Al-hassan Slams Fani Kayode

Alhassan in a tweet on her official Twitter handle advised Fani-Kayode to respect himself as a former minister.

Fani-Kayode had in a series of tweets hailed Alhassan for being courageous enough to openly criticise President Muhammadu Buhari.

The former minister had also claimed that Alhassan, who is in charge of the welfare of the rescued Chibok girls, had exposed the role of Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State in the ‘Chibok scam’.

Fani-Kayode’s tweets were quickly referenced by some Peoples Democratic Party supporters like Governor Ayodele Fayose’s aide, Lere Olayinka; and Deji Adeyanju.

However, Alhassan, in her tweets, lambasted Fani-Kayode, telling him to respect himself.

She said, “As a former minister of the Federal Republic, it is demeaning on your person to deliberately engage in peddling falsehood. I never said such.

“You peddled falsehood. And that’s exactly what it is: Lies and propaganda. Thank God the APC is cleaning up your mess.”

Fani-Kayode has since deleted the tweets.

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Kevin Anderson aims to serve up surprise for Rafael Nadal in US Open final

If Rafael Nadal is to win his third US Open here on Sunday afternoon – which seems likely after his merciless crushing of Juan Martín del Potro – he will have to nullify the awesome serve of Kevin Anderson, the South African appearing in his first slam final at the 34th attempt.

The Spaniard has been to this stage of tournaments 108 times previously, 22 of them in majors, in his trophy-heavy career. It is where he has played the overwhelming majority of his best tennis, in big-stage showdowns with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Only rarely does he falter near the end of a slam fortnight; indeed, his win over Del Potro on Friday night was his 15th in a row in a slam semi. The locker-room mantra has always been, if you are going to get him, get him early. It may be that Anderson is getting him too late, in every sense.

The South African is 31 and, for all his best efforts, there is a reason other than injury and bad luck that he is ranked No32 in the world while Nadal is No1, even though there is only 16 days between them in age. He has a considerable deficit in pure skill to overcome.\

Nadal repeated his philosophy before the match: “For me, more than winning grand slams or not – of course, if I win, I will be more happy – but is about being healthy, and feel myself well and competitive.”

That is all well and good in a press conference. On court Nadal turns into the most competitive, intense animal on the Tour. But Anderson has that serve. And what a weapon it is. He goes into the biggest match of his life with 114 aces for the fortnight, 28 more than the next best, Sam Querrey. He has won a phenomenal 336 points on first serve, 83%. On second serve, where a lot of matches are won, he is tied for eighth place, winning 57%. And 48% of his serves overall have been unreturnable.

Countering such a blizzard of numbers, however, Nadal gets 74% of his service returns in, winning the point 40% of the time on first serve and 55% on second serve. There are not many better defenders in the game. Nobody here in the past two weeks won more points from the baseline than Nadal – 58%, 10% more than Anderson. If they get into a slugging match, there will only be one winner and he will not come from Johannesburg.

Nevertheless, Anderson deserves to be here. He came through the weakest side of a draw that any experienced observer could recall in a slam. It was to be Andy Murray’s half, but he pulled out just after the draw was made and chaos ensued, as Federer remained on Nadal’s side of the lottery. As it happened, they did not meet in the semi-finals, because Del Potro stopped Federer in the quarters. Anderson played his part perfectly, finding his best tennis to beat Pablo Carreño Busta in four sets on Friday.

He said he was going to celebrate because it meant so much to him to get even this far, but he will be up for the fight. It is second nature to him. A year ago, a hip injury nearly ended his career – or at least might have taken a full year out of it. Murray, who also contemplated surgery but decided against it, might take heart from the big man’s experience.

Anderson, the first South African in the final here since Cliff Drysdale lost to Manuel Santana on the grass of Forest Hills in 1965, could hardly stop smiling after winning his semi-final in just under three hours, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

“I will be playing for a grand slam trophy,” he said, incredulously. “That’s an amazing feeling. I have to get ready, but right now I’m just trying to unwind a little bit and enjoy it.”

He said of his injury woes in 2016: “There were a couple that definitely forced me away from the Tour, but there were a few that were constantly nagging injuries. Towards the end of the year, my hip really played up, and that was probably the most severe injury. It seemed like surgery was maybe even on the table. I was fortunate to have escaped that whole thing.”

And he sent out a message to Murray to call him if he wants to talk about hip injuries. “It was diagnosed as a labrum tear. I spoke to several doctors. It’s a tricky injury. If anybody has labrum issues, they’d like to talk to me about it, feel free. I learned a lot about it. After speaking to a lot of people who had similar issues, surgery is always a last resort. I was fortunate enough to be acquainted with some very good physios who thought I could beat it without getting surgery.

“It took a lot of work, several hours a day over almost two months. Even after that, there was another couple months of rehab. I feel the biggest plus is when all the work you do really pays off, where surgery just becomes a whole different ball game. It’s something I was fortunate to avoid.”

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Facebook to remove violent threats

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Mark Zuckerberg broke his silence on the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville last weekend, writing in a Facebook post on Wednesday that the social network is “watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm”.

The CEO’s statement was made four days after a counter-protester was killed at a “Unite the Right” rally that used a Facebook event to recruit attendees, and a day after he published a post about a new data center Facebook is building in Ohio. The social network also appears to be deleting a number of white nationalist and neo-Nazi profiles and pages.

