George and Amal Clooney offer fans the chance to dine with them at Italian home | Ents & Arts News

George and Amal Clooney have launched a competition to offer two lucky people the chance to win a “double date” with the couple at their Lake Como home in Italy.

The Hollywood actor and the human rights lawyer are hosting a fundraising effort for the Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) – their charity which campaigns against human rights abuses around the world.

The winner of the online raffle will be flown to the stars’ house and be wined and dined with them at a lunch.

George Clooney was revealed last year as the world's highest-paid actor
The pair are fundraising for their charity

“Pinch yourself, because this isn’t a dream”, the charity says, adding “you’re going on a double date with George and Amal Clooney!

“George and Amal will welcome you and a guest to their Lake Como home in Italy for lunch, laughs and the chance to get to know this amazing couple on a personal level.

“You’ll bond with George and Amal over a delicious meal, take in the spectacular views of the lake and share a celebratory toast all together.

“Plus, you’ll take some incredible photos to remember it all by.”

In the launch video, George Clooney says: “Hi, I’m Amal Clooney’s husband George and we’d like to invite you to come with us to Lake Como.”

COMO, ITALY - MARCH 19: A general view of the Lake Como on March 19, 2019 in Como, Italy. The Lake Como is the deepest Italian Lake. Lake Como is falling with a shortfall of 95 million cubic meters, 21% less than the average. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
The Clooneys’ house is on Lake Como in Italy

The 58-year-old actor then looks off camera and says: “Are you sure that’s how you want me to say it?”

“People really love Amal. That’s really the selling point here”, the director responds.

Clooney continues: “That’s right, to benefit the Clooney Foundation For Justice, we’re inviting you and a guest to go on a double date with Amal, a world-renowned human rights lawyer, law school professor and a leading thinker on the concept of justice throughout the world and me… an actor.

“Just picture it, you and Amal, wine in your hand, discussing current affairs while her husband quietly serves lunch.”

Prices start as little as $10 (£7.92) for ten entries, and go up to $5,000 (£3958) for 50,000 entries, and fans have until 14 July to try their luck for a seat at their table.

The CFJ fights for justice through accountability for global human rights abuses, including those carried out by oppressive governments.

The charity also says it “advances justice for marginalised and vulnerable communities targeted by hate, displaced children deprived of opportunities to learn, and refugees seeking to rebuild their lives abroad”.

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Oshoala Joins Barcelona Ladies On Three-Year Permanent Contract

Asisat Oshoala has signed up with Barcelona Ladies from Chinese club Dalian Quanjian on a three-year parmanent contract, reports.

Oshoala, 24, spent the second half of the 2018-19 season on loan with Barcelona Ladies from Dalian Quanjian.

The Nigeria international scored eight goals in 11 games in all competitions for the Blaugrana.

She scored the only goal in Barcelona Ladies’ 4-1 defeat to Olympic Lyon in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final in Budapest this month.

The forward won the Chinese Women’s Super League title with Dalian Quanjian in 2017.

Oshoala was also part of the Arsenal Ladies side that won the the English FA Cup crown in the 2015/2016 season.

On the international scene, she has won three Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Cup with the Super Falcons.

The former Rivers Angels star is expected to feature for Nigeria at the next month’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

By Adeboye Amosu

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Ngige mourns late PENGASSAN President

Chris Ngige
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige

By Joan Nwagwu

Sen. Chris Ngige, the immediate past Minister of Labour and Employment has expressed utter shock over the death of the President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, Mr Francis Johnson.

Nwachukwu Obidiwe, Special Assistant, Media to the former minister, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja.

Ngige who said he was very sad over the news, described the late Johnson as a forthright labour leader who understood the intricacies of negotiations and went for what was possible.

He added that Johnson’s death came at the time his comrade colleagues and employers of labour would need his wealth of experience to navigate the various upcoming negotiations in the oil industry and public service.

“Serving as the Vice President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), his contributions would be missed on the vexed issue of the new National Minimum wage and the consequential adjustments upstairs.

“I remember with nostalgia that he was one of the labour leaders who visited me in solidarity and sympathy when a segment of labour invaded my private home in Asokoro, Abuja some few weeks ago under the guise of an ill-informed picketing.

“May God bless his soul and grant him eternal rest,” he said.(NAN)

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30,000 teachers to write professional exam – TRCN

22,000 teachers to write TRCN exam
Teacher and her pupils

By Okeoghene Akubuike

The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) says it is set to hold the May diet of the Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE) for teachers nationwide between June 7 and 8.

The Registrar of the council, Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, said this during a world news briefing in Abuja on Friday.

Ajiboye said that no fewer than 30,000 prospective teachers would write the computer-based examination in 50 centres nationwide.

“About 30,000 would-be teachers across the states of the federation and the FCT have registered for the examination.

”The examination would hold on Saturday, June 8 in all the states of the federation and the FCT except in states like Bauchi, Kaduna and Kano where the examination will start on Friday, June 7 because of the large number of candidates.

“Our technical officers are being prepared and have been trained in preparation for the examination.

“The examination, which was supposed to hold in May, was shifted from May 25 and 26 because of the National Environmental Sanitation Exercise,” he said.

