Sudan protest, South Africa polls, Caster Semenya: Your weekend briefing

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Good day, Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.

1. UK considering boosting support to help Nigeria defeat Boko Haram

The UK foreign secretary said on Wednesday that he will be discussing what more the British government can do in terms of aid and military support to combat the terrorist group, warning the crisis had the potential to trigger a humanitarian catastrophe on the scale of that in Yemen.

Britain provides £240m in aid to Nigeria, of which £100m goes to the north-east, making it the second-largest donor after the US, and giving the UK a sizeable stake in what happens in the region.

2. Using Libya to understand the failed coup in Venezuela

For much of 1969, the country was filled with rumors of an imminent coup. In September, a handful of military vehicles rolled up to government offices and communication centers, and a terse statement announced the end of Libya’s decrepit monarchy.

Army units around the country, assuming that military chiefs were leading the coup and expecting them to show up at any moment, bloodlessly secured the rest of Libya. Foreign powers quickly recognized the new government. Nobody bothered to check who was leading the takeover.

A week later, an unknown 27-year-old army signal corps lieutenant announced that he and a few dozen low-level officers had in fact staged the coup. His name was Muammar el-Qaddafi.

If Libyans felt tricked, it was too late. Dislodging the officers would require a critical mass of Libya’s power brokers, citizens and foreign allies to come together against the new rulers, something they hadn’t managed even against the unpopular monarchy.

3. Caster Semenya: IAAF moves from fighting the abnormal to prohibiting the normal

Last year, the IAAF introduced new regulation for female athletes with “difference of sexual development” (DSD). Athletes with circulating testosterone of five nanomoles per litre of blood (5nmol/L) or above and who are androgen-sensitive, have to meet certain criteria if they wish to compete internationally. One criterion is that DSD athlete must use medication to reduce their blood testosterone level to below 5nmol/L for a continuous period of at least six months.

Semenya felt that the IAAF was targeting her, specifically. She took her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but the court rejected the 28-year-old athlete’s challenge against the IAAF’s new rules.

4. In other News

Khalifa Haftar’s foreign backers have egged him on – and civilians are paying the price.

We also published a story on the plans by The United States to pull its troops out of Africa, and we weighed the costs as in the vast border area between Niger and Mali, U.S.-trained special forces hunt ISIS-linked militants. The Nigerian commandos face the challenge of tracking an agile enemy along a porous border, and they say continued American support is critical. But the U.S. is aiming to reduce its footprint on the African continent.

Here are the consequences of pulling U.S troops out of Africa

From code to codex … An industrial robot writes out the Bible. Photograph: Amy Cicconi/Alamy

5. The rise of robot authors: the fate of human novelists

Will androids write novels about electric sheep? The dream, or nightmare, of totally machine-generated prose seemed to have come one step closer with the recent announcement of an artificial intelligence that could produce, all by itself, plausible news stories or fiction.

It was the brainchild of OpenAI – a nonprofit lab backed by Elon Musk and other tech entrepreneurs – which slyly alarmed the literati by announcing that the AI (called GPT2) was too dangerous for them to release into the wild, because it could be employed to create “deepfakes for text”. “Due to our concerns about malicious applications of the technology,” they said, “we are not releasing the trained model.”

Are machine-learning entities going to be the new weapons of information terrorism, or will they just put humble midlist novelists out of business?

6. Why are people giving up on coffee?

Again, that’s the point of coffee. It’s a ritual. The brew, the pour, the endless sleepless nights spent grinding your teeth to a fine dust. Do you have a problem?

No. I enjoy constantly feeling like I’m on the verge on a coronary. You’re in the minority. People take care over the production of decaf now. A decade ago, it all tasted disgusting. Now, there are some really nice ones.

Name one. To give you an example, the coffee website The Coffee Bazaar recently reviewed Decadent Decaf Coffee Company’s Indonesian Sumatra and said: “Only a pro coffee taster would be able to tell the difference between this and a normal coffee.”

