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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Former Arsenal coach, Unai Emery returns to football as new manager of Villarreal

Spanish La Liga club, Villarreal has confirmed the appointment of former Arsenal manager Unai Emery on a three-year deal.

The Spaniard, 48, has been out of football since his sacking at the Emirates in November 2019 after 18 months in charge of the Gunners. He will officially be presented to fans in a press conference on Monday afternoon, July 27.

On the official Villarreal website, a statement read: 'Villarreal CF has reached an agreement with Unai Emery for the Basque manager to be Yellows head coach for the next three seasons.

The manager will be presented on Monday at 12:30pm CEST in a press conference, which is exclusively open to media, which will take place in the Functions Room in the Preferencia Stand at the Estadio de la Cerámica (access by Gate 31).

Unai Emery is a well-respected coach with vast experience in football around the world, and has manager top-level clubs such as Paris Saint-German and Arsenal FC. Furthermore, he also knows LaLiga perfectly, after two successful spells at Sevilla

I didn’t say Lawmakers got 60 percent of NDDC contracts – Akpabio tells House of Reps members

Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, has denied saying most of the NDDC contracts were awarded to members of the National Assembly.

In a letter read by Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, on Thursday, Akpabio said the house panel probing the alleged mismanagement of N81.5 billion in the commission did not give him the opportunity to clarify his statement.

Recall that on Monday, July 20, Akpabio appeared before the House of Representatives panel investigating allegations of financial recklessness in the NDDC. During his presentation, he alleged that most of the contracts of the NDDC were awarded to National Assembly members.

Akpabio's letter denying the statement was read on the floor of the House after the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, announced that the House would be filing a lawsuit against the Minister after he failed to release the names of the Lawmakers he claimed have been awarded NDDC contracts.

In his letter, the former Akwa Ibom governor said the only reference he made to 60 percent during his presentation before the NDDC committee on Monday was in response to a question by a member of the committee. According to him, a member of the House panel had asked him whether a Medical Director can serve as an Executive Director Project, to which he responded by saying that since 50 to 60 percent of NDDC contracts were medical-related, there was nothing wrong in a Medical Director serving in that capacity.

He accused Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, chairman of the committee on NDDC in the House of Representatives and Peter Nwaoboshi, his counterpart in the senate, of misconduct.

His letter reads

“I hereby respond as follows, the investigating committee refused or neglected to give me the opportunity to explain the reference to ‘most NDDC contracts awarded since 2001 from the records allegedly to members of the national assembly was done without the knowledge of the alleged beneficiaries’. However, the two chairmen of the committees in both chambers have adequate knowledge,” Akpabio said.

I never referred to members of the ninth national assembly as beneficiaries of NDDC contracts as NDDC is yet to fully implement any NDDC budget since the commencement of the ninth national assembly. In fact, the 2019 budget passed in February and harmonised on 5th of March 2020 was received by the commission in the middle of April 2020 when the same was designated to expire on 31st May 2020.

However, it is pertinent to point out that the clerk forwarded a letter dated 20th of March without attaching the budget details, this anomaly was brought to the attention of the senate investigating purported financial recklessness by the management of the commission in July 2020.

It has always been known that the two chairmen of the committees on NDDC in both exhibit unusual influence to the exclusion of committee members and even the management of the NDDC appropriate funds projects after passing of line items at plenary.

May I assure you Mr Speaker that as a former minority leader in the eight senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I shall forever promote the ideals of the national assembly as an institution, hence I will not make the attached documents public since I obtained the documents from the lead forensic auditors in confidence.

Permit me to explain that any reference to 50 or 60 percent during the investigative hearing was an answer to a question by a member of a committee as to whether or not a medical director could act as a director projects within the confines if the NDDC act 2000, I answered n the affirmative pointing out that the greatest project in the world is COVID-19 pandemic which is medical in nature.

I am made to understand that 50 to 60 percent yearly budgets are medical in nature. Therefore it is fitting for a medical doctor to act as executive director projects in those trying times.

“Please accept Sir, the assurance of my esteem regards and do pass my explanation to my colleagues in the ninth assembly who probably misunderstood my assertion.”

After reading the letter, the speaker did not say whether the house will still sue the minister.

New York City FC investigating sexual harassment allegations leveled by former intern against ex-player David Villa

New York City football club has confirmed that the club is investigating allegations of sexual harassment levelled at their former player, David Villa.

Villa played for NYCFC between 2014 and 2018, with him being the club's first signing. During his career he played at Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona while earning 98 caps and scoring 59 goals for the Spanish national team.

Villa scored 80 goals in 126 appearances during his time in MLS, earning recognition in 2016 as the league's Most Valuable Player.

The sexual allegations surfaced on Twitter after the Washington Post made a damning report revealing a series of sexual harassment claims that happened at the front office of Washington’s NFL team.

After seeing the report, a former NYCFC intern tweeted that she had been a victim of sexual harrasment during her time at the club, saying that former Barcelona star David Villa repeatedly harassed her while she worked at the club.

