‘Sanwo-Olu responding to treatment’ (Punch)
The Lagos State Health Commissioner, Akin Abayomi, says Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is responding well to home-based care and treatment for COVID-19.
“Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is responding well to COVID-19 home-based care and treatment. He is in high spirit and very appreciative of all your prayers and well wishes.
“I will be keeping the public informed regularly of Mr Governor’s recovery and wellbeing,” Abayomi stated in a two-part-tweet update on Sunday night. Read more
Lagos begins construction of 9km drainage (Guardian)
It was a moment of joy for residents of Agbado Okeodo, Mosan Okunola in Ayobo Ipaja Local Council Development Area as the Lagos State Government began work on the Akinola/Aboru drainage channel to curb flooding in the area.
Before now, many lives had been lost in floods, while properties worth several millions got destroyed because of the bad state of the drainage.
However, the state Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting in Abule Egba at the weekend, announced the commencement of works on the drainage channel.
He assured residents of a quality work and asked residents to take ownership of projects in their domains. He urged residents to form a committee to supervise the project and report their complaints to the ministry in case of a discrepancy as regards the project, adding that it was the resolve of the Sanwo-Olu administration to prevent further loss of lives and properties caused by flooding that necessitated the award of the contract afresh. Read more
N25.06bn paid to retirees in 18 months – Lagos govt (Punch)
The Lagos State Government has said it paid N25.06bn to 5,819 retirees in the state in the last 18 months.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, disclosed this during the 81st retirement bond certificate presentation ceremony to retirees of the Lagos State public service on Friday.
He said, “It is gratifying to note that since the advent of this present administration, the state government has paid a sum of N25,063,027,924.86 into the Retirement Savings Account of retirees in the Mainstream, Local Government, State Universal Basic Board, Teaching Service Commission and other parastatals of the state government. Read more
Governor: No contact yet from abductors of 333 pupils (Nation)
The headache for Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari is how to locate and bring back home 333 pupils that are still missing after weekend’s abduction of pupils of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara.
Before this mass abduction, Katsina, along with other states in the Northwest, has been battling with banditry.
Only 426 pupils out of the total population of 884 in the hostel could be accounted for on Saturday.
But Governor Masari told Minister of Defence Gen. Bashiir Magashi (rtd), who led service chiefs to the state on a mission to rescue the kids that 333 pupils were still missing. Read more
FG begins training of host communities for $5bn Mambilla Power Project (Thisday)
The federal government has begun the training of at least 500 individuals under the Youths Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Training (YESAT) as part of the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project (MHEPP) local content initiative.
The financing arrangement for the $5.8 billion project indicates that while China’s Export-Import Bank will provide 85 per cent of the resources, the federal government will cater for 15 per cent of the joint project.
Minister of Power Mr. Sale Mamman, who officially flagged off the training programme in Taraba State at the weekend, described it as a joint effort between the ministry and the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN).
He added that the programme will address the MHEPP’s manpower development needs and adequately prepare host communities and the entire state to derive maximum benefits from the project. Read more
NCDC warns of community transmission as Nigerians travel for holiday (Nation)
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned over a possible community transmission of COVID -19 pandemic with the expected mass return of Nigerians from across the globe to celebrate the festive season at home.
COVID -19 confirmed cases continue to increase in what appears to be a second wave of the pandemic, which led to a lockdown earlier in the year.
As of December 12, Nigeria had 72,757 confirmed cases with 1,194 deaths.
The Head of Risk Communication at the NCDC, Dr. Yahaya Disu, who spoke during a webinar organised by a non-governmental organisation, Widows and Orphans Empowerment Organisation, lamented the non-compliance to all the COVID -19 protocols. Read more
Abducted students to be rescued soon, says Defence Minister (Vanguard)
The Minister of Defence retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Salihi-Magashi has given an assurance that the abducted students of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, will be rescued soon.
Salihi-Magashi gave the assurance on Sunday in Katsina when he led a Federal Government delegation to Gov. Aminu Masari on a sympathy visit.
He said that security agents were working hard to ensure that the students were rescued.
“So far, we have been briefed by the Police Commissioner, GOC, Brigade Commander, Air Commander, DSS, and other security officers. Read more
Vaccine will end COVID-19, says Nigerian-born Pfizer researcher (Thisday)
The Nigerian-American researcher and medical doctor, Dr Onyema Ogbuagu, has said Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will eradicate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ogbuagu, at a virtual series on the theme, ‘COVID-19: Vaccine, Hesitancy, Myths and Reality,’ organised by Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) in partnership with Ngex at the weekend, said the vaccine “will be the final nail in the coffin” for the virus that has killed over 1.6 million people worldwide.
