Tuesday, 21 November 2017

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Saturday, 14 October 2017 21:57

Somalia: At least 30 dead in Mogadishu blasts

A massive bomb attack in a busy area of the Somali capital Mogadishu has killed at least 30 people, police say.

Dozens more were wounded when a lorry packed with explosives detonated near the entrance of a hotel.

Police say two people were killed in a second bomb attack in the Madina district of the city.

It is not clear who staged the attacks. Mogadishu is a regular target for the al-Qaeda linked al-Shabab group, which is battling the government.

After the first blast, police captain Mohamed Hussein told Reuters news agency: "It was a truck bomb. There are casualties but we do not know the exact amount as the scene is still burning."

Witnesses told the BBC they believed dozens of people were dead.

Saturday, 14 October 2017 21:43

Bayern thrash Freiburg on Heynckes return

Jupp Heynckes made a perfect start to his fourth spell as Bayern Munich coach with a 5-0 thrashing of Freiburg at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

An own goal from Julian Schuster put Bayern in front on seven minutes, and a flying header from Kingsley Coman doubled the lead shortly before half-time.

A fine strike from Thiago Alcantara put the reigning champions 3-0 up on 63 minutes, just moments after they had been denied a penalty by VAR. Further goals from Robert Lewandowski and Joshua Kimmich completed a perfect start to Heynckes’ fourth reign.

The win saw Bayern move within two points of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table, before the league leaders’ match against RB Leipzig later on Saturday.

Heynckes’ men are two points clear of third-placed Hoffenheim, who twice threw away the lead in a 2-2 draw at home to Augsburg.

After Michael Gregoritsch had cancelled out Benjamin Huebner’s opener 15 minutes from time, Mark Uth restored the lead with a curling strike into the top corner for Hoffenheim.

Augsburg, though, equalised once again in the 89th minute, with Kevin Vogt deflecting a Jeffrey Gouweleeuw cross into his own net.

At the other end of the table, Hamburg could celebrate scoring their first goal since August despite losing 3-2 to Mainz.

Alexandru Maxim’s second-minute opener for Mainz was quickly cancelled out by Walace, the Brazilian’s equaliser ending a five-game goal drought for Hamburg.

Stefan Bell restored the lead shortly after half-time, however, before a Christian Mathenia error allowed Danny Latza to add a third. A late penalty from Sejad Salihovic was not enough for Hamburg to avoid defeat.

Elsewhere, disciplinary mistakes saw Hertha Berlin suffer a 2-0 defeat by Schalke 04.

Genki Haraguchi was sent off before half-time, while Vladimir Darida conceded a penalty after the break. Leon Goretzka scored from the spot, before Guido Burgstaller added a second on 78 minutes.

Schalke moved up to fifth, after Hanover 96 were defeated 2-1 by a late Ante Rebic winner against Eintracht Frankfurt.

A Salif Sane header had cancelled out Sebastien Haller’s early goal in the first half, but Rebic struck on 90 minutes to inflict a first home defeat on Hanover this season.

Saturday, 14 October 2017 21:26

Late Ronaldo winner rescues Real at Getafe

Cristiano Ronaldo struck his first La Liga goal of the season five minutes from time to save Real Madrid from losing more ground in the title race with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Getafe on Saturday.

Real looked on course for a comfortable three points when Karim Benzema fired the visitors into a deserved half-time lead.

However, Jorge Molina’s equaliser early in the second half and an incredible miss by Ronaldo left the European champions needing a late saviour.

And Ronaldo rode to the rescue and made amends for his earlier profligacy with an accurate volleyed finish into the far corner.

Victory takes Real up to second and within four points of Barcelona, who travel to Atletico Madrid later on Saturday.

Despite being shorn of Gareth Bale, Dani Carvajal and Keylor Navas through injury and illness, Zinedine Zidane surprisingly left Luka Modric and Isco on the bench after their exertions on international duty and with one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Tottenham Hotspur.

