Tuesday 30 April 2013

Indian Man Arrested After Letting 9-Year-Old Son Drive Ferrari!

A man was recently arrested in southern India after police caught wind he was letting his nine-year-old son drive the family Ferrari.
The Independent's Rob Williams reports authorities moved in on Mohammed Nisham after footage of the young roadster went viral on Youtube. Nisham is described as "a wealthy property tycoon."

Video of ailing Nelson Mandela prompts outrage in South Africa!

A video of a frail and unamused looking Nelson Mandela surrounded by South African President Jacob Zuma and other officials has prompted cries of political exploitation by the government.
Watch this video

In the footage released by the South African Broadcasting Corp., the 94-year-old Mandela sits in a chair at his Johannesburg home, barely moving and never smiling as leaders from the governing African National Congress arrange themselves for a photo opportunity.
At one point Mandela's grandson takes a picture with flash, causing him to close his eyes and purse his lips. The former president is sensitive to flash photography from his years laboring in quarries during his imprisonment under the country's apartheid government.
Zuma says Mandela is in "good shape," but the footage seems to show him looking anything but -- and the stunt provoked outrage from many in South Africa who accused the ANC and SABC of parading the country's anti-apartheid hero on television for their own benefit. "Very sad seeing the footage of Madiba. And who was the idiot who took a pic of him with a flash? Disgraceful. Leave him alone", tweeted Johannesburg radio DJ John Robbie, using the clan name by which Mandela is widely referred to in South Africa. 
Another Twitter user, Brent Lindeque, wrote: "After everything Madiba has done for us this is how they treat him. Like an animal at the zoo. Shame on the ANC!" 
"After months of attacking media for 'invading' Mandela's privacy, ANC today released an invasive video of a clearly ailing and grim Mandela," tweeted journalist Geoffrey York
One Johannesburg radio station wrote: "The way #Madiba was paraded on SABC TV this evening was horrible! Grotesque 'journalism'. All involved should hang their heads in shame!" Mandela endured 27 years in prison before becoming the country's first black president in 1994. He has become increasingly frail over the years and has been hospitalized three times in the past five months, most recently for a lung infection in March. The ANC may have been critical of the media in the past for not respecting Mandela's privacy since his withdrawal from public life, but the party rejected any criticism of Monday's house call. "The African National Congress has noted the determined efforts by some sections of our society to degrade the visit of the National Office Bearers to Comrade Nelson Mandela," 
Party spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement. Mthembu said the visit "was in line with the accepted norms of Ubuntu that we value our elderly," and the party "stands by its statements that President Mandela is in good health and in good spirits." "South Africans are called upon to appreciate that Tata is 94 years old; he will thus be frail and not as active and energetic as we all fondly remember him. There is no reason to be alarmed by the visuals of an elderly person who clearly is receiving the necessary care and attention." 
Geoffrey York countered on Twitter: "ANC misses point. Criticism was because of its political exploitation of Mandela; not because of 'fear' of the images." Another user, Siya_Ntshoko, wrote: "[T]he #ANC has no compunction about using a 94 year old frail man to canvass for votes - anything for nostalgia.The video released Monday was the first of the former leader since his birthday last July. Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has a history of lung problems dating back to when he was a political prisoner on Robben Island during apartheid. He contracted tuberculosis during his imprisonment. He underwent treatment for a lung infection and had surgery to remove gallstones over the Christmas holiday in 2012, one of his longest hospital stays since his release from prison in 1990.

culled from CNN

Governor Fashola Builds First Suspension Bridge In Nigeria!

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde has finished building the first suspension bridge in
Nigeria. The 1.358km bridge, which will link Ikoyi (Alexander Street) to Lekki (Admiralty Way), cost about N29 billion to build and a toll will be collected to recoup the investment. 

Israel claims ‘proof’ of chemical weapons use by Assad regime!

A senior Israeli official says intelligence services have concrete proof the Syrian military has used chemical weapons against rebels.
Free Syrian Army fighters  on  a rooftop during clashes with forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo’s neighbourhood of Salaheddine yesterday. 

