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Two killed in traffic accident in Mongolia



Two people were killed in a road accident in Mongolia early Saturday, according to the country’s traffic police department.

The accident happened around 2:00 a.m. local time on Saturday (1800 GMT on Friday) when a jeep overturned near the country’s capital Ulan Bator, the police department said.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, the department said, urging drivers to comply with traffic rules to avoid accidents.


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Pompeo hails UK ban of Huawei from 5G networks



United States Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, has hailed United Kingdom’s decision to ban Chinese telecom giant, Huawei, from its 5G networks.

Reacting to the UK’s move through his official Twitter handle, Pompeo said the decision would ”advance transatlantic security”.

He added that it would also protect the privacy of citizens, national security and “free-world values” in the 5G era.

UK’s Digital and Culture Minister, Oliver Dowden, announced the ban while addressing the House of Commons on Tuesday, according to the BBC.

Dowden reportedly said the ban was necessitated by new United States sanctions on the embattled Chinese company in May that had “significantly changed” the landscape.

“Given the uncertainty this creates around Huawei’s supply chain, the UK can no longer be confident it will be able to guarantee the security of future Huawei 5G equipment,” he said.

The decision is a big win for the administration of United States President Donald Trump, which has been pressuring allies to cut Huawei off their 5G networks.

The administration accuses the Chinese government of using the company to conduct cyber espionage, an accusation the company strongly denies.

In 2019, the United States government threatened to severe intelligence sharing ties with allies that patronise Huawei 5G products.

The government went further to ban the sale of conductors with United States technology to Huawei regardless of where they are produced in the world.

In June, Pompeo declared that “the tide is turning against Huawei as citizens around the world are waking up to the danger of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state.”

Editedby Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Insecurity : IGP approves two units of mobile police force for Kogi



The Inspector -General of Police, Mr Muhammed Adamu, has approved the establishment of two new mobile police force units in Kabba and Okene areas of Kogi State.

The Public Relation Officer of the state police command, DSP William Aya, who confirmed this in Lokoja on Tuesday said that while Unit 70 will be in Kabba, Okene will host Unit 77.

He said that men and officers of Unit 7 had already commenced operation while men and officers of Unit 77 just arrived the state on July 10.

He said that the state police Commissioner, Mr Ede Ayuba, had started deploying the officers and men of Unit 77 to Okene and its environ.

Aya said that the establishment of the two units brings to three the number of mobile police force units in the state.

According to him, the establishment of units 70 and 77 was in response to the rising cases of kidnappings, killings and armed robbery on Okene -Lokoja road and other parts of the state.

He assured motorists and travellers plying Okene-Lokoja road of their safety, saying that the mobile policemen had been charged to take full control of the road.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Hamilton wins Styrian Grand Prix in Mercedes one-two



Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton dominated the Styrian Grand Prix in a Mercedes one-two on Sunday to celebrate his 85th Formula One win and move a step closer to Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 victories.

Finnish Team mate Valtteri Bottas, winner of last weekend’s season-opener behind closed doors at the same Austrian circuit, finished a distant runner-up with his championship lead cut to six points.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen completed the podium on a sunny afternoon at his team’s home Red Bull Ring after starting on the front row and being passed by Bottas in the closing stages.

Struggling Ferrari provided a major talking point with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel colliding on the opening lap and both retiring from the race.

“What a weird year it is, but it’s great to be back up here, to be driving with this kind of performance,” said Hamilton, who started from pole position after a sensational lap in a rain-hit qualifying and remained in complete control.

“I’m so grateful to be back in first place. It feels like a long time coming since the last race last year, and to come back in after a difficult weekend last week is a great, great step forwards.”

The Briton, who wore a Black Lives Matter T-shirt on the starting grid, again took a knee with other drivers before the start as part of an anti-racism campaign.

Sunday’s race was the first time a circuit has hosted two back-to-back rounds in the same championship year, with the original calendar ripped up and rewritten due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bottas, who started fourth and now has 43 points to Hamilton’s 37, said his afternoon had been about damage limitation.

