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24 Jun 2018

Oshiomhole emerges APC chairman as Senator Melaye mocked his party and warn of looming crisis

The much awaited affirmation of the preferred candidate for the position of National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress held on Saturday.

Chairman of the APC National Convention Planning Committee, Abubakar Badaru, who presided over the convention, announced that Adams Oshiomhole was the only person contesting the position of national chairman.

He said, “Adams Oshiomhole has been returned unopposed for the position of national chairman, there will be no election. So, I will ask you if you affirm him as chairman, you answer ‘affirm’ or say  ‘aye’ when I ask for affirmation.”

Badaru then asked the delegates if they would affirm Oshiomhole as the party’s national chairman and they all chorused “affirmed.” He then announced the former Edo State Governor as returned unopposed.

None of Oshiomhole’s former opponents was sighted near the stage when Badaru made the announcement.

Three persons namely: Prof. Osareimen Osunbor, Clement Ebri and Ibrahim Emokpai, who earlier expressed interest in contesting against Oshiomhole, pulled out of the race before the convention.

Convention foundation shaky — Baraje

Leader of the New Peoples Democratic Party bloc within the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, has warned the APC leadership not to celebrate yet despite the fact that its convention went on successfully on Saturday.

Baraje, in a statement from his media office in Ilorin, said the foundation of the convention was already shaking.

He said the party was fully aware of many aggrieved party members and stakeholders.

Baraje noted that his group decided to attend the APC convention because his members wanted to demonstrate to the entire Nigerians, particularly their supporters, that they were still loyal to the party.

He said their attendance at the convention did not mean that all the group’s grievances stated in their letter had been addressed.

He lamented that the convention was held despite the fact that there were lawsuits in court against the party arising from parallel primaries in over 18 states of the federation.

He said, “We still believe that our loyalty should be demonstrated.

“That is why we attended the convention. The fact that we  attended the APC convention and the convention was progressing well, should not be mistaken for peace within the party.”

It’s beginning of party’s obituary — Melaye

The Lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye, on Saturday mocked his party, the All Progressives Congress, describing the national convention of the ruling party as a joke.

According to him in his posts on his Instagram page, the congress is the beginning of the “political obituary” of the party.

He also quoted from a song by the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, making a veiled reference to the APC as a bad party.

The posts read, “Happy to be away from the joke going on in Naija today (Saturday).

“Political obituary of APC activated. Egbekegbe na bad society…beast of no nation…egbekegbe…”

Melaye had recently relocated his seat from the APC section of the Senate chamber to that of the opposition and minority Peoples Democratic Party.

US First lady, Melania wears 'I really don't care do u?' jacket on migrant visit [See photos]

First lady Melania Trump took a trip to the US-Mexico border on Thursday to tour an immigrant children's shelter, but her trip is getting attention not only for her action, but also for her wardrobe choice before and after the journey.

As the first lady boarded her plane from Andrews Air Force Base, she wore an olive green jacket. The back of the jacket read: "I really don't care. Do u?" in white graffiti-style lettering. Trump was not wearing the jacket when she landed in McAllen, Texas. She re-donned the jacket and wore it when she deplaned back at Andrews Air Force Base despite the media storm that had erupted over her initial wearing.

The $39 jacket is last season Zara.

The Daily Mail first reported the jacket, which was spotted by the press traveling with the first lady but impossible to read without a long-range camera lens.

The first lady's team insisted that there was no hidden meaning behind the sartorial choice.
"It's a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today's important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn't going to choose to focus on her wardrobe," East Wing communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN in a statement.

Later, President Donald Trump said the jacket's message was a shot at the media.

"'I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?' written on the back of Melania's jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!" he tweeted.

But a Republican close to the White House sent along a note to say that this explanation of the coat is "revisionist history."

This Republican, who is supportive of Trump, but skeptical of some of what they consider to be the administration's ham-handedness, says there was an urgent meeting among communications staff about how to fix this after it was becoming a story.

It's unclear who, exactly, first had the idea to say her coat's message was directed at the media. But it quickly won approval in the West Wing and by the President.

This Republican is citing conversations with people in West Wing who "were proud of themselves" for coming up with the explanation. It is true that they knew the media would overplay it, so that's why they devised it.

