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Lack of funds stalls lifters’ participation in world championship

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The Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF)says lack of funds has stalled its participation in the ongoing International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand.

The championship is slated for between Sept. 18 and 29 in Pattaya, Thailand.

NWF Technical Director, Christopher Nwadei, disclosed this while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Abuja that the championship is one of three events that the federation must attend to determine its participation in Tokyo 2020.

He said that it was sad that the federation could not receive financial support from the Ministry of Youth and Sports in spite of its potentials for the championship.

“We thought that with the record we had at the African Games in Morocco the Ministry will give us the necessary support to participate in the Championship in Thailand.

“We were the only federation that gave the country the highest number of medals in Morocco.

“We won 47 medals out of the 127 medals that the country won which was an outstanding performance.We have two major events in November and December, these will determined our participation in Tokyo 2020.

“We also need financial support from private organisations, philanthropists and lovers of weightlifting.

“We are appealing to the new Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, to support us in our subsequent international events,’’ he said.

He listed the remaining Tokyo Olympics qualification event as- the International Solidarity Weightlifting Championship in Tunis, Tunisia from Nov. 20 to 29.

The 6th Qatar International Cup, in Doha, Qatar from Dec. 19 to 24.

He said that the federation could replicate its performance in African Games in Tokyo 2020 only if the ministry give the necessary support.

reports that NWF won a total of 47 medals, including 16 Gold, 13 Silver and 18 Bronze in African Games in Morocco.
BOG/NNO/ABI
Edited by Nick Nicholas/Ali Baba-Inuwa

Foreign

“G7+” still lacks representation: Russian foreign ministry

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Holding an expanded session of the Group of Seven (G7) is right in principle, but the format still lacks representation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Any global affair could not be a success without China‘s participation, the ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova told RIA Novosti news agency.

Russia agrees with the comments made by United States President Donald Trump that the G7 is “a very outdated group of countries,” which does not properly represent “what’s going on in the world,” she said.

Zakharova also praised the Group of 20 as an effective and well-established format, which includes both the G7 and BRICS countries.

She made the remarks after Trump said Saturday that leaders of Russia, South Korea, Australia and India should be invited to this year’s G7 summit.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Killing of unarmed black man in United States condemned in Africa

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The death of George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody last week, is facing fierce condemnation in Africa as two separate autopsies released Monday both found Floyd’s death to be a homicide.

The African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat on Friday condemned the police “murder” of Floyd in the United States.

Mahamat was referring to the death of George Floyd on May 25 shortly after a white police officer in Minneapolis held him down with a knee on his neck for almost nine minutes despite pleas by Floyd he was struggling to breathe.

“I strongly condemn the murder of George Floyd that occurred in the United States of America at the hands of law enforcement officers, and wishes to extend my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” he said in a statement.

The AU Commission firmly reaffirms and reiterates its rejection of the continuing discriminatory practices against Black citizens of the United States of America,” it said.

“I urge the authorities in the United States of America to intensify their efforts to ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination based on race or ethnic origin,” said the statement from Mahamat.

The president of Ghana, Nana Akuffo-Addo, also condemned the killing on Monday night on his official facebook account as violent protests continue in dozens of U.S. cities following his death in police custody.

Black People, the world over, are shocked and distraught by the killing of an unarmed man, George Floyd, by a white police officer in the United States of America. It carried with it an all too painful familiarity, and an ugly reminder,” said the president.

“We stand with our kith and kin in America in these difficult times, and we hope that the unfortunate, tragic death of George Floyd will inspire a lasting change in how America confronts head on the problems of hate and racism,” said Akuffo-Addo.

Former African presidents also joined the condemnation.

The Forum of Former Heads of State and Government has urged African countries to “raise a strong protest” to the killing and demand that the “perpetrators of this crime and all other crimes of this sort be punished in the strongest terms”, according to a statement released by former Beninese President Nicephore Soglo.

South Africa’s ruling party, African National Congress (ANC), has deplored rising racial discrimination in the United States, calling for “an amicable solution” to the current racial impasse.

“While we note the action taken by American authorities in charging one of the officers who was caught on camera kneeling on an unarmed (George) Floyd, it is equally concerning that incidents of police brutality against African American citizens are on the increase,” the party said in a statement available to Xinhua on Tuesday.

The cascade of recent cases involving police brutality against black Americans “has sharpened the focus on inescapable realities that American society places a perilously low value on black lives,” the ANC said.

“It’s deplorable that almost 70 years since racial segregation was abolished in America, people of color are still routinely slaughtered for the color of their skin,” the party said.

The ANC urged the South African government to engage with the American government through established diplomatic channels to diffuse racial tensions and build social cohesion among different races.

