for those wanted for prosecution or sentencing.

Trump ordered the killing of Soleimani in a January 3 drone strike near Baghdad international airport.

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Soleimani, a national hero at home, was “the world’s top terrorist” and “should have been terminated long ago”, Trump said at the time.

Brian Hook, the US pointman on Iran policy, scoffed at the Iranian request to Interpol as a “propaganda stunt”.

“Our assessment is that Interpol does not intervene and issue red notices that are based on a political nature,” he told a news conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

“This is a political nature. This has nothing to do with national security, international peace or promoting stability,” Hook said.

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“We see it for what it is. It’s a propaganda stunt that no-one takes seriously and makes the Iranians look foolish.”

The killing of Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, provoked massive outpourings of grief at home.

Iran retaliated by firing a volley of ballistic missiles at US troops stationed in Iraq, but Trump opted against responding militarily.

While the attack on the western Iraqi base of Ain Al-Asad left no US soldiers dead, dozens suffered brain trauma.


#Newsworthy…

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Interstate travels: FG lift ban

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The Federal Government (FG) Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 (PTF) has lifted the ban on interstate travel. This is part of the modification made when the PTF on Monday announced the extended phase two of eased lockdown for four weeks effective from tomorrow June 30 to July 27.

The slight modifications to the extended phase two of lockdown exist.

They include reopening of schools only for classes with terminal exams (Primary 6, JS3 and SS3), interstate movement outside curfew hours (10 pm to 4 am), and resumption of local flights as soon as practicable in line with local and international guidelines.

Details later…


#Newsworthy…

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Taraba declares 3-day public holiday

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Taraba Government has declared Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, as public holidays to enable residents of the state participate in the local government council poll slated for June 30, 2020.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Darius Ishaku, Alhaji Hassan Mijinyawa, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Jalingo.

He explained that the public holiday would enable civil servants to travel to their respective wards and vote.

He said: “The public holiday is to enable civil servants to travel to their respective wards and vote during the local government election slated for Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

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“The governor also urged people of the state to be orderly, law-abiding and conduct themselves peacefully while discharging their civic responsibilities.”

Meanwhile, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations under the auspices of Eyes on Democracy of Nigeria (EDON) has activated a situation room to monitor Tuesday’s election to ensure that it is free, fair and credible.

The State EDON Chairman, Alhaji Muktar Madaki in a statement on Monday, disclosed that a comprehensive report on the electoral process would be made immediately after the election.

He said: “We have been observing the preparations by Taraba State Independent Electoral Commission (TSIEC), and we are so far satisfied with the developments.”


#Newsworthy…

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BET Awards 2020: Burna Boy wins – Rema loses

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Nigeria’s singer Burna Boy has added the 2020 BET award for best international act to his trophies.

He was announced the winner Sunday night in the category that has as contenders singers such as Stormzy, Dave, both UK based, Ninho and S.Pri Noir(France), Sho Madjozi(South Africa) and Innoss’B(DRC).

It was his second time of picking the award in a row.

However, the fast rising Nigerian hip hop rapper and Afro beats singer, Rema lost out in the’Best New International Act”.

The award was won by Sha Sha from Zimbabwe.

Hosted by Insecure star Amanda Seales, the show is being presented virtually from Los Angeles, due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.


All the winners


BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT

Burna Boy (Nigeria) — WINNER
Innoss’B (DRC)
Sho Madjozi (South Africa)
Dave (U.K.)
Stormzy (U.K.)
Ninho (France)
S.Pri Noir (France)

VIEWER’S CHOICE: BEST NEW INTERNATIONAL ACT

Rema (Nigeria)
Sha Sha (Zimbabwe) — WINNER
Celeste (U.K.)
Young T & Bugsey (U.K.)
Hatik (France)
Sracy (France)

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR

Ajee Wilson
Claressa Shields
Coco Gauff
Naomi Osaka
Serena Williams
Simone Biles — WINNER

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Kawhi Leonard
LeBron James — WINNER
Odell Beckham Jr.
Patrick Mahomes II
Stephen Curry

BET HER AWARD

Alicia Keys – “Underdog”
Beyonce Ft. Blue Ivy Carter, Wizkid & Saint Jhn – “Brown Skin Girl” — WINNER
Ciara Ft. Lupita Nyong’o, Ester Dean, City Girls & La La – “Melanin”
Layton Greene – “I Choose”
Lizzo Ft. Missy Elliott – “Tempo”
Rapsody Ft. PJ Morton – “Afeni”

BEST FEMALE HIP HOP ARTIST

Cardi B
Doja Cat
Lizzo
Megan Thee Stallion — WINNER
Nicki Minaj
Saweetie

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Chris Brown Ft. Drake – “No Guidance”
DaBaby – “Bop”
DJ Khaled Ft. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend – “Higher” — WINNER
Doja Cat – “Say So”
Megan Thee Stallion Ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign – “Hot Girl Summer”
Roddy Ricch – “The Box”

BEST FEMALE R&B/POP ARTIST

Beyonce
H.E.R.
Jhene Aiko
Kehlani
Lizzo — WINNER
Summer Walker

Checkout full winners HERE


#Newsworthy…

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Gov. Ishaku completes 700 Boreholes, 2 Hospitals in Taraba.