But Trump's fashion has often played a leading role during her tenure as first lady.

The notoriously private former model is intentional about her wardrobe choices: the instantly-iconic white hat for the French state visit, her white suit at the State of the Union speech and the pussy bow blouse she donned after the "Access Hollywood" tape surfaced all sent a clear message.

When she travels abroad, she's careful to choose outfits that conspicuously reflect the country she is visiting, including a belted jumpsuit in Saudi Arabia, her colorful dresses in France and Italy, and her nod to an Asian influence in Japan, China and South Korea.

Forget Cristiano Ronaldo's statue, Birthday boy Lionel Messi has a life-size chocolate sculpture for his birthday [See photos]

With most statue-based football tales of late involving Cristiano Ronaldo, it only makes sense that Lionel Messi is next on the scene as World Cup fever hits Russia.

When Moscow confectioners found out Messi would be celebrating his birthday during the World Cup, they decided he needed a gift that measured up - a life-size chocolate sculpture in his likeness.
A team of five workers at Moscow's Altufyevo Confectionery worked for nearly a week to carve the sculpture in 60 kg (132 lbs) of chocolate to mark the Argentina forward's 31st birthday on Sunday.

"We found out by chance that it was Messi's birthday on June 24," said chief confectioner Daria Malkina.

"And we thought, 'why not make Leo a gift, a chocolate sculpture of himself'?"

Why not, indeed.

Malkina said she had been in touch with Messi's representatives about handing him the sculpture, which will be mounted on a birthday cake.

"We will give Lionel Messi to Lionel Messi," Malkina said, laughing.

The sculpture will also be put on display in Bronnitsy, a town located about 50 kilometres from Moscow that is Argentina's base during the month-long tournament.

Messi might need cheering up, having been criticised for his tepid performances at his fourth World Cup with Argentina facing the shocking prospect of exiting the tournament early unless remaining Group D results go their way.

WorldCup: Where were you when Toni Kroos scored his 95th-minute stunner? The world reacts to extraordinary goal

94:42 - Toni Kroos' strike is the latest goal Germany have ever scored in a World Cup match

That was mental by Kroos! THIS is why football is the most beautiful game evvvvvvverrr!!! #WorldCup

Kroos' last-minute heroics against Sweden stunned fans and kept Germany's World Cup hopes alive.











Saudi Arabia Women Have The Right To Now Drive As Government Lifts ban

Women in Saudi Arabia are celebrating a historic moment, as the country's government ends the ban on female drivers.

The decades-long ban ended at midnight in the kingdom (10pm UK time) and thousands of women were expected to get behind the wheel for the first time.
Tahani Desmani, a mother of five, had to be driven by her husband to meet Sky's Lisa Holland before taking the wheel herself and driving through the busy streets of the country's capital, Riyadh.

She told Sky News: "I'm really feeling so excited, super happy, overwhelmed with positive feelings and overjoyed.

"This means a lot for us as Saudi women."

Driving was not new to Tahani, as she studied in the US and drove cars there.

When asked if it had been frustrating having to return to the Saudi Arabian driving ban after finishing her study, she said: "We trust our government and we know the decision was postponed for our own sake.

"There are lots of protection measures taking effect now, for example anti-harassment.

"Driving our own cars gives us even more freedom, and a sense of independence and empowerment."

In September, King Salman announced by royal decree that the ban would be ending and the strict Muslim country issued the first driving licences to women earlier this month.

Special driving schools have been set up, car showrooms are heaving with prospective female buyers, and events are being held in Riyadh to encourage new drivers.

While axing the female driving ban is part of a liberalisation drive by the king's son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, there are also economic reasons behind it.

Since oil was discovered in the Arabian desert in 1938, Saudi Arabia's economy has relied on it.

The oil wealth funds heavy subsidies for Saudis on things like food without leaders imposing income or corporate tax, although a 5% VAT was brought in earlier this year.

As other countries begin to look away from oil and its price falters, however, the crown prince knows he has to look elsewhere to make sure his country can survive in the long-term future.

Suspected cultists breaks silence why they murdered Oriade, OOU student girlfriend

Two  self confessed members of  a  cult group, Aiye Confraternity, have narrated how they murdered one Oriade Adebisi, 22, and his girlfriend, Juliana Eke Imaga, both students of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye.

