After their loss to Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Celtics decided to change their roster a bit for 2023-24. A number of their key rotation players were traded or signed elsewhere. The two biggest pieces acquired this offseason for the Celtics were Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday. 

Boston was already an incredible team defensively last season, but they may have gotten better with their new additions. In the Celtics’ first game of the season last night, Jrue Holiday was outstanding defensively. He made the Knicks work for their points when they tried to play him 1-vs-1. There’s only room for Holiday and the Celtics to continue to build chemistry on the defensive end.

Jrue Holiday played 35 minutes in his debut for the Boston Celtics

When the Celtics traded away Marcus Smart this offseason, a void was left on the team that would not be easy to fill. He was a former DPOY and was arguably the heart and soul of their team. However, Smart was traded to the Grizzlies in a three-team deal when the Celtics acquired Kristaps Porzingis. The Celtics acted quickly when Jrue Holiday was traded to the Blazers.

Boston sent over Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams, and a package of picks to acquire Jrue Holiday. In his Celtics debut, the five-time all-defensive selection played lockdown defense. Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, and R.J. Barrett shot a combined 2/18 when being guarded by Holiday. Additionally, the 33-year-old had three blocks in the Celtics’ first game vs. New York.

Jrue Holiday’s impact on defense doesn’t translate in the box score. He does the little things and always gives 100 percent when he’s on the court. Along with Jayson Tatum and Kristaps Porzingis, the Celtics are in line to have another top-ranked defense in 2023-24. His scoring might drop from his (19.3) points per game last season. However, his defensive efforts are a big part of the reason why he was brought here. Boston will have their first home game of the season this Friday vs. the Heat.

Man arrested for allegedly stealing six blocks in Abia

A man identified as Onuabughichi Ikwecheghi, was nabbed for stealing six blocks from a block molding factory in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State.



The suspect was caught in the act at about 1: am on Saturday, August 12, 2023, 12/08/2023, by the Abia State Community Policing/Vigilante, Osaa Ukwu Command, Obingwa LGA. 



The suspect hails from Amaumara kindred, Mgboko Ohanze Village, Osaa Ukwu Autonomous Community, Obingwa.



He has been transferred to the Ohuru Isimiri Police division for further investigations.


Man arrested for allegedly stealing six blocks in Abia
Man arrested for allegedly stealing six blocks in Abia


The move comes as violence erupts in several cities after the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Pakistani authorities have restricted access to Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms amid mounting violence in the country generated by the arrest of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“Additionally, total internet shutdowns have been observed in some regions,” NetBlocks, the global internet monitor, said on Tuesday.

Amnesty International said officials at Pakistan’s telecommunication authority told the UK-based rights group that regulators had blocked social media, and that internet service was suspended in Islamabad and other cities.

“This restricts people’s access to information and freedom of expression,” Amnesty International said. “We call upon the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority and Interior Ministry to immediately reverse this ban.”

Khan’s arrest sparked violent demonstrations by his angry supporters who clashed with the police in several major cities.

Months of crisis

The former prime minister was dragged from court on Tuesday after he appeared there to face charges in multiple corruption cases.

His arrest followed months of political crisis and came hours after the powerful military rebuked the former international cricketer for alleging that a senior officer had been involved in a plot to kill him.

Some protesters took out their anger on the military, storming the residence of the corps commander in Lahore and laying siege at a gate of the army’s general headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse Khan supporters in Karachi and Lahore, while protesters blocked roads in the capital Islamabad, Peshawar, and other cities.

Khan has faced dozens of charges since being removed – a tactic analysts have said successive Pakistan governments have used to silence their opponents.

He could be barred from holding public office if convicted, which would exclude him from elections scheduled for later this year.

Azerbaijan says it has set up a checkpoint on the only land route to the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan has said it has established a checkpoint on the only land route to the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a step that was followed by claims of border shootings by both Azeri and Armenian forces.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but its 120,000 inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Armenians and the region broke away from Baku in a war in the early 1990s.

Azerbaijan said on Sunday that it had established a checkpoint on the road leading to Karabakh, saying the move was essential due to what it cast as Armenia’s use of the road to transport weapons.

