With only just five working days left to phasing out old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes, anxious citizens are at their wits’ end over who blinks first, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) remains defiant, insisting there is no going back on the January 31 deadline despite a motion by the two chambers of the National Assembly, asking the apex bank to extend the deadline for acceptance of the old naira notes.
The lawmakers’ resolution is coming after the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN) and a host of other stakeholders have expressed concerns and made appeals for CBN to extend the period for the currency swap as well as review of the cashless policy.
The House of Representatives and the Senate in separate resolutions, yesterday, asked CBN to extend the deadline by six months till July 31.
The decision of the House to ask for the extension followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by Sada Soli (APC, Katsina) during plenary. Moving the motion, Soli said banking and other financial institutions are struggling to cope with the rush by citizens to change their old currencies to new notes, just as the shortage of new notes is creating panic.
He informed his colleagues that traders in Katsina State have started rejecting the old notes.
Speaking in support of the motion, Ahmed Jaha (APC, Borno), said CBN has been making efforts in his state to swap the old notes for new ones, however, the efforts are not enough to meet the deadline, just as activities of Boko Haram insurgents have shut down banking operations in most parts of Borno.
In his intervention, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the House needs to interface with the heads of commercial banks to understand the real situation.
Consequently, the House resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee chaired by the majority leader, Alhassan Doguwa (APC, Kano), to interface with the banks today and subsequently meet with CBN.
At the upper chamber, the Senate called for the extension of the deadline following the adoption of a motion moved by Sodiq Umar (APC, Kwara), who argued that the policy is affecting the people negatively.
Speaking in support of the motion, Abiodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti), stated that most Nigerians have not got the opportunity to touch the new notes, adding that the timeline for the implementation of the policy is too short.
Also, former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) lamented the absence of the newly redesigned notes in circulation, saying that as a serving member of the upper legislative chamber, he has not seen the new notes.
“I, as a senator, have not seen the new notes. I only saw the new note once in December when I moved the motion and I said I have not seen the money. That was when one of my colleagues showed me the N1,000 note. I have been withdrawing money from the bank since then, and have never got new notes from the bank.
WHILE the lawmakers were deliberating on the motion, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced that the bank would not go back on the decision. He made the announcement after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.
Speaking on the new notes, Emefiele claimed that kidnapping and ransom-taking incidents have reduced since the three banknotes were redesigned. He also argued that the time given for the swap of the old naira notes with new ones was enough for Nigerians to get the new notes from commercial banks.
“I must say here that unfortunately, I don’t have good news for those who feel that we should shift the deadline. My apologies.
This is even as indications emerged that over 50 per cent of Nigeria’s unbanked population may lose their cash savings following CBN’s requirement that old notes could only be exchanged through an existing bank account.
As part of the process to replace the old notes, CBN directed that cash can only be accepted from customers with bank accounts and full Know Your Customer (KYC), and cash must only be paid into the customer’s account.
However, findings by the organisation indicated that about 20.1 per cent of the 38 million unbanked Nigerians do not possess identity documents (valid and bank accepted means of identification), while 83.2 per cent and 85 per cent of the same population lack proof of address and documentation for tier-3 bank accounts respectively.
The research report also indicated that National Identity Number (NIN) ownership among those who live below the poverty line is only 46 per cent.
The Chief Executive Officer of Diary Hills Limited, Kelvin Emmanuel, said CBN’s insistence shows a premeditated stance by the apex bank.
He submitted that considering that eight local councils in Borno are completely cut off from the banking system or digital financial infrastructure and that Yobe State has less than 400 base transceiver stations for telephone and internet signals, that should sway CBN to phase the introduction of the new naira notes over a period of 24 months, while also deepening the open banking infrastructure to raise the number of BVN holders from its current 63 million, representing 44.5 per cent of the banked population.
