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Lagos authenticates SMS on stimulus package for aged

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COVID-19: Lagos discharges 10 more patients

The Lagos State Government has confirmed the authenticity of Short Message Service (SMS) messages forwarded to residents who are 60 years and above as part of measures adopted in the distribution of stimulus food package in the state.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, made the clarification in a statement in Lagos on Monday.

He said that SMS messages from the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) were sent to the aged.

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The stimulus food package unveiled by the state government on March 27, comes in packs of raw food items, to be distributed to every local government in the state.

It is aimed at cushioning the effects of the 14-day lockdown directive by the state and Federal Governments.

Lawal said the message asked them to reply with a “YES”, “FOOD YES” or “SWITCH YES” if their registered home address with the agency was still valid.

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He said the Ministry of Agriculture was collaborating with the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) in order to be able to reach the targeted beneficiaries.

He said it was also to ensure fairness and evenness in the distribution of the stimulus packages.

Lawal noted the importance of each resident registering with the agency in order to assess social benefits like this in the future.

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The commissioner, therefore, urged those concerned to quickly respond to the SMS, saying that they have till mid-day of March 31 2020.

He also reiterated that as soon as all responses are collated, beneficiaries would start receiving their stimulus emergency food package from the state government.

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Mayweather offers to cover funeral costs for George Floyd

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Boxing great Floyd Mayweather has offered to cover the funeral expenses for George Floyd, the 46-year-old African-American man whose death while in police custody in Minneapolis prompted protests across the United States.

The former five-division world champion’s promotional company, Mayweather Productions, confirmed on Twitter that he had made the offer, and several local media reports have said the family have accepted.

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Mayweather Productions and the boxer’s agency have yet to respond to a request for comment.

Derek Chauvin, the 44-year-old Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on Floyd, has been arrested on third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. Three other officers involved in the arrest have not been charged.

The incident has prompted an outcry across the United States and abroad, with numerous pro athletes and leagues speaking out, including NBA great Michael Jordan and golf’s 15-times major champion Tiger Woods.

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Steve Bisciotti, the owner of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, pledged $1 million for social justice reform and said a group of former and current players would decide which organisations benefit.

“We must all discover new ways to unite. We must all work to break the cycle of systematic racial injustice,” Bisciotti said in a statement.

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Reopening of churches: We await further details, says CAN

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Coronavirus: Catholic church in Lagos suspends sprinkling of water, handshakes at mass over virus

The Special Assistant on Media and Communication to the Christian Association of Nigeria [CAN] President, Adebayo Oladeji, said the association was awaiting further details on the reopening of churches.

This comes as the Federal Government relaxes restrictions on churches and mosques as coronavirus[COVID-19] pandemic rages.

Oladeji said the Church is ready for the reopening and willing to follow the NCDC guidelines.

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He said,

“We want to get the details before we will react fully. But in the interim, it is a welcome development. It is our prayer that God will surely deliver Nigeria from the pandemic in Jesus Name.

“If Christians and Muslims return to their worship places to pray for victory over COVID-19, God will surely answer us. The closure of the worship places is not acceptable to God. We thank God for opening the eyes of our government to the reality.

“The Church is ready for the reopening and willing to follow the NCDC guidelines and while waiting for them. We have already directed all churches to keep to the hygienic regulations whenever they meet and to pray for the victory over COVID-19. The new development is as a result of our meeting with the religious leaders.”

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George Floyd: New York imposes curfew, deploys more police officers as protest hightens

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on Monday imposed a curfew in New York City as protesters against the death of George Floyd prepare for another night of protests on the streets.

Cuomo revealed this while speaking in a live radio programme.

The killing of Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has seen protests, violent demonstrations, mostly of the black race over police brutality, with several US states activating National Guard troops.

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The protesters are demanding an end to racism and police brutality, which has garnered the support of prominent figures.

Cuomo announced that the curfew would hold between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Tuesday, and could be extended depending on the situation.

The directive is coming after protests by Americans in parts of the city resulted in vandalisation and looting of dozens of shops.

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The governor added that the number of police personnel deployed to maintain law and order would be doubled to 8,000.

“There is going to be a curfew in New York City that we think could be helpful and more importantly there is going to be an increase in the force in New York City.

“There will be double that (number of policemen), about 8,000, tonight.

“It is from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. tonight and then we’ll see where we are tomorrow.

“The protests have been partly hijacked by criminals whose aim is to destroy properties,” Cuomo said.

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