Yuletide: FRSC assures of free traffic flow along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway (Guardian)
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Thursday assured commuters and transporters that it would sustain the current free flow of traffic along the Ogun axis of the Lagos/Ibadan expressway.
The Ogun Sector Commander of the corps, Mr Ahmed Umar, gave the assurance in Abeokuta in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Umar, who said there had been substantial and noticeable improvement in the traffic situation along the Ogun corridor of the expressway, pledged that the FRSC would sustain this.
He attributed the development to the recently inaugurated “Operation Zero Road Crashes” across the country by the corps. Read more
Cross-over Services: Respect 12 am to 4 am curfew, Sanwo-Olu tells Lagosians (Punch)
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged Lagosians to respect the 12am to 4am curfew imposed by the Federal Government as Crossover Services hold in various churches on December 31, 2020.
He also urged religious leaders to ensure their followers observe the protocols put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus as the country battles the second wave of the pandemic.
The governor made this known on Thursday while responding to questions from journalists at the State House in Marina, Lagos. Read more
Buhari cancels Christmas homage to Aso Rock (Guardian)
President Muhammadu Buhari will not be hosting the usual Christmas homage by religious and community leaders in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Thursday, President Buhato explained that the decision is in line with the prevailing protocol put in place by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, restricting large gatherings.
Buhari urged all citizens to observe prescribed protocols – observe social distancing, use face masks, wash hands frequently and avoid overcrowding of public spaces, markets, shopping centres, offices and places of worship. Read more
CACOVID Rice: Osun takes delivery of 40,332 bags, begins immediate distribution (Tribune)
Osun State government has commenced with the immediate distribution of the rice component of Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) donated to the State.
The state Coordinator of CACOVID Monitoring and Evaluation Team, Mr Ademola Adebisi, who made this known, stated that the bags of rice was delivered to the state government officials at the State Secretariat, Abere.
He said the distribution of the rice followed the delivery of the much expected 40,332 of 10kg bags of rice component of CACOVID palliatives aimed at cushioning the adverse effects of the dreaded global Coronavirus pandemic. Read more
New coronavirus variant appears to emerge in Nigeria, Africa CDC says (CBC)
Another new variant of the coronavirus appears to have emerged in Nigeria, Africa’s top public health official said Thursday, but he added that further investigation was needed.
The discovery could add to new alarm in the pandemic after similar variants were announced in Britain and South Africa, leading to the swift return of international travel restrictions and other measures just as the world enters a major holiday season.
“It’s a separate lineage from the UK and South Africa,” the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, told reporters. He said the Nigeria CDC and the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in that country — Africa’s most populous — will be analyzing more samples. Read more
Buhari commissions new Air Force helicopter, says govt committed to confronting insurgency (Thisday)
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja said his administration would “remain unyielding in confronting the Boko Haram insurgency as well as other forms of criminality that have bedevilled our country.”
The president spoke at the induction and commissioning ceremony on the newly acquired NAF MI-171E helicopter and two reactivated alpha jets and one L39ZA aircraft, all belonging to the Nigerian Air Force.
Presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, quoted Buhari as saying, “On our part, we will continue to support you in any way we can to help you become more effective in the execution of your mandate for the safety and security of our country.” Read more
NAF to receive fighter aircraft in 2021 (Guardian)
The Chief of Air Staff Air, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, says the Nigeria Air Force will receive a new A-29 Super Tucano fighter aircraft in 2021 to strengthen defence.
Abubakar said this during the inauguration of officers accommodation and a 1.3-kilometre road at NAF Base in Kainji Niger.
“Some time ago, I was here to commission one of the three Alpha Jet Aircraft programmed for Periodic Depot Maintenance and the rehabilitated 2.8-kilometre road infrastructure in this base. Read more
IGP in Katsina, vows to rid area of banditry, criminality (Sun)
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu Abubakar, has vowed not to allow a repeat of the recent abduction of schoolboys in Katsina.
