Ukraine: Air Peace, Max Air confirm evacuation, to deploy Boeing 777-300, 747-400 (Sun)
Air Peace, Max Air has confirmed that they would depart the country on Wednesday night for the evacuation of Nigerians stranded abroad as a result of the war in Ukraine.
Both airlines were contracted by the Federal Government to carry out the evacuation and both operators would deploy their wide-bodied aircraft for the exercise.
Max Air would evacuate 560 Nigerians on Wednesday from Romania while Air Peace would convey 360 from Poland and Hungary.
The Chief Operating Officer of Air Peace, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide confirmed the readiness of Air Peace to carry out the evacuation.
The airline is expected to deploy its Boeing 777-300.
“Air Peace will leave this night to Bucharest and Warsaw to airlift Nigerians back to the country. They will land in Lagos. They are expected to arrive on Thursday,” Olajide said.
Max Air confirmed that it would depart Nigeria by 11 P.M on Wednesday with its Boeing 747-400 aircraft with capacity to airlift 560 passengers.
“We have our two Boeing 747 ready and serviceable to carry out the evacuation,” an official of the airline said. Read more
Lekki Deep Sea Port now at 81.14 per cent completion – ICRC (DailyTrust)
The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has said that the Lekki Deep Sea Port project is now over 80 per cent complete.
The Commission said the information in the public space claiming the facility is now at 83 per cent completion is incorrect.
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A statement signed by Manji Yarling, the Acting Head, Media & Publicity, ICRC indicated that the “breakdown of the completion status show that: dredging and reclamation is at 90.93 per cent, quay walls at 87.3 per cent, breakwater at 82.74 per cent and landside infrastructure at 70 per cent, bringing to a total of 81.14 per cent.”
“As regulators of all concession agreements entered into by the Federal Government of Nigeria, ICRC deems it imperative to clarify this information and present the correct figure,” it stated.
According to the statement, the concessionaire, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Ltd, is working round the clock to ensure the project is completed on schedule. The project is expected to be completed in September 2022 and become operational in December 2022. Read more
Why I featured Wizkid on V album, by Asa (Nation)
Soulful singer, Bukola Elemide aka Aṣa has disclosed why she collaborated with Grammy Award winner Wizkid on her fifth studio album V.
Asa made Wizkid’s wish come to reality after she collaborated with him on a unique track entitled, ‘IDG’ (I Don’t Go).
The 10-track also features highlife duo, The Cavemen on ‘Good Times’ and ‘All I Ever Wanted’ featuring Ghanaian star, Amaarae.
On why she chose to work with Wizkid, she said there was a friendship between her and the ‘Ojuelegba’ singer. Read more
ASUU strike will soon be truncated (Guardian)
The Federal Government on Wednesday in Abuja expressed the hope that the one-month warning strike embarked upon by ASUU on Feb. 14, would soon be truncated.
ASUU called its members out on the warning strike to compel the Federal Government to address their demands, some of which had been lingering since 2009.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, expressed the hope of truncation of the warning strike when he spoke with newsmen at the end of a conciliation meeting between the government and the union.
Ngige said the meeting agreed on many issues and a timeline was scheduled for the implementation of the agreements. Read more
NASS declares states’ power to collect VAT (Independent)
Following the back and forth on who is entitled to collect the Value Added Tax (VAT), the National Assembly on Tuesday finally rejected the Federal Government proposal seeking to shift the collection of VAT from the concurrent to the exclusive legislative list.
The legislative body has, however, effectively left the decision to the Supreme Court which is hearing the matter.
Daily Independent recalled that a Federal High Court had last year ruled that states had the powers to collect VAT. However, the Federal Government opposed the ruling and continued to collect VAT while it projected that it will collect N2.2tn in 2022 through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had also incorporated VAT collection in its Finance Act 2021 and included it in its 2022 budget, a move that put the government on a collision course with the Southern Governors’ Forum. Read more
Mother, 3 kids burnt to death in Ebonyi (Nation)
A mother Chigozie Onuobu and her 3 children were burnt to death in a fire incident in Ebonyi State.
The incident occured in Aguabata Echara in Ikwo local government area.
It was gathered the incident occurred on Tuesday night while they were sleeping in their thatch house.
A family member, Samuel Okoro and a relative of the woman, confirmed the incident. Read more
Akwa Ibom 2023: Udom’s chosen successor Eno gets more endorsements (Sun)
Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel chosen successor, Pastor Umo Eno, continues to gain endorsements from critical stakeholders in the state ahead of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries.
The flurry of endorsements is coming on the heels of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s announcement of Pastor Eno, the States Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, as his preferred successor, a declaration that stakeholders insist was a masterstroke that had saved the state the stress and distraction of the internal wrangling associated with party primaries contestation for the governorship seat.
