Asia, Africa Out Of FIBA World Cup At First Hurdle

Harrison Barnes #8 of USA goes to the basket against Japan during the First Round of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup on September 5, 2019 at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China. NATHANIEL S. BUTLER / NBAE / GETTY IMAGES / AFP

 

 

It is the largest basketball World Cup ever but there will be no teams from Asia or Africa in the second round of the sport’s global showpiece.

Hosts China with their 1.4 billion population crashed out of contention on Wednesday with a 72-59 defeat to Venezuela.

That came hours after Tunisia surrendered a spot in the next round, and a guaranteed place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with an agonising 67-64 loss to Puerto Rico.

Nigeria thrashed South Korea 108-66 at the same time, but the fate of Africa’s highest-ranked team already been sealed after losing both their opening games.

The last time there was no team from Asia or Africa in the second round was in 1998, when the championship had only 16 teams.

Now it has a record 32 but it is almost exclusively teams from the Americas, led by reigning champions the United States, and Europe who will compete for the medals.

Outside of those only Australia, nominally Asian in the FIBA rankings are concerned, have also reached the second round and they could be joined by New Zealand if they beat Greece on Thursday.

Paolo Povia, coach of the Ivory Coast, said there were “a lot of factors” why African sides had failed to make their mark in China.

“There’s definitely a difference in experience and knowledge of the game,” said Povia after his team lost 80-63 to Poland on Wednesday, their third defeat in three games.

“The development of the game (in Africa) is a little inconsistent. In our team we have some guys who have learned to play the game in different places all over the world.

“So you don’t get the same continuity all the time in how the game is learned.”

Basketball is hugely popular in the Philippines but the national team — the joint-shortest at the competition — have lost all three of their matches.

They were drubbed 108-62 and 126-67 by Italy and title-contenders Serbia respectively before narrowly succumbing to already eliminated Angola on Wednesday.

Serbia’s plain-speaking coach Sasha Djordjevic said that the Philippines’ lack of physicality and athleticism “might be the problem”.

“Obviously you are missing quality,” he told a reporter from the Philippines.

After easy wins over the Philippines and Angola, Djordjevic also questioned the format of the enlarged World Cup, containing eight groups of four countries in the first phase.

“There are some groups that from the start you practically know which two teams are going to advance,” he said, shaking his head.

“I don’t know if that’s a good thing for the World Cup in general because what does it serve us?

“What does it serve the Philippine team losing by this points difference?” he said, of Serbia’s 59-point win.

Ousted teams such as the Philippines need to rally themselves, because they now face a low-key “classification” round with Olympic qualifying in play.

Egan Bernal Wins 2019 Tour De France

 

Egan Bernal clinched victory in the Tour de France on Sunday after parading into Paris safely in the overall leader’s yellow jersey, becoming the first Colombian winner of cycling’s greatest prize and its youngest in more than a century.

With the sun setting behind the Arc de Triomphe, the 22-year-old Ineos rider completed the 21 stage, 3,409km (2,118 miles) marathon around France 1min 10sec ahead of 2018 champion and teammate Geraint Thomas.

READ ALSO: Neymar To Miss PSG’s Final Asian Matches Over Injury

Colombian spectators thronged the Champs Elysees to witness the traditional eight-lap finale, where Australia’s Caleb Ewan, also 22, won his third stage of the 2019 edition on the culminating mass bunch sprint.

AFP

Algerian Football Supporter Runs Over Family In France, Woman Killed

 

An Algerian football supporter celebrating his team’s win lost control of his car and ran over a family in southern France overnight, killing a woman and seriously injuring her baby, a security official said.

The 21-year-old man was driving at high speed in the Mosson neighbourhood of southern city Montpellier on Thursday night, the official said, adding the driver had been taken into police custody.

The woman was walking with her one-year-old baby and 17-year-old daughter when the accident happened.

READ ALSO: Regime Air Strikes Kill 10 Civilians In Northwest Syria

The baby suffered traumatic injuries and was rushed to hospital, said the official.

The 17-year-old had a slight ankle injury, the spokesman said.

“At the moment we are trying to determine the circumstances of this tragedy,” the spokesman said, adding there were “lots of people in the streets” following Algeria’s win over Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations which sent the team through to the semi-final.

AFP

Court Adjourns Suit Challenging Buhari, Atiku’s Campaign Funding To May 7

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned a suit challenging the campaign funding of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, to May 7.

The presidential candidate of the National Rescue Movement, Usman Ibrahim, who filed the suit wants the court to nullify the participation of the president and Atiku in the February 23, 2019, Presidential poll, because according to him, they spent more than was provided by the Electoral Act on their campaigns.