Azerbaijan “took appropriate measures to establish control at the starting point of the road”, the foreign ministry said.

“Providing border security, as well as ensuring safe traffic on the road, is the prerogative of the government of Azerbaijan, and an essential prerequisite for national security, state sovereignty and the rule of law.”

Armenia said the checkpoint at the Hakari bridge in the Lachin Corridor was a gross violation of the 2020 ceasefire agreement that ended a 2020 war.

It called on Russia to implement the agreement, which states that the Lachin Corridor, the only road across Azerbaijan that links Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh, must be under Russian peacekeepers’ control.

“We call on the Russian Federation to ultimately implement the trilateral statement,” Armenia’s foreign ministry said of the agreement that was brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Map of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh

The United States government said it was “deeply concerned” by Azerbaijan establishing the checkpoint on the only land route to the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh, saying it undermines efforts towards peace in the region.

The US State Department also said there should be free and open movement of people and commerce on the Lachin Corridor, and urged both sides to resume peace talks.

Pictures of the bridge posted on social media by Azeri officials showed one side of it blocked by vehicles and soldiers.

Armenia’s defence ministry said a soldier named Artyom Poghosyan was killed at approximately 07:50 GMT when Azeri forces opened fire on an Armenian position in Sotk, an Armenian village east of Lake Sevan. Azerbaijan denied it killed the soldier.

Azerbaijan then claimed that Armenian soldiers fired on Azeri units at approximately 11:10 GMT in the Lachin district, a claim Armenia denied.

In 2020, Azerbaijan retook territory in and around the enclave after a second war that ended in a Russian-brokered ceasefire upheld by Russian peacekeepers.

Azeri civilians identifying themselves as environmental activists have been facing off since December 12 with Russian peacekeepers on the Lachin Corridor.

Armenia says the protesters are government-backed agitators who are effectively blockading Karabakh. Azerbaijan denies blockading the road, saying that some convoys and aid are allowed through.

In recent months, Armenia has repeatedly called on Moscow to do more to support the peace and ensure unfettered access between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh through the Lachin Corridor.

WASHINGTON — Republicans on Tuesday blocked an attempt by Democrats to temporarily replace the ailing Senator Dianne Feinstein of California on the Judiciary Committee, raising new questions about how her party will be able to move forward with Senate work without her.

Pressure is mounting for Ms. Feinstein, 89, who was hospitalized with shingles in February and has announced she will not seek re-election in 2024, to resign now. Her prolonged absence means Democrats will be unable to advance President Biden’s judicial nominees and could be short of a vote on other crucial matters, including action expected to be needed in the coming months to raise the debt ceiling to avert a catastrophic default.

Hoping for a short-term solution, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, asked on Tuesday evening that he be allowed to replace Ms. Feinstein temporarily on the Judiciary panel with Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland.

“Today, I am acting not just as leader but as Dianne’s friend, in honoring her wishes until she returns to the Senate,” Mr. Schumer said, adding that “few have left their mark on this country” as she has.

But Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, moved to block the request, saying that while he also considered Ms. Feinstein a “dear friend,” the issue went beyond personal affection.

“This is about a handful of judges you can’t get the votes for,” Mr. Graham said. “With that in mind and with all due respect to Senator Feinstein, I object.”

The stalemate had been expected; like almost all action in the Senate, the request required some level of bipartisan support — either unanimous consent or 60 votes — and Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, had already made it clear that Republicans would not agree.

“Senate Republicans will not take part in sidelining a temporarily absent colleague off a committee just so Democrats can force through their very worst nominees,” Mr. McConnell told reporters earlier in the day. The sentiment was echoed throughout the Republican conference.

Responding to pressure from members of her own party to resign, Ms. Feinstein said last week she would not do so. Instead, she requested a temporary replacement on the panel, offering no timeline for her return.

As lawmakers trickled back to the Capitol after a two-week recess, Democrats pleaded for Republicans to show compassion to a colleague some of them have served with for decades.

Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, tried to appeal to a sense of collegiality that once prevailed in the Senate, particularly when it came to matters of age or infirmity.

“Tomorrow this could happen to the Republicans, and they could find themselves in a vulnerable position through no fault of their own,” Mr. Durbin said. “I hope that they’ll show a little kindness and caring for their colleague.”

