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New Nsukka LGA chairman sworn in, promises improved people’s welfare

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Mr. Cosmas Ugwueze, the newly sworn in substantive chairman of Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu on Monday promised to make the welfare of the people a priority.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that Ugwueze was sworn in at the Enugu State Government House by the Attorney General of the State, Mr Miletus Eze before the governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

Ugwueze told NAN that his people’s welfare was his priority and that he would continue with the good work left behind by the late chairman of the Council.

”I am saddened because of my boss death and in the other way round, I am happy because history has been made in the land of Nsukka LGA.

”I have been sworn in as the substantive chairman of Nsukka and just like I said before his Excellency, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the welfare of my people a priority.

”My plan is to get through with what the late chairman left behind and I will give all a sense of belonging.

”Protection of Nsukka people, their properties and welfare are my priority, also other necessities of life,” he said.

Ugwueze said that he would consult other stakeholders on the best way forward for the LGA.

Speaking on COVID-19 preventive measures, the chairman said that his boss started campaign against the pandemic before his death.

” If you have been following activities in Nsukka before the demise of the chairman, you will notice that Nsukka is one of the LGAs that have started awareness campaign on the pandemic.

”It was also among the first in sharing palliative and other things to help curtail the spread of the deadly pandemic,” Ugwueze said.

NAN reports that Ugwueze was the deputy chairman of the Nsukka LGA before the death of his chairman, Mr Patrick Omeje.

20 Local Government Councilors from the LGA accompanied the chairman to the swearing in ceremony.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan (NAN)

 

Nicholas Obisike: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

Trump to hold news conference on Tuesday: White House

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President Donald Trump will hold a Rose Garden news conference at 5 p.m. Eastern (2100 GMT)on Tuesday, according to a White House schedule that did not provide details on what he intends to speak about.

Earlier in the afternoon, Trump will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the White House, the schedule showed.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

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Entertainment

Six Harvey Weinstein accusers call $18.9 million New York settlement a ‘cruel hoax

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Reuters) Six women who claim they were sexually abused by Harvey Weinstein urged a United States judge on Monday to reject an $18.9 million settlement with the disgraced movie producer, the board of his former studio and other accusers.

The settlement announced on June 30 would end litigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James and separate class-action litigation and permit accusers to claim $7,500 to $750,000 each.

But in a Manhattan federal court filing, the six women said accusers would receive just $11.2 million after deducting legal fees and costs, with typical awards of just $10,000 to $20,000, while shielding the defendants’ insurers from big payouts.

They also complained that the accord “absolved” Weinstein, his brother Bob Weinstein and the board of liability, while setting aside another $15.2 million to help cover their defense costs.

The settlement is “a cruel hoax” and among “the most one-sided and unfair class settlements in history,” the filing said.

“The main winners … are Harvey Weinstein, Robert Weinstein, and the ultra-wealthy former directors of The Weinstein Co.”

James’ office and a lawyer for Weinstein did not respond to requests for comment.

Gerald Maatman, a lawyer for the Weinstein Cos, declined to comment.

The settlement requires approval by United States District Judge Alvin Hellerstein.

In 2010, he initially rejected a settlement for workers suffering from health problems after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, saying he would not approve it “based on fear or ignorance.

Weinstein, 68, is serving a 23-year prison term following his Feb. 24 conviction for sexually assaulting a former production assistant and raping a one-time aspiring actress.

He is appealing, and still faces rape and sexual assault charges in Los Angeles.

The guilty verdict was a milestone for the #MeToo movement, which starting in late 2017, inspired women to accuse hundreds of powerful men in business, entertainment, media, politics and other fields of sexual misconduct.

Á

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)

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Foreign

New Zealand’s opposition party chooses new leader after Muller resignation

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New Zealand’s opposition party said it  has chosen long-standing politician Judith Collins to take over as leader months before the general election, following the surprise resignation of Todd Muller.

Muller announced this on Tuesday that he would step down as leader of the National Party immediately, just 53 days after he replaced Simon Bridges in May.

Collins, a 61-year-old National Party lawmaker, will lead the party as the country heads to the polling booths in a general election on Sept 19.

Collins said in a brief statement she felt privileged to have been chosen to lead the party.

“My focus as leader will be helping rebuild our communities and dealing with the economic and jobs crisis by getting Kiwis back to work,’’ she added.

Collins was first elected as a lawmaker in 2002, and has made previous attempts for the leadership in 2016 and 2018.

Senior lawmaker Gerry Brownlee was chosen by the caucus as deputy leader.

Muller said in a brief press release that he had taken time over the weekend to reflect on his position.

“It has become clear to me that I am not the best person to be leader of the opposition and leader of the New Zealand National Party at this critical time for New Zealand,’’ he said.

The role had taken a heavy toll on himself and his family and had become untenable from a health perspective, he added.

Edited By: Halima sheji/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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General news

Osun records 17 new Coronavirus cases

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Osun has recorded 17 fresh coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections in the state to 263.

Dr Rafiu Isamotu, the state’s Commissioner For Health, in a statement in Osogbo, said 11 patients were also discharged from isolation centre in  the  state  after  recovering from the disease.

