Wimbledon Open: Li Na Crashes Out, Djokovic Advances Despite Injury Scare

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Second seed, Li Na, was beaten 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) by Barbora Strycova in the third round of the women’s singles.

China’s Li was badly out of sorts against her Czech opponent, who will play 16th seed Caroline Wozniacki next.

Australian Open champion Li, 32, has not advanced beyond the third round in eight appearances at Wimbledon and lost in the first round at this year’s French Open.

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki reached round four with a 6-3 6-0 defeat of Croatia’s Ana Konjuh.

Romania’s third seed, Simona Halep, runner up at this year’s French Open, reached round three with a 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory over Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.

Twenty-two year old, Halep will play world number 71 Belinda Bencic next after the Swiss player beat American Victoria Duval 6-4 7-5.

Russian Ekaterina Makarova, seeded 22, also reached the fourth round with a 7-5 6-3 defeat of France’s Caroline Garcia.

In the men category, top seed Novak Djokovic moved into the fourth round of the men’s singles with a comfortable 6-4 6-2 6-4 defeat of Frenchman Gilles Simon despite injury scare.

The world number two will play 14th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga next after the Frenchman beat Jimmy Wang 6-2 6-2 7-5.

Djokovic was leading 3-2 in the third set and seemingly closing in on an uneventful victory when he dived to reach a forehand and appeared to twist his left arm.

The 2011 champion looked in extreme pain but a trainer manipulated his shoulder and the 27-year-old was able to continue.

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson beat 16th seed Fabio Fognini in five sets.

Anderson, the 20th seed, won 4-6 6-4 2-6 6-2 6-1 and will play Britain’s Andy Murray in round four, if the defending champion wins his third-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut.

 

Commonwealth Games: Usain Bolt To Compete in Glasgow 2014

boltSix-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt says he is available to compete at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Bolt said he was unlikely to take part in an individual event but could run in the relay.

The 27 year old, who won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, has been struggling with a foot injury.

“I am available for selection for the Commonwealth Games and have submitted the relevant documentation,” he said.

In a message on his website Bolt said he was unable to compete in the Jamaican Championships this weekend – the main qualifying event for the Commonwealth team – but he could still make the squad as part of the relay race.

The statement, titled ‘a message from Usain’, read: “I am not ready to compete at the Jamaican Championships this weekend but I have informed the JAAA that I am available for selection for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and have submitted the relevant documentation.

“I do not wish to take the place of anyone who qualifies this weekend in an individual event but am available for relay duty if the selectors feel I can be an asset to the Jamaican team in Glasgow.

“I have received lots of requests, invitations and messages of support from my fans in Scotland who are looking forward to a great event”.

Bolt has never raced in the Commonwealth Games, having missed the events in Melbourne in 2006 and Delhi four years ago.

However, speaking at the IAAF Centenary Gala in Barcelona last November, he declared his interest in competing in Glasgow.

“That’s the only title I don’t have, so I think it’s something I’d like to go for, even if I do just one event,” Bolt said.

That event appears likely to be the 4x100m relay.

Jamaica took silver behind England in 2010 but, led by Bolt, won the World Championships last year.

FIFA Lifts 90 Day Ban On Legend, Beckenbauer

Former player and coach Franz Beckenbauer signs a wall of fame at gala marking 50th anniversary of foundation of German Bundesliga soccer league in BerlinWorld football governing body, FIFA, has lifted a 90 day ban from all football-related activities, placed on German football legend, Franz Beckenbauer, for failing to help an investigation of alleged corruption in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes, the German’s manager said on Friday.

Beckenbauer, had been banned two weeks ago after refusing to cooperate with an investigation into the award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

The 68-year-old is a former member of the FIFA executive committee which controversially awarded the World Cup to Qatar in 2010 and had received “repeated requests” to provide information, FIFA said in a statement at the time of the ban.

Beckenbauer has since had a change of heart and offered to provide responses to the questions which he had initially rejected because they were written in what he described as “legalese English” which is complicated legal English.

The legend who won the world cup as a player and coach in 1974 and 1990 respectively, then pledged to answer the questions put to him in German and in writing, and his manager said on June 18 that the FIFA ethics committee received his answers to “all its questions”.

Friday’s statement said Beckenbauer’s management team continued to believe the ban was not justified because he had no obligation to testify to Fifa, but said that with hindsight it would have been better for him to answer the questions earlier.

“I underestimated the matter,” Beckenbauer said in the statement, adding that the main reason was “such voluminous administrative things” are usually dealt with by his management team, but in this case he was unable to involve it fully.

FIFA Secretary General, Jerome Valcke, told reporters that Beckenbauer could now attend the tournament he graced as a player with West Germany.

