United States Supreme Court Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday, opening a crucial vacancy on the high court expected to set off a pitched political battle at the peak of the presidential campaign.
Ginsburg, 87, died after a fight with pancreatic cancer, the court announced, saying she passed away “this evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, DC.”
Affectionately known as the Notorious RBG, Ginsburg was the oldest justice of nine on the Supreme Court.
She anchored its liberal faction, whittled to four by two appointments since 2017 from President Donald Trump.
Coming just 46 days before an election in which Trump lags his Democratic rival Joe Biden in the polls, the vacancy offers the Republican president a chance to solidly lock in a conservative majority at the court for decades to come.
That could lead to a court that would potentially limit abortion rights, strengthen the powers of business, and water down rights provided minorities and the LGBTQ community over the past three decades.
But Democrats are expected to fight tough to force a delay in her replacement until after the election — an uphill battle given the control Trump’s Republicans have on the Senate, which must approve any nominee.
– Fought for women’s rights – Ginsburg, who was Jewish, was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1933.
A legal scholar and law professor, she had a deep history in jurisprudence of standing up for women’s rights.
She became only the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice when she was appointed to the court in 1993 by president Bill Clinton.
“Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement.
“Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”
– Looming political fight – There was no immediate comment on her death from the White House.
Speaking to a rally in Minnesota and apparently still unaware of the news, Trump reminded the crowd of the likelihood that a new term would allow him to appoint new justices.
“The next one will have anywhere from one to four” justices, he said. “Think of that, that will totally change” the landscape on core legal issues, including abortion, he said.
ABC News later reported, citing well-informed sources, that Trump will move quickly to name a replacement.
In a pitch to conservative voters earlier this month, he unveiled a long list of possible replacements for court vacancies, all of them deeply conservative, that he would tap if reelected.
Asked in August by radio host Hugh Hewitt if he would nominate a justice just before the election, Trump replied: “Absolutely, I’d do it.”
“I would move quickly. Why not? I mean they would. The Democrats would if they were in this position.”
Democrats were expected to fight hard to prevent a replacement from being named right away.
Ginsburg herself was acutely aware of the stakes of her health on the court balance, and her fans fretted at her increasingly frequent trips to the hospital over the past two years.
According to NPR radio, Ginsburg raised the issue this week with her granddaughter Clara Spera.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” she said, according to Spera.
But Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Friday he would move on any nominee from Trump, ignoring the precedent he set in 2016 in freezing Democratic President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill a vacancy before the election.
“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell said in a statement.
Thousands of people in northwest China have tested positive for a bacterial disease after a leak from a state-owned biopharmaceutical plant making animal vaccines last year.
Health officials in Lanzhou city said 3,245 people had contracted brucellosis, a disease often caused by close contact with infected animals or animal products that can bring about fevers, joint pain and headaches.
Another 1,401 people tested as an early positive for the disease, and health authorities said there was no evidence of person-to-person transmission so far.
Chinese authorities found a biopharmaceutical plant had used expired disinfectant in its production of Brucella vaccines for animals between July and August last year — meaning the bacteria was not eradicated in its factory exhaust.
Contaminated gas from the China Animal Husbandry Lanzhou Biopharmaceutical Factory in Lanzhou formed aerosols containing the bacteria, and this was then carried by wind to the Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, infecting nearly 200 people there as of December last year.
More than 20 students and faculty members of Lanzhou University, some of whom had been to the institute, subsequently tested positive as well, according to Xinhua news agency.
Lanzhou’s health commission said Friday that sheep, cattle and pigs were most commonly involved in the spread of the bacteria.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, person-to-person transmission of brucellosis is “extremely rare” but some symptoms may reoccur or never go away.
These include recurrent fevers, chronic fatigue, swelling of the heart or arthritis.
The factory — which apologised earlier this year — has had its brucellosis vaccine production licence revoked, Lanzhou authorities said.
Compensation for patients would start in batches from October, according to local authorities.
Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has called on the Rivers State government to show understanding in order to amicably resolve the dispute between Oluasiri Clan in Bayelsa and their Kalabari neighbors in Rivers.
The Oluasiri communities in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa and their Kalabari Ijaw kinsmen are locked in dispute arising from the location of oil wells within the boundary area.
