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Group murdered man drinking coffee having pushed him into Manchester canal

Group murdered man drinking coffee having pushed him into Manchester canal

Mohammed Al-Enizi Hameed; Fares Hassan; Hussein Muhalhal; and Hussein Mouhelhel, 22; and two 16-year-old boys, all deny murder.

A group of men accused of murder stabbed a man and pushed him into a canal after a ‘call to arms’ in the Northern Quarter, a trial has heard.

Ahmed Alsharan, aged 33, had been drinking coffee with his brother and a friend beside the canal near to Dale Street when they were approached by another man, alleged to be Mohammed Al-Enizi Hameed.

He asked: “Who are you”, before a fight ensued, in which Mr Alsharan was stabbed to the heart and pushed into the canal, Minshull Street Crown Court. His friend, Sami Alhaj, was also stabbed during the incident, receiving wounds to his abdomen, armpit and lung.

Mr Alsharan climbed out of the canal before going back to Dale Street where he collapsed, it was said.

He received open heart surgery at the scene and was rushed to hospital, but sadly died after suffering from severe brain damage. A pathologist found he suffered a stab wound to his heart, the court heard.

Mr Al-Enizi Hameed, 36; Fares Hassan, 22; Hussein Muhalhal, 20; and Hussein Mouhelhel, 22; and two 16-year-old boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are on trial at Minshull Street Crown Court. They all deny murder, attempted murder and an alternate offence of wounding with intent.

A cordon was in place on Dale Street (Image: MEN)

Prosecuting, Sharon Beattie KC said that on August 16 last year, the six males separately made their way to the city centre. Mr Alsharan’s brother had a meeting with his solicitor in the city centre at about 5pm in relation to his immigration status, and was accompanied by Mr Alsharan and Mr Alhaj, the court heard. They first went to Cafe Nero on Piccadilly, where they were met by another male, it was said.

The court heard that six to seven months previously there had been a ‘fight’ which involved this male and Mr Alhaj had been arrested but denied any knowledge of the incident. “As part of the investigation he was prohibited from approaching the witnesses, but CCTV shows they were outside Cafe Nero without difficulties,” Ms Beattie said.

Analysis of the man’s phone later revealed that he contacted Mr Al-Enizi Hameed after meeting Mr Alsharan. Mr Alsharan, his brother, Mr Alhaj and the other man then walked to the canal basin where they intended to drink their coffee, the prosecutor said.

After getting to the canal, they were approached by Mr Al-Enizi Hameed and Mr Mouhelhel, before Mr Al-Enizi Hameed said: “Who are you”, to the group.

“Two of the group saw him put his hand in his pocket, Mr Alsharan’s brother was not sure why he did that or what he had in his hand,” Ms Beattie continued.

“Due to his behaviour and the way he presented himself to them, both Mr Alsharan and his brother took hold of him. His brother believes Mr Alsharan took hold of his shoulder or his arm, and he took hold of his other arm.

“He was worried about potential violence and was ready to defend himself. He said that Mr Al-Enizi Hameed said to the second man, Mr Mouhelhel, to join in the attack.”

The police scene in Manchester city centre on August 16 (Image: MEN)

It was alleged that Mr Al-Enizi Hameed then shouted in Arabic to the other defendants to come and ‘bring a knife’ with them. Prosecutors allege he shouted words to the effect of ‘let’s kill him’.

“As far as his brother was concerned, he was sure it was a ‘call to arms’,” Ms Beattie added.

The four other defendants then ‘ran’ to the scene, and a melee ensued, the court heard. During this Mr Alsharan was stabbed and pushed into the canal. It was alleged that he was stabbed by one of the youths and pushed into the canal by Mr Al-Enizi Hameed.

Mr Alhaj also said that Mr Al-Enizi Hameed was the one who ‘caused the problem’, as he had approached them first before calling out the other group to bring a knife, it was alleged.

Mr Alsharan’s brother described that it was Mr Muhalhal who stabbed Mr Alhaj after trying to kick him, before he was able to get away, jurors heard. He later saw his brother climb out of the canal before collapsing nearby.

Mr Alhaj described how they went to the canal to drink their coffee before they were approached by a man who he didn’t know but recognised from the area.

“He said he spoke to Ahmed Alsharan in Arabic but could tell he had a different accent. He said there was something about his body language and described him putting his hand in his pocket and it was concealed,” Ms Beattie said.

“He said his friend seemed surprised by this man, then ‘punches started flying’ between both men. He said he then heard him shout ‘come and fight’ to the others. He said a group ran towards them and he ran towards them to stop them from getting involved and urged them not to. He said he saw one of the youths with a flick knife.”

