Morning briefing

Nnamdi Kanu, Jacob Zuma, Basel; Your Wednesday briefing

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Good morning, Here are yesterday’s top stories, and a look ahead – Click on any title to read the complete story.


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The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has raised the alarm over the purported disappearance of the case file of its leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, at the Court of Appeal.

The group said the announcement of the disappearance of the file was a huge joke that further portrayed the rot in the Nigerian justice sector, while calling on the Chief Judge of Nigeria to step in and salvage what was left of its integrity.

A statement signed by Mr. Emma Powerful and made available to THISDAY in Awka stated: “Court of Appeal judges today sitting in Abuja has declared the file of the leader of IPOB missing/misplaced. It is unheard of in the history of Nigerian judiciary that a matter coming up for final judgment almost a year after the appellate court jury adjourned it having heard all the arguments would go missing.


Jacob Zuma has defied an ultimatum from South Africa’s ruling party to resign within 48 hours, pitching the “Rainbow Nation” into an unprecedented political crisis.

The decision to tell Zuma to stand down or face being stripped of his office was taken at a specially convened emergency session of the highest decision-making body of the African National Congress near Pretoria, the administrative capital, late on Monday evening.

After nearly 10 hours of heated debate, Ramaphosa and a key ally of Zuma left the meeting shortly before midnight to drive to the president’s official residence to deliver an ultimatum: stand down or face “recall”, a technical term for the process of forcing an ANC official to leave their post.

However a “defiant” Zuma demanded a three month “notice period” before resigning, one ANC official briefed on the conversation said on condition of anonymity.


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More than five people in the survey said poor communication played a role in their last failed relationship. Photo: PeopleImages/Getty Images

Couples who argue effectively are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship than those who sweep difficult issues under the carpet, according to a survey of almost 1,000 adults.

Many couples mistakenly believe that avoiding discussing sensitive issues means avoiding an argument, which, in turn, will be good for their relationship, said Joseph Grenny, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations.

“But the biggest mistake that couples make is avoidance,” he said. “We feel something but say nothing. At least until we can’t stand it anymore. So we wait until we are certain to discuss it poorly before we bring it up.


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Siri’s spot on the top of the HomePod shows it’s listening, but it is still some way behind Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Photo: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

It’s the wifi speaker to beat in terms of audio but being locked in to Apple services is frustrating and its voice assistant is lacking.

After much anticipation, and speculation that Apple has missed the boat and handed victory to Amazon’s champion Echo, the HomePod smart speaker is finally here. But is it actually any good? And why exactly does it cost four times as much as an Echo?

The HomePod is a voice-controlled speaker that listens out for its wakeword “Hey, Siri” and then starts streaming what you say to Apple to interpret your commands and play whatever it is you wish. The fabric-covered cylinder stands an iPhone X-and-a-bit tall (172mm) with a diameter of an iPhone X (142mm), weighing 2.5kg (14.4 times the iPhone X).

It looks at home on a book shelf, the top of an AV unit or on the kitchen table, but also doesn’t stand out, until you start playing music.


Manchester City are surely coasting into the Champions League quarter-finals for only the second time in their history after this emphatic win.

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Do Manchester City have one foot in the quarter-final after three first-half goals in Basel? Photo: GETTY

Pep Guardiola will be keen to guard against complacency and that his team retains focus when the last-16 second leg is played in three weeks time. Yet this was a dream result for the manager as it will allow him to rest players, should he wish, for the return leg.

Guardiola’s selection showed two changes from the win against Leicester on Saturday. Out went Oleksandr Zinchenko and Aymeric Laporte and in came Fabian Delph and Vincent Kompany, the captain making a first Champions League appearances since May 2016.

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