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Presidential candidate to face trial over fake jobs scandal

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Former French presidential candidate, Francois Fillon and his wife Penelope will face trial over the fake jobs scandal that destroyed his 2017 campaign, a judicial source said on Tuesday.

At one stage the clear favorite to win the Elysee Palace keys, Fillon’s campaign was plunged into crisis when a satirical weekly reported Penelope had been paid hundreds of thousands of euros for doing little work, including several years as his parliamentary assistant.

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Fillon, 65, also paid two of their children for work as lawyers when he was a senator between 2005 and 2007.
Fillon’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At the time, Fillon denounced what he called a dirty tricks campaign and denied having done anything illegal, though he admitted an error of judgment.

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A consummate political insider and former prime minister during Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency, Fillon resisted pressure from inside his party to pull out of the race and was eliminated in the first round of the election.

President Emmanuel Macron went on to beat far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the run-off.

 

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Kenya’s COVID-19 tally rises to 1,286

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Kenya’s Ministry of Health on Monday confirmed 72 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 1,286.

Mercy Mwangangi, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Health, said that the latest cases were detected from 2,711 samples, which were tested in the last 24 hours.

Mwangangi said that 70 of the latest patients are Kenyans, while the other two are foreigners from Uganda and Somalia respectively.

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She said nine patients were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recoveries to 392.

Mwangangi said one person died from the deadly respiratory disease, bringing the total number of fatalities to 52.

The East African nation has so far tested 61,971 from 20 national laboratories that are strategically located in critical areas across the country.

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The Kenyan Government has developed several nutrition guidelines to keep populations healthy, banned movements in and out of the disease hotspots, suspended learning, and banned international as well as domestic flights to help curtail the spread of the virus.

The government has also trained 11,000 health care workers and 60,000 community health workers across the country.

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COVID-19: CAN seeks roundtable over reopening of churches, mosques in Ogun

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The Ogun Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called for a meeting between leaders of religious groups and the state government to discuss modalities for the reopening of worship centers.

The Chairman of the state chapter of CAN, Bishop Tunde Akin-Akinsanya, made the call in Abeokuta on Monday.

Akin-Akinsanya said the meeting had become necessary to sustain the gains recorded by the state in its ongoing efforts at flattening the curve of the spread of the coronavirus.

The clergy’s call is coming on the heels of the planned expansion of the current phase of the eased lockdown in the state necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Gov. Dapo Abiodun had on Friday, announced that the current phase of the eased lockdown would terminate on Sunday.

The governor also said that the second phase, which would commence on June 1, would be accompanied by further ease of the lockdown and expansion of the windows of relaxation.

Akin-Akinsanya in a statement, suggested a meeting with the government to analyze the achievements and challenges posed by the pandemic in the state “with a reflection of the realities of the days going forward”.

“We appreciate the positive strides and successes of the state government, particularly during this trying period of the global pandemic.

“The Ogun chapter of the CAN profoundly appreciate the great efforts and laudable initiatives taken by our state government to combat the negative impacts of the ongoing plague.

“The technological and technical innovations deployed to date by the government have been largely responsible for the curb of the expected surge in Ogun; given that the state is Nigeria’s index case.

“The government really deserves commendation for the management of the situation in spite of sharing technically non-delineated border towns with the Lagos State which is the national epicenter of this dreaded pandemic.

“We, therefore, applaud the systematic and carefully orchestrated steps taken by our government to minimize the deleterious effects of the COVID-19.

“We also appreciate the various palliatives provided by the state government for the body of Christ and the general public at large which had undoubtedly provided succor to the masses,” he said.

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Two military men test positive for coronavirus in Bayelsa

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Two military men have tested positive for coronavirus [COVID-19] in Bayelsa State, an official announced in a statement on Monday.

According to the deputy chairman of the Bayelsa State COVID-19 Task Force, Dr Inodu Apoku, the duo were part of the three new cases announced for the state by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control [NCDC] on Sunday.

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Apoku said the third patient was a household contact to the two military officers.

The three new confirmed cases brought to four the number of cases Bayelsa had recorded within three days.

The total number of confirmed cases in the state currently stands at 11 with five active cases while six patients had been discharged and no death recorded so far.

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Apoku, who is also the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, said,

“The three new cases announced yesterday are a cohort. They were referred to us by a medical doctor.

“Their cases were investigated, and samples collected. They are also not epidemiologically linked to any of our previously confirmed cases but admitted to recent travel histories to Lagos and Delta States.

“Two of them are military men while the third is a household contact to one of the two. They are all males.”

He said they had been evacuated to one of the state’s isolation centres and were all clinically stable and receiving medical care.

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