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First Lady celebrate APC ex-chair at 80

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First Lady Aisha Buhari has described the former national chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, as a complete gentleman and a peace maker.

She made this known in her Instagram handle on Saturday in a message to celebrate the former APC chairman on his 80th birthday anniversary.

The first lady also described the celebrant as a unifying factor who worked tirelessly for the development of his fatherland.

She therefore wished him long life in good health and prosperity.

The message reads: ”Happy Birthday, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, former National Chairman of APC.

”A complete gentleman, a peace maker and a unifying factor of our time.

”Wishing you many years ahead in good health and prosperity.”

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Chairman, Organising Committee of the event, Mr Ray Morphy, said the committee plans to mark Odigie-Oyegun’s birthday in Abuja on Aug. 17.

Morphy said that eminent Nigerians, including top APC chieftains, are expected at the event.

He urged young Nigerians to emulate the leadership qualities and values demonstrated by Odigie-Oyegun when he served as a Permanent Secretary, governor of Edo and National Chairman of APC.

“Chief Odigie-Oyegun has kept his name clean right and fair over the years.

”Even as he left office as National Chairman of the APC, you noticed that he has never engaged in any battle with anybody in the party.”

AMU/IS

Foreign

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra holds first concert after COVID-19 lockdown

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The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performs at the golden hall of Vienna’s Musikverein in Vienna, Austria, on June 5, 2020. The first concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was held on Friday after a COVID-19 lockdown at Vienna’s Musikverein. Only 100 guests are allowed in the concert hall because of government regulations. (Photo by Dieter Nagl/Xinhua)

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Street markets open for first time since lockdown in Moscow

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Customers wearing face masks shop at a street market in Moscow, Russia, on June 5, 2020. Street markets have been opened in Moscow for the first time since a tight lockdown was put on the city in late March. (Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/Xinhua)

(XINHUA)

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Health

Okota Rotary Club empowers women, donate ICT, first AID kits to schools

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Rotary Club of Okota, District 9110, says it has empowered five women, donated ICT equipment, fully kitted first aid boxes and supply note books to some schools in Okota Community area of Lagos State.

Its President, Ronke Jones-Adewale, said that the donations were part of the “Three in One” project embarked upon by the club.

It was tagged: “Basic Education and Literary Project”.

Jones-Adewale said items donated by the club to the beneficiaries included complete ICT system unit with all in one printer, universal power supply.

In the empowerment programme, each beneficiary woman got Ex large insulated cooling container, plastic cooler, five cartoons of soft drinks, five cartoons of bottled water and stipends for ice blocks.

She said that the basic education and literary project comprised fully kitted first aid kits and 1,500 note books to six schools within Okota and Oke-Afa areas.

The club president said that donations to the schools were continuous programme.

She said that the first aid boxes had been introduced in some schools in line with the Motto of Rotary: “Doing Good in the World, Service To Humanity”.

The club leader said that four out of the six schools had been enjoying the club’s programme before two other schools were added.

Jones-Adewale said that the complete ICT system unit with all in one printer and universal power supply were donated to two secondary schools in Okota, which made the total number of beneficiary schools to be eight.

She said that the donation was in tandem with what Rotary International stands for all over the world.

Jones-Adewale said that basic education was one of the six areas of focus as the bedrock and future of any nation in the 21st century.

“Regarding the empowerment, the impact is definitely going to be felt by the beneficiaries, their dependants and invariably the community.

“The items of empowernment will shore up the income base of the beneficiaries, the entire value chain involved in delivering the service, while also providing satisfaction to the consumers in whichever community they might be operating their businesses,” she said.

Commenting, Mr Jide Oderinde, the club Secretary, said that the effect of COVID-19 on Rotary Club generally had been very disastrous.

Oderinde said: “It has really held us back from doing our normal things, but still we went ahead under the leadership of a determined president.”

The secretary said that both international and at the centre, most of our meetings are now virtual, like this programme that we did today, we supposed to have done it long time ago, this Rotary year, the president is so committed.

“I salute her courage she went ahead and make sure that she accomplished all her set goals, because we are rounding up the Rotary year.

“But we thanked God, we are law abiding organisation; we don’t go contrary to the government directive.

“But, we put all the recommendations laid by government into place during the programme, we ensure we maintain social distances,” he said.

Oderinde said that the club president had completed her set goals.