With no good options, some Democrats hoped the logjam would coax Ms. Feinstein to re-evaluate her plans.

“If this goes on month after month after month, then she’s going to have to make a decision with her family and her friends about what her future holds,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “This isn’t just about California; it’s also about the nation.”

Adding to the pressure on Ms. Feinstein is that, with Republicans in control of the House, judicial nominations are among the only things Senate Democrats can do on their own.

“The situation of just letting the nominations stall endlessly is not tenable,” said Brian Fallon, the executive director of the progressive advocacy group Demand Justice. “The conversation needs to be shifted to what can be done now. That concern hasn’t gone away, and this option isn’t going to solve it.”

Mr. Fallon said Democrats should increase the pressure on Republicans, including by trying to change filibuster rules to allow them to move unilaterally to replace her.

He said Democrats could also threaten to do away with blue slips, an informal Senate practice that allows a senator to block the nomination of a judge from his or her home state.

“Just raising the specter of it might cause the Republicans to think twice,” Mr. Fallon said. “Republicans didn’t even contemplate trying to meet the Democrats halfway because they don’t fear any reprisal.”

On Tuesday, when asked about doing away with blue slips, Mr. Schumer said that “Senator Durbin and the Judiciary are considering it.”

Questions about Ms. Feinstein’s ability to perform her job have dogged her for years and were prevalent even in 2018, when she decided to seek re-election. She has never been open to talk of resigning, even as some close to her have tried to urge her to engineer a graceful exit to safeguard her legacy as a pioneering woman in politics. Instead, she has slowly diminished her profile in the Senate, often begrudgingly.

In 2020, Ms. Feinstein agreed to relinquish the top Democratic spot on the Judiciary Committee amid pressure from progressives who said she was not up to the task of leading a crucial panel at the forefront of the partisan war over the courts in a new Biden administration.

Italy is the first Western country to take such action against the popular artificial intelligence chatbot.

The Italian government’s privacy watchdog has temporarily blocked the artificial intelligence (AI) software ChatGPT over data privacy concerns.

The announcement on Friday made Italy the first Western country to take such action against the popular AI chatbot.

The Italian Data Protection Authority described its action as provisional “until ChatGPT respects privacy”. Its measure involves temporarily limiting the company from holding Italian users’ data.

The watchdog said ChatGPT developer OpenAI had no legal basis to justify “the mass collection and storage of personal data for the purpose of ‘training’ the algorithms underlying the operation of the platform”.

It further referenced a data breach on March 20 when user conversations and payment information were compromised, a problem the United States firm blamed on a bug.

Since ChatGPT was launched, it has seen meteoric growth. Millions of people are using the software for activities ranging from developing architectural designs to writing essays and drafting messages, songs, novels and jokes.

It has also sparked an AI race among other tech firms and venture capitalists. Google is rushing out its own chatbot, called Bard, and investors are pouring cash into all manner of AI projects.

But critics have long fretted over where ChatGPT and its competitors get their data or how they process it.

“We actually don’t know how the data is used because there’s not enough information given to the public,” Ruta Liepina, an AI fellow at the University of Bologna in Italy told Al Jazeera.

“At the same time at the European Union, there are a lot of new regulations being proposed, but it will be a matter of how they are enforced and how much the companies collaborate in showing information that is needed to better understand how these technologies are working,” Liepina said.

The AI systems that power such chatbots, known as large language models, are able to mimic human writing styles based on the huge trove of digital books and online writing they have ingested.

Some public schools and universities around the world have blocked the ChatGPT website from their local networks over student plagiarism concerns, but it was not clear how Italy would block it at a nationwide level.

The move is unlikely to affect applications from companies that already have licences with OpenAI to use the same technology driving the chatbot, such as Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

This week, hundreds of experts and industry figures signed an open letter calling for a pause in the development of powerful AI systems, arguing they posed “profound risks to society and humanity”.

The letter was prompted by OpenAI’s release this month of GPT-4, a more powerful version of its chatbot, with even less transparency about its data sources.

