Ronaldo, Maguire Most Abused Premier League Players On Twitter – Report

A file photo combination of Ronaldo and Maguire.

 

Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire have received the most Twitter abuse of any Premier League players, a report published Tuesday has found.

Analysis by British media regulator Ofcom of 2.3 million tweets in the first half of last season found nearly 60,000 abusive posts, affecting seven in 10 top-flight players.

Half of that abuse was directed at just 12 individuals – eight from United.

Twitter was chosen due to its popularity with players, and because it makes data available for research but the study does not take into account the safeguards that are in place.

Ofcom is preparing to regulate technology companies under new Online Safety laws aimed at protecting users.

“These findings shed light on a dark side to the beautiful game,” Ofcom group director for broadcasting and online content Kevin Bakhurst said. “Online abuse has no place in sport, nor in wider society, and tackling it requires a team effort.

“Social media firms needn’t wait for new laws to make their sites and apps safer for users. When we become the regulator for online safety, tech companies will have to be really open about the steps they’re taking to protect users. We will expect them to design their services with safety in mind.”

READ ALSO: England Beat Germany To Win Women Euro 2022 Trophy

The report identified two peaks in the frequency of abusive tweets.

The first came on the day Ronaldo rejoined Manchester United — August 27 2021 — generating three times more tweets than any other day (188,769), of which 3,961 were abusive.

The volume of posts can largely be explained because of Ronaldo’s 98.4 million followers.

On this day, the Portugal forward was mentioned in 90 percent of all tweets aimed at Premier League footballers and 97 percent of abusive tweets.

The second peak came on November 7 when Maguire tweeted an apology following Manchester United’s 2-0 home defeat by Manchester City, with many posts using insulting language towards the England defender.

Twitter said it also removed more than 38,000 abusive tweets, with a spokesperson telling Britain’s PA news agency they were “committed” to combatting abuse and did not tolerate harassment on grounds of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

At an Ofcom event at the National Football Museum in Manchester on Tuesday, Manchester United women’s player Aoife Mannion said using social media was a particular “deal with the devil” for female footballers.

“We do need it because we need the exposure and visibility we get from it, we don’t need the abuse,” she said.

AFP

Chrisland Scandal: Lagos Govt Grills School Management, Teachers, Parents

 

All parties involved in the alleged Chrisland school scandal were scrutinised at the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Education Quality Assurance Conference Hall, Alausa in Ikeja on Wednesday.

A reliable source told Channels Television that those who attended the meeting were police officers, officials of the Education Quality Assurance, and that of the Directorate of Public Prosecution, Chrisland school authorities including the affected teachers, parents of the affected students.

The source further said that no student was sighted, however, against the earlier scheduled invitation by the police for all parties involved to report to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, for detailed investigations.

Their presence at the Ministry nullified the earlier arrangement to be at the state CIID, Panti.


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Chrisland Scandal: Sharing Child Pornography Attracts 14 Years In Jail – Lagos Govt 


Wednesday’s meeting is the latest development since reports that some students of Chrisland schools were involved in a case of alleged sexual violence in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

While the Lagos State Government had shut all Chrisland schools in the state following the incident, it has also vowed to ensure justice is done.

It equally warned “that any person who engages in any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child commits an offence and is liable to custodial sentence of fourteen (14) years. This includes ‘producing, distributing, receiving, or possessing an image of child pornography’.

The incident has sparked heated debates on social media. While many accused Chrisland of trying to cover up the matter, others claimed the student was raped.

But in a statement released shortly after, Chrisland denied claims of sexual abuse.

“We are proud to reassure our stakeholders that no rape of anyone or the administration of a pregnancy test on any child took place on our watch,” a statement signed by a member of the Chrisland advisory board, Akin Fadeyi, read.

“For emphasis, only a COVID post-travel test was conducted on the returning delegation of our students, in compliance with COVID-19 travel protocols, at the Life Centre Medical Services on March 21, 2022, at School Hall, Opebi.”

