Nigeria Sars protest: Unrest in Lagos after shooting (BBC)
Buildings have been set aflame and there are reports of gunfire in Nigeria’s biggest city after demonstrators were shot at a protest.
Witnesses and the rights group Amnesty International said several people were killed and wounded when soldiers opened fire in Lagos on Tuesday.
Authorities have imposed an indefinite round-the-clock curfew on the city and elsewhere, but some defied the order.
Protests against a police unit have been taking place for two weeks.
Demonstrators have been using the social media hashtag #EndSars to rally crowds against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars). Read more
#EndSARS: EU expresses shock over killings (Punch)
The European Union says it is shocked over the killings in the wake of the #EndSARS protests.
The EU said this in a statement titled, ‘Statement by the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell’ on Wednesday.
It said it was looking forward to seeing the sort of reforms that would be put in place to ensure police reforms.
The statement read, “It is alarming to learn that several people have been killed and injured during the ongoing protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Nigeria. It is crucial that those responsible for abuses be brought to justice and held accountable. Following the government’s will to deliver on reforms, we expect to see decisive implementation.” Read more
Outrage in South Africa over police brutality in Nigeria (Guardian)
Hundreds of people took to the streets in South Africa on Wednesday to voice outrage at the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Nigeria.
Africa’s most populous country has faced growing unrest as a protest over brutality by a Nigerian police unit known as SARS ballooned into wider grievances against the government.
Witnesses said gunmen opened fire on a crowd of over 1,000 people in the main city of Lagos on Tuesday, with Amnesty International reporting that several people were killed.
On Wednesday, demonstrators draped in the national flag of Nigeria and chanting liberation slogans marched to Abuja’s embassy in Pretoria carrying banners reading “End police brutality”. Read more
#EndSARS protesters’ killings: Heinous, criminal, says ASUU (Vanguard)
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the University of Lagos, UNILAG chapter, has condemned in very strong terms the killing of innocent and defenseless youths peacefully protesting against the impunity and recklessness of members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, operatives.
In a statement on Wednesday by the Chairman, Dr. Dele Ashiru, the union said only a vicious nationwide hack down its youths in their prime
“When a nation viciously and malevolently hacks down its youth in the most reprehensible manner it portends danger for the entire society and a recipe for anarchy.
We commend the resilience and sense of patriotism of all the youths demanding a system change. Read more
Professional women group condemns Lekki shootings, seeks justice for victims (Punch)
Corporate executives on the platform of the Alliance of Business and Professional Women has condemned the violence unleashed on young, peaceful #EndSARS protesters by armed government forces on Tuesday night at the Lekki Toll Gate area of Lagos State.
The group made this known in a statement on Wednesday co-signed by the Vice-Chairman, Poise Nigeria, Mavi Isibor; Chairperson, Women in Finance NG, Toyin F Sanni; Founder, RuffnTumble, Adenike Ogunlesi; and Founder, Africa Women CEOs Network, Dr Anino Emuwa.
The business leaders seek justice for dead and injured victims of the Lekki shootings. It also wants the government to ensure all wounded victims were adequately treated.
At least 30 persons have been confirmed wounded while eyewitnesses claimed about seven lives were lost when soldiers opened fire on protesters in a bid to disperse them from the Lekki toll gate — a focal demonstration ground for the #EndSARS campaign. Read more
Sanwo-Olu counters Army, says soldiers were deployed to Lekki toll gate (Punch)
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has admitted that the Nigerian Army deployed troops to the Lekki tollgate area of the state on Tuesday night.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Nigerian Army Headquarters denied deploying soldiers to the Lekki toll gate despite video evidence showing uniformed soldiers shooting at the scene,
But the governor, in a live broadcast on Wednesday morning, said the Army deployed troops to the protest ground in Lekki last night.
He, however, regretted the episodes of the last few hours, especially the Lekki incident where eyewitnesses said soldiers opened fire on #EndSARS protesters in a bid to disperse them. Read more
Obasanjo blames Buhari for poor handling of #EndSARS protests (Guardian)
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has blamed Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for the escalating of violence and clashes in several parts of the country.
“It is clear that Mr. President and his lieutenants did not exhaust the opportunities for dialogues with the protesters before resolting the use of force,” Obasanjo said in a statement on Wednesday.
