*I’ll resign if we don’t achieve self-sufficiency in crude oil refining by 2019 – Kachikwu *Ambode cancels N844b Lagos 4th Mainland Bridge

*I’ll resign if we don’t achieve self-sufficiency in crude oil refining by 2019 – Kachikwu *Ambode cancels N844b Lagos 4th Mainland Bridge

SABINEWS MORNING NEWS UPDATE FOR MAY 23, 2017

 

I’ll resign if we don’t achieve self-sufficiency in crude oil refining by 2019 – Kachikwu

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, Monday, vowed that he will ensure that Nigeria achieves self-sufficiency in crude oil refining in 2019, stating that he would resign if he fails to achieve the target.

In an interview with the BBC aired yesterday, Kachikwu insisted that the target for Nigeria to attain self-sufficiency in terms of crude oil refining remains 2019, adding that Nigeria should be more concerned about processing crude oil rather than shipping it out for processing elsewhere and importing refined products. Read more

Ambode cancels N844b Lagos 4th Mainland Bridge

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has terminated a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a consortium of firms to build the 4th Mainland Bridge at the cost of N844 billion. The MoU for the 36 km bridge, which two past administrations had promised to do, was signed on 25 May, 2016. The project was to be financed by Africa Finance Corporation, Access Bank, and other private investors who have already signified intention to be part of the construction, while Visible Assets Limited would be the coordinating firm. Read more

3,000 PDP, APC members defect to APGA in Anambra

About 3,000 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, defected to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Ugbene community, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The defectors, led by the National Chairman of Ugbene Great Ambassadors Club, Chief Aaron Onwelukwue, disclosed that their defection was informed by Governor Willie Obiano’s “sterling performance in office” which they crave its continuity. Read more

Abia guber: Settle with Ikpeazu, Supreme Court admonishes Nwosu 

The Supreme Court, yesterday, admonished  Friday Nwosu, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Abia State to settle his political differences with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in the interest of the people of the state.

Besides, the apex court said it has already given its judgment on the governorship crisis in the state.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen,  who gave the admonition said: “We have already taken  decision on the matter and we are not speaking with both sides of our mouths because we are not politicians. Read more

FG to impose 5% charge on tax defaulters

As part of measures to sanction tax defaulters and enhance voluntary compliance on tax obligation, the Federal Government yesterday announced it would from July 1, 2017, impose additional 5 per cent charge on firms that fail to honour their tax obligations as and when due.

Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who announced the new interest rate spread on unpaid taxes for the year 2017, said such defaulters would pay about 19 per cent on their obligation which is 5 per cent above the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 14 per cent policy rate. Read more

Waiting for 2017 Budget assent and implementation

The National Assembly recently passed the 2017 Appropriation Bill and forwarded it to the president for his assent. Although the bill spent up to five months in the two chambers of the federal legislature, having been submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari in December last year, it is a relief that it is largely not mirred in confusion like the 2016 Appropriation Bill that was heavily padded. Now that the document is now in the presidency, it is necessary for all the controversies on it to be quickly resolved so that it can be expeditiously signed into law.

Among the controversies over the appropriation bill is the addition of N143 billion to the original N7.268 trillion estimates proposed by the president. The final budget passed by the lawmakers is N7.44trn. Out of the N143bn, the legislators raised their own budget by N10bn, to N125bn. Read more

TCN commissions 70MWA power transformer in Bornu, Gombe

AMIDST report of inadequate power supply witnessed across the country, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, said it has successfully completed the installation and commissioning of power transformers in Bornu and Gombe States respectively. This is in line with the company’s efforts to mitigate the prevalence of low transmission of electricity in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). Read more

Cross-examination, most effective tool in court proceedings, says former Lagos DPP

Former Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and Solicitor-General of Lagos State, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey has said that cross-examination is the most effective tool in the right of a party in criminal or civil proceedings to challenge the opposing party’s case, particularly where the entire case turns substantially on the credibility of witnesses.

