Is Mike Tyson making a comeback?

Mike Tyson’s rumoured return to the boxing ring has got people asking – is this the real deal or just a publicity stunt?

At 53, Tyson’s impressive speed and ferocity in filmed pad workouts have fuelled the speculation.

“The power is different level,” says Rafael Cordeiro, the trainer holding the pads. “I didn’t expect to see what I saw – I saw a guy with the same speed, the same power as a guy who is 21-, 22-years-old.”

However, the last time someone was punching back Tyson quit on his stool against Kevin McBride in his last bout in 2005.

“There are probably hundreds of men above 14 stone that are boxing around the world that would easily beat Tyson now,” says 5 Live Boxing’s Steve Bunce.

“That’s the truth. Unless he fights another 53-year-old where they are both walking through treacle, after a minute it will be horrible.

“It comes to some fighters at 24 and some at 34; they realise inside they haven’t got it. Then the longer they are away from the sport, they start to forget that feeling they had when realised they didn’t have it.

“Tyson can have 20 years out of the gym and look sensational when he loses two stone with a man making him look good on the pads. I can assure you, within 30 seconds of a real fight with anything like real gloves on, no matter what the opposition is in the other corner, he will become a 53-year-old man again.

“It’s boxing, you don’t play this. It’s serious.”

Talk of a charity bout with Evander Holyfield, who has announced he will fight to raise money for good causes, has gained traction.

In 2006, Tyson engaged in a number of four-round exhibition bouts with Corey Sanders. At the time he needed money having filed for bankruptcy in 2003, but he also spoke of the mental health and stress-relieving benefits a light-hearted return gave him.

“When fighters have a second retirement, they can never look you in the eyes when they tell you of that one fight back that they know they shouldn’t have had,” adds Bunce.

President Buhari to unveil Prof. Agboola Gambari as new Chief of Staff

Professor Agboola Ibrahim Gambari has been appointed as the new chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari. He will be presented during the virtual meeting of the federal executive council (FEC) on Wednesday.

He is currently the founder/chairman of Savannah Center External link in Abuja, a think-tank for research, training and public policy debate on the nexus between diplomacy (conflict resolution), democracy and development in Africa. Prof. Gambari, a Nigerian scholar, diplomat and an indigene of Kwara State was appointed to replace the late Abba Kyari on Tuesday, May 12. Mallam Abba Kyari was the Chief of Staff to President Buhari before his demise which was announced on April 17 shortly after testing positive to CoronaVirus.

UK railworker dies after man ‘with coronavirus’ spat at her

A railway station worker in the United Kingdom died from COVID-19 last month after she was spat at and coughed over by someone claiming to have the virus, her trade union said on Tuesday.

Transport union TSSA said Belly Mujinga, 47, contracted the coronavirus with a colleague within days of the assault on the pair at London’s Victoria station on March 22.

“They were out on the concourse by the ticket office when they were assaulted by a member of the public who spat at them,” the union said in a statement. 

“The man coughed over them and told them he had the virus.” 

Several days later, Mujinga’s doctor requested she was given sick leave, noting she suffered from underlying respiratory problems, the TSSA said.

She was then stood down from work, but grew sicker and on April 2 was taken to hospital and put on a ventilator, it added.  

Mujinga died three days later, leaving behind an 11-year-old daughter and husband.

The union said it had reported the case to rail industry safety watchdogs for investigation and was also taking legal advice “on the situation and supporting her family and colleagues”. 

British Transport Police are also investigating the incident, it added. BTP did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment.

TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said Mujinga was “one of far too many front-line workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus”.

He called for the families of all such workers who have died from COVID-19 to receive government compensation, which has so far only been promised to healthcare worker victims.

Cortes also questioned if Southern Railway did enough to protect her and its other staff from the virus.

“There are serious questions about her death, it wasn’t inevitable,” Cortes said.

Angie Doll, managing director of Southern Railway, said the company was “devastated” by Mujinga’s death.

“We take any allegations extremely seriously, and we are investigating these claims,” she added, noting the safety of customers and staff “continues to be front of mind at all times”

Source: AFP

Coronavirus: Should Dr Anthony Fauci be taken seriously?

Dr Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious disease expert, warned Congress if the country reopens too soon during the coronavirus pandemic, it will result in “needless suffering and death”.

Fauci, a member of the coronavirus task force charged with shaping the response to COVID-19, testified via video conference after self-quarantining as a White House staffer tested positive for the virus.

Fauci, in a statement to The New York Times, warned that officials should adhere to federal guidelines for a phased reopening, including a “downward trajectory” of positive tests or documented cases of coronavirus over two weeks, robust contact tracing and “sentinel surveillance” testing of asymptomatic people in vulnerable populations, such as nursing homes.

“If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines … then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country,” Fauci wrote. “This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal.”

113-year-old Spanish woman beats coronavirus

A 113-year-old woman in Spain’s northeastern province of Girona has recovered after contracting the novel coronavirus.  

Local media reported Monday that Maria Branyas, the oldest person in Spain, beat the virus after battling it for several weeks.

After testing positive, Branyas was quarantined in a room at her nursing home and later tested negative for the virus.

Sebastian Vettel to leave Ferrari at end of Formula 1 season

Sebastian Vettel is to leave Ferrari at the end of the year after contract talks between the two broke down with no agreement.

The move, which is expected to be officially announced imminently, throws the future of the 32-year-old four-time world champion into doubt.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz, currently a McLaren driver, is among those who have been linked to Vettel’s seat.

If Sainz leaves McLaren, one option for the team is Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.

The Australian had serious talks with McLaren in 2018 when he was weighing up whether to leave Red Bull, before finally deciding to move to Renault.

