Global Covid-19 death toll surpasses 4 million (CNN)
More than 4 million people around the world have died of Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
In total, three countries account for more than a third of all global deaths. The United States, which has the highest number of fatalities at 606,000, accounts for 15% of the global total, followed by Brazil and India.
The grim milestone, announced Wednesday, comes as new cases and deaths are dropping in the US and Europe, where significant numbers of residents have been vaccinated. But some developing countries, such as Indonesia, are still facing surging outbreaks, as authorities struggle to secure enough vaccines to protect citizens.
The Delta variant, a more transmissible and possibly more dangerous strain of coronavirus, is also contributing to an increase in cases in some countries and regions. In the US, the Delta variant now makes up more than half of all new infections, according to estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read more
Lagos politician killed during APC rally (Punch)
Gunmen have shot a politician, identified simply as Ekpo, to death, in the Agboju area of Lagos State.
The PUNCH gathered that Ekpo, who until his death was also a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, was at a rally of the All Progressives Congress when the gunmen invaded the rally on Thursday and allegedly shot him dead.
It was learnt that residents, passersby, traders, customers, and other members involved in the rally around Agboju scampered for safety when Ekpo was attacked.
Jimoh Buhari, the spokesman for the Chairman, NURTW, Musiliu Akinsanya, confirmed the circumstances surrounding Ekpo’s death, adding, “He was protecting a fellow politician, Wale Yusuf, from harassment when the gunmen shot him dead.” Read more
One dies, others rescued in Lagos Island collapsed building (Punch)
Swift response to distress calls by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), yesterday saved the lives of residents, except a five year old, when a three-Storey building collapsed at 19, Church Street, on Lagos Island.
The Guardian learnt that the single, yet-to-be identified fatality, was recorded due to a room beam that partially collapsed on a five-year-old boy when the incident occurred.
The distress call which was transmitted at 10:55hrs today 8th July, 2021 through the Toll Free 767/112 Emergency numbers activated the Lagos State Emergency Response Plans that saved the lives of other residents and properties surrounding the affected building earlier today. Read more
CGC Team A strike force impounds 4 containers of wood worth N373.5 million in Lagos (Vanguard)
The Controller General of Customs Strike Force, Team A, on Wednesday disclosed that it intercepted four container loads of unprocessed woods valued at N373.5 million.
The unprocessed woods were about to be shipped out of the country to Asia when it was intercepted by the men of the strike force.
The Federal Government had in 2019 outlawed the export of unprocessed woods and allied products to protect the nation’s forest.
It also revealed that it has shifted its attention to identifying dangerous cargos right inside the Seaports before they are cleared.
The Coordinator, CGC Strike Force Team A, Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Ahmadu Shuaibu, while showcasing the items in Ikorodu, said the team in a renewed vigour seized four containers loaded with unprocessed woods. Read more
Police decline Magu’s promotion, elevate dozens (Guardian)
The Police Service Commission (PSC) has declined the promotion of former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Commissioner of Police Ibrahim Magu.
It however announced the promotion of 24 Commissioners of Police to Assistant Inspectors General; 35 Deputy Commissioners to Commissioners; 52 Assistant Commissioners to Deputy Commissioners; and 46 Chief Superintendents to Assistant Commissioners. Also, the acting appointments of three Deputy Inspectors General (DIG) were confirmed.
The Commission reached the decision during its 12th plenary meeting held on Tuesday and Wednesday, presided over by the chairman and retired Inspector General of Police, Musiliu Smith. Read more
Nigeria has no housing deficit, says Fashola (Punch)
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday said that there was nothing like housing deficit in Nigeria.
Operators in the built environment as well as government officials had before now put the housing deficit in Nigeria at about 17 million.
But while speaking in Abuja at the inauguration of the Board of Directors of the Federal Housing Authority on Thursday, Fashola argued that the housing deficit claims had no scientific and logical basis.
He said, “There is something out there before we came in that Nigeria has housing deficit; it’s a lie. Read more
Delta: Police probes death of man in alleged romp (Guardian)
Delta State Police Command has begun investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a man in a hotel in Delta State.
The man, identified as Mr. Okpako, reportedly died during a romp with his wife’s sales girl, in Odibo Extension in Igbudu area of Warri.