An economic analyst, who is also the Lead Director of the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Eze Onyekpere, said the CBN governor is seeming to be insensitive to the yearnings of Nigerians with his insistence on no extension, if seven days to the deadline, banks are still dispensing the old notes.
Also reacting, National Coordinator, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the January 31 deadline is not workable and feasible under any condition.
He, therefore, sought a one-year extension deadline by the CBN for all Nigerians, especially those in remote and unbanked areas to exchange their old notes for the new ones, citing the example of the United Kingdom, which unveiled its new notes on December 20, 2022 but gave the deadline of 2024 for banks to still swap old pound sterling for the new ones.
But the Director, Payment System Management Department of CBN, Alhaji Musa Jimoh, has refuted claims that banks were being starved of new naira notes.
Jimoh was in Plateau State, yesterday, to monitor the activities of commercial banks on compliance with the CBN directive that all banks’ ATMs should dispense new notes.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Jos, he urged media practitioners to help monitor the banks to report to CBN any bank that still dispenses old notes.
According to Jimoh, any ATM of any bank that dispenses old notes will be shut down summarily as there had been complaints that banks are not complying but are still issuing the old notes.
“No bank should dispense old notes. You should be on the alert and let me know immediately because I am representing the CBN Governor here,” he stated.
MEANWHILE, Emefiele, yesterday, broke his silence on the allegation that the apex bank withheld N89 trillion realised from stamp duty revenues.
The governor expressed surprise that such conversations could come up considering the size of the banking system, noting that the said amount is far bigger than the total asset of the entire banking industry in the country. The apex bank boss revealed that N370.89 billion has been collected between 2016 to date.
Emefiele said: “N89 trillion is so large. The total asset of the banking industry if you understand accounting is about N71 trillion. The total deposit of the banking system is N44.49 trillion. So, how then is it possible that stamp duty is N89 trillion, while a deposit of banks is N44.49 trillion.
“So, when it became a story everywhere, we went into our records, told Banking Supervision, Banking Payment System to go into the system and rake out the total amount that has been collected on stamp duty from 2016 to date.
“We told our people in Banking Supervision to contact the banks. Let the banks give us from their records how much they have collected from 2016 to date and tell the banks to sign on their headed paper that this is the amount they have collected on Stamp Duty from 2016 to date.
“The report that we have in CBN is that Stamp Duty collected to date is N370,886,315,505.28. This is public accounts. We owe Nigeria public accountability. Out of that, the Federal Inland Revenue or the Ministry of Finance has disbursed to Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) N226,451,720,158.88.
The reaction is in response to a member of the House of Representatives, Muhammed Kazaure (APC, Jigawa), who claimed that Emefiele siphoned the sum of N89 trillion, which had allegedly accrued to the federation.
Kazaure alleged last December that about N89.1 trillion realised from the collection of N50 Stamp Duty and bank charges from all transactions valued above N2,000 between 2017 and 2020 kept with the CBN, was missing.
Kazaure also claimed that it was discovered that the CBN was charging another N100 from every transaction above N5,000, the proceeds of which were going into private accounts, with the apex bank and the 27 commercial banks in the country sharing in the ratio 60:40.
The CBN boss also explained why it has continued to extend overdraft credits to the Federal Government via a policy termed ‘Ways and Means (W&M).’ Recall that the Ways and Means figures has more than doubled since 2015, hitting an all-time high of N22.8 trillion as of September 2022 .
Emefiele explained that the reason the apex bank continues to support the government through Ways and Means is part of its responsibility as the lender of last resort to the country.
Emefiele cited a drop in oil prices, two recessions, and the COVID-19 pandemic as a combination of economic challenges that decimated the revenues of the government.
He also stated that what they did is not new claiming other central banks around the world do similar intervention when faced with an economic crisis.
That was...eventful for Bayern Munich.
It was certainly not the result that Bayern Munich wanted, but that does not mean the Bavarians were not feeling just a little bit lucky to walk away from its match against FC Köln.
