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Chelsea Striker Morata Sweats On Spain World Cup Spot

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Alvaro Morata

Spain head coach Julen Lopetegui has not ruled out the prospect of taking Alvaro Morata to the World Cup.

The Chelsea striker has acknowledged he fears for his place in the squad after a difficult first season in England, in which he has struggled to recapture some good initial form due to a back problem.

The former Real Madrid forward has not played for his country since November and is not guaranteed to start in Saturday’s FA Cup final, Chelsea’s last match of the season.

Lopetegui, though is still weighing up his options in attack and has not discounted Morata from his plans.

“I won’t assess players individually,” Lopetegui told Sport. “He is one of the players we like, who has our confidence and we have to make decisions.

“We’ve always said the same of Morata, Diego Costa, Rodrigo [Moreno], Iago Aspas and some others who haven’t been called up: we trust them, and we’ll see.”

Lopetegui is eager to create a “balanced” squad for Russia and has denied that more versatile players, such as Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto, could struggle to be part of his plans.

“We will put together basically a balanced list. We will leave some player out undeservedly, unfairly,” he said.

“We do not penalise. We make decisions about players who can help us in certain games. Sergi has been called up and also gone home because of last-minute injuries. We’ll see.

“The identity is clear. We’re a predictable team but we have the ambition to improve as a team and to have different responses in matches. We want to be as complete as possible.”

Lopetegui again dismissed the idea that any animosity between Barca and Real Madrid players could affect the harmony of the squad, insisting he will not ask the likes of Gerard Pique to behave in a certain way.

“Gerard has an important maturity in every aspect and he shows it,” he said. “Everyone has their character and we can’t go against this.

“Plus, we want everyone to show their personality because it is part of the DNA of each player. We don’t have the slightest complaint.

“I have no doubt about their good relationship. They don’t stage it. It’s a reality. In the national team, there is a good atmosphere and nothing more to say.”

Lopetegui added that he considers Andres Iniesta to be a key part of his plans because of the quality he possesses, rather than his past achievements.

The midfielder, who scored the winning goal in the 2010 final, is leaving Barca at the end of the season and is likely to step down from international football after the World Cup finals.

“I’m more aware of what he has to do than what he has done,” Lopetegui added. “That’s an important nuance. He’s an active player. He isn’t coming because of what he did, but of what he can do.”

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Welcome the next set of MTN Scholars!

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360 young Nigerians receive scholarships from MTN Foundation

MTN Foundation has awarded scholarships to 360 university students at a virtual ceremony on November 12, 2020. The scholarships were awarded under the MTNF scholarship schemes made up of the MTNF Science & Technology Scholarship (STSS) and Scholarship for the Blind Students (SBSS). In attendance were the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, represented by the Technical Assistant, Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi; Honourable Minister of Science & Technology represented by the Acting Director-General of the National Space Research and
Development Agency, Dr. Francis Chizea; former Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson amongst other notable dignitaries.

Speaking at the ceremony, the representative of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi said: “We are here with the MTN Foundation to celebrate scholars that have excelled in school. MTN is also supporting people with disabilities by funding their education and this is very commendable. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is constantly working towards elevating skills over degrees. We are also committed to ensuring that individuals are empowered with the right tools and skills.”

Also speaking, Honourable Minister of Science &  Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu represented by Dr. Francis Chizea said: “I am glad that MTN, in giving back to the society through its foundation, set up a scholarship scheme to empower the youths and as well, drive science and technology. This is a welcome development and a commendable effort that other organizations need to emulate.”

A major highlight of the ceremony was a fireside chat themed “Insight. Influence. Impact” with thought leaders sharing inspiring insights with the scholars. Nigeria’s former Minister for Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson reiterated the role MTN continues to play in the ICT space and its impact on the country. “We need to get a workforce that is very comfortable with technology. We are in a state where we need world-class educational institutions and interventions such as this that will enable students to be very vast in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” Johnson said.

Leading to the ceremony, this year’s graduating students from the scholarship programme were hosted to a career incubation boot camp facilitated by experts from Google, Oracle, Cisco and Jobberman. Facilitators shared insights on various opportunities amongst other vital employability tips.

Speaking on the scholarship award ceremony and workshop for graduands, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma said, “Providing access to quality education is the first step to a world of opportunity for the youth of our nation. We know it does not stop there. We need to also ensure that they are adequately prepared for the
workplace. We hope that the fireside chat at the award ceremony will inspire the students to reach for greatness and innovation. Furthermore, it is our belief that the employability workshop held earlier will enrich the career path of the graduating students. The MTNF scholarship scheme is more than just funds; it is a commitment to
build the capacity of our youth. We wish all our graduating scholars success as they set out to take on the world and congratulate all awardees as the next set of young nation builders in the making.”

The newly awarded scholars will each enjoy a scholarship grant worth N200,000 annually till graduation as long as they maintain a CGPA of 3.5 or its equivalent. The scholarship covers tuition, book allowance and stipend. Till date, MTN Foundation has awarded scholarships to 3,829 students valued at over NGN 2.1Billion.

The MTNF annual scholarships are awarded to high performing students in Nigerian public tertiary institutions.

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Illegal Abortions Responsible For Mysterious Deaths In Bauchi: State Govt

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Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed

Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed

Bauchi State Government has revealed that the mysterious deaths recorded in the State has been as a result of illegal abortions.

An investigation carried out by the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has revealed that illegal abortion by unqualified medical practitioners is the cause of mysterious deaths in Azare and other local government areas in the northern part of the state.

According to reports, no fewer than 200 women have died in Bauchi as a result of this and there are projections that the number could be more at the end of the investigation.

The Executive Chairman of the agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed this Friday, May 29, at an interactive session organized by the Bauchi State Public Health Media Network.

Also Read: We Spend N4,500 Daily On Meals Of Each COVID-19 Patient: Bauchi Govt

Mohammed said the deaths resulted from unwanted and unplanned pregnancies by both married and unmarried women of childbearing ages who, after becoming pregnant, visited quack health workers to terminate the pregnancies.

He said the lack of understanding of the importance of child spacing as well as ignorance of what to do with such pregnancies had become a major problem to family health in the state.

He emphasized the need for adequate sex education for the girl-child by parents, particularly mothers, to reduce unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing deaths from complications.

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Ondo Govt Arraigns Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin

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Funke Olakunrin's killers

Funke Olakunrin’s killers

The Ondo State Government has arraigned four men suspected to have killed Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of the National Leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.

Recall that it was earlier reported that the Nigeria Police Force handed over the suspects to the State Government.

Also Read: BREAKING: Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin Arrested – Police

They are Lawal Mazaje from the Felele area of Kogi State, Adamu Adamu from Jada area of Adamawa State, Mohammed Usman from Illela area of Sokoto State, and Auwal Abubakar from Shinkafi area of Zamfara State.

The suspects were arraigned on Friday by the government at a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure.

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