President Muhammadu Buhari is set to travel to the United Kingdom on Monday, said his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
Adesina, in a statement, explained that the President would embark on the trip to participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025.
After the event, he disclosed that the President would spend a few days in the United Kingdom for an earlier scheduled medical check-up.
The summit will be co-hosted by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta.
It is expected to bring together Heads of State and Government, as well as stakeholders and youth leaders, and provide a platform for partners to chart a way forward towards transforming education systems in partner countries, through the exchange of best practices.
According to Adesina, the event will also offer the opportunity for leaders to make five-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories.
“Deliberations at the summit will focus on: The Power of Education – A Conversation between Global Champions; Transforming Education for Girls; Financing for Impact and Recovery and; What Now? Priorities for Transforming Education in the Coming Five Years, among others,” he said.
The presidential aide added that President Buhari would hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Johnson.
He noted that the President would return to the country by the second week of August, although no specific date was given.
President Buhari, according to Adesina, will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.
Others are the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will undertake “only essential government business” in the week ahead after the state health service designated him a close contact of a person infected with Covid, Downing Street said Sunday.
Johnson and finance minister Rishi Sunak were both designated but are taking part in a government pilot scheme that enables them to continue working, a spokesperson said.
The development came just as Johnson’s government prepares to ditch most pandemic restrictions in England on Monday. The pilot mandates daily testing for participants and outside of work, they must self-isolate.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed on Saturday he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was now self-isolating for 10 days.
“The prime minister and chancellor have been contacted by NHS (National Health Service) Test and Trace as contacts of someone who has tested positive for Covid,” the Downing Street spokesperson said.
“They will be participating in the daily contact testing pilot to allow them to continue to work from Downing Street.
“They will be conducting only essential government business during this period.”
Javid had a “lengthy” meeting with Johnson on Friday, according to the Sunday Times. The prime minister nearly died of Covid last year.
Javid also appeared alongside ministers in parliament last week, and one government source told The Telegraph newspaper: “I don’t see how half the cabinet doesn’t end up in isolation by the end of the week.”
Javid has only been in the job since late June, when former health secretary Matt Hancock resigned following revelations he had broken coronavirus restrictions during an affair with a close aide.
Jonathan Ashworth, the main opposition Labour party’s health spokesman, accused the government of double standards after millions of schoolchildren and workers were forced to stay home under Covid tracing rules.
The pilot’s exemption amounts to “an exclusive rule for Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak”, he told Sky News, and the public will see “one rule for them and something else for the rest of us”.
Javid stressed he has received both doses of a Covid vaccine and his symptoms were “very mild”. He said any member of the public feeling symptoms should get a test too.
“If everyone plays their part, you’re not only protecting yourself and your loved ones, but you’re also safeguarding the NHS and helping to preserve our way of life,” the minister said.
However, with coronavirus cases again surging, many scientists say the government is endangering the NHS with its plan on Monday to scrap most legal pandemic requirements in England.
For the first time since January, Britain’s daily Covid caseload now exceeds 50,000, and Javid has warned the figure could double from that in the coming weeks.
But the government insists that with two-thirds of the adult population now fully vaccinated, the risk can be managed, and Monday has been dubbed “freedom day” by many UK media.
Munira Wilson, health spokeswoman for the opposition Liberal Democrats, said Javid’s test result “shows no one is safe from this deadly virus”.
Urging the government “to rethink its reckless plans for Monday”, she said: “By easing all restrictions with cases surging, they are experimenting with people’s lives.”
The surge in infections sweeping Britain led to more than 530,000 people being instructed to self-isolate by a government-run app in the week to July 7, according to latest data.
Some companies such as carmaker Nissan have been losing staff en masse after they were pinged by the app — in a brewing crisis described by UK newspapers as a “pingdemic”.
Staff shortages caused by the isolation rules disrupted the London Underground network on Saturday, with one line suspended entirely.
Novak Djokovic won a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title and sixth Wimbledon on Sunday with a four-set victory over Italian slugger Matteo Berrettini with rival superstar Roger Federer hailing the achievement as a “wonderful performance”.
The world number one triumphed 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to move level on 20 majors with Federer and Rafael Nadal.
His win also put him three-quarters of the way to the first calendar Grand Slam of all four majors since 1969.
