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Defence/Security

New Akwa Ibom NSCDC commandant resumes, advises miscreants to relocate

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Mr Samuel Fadeyi, the new commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), in Akwa Ibom, resumed office on Monday with a call to miscreants to relocate from the state or be arrested and prosecuted.

Fadeyi told newsmen in Uyo that his major concern was to rid the oil-rich state of criminal elements,

“I have vast experience as a prosecutor with a track record of jailing criminals,” Fadeyi, a lawyer, who had served in Ogun, Lagos, Rivers States and FCT Commands, said.

He promised to improve on the existing security situation in the state to ensure adequate protection of critical infrastructure.

“I don’t intend to compromise in any way; I want to sound a note of warning to criminals that a `jailer’ is in town.

“I have prosecuted and jailed many for running foul of the law, particularly as it affects our mandate of protecting critical infrastructure,” he said.

He solicited for useful information from members of the public regarding criminals and their activities.

“The doors are open for members of the public to lodge complaints; all information given would be treated with utmost confidentiality,” Fadeyi said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and Ephraims Sheyin

Foreign

News Analysis: Australia slides into recession but full impact of COVID-19 yet to be seen

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Australia is set for its first recession in 29 years, the country’s Treasurer confirmed this week following the release of first quarter data. However, economists say that the full extent of COVID-19 is most likely yet to be seen.

Official figures released on Wednesday showed Australia‘s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.3 in the first three months of the year. A contraction in the second quarter is considered a near certainty, with the bulk of COVID-19‘s impact expected to be felt.

Technically Australia will not know if it is in a recession, defined by two consecutive quarters of economic decline, until September when the figures for the current June quarter are released.

However, when asked if the country was in a recession, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said, “The answer to that is yes — and that is on the basis of the advice that I have from the Treasury Department about where the June quarter is expected to be.”

As has been typical of the COVID-19 crisis, the exact impact on Australia’s economy has been difficult to predict. The country has experienced a much faster flattening of new infections and subsequent reopening of the economy than was first thought.

“We previously expected lockdown conditions to remain in place until late Q3, so about six weeks longer than has been the case. And we also anticipated a more sustained downturn in consumer confidence linked to a more severe outbreak of coronavirus,” Chief Economist at BIS Oxford Economics Sarah Hunter told Xinhua.

“In terms of the trajectory for the economy, the high frequency data suggests that activity troughed in late April/early May and is already recovering, and we think the risk of a substantial second wave of infections is low.”

While data from the first three months of the year showed a relatively soft impact on Australia’s economy, National Australia Bank Group Chief Economist Alan Oster says that it is only a small, and likely less ugly, part of the picture.

“What’s relevant is what’s happened since then,” Oster told Xinhua. “And there we’re seeing, in our data anyway, massive falls in consumption — they’re down around about 12 percent.”

“We’re beginning to basically say that we think GDP in the second quarter is down about 8.5 percent.”

Australia closed its borders to all non residents on March 20, followed by the introduction of social distancing restrictions, and then rolling closures of non-essential businesses such as restaurants and pubs.

With the country now in June, and in the process of reopening those businesses, it appears the bulk of COVID-19‘s impact will be seen in that second quarter period.

“We’re assuming that what’s going to happen is you are going to open up some of the clubs and pubs, so essentially hospitality. Domestic tourism will also improve. I suspect retail will improve a little bit as well as it’s reopened,” Oster said.

“And those are some of the key drivers. But it’s depending on exactly when they reopen and how things go.”

To help moderate the effects of COVID-19 and sustain employees forced out of work by the virus, the federal government introduced a historic 70-billion-Australian dollar (48.9 billion U.S. dollar) stimulus package, dubbed the “JobKeeper Program.”

Of concern moving forward, to both Hunter and Oster, is the sharp end to the current policy which they say will require more thought and planning.

“We are concerned about the size of the policy cliff edge that is currently legislated; the end of the JobKeeper program and the enhanced JobSeeker payments in October, will be a significant negative drag on household income, and there is a risk that the labour market will not have recovered enough to shake this off,” Hunter said.

Also of concern is the country’s construction industry, particularly residential construction, which was already in a downturn and is likely to experience a sustained slump.

“If you basically stop external immigration, you half the growth rate in the population. So instead of growing at 1.5, it’s 0.7. And so that will cause a lot of grief for construction,” Oster explained.

In terms of longer term recovery, Hunter predicts Australia’s GDP could return to pre-COVID-19 levels by the end of 2021, while Oster says mid-2020. And both agree that rather than a V-shape, Australia‘s return to normality looks more like a U.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Philippines reports 244 new COVID-19 cases, tally at 20,626

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The number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines rose to 20,626 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 244 more infections on Friday.

The DOH said in a daily bulletin that the number of recoveries further climbed to 4,330 after 82 more patients recovered.