Téléfoot journalist Saber Desfarges is reporting that Borussia Mönchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram (25) is increasingly receptive to the idea of leaving the Bundesliga club this January.
At the beginning of the season, Thuram’s intention was to remain at the German club until the end of the season. With his contract expiring this summer, he would then move on from Mönchengladbach in order to take on a new challenge.
However, with many top clubs circling, Thuram is now reportedly more open to leaving the club this winter. Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Inter Milan have all been strongly linked with the forward, who played a prominent role for France during the recent World Cup in Qatar.
Thuram’s chances of a move to PSG may have decreased in recent days, with Christophe Galtier confirming that he is looking to replace Pablo Sarabia, who left to join Wolverhampton Wanderers, with a profile similar to that of the Spaniard. Thuram, a more typical number nine, doesn’t fit that mould.
Whilst no clubs have made significant advances on Thuram yet, the player’s stance on a January move will likely increase the chance of a transfer this month.
Bayern Munich kicked off its Bundesliga re-start with a not-so-promising, but also no-so-concerning draw with RB Leipzig, which left a ton to talk about.
When you look at that, the quick turnaround for a match against FC Köln, the crazy news that this podcast has been wacked by SBN/Vox, the Yann Sommer acquisition, more rumors on Harry Kane and Kai Havertz, there is a TON to talk about.
Oddly, Gravenberch got some extended run against FC Köln after both this story — and the news that Konrad Laimer had inked his deal were reported on. A knock to Leon Goretzka helped pave the way for that, but Gravenberch held his own during his appearance.
Former Real Madrid star Gareth Bale, who most recently crushed the souls of Philadelphia Union fans (I’m not bitter at all), will really get to fulfill his dreams now — and play golf.
What a week for Bayern Munich! Yann Sommer officially transferred in, Konrad Laimer unofficially inks his deal (allegedly), and there is wall-to-wall excitement for the squad’s re-start in the Bundesliga.
The much-anticipated southwestern derby which is the last of the matchday three fixtures of the Nigerian Premier Football League(NPFL) was played between Remo Stars and Shooting Stars at the Ikenne Township Stadium on Wednesday.
Remo Stars extended their dominance over their regional rivals with another 2-0 victory.
Being a derby test, it was much anticipated to be a masterclass of all the fixtures for the week.
Many were keen to see how coach Gbenga Ogunbote will fare in his first official visit to Ikenne since departing Remo last year and pitching his tent with Shooting Stars.
It wasn’t any good for the Oracle as his team were condemned to a 2-0 defeat by the hosts.
It was their first defeat of the season as they drop to the ninth position with two points.
Just as Remo Stars’ coach, Daniel Ogunmodede, told PREMIUM TIMES before the game that his boys will play with their heads, they did express it on the field of play with the Sky Blue Stars scoring two goals in the second half after a barren first half.
An own goal at the hour mark and a curler from substitute Godwin Odibo in the 70th minute saw Remo Stars overtake Bendel Insurance in the first position with nine points in Group A.
In the sixth minute of the game, Remo Stars Seun Ogunribide’s attempted effort was futile and three minutes later, Kayode Bankole halted an attack from Shooting Stars.
The first 20 minutes of the game saw the Sky Blue Stars pressuring the visitors for an early goal.
The teamwork between Olalekan Adedayo and Samuel Anakwe went futile after the latter player couldn’t attempt Olalekan’s final pass in the box.
Two minutes later, Uko Aniete’s attempt from distance went off target just as Uko, Dayo Ojo’s effort in the 25th minute went over the bar.
At the start of the second half, Coach Daniel Ogunmodede made a tactical substitution with former IkoroduCity player Godwin Odibo brought in for Samuel Anakwe.
And in the 51st minute, substitute Odibo hijacked a flowing ball in the midfield and then sent a through ball to Andy Okpe who failed to connect with the ball.