The Crown Court at Manchester Minshull Street (Image: ABNM Photography)

Mr Alhaj said he then jumped into the canal before swimming to the other side. He said he then saw Mr Mouhelhel pick up his rucksack which he left at the bench where they had been sitting earlier.

After Mr Alsharan collapsed, he was treated at the scene before he was rushed to hospital. He suffered from a severe brain injury which was ‘not compatible with survival’ and was taken off life support with permission from his family, the court heard.

Pathologist Dr Charles Wilson concluded that the brain damage suffered by Mr Alsharan was caused by a stab wound to his heart.

Mr Alhaj suffered from stab wounds to his armpit, abdomen and lungs, the prosecutor added.

Jurors were told that after the incident, Mr Al-Enizi Hameed went back to Crewe then to London with Mr Muhalhal, and was arrested in Crewe a week later. His house was searched and his mobile phone was recovered and was ‘ground down’ or ‘destroyed’, the court heard.

Mr Muhalhal was arrested on a flight bound for Jordan. Mr Mouhelhel was arrested at the scene and gave a statement in which he admitted he was present but denied the offences.

Mr Hassan gave a prepared statement in which he accepted his presence at the scene, but said he went to meet someone to get marijuana. He then said he heard screaming but didn’t see what happened, said he was not involved in the fight, it was said.

Mr Al-Enizi Hameed, of Brighton Grove, Rusholme; Mr Hassan, of Ribston Street, Hulme; Mr Muhalhal, of Lower Park Road, Longsight; and Mr Mouhelhel, of Wynnstay Grove, Fallowfield; and the two 16-year-old boys, all deny the charges.

Proceeding.
Manchester United are prepared to offer €200m to land Vinicius Junior

Manchester United are prepared to offer €200m to land Vinicius Junior



Manchester United could be about to smash their own and the British transfer record with an outlandish offer for Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior.

News broke earlier this week that Real Madrid have reached an agreement with Kylian Mbappe to arrive in the summer window.

Despite technically being a free transfer, the BBC report that “he is set to sign a five-year deal with Real, earning 15m euros (£12.8m) a season, plus a 150m euro (£128m) signing-on bonus to be paid over five years, and he will keep a percentage of his image rights”.

Therefore, Los Blancos will probably need to raise cash for the deal and also have the problem of what to do with their talented Brazilian, Vinicius Junior, who occupies the same terrain on the pitch as a left sided attacker.

It has been reported numerous times in Spain that Madrid could seek to sell off the Brazil international to generate income and also free up space in their squad.

Le10Sport (via DefensaCentral), DefensaCentral, now assert that United could do the Spanish league leaders the biggest of favours.

The Spanish site relays that after the Mbappe deal, “there are many rumours about a possible important sale in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad. Obviously, not everyone fits in the attacking zone and there are those who put Rodrygo and even Vinicius in the focus” to be sold.

According to this media outlet, “Manchester United would be interested in acquiring the services of the ‘7’ Merengue. Furthermore, they point out, it would put €200 million on the table”.

Such reports seem the definition of pollyannaish for both Real Madrid and Manchester United.

In the current economic climate, it would be a massive surprise if any team in world football could reach a figure close to €200m, especially Manchester United.

The Red Devils have received new life with INEOS’ takeover being made official this week but that still does not mean the club has suddenly shed all its Financial Fair Play responsibilities.

Another major obstacle is that Vinicius, for all intents and purposes, is happy at Madrid and would probably be licking his lips at the prospect of playing alongside Mbappe and Jude Bellingham.

And a final problem with the potential deal would be it is a slap in the face of the ethos INEOS will reportedly try to create.

The petro-chemicals company want to sign young, British based players who see United as a step up in their career. The Brazil international will clearly not see this as the case, should he make the switch to England.

Therefore, Madrid will most likely need to find another dance partner to help bail them out of this potentially gigantic financial outlay they are about to undertake.
Nigeria Orders Telecoms to Block Binance, others access months after lifting ban

Nigeria Orders Telecoms to Block Binance, others access months after lifting ban



Complex factors, not us, influence FX rates in Nigeria, says Binance

Telecommunications firms yesterday effected the directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to block access to the websites of cryptocurrency firms.

A senior executive in one of the telecoms company confirmed this development to The Guardian yesternight. According to him, this was part of moves to curtail the sliding status of the naira, especially activities of speculators. The naira fell to about N1,800/$ yesterday.

