Andy Ruiz Jr believes that putting on too much weight due to "partying" contributed to his defeat to Anthony Joshua.

Ruiz Jr conceded the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles back to Joshua six months after shockingly beating him, and put on over a stone between fights. He weighed in at 20st 3lbs, three stone more than Joshua.

"I don't want to say that three months of partying affected me but, to tell the truth, it did," Ruiz Jr said after losing a unanimous decision.

"Being overweight held me back because I was looking for one or two punches, normally I go for three or four punches. It got the best of me.

"Being overweight, I couldn't perform to my best.

"I wasn't fluid, I couldn't move the way that I wanted to move.

"I should have trained harder, I should have listened to my coaches more.

"Maybe I shouldn't have put on all of this weight, I would have been faster and thrown more. I hurt him but let him survive.

"There's no excuse besides me not training hard, and putting on all this weight.

"I know what I didn't do, and what I should have done. I will learn from my mistakes.

"I weighed in too heavy and I wasn't able to throw my combinations."

Ruiz Jr apologised to his father and his trainer Manny Robles, and reiterated his desire for a third fight with Joshua.

"I would prepare a lot more. Being champion for the first time was hard," he said.

"[I would] train harder, and take it more serious. There is a lot of responsibility being the heavyweight champion of the world. The partying got the best of me.

"Being at 100 per cent, I can dominate anybody. We will work harder in the gym, prepare better and I will dedicate myself a lot more."



Greater Manchester Police have arrested a 41-year-old man in connection with allegations of racist abuse during Saturday's Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.

A statement from the force read: "At around 6.55pm on Saturday 7 December 2019 police were called to a report of a supporter making alleged racist gestures and sounds towards players during the Manchester City and Manchester United derby.

"A 41-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence and remains in custody for questioning."

Superintendent Chris Hill of the City of Manchester Division added: "I would like to thank the public for their ongoing support with this incident.

"Racism of any kind has no place in football or our society and I hope this arrest shows that we are taking this matter extremely seriously.

"We will continue to work with Manchester City and Manchester United football clubs on this incident and will investigate any other lines of enquiries."

Goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial helped Manchester United secure a 2-1 win over City but a pulsating match was overshadowed by the alleged incident off the field of play.

During an altercation with a group of City fans, United midfielder Fred appeared to be struck by an object thrown from the crowd as he went to take a corner in the 68th minute. Lighters and a plastic water bottle could be seen on the pitch.

A City fan was also filmed making what appeared to be a racist gesture towards some of the Manchester United players.

More than one United player felt they had been racially abused during the incident, reporting their concerns to City and to referee Anthony Taylor.

Earlier on Sunday, the Football Association confirmed they were investigating the incident.

In a statement released shortly after full time, City said: "The club operates a zero-tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life."




THE Department of State Services (DSS), has said it never invaded court room at the Federal High Court in Abuja to arrest #RevolutionNow Convener, Omoyele Sowore. It said the incident on Friday was orchestrated for the purpose of propaganda and to bring the Service to disrepute.

A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the National Headquarters of the DSS in Abuja, Dr Peter Afunanya, said the agency, as a professional, responsible and law abiding organization, could not have invaded a courtroom including the one presided over by a respected Judge who is not only handling its case but whose order was unconditionally obeyed within a 24 hour ultimatum.


This is coming as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the federal government to arrest and prosecute officials of the DSS who re-arrested Sowore, at a federal high court, Abuja, on Friday.

The DSS in its statement said, “It has become important that the Department of State Services responds to the serial misinformation being circulated in the media about its involvement in the incident that occurred on 6th December, 2019 at the Federal High Court, Abuja. It is instructive to note that during the court proceeding of the day under reference, Defence Counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), called the attention of the Judge to a suspicion that the Service was planning to re-arrest Omoyele Sowore immediately after the court session. The Court discountenanced his alarm and asserted that the Service was law abiding and would not engage in such and subsequently adjourned to February, 2020.

“However, when Sowore stepped out of the court and sighted operatives of the Service within the premises, he ran back into the courtroom. In a bid to shield him from an imaginary arrest, his uncontrollable supporters mobbed him while chanting “you can’t arrest him” thus the pandemonium that ensued.

