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First openly gay British player Fashanu makes Hall of Fame



Britain’s first and only openly gay footballer, Justin Fashanu, is to be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Football Museum in Manchester this week.

The former Norwich City and Nottingham Forest striker took his own life in 1998 aged 37, eight years after coming out publicly to the press.

According to a report on Monday, Fashanu would be recognised at a ceremony on Wednesday.

His move to Forest in 1981 made him the first black footballer to command a one million pounds (1.30 million dollars) transfer fee,

He will join more than 100 male players in the English Football Hall of Fame, which was set up in 2002 to honour those who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport.

His niece Amal, who runs The Justin Fashanu Foundation which highlights issues of homophobia and other forms of discrimination in football, will collect the award.

“I guess for Justin this will be a great moment.

“I think it’s a pivotal moment, when we are finally recognising who Justin Fashanu was, not only as the openly gay footballer, but also as a very talented footballer and the first million-pound black player in England,” she said.


Edited By: Olawale Alabi)


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




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.


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



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




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.


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Lagos to produce first forensic dentist in West Africa — Commissioner



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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Lesotho former first lady arrested in murder case



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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Australia set for first recession in 29 years




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.


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NIMR, Mobihealth launch first home COVID-19 self-swab test



The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, in partnership with the Mobihealth on Tuesday launched the first home Teleconsultation COVID-19 self-swab test in the country.

Prof. Babtunde Salako, Director-General of NIMR, said the do it yourself swab testing would help to increase the number of testing.

Today, NIMR and Mobihealth launched a do it yourself swab sampling to expand coverage and the number of test per day via telemedicine approach run by Mobihealth,” Salako twitted.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that NIMR had earlier in a statement said the partnership would help to pilot research into the efficacy of developing telemedicine guided COVID-19 home self-swab test sample collection.

It said the programme would involve 2,000 sample collection over a period, while individuals will be guided on how to conduct a self-swab test sample collection.

The institute added that the objective is to collect rapidly and safely in order to test large samples of people for the virus.

The statement said the system will limit face to face testing and reduce the spread of infection, especially among health workers.

Mobihealth, in partnership with medical logostics firms and Lifebank, will facilitate the contactless smooth delivery and collection of self-swab test to the subject home.

Mobihealth is an international innovative telemedicine and digital healthcare platform with a mission to provide everyone on the planet timely access to quality healthcare services from around the world.

NAN reports that the institute started a drive through testing of COVID-19 on March 30, in strong partnership with Lifebank, led by Temie Giwa-Tubosun.

NIMR was established in 1977 to conduct research on diseases of public health importance in Nigeria.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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China completes first Mount Qomolangma airborne gravity survey




China announced on Tuesday that it has completed the first high-precision airborne gravity survey for Mount Qomolangma and its surrounding region as the aircraft of the mission safely returned to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

By bringing the complicated gravity survey instruments into the air, the survey will provide data for the region’s geoid surface with centimeter-level accuracy, thus contributing to a more precise measurement of the height of the world‘s highest peak.

This is the first time China has conducted such a survey and it will fill the gap in relevant data, said Chen Bin, chief of the Mount Qomolangma airborne survey project.

An airborne remote-sensing measurement for the region is in progress and will provide decimeter-level three-dimensional outcomes for the region’s topography.

The entire airborne survey is expected to be completed in early June if weather permits, according to Chen.

The aircraft for the gravity survey has been installed with world-class equipment, some of which were domestically-developed, he noted.

The airborne survey is part of China‘s ongoing mission to remeasure Mount Qomolangma, with the final height to be based on a variety of survey data, including data from a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) satellite survey.


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General news

Ogun Assembly passes 2 bills as Legislative, Judiciary Funds bills scale first reading 



Ogun House of Assembly on Tuesday passed the State Technical and Vocational Education Amendment Bill, 2019 and State Official Order of Precedence of Public Officers and other Persons Bill, 2019.

The two bills were passed during plenary in Abeokuta following the Committees’ reports.

The Chairman, Committee on Education, Ademuyiwa Adeyemi (APC-Abeokuta South II) and his counterpart on Establishment and Public Service Matters, Mrs Modupe Mujota (APM – Abeokuta North) presented the reports.

The chairmen, thereafter, moved the motion for the adoption of the reports, seconded by Abayomi Fasuwa (APC – Ijebu North East) and Oludaisi Elemide (APC-Odeda) after which the bills were read and adopted Clause-by-Clause by the Committee of the whole House.

The motions for the third reading of the bills were later moved by the Majority Leader, Yusuf Sheriff (APC-Ado Odo Ota 1), seconded by Ganiyu Oyedeji (APM-Ifo 11) and the Deputy Speaker, Oludare Kadiri (APC- Ijebu North 11) respectively.

Mr Deji Adeyemo, the Acting Clerk of the Assembly, thereafter, did the third reading of the bills before the members.

Responding, the Speaker, Mr Olakunle Oluomo (APC-Ifo 1), directed that clean copies of the bills be forwarded to Gov. Dapo Abiodun for his assent.

Meanwhile, the Ogun State Legislative Funds Management Law, 2020 and State Judiciary Funds Management Law 2020, were read for the first time by the clerk of the assembly before the lawmakers.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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