The Akwa-Ibom State Executive Council had on February 15 unanimously endorsed Eno as Governor Emmanuel’s successor, followed by the entire 26 members of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, which on Wednesday, February 16, also unanimously adopted Eno as the candidate of the PDP that will be elected as the next governor of the state.
The coast became clearer for Eno ahead of PDP governorship primaries, as statutory delegates, particularly those from Ikot-Ekpene, the political hub of the state, have also adopted him. That was followed by his unanimous endorsement by delegates from Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika at a mega meeting in Abak on February 20. Read more
Qatari, Nigerian manufacturers to strengthen economic cooperation (ThisDay)
Qatari manufacturers and their Nigerian counterparts will brainstorm on ways to strengthen economic cooperation between their countries with match-making events scheduled for Lagos and Abuja in the face of increasing diplomatic ties.
The Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Nigeria Dr. Ali Ghanem Al-Hajri, made this known in a statement made available to journalists on Tuesday, stressing that the event organized by the Qatar Development Bank, will take place between Wednesday and Thursday in Lagos.
He said the event is aimed at “bringing together leading manufacturers from Qatar with their counterparts in Nigeria for the purpose of setting the foundation for a strong economic cooperation between Qatar and Nigeria.”
He disclosed that the Lagos event would be followed by an economic forum between stakeholders from both countries on Friday in Abuja. Read more
KOL sets campaign tour in motion (Sun)
A presidential aspirant in 2023, Khadijah Okunnu-Lamidi (KOL), has set in motion her campaign tour across the country with her visit to the traditional Queen Mother of Lagos, the Erelu Kuti of Lagos, Omoba Abiola Dosunmu.
Her courtesy visit to the Victoria Island home of the Erelu Kuti of Lagos last week marked the beginning of her consultation with notable traditional rulers across the country ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
The queen mother who admired the young aspirant’s courage and passion to alleviate the sufferings of the Nigerian prayed for her and her campaign team even as she told her that power comes only from the Almighty God.
‘This is more than just the audacity of hope; it is the audacity of audacity. This gives me joy because it shows that there are courageous young women out there who are willing and able to answer the call to duty for the country,’ the Queen Mother stated. Read more
How influx of foreign fighters contribute to insecurity in Nigeria (NewTelegraph)
How the influx of foreign fighters into the Nigerian shores, otherwise called mercenaries, continued to contribute to insecurity in Nigeria was among the discussions that recently held participants spellbound at Ikeja, Lagos State. This discussion topped the agenda during an event tagged; Focus Group Discussion on the Barriers and Bridges to Accountability in the Defence and Security Sector in Nigeria.
The event was organised by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in collaboration with Transparency International-Defence and Security. According to CISLAC, due to insecurity in Nigeria, at least over 2,334 people lost their lives in 2021.
The organisation also mentioned that the year 2021 observed over 935 attacks, expressing fear that the number might increase in 2022 if the Federal Government and relevant security agencies do not take proactive measures. The Programme Manager, Defence and Security, CISLAC, Mr. Salaudeen Hashim, speaking on the impact of importing foreign fighters into Nigeria, said: “Let’s highlight the influx of foreign fighters into the country; these aliens are not properly controlled, and inability to control them has continued to threaten the security architectural system. Our borders are very porous and yes, we have 2000 square kilometres of areas that are not properly policed. Read more
Brad Pitt delivers an assassins-on-a-train thrill ride in the new Bullet Train trailer (EW)
Five assassins board the same high-speed train in Japan. What could go wrong?
The first Bullet Train trailer has left the station, boasting Brad Pitt as one of those baddies in what looks to be a wild ride.
The upcoming flick is adapted from an international best-selling thriller. Japanese author Kotaro Isaka wrote the original novel Maria Beetle, which has since been translated into English as Bullet Train. The story follows assassins Kimura, the Prince, Ladybug, and lethal duo Tangerine and Lemon as they hop a train from Tokyo to Morioka. While it may seem like each is there for different reasons, they soon realize their missions have more in common than they thought.
Filmmaker David Leitch — known for directing impressive stunt pieces like John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw — brings his action sensibilities to the material with an impressive cast, including Joey King, Andrew Koji, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Sandra Bullock, Hiroyuki Sanada, Zazie Beetz, Michael Shannon, Logan Lerman, and Benito A Martínez Ocasio. (Lady Gaga was once in talks to join the lineup, but she eventually departed the project.) Read more
Kanye West fires another divorce attorney ahead of court hearing against Kim (PageSix)
Kanye West has reportedly fired another divorce attorney ahead of a Wednesday hearing against Kim Kardashian.
Kanye West has reportedly fired another divorce attorney ahead of a Wednesday hearing against Kim Kardashian.Raymond Hall
Another one bites the dust.
