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Man, 55, docked over alleged N9.6m visa scam

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Visa

Vaughan, whose address was not given, is standing trial on a two-count charge of fraud and stealing.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him by the police.

The prosecutor, Sgt. Friday Mameh, had told the court that the defendant committed the offences sometime in 2016, at Fadeyi in Shomolu, Lagos.

He said that the defendant fraudulently obtained the sum  from one Mrs Olufunke Ogunfuye in the guise of procuring U.S. visas and flight tickets for her and some others.

He said that Ogunfuye and the other were  to travel to South Carolina, U.S.,  for a festival.

“Instead of procuring the visas and flight tickets, the defendant used the money for his personal use,” Mameh said.

He said that the offences contravened Sections 287 and 314 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Magistrate B. I. Bakare granted the defendant bail in the sum of N1 million with two sureties in like sum.

Bakare ordered that the sureties should   show evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

The case was adjourned until May 2, for mention.

Foreign

108-year-old Italian woman in nursing home recovers from COVID-19

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Fatima Negrini, a 108-year-old woman from northern Italy, has joined the ranks of the very few centenarians who have recovered from COVID-19.

“God forgot about me,” Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera quoted Negrini as saying in its Saturday edition, reporting that the woman turned 108 on Wednesday.

The paper published a picture of the wheelchair-bound Negrini in front of a chocolate and cream cake, flanked by a carer with a giant heart-shaped birthday card.

The card said, “Fatima 108 We Love You!!! S. Faustino.”

Negrini has been a resident for many years of the Anni Azzurri San Faustino nursing home in Milan, a spokesman for the facility told dpa.

She caught the novel coronavirus in April and tested negative in mid-May, and was “always” an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient, he added.

According to Corriere, Negrini has three sons aged 89, 88, and 78, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Italy is one of the countries worst hit by the novel coronavirus, and the impact of the pandemic has been particularly hard on nursing homes in Milan’s Lombardy region.

On Friday, the Italian Civil Protection agency reported 33,774 fatalities, the world’s fourth-highest death toll after the United States, Britain, and Brazil.

In Negrini’s nursing home, several residents died. “Fatima hasn’t realized yet who is no longer around,” Laura Catena, the assistant in the birthday picture, told Corriere.

The San Faustino facility is part of the KOS group, an Italian private healthcare operator which last year bought German nursing home group Charleston.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Foreign

Malians rally against President Keita, demand his resignation

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Thousands of Malians staged a protest in Bamako on Friday to demand resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita over what they described as his mishandling of many crises plaguing the country.

Keita, re-elected in 2018 for a second five-year term, is struggling with a years-long security crisis in northern Mali, an outbreak of the new coronavirus and political tensions arising from a disputed legislative election in March.

Various political groups and human rights activists helped organise Friday’s demonstration, which had the backing of influential Muslim cleric Mahmoud Dicko.

“I’m here today to tell President IBK (the widely used initials of Keita’s names) that he is incompetent and that he cannot govern this country… He should resign,” Moussa Traore, an unemployed man in his 30s, told Reuters.

Some protesters brandished placards that read “IBK must go” and “No to bad governance”.

Police declined to give an estimate of the number of protesters, but the United States Embassy in Mali said on its Twitter account that approximately 20,000 people had gathered at Bamako’s Independence Monument at the start of the rally.

“The crisis in the north has worsened and spread to the centre of the country.

“There is no security, no jobs,” said Ben Adama Diarra, 33, a spokesman for one of the rally organisers.

“Everyday we record deaths (from the violence and COVID-19). Mali is becoming a large cemetery,” he added.

The Sahel nation, which has a population of around 19 million, has so far reported 1,485 cases of COVID-19, the lung disease caused by the new coronavirus, and 87 deaths.

Mali, which produces gold and cotton, has struggled to find stability since 2012 when jihadist fighters hijacked an insurrection by Tuareg separatists, seizing the entire desert north of the country.

French troops helped to recapture the north but violence persists, in spite of the presence of thousands of United Nations troops, with groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State stoking inter-communal tensions.


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Foreign

People perform Friday prayer with COVID-19 prevention measures in Amman, Jordan

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People keep social distance as they perform Friday prayer in a mosque in Amman, Jordan, on June 5, 2020. Jordan registered 19 more infections on Friday, bringing the total coronavirus cases in the kingdom to 784, including nine deaths and 571 recoveries. (Photo by Mohammad Abu Ghosh/Xinhua)

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Full moon seen in Manila, the Philippines

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A full moon is seen in Manila, the Philippines, on June 5, 2020. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

UN preparing for gradual reopening of headquarters in New York: spokesman

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The United Nations is making preparations for the phased reopening of its headquarters in New York, said a spokesman on Friday.

