Lagos explosion: Three more corpses recovered (Punch)
Three more corpses were recovered on Monday by emergency responders combing the buildings affected by the explosion that rocked Abule-Ado in the Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The corpses were recovered from the rubble of some of the collapsed buildings at the Bethlehem Girls College in Abule-Ado.
Officials of the school confirmed the identity of two of the three corpses to be workers of Bethlehem Girls College.
The corpses consist of two females and one male, The PUNCH reports.
THE PUNCH had reported that hundreds of residents in the area had been rendered homeless as the explosion destroyed their homes.
Some of the residents were seen parking their belongings from the rubble. Read more
Abule Ado blast death toll rises to 19 (Guardian)
The death toll from a suspected gas explosion that tore through a residential area of Nigeria’s biggest city Lagos rose to 19 on Monday as emergency services dug bodies from the debris.
The blast next to an oil pipeline destroyed buildings, lorries and cars as it tore through a residential area of the sprawling city on Sunday.
An AFP reporter at the scene on Monday saw two bodies that were pulled out from the debris of a collapsed building by an excavator raising the death toll to 19.
Rescue officials told AFP they would work with residents of the area to conduct a house-to-house search for more bodies. Read more
Broken windows and scattered church: Festac residents speak on Abule Ado explosion (Guardian)
The Abule Ado explosion, like a lot of disasters, happened when no one expected and without warning. Pipeline fires are not exactly a new thing in the community.
To curtail the activities of pipeline vandals, a team of Nigerian troops have been stationed somewhere on 7th Avenue in Festac, which borders Abule Ado.
But Sunday’s explosion was not caused by oil thieves. “Encroachment by gas handling vendors and construction of houses enabled the explosion and aggravated the impact,” group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari said. Read more
Court convicts janitor for terrorism (DailyTrust)
Justice Ayokunle Faji, sitting at a Federal High Court, Lagos, on Friday convicted a gateman, James Paul Tuksa, for terrorism, threat to life and fraud. Thè court convicted Tuksa, having found him guilty of all the charges preferred again him by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF). The convict, a gateman at 4a, Ibironke Crescent, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, was said to have sometime in October 2016 called one Victor Omotayo Awosika, of 2, Ibironke Crescent, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, on phone, threatening to kill him and his family members, unless he was paid N5 million as ransom. He was also said to have fraudulently stolen the sum of N5m from Awosika. Read more
Coronavirus: Travellers from France, Germany, Spain to undergo secondary screening, says FG (Punch)
The Federal Government on Monday said travellers coming into Nigeria from France, Germany, and Spain would have to undergo a secondary screening at the nation’s international airports and self-isolate for 14 days.
He said the three countries have been added to the list of high-risk nations with widespread community transmission.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnibe Mamora, said this in Abuja while briefing the press on the update on coronavirus.
Already, Nigeria had placed China, Japan, Iran, Italy and Republic of Korea on high-risk status.
Mamora said the step became important for travellers from the eight countries after Nigeria carried out a review of its case definition for coronavirus. Read more
Appeal Court stays execution of judgment sacking Oshiomhole (Nation)
The Court of Appeal, Abuja has stayed the execution of the March 4, 2020 order of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) restraining the National Chairman of the All Progressives Party (APC), Adams Oshiomhole from further acting in that capacity.
A three-man panel of the court, led by Justice Abubakar Datti Yahaha was unanimous in granting the reliefs contained in an ex-parte motion argued on Monday by lead lawyer to Oshiomhole and the APC, Wole Olanipekun (SAN). Read more
Coronavirus: CBN slashes interest rates on intervention funds to 5% (DailyTrust)
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dropped interest rates on all its intervention funds from 9 percent to 5 percent. This is even as the apex bank also announced additional N50billion intervention fund to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to mitigate the negative impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the affected enterprises nationwide. The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this on Monday while briefing the media on strategic measures by the bank to tackle the challenges raised by the virus within the domestic economy, also announced other interventions to cover healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, oils and gas, among others. Read more
Buhari, APC govs postpone NEC meeting (Punch)
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and Governors of the All Progressives Congress have postponed the National Executive Council meeting of the party.
They took the decision on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after a brief meeting.
The postponement is indefinite, The PUNCH reports.
