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Onitsha City Marathon Gets IAAF, AIMS Approval

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The promoters of the first ever Onitsha City Marathon, known as the Onitsha Business School, says it has secured authorisation to organise the tournament in the commercial city of Anambra.

Onitsha City Marathon gets IAAF, AIMS approval
Illustration: Okpekpe marathon
The Chairman, Media and Publicity of the race, Mr Philip Balepo, stated this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Onitsha on Saturday.

Balepo said that the Proprietor of the business school, Prof. Olusegun Sogbesan, received the certificates of approval by agents of the Association of International Marathon and Distance Races (AIMS) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

According to him, a well known marathon organiser, Nigeria’s Yusuf Alli, presented the two certificates for the 10-kilometer and 21-kilometre races to Sogbesan in Lagos.

“The 21 kilometres cover the half marathon while the 10 kilometres represent a road race in the mode of Okpekpe Road Race, which has held in Okpekpe Town, Edo in the last seven years.

“The certificates gave authority to the Onitsha marathon organisers to simultaneously stage the two races in one.

“Those calibres of races are dominated by elite athletes coming from many parts of the world,” he further stated.

Balepo explained that the certificates had a life span of five years.

He said that the authority meant that the race would be organised between now and 2023, when the certificates would be due for renewal.

“This is the first time that certificates would be presented to an organiser ahead of the race.

“Even the Okpekpe Road Race Promoter, Mike Itemuagbo, was presented with the certificate a few years after commencement of the race,” Balepo noted.

NAN reports that the AIMS/IAAF-certified international marathon, slated for Oct. 5, would be the first to be organised in the South-East.
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Halep Shatters Serena Williams Bid For 24th Grand Slam Title

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Simona Halep on Saturday shattered Serena Williams’ latest bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title with a devastating Wimbledon win.

Halep shatters Serena Williams bid for 24th Grand Slam title
Simona Halep
The Romanian won 6-2 6-2 in front of an incredulous Centre Court, running after everything the American threw at her.

It is the 27-year-old former world number one’s second Grand Slam title after her 2018 French Open success.

For 37-year-old Williams, it was a third major final defeat in 12 months.

“She played out of her mind, it was a little bit deer in the headlights for me,” Williams said.

Williams, like in last year’s final defeat by Angelique Kerber, seemed weighed down by public and personal expectations as she quickly fell 4-0 behind in the opening set.

Halep had said beforehand that she had no pressure on her and she that is exactly how she played.

From the outset she looked relaxed and confident, attacking the Williams serve and keeping the rallies long and deep to force the American into errors.

While Williams closed her eyes at changeovers to try to regroup, Halep kept her eyes on the prize and kept her cool to take the victory on her second match point when the American sent a forehand into the net.
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Facebook Faces Financial Crisis as U.S. Govt. Imposes $5bn Fine

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg might be in serious financial difficulty if the U.S. government make good its threat to impose a fine of about five billion dollars against Facebook over privacy violations.

Facebook faces financial crisis as U.S. govt. imposes $5bn fine
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder
According to a report, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has voted approving for the fine to be imposed.

The fine comes after an FTC investigation into allegations that the social media platform inappropriately shared the information of 87 million users with Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm, is now closed.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the vote was 3-2 along party lines, with Republicans in support and Democrats in opposition to the fine.

In most cases the Justice Department’s civil division will review settlements by the FTC but it is not clear how long this will take but it could be as early as next week.

As well as the fine, the settlement could include rules on how Facebook treats the privacy of its users.
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Why Infants’ Brains Must be Protected — Paediatrician

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A professor of paediatrics at the University of Ibadan, Ikeoluwa Lagunju, has stressed the need to protect the brains of infants in order to reduce child disability in Nigeria.

Why infants’ brains must be protected
Why infants’ brains must be protected
Lagunju stated this at the inaugural lecture she delivered at the University of Ibadan on Thursday evening.

