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UK Prime Minister, Johnson, announces plans to ease COVID-19 lockdown

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that England could start gradually easing the COVID-19 lockdown thanks to a significant prevalence drop, adding that the 2-meter social distancing rule would be changed starting July 4.

“Our cautious relaxation of the guidance is entirely conditional of our continued defeat of the virus.

“In the first half of May, nearly 69,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 across the UK.

“By the first half of June, that token has fallen by 70 percent to just under 22,000.

“This pandemic has inflicted permanent scars and we mourn everyone we have lost.

“While we remain vigilant, we do not believe there is currently a risk of a second peak of infections that might overwhelm the NHS.

“Thanks to our progress, we can now go further and safely ease the lockdown in England,” Johnson told the UK parliament.

The prime minister stressed that each step would be conditional and reversible.

“Given the significant fall in the prevalence of the virus, we can change the 2-meter social distancing rule from July 4.

“Where it is possible to keep 2 meters apart, people should.

“But where it is not, we would advise people to keep a social distance of 1-meter plus,” Johnson added.

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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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Nigeria pardons terrorists, wants to kill man for blasphemy – Apostle Suleman

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President of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide Apostle Johnson Suleman has reacted to the death sentence handed down to a 22-year-old man by a Kano Upper Shari’a Court on Monday for blaspheming Prophet Muhammad.

Suleman via his Twitter page on Tuesday said Saudi Arabia will be shocked at the development.

He stressed that he could not understand how the death sentence would be awarded for blasphemy while Boko Haram fighters are pardoned.

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He wrote, “A country that pardons terrorists want to kill a man for blasphemy. I am sure even Saudi Arabia is shocked..the worst form of deception is self-deceit.”

Saudi Arabia regularly hands down the death sentence for drug trafficking among other crimes.

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Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, a resident of Sharifai in Kano metropolis, was accused of committing blasphemy against the prophet in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March.

The incident caused riots in the city. His family house was burnt down in the process.

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