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Showing posts with label Binnabook Magazine. Show all posts

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez says European Super League is in Stand-by for Now

 Florentino Perez claims the European Super League is in ‘stand-by’ as the Real Madrid president remains bullish amid fierce backlash to the controversial plans.

The new competition was announced on Sunday with 12 founder member clubs announcing their involvement to the radical plans.

It would have seen those clubs guaranteed a place in the competition every season, along with vast financial rewards.

It would have effectively been an end to the Champions League, but widespread condemnation led to its effective cancellation 48 hours later.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man United and Tottenham all withdrew amid protests from fans, while clubs on the continent slowly followed.

Perez, who would have been heading up the European Super League, claims the plans are by no means dead.

In an interview with El Larguero: “The Super League poject is now in stand-by, I can confirm.

“Juventus and AC Milan have not left the Super League. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and AC Milan are still in talks to find solutions.

“If this project didn’t work, another one will. Remember: all the 12 clubs have signed a binding contract.”

He continued: “I am a bit sad, disappointed. We have been working three years on this project, on fighting the current financial situation in Spanish football. It is easy to understand – you cannot touch La Liga, so you look for more money midweek and UCL format is obsolete.

“I have never seen aggression greater on the part of the president of UEFA and other presidents of Liga, it was orchestrated, it surprised it all. Never seen anything like it – insults, threats, as if we had killed someone, killed football.

“We are just working on saving football, after this pandemic. Madrid income falling from 900m to 600m this year. We have worked very hard on something that would satisfy everyone – and we did expect such a response.”

On the British club’s decision to withdraw, Perez said: “There was someone in the English six clubs who did not have much interest. That started to affect the others, there was fear. One of the English clubs was never really convinced.

“There was a campaign, totally manipulated, that we were going to finish the national leagues. That we were ending football, it was terrible. But we were working for football to survive.”

“There are people with privileges who do not want to lose them, and are willing to run clubs, although when the clubs are ruined they will lose their privileges.”

“The English clubs tried to do something, but they were being told they were killing football. But there is no other solution, than the Super League. Or somebody invents something else

They are leaving due to UEFA putting on a show, which surprised me. I don’t want to get into it with the UEFA president, but he needs to be able to talk. It was like we had thrown an atomic bomb. They did not let us explain, as they did not want anything to change.”

“It cannot be that in England, the six lose money, and 14 make money. In Spain the top three lose money, and the others make money. It cannot continue – at the moment the rich are those who are losing money.”

Nigeria Communication Minister Pantami Plotted Against the Killing of Former Governor of Kaduna State Patrick Yakowa- Document Reveals

He was killed in a helicopter crash in 2012, alongside former national security adviser Owoeye Patrick Azazi.

A document has been uncovered which showed how President Muhammadu Buhari’s communication minister Isa Pantami and other Muslim leaders plotted to assassinate former Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa. It was unclear whether the conclusion of the Muslim leaders was responsible for the helicopter crash that killed Mr Yakowa, and the minister did not immediately return a request seeking comments from Peoples Gazette on Wednesday night.

Mr Yakowa was the first Christian governor of Kaduna, which is divided between Muslim and Christians, although with a mostly Muslim population. 

Mr Pantami chaired the July 13, 2010, meeting of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), a foremost Isla mic body led by Sultan of Sokoto Sa’ad Abubakar, where it was agreed that Mr Yakowa and his family must be eliminated because he was a Christian leader leading a state in the Muslim-dominated North.

“We must either use the security or other means to eliminate the governor, his family and all those they perceive as supporting him,” Mr Pantami and other leaders said in their communique adopted at the meeting held at Bauchi Central Mosque. 

The meeting complained that Mr Yakowa was making moves to contest for governor in 2011 and he had the support of former President Goodluck Jonathan, a fellow Christian. 

Mr Yakowa became governor in 2010 when Mr Jonathan tapped Namadi Sambo, then Kaduna governor, as his vice-president. 

Mr Yakowa contested in 2011 and won a substantive four-year term. He was killed in a helicopter crash barely a year later in 2012, alongside former national security adviser Owoye Andrew Azazi. The event had long been suspected to be more than just an accident, and investigation into what happened was never concluded or made public.

The minister did not immediately return a request seeking comments about the 2010 meeting.

Document about the meeting surfaced as Mr Pantami came under pressure to step down from office after The Gazette uncovered details of his past inflammatory statements. The minister said he was always happy about the massacre of unbelievers. 

He also said Osama Bin Laden was a better Muslim than himself and wished Al Qaeda and the Taliban success in their terrorism. 

Amazon Coming to Africa with First South Africa Headquarters

 Amazon has concluded plans to open its African headquarters in South Africa with a real estate investment of over R4 billion.

Authorities in Cape Town said Amazon would be occupying a new development in River Club, a prime section of the city, local media reported on Wednesday.

The 15-hectare parcel of land will cost R4 billion and include two precincts. Authorities said the first precinct of 60,000sqm will occupy different layers of development; while the second section of 70,000 will hold Amazon headquarters in Africa.

“The development is envisaged to take place in phases, with construction set to take place over three to five years,” Cape Town city officials said in a statement.

Over 5,000 direct construction jobs and 19,000 indirect jobs are expected to be created as a result of the move, Business Tech reported.

Joel Glazer Manchester United Owner Apologies to Fans Over European Super League Flaws

To all Manchester United supporters,

Over the past few days, we have all witnessed the great passion which football generates, and the deep loyalty our fans have for this great club.

You made very clear your opposition to the European Super League, and we have listened. We got it wrong, and we want to show that we can put things right.

Although the wounds are raw and I understand that it will take time for the scars to heal, I am personally committed to rebuilding trust with our fans and learning from the message you delivered with such conviction.