Photograph: Ammar Abdullah
According to the official, who remained anonymous, there is unequivocal evidence showing forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad have engaged in chemical warfare.
These are not intelligence estimates . . . rather proof, and even more than proof. There is substantial material about the use of chemical weapons by Assad’s army. It is known to all intelligence agencies. All intelligence elements have been updated. No one has any doubts on the matter.”
The comments were significantly more clear-cut than statements last week by Brig Gen Itai Brun, the head of the military intelligence research and analysis division, who indicated Syrian troops had used sarin nerve gas several times in the past few weeks.
US president Barack Obama has said use of chemical weapons would constitute a “game-changer”, but American officials said last week that although the Israeli assertions were probably true, concrete proof was needed.
The latest comments by the Israeli official came after the security cabinet convened for discussions on how Isreal  should respond to the crisis.

New dangers 
While Israel would welcome the fall of the Assad regime as a serious blow to the Iran-Syria-Hizbullah axis, prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned yesterday that Syria was “cracking”, and that new forces were rising that posed two possible dangers – “an attack from the Golan Heights and lethal weapons falling into the hands of Hizbullah and other terror groups.”

31 year old man bags 45 years in jail for stealing Governor's handset!

AN Osun State High Court Monday sentenced a 31- year-old man, Kelvin Igha Igbodalo, to 45 years imprisonment without an option of fine for stealing a Sony Ericsson phone belonging to Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola.
Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola

The 'thief' stole the governor’s mobile phone on November 27, 2010 during his inauguration ceremony at the Technical College, Osogbo.
Igbodalo, who was convicted on a six- count charge preferred against him, would, however, spend 10 years in jail, as the jail term would run concurrently.
The Guardian learnt that the convict recently concluded a six-year jail term in Ikoyi Prison in connection with a murder case.
Igbodalo had pleaded guilty to the six- count charge of conspiracy, obtaining properties by false pretence, stealing, impersonation and Advance Fee Fraud when arraigned in court.
According to the charge sheet, Kelvin and others now at large on May 24, 2011, impersonated the governor by using his phone with intent to defraud and obtain a sum of N500, 000 from his royal majesty, Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran,the Owa-Obokun of Ijesaland.
He was also accused of impersonating Aregbesola by accosting one Shenge Rahman and subsequently defrauding him of a sum of N200, 000, but nemesis caught with him while furthering the mischievous act.
The prosecution counsel Mr. Biodun Badiora had argued that the convict had committed offence contrary to section 8(c) and punishable under section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act, 2006.
Counsel to the convict, Mr. Ameachi Ngwu prayed the court to commit the convict to community service adding that the convict should not be incarcerated but rather put where people can see him as a convict.
In his ruling, Justice Jide Falola remarked that Kelvin Igbodalo does not deserve to be let loose and continue in his dastardly act and therefore should remain where he would learn his lesson in order to serve as a deterrent to others.
He therefore ruled that Igbodalo should spend the next 45 years behind bars without an option of fine but the term would run concurrently for 10 years.

The suspect being escorted by a mobile policeman

Dutch gather in Amsterdam as royals prepare for handover!

New Dutch king: Dutch Queen Beatrix (center) and Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Princess Maxima arrive for a banquet hosted by the Dutch Royal family at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Monday. Queen Beatrix has announced she will relinquish the crown on April 30, 2013, after 33 years of reign, leaving the monarchy to her son Crown Prince Willem-Alexander. (AP/Robin Utrecht)

Willem-Alexander becomes the first King of the Netherlands in more than 120 years on Tuesday when Queen Beatrix passes the crown to her eldest son.

Thousands of well-wishers gathered in Amsterdam's Dam Square early on Tuesday, waiting to see the new King and Queen when they step out on the balcony of the Royal Palace.

