Robber stabs Lagos trader to death (Punch)
A trader, Christy Mmakwe, has lost her life after being stabbed to death by a suspected robber, Usman Shefiu, at her shop in the Alaba Rago area of Ojo, Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Christy was in her shop when Shefiu allegedly entered on the pretext of making a purchase but after a while, she suddenly ran out of the shop and started screaming for help.
It was learnt that as the 30-year-old screamed for help, blood was gushing out of her neck and Shefiu ran out of her shop.
A resident of the area, Farouk Ishola, said some good Samaritans quickly rushed Christy to a nearby hospital, but she gave up on the way, while some other persons gave Shefiu a hot chase and apprehended and handed him over to policemen at the Ojo Division. Read more
Restrictions on crossover vigils stay, Lagos, Ogun insist (Thisday)
The Lagos State and Ogun State governments have rebuffed pressures from churches to relax restrictions introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections so they could hold crossover vigils today to usher in the New Year.
The two states, with a high concentration of headquarters of churches in the country, insisted that the 12am-4am curfew introduced by the federal government, as part of measures to combat COVID-19 remains in place. They warned that dire consequences await individuals and groups that violate the regulations.
The Ondo State government, which on Tuesday had warned churches against holding any crossover service in the state today, also reiterated its warning while assuring the clergy that its decision was not to undermine Christianity, but to safeguard public health. Read more
Bauchi lawmaker decries attack on farmers by killer herders (Guardian)
Bauchi State House of Assembly member, Mukhtar Suleiman, has drawn the attention of the house to attacks on irrigation farmers in the state by herdsmen.
Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen recently killed two farmers and injured others in Tabak Village, Zaki Council.
During plenary yesterday, he noted that his constituents relied heavily on farming for livelihood, adding that the attacks were creating fear and discouraging farmers.
He called on the house to prevail on the government to take precautionary measures to secure the area and bring the criminals to book. Read more
Kaduna aborts publicised sex party, police apprehend organisers (Punch)
The Kaduna State Police Command said it had arrested the organisers of the maiden edition of the Kaduna sex party.
The party, which received high publicity on social media and was slated for December 27, 2020 at an undisclosed venue in the state capital, was aborted.
Part of the requirements for participants on the invitation obtained by our correspondent was that male and female attendees must be naked as no clothes would be allowed at the venue.
The party was expected to last till daybreak during which participants would have sex for fees ranging from N2,000 for the popular side to N3,000 and N5,000 for the VIP section. Read more
NSE leads global stock market in performance (Thisday)
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index is closing 2020 as the best performing, recording a growth of 47.2 per cent a day to end of the year. The return, which is the highest annual growth since 2013, is the most among 93 equity indexes tracked by Bloomberg.
The NSE ASI, which opened the year at 26,842.07 soared to 39,512.31 as at Wednesday, while market capitalisation jumped from N12.969 trillion to N20.66 trillion. The Nigerian equities market has been riding on low yields in the fixed income market and renewed interest by domestic investors to outperform other global markets.
Significant portion of the growth has been recorded in December with the market appreciating 12.8 per cent as investors’ appetite for riskier assets remained strong due to persistent low yield on fixed-income instruments. Read more
Attack on Kukah’s Christmas message unpatriotic, says coalition (Guardian)
Nigeria Citizens Action Groups (NCAG), a coalition of civil society organisations, youth and student bodies, has described the attack on Bishop Matthew Kukah’s Christmas message by the Federal Government and some groups as very unfortunate, unpatriotic and hypocritical.
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), Muslim Rights Concern and some other groups had aligned with the Federal Government in attacking the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese over his essay on December 25, 2020.
In a statement yesterday, NCAG demanded apology from the government and the groups involved in the attacks for their “unpatriotic” act. Read more
Jonathan, other ex-African presidents for honour (Thisday)
The African Bar Association says it has secured the agreement of former President Goodluck Jonathan and two other ex-African Presidents to attend and make contributions at its conference holding in Niamey, Niger Republic mid next year.
The President of AfBA, Hannibal Uwaifo, in a statement, said the 2018 Nobel Prize winner, Dr Denis Mukegwe, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, would deliver the keynote address at the conference with the theme, ‘Setting an Agenda for Transformative Change in Africa: Addressing Accountability in Criminal Armed Conflicts Terrorism in the Sahel and burning contemporary issues.’