However, that decision backfired as once again Zidane’s men produced a lacklustre performance in La Liga.

Real dropped points at home to Valencia, Levante and Real Betis to allow Barcelona to open up a seven-point gap at the top of the table and even failed to find their top form in seeing off Alaves and Espanyol in recent weeks.

Part of Madrid’s problem has been Ronaldo’s poor league form since returning from an early season five-game suspension.

Ronaldo’s first effort did at least produce a stunning save from Vicente Guaita as he drove Benzema’s neat layoff goalward from the edge of the box.

Guaita was left helpless six minutes before half-time, though, when Benzema latched onto Ronaldo’s pass and kept his composure to fire low into the far corner for his first league goal of the season.

Getafe had barely threatened before levelling in fortunate circumstances 11 minutes into the second half when Molina bundled home Francisco Portillo’s low cross despite appearing to be in an offside position.

The equaliser awoke Real from their second-half slumber and Guaita produced another great double save to block at Ronaldo’s feet before tipping Marcelo’s follow-up effort over.

Ronaldo drilled a free-kick just wide, but his embarrassing moment was still to come 17 minutes from time.

With the goal at his mercy as the ball rebounded into his path from a free-kick, the Portuguese somehow skewed wide at the far post.

Zidane threw on Isco, Theo Hernandez and Borja Mayoral from the bench in the search for a winner.

And it was Isco who provided the inspiration as his through ball released Ronaldo to finally break his duck in La Liga for the season by firing into the far corner.

Getafe could still have salvaged a point in stoppage time when Mehdi Lacen’s shot flew inches over with Real ‘keeper Kiko Casilla stranded.

Real jump into second thanks to Sevilla’s 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao earlier on Saturday as Mikel Vesga got the only goal two minutes before half-time.

Manchester City maintained their blistering start to the season as the Premier League leaders demolished Stoke 7-2, while champions Chelsea crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat at lowly Crystal Palace on Saturday.

With second placed Manchester United settling for a drab stalemate at Anfield earlier in the day, it was their Manchester rivals who provided the thrills as City moved two points clear at the top.

Pep Guardiola’s free-scoring side struck three times in the first 27 minutes at Eastlands, securing their sixth successive league win in swashbuckling style.

City took the lead through Gabriel Jesus in the 17th minute and Raheem Sterling doubled the advantage two minutes later with a tap-in that capped a flowing move.

David Silva got City’s third with a simple finish after another incisive raid in the 27th minute.

Stoke’s Mame Biram Diouf reduced the deficit with a deflected effort in the 44th minute and City’s defence was breached for just the fourth time in the league this season when Kyle Walker scored an own goal two minutes after the interval.

But Jesus’s second goal in the 55th minute restored order and his compatriot Fernandinho put the result beyond doubt five minutes later.

City reached six goals in a game for the second time this season as Leroy Sane netted in the 62nd minute.

Bernando Silva’s first City strike, in the 78th minute, made it 24 goals in his team’s last five league games.

Bottom of the table Palace had lost their opening seven league games without scoring a goal, the worst start to a season in English top-flight history.

But stunningly it was Chelsea who were the victims as they finally ended that goal drought at Selhurst Park.

Palace took the lead in the 11th minute when Yohan Cabaye’s effort was deflected in for an own goal by Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta.

Tiemoue Bakayoko equalised for Chelsea seven minutes later as the France midfielder headed his first Premier League goal from a Cesc Fabregas corner.

However, Chelsea were already without injured duo Alvaro Morata and N’Golo Kante and they suffered another setback when Victor Moses limped off in the first half.

There was even worse to come for Chelsea as Wilfried Zaha restored Palace’s lead with a fine curling strike in first half stoppage-time.

Infuriated
Fabregas hit the crossbar but Chelsea were unable to avoid a second successive league defeat after their damaging 1-0 loss to Manchester City before the international break.

