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Track cycling: CFN trains 24 Nigerians as commissaires

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Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN) on Wednesday concluded a training course for 24 Nigerian Commissaires in track cycling to ensure proper officiating at the forthcoming African Cup on Track Cycling.

Emmanuel Igbinosa, the instructor at the first CFN Commissaires Course on Track Cycling, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja the course was to introduce Nigerian commissaries to track officiating.

Igbinosa, a CFN board member and Chairman Technical Committee, said the three-day training course was a pre-qualification  for the Union Cycling International (UCI) commissaries course in track cycling.

He said the African Cup on Track Cycling slated to hold in Abuja in July would be the first time CFN would organise an international track cycling competition.

“No international track cycling competition have ever been held in Nigeria. We actually lack officiating personal in this country when it comes to track cycling events.

“This is the first phase of the course as a  pre-qualification course to the second phase of the training  for the UCI commissaires course scheduled for July 24 before the African Cup.

“This is the first time we are having something of this nature in the country,” Igbinosa added.

He said the essence of the coaching course was to groom officials who would officiate during the African Cup on Track scheduled for the Abuja velodrome from July 26 to July 27.

Igbinosa said the successful ones out of the 24 officials who took part in the course would take part in the UCI course in July.

“We had 24 participants. They are not coaches but we call them commissaires, like the referees in football.

“We are hoping that now that they have completed this course, they will be able to effectively handle the UCI course when we come back in July.

“The CFN course has given them the basic knowledge and they have their books to read from now till July,” he said.

Igbinosa added that an instructor would come from Italy to handle the UCI commissaires course which would be the second phase of the training from July 22 to July 25.

“The UCI instructor from  Italy will also conduct another examination for them and those that pass the course will get a UCI certificate.

“We started this programme alongside the riders we have in camp. They are also training ahead of the African Cup in July,’’ he said.

Osaretin Emuze, a participant in the course, said the track commissaires course was good and it would help to develop track cycling in Nigeria.

Emuze said the three-day training course had improved the knowledge of participants in the track cycling event which was new to West Africa.

He commended the CFN for organnising the course, expressing hope that many Nigerians would be successful so that they could attend the UCI course in July.

“We lack Nigerian commissaires in the sport in Africa and internationally. My prayer is that this course will favour many of us,’’ Emuze said.

Foreign

Tokyo stocks open higher tracking Wall Street’s overnight gains

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Tokyo stocks opened higher Thursday, tracking gains on Wall Street overnight as signs of an economic recovery after virus-linked shutdowns bolstered investor sentiment despite concerns over continued civil unrest.

As of 9:15 a.m. local time, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 232.86 points, or 1.03 percent, from Wednesday to 22,846.62.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, added 14.10 points, or 0.88 percent, at 1,613.18.

Marine transportation, bank and air transportation issues comprised those that gained the most in the opening minutes after the morning bell.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Zambia on right track to tackle COVID-19: official

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The Zambian government said on Tuesday that the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic was on right track.

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga said there was a need to demystify the disease by freely talking about it and undergoing tests.

He said, based on the statistics announced on Monday, the government was confident that it was on the right track in the fight against the pandemic.

“Figures announced show that we are on the right track. So we are thankful to you the front line staff for the great work you are doing in this fight. There is a lot that you are doing to save lives,” he said when health officials visited the ministry to conduct tests.

Zambia has a cumulative total of 1,089 cases and seven deaths.

(XINHUA)

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Sport

UEFA likely to fast-track competitions in one venue, Getafe president says

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UEFA plans to complete this season’s Champions League and Europa League competitions by playing all rounds from the quarter-finals onwards in one host city, according to Getafe president Angel Torres.

Both competitions were put on hold at the last-16 stage in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This led to the Champions League final in Istanbul and the Europa League showpiece in Gdansk also being postponed.

UEFA’s idea is to play the Champions League and Europa League, starting from the quarter-finals, across one match in one venue, although nothing has been confirmed yet,” Torres said on Friday.

“It will come to a decision on June 17 (when the executive committee meets).”

From the group stages onwards, each round of both competitions until the final are held across two matches, one being played at the home of each team.

UEFA has already said it was working out a solution to the fixtures hold-up.

