Friday, October 16, 2015

Sold but Found!!!

A Romanian mother and a Spanish couple have been arrested over the alleged sale of a baby boy who had apparently died but was found alive in Cardiff Bay.

 The mother, 19, is suspected of trying to sell the now six-week-old newborn to the 25-year-old man and 26-year-old woman, both of whom live in Cardiff, for up to £11,000. The arrested man was reportedly named on a registration form as the father of the child. DNA tests are now being carried out to establish the child's paternity after the mother claimed that she had fallen pregnant following a one-night stand with the man.

Spanish police began inquiries after the mother allegedly told police that the child, who was reportedly born in Zamora in northern Spain last month, had died when he was 15 days old following an emergency operation in Wales.Officers suspect the couple paid the woman - who lived in Spain until the birth of her child - between £2,200 and £11,000 to keep the baby. 

She is understood to have travelled to Britain after being quizzed by Spanish police and confessing her child was 'with friends' at an address in Cardiff. 
The trio were subsequently arrested in Cardiff. The boy, who was found at a property, is now in local authority care while a court in Zamora awaits DNA tests. 

The suspects have been released on police bail while further inquiries are made. Further arrests have not been ruled out. 
Speaking anonymously to a local paper in Zamora, the mother said she had not done anything wrong. 
In a statement, South Wales police said: 'South Wales Police can confirm that three people have been arrested in connection with an investigation into concerns for a baby in Cardiff.
'Two females aged 19 and 26 and a male aged 25 have all been released on police bail pending further inquiries.
'The six-week-old baby boy is safe and well and remains in the care of the local authority.' 
Meanwhile, a Spanish government spokesman ruled out suggestions that the suspects might be part of a bigger child trafficking network. 

Jerenimo Garcia Bermejo, a central government spokesman for the Zamora region, also admitted that authorities were unsure whether the case involved an alleged illegal baby sale or an illegal adoption. 
A spokesman for Spain’s National Police said: 'The investigation began when the mother of a baby had told a police officer her 15-day-old son, who had a wound in a vein, had died in the UK during an emergency operation.

'Police doubted the version of events the mother gave and began trying to clarify what had happened.
'They managed to find out where the child was as well as the other people allegedly involved in its sale who could have obtained between 3,000 and 15,000 euros (£2,200 and £11,000) for trafficking the baby.

'Investigators sought the cooperation of British police who managed to find the baby in Cardiff Bay.
'The 19-year-old Romanian mother was arrested along with a Spanish man and woman.'  

Kitten left in a box with child’s note begging to ‘save him’

The little cat, only a few months old, was shivering in a cardboard box when a woman out walking noticed her dog was sniffing the box with particular interest. Curious why the dog wouldn’t leave the box alone, she opened the flap and was shocked to find this note inside in a child’s handwriting:

It says: ‘My mommy’s boyfriend is mean to me. Desperet for loving home
The walker immediately scooped up the kitty and took it to the vets, relieved to find out it was a little on the skinny side but otherwise in good health. Then she took the cat to Meow Cat Rescue who were happy to take her on.

In a post on Facebook, rescue staff said: ‘The baby is now in a foster home with other kittens of similar age and doing very well.
‘We are so happy to have her. We have more questions than answers, but are forever thankful for the bravery of the child who knew the kitten deserved better and the kindness of the woman who saved the kitten.’

Since the centre posted about the rescue it has been inundated with offers from people wanting to give the kitten a loving home. We just hope the child who left the note is okay too.
Rachel Bjork, who found the box, posted on Facebook that she wrote back to the child. She said:
"I did leave a note the day after I found her. I checked on the note for a few days and it was untouched. Recently the envelope was opened and the letter removed."

Tunde Bakare: Why I tore Oyedepo's book

I tore Oyedepo’s book because he said anointing oil is God’s life in a bottle.

In a recently published interview he granted the Punch, Bakare when asked his take on anointing oil, mainly used by Christians for prayer purposes, responded: “People like to create their own Tunde Bakare. I love God, I love people, I love the godly and the ungodly and I try within my God-given ability to teach the truth.
“The reason I fought with my friend, Bishop David Oyedepo, and tore his book, I remember when we resolved this problem in London, we came out of a plane, he took me aside and said he was angry with me because I tore his book. I said I didn’t tear your book, I tore my book. That is fine, you wrote it, I bought it, so it was my book I tore.

“I saw errors in that book because he said the anointing oil is not a symbol of the Holy Spirit, that it is the life of God in a bottle. How can you write that and I would let it pass. No! If the anointing oil is the Holy Spirit, then Jesus is a lamb walking on four legs.
“These are metaphors and when you have the real, you leave the shadow. Besides it is for the sick in the New Testament. So, you can anoint the entire church if they are sick and I would wonder how a sick church can bring healing to a dying world”.
On his description of Nigerian churches as being a theatre where one man performs and the others are just mere spectators, he said “If you quoted me correctly, I said the difference between the cinema and the church in Nigeria is that for the cinema you pay a gate fee before you enter, but in the church, they let you come in before they take from you.
“When the youth pastor was ministering today (day of interview) I said wow, if I am out of here today, these people can continue”.

