Just In: Cause of Lebanon explosion revealed as death toll surpasses 100

Continue reading “Just In: Cause of Lebanon explosion revealed as death toll surpasses 100”

Live Update: Massive explosion shakes Lebanon’s capital Beirut

A massive explosion erupted in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut on Tuesday, August 4th.

Continue reading “Live Update: Massive explosion shakes Lebanon’s capital Beirut”

Covid-19: India becomes third worst-affected country

Cases reach almost 700,000 to pass Russia in third place; Iran suffers record death toll; alarm in South Africa as cases jump amid easing of lockdown.

A new Covid care facility which can accommodate around 10,000 patients in New Delhi.

Continue reading “Covid-19: India becomes third worst-affected country”

Avengers Endgame: my heart was broken by the fat shaming of Thor

Using a fat person as a punchline is cheap and lazy. So why was everyone in the cinema audience laughing except me?

WARNING: contains spoilers!


At 30 years of age I really should be used seeing how fat bodies are depicted in the media. I should be used to fat bodies being the easy go-to for depicting sad, angry characters. I should be used to the introduction of a fat body to provide some comedic relief. But here I am, the morning after seeing Avengers: Endgame, and I am still shocked, angry and hurt. I am an avid Marvel nerd and while the movie itself was brilliant in many ways, I had seriously conflicted emotions about the physical appearance of Thor.

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When we see Thor at the beginning of the film he is his svelte Asgardian god self on the outside but is clearly battling some pretty heavy stuff on the inside. This is a man who has been to war. He is struggling to come to terms with the loss of his brother, to comprehend his inability to defeat Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and is losing the battle to conquer his demons. Thor has seen war, death and destruction and as a result he has PTSD. I applaud Marvel for highlighting mental illness, particularly as it relates to veterans, but it could have been treated more sensitively.

My issue lies not with Thor’s alcohol consumption or his turning to food for comfort – both are common coping mechanisms; my issue lies with his physical appearance. I thought we were finally past the days of the fat suit. I had hoped that we were past the point in history where we are allowed to poke fun at fat people. I was wrong. Because here we are in Avengers: Endgame and Thor is 30kg heavier and it seems as though everyone in the audience is laughing except me.

While you might laugh, others are sitting around you feeling like they’ve been punched in the gut

I wouldn’t be upset if he had put on weight as a result of his trauma and this was taken more seriously. Fluctuations in weight are normal, particularly when you aren’t taking care of yourself. My problem with Thor’s appearance is that he was clearly a strategic joke placed by Marvel to provide some comedic relief from the overall seriousness of the film.

Thor’s first appearance as a fat person sees him walking into the room shirtless with an extreme focus on his belly and everyone laughs. Look! Thor is fat! Fat, but still jolly, because how could a fat person not be jolly? Sitting in that movie theatre, watching the fatphobic jokes roll through at the expense of a veteran with mental health issues and listening to the subsequent laughter broke my heart.

The jokes made at the expense of the fat person were lazy stereotypes and cheap laughs that really weren’t necessary and while you might sit there and think they’re funny punchlines, others are sitting around you feeling like they’ve been punched in the gut.

The one redeeming quality is that there is no workout montage that shows Thor getting his life back together. The audience goes on a journey with Thor as he battles his inner demons and comes through the other side and I greatly appreciate the fact that this does not include him losing his weight, shaving off his beard and cutting his hair. Thor sits in his misery, grows, works through the darkest depths of his mind and comes out the other end a changed man. He is not the Prince of Asgard that we were originally introduced to, which is only right. One cannot stare death in the face, lose everyone that you love and suddenly bounce back to being the sprightly Adonis that you once were. For this I am grateful.

While I have many issues with the way Thor’s struggles were depicted, he was struggling nonetheless and this needs to be acknowledged. Avengers: Endgame highlights the emotional toll and psychological effects of war, which can be seen in all of the characters not only the one in the fat suit. So while I fully support people going to see Avengers: Endgame, I feel it’s necessary to make a trigger warning: strong themes of fat shaming and PTSD as it relates to war. So make sure to check in with each other and remember to be kind to yourself.


Lacey-Jade Christie is a freelance writer and host of the Australian body positivity podcast The Fat Collective

Live: #ZimElections2018 – the first voting after Mugabe

Follow Bloomgist for Live update of the Zimbabwe 2018 elections, the first since Robert Mugabe was removed as president.


‘Let this be the morning for Zimbabwe’

Pastor Evan Mawarire, who was a hailed by many in Zimbabwe as a hero for being behind the #ThisFlag protests two years ago, has released a prayer for the country on election day.

We thank you for this moment, Lord, and what you have brought us through.

Let this be the morning for Zimbabwe.

That it begins with the righteous act of electing the right people for this country.”

Pastor Mawarire rose to prominence in 2016 for his campaign that denounced the government’s management of the economy.

He backed a stay-at-home strike earlier which was one of the largest anti-government protests in years. And he was denounced by then-President Robert Mugabe


‘Why Mugabe took a while to vote’

At least one person on Twitter has a tongue-in-cheek theory that Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe took a while to mark his ballot paper because he was busy making an important revision to the list of candidates:


Feeling free to vote

Polling stations have now been opened for more than seven hours.