Spokesperson for the police, DSP Bright Edafe, who confirmed the incident, said the girl had been arrested to help the police carry out thorough investigation into the incident. Read more
2 ESN members linked to ‘King of Dragon’ captured in Imo (Vanguard)
Two suspected members of the Eastern Security Network, ESN, linked to the late Joseph Uka Nnachi, known as “King of Dragon” were arrested and paraded by the Imo State police command.
The Imo state Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, spoke at the command’s headquarters in Owerri, during the parade of the suspects, whose names were given as Chibuike Iheukwu, 18-year-old man, from Inyishi in Ikeduru Local Government Area and Jidechi Akakem, a 26-year-old man from Umuchoke, Orji in Owerri North Local Government Area all in Imo State.
The police said that they were arrested from their hideout in Emekwukwu, Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo state after the suspects engaged the police in a gun duel. Read more
Man in court for forging late father’s signature, N10bn fraud (Punch)
A businessman, Paul Ozigbo, has been arraigned before the Federal High Court, Abuja, for allegedly forging the signature of his late father, Hillary Ozigbu, in order to change the directors of Ozigbu Engineering Nigeria Limited.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/239/2020, the Nigeria Police Force also charged Paul with conspiring with others at large to obtain money to the tune of N10.4bn, forging documents of the Corporate Affairs Commission, and converting family property to personal use.
Paul, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The defendant had earlier been arraigned before Justice Okon Abang.
However, due to the transfer of Justice Abang to another judicial division of the court, the matter started afresh before Justice Donatus Okorowo. Read more
US woman killed by bear that dragged her from tent in Montana (BBC)
US authorities are searching for a grizzly bear that killed a woman in Montana after dragging her from her tent in the middle of the night.
Leah Lokan, a 65-year-old nurse from California, had stopped over in the town of Ovando during a cycling trip.
During the attack on Tuesday, her fellow campers used bear spray to force the animal out of their camping site.
Wildlife and law enforcement officials are sweeping the area and say they plan to kill the bear if they find it. Read more
China inflation eases on the back of falling meat prices (RFI)
China’s consumer inflation eased in June on the back of falling pork prices, official data showed Friday, although factory gate costs remained elevated after a recent surge in commodity prices.
The world’s second largest economy has largely bounced back from the coronavirus hit, and factory gate inflation began to ease last month after surging at the highest rate in more than a decade earlier in the year as commodity prices spiked.
Factories so far appear to be absorbing the costs rather than passing them on to consumers, and analysts expect Beijing to protect shoppers from rising costs.
China’s consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of retail inflation, rose 1.1 percent on-year in June — lower than analysts expected, and down from the month before. Read more
“US citizen among six suspects arrested in Haiti president’s assassination” (Metro)
A US citizen was reportedly among suspects arrested in connection with the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise.
James Solages, who is of Haitian descent, was one of six people taken into custody in the early Wednesday raid and killing, Haiti’s minister of elections and inter-party relations Mathias Pierre said on Thursday.
On a website for a charity he founded in 2019, Solages describes himself as a ‘certified diplomatic agent’, an up-and-coming politician and a children’s advocate. The charity’s mission is to help residents of the small coastal Haitian town of Jacmel. Solages also claimed to have served as a ‘chief of bodyguards’ at the Canadian Embassy in Haiti. Read more
Cannes films and jurors take angry swipe at ‘world run by gangsters’ (France24)
The Cannes Film Festival gave us the best of two worlds with some blistering political commentary, on and off the screen, and an epic war movie about a Japanese soldier who kept on fighting decades after his country’s surrender.
Call it the curse of Alain Resnais.
The late French director had a long and troubled history with the world’s premier film festival, which hailed him in his twilight years after repeatedly ditching him – under duress – in his early prime.
In 1957, Resnais’ seminal Holocaust documentary “Night and Fog” was pulled out of the festival competition following complaints from the German government, which argued that the film would jeopardise postwar reconciliation. The film had already been mutilated by French censors, who removed a scene exposing wartime collaboration.
Two years later, Resnais returned to Cannes with the sublime “Hiroshima mon Amour”, perhaps the greatest war film, and peace film, of all time. Read more
Spanish ministers clash over campaign to eat less meat (BBC)
A Spanish minister has been roasted by members of his own coalition government over his efforts to reduce meat consumption in the country.
This week consumer affairs minister, Alberto Garzón, launched a campaign to encourage Spaniards to eat less meat.
“Eating too much meat is bad for our health and for the planet,” Mr Garzón said in a video on Twitter.