Explaining why his church has not established its own university like others have done, Bakare said he was not called to do that.
“I do not judge those who are doing it, because they are contributing their quota to the system and they are helping the society in the area of infrastructure.
“But I would have a question mark on the whole thing if part of what is going in there are the offerings of the people and their pastors’ children and members’ children cannot attend that university. Almost all the top universities in the world started from Christian organisations.
“My daughter graduated from Emory University in Georgia, United States, which is owned by the Methodist Church. Oxford and Cambridge were established by churches.
“If their real intention was mission and to educate a crop of leaders that would share the light, I commend their efforts. But if it is money-making and profit-driven, then I don’t know what to say”.
Responding to a question on why Latter Rain has not staged conventions like other big Nigerian churches, the running mate to General Muhammad Buhari in the 2011 presidential election, opined that: “It is not wrong to have an annual convention, it is not wrong to have Shiloh or Holy Ghost Congress.
“I have been invited to the congress about three times but I just didn’t have the time to go. Up till the seventh year of the Latter Rain Assembly, we had what we called Annual Believers’ Convention, but I stopped it after then. Look at the population of people in church today and we have negligible righteousness. So, something is wrong.
“I am not condemning what people are doing. If they are called to do what they are doing, God would reward them. But if it is just a clever ploy to continue to control and manage people, one day they would say ‘to your tent oh Israel'”.

Palestinian rioters torch Jewish holy site Joseph's Tomb

A group of Palestinians have set fire to the Joseph’s Tomb compound in Nablus, West Bank, according to local reports.

Palestinian forces managed to disperse the crowd from the site and extinguish the flames reportedly caused by Molotov cocktails.

The tomb is a Jewish and Christian holy site and is believed to contain the remains of the biblical figure Joseph.
No injuries have been reported but the site's women’s section has been damaged.
Jamie Zimmerman, a doctor and reporter with ABC News' medical unit, has drowned while on vacation in Hawaii.
Zimmerman apparently lost her footing while trying to cross the Lumahai River on Kauai's north shore and was swept out to sea, ABC News President James Goldston said Thursday in a note to staff. She died Monday, according to a post written by Zimmerman's mother on the doctor's Facebook page.
"The area where Jamie is believed to have lost her footing is right at the river mouth — at Lumahai Beach," Kauai County spokeswoman Sarah Blane said in an email to the Associated Press.
The incident occurred just before 4 p.m., and witnesses called police to say they saw a woman being swept out to sea, Kauai police said in a news release. Lifeguards rushed to the scene on a Jet Ski and found her unresponsive in the water about 200 yards east of the river mouth. They brought her to shore and administered CPR. She was taken to Wilcox Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Lumahai can be dangerous for those unfamiliar with the area, particularly during the winter when surf is up on the North Shore, Blane said. However, there were no flash flood or high surf advisories on this day. While rescuers have responded to incidents there, there has not been a major incident in that area in recent memory, she said.

The Lumahai River flows into Lumahai Beach, which was made famous in the 1958 film South Pacific as the location where Mitzi Gaynor sang I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair.
Zimmerman researched stories for ABC's medical unit and also offered meditation sessions for ABC News staff in New York, Goldston said. She traveled in Haiti and the Amazon rain forest and made a documentary film on Congolese refugee camps.

Her last Facebook post updated her profile with a smiling picture taken with Kauai's north shore in the background.

Kachikwu’s responses show I did well - Diezani

Former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has reacted to the ongoing screening of President Muhammadu Buhari ministers-in-waiting.

Her media consultant, Mr. Clem Aguiyi, in a statement yesterday commended the Senate for televising live the screening of ministerial nominees, saying that the truth about Alison-Madueke’s legacy as Petroleum Minister, is beginning to emerge “despite the conspiracy to diminish her sterling accomplishments on the altar of politics.”
Commenting on the screening of Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Aguiyi stated that the brilliant performance of the current Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) during the Senate’s screening validated almost all the policies and actions championed and taken by the former Minister.

The policies, he said, include the unbundling of NNPC to make it operate like a private company, introduction of stringent internal audit control mechanism, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), concern over the sustainability of the subsidy regime and shutting down of non-performing refineries.

Kachikwu, while responding to questions by senators, agreed to the unbundling of NNPC into a private sector, while noting that there will be no removal of subsidy until palliatives are put in place. He lamented that with the non-passage of PIB, Nigeria was losing $15 billion yearly.
Kachikwu also told the Senate that he would continue to seek solutions even without the passage of the bill, using existing laws, which was what Mrs. Alison-Madueke resorted to throughout her tenure as Oil Minister.

Aguiyi further commended Kachikwu for speaking from the courage of his conviction because his averred plans to distribute free cylinders to every home with gas stations closer to homes, is in line with Alison-Madueke’s stimulation of gas-based industrialisation.

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Twin blasts kill 14, injures many in Maiduguri

The Police in Borno on Friday confirmed that 14 persons had so far died and many injured in Thursday’s twin blasts in Mulai on the outskirts of Maiduguri.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Aderemi Opadokun, confirmed the incident while speaking with newsmen in Maiduguri.

“At about 6.35 p.m. on Thursday, two suspected suicide bombers detonated their explosives in and outside a Mosque in Mulai.
“The building collapsed injuring many people that were praying,” Opadokun said.
“The number of death so far is about 14, including the two bombers.
“The casualties have been evacuated to University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) and the Specialists Hospital, Maiduguri,” the commissioner said.
He said investigation into the matter had commenced, while normalcy had been restored in the area.

Opadokun appealed to residents of the state to be vigilant and report any strange movements or objects in their locality to security agents for necessary action.

Tonto Dikeh fires back: I am not sleeping with my dogs!

Controversial actress, Tonto Dikeh-Churchill, has fired back at those who say she is not only keeping dogs as pets, but that she may be getting laid with them.

Tonto, who shared a photo with one of her dogs, had some fans taunting her. However, the actress who is allegedly known not to be one to take insults, fired back.

The actress cum singer took to her Instagram page to lambaste those she termed ‘haters.’

One of her followers, @specialyaxx wrote: “Hope you aren’t ‘banging’ those dogs?
She however responded to specialyaxx saying, “Like your mama does right?”

Ooni’s deputy, Obalufe, dies at 85

Less than three months after the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, joined his ancestors, his second in command, Obalufe of Ife, Oba Solomon Folorunso Omisakin has also passed on.