Here on the BBC Africa Live page, we’ve heard from voters as well as some of the key players:

Since 1980 there has been no freedom or freedom of speech. So I want to express that through my vote.”

Sembre Machekra, voter

I want a better future for my niece. My whole family has come to vote today, my two elder sisters and our parents are here.”

Karen Willy, first-time voter
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Let us be respectful, tolerant and love one another. Let us remember that no matter who we support, we are all brothers and sisters.” – President Emmerson Mnangagwa

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The people are voting.. for freedom, democracy and a new Zimbabwe”

Nelson Chamisa, main opposition candidate

I think this is an exciting moment for Zimbabweans to change the course of their country through their votes. The long queues tell us that they are very enthusiastic about this opportunity to ensure they are part of this process.”

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, ex-President of Liberia, Election Observer

Observers praise ‘peaceful election’

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been keen to show that his country has turned a corner with this vote.

Whereas in the past, election observers from some parts of the world were not welcome, they’ve come in large numbers for this vote.

For the first time in 16 years, EU and US observers have been allowed to monitor the vote.

There are also observers from the African Union, the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and Zimbabwean NGOs.

They’re all there to ensure the vote goes smoothly.

The BBC’s Fergal Keane met one observer who’s come home from exile:


Election commission: Voter turnout high

Voter turnout is high and 90% of polling stations opened on time, head of Zimbabwe’s electoral commission Priscilla Chigumba told journalists.


Ex-President Mugabe ‘votes for someone other than himself’

Photos are being shared on social media of former President Robert Mugabe casting his vote in Harare’s Highfields neighbourhood, alongside his wife Grace.

One journalist has tweeted that this is the “first time” in Mr Mugabe’s 94 years that he has voted for “someone other than himself for president”.

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Mnangagwa: We are all brothers and sisters

Zimbabwe’s President Emerson Mnangagwa, one of 23 candidates on the presidential ballot, has tweeted a message of peace as the country goes to the polls.

Previous elections have been marred by violence and intimidation, but the government is keen to show the world that the first post-Mugabe poll will be different.

Mr Mnangagwa has called for tolerance saying: “We will sink or swim together.”


‘Voting for my grandchildren’

One of our reporters has travelled to a rural area an hour’s drive north of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.

Despite more than 40% of the voters being under the age of 35, she has seen mostly older voters so far.

One told her that her vote was about her grandchildren:


Election colours

Zimbabweans have three votes today – for president, member of parliament and local councillor.

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After marking the papers in the cardboard booths, voters then put the ballots in the three boxes:

  • Blue for president
  • Peach for MP
  • Yellow for local councillor.

One observer has tweeted this picture:


‘Tight race expected’

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A long quiet queue formed before dawn at this polling station here in the capital, Harare, for an election fuelled by hope, and clouded by suspicion.

Many Zimbabweans believe that, with Robert Mugabe finally out of the picture, their impoverished nation has an opportunity to emerge from years of violence and economic chaos.

Opinion polls suggest a tight race between the governing Zanu-PF and an opposition alliance.

Zanu-PF insists that, now under new management, it is best placed to bring stability and foreign investment.

But the MDC Alliance suspects the vote may be rigged, as it has been before here.

It’s hoping a surge of support from younger Zimbabweans can overwhelm any challenges, and remove the party that has led this country for almost four decades.


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Zimbabweans are now voting in presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

There are dozens of candidates and millions of registered voters.

Here are some of the key figures:

  • 23 candidates are on the presidential ballot
  • 55 parties are contesting the parliamentary vote
  • 5,635,706 people have re-registered to a new voters’ roll, which the MDC says is inaccurate and holds names of people who have died or are underage
  • 43.5% of registered voters are under 35
  • 10,985 polling stations
  • 16 years since EU and US observers were allowed to monitor elections.

‘Exciting moment for Zimbabwe’

Liberia’s former President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is one of the many international observers at watching the polls in Zimbabwe.

She’s been talking to the BBC Newsday’s Julian Keane at the David Livingstone Primary School in the capital, Harare.

I think this is an exciting moment for Zimbabweans to change the course of their country through their votes. The long queues tell us that they are very enthusiastic about this opportunity to ensure they are part of this process.

We want to see Zimbabwe stand out as another example of people having the right, without any kind of repression, given the full right to be able to vote.”

Listen to more of what she had to say:

President Buhari visits Lagos – #PMBinLagos

Updates and and Analysis of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Lagos state.

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15:21′ The trekking today is so real and all.

 


15:13′ Photos of President Buhari at the Annual Bola Ahmed Tinubu colloquium taking place at the Eko Hotels and Suits, Victoria Ireland, Lagos.


15:12′ According to APC, the ruling party, there was a standing ovation for the president as he enters the venue of the Annual Bola Ahmed Tinubu colloquium.


15:09′ The Ikeja bus terminal has been commissioned by Buhari, and what will follow is, maybe, the main reason, at least from what we observed Mr. President is in town… The Annual Bola Ahmed Tinubu colloquium.

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15:04′ …and yes, in case if you are wondering if Buhari is attending the annual Tinubu Colloquium, here is a an evidence, as confirmed and validated by his party, the APC.


