Pop singer Adele parts with husband

British pop singer Adele and her husband have separated, her representatives said on Saturday.

One of the most successful singer-songwriters of all time, Adele and water charity executive Simon Konecki met in 2011. They had a son a year later, and married in 2016.

“Adele and her partner have separated. They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment,” a spokesman said in a statement.

Adele Adkins, 30, shot to fame in 2008 with her debut album ‘19’, lauded for its combination of soulful vocals and confessional lyrics.

Her last album, ‘25’, released in 2015, broke U.S. and British records by becoming the fastest-selling album of all time. She became the first person in the history of the Grammy awards to win the top three awards twice.

U.S. media reported in March this year that she had visited a recording studio in New York, raising speculation that a new album would surface soon.

Barca stun Real Sociedad 2-1, move closer to La Liga title

Clement Lenglet netted his first goal for Barcelona as the Catalans took another step towards back-to-back titles with a 2-1 win at home to Real Sociedad on Saturday.

The former Sevilla centre-back broke through on the stroke of half-time as Barca re-established a nine-point advantage over Atletico Madrid at the summit.

Ernesto Valverde’s side were once again not at their fluent best but stepped up when required – Jordi Alba netting the 64th-minute winner as an instant response to Juanmi’s equaliser for Imanol Alguacil’s visitors.

If Barca win at Deportivo Alaves on Tuesday and Atletico do not do likewise against Valencia a day later, they will be crowned champions with four games to play.

Lionel Messi drew an early booking from La Real midfielder Mikel Merino and rippled the top of the netting with a 27th-minute free-kick.

Barca were indebted to goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen for a fabulous stop at close quarters from Juanmi, with Willian Jose blazing the rebound over.

Ter Stegen’s opposite number Geronimo Rulli got down to his right to sharply deny Luis Suarez but had no chance when Lenglet peeled into space and superbly diverted Ousmane Dembele’s corner into the net.

Valverde responded to Barca’s sluggish resumption by sending on Sergio Busquets for Arthur, while Messi and Arturo Vidal combined for Dembele to sidefoot narrowly wide before the hour.

But the equaliser La Real deserved arrived in the 62nd minute, with Juanmi sliding Merino’s delightful through ball past Ter Stegen.

Parity was short-lived as Alba cut inside and let fly with his weaker right foot, though – the goal surviving a VAR review after Dembele was deemed not to be interfering with play in an offside position.

Ivan Rakitic could have given Barca breathing space when he clattered into the side netting 11 minutes from time, by which point Sociedad’s best work was behind them.

10m Euros for new malaria drug

The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) has given a grant of €10 million over five years to “WANECAM 2” to conclude production of new malaria drug.

WANECAM 2 is a unique collaboration between antimalarial drug researchers in Africa and Europe from ten academic institutions, a pharmaceutical company, Novartis, and a not-for-profit product development partnership (PDP), Medicines for Malaria Venture.

The grant will support African trials of a novel antimalarial combination comprising KAF156 (ganaplacide) and lumefantrine in a new once-daily formulation.

KAF156 has demonstrated the potential to treat resistant malaria and to be administered as a single dose.

The grant will also help to build and strengthen research capabilities in the four participating African countries of Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali and Niger.

Global partnerships have made significant strides in malaria control over the past 20 years, yet the rate of progress has recently diminished.

A recent survey of African malaria leader showed high levels of concern around resistance to some of the current gold-standard treatments, artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), in Asia, and the likelihood that it could spread to Africa, emphasizing the urgent need for novel, easy-to-administer antimalarial medicines.

The Principal Investigator, Professor Abdoulaye Djimdé of the L’Université des Sciences, des Techniques et des Technologies de Bamako and coordinator of the WANECAM group, said: “We welcome the generous support from EDCTP and are grateful for their long-term commitment to clinical development in Africa – and specifically supporting clinical research in critical diseases such as malaria.

“This backing is vital to accelerate the development of this much-needed new compound. African collaboration with a group of international experts on this programme can help ensure the trials are completed rapidly and to the highest quality standards. With reports about parasite resistance to artemisinins and ACTs, it is essential that we have new antimalarials ready and waiting.”

The EDCTP funding will also support efforts to strengthen clinical research infrastructure in Niger, as well as existing clinical research capacities at all other trial sites involved.

These efforts will involve exchanging experiences and best practices between the sites and the European academic centres, as well as with Novartis and MMV.

Dr. Michael Makanga, EDCTP Executive Director, said: “We are delighted to broaden the coalition of organisations that EDCTP funds and partners to deliver our malaria strategy.