“There is no place for hate in our community,” the CEO wrote. “That’s why we’ve always taken down any post that promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism – including what happened in Charlottesville. With the potential for more rallies, we’re watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm.”

Neymar scores a Brace

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Neymar scored twice as Paris St-Germain stormed to a 6-2 victory over Toulouseto give them maximum points from their opening three matches.

This convincing victory gave Unai Emery’s side top spot in the embryonic Ligue 1table, although they had trailed at Parc des Princes to Max Gradel’s 18th-minute opener. Neymar pulled PSG level before Adrien Rabiot doubled their lead to ensure they led at half-time.

Edinson Cavani then added a third before Thiago Silva’s own-goal gave the visitors hope. But Javier Pastore, Layvin Kurzawa and then Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, found the net to finish the rout. After scoring on his debut at Guingamp, the Brazil international has now scored three goals in two matches for PSG since arriving from Barcelona.

DICK GREGORY dies at 84

Gregory used his humour to break racial barriers in the 1960s and even ran for president in 1968

Activist and comedian Dick Gregory.
Activist and comedian Dick Gregory. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Imag

Dick Gregory, the black comedian who broke down racial barriers in the 1960s and used humour to spread messages of social justice, has

Gregory’s son, Christian, said his father died late on Saturday in Washington, DC after having been hospitalised for about a week. He had suffered a severe bacterial infection.

The family posted a message on his Twitter account saying it was with “enormous sadness” that they confirmed the death of their father, “a comedic legend”.

Gregory was one of the first black comedians to find mainstream success with white audiences in the early 1960s. He rose from an impoverished childhood in St. Louis to become a celebrated satirist who deftly commented upon racial divisions at the dawn of the civil rights movement.

“Where else in the world but America,” he joked, “could I have lived in the worst neighborhoods, attended the worst schools, rode in the back of the bus, and get paid $5,000 a week just for talking about it?”

Gregory’s sharp commentary soon led him into civil rights activism, where his ability to woo audiences through humor helped bring national attention to fledgling efforts at integration and social equality for blacks.

The Rev Al Sharpton said on Twitter that he had known Gregory since he was 16 and mourned “a true, committed, and consistent freedom fighter”.

I’ve known Dick Gregory since I was 16 years old. A true, committed, and consistent freedom fighter. May he Rest In Peace.

Democratic senator Cory Booker of New Jersey tweeted: “Dick Gregory’s unflinching honesty & courage, inspired us to fight, live, laugh & love despite it all.”

Actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg said on Twitter: “About being black in America Dick Gregory has passed away, Condolences to his family and to us who won’t have his insight 2 lean on R.I.P”

About being black in America Dick Gregory has passed away, Condolences to his family and to us who won’t have his insight 2 lean on
R.I.P

In a varied career, Gregory briefly sought political office, running unsuccessfully for mayor of Chicago in 1966 and US president in 1968, when he got 200,000 votes as the Peace and Freedom party candidate.

In the late 60s, he befriended John Lennon and was among the voices heard on Lennon’s anti-war anthem Give Peace a Chance, recorded in the Montreal hotel room where Lennon and Yoko Ono were staging a “bed-in” for peace.

An admirer of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, Gregory embraced nonviolence and became a vegetarian and marathon runner.

The King Center tweeted that Gregory had “provoked us to think and to change. And he made us laugh, too”.

Besides politics, Gregory preached about the transformative powers of prayer and good health. Once an overweight smoker and drinker, he became a trim, energetic proponent of liquid meals and raw food diets. In the late 1980s, he developed and distributed products for the popular Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet.

When diagnosed with lymphoma in 2000, he fought it with herbs, exercise and vitamins. It went into remission a few years later.

He took a break from performing in comedy clubs, saying the alcohol and smoke in the clubs were unhealthy, and focused on lecturing and writing more than a dozen books, including an autobiography and a memoir.

Gregory went without solid food for weeks to draw attention to a wide range of causes, including Middle East peace, American hostages in Iran, animal rights, police brutality, the Equal Rights Amendment for women and to support pop singer Michael Jackson when he was charged with sexual molestation in 2004.

“We thought I was going to be a great athlete, and we were wrong, and I thought I was going to be a great entertainer, and that wasn’t it either. I’m going to be an American Citizen. First class,” he once said.

Legends in Our Own Time… Rest in Peace Muhammad Ali, Richard Pryor and Dick Greg

Richard Claxton Gregory was born in 1932, the second of six children. His father abandoned the family, leaving his mother poor and struggling. Though the family often went without food or electricity, Gregory’s intellect and hard work quickly earned him honors, and he attended the mostly white Southern Illinois University.
“In high school I was fighting being broke and on relief,” he wrote in 1963. “But in college, I was fighting being Negro.”

He started winning talent contests for his comedy, which he continued in the Army. After he was discharged, he struggled to break into the standup circuit in Chicago, working odd jobs as a postal clerk and car washer to survive. His breakthrough came in 1961, when he was asked to fill in for another comedian at Chicago’s Playboy Club. His audience, mostly white Southern businessmen, heckled him with racist gibes, but he stuck it out for hours and left them howling