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France urges Iran to stick with nuclear accord

France urged Tehran Saturday to stick with a landmark nuclear accord at risk of falling apart, the day after Washington killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he had discussed the issue with his Chinese and German colleagues, hoping to avoid escalation of an already intense stand-off between Iran and the United States.

“France fully shares with Germany the central objective of de-escalation and preservation of the Vienna (nuclear) accord,” Le Drian said in a statement.

With China, “we in particular noted our agreement… to urge Iran to avoid any new violation of the Vienna accord,” he added.

The 2015 agreement negotiated between Iran and the UN Security Council permanent members — Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States — plus Germany offered Tehran relief from stinging sanctions in return for curbs to prevent it acquiring nuclear weapons.

Also read: Britain warns citizens against traveling to iraq

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal last year and reimposed even more sanctions on Iran, which in turn has progressively dropped key commitments in the accord, including limits on uranium stock and enrichment levels.

Tehran recently announced that it would take a further step away from the accord in early January and this was widely expected to be announced on Monday.

The European Union, which helped broker the 2015 deal, has been trying to keep the accord alive despite the US withdrawal, but analysts say that now looks increasingly unlikely after the US killed Major General Qasem Soleimani, a key Iranian figure. (The Guardian)

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US, Israeli flags burnt as thousands mourn Iranian general in Tehran

US and Israeli flags were set alight in Iran’s capital Saturday as thousands mourned the loss of top military commander Qasem Soleimani, a day after he was killed by American forces.

“We are with you,” they chanted as they waved their hands in unison during the outpouring of grief at a rally in Tehran’s Palestine Square, an AFP correspondent reported.

Soleimani was killed on Friday in a US air strike outside Baghdad international airport that shocked the Islamic republic and sparked fears of a new war in the Middle East. He was 62.

One of Iran’s most popular public figures, Soleimani was head of the Quds Force that oversaw the foreign operations of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed “severe revenge” and declared three days of mourning on Friday following the news of his death.

Also read: Tech: New anti-snoring device

At Saturday’s rally in Tehran, men held up placards that called for “revenge” and black-clad women clutched portraits of Soleimani and Khamenei.

One man wearing a mask climbed onto a stone monument holding burning US and Israeli flags as others chanted “Death to America”.

“Our response will definitely be beyond launching some missiles or destroying some American bases,” said Milad Najafi, one of the mourners. 

“In fact, I think our revenge will be the annihilation of Israel,” the student told AFP.

Another mourner, Ali Gholinam, paid tribute to Soleimani as “the greatest man we had”.

“They took him not only from Iran but from the ‘Resistance Front’,” he said, referring to Iran’s allies in parts of the region including the Palestinian territories.

“The ‘Resistance Front’ members are now mourning this great man,” he told AFP. (Punch)

“I don’t know what the response could be, but whatever it may be, it must be proportionate.”

Soleimani’s remains are due to be returned to Iran on Sunday ahead of ceremonies in Ahvaz, Tehran, Mashhad and Qom.

The slain general is expected to be laid to rest in his hometown of Kerman on Tuesday.

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Britain warns citizens against travelling to Iraq

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has warned British citizens against travel to Iraq or Iran amid heightened tension following the U.S. airstrike that killed Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

“Given heightened tensions in the region, the (foreign office) now advise people not to travel to Iraq, with the exception of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and to consider carefully whether it’s essential to travel to Iran,” Raab says.

Also read: Hillary Clinton appointed chancellor of British university

Raab earlier urged all sides to “de-escalate” tension following Soleimani’s death, saying “further conflict is in none of our interests.” (Punch)

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American rapper, Cardi B attacks Trump, considers ‘filing Nigerian citizenship’

American rapper, Cardi B who visited Nigeria last year (2019), December has attacked the actions of the United States President, Donald Trump and said; “I’m filing for my Nigerian citizenship”.

Cardi B on her Twitter account posted, “Naaaaa these memes are f**kin but shit ain’t no joke! Specially being from New York .

Its sad this man is putting Americans live in danger. Dumbest move Trump did till date …I’m filing for my Nigerian citizenship.”

Her tweet is presumed to be a response to the US airstrike that killed Iran military commander, Qasem Soleimani.

The attack was ordered by Mr Trump and in defence of his action, the US president said the action is necessitated to ‘stop a war’. “We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.

“I have deep respect for the Iranian people. They are a remarkable people, with an incredible heritage and unlimited potential,” Mr Trump said.

—Never a Fan –

Born, Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, the 27-year-old has never been a fan of the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump.

Also read: Telemundo introduces two new shows January

Cardi B is a strong fan of Democrats presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders. She endorsed Bernie Sanders ahead of the 2016 election.

The rapper according to Time report featured in live coverage of the US 2016 presidential election. When the election was seen swinging in the direction of Donald Trump, Cardi said; “Trump got me nervous because he might take my shmoney away!”.

In April 2018, Bernie Sanders confirmed Cardi B’s support for his American vision; “Cardi B is right.

If we are really going to make America great we need to strengthen Social Security so that seniors are able to retire with the dignity they deserve.” (Vanguard)

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Tech: new anti-snoring device

Source: Arthur Yarish

Millions of people are familiar with it – snoring. The number one annoyance in the bedroom at night. About one in two men and one in four women of middle age or older snores in their sleep. Previously dismissed as just an annoying disturbance of the peace, snoring is now recognized as a serious sleep and health disorder. These nightly lapses in sleep can even be life-threatening!

Now there’s a revolutionary helper that immediately improves nasal breathing and can thereby prevent snoring.

Let’s start from the beginning. When snoring, loud breathing noises occur in the upper airways during sleep. A full 70 decibels — as loud as a passing truck. That’s the sound many people fall asleep to. The causes of snoring are based on anatomical bottlenecks such as swollen tonsils, polyps, a curved nasal septum, or an excessively long uvula. Men over 50 years old, especially, snore. As many as 60 to 80 percent in this age group are affected.

What are we talking about?

It is called the Silentsnore, and it’s the first small and easy-to-use device for combating bothersome snoring noises. The innovative aid consists of a soft silicone ring that’s pushed into the nose. The built in therapeutic magnets are also beneficial, according to Traditional Tibetan Medicine. These help to stimulate the nose’s sensory nerves and prevent it from falling out during sleep.

Tens of thousands of people have already used this little wonder to sleep better and more peacefully at night. And indeed – snoring can easily be combated with this method!

How does it work?

The SilentSnore gently widens the nostrils to reduce respiratory resistance in the nose; in other words, air can flow better into the lungs through the nose. As soon as the body registers that nasal breathing is working without restriction again, it unconsciously switches to (much healthier) nasal breathing. In contrast to things like chinstraps, SilentSnore does not disturb you while you sleep.

The Silentsnore is pushed into the nasal before sleep

Breathe deeply again – SilentSnore promotes nasal breathing and combats disagreeable snoring.

This ingenious little device controls snoring when sleeping without interfering the normal sleep cycle.

A normal and healthy sleep cycle should include at least 25% at deep sleep, by relieving snoring effectively, stop disturbing your sleeping partner immediately, and guarantee your body rest and regenerate well.

The main advantages:

  • Promotes better breathing
  • Aids in reducing and stopping snoring 
  • Helps reduce dry mouth 
  • Drug Free
  • Hypo-Allergenic 
  • Reusable
  • Stores easily in a clear travel case
  • Comfortable, lightweight and secure

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Hillary Clinton appointed chancellor of British university

Queen’s University Belfast, on Thursday, announced the appointment of U.S. politician, Hillary Clinton, as its new Chancellor.

An official announcement said Clinton, who received an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University Belfast in October 2018, will become the university’s 11th and first female chancellor.

The university said the Chancellor fulfilled three main roles, which include: a ceremonial one which involved presiding at degree congregations; an ambassadorial role.

Also read: Nigeria to host chess tournament

It involved where the officeholder helps to open doors for University as it seeks to fulfil its mission; and an advisory role, available to Vice-Chancellor and senior management as a sounding board and to provide counsel/guidance.

Clinton, who was beaten for the presidency by Donald Trump in 2016, will have a five-year term starting from January 2020. (The Guardian)

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ENDOMETRIOSIS: Women are affected, but we all pay the price

The objective is to elevate your awareness and enrich your knowledge, with the expectation of agitating your curiosity and actively involving you into stemming the tide of this health condition that primarily affects women of child-bearing age, and secondarily, every other person.

What is endometriosis? What do you know about endometriosis? How does it affect women?

As a woman, you may be living with the condition, or perhaps you have a daughter or sister that is affected? As a man, you may not experience painful periods, but if as a father, husband, brother, uncle, employer, colleague, teacher, etc., there is a woman in your life that has this condition, then you need to be concerned because you are affected.

There are a number of reasons endometriosis should be discussed much more than it is currently. One reason is that the condition may not be exactly what you think it is as a person.

It is important to overcome such ignorance because ignorance has tendency to fuel problems. We all must learn about endometriosis because ignorance breeds insensitivity to it, and insensitivity breeds inaction and complications.

So it is important to get the facts. An estimated 10 percent or 1 in 10 girls and women worldwide are living with endometriosis. These are wives, daughters, sisters, nieces, aunts, friends, relatives, and so on.

Personal testimonies of women who are battling endometriosis abound. Permit me to tell you one. It’s the experience of a woman, called Fola, whose professional colleague and friend – Bola – is living with endometriosis.

For as long as Fola could recall, whenever Bola, had her periods, it was hell. Fola is the middle-aged Executive Director of a thriving hospitality business with branches in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

Bose, the 30-something-year-old lady in her early 30s is the outfit’s brilliant Business Development Manager and technically the brains behind the company’s success.

It took a while for Fola to realise Bose had a peculiar pattern. For 10 or more days every month, she was practically in hell. At times, it got so bad, she stayed in bed all day, away from work.

Bose was to later reveal she was 21 years old when she was diagnosed with endometriosis after almost nine years of living with the condition. Since then, Bola has lived another 12 years with the condition.

One day, she fainted at work and was rushed to the Accident & Emergency. An ultrasound revealed cysts, which was later suspected to be endometriosis.

After three months, she was sick of the treatment and her pain was becoming unbearable. After years of pain, several doctors, endless questions, and no answers, Bose was formally diagnosed with Stage IV Endometriosis.

She had pain morning, noon, and night on every day of her cycle. Daily pain took its toll, yet three gynecologists assured her the pain was normal.

The very first time she heard the word “endometriosis,” Fola was at a loss as to what it was and stunned that she’d never heard of it before.

“Endo-what?” she had asked. The condition was correctly described to her as a situation in which the lining of the uterus transplants itself outside of the uterus to the lining of the abdominal cavity and to other organs.

Also read: Telemundo introduces two new shows January

And, that when the lining of the uterus bleeds, the transplanted uterine lining also bleeds into the abdominal cavity, causing bloating and intense pain, some of which never goes away, and creating scar tissue that causes all sorts of ugly issues deep inside the body.

This was not a totally accurate or complete explanation of the disease as she now knows, but endometriosis is indeed a complex disease.

The doctor said the only cure is a hysterectomy (removal of the womb). Like other women with the condition, Bola agreed that the biggest misconception about the endometriosis is that the pain experience is limited to just the monthly period.

What Fola heard shocked her. How was such a thing possible? How had this happened to her colleague she had worked with for so long without knowing she had been suffering physically, and certainly not period wise? Her questions received few answers, but speculation, lack of facts, incorrect information were all she got.

She thought of what she knew about Bola’s personal life and realised it wasn’t much. Okay she was married but awaiting the fruit of the womb, but not much after that.

A number of women living with endometriosis, think the biggest misconception about the condition is that the pain they experience is limited to just the monthly period.

Fola thought of approaching Bose herself for answers, but somehow felt shut out. Others in the office felt it was going beyond bounds and an “intrusion” into what ought to remain private and personal.

Did Bola want to be heard, to be understood, or for others to her condition? People urged Fola not to say anything about the condition because it would embarrass Bola and the felt she didn’t want a lot of people knowing.

Fola wished for more information about this thing called endometriosis and did her best to obtain it but never did get to talk to Bola about her diagnosis, or the hysterectomy, or her life with the condition.

Bola has visited dozens of doctors, and one gastroenterologistý doctor even told her what she had was “functional pain”.

She was told to stop confusing her body with her thoughts, which was frustrating because Bose wasn’t making this pain up. She tried numerous treatments and a lot of different medicines.

But even with all that, she’s still not back to living a normal life. Even after a decade of doctors appointments, tests, and pain, treatment options aren’t the best.