Diri made the plea in Yenagoa during a meeting with stakeholders from the Oluasiri clan led by the paramount ruler, Chief Iyerite Awululu.
He sought the support of Ijaw leaders and elders to resolve the age-long feud between the two Ijaw communities.
In a statement by his acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, the governor said the state government will protect its territories and work with the communities to ensure safety of residents.
“I’m calling on my brother governor of our sister state that this is a time that we need to look at the realities.
“As a people from the old Rivers State, we need to sit together and resolve our internal disputes, which should be easy to do because both feuding communities are of the Ijaw extraction.
“We have no difference between the Nembes and Kalabaris. They are all Ijaws and so no other person should beat the drums of war against two friendly Ijaw clans,” he said.
To this end, Diri directed his deputy, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, to chair a committee to drive the process of peaceful resolution of the boundary adjustment issues. He also restated his administration’s resolve to ensure the protection of lives and property across communities in the state.
The governor said his administration would engage security agencies on the need to curtail acts of lawlessness, particularly in the Oluasiri axis of the state.
“I will sit with my security commanders and see if we can beef up security in Oluasiri to protect lives and property.
“We have already set the ball rolling and we will take some security measures in that area in the interim pending when a substantive police station will be set up,” he said.
Also, the governor directed the state Ministry of Health and Water Resources to make the cottage hospital built by Shell Petroleum Development Company functional as well as provide potable water.
Earlier, spokesman of the clan, Mr Iniruo Wills, highlighted a number of issues that require government’s intervention.
Wills said the meeting was to seek assistance in the areas of security and resolution of the legal dispute between the two states concerning the boundary delineation among others.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said anyone who fail to register and submit their self-certification forms risk forfeiture of their bank accounts and other assets with financial institutions.
FIRS’s warning came after it announced that it is mandatory for all Nigerians operating bank accounts to register for self-certification at their respective banks.
“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc) are required to obtain, complete and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions,” FIRS chairman Muhammad Nami said in a circular on Thursday.
“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions is required to complete and submit the form to each one of the institutions.”
Nami explained that “the forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.”
The FIRS boss noted that self-certification form is in 3 categories- form for entity, for controlling person (individuals having a controlling interest in a legal person, trustee, etc) and form for individual holders of bank accounts.
“Failure to comply with the requirement to administer or execute this form attracts sanctions which may include monetary penalty or inability to operate the account,” Nami said.
The new requirement by the agency of the Nigerian government was not accepted by many Nigerians who criticised the government’s inability to harness all the data collected from people in the past.
Currently, Nigeria has multiple citizen’s collection data platforms – the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), National Identification Numbers (NIN), passport, driver’s license, SIM card registration and voters’ card. Persons without any of these cannot own and operate any bank account in Nigeria.
Many believed that all information required in the self-certification form has already been replicated in the existing citizens’ data platforms.
Others, however, argued that the new directive is part of the government’s plot to allegedly take control of their accounts for the multiplicity of taxation.
A spokesman for Ahmad Lawan, Nigeria’s Senate president, Abubakar Usman said the directive will impose additional stress on Nigerians.
“For the past months, entering banks has been hell as a result of restrictions brought about by Covid-19 and now FIRS want us to go to each bank and fill form. Common,” Usman tweeted.
“What is BVN meant to serve if FIRS want us to go and do self certification?”
Other Nigerians are also not pleased with the directive.
The University of Lagos Pro-Chancellor Wale Babalakin (SAN), has resigned following an alleged disagreement with the Nigerian Government on the visitation panel sent to the university.
“I would like to thank the President of the Federal of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for giving me the opportunity to serve as the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (the “University”) from May 2017 till date,” Babalakin said in his resignation letter addressed to minister for education Adamu Ada
“I am also grateful that I was considered fit to be the Chairman of the Federal Government Negotiation Team on the Agreement reached with university unions in 2009, from 6th January 2017 till date. I equally want to thank you sir, for your role in recommending me to the President.”
Some are reluctant to enter the new site, fearing poor conditions and worried their movement may be further limited.
Names marked with an asterisk* have been changed to protect identities.
Police on the Greek island of Lesbos have launched an operation to rehouse thousands of refugees and migrants who have been sleeping rough after their camp was destroyed by fire.
