Eyewitnesses recount horror Lagos gas explosion, fourth victim dies (Punch)
A man, simply identified as Victor, has died from the injuries he sustained in the gas explosion, which occurred on Innua Muhammed Street, off Asa-Afariogun Street, in the Ajao Estate area of Lagos State, on Tuesday.
Victor, a tailor, was said to be working in his shop when the explosion occurred in one of the adjoining shops where gas was being refilled into cylinders.
Victor was reportedly rushed to the Faith City Hospital for treatment but was pronounced dead on arrival. Read more
Sanwo-Olu, Oba of Benin, CUPP preach moderation, peace, unity (Guardian)
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has charged Lagos residents to “calm down” and avoid being carried away by the Sallah merriment, reminding them that the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much around.
Demanding self-restraint, the governor urged Lagosians to emulate Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice and faith in Allah, besides feasting moderately within the confines of the safety guidelines.
“We need to moderate our celebration and also observe prescribed protocols towards defeating the deadly coronavirus, which are, maintaining social distancing, washing and sanitising our hands, and using our face masks,” he added. Read more
Eid-el-Kabir: No free ride on BRT (DailyTrust)
Primero Transport Services Limited, operators of the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), and its counterpart, Lagos Bus Service Ltd (LBSL) on Wednesday ruled out free ride services during the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
The BRT and the operators of the high-capacity Marcopolo buses (LBSL) owned by the Lagos State Government, used to provide free ride during major festivities.
Mr Fola Tinubu, the Managing Director of the BRT, told NAN that the outfits would not provide free ride services during the Eid-el-Kabir. Tinubu said: “There’s no free ride.” Read more
Lagos, Olpharm mark World Hepatitis Day, screen citizens (Guardian)
In commemoration of the World Hepatitis Day (WHD), the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) is conducting free hepatitis screening for Lagosians.
The three-day screening, counselling sessions, referrals of positive cases and blood donation ends today at the LSBTS Voluntary Blood Donation Centre, General Hospital, Lagos.
WHD is marked on July 28 every year to create more awareness on hepatitis and ways to reduce the burden. Read more
Pastor kidnaps delivery man to raise money for Sallah charity (Punch)
A pastor, Adetokunbo Adenopo, has been arrested for allegedly abducting a delivery man, Jonathan Ekpo, in order to obtain ransom from his employers for Sallah celebration.
The 52-year-old who is the founder of the New Life Church, Sagamu, Ogun State, allegedly carried out the act with his gang members, Chigozie William, 22; Linus Ugorji, 30; and Emmanuel Chris.
Ekpo had gone to deliver a package to Adenopo in Sagamu when the four men tied him up and anaesthetised him. They also kept him in an underground room until he was rescued by the police. Read more
Passengers groan over ticket hike as train services resume (DailyTrust)
The Abuja to Kaduna train service commenced operations Wednesday but with low passenger turn out, due to the 100 per cent hike in tickets fare. Our correspondent, who visited the Idu Train Station, reports that the usual pressure on the trains weren’t there as few intending travellers were sighted.
Our correspondent also reports that the Nigerian Railways Corporation (NRC) has done all the markings in compliance with physical distancing protocols.
The NRC is also enforcing the compulsory use of face masks and disinfecting travelling bags at the station. Mr. Victor Adamu, the NRC Operations Manager of Abuja-Kaduna rail service, gave the passengers’ statistics for the first two trips out of Abuja to Kaduna to be 679 passengers. Read more
Borrowing: Give us option to China, Amaechi challenges N’Assembly (Punch)
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Wednesday said if the National Assembly was not comfortable with government’s borrowings from China, it should tell where huge infrastructure loans could be accessed.
He expressed worries about probes by the lawmakers on loans collected by Nigeria and stressed that such probes could stall the release of more funds to the country.
Amaechi also stated that the Federal Government would not provide hand sanitisers at train stations following the resumption of rail transportation activities at the Abuja-Kaduna line. Read more
2023 Presidency: Afenifere, others descend on Mamman Daura (DailyTrust)
The Yoruba sociocultural group, Afenifere has condemned the position of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura who said competence should be placed above zoning arrangement in the 2023 Presidential election.