The suit was filed on behalf of the plaintiff by his lawyer, Ezekiel Ofou, who urged the court to invoke Section 91(2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 to nullify the participation of Buhari and Atiku in the poll for allegedly violating the electoral laws.

Read Also: Building Collapse: Buhari Vows To Prosecute Those Found Culpable

At a resumed sitting, the plaintiff’s counsel informed the court that the president and Atiku Abubakar had been duly served through substituted means as ordered by the court on March 5, but the president had no representation in court.

As a result of their absence, counsel to the plaintiff urged the court to deem the matter for hearing.

But being a suit commenced by way of originating summons, the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, observed that the defendants were still within the 30 days period for a party to file a response in a suit a position the defence counsel agreed with and urged the court to further adjourned the matter.

In a short ruling, Justice Mohammed said, “The court cannot fix a date for hearing since the defendants are still within time.

“On 22nd March, 2019, the 1st and 3rd defendants were served court processes by substituted means, and this shows they are within time to file processes.

“Consequently, the court has to adjourn the case to May 7, for further mention.”

Teacher From Kenyan Village, Peter Tabichi Wins World’s Best, $1mn

This handout picture provided on March 24, 2019 by the Global Education and Skills Forum, an initiative of the Varkey Foundation, shows Kenyan teacher Peter Tabichi (C) holding up the Global Teacher Prize (GTP) trophy after winning the US$ 1 million award during an official ceremony in Dubai presented by Australian actor Hugh Jackman (L) and attended by the Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum (R). Tabichi, a 36-year-old maths and physics from a secondary school in a remote village in Kenya’s Rift Valley, who organisers say gives away 80 percent of his monthly income to the poor, received the prize at a ceremony on March 24. Global Education and Skills Forum / AFP

 

A maths and physics teacher from a secondary school in a remote village in Kenya’s Rift Valley has won the $1 million Global Teacher Prize for 2019, organisers have said.

Peter Tabichi, who organisers say gives away 80 percent of his monthly income to the poor, received the prize at a ceremony Saturday in Dubai hosted by Hollywood star Hugh Jackman.

“Every day in Africa we turn a new page and a new chapter… This prize does not recognise me but recognises this great continent’s young people. I am only here because of what my students have achieved,” Tabichi said.

“This prize gives them a chance. It tells the world that they can do anything,” he added after beating nine finalists from around the world to claim the award.

The Dubai-based Varkey Foundation, which organises the event and handed out the prize for the fifth time, praised Tabichi’s “dedication, hard work and passionate belief in his students’ talent”.

All this combined, it said in a statement, “has led his poorly-resource school in remote rural Kenya to emerge victorious after taking on the country’s best schools in national science competitions”.

Tabichi, 36, teaches at the Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Pwani village, in a remote, semi-arid part of Kenya’s Rift Valley, where drought and famine are frequent.

Around 95 percent of the school’s pupils “hail from poor families, almost a third are orphans or have only one parent, and many go without food at home,” the statement added.

“Drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, dropping out early from school, young marriages and suicide are common.”

To get to school, some students have to walk seven kilometres (four miles) along roads that become impassable during the rainy season.

The school, with a student-teacher ration of 58 to 1, has only one desktop computer for the pupils and poor internet, but despite that Tabichi “uses ICT in 80 percent of his lessons to engage students”, the foundation said.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated Tabichi in a video message, saying “your story is the story of Africa, a young continent bursting with talent”.

Suspected Cholera Cases Spikes In Yemen In 2019 – UN

File Photo: Unclean water

 

Nearly 110,000 suspected cases of cholera have been reported in war-hit Yemen since the beginning of January, including 190 related deaths, the UN said on Monday.

The UN office for humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said children under the age of five make up nearly a third of 108,889 cases which were reported between January 1 and March 17.

OCHA said the spike, which comes two years after Yemen suffered its worst cholera outbreak, was concentrated in six governorates including in the Red Sea port of Hodeida and the Sanaa province home to the capital.

Early rains could be blamed for the recent increase in suspected cholera cases, it said.

“The situation is exacerbated by poor maintenance of sewage disposal systems in many of the affected districts, the use of contaminated water for irrigation, and population movements,” OCHA added.

The waterborne disease is endemic to Yemen, which witnessed the worst cholera outbreak in its modern history in 2017.

More than one million suspected cases were reported within an eight-month period that year. More than 2,500 people died of the infection between April and December 2017.

