Many may never recover from harsh effects of 2020 – Olukoya (Punch)
The General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Dr Daniel Olukoya, says many people may never recover from the devastating effects of the Year 2020.
He stated this on Thursday night during the church’s crossover service at the church’s headquarters in the Yaba area of Lagos State.
The Year 2020 was marred by economic and health turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Nigeria also suffered the #EndSARS nationwide protests against police brutality and extrajudicial killings which degenerated into morbid violence and mass destruction of lives and property. Several means of livelihood were lost to the looting and burning down of business premises that trailed the protests. Read more
Lagos COVID-19 cases surpass 30,000–Health Commissioner (Sun)
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, says that the state’s confirmed COVID-19 cases have increased to 30,221.
Abayomi made the disclosure through his verified Twitter account @ProfAkinAbayomi, on Friday while giving the state’s COVID-19 update for Dec. 30.
The Commissioner said that 570 new COVID-19 infections were confirmed in the state on Dec. 30, increasing the state’s total COVID-19 infections to 30,221. Read more
240 UNILAG lecturers ‘sanctioned’ for flouting ASUU directive on IPPIS (Punch)
No fewer than 240 lecturers, including professors, at the University of Lagos, enrolled on the Integrated Personnel Payment Information System against the directive by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The PUNCH gathered that the affected lecturers have been sanctioned by the UNILAG chapter of ASUU.
The sanction is coming about one week after ASUU suspended its nine-month strike over the non-payment of salaries of ASUU members who failed to enrol into IPPIS and other unfulfilled agreements between ASUU and successive administrations. Read more
Revisiting 2014 Confab document more important than 2023 poll, says Olabode George (Tribune)
Former Deputy National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has noted that giving the numerous challenges facing the country currently, the real task before every Nigerian is to call for revisit of the 2014 Constitutional Conference documents.
George said this became imperative in order to allow for redesign of the nation along a true, fair, equitable and civilized federation, declaring that such was even more important than the 2023 presidential election.
George made this call on Friday in a statement titled: “A New Year, A New Beginning,” while identifying cankerworm of banditry, kidnappings, the #EndSARS protests that triggered ruin and bloodletting in the country alongside the “terrible” COVID-19 pandemic from which no nation was spared and whose scourge still festers across the globe. Read more
FG launches improved NIN slip, mobile app (Tribune)
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has approved the development and release of an improved National Identity Number (NIN) slip and a Mobile App.
A statement by the Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister, Dr Femi Adeluyi said this is part of the Federal Government’s Policy to improve the process of obtaining NIN and linking it to SIM, which was sent to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for implementation.
“The N20 and N40 fees for NIN verification by individuals and Mobile Network Operators, respectively, were also waived. These efforts are aimed at supporting the policy to link subscribers’ NIN to their SIM, which was approved by the Federal Government earlier in the year and communicated to the NCC on the 4th of February, 2020”, the statement noted. Read more
COVID-19: Covenant University postpones resumption (Thisday)
Authorities of Covenant University have postponed the institution’s resumption till January 18, 2021.
In a circular obtained by our correspondent on Thursday, the university said this was in a bid to control the spread of COVID-19.
It, however, said virtual classes would commence for students of the university on January 11, 2021.
Part of the circular read, “Please note that as a result of the Federal Government’s directive in order to control the spread of the second wave of Covid-19, all schools including tertiary institutions are to remain closed until 18 January 2021. Read more
Insecurity: Whatever has a beginning, has an end, IBB tells Nigerians (Tribune)
Former military head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida, has asked Nigerians to be patient in the face of economic, health and security challenges, saying that everything that has a beginning has an end.
In an interview with Channels Television on New Year Eve, Babangida said, “2020 has been a challenging period, not for this country alone but throughout the world. If look at the world, there was covid-19 which is here in Nigeria, then the economic situation, there were also issues of security. So 2020 has been a very challenging year in terms of health, security and the economy.
“I think in Nigeria, it has been quite challenging. We remain grateful to God that He will get us through these challenges. Read more
Sowore arrested for organising crossover night protest (Thisday)
Political activist and a former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, was in the early hours of the New Year arrested in Abuja for leading a protest against the Federal Government.
The arrest happened a day after Sowore appeared to be calling on members of the public to join him in the protest against the regime in messages he sent via his Twitter Handle.
Some of the tweets read “How about a crossover protest/uprising tonight? Anyone willing to participate? Pick up a candle and a placard showing your grievances against the regime; let’s upload our short videos and photos across our social media platforms. Let’s welcome the regime to a resolute 2021! Read more
Norway landslide: Swedes join search for 10 missing in Ask ravine (BBC)
Swedish rescuers and Norwegian dog handlers have begun a risky ground search for 10 people missing after a hillside collapsed in Norway.
It is snowing heavily in Ask, a village 25km (15 miles) north-east of the capital Oslo, where homes toppled into a giant chasm caused by flowing mud.
Police commander Roy Alkvist said one or two houses in the chasm appeared safe for rescuers to potentially enter.
Helicopters have been searching the scene of Wednesday’s landslide.
A missing dog was rescued on Thursday. Read more
Flash finally dead as Adobe ends support for iconic browser plugin (Metro)
As of December 31, 2020, Adobe officially stopped support for Flash – the browser plugin that helped define the early internet. The company announced it would be killing off Flash in 2017, but the time has finally come. Adobe won’t provide any new security updates and is actively encouraging people to uninstall it. It will also stop videos and animations running in Flash Player from January 12, 2021. Read more
Kim Jong Un thanks North Koreans in rare New Year’s letter (NYPost)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un penned a rare New Year’s letter thanking citizens for their support in “difficult times” and wishing them happiness – but gave no indication he’d give a customary speech this year.
