Saturday, 24 May 2014

INEC accredits 29 observer groups for Ekiti, Osun governorship polls

AHEAD of the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC, yesterday said it has approved twenty nine (29) Observers groups to monitor the elections. The accredited groups are expected to participate in the elections, scheduled for June 21, 2014 and August 9, 2014 respectively. The Commission noted that the accreditation was sequel to the initial application of the observer groups, as contained in the completed Form EMOC 01 which was assessed by it. The electoral body, according to the Commission’s daily bulletin, also warned that any observer group other than those accredited found in the field in the course of the two elections would be prosecuted. The groups include Centre For Education (Aka) Transition Monitoring Group (TMG); Justice And Equity Organiza-tion; NEPAD Nigeria and Reclaim Naija; Centre For Democracy And Development; Centre For Peace Building & Socio-Economic Resources Development (CEPSERD); Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Policy And Legal Advocacy Centre); Nigerian Bar Association; National Association For Peaceful Election In Nigeria; Independent Election Monitoring Group (IEMG); Rights Monitoring Group; Election Monitor; Police Service Commission; Cleen Foundation and Institute For Peace And Conflict Resolution. Others are: Research Initiative For Sustainable Development And Gender Awareness (RISDGA);Justice Development And Peace Commission (Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria); The Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria (FOSIECON);Women Arise For Change Initiative; EU Delegation – Abuja; International Foundation For Electoral System (IFES); United States Mission To Nigeria; High Commission of Canada; British High Commission; UNDP/DGD – Abuja; Embassy of Kindom of Netherlands; Embassy of Switzerland; Embassy of The Federal Republic of Germany and Embassy of France.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Angelina Jolie on Maleficent: 'Brad Pitt was worried about me'

Angelina Jolie has spoken about taking on the title role in Disney's Maleficent. The actress admitted on ITV's This Morning that Brad Pitt was "worried for a period" when she brought home the Disney's villain's magical staff and started "shouting at bushes" On being offered the role, Jolie said: "[She's] the most evil person in the world, so you're either flattered or extremely offended - and I was flattered! "I've loved her since I was a kid, she just really enjoyed being evil and she seemed like she was having a great deal of fun. I love an action scene and when I get to fly, it was great." She explained that she had to practice at home to get into character: "I was shouting at bushes, there was a lot going on! I'm not sure what the neighbours thought but Brad was worried for a period!" Jolie's daughter Vivienne also appears in the Disney film. The actress said that it came about because all the other children were too scared of her.

Kim Kardashian And Kanye West Bombarded By Paparazzi As They Step Out With Baby North Ahead Of Wedding Celebrations (PHOTOS)

The famous family were flanked by flashing cameras but baby North was kept hidden in her pram, which was covered with a blanket. Also joined by Kris Jenner, the couple appeared to be going somewhere special, as Kanye was dressed to the nines in a dark navy and black two-piece suit. According to TMZ, Kim, 33, has no idea of the details of her own wedding, with Kanye reportedly taking hold of the reigns and planning everything as a surprise. The website also claims that the couple will get hitched in Versailles after all, following reports that they had been snubbed from the Palace of Versailles and were tying the knot in Florence, Italy, instead. Post-wedding celebrations are rumoured to take place at a 16th century fort in Florence, with a “big” second event planned to take place in the city.

Chelsea to complete double Atletico Madrid raid by adding £16.5m Filipe Luis to Costa deal

Jose Mourinho has already lined up a £32m swoop for Atleti striker Diego Costa and he's now ready to add team-mate Luis into the deal, by bidding £16m for the 28-year-old, report the Daily Telegraph. The Blues have made signing a replacement for Ashley Cole top priority, with the Arsenal man set to quit Stamford Bridge. Luis has starred for Diego Simeone's side during their run to the Champions League final, and fits the bill as an experienced replacement for 33-year-old Cole, who is leaving Chelsea after eight years in west London. The only hiccup in the proposed deal, would be the unlikely event of Southampton defender Luke Shaw becoming available. The Chelsea boss is believed to have given up hope on signing the England ace, with Manchester United in pole position to snap up the 18-year-old.

