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Iran’s smog, blackouts made worse by power-sapping crypto mining

Outages have been compounded by cryptocurrency mining, which uses banks of high-powered computers. Cities across Iran have been cloaked in thick layers of toxic smog and darkened by blackouts, as the alleged use of low-quality fuel and power-sucking cryptocurrency mining deepen the country’s hardships. Tehran’s Hamshahri newspaper, the country’s most-read daily, ran the headline, “20 Days Living in Smoke,” on Wednesday over a photo of the capital covered in smog. Power plants have been forced to switch to burning low-grade fuel oils to generate electricity because high levels of domestic consumption have led to natural-gas shortages, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh denied earlier this week that any of Iran’s power stations are us...

Minister tasks NAPTIP on domestication of trafficking act

Twitter Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has urged the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to ensure domestication of the Act in all states. Farouq gave the advice when the Director-General of NAPTIP, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja on Monday. She said NAPTIP should focus on the domestication of Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act (TIPPEA), 2015 and Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act (VAPP), 2015 in all states of the federation. According to Farouq, focusing on the domestication will ease some of the problems currently faced by NAPTIP in the implementation of key interventions and programmes. “I urge you to make use...

Minister: Over 60 workers contracted coronavirus during Lagos-Ibadan rail project

Over 60 workers, who were working on the Lagos-Ibadan rail, tested positive for coronavirus while trying to complete the project, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said. Mr Ameachi disclosed this, on Monday, on a Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) programme, Good Morning Nigeria. The rail project, which was delivered recently, and had since been in use, is the second rail project completed in 2020. The Itakpe-Warri was the first and was commissioned on September 29, 2020. The minister had disclosed at the inauguration of elected members of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA) that the Lagos-Ibadan rail will be commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari, in January 2021. He, however, said the commissioning will be put on hold, due to the u...

Abuja residents: Why we buy ‘second hand’ clothes

Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Bwari Area Council say they patronise the clothes not only because of its affordability but also for the upgraded standard. The buyers spoke in separate interviews with newsmen at the Dutse-Alhaji market on Sunday in Abuja. The buyers were seen patronising the items from their dealers in the market, which was known for the cheap sale of second hand clothing in the district. Ada Micheal, one of the buyers, told newsmen that when it came to especially shoes, school or women bags, she preferred the second hand ones because they were almost new and last longer. ” Not all of these items you see here are fairly used; most of them are new or almost new. ” Some even come with tags from probably the stores they were initially hung for sale or...

Lagos shuts airport bridge indefinitely

The Lagos State Government on Sunday announced the closure of the Airport Bridge at Toyota on Oshodi/Isolo Expressway indefinitely. This follows the inferno that recently occurred on the Apapa Oshodi Expressway as a result of a PMS loaded tanker exploding in a fireball from collision with another truck, with the structure of the Airport Bridge at Toyota on Oshodi/Isolo Expressway has been affected. “The bridge therefore has to be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic movement to enable the State Government conduct structural engineering tests on the bridge,” said Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde. He announced alternative routes for use by motorists pending the outcome of the tests and the reopening of the bridge to traffic. “Motorists from Mile 2 to Cele on Apapa-Os...

Ekiti imposes curfew, bans public gathering of more than twenty

In a bid time curtail the spread of the second wave of Covid-19 in Ekiti, the state Government on Sunday imposed a curfew from 8.00 pm to 6.00 am. The Government also banned all gatherings of more than twenty people in the state until further notice. The Commissioner for Information and Values Orientation, Hon Akinbowale Omole, who announced these new guidelines in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, said the restrictions take effect Monday at 6 am January 11, 2021. Omole cited the alarming rate at which the deadly pandemic is spreading in Nigeria and elsewhere as the reason for these drastic steps. He said there is a need for the government to be proactive and take decisive steps to secure the citizens from falling prey to the second wave of the pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives all over the ...

Coronavirus: Prof. Maurice Iwu restates efficacy of herbal medicine

Bioresources Development Group (BDG) chairman, Prof. Maurice Iwu has restated the efficacy of herbal medicine in the treatment of the COVID-19 cases as the virus enters variant stage globally. The former chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and eminent Professor of Pharmacognosy, Iwu, in a chat with Vanguard said that the effectiveness of special herbal drugs produced in the country, stands the chance of combating the disease at an early stage, but noted that the slow pace in acceptance and approval hinders its feasibility. Iwu also pointed that herbal extracts from a plant, “Andrographis Paniculata”, commonly known as green chiretta, already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Thailand is on its way to serve as an alternative treatment to the seve...

Indonesian plane crashes after take-off with 62 aboard

A Sriwijaya Air plane crashed into the sea on Saturday minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta. The plane was on a domestic flight with 62 people on board and their fate was not known. The Boeing 737-500, en route to Pontianak in West Kalimantan, disappeared from radar screens after taking off just after 2.30 p.m. (0730 GMT) – 30 minutes after the scheduled time because of heavy rain. Indonesian Transport Minister, Budi Karya, told a news conference that 62 people had been aboard Flight SJ 182, including 12 crew. The detik.com website quoted him as saying the plane crashed near Laki Island, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the airport. Rescue agency Basarnas said in a statement it would send a team to the Thousand Islands area to help in the search for victims “after th...

Coronavirus: Nigeria now at tipping point – PTF

The Federal Government, yesterday, took stock of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic vis-a-vis the attitude of Nigerians to embracing safety precautions, and concluded that the country was now at a tipping point. This came as government announced its decision to establish oxygen plants in all states of the federation as part of measures to resolve the “oxygen crisis” that had engulfed some of the isolation and treatment centres in the country. Meanwhile, Edo State has recorded 28 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 270, as the state government cautions residents to abide by the precautionary health and safety guidelines. Vanguard, meanwhile, gathered that former vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe and th...

Sokoto border communities warned against aiding smuggling

Border communities in Sokoto State have been warned against aiding the smuggling of illicit items into the country. The Area Comptroller of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdulhamid Ma’aji, gave the warning at Illela during a sensitisation meeting held Tuesday with youths and community leaders at Illela town, a border community in the northern state. The border post was among four major international borders announced for reopening by the Federal Government in late December 2020. Ma’aji, while officially reopening the border’s gate, described the event as a remarkable day, urging the people to observe all the guidelines layout by the Ibrahin l Government. According to him, ‘now that these borders have been reopened, I want you to note that those illicit items that have been prohibited rema...

UNIBEN to resume 2019/2020, 2020/2021 sessions

The University of Benin (UNIBEN) will resume for the 2019/2020 academic session on January 30 and the 2020/2021 session in April, it has been learnt. Spokesperson Dr. Benedicta Ehanire, in a statement yesterday, said: “At the end of the University’s Senate meeting yesterday, it was resolved that old students should come into residence on January 30 for the continuation of first semester lectures. The semester is expected to run until the April 1, while second semester is billed to start on April 5. “For the 2020/2021 amended calendar, new students are to undergo online clearance from April 5 to April 30, and start orientation on May 3. “All returning students (old and new) are required to fill an online questionnaire and submit the printout to the Dean of Students before resumption. Adhere...

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