“By involving the private sector and a not-for-profit PDP, we have broadened our network of expertise. With all sectors working together, we can build stronger partnerships to defeat malaria.”

By 2017, malaria mortality had more than halved in sub-Saharan Africa compared to the turn of the century, due to better prevention, mainly via bednets, and improved treatment with ACTs.

However, over 400,000 people died due to malaria-related causes that year, most of them young children under the age of five. The most recent 2018 World Malaria Report stated that progress in the fight against the disease is flattening for the second year in a row.

Africa meets with others to spur Rugby

Babbou who was accompanied by the President of Ghana Rugby and Member of the Rugby Africa EXCO, Mr Herbert Mensah, was in London for the meeting with President of Rugby Europe, Mr Octavian Morariu.

They also discussed the project of a World Rugby Nations Championship and its implications for Tier 2 and Tier 3 countries.

They also met with the President of World Rugby, Mr Bill Beaumont and the CEO of World Rugby, Mr Brett Gosper, David Carrigy and other World Rugby Executives ahead of the meeting on the World Rugby Nations Championship.

The discussions touched on the future of Rugby in Africa, its immense potential and the strategies to keep growing the Game in Africa and improving performance at the same time.

According to Mr Babbou the encounter was a good platform to give his vision for the growth and development of Rugby in Africa as well as the challenges to Mr Beaumont and Mr Gosper and to touch base on the shared mission and vision of both rugby bodies to grow the global rugby family and to make it a sport for all, true to its values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.

“As one of the fastest growing Regional Associations of World Rugby the meeting served to confirm Rugby Africa’s commitment to grow and develop rugby on the African continent with its huge untapped potential despite the challenges it is facing,” Babbou said.

Mr Herbert Mensah was invited to join the Rugby Africa EXCO in Marrakesh, Morocco, at its 13th General Assembly to contribute his experience in building commercial value for Rugby Africa.

“Both the formal and informal discussions laid the platform for Rugby Africa to work closely with its governing body, World Rugby, in chasing shared objectives and to open the doors for further discussions on support for a continent that has enormous scope for growth,” Babbou said

Both Babbou and Mensah believe the major challenge is and will be to establish sustainable funding for the development and tournament programmes of Rugby Africa as well as funding that will go beyond that to support its high-performance Unions to excel once it enters the global stage of Rugby.

Liverpool vs Barcelona: Why EPL side hiked ticket price of Champions League semi-final

Liverpool have taken a cue from Manchester United and hiked prices for away supporters when they host Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.

The plan is to subsidise tickets for own fans travelling to the Nou Camp, the Premier League club have said.

Manchester United had hiked prices for their quarter-final tie with Barcelona when the Spanish club charged 102 pounds ($132.50), which British media reported was the most expensive ticket to a United game outside of a final.

Liverpool have been allocated 4,620 away tickets priced at 119 Euros ($133.70) each for the first leg in Spain on May 1.

In response, the Merseyside club hiked their ticket prices for Barcelona supporters travelling to Anfield to the same amount, and will use the extra revenue to ensure Liverpool fans pay only 88 Euros for the first leg.

“All away tickets are priced at 119 Euros, which is in line with Barcelona’s pricing structure for the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League,” Liverpool said in a statement.

“As a result, LFC will charge Barcelona supporters a reciprocal ticket price of 119 Euros in the return leg at Anfield on Tuesday, May 7.

“The additional revenue from this higher ticket pricing will be used to subsidise Liverpool supporters for their tickets, reducing the price by 31 Euros to 88 Euros.”

Tottenham Hotspur play Ajax Amsterdam in the other semi-final with the final scheduled at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium in the Spanish capital on June 1.

Bill Gates sends strong message to Buhari

Philanthropist and founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates on Wednesday congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election.

Philanthropist and founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates on Wednesday congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election.

Speaking in a telephone call, Bill Gates said he was happy to be associated with the Nigerian President.

He also restated his commitment to the success of the administration as well as the progress, prosperity and well-being of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Gates expressed willingness to do more for the country.

Also speaking, President Buhari reiterated his belief that Gates’ wealth has benefited Nigeria’s development, and expressed appreciation for the call.

Buhari commended Bill Gates for his consistent and generous support to public causes around the globe, and specifically for supporting the eradication of polio and HIV diseases in Africa and Nigeria in particular.

A statement by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu quoted him as saying “I am very happy the way your projects have touched the life of the average Nigerian.

“The people of this country have given their verdict.”