Antonio Conte’s fouth placed side, beaten three times this term, are now nine points behind City.

At Anfield, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left infuriated by United boss Jose Mourinho’s ultra-cautious game-plan.

Mourinho’s team had just six touches in Liverpool’s penalty area as United goalkeeper David De Gea made a superb save from Joel Matip to maintain the visitors’ unbeaten start to the season.

Klopp’s spluttering side have only one win in eight games in all competitions.

“I think Man United came here for the point and they got it,” Klopp moaned.

“I’m sure if we played like this, you could not do this at Liverpool. Obviously for Man United it is OK.”

Inevitably, Mourinho had no regrets, saying: “Their midfield today was stronger than my midfield. I had (Ander) Herrera and (Nemanja) Matic and nobody on the bench to make it different.

“The second half was a bit of chess, but my opponent didn’t open the door for me to win the game.”

Tottenham finally won for the first time at Wembley in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side had failed to win their first three league games since moving into Wembley while White Hart Lane is redeveloped, but Christian Eriksen’s deft 47th minute finish ended that frustrating streak.

Chris Wood’s 85th minute equaliser rescued Burnley in their 1-1 draw against 10-man West Ham at Turf Moor.

Michail Antonio gave West Ham the lead in the 19th minute, but Hammers striker Andy Carroll was sent off after catching Mee with an elbow less than two minutes after being booked for the same offence.

Swansea climbed out of the relegation zone as Tammy Abraham’s brace sealed a 2-0 win against Huddersfield.

Abraham put Swansea in front three minutes before half-time at the Liberty Stadium and the on-loan Chelsea forward struck again with his fifth goal of the season in the 48th minute.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating the Ayodele Fayose government  in Ekiti  for alleged diversion of  over N680million meant for salaries  and pension of civil servants .

The amount has been traced to  a fixed account which the EFCC claims yields N6million monthly.

The discoveries informed the arrest of the state’s commissioner of finance and the accountant general by the commission.

Both officials, who were released on Wednesday, have made commitment to “assist the commission with relevant documents before they were granted administrative bail and ordered to report back in two weeks.”

According to a top source in the commission, many facts came to light in the course of investigating alleged misapplication of the bailout funds by the  Fayose administration.

One of such disclosures is  the N1.7billion contract awarded to a Lebanese Company.  The company moved part of the money to allegedly purchase properties for the governor.

The source added: “Investigators stumbled on evidence of diversion of funds meant for payment of state and local government employees in Ekiti State including pensioners.

“Specifically, over N600million was diverted on 25 January 2016. The funds comprising N200million from the Ekiti State Local Government Salary Account, N300million from the Ekiti State Pension Account and N180million from the Ekiti State FAAC Account were first credited into the Consolidated Revenue Account in Zenith Bank on 25 January 2016 and later transferred the same day into an account called 2015 MDG-CGS state project account domiciled in Zenith Bank.

“The analysis of the bank statement revealed that the money was later placed in a fixed deposit where it was yielding monthly interest of about N6million, at a time pensioners and workers in Ekiti State are owed months of unpaid entitlements.”

The source said that EFCC investigators are poring over documents to uncover the beneficiaries of the monthly interest on the fixed deposit.

Apart from the bailout funds, the EFCC had recently also uncovered  alleged diversion of over N59.6million meant for projects under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Ekiti State by one Abiodun Agbele, who is an associate of the state governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.

According to EFCC investigators, the MDGs’ funds were transferred from an account in the  First Bank of Nigeria(titled MDGs-CGS Local Govt)  to BYKD Consult Limited which is purportedly owned by Agbele.

Documents indicated that the funds were transferred in four tranches as follows: February 18, 2015(N18, 159, 050; N15, 319,850; N11, 218, 500; and March 30, 2015—N15, 704, 325.