Uwaifo said the invited ex-African Presidents, including Jonathan, would be decorated “with honours for good leadership, contributions to democracy and good governance in Africa,” at the conference billed for the Mahatma Gandhi International Conference Centre in Niamey. Read more
Gunmen kill two, injure others in Rivers community (Guardian)
No fewer than two persons have been reported killed and others injured by suspected cultists at Luubara Community in Khana Council of Rivers State.
The Guardian learnt that gunmen invaded the community during a masquerade dance. They started shooting sporadically and as a result bullets hit four persons, who were drinking in a bar close to the scene.
It was also learnt that two of the victims died immediately, while the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Bori arrived and took the injured victims to a hospital for treatment. Read more
National interest dictated non-confirmation of Magu, others, saysSaraki (Thisday)
Former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Saraki, yesterday shed more light on why the Senate under his leadership between 2015 and 2019 did not confirm the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, and other nominees of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Till his suspension from office on July 7, Magu, appointed in November 2015, operated as an acting chairman of the anti-graft body.
His nomination was presented twice was for confirmation and the Senate rejected him on both occasions. Read more
Post-Brexit trade deal signed into law (BBC)
The post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and EU takes effect at 23:00 GMT on Thursday, after it was signed into law.
Parliament overwhelmingly backed the agreement in a high-speed process on Wednesday, following the two sides reaching agreement on Christmas Eve.
It takes the UK out of the EU’s single market and customs union, but ends the possibility of tariffs on goods.
PM Boris Johnson thanked MPs and said: “The destiny of this great country now resides firmly in our hands.”
Opponents say the country will still be worse off than it was while in the EU. Read more
Prosecutors seek 9-year prison term for Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong (NYPost)
Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong after his initial trial in 2017.
Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong after his initial trial in 2017.Getty Images
South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday requested a nine-year prison term for Samsung’s de facto chief, Lee Jae-yong, during his bribery retrial, where Lee apologized and vowed not to be implicated in similar allegations in an apparent plea for leniency.
The case is a key element in an explosive 2016 scandal that triggered months of public protests and toppled South Korea’s president. A ruling on Lee could send him back to prison on charges that he bribed former President Park Geun-hye and her longtime confidante to get the government’s backing for his push to solidify his control over Samsung.
The retrial comes as Lee faces immense pressure to navigate Samsung’s transition after his father and Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-Hee died in October. Read more
“Gilligan’s Island” star Dawn Wells dies due to coronavirus complications aged 82 (Metro)
Gilligan’s Island star Dawn Wells has died due to coronavirus complications aged 82, her publicist has confirmed. The actress, who played the girl-next-door castaway Mary Ann on the iconic CBS comedy series, passed away in Los Angeles on Wedneday morning. Dawn was best known for her role in the beloved show, in which she starred alongside Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr, Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Tina Louise and Russell Johnson. The series first aired in 1964 on CBS. Read more
Hot dog trucks used to transport COVID-19 vaccine in Bulgaria (NYPost)
Bulgaria’s vaccine distribution method is the wurst.
The country used hot dog trucks to deliver its first batch of the coronavirus vaccine over the weekend — and critics say the plan doesn’t cut the mustard, according to a report.
Health officials dispatched a fleet of police-escorted weenie-mobiles in several cities to transport the Pfizer-BioNTech shots, which must be stored at minus 94 degrees, according the New York Times.
Observers online relished poking fun of the bizarre transportation plan — posting memes, including one featuring a pack of franks stamped with Pfizer’s logo. Read more
France mobilises 100,000 police to stop New Year’s Eve gatherings (BBC)
France is to mobilise 100,000 police and gendarmes on New Year’s Eve to break up parties and enforce a curfew imposed to combat coronavirus.
The extra security also aims at halting the torching of cars that often takes place on the final night of the year.
France has confirmed 2.6m Covid-19 cases, the fifth highest total in the world, and more than 64,000 deaths.
Like other European countries, France will see muted celebrations for New Year’s Eve amid the pandemic. Read more
Congressman-elect Luke Letlow suffered a heart attack following operation (NYPost)
Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, who died while battling COVID-19, suffered a heart attack following a procedure, a hospital official said.
The 41-year-old was receiving treatment in the intensive care unit at Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport when he died Tuesday, the Monroe News-Star reported.
LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor G.E. Ghali confirmed Letlow underwent an operation related to the virus and later went into cardiac arrest.
