2020: Sanwo-Olu’s wife welcomes first babies in four Lagos hospitals (Vanguard)
Wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, today, welcomed and presented gifts items to the first babies of the year in four state-owned health facilities.
The facilities include Ijede General Hospital, Agbowa General Hospital, Ketu-Ejirin General Hospital and Lagos Island Maternity Hospital.
A baby boy who weighed 2kg delivered at exactly 12. 01 a.m. to the family of Mr and Mrs Bukola Agede is the first baby of the year at Ijede General Hospital, Ikorodu.
Another baby, a female, delivered at 12. 07 a.m by Mrs Agbor Beauty is the first baby of the year in Agbowa General Hospital also in Ikorodu. Read more
LASU student’s killer pastor not our member – C&S (Punch)
The Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria has said the self-styled pastor, who allegedly slaughtered a student of the Lagos State University, Segun Philips, is not its member.
PUNCH Metro had reported that the 400-level undergraduate of the Department of Theatre Arts, LASU, Favour Daley-Oladele, after a short visit to her parents in the Mowe area of Ogun State, departed for school on December 8, 2019, but while on her way, she went to see one Owolabi Adeeko, said to be her boyfriend, at an undisclosed location.
Owolabi allegedly lured Favour to the Ikoyi-Ile area around Apomu and Ikire in Osun State, where he connived with his mother and Philips to kill and use the 22-year-old’s body parts for money rituals. Read more
Sanwo-Olu signs N1.17trn 2020 budget into law (Guardian)
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, signed the 2020 Appropriation Bill of N1.168 trillion into law.
The Lagos State House of Assembly had on Monday, after consideration, passed the slightly adjusted budget size for governor’s assent into law.
Speaking during the signing ceremony at the State House, Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos residents would experience a strong and prosperous economy in 2020. Read more
Civil servants crowd ATMs after FG payment of new minimum wage arrears (Guardian)
Bank Customers, especially civil servants have continued to throng ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) areas around the FCT and environs to withdraw money for their last-minute shopping and outings for the yuletide.
The Federal civil servants commended the Federal Government for keeping to its promise to pay the arrears of the new minimum wage which came into effect in April 2019.
Some of the customers, mostly government workers told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the prompt withdrawal followed the payment of the arrears of the new minimum wage by the Federal Government on Monday.
Mrs Chikamso Nwobodo, a civil servant who reside at Nyanya, said the payment of the minimum wage arrears came as a surprise to her. Read more
Is your air conditioner killing you? 5 health risks of air conditioning (Guardian)
In recent times, the air conditioner (AC) has moved from being a luxury to becoming a necessity for many of us in our daily lives. From our offices to our cars and every room in our house, we are probably always in AC indoors.
However, with so much exposure to AC, there has been a prolonged debate as to whether the AC has an adverse effect on the body. The answer to this is YES! According to the International Journal of Epidemiology, workers in air-conditioned office buildings reported higher rates of illness than those in buildings with natural ventilation.
With this knowledge in mind, we have listed some health risks that constant and prolonged exposure to AC can have on your body. Read more
York to become first city to ban cars (Metro)
The City of York’s council has approved plans to ban private car journeys from its centre within three years as it attempts to become Britain’s first car-free city. In an effort to cut carbon emissions the council wants to end all ‘non-essential’ car journeys within the city walls from 2023. Bristol previously announced plans to become the first UK city to ban diesel cars by next year. ‘People’s first response might be to be a bit anxious about what we’re proposing,’ Labour councillor Jonny Crawshaw told The York Press. Read more
Pope Francis slaps pilgrim’s hand after she yanks his arm (BBC)
Pope Francis has showed his displeasure towards a visitor in St Peter’s Square on New Year’s Eve.
He had been greeting pilgrims when he admonished a woman for grabbing his hand. Read more
Pope apologises for slapping devotee (Punch)
Pope Francis apologised Wednesday for his widely-viewed slap of a woman who had grabbed his hand as he greeted Catholic faithful on New Year’s Eve.
The image of Francis slapping his way free from the clutches of the admirer was an instant hit on social media.
A personal apology followed.
“We lose patience many times,” Francis confessed.
“It happens to me too. I apologise for the bad example given yesterday,” the head of the Catholic church said before celebrating Mass at the Vatican.
Twitter enthusiasts commented with abandon on the pontiff’s prompt riposte to the woman. Read more
26,039 babies born on New Year Day in Nigeria – UNICEF (Punch)
The United Nations Children’s Fund says an estimated 26,039 babies were possibly born in Nigeria on New Year’s Day.
UNICEF’s Nigeria Representative, Mr Peter Hawkins, said on Wednesday in a statement Nigerian babies would account for almost seven per cent of the estimated 392,078 babies to be born on New Year’s Day globally.