The Italian watchdog ordered OpenAI to report within 20 days what measures it has taken to ensure the privacy of users’ data or face a fine of up to either $22m or 4 percent of its annual global revenue.

AI experts said it is likely that more governments will follow suit and issue similar regulations.

“I think there might be some follow-up from other countries, [especially] if the OpenAI company doesn’t provide more information of how the algorithm is trained,” Liepina said.

The San Francisco-based company’s CEO, Sam Altman, announced this week that he would embark on a six-continent trip in May to talk about the technology with users and developers.

His trip is to include a stop in Brussels, where European Union lawmakers have been negotiating sweeping new rules to limit high-risk AI tools.

Altman said his time to Europe would also include stops in Madrid, Munich, London and Paris.

As part of efforts to harness the nation’s gas endowment, the Federal Government has listed 213 gas blocks open for investments.

Naija News learnt that the information contained in a report by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) reveals that the 213 identified gas blocks are located in various parts of the country including Chad.

Other locations of the listed gas blocks are in Niger Delta, Anambra, Benue Trough, Bida, Dahomey and Sokoto.

The NUPRC report, which is titled “Nigeria’s Cretaceous Basins: The Potentials for Gas,” also revealed that 69 of the listed gas blocks were discovered in the Niger Delta basin, 41 in Benue Trough, 40 in Chad, 28 in Sokoto, 17 in Bida 12 and six in Anambra and Dahomey respectively.

Recall that the Federal Government in April 2022 said Nigeria’s 206 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of gas is now valued at $803.4 trillion, making the nation the most extensive gas resource in Africa.

Also, the government through the National Gas Expansion Programme, declared the years 2020 to 2030 the decade of gas, as the product has been identified to be the nation’s transitional fuel.

Naija News as well gathered that the Nigerian government already has 60 gas basins under the Oil Prospecting Licences, with 44 listed in the Niger Delta, five in Anambra, two in Benue Trough, six in Chad, and three in Dahomey.

The reports further revealed that 115 gas wells had also been allocated under Oil Mining Licenses, noting that 112 of this figure are located in the Niger Delta, while two are found in Anambra and one in Dahomey.

The NUPRC report observed that the nation’s cretaceous basins hold a promising future for the country’s oil and gas industry, as it offers a pathway for Nigeria to decarbonise while ensuring energy security.

It stated that exploration of the other cretaceous basins would further deepen and realise the potential for Nigeria to triple its gas reserves by 2050.

In his reaction to the revelation by the NUPRC report, a consultant on the DFID-funded Facility for Oil Sector Transformation, managed by the Oxford Policy Management, Dauda Garuba, told Punch that management of Nigeria’s revenue from its natural resources should be the topmost concern.

Garuba said “Gas is touted as the transition mineral. Nigeria is richer in gas than oil. I see much more to be discovered. However, we should be more concerned about the management of earnings from this.”

Meanwhile, reports available indicate that some industry experts have described the N834 trillion needed by the federal government to attain its net zero agenda as an ambitious one.

The ambitious target of the government to attain net zero emissions follows President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, that Nigeria would attain net zero in 2060.

 Naija News understands that the immediate past Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf, told Punch that “That is a tall one. Where will the money come from? That target is ambitious and aspirational but again, because we are looking at a long-term thing; we must not totally dismiss it.

“With what is happening globally, you can see that the pace of decarbonisation has slowed. Countries that are committed to a more aggressive push are going back to fossil fuels, looking for coal.

“I am not optimistic that raising such an amount will be easy. Then the commitment to the COP is also not too impressive and very weak. And if commitment is this low, how do you convince investors either in form of aid or whatever, to invest this kind of huge money? It’s going to be a tall order.”

The government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz blocked the sale of a semiconductor company to a Chinese-owned firm on Wednesday, as Germany seeks to toughen protection of its domestic technology and ease its dependence on China.

Robert Habeck, Germany’s economy minister, said that the government had also blocked a separate investment in a German company producing critical infrastructure, which he said could not be identified because of secrecy agreements.

The moves come days after Mr. Scholz returned from a trip to Beijing, where he met with President Xi Jinping for discussions that focused on Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, as well as economic ties between the two countries. China is Germany’s largest trading partner, exchanging goods worth more than 245 billion euros (about $246 billion) last year.