Officers on Thursday morning woke people in their tents to take them to a temporary centre that was hastily set up after Europe’s largest camp for asylum seekers at Moria burned down last week.
The new Kara Tepe camp, near the island’s main town Mytilene, was made on a former military firing range and is close to the remains of the Moria site.
But many have refused to go, fearing living conditions would be as bad or worse than at Moria, which was notoriously unsafe, and worried they would be left waiting for months to have their requests for asylum processed and transferred to the Greek mainland or another European country.
Riot police and police vans were parked on either side of a street where thousands who fled the Moria camp have been living.
Quietly, with the sounds of children crying and under an already hot sun, people folded their blankets, picked up bags containing whatever belongings they had saved from the fire and dismantled their tents.
Women and children with bundles on their backs were seen gathering by a barricade police had set up on the road.
Some mothers pushed their babies in prams up the road as other refugees took shelter from the morning sun in the shade of a large building, or washed with water bottles on the roadside.
“The aim is to safeguard public health,” police spokesman Theodoros Chronopoulos told AFP news agency, confirming that “an operation is under way” which “responds to humanitarian aims.”
But Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which opened an emergency clinic in the area, said it was barred from accessing its facility during the night, as rumours of the police operation spread.
“A police operation is under way to take refugees to the new camp. This should not prevent medical aid,” MSF complained on Twitter.
More than 12,000 people including entire families with elderly and newborns were left homeless when fire tore through the overcrowded and unsanitary Moria camp – built five years ago at the height of Europe’s refugee crisis – on the night of September 8.
Thousands have been sleeping under tarpaulins or tents at roadsides and in the car parks of closed supermarkets since the blaze.
Late Wednesday, around 1,000 tents, each able to accommodate between eight and 10 people, had been erected at the new site.
The atmosphere on Thursday morning was calm, with people exhausted from spending a week on the street. Families collected their belongings, some pushing them in large bins or supermarket trolleys, in preparation for the move.
At the start of the operation, single men were not allowed to enter the new camp.
Farhad*, is 20 and alone in Greece, having fled war in Afghanistan.
Even if he was allowed in, he told Media he does not want to enter Kara Tepe.
“I’ve been in Moria for nine months and again, if we enter the camp, [maybe] it will be for a year, too. I’m losing my youth just waiting.”
Other families have accepted their new reality.
“We hear there is food and water there,” said Abdul*, who has five children.
His family is tired of living on the street waiting for help that never seems to arrive and believes there is no other option.
Six young Afghans have been arrested in connection with the incident, with four of them brought before a Lesbos magistrate on Wednesday.
Medical tents were to be set up, and two quarantine zones were planned for the several dozen people who have tested positive for coronavirus.
“We have seen a lot of people come in hazmat suits trying to talk to people, to convince them to go to the camps. People are moving. Not everyone is moving, but people are moving,”
“A lot of people we have been speaking to this morning still don’t want to go. They say they are hearing the situation is bad, they are are going to be stuck in there, there are calling it a jail.
“Certainly the message from the authorities is that they have to move to the camp, and if they are not going to do so willingly … they will use the police to move people forcefully.”
The Greek migration ministry said on Tuesday that around 1,200 people had entered the new camp.
Aid groups said a few hundred more arrived on Wednesday, forced by exhaustion after sleeping rough under a hot sun for a week.
The UN refugee agency has urged Greece to speed up asylum processes on Lesbos.
“The idea is not that people remain forever on the island of Lesbos, but that processes are accelerated so that people can leave gradually and in an orderly way” to the capital Athens or elsewhere on the mainland, the UN agency’s chief in Greece Philippe Leclerc told reporters.
Meanwhile, anger is growing among local Lesbos residents, who complain overcrowding on the island is affecting its tourism possibilities.
“We have two human dramas here. Unfortunately, it is the drama of the migrants living here that is constantly talked about, and never the locals who have gone through a very hard time, since 2015, and are very frustrated. These people should be put in a controlled camp and far away from the local population.
Greece’s police minister Michalis Chrysochoidis this week said that half the refugees and migrants on Lesbos should be able to leave by Christmas and “the rest by Easter”.