Though one of the palace chiefs, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said yesterday that Omisakin was in an undisclosed hospital, one of his daughters, when contacted, confirmed that he actually died at 10a.m. yesterday.

The daughter, who also preferred anonymity emotionally said: “won ti ku o,” meaning “he has died.”
It was gathered that the late Obalufe, who was also the leader of Ife kingmakers, was on sick bed when  Sijuwade died in a London Hospital during a brief illness.

 Ife traditional chiefs, however, allayed fears about  Obalufe’s demise, insisting it  would not in any way affect  efforts to appoint a new Ooni. A source said the next in rank, Lowa of Ife, Oba Joseph Ijaodola, might perform the functions of the late Obalufe, whose duty it was to make official pronouncement of the new Ooni when appointed.

Another source from the Giesi Ruling House commiserated with the people of Ile-Ife and expressed shock over the development.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ten killed in clash between Nigerian troops, militants in Kogi

Ten suspected Islamic fundamentalists were killed on Tuesday in Okene, near Lokoja in Kogi during a bloody encounter between an Islamic sect and men of the Nigerian Army. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt in Lokoja that soldiers, acting on information, stormed a mosque located on Inike Street in Okene to dislodge the sect members.

Reports said that some soldiers also sustained serious injuries and had been taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja for treatment. NAN learnt that soldiers decided to act after obtaining information that the fundamentalists were using the mosque to hide guns and other sophisticated weapons.

The soldiers were said to have obtained useful information from two members of the sect, who were arrested during a gun attack at the Lokoja office of the State Security Service, SSS, on September 25.
As at the time of this report, Inike Street was said to be calm, but residents refused to come out of their houses because of fear.
The Public Relations Officer of the Kogi State Police Command, William Aya, said the operation was “a pure military affair”.
He gave no further details on the incident. Efforts to get the reaction of the commander of the Nigerian Army Command in Lokoja proved abortive.

A resident of Okene told PREMIUM TIMES that the fracas was also the fallout of a previous killing of a soldier by the militants.
He said those responsible belong to a new terror group known as “Malam Baba terrorist group”.
The resident, Murtada Gusau, said residents of Okene were trapped in their homes as sound of gunshots rented the air.
“Shooting overwhelmed Okene town. We are still remained indoors,” he said in a text message to PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Gusau said, ‘The Malam Baba terrorist group set their people free last month from DSS cell in Lokoja, killed one soldier and the soldiers took over the whole town”.

Desist from BRT LANE - Lagos SG

Lagos State Government has  advised security personnel to comply with the state traffic law and desist from plying the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor at the Ikorodu road axis.

The General  Manager of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr. Bashir Braimah gave the warning on the backdrop of a joint enforcement against BRT violation carried out by the military police and the police yesterday.

Addressing journalists, Braimah decried  the rate at which military personnel flout the BRT law with impunity, noting that the 15 vehicles caught plying the BRT corridor during the exercise were either driven by the military or with military paraphernalia hanging on them.
He wondered why military personnel, who should be the custodian of the traffic law were working against it.
Braimah  reminded them that the law is no respecter of persons, stressing that the road traffic law must be obeyed to ensure safety of lives and property.
He said some military personnel  threw caution and decency to the wind when they descended heavily on a LASTMA official, Peter Owolabi, for daring to take the photographs of their black Honda Accord car with registration number CP 839 YAB which violated the BRT corridor at Obanikoro Bus Stop on Ikorodu Road.
“It’s worthy to note that LASTMA officials are only empowered by the law to ensure orderliness, sanity and safety to Lagos roads”.
“The attack was a clear case of what LASTMA personnel usually go through in the hands of some uniform personnel at a time that the state government is making effort to restore orderliness on state roads. It has become a habit for some of the military personnel driving commercial buses in uniform to flout the state traffic law and collaborate or encourage commercial drivers to violate traffic law on Lagos roads”, Braimah said.

Chrissy Teigen Shows Off Tiny Baby Bump

Chrissy Teigen has been open about wanting kids, but until very recently, she kept her struggle to conceive a private one. Less than a month before announcing her pregnancy in an Instagram post on Monday, Oct. 12, the supermodel revealed her fertility issues in a chat with her
"I will say, just two years into being married, the questions just come from all over," she said of people wanting to know her plans for kids with John Legend. "It's kind of crazy, because I can't imagine being that nosy to be like, 'So, when are the kids coming?' Because who knows what somebody's going through? Who knows if somebody's struggling to have children?"
In fact, Teigen, 29, and her R&B crooner husband, 36, had been struggling. As she revealed on FABLife, they wanted children even before they got married in 2013. "We would have had kids five, six years ago if it had happened, but my gosh, it's been a process," she shared, noting that they'd been to fertility doctors for help. "Anytime somebody asks me if I'm gonna have kids, I'm like, 'One day, you're gonna ask that to the wrong girl who is really struggling, and it's gonna be really hurtful to them.'"

The Lip Sync Battle commentator later told E! News that she'd wanted to talk about the issue before, but she never felt like it was the right time or place. "It didn't feel right to tweet, like, 'Ugh, doing my IVF shots again,'" she explained, alluding to her usual habit of sharing on social media.

Friends in the couple's (fairly large) inner circle knew about their journey, but "nobody said a thing," she told E! "I swear, I have a team of maybe 60 people, John has hundreds, and everyone knew," Teigen said. "The failures, the successes, everything, but it's never gotten out. We've been open about it, just never public."

Now that it is public, though, the former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover girl is happy to hear from fans who've experienced similar struggles.

"John and I have been going through this for years, and it's something that has been a part of our lives and our friends have known," she added. "So it's nice to have all my social media friends know and have them share their stories too."

Prior to her FABLife revelation, Teigen had only hinted at her struggles. "We want a lot of kids," she previously told Us Weekly. "When it happens, it happens. For us, it's hard because he's on the road so much and I'm working. People think it happens so easily, but the stars really have to align to have a baby, and it is a little miracle. So when it happens...we will be so happy."