We continue to believe that European football needs to become more sustainable throughout the pyramid for the long-term. However, we fully accept that the Super League was not the right way to go about it.

In seeking to create a more stable foundation for the game, we failed to show enough respect for its deep-rooted traditions –promotion, relegation, the pyramid – and for that we are sorry.

This is the world’s greatest football club and we apologise unreservedly for the unrest caused during these past few days.

It is important for us to put that right.

Manchester United has a rich heritage and we recognise our responsibility to live up to its great traditions and values.

The pandemic has thrown up so many unique challenges and we are proud of the way Manchester United and its fans from Manchester and around the world have reacted to the enormous pressures during this period.

We also realise that we need to better communicate with you, our fans, because you will always be at the heart of the club.

In the background, you can be sure that we will be taking the necessary steps to rebuild relationships with other stakeholders across the game, with a view to working together on solutions to the long-term challenges facing the football pyramid.

Right now, our priority is to continue to support all of our teams as they push for the strongest possible finish to the season.

In closing, I would like to recognise that it is your support which makes this club so great, and we thank you for that.

With best regards,

Joel Glazer

Ghana local firms that helped to issue $3bn Eurobond

 Five indigenous financial institutions have emerged as critical parts of the processes that led to the raising of US$3.025billion in Eurobonds for Ghana in March 2021.

The institutions - Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited, CalBank PLC, Databank Brokerage Limited, IC Securities (Ghana) Limited and Temple Investments Limited - acted as co-managers of the transaction that turned out to be the country's largest bond sale in history and featured a novel zero-coupon Eurobond, the first of its kind by an emerging market economy.

Known as co-managers in the finance parlance, the five indigenous firms played supporting roles to the joint lead managers in the issuance that was oversubscribed in spite of the grim that the COVID-19 pandemic posed to investor appetite.

The firms worked with their foreign counterparts to develop investor presentation, fashion out the liability management strategy and coordinate the logistics for the first ever virtual roadshow outside Accra.

They also helped to aggregate what turned out to be significant domestic demand for all tranches of the Eurobond, with the largest being the debut zero-coupon bond.

Experts say the demand to the local co-managers came mainly from domestic indigenous investors and that provided access for Ghanaian investors on the international capital markets.

Historically, local co-managers have contributed relatively lower amounts to the total order books.

However, in recent years, there have been improvement in the local co-managers contribution to the total order book, with each successive issuance enjoying increments.

Analysts say the successful collaboration between the local co-managers and the joint lead managers in the 2021 bond sale resulted in the oversubscription by investors and the government securing favourable interest rates for the four-tranche Eurobonds in spite of the impact of COVID-19 and the energy and the financial sectors debts on the 2020 fiscal deficit.


The $3.025 billion Eurobond was novel as it was the largest Eurobond issuance by the country and also marked the first time a zero-coupon bond denominated in US dollar had been issued by an emerging market economy for new money or outside of a restructuring.

Of significant importance is the fact that it also marked the first time that four tranches had been issued by a SSA country.

Impressive showing

The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, told the Daily Graphic on April 14 that he was delighted about the role of the indigenous firms in the issuance processes, explaining that their active involvement was testament that efforts by the government to develop indigenous capacity in the banking and financial sector were yielding the expected results.

Beyond helping investors domiciled in the country to access the international capital market, Mr Ofori-Atta said the arrangement ensured that almost 50 per cent of the novel zero-coupon bond was taken up by these resident investors, a development that he said was positive for the economy.

“For the first time in Africa, we have seen local managers drive significant local market participation in fund raising in a global Eurobond. Close to 50 per cent of the zero-coupon bond was taken up by the local market through the efforts of the local co-nanagers, " he said.

The Minister of Finance said the gains from the local co-managers showed the deepening of the financial sector and further expressed the commitment of the government to work with the private sector to unlock more opportunities for Ghanaian enterprises.

Mr Ofori-Atta disclosed that Ghana was currently the only country in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to have "logistics for global issuances managed by local entities.”

He noted that while the local co-managers supported the joint lead managers in the various streams of work, including the investor presentation, development of the liability management strategy and the logistics for the virtual roadshow, "there is the desire for local institutions to take on other lead roles in a bid to localise a significant portion of the work for global and local fund raising efforts."

Usage of proceeds

Of the amount issued, about $1.5 billion of the 2021 Eurobond, which was approved last year, is to be used to finance this year's budget deficit.

It followed elevated pressures on the public purse, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rolling out of measures by the government to stop the spread and mitigate the impact on lives and livelihoods.

The government also planned to use part of the proceeds to pay off existing debts that were relatively expensive and closer to maturity.

Known as liability management, the practice helps to reduce the average cost of debt and create fiscal space for the government.


The country made its debut into the Eurobond market in 2007,with the latest being in March when the government successfully raised $3.025 billion in four tranches.

Thus, while Eurobonds are not new to the country, the issuance of a four-year zero-coupon tranche was an innovative market-oriented solution to address post-COVID-19 challenges and improve the cash flow required for debt servicing.

Electricity Company of Ghana timetable for Greater Accra for the month of May 'dumsor'

 The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has released the power outages timetable for Greater Accra for the month of May 2021, due to ongoing construction works in the power sector especially at the Pokuase Bulk Supply Point.

According to the ECG, as part of projects to improve power supply reliability and system voltages, the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) in collaboration with the ECG are undertaking interruptions in the power supply to facilitate the work of contractors at various stages and times.

This, according to the ECG requires a complete shutdown of the 330kv line thereby affecting power supply reliability to the Mallam Bulk Supply Point (BSP).

This is because, the new Pokuase Bulk Supply Point, which is near completion and sponsored by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) under the auspices of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) will require a tie-in to GRIDCo's 330kv transmission line.

While some of the areas will sleep in darkness for two nights and have their power off for two days during the day in the month of May, others will sleep in darkness for three nights and have their power off for just one day. Others will also sleep in darkness for three nights and have power off for just one day.