“It is worse there is denial of wrongdoing in spite of overwhelming visual evidence,” he added. Read more
#EndSARS: Civil Defence boss declares emergency on national assets, infrastructure (Vanguard)
Following widespread unrest in the wake of #EndSARS agitations in many parts of the country, Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC, Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, has “declared emergency on all critical infrastructure and national assets in the country”.
Accordingly, he has directed all state commandants to immediately reinforce deployment of personnel in and around all strategic critical infrastructure and national assets located in their states to forestall any act of vandalism, arson or destruction by miscreants who may capitalize on the ongoing protest in most parts of the country to perpetrate their sinister motives. Read more
Stop violent crackdown on protesters, Joe Biden tells Buhari (Guardian)
Former United States Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has called on Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the ongoing violent crackdown on protesters in the country.
“I urge President Buhari and the Nigerian military to cease the violent crackdown on protesters in Nigeria, which has already resulted in several deaths,” Biden said in a statement.
“I encourage the government to engage in a good-faith dialogue with civil society to address these long-standing grievances and work together for a more just and inclusive Nigeria.
“My heart goes out to all those who have lost a loved one in the violence.” Read more
Many killed and wounded in Afghanistan visa stampede (BBC)
At least 11 women have been killed and many more injured in a stampede in a stadium in Afghanistan where people were applying for visas, officials say.
The incident happened after “thousands of people” gathered to request permits to Pakistan, a local spokesman said.
The crowd had been redirected to a sports stadium instead of the usual visa centre in the city of Jalalabad.
Visa applications to Pakistan have just resumed after a seven-month pause due to the pandemic.
“The visa applicants jostled to secure their token from the consulate officials,” an official in Jalalabad said, according to Reuters.
“The crowd got out of control, leading to a stampede.” Read more
Pope Francis endorses civil union laws for gay couples in new documentary (CBC)
Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary Francesco, which had its premiere at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday.
Francis’s comments came midway through the film, which delves into issues he cares about most, including the environment, poverty, migration, racial and income inequality and the people most affected by discrimination.
“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis said in one of his sit-down interviews for the film. “What we have to have is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.” Read more
AI bot creating fake nudes of more than 100k women on messaging app (NYPost)
A deepfake bot has used artificial intelligence to “undress” images of women on the messaging app Telegram, according to new research.
Security specialist Sensity announced the research Tuesday, noting that the bot lets users “photo-realistically ‘strip naked’ images of women.”
Deepfakes use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to create false, but realistic-looking clips.
“Today we go public with the findings of a new investigation,” Sensity tweeted. “Early this year we uncovered a new deepfake bot on Telegram, an evolution of the infamous DeepNude from 2019, which ‘undressed’ at least 100.000 women without their knowledge.” Read more
Cocaine worth $500m found hidden in charcoal shipment (BBC)
Police in Paraguay have found a record 2.3 tonnes of cocaine hidden among a charcoal shipment destined for Israel.
They said the drugs had an estimated street value of $500m (£383m). It is the largest drugs seizure police have made in the South American country.
The cocaine was found in a container at Terport, a private port in the city of Villeta, near the capital, Asunción.
Two people have been detained, one of them a former director of a state TV channel. Read more
People will have to live with coronavirus for ‘evermore,’ says UK expert (RT)
John Edmunds, a British epidemiologist on the government’s Covid-19 advisory committee, warned UK lawmakers that there is very little chance of the coronavirus being eliminated. He said vaccines could slow its spread, however.
“We are going to have to live with this virus for evermore. There is very little chance that it’s going to become eradicated,” Edmunds, a member of Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), said on Wednesday. He pointed out that the prospect of a vaccine towards the end of the winter could help the government’s efforts. “If vaccines are just around the corner then, in my view, we should try and keep the incidence as low as we can now,” he said. Read more
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine could get emergency approval in December (NYPost)
The feds could clear Moderna’s experimental coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in December if the company’s clinical research goes according to plan, CEO Stéphane Bancel reportedly said.
That timeline depends on the Massachusetts-based biotech firm getting positive results next month from its late-stage clinical trial of the vaccine, Bancel said during a Wall Street Journal conference on Monday.
Moderna will analyze how well the vaccine is working when 53 people in its Phase 3 study develop symptomatic cases of COVID-19, the Journal reported. That analysis is expected to take place in November, though the exact timing is tough to predict “because it depends on the cases, the number of people getting sick,” Bancel said. Read more
Parents of 545 children separated at US border still not found (AlJazeera)
Despite a federal judge’s order that the government reunite families who had been separated at the United States-Mexico border under the Trump administration’s “no tolerance” migration policy, the parents of 545 children still have not been found.
