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UPDATED: UK Police charge Ekweremadu, wife for alleged organ harvesting

Two Nigerians have been arrested on suspicion of plotting to harvest the organs of a child in the UK.

Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, and Ike Ekweremadu, 60, both from Nigeria, have been remanded in custody and will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later today.

They are both charged with conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

The Met said a child has been safeguarded. Scotland Yard has not given the gender or the age of the child – or the location of the arrests.

But given the suspects are appearing in court in Uxbridge, it is likely they were held at the nearby Heathrow Airport.

Organ harvesting involves removing parts of the body, often for cash and against the victim’s will.

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Security World News

Russians focus firepower to seize 2 villages in eastern Ukraine

(AP)

The Russian military expanded its grab of territory in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, capturing two villages and vying for control of a key highway in an offensive that could cut supply lines and encircle some frontline Ukrainian forces, British and Ukrainian military officials said.

Britain’s defense ministry said that Ukrainian forces had withdrawn from some areas near the city of Lysychansk, the latest major battlefield in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, to avoid the possibility of being encircled as Russians sent in reinforcements and concentrated their firepower in the area.

Ukraine’s General Staff said Russian forces took control of the villages of Loskutivka and Rai-Oleksandrivka, and were trying to capture Syrotyne outside Sievierodonetsk, the administrative center of the Luhansk region.

“The enemy is burning everything out in a bid to encircle the Ukrainian group of forces,” Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai told The Associated Press.

“The Russians are advancing without trying to spare the ammunition or troops, and they aren’t running out of either,” Haidai said. “They have an edge in heavy artillery and the number of troops.”

“Part of the Luhansk region still remains under Ukrainian control, defying the Russians and causing their fury and desire to burn it to the ground,” he added.

For weeks, Russian forces have pummeled Sievierodonetsk with artillery and air raids, and fought the Ukrainian army house-to-house. Ukrainian forces remain holed up at the Azot chemical plant on the city’s edge, where about 500 civilians were also sheltering.

Haidai said the Ukrainian soldiers were using the plant’s sprawling underground structures, but noted that “the shelling has intensified and even concrete shelters can’t withstand the bombardment.” The Russians are using their entire arsenal — heavy artillery, tanks, aircraft,” he added.

The Russians were also pressing their offensive on Lysychansk, which is located on a steep river bank facing Sievierodonetsk.

Haidai said that Lysychansk was also facing a relentless Russian artillery barrage, which killed at least one civilian and wounded three others in the last 24 hours. The governor noted that the Russians concentrated over 100 multiple rocket launchers to “pummel entire blocks.”

“The Russian army is ‘liberating’ Sievierodonetsk from life and workplaces,” he said in a sarcastic reference to Russia’s stated goal of the “liberation” of Donbas.

The U.K. Ministry of Defense noted in its intelligence assessment Thursday that Russian forces have likely advanced more than five kilometers (three miles) towards the southern approaches of Lysychansk since Sunday.

“Some Ukrainian units have withdrawn, probably to avoid being encircled,” the statement said. “Russia’s improved performance in this sector is likely a result of recent unit reinforcement and heavy concentration of fire.”

Ukraine’s military said the Russians were also moving to overtake the hills overlooking a highway linking Lysychansk with Bakhmut, to the southwest, in an attempt to cut the supply lines of Ukrainian forces.

Haidai said the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway wasn’t being used because of heavy Russian shelling and the Ukrainian forces are getting supplies via an alternative route.

Following a botched attempt to capture the Ukrainian capital in the early stage of the invasion on Feb. 24, Russian forces have shifted focus to Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland of Donbas, where the Ukrainian forces have fought Moscow-backed separatists since 2014.

The Russian military currently controls about 95% of the Luhansk region, and about half of the neighboring Donetsk region of Donbas.

Asked about prospects for a political settlement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Thursday that “it’s possible after Ukraine meets all the Russian demands,” adding that “Ukraine knows perfectly well what they are.”

The Kremlin has previously demanded that Ukraine accept Russia’s sovereignty over the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014, and acknowledge the independence of the separatist regions in the east. Moscow also has noted that Ukraine should recognize the situation on the ground, an apparent reference to other land gains that Russia has made in Ukraine’s south where it captured the Kherson region and part of the Zaporizhzhia region.

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News Sports World News

Trainer criticises Anthony Joshua game plan in loss to Usyk

Anthony Joshua‘s new trainer, Robert Garcia believes that he did not have the right gameplan going into his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.

The former IBF super-featherweight world champion suggested that Joshua had lost faith in his former coach Rob McCracken prior to that fight.

Joshua, 32, got rid of his former Team GB coach after he was convincingly beaten on points by the Ukrainian in September, losing the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles in the process.

Speaking to iFL TV, Garcia, who is the older brother of Mikey Garcia, insisted that AJ would benefit from a changing of the guard.

He said: “When you have somebody that’s a obviously lot smaller than you and you have the weight, height, reach and power advantages, then take advantage of that.