Greenwood’s Girlfriend Robson Accuses Him Of Beating Her Up, Sexual Assault

A photo combination of Mason and Harriet Robson.

 

Harriet Robson, the girlfriend of Mason Greenwood, has accused the Manchester United star of beating and sexually abusing her.

In a now-deleted post on social media, Robson shared photos of injuries she had when the English player allegedly forced himself on her.

Robson had bruises on her thighs in some of the photos. In one of the images, blood was seen flowing from her mouth to her chest. She also shared an audio message in which she accused Greenwood of being responsible for the wounds.

READ ALSO: Martial Denies Rangnick Claim Over Refusal To Be In United Squad

As of now, the player is yet to respond to the claims but Manchester United in a statement noted that they have seen the images and do not condone violence.

Greenwood is a Manchester United Academy graduate and has so far netted 35 goals in 129 appearances for the Red Devils.

12-Man Jury Finds Maxwell Guilty Of Helping Epstein Abuse Girls

A photo combination of British socialite, Ghislaine Maxwell and the late American financier Jeffrey Epstein. AFP

 

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty in New York on Wednesday of recruiting and grooming young girls to be sexually abused by the late American financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Maxwell faces spending the rest of her life behind bars after the 12-person jury convicted her on five of the six counts she was facing, including the most serious charge of sex trafficking a minor.

The conviction, just days after she turned 60 on Christmas, caps a remarkable fall from grace for the Oxford-educated daughter of the late British press baron Robert Maxwell, who grew up in wealth and privilege as a friend to royalty.

She sat passively in the Manhattan courtroom, slowly removing her mask to take sips of water after Judge Alison Nathan read out the verdicts, reached after five full days of deliberation by the jury.

Afterward, Maxwell’s attorney, Bobbi Sternheim, said her legal team was already working on an appeal and they were “confident that she will be vindicated.”

“We firmly believe in Ghislaine’s innocence. Obviously, we are very disappointed with the verdict,” Sternheim told reporters outside the courthouse.

Sex trafficking of minors carries a maximum 40-year sentence. The lesser charges have terms of five or 10 years. Maxwell was found not guilty of one count — enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

Nathan offered her “sincere thanks” to the jury for their service, adding that they served with “diligence.”

Maxwell walked out of the courtroom into detention as she has done every day of the month-long trial. She was not handcuffed and will return to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

No date was set for her sentencing.

US Attorney Damian Williams welcomed the verdict, saying Maxwell had been found guilty of “the worst crimes imaginable — facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children.”

“The road to justice has been far too long. But, today, justice has been done,” Williams said in a statement.

Bobbi Sternheim, attorney for Ghislaine Maxwell, speaks outside federal court on December 29, 2021 in New York City.  AFP

 

The charges against Maxwell stemmed from 1994 to 2004.

Two of Epstein’s alleged victims said they were as young as 14 when Maxwell allegedly began grooming them and arranging for them to give massages to Epstein that ended in sexual activity.

One, identified only as “Jane,” detailed how Maxwell recruited her at summer camp and made her feel “special.”

She said sexual encounters with Epstein became routine, with Maxwell sometimes present.

Another, going by “Carolyn,” said she was usually paid $300 after sexual encounters with Epstein, often by Maxwell herself.

A third alleged victim was Annie Farmer, now 42, who said Maxwell fondled her breasts when she was a teenager at the New Mexico ranch owned by Epstein.

 ‘Partners in crime’

Epstein, 66, killed himself in jail in 2019 while awaiting his own sex crimes trial. Maxwell, his lover-turned-close friend, was arrested the following year.

She pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Prosecutor Alison Moe said Maxwell was “the key” to Epstein’s scheme of enticing young girls to give him massages, during which he would sexually abuse them.

They cited bank records showing that she received $30 million from Epstein between 1999 and 2007 as evidence that her participation was motivated by money.

“They were partners in crime,” Moe said.

Maxwell’s defense team questioned the accusers’ ability to recollect quarter-century-old events and argued that Maxwell was being used as a “scapegoat” for Epstein’s crimes after he evaded justice.