"He's ready, in every way," Queen Beatrix said of her 46-year-old son, a water management specialist who is expected to bring a less formal touch to the monarchy, as she bid farewell to the nation in a subdued televised address on Monday night.
April 30, or Queen's day, is always a day for partying in the Netherlands. Many people took Monday off work and started celebrating in earnest from Monday evening with street bands and music.
But this year the city of Amsterdam is putting on a special show to celebrate the investiture of Willem-Alexander and the abdication of Beatrix, 75, who wants to retire after 33 years in the job.
Amsterdam was awash with orange, the royal colour. Houses were covered in bunting and flags, shop windows were stuffed with orange cakes, sweets, clothes and flowers and many partygoers were decked out in the royal colours.
Nearly a million people were expected to join the street party with dancing to bands and DJs, helping create a carnival atmosphere.
"He (Willem-Alexander) knows what is needed. He unites people. He has made it possible for the different generations to mingle more," said 40-year old Margriet Dantuma, dressed in an orange skirt, as she joined others on the Amsterdam pavements putting out impromptu stalls of bric a brac for sale.
The royals are broadly popular, with 78 percent of Dutch in favour of the monarchy up from 74 percent a year ago, according to an Ipsos poll.
But they have been stripped of their political influence, and no longer appoint the mediator who conducts exploratory talks when forming government coalitions.
Britain's Prince Charles and Japan's Crown Princess Masako, who is making her first foreign trip since falling ill a decade ago, will be among 2,000 visitors at the official ceremony.
"There will be tears on Tuesday," said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, paying tribute to "this formidable lady who has ruled this country for over 30 years".
Beatrix will sign her abdication at 10:00 a.m. (0800 GMT), at which point Willem-Alexander immediately becomes king and his wife Maxima, a popular former investment banker from Argentina, becomes queen.
All three will appear on the palace balcony to wave and address the crowds in Dam Square.
They will then head from the palace to the 600-year-old Nieuwe Kerk, or New Church, next door where the king will swear an oath to uphold the Dutch constitution before lawmakers.
The Dutch monarch is never crowned, since, in the absence of a state church, there is no cleric available to carry out the coronation. But there is a crown, which will sit on a table next to him throughout the ceremony, along with other regalia that constitute the crown jewels.

Willem-Alexander will wear a royal mantle that has been used for investitures since 1815, although it has been repaired and altered at least twice over the past century, for the investitures of his mother and grandmother.
Celebrations are expected to continue through the evening with a water pageant along the IJ, Amsterdam's historic waterfront.

Monday 29 April 2013

Carlos Slim Joins Bill Gates, Other Billionaires, With $100 Million To Fight Polio!

At the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi late last week, the world’s two richest men made a bit of philanthropic history. Carlos Slim announced his foundation will donate $100 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a Bill Gates-backed effort to eliminate polio.  It marks what appears to be the largest collaboration among the two men. It’s also the second time this year the two have announced joint philanthropic efforts.

We are excited to join the Gates Foundation and other partners in the effort to end this disease once and for all,” Slim said in a statement. Slim attended the vaccine summit, which was co-hosted by Bill Gates.
Five other billionaires also stepped up to donate to the polio eradication effort, according to the Gates Foundation: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, hedge fund tycoon Ray Daljo, Saudi businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, investor Carl Icahn, Indonesian businessman Tahir and the foundation of the late billionaire Albert Ueltschi.

Bloomberg’s foundation is also donating $100 million; Dalio’s foundation is giving $50 million, Alwaleed’s foundation is giving $30 million, Tahir’s foundation is giving $25 million, Icahn’s Foundation for a Greater Opportunity is giving $20 million and the Albert Ueltschi Foundation is giving $10 million, according to an article in the Chronicle of Philantropy.
Polio is endemic in just three remaining countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan; in 1988 it was in 128 countries. It is a vaccine-preventable disease.
Bill Gates recognized Slim in opening remarks at the summit as an important new donor in the fight against polio, according to the Gates Foundation. “We now have a comprehensive plan to end polio, but we need ti to be fully funded to succeed. Carlos’ generous commitment to support the GPEI  plan is help the world prove that setting ambitions goals leads to big victories,” Gates said in a statement.
The total cost of the plan is estimated at $5.5 billion, all but $1.5 billion of which has been pledged.
This is the second time this year that Gates and Slim have gotten together to announce a joint charitable initiative. In February, Bill Gates went to Mexico and together with Slim announced a philanthropic partnership aimed at improving agricultural research with the aim of reducing hunger. Neither man disclosed how much his foundation was spending on the effort.  In 2010, the two tycoons’ foundations partnered on a Mesoamerican health initiative aimed at improving the health of the poor in southern Mexico and Central America.
Slim has stepped up his philanthropic efforts in particular this year. In addition to the recent partnerships with Bill Gates, Slim pledged in January to support the work of the education video-focused Khan Academy by paying to translate Khan Academy instructional videos into Spanish.

Jason Collins Comes Out: NBA Player Becomes First Openly Gay Professional Male Athlete In Major Sport!