Affected firms would include Binance, OctaFX, Coinbase and others. This is coming some months after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a guideline to govern digital asset operators’ activities.

In December 2023, the CBN changed its stance on crypto assets and asked banks to disregard its February 2021 ban on crypto transactions.One of the affected firm, Binance had stated that its platform is not for currency pricing. The platform said this after users lamented their inability to buy dollars.

While noting its commitment to a market-driven, fraud-free, and manipulation-free platform for its users, Binance said, “Furthermore, as industry leaders, we are working hand in hand with local authorities, lawmakers, and regulators to ensure we act on non-compliance.”

Yesterday, the firm confirmed that it paused transactions to protect users from price suppression. Addressing rumours that currency speculation was thriving on its platform, the firm, said, “It is important to note that foreign exchange rates are influenced by various complex factors, which Binance has no influence on.

“However, we continue to actively engage with regulators, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders to foster an open, transparent dialogue about managing the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency and financial markets.”

In September 2023, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) placed a disclaimer on Binance Nigeria Limited, saying the platform was “neither registered nor regulated by the Commission and its operations in Nigeria are therefore illegal.”
BREAKING NEWS: Senate rejects electricity tariff hike, probes N2tn subsidy

BREAKING NEWS: Senate rejects electricity tariff hike, probes N2tn subsidy



The Senate has kicked against plans by the Ministry of Power to approve the proposed hikes in electricity tariff by Distribution companies.

The Senate also rejected plans to remove electricity subsidy given the present hardships in the country.

The Senate then called on the government to step down the idea of an increase in electricity tariff.

The upper chamber also directed the committee on power to investigate the N2tn required for electricity subsidy payment, other debts owed in the sector, and the state of metering in the country.

The resolution of the Senate followed its consideration and approval of a motion moved by Senator Aminu Abbas (PDP, Adamawa Central) during plenary on the need to retain subsidy on electricity in the country for the foreseeable future.

Last week, the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, disclosed at a press conference in Abuja that Nigeria was not likely to sustain the current electricity subsidy payment.

He explained that the indebtedness of the country’s power sector to electricity-generating companies (GenCos) and gas companies (GasCos) had risen to over N3tn.

He said, “Today, we owe a total of N1.3tn to the power generating companies, out of which 60 per cent is owed to gas suppliers. Today we have a legacy debt, before 2014, to the gas companies of $1.3bn; at today’s rate, that is close to N2tn.”

The spokesperson of the Senate, Yemi Adraamodu, as saying that it would not allow any hike in the price of electricity that might add to the woes of Nigerians.

Abbas in his lead debate said the “Senate notes with greatest dismay the plan to increase electricity tariff by the relevant statutory authority in gross disregard of increased economic challenges with attendant widespread poverty and high cost of living.”

He added, “The Senate may note that the Hon. Minister of Power was reported saying ‘the nation must begin to move towards a cost-effective tariff model, as the country is currently indebted to the tune of N1.3tn naira to generating companies (GenCos) and $1.3bn owed gas companies.

“According to him, over N2tn needed for subsidy, only N450 billion was budgeted this year. The same electricity businesses are collecting money from customers for services not rendered. When they have not added anything to the equipment, they inherited it from PHCN.

“Communities buy transformers to replace damaged ones in addition to overburden bills and arbitrary estimates for unmetered customers.”

Senator Abbas further stated, “Cognizance that in a country where a greater population live below the poverty level, with stagnant wages, rising inflation and depreciating currency, the prospect of higher electricity bill is unattainable.

“The issue of arbitrary energy charges on unmetered customers has become worrisome given the February 2024 report of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on the non-compliance with energy billing caps by DisCos and the penalty of N10.5bn imposed on the distribution companies that over-billed its unmetered customers.

“Aware that in 2018, the then Hon. Minister of Power, Works, and Housing directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to issue a regulation that facilitates signing of meter agreements between the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Ziglaks company and other meter asset providers to address the metering gaps in the power supply industry.”

He further noted, “Further aware that as far back in 2020 the president then, ordered the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to commence Mass pre-paid Metering to end estimated billing, and that Funds were released to that effect

“Disturbed that the multiple sanctions declared to be imposed by NERC against DISCOs for failing to comply with the scrapping of estimated bills for unmetered customers which include credit adjustments to overbilled unmetered customers for the period January – September, 2023 by the March 2024 billing cycle, publication of the list of credit adjustment beneficiaries in two national dailies, and deduction of N10,505,286,072 from the annual allowed revenues of the eleven DisCos during the next tariff review seemed to have been in futility given the continued violations by Discos.”