“I still got good points, still leading (overall) so it’s not too bad. Yesterday wasn’t ideal,” he said.

Red Bull’s Alex Albon finished fourth with Lando Norris fifth, a result that moved the 20-year-old McLaren driver up to third in the standings, after overtaking both Racing Point drivers on the final lap.

Mexican Sergio Perez was sixth for Racing Point, ahead of Canadian team mate Lance Stroll, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo eighth for Renault.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz completed McLaren’s double points finish in ninth and Russian Daniil Kvyat picked up the final point for AlphaTauri.

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/ (NAN)

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Two bodies recovered from crashed helicopter near Rome



Two bodies have been extracted from a private helicopter that crashed into the Tiber River near Rome, the National Fire Corps said on Twitter on Saturday.

The helicopter crashed into the river on Friday afternoon near the Nazzano Tevere-Farfa Natural Reserve, which is in Rome province, in the countryside north of the Italian capital.

“Divers have recovered the lifeless bodies of two people from the helicopter that crashed yesterday into the Tiber,’’ firefighters tweeted on Saturday.

According to La Repubblica and Il Messaggero newspapers, the victims are the pilot, a retired Alitalia pilot in his 70s, and the passenger, an elderly woman.

They were found inside the helicopter at a depth of six meters underwater, still strapped in their seats.

Witnesses told the Police the helicopter touched high-tension wires from a nearby railway line before sinking into the river, the papers said.

The helicopter reportedly belonged to the pilot, who kept it on a helipad on his property in the countryside north of Rome and liked to take friends flying with him, according to the newspapers.

On May 25, a two-seater plane from a flight school in northern Rome crashed into the Tiber River, killing a flight student, while the flight instructor survived.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Science & Technology

Italy pushes to end stalemate over single broadband network – Source



Italy has told state-controlled utility, Enel to reach a deal with Telecom Italia by the end of July on plans to create a single broadband network for the country, a competent source told Reuters on Saturday.

In an effort to close its digital gap with the rest of Europe, Italy has been pushing for a unified network combining Telecom Italia’s (TIM) assets with those of Open Fiber, a wholesale-only operator owned by Enel and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP).

TIM has been in talks for months over a merger of its fibre network assets with those of Open Fiber, but differences over issues such as governance and regulation have created a deadlock.

Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri made the request for a memorandum of understanding to be signed by the end of the month at a meeting with Enel Chief Executive Francesco Starace late on Friday, the source, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, said.

The government has already been pushing Enel and TIM to join forces, but Gualtieri’s imposition of a deadline was the most concrete step so far to break the stalemate over the network expected to underpin the development of Italy’s digital economy.

“Rome is pushing for a memorandum of understanding by end-July,” said the source.

The economy ministry declined to comment. Enel declined to comment.

TIM was not immediately available for comment.

Starace has said he does not oppose the idea of a single broadband network but has so far shown little enthusiasm for TIM’s proposals due to the differences over governance and regulation.

The former phone monopoly, which has both a retail and a wholesale arm, has repeatedly said it wants to keep control of any combined entity with Open Fibre.

That has complicated an agreement as European regulations favour the adoption of a wholesale-only business model outside TIM’s control.

People close to the issue told Reuters on Thursday the Treasury was prepared to take a more active role to promote a deal.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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General news

Kebbi Govt embarks on road networks



The Kebbi State Government has commenced the construction of road networks in Gwandu and Argungu Local Government Areas of the state.

The government said that 25kms of the road would link more than 20 communities in Gwandu LGA, while 74 settlements would be opened up in Argungu LGA.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the road was used during the reign of Gwandu’s jihadists of 18th century and has been abandoned as a mere path from Falili to Dandema villages to Argungu town, until the commencement of its construction by the state government.

The state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Muhammed Hassan-Shalla, made this known to newsmen after inspection of the road project on Saturday in Gwandu LGA.

Hassan-Shallah explained that the project was very important to the communities and the state in general.

“This road that we are inspecting is a link between two emirates: Gwandu and Argungu.

