Friday, August 1, 2014

Jose Mourinho says Fernando Torres stays at Chelsea
AJETUNMOBI SHERIFFriday, August 1, 2014

Torres
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho insists Fernando Torres is not leaving Stamford Bridge.

The Spanish international has been linked with a return to Atletico Madrid, especially in light of the Blues needing to get rid of one of their foreign players.

Premier League rules state that only 17 of the 25 registered players can be foreign, but after the signing of Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Felipe Luis – and the departures of Englishmen Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole – Chelsea are one over.

However, Mourinho says Torres will not be sacrificed.

“Three strikers is fundamental in the squad and we have three,” he tells Sky Sports News.

“Nando is one of them. We have a good squad. The perfect squad would be with this 18 players, not 17, but rules are rules and we are working hard, even here, to not have these kind of problems in the future.

“[We want] to have more English players in our squad which we are going to have in the future but in this moment we are still in the middle of this process.

“So at the moment we have to make a decision about one player not to be on that list.”

Ivory Coast have appointed former Zambia national team coach Herve Renard as their new coach
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Herve Renard
Ivory Coast have appointed former Zambia national team coach Herve Renard as their new head coach.

The Frenchman has signed a two-year deal to replace Sabri Lamouchi, who stepped down following the Elephants' disappointing 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil.

The 45-year-old was selected from a three-man shortlist that also included Portuguese former Sporting and Benfica coach Jose Manuel De Jesus and ex-Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti.

Renard is tasked with delivering silverware to a nation that has become frustrated by the failure of their top European stars to produce a cohesive and successful national team for several years now.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kelechi Iheanacho will shine in EPL - Yaya Toure
AJETUNMOBI SHERIFThursday, July 31, 2014

Kelechi Iheanacho
African footballer of the year Yaya Toure has tipped Nigerian youngster Kelechi Iheanacho to shine in the English Premier League with Manchester City.

Iheanacho has been in sizzling form for the Premier League champions, scoring a goal apiece against Kansas City and Ac Milan respectively in pre-season matches.

Speaking exclusively to the club’s official website, the big Ivorian midfielder said that Iheanacho was an exciting and promising talent, who he said with time and mentoring will blossom to a top talent.

Watch Video : Kelechi Iheanacho shines again for Manchester City

“Kelechi is an exciting player. I love the way he plays and I feel that he will have a good career at the club and go on to become one of the players of the future”, said the former Barcelona star, who claims City “are the team to beat” this season.

Toure was one of the standout performers last season, scoring 24 goals and contributing 12 assists in 49 appearances as City won the Premier League title and Capital One Cup.

“We know we are the team to beat,” Toure said. “This year will be amazing because I’m expecting something – I’m expecting trophies this year.

“This year is going to be fantastic. We’ve got some fantastic players coming in and important players are staying. If you want to be the best you need to win every trophy possible.”

Manchester City have signed Bacary Sagna, Fernando and Willy Caballero and are close to sealing a deal for Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala but Toure hopes the club can continue to add to the squad before the new season.

“I hope a couple of players sign because we need to try to build a massive club,” Toure said. “We are looking for the Champions League – that is an important title this year and the Premier League is going to be a battle as well between Chelsea, [Manchester] United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool too.”

Commonwealth 2014 : Ghana sulks over no podium appearance
AJETUNMOBI SHERIF

Blessing Okagbare Bests British Sprinters To Win 200m Gold In Glasgow
While Team Nigerian officials continue to swim as their athletes amass gold medals at the XX Commonwealth Games, their Ghanaian counterparts are sulking over their inability make any podium appearance.

The Ghanaians have only won one bronze medal and their officials are blaming officiating officials for favouring some countries.

‘’Oh, Charlie! We have won only one bronze. But you see that these officials do not want us to win medals. They are favouring some countries with their officiatings”, George Ansah said.

He however saluted their West African brothers Nigeria for making them proud with their performances in most of the sports.

‘’We’re happy that Nigeria is doing well. But we are sad that they are being too hard on our athletes. It is not good at all, Charlie”, he said.