“It seemed like they had a different game plan.

“I wouldn’t even want to say it was a ‘game plan’, maybe it was just the wrong instructions. Anthony is the type of fighter who listens to his corner so he did what he was told and it was totally wrong.

“But the way it looks now, he’s listening to us, we have our meetings with him and he’s happy that we’re working together, he’s hungry again and he’s told us personally that he wants to do it for himself, but for us too. He said ‘you are going to deserve this win and I want to do it for you’.

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News Sports World News

Bayern makes third offer for Mane

Bayern Munich’s pursuit of Sadio Mane is set to continue with the German giants preparing a third offer for the forward.

Bayern have already seen two offers for the Senegalese star rejected by Liverpool who have placed a £42million price-tag on his head.

But according to Bild, the Bundesliga champions are hoping it’ll be third time lucky as they prepare a £34.6m bid.

Despite still falling £7.4m short of the Reds’ valuation, Bayern hope that their latest package will convince Liverpool to part ways.

The Bavarian outfit will pay £30.3m up front with £4.3m in add-ons – with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp not standing in the way of his departure should both clubs agree a price.

Bild also detail that a three-year contract has already been agreed between Mane and Bayern with the player ‘really wanting to go to Munich’.

After signing Ryan Gravenberch from Ajax on Monday, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has focused his attentions on bringing Mane to the Allianz Arena.

Having received the Bayern board’s approval to make another bid for Mane, he is hoping to conclude a deal with Liverpool quickly.

Liverpool’s No 10 has just a year left remaining on his contract at Anfield and is believed to be seeking pastures new.

Bild expand on this by detailing that Mane’s agent Bjorn Bezemer met with Salihamidzic in early May to discuss a move.

Liverpool and Bayern have good relations which was strengthened when the former signed Thiago Alcantara from the latter for £25m in September 2020.

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Education Government News World News

UK varsity names Ekweremadu visiting Professor

The University of Lincoln, United Kingdom, has appointed former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, a Visiting Professor of Corporate Governance and International Linkages.

The appointment was conveyed in a letter dated May 26, 2022 and signed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Andrew Hunter.

The appointment letter was presented to Ekweremadu in Abuja on Sunday by the Head of International, Lincoln Business School, Professor David Rugara, on behalf of the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the School, Dr. Craig Marsh.

The letter by Prof. Hunter read in part: “I am delighted to inform you, on the recommendation of the Lincoln International Business School, that the Professorial Committee has agreed to confer on you the title of Visiting Professor of Corporate Governance and International Linkages from May 2022 to May 2025.

“A Visiting Professorship is one which is awarded to distinguished individual of recognised academic and/or professional standing, whose association with a department of the university will support its academic endeavour and provide the highest source of advice and wise counsel in that discipline.

“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our academic community and thank you for your willingness to be associated with the University of Lincoln.”

Accepting the appointment, Ekweremadu said he was proud to be associated with the academic pedigree and core concept of the University of Lincoln and pledged to go to work in earnest.

“A call to render any service in the educational sector is a call to serve humanity and I am always highly appreciative of it.

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Government News World News

Land grabbers attack Lebanese in Benin

From Tony Osauzo, Benin

A Benin based Lebanese businessman, Mr. Ali Fawaz, has reportedly escaped death by the whiskers, following an attack by suspected land grabbers at his business premises in Benin.

He was said to have been attacked alongside some workers who were erecting a perimeter fence, to build lockup shops at his property.

The incident, which occurred on Saturday, at Al-Hussein Nigeria Manufacturing Limited, located at Ogbomo street, off Sapele road km.6 Etete village, left two people seriously injured.

It was learnt that the attack caused panic as residents living within the vicinity took to their heels for fear of being attacked or hit by bullets.

Spokesman of the Edo State Police Command, Mr Bello Kontongs, who confirmed the report said two suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack which was allegedly led by a suspected thug, Eribo Uwabgia, who claimed to be acting under the instructions of the Enogie (Duke) of Etete.

Uwabgia, who was arrested and detained at the new Etete Police station, reportedly laid claims to a parcel of land in the premises and demanded ‘settlement fee’ from the Lebanese which he declined.

Fawaz, who was at his office during the incident, appealed to Governor Godwin Obaseki and security agencies to curb the activities of these hoodlums who parade themselves as community leaders to unleash mayhem on the people.

“I am still in shock over what happened here. Eribo came here with armed thugs and demolished the blocks my workers erected where I had planned to make an additional gate and lockup shops.

“He threatened to shoot anybody who attempted to stop him calling me a foreigner and that he was going to deal with me. I had earlier reported the matter at the Etete New Police station because he had boasted that he is untouchable.

“I am calling on the state governor and relevant government authority to please come to my rescue. I am a law abiding citizen and have contributed my quota to the development of this state. I’m a citizen of this country by naturalisation. I need protection against these deadly thugs,” he pleaded.