“It has been in existence since the time of Jihadists in the 18th century, but this time the government felt that there is need to make it more open so that our people can continue to link up and improve their businesses between the two emirates.

“Let me tell you, the road passes through about 20 villages.

“And it links up with over 74 settlements. So, it is of great importance to us.

“That is  why we came out to see how the project is going on,” he said.

Hassan-Shalla commended the state government for awarding the project to an indigenous contractor.

He explained that the local government councils in the state are not dormant as they are financially independent.

According to him, people have been saying that local government councils are dormant; that they are not doing anything.

“But we know that this is not true.

“We knew what is approved to each chairman of the 21 local government councils. We also know what these chairmen asked for.

“Whatever they request for, it is approved and given to them. That is why we are coming out to inspect these projects and to tell the whole world what they are doing.

“In Kebbi State, local government councils are not dormant, nobody is interfering with their financial affairs.

“Whatever they want to do for their people, the governor graciously approves it, provided it is recommended and it will be done,” the commissioner said.

The Chairman of Gwandu Local Government Council, Alhaji Bello Atiku, commended Gov. Atiku Bagudu for supporting local government chairmen in their developmental projects.

He said that many schools and healthcare centres were undergoing various forms of rehabilitation and reconstruction in the area.

Also speaking, the Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the area, Alhaji Mamuda Mode, also commended the state government for various developmental projects in the areas, urging that the government should continue without relenting.

Earlier, the Site Engineer, Mr Idris Abubakar, who is handling the construction of the road, said: “The project is being carried out by professionals and with quality materials.

“It will be completed in the next two months.”

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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General news

Federal Fire Service inaugurates two fire trucks in Anambra



The Federal Fire Service, on Friday inaugurated two modern fire fighting trucks in Anambra to help combat fire outbreaks in the state.

The Controller-General, Federal Fire Service, Dr Liman Ibrahim, said at the ceremony that the trucks would help to minimise fire threats in the state.

Ibrahim, represented by the Assistant Controller-General (ACG) in-charge of Procurement, Dr Callistus Agu, said the deployment of the trucks was in fulfillment of a promise by the Federal Government to the state in 2019.

“The deployment of these fire fighting assets to the state is in line with the resolve of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the safety of lives and property of the citizenry.

“It will, without doubt, enhance a robust partnership with Anambra Government to minimise fire threats in the state; fire fighting is the responsibility of all,” he said.

Ibrahim, however, urged the state government to provide offices in Awka and Onitsha for the service the smooth take-off of its operation.

The controller-general also requested for two utility vehicles to aid quick response by the fire fighters during emergencies.

He further requested for land for the construction of a permanent fire station in the state as well as recruitment of more personnel to strengthen the state fire service.

He commended Gov. Willie Obiano for his achievements by providing critical infrastructure, security, agriculture and restoration of the state’s master plan.

Responding, Obiano, represented by his Deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke, commended the federal government for the gesture, and described it as first of its kind by the federal fire service.

“If all government employees work like the Controller-General – people that keep their promises when they make such – this country will be a much better place,” he said.

The governor said that one of the trucks would be deployed to Onitsha while the other would remain in Awka, the state capital.

He expressed confidence that the trucks would contribute immensely in fighting fire outbreaks in the state.

“We beg for more when the Federal Government decides to share fire trucks or any other equipment,” Obiano added.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Buhari seeks Senate’s replacement of two non-career Ambassadors-designate



The Senate on Wednesday received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari for the replacement and confirmation of two non-career ambassadors-designate.

The request was contained in a letter read during plenary by President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan.

The president sought to replace the earlier nomination of Mr Oboro Akpabio and Brig.-Gen. Bwala Bukar from Akwa Ibom and Borno.

The letter reads: “In accordance to Section 171(1)(2)(c) and subsection (4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of Mr. John Usanga and retired Air Commodore Peter Gana from Akwa-Ibom and Niger State respectively, as non-career ambassadors-designate.

“The Senate is kindly requested to recall my earlier submission of Mr Oboro Akpabio and Brig.-Gen. Bwala Bukar from Akwa Ibom and Borno vide letter dated June 17.