The death toll also increased to 987 after three more patients died from the virus, the DOH added.

According to the DOH, 48 of the daily reported cases were in Metro Manila, 138 cases in the Central Visayas region in the central Philippines and 58 cases were reported in other parts of the country.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Live COVID-19 updates: Afghanistan reports 915 new cases

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The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

– – – –

KABUL — Afghanistan on Friday reported 915 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, taking the country’s total to 18,969, the country’s Ministry of Public Health said.

Within the past 24 hours, 1,570 tests were conducted, and 915 were positive cases, the ministry said in a statement.

Up to 309 deaths have been recorded since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in February, an increase of nine within the past 24 hours.

– – – –

YANGON — A total of 663 hotels, about one-third of the hotels in Myanmar, reopened across regions and states so far after temporary suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an official from the Hotels and Tourism Ministry told Xinhua late Thursday.

“There are 2,053 hotels operating in the country and one-third of them have reopened after getting health and safety inspection passes by the authorities concerned as of May 29,” said Deputy Director General U Aung Aye Han of the ministry.

– – – –

BISHKEK — Kyrgyzstan on Friday added 37 COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections to 1,936.

Among the newly confirmed, 17 were imported cases, 12 are citizens under medical observation and eight are of unknown sources, the country’s Deputy Health Minister Nurbolot Usenbaev said at his daily briefing.

He also reported two new virus-related deaths, raising the death toll to 22.

– – – –

BEIJING — Chinese health authority said Friday that no new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases were reported on the mainland Thursday.

Five imported cases, including four in Shanghai and one in Sichuan Province, were reported on the mainland, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.

No deaths related to the disease or new suspected cases were reported, according to the commission.

– – – –

CAIRO — Iran on Thursday witnessed a record daily rise in COVID-19 cases amid the continuing resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic.

The total number of COVID-19 cases surged to 164,270 in Iran with 3,574 new ones reported. The death toll in Iran, the highest in the Middle East, climbed to 8,071 after 59 more deaths were reported.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

AAP’s news service set to continue under new ownership

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Australian Associated Press (AAP)’s news services are set to continue under new ownership, the company announced on Friday.

AAP’S board confirmed a group of investors and philanthropists led by former News Corp CEO Peter Tonagh was at the final stage of negotiation to purchase the newswire division from the company.

The newswire division has more than 85 years history in providing news service in Australia. However, citing financial impact caused by increasing free online content, AAP board announced in March the division would be closed with other part of the company all together that put up to 500 jobs at stake.

It’s understood that the purchase only involves news division of AAP, including text and photography, which currently provides reporting on general news, courts, politics, finance, racing and sport, plus images and video.

The rest part of asset still stays with current shareholders including Nine, News Corp Australia, The West Australian and Australian Community Media.

The new-look AAP will run by 85-90 employees, including editorial staff, and management, IT and support personnel who worked for the previous news wire division.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Afghanistan reports 915 new COVID-19 cases

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Afghanistan on Friday reported 915 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, taking the country’s total to 18,969, the country’s Ministry of Public Health said.

Within the past 24 hours, 1,570 tests were conducted, and 915 were positive cases, the ministry said in a statement.

Up to 309 deaths have been recorded since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in February, an increase of nine within the past 24 hours.

Out of total infected people, 1,763 have recovered, including 178 who showed improvement and were discharged from hospitals since early Thursday.

The Afghan health authorities have conducted 45,139 tests as of Friday morning across the country.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

New Zealand confirms no new case of COVID-19 for 14 consecutive days

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New Zealand reported no new case of COVID-19 for 14 consecutive days, with the combined total of confirmed and probable cases staying at 1,504, according to the Ministry of Health on Friday.

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the World Health Organization remains at 1,154, said a ministry statement.

The number of COVID-19 related deaths in New Zealand remained at 22, with no additional deaths, according to the health ministry. There is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19, it said.

The number of recovered cases is unchanged at 1,481. Only one case remains active, it added.

Laboratories nationwide completed 2,813 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 288,987, statistics showed.

The NZ COVID Tracer app has now recorded 501,000 registrations. That’s an increase of 6,000 on Thursday.

The decision to move down to Alert Level 1 will be made on June 8 and the country could move down to that alert level by June 10.

Restrictions on businesses will be removed under COVID-19 Alert Level 1, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said earlier this week as New Zealanders are seeing their lives returning to normal.

Strict border controls will still remain, Ardern said, adding restrictions on hospitality businesses, gatherings and community sport will be lifted.

Ardern stressed coughing etiquette, adding risks remain as New Zealand heads into winter with more asymptomatic transmission.

(XINHUA)

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Health

Nigeria records 350 new cases of COVID-19, totaling 11,516

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced on Thursday that it recorded 350 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number in the country to 11,516.

According to its official Twitter handle, all new cases, as at June 4, 2020, Nigeria has 350 new confirmed cases with eight deaths.

