12-year-old impregnated by vice-principal not raped, Nigerians react (Punch)
Nigerians on Facebook and Twitter have reacted to the story of a Vice-Principal in Katsina State, Ibrahim Tukur, who allegedly raped and impregnated a 12-year-old student.
Tukur, who admitted to committing the crime, said he had been having an affair with the girl for eight months now. He takes her home, offers her a sum of N300 and sometimes N200 to have sex with her.
While some have condemned the action of the vice-principal as abominable, others feel the young girl was not raped but consented to the sexual intercourse.
Joseph Kahinde Nana on Facebook for example said it made no sense to arrest and charge a person for rape after the alleged victim had already put to bed. He wondered why the matter was never reported until the girl gave birth. Read more
Ondo farmers, forest guards, drivers protest, back Akeredolu (Punch)
Scores of farmers, forest guards and the members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Ondo State have staged a protest against the incessant abduction of their members allegedly by some gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.
The protesters also said they were in support of the order of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to eject the herdsmen from all the forest reserves in the state.
They said they threw their weight behind the Akeredolu’s order as it was made in the interest of the security of lives and properties of the people of the state.
The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, said if the current state of insecurity was not quickly checked, it might lead to chaos and famine in the state. Read more
Lagos seals pact with UK government on clean energy access (Sun)
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the British Government funded Africa Clean Energy Technical Assistance Facility (ACE TAF), programme in efforts to improve off-grid energy access in Lagos.
The ACE TAF is a four-year programme being implemented by Tetra Tech International Development, and funded by the UK Government Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
Under the pact, ACE TAF will provide technical assistance to Lagos state in improving the state’s policy and regulatory framework for off-grid solar, and strengthen the capacity of the state energy institutions and infrastructure on off-grid solar.
At the signing ceremony, Governor Sanwo-Olu expressed his commitment and support for the partnership and the project, while stating his eagerness to progress “this latest collaboration with the UK Government and build on it for more cooperation in the future.” Read more
Lagos SUBEB trains teachers, others (Nation)
The Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), in collaboration with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), has trained over 500 head teachers and school support officers.
The head teachers were exposed to leadership and school managing training to boost their productivity for three days at the LASUBEB Headquarters in Maryland, St Francis Primary School, Maryland and six other venues across the state.
Permanent board member in charge of basic education quality assurance, LASUBEB, Mr. Dayo Israel, said 350 head teachers were trained to support their teachers and also be resourceful in the use of their running cost and make use of the social capital around them through the School Based Management Committee (SBMC), the host community, private organisations, public-spirited individuals and others. Read more
Abiodun bans trucks from flyovers as three die in Ogun tanker explosion (Punch)
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has banned tankers and other articulated vehicles from plying flyover bridges in the state.
The governor said this during a visit to the scene of a tanker explosion, which claimed three lives with six persons sustaining varying degrees of burns, in Abeokuta on Tuesday.
He described the incident as sad and unfortunate.
The governor also vowed that stiffer punishment would be meted out to tanker driver, who flout the order. Read more
Blasphemy: Kano court discharge, acquits Faruq Umar (Guardian)
A Kano high court of appeal sitting at Audu Bako secretariat has discharged and acquitted one Faruq Umar earlier sentence to 10 years jail on offence of blasphemy against Allah.
Faruq Umar was convicted and sentenced to jail by upper Shari’a Court judge Aliyu Mohammad Kani, Filling Hockey division last year for violating section 382 of the Sharia penal code law 2000.
Faruq was 13 year old when he committed the said offense but the judgment was delivered till 2020 when he was 17 years old.
In his judgment on the appeal, Justice Nasiru Saminu, nullified the judgment of the lower court for lacking credibility. Read more
How 20-year-old man abducted father for N2m in Abuja (Punch)
A 20-year-old man, Abubakar Amodu, has confessed to being part of a gang that kidnapped his father and collected N2m ransom.
He made the confession on Wednesday after he was paraded along with 25 suspects in Abuja by the Police Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba.
He said, “I became friends with the members of the gang, who told me that my father was rich, and he should be kidnapped for money.