“I could definitely envisage that happening and I hope I will give it a shot. I’m in great form and played well and having my best form at Grand Slams is my number one priority,” said Djokovic.
A sixth victory at the All England Club for Djokovic, who was playing in his 30th final at the Slams, added to his nine Australian Opens, two Roland Garros titles as well as three at the US Open.
Should he win a fourth title in New York in September, he will become just the third man in history after Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) to complete the calendar Grand Slam.
“It was more than a battle. He is a true Italian hammer I felt it on my skin,” said Djokovic of Berrettini.
Of sharing the record with Federer and Nadal, he said: “It means none of us three will stop. Roger and Rafa are legends, they are the reason I am where I am today.
“They showed me what I needed to do to get stronger, physically, tactically and mentally. Over the last 10 years it has been an incredible journey that’s not stopping here.”
Federer — who bowed out in the quarter-finals while Nadal did not play — tweeted his congratulations.
“Congrats Novak on your 20th major,” said Federer, an eight-time champion at Wimbledon.
“I’m proud to have the opportunity to play in a special era of tennis champions. Wonderful performance, well done.”
Djokovic also now has 85 career titles while he has become the first man to break the $150 million prize money barrier.
A gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics could give him the first ever Golden Grand Slam by a male player.
“Novak is a great champion, he is writing history on this court,” said Berrettini.
Djokovic overcame a nervy start to break for 3-1, which he stretched to 5-2.
He even had a set point in a marathon eighth game which the Italian saved after eight deuces.
Reinvigorated, he broke Djokovic when he served for the set and then dominated the tiebreaker which he sealed with his fourth ace of the contest.
The top seed stormed to a 5-1 lead in the second set on the back of a double break.
Berrettini, bidding to be Italy’s first men’s Grand Slam winner since Adriano Panatta at the 1976 French Open, clawed his way back to 4-5, saving three set points, but Djokovic this time served it out for a set apiece.
Djokovic struck first again for a 2-1 lead in the third set and fought off three break points in the sixth game, a show of defiance which brought watching Hollywood star Tom Cruise to his feet.
That was Berrettini’s last chance of the set as Djokovic served it out in the 10th game.
A weary Berrettini then served up a double fault on break point to hand Djokovic a 4-3 lead in the fourth set.
Djokovic kept coming, sprinting from the back of the court to pull off a wondrous pick-up and he held on for 5-3.
Berrettini, hoping to be Italy’s first singles champion at Wimbledon, saved two championship points in the eighth game.
But he was powerless on the third as Djokovic swept to his place in history.
“It is not the end, it is the beginning for me,” said Berrettini.
“Without my family, friends, and team all this would not have been possible so I just say Grazie Grazie.”
A British police officer on Friday pleaded guilty to the murder of a woman whose disappearance as she walked to her London home sparked outrage and a national debate about women’s safety.
Wayne Couzens, 48, who served in the Metropolitan Police’s elite diplomatic protection unit, had already admitted kidnapping Sarah Everard. On Friday he pleaded guilty to her murder via video link at London’s Old Bailey court.
Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, went missing while walking in Clapham, south London, during the evening of March 3.
Her disappearance led to vigils and protests and prompted the government to promise enhanced police patrols at night, as well as funding to make the streets safer for women.
Couzens was wearing khaki trousers and a blue sweatshirt as he appeared by video link from Belmarsh high-security prison in southwest London, bowing his head as he admitted to the killing.
He pleaded guilty last month to the charge of kidnapping Everard “unlawfully and by force or fraud” on March 3 and also to a second charge of rape between March 2 and 10.
Everard’s family sat in the court as Couzens entered his plea.
Everard had been visiting friends in the Clapham area and was returning to her home in nearby Brixton when she disappeared.
Her body was discovered a week later in woods some 80 kilometres (50 miles) away in Kent, southeast England.
The Metropolitan Police said that a post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as “compression of the neck”.
Couzens is due to be sentenced at the end of September.
London’s Heathrow airport said Wednesday it plans to offer fast-track lanes for fully-vaccinated arriving passengers, as the UK government winds down its pandemic curbs.
The government is expected Thursday to announce that travellers coming to England from “amber” countries — the middle ranking for Covid incidence, covering most of Europe — will no longer have to quarantine.