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Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State on Sunday said his administration had completed 700 boreholes and two hospitals at Bambur and Gembu in Karim-Lamido and Sardauna Local Government Areas.

According to information gathered by Noble Reporters Media, Ishaku said this while addressing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters at a reception organised for him at Rimi Primary School, Tukum.

”Apart from health and water sectors, my administration had turned around the education, agricultural and social sectors, to improve the living conditions of our people,” he said.

Ishaku said his administration’s rehabilitation of Takum General Hospital made it possible for the hospital to provide quality service to the urban town and surrounding communities.

Ishaku, who was visiting his hometown, Takum, for the first time since his re-election in 2019, was received by a mammoth crowd, some of whom climbed trees to have a glimpse of him.

”Many communities in the area would soon enjoy uninterrupted power supply courtesy of soon to be commissioned 40MW electricity dam project in Kashimbila, Takum LGA.

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”Others to enjoy also are Donga, Ussa, Wukari and Ibi Local Government Areas while the Yangtu Special Development Area would soon enjoy uninterrupted power supply.

”We will liaise with relevant federal authorities and the World Bank to improve irrigation activities and water supply to the rural communities since Kashimbila project is a multi purpose one,” he said.

Ishaku, who was in Takum to vote in the upcoming Local Government Council Election, scheduled for June 30, called on the people of the area to conduct themselves peacefully as they elect candidates of their choice.

Traditional dances and other cultural displays added colour to the event.


#Newsworthy…

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Lagos govt begin law enforcement on weak, distress buildings

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The Lagos State Government has begun stiff enforcement of laws against distressed buildings and called on property owners to carry out immediate integrity tests or risk demolition.

The General Manager, Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory (LSMTL), Dr Afolabi Abiodun, told the media that property owners who did not ascertain the structural stability of their buildings risked sanctions.

Abiodun advised construction companies, developers, estate agents, builders and other stakeholders in the built environment to comply by testing their construction materials, ongoing and completed buildings to avert risks.

He said that enforcement would be more proactive in line with the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration’s zero tolerance for building collapse, saying that, using the right materials would prevent construction failure.

The general manager who assumed office in February said that soil test was also very important before any kind of construction to safeguard the construction from imminent collapse.

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“Enforcement has taken a new toll in Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory now. Before my arrival, there was no enforcement and that is why I say there is a new Sheriff in town to unleash the law of the agency on all distressed buildings.

“There is need for those who have completed their buildings to do the Non-Destructive Test (NDT) and this test which we call the NDT is to be done every five years,’’ he said.

He said that the agency had begun a massive awareness campaign to sensitise the public and was equally educating artisans in the built environment on dangers of compromising quality of building materials.

Abiodun explained that he has had several meetings with Association of Block Makers and had embarked on enforcement visits to quack block producers not using the right proportion of mixtures for production.

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He said that several block makers had been sanctioned in Alimosho and Ikorodu Local Governments, saying that the quality assurance enforcement was ongoing and would reach all parts of the state.

He said that the agency was operating on the Standard Organisations of Nigeria (SON) requirement and was making deliberate efforts to ensure building professionals complied to eliminate quackery.

Abiodun said that he had scheduled a meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) for Tuesday to pave way for more collaboration toward taming construction failure in the state.

“We want to see what we can do; how do we get to the roots of substandard materials that are being supplied on various sites. We are collaborating together.

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“We are all going out to do this sensitisation thing by going to the sources, the suppliers. We want to identify and invite them for a stakeholders’ meeting where the NIOB will be present.

“We will be able to channel a new course and a new way to prevent supply of substandard materials to site in the built environment,’’ he said.

The general manager appealed to Lagos residents to make their birthday gift to the governor who turned 55 on Thursday a visit to the agency to test buildings from one-storey up.

Abiodun also urged the public to patronise the LSTML to ensure that they can test their construction materials to ensure quality to guarantee integrity to avert building collapse.


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: U.S protest not about Black Lives but about RFID Microchip – Pastor Chris

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The President of Love World Incorporated, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, said on Sunday the protests and riots that trailed the murder of an African-American, George Floyd, in the United States last month were not about black lives.

Oyakhilome, who disclosed this in a televised sermon, said the protests were part of a grand scheme to get rid of the police and implant microchips into Americans and other citizens of the world with a view to controlling them.

He added that once the police had been taken off the streets, microchips would be implanted into citizens and gives the government the information, required to reduce crime.

The preacher had claimed in April that the COVID-19 pandemic and the movement restrictions directed by the Federal Government were part of a ploy to introduce 5G technology in the country.

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The US protests also known as American Spring began on May 26 as a response to the killing of Floyd, a 46-year-old man who died during an arrest, after a Minneapolis Police Department officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as three other officers looked on.

Oyakhilome said: “There are many who don’t know what is going on in the United States with the riots. It’s not about the guy that died, it is not about black folks, and it is not about black lives matter. I will tell you what it is about. From protests to riots and then more people have died since then and the call for disbanding, abrogation, cancellation and defunding of the police.

