Fire razes Ketu Plank Market in Lagos (Tribune)
A fire has broken out in the Ketu Plank Market, Lagos State on Sunday destroying goods and shops worth millions of naira.
The Director-General of LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, has confirmed the incident, but added that the cause of the fire incident is yet unknown.
Oke-Osanyintolu said, “Emergency responders comprising of LASEMA Response Team and the Lagos State Fire Service have curtailed the raging inferno at Ketu Plank Market on Demurin Street, Ketu, Lagos.
“The cause of the fire incident which reportedly started from one part of the market is yet to be ascertained, however, it is evident that there is extensive damage with valuable goods having been destroyed by the fire. Read more
FG to lift total shutdown of Third Mainland Bridge at midnight (Vanguard)
The Federal Controller of Works Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, says the total shutdown of the Third Mainland Bridge would be lifted at midnight 24 hours ahead of schedule.
Popoola told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos that the total shutdown had to be lifted because the contractor was able to fasttrack the delicate task they needed to execute.
He said that the initially scheduled 72 hours timeframe was achieved within 48 hours, hence the reopening to traffic 24 hours ahead of schedule.
“We have completed the casting of the three number expansion joints on Third Mainland bridge.
“Therefore, the bridge shall be opened at 12:00 midnight Sunday 27th December. and no longer Monday 28th December.
“That is 48 hours and no more 72 hours,” Popoola said. Read more
COVID-19: Lagos shuts Landmark Centre, 11 others (Punch)
The Lagos State Government has shut down 12 facilities in the state for flouting the COVID-19 regulations concerning social and recreational centres.
This was done by the Lagos State Safety Commission while monitoring the compliance with the government’s directive on the COVID-19 pandemic during the holiday period.
The facilities which were shut down during the operations led by the Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Mojola, include DNA Night Club, Buzz Bar, Silverfox, Cocoon, Westend Nightclub, Rumours, Lekki Waterside, Landmark Event Centre, The Wave Beach club amongst others.
Mojola mentioned that recalcitrant establishments who broke the government’s seal and continued partying will be charged to court once documentation has been properly processed. Read more
LCCI pegs losses of MSMEs in Lagos at N2.7bn (Guardian)
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) says losses of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Lagos is about N2.7 billion, due to the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.
LCCI’s Director-General, Dr Muda Yusuf, made this known on Sunday through the LCCI’s Economic and Business Review for 2020 and Outlook for 2021.
Yusuf further attributed the development to two major disruptions of COVID-19 and the EndSARS protests, experienced by businesses operating within the Lagos metropolis. Read more
Rotary Club of Falomo donates wheel chairs to FAAN (Guardian)
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has received 15 wheel chairs from the Rotary Club of Falomo District 9110, Lagos.
At a hand-over ceremony held at the Authority’s Headquarters Liaison in Lagos, the Managing Director of FAAN, who was represented by the General Manager, Environment, Mr. Nehemiah Auta expressed his heart-felt appreciation to the club for their benevolence.
He noted that the Rotary club globally is known for a strong culture of corporate social responsibility wherever they are domicile, and also appealed to other corporate organizations and non-governmental organizations alike to emulate their kind act, assuring that the Authority will ensure that the chairs are put to good use. Read more
Nigerian rapper Biglo dies from kidney disease (Punch)
Popular Nigerian artiste, Biglo, has died after battling kidney disease.
His colleague and friend, Jazzman Olofin, told The PUNCH via a telephone conversation that the rapper died on Christmas day.
Olofin said, “It is true that Biglo is dead. To my knowledge, he had been ill for a while. He had been battling kidney disease. He had been notifying the public via his social media account for a while now.
” I got a call from our mutual friends in America last night that he died on Friday, which was Christmas day. Unfortunately, I do not know how old he was.” Read more
Again, Igbo presidency under threat, says Anglican Bishop (Thisday)
The Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger, Dr. Alexander Ibezim yesterday lamented that Igbo presidency might suffer setback with the growing marginalisation against the ethnic nationality in the federation.
Ibezim, also Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, said that the presidency should rather be about equity and competence of the Igbo man when sharing positions and other things in the country, rather than being a gift.
He expressed this concern at a session with journalists in Awka, the Anambra State capital yesterday, noting that it was very clear to everyone who knows Nigeria well, that the Igbo people were being marginalized. Read more
Women affairs minister, Tallen, tests positive for COVID-19 (Punch)
Minister of Women Affairs Dame Pauline Tallen has contracted COVID-19 and gone on self-isolation.
