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Tonga yield to criticism by banning girls playing rugby, boxing.

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Tonga’s government has banned girls from participating in rugby and boxing, drawing criticism from two-time Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams and New Zealand’s proudly feminist Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The government edict came to light last week when a team of girls from Tonga High School were pulled from a touch rugby tournament because of their gender.

A letter from the Pacific nation’s education department said the ban was to “preserve the dignity of Tongan women and hold on to Tongan cultural values”, according to a translation published by the Matangi Tonga news website.

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Adams, who was born in New Zealand but is fiercely proud of her Tongan heritage, described the move as “misguided and stubborn misinterpretation of the Pacific island nation’s culture.

“According to this way of thinking, a proud Tongan like myself, could not attain the standing I have in this world,” she posted on Facebook.

“Tongan women must be free to choose their destiny, and not be held back.”

Adams has won two gold and one silver in Olympics shot put and is favourite to claim a fourth Commonwealth Games gold on the Gold Coast next month.

“Rugby, like any sport, ought to be embraced by our Tongan women — we’re good at it — don’t take it away!” she said.

Ardern said she disagreed with the ban but would not use New Zealand’s aid program as leverage to try to have it overturned.

“As a school student I played touch rugby and I would encourage all the young women to engage in whatever sporting code they are interested in,” she said.

She said the ban affected only schools, so there were ways girls wanting to play rugby could sidestep it.

“A young woman will still be able to do that, I understand, through their villages, even if this dictate is made by these schools,” she said.

The Tonga Leitis Association, which represents the nation’s transgender community, wrote to the education ministry urging a rethink.

It labelled the directive “disrespectful and discriminatory”, saying it sent the wrong message to girls wanting to participate in sports.

“We kindly remind you that what lessens the dignity of women is telling them what they can and cannot do based on their biological sex,” it said.

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Alexander Zverev World number one to win ATP Finals in London

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Alexander Zverev stunned world number one Novak Djokovic in straight sets to win the season-ending ATP Finals and earn the biggest victory of his career.




Djokovic, 31, was the heavy favourite to win a sixth finals title but was outclassed 6-4 6-3 by the German.

Third seed Zverev broke Djokovic for a 5-4 lead in the first set and then served three big aces to take the set.

Zverev, 21, continued to dominate in the second set and sealed a memorable victory as Djokovic faltered.

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“I’m unbelievable happy, obviously it is the biggest title I have ever won,” said Zverev, who also took home around £2m in prize money.

Zverev lost to the Serb in straight sets in the round-robin stage but, after beating Roger Federer in Saturday’s semi-finals, produced a more confident performance to stop Djokovic equalling Federer’s haul of end-of-season titles.

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Zverev missed his first championship point before hitting a sensational backhand down the line for victory, falling to the court in a mixture of disbelief and celebration as Djokovic jumped over the net to congratulate him.

“You definitely played much better than you did the group stage,” Djokovic told Zverev with a laugh. “You deserved to win.”

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Nigeria Musician Ayefele reacts to Oyo govt reconstruction of Music House

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Popular gospel musician and Chairman of Fresh 105.9 FM, Ibadan, Mr. Yinka Ayefele, has reacted to the reconstruction of the Music House, which houses the radio station by the Oyo State Government.



 The building was partially demolished by the agent of the state for allegedly violating building plans in the state.It was however gathered that the state government under the leadership of Governor Abiola Ajimobi, has began the reconstruction of the building located along the Challenge-Toll Gate Express Way, Ibadan.

From a visitation to the site by newsmen, it was observed that some of the building materials used for the reconstruction such as sand, gravels among others are still at the front of the building to finish the work.

But, Ayefele while reacting showered encomiums on Ajimobi for fulfilling his promise to assist in rebuilding his partially demolished Music House.

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In a statement personally signed and made available to newsmen by Ayefele, he said the Governor had the choice to ask him to go and rebuild the Music House but he was magnanimous and compassionate to have promised to rebuild the affected areas.He said, “It is not common to find government doing that, anything near that is to allow you to rebuild it yourself but here the Governor promised and he has fulfilled his promise.

“Let me use this opportunity to register my heart-felt gratitude and sincere appreciation to my Governor, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi for his prompt positive response to our plight.

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“It is not our right but the Governor only showed us mercy by offering to help us to rebuild the Music House. He, has, through this magnanimity help us to right our wrong and we’ll be eternally grateful to him.

“I was surprised to see some engineers reportedly from the governor’s office some weeks ago on the instruction of the state government to start work on the Music House.

“I had thought it would be the usual promise but our dear governor proved us wrong and with this development he has demonstrated the qualities only found in true and exceptional leaders”.

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