Man Utd Beat Wolves To Reach FA Cup Fourth Round

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Mexican striker Raul Jimenez (L) headers the ball but fails to score during the English FA Cup third round-replay football match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 15, 2020. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Man Utd Beat Wolves To Reach FA Cup Fourth Round.

Two Attacks Kill 14 In Eastern DR Congo

 

Two attacks in the strife-torn east of the Democratic Republic of Congo left 14 people dead including a government official and his family who were hacked to death, local sources said Wednesday.

Assailants thought to belong to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) killed the official, his wife and five children in the town of Bukoma in North Kivu province on Tuesday, resident Eugene Rwanze told AFP.

They went on to kill a neighbour, Rwanze added.

Local official Modeste Kabori confirmed the attack, saying FDLR militants were “sowing terror” in the area.

The rebel group operates freely in the North Kivu and South Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo – where other militias and rebel groups also abound.

Further north, five police officers and a civilian were killed in an attack on a police station in northeastern Ituri province.

“Armed men attacked the Irumu police station firing rounds in all directions,” local civil society head Guly Gotabo told AFP.

An administrative official, Josue Kandole, said the assailants raided the police station and seized two weapons, killing five police officers and a civilian.

The regional army spokesman confirmed the attack.

The Congolese army announced the killing of FDLR chief Sylvestre Mudacumura in September.

Greek PM Proposes Top Female Judge As Next President

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on January 8, 2020. JIM WATSON / AFP

 

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday nominated top female judge Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou to become the country’s next president.

If approved by parliament, the 63-year-old head of the Council of State would become the first woman to hold the largely ceremonial post.

Her appointment is expected to be a formality as Mitsotakis’s conservative New Democracy party holds 158 seats in the 300-seat parliament.

The date of the parliamentary vote has not yet been set, but must take place before February 13 — one month before the end of the five-year term of current president Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

“The time has come for Greece to open up to the future,” Mitsotakis said in a televised address, emphasising that the selection breaks with tradition not only because Sakellaropoulou is female, but also because she is not a member of a political party.

He said the choice “embodies unity and progress”.

Sakellaropoulou told the state news agency ANA that the nomination was “an honour”.

She thanked the prime minister and said she was ready to “devote herself with all her might to this high duty”.

The Constitution Does Not Prohibit Us From Running Operation Amotekun, Says Gov Akeredolu

File photo.

 

The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman of the Southwest Governors Forum, has said that the nation’s Constitution does not prohibit the governors from running with the ‘Operation Amotekun’.

According to him, the primary purpose of the government is to protect its people and consequently, it is the responsibility of governors to decide on how to go about it.

Akeredolu said this on Wednesday, during an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today.

“The Constitution does not prohibit us from doing what we are doing” he said.

His comments come a day after the Federal Government declared the exercise as illegal.


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‘Going Ahead’

When asked if consequently, it will be stood down, the governor said they are yet to reach a conclusion on what next to do.

He, however, noted that although it is not in the place of the Attorney General of the Federation to interpret laws, the southwest governors have chosen not to be confrontational over the matter.

“If the Attorney General made a statement, we will not go and say we want to be confrontational but after our meeting, we will take decisions as to what we will do.

“We don’t want any confrontation as such but we know that it is not in the place of the AGF to interpret laws. It is for the court.

“We are elected as governors to protect our people and that’s why we are the chief security officers in the state. So, it is for us to determine what we want to do for our people and we have taken that decision.

“Amotekun is going to go head, but like I said, we will meet and get back to you”.

The security body was recently launched by the governors of the Southwest states to tackle kidnapping and other criminal activities in the zone.

But the Federal Government maintained that “the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) has established the Army, Navy and Airforce, including the Police and other numerous paramilitary organisations for the purpose of the defence of Nigeria”.

Consequently, it says no other authority at the state level, whether the executive or legislature has the legal authority over defence.

PHOTOS: Regime Air Raids Kill 18 Civilians In Idlib City Despite Truce – Monitor

An aerial view shows a destroyed building following a regime air strike on Ariha town in Syria’s last major opposition bastion of Idlib on January 15, 2020. At least 20 other civilians were wounded in the raids that struck a bustling area of Idlib city, capital of the rebel-held province of the same name, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Omar HAJ KADOUR / AFP

 

Regime airstrikes on a city in Syria’s last major opposition bastion killed at least 18 civilians Wednesday, striking bustling areas of Idlib city despite a fresh Russian-sponsored truce, a war monitor said.