Meanwhile, at the hour mark, Okpe was involved in breaking the deadlock for the Sky Blue Stars after receiving a counter pass from Dayo Ojo, the lanky striker drove into the visitors’ area before laying the ball for a 3SC player who scored in his own goal.
10 minutes later, substitute, Odibo doubled the lead for the hosts after slotting underneath goalkeeper, Adeniyi Bamidele to register his first NPFL goal since moving to Remo Stars from NNL side, IkoroduCity last year.
The visitors would have gotten what might have been a consolation goal but Ayo Adejubu failed to make an inviting cross in the 79th minute.
Remo Stars’ scintillating performance will be tested when they visit high-flying Bendel Insurance in Benin on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Shooting Stars who are yet to win a game this season will be playing against newcomers, El Kanemi Warriors, at the Lekan Salami Stadium on Sunday.
Manchester United forward Charlie McNeill is making headlines for the club’s youth sides again and the former Manchester City star was at his brilliant best again earlier this week.
McNeill, who turns 20 later this year, is tipped to break into the first-team eventually and he is, evidently, firmly in Erik ten Hag’s plans for the future.
McNeill has already made his senior debut for the club after featuring as a late substitute against Real Sociedad in the Europa League.
United’s U21’s faced Jong Feyenoord on Tuesday in the Premier League International Cup and McNeill’s two goals, as seen below, were enough to secure the victory.
US TV channel Adult Swim has dropped Rick and Morty co-creator and voice actor Justin Roiland, as he prepares to defend himself over charges of domestic violence against an ex-girlfriend.
Mr Roiland voiced the title characters in the Emmy-winning animated sitcom about a scientist and his grandson.
Adult Swim said the show would go on without him for its seventh season, with his roles reportedly to be recast.
Mr Roiland denies the charges. A trial date has not yet been set.
A statement released on Tuesday said: "Adult Swim has ended its association with Justin Roiland.
"Rick and Morty will continue. The talented and dedicated crew are hard at work on season seven."
In May 2020, prosecutors in California charged Mr Roiland, 42, with two charges of domestic battery with corporal injury and false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit, of an unidentified woman who was living with him at the time.
A police complaint said the incident, which allegedly occurred on or around 19 January of the same year, resulted "in a traumatic condition" for the woman.
His lawyer said in a statement that his client was "innocent", adding: "We look forward to clearing Justin's name and helping him move forward as swiftly as possible."
Mr Roiland appeared at a pre-trial hearing earlier this month and is set to return to court in April, ahead of a trial. He could face up to seven years in prison.
He created the anarchic animated sitcom with Dan Harmon in 2013, and it won the Emmy for best animated programme in 2018 and 2020.
The 17th round of the Bundesliga continues as the FSV Mainz 05 (5-5-6) host Borussia Dortmund (9-1-6). Check out our Bundesliga odds series and read along our Mainz-Dortmund prediction and pick.
Mainz is working their way the build a momentum as they play along in the German Football League. Since the stoppage of international football games in preparation of the World Cup, Mainz only got to play in the pitch three times for club-friendly games, which resulted to a win over FC Luzern and draws with RCD Mallorca and 1899 Hoffenheim. Upon the turn of the 2023 calendar, they clinched a draw with VfB Stuttgart.
Borussia Dortmund is also building up their winning ways. They have played seven club-friendly games, losing only twice to Vietnam and Fiorentina. Their latest fixture was a 4-3 win over FC Augsburg, which saw goals from Jude Bellingham, Nico Schlotterbeck, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, and Givanni Reyna.
Bo Svensson’s side carries some motivation to avenge Dortmund. Their last five fixtures showed three wins to Dortmund, with Mainz securing one victory way back in 2020. While serving as hosts in this series of the Bundesliga, Mainz also has not found optimistic results, as they have racked up only two wins on home soil – a 5-0 thrashing against FC Koln.