The outages will rotate between day and night from 6am to 6pm and 6pm to 6am for eight days.

According to the ECG, the tie-in works will take eight days from Monday, May 10 to Monday, May 17, 2021 and will affect power supply to some customers in the North-Eastern parts of Accra.

The ECG has explained that other needed interruptions in power supply to enable contractors complete the different intervention projects, will be communicated in due course.

The affected areas which have been divided into four groups are listed below.

Group A - Power off on May 10 and May 14 during the day and power off at night on May 12 and May 16.

Nsakina, Oduman, Odorkor Official Town, Awoshie, Odorgonno, Mallam Abease, Top Base (Gbawe), Kokompe, Zamrama Line, Banana Inn, Chorkor, Korle Gonno, Gbegbeyse, Shiabu, Kwashi-Bu, Abeka Lapaz, Nii Boye Town, Alhaji, Sowutuom, Ablekuma New Town, Dansoman Control, Market, GBC Staff Quarters, Old barrier, Opeikuma, Ashalaja, Lamptey Mills (Kasoa).

Group B - Power off during the day on May 12 and May 16 and power off during the night on May 10 and May 14.

Lower McCarthy, Mallam, Gbawe, Agape junction, Bubiashie, Demod, Abossey Okai, Santa Maria, Bortianor, Red Top, New Aplaku, Mataheko, Dansoman SSNIT Flats, Glefe, Nyanyano, Nyanyano Kakraba, Iron City, Breku, Tuba.

Group C - Power off during the day on May 11, May 15, May 17 and power off during the night on May 13.

Sakaman, Hansonic, Upper McCarthy Hill, Tetegu, Melcom Plus Industrial Area, Abeka Market, Lartebiokorshie, Tantra Hill, Nyamekye, Pokuase ACP Estates, Amasaman, Anyaa, NIC, Nsumfa, Antieku, Bortianor, Wesley Grammar, Ayigbe Town, Korkordzor, Banana Inn, Mamprobi New Town.

Group D - Power off during the day on May 13 and power off at night on May 11, May 15, May 17,

Odorkor, St. Anthony, Djaman township, Oblogo, Salaga market, CMB Flats, Mamprobi, Soko, Taifa, Ofankor, Asofa, Alhajo, Tabora, Chantan, Israel, Fadama, North Kaneshie, Joma, NIC Top, Seminary, Sowutuom Last Stop, Ablekuma Curve, Russia, Sukura, Kokrobite, Bortianor, Osofo Dadzie, Datus. 

European Super League proposal six Premier League teams withdrawn from the competition

 All six Premier League teams involved in the European Super League have formally withdrawn from the competition.

Manchester City were the first club to formally pull out after Chelsea had signalled their intent to do so by preparing documentation to withdraw.

The other four sides - Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham - have all now followed suit

The 12-team Super League was announced on Sunday to widespread condemnation.

Manchester City confirmed they have "formally enacted the procedures to withdraw" from the Super League.

Liverpool said their involvement in the proposed breakaway league "has been discontinued".

Manchester United said they had "listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders" in making their decision to not take part.

Arsenal apologised and said they had "made a mistake", adding they were withdrawing after listening to their fans and the "wider football community".

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said the club regretted the "anxiety and upset" caused by the proposal.

The Federal Govt of Nigeria has Kick Against Asylum by UK Govt to Biafra Agitators as Disrespectful and Sabotaging Terrorism Fight

 The Federal Government says the reported decision of the United Kingdom to grant asylum to “persecuted” members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is disrespectful of Nigeria as a nation.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also said that the decision amounted to sabotaging the fight against terrorism and generally undermining Nigeria’s security.

Fielding questions at a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) flagship interview programe, NANForum, on Tuesday in Abuja, Mohammed said the decision is unacceptable to Nigeria.

“Let me say straightaway that this issue is within the purview of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and I am sure he will handle it appropriately.

“But as the spokesman for the Federal Government of Nigeria, I will say that if indeed the report that the UK will grant asylum to supposedly persecuted IPOB and MASSOB members is true, then something is wrong somewhere.

“Against the background of the fact that IPOB is not only proscribed but also designated as a terrorist organisation here in Nigeria, the UK’s decision is disrespectful of Nigeria as a nation.

“The decision amounts to sabotaging the fight against terrorism and generally undermining Nigeria’s security.

“It is not only unconscionable, it is inexplicable,’’ he said.

The minister said that there had recently been heightened attacks against security agencies in the South East Zone.

He said IPOB had been fingered as being behind the attacks inspite of its denials.

“For the UK to choose this time to give succour to IPOB beggars belief and calls to question the UK’s real intention.

“If we could go down the memory lane, what the UK has done is like Nigeria offering asylum to members of the IRA before the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) had released new guidelines to its decision makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications by members of Biafran secessionist groups.

In the guidelines, asylum is to be granted to “persecuted” members IPOB, a group that Nigeria had designated as a terrorist organisation.

Also in the guidelines, asylum is to be granted to the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra.

United Kingdom To Grant Asylum To ‘persecuted’ IPOB, MASSOB Members which has been Designated as a Terrorist Organisation by the Nigerian Government

Asylum is to be granted to “persecuted” members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian government, and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).

IPOB was formed in 2012 by Nnamdi Kanu and is believed to be an offshoot of MASSOB, which was founded in 1999 by Ralph Uwazuruike.

Both are campaigning for the secession of mainly the south-east but also several other ethnic nationalities from Nigeria.

In the just-released ‘Country Policy and Information Note Nigeria: Biafran secessionist groups’ seen by TheCable, the UKVI, a division of the Home Office, directed its decision makers to consider if a person “who actively and openly supports IPOB is likely to be at risk of arrest and detention, and ill-treatment which is likely to amount to persecution”.