The IGP also promised to rid the area of festering attack by hoodlums suspected to be bandits.
He spoke during the opening of a meeting with police officers and relevant stakeholders convened to evolve new strategies to secure Katsina State from activities of bandits and kidnappers.
The meeting is holding barely one week after the 344 students of Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kankara, Katsina State, kidnapped on December 11, were rescued. Read more
Varsity workers kick as ASUU suspends strike (Nation)
Wednesday’s suspension of the protracted strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) might not restore industrial harmony in public varsities after all.
Three other unions of non-academic members of staff have rejected the sharing formula adopted for the N40 billion approved by the Federal Government as Earned Academic Allowance (EAA).
The unions are – the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, (SSANU); Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
They accused the government of allocating about 75 per cent of the N40 billion EAA to ASUU, leaving the three other unions with only 25 per cent to share among their members. Read more
Taraji P. Henson contemplated suicide during the pandemic (PageSix)
Taraji P. Henson has revealed that she contemplated suicide during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Oscar nominee — who has been open in the past about her struggles with depression and anxiety — described the harrowing “dark moment” she experienced in recent months.
“For a couple of days, I couldn’t get out of the bed, I didn’t care. That’s not me. Then, I started having thoughts about ending it,” she said during her Facebook Watch series, “Peace of Mind with Taraji,”
The “Empire” star, 50, said these thoughts occurred “two nights in a row, and noted that she owns a gun, which she keeps in a safe. Read more
Ed Sheeran making it rain as he ‘earns £70m in one year’ during break from music (Metro)
Ed Sheeran has probably lost count of the amount of zeros in his bank account as the singer has reportedly earned a staggering £70 million in one year. The Shape Of You hitmaker’s touring firm, Nathan Cable Touring, filed documents with Companies House showing that it netted £70.4 million in the year ending March 31, 2020. According to The Sun, the company reported a turnover of over £70 million and profits of £37 million, which amoun. Read more
UK, EU agree post-Brexit trade deal (CBC)
Negotiators from the European Union and Britain worked through the night and right into Christmas Eve to put the finishing touches on a trade deal that should avert a chaotic economic break between the two sides on New Year’s Day.
After resolving the remaining fair-competition and almost all fisheries issues on Wednesday, negotiators combed through hundreds of pages of legal text that should become the blueprint for a post-Brexit relationship.
As during much of the nine-month negotiations, the issue of EU fleets in British waters proved the most intractable and divisive, with negotiators still haggling over quotas for some individual species as dawn came. Read more
Portugal outrage after Spanish hunters massacre 500 wild animals (BBC)
Portuguese officials have expressed outrage at the massacre of more than 500 deer and wild boar in a hunting zone in the centre of the country.
Environment Minister João Fernandes said the killing by 16 Spanish hunters was “vile” and an “environmental crime” that should be prosecuted.
Pictures of the slaughter were shared on social media.
Hunting individual animals is allowed but in this incident most of the zone’s deer population are said to have died. Read more
Dominion election systems worker sues Trump campaign, conservative media for defamation (CBC)
An election systems worker driven into hiding by death threats has filed a defamation lawsuit against U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign, two of its lawyers and some conservative media figures and outlets.
Eric Coomer, security director at the Colorado-based Dominion Voting Systems, said he wants his life back after being named in false charges as a key actor in “rigging” the election for president-elect Joe Biden. There has been no evidence that the election was rigged.
His lawsuit, filed Tuesday in district court in Denver County, Col., names the Trump campaign, lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, the website Gateway Pundit, Colorado conservative activist Joseph Oltmann, and conservative media Newsmax and One America News Network. Read more
Nuro set to be California’s first driverless delivery service (BBC)
California has given the go-ahead for a commercial driverless delivery service for the first time.
Robotics start-up Nuro plans to start its driverless delivery operations as early as next year.
It previously tested its R2 vehicles in the state in April, but the permit will let it charge people for its service.