With the coming of the new year, Mainz should also work on its offensive set-ups. In 16 games played this season, they have only found the back of the net 20 times. They are also having a 45.8% ball possession rate, and are averaging 13 total shots and 4.9 corners per game, so they really need some serious upgrades in the offense. Forwards Marcus Ingvartsen and Karim Onisiwo should also look to score more goals, while Aaron Martin, Dominik Kohr, and Jae-Sung Lee should try to find their rhythm in the midfield.
The squad is also expected to adhere to its 3-4-1-2 positioning. They will have to play these games without Kohr, Delano Burgzorg, Jonathan Burkardt, and Marlon Mustapha while Maxim Leitsch and Robin Zentner are probable to play. If they look to improve their 12th-place standing currently, a win against Dortmund might just be the jump start they need. The 05ers should also expect a more offensive game from the Yellows, so Stefan Bell, Alexander Hack, and Anthony Caci should strive to make a defensive wall for Mainz.
BVB currently sits at seventh in the Bundesliga table, just eight points away from league leaders Bayern Munchen and trailing behind RB Leipzig, Eintracht Frankfurt, Union Berlin, Freiburg, and Wolfsburg. BVB’s run in the past 16 games of this tourney has been inconsistent, as the team already suffered surprise losses from Koln, Weder Bremen, and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Edin Terzic’s squad has got some fixing to do, and with a recent win from Augsburg, Die Borussen is primed to make a gradual climb in the Bundesliga ladder. The Black and Yellows are likely to field a 4-2-3-1 positioning in the game, but they will have to do well in this game without Jude Bellingham, who is serving his suspension, while Abdoulaye Kamara, Thomas Meunier, and Mateu Morey, who are sidelined for their injuries. Marco Reus appears to be doubtful to enter this match.
The BVB is also the sixth among German teams to field the most goals at 29, tied with Koln. Youssoufa Moukoko is expected to spearhead Dortmund’s offensive charge, while Julian Brandt, Giovanni Reyna, and Marius Wolf are making improvements as the team’s midfielders. Schlotterbeck and Raphael Guerreiro are also making waves as playmaking defenders for the club. Their 57.8% ball possession rate per game is one of the highest in the league, which has produced 29 goals, 22 coming from assists.
For the club to win this matchup, they must seek to lower their awful defensive displays. Dortmund concedes 1.5 goals, loses 143.8 possessions, and commits 9.6 fouls and 2.2 yellow cards per game. They should capitalize on improving defensive metrics where they shin, such as 19 tackles, 9.6 interceptions, and 14.3 clearances per game.
Despite having a crowd disadvantage, Dortmund are primed to start a series of wins this season. Moukoko, Anthony Modeste, and Donyell Malen should find the back of the nets, as Mainz’ backline defense remains frail. Reyna and Brandt are also expected to go aggressive in this fixture. This is a closely-fought contest, but back Dortmund in what is likely a high-scoring match.
Two suspects accused of witnessing a sexual encounter involving a Louisiana State University student before her death have posted bond and are out of prison.
Madison Brooks, a Covington native, was struck and killed at the intersection of Burbank Drive.
Four suspects have been arrested for involvement in the case. Two of those suspects, Everette lee, 28, and Casen Carver, 18, bonded out of prison on Tuesday.
According to East Baton Rouge Police Department, a 17-year-old juvenile and 18-year-old Kaivon Deondre Washington are being accused of third-degree rape.
Carver and Lee are accused of witnessing the crime and face accessory charges.
Baton Rouge police say Brooks left Reggie's Bar in Tigerland with the suspects when she asked for a ride home.
Washington and the unnamed juvenile are accused of raping her in the rear seats while the other two suspects were in the front seat. The four suspects then dropped her off at a random location, which led to her being hit by a vehicle around 3 a.m. on Burbank Drive near Pelican Lakes Parkway.
Deputies say Brooks' toxicology reports show her blood alcohol content was .319g%. According to the University of Notre Dame Research, the effects of a BAC between .350g% and .399g% are listed as alcohol poisoning. Tetrahydrocannabinol was also found in her system.