Photos : Boy, 11, has his hand torn off by a tiger at zoo after his father let him climb over safety barrier
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Dicing with death: An 11-year-old boy strokes a tiger through its cage at a Brazilian zoo moments before the animal tears off his hand, leaving it 'dangling' from his arm
 A boy's hand was ripped off by a tiger after he climbed into a restricted area and stroked the animal through its cage.

Witnesses say the 11-year-old cried 'I'm going to die, I can't feel my arm' after he was mauled while reportedly trying to pass meat through the bars.

DOWNLOAD VIDEO


The victim's three-year-old brother is believed to have witnessed the attack at the zoo in Cascavel, Brazil.

Video uploaded to LiveLeak shows the victim being lifted back over the security barrier which his father had allowed him to clamber over despite warning signs.


Music teacher Ricardo Espindola, who helped the boy's father while they waited for the ambulance, said: 'He was giving the tiger pieces of food, meat and stroking it.

'I finished looking at the animals, left, then heard the screams.


‘I went down and saw the father running with the boy with his arm hanging. I called the ambulance.

'He was in shock, talking nonsense, talking that he was going to die.'

The boy was treated by paramedics at the scene before being taken to hospital, where it is understood doctors partially amputated his arm.

According to zookeepers, the tiger, called Hu, is 'one of the sweetest' at the zoo.

See the clip below:


Blessing Okagbare Bests British Sprinters To Win 200m Gold In Glasgow
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200m sprint 
Blessing Okagbare won the 200m sprint today at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, finishing ahead of English duo Jodie Williams and Bianca Williams with a time of 22.25 seconds.

Though the three British sprinters who took second, third, and fourth place achieved personal best times, they could not best Okagbare, 25, who also won the 100m race on Monday.

"I am happy I won," said Okagbare. "It wasn't favourable weather and running two rounds in one day is new for me."

She furthered, "I wanted something faster. I didn't get the time but I got the win and two golds. It's amazing."

Nigeria : Airport Authorities Start Temperature Screening For Ebola
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EBOLA TINZ
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced that it has started temperature screening passengers arriving from places at risk from Ebola and has suspended Asky Airline because it brought the first case to Lagos.

“Screening and monitoring is being done at all major international airports. It entails checking passengers’ temperatures with a hand-held machine,” NCAA spokesman Sam Adurogboye, then added that a compulsory blood test would follow if the passenger’s temperature gave cause for concern.

The International Airlines Association (IATA) said that WHO has not yet recommended any travel restrictions or border closures due to the outbreak, and added that there will be a low risk
to other passengers if an Ebola patient flew.

Ebola has been blamed for 729 deaths in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, according to the World Health Organization.

One died in Lagos, a crowded city of 21 million people with some of Africa’s worst sanitation and health care.

Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for Liberia’s Finance Ministry in his 40s, collapsed on arrival at Lagos airport on July 20 on an Asky flight.

He was put in isolation at the First Consultants Hospital in Obalende, but died early on July 25.

“We have suspended Asky until they are able to show us what measures they have put in place for passengers to ensure they do not bring Ebola,” Adurogboye said.

He said the largest Airline Arik Air was being told to maintain its self-imposed suspension of all flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone for the time being.

Authorities were monitoring 59 people who were in contact with Sawyer, including airport contacts, and are seeking to make contact with all passengers that were on his flight.

The latest outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever began in the forests of remote eastern Guinea in February. It starts with headaches and fever, and final stage symptoms include external and
internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Sierra Leone declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine epicentres of Ebola on Thursday.

Ynaija

“Nigerians Spend N1.8 Billion Daily on Sports Betting” – Analyst
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naira
(NAN) ― About 60 million Nigerians between 18 and 40 years of age may be spending up to N1.8 billion on sports betting daily, investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reveals.

The investigation showed that they commit on the average N3,000 on sports betting daily.

Dotun Ajekigbe, a sport betting analyst, said that sport betting though risky was also rewarding.

Ajekigbe said that about 60 million Nigerians placed bets on different matches daily across the country.

He said that most unemployed youths have taken to online and other forms of sports betting to make a living.

According to him, from findings this group of people stake an average of N3,000 daily.

“Sport betting is gambling, not investing in bank shares.

“But almost everything in life is a gamble, more so with money matters. With gambling comes risks because it not 100 per cent guaranteed.

