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Nigeria cricket team starts chase of World Cup ticket in Rwanda



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The Nigeria National Senior Men’s team, the Yellow-Green will this week begin a four-day six-match session for the ticket to represent the continent at the next T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022.

Uyi Akpata, President of the Federation said that the team’s preparations for this event are on and he expects nothing but a fight along with the other competitors, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.

“We have had the team training together for weeks and had two major tournament exposures in Uganda and the bilateral series at home to hone them better for this event. We are very pleased with the way the team is turning out and equally hope for the best outing when we file out in Kigali from Wednesday, ” he said.

Nigeria was the first team to arrive for the event, a decision which the national coach, Asanka Gurusinha said he incorporated to enable the team to settle ahead of the busy qualifying schedule.

“This qualifiers’ schedule is a tough one and I think our team is very ready for the on-field battle. At each stage of our preparation, we have brought in new learnings that have improved the quality of the team. I think we have a far better team going for this event now, and we are optimistic of a good outing,” he added.

Gurusinha is a Sri Lankan World Cup-winning player turned coach whom Nigeria hired late last year as National Coach and High Development Manager.

Nigeria’s Yellow-Green will square up against Tanzania and Uganda on the opening day, Wednesday, November 17 at the Gahanga International Cricket Stadium in Kigali.

The team will resume with another doubleheader against Kenya and Uganda at the IPRC Cricket Ground on Thursday.

ALSO READ: Nigeria Cricket Federation launches ‘accelerated growth programme’

All teams would go on break on Friday before hostilities resume for the final round on Saturday, November 20, where Kenya and Tanzania will again line up at the IPRC grounds in Kigali.

Nigeria’s Head Coach Gurusinha who confirmed that Slyvester Okpe would be making his debut as Nigeria’s national team captain replacing Joshua Ayanaike at the event said he is confident Okpe will live up his billing.

Akpata, who recently assumed the leadership of the Federation on September 30, 2021, after the Federation election said that the event represents one of the platforms, the Nigeria Cricket Federation is leveraging to hatch out the game’s developmental agenda.

“A bulk of the Nigerian team members are from the Under 19 World Cup team in 2020 including the new captain, it shows our long-term objective for the national team. The team also comprises of a number of talented experienced players. It is a mix that the head coach is working with now and we are backing him all the way,” he added.

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UK: Armed Forces support Storm Arwen response in Scotland and northern England



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Military personnel have deployed at pace in response to urgent requests for assistance from civil authorities in Scotland and northern England.

297 personnel from the British Army and Royal Marines are supporting civil authorities in areas impacted by the storm. Those on task are conducting door-to-door checks on vulnerable people in their homes and providing reassurance to local communities.

Today (4 December), 80 soldiers of 4 Royal Artillery based at Alan Brook Barracks in Topcliffe have deployed to Northumberland to check on vulnerable people and identify where additional support is required. Yesterday, 83 personnel from The Royal Lancers deployed from Catterick Garrison to aid Durham County Council, working with remote and isolated communities.

In Aberdeenshire, 134 soldiers and marines from 3 SCOTS, 39 Engineer Regiment and 45 Commando began on task on 2 December.

Soldiers deployed to northern England are part of the UK Standby Battalion North, ready to deploy at extremely short notice to respond to emergencies and crisis events. The military remain on standby to provide further support, including delivering of vital supplies, if requested.

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:

My thoughts are with all those who are still affected by the terrible damage from Storm Arwen. I want to thank the emergency responders and engineers who have been working tirelessly this week to try and restore power.

I also want to thank our brilliant Armed Forces who have been deployed rapidly to support those communities which are worst affected.’

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

Our dedicated Armed Forces personnel are working side by side with civil authorities to provide essential support to communities impacted by Storm Arwen.

The ability to deploy quickly to wherever in the UK assistance is requested makes us all safer and ensures we are able to look protect the most vulnerable in our society.

Thousands of military personnel are on standby to support resilience tasks across the UK, including the response to the coronavirus.