Murtala Babatunde, 29, and Taiwo Razaq, 18, arrested in connection with the murders, said they kidnapped the victims around Oru-Ijebu Junction on Lagos – Benin Expressway on Thursday, May 28.

A police report said the arrest of the suspects followed the information received, on June 3, from one Oriade Adeola Rafiu (a relation of one of the victims,  Oriade Adebisi).

Rafiu was quoted in the police report as saying that, on the fateful day,around 11 pm, Adebisi was driving in his Honda Crostour Car together with his girlfriend, Julian, at Oru-Ijebu after paying his friend ‘Akogun’ a visit.

“All of a sudden as he was driving towards Oru junction, three armed men emerged on a motorcycle and whisked away the said Oriade Adebisi and his friend together with the car to unknown destination”, the report said.
The suspects

“On the receipt of this complaint, operatives of the IGP-Intelligence Response Team (IRT), led by DCP Abba Kyari, in collaboration with Oyo State Federal SARS and Ogun State Police Command, swooped on the hoodlums and two of the principal suspects (Muritala Babatunde and Taiwo Rasak) were  arrested.

“An iPhone X with etisalat sim and two pairs of canvas shoes belonging to the deceased Oriade Adebisi were recovered from the first suspect (Muritala Babatunde)”.

The police report quoted one of the suspects, Babatunde, as saying he is  dropped out  of the university in Ago Iwoye where he was initiated into cultism called Black Axe Confraternity, popularly known as ‘AIYE’.

Describing the suspect as ‘Number One Aiye, Ijebu North Axis’, he was said to have had in his possession two locally made pistols which he and his gang members had allegedly been using to perpetrate their nefarious acts. “He added that, on  May 28, 2018, at about 2300hrs, having noticed the said Oriade Adebisi’s movement along Oru-Ijebu Junction, whom he had been nursing criminal intents against, he quickly called his gang members (Rasak Taiwo aka IKU and Sodiq) and the said Oriade Adebisi and his girlfriend were kidnapped in Adebisi car and taken to the bush along Ijebu-Ode Awa/Ibadan expressway where both of them were killed”, the report said. “He confessed further that before Oriade Adebisi was killed, he ordered him to deactivate his password on his iPhone and he took the iPhone and two pairs of shoes from him and thereafter abandoned the car at the expressway, having dumped the bodies of Adebisi and his girlfriend in a bush at the back of an uncompleted building where they were murdered. “He confessed that the late victim, whom he said was a Yahoo Boy, was giving money to a rival cult group and was not giving him money and had not recognized him as the overall cult leader in that area”. Rasaq, on his part, was said to have confessed that he was initiated into AIYE Confraternity in  2015. According to he police report, he went to stay with Babatunde (first suspect) at Oru-Ijebu. “He added that on May 28,  in the late hours of the night, Babatunde called him and one Sodiq (suspected cult member) to meet with him at Oru junction. “On their arrival, Babatunde Muritala told them that he wanted to kill Oriade Adebisi who had parted away with his money. “He confessed that Muritala then called his girlfriend Seun Yetunde who had been monitoring the said Oriade’s movement and she brought a bag that contained two guns and a cutlass. “That Muritala then gave him one of the guns; handled one and handed over the cutlass to Sodiq while waiting patiently for Oriade to come. “ A few minutes later, Oriade and his girlfriend arrived in a car. Suddenly, we based him down with the gun. “Muritala took over the steering having ordered the said Oriade and the girl to the backseat while himself and Sodiq were at the back seat with them and they drove off the junction. “He added that they took them to the bush along the expressway where they were killed with planks and gun”. The police report said the decomposing corpses of the  deceased were recovered on June 19, 2018 and deposited at the General Hospital’s morgue Ijebu Ode for autopsy. The car was also recovered and parked at Awa Division, Ogun State and the suspects guns were equally recovered.

Olofa of Offa, Oba Gbadamosi breaks silence speaks on Saraki’s link to Offa robbery

The Olofa of Offa in the Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State , Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, has spoken on the alleged involvement of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki in the recent bloodied robbery in the area.

Gbadamosi, who admitted in an interview with Punch that politicians sponsor thugs, however, said the Senate President may not have sent anyone to go and rob and kill people.