Preparations are going through a senior emergency management group, which exists just for the COVID-19 crisis, with inputs from various UN departments, guided by the UN medical authorities, and in close contact with the host city of New York, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“They will meet again very soon to give some guidance to the secretary-general as to when to move to a next step, which could see a kind of phased reopening,” he told a virtual press briefing.

The United Nations is identifying critical staff that would need to be in the building. The reopening would also depend on the wishes of member states, he said.

“Preparations are under way in terms of signage, in terms of workspaces. But we’re taking it… one phase at a time,” he said. “We don’t want to rush this. But we do want to be able to move forward when we feel it is safe to have an uptick in the number of people that will be allowed in the building at any one time.”

The current lockdown, which began on March 16, lasts till the end of June.

(XINHUA)

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Features

German gov’t supports local fleece manufacturer to boost face mask production

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The German government subsidised the expansion of fleece production by local company Innovatec in order to boost production of face masks in the country, Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) announced this on Friday.

“We intend to significantly expand our production capacities for protective equipment in Germany and thus effectively reduce our dependence on imports,’’ said German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, when handing over the first notice of funding for fleece production.

Innovatec would invest more than 11 million euros ($12.5 million) in two new units for fleece production and could manufacture an additional 1,500 tons of fleece in the future, enabling the production of more than 1.5 billion face masks, according to BMWi.

The programme was aiming to stimulate an additional fleece production of 4,000 tons per year.

However, Altmaier stressed that “our long-term goal is to cover the entire value chain, from machines to filter fleece and protective masks’’.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Lagos Police arrest man kissing minor in viral video

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The Lagos State Police Command has arrested  one Adeyeye Babatunde, ”M” of Kajola St., Shagamu, Ogun State, for kissing his three-year old step sister in a viral video.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, in a statement on Friday, said that Babatunde was a Botany student of Lagos State University, Ojo.

“The state Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, directed detectives from the Gender Unit to analyse the video and apprehend the suspect.

“The team got the suspect and he has been handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department, , for diligent prosecution in court.

The CP expresses gratitude to Nigerians who helped in bringing the incident to the notice of the police, and urged everyone to continue to speak out against sexual and gender-based violence,” Elkana said.

He said that for complaints on rape, child abuse or domestic violence, the public should call any of the following numbers.

“08175899289, 09062887858, 09062887856, 09062887849, 09062887841, 09062887870, 08023532283, 09062887864, 09062887861 and 09062887860,” Elkana said.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey (NAN)

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Foreign

German police attempt to break up anti-racism rally in Hamburg

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Police in the northern German city of Hamburg on Friday said they had intervened to disperse attendees of an anti-racism rally they claimed were not adhering to coronavirus restrictions.

Around 1,500 people attended the demonstration, which was linked to last week’s killing by United States police of African-American man, George Floyd.

The event had originally been registered for 250 participants outside the United States consulate along the banks of Hamburg’s Alster River, a police spokesperson said.

Police declared the event over after just half an hour, claiming attendees had violated police instructions to observe coronavirus restrictions such as keeping a safe distance from one another and wearing a covering over their lower faces.

However, the crowds did not immediately disperse, with photos posted on social media, showing people sitting instead on the ground.

German politician, Christiane Schneider of the hard-left Die Linke, posted a picture on Twitter using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter she claimed showed a police water cannon ready for deployment against the crowd.

The demonstration was registered under the motto “Justice for Floyd – stop killing blacks – stop the racial terrorism in the USA’’.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

Trump directs United States troops reduction in Germany: media

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United States President Donald Trump directed the Pentagon to reduce United States military presence in Germany by September, United States media reported on Friday.

Citing United States government officials, The Wall Street Journal said in a Friday piece that the move would reduce 9,500 troops from the 34,500 troops that are permanently assigned in Germany.

The move also limits the size of United States troops deployed in Germany at any one time at the 25,000-troop level. According to the report, overall troop levels under current practice can rise to as high as 52,000 as units rotate in and out or take part in training exercises.

The report came days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said due to the coronavirus pandemic, she will not attend the Group of Seven (G7) Summit that initially scheduled at the White House in late June.

A person familiar with the matter was quoted as saying that the troops’ reduction plan had been discussed within the administration for months and was not linked to Merkel’s decision on G7 Summit.

The reduction plan might further strain the relations between Washington and Berlin. The two allies have been at odds with each other on Iran nuclear issues, Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, and defense burden-sharing, among others.

(XINHUA)

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