Christmas: My account has been frozen, I need help -EndSARS promoter (Punch)
Victor Israel, one of the doctors, who provided medical assistance to youths protesting against police brutality and bad governance in Port Harcourt, has appealed for help.
Israel, on his Twitter handle @VictorIsrael_, lamented that his account had been frozen by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
According to him, his account was frozen for providing medical assistance to #EndSARS protesters.
In one of his tweets, he expressed willingness to collect as little as a cup of rice.
In a series of tweets, the pharmacists shared pictures of his activities during the #EndSARS protests in Port Harcourt. One of the pictures showed him treating an injured protester. Read more
Lagos govt, CAN differ over crossover services (Nation)
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday cancelled the annual crossover services in churches across the state.
But, the state CAN said there will be crossover night service on December 31, in many churches observing it.
Traditionally, churches across the world hold crossover services on December 31, every year to usher in the New Year.
The governor, who addressed reporters at the State House in Marina, reminded the people of Lagos that the 12:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. curfew put in place by the federal government earlier in the year is still in place. Read more
At Christmas, Buhari commits to providing security for all (Thisday)
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday sought to appease Nigerians worried by his perceived poor handling of security crisis plaguing the country, saying he could not in good conscience shirk his responsibility to secure lives.
The president, in his Christmas message to Nigerians in commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, said the provision of security for all remains his article of faith, describing it “as a vital segment of this administration’s three-point agenda right from inception, and we must follow through with it.”
Buhari’s predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan and House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, in their own Christmas messages, urged Nigerians to allow the virtues of love, tolerance and sacrifice Jesus Christ was known for to be their guiding principles. Read more
Sanwo-Olu, Lalong test negative (Nation)
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who has been in isolation in the past 14 days receiving treatment for COVID-19, is out of isolation after testing negative.
Also, Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong, after one week when he tested positive for Coronavirus, is now free of the disease after his latest test returned negative.
Sanwo-Olu gave the news of his negative status at the Lagos House, Marina, Lagos yesterday, thanking God for seeing him through. Read more
ASUU faults non-teaching staff position on N40bn earned academic allowance (Sun)
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), yesterday, asked the three non-teaching staff unions in the Nigerian University System (NUS) to go and negotiate their own earned allowance with the Federal Government rather than make unnecessary noise over what took ASUU nine months to accomplished for members.
ASUU also warned the three non-academic unions cannot stop members from carrying out their duties. The union said throughout the nine months strike, non-academic workers were allowed to operate and collect salaries.
The leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), National Association of Academic of Technologists (NAAT) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) on Wednesday rejected the sharing formula for the approved N40 billion Earned Academic Allowance (EAA). Read more
#EndSARS panel orders ex-AIG, police to release detained corpse (Punch)
The Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality in Cross River State has ordered the State Police Command to release the corpse of a victim, Ayuk Etta for burial two years after he was allegedly murdered.
The Justice Michael Edem (retd.), who led the panel, also nullified the banishment of the Paramount Ruler of Etung, HRH Ntui Atue Dr Emmanuel Oru Ojong.
The orders were given in response to a petition submitted to the panel by the Paramount Ruler of Etung, HRM Ntui Atue Dr Emmanuel Oru, through his counsel, Fakuta Nachamada & Associates. Read more
Gunmen kill 3 policemen, 2 others in Benue (Sun)
Three policemen and two civilians were reportedly shot dead by some gunmen at the Katsina-Ala residence of the Chairman of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State, Alfred Avalumun Atera.
Sources from the area disclosed that several other persons were wounded during the attack, which happened at about 11.30 am.
The incident was said to have caused pandemonium in the town until a military special squad was drafted to restore calm. Read more
Govs, lawmakers seek peace, selflessness at Christmas (Punch)
Governors, senators and other leaders across the country on Thursday called on Nigerians to seek peace, selflessness and be cautions as they celebrate Christmas.
The governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, in a Christmas message by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr Christian Ita, described Jesus Christ as a symbol of peace, humility and selflessness.
