Foreign

Lebanon alone must decide its own future, says Iran foreign minister

Published

on


Only the Lebanese people and their representatives can decide the country’s future, Iran’s foreign minister said on a visit to Beirut on Friday, following the massive blast at the city’s port that killed 172 people and prompted the government to resign.


Iran backs Lebanon’s powerful armed movement Hezbollah, which along with its allies helped form the outgoing government.

The United States classifies Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

Mohammed Zarif was speaking after senior United States and French officials met President Michel Aoun in a flurry of Western diplomacy that has focused on urging Lebanon to fight entrenched corruption and enact long-delayed reforms in order to unlock international financial aid to tackle an economic crisis.

“In our view it is not humane to exploit the pain and suffering of the people for political goals,” Zarif told a joint televised news conference with Lebanon’s caretaker foreign minister.

“We believe that the government and the people of Lebanon should decide on the future of Lebanon.”

Lebanese had been staging angry protests against a political elite blamed for the country’s many woes even before the Aug 4. blast, which injured 6,000 people.

Also damaged swathes of the Mediterranean city and left 300,000 homeless.

Some 30 people remain missing.

Aoun tweeted that he had held separate talks on Friday with both United States Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale and French Defence Minister Florence Parly.

Hale said on Thursday the United States FBI would join a probe into the blast at a hangar in the port where highly-explosive material detonated in a mushroom cloud.

Hale called for an end to “dysfunctional governments and empty promises”.

International humanitarian aid has poured in but foreign states have linked any financial assistance to reform of the Lebanese state, which has defaulted on its huge sovereign debts.

Zarif said Tehran and private Iranian companies were ready to help Lebanon with reconstruction and rehabilitating the country’s electricity sector.

France’s navy helicopter carrier Tonnerre docked at the wrecked port, where Lebanese authorities say more than 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored for years without safety measures.

Aoun has promised a swift investigation into the blast. He has said the probe would look into whether the cause was negligence, an accident or “external interference”.

Representatives of the victims’ families held a news conference and read out an appeal to the UN Security Council urging it to appoint an international investigation commission and refer the blast to an international court.

“The Lebanese government’s negligence and corruption have played a major role in this crime.

“Only an independent neutral investigation and prosecution will reveal the truth, punish those responsible and do justice,” said a website set up on behalf of the victims (victimsofbeirutmassacre.com).

The resignation of the cabinet has added to the uncertainty.

Agreement on a new government is likely to prove very difficult in a country with deep factional rifts and a sectarian power-sharing system.

The country’s senior Christian cleric, who has said Beirut must keep out of regional conflicts, voiced concern on Thursday that a new Lebanon was being “cooked in the kitchens” of foreign countries, without naming them.

“They have started cooking things that are not in Lebanon’s interest at all but rather in the interest of politicians and factions, which we reject completely and will fight against,” Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai said in a sermon.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/lebanon-alone-must-decide-its-own-future-says-iran-foreign-minister/

Economy

15th Abuja Int’l trade fair to feature 500 exhibitors – ACCI

Published

on


The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says its 15th Abuja International Trade Fair will feature not more than 500 local and foreign exhibitors.


ACCI Media Officer Latifat Opoola who made the disclosure on Sunday said the fair would hold in October at the Abuja Trade and Convention with the theme “Trade and Commerce Beyond Borders”.

According to Opoola, this year’s event in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols will only showcase indoor and virtual exhibitions to make room for a controlled environment that will ensure social distancing.

She noted that an average attendance of 100,000 visitors from both Nigeria and 150 countries, including U.K., United States, UAE, India, Malasyia and China would participate both physically and virtually at the fair.

She said other countries like Saudi Arabia, Ghana, South Africa, among others,  were expected to participate.

She noted that over the years, the fair had been an amazing trade platform for international and domestic industry professionals, leading brands and MSMEs to transact, share market insights, cutting edge technology and expertise in an interactive environment.

“This year’s event will provide a platform for sharing of trade, investment and market opportunity as well as information. It will also help buyers, investors and traders to foster business relationships.

“Over 500 exhibitors from within and outside Nigeria in all sectors of the economy, including Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining, Electricity, Oil and Gas, Tourism, Textile, Transport, Telecommunications, Financial and Service sectors are expected to participate.

“With a team of trade professionals, we are persistent in providing a conducive trading atmosphere for our exhibitors, which will lead to strategies and tactics needed to innovate, grow and promote businesses,” she said in a statement.

The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22,  while the closing ceremony holds on Nov. 2.

(
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Ejiofor)
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/15th-abuja-intl-trade-fair-to-feature-500-exhibitors-acci/
Continue Reading

Sport

Ligue 1: Mbappe shines as PSG hit top gear against Nice

Published

on


France forward Kylian Mbappe marked his return to action with a vintage performance and a goal as champions Paris St Germain rediscovered their form with an impressive 3-0 win at Nice in Ligue 1 on Sunday.