Jarrell Miller breaks silence on failing drug test, with Anthony Joshua bout in jeopardy

Jarrell Miller has denied “knowingly” taking a banned substance after he recorded an “adverse finding” in a drug test ahead of his world heavyweight title fight with Anthony Joshua.

Miller has been denied a licence by the New York State Athletic Commission to fight IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua on June 1 at the Madison Square Garden in New York.

The Brooklyn native also confirmed he plans to appeal the decision.

He wrote on Instragram: “I want to thank all of my supporters who have stood by me since day one and especially during this extremely difficult time.

“I have not been tuned in to social media and any other media outlets to focus and channel all of my energies into working hard with no distractions.

“I am absolutely devastated upon hearing the news my boxing license has been revoked in NY State and I will be vigorously appealing this decision. I have NEVER knowingly taken any banned substance and when I found out the news last night I was totally shocked.

“My team and I stand for integrity, decency and honesty and together we will stand to fight this with everything we have!

“This was a voluntarily test that I was very happy to do and these results came just one week after another voluntarily test that I had taken which was completely clean. I refuse to just lie down and let my dream be taken away from me when I know in my heart that I’ve done nothing wrong.

“15 years of hard work. I’m WARRIOR .. I don’t need a banned substance.

“Remember don’t believe everything you hear and see. The facts will prevail and I shall be vindicated. I don’t have anything to hide and the truth will make itself known.”

Champions League: What De Gea told Man Utd teammates after error against Barcelona

Manchester United goalkeeper, David de Gea, was “inconsolable” after his howler saw Barcelona progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League, apologising to his teammates.

De Gea had a game to forget on Tuesday night at Camp Nou, letting a tame effort from Lionel Messi squirm through his grasp and into the back of the net.

United had started the match well, but two goals from Messi in the space of four minutes gave the visitors a mountain to climb.

Manchester United goalkeeper, David de Gea, was “inconsolable” after his howler saw Barcelona progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League, apologising to his teammates.

De Gea had a game to forget on Tuesday night at Camp Nou, letting a tame effort from Lionel Messi squirm through his grasp and into the back of the net.

United had started the match well, but two goals from Messi in the space of four minutes gave the visitors a mountain to climb.

According to The UK Sun, De Gea was furious with himself for the costly error and apologised to the rest of the team in the dressing room after the game.

The Spaniard even claimed that he felt the side could have won the tie had he not made the mistake, with the side having needed just two goals to go through at that point.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sympathetic afterwards, saying: “That’s unfortunate with goalkeepers. When you make an error it can get highlighted and that’ll be remembered tonight.

Manchester United goalkeeper, David de Gea, was “inconsolable” after his howler saw Barcelona progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League, apologising to his teammates.

De Gea had a game to forget on Tuesday night at Camp Nou, letting a tame effort from Lionel Messi squirm through his grasp and into the back of the net.

United had started the match well, but two goals from Messi in the space of four minutes gave the visitors a mountain to climb.

According to The UK Sun, De Gea was furious with himself for the costly error and apologised to the rest of the team in the dressing room after the game.

The Spaniard even claimed that he felt the side could have won the tie had he not made the mistake, with the side having needed just two goals to go through at that point.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sympathetic afterwards, saying: “That’s unfortunate with goalkeepers. When you make an error it can get highlighted and that’ll be remembered tonight.

“But he made some fantastic saves as well, which all in all, his contribution to the team is good but sometimes that happens in football.

“You know when you get to this level you cannot slip up and you cannot make mistakes and you’ve got to take the chances you get yourself. And we didn’t capitalise on our great chance, but then they have their first two shots on target, that’s two goals and game over.”

Actress Rita Edochie refuses to celebrate her birthday because of Atiku

Nollywood actress, Rita Edochie, has said she did not celebrate her birthday yesterday in solidarity with Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

She, however, called for prayers in order for Atiku to reclaim his allegedly stolen mandate in court.

According to the veteran actress, after many years of Independence, Nigerians deserve better than what they are getting from the current administration.

She wrote on her Instagram page yesterday: “TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY but i am not celebrating it, JUST MARKING it because NOTHING to CELEBRATE for.

“I feel that after so many years of independence, NIGERIA deserves better. EVERY RIGHT THINKING NIGERIAN should be WORRIED about what we are PASSING THROUGH today.

“The last general elections were the worst ever in the history of this country, INEC had enough time and resources to give Nigerians a free and fair elections but what HAPPENED?

“The most CONTROVERSIAL is the PRESIDENTIAL election which is now generating enough HEAT.

“The only birthday gift I need from my numerous fans across the globe is prayer so that now that President Buhari and Atiku Abubakar at headed for the tribunals, let the truth be told so that there will be peace and harmony in the country.