The former permanent secretary in Lagos, stated this in a paper he presented in a workshop on Oral Advocacy, organised by the Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in conjunction with Conference of Western Attorney Generals (CWAG). He said cross-examination is a process consistent with the adversarial nature of ‘our judicial system’. Read more

Group charges National Assembly on whistleblowers, others

A civil society organisation, Media Initiative Against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) has charged the National Assembly to take urgent steps to pass anti-graft bills pending before it in order to strengthening the legal framework against corruption.

MIIVOC in collaboration with Justice for All (DFID) in a communiqué issued after the two-day media roundtable held at Bridge Waters Hotel, Enugu disclosed that widespread feelings and opinion on the on-going war against corruption is not comprehensive. Read more

Experts canvass stiffer penalties for violence against women

In the face of increasing wave of sexual assaults and violence against women, government has been tasked on tougher legal punishment for offenders, to serve as deterrent.

Admitting that some states such as Lagos and Jigawa have however stipulated stronger punishment, they would want remaining states to adopt similar position on the issue to ensure stiffer penalties are metted out to rape offenders, especially those of minors. Read more

Brother launches range of products into Nigeria market

Brother International officially launched its print, scan, and copy technology solutions products into the Nigerian Market on Tuesday at Sheraton Hotel and towers Lagos. It was done in conjunction with its partner and authorised representative in Nigeria, SKYSAT technologies.

Brother products includes a wide range of Laser and Inkjet printers/MPF, high-speed document scanners and innovative labeling printers designed for use in homes, offices or corporate environments. Read more

Obaseki hails Edo-born Nigerian recipient of British honour

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has applauded the resilience of 27-year old Nigerian, Anne-Marie Osawemwemze Imafidon who received a national honour from Queen Elizabeth II at the weekend.

Imafidon, who hails from Edo received the national honour of Member of the Most Excellent British Empire (MBE) from the Queen on account of her outstanding services to the community, especially to young women with specialty in Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Read more

Ari urges caution as NUJ remembers fallen journalists in Plateau

The Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari has described journalism as a tasking and risky profession as the journalists could not do a good job without stepping on toes from time to time.

Ari, who was guest speaker at the Memorial Lecture and Fund Raising Ceremony for fallen journalists in Plateau State, noted that in the course of performing the duties, journalists were oftentimes exposed to danger, which may lead to their untimely but painful death. Read more

Zamfara ALGON chairman urges media to be fair and honest in reporting

The association of local governments in Nigeria (ALGON) Zamfara state chapter has called on the entire working journalist across the country to exhibit honesty and fairness in the discharge of their civic responsibilities as they are there to serve everybody irrespective of political and religious inclination.

They should also focus on anything that will ensure the unity and oneness of the country Nigeria and avoid sensational reports with a view to avoiding a crisis that may eventually divide the nation and its people. Read more

AFBTE attributes job losses to economic recession

The Association of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employers (AFBTE) has attributed the high rate in job losses in the country to economic recession. “We recorded a significant drop in turnover, profit margins and capacity utilisation, which has resulted to massive loss of jobs, while the companies that didn’t reduce their work force reviewed their staff salaries and allowances downward.

Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its unemployment report for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2016 has said 3.67 million Nigerians became jobless in one year. Read more

2019: Igbo won’t repeat mistake of last election –Eneh

Chief Francis Eneh from Ebonyi state is a staunch member of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia state. He said the mistake the Igbo made in the 2015 general election would not be repeated in 2019.

In the 2015 election, APC did not do well in the South East, is the situation going to be any different in 2019?

During the last election in the South East, we did our best, it was just that some people who did not know our mission, sabotaged our efforts, carrying unfounded propaganda that former president Goodluck Jonathan was our brother and that made people of the area to dance towards Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). They were deceived; they didn’t know that APC had a better option and a better way of reorganizing the nation more than the PDP. Read more

APC govt in Niger lacks direction –Beji

Tanko Beji, a lawyer, is the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Niger.  He said the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, government in the state, lacks direction.

