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Second seed Imeh survives first round scare at CBN Senior Tennis Open Championship



Second seed Joseph Imeh came from a set down to beat Emmanuel Ikakah 3-6 6-2 6-3 in the first round of the CBN Senior Tennis Open Championship on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the competition holding at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja got underway on Monday.

Playing on Centre Court, Imeh conceded a shaky first set with 3-6 to Ikakah, ranked 29th on the latest National Ranking.

The second set was more straightforward, as Imeh put up powerful display expected of a player of his calibre.

However, the third set seemed destined for another defeat for Imeh, which would have been a major tournament upset, before he fought back to take the set 6-3.

Speaking with NAN shortly after the game, Imeh said first round games could be tricky but hoped to get better subsequently.

“It was a first round game and I just had to bring myself back to the game after a set down.

“I gave it my best in the end, but it was a game that brought the best out of both of us.”

He added that there were moments in the game when he became nervous, saying he has to do more in the aspect of mental strength.

“There was a time in the game when I became nervous, especially during the second set and when my opponent broke me in the third set.

“I felt I couldn’t just go down like that and I told myself that it’s either I win or lose this game. I think I have to work on the mental aspect of my game.

“From this game, I learnt that I need to pick myself up and keep my focus each time I go down,” he said.

His opponent, Ikakah, told NAN that he went into the game with a winning strategy in spite of not being the favourite but got distracted.

“I wanted to win and I had the mindset of winning but it just didn’t turn out the way I planned. I felt tight as the game went on and got distracted.

“Although my opponent stepped up his game a little bit, it was distraction that eventually cost me the game. However, it was a good game and I take the lessons learnt from it,” he said.

NAN reports that Monday’s first round fixtures of the championship were delayed for several hours due to an early morning downpour in Abuja.

In the women’s game, Omolayo Bamidele saw off Christy Mbadiwe, who struggled with a shoulder injury throughout the game, 6-7 6-1 6-2 to advance to the second round.

The 2019 CBN Senior Tennis Open is the 41st edition of the tournament and features four categories: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles and women’s doubles.

It also has the men’s and women’s singles wheel chair categories.

The competition, which started on Thursday is expected to end on Saturday, June 29.

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)


Trudeau silent for 20 seconds after being asked about Trump



Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday hesitated for 20 seconds before answering a question about President Donald Trump’s handling of protests gripping the United States.

Trudeau’s long silence came when a reporter asked him to comment on Trump’s threat to use the armed forces to quell violence.

When he eventually spoke, the Canadian leader avoided directly referring to Trump’s response to the protests or even naming him.

“We all watch in horror and consternation what’s going on in the United States,” Trudeau told the news conference.

“It is a time to pull people together, but it is a time to listen, it is a time to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades,” he added, saying that his country must also address discrimination.

Canadian cities including Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal have seen protests in solidarity with the demonstrations against police brutality in the United States, CTV News reported.

There have been seven days of unrest in dozens of United States, following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis police custody.

Trump on Monday threatened to deploy the military if governors fail to quickly quell the violence and “dominate” the protests.

He also had federal forces use tear gas on hundreds of protesters outside the White House so that he could walk across a park for a photo op.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Albania should be ready for second wave of COVID-19: PM




Albania should be ready for a second wave of COVID-19, Prime Minister Edi Rama told a press conference on Tuesday.

Rama made this statement following the inspection of a new hospital structure made available to withstand any possible recurrence of a second wave of COVID-19.

“The second wave is said will come in fall with all the viruses that accompany the onset of winter. It may or may not come, we do not know what awaits us, but we will continue to be ready in case we will have to face an influx in hospitals,” Rama said.

Rama underlined that the pandemic wave was well-managed thanks to the commitment and dedication of doctors, and expressed his thanks for the plan of preventive measures implemented meticulously.

During his visit to the new hospital, Rama was accompanied by Minister of Health and Social Protection Ogerta Manastirliu, who confirmed that the hospital has a capacity of 100 beds.

“This hospital will be made available to patients after the treatment received in the Infectious Diseases Hospital until full recovery from the virus,” Manastirliu said.

Twenty-one new coronavirus cases were registered in Albania over the last 24 hours, according to health authorities. To date, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Albania has reached 1,164, with 891 recoveries and 33 fatalities.


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France enters second phase in easing of cononavirus restrictions




Basking in spring sunshine, restaurants, bars and cafes throughout France reopened their doors to customers on Tuesday morning with tables positioned at least one meter apart, kicking off the second phase of de-confinement in the country.

Museums and parks are now allowed to welcome back visitors, students are returning to schools and people can visit swimming pools, gyms, amusement parks and theaters again in so-called “green” zones where the lockdown curbs are further relaxed.

Unlimited travel is now permitted between the country’s regions, and people can once again enjoy the sun and the sea as the beaches have also reopened.