NBA center Jason Collins has become the first male athlete in a major professional sport to come out as gay.
The 34-year-old, a free agent who has played with the Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics this past season, tells sports illustrated:
"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."
Collins continues, "When I was younger I dated women. I even got engaged. I thought I had to live a certain way. I thought I needed to marry a woman and raise kids with her. I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue."
As to why he opted to address his sexuality now, Collins says that he was partly inspired by the Boston Marathon bombings, adding that "it takes an enormous amount of energy to guard such a big secret."
"I've endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. I was certain that my world would fall apart if anyone knew," he writes. "And yet when I acknowledged my sexuality I felt whole for the first time. I still had the same sense of humor, I still had the same mannerisms and my friends still had my back."
You can read Collins' full Sports Illustrated editorial here.
NBA commissioner David Stern applauded Collins in a statement cited by ESPN, noting, "Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue."
GLAAD's Aaron McQuade echoed those sentiments, calling Collins a "new hero" for young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes in an email statement. "'Courage' and 'inspiration' are words that get thrown around a lot in sports, but Jason Collins has given both ideas a brand new context," McQuade said. "We hope that his future team will welcome him, and that fans of the NBA and sports in general will applaud him."
The issue of gay players in professional sports has been a matter of heated debate in recent months, after San Francisco 49ers player Chris Culliver told Artie Lange that he would not welcom gay players in the NFL or on his team. "I don't do the gay guys, man," Culliver is quoted as saying. "I don't do that. No, we don't got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do."

Furthermore, rampant media speculation over Notre Dame linebacker Manti te'o's sexuality has prompted other professional athletes, including former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Avanbadejo, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and former Cleveland Browns linebackers Scott Fujita, to chime in.
In a March interview, Fujita said he "would argue that the overwhelming majority [of NFL players] would be fine with having a teammate who was gay," and that "it would not be an issue" to have an openly gay player in the locker room.

Others, such as former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Mark Knudson, were considerably less enthusiastic. In a February Op-Ed for Mile High Sports, Knudson suggested that players "who are able to keep their sexual orientation private" should be applauded because it's "best for the team."
Meanwhile, Nike poached newly out women's college basketball star Brittney Griner for an endorsement deal, but the athletic wear giant may have even bigger plans in the works for the first openly gay male athlete.

"[T]he first openly gay team-sport athlete -- provided he’s a recognizable name -- would earn millions in endorsements and speaking engagements from companies seeking to capture more of a U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adult population whose annual buying power he pegs at almost $800 billion," Bloomberg wrote after an interview with communications strategist Bob Witeck. 

Sunday 28 April 2013

Couple dead in murder mystery hotel pool!

Down Hall in Hertfordshire is a 99-bedroom mansion dating back to 1322, is set in 110 acres of woodland, parkland and landscape gardens

The lifeless bodies of a young couple have been found floating in the swimming pool of a luxury hotel in Hertfordshire.
Police were called to Down Hall Country House Hotel in Hatfield Heath at about 7.35pm on Saturday.
Hotel staff and ambulance crews tried to revive the couple but both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigating officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are treating the deaths as unexplained at this stage.
The man, who was in his 30s and the woman, who was in her 20s are both believed to be from the London area.
The couple had been staying together at the hotel, which was hosting two wedding parties this weekend.
Guest Louise Saunders told the BBC an ambulance and two paramedic cars arrived at the hotel as she was leaving to go for dinner.

She said about three hours later police were "everywhere" and were taking down the names and numbers of guests.
The windows of the building housing the swimming pool had been blacked out with plastic sheets, she added.
A police spokesman said that post-mortem examinations will be carried out on Monday.
The 110-acre hotel, which dates back to 1322, is described as "one of England's most established country house hotels" on its website and regularly hosts weddings, christenings and other large functions.

Down Hall Country House Hotel was the venue for the wedding of the late Jade Goody to Jack Tweed in 2009. It regularly hosts murder mystery weekends.

Nollywood actress, Mercy Johnson dedicate baby girl today!

Nollywood Actress Mercy Johnson and her husband, Prince Odi Okojie, today April 28th dedicated their four month old daughter, Purity Okojie.

The dedication held at their church(christ Embassy, kudirat Abiola Way) and reception at their home in Ajah.

Fire breaks out in Bangladesh building where 377 die!

Rescue workers attempt to rescue garment workers from the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building, in Savar, 30 km (19 miles) outside Dhaka April 28, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

Fire broke out on Sunday in a garment factory that collapsed in the Bangladeshi capital, complicating attempts to find any survivors of a disaster that has killed 377 people.

