COVID-19: Lagos govt insists on approval to hold weddings with 300 guests (Vanguard)
The Lagos State Government has made it compulsory for prospective couples to obtain approval from the state authorities to hold weddings with 300 people in attendance.
The Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Mojola who stated this, said, “Weddings and social gatherings must not exceed 300 people with prior clearance from the Lagos State Safety Commission.”
However, he said the measure became necessary in view of the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state. Read more
How cyber criminals clone ATM cards, fleece bank customers of savings (Nation)
On November 3, Ayo, a freelance journalist, was in the comfort of his room drawing a list of what he would need for his impending wedding and to set up a business for his wife to be. For these, he relied mainly on the money he had saved from his toils over the years.
But while he was busy drawing the items, his phone was being hit by messages in quick succession, but he was too engrossed with the task at hand to be distracted by them. By the time it occurred to him to check the short messages on his phone, he realised, to his chagrin, that they were debit alerts from his bank. The money he had banked on for the execution of his plans had been pilfered from his account. Surprisingly, the message in the debit alert indicated that the withdrawal had occurred two days earlier (November 1).
Ayo’s major shock was how it was possible for a third party to withdraw money from his account while he had his ATM card and mobile phone with him.
“When I went to my bank to complain, they searched and found that the money was withdrawn through a modern online payment system. I subsequently reached out to the company and they confirmed what the bank had told me,” he said. Read more
COVID-19: Lagos, CAN may clash as Buhari mourns 20 doctors (Guardian)
Saddened by the death of 20 medical doctors in one week in the line of duty, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, vowed that his administration would “leave no stone unturned” in prioritising the welfare of doctors and other health workers.
This is as the Lagos State government and the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) may be headed for a collision course over the latter’s insistence that churches in the state would hold the traditional crossover night services on December 31.
Buhari while saluting the sacrifices made by the doctors who were killed by COVID-19 in different parts of the country, according to a statement on Saturday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, condoled with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) over the deaths, stressing that the sacrifices made by the frontline medical workers were deeply appreciated. Read more
Free Transport: Beneficiaries hail Gov. Ugwuanyi’s ‘magnanimity’ (Thisday)
Indigenes of Enugu State who benefited from the free transportation offered to them to return for the festive season, by the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, have thanked the governor for his magnanimity and steadfastness in sustaining the annual ritual, despite various challenges confronting the country.
The visibly elated beneficiaries, who were formally received by the Managing Director of Enugu State Transport Company Limited (ENTRACO), Mr Bob Itanyi and his team, also thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for his commitment to the safety and wellbeing of the people of the state.
Speaking during their separate arrivals in Enugu, the indigenes who expressed gratitude to God for smooth and safe journey back home, said that they were amazed that the governor could approve this year’s free transportation programme, notwithstanding the adverse effects of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the nation’s second recession in five years. Read more
Yuletide: FRSC boss commends personnel, road users (Vanguard)
The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi has expressed satisfaction with the general conduct, commitment and professionalism exhibited by the personnel of the corps during the Yuletide special patrol.
Oyeyemi’s remarks were contained in a statement by the FRSC’s Public Education Officer, Assistant Corps Marshal Bisi Kazeem on Saturday in Abuja.
He also commended the cooperation of the road users, saying that the excellent performances and positive impact recorded by the corps were directly tied to the high rate of compliance received from the motoring public.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oyeyemi gave the commendation after receiving briefs from supervisory officers deployed from the National Headquarters to monitor the special operations nationwide. Read more
It’s strange none of Kankara schoolboys’ abductors was arrested –Don (Punch)
A professor of African History, Peace and Conflict Studies, Isaac Olawale, has said it is strange that none of the abductors of the Kankara schoolboys was arrested or killed. This, he said, signalled a conspiracy by some powerful leaders against the people they govern.
About 344 pupils of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, were on December 11 abducted from their hostels on the school premises by bandits.
They were released about a week after following negotiations between the government and the bandits. Read more
We’ve been abandoned, victims of church bomb blast lament (Guardian)
Several years after the bomb blast that claimed lives of people and left many others injured, victims of Boko Haram bomb blast in St. Monica Catholic Church, Malali Area of Kaduna that survived the attack have lamented being abandoned to cater for themselves since 2012.
It would be recalled that a suicide bomber drove a vehicle packed with explosives into the Catholic Church, where worshippers gathered. The attack led to the killing of about eight persons and 100 injured others.