I’m still not sure. That’s because you’re stuck in the past, my friend. Coffeeshops are replacing pubs as the primary community hubs; if we all sat around drinking obscenely strong coffee all day, we would be twitchy, paranoid messes.


Your Weekend Briefing is published Sundays at 6 a.m. Nigerian TimeDon’t miss Your Evening Recap, weeknights at 11:45 p.m.

Want to look back? Here’s Friday’s top story.

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APC Lagos primaries, Man United – Your morning briefing

By Mike Ikenwa


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Good morning. Thug of war in APC Lagos primaries, Cameroon is heading into war, Melania Trump is in Africa, Here are yesterday’s top stories, and a look ahead – Click on any title to read the complete story.


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So far in the APC Lagos primaries, it’s been a show of might, popularity and wealth. Tinubu, once again, is showing every politician at the South West to not take him for granted for any reason, with his candidates domination at the polling units against a seating Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, it’s obvious the Lagos big man is not giving up on his wild of power and money.

Meanwhile, the head of the electoral panel set up by the APC to conduct the governorship primary in Lagos has said no primary was held in the state on Tuesday.

This is despite thousands of party members in Lagos turning up in various wards to vote for their preferred candidate between incumbent governor Akinwunmi Ambode and challenger Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Mr Sanwo-Olu enjoys the support of majority of the APC leaders in the state including ex-governor Bola Tinubu.

On Tuesday morning, some of Mr Ambode’s supporters cried out they were being disenfranchised from voting amidst reports of thug attacks in some wards.


Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha

Somewhere in Imo state, another seating governor is having a tough time getting his people to rally around his chosen successor, his son in-law, actually, and it’s been rough ride so far as the party primaries has been canceled in the state following some not-so-sure results.

The battle for APC governorship ticket in Imo remained one of the most controversial this season. It pits Uche Nwosu, an in-law of incumbent Governor Rochas Okorocha, against Hope Uzodinma, a serving senator; current deputy governor, Eze Madumere; and others.

Bloomgist gathered that during the ‘inconclusive’ exercise held Tuesday, Uche Nwosu was losing with just 10,329 while senator Hope Uzodinma is leading with 423,895 and closely trailed by the deputy governor, Eze Madumere whole polled 128,325 before it was canceled.

The controversies that trailed it appeared to have compelled the party’s national body to cancel whatever transpired and suspend the exercise.


Melania Trump handed out blankets and teddy bears at an open-air clinic at Accra's Ridge Hospital. Photo: BBC

With support from the US Agency for International Development (USAid) Mrs Trump hopes to explore ways to support Ghana in enhancing healthcare for mothers and their newborns.

Her visit is also likely to boost tourism in Ghana, according to Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkruma.

But a Bloomberg journalist tweets that local reaction to the US first lady’s visit, however, has been underwhelming.


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“The movement of people between areas in the north-west is banned for a period of 48 hours from Sunday, September 30 until Monday, October 1,” Adolphe Lele Lafrique, governor of the primarily English-speaking region, said.

Similar measures were in force across Cameroon’s other Anglophone areas, officials told AFP.

Gatherings of more than four people are prohibited and bars and shops selling alcohol will be closed, but residents of Cameroon Anglophone regions have largely ignored a curfew imposed in the regions to coincide with the first anniversary of the declaration of an autonomous state called Ambazonia, the BBC’s Randy Joe Sa’ah reports.


The trouble with Nigeria. Photo: BBC.com

If you are looking to find out more about Nigeria, Africa’s most populous state, here are some books by Nigerian authors that can offer you a quick history lesson:

Half Of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

For many millennials, Adiche’s novel was their first exposure to events surrounding the civil war and the campaign for the independent state of Biafra in fiction.

How to be a Nigerian by Peter Enahoro

The title of this book sums it up. Through his words and humour, Enahoro captures the conduct and characteristics of Nigerians in different scenarios.

Head over to the dedicated page for more>

Have a great day!