“Why is that? (Do) you think it is limited to the United States? No, it is not. Why are they doing it? It is part of the game. It is simply because they want to come in with the alternative method for security. What is that alternative method? It is total control- RFID microchip. That is what it’s about.

“And so, you are going to find people getting rid of their police and you will see cities experimenting one after the other. The cities say no police, everyone must get the microchip. And with that, you are going to know everybody. They will know everyone and crime will be controlled and they have got the media to hype it and in spite of its failure, they will praise it like the best thing in the world. That is what it’s about.”


#Newsworthy…

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Pollution in Arctic tundra: Russian mining giant admit

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A Russian mining giant behind an enormous Arctic fuel spill last month said it had suspended workers at a metals plant who were responsible for pumping wastewater into nearby tundra.

Norilsk Nickel cited a “flagrant violation of operating rules” in a statement on Sunday, announcing it had suspended employees responsible for dumping wastewater from a dangerously full reservoir into wildlife.

The incident occurred at the Talnakh enrichment plant near the Arctic city of Norilsk, the company said, one month after the unprecedented fuel leak led President Vladimir Putin to declare a state of emergency.

More than 21,000 tonnes of diesel leaked from a fuel storage tank at one of the company's subsidiary plants near Norilsk. The fuel seeped into the soil and dyed nearby waterways bright red.

A source told Russian Interfax news agency on Sunday that in the most recent case, approximately 6,000 cubic metres of liquid used to process minerals at the facility had been dumped and that the discharge had lasted “several hours”.

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It was impossible to determine how far the wastewater had dispersed, the source said.

Independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta published videos from the scene showing large metal pipes carrying wastewater from the reservoir and dumping foaming liquid into nearby trees.

The journalists claimed the factory deliberately funnelled the wastewater into wildlife areas and hastily removed their pipes when investigators and emergency services arrived on the scene.

The Investigative Committee, which probes serious crimes, said it had received reports of “unauthorised dumping of liquid waste into the tundra” on the site of the facility, and had opened an inquiry.

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Heavy machinery used to clear the pipes crushed a car delivering officials to the scene, national Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported.

No injuries
Interfax said no one was injured in the incident which was also being probed.

Norilsk Nickel spokeswoman Tatiana Egorova earlier on Sunday told the AFP news agency that employees of the factory had pumped out “purified water” and that an internal investigation was under way.

Russia’s natural resources agency said the decision to remove water from the reservoir was taken to avoid an emergency after heavy rains and recent tests had caused water levels to increase dramatically.

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The local emergency services in a statement said the wastewater was unlikely to reach the nearby Kharayelakh River.

The massive fuel spill last month took place at a plant owned by a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, which had said the fuel tank had collapsed or sank due to melting permafrost due to climate change.

Putin declared an emergency situation after the accident and the head of Norilsk Nickel, oligarch Vladimir Potanin, promised to pay the costs of the clean-up.

The Russian authorities said earlier this month they had cleared the spill from the surface of a river, but the full clean-up could take years.


#Newsworthy…

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Resident Doctors in LAUTECH commence 5-day warning strike

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University Teaching Hospital chapter, has called on its members to embark on a five-day warning strike from June 29.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the NARD President, Dr Abraham Akinbola and the General Secretary, Dr Abubakar Usman.

The statement, made available to newsmen on Sunday in Ibadan, hinged the action on a resolution from a virtual congress of the association.

Recall with NRM that the association had earlier issued a 14-day ultimatum to the state government and its management, which expired on June 25. “Arising from a virtual emergency general meeting of the association, held on June 25 and attended by more than two-third of our congress members, we deliberated extensively on the 14-day ultimatum issued to Oyo State government, which expired on June 25. “Our congress resolved to commence a five-day warning strike, beginning from June, 29 till July 4. “This conclusion we regrettably came to after we had exhausted all avenues for discussion,” it said.

The association observed that despite several pleas to the government, both officially and through many news media, to look into LAUTECH teaching hospital, Ogbomoso’s case, government had remained adamant.

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Recall, NobleReporters, that the association had demanded for the payment of their outstanding two-year half salary arrears, culminating into one year full salary, from Jan. 2016 to Dec. 2017.

The association had also called for the implementation of the new minimum wage salary, which other workers in the state have been enjoying since January, and the payment of corrected CONMESS salary scale.

Others demands were provisions for adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to fight COVID-19 pandemic, upgrade of hazard allowance for health workers in the hospital and placement of members on group life insurance package.

The association said that with the several pleas issued and expiration of ultimatum given to government, no tangible effort or response had been received from the government.


#Newsworthy…

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How ‘Black Lives Matter’ Protest could affect 2020 Elections

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As protesters marched through Brooklyn past curfew one night in early June, the young man holding the bullhorn at the front of the crowd kept repeating one date: June 23.

It wasn’t the date of George Floyd’s death. It was the date of the New York Democratic primary. “Nothing is going to change if we just protest,” explains Yahshiyah Vines, 19, who was leading the crowd. “All these people out here: use your emotions in the polls, use your emotions in the voting booth.”

