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Morgan scores 5 as U.S. lash Thailand with record 13-0 win

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Striker Alex Morgan scored five times as defending champions the U.S. began their 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign with a record 13-0 win over Thailand on Tuesday.

The Group F result was the largest margin of victory in either the men’s or women’s World Cup.

When the Americans headed for the interval 3-0 up, there was little indication of what was to come in the second half.

After netting four times in six minutes shortly after the restart, they then added six more goals in the last 16 minutes.

Morgan opened the goal spree for the title favorites, who are in pursuit of a fourth world crown, with a header in the 12th minute and from then on there was no stopping the champions.

Eight minutes later Rose Lavelle found the net with a left-footed shot while midfielder Lindsey Horan gave them a 3-0 half-time lead.

Samantha Mewis opened the floodgates five minutes after the break as the U.S. made life miserable for the Thais by regularly finding the back of the net.

In total, seven Americans scored during the match ——- Morgan (5), Lavelle (2), Mewis (2), Horan, Megan Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd all finding their way on to the scoresheet.

It was a performance that is bound to strike fear into all of those teams hoping to end the U.S. reign as world champions.

“We really wanted to showcase ourselves and what we’ve been preparing for and working on and I think we did that,” said Morgan.

“Every goal matters in this tournament and so that’s what we were working on in this game. We got a lot of attacks and I think we were really clinical in the number of attacks that we did get.

“I am speechless. The ball just bounced my way today and I am looking forward to the next game.

“To see Rose Lavalle have the confidence to go at players, Sam Mewis taking on players and scoring from outside the box… I am really proud of them.”

The result surpassed Germany’s 11-0 win over Argentina in 2007 and almost doubled the U.S. own previous record ——- a 7-0 success over Taiwan in 1991.

“We did not do enough. They were excellent all around. We don’t have any excuse and accept they are better,” said Thailand coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian.

“We have to improve in every aspect.”

The last time the two teams met, the U.S. won 9-0.

U.S. coach Jillian Ellis said the result was a great confidence-booster, but she did not want to get carried away with the emphatic nature of the win.

“This only game one. It will be an incredibly hard World Cup,” she said.

The U.S. will next face Chile on Sunday, while Thailand will be up against Sweden.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sweden had beaten Chile 2-0 in another Group F fixture.

OLAL

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)

General news

Social media facilitates racist abuse, says Leicester’s Morgan

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Leicester City skipper Wes Morgan has said racist abuse in football has got worse since he started his career and the rise of social media makes it easier to target players.

The Jamaica international was speaking in the wake of England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria, which was marred by a section of home supporters taunting black players with monkey chants and Nazi salutes.

“I have to say (racist abuse) is worse but on the basis that when I first started, there wasn’t the social media aspect to it all,” Morgan told Sky Sports at a Black History Season event.

“That seems to be the catalyst for most of this racist behaviour that is happening.

“At the moment, it’s an easy way to target players and say negative things, which is a problem in itself.

“The social media side needs to be taken care of,” he said.

Morgan said he was approached by the Premier League to be a part of their new BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) advisory committee formed with the aim of dealing with racism in the sport.

“It’s a great opportunity and I’ve got something to offer,” the 35-year-old added.

“We’re going to try and make changes for future generations to improve the game for them so it’s easier for them to come through without having to go through racism in any capacity.” (Reuters/NAN)


ERO/ASH

Edited by Emmanuel Okara/

 

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General news

Ndidi stars as late Morgan header earns 10-man Leicester City win at Burnley

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EPL

Chasing a second successive win under new manager Brendan Rodgers, Leicester’s task was made all the more difficult very early on the game.

Harry Maguire was given a straight red card for fouling Johann Berg Gudmundsson in the fourth minute.

But it was the 10 men who took the lead in the 33rd minute, as James Maddison curled a brilliant free kick into the net.

He thus became the first Leicester player to score two goals from direct free kicks in a Premier League season.