While receiving the Senator that represented Kaduna Central in the 8th Assembly, Comrade Shehu Sani, who visited the scene of attack, yesterday, the survivors, who called for assistance from government and good citizens, narrated the ordeal and hardship they face daily to make ends meet. Read more
After Nkanga’s death, A’Ibom threatens another lockdown (Thisday)
About 48 hours after the death of its first Military Governor, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, the Akwa Ibom State Government yesterday threatened to declare another lockdown if the residents continued to flout the COVID-19 protocols during festive periods.
The state government, also, disclosed that Nkanga, who was the Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Elder Forum (PANDEF) in the state until his passage, died on December 24 from COVID-19 complications at the age of 68.
These were revealed in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, disclosing that requisite protective protocol and contact tracing had been immediately activated. Read more
In Façade, Onobrakpeya deepens understanding of painting (Guardian)
Bruce Obomeyoma Onobrakpeya is considered one of the most successful artists to have emerged from Africa in the 20th century. He fuses his training in Western techniques and materials blended into his background, culture and ingenuity that are irrefutably indigenous, yet exotic. His rich textured works are a blend of native folklores, faith, environmental reflections and supernatural essences.
Since 1966, as an experimental artist, Onobrakpeya has discovered, innovated and perfected several techniques both in printmaking and relief sculpture that are uniquely Nigerian.
He has also included in his portfolio, other techniques including drawings, assemblages and digital art. At the same time, he began to experiment with forms in relation to Nigerian folklore, myths and legends. Read more
Chinese economy to overtake US ‘by 2028’ due to Covid (BBC)
China will overtake the US to become the world’s largest economy by 2028, five years earlier than previously forecast, a report says.
The UK-based Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said China’s “skilful” management of Covid-19 would boost its relative growth compared to the US and Europe in coming years.
Meanwhile India is tipped to become the third largest economy by 2030.
The CEBR releases its economic league table every year on 26 December. Read more
Woman’s suicide note posts days after she jumped to her death in Hudson Yards (NYPost)
A 24-year-old Brooklyn woman who jumped to her death from the Vessel in Hudson Yards had written a gut-wrenching farewell on Instagram — and it has now appeared online after her suicide.
“If you’re reading this, I’m gone,” Yocheved Gourarie wrote in the post, which she had scheduled to run one day after her tragic leap.
“I hope you can find some comfort in knowing I am no longer in pain.”
On Tuesday, Gourarie, of Crown Heights, rode the subway into Manhattan and bought a ticket to the Vessel, a popular tourist attraction. Read more
Prisoner cuts his own penis off after wife refuses conjugal visit (Metro)
A Spanish prisoner cut his own penis off on Christmas Eve after his wife wouldn’t come to see him for a conjugal visit. Medics saved the unnamed inmate’s life in the medical centre of a prison in Puerto de Santa Maria near Cadiz, Spain. It is not yet clear if staff were able to reattach his penis. Local reports claim the man has mental health issues. Read more
Nashville explosion ‘probably suicide bombing’ (BBC)
The camper van blast in Nashville on Christmas Day was probably a suicide bombing, law enforcement officials are quoted as saying by US media.
Investigators are conducting DNA tests after human remains were found near the site of the powerful blast.
The home of a possible person of interest was searched on Saturday in Nashville’s suburb of Antioch.
The blast injured three people and disrupted communications systems in Tennessee and four other states. Read more
Nickelback takes on Photograph meme in new Google ad with ‘reimagined’ song (Metro)
Nickelback has brought back the Photograph meme and absolutely run with it for a new Google advert. The stars – Chad Kroeger, Ryan Peake, Mike Kroeger, and Daniel Adair – ‘reimagined’ their classic hit, mocking Chad’s ever-changing hairstyles and comparing his blonde locks to a ramen bowl. The clip, of course, begins with Chad holding up a photo on a phone instead of a physical copy, as he sings the opening lines: ‘Look at this photograph/Every time I do, it makes me laugh.’ Read more
Unemployment benefits for millions in US in peril as Trump fumes about COVID-19 bill (CBC)
Unemployment benefits for millions in the United States struggling to make ends meet are set to lapse at midnight Saturday unless U.S. President Donald Trump signed an end-of-year COVID-19 relief and spending bill that had been considered a done deal before his sudden objections.
Trump’s refusal to sign the bipartisan package as he demands larger COVID-19 relief cheques and complains about “pork” spending could also force a federal government shutdown when money runs out at 12:01 a.m. ET Tuesday in the middle of a pandemic.
“It’s a chess game and we are pawns,” said Lanetris Haines, a self-employed single mother of three in South Bend, Ind., who stands to lose her $129 US weekly jobless benefit unless Trump signs the package into law or succeeds in his improbable quest for changes. Read more
Storm Bella: Gusts of more than 80mph recorded in UK (BBC)
Gusts of more than 80mph have been recorded in the UK as Storm Bella is bringing heavy rain and high winds to large parts of the country.