The Welsh striker appears destined for a return to Tottenham Hotspur with his departure set to alleviate the Spanish club’s annual financial outlay.
Following his 2013 101 million euro move to Real Madrid, during his time at the club, Gareth Bale has bagged some key goals for the Spanish side, left behind a legacy overshadowed by injuries and in recent years has fallen foul of the Bernabéu faithful with lacklustre performances. The club paid the player 30 million euro last season in salary and with the striker only featuring for 1.260 minutes, (27.5% of possible playing time) this equated to Bale being paid 23,800 euro per minute of match action.
Bale’s iconic goals in the famous white shirt are undoubtedly his 2014 Copa del Rey effort where he out-sprinted Bartra at Mestalla to bag the winner and his spectacular over-head effort in the Kiev Champions League final where Zidane’s men overcame Liverpool in the 2018 final. The Welsh international was named man of the match upon being interviewed post game, demanded more playing time for the club.
Differences with Zizou That night in May served to add to tension with French coach Zinedine Zidane with the relationship between both individuals overshadowed with tension which culminated with Bale poised to move to China in the summer of 2019 only for the LaLiga club to make an eleventh hour u-turn. Zidane’s feelings on the Cardiff born striker’s continuity at Real Madrid was epitomised in his famous “better that he leaves today rather than tomorrow” comment at a press conference.
Bale is now set to take a break from his life as a Real Madrid player despite his contract with the Spanish side not expiring until June 2022. In his time in the Spanish capital, the striker has bagged 105 goals in the white shirt, delivering 68 assists in 251 official matches. The Welsh international has secured four Champions League titles, two LaLiga winners medals along with success in one Copa del Rey final. Bale has also lifted three UEFA Super Cups, one Spanish Super Cupo and four FIFA Club World Cups.
The signings of Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon could see Tottenham’s formation change as Jose Mourinho completes one of the biggest tactical shifts of his long and illustrious managerial career.
Bale’s return would be a major coup for Spurs and reignite enthusiasm from supporters but the onus would be on Mourinho to make best use of his undoubted ability. The acquisition of Bale’s young Real Madrid team-mate could prove to be a key factor in achieving that.
It will surely bring a change of formation, one hinted at since Mourinho arrived.
Right from the start of his Spurs reign, Mourinho’s idea was to deploy Ben Davies as a defensive left-back sweeping to cover the centre-backs with Serge Aurier free to race forward and provide the width on the right. Building with a back three was his vision.
The subsequent injury to Davies – sustained in his first game in charge – became a theme of press conferences, as well as the subsequent documentary series on Spurs’ season. The loss of Harry Kane cost Spurs points, but it was the injury to Davies that jeopardised his plans.
So wedded was Mourinho to this asymmetrical formation that he ended up utilising Japhet Tanganga out of position there rather than playing the more experienced England left-back Danny Rose. That decision even led to Rose’s departure on loan to Newcastle last season.
In conversation with Rose, Mourinho cited the greater physicality of Tanganga as a key factor in his decision. It was a clear indication that the qualities he wanted in his left-back were very different from the demands of the position on the opposite flank.
Serge Aurier was encouraged to raid forward on the right and play a very different role. In part, this was because – something openly stated by Mourinho – he does not trust Aurier in defensive situations. This was him accommodating those weaknesses.
Following Davies’ return from injury, Spurs enjoyed some success reverting to the original plan and the transfer business prior to the opening weekend of the season appeared to suggest that the vision for this season was to upgrade rather than overhaul this idea.
The signing of Matt Doherty was widely regarded as a straightforward upgrade even though he had been used as a wing-back at Wolves. Aurier’s role was so attacking anyway that it could be argued that a natural wing-back on that right side made more sense.
The move for Reguilon is different. He is not a like-for-like upgrade on Davies. His attacking qualities mean that he is more suited to mirroring the role of Doherty on the right than slotting seamlessly into the existing shape. A formation change would appear inevitable.
Switching to a genuine back three makes sense.
It was as an offensive force rather than a defensive full-back that Reguilon caught the eye for Real Madrid before thriving on loan at Sevilla. Mourinho has operated with attacking full-backs before. But this Spurs defence needs too much help for that to be a serious option.
