Gridlock as #EndSARS protesters block Lagos highway (Punch)
Many commuters were stranded around the Alausa and Berger areas in Lagos State as protesters blocked the Alausa section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The PUNCH gathered that the protesters moved from the entrance of the Lagos House of Assembly to block the highway.
The placards-carrying protesters barricaded the highway from the Secretariat bus-stop, opposite Magodo Phase II.
The effect of the gridlock had begun to extend to the Otedola Bridge along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The PUNCH had reported that thousands of Nigerians are protesting against police brutality in the country. Read more
Lagos Assembly commences investigation into gas explosions (Nation)
Lagos House of Assembly has directed its Committee on Special Duties to invite concerned stakeholders and agencies with a view to finding a lasting solution to an incessant gas explosion in the state.
The resolution, which was reached at an emergency plenary on Friday, was a sequel to a notice by the member representing Alimosho Constituency 1, Hon. Bisi Yusuf about the explosion that rocked the Baruwa area of Ayobo Ipaja for which five-person died and several properties were destroyed.
Yusuf, while recounting the incident, explained it was a bad Thursday for residents of Alimosho. Read more
Lagos Assembly holds emergency sitting over #EndSARS (Punch)
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Friday held an emergency sitting over the ongoing #EndSARS protest in the state.
The PUNCH reports that some youths kept vigil at the entrance of the Assembly on Thursday over police brutality and extortion.
During the sitting, the lawmakers called on the Federal Government to put an end to the harassment, extortion, and intimidation of Nigerians by the operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
They also called on the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, to provide protection for the protesters, while they express their grievances.
The emergency sitting was presided over by the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa. Read more
#EndSARS protests gaining global attention (Guardian)
Street protests against a notorious Nigerian police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), have received an invaluable boost from several countries with many celebrity supports.
On Friday, the #EndSARS hashtag was trending not only in Nigeria, but in the UK, Canada, and the United States. The hashtag has remained on Twitter’s Nigeria top 10 trend table since the weekend.
British-Nigerian actor John Boyega voiced his support for the campaign, as did popular Nigerian musicians Davido and Wizkid.
Anonymous, an international group of anonymous cyber-activists, has also joined in the campaign. Read more
Nigerian police fire tear gas at #EndSars protests against brutality (BBC)
Nigerian police have fired tear gas at a protest against police brutality in the capital Abuja.
A video of a man allegedly being killed by police sparked the latest protests.
Several other protests have taken place across Nigeria, including Lagos. Star Wars actor John Boyega is among the celebrities supporting the protesters. Read more
COVID-19 violation: Funke Akindele, husband get state pardon (Punch)
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has granted state pardon to popular Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, alias Jenifa, and her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, aka JJC Skillz, who were convicted and sentenced to community service for holding a crowded house birthday party in April in breach of government’s COVID-19 prevention protocols.
A statement on Friday said Sanwo-Olu granted state pardon to the couple on the advice of the state’s Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.
The statement, by the Director of Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, quoted the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), as stating that the governor acted pursuant to Section 212 (1) & (2) of the 1999 Constitution. Read more
Gracious David-West: Nigerian serial killer sentenced to die in Port Harcourt (BBC)
A man who killed nine women in a case that caused outrage in Nigeria has been sentenced to death in the southern city of Port Harcourt.
Prosecutors say 40-year-old Gracious David-West strangled his victims in hotel rooms across Nigeria between July and September 2019.
Justice Adolphus Enebeli said he is to die by hanging.
The death penalty is not commonly carried out in Nigeria – the last three executions were in 2016. Read more
Assistant commissioner of police, 9 senior officers dismissed (Guardian)
The Police Service Commission has approved the dismissal of ten senior Police Officers and the reduction in rank of nine others.
The Commission also approved the punishment of severe reprimand for eight Officers, reprimand for another 10 and letter of warning for three other Officers. Three Officers were however exonerated from punishment.
According to PSC Head, Press and Public Relations Mr IKechukwu Ani, “The Commission took the decisions at its 9th Plenary Meeting which held in Abuja on Monday, September 28 and Tuesday, September 29, 2020, and presided over by its Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police. Read more
Nobel Peace Prize: UN World Food Programme wins for efforts to combat hunger (BBC)
The WFP says it provided assistance to almost 100 million people last year
The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said the WFP had acted “as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”.
The WFP, the 101st winner of a prize now worth 10m Swedish krona ($1.1m; £875,000), said that it was “deeply humbled”. Read more
Microsoft will allow employees to stay remote permanently (NYPost)
Microsoft is the latest name in Big Tech to tell its workforce not to worry about coming back to the office.
The software giant has reportedly told its employees to feel free to work from home forever, even when its offices open back up.
Under its new “hybrid workplace” guidance, employees will be allowed to spend less than half their working hours out of the office, and can receive approval from their managers to stay remote permanently.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live, and work in new ways,” Microsoft said in a memo viewed by The Verge. “We will offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual workstyles, while balancing business needs, and ensuring we live our culture.” Read more
Covid cases increase rapidly as next steps planned (BBC)
Coronavirus cases in England have “increased rapidly”, data shows, as ministers grapple with what to do next.
Estimates suggest between one-in-170 and one-in-240 people you meet in the street has the virus.
Both current cases, and the speed at which they are increasing, are much higher in the north of England than the national average.
Scientific advisers warn hospital admissions are “very close” to levels in early March. Read more
Driverless car company Waymo expands service — without backup drivers (NYPost)
Waymo is allowing the general public to hitch a ride in its driverless autonomous vehicles in Phoenix, expanding a service it had been quietly offering to a select group of riders for the past year.