The Minister made this known in a statement signed by her, saying she is asymptomatic.
The statement read, “Following interaction with individuals that later show asymptomatic sign of COVID-19, I was advised by my medical team to undergo the test and self isolate for observation over the past few days.
“This is to inform the general public that after undergoing a test carried out on myself and members of my family, my result returned positive while that of members of my family tested negative. Read more
Ex-BBNaija housemates, Gedoni, Khafi, wed (Nation)
Former housemates of the Big Brother Naija (BBNaija) reality TV show, Gedoni Ekpata and Khafi Kareem, are now husband and wife, and it is official.
The couple personally confirmed their new status on Instagram.
Attached to the news from Khafi were photographs of the weding.
She said: “On this day last year, I woke up engaged to the love of my life. The worst thing happened this year but through the tears and sorrow, the best also happened too. Read more
Central African Republic election: Polls open amid fears of more violence (BBC)
Elections in the Central African Republic (CAR) are under way, after a campaign marred by violence between government and rebel forces.
On Saturday, the Constitutional Court rejected a bid by opposition candidates to postpone the vote because of the insecurity.
In the run-up, three UN peacekeepers were killed by unidentified assailants during two separate attacks.
This is the first election since a peace deal was struck in February 2019. Read more
3 killed, 3 wounded in Illinois shooting (Guardian)
Three people were killed and another three wounded Saturday in the US state of Illinois when a shooter opened fire at a bowling alley, police said.
A suspect in his 30s was in police custody.
Rockford city police urged people on Twitter to stay away from the area near the Don Carter Lanes bowling alley, as it was an “active situation” and officers were clearing the site.
The force posted on Twitter shortly after midnight: “37-year-old white male suspect is in custody. There are no others being sought at this time.” Read more
Sir Billy Connolly is quitting stand-up due to Parkinson’s (Metro)
Sir Billy Connolly has revealed he is ending his 50-year stand-up comedy career as he doesn’t ‘think as sharply’ as he needs to anymore. The Scottish comedian, 78, will end his stand-up career with an ‘uplifting and emotional’ special which will air on ITV on Monday. He told The Mirror: ‘Since the Parkinson’s I’m still the same in many ways, but I don’t think as sharply as I need to to be a stand-up. Read more
Iran: Climbers die in blizzards and avalanche (BBC)
At least 10 climbers in Iran have died in mountains north of Tehran in an avalanche and blizzards, officials say.
The Alborz mountain range that towers over the capital city is popular with climbers and skiers but the past few days have seen treacherous weather.
The Red Crescent has deployed 20 teams who have rescued 14 climbers – but at least seven others are missing.
The search operation had to be halted at nightfall, and is now expected to resume on Sunday morning. Read more
Anwar Hadid admits he’s a coronavirus anti-vaxxer (Metro)
Anwar Hadid has no plans to get the coronavirus vaccine as he believes his body can fight the virus ‘naturally’. The model, who is the younger brother of Gigi and Bella Hadid, took part in an Instagram Q&A with fans over the weekend. When a fan asked: ‘Will u take the vaccine?’ Anwar replied: ‘Absolutely not.’ Another follower then pressed: ‘Why are you anti vax?’ Read more
How Ugandan NASA scientist Catherine Nakalembe uses satellites to boost farming (BBC)
As a keen badminton player Ugandan Catherine Nakalembe wanted to study sport science at university but a failure to get the required grades for a government grant set her on a path that led her to Nasa and winning a prestigious food research prize, writes the BBC’s Patience Atuhaire.
When Dr Nakalembe tried to explain to a Karamojong farmer in north-eastern Uganda how her work using images taken from satellites hundreds of kilometres above the Earth relates to his small plot, he laughed.
While she uses the high-resolution images in her pioneering work to help farmers and governments make better decisions, she still needs to get on the ground to sharpen up the data.
In other words, from space you cannot tell the difference between grass, maize and sorghum. Read more
Jennifer Aniston roasted for ‘our first pandemic’ Christmas ornament (NYPost)
She’s losing friends online.
Jennifer Aniston is getting ripped for celebrating a Christmas ornament that casually marks “Our first pandemic 2020.”
The 51-year-old former “Friends” star posted the image of the engraved circular wooden ornament on her Instagram stories on Christmas Day — quickly getting roasted for being “out of touch.”