In advance, Heathrow said it was launching a pilot for passengers coming from selected destinations to enter an immigration fast track on arrival, after showing proof they have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.
“This pilot will allow us to show that pre-departure and arrival checks of vaccination status can be carried out safely at check-in, so that fully vaccinated passengers can avoid quarantine from July 19,” Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said.
July 19 is the government’s target date for lifting most pandemic restrictions in England, although many scientists are worried about the plan as infection rates soar from the more contagious Delta variant.
The government, however, says a successful mass vaccination programme has weakened the link connecting infections to hospitalisations and deaths.
More than 86 percent of adults in the UK have received at least one jab, and 64 percent are fully vaccinated, according to official data.
“The UK is already falling behind (the) US and EU, and a continued overly cautious approach towards international travel will further impact economic recovery and the 500,000 UK jobs that are at stake,” said Shai Weiss, chief executive of the airline Virgin Atlantic.
The Heathrow trial will initially cover passengers flying in on selected flights from Athens, Los Angeles, Montego Bay in Jamaica, and New York.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday said people in England who have been double-jabbed — as well as under-18s – will no longer have to self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19.
But the easing will only apply from August 16, almost a month after other controls are due to have ended, including the mandatory wearing of face masks in enclosed spaces.
The UK’s other nations — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — set their own health policy and are moving more slowly.
Appeal court judges in London on Tuesday overturned the convictions of three black men for attempting to rob a corrupt police officer nearly half a century ago.
The Court of Appeal cleared the trio following a referral by a criminal cases review commission, and comes just over a year after the acquittals of four men in a similar case.
The latest ruling is the third time convictions have been overturned based on the tarnished evidence of discredited British Transport Police officer Detective Sergeant Derek Ridgewell.
The three men — all aged between 17 and 20 at the time — and three friends were accused of trying to rob Ridgewell in 1972 on the London Underground while travelling from Stockwell station, south London.
All bar one of “The Stockwell Six” were convicted, largely on the word of the corrupt officer, who himself was jailed for seven years and died of a heart attack in prison in 1982.
At their trial, the accused told jurors that officers including Ridgewell, who had previously served in the South Rhodesian, now Zimbabwean, police force, had lied and subjected them to violence and threats.
“It is most unfortunate that it has taken nearly 50 years to rectify the injustice,” Julian Flaux, one of three judges to hear the case, said Tuesday.
The two remaining members of the Stockwell Six who were convicted have not yet been traced.
Lawyers for the men said it was “deeply troubling” it had taken so long for the convictions to be overturned, and said the transport police and the Home Office knew about Ridgewell in 1973.
Ridgewell, who led a so-called “mugging squad” tackling robberies on London’s transport network, was involved in a number of high-profile and controversial cases in the early 1970s.
One of the three, Cleveland Davidson, said outside court the decision was a “vindication”, and the original conviction had blighted his life for 50 years.
“It was a total stitch-up, it was a frame-up for nothing,” he said.
In December 2019, three members of the “Oval Four” — who were arrested at Oval underground station in 1972 and accused of stealing handbags — had their convictions overturned.
What a great season. I am grateful to be part of this incredible Team. I am grateful to be part of a wonderful club with special fans. Moments I’ll never forget Thank you @norwichcityfcpic.twitter.com/iQsNNlKkr6
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday travelled to London for a routine medical check-up.
He departed the Presidential Villa for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja at about 2:30pm after which he proceeded to the United Kingdom.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President is expected back in the country in the second week of April.
Before he embarked on the medical trip, President Buhari met with the service chiefs at the Council Chamber of the State House in Abuja.
At the meeting, he directed the service chiefs to identify the leaders of bandits and kidnappers and take them out to restore confidence in the areas affected.
He stated that the criminals would no longer dictate the tone of security in the country, adding that he was aware of plans by individuals who constitute themselves as authorities to undermine the efforts of the central government.
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, briefed reporters on issues discussed at the security meeting attended by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao.
Others at the meeting included the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari; and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
Highpoints of the President’s departure are captured in the pictures below:
London police said Saturday they had arrested dozens of people after thousands turned out in the British capital to protest against ongoing coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
The Metropolitan Police Service said it had made 33 arrests by early evening, most for breaching months-old virus regulations that outlaw leaving home except for a limited number of reasons.
