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China’s Drought Disrupts Industry, Hydroelectric Dams


China’s driest summer in six decades left one of the mightiest rivers barely half its normal width and set off a scramble to contain the damage to a weak economy in a politically sensitive year.
Factories in Sichuan province and the adjacent metropolis of Chongqing in the southwest were ordered to shut down after reservoirs that supply hydropower fell to half their normal levels and demand for air conditioning surged in scorching temperatures.

River ferries in Chongqing that usually are packed with sightseers were empty and tied to piers beside mudflats that stretched as much as 50 meters (50 yards) from the normal shoreline to the depleted river’s edge. Smaller ships sailed down the middle of the Yangtze, one of China’s biggest trade channels, but no large cargo ships could be seen.
The disruption adds to challenges for the ruling Communist Party, which is trying to shore up sagging economic growth before a meeting in October or November when President Xi Jinping is expected to try to award himself a third five-year term as leader.
The world’s second-largest economy grew by just 2.5% over a year earlier in the first half of 2022, less than half the official target of 5.5%.
The drought’s impact in Sichuan is unusually severe because the province gets 80% of its power from hydroelectric dams.

Usyk And Joshua Hit The Scales Heavier For Their Title Rematch


Oleksandr Usyk v Anthony Joshua – WBA, WBO and IBF Heavyweight World Title – Weigh-in- Shangri-La Ballroom, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – August 19, 2022 General view as Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua go head to head during the weigh-in Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

 Ukraine’s defending world champion Oleksandr Usyk and British challenger Anthony Joshua hit the scales heavier than before ahead of their heavyweight title rematch in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Usyk weighed in at 100.5kg (15st 11lbs and 10oz), barely changed from before although still the heaviest of his career, while Joshua was 110.9kg (17st 6lbs and 8oz) — four pounds more than when he lost the titles last September in London.

Former undisputed cruiserweight world champion Usyk weighed 15st 11lbs last time around but the 35-year-old had been expected to bulk up considerably for his first defence of the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts in Jeddah.

“You see, your expectations are not always met,” the unbeaten champion said unsmilingly when asked if he had been tricking everyone ahead of the ‘Rage on the Red Sea’ clash.

Joshua went first, keeping on his trousers and socks, before the two big men stood face-to-face after the weigh-in, staring fixedly at each other with Usyk looking up at his taller opponent.

Asked what he had seen in Joshua’s eyes, the Ukrainian replied: “Myself. It was the reflection of myself.”

Joshua, 32, shrugged off the pre-fight psychology when asked what went through his mind.

 Anthony Joshua poses during the weigh-in Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

“Not much. Just a face-off. For me personally face-offs don’t mean nothing. Face-offs don’t win fights,” he said.

“All this stuff doesn’t matter. It’s just about the fight. Real talk. All this stuff, weight and face-offs, none of it matters to me. I’m just looking forward to the fight.

“I’m just ready for 12 rounds. 100%. Anything short of that is a bonus.”

British bookmaker William Hill has Usyk as the 4/7 favourite on Saturday night, with 80% of customers backing the Ukrainian to win by knockout or stoppage. Joshua was down as a 13/8 underdog, with a draw at 16/1. 

Usyk is also carrying the hopes of a nation, one scarred by battle and fighting a real war for survival after Russia’s invasion, while another defeat for Joshua would pose big questions about his future.

Energy Source: German community fights energy costs with wood


Wood Could Be German Answer to Soaring Energy Prices
In search for alternatives to heating with gas, Germans are increasingly turning to wood. Wood-burning stoves are subsidized by the government, but experts warn of serious health repercussions.
Germany is one of Europe’s most densely forested countries, and soaring oil and gas prices are leading more households to switch to modern wood-burning heating systems, Germany’s forest owners’ association says.
Heating systems fuelled by wood pellets have been installed in 70,000 German buildings in recent years. The technology — which is more expensive than oil or gas burners — is subsidized by the German government.
Nearly half of all homes in Germany are heated with gas. Ever since Russia started waging war in Ukraine, however, supplies of the fuel have become unreliable. The price has jumped and supply cuts through the strategically important Nord Stream 1 pipeline remain unsolved.
Demand has increased by 30 to 40%, said Alexis Gula, head of Germany’s Association of Chimney Sweeps (ZIV). Customers of his business near Stuttgart tell him why they’re turning to wood for heating.

