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UCL Semi-Final: Chelsea Defeat Real Madrid, Face City In All-English Champions League Final

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Chelsea qualified for the final stage of Uefa Champions League against Manchester City after beating Real Madrid 2-0 on Wednesday to seal a 3-1 aggregate victory at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues put up an impressive performance to secure a place a in the final stage of the competition. Werner’s cushioned header into an empty net on 28 minutes after Kai Havertz’s initial effort came back off the crossbar and Mount’s tap-in five minutes from time were enough to seal their place in Istanbul on May 29.

Backed by Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, Chelsea’s £220 million spending spree last summer has been rewarded with a first Champions League final since they lifted the trophy for the only time in 2012.

A return to the biggest game in club football is also the culmination of a huge turnaround in Chelsea’s fortunes since Thomas Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January.

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane welcomed back captain Sergio Ramos from injury for the first time in six weeks, while Eden Hazard was handed a rare start in an injury-hit season on his return to Stamford Bridge.

But the Belgian was again a peripheral figure as Madrid’s over-reliance on Karim Benzema to provide a goal threat was exposed.

Madrid were handed a let-off when Werner swept home Ben Chilwell’s cross only to be denied by the offside flag.

Benzema needed only a half-chance to thump home his 28th goal of the season to level the tie last week in the Spanish capital and nearly moved ahead of Real legend Raul as the Champions League’s fourth-highest ever goalscorer with a quick turn and shot from the edge of the box that Edouard Mendy did brilliantly to turn behind.

That was the close Madrid came to an away goal and moments later they were behind as Werner scored just his fourth goal in his last 39 games.

N’Golo Kante and Havertz did the hard work as the French midfielder fed Havertz, whose audacious chip over Thibaut Courtois bounced invitingly off the crossbar for Werner to head into an empty net.

Chelsea have now kept 18 clean sheets in 24 games since the appointment of Tuchel turned their season around.

However, a failure to take their chances at the other end means they are still far from guaranteed a place in the Champions League next season.

That lack of a killer touch was exposed after the break as Havertz saw a free header come back off the bar before Mount blasted over with just Courtois to beat.

The former Chelsea ‘keeper, who controversially forced a move back to Spain in the summer of 2018, kept his current employers in the tie as he then saved one-on-ones with Havertz and Kante, with the Blues’ speed on the break too much for Madrid’s aging midfield to cope with.

Tuchel was growing increasingly frustrated with his side’s inability to put the tie to bed, but could finally relax five minutes from time.

Substitute Christian Pulisic left Courtois on the floor and from his cut-back, Mount slid in to finish from close range.

Fired by Paris Saint-Germain on Christmas Eve after leading the French champions to their first-ever final in this competition last season, Tuchel is headed back to the Champions League showpiece match for a second consecutive season, unlike his former club, who were beaten 4-1 on aggregate by City in the other semi-final.

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Politics

FFK’s Admission Into APC, A Symbolic Presidential Amnesty – Kayode Ajulo

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FFK’s Admission Into APC, A Symbolic Presidential Amnesty – Kayode Ajulo

Dr. Kayode Ajulo, a legal practitioner, has described Femi Fani – Kayode’s (FFK) admission into the APC as a ‘symbolic presidential amnesty’, considering his past attacks on President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ajulo said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, against the backdrop of FFK’s recent defection to the APC.

He said the APC was magnanimous to have received FFK, irrespective of the fact that some persons including some party members might not be happy with the development.

”FFK’s past attacks on President Buhari and the APC had unwittingly influenced passions in some quarters, for armed and unarmed agitations against the President and the Nigerian state.”

Fani Kayode-Crystal News

Fani Kayode-Crystal News

He recalled that FFK had suggested on different occasions with his tweets, that the APC government was filled with terrorists.

Ajulo, however, said that the commendable magnanimity of President Buhari to FFK should be extended to various agitators across the country as a basis for amnesty.

According to him, amnesty in this context is not to be viewed from the strict standpoint of legal knowledge, rather the ordinary meaning is desirable.

“For our immediate purpose, therefore, amnesty means forgiveness, cessation of remembrance of wrong, leniency, and mercy,” he said.

READ ALSO: APC Postpones State Congresses, Announces New Date

He stated that it might not be wrong to state that the symbolic ‘amnesty’ granted to FFK by the President and the APC almost came on a platter of gold.

“The symbolism by the President signposts the fact that the vilest of ‘sinner’ in his lucid moment of thorough reflections, can be granted safe passage toward the “mercy seat,” he said.

Ajulo admitted that FFK is misunderstood man and has a controversial personality.

According to him, haven been given the benefit of ‘eating his cake and having it, the same level of understanding, leniency, and mercy should be extended to his allies.

He said some of the agitations by secessionists had not gone without the open endorsement and support of FFK.

He advised FFK to totally divest himself of his divisive un-nationalistic past.

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Humanity

Sanwo-Olu Seeks Innovative Solutions For Cardiovascular Disease Patients

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has tasked the Nigeria Cardiac Society, (NCS) to develop innovative solutions and reinvent methods to reach out to patients with cardiovascular diseases in Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu, represented by Dr Olusegun Ogboye, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Lagos state, made the call at the 50th anniversary and scientific conference of the NCS in Lagos.

