35 Killed In Clashes In Sudan’s Darfur

West Darfur State is one of the states of Sudan, and one of five comprising the Darfur region.
West Darfur State is one of the states of Sudan, and one of five comprising the Darfur region.

 

At least 35 people have been killed in days of fighting between herders in Sudan’s western Darfur region with more than a thousand homes set on fire, officials said Thursday.

The violence broke out on November 17 between armed Arab herders in the rugged Jebel Moon mountains close to the border with Chad, said Omar Abdelkarim, Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commissioner in West Darfur state.

“The clashes left more than 35 people dead on both sides,” he told AFP. “Around 16 villages have been completely burned down”.

West Darfur governor Khamis Abdallah said the violence was sparked by “a dispute over camel looting”, and that “military reinforcements have been sent to the area and the situation has stabilised.”

Some people have fled west seeking safety across the border to Chad, he added.

Darfur was ravaged by a civil war that erupted in 2003, that pitted ethnic minority rebels complaining of discrimination against the Arab-dominated government of Omar al-Bashir.

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More than 300,000 people died and 2.5 million were displaced, according to the United Nations.

Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court to face charges of genocide in Darfur, was ousted and jailed in April 2019 following mass protests against his three-decade rule.

While the main conflict in Darfur has subsided, with a peace deal struck with key rebel groups last year, the arid region has remained awash with weapons and violence often erupts over land, access to agriculture, or water.

A UN peacekeeping mission wound up in the Darfur last year.

The latest clashes come against a backdrop of political turbulence, as Sudan reels from the aftermath of a military coup last month that drew wide international condemnation and sparked mass protests.

On October 25, top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan overthrew the country’s post-Bashir transitional government and detained the civilian leadership.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was freed from effective house arrest and reinstated, after signing a deal with Burhan that was viewed by critics as “whitewashing” the coup.

AFP

Fight Breaks Out At Reps As Lawmakers Debate Electronic Transmission Of Results

 

A fight broke out today at the House of Representatives, as lawmakers debated over the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, with a major focus on section 52(3) which deals with electronic transmission of poll results.

The new amendment provides that INEC may consider electronic transmission so far as the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.

All initially seemed well as plenary got underway with deliberations on the matter, however, things began to fall apart after lawmakers voted orally, and Deputy Speaker Idris Wase clanged the gavel ruling against electronic transmission of results despite a resounding chorus in support of E-Transmission.

The House became rowdy as many congressmen frowned at the Deputy Speaker’s action, with some asking that a clear line of demarcation be drawn.

READ ALSO: Senate Approves Conditional Electronic Transmission Of Electoral Results

When the House eventually came to order, deliberations continued on the subject and the lawmakers resolved to vote again regarding the matter.

Another round of votes held and again the Deputy Speaker, despite a resounding vote in favour of an amendment for manual and electronic transmission of results, ruled against the ayes, sending the House into yet another frenzy.

This time it proved almost impossible for the House to be called to order, but decorum returned after a long while.

All was far from over after the House was brought to decorum a second time, even as a motion to suspend consideration and revert to plenary was moved, seconded, but kicked against by members of the Green Chamber.

Honourable Wase, the Deputy Speaker on Thursday clanged his gavel twice in favour of the nays, despite a resounding vote by the ayes in the House who were in support of transmuting electoral results electronically.
Honourable Wase, the Deputy Speaker on Thursday clanged his gavel twice in favour of the nays, despite a resounding vote by the ayes in the House who were in support of transmuting electoral results electronically.

 

The house eventually reverted to plenary but in reporting progress, the deputy speaker stated that the controversial clause 52 has been considered and approved, but some lawmakers insisted that this is not the case;  it was at this time that yet another heated round of arguments rocked the floor of the hallowed chamber with two lawmakers Ifeanyi Momah and Shehu Koko getting involved in a heated exchange.

Other lawmakers joined the fray while some other honourable colleagues went a great length to restrain those gunning for each other’s necks. This forced the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila to take back his seat as chair of the House and moved that the session be adjourned.

With the Speaker’s notion seconded, the session was adjourned till Friday 10am to commence from clause 52, with the INEC Chairman and his NCC counterpart in attendance.

Viral Video: LASTMA To Investigate Officer Over Fight With Passenger

 

The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has summoned a female officer over an altercation she had with a passenger in a vehicle.

The officer was seen in a viral video, fighting with the passenger in the vehicle, as passersby tried to separate them.

 

 

According to the agency, the incident occurred at Ikeja on Friday and the officer acted out of line regardless of the circumstances.