The Met Office has issued an Amber warning for wind – meaning disruption is likely – for much of the south coast of England and parts of Wales.
On Saturday evening a gust of 83mph was recorded at Aberdaron, in north Wales.
Yellow warnings for rain are in place across much of the UK, as well as two “threat to life” flood notices. Read more
Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury boost as Oleksandr Usyk fancies Deontay Wilder fight (Metro)
Oleksandr Usyk is keen on a fight with former world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, which may well be good news for the proposed super fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury in 2021. Joshua and Fury hold all the gold at heavyweight and are keen to meet next year to crown a unified champion in the division. Both sides are working to make the bout happen, but the man holding a spanner and ready to pop it in the works is Usyk, who is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBO title. Read more
Sigurdsson’s late winner at Sheff Utd sends Everton second (BBC)
Everton moved up to second in the Premier League after edging a tight contest against Sheffield United at rain-lashed Bramall Lane.
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s late effort, which found the bottom-left corner, saw Carlo Ancelotti’s side extend their winning run to four matches as they leapfrogged Leicester and Manchester United in the process.
It also inflicted more heartbreak on the Blades, who remain without a win and rooted to the bottom of the table.
In a game of few openings, Oliver Burke’s flashing drive represented the hosts’ best effort while Oli McBurnie steered a stoppage-time chance to rescue a point just wide. Read more
Bruno Fernandes ‘happy’ with reaction from Manchester United players after Leicester City draw (Metro)
Bruno Fernandes admits he was ‘happy’ to see his Manchester United teammates look disappointed in the dressing room following their 2-2 draw with Leicester City on Boxing Day. Marcus Rashford opened the scoring for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side before Harvey Barnes netted an equaliser for Leicester. Fernandes put United ahead once again with 11 minutes remaining but Axel Tuanzebe’s own goal with just five minutes to go rescued a point for the Foxes. Read more
Man City see off Newcastle to go fifth (BBC)
lkay Gundogan scored his second Premier League goal of the season
lkay Gundogan scored his second Premier League goal of the season
Manchester City secured their customary home win over Newcastle as Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres scored the goals that moved them up to fifth in the Premier League.
The triumph was City’s 12th in a row in this particular fixture.
And the margin of victory could have been far more as Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow produced two excellent first-half saves to deny Kevin de Bruyne, then an even better one to repel a close range shot from substitute Sergio Aguero near the end.
In addition, John Stones and Raheem Sterling both wasted glorious chances after the break and Bernardo Silva hit a post from an acute angle. Read more
Shooting star: Stephen Curry makes 105 straight 3s post-practice (CBC)
Stephen Curry made 105 straight three-pointers to finish practice Saturday leading into Golden State’s game Sunday game at Chicago.
The Warriors said they captured the final 103 on video at the Bulls’ practice facility. Curry’s shots were counted by his longtime shooting man, assistant Bruce Fraser, and coach Steve Kerr only heard about his shooting star afterward.
“I think his previous record was 77. That’s insane,” Kerr said. “I don’t know if the Guinness Book of World Records still exists. That was one of my favourite books growing up. If it still exists that should go in the book, because we have video evidence now apparently.” Read more
Arsenal beat Chelsea to ease pressure on Arteta (BBC)
A rejuvenated Arsenal recorded an important victory over Chelsea to end their seven-game run without a win in the Premier League and ease the pressure on boss Mikel Arteta.
Two first-half goals set the platform for the Gunners’ first top-flight win since 1 November.
Alexandre Lacazette sent goalkeeper Edouard Mendy the wrong way from the penalty spot and Granit Xhaka curled in a superb free-kick 10 minutes later to put Arteta’s side in control.
Bukayo Saka’s cross then dropped into the top corner early in the second half to put the game beyond the visitors. Read more
Nets, Kyrie Irving taking game-by-game approach (NYPost)
The Nets are the first NBA team in 12 years to win their first two games of the season by more than 20 points each, but the only thing on their minds after routing the Celtics on Friday was playing at Charlotte on Sunday.
“What’s there to be content about? What’s there to be happy about?” Kyrie Irving said after Friday’s 123-95 win over the Celtics. “It’s two games. Let’s move on to the next game. Let’s get ready for Charlotte. Let’s go do this thing again. Let’s have some fun. Obviously, we want this season to go in a very patient current. We don’t want to rush this.
“I know what history looks like … and I don’t want to take any day for granted, so I’m grateful I get to share it, this journey, with these guys.” Read more