Hawkins said this figure is the third-highest number of babies in the world, after India with 67,385; and China, 46,299.
“The beginning of a new year and this year, a new decade, is a chance for us to reflect on our hopes and dreams for the future of Nigeria, especially for those who stand to inherit this country; its children. Read more
New Year’s Day online banking crash hits Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers (Metro)
A major outage has hit Halifax, Lloyds and Bank of Scotland on New Year’s Day, leaving vast numbers of Britons unable to access their accounts. Online banking is currently down for customers with all three banks, who have taken to social media to vent their rage. Huge swathes of Britain have been left unable to access their accounts on their computers or smartphone apps. The banks apologised for the ‘issues’ and insisted they are working on getting the services up and running again. Read more
Exclusions for racism in primary schools in England up more than 40% (BBC)
Nai’m, nine, has been the subject of five incidents of racism in a year
“The person was my friend and I didn’t expect any of my friends to call me a name,” says nine-year-old Nai’m.
He has experienced racist abuse at primary school five times in a year. It has left his mother, Carla, in tears.
One of the perpetrators is now on a council register for racism, with another facing temporary exclusion.
Primary-school exclusions for racism in England are up more than 40% in just over a decade with the biggest rise in the North West, official figures show. Read more
Man killed by firework exploding in his face at New Year party (Metro)
A British man has died during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Thailand after a firework exploded close to his body. Gary McLaren, 50, was ringing in the New Year with friends in the nightlife resort of Pattaya, eastern Thailand, on December 31.
Witness Wassana Nguantai, 24, told The Pattaya News he was killed while attempting to light a firework cylinder in the street. Read more
10 books to read in 2020 (BBC)
From a story of friendship and a much-anticipated Tudor tale to the latest novel by Elena Ferrante, here are some reading ideas.
Colum McCann, Apeirogon
McCann’s new novel, named after “a shape with a countably infinite series of sides”, is a glorious storytelling hybrid, structured in 1,001 sections, some only a sentence long. At its heart is the true story of an extraordinary friendship between Palestinian Bassam and Israeli Rami, the fathers of young daughters killed in the conflict – Abir by a rubber bullet, Smadar by a suicide bomber. The fathers work together for decades, lecturing throughout the world, using “the force of their grief as a weapon”. McCann folds in facts about weapons invention, ornithology, and human nature which creates an ongoing meditation on violence. Apeirogon is a brilliant novel, formally intriguing, profoundly human. (Credit: Random House)
Louise Erdrich, The Night Watchman
Award-winning novelist Erdrich’s 17th novel is based on her grandfather’s work on behalf of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. They were disputing a 1953 bill brought before the US Congress aiming to terminate treaties with Native Americans that were originally supposed to be in place “for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run”. She orchestrates a rich community tale, featuring Thomas Wazhushk, the tribal chair and night watchman in the Turtle Mountain jewel-bearing plant, who leads the fight against termination, and Patrice Paranteau, a young worker at the plant who sets out in search of her missing sister Vera. Behind the fiction is a reminder: 113 tribes were terminated (78 regained federal recognition), and 1.4 million acres of tribal land was seized. (Credit: Harper) Read more
Trump prepares for battle as he deploys 4,000 troops after embassy attack (Metro)
US President Donald Trump has ordered some 750 American soldiers be deployed to the Middle East, with about 3,000 more prepared for possible deployment in the next several days following an attack on the US embassy compound in Iraq. Mr Trump said that Iran was ‘fully responsible’ for the attack in which no US casualties or evacuations were reported. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday night that ‘in response to recent events’ in Iraq, and at Mr Trump’s direction, he had authorised the immediate deployment of the infantry battalion from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Read more
Anthony Joshua questions why 43-fight Deontay Wilder hasn’t unified heavyweight division (Metro)
Anthony Joshua has urged Deontay Wilder to agree to a unification fight, questioning why such an experienced champion has never tried to unify the division. Wilder is undefeated in 43 fights and has held the WBC title since 2015, but has never come close to fighting for one of the other world titles. Joshua is the WBO, WBA (Super) and IBF champion and compared his own career to that of Wilder’s. ‘We’ve done it, we’ve unified it, in the space of 20 odd fights,’ Joshua told Sky Sports. Read more
A game-changing decade for women’s sport (BBC)
I must admit, I never thought I’d see the day when tennis legend Billie Jean King was tweeting about darts.
But there it was, a congratulatory tweet to England’s Fallon Sherrock after she became the first woman to beat a man at the PDC World Championship.
