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City put aside domestic slip with 3-0 win at Shakhtar

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Manchester City put aside their recent Premier League setback, delivering a comfortable performance in a 3-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk in Champions League Group C on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola’s side, beaten by Norwich City on Saturday, brought in their Brazilian and former Shakhtar midfielder, Fernandinho, as a makeshift central defender to replace the injured John Stones.

But there was to be no real test of City’s back line as the English champions dominated, taking the lead in the 24th minute through Riyad Mahrez, who slotted home after Ilkay Gundogan’s shot came out off the post.

Shakhtar quickly had a chance to go level after a superb run from Taison who found Junior Moraes but his tame shot was well dealt with by Ederson.

City doubled their lead in the 38th minute with Mahrez finding Gundogan at the end of a trademark City passing move and the German clipped home to make it 2-0.

The Ukrainian side struggled to break up City’s possession play in midfield and while there was a relaxed tempo from Guardiola’s side, the outcome was never in doubt.

Gabriel Jesus made it three in the 76th minute after Kevin De Bruyne led a swift counter-attack and slipped in the Brazilian who made no mistake.

There was some good news on the injury front for City with French left-back Benjamin Mendy coming on as an 83rd-minute substitute, for his first appearance since April. (Reuters/)

VO/DOE/MZA

Edited by Dianabasi Effiong/Maharazu Ahmed

Foreign

Man holding children hostage surrenders in United States city Oakland

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A man who fired gunshots at police officers and held children hostage from home surrendered on Wednesday after a 12-hour standoff in the United States city of Oakland, Northern California.

“The incident … was peacefully resolved. The subject was in communications with our Tactical Negotiators and agreed to let the children exit the home. Shortly after the subject exited the home and surrendered to police,” the Oakland Police Department said in a tweet Wednesday evening.

Police officers saw the man shooting a rifle from inside a residence on the 5700 block of Harmon Avenue early Wednesday morning. No one was injured in the incident, according to the police.

The man was holding two children, aged 6 and 8, hostage inside the residence. A woman believed to be his wife then escaped from home, the reports said.

A SWAT team responded to the situation and police had been in contact with the man after the first shots were fired, the police said.

Oakland police spokeswoman Felicia Aisthorpe said in a Twitter video post earlier that a tactical negotiation team had been sent to deal with the situation.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Palestinians enjoy their time during sunset at seaside in Gaza City

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Palestinians are silhouetted against sunset at the seaside in Gaza City, on June 3, 2020. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

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Palestinian farmers collect corns during harvest season in Gaza strip city of Khan Younis

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A Palestinian farmer collects corns in a field during the harvest season in the southern Gaza strip city of Khan Younis, on June 3, 2020. (Photo by Yasser Qudih/Xinhua)

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Foreign

Palestinians protest against Israeli annexation plans in West Bank city of Nablus

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Palestinians hold national flags during a protest against the Israeli annexation plans in the West Bank city of Nablus, June 3, 2020. The annexation is, in fact, part of United States President Donald Trump‘s peace plan for the Middle East, better known as the Deal of Century. (Photo by Nidal Eshtayeh/Xinhua)

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Foreign

New York City extends curfew till Sunday to curb violence, looting amid protests

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New York City will be under a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning till Sunday to curb criminal acts emerging from protests over the death of black man George Floyd, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday.

Monday’s curfew, the first in the city since 1943, started at 11 p.m. and did not stop looters from breaking into stores in Manhattan as soon as night fell.

Over 200 people had been arrested before the curfew took effect on Monday night, and the whole night saw more than 700 arrests made, most of whom were youths, according to the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

The NYPD said that one officer was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver in the borough of the Bronx Monday night, while another was hit by a car when trying to stop a burglary in Manhattan.

“We saw vicious attacks on police officers. That is wholly unacceptable,” said de Blasio at his daily briefing. “Anyone who attacks a police officer attacks us all.”

Starting on Tuesday, no traffic would be allowed in a large part of Manhattan as soon as the curfew begins, with exceptions made for residents, essential workers, buses, and truck deliveries, according to the NYPD.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was “disappointed and outraged” by what happened Monday night, saying the criminal activity hurt everyone.

He criticized the city’s preparedness for Monday night’s chaos, saying the mayor underestimated the scope and the duration of the problem.

Though the NYPD doubled its police presence to 8,000 officers on Monday, the governor said there should be more.