She also told Extra in July 2014 that she and Legend were "not not trying" to have kids. "As we say, it's a fun process," she said at the time. "It's definitely going to be a surprise, and a surprise we'd be happy for."

Indeed, Teigen wrote in her pregnancy announcement on Monday that she was "so happy" to share her news. "As many of you know, we've been trying to have a baby for a while now," she captioned a photo on Instagram. "It hasn't been easy, but we kept trying because we can't wait to bring our first child into the world and grow our family. We're so excited it's finally happening."

Court remands traditional ruler, 16 others

Lagos State Police Command yesterday docked 17 suspects arrested over the murder  of Managing Director, Lekki Worldwide Investment Company, otherwise known as the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Mr. Tajudeen Disu before the State Magistrate Court sitting in Oyingbo.

The late Disu was shot dead during a protest by members of Okunraye Community of Lekki, who were protesting over the site of an oil refinery in the area on Monday.

Those remanded by Chief Magistrate Folashade Botoku  includes: Jaiye Dele,40; Alhaji Tajudeen Jegede, 68, Chief Kayode Raufu, 60; Saidi Akanni, 41; Raufu Agunreje 31, Sunday Bulus 30; Taiwo Oyelade, 21; Abiola Ogunsanwo,20; Others are; Stephen Okuriaye 20; Taiwo Gafar 38; Banji Agunrege 37; Ahmed Gafar 25; Moses Okoro 30, Talabi Onadri 43; Ipaye Oriyomi 25; Yusuf Quadri 23 and Tunde Yusuf 27.
The prosecution, led by Chief Superintendent of Police, Enoch Edobor, informed the Court of a remand request brought against the suspects pursuant to section 264(1)(2) of the Administration Criminal Justices of Lagos State, 2011.

He therefore urged the Court to remand the suspects in prisons custody pending the time the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) will issue an advice on the matter.

However, the lawyers to the suspects, F. C. Morka; Ola Ogunbiyi and Enitinwa urged the Court to refuse the remand application brought against their clients By the prosecution.
The trio argued that the Court has no jurisdiction to grant the remand application of the prosecution as it is not the competent Court to try them.
After listening to the both parties, Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Botoku, discountenance the submission of the defence counsel saying that what the prosecution filed before her Court was a remand application and not a charge.
She consequently ordered that all the suspects be remanded in State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department’s (SCID) custody, Panti-Yaba, for the first 30 days.
The matter has been adjourned till November 16.

Nigeria score low on Mo Ibrahim chat!

ONE year after it scored Nigeria high in the sub-categories of education, economic stability as well as free and credible elections, the annual Mo Ibrahim Index of Governance in Africa has rated the country’s education sector very low.

Its 2015 index released recently in London, United Kingdom, showed that Nigeria’s performance in education and rural development has dipped significantly.  It also called on Nigeria to urgently reverse the deterioration of these sectors if it is to be competitive and fulfill its potentials.

Multiple Explosions Kill 7 In Borno

The Borno Police Command on Wednesday confirmed the death of seven persons, including three suicide bombers, in Tuesday night’s explosion at the outskirt of Maiduguri.

Mr Aderemi Opadokun the State Commissioner of Police, made this confirmation while speaking with newsmen in Maiduguri.

“At about 7.41 pm on Tuesday, there were Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion in three locations at the outskirt of Maiduguri.
“The locations are Gidan Shanu behind Bakassi estate, Sajeri and Bulumkutu,” Opadokun said.
“Seven people, including three suspected suicide bombers, died, while eleven persons were injured.
“All the casualties have been removed from scene and taken to the hospital and normalcy has been restored,” he said.

Israel Military Deploys Hundreds Of Soldiers In Cities

Israeli authorities on Wednesday deployed hundreds of troops nationwide following a series of shooting and stabbing attacks by Palestinians.

Peter Lerner , Spokesman for the Israel Defence Force(IDF), in a statement said in addition to the deployment, it would engage six companies to reinforce the police.

The exact number of soldiers was not disclosed, but the move follows a security cabinet meeting that ended early Wednesday. The cabinet also decided that police will seal off Arab neighbourhoods in east Jerusalem, and demolish the homes of suspected terrorists as well as revoke their permanent residency.

On Tuesday, Palestinian attackers went after Israelis with knives and – in one instance – a gun, leaving three Israelis dead and 22 injured in separate assaults on a “Day of Rage” declared by Palestinian groups.
Two of the attackers were killed and three injured.

Seven Israelis have been killed and many injured in a wave of Palestinian knife attacks this month, while 18 Palestinians from the West Bank and Jerusalem have been killed.

Non-performing Refineries Will Be Shut Down In December

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said refineries in the country performing below 65 per cent of capacity would be shut down in December, 2015.

Kachikwu, one of the 37 ministerial nominees stated this while responding to questions by some senators during his screening at the Senate on Wednesday in Abuja.

He disclosed that the reality is that functioning refineries were operating at only 25 per cent, contrary to reports that they were doing well.

He said that it was not enough for a refinery to produce at 65 per cent today and at zero per cent the next day, stressing that anytime crude was not utilized by a refinery, the government lost money.

On recurring scarcity of petroleum products, especially petrol and kerosene, Kachikwu said that the situation would continue unless the refineries performed optimally.

“Performance levels are about 25 and 26 per cent; it is not enough to do 65 per cent one day and do zero per cent the next day.
“We have started a policy of not giving crude to any refinery that is not producing.

“Port Harcourt refinery is producing at over 60 per cent and we want to drive it to 80 by December.

“Warri Refinery has indicated that it will soon come on stream; we will begin to pump crude to Kaduna Refinery by tomorrow (Thursday) and by the next five days, we will know if they will produce above 65 per cent.