He also dismissed concerns that the vaccine would alter deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Read more
26 Army officers test positive for COVID-19 – Official (Vanguard)
The Nigerian Army says 26 personnel have so far been tested positive for COVID-19 following the death of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division Port Harcourt, Maj.- Gen. Johnson Irefin. By Clever Advertising The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sagir Musa, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja. Musa said that a total of 417 personnel had so far been tested as at Sunday in line with the directive of the Chief of Army Staff that all officers who attended the just concluded COAS conference be isolated and tested. According to him, the late GOC, who died of COVID-19 complications on Dec 10, was among the officers, who attended the conference in Abuja. Read more
Offset defends Cardi B’s controversial hit WAP after Snoop Dogg criticises track (Metro)
Offset has won himself some serious brownie points with wife Cardi B after jumping to the defence of her controversial hit WAP. Cardi joined forces with Megan Thee Stallion on the track that was released earlier this year, with WAP (which stands for ‘wet ass p*ssy’) causing up a stink as it stormed the charts. While some loved the track, stating it embodied female empowerment, others suggested it was too sexually explicit. One of those being Snoop Dogg, who questioned whether WAP sends out the right message to young girls. Read more
Eswatini’s Ambrose Dlamini dies after contracting COVID-19 (AlJazeera)
The prime minister of Eswatini, Africa’s last absolute monarchy, died in a South African hospital on Sunday, the government said in a statement.
Ambrose Dlamini, 52, tested positive for COVID-19 four weeks ago.
“Their Majesties have commanded that I inform the nation of the sad and untimely passing away of His Excellency the Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini,” Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku said in a statement. Read more
Police shoot man after he opened fire at New York cathedral (Metro)
A man has been shot by American police after officers said he opened fire on them at a Christmas concert on the steps of a New York cathedral. It is unclear if the gunman was killed but he is said to be in a critical condition following the incident, which left crowds running down the street screaming. Police say there is no indication that anyone else was hurt. Shots rang out just before 4pm local time at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan, as the choir performance came to end. People were starting to walk away following the 45-minute event when a series of shots was heard, sending crowds running down the street screaming.
Bill Gates says bars and restaurants should ‘sadly’ be closed for 4-6 months, no return to ‘normal’ until 2022 (RT)
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates believes a return to “normal” life is further down the road for the US than people expect, despite a Covid-19 vaccine being approved and distributed this week.
Conceding that by the summer of 2021, the US should be “way closer to normal than we are now,” Gates, who has donated millions to vaccination efforts through his foundation, believes a full return to normal will likely not be possible until after 2022.
The billionaire told CNN on Sunday that “unless we help other countries get rid of this disease” and see “high vaccination rates” within the US, the “risk of reintroduction” will be possible.
“Big public gatherings” should continue to be banned and most bars and restaurants around the country should “sadly” be closed to curb infection rates, according to Gates. A real return to normal, he theorized, is possible only after 12 to 18 months “if we manage it well.” Read more
Armenia, Azerbaijan blame each other after violations of Karabakh ceasefire (France24)
Clashes in the Nagorno-Karabakh region have killed four Azeri servicemen in recent weeks, Azerbaijan’s defence ministry said on Sunday, in the first report of casualties since a Russian-brokered ceasefire accord.
Separately, authorities in Armenia said six of their servicemen had been wounded in what they described as an Azeri military offensive that took place on Saturday.
The Baku government said the clashes, which also left two Azeri servicemen wounded, had taken place in an area that fell under its control when the fighting ended on Nov. 10 and territory in Nagorno-Karabakh previously controlled by ethnic Armenians was handed over to Azerbaijan. Read more
“Beasts Clawing at Straws” review: What not to do when finding a Louis Vuitton Bag Full of Cash (Metro)
What would you do if you found a bag stuffed full of cash? It’s a question we’ve all whimsically asked friends and have in turn answered as part of a game of Truth, and Beasts Clawing at Straws, the opening Gala film at the London East Asia Film Festival attempts to answer it. In short, nothing good. Shot out of chronological sequence, the crime thriller story revolves around a bag of money and the intersecting lives of escort boss Yeon-Hee (Jeon Do-yeon, The Shameless), a down-on-his-luck customs officer, Tae-Young (Jung Woo-sung, The Good, the Bad, the Weird), and Joong-Man (Bae Seong-woo), a poor sauna worker forced to care for his sick mother and overworked wife. Read more
British spy-turned-novelist John le Carré, author of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”, dies aged 89 (RT)
Legendary spy novelist John le Carré, the author of such classics as “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” has passed away at the age of 89, his agent has confirmed.