According to her she "rarely went a day" without Villa “grabbing” her or "verbally harassing" her.

According to the intern, her superiors at NYCFC thought her allegations were "great comedic material" while adding that she was repeatedly "groped", "mocked" and "shoved".

NYCFC has now reacted to the allegations, saying that the club is investigating the matter

"New York City Football Club has learned of the allegations made by a former intern by seeing them on social media," a club spokesperson said in a statement to

"We take this matter extremely seriously and do not tolerate harassment of any kind in any areas of our organization. We immediately launched an investigation into the matter."

Villa speaking to ESPN, denied the allegations: "I strongly object to the accusations made about me on Twitter. These accusations are entirely false and I deny them."

Chinese consulate in Houston was hiding scientist working for Chinese military -FBI alleges after closing consulate

US Federal investigators have revealed that China's consulate in San Francisco has been hiding a Chinese scientist accused of visa fraud amid tensions between the United States and China following the abrupt closure of Beijing's consulate in Houston by the US Government.

According to the FBI, Tang Juan, a researcher focusing on biology, lied about her connection to the Chinese military in order to obtain entry into the US and has since avoided arrest by taking refuge in the Chinese consulate.

She was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport while trying to depart the US for China.

According to court filings, Tang was charged on June 26 with one count of visa fraud after the FBI alleged she concealed her connection to China's military in her visa application, but FBI investigators "discovered photographs of her in the uniform of the Civilian Cadre of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA)" and that she had been employed as a researcher at the Fourth Military Medical University (FMMU).

During an interview with FBI agents on June 20, "Tang denied serving in the Chinese military, claimed she did not know the meaning of the insignia on her uniform, and that wearing a military uniform was required for attendance at FMMU because it was a military school," her attorneys wrote in a court filing.

But when the FBI searched her residence and electronic media, they allegedly "found further evidence of Tang's PLA affiliation."

After her interview with the FBI, Tang allegedly fled to the San Francisco consulate, "where the FBI assesses she has remained."

Prosecutors also claim there are other Chinese scientists in the US and they are part of a "program conducted by the PLA -- and specifically, FMMU or associated institutions -- to send military scientists to the United States on false pretenses with false covers or false statements about their true employment."

"There exists evidence in at least one of these cases of a military scientist copying or stealing information from American institutions at the direction of military superiors in China," prosecutors said.

"There additionally exists evidence of the PRC (People's Republic of China) government instructing these individuals to destroy evidence and in coordinating efforts regarding the departure of these individuals from the United States, particularly following the charges filed against Xin Wang in this district on June 7, 2020."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, reacting to Wang's arrest called it "blatant political persecution."

"As far as I know, Wang Xin does research in the field of cardiovascular diseases. I don't see how that could ever threaten US national interest or security," she said, adding that "recently many Chinese citizens were questioned for a long time by American law enforcement officials while leaving the US, and the digital devices they carried were also examined."

After the US government shut down the US consulate in Houston, Chian promised to respond, with state media suggesting the shutting down of one of the US' numerous diplomatic missions within China.

The decision to shut down the Houston consulate comes a day after US prosecutors charged two alleged Chinese hackers over a "sweeping global computer intrusion campaign" that they say was supported by the country's government and aimed at coronavirus treatment and vaccine research.

The US State Department earlier accused China of having "engaged for years in massive illegal spying and influence operations" and that those "activities have increased markedly in scale and scope over the past few years."

On Twitter, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, the acting chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the Houston consulate was a "central node of the Communist Party's vast network of spies."

Lagos COVID-19 cases likely to peak in August - Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi

Prof. Akin Abayomi, Lagos State's Commissioner for Information has revealed that Coronavirus cases in the state is likely to peak in August.

The Commissioner disclosed this while speaking at a press briefing at the Bagaulto Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa.

Abayomi said;

“Based on postulations, COVID-19 cases are like to peak next month; we are hoping it peaks soon and the curve eventually gets flattened.”

keji 2020

#BBNaija - Who is Tolani Baj

Many A-List celebrities have thrown their weight behind American Nigerian Media personality Tolani Baj who is a contestant in this year's season of Big Brother Nigeria.

Born in the early 90s Tolani Shobajo aka Tolani Baj, runs a modeling/event staffing agency called 234nextgen. She moved back to Nigeria in 2018 after finishing her studies in the US. Prior to going into the big brother house she worked as an A&R. Her credits include Universal Music Group, Aristokrat Records, Tooxclusive, Pulsetv, among others.

Shedding more light on how her journey into entertainment started, she said: “I would say showbiz started for me December 2016. That year, I made the many connections I have in the industry today. I took detty December more like a networking time.”

Tolani Baj isn't without her controversies though.. She was arrested in the US and spent some time in jail at the age of 21 for driving on a suspended license. She was recently fired from Universal Music Group Nigeria for misconduct whom she called out for their apparent lack of direction.

It looks like we’re in for a real treat.

Check out her instagram/twitter @tolanibaj

Here's a link to her landing page for some more information
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