Fire service officials said the blaze had been started by sparks from cutting equipment used by rescuers.
Police said the owner of the factory, Mohammed Sohel Rana,
was arrested on Sunday trying to flee to India, as hopes of finding more survivors from the country's worst industrial accident began to fade.
Rana was arrested by the elite Rapid Action Battalion in the border town of Benapole, Dhaka District Police Chief Habibur Rahman told Reuters, ending a four-day manhunt that began after Rana Plaza, which housed factories making low-cost garments for Western retailers, caved in on Wednesday.
Bangladesh television showed Rana, a local leader of the ruling Awami League's youth front, being flown by helicopter to the capital Dhaka, where he will face charges of faulty construction and causing unlawful death.
Authorities put the latest death toll at 377 and expect it to climb higher with hundreds more still unaccounted for.
Four people were pulled out alive on Sunday after almost 100 hours beneath the mound of broken concrete and metal, and rescuers were working frantically to try to save several others still trapped, fire services deputy director Mizanur Rahman said. One woman was pulled out of debris by rescuers but died, fire service officials said.
"The chances of finding people alive are dimming, so we have to step up our rescue operation to save any valuable life we can," said Major General Chowdhury Hassan Sohrawardi, coordinator of the operation at the site.
About 2,500 people have been rescued from the wrecked building in the commercial suburb of Savar, about 30 km (20 miles) from the capital, Dhaka.
Officials said the eight-storey complex had been built on spongy ground without the correct permits, and more than 3,000 workers - mainly young women - entered the building on Wednesday morning despite warnings that it was structurally unsafe.
A bank and shops in the same building closed after a jolt was felt and cracks were noticed on some pillars on Tuesday.
Police said one factory owner gave himself up on Sunday following the detention of two plant bosses and two engineers the day before.
Anger over the disaster has sparked days of protests and clashes, with police using tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to quell demonstrators who set cars ablaze.
Garment workers blockaded a highway in a nearby industrial zone of Gazipur on Sunday demanding capital punishment for the owners.
The main opposition, joining forces with an alliance of leftist parties which is part of the ruling coalition, called for a national strike on May 2 in protest over the incident.

NCAA grounds Rivers state Gov. Amaechi’s private jet for “operating illegally”!


The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has grounded Rivers State governor Chibuike Amaechi’s private jet due to the “status of the controversial aircraft.”
In a press conference on Saturday, acting Director General of the NCAA, Joyce Nkemakolam, said the aircraft is “operating illegally in the country.”
The aircraft was first grounded temporarily at the Akure Airport on Friday when the governor traveled to Ekiti state for the funeral of deputy governor of that state, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka.
During his return trip from the funeral, officials of the Nigerian Airspace Management Authority, NAMA, at the Akure airport delayed his flight for one hour on the grounds that his pilot was not properly documented with the control tower.
General Manager of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr. Mohammed Datti, explained that before a pilot lands, it is recorded by the control tower, which in turn gives the go-ahead for take off.
At the time, Datti denied allegations that the temporary grounding of Amaechi’s controversial jet was politically-minded.
But in a statement by David Iyofor, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Amaechi, the Rivers State government condemned the temporary grounding in Akure as “shameful and ludicrous.”
Iyofor claimed the plane had been grounded over “vague issues” and said the governor’s pilot had filed all the right paperwork.
The spokesman says NAMA’s claim that the pilot’s lack of proper documentation was the sole cause of the grounding is a “blatant lie.”
All they kept saying was that they were just obeying directives, it was beyond them and we should call Abuja,” Iyofor said in the statement.
He added that Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and four other members of the House of Representatives who accompanied the governor in his private jet “are living witnesses to that charade.”
Explaining the new decision on Saturday to more permanently ground the aircraft, Mrs. Nkemkalokam said the Bombardier-BD700 Global Express, with registration N565 RS was operating on an expired clearance approval.
She said: “By our records, the last flight clearance for this aircraft was approved for operation on Thursday, March 28, 2013 on Accra – PH – Accra and to terminate on April 2, 2013. With this development, the aircraft has exceeded the extra two days or 48 hours leeway for it to leave the country.”
The NCAA boss further noted that “while still operating illegally, the aircraft has been sighted in several places including Owerri and Akure.”
“The owner of this aircraft according to the certificate of registration is Bank of Utah, trustee of Salt Lake City, Utah USA. The clearance for the aircraft was sought by Cavernton Helicopters on March 27, 2013.”
Consequently, this aircraft in reference is hereby grounded at any airport that is located right now in the country” she announced.