“It is with great sadness that I must share the news that David Cornwell, known to the world as John le Carré, passed away after a short illness (not COVID-19 related) in Cornwall on Saturday evening, 12th December, 2020,” the author’s literary agent said in a statement.
Born David John Moore Cornwell on October 19, 1931, he received a seemingly standard upper-middle-class education, from private school to a degree in modern languages at Oxford University, and then taught at Eton, before joining the foreign service. Read more
Fans and players horrified as Champions League winner and football ace girlfriend cop ‘sickening’ online abuse (RT)
Bayern Munich prodigy Alphonso Davies and Paris Saint-Germain star Jordyn Huitema have been barraged with vile racial abuse under an innocent holiday snap on Instagram, leading supporters and players to speak of their shock.
The photogenic pair were bombarded with racist comments under a shot they had shared of themselves posing on a boat in Ibiza, which 19-year-old Huitema affectionately described as a “baecation”.
Almost four months after the picture had first been posted, a targeted campaign of poisonous comments appeared based around the colour of Davies’s skin, variously calling the defender a “monkey”, an “animal” and trumpeting archaic slurs about his ancestry and suitability as a partner and potential father. Read more
Mikel Arteta blasts Granit Xhaka for ‘silly’ red card in Arsenal’s defeat to Burnley (Metro)
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was critical of Granit Xhaka after claiming the midfielder cost his side a victory against Burnley. The Gunners dominated for an hour before the Swiss international was sent off for grabbing Ashley Westwood by the throat. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed into his own net fifteen minutes later, consigning Arsenal to their fourth straight defeat at home in the Premier League. The defeat means Arsenal have just 13 points from their first 12 matches and Arteta couldn’t hide his anger at Xhaka after the defeat. Read more
Neymar carried off on stretcher in PSG loss (BBC)
Paris St-Germain forward Neymar was carried off on a stretcher with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury during his side’s defeat by Lyon.
The Brazilian was pictured screaming in agony and clutching his ankle after suffering the injury in stoppage time.
It followed a poor challenge from Thiago Mendes, who was sent off.
Tino Kadewere scored the only goal of the game as PSG dropped to third in the table, one point behind leaders Lille and second-placed Lyon.
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel said Neymar would have tests to establish how serious the injury was.
“He’s with the physio and the doctors and we have to wait for the tests tomorrow (Monday),” he told French broadcaster Telefoot. Read more
Bruno Fernandes backs Paul Pogba after midfielder reaffirms commitment to Manchester United (Metro)
Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has done his bit to calm the speculation over Paul Pogba’s immediate future by backing the midfielder on Instagram. The 27-year-old’s agent, Mino Raiola, confirmed earlier this week that the Frenchman’s time at Old Trafford is ‘over’ and that he wanted to exit the club in the January transfer window. Pogba was left out of the starting XI to face RB Leipzig just 24 hours after Raiola’s comments but he was a surprise starter in the draw against Manchester City, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claiming after the match that the Frenchman’s focus was on the club. Read more
Dele Alli eyes Tottenham exit (Nation)
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli is looking to leave the club when the January transfer window opens next month as he attempts to force his way back into the England squad ahead of the delayed European Championship next summer.
Dele has fallen completely out of favour under Spurs boss Jose Mourinho this season, failing to even make the bench for a Premier League game since early October, while he was an unused substitute in the Europa League dead rubber against Royal Antwerp on Thursday.
Mourinho said after the game he is aware that Dele is unhappy and wouldn’t expect anything different from someone who isn’t getting the chance to play. Read more
Frank Leboeuf blames ‘guilty’ Chelsea stars Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva for Everton goal (Metro)
Frank Leboeuf has blamed Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva for Everton’s goal in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park on Saturday. Blues goalkeeper Mendy clattered into Dominic Calvert-Lewin to give away a spot-kick in the first half, which Gylfi Sigurdsson duly converted. Despite hitting the woodwork on multiple occasions, Chelsea lacked any real cutting edge and failed to register a shot on target in the second half. Read more
Messi goal gives Barcelona narrow win (BBC)
Lionel Messi scored the only goal as Barcelona returned to winning ways with victory over struggling Levante.
Martin Braithwaite, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba and Antoine Griezmann all had chances but found keeper Aitor Fernandez in inspired form.
But there was little Fernandez could do when Messi struck from an angle after Frenkie de Jong’s assist.
Levante’s best chance fell to Jorge de Frutos, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen denied substitute Son right at the end.
Barca’s fifth league win lifts them two places up the La Liga table to eighth before Wednesday’s home match with leaders Real Sociedad (20:00 GMT).
Messi’s finish was greeted with relief by his team-mates after a bad week for Ronald Koeman’s side. Read more