Upon the receipt of the funds through his account 0059177132 in Diamond Bank, Bodija, Agbele allegedly diverted these for the payment of choice vehicles from Affordable Motors.

Agbele, who is presently on trial was said to have been used as a front to launder N1.299billion for Fayose through his company called De-Privateer.

But as the EFCC operatives were probing more clues on slush funds and payment of kickback by contractors  in the state, they uncovered alleged diversion of MDGs’ funds.

The Presidency had released N713.7billion  as Special  intervention funds to states.

The  bailout was part of a three-pronged relief package to end the workers plight in most of the 36 states.

While N413.7billion represented special intervention funds, the balance of about N250billion to N300billion was  a soft loan to states.

Also, following protest by states against over deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the release of N522.74 billion (first tranche) to states as refunds pending reconciliation of records.

Each state was entitled to a cap of N14.5 billion being 25% of the amounts claimed.

The second tranche of N243, 795,465,195.20 was also disbursed to states in July.

But most of the state governors were alleged to have either diverted or converted the relief funds to personal use.

Former Secretary General of the Common Wealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku has said that Nigeria will fare better if the on-going call to restructure the country into regions is adhered to.

Anyaoku gave this view yesterday, shortly after paying a courtesy visit to Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, at Government House, Benin City. He said that Nigeria’s economy was more viable and rate of development faster when it operated a regional system of government.

He described governor Obaseki as a visionary governor and Edo State is fortunate to have him. Responding, Obaseki said that given the cost of governance at the centre, restructuring is inevitable if Nigeria must make progress as a country.

He extolled the leadership quality of Chief Anyaoku, stressing that the former top scribe of the Commonwealth stands for good governance and part of the generation that did the nation proud while in office.

“He is an international personality who stands for good governance and diplomatic skills,” Obaseki said.

The Hollywood Reporter has released its annual list of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Global Television and Mo Abudu is the only African woman listed, amongst those from North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Australasia. The Founder and CEO of EbonyLife TV is being recognised as an influential woman in the media industry for the second time.

The category recognises female executives from around the globe who are rewriting the rules of TV, during a time when “women have to work twice as hard for the same recognition” as men. The article describes Abudu as a woman who “has been at the forefront of media innovation on the continent and whose goal for the coming year is to successfully produce Africa’s first sci-fi TV series.” The first time she was included in this list was in 2013, immediately after the launch of EbonyLife TV.

Since those early days, EbonyLife TV has created over 4,000 hours of original, high-quality content, including landmark drama series The Governor, Sons of the Caliphate and Fifty (the series), along with the first pan-African talk show, Moments, with different versions hosted in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. EbonyLife Films made its debut in 2015 at the 59th BFI London Film Festival with Fifty, the highest-grossing Nollywood movie that year. In 2016, EbonyLife co-produced The Wedding Party, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and went on to become the biggest movie in the history of Nigerian cinema.

Ms. Abudu does not take the recognition from the renowned entertainment magazine for granted. “It’s an honour and privilege to be acknowledged again by The Hollywood Reporter. I am proud to represent Nigeria and the thousands of women in Africa, striving to make their mark in a male-dominated industry,” she said.

The Hollywood Reporter publishes its list of Most Powerful Women in Global Television annually, with luminaries deemed by its editors to have made a significant impact on what audiences are watching worldwide and how women are represented on TV.

Saturday, 14 October 2017 13:32

Liverpool 0, Manchester United 0

Liverpool were held to a frustrating draw despite dominating Manchester United at Anfield and have now won just once in eight games.

The Reds were on top for long periods and peppered the United goal with 19 shots, but a combination of outstanding goalkeeping by David de Gea and poor finishing denied them a decisive moment.

The most noteworthy incident of an uneventful first half was De Gea denying Joel Matip from close range with a brilliant reflex save with his outstretched left boot, before Mohamed Salah fired the rebound wide.

United offered very little quality in attack although Simon Mignolet had to smartly parry Romelu Lukaku's fierce attempt before the interval.