“Any refinery that does not produce up to 60 per cent is not into production, and at the end of December, we will only allow those who perform optimally.

“Those that do not, we will shut them down,” he said.

The NNPC boss said that a lot of work needed to be done on the refineries as they had not been well maintained in the last 10 years. He hinted that importation of petroleum products would be stopped, saying that doing so was costing the nation a lot of revenue.

“ Kerosene is a different ball game; only NNPC imports kerosene in this country because nobody can import and make money.

“Fifty per cent of NNPC subsidies go to kerosene, so our refineries must work so we can get kerosene and gas.

“Importation is something we must quickly get out of so we must ensure that our refineries work; we must build and have a strategic reserve of at least two years,” he said.

Kachikwu added that the nation needed to privatise the downstream sector of the oil industry, saying it would spur competition and develop the sector.

He said that corporation was working on making gas available to Nigerians, adding that plans were on to produce cylinders and make them available to all Nigerian by 2016 ‘’and creat gas points closer to the people’’. (NAN)

Jamaica's Marlon James wins Booker Prize for fiction

Jamaican author Marlon James holds his novel and the award after his book 'A Brief History of Seven Killings' was named as winner of the 2015 Booker Prize 2015 for Fiction, poses for photographers following the award ceremony at the Guildhall in London, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. Marlon James became the first Jamaican winner of the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction Tuesday with a vivid, violent, exuberant and expletive-laden novel based on the 1976 attempted assassination of Bob Marley.

James was awarded the 50,000 pound ($77,000) prize during a black-tie dinner at London's medieval Guildhall. The 44-year-old author said he almost gave up writing more than a decade ago when his first novel, "John Crow's Devil," was rejected by 70 publishers.

He said winning the Booker Prize was "surreal," and joked that he would spend the prize money on a tailor-made suit or "every William Faulkner novel in hardcover."
He said he hoped his victory would bring "more attention to what's coming out of Jamaica and the Caribbean, because I think there are some brand-new voices coming out who are exploring contemporary society, who are exploring what's beyond politics, what's beyond colonialism."
"A Brief History of Seven Killings" charts political violence in Jamaica and the spread of crack cocaine in the U.S., and hinges on a 1976 attempt on the life of reggae superstar Marley — identified in the book only as "The Singer." The story is told in a cacophony of voices — from gangsters to ghosts, drug dealers to CIA agents — and in dialects ranging from American English to Jamaican patois.

More money after divorce!!!

Two women who accused their ex-husbands of misleading judges about their net worth during divorce proceedings have won a Supreme Court victory.

Alison Sharland, 48, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, and Varsha Gohil, 50, from north London, were both disappointed with the amount they received after splitting with their partners and wanted their claims re-examined.

Supreme Court justices, who analysed the disputes at a hearing in London in June, have now ruled in their favour.
Versha Gohil

 Alison Sharland

Lawyer John Darnton, a partner at law firm Bircham Dyson Bell, said: ‘The decision of the Supreme Court will be of huge interest to individuals who feel that their partner may have tried to mislead the court within financial proceedings on divorce, but it could have far wider implications on the effects of non-disclosure in divorce.’

Mrs Sharland accepted more than £10 million in cash and properties from ex-husband Charles Sharland three years ago, justices were told.

While Mrs Gohil accepted £270,000 plus a car from her husband Bhadresh Gohil more than a decade ago but lawyers said she thought the business was valued at between £31 million and £47 million, but reports in the financial press put the value at £1 billion.

Mrs Gohil’s husband was convicted of money laundering following their divorce.

Russian Embassy shelled in Syria as insurgents hit back

Al-Qaida's branch in Syria, meanwhile, released an audio message purportedly from its leader urging Muslims in the former Soviet Union to attack Russian civilians if Russia targets civilians in Syria.

The developments underscored the complications brought about by Russia's military intervention in Syria, which is fueling an already brutal conflict with a multitude of radical groups. No one was hurt in the embassy shelling, officials said, and it was not the first time the compound has been hit during the civil war. The attack came as hundreds of people were gathered outside to thank Moscow for its military intervention.
An Associated Press reporter who was outside the embassy when the first shell slammed into the compound in central Damascus saw smoke billowing from inside. As people ran away, another shell hit the area, landing about 200 meters (yards) from the compound.
It was not clear if the attack had targeted the rally. "This is obviously a terrorist act intended to probably frighten supporters of the war against terror," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Insurgents have vowed to fight back after Moscow began its airstrikes in Syria on Sept. 30. Russia has been one of the strongest supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad since the start of the uprising in 2011.

"We call upon all holy warriors who are besieged in Hama to ignite all the fronts and then merge with Muslims who are approaching," a statement said. Before the shelling, the demonstrators had gathered outside the embassy carrying posters showing Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and waving the flags of both countries.
Some held placards that read: "Thanks Russia" and "Syria and Russia are together to fight terrorism." "President Putin's stances were absolutely positive for Syria," said 39-year-old civil servant Nizar Maqsoud.
"All the West stood against us. Only Russia backed us. ... We are all here to thank Russia and President Putin," said Osama Salal, an 18-year-old student. The Russian airstrikes have been a source of hope for Assad's supporters, many of whom had lost faith in his ability to regain momentum in the civil war after losing huge parts of the country in recent years.
The Russian airstrikes have allowed Syrian government forces to launch a multipronged ground assault. Moscow insists it is mainly targeting the Islamic State group and other "terrorists," but the ground-and-air offensive is being waged in areas controlled by U.S.-backed rebels and other insurgents, including the Nusra Front.