“Jennifer Aniston is a damn fool for posting that ornament on her story… celebrities are ditzy af,” a woman using the handle Pacho wrote on Twitter. Read more
Fulham’s Aina escapes VAR verdict after handball controversy (Vanguard)
Ola Aina was in the centre of a handball controversy as his club Fulham survived a barrage of attacks by Southampton in yesterday’s Premier League game, which ended goalless at the Craven Cottage.
Shane Long and Theo Walcott both looked to have broken the deadlock for the visitors in the second half, only to have their efforts ruled out for offside on review as Saints slipped to eighth in the table.
Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was forced into only his second save of the game in the 68th minute, tipping Long’s well-hit rising drive over the bar. The game was pulled back for a VAR review on a potential Southampton penalty after a possible Ola Aina handball. Following a lengthy VAR check, the game was allowed to continue. Read more
Rene Meulensteen names the two Manchester United players that could replace Bruno Fernandes (Metro)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s New Year Wish should be that Bruno Fernandes stays fit in 2021 because Manchester United only have two players capable of filling the midfielder’s boots. That’s the view of Rene Meulensteen, who was a coach under Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford during the most successful period in the club’s illustrious history. Fernandes, 26, has been involved in 52% of United’s goals since he joined the club from Sporting Lisbon 11 months ago and he provided a goal and an assist in United’s 2-2 draw with Leicester City on Boxing Day. Read more
Houston Rockets suffer overtime loss to Portland Trail Blazers (BBC)
An understrength Houston Rockets started their NBA campaign with a narrow 128-126 overtime defeat by the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Rockets had only nine players available – one above the NBA minimum – after two positive Covid-19 tests and four others were deemed close contacts.
Their scheduled season-opener on Wednesday against Oklahoma City had been postponed. Read more
Andy Murray set for Australian Open return after receiving 2021 wildcard (Metro)
Andy Murray will return to the Australian Open in February after being awarded a main-draw wildcard. The 33-year-old, who has reached five Australian Open finals, broke down in tears in January 2019 after playing what he feared was his last professional match in Melbourne. But Murray has worked hard on his fitness this year and impressed during the recent Battle of the Brits events, beating both British number one Dan Evans and number three Cameron Norrie. At 122 in the world, Murray is ranked too low to gain direct entry into the Australian Open but will feature after being handed a wildcard. Read more
I’m ‘lucky’ to play under Guardiola, says Messi (Punch)
Lionel Messi counts himself “lucky” to have worked under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona between 2008-12 and says the Spaniard brings “something special” to coaching, comments that are likely to fuel speculation the pair could reunite at Manchester City.
Messi was a mainstay of Guardiola’s Barca side that won 14 major titles and has been linked with a switch to City since the manager signed a new deal that will keep him at the Premier League club until the end of the 2022-23 season.
The Argentine player is into the final few months of his current contract in Spain having unsuccessfully tried to leave Barca during the close season.
“Pep has something special,” Messi told Spanish television channel La Sexta. Read more
Bamford’s early penalty gives Leeds win over Burnley (BBC)
Patrick Bamford hit a fifth-minute winner from the penalty spot
Leeds bounced back from their heavy defeat at Old Trafford with a hard-earned victory over Burnley at Elland Road.
Patrick Bamford won an early penalty, which he ruthlessly dispatched to earn Leeds their third home win of the season, after Nick Pope had brought him down.
Burnley were unfortunate not to be level 13 minutes later when Ashley Barnes appeared to capitalise on Illan Meslier’s mistake to spin inside the area and fire the loose ball into an empty net.
The 20-year-old Leeds goalkeeper was awarded a free-kick despite spilling the ball forward in what seemed like a fair aerial challenge with Ben Mee.
Leeds were the better side in the first half as they played with confidence despite their 6-2 defeat in Manchester last Sunday, but the visitors improved after the interval as they went in search of an equaliser. Read more
Brodie Lee dead aged 41: Hulk Hogan and John Cena pay tribute to late AEW and WWE wrestler (Metro)
The wrestling world is mourning another heartbreaking loss after the death of AEW star Brodie Lee. The star – who also performed under the name Luke Harper in WWE before leaving in December 2019 – has tragically died aged 41 following a non-Covid-related lung issue, and now legends and his contemporaries have paid their respects. Hulk Hogan tweeted: ‘Totally devastated over the loss of Jon “Luke/Brodie”, such a great talent and awesome human being! RIP my brother HH (sic)’. Read more