It would be recalled that this Senate via a motion called on the Federal Government and NERC not to increase tariff on electricity for customers and citizens of this country at this time.

Abbas further noted, “Regret that in addition to the high cost of living being experienced in the country, the unmetered customers who are owners of small and medium enterprises are adversely impacted by this level of exorbitant electricity charges and by implication have their businesses affected.

“While the prospect of the new Electricity Act, 2023 of ensuring accurate electricity charges will be negated if DisCos are not investigated to ascertain the current statistical data on unmetered customers, poor provision of electricity service despite exorbitant tariff and regulatory role of NERC which leaves much to be desired.”
SHOCKING: Lagos prophet drowns during Valentine’s Day beach hangout

SHOCKING: Lagos prophet drowns during Valentine’s Day beach hangout



A fun-seeking Lagos-based prophet, Oriyomi Remilekun, was said to have drowned during a beach hangout in the Ajah area of the state to celebrate this year’s Valentine’s Day.

The deceased led some youths of his white garment church to the Avista Beach situated in the area on Saturday, February 17, to commemorate the Day.

A source privy to the incident told our correspondent that the picnic which lasted through the evening had ended when the whereabouts of the late Oriyomi became unknown.

The colleagues were said to have immediately launched a search for him but efforts to locate him proved abortive.

The source said, “The youths of the church parish at Gbagada were on a planned Valentine’s Day love feast at the Avista Beach Resort and they were 16 in number. They first lodged at a shortlet apartment very close to the resort where they had a party before later moving into the beach resort.

“Around 9pm, they prepared to leave and when they got to the car park, they discovered that Oriyomi was missing. When they asked his girlfriend, she said he gave her his phone, went in and promised to come back. They later went to the beach, searched for him and could not find him before they left.”

When contacted, the management of Avista Beach confirmed the incident but told our correspondent that the remains of Oriyomi were washed ashore on a separate beach located in the community on Monday.

Speaking on Tuesday, a member of the management team who craved not to be mentioned due to the sensitive nature of the incident said, “On Sunday afternoon, we saw a group of people with police officers from Ogombo Police Station who told us they came to report that someone was missing at the beach. They invited us to the station and we wrote our statement. After that, the police invited the remaining colleagues. About three hours after they were invited, we got a call that a body had been found at Baracuda Beach Resort. The guys did not lodge at the resort and the body was not found there. They started the search around 9pm and that time in Lagos is just like early morning. Why didn’t they raise the alarm but instead went home that night? This is a beach resort where everybody comes and goes home.”

People familiar with the late prophet have mourned him while reacting to social media posts announcing his demise.

A Facebook user, Erinle Abel, who expressed sadness over his death wrote, “Honestly, I have never met a prophet that is gifted without blemish, humble in spirit and character, very active in the vineyard and respectful to both the young and old. Our meeting was during our harvest week and since then he had been a blessing to me. It is so unfortunate that you have to leave untimely. May God rest your soul and bless your church with more truthful prophets like you.”

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said he was not aware of the incident. “I am not aware,” he said.
Better than Salah & Saka: Scott McTominay has earned 12 points for Man Utd this season

Better than Salah & Saka: Scott McTominay has earned 12 points for Man Utd this season



Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay made another terrific contribution yesterday as he scored a late winner against Aston Villa coming off the bench.

The Red Devils looked second best for most of the second half, but McTominay helped them secure a third successive league win with his 85th-minute goal.

The Scotland international timed his run into the Villa box with perfection before heading home a precise cross from Diogo Dalot from the right flank.

With the result, the Red Devils have moved within six points off the top four. The club now have a genuine chance of qualifying for the Champions League.


Meanwhile, McTominay has scored seven goals in the English top-flight this term. Each of his goals have come with a purpose and The Athletic reveal the same.

As per the outlet, the midfielder has directly helped United gain 12 extra points from his seven goals.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min is second on the list with 10 points gained for the London side.

Elsewhere, Erling Braut Haaland, Bukayo Saka and Mohamed Salah have helped their respective clubs gain eight points from their goals in the Premier League.

McTominay has perfected role of super-sub at United

Back in the summer, McTominay was heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford and there were suggestions that he could be sold for around £40 million.

West Ham United were one of the contenders to land his signature but ultimately, a deal did not materialise due to his valuation not being met by his suitors.

It has proved a blessing in disguise for the Red Devils. McTominay has been hugely influential despite his limited role. Of late, he has perfected the role of a super-sub.