“I will work hard to bring earlier the new era in which the ideals and desires of our people will come true,” Kim wrote, according to the Korean Central News Agency, which said the letter was hand-written.
“I offer thanks to the people for having invariably trusted and supported our party even in the difficult times,” he added. “I sincerely wish all the families across the country greater happiness and beloved people, good health.” Read more
Wall Street to kick out Chinese telecom giants (BBC)
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) said it will delist three Chinese telecommunications firms based on claimed links with its military
China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom Hong Kong have all been targeted by the Trump administration.
Shares in the telecoms giants will be suspended on the NYSE next week while proceedings to delist them have begun.
The companies earn all of their revenue in China and have no significant presence in the US. Read more
Diddy dances and downs tequila at NYE party (Metro)
Diddy may have cancelled his annual lavish star-studded New Year’s Eve party due to coronavirus but that didn’t stop the hip hop mogul from having a blast to ring in 2021. The Bad Boy Records founder invited a group of close friends and family to his Miami, Florida mansion on Thursday to celebrate NYE. However, it was on a much smaller scale than he’s used to with the producer surrounded by his children – Quincy Brown, 29, Justin, 27, King 23, Chance, 13, and 14-year-old twins D’Lila and Jessie – and several other loved ones. Read more
Bangkok shuts down venues as COVID-19 spreads (NYPost)
The Thai capital is shutting down venues including schools and entertainment parks as coronavirus cases continue to spread.
Thailand reported 279 new cases on Friday including two deaths.
Seven provinces including Bangkok have been designated red zones where places including entertainment venues, boxing rings, gyms and flea markets are ordered closed. Restaurants are allowed to serve only takeouts.
The restrictions are in place until mid-January. Read more
How NFF owed Super Falcons for three years – Ex-captain Oparanozie (Punch)
Ex-Super Falcons captain, Desire Oparanozie, says the Nigeria Football Federation failed to pay the bonuses owed the female national team players for three years.
She also hinted that fighting for the players’ rights was part of the reasons she was removed as the skipper of the team.
She said this on Friday during an interview session on PUNCH Online programme, Kick $ Follow.
The Dijon FCO forward said she took the right step by ensuring that about $4,500 owed the Falcons by NFF was paid. Read more
Pep Guardiola confirms ‘three important players’ will miss Chelsea match (Metro)
Pep Guardiola confirmed that ‘three important players’ will miss Manchester City’s trip to Chelsea. Guardiola’s side were forced to postpone their most recent Premier League clash against Everton after an outbreak of Covid-19 within his squad but they will be back in action at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. A round of emergency testing on Wednesday showed the club had no new cases, which allowed them to resume training ahead of the crunch Premier League clash. Read more
Tokyo 2020: Olympics and Paralympics will go ahead, says Japan’s PM (BBC)
The delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will go ahead this summer despite concern over rising coronavirus cases, says Japan’s prime minister.
The Olympics are due to begin on 23 July with the Paralympics following a month later from 24 August.
Cases have surged in Japan in recent days with Tokyo reporting over 1,000 daily infections for the first time.
But prime minister Yoshihide Suga said the “Games will be held this summer” and be “safe and secure”.
Japan is responding to cases of the new variant of coronavirus first found in the UK, with Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike warning the number of infections could “explode”. Read more
John Wall feared foot amputation before making long-awaited NBA return (NYPost)
John Wall played in his first NBA game in two years Thursday night after a prolonged recovery from two injuries, which the five-time All-Star said he thought at one point might not only end his basketball career but cause him to lose his foot.
“It was tough,” Wall told Stadium’s Shams Charania prior to his 22-point, six-rebound, nine-assist performance in the Rockets’ win over the Kings. “I went through three or four different infections. So it got to the point where, ‘OK, are you going to have to cut your foot off or not?’ That’s where it got real with me. The basketball aspect was, like, going to be east for me.
“I feel like any rehab that comes in the first three or four months is the biggest key of anything, is how you attack it. So all of a sudden, I couldn’t be a heavyweight. I had to be lighter weight.” Read more
NBA: Phoenix Suns beat Utah Jazz to go 4-1, Philadelphia 76ers beat Orlando Magic (BBC)
Devin Booker scored 25 points and made seven assists as his Phoenix Suns beat the Utah Jazz and moved to 4-1 for the first time since 2009.
Team-mates Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges had 16 points each in a 106-95 win in the Western Conference.
Elsewhere, the Houston Rockets earned their first victory of the season with James Harden netting 33 points in a 122-119 win over the Sacramento Kings.
John Wall added 22 points in his first game after a two-year injury lay-off. Read more
Liverpool complete signings of teenage defenders Stefan Bajcetic and Calum Scanlon (Metro)
Liverpool have completed the signings of two teenage defenders, bringing in Stefan Bajcetic from Celta Vigo and Calum Scanlon from Birmingham City. The Reds have been linked with signing at least one centre-back for the first team, to combat their ongoing injury crisis, but the two new arrivals are not expected to be involved in the senior squad any time soon. 16-year-old Bajcetic arrives from Celta Vigo for €250,000 (£224,000), reports the Athletic, with Liverpool securing his signature despite competition from Manchester United who had also shown an interest in the central defender. Read more