Super Eagles’ coach José Peseiro has opted for positivity and pragmatism as he starts his managerial stint with Nigeria on Saturday in Dallas, U.S.
The Portuguese is having to deal with the forced absence of a number of key players, including team captain Ahmed Musa, from the friendly games against Mexico and Ecuador.
Musa, and goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, defenders Zaidu Sanusi and Abdullahi Shehu, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo, Azubuike Okechukwu, Alhassan Yusuf and Samson Tijani, and forwards Samuel Chukwueze and Sadiq Umar are unavailable.
They were unable to make it to the U.S. as a combination of factors, including visa hitches, injuries and career concerns took their toll.
“You have to be practical and face the challenges when they come this way or any other way.
“We would have loved to have everyone here and see how well they have put the 2022 FIFA World Cup miss behind them and forged on.
“But what we have is what we have. I have chosen to be positive and I have resolved to work hard to use the resources available to make Nigeria great again,” Peseiro said.
The coach however said he was happy to have such an excellent pool of players who are committed and ready to give their all every time.
“This situation was not something they created: challenges do turn up that way.
“We have a number of options who have been told to rise up to the occasion.
“Every player who gets the chance to wear the Nigeria jersey should be proud of that opportunity and give it their all.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that three-time African champions Nigeria are up against the senior national teams of Mexico and Ecuador in Dallas and Harrison respectively.
It is the team’s first gathering and run-out since narrowly missing a ticket to the FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar in March.
The Eagles will take on Mexico’s El Tri, perennial CONCACAF champions, at the AT & T Stadium in Arlington on Saturday as from 7 p.m. Texas time (1 a.m Sunday in Nigeria).
However, team’s deputy captain William Ekong and forwards Moses Simon and Alex Iwobi are in as the Eagles get set for the clash with the Mexicans on Saturday night.
Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defenders Olaoluwa Aina and Chidozie Awaziem, midfielders Joseph Ayodele-Aribo and Innocent Bonke, and forwards Cyril Dessers and Terem Moffi are also part of the party.
Eight home-based professionals, including goalkeeper Olorunleke Ojo, defender Ibrahim Buhari, midfielder Chiamaka Madu and forwards Victor Mbaoma and Ishaq Kayode Rafiu are also in the U.S. to fight for shirts.
Uzoho and Awaziem departed from Istanbul on Thursday morning and arrived the team’s The Adolphus Hotel in the evening, taking the number of players in camp to 19.
Only forward Cyriel Dessers was still being expected on Friday morning.
After the clash with El Tri, the Super Eagles’ contingent will head to Harrison on Sunday for their friendly against Ecuador at the Red Bull Arena on Thursday.
The two matches have been designed as physical, mental and psychological reawakening for the Super Eagles.
This is ahead of next month’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) .qualifying duels with Sierra Leone and Mauritius in Abuja and St. Pierre respectively.
NAN reports that Nigeria host Sierra Leone at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium on June 9 from 5 p.m.
They will then head to St. Pierre for their encounter with the Les Dodos of Mauritius at the Cote D’Or National Sports Complex as from 1 p.m. Mauritius time (10 a.m Nigeria time) on June 13.
PLAYERS AVAILABLE FOR THE MATCHES
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Adewale Adeyinka (Akwa United); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba International FC)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England)
Calvin Bassey (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ibrahim Buhari (Plateau United); Sani Faisal (Katsina United)
Midfielders: Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England)
Chiamaka Madu (Rivers United); Innocent Bonke (FC Lorient, France); Babatunde Bello (Akwa United)
Forwards: Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Cyriel Dessers (Feyenoord FC, The Netherlands)
Victor Mbaoma (Enyimba International FC); Ishaq Rafiu (Rivers United); Terem Moffi (FC Lorient, France)
At least six people were killed, including a little girl, and almost 50 more were rescued after a migrant boat capsized off the coast of Lebanon, state media said, in the latest tragedy at sea off the crisis-hit country. .
The ship capsized on Saturday night near the northern port city of Tripoli, the starting point for a growing number of people attempting a potentially lethal sea escape.
The deadly crash, weeks before parliamentary elections scheduled for May 15, is not the first of its kind for the crisis-hit country grappling with its worst financial collapse in history.
But it marks a grim reminder of the suffering behind a growing number of people, including Lebanese citizens and Syrian refugees, who risk their lives at sea in search of a better future abroad.
“Army naval forces managed to rescue 48 people and recover the body of a dead girl… from a boat that sank while trying to remove them illegally,” the army said in a statement.