King knows all about beating a man – after all, she disposed of Bobby Riggs in straight sets in the Battle of the Sexes in 1973, and has been a fierce advocate for gender equality since campaigning for equal prize money at the US Open in the early 1970s. Read more
Zaha is not for sale except for good price, Hodgson asserts (Guardian)
Roy Hodgson is confident nobody at Crystal Palace is looking to sell star winger Wilfried Zaha in January, but he recognises “serious” bids would have to be considered.
Zaha was widely linked with moves to both Everton and Arsenal in the previous transfer window, with Hodgson acknowledging the player was unhappy when no transfer materialised.
Palace reportedly set a £100million asking price, which neither club would go to, with fellow suitors Chelsea serving a transfer ban at the time. Read more
Mikel Arteta sends warning to Arsenal star Mesut Ozil ahead of Manchester United clash (Metro)
Mikel Arteta has declared he is prepared to drop Mesut Ozil if his attitude and commitment to training drops. The Arsenal star has been plagued by inconsistency in his Emirates career and was repeatedly overlooked by Unai Emery in his final months at the club. Arteta has been tasked with rejuvenating Arsenal, but sent a blunt message to Ozil over his work-rate and place in the starting eleven. Asked if he would build his team around Ozil, Arteta replied: ‘No, I put him in the team if I see every day that his attitude, desire and understanding of what we’re trying to do is there. Read more
Venus Williams pulls out of Brisbane International event (BBC)
Former world number one Venus Williams has withdrawn from the season-opening Brisbane International after suffering an “unexpected setback” in training.
The 39-year-old, who won the last of her seven Grand Slam singles titles in 2008, hopes to play in Adelaide before the Australian Open on 20 January.
A replacement for the world number 52 will be announced on Thursday.
World number one Ashleigh Barty and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka are among a strong field. Read more
Takumi Minamino set for Liverpool debut against Everton, reveals Jurgen Klopp (Metro)
Liverpool new boy Takumi Minamino is on course to make his debut for the club in the Reds’ FA Cup third round clash against Everton, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed. The Japanese playmaker joined the club in December after Liverpool triggered a £7.25m release clause in his Red Bull Salzburg contract. Liverpool had hoped to have Minamino registered in time for their Premier League clash against Sheffield United but league rules prevented him from making the squad. However, the games are coming thick and fast for Liverpool and the Reds face rivals Everton at Anfield on Sunday in the FA Cup. Read more
Moreno shifts focus on Monaco against feud with Enrique (Guardian)
Robert Moreno wants to put his departure as Spain boss and subsequent fallout with Luis Enrique behind him after being unveiled as the new head coach of Ligue 1 side Monaco.
The 42-year-old served as an assistant for La Roja until Luis Enrique stepped down in June to care for his young daughter Xana, who died in August following a battle with bone cancer.
Moreno took charge permanently at that point and oversaw Spain’s qualification for Euro 2020, but Luis Enrique returned in November and did not appoint his former deputy to his staff due to an apparent disagreement. Read more
Fallon Sherrock wins take darts global – Barry Hearn (BBC)
Sherrock was backed by a loud and enthusiastic crowd at Alexandra Palace, where she reached the third round
Fallon Sherrock’s success has got people talking about darts “from New York to Melbourne” says Professional Darts Corporation chair Barry Hearn.
Sherrock, 25, became the first woman to win a World Championship match when she beat Ted Evetts before Christmas.
“Fallon’s inspired the nation – the world – it has been everywhere from New York to Melbourne,” said Hearn.
“Everyone’s talking about darts. There are no barriers to entry, anyone can pick up a board.” Read more
Man U fan tells Aubameyang he’ll end up in Phil Jones’ pocket ahead of Premier League clash (Metro)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang appeared to be enjoying his New Year’s Eve – that was until a Manchester United fan came along and told him he’d end up in Phil Jones’ pocket ahead of tonight’s much-anticipated Premier League clash. The 30-year-old Arsenal forward has scored 13 goals in 20 league appearances this season and will be bursting with confidence after netting in his last two matches against Bournemouth and Chelsea. Only Jamie Vardy is above Aubameyang in the goalscoring charts with 17 goals in the English top flight and the Gabon striker will be looking to reduce the gap as the Gunners prepare to host United at the Emirates. Read more
Suarez sure of contract extension at Barcelona (Guardian)
Luis Suarez is confident he and Barcelona will come to an agreement regarding a new contract as he eyes second place in the club’s list of record goalscorers.
Suarez joined Barca from Liverpool in 2014 and has gone on to enjoy a wonderful spell at Camp Nou, both in terms of individual accomplishments and success with the club.
In that time, he has scored 190 goals and won every trophy possible, including a LaLiga, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble in 2014-15. Read more