The Scot is blessed with the ability to make late runs into the box to finish off chances. He has been terrific this term and has helped the club to stay in the top four race.

Without his goals, the club would be languishing in the 12th spot with 29 points and a negative goal difference. Manager Erik ten Hag may have lost his job too.
AFCON final: Hosts Ivory Coast beat Nigeria 2-1 to win third title

AFCON final: Hosts Ivory Coast beat Nigeria 2-1 to win third title


Hosts, Cote d’Ivoire are the champions after beating Super Eagles 2-1 in the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday night at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium.

The tournament marked the 34th edition of the continent’s competition.

The Super Eagles are gunning for a fourth AFCON title, while the Elephants are seeking to have their third title, having only won in 1992 and 2015.

Both teams advanced from Group A, with Equatorial Guinea topping the table with a joint seven points and three goals difference. However, the Elephants made it out as the fourth third-place team.

See the team list:

23.
Stanley Nwabali

5. Williams Troost-Ekong

6. Semi Ajayi

21. Calvin Bassey

3. Sanusi Zaidu

8. Frank Onyeka

17. Alex Iwobi

2. Ola Aina

18. Ademola Lookman

11. Samuel Chukwueze

9. Victor Osimhen

Follow live updates below:

 

90+3′ We are about to witness a subsitution. Lazare Amani (Ivory Coast) for Jean Michael Seri.
90′ There will be a minimum of 7 min. of added time.
90′ Dahane Beida shows a yellow card to Ola Aina (Nigeria) for his blatant foul.
88′ Here is a change. Seko Fofana is going off and Emerse Fae gives the last tactical orders to Ibrahim Sangare (Ivory Coast).
87′ Dahane Beida rightly pulls out a yellow card and shows it to Seko Fofana (Ivory Coast).
87′ Substitution. Terem Moffi (Nigeria) has come on for Frank Onyeka.
86′ Jose Peseiro has decided to substitute Zaidu and he is replaced by Joe Aribo (Nigeria).
85′ The corner by Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria) lacks accuracy as it’s hit with too much power. The ball is off of the pitch and it’s a goal kick for Ivory Coast.
85′ A good clearance by a defender means the corner comes to nothing for Nigeria. Nigeria have been awarded a corner kick. The referee and one of his assistants both point at the corner flag.
85′ Nigeria failed to take advantage of the corner as the opposition’s defence was alert and averted the threat. The referee points to the corner flag and Nigeria will take a corner.
81′ 1 – 2 The ball is inside the net! Sebastien Haller (Ivory Coast) is the scorer of the goal.
81′ Oumar Diakite (Ivory Coast) dinks a cross into the box in an attempt to find one of his teammates, but the defence manages to clear.
79′ Jose Peseiro has decided to make a change. Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria) replaces Ademola Lookman.
79′ It’s time for a substitution. Alhassan Yusuf (Nigeria) comes on in place of Alex Iwobi.

Cooling break!

75′ It’s hot out there so the ref signals there will be a cooling break for the players to take on some fluids.
75′ Sebastien Haller (Ivory Coast) unleashes a shot, but his effort isn’t precise at all and it flies well wide of the left post.
70′ Emerse Fae prepares a substitution. Max Gradel is replaced by Oumar Diakite (Ivory Coast).
70′ Substitution. Serge Aurier makes way for Wilfried Singo (Ivory Coast).
69′ William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria) creates himself some space around the penalty spot and connects with the free kick. His header is badly mistimed and sails high over the bar.
68′ Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast) fouls an opponent. At least that’s what referee Dahane Beida signals.
65′ The game is interrupted now, Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast) picks up a knock and the physio has to come on.
63′ 1 – 1 Goal! Franck Kessie (Ivory Coast) puts the ball past the goalkeeper!
62′ Odilon Kossounou (Ivory Coast) produces a ferocious strike from the edge of the box. His dangerous effort towards the bottom left corner is blocked by Stanley Nwabili, who pulls off a superb save to keep the ball out of the net. The ball goes out for a corner. Ivory Coast can continue in their attacking effort.
59′ Jean Michael Seri (Ivory Coast) gets a shot away from distance, but wasn’t really set to take it and fires well wide of the left post.
56′ The referee signals that it is time for a substitution and Moses Simon (Nigeria) is coming onto the pitch as Samuel Chukwueze cannot continue after picking up an injury.
54′ The expression of the referee Dahane Beida is crystal clear. This behaviour won’t be tolerated. Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast) is shown a yellow card.
53′ Stanley Nwabili (Nigeria) violates the rules and gets a yellow card.
49′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) is first to the rebound but his shot is blocked. Wow, what an escape there for the opposition.
49′ Simon Adingra (Ivory Coast) sends a pass into the box, but his attempt is thwarted and cleared.
49′ A direct free kick from a promising position, taken by Max Gradel (Ivory Coast), is struck into one of the defending players who deals with the threat.
49′ Zaidu (Nigeria) makes a rough challenge and the referee blows for a foul. Ivory Coast get a free kick.
47′ Evan Ndicka (Ivory Coast) commits a rough foul. Dahane Beida stops the game and makes a call.
46′ Referee Dahane Beida blows his whistle to start the second half.