Regarded as the most powerful personality in Buhari’s administration, Daura had in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service said the most qualified person from any part of the country should succeed his uncle.
However, the Afenifere group rejected Daura’s position saying the country must continue with the common understanding of power rotation between the North and the South. Read more
Seaweed extract blocks COVID-19 (Guardian)
Scientists have made major breakthroughs in search for natural cures for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and elixirs to longer and healthier lives with the discoveries that seaweed extract outperforms remdesivir in blocking COVID-19 virus and plant-based protein lowers risk of death as well as evidence that fasting diet boosts breast cancer therapy.
Remdesivir, a drug that once offered hope against Ebola, is now in the spotlight as the only current effective medication for COVID-19.
In a test of antiviral effectiveness against the virus that causes COVID-19, an extract from edible seaweeds substantially outperformed remdesivir, the current standard antiviral used to combat the disease. Heparin, a common blood thinner, and a heparin variant stripped of its anticoagulant properties, performed on par with remdesivir in inhibiting Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2)/COVID-19 infection in mammalian cells. Read more
Zimbabwe agrees compensation amount for white farmers (BBC)
Zimbabwe has agreed to pay $3.5bn (£2.7bn) in compensation to white farmers whose land was expropriated by the government.
It will issue long term bonds and approach donors for funding as it lacks the money to pay the farmers directly.
Farmers’ unions have accepted the offer under which they will be compensated for farm infrastructure, not the land itself. Read more
Hong Kong students held in first arrests under new security law (Aljazeera)
Hong Kong police have arrested four people, the youngest just 16, for suspected offences under the city’s new national security law, the first such detentions outside of street protests since the legislation took effect a month ago.
In a press conference shortly before midnight on Wednesday, a police spokesman said the three men and a woman, all students, were suspected of being involved in an online group that pledged to use every means to fight for an independent Hong Kong.
“We arrested for … subversions and for the organising and also the inciting [of] secession,” said Li Kwai-wah, police superintendent at the Hong Kong National Security Department. Read more
India and China race to build along a disputed frontier (BBC)
India and China are trying to out-build each other along their disputed Himalayan border.
A new road to a high-altitude Indian forward air base is said to have been one of the main triggers for a clash with Chinese troops last month that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.
The 255km (140-mile) Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) road – which winds through mountain passes up to the world’s highest airstrip more than 5,000m above sea level in the Ladakh region – was finished last year after nearly two decades of work.
Its completion could increase India’s ability to move men and materiel rapidly in a conflict. Read more
Political talks stall in US on next round of coronavirus spending (Aljazeera)
Talks between United States congressional leaders and the White House on a next round of coronavirus spending stalled on Wednesday.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested a short-term extension of federal unemployment benefits and a ban on evictions, but Democrats rejected the idea and blamed Republicans for failing rise to the dire moment confronting the nation.
“As of now, we’re very far apart,” Mnuchin told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. “And because of that, the president and we have discussed a short-term extension to UI [unemployment insurance] and the evictions so that we have some period to negotiate before this runs out.” Read more
The Roots founding member Malik B dies aged 47 (Metro)
Rapper Malik B, a founding member of The Roots, has died at the age of 47. The news was announced on Twitter by his cousin Don Champion on Wednesday as he wrote: ‘Mourning my beloved cousin today.
He was so talented and had a huge heart. ‘I still remember when he and The Roots were starting out. He’d give me and my dad their cassette tapes to listen to. I miss you already, Mailk. #RIP.’
He shared another tweet which read: ‘R.I.P. to the great Malik B of The Roots. #RootsCrew #illadelphhalflife’. Read more
Qatar ‘perplexed’ by Saudi Arabia’s decision to appeal WTO ruling (Aljazeera)
Qatar said it was “perplexed” by Saudi Arabia’s attempt to appeal last month’s World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that found Riyadh actively supporting the beoutQ pirate TV operation.