Also read: Drinking coffee could lower your chance of developing liver tumor by 50%

The standard treatment – laparoscopic excision – a difficult surgery performed by less than a handful of physicians in the developing world.

Thanks to women particularly vocal about their struggle, endometriosis is getting a lot more attention, but it remains an obscure topic for most probably because periods are, and always will be, an irritating fact of life.

For women, like Bose, periods are more than just an inconvenience—they’re downright debilitating. The pain is the biggest symptom and also the biggest misconception about endometriosis.

Doctors are learning a lot more about how best to help those who suffer from it even though it’s a unique experience for each woman who has it. Many who suffer from endometriosis are invisible and often undiagnosed.

People still don’t see it or believe it exists because so many who have it look normal and hardly talk about it. Women that welcome their period with excruciatingly painful cramps that leave them struggling to get out of bed are the reason we are here.

It’s actually not as unlikely as you might think: Right now there are 176 million women suffering from this condition—one in 10 in the general population.

Endometriosis is usually accompanied by symptoms including “painful periods, painful sex, infertility, constipation, painful bowel movements, right and/or left-sided pain, and back pain.”

Talking about infertility, while a lot of people know something about infertility, few attribute they have no idea why it is so common.

Endometriosis is one major reason.

The exact prevalence in Nigeria is unknown but the challenge is to improve the lives of people affected by endometriosis and to decrease the impact it has on those with the condition and their families and friends. (Vanguard)

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Telemundo introduces two new shows January

DStv and GOtv subscribers will begin the new year with two new thrilling shows on Telemundo this January. The shows, ‘Almost Yours’ and ‘Close Enemies’ are joining the Telemundo family on DStv Yanga and GOTV Jolli and will be filled with even more drama, suspense, and comedy than ever before.

Almost Yours’ tells the story of two individuals who seemed to have it all in their separate lives; Julietta about to marry the love of her life and Antonio enjoying a life of wealth and riches, but everything is not as rosy as it seems.

As they seek to escape from their lives, Antonio and Julietta run into each other and their story of fate and love begins. ‘Close Enemies’ is the thrilling journey of seeming strangers on opposite sides of the law, who wage war against each other.

Also read: Drake delights the Top Boy fans as he confirms the Netflix series will return in 2020

One is a sophisticated criminal, the other a determined cop swore to catch her. But are they really strangers? There’s enough drama and suspense to keep viewers at the edge of their seat and probably burning dinner.

Almost Yours’ shows every night at 9 pm WAT, on DStv Yanga, while ‘Close Enemies’ shows every night at 7 pm WAT on DStv Yanga and GOTV Jolli. (Vanguard)

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Drinking coffee could reduce your chance of developing liver tumour by 50%

A cup of coffee in the morning could have greater benefits than just helping tired workers wake up.

Coffee drinkers have half the risk of the most common type of liver cancer, a study has found.

The coffee bean contains polyphenols that may stop cancer cells dividing.

Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast looked at almost half a million people, of whom more than three- quarters drank coffee. They were 50 per cent less likely to be diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma, which makes up nine out of ten cases of liver cancer. 

Dr. Una McMenamin, of Queen’s, said: “Our findings are reassuring in suggesting coffee may have health benefits.”

Lead author Kim Tu Tran said: “People with a coffee-drinking habit could find keeping that habit going is good for their health.

“That is because coffee contains antioxidants and caffeine, which may protect against cancer.

“However drinking coffee is not as protective against liver cancer as stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol or losing weight.”

The study, presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) conference in Glasgow, found older, university-educated people, those who drank alcohol and men in particular were most likely to drink coffee.

Also read: Poor oral hygiene can lead to delivering of premature babies — Dentist

Researchers tracked 365,157 coffee-drinkers, and more than 100,000 people who did not drink coffee, over seven and a half years using national cancer records.

In that time 88 people were diagnosed with the most common form of liver cancer, which is rising in England.

The risk was 50 per cent lower for coffee-drinkers compared with those who drank no coffee. 

That was the case when alcohol, smoking and obesity were factored in. The risk fell 13 per cent for every cup someone drank daily. 

Most coffee drinkers in Britain use instant, which some experts suspected may carry a higher risk of cancer. Evidence suggests it has higher levels of acrylamide – a cancer-causing chemical made when beans are roasted.

But the study, which looked at instant, ground and decaf coffee, found the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma was just as low in people who mostly drank instant coffee. 

Also read: Dell to let Apple users to control iPhones from their laptop

Jars of coffee are thought to contain more cancer-fighting compounds, such as chlorogenic acid, which may prevent harmful inflammation in the body.

The World Cancer Research Fund has also concluded that it is ‘probable’ coffee reduces the risk of liver cancer.

But the latest study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, did not find an overall link between coffee and other digestive cancers, despite looking at types including bowel and stomach cancer.

A separate study, involving the same team, found people who took statins had a 36 per cent reduced chance of being diagnosed with liver cancer.

Experts believe statins, taken by millions of people in Britain to lower their cholesterol, may reduce the number of abnormal cells which can develop into tumours. (The Guardian)

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Nigeria to host chess tournament

The Nigeria Chess Federation will be the host of the African Individual Chess Championship in Lagos for 2020.

This is the second time that the country will be hosting the chess championship with the first hosted in Abuja in 2003.

According to a statement released on the website of the Nigeria Chess Players’ Association, the chess world governing body has given the country the right to host the next edition of the championship.

“According to the FIDE Calendar, Nigeria will be hosting the African Individual Chess Championship in Lagos come May 2020; during dates that will conflict with our annual CPAN Chevron Chess Challenge; and as such unfortunately, C4 will most likely not be holding this year,” the website reads.

Also read: Poor oral hygiene can lead to delivering of premature babies — Dentist

“However, we envisage that the excitement from the AICC will make up for missing out on this, in addition to the other tournaments that our affiliated organisers will be hosting in the course of the year, which we will also feature on our calendar.”

The last edition of the championship was held in the city of Hammamet, Tunisia last year with Ahmed Adly of Egypt emerging winner in the male’s category while Shrook Wafa also of Egypt was the winner in the female’s category.(Punch)

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Dell to let Apple users control iPhones from their laptop

Dell Technologies is trying to make its laptops more attractive to iPhone users. The Texas-based computer maker said on Thursday it is releasing software that will let users mirror their iPhone’s screen on Dell laptops.

The feature will roll out in coming months as an update to Dell’s Mobile Connect software, which added similar functionality for Android handsets in 2018. The update, will also let Dell users drag photos, videos and other files from their iPhone to their PC.

The software requires the download of an iPhone app and works with Dell XPS, Inspiron, Vostro and Alienware laptops running Windows 10.

Also read: Best and worst diet for 2020, ranked by experts, with one near last

People using Mobile Connect with an iPhone were previously able to get notifications and send texts.

Dell said more than 150 million calls and texts have been sent via the software, with half of those happening via Apple devices. Dell, the third largest PC maker, sees the software as a way to get more people to buy its products.

Apple has offered deep integration between its Mac computers and iPhones for years, including easy file transfers, messaging and calls, but does not offer a screen mirroring feature. (Vanguard)

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Poor oral hygiene can lead to delivering of premature babies – Dentist

Dr Albert Akhidenor, a dentist says it is proven that poor hygiene of pregnant mothers can lead to delivering of premature babies and to low weight baby.

Akhidenor, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Community Oral Health Initiative, an NGO, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

He said that mothers with poor hygiene could easily transfer diseases to their babies through kisses. According to him, oral health of mothers will directly improve the health of their new born babies.

In addition, Akhidenor said poor nutrition could also cause poor oral hygiene.

For the teeth to develop very well, you need balance diet. “Diet filled with refined sugar and sweet is not healthy for the teeth. With poor diet, the whole formation of teeth is affected,’’ he said.

Akhidenor, however, expressed optimism that the 2020 National Oral Health Policy, formulated by the Federal Ministry of Health would address the burden of oral diseases in the country.

Also read: Best and worst diets for 2020, ranked by experts, with a popular one near last

“An oral health policy helps to harness political, economic and socio-cultural factors at the individual, family, community, national and international levels.’’ He said that the policy would address poor access to oral care service if well implemented.

“By 2025, at least 50 per cent of the population should be able to have access to oral care.

“We are looking at situation where all the Primary Health Care Centres in the country will have a dentist by that time. “We are looking at all women having anti-natal clinic, have access to oral care information.

“We are also looking at the situation where oral health education is included in science curriculum in schools so that children can be educated,’’ NAN reports that the 2020 National Oral Health Policy, which was validated by stakeholders on Dec. 17, 2019, will be ready before the next National Council on Health in June.(Vanguard)

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EPL: Kane joins Hull City

Liverpool midfielder Herbie Kane has joined Hull City on loan until the end of the season.

The 21-year-old has made two senior appearances for Liverpool in the Carabao Cup during the first half of the season, his debut coming as a substitute in the 2-0 win at MK Dons in September.

He was a starter in the 5-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the quarter-final when Liverpool named a very young side due to the fact the first team were in Qatar for the Club World Cup, Skysport reports.

Also read: Rooney makes winning debut with derby

Kane was named in the League One Team of the Season last campaign after 49 games and seven goals in a loan spell with Doncaster Rovers under Grant McCann.

McCann is now in charge at Hull and will be hoping Kane can help them push for promotion back to the Premier League.( Punch)

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China, Russia urge restraints as killing of Iranian general divides U.S. Congress

China and Russia on Friday adviced all sides to cease further escalation after an Iranian military general was killed by the United States.

Qassem Soleimani, a major-general and head of dreaded Quds Force under Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was killed near Baghdad International Airport in Iraq on January 2. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah, also called Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) in Iraq, was also killed in the strike.

The U.S. military headquarters confirmed President Donald Trump ordered the killing in apparent retaliation over a pro-Iran mob attack at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad last week.

Mr Soleimani was seen as the brain behind Iran’s covert operations across the Middle-East.

“China has always opposed the use of force in international relations,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday according to Agence France-Press.

“We urge the relevant sides, especially the United States, to remain calm and exercise restraint to avoid further escalating tensions.”

Italian RIA news agency said Russian foreign ministry warned that Mr Soleimani’s death could force the situation to spiral out of control, but also urged restraint amongst all parties.

Both Russia and China are members of the United Nations Security Council. Oil markets opened higher on Friday following the development.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei vowed to take “severe revenge” over the U.S. action, mourning Mr Soleimani as a martyr who was barbarically assassinated by Americans.

In the U.S., Mr Trump’s action has sharply divided the American legislature, with Democrats slapping the president for his unilateral decision while Republicans hailed him for doing what was necessary to protect American lives and interests.

American leaders’ highest priority is to protect American lives and interests,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “But we cannot put the lives of American service members, diplomats and others further at risk by engaging in provocative and disproportionate actions. Tonight’s airstrike risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence.”

Chris Murphy, a Democrat senator, said on Twitter that Mr Trump’s action was too grievous to be carried out without legislative approval.( Premium Times)

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Electric ship conducts trial operation on Yangtze

A home-grown electric ship on Friday conducted a trial operation in central China on the Yangtze River, China’s longest waterway.

Junlyu is the first electric ship weighing above 1,000 tonnes to sail the Yangtze. It took two years to build the vessel by altering an oil-powered ship. With powerful lithium batteries, the 53-metre-long ship can carry 300 people.

It is also the country’s first electric ship with a length of more than 50 metres. The trial run took place in a port in Wuhan City, capital of Hubei Province.

Also read: Trump orders killing of key Iranian commander at Baghdad airport strike

During the operation, the ship sailed smoothly and discharged no pollutants.

According to Lei Hao, personnel with the State Grid’s Wuhan branch, after five hours of charging, the ship can run for at least 10 hours.

The ship will serve river tourism beginning in 2020 and authorities plan to transform more tourist ships into electric ones in the future.(Vanguard)

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Best and worst diets for 2020, ranked by experts, with a popular one near last

Source: CNN

Beans, legumes, pulses – A plant-based diet underpins the health of those who live longest according to experts. Beans, legumes and pulses (such as lentils and chickpeas), compared with any other food, are the most important dietary predictor of longevity. They probably offer the best bang for your nutritional buck than any other food out there.

Who won the 2020 battle of the diets?

For the third year in a row, the well-researched Mediterranean diet KO’d the competition to win gold in US News and World Report’s 2020 ranking of best diets. The report, released Thursday, is now in its 10th, “The hallmarks of a ‘best’ diet include balance, maintainability, palatability, family-friendliness, sustainability, along with healthfulness.