“However, you can dramatically reduce your risks by taking calculated risks only.

“When you take calculated risks, you base your decisions on sound research and evidence, not intuition.

“Sport betting is by chance. The better informed the player is, the better the chance he/she has of making money,” he said.

Ambrose Obialor, who runs Yobo Viewing Centre, Lagos, says that some people bet between N2, 000, N10, 000 and above, depending on the individual.

He said that some people denied themselves of food after spending all they had on a bet.

Afeez Adigun, an agent for 1960 Bet Company, Lagos, said that between 200 and 300 people visit his office to place bets on match days during football seasons. while about 150 people bet at off-seasons.

According to him, a betting company can generate up to N20 million monthly and use between N5 million and N7 million to meet winners obligations in terms of payment.

He also described sports betting as very risky but highly rewarding business.

A representative of another betting company, Betting World, who did not want his name mentioned, said that sport betting companies have employed about 50 youths in Lagos.

He also said that betting outlets were always filled with countless young people between ages 18 and 40 who come to place their bets.

The representative said that most people borrow as much as 10,000 for their daily stakes, stressing that some of them win, while others lose but returned for the next day’s betting.

He said that most people did not like to place bets on Nigerian matches because they were highly predictable.

Lanre Gbajabiamila, Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Lottery Board, said the lottery industry was very risky but also lucrative.

Gbajabiamila said that the board generated about N1 million in 2013 from about 11 sport betting companies in the state.

He added that more revenue could be generated with more investment to develop the industry.

“The state government has been making efforts to provide an enabling environment for the lottery industry but only 40 per cent of the industry had been tapped into.

“We urge the Federal Government to create a more enabling environment for operators in the industry to increase revenue and create jobs for youths.

“The major needs of the operators are improved electricity and internet provision to boost the business,” he said.

He restated the commitment of the board to rid the state of illegal lottery operators.

Glasgow 2014 : Ese Brume Wins Gold In Women's Long Jump
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NIGERIA
In the Women's Long Jump event, Ese Brume achieved a 6.56m leap to win Nigeria's second gold medal of the night.

EU bans vegetables from Ghana
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vegetables
The European Union (EU) has put a temporary ban on exports of vegetables from Ghana to their region.

The ban was put in place after EU authorities identified some vegetables from Ghana that did not meet their quality standards.

This is not the first time Ghanaian farmers and exporters have had to face this setback having failed to meet certain benchmarks.

Some months ago, mangoes from Ghana were banned because of fly infestation.

Ghana faced another sanction last year, when the EU noted that fish supposedly from Ghana did not really come from Ghanaian territorial waters.

Reacting to the latest news, Agric Minister, Fiifi Kwetey said the Ministry is putting measures in place to address the issues.

“As a country, we will from time to time have some of these concerns. I don’t think it is the first time we have had those concerns. We are clearly going to take them on board in order to ensure that if we are going to have sustainable exports, we cannot afford to compromise on quality,” he assured.

According to him, “some of the quality we are talking about is not something at the Ministerial level. It has to do with production; that is taking place down in the farms. We will give support to them in terms of equipment to ensure that those minimum standards are kept.”

Ebola scare in Anambra, government seals off hospital
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A corpse was brought from Liberia to the state.

The Anambra Commissioner of Health, Josephat Akabuike, announced on Thursday that a hospital has been sealed off and its workers and patients quarantined due to Ebola disease scare.

Briefing journalists in Awka, Ms. Akabuike said the measure followed information received by the government that a man whose body was brought back from Liberia at the weekend, might have died of the killer disease. He said that information available to the government indicated that the body was brought back from Liberia through Lagos and deposited in the mortuary at Nkwelle-Ezenaka in Oyi Local Government of the state.

“Part of the briefing is to tell you what we are doing to make sure we don’t allow the deadly virus to come into the state.

“What actually called for this is that we have a report that a corpse was brought through Lagos and the deceased was said to have been taken from Liberia where of course you know there are cases of the disease.

“The corpse was said to have been brought to Nigeria and deposited somewhere in Nkwelle-Ezunaka and the ministry was alerted and that is why we are taking all these measures.”