Defense attorneys Laura Menninger and Jeffrey S. Pagliuca leave the Thurgood Marshall Federal Court House in lower Manhattan on December 29, 2021. AFP

 

Maxwell declined to take the stand during the trial.

Her siblings Kevin, Isabel and Christine were in the front row in court as their sister’s fate was read out.

Pursued by reporters as they left, the family declined to comment, with Kevin Maxwell saying they would issue a statement on the verdict later.

Virginia Giuffre, who alleges Epstein lent her out for sex with his wealthy and powerful associates, including Britain’s Prince Andrew — after Maxwell introduced the royal to the financier — welcomed the verdict in a statement on Twitter.

“My soul yearned for justice for years and today the jury gave me just that. I will remember this day always,” said Giuffre, who was not an accuser in the case.

“I hope that today is not the end but rather another step in justice being served. Maxwell did not act alone. Others must be held accountable. I have faith that they will be,” she said.

Prince Andrew denies the accusation.

Maxwell still faces two counts of perjury related to testimony she gave in 2016 in a defamation case filed by Giuffre.

AFP

Buhari Calls For End To Violence Against Children As World Marks Day Of African Child

File Photo: President Muhammadu Buhari receiving flowers from a girl.

 

As Nigeria joins the international community to celebrate the Day of the African Child, President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged that the government would continue to protect children from sexual violence, domestic abuse and exploitation.

The President also reiterated that his administration will continue to ensure that every Nigerian child has access to quality and affordable education by promoting free and compulsory basic education for the first nine years of schooling.

He was quoted to have said this in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina.

Speaking further, the president expressed concerns over the recent spate of sexual and physical violence on the girl-child and therefore, directed relevant government agencies to scale up support for victims of violence and ensure that those who have infringed on their rights face the full weight of our laws.

He affirmed that it is the right of every Nigerian child to be protected from sexual or physical violence and abuse and to enjoy an environment conducive for learning and development.

The President recognises that this year’s commemorative activities with the theme, “Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa,” have moved online due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

On the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education sector, he noted that school-age children have been forced to continue education and learning online, as well as through the electronic media.

Recognizing that not all children have access to the tools and resources to do this, the President assured Nigerians that the priority of the Federal Government is to ensure that things get back to normal as soon as possible.

He noted that while dealing with the threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government cannot allow education and learning to take the back seat.

The President, therefore, encouraged all Nigerians to take a moment this day to celebrate the African child, who represents a better future for all of us.

“Nigeria is blessed with exceptional and remarkable children and this government is ever ready to help the Nigerian child achieve their dreams and build a better tomorrow,” he said.

Senate Asks FG To Campaign Against Rape, Abuse Of Female Gender

A file photo of lawmakers in the Senate

 

The Senate is asking the Federal Government to campaign against rape and abuse of female gender in the country.

This formed part of the resolutions of the lawmakers following a motion raised by Senator Sandy Onoh during plenary on Tuesday in Abuja.

Senator Onoh condemned the rape and murder of 22-year-old Uwaila Omozuwa, a 100-level student of the Department of Microbiology, University of Benin (UNIBEN).

Omozuwa was reported to have been raped on May 27, inside a church where she went to read at the Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The suspects were reported to have struck her on the head with a fire extinguisher after raping her.

Senator Onoh also condemned the killing of a teenage girl, Tina Ezekwe, by a policeman in Lagos last week.

According to him, the brutality and rape cases against the girl child are on the rise and Nigerian girls can no longer live their lives with confidence.

In their resolutions, the Senate resolved to call for the arrest of the perpetrators and mandated the security agencies to employ strategies to check the rising cases of rape.

The lawmakers also urged security agencies to ensure the enforcement of the Child Rights Act.

They further asked the State Houses of Assembly to amend the code to make rape a punishable offence.

The upper chamber also observed a minute of silence in honour of the two girls and others who have been victims of rape.