According to the guidelines, the decision makers “must also consider if the [Nigerian] government’s actions are acts of prosecution, not persecution. Those fleeing prosecution or punishment for a criminal offence are not normally refugees. Prosecution may, however, amount to persecution if it involves victimisation in its application by the authorities”.

An example of persecution, the UKVI said, is “if it is the vehicle or excuse for or if only certain groups are prosecuted for a particular offence and the consequences of that discrimination are sufficiently severe. Punishment which is cruel, inhuman or degrading (including punishment which is out of all proportion to the offence committed) may also amount to persecution”.

They are also to “consider each case on its facts to determine if the person is likely to be of interest to the [Nigerian] government and whether this is for the legitimate grounds of prosecution which is proportionate and non-discriminatory”.


The onus is on the applicants to demonstrate that they will be “at risk of persecution or serious harm” in Nigeria, according to the guidelines.

In particular, the decision makers are to consider each case on its facts, taking into account:

profile, size, and organisation of the group/organisation to which the person belongs and its activities

whether a person in the UK would wish to continue their activism if returned to Nigeria (if not, why not)

whether the group/organisation has a presence in Nigeria as well as outside of the country and any evidence that it is being monitored by the government

person’s profile and political activities (including those online) and relevant documentary or other evidence

profile and activities of family members

past treatment.

The UK acknowledges that the Nigerian government has a responsibility to maintain law and order, “to prevent and protect the public against acts of violence”.

It said where supporters or members of MASSOB or IPOB “have incited or used violence to disrupt public order, the government may have legitimate grounds to arrest and prosecute those people”.

“However, where the government has arrested and detained persons who, for example, peacefully participate in demonstrations and has then charged them with treason or the person is subjected to periods of detention in degrading or inhuman conditions, such treatment is unlikely to be fair or proportionate, and is likely to amount to persecution,” the guidelines noted.

The UK defines ‘Biafra’ as an area “in the south-east of Nigeria that comprises the states of Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra. The area is inhabited principally by Igbo (Ibo) people who are one of the country’s 3 largest ethnic groups”.


The UK, which is a signatory to several human rights and refugee conventions, believes Biafran secessionist agitations are covered by one or more of the following policies:

A person is reasonably likely to face a real risk of persecution or serious harm

The general humanitarian situation is so severe as to breach Article 15(b) of European Council Directive 2004/83/EC (the Qualification Directive)/Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights as transposed in paragraph 339C and 339CA(iii) of the Immigration Rules

The security situation presents a real risk to a civilian’s life or person such that it would breach Article 15(c) of the Qualification Directive as transposed in paragraph 339C and 339CA(iv) of the Immigration Rules

A person is able to obtain protection from the state (or quasi state bodies)

A person is reasonably able to relocate within a country or territory

A claim is likely to justify granting asylum, humanitarian protection or other form of leave, and

If a claim is refused, it is likely or unlikely to be certifiable as ‘clearly unfounded’ under section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

However, decision makers are directly to still consider all claims on an individual basis, taking into account each case’s specific facts.

Source: The Cable News

The United States remains committed to providing Taiwan with defence Against China Invasion -U.S. Department of Defence

 The United States remains committed to providing Taiwan with defensive material and helping it strengthen its self-defense capabilities, U.S. Department of Defence spokesman John Kirby said Monday.


"We remain committed, as we have for multiple administrations, to aiding Taiwan in its self-defence, to providing materiel for them to defend themselves," Kirby said at a news briefing when asked how Japan and the U.S. should cooperate to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait.

When asked by Japanese Nippon Television about the necessity to formulate a joint operation plan or hold joint exercises to prepare for a potential confrontation in the Strait, Kirby said he would not speculate on this issue.

He simply reiterated the U.S.' support for the one-China policy and said "nobody wants to see things come to blows over Taiwan."

Talk of U.S.-Japan cooperation on Taiwan emerged after U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met in Washington on April 16.

The importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait was highlighted in a joint statement issued after their meeting. That was believed to be the first mention of the importance of cross-strait security in a joint U.S.-Japan statement since 1969.

Meanwhile, Kirby noted that U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who participated in the April 16 meeting with Suga, made his first overseas trip to Asia and his first stop was Tokyo.

The trip gave him a chance to learn more about the region from the Japanese perspective and reaffirm the U.S.' commitment to its obligations and its assistance in the defense of Japan under the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, Kirby said.

The U.S. will also continue to work bilaterally with Japan's Self-Defense Forces to improve their collective capabilities given the scope of the threats across the region, including the threats emanating from North Korea, Kirby said.


NASA helicopter Ingenuity makes historic first flight on Mars

 NASA scored a 21st-century Wright Brothers moment on Monday as it sent its miniature robot helicopter Ingenuity buzzing above the surface of Mars for nearly 40 seconds, marking the first powered controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet.

Officials at the U.S. space agency hailed the brief flight of the 4-pound (1.8-kg) rotorcraft as an achievement that would help pave the way for a new mode of aerial exploration on Mars and other destinations in the solar system, such as Venus and Saturn's moon Titan.

The debut flight of Ingenuity, resembling a large metallic tissue box with four legs and a twin-rotor parasol, was documented in full-color video by cameras aboard the science rover vehicle Perseverance, which carried the helicopter to the Red Planet two months ago.

Mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles burst into applause and cheers as data beamed back from Mars confirmed the solar-powered helicopter had performed its maiden 39-second flight three hours earlier, precisely as planned.

"We can now say that human beings have flown an aircraft on another planet," said MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at JPL, during a NASA livestream of the flight confirmation.

Altimeter readings from the rotorcraft showed it became airborne at 3:34 a.m. EDT (0734 GMT), climbed as programmed to a height of 10 feet (3 meters), then hovered steadily in place over the Martian surface for half a minute while pivoting 96 degrees before making a firm but safe touchdown, NASA said.