He said the ship that set sail from the Qalamoun region, south of Tripoli, capsized due to overcrowding and high water levels that nearly flooded the ship.
"Most of the people on board were rescued," the army said, without specifying their nationalities or how many were still missing.
"Sea, land and air operations are underway to rescue the missing," he said.
The military said a man was arrested for his alleged role in the smuggling operation.
The military recovered five bodies off the coast of Tripoli on Sunday, the state-run National News Agency reported, revising an earlier count of eight dead, hours after the body of a young girl was washed ashore.
One of the survivors claimed that an army boat was chasing the migrant boat and causing it to sink.
"The patrol boat crashed into us twice... to drown us," the man told AFP at the port, before being silenced and led away by a crowd of relatives of the survivors.
Last November, a boat carrying dozens of would-be migrants also capsized off the coast of Tripoli after being chased by the Lebanese army.
The passengers were rescued and towed back to shore.
'destined to die'
Lebanon, which has a "return" agreement with Cyprus to avoid crossings, is mired in an unprecedented financial crisis, with the currency losing more than 90 percent of its value and most of the population living below the threshold. of poverty.
The economic crisis has led to a surge in sea crossings out of the country, with increasing numbers of Lebanese joining the ranks of Syrian and Palestinian refugees trying to cross illegally into Europe.
The UN refugee agency says at least 1,570 people, 186 of them Lebanese, left or attempted to leave Lebanon illegally by sea between January and November 2021.
Most hoped to reach European Union member Cyprus, an island 175 kilometers (110 miles) away.
This is more than 270 passengers, including 40 Lebanese, in 2019.
Lebanon's Transport and Public Works Minister Ali Hamie, who visited the port of Tripoli after the latest incident, called it a "major catastrophe".
Meanwhile, calls circulated on social media for protests to be held on Sunday outside the Tripoli home of Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
Relatives of those aboard the wrecked ship gathered at the port entrance awaiting news of their loved ones.
“My nephew has five children and his wife is pregnant with twins. He was trying to escape hunger and poverty,” said a man waiting to enter the port.
Nissrine Merheb was also waiting for news of her two cousins and their children also on board the ship.
"The people of Tripoli are destined to die," he wrote in a Facebook post.
“Even when we are trying to run away from the filth of politicians and their corruption… death catches up with us,” he said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, had a telephone conversation, on April 18, 2022, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides.
In a tweet after their talks, Kasoulides said that Morocco is a factor of stability in North Africa. He welcomed the cordial meeting during which the two Ministers discussed the way forward in bilateral relations and cooperation in the regional context.
On this occasion, the Cypriot Foreign Minister expressed his country's full support for the strategic partnership between Morocco and the European Union, highlighting the importance of the Kingdom as a factor of stability in North Africa.
On Wednesday, the European Commission formally told Malta to end its "golden passport" scheme for wealthy foreign investors or risk EU legal action.
Valletta has two months to respond to the order, called a "reasoned opinion", otherwise the matter could be sent to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The commission said it considers the scheme, which allows non-Europeans to effectively buy Maltese, and thus EU, citizenship through defined payments or investments, to be a "breach of EU law".
“It infringes the very status of citizenship of the Union as established in the (EU) treaties,” he said in a statement.
The Maltese government responded with a statement saying it will study the reasoned opinion of the commission and respond "in due course".
But he also argued that any citizenship issue was "within the national competence of a member state and should remain as such."
"That said, the government reiterates that only worthy people benefit from an important right like citizenship on that basis," the Maltese government said.
Wealthy Russians and the Chinese in particular have used the scheme to gain EU citizenship through Malta, as well as Cyprus or Bulgaria, which have had similar schemes.
Malta has controversially raised €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) since 2013 by offering passports in exchange for investments.
Cyprus stopped its "golden passport" offer last October. Last month, Malta excluded Russians and Belarusians from its scheme as Europe cracked down on Russian oligarchs and people with political ties over the war in Ukraine.
Bulgaria's parliament approved legislative changes on March 24 to end his scheme.
The commission, the EU executive tasked with protecting the bloc's treaties, opened infringement proceedings against Malta and Cyprus in October 2020.
It issued a recommendation last week saying EU member states "still operating investor citizenship schemes should end them immediately".
He also called for the immediate withdrawal of "golden passports" or similar investment-dependent residence permits issued to Russians or Belarusians subject to EU sanctions.
While Malta's suspension of Russian and Belarusian applications for "golden passports" was "a positive step", the commission noted that "Malta continues to operate the scheme for all other citizens and did not express any intention to stop it".