But German officials have grown wary of being overdependent on China. More than a million German jobs are directly dependent on trade with China, and many more indirectly, while almost half of German manufacturing businesses relying on China for some part of their supply chain.

There is also growing frustration in Berlin over Beijing’s refusal to grant foreign companies equal treatment in China that Chinese companies enjoy in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Especially regarding critical infrastructure and technology, there is growing concern over allowing Beijing’s state-owned companies too much access.

“Particularly in the semiconductor sector, it is important for us to protect the technological and economic sovereignty of Germany and Europe,” Mr. Habeck told reporters on Wednesday. “Of course, Germany is and will remain an open investment location, but we are not naïve either.”

Mr. Habeck named Elmos Semiconductor, based in Dortmund, as one of the companies that had been denied approval for foreign investment.

Elmos announced nearly a year ago that it had planned to spin off its wafer fabrication facility, which produces chips mainly used in the auto industry, into a separate entity that was to be acquired by Silex Microsystems, a Swedish firm wholly owned by a Chinese company.

From the outset, the €85 million deal was subject to government approval because it involved a foreign firm buying a German company.

On Wednesday, Elmos issued a statement saying it regretted the government’s decision, and that the deal would have strengthened chip production in Germany. It said it would “analyze the decision” and “decide whether to take legal action.”

Mr. Habeck declined to name the second company whose sale was blocked, noting that the firm’s internal secrecy agreements prevented him from doing so. But the German business daily Handelsblatt reported that it involved ERS Electronic, a company focused on cooling technology based in Bavaria.

A spokeswoman for ERS said the company had discussed “an investment by a Chinese private equity firm,” but added that it had not yet received any information from the government on a decision.

Last week, before leaving for Beijing, Mr. Scholz overruled the recommendation of six of his ministries and both domestic and foreign intelligence chiefs to allow Cosco, a Chinese state-owned shipping company, to buy a stake of up to 25 percent in a container-handling terminal in Hamburg, Germany’s most important port.

Cosco originally sought to acquire a 35 percent stake, but that was scaled back after widespread political and public outcry over security concerns.

Mr. Scholz traveled to China with a delegation of 12 German business leaders, even as he has sought to encourage German firms to diversify their trade ties in Asia. Both he and Mr. Habeck will travel to Singapore next week to take part in a wider Asian business conference.

Nollywood actress Adesua Etomi has asked for forgiveness after her 1-year-old son Hazaiah blocked her friends and unfollowed others.

The mother of one took to her Insta stories to share screenshots apologizing to those affected by her son’s actions.

She stated that she has no idea what other thing her son did with her phone and apologized for anything else she was not aware of.

She wrote: “Zaiah had my phone, how will I track what he did. “

In another post she wrote: “Blocked two people I have gone to beg. Pls I apologize in advance for anything else. “

Meanwhile, popular disc jockey, Obinna Levi Ajuonuma also known as DJ Obi has dismissed the claims made by a married woman on the shooting which occurred at Club Cubana involving Burna Boy’s security details.

Recall that a married woman had accused Grammy award-winning artiste Burna Boy and his aides of attacking her husband and friends at the night club.

The lady had claimed that Burna Boy’s failed attempts to woo her led to the altercation between the singer and her crew. Read more

It was gathered on Friday, May 13, 2022, that the court granted the order restraining the bank and INEC from making moves to stop Emefiele’s 2023 Presidential bid.

The application was secretly filed on May 5, 2022, and judgment was granted on Thursday, May 12. According to Punch, the Judgement delivered by Presiding Justice, DC Maidoh read in part;

“The court upon reading through the motion papers and hearing C.N. Ofiah Esq. for the claimants/applicants ordered as follows: I have read the processes in this suit, the applicant has complied with order 39 of our rules.”

“Applicants also deposed to an affidavit of urgency. From the processes before this court, I find that the said application at this stage has merit pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

“In the circumstances, in line with order 39 rule 3 of our rules, this motion is hereby granted. The motion on notice is accordingly adjourned to 25/5/2022 for hearing.”

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the CBN governor and all political appointees seeking elective positions in the 2023 general elections to step down.

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