APO

Minister Shahid sends National Day greetings to the Foreign Minister of The Gambia

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid sends message of felicitations to Dr. Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad of the Republic of The Gambia, on the joyous occasion of their National Day.


Minister’s message reads as follows:

“It is my pleasure to extend warm felicitations and well wishes to Your Excellency, the Government, and the people of The Gambia on the occasion of your National Day.
I sincerely hope that the friendly relations existing between our two countries will continue to grow in the years ahead.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration”

https://nnn.ng/minister-shahid-sends-national-day-greetings-to-the-foreign-minister-of-the-gambia/

Entertainment

32 contestants qualify for Mr/Miss Nigeria International Pageant

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The Bredance and Crusader Limited (BCL), Organiser of Mr and Miss Nigeria International (MMNI), on Thursday announced that 32 contestants made the list in the just concluded online voting for the 2020/2021 pageant.


Mr Bredan Isikak, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BCL, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the 32 shortlisted recorded high votes out of 50 registered contestants.

NAN reports that the pageant tagged “The Rebirth Edition 2020” would feature contestants for the MMNI and Mr and Miss International Africa (MMIA).

Peter Abah and Denis Idara Mr/Miss Nigeria International 2019/2020 edition

Mr Isikak said that the shortlisted contestants had been briefed of the development, to enable them begin preparation for the contest scheduled for last quarter of the year.

“The selection process for this year’s MMNI was done online and by voting due to the COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown and restriction orders which qualified 32 out of 50 contestants.

“They have all been anxious to know their scores which we just released to them, so this information will help them to start necessary preparations for the contest.

“Although, no date has been fixed for the event but we are proposing between October and November because the reign is 2020/2021, while other arrangements are in progress,” Bredan added.

Meanwhile, he said that South Africa, Ghana and Gambia had shown interest to participate in the event, adding that they were optimistic that international flights would fully resume operations.

According to him, no fewer than 10 African countries registered for the event prior to the COVID-19 lock down but only three have communicated their interest to participate to the organisers.

`As we speak, we have four countries showing interest, though we are expecting others to confirm their participation because they registered earlier,” he added.

Edited By: Josephine Obute/ifeyinwa Omowole
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/32-contestants-qualify-for-mr-miss-nigeria-international-pageant/
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Sport

African countries gear up for return to international football

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African countries are gearing up for a return to international football in October but with many borders throughout the continent still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic most teams are headed to Europe to play.


Cameroon are travelling to the Netherlands, Guinea to Portugal, while the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Tunisia head to Austria where it is easier for them to assemble squads because they are mostly made up of European-based players.

The next FIFA window for international football, from Oct. 5 to Oct. 13, is the first opportunity for African national teams to play since last November.

The pandemic saw international football cancelled for all except European countries this month. 

And uncertainty over travel around Africa led the Confederation of African Football to put back the resumption of official competition to November.

Next month’s window will allow African countries to play much needed friendlies to prepare for upcoming qualifiers for both the next Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup finals.

Nigeria have arranged friendlies against the Ivory Coast and Tunisia on Oct. 9 and Oct. 13 in Austria, while Cameroon have a friendly against Japan in Utrecht, after which they will stay in a training camp in the Netherlands for a few more days.

Cameroon coach Toni Conceicao this week named a preliminary squad of 33 players for the match and camp.

Guinea play the Cape Verde Islands on Oct. 10 and Gambia on Oct. 13 in Faro.

The Democratic Republic of Congo are travelling to Morocco for a training camp and a behind-closed-doors international against their hosts in Rabat on Oct. 13.

Senegal will also play Morocco in Rabat on Oct. 9.

African champions Algeria have yet to announce their plans but media reports say they will also go to Austria.

South Africa are trying to organise two matches at home next month against neighbouring countries but have yet to finalise arrangements as they await for a possible reopening of their borders in the coming weeks.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/african-countries-gear-up-for-return-to-international-football/
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Foreign

United States slams economic sanctions on The Gambia’s ex-first lady

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The United States has imposed economic sanctions on former First Lady of the The Gambia, Mrs Zineb Jammeh, for allegedly aiding her husband’s corruption.


United States Secretary of State, Mr Michael Pompeo, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.

Pompeo said Zineb was believed to control many of the overseas assets of her husband, Yahya Jammeh, who was ousted in 2017 after 22 years in power.

“Zineb Jammeh is designated for her role in materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing support to her husband. 

“She utiliised a charitable foundation and charities as cover to facilitate the illicit transfer of funds to her husband,” the secretary of state said.

According to him, the notoriously corrupt former leader of The Gambia was sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury in 2017. 

Pompeo said the Department of State designated Zineb in December, 2018 as an immediate family member of Jammeh, who was concurrently designated for his involvement in significant corruption.

He disclosed that their children had also been banned from entering the United States as a result of the 2018 designation.

“This action designates Zineb Jammeh pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. 

“The United States uses economic sanctions to promote accountability for those who assist or facilitate the corruption carried out by those like Yahya Jammeh, who abuse their positions of power for their own personal gain,” Pompeo added.

Jammeh lost the December, 2016 election to his main challenger, Adama Barrow, but refused to step down and went on to challenge the results.

He, however, caved in to pressure from West African neighbours and went into exile in January, 2017.

The former leader was accused of stealing   millions of dollars from the country’s coffers to fund a life of luxury.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN

 

https://nnn.ng/united-states-slams-economic-sanctions-on-the-gambias-ex-first-lady/
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Covi-19

Africa launches ”genome” lab to understand Covid-19

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on Thursday launched a network of laboratories to reinforce genome sequencing of the virus that causes Covid-19.


WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said this Cape Town.

Twelve reference laboratories in various African countries will provide sequencing, data analysis and technical support services to the rest of the continent, the two organisations announced in a joint statement.

“As we continue to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa, being able to not only track its evolution, but also assess the possible mutation of the virus is crucial to mounting an effective response,” said Moeti.

The laboratory network will also inform the development of vaccines and treatment of Covid-19 in a way tailored to Africans, Moeti said.

So far, 10 lineages of the virus have been identified in Africa, which helps to track the spread of the virus across borders, according to the statement.

For example, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Africa are experiencing localised transmission.

But there is also importation of cases into the DRC from Ghana, Morocco and Senegal.

“The establishment of the Covid-19 sequencing network will help improve surveillance … With genomic sequencing, we can have a better understanding of the pandemic through more precise identification of transmission clusters,” said Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong.

More than 2,000 sequences from 18 countries – Algeria, Benin, Cameroun, DRC, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia – have already been generated, he said.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/africa-launches-genome-lab-to-understand-covid-19/
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