Beckenbauer has, however, indicated he had no plans to come to Brazil for the tournament.

“As you know Franz is someone we all respect and was an amazing footballer and we would love him to have him here at the World Cup, even more because his national team is playing in the second round,” Valcke told reporters in Rio de Janeiro.

“But it is his decision not to come to Brazil and that’s his decision,” he added.

Beckenbauer had been asked to co-operate with a FIFA ethics investigation led by American lawyer, Michael Garcia, but FIFA said he ignored “repeated requests” to assist the inquiry.

The ban issued at the start of the World Cup in Brazil meant he could not attend any games in an official capacity, embarrassing such a high profile figure in the game.

FIFA told Beckenbauer that a repeat of his actions could lead to further sanctions.

“The deputy chairman warned Mr Beckenbauer that a repetition or continuation of the conduct that led to the imposition of the provisional measure might give rise to further sanctions, including new provisional measures,” FIFA said in a statement.

As a player, Beckenbauer redefined the role of libero or sweeper and captained the West Germany side which won the 1974 World Cup.

He led West Germany to World Cup victory as a coach in 1990 and was head of the local organising committee when Germany hosted the showpiece in 2006.

Beckenbauer is an adviser to Fifa’s football committee and a global ambassador for Bayern Munich.

 

 

Violence Has Hindered Nigeria’s Economic Development – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the violence that has adversely affected parts of the country, has posed a major stumbling block to economic development of Nigeria.

The president said this while receiving the 2013 Africa Peace Award from the United Religions Initiatives (URI) at the presidential villa.

He noted that there can be no meaningful economic development where people are fighting, adding that differences cannot be resolved through the barrels of the gun.

Presenting the award to the president, the regional director of URI, Ambassador Mussie Hailu, said the award is in recognition of President Jonathan’s contributions to religious harmony in Nigeria and peace-keeping operations under the United Nations.

ECOWAS Focuses On Human Trafficking And Child Protection

ecowasThe ECOWAS commission has commenced plans to establish a regional communication network that will help fight human trafficking and promote child protection in the sub region.

This effort is coming in view of the security crisis in different states in the region which the commission says leave women and children exposed to dangers of deprivation and forced labour.

The ECOWAS Director of Humanitarian and Social Affairs, Dr Dianel Eklu said nations must be made to assume responsibility for the protection of this vulnerable section of their societies, through agenda setting by the media, demands on accountability and promotion of alliances.

NNPC spokeman says search for missing staff has been intensified

The Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC on Tuesday affirmed that it has not in any way called off the search for one of its staff who was reported to be missing since late September while commuting from Lagos to Abuja, a statement from the Acting Group General Manager Public Affairs, Fidel Pepple .

Mr. Sylvester Emefiele, an Electrical and Electronics Technologist who is a staff of the NNPC Transformation Office under the Corporate Planning and Strategy Division of the Corporation, was last seen after boarding an Abuja bound Abanje Transport Company vehicle from Ikorodu in Lagos on September, 23. 2012.

Pepple explained that the Corporation is working assiduously with detectives from the State Security Service and the Nigeria Police to locate his whereabouts as soon as possible.

“Our target is not only to locate and rescue Mr. Emefiele but also to ensure as much as possible that he is unhurt. Thus immediately the matter came to the notice of Management the GMD promptly instructed that steps be taken not only to ensure his safety but also to protect his immediate family from anything untoward,” Mr. Pepple said.

The NNPC spokesman explained that in line with the Corporation’s standard security procedure, the Security Department quickly informed the leadership of the Nigeria Police and the State Security Service at the FCT Abuja level but later escalated the matter to the national level when clues emerged that the crime could have gone beyond the boundaries of the FCT.

“Though I may not be able to give you a blow by blow account of what we have done as a Corporation since 23rd September, 2012, due to the obvious implication for the investigation, I can confirm that the SSS has since assigned an Assistant Director to take full charge of the case. At our own level we have a regular Management review session under the direct supervision of the Group Executive Director in charge of Cooperate Services,” he said.

On the concerns reportedly raised by the Emefiele family over the handling of the case by the Corporation, Mr. Fidel explained that the Corporation has done much and still doing everything within its powers to rescue the missing staff and ensure the safety and comfort of his family.

“We totally understand the agony and pain the family is going through at this period and we share in their hurt and tribulations. Before now we had offered the family police protection which was turned down; even at that we have intensified regular interface with the family through our security department as well as the staff welfare unit,’’ he stated.

Legal expert says Jonathan’s administration is the worst since independence

Constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Robert Clarke has described Nigeria’s system of government as a civil form of government and not a democratic system of government.