Several thousand people were estimated to have gathered for the demonstrations, which began Saturday lunchtime at Hyde Park.
After the crowd marched through central London, a group of around 100 returned to the park and there were reports of scuffles and of the contingent throwing bottles and cans at officers.
“Our officers are continuing to engage with people attending the ongoing protests in Central London,” the force had said earlier on Twitter.
“Those gathering in crowds are being encouraged to disperse and go home.
“Officers will take enforcement action where necessary. This could be a fixed penalty notice, or arrest.”
England’s Covid-19 lockdown measures have been in place since early January, when Britain saw a surge in infection rates, hospitalisations and deaths.
The situation has improved markedly since then, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month outlined a gradual easing of the restrictions, with the stringent stay-at-home order set to end later this month.
Anti-lockdown demonstrations numbering hundreds or even several thousand people have occurred regularly during the pandemic, often resulting in a small number of arrests.
However, the police response to Saturday’s protests was under particular scrutiny in light of the outrage over the Met’s handling of a vigil last weekend for a woman who was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by a member of the same force.
On that occasion, police scuffled with the predominantly female crowd of several hundred and physically restrained demonstrators, arresting four people.
Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, who faced calls to resign in the aftermath, agreed to both internal and independent reviews into how officers responded.
The episode also sparked renewed debate about legal curbs on protests during the pandemic.
More than 60 lawmakers signed a letter Saturday, co-ordinated by rights groups Liberty and Big Brother Watch, warning that criminalising protest “is not acceptable and is arguably not lawful”.
Chelsea eased into the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday with a 3-0 aggregate victory over Atletico Madrid, as Hakim Ziyech and Emerson Palmieri goals secured a last 16, second leg win at Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel said “super hungry” Chelsea have their sights set on reaching the Champions League final after Hakim Ziyech ended his goal drought to inspire a 2-0 win against Atletico Madrid in the last-16 second leg on Wednesday.
Morocco forward Ziyech grabbed his first goal since October to put the hosts ahead in the first half at Stamford Bridge.
Emerson came off the bench to score the late goal that sealed a comfortable 3-0 aggregate victory over the lacklustre La Liga leaders.
Adding to Atletico’s misery, Stefan Savic was sent off in the closing stages for elbowing Antonio Rudiger in the stomach.
While Chelsea were the superior side for long periods, Atletico could justifiably claim they should have had a penalty for Cesar Azpilicueta’s challenge on Yannick Carrasco when the score was still 0-0.
Tuchel admitted it could have been a penalty, saying: “Azpi got a bit frightened because his ball was short, I was a bit frightened as well.”
But Atletico boss Diego Simeone added: “We are not looking for excuses. We were beaten by a better team. We tried to press them up the field, but couldn’t attack the way we like.”
That was the only major scare for Chelsea as they extended their unbeaten run to 13 matches since Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January.
Tuchel boasts the longest ever unbeaten start by a Chelsea boss after moving past Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Revitalised by Tuchel, Chelsea have conceded just two goals in his brief reign and are on a run of six consecutive clean sheets in all competitions.
“A very good performance, unbelievable effort. I could feel we totally wanted it,” Tuchel said.
“We enjoyed the battle. The guys were totally on and sharp. We were super hungry to go through.”
Leading Chelsea into the last eight for the first time since 2014 is another feather in Tuchel’s cap as the German eyes a return to the Champions League final following his defeat with Paris Saint-Germain against Bayern Munich last season.
“They play with a special bond. Fixtures and results like this give you a certain edge to achieve special things. I’m pretty sure no-one wants to play against us,” Tuchel said.
“Quarter-final means there’s only four games (until the final). It’s a big step and feels excellent.”
Chelsea, Champions League winners for the only time in 2012, had been eliminated in the first knockout stage in their last four appearances.
But they never looked in danger of losing the 1-0 lead given to them by Olivier Giroud’s overhead kick in the first leg in Bucharest.
– Azpilicueta escape –
Crucially, Azpilicueta escaped without punishment when the defender’s under-hit back-pass allowed Carrasco to nip ahead of him in the penalty area.
Azpilicueta responded with a panicked tug that sent Carrasco tumbling but Atletico’s penalty appeal was controversially rejected by referee Daniele Orsato, with VAR bizarrely opting not to intervene.