45+5′ The match has reached half-time.

45+5′ Seko Fofana (Ivory Coast) had a good opportunity from long range. His shot was directed towards the middle of the goal, but Stanley Nwabili was alert and made a comfortable save
45′ 4 additional min. will be played.
43′ Sebastien Haller (Ivory Coast) whips the ball into the penalty area, but one of the defenders is alert and spanks it away.
40′ Dangerous play by Zaidu (Nigeria). Dahane Beida blows his whistle for a foul.
38′ 1 – 0 Goal! William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria) heads, which goes past the goalkeeper!
37′ Zaidu (Nigeria) expertly controls the pass inside the penalty area and shoots, but it’s inadvertently blocked a defender. The linesman makes the right call and Nigeria will have a corner.
35′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) swings in the corner kick, but one of the defenders leaps highest to head the ball away.
34′ Stanley Nwabili was forced into action to thwart Simon Adingra (Ivory Coast). He found himself some space after latching on to a pass and unleashed a shot to the right post but couldn’t beat the keeper. The referee and his assistant both point at the corner flag. Ivory Coast will have an opportunity to threaten the opposition’s goal.

Cooling break!

28′ Jose Peseiro is stunned as referee Dahane Beida shows him a yellow card. What was that for?
27′ Rough tackle by Victor Osimhen (Nigeria). The referee blows his whistle for a foul.
24′ Dahane Beida blows his whistle as Frank Onyeka (Nigeria) used excessive force in the tackle during an attack.
21′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) beats the defender to the ball in the box and shoots, but the ball flashes just wide of the left post.
21′ Simon Adingra (Ivory Coast) looks like he will be the one to try and deliver a quality ball into the penalty box from the corner kick.
19′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) makes a rough challenge and Dahane Beida blows his whistle for a foul.
17′ Ademola Lookman (Nigeria) swings in a cross, but the ball is cleared to safety by one of the defending players.
14′ Jean Michael Seri (Ivory Coast) shoots from the edge of the penalty area. The ball travels low towards the middle of the target, but Stanley Nwabili easily deals with the threat.
14′ The corner from Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) is intercepted by the defence.
13′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) sends a beautiful cross into the penalty area, but the opposition’s defence manages to clear the ball to safety. The ball goes out of play and Ivory Coast have been awarded a corner kick.
10′ Franck Kessie (Ivory Coast) is clearly asking for some medical attention with his painful gestures. The extent of his injury is yet to be discovered.
9′ Dahane Beida couldn’t ignore the rough tackle by Calvin Bassey (Nigeria) and blew his whistle. Ivory Coast will take a free kick.
8′ Simon Adingra (Ivory Coast) bursts into the box and only has the keeper to beat, but sends a poor shot well over the crossbar.
6′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) launches the ball from the resulting corner, but one of the defenders is first to the ball and deals with the threat.
6′ Max Gradel (Ivory Coast) looks to break free, but an opposing player clears the ball away. Ivory Coast win a corner.
2′ Frank Onyeka (Nigeria) deprives his opponent of the ball, but the referee blows his whistle for a foul. He’s not happy with the decision!

1′ The first half has just begun.

Chinese man, who dedicates 12 hours to reading, fails entrance exams after 27th attempt

Chinese man, who dedicates 12 hours to reading, fails entrance exams after 27th attempt



A Chinese man, Shi Liang, has failed the country’s gaokao examination for the 27th time this year, leaving him with self-doubt about his childhood dream of ever going to university.

The 56-year-old, who sat for the examination, had a 424 score out of 750 total examinations, which is lower than the score needed to gain admission into any Chinese university.

Mr Liang, a self-made millionaire who took the exam in 1983 at the age of 16 for the first time has always been ambitious about his dream to attend a prestigious university in China

He abstained from alcohol and dedicated 12 hours to reading to achieve his lifelong dream; unfortunately, he likely won’t retake the examinations next year, due to his poor performance over the years.