The commissioner said that Governor Willie Obiano had already directed the Police Command in the state to cordon off the place until the necessary tests were carried out.

He further said that Federal Government had also sent medical experts from the Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, to Anambra to carry out the test at the hospital premises.

Meanwhile, Ebola has been blamed for 672 deaths in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organisation.

Sierra Leone has declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine epicentres of Ebola, joining Liberia in imposing tough controls to curb the worst ever outbreak of the virus amid fears it could spread beyond West Africa.

Meanwhile, a Liberian man was confirmed to have died from the virus in Lagos last Friday.

In a measure of rising international concern, Britain on Wednesday held a government meeting on Ebola, which it said was a threat it needed to respond to.

The outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever, for which there is no known cure, began in the forests of remote eastern Guinea in February, but Sierra Leone now has the highest number of cases.

Premiumtimes

The U.S. To Open Four Regional Leadership Centers In Africa
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President Barack Obama speaks during a “town hall” meeting at the Summit of the Washington Fellowship for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in Washington, DC on July 28, 2014 /AFP
On Tuesday, President Obama announced the creation of four African Regional Leadership Centers in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Senegal as part of the Young African Leadership Initiative Network (YALI).

The centers will provide training on leadership and issues across multiple sectors, support entrepreneurship and present opportunities for young leaders to network with each other as well as American professionals and experts from across the region.

“Beginning in 2015, these Centers will improve the availability and quality of leadership training programs and professional development opportunities for young African leaders,” says the YALI press release.

President Obama made the announcement at the YALI Summit in Washington, DC. This was a town hall with 500 young African leaders who pioneered the new initiative which has been dubbed the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Fellows are between the ages of 25-35 years and have been in the United States since June 16 for six weeks of leadership training at 22 top U.S. universities such as Yale University, Dartmouth University, UC Berkeley University of Arkansas, and Howard University. They were trained in the following areas: business and entrepreneurship, civic engagement and public administration.

President Obama also announced that the fellowship will double in size to 1000 participants each year by 2016.

The YALI Summit comes on the eve of the inaugural U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, a gathering aimed at strengthening ties between the United States and African countries. The Leaders will be in Washington, DC from 4-6 August. It will focus on the U.S. administration’s trade and investment with Africa, and their commitment to the continent’s security among other things.

Boko Haram Working Hard To Seize Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Kogi And Nasarawa States — Says Intelligence Source
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boko haram leader
A high-level Nigerian security source told SaharaReporters that Nigeria’s intelligence agencies have received “credible reports that Boko Haram has developed an ambitious plan to overwhelm and take over Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa states.”

The source said the Islamist terrorist group plans to carry out its design by intensifying its bombings and choosing locations that would yield high casualty figures.

“Their move is to encircle [Nigeria’s capital city of] Abuja and increase the level of political instability in the country,” our source revealed.

The high-level intelligence agent disclosed that the shape of the terror group’s plans have emerged from the confessions of some Boko Haram insurgents who were captured recently. “We have also acquired a lot of information about their [Boko Haram’s] plans through our interrogation of Aminu Sadiq Oguche.” Mr. Oguche, who was recently extradited to Nigeria from Sudan, is accused of masterminding some of the recent high-profile bomb blasts in Nigeria, including explosions at a bus station in Abuja that claimed more than 100 lives. In addition, security agents have gleaned “significant and useful intelligence” from interrogating one Mohammed Zakari, described as “the chief butcher” of Boko Haram. Mr. Zakari was recently arrested in Bauchi, capital of Bauchi State.

Our source said that Nigeria’s security agencies are stepping up counter-insurgency measures to forestall Boko Haram’s plans to spread its tentacles to the states they are targeting.

“Apart from information we have gathered from interrogating suspects, we are also tracking critical conversations by the group’s hierarchy and examining sensitive documents recovered after recent raids on their bases in Bauchi, Jigawa and Borno states,” the source said.

Our source added that President Goodluck Jonathan and a few other government officials had been briefed about the new threats by Boko Haram as well as the outline of the plans to counter the group’s ambitious push.

A senior Islamic scholar in Northern Nigeria, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said his group was cooperating with the government to defeat Boko Haram. “We discussed with President Jonathan when we met during the end of the Ramadan fast and told him that we are ready to help stop Boko Haram. But we also told him that this is something the government must take action on. We’re doing our own, but we have limitations,” he said.