Mbappe, who missed the opening three games after contracting the coronavirus, fired PSG ahead with a 38th-minute penalty.

He also had a big part in Angel Di Maria’s strike before Marquinhos headed home the third in the second half.

PSG made a sluggish start to their campaign as they lost the opening two matches and eked out a last-gasp 1-0 home win over Metz on Wednesday but they tore Nice apart with sublime skill and crisp one-touch passing.

Mbappe blasted his spot-kick into the roof of the net after he was fouled by Khephren Thuram and Nice goalkeeper Waller Benitez could only parry the forward’s crisp low shot for Di Maria to sweep home the rebound.

The visitors missed a string of chances in the second half with striker Mauro Icardi hitting the post, before Marquinhos added the third with a glancing header from a Di Maria cross.

Ander Herrera also hit the woodwork with a deflected shot in the first half while the home side were denied by acrobatic goalkeeping from Keylor Navas.

The result lifted PSG to seventh place on six points from four games, with Nice slipping to 10th also on six points.

In Sunday’s other stand-out fixtures, second-placed St Etienne, who have a maximum nine points from three games, visit 14th-placed Nantes and Olympique Marseille in eighth are at home to fourth-placed Lille.

(
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Peter Ejiofor)
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/ligue-1-mbappe-shines-as-psg-hit-top-gear-against-nice/
Continue Reading

General news

Declare Badagry’s historical monuments protected structures, expert urges LASG

Published

on


A tourism expert, Mr Babatunde Ajose, on Sunday urged the Lagos State Government to declare the historical monuments of the ancient town of Badagry protected structures.


 

Ajose made the appeal at the Tourism Stakeholders’ Meeting organised by the Badagry Media Group in Badagry.

 

The meeting was tagged: “On the Proposed Delisting of Heritage Sites and Attractions by Lagos State House of Assembly’’.

 

The expert said that this would protect the historical monuments from destruction or delisting by any agent in the state.

 

According to Ajose, the recent call on the state house of assembly by a lawmaker for the removal of all historical monuments in Lagos State had put fear in the minds of the residents of the town.

 

“When the issue of delisting of historical monuments in Lagos was mentioned by a lawmaker during a sitting of the Lagos assembly, residents of Badagry started running from pillar to post.

 

“The local media in the town were writing different stories on the social media, people started castigating the people in the assembly.

 

“Even when the LASEMA was coming with their vehicles to access the extent of damage done by rainstorms in some communities in the area, they started crying, “they have come to destroy our sites’’.

 

“What I expect from them in Badagry is organise themselves on how to meet the people in authority and explain things to them on the implications.

 

“The stakeholders should find a way of meeting the lawmaker in question and educating him more on what we have in Badagry.

 

“We will tell him that all these monuments are still in existence in the United States, where the protest started from.

 

“What they are only pulling down is the monuments of slave dealers; all slavery museums in America are still there,” he said.

 

Ajose urged the stakeholders in Badagry to engage the council Chairman, Mr Olusegun Onilude, on the potential of tourism in the town.

 

“We need to meet the chairman of the council on the need to make bylaws that will protect the monuments from external attacked.

 

“Then, move to engage the lawmakers at the state level on the need to protect the structures,” he said.

 

Pastor Sunday Humyinbo, the Coordinator, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Badagry Chapter, urged the organisers of the meeting to work in unity to achieve it aim.

 

According to Hunyimbo, always speak with one voice in whatever you are doing.

 

He said no historical monuments from Badagry should be removed or destroyed by the state government, adding they serve as tools for revenue generation for some people.

 

Also speaking, Pastor Senahu Mofinleun, the Convener, Badagry Christian Heritage Festival, said that the town was waking up from its slumber, urging the organisers to be transparent in whatever they were doing.

 

He said that they are ready to mobilise people to support the cause so that the historical monuments of the land would be protected.

 

Mr Kehinde Avoseh, a representative of Zangheto from Ajido community, commended the media group for their efforts in organising the meeting.

 

According to him, we need one voice to be the bringer of good omen to Badagry heritage.

 

Mr Sewede Akande, the Founder, Citymood Communications, said the meeting was to brainstorm on the issue of delisting of historical monuments in Lagos.

 

He said that the stakeholders meeting would come up with ways to engage the Lagos State Government on best ways to tackle the issue.

 

Akande commended the critical stakeholders that attended the meeting, adding that they would meet again to present their take on the proposed delisting of historical monuments in the state.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on July 1, the Lagos State House of Assembly urged Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to direct the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, as well as that of Justice to look at sites and monuments in the state, to remove all vestiges of slave trade and colonial superiority.

 

NAN also reports that many local group and associations in Badagry, however, disagreed with the move.