Dutch probe: Buk missile downed Malaysian jet in Ukraine

The missile shot skyward from war-ravaged eastern Ukraine. With deadly accuracy more than six miles up, it detonated just in front of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner, sending hundreds of jagged steel shards ripping through its aluminum skin at up to 5,600 mph and shearing the cockpit from the rest of the plane. - Netherlands (AP)

The two pilots and purser in the cockpit died instantly, and the Boeing 777 disintegrated and fell to earth, killing the rest of the 298 men, women and children aboard Flight 17 on July 17, 2014, Dutch investigators said Tuesday in a long-awaited report.

Some of the victims may have been conscious for 60 to 90 seconds, the Dutch Safety Board said, but they probably were not fully aware of what was happening in the oxygen-starved, freezing chaos. The tornado-like airflow surging through the doomed jet as it came apart was powerful enough to tear off people's clothes and leave naked corpses amid the fields of sunflowers.

The 15-month Dutch investigation blamed a Soviet-made surface-to-air Buk missile for downing the Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur flight, but it did not explicitly say who had fired it. It identified an area of 320 square kilometers (120 square miles) where it said the launch must have taken place, and all of the land was in the hands of pro-Russian separatists fighting Ukrainian forces at the time of the disaster, according to daily maps of fighting released by the Ukrainian National Security Council.

The Dutch Safety Board also found that the tragedy wouldn't have happened if the airspace of eastern Ukraine had been totally closed to passenger planes as fighting raged below. "Our investigation showed that all parties regarded the conflict in eastern part of Ukraine from a military perspective. Nobody gave any thought of a possible threat to civil aviation," Safety Board chairman Tjibbe Joustra said in releasing the report at a military base in the southern Netherlands.

He spoke in front of the partially reassembled red, white and blue Malaysian jetliner, much of the left side of its mangled fuselage front riddled with shrapnel holes. Russian officials were prompt to dismiss the Dutch report, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov calling it an obvious "attempt to make a biased conclusion, in essence to carry out a political order."
 Earlier Tuesday, the Buk's manufacturer presented its own report trying to clear the separatists, and Russia itself, of any involvement. The Russian state-controlled consortium Almaz-Antey said it conducted experiments, including one in which a Buk missile was detonated near the nose of an airplane similar to a 777, and it contended they contradicted the conclusion that a Buk missile of the kind used by the Russians destroyed Flight 17. Almaz-Antey had earlier suggested that it could have been a model of Buk that is no longer in service with the Russian military but is part of Ukraine's arsenal.

It said the experiments also rebutted claims the missile was fired from Snizhne, a village that was under rebel control. An Associated Press reporter saw a Buk missile system in that vicinity on the same day.
Despite the moves by Moscow, Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands called on Russia to fully cooperate with a separate criminal investigation that Dutch prosecutors are conducting into the downing of the plane, in which 196 Dutch nationals died.

Rutte said a key priority "is now tracking down and prosecuting the perpetrators." "On July 17, 2014, in eastern Ukraine, in broad daylight, a passenger airplane was shot out of the sky with a Buk missile," he said. The safety board's conclusions confirmed "some of our most shocking suspicions," he added.
In a statement, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team said it has already identified "persons of interest" in the probe, but said it is "not easy" to find witnesses, especially ones willing to make a statement. They said their probe will stretch into 2016.

The Netherlands has headed the international investigation into the disaster because most victims were Dutch. Ukraine, in whose airspace the incident occurred, agreed to let the Netherlands take the lead.
At U.N. headquarters, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin defended his country's decision not to close its airspace, saying no one at the time was aware of the possibility that Russia had brought highly sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles into Ukraine.

Klimkin also praised the Dutch report as "fully unbiased and transparent," and said what now is needed is for a criminal investigation to reveal the chain of command and bring those responsible to justice.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak also said the world "must move forward toward ensuring that those responsible are held accountable for this murderous act." There were 43 Malaysians aboard, the second-highest total. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Wednesday that her government would not been bullied by Russia in Australia's pursuit of justice. Bishop told Seven Network television that a criminal investigation of the "atrocity" will continue.

"We certainly won't be bullied by anyone in our pursuit of justice for the families of those aboard," Bishop told the Seven Network. Australia had the third largest number of victims with 39 Australian citizens and permanent residents aboard.
Dutch investigators said the missile detonated less than a meter (3.3 feet) from the plane, to the left side of the cockpit, sending the shrapnel into the plane at speeds of up to 9,000 kph (5,600 mph).
Joustra said missile fragments found in the cockpit crew's bodies, as well as paint traces, helped investigators to identify the Buk. Some of the pieces of metal, he said, were shaped like cubes or "bow ties" — a detail weapons experts called extremely significant.

"The overall picture is conclusive — a 9M38M1 surface-to-air missile from a Buk operated from rebel-held territory in east Ukraine was responsible for the shooting down of MH17," said Nick de Larrinaga, Europe editor for IHS Jane's Defense Weekly.
Joustra said the Russian government had been given the opportunity to review the report's conclusions in advance, and that it maintained it was impossible to determine the type of missile or warhead that struck the Boeing with certainty.

The missile explosion caused a "deafening sound wave" anyone still alive aboard would have heard, the Dutch report said. The sudden decompression, reduced oxygen levels and extreme cold of minus 40-50 degrees Celsius (minus-40-58 degrees Fahrenheit) may have killed some people. As the high winds tore through the cabin, hand baggage and other personal belongings may have become lethal projectiles.
As the mangled, pilotless jet went into its deadly dive from 33,000 feet, those who hadn't already died may have suffered dizziness, nausea and, finally, blackout and death. Rob Fredriksz, whose son Bryce was aboard Flight 17, said he was relieved to hear that the passengers died almost instantly and "absolutely felt and knew nothing."

Paul Guard, an Australian man whose parents Jill and Roger died aboard Flight 17, said on Wednesday he believes the Russians aren't the only ones at fault. "Russia's got a role and they haven't been very helpful. So I blame Russia partially but not completely. There are many other players that are also to blame," Guard told Nine Network television in the Queensland state capital Brisbane.

