FG postpones Falomo Bridge closure (Punch)
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, on Sunday, said the Federal Government has postponed plans to partially close the Falomo Bridge in Victoria Island for repairs.
Popoola told the News Agency of Nigeria on the telephone that the decision to suspend the rehabilitation of the bridge was reached after a meeting with relevant stakeholders.
“After consultations with relevant stakeholders, we decided to postpone the rehabilitation work. A new date would be announced for the partial closure and commencement of repair works soon,” he said. Read more
Ex-agitator bags first class in UK varsity (Nation)
An ex-agitator and beneficiary of the Presidential Amnesty Programme Scholarship Scheme, Nicholas Goodnews, has graduated with a first class in Mass Communication at the University of Bedfordshire, United Kingdom.
Goodnews, who shared his experience in a statement, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for sustaining the programme and the Interim Administrator, PAP Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd) for upholding the original vision of the scheme.
He said: “I am honored to be a beneficiary and product of the Federal Government Scholarship Scheme through the Office of the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme. Read more
6 killed in Osun not related to herders/farmers clash- Police (DailyTrust)
The Osun Police Command has said that the killing of six persons by unknown gunmen at a farming settlement on Sunday in Wasinmi village in Irewole Local Government Area of Osun was not connected to herders-farmers crisis.
The state police Spokesperson, SP Yemisi Opalola, said in a statement that intensive manhunt was underway for perpetrators of the criminal act.
“The Osun State Police Command wishes to state categorically that the unfortunate attack on a family at a settlement in the outskirts of Wasinmi Village, Ikire, Osun State, today 14th March, 2021, is not connected with any clash between farmers and herders as speculated in some sections of the media. Read more
ASUU accuses FG of withholding 10 months salaries (Vanguard)
THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused the Federal Government of breaching a “no victimization clause” agreed upon during the dialogue that led to the suspension of the strike they had embarked on.
Specifically, the union, through the Chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan, Professor Ayo Akinwole alleged that the Federal Government and the Accountant General of the Federation are victimising its members by refusing to pay them salaries running between two to 10months despite suspending the strike.
The alleged refusal, according to ASUU, could lead to another strike in future.
ASUU stated that while members are back to their duty posts, the harsh economy being experienced due to unpaid salaries and non-refund of deducted check-off dues will affect productivity. Read more
Push Boko Haram to the finish, COAS charges troops (Nation)
The Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru has called on troops of Operation Lafiya Dole to gear up for a final push against the Boko Haram insurgents.
The COAS, who made the charge on Sunday at the Sector II Headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole in Damaturu as part of his operational visit to the Northeast sub-region, said he was also proud of the success the troops have so far recorded with the lunching of Operation Tura Takaibango.
He also added that his visit is to motivate the soldiers as he is poised to address both their operational and welfare challenges to boost their morale. Read more
Prices of vegetables, other perishable produce crash in Kano (Guardian)
Prices of vegetables and other perishable produce have crashed in Kano, due to the market glut caused by increased fresh supplies from farms, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN checks at Kofar Wambai and Rimi markets, in Kano metropolis, on Sunday, showed that the prices of perishable produce, such as onions, tomato and pepper, had dropped by over 200 per cent since the high prices of the past few months.
A measure of onions was sold at N100, as against its previous price of N250, tomato now costs N100 and pepper N150 as against N400 and N600 respectively.
Some of the traders, like Malam Ibrahim
Danborno, attributed the drop in prices to the improvement in the supply of the produce from farms to markets in the area, saying that the prices may still drop as the produce were still being brought out of farms. Read more
Boko Haram threat complicates plans to resettle displaced Nigerians (VOA)
Boko Haram militants have terrorized northeastern Nigeria for more than a decade, driving more than 2 million people from their homes, according to the United Nations.
At least 3,000 have fled from the countryside to the relative safety of Kawar Maila, a camp in Borno State’s capital, Maiduguri.
Having escaped the Islamic extremists, these displaced people still face enormous challenges, struggling to get food and basic health care, to educate their children, to imagine a better future.
“Life here is very difficult. We are suffering,” said Mohammed Abba, who had a farm in the Konduga government area, about 25 kilometers southeast of Maiduguri. Now, he, his wife and five children live in a single, cramped room. Read more
I always have the urge to rape when I see a girl- Defendant tells court (Vanguard)
A rape suspect, Quadri Azeez, 20, disclosed that the urge to rape grabs him whenever he sees a girl.