“A critical look at the videos in circulation would convince any objective viewer that there was no DSS personnel during the entire period the Sowore crowd acted out its orchestrated drama. Its personnel were never, at any time, involved in the incident. In actual fact, it was his people who seized him. And from the latest developments, it has become obvious what the intent for such mischief was meant for – simply to serve a propagandist purpose as well as bring the Service to disrepute.”

However, the NHRC in a statement by its Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, said it was dismayed by the “conduct of law enforcement officers at the Federal High Court Abuja and reiterates its earlier statement emphasising the need for law enforcement officials to understand that to qualify as law enforcement agents, they must first of all be law-abiding and not be above the law.”



Sunday, 08 December 2019 12:09

Governor, two bodyguards wounded in car bomb

Scene of a car bomb in Afghanistan


The governor of Chardara district in the northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan along with two of his bodyguards have been wounded in a roadside bomb that struck his car on Sunday, provincial government spokesman Esmatullah Muradi said.

“Hafizullah Safi, the governor of Chardara district was going to inspect a development project in a village today morning but a mine planted by militants struck his car wounding him and two of his bodyguards,” Muradi told Xinhua.

Without providing more details, the official added that investigation had been initiated into the incident.

Chardara and the neighboring Dasht-e-Archi districts have been the scene of Taliban-led militancy over the past decade.



House Democrats have laid out the constitutional grounds for their case to impeach President Donald Trump, as the process gathers pace.

A report by the judiciary committee setting out the legal and historical basis for impeachment comes ahead of Monday's public hearing to consider evidence against Mr Trump.

A vote on articles of impeachment could be held as early as next week.

On Saturday, Mr Trump again described the process as a "witch-hunt".

The impeachment process began in September after an anonymous whistleblower complained to Congress about a July phone call by Mr Trump to the president of Ukraine, in which the president appeared to tie US military assistance to Ukraine launching investigations which would help him politically.

Democrats say that that this amounted to inviting a foreign power to intervene in the US election to help the president win another term.


What does the new report say?

The House Judiciary Committee's 52-page report, written by its Democratic staff, lays out what Democrats see as the constitutional argument for impeaching the president.

Unlike a recent report from the intelligence committee, it does not present evidence and testimony against him - but rather builds the case that will be made about how the founding fathers conceived impeachment and when it is justified.

It also aims to rebut some of the key defences made by Republicans and the White House against how the process has been conducted.

"The Framers [America's founding fathers] worst nightmare is what we are facing in this very moment," tweeted Jerry Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the judiciary committee.

"President Trump abused his power, betrayed our national security, and corrupted our elections, all for personal gain. The Constitution details only one remedy for this misconduct: impeachment."

The report comes after the committee was told this week by three constitutional law experts that there is no doubt that President Trump's actions required him to be removed from office.

But one expert, the only one picked by Republicans, disagreed that Mr Trump's actions were impeachable, though he said they were wrong.


What is Mr Trump accused of?

Democrats say Mr Trump dangled two bargaining chips to Ukraine to obtain investigations he wanted - $400m (£300m) of military aid that had already been allocated by Congress, and a White House meeting for President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The first investigation Mr Trump wanted from Ukraine was into former Vice-President Joe Biden, his main Democratic challenger, and his son Hunter. Hunter Biden joined the board of a Ukrainian energy company when his father was President Obama's deputy.

The second Trump demand was that Ukraine should try to corroborate a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, had interfered in the last US presidential election. This theory has been widely debunked, and US intelligence agencies are unanimous in saying Moscow was behind the hacking of Democratic Party emails in 2016.

Democrats say the pressure on a vulnerable US ally constitutes an abuse of power.

Republicans in turn accuse them of carrying out a politicised inquiry and say witnesses who testified are biased against Mr Trump.


Where are we in the process?

The impeachment process moved this week from the House Intelligence Committee to the House Judiciary Committee, after the former released its report to lawmakers that was designed to lay out the evidence to remove Mr Trump from office.

The judiciary committee is now in the process of drawing up formal articles of impeachment against Mr Trump.