Your daily Briefing is published everyday at 6 a.m. Nigerian Time and updated on the web all morning by The BloomgistDon’t miss Your Evening Recap, weeknights at 11:45 p.m.

What would you like to see here? What do you want to see here? Let us know at info@bloomgist.com.

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Jacob Zuma resigns as South Africa’s president: All you need to know

  • Zuma, 75: ‘I fear no motion of no confidence or impeachment’
  • Steps down after days of defying ANC orders to leave office
  • Cyril Ramaphosa: president-in-waiting faces huge challenges

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Ruling Party Votes To Recall South African President Jacob Zuma. Photo: NPR

Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa, has resigned after days of defying orders from the ruling African National Congress to leave office and on the eve of a no-confidence vote in parliament.

In a televised address to the nation late on Wednesday, the 75-year-old said he was a disciplined member of the ANC, to which he had dedicated his life.

“I fear no motion of no confidence or impeachment … I will continue to serve the people of South Africa and the ANC. I will dedicate my life to continuing to work for the execution of the policies of our organisation,” Zuma said.

“No life should be lost in my name. The ANC should never been divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect.”

The resignation ended an extraordinary day in South African politics, which had begun with a dawn raid on a business family at the centre of the recent corruption allegations levelled at Zuma.

At noon, ANC officials announced they would vote for an opposition party’s no-confidence motion in parliament on Thursday.

Late in the afternoon, Zuma gave an angry and rambling TV interview to justify his refusal to obey his own party’s order to step down.

But his speech was more confident and warm.

The president started with a joke with journalists about the late hour, and his trademark chuckle. He expressed his gratitude to the ANC and South Africans for the privilege of serving them at the “pinnacle” of public life, before saying thank you and goodbye in three local languages.

Zuma’s resignation leaves the path clear for deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who took over the leadership of the ANC in December, to be elected by parliament to the highest office.

Zuma, a former anti-apartheid activist who has led the ANC since 2007 and been South Africa’s president since 2009, was due to leave power next year.

His tenure has been marred by economic decline and multiple charges of graft that have undermined the image and legitimacy of the party that led South Africans to freedom in 1994.

The chaotic political crisis of recent days has further damaged the ANC, and angered many South Africans who are increasingly impatient with the party’s opaque internal procedures.

Ramaphosa won a bitterly fought internal election in December and is seen as the standard bearer of the party’s reformist wing.

Party strategists wanted Zuma to be sidelined as quickly as possible to allow the ANC to regroup before campaigning starts for elections in 2019.

The party suffered significant setbacks at municipal polls in 2016 and could be forced into a coalition government at the national level, experts say.

As president, Ramaphosa will have to balance the need to reassure foreign investors and local businesses against the intense popular demand for dramatic measures to address South Africa’s deep problems.

The 65-year-old former trade union leader has said South Africa is coming out of a “period of uncertainty, a period of darkness, and getting into a new phase”.

Richard Calland, an expert in South African politics at the University of Cape Town, said the departure of Zuma from office would give Ramaphosa “the chance to rebuild government and the party at the same time”.

In recent days, the rand has strengthened and many analysts have revised upwards their predictions of South Africa’s economic growth.

Following Zuma’s address on Wednesday night, the ANC immediately closed ranks.

Jessy Duarte, the party’s deputy secretary general, told reporters that the ANC was “not celebrating” at a “very painful moment”.

Duarte said: “Having taken the difficult decision to recall Comrade Zuma, the ANC nonetheless salutes the outstanding contribution he has made and expresses its profound gratitude to him for the role he has played in the ANC over 60 years of loyal service.”

Neeshan Balton, the executive director of the Ahmed Kathrada foundation, an NGO dedicated to the values of the freedom struggle, said Zuma’s resignation would be greeted by a “sigh of relief from all South Africans”.

He said: “For the first time in almost a decade, South Africans can rejoice that the sun has set on the Zuma era. We can finally celebrate that the president, who had become a symbol of the erosion of state integrity, has left office.”

