Third Mainland Bridge will be totally reopened “this weekend’’ – Fashola (Guardian)
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said on Thursday that the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos undergoing repairs would be totally reopened to traffic ‘’this weekend’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fashola, who gave the assurance during a radio phone-in programme, did not specify which day of the weekend to expect the reopening.
“I can tell you now that this weekend, it will be opened definitely; my directors are still in Lagos; the major works have now been finished, so let me say that again by way of information.
“Definitely this weekend it will be reopened. I will announce the date toward Friday and the reason why I am holding back the exact date is that we are the government. Read more
Truck driver drowns in Lagos lagoon (DailyTrust)
A truck driver, simply identified as Akeem, drowned yesterday after his truck plunged into the lagoon.
Akeem, who was returning two empty containers to a barging site in Apapa, was said to be in the truck when it rolled off the barge and plunged into the lagoon, trapping him in the process.
Before the unfortunate incident, the deceased was said to have queried the position of things at the jetty, but was asked to proceed by officials of the private jetty.
“The truck rolled backwards and plunged into the water while the driver was trying to position it. He tried to jump out but it was too late for him to do so as he and the truck fell into the water. Read more
Driver who knocked down policeman in viral video in custody (Guardian)
The Police Command, Lagos State has arrested one Sunday Okodo, 38, of Alose close, Bony crescent, Apapa, who knocked down a police officer from the bridge while resisting arrest.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi made the disclosure in a statement signed in Lagos on Thursday.
Adejobi said that Okodo knocked down Insp. David Zapania in an attempt to escape while he was stopped for driving against traffic along International Airport road.
“Some LASTMA (Lagos State Transport Management Authority) personnel, backed up by the police on enforcement duty on Wednesday contravened a Toyota Highlander SUV, driving against the traffic along International Airport road. Read more
Mixed reactions as driver tips Lagos policeman over bridge (Punch)
Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions over the tipping of a police inspector, David Zapania, over a bridge by a yet-to-identified driver in Lagos State.
In a video that surfaced online, the driver was seen evading arrest by officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority.
The PUNCH gathered that the policeman, who fell into a canal, was injured and has been hospitalised.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Lagos State on New Media, Jubril Gawat, the police officer broke an arm and in critical condition. Read more
Police avert ethnic clash as two labourers die in Lagos well (Nation)
Operatives of the Lagos Police Command on Tuesday prevented an ethnic fight in Ijesha following the death of two labourers identified as Abdullah, 38, and Ahmed Ibrahim, 36.
It was gathered that the duo died inside a dry well at 10, Babatunde Street, while evaluating the well.
Their death which occurred around 4pm was said to have enraged their northern brothers scores of whom stormed the compound in an attempt to raze it.
They were however resisted by Yoruba youths in the neighbourhood who barricaded the storey building and threatened showdown with the invaders. Read more
LASTMA investigates extortion allegation against officers by drivers (DailyTrust)
The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has commenced an investigation into cases of extortion levelled against its personnel on traffic duty by drivers and other road users. The investigation follows a video of officials of LASTMA collecting N11, 300 at Agege which had gone viral on social media.
General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Olajide Oduyoye, promised that those found to have been involved in the extortion of the victim would be dealt with according to the state criminal laws.
Oduyoye disclosed that the agency has commenced investigation into extortion claims contained in a viral post on Facebook by a Lagos motorist accusing some LASTMA officials of extorting N11,300 from him at one of the zonal commands in Agege.
Oduyoye gave assurance that the photographic evidence provided by the complainant would be scrutinised and any officer found culpable would be made to face the consequences under the extant rules of the State Civil Service as specified. Read more
Tears as Abuja air crash victims are buried (DailyTrust)
Seven personnel of Nigerian Air Force who lost their lives in Sunday’s plane crash have been laid to rest.
They were buried at the National Military Cemetery, Lugbe, Airport Road, in the Federal Capital Territory, on Thursday morning.
Family members and friends of the deceased officers, including serving female military personnel, broke down in tears during the funeral.
The victims are the Captain, Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama; Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot); Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System Specialist) and Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist). Read more
Court refuses to grant ex-pension boss Maina bail (Punch)
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, refused to grant a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Taskforce Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, bail.