My Story: by Governor Amechi
Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers has spoken out about the circumstances surrounding Friday’s grounding of the state-owned aircraft by the National Airspace Management Agency.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, David Iyofor, the governor, in a statement, described the entire saga as shameful and ludicrous.
Read the entire statement below:
We had set out from Abuja in the morning of Friday April 26, 2013 to Imo State to attend the funeral rites of the younger sister of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. Our plane, a Bombardier jet owned by the Rivers State Government, landed at the airport in Owerri. It was in Owerri that the pilot of our plane was first tipped off that there is a plot to ground our plane in Owerri that Friday.
Fortunately for us, we took off from Owerri airport and arrived at Akure airport en-route to Ekiti for the burial of the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State Funmilayo Olayinka without any incident. On the flight to Akure was the Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal who we met in Imo State and was also heading to Ekiti for the burial of Mrs Olayinka. Also on the flight were the Governor of Rivers State Rt. Hon, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Director-General, Nigeria Governors’ Forum(NGF), Asishana Bayo Okauru, Kalabari prince and politician Prince Tonye Princewill, some aides of the Governor and me.
Once our party left the Akure airport for Ekiti, our pilot went to the airport offices to make statutory airport payments and fees, file his flight plan and declare his manifest. After filing his fight plan and declaring his manifest, our pilot was told to go and see the Controller. The Controller bluntly told him that the Rivers Government plane would not be allowed to leave the airport. In other words, the plane had been grounded! He said that the plane should have been grounded in Owerri. The Controller on duty at the airport in Akure mentioned some vague issues relating to the customs papers of the plane, which has been flying in Nigeria for many months? That didn’t make any sense to the pilot. He enquired on whose orders the plane was being grounded, he was told that it was the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA). And that he should reach the NAMA MD.
By the time our party, which now included four House of Representatives Honourable members- Mohammed Sani Idris Kutigi, Daniel Rayeineju, Idris Ahmed Wase and Ifedayo Abegunde- returned to the Akure airport, there was confusion everywhere. Speaker Tambuwal, the Honourable members and Governor Amaechi and his team, were all stranded at the airport. The plane that brought Speaker Tambuwal and Governor Amaechi to Akure could not leave Akure airport. Calls were being made as these two democratically elected leaders, furious and perplexed, tried to fathom what could have caused this monumental embarrassment to them and their offices.
After trying fruitlessly for some time to get the plane released, Speaker Tambuwal then offered to fly Governor Amaechi to Port Harcourt with the plane(another small aircraft) that brought the other four Honourable members to Akure. To accommodate Governor Amaechi in the small aircraft, one of the House of Representatives members offered his seat to the Governor .
The pilot of the Rivers State Government plane was already locking up the aircraft for us to leave for Lagos by road when a call eventually came through that the plane could now leave. The Controller received a directive to allow the plane fly out of Akure. The decision to let us go, we later learnt, was due to the pressure brought on the aviation authorities by Speaker Tambuwal.
It is indeed most shameful and ludicrous that NAMA and the Aviation authorities are now saying that they grounded the Rivers State Government plane because the pilot did not file a flight plan and declare a manifest. That’s a blatant lie. A big fat one at that. The pilot filed the flight plan and manifest, and paid all the statutory airport fees and charges shortly after the plane arrived at the Akure airport in the afternoon. If the pilot filed a flight plan and manifest at the airports in Abuja and Owerri, where he flew from same day, why won’t he then do the same in Akure? It is instructive to note that all through the traumatic time we spent in Akure, no official of the airport or aviation staff came to tell Governor Amaechi that we were grounded because our pilot “refused to file a flight plan and manifest.” 
All they kept saying was that they were just obeying directives, it was beyond them and we should call Abuja. Speaker Tambuwal and the other four members of the House of Representatives are living witnesses to that charade.
NAMA and the aviation authorities should explain to Nigerians why an aircraft owned by a State government, that flew the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and a democratically elected Governor of a State who also is the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, would be grounded at an airport for no just cause?
Chief Press Secretary
To The Rivers State Governor
Culled from Premium Times

Mississippi Man charged for sending poisonous letters to Barack Obama!

A Mississippi-based martial arts teacher has been charged in connection with poison-laced letters sent to US President Barack Obama and a US senator.
41-year-old James Everett Dutschke was charged with possession of the biological agent ricin, and attempting to use it as a weapon.
He was arrested at his home in Tupelo just after midnight.
Ricin is a highly lethal poison made from castor beans, though the substance found on the letters is believed to be in a crude form that would prove far less lethal.
Dutschke is expected to appear Monday in U.S. District Court in Oxford. He faces up to life in prison, if convicted.
Earlier in the week, Dutschke insisted he had nothing to do with the letters. Dutschke's attorney, Lori Nail Basham, said she had no comment

If found guilty, Dutschke faces maximum possible penalties of life imprisonment and a US250,000 dollar (192,000 euro) fine.