“After we kidnapped my father, he paid N2m and I was given N200,000 as my share.” Read more
Mixture of baking soda and lemon juice won’t ‘alkalise’ body (Guardian)
“How to alkalize your body naturally – homemade remedy for acidity,” reads the headline of a Facebook post shared in Nigeria in January 2021.
It claims a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice will “help you balance the pH and make an alkaline-friendly environment in the body”.
The post also says “the remedy will help you deal with the stomach acid and alleviate acidosis”.
It was shared on a popular Facebook page, named “The Professor”, which describes itself as a “home of traditional spiritual solutions and herbal mixture therapy”. It has published several other unverified health “cures”. Read more
COVID-19 restrictions to remain in place, Macron warns protesting students (France24)
French President Emmanuel Macron warned students on Thursday to expect Covid-19 restrictions to remain in place for much of the remaining academic year.
Macron was meeting a group of students at Paris-Saclay university, to hear their complaints and concerns over issues raised by Covid-19 restrictions, such as loneliness and despair over the economic downturn impacting their job prospects.
Students, like everyone else, are subject to a 6 pm-to-6 am curfew.
“You need to take care of each other,” he said, recognising that many students were deprived of the chance to make new friends and establish relationships. Read more
Huge fire breaks out at COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer in India (NYPost)
A large fire broke out Thursday inside the sprawling complex of the Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer.
Images from Reuters partner ANI showed smoke billowing out of a building in SII’s massive complex in the western city of Pune, in southern Maharashtra state.
“Thank you everyone for your concern and prayers,” SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Twitter. “So far the most important thing is that there have been no lives lost or major injuries due to the fire, despite a few floors being destroyed.”
He added in a later tweet: “I would like to reassure all governments & the public that there would be no loss of #COVISHIELD production due to multiple production buildings that I had kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies at @SerumInstIndia.” Read more
Hungary first in EU to approve Russian vaccine (BBC)
Hungary has become the first country in the European Union to give preliminary approval to the Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff confirmed both the Russian jab and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had been given the green light by the health authorities.
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto is travelling to Moscow for further talks, where he is expected to discuss a shipment and distribution deal.
Early results from trials of the Sputnik vaccine have shown promising results. Read more
Tesla Model 3 car reportedly explodes in China (NYPost)
A Tesla Model 3 sedan exploded this week in a Chinese parking garage, according to local media reports.
The car blew up Tuesday evening in an underground parking garage in a residential community in Shanghai, where Tesla opened a factory in late 2019, multiple Chinese media outlets reported.
Tesla told reporters that no one was hurt in the crash, but flames from the explosion gutted the car’s interior and appeared to char its body, according to published photos from the scene.
The electric-car maker told local media that the incident was likely caused by an impact to the underside of the car that damaged the battery. Read more
Deadly twin suicide blasts rock Baghdad market (France24)
A rare twin suicide bombing on a bustling commercial street in the heart of Baghdad on Thursday killed at least 28 people and wounded more than 70, according to Iraqi officials, in an attack that ruptured months of relative calm.
The first suicide bomber had rushed into the market and claimed to feel sick, so that people would gather around him, according to an Iraqi interior ministry official. He then detonated his explosives.
As people gathered around the victims, a second attacker detonated his bomb, the ministry’s statement said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Read more
Biden’s new-look Oval Office is a nod to past US leadership (BBC)
Incoming presidents bring their own personal touch to the Oval Office and much is being read into the way Joe Biden has chosen to decorate his new place of work.
The room has been filled with portraits and busts of some of the most iconic and influential leaders of American history.
“It was important for President Biden to walk into an Oval that looked like America and started to show the landscape of who he is going to be as president,” Ashley Williams, the deputy director of Oval Office operations, told The Washington Post during an exclusive tour.
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Gone is the portrait of Andrew Jackson, the 7th president and a populist with whom President Trump frequently identified and who also faced censure although he was never impeached. Read more
Heavily pregnant Kelly Rowland works out as due date nears (PageSix)
Kelly Rowland is still breaking a sweat nine months into her pregnancy.