“A working group has been set up with the participation of representatives from the leagues and clubs to examine calendar solutions and format options that would allow for the completion of the current season.

“A variety of options are being looked at and no decisions have been made at this stage.”

Getafe’s last 16 first leg match away to Inter Milan was postponed after fierce criticism led by Torres at the game going ahead in Italy.

Italy at that time was the European epicentre of the pandemic.

Sevilla’s first leg match at home to AS Roma was also postponed, although the six other first leg games did take place.

The second legs of four Champions League last 16 ties still need to be played.

Atletico Madrid, Paris St-Germain (PSG), Atalanta and RB Leipzig have already booked their places in the last eight.
OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Foreign

Australia remains “on track” in fight against COVID-19: PM

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Australia remains “on track” in the fight against COVID-19, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday.

Following a meeting of the National Cabinet, which is comprised of the prime minister and state and territory leaders, Morrison told reporters that Australia is in a better position than he hoped for when the coronavirus pandemic hit the country in January.

However, he warned that there was still a high risk of further outbreaks that could undo all of Australia’s progress on preventing the spread of the virus.

“We would be foolish to think that we were immune or that we are immune,” he said.

“As a result, the three-step plan, keeping the balance between the health management of the crisis and the economic management of the crisis in balance, continues to be the balance that the National Cabinet seeks to achieve.”

As of Friday there have been over 7,100 confirmed cases in Australia with 103 deaths and less than 500 active cases.

Appearing alongside Morrison, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy revealed that authorities are aiming to keep the number of daily new cases below 20.

He said that 30,000 tests were being conducted every day, with approximately 0.05 percent returning positive results, and announced that the number of coronavirus patients on ventilators in Australia has fallen to just two.

“We would still like to do more tests. We would like every person with an acute respiratory problem, cough, cold, to get tested. It is the way to track the virus.”

“It is too early to draw definitive conclusions but we are on track. All the measures we thought should be stable and in good shape remain in good shape at the moment,” he added.

Friday’s was the first National Cabinet meeting since May 15.

Morrison announced that the meetings will continue on a monthly basis in the wake of the pandemic, replacing the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) system.

He said that the new system would be driven by a singular agenda, and that is to create jobs.

COAG is no more. It will be replaced by a completely new system and that new system is focused on the success that has been yielded by the operation of the National Cabinet,” Morrison said.

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Military tracking movement of fleeing bandits –Enenche

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The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, has assured that the military high command had put measures in place to checkmate inter-state movement of fleeing armed bandits from the heat of military operations in the North West.

Enenche stated this while giving update on the military operations across the country at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that following the intensified offensive and military onslaught against armed bandits in the North west and North Central parts of the country, there were concerns that the bandits could move to other states.

According to him, the military High Command has assured that this concerns should not bring panick to the public as the military is on top of the game.

Enenche explained that all current operations were in synergy with the ongoing operations in the North West to tackle interstate movement of armed bandits and other criminals within the zones.

He added that air assets had been deployed to cover Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi states in this regard.

“I am to affirm that, the Armed Forces of Nigeria is totally committed to tackling all the security challenges in the country until normalcy is restored.

“Hence, the public is requested to continue to provide credible information to the Nigerian Military,” he said.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Foreign

Fijian police use body cams, drones to track down drug cultivators, pushers

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The Fijian police are now using body cameras and drones to track people farming and selling drugs like marijuana on the island nation.

Fiji’s Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho said Thursday that serious crimes and crimes against women and children have decreased in the past few months, however, the fight against drug continues and the Fijian police are stepping up on its raids.

He said that the police officers are now utilizing body cameras during raids as a lot of accusations were being made against officers in the past ordering on brutality.

“Because we have seen over time that the first thing that people who are raided do is to go and lodge a report or run to the media that we were heavy-handed in the way we raided their properties. So we have got body cams now and we have employed drones.”

Qiliho said earlier that the shattering impact of drug consumption in Fiji is his biggest worry as the smuggling of hard drugs continues to evolve every day in the island nation.

Fiji’s Deputy Secretary for Defence and National Security Ilai Moceica said at a Narcotics Workshop in Fiji‘s capital Suva last year that 100 patients were admitted at a local psychiatric hospital from May 2017 to April 2018 due to substance abuse alone.