The governor has said he has the National Guard on standby, but de Blasio has rejected the idea of having them deployed in New York City, saying it is not wise.

“When outside armed forces go into communities, no good comes of it. We have seen this for decades,” said the mayor.

Protests continued on Tuesday in the city, with thousands of people, mostly students of various ethnic groups, walking and chanting slogans such as “No justice, no peace” in a largely peaceful manner by the afternoon in Lower Manhattan.

Several streets were closed for demonstrations, and helicopters kept hovering above the moving crowds.

Scores of police officers were dispatched to some key locations such as the plaza outside the NYPD headquarters in Lower Manhattan, Union Square and Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Most of the shops in downtown Manhattan have had plywood installed over their windows and entrances, and workers were boarding up more shops on Tuesday afternoon, bracing for another potentially violent night.

So far, the city has arrested nearly 2,000 people since the protest erupted Thursday. More than 50 police officers have been injured, according to the NYPD.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Feature: City of Cars embraces art in age of coronavirus

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Artists brought a breath of fresh air to Los Angeles in back-to-back weekends that ended on Sunday, with an unusual, coronavirus-inspired art exhibition entitled, Drive-by-Art, or Public Art in This Moment of Social Distancing.

REFUSE ISOLATION

Just as novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has impacted every aspect of the world‘s society and industries, so it has impacted art, by generating what is believed to be the first outdoor art exhibition that one can view from the safety of one’s car.

“It is a message for our times, art seen through the lens of COVID-19,” Warren Neidich, artist and founder/co-organizer of the Drive-by-Art event told Xinhua. Neidich‘s work has shown at the Whitney Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Louvre and elsewhere. He is also a professor at Weissensee Academy of Art, Berlin, Germany.

“People don’t realize, artists are the voice of the world, and by being unable to share our art, the virus was suffocating our voices just as it suffocated our lungs,” he noted, adding the virus forced the world to embrace a different way of viewing art and of sharing art, now that museums and galleries, the normal venues for displaying art, have been shuttered, roaring into the void with its pedal to the metal is art seen from the safety of one’s car.

“It seemed like an exciting premise: stay in your car, protect yourself, yet be able to access unique experiences presented by artists,” said the organizer, Neidich.

“Like everyone else, it was very difficult for me and other artists to be so isolated during the outbreak. It was depressing for so many of us,” Neidich revealed to Xinhua. “It felt like the whole art community kind of funneled their consciousness and need for expression and solidary into me … I felt I had to do something.”

HELP EACH OTHER

After launching a smaller version of the concept on the east coast in Long Island, New York, Neidich decided to bring the concept to Los Angeles and enrolled the help of three prominent co-organizers: writer, curator and educator, Anuradha Vikram; artist and professor Rene Petropoulos; and Michael Slenske, a writer, curator and contributing editor to publications like the LA Times’s DesignLA, Galerie, Art + Auction, Los Angeles Magazine and others.

Anuradha Vikram, former Artistic Director of the 18th Art Center and visiting Lecturer at LA’s Otis College of Art and Design told Xinhua, “We saw a lot of need… artists were having their shows cancelled and were feeling really cut off from the things that keep them alive – their work and each other. We needed to do something to help.”

“This was a very DIY type of project. We felt it like it was a good opportunity to do something fun. And the artists really responded,” Vikram said.

Of the 125 artists featured in the exhibition, some are more well-known and others haven’t had many opportunities to express their voice, Renee Petropoulos, Professor at Otis College of Art and Design in the Graduate Fine Arts, Graduate Public Practice and Graduate Graphic Design departments told Xinhua.

“The most famous artists had too much fear to leave their institutional exhibitors, so we went with some established and many new artists and gave them the opportunity to share their voices,” Neidich explained.

For Petropoulos, creating an online community and archive of local artists morphed into something greater.

“It was important to acknowledge the artists and collect more documentation on them to build a real archive of artists for the Los Angeles art community. That became an interesting part of the process itself,” she said. Vikram also praised the website team for putting together the compelling Drive-by-Art website virtually overnight.

DIVERSIFIED THEMES

The exhibition itself became a metaphor for the coronavirus era, with cars acting as “safety bubbles” that enabled mandatory social distancing and interaction with art without the fear of infection.

“I was amazed how different the city itself looks during COVID. Combining the city, the art, and the impact of COVID was a fascinating perspective to explore,” Petropoulos told Xinhua. “We felt excited by it. Viewing art this way opens people up, yet they’re still in a protected environment.”