He said, “Do you expect somebody like Bukola to ask someone to carry a gun and kill the people he is ruling or steal their wealth?

“He has been giving us; we do not expect that he would go and rob Offa or ask some people to go and rob us. What will he gain from that?

Speaking on some of the arrested suspects who were seen at the wedding of Saraki ’s daughter, the monarch added, “You can see them at ( social ) venues . It is just like you sending someone with your car to go and get something from the market and he decides to use the car for another thing . Would that mean that you are the one that sent him to go and do that?

“If I give you my car to pick a friend from Ilorin , and on your way, you decide to branch to Omu – Aran to go and do another thing , does that mean I am the one that sent you to Omu -Aran? That is it!

“If it is a question of thugs, all the politicians have thugs . You would not know what they are doing . I listened to the confessions of the suspected robbers. They never said he ( Saraki) sent them to go and rob.

“They said they were his political thugs and that he was not aware of their robbery (operations ).

“Some people argue that Saraki , by empowering
them and giving them vehicles , emboldened them to commit crimes and they felt protected or shielded by the number three citizen of Nigeria.

“He gave vehicles to a lot of people. He gave many people all over the country. Many people received
vehicles from him.

“Even in Offa, anytime politicians are doing their empowerment programme , they give out cars, motorcycles and other items to people.

“Did they give such things to them so that they can commit crime? It is to empower them. If they are sensible enough, they use it for commercial purposes. Empowerment is

not an encouragement to go and steal.”

South-West leaders meet, rally support to save Obasanjo, others

Some leaders of South-West met in Lagos on Saturday to forge a common front to frustrate reported attempts by the Federal Government to clamp down on former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other unnamed leaders in the region.

SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that a leader of the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who convened the meeting, invited key figures in the zone to the meeting which held at his Lekki home in Lagos, impressing on them the need to mend fences for the “battle” ahead.

Obasanjo and his entourage arrived at Adebanjo’s house at 10.40am for the meeting which held behind closed doors.
L-R: Former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; a former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko; Prof. Akin
Mabogunje, Mrs. Adeola Azeez, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Otunba Oyewole Fasawe; former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Dr.
Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu; Pastor Tunde Bakare; Chief Abraham Akanle; Dr. Amos Akingba; and Elder Joju Fadairo, during the meeting of the leaders in Adebanjo’s house in Lagos… on Saturday.

Sources at the meeting, who confided in SUNDAY PUNCH, described it as an “essentially fence mending” one, which recognised that “ancient animosity among Yoruba leaders must give way for them to see clearly” in forging progress for the region and the country in general.

One of sources said, “Obasanjo was full of life at the meeting. He cracked jokes, talked seriously and made the meeting lively.”

It was gathered that the meeting was full of “frank engagements” as the attendees brainstormed on the way forward for the Yoruba race.

Another source at the meeting told one of our correspondents that the meeting was convened by the Afenifere’s chieftain not just to mend fences among leaders in the South-West but to mobilise forces against any alleged planned clampdown on certain leaders in the zone.

The source, an insider in the planning of the meeting, said, “The meeting was called by Papa Adebanjo. That’s why you could see people of diverse callings at the meeting; people you wouldn’t ordinarily see in the same place together.

“You are familiar with the happenings in the country lately and the barrage of attacks on the former President. If that one (Obasanjo) is taken out of the way, and Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) is rendered irrelevant, anyone can overrun the region and perpetrate what he or she wants.

“Essentially, it is to mend fences among the leaders and ensure that the region comes up with a common front on issues that affect us. It offered otherwise ‘feuding’ parties the opportunity to iron out their differences.”

Obasanjo didn’t speak with journalists after the meeting, preferring to sit in his car while a few of the attendees spoke with newsmen.

Speaking briefly with journalists, Adebanjo said the gathering was nothing more than the fact that Nigeria must move forward.

He said, “All attempts to establish dictatorial tendencies in the country must be opposed. There must be unity to destroy mediocrity and dictatorship.

“What is important is that we have our common goal. We don’t have a candidate yet; not yet. We must agree first and any differences among us must be settled. If you are not united, you can’t fight a battle. The Yoruba man must put on his thinking cap.”