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.


Nnamdi Kanu6

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.

Shooting in IDP Camp, Hazard: Your Tuesday briefing

Ghanaian musician Ebony Reigns dies in car accident

Singer Ebony Reigns. Photo: Ebony Reigns/Instagram

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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.


Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, disclosed this in Abuja at the weekend while performing the groundbreaking ceremony of the Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC) in Abia State.

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) quoted the minister as saying that the full implementation of the CWC component of the National Drugs Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) would also commence on January 1, 2019.

He said one of the major challenges in the use of medicines in the country was the unsatisfactory drug distribution system, which has led to poor product handling, difficulty in product tracking for statistical purpose, recall and circulation of substandard products, as well as audit trail and destruction of professional practice.


Victoria Beckham bids farewell to New York fashion week

Victoria Beckham at her last New York fashion week show. Photo: REX/Shutterstock

Victoria Beckham made her first appearance at New York fashion week a decade ago as a novelty act, but she leaves as a headline one.

Her Sunday morning catwalk show was her last before she joins London fashion week in September. That it is seen as a significant blow for New York fashion week is testament to a remarkable success.

“It feels like the right way to round off showing in New York,” Beckham said of the new location for the show, which moved this season from the cavernous Cunard building in the financial district to two Upper East Side drawing rooms. “It’s more intimate, like my first shows were. I wanted this to be a nice thing to do on a Sunday morning. I want people to enjoy coming to my shows.”


'We fight with each other over water' - residents cry as rivers run dry

Ajida, 14, walks home after collecting water in Mococorene, Nampula province. Photo: Mário Macilau/WaterAid

Water is evaporating from the beautiful landscapes of Mozambique. There is too little to keep people alive, and the lack of it is forcing them from their homes, splitting up families and killing children. Photographer Mário Macilau travelled around his country, talking to people whose only supply of water is from filthy rivers that dry up quickly in the hotter months.

In northern Mozambique’s Niassa province, only 21% of people have access to safe sanitation and just 42% have a clean water supply. Only half the area’s boreholes and wells are operational, forcing women and children to spend a great deal of time walking to fetch water.

Eudicia lives in Muassi village. She and her friend Josefina miss school up to four times a week as they have to fetch water from the riverbed.


Four people killed, many injured as security forces open fire at IDP camp

An injured protester waits for help after several people died during the Irrechaa, the thanks giving festival of the Oromo people in Bishoftu town of Oromia region. Photo: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters Media Express

At least four people, including one member of the Oromia police force, were killed and eleven others were injured on Sunday February 11 after federal security forces opened fire at a camp sheltering thousands of civilians in Hamaressa, a small town near the city of Harar in eastern Ethiopia, according to state broadcaster EBC. The camp is a sheltering thousands of Ethiopians who were internally displaced following the recent violence in Ethio-Somali border towns. One of the four is a woman.

The incident happened at the same time when the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) is preparing to celebrate the 6th “Defense week” as of Wednesday this week.


Fashion: 8 Problems you may face when starting your own fashion label

Starting out with your own fashion label might come with some forms of difficulty. This article outlines some common problems startup fashion labels do experience and their possible solutions.

1. Business and Financial Management
As a young fashion designer, one thing you will certainly lack is business and Financial Management. You may be a great designer but may not know how to generate leads for sale. The fashion industry is so competitive nowadays, so it’s important you hire someone to do the business side of your fashion label for you. If you would like to do it yourself, industry experts suggest that you go and study fashion marketing or fashion business at the Bachelor or Master level, depending on your current education level.


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Eden Hazard (No10) celebrates scoring his second and Chelsea’s third of the night in the 3-0 win against West Brom. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

t was only when the third goal bulged West Brom’s net, as this contest drifted into its last quarter, that Chelsea could truly relax and bask in a restorative victory. Eden Hazard, forever their inspiration, had darted across the edge of the area away from Jonny Evans and ripped a shot inside Ben Foster’s near post, the goalkeeper wrong-footed and helpless.

