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JUST IN: Buhari To Address Nigerians On ASUU Strike — Gbajabiamila

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Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives on Friday said the country will soon hear from President Muhammadu Buhari on the ongoing strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

The FidelinfoNews reports that Mr Gbajabiamila made the comment while meeting with the President at the State House for the second time in one week over the matter.

The Speaker, along with other lawmakers, in recent weeks have acted as negotiators between the Federal Government and the striking workers.

Gbajabiamila said discussions with the President were fruitful and expects Buhari to make known his decisions to the public after reviewing the lawmakers’ recommendations.

During his budget presentation speech at the National Assembly earlier on Friday, President Buhari had said a total of N470 billion has been earmarked in the 2023 budget for revitalisation and salary enhancements in the nation’s tertiary institutions, addressing some of ASUU’s main demands.

But the President noted that government alone cannot continue to provide the resources required for funding tertiary education.

“In most countries, the cost of education is jointly shared between the government and the people, especially at the tertiary level,” the President said. “It is imperative therefore that we introduce a more sustainable model of funding tertiary education.”

He added that his administration was committed to implementing agreements reached with staff unions within the available resources.

“This is why we have remained resolute that we will not sign any agreement that we would be unable to implement,” he said. “Individual institutions would be encouraged to keep faith with any agreement reached in due course to ensure stability in the educational sector.

“Government is equally committed to improving the quality of education at other levels.”

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Brazilian King Of Soccer: Pele Dies At 82

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The Brazillian King of soccer, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pele who was hospitalized in Sao Paulo last Tuesday has died this morning.

Fidel Info reports that Pele, the greatest player to ever play the game and a three-time World Cup champion, allegedly received a respiratory illness diagnosis and was admitted to the hospital right away.

A medical report issued on Friday stated that Pele had a good response to antibiotic therapy and was stable with “general improvement in health status.”

He underwent colon tumor removal in September 2021 and has been routinely receiving hospital care.

According to reports, chemotherapy had been stopped and Pele was just receiving palliative care, which focused on treating symptoms including pain and breathing difficulties.

When he was admitted to the hospital earlier this week, he was also said to have experienced widespread edema and cardiac problems.

Pele had said in an Instagram post on Thursday that he was at the hospital for a “monthly visit” and thanked his supporters for the positive messages he had received.

The former Brazil, Santos and New York Cosmos striker’s face was projected on a building in Qatar with the message, “Get well soon”.

A sign with the same message was displayed by Brazilian fans at the Lusail Stadium last Friday ahead of the national team’s 1-0 defeat against Cameroon.

Meanhwile, ahead of Brazil’s last-16 tie at Stadium 974, Pele recalled memories of his World Cup debut in 1958, when the 17-year-old helped Brazil lift the Jules Rimet Trophy in Sweden.

He wrote on Twitter: “In 1958, I walked the streets thinking about fulfilling the promise I made to my father. I know that today many have made similar promises and are also going in search of their first World Cup.

“I’ll be watching the game from hospital and I’ll be rooting for each one of you. Good luck!”

Injury affected Pele’s contribution to the 1962 and 1966 World Cup finals, but he returned to lead Brazil to a third triumph in Mexico in 1970 as part of what is widely regarded as the greatest international team of all time.

Officially, Pele scored 757 goals in 831 games during a glittering career from 1957 to 1977, although club Santos claim his tally was closer to 1,000.

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Entertainment

Celine Dion Has Been Diagnosed With Stiff-Person Syndrome

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Celine Dion’s diagnosis with stiff-person syndrome has brought public attention to the rare neurological disorder, which affects roughly one or two out of every million people.

Fidel Info reports that Dion announced Thursday that she had postponed dates for her European tour next year due to the condition.

“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having. Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to,” the singer said in an Instagram Video.

People with stiff-person syndrome often experience rigidity in their torso and limbs, as well as severe muscle spasms that can cause them to fall down. The spasms can occur at random or be triggered by certain stimuli, including loud noises, touch and emotional distress.

Dr. Richard Nowak, an assistant neurology professor at the Yale School of Medicine, said the condition “has a range of severity, from quite mild — easily managed with a little bit of medication — to folks that are quite severe that can be, frankly, quite disabled from it.”

Stiff-person syndrome overall disrupts the normal pathways of communication between the brain and the muscles.

“There’s a massive firing that’s occurring from the central nervous system, down through the spinal cord, down through the nerves as they plug into the muscles, and it’s causing them to become rigid or go into spasm, which equals the stiffness,” Nowak said.

In most but not all cases, people with stiff-person syndrome have elevated levels of antibodies that target a particular protein involved in the process of controlling muscle function. Doctors consider these patients to have an autoimmune condition.

“In stiff persons, the pathways that are attacked are the brake pathways, so you’ve lost your brakes on your muscles,” said Dr. Simon Helfgott, a rheumatologist at Harvard Medical School. “Once your muscle starts to contract, it doesn’t have a way to stop itself from contracting.”

Helfgott estimated that about two-thirds of stiff-person patients have these antibodies, which can be picked up by a blood test. But around 30% don’t, he said, so researchers don’t fully understand what’s driving their illness.

A small minority of cancer patients may also produce antibodies that attack the nervous system and trigger stiff-person syndrome, Helfgott added.

Symptoms of the syndrome go beyond the normal muscle cramps that most people experience from time to time, Helfgott said; instead, the muscles tend to lock up. Some of his patients have had difficulty walking or required wheelchairs, he added.

“This is just such a severe diagnosis to have, especially if you’re an entertainer [on] the world-class type of stage,” Helfgott said. “It’s going to be very, very challenging to be able to continue.”

Because many symptoms of stiff-person syndrome overlap with those of Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia or anxiety, it often takes time to diagnose. Doctors rely on several tools to do that, including MRIs of the brain or spinal cord, blood tests or electromyography tests that use tiny needles to measure a person’s muscle and nerve responses.

Helfgott said the syndrome is harder to treat than other autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease, and there is no cure.

Muscle relaxants or Botox injections can help relieve milder symptoms like spasms, Nowak said. Patients with more severe symptoms are often prescribed intravenous immunoglobulin, an infusion that has been shown to reduce people’s stiffness and sensitivity to noise, touch and stress. 

But the symptoms and their severity levels can vary minute by minute, Helfgott said, and it’s difficult to predict whether a patient’s condition will get worse over time.

“In some cases, the condition can level off and stay the way it is. I have people who are like that — they’re no different now than they were 10 years ago,” he said. “In others, it is a slow, subtle decline.”

Source: NBC

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Economy

House Of Reps Has Ordered CBN To Suspend Latest Cash Policy

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On Thursday, the House of Representatives requested that the Central Bank of Nigeria suspend its most recent policy, which among other things places restrictions on the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from deposit money banks and other financial institutions.

Fidel Info reports that the House summoned the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, to appear and explain the policy before the parliament.

This is based on a motion of urgent public significance made at the House’s plenary on Thursday by Aliyu Magaji.

The legislation, according to several senators, would harm businesses and Nigerians without access to the banking system and have catastrophic repercussions.

Ndudi Elumelu, the minority leader, asserted that the proposal would reduce crime because money would now be monitored through the banking system. Although the timing could be off, the country would gain more from it, he claimed.

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