Despite the American constitution granting citizenship to every American, and blacks are Americans, the political and economic system is biased against those at the bottom of the social pyramid,” said Elisio Macamo, a sociologist from Mozambique, currently a professor of African Studies at the University of Basel.

“The racial problem in America is, on the one hand, the sequel to a poorly worked past and, on the other hand, a manifestation of the limits of a liberal political culture that does not place the creation of opportunities as a means for the individual to actually enjoy freedom,” said Macamo.

Zambian human rights specialist Eugene Kabilika challenged the United States to demonstrate by example the human rights it purports to promote by dealing sternly with perpetrators of criminal injustice.

Kabilika, who is Caritas Zambia Executive Director, further explained that the history of the U.S. is full of such unfortunate stories of racial discrimination against African Americans noting that they (African Americans) have undergone many struggles that include being freed from slavery and having the opportunity to vote.

He further asserted that such happenings create instability and lead to lack of peace in the world, adding that it is up to the leaders to move into the right trajectory and failure to which the world becomes unsafe for all.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

London to offer COVID-19 risk assessments to Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers: mayor

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Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff in London will have access to risk assessments after reports showing they have a higher risk of being affected by COVID-19, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced Monday.

The risk assessments — which will be open to those working across the Greater London Authority family, including Transport for London, The Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade — will consider the physical and mental health needs of all vulnerable staff, including BAME, older and those with pre-existing conditions, said City Hall in a statement.

“Far from being a great leveller, the coronavirus crisis has exposed the unacceptable major inequalities in our society,” Khan said.

“This pandemic must be a wake-up call to our country and we need the Government to show their commitment to tackling these great injustices and immediately commission an independent public inquiry that will properly address this issue,” he added.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die from coronavirus than white men and women, after taking into account age and socio-demographic factors.

City Hall published Monday a new research to further understand this disproportionate impact, comparing coronavirus cases in London to a range of measures including ethnicity, job security, poverty, deprivation, age and a range of health conditions.

The study from City Hall’s Intelligence Unit shows the highest COVID-19 death rate in London is an area of Newham, where 82 percent of the population are BAME, one in three is in insecure employment and there are high levels of deprivation, obesity and diabetes.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

U.S. city Minneapolis imposes curfew amid violent protests over death of black man

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced on Friday a mandatory nighttime curfew following three straight nights of growing protests and violence in the biggest city in U.S. midwest state of Minnesota over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody.

The curfew is for all public places including streets, stretching from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time. It’s in effect beginning Friday night, and will happen again at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Violating this order will result in a misdemeanor, subject to a 1,000-U.S.-dollar fine or imprisonment for up to 90 days, said a CBS News report.

Also on Friday, Mayor Melvin Carter in the next-door city of St. Paul said that he had signed an order of local emergency that would also impose a curfew starting Friday.

“All law enforcement, fire, and medical personnel, as well as other personnel authorized by the City of Minneapolis, City of St. Paul, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Minnesota State Patrol, or Minnesota National Guard, are exempt from the curfew,” Frey said.

Carter said that St. Paul‘s curfew also makes exemptions for members of the media.

Floyd, aged 46, died on Monday evening shortly after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, held him down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe,” and “please, I can’t breathe.” Chauvin was arrested earlier on Friday and charged with three-degree murder and manslaughter amid a national outrage following Floyd’s death.

Minneapolis has been severely damaged after three nights of protests and riots, with fires burning and businesses looted. The police precinct closest to where Floyd was captured on video was set on fire late Thursday night.

In St. Paul, more than 170 businesses were damaged or looted overnight, the city’s police department said early Friday morning.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Thursday declared a state of emergency and activated the Minnesota National Guard to restore order.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Turkey’s drillship sails off to Black Sea for new mission

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Turkey’s Fatih drillship sailed off to the Black Sea from Istanbul on Friday to conduct new drilling activities in the region.

Fatih’s deep drilling mission will start on July 15 in the Black Sea at a location called Tuna-1, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said at a ceremony at Istanbul’s Haydarpasa port before the vessel’s departure.

Donmez also noted that Turkey will begin oil exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea within three to four months as part of an agreement with the Libyan government.

He said the Turkish Petroleum Corporation applied to Libya to carry out oil exploration in its licensed area in the Mediterranean.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Russian fighter jets intercept U.S. bombers over Black and Baltic Seas

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Russian fighter jets intercepted U.S. Air Force B-1B strategic bombers over the neutral waters of the Black and Baltic Seas, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Friday.

On May 29, 2020, the air defense duty forces of the Western and Southern military districts timely revealed the actions of the U.S. Air Force B-1B strategic bombers over the neutral waters of the Black and Baltic Seas and scrambled Russian fighters to escort them,” the statement made available to Xinhua read.