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde warned on Wednesday that a protracted conflict in Ukraine will keep energy prices and the cost of living spiraling, wrecking the post-Covid recovery.
The war between Russia and Ukraine has introduced "considerable uncertainty" in the prospects for the EU economy, he said during a visit to Cyprus.
The ECB chief said the war has prevented a faster-than-expected rebound in the covid-19 pandemic due to a job-rich recovery.
"The economic impact of the war is best reflected in what economists call a 'supply shock,' which is a shock that simultaneously raises inflation and lowers growth," Lagarde told a news conference.
She said energy prices are expected to stay high for longer, with gas prices already up 52% since the start of the year and oil prices up 64%.
Pressure on food inflation is also likely to increase.
Russia and Ukraine account for nearly 30% of global wheat exports, while Belarus and Russia produce about a third of the world's potash, a key ingredient in fertilizer production, exacerbating supply shortages.
“Global manufacturing bottlenecks in certain sectors are likely to persist,” he said.
Russia is the world's leading exporter of palladium, which is key to the production of catalytic converters, while Ukraine supplies around 70% of the world's neon gas, essential for the manufacture of semiconductors.
"As the euro zone is a net importer of energy, rising energy prices mean a loss of purchasing power for consumers," Lagarde said.
She said households are becoming more pessimistic and could cut spending further.
"Consumer confidence this month has fallen to its lowest level since May 2020 and is well below its long-term average."
Lagarde said that the levels of inflation and the slowdown in growth will depend on how the conflict and Russian sanctions evolve.
"Clearly, the longer the war lasts, the greater the economic costs and the greater the likelihood that we will end up in more adverse scenarios."
The ECB chief said the Ukraine war had highlighted "deep strategic vulnerabilities in our trade and security relations, which we can only address by being more united."
Brussels has announced ambitious targets, such as doubling Europe's global market share for semiconductor production to 20% by 2030.
Last week, European leaders agreed to reduce demand for Russian fossil fuels and bolster energy security by diversifying supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and investing more in clean energy.
Lagarde said Europe is entering a "difficult phase" in the short term with higher inflation and slower growth.
"The longer the war lasts, the higher the costs are likely to be."
Several European countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Britain, have lifted their covid restrictions too "brutally" and are now seeing a rise in cases likely due to the more transmissible BA2 variant, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday. .
WHO Europe director Hans Kluge told a news conference in Moldova that he was "optimistic but vigilant" about the development of the pandemic in Europe.
Covid is on the rise in 18 of the 53 countries in the WHO European region, he said.
"The countries where we see a particular increase are the UK, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy and Germany."
He said the main reason behind the increase was probably the BA2 variant, which is more transmissible but no more dangerous than other variants.
But also, "those countries are brutally lifting restrictions from too many to too few," he said.
According to the WHO database, the number of new covid cases in Europe fell sharply after a peak in late January, but has been on the rise again since early March.
In the past seven days, more than 5.1 million new cases and 12,496 deaths have been reported in the WHO European region.
That brings the number of cases since the start of the pandemic to almost 194.4 million and the number of deaths to more than 1.92 million.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
The Covid-19 pandemic continued its resurgence this week, particularly in Asia and Europe, but the number of related global deaths plummeted by a fifth.
Here is the state of the game based on the AFP database:
12 percent increase in cases
The average number of daily cases globally rose over the week by 12 percent to 1.8 million, after worsening the previous week, according to an AFP tally on Thursday.
Western European countries are seeing an uptick, including France, where the number of cases is up 35 percent, while Italy and Britain are up 42 percent each.
In Asia, several countries broke their own records, including South Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Confirmed cases only reflect a fraction of the actual number of infections, with different counting practices and testing levels in different countries.
The rebound in the pandemic is being driven by Oceania, where the number of new cases rose 86 percent from the previous week. They also increased 23 percent in Asia and 7 percent in Europe.
However, the situation continues to improve greatly in Africa, where the numbers fell by 56 percent.
In the Middle East, cases fell 26 percent, while the Latin American and Caribbean area saw a fifth less and the United States and Canada area saw a 12 percent drop.
Laos recorded the largest increase in new cases at 151 per cent for the week, followed by Ireland at 52 per cent more, South Korea at 47 per cent and Finland at 44 per cent.
– South Korea has the most cases –
By head of population, South Korea recorded the highest number of new cases this week, with 5,288 per 100,000 inhabitants.
It is followed by Austria with 3,484, New Zealand (2,706), Cyprus (2,613) and the Netherlands (2,504).
