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Britain’s BBC to cut 450 jobs to reduce costs

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The BBC on Thursday announced its plans to cut 450 jobs in its quest to reduce costs and restructure local reporting services in England.

Britain’s main journalists’ trade union warned that the cuts would have a serious impact on the national broadcaster’s local news coverage.

The broadcaster said its BBC England network of local radio stations and regional television would undergo a significant re-invention to save 25 million pounds (or 31 million dollars) by March 2022.

“It will mean in the region of 450 job losses out of the more than 3,000 staff currently working across the English regions,” BBC said.

It said the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic had left it needing to save an extra 125 million pounds due to a shortfall in revenue.

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The Director of BBC England, Helen Thomas, said many BBC local services were created more than 50 years ago, and therefore, needed significant re-invention.

“We are in the age of the Facebook community group and the WhatsApp neighbourhood chat.

“We must adapt to better reflect how people live their lives, how they get their news and what content they want,” Thomas said.

The announcement, which follows cuts in 2020, comes as lawmakers in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservatives question whether the BBC should retain its public funding from television licence fees and accused the broadcaster of political bias.

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Covid-19: Kwara discharges 89 patients, confirms 17 new cases, 20 deaths

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Nigeria records 423 new Covid-19 cases, toll now 47,290

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday night, announced 423 new confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The new cases were reported from 22 states: Lagos (117), FCT (40), Ondo (35), Rivers (28), Osun (24), Benue (21), Abia (19), Ogun (19), Ebonyi (18), Delta (17), Kwara (17), Kaduna (15), Anambra (14), Ekiti (11), Kano (9), Imo (6), Gombe (4), Oyo (3), Taraba (3), Bauchi (1), Edo (1) and Nasarawa (1).

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It brought the total in the country to 47,290.

Out of that number, 33,609 patients have been discharged and 956 deaths have been recorded.

Lagos still has the highest number of cases with 16,074, while Kogi has reported only five.

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by another four weeks.

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Mali protests resume as thousands call for president’s resignation

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Thousands of people took to the streets of Mali’s rainy capital Bamako on Tuesday renewing calls for President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to step down despite international mediation efforts to resolve a political crisis.

Protests led by an opposition coalition called M5-RFP have raged since June, caused by contested local elections and perceived government corruption and incompetence.

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Tensions escalated in July when police shot dead at least 11 demonstrators.

Regional powers are worried that prolonged unrest could derail the fight against Islamist extremists in the region, many of whom are centred in Mali. Their presence has rendered large areas of the centre and north of Mali ungovernable.

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Keita had hoped that concessions to opponents and recommendations from a mediating delegation of regional leaders would help stem the tide of disaffection.

But the majority of protestors appeared unmoved as they filed into Bamako’s heaving Independence Square in their thousands on Tuesday, shouting “Keita step down” and “listen to your people”.

“M5-Rfp demands purely and simply the resignation of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and his regime to allow for a democratic transition,” prominent M5-RFP member Ibrahim Maiga told the cheering crowd.

Reuters

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