Also, the Serving Overseer of The Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, who attended the meeting, said being outspoken about the happenings in the country shouldn’t make one an enemy of the state or the nation.

The cleric stated, “The thinker is the enemy of the mob. If you say I have been a critic of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, look at him now being a critic of Muhammadu Buhari too. Yet he facilitated his (Buhari) coming in (as President).

“Critique is not the same thing as criticism – it is let us reason together; things are not going the right way. That is all.”

Some of those who attended the meeting, apart from Obasanjo and Bakare, were the immediate past governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko; ex-Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; Emeritus Professor, Akin Mabogunje; a long-time associate of Obasanjo, Otunba Oyewole Fasawe; a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State, Chief Joju Fadairo, Dr. Amos Akingba and Dr. Tunji Olaopa.

Others included a former General Secretary of Afenifere, Senator Femi Okunrounmu; Chief Abraham Akanle, Prof. Banji Akintoye, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, Chief Supo Sonibare, spokesman for the Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin; Obasanjo’s in-law, Chief Kenny Martins, and the spokesman for the former President-led coalition, Mr. Akin Osuntokun.

Ex-president visits Bode George over son’s death

Meanwhile, Obasanjo had, earlier on Saturday, visited the Ikoyi, Lagos home of the former National Deputy Chairman of the PDP, Chief Bode George, to commiserate with him on the death of his son, Dapo.

Dapo died on May 9, 2018.

The visit was however described as an end to the political rift between the two former military chiefs.

In a statement on his behalf by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo led some top aides and loyalists to the residence of the former military administrator of Ondo State, where the former President urged George to take the death of his son with equanimity.

He said, “We cannot query God, but to only take solace in what He has done to you.

“If this did not happen, who knows what next that will happen? I have not been around but it was in my mind to come over and commiserate with you and the family. May God grant the deceased eternal rest.”

The visit, however, turned emotional when George’s sister, Alhaja Majolagbe, in her vote of thanks, declared that the rift between the two was over with the visit.

She said, “We were all shocked when this started. But today, the devil has been put to shame. It will never come to these two great Nigerians anymore.

“There has come the time again when my brother will find Ota his home. It is over! Allah, take all thanks.”

Also, in another statement, the Special Adviser on Political Matters to George, Uthman Sodipe-Dosunmu, faulted former presidential spokesman, Chief Duro Onabule, for condemning the historical significance and the leadership relevance of Obasanjo.

Shodipe-Dosunmu described Obasanjo as a national icon.

He stated, “Obasanjo is not a dead horse as Onabule viciously implied. He is absolutely relevant, important, and symbolic of the Nigerian presence and the sanctified emblem of our tomorrow.

“Chief Obasanjo is a treasured son of the Yoruba land. He is the foremost rallying point of the Nigerian union. He represents the best of the Nigerian ideal. He is not detained by tribe or tongue. He looms most majestically as a primal arbiter of our collective fortunes.

“Chief Onabule’s arbitration is apparently biased, localised, untrue and unreflective of reality. Obasanjo may not be perfect; but who is?”

23 Jun 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Toni Kroos leaves it late to score fantastic free kick to rescue Germany's World Cup

10-man Germany scores late in stoppage time to beat Sweden. German, man. What a strike by Kroos.

Talk about stepping up and taking responsibility... Kroos was outstanding in the last 20-25 minutes. And then THAT. What a player.

Toni Kroos just channeled Cristiano Ronaldo. Swedish keeper Robin Olsen is 6-foot-6 (1.98 meters). It took the perfect free kick

perseverance persistence and determination....That's what champs do

Nollywood Star Reveals How He Felt After Using A Tipper Truck As His Wedding Vehicle

Popular Nigerian actor, Victor Osuagwu, has revealed how he felt after he used a tipper truck as his wedding vehicle.

It will be recalled that when Victor Osuagwu, the popular Nigerian comic actor, got married, it was the talk of the town and the wedding pictures trended online for days. His wedding was not on the lips of many people because he is an entertainer; instead the reason was that he did something weird; the thespian used a tipper truck to convey his wife from church to the reception instead of a car.

In a recent chat with Saturday Beats, he said that it was a very fulfilling thing to do.