The raids hit a vegetable market and repair shops in Idlib, capital of the jihadist-held province of the same name, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Britain-based monitoring group had earlier reported nine civilians dead and at least 20 wounded but warned that the death toll was likely to rise as many were seriously injured.

It said two children and a rescue worker were among the dead.

A Syrian boy cries as he is evacuated following a regime air strike on Ariha town in Syria’s last major opposition bastion of Idlib on January 15, 2020. Regime air strikes on Syria’s last major opposition bastion killed at least nine civilians Wednesday, striking bustling areas of Idlib city despite a fresh Russian-sponsored truce, a war monitor said. Omar HAJ KADOUR / AFP

 

The bombardment engulfed several vehicles in the industrial zone, leaving torched corpses of motorists trapped inside, an AFP correspondent said.

 

 

One man was seen running towards the site of the attack, slapping his forehead with both hands in despair.

Mustafa, who runs a repair shop in the area, was lucky to escape with his life. He had just left the store to pick up some spare parts.

He told AFP he returned to find the shop destroyed and his four employees trapped under rubble. It was not immediately clear if they had survived.

“This is not the neighbourhood I left two minutes ago!” Mustafa said, tears rolling down his face.

The Observatory also reported dozens of regime and Russian airstrikes in the broader Idlib province, particularly in the southern zone close to regime-held territory.

It said one person had died in the village of Al-Has.

Idlib has come under mounting bombardment in recent weeks, displacing tens of thousands of people in the northwestern province home to some three million.

The United Nations’ humanitarian coordination agency OCHA said that since December 1, almost 350,000 people had fled their homes, mainly heading northwards from southern Idlib which has borne the brunt of regime strikes.

A truce brokered this month by regime ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey was in principle to have taken effect from Sunday.

It follows a truce announced in late August, after strikes by the regime and its ally Russia killed some 1,000 civilians in four months, according to the Observatory.

The Damascus government has repeatedly vowed to retake Idlib, which is run by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a group dominated by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate.

Syria’s war has killed more than 380,000 people including over 115,000 civilians since it broke out in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

UN Warns Of More Extreme Weather Ahead After Hottest Decade On Record

 

The past decade has been the hottest on record, the UN said Wednesday, warning that the higher temperatures were expected to fuel numerous extreme weather events in 2020 and beyond.

The World Meteorological Organization, which based its findings on an analysis of leading international datasets, said increases in global temperatures had already had dire consequences, pointing to “retreating ice, record sea levels, increasing ocean heat and acidification, and extreme weather”.

WMO said its research also confirmed data released by the European Union’s climate monitor last week showing that 2019 was the second hottest year on record, after 2016.

“The year 2020 has started out where 2019 left off — with high-impact weather and climate-related events,” WMO chief Petteri Taalas said in a statement, pointing in particular to the devastating bushfires that have been raging in Australia for months.

The bushfires, unprecedented in their duration and intensity, have claimed 28 lives and highlighted the type of disasters that scientists say the world will increasingly face due to global warming.

The fires have already destroyed more than 2,000 homes and burnt 10 million hectares (100,000 square kilometres) of land — an area larger than South Korea or Portugal.

“Unfortunately, we expect to see much extreme weather throughout 2020 and the coming decades, fuelled by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” Taalas said.

The UN agency said that average global temperatures during both the past five-year (2015-2019) and 10-year (2010-2019) periods were the highest ever recorded.

“Since the 1980s each decade has been warmer than the previous one,” the UN agency said in a statement, warning that “this trend is expected to continue”.

The United Nations said last year that man-made greenhouse gas emissions needed to tumble 7.6 percent each year to 2030 in order to limit temperature rises to 1.5 Celsius — the more ambitious cap nations signed up to in the landmark Paris climate deal.

Current pledges to cut emissions put Earth on a path of several degrees warming by the end of the century.

‘Not a Fluke’

Taalas said that since modern records began in 1850, the average global temperature had risen by around 1.1 degrees Celsius, and warned of significant warming in the future.