"That's what we told Ingenuity to do, and it did exactly that," Havard Grip, Ingenuity's chief pilot at JPL, told a post-flight briefing. He called the flight "flawless."

NASA likened the achievement to the Wright Brothers' first controlled flight of their motor-driven airplane near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in December 1903 - a takeoff and landing that covered just 120 feet (37 meters) in 12 seconds.

"This is really a Wright brothers moment," acting NASA chief Steve Jurczyk said at the briefing.

Early images included a black-and-white still photo taken by a downward-pointing onboard camera while the helicopter was aloft, showing the distinct shadow cast by Ingenuity in the Martian sunlight onto the ground below it.

A separate camera mounted on Perseverance, parked about 200 feet away, captured video of the rotorcraft's entire flight against the butterscotch-colored landscape surrounding it.

Despite the flight's brevity and less-than-soaring altitude, it marked a historic feat in interplanetary aviation, taking place on an "air field" 173 million miles from Earth on the floor of a vast Martian basin called Jezero Crater.

In honor of the modest but monumental first human flight 117 years ago at Kitty Hawk, NASA officially designated Ingenuity's flight zone as Wright Brothers Field, a location recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization in a certificate issued to NASA for the occasion.

NASA also paid tribute to the Wrights by affixing a tiny swatch of wing fabric from their original flyer under Ingenuity's solar panel before sending it off to Mars.

The tiny rotorcraft hitched a ride to the Red Planet strapped to the belly of Perseverance, a six-wheeled astrobiology lab that landed in Jezero Crater on Feb. 18 after a nearly seven-month journey through space.

Ingenuity's chief engineer, Bob Balaram, said the aircraft was doing great after its first flight.

But NASA officials were less than sentimental about the fate facing their beloved Martian whirligig. JPL plans to press the aircraft to its brink with four more flights going farther, faster and higher over the next two weeks, they said. The first is targeted for Thursday.

"We will be pushing the envelope," Aung said. "And ultimately we expect the helicopter will meet its limits."

Ingenuity was developed as a technology demonstration, separate from Perseverance's primary mission to search for traces of ancient microorganisms and collect Martian rock samples. That mission will continue after Ingenuity's demise.

Building a helicopter to fly on Mars was tall order for JPL.

While Mars possesses much less gravity to overcome than Earth, its atmosphere is just 1% as dense, making it especially difficult to generate aerodynamic lift. To compensate, engineers equipped Ingenuity with rotor blades that are larger (4 feet long) and spin far more rapidly than would be needed on Earth.

The design was successfully tested in vacuum chambers simulating Martian conditions, but the concept remain unproved until Ingenuity took flight Monday on the fourth planet from the sun.

Because of the enormous distances involved, Ingenuity was designed to execute preprogrammed flight instructions autonomously, using advanced onboard pilot and navigation systems.

The small, lightweight aircraft also had to withstand punishing overnight Martian temperatures dropping as low as minus 130 Fahrenheit (minus 90 Celsius), using solar power alone to recharge and keep internal components properly heated.

The first flight was delayed a week by a technical glitch, but NASA resolved the issue by transmitting additional flight sequence commands last week.

China’s Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Cancelled an agreement to buy the Bibiani Gold mine in Ghana

 China’s Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining on Monday cancelled an agreement to buy the Bibiani gold mine in Ghana, saying it had not received timely information from the seller about the termination of the mining lease.

Australia-based Resolute Mining agreed to sell Bibiani to Chifeng Jilong for around $105 million in December, apparently extending a flurry of Chinese M&A in the gold mining sector, only to announce last month its lease had been terminated by the Ghanaian government.

The lease was restored last week under terms that did not recognise the sale.

In a filing, Chifeng Jilong said Resolute had been told in a Nov. 6 letter from Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources that the lease had been terminated but “did not disclose” the information.

In a statement shortly afterwards Resolute said it “will continue to consider all options for the successful development or sale of Bibiani and will provide further information in accordance with continuous disclosure requirements, as required.”

A Resolute spokeswoman said the company was not available to comment. She did not respond to Reuters’ question about Chifeng’s claim that Resolute did not disclose the letter from Ghana’s mines ministry.

The Chinese firm, which urged Resolute to refund an advance payment of around $5 million, said it only found out about the minister’s letter on March 24, when Resolute announced it had received a separate letter from the Ghanaian Minerals Commission saying the lease had been terminated.

The deal would have marked Chifeng Jilong’s second overseas acquisition, after it bought a 90% stake in the Sepon gold and copper mine in Laos in 2018.

The company said the cancellation of the Bibiani deal would not adversely affect its overall business development and operations.

Jose Mourinho Sacked As Tottenham Hotspur Manager

 Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager of Tottenham Hotspur on Monday after a poor run of form, according to Sky Sports.

A 2-2 draw on Friday against Everton left Tottenham, Champions League finalists in 2019, in seventh place in the Premier League and unlikely to reach the top four.

Mourinho took charge in November 2019, replacing Mauricio Pochettino. The club were yet to confirm whether Mourinho was still in charge.

Tottenham face a League Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.

The London club is among 12 that shocked the football world on Monday by announcing the formation of a breakaway European Super League.

Nigeria Vice President Osinbajo seeks review of US foreign policy

 Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on the United States (U.S.) to reset its foreign policy on Africa.

According to him, a robust intervention in the continent by the U.S will be beneficial to both parties.

Osinbajo made the call in a speech delivered virtually at the 2021 Johns Hopkins University’s African Studies Programme Conference on the theme: “Africa-US re-engagement: A new foreign policy agenda”.

He urged the U.S. to back the call for a just global transition to zero emissions, lead the effort to ensure easy access to COVID-19 vaccine.