The Mediterranean diet gets checkmarks in all of those boxes,” said Yale University Prevention Research Center founding director Dr. David Katz, who was one of 25 judges on the U.S. News and World Report panel. 

“It’s no surprise that the Mediterranean diet remains the No. 1 best diet overall,” said nutritionist Lisa Drayer, a CNN contributor. “It’s easy to follow and offers a healthy eating lifestyle.

“The Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes simple, plant-based cooking, also captured first place in best diet for healthy eating,easiest diet to follow, best plant-based diet and best diet for diabetes.

Meals from the sunny Mediterranean have been linked to stronger bones, a healthier heart, a lower risk of dementia and breast cancer, and longer life, along with a reduced risk for diabetes and high blood pressure.

The diet focuses on eating less red meat, sugar and saturated fat and more Omega-3-rich fish and olive oil. Red wine can be enjoyed in moderation and socializing with friends and family during meals is part of the prescription.

The Mediterranean diet is easy to find in the grocery store, contains nutrients that are known to enhance longevity and has other health benefits that are backed by peer-reviewed, scientific studies.

Broccoli makes the list because it’s one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods, with only 30 calories per cup. That means you get a ton of hunger-curbing fiber and polyphenols — antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging chemicals in your body — with each serving.

Top honors

Following closely behind the Mediterranean diet were the respected DASH, Flexitarian, WW (the rebranded name popularly known as Weight Watchers) and MIND diets. Their high rankings are a trend in the report’s results each year.

“We’re interested in diets that have proven staying value — not fad diets that are here today, gone tomorrow,” said Angela Haupt, managing editor of health at U.S. News & World Report.

“The diets that perform well are safe, sensible and backed by sound science. That’s going to be consistent from year to year.” The DASH diet is often recommended to lower blood pressure.

Its premise is simple: Eat more veggies, fruits and low-fat dairy foods while cutting way back on any food high in saturated fat, and limit your intake of salt. Studies have shown following this diet can reduce blood pressure in a matter of weeks.

The flexitarian diet tied with the DASH diet for second place because of its emphasis on whole grains, fruits, veggies and plant-based proteins.

It’s basically a vegetarian diet that allows the occasional piece of meat or fish, thus making it “flexible.”The MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets that some may find a bit easier to follow, as it requires less fish and fruit. Both MIND, which stands for “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay,” and the Mediterranean diet have been shown to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in studies.

WW came in fourth on the best diet list but took first place in the report’s ranking of best weight loss and commercial weight loss programs.

Not only is the diet healthy, the panel said, but it wins top points for stressing the importance of support for dieters.

Despite winning the respect of nutritionists, WW has been losing market share this year; the company’s CEO told analysts the loss was due to the growing popularity of the keto diet, which makes carbs taboo.Speaking of the keto craze …

Down for the count

Sure to upset its legions of fans, the trendy keto diet came in next to last in the ranking of 35 diets, just ahead of the obscure Dukan diet.

‘Best diets’ ranking puts keto last, DASH firstBoth diets aim for “ketosis,” a metabolic state that burns the body’s stores of fat instead of carbohydrates, the body’s natural source of energy.

To do that, the diets restrict carb intake to levels nutritionists feel are highly unhealthy as well as completely unsustainable.In the keto diet, Drayer said, “carbs are limited to about 20 grams per day,” the equivalent of one small banana or apple.

Due to the drastic cut in carbs, the diet can cause “headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue, particularly in the beginning,” she said, adding that “long-term studies on its effectiveness are lacking.

“In place of carbs, the keto diet emphasizes high levels of protein, fats and dairy, typically full of saturated fat that can contribute to cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.

“I am not a fan of the keto diet, though it may be helpful as a ‘jump start’ to weight loss and can help you quickly rid your diet of processed carbs and sugars,” Drayer said.Which may be why the keto diet tied for third place in the race for best “fast” weight loss diet.

Fast’ weight loss?

First place in the get-rid-of-fat-quick category went to HMR, the Health Management Resources program.

It involves purchasing meal replacements from HMR, such as shakes, nutrition bars and multigrain cereals, and adding vegetables and fruits to round out the meals. Second place went to Optavia, which used to be called Medifast.

It, too, wants you to buy and eat many of the company’s pre-packaged products, supplemented by some foods at home.Both diets could be difficult to follow, Haupt said, “because prepackaged meals tend to get old fast.” 

The highly ranked WW tied for third, along with Jenny Craig, which ranked 12th in the best overall diet list. But the low/no-carb diet Atkins and the keto diet also tied for third place, despite ranking in the deep bottom of other diet categories, such as best diet, most healthy diet and best diets for heart health and diabetes.

Ironically, HMR and Optavia joined them toward the bottom of the other categories.

Why would diets that are considered good at helping drop weight quickly be ranked so badly overall?”The ‘best’ way to lose weight fast is to do something very silly, unsustainable and arguably irresponsible.

It’s not truly best — just fast,” said Katz, who is the president of the True Health Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to health promotion and disease prevention “Many things that are truly bad for health can cause short-term weight loss,” Katz said.

“The most effective diets for ‘fast’ weight loss impose severe restrictions that cannot be maintained and would not be compatible with health if they were.

“That’s because quick weight loss diets usually emphasize some drastic cut in nutrients or the elimination of an entire food group that can’t be maintained over time. When the diet stops, the weight comes back, often at higher levels than at the start of the diet. It’s the body’s response to “yo-yo” dieting, studies show. 

“Spending your life weight-obsessed, and going on and off diets, is no way to live,” Katz said. “One of the things we hope to convey to the American public is that it’s time to grow up about diet and give it more respect.”Grown-ups don’t generally expect to ‘get rich fast;’ they understand the need to work, over time,” Katz continued.

“But everyone thinks there is some magic formula they haven’t tried yet for rapid weight loss. The consensus of the U.S. News judges is a resounding rebuke of that silly idea.” (CNN)

The Truth


Trump orders killing of key Iranian commander in Baghdad airport strike

Source: CNN

President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport that killed Qasem Soleimani, a key Iranian military commander, in a “decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad” that was intended to deter “future Iranian attack plans,” the Pentagon confirmed Thursday.

Soleimani — the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force unit — and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis — the deputy head of the Iran-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) — were among those killed in the attack early Friday morning local time, according to a statement from the PMF, which said the pair “were martyred by an American strike.

“Formed in 2014 to fight ISIS, the PMF is a Shia paramilitary force made up of former militias with close ties to Iran. It was recognized under a 2016 Iraqi law as an independent military force that answers directly to the prime minister.

 Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members, and the wounding of thousands more, the Pentagon added. The Pentagon also blamed the Iranian general for orchestrating attacks on coalition bases in Iraq in recent months, including an attack on December 27 that culminated in the deaths of an American contractor and Iraqi personnel.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Iran-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), left, and Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force unit, right, were killed in the US strike.

Soleimani was revered in Iran, where three days of national mourning have been declared. In a message published to his official website, the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed revenge for the killing, saying that “harsh revenge awaits the criminals” involved.

Khamenei warned the fight would continue — and added it had been Soleimani’s wish for years to become a martyr. “His pure blood was shed in the hands of the most depraved of human beings,” Khamenei said.

 In a tweet, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described the US strike as an “act of international terrorism,” adding that it was an “extremely dangerous and foolish escalation. “The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism,” he added.(CNN)

The Truth


Amaka Igwe: Google Doodle honours Nigerian filmmaker on 57th posthumous birthday

Late veteran Nollywood filmmaker, Amaka Igwe, has been honoured with a Google Doodle on her 57th posthumous birthday.

A Google Doodle is a special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepages intended to commemorate holidays, events, achievements and notable historical figures. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the doodle went live on Thursday as an honour of late Igwe’s contributions to Nollywood.

She was a Nigerian filmmaker and broadcasting executive. Igwe was the owner of Top Radio 90.9 Lagos and Amaka Igwe Studios.

Also read: Microsoft target North Korean hackers for stealing sensitive information

She was recognised as one of the second-generation filmmakers who helped begin the video film era of Nigerian cinema. She remained a prominent figure in the industry until her death in 2014.

Igwe hit national limelight as the writer and producer of award-winning TV soap ‘Checkmate’ and its offshoot ‘Fuji House of Commotion’. Her Nollywood projects include ‘Rattle snake’ and ‘Violated’, which set Amaka Igwe Studios apart in the Video film era of Nigerian cinema. (Vanguard)

The Truth


Rooney makes winning debut with Derby

Wayne Rooney enjoyed a winning debut with Derby as the former Manchester United star helped his Championship side to a 2-1 win against Barnsley on Thursday. Rooney was named Derby captain for his first appearance since agreeing to join the second-tier club back in August.

United and England’s record goalscorer had been training, coaching and sitting in the dugout at Derby matches for several weeks, but Thursday was the first time he had been eligible to play following his departure from Major League Soccer side DC United.

The 34-year-old, included at the expense of the suspended Krystian Bielik in the only change made by Derby boss Phillip Cocu, played the full match, despite it being his first competitive game since October.

He set up the opening goal for Jack Marriott and was involved in Derby’s second goal, providing a pin-point diagonal pass to Andre Wisdom, whose low cross was turned home by Martyn Waghorn.

Elliot Simoes had equalised for Barnsley, but struggling visitors couldn’t ruin Rooney’s return to English football.

Rooney’s debut coincided with Cocu’s team winning successive matches for the first time this season, but they remain 17th in the table.

Charlton began their new era under fresh ownership with a 1-0 defeat at Swansea. Yan Dhanda’s first-half strike was enough to propel the Swans into the play-off places.

Charlton kicked off a new chapter under the ownership of East Street Investments after their takeover from former owner Roland Duchatelet was confirmed by the EFL four hours before the Liberty Stadium clash.

But the injury-ravaged south Londoners are a mere five points clear of the bottom three after a miserable run of just one win in 14 matches. (Vanguard)

The Truth


Apple ‘hacker’ spared jail over iCloud blackmail

A 22-year-old man has admitted trying to blackmail Apple by claiming he had access to millions of iCloud accounts.

Kerem Albayrak from north London threatened to wipe 319 million accounts unless Apple gave him iTunes gift cards worth $100,000 (£76,000).

But an investigation found that Albayrak had not compromised Apple’s systems.

He has been given a two year suspended jail sentence and ordered to do 300 hours of unpaid work.

In March 2017, Albayrak emailed Apple’s security team, claiming to have breached millions of iCloud accounts.

He posted a video on YouTube that appeared to show him breaking in to two accounts.

He threatened to sell the account information, dump his database online and reset the accounts, unless Apple paid his iTunes gift card demand.

Also read: Amazon’s ring cameras are vulnerable to hackers, lawsuit in US claims

Albayrak also said he would accept $75,000 worth of crypto-currency, but later increased this to $100,000.

He was arrested at his home in north London about two weeks after sending his threat.


Apple investigated his claims but could not find evidence that its systems had been compromised.

The UK’s National Crime Agency found that Albayrak had gathered email addresses and passwords from other services, which had previously been exposed in data breaches. 

He then tried his luck, seeing if anybody had used the same username and password for their iCloud account.

This type of attack, known as credential stuffing, can be automated to speed up the process.

Albayrak told investigators: “When you have power on the internet it’s like fame and everyone respects you.”

In addition to the 300 hours of unpaid work, he has been given a six month electronic curfew.

“Albayrak wrongly believed he could escape justice after hacking in to two accounts and attempting to blackmail a large multi-national corporation,” said Anna Smith, a senior investigative officer for the NCA. [BBC]

The Truth


Martial, Rashford score as Man Utd beat Burnley 2-0

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford scored late in each half as Manchester United moved into fifth place in the Premier League with an impressive 2-0 win at Burnley.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have responded positively to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to then bottom-of-the-table Watford less than a week ago to head into the new year with fresh belief they can secure a return to the Champions League next season.

“In the first half I thought we were very good. We controlled it and dominated it,” said Solskjaer.

Second half of course there will be a couple more incidents in your box because they are throwing the ball into it, but it was great defending.”

Also read: Ronaldo hints acting career is next after football

If United are to achieve their goal of finishing in the top four, Martial and Rashford will be key and they again provided the goals for the Red Devils in a game of few clear-cut chances.

There were also positives for Solskjaer at the back as his side ended a club-record 14-match run without a Premier League clean sheet.

“We’re a team who haven’t been conceding many chances, but set-pieces and other basic things have been letting us down,” said Harry Maguire, who United spent a world record £80 million ($104 million) for a defender on in August to try and ease their defensive problems.