The firm’s vehicles will be limited to 35mph (56km/h), and will be restricted to operating in “fair weather” conditions. Read more
OnePlus will release its first smartwatch in ‘early 2021’ (Metro)
OnePlus phones have been fan favourites for many years, but now the Chinese brand is targeting the smartwatch space. Pete Lau, the CEO of OnePlus, admitted so in a tweet – saying the device will arrive ‘early next year’. The actual details on the watch are pretty thin on the ground. We don’t know what OS it will run or what the specs will be like. Read more
Jurgen Klopp provides Liverpool injury update, rules Thiago out of West Brom clash (Metro)
Liverpool summer signing Thiago has been ruled out of the Reds’ upcoming Premier League clash against West Brom but Jurgen Klopp has confirmed James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri could feature. Thiago has not played for Liverpool since October 17, when he suffered an injury during the Merseyside derby draw with Everton. The Spanish midfielder excited fans by returning to training this week but Klopp says he is still working his way up to full fitness and will miss Sunday’s match against West Brom. Read more
Abraham brings a lot to Chelsea, says Lampard (Guardian)
Tammy Abraham brings a lot to Chelsea but he still needs to carry on working to make further progress said the Premier League club’s manager Frank Lampard.
The 23-year-old became Chelsea’s second-youngest player to hit 20 Premier League goals, behind Belgian star Eden Hazard, with a double in Monday’s 3-0 victory over West Ham.
It was his first double since September 2019.
His goals — taking him to five for the campaign in what was his first start for a month — took his tally to 20 goals in 47 Premier League appearances. Read more
Enyimba walk tightrope, lose 0-3 to Al Merreikh in Sudan (Guardian)
Enyimba of Aba got a rude awakening in Omdurman, Sudan, where Al Merreikh hit them three times to jeorpadise their chances of making it to the group stage of the CAF Champions League.
Although there is still the second leg to be played in Aba, what promised to be a good season in Africa’s elite club competition has now become a difficult task for the 2003, 2004 Champions League winners.
To make the group stage, Enyimba must win by at least 4-0. Anything else will see them dropping into the less glamorous Confederation Cup. Read more
Paris St-Germain: Mauricio Pochettino main contender to replace Thomas Tuchel (BBC)
Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is the main contender to take over at Paris St-Germain after Thomas Tuchel was sacked.
It is understood PSG’s players have been told that the Argentine, 48, will be joining the club.
Talks between PSG and Pochettino started at least two weeks ago.
Earlier, BBC Sport’s Simon Stone reported that Tuchel, 47, was sacked hours after he took charge of Wednesday’s 4-0 win against Strasbourg.
The French club are yet to confirm the German’s dismissal.
Tuchel became the Ligue 1 side’s boss in June 2018, winning two league titles, the French Cup and French League Cup. Read more
Arsenal provide update on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Thomas Partey and Gabriel Martinelli (Metro)
Arsenal have provided a positive update on the fitness of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Thomas Partey and Gabriel Martinelli in the lead-up to the side’s Boxing Day clash with Chelsea. The Gunners have had a torrid start to the season – suffering eight defeats in their opening 14 games in the Premier League – and their injury concerns haven’t helped the situation, with Mikel Arteta under intense scrutiny ahead of a busy winter schedule. Club captain Aubameyang has badly struggled in front of goal and the striker’s frustrations continued this month as a calf injury meant he missed Arsenal’s last two matches with Everton and Manchester City. Read more
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp plays down concerns over Mohamed Salah (BBC)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has played down speculation forward Mohamed Salah is unhappy at the club.
Salah recently told a Spanish newspaper that he was disappointed not to be captain at FC Midtjylland when Trent-Alexander Arnold was made skipper.
The 28-year-old Egypt international also refused to rule out a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona.
“Mo is in a good mood, a good moment and really good shape – that’s the most important thing for me,” said Klopp.
“We did not have pictures [from the training ground] this morning but if we did you would have seen him laughing a lot.
“All the rest is nice for you [the media] to write about but, internally, nothing really.” Read more