She is, therefore, expected at its headquarters on Monday for investigation and disciplinary action.

“This video was forwarded to the management and the officer has been invited for investigation and disciplinary action for misrepresenting the agency. The incident occurred at Aromire junction off Awolowo Way, Ikeja yesterday, Friday, 11th September.

“She is considered to have overreacted, regardless of the circumstances. She is expected at the headquarters on Monday, 14th September,” LASTMA said.

Meanwhile, some Nigerians have called out the agency, saying that many of its officers need to undergo a proper re-orientation as such incidents have become a regular occurrence.

 

Joshua’s Heavyweight Title Defence Postponed Over Coronavirus

File Photo: British boxer Anthony Joshua speaks during the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 09, 2020.  Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP

 

Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev has been officially postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, promoters Matchroom Sport announced Friday.

The British champion was due to put his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts up for grabs against Bulgarian challenger Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on June 20.

But the global spread of COVID-19 has put paid to a bout on that date.

“Anthony Joshua’s defence of his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight world titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev scheduled to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, June 20 has been postponed,” said a Matchroom statement.

“A new date for the event promoted by Matchroom Boxing and 258 Management in association with Top Rank and Epic Sports Entertainment is currently being worked on.

“We will announce any updates in due course and continue to explore the possibility of hosting this fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.”

This is the second time Pulev has missed out on the chance to face Joshua after a shoulder injury forced him out of a world title bout in October 2017.

– Fury Preference –

Earlier on Friday, Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, said his champion’s lone contest of 2020 might be with Tyson Fury in a world unification bout if the spread of COVID-19 means he only has time for one bout this year.

A clash with compatriot Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion would be one of the most eagerly anticipated contests in British boxing history.

Hearn, while open to the possibility of the Pulev fight being postponed until the end of July warned any further delay could see a change of plan.

“If it starts kicking on beyond that, you get to a situation where if Joshua is only going to box once this year he’d like it to be against Tyson Fury,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

Fury is expected to complete his trilogy with Deontay Wilder later in 2020, having dethroned the American in February, but Hearn is hopeful some negotiations could be possible.

“The situation is a little bit out of our hands,” he said. “If Bob Arum and Al Haymon (Fury and Wilder’s promoters) can talk and make Deontay Wilder wait a little bit we would love to go into that fight next.

“We are contractually bound to face Pulev who is with Bob Arum and there is a deal to be done. A lot depends on Deontay Wilder.”

Joshua suffered a shock seventh-round defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June last year that saw him relinquish several world titles.

But his last bout saw the 30-year-old Joshua avenge that loss and regain his belts with a victory over Ruiz in Saudi Arabia in December.

Mayweather Cancels Japan Kickboxing Fight

This handout photograph taken by Rizin Fighting Federation on November 5, 2018 shows US boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (C) posing during a press conference in Tokyo to announce his fight with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa. Handout / RIZIN FIGHTING FEDERATION / AFP

 

Boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather on Wednesday scrapped a planned fight with a Japanese kickboxer, claiming he had been duped into agreeing to the contest.

In a lengthy statement posted on social media, Mayweather said he had been “blindsided” by organizers of the proposed bout against Tenshin Nasukawa, set for New Year’s Eve in Saitama.

“I want it to be clear that I, Floyd Mayweather, never agreed to an official bout with Tenshin Nasukawa,” Mayweather wrote on Instagram.

The 41-year-old retired welterweight champion said he had travelled to Japan last week to discuss participating in a private bout against Nasukawa for a “small group of wealthy spectators for a very large fee.”

“This exhibition was previously arranged as a ‘Special Bout’ purely for entertainment purposes with no intentions of being represented as an official fight nor televised worldwide,” Mayweather wrote.

Soon after arriving at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday, Mayweather said he and his team “were completely derailed by the new direction this event was going.”

“We should have put a stop to it immediately,” Mayweather wrote.

“I want to sincerely apologize to my fans for the very misleading information that was announced during this press conference.

“I can assure you that I too was completely blindsided by the arrangements that were being made without my consent or approval.”

In Tokyo on Monday, Mayweather had vowed to give “blood, sweat and tears” in the fight against Nasukawa.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to go outside out of the US and display my talent. The world has never seen Mayweather compete live in (Japan),” Mayweather told reporters at the press conference, framing the fight as an expansion of his businesses to the Far East.

Mayweather has not fought since his money-spinning boxing showdown with mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in Las Vegas in 2017. Mayweather returned to retirement following that bout with a perfect 50-0 unbeaten record.