By May 29, this administration will be two, what is your take on the journey so far?

The fact speaks for itself and we are all living together in Niger state and we are seeing what is happening. For me what is happening in Niger is not surprising because you have people in government who were not prepared for governance, but they found themselves there by accident so there they have nothing to offer to the people.  Read more

British Council honours Nigerian student’s feat in History

The British Council has honoured Oghenevwogaga Majemite, son Fred Majemite, who came out tops in History at the 2015 Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education, IGCSE. Oghenevwogaga, an alumni of Atlantic Hall Schools, who is currently schooling in Canada, was represented by his mother, Helen Majemite, and one of his siblings, Rukky, at the Outstanding Cambridge Leaner Awards, in Lagos. Read more

Osinbajo, IBB, Abdulsalami, Dangote, Others Save Sanusi from Kano Assembly Probe

The Kano State House of Assembly Monday suspended the probe of the Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II, following the intervention of several prominent Nigerians including acting President Yemi Osinbajo, former military rulers, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III.

The prominent Nigerians were reported to have prevailed on the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, to ask the state assembly to let go of the probe in the interest of peace in the state. Read more

PDP crisis: Sheriff fails to stop Makarfi at Supreme Court

After a marathon court session, the Supreme Court yesterday reserved judgment on the pestering leadership crisis that has bedevilled the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The crisis got to the apex court through an appeal lodged on March 16, 2017, by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the party against the judgement of the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, which declared Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the legitimate national chairman of the party.

Before the decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, dismissed a preliminary application brought by Sheriff against the hearing of the appeal. Read more

Akiolu Says He’s the Bona Fide Oba of Lagos in Obaship Tussle Suit

Fourteen years after his installation, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, Monday appeared at an Ikeja High Court as a defendant in a suit challenging his emergence as the paramount ruler of Lagos, saying he is the bona fide traditional ruler.

“I am here to justify my appointment, you cannot build something on nothing, it will be broken. Read more

Fayose Seeks to Extend Tenure Aborted by Impeachment

Plans to hold governorship election in Ekiti State in 2018 may be a mirage, as the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, on Monday said he might seek extension of his tenure beyond 2018 in court.

He stated that he was not allowed to complete the four-year tenure in his first term.
Fayose was abruptly impeached by the state House of Assembly in 2006.
But the Supreme Court in 2014 nullified the impeachment about seven months to the end of his first term. Read more

Ibori Awarded £1 as Damages for Unlawful Detention

A High Court in London has awarded former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, a nominal £1(about N400) as damages over his claim of unlawful detention by the British Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

Mrs. Justice Cheema-Grubb agreed that Ibori, who spent years in a UK jail for money laundering, was unlawfully held for one day, 18 hours and 10 minutes between December 20 and 21 last year.
She however ruled, in a way that mocked Ibori’s claim, that he is only entitled to a nominal £1 of the sum. Read more

99 Pro-Biafra Agitators Arrested in Three States

Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu, Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki and Bassey Inyang in Calabar
About 88 suspected pro-Biafran agitators were on Monday arrested by the Enugu and Cross River State Police Commands for attempts to commemorate what they called ‘New Biafra’.

While the 41 agitators arrested in Enugu were members of the Chief Ralph Uwazurike-led Biafra Independent Movement (BIM), the 47 members arrested in Cross River State were members of the Movement for the Actualisation for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). Read more

Attention shifts to Walter Onnoghen’s 13-man committee on judicial reform

Recently when the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, appeared before the Senate for screening, he had assured Nigerians that he would introduce necessary reforms in the judicial sector. His assurances attested to the fact that the judiciary was in dare need of restructuring in order to restore public confidence in the once revered arm of government.