Like millions of French citizens, Narjess, 41, an English teacher at a training center in Paris, enjoyed this big day after she had been forced to stay at home for nearly three months.

At last, I can find my daily life as before the confinement. It’s a great pleasure. I’m so happy to see again my colleagues and students, and this fills me with energy,” she said.

She told Xinhua she planned to celebrate “this beautiful day” by joining her friends later in the day for a drink in a bar, a first since March 17.

France had started 15-day nationwide confinement at midday on March 17 to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The confinement was extended twice and ended on May 11, when France cautiously started the first phase in easing some restrictions.

During this second phase, “freedom will become the rule again and bans will be the exception,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said last week when he unveiled his de-confinement strategy.

However, the greater Paris area (Ile-de-France region) as well as the overseas territories of Mayotte and Guiana remains “exceptions.” In these areas, still in the higher-risk “orange” category, restaurants, bars and cafes can serve their clients on outdoor terraces only. People there must wait three more weeks if they want to go to swimming pools, attend concerts or exercise outdoors.

“The reopening of cafes, hotels and restaurants marks the return of happy days! There is no doubt that the French will find this part of the French spirit, our culture and our way of life again,” President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter.

About 300,000 restaurants and cafes were allowed to receive customers on Tuesday, 60,000 of them in Paris and its suburbs. Some 500,000 workers in the sector resumed their work, according to Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Since mid-April, the coronavirus situation in France has improved, paving the way for the government to further relax the restrictions, allowing a gradual return to normalcy while maintaining a high level of vigilance to avoid a second wave.

As of Monday, France had 14,288 people hospitalized with COVID-19 infection, 1,302 of them in intensive care. The overall death toll stood at 28,833, with a single day-rise of 31, the lowest daily toll since early April when the pandemic was at its peak and took as many lives as 1,400 in one day.

“This good news should not make us forget that the virus is still circulating in national territory and remains dangerous,” the Health Ministry warned.

To Genevieve Chene, head of the public health agency Sante Publique France (SPF), “the indicators are very favorable.” However, she warned that the virus is still here even if its circulation is slowing.

“We should remain cautious. This is the first time that we see this virus, and this epidemic has produced some surprises, such as the contagiousness of asymptomatic cases,” Chene told France 2 TV.


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Sri Lanka reports second leopard death within a week




Days after a rare black leopard died from injuries after being trapped in a snare in Sri Lanka, another brown leopard was found dead, after being trapped in a snare in Galle, in southern Sri Lanka on Tuesday, the Department of Wildlife said in a statement.

Wildlife Conservation Department Director General M.G.C. Sooriyabandara told local journalists that the leopard was first spotted and captured by a wildlife officer in Neluwa, after which he informed the relevant officials.

The leopard belonged to the Sri Lankan leopard species known as the “

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postmortem will be carried out by the wildlife doctors.

Sooriyabandara said they hoped to take legal action against the owner of the land in which the leopard was found as they suspected that the snare was set by the landowner.

This is the second leopard death reported in Sri Lanka within a week after wildlife officials found a rare black leopard in the central highlands of Nallathanniya on May 26, trapped in a snare and heavily injured.

The leopard died from injuries after days of treatment.

Wildlife officials said the survival of the Sri Lankan leopard is threatened due to habitat loss and fragmentation primarily with some levels of direct poaching and direct and indirect human-leopard related leopard deaths.


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COVID-19: Bayelsa records second death



Bayelsa government said it had recorded second death case of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) ravaging the world.

This was confirmed by Dr Jones Stow, Director of Public Health, State Ministry of Health in a statement made on Tuesday in Yenagoa.

Stow, also member of the State Task Force on COVID- 19, explained that the second death was a middle-aged man from Bayelsa.

“The patient was presented at one of the state public hospital a week ago, critically ill with signs suggestive of kidney disease.

“He was thus being managed as such and had some sessions of dialysis.

“Further clinical investigations revealed he also had signs suggestive of a possible COVID-19 infection. Samples were thus collected from him which returned positive for coronavirus.

“His test result was among the nine positive results announced by the NCDC for Bayelsa on May 31. He was still due for a final session of dialysis on Monday, June 1 but he passed away on the night of May 31.

“The decease has been buried by the COVID-19 Safe Burial Team witnessed by relatives and friends. May his soul rest in peace,” Stow explained.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the first death case in the state was a Military Personnel.

On total index case, Bayelsa has so far recorded 21 confirmed cases as announced by the NCDC.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Felix Ajide (NAN)


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Possible second wave of COVID-19 may hit harder in Finland: policy group




The societal and economic repercussions of a possible second COVID-19 wave may be more serious in Finland, a Finnish governmental policy group warned on Monday in a report.

In the report, the group, headed by Martti Hetemaki, the Permanent State Secretary of the Finnish Ministry of Finance, noted that Finland will be weaker in encountering the second wave due to the impact of the first wave.

It urged that the “epidemiological response should be as efficient as in the first wave” while the economic impact should be kept smaller.