The news of Uwa’s death has sparked outrage on social media and many have demanded justice with the hashtag #JusticeForUwa.

 

Australia’s Cardinal Pell Loses Child Sex Abuse Appeal

 

 

Disgraced Cardinal George Pell lost his appeal against child sex abuse convictions Wednesday, prompting relief from those who fought to bring one of the Catholic Church’s most powerful men to justice.

Once the Vatican’s third-ranking official, Pell had been trying to overturn the verdicts and six-year sentence for sexually assaulting two 13-year-old choirboys at a Melbourne cathedral in the 1990s.

The high-profile case pitted the powerful 78-year-old — who previously helped elect Popes, ran the Vatican’s finances and was involved in the church’s response to child sex abuse claims — against a single surviving former choirboy.

Pell, dressed in a dark suit, occasionally bowed his head as Chief Justice Anne Ferguson dismissed his arguments and described his victim as “very compelling” and someone who “was clearly not a liar, was not a fantasist and was a witness of truth.”

The ruling prompted cheers to ripple into the courtroom from a large crowd gathered outside, and produced emotional statements from victims, their families and advocacy groups.

The now-adult victim — who cannot be named for legal reasons — said the “stressful” four-year legal fight had taken him “to places that, in my darkest moments, I feared I could not return from.”

Dismissing vocal media critics, the man said the death of his friend, the second choirboy, from a drug overdose had prompted him to break his silence.

“After attending the funeral of my childhood friend… I felt a responsibility to come forward,” he said in a statement read by his lawyer.

“I am not an advocate. You wouldn’t know my name. I am not a champion for the cause of sexual abuse survivors.”

A lawyer for the father of the second victim said he felt “a weight had been lifted.”

“He feels that justice has been delivered today. He has a real sense of relief that George Pell is behind bars tonight,” Lisa Flynn told AFP.

Following the ruling, Pell — who will be eligible for parole in three years and eight months — maintained his innocence and said he was now considering a second and final appeal.

“Cardinal Pell is obviously disappointed with the decision today,” said a statement issued through the church.

“His legal team will thoroughly examine the judgement in order to determine a special leave application to the High Court.”

‘Done their job’

Pell’s lawyers now have 28 days to consider further legal steps.

They had raised 13 objections to his convictions, casting doubt on everything from the physical possibility of Pell removing his robes to carry out the act, to the credibility of the main witness.

The case was unusual in that it relied heavily on the closed-door testimony of the sole surviving victim.

The three judges unanimously dismissed two so-called “fallback” arguments for Pell related to alleged procedural errors during his trial.

His lawyers argued they should have been allowed to show an animated reconstruction of peoples’ movements in the cathedral on the days of the assaults.

They also took issue with the fact that Pell was not arraigned in the presence of the jury. The process was completed via video link so the large pool of potential jurors was able to watch.

Ferguson said that despite these complaints the judges “decided that it was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Cardinal Pell was guilty of the offence charged.”

Following Wednesday’s ruling Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressed sympathy for the victims.

He said the “courts had done their job” and indicated Pell would be stripped of his Order of Australia honour.

During Pell’s trial under a court-ordered veil of secrecy, the Vatican gradually removed him from top Church bodies with little explanation.

Shortly after his conviction, Pell was removed from the so-called C9 Council of Cardinals that are effectively the Pope’s cabinet and inner circle of advisers.

The Vatican dropped him as the Church’s finance chief and opened its own probe into his actions after his conviction was made public in February.

Gambian Ex-Dictator ‘Handpicked’ Women For Rape, Abuse – HRW

Yayah Jammeh: Handover Deadline May Be Extended

 

Former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh “handpicked” women whom he would rape or sexually coerce, offering cash, gifts and other privileges in exchange, international rights groups said on Wednesday.

“Yahya Jammeh treated Gambian women like his personal property,” said US attorney Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch (HRW).

“But rape and sexual assault are crimes, and Jammeh is not above the law, and no woman is beneath it.”