“If I truly can’t see much hope for improvement, there is no point in doing it again. “I really did work hard every day,” he told local media in China.

“It’s hard to say whether I will keep on preparing for the gaokao next year. It’s a hard decision to make, I am not willing to give up either.”

He added, “I might give up, if I do attend it next year, I will give up my last name Liang if I fail.”

Millions of Chinese students from all walks of life partake in the entrance examination on a yearly basis.

Gaokao, is a difficult examination that tests the intellectual capacity of each candidate and determines their life choices, universities, job opportunities, marriage and lifestyle.

The examination focuses on Chinese, mathematics, english and any other science or liberal art course.

In 2021, Chinese government data revealed that about 41.6% of candidates were accepted into universities or colleges.

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Exceptional African Lady graduates with First Class in Marine Engineering, celebrates exceptional success

Exceptional African Lady graduates with First Class in Marine Engineering, celebrates exceptional success



Monica Nancy Candny, a trailblazing 23-year-old, has etched her name in history by graduating with top honors in Marine Engineering from the esteemed Regional Maritime University. Her remarkable achievement, shared with pride on her LinkedIn feed, serves as an inspiration for aspiring individuals, especially women, seeking to make a mark in traditionally male-dominated fields.

As an Engine Cadet at Royal Caribbean International, Monica actively contributes to the smooth functioning of various vessels, including Independence of the Seas, Cestos Tug of Svitzer in Liberia, and Harmony of the Seas. Her responsibilities span maintaining and operating engine room equipment, ensuring the safety and efficiency of maritime operations—a testament to her competence and dedication in a demanding profession.

Monica’s academic journey was marked by outstanding achievements, earning her a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering from Regional Maritime University (RMU) in Ghana. Acknowledging her exceptional academic performance, she was twice awarded the Dean’s list. Additionally, she holds an Associate Degree of Science from the Liberia Maritime Training Institute (LMTI). Monica’s commitment to continuous learning is reflected in her acquisition of various certifications, including Certificate of Cadetship Training, Mentoring Certified, and Crowd Management.

Her post on LinkedIn celebrating her graduation a year ago resonates with gratitude and humility. She acknowledged the support of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Liberia’s international ship and corporate registries, and the Liberia Maritime Training Institute. Monica’s journey to success is underscored by her belief that determination, coupled with confidence and discipline, can empower women to achieve anything they set their minds to.

Monica’s involvement in empowering women in the maritime industry extends beyond her professional responsibilities. She serves as an Associate Brand Ambassador for the Global Organization of Oil and Gas Professionals (GOOGPro), a Mentor for Women Offshore, and a Mentee for the Centre for Maritime Training and Development (CMTD). Her dedication to uplifting others and advocating for gender diversity in her industry is a testament to her leadership and commitment to positive change.

In a recent post celebrating her achievements in sports, Monica emphasizes the value of hard work and its role in achieving success. Her dual passion for both sports and marine engineering underscores her well-rounded approach to life and learning.

Monica’s story has garnered attention online, with articles highlighting her historic graduation with first-class honors in Marine Engineering. Her message to aspiring individuals is clear: “If you dream it, you can achieve it. If you have a passion for something, go and get it.” Her journey embodies resilience, determination, and the courage to pursue one’s dreams, breaking barriers and setting an example for future generations.

As Monica embarks on her journey as a Marine Engineer, her story continues to inspire, paving the way for more young individuals to explore and excel in unconventional career paths. The maritime industry, enriched by Monica’s diverse contributions, stands as a testament to the limitless possibilities that await those who dare to dream.

In the quiet halls of Hightower Elementary School in DeKalb County, Georgia, Tylan Bailey spent 23 years diligently working as a custodian. Little did anyone know that beneath the janitor’s uniform was a man fueled by a dream that would challenge the conventional narrative of success.

At the age of 40, Tylan embarked on a journey many deemed improbable — he enrolled at Georgia State University, determined to earn a degree in Health and Physical Education. His aspiration was not just to graduate but to become a teacher, an ambition that had long lingered in the corridors of his heart.

Tylan’s path to academic success was far from ordinary. Growing up in the Tobie Grant housing project in Decatur, Georgia, he faced adversity from a young age. His mother, grappling with addiction, moved the family across multiple states, exposing Tylan to a turbulent childhood marked by constant relocation and instability.

Despite the challenges, Tylan’s mother instilled in him the importance of education. Through various living arrangements and a patchwork of schools, he persevered. “Kids bring guns. There’s a fight every day. And you’re waiting on your turn to fight,” he recollects, describing the volatile environment of some of the schools he attended.