Support to the storm response is provided through Military Aid to the Civilian Authorities (MACA) requests, the official process for Defence to provide assistance to other government departments and civil authorities for responding to emergencies, maintaining supplies and essential services during a crisis. The Ministry of Defence will continue to engage with civil authorities and other government departments to support where appropriate.

Over the past seven days, emergency teams have been working tirelessly to restore power in affected areas. Around 1 million people have been affected in total and power has now been restored to 99% of those affected.

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Biden Approval Among Young Democrats, Independents Sees Double-Digit Drop: Poll




A recent Harvard poll found that Joe Biden’s approval rating among young people has fallen 13 points since spring, with his overall disapproval rate now at 51%. He saw a double-digit drop among Democrats and Independents.

The poll, conducted by Harvard Public Opinion Project, surveyed adults ages 18-29 about a number of key political opinions. Overall, 2,109 people were polled throughout Fall 2021.

Biden’s approval among the demographic was nearing 60% back in March, but that has dropped as he has a 51% disapproval rate among the same group now. 

The slippage is consistent with other polling, which portrays an across-the-board polling rut for the president,” Politico reported, “ And it’s a warning sign ahead of next year’s midterm elections, when Democrats will be trying to convince younger voters — who are more likely to sit out non-presidential elections — to show up at the polls.”

The president’s popularity as a whole across the country hasn’t been much better. One recent poll out of Utah found that nearly two thirds of Utahns disapprove of Biden. 

While 63% disapproved of his job, only 32% still approved of the administration. 

“Although Utah doesn’t have the same battleground status as other states in the Southwest, the data is telling a similar story in Utah as it has told in Arizona and Nevada: Voters across the aisle are increasingly disappointed in the job Biden is doing, and they are turning their frustrations to Democratic officeholders and candidates,” said Mike Noble, a researcher with the group who conducted the poll.

The poll also asked respondents what they thought about American exceptionalism and the possibility of civil war.

Just 31% of those surveyed (including 62% of Republicans) believe that “America is the greatest country in the world.” Half of those surveyed said that other countries were greater or “as great” (including 64% of Democrats).

The survey found that an increasing number of young Americans think that there may be succession or civil war in the future, Biden’s approval among the young has fallen, and more than half are not positive about the state of American democracy. 

Since Harvard’s spring 2021 poll, Biden’s approval has declined by 13 points overall, with a double-digit drop among both Democrats and Independents. 

Young Americans are also quite skeptical of American democracy, according to the poll, with over half saying that the nation is in “trouble” or a “failed democracy.” While just 8% of Democrats say that American democracy has failed, almost one quarter (23%) of Republicans polled do. 

Many of those surveyed also think there is a strong likelihood of civil war in the future. 

“Nearly half (46%) of young Republicans place the chances of a second civil war at 50% or higher, compared to 32% of Democrats, and 38% of independent and unaffiliated voters,” the poll found. 

Over half told pollsters that they wanted the government to do more to combat climate change, though this again varied heavily along party lines. 

“More than seven-in-ten (71%) Democrats don’t think the government is doing enough, compared to 27% of Republicans, and 56% of independents,” the poll found, “Fourteen percent (14%) say that the government is doing ‘too much to address climate change,’ while 12 percent think it is ‘just about the right amount.’”

John Della Volpe, the Institute of Politics polling director, was a Biden campaign advisor. 

“When they look at the America they will soon inherit, they see a democracy and climate in peril — and Washington as more interested in confrontation than compromise,” he said

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Biden’s Democrats Are a Joke and So Are Trump’s Republicans—Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?



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In 2020, Democrats were given a chance to lead. And while it’s too soon to declare this presidency an abject failure, things are not looking good. Joe Biden continues to be plagued by COVID-19, disappointing jobs reports, and anemic approval ratings. If all goes as expected, the Republican Party will recapture Congress next year. But then what?

As long as Biden is president, Republicans can simply be the resistance party. But at some point, a political party has to lead. As far as I can tell, Republicans don’t have a proactive agenda—in part because they haven’t been forced to come up with a coherent program and get the rest of their house in order. This laissez-faire attitude toward leadership is a disservice to the American public and the GOP.