Azeez, who was arraigned before Magistrate Olusegun Ayilara of an Osogbo Magistrates’ Court in Osun state, upon inquisition further stated his problem is spiritual.
Azeez said, “I always feel like raping girls that come my way, I always feel unease when I sight any girl, my parents has been going about for spiritual solution to my problem before I rape this girl. This is the first girl I will ever rape.”
He was docked on two counts bordering on rape and assault. Read more
Okowa calls for impactful reforms for youth development (Guardian)
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has advocated for impactful reforms that will make youths in the country more resourceful and competitive globally.
Okowa stated this on Sunday at the “Christ Flock World Convention 2021″ of Flock of Christ Mission, Enerhen in Uvwie Local Government Area of the state.
The governor, who inaugurated the church’s “Youth Dream Centre”, called on youths to make use of the centre to better their lives and contribute meaningfully to societal growth.
According to him, the youth represent the future of the country, calling for sustainable efforts to mould them into becoming leaders of tomorrow. Read more
Fear, worries over Sri Lanka’s burqa ban (AlJazeera)
Sri Lanka’s move to ban the burqa on “national security” grounds while calling its use “religious extremism” has been termed a “racist agenda” used to cause divisions in the country.
A burqa is an outer garment worn to cover the entire body and the face and is used by some Muslim women.
On Saturday, Sri Lanka’s Minister for Public Security Sarath Weerasekera said he had signed a paper for cabinet approval to ban the burqa, adding that the government also plans to ban more than 1,000 Islamic schools that were defying national education policy.
Sri Lankans expressed disapproval of the proposal, with many viewing the act as an attempt to appease Sri Lanka’s Buddhist majority and cause divisions. Read more
“Godzilla vs Kong” will be available to rent at home from April (Metro)
Godzilla vs Kong fans will be pleased to hear that the upcoming film will be available to watch from the comfort of their own homes from April. The fourth instalment in Legendary’s MonsterVerse series was originally scheduled to be released in November 2020, but was postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Cinemas are currently closed as a result of the UK’s third national lockdown amid the pandemic, with prospects to open them by May 17 at the earliest. Read more
After COVID: Will we ever hug again? (DW)
Coronavirus has taught us to keep our distance while still staying “in touch” in other ways. Handshakes and hugs are a distant memory. But we can’t do without physical contact forever — as previous pandemics have shown.
Maintaining your distance demonstrates empathy and respect for others. It’s a way of protecting strangers, as well as friends, family and ourselves.
Yet it simultaneously feels wrong to cross the street to avoid contact with others. We refrain from hugging friends and family — at parties, when reuniting after a long time apart, and in general. We even shudder when we see crowds of people in movies, all while we are longing for closeness. Read more
Are the Grammys rigged? The Weeknd, Kanye, and more artists who think so (NYPost)
Twitter temper tantrums are all the rage as top superstars become the recording industry’s biggest crybabies after being denied status on “music’s biggest night.”
This isn’t the first time pop stars have raged at the Recording Academy — but Grammys 2021 is a tipping point beyond bellyaches over nominations snubs.
Explosive claims that the Grammys are “corrupt,” sexist and biased for “the white man” have plagued the 63rd annual awards show since the Recording Academy announced this year’s nods in November. Read more
COVID-19 cases approach 120 million, Johns Hopkins says (VOA)
More than 119.5 million people have contracted COVID-19, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported early Sunday. The United States tops the list as the place with the most infections at 29.4 million. Brazil and India follow the US with 11.4 million and 11.3 million, respectively.
The US appears to be on a path to stockpiling coronavirus vaccines, with plans to have enough doses for almost double the country’s population.
The US has committed funding to several vaccine initiatives, including $2 billion to Covax, the international program designed to provide coronavirus vaccines wherever needed.
The US, Australia, India and Japan also agreed last week to a partnership to make 1 billion vaccines available across Asia by the end of 2022, India’s foreign secretary said at a news conference in New Dehli after a virtual meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden and the leaders of the other countries. Read more
Saudi Arabia announces changes to Kafala system (AlJazeera)
Foreign workers in Saudi Arabia are now able to switch jobs without their employers’ permission after the long-awaited labour reforms in the Gulf region’s most populous country went into effect.
In November last year, the country’s ministry of human resources and social development announced plans to amend the Kafala system under which workers are tied to a single employer who alone can renew or terminate their residency and work status in the country.
Rights groups have said the system makes workers, particularly those working in construction and doing domestic work, vulnerable to abuse by their employers.