“It’s devastating to our entire team,” Ghali told the paper, adding that he “had no underlying conditions.” Read more
Justice League star Connie Nielsen ‘sad’ incredible stunts were axed before Snyder Cut came to the rescue (Metro)
Connie Nielsen has revealed how she gave Zack Snyder permission to use her scenes from Justice League in his Snyder Cut as long as he reinstated all the amazing stunts that were axed. Snyder, 54, will finally release his long-awaited original version of Justice League on HBO Max in 2021. The director filmed a great chunk of the DC Comics superhero movie before being replaced by Joss Whedon due to a family emergency. Nielsen, who is currently starring in Wonder Woman 1984, played Queen Hippolyta, the ruler of the Amazons on the mystical island of Themyscira, in 2017’s Justice League and agreed for Snyder to use her scenes on one condition. Read more
Knighthood for Formula 1 champ Lewis Hamilton (BBC)
Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has been knighted in a New Year Honours list which salutes hundreds of people for their work in the Covid pandemic.
Hamilton, who took his seventh title in November, is on the list with actress Sheila Hancock, who is made a dame.
Ex-footballer Jimmy Greaves and musician Craig David become MBEs.
But it is the response to coronavirus which dominates, and an MBE for charity volunteer Anne Baker, 106, makes her the oldest ever recipient of an honour. Read more
Spurs’ Becky Hammon becomes 1st woman in history to direct NBA team (CBC)
Becky Hammon became the first woman to direct a team in NBA history, taking over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers following Gregg Popovich’s ejection in the first half.
Popovich was ejected by official Tony Brown with 3:56 remaining in the second quarter. Popovich screamed at Brown and entered the court following a non-call on DeMar DeRozan’s attempted layup and a subsequent attempted rebound by Drew Eubanks. Popovich was applauded as he exited the court by several of the team’s family members that were in attendance at the AT&T Center.
Women blazed new trails and changed the rules in the past decade
Hammon took over the team’s huddles during timeouts and walked the sideline following Popovich’s ejection. Hammon was the first full-time female assistant coach in league history. Read more
Tom Thibodeau’s Knicks culture changes taking shape (NYPost)
The Knicks will finish out 2020 in Florida.
That’s appropriate considering the sunny vibe new coach Tom Thibodeau has brought to the team.
The Knicks are coming off two straight impressive victories, over the Bucks and Cavaliers, to register a 2-2 record — their best start since 2015-16. And the coaches have unlocked a potential All-Star in Julius Randle.
In the eight-man rotation Thibodeau used in Tuesday’s victory at Cleveland, seven of the players were on last season’s moribund squad. Yes, coaching matters as Thibodeau’s Knicks face the Raptors on New Year’s Eve in Toronto’s pandemic home of Tampa. Read more
Liverpool, Newcastle draw offers hope to chasing pack (BBC)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said his side’s position in the table is “the last thing” he is thinking about after they drew at Newcastle to finish 2020 three points clear at the top of the Premier League.
The Reds end the year where they started it but a second consecutive draw against a team in the bottom half means they are only three points clear of Manchester United, who have a game in hand.
Mohamed Salah missed two key opportunities either side of half-time at St James’ Park, while Newcastle’s Fabian Schar denied Sadio Mane a tap-in with a timely clearance off the goalline in the 80th minute. Read more
Forgotten Manchester United man rejects new deal and prepares to seal exit (Metro)
Manchester United have reportedly offered Timothy Fosu-Mensah a new three-and-a-half year deal but he has turned it down in order to leave the club. Fosu-Mensah came through the ranks of the Manchester United academy after joining Ajax six years ago but his current deal expires at the end of the season. The 22-year-old has struggled to break into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans and has made just one Premier League appearance this season. Read more
Tour de France: Learning from Chris Froome gives Pavel Sivakov sense of fun (BBC)
A typically serene, sun-dappled day on the island of Tenerife – where the gentle breeze drifts up from the beautiful volcanic coastline – greets another Ineos training day.
Until the tranquillity is shattered by the wails and screams of a man in his bedroom, shouting in fear.
Famously shy and unassuming four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome has prompted the outburst – unexpectedly exposing an Ineos Grenadiers staff member to some of the island’s wildlife, which terrifies him.
“Froome likes to make some jokes,” laughs Russian rider Pavel Sivakov. Read more
Arsenal play down Diego Costa transfer link (Metro)
Arsenal have played down links with a move for former Chelsea striker Diego Costa, according to reports. The 32-year-old is available on a free transfer after terminating his contract with Atletico Madrid earlier this week. Costa had started just two games for Atletico this season having fallen down the pecking order following the arrival of Luis Suarez from Barcelona in the summer. Reports in Spain have claimed that Arsenal have been monitoring the striker’s situation with a view to a potential move in the January transfer window. Read more