“Therefore, I DEDICATE my BIRTHDAY to my BOSS, ATIKU ABUBAKAR, for the truth to be told so that he will RECLAIM his MANDATE.”

Pulse Explainer: Did Saudi Arabia kill an innocent Nigerian woman for drugs she knew nothing about?

It was an execution that sparked outrage and drew mixed emotions back in her homeland of Nigeria.

Reacting to the execution, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, expressed concern that some of the trials of Nigerians in Saudi Arabia have not been transparent and fair.

What was the reaction from Saudi Arabia like?
On Friday, April 5, 2019 the Saudi Arabia Embassy in Nigeria said the Kingdom stands by its decision to execute Afolabi.

The embassy said all legal and judicial procedures were followed before the death sentence was meted out on Afolabi.

Afolabi was a widowed mother as well.

“The death sentence is only carried out in the Kingdom after all proofs and legal evidence have been exhausted regarding the accused, and the process goes through various legal stages until the allegations against the detained persons have been proven beyond reasonable doubt,” the statement read.

However, new information suggests that Afolabi may just have been innocent after all and she may just have been executed for a crime she knew next to nothing about.

But, was she really innocent?

What is this new information that appears to exonerate Afolabi?
As it turns out, the Nigerian Consul-General in Saudi Arabia wrote two memos addressed to Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, stating that some of the Nigerians on death row in the Islamic nation are innocent of the crimes for which they have been tried and convicted.

The Nation reports that the Consul-General twice wrote to the Minister on December 3, 2018 and February 6, 2019, on the plight of Nigerians facing the hangman’s noose in Saudi Arabia.

Some of those found guilty of peddling drugs in Saudi Arabia, the Consul-General wrote, were victims of a drug syndicate that plants drugs in passengers’ luggage at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA).

The envoy alleged that the syndicate works in cahoots with greedy airline officials at MAKIA who check in extra bags containing prohibited drugs and tie same to legitimate luggage of innocent passengers.

He said members of the syndicate had been using particulars of innocent passengers and baggage tags to smuggle drugs into countries.

One of the memos from the Consul-General to Minister Onyeama reportedly read as follows:

“Furthermore, it is with humility that I bring to the Honourable Minister‘s knowledge that, sadly, there are a number of Nigerians arrested for alleged drug related offence who are currently in detention at Dhahban Prison (Male Section) and Madina Prison (Male & Female Sections). Mission was unable to gain Consular access to them as the host authorities have flatly refused to grant permission for such despite several requests to that effect.

“Following the outcome of investigations carried out by both the NDLEA and the Nigeria Police (Kano State Command) the Honourable Minister may wish to note that:

“There exists a criminal syndicate collaborating with greedy officials of some airlines at MAKIA, notably Ethiopian and Egyptian Airlines, who connive to check in drug-laden bags, using passenger’s particulars without their consent or knowledge;

The envoy alleged that the syndicate works in cahoots with greedy airline officials at MAKIA who check in extra bags containing prohibited drugs and tie same to legitimate luggage of innocent passengers.

He said members of the syndicate had been using particulars of innocent passengers and baggage tags to smuggle drugs into countries.

One of the memos from the Consul-General to Minister Onyeama reportedly read as follows:

“Furthermore, it is with humility that I bring to the Honourable Minister‘s knowledge that, sadly, there are a number of Nigerians arrested for alleged drug related offence who are currently in detention at Dhahban Prison (Male Section) and Madina Prison (Male & Female Sections). Mission was unable to gain Consular access to them as the host authorities have flatly refused to grant permission for such despite several requests to that effect.

“Following the outcome of investigations carried out by both the NDLEA and the Nigeria Police (Kano State Command) the Honourable Minister may wish to note that:

“There exists a criminal syndicate collaborating with greedy officials of some airlines at MAKIA, notably Ethiopian and Egyptian Airlines, who connive to check in drug-laden bags, using passenger’s particulars without their consent or knowledge;

Sherifat Shawni 4 yrs

Limata Ahmad 10yrs

Halimat Isah 5yrs

Olubumi Adejarani Olaniyan 10yrs

Omobolanle Funke 15yrs

Nuratu Bolanle Yusuf 15yrs

Maryam Ibrahim Tanko 7yrs

Rahma Abdulkarim 20yrs

Nuratu Yusuf Abike 20yrs

Bolaji Kehinde 10yrs

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Onyeama, reportedly ignored the memos from the Consul-General or chose to do nothing about the memos, or didn’t do enough, or all of the above.