Isamotu said the new cases were contacts of the previous patients in the state.

The Commissioner appealed to residents  to always observe all the precautionary measures laid down against the spread of the virus.

Isamotu said with the new cases, the number of confirmed cases in the state had risen to 263 with 135 active cases.

He said the state had successfully treated and discharged 121 patients with seven deaths recorded so far.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Health

Nigeria records 595 new cases of Coronavirus, total jumps to 33,153

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Nigeria has announced 575 new COVID-19 cases in the country as total infections from the virus rise to 33,153.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made this known on its official twitter handle on Monday .

The NCDC said that the new confirmed cases as at July 13 was 595 while four deaths were recorded across the country.

The agency said that no new state had reported a case in the last 24 hours.

According to NCDC, till date, 33,153 cases have been confirmed, 13,671 cases have been discharged and 744 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

It stated that the 594 new cases were reported from 20 states.

The NCDC stated  that 156 of the new cases were reported in Lagos, 141 in Oyo, and 99 in the FCT.

Others were Edo (47), Kaduna (27), Ondo (22), Rivers (20), Osun (17), Imo (13), Plateau (10), Nasarawa (8), Anambra (8), Kano (5), Benue (5), Borno (5), Ogun (4), Taraba (3), Gombe (3), Kebbi (1), and Cross River (1).

The NCDC says Nigerians have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to all preventative measures.

The agency added that Nigerians should also protect the vulnerable around them .

It said that understanding the modes of transmission of a new virus was critical to defining response strategies.

The centre said that an increasing evidence suggested the possibility of airborne transmission of COVID-19 could not be ruled out yet.

“Evidence on airborne transmission of COVID-19 reinforces need for strict adherence to preventive measures, such as avoidance of mass gatherings and the use of face masks.

“We will continue to adapt our guidelines as scientific evidence emerges,” NCDC said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Oil & Gas

Buhari approves new boards for NLNG, BGT

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the newly reconstituted board of Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas(NLNG)and Bonny Gas Transport Limited ( BGT).

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, made the disclosure in a statement in Abuja  on Monday.

He said that the current board members had been in office since 2005, hence the need for new people to bring new ideas in the system.

According to him, the new board members for the NLNG include Dr Edmund Daukoru as Chaiman, Mr Henry lkem-Obih as a Member and Dr Rabiu Sulaiman as a Member.

Other Members include the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr Bitrus Nabasu.

He also said that Daukoru was also approved as the President of the Board of BST while Doyin Akinyanju and Abdul Abba are members.

The minister noted that Kyari and Nabasu were also members of the board.

“I will like to use this opportunity to thank the chairman and other outgoing board  members of NLNG for steering the companies to record successes, particularly the Train 7 FID.

“l wish the exiting members good health and more successes in their future endeavors.

“To the incoming members of the board, I congratulate you on this appointment; your selection is based on your experience, integrity and expertise.

“I, therefore,urge you to bring all these to bear in the discharge of your responsibilities in line with the progressive agenda of Mr President,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports  that some of the new board members had worked in the industry in the past.

Daukoru was a former Minister of State for Energy and also Secretary General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in 2006.

He became the Amayanabo, or traditional ruler, of Nembe Kingdom in 2008.

Also, Ikem-Obih was a former Chief Operating Officer, Downstream of the NNPC and Rabiu a former Group Executive Director at the corporation.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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General news

Coronavirus response: NCD Alliance launches new civil society solidarity fund

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No fewer than 20 civil society alliances from across the world will be awarded grants to accelerate the response to the coronavirus pandemic through the first Civil Society Solidarity Fund.

This was contained in a statement issued by Jimena Donaher, the Communications Director of NCD Alliance, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Ibadan.

The statement said that the fund, launched on Monday during an online event, was aimed at accelerating response to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and COVID-19.

NAN reports that the beneficiaries were drawn from Africa, Asia, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean and Latin America.

The NCD President Todd Harper, said that the COVID-19 pandemic had shown many intersections between the virus and NCDs, saying people living with NCDs were at higher risk of contracting coronavirus.

“The pandemic is also impacting negatively on the poorest communities around the world and the most vulnerable people in every country.

“The civil society solidarity fund was borne out of the need to tackle NCDs as fundamental to health security and prevent a reversal of the gains made in NCD prevention and control around the world,” he said.

Harper said that the fund, totalling US$300,000, would competitively award grants of up to US$15,000 to national and regional NCD alliances.

“The purpose is to support them in addressing the critical needs of people living with NCDs during COVID-19 via advocacy and communication activities that will support stronger organisational stability and resilience.

“Activities will include advocacy and communication efforts for the continuity of essential NCD health services and inclusion of NCDs in national COVID-19 response recovery plans.

“Also included is community-led awareness-raising campaigns on the linkages between NCDs and COVID-19,” Harper said.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, NCD Alliance, Katie Dain, said it was the first-of-its-kind fund to support civil society organisations (CSOs) to respond to COVID-19.

“During pandemics, momentum in several health and sustainable development issues, notably , Ebola and climate change, have repeatedly reinforced the critical role of CSOs and community-led efforts in accelerating action from local to global levels.