Ricciardo is known to be unsettled at the French team and has talked about moving on.

Vettel could also be an option for McLaren, if he felt he was prepared to move to a team that was going through a restructuring process.

If not, the options for the 32-year-old to continue in F1 are bleak.

Lewis Hamilton, who is also out of contract at the end of the season, has has repeatedly signaled his intention to stay at Mercedes, who are not believed to be considering a move for Vettel.

And Red Bull, where Vettel won his four world titles, have said that they would not partner their star driver Max Verstappen with another top-line driver – nor is Vettel likely to be interested in partnering the Dutchman.

Ferrari’s other options are Ricciardo or Italian Antonio Giovinazzi, who races for the affiliated Alfa Romeo team.

Hamilton is not considered to be a serious possibility.

Vettel’s departure from Ferrari signals an ignominious end to his career at the Italian team, who he joined in 2015 with the aim of following in the footsteps of his childhood hero Michael Schumacher by winning the title with them

Vettel said as recently as last month that his intention was to stay with Ferrari beyond the end of his contract this season.

But talks have broken down after Vettel felt unable to accept the offer Ferrari made to him to stay alongside Charles Leclerc, who last winter signed until the end of 2024.

The exact nature of the disagreement that led to the failure of the talks is not clear, but Ferrari are reported to have offered Vettel a vastly reduced salary and a shorter contract than he desired.

Vettel had been Ferrari’s number one driver since 2015, when he replaced Fernando Alonso after the Spaniard negotiated an exit from the team at the end of 2014 having lost faith they could ever provide the circumstances in which he would win the world title.

Vettel came closest to winning the championship with the team in 2017 and 2018, when Ferrari had a faster car than Mercedes for much of both seasons but their challenge faltered after a series of mistakes from driver and team.

That led to the beginning of a loss of faith between the two parties and he lost his position in the team for good with the arrival of Charles Leclerc last season.

The Monegasque was immediately a threat to Vettel, who started 2019 as the designated number one, and Leclerc ended the season having out-scored his senior team-mate on every metric – wins, poles, points and average qualifying pace.

The tension between the two also led to a series of flash points culminating in a crash at the penultimate race of the season in Brazil.

Vettel now heads into his final season with the team – assuming the 2020 championship is able to start amid the coronavirus crisis – knowing he has lost his status and facing an uncomfortable season in a team whose focus will inevitably be on their rising young star.

Andrew Johnsom (BBC)

Coronavirus: Madagascar drug to be used when confirmed safe – PTF

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on Monday said the Federal Government and the World Health Organisation were carrying out COVID-19 drug trial in the Federal Capital Territory and fives states.

Ehanire, who disclosed this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 press briefing in Abuja, listed the states as Lagos, Ogun, Kaduna, Sokoto and Kano.

The minister confirmed that Nigeria was expecting a herbal drug, COVID Organic,  from Madagascar. The drug was reported to have been used by the Indian Ocean island country to cure patients, who tested positive for COVID-19.

Also,  the PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the President, Muhammadu Buhari, had directed the airlifting of COVID Organic to Nigeria.

However, both Ehanire and Mustapha said the herbal drug would be subjected to scientific analyses in the country.

According to them, the drug will only be used in Nigeria after it has been confirmed to be safe and working.

The WHO had said it had not approved the use of the drug, but Madagascar President, Andry Rajoelina, slammed the organisation for not endorsing it.

“If it were a European country which had discovered this remedy, would there be so many doubts?,’’ Rajoelina had asked in an exclusive interview with France 24, a Paris-based international television news network.

He added, “The problem is that it comes from Africa. And they cannot accept that a country like Madagascar, which is one of the poorest countries in the world, has discovered this formula to save the world.”

But at the PTF press briefing on Monday, Nigeria’s health minister explained the Federal Government’s efforts to combat the virus.

He said senior officials of the Federal Ministry of Health held a video meeting with Chinese medical and academic experts in Beijing on Monday to seek further treatment strategies from China.

According to him, Nigeria is taking part in the WHO solidarity international clinical trial, which is aimed at finding an effective treatment for COVID-19.

The trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs slow disease progression or improves survival.

He stated, “On the WHO treatment, the Federal Government is cooperating with the WHO on treatment regimen solidarity trial with the following  enrolled; Lagos, FCT, Ogun, Kaduna, Sokoto and Kano.”

He also spoke on strange deaths in Kano, Sokoto and   Bauchi states.

Trump gets testy with Asian-American reporter in media briefing

US President Donald Trump abruptly ended his coronavirus press briefing on Monday after getting into a testy exchange with an Asian-American reporter – an incident denounced by several observers, including other journalists, as “racist”.

TV network CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang asked Trump why he continued to insist that the US was doing better than other countries when it came to testing for the virus.

“Why does that matter?” she asked. “Why is this a global competition when, every day, Americans are still losing their lives?”

“They’re losing their lives everywhere in the world,” Trump replied. “And maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me, ask China that question, OK?”

Jiang, who identifies herself in her Twitter bio as a “Chinese born West Virginian,” pushed back.

“Sir, why are you saying that to me specifically?” she said, implying it was due to her race.

“I’m saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that,” Trump said.

“It’s not a nasty question,” Jiang replied. “Why does that matter?”

Trump then asked for another question from other journalists present, pointing to CNN media outlet reporter Kaitlan Collins, who said she was giving Jiang the time to finish her questioning, to which the president replied, “Nah, that’s OK” and waved off the CNN reporter as she approached the microphone.

According to a third female reporter working for PBS TV network, Trump called her next, but she motioned for Collins to ask her question, and that was the moment the president walked off the podium.