Delivering a ruling, Justice Okon Abang, held that Maina’s application for bail lacked merit.
Justice Abang said though it was at the court’s discretion to grant bail, the ex-pension reformed boss did not deserve bail after jumping the first bail.
The judge said that Maina did not place sufficient materials before the court to convince the court that he deserves the second bail. Read more
Admiral Aikhomu dies from ‘COVID’ complications (Nation)
Former Chief of Naval Administration Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu (rtd) is dead, The Nation has learnt.
Aikhomu, 65, passed on Thursday morning in Abuja allegedly from COVID-19 complications.
The deceased who was younger brother to former military Vice President, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu (rtd), was until his death, chairman of Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS), a company his late brother founded with businessman Captain Hosa Okunbo.
Aikhomu was also a member of the investigative panel on arms procurement between 2007 and 2015 which was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari during his first tenure. Read more
Johnson and Johnson vaccine: FDA finds the single-shot jab safe (BBC)
US regulators have found the single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective.
It paves the way for it to become the third Covid-19 vaccine to be authorised in the US, possibly within days.
The vaccine would be a cost-effective alternative to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and can be stored in a refrigerator instead of a freezer.
Trials found it prevented serious illness but was 66% effective overall when moderate cases were included. Read more
How to reframe exercise as fun, not a punishment (Metro)
‘As long as you frame exercise as punishment, you will always be fighting a losing battle to make lasting changes,’ says Luke Worthington, a qualified personal trainer, sports scientist and strength and conditioning specialist. ‘Humans were hunter-gatherers who had to run, climb and forage for food -eating was a reward for movement. ‘Now food is so plentiful we have started to see exercise as something to be done to burn off any excess we have consumed. It’s now seen as a punishment for food. ‘This negative framing of exercise can be seen as early as school years, with laps as punishment for talking in PE class, and travels through to adulthood with fitness studios talking about “smashing” clients and advertising “hell week”. Read more
Gwyneth Paltrow ripped by health official for new-age advice to treat COVID (PageSix)
Gwyneth Paltrow is being ripped by British health officials for pushing unscientific claims that “long COVID” can be treated by fasting, taking regular infrared saunas and eating lots of kimchi.
The 48-year-old actress recently touted her new-age advice on her site Goop after revealing she caught COVID-19 “early on” and was left with “long-tail fatigue and brain fog.”
She said a “functional medicine practitioner” put her on a “keto and plant-based” diet with kimchi and kombucha — and fasting until at least 11 am. each day.
Professor Stephen Powis, the national medical director of England’s National Health Service, slammed the Oscar winner, saying influencers have a “duty of responsibility” to share real science. Read more
Salafist group outlawed in Berlin (DW)
Authorities in the German capital have announced a ban on the radical Islamist group Jama’atu Berlin following a series of dawn raids.
Berlin’s Senate has announced on Twitter that it has banned the “jihadist-Salafist association Jama’atu Berlin,” also known as Tauhid Berlin.
The tweet Thursday said police in Berlin and Brandenburg had carried out early-morning searches of properties belonging to the group’s members.
A spokesman cited by the German press agency dpa said around 800 police — including special operations commandos — took part in the raids, which targeted the districts of Reinickendorf, Moabit, Wedding and Neukölln. No arrests were immediately reported. Read more
NASA releases new high-definition photos from Mars (NYPost)
NASA released new images on Wednesday showing a gorgeous panorama of Mars taken by its newly-landed Perseverance rover.
The rover’s Mastcam-Z camera system took 142 images upon landing on the Red Planet on Sunday.
The first high-definition photos of the planet show the rim of Jezero Crater, a prehistoric lake that’s believed to have had water and life billions of years ago.
“It’s glorious, it’s dusty, and we love it! This high-definition panoramic image from NASA Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z reveals the rim of Jezero Crater and cliff face of an ancient river delta in the distance,” NASA wrote on Instagram. Read more
India, Pakistan agree to stop firing at Kashmir border (DW)
Pakistan and India have pledged to end all firing along their disputed Kashmir frontier. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been at the center of a dispute between the two countries for more than 70 years.
Military leaders in India and Pakistan have announced an agreement to stop cross-border firing on the disputed Line of Control in Kashmir.