Kanye West is now onto his fourth divorce attorney, as he’s reportedly fired lawyer Chris Melcher ahead of his Wednesday court hearing against estranged wife Kim Kardashian.
According to TMZ, West, 44, let go of Melcher after their relationship “had become extremely difficult, with little communication.”
Sources told the outlet that West kept changing his mind on whether he wanted to settle things amicably with Kardashian, 41, or put up a fight – much like he did when he objected to her initial divorce demands.
West will instead be repped by attorney Samantha Spector, who recently represented Nicole Young in her divorce from producer Dr. Dre, TMZ reports. Read more
Lin-Manuel Miranda says he’s ‘passed down his love for music’ to his sons: ‘They make up songs’ (People)
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical genes have been passed down to his kids.
The 42-year-old actor and composer appears on Wednesday’s new episode of ABC’s Close Up podcast, where he speaks with host Kelley Carter about his children, sons Sebastian, 7, and Francisco, 4, whom he shares with wife Vanessa Nadal.
During the show, Miranda — who’s behind hit songs from Hamilton and In the Heights — explains that his inspiration typically comes from his children, and he’s actually passed down his love for music to his boys.
“I have two incredibly smart and brilliant and creative kids who — and who knows if they would be doing this if I didn’t do what I do for a living — but they make up songs,” he tells Carter. Read more
Dua Lipa sued for copyright infringement by reggae band over hit song “Levitating” (Independent)
Dua Lipa is being sued for copyright infringement by a Florida-based reggae band Artikal Sound System, for allegedly stealing her hit song “Levitating” from their 2017 track “Live Your Life.”
In the lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles court, the band reportedly claims that the English singer’s hit song, which spent 68 weeks on Billboard Hot 100 chart, was taken from their lesser-known track.
According to Billboard, the complaint was “very short” and didn’t contain details as to exactly how Lipa had stolen the South Florida band’s song. The lawsuit alleged that “Levitating” and “Live Your Life” were so similar that it was “highly unlikely” for Lipa’s song to be “created independently”.
The lawsuit also claims that the singer had “access” to Artikal Sound System’s song before she created “Levitating”. Read more
Nick Cave, Warren Ellis film This Much I Know to Be True sets release date (Variety)
Following its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, Trafalgar released a May worldwide cinema release for Andrew Dominik’s This Much I Know to Be True.
Shot on location in London and Brighton, the film captures the creative relationship of revered musicians Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ as they bring to life the songs from their last two studio albums, “Ghosteen” (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds) and “Carnage” (Nick Cave & Warren Ellis). The film serves as a document of their first ever performances of these albums, filmed in spring 2021 ahead of their U.K. tour, as the two musicians, accompanied by singers and string quartet, nurture each song into existence. The film also features a special appearance by their close friend and long-term collaborator, Marianne Faithfull.
The deep friendship and personal relationship between Nick Cave and Warren Ellis was glimpsed in Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s 2014 Cave docu-drama “20,000 Days on Earth.” “This Much I Know to Be True” also serves as a companion piece to Dominik’s 2016 Cave-Ellis documentary “One More Time with Feeling.”
Marc Allenby, CEO of Trafalgar Releasing, said: “We’re honored to be working on ‘This Much I Know To Be True,’ our fifth cinema release with Nick Cave and his team, and our second with Andrew Dominik following ‘One More Time with Feeling.’ The relationship between Nick and Warren has been such a compelling element of their longstanding musical collaboration, and Andrew’s film has flawlessly captured this.” Read more
Melinda Gates says trust was ‘broken’ before divorce from Bill (NYPost)
Melinda French Gates said trust was “broken” during her ill-fated marriage to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, eventually leading to their bombshell divorce.
Gates reflected on her “journey of healing” following her painful and high-profile divorce from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in an exclusive interview with “CBS Mornings” anchor Gayle King.
Melinda and Bill were married for 27 years before announcing their split last May. French Gates told King that she shed “a lot of tears for many days,” and recalled lying on the carpet thinking, “How can this be? How can I get up? How am I going to move forward?”
She said that there were days when she was angry following the split. “That’s part of the grieving process,” she said. “You’re grieving a loss of something you thought you had and thought you had for your lifetime.” Read more
Skydance, Religion of Sports ink wide-ranging content deal (THR)
Religion of Sports — the production company founded by former NFL quarterback Tom Brady, Good Morning America co-anchor Michael Strahan and filmmaker Gotham Chopra — and Skydance Sports, the sports content division of Skydance Media, have signed a content deal covering scripted television, documentaries and podcasts.
The first scripted project in development (and the first scripted project ever for Religion of Sports) is The Owl, a “rags-to-riches story about an orphaned, American-born boxer with Mexican lineage who travels across the border to locate his family and is thrust into the world of Mexican boxing,” per its logline.
The companies are also pursuing sports-themed intellectual property that can develop into a number of formats, including live events and video games.