If these are put to a vote in the Democrat-held House of Representatives and pass, the Senate will be forced to hold a trial - possibly early in January.

A Senate vote requires a two-thirds majority to convict and remove the president - unlikely in this case, given that Mr Trump's party controls the chamber.

Only two US presidents in history - Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson - have been impeached, but neither was convicted and removed from office.

President Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached.



THE Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has directed the suspension of a $300m Customs modernisation deal.

The directive comes on the heels of a resolution and letter addressed to the minister by the House of Representatives.


In a letter titled “Suspension of proposed concession  arrangement  for the Customs modernisation  project”,  jointly signed by Chairman Finance, James Faleke; Chairman Public Petition, Jerry Alagbaoso, and Chairman Customs, Yuguda Hassan Kila, the lawmakers described the proposed concession as “curious.”

The letter with reference number NASS/CHR/9/2019/JOINT/001 dated October 30, 2019, sources disclosed, led the minister to direct the Permanent Secretary to ensure compliance.

According to the letter, “the House of Representatives on Thursday 10th October 2019 at the plenary passed resolution No. HR132/10/2019 mandating a joint committee on Finance, Customs and Public Petitions to investigate the curious proposed concession agreement between the consortium Bionaca Technologies West Africa  Limited- (Sponsors), Bergman Security Consultant and Supplies – (Cosponsors), African Finance Corporation  (lead financiers) and Huawei (lead technical service provider).”

The lawmakers added that their action is pursuant to Section 88 (1) (a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, which confers on the National Assembly power to conduct investigations.

They urged all parties involved including the Nigeria Customs Service and Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission to maintain the “Status quo ante pending outcome of investigation.”


On October 10, 2019, Alagbaoso moved a motion that the deal be investigated and his motion was agreed upon via a unanimous voice vote by the House.

Alagbaoso said: “There are some foreign companies who are very eager to sponsor, finance and provide technical services to what they call the modernisation of Customs, without recourse to the National Assembly.

“My motion is the need to investigate the curious concession proposed arrangement between the consortium Bionica Technologies West Africa Limited, who are the sponsors; Bergan Security Consultants and Supplies, who are cosponsors, African Finance Corporation, who are lead financiers and Huawei, Nigeria Customs Service and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) for customs modernisation project.

“The House is aware that various customs modernisation projects in the past. For example in the 90s, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for the installation of ASYCUDA++ and training of customs officers for three years.

“The House is also aware that the Federal Government agreed to engage former pre-shipment companies for valuation and classification of goods, hence some service providers namely Webbfontaine, Cotecna, SGS and Globalscan were engaged for that purpose.

“This contract was to last for seven years, from 2005 to 2012 when the service providers handed over to Nigeria Customs Service.

“By 2011, one could say the positive effects of this included competent and committed workforce for Nigeria Customs Service, personnel understanding of the new process and benefits to stakeholders.

“It resulted to collection of proper revenue due, elimination of corruption and other benefits. The House notes that with these put in place, there exists a one stop shop which allows all trade transactions to be conducted through a single system domiciled with the customs.

“For example, all other government agencies like NAFDAC, SON and the rest have dissolved into a single platform with the Nigeria Customs Service.

“In 2011 there was an illegal concession between the Federal Ministry of Finance and a company with inadequate capital base called Single Window System and Technologies, signed in secrecy during the government transition period and this House of Representatives had a public hearing and stopped it to save Nigeria billions of Naira Vide the votes of Wednesday, 13 July 2011, the House.

“In 2017 another move for customs modernisation was made by the Technical Committee on the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme, purported to be acting on behalf of the Federal Government called Adani Systems Nigeria Limited to modernise, maintain, develop the scanning of goods in the country in line with the pre shipment inspection act for a period of 25 years.

“Again the attention of Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service was drawn to this and the concession was stopped.

“Curious that in September 2019, another concession, which will last for twenty years (that is the subject matter now) is being suggested to Nigeria Customs Service, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Federal Ministry 0006169155 this agreement is for pro-rata sharing of one percent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme and a $300m investment.

“Worried that billions of Naira will be frittered away from the account of the one percent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme with the Central Bank of Nigeria, regarding the cost of this latest customs modernisation by different parties involved.