Key findings of the investigation were given to families of victims before the report was released, and Fredriksz said some relatives became emotional when they were shown an animation portraying the downing of the plane.

On Tuesday evening, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Russia was disappointed its experts hadn't been invited to take part in the Dutch investigation, adding that the refusal to take the findings of the Buk manufacturer's experiments into account reflected a biased approach.

Commenting on Ukraine blaming Russia-backed separatists for downing the plane, Peskov said that "prior to the completion of the probe, it's inadmissible to put labels and name culprits." U.S. National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said the Dutch investigation was conducted in a professional manner and should serve as the basis for further work to identify those responsible for the aircraft's destruction.

In the village of Hrabove where the jet came down, Lyudmila Grigoryak — whose house was the closest to the crash site — brought red carnations Tuesday to the field where small pieces of the fuselage are still scattered.

Unlike a year and a half ago when heavy fighting was just nearby, the area is quiet and deserted. All the camouflaged rebels who were patrolling the area and manning checkpoints are gone.
Corder reported from The Hague, Netherlands. Nataliya Vasilyeva, Jim Heintz and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, Raf Casert in Brussels, Mstyslav Chernov in Hrabove, Ukraine, Jamey Keaten in Geneva, Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations and Nancy Benac in Washington contributed to this report.

Top beer makers to join forces

SABMiller has accepted in principle a takeover bid worth 69 billion pounds ($106 billion) from Anheuser Busch InBev in a deal that seeks strength in size. The combined company would control nearly a third of the global market.

Belgium-based AB InBev, already the world's largest brewer, makes Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois and Beck's. SABMiller, based in London, has Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni and Milwaukee's Best among its 200 or so brands.
AB InBev's determination to close the deal after five attempts shows how established beer brands know they have to act to adapt to shifting global tastes. In wealthy countries, people are turning to locally brewed beers or other drinks such as wine. In the U.S., craft beer sales account for 10 percent of beer volumes, compared with virtually nothing a few years ago. The same could soon apply in Europe, said Giulio Lombardi, senior director at Fitch Ratings.
"The global beer market overall is largely flat and in some regions is declining as other beverages such as wine continue to penetrate," said John Colley, professor at Warwick Business School in England. "Microbrewers and their highly differentiated cask ales also continue to make progress."
In coming years, beer sales are expected to grow most in emerging economies in regions such as Africa, where SABMiller has a strong presence. The sheer size of the deal, however, is likely to invite resistance from regulators, notably in the U.S. and China, amid concerns that the merger could stifle competition and reduce consumer choice. In the U.S., any deal is widely expected to require the sale of Miller's stable of beers.

Protests over Spanish court probe of Catalan secession poll

Thousands of pro-Catalan independence supporters on Tuesday protested the start of a Spanish court investigation into the regional government's symbolic referendum on secession from Spain last year.

New Barcelona mayor Ada Colau headed the demonstration, reading a statement backing Catalonia's demand for the right to self-determination. The rally came after a regional official and a former regional deputy president were questioned over their suspected roles in holding the poll.

Catalonia's regional leader Artur Mas is also under investigation and is scheduled to testify Thursday. Spain's Constitutional Court suspended the Nov. 9, 2014, referendum but Catalonia held it anyway, calling it an informal effort.
Prosecutors accuse Mas of grave disobedience, abuse of public funds, prevarication, usurping powers and obstructing justice. If tried and found guilty, he could face disqualification from office or up to one year in jail.
About 2.3 million Catalans — out of 5.4 million eligible — voted in the poll, with 80 percent in favor of breaking away from Spain. Spain's Constitutional Court later ruled the plebiscite was unconstitutional.
Catalonia last month held a regional parliamentary election that was billed as a de facto vote on secession. The "Together for Yes" pro-independence alliance headed by Mas won 62 seats in Catalonia's 135-member parliament — six short of a majority.
That alliance is currently in negotiations with another pro-independence party to try to form a coalition majority, and Mas has promised to set Catalonia on a path toward independence by 2017 if he gets the majority.
Spain has ruled out any possibility of Catalonia becoming independent, saying that would be unconstitutional.
Giles reported from Madrid. Alan Clendenning contributed from Madrid.

Obama's Wedding-Crasher Moment on San Diego Golf Course

Newlyweds Stephanie and Brian Tobe will never forget their wedding this weekend, where President Obama became an unexpected wedding crasher.

 The Tobes, who have been together for eight years, wed at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California, Sunday. While they knew Obama would be golfing nearby that day, they had no idea he would come meet them before the ceremony.

Wedding photographer Jeff Youngren, who photographed the wedding with his wife, Erin, said they were waiting for the ceremony to start when they learned that the president was on the last hole.

 President Obama Declines Newlyweds' Invitation to Open Bar Wedding Reception

"Stephanie was like, 'We're going to go do this,'" Youngren recalled, and "She bolted out the door."

"Once I heard that that there might be an opportunity to even just say hi, shake his hand or even try to take a picture, we darted," Stephanie said. "We ran to the closest elevator, got downstairs and I picked up my huge dress and I just started running across the lawn to get over to the president.”

Youngren said, "I've never seen a bride run so fast in such an elegant gown.”
 With Brian in tow, they ran out and onto the grass.

 "I think he [Obama] saw us coming from a distance and kind of paused," Youngren said.
Stephanie added, "It was so cool because all of our friends were screaming and cheering for us. They weren’t even looking at the president, they were looking at us. It was so exciting. And we just ran out across through the crowd and got up to the president and got to shake his hand."

"As we were running out there, I started crying ... It was an emotional experience and then to see the sitting president there was even wilder," she said.