The last few weeks have illustrated the power of the rising racial-justice movement in the wake of Floyd’s death. In less than a month, the protests have shifted public opinion on systemic racism, toppled high-profile executives and gathered momentum in their quest to defund police departments. The next few weeks and months will test whether the movement can translate its social and cultural might into political power.

The first test comes on June 23, when several young Black candidates who have aligned themselves with the Black Lives Matter movement are running in competitive Democratic primaries. Those races could in some ways be a preview of the presidential election in November, when presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden hopes to ride strong turnout among African Americans to victory. The protests could be a political bonanza for Democrats, political strategists say, galvanizing its most reliable voting bloc and boosting voter registration. But it’s not yet clear whether the party is poised to take advantage, especially at the national level.

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Already, the movement has fired up some voters. The progressive non-profit Rock The Vote registered 150,000 new voters in the first two weeks of June, the highest tally of any two-week period in the 2020 election cycle. And despite significant obstacles at the polls, Democrats in Georgia cast more than 1 million ballots in the state’s June 9 primary, breaking the record set in the 2008 contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. “People were in line for hours,” says Nse Ufot, executive director of the New Georgia Project, which registered hundreds of voters at Black Lives Matter protests ahead of the primary. “Can you imagine the strength, the resolve, the steely-eyed determination that folks are going to have when they go to the polls in November?”

The New Georgia Project is among a handful of organizations actively registering voters in person at protests around the country. But so far the effort to convert the energy of the movement into votes is spontaneous, localized and disjointed, much like the protests themselves. The most expansive national efforts are digital: The Collective PAC, aimed at building Black political power, has launched a new effort to collect cell phone data from protesters in order to serve them ads about registering to vote. Michael Bloomberg has given $2 million to the Collective PAC’s efforts to register 250,000 Black voters in key battleground states.

“It makes more sense to do it digitally, from a safety perspective,” says Quentin James, co-founder of Collective PAC. “We know who the unregistered African Americans are, we have their names, we have their address, we know the Black people who are purged, and we are targeting them specifically.” James says that in six days, more than 1,000 people have clicked on the ads the group has run through the geo-targeting effort.

National Democratic organizations, meanwhile, have been slow to capitalize on the movement’s energy. The DCCC and DSCC are not coordinating national efforts to register voters at protests, and the Biden campaign has not been actively registering demonstrators, according to spokespeople. Such an effort would be logistically difficult: many actions planned by local organizers are spontaneous and vaporous, operating outside the party structure, which makes it difficult to coordinate voter-registration efforts.

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Above all, the protests are both a gift and a challenge for Biden, who has supported the movement’s goals without embracing activists’ more controversial demands. “This movement has politicized young Black voters in particular,” says LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, which aims to register Black voters in overlooked areas. “They’re taking a much harder look at his record. And that doesn’t necessarily work in his favor.”

The former vice president, whose support among Black voters rescued his sinking campaign with a critical victory in South Carolina, has knelt with demonstrators, given a well-received speech about America’s long struggle against racial injustice and spoken at Floyd’s funeral. He has also touted his criminal justice reform plans, which include a $20 billion grant program to encourage states to move towards violence-prevention rather than incarceration, decriminalizing marijuana, ending cash bail, and using the power of the Justice Department to crack down on systemic misconduct in police departments. Since the protests, he has called for a ban on chokeholds and an end to qualified immunity as well as stopping the transfer of “weapons of war” to police departments. Yet he has rejected activists’ demands to “defund the police,” doubling down instead on his police reform plan that provides $300 million for community policing.

So far, the balancing act seems to be working: Trump’s attempts to paint him as a radical don’t appear to have stuck, while new polling has emerged suggesting that 58% of Americans oppose the call to “defund the police.” And Biden has maintained his solid lead in key battleground states. “What we say to young people is that we hear your concerns, we share your pain, we share your enthusiasm,” says Biden senior advisor Symone Sanders. “We have similar goals, we want change, we want police reform in this country, and I think we all agree that this moment has given us an opportunity to do just that.”

The next test of the Black Lives Matter movement’s political power comes June 23, when several states hold primaries featuring young black candidates. In New York’s 16th congressional district, which stretches from the Bronx up into lower Westchester, middle-school principal Jamaal Bowman is running to unseat 16-term Democratic incumbent Eliot Engel. In New York’s 17th district, Mondaire Jones is attempting to become the first openly gay Black member of Congress, competing in a crowded primary to replace a retiring Democrat. And in Kentucky, state Rep. Charles Booker is running against a well-funded opponent, Amy McGrath, for the Democratic nomination to take on Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

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All three candidates have explicitly aligned themselves with the movement. “We’ve centered racial and economic injustice from the very beginning of our campaign,” Bowman says of his bid to unseat Engel. “In terms of volunteers signing up to phone bank, people making contributions to the campaign, all that stuff has increased exponentially over the last several weeks.” It didn’t help that Engel, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs committee, has been a scarce presence in his district and recently was caught on a hot mic at a protest, saying that “if I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”

In May, Bowman was getting roughly 30 to 40 volunteer signups a day, according to data provided by the campaign. Floyd died on May 25. By June 4, the number of volunteers had doubled; by June 10, it had tripled. Bowman raised nearly $265,000 in three days in early June—almost a third what he’d raised in the entire previous year. After endorsements from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, even more money flowed into his campaign. A week into June, he’d surpassed a million dollars.