“On our day we can beat anyone, but we’ve been far too inconsistent this year. We didn’t perform at all at Watford, so it was important to come here, do the basics well and keep the clean sheet.”

Burnley have not beaten United since 2009 and never looked likely to spring a surprise.

“They are still a very strong side,” said Burnley boss Sean Dyche. “I know they have been up and down this season but you look at the players they have got.”

Rashford was first to threaten when he hit the outside of the post midway through the first half.

Also read: Pogba launches own anti-racism protest

But Burnley were architects of their own downfall just before half-time when Charlie Taylor gifted possession to Andreas Perreira and he fed Martial to score his third goal in two games.

Phil Bardsley forced David De Gea into a fine save with Burnley’s only shot on target.

United finally got the second goal their performance deserved to add a shine to the scoreline deep into stoppage time.

Daniel James led a counter-attack down the right and Rashford slotted home his 16th goal of the season at the second attempt after slipping as he rounded Nick Pope. [Punch]

The Truth


Amazon’s Ring cameras are vulnerable to hackers, lawsuit in U.S. claims Inc and its Ring home security camera unit have been sued by an Alabama homeowner who said the cameras’ defective design leaves purchasers vulnerable to cyberattacks.

In a proposed class action filed on Thursday, John Baker Orange said an unknown hacker recently accessed his Ring camera while his children, ages 7, 9 and 10, were playing basketball on the driveway, and through its speaker system encouraged them to move closer to the camera. 

Orange, who said he paid $249 for his camera in July, said the cameras work only when connected to the internet, and are “fatally flawed” because they do not protect against cyberattacks, despite Ring’s assurances of “peace of mind” and “smart security here, there, everywhere.”

A spokeswoman for Ring said the Santa Monica, California-based company does not discuss legal matters. The complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court seeks unspecified damages from Ring and Seattle-based Amazon, as well as improved security for new and existing Ring cameras.

It followed several reported incidents of hackers accessing homes through Ring cameras, including when a man repeatedly called an 8-year-old Mississippi girl a racial slur and claimed he was Santa Claus.

Also read: Apple is reportedly developing satellites technology to support its devices

“A company that sells a device that is supposed to protect occupants of a home shouldn’t become a platform for potentially endangering those occupants,” John Yanchunis, a lawyer for Orange, said in an interview.

Ring’s main product is a doorbell that contains a security camera and lets homeowners monitor and communicate with visitors through a phone app even if they are not at home. Amazon has said it bought Ring in April 2018 for $839 million in cash.

Orange, who lives in Jefferson County, Alabama, said he changed his “medium-strong” password and began using two-factor authentication for his camera after learning about the incident involving his children.

“So many devices are tethered to the Internet, and consumers simply don’t have a realization of how that can be so easily exploited,” Yanchunis said.

The case is Orange v Ring LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 19-10899. [Vanguard]

The Truth


Ronaldo hints acting career is next after football

The Portuguese wants to keep playing for as long as he can, but likes the idea of moving into the movie business after hanging up his boots

Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo has opened up on his retirement plans, expressing a desire to challenge himself by starting a new career in acting.

Ronaldo is widely revered as one of the finest footballers in history, having earned five Ballon d’Or awards for his individual brilliance during spells at Manchester United and Real Madrid.

The 34-year-old has won a whole host of major trophies, including five European Cups and six league titles, while also landing a European Championships winners’ medal with Portugal.

Ronaldo holds the all-time scoring record for his country and for Madrid, and continues to set new standards of excellence even as he approaches the latter stages of his career.

Also read: Pogba launches own anti-racism contest

“The former United superstar is now on the books at Juventus, and is currently enjoying another prolific season with 10 goals to his name from 14 Serie A outings, Goal reports.

However, Ronaldo’s playing days will draw to a close at some point in the near future, which he acknowledged at a Dubai Sports conference on Saturday.

The Juve talisman says he will walk away from the game “the moment my body is no longer responding in the right way”, with one eye on a possible foray into the film industry.

Also read: Fire kills two girls, father who tried to save them

“Several years ago, the age of playing football was until 30-32, but now, you find those who are 40 years old playing on the field,” Ronaldo began.

“The moment my body is no longer responding in the right way on the field, then it would be the time to leave. My success in my field is the result of hard work, and a way of living. I work continuously to improve my mental and physical abilities. I aspire to continue my studies after retiring from football.

“I hope I live more than 50 years to learn new things and face different challenges and try to find solutions for them. One of the things that I seek to challenge myself in, for example, is acting in a movie.

I always recommend learning all that is new. This is what I always strive for. I always seek to educate myself, because my studies tend to answer many of the questions on my mind.

“We have to learn the best of others, and this is an important part in helping me achieve what I have reached now.” [Punch]

The Truth


Fire kills two girls, father who tried to save them

A father and two of his daughters have been killed by a massive apartment block fire in California, after the man went back inside the building to try and save his children.

The man’s eight-year-old son was also severely injured in the incident that took place in Hemet, 90 miles east of Los Angeles.

Authorities said the fire broke out in the family’s second-floor home in the early hours of Friday and that the 41-year old man was able to get his wife, their infant and an 11-year-old child to safety.

At that point, the father reentered the building to try and save his other children.

The girls who died were aged 12 and four, according to the authorities, who have not yet identified the family involved.

Nate Miller of the Hemet police department, said the mother had told officers the family had been asleep when flames broke out.

“Our hearts go out to the family,” said Mr Miller.

“It’s my understanding that the 41-year-old male went back inside to rescue other family members. He wasn’t seen alive after that.”

He added: “It’s a terrible situation. As a father myself, I think a lot of us would think about going back in.”

Reports said around 40 people were forced to evacuate the building.

The Red Cross was caring for 15 people displaced by the fire, said agency spokesperson Emily Cox.

Officials said the bodies of the victims were found in the bedrooms.

Also read: Pogba launches own anti-racism protest

“The fire was rapidly spreading, so [the firefighters] were confronted with immediate rescue needs, as well as keeping the fire contained to the building of origin,” said Hemet fire chief Scott Brown, Independent UK quoted CBS News.

“These buildings are old, they don’t have fire stops, fire spreads very quickly.”

An investigation into the incident is under way, though officials said there was no immediate evidence to suggest a crime was involved.

“The bottom line for us is that we’ve lost three people,” said Mr Brown. “It’s a terrible tragedy.” [Punch]

The Truth


Chika Ike: Tumultuous journey of a screen diva

Chika Ike is the right kind of Nollywood actress who has come of age to take the bull by the horn. She might not be one of the best role interpreters around, but she has definitely find her own pace in the Nigerian movie industry.

Since her resolve to remain single after her first marriage of seven years crashed in 2013, the actress has carried herself straight and with confidence.

She has also tried to be the best she could in her chosen profession. From all indications, the fair-complexioned actress is not far from being the genius she’s craving for. It’s safe to say she’s going where no other Nollywood actress has gone before now.

She’s known as a ‘hottie’ not only in the movie industry but in fashion industry too. Though the price of stardom is very steep, Chika Ike has paid it overtime. Yet she’s still standing and measuring up with her male counterparts in all ramifications.

Her believe in following her dreams and having ‘a can-do-it spirit’ remains the secret of her success in her acting career. In less than two decades of her sojourn in the movie industry, Chika has distinguished herself as an actress, producer, author and entrepreneur.

Also read: ‘Friends’ theme song writer dies aged 72

She has also evolved into a fashion icon and like she always calls herself, a boss chick. In fact, the best part about Chika Ike is she’s an ambitious woman who’d like to extend her career and experience multi-dimensional life as she looks forward to becoming her own boss.

Her gaining admission into the Executive MBA Programme in Harvard University in 2017, after five years of trying speaks volumes of her restlessness and insatiable desire to acquire new knowledge.

Breaking the good news on her Instagram page then, Chike wrote, “I finally got accepted into Harvard business school for my masters. After trying for 5 years and getting rejected..Yes ! The prestigious Ivy League University… Yippee ??????….I’m super excited….The good part is it’s an executive study so I can work ( as an actress, TV host and CEO ) ?? and school… “I started business at age 17 and I’ve been doing this solely on self knowledge and instincts.

I think it’s time to hone my business skills from the mother of all business schools so I can have a sustainable company . …. God is awesome, he has done so much for me , looking at all my achievements so far.

Before the road to Harvard, Chika enrolled in the University of Lagos,UNILAG, in 2004 for a two-year diploma programme in Human Kinetics and Health Education. She completed the programme in 2006, earning a certificate.

She later went for her degree in Human Kinetics and Health Education at the same school. In 2014, she graduated from the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, California, where she studied Film Making.

She founded her production company, Chika Ike Production, in 2014, and produced her first movie “Miss Teacher” and her reality TV game show “African Diva” Reality TV Show of which she was the executive producer, host and a member of the judging panel.

The first season aired on DStv and the second season aired on AIT. In 2015, she collaborated with Rok Studios and J-World entertainment to produce movies like ‘Happy Ending” and “Stuck on You” directed by Director J. Chika hit the limelight in 2005, after starring in the movie, “Bless the Child”, and has since played major roles in other movies such as Paradise, Mirror of Beauty, To Love a Stranger, Girls Got Reloaded, Happy Ending, Yes We Will, Anointed Queen and The Prince and the Princess.

In one of her interviews, the actress cited inexperience, matrimonial infidelity and domestic violence among others as part of the reasons her marriage crashed irretrievably in 2013.

It was, however, rumoured then that Chika might not be willing to give marriage a second chance despite finding love again immediately after she broke up with ex-husband. T

he actress moved on with her life, resolving to focus on her career and business. A decision that saw her breaking new grounds and living her dream.

“I have failed, made mistakes, trusted, and had my lows and highs. But today, I stand firm, stronger than ever and living my best life,” she reminisced. For the dazzling and glaring actress, success is achieved by those who prepare for it.

It’s not surprising, however, that she’s reaping what she sowed in the time of dryness. She worked for everything she’s enjoying today. Months back, she launched her cosmetic line known as Chika Cosmetics in Lagos.

Recounting her tumultuous journey to success, the Harvard Business School trained entrepreneur said: “It has been a journey of personal development and to do what my heart craves for.

In the entertainment industry, you can’t afford to look tacky; my brand has evolved from being a Nollywood actress, owning a fashion brand to being an author and now a cosmetic brand.

I hope to keep evolving and be a good role model to the younger ones. I hope people put up a good mindset to what they are doing, learn from my story and pursue their dreams tenaciously.”

Aside her beauty business, Chika is also a profound writer. Her maiden book, Boss Up, which was endorsed by the Harvard Business School details how she overcame her personal life obstacles, experiences and lessons learnt.

According to Chika, “It took me over seven years of writing to finally publish Boss up! Seven years of documenting my thoughts, emotions, truth and events that taught me some life lessons and brought me to this point,” Recently, the actress returned to the trenches, producing her new movie, Small Chops, which she said is very dear to her heart. “It took me a year to do the post production.

The film is about a character called Nikita; I was a dancer in that film. Some men believe that girls are small chops, but not all girls are small chops; we have dignity and pride.

Some people stereotype people, so, this movie kicks against stereotyping.” Just last week, Chika released the trailer for the new movie on YouTube, ahead of its January 2020 cinema release

Also read: Tips to avoid weight gain during this holiday

. The two-minute-long trailer had scenes showing popular Nollywood stars, Nkem Owoh, Eucharia Anunobi, Nse Ikpe Etim, Toyin Abraham, Rachael Okonkwo, Lolo 1 and Hafeez Oyetoro.

While she’s beating her own drum, Chika can be described as a phenomenal actress having all of the attributes of a young hot lady. She knows when to be in the spotlight. On a number of occasions, she has set tongues wagging on social media to her advantage.

Not too long ago, the curvy actress set Instagram agog, after she put her sexy body on display, wearing a bikini and a robe on top of it. Sharing the pictures, she wrote: “Never dim your light for anyone.

If it’s blinding they should wear shades! shinebright.” The pictures were alluring enough to increase her fan base. At other time, she got her fans debating whether she went under the knife or not on social media.

While some were admiring the actress and her seemingly hot body, others were concerned with the authenticity of her body, especially her ‘booty.” In any case, Chika remains an adorable actress who never failed to impress her fans and critics with her flawless beauty.

But beyond her beauty and brain, the actress is bedevilled with such weaknesses that can better be imagined than described.