“Further worried that there is no difference in substance, scope and structure between the failed concession attempts of 2011, 2017 and this 2019.

“There is already a national single window platform in the Nigeria Customs Service and officers of the service are performing beyond expectations, collecting duties in billions of naira on daily basis.

“Convinced that the Federal Government is being misled by advice on this one percent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme, which has accumulated in billions of naira in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“A motion for CBN to account for this money was moved in the 8th assembly, the house therefore resolved to mandate the committee on finance, customs, public petitions, committee on agreements to expose the foreign and local collaborators involved in this project either as sponsors, cosponsors, financiers and others.

“Mandate the CBN to account for the funds between 2012 and now and urge all parties involved to maintain status quo until the outcome of the public hearing and report back in three weeks.

“Three or four foreign companies are bringing their selfishness into our national agenda.  The fact that it failed in 2011, 2017 there is no way it cannot fail in 2019,” Alagbaoso said.



A large fire has swept through a bag factory in the Indian capital Delhi, killing 43 workers, officials say.

The blaze broke out at the four-storey building in the city's congested old quarter early on Sunday morning.

At least 100 people were sleeping inside the factory, which mainly makes school bags, when the fire started. More than 60 have been rescued.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the fire "horrific" and sent his condolences.

Delhi's firefighters received the first call about the fire at 05:22 local time on Sunday (23:52 GMT Saturday).


How did the tragedy unfold?

The fire began on the lower storeys, spreading rapidly to the third floor where workers were sleeping.

"We woke up with cries and shouts for help," said Ronak Khan, a 17-year-old living next door.

"I saw people trapped. We asked them to come to the rooftop so that we could rescue them but they were not able to come up."

The area where the factory is located - Azad Market - is a web of narrow alleyways, which made it difficult to reach the blaze.

Rescuers had to carry out victims on their shoulders one-by-one with firefighters cutting away window grills to access the building.

A local fire chief told BBC Hindi's Dilnawaz Pasha the building did not have a proper fire licence and was operating illegally as a factory.

It is not clear what caused the blaze but an investigation has been ordered.

An initial probe and eyewitnesses suggested a short circuit may have been to blame.

Victims' relatives have been scrambling for information. One man told India's PTI agency his brother was inside.

"I got a call from his friend informing that he has been injured in the incident. I have no clue which hospital he has been taken to," he said.

Indian cities have often seen deadly fires, with poor planning and lax enforcement of safety regulations major factors.


What's the reaction been?

Indian politicians have been expressing their horror at the blaze.

"The fire in Delhi's Anaj Mandi on Rani Jhansi Road is extremely horrific," Prime Minister Modi tweeted.

"My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. Wishing the injured a quick recovery. Authorities are providing all possible assistance at the site of the tragedy."

Home Minister Amit Shah called it a "tragic loss of precious lives".



Sunday, 08 December 2019 11:51

Sanusi may lose out under new Kano emirates

Kano Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II
Kano Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II


Following his reiteration of the wisdom behind the creation of four additional emirates in Kano, the state Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje is set to announce the chairman of the State Council of Emirs, as there are fears that the current chairman and Kano Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, may lose out in the new dispensation.



The fear came into the fore following announcement by the governor that he would announce the composition himself.



He dropped the hint in an interview with a television station monitored in Kano Friday night, adding that the new First Class Emirs of Bichi, Karaye, Rano and Gaya, have come to stay for the overall socio – economic development of the state.

Also, Governor Ganduje said the Law gives a governor prerogative to appoint who becomes the Chairman of the State Council of Emirs, as the central Council for the 5 first class emirs apart from their individual emirate council across the emirate councils.



By way of affirming why the newly Emirates came on board, he restated that “the philosophy behind the creation of 4 more First Class Emirs, as being said in the past, are, among others, it was the people who demanded for it. They are significantly interested in the socio-economic development of their communities.



“There was similar demand during the reign of the late former governor of the old Kano state, Muhammad Abubakar Rimi. But at that time the process for the creation of the then new Emirates didn’t comply with the provision of the constitution then. That made it easy for the succeeding administration in the state to stop that action.