Jones, an attorney who worked in the Obama Administration, says he’s also seen a significant increase in donations from the wealthier, whiter parts of his Westchester district. “I think what people have to come to grips with is that if they want to see racial justice, then they have to support progressive candidates like myself,” he says.

As for Booker, his family knew Breonna Taylor, the Black woman who was shot and killed in March by cops executing a no-knock warrant. He’s become a fixture at the Kentucky marches demanding justice for her death. “Standing in the streets crying with people who are facing trauma, the same trauma I carry from cousins who have been murdered over the last four years, the Commonwealth has really taken note,” Booker says. “It has amounted to a big boost in fundraising, a big boost in support.”

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Before the protests began, Booker was raising roughly $100,000 a month. He’s raised roughly $2 million in the month of June, according to his campaign, enough to fund an ad accusing McGrath of skipping the protests. He says he’s working to mobilize historically disenfranchised black voters in Kentucky with a volunteer network of hundreds of people across the state who hadn’t been involved in politics before. Before Memorial Day, his campaign averaged about 300 phone bank shifts a week, his campaign says; now they have more than 100 a day. “We get ignored, we get taken for granted, and the only time people talk to us is when they want us to vote for them and then they disappear on us,” he says. “We’re helping redefine what it means to be involved in politics.”

Polling remains scarce in Democratic congressional and Senate primaries, so it’s hard to tell which of these candidates is likely to prevail on the 23rd. According to one Data for Progress poll, Bowman now leads Engel by 10 points, including a 46-point lead with Black voters (the poll had a margin of error of roughly 5 points). A Public Policy Polling survey has Jones leading by more than 10 points in a crowded primary. The Booker campaign points to internal polling that shows him catching up to McGrath. But the true electoral impact of the movement won’t become clear until the votes are counted.

As younger Black men, candidates like Booker, Bowman and Jones can speak personally about the scourge of systemic racism and police brutality. Biden is a different matter. While he has a strong connection with many Black voters, some Democrats worry his unwillingness to meet the movements’ demands could cost him enthusiasm and votes. A coalition of more than 50 progressive groups recently wrote Biden a letter urging him to adjust his positions on policing, demanding he revise his platform to “ensure that the federal government permanently ends and ceases any further appropriation of funding to local law enforcement in any form.”

“You cannot win the election without the enthusiastic support of Black voters, and how you act in this moment of crisis will play a big role in determining how Black voters—and all voters concerned with racial justice—respond to your candidacy,” the groups wrote. “A ‘return to normalcy’ will not suffice.”

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Veteran organizers say that while older Black voters are loyal Democrats who delivered Biden the nomination, the young activists flooding the streets are demanding more. “If Biden does not come correct, he’s going to take a hit,” says Brown of Black Voters Matter. “He needs Black folks and young folks. He cannot win without either.”

As Republican strategist Stuart Stevens points out, President Trump’s chances of winning spike if Democratic voters of color stay home. Stevens, who advised GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, notes that Ronald Reagan got 55% of the white vote in 1980 and won, while John McCain got 55% of the white vote in 2008 and lost, largely because nonwhite voters turned up for Obama. In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost partly because of depressed Black turnout in big cities in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

“If Biden can get nonwhite turnout up to what it was in ‘12, ‘08, or ‘04, he wins if everything else stays the same,” Stevens says. “He doesn’t need to win one more white voter.”

Ultimately, many activists say they plan to vote for Biden even if he doesn’t meet all of their demands. “A lot of people might feel disenchanted, but I also think it will make a lot of people go out and vote, because what else is there to do?” says Dara Hyacinthe, a 25-year old freelancer in Brooklyn. “It’s a two-pronged attack, really: you protest, and then you vote.”


#Newsworthy…

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World Milk Day: Peak Milk celebrate, visit ‘Isolation Centre’


Nigeria’s leading dairy brand, Peak Milk, recently served nourishing Peak breakfast to health workers and patients at select isolation centres in Lagos to mark the World Milk Day celebration.

Observed on the 1st of June annually across the world, the World Milk Day is set aside to actively encourage the daily consumption of milk and dairy.

This year, Peak Milk re-emphasised this message by serving healthy milk- filled breakfast to healthcare workers and patients – especially those at the frontline of the COVID-19 battle.

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Marketing Director at FrieslandCampina WAMCO, makers of Peak, Chris Wulff-Caesar, spoke on the geaturey.

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He said: “In a show of gratitude for their valour and service to humanity, we catered healthy breakfast meals to caregivers and their patients at isolation centres in Lagos.

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“Being the leading milk brand in Nigeria, Peak has made it imperative to celebrate World Milk Day by championing this breakfast of hope; as it provides an opportunity to further raise awareness about the benefits of consuming dairy”.

