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Perm Sec. mourns former NTA Sports Director, Oyebanji

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Mrs. Grace Isu-Gekpe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, has condoled with the family and  management of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), over the death of its former Sports Director, Mr Akinloye Oyebanji.

Isu-Gekpe, in a letter of condolence issued on Monday in Abuja, said that the deceased had  distinguished himself as a sports journalist.

She described Oyebanji as “a quintessential journalist, who displayed uncommon enthusiasm and passion during his meritorious service at the NTA, which spanned 35 years.

“I received the news of his death with shock and profound sadness.  His death has definitely robbed Nigeria of one of its finest sports journalists.

“Mr Oyebanji was a role model and a quintessential reporter, who did excellently well as a sports Journalist and a commentator.

“His sudden death is a monumental loss not only to his family and the sports industry, but to Kwara and the nation in general,” she said.

Isu-Gekpe urged his family to take solace in the fact that the deceased lived an exemplary life of service to the nation, which is worthy of emulation.

She prayed God to  grant the soul of the deceased eternal rest and grant his family, friends and colleagues the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Edited by Shittu Obassa and Ephraims Sheyin

Foreign

German police investigate after poisoned drinks found in supermarkets

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German police said on Tuesday that they had launched an investigation after bottles of drinks containing a deadly poison were found in two Munich supermarkets.

The poison was found in the two locations in four separate incidents, and in three of the four, customers consumed small amounts of the toxic liquid, police said.

Two women aged 34 and 42 had to receive immediate medical attention after drinking the beverages.

The third, a 48-year-old, suffered from symptoms including dizziness and nausea, but did not require medical attention.

The fourth bottle found to contain poison had not been sold yet, they said.

Police are yet to determined the motive for the crimes, and a police spokesman said that blackmail was unlikely because the supermarkets had received no demands until this point.

They advised the public to be aware of any unusual smells coming from beverages, and to inform them immediately should the substance be suspicious in any way.


Edited By: Halima Sheji/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

 

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Sport

Union Berlin complete permanent move for on-loan Buelter

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Union Berlin have exercised their right to secure on-loan winger Marius Buelter on a permanent basis, the Bundesliga club said on Monday.

The 27-year-old Buelter has played the season on loan from third tier Magdeburg and will remain for next year, regardless of whether or not Union survive in the top flight.

“The step to Union (Berlin) last summer was exactly the right one,” Buelter told the club website.

“For me personally it’s been an unbelievable first Bundesliga year in which I’ve collected many new experiences and played my part in a good campaign until now.”

Buelter’s seven goals in 28 matches make him Union Berlin’s second top scorer this season.

They are 14th, four points clear of the relegation play-off place, but are winless in six games.

Union Berlin were hammered 4-1 at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday and host Schalke 04 next weekend, where they will be without Norwegian full-back Julian Ryerson.

Ryerson has been ruled out for the season after injuring his knee at Gladbach just 40 seconds after coming off the bench.
OLAL

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Edited By: Olawale Alabi (NAN)
)

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Sport

PSG sign striker Icardi on permanent deal — Inter

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French champions Paris St Germain have signed striker Mauro Icardi on a permanent deal from Inter Milan, the Serie A club said on Sunday.

Argentine Icardi, 27, joined PSG in September on a season-long loan with a buy-out option.

FC Internazionale Milano announces the transfer of Mauro Icardi to Paris Saint-Germain FC; the striker, born in 1993, has permanently moved to the French club.

“The club thanks the player for the six seasons he spent with us and wishes him the best for his future professional career,” Inter said in a statement.

Icardi scored 20 goals in 31 matches in all competitions before the season was officially concluded on April 30, with 10 games remaining due to the COVID-19 crisis.

He has been competing for a place in the side with Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani, PSG’s all-time top scorer, whose contract expired on June 30

//DCU

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Foreign

Some COVID-19 related job losses are permanent: study

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University of Chicago (UChicago) Booth School of Business estimates that 42 percent of COVID-19 related layoffs could be permanent, according to a news release posted on UChicago’s website on Tuesday.

Working with other U.S. and Mexican researchers, scholars at UChicago Booth constructed a novel, forward-looking measure of expected job reallocation across U.S. firms, pairing anecdotal evidence from news reports and other sources, along with the rich dataset provided by the Survey of Business Uncertainty (SBU), a monthly panel survey which allows the calculation of a firm’s expected growth rate over the next year, and its degree of uncertainty about its expectations.