Chika has had a flourishing career, and it can only get better if she continues to humble herself and remain focused. [Vanguard]

The Truth


Tips to avoid weight gain during this holiday

The holidays have a way of tempting even the most adamant of dieters into eating recklessly. Maybe it’s the celebratory spirit in the air which for most, translates to sharing foods and drinks.

Maybe it’s the laid backness of the season persuading you to just take a break from the strict habits you’ve been devoted to.

Either way, one thing is constant; weight gain at the end of the holiday is not how you want to begin your new year. Most especially, if you have worked hard on shedding some weight.

Knowledge is power. And in this game of Holiday dieting, knowing the foods to avoid is a capable weapon which must be mastered.

Snack wisely

There’s bound to be snacks everywhere during the holidays. Whether it’s at a friend’s place, at that office party, at your aunt’s and etc, you can be sure to be served more chin-chin, cookies, cakes, and snacks than preceding months.

Also read: How bathing in warm water boosts your health

While it’s no crime to snack a little here, and there, be conscious to avoid eating just because and not because you’re hungry.

Learn how to politely decline snack servings at events, visits and so on.

Get enough sleep

You probably didn’t know that depriving yourself of sleeping over time can cause weight gain.

Do not spend all of your holiday nights partying and ‘catching cruise’. Get as much rest as you can to keep your mind and body fit.

Protein is your friend

You heard right. Make proteins your friend during this holiday. The math is simple: most snacks and meals served during the holidays are carbohydrates.

By being friends with proteins, you can balance these foods high in carbs with proteins such as poultry, dairy and so on.

Cut down on your dessert consumption

Most desserts contain huge amounts of sugar. Sugar encourages weight gain. In simple terms, the less dessert you consume, the safer for you.

Use smaller plates

This trick works every single time. Most times, because of engagements, you might be unable to escape celebratory meals.

The hack is to request for your meal to be served in smaller plate sizes so that you automatically consume less food. (The Cable)

The Truth


200 homes destroyed as forest fires tear through historic Chilean city

Source:Helen Regen

At least 200 homes have been destroyed after forest fires swept through a residential area in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso on Christmas Eve.

Hundreds of firefighters struggled to control the fast-moving blaze, which continued into Christmas Day and was made worse by dry weather and strong winds.
Military units and helicopters were deployed to help battle the flames and residents were evacuated to shelters.
The government regional leader of Valparaiso Jorge Martinez Duran said in a news conference on Wednesday that it is believed the fires were started intentionally.

Aerial view of burnt houses after a forest fire in Valparaiso, Chile.
Chilean Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel said in a post on Twitter that authorities were working to investigate and “there will be no impunity” for those found responsible.
Images show dozens of houses completely destroyed by the flames and residents tried to salvage any belongings.

Also read: Tens of thousands stranded as typhoon hits Philippines on chrismas day

“Progress has been made in containing the fire, but unfortunately more than 200 homes are already destroyed,” Blumel posted on Twitter.
“This isn’t just about the numbers — there are families behind this to whom we have to answer,” Chilean Housing Minister Cristian Monckeberg said at a news conference on Wednesday.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said on Twitter, “We deeply regret the fire that affects so many families in the hills of Valparaiso and especially on Christmas Eve.”

Residents look at the destruction caused by the fires in Valparaiso.
He said a working group had been set up to help the affected families and begin reconstruction.
Located about 70 miles (113 kilometers) northwest of the capital Santiago on Chile’s coast, Valparaiso is a popular tourist destination known for its colorful houses, idyllic hills and its historic old town.
The city has been ravaged by wildfires in the past. In 2014, at least 12 people died and 2,000 homes were destroyed when fires tore through the city. CNN

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Gay Jesus Film: Brazil police probe attack on actors

On Wednesday, a video circulating on social media showed three masked men claiming to have carried out the attack in retaliation for “an attack against the Brazilian people’s faith.”

The two-minute video included images of several people lighting Molotov cocktails before throwing them at a building.

 The attack, in which no one was hurt, took place Tuesday night at the studio of a group of actors called Porta dos Fundos, whose 46-minute film “Christ’s First Temptation” began streaming on Netflix on December 3.

 The satirical comedy depicts Jesus returning home with his boyfriend Orlando after 40 days in the desert, as Mary and Joseph plan a surprise party for Jesus’s 30th birthday.

It has angered many evangelicals and Catholics, and hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition to have it taken down. Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo — a lawmaker — criticized the movie on Twitter.

 “We believe in freedom of expression but is it really worth attacking the faith of 86 per cent of the population?” he wrote. The masked men in the video held up a flag of the 19th-century Empire of Brazil and another sporting a symbol linked to the 1930s far-right political party Brazilian Integralist Action.

“All hypotheses are being investigated,” police commissioner Marco Aurelio Ribeiro told journalists. Police have identified the registration numbers of a vehicle and motorcycle used by the attackers and said the masked group’s video “matches” the crime committed.

Actor Joao Vicente de Castro, a member of Porta dos Fundos, told journalists the incident was “an attack on freedom of expression.”

The Truth


Chrismas Homage: Buhari receives FCT Community, says 2019 very successful

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday declared 2019 as a very successful year for the nation, thanking Nigerians for believing in him and supporting his administration to take Nigeria to the Next Level.

The president stated this when he received residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) led by the Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, during the traditional Christmas Day homage, at the State House, Abuja.

We thank God. It has been a very successful year, relative to the composition of this country, both politically and ethnically,’’ he said. The president told the delegation, comprising religious, traditional and political leaders as well top civil servants and members of the press: ‘‘You are our eyes and ears, we have to listen to you and I hope you are encouraging your constituencies that this leadership means well and is concerned about them.’’

He reiterated that his administration would continue to do the utmost best to effectively utilise national resources to rebuild the country. Buhari recounted that the extreme infrastructure deficit inherited by his administration was worsened by the volatility in the oil market and the activities of militants in the Niger Delta.

He, however, expressed confidence that in the last four years the federal government had recorded sustainable progress in mobilising resources to rebuild infrastructure across the country. ‘‘This administration sincerely believes that if you get infrastructure right, most Nigerians will mind their own businesses.

They may not even care who is in government. ‘‘But when you deny them infrastructural facilities then there is nothing they can do. ‘‘But I can assure you that I thank Nigerians very much from the bottom of my heart.

‘‘When I travelled to all the 36 states before the elections, what I personally observed and the number of Nigerians that turned up in every state to see and listen to me, is more than what anybody can pay or force. ‘‘What I saw made me believe that the majority of Nigerians understand and sympathise with me,’’ he said.

The president also reassured Nigerians that he was conscious of his duty as president, saying: ‘‘I swore to hold this office in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and God willing, I will follow the system diligently to the end of my term and I hope history will be kind to me and Nigerians.’’

In his remarks, the host Minister said the Christmas Day homage presented an opportunity for FCT residents to thank the president for his unwavering support. While acknowledging the support of security agencies in the country, Bello said FCT had enjoyed relative peace because of their collaboration.

He promised that his administration would continue to work hard to make the city safe, secure and open to all Nigerians.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the highpoint of the event was the presentation of Christmas cards to the president by the FCT Community and State House Chapel. VANGUARD

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‘How bathing in warm water boosts your health’

We all can relate. The pressures of daily life provide a natural incentive to pace ourselves, and a warm shower or bath could act as a basic boost or relaxant, depending on the time of day.

However, research continues to prove warm water has significant benefits beyond a feel-good factor, with some studies placing its health advantages on par with physical exercise.

Here are a few reasons why choosing warm water shouldn’t only be a matter of personal preference. Kick-starts your day, decreases stress. Heat from the water stimulates the heart to work harder and faster, thereby accelerating blood flow around the body. It’s also been proven to enhance oxytocin levels, which in turn elevates the mood and lowers stress.

According to Neil Morris, a psychologist at the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom, bathing in warm water can significantly advance general psychological wellness. Morris studied 80 people who took a bath with warm water each day for a fortnight and found that it diminished feelings of depression and pessimism while developing a pleasurable, hedonic tone.

A warm shower before bedtime typically soothes the body, mind and nerves. Apart from that, warm water also affects the body’s production of melatonin – the hormone that regulates sleep.

At night, the body’s core temperature naturally falls, triggering melatonin production. A warm shower or bath around bedtime then slightly raises the body temperature, causing it to drop steeply on exiting the bathroom.

This prompts a heightened production of melatonin, and more likelihood of a good night’s sleep – the benefits of which are widely recognized. Lowers blood pressure and promotes muscle healing.

Also read: 3 things you should do when someone criticizes you

Taking a regular warm bath – with its circulation and vascular function advantages – can help reduce blood pressure and stiffen blood vessels. The effect of heat-induced blood flow on the body is tantamount to a light exercise session. The warmth encourages muscles to expand and contract while loosening joints, tendons and tissues.

Although not an enduring cure for pain, five minutes under warm water can considerably ease pain, spur healing and restrict inflammation. It’s a more convenient alternative than a massage and more organic than medical treatments.

Eliminates bacteria. The elementary reason for having a bath is to cleanse ourselves. Clogged pores lead to blemishes and an accumulation of toxins in the skin.

Warm water opens up skin pores, making it easier to clean out dirt and impurities. The temperature increase also has an adverse effect on most bacteria. Taking these baths or showers is particularly useful if there’s a wound, as it helps kill bacteria, fend off infection, and promote circulation in the injured area for faster healing.

Relieves cough and cold symptoms. Nasal congestion is as a result of inflammation in the nasal passages.

Inhaling steam from warm water activates the blood vessels in the face and nose, consequently opening up the airways, as well as loosening phlegm and mucus blockages that could be causing a cough or sore throat.

A warm bath also empowers the immune system to better fight viruses. This list isn’t exhaustive – warm water’s various health merits range from weight loss to controlling diabetes. As it also has a number of physical wellness benefits, warm water bathing should not be reserved exclusively for cold weather. W

arm water is proven to naturally enhance the body and facilitate a sense of calm all year round.

So the next time you contemplate a warm bath, think past the pleasant experience itself to its long-term value. Your body will thank you for it. Issued in public interest by Ariston Thermo Nigeria Gaurav Bisaria, Director for Central Africa. Vanguard

The Truth


Bill Cosby’s spokesman calls Eddie Murphy a ‘Hollywood slave’ after SNL appearance

A spokesman for Bill Cosby has fired back at Eddie Murphy after the comedian made jokes at Cosby’s expense during his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live.

Murphy compared his current situation to Cosby’s, who’s serving three to 10 years in prison after being found guilty in April 2018 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004. Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania appeals court upheld the conviction.

“But if you would have told me 30 years ago that I would be this boring, stay-at-home … house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail,” Murphy said to laughter, “even I would have taken that bet.”

“Who is America’s Dad now?” Murphy added, impersonating Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable, the sitcom character who was once often referred to as America’s Dad. In a statement released Sunday, Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt criticized Murphy for the jokes, saying it was Cosby who “broke color barriers in the Entertainment Industry” so that Murphy and other comedians like Dave Chappelle and Kevin Hart could perform, as reported by CNN.

Also read: 59-year-old dad says 25-year-old son can date 61-year-old Madonna

Murphy’s jokes were “disparaging,” the statement said, adding, “One would think that Mr. Murphy was given his freedom to leave the plantation so that he could make his own decisions, but he decided to sell himself back to being a Hollywood Slave.” Wyatt’s statement then appeared to accuse Murphy of perpetuating racial stereotypes by saying he was “cooning” and comparing him to Stepin Fetchit, the stage name of actor Lincoln Perry, who embodied racist cliches.

“Remember, Mr. Murphy, that Bill Cosby became legendary because he used comedy to humanize all races, religions, and genders; but your attacking Mr. Cosby helps you embark on just becoming clickbait,” Wyatt’s statement said. “Hopefully, you will be amenable to having a meeting of the mind’s conversation,” the statement said, “in order to discuss how we can use our collective platforms to enhance Black people rather than bringing all of us down together.” Vanguard

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‘Too expensive’ ― Klopp reveals why Liverpool have no French players

There are not any France players in Liverpool’s senior squad because most of them are too expensive, according to their coach Jurgen Klopp. The European champions have not had a French international on their books since 2017, despite Les Bleus winning the 2018 World Cup and being dominant on the world stage in recent times.

With the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba all involved in club moves or rumoured transfers over the past few seasons, Klopp revealed this calibre of French player costs too much for Liverpool to buy. When asked why there was no France stars in his team, Klopp told Canal+: “There is no reason for it.