After recent traumas, confidence is edging back. Antonio Conte would be blowing kisses to his wife in the east stand before the end, his mood improved and memories fading of those desperate recent performances, and hefty defeats, to Bournemouth and Watford. Life suddenly feels more bearable with his team back in fourth place, and only three points off second, with Barcelona due here next week.


Your daily Briefing is published everyday at 6 a.m. Nigerian Time and updated on the web all morning by The BloomgistDon’t miss Your Evening Recap, weeknights at 11:45 p.m.

What would you like to see here? What do you want to see here? Let us know at info@bloomgist.com.

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JAMB, Buhari, Gidabo dam, Your Thursday briefing

How Israel became a place of no refuge

African migrants calling for asylum in Tel Aviv in 2014. Photo Oded Balilty/Associated Press

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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.


Mr. Yusuf was suspended by the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, in June 2017, following allegations of gross misconduct.

A panel commissioned by the minister after Mr. Yusuf’s suspension later found him culpable of infractions that ranged from nepotism to theft of public funds.

An administration official familiar with the development told PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday evening that Mr. Buhari did not consider Mr. Yusuf’s indictment by a ministerial panel before asking him to return to work.

According to the source, the letter of reinstatement was sent to Mr. Adewole on Tuesday evening.


The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has announced the extension of registration for 2018 UTME till February 11, 2018.

The spokesperson of the board, Fabian Benjamin, disclosed this in a press statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday evening.

The board had said in December that the sale of form and registration for all candidates including those from foreign countries will hold from December 6, 2017 to February 6, 2018.

“JAMB as a responsive organisation has taken the decision albeit with great hesitation to accommodate candidates who failed to register between the two months window period that ended at midnight of Tuesday, 6th February, 2018,” Mr. Benjamin said

The agency, however, said such extensions in future may involve some penalty.


Hundreds of staffers employed in the ministry of youths under the National Youth Service (NYS) department did not receive their January salaries as government tries to weed out non-functional departments, New Zimbabwe.com has gathered.

The National Youth Service, widely known as the Border Gezi training programme, was revived last year by the then youth minister, Patrick Zhuwao, after a ten-year break.

Nearly 300 people are currently employed by NYS as instructors and supporting staff at various camps around the country.


Buhari's Health: We will only say what people around the president tell us - Garba Shehu

Economic experts and citizens have reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s Monday’s executive order aimed at encouraging local content and initiatives in the economic sector.

The executive order which was signed by the president on Monday tagged Executive Order 5 is to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.

The Executive Order is expected to promote the application of science, technology and innovation towards achieving the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy.

The president, pursuant to the authority vested in him by the constitution, ordered that all “procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007.”


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Partial view of the Gidabo Irrigation Dam whose construction has reached 97pc on the Gidabo river, 376km away from Addis Abeba. Photo: Addis Fortune

The Gidabo Irrigation Dam, constructed with an estimated cost of 1.1 billion Br and reaching 97pc completion, will begin operations within two months.

The Dam has a capacity of holding 63 million cubic metres of water and stands 21.2 meters tall and is 350m wide. Its initial completion was expected within two years of construction, beginning 2010 by the Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation (ECWC) formed as a result of the merger between Ethiopian Road Construction Corporation, Ethiopian Water Works Construction Enterprise and Ethiopian Prefabricated Building Parts Production Enterprise.

“The completion period was modified after the need to redesign the Dam to fully utilise Gidabo river’s potential as well as increase the Dam’s capacity,” according to Abdulfetah Taju, project manager of the Dam.