According to a court document filed on Tuesday by the US Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the children were separated between July 1, 2017, and June 26, 2018, when a federal judge in San Diego ordered that children in government custody be reunited with their parents.
Children from that period are difficult to find because the government had inadequate tracking systems. Representatives from rights groups have been searching for parents by going door to door. Read more
Eguavoen named NFF Technical Director (Nation)
The Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation has approved the appointment of former Super Eagles head coach, Augustine Eguavoen as its new Technical Director with immediate effect.
The appointment was announced after the board’s its emergency virtual meeting held yesterday and press release from the NFF Media department confirming the appointment read thus: “The Executive Committee approved a presentation by the Chairman of the Technical & Development Committee for the appointment of former Super Eagles’ Captain and Coach, Mr. Augustine Eguavoen, as the new Technical Director of the NFF.
“He will work with the following persons, whose appointments were also approved: Mr. Paul Aigbogun (Deputy Director, Technical & Scouting); Terry Babatunde Eguaoje (Consultant on Coaching & Development); Abdulrafiu Yusuf (Assistant Director, Coaching & Development); Siji Lagunju (Assistant Director, Training & Development) and; Garba Lawal (Chief Technical Officer). Read more
Mesut Ozil: Arsenal midfielder ‘deeply disappointed’ after Premier League squad omission (BBC)
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil says he is “deeply disappointed” after being left out of the Gunners’ 25-man Premier League squad.
Ozil, 32, who joined Arsenal for a then club record £42.4m in 2013, has not played for the club since 7 March.
The German, who had also been omitted from the Europa League squad, can now only play for Arsenal Under-23s until his deal expires in summer 2021.
In a message to Arsenal fans, he said “loyalty is hard to come by nowadays”. Read more
Solskjaer reiterates Ighalo’s importance (Nation)
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reiterated Odion Ighalo’s importance for the Premier League club, reports goal.com.
The 31-year-old has been struggling for game time in the 2020-21 campaign despite his eye-catching performances in his debut season with the Red Devils.
The forward scored five goals in 19 appearances across all competitions last season to become the toast of the club fans. His fine displays earned him a loan extension at the Old Trafford until January 2021 after teaming up with the side from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua. Read more
Mourinho insists nothing ‘Spursy’ about West Ham draw (Guardian)
Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has insisted there was nothing “Spursy” about the club’s extraordinary draw with West Ham.
Spurs squandered a 3-0 lead in the final 10 with the Hammers on Sunday.
That led some observers to say it had been a “Spursy’ display, a tag used to describe Tottenham’s habit of contriving to make a mess of a promising position late on.
“I believe that winning 3-0 in minute 80, we can play 50 more matches and it’s not going to happen again, so I don’t want to be sticking on this,” said Mourinho on Wednesday. Read more
Anderson Silva: UFC legend to retire after Las Vegas bout (BBC)
Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva says he will retire after his fight with Uriah Hall in Las Vegas on Saturday, 31 October.
The 45-year-old Brazilian, who held the middleweight title for a record seven years, had his first professional fight in 1997 and joined the UFC in 2006.
He has not fought since a defeat by Jared Cannonier in May last year.
“This is the last fight. For sure, this is the last fight. Probably,” Silva told MMA Junkie. Read more
Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry tests positive for coronavirus (Guardian)
European champions Bayern Munich on Tuesday announced their first case of the coronavirus as Germany winger Serge Gnabry tested positive for Covid-19.
The 25-year-old is “doing well” and is in quarantine at home, the German giants said in a brief statement.
He will miss Wednesday’s Champions League group game against Atletico Madrid when Bayern begin the defence of their European title behind closed doors at the Allianz Arena.
However, Bayern did not say whether Gnabry’s positive test would have any other impact the home game after he took part in the club’s training session on Tuesday morning. Read more
Giro d’Italia: O’Connor wins stage 17 as Almeida leads (BBC)
Ben O’Connor won stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia, as Joao Almeida held on to the leaders’ pink jersey.
The NTT Pro Cycling rider broke away from a lead group of 14 riders which had led most of the way on the mountainous 203km stage from Bassano del Grappa to Madonna di Campiglio.
Britian’s Tao Geoghegan Hart remains fourth overall after crossing the line with the leaders. Read more