– Deaths continue to decline –
The number of Covid-related deaths continued to decline, dropping 20 percent to an average of 5,401 per day.
The decline was reflected in all regions of the world.
Hong Kong reported by far the highest death rate as a proportion of population at 26.49 per 100,000 population.
They are followed at a distance by Latvia with 4.61, Denmark 4.33, Slovakia 4.08 and Chile 3.76.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
A Russian court on Friday sentenced in absentia the brother of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, Oleg, to one year in prison for violating the terms of a suspended sentence.
A Moscow district court "replaced Oleg Navalny's suspended sentence... with jail time," his lawyer Nikos Paraskevov wrote on Twitter.
Last August, Oleg Navalny, 38, received a one-year suspended sentence for violating pandemic restrictions.
He was accused of asking Russians to attend an unauthorized rally in January 2021 in support of his older brother, who had returned to Russia after being treated in Germany for a near-fatal poisoning attack.
Oleg Navalny was not present at the trial.
According to court documents cited by news agencies, he traveled to Cyprus in September last year and did not return to Russia.
In January, Russian prison authorities applied to convert his sentence to jail time after he failed to show up for police inspections. The same month, the Russian Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant.
The judge granted the request, adding that "aggravating circumstances have been established," referring to Navalny's previous convictions, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Oleg has already served time after he and Alexei were convicted in a 2014 fraud trial, which Kremlin critics say was politically motivated.
Oleg served three and a half years in prison, while Alexei received a three and a half year suspended sentence.
After returning to Russia last year, Alexei's suspended sentence was converted to prison time, which he is serving in a penal colony outside Moscow.
Nearly all of Alexei Navalny's most prominent allies have fled Russia after he was jailed and his organizations outlawed.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
The small Mediterranean island of Cyprus has a huge problem with irregular migration, says the interior minister of the EU member state located closest to the Middle East.
"For us, this is a state of emergency," Nicos Nouris told AFP, adding that 4.6 percent of the country's population are now asylum seekers or beneficiaries of protection, the highest proportion in the EU. .
The Greek Cypriot minister accused Turkey, whose troops have occupied the northern third of the island since 1974, of encouraging much of the influx of Syrian refugees and arrivals from sub-Saharan Africa.
Human rights groups and observers have criticized Cyprus for dire conditions in its main overcrowded migrant camp, which was rocked by clashes this month, and for alleged brutal treatment of some of the new arrivals.
But Nouris responded that "it's brutal what Turkey has been doing to us," as new asylum claims multiplied to more than 13,000 last year in the country of 850,000 people.
"The issue of migration in Cyprus is a big problem because it has been instrumentalized by Turkey," accused the minister of the conservative Democratic Grouping party.
The Republic of Cyrus remains at odds with Turkey, which under a deal with the EU hosts millions of Syrian refugees, and which disputes potential offshore oil and gas reserves claimed by Cyprus.
Nouris denounced that every day between 60 and 80 irregular migrants, guided by smugglers, cross the 184-kilometre (114-mile) Green Line patrolled by the UN that divides the island, and 85 percent of asylum seekers last year They came this way. .
– 'Stranded on an island' - The main country of origin for pending asylum claims in 2021 remained Syria, but Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Somalia followed, according to the ministry.
Many of the new arrivals, Nouris said, fly via Istanbul to the small northern breakaway state recognized only by Ankara. "From there, with the smugglers, they find a way through the Green Line."
Only once they have crossed to the south, many discover that they are not within the visa-free Schengen area of the European Union.
“They are stuck on the island,” Nouris said. "They cannot travel to Germany or France, where they want to go, because Cyprus is not a member of the Schengen zone."
Cyprus stresses that the Green Line is not a border, but simply the ceasefire line, beyond which are "areas that are not under government control".
Nonetheless, Nouris said, his government, which recently fortified a section of the line with barbed wire, will soon build fences, intensify patrols and, starting in the summer, install an Israeli-made surveillance system.
The head of the EU border agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, will visit Cyprus on Wednesday, the minister said.
Nouris said that Cyprus would like Frontex to patrol the waters south of Turkey, “from where every night, especially during the summer, we had illegal departures of migrants”, but acknowledged that this would require Ankara's approval.
– Violence in migrant camps: Cyprus is also asking the EU to expand the list of so-called safe countries of origin for migrants and to reach agreements to facilitate repatriations.
Nicosia recently sent more than 250 Vietnamese migrants on a special flight and cooperated with Belgium to repatriate 17 Congolese.