Also read: Watford beat Manchester United 2-0 in premiere league

“Kylian plays for PSG. Griezmann wanted to go to Barcelona obviously – we know how good that team is. “We would like to have a French player, but some of them are too expensive for us.”

Mamadou Sakho was the last France international to pull on the famous red shirt, signing from PSG in 2013 and staying four seasons before departing for Crystal Palace. Other notable French players on Liverpool’s books in the 21st century include Nicolas Anelka, Djibril Cisse, David N’Gog and Aly Cissokho.

The Reds do have a France talent in their under 23’s, with 18-year-old left-back Yasser Larouci playing in non-competitive matches for Liverpool’s first team during pre-season.

Klopp’s side has streaked to a 10-point lead over Leicester City at the top of the Premier League, while also holding a game in hand on Brendan Rodgers’ team, who they face at Anfield on the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day.

Also read: Breaking: Chelsea beat Totteham Hotspur 2-0

Last year’s champions Manchester City are a further point back in third position and have struggled to maintain momentum this season after injuries to key stars such as Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, and Leroy Sane.

Liverpool, fresh from winning the Club World Cup against Flamengo in Qatar, have home clashes against Wolves and Sheffield United over the new-year period, before meeting city rivals Everton in the FA Cup third round on January 5. They will then take on Tottenham, Manchester United and Wolves in a tough stretch of league fixtures through January. Vanguard
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FDA approves first-ever vaccine for prevention of Ebola virus

The vaccine, Ervebo, was developed by Merck and protects against Ebola virus disease (EVD) caused by Zaire ebolavirus in people 18 and older, the FDA said in a statement.

Cases of EVD in the US are very rare and have generally occurred when people already infected with the virus have traveled into the country or when health care workers have become infected treating those sickened by EVD.

“While the risk of Ebola virus disease in the U.S. remains low, the U.S. government remains deeply committed to fighting devastating Ebola outbreaks in Africa, including the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Anna Abram, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Legislation, and International Affairs, said in a press release.

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, called the new vaccine “a triumph of American global health leadership.”
The Zaire strain of the Ebola virus has caused more than 2,000 deaths in the current outbreak in the eastern DRC, and more than 11,000 deaths during an outbreak in 2014 in West Africa.

Also read: Alphabet grants Pichai largest ever stock award, again

Ebola virus is highly contagious and transmitted through direct contact with blood, body fluids and the tissue of infected wild animals or people. It’s also transmitted through surfaces and materials that have come into contact with an infected person or animal. CNN

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Watford beat Manchester United 2-0 in Premier League

Watford won in the Premier League for just the second time this season as the bottom-of-the-table side beat Manchester United 2-0 in a shock upset at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Watford went ahead in the 50th minute when United goalkeeper David de Gea somehow allowed a tame shot from Ismaila Sarr to go through his hands and in at the near post.

And four minutes later Watford, who remain bottom, doubled their lead when Troy Deeney scored from the penalty spot after Sarr was brought down in the box by Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Punch

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Social Media Bill to protect minority, vulnerable groups ― Presidency

The presidency has again spoken on current efforts by the federal government to regulate the social media, saying it is an attempt to protect minority and vulnerable groups rather than concerns being raised in some quarters that the Buhari administration is bent on shrinking the media space and voices of dissent.

Presidential Spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu disclosed this at the weekend in Abuja during a dinner organized by the Press Corps of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC.

“Social media has become a problem for many families because the rights of women and children are being abused.

“There is a need to protect vulnerable members of society. There is a need to protect minorities whether tribal or religious in our own country.

“So, it makes sense that you as media stakeholders come around the Minister of Information and Culture and formulate the kind of regulations you want so that it is not that there is a top-bottom approach so that government will not be accused of imposing a regulatory mechanism on the media.

“The minister is saying come, sit down with me and let us talk about it. And I was told that the day he called on the Nigeria Union of Journalist NUJ, they walked out on him.

“If that report is true, I think it is very unfortunate. I think we need to come around him and offer media-driven solutions so that at the end of it this country will have a vibrant and effective social media communication system

“At the same time, it is the one that does not drive children to addictions and that it also protects consumers of media content from harmful invasion either of our privacy or addiction of children to some mercy-less commercialism that are profit-driven and are taking advantage of our own exposure to mass communication systems.

“I will like to appeal that, please give serious considerations to some of these elements and see how the media in the country can work together with government to find communication solutions to purely communication problems.

“It is not political, the government has no reason to undermine or weaken the mass media.

When you realize it, in countries where the mass media are being suppressed, where there is no freedom of expression and information, you find out that the media space tends to decline, it becomes smaller.

Media houses closed down but the irony of what is happening in the country is that while some civil society groups are crying here that the freedom of expression is being threatened and in any case, we know why they were shouting because they are looking for donors abroad who will send in US dollars for the protection of hate speech, that basically is a selfish thing.

“But in a country where we are expanding the media space, the last time we did, we licensed about 300 radio stations and as I am speaking to you now, this administration is processing almost 500 requests for radio stations.

The media space cannot be expanded, if it is being oppressed.

“A lot of our colleagues I have seen them, any editor who loses job today or senior journalist, you will see him set up a digital newspaper and they are doing well.

Many of them are prospering which tells you that the media is not in any way constrained in carrying out its constitutional duties”, he added. Vanguard
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3 Things You Should Do When Someone Criticizes You

Source: Aby
I don’t think there is anyone that really enjoys being criticized…correct me if i’m wrong though.

Even if we don’t like it, we have to accept it because it contributes to our growth process.

There’s definitely nobody that likes the quality of their work being questioned or their decisions challenged, but the thing is, the way you handle criticism is what determines your quality, as a person and in your craft.

The willingness to accept and take corrections.
I personally don’t take criticism very well at first…I get defensive initially before I start to see reason in what you’re saying.

I was talking to a friend of mine recently and he told me he is scared to criticize me sometimes because of how I react sigh.

If you criticize me, I will gruel you with questions…but hey, I have to at least defend
myself don’t I?
I like constructive criticism, don’t come condemning something about me and then not offering any reasonable advise.

I don’t take such people seriously and honestly, they really piss me off.
So how do you handle criticism?

I don’t know about you, but the first thought that comes to my head when someone has something negative to say about me is “what is this one saying?”…Its bad I know, but I’m working on it.
You have to listen, not just listen, but understand where the person is coming from, put down you defensive cape for a minute and try reasoning with the person, ask questions if necessary.

Being able to listen to and accept constructive criticism is a sign of maturity.

The more successful you become in life the more you become a target for criticism, or rather jealousy and envy disguised as criticism, so you have to take the person criticizing you into consideration.

Instincts and intuition play a very huge part here. Criticism coming from co-workers or people you may be in competition with should be handled

Understanding where the criticism is coming from will help you know how best to handle it.


Instead of getting offended and being defensive, consider it and think about what it is you have possibly been doing wrong, think of ways to improve, if possible, do your research or get a second opinion.
Basically what I’m trying to say is…take action!

Do listen objectively
Do ask for specifics
Do get a second opinion and do your own research
Do apologize, take ownership and responsibility
Do show that you are taking feedback into consideration
Do take corrective action
Do learn from it

Don’t ignore the criticism
Don’t get defensive, angry or rude
Don’t waste time making excuses
Don’t react in haste before considering the best plan of action
Don’t blame others
Don’t engage in a cover-up
Don’t dwell on the error

Share with me, how have you handled criticism in the past? Are you bad at taking it like I am? Let me know in the comment section, let’s rub minds.

The Truth


Liverpool head home hungry for more after being crowned world champions

4′ Liverpool’s players lift the trophy following the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup Final football match between England’s Liverpool and Brazil’s Flamengo at the Khalifa International Stadium in the Qatari capital Doha on December 21, 2019.

Liverpool have made winning trophies a habit in 2019 and Jurgen Klopp’s side return to England and to their push for the Premier League title galvanised after being crowned world champions in Qatar on Saturday.

It is an honour the Anfield side had never before claimed but which is now theirs after Roberto Firmino’s extra-time goal secured a 1-0 victory over Flamengo in a hard-fought Club World Cup final in Doha.

The latest piece of silverware is Liverpool’s third in little over six months, after they won the Champions League in June and began this season by winning the UEFA Supercup on penalties against Chelsea.

“The year 2019 for the club has been outstanding,” said defender Virgil van Dijk.

“But we shouldn’t be satisfied with it. We should keep going, keep striving for more, and keep wanting more trophies.”

Van Dijk returned against Flamengo after illness kept him out of the 2-1 semi-final victory against Monterrey and that determination to be back playing summed up Liverpool’s attitude towards the competition.

The Club World Cup is not held in the highest regard in Europe, coming in the middle of a busy club season.

Also read: Meghan and Harry: UK royals take a break in Canada

That is in contrast to South America, with Flamengo’s huge support in Doha showing just how much Saturday’s game meant to them.

“It might have been different had we got beat, then maybe some people would have said we were wasting our time or whatever,” acknowledged Andy Robertson.

“But for us even if we did lose it was all worthwhile because we had a chance to win a trophy that the club had never won before.”

He added that “2019 has been incredible, we have won three trophies and hopefully in 2020 there is a couple more for us.”

Liverpool will continue their defence of the Champions League with a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid in February, and host local rivals Everton in the FA Cup third round on January 5.

However, the Premier League is the one they really have in their sights as they seek a first English title since 1990.

– Leicester beaten –

As well as the trophies in 2019, Klopp’s team have not lost a league game since their very first outing of the year, at Manchester City. They have won 25 and drawn one of their last 26 in the Premier League.

There was more good news for them on Saturday as nearest rivals Leicester City lost 3-1 at Manchester City, leaving Liverpool 10 points clear at the top with a game in hand.

Klopp’s squad have little time for celebrations, however, as they return to England to prepare to visit Leicester on Thursday.

But while a week in Qatar might have seemed like an unwanted distraction for some in a busy schedule, Klopp was keen to point out that his team have still played the same number of games as their challengers.

“If we hadn’t played here tonight we would have played at West Ham, so the same number of games, the same situation, and the difference is the climate, even if it was not as warm as probably Europeans would have expected at the moment,” said the German.

“It is still something we have to adapt to. But that is the only thing that is special, so it’s all good, and we need to make sure that we come home safely, and recover in the plane already, and then prepare the Leicester game.”

With several players already out, however, the downside was seeing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain go off hurt in the second half against Flamengo, and the midfielder may be set for another spell on the sidelines.

“When he was landing he got a kick and rolled over. It is far away from being perfect, but we will see if the ligament is only stretched, or ruptured partly,” Klopp said.

“It’s a big shadow again but that’s how it is in contact sport”. Vanguard

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Meghan and Harry: UK royals take a break in Canada

Britain’s Prince Harry, his wife Meghan and baby Archie are spending some “private family time” in Canada, a spokeswoman for the couple said on Saturday.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are taking a break from royal duties after speaking of the pressure of being in the spotlight following their wedding last year and Archie’s birth in May.

They had previously announced they would miss Christmas with Queen Elizabeth II, choosing to spend it instead with the duchess’ mother, Doria Ragland.

Also read: #merrymen2: pictures, movie premiere, opening week, Makuns celebrate.

The queen has also begun the holidays without her husband Prince Philip, after he was admitted to hospital on Friday for precautionary treatment for a pre-existing condition.

“Prince Harry, Meghan and Archie, we’re all wishing you a quiet and blessed stay in Canada,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted.

“You’re among friends, and always welcome here.”

Harry has been a frequent visitor to Canada and Meghan, a US former actress, lived there for seven years while filming the TV series “Suits”.

“Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are spending private family time in Canada,” the spokeswoman said.

“The decision to base themselves in Canada reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both.”

She added: “They are enjoying sharing the warmth of the Canadian people and the beauty of the landscape with their young son.”

Prince Philip, 98, is reported to have spent the night in hospital after being admitted on Friday for what Buckingham Palace described as “observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition”.

The Sun tabloid said the Duke of Edinburgh had suffered a month of ill-health, including a “bad fall” which left him confined to bed for a couple of days.

He travelled to London’s King Edward VII Hospital from the royal Sandringham estate in Norfolk, eastern England, where he spends most of his time following his retirement in 2017.

The Daily Mail said he was flown by helicopter and suffered a “flu-like condition”.

The queen, 93, travelled as expected on Friday from London to Sandringham, where she spends Christmas with other senior royals. Vanguard

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#MerryMen2: Pictures, movie premiere, opening week, Makuns celebrate

The Makuns celebrates the opening week of #Merrymen 2 with a dance video that was posted on Instagram on Saturday,21st of December as a follow up for the Movie premiere that took place in Film House, Lekki, Lagos State on Friday, 20th December.