Yemen’s brutal conflict, which pits Iran-linked rebels against a regional pro-government alliance led by Saudi Arabia, has left some 10,000 people dead since 2015 and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

The war has created the perfect environment for cholera to thrive, as civilians across the country lack access to clean water and health care.

Atiku Meets Southern And Middle Belt Elders Forum, Seeks Their Support At Tribunal

 

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has urged members of the southern and middle belt elders forum to support him as he seeks redress in court over the results of the presidential election.

He said he was confident that justice will be served and therefore, asked them not to despair.

Atiku made the appeal during a closed-door meeting with the forum at the home of elder statesman Chief Edwin Clark in Abuja, while also reiterating his commitment to restructuring.

 

“We have filed our petition before the Tribunal because we believe this is a mandate that has been stolen from the Nigerian people and I believe that the court will do justice to this case. We still have confidence in our courts of law and we believe justice will be done.”

In the same vein, the Chairman of the Forum, Chief Edwin Clark insisted that restructuring is the only guarantee for Nigeria’s unity.

“We will continue to be with the promoter of the restructuring of Nigeria. We want restructuring. No restructuring, it will be difficult to have Nigeria,” he said.

2019 Appropriation Bill Passes Second Reading At Senate

Bukola Saraki

 

The Senate on Tuesday passed the 2019 Appropriate Bill for second reading.

Following the passage of the bill, it has now been sent to relevant Appropriation Subcommittees of the Senate for the budget defence and presentation by Ministers and other Heads of Ministries, Department and Agencies of the Federal Government.

Speaking at the end of the debate, Senate President Bukola Saraki, thanked his colleagues for participating, while also stating that there was a need for the nation to continue to plug the leakages from the independent revenue sources.

Read Also: Senate Approves N30,000 Minimum Wage For Federal, State Workers

He said: “The most important issue now is for us to see how we can complete the process.

“I want to make a strong appeal to all members of the Subcommittees on Appropriation to ensure that you all immediately start receiving presentations.

“At the same time, all Ministers, Heads of Agencies and Departments should ensure that they promptly attend the budget presentations when they are called in — so that there will be no delays coming from them.

“Ministers and Heads of MDAs should know that this is not the time to travel. This is the time to be around.

“Because of the short timeframe, Distinguished Senators should let us know of any MDA that you have called for presentations who have not attended for one reason or the other, so that this can be done by the 2nd of April when we hope to consider the final report by the Appropriation Committee”.

The budget totalling, N8,826,636,578,915 has a recurrent expenditure of N4 trillion, while N2 trillion goes for capital expenditure with N2.2 trillion and N492 billion for debt servicing and statutory transfers respectively.

The Greatest Gift I’d Want Nigerians To Give Me For My Birthday – Osinbajo

 

Hours after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo turned 62, he has revealed what he would want Nigerians to give him as a birthday gift.

Osinbajo said the one thing he would love is for Nigerians to work together with the President to build a greater nation.

He was quoted as saying this in a statement by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, on Saturday, when asked by journalists about “the greatest gift he would want Nigerians to give him for this birthday”.

In response, the VP said, “One thing I would like very much is for all of us to work together towards building a great country. I think we all have what it takes to make this country truly great.

“And the greatest gift would be all of us working together, across tribes, across faith and the entire Nation coming together to work with President Buhari and the government to achieve the very best that we can.”

Read Also: Osinbajo Marks 62nd Birthday

He made the comments on Saturday, shortly after casting his vote, alongside his wife, Dolapo, at the VGC Polling unit, Lagos State, for the Governorship and State Assembly elections.

Professor Osinbajo also stated that he was pleased with the conduct of the elections at the polling unit thus far.

El-Rufai Votes In Kaduna

Photos: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai has cast his vote at his Polling Unit.

See photos below.

Read Also: El-Rufai Applauds INEC For ‘Improved Logistics’ In Electoral Process

‘I Will Return To Daura After My Second Term’ – Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said he would return to his home town in Katsina State – Daura – at the end of his second term.

He said this on Tuesday while addressing traditional rulers who visited him at the State House in Abuja.

Read Also: Buhari Calls For More Support From Traditional Rulers

Until then, however, the President says he will continue to do his best and work harder for the country, in the areas of security, infrastructure, jobs and fighting corruption.

“At the end of this second and final term, I will, God willing, return to Daura and settle down”, he said.

He also called for greater support from the traditional rulers as well as all Nigerians to consolidate his promises.

Wike Absent As Three Rivers Gov Candidates Defend Their Plans

 

A debate for governorship candidates in Rivers State is currently ongoing ahead of Saturday’s elections.

While three of the candidates are present to defend their plans for the state, incumbent governor Nyeson Wike is absent.

Details later…