“Let us never forget that He was born to bring peace and good tidings to mankind. So as Christians, let us be agents for peace.” Read more
Kano Emirate: Ganduje, Kwankwaso bicker over Sanusi (Sun)
Kano Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje and his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, have renewed banter over the appointment and dethronement of former emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, on March 2020 by the former.
During a book lunch in honour of former president Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Ganduje said the enthronement of Sanusi as emir was political as he was appointed to spite his then boss, president Jonathan. But, Kwankwaso, in a statement by his Principal Private Secretary, Muhammad Inuwa ali, yesterday, countered Ganduje, explaining that Sanusi’s emergence was based on merit and endorsed by eminent leaders across board. Read more
Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch ‘sold to billionaire for $22m’ (BBC)
The Neverland ranch of the late pop star Michael Jackson has reportedly been sold to a billionaire investor for a quarter of its initial asking price.
Ron Burkle, a former friend of Jackson, recently bought the estate in Los Olivos, California, his spokesman said.
He paid $22m (£16.2m) for Neverland, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing public records and three people familiar with the deal.
The 2,700-acre (1,100 hectare) compound was first listed for $100m in 2015. Read more
Russian pol jailed for beating 12-year-old son to death with dumbbell (NYPost)
A Russian politician was sentenced to 14 years in prison for beating her 12-year-old son to death with a dumbbell during an argument, reports said Thursday.
Authorities said Galina Morozova, 56, bludgeoned her son, Alexander Parakhnyakov, in March because he had defied her and snuck out to go to a sleepover, according to The Sun.
She then reported the boy missing, playing the frantic mother in public pleas on social media and taking part in searches in the city of Astrakhan, the report said. Read more
Notre Dame choir holds Christmas Eve concert inside fire-damaged (CBC)
Wearing hard hats and protective suits, members of the choir of Notre Dame Cathedral sang inside the medieval Paris landmark for the first time since last year’s devastating fire for a special Christmas Eve concert.
Accompanied by an acclaimed cellist and a rented organ, the singers performed beneath the cathedral’s stained-glass windows amid the darkened church, which is transitioning from being a precarious hazardous clean-up operation to becoming a massive reconstruction site. The choir initially planned to bring in 20 singers but for safety reasons they were limited to eight.
The choir members stood socially distanced to be able to take off their masks — which are required indoors in France to stem the spread of the virus — and sing. Read more
Pope urges help for poor at low-key Christmas Eve Mass (Vanguard)
Pope Francis celebrated a low-key Christmas Eve Mass made sombre by the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, and said people should feel obliged to help the needy because Pope urges help for poor at low-key Christmas Eve Mass himself was born a poor outcast.
The Mass was held in a rear section of St. Peter’s Basilica with fewer than 100 participants and only small number of cardinals and bishops.
It is usually held in the main section of the basilica and attended by up to 10,000 people, including the diplomatic corps representing nearly 200 countries. Read more
Mass vaccinations begin in Latin America (AlJazeera)
A Mexican nurse became the first person in Latin America to receive a coronavirus jab when her country began its vaccination programme on Thursday.
Mexico has received an initial shipment of 3,000 doses of the US-German Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The country has one of the highest pandemic death tolls in the world, behind only the US, Brazil and India.
A short time later on Thursday, Chile and Costa Rica also began administering Pfizer-BioNTech. Read more
Belgian work crew finds gold bars in sewer beneath Brussels (NYPost)
The streets of Brussels may not be paved with gold, but this is the next best thing.
A Belgian work crew found two gold bars in a sewer beneath Brussels, and may get to pocket their share of the bars’ cumulative $120,000 value — provided the rightful owner doesn’t come forward.
The crew was working to unblock a drain around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday when they made the stunning find, according to The Brussels Times.
The crew alerted local police, who have opened an investigation into whether the bars wound up in the sewer as part of a crime. Read more
George Michael’s ex caught smashing his way into the late star’s home (PageSix)
George Michael’s ex was busted for smashing his way into the late pop star’s London home — just days before the fourth anniversary of the singer’s Christmas Day death, according to reports.