“But, with the strict following of the due process, which stems from the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, the new Law of the State Emirates is strong that it comes to stay.



As governor assures, “…the newly created Emirate Councils have come to stay. The process that led to their creation is based on due process.”

He then reminded how the first Law was squashed by the law Court, few days back, that created the 4 Emirate Councils, as being faulty, as ruled by the Court, explaining that, “In the first place (referring to the nullified Law recently) the process was faulty and we agreed with the nullification. But now the State Assembly followed all the procedures and we now have Law in place.”



Other reasons given as part of the philosophy, he added that, based on the history of the state traditional institution, people wanted to see that such history, that process, is revisited, according to the governor.

Participation of people in traditional governance for the overall development of the state plays an important role in the new dispensation of Emirate Councils newly assented Law.

Security concern for the state, as people raised and realized, is another fundamental aspect that calls for the creation of more Emirates, emphasising that, with additional Emirates the network of securing the state would be strengthened and more proactive, Ganduje argues.



Sunday, 08 December 2019 10:41

Artist eats $120,000 banana artwork in Miami

The banana artwork


The move was bananas… or maybe the work was just too ap-peal-ing. A Georgian-born American artist shook up the crowd at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach on Saturday when he grabbed a banana that had been duct-taped to a gallery wall and ate it.

The banana was, in fact, a work of art by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled “Comedian” and sold to a French collector for US$120,000 (RM499,000).

In a video posted on his Instagram account, David Datuna, who lives in New York, walks up to the banana and pulls it off the wall with the duct tape attached.

“Art performance … hungry artist,” he said, as he peeled the fruit and took a bite. “Thank you, very good.”

A few bystanders could be heard giggling before a flustered gallery official whisked him to an adjoining space for questioning.

But the kerfuffle was resolved without a food fight.

“He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea,” Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, told the Miami Herald.

As it turns out, the value of the work is in the certificate of authenticity, the newspaper said. The banana is meant to be replaced.


A replacement banana was taped to the wall about 15 minutes after Datuna’s stunt.

“This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles,” Terras said. “But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces.”

Cattelan is perhaps best known for his 18-carat, fully functioning gold toilet called “America” that he had once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump.

The toilet, valued at around US$5 to US$6 million, was in the news again in September when it was stolen from Britain’s Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of wartime leader Winston Churchill, where it had been on display.



Sunday, 08 December 2019 10:33

Spain attack: IPOB lied –Amaechi

Spain attack: IPOB lied –Amaechi

The Media Office of the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday, said that the claim that Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members in Madrid, Spain physically assaulted the Minister was a lie.

According to the media office, the timely intervention of the Spanish police in Madrid repelled them.

The statement from the Media Office reads: “We read with utter disgust and disdain the sickening propagandist lies credited to one Emma Powerful, who claims to be the Spokesman of IPOB, that IPOB members in Madrid, Spain “beat” (physically assaulted) Amaechi. That is not true.


“We must clarify that in the incident of the attack yesterday on the Minister in Madrid, where Amaechi was part of the official Nigerian government delegation to the United Nations (UN) climate change conference (COP25), IPOB members did not “beat”, physically assault or cause any bodily harm to the honourable Minister.

“As they charged towards and at the minister during the attack, it was apparent that their plan was to “beat” (quoting Emma Powerful) him, hurt him, cause bodily harm or even do worse! But their violent evil plot failed woefully due to the dexterity of Amaechi to resist them, protect and defend himself, and the prompt intervention of the Spanish police who repelled the motley crowd of misguided attackers.

“Even the video circulated online by the attackers confirmed this much. Everyone could clearly hear one of them shouting, “we didn’t get him…” expressing his frustrations of their inability to get and “beat” the Minister.


“We must commend the Spanish police in Madrid for their timely intervention to protect Amaechi and their investigation of the attack and attempt on the life of the honourable minister in Spanish territory.

“The honourable minister of Transportation is immensely grateful to all for the outpour of love, support and prayers. He acknowledges God’s hand in the foiling of the attack and reassures all and sundry that he’s well, unhurt and okay; and will continue to dedicate himself in service to God, Nigeria and humanity.”