“Civil societies are proven campaigners, change agents, experts, implementers and watchdogs,” he said.

According to him, it is important to ensure a vibrant and strong NCD civil society that could elevate the voices of communities as well as people living with NCDs, given the vulnerability level of people living with NCDs to COVID-19.

Dain stressed the need to advocate for health policy reform and hold governments and other stakeholders accountable.

The statement said that the global NCD civil society movement had witnessed very significant growth over the last decade, adding COVID-19 affected its sustainability and stalled the advocacy efforts already on ground.

The statement said that the fund was made possible through generous financial contributions of NCD Alliance’s supporters, such as The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Access Accelerated, Takeda, AstraZeneca and Upjohn (Pfizer).

It said that the fund received 45 submissions from national and regional alliances across all regions, which were reviewed by a selection committee.

“The fund recognises the essential work of NCD advocates, which now becomes even more critical than ever, to ensure political and media attention to the needs of people living with NCDs as one of the most vulnerable groups to COVID-19.

NAN reports that the recipients of the funds included: NCD Alliance Nigeria, ACT Promoção da Saúde (ACT Health Promotion – Brazil), Alianza ENT Uruguay (NCD Alliance Uruguay), Alliance MNT Benin, Bangladesh Non-Communicable Diseases Forum and Burundi NCD Alliance.

Others were Cambodian NCD Alliance, Cameroon Civil Society NCD Alliance, Coalition MNT-Togo, East Africa NCD Alliance, Healthy Caribbean Coalition and Healthy Latin American Coalition and Zambia Non-Communicable Alliance.

Healthy Philippines Alliance, Jordan NCD Alliance, Slovenian NCD Alliance, South African NCDs Alliance, South East Asia Regional NCD Alliance, Trinidad and Tobago NCD Alliance and UK Working Group on NCDs also benefitted from the fund.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Foreign

Tunisian parties seek to oust parliament speaker as Islamists want new government

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At least five Tunisian parties plan to launch a vote of no confidence in parliamentary speaker Rached Ghannouchi who has been accused of partisan interests, while members of his moderate Islamist Ennahda party have called for a new government, escalating the country’s political crisis.

The no-confidence motion poses the biggest challenge yet to Ennahda, which first took power following the Arab Spring uprising, but was forced to step down in 2013 after a series of protests.

Pressure on the government has mounted in recent weeks after opponents called for the resignation of Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh over an alleged conflict of interest.

On Sunday, Ennahda, the main party in the ruling coalition, said it supported calls to change the government.

Ennahda said that it wants “to hold talks to form a strong new government because this government lost credibility after suspicion of conflict of interest involving the prime minister,” Imed Khmiri a senior official in Ennahda told Reuters.

Fakhfakh has rejected accusations of corruption after an independent member of parliament published documents last month indicating that companies the prime minister owns shares in had won deals worth 44 million dinars ($15 million) from the state.

Mohammed Ammar from Attayar party, said that a group of parliamentary blocs agreed to start the process of withdrawing confidence from the speaker, citing numerous violations, poor management and unilateral decisions that serve partisan interests.

These blocs include the Tahya Tounes, Attayar, Chaab and Reform parties, which are in the coalition with Ennahda.

The Free Constitutional party led by Abir Moussi, a supporter of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali overthrown by the 2011 revolution, has campaigned to oust Ghannouchi for weeks.

Moussi’s party accused Ghannouchi of serving the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda and foreign allies, including Turkey and Qatar.

Ghannouchi has rejected these accusations, arguing that Tunisians want a government focused on economic and social policy, not political in-fighting.

Procedures for withdrawing confidence require the signature of 73 members of the house for it to be put to a public vote. To succeed, 109 lawmakers will need to vote for no-confidence.

The five parties have about 90 members.

IAA

Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

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Health

Nigeria records 664 new cases of Coronavirus, total hits 31,987

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Nigeria has recorded 664 new Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country as total infections from the virus rise to 31,987.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made this known on its official twitter handle on Saturday.

The NCDC said that as at July 11, 664 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in the country.

The agency said that no new state had reported a case in the last 24 hours.

The health agency said that till date, 31,987 cases have been confirmed, 13,103 cases have been discharged and 724 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The NCDC said that the 664 new cases were reported from 18 states; Lagos (224), FCT (105), Edo (85), Ondo (64), Kaduna (32), Imo (27), Osun (19), Plateau (17), Oyo (17), Ogun (17), Rivers (14), Delta (11), Adamawa (10), Enugu (7), Nasarawa (6), Gombe (3), Abia (3),  and Ekiti (3).

Consequently, the NCDC urges Nigerians to help  prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in their communities.

“It is very important to wash your hand frequently with soap under running water.

“Let’s all #TakeResponsibiliy by ensuring hygienic practices to keep ourselves and loved ones safe and healthy,” it advised.

The health agency said that wearing a mask or face covering in public spaces was one of many ways Nigerians could do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“As we continue to make progress in our fight against this virus, I urge Nigerians to continue to follow this important public health advice as we continue to respond to this outbreak,” it stated.

 

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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