15:02′ What if the presidency and the Lagos state government actually played the Lagosians, telling them that the president is visiting to commission the Ikeja Bus Terminal, while Mr. President is actually coming to join Tinubu for his birthday celebration and the annual Tinubu colloquium?


15:00′ At Lekki Phase 1, the residentts felt the presence of the visit President even before he arrived.


14:57′ Some times in 2014/2015, the trekking for Buhari was voluntary, today, it is mandatory


14:56′ Buhari arrived the venue of the commissioning of the Ikeja bus terminal


14:51′ Some youths have taken to the streets to protest the blockade of the pedestrian bridges. Bloomgist is receiving reports of usage of force and beating on the protesters by the Lagos state police.


12:18′ Wondering why Nigeria entered recession? a good citizen has your answer.


12:16′ Meanwhile, access to the International airport has been blocked to enable free movement of the President’s convoy


12:13′ One of the activities to be carried out today by the president includes the Ikeja bus terminal. built by Governor Ambode.


12:11′ The vehicular movement in Lagos state due to the president visits has lead to mass trekking of Lagos residence to their destinations.

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11:42′ The president has landed at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and the convoy is leaving for Alausa, Ikeja

Black Panther – the movie so far

‘Young black people can be heroes too’: the campaign to send kids to see Black Panther


From Harlem to Peckham, the Black Panther Challenge has blossomed into a worldwide celebration of race, identity and empowerment.

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Wakanda rules … Chadwick Boseman, left, and Michael B Jordan face off in Black Panther. Photo: Moviestore/Rex/Shutterstock

It seems like only yesterday that Marvel released the official trailer for what can now be described as the franchise’s most anticipated film to date, Black Panther. Fans have been waiting for the moment when they’ll finally experience the nation of Wakanda and now it is almost here: in less than a week, everyone will be able to watch the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Black Panther is proving to be more than just a hashtag trend: it is a film of considerable cultural significance for black communities around the world. So high in fact, that it inspired Frederick Joseph, a marketing consultant and activist from New York to set up a a GoFunMe account.

“The reason I started the campaign,” says Joseph, “is because, at least on this side of the pond, it’s more important than ever in my opinion, for us to have stories and content that’s combatting the rhetoric and racism of the Trump administration.”

It has aspects of feminism, black non-toxic masculinity, loss, pain – and that’s very important for our kids to see

Frederick Joseph

“[Black Panther] is something that is not only wrapped in blackness but is also layered and nuanced. It has aspects of feminism, of black non-toxic masculinity, of loss, of pain, of various black existences – and that’s something very important for our kids to see.”

READ ALSO

Kenyan photographer drops concept art for Marvel’s Black Panther

dwpgk-xwsaabjbhMarvel commissioned Kenyan Afro-futurist artist Osborne Macharia to create an exclusive art project. Macharia has titled the project “Ilgelunot”, which, in Maasai, means “The Chosen Ones”.

The campaign that began in early January swiftly gained so much attention that Joseph found himself on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, along with Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman. It’s widely known that Ellen never lets a guest go home empty-handed and so the TV host pledged to cover the full $10,000 for the children of the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem, and their chaperones, to see the movie. The campaign itself has raised more than $45,000 (£32,000), all of which will now be used to fund other programmes for Harlem kids.

With his initiative a success, Joseph took to Twitter to encourage others to become part of a #BlackPantherChallenge and start campaigns in their cities that would fund more screenings for young people. Joseph says: “It [Black Panther] is wrapped in blackness but it’s not inherently American blackness; it’s actually an African blackness and that layer of the black existence is fundamental, globally. I really wanted to elicit change in conversation around the globe, and that’s why I started the challenge versus just ending it at the original GoFundMe.”


READ MORE

12 fierce facts about Marvel’s Black Panther

Black Panther: Marvel petitioned to donate 25 percent of their profits to black community
‘Black Panther’ star Forest Whitaker suggests that the highly-anticipated Marvel Studios film will take its characters to outer space. Photo: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

To say that Marvel’s Black Panther is one of this year’s most anticipated films would be an understatement.


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Frederick Joseph, originator of the #BlackPantherChallenge. Photo: http://frederickjoseph.org/

There are now more than 200 campaigns worldwide linked to the challenge, with over $250,000 raised from more than 4,000 donations. Celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Chelsea Clinton and the film director JJ Abrams, have also made contributions.

As for the #BlackPantherChallenge reaching the UK as well as other countries such as Ghana and South Africa, Joseph said: “For lack of a better term, I’m hyped.” The challenge recently arrived in the UK in the form of #BlackPantherPeckham, created by British actor Jade Anouka. With an original target of £1,000 to send 100 young people to London’s PeckhamPlex, the Chewing Gum star has raised almost £4,000 to rent a screen in the cinema. “I think the film will be an inspiration to so many and I’m especially excited about showing young black people that they can be the hero too,” she said.

“A superhero movie with black actors and that has a great female presence is something I couldn’t even imagine dreaming about seeing when I was younger.” Anouka says. “It’s great to see a superhero film that has black people at the front of it. That doesn’t happen that often. And I think it’s going to be just really inspiring for some young people to see themselves reflected on screen.”