The most commonly abused substances in Fiji are marijuana, methamphetamine, cigarettes, kava and alcohol, Moceica said.

He urged stakeholders to holistically view this as a national problem and come up with strategic solutions that will not only allow enforcement agencies to curb the illicit use of drugs and eradicating cultivators but also commit Fiji’s resources and time to this worthy cause.

Last year, the Fijian police seized drugs worth over 94 million U.S. dollars in the island nation.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Satellite herd-tracking program an “opportunity” for indigenous Australians

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Australia’s national science agency has announced the part of “the world‘s largest satellite herd-tracking program.”

More than 1000 feral buffalo and unmanaged cattle roaming northern Australia will be tracked for 3.5 years as part of the four million Australian dollar (2.6 million U.S. dollar) project announced by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) on Wednesday.

The animals will be tracked over 22,314 square kilometers of land in the Northern Territory (NT) and Queensland.

Satellite GPS-tracking tags will be attached to the animals’ ears and deliver real-time, geographically-accurate insights into herd density, accessibility, and transport costs, according to CSIRO.

Larry Marshall, the Chief Executive of the CSIRO, said that the project could turn the animals from destructive pests into environmental, cultural and economic opportunities for indigenous communities.

“Australia’s burgeoning space industry is creating exciting new possibilities for innovative science and technology to solve our greatest challenges, like using satellites to manage our wide, open land in more culturally and environmentally sensitive ways,” he said in a media release.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Five EU countries call for joint COVID-19 tracking app

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Five European Union (EU) member countries, each relying heavily on tourism, on Tuesday called for the development of a joint digital application for tracking the pandemic, the Portuguese Lusa News Agency reported.

In a joint statement, leading digital affairs officials of Portugal, Germany, Spain, France and Italy stressed that two of the EU’s greatest achievements are at risk today — the free movement of goods and the free movement of people, adding that the EU faces “the biggest challenge since its foundation due to the crisis” caused by COVID-19.

“The pandemic and its economic consequences do not end at the borders between states,” they warned, quoted by Lusa. “No member state can fight the crisis alone, and this is particularly true in the digital economy.”

The return to normality in the EU, economic recovery and the unhindered movement of people across borders “require a joint effort by Europeans,” they said, arguing that “digital applications allow us to be constantly interconnected in Europe despite the physical distance” and that digital applications can play an important role in “getting us out of this crisis.”

“Digital tools, as integrated measures, are part of a holistic strategy to fight the virus, but it is our responsibility to make this tool available in our countries to fight against the pandemic,” the statement said quoted by Lusa.

The current challenge is “to develop effective technical solutions beyond the borders of the member states, taking into account national specificities,” it said.

“These technical solutions must be developed in accordance with national and European legislation on privacy and data protection while respecting European principles and values,” it added.

“We are committed to developing voluntary, temporary membership applications that guarantee privacy protection and are developed in open source,” the officials said.

Agreeing that the member states have the power to choose the most appropriate technological architectures for their specific context and for their national health systems, they said they were “committed to a joint effort to achieve the required level of cross-border interoperability of tracking applications and to continuing to work hand in hand at European level.”

(XINHUA)

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Sport

Bayern Munich cruise past Eintracht Frankfurt to stay on title track

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Bayern Munich beat Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 on Saturday, surviving a brief second-half comeback scare.

Victory helped the defending champions to stay four points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga with seven games left to play.

The Bavarians thought they had the match wrapped up after efforts from Leon Goretzka, Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski had given them a 3-0 lead in the empty Allianz Arena.

Eintracht Frankfurt defender Martin Hinteregger caught the Bayern defence napping to strike twice in three minutes and inject new life into the encounter.

Yet, the visitors then quickly gave away two goals —- with Alphonso Davies pouncing on a defensive error on the hour and Hinteregger scoring an own goal in the 74th minute.

Bayern Munich are on 61 points with Borussia Dortmund, who host the Bavarians on Tuesday, on 57 following their 2-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg.

The Bundesliga resumed last week, with no fans in attendance, after being suspended for more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

 

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

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