However, the American has repeatedly hinted at coming out of retirement since that fight, most recently teasing a possible rematch against Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao.

Nasukawa, 20, meanwhile, had told reporters on Monday it had been an “easy decision” to agree to fight Mayweather.

“It was a surprise offer but I accepted without hesitation,” said Nasukawa.

“I don’t care what the rules are. I want to be the man who changes history. I’ll do that with these fists, with one punch — just watch.”

Mayweather said he had been reluctant to speak out at Monday’s press conference because he did not want “to create a huge disturbance by combating what was being said.”

“I am a retired boxer that earns an unprecedented amount of money, globally, for appearances, speaking engagements and occasional small exhibitions,” he said.

US-based pundits however poured scorn on Mayweather’s stated reasons for the U-turn.

Yahoo Sports combat sports columnist Kevin Iole greeted Mayweather’s volte-face with scepticism.

“Mayweather is hardly a shrinking violet and he has never — ever — failed to speak up on his own behalf since he became a professional boxer,” Iole wrote. “One would have to be a fool to believe this.”

AFP

Google Boosts Fight Against Piracy

 

Google said Wednesday it is making strides in helping internet users legitimately get songs, films and apps while choking off revenue to websites with stolen digital content.

A 64-page report released by Google claimed progress in the war on piracy, but also noted a new battlefront in the form of “add-on” software that can be installed on legitimate open-source media players such as the Kodi box to illicitly stream copyrighted content.

“Combating illegal streaming on open-source media players like the Kodi box shows both the challenge and the importance of a balanced approach in the fight against piracy,” Google said in the report.

“Pirates have created add-ons to enable Kodi boxes to access infringing works.”

Set-top boxes with suspicious add-ons are removed from Google Shopping, while apps with pre-installed “Kodi add-ons” giving access to pirate sites are removed from the Play Store, according to the internet firm.

The report cited a 2018 global study released by The Institute for Information Law that found the percentage of internet users who engage in piracy has been falling, while spending on legal content is rising.

“Successfully decreasing incidents of copyright infringement has required providing more and better legitimate alternatives to infringing content, as well as more effective tools for combating piracy,” Google said.

Google boasted that it has been generating more money for those who create or own digital content while strengthening its arsenal and efforts to fight piracy.

A YouTube “Content ID” tool creates digital fingerprints of sorts of copyrighted content and then automatically detects it online, allowing owners to have it removed or monetized.

Stopping ‘rogue’ operators 

Websites involved in piracy are “demoted” in search results and cut off from Google’s online ad platform, according to the report.

“One of the most effective ways to combat rogue sites that specialize in online piracy is to cut off their money supply,” Google said.

Since 2012, Google has terminated more than 13,000 AdSense accounts and ejected more than 100,000 sites from its AdSense program for violations of policy on copyrighted material, according to the report.

Meanwhile, a “Google Play” online shop for digital content bans apps that “infringe copyright, encourage illegal streaming, or attempt to deceive users by impersonating other apps.”

Google also told of taking aim at copyright-infringing ads with “considerable” resources. The California-based tech giant said that last year it rejected more than 10 million ads suspected of infringing copyrights or linking to websites that did.

According to the report, Google-owned YouTube paid more than $1.8 billion to the music industry from October 2017 to September 2018.

Digital video revenues are expected to soar from $64 billion last year to $119 billion by the year 2022, while global music streaming revenues more than doubled from 2015 to 2017, according to the report.

AFP

Pacquiao To Regain Title After Matthysse’s Fight

Philippines’ Manny Pacquiao (L) and Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse pose for pictures after the weigh-in event in Kuala Lumpur on July 14, 2018, ahead of their world welterweight boxing championship bout on July 15. Mohd RASFAN / AFP

 

Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao weighed in Saturday comfortably under the 147-pound (67-kilogramme) limit and said he was “ready” to win back the welterweight belt against WBA champion Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.

Pacquiao, the only man to have won world titles in eight weight divisions in a glittering 23-year career, tipped the scales at 146 pounds.

“I am ready. Everything is under control,” said the 39-year-old Pacquiao. “I am motivated, I am happy and I am hungry.”

The heavily tattooed Matthysse played up his one-inch height advantage by looking down on Pacquiao as the two came face-to-face for the last time before Sunday’s 12-round showdown in Kuala Lumpur.

“I am feeling good,” Matthysse told AFP as he was about to demolish a fruit platter for his post-weigh-in meal after coming in the heavier man, just under the limit at 146.7 pounds.