The vice president said: “The U.S.) should promote a partnership that brings about economic prosperity, increases security, combats disease, improves governance and mitigates climate change.

“Africa is in many ways the last frontier for economic development and it has the potential to be a global growth pole. Indeed, as other parts of the world are looking inwards, Africa is moving confidently to integrate its economies through the African Union Agenda 2063 as well as the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”

Speaking  on AfCFTA implementation, Osinbajo said: “The United States is well placed to lead trade and investment ties with Africa. And it has a good leg-in with the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA). The legislation, which removed all tariffs on 6,400 products available for export to the US, saw some African countries benefiting considerably.”

”As the African Continental Free Trade Agreements are set to kick-in, AGOA must now be implemented consistent with the AFCTA. AGOA expires in 2025. But a new and improved AGOA that takes these challenges into account can be negotiated before then.”

On improving the support of the US in combating terrorism in the Sahel region, the vice president said a more robust intervention towards clearing the reign of terror in the region is desirable.

He said: “While it is evident that the threat of violent extremist organizations is growing, it will appear that US policy (United States Africa Command) has since 2020 shifted from a strategy of degrading violent extremist organisations in West Africa to simply containing their spread.

“The escalation of the attacks, the synergies being created amongst these extremist groups call for a review of position. It may be the moment for a more robust intervention along the lines of US-backed operations in clearing terrorists and insurgents in the Middle East.”

The vice president also advocated that the US-Africa relations need not be unidimensional, noting that “since the U.S. is also a global leader in economic and military terms as well as through its contributions to the norms that shape the global order, it should work with Africa either under the auspices of the African Union or indeed through individual countries like Nigeria to build a better world.

“Africa should not be seen or used as a pawn in great power games nor as an arena in the contest to secure strategic minerals and natural resources but rather as a partner in building a more secure, peaceful and prosperous world,” Osinbajo added.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, the vice president also tasked the US to reset its foreign policy with the African continent in ways that bring about economic prosperity, increased security, and improved governance.

The statement reads: “The U.S. and Africa should work together to tackle climate change and moderate global warming including through an energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies. African countries have made commitments in this regard towards implementing the Paris Climate Change Agreement targets.

Given the long term commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050, there is a growing trend among development finance institutions to withdraw from fossil fuel investment, including the World Bank’s decision to cease funding for upstream oil and gas development and the new restrictions on financing downstream gas development currently being considered by the European Union, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the U.S.

“While well-intentioned, this move does not take into account the principles of common but differentiated responsibility and leaving no one behind, that are enshrined into global treaties around sustainable development and climate action,” Osinbajo noted.

Five Types Of People You Need To Surround Yourself With in Life to Succeed

 The journey of life is not an easy one, Sometimes you are happy and sometimes you are sad. You win today, lose tomorrow, this minute you feel like taking it all up and the next you want to give it all up. It is a combination of simplicity, mystery, joy and sorrow, love and hate etc.

However if you want to make it easier and steadier to navigate, you need to surround yourself with people of valuable character and influence. This kind of people will give you the right push and words to help you go through your daily hurdles and struggle.

1. The Inspired And Motivated

Much of life’s problems and situations greatly depends on how you see it, what you see in it and how your mind wants to tackle it. To one person a situation could be a problem and to another it could be an opportunity to achieve greatness. This is why you need to surround yourself with the people that has the right mindset and optimistic attitude towards life. The words that comes out of their mouth will always be that to encourage, inspire, motivate and invigorate your mind no matter the circumstance. This way your greatness will only be one step ahead!

2. The Open Minded And Passionate

It is easy for you to get locked up in a closed circle, right inside your own mind. Only thinking or reasoning life in one way or pattern, without being aware or willing to explore the endless possibilities and ideas there is. It is also possible for you to keep chasing multiple possibilities and forget that which really matters- your passion. Surround yourself with people that are open minded and passionate, they see multiple opportunities and ideas in any circumstance, while teaching you the right and passionate way towards pursuing them.

3. The Grateful

Nothing beats a thankful heart. Someone who recognizes that they receive something no matter how little and remain grateful for it. Whether it is to a fellow human for some favour recieved or to God, being grateful is underated. Furthermore it paves way for more gifts and favour, just for being grateful for a small gift or favour, you could receive more! Imagine going out of your way to do something for someone and they come back feeling it was their right to have benefited so? Let your circle be people of a grateful heart, that way you will be in position to recieve more both from God and man.

4. The Wise And Knowledgeable

When the blind leads another blind, you can only imagine the outcome. You definitely don’t want to be in the middle of such a situation. Always be in company of people who are wiser and more knowledgeable than you, this way you always have something new and good to learn each time. As time goes you become wiser and more Knowledgeable, learning better and more intelligent ways in dealing with life and issues.

5. The Experienced

No one knows a situation better than that person who have experienced it first hand. There is no better person to give advice than that person who have gone through so many life experiences or has practiced a trade, art or profession repeatedly and successfully for several years. The importantance of an experienced advice coming from an experienced person cannot be overstated. Make sure your circle also includes someone experienced enough to give you practical advices when they come handy.

Finally, to reach your maximum potential you need the right people around you and the above list will sure help you make your choice and consequently help make the right decisions for optimum results.

Life Tips: 7 Things You Should Learn To Do In Your 20s To Avoid Regrets In Your Later Life

 Life in the 20s is so much energetic, fun and adventurous. You have little or no responsibilities, but with so much to see, learn and do, both the interesting, good, bad and the ugly. It is easy to get carried away in the whole frenzy and forget that it is also a stage that you should be building yourself for later in life when you are less energetic and have more responsibilities.

Below are seven tips to help you consolidate your 20s in other to avoid regrets in your 30s and 40s.