Movie review: Black Panther – Marvel's thrilling vision of the afrofuture

Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia and Letitia Wright as Shuri. Photo: Matt Kennedy/AP

Director Ryan Coogler and co-screenwriter Joe Robert Cole tackle the superheroes of colour question with this surreal and uproarious movie version of Marvel’s Black Panther legend, in which the sheer enjoyment of everyone involved pumps the movie with fun. It’s an action-adventure origin myth which plays less like a conventional superhero film and more like a radical Brigadoon or a delirious adventure by Jules Verne or Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Those were the colonial-era mythmakers whose exoticism must surely have influenced Stan Lee and Jack Kirby when they devised the comic books in the 1960s, supplying the Afro- in the steely afrofuturism of Black Panther that generations of fans have treasured and reclaimed as an alternative to the pop culture of white America. But it’s the –futurism that gives Black Panther his distinctive power.


With only 12 Premier League games left to play our writers discuss which three teams will join Manchester City in next season’s Champions League and which two will miss out.

Manchester City look certain to win this season’s Premier League title but below them the battle for the three remaining Champions League places continue. On Saturday, Tottenham face Arsenal in the north London derby, a game that could go a long way towards deciding how the season ends for the two clubs.


If your partner is upset, do you listen to them or try to cheer them up? Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus on strengthening relationships.

Choose which of the following statements applies to you: a) or b)

1 Arguments are 
a) Damaging to relationships
b) Inevitable

2 When my partner seems glum I try to
a) Cheer them up
b) Encourage them to talk


Your daily Briefing is published everyday at 6 a.m. Nigerian Time and updated on the web all morning by The BloomgistDon’t miss Your Evening Recap, weeknights at 11:45 p.m.

What would you like to see here? What do you want to see here? Let us know at info@bloomgist.com.

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Black panther, Cholera, Babangida: Your Wednesday briefing

Hepatitis E claims a third victim in Namibia

Namibia’s Goreangab residents use contaminated water. Photo: New Era


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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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Feras Fayyad’s Oscar-nominated film has come under attack as ‘western propaganda’. Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

THE film-maker behind the Oscar-nominated documentary Last Men in Aleppohas been targeted by a smear campaign that seeks to paint him as a terrorist sympathiser in the run up to the Academy Awards.

Feras Fayyad spent a year following a handful of volunteer rescue workers in the besieged Syrian city as they rushed towards bombed buildings to try and find people in the rubble. The resulting documentary has earned widespread critical praise and won awards including the Sundance grand jury prize.

However, the international recognition has been accompanied by an organized attempt to tarnish the film-maker’s reputation, following a playbook of Russia-backed disinformation and manipulation.

Bloomgist Jobs 1

President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to call the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to order.

Human rights lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, made the call in a statement.

Mr. Ogunye said Mr. Idris decision to declare Kassim Afegbua wanted for releasing a statement on behalf of ex-military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, was improper.


The cholera outbreak in Chegutu is now under control, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has said. Speaking after touring health and council facilities in Chegutu and Norton on Saturday, Dr Parirenyatwa said while Government was attending to all suspected cholera cases, no one is admitted to any hospital over the disease at the moment.

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Photo: Nancy Palus/IRIN

He said there was no need to panic over the disease, while increasing alertness in the communities.

“No one is admitted for cholera across Zimbabwe at the moment. We had 94 cases of suspected cholera and only six were positive. Unfortunately, four of these cases recorded in Chegutu were fatal,” he said.


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The pushback against an attempt to lower the superhero movie’s score on Rotten Tomatoes has shown that the culture war’s latest battleground is still raging.

You come at the king, you best not miss. Last week, an attempt to maliciously derail the record-setting rollout of Black Panther – Marvel’s upcoming blockbuster spotlighting the lithe warrior-monarch T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) – was itself promptly derailed. A scurrilous Facebook event page, whose stated purpose was to “give Black Panther a rotten audience score on Rotten Tomatoes” purported to be a grassroots protest against Disney and its “treatment of franchises and its fanboys”. Amid garbled claims that the corporation that owns Marvel had somehow paid off critics to trash the recent crop of superhero movies from their longstanding rival DC, the page organisers encouraged the use of hashtags like #DownWithDisney and #DCOverMarvel as social media rallying points.