Aside the heavy allegation made by President Muhammadu Buhari, shortly after he assumed office, where he publicly declared the judiciary a clog in his wheel of progress, many others have equally believed that necessary steps were required to save the country’s judicial sector. Read more

TSA has done more harm to Nigeria’s economy –Mayor Godwin Ngozi-Obi

Mayor Godwin Ngozi-Obi is the Director of Winnerine Management and Professional Training Centre in Lagos. In this interview, Ngozi-Obi, former Lagos State governorship aspirant on the platform of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) in the last general election, took a hard look at the economic policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, especially the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy and submitted that the policy initiated to fight corruption has escalated capital flight, which has in turn worsened the economic situation of the nation. He also spoke on how Nigeria can recover from recession and return to its position as Africa’s largest economy. Read more

Nigeria dollar scarcity to persist till 2018 – Moody’s

Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s efforts to strengthen the value of the naira against the dollar, Moody’s Investors Service has said foreign currency shortages will remain in the country till 2018.

This was stated in a report, ‘Foreign-currency shortages are subsiding but will take time to overcome’, released on Monday by the global rating agency. Read more

CIBN Boss Supports CBN Forex Market Forays

The President/Chairman of Council , Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Prof. Segun Ajibola has said the aggressive intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will help stabilise the naira.

Ajibola, said this in an interview with journalists, on the sidelines of the institute’s 2017 annual general meeting that took place in Lagos recently. According to the university don, the forex market in any part of the world is a very sensitive market and as such requires effective and constant “policing.” Read more

Atiku: How Nigeria Can Overcome Political, Economic Challenges

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said for Nigeria to get over current challenges facing it, there must be a change of approach in political and economic field.

Atiku who spoke on a topic: ‘Building a Nation that Works’ as part of his acceptance speech of the ‘Hero of Nigeria Democracy Award’ conferred on him by Hall of Grace Magazine in Lagos, said things are not functioning as it should be at present. Read more

CBN Injects Fresh $205m into Forex Market

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday injected over $205 million into the foreign exchange market.

A breakdown of the intervention revealed that while the sum of $100 million was released for the wholesale segment of the market for both spots and forwards; Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and other invisibles got $50 million while the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME) segment got $55 million. Read more

Nigeria earns N225bn from oil taxes, royalties in two months

NIGERIA earned N224.9 billion from petroleum profit tax (PPT) and royalties from the oil and gas sector in January and February 2017, according to latest data released by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. The CBN in Economic Report for February 2017 released recently also put the country’s total earnings from the oil and gas sector in the month of February 2017 at N292.8 billion, rising by 37.92 per cent from N212.3 billion recorded in the previous month. Read more

BPE Oblivious of Agip/Oando Planned Concession of P’Harcourt Refinery

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is ignorant of the proposed rehabilitation and operation under a concession arrangement of the 210,000 barrels per day (bpd) Port Harcourt Refinery by oil firms – Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and Oando Plc, THISDAY yesterday learnt from top sources in the privatisation agency.

It learnt in Abuja that despite the BPE’s listing of the refinery along with Warri and Kaduna refineries on its privatisation schedule, it has however not been involved in plans by the federal government to concession the Port Harcourt refinery to Agip and Oando on a repair, operate and maintain basis, a transaction oil and gas business experts have faulted. Read more

Oando reduces net debt by 29%, posts N1.7bn PAT

OANDO Plc has reduced its net debt by 29 per cent to N225.9 billion in the first quarter 2017 (Q1’17), ended March 31, from N316.6 billion in the corresponding period of 2016, just as Profit After Tax, PAT dropped by 59 per cent to N 1.7 billion  from N 4.1 billion. According to the Q1, 2017 result released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE the company’s turnover grew by 575 per cent to N138.4 billion from N20.5 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016, while its gross profit increased to N 13.4 billion from N 2.6 billion.  Read more

Project 100, a boost to local content devt – stakeholders

STAKEHOLDERS in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry appear to have welcomed “project 100”, a concept initiated by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to financially assist competent Nigerian companies in the execution of projects, hitherto handled by foreign companies. Speaking at Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, Kachikwu explained, “On project 100, conceptually, we need to develop the concept, develop the parameters around it and put in place the team to work on it.  Read more