1. Don’t Get So Entangled In Love:

Love, relationship and marriage is good, but at this stage it could be distracting you from focusing on the things that matters at the moment. Falling in love because you feel lonely and getting passionately committed to it, will leave you pursuing love and feelings at the expense of expanding your mental growth and development. This could in turn lead to regret at later stages in life, especially because most relationship at this stage don’t work out and you have wasted all that time chasing shadows.

2. Start Pursuing Your Passion As Early As Possible:

There is no time too early to start doing the things you love doing and no one is too young to pursue his or her passion. Even while pursuing a University Education, you should also find time to improve that skill you have or develop that passion of yours alongside your education. If you do not, you could get stuck in the cycle of regret later just doing a 9 to 5 job you don’t like or have no passion for.

3. Build Connections Early If You Can:

Truth is at 20s you are probably busy with either education, skill acquisition or apprenticeship that you may not have time to build connections. Moreover you are still too young to know important and highly placed persons to build Connections. However, you are not too young to build Connections, if you have the opportunity in whatever capacity to meet influential persons, do as much as possible to get acquainted with them and establish contact if possible. Attend forums, seminars and events, they will improve your chances of meeting persons of influence.

4. Learn Financial Discipline:

Admittedly, there are a lot of distractions at your 20s and you are probably young enough to want everything and anything good and shiny your eye sees. However this is actually the best time for you to start being prudent and learn how to manage money and make wise financial decisions. Besides it is not out of place to begin investing at 20, no age is too young for wise financial investments. The discipline you learn at this stage will lead you into better financial understanding later in life.

5. Avoid Getting Used To Procrastination:

Learn to set goals, targets and start pursuing them immediately without shifting the take off time. Always tell yourself that the best time to start doing anything you decide to do is now. Don’t get used to waiting for when all conditions and situations will favour you before you commence. Normalise setting goals and pursuing them starting immediately without making lazy excuses why you have not started. This will give you the much needed discipline later in your 40s.

6. Control Your Emotions:

Emotions drive almost everything humans do, for whatever you conceive in your heart, there is a corresponding emotion that pushes you to it. Actions, good or bad are driven by emotions, good emotions birth good actions and bad emotions birth bad actions. Actions can put you in serious trouble if you do not control what you feel, how you feel and how you choose to react. Learn to control your emotions so you do not get caught up in actions that you will regret later in life or in the worst case put you in a condition that will ruin your life completely.

7. Don’t Be Afraid To Try New Things:

You are very young, with all the time in the world to experiment and find what’s best for you. You have nothing to loose, if you fail, you have simply learnt the lessons that apply and you try again in better ways or move to try better things, untill you find what suits and fits you. So don’t be afraid to try out new things and do not shy away from difficult or complicated tasks, you will learn and grow faster when you try them out.

Source : Nairaland

Super League: Premier League has called a meeting for Tuesday morning of the 14 clubs who are not part of the European Super League discussions

 The Premier League has called a meeting for Tuesday morning of the 14 clubs who are not part of the European Super League discussions.

The so-called 'big six' have not been invited to attend.

It will be a first opportunity for those clubs to formally discuss next steps, amid suggestions that breakaway sides could be excluded from their domestic competitions.

Standard Sport understands West Ham will discuss the plans for a Super League with their Independent Supporters’ Committee on Monday before Karren Brady attends the Premier League meeting.

The club are wholeheartedly against the idea, a similar attitude held by many vocal in the fallout from the announcement.

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl reiterated his stance against the move at his press conference earlier in the day.

He said: "There cannot be any other opinion about it. It's a big threat, what I see coming up, war, if you want, from the big clubs.

"We will see what the future brings but it's a big threat and we have to fight against it.

"I hope we have the fans with us and without the fans football won't work. They have a lot of power, these big clubs."

Sir Alex Ferguson said: “Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football. In my time at United, we played in four Champions League finals and they were always the most special of nights.”

Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc Commits $700 Million To Sugar Production in Nigeria

 The management of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has said it is committing over $700m to its sugar projects to support the Backward Integration Policy of the Federal Government to make Nigeria self-sufficient in sugar production.

According to a statement issued on Sunday by Dangote Industries Limited, the company disclosed this to visiting members of the Nasarawa House of Assembly on Friday.

The company noted that Nigeria was one of the sub-Saharan Africa’s largest importers of sugar, second only to South Africa with an annual import of over $337m.

The Dangote Sugar management however assured the lawmakers that with the completion of its sugar projects in Nasarawa and Adamawa under the BIP, the nation would be saved more than half of the forex expended on sugar imports annually.

It added that the investment would also lift its people as other people-oriented infrastructures would come with the sugar projects.

The state lawmakers commended the Dangote Group for choice of the state for the project and the accelerated pace with which the project was being executed, despite occasional delays arising from communal disagreements.

General Manager for the BIP, Dangote Sugar, John Beverley said when the factory was fully operational, it would have the capacity to crush 12,000 tons of cane per day, while 90MW power would be generated for both the company’s use and host communities.

He also disclosed that some 500km roads in all would be constructed to ease transportation within the vicinity. He solicited the support of the lawmakers in controlling the menace of land encroachment by settlers and itinerant farmers.

The Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Abdullah, and his team members, who were conducted round the company’s 78,000 hectares BIP in Tunga Awe Local Government Area commended the company for the project.

Abdullah noted that it would not only open up opportunities in the state but in Africa as a whole, and said the lawmakers were ready to partner and support the company towards the realisation of the sugar project through relevant legislations.

When the phase II of the project is completed, according to the company, it will make it the largest sugar refining plant in Africa.

Shell, Chevron, Other Oil Majors Are Leaving Nigeria Market

 Fresh insights as to why the oil majors are gradually scaling down their operations and planning their exit from the country has been unraveled.

Investigation by The Nation revealed that among the oil majors, including Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Total and Eni, are cutting billions in spending after taking hits to their profits, thus shifting money to renewable fuels and focusing only on the most cost-effective markets.