Players’ Union, ANFPU Hails Nff For a Successful General Assembly


NFPU members at the NFF AGA, from Left to Right: Larry Kubeinje (BOT), Chikeleu Ileonyesi (Anambra State FA Chairman) and Olisa Onuchukwu (General Secretary)

All Nigerian football Players Union (ANFPU} has congratulated the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after it held the Annual General Assembly on Thursday in Lagos.

Before the event, the holding of the meeting had been subjected to controversies and postponements.

But rising from the event, which was initially envisaged to be engulfed in controversy, the apex Players Union sent congratulatory message to the NFF Executive and described the assembly “a very successful event.”

According to the spokesperson of the union,Monday Kanu, “the general assembly has paved way for the much talked about election of new EXCO members and it also offered opportunity for us to present our nine-point agenda.

“Top on the list are our desire for an effective collective bargaining agreement with the League Management Company (LMC) and increased representation of our members on the various Football related boards across the country, from the NFF to the State and Local Council Football Associations.”

Continuing, Monday Kanu pointed out that the assembly afforded the players’ union an occasion to meet with some of the contenders for the position of the NFF President.

“We are especially excited at the increased expression of interest from retired players who are determined to throw their hats into the ring. The All Nigerian Football Players Union desires to engage them all on Zoom sessions subsequently as we chat a more progressive path for the benefit of Footballers both active and retired.”

Nigerian Government Plans to Spend N3.35 Trillion On Fuel Subsidy in 2023 -Ahmed


Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has given approval for a planned summit of the government, leadership of all political parties and relevant groups to discuss and agree on the removal of petroleum subsidy.
Ahmed disclosed this on Thursday when she appeared before the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee investigating Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy.
She also said the government is planning to spend N3.35 trillion on subsidy in 2023, which will last till June of that year.
Ahmed said the idea of a national forum to take a decision on petroleum subsidy was suggested by the leadership of the National Assembly and that the arrangement for the forum is underway.
The minister said the federal government is spending N18.6 billion daily on PMS, and that it spent N6.2 trillion on subsidy between 2013 to 2021.

Euro Zone Inflation Hits New Record High

European Union flags in front of the blurred European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium

Euro zone inflation reached a new record high of 8.9% year-on-year in July, the EU’s statistics office confirmed, with the core measure, excluding the most volatile components and key for monetary policy, also sharply up.
The Euro zone annual inflation hit a new record high of 8.9% in July, up from 8.6% in June, according to official figures on Thursday.
The figure was 2.5% last year.
The highest contribution to the annual euro area inflation rate came from energy, followed by food, alcohol and tobacco, services and non-energy industrial goods.
The annual inflation diminished in six member states, remained stable in three, and rose in 18 compared to June.
The lowest annual rates were seen in France, Malta (both 6.8%), and Finland (8.0%), while the highest annual rates were recorded in Estonia (23.2%), Latvia (21.3%), and Lithuania (20.9%).
Meanwhile, the EU annual inflation was 9.8% in July, up from 9.6% in June.

NFF Constitutes Electoral, Appeal Committees Ahead September 30 Elections


NFF Constitutes Electoral, Appeal Committees Ahead September 30 Elections

The Congress of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday constituted the Electoral and Appeal Committees ahead of the September 30 Elective Congress scheduled to hold in Benin City Edo State.

The nation football governing body also named Aikhuegire Anthony as the Chairman of the Electoral Committee and Barrister Gandi Umar as Chairman, Appeal Committee.

This is contained in a communique made available to BSN Sports which reads in part; “The Congress approved the suspension of the provisions of the NFF Statutes (2010) and the NFF Electoral Code (2009) that provide a certain duration between the time of constitution of the Electoral Committee and the conduct of elections into the NFF Executive Committee. The Congress thereby adopted Friday, 30th September as date for the NFF Elective Congress 2022.