Tylan’s life took a pivotal turn when, at the age of 19, he learned he was going to be a father. Determined to provide a stable life for his daughter Yazmine, he prioritized education and graduated high school a year later. Working as an elementary school custodian, he navigated the challenges of parenthood, even taking on a second job delivering newspapers to support his family
Frenkie de Jong ready to U-turn on Barcelona stance as Man United reignite transfer interest

Frenkie de Jong ready to U-turn on Barcelona stance as Man United reignite transfer interest



Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is once again linked with a move to Manchester United and this time, he could be more receptive to the idea of upping sticks to Old Trafford

Frenkie de Jong has been linked with a move to Manchester United ever since the summer of 2022 when Erik ten Hag took the reins at Old Trafford.

United's Dutch manager is well versed in what De Jong's main strengths are, given the pair worked closely during their shared time at Eredivisie giants Ajax. Now at Barcelona, De Jong is often a name that crops up on the transfer wishlists of Premier League clubs.

He has hardly set the world alight since his switch to the Camp Nou in 2019, but that would have been difficult considering the number of obstacles the club has faced on and off the pitch in that time. Regardless, in the past De Jong has pledged his loyalty to Barcelona.

Looking back at comments from the Netherlands international made last summer, De Jong reaffirmed his commitment to the Barcelona cause. He told El Periodico: "I always wanted to be at Barca.

"In these first years, we had not won the League, nor gone far in the Champions League. We had only won one Copa del Rey. To succeed at Barca I had a lot left.

"And I also saw that the team was improving that summer. High-level players arrived. And that's why I wanted to continue. It is the club of my dreams and I want to be here all my life. I didn't want to leave suddenly."

However, it seems like something has changed in the six months that have passed since those remarks from De Jong. Half a year later, it appears that the technically gifted midfield maestro is now more open to the idea of leaving Barcelona as speculation over a move to Manchester rears its head once again.

The La Liga giants yet again find themselves in a precarious financial position and as a result, De Jong could be deemed as a sellable asset that would generate some much-needed funds. Ten Hag's stance on the talent is unlikely to have changed.
Breaking News: Lille ready to agree £51.2m deal to sell Jonathan David to Man United

Breaking News: Lille ready to agree £51.2m deal to sell Jonathan David to Man United



Manchester United were linked with Jonathan David in the winter transfer window but ended up signing no one to reinforce their squad.

If the latest reports in the media are anything to go by then the Red Devils have officially contacted Lille to inquire about the Canadian striker.

According to Voetbalkrant, Man Utd and Chelsea want to open talks to sign the 24-year-old striker and the French club is prepared to cash in.

The news source have mentioned that Lille are ready to agree a deal of at least £51.2m (60 million euros) to sell Jonathan David to United or the Blues.

It is reported that the two Premier League clubs can easily afford to meet the £51.2m fee to hire the services of the former Gent center forward.

The 45-capped Canadian has so far featured in 29 games for the Ligue 1 side this term, scored 13 goals and provided 6 assists.

At Old Trafford, Hojlund is currently the leader of the strike-force and the good thing is he has found his feet in the Premier League with four goals in the last many outings.

However, depth is a major concern as Martial, who has only started five PL games this season, is out injured and Ten Hag has not replaced the likes of Cavani and Ronaldo as yet.

In your view, should Man Utd agree a deal worth £51.2m to sign Jonathan David in the summer?
AFCON: ‘Don’t come back,’ South Africans threaten Stanley Nwabali

AFCON: ‘Don’t come back,’ South Africans threaten Stanley Nwabali

Goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili who plays his professional football with Chippa Utd of South Africa says he knows the players.


Super Eagles goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali has reportedly been threatened by South Africans not to return to his clubside, Chippa United following his heroics against the country.

Nwabali, who has been impressive for Super Eagles in the AFCON so far, plies his trade for Chippa United in South Africa.

While speaking on Channels Television on Thursday, former Super Eagles international, Idah Peterside made known the threats.




Peterside said some fans have already told the Super Eagles shot-stopper not to return to Chippa United after the tournament.

He said, however, that there have only been threats, and no violence has been recorded.

It is said that some South Africans are not pleased that the goalkeeper prevented their team from making it to the finals.

Nwabali was excellent during the semi-final clash against the Bafana Bafana in the semi-final clash on Wednesday.

The goalkeeper stopped multiple attempts by South African players during regulation time before going on to save two spot-kicks during the penalty shootout.