In its judgement published in June, the WTO ruled Saudi government officials and entities, including Saud al-Qahtani, an aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, publicly promoted beoutQ, including with government tweets.
Riyadh’s initial reaction to the report was that it was “fully vindicated”, Qatar’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry noted in a statement on Wednesday, adding the Saudi kingdom said in June that it was “pleased with the outcome”. Read more
The Big Sleep actress Sonia Darrin dies aged 96 (Metro)
The Big Sleep’s femme fatale star Sonia Darrin has died at the age of 96.
She passed away on 19 July due to natural causes in a New York City hospital, following complications recovering from a broken hip. Her death was confirmed by her son, Mason Reese.
Sonia, who was a prominent actress during the Golden Age of Hollywood, performed only during the late 1940’s and 50’s on screen, but managed to leave behind a legacy.
Her roles included playing the dangerous gangster girlfriend of Humphrey Bogart’s character in The Big Sleep. Read more
Osimhen quarantined after sealing €80m Napoli deal (Punch)
Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen signed his African record deal to Napoli from Lille on Friday, and was quarantined by Nigerian health officials thereafter, The PUNCH has exclusively gathered.
The deal, worth €70m, which could rise to €80m with bonuses, was completed before the player traveled to Nigeria for holiday, our correspondent gathered from his agent Osita Okolo.
“We are hoping they (Napoli and Lille) announce the deal soon as they promised,” Okolo told The PUNCH.
“He signed for Napoli last Friday. There was no way Osimhen would have left for Nigeria without completing his deal to Napoli.” Read more
FIFA demands ‘audit compliance’ on $1.5 billion COVID-19 Relief package to NFF, others (Guardian)
The Bureau of the FIFA Council, yesterday, approved the COVID‑19 Relief Plan regulations. Under the terms of the plan, $1.5 billion is being made available to support all 211 FIFA member associations, and the six confederations to assist in the alleviation of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan was originally drawn up by the FIFA administration in close cooperation with the confederations, and subsequently approved by the FIFA Council on June 25 2020.
In FIFA’s message obtained by The Guardian yesterday, the regulations establish strict compliance and audit requirements, as well as clear loan repayment conditions, under the supervision of a steering committee. Read more
World No. 1 Ash Barty to skip US Open amid coronavirus fears (Metro)
Ash Barty, the world No. 1 from Australia, has decided to skip the US Open due to ongoing health concerns amid the coronavirus crisis.
The French Open champion is the highest profile player to officially withdraw and openly express concerns about pandemic.
‘My team and I have decided that we won’t be travelling to the US for the Western and Southern Open and the US Open this year,’ Barty told Australian media. Read more
Ronnie O’Sullivan: Snooker players treated like ‘lab rats’ (BBC)
Snooker players are being treated like “lab rats” by allowing spectators into the Crucible Theatre for the World Championship, says Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The tournament, which begins on Friday, will be the first indoor sporting event with crowds, allowing around 300 supporters to attend each session.
Qualifier Anthony Hamilton, who suffers from severe asthma, says it is “ridiculous” and “too early” for fans. Read more
Roy Jones Jr eyes up Anderson Silva fight after Mike Tyson bout (Metro)
Roy Jones Jr is already hyping up his next fight after the Mike Tyson exhibition in September, suggesting a scrap with former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Jones Jr and Tyson are set to meet on 12 September in an eight-round exhibition in California, with the two boxing legends putting on a show for fans, although a deal has been struck to not go for knockouts and bigger gloves will be used. 51-year-old Jones Jr last fought professionally in 2018 and had officially retired, but is talking about fighting again, with Anderson on his mind. Read more
‘Anthony Joshua would fight in my back garden’ – Eddie Hearn (BBC)
World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will fight “anywhere, anytime”, says his promoter Eddie Hearn.
The British boxer, 30, has not fought since he regained his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles from Andy Ruiz Jr last December due to Covid-19.
Hearn has erected a ring in the grounds of his Essex estate in a bid to resurrect the sport for an event dubbed ‘Fight Camp’.
“Joshua would fight here [at Hearn’s home], no problem,” Hearn said. Read more