 “Following from the above, the Congress constituted the NFF Electoral Committee and the NFF Election Appeals Committee 2022 thus: NFF Electoral Committee 2022: Aikhunegire Anthony Malik (Chairman); Justice Abdulkadir Zakariyya (Vice Chairman); Babatunde Ogala – SAN (Member); Daha Umar Daura – Danburam (Member); Gambo Mamman (Member). Alternate Members: Barrister Ifeanyi Dike; Barr. Ransom Ariyo

“NFF Election Appeals Committee 2022: Barrister Gandi Umar, mni (Chairman); Ayo Akindele – SAN (Vice Chairman); Rev. Obioma Onyeaghala (Member). Alternate Members: Barrister Chive Kaave; Barrister Idi Halidu Ali.

 The General Assembly also approved Benin City, capital of Edo State as venue for the NFF Elective Congress 2022.

Meanwhile, in order not to create vacuum, the current NFF board will be in charge of the elections despite their tenure ending on 20th September.

 Following a motion on the floor of the General Assembly, the Congress approved that the present NFF Executive Committee remain in office to conduct the 30th September 2022 elections in order to avoid any form of vacuum. 

 Congress approved that all decisions reached at the Annual General Assembly, in particular the Electoral Roadmap, be communicated to world football-governing body, FIFA by the NFF General Secretary without delay, for approval, endorsement and ratification.

Ghana Delivers Biggest Rate Hike Ever At 300 Basis Point

Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana talks during the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee news conference in Accra, Ghana March 21, 2022. REUTERS/Cooper Inveen - RC2Z6T97UJIK

Ghana’s central bank announced a 300 basis point hike in its main lending rate, the West African country’s largest ever, after an emergency meeting to tackle the deteriorating economy.
Ghana’s central bank has delivered its biggest rate hike ever, a 300 basis point increase to 22%, at an emergency meeting to address the economy’s rapid deterioration amid crippling inflation. The hike comes just three weeks after it kept its monetary policy rate unchanged at 19% and said it was pausing to observe the impact of a series of record-breaking hikes.
It had been due to meet again in late September, but on Monday it said an emergency meeting was needed. Ghana’s cedi currency has continued its steep decline since the July monetary policy meeting, losing more than 6% against the dollar on Wednesday alone, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. That brought total losses for 2022 to close to 39%.

NBC Recalls Rhythm FM, Silverbird TV, Raypower FM, AIT Others Licences


The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Friday said it has revoked the broadcast licences of Silverbird TV, AIT, Raypower FM, and Rhythm FM amongst others.

The Director-General of the NBC, Mallam Balarabe Shehu, who made the disclosure in a statement on Friday, said the development followed the failure of the media houses to renew their broadcast licences.

He also directed its state offices to liaise with security agencies to ensure the shut down of the operation of the stations within the next 24 hours.

According to the statement, the broadcast regulator had published lists of stations yet to renew their licences three months ago.

The commission said, despite the publication, “some licensees are yet to pay their outstanding debts, in contravention of the National Broadcasting Commission Act CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, particularly section 10(a) of the third schedule of the Act.

“Therefore, after due consideration, NBC hereby announces the revocation of the licenses of the stations and gives them 24 hours to shut down their operations.

“Our offices nationwide are hereby directed to collaborate with security agencies to ensure immediate compliance.”

FIFA Women World Cup: Waldrum Faces Sack As NFF Review WAFCON Woes


Head Coach of the Super Falcons, Randy Waldrum will be facing performance evaluation – an indication he might be losing his job – after a resolution at the Annual General Assembly of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has directed the Technical Committee to assess the American’ performance at the tournament where Nigeria abysmally finished fourth

Waldrum-led Super Falcons finished fourth, whilst losing three in six matches at the just concluded Women Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco and the technical ability of the coach has come under a lot of speculation.

In a communique released after NFF 77th Annual General Assembly in Lagos on Thursday, the future of the Senior Women National Team was a cause of major concern and football stakeholders in Nigeria will be looking for a way forward with the FIFA Women’s World Cup at hand.

Following a detailed presentation by the Head of Delegation of Nigeria team to the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco, Ms Aisha Falode, the Executive Committee directed its Technical and Development Sub-Committee to hold a meeting and make recommendations on the way forward for the Senior Women National Team, Super Falcons, including but not limited to a thorough evaluation of the capability of the coaching crew to lead the team to a creditable performance at the FIFA World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand next year.” The Communique read.

The Super Falcons had won nine out of 11 WAFCON tournaments before Morocco 2022.