Troubled hairstylist Fadi Fawaz, 47, was confronted Tuesday morning after breaking a window to get into the “Last Christmas” star’s empty $6.75 million home, the Sun said.
“This is my place. George wanted me to have it,” he allegedly yelled at officers who arrived at the house that Fawaz was kicked out of by Michael’s family last year, the UK paper said. Read more
Tennis star’s girlfriend shares graphic sex detail (NYPost)
The girlfriend of Australian Paralympian Dylan Alcott revealed an embarrassing incident following the couple’s first time in the bedroom.
Chantelle Otten is an award-winning sex therapist, who has never shied from sharing details about the couple’s romantic life.
During a live Q&A on Instagram, Otten detailed the unfortunate mishap, which took place after the pair’s first time sleeping together.
“Listening to (Life Uncut Podcast) about this babe who was so relaxed while a guy went down on her,” Otten posted on Monday. “So relaxed she farted in his face. Read more
Okocha and Adepoju: Duo urge Nigerians to ‘stop looking for the next Jay-Jay’ (BBC)
Former Super Eagles captain Austin Okocha insists the Nigerian obsession with finding a new ‘Jay-Jay’ has to stop.
That sentiment echoed by his World Cup teammate Mutiu Adepoju who says there is too much pressure on the national team’s young players.
The 47-year-old Okocha, who retired in 2008, admitted to Lagos radio station Brila FM that the lack of creative midfielders is holding the current Super Eagles squad back.
“We should support these players and let them flourish on their own instead of unfairly putting them under pressure by calling them the next this or that,” said Okocha. Read more
Kylian Mbappe sends message to Thomas Tuchel after manager is sacked by Paris Saint-Germain (Metro)
Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe has thanked Thomas Tuchel for ‘writing a wonderful part of the club’s history’ and says ‘nobody will forget’ the German’s time in charge. The 47-year-old won four domestic trophies last season and steered PSG to the Champions League final just four months back but was dismissed on Christmas Eve is set to be replaced by ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino at the Parc des Princes. The Ligue 1 champions endured a disappointing start to their title defence under Tuchel’s tutelage and sit third in the table, one point behind joint-leaders Lyon and Lille, after their 4-0 win over Strasbourg on Wednesday. Read more
NBA 2021 season: Boston Celtics beat Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat lose to Orlando Magic (BBC)
The Boston Celtics won their NBA season-opener against the Milwaukee Bucks after Jayson Tatum hit a late three-pointer in a thrilling finale.
The Celtics had a 17-point lead going into the final quarter and held off the Bucks when Tatum landed from 28 feet.
It clinched a 122-121 win, although the Bucks missed the chance to tie when Giannis Antetokounmpo missed a free throw with less than a second left. Read more
Mixed blessings for debuting Nigerian NBA rookies (Punch)
It was a case of mixed blessings for Nigerian rookies who made their debuts in the National Basketball Association League opening games during the week.
Forward Isaac Okoro scored 16 points on his NBA debut to help Cleveland Cavaliers record a 121-114 win over the Charlotte Hornets in their season opener at the Quickens Loan Arena on Thursday.
Okoro also had three rebounds and five assists in 34 minutes. Read more
Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins fined for Covid-19 breach (BBC)
Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been fined $40,000 (£29,400) and removed as a captain after being filmed at a party without wearing a mask.
The fine is thought to be the largest in the NFL for breaking Covid-19 protocols and more than half of 23-year-old Haskins’ weekly salary.
Haskins said Sunday’s party – after his team lost to Seattle Seahawks – was for his girlfriend’s birthday.
“My actions were immature and unacceptable,” he said. Read more
Paul Merson explains why Kieran Tierney should be handed Arsenal captaincy (Metro)
Paul Merson says Kieran Tierney deserves to be made Arsenal captain because he’s the one player who gives his all and would ‘run through a brick wall’ for his side. Arsenal’s tally of 14 points from their first 14 Premier League games represents their worst start to a campaign in 46 years. Mikel Arteta is facing increased pressure with his side hovering just four points above the relegation zone. Read more