“On the current path of carbon dioxide emissions, we are heading towards a temperature increase of three to five degrees Celsius by the end of the century,” he warned.

Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies which provided one of the datasets, added that the trend line was unmistakable and could not be attributed to normal climate variability — a position taken by US President Donald Trump.

“What’s happening is persistent, not a fluke due to some weather phenomenon: we know that the long-term trends are being driven by the increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” he said.

Data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meanwhile revealed that polar sea ice coverage continued its downward trend in 2019.

Both the Arctic and Antarctic oceans recorded their second-smallest average annual sea-ice coverage during the 1979–2019 period of record, the agency said.

‘Broken Record’

WMO also highlighted a new study published this week in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences with data showing that ocean heat content was at a record high in 2019.

The past five years, and past decade, were also the warmest on record in terms of ocean heat content, that study showed.

Since more than 90 percent of excess heat is stored in the world’s oceans, their heat content is a good way to quantify the rate of global warming, WMO said.

Conservationists said the UN agency’s findings were to be expected.

“It is no surprise that 2019 was the second hottest year on record — nature has been persistently reminding us that we have to pick up the pace,” said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy practice, calling for dramatic measures to halt the warming trend.

“This is not so much a record as a broken record,” added Chris Rapley, a professor of climate science at University College London.

“The message repeats with grim regularity. Yet the pace and scale of action to address climate change remains muted and far from the need.”

Trump’s Trial ‘Extraordinarily Unlikely’ To Go Over Two Weeks – US Official

File Photo: MANDEL NGAN / AFP

President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate is almost sure to end within two weeks, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “I think it’s extraordinarily unlikely it will be going beyond two weeks.”

According to the official, the White House believes it has an easy case and the Republican-controlled Senate will quickly acquit. Trump is accused of abusing his office and obstructing Congress.

Customs Seize Contraband Worth N67million

 

The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ says it has seized contraband items worth N67million, as part of its anti-smuggling operations.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, For Controller FOU ‘A’, Jerry Attah on Wednesday.

According to the statement, the development comes barely one week after the Ag. Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ Usman Yahaya, resumed office.

“Barely one week in office, his quest for outstanding performance using credible intelligence has begun to yield positive results with the interception of 2,065 jerrycans of vegetable oil 25liters each, 1,185 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, 1500 jerrycans (25lts) of diesel, with a duty paid value of N67,362,500 (million) between January 7th -14th January 2020 along different unapproved routes within our areas of coverage,” the statement read in part.

It further stated that the feat is coming as a result of series of meetings held with sectional heads, team/patrol leaders where Yahaya unveiled the management’s mandate bestowed on him which includes blockage of all revenue leakages, trade facilitation and intensification of anti-smuggling operations at various entry points: Seaports, land borders, and Airport within our areas of jurisdiction in the south-west zone.

DC Yahaya warned smugglers of the danger that lies ahead for them if they do not engage in legitimate trade, as some have started counting their losses.

He also called on all the members of the media and the general public to support the fight against smuggling by providing necessary intelligence that could assist the service in reducing smuggling to its barest minimum.

“You will agree with me that the fight against smuggling can only be won if all hands are on deck,” Yahaya said.

Meanwhile, according to the statement, his redeployment is part of the Comptroller-General’s strategies to re-jig and reposition the Service for greater efficiency and effectiveness especially in the areas of revenue generation, trade facilitation as well as combating smuggling.

Prior to his posting to FOU ‘A’ as the Acting Controller DC Usman Yahaya was the Coordinator of Strike Force, Zone ‘A’.

He took over on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, from Comptroller Aliyu Mohammed, who was elevated based on his record, to a new assignment as the Acting Sector 4 Commander of Border Drill Operations code-named Ex-Swift Response.

Yahaya thanked the Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service for considering him worthy.

He also gave an assurance that he will work assiduously with all officers to justify the confidence reposed on him.

Four More Suspects Arraigned Over Killing Of Policeman In Ondo

 

Four more suspects have been arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court in Akure, Ondo State capital in connection with the murder of a policeman.

The four young men were alleged to have killed the policeman at the scene of a protest and attack on a church in Akure over a missing one-year-old boy, Gold Kolawole.