In a different world, the GOP’s recent behavior (starting with nominating Donald Trump in 2016) would have resulted in an enduring political backlash, much like the one Republicans suffered after the presidency of Herbert Hoover (the last president to lose re-election and both chambers of Congress). Republicans would have been chastened and forced to get serious and earn back our respect. Instead, for reasons that have little to do with deserving power, they are poised to take back Congress in the 2022 midterm elections. And as far as I’m concerned, the 2024 presidential election is a jump ball.

There are no “permanent majorities” in American politics (Ronald Reagan was elected just six years after the Watergate scandal forced Richard Nixon to resign), but what kind of message does rebounding so quickly (and easily) send to political parties?

A lengthy trial in the wilderness might have forced the GOP to up its game in order to compete. Instead, multiple factors, including the Democratic Party’s failure to lead, as well as a market distortion (structural biases in the distribution of population), have conspired to prevent the GOP from hitting rock bottom, depriving them of the opportunity to get clean and sober.

Ironically, Republicans are now child for the perils of protectionist policies. In a free market, superior products get rewarded, while inferior and inefficient purveyors become victims of “creative destruction.” This process incentivizes innovation and quality, benefiting consumers. But what happens when, no matter how bad the service gets, a company becomes disconnected from this critical feedback?

We are seeing the political version of that right now; the GOP’s “mean girl” fights between Reps. Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Nancy Mace are making headlines, on the heels of Boebert and Greene making racist comments about a colleague, Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. It’s doubtful that either will be removed from their committees.

Meanwhile, the GOP is set to field a new crop of questionable candidates, like former football star Hershel Walker. And yet, Republicans continue to be the heavy favorites in 2022. These are not the behaviors of a serious party that fears being out of power and is doing everything possible to deserve victory. If and when Republicans win, despite failing to get their own house in order, it will only reaffirm their belief that they don’t have to.

Nobody wants to hit rock bottom, of course, but it is often the prerequisite for change.

Instead, like the man who gets paid just enough to keep him from quitting, who does just enough work to avoid being fired, the GOP remains mired in incompetence. It’s the Peter Principle for political parties.

The fact that the Supreme Court could be on the cusp of overturning Roe v. Wade is yet another indication that Republicans are making progress. Likewise, Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia in 2021 and Trump’s surprisingly strong performance in 2020 (for a Republican) among minority groups, especially Hispanics, only serve to calm the nerves of any Republican who might otherwise worry about the electoral impact of the GOP’s erratic behavior.

Republicans’ lack of competence and sanity should have them reeling politically. Instead, the worst you can say is that they missed critical opportunities—like earlier this year, when (thanks to Trump) they blew both U.S. Senate seats in Georgia, costing them control of the upper chamber.

Of course, a similar criticism could also be levied against Democrats. For 10 months now, I have documented the mistakes Joe Biden and Democrats have made—mistakes that prevented them from capitalizing on the GOPs problems, seizing the abandoned middle ground, and becoming something akin to at least a temporary governing majority. Biden had a golden opportunity to incorporate disaffected Republicans into his moderate coalition, but he managed to piss it away in the matter of a few months.

Just as playing against a good tennis partner will raise your game, the opposite must be true. Both parties seem committed to minority status. Either party could, conceivably, capitalize on the other’s vulnerability. But why should they when they can often win without really trying and avoid ever hitting rock bottom. To paraphrase Leonard Cohen, one of them cannot be wrong.

I am reminded of an old joke about a farmer who buys a horse for $100. He puts new shoes on it and sells it back to his neighbor for $120. His neighbor adds a saddle, and sells it back to him for $140. This goes on several times until the original neighbor sells the horse to someone else for $500. The incredulous neighbor asks, “Why would you sell it to someone else? You and I were both making a good profit off of that horse!”

The obvious point here is that it is laughable to think that by going back and forth either party is really getting ahead. We just keep trading back and forth, occasionally making some small improvements, but mostly just kicking the can down the road.

America needs two strong and sane political parties; instead, we have none.

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