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Reflected on screen … actor Jade Anouka. Photo: Suki Dhanda for the Observer

A superhero movie with black actors and great female presence … I couldn’t even imagine dreaming about when I was young

– Jade Anouka


Anouka, who is shortly to be seen in ITV’s psychological-thriller series Trauma, adds: “I hope there will be more of this. I would like to think it encourages a sea change. The advance sales for this film alone show there is a want and a need.”

The #BlackPantherChallenge is now the largest campaign for an entertainment experience GoFundMe has hosted. Joseph says: “I hope this opens the eyes of more studios to be receptive of diverse stories. Not just in the black community but also in the communities of colour generally, for women, LGBTQ communities as well. We have stories and they deserve to be told.”

Eden Hazard and Victor Moses relieve Chelsea pressure in West Brom win

By Mike Ikenwa


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Match Summary

  • Hazard: 25′, Moses: 63, Hazard: 70 |
  • Possessions: 57%43%
  • Targets: 12-off/8-on | 7-off/1-on
  • Premier League | Stamford Bridge
  • Corners: 8 | 7
  • Fouls 11 | 11
  • Off sides 1 | 3
  • More on Bloomgist.com/tag/sports




Peeeeeeeeeeeep!


The lights went out momentarily at the Bridge but the teams are on and ready to rumble now. Kick-off is imminent.


Both teams are back in the dressing rooms, the motions well and truly gone through which means kick-off is edging that bit closer. The sprinklers are on at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea will be hoping for a return to that slick attacking game that carved open teams last season.


Antonio Conte speaks. “The last couple of weeks, without Morata who was injured, we played without a No9,” he says. “It is not his favourite position but I was forced to take this decision,” he adds of Giroud. The key to turning things around? “To try to continue to work, and stick together.”


Alan Pardew speaks. “We are obviously under pressure because we are bottom of the league,” he says. “I know Chelsea very well. I have watched them from afar. They have difficult periods but they do come through them and I have great respect for the manager and I think he will come through it – no problem.”


Thierry Henry’s analysis

It’s not on Chelsea, but on Liverpool’s win over Southampton in which Bobby Firmino was particularly good. It’s a lovely bit of TV. When describing the brilliant disguised reverse pass for Salah’s goal, Henry says:

“…and what does he do? He waits for the ball to go to his furthest… leg”.

Something about that sentence has entertained me.


If West Brom lose this tonight, are they down? Of course, it may already look that way but another defeat leaves them with the need for helluva turnaround. They have won just three of their 26 league games. They need to win probably six – maybe – of their next 12. Stranger things have happened.


Headline team news: Conte hands striker Olivier Giroud his first start since arriving from Arsenal on deadline day, as one of four changes from that 4-1 battering by Watford. Fabregas is back in the midfield, while Christensen is fit enough to partner Antonio Rudiger. “The coach told me that I am in and he explained what he expected from me,” Giroud muttered a few minutes ago. “We worked a lot tactically in training so I am ready and finished with the hamstring injury. I’m fresh and really want to play.”


The teams!


Here’s an intriguing narrative for you. Andre Villas-Boas lost 1-0 to West Brom and was sacked as Chelsea manager and his successor, Roberto Di Matteo, lost 2-1 to West Brom (and then Juventus) and was sacked as Chelsea manager. Clearly, West Brom are cursed.


Team news

Chelsea will be without suspended midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko for Monday’s Premier League meeting with West Brom.

The France international serves a one-game ban following his dismissal at Watford.

Striker Olivier Giroud could make his first start since moving from Arsenal, but centre-back Andreas Christensen (hamstring) faces a late fitness test and forward Alvaro Morata (back) remains sidelined.

Antonio Conte says he doesn’t know when Chelsea striker Alvara Morata will return from a back injury.

Jay Rodriguez is available for selection for West Brom’s trip to Chelsea on Monday despite being charged by the Football Association following his clash with Gaetan Bong.

The striker will still be picked by boss Alan Pardew despite being charged with alleged racial abuse of the Brighton defender, something the England international denies.

Jonny Evans (back), Kieran Gibbs (hamstring), Grzegorz Krychowiak (leg) are available but Jake Livermore (hamstring) James Morrison (Achilles) and Nacer Chadli (hip) are out.

Alan Pardew says his West Brom need to start putting points on the board, starting with the visit to Chelsea on Monday.

It’s really going to be a night that will decide the fate and future of manager Anthonio Conte at the bridge

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Chelsea welcome West Brom to Stamford Bridge on Monday night. Photo: PA


Opta stats

  • Chelsea have won all three Premier League meetings against West Brom under Antonio Conte without conceding a single goal.
  • West Brom haven’t beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in any of their last 16 visits in all competitions (D3 L13), since winning 1-0 in the League Cup in November 1983 under Ron Wylie.
  • The Blues have lost consecutive league games by a margin of three or more goals for the first time since October 1995 (1-4 vs Man Utd, 0-3 vs Blackburn) – they’ve never previously lost three in a row by such a margin in the top-flight.
  • West Bromwich Albion have lost more points from leading positions than any other Premier League side this season (18).
  • Antonio Conte hasn’t lost three consecutive league games as manager since November 2009, when he was with Atalanta in Serie A.

Bloomgist’s prediction

Chelsea need to win, they just need to win. That’s what it has come to now. You looked at the Bournemouth and Watford games and thought there are six points to cement the top four and concentrate on Barcelona in the Champions League.