This afternoon, police arrested four individuals following an investigation into the events preceding the death of LSU student Madison Brooks, who was struck by a vehicle on Burbank Drive last week.
Madison was a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a niece, a classmate, and a friend to many of you. By all accounts, she was an amazing young woman with limitless potential. She should not have been taken from us in this way. What happened to her was evil, and our legal system will parcel out justice.
Our collective grief and outrage cannot be put into mere words. So what can we do? It is time for action. One place to target our attention is the very place where this encounter began.
All but one of the suspects involved in this horrific scenario were underage yet were able to consume alcohol at a local bar. As such, our action plan starts with a deep and relentless focus on any establishment that profits off our students by providing alcohol to underage individuals. In the coming days, we will call a meeting with these business owners to discuss how their responsibilities directly impact the safety of our students. We will work openly against any business that doesn’t join us in efforts toward creating a safer environment for our students. Enough is enough.
Real and long-lasting solutions require multiple strategies, so we will not stop there. That is why I am asking our entire Baton Rouge community, from business leaders to citizens, to work together and join us in this effort. We will share additional action items in the coming days, but for now please join me in keeping Madison’s family in our thoughts and prayers.
The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control announced an emergency suspension of Reggie's Bar.
The Louisiana ATC is working with Baton Rouge ABC and local law enforcement to investigate and share evidence regarding recent incidents at this establishment. Due to the seriousness of the allegations and the potential threat to public safety, an emergency suspension will be issued today. This action immediately suspends the service or sale of alcoholic beverages at this location. An emergency hearing will be held next month to determine what penalties (if any) should be imposed following a presentation of the evidence.
WASHINGTON – The Biden administration announced Wednesday it will equip Ukraine with the mighty M1A1 Abrams tank, a key reversal in the West's effort to arm Kyiv as it prepares for a fresh Russian offensive.
The 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks, which amount to one Ukrainian tank battalion, will expand on the more than $27 billion the U.S. has committed to Kyiv's fight since Russia invaded nearly a year ago.
The tanks will "enhance Ukraine's capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives," President Joe Biden said from the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
"Delivering these tanks to the field is going to take time. Time that we'll see and we'll use to make sure the Ukrainians are fully prepared," he said.
Biden later added: "That's what this is about: helping Ukraine defend and protect Ukrainian land. It is not an offensive threat to Russia."
The U.S. will also provide eight M88 recovery vehicles that support the M1A1 Abrams in its latest security package, which is worth approximately $400 million.
Washington plans to purchase the new M1s using funds from that package, the congressionally approved Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.
It will "take some time" for the tanks to be delivered to Ukraine, a senior Biden administration official said Wednesday. "We are talking months as opposed to weeks," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, ground rules set by the administration.
The Pentagon has been tasked with providing the training, maintenance and logistics support for the M1A1 tanks, according to the official. Another U.S. official said that the training on how to use the tanks, which will take several months, will occur outside of Ukraine.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday the Pentagon does not have extra tanks to pull from its current arsenal.
"We just don't have them," Kirby said, adding that "even if there were excess tanks it would still take many months anyway." He also declined to provide a timeline of when the M1A1 Abrams tanks would be ready for Ukrainian forces.
The sudden U.S. about-face follows weeks of hesitation on whether to send the tanks. The administration mulled whether they would offer Ukraine an advantage because they take significant effort to maintain.
"The real challenge with giving the Ukrainians M1A1 tanks is not fuel but maintenance," Jeffrey Edmonds, a Russian military expert at nonprofit national security research group CNA, told CNBC.
"Each system on the tank, from the turbine engine to the complex sights used by the gunner, is complex, requiring numerous intricate parts to function properly," added Edmonds, who has a military career spanning more than two decades.
Edmonds, who spent seven years of service on M1A1 Abrams tanks, said that the platform has specific parts that "are not interchangeable with other tanks and their maintenance is a skill in and of itself."