According to Lagunju who spoke on ‘Taming the Scourge: Panacea for the Dreaded Brain Catastrophes, ” an infant’s brain is very delicate.

“One of the major reasons is that the infant or the child brain is very delicate and the first two years of life are the period of maximal brain growth– from the time a woman gets pregnant to the time the baby clocks two.

“So we must protect the brain, if we don’t, a number of diseases can happen which includes cerebral palsy and epilepsy,” she said.

She said pregnant women need to get supervised delivery to prevent neurological defects in infants.

” All women must deliver in good hospitals or health centres that are well-equipped and where the baby can be well taken care of.

“Children that are ill must be promptly taken to a proper hospital so that they are well taken care of.

“Pregnant women should not try to deliver at home, don’t call your neighbours to take the delivery or anybody who is not trained to do so.

“Also, nursing mothers should breastfeed their babies exclusively for the first six months of life and there after you can add other complementary feed.

“You must keep breastfeeding the baby till the baby is two years,” Lagunju said.

She, however, urged government to improve healthcare delivery in the country. (NAN)
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NAPTIP, NACTAL Partner to Fight Trafficking, Abuse

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the fight against human trafficking and abuse in the country.

NAPTIP, NACTAL partner to fight trafficking, abuse
Mrs Julie Okah-Donil, Director-General of NAPTIP and the National President, NACTAL, Mr Emmanuel Adaramola after the signing of the MoU on Thursday in Abuja.
Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, the Director-General of NAPTIP, during the signing of the MoU on Thursday in Abuja, charged Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to fight tirelessly to ensure jungle justice was wiped out of the country.

According to her, CSOs should match word with action to ensure that Nigerians, especially the vulnerable, obtain justice as jungle justice have been meted out on Nigerians.

“I have seen a lot of jungle justices and nobody seems to be doing anything about it, people think they have the right to strip men and women naked at the slightest provocation; people think they have the right to set people on fire.

“You talked about behavioral change which has been a burden in my heart; a number of things have been happening and I keep wondering why the CSOs have not taken it upon themselves.

“I expect the CSOs to fight tooth and nail to ensure it never happens,’’ she said.

She spoke of the need to organise programmes, especially for women, to educate them on how best to protect themselves from abuses.

“We need to start a national orientation on behavioural change and say no to jungle justices, No to Slapping, No to Rape, No to Assault; CSOs need to sit up.

“I want to put on my television and see NACTAL members at the fore front.

“The fight should not only be on human trafficking but a total package because trafficking starts with abuse.

“Nigerians also need to understand that there is no place like home. You do not need to travel and become slave in another man’s country.

“There must be dignity in labour, love your country but first of all love yourself,’’ she added.

She, however, said that the issue of begging on the street should be discouraged in view of the fact that most of the children were kidnapped from different states to work for their abductees.

Earlier, the National President, NACTAL, Mr Emmanuel Adaramola commended the NAPTIP management for collaborating with the organisation in their operations.

According to him, the purpose of signing the agreement with NAPTIP is to ensure effective collaboration with the agency for further and better service delivery as it affects human trafficking, abuse and child labour.

“We want to take this beyond the next level and ensure that we collaborate, partner, work together and leverage on the strength of others.

“This is the reason we consider the signing of MoU with NAPTIP a very big one.

“As we all know, NAPTIP is a government agency saddled with the responsibility of checking trafficking in persons and other related issues, hence the need for us as a none state actor, to continue to work with NAPTIP.

“We have hundred per cent commitment to the functionality and ensure that this MOU brings back better result, especially for Nigeria as a nation.

“ And also to ensure that we get result for our people who are victims,’’ he stated.

According to him, NACTAL has been in existence since 2005, working with many organisations, partners and people of the same vision.

He said: “NACTAL is a network of CSOs working against human trafficking, abuse and child labour.

“A coalition of NGOs across the country working in the field of human trafficking, abuse, using children for labour and irregular migration,’’ he said.

Adaramola, however, called on the management of NAPTIP to create a technical team to map out work plan for effective service delivery.
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