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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Olivier Giroud could have big say in Arsenal deal

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Arsenal's £60m move for Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could hinge on two more transfers being agreed.
And Gunners striker Olivier Giroud may have the biggest say in whether the deal is completed before Wednesday's 23:00 GMT deadline.
Arsenal have agreed a fee with Dortmund and personal terms with Gabon international Aubameyang, 28.
But Dortmund will only sanction the move if they get a replacement.
France international Giroud, 31, was lined up to be that player, but he would rather remain in London.
A timely offer from Chelsea appeared to give him a chance to stay in the capital - and Dortmund switched their attention to Chelsea's Belgium forward Michy Batshuayi, who would welcome the move.
In turn, Chelsea would take Giroud from their London neighbours.
Batshuayi, 24, has been used mainly as a substitute at Chelsea and wants first-team football in a World Cup year.
However, the Blues have baulked at Arsenal's asking price for Giroud - a reported £30m-£35m.
Chelsea consequently held talks with Tottenham Hotspur to swap Batshuayi for their 32-year-old Spain striker Fernando Llorente.
Spurs were keen on permanent deal, though Chelsea preferred a loan move.
Yet that outcome has been scuppered by Batshuayi's need for first-team football. With little chance of him being able to dislodge Spurs' main striker Harry Kane - the Premier League's top scorer - he rejected the approach.
Batshuayi is unwilling to go from back-up at one club to the same role at another.
If Arsenal are not able to reach an agreement with Chelsea over Giroud, Aubameyang's move will rely on Dortmund finding a suitable alternative elsewhere.
If no replacement is found, he will stay at Dortmund - as the German club have previously indicated.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is fond of Giroud, but the Frenchman has been told he will not get game time at Emirates Stadium club and knows he needs to be playing if he wants to go to the World Cup.
Arsenal are looking for Aubameyang to replace Chile forward Alexis Sanchez, whojoined Manchester United earlier this monthin a swap deal with midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The 'ironic' question of Nigerian writing

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Thousands of people across social media have been posting about Nigeria's literary heritage after a journalist asked acclaimed writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie if there were any bookshops in her country.
People have tweeted about the author more than 16,000 times since the question was asked in a public interview on Thursday evening in Paris.
A response on Friday posted by Adichie on her Facebook page has drawn a further 13,000 reactions and more than a thousand comments, and been shared over 3,000 times across the social networking site.
The interview - part of the Night Of Ideas event, a French government-backed initiative - was broadcast on Twitter and Facebook by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has been viewed nearly 38,000 times.

Journalist Caroline Broue asked Adichie if people read her books in Nigeria. Adichie replied, "They do, shockingly."
Broue then asked: "Are there any bookshops in Nigeria?"

Broue added news in France about Nigeria was dominated by stories of Boko Haram and violence, and the bookshop question was an invitation for Adichie to talk about a different aspect of her country.

Paris residents battle floods as Seine level peaks

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Forecasters say the flooded Seine River in Paris has reached its peak, but the waters are unlikely to begin receding until Tuesday.
Some residents of the suburbs have taken to boats and kayaks, as about 1,500 people have been evacuated from their homes.

Vote to be held in May: Irish abortion referendum

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The Irish government has agreed to hold a referendum at the end of May on whether to reform the country's near-total ban on abortion.
The vote will decide whether to repeal a constitutional amendment that effectively bans terminations.
Currently abortion is only when a woman's life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality.
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said that he will campaign for reform.
The ballot will not be on specific terms of any new law, but on whether to retain or repeal article 40.3.3 of the constitution, known as the Eighth Amendment.
The amendment, which was approved by a 1983 referendum, "acknowledges the right to life of the unborn" - meaning the life of the woman and her unborn child are seen as equal.
Before the vote, the country's health minister will draft legislation proposing unrestricted abortion access be made available to women up to 12 weeks, and in exceptional circumstances after.
An exact date for the referendum will be decided after it is debated in the Irish parliament.

Russia 'will target US mid-term elections' says CIA chief

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The director of the CIA expects that Russia will target the US mid-term elections later this year.
Mike Pompeo told the BBC there had been no significant diminishing of Russian attempts at subversion in Europe and the US.
He also said North Korea may have the ability to strike the US with nuclear missiles "in a handful of months".
The US intelligence community has said that it believes Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
Mr Pompeo, who briefs the president most mornings, dismissed as "drivel" recent claims that US President Donald Trump was not up to the job.
The director's conference room on the seventh floor of the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, is lined with pictures of former directors and the presidents they served.
And Mr Pompeo is clear about his vision for the CIA under President Trump.

Presidency wades into Kwankwaso, Ganduje rift

Ahead of the controversial visit to Kano by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso on Tuesday, January 30, the presidency summoned Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and the senator to avert breakdown of law and order in the state. 

The governor, accompanied by two serving senators and two members of the House of Representatives from the state, met with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari at the Presidential Villa. 

Ganduje, however, declined to speak to State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Senator Kwankwaso is also expected to meet with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, today, over the matter. The Kano state police command had advised Kwankwaso against embarking on the visit due to the tension it has generated. 

The police fear it might lead to breakdown of law and order. The state police commissioner, Rabiu Yusuf, had on Friday, January 26 advised Kwankwaso to shelve the visit, saying security report indicated that controversial visit might lead to political unrest. Yusuf also warned that the law would be allowed to take its full course in the event the controversial visit result in violent clash in the state. 

However, Kwankwaso, who spoke through his spokesperson, Binta Sipikin, vowed to go ahead with the visit in spite of police advice She said: “We are coming to visit friends, families and other relatives that for a long time, we have not seen. We have coordinated this visit with seven camera drones and other apparatus that would make it a hitch free home coming." 

Former speakers meet to rally support for President Buhari

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Former speakers of the 36 states’ Houses of Assembly met minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi to plot the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019. 

Guardian reports that they met on the platform of the forum of former speakers and led by Simon Lalong who is the chairman. 

Stanley Ugochukwu who is a former two-time speaker of the Abia state House of Assembly, said the “members resolved to serve as a pressure group to ensure that there is good governance in the country.” He said: “Nigerians deserve cooperation from all fronts, including non-political organisations to strengthen the country’s democracy.” 

Stanley Ugochukwu who is a former two-time speaker of the Abia state House of Assembly, said the “members resolved to serve as a pressure group to ensure that there is good governance in the country.” He said: “Nigerians deserve cooperation from all fronts, including non-political organisations to strengthen the country’s democracy.” They promised to “remain non-partisan and confront issues affecting the country without any form of bias.” 

A former speaker at the meeting said the meeting was focused on rallying support for President Buhari. He said: “We discussed extensively, but of course what do you expect from meetings like this? It is to mobilise support for the president and other intending contenders in the forth-coming polls.” A minister who was also in attendance who spoke on the condition of anonymity said their focus was to increase the president’s popularity. 

He said: “We also resolved to within our strength in our various constituencies, begin to pacify people and convince them on the need for continuity. This is despite the existing challenges facing the Buhari administration.” 

GTBank releases the backstory to its amazing 737 moments music video

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Leading African bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, broke the norm last year, when it released a music video for the popular theme song of its USSD Banking Service, 737. 

Now the trendsetting bank is telling the backstory of how it brought together ordinary Nigerians from all walks of life to make the 737 Music video, titled 737 Moments.  

The backstory of the 737 Moments Music Video is told through a docu-series that focuses on the passions and interests of the Video’s cast and how the 737 USSD Banking Service plays a key role in their daily lives.  


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