NCDC stated that the new cases were reported from 20 States: Lagos (102), Ogun (34), FCT (29), Borno (26), Kaduna (23), Rivers (21), Kwara (16), Ebonyi (17), Katsina (14), Edo (10), Delta (10), Kano (10), Bauchi (10), Bayelsa (9), Imo (8), Plateau (4), Ondo (3), Nasarawa (2), Gombe (1) and Oyo (1).

The News Agency Nigeria reports that no new state had reported a case in the last 24 hours.

The NCDC said that till date, 11,516 cases have been confirmed, out of which 7,658 are active cases; 3,535 cases have been treated and discharged, and 323 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The agency called on Nigerians to observe the procedures for quarantine, avoid public places and ensure public hygiene.

“We cannot solve problems of over 60 years in six weeks.

“As we work hard to reduce risk of COVID-19 infection to health care workers on the frontlines, we need a fundamental change in our approach to infection,  prevention and control in Nigerian hospitals,“ it stated.

 


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

Memorial for George Floyd held in New York City

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Thousands of New Yorkers gathered on Thursday for a memorial service to honor the life of George Floyd, whose death last week has sparked protests across the United States and beyond over police brutality and racism.

Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, joined some 5,000 people in Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza on Thursday afternoon. Wearing a shirt with George Floyd‘s picture on it, the Brooklyn resident thanked New Yorkers for showing love to his brother.

He said he is proud of the protests but not the destruction, referring to the violence and looting that had emerged in demonstrations.

“My brother wasn’t about that,” he added.

Local officials, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York State Attorney General Letitia James, also joined the vigil.

George Floyd cannot have been allowed to die in vain,” said the mayor. “We will make a peaceful change. To the Floyd family, we stand with you. Black lives matter in this city. Black lives matter in America.”

Terrence Floyd then led the protesters on a march across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan’s Foley Square under the scorching sun.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at Thursday‘s briefing called for a moment of silence at 2 p.m. in the state as a memorial service for Floyd began in Minneapolis, where he lived and died.

New York City, which has seen protests for the same purpose staging for over a week, is scheduled to enter the fourth night under curfew at 8 p.m. on Thursday.

(XINHUA)

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General news

See your appointment as call to service – Makinde charges newly sworn-in appointees

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Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has sworn in three new permanent secretaries and five members of the state Civil Service Commission, charging them to see their appointments as call to service.

The swearing-in ceremonies were held on Thursday at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.

Addressing the three female permanent secretaries, Makinde said, “This administration has shown gender sensitivity and respect for merit with your appointments.

“I congratulate you and I want to say that you earned this position. You have shown dedication and commitment in your various work environments and you have paid your dues over the years as well.

“I think we should be applauded for being gender-sensitive. We don’t discriminate. If you earn your position and have put in hard work, there is no glass ceiling in Oyo State as far as gender is concerned.

“As an administration, we try our best to motivate the workforce and ensure we deliver on our mandate to the people of Oyo State,” he said.

According to the governor, he never asked any of the new permanent secretaries of their political inclination.

“What matters to me is that you are from Oyo State and you have served diligently to earn your position.

So, I want to use you as a point of contact to those in the workforce and I’m hopeful that they will, one day, attain this position.

“What is important is our service to the people of Oyo State and also to make sure that our state is better in the course of our service. This is a call to service and I wish you all well,” the governor said.

NAN reports that the three permanent secretaries are Mrs Felicia Oyediran, Mrs Adenike Olufadewa and Mrs Foluke Moradeyo.

In his remarks to the five new members of the state Civil Service Commission, Makinde said he was confident they were up to the task.

“The tasks ahead of the government, which the newly inaugurated commission must key into, include civil service reform, training and retraining of the workforce as well as exploring e-governance among others.

“You are coming on board at an auspicious time in our history. It is time for us to reform the civil service.

“You have to put in the hard work so you can have your work cut out for you. I do not entertain any shred of doubt that you have the capacity, competence and will to carry out the necessary reform in the Oyo State civil service.

“When we came in, I had several discussions with the Head of Service on how promotions and welfare of the civil servants have been handled.

“To reform the civil service, we have to put in training and retraining of the civil servants.

“So, it is one area that I believe you can make your mark and make sure that you push our agenda to bring more knowledge to the civil service.

“One other thing I want to mention is the issue of e-governance. We have to reduce the paperwork to get our governance structure to go digital.

So, I look forward to people like yourselves to champion all of these reforms, and you can be rest assured that you will get the necessary support from the state government to pull this through,” Makinde said.

The five members of the state  civil service commission are Alhaji Kamordeen Aderibigbe (Chairman), Alhaji Kolapo Adewale, Mr Olutoyin Adedeji, Chief Solomon Ogunjimi and Pastor Taiwo Oluwagbemiro.


Edited By: Moses Solanke/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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

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