Jamie Vardy almost doubled Leicester’s lead before Burnley drew level through Dwight McNeil, who swept Charlie Taylor’s pull back home in the 38th minute.

The 10 men dug in after the break, keeping plenty of men behind the ball to frustrate the hosts, with Ashley Barnes missing the best chance to give Burnley the lead.

However, Leicester snatched all three points through Morgan, who rose highest to ensure Rodgers’ winning run continued.

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Oil & Gas

FG wins right to prosecute JPMorgan Chase over $875m Malabu oil fraud 

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FG wins right to prosecute JPMorgan Chase over $875m Malabu oil fraud 

Malabu

Abuja, Feb. 22, 2019(NNN) A High Court in London headed by Justice Andrew Burrows has granted Nigeria’s plea to allow it proceed with the trial of  JPMorgan Chase.

The bank is alleged to have enabled the misappropriation of state funds totalling $875 million over the Oil Prospecting License, OPL 245.

 Mr Salihu IsahSpecial Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN) revealed this in Abuja on Friday in a press statement.

Isah disclosed that JPMorgan Chase, a US bank had failed to halt the prosecution brought against it by the Federal Government.

He said Justice Burrows in a 26-page verdict on Thursday stated that Nigeria had “reasonable grounds” for bringing a claim to the commercial division of the High Court, meaning it could now proceed to trial.

“The judge averred that, the bank, which is the defendant, failed to establish that the claimant(FG) had no real prospect of success.

” He said the bank ought to suspect the payments were fraudulent and therefore had a duty to protect the Federal Republic of Nigeria until its concerns were cleared up.

“That duty of care entails that the bank could not simply follow the mandate of abiding by the instructions given by the claimant because the bank’s duty of care, as its core, was to protect the claimant against being defrauded by not paying out unless and until it was ‘off inquiry”, the Judge insisted. 

Isah also said that at a hearing this month, JPMorgan Chase had argued that the case should be dismissed as it had received sufficient approvals from Nigerian authorities.

This, he said was before allowing the transfer of funds from a government account to those controlled by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr Dan Etete.

“The payments, after a 2011 settlement, aimed to end several years of battle over the ownership of a lucrative but controversial oil licence that has ensnared Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in corruption investigations in Milan, Italy.

“The licence for the c block was shuffled back and forth between Shell and Malabu Oil & Gas, a Nigerian oil company controlled by  Etete and which was first awarded development rights in 1998 when he was also in charge of petroleum resources.”

Isah further revealed that Nigeria had filed a separate $1.1 billion legal claim against Shell and Eni to recover sums lost to corruption and the unlawful activity of the two energy majors.

 On its part, Shell and Eni have said their deal with the Federal Government was legal and that the payment was made to the government  and they had no part to play in what happened to the money afterwards.(NNN)

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Foreign

England need to be flexible to boost World Cup chances – Morgan

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 Sticking with a fixed batting order could hurt England’s chances at next year’s World Cup and the World Twenty20 in 2020, captain Eoin Morgan has said.

England have found renewed consistency in their limited overs form to claim the top spot in the ODI rankings and Morgan believes a flexible line-up would prepare them for different scenarios.

“I think we have to be open to what might be the best combination down the line.

”I don’t think that making a solid decision and sticking with it for the next two years is productive or healthy,” Morgan said, ahead of the first Twenty20 match India at Old Trafford.

“We’re probably a more established side at the moment, with guys who’ve played quite a lot of T20 internationals, we’re lucky for that.”

The 31-year-old said the experience of their unbeaten run against Australia last month could hold them in good stead for the series against India but was quick to point out the different challenges provided by subcontinent teams.

“It normally exposes sides like ourselves and South Africa and Australia to spin, reverse swing, different challenges to that we are normally used to,” Morgan added.

England face India in three T20s and as many ODIs before a five-test series beginning next month.

Edited by: Udochukwu Ifionu/Silas Nwoha
(NAN)

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Foreign

Morgan Tsvangirai calls on Mugabe to resign

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Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai urged President Robert Mugabe to resign in the interest of the country after the military seized power.