Liverpool dominated even more after half-time but Emre Can wasted their best chance when he volleyed over the bar from eight yards after being picked out by the impressive Joe Gomez's precise cross.

The point was enough to take United - with nine clean sheets in their past 10 league games - to the top of the table, one point ahead of Manchester City, who host Stoke City at 15:00 BST.

History repeats itself

It's almost a year to the day Liverpool and United played out a goalless and drab stalemate in the same stadium, with the hosts subdued by a vintage Jose Mourinho masterclass in defensive organisation and discipline.

Twelve months on, this game was only marginally better despite Liverpool taking the match to United after the break.

A year ago, United were grateful for two fine second-half saves from goalkeeper De Gea to dent Can and Philippe Coutinho.

This time the Spaniard produced a magnificent save with his foot to keep out Matip from close range on his way to his 18th Premier League clean sheet of 2017.

This was only Liverpool's third clean sheet in 13 games this season but Mourinho will have been the happier manager at the final whistle.

The visitors had just 38% of possession - a 3% improvement on their last visit - yet they produced a dogged defensive display to stop Liverpool from scoring for only the second time this season in the Premier League.

 

David Moyes says he did not want Marouane Fellaini to be his first Manchester United signing and tried to buy Nemanja Matic first.

Fellaini moved to Old Trafford on deadline day in 2013 at the end of a summer that had seen Moyes replace Sir Alex Ferguson as manager.

A calamitous transfer window got Moyes' reign off to a rocky start and he was sacked before the end of the season.

He told the BBC: "I never wanted Marouane Fellaini to be my first Manchester United signing, that is the last thing me and my staff wanted.

"We looked at Nemanja Matic first. He did not do well at Chelsea and had gone back to Benfica.

"He was a consideration and we did need a more defensive type who could make passes from the middle of the park. We did not get a lot of the things we hoped for and got Fellaini on deadline day."

Marouane Fellaini played under David Moyes at Everton and Manchester United.

Fellaini was the only signing Moyes managed to make in his first summer at United.

But the former Everton manager also said he tried to hijack Gareth Bale's move from Tottenham to Real Madrid and almost convinced Cesc Fabregas to leave Barcelona.

He added: "I spoke to Gareth Bale a couple of times and tried to convince him to join us, we even offered Tottenham more money but he had his heart set on joining Real Madrid.

"I spoke to Cesc Fabregas on the phone too and he was not sure of his place in the Barcelona team. He said: 'I will join you if I do not start my first game of the season at Barca' ... and he did start.

"They were the only two who looked like Manchester United players.

"If Sir Alex Ferguson took over from Sir Alex Ferguson he would have found it tough."

Anthony Martial has been picked to start Manchester United's clash with Liverpool at Anfield.

Jose Mourinho has handed the France international just his second Premier League start of the season with Marcus Rashford dropping to the bench.

Phil Jones is in the team despite pulling out of the England squad with a knee injury ahead of the international break and Romelu Lukaku also starts after recovering from an ankle injury.

 

Mourinho is without Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba so Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera start in midfield.

Antonio Valencia is named in defence along with Jones, Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian, while Ashley Young also starts for the fourth game in a row and Henrikh Mkhitaryan maintains his record of starting every Premier League game so far this season. 

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Eric Bailly is not in the squad after picking up an injury in training on Friday while Victor Lindelof is on the bench for just the second time in the Premier League since his move from Benfica in the summer.

Meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho looks set to start as a left forward for Liverpool, in place of Sadio Mane, who is out for up to six weeks after sustaining a hamstring injury during the international break.

In total, Jurgen Klopp has made two changes from Liverpool's last match in the Premier League, with Roberto Firmino and Emre Can replacing Mane and Daniel Sturridge.

Full Liverpool XI: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Salah, Firmino.

Full Manchester United XI: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Young, Darmian, Herrera, Matic, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Lukaku

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