Jammeh ruled the tiny West African state for 22 years before fleeing to Equatorial Guinea after losing elections to opposition candidate Adama Barrow in December 2016.

His regime was notorious for its brutality and corruption, but this is the first time that his sexual abuse of women has been extensively and publicly documented.

The investigation, by HRW and a Swiss NGO, TRIAL international, is based on evidence from several women, eight former Gambian officials and several other witnesses, they said.

Jammeh had “protocol girls” who were required to be on call to provide him with sex, according to their report, issued in Dakar, the capital of neighbouring Senegal.

He “handpicked young women to satisfy his sexual fantasies,” according to a top aide quoted in the report.

As an inducement, he would lavish gifts on them or provide support for their impoverished families or offer a scholarship to study abroad.

They were required to live next to his residence and were barred from leaving without his authorisation — and if they refused his sexual demands, he would threaten them or hit them.

The “protocol girls” were overseen by his female cousin, Jimbee Jammeh, who also procured other women for him, the report said. She fled with him to Equatorial Guinea.

Several women have gone on record with their experiences, it said.

One of them was Toufah Jallow, then an 18-year-old drama student, who was the 2014 winner of the main state-sponsored beauty pageant, which Jammeh had lauded as “a means to empower girls”.

Over six months, she refused his advances, rejected his offer to become a “protocol girl” and a proposal to marry him, Jallow said.

After aides brought her to attend a pre-Ramadan Koran recital at the presidency, State House, Yahya locked her in a room, hit and threatened her, injected her with a liquid and raped her, according to her testimony.

She fled to Senegal days later.

Gambia has set up a Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), modelled on South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to shed light on Jammeh’s reign.

“These admirable women broke the culture of silence. It is now crucial that the TRRC and the government give them a path to redress and justice,” said Marion Volkmann-Brandau, who led the research.

“It’s time for the ‘shame’ of rape to switch sides.”

Jammeh is also accused of spiriting away hundreds of millions of dollars — one estimate put it as high as one billion dollars (880 million euros).

Chelsea Lodge UEFA Complaint Over Alleged Racist Abuse In Kiev

FIFA Hands Chelsea Two Transfer Windows Ban
file photo / AFP

 

Chelsea said on Monday they have lodged a formal complaint with UEFA over alleged racist abuse aimed at one of their players during the closing stages of the 5-0 Europa League win away to Dynamo Kiev last week.

“We can confirm a report of racist abuse directed at one of our players in the final minutes of the match in Kiev from a small section of home supporters. We wholeheartedly condemn such abhorrent behaviour,” Chelsea said in a statement.

READ ALSO: UEFA Probes Ronaldo For ‘Improper Conduct’

“The matter was reported to the referee at the final whistle and the chairman and club secretary spoke to the UEFA match delegate immediately after the match.

“We expect UEFA to conduct a fulsome investigation and we will provide full cooperation.”

Callum Hudson-Odoi was reportedly the victim of the abuse as the 18-year-old rounded off the scoring after Olivier Giroud’s hat-trick and Marcos Alonso’s strike secured Chelsea’s place in the last eight at a canter in the Ukranian capital on Thursday.

AFP

Convicted Australian Cardinal To Be Sued Over Alleged Abuse

Cardinal George Pell (C) makes his way to the court in Melbourne on February 27, 2019. Con CHRONIS / AFP

 

A man is set to sue convicted Australian Cardinal George Pell over child sex abuse allegations, reports said Monday, days after state prosecutors dropped his criminal case against the disgraced cleric.

Pell — the most senior Catholic clergyman to be found guilty of child sex abuse — is currently in detention awaiting sentencing for assaulting two choirboys in the 1990s.

News of the conviction in December had been suppressed by a court until last Tuesday when prosecutors dropped a second trial involving alleged abuse at a swimming pool in Pell’s hometown of Ballarat in Victoria state in the 1970s.

The man in the second trial, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in the new civil lawsuit’s statement of claim that he felt “empty” after his criminal case was withdrawn before he could give evidence, Melbourne’s The Age reported.

