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Oshonaike Hints At Coaching After Retirement 

Legendary Nigeria women’s table tennis star Funke Oshonaike has hinted that she may become a coach when she retires, Completesports.com reports.

Oshonaike has been a household name when it comes to table tennis in Nigeria.

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She made her Olympic debut at the 1992 edition in Barcelona and has gone on to appear at six games.

The 44-year-old who is not featuring at the ITTF Africa Top16 but has been seen coaching compatriot Edem Offiong, revealed she is considering taking up coaching when she eventually call time on her career.

“I love to coach, I’m already doing so in Germany, it something I’d be considering after,” she was quoted on ITTF-Africa’s Twitter handle.

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Source: Complete Sports

Supreme court verdicts: APC slams PDP as unserious

The All Progressives Congress has swiftly scolded the Peoples Democratic Party over the latter’s call for a review by the Supreme Court of its judgments on the presidential election and election in four states of Katsina, Kano, Osun and Kaduna.

The APC said the PDP’s call has exposed the leading opposition party as a joke in Nigeria’s political space.

“Never in the history of our democratic journey has a political party made mockery of what a responsible opposition politics entails. The PDP’s call has once again, reinforced our party’s belief that the PDP has become a clog in the wheels of our country’s political evolution.

“For the All Progressives Congress (APC), PDP’s latest antics is no surprise. Nigerians would recall that we have consistently reiterated that the opposition party, having been overwhelmingly rejected at the polls in 2015 and 2019, has been exhibiting strange behaviours.

“We believe it has been difficult for some leaders of PDP to cope for so long outside of power. There is obviously a lot of idleness at the Wadata House Secretariat of PDP.

Source: PM News

Jungle justice: Female native doctor, three others burnt to death

By Jethro lbileke

Angry residents of Otuo, an agrarian community in Owan East local Government Area of Edo State on Monday murdered and set ablaze four persons for alleged ritual.

Three of the victims were fingered in the death of 17-year-old Ohiole Glory, who was a student of Azama College, Otuo, while the fourth person was said to be notorious kidnapper and armed robber, simply identified as Lukman.

It was gathered that the girl, who hailed from Ikhueran Quarters, Iyeu-Otuo, was expected to write her WAEC and NECO later this year.

Vital organs of the victim were removed when her body was discovered.

Besides the killing of the suspects, some buildings owned by families of the suspects were also razed.

Sources said the victim lived in the same compound with two of the suspects at Ikhueran Quarters Iyeu Otuo.

One version had it that she was lured into the room of one of the boys where she was killed and her vital organs removed.

The source said one of the suspects, popularly known as ‘No Fuck Up’ was nabbed through investigation and that he named his associates after severe beatings.

He was said to have been dragged to the Otuo Divisional Police Headquarters and killed in the presence of policemen and his corpse set ablaze.

A second suspect was allegedly caught few hours later and he was set ablaze.

It was gathered that the third suspect was later nabbed and after interrogation, he said they were sent by a female native doctor from Kogi State.

He reportedly told them she was supposed to use the human parts severed from the victim to perform ritual for them.

She was picked up at her residence, killed and set ablaze.

The State Police Commissioner, Lawan Jimeta, who confirmed the report, said he has been briefed by the Divisional Police Officer.

Source: PM News

Tanzanian reporter freed after pleading guilty to economic crimes

Amnesty International said Kabendera’s plea came from ‘desperation’, possibly linked to poor health [Reuters]

A prominent Tanzanian journalist arrested in July 2019 has been released after pleading guilty of tax evasion and money laundering in a case seen by critics as politically motivated. 

“Finally, I’ve got my freedom. It’s quite unexpected that I would be out this soon. I’m really grateful to everybody who played their role,” the 39-year-old investigative reporter, Erick Kabendera, said outside the court on Monday.

In the charge sheet, prosecutors said Kabendera had registered two companies with his wife who was not arrested or charged. The companies were used as “vehicles of money laundering” without proper returns being filed.


Although his lawyers originally rejected the charges, they said in October he was pursuing a plea bargain.

After plea bargaining, the count of organised crime was dropped and Kabendera pleaded guilty to money laundering and agreed to pay 100 million shillings ($43,309) in fines for it. He also pleaded guilty for failing to pay 173 million shillings ($74,924) in taxes and agreed to pay a fine of 250,000 shillings ($108) for the crime in addition to the actual taxes.

A third charge, of assisting a criminal racket, was dropped.

The reporter has written for international publications, including Britain’s The Guardian and The Times, and was known for pursuing politically sensitive investigations. 

An article last year, published by the East African newspaper, reported a rift in President John Magufuli’s government with the headline “No end in sight as Tanzania’s ruling party CCM goes for ‘dissenters'”. 

After his arrest, the United States and the United Kingdom called the affair “irregular” and in violation of Tanzania’s criminal procedures law. 

Magufuli, nicknamed “The Bulldozer”, has shut down newspapers, banned opposition rallies, switched off live broadcasts of parliamentary sessions and used the cybercrimes law to jail critics. 

Rights groups saw Kabendera’s case as part of a pattern of tighter control on the media since the 2015 election of Magufuli. 