“I made the weight, I’m ready to eat and I’m ready for the battle tomorrow.”

The weigh-in was held in mildly chaotic scenes at a packed auditorium in the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Hundreds of mainly Filipino fans pushed forward to get a glimpse of the fighters as they left prompting fears the stage might collapse under their weight before order was restored.

Pacquiao is challenging “The Machine” Matthysse for the World Boxing Association welterweight belt at the Axiata Arena on Sunday, knowing defeat could lower the curtain on one of the greatest careers in boxing history.

Pacquiao faced calls to retire from friends, family and even his Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach when he lost the WBO belt to journeyman Australian Jeff Horn a year ago.

Roach has been replaced for the fight by Pacquiao’s long-term friend and cornerman Buboy Fernandez and another defeat could see the veteran “National Fist” hang up his gloves for good.

But victory for Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) would see him become a five-time welterweight world champion and extend his legendary status and his life in the ring beyond his 40th birthday in December.

Pacquiao is going for his 60th victory since turning pro in 1995, but despite winning 38 of his first 47 fights by knockout, he has not stopped an opponent in nine years.

Knock-out specialist Matthysse has finished 36 of his 39 wins inside the distance and took the vacant WBA belt after an eighth-round stoppage of Thailand’s Teerachai Sithmorseng in January.

But the last time he faced an opponent of Pacquiao’s calibre he was knocked out in the 10th round by Ukrainian super lightweight world champion Viktor Postol in 2015.

Matthysse suffered a fractured left eye socket after taking a beating from Postol that put him out of boxing for 19 months and this is only his third fight since.

A strong undercard features three world title fights. The interim World Boxing Association featherweight belt is on the line when Mexico’s Edivaldo Ortega (26-1-1, 16 KOs) fights unbeaten and highly rated Filipino prospect Jhack Tepora (21-0, 16 KOs).

Vastly experienced South African Moruti “Baby Face” Mthalane (35-2, 24 KOs) defends his International Boxing Federation flyweight title against the unbeaten Pakistani Muhammad Waseem (8-0, 6 KOs).

Carlos Canizares of Venezuela (20-0-1, 16 KOs) puts his WBA light flyweight title and unbeaten record on the line against Chinese rookie Lu Bin (1-0, 1 KO), who could become the first boxer in history to win a world title in his second professional fight.

AFP

Joshua and Parker set for world heavyweight title clash

(FILES) This file photo taken on October 28, 2017 shows Britain’s Anthony Joshua (L) throwing a punch at Cameroon-born Carlos Takam during their world Heavyweight title fight at The Principality Stadium in Cardiff. 
ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP

Heavyweight boxing moved closer to having an undisputed world champion after it was announced Sunday that Britain’s Anthony Joshua and New Zealand’s Joseph Parker will meet for a multiple title bout in Cardiff on March 31.

Joshua will put his World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation belts on the line against Parker, the World Boxing Organisation champion.

Matchroom Boxing, Joshua’s promoters, said the bout would take place at the 74,500 capacity Principality Stadium, best known for staging Wales rugby union internationals.

“I would like to announce the official news that myself and Joseph Parker will be fighting on March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff,” said Joshua.

“It is a unification heavyweight championship fight. We all know what happened last time I was in a unification heavyweight championship fight — it was gruelling, it was interesting and we both left the ring with masses of respect,” the 28-year-old added.

“These fights aren’t easy because there is a lot on the line, so respect to team Parker for taking the challenge. I am looking forward to it, training camp is under way and before you know it March 31 will be upon us.”

Joshua, the London 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight champion, unified the WBA and IBF titles with a dramatic and hard-fought win over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in April before retaining both belts against Carlos Takam in a late-stoppage win in Cardiff in October.

Parker, 26, became the WBO champion in December 2016.

He made his British debut last year with a majority points win over challenger Hughie Fury, a cousin of former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

Parker’s performance against Fury did not impress some ringside observers.

But Parker was adamant his punching power would test Joshua.

“Anthony Joshua is in for a huge shock,” he said. “A couple of months ago I heard him say ‘why should I be worried about this little kid from New Zealand’?

“Well, now he’s about to find out. And the world is about to find out whether AJ can really take a punch.

“My entire existence is now devoted to proving what the boxing world already knows.”

Sunday’s announcement concluded weeks of sometimes fraught talks between the two camps.

“I’m delighted to get this fight made –- it’s been a long time coming,” said Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.

“Champions should fight champions and AJ continues to step up to the challenges.”

 

AFP