Turkish Prime Minister slams Israel for ‘Hitler-like fascism’
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Palestinians
(AFP) – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday launched one of his strongest attacks yet on Israel over its offensive in the Gaza Strip, accusing the Jewish state of showing “Hitler-like fascism” against the Palestinians.

Speaking at a mass rally in eastern Turkey to promote his candidacy in presidential elections, Erdogan said he was happy to give back an award that was bestowed upon him by an American Jewish Group in 2004.

The American Jewish Congress wants the decoration to be returned after protesting Erdogan’s bitter attacks where he has compared Israel to the Third Reich which slaughtered millions of Jews in the Holocaust.

“If you support this cruelty, this genocide, this Hitler-like fascism and child murderer regime, take your award back,” Erdogan said at the election rally in the eastern province of Van.

In typically bombastic mood wearing a casual shirt and sunglasses, Erdogan showed no sign of reining in rhetoric that has angered not just Israel but also Ankara’s NATO ally the United States.

“What is the difference between Israeli actions and those of the Nazis and Hitler?” he asked.

“How can you explain what the Israeli state has been doing in Gaza, Palestine, if not genocide?” he said.

“This is racism. This is fascism. This is keeping Hitler’s spirit alive,” he added.

Erdogan, who presents himself as a champion of Palestinian rights, has heightened his criticism of the Israeli military campaign in Gaza, firing almost daily tirades at election rallies in the run-up to the August 10 presidential vote.

The premier has faced accusations of anti-Semitism from Israel and American Jewish groups but said the record of Turkey and himself on protecting Jews was irreproachable.

“Who stood up for Jews at a time when they were expelled from their home countries? It was our ancestors, it was the Ottomans,” he said, referring to the sanctuary given to Jews expelled from Spain in the 15th century.

“Aren’t you embarrassed? How immoral you are…. It is us who protects the Jews on our soil and lets them live safely.”

His rhetoric has already put an end to any chance of Turkey and Israel normalising their relations, following the storming by Israel of a Turkish ship carrying aid to Gaza in 2010 that left 10 activists dead.

Actress Chika Ike stunning in new photos
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 Nollywood Actress Chika Ike stunning in new photos...

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I want to continue as Super Eagles coach — Keshi
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keshi
Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, has expressed his desire to extend his contract with Nigeria.

The AFCON-winning coach in a chat with africanFootball.com from his base in the United States said:”Yes, I met with Deji Tinubu in Lagos before heading out for America to see my family.

“It’s my country, I am ready to serve. I have started something I would love to finish.”

However, Keshi quickly added the working conditions for his new deal have to be better than what he had previously.

“But I cannot work the way I worked last time. It’s not possible! All my staff, no!no!!no!! We have to be professional, everybody has to do what they are supposed to do,” he stated.

“I cannot be paying another staff salary, when I am not the Nigeria Football Federation. We will see how it goes. If the conditions are met, we will be there, no wahala.”

In the meantime, the NFF has disclosed to africanFootball.com that it will forward a letter of intent for contract renewal this week to the former Super Eagles captain.

Tinubu, the Head of a three-man committee for Keshi’s contract renewal, said: “We have made tremendous progress.

“We will first send a letter of our intent for a renewal of his contract and expect a reply from him as quickly as possible.

“This would allow us to start working on the terms of contract. We would have our terms and we know he would have his terms. But we would be working in such a way that we would arrive at an agreeable term that would suit both parties and then hopefully he signs.

“We can’t put a time limit on this, but we hope we are done with it as quick as possible considering that we have a game in September,” Tinubu stated.

Lagos generates N120billion from tax in 6 months
AJETUNMOBI SHERIF

lagos
The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) on Thursday said it generated more than N120 billion from taxation between January and June this year.

The Executive Chairman of the service, Mr Tunde Fowler, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that 90 per cent of the taxes were generated from the organised private sector and civil servants.

Fowler said that the remaining 10 per cent came from the informal sector, mostly market women, artisans, commercial drivers and taxable individuals in the state.