Now you’ve got fixtures of Barca, Man Utd, Man City, Barca after West Brom – it could all go Pete Tong very quickly. If they don’t win, you don’t see how they’re going to finish in the top four with the games coming up.

Alan Pardew is going to put 10 behind the ball, and keep it very tight for 20 minutes and hope the fans get restless. They’ll look at what Bournemouth did, but without the same pace on the counter-attack I don’t see how they can hurt Chelsea.


CHELSEA will be aiming to avoid a third Premier League loss in a row when welcoming West Brom to Stamford Bridge for Monday Night Football.

Antonio Conte’s Blues have slipped to defeats by Bournemouth and Watford, conceding seven in their last two games and are in danger of dropping out of the top four.


Match preview

Chelsea vs West Brom - Live commentary $ results
Chelsea v West Brom: probable starters in bold, contenders in light.

The visit of a club four points adrift at the foot would normally cheer the champions, though West Bromwich Albion pose a particular threat to those in charge at Chelsea. They are not the team to confront when the head coach’s job is on the line, as André Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo might attest. Antonio Conte has seen his side beaten by three goal margins in their last two fixtures, with a top four finish under threat. Alan Pardew’s visitors have a more appealing run of games after Monday, but their own comeback must start somewhere. Why not Stamford Bridge? Dominic Fifield

Monday 8pm Sky Sports Premier League

Venue Stamford Bridge

Last season Chelsea 1 West Brom 0

Referee Lee Mason

This season G12 Y26 R2 2.33 cards/game

Odds H 2-5 A 10-1 D 22-5

CHELSEA

Subs from Caballero, Eduardo, David Luiz, Zappacosta, Cahill, Pedro,

Sterling, Willian, Ampadu, Emerson, Hudson-Odoi

Doubtful David Luiz (ankle), Alonso (hamstring), Pedro (dead leg), Christensen (hamstring)

Injured Morata (back, 3 Mar), Barkley (hamstring, 3 Mar)

Suspended Bakayoko (one match)

Discipline Y30 R4

Form WDDWLL

Leading scorer Morata 10

WEST BROM

Subs from Myhill, Field, Robson-Kanu, Burke, Nyom, Rondón, Gabir, Livermore, Krychowiak

Doubtful Gibbs (hamstring), Krychowiak (thigh), Livermore (hamstring)

Injured Evans (back, 17 Feb), Chadli (thigh), Morrison (achilles, both 24 Feb)

Suspended None

Discipline Y52 R1

Form DLWDLL

Leading scorers Rodriguez, Rondón 4

HIGHLIGHT: FA Cup clockwatch: Swansea City v Notts County and more – live update!

GOAL! Swansea City 3-0 Notts County (Dyer 30)

GOAL! Swansea City 2-0 Notts County (Dyer 20)

FT: Nigeria 1-0 Zambia – Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifier

The Super Eagles are inching closer to the 2018 World Cup and they will hope to ensure their place with a win in front of home fans.

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Nigeria can secure their place in next year’s Fifa World Cup when they take on Zambia at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Saturday.

Gernot Rohr’s men are three points clear at the summit of Group B with two games left to go, indicating that victory or at least a draw would push them over the line with a game to spare.

Follow live updates below.


18:26′ The match is still ongoing and still goalless


HT’ Nigeria manages to keep rampaging Zambians at bay with a draw before the end of first half


For the Chipolopolo – who are Super Eagles’ nearest rival – a shock win at the ‘Nest of Champions’ would offer them a lifeline to qualify for their maiden World Cup.

Game Nigeria vs Zambia
Date Saturday,  October 7
Time 17:00 BST / 12:00 ET

TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM

In the UK, the game will be available to watch live on television on BT Sport 2, as well as being available to stream online using the BT Sport app.

Nigeria TV channel Online stream
SS3N, SuperSport Select Go N/A

In the U.S., the match will not be available to watch live on television or using an online stream.

UK TV channel Online stream
BT Sport 2 BT Sport Player

SQUADS & TEAM NEWS

Position Nigeria players
Goalkeepers Ezenwa, Akpeyi, Ajiboye
Defenders Echiejile, Abdullahi, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Awaziem, Agbo, Aina
Midfielders Mikel, Onazi, Ogu, Ndidi, Etebo, Oghenekaro
Forwards Musa, Moses, Simon, Ighalo, Iheanacho, Nwakaeme, Iwobi

Alex Iwobi and Daniel Akpeyi have returned to the squad having missed out of Cameroon game owing to injury.

Plateau United’s Dele Ajiboye takes the place of Dele Alampasu while Tyronne Ebuehi was excused for Uche Agbo who features for Standard Liege in Gernot Rohr’s squad.

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There are slight concerns over Ahmed Musa’s form, but he is likely to start from the bench against the Chipolopolo.

Potential starting XI:   Ezenwa; Echiejile, Balogun, Troost-Ekong, Abdullahi; Mikel, Onazi, Ndidi, Moses; Iwobi, Ighalo.

Position Zambia players
Goalkeepers Mweene, Nsabata, Chibwe
Defenders Silwimba, Kapumbu, Chama, Sunzu, Tembo, Shamujompa
Midfielders Lungu, Malama, Mtonga, Chaila, Mulenga, Mwepu, Ching’andu, Kabwe, Mbewe
Forwards Shonga, Sakala, Ng’onga, Daka

Zambia will rely heavily on the ability and experience of Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene as they look to upset the hosts at Godswill Akpabio Stadium.