Ajiboye said the PQE had become one of the benchmark processes for registering professional teachers in Nigeria.

He said the PQE was introduced in October 2017 and the May 2019 diet was the fourth in the series.

The TRCN boss said one of the aims of the examination was to get the teachers prepared technologically in the 21st century.

“Yes, it has provided a big experience for us because when we started, many people who took the exam were not computer literate, and that accounted for the large number of failure in the first exam in 2017.

” But progressively, teachers now know that since it is a CBT exam, they have to go for computer appreciation programme, and the result over the years have been improving,” he said.

He further said that the council recorded not less than 83 per cent pass nationwide in the last examination in 2018.

Ajiboye, however, said there was state by state disparity when the results were examined.

He said external people would serve as monitors and supervisors, including members of the governing council of TRCN, staff of the Ministry of Education, National Teachers Institute and National Commission for Colleges of Education.

Ajiboye reiterated that the deadline for flushing out unqualified teachers from the classroom remains Dec. 31, 2019.

According to him, the believe in the deadline has made the council to record an increase in the number of people going to take the May diet of the PQE .

“In the first PQE, we had like 16,000 candidates. In October 2018, we had 22,000; this year we have recorded the highest number.

“Presently, we have registered about 30,000 candidates.

“By January 2020, we are going to begin our enforcement and we may likely start from the private schools because our mandate covers both the public and private schools.

“We have more than 80 per cent compliance from public schools, but the major problem we have is the private schools.

“However, we are still appealing to all teachers to key into this directive,” he said.

NAN reports that the National Council on Education gave December 2019 as the deadline for any teacher who is not qualified, registered and licensed by TRCN to be removed from the classroom.

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Morocco suspect admits killing Scandinavian hiker

A composite image shows two blonde women in an outdoor environmentImage copyright
AFP / Facebook

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Maren Ueland, left, and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen were found dead in a popular tourist area

The suspected leader of a jihadist cell has told a Moroccan court that he beheaded one of two Scandinavian hikers murdered in the High Atlas mountains.

Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were found beheaded in an isolated area in December.

Abdessamad Ejjoud, a 25-year-old street vendor, told the court: “I beheaded one of them… I regret it.”

He and 23 other alleged Islamists are on trial in Salé, near Rabat.

Three of them – Ejjoud, Younes Ouaziyad, 27, and Rachid Afatti, 33 – are accused of pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group and carrying out the killings. They could face the death penalty if found guilty.

The identity of Ejjoud’s victim was not made clear.

The three are the only ones directly accused of carrying out the murders. All 24 defendants face various terrorism charges.

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Image caption

Rachid Afatti (L), Younes Ouaziyad (C), and Abdessamad Ejjoud are the suspected killers

The bodies were found on 17 December in an isolated area near Mount Toubkal, Morocco’s highest peak, and a popular destination for hikers.

The women – flatmates at Norway’s Bo University – were on a Christmas camping trip and were studying to become tour guides.

A video appearing to show the beheading of one of the women was shared widely on social media by IS supporters.

Police in Norway have said that video is almost certainly real. In Denmark, charges have been brought against 14 people suspected of sharing the footage.

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The trial opened on 2 May and the suspects arrived in court under heavy guard

In court, Ejjoud said: “We loved Islamic State and prayed to God for it.”

Morocco’s anti-terror chief, quoted by the AFP news agency, said the group was inspired by IS but had no contact with IS militants in combat zones.

Read more about the Islamic State group:

In the video, one of the militants refers to “the enemies of Allah” and claims the murders are revenge for the killings of jihadists in Syria.

The 24 suspects are Moroccans from deprived areas of Marrakesh, except for Kevin Zoller Guervos, a Spanish-Swiss Muslim convert.

Morocco has had a moratorium on executions since 1993, but death sentences are still occasionally handed down.

The families of the victims and their lawyers are not attending the trial, AFP reports.

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The victims’ bodies were found in an isolated area in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains

The women’s bodies were found in their tent.

Both had taken full precautions ahead of their trip, Ms Ueland’s mother said last year.

French media report that Ejjoud served a prison sentence in Morocco for trying to join IS in Syria, and was released in 2015.

He told the court that “I got to know lots of people in prison”, but “I didn’t indoctrinate anyone – each one knew what he was doing”.

He had sold orange juice outside mosques in Marrakesh, before becoming an imam. “I decided to make jihad here”, he said, “by targeting foreigners”.

The trial resumes on 13 June.

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Dana Air opens more outlet in Abuja, Uyo

Dana Air opens more outlet in Abuja, Uyo

By Solomon Asowata

Nigerian carrier, Dana Air, says it has opened more sales and ticketing outlets in Abuja and Uyo, to provide more convenient booking options for its guests.

The airline made the announcement in a statement issued by its Media and Communications Manager, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa, on Friday in Lagos.

Ezenwa said the outlets which would be officially opened on June 2, were to meet with growing requests by its guests to have more outlets outside the airports.

“We are pleased to announce that on June 2, we shall be opening more outlets in Abuja and Uyo in fulfillment of the requests of our guests for us to have more outlets outside the airports for booking, reservations and other ticketing and sales activities.

