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Cameroon beat Burkina Faso in Africa Cup of Nations opener

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Host Cameroon came from behind with two penalties in the space of eight minutes at the end of the first half to beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in the opening game of the African Cup of Nations.

Captain Vincent Aboubakar has scored a brace of penalties as hosts Cameroon came from behind to beat Covid-ravaged Burkina Faso 2-1 in the opening game of the Africa Cup of Nations in Yaounde.

Gustavo Sangare had given Burkina Faso the lead in the Group A match at the Olembe Stadium on Sunday, but Aboubakar equalised from the spot five minutes before the interval after a VAR review.

The 29-year-old, who netted the winner in the 2017 Cup of Nations final against Egypt, then scored what proved to be the decider in first-half stoppage time and he was only denied a hat-trick by an offside flag after the break.

It is the perfect start for the Indomitable Lions as they seek to win their sixth continental title on home soil, with Cameroon finally getting to host a tournament that was taken away from them and given to Egypt in 2019 before being postponed a year ago due to the pandemic.

Covid-19 restrictions limited the crowd at the Olembe Stadium to 80 percent of its 60,000-capacity, but that did not spoil the party for the hosts and celebratory fireworks lit up the sky at full-time.

Impact of Covid-19

The match and opening ceremony were attended by Cameroon’s 88-year-old President Paul Biya, who has ruled the Central African country for 40 years, as well as FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Confederation of African Football supremo Patrice Motsepe.

However, Aboubakar, the former Porto striker who these days plays his club football in Saudi Arabia, was the star of the show as Cameroon immediately seized the initiative in Group A, in which they will also play Ethiopia and Cape Verde.

Burkina Faso were dealt a blow on the eve of the tournament when it emerged that coach Kamou Malo and several players had tested positive for the coronavirus, leaving assistant coach Firmin Sanou to take charge of the team.

Yet they went ahead in the 24th minute when Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana came for and missed a Bertrand Traore cross from the right and France-based midfielder Sangare was there to turn the ball in at the far post.

Nevertheless Cameroon, coached by the Portuguese Toni Conceicao, turned the game on its head by half-time with the help of VAR.

The Algerian referee gave the Indomitable Lions a penalty for a foul by Traore on Napoli’s Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Aboubakar stroked home to equalise in the 40th minute.

He then netted from 12 yards again in first-half stoppage time after a reckless challenge by Issoufou Dayo.

Burkina Faso threatened a second-half comeback as Traore tested Onana with a free-kick from range and Adama Guira then had an attempt saved by the goalkeeper, but the home side held on.

READ MORE: Covid disrupts Africa Cup of Nations preparations

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COVID 19

England lifts COVID-19 pandemic restriction-Omicron marks end of the pandemic.

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England has lifted its restrictions implemented in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking at a press conference at Downing Street, Health Secretary Sajid Javad stated that the England will be lifting the restrictions implemented in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but the legal requirement to self-isolate if tested positive for the virus will continue.

While Health Secretary Sajid Javad stated that it was a major milestone, he also stated that “It’s not the end of the road and we shouldn’t see this as the finish line because we cannot eradicate this virus and its future variants. Instead we must learn to live with Covid in the same way we have to live with flu”.

This has also meant that the work-from-home guidance would be ending with the majority of the nation’s workforce reverting to pre-pandemic work schedules. Additionally, students will also be no longer required to wear masks at schools.

Moreover, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also confirmed that the Government plans to end the legal requirement for positive cases to isolate by late March, but may move the date forward.

The U.S. has also hinted that the pandemic may be heading towards an end. Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated that the Omicron variant may mark the end of the pandemic.

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New Japanese Ambassador Takeuchi Midori presents her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

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The new Japanese ambassador to the Maldives, Takeuchi Midori has presented her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Ambassador Takeuchi Midori presented her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at a special ceremony held earlier today at the President’s Office.

Speaking at the ceremony President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih noted on the Ambassador Takeuchi Midori’s predecessor Keiko Yanai’s work in enhancing bilateral relations between the two nations. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih expressed hope in continuing to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations under Ambassador Takeuchi Midori tenure.

Ambassador Takeuchi Midori also spoke at the ceremony, noting that this year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Maldives and Japan. She expressed hope that the two nations would work together on regional and global issues.

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China’s homemade C919 passenger plane to be delivered this year

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China’s self-developed C919 large passenger aircraft will be delivered within this year, The Paper reported on Wednesday, citing its developer.

Wu Yongliang, deputy general manager of the Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), said the pandemic’s impact on the C919 project has been controllable, and the work is progressing in an orderly manner.

American aerospace manufacturer Boeing and France-based Airbus have long been the so-called duopoly in the commercial airline market worth trillions of U.S. dollars.

The C919, as part of China’s goal to develop homemade civil airplanes, is trying to rival with medium-range aircraft from the two global giants, such as Airbus’s A320 and Boeing’s 737 MAX.

C919 has 158 to 168 seats, a standard range of 4,075 kilometers and a maximum range of 5,555 kilometers. It had its successful maiden flight in 2017.

China Eastern Airlines, one of the country’s largest airlines also headquartered in Shanghai, signed a contract to buy five C919 jetliners from COMAC in March 2021.

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