In celebrating this year World Milk Day, Peak Milk has also partnered with Nutrition Society of Nigeria to enlighten Nigerians on the importance of incorporating milk into their daily food plan, particularly at breakfast, through relevant media platforms.

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Dairy giant and makers of Peak, FrieslandCampina WAMCO pioneered the Dairy Development Programmes (DDP) in Nigeria in 2011 and has continued to spread its ‘Grass2Glass’ message by showcasing how it’s increasing the quality and quantity of raw milk production in Nigeria.

Also, through these programmes, FrieslandCampina WAMCO supports local dairy farmers while improving food and nutrition security in Nigeria.

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“Now more than ever, it’s very important to reiterate that milk is nutritious, Milk is healthy and the composition in terms of macro and micronutrients is unique as only a few servings a day result in significant intake levels of multiple nutrients.

“It is also amazing to know that nutrients in it, contributes to building a strong immune system. Milk keeps you going”, Wulff-Caesar concluded.


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: Microsoft replacing ‘People’ with Artificial Intelligence


While in recent years LinkedIn employs more journalists to improve our experience of News on the platform, the media industry is being hard hit by the layoffs of the pandemic. This is also a time when automation will increase.

In the 2020s, AI replacing journalists and media is really going to come to pass. It will remake the industry.

Microsoft News and MSN is increasingly being run by robots even as Chinese state media’s latest innovation, is an AI female news anchor. Just as social media has changed how we experience the world in real-time, (the recent Floyd Protests come to mind), AI is increasing influencing how we consume, currate and even write (summarize) up content.

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Increasingly News apps are can be fully automated via highly aggregated content systems that tracks our personal preferences. For Microsoft itself, this always means a changing of the guard, and LinkedIn could be next. Microsoft is laying off dozens of journalists and editorial workers at its Microsoft News and MSN organizations.

Media layoffs continue at a frantic pace during the Great Shutdown furloughs where some 40 million Americans have lost their jobs. If AI is the future, AI is also the disruptor for many of these jobs. If you work at LinkedIn curating and choosing stories, your days are likely also numbered. The curating of stories from news organisations and selection of headlines and pictures for the MSN site is currently done by journalists, but that’s changing.

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The new reality is of course that there is a global shift away from humans in favor of automated updates for news. The pandemic is all about learning to run a more efficient workforce with a move to remote work, 4-day work weeks and in some cases more automation. These layoffs are part of a bigger push by Microsoft to rely on artificial intelligence to pick news and content that’s presented on MSN.com, inside Microsoft’s Edge browser, and in the company’s various Microsoft News apps.

China’s ethics around AI are already changing the world. ByteDance’s Toutiao changed the world forever for how AI will intersect News. Microsoft has to keep up with this new reality. One staff member who worked on the Microsoft MSN team said: “I spend all my time reading about how automation and AI is going to take all our jobs, and here I am – AI has taken my job.”

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“I spend all my time reading about how automation and AI is going to take all our jobs, and here I am – AI has taken my job.”
Around 50 contract news producers will lose their jobs at the end of June, the Seattle Times reports, but a team of full-time journalists will remain. It’s not clear how soon some of the jobs at LinkedIn could be impacted in a similar move. But frankly, it sort of seems inevitable.

The team working on the Microsoft site did not report original stories but still exercised editorial control, selecting stories produced by other news organisations. That’s exactly what many of the LinkedIn journalists actually do. How quickly do AI-human hybrid systems go full on robot AI?

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While manual curation of news stories ensures that headlines were clear and appropriate for the format, it can be streamlined for an AI-human hybrid workforce of the future of journalism on these platforms, apps, microsites and so forth. Content curation is not journalism when tech has disrupted what the media used to stand for in a world of clickbait, SEO and “increasing user views and engagement”.

During the Pandemic even more journalists will churn from their old careers. Journalists are now facing redundancy and often have longstanding experience in the industry, must now compete with new AI systems and the impact of digital evolution which has partially destroyed local journalism and the integrity of information in many areas of the world.

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It’s demoralising to think machines can replace us, but as the world changes, AI enters the workforce and we must adapt along with it. Many tech companies are experimenting with uses for Artificial Intelligence in journalism, and Microsoft needs to keep up with the times.

The future of robot journalism is bright, even as many of the top apps for news with AI are made in China. The Toutiao aggregation model will likely disrupt how many Western platforms do news. This is because their personalization of the content to the user is superior, something LinkedIn’s algorithm and social feed struggles with.

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Algorithms have transformed social media into something not altogether human, with echo and sentiment bubbles, bots and parodies like the recent Twitter vs. Trump debate occur.

We cannot say that AI replacing journalists is necessarily a good thing. Facebook, Google and Microsoft’s foray into AI of News might not end well for us, as the quality of journalism and news continues to deteriorate. While these companies pretend to invest in local journalism, we have to be skeptical.

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Meanwhile the eyeballs are going to news aggregation apps Toutiao style like SmartNews, for example. Super platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google’s intersection with news while a part of our life, is only likely a fragment of how we follow current events.