“We estimate that 42 percent of recent pandemic-induced layoffs will result in permanent job loss,” said Steven Davis, a leading expert on hiring practices, job loss and the effects of economic uncertainty at UChicago. “If the economic shutdown lingers for many months, or if serious pandemics become a recurring phenomenon, there will be profound, long-term consequences for the reallocation of jobs, workers, and capital across firms and locations.”

Two special staffing-related questions in the SBU reveal that pandemic-related developments caused near-term layoffs equal to 12.8 percent of March 1 employment, and new hires equal to 3.8 percent, or roughly three new hires per 10 layoffs.

Citing numerous sources that report large-scale hiring by certain retailers, grocers and food-delivery firms, the scholars find that some companies are becoming creative in managing their labor needs.

“Some companies are forming partnerships that exploit the re-allocative nature of the COVID-19 shock to speed hiring,” said Davis. “Grocery chains are creating labor exchanges with hotels, and retail stores are pairing with gig companies, among other creative solutions to move workers to where they are needed.”

(XINHUA)

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General news

Kano Govt, Supermarket operators agree on N16,000 per bag of rice

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Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC), says it has reached an agreement with Association of Supermarket operators in the state for sale of rice at N16,000 per 50kg bag.

Mr Muhyi Magaji, the Chairman of the anti-graft body disclosed this in an interview with newsmen shortly after a meeting with the association, and the Commissioner of Commerce in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalled that the commission recently signed a similar agreement with the Rice Processors Association of Nigeria, (RIPAN) on selling the bag of rice at N16,000 retail price.

According to Magaji, the agreement was aimed at controlling inflation and reducing the hardship faced by the people during the lockdown.

He also disclosed that part of the agreement with the rice processors was to sell the product at N15,500 to the supermarkets who would then sell to the public at N16,000 per bag.

“We are now playing in between the traders and the Ministry of Commerce, where we come in, because we were saddled with the responsibility of this issue of inflation of price.

“And part of the recommendations and the series of meetings we had on this issue, some of them has to do with the state government, while some has to do with the Federal Government.

“And we are making all the necessary contacts with the concerned federal agencies to ensure that we achieve our aim on this issue so that the people of Kano would benefit,” he said.

Also briefing newsmen on the issue, the state Commissioner of Commerce, Mahmud Muhammad, said the meeting was part of efforts to ensure that the agreement becomes effective.

“This meeting followed our earlier meeting with the RIFAN where we agreed to increase supply of the product to some selected supermarkets in the state on a weekly basis to make the product available to the public during the lockdown period.

“Because of this COVID-19, they will sell the rice at supermarkets in the state. The supermarkets will be receiving the goods at the rate of N15,500 and will not sell at more than N16,000.

“Hence the Supermarket owners will be buying rice directly from the processors to avoid hoarding of the product and subsequent inflation.

“They can continue their business with other traders and wholesalers but we have created a window to control hoarding and inflation in this period of lockdown,” he stated.

On his part, the Secretary of the association, Malam Umar Habu confirmed the agreement, adding that the agreement was not for them to get undue profit, but for the poor to enjoy.

According to him, it is part of their contribution to ensure that an average person in the state did not find it difficult to buy rice, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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General news

Lockdown: Kano antigraft agency, Supermarket operators fix price of rice

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The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) says it has reached an agreement with Association of Supermarket operators in the state for sale of rice at N16,000 per 50kg bag.

Mr Muhyi Magaji, the Chairman of the anti-graft agency, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen shortly after a meeting with the association and the Commissioner of Commerce in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the commission recently signed a similar agreement with the Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) on selling the bag of rice at N16,000 retail price.

According to Magaji, such an agreement is aimed at controlling inflation in the state, and also reducing hardship faced by the people during the lockdown.

He also disclosed that part of their agreement with the rice processors was to sell the product at N15,500 to the supermarkets who would then sell to the public at N16,000 per bag.

Magaji added that their responsibility was an intervention between the supermarket operators and the state Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Solid Minerals to ensure the control of commodity prices.

“We are now playing in between the traders and the Ministry of Commerce, where we come in, because we were saddled with the responsibility of this issue of inflation of price.

“And part of the recommendations and the series of meetings we had on this issue, some of them have to do with the state government, while some have to do with the Federal Government.

“And we are making all the necessary contacts with the concerned federal agencies to ensure that we achieve our aim on this issue so that the people of Kano would benefit,” he said.

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Commerce, Mr Mahmud Muhammad, said the meeting was part of their efforts to ensure that such agreement become effective.