“I felt very fulfilled using a tipper truck as my wedding vehicle because that was my target, I never thought of anything less than what happened on that day. Some people thought the picture was from a movie set but a lot of people knew it was my wedding.

"It was a long journey going to the reception and we caused a heavy traffic in town. It was not that I did not have the good cars or I did not have the money to rent lovely cars but people that know me are aware that I am a crazy entertainer and I wanted to show the world another part of me,” Osuagwu said.

The actor said his decision to use the truck shocked his wife. He said, “I wanted to carry over entertainment from the television to reality. My wife never knew I was going to do that even Francis Duru who was my best man. When we came out of the church, people just noticed that there was a well decorated truck but nobody knew what was going on.

"People thought the lorry was there to convey goods until my wife told me that we should go into the car as her leg was aching because of the shoe she wore. When she asked which of the cars we were to use, I pointed at the lorry. She was so surprised and it was one of the biggest shocks of her life. She was dumbfounded.

"Francis Duru overheard what I told my wife and had to ask the same question and I told him it was the lorry my wife and I would ride in. I told everyone to enter all the available SUVs but that we would arrive at the reception in the tipper truck. All my wife said was, ‘this is going to be great but how would I climb into it?’ the vehicle was not an ordinary lorry but a double hassle truck, the big one. When we got to the lorry, the people brought a ladder for her to climb into the lorry.”

Osuagwu who was recently unveiled as the brand ambassador for HelpApp Limited said he was delightful by the gesture.

He said, “I am humbled they chose me as their brand ambassador and it means that the company means well for all my fans, family and admirers. They believe that with me on board, people would know about their product. The product would help us eradicate water pollution,” he said.

APC convention: Oyegun gives emotional farewell speech

Outgoing National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has bid the leadership of the party farewell.

Oyegun in an address to delegates for the last time in his capacity as National Chairman, at the party’s national convention in Abuja, on Saturday, urged members to continue to support the party.

He expressed gratitude to the founding fathers of the party for their steadfastness during difficult times.

Speaking in a similar vein, the chairman of the convention planning committee, Abubakar Badaru, said it was true that there were divisions within the party on account of the contest for various positions.

He, however, expressed confidence that the party will come out of it’s present challenges stronger.

Details later…

Lukaku First Player To Score Back-To-Back Two Or More Goals In World Cup Since Maradona

Romelu Lukaku became the first player in 32 years to score multiple goals in consecutive World Cup finals matches with his two strikes for Belgium in their 5-2 victory over Tunisia Saturday.

The Manchester United striker followed up his second-half brace in Monday's 3-0 victory over Panama with two goals against Group G opponents Tunisia in Moscow, putting him level with Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the 2018 tournament scoring charts.

Belgium's all-time top scorer became the first player to achieve the feat since Diego Maradona at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico -- the Argentina great did so en route to lifting the trophy.

Other players to score at least two goals in back-to-back World Cup matches include Brazil legends Garrincha and Pele, 1986 Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker, Argentina's Mario Kempes, West Germany forward Gerd Muller and Portugal great Eusebio.

Eden Hazard's sixth-minute penalty to give Belgium the lead against Tunisia set a new World Cup record for the longest run of matches at a finals without a goalless draw.

Chelsea forward Hazard's goal ensured that all of the first 27 matches in Russia had at least one goal scored in them, beating the 64-year-old record of 26 matches set at the 1954 finals in Sweden, when every match had at least one goal.

Hazard's penalty -- his first goal at a World Cup finals - was the 59th goal scored in Russia this summer and the 13th to be netted from the penalty spot.

The record for most goals scored at a World Cup finals is 171, which was set at the 1998 tournament in France and was matched four years ago in Brazil.

The record of 18 goals scored via spot kicks at a World Cup finals is shared by the 1990, 1998 and 2002 competitions -- the former was a 24-team finals featuring 52 matches played, while the latter two editions came after the expansion to 32 teams and 64 matches.

Breaking News: President survives apparent assassination attempt following explosion at stadium during election rally

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the president of Zimbabwe, has escaped an apparent assassination attempt during an election campaign rally in the southern city of Bulawayo.

Local media reported that security personnel, several ministers and possibly the vice-president were hurt in the blast in the White City stadium on Saturday.