“At a considerable distance from the state border of Russia, U.S. bombers were continuously followed by Russian radar controls,” it said.

“To intercept targets, Su-27P and Su-30SM fighters from the air defense duty forces of the Southern Military District were scrambled,” it added.

According to the statement, the crews of the Russian fighters approached the air targets within a safe distance and identified them as B-1B strategic aircraft, after which the U.S. bombers changed their flight course and flew away from Russian state border.

The ministry emphasized in the statement that the flights of Russian combat aircraft proceeded “in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace.”

After completing the task, the Russian fighter jets safely returned to their airbases, it said.

(XINHUA)

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AU condemns police ‘murder’ of unarmed black man in the U.S.

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The African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat on Friday condemned the police “murder” of an unarmed black man in the United States.

Mahamat was referring to the death of George Floyd on Monday evening shortly after a white police officer held him down with a knee on his neck for several minutes despite pleas by Floyd he was struggling to breathe.

After a few minutes, the man, lying face down in the street with his hands cuffed behind his back, became silent and motionless. Floyd died shortly after being taken to hospital.

“I strongly condemn the murder of George Floyd that occurred in the United States of America at the hands of law enforcement officers, and wishes to extend my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” he said in a statement.

The AU Commission firmly reaffirms and reiterates its rejection of the continuing discriminatory practices against Black citizens of the United States of America,” it said.

“I urge the authorities in the United States of America to intensify their efforts to ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination based on race or ethnic origin,” said the statement from Mahamat.

The death of Floyd has evoked memories about the case of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died in New York city police custody in 2014, after an officer held him in a chokehold.

Garner’s repeated plea of “I can’t breathe” at the time, recorded by a cellphone, has since then become a rallying cry at demonstrations against police misconduct around the United States.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Chaos erupts in Colorado capital over killing of Minnesota black man

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Chaos erupted in Colorado’s capital on Thursday after a video went viral of a black man being suffocated to death by a white police officer in the mid-western U.S. state of Minnesota.

Several hundred protesters surrounded the state capitol and were finally dispersed after five hours of angry protesting in which several vehicles and buildings were burned.

Gunshots were fired into the crowd shortly after the protest began at 5 p.m. Thursday (2400 GMT), but no one was hurt, according to the police.

Protesters blocked intersections, stopped traffic on Denver’s major superhighway I25, held up signs and chanted, “I can’t breathe,” the last words said by George Floyd, who was lying on the pavement with a police officer’s knee on the back of his neck when he died earlier this week.

Local news stations called the protest “unprecedented,” and the most volatile for Denver in decades.

Denver Channel 9 News showed a group of 20 riot-clad police firing rubber bullets over moving vehicles and buses at the crowd.

Political pundits described the protest as not just reaction over George’s graphic, disturbing death, but a reaction to police brutality that has been on the rise in the past few years, and has taken place in Denver.

All day Thursday, National Basketball Association (NBA) players voiced their disgust and condemnation of the murder on Twitter and other social media.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted a picture of a famous African-American athlete, Colin Kaepernick, who started a movement whereby black football players would kneel in protest when the American anthem was played.

James showed the white police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck and Kaepernick kneeling at a football game, with the words, “This … … Is Why.”

“Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you?? #StayWoke,” he wrote in the post.

(XINHUA)

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Politics

Defections to APC driven by lack of political value, hunger – Imo PDP

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The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo has attributed lack of political value, hunger and low morale to those who defected from the party to ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state.
The state PDP Acting Chairman, Mr Martin Ejiogu, stated this at a news conference on Thursday in Owerri while reacting to the array of defectors to APC in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that former chairman of PDP in Imo, Mr Babatunde Ezekwem, the Publicity Secretary of the party, Damion’s Opara, former state Youth leader, Williams Ahanonu, among others, have defected to APC.
They were officially received by APC leadership in the state on Thursday.
Ejiogu said the defection was driven by hunger, low morale and lack of political value.
He said the defectors were not relevant to PDP as their positions had been occupied by more committed members.
He said, “We are not bothered by their exit because none of the defectors delivered their polling unit at the 2019 general elections.
“They were all liabilities to the party and now that they have left, we will be stronger to fight a common goal,” he said.

He said the party considered the development as worthless and advised the APC to be wary of the defectors whom he described as “Gold-diggers”.
Ejiogu said the defectors had all along worked vehemently against the interest of the party during the 2019 general elections.
He noted that the defection to the APC were essentially orchestrated by selfish motive because of the zoning arrangement of the party which did not favour them.
Ejiogu added that the leadership inclination to rejuvenate and fortify the party made it to do away with incompetent and insignificant party officials perceived as “deadwoods”.
“Besides, they had in principle left the party a long time ago because what played out earlier today was a mere drama; a dummy from a script that had been written months before now,” he said.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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