Gold was declared missing at the children’s section of the church, Sotitobire Miracle Ministry, on Sunday, December 10, 2019, while service was in progress.

Subsequently, a rumor broke out that the remains of the missing boy had been exhumed from the altar of the church.

This sparked up violent protests which led to the burning of the church, looting, as well as the killing of a policeman and a commercial motorcyclist.

Earlier, 14 suspects were arraigned before the court for the same offence.

Speaking to journalists on the development, the spokesperson of the Ondo State Police Command, CSP Femi Joseph revealed that investigation is still ongoing to apprehend the fleeing suspects.

Hope Uzodinma Receives Certificate Of Return As Imo Governor-Elect

 

Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has received the Certificate of Return from the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) as the governor-elect of Imo State.

He was awarded the certificate on Wednesday in Abuja, barely 24 hours after the Supreme Court nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of the state.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Nullifies Election Of Ihedioha, Declares Hope Uzodinma Imo Governor

Hope Uzodinma Receives Certificate Of Return from INEC As Imo Governor-Elect on January 15, 2020. PHOTOS: ChannelsTV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

Consequently, a seven-man panel led by Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad unanimously declared the Senator the winner of the March 19 governorship election.

The appellant, Senator Uzodinma contended that he scored the highest number of votes in the election, but that INEC had returned Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of the State.

Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun who delivered the judgment declared that the votes due to Senator Uzodinma were unlawfully excluded from the 318 polling units and should be added to his votes.

The apex court also considered the submissions of a principal witness who was on a subpoena to present results and held that the lower court was wrong in its ruling.

READ ALSO: Imo Election: Uche Nwosu Withdraws Appeal Against Governor Ihedioha

While reading the lead judgment, Justice Kekere-Ekun declared Senator Uzodinma as the validly elected Governor and the Certificate of Return issued to Ihedioha be withdrawn immediately.

Meanwhile, candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), Uche Nwosu, withdrew a second appeal filed against the election of Emeka Ihedioha.

According to his counsel, Mr Solomon Umoh (SAN), the withdrawal on Tuesday is based on the judgment of the apex court which had been delivered on the 20th of December 2019.

Six Killed As Gunmen Attack Convoy Of Emir Of Potiskum

 

At least six people have been killed and five others injured following an attack on the convoy of the Emir of Potiskum in Yobe State, Alhaji Umaru Bubaram by gunmen along the Kaduna-Zaria expressway in Kaduna State.

The spokesperson of the Police Command in the state, DSP Yakubu Sabo, confirmed the incident on Wednesday.

According to him, the gunmen in large numbers intercepted the convoy of the emir and other vehicles around Maraban Jos on the Kaduna-Zaria expressway at about 11:00 pm on Tuesday.

They immediately opened fire on the entourage, and in the process, shot and killed four aides of the emir and two other passengers of a commercial luxurious bus while five others were injured.

Sabo further disclosed that the gunmen later abducted an unidentified number of passengers to an unknown destination before the arrival of security operatives.

He, however, noted that a manhunt of the gunmen has already commenced with a view to rescuing the kidnapped victims alive and also arresting the bandits.

According to him, the injured victims including the emir were later rushed to the hospital for medical attention.

Henderson, Bronze Voted England’s Players Of The Year

 

Jordan Henderson and Lucy Bronze have won the England player of the year awards for 2019.

Liverpool midfielder Henderson won the men’s award ahead of second-placed Raheem Sterling and third-placed Harry Kane.

Bronze finished on top of the fans’ poll in the women’s category, with 2018 winner Ellen White coming second and Beth Mead in third.

It is the second time Lyon star Bronze has claimed the England honour, having previously won it in 2015.

Henderson made seven England appearances last year, passing the 50-cap mark during a 5-1 win in Montenegro.

He also helped Liverpool win the Champions League, European Super Cup and club World Cup.

Bronze, 28, has won 81 caps and was a key figure when the Lionesses lifted the SheBelieves Cup for the first time and reached the World Cup semi-finals.

She played in 18 of England’s 20 games last year, highlighted by a superb goal in the World Cup quarter-final victory over Norway.

Bronze was also named 2019 UEFA women’s player of the year, having helped Lyon win four trophies, including the women’s Champions League.