Going forward they are able to call upon the services of Spartak Moscow’s Fashion Sakala and Red Bull Salzburg’s Patson Daka.

Although Edward Chilufya, Brian Mwila and Emmanuel Banda are out of this encounter owing to contrasting reasons, Wedson Nyirenda will be hoping to get the best from his available players.

Potential starting XI:  Mweene, Sunzu, Tembo, Kapumbu, Silwimba, Mtonga, Mwepu, Mulenga, Mbewe, Shonga, Daka

BETTING & MATCH ODDS

Nigeria are (1.45) favourites to win, according to Nairabet, with Zambia priced at (7.75) to overcome the Super Eagles. A draw is available at (4.00).

GAME PREVIEW

Nigeria head into their penultimate World Cup qualifier on Saturday knowing that their place at the 2018 World Cup can be wrapped up provided they don’t fumble at home.

The Super Eagles are unbeaten in the qualifiers but they will be wary of the Zambians who are in dire need of a win to revive their World Cup qualification aspiration.

The Chipolopolo head into this tie on a revenge mission having bowed 2-1 at home in their first game – a result they could regret should they falter in Uyo.

However, just like the game against Cameroon, Nigeria are set to start Odion Ighalo in the attack, with John Obi Mikel making the supplies from the middle.

Should events conspire to confirm Nigeria’s place in Russia next year, Coach Gernot Rohr will subsequently have the freedom to experiment in the final group match against Algeria, which takes place on November 6 in Bilda.

Abia state government imposes Curfew Aba

Biafra Live: Operation python dance ii, IPOB Soldiers clash with Nigeria army – All you need to know

Welcome to the live update of the activities of both the military and the Biafra protester demanding for the creatioon of the state of Biafra in the South Easther part of Nigeria. Follow us on Twitter and stay with us on Facebook for more.

Scroll down for Complete live updates


9/14/2017

12:09: Nigerian soldiers asked ‘Hausa- Fulanis’ to vacate Umuahia ahead of attack on Igboland – IPOB alleges

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has claimed that Nigerian soldiers informed all Hausa-Fulanis residing in Umuahia to relocate ahead of their plan to “decimate” the region.

In a statement by its spokesperson, the group noted that no Hausa-Fulani can be sighted in Umuahia as they had all exited the city before the soldiers invaded the town.

In a statement by IPOB’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful, the group said, “We were properly informed that the Hausa fulani soldiers have instructed all the Hausa-Fulani living in Biafranland particularly those in Umuahia and its environs to vacate.

“Right now, none of the Hausa Fulani could be sighted or seen anywhere around Umuahia.

“This show is to prove that the Hausa Fulani soldiers deployed to Biafranland are battle ready to decimate Biafran people in their own land while preventing any reprisal that this evil plot might lead to.

“But, we promise them that IPOB under Mazi Nnamdi Kanu cannot resort to armed struggle or afford to stop now that we have pass the Rubicon.

“We achieved a lots towards the restoration of Biafra and God Almighty (Chukwu Okike Abiama) is on our side, no man born of a woman can stop the project God Almighty himself ordained.”

The group also called on world bodies to prevail on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to “leave Biafra alone.”

IPOB also urged International bodies to prevail on the Nigerian government to fix a date for referendum.

“We are calling on Men and Women of good conscience across the globe, Lovers of freedom, United Nations (U.N), European Union (EU), African Union (AU), ECOWAS), American Government, Russia Government, Israeli Government, Chinese Government, Turkish Government, Canadian Government, French Government, German Government, Amnesty international, Human Right watch and relevant human rights organizations across the globe to prevail on Nigeria Government to leave Biafrans alone by fixing a particular date for referendum in Biafranland to ascertain whether the people of want to remain in Nigeria or not, we are not asking for war,” the statement added.


9/13/2017:

4:54: FULL LIST: Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer releases names of IPOB members detained by soldiers in Aba

The lawyer to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu has released names of the group’s members detained by the Nigerian soldiers.

Ifeanyi Ejiofor in a statement released on Wednesday, September 13, said the IPOB members were being held hostage by soldiers at Ngwa High School in Aba, Abia state.

“It is important that this development is made public to avoid them being killed in mysterious circumstance, akin to the style of operation in the south east,” Ejiofor said.

They detained IPOB members are:

1. Chukwuemaka Umelo (Ejima)

2. Eze Monday

3. Chibueke Eke

4. Sunday Isaiah

5. Gabriel Isaiah

6. Gentle Odu

Kanu’s lawyer further added that the six members of the IPOb listed above are a few of the list of numerous members of the group whom their whereabouts are yet to be ascertained.

He said: “The situation is very serious. We are appealing for prompt intervention of international community before things get out of hands

Ngwa High School Aba is the same place, Nigeria Military personnel attacked and massacred over 100 IPOB members last year, while praying for my client on a day he was scheduled to appear in court.

You can check the Amnesty International’s report that hugely indicted the Nigeria soldiers on the mindless killing of unarmed members of indigenous people of Biafra, last year at Ngwa High school, where they have now turned to their base,” Ejiofor concluded.