Also read: Twitter removes thousands of ‘spam’accounts linked to Saudi government

Merry Men 2: Another Mission is a 2019 Nigerian film and a sequel to Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons. The film is a production spearheaded by Ayo Makun popularly known as AY.

Celebrities came out in numbers to show support for one of their own by attending the Red carpet event. Here are some fabulous looks from the red Carpet


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Twitter removes thousands of ‘spam’ accounts linked to Saudi government

Twitter says it has removed nearly 6,000 accounts it deemed tied to a state-backed information operation in Saudi Arabia.

In a blog post Friday, Twitter said the removed Saudi accounts were amplifying messages favorable to Saudi authorities, mainly through “aggressive liking, retweeting and replying.” While the majority of the content was in Arabic, Twitter said the tweets also amplified discussions about sanctions in Iran and appearances by Saudi government officials in Western media.

The 5,929 accounts removed are part of a larger group of 88,000 accounts engaged in “spammy behavior” across a wide range of topics. But Twitter isn’t disclosing all of them because some might be compromised accounts.

Twitter began archiving Tweets and media it deems to be associated with known state-backed information operations in 2018. It shut 200,000 Chinese accounts that targeted Hong Kong protests in August.

Social media companies have been trying to tackle misinformation on their services, especially ahead of next year’s US presidential elections.

The efforts followed revelations that Russians bankrolled thousands of fake political ads during the 2016 elections. Twitter’s announcement Friday underscores the fact that misinformation concerns aren’t limited to the U.S. and Russia.

The Saudi Arabian Embassy in the US did not immediately return a request for comment.

In September, Twitter suspended the account of the crown prince’s former top adviser, Saud al-Qahtani, who also served as director of the cybersecurity federation.

As with Friday’s announcement, Twitter said that account had violated the company’s platform manipulation policy.
The Saudi government has used different tactics to control speech and keep reformers and others from organizing, including employing troll armies to harass and intimidate users online. It has also arrested and imprisoned Twitter users. Vanguard
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Libya’s instability is destabilising W/Africa – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says instability in the State of Libya is a recurring threat to the Sahel and Sub-Saharan Africa, and expressed concern over the growing effect of the crisis on many lives.

The president stated this at a bilateral meeting with the President of Cote d’Ivoire, Dr. Alhassan Quattara, on the margins of the 56th Ordinary session of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).

The 56th Ordinary session of ECOWAS was held at the State House Conference Centre.
A statement by the President’s spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, quoted President Buhari to have said that the crisis in Libya had perpetuated instability in the West Coast, with many of the trained fighters in the country now surviving on violent crimes and terrorism.

The President said the Libyan fighters, who were trained for the 43 years Muammar Gaddafi ruled the country, were armed with deadly weapons and had been roaming the Sahel and sub-Sahara sub-region, with no other skills for survival ‘‘but to shoot and kill.’’

He expressed happiness that neighbouring countries were supporting Nigeria in tackling the menace of the fighters who had teamed up with Boko Haram.
President Buhari, however, stressed the need to do more by the West African countries, both under the ECOWAS platform and at bilateral levels.

In his remarks, President Quattara said he came to brief the Nigerian leader on the progress of the ECOWAS mandate given to him to negotiate exit of Francophone West African countries from their currency union with France and the European Union.

The Ivorian President said he was pleased to report that he received the full support of the French government, under President Emmanuel Macron, and that the West African States were free to leave the union and join the ‘‘Eco’’, the new currency designated for the West Coast.

President Buhari expressed delight that France did not stand in the way of the “Eco’’.
On the ongoing debate in Nigeria on foreign borrowing, President Buhari said it was necessary to fund infrastructure projects, adding that ‘‘without roads, rail, and power, investors will not be encouraged to invest in the country.’’

At another bilateral meeting with the President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, President Buhari said he was impressed with the ongoing efforts of the administration to secure and stabilize the country.
‘I am happy that your policies and plans are holding on. I assure you that we will continue to support you.

”A problem in the neighbourhood is our problem. I will keep in touch with our officials to see how we can support,’’ he said.

Earlier in his remarks, the President of Sierra Leone recalled the level of cooperation between his country and Nigeria, appreciating President Buhari for various forms of support to his country, including the provision of teachers, nurses, technicians, and engineers.

He said more support was needed in the economic sector to ease the growing hardship among lower segments of the country’s population.

At a bilateral with President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso, President Buhari commended the country’s leader for sustaining investment in infrastructure in spite of distractions from terrorists.

President Buhari and President Kaboré agreed to convene a meeting of the two states to discuss in greater detail issues pertaining to security and economy.

While describing Nigeria as a ‘‘powerhouse that drives economic growth and development in the region’’, Kaboré said his country had high expectations of their “excellent relations’’ with Nigeria.

President Buhari also had a meeting with Liberian President, George Manneh Oppong Weah and President of Benin, Patrice Talon, at the ECOWAS summit. Vanguard.
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Turkey fined for fan behaviour, players warned over salutes

UEFA on Friday fined Turkey’s football federation 50,000 euros ($55,360) for their supporters’ behaviour and warned several players following military salutes performed during two Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Turkey fans caused crowd disturbances in the 1-1 draw with France on October 14, while Hakan Calhanoglu and Cenk Tosun were among a number of players reprimanded for “manifestations of a non-sporting nature”.

In their two October qualifiers against Albania and France, The players made salutes — seen as supporting their military operation in Syria — as they celebrated late goals.

The country reached Euro 2020 after finishing two points behind World Cup winners France in their group. They will face Switzerland, Wales and Italy in next year’s finals. Vanguard
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Oil declines but set for third weekly rise

Oil prices fell slightly on Friday but were still set for a third straight weekly gain after easing U.S.-China trade tensions lifted business confidence and the outlook for global economic growth.

Brent LCOc1 was down 7 cents at 66.47 dollars a barrel by 0954 GMT, equivalent to a weekly rise of around 2 per cent
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was down 10 cents at 61.08 dollars per barrel, a gain of around 1.5 dollars on the week.

Progress in a long-running trade dispute between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers, has boosted expectations for higher energy demand next year.

China on Thursday announced a list of import tariff exemptions for six oil and chemical products from the United States, days after Washington and Beijing announced an interim trade deal set to be signed at the beginning of January.

Most major economies have likely averted recession for now but growth will remain subdued in 2020, according to Reuters polls.

Also read: Idris Elba given Sierra Leone citizenship on

“The energy sector as a whole looks set to end 2019 with a solid year-on-year gain. This is due solely to the oil market,” Barbara Lambrecht, an analyst at Commerzbank, said.

Brent is 23 per cent more expensive than it was at the start of the year. Oil prices fell almost 20 per cent in 2018.

UBS lifted its oil price forecast for 2020 but also expects the oil market to be oversupplied by 0.3 million barrels per day next year.

“Our end-of-quarter Brent price forecasts are 60 dollars per barrel for 1Q20 and 62 dollars per barrel, 64 dollars per barrel, and 64 dollars per barrel for the following three quarters,” UBS analysts Giovanni Staunovo and Dominic Schnider said in a note.

UBS’s previous forecast for the four quarters of 2020 was 58, 55, 58 and 60 dollars per barrel respectively.

A U.S. weekly drilling report by energy services firm Baker Hughes Co is due to be released on Friday. U.S. drilling firms added four oil rigs in the week to Dec. 13, bringing the total count to 667.

Analysts say an expected fall in U.S. drilling activity should support oil prices.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a meeting between the two on Friday to stick to commitments made by Tehran in a landmark 2015 nuclear deal and said Japan, a U.S. ally, would do what it could to ensure stability in the Middle East. Vanguard

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Idris Elba given Sierra Leone citizenship on first visit

The British film star landed in the capital Freetown on Wednesday for his first visit to the country. Elba said that citizenship was “the biggest honour I could get from my country”.

“I’m no stranger to Africa: I’ve been in Africa, I’ve made films in Africa, I’ve championed Africa,” he said. “But Sierra Leone, it’s a very different feeling because it’s my parent’s home.”

An anonymous official from the Sierra Leonean government told AFP news agency the actor would be visiting Sherbro Island, renowned for its pristine beaches, before spending Christmas with President Julius Maada Bio.

He is also expected to go to the premiere of a movie about chimpanzees – Sierra Leone’s national animal – and to visit a chimpanzee sanctuary.

Also read: How my foundation ‘ll tackle malaria in Africa —Nwoko

The government has said he also plans to invest in Bonthe Island, a tourist destination.

Elba was born in London in September 1972. His late father grew up in Sierra Leone, and his mother is from Ghana.

He is best known for his work in Marvel films, including the Avengers, as well as for his roles in Mandela and Sometimes in April.

He was also named People magazine’s “sexiest man alive” in 2018.

The passport, Elba told the BBC, would allow him to “come back home as a son of the soil” Vanguard.

The Truth


How my foundation ‘ll tackle malaria in Africa – Nwoko

ABUJA- BILLIONAIRE businessman and politician,Ned Nwoko and his celebrity wife, Regina Daniels,have launched a project aimed at tackling malaria in Africa.

This came just as the couple said plans were on top gear to initiate a bill at the National Assembly with a view to setting aside a day to be recognised as “National Fumigation Day” in Nigeria.

Also read: Newly impeached Trump to deliver State of Union February 4

Unveiling the project at a press conference in Abuja,Prince Ned Nwoko explained that the initiative to establish the foundation was borne out of his “inclination to empathize, assist and care.”

“I must confess that it is my inclination to empathize, assist and care that made me and my wife, Regina Daniels Nwoko to embark on what we are unveiling today which is mosquito elimination and malaria eradication programme,” he said.

He explained that the “cardinal goal of this project is to accelerate towards the attainment of malaria free Nigeria and adopt the same model in other African countries.”

According to him,the foundation would launch collaborative platform for malaria eradication in Africa,establish an academic research rrant for malaria vaccine as well as encourage communities and individuals to take ownership of the programme and its activities in their spheres.

Nwoko,who said,”The short-term delivery plan shall be National mobilization for the fumigation of Nigeria and other African countries.”,revealed that he “plans to sponsor a Bill at the National Assembly, Abuja for there to be a National Fumigation Day in Nigeria.”

Explaining that the Malaria Eradication Programme In Africa was a project of Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation,he added that the programme was aimed at making Nigeria and Africa malaria free

Hear him:”Today, my foundation formally begins an audacious journey towards a malaria-free Nigeria and Africa.

In this project, we will work with national and multilateral organizations.

“We will equally collaborate with governments, private organizations and civil society towards achieving our core objective of extending malaria intervention programmes beyond the threshold of control and palliatives.

We have our eyes fixed on permanent solution to the age-long scourge.

“Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation is committed to rendering support and services to the needy, the society and humanity at large.”

According to him,”In the course of our various interventions, we discovered that malaria scourge constitutes one of the greatest impediments to the general wellbeing and development of Africans and their societies.

“He explained that,”Most health challenges suffered by Africans including death, organ damage and other physical and mental impairments are directly or indirectly traceable to malaria.” 

“Also, the parasitic disease causes huge economic loss by draining considerable funds that could have been used for support growth and general societal development.

“Malaria does not only cause loss of life but also interferes with athleticism, socio-economical activities and general way of life of the people over sustained period.

“My foundation is of the firm conviction that Africa must permanently overcome the recurring yearly tragedy of hundreds of thousands of avoidable health complications and deaths as a result of malaria attacks,” he further explained.

He gave insight into his organisation thus:”The Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation which I am privileged to conceive and chair is a non-governmental organization.

“The foundation is the vehicle for driving this anti-malaria project with the expected support of stakeholders.

The core areas of intervention by the foundation are Health, Environment, Education, Tourism, Sports and Culture.

“By the grace of God, the foundation has been an organ for bridging gaps in delivery of essential services through support for the needy including the sick, the handicapped, the elderly, the poor, widows, students and the vulnerable segments of society generally.

“The foundation is also involved in talents discovery and development across many areas such as sports, music, drama and some other aspects of entertainment”. Vanguard.

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Newly impeached Trump to deliver State of Union February 4

United States President Donald Trump has accepted the invitation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to deliver his state of the union speech on February 4, the White House said Friday.
The invite for the annual presidential speech to Congress comes at a charged political moment, with Trump freshly impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and facing a trial in a US Senate that is almost certain to acquit him.