Exchange of gunfire has become more prevalent in recent months and the military operational heads of the two countries spoke by phone on Thursday, seeking to calm the situation.
The pair agreed to discuss each other’s concerns, a joint statement from the military leaders said. Read more
China’s Xi declares victory in ending extreme poverty (BBC)
Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country has achieved the “miracle” of eradicating extreme poverty.
His government says that over an eight-year period, nearly 100 million people have been lifted out of poverty.
Speaking at a ceremony in Beijing, Mr Xi said it was a “complete victory” that would “go down in history”.
But some experts have questioned the way this has been measured. In China, extreme poverty is defined as earning less than $620 (£440) a year. Read more
Caster Semenya takes appeal to European court over testosterone levels in female runners (BBC)
Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against the restriction of testosterone levels in female runners.
Semenya is not allowed to compete in events between 400m and a mile without taking testosterone-reducing drugs, following a 2019 rule change by governing body World Athletics.
The 30-year-old South African lost an appeal to Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court in September but still harbours hopes of defending her Olympic title in Tokyo this year.
“All we ask is to be allowed to run free, for once and for all, as the strong and fearless women we are and have always been,” she said. Read more
CAF presidency candidate Motsepe vows to make Africa global force (Guardian)
Confederation of African Football (CAF) presidency candidate and South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe vowed Thursday in Johannesburg to unite and develop football on the continent to global competitive levels.
One of four candidates for the post, the owner of 2016 African champions Mamelodi Sundowns unveiled a 10-point manifesto at a plush convention centre ahead of the March 12 elections in Morocco.
“I am going to at all times make a humble contribution to use sport to unite all Africans,” Motsepe told a press conference. Read more
Virat Kohli and Joe Root speak out after India’s dramatic victory over England in third Test (Metro)
Virat Kohli criticised the batting on display and Joe Root bemoaned England’s first-innings collapse after India beat the tourists by ten wickets inside two days in the third Test in Ahmedabad. On a remarkable day of Test cricket in which 17 wickets fell in two sessions, India completed the quickest Test win since 1935 to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series. England began the day with a thrilling fightback with the ball as India slipped from 99-3 to 145 all out, captain Joe Root claiming figures of 5-8 from 6.2 overs. But India’s first-innings lead of 33 proved significant, with England losing three wickets before reaching parity and then being skittled out for 81, setting the hosts just 49 to win. Read more
Kenya’s Johanna Omolo: African footballers should stay in Africa (DW)
Many children in Africa dream of making a career as a football player in Europe. Having realised that dream, Kenyan international Johanna Omolo setup a foundation to help kids back home with life on and off the pitch.
To this day, the words “nothing good comes out of Dandora” ring in Johanna Omolo’s ears. The outlying district of Nairobi is where the Kenyan international grew up. It is also home to Kenya’s largest dump.
“I lived pretty close to the dump, walking distance, three minutes. So, it was really, really close. And the stench, it’s unbearable,” Omolo told DW. “We played football just next to it. We used plastic bags from the garbage to make a football.”
Some of his friends would also scour the dump to find recyclable items to resell. Some joined gangs to feed their families, though dozens died in gang wars. Read more
Los Angeles Lakers lose fourth game in a row after defeat to the Utah Jazz (BBC)
Defending NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers suffered their fourth straight defeat on Wednesday, beaten 114-89 by the Utah Jazz.
Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points in Salt Lake City as Utah recorded a 22nd win in 24 games.
LeBron James hit 19 points for the Lakers but had little support as they suffered a fifth defeat in six games.
Meanwhile, Utah have had their best start to an NBA season, winning 26 of their opening 32 games. Read more
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker’s father drowns in Brazil aged 57 (Metro)Jose Becker, the father of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, has died aged just 57 after drowning in a lake in southern Brazil on Wednesday. After going swimming at a dam at his holiday home near Rencao de Inferno, Jose was declared missing at around 5pm local time. ESPN report that the Cacapava do Sul Fire Department assisted in the search and that just before midnight the body was found, with no foul play suspected. Brazilian club Internacional, who both Alisson and his older brother Muriel played for, tweeted their condolences after the news was confirmed. Read more