EU lawmakers call for suspension of Turkey talks

Leading European Union lawmakers on Wednesday called for a formal halt to Turkey’s long-stalled EU membership talks, citing President Tayyip Erdogan’s plans to assume greater powers after a referendum this month backed a constitutional overhaul.

German Manfred Weber, head of the biggest faction in the EU legislature, the centre-right European People’s Party, told European Parliament’s hemicycle that full membership for Turkey was no longer realistic.

Other lawmakers said Brussels could instead open talks on a looser kind of relationship known as an “association agreement”, or strengthen the customs union Turkey already has with the EU.

Ties between EU states and Turkey, a NATO ally, have soured amid human rights concerns following Erdogan’s sweeping crackdown on suspected supporters of a failed military coup last July. Tens of thousands of people, including soldiers, judges, teachers and civil servants, have been arrested or sacked.

The EU executive has asked Europe’s foreign ministers to consider other types of ties with Turkey when they meet on Friday.

Reuters

Channels Kids Cup: 32 Schools Cleared For Lagos Preliminaries

Channels National Kids Cup The technical committee of the Channels National Kids cup has cleared 32 schools that will compete in the Lagos Preliminaries for season nine of the grass-roots football tournament.

Entries were received via the online and centre submission platforms and the committee expressed satisfaction at the level of acceptance the competition is receiving nationwide.

In a thorough screening process, forms were carefully scrutinised with extra focus given to the issue of birth certificates, signatures and parents/guardians’ consent.

The tournament is strictly for pupils currently in primary school and not above the age of 13 at the date of commencement of the football event.

Supported by the Lagos State Football Association (LSFA), this year’s edition of the preliminaries will retain the 32-team format and would be played on knock-out basis.

 

The draw ceremony will be done on Friday, April 28 while action will begin from May 2 to 5, 2017.

The tournament which is aimed at discovering young talents and promoting the game of football at the grass-roots level is a corporate social responsibility programme of Channels Television.

See the full list of the schools approved to compete at the Lagos preliminaries.

Mao Children School, Lagos Island

Xplanter Private School, Ikorodu

St. Paul’s Anglican Primary School, Lagos Island

Badore Nursery & Primary School, Badore Town

Maryland Convent Private School, Maryland

Araromi Primary School, Mushin

Noble Winners Primary School, Ikorodu

CMS Primary School, Bariga

Muslim Association of Nigeria Primary School, Surulere

Community Primary School, Ebule-Egba

Donmen Schools, Ajegunle

Mas-Mas Primary School

National Primary School, Yaba

Army Children School, Abule-Egba

Green Haven, Opic Isheri

Bols International School, Ipaja

St. Jude’s Private School, Festac Town

GEM Primary School

Corona School, Lekki

Roshallom Primary School, Egbeda

Abina Omololu School, Randle, Surulere

Rolex Children’s School, Iba

Beautiful Path Primary School, Coker, Aguda

Lyncrest Primary School, Ikorodu

Kolebest International School, Oshodi

Methodist Primary School, Ikorodu

Ajiran Community Primary School, Eti-Osa

Infant Jesus Ajegunle

Kith And Kin Educational School, Ikorodu

Troika School, Lekki

Crown Star International School, Mushin

Revival Nursery And Primary School, Ikorodu

Elton John Recovering After Two Days In Intensive Care

 Elton John spent two nights in intensive care with a potentially deadly bacterial infection and has canceled all his concerts for the rest of April and May, his publicist said on Monday.

The British musician, 70, became “violently ill” on a flight home from his recent South American tour, spokeswoman Fran Curtis said in a statement.

The “Rocket Man” singer spent two nights in intensive care in the UK and is resting at home after being released on Saturday, the statement said.

The infection was not identified, but the statement said John contracted the “harmful and unusual bacterial infection” during his South American tour, which ended in Chile on April 10.

“Infections of this nature are rare and potentially deadly,” the statement said, adding that his time in intensive care was followed by an “extended stay in hospital.”

John is expected to make a full recovery but has canceled all his concerts in Las Vegas for April and May, as well as a gig in Bakersfield, California, on May 6.

John apologised to fans for disappointing them, adding in a statement: “I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well.”

He is due to resume performances at a concert in Twickenham, England, on June 3.

Reuters

Silence Of The Lambs Director, Jonathan Demme Dies

Movie director Jonathan Demme, best known for “The Silence of the Lambs” has died at the age of 73, his publicist said on Wednesday.

Demme, who also directed the Oscar winning film “Philadelphia,” was suffering from esophageal cancer, publicist Annalee Paulo said in a statement. She said he died in New York on Wednesday morning surrounded by his family.

“Jonathan passed away early on Wednesday morning in his Manhattan apartment, surrounded by his wife, Joanne Howard, and three children. He died from complications from esophageal cancer,”Paulo said.

Demme’s most recent film was the 2015 comedy “Ricki and the Flash,” starring Meryl Streep as an ageing rocker.

New York-born Demme won the directing Oscar for the 1991 thriller “The Silence of the Lambs”, which also won Oscars for best picture and for its stars Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.

Demme’s work was wide ranging, including comedy and thrillers to groundbreaking fare like 1993 film “Philadelphia,” which was one of the first mainstream Hollywood movies to tackle the AIDS crisis. The movie brought an Oscar for Tom Hanks.

He also directed concert and music documentaries for the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Chesney and Neil Young, the Talking Heads, and more recently, “Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids.”

Other notable films include the 2008 independent drama “Rachel Getting Married,” “The Manchurian Candidate” (2004) and 1988 comedy “Married to the Mob.”

Paulo said the funeral for Demme would be private and that in lieu of flowers the family had asked that donations be made to the group Americans For Immigrant Justice, in Miami, Florida.

Reuters

Ile Ife Clash: Arraignment of suspects delayed again

‎The arraignment of six persons for their alleged roles in the May 8 clash in Ile Ife was on Wednesday stalled for the second time this week.

The arraignment of the suspects had earlier been stalled on Monday as the judge before who they were to be arraigned reportedly did not give her consent to hearing the case.

The counsel to the defendants said the arraignment was stalled again on Wednesday due to procedural error by the prosecution.

He said the accused had yet to be served notice of the offence they were being charged with, describing it as a delay tactic to deny them of swift justice.

The lawyers said, “What happened is the problem of the prosecution and not our problem because here there is procedural way of doing things; you must follow the procedure, but they have not followed due process.”

The prosecuting counsel, Samuel Lough, however, said all the necessary arrangements have been made for the arraignment of the suspects.

“The court said they will give us a new date, so we are waiting for the court to do so,” he said.