His arrest comes days after US prosecutors dropped charges against another man, Kevin Curtis, who was released after a search of his home revealed no incriminating evidence.
Curtis, a professional Elvis impersonator, has had a running feud with Dutschke and suggested he may have been framed by him.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika recovering in Paris hospital!

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been transferred to a hospital in Paris after suffering a minor stroke on Saturday.
State media has said his condition is not serious.

The 76-year-old, who is serving his third term as president, is seen as a key stabilising factor in the oil exporting country of 37 million people.
Elected in 1999, Bouteflika is one of a generation of leaders who have ruled Africa’s biggest country since Algeria won independence from France in 1962.
It is thought unlikely that he will seek a fourth term when his presidency ends in 2014.

It is not yet clear who might take over the country which supplies a fifth of Europe’s gas imports and cooperates with the West in combating Islamist militancy.

Religious police deem Omar too sexy for Saudi Arabia!

 Omar Borkan Al Gala, an actor, poet, and photographer, is deemed so sexy, in fact, that he’s been thrown out of Saudi Arabia due to the danger he poses to members of the opposite sex.

Omar Borkan Al Gala: Poet, actor, and photographer.  

Recently, three men were deported from Saudi Arabia as religious authorities deemed them “too handsome” amid fears that women would get too attracted to them and lose control of themselves.
The Arabic Elaph newspaper reported that the men, delegates from the United Arab Emirates, were attending the annual Jenadrivah Heritage and Culture Festival in the capital, Riyadh, when they were thrown out by Saudi Arabia’s religious police.

They were deported because authorities deemed them “too handsome” and worried that women would “lose their minds, tear their clothing off, and throw themselves at their feet”.

The Mutaween, a government-recognised religious police force that is responsible for enforcing varied interpretations of Islam’s Sharia law, decided to deport the men from their country for “moral” reasons.

Since then, there has been something of a media scramble to identify the three beauties, and Omar Borkan Al Gala has just let the world know he is one of the men, albeit through a series of clues. While he has made no official confirmation, a number of websites have posted pictures of Omar, saying he is one of the three handsome men.

And the photographer, who appears to wear eye-liner and stare moodily into the distance in many of his shots, has done little since to damp down the speculation by posting a link to the original news article on his

On his page, he wrote: “This is what written in newspapers in over the world.

He wrote elsewhere: “The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

His Facebook page has more 140,000 likes and about 37,000 talking about him, and Omar can probably expect the numbers to rise.

Friday 26 April 2013

Presidency warns of “dire consequences” in Niger Delta if Jonathan is not re-elected!