A joint flight with Germany is scheduled for March 8 to retrieve a group of Pakistanis, Nouris said, in what would be a "forced" return rather than a voluntary one.
Human Rights Watch and other groups have accused Cyprus of sometimes heavy-handed methods against migrants, including pushing back asylum seekers at sea.
Nouris insisted that "Cyprus has never, ever backed down," but rather had exercised its right to intercept ships, which were normally escorted to Lebanon.
A flashpoint of the Cyprus migration problem has been the Pournara reception center on the outskirts of Nicosia, where tents and prefabricated structures initially set up for several hundred people now house some 2,500.
Tensions erupted last week in violence involving Nigerian, Congolese and Somali men, leaving dozens injured. Police were also looking for a 15-year-old boy accused of stabbing a 17-year-old.
The incident showed that Cyprus needs "solidarity" and assistance from the EU, Nouris said.
“In a place that is packed with so many people, and especially so many nationalities, it is something that was expected,” he said.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
The Near East and North Africa (NENA) is home to 419 million people, 40% of whom live in rural areas and one in five work in agriculture.ROME, Italy, February 8, 2022/APO Group/ --
Agriculture ministers and delegates from the Near East and North Africa region today signaled their commitment to work towards transforming agri-food systems, fostering inclusive rural development and supporting a shift towards sustainable and climate-sensitive agriculture.
The commitments form the core of the ministerial declaration agreed at the close of the 36th session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Near East Regional Conference (NERC36).
Government officials, academics, and representatives from the private sector and civil society participated in the meeting, hosted by Iraq in a hybrid format, which included a series of presentations by senior FAO officials.
The ministers expressed their support for the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031 and formally approved the four Regional Priorities of the FAO work program for the region, which focus on the creation of inclusive value chains and employment opportunities for youth. rural development, promoting food security and healthy diets for all through trade, food security and efforts to reduce food loss and waste, greening agricultural practices to ensure environmental sustainability and building resilience in the face of multiple shocks and stresses.
The Near East and North Africa (NENA) is home to 419 million people, 40 percent of whom live in rural areas and one in five work in agriculture. While enormously varied, the region shares the challenges of severe land and water scarcity. NENA is also home to rising levels of food insecurity and a rising incidence of extreme poverty and alarming problems of overweight and obesity, especially among children and women.
Conflicts, social unrest, heavy reliance on imported food, financial and economic crises and multiple colliding and overlapping shocks reflect the region's vulnerability, the ministers said. The Regional Conference, an increasingly powerful governance mechanism for FAO held every two years, provided opportunities for members to review the Organization's work in the region and, in the words of Muhammad Karim Al-Khafaji, Minister of Agriculture of Iraq and President of NERC36, take full ownership of the results offered by their joint actions.
“Agrifood systems should lead the successful rejuvenation of their region,” FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said in closing remarks to participants. He congratulated delegates for reaching a consensus on the ministerial declaration and stressed that the Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Affairs must play a central role in terms of political commitments and action plans to enable other key partners to help them move forward. "We have to help farmers, with favorable policies, investment, innovation and information technology," he added.
high level sessions
The regional conference included a series of ministerial round tables on food security and healthy diets, on building resilient rural communities for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all leaving no one behind, and green recovery and climate action.
FAO also organized a side event on water, energy and food to boost preparations for the COP27 and 28 summits of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will take place in the region.
Participants also assessed the effectiveness of FAO's recent and ongoing work in the region. That includes involving three NENA countries (Sudan, Syria and Yemen) in the Hand-in-Hand Initiative, which aims to match investments and skills with the poorest populations. Another Member, the United Arab Emirates, has taken steps to mobilize support for participating countries outside the region. FAO's 1000 Digital Villages initiative, which seeks to harness e-commerce and other Internet opportunities to benefit small rural farmers, has been implemented in seven NENA countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
FAO's global initiative, One Country, One Priority Commodity, launched in September 2021, has enormous potential for a region with some of the world's oldest agricultural traditions, as the FAO Director-General underlined in his opening speech. opening Monday at NERC36.
Soon, FAO will also launch a regional edition of The State of Land and Water, a flagship product designed to provide decision-makers with up-to-date information on the status and trends of natural resource management in the region, as well as response options.
FAO is also helping members of the NENA region to combat a large number of transboundary animal and plant pests and diseases, such as desert locust, fall armyworm, Xylella fastidiosa, red palm weevil, plague of small ruminants and Rift Valley fever, among others, which have required resource-intensive actions throughout the region.
NERC Members: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan , Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Yemen.