According to the Chairman, Progressives Governors Forum, Mr Abubakar Atiku-Bagudu, who spoke with reporters after the meeting, the governors urged the retired major general to support the postponement until they were able to resolve the issues in the party. Read more
Oshiomhole: Why APC postponed NEC meeting (Vanguard)
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday sanctioned the indefinite postponement of a meeting of the National Executive Committee NEC of his ruling All Progressives Congress APC earlier slated for today (Tuesday), following a disagreement among governors of the party as to the constitutionality or otherwise of the said meeting.
While some governors who are opposed to having Comrade Adams Oshiomhole remain in office as National Chairman wanted the meeting to go on as planned, some of their colleagues who are aligned with Oshiomhole were said to have vehemently rejected the move.
Earlier on Sunday night, the South-South leader of the party and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege had met with NEC members from the zone and resolved to boycott the meeting, while urging other NEC members to also stay away. Read more
Liberia bans travel from affected countries after 1st virus case (Guardian)
Liberian President George Weah on Monday said that all travel from countries with over 200 coronavirus cases would be banned after the West African state recorded its first infection.
The impoverished country on Monday announced that head of its Environmental Protection Agency, who recently returned to Liberia from Switzerland, had tested positive for the virus.
Following the confirmation, Weah gave a televised address in which he said: “all travels from all countries” with over 200 cases were henceforth banned. Read more
PrEP drug that prevents HIV infection to be made available on NHS (Metro)
A drug which prevents HIV infections is to be made available on the NHS this year in a move to try and eliminate new transmissions of the virus within the decade. PrEP – or pre-exposure prophylaxis – will be made routinely available to patients deemed to be at greater risk of catching HIV from April. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘We are rolling out PrEP and making it available across the country – with evidence showing it almost completely eradicates the chances of getting HIV. This will benefit tens of thousands of people’s lives, and drive us towards our ambition of zero HIV transmissions in this decade.’ Read more
Priest jailed five years over child sex abuse (BBC)
A French priest has been jailed for five years for sexually abusing dozens of children in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.
Bernard Preynat, 74, admitted abusing boy scouts while a scout leader in Lyon.
During his trial, he had told the court he had not understood how serious or grave his crimes were.
“It took me time to learn it was wrong and condemned given the age of the children,” he said in January. Read more
Coronavirus forces woman to celebrate her 100th birthday behind glass (Metro)
A centenarian was forced to celebrate her 100th birthday behind glass because of the coronavirus outbreak. Millie Erickson’s family weren’t able to visit her at the Sterling Village nursing home in Sterling, Massachusetts, over the weekend after it banned visitors to try and stop residents catching the virus, which kills 14.8% of sufferers over 80. But Erickson’s family were determined to show her some love as she hit triple-figures, and turned up outside Sterling Village to sing their good wishes through a window. Heart-warming video footage obtained by ABC13 shows Erickson smiling and waving – while wearing an ‘It’s my birthday!’ hat and waving a card – as a huge crowd of loved ones sang Happy Birthday. Read more
US clinical trial for coronavirus vaccine to begin on Monday (StraitsTimes)
A clinical trial to evaluate a vaccine designed to protect against the new coronavirus will begin on Monday (March 16), the Associated Press reported, citing an unnamed United States government official.
The first participant in the trial, which is being funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and taking place at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, will receive the experimental vaccine on Monday, the AP reported.
It would take a year to 18 months to fully validate any potential vaccine, the AP added, citing public health officials. Read more
Don’t worry, 5G is entirely safe say international radiation experts (Metro)
The next generation of wireless technology is being rolled out across the world. Yes, 5G is here and it’s making internet speeds faster and more reliable around the world. It’s also causing a few people to panic about radiation levels. And whether it causes the coronavirus, but that’s another story. Thankfully, the international regulator for radiation levels has given it the all-clear. The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is a Germany-based scientific body assessing health risks of radio broadcasts. It has called for new guidelines on 5G but says that the even the most high-frequency 5G waves are far below the threshold for anything that would cause us harm. Read more
Coronavirus: Stocks plunge despite global central bank action (BBC)
Global stock markets have sunk again despite central banks around the world announcing a co-ordinated effort to ease the effects of the coronavirus.
US markets plunged more than 7%, triggering an automatic suspension of trade in the minute after opening.