Mugabe is insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler and has balked at mediation by a Catholic priest to allow the 93-year-old former guerrilla a graceful exit after a military coup, sources said on Thursday.

“In the interest of the people, Robert Mugabe must resign and step down immediately,” Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, told a news conference, reading from a statement.

Earlier, the political opposition in Zimbabwe called for the intermediate installation of an interim government, a day after a surprise military takeover.

“At the moment the transitional government is the best way to go,” said Douglas Mwonzora, Secretary-General of Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party.

“We back the military move but the country should quickly go back a constitutional government.”

Armoured vehicles that were stationed at key government buildings during the political upheaval on Wednesday remained in place.

The soldiers appeared relaxed, even smiling and chatting with onlookers.

Most people were going about their daily business and children went to school.

Special envoys sent by South African President, Jacob Zuma, were holding discussions on Mugabe’s fate with Zimbabwe’s leaders.

Officials from the Southern African Development Community were also meeting in Botswana’s capital Gaborone later Thursday to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe.

“What is needed is an inclusive government to run the affairs of Zimbabwe until a time it is right to have elections,” said Didymus Mutasa, a longtime minister in Mugabe’s government, who was fired in 2014 for backing Joice Mujuru as the president’s successor.

Jacob Mafume, a spokesman of the People’s Democratic Party led by Tendai Biti, said that any interim government “should be inclusive of all the stakeholders including the church and all parties.”

While the army has said Mugabe is safe, there were mixed reports in the media about his wife Grace Mugabe’s whereabouts, with some saying she had fled the country.

Speculation had been growing before the coup that 52-year-old Grace was preparing to take over from her husband.

The potential ascendency appears to have faced resistance from senior military officials.

There was an uneasy calm on the streets of Harare, after initial jubilation on Wednesday when the army announced it had seized control from Mugabe, 93, who had been in power almost four decades.

Several Mugabe allies from his Zanu-PF party, including Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, detained, some political players have been swift to show the army they’re on side.

A grovelling apology by Zanu-PF youth leader, Kudzai Chipanga, who had criticised the army only hours before, was published by state media late Wednesday.

“We are still young and make mistakes,” Chipanga said, adding that he was making his apology voluntarily and had not been coerced.

“I have personally reflected and realised my mistake,” Chipanga added.

SH

 

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Foreign

Interview: South Sudan envoy commends China’s COVID-19 medical supplies assistance

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A South Sudanese diplomat on Saturday commended China‘s assistance to his country’s anti-virus fight and urged China to boost its positive role in South Sudan.

Speaking to Xinhua, James Morgan, South Sudan ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, said China’s COVID-19 medical supplies to his country is part of a longstanding positive pattern in helping the world‘s youngest country.

South Sudan gained its independence in July 2011.

China has sent a lot of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to South Sudan, crucially needed in COVID-19 preventive measures.”

China has also pledged to continue supporting the continent especially in the area of COVID-19. This help is received with appreciation in South Sudan and across the African continent,” Morgan told Xinhua.

South Sudan has reported 1,317 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with six recoveries and 14 deaths, as of Saturday, according to a report by the Africa CDC.

Morgan further said Chinese support to South Sudan extends to peacekeeping operations and the development of infrastructure in the east African country.

“The Chinese peacekeeping force in South Sudan now has been converted into a developmental force which is helping with development of our infrastructure including road construction,” Morgan told Xinhua.

Chinese peacekeepers in South Sudan have been engaged in protecting refugee camps, repairing broken infrastructure and facilitating local peace initiatives.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Seven killed in shooting in United States state of Alabama

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Seven people were killed in the southern United States state of Alabama on Friday in an overnight shooting, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a series of tweets.

The office said that the fatalities included both men and women, and that the scene was secure without immediate threat to the public. It also said that a homicide investigation is underway.