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Photo: Twitter/Reuters

Israel has started handing out notices to 20,000 male African migrants giving them two months to leave the country or risk being thrown in jail.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is offering the migrants, most of whom are from Sudan and Eritrea, $3,500 and a plane ticket to what it says is a safe destination in another country in sub-Saharan Africa.

The fate of some 37,000 Africans in Israel is posing a moral dilemma for a state founded as haven for Jews from persecution and a national home. The right-wing government is under pressure from its nationalist voter base to expel the migrants, while others are calling for them to be taken in.


  • Today’s recipe: Braised lamb with red wine and prunes

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Sam Kaplan for The New York Times. Food stylist: Susan Ottoviano.

Though far less glorified than rib chops or legs, lamb shoulder is explosively delicious and juicy – also, cheap. Like the shoulders of pigs and cows, it is a hardworking muscle rippled with intramuscular fat, which makes it ideal for stewing or braising.

But the shoulder’s not that hardworking, which keeps it tender enough to be subjected to the shorter blasts of heat typically reserved for more elegant cuts. Here, it’s braised in a flavorful mixture of prunes, red wine and spices until tender.


Three games, 15 goals; yes, you’ve got to love the old FA Cup. A great night for Swansea City, Rochdale and Huddersfield Town, one to forget certainly for Notts County. Just the one fourth-round tie remains: can Newport County go to Wembley and knock the eight-time winners Tottenham Hotspur out? Join us tomorrow evening on the MBM to find out.


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CHAN 2018, Boko Haram, The Senate: Your Wednesday review

What to expect today in Nasa 'oath' ceremony at Uhuru park

Nasa leader Raila Odinga holds up a bible during a meeting held at Machakos Golf Club on January 19, 2018. Photo: Francis Nderitu/The Nation

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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.


Unmanned aircraft bombard Boko Haram location

Nigeria Airforce Jet. Photo: Daily Trust

A REMOTELY piloted aircraft (RPA)of the Nigerian Air Force on 27 January successfully destroyed an artillery gun and some gun trucks belonging to Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) in the Sambisa Forest.

A statement from Air Force Spokesman Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya on Monday said, “A NAF Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform and the RPA had observed the terrorists withdrawing with the artillery gun and gun trucks after an unsuccessful operation.”


The incident happened shortly before the commencement of a public hearing of the committee on petroleum (downstream).

Trouble started when an official of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) rode in the same elevator with the lawmaker, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

Lifts in the assembly are installed in pairs, one reserved for lawmakers (Senators and House of Representatives members), and another for other users.


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Aymeric Laporte has joined Manchester City from Athletic Bilbao. Photo: Vincent West/Reuters

Manchester City have signed the central defender Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao.

The Premier League leaders met the 23-year-old’s £57.2m release clause last week in a deal which makes him City’s record signing. They paid £55m for Kevin De Bruyne in 2015.

Laporte has been with Athletic since 2012. He has played for various of France’s age-group teams and was called into the senior squad last year but did not get game time.


Julius Ayuk Tabe and 11 others were arrested at Nera Hotels Abuja on January 6 and were detained at the Defence Intelligence Agency, said Femi Falana who has been providing legal support for them.

The detainees were largely held incommunicado, which included denial of access to their lawyers, doctors and family members.

However, the deputy representative of the office of United Nations Commissioner for Refugees to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Brigitte Mukanga-Eno, was allowed to visit them in detention last week, Mr. Falana said.



CHAN fallout - Eagles reject bonuses

HOME-BASED Super Eagles players have rejected their match bonuses after their victory against Angola on Sunday at the 2018 African Nations Championship in Morocco.

According to the media officer of the the team Toyin Ibitoye, the players said they wanted to focus on the semi-final clash with Sudan, holding tomorrow.

The players were supposed to get $2,000 each as winning bonus but instead asked the Nigeria Football Federation to halt the payment.


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We want to make Africa a better, fairer place. We want to keep the powerful honest. And we believe that doing so means keeping society informed by producing quality, independent and all round journalism, which discovers and tells readers the truth from all sides.