Kanu in a statement personally signed by him said having conceded to the request from the prominent leaders for a peace talk with the governors, the recent actions by the military indicates the federal government wants to assassinate him.

He said he would also use the opportunity to attend funeral ceremonies of some of the members of the IPOB killed by military operatives in the south east.


11:18: Abia state government imposes Curfew Aba

A dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed in the main commercial hub in Nigeria’s south-eastern Abia state following clashes between the military and activists campaigning for the creation of the independent state of Biafra.

Abia state government imposes Curfew Aba

Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu announced the curfew for Aba on Tuesday after a meeting with top security officials, and said it would remain in office until Friday.

Mr Ikpeazu said his government was determined to protect the lives and properties of people, and he urged people not to engage in confrontation with troops.

At the same time, efforts were being made to “reduce friction between the civil populace and military personnel in the state”, he added.

Nigeria’s military has launched Operation Python Dance II in a bid to end the campaign for secession by the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) group. It is pushing for a Biafran state to be created in the south-east.

Updates loading…

LIVE: ‘Return or resign’ protest: One person injured | tear gas fired at protesters

Nigerian protesters demanded Monday that President Muhammadu Buhari, receiving treatment in London for an undisclosed ailment for more than three months, either return or resign.

Buhari left for the British capital on May 7 on what is his latest medical trip, appointing Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to act on his behalf.

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A protester holding in Abuja. Photo: Twitter/Jacjson Ude

Dozens of protesters marched in heavy rain to the presidential villa in Abuja with banners urging that the 74-year-old retired general, who headed a military regime in the 1980s, return.

“Resume or resign, Nigerians say enough is enough,” one said, with others stating: “If president Buhari cannot return to Nigeria after 90 days, then he should resign and go home”, and “Buhari, where are you? Nigerians want full disclosure. What is wrong with our president?”

The peaceful march was organised by a coalition of civil society groups under the supervision of security agents.

“We are here today because the president of Nigeria has absconded from duty,” said Deji Adeyanju, one of the organisers.

“He has not only absconded, he has continued to lie to us. This year alone the president has been away for 144 days.

“He was away for 52 days in January and he has been away again today for 92 consecutive days. This cannot continue.”

Self acclaimed Human rights crusader Charlie Boy protesting
Self acclaimed Human rights crusader Charlie Boy protesting. Photo: Twitter

Buhari has been dogged by speculation about his health since June last year when he first went to London for treatment of what the presidency said was a persistent ear infection.

He then spent nearly two months in London in January and February and said on his return in early March that he had “never been so ill”.

Last month, members of the ruling party and the opposition went to see him in London and even took pictures in an attempt to douse public anxiety.

The health of Nigeria’s leaders has been a sensitive issue since the death in office of president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2010 after months of treatment abroad.

Buhari’s main opponents in the 2015 election that brought him to power claimed he had prostate cancer. He denied the claim.


Tear gas fired

At least one person has been reported injured on Tuesday, in Abuja, when policemen fired tear gas canisters at protesters.

The protesters, who started yesterday are demanding the return of President Muhammadu Buhari who has been on medical leave in London, the United Kingdom since May 07, 2017.

The wounded citizen has since been taken to a clinic at the Federal Secretariat complex, a few kilometres from the scene of the incident.

The group were having their sit-out at the Millennium Park opposite the Unity Fountain, Maitama, Abuja when the armed policemen fired tear gas canisters to disperse them.

The participants, however, braved the assault and continued with their meeting for about an hour.


Defying rain

Protesters defy rain to ask President Buhari to resume or resign


Saturday August 12th

Protest disrupted by Pro-Buhari group

The daily rally by #ResumeOrResign group convened by Charles Oputa, popularly called Charly Boy, was on Friday disrupted by members of a group sympathetic to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Oputa’s group had started its rally on Monday to protest the prolonged medical vacation of the president in London.

It said it would hold the rally until the 100th day of the president’s departure from the country.

Mr. Buhari left Nigeria 95 days ago. Less than 20 members of the group had gathered at the Unity Fountain, Abuja, for the fifth day of the rally until the venue was intruded by members of the other group rallying in support of the anti-corruption fight of the president.

Dozens of youth in the pro-Buhari group stormed the venue chanting ‘Sai Baba Sai Baba’, forcing members of the Charly Boy-led group to beat a hurried retreat from the premises.

Security operatives however intervened quickly to avert a violent clash of the two groups.

The convener of the pro-Buhari group, Goodluck Obi, was also seen yelling at the members of his group to avoid confrontation.

Mr. Obi said their gathering was to support the anti-corruption policy of President Buhari and also to disabuse the minds of Nigerians of the impressions being created by the “Resume or Resign” group.

He said the call for the resignation of the president was unnecessary.

“We want to let people know that it is not only illegal, unconstitutional and to no effect, it is also null and void.

The constitution does not support it,”

Mr. Obi said. “Section 141 of the Nigerian Constitution, which is the most respected document of the country, supports the fact that if the president is traveling and he perceives that he would be away for long, he should transmit his powers to the vice president, which is exactly what our honorable president has done.

“Prof. Osinbanjo, in his capacity as the Acting President, is doing well. We also want to use this opportunity to warn Nigerians, lest some few elements destroy the democracy we have built for so long.