“It took a lot of courage and soul-searching to be prepared to tell my story, accusing one of the most senior Catholics in the world of serious criminal offences, and eventually I was ready to have my day in court,” the man said in the statement of claim, the newspaper reported.

“But when I was told they had withdrawn the case I felt empty, and that an injustice had occurred.”

The alleged victim, reportedly now 50 years old, will also sue the trustees of Nazareth House which ran St Joseph’s Boys Home where he was a ward, Victoria state and the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne in a lawsuit to be filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

He is seeking damages for psychiatric injury, loss of wages and medical expenses, The Australian reported.

A Supreme Court of Victoria spokesman said it had yet to receive any filing in the matter.

News of Pell’s conviction which emerged last week is expected to encourage victims of alleged sex abuse by another clergy to come forward.

Pell, who helped elect popes and ran the Vatican’s finances, was found guilty by a trial jury on one count of sexual abuse and four counts of indecent assault of two boys.

AFP

Zimbabwe Govt Pledges To Probe Abuse, Rape Claims Against Security Forces

 

Zimbabwe’s government has pledged to “thoroughly” investigate allegations of abuse and rape levelled against its security forces during a brutal crackdown to quell last week’s anti-government protests.

Nationwide demonstrations erupted last week after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced on January 12 that fuel prices were being more than doubled in a country suffering from spiralling inflation and regular shortages of necessities.

Furious demonstrators took to the streets in several cities and towns with widespread rioting and looting before soldiers and police brutally put down the protests at the cost of at least 12 lives, according to NGOs.

Hundreds of people were injured, including dozens from bullet wounds.

“The government wishes to assure the public that all allegations of misconduct against any of our security services will be thoroughly investigated and that the law will be allowed to take its course,” Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said in a statement on Friday.

He said complaints should be lodged with the police and also assured that they would be treated with “impracticality and sensitivity”, but many Zimbabweans fear retribution and find reporting such cases daunting.

In a separate statement, Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema acknowledged reports of “alleged rape, sexual abuse and assaults that have been perpetrated by security forces during the recent operation”.

But he said only one report had been received so far.

He also referred to media footage of women who claimed they were raped by security forces during the widespread clampdown.

“We take these rape allegations very seriously and investigations will be instituted immediately once complainants file reports with the police,” Mathema said.

“We are therefore making a passionate appeal to all citizens of Zimbabwe to come forward and report any cases of sexual abuse, rape or misconduct by the security forces to the police,” said Mathema.

Army spokesman Alphios Makotore earlier this week issued a statement alleging that “bogus” elements in military uniform were engaging in violence and placing the “image of the organisations into disrepute”.

Police said that more than 1,100 people have been arrested since the unrest began and hundreds have been moving through the courts for summary trials, according to lawyers.

Chelsea Fan Banned For Abuse

Chelsea Fans celebrate. Credit: Daily Mail

 

A Chelsea fan has been banned from football matches for three years after being ejected from their Premier League game against Brighton for shouting homophobic abuse.

The 20-year-old man pleaded guilty to the offence of using threatening, abusive or insulting words during Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Brighton’s Amex Stadium on December 16.

As a result, the fan has been banned and fined £965 ($1219).

A spokesperson for Brighton and Hove Albion said in a statement: “We would like to thank Sussex Police for their assistance in dealing with this unsavoury incident, and we are very pleased with the outcome.

“It underlines both their and our commitment to a zero tolerance policy on any form of abuse from those attending matches at the Amex. We would remind all fans that we will not tolerate any form of abusive behaviour at the stadium and will always take the strongest possible action.”

The fan ban is the latest worrying incident involving Chelsea supporters this season.

A Chelsea fan was accused of shouting racist abuse at Manchester City star Raheem Sterling during the Blues’ 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri admitted he was frustrated by the “stupid” people who were tarnishing his club’s reputation after repeated complaints about fans singing an anti-semitic chant about Tottenham supporters.

AFP