"Right when we saw him, Stephanie got to him first. And he said congrats to Stephanie right away. And at that moment he pointed out that my foot was actually on the train or the trail of her wedding dress on the ground and he said, I don’t remember his exact words, but he’s so relaxed, and he says nope, nope you know ... you can’t step on the wedding dress.”
 "I think it was our first marriage advice," Brian said.

Youngren said the president was "really gracious" and gave the bride a big hug.

Brian is from Chicago, so the two shared a little banter back and forth about the city, Youngren said, and Obama "just joked around with them."
"It was a really thrilling moment," Brian said.

"I’m actually a doctor at the V.A., and he actually talked to us long enough for me to tell him that," he added. "That was actually a proud moment when he shook my hand again ... after I told him that."
Youngren, who captured the unforgettable moment on camera, said he was in "photographer mode" and didn't shake the president's hand himself, he called the day a "wonderful experience."
"I still can't believe it happened. It was not what we expected when we woke up that morning," he said.
Youngren said he was "so taken aback by how kind the president was to our couple ... it was amazing to see."
"He has so much going on and so much stress ... to see him just be so calm and gracious and kind to a couple on their wedding day ... It made me really hopeful and excited, and just proud to have him as a leader," Youngren said.

The newlyweds will be spending their honeymoon in Obama’s home state of Hawaii.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Saudi police say 1,100 photos of dead are from start of hajj

MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry says the nearly 1,100 photos distributed to foreign diplomats to help identify nationals who've died in the hajj are from the entire pilgrimage and not just a disaster near Mecca.

Pakistan's minister for religious affairs says authorities have tracked down 217 Pakistanis who went missing following last week's stampede that killed hundreds of pilgrims during the hajj in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki told The Associated Press Tuesday the pictures given to diplomats also include people who died of natural causes. Others are from the 111 people who died when a crane crashed into Mecca's Grand Mosque on Sept. 11.

Saudi authorities say the death toll from the crush of pilgrims in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, is still 769 people. Officials in India and Pakistan said a day earlier that Saudi officials gave their diplomats some 1,090 pictures of those killed in last Thursday's disaster in Mina.

Why Robert Mugabe just shouted "We are not gays" in his UN speech

Robert Mugabe, the 91-year-old leader of Zimbabwe, deviated slightly from his prepared remarks during his Monday evening address to the United Nations General Assembly, to do something that he does frequently: slur against homosexuality. "We are not gays," he shouted. And it's worse than it sounds.

Mugabe made the comment in the course of a point about "double standards," which is usually dictator code for
"I'm tired of Western countries calling out my human rights abuses," and about "new rights," which is usually code for "I long for the days when discrimination against certain groups was considered acceptable."

Here's the full quote, with the line he added at the podium in bold:

    Respecting and upholding human rights is the obligation of all states, and is enshrined in the United Nations charter. Nowhere does the charter abrogate the right to some to sit in judgment over others, in carrying out this universal obligation. In that regard, we reject the politicization of this important issue and the application of double standards to victimize those who dare think and act independently of the self-anointed prefects of our time.

    We equally reject attempts to prescribe "new rights" that are contrary to our values, norms, traditions, and beliefs. We are not gays! Cooperation and respect for each other will advance the cause of human rights worldwide. Confrontation, vilification, and double-standards will not.

Mars Has Water: NASA

Traces of liquid water have been found on Mars, NASA said today, raising questions about the possibility of life on the Red Planet.

Dark, 100-meter-long streaks flowing downhill on Mars are believed to have been formed by contemporary flowing water, according to NASA. The findings come from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and raise the possibility there could be life -- or even microbes -- living inside the Red Planet.

NASA confirmed there is water on Mars, Water is of course a building block of life. The discovery is also a boon to a future human manned mission to Mars since it would lighten astronauts’ load if they could instead rely on water found on the Red Planet. NASA Reveals What Actually Happens in a Martian Dust Storm NASA Probes.

How Mars Became the Red Planet, Mars Curiosity Rover Finds Mysterious 'Floating Spoon' on the Red Planet.

“I think all of the scientific discoveries we’re making on the surface of Mars…these observations are giving us a much better view that Mars has resources that are useful to future travels," John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator, said at the news conference. "I think all of the scientific discoveries we’re making on the surface of Mars, these observations are giving us a much better view that Mars has resources that are useful to future travels."
 While Martian water is briny, its possible astronauts could purify and drink it. Water is also composed of oxygen molecules, a crucial component to sustaining life on the Red Planet.

While today’s discovery is huge, it is small compared to the rivers, lakes and vast oceans that are believed to have flowed on Mars billions of years ago. The findings, however, fuel speculation that life may have at one time thrived on Mars or could possibly even exist today.

See Olamide, Banky W rocking pool party with sexy bikini ladies

Prime night club Quilox always has a hang on things when it comes to entertainment.

Every last Saturday of the month is always something special but this last Saturday was more special than many as music top stars, sexy ladies in bikinis stormed the club for what was described as daytime experience Quilox Ultra Pool Party.

Banky W, Wizkid, Olamide, Adekunle Gold were all in the house for the mad fun.

See pictures after the cut.

23-yr-old model born without legs makes N220, 000 daily

Meet Kanya Sesser, the stunning 23-year-old lingerie model. Kanya was born without legs, abandoned at 1 week old, and brought up in a foster home, but even all that has not held her back.

 It has not enough to take the edge off her ambition for success because Kanya now makes an average of N220,000 (US$1000) per day as an underwear model. Kanya is breaking down the barriers of the modelling world by showing that just because she is different, that doesn’t mean she isn’t sexy.

She defies traditional beauty standards by working as a model, and hopes to prove that “different” is sexy.

No medical explanation is given for Kanya’s condition, but she is believed to suffer from an extremely rare disease condition described as “Amelia”  that presents as complete absence of an arm or leg in as a result of the limb formation process being either prevented or interrupted very early during development as a foetus in the womb.