Is an AI of news world better than what we had in the past? Microsoft is replacing people with AI, and it added ‘these decisions are not the result of the current pandemic.’


#Newsworthy…

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We had an agreement, don’t forget – SGF remind IGP


The Southeast Governors Forum has told the Inspector General of Police, IGP Adamu Muhammed, to revert to the agreement they had on community policing.

The SGF issued a communique on Sunday which accuses the IGP of not sticking to the agreement they had when he paid a visit to their region.

The communique was read by the Chairman of the forum, Governor David Umahi, who revealed that state assemblies have been asked to enact laws to give legal backing to their security plan.

The communique reads: “The recent communication from the Inspector General of Police to our Governors on community Policing composition is not in keeping with the agreement we reached with him during his last visit to the South East.

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“In the circumstance, we cannot begin implementation of it until the programme reflects our earlier agreement. The South East Governors and their leaders request the IGP to revert to our initial agreement reached on community policing at Enugu.

“The forum agreed that all South East States Houses of Assembly should commence the process of enacting the state security laws in line with the South East joint security programme.”


#Newsworthy…

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FG threatens public servants disseminating unauthorized info.


Public servants in the country may be in for a raw deal as the Federal Government on Monday said it would decisively deal with any public servant that divulged official information without due authorization.

The Director of Information at the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Olawunmi Ofunmosunle, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

“The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, HOS, Dr. Folasade Yemi –Esan has noted with displeasure the recent unfortunate disclosure of unauthorized official documents in the social media. These official documents in some cases are correspondence minuted on”, the statement said.

The statement was contained in a circular issued by the HOS on 22nd May, 2020 and made available to journalists on Monday.

The Head of Service, Dr. Yemi-Esan, according to the statement described the development as “embarrassing to government,” noting that “such irresponsible and reckless action is an act of serious misconduct with a penalty of dismissal from service as provided in Public Service Rules, PSR. Nos. 030401 and 030402.”

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She further said that henceforth, any public officer caught engaging in “this act of serious misconduct will be severely dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the PSR.”

The statement further disclosed that the Head of Service thereafter directed Permanent Secretaries to draw the attention of their staff to the content of the circular as well as the consequences of breaking the rules.


#Newsworthy…

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US seeking another ‘cold war’ – Chinese FM blames

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends a press conference of the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People via video link on May 24, 2020 in Beijing, China. Du Yang–China News Service/Getty Images


The U.S. should give up its “wishful thinking” of changing China, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, warning that some in America were pushing relations to a “new Cold War.”

“China has no intention to change the U.S., nor to replace the U.S. It is also wishful thinking for the U.S. to change China,” Wang said Sunday during his annual news briefing on the sidelines of National People’s Congress meetings in Beijing. He also criticized the U.S. for slowing its nuclear negotiations with North Korea and warned it not to cross Beijing’s “red line” on Taiwan.

The U.S.-China relationship has worsened dramatically in the past few months as America became one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which was first discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The world’s two biggest economies have clashed on a range of issues from trade to human rights, with Beijing’s latest move to tighten its grip on Hong Kong setting up another showdown between U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping.

“Some U.S. political forces are taking hostage of China-U.S. relations, attempting to push the ties to the brink of so-called ‘new Cold War,’” Wang said. “This is dangerous and will endanger global peace.”

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Wang cautioned the U.S. “not to challenge China’s red line” on Taiwan, after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo broke with tradition last week and congratulated the island’s President Tsai Ing-wen on her second-term inauguration. Beijing considers Taiwan a province.

“Reunification between the two sides of the Strait is an inevitable trend of history, no one and no force can stop it,” Wang said. China’s defense ministry blasted a U.S. plan to sell torpedoes to Taiwan.

And he blamed Washington for the stall in historic negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea, saying China hoped to see continued interaction between the two sides. The comments came after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — who has faced questions about his health — made his first public statement in three weeks, ordering military leaders to increase the country’s “nuclear war deterrence.”

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“We have seen some positive steps taken by the DPRK in the last few years towards de-escalation and denuclearization,” Wang said. “Regrettably, these steps have not been reciprocated in a substantive way by the U.S. side. This is the main reason for the ongoing stalemate in the DPRK-U.S. dialogue.”

Hong Kong
Tensions spiked last week after China announced the NPC would write sweeping legislation into Hong Kong law to criminalize the harshest criticism of China and the ruling party. The move drew swift condemnation from pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, who defied virus-related social-distancing measures and rallied in the city center even as Wang spoke.

Pompeo called the measure a “disastrous proposal” and indicated that it could lead the U.S. to reconsider Hong Kong’s special trade status.

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Wang on Sunday repeated China’s stance that Hong Kong affairs were an internal matter and said the principle of non-interference must be upheld by all countries. He didn’t directly address potential U.S. retaliation over the legislation.

He also argued that the coronavirus pandemic showed how the world was a “global village” and needed to work together, while repeatedly rejecting foreign criticism of China’s internal affairs.