U.S. officials shared similar concerns for weeks at the departments of State and Defense and White House podiums, and also during Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's recent trip to Germany.
"The M1 is a very capable battlefield platform and it's also a very complex capability. And so, like anything that we're providing to Ukraine, we want to ensure that they have the ability to maintain it, sustain it, to train on it," Pentagon press secretary U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Tuesday.
On Wednesday, a U.S. official said the decision to send the Abrams tanks reflected an evolution in what Ukraine needed on a shifting battlefield.
At close to 70 tons, the stalwart M1A1 Abrams is among the heaviest tanks in the world. It makes up for its weight with remarkable firepower and unnerving maneuverability.
Built by General Dynamics Land Systems, the M1 Abrams serves as the U.S. Army's main battle tank. It has been used in nearly every major U.S. conflict since its introduction in 1980.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Biden via Twitter saying that the transfer of M1A1 Abrams tanks is, "an important step on the path to victory."
"Today the free world is united as never before for a common goal – liberation of Ukraine," he added.
The addition of the U.S. tanks to the latest military aid package follows German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's decision to provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks.
Germany said its goal was to "quickly assemble two tank battalions with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine." The country will supply 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks in what it called a "first step."
The training of the Ukrainian crews is set to begin quickly in Germany.
One senior U.S. Biden administration official said that Washington expects and welcomes the arrival of hundreds of armored vehicles and tanks in Ukraine from Western allies in the coming months.
The Kremlin slammed the potential weapons transfer on Tuesday, and said it will not "prevent Russia from reaching our goals."
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov condemned the expected U.S. announcement, saying, "Unfortunately more weapons from NATO bring more suffering for people in Ukraine."
"It also brings more attention to the continent but it cannot prevent Russia from reaching our goals," he added.
Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, said the tanks "would be another blatant provocation against the Russian Federation."
"If a decision to transfer to Kyiv M1 Abrams is made, American tanks without any doubt will be destroyed as all other samples of NATO military equipment," he said.
He is a stunning 64-28-1 (69%) on his Premier League picks for SportsLine since the start of 2022, for a profit of more than $3,000 for $100 bettors. He is 24-6 on his past 30 EPL picks and 22-7 (+17.03) on all soccer predictions for SportsLine in 2023.
The Red Devils have outscored Forest 14-1 in the past three meetings, though two of those were more than two decades ago. They dominated the December match, getting a goal from Marcus Rashford as they outshot the Tricky Trees 18-7. They put eight of those on target and held the ball for 66% of the match. Rashford is the hottest player in English football, and his goal in the last meeting was his second in a run of nine in nine matches in all competitions. He has 17 goals and two assists in 28 overall matches and shares the EFL Cup lead with four in just three games.
The Tricky Trees will have a bit more rest, and they have come a long way since a rocky start to the EPL season. They have victories against Liverpool and Tottenham and a draw with Chelsea since late October. They cruised to a 4-1 victory against Blackburn to reach the quarterfinals, getting two goals from Brennan Johnson. The 21-year-old has six goals and two assists in all competitions this season. Jesse Lingard had a goal in the Rovers win and in a 2-0 victory against Spurs in the previous round. Chris Wood is ineligible after playing in cup matches before his loan from Newcastle.
Eimer has broken down Wednesday's Man United vs. Nottingham Forest match from every angle. He is leaning under on the goal total and has two other confident best bets, both offering plus-money payouts, and has his full breakdown of the match. He's only sharing those picks and his expert analysis at SportsLine.
So who wins Nottingham Forest vs. Manchester United? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see the best bets for the Manchester United vs. Nottingham Forest match, all from the soccer expert who is up more than $3,000 on his Premier League picks since the start of 2022, and find out.
Microsoft Corp. shares plunged by the most in three weeks after the company warned of a slowdown in cloud and business software sales.