Arsenal Plan Move For Atletico Madrid Ace As Wenger Eyes Two Signings before WorldCup

As we approach the opening of the summer window clubs will be intensifying their efforts in the transfer market so we’ll bring you all the latest news and gossip. Today, Gooner Mac brings us news of Arsenal’s interest in an Atletico Madrid ace. Arsenal are weighing-up a move for Atletico Madrid defender Juanfran as boss Arsene Wenger looks to tie up two deals before the World Cup kicks off in mid-June, according to reports today. A new right-back has become a priority with widespread reports claiming that Bacary Sagna has rejected our final contract extension offer and will join Manchester City after supposedly agreeing terms over a three-year deal worth in excess of £100,000-a-week earlier this week. Toulouse’s Serge Aurier has been touted as Wenger’s main target in recent weeks with the 21-year-old coming off the back of a hugely impressive campaign in France which saw him score six and provide six assists to be named in the Ligue 1 team of the season. Speculation in the newspapers suggested earlier this week that Arsenal have a €9m deal in the pipeline to sign the Ivory Coast international as soon as Sagna’s exit to City was officially confirmed. However, Goal are claiming that the boss is now contemplating going for experience over youth and has identified Atletico Madrid’s hugely impressive right-back Juanfran as a possible alternative to the much younger Aurier. The 29-year-old was a key player in helping Atletico land the La Liga title, as he played more outfield games than any other player, and he will look to secure an historic double when they meet city rivals Real Madrid in the final of the Champions League on Saturday night. It remains to be seen whether Atletico would even contemplate selling one of they star players or if they did, what kind of fee it would take, but Arsenal would certainly be getting their hands on one of Europe’s best right-backs if they could somehow pull it off. However, a deal for Aurier would be much easier and cheaper to do, and the player would have a significantly higher potential sell-on value given he’s 8 years younger that Juanfran, so for this reason I can see the boss opting for the Ivorian over the Spanish international. Goal claim that Wenger wants two deals in place before the World Cup kicks off in mid-June, but is prepared to wait for the transfers to be officially announced after the tournament.

Chelsea: David Luiz closing in on £40m Paris St-Germain move

Chelsea are in advanced talks with French champions Paris St-Germain over the sale of defender David Luiz for about £40m. The 27-year-old Brazil international joined the Blues from Benfica for £21.3m in January 2011. He has made 143 appearances, featuring predominantly at centre-back but also as a defensive midfielder. Luiz has three years left on a five-year contract he signed in September 2012. The Brazilian has been the subject of interest from Barcelona in the last two summers, but French champions PSG - despite recently failing Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) rules - are set to break the transfer record for a defender to secure his services. Chelsea only narrowly complied with FFP and see this as a sensible piece of business, given the profit it would generate. Luiz is not part of manager Jose Mourinho's first-choice central defensive pairing and his exit would provide funds to strengthen in other areas. Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is among those linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.

Luis Alberto Linked with Loan Move Back to Spain

A first season spent largely on the fringes of the first team has led to speculation that Luis Alberto could be headed for a permanent exit just a year after arriving, but Friday's chatter has him headed back to Spain on a temporary basis.
Of the signings brought in last summer, few had a season as anonymous as Luis Alberto. Victor Moses, Iago Aspas, and Aly Cissokho come close, but each were involved as substitutes, albeit with very reduced minutes, for most of the year. Alberto featured here or there in the first half of the season, making a handful of substitute appearances, which seemed to be the way forward given that he wasn't popping up for the U21s and a loan deal in January never materialized. But as winter turned to spring he was less and less involved, floating in and out of the matchday squad depending on the fitness of others. His two January appearances--the first of which saw him hauled off at the half against Oldham--proved to be his last of the season, giving way to talk that his Liverpool career would be over before it ever really started. And while that's mostly been the narrative over the past few months, furthered by news in late April that he was caught driving under the influence, today he's been linked with a move that wouldn't completely bring his Liverpool career to a standstill--AS are claiming that Malaga are interested in bringing the player in on loan next season, which would mean a move close to home and a chance (assuming he's interested) to play for his Liverpool future. It's clear he needs regular minutes, and a loan would be preferable to completely cutting loose of a player who showed such promise during the fall of 2013, but it's also looks clear that he's going to have to make some alterations to his game in order to feature under Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool's non-Steven Gerrard components in midfield need to be energetic and proactive, and Alberto was typically anything but. That isn't necessarily a slight, as his comfort and patience on the ball are impressive in their own right, but the visual evidence and idle chatter during the season indicated that the fit wasn't quite there as Rodgers turned the volume up to eleven. Whatever ends up panning out, hopefully he does find that fit, as there's enough evidence to suggest that he has a bright future ahead of him. Once it's proven that he still exists, of course.