U.S. Bills
U.S. lawmakers have advanced several pieces of legislation targeting China in recent weeks with bipartisan support amid mounting calls for Beijing to be punished for its alleged failure to disclose information early on about the spread of Covid-19. The virus has cost almost 100,000 American lives and tens of millions of jobs.

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Xi said Saturday he won’t let China return to its days as a planned economy, pushing back against U.S. criticism that the nation has failed to deliver on promised reforms.

“We’ve come to the understanding that we should not ignore the blindness of the market, nor should we return to the old path of a planned economy,” he told political advisers gathered in Beijing, the official Xinhua news agency said.


#Newsworthy…

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Trump Nays, Ban Travels From Brazil


The White House has announced a ban on travel to the U.S. from Brazil due to the spread of coronavirus in Latin America’s hardest-hit country.

Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says in a statement Sunday evening that the ban applies to foreign nationals who have been in Brazil in the 14 days before they sought to travel to the United States.

McEnany cast it as a move by President Donald Trump “to protect our country.”

Trump has already banned travel from the United Kingdom, Europe and China, all of which have been hit hard by the virus. Trump had said last week that he was considering imposing similar restrictions on Brazil.

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Brazil had reported more than 347,000 COVID-19 cases, second behind the U.S. in the number of infections, according to a Johns Hopkins University count.

Brazil also has recorded more than 22,000 deaths, fifth-most in the world. There have been more than 97,000 U.S. deaths.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: 313 fresh infections as total cases near 8,000


Nigeria has recorded a daily rise in Coronavirus infections, ramping up 313 new cases on Sunday.

This took the nation’s total coronavirus caseload to 7,839.

In the figures released by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Lagos recorded 148 new infections, while FCT recorded 36 new cases and Rivers 27.

Edo registered 19 new cases, Kano 13, Ogun 12 and Ebonyi 11 cases.

Nasarawa and Delta got eight cases each, Oyo seven cases, Plateau six cases; Kaduna five cases.

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Kwara recorded four cases, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa, three cases each; Niger two cases and Anambra one case.

Five new deaths were recorded on Sunday in Nigeria, while the nation has been able to discharge 2,263 survivors of the virus.


#Newsworthy…

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Just in: Fighters fly out of Libya amid Haftar retreat

‘A very meaningful event’ because LNA deprived of its most effective foreign fighting force near Tripoli, analyst says.


Russian fighters in Libya were flown out a town south of Tripoli by their Libyan allies after retreating from front lines at the capital, the town’s mayor said.

The reported departure of the Russians on Sunday was another blow to the Libya National Army (LNA) of eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar and his foreign allies.

The Russian fighters allied to the LNA retreated with their heavy equipment from the capital to the airport of Bani Walid, a town some 150km (93 miles) southeast of Tripoli, said Salem Alaywan, Bani Walid’s mayor.

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He said the Russians were flown out of western Libya to Jufra, a remote central district and LNA stronghold.

“They [the Russians] were flown in three military planes to Jufra and their military vehicles were driven there,” he said.

LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari denied any foreigners were fighting with his force.

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1,200 mercenaries
But the Russians’ presence has been widely documented by diplomats and journalists. Pictures purportedly showing Russians, some sitting on trucks, in Bani Walid were posted on social media.

According to a leaked United Nations report, Russian private military contractor Wagner Group deployed about 1,200 mercenaries to Libya to strengthen Haftar’s forces. They have been identified using equipment typically reserved for Russia’s armed forces.

UN monitors identified more than two dozen flights between Russia and eastern Libya from August 2018 to August 2019 by civilian aircraft “strongly linked to or owned by” Wagner Group or related companies.

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NobleReporters, gathered from Tripoli, said Haftar’s immediate gains in the assault on the capital a year ago have been attributed to the fighting prowess of the military contractors from the Wagner Group.

“We don’t know why they’re leaving at this crucial time because Haftar is losing on the ground. The withdrawal of the Russian [fighters] could have major consequences for Haftar’s forces,” he said.

‘Meaningful event’
The Tripoli government, known as the GNA, has with Turkish help made sudden strides, seizing a string of towns from the LNA, capturing the strategically important al-Watiya airbase, and destroying several Russian-made air defence systems.

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“The withdrawal [of the Russians] from the greater Tripoli area is a very meaningful event because it deprives the LNA of its most effective, best-equipped foreign fighting forces on that key front,” said Jalel Harchaoui, research fellow at the Clingendael Institute.

The GNA has deployed Syrian fighters allied to Turkey, while Haftar is also using Sudanese. The LNA still holds the town of Tarhouna south of Tripoli with the help of a local armed group.

Haftar’s forces, backed by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, have been trying to capture the capital for 13 months, but suffered a string of defeats in recent weeks in fighting against Turkey-backed forces of the Tripoli government.

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In the past two days, LNA forces have withdrawn from some positions in southern Tripoli in what they described as a humanitarian gesture. Forces allied to the internationally recognised government re-entered some of those areas.

Libya has been without central government control for nine years, and since 2014 it has been divided between two main rival governments in the east and the west. The conflict has turned into a proxy war between the foreign allies of the two sides.


#Newsworthy…

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