 He said the state had relied on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to implement its budget following the dwindling statutory allocations.

 The chairman said the increase in the IGR to N237 billion in 2013 from N15 billion in 1999 were the fallouts of sustained mobilisation and tax education in the state.

“In 1999, Lagos State generated N15 billion from IGR but last year it increased to N237 billion, an increase of N222 billion within 14 year
“There has been a steady growth in tax payment in the state,” he said.

He projected that this year’s IGR would improve beyond the previous years.

Fowler also said that any development required money, adding that the IGR would further bridge the statutory allocation from the Federal Government.

“Any transformation will require money and you can’t transform without funding.

 “Now that the allocation from the Federal Government is reducing due to drop in oil revenue, we must look elsewhere to meet up with our budget,” he said.

He said the generated revenue would be used to ensure the state had good roads, improve health services and adequate security.

Fowler assured the residents of the state that 200 roads in the state would be repaired before the 2015 tenure expiration of the administration.

The chairman urged the residents to endeavour to pay their taxes regularly, adding that the money was being used to implement the state’s budget.

(NAN)

BBA 2013 winner Dillish Mathews shares sexy bikini photos
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Dillish Mathews
 BBA 2013 winner Dillish Mathews shares sexy bikini photos...

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Lukaku not up for Chelsea fight – Mourinho
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lukaku
(AFP) – Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has claimed that he sold Romelu Lukaku to Everton because the Belgian striker did not have the stomach to fight for a place at Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku joined Everton in a club-record £28 million ($47.4 million, 35.4 million euros) transfer on Wednesday, having scored 16 goals in 33 appearances while on loan at Goodison Park last season.

The 21-year-old faced competition from new signing Diego Costa and returning club great Didier Drogba at Chelsea, and Mourinho felt that he did not possess the drive to win a first-team place.

“Romelu was always clear that in his mentality and his approach he was not highly motivated to come to a competitive situation at Chelsea,” Mourinho told Thursday’s edition of British newspaper the Daily Mirror.

“He wanted to play for Chelsea, but clearly only as first-choice striker.

And at a club of our dimension, it’s very difficult to promise a player that status.

“That reduced immediately his desire to come to us. After that, Everton came with an important offer and because we want to be inside (UEFA’s) Financial Fair Play rules, you have to analyse these situations.”

Lukaku was dubbed the heir apparent to Drogba when he joined Chelsea from Anderlecht in 2011, but he made only 15 appearances during his three years with the west London club.

The Belgium international, who played at the World Cup, revealed that he had left Chelsea without speaking to Mourinho.

“I spoke with my agent and then from that moment on I left it up to him as I was on holiday,” said Lukaku, who has signed a five-year contract with Everton. “I made my decision and then didn’t speak too much about it.”

Asked if he had spoken to Mourinho immediately prior to leaving, Lukaku replied: “No, I think he was busy with the game (Chelsea’s friendly against Vitesse Arnhem on Wednesday).”

Despite failing to make the grade at Chelsea, Lukaku said that he had no regrets about his time at the club.

“Chelsea is a big club and sometimes it is difficult for young players to come through,” he said.

“I want to have a good career and I didn’t want to spend 10 years on the bench. I wanted to make the best out of every year.

“This (Everton) is a club with a lot of ambition and it’s the right place to be. You don’t have to have regrets in football. Choices have to be made.”

Everton manager Roberto Martinez described Lukaku’s arrival as “a very significant day in the history of our football club” and said the Belgian was “worth every single penny”.

Ebola death toll rises to 729 — WHO
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ebola virus
(AFP) – Fifty-seven more deaths from the Ebola epidemic spreading alarm in west Africa have pushed the overall fatality toll from the outbreak to 729, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

The 57 deaths were recorded between Thursday and Sunday last week in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the UN health agency said in a statement.

It added that 122 new cases were detected over the four days, taking the total number of confirmed and likely infected cases to 1,323.

Edo Speaker declares lawmaker’s seat vacant for defecting to PDP
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PDP
BENIN— THE Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, yesterday, declared the seat of the member representing Etsako West Constituency I, Mr. Abdulrazak Momoh, vacant for defecting to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from All Progressives Congress, APC.