London’s FTSE 100 index has fallen more than 8%, and other major European markets have seen similar declines.
On Sunday, the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates to almost zero and launched a $700bn stimulus programme.
It was part of co-ordinated action announced alongside the eurozone, the UK, Japan, Canada, and Switzerland. Read more
Mission: Impossible 7 filming is trucking on in UK instead of Italy (Metro)
Filming for Mission: Impossible 7 will take place in the UK after being halted in Italy. Production for the action flick’s latest installment previously came to a standstill following the increased coronavirus outbreak in the country. And now, Tom Cruise and the rest of the team have been forced to fly over to the UK to continue filming at Longcross Studios in Surrey.
To make things that little bit more believable, the new set will feature a replica version of Rome’s Trinita dei Monti church. Read more
Odion Ighalo willing to sacrifice £6m to stay at Manchester United (Metro)
Odion Ighalo is ready to give up £6 million in wages in order to stay at Manchester United, according to reports. The Nigeria international has impressed since his surprise loan move from Shanghai Shenhua in the January transfer window. Ighalo has scored four goals in eight appearances, while his attitude since his arrival at Old Trafford has been praised by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. According to The Sun, Ighalo is keen to stay at United permanently and is willing to take a pay cut in order to make that happen. Read more
Tokyo 2020: Organisers to discuss latest coronavirus developments (BBC)
Olympic Games organisers will meet via teleconference on Tuesday to discuss the latest coronavirus developments and the impact on the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will talk with international sports federations – a second executive board meeting in the last two weeks.
On Saturday, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Olympics will go ahead from 24 July to 9 August.
The Japan section of the Olympic Torch relay is due to start on 26 March. Read more
Paul Pogba ready to sign new Manchester United deal for two reasons (Metro)
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is set to return to training on Tuesday and is minded to sign a new deal at the club due to their recent revival and the uncertainty that the coronavirus outbreak has caused. The Frenchman has made just two appearances for the Red Devils since September and it looked fairly certain that he’d leave the club in the summer, with both Real Madrid and Juventus interested. However, the coronavirus outbreak has scuppered league seasons across Europe and it’s unclear whether the transfer market will open as usual in June. Read more
South Africa suspends football and cricket (BBC)
Football and cricket activities in South Africa are being suspended as the country seeks to minimise the impact of coronavirus.
On Sunday, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa declared coronavirus a national disaster, and the South Africa Football Association (Safa) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) have responded by suspending their sports in the country.
Any gatherings for football of 100 people or more are now banned, while all forms of cricket have now been terminated for a 60-day period. Read more
Chelsea’s Mason Mount ignores coronavirus self-isolation for five-a-side game with Declan Rice (Metro)
Chelsea’s Mason Mount is facing a possible fine after ignoring instructions to self-isolate over coronavirus fears, in favour of a Sunday kickabout with West Ham’s Declan Rice. The Chelsea squad are under instructions to stay at home after Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus last week. The club announced on Thursday that they have told players to self-isolate as a result of the positive test, but Mount was seen on Sunday at the Trent Park Football centre, near Barnet, playing five-a-side with Rice. An onlooker told the Mirror: ‘I took my 14-year-old son there for a training session. Read more
Coronavirus: Champions League and Europa League could be decided by mini-tournament (BBC)
Euro 2020, scheduled to take place at 12 venues across Europe this summer, could be postponed to give European leagues time to complete their domestic seasons
A mini-tournament to decide the Champions League and Europa League will be one option put forward to ease fixture congestion caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
European football’s governing body, Uefa, is hosting a video conference with major stakeholders on Tuesday.
Euro 2020 is set to be postponed to allow league seasons to be completed.
A source close to the situation says all parties must be ready to sacrifice something to reach a solution. Read more
Italian FA to request postponement of Euro 2020 (Guardian)
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) is to request that Euro 2020 be postponed amid the escalating coronavirus pandemic, FIGC president Gabriele Gravina said on Monday.
European football’s governing body and tournament organisers UEFA will hold a video-conference on Tuesday to discuss domestic and competitions across the continent, as well as Euro 2020, which is due to take place from June 12 to July 12.
Italy is set to host the opening match in Rome on June 12, in a tournament which will be played in 12 countries across Europe. Read more