“Opening the outlets is the precursor and having reached the peak of our plans for further strategic expansion, we felt the need to open more outlets to provide more options and convenience for our teeming guests,’’ he said.

According to him, more outlets will be opened by the airline in the next quarter.

Ezenwa said the airline had also set up a user-friendly mobile app to better meet the needs of its passengers which had already recorded over 10,000 downloads.

He said Dana Air would continue to maintain its on-time performance and superb in-flight services the airline had become known for. (NAN)

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Actor Michael Sleggs from comedy show This Country reveals he is dying of cancer | Ents & Arts News

Michael Sleggs, who is best-known for playing the character Slugs in TV comedy This Country, has revealed he is dying of cancer.

In a recent post on Facebook, he told fans he was “reaching the end of options” and had chosen palliative care at home.

He wrote: “No specific time limit has been given but deterioration has been fairly rapid.

Sleggs (R) stars alongside Charlie (L) and Daisy May Cooper (C). Pic: BBC
Sleggs (R) stars alongside Charlie (L) and Daisy May Cooper (C). Pic: BBC

“I’ve been sleeping a lot and narrowly dodged a coma by accidentally overdosing on morphine the other day. Anyway as you can imagine this isn’t the ideal way I wished things to go and my family are dealing with a lot of grief.

“Just wanted to say I love everyone reading this status so much, you have all been such amazing, kind, caring people who have all touched my life in so many unique and incredible ways.

“Sorry if this status is too shmaltzy but not everyone has the chance to say goodbye so indulge me lol.”

Sleggs, who is believed to be 33, added that his faith has brought him comfort and helped him accept what is happening to him.

He stars in Bafta-winning comedy This Country, a mockumentary that follows the village lives of cousins Kerry and Kurtan Mucklowe and their often mundane day-to-day activities, focusing on the social isolation facing young people who live in rural communities.

His character in This Country, Slugs, who is also diagnosed with terminal cancer, was based on Sleggs according to the writers, but he reportedly took a while to figure it out.

Michael Sleggs (L) at the Sky Arts awards in 2018
Michael Sleggs at the Sky Arts awards in 2018

The news of Sleggs’ illness also comes as he announced last summer that his autobiography has been picked up by a publisher and was set to be released soon.

His publishers said they are aiming to release the book later this year.

Sleggs was also diagnosed with heart failure in 2015, and made light of the illness in an Instagram post marking the third anniversary of his visit to hospital.

This Country follows the village life of Kurtan and Kerry Mucklowe
This Country follows the village life of Kurtan and Kerry Mucklowe. Pic: BBC

This Country stars and is written by Charlie and Daisy May Cooper, who are siblings in real life.

In a post on social media last year, Charlie Cooper posted a photo of the cast in rehearsals for a new series, including Sleggs.

The BBC did not wish to comment.

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Kevin Durant expected to return midway through Finals

TORONTO — Barring a setback, Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant is expected to return from a right calf strain at some point midway through the NBA Finals, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

There’s some optimism within members of the organization that a Game 3 arrival could be viable, but there’s a stronger possibility that Game 4 is the most logical option, sources said.

Head coach Steve Kerr announced Wednesday that Durant was cleared to take part in individual on-court basketball activities, but the 10-time All-Star — who has missed the past six postseason games — actually began his on-court basketball workouts earlier this week, sources said.

Kevin Durant hasn’t played since Game 5 of the West semifinals. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The 7-foot forward has about three or four days of on-court work under his belt, sources said. His teammates are encouraged by his progress.

Kerr explained that Durant must go through a full practice before he is given the green light to return to action.

The franchise, sources said, does not foresee a scenario in which Durant would be completely unavailable during the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, who took a 1-0 series lead on Thursday after a 118-109 victory.

Teammates described Durant as being sick to his stomach for being a spectator for such an important contest on the road in a hostile Scotiabank Arena.

Durant’s postseason production of 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game has been missed greatly by the Warriors.

Toronto boasts one of the deepest rosters in the association, and outside of Stephen Curry (34 points) and Klay Thompson (21 points), Golden State struggled to find a reliable No. 3 scoring option Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Raptors had three players register 20 or more points in Pascal Siakam (32), Kawhi Leonard (23) and Marc Gasol (20), with Fred VanVleet leading all reserves with 15 points.

As long as Durant is out of commission, the Warriors’ depth will be tested this series. To make matters worse, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala appeared to injure his leg late in Game 1.

“KD’s an all-time great player on both ends of the floor, so I could sit here and talk for days about what he adds to our roster,” Curry said. “We obviously have proven that when he’s out, we can have guys step up and that’s going to be the case until he gets back.”

Golden State will not practice on Friday, setting it up potentially for Durant to join Saturday’s session before Game 2 on Sunday. But in the short term, the Warriors must find a way to get by without their star forward.

“If he’s out there, he’s pretty good, but if he’s not out there, we play with the guys we have and we have got enough,” Kerr said. “We have won the last, whatever, six games without him, five, six games. So we have enough, but you play with the guys who are healthy and you go. So we’ll see what happens.”

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