“Buhari is a man of honor, he’s a man of valor, and he’s a man of integrity. He has all it takes to be the president and we are standing by him,”

Mr. Obi added as he addressed journalists observing the drama.

Deji Adeyanju, one of the conveners of the #ResumeOrResign group, however countered that his group would not relent until the presidency discloses the medical status of President Buhari.

“This is the right thing to do. It is important to know that today is the 95th day that our president has been away from Nigeria on medical tourism,”

Mr. Adeyanju said. “President is undergoing chemotherapy in the UK, like it is reported in the media.

“They must come clean. We are not interested in any distraction. We are not even interested in engaging them in back and forward argument. We are interested with just the issues.

“Are the reports true that the president has cancer, and that he is undergoing chemotherapy, that that’s why he cannot return?”

Mr. Adeyanju said in a press statement he later issued.

“The Presidency must give Nigerians full disclosure on the health statue of our president. The president is not above the Nigerian people.

“We are not distracted by a government that says it is fighting corruption and it is hiring crowd to protest. We are not distracted.”


TUESDAY AUGUST 15TH

Charlie Boy attacked by Pro-Buhari protesters in Abuja

Self-acclaimed Area Father and entertainer, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy was attacked by thugs at the popular Wuse market in Abuja on Tuesday.

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Pandemonium in Wuse Market after Charly Boy was attacked

In a series of tweets by one of the leaders of the ‘ResumeOrResign’ group, Deji Adeyanju, some youths attacked them when they moved to the market in the course of their protest.

“We just went to Wuse market for mobilization against 100 days event tomorrow & a regular face at Unity Fountain brought thugs to attack us,” Deji wrote on Twitter.

“They attacked us with police on Tuesday. Tried to attack us at Unity Fountain with their government sponsored thugs. Today is Wuse Market.

“Charly Boy’s car was damaged by the thugs. This is a senseless government. #ResumeOrResign.

“There are wraps of money all over Unity Fountain shared by Pro-Buhari protesters. The government says it’s fighting corruption.”

READ MORE>>


WEDNESDAY AUGUST 16TH

Protesters end protest in Abuja, to strategize

OurMumuDonDo movement and Concerned Nigerians today in Abuja terminated its sit out and protest against the continued stay of ailing  President Muhammadu Buhari in London adding that this will enable the group to restrategize on its activities.

Addressing journalists the leader of the group, Charles Oputa (Charly Boy) at the Unity Fountain said that the group decided to end the protest in order to have a wider plan on the activities of the movement noting that the group is not chicken out as a result of the attack on its members at Wuse Market .

He pointed out that their members have received death threats from various quarters but they are not deterred.

According to him “We are not deterred by the intimidation and harassment by the sponsored thugs and we cannot be cowed by a few group of sponsored people.  What government want to do is to ensure that we have a clash with the hired crowd and we will not allow that to happen”

The group noted that a statement will be issued later in the day to tell Nigerians the next line of action.

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Between Zuma and South Africa - The Bloomgist

Between Zuma and South Africa: The road to economic downgrade

Thousands of South Africans are on the streets demanding that President Jacob Zuma resign., that he leaves office or face the masses, while some other groups loyal to Zuma are saying there is nothing wrong with Zuma’s leadership.

Between Zuma and South Africa - The Bloomgist
Cape Town roads blocked‚ backed up due to Zuma Must Fall protests

Bloomgist is monitoring the developement of events and the protests happening across the country, see updates below.


Meanwhile in Johannesburg, another BBC reporter tweets from the ANC’s party headquarters, where supporters have surrounded the building. Thousands of opposition protesters have gathered in another part of the city.

And what about protests in the country’s other major cities? In Durban, thousands of supporters of the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) are out on the streets:

And in Cape Town, where there are also hundreds of protesters out on the streets, traffic has been badly disrupted after roads were blocked by trucks.

The Sowetan picked up on this particularly creative protest sign from a trio of truckers:

Zuma supporters also out in force

Hundreds of veterans of the ANC’s armed anti-apartheid struggle and members of the ruling party’s youth wing have gathered outside its headquarters in Johannesburg.

They’ve been in full voice, singing struggle songs outside Luthuli House in a show of support for President Jacob Zuma, prior to several anti-Zuma marches planned across the country today.

Thousands expected for day of mass action against Zuma

Mass marches are expected to take place in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and other cities today, South Africa’s national broadcaster SABC reports .

Some of the biggest rallies are being organised by the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).

The party has been tweeting from its Johannesburg protest:


Thousands take to the streets as Zuma divides South Africa

A BBC correspondent is tweeting from the South African capital Pretoria, where hundreds of protesters have gathered at Church Square, before a planned march later to the Union Buildings, the government headquarters.


‘Fire Zuma’ protests

Here are pictures from the commercial capital Johannesburg:

Jburg
jburg
jburg

And Durban:

Durban
Durban

But supporters of Mr Zuma’s ANC party are also out on the streets. Some veterans of the ANC’s armed wing, which dates back to the anti-apartheid struggle, have gathered outside the party’s headquarters in Johannesburg to wait for the marchers.

Other supporters of Mr Zuma are also out in force in the city.

anc
Joburg
More coming…