The theme of the conference was : “Delivering Cardiovascular Care in Emergency and Disaster Situations”.

”Science and technology has successfully made life easier and better through several inventions and innovations, such as telemedicine and use of artificial intelligence in the health sector.

“As we are aware, people with underlying health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, are more at risk of the severity of COVID-19 complications.

”The World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed in 2016 that non-communicable diseases are estimated to account for 29 per cent of all deaths in Nigeria.

”With cardiovascular diseases being responsible for 11 per cent of these deaths and also responsible for a high burden of morbidity and disability leading to strokes and others.

“These statistics serve as a pointer to the fact that cardiovascular diseases have somewhat dire consequences when not properly and closely monitored,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He said that in Lagos state telemedicine has been integrated into our health care system.
“It is one of the innovations we have embraced from the lessons COVID-19 has taught the world.

“I remain proud of all the great strides and achievements of the society, being the first cardiac society to perform an open heart surgery in black Africa.

“This society has contributed to manpower training in cardiovascular medicine and surgery,” Sanwo-Olu added.

Speaking, Dr Okechukwu Ogah, President, Nigerian Cardiac Society said there was a need to collaborate with basic, social and public health scientists in order to advance our research in common cardiovascular health conditions in the country.

Ogah said that in recent time there had been remarkable contributions of our members in the areas of congenital heart disease, hypertension, COVID-19 and other heart diseases.
“We are also working with the World Heart Federation(WHF) and Federal Ministry of Health in many areas to tame the growing burden of Non-communicable Diseases.

”It is no doubt that we are working in very difficult terrain at a time the world is bedeviled by a pandemic, “he said.

Oga noted that locally, they were facing a very disruptive health care system, massive migration of health workers, economic down turn, devaluation of our currency and high cost of drugs.

“We therefore, use this opportunity to call on our governments at all levels to look into the plights of our patients and those who provide the care.

”We thank all the public and private health institutions that have added value to the practice of cardiovascular medicine in Nigeria.

“At the founding of our society, there were very few human and material resources to take care of the cardiovascular needs of the country.

”Today cardiac care services are provided in many tertiary centres and private-owned super-specialty cardiac care services are springing up, but currently affordable to the rich in the country, “he said.

Sanwo-Olu Seeks Innovative Solutions For Cardiovascular Disease Patients

Oga called on the Federal and State Governments to embrace universal health coverage and provide the enabling legal framework and resources in Nigeria.

Also contributing, Prof. Amam Mbakwem, Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the conference said that the time was apt for us to deliberate on the best way to deliver cardiovascular care during these periods.

Mbakwem said that the level of environmental degradation, global warming, encroachment on the natural habitats of some of the hosts or carriers of these pathogens, no one was sure what happens next.

”However, come what may, we would innovate and look after our patients in a safe and effective manner.

“The problems of cardiovascular care delivery are magnified in our environment with very weak and fragile infrastructure and health systems.

”During this conference, we will take a critical look at how far we have come as a society as we attain the golden jubilee age.

“In this conference, we have three generations of cardiologists; founding fathers, the cardiovascular care professionals of today and our young fellows,” she said

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Business

CBN Sets To Roll Out E-naira October 1

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CBN Denies Non Remittance Of 80% Surpluses-Crystal News

The director of Information Technology, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Rukiya Mohammed, on Wednesday said the apex bank has concluded plans to launch the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) on October 1.

Mohammed disclosed this in a webinar, themed “Digital currency and the prospects of CBDC in Nigeria”, organized by the committee of e-Business in industry Heads Nigeria (CeBIH).

Mohammed said that the use of digital payment was rising while cash payment was declining both in Nigeria and globally.

She said that over 85 per cent of Central Banks worldwide were considering digital currency and so CBN was also innovative to cope with global trends.

“CBDC would contribute to macro-economic growth in the country, if people adopt more of the usage of the e-naira, it would enhance more data to formulate macro economic policies.

“Also, when more countries have their own digital currencies, it would increase exchange of currency and be able to build cross border trade at lower cost.

“Even though Nigeria has a good payment system, this would also improve Nigeria’s payments efficiency,“ she said.

She said the CBN has partnered with a lot of experts in digital currency technology providers such as MasterCard, came up with the design and would soon publish the design.

“CBN would focus on low amount payments at the introductory stage, instant settlement with low cost.

“CBDC would be legal tender with one e-naira equivalent to one naira which shows fundamental differences between CBDC and crypto currencies,” she said.

Also speaking, Dr Adesola Adedutan, Managing Director, First Bank Nigeria, said that the Central Bank of Nigeria CBDC was a game changer that would provide an alternative payment system and would radically transform the payment landscape.

Adedutan, who was represented by the Banks deputy chief executive, Mr Francis Soba, said CBDC provides a platform for the government to leverage blockchain technology to maintain a centralised and institutional role over of the currency.

‘’It should be noted that there are significant differences between CBDCs and cryptocurrencies,” he said.

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