On Wednesday, the mom-to-be — who is expecting her second child with husband Tim Weatherspoon — documented her latest workout on Instagram with trainer Rebecca Broxterman.
“What is this baby waiting for?” Rowland captioned a video of herself doing squats.
Clad in a peach sports bra and black leggings, a heavily pregnant Rowland, 39, is also seen doing wall-sits in a separate clip recorded by Broxterman.
“She’s still pregnant so we are still working,” Broxterman posted. Read more
Tiger undergoes surgery to have disc fragment removed (Guardian)
Tiger Woods has recently undergone microdiscectomy surgery to remove a pressurized disc fragment that was pinching a nerve, the 15-time major winner’s foundation announced Tuesday.
A posting on Woods’s Twitter page said the 45-year-old golf star would not play upcoming US PGA Tour events at Torrey Pines or Riviera, but doctors expect him to fully recover.
“I look forward to beginning training and am focused on getting back out on tour,” Woods said in the statement, which did not reveal an exact date for the operation.
Woods was experiencing discomfort after playing in last month’s PNC Championship, a family exhibition event at Orlando, Florida, where he competed alongside son Charlie. Read more
Former Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Joe Erico dies at 71 (DailyTrust)
Nigerian football has again been thrown into mourning on Thursday following the death of former Nigeria senior team goalkeeper and one-time assistant coach of the Super Eagles, Joe Erico.
It was gathered that Erico complained of body pain and was treated for malaria, only to be found dead in his bed at dawn on Thursday.
Born Joseph Bassey Eric in the Odukpani local government area in what is today known as Cross River State, Erico belonged to the class of the very best goalkeepers in the history of Nigeria’s senior team, and served at the same period as the revered Emmanuel Okala and Eyo Essien.
He made his debut for then Green Eagles in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Zambia in Lagos in July 1973 (which Nigeria won 3-2), and then kept goal in all of Nigeria’s six matches at the 1976 Africa Cup of Nations in Ethiopia, where the Eagles finished third – the first time Nigeria would win a medal at the AFCON. Read more
Arteta focuses on new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players (Guardian)
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is focusing on potential signings in the January transfer window after trimming his squad but refused to be drawn on a loan move for Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos was released from his contract this week, while Mesut Ozil is on the brink of a transfer to Turkish club Fenerbahce.
Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba have already left on loan deals as Arteta seeks to re-balance his squad.
The Arsenal boss, speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round match at Southampton, would not be drawn on reports linking the club with a loan move for Real’s attacking midfielder Odegaard. Read more
McIlroy shoots 64 to lead Hatton by one in Abu Dhabi (BBC)
Rory McIlroy hit a bogey-free eight-under-par 64 to set the clubhouse lead midway through the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
The Northern Irishman leads by one from England’s Tyrrell Hatton who had two eagles and three birdies in his 65.
Defending champion Lee Westwood, who won last year’s European Tour Race to Dubai, opened with a three-under 69.
American Justin Thomas, who was three over after his first six holes, finished on one over. Read more
Man City’s Aguero contracts COVID-19 (Nation)
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has revealed that he has tested positive for coronavirus, and had already been self-isolating following close contact with another person who had Covid-19.
Aguero, who has struggled with injuries this season, did not feature in City’s Premier League win over Aston Villa on Wednesday night and has not featured for the team since January 3, when he made a four-minute cameo in the 3-1 victory against Chelsea.
He wrote on Twitter: “After a close contact, I’ve been self-isolating and the latest test I took was positive for Covid-19. I had some symptoms and I’m following doctor’s orders for recovery. Take care, everyone!” Read more
Cameroonian Embiid impresses again for 76ers (BBC)
A Brooklyn Nets team featuring James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving playing together for the first time lost 147-135 to the Cleveland Cavaliers after second overtime.
‘The Big Three’, among the current highest paid NBA stars, played more than 48 minutes and combined for 28 points in the fourth quarter.
But Collin Sexton scored a career-high 42 points to win it for the Cavaliers.
He also scored a three-pointer with 1.2 seconds left in the first overtime. Read more