“I substitute Mr Oboro Akpabio with Mr John Usanga (Akwa Ibom ). I replace Brig.-Gen. Bwala Bukar (Borno) with Air Commodore Peter Gana (Niger).”

But coming under Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules, the lawmaker representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Sen. Philip Aduda, protested the exclusion of a non-career ambassador from the FCT.

According to him, the only FCT indigene presently serving as a non-career ambassador in Sierra Leone, Hafiz Obada, was not re-appointed.

“For the ambassadorial nomination for the non-career, nothing has been said about the one for FCT.

“It has been silent and we have an ambassador who is already sitting in Sierra Leone, his name is Ambassador Hafiz Obada.

“We don’t know what becomes of his fate because other states have been told to remain in their stations or they have been re-appointed.

“My issue is that is it at this time FCT will now lose an ambassador. It is worrisome to me and the people of the FCT. Sitting here, names have been called for all other states except FCT and we have one.

“Now that particular non-career ambassadorial slot for the FCT is being taken away otherwise we are also entitled to have, and that is what I have consistently said since this list came out.

“So, Mr. President, I hope something can be done to this to help the people of the FCT. We don’t get Ministerial nomination, we don’t get so many of these things, but the small ones that we have is about to be taken away which should not be so”, Aduda said.

Lawan, in his remark, described the lawmaker’s complaint as valid, saying it was constitutional for an indigene of the FCT to be appointed as a non-career ambassador by the President.

“I sympathise with the FCT but I know there were 12 non-career ambassadors who were retained.

” I don’t know if you have an FCT indigene among those 12, probably you should check that to see if you would see any FCT indigene, but your complaint is very valid.

“What I’m going to advice is maybe we need to take more political action, so that it doesn’t always come like it is an after-thought.

“The FCT is to be treated like a state, that’s what the constitution states, so you deserve one like any other state deserves”, Lawan said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: NGO network calls on Kogi, NCDC to end squabbles



The Kogi Non-Governmental Organisations Network (KONGONET) has called on the state COVID-19 Squadron Committee to provide clarifications on the state’s COVID-19 status and end conflict between the state and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Th KONGONET Chairman, Mr Idris Muraina, made the call in its 2nd Quarter 2020 press statement on the state of affairs in the state.

He issued the statement to newsmen on Saturday in Lokoja.

Muraina said the conflict was detrimental to the health of the people, noting that both the state government and NCDC were determined to save lives.

He said that COVID-19 had adversely affected all sectors of the nation’s economy and required collective efforts to curbs its spread.

He said the network admitted the existence of a committee put together by Kogi Government to provide guidance and direction on preventing the outbreak of the disease in the state.

“While the state government is yet to officially acknowledge COVID-19 cases in the state, the NCDC continues to stick to its guns that Kogi State has four COVID-19 cases.

“It is our hope that the state COVID-19 Squadron Committee will provide clarifications on the needless squabbles with NCDC.

“Both are set up to save lives. Who gets the trophy for the needless competition?

“We join the state government in the call on Kogi people to avoid panic and adhere to the protective guidelines as provided by the NCDC.

“We also hope the Squadron Committee, under the leadership of Chief David Edward Onoja, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, will do the needful by implementing multiple sensitisation programmes,” he said.

Muraina noted that the state was witnessing much upgrade and construction of health facilities but noted that the level of attention provided for patients in government health facilities left more to be desired.

He said that civil societies working on health and wellbeing had reported that the state’s ministry of health’s annual budget in the past three years was not adequate.

He called for more spending on the state’s health sector.

”The coalition is trying to come to terms with the recent withdrawal of donor-agencies from the state, with the attendant unusual increase in public health challenges.

”It, therefore, calls on the Kogi Ministry of Health and, by extension, the state government to come up with strategies to stem tuberculosis.

“The epileptic release of funds to Kogi State Agency for the Control of Aids for planned activities still remains an issue unresolved, compounding the challenges of control in the state,” he said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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