“This meeting followed our earlier meeting with the RIFAN where we agreed to increase supply of the product to some selected supermarkets in the state on a weekly basis to make the product available to the public during the lockdown period.

“Because of this COVID-19, they will sell the rice at supermarkets in the state. The supermarkets will be receiving the goods at the rate of N15,500 and will not sell more than N16,000.

“Hence the Supermarket owners will be buying rice directly from the processors to avoid hoarding of the product and subsequent inflation.

“They can continue their business with other traders and wholesalers, but we have created a window to control hoarding and inflation in this period of lockdown,” he explained.

On his part, the Secretary of the association, Malam Umar Habu, confirmed the development, adding that the agreement is not for them to get profit, but for the poor to enjoy.

According to him, this is part of our contribution to see that an average man in the state did not find it difficult to buy the rice, especially during this COVID-19 lockdown.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

Vietnam extends stay permit for foreigners stranded due to COVID-19

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Foreigners entering Vietnam under visa waiver programs, e-visas or tourist visas after March 1 will be automatically given stay permit extension until June 30 free of charge, Vietnam News Agency cited the country’s Immigration department as reporting on Tuesday.

The extension will be made automatically and there is no need to be renewed, and visa holders can stay or leave the country from now until June 30 without doing any paperwork. The move aimed to help those stranded in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, foreigners who entered the country before March 1 will also be considered for this permit extension as long as they can prove they cannot leave the country due to the pandemic, the news agency added.

Those who obtained documents from the Vietnamese authorities certifying that they have undergone quarantine or treatment for COVID-19 or are stranded here due to reasons beyond their control are also eligible for the stay permit extension, according to the report.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Trump threatens to permanently freeze U.S. funding to WHO

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to permanently cut off the nation’s funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) if the body does not commit to what he called “substantive improvements within the next 30 days.”

In a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a copy of which was published by Trump on Twitter, the president added that he could reconsider the U.S. membership in the organization.

The threat came as the world continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 4.8 million people globally and killed over 318,000.

The United States alone has reported more than 1.5 million infections and over 90,000 deaths as of 4:03 p.m. (2003 GMT), according to a count by Johns Hopkins University. Both figures are far higher than those in any other country or region.

Trump announced in mid-April that his administration would halt U.S. funding to the WHO, a roundly-criticized move that many experts have said was trying to shift blames and would be counterproductive to addressing the public health crisis.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that time had been wasted in the U.S. response.

“It’s heartbreaking to think how much fear, how much loss, how much agony could have been avoided if the president hadn’t wasted so much time and taken responsibility,” Biden told a virtual event. “We got denials, delays, distraction.”

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations for international public health, which has played a crucial role in coordinating the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

During the ongoing World Health Assembly, many world leaders have strongly defended the WHO and voiced their support for the organization to continue its leading in the coronavirus battle.

Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), praised the WHO in April.

“WHO has been a long-term and still is a great partner for us. We’re going to continue to do all we can together to try to limit this,” Redfield said. “We’ve worked together to fight health crises all around the world. We continue to do that.”

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Trump threatens to pull US funding to WHO permanently

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United States President Donald Trump has threatened to permanently pull funding from the World Health Organisation (WHO) if it does not commit to “major substantive improvements” within 30 days, according to a letter to the WHO chief, shared by Trump on Twitter.

In a four-page letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, Trump set out what he called “repeated missteps” by the organisation.

Trump claimed that the WHO shares the responsibility for a large number of deaths in the crisis.

He charged that mismanagement on the part of the WHO and reliance on information from China had dramatically worsened the epidemic and spread it globally.

Trump said he would make a temporary freeze of funding permanent and might also reconsider the U.S. membership of the organisation at the end of the 30-day deadline if he saw no improvements.

“The only way forward for the WHO is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China,’’ the U.S. president asserted.

He said discussions with the organisation on how to reform the WHO had already begun.

“But action is needed quickly. We do not have time to waste.’’

“I cannot allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance an organisation that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America’s interests,’’ Trump concluded.

The U.S. president faced international criticism when he announced in April he would be halting funding to the WHO while a 60-day to 90-day review took place.

He has also faced criticism over how the White House initially responded to the virus.

Trump has repeatedly accused the WHO of failing in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He has said the U.S. taxpayers provide between $400 million and $500 million a year to the organisation.

That funding is largely appropriated by Congress.

Trump’s criticisms of the WHO echo some experts, who say the organisation relied too heavily on information from China in the initial stages of the outbreak.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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

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