 

Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
Source: NAN

 

 

 

 

https://nnn.ng/declare-badagrys-historical-monuments-protected-structures-expert-urges-lasg/
Continue Reading

Sport

Osimhen’s Napoli capitalised on Parma mistakes as spectators return to Serie A

Published

on


Napoli on Sunday capitalised on two defensive mistakes to win 2-0 at Parma in their opening match of the season as spectators returned to Serie A for the first time since March.


Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne got Napoli’s campaign off to a winning start with second-half goals shortly after club’s record signing Victor Osimhen was brought on for his debut.

A smattering of fans, wearing masks and widely spaced apart, watched the game at the Stadio Tardini.

This was after the Italian Government agreed to allow up to 1,000 spectators at matches from Sunday for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown.

A cagey first half produced no real chances but Napoli came to life after Nigerian Osimhen, signed from Lille in the summer, was brought on in the 61st minute.

Two minutes later, Hirving Lozano crossed the ball into the area and Parma defender Simone Iacoponi headed his attempted clearance straight to the feet of Mertens who fired past Luigi Sepe from 15 metres.

Insigne struck the post from Oshimhen’s flick before Parma gifted Napoli a second goal.

Lozano intercepted a pass out of the Parma defence, his shot was saved by Sepe but Insigne snapped up the rebound in the 77th minute.

Parma, playing their first match under Coach Fabio Liverani, did little to impress new president Kyle Krause, Chief Executive of the United States-based Krause Group which took over the club on Friday.

(
Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Peter Ejiofor)
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/osimhens-napoli-capitalised-on-parma-mistakes-as-spectators-return-to-serie-a/
Continue Reading

Australian, British citizen killed in Solomon Islands bomb blast Buhari holds closed-door meeting with Ghanaian president at Aso Villa Spanish triathlete grateful for praise after incredible act of selflessness Nasarawa state to host teqball championship in November, official says Djokovic battles past Ruud to reach Italian Open final Rainstorm: Kwara Deputy Governor commiserates with victims BB Naija Evicts Tricky Tee, Ozo Ebonyi bus accident: FRSC, Police confirm 3 more bodies retrieved from river Gov. Matawalle eulogises late Emirs of Biu, Zazzau Atiku Support Groups congratulate Obaseki Edo 2020: Gov. Wike lauds INEC, Police Gov. Bello mourns Emir of Zazzau Health workers suspend 7-day nationwide warning strike Uni-Abuja mourns its chancellor, Emir of Zazzau Edo election: INEC’s result consistent with our PVT outcome, says Yiaga Africa Oghiadomhe describes Edo governorship poll as most credible Kiriji War: Leaders to celebrate 134 years of Yoruba unity INEC commends stakeholders on successful Edo election, focuses on Ondo Survival Fund: FG releases registration schedule as portal opens Monday Osimhen, young lad with head of 40-year-old — Gattuso Edo 2020: NCFront commends security on neutrality, wants more from INEC on logistics Sexual Abuse: Cleric advises parents to pay attention to male children Baby survives, mother dies in Anambra building collapse — Police Edo Poll: APC supporters commend Buhari for providing level playing field 22 parties allege exclusion in Bauchi polls, commission denies Iru land is committed to environmental, national development- Oba Lawal Youths should be drivers of innovation, creativity for a better Nigeria- Ex-VC Bell University  CSR: Dangote Cement commits N4bn to projects in Ogun host communities  Dep. speaker House of Reps mourns Zazzau Monarch Dabiri-Erewa hails Nigerian Ezeajughi’s re-election as UK Mayor, Ajagba’s United States boxing victory Edo 2020: Gov. Emmanuel congratulates Obaseki, urges him to deliver more Renown Ibadan-born businessman, Adegoke joins APC officially in Oyo Schools resumption: Lalong urges parents to teach children COVID-19 safety protocols Obaseki’s reelection is triumph of democracy – Gov. Diri Edo Guber: IPAC commends Buhari, INEC, security agencies over peaceful poll Mane double eases Liverpool to 2-0 win over 10-man Chelsea Buhari sends FG’s delegation for Emir of Zazzau’s burial in Zaria APC rejects result of Edo governorship election Edo poll: Secondus, Peter Obi congratulate Obaseki Petition: Unions pass vote of confidence on VC Senate President mourns Emir of Zazzau Cleric urges Govt. to prosecute fake, fraudulent pastors PDP Govs. congratulate Obaseki, commends Buhari Election: PDP commends INEC, Buhari, Edo people Gov. Masari mourns Emir of Zazzau PDP attributes Obaseki’s reelection to steadfastness, dedication of Edo people Passing of Emir of Zazzau, end of an era, says Tinubu Edo election calls for celebration, says Tony Momoh Northern Governors mourn Emir of Zazzau Sanwo-Olu celebrates Sen. Tinubu at 60