The Speaker, Mr. Uyi Igbe, during plenary of the APC lawmakers at the Old Assembly complex in Government House, Benin, said the lawmaker’s defection did not follow due process.

He said Session 109 (1g) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, empowers the Speaker to declare the seat of a lawmaker, upon defection to another party from the party he was elected, vacant.

He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to fill the vacant position within 90 days.

The 14 APC legislators loyal to Igbe have been at loggerheads with the nine PDP legislators out of which six were suspended for alleged misconduct.

They don’t obey court orders— MOMOH

However, Mr. Momoh described the action as laughable, saying the move was to truncate the legal action instituted against APC legislators for allegedly forging his signature.

According to him, the Speaker once said in the media that he (Momoh) was not suspended because of a pending legal action he instituted against the House, adding “and the court restrained them from suspending and declaring my seat vacant. It is already a known fact that they do not obey court orders.

What they have done in Government House is null and void because the Government House is not the designated place for legislative activities.

“To start with, there is a subsisting court order stopping the House from declaring seats vacant, suspending and stopping the remunerations of the defected lawmakers.

Photos : Woman who was put on death row in Sudan for marrying a Christian leaves Rome for US with the Pope's blessing
AJETUNMOBI SHERIF

Courage: Meriam Ibrahim holds her daughter Maya in her arms as she leaves Rome for Philadelphia
 The Christian mother who was put on death row in Sudan for refusing to convert to Islam is finally on her way to a new life in the United States.

Meriam Ibrahim, who was imprisoned for apostasy after refusing to renounce her Christian faith, left Rome this morning on a flight bound for Philadelphia, according to the campaigner who secured her release.

The mother-of-two, accompanied by husband Daniel, a U.S. citizen, and children Martin and Maya will then change planes to fly to New Hampshire, according to Antonella Napoli, director of Italians for Darfur.


The family of four are planning to start afresh in America in Manchester, the hometown of Daniel’s brother, Gabriel Wani.

They spent the previous week in Rome after being spirited out of Sudan in the dead of night on an Italian state aircraft.

Meriam and baby Maya, who was born while her mother as shackled in prison, were blessed by Pope Francis who thanked her for her courage and praised her ‘courageous witness to faith’.

The brave mother said she was a little anxious about the new start.

Daniel, a trained chemist, lost his job while in Sudan supporting his wife through her ordeal in prison so they will be reliant on their extended family, at least at first.


The entire four will be cramped into Daniel’s one person apartment in Manchester.

She said: ‘ I’m a bit scared to leave Rome. We have been very happy here. We have felt like a real family. ‘

She said that they had toured the city as they waited for the final arrangements to be made for their travel, including an emotional trip to the ancient Roman amphitheatre where thousands of Christians were martyred for their faith.

They also prayed in one of the cities most famous churches, St Paul outside the walls.

She said: ‘We saw the whole city, we went to the Colosseum, we went to mass on Sunday, and we went shopping. We returned to life. And now I don’t know what to expect but at least we will all be together. ‘


Daniel was more confident. He said: ‘My brother will help us I’m sure and the Christian community in New Hampshire will be with us. The future is always unknown but I am optimistic.’

The quotes were relayed by the campaigner Antonella Napoli who saw the couple off at the airport.

She said the visit to the the Colosseum 'touched' the courageous Christian but the entire family had been 'moved by the welcome they had received in Rome'.

The nightmare began a year ago when Meriam was accused of converting to Christianity, by relatives who allegedly wanted to take over her business.

Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, from Sudan, with her daughter Maya in her arms, in his Santa Marta residence, at the Vatican on July 24
She insists she was brought up a Christian although her father, who left the family when she was very young, is a Muslim.

A month ago Meriam was released but was detained again on the way to the airport pending fresh legal proceedings.

After weeks at the US Embassy amid tense negotiations between the Italian and Sudanese authorities she was released and flown to Rome immediately.

The couple were given a private apartment during their week in Italy, where they were able to live as a family for the first time since the birth of their daughter.

They were kitted out with new clothes and driven around the sights by armed police, for their security.

When they arrive at the airport in New Hampshire they are set to be welcomed by the Sudanese and entire Evangelical community, as well as Daniel’s brother and his family.

Culled from Dailymail