It is more likely that Reguilon would find himself in the sort of positions that Heung-Min Son has often found himself expected to take up in this lopsided Tottenham formation. With little attacking threat coming from Davies, Son has had to come deeper to collect the ball.
Son could be one of the big winners if Mourinho switches to a 3-4-3 formation because the presence of a wide man outside him on the left would free him to push forward into the box and find himself closer to Kane in attack. That would play to his strengths.
The benefits for Dele Alli are less obvious and perhaps that helps to explain why his name has been mentioned as a possible factor in any deal with Real Madrid. The 3-4-3 formation effectively removes his role – one that is so central to the 4-2-3-1 formation.
While it might seem a negative move to withdraw an attacking midfielder to bring in a full-back, the introduction of Reguilon in his natural position would not only push Son into more threatening areas, providing much-needed support for Kane, but it would help others too.
Doherty would be free to play the wing-back role in which he impressed for Wolves without leaving the wide open spaces behind him that Everton were able to exploit on the opening weekend. Toby Alderweireld playing on the right of a three-man defence would avoid that.
It would also suit Eric Dier, on his return to defence, if he were able to play as a sweeper with defensive cover either side of him rather than as a marker. His experience of years in midfield could even enable him to step up and distribute from there if the game demanded it.
The partnership of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Harry Winks looked bereft of creativity against Everton but greater passing options out wide could alleviate those concerns. The presence of a back three behind them could even allow Giovani Lo Celso to be used in a deeper role.
Having wing-backs stretching the play could see Tottenham’s formation become more like a front five in possession with Son and Bale, two potent scorers, getting closer to Kane in attack and delivering the sort of numbers needed to take Spurs forward.
That is crucial to unlocking Bale’s full potential.
Getting the best from Bale The Welshman remains a physical specimen but at the age of 31, the days of him powering past opponents with sheer speed are drawing to a close. While he retains the threat of going by markers on the outside, his chief weapon now is cutting inside on that famed left foot.
With Doherty providing the width, Bale could be used as an inside rather than an outside right – putting him more often in that zone from which he found the net no fewer than nine times from outside the penalty box in his most recent season as a Premier League player.
Nobody has come close to those numbers since. That not only serves as a reminder of just how dangerous that Bale can be but it underlines the potential transformation in potency that his arrival could bring. The heavy scoring load on Kane could be shared.
Lucas Moura scored only four goals in 35 Premier League appearances last season at a rate of one every 562 minutes spent on the pitch. It is a paltry return for a player in the offensive line and a key differential between Tottenham and those teams they aspire to catch.
Liverpool have had great success by feeding the ball to Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the channels with their full-backs providing the width. Could Spurs hope for similar returns from Bale and Son if they can set up the system to position them in those same zones?
It requires special full-backs, hard-working midfielders and centre-backs who are world class in one-on-one situations for Liverpool to make that work in a 4-3-3 formation. For Tottenham, it would seem more achievable with that extra man at the back in a 3-4-3.
It is not a formation that is alien to the club’s supporters, of course. Mauricio Pochettino switched to a back three during the 2016/17 season after enjoying success with 4-2-3-1.
He used it to give his side an extra man at the back – notably using it against Watford’s two-striker system – while encouraging Kyle Walker and Danny Rose to attack as wing-backs.
Many of the Spurs squad remain from those days so the formation would not be new to them – but it would be a major departure for Mourinho from his tried and trusted methods.
He is a coach who has enjoyed so much success over the past two decades that it would be understandable for him to be reluctant to embrace a formation different to the one with which he has won two Champions League finals and no fewer than seven domestic league titles.
And yet, it now seems the natural step for his Tottenham team to make a similar tactical tweak to the one adopted by Arsenal, of all teams, under Mikel Arteta. “I think Mikel has found a way for them to play and to be stable and to improve,” said Mourinho recently.
Tottenham are in search of that same stability and improvement. If the signings of Bale and Reguilon help them to find it with their own switch to 3-4-3 it would be an evolution for the team – and their celebrated coach.
The motion of censure against Bartomeu and his board have reached the necessary signatures.
The promoters of the vote of no confidence against Josep Maria Bartomeu and the second board of directors have the signatures to advance to the next stage. They have planned to arrive at the 18,000 signatures by the end of the day.