International criticism

The UK-based rights group, Amnesty International, said Kabendera’s plea came from “desperation”, possibly linked to poor health. 

“While it is welcome news that Kabendera is out of prison … it is outrageous that he had to pay such a hefty fine to gain his freedom after having been unjustly jailed for exercising his right to freedom of expression.”

Jehanne Henry, Human Rights Watch‘s East Africa director, told Al Jazeera last year: “With elections around the corner, people don’t feel that they can comment honestly.” 

“Human rights activists are restrained from pushing for accountability for disappearances and other human rights abuses,” she added, referring to Tanzania’s polls scheduled for later in 2020

Held at the Segerea maximum security prison on the outskirts of the capital Dar es Salaam, the journalist had appeared in court more than 10 times, sometimes appearing frail. 

Source: Aljazeera

Have Iranians lost faith in politics?

Hardliners are set for sweeping gains in Iran‘s parliamentary elections, but they seem to have less popular support. 

Voter turnout in Friday’s polls was the lowest since the 1979 revolution.

That’s despite Iran’s supreme leader urging people to cast their ballots as a religious duty, to show resistance in the face of US sanctions.

Now conservatives are expected to have the upper hand in the parliament. And reformists, who had pushed for greater engagement with the West, have been weakened.

Some say many Iranians are unhappy with their government, and felt discouraged from voting.

With more than 7,000 potential candidates disqualified, voters’ options were limited.

So, how will Tehran deal with what seems to be growing public discontent?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Mostafa Khoshcheshm – Editor-in-chief of Fars News Agency

Arron Merat – Iran analyst and former Tehran correspondent for The Economist

Mahjoob Zweiri – Director of Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University

Source: Aljazeera

WHO raises alarm as virus spreads in parts of Middle East, Europe

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the coronavirus outbreak has not reached the level of a pandemic but warned countries to step up preparations to deal with such a scenario, as new deaths and infections were reported in the Middle East and Europe.

While the global health agency is very concerned about the spread of the virus within countries such as South Korea, Iran and Italy, its chief said on Monday the infections in China – the country where it originated late last year – have been declining since early February, which proved that the virus can be contained.


“For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this coronavirus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.

He added, however, that countries should be “doing everything we can to prepare for a potential pandemic.

“What we see are epidemics in different parts of the world affecting countries in different ways and requiring a tailored response.”

The WHO chief’s comments came as officials in Europe and the Middle East scramble to limit the spread of the outbreak and stock markets dipped on fears of a global slowdown due to the spread of the virus, officially known as COVID-19.

In Italy, where there have been more than 200 infections and seven deaths, authorities have set up roadblocks, called off football matches, sealed off the worst-affected towns and banned public gatherings across a wide area.

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from central Milan in northern Italy, said there appeared to be a sense of alarm but not panic.

“People are taking precautions … but they are still out and about,” he said. “All that being said though, people are concerned because there were just a handful of cases last week and in the past few days they have spiked.”

In Iran, the government said 12 people had died nationwide, while five neighbouring countries – Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Afghanistan – reported their first cases of the virus, with those infected all having links to Iran. A WHO team is due to arrive in Iran on Tuesday.

South Korea, meanwhile, reported 231 new cases, taking its total to 833. Many are in its fourth-largest city, Daegu, which became more isolated with Asiana Airlines and Korean Air suspending flights there until next month. Mongolia earlier announced it would not allow flights from South Korea to land.

‘World in Wuhan’s debt’

Officially known as COVID-19, the virus has so spread to almost 30 countries and killed about two dozen people. In China, it has infected some 77,000 people and killed more than 2,500, most of them in the central province of Hubei.

Beijing postponed the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress – due to start on March 5 – for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus outbreak, state broadcaster CCTV said on Monday.

“So far, no new date has been set,” Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu, reporting from Beijing, said.

“But analysts say when the meeting is rescheduled, that will be the biggest indicator that the country has finally won its so-called war against the coronavirus outbreak.”

Yu said 24 of China’s 31 provinces reported no new cases in the past 24 hours, while a visiting WHO team noted that a turning point had been reached in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak and the capital of Hubei.

“They’re at a point now where the number of cured people coming out of hospitals each day is much more than the sick going in,” Bruce Aylward, head of the WHO delegation in China, said in Beijing.

He added that China’s actions, especially in Wuhan, had probably prevented hundreds of thousands of cases and urged the rest of the world to learn the lesson of acting fast.

“The world is in your debt,” Aylward said, referring to the people of Wuhan. “The people of that city have gone through an extraordinary period and they’re still going through it.”

Meanwhile, the virus is taking an increasingly heavy toll on the global economy, with many factories in China closed or subdued due to the quarantines.

The surge of cases outside mainland China triggered sharp falls in global share markets as investors fled to safe havens. European share markets suffered their biggest slump since mid-2016, gold soared to a seven-year high, oil tumbled nearly 5 percent and the Korean won fell to its lowest level since August.

Wall Street dived around 3 percent after it opened as the ugly sell-off spread. Italian shares tumbled nearly 5 percent.

Source: Aljazeera