Religion of Sports was founded by Brady, Strahan and Chopra in 2017 with a focus on sports and sports-adjacent unscripted content. It launched its scripted division last year. Skydance, meanwhile, entered the sports content space last year, tapping executive Jon Weinbach to lead the division. Read more
Pillars, Lobi Stars to test Rivers, Plateau United title credentials (DailyTrust)
Title credentials of table-topping Rivers United and Plateau United will face stern tests Wednesday afternoon as they face Kano Pillars and Lobi Stars respectively in week 16 of the 2022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
Rivers United who face Kano Pillars at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna must avoid defeat if they are to stay ahead of Plateau United who are waiting for any slip from them.
If they lose to Pillars and Plateau United maintain their unbeaten run at Lobi Stars, then the top of the table will automatically change.
However, if both Rivers United and Plateau United suffer losses or draw on the road, the top of the table will remain unchanged even if Remo Stars pick the maximum points at Enyimba. Read more
Mikel Arteta labelled one of “world’s best” as Pep Guardiola trait shines through (Mirror)
Mikel Arteta has been hailed as one of the “best coaches in the world” by Arsenal defender Pablo Mari as he continues to apply the knowledge he gleaned under Pep Guardiola.
Arteta, 39, served as Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City for three-and-a-half years after hanging up his boots in 2016.
The Basque Country native helped City win two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the EFL Cup twice before embarking on his own managerial career in December 2019, when he replaced Unai Emery at the Emirates.
Arteta led Arsenal to FA Cup glory within eight months of his appointment while this season the Gunners are well-positioned to secure Champions League qualification for the first time since 2016. Read more
I will retire after Whyte heavyweight title fight -Tyson Fury (Punch)
Tyson Fury says he will retire after next month’s defence of his WBC title against fellow British heavyweight Dillian Whyte in London, stating he has “nothing to prove”.
The unbeaten two-time world champion was expected to face the winner of Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, the holder of the WBA, IBF and WBO belts, in a unification bout should he beat Whyte.
But after Tuesday’s news conference to promote the fight on April 23 at Wembley Stadium, Fury, who has hinted at walking away from boxing before, said he would be “fully retired after the fight”.
“What I want to do after boxing is chill on a beach, drink pina coladas, drive Ferraris and live on boats and that’s it,” said the 33-year-old. “That’s what I’ll do.” Read more
Mario Balotelli names Ballon d’Or and Sergio Aguero regrets from Man City career (MEN)
Mario Balotelli believes he would have won a Ballon d’Or if he had stayed at Manchester City longer than his three year spell between 2010 and 2013.
Balotelli made headlines on and off the pitch during his three year spell at the Etihad, scoring 20 goals in 54 appearances before leaving for AC Milan at the end of the 2012/13 season.
After Balotelli left City, manager Roberto Mancini said the striker was ‘like another one of my children’ and that the Italian could go on to become one of the best players in the world.
However, Balotelli only lasted a season at the San Siro before joining Liverpool for an ill-fated spell, with a loan back to Milan, and permanent moves to Nice, Marseille, Brescia, Monza and now Adana Demirspor. Read more
Max Verstappen to sign long-term deal with Red Bull (RTE)
Max Verstappen is expected to sign a new deal with Red Bull which will land him one of the biggest pay days in Formula One history.
It is understood the world champion’s contract extension, which could be announced as early as Thursday, is worth as much as £40million a season.
The Dutchman’s bumper salary hike matches Lewis Hamilton’s £80m two-year Mercedes deal which expires at the end of next year.
Verstappen, 24, has been rewarded for beating Hamilton to the world title last year – and it is anticipated his new terms will see him remain a Red Bull driver for at least five more seasons. Read more
Tiger Woods beats Phil Mickelson to land $8m bonus and top PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program (Independent)
Tiger Woods beat out Phil Mickelson to top the PGA Tour’s inaugural Player Impact Program and secure the highest bonus of $8 million (£6m) for the 2021 season.
That is despite Woods only playing in one tournament last year, finishing second with his son Charlie at the PNC Championship in December, after recovering from injuries suffered in the severe car crash.
Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau rounded out the top five, all collecting an extra $3.5m (£2.6m), while the world No 1 player Jon Rahm was just ninth in the standings.
The Tour devised a method to reward the most attractive players to the fans and their levels of fan engagement last year. Read more
Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2 in serious doubt after Ukrainian confession (GiveMeSport)
Oleksandr Usyk has indicated that he doesn’t know when he will box again, throwing the Anthony Joshua rematch into doubt, as he defends his country from the Russian invasion.
The pair fought each other on September 25, 2021, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where the Ukrainian came out victorious on points.
Because of that victory, Usyk is now the current WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight champion.
The rematch was reportedly considered to take place in May, but no official date had been confirmed. Read more