Deputies responded to a gunshots call late night Thursday in Valhermoso Springs in Morgan County, officials said, adding that the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office is part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Crimes Taskforce that is assisting in the investigation.

No further details were immediately available.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Bank of America pledges $1bn to address racial, economic inequality

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Bank of America Corp on Tuesday pledged one billion dollars  to help communities across the country address economic and racial inequality.

The bank is the first big bank to vow monetary support following violent protests after the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

“The events of the past week have created a sense of true urgency that has arisen across our nation, particularly in view of the racial injustices we have seen in the communities where we work and live,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said.

“We all need to do more,” he said in a statement.

Major cities across the country were hit by the worst civil unrest seen in years following the death of George Floyd last week, with demonstrators setting fire to a strip mall in Los Angeles, looting stores in New York City and clashing with police.

The protests come at a time when businesses are looking to reopen after months of coronavirus-induced lockdowns.

Bank of America said its four-year commitment will include programs such as virus testing and other health services, especially focusing on communities of color, support to minority-owned small businesses, and partnerships with historically black and Hispanic educational institutions.

Last week, Citigroup Inc Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason, one of the few black executives on Wall Street, published a personal essay on expressing his “horror, disgust and anger” over the killing of Floyd.

Heads of United States lenders JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co also issued statements denouncing racism and discrimination, while CEOs of Canadian banks Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce called for action to tackle racism.

Goldman Sach Group Inc in April pledged here 300 million dollars to support communities and small business, while JPMorgan in March committed here 50 million dollars to address public health and economic challenges from the pandemic.

IAA

Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

 

 

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Foreign

Roundup: Tokyo stocks close sharply higher on hopes for economic revivals

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Tokyo stocks closed sharply higher Thursday, as the market mood continued to be buoyed by ongoing hopes for increased economic activity in countries where virus-linked restrictions have been eased.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 497.08 points, or 2.32 percent, from Wednesday to close the day at 21,916.31, marking its highest closing level since Feb. 27.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, added 27.87 points, or 1.80 percent, higher at 1,577.34.

Trading got off to a bright start, local brokers said, tracking U.S. shares’ advances overnight, as expectations for an economic revival worldwide as more countries ease virus-related restrictions underpinned the market.

They added that in terms of Japan, the cabinet a day earlier approving a record supplementary budget to the tune of 31.91 trillion yen (296 billion U.S. dollars) for the fiscal year through next March to help mitigate the downside effects of the global pandemic, also fed into the market’s upbeat mood, underscored by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s pledge to “defend the economy against this once-in-a-century crisis.”

Rallies in U.S. and European markets and Japan’s stimulus are helping the market. As investors see a bottom-out in the economy, it is natural for them to buy cyclical and value stocks,” Seiki Orimi, senior strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, was quoted as saying.

Financial issues gained on expectations of increased business as global economies’ reopening begin to show fiscal results, with transportation issues extending their rally on hopes for increased patronage following Japan fully lifting its virus restrictions on Monday, market strategists here said.

In terms of individual issues finding favor, Nissan Motor accelerated 8.2 percent and Mitsubishi Motor gained 6.4 percent, after the two automakers, along with alliance partner Renault, announced a streamlining plan involving cost-cutting initiatives as part of the alliance’s revival.

Advertising giant Dentsu Group soared 16.4 percent, after reporting its net profit in the January-March quarter had returned to the black from hefty losses booked in the previous year.

Recruit Holdings climbed 7.0 percent, after announcing its group net profit for the fiscal year ended in March increased from a year earlier on a significant rise in revenue in the period.

By the close of play, iron and steel, bank and transportation equipment issues comprised those that gained the most, and issues that rose outpaced those that fell by 1,530 to 583 on the First Section, while 53 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Thursday, 2.087 billion shares changed hands, rising from Wednesday’s volume of 1.763 billion shares.

The turnover on the penultimate trading day of the week came to 3.381 trillion yen (31.384 billion U.S. dollars).

(XINHUA)

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