George Charamba, the president’s spokesman, told the Herald, a local newspaper, that Mnangagwa had not been injured in the attack, which occurred as the 75-year-old head of state had just finished addressing the crowd and was leaving the podium.


“Investigations are under way and more details will be given to the public. There have been multiple attempts on the president’s life over the past five years.”

Footage posted online showed Mnangagwa waving to the crowd, turning to step off the podium and walking into the open-sided VIP tent, where seconds later the explosion occurred. People ducked and screamed and smoke billowed. State television immediately cut its broadcast.

The incident came hours after a blast struck a large rally by supporters of Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, in the capital, Addis Ababa, wounding dozens of people. The coming election in Zimbabwe is the latest turning point in the most tumultuous few months in almost four decades of Zimbabwe’s political history.

In November, Robert Mugabe was forced out of power after 37 years, following a peaceful military takeover supported by the vast majority of the 17 million population.

The poll on 30 July pits Zanu-PF, the ruling party, against the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the longstanding opposition.

Zanu-PF is led by Mnangagwa, a former vice-president known as “the Crocodile” who took power when Mugabe was ousted. Polls indicate a potentially close race, but one that Zanu-PF should win. Though hard fought, the campaign so far has seen little of the violence associated with previous elections in Zimbabwe.

Past votes have been marked by systematic intimidation of the opposition and fraud, and the US and others have said a credible vote is key to lifting international sanctions.

News In Pictures: Burj Khalifa, The Tallest Building In The World Displaying Nigeria’s Scores Against Iceland

Burj Khalifa, Dubai, the tallest building in the World, displaying Nigeria’s scores against Iceland in the ongoing World Cup...

The world's tallest artificial structure is the 829.8-metre-tall (2,722 ft) Burj Khalifa in Dubai (of the United Arab Emirates). The building gained the official title of "Tallest Building in the World" and the tallest self-supported structure at its opening on January 9, 2010.

See photos:





Lewis Hamilton takes 75th career pole as Mercedes lock out front row for French Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton put his Mercedes on pole position for the French Grand Prix as the crisis at his former team McLaren took another miserable twist.

Hamilton stormed to the 75th pole of his career on Formula One's first visit to France in a decade with a dominant display at the Paul Ricard Circuit.

The British driver saw off his team-mate Valtteri Bottas by more than one tenth of a second, while Sebastian Vettel, whom he trails by a single championship point, finished third and Red Bull's Max Verstappen fourth.

But Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne qualified 16th and 18th of the 20 runners on another humiliating day for the failing McLaren team.

Hamilton is armed with a new Mercedes engine this weekend, and the defending champion made no mistake as he edged out Bottas with his final flying lap.

The 33-year-old Englishman was a third of a second clear of Vettel, who had no answer for the Mercedes cars.

"Qualifying is always tough, but it feels great to be back in France," said Hamilton. "It is such a brilliant place. I am really excited to come to the first grand prix at Paul Ricard for a long time and to be on the front row is a great showing for the team."

Vettel added: "It is difficult to get the right balance. I pushed too hard in the last attempt, and you end up losing time rather than gaining. I knew with an amazing lap I stood a chance but it didn't arrive."

McLaren's already troubled season descended into chaos here when a member of staff described the atmosphere at their Woking headquarters as "toxic", branded the team's hierarchy as "clueless", and revealed staff are rewarded with small chocolate bars for their gruelling work.

On Friday, the team's racing director Eric Boullier insisted he will not resign, but the decision could soon be taken out of his hands following another utterly abject display.

Both Alonso and Vandoorne were dumped out of qualifying at the first hurdle, and ended up a full three seconds slower than Hamilton.

It marked McLaren's worst qualifying display of the season, and far from improving, they are falling back down the grid.

Indeed only Williams, another of Britain's former giants, ensured the McLaren cars will not occupy the final row for Sunday's race with Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll 19th and 20th.

Alonso, 36, is out of contract at the end of the season, and it seems difficult to see why he would want to continue under the team's current malaise.

Rookie Charles Leclerc, 20, continues to impress in his debut season. The Monaco-born driver hauled his Sauber into Q3 and he will start eighth.