Checks by The Nation further revealed that the country was able to attract only $3 billion, or 4%, out of the $70 billion committed on new projects in Africa between 2015 and 2019, a development experts say, does not bode well for economy which relies on oil receipts to survive.

Nigeria’s loss has been the gains of other African countries such as Angola, Sao Tome and Principe, where some of the IOCs have made major investments in recent years.

In Sao Tome & Principe for instance, is now being heavily courted by oil companies from far and near. Notably, a consortium of US firms, including Chevron Texaco and ExxonMobil where among the first to secure oil license along with a Norwegian company, EER, which netted over $70million with many other prospects.

Confirming this development, Delta State Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Onogba Christian, while fielding question from our correspondent on the sidelines of the “Stakeholders Forum on The Environment” facilitated by the Institute of Directors Nigeria (IoD) Port Harcourt chapter, said oil majors like Shell, Chevron and others may have been compelled by the present socioeconomic realities that has made the current operating environment bad for their business to plan their exit from the country.

Specifically, he said: “The first ominous signs that presented itself was the deliberate efforts by the international oil companies (IOCs) to relocate their headquarters outside the Niger Delta region. When that happened few years back, it was a bad signal.

“Of course, you cannot lay all the blame on the IOCs entirely because no businessman wants to invest in an area where insecurity is a big issue. The problem really has to do with the issue third party interference, poor legislation among other factors which are genuine reasons to affect investment decisions, he stressed.

To address this issue, the government, he maintained, must ensure that there is an enabling environment for business to thrive. “I’m convinced that once there is a level of assurance that their investments can be guaranteed many of these oil managers that have exited the country will come back,” Christain assured.

Echoing similar sentiments, Chief Prof. Jasper Jumbo, Chairman/CEO, Niger Delta Projects Consortium Limited, said, “Nobody wants to do business in an environment of chaos. Once peaceful co-existence is a challenge no business can survive under such a circumstance.”

International energy companies working in Nigeria are worried that proposals in the country’s long-delayed oil industry law will deter investment in new offshore projects.

In a joint presentation, the OPTS urged lawmakers to remove a proposed hydrocarbon tax as producers will still be subject to companies income tax.

“Our review of the Petroleum Industry Bill shows that deepwater provisions do not provide a favorable environment for future investments and for the launching of new projects,” Mike Sangster, managing director of Total SE’s Nigeria unit, told lawmakers at a hearing in Abuja, the capital recently.

To boost new investment, the proposed law should grant deepwater oil projects full royalty relief for the first five years of production or a graduated royalty program, said Sangster, speaking on behalf of the Oil Producers Trade Section, a group of 30 producers including Total, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Eni SpA, which he chairs.

The bill — legislation that’s two decades in the making — will streamline how Nigeria’s energy assets are operated and funded. First presented in parliament in 2008, progress in passing the bill was held up by political wrangling and objections from international oil companies that say the government is demanding an excessive increase in revenues.

The persistent failure to pass the bill “has been a major drag” on the oil and gas sector, Ahmad Lawan, president of Nigeria’s Senate, said last January as he opened two days of public hearings on the proposed legislation. The delays have harmed the country’s ability to “attract both local and foreign capital” at a time of greater competition with other resource-rich nations, he said.

UEFA To Ban Clubs Who Take Part In European Super League

 UEFA and English, Spanish and Italian football authorities announced on Sunday that any clubs who take part in a so-called European Super League would be banned from all other domestic and continental competitions.

European football’s governing body said it had learned that some English, Spanish and Italian clubs might announce a breakaway competition.

“The clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams,” UEFA said in a statement.

Media reports on Sunday suggested that an announcement on plans to create a Super League could be made later in the day.

Sky Sports reported that Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea were among six Premier League teams set to be part of the plans.

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“If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we –- UEFA, the English FA, RFEF, FIGC, the Premier League, La Liga, Lega Serie A, but also FIFA and all our member associations — will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever,” read the statement.

Arsenal currently sit ninth in the Premier League, well off the pace in the race to qualify for Europe, while Liverpool and Chelsea are both also currently outside the Champions League spots.

“Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best,” the Premier League said in a statement.

“We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream.”

– German, French clubs ‘refuse’ to sign up –

UEFA is planning to announce its reforms to the Champions League on Monday, with an expansion to 36 teams from 32 and two ‘wildcard’ slots expected to be among the plans.

There have been no reports that French or German clubs would be part of the Super League.

“We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this,” UEFA added.

“We call on all lovers of football, supporters and politicians, to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced.

“This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough.”

The New York Times reported that at least 12 clubs have signed up for the competition, including Juventus and seven-time European champions AC Milan, who have not played in the Champions League since 2014.

“It is illegitimate, irresponsible and anti-competitive by design,” said Fans Europe, a football supporters’ network.

“More to the point, it is driven exclusively by greed. the only ones who to stand to gain are hedge funds, oligarchs, and a handful of already wealthy clubs, many of which perform poorly in their own domestic leagues despite their inbuilt advantage.”

Real Madrid and Barcelona are reported to be two of the teams from Spain set to join.

Former Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, when he resigned from the role last October, said he had accepted a proposal for the Catalan giants to play in the Super League.

“Finally the ‘gurus’ of the superleague PowerPoint are exiting the darkness of the bar at 5AM, intoxicated with selfishness and a lack of solidarity,” said La Liga president Javier Tebas on Sunday.

Notably, last season’s two Champions League finalists, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, are among the big European teams not involved.

“Economic interests of a few top clubs in England, Italy and Spain must not result in the abolition of established structures in the whole of European football,” German Football League boss Christian Seifert said.

“In particular, it would be irresponsible to irreparably damage the national leagues, as the basis of European professional football, in this way.”

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