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Day zero, Grammys, Davido: Your Tuesday briefing

How afraid of human cloning should we be?

‘The Chinese scientists want to clone monkeys to study the genetic factors behind Alzheimer’s disease.’ Photo: Qiang Sun and Mu-ming Poo/Chines/PA


(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up)

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


Embu Level Five hospital made history on Friday when it became the first public institution in Mt Kenya and upper Eastern region to conduct a successful brain surgery.

The delicate operation to remove a blood clot in the brain was carried out by a team of five doctors and five nurses and was witnessed by Governor Martin Wambora.

Hospital chief executive Dr Moses Njue said the patient, a man in his 20s, was out of danger and was recuperating in the Intensive Care Unit.


Protests Cape Town City over water crisis

Four-year-old Caleb Slabbert attended the protest.Photo: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp

HUNDREDS of people joined outside the civic centre to protest against the City of Cape Town’s management of the water crisis. The Cape Town Water Crisis Coalition (CTWCC) is calling for government to remove water management devices, to stop any drought levy or water tariff increase plans and no privatisation of water supply.

Shaheed Mahomed of the CTWCC said that although the crisis is real, “Day Zero is an invention of the City”. He claimed that the City is trying to instil fear in order to privatise water for profit. “They want to bring in desalination. They want to bring in those water management devices so that they can effectively exercise control of the lives of the people,” he said. “You can come up with the most beautiful plan, but if the City is under mismanagement, it’s a problem.”


All the looks you need to see from the 2018 Grammys red carpet

THE STARS wore their best and boldest looks on the red carpet at the 2018 Grammy Awards on Sunday night.

As promised, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, Camila Cabello, Nick Jonas, Sarah Silverman and more wore white roses on the red carpet. A group called Voices in Entertainment came up with the rose accessory, inspired by the women who’ve pushed the “Time’s Up” campaign against workplace sexual harassment.


THERE was drama on Monday at the new wing of the Senate complex in Abuja after a National Assembly official physically assaulted the senate deputy minority whip, Abiodun Olujimi.

Trouble started when an official of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) rode in the same elevator with the lawmaker, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

Lifts in the assembly are installed in pairs, one reserved for lawmakers (Senators and House of Representatives members), and another for other users.

The senator was on her way to the petroleum committee public hearing while the PASAN member, who was not immediately identified, was to attend a meeting of his association.


My songs has connected me to 13 presidents - Davido

Nigerian singer Davido. Photo: Guardian Nigeria

Music star, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, has revealed how big he has become since releasing his first song years ago.

“That one song with the video made my father realise that I had the talent. And then, I did the song, ‘Dami Duro’. The song became so big and I remember that the President Goodluck Jonathan at the time called my father to talk about me and the song.

“Even during my father’s business meetings with his friends, they would mention my name and the song. Before long, I started travelling and doing shows around the world.”

Davido said he now has the numbers of about 13 presidents on his phone.


Since you are here

We want to make Africa a better, fairer place. We want to keep the powerful honest. And we believe that doing so means keeping society informed by producing quality, independent and all round journalism, which discovers and tells readers the truth from all sides.

But it’s difficult and expensive work. While more people want to read Bloomgist and get informed with the latest around them, it is difficult reaching them due to financial challenges to advertise and send stories to more people.

So if you read us, if you like us, if you value our perspective – then become a Supporter and help make our future more secure.
You can support our project by joining our supporters club or by placing advert on The Bloomgist and reaching our large and fast growing African audience seeking for new ways to better their lives and getting quality information.
 
Visit our advert page to see why advertising with Bloomgist gives you an edge over your competitors.

Your daily Briefing is published everyday at 6 a.m. Nigerian Time and updated on the web all morning by The BloomgistDon’t miss Your Evening Recap, weeknights at 11:45 p.m.

What would you like to see here? What do you want to see here? Let us know at info@bloomgist.com.

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