Nigeria vs Iceland: Saraki’s Presence Made Super Eagles Win, Says Pinnick

Amaju Pinnick, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has reacted to Nigeria’s 2-0 win over Iceland in their Group D fixture at the 2018 World Cup.

Ahmed Musa scored both goals for the Super Eagles, as they claimed their first win at the tournament in Russia.

They will now face Argentina on Tuesday, hoping to book a place in the knockout rounds.

Pinnick addressing the players and delegates after the match said the presence of Senate President Bukola Saraki led to Super Eagles’ win.

According to him “The Magical presence of Senate President, Bukola Saraki brought luck to the Super Eagles and Nigeria.

“We thank you for coming to watch the eagles alongside other delegates sent by President Buhari.”

Saraki, who on his Twitter congratulated the Super Eagles over their 2-0 win against Iceland,   urged the team to continue to show discipline. “Great win by our@NGSuperEagles. Let us continue to show that discipline and preparation brings results.

The Senate President had met with the players before their match against Iceland to encourage.

World Cup: What Messi and company must do to advance to knockout stage

Argentina still has a chance to finish second in Group D at the World Cup despite a draw to Iceland and a terrible loss to Croatia on Thursday.

Nigeria's 2-0 win over Iceland on Friday gives the South Americans a lifeline and a pretty straightforward path to the round of 16. The scenarios aren't overly complicated like they would have been had Iceland won, and this news has to inject some excitement into the team, which has been very poor in its first two matches.

Here's how things are looking:

So, Group D...

Final round of fixtures:

#NGA vs #ARG
#ISL vs #CRO

Here's what can happen for Argentina and the others.

Croatia

Croatia wins the group with a win or draw vs. Iceland, and they'll also win the group if Nigeria fails to win. If Nigeria wins and Croatia loses, Croatia could slip to second on goal differential. But with a plus-five differential right now, it's very unlikely. It's safe to pen them in as group winners.

Nigeria

Nigeria clinches a spot in the knockouts with a win or draw vs. Argentina. They have a chance at winning the group if they win and Croatia loses, though they have a big gap to make up in goal differential (see above). Nigeria can advance with a draw as long as they stay ahead in goal differential if Iceland beats Croatia. If the two teams are tied in differential, it goes to goals scored to figure out who advances, where Nigeria is currently one goal ahead. A loss to Argentina would eliminate Nigeria, regardless of the other result.

Iceland

Iceland has to win vs. Croatia to have any chance. If they win and Nigeria loses to Argentina, Iceland advances. If they win and Nigeria draws, Iceland has to make up the goal differential, which means beating Croatia by at least two goals (their current deficit in differential). If the teams wind up tied in differential, Iceland will need to have more goals scored in the tourney than Nigeria, and they're currently one behind.

Argentina

Lionel Messi and company have to beat Nigeria. They will be through if they win and Iceland fails to win. They can also go through with a victory even if Iceland wins, as long as they make up the goal differential. For example, if Argentina wins 3-0 and Iceland wins 2-1, they would be level on points but Argentina's goal differential would be zero, while Iceland's would be minus-one. So it's simple for Argentina: win and try to win big.

Still lots to play for. Croatia vs. Iceland and Argentina vs. Nigeria, which will take place on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET.

Lagos demolishes shanties, illegal structures

Over 500 shanties and illegal structures within and outside the Oko-Oba abattoir and Lairage Complex in Agege area of Lagos State were on Saturday demolished by the State Government as part of an effort to ensure adequate upgrading and transformation of the complex for improved operations.
The State’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau who disclosed this while reviewing report of the demolition carried out by officials of the State Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Lagos State Environment and Special Offences Enforcement Unit, Department of State Security and Operation MESA, noted that the exercise included all shanties and illegal structures inside the abattoir and along Fagba-Railway section of the abattoir complex.

Read also: Nigeria vs Iceland: Super Eagles’ Ikeme beats cancer

According to him, the State Government’s motive for carrying out the exercise was to improve the hygienic condition of the complex and ensure best practices in the red meat value chain and not to witch-hunt anyone.

“I want us all to see this exercise as a positive development in the red meat value chain and not as Government’s instrument to disrupt activities at the complex. Rehabilitation of the facilities at the Oko-oba abattoir is to ensure that operations at the complex meets international standard”, Suarau said.
 
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