Presidential aide, Kinglsey Kuku, said insecurity will return to Niger Delta if President Jonathan quits.
A presidential aide has warned of “dire consequences” in the oil rich Niger Delta should president Goodluck Jonathan fail to secure a fresh term in 2015.
In a startling remark to U.S. officials in Washington on Thursday, Special Adviser to the president on Niger Delta, and chairman, presidential amnesty programme, Kingsley Kuku, said current relative peace in the Niger Delta is tied to the continued stay in office of Mr. Jonathan, and strongly urged the American government to back his presidency.
Mr. Kuku, who spoke at a session with officials of the U.S. State Department led by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (Bureau of African Affairs), Donald Teitelbaum, told the Americans that only Mr. Jonathan can guarantee peace in the restive region and hence, the compelling need to persuade him to seek re-election in 2015.
It is true that the presidential amnesty programme has engendered peace, safety and security in the sensitive and strategic Niger Delta. Permit me to add that the peace that currently prevails in the zone is largely because Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who is from that same place, is the President of Nigeria. That is the truth.
It is only a Jonathan presidency that can guarantee continued peace and energy security in the Niger Delta,” Mr. Kuku said.
The presidential aide said the consequences would be dire if the U.S. gets distracted by the activities of terror cells in parts of northern Nigeria, and takes its attention off the Niger Delta.
Terrorism is a global phenomenon. President Jonathan inherited the situation in northern Nigeria and he has adopted a multifaceted approach to tackle this unfortunate situation. So far, profound results are being achieved,” he said. “But I insist that this must not distract the U.S. and the international community from giving the Niger Delta region of Nigeria the requisite attention.”
I hope the U.S. is aware that with peace and stability in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s economy will remain buoyant enough to empower the Federal Government to contend with terrorism and other forms of insecurity in other parts of the country.
“However if we allow anything to hurt the peace in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s economy will be endangered and energy security in Nigeria and even America will not be guaranteed. The attention and interest of the U.S. in Nigeria must remain the stability of the Niger Delta and the easiest way to ensure this is to encourage President Jonathan to complete an eight-year term,” he said.
Mr. Kuku, who has pushed for talks with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, after the group warned of restarting fighting in the region, told the session that the Niger Delta continues to yearn for attention and development.
“In spite of the peace that prevails in the Niger Delta now, the issues that led to militancy in the first place are yet to be properly addressed. The issues of development, greater say in the control of the resource that comes from the place, issues of environmental remediation, youth unemployment among others are still there,” he said.
However, the agitators are prepared to patiently await development as long as one of their own, Dr. Jonathan remains the President, and I think this is one thing the American government should reflect seriously on.”
In response, Mr. Teitelbaum acknowledged his country was worried about the activities of terror cells in northern Nigeria, but said the U.S remains committed to deepening of the peace in the Niger Delta.
He said that the U.S. views the Niger Delta amnesty programme as a huge success, and pledged that the State Department will brief other organs of the U.S. Government on possible ways of offering technical support to the amnesty programme.
At a separate meeting with members of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in Washington DC on Thursday, Mr. Kuku challenged investors, particularly Americans, to leverage on the relative peace that the amnesty programme has engendered in the Niger Delta to invest in the region.
He told the members that following the proclamation and the acceptance of amnesty by former agitators in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s economy witnessed astronomical growth as crude oil production, which had declined to as low as 700,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of 2009, has been rising steadily and currently stands about 2.6 million barrels per day.
Mr. Kuku however warned that unless the thousands of youths being offered skills and vocational training by the Amnesty Office become gainfully employed, peace may once again elude the Niger Delta.
“We were given the mandate to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate these ex-agitators. We are doing just that and peace has returned to the Niger Delta as several of the ex-agitators are now very busy in schools and vocational centres across the world. But what becomes of them after their training is our biggest challenge now. On our part, we have done our best but we now need the practical support of all persons and nations who truly seek and want peace in the Niger Delta, to join efforts to create employment opportunities for our youths,” Mr. Kuku told the American investors.
The CCA President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Hayes, said the Council was irrevocably committed to attracting American investors to Africa.

“I do not care what you say” – Nollywood’s Stella Damasus reacts to reports of her 3rd marriage!

Stella Damasus birthday ynaija

Following the reports that went around blogs and other media yesterday about Stella Damasus’ secret wedding (and third) to producer and actor, Daniel Ademonikan, the actress and singer came out swinging on her  personal blog yesterday – giving the middle finger to the “blogs and websites” “saying things they know absolutely nothing about”.
See full text of her blog below:
I have Been trending for the past two days now. Day one was about people wishing me well and praying for me on my birthday. Day two is now filled with gossip, scandals and all sorts, but that is as far as the so called journalists and bloggers are concerned. As far as I am concerned I had a blast on my birthday and I will not allow other human beings steal my joy regardless.I choose to enjoy my life because I know I deserve it. Nobody went through my own trying times with me and I did not go through any with others.
When God decides to bless me, turn my mourning to dancing, turn my tears to laughter and turn my anger to happiness, no man on earth can change it or spoil it.
Truth is, I laughed when I saw some of the blogs and websites quoting and saying things they know absolutely nothing about. Writing things they have heard without concrete evidence, ghosts that cannot show their faces and ask direct questions. But they believe and think that they can wake up one day and decide people’s fate and destiny. Unfortunately they are made to feel important because people hate to read  positive things and achievements, but give them juicy gossip and all of a sudden you become the most popular writer who has gist on everybody.
I realized that when I write blogs and articles about important information, encouragement, education and positive things, only twenty percent out of a hundred actually read it and leave comments. The other eighty percent jump at the gossip and scandals and then start to ask me stupid questions. These are people who have not communicated with me in ages but all of a sudden they feel the need to profess undying friendship and a listening ear. The fact that they believe I have the time or energy to respond to the most trivial issues baffles me.
Let me repeat myself in case some of these people missed it. “I really do not care what you say or write, the truth is who God has blessed no man can curse” , and if you believe that trying to turn a wonderful birthday  into a global gossip game will make me feel bad then I am so sorry this Stella is not as stupid as you think”
For those who want to really see pictures to satisfy their curiosity, please enjoy.