But for some cabinet ministers, his plea for moderation was difficult to swallow. Read more
Will.i.am reaches out publicly to Britney Spears amid conservatorship battle (Metro)
Will.i.am has reached out to Britney Spears amid her battle to have her father Jamie removed from her conservatorship, telling her to ‘stay strong’.
The pair previously worked together on the song Scream & Shout in 2012, and the Black Eyed Peas star has joined the likes of Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and Halsey in voicing their support.
It comes after Britney, 39, gave a shocking testimony in court as she tries to end the conservatorship she has been under for the last 13 years.
Among her explosive claims was the allegation that under the conservatorship she is blocked from removing her IUD, a method of birth control, so that she can have children. Read more
Fyre Festival ticket-holders proposed payout slashed (BBC)
Ticket-holders to the 2017 Fyre Festival fiasco have seen their proposed payout slashed.
They are set to receive just $281 (£204) each, according to court papers filed in New York last week.
That amount falls short of the April settlement reached in a US federal court, which concluded they could have had up to $7,220 returned each.
Lawyers have struggled to recoup money from acts and models who promoted the festival that fell apart. Read more
Fury v Wilder III: Fight still on despite Covid-19 case in Briton’s camp (BBC)
The trilogy fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder is still set to take place on 24 July despite a coronavirus case in the Briton’s camp.
WBC world heavyweight champion Fury, 32, has been training in Las Vegas to prepare for the eagerly awaited bout at the T-Mobile Arena.
A confirmed Covid-19 case within his team had led to some reports the date of the encounter may change.
But, after consulting medical experts, organisers are planning as before. Read more
Euro final tickets sold for £20k each as fans battle to see historic clash (Metro)
Euro 2020 final tickets are being sold for up to £20,000 each as fans battle to see the Three Lions take on Italy.
England’s streets were wild last night as fans chanted ‘it’s coming home’ in celebration of the 2-1 victory against Denmark.
Tickets for the final sold out last week on Uefa’s official website -with regulations banning resale above face value.
But it seems entry is still being advertised for eye-watering prices. Read more
Tokyo welcomes Olympic flame without fans, in preview of spectator-less Games (France24)
The Olympic flame arrived in Tokyo on Friday but with the public kept away at a low-key welcoming ceremony because of coronavirus fears, the day after a “heartbreaking” announcement that spectators would be banned from most Games events.
On a rainy morning exactly two weeks before the opening ceremony of the biggest sporting event since the pandemic began, the flame was brought on stage in a lantern and handed to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.
Tokyo 2020 organisers and government officials on Thursday night announced their decision to bar fans from Olympic events in the capital, which will be under a virus emergency throughout the Games.
It means the pandemic-postponed Games will be the first to take place largely behind closed doors. A handful of competitions will take place outside the capital. Read more
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios withdraws from Tokyo Olympics (Metro)
Tennis star Nick Kyrgios has confirmed that he will not be representing Australia at the Olympics this summer.
On Thursday, it was announced that there will be no fans inside stadiums for the Tokyo Games after a state of emergency was declared in the host city.
The Games will still go ahead, beginning on July 23 and ending on August 8, but Kyrgios will not be taking part, as he cited the lack of fans and also admitted he ‘wants to get his body right’. Read more
Politt breaks away to win stage 12 as Pogacar stays in yellow (France24)
German Nils Politt won the 12th stage of the Tour de France, a 159.4-km ride from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux, on Thursday to claim the biggest win of his career.
The 27-year-old rider prevailed from the day’s breakaway, making his decisive attack 11.8 km from the line.
Spain’s Imanol Erviti was second, with Australian Harry Sweeny third, both 31 seconds behind, according to provisional timings.
Overall leader Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia crossed the line safely in the bunch, almost 16 minutes behind but the top positions in the general classification remained unchanged. Read more
Karolina Pliskova reacts to setting up Wimbledon final with world No. 1 Ash Barty (Metro)
Karolina Pliskova fought back from a set down against second seed Aryna Sabalenka to book her spot in a first Wimbledon final against world No. 1 Ash Barty.
Pliskova, the eighth seed from the Czech Republic, is a surprise finalist. Despite being a regular in the top-10, she has struggled to make her mark at the biggest events.
But in a clinic in brutal ball striking from both, the Czech – who is currently one of only three female players to be a slamless world No. 1 – provided more craft and was good value for her comeback win, triumphing 5-7 6-4 6-4.There were 70 winners hit in a fast-paced encounter, with the pair hitting a combined 32 aces. Read more