The group noted that in responding this past winter, some responsibilities “fell between administrative branches,” which brought inefficiencies to curbing COVID-19. And to avoid this in the future, all levels of administration should be included in future planning.

The group warned that if the crisis lingers on, not all enterprises can be saved, and Finland should choose those that are nationally essential when giving public assistance.

It underlined “green recovery” and the promotion of carbon neutrality. “Finland is worth aiming at being a front runner in climate action, as innovations there could improve exports.”

The group also acknowledged that it is not realistic to correct the fiscal sustainability deficit created by the COVID-19 response within a few years.

According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland has to date confirmed a total of 6,885 COVID-19 infections, of which 26 cases were new. The death toll rose to 318, while at least 5,500 people have recovered.

From Monday, restaurants and cafes throughout the country started to reopen, while a special law restricts the opening hours and limits the number of customers at a time to half the normal capacity. These temporary rules will remain in force until the end of October.


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America’s Colorado sees second day of protests over killing of George Floyd




For a second straight day, angry citizens protested police brutality against African-Americans in Denver, Colorado‘s capital city.

Protests started at noon and lasted more than nine hours before being finally disbursed by hundreds of police officers firing large amounts of teargas.

On Thursday, protests rippled across America after the brutal killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer.

On Friday, Denver protest organizers insisted their activists stay peaceful and refrain from causing property damage. However, local media reported that hundreds of protesters attacked and damaged the state capital building and nearby vehicles and businesses the day before.

Denver police officers made 13 arrests Thursday for burglary, criminal mischief and assault, city officials said.

On Friday, despite local authority’s warning, a number of protesters threw rocks and bottles, and police responded with pepper spray and teargas and dispersed them.

“It was a cloud of teargas that moved protesters away,” Channel 9, NBC-News reported, as pepper gas and rubber bullets were fired into several groups of protesters.

Police reported several arrests, and caused minor injuries, some by protesters inhaling teargas, who were taken away by ambulance.

Local political leaders including African-American mayor Mike Hancock continued to ask protesters to hold peaceful demonstrations.


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U.S. Fed chief fears second wave of COVID-19 outbreak would undermine recovery




U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday that he is concerned about a second wave of COVID-19 infections, which he believes would dampen consumer confidence and hurt economic recovery.

“So there is clearly a risk of a second outbreak or a second wave. And you know, that will be challenging,” Powell made the remarks in a virtual discussion with former Fed Vice Chairman Alan Blinder, held by the Princeton University.

The central bank chief said a full recovery of the economy will really depend on people being confident that it is safe to go out and safe to engage in a broad range of economic activities. “That’s how the economy will recover,” he said.

“I think a second wave could be what would really undermine public confidence and might make for a significantly longer recovery, weaker recovery,” Powell said.

When asked about the Fed’s stance on negative interest rates, Powell said “we don’t think that that’s an inappropriate tool here in the United States.”

“I would say the evidence on whether it actually works is mixed,” he said. “There were clearly some negative side effects.”

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Fed cut interest rates to near zero at two unscheduled meetings in March and began purchasing massive quantities of U.S. treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities to repair financial markets.

The central bank also announced a Main Street Lending Program, among other things, to help medium-sized businesses hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses with up to 15,000 employees or up to 5 billion U.S. dollars in annual revenue are eligible.

The Fed is only “days away” from making its first loans to midsize businesses under the new Main Street Lending Program, Powell said at the virtual event, noting that it will offer loans in sizes between half a million and 100 million dollars.

The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday revised down gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter to a 5.0-percent annualized contraction in a second estimate, 0.2 percentage point lower than the advance estimate in April. Despite the revision, analysts say the figure still does not fully capture COVID-19‘s economic damage.

Powell recently said the unemployment rate could peak around 20 percent or 25 percent, and the U.S. economy could shrink dramatically in the second quarter, at an annualized rate of more than 20 percent or 30 percent.


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Brazilian Economy Ministry predicts greater GDP decline in second quarter




Brazil’s gross domestic product (GDP) will show a greater decline in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Brazilian Economy Ministry stated on Friday.

“The harmful effects on the health of the Brazilian population and our economy still persist. Therefore, the economic result of the activity will, in the second quarter, be even worse,” the ministry said in a statement, predicting an increase in unemployment, bankruptcy, and poverty in the country.

Economic activity in the country fell 1.5 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to the previous three months, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics reported on Friday.

The ministry said that the government has adopted measures to cushion the country from the initial shock as well as the lasting effects of the crisis, but that prolonging the period of isolation could worsen the crisis and compromise the speed of economic recovery.

The ministry proposed a series of measures to mitigate the economic effects of the crisis, such as supporting structural reforms, modifying bankruptcy legislation and opening trade, among others.

The Brazilian government has said that, in the face of the economic impact of the pandemic, it intends to promote privatizations, concessions, and fiscal reforms.


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