Or maybe the bureaucracy at the Ministry is to blame?

In any case, was Afolabi part of the 24 on death row in Saudi Arabia as referenced in the Consul-General’s memos? Was she among those found innocent after investigations by the NDLEA and the Police?

What have Nigerians been saying?
In a series of tweets, Engineer Remi Opakunle said: “The execution of Kudirat Adesola Afolabi is solely on The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and The SSA to PMB on Foreign Affairs & Diaspora, Ms Abike Dabiri. That was the execution of an innocent person in a foreign land that need not have happened.

“The KSA authorities were only concerned with the fact that prohibited drugs were found in her luggage, and she was sentenced based on that. However, the Nigerian State had determined that the real perpetrators were the members of the drug syndicate at the Kano Airport.

In fact, the real criminals had been arrested and prosecuted in Nigeria, and Kudirat’s innocence established in Nigeria. The Nigerian Consul in KSA, was aware of this fact, and had written TWICE to the Minister of Foreign Affairs over this, first time in December 2018, second time in February 2019.

“The Consul is reported to have said there was no response to his letters. The impending execution was widely reported in the media before Adeshola was executed 2 weeks ago. That was one needless death, of an innocent, that shouldn’t have happened.

“Imagine being on Death row and facing death every day with the knowledge that you are innocent, the misery, the torture of facing certain death with the full knowledge that you are innocent, that is totally, totally inhumane….

“Kudirat Adeshola Afolabi, your country failed you, your government failed you, Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un Rest in peace and may your soul find rest and succor with your maker.”

Another Twitter user who identifies himself as @Jackdre02 wrote that: “About that lady going for lesser hajj that was caught with drug in Saudi Arabia.. Apparently the drug was planted in her luggage by workers at the Kano international airport.

“This is how it happened. When the lady and her mom were checking in, the weight of their luggage was lesser than the max, so the workers asked if they could add some stuff for their people in Saudi, the mother declined.

“But when they got to Saudi, the lady’s luggage had increased by 6kg. What’s happening to Nigeria? As of this morning, 5 workers have been arrested at the Kano International airport and they are already in court…

“The Assistant Commander General of Narcotics also confirmed that this is not the first time this is happening at Kano Airport”.

What has been the reaction from the Nigerian government?
Foreign Affairs Minister,Onyeama, is yet to respond to a request for comments from Pulse. We’ll update this story with his comments when he eventually responds.

However, President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, says if the report is true, the letter from the Consul-General wasn’t addressed to her or her office and she shouldn’t be held culpable for Afolabi’s or anyone’s death.

In a series of tweets on the subject, Dabiri-Erewa said:

Thank you ooo. I wonder myself. The report referred to if true, was sent to MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) since December, not to me. So, how is my name coming up here? If anything, I’m glad I brought this to the forefront and everything should be done to tackle these issues.

“Read the report you are referring to again. If a report was sent to a Ministry four months ago ( not to me), how does my name come in? Could bureaucracy have stalled the letter getting to the Hon Min? Please ask the right questions and get your facts right.

Mr. Jack Robinson
@jackdre02
About that lady going for lesser hajj that was caught with drug in Saudi Arabia..

Apparently the drug was planted in her luggage by workers at the Kano international airport..

497
10:52 AM – Apr 10, 2019
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Abike Dabiri-Erewa

@abikedabiri
As you said, this is not a forum tfor that. But I expect the MFA to take drastic action against those who kept the detailed letter away from him . I am sure he will do that and deal decisively with any one culpable

blackguy
@Idomaboy147
Replying to @MrPenfold_ @dondekojo
@abikedabiri I have a lot to say on this but I will give you the chance to clear the air on how or if the government in which you serve did intervene on this issue. This is because diplomacy I know does not happen most times on social media.

What happened to Adesola Afolabi?

14
11:31 PM – Apr 10, 2019
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“All missions should be held responsible. What I suggest in this case is full investigation by the MFA. Who received the letter? Why was no action taken? Seriously, we are talking about human lives and this issue deserves thorough investigation”.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa

@abikedabiri
I understand your point, and all missions should be held responsible.What I suggest in this case is full investigation by the MFA. Who received the lette? Why was no action taken. Seriously, we are talking about human lives and this issue deserves thorough investigation

Penfold
@MrPenfold_
Replying to @MrPenfold_
….people in similar circumstances abroad) that there is a mechanism in place for collaboration between your office and the MFA (I might be wrong), and your being mentioned here was on this premise.
Ma’am @abikedabiri , I did that thread because I’ve personally been at the….

84
9:25 PM – Apr 10, 2019
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