Earlier, Mrs Tiitlope Okubadejo, a former President and Chairman Service Project, said that Rotary delighted to see people expressing their joy and satisfaction about what the club has been able to do for them.

Okubadejo said all these we have done today were just to ensure that we affect the lives of our community positively.

“Whenever we rise up between the Okota Community that we are from Rotary, we are happy the way people welcome us, because they know that we are positively impacting their lives,” she said.

A beneficiary, Mrs Bolanle Ariyo, said she was very happy that the club did not wait for the big things to happen before empowering them.

Ariyo said that she did not know anybody from the club, but was nominated to be among the beneficiaries, adding that what was given to her would go a long way, especially at this point in time.

She prayed that none of the club members will be victims of COVID-19.

Also, Mrs Mojisola Adeyoyin, the Headmistress, Low Cost Primary School II, responding on behalf of all beneficiary schools, said that the club had just addressed one of the major needs of pupils in her school.


Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Verdict on former Malaysian PM Najib’s first case set for July

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The verdict on a case against former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak related to SRC International, a former unit of state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), will be delivered on July 28, a Malaysia court said Friday.

The verdict will be the first of several corruption trials against Najib in the multi-million-dollar scandal.

Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ruled that he will deliver his verdict next month following the close of final submissions.

The case involves 42 million ringgits (10.3 million U.S. dollars) deposited into Najib’s personal bank account from SRC International, in which Najib faces seven charges including criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power.

The trial has lasted for 94 days with final submissions being read since Monday and ending Friday afternoon.

For each offence, the 66-year-old could be jailed for up to 20 years, except for the money laundering charges in which he could be jailed for up to 15 years.

In the closing submission this week, the defence argued that Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, SRC International‘s board of directors, and bankers had misled Najib on the source of the fund into his account.

The prosecution countered that Najib had full control and dominion over SRC International‘s affairs.

Najib has been slapped with dozens of charges for corruption, money laundering, power abuse and criminal breach of trust involving billions of ringgit after his ruling coalition lost power during the national polls in May, 2018.

(XINHUA)

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Entertainment

Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival cancelled for first time because of pandemic

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Fuji Rock Festival, Japan’s biggest annual music event, will be cancelled for the first time ever due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said, disappointing thousands of rock-and-roll fans who flock to the outdoor festivities every year.

Since its inception in 1997, headiners at the event have included The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Cure and Kendrick Lamar.

Last year, the event held in the summer, attracted 130,000 people over four days.

“We had hoped the pandemic would abate in time to hold this summer’s festival as scheduled and were moving forward with planning,” the organisers said on their website.

They apologized  for taking so long to inform everyone of the decision.

This year’s festival had been scheduled for three days from August 21, with American rock band The Strokes among the acts.

Fuji Rock” and “Complete Cancellation” were among the top-trending topics on Twitter, after organisers made the announcement.

“I saw the words ‘complete cancellation’ and thought it was about the Olympics,” lamented Twitter user @taako_chako. “It’s about Fuji Rock? Such a shame.”

Japan last month lifted its state of emergency but strict in-bound travel restrictions remain in place, with most non-Japanese nationals not allowed in.

Japan has been hit by around 18,000 infections and 900 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic.


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara (NAN)
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Australian science agency announces research of 3D print stents in world-first

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Australia’s national science agency said researchers have made it possible to 3D print tailor-made stents for blocked or narrow arteries in a world-first.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) announced the breakthrough on Thursday, describing it as a “paradigm shift” for the 16-billion-Australian-dollar (11 billion U.S. dollars) global stent manufacturing industry.

The team of scientists at CSIRO’s Lab22 made the breakthrough using Selective Laser Melting, a 3D printing process that allowed them to create complex products with high geometric accuracy that are patient specific.

It means that nitinol stents, which are used to keep arteries open, could be made on-site under the direction of a surgeon to suit an individual patient’s requirements.

Until now surgeons have been restricted to “off-the-shelf” stents for operations.

The ability to 3D print stents is expected to improve sizing options, preserve essential anatomy, and enable diameters and shapes to suit individual patient requirements, according to CSIRO.

“Nitinol is a shape-memory alloy with superelastic properties,” CSIRO Principal Research Scientist Sri Lathabai said in a media release.

“It’s a tricky alloy to work with in 3D printing conditions, due to its sensitivity to stress and heat.

“We had to select the right 3D-printing parameters to get the ultra-fine mesh structure needed for an endovascular stent, as well as carefully manage heat treatments so the finished product can expand as needed, once inside the body.”