Price of cooking gas rises by 100 % in one year

THE price of cooking gas has risen by 100 per cent in Nigeria’s domestic market between April 2016 and April 2017 as a result of increased demand, supply disruptions and foreign exchange issues. A market survey over the weekend showed that the price of the 5kg rose from N1, 000 in April, 2016 to over N2, 000 in April, 2017. It showed that the prices of 10 kg and 12.5 kg which stood at N2, 000 and N2, 500 in April 2016 have risen to N4, 000 and N5, 000 respectively. Read more

Stakeholders move to crash oil production cost to $2 per barrel

Stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have agreed to evolve new strategies towards reducing the cost of oil production from $23 a barrel to $2 a barrel.

The position of the stakeholders was contained in a communiqué released by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) at the just concluded Oil Technology Conference (OTC) 2017, in Houston, Texas, USA.

The communiqué signed by Chairman of PETAN, Mr. Bank Anthony Okoroafor, maintained that the $2 per barrel oil production target would be achievable by working together through reduced logistics costs from $23 per barrel to $2 per barrel sharing vessels, security and management of assets. Read more

Oil company celebrates 20th anniversary, gives back to schools

In a bid to give back to society, oil brand, Rainoil, is hosting a series of corporate social responsibility activities across the country to mark its 20th anniversary, with activities that kicked off since May 1 in selected Nigerian schools. Its Brand and Corporate Communications Manager, Olasumbo Wright, told The Guardian that the company chose to celebrate the anniversary in schools with initiatives that aimed at positively impacting and giving back to the communities where they operate. Read more

Shell expresses commitment to deepwater investment

SHELL Petroleum Development Company, SPDC has expressed commitment to invest in deepwater oil and gas exploration in Nigeria and other parts of the world. The company indicated in its latest report that the plan is based on the discovery that deepwater holds great prospect for the making of new finds. Read more

Local refineries: Experts call for massive investment, put average cost at $250m

POTENTIAL investors have been called upon to collectively invest in the construction of new refineries because of high cost of construction estimated at $259 million. Speaking at a panel session, former Executive Secretary of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, Reginald Stanley, said investors should collaborate and invest in developing refineries in the country.
Read more

Nigeria earns N225bn from oil taxes, royalties in two months

NIGERIA earned N224.9 billion from petroleum profit tax (PPT) and royalties from the oil and gas sector in January and February 2017, according to latest data released by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. The CBN in Economic Report for February 2017 released recently also put the country’s total earnings from the oil and gas sector in the month of February 2017 at N292.8 billion, rising by 37.92 per cent from N212.3 billion recorded in the previous month.
Read more

Iraqi Minister: OPEC May Ask Nigeria to Cut Oil Output

Iraq’s oil minister, Jabar Ali al-Luaibi, has indicated that Nigeria and Libya may be asked to cut oil productions in the new supply cut deal to be reached by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Speaking at a press conference in Baghdad, Al-Luaibi expressed Iraq’s readiness to join Saudi Arabia and Russia in the proposed extension of the oil deal by another nine months. Read more

Belgium Young Player Of The Year : Three Nigerian Whizkids Make Top Ten

At a gala ceremony on Monday night, in-demand Eupen frontman Henry Onyekuru took eighth in the voting for the Footballer of the Year in Belgium. Youri Tielemans (Anderlecht) was named Player of the Year with 873 points, while the Nigerian claimed 82 points.

Three Nigerian whiz-kids made the top ten in another award category, the Young Player of the Year. Onyekuru finished third (450 points), ahead of Gent pair Samuel Kalu (109) and Moses Simon (88). Read more

Arsenal begin talks to sign Nigerian striker

Arsenal are believed to have started talks to sign Nigerian striker Henry Onyekuru from Belgian club K.A.S Eupen.

The 19-year-old has a release clause of £6.8 million and is a passionate Arsenal fan who has previously stated that it is his dream to play for the Gunners.

Everton, Southampton, West Ham United and Middlesbrough are also attempting to sign Onyekuru, as reported by Sky Sports. Read more

Official : Nigerian Striker Offered New Contract By The Blues

EFL League Two outfit Carlisle United have confirmed their retained and released list ahead of the start of pre-season training.