Simeone’s anger only increased as Chelsea made the most of their good fortune to take the lead in the 34th minute.
Timo Werner now has just two goals in his last 27 appearances for Chelsea.
But Tuchel backed Werner to come good this week and the Germany forward repaid his manager’s faith with a strong performance capped by the key contribution to Ziyech’s opener.
Breaking at pace after Werner blocked Kieran Trippier’s cross, Kai Havertz fed his team-mate on the left flank.
Werner accelerated away from the out-of-position Atletico defence before clipping a perfectly-weighted pass into Ziyech’s path.
Unmarked 10 yards from goal, Ziyech finished Chelsea’s thrust with a clinical strike.
Savic’s frustration boiled over in the 81st minute as he was dismissed for a needless elbow that drew a theatrical fall from Rudiger.
With Chelsea’s injured defender Thiago Silva roaring on Emerson from the stands, the left-back blasted home from Christian Pulisic’s pass in stoppage-time, sparking a wild celebration that encapsulated the feel-good factor fuelling the Blues at present.
Arsenal came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 for a first north London derby win in three years, as Kelechi Iheanacho’s hat-trick moved Leicester into second in the Premier League with a 5-0 thrashing of managerless Sheffield United on Sunday.
Spurs also lost Son Heung-min to a hamstring injury on a costly afternoon for their hopes of a top-four finish, but Jose Mourinho’s men did not deserve anything more for an overly conservative approach at the Emirates.
Arsenal’s afternoon did not start well with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped to the bench for a breach of discipline, reportedly after turning up late for the squad’s pre-match meeting.
Mikel Arteta’s men did not miss their skipper as they dominated early on with Emile Smith Rowe’s effort crashing back off the crossbar.
Erik Lamela was introduced to replace Son early on and the Argentine opened the scoring in sensational style as he wrapped his left foot around his right to fire into the bottom corner with a ‘Rabona’ finish.
Cedric Soares hit the post as Arsenal almost hit back immediately and the hosts finally got their reward just before half-time when Martin Odegaard’s shot deflected in off Toby Alderweireld for his first Premier League goal.
Alexandre Lacazette captained the Gunners in Aubameyang’s absence and also took the Gabon international’s duties from the penalty spot after the French striker was brought down by Davinson Sanchez inside the area.
Lacazette sent his international teammate Hugo Lloris the wrong way from the spot to claim a much-needed win to keep Arsenal’s slim hopes of finishing in the top four alive.
Arteta’s side are now 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand, while Spurs remain six points behind the Blues in seventh.
Lamela turned from hero to villain with two unneccessary yellow cards to be given his marching orders 15 minutes from time.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, though, Tottenham’s best spell came with 10 men as Harry Kane had a goal ruled out for offside before the England captain hit the post, and Sanchez’s follow-up effort was cleared off the line by Gabriel Magalhaes.
Foxes on the hunt
Leicester showed no mercy to bottom-of-the-table United in the visitors’ first match since Chris Wilder’s departure on Saturday.
Wilder, who led United from third-tier League One to the Premier League, left by mutual consent after several days of speculation about his future.
The Blades, managed by interim boss Paul Heckingbottom, look destined for relegation, 14 points from safety with only nine games left.
Nigerian striker Iheanacho opened the floodgates in the 38th minute at the King Power Stadium with a close-range finish from Jamie Vardy’s pass after a flowing move.
Iheanacho’s third goal in his last three games was followed by Ayoze Perez’s fine strike from the edge of the area in the 64th minute.
Vardy was the provider again for Iheanacho’s second before the former Manchester City man completed his treble with a 25-yard blast past Aaron Ramsdale.
Ethan Ampadu’s own goal from Vardy’s effort in the 80th minute sealed the rout for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Manchester United can move back into second when they host Champions League-chasing West Ham later at Old Trafford.
In the battle to beat the drop, Brighton edged three points clear of third-bottom Fulham with a game in hand by winning a frenetic south-coast derby 2-1 over Southampton.
Brighton took the lead through captain Lewis Dunk in the 16th minute.
Southampton drew level in the 27th minute when Dunk could only help Ryan Bertrand’s header into the path of Che Adams, who volleyed home at the far post.
But Brighton went back in front in the 56th minute as Leandro Trossard produced a fine finish from Danny Welbeck’s lay-off.