A new company has been established to oversee commercialization of the technology.

(XINHUA)

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Politics

Lagos to produce first forensic dentist in West Africa — Commissioner

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle, says the state’ s Public Service will soon be producing the first forensic dentist in the whole of West Africa.

Ponnle made this known on Wednesday in Ikeja during the Year 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing to commemorate the first year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

She said the massive investment of the state government in the area of human capacity development of its workforce was already attracting global attention.

‘The state public service will be producing the first forensic dentist in the whole of West Africa soon,” the commissioner said.

She said the state government sponsored one of its staff from the Ministry of Health to study at Masters  level, in Legal Medicine and Forensic Dentistry outside the country in order to bridge an identified gap in the state public service.

“Once the staff completes his course of study, he will be the first forensic dentist (new skill and area of specialisation) in West Africa and this points to the massive investment in human capital development that the present administration is embarking on,” the commissioner said.

Ponnle said the Lagos state government was committed to building a 21st workforce that would deliver dividends of democracy to Lagosians across every area of human needs.

She said that this was by directing its training and capacity development programmes to both generic and technical areas of competency.

According to her, one of the notable achievements and innovations to training programmes under the administration of  Sanwo-Olu is the introduction of on-line learning programmes starting with Webinar series.

Ponnle said this ensured that capacity of the entire workforce were developed even during the period of state-wide lockdown order.

The commissioner disclosed that within the past few months that the Webinar initiative started, 11 different series had been held, 10 Generic and one job specific for teachers.

‘There was also a Virtual Launch of the pilot of the Lagos State Learning Management System (LMS) with over 10,000 members of staff uploaded, giving access to over 500 training courses.

The pilot Phase of Executive Coaching Programme for Executive Council Members was also launched with 30 per cent of cabinet members enrolled.

‘The initiative was in partnership with International Coaching Federation accredited coaches, whereby cabinet members are offered one-on-one coaching sessions to provide support in developing their personal, professional and political aspirations,” she said.

Ponnle said the launch of the Learning Management System and the various Webinar series were aimed at achieving a paradigm shift from learning being an event to being a continuous process.

She said that this would ensure a workforce that was equipped with relevant skills, knowledge and competencies to deliver the dividends of democracy to the teeming population of the state.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Foreign

Lesotho former first lady arrested in murder case

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Lesotho’s former first lady, Maesaiah Thabane, was on Wednesday arrested  over the murder of the previous wife of her husband and former prime minister, Thomas Thabane, police said.

Lesotho’s Appeal Court revoked her bail last week on suspicion that procedure was not followed correctly when her bail was granted.

Thabane was transferred to court, where she wore a fur coat and black protective anti-coronavirus mask, a Reuters witness said.

The date for a new bail application was set for June 6.

Maesaiah Thabane was being charged with ordering the killing of Lipolelo Thabane, her love rival, who was shot dead near her home in Lesotho’s capital, Maseru, in June, 2017.

Maesaiah Thabane was released on bail in February.

Lipolelo was estranged from Thomas Thabane at the time of the murder.

The case had been causing growing political instability in the independent mountain kingdom of two million people encircled by South Africa before Thomas Thabane resigned as prime minister in May.

He is also a suspect in the murder. He denies any involvement and has yet to be formally charged.


Edited By: Halima Sheji/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Foreign

Australia set for first recession in 29 years

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Australia is on the brink of entering its first recession in three decades after gross domestic product (GDP) fell in the first quarter of 2020.

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday revealed that the Australian economy shrank by 0.3 percent in the March quarter as a result of the bushfire crisis and early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

It marks the first quarter of negative growth since 2011 and with COVID-19 set to have a bigger economic impact in the second quarter of 2020 it means that Australia is certain to enter a state of recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction, for the first time since 1991.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that in the context of the bushfires and the pandemic Australia’s economy has been remarkably resilient.

“Seen in this context, the fact that the Australian economy only contracted by 0.3 per cent shows the Australian economy‘s remarkable resilience,” he said.

Prior to the full effects of coronavirus hitting Australia, GDP growth fell to 1.4 percent in the 12 months to March 2020 – the lowest annual growth figure in more than a decade.

“This was the slowest through-the-year growth since September 2009 when Australia was in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis and captures just the beginning of the expected economic effects of COVID-19,” ABS chief economist, Bruce Hockman, said in a statement.

(XINHUA)

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