Mr Clarke, made this know while evaluating Nigeria after its 52years of independence, stating that having experienced all the various system of government practiced by the country since, 1960, the current manner of government is the worst since the history of the country came into being and since the advent of democracy in 1999.

Clarke, who was speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said “I have seen it pre-independence governance, I have seen first independence governance, I have seen military governance, I have seen the second republic governance and I am seeing now the so called third republic governance”.

Having a clear view of what the governance road has been before the Union Jack was lowered till now, the legal luminary said “I can assure you from my own experience, this is the worst since 1999, and this is the worst system of governance we have”.

He took a swipe at the president saying “I can assure you he (President Jonathan) cannot name twenty of his minsters off head”.

He also accused ministers and governors of having a long thread of aides that are paid for doing nothing with tax payers’ money.

Mr Clarke said the system of government being run in Nigeria is nowhere close to a democracy.

He said “Look let’s not deceive ourselves, we have no democracy in Nigeria, what we are running today in Nigeria is a civil form of government”.

He went further to explain what a true democracy is positing that it is “the entrenchment of institution”.

He said the institutions in Nigeria lack the autonomy to operate on their own, a trend he traced to Obasanjo’s civilian government that began in 1999.

“The police is still subservient to the governor, subservient to the president. The EFCC is still subservient to this..we have not entrenched the institutions we have to make them independent so that we can feel the effect of democracy”.

 

President Jonathan was mis-advised on Ibaji oil deposits- Kogi Spokesman

Kogi state has also reacted to the claims by Anmabra state that the Ibaji oil deposit belongs to them.

Anambra state governor, Mr Peter Obi, in a state broadcast had maintained that the oil deposits belong to his state. Indigenes and some elders of the area had protested the decision by the federal government to declare the area a territory owned by Anambra state.

Speaking to Channels Television on the issue over the telephone, spokesperson of the Kogi state government, Jacob Edi said the president was mis-advised on the issue.

FG vows to recover PHCN fund in British bank, denies shortage in power supply

The Federal Government Tuesday denied reports of a significant drop in the country’s power supply.

The Presidential Taskforce on Power (PTFP) stated that the country’s power system only experienced a partial system disturbance, although, it did not disclose the nature of disturbance.

According to a statement from the media adviser to the chairman of PTFP, Mr. Ikeogu Oke, in Abuja, the government admitted that there was a system disturbance which occurred on September 7, 2012 but that it was only temporary and was quickly taken care of to forestall further damage.

He added that the country retained a peak generation of 4,077MW on the same day.

Oke equally stated that there is no vacuum of capable leadership in the Ministry of Power or its complementary PTFP.

Meanwhile, the government has restated its commitment to the successful implementation of the power sector reforms towards achieving improved electricity supply in the country.

Speaking in Lagos Tuesday at the inauguration of the Ikeja Forum for Electricity Consumers, the Minister of State for Power, Mr.Darius Ishaku, stated that the main agenda of the power reform was to provide adequate, reliable and affordable power supply to Nigerians.

He noted that the success recorded so far in power generation was beyond the contribution of any individual and assured that the Federal Government would build on the improvement recorded in electricity supply.

According to him, electricity supply across the country hovers around 4,300megawatts.

On the £2million pension fund of the workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), discovered to have been lodged in Barclays Bank for about 21 years, the minister said the discovery would boost the ongoing negotiation between the workers and the Federal Government.

The minister stated that the Ikeja Forum would help to curb litigations in the power sector and advised consumers to make use of the forum before resorting to other more complicated and more expensive mechanisms of conflict resolutions.

Lagos State Governor Raji Fashola said he supported the intent of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 but added that there were modifications he would have suggested.

He stated that the establishment of a customer forum was the most important provision of the Act.

Fashola noted that power supply was the gateway for the country’s journey from poverty to prosperity.

“The importance of power supply underscores our creation of the Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources for the first time in the State’s 45-year history,” he said.

 

Inter-Party Advisory Council urges INEC to stand firm on discipline

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been advised to take a firm stance on the activities of the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria for the political development of Nigeria.

Speaking at a meeting in Abuja, some members of the council said the electoral body should intervene to stop the council from drifting into a crisis.

They said the need to ensure that political parties in the country have a united front that will aid the peaceful conduct of elections in the country is more important than ever before.

Polio Eradication: Expert scores Nigeria low on fighting scourge

The global Polio Eradication Initiative at the World Health Organisation says Nigeria is not on track to achieve eradication of polio despite the adequate tools and capacity to reverse the rising trends.

An official of the global body, Doctor Bruce Aylward made the observation at the expert review committee meeting on polio eradication and routine immunization in Abuja.

Doctor Alyward said if a country such as India is able to implement basic workable strategies towards total eradication, then Nigeria can achieve total eradication of the menace by 2013.