“This idea is right for the time. It’s not only good for the artists, it’s good for the people who want to see art,” Neidich said “It‘s only when people had time to reflect and think deeper, when they weren’t rushing from place to place that an idea like this could rise up above the din of our ‘mediated’ experience.”

“For me, the exhibition is my art, part of my own artistic expression,” he asserted, adding that diversity was also a priority for an art show.

“We have an incredibly diverse artist scene in LA, so it was inevitable that we were going to have a diverse group of artists,” Vikram told Xinhua. There was a tremendous age diversity in the exhibition too – multi-generations of artists who had been taught by other artists in the exhibition.

Vikram felt it could leave a more lasting mark. “This probably is one of the ways we are going to be looking at art from now on,” she predicted.

Their hope is that it may also lead to a greater appreciation for the arts and artists in Los Angels.

“Our artist community is so special here in LA,” Vikram told Xinhua. “But as our city gets more expensive and space gets more contested, our artists are at risk. Many artists situations are a lot more precarious than people realize. We need to support them,” she contended.

For the organizers, an important goal of this project was just trying to feel ok, trying to reconnect with humanity. “People really need this and it’s making them feel better. That’s the real achievement here. I got involved because I was depressed,” Vikram told Xinhua. “And I feel better now.”

(XINHUA)

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Economy

GDP: Expert urges  FG to prioritise mechanised agriculture, electricity to boost growth    

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An Economic Expert, Dr Uju Ogubunka, has  urged the Federal Government to give more priority to mechanised agriculture and critical infrastructure to accelerate the growth of the nation’s GDP.

Ogubunka, who is a former Executive Secretary of the  Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN),gave the advice  in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.

According to him, the Federal Government  must give extra attention to mechanised agriculture if the GDP is to be boosted within the  next quarter.

“ The agric sector has the capacity to improve  the country’s food output, regardless of the health pandemic.

“This is as agriculture is one of  the most reliable means of  generating employment and empowering youths in the hinterland,” he said.

He, however, said that the federal government should sustain its investment in key infrastructure in order  to stimulate growth in the economy.

“ The various electricity projects should be completed at the nick of time so as to accelerate industrialisation of the country.

“All  the railway reconstruction should be intensified to support the non oil sector, “ he said.

Ogbunka  said that  the tiers of government should put in more effort in tackling the security challenges limiting the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.

NAN reports that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020, grew by 1.87 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms, representing a drop of 0.23 per cent  points.

This is as compared to Q1 2019 and 0.68 per cent  points decline compared to Q4 2019.


Edited By: Vivian Ihechu and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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Foreign

Zimbabwe police ban people from traveling into city center to curb spread of COVID-19

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The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on Tuesday introduced a stricter COVID-19 enforcement regime where many people were barred from entering the city center, as positive cases spiked to 203 from 63 seven days earlier.

Most of the new cases are however imported and local transmissions have remained very low.

Many motorists and passengers using public transport were reportedly turned back home as the police insisted on particular “essential services”, despite some having documents showing that they were also covered under the COVID-19 Level 2 lockdown regulations.

In a message on Twitter, the police said members of the public should observe the regulations in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

The ZRP urges members of the public to observe that the country is still under Level 2 national lockdown in order to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Only essential services, businesses in the formal commercial and industrial sectors were exempted to operate during this period,” it said.

“The rest of the public should stay at home in order for the nation to curtail the increase in new COVID-19 cases being recorded. Please note that it is not everyone who should be in the Central Business District. Let us all be security and health conscious in view of the increase of COVID-19 cases,” the police said.

Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana also reminded citizens that the country was still in lockdown.

“Government has not pronounced a change in lockdown regulations. We are still on Level 2 lockdown and permitted economic activity should go ahead. Police are only enforcing the pronounced and gazetted Level 2 conditions,” he said on Twitter.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa two weeks ago maintained a Level 2 lockdown for an indefinite period in a bid to cut the spread of the pandemic.

He allowed industry and commerce to reopen under strict health regulations while informal businesses bars and gymnasiums remained closed.

There is also a ban on inter-city and cross-border movement, except transportation of cargo.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

UNRWA provides food at refugee camp in Gaza City

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Workers unload food provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) at a refugee camp in Gaza City, June 2, 2020. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

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