It sets up a potentially explosive encounter between Trump and Pelosi, his chief Democratic nemesis in Congress and the woman who launched the formal impeachment inquiry. Pelosi is now at odds with the Senate’s Republican leadership about the parameters of the impeachment trial.

“In the spirit of respecting our Constitution, I invite you to deliver your State of the Union address before a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, February 4, 2020,” Pelosi wrote to the president in a letter.
Trump “has accepted the Speaker’s invitation,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said.

Pelosi’s three-paragraph letter also highlighted the system of separation of powers that was created by the framers of the US Constitution: “three co-equal branches acting as checks on each other.”
The reference is notable, given that Democrats accuse Trump of seeking to block Congress’ powers to oversee the executive branch by refusing to cooperate with the impeachment probe.

The speech will take place in the US House of Representatives, the very chamber that impeached him on Wednesday.
During the 2019 state of the union, the speaker appeared to mock Trump with an exaggerated clap that was quickly interpreted online as sarcasm.

She stood up during a round of applause and pointed her outstretched hands directly at the president, pursing her lips and looking right at him as she clapped.

On the eve of his impeachment, Trump wrote a furious six-page letter to the speaker, wildly accusing her of “declaring open war on American Democracy.”

Pelosi, launching the impeachment debate Wednesday, said Trump posed an “ongoing threat” to the country’s security that left Democrats “no choice” but to impeach him. Vanguard

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France fines Google 150 million euros for using unclear rules related to advertising

France’s Competition Authority, on Friday, fined U.S. tech giant Google 150 million euros ($167 million) for using unclear rules related to advertising.

According to the French regulator, Google has abused its dominant position in the search advertising market by adopting opaque and difficult to understand operating rules for its advertising platform Google Ads, by applying them in an unfair/random manner.
The French Competition Authority, therefore, imposed a penalty of 150 million euros and demands Google that clarify the operating rules for Google Ads, as well as the procedure for suspending the accounts.

In September, Google agreed to pay 965 million euros ($1.068 billion) to settle disputes with the French tax authorities that began four years ago. Vanguard

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Marc Anthony’s 120-foot yacht destroyed by fire

Source: page six
A yacht owned by singer Marc Anthony was destroyed Wednesday night when it erupted in flames at a Miami marina, a report said.
The two-time Grammy winner was not aboard the 120-foot vessel — but several crew members were when it caught fire and capsized at the Island Gardens Marina off Watson Island, according to WSVN.
All those aboard made it off safely, the report said.Footage shot by the news outlet shows roaring flames shooting from the yacht.

“It’s sad,” a family member of the marina’s owner told the network, “for us, as the marina, and for the boat.”
“Right now everything is under control,” he said.

Last April, Anthony was spotted on a yacht in Miami partying with over a dozen models in their 20s while docked next to Seaspice Brasserie & Lounge, an insider had told Page Six.
The 50-year-old superstar ordered bottles of champagne and dined on oysters, ribeye and a sizable seafood spread on the vessel.
It’s unclear if the yacht he was celebrating on in April was the one that caught fire Wednesday night. Vanguard
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Stay away from N2.1trn pension fund ― PDP warns Buhari, APC

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to dip hands in the N2.1 trillion pension fund to implement infrastructural projects in the country.

A committee headed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state had in the course of the National Economic Council meeting in Abuja on Thursday, recommended the use of the fund to implement capital projects, including power, which has been a major challenge in the country for decades.

Addressing a press conference at the party’s Presidential campaign headquarters on Friday, PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan warned the Presidency to dismiss the recommendation, adding that despite the huge debt incurred by the Buhari-led government, there is nothing on ground to justify same.
He said: “There is nothing on ground in the area of infrastructures. In spite of their huge spending, how has this translated to good living for Nigerians?

“What we can see is the ostentatious living of All Progressives Congress, APC, members. So we can’t support any move to dip hands in pension funds to implement infrastructural projects.”

The publicity scribe charged the President to respect the principle of federal character in key appointments to give every part of the country, a sense of belonging. Vanguard.
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We’re lucky our struggle earned us cleanup – MOSOP

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has stated that the people were lucky that their long agitations earned them the clean up of their impacted communities by the Federal Government.
The President of MOSOP, Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara, who spoke in Port Harcourt at the Stakeholders’ Forum on the Cleanup Project organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment through the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, noted that Ogoni people must do everything to ensure that the project succeeds.

Pyagbara, also a member of the Governing Board of HYPREP, noted that it was not only Ogoni that is affected by activities of oil firm in the nation and in the world, but stated that Ogoni was fortunate that their struggle got the attention of United Nations, who in response instituted an environmental report that has prompted the remediation.

He said: “This is our project and it is a product of our struggle. So, the genuine interest I see in Ogoni is welcomed. This project is the most commented I have seen, the most applauded and the most criticized project I have seen.

“The project has got both international and local attention, so we must do everything to ensure that it succeeds and ensure that the recommendations are put on the ground.
We are very lucky that our struggle got the attention of the Federal Government and the world. It got the attention of UNEP to do a report. Every Ogoni man must stand tall that our agitation has earned us this.”

However, the Project Coordinator, HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil, thanked the Ogoni people for having hope in the project, assuring that the project would be implemented in line with international specifications.
He urged leaders of the area to guide the youths against activities that would repollute the environment after cleanup, adding that Ogoni should remain cleaned after the process.

He urged leaders of the area to guide the youths against activities that would repollute the environment after cleanup, adding that Ogoni should remain cleaned after the process.

He said: “We hold you in high esteem as key stakeholders in the Ogoni clean-up project and once again want to assure you of our determination to ensure that Ogoniland is cleaned to international standards.

“It is our earnest expectation from the youths that as Ogoni is cleaned it remains clean from the activities of illegal bunkering and refining.

“It is our collective responsibility to educate the youths on the dangers of illegal refining on health, the environment and the national economy. Together we can achieve it and achieve we must to guarantee a safe environment and future for our children.” Vanguard.
The Truth

COVID-19: Trumps phones Buhari, promises ventilators

The President, Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, discussed with his US counterpart, Donald Trump, on the telephone.

The PUNCH gathered that their discussion was centred on the fight against coronavirus.

The Personal Assistant to the President, Bashir Ahmad, disclosed this on his Twitter handle.

He tweeted, “President Muhammadu Buhari had a phone conversation with the US President Donald Trump today, the two leaders discussed Nigeria’s efforts to defeat the COVID–19 Pandemic, and President Trump pledged US support and solidarity. #COVID19Nigeria

Also confirming the telephone conversation, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed, said it was on the request of Trump.

He described the conversation between the presidents as cordial.

He said, “President @MBuhari today had a phone conversation with President Donald Trump, at the request of the American President. The conversation centred on Nigeria’s response to the #COVID19 pandemic”-HMIC, Alh. Lai Mohammed

“President Buhari used the opportunity to brief the American President on the steps that Nigeria is taking to contain the spread of the disease.

“For his part, President Trump assured that the United States stands in solidarity with Nigeria in this difficult time and promised to send ventilators to support the country in its fight against the pandemic. President Trump also extends his best regards to the people of Nigeria.” (PUNCH)

The Truth

Apple reportedly delaying production ramp-up for 5G iPhones

Apple is reportedly delaying the manufacturing ramp-up of this year’s crop of new iPhones by a full month.

The holdup comes as the coronavirus pandemic has weakened global consumer demand and thrown a wrench into manufacturing operations across Asia, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited anonymous sources.

Apple still plans to release four new iPhone models later this year, which will serve as the successors to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro family of devices, according to the report.

Apple’s next iPhones are rumored to have 5G hardware, which will allow the phones to access a network that promises faster internet and quicker response times than LTE.

The Silicon Valley giant normally increases its production in early summer to build a sizable inventory store by August, just in time for its traditional September launch event. The new timeline could have the event taking place as late as November.

On top of the delays, Apple plans to slash iPhone production by as much as 20 percent during the second half of 2020, according to the report, which added, “It isn’t clear whether the slashed amount for 2020 would be pushed back into 2021 for manufacturing.”

The Journal’s report arrives less than a week after a report out of Asia claimed that Apple is planning on upping iPhone production by 4 percent year-over-year through March 2021 — a figure which will be a roughly even split between the newly announced iPhone SE and the forthcoming line of flagship devices.

Last month it was reported that the launch of the next iPhones may be delayed by “practical hurdles” caused by the coronavirus.

Apple traditionally needs to send engineers back and forth from its offices to its factories in China to finalize designs in the lead-up to the product’s release. But the coronavirus has led Apple to restrict employee travel to hotbeds of the disease, including China.

Shares of Apple were down slightly Monday morning, dipping 0.8 percent to trade at $280.66. (Vanguard)

NY Post

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West Ham, Brighton players return to training grounds

West Ham, Brighton and Arsenal opened their training grounds to players on Monday as Premier League clubs took steps towards a potential re-start.

The English top-flight is reportedly eyeing a resumption of the season on June 8 behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Project Restart” could see the 20 Premier League clubs resume full training by May 18, allowing players a three-week “pre-season”.

Premier League chiefs, due to meet with clubs on Friday, are committed to finishing the season, with Liverpool on the brink of their first English top-flight title for 30 years.

Brighton said in a statement on Monday that the club were allowing “restricted external access to the training pitches for first-team players only, for non-compulsory individual training”.

“Players will need to book and be allotted staggered arrival slots, allocated their own area to train and expected to fully adhere to social distancing rules while doing so, and when arriving and exiting the facility,” the statement added.

A West Ham spokesman said players in apartments or without safe access to green spaces were permitted access to training pitches.

“Access will be limited to one player at a time and all sessions will be in line with government guidelines around social distancing,” he said.

An Arsenal club spokesman confirmed on Saturday that players would be allowed to return this week but access would be carefully managed.

It was unclear whether manager Mikel Arteta, who tested positive for the virus last month but has since recovered, was present on Monday.

Britain, on lockdown until May 7 at the earliest, has been one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than 20,000 hospital deaths. (Vanguard)


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Provide life insurance for journalists on frontline, NUJ tells FG, stakeholders

Source: Innocent Anaba

The national secretariat of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, has called on the Federal Government and other stakeholders to provide life insurance for journalists, who are on the frontline in the coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The union also called for the provision of adequate and effective Personal Protection Equipment, PPEs, and palliatives to ease the hardship these journalists encounter daily while on their respective assignments.

National President of  NUJ, Mr Chris Isiguzo, in a statement, yesterday, said: “In recognition of the urgent need to enhance the working condition of journalists in the country, and considering that there can be no freedom of expression or freedom of the press where journalists work under precarious conditions and are exposed to danger, poverty or fear, the NUJ calls for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to enhance salaries, allowances, pensions and general condition of service for media professionals.

‘Specifically, we call on the federal and state governments to take note of the fact that journalists, like in conflict situations, are daily exposed to grave danger as a result of their professional calling.

“Accordingly, we call for life insurance for journalists, who are on the frontline in the coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, provision of adequate and effective Personal Protection Equipment, PPEs, and palliatives to ease hardships they daily encounter while on their respective assignments.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that there is an urgent need for the federal and state governments to intervene to save the media industry from collapse.

“We call for a Special Media Stabilisation Fund for privately owned newspapers and broadcast media so as to sustain government’s strategy in its fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus and also ensure that the fight against the pandemic is not put in jeopardy.

“It is also important to remind government that while devising strategies to contain Covid-19, it has become imperative for a well designed economic initiative to be considered to address a likely economic recession that may follow, considering that even before the outbreak of the virus, Nigeria had been designated the poverty capital of the world, with large segment of the population living below the poverty line.

“It is feared that if the present situation persists, the nation may suffer its worse economic recession, if not depression,  which only a bold and well crafted economic restructuring plan by government would mitigate. The time for government to act is now.” (Vanguard)

The Truth

YouTube bans ‘medically unsubstantiated’ content from site

YouTube has started banning content that is in direct contradiction to the World Health Organization’s guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the United States.

The Google-owned company also announced that it will be removing conspiracy theory videos that say that COVID-19 is directly linked to 5G cell service.

Chief executive, Susan Wojcicki said in a statement that “anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations” are a violation of their policy.

“So people saying, ‘Take vitamin C, take turmeric, we’ll cure you,’ those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy,” she told CNN.

Wojcicki also added that in the world’s current state, the site has seen a 75 percent increase in demand for new from credible sources.

Youtube isn’t the only site that is taking tougher steps to help stem the flow of misinformation.

Facebook announced last week that if any user watches any fake content related to the coronavirus, they would receive a pop-up urging them to go to the WHO website. (Vanguard)

NY Post

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