Reports of employers confiscating workers’ passports, forcing them to work excessive hours and denying them wages are not uncommon. Read more
Threats to wildlife persist even as US halts border wall construction (VOA)
On the day President Joe Biden took office, he put a pause on border wall construction, a centerpiece of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policy.
While the purpose of a wall at the US-Mexico border is to keep criminal elements out and deter uncontrolled migration, environmentalists say an unintended consequence of a physical barrier is the devastation of borderland wildlife and its migration patterns.
Different versions of a border wall have been built since the Clinton administration, but construction of Trump’s border wall system, which included roads and lighting, has been especially detrimental to animal habitats, said Laiken Jordahl of the Center for Biological Diversity in Arizona. Read more
Iheanacho scores hat-trick against sorry Blades (Guardian)
Kelechi Iheanacho scored a superb hat-trick as Leicester City maintained their push for a top-four finish with a commanding Premier League victory over Sheffield United, in the Blades’ first game since the departure of manager Chris Wilder.
Having been appointed interim manager until the end of the season on Saturday, Under-23s boss Paul Heckingbottom took charge of bottom club United following Wilder’s departure by “mutual consent” after almost five years in charge.
But Leicester were far superior at King Power Stadium on Sunday, where Iheanacho continued his fine goalscoring form as the Foxes ran riot in the second half.
Iheanacho scored for a third successive Premier League game for the first time as he met Jamie Vardy’s cut-back to break the deadlock shortly before the interval. Read more
Sheffield United confirm Chris Wilder departure (Metro)
Sheffield United have confirmed that manager Chris Wilder has left the club after almost five years in charge. Wilder was appointed in May 2016 and took the Blades from League One to the Premier League during his tenure. Sheffield United finished ninth last season – 22 points above the relegation zone – but have endured a miserable campaign this year and Wilder leaves with the club bottom of the table, with 14 points from 28 matches. ‘Being manager of Sheffield United has been a special journey and one I’ll never forget,’ Wilder said. Read more
Garbine Muguruza wins Dubai final as Eugenie Bouchard loses in Mexico (BBC)
Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza claimed a first WTA title in almost two years after winning the Dubai Championships.
The 27-year-old Spaniard beat Czech Barbora Krejcikova 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 as she claimed her first title since victory in Monterrey in April 2019.
Muguruza survived a set point against her from Krejcikova in the first set before going on to win.
“It means a lot. It’s never easy to win titles,” said Muguruza.
“I’m excited that it happened now after a few finals that didn’t go my way. It was a nice relief.
“It was such a tight match. It could have gone either way. I had to work hard for it.” Read more
Inside the unbelievable rise of Gonzaga basketball (NYPost)
Every option had to be explored. Every suggestion had to be considered.
Gonzaga couldn’t afford to do business as usual. In 1998, Gonzaga couldn’t afford much. The small school in Spokane, Wash., was getting smaller, suffering a 33 percent decline in undergraduate enrollment that decade. Deficits rose sharply, resulting in unavoidable layoffs.
“We hit a crisis financially,” said longtime athletic director Mike Roth. “The decision was made to open the books of the whole university and find out where we can slash and survive. Athletically, we were who we were at the time, and a huge target.”
Basketball didn’t define the school then. Until 1994, Gonzaga never reached the NCAA Tournament or NIT. Only one alum (John Stockton) had ever scored in the NBA. The team’s home sellout streak was years away. Read more
Manchester United legend Roy Keane wants Celtic job to take on Rangers boss Steven Gerrard (Metro)
Roy Keane has told close friends he’s ready to return to management and would jump at the chance of managing former club Celtic. The former Republic of Ireland captain saw our his career with the Bhoys, having moved to Parkhead after 12 years at Old Trafford with Manchester United. Keane has been out of management since managing Ipswich in 2011, though he’s had assistant roles with Ireland, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa since then. Read more
Arsenal v Tottenham: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped for disciplinary reasons (BBC)
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped for Sunday’s game against Tottenham for disciplinary reasons, says boss Mikel Arteta.
Aubameyang was scheduled to start at Emirates Stadium but was dropped to the bench in favour of Alexandre Lacazette.
“He was going to start the game, we had a disciplinary issue, we have drawn the line and we move on,” Arteta told Sky Sports.
“We have a process that we have to respect for every game and that’s it.”Arteta added: “It was a decision made after evaluating everything and who Auba is and what he’s done. Read more