Everything indicates that the experienced striker Jabo Ibehre will remain at  Brunton Park next term as he has been offered a new contract, with his current agreement set to run out on June 30. For the second consecutive season, Ibehre was the top scorer for the Blues and tallied 12 goals from 38 league appearances during the 2016-2017 campaign. Read more

EPL: Ndidi Delighted Leicester City Maintained Top Flight Football

Super Eagles defensive midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi believes Leicester City has done a great job by securing another top flight football in the Premier League for season.

The Foxes which finished 12th place after their 1-1 draw against Bournemouth in Sunday’s Premier League tie at the King Power Stadium, were almost kissing the relegation drop before interim manager, Craige Shakespeare stared the ship to safety. Read more

Moses Focuses Attention On FA Cup Final Clash Against Arsenal

After claiming the prestigious English Premier League trophy on Sunday, Super Eagles winger, Victor Moses has revealed that the team is focus on winning the double, by beating Arsenal in Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

Winning the trophy for the first time in his career since joining Chelsea, the former Wigan star was at his best mettle as Chelsea defeated already relegated Sunderland 5-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The 26-year old has scored four goals as he became an integral part of manager Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 formation. Read more

UEFA Champions League: Black Eyed Peas set to perform in final

The American group Black Eyed Peas are set to perform at the final of the Champions Leaguebetween Real Madrid and Juventus in Cardiff on June 3, football’s governing body announced on Monday.

According to UEFA, the Los Angeles-based group, formed by will.i.am, Fergie, apl.de.ap and Taboo, are to perform before the final, reports Efe. “We’re planning on harnessing the excitement of the fans in the stadium, and all those tuning in to the UEFA Champions League final,” will.i.am said. Read more

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady. Read more

Australia international Mathew Leckie joins Hertha Berlin from Ingolstadt

Hertha Berlin have signed Australia international forward Mathew Leckie from relegated Ingolstadt for next season.

Hertha announced that the 26-year-old Leckie signed a contract on Monday, though the club did not give details of its length nor the transfer fee. Kicker magazine reports that Hertha took advantage of a release clause in his contract at Ingolstadt and the club is paying around €3 million for the 26-year-old. Read more

Indonesia: Ahok’s family withdraws appeal against blasphemy conviction
IN A surprise move, the family members of former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama on Monday withdrew an appeal against his conviction for blasphemy, just hours after it was filed by his legal team.

According to the AFP (via The Straits Times), the family did not disclose their reasons for the withdrawal but will do so today.

“The family have their own considerations and withdrew the appeal,” lawyer Ronny Talapessy told AFP. Read more

Manchester blast witness: ‘bodies scattered about everywhere’

Charlotte Campbell was praying her 15-year-old daughter was alive.

Olivia and her friend Adam were missing after attending an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena on Monday night, Campbell said. “She was enjoying herself and we’ve not heard anything from her since, “Campbell said. “We’ve phoned hospitals, we’ve phoned everywhere we can think. We’ve posted on every social network and there’s nothing. Read more

North Korea says it’s ready to mass-produce new missile after latest test

North Korea said Monday it is ready to start mass-producing a new medium-range missile after a weekend test-launch confirmed its combat readiness.

It called the missile — capable of reaching Japan and major U.S. military bases there — an “answer” to President Trump’s policies.

The solid-fuel Pukguksong-2 missile flew about 310 miles and reached a height of 350 miles on Sunday before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. North Korea’s media said more missiles will be launched in the future. Read more

Japan’s Abe Talks Trump

Japan has seen an economic revival in recent years. But now it faces an uncertain world, as North Korea makes increasingly aggressive moves and the mood in the U.S. turns against free-trade deals.

To assess the progress Japan has made and look ahead, The Wall Street Journal’s Gerard Baker sat down with the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, who spoke through a translator. Edited excerpts follow. Read more

 

 

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