The service launches to the general public Thursday. The vehicles, which will have no back-up drivers behind the wheel to take over in sticky situations, will serve an area of 50 square miles. There won’t be anyone watching remotely who can take over in an emergency and drive the car.
Before the coronavirus struck, which reduced demand for rides, Waymo was providing 1,000 to 2,000 rides in autonomous vehicles per week. Most of the rides had a backup driver behind the wheel, but 5 per cent to 10 per cent of the rides were fully virtual, available only to a smaller group of riders who signed non-disclosure agreements. Read more
Coronavirus: Spain imposes state of emergency on Madrid (BBC)
The Spanish government has ordered a 15-day state of emergency to bring down Covid-19 infection rates in the capital, after a court overturned a partial lockdown imposed a week ago.
Madrid and nine nearby cities will see restrictions on movement enforced.
The capital has been at the centre of a political row, with the centre-right city authorities challenging the Socialist government’s demands. Read more
Broadway to remain closed until summer 2021 (PageSix)
The Broadway League has announced yet another extension of the stage shutdown in New York City.
The organisation confirmed that it is suspending ticket sales and performances through May 30, 2021, marking more than a year of COVID-19-induced delays before live theater productions can return, according to an announcement Friday via Twitter. Ticket-holders should contact their point of purchase for exchanges and refunds.
“With nearly 97,000 workers who rely on Broadway for their livelihood and an annual economic impact of $14.8 billion to the city, our membership is committed to re-opening as soon as conditions permit us to do so,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, in a statement. “We are working tirelessly with multiple partners on sustaining the industry once we raise our curtains again.” Read more
Police evict dozens holding out in Berlin squat (BBC)
Police in Berlin have cleared one of the city’s last remaining squats.
More than 1,500 officers evicted about 50 residents at Liebig 34 – a now-rare symbol of the German capital’s radical-left alternative community.
The graffiti-covered building, located in a gentrified part of former East Berlin, had housed an “anarchist-queer-feminist” community since 1999.
The owner decided not to renew the lease two years ago, and sued the occupants when they refused to leave. Read more
Nigeria’s Rohr dismisses claims he favours foreign-born players (Guardian)
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has dismissed criticism he prefers players born abroad to local stars, saying he is determined to choose the best for the country.
“We don’t take into account where a player was born before he is invited. We only look at the quality of the player,” said the German-born Super Eagles coach.
“It doesn’t matter where they were born, it only matters how well they can play.
“I don’t know the player who is born in Europe and who is born in Nigeria,” he said.
“All the players are proud to be with the team. These players say I want to play for my fatherland.” Read more
Rafael Nadal closes in on Roger Federer’s record, reaches 13th French Open final (Metro)
Rafael Nadal booked his spot a 13th French Open final, without dropping a set, as he downed the plucky Diego Schwartzman in little over three hours to move within one win of matching Roger Federer’s all-time Grand Slam record.
Nadal, the world No. 2 from Spain, won his 99th match at Roland Garros on Friday afternoon and is now one win away from a century of victories on the Parisian clay courts as well as a record-equalling 20th men’s major title.
Federer, absent from the tournament due to a knee injury, currently holds the record for most men’s Slams won but Nadal, 34, will match that if he maintains his 100% record in French Open finals. Read more
Premier League brings in pay-per-view option for some televised games (BBC)
Premier League games not selected for broadcast in October will be available to fans on a pay-per-view basis.
The five fixtures per round not already picked to be shown live, will be available on BT Sport Box Office or Sky Sports Box Office, priced at £14.95.
Clubs have agreed this “interim solution” to allow fans to continue watching their teams live.
The Premier League said it and its clubs “remain committed to the safe return of fans as soon as possible”.
Fans have been unable to attend Premier League games since football was halted on 13 March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more
Messi fires Argentina to World Cup qualifying win over Ecuador (Punch)
Lionel Messi put his Barcelona troubles behind him to fire Argentina to an opening 1-0 victory over Ecuador in World Cup qualifying on Thursday.
The 33-year-old great has been in open conflict with his club but it had no detrimental effect on his form as his 13th minute penalty was the difference in a tight encounter.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner unsuccessfully tried to force his way out of the Catalan giants in the close season but he seemed much happier in the light blue and white jersey of his country.
And Argentina needed him to be on top form in a bid to avoid slipping up at home to Ecuador for the second successive time in an opening World Cup qualifier having lost 2-0 to the same opponents four years ago. Read more
Bayern to kick-off Champions League defence behind closed doors (Guardian)
Champions League holders Bayern Munich must start the defence of their European title behind closed doors after city officials extended the ban on spectators until at least October 25.
Bayern host Atletico Madrid on October 21 in their opening Champions League group match, but the terraces at the Allianz Arena must remain empty.
Bayern’s German Cup match against fifth-tier minnows Dueren next Thursday and home league game against Eintracht Frankfurt on October 24 are also affected.
With the coronavirus numbers rising across Germany, Munich’s mayor Dieter Reiter took the decision to keep the city’s ban on spectators. Read more
Whitey Ford, Yankees Hall of Famer, dead at 91 (NYPost)
Whitey Ford, who pitched the Yankees to 11 American League pennants and six World Series championships in the 1950s and 60s and who still holds the highest winning percentage (.690) among all modern-day major league pitchers with at least 150 wins, died Thursday night at his Long Island home. He was 91.
Nicknamed “the Chairman of the Board” by teammate Elston Howard for his calm demeanor in pressure situations, Ford spent his entire 16-year career with the Yankees for whom he went 236-106. The Yankees signed the left-hander out of high school in 1947 for $7,000, outbidding the crosstown Giants and the Boston Red Sox. Read more