• BREAKING: Danger looms as Russia urges its citizens to stay away from Turkey

    24/Nov/2015 // 470 Viewers

     

    Following the downing of a Russian jet over Syrian border Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Minister, Lavrov has canceled his official trip to Turkey. As part of the fiery anger expressed by President Vladimir Putin,  Russia has restrained its citizen from visiting Turkey.

    In a statement, Putin said Turkey will face serious consequences for its reprehensible action and insisted that plane was one kilometer away from Syrian border when it was shot down which he calls a gross violation of Syria's sovereignty, but Turkey claims otherwise saying that plane repeatedly violated its airspace that necessitated that action.

    Two pilots, DailyGlobeWatch, reliably gathered ejected from the plane before the crash and video showed Turkmen firing at pilots, but details remain sketchy if the pilots sustained injuries.

    Meanwhile, NATO says it is monitoring the situation and an emergency meeting of its members has been called at Turkey's request probably to discuss the incident.


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  • Turkey reserves the right to protect its borders - President Erdogan

    24/Nov/2015 // 446 Viewers

    The President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan,  in his first official reaction to the downing of a Russian jet by Turkish F-16 fighter jet, said Turkey's right to protect its border is non-negotiable and must, therefore,  be respected by all.

    While speaking in the Presidential palace in Ankara, he said with all emphasis that  'everyone must respect the right of Turkey to protect its borders' adding that the ill-fated Russian jet had to be downed after repeated warnings and violations.


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  • Actress Maureen O'Hara dies aged 95

    24/Oct/2015 // 257 Viewers

     Getty/AFP/File | Maureen O'Hara accepts an Honorary Award onstage during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 2014 Governors Awards on November 8, 2014 in Hollywood, California

     

    DUBLIN (AFP) - 

    Maureen O'Hara, the flame-haired star of "How Green Was My Valley" and "Miracle on 34th Street" who was one of Ireland's most successful acting exports, has died aged 95, her family and the Irish president said Saturday.

    O'Hara, an iconic figure in Hollywood's Golden Age of the 1940s and 1950s who was once considered one of the world's most beautiful women, also played a string of feisty women opposite John Wayne, including in "The Quiet Man".

    "I've always been a tough Irish lass," she told the Daily Telegraph newspaper in a 2004 interview.

    "I proved there was a bloody good actress in me. It wasn't just my face. I gave bloody good performances."

    Her family said that the star, who had dual US-Irish citizenship and starred in over 60 films, died at home in Boise, Idaho.

    "It is with a sad heart that we share the news that Maureen O'Hara passed away today in her sleep of natural causes," they said in a statement cited by The Irish Times newspaper.

    "Maureen was our loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favourite movie, 'The Quiet Man'."

    Ireland's President Michael Higgins spoke of his "great sadness" at the news in a statement.

    "She will be remembered as an outstanding and versatile actress, whose work especially in film, will endure for many years to come," he said.

    Irish Arts Minister Heather Humphreys added: "Maureen O'Hara left Ireland to carve a successful life in America but in the hearts and minds of every Irish person, Maureen was the quintessential Irish success story."

    Known as "the queen of Technicolor" due to her red hair and green eyes, O'Hara was born in Ranelagh, south Dublin, in 1920.

    According to her autobiography "'Tis Herself", she started acting opposite her own shadow aged five.

    She was brought to Hollywood in 1939 by legendary actor Charles Laughton and her first film was "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", playing Esmerelda to his Quasimodo.

    In 1941, she drew critical acclaim in Oscar-winning Welsh family saga "How Green Was My Valley", directed by John Ford.

    And by 1947, she was appearing as mother of the young Natalie Wood in "Miracle on 34th Street".

    Later movies included "The Parent Trap" in 1961 but in the 1970s, she retired from acting to run an airline with her husband. After he died, she became the first woman in US history to head a scheduled commercial airline.

    O'Hara was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2014.


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  • Global protests move Biafra conflict back into spotlight

    24/Sep/2016 // 963 Viewers

     


    It's been decades since the plight of the Igbo people of Biafra was highlighted during the Nigerian Civil War. The movement to resurrect the Republic of Biafra is gaining momentum. Sertan Sanderson reports.

    With a court decision due in the case of Pro-Biafra leader Nnamdi Kanu in late September, many Igbo people living in exile took to simultaneous protests across Europe to draw attention to their cause. One of those protests was held in Bonn, Germany, where roughly 100 protesters gathered, chanting slogans and handing out glossy flyers.

    "It's not just here in Germany. If you go to Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Australia you will also see protests today. In Germany, we decided to come to Bonn because of the United Nations here. But what we want is peace. We don't want war again," one of the protestors, Solomon Uzochukwo, told DW.

    Wanting peace, remembering war

    The local police appeared to be impressed by the peaceful display, posing for pictures alongside the demonstrators. Uzochukwo, who lives in Frankfurt, embraced the police officers as if they were old friends.
    "Ours is a message of peace," he stressed.

    Biafra protests outside UN campus in Bonn, Germany

    The group gathering outside the UN facilities in Bonn stressed that they wanted a peaceful path to secession

    Mike Okoro, who travelled from the western German city of Dortmund to join the demo, says he is hopeful for the future, but appears to remember the horrors of war more vividly.
    "Joining Biafra with Nigeria gave way to many problems. We are Christians, and they don't like that. They have been killing our people since the 1960s. They still kill our people. Like if you protest about the issue in Nigeria, they shoot you," he told DW.
    Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both accused the Nigerian military of using excessive force and carrying out extra-judicial killings - not only of suspected Boko Haram insurgents, who get most of the news coverage, but also of pro-Biafra protestors.
    The military has categorically denied the charges.
    Resecession?
    More than three million civilians died in Biafra during the Nigerian Civil War from 1967 to 1970 - the majority of whom, however, starved to death under the complete isolation the Nigerian military imposed on the breakaway nation. Biafra eventually surrendered and was reincorporated into Nigeria, but relations between the two have never improved.
     
    Biafra protests outside UN campus in Bonn, Germany
    Raising the Biafran flag in Nigeria could get you in prison, or worse, cost your life, according to some of the protesters
     
    Many Igbo people opted to leave Africa and to look for a better future in exile. In many parts of the world, their plight and the ensuing UN humanitarian efforts seem to only be remembered as footnotes in history. But the outcome of Nnamdi Kanu's court case may change that, as the movement to secede from Nigeria again grows stronger.
    "Our leader will be brought to court again on Monday. We want an unconditional release for him, but the government refuses and continues to hold him even though they have granted bail. The court did not find him guilty. He was only fighting for his rights," Solomon Uzochukwo says. Kanu had broadcast pro-Biafra messages on banned radio waves and was arrested by Nigeria's State Security Service (SSS) after reportedly being abducted.
    "We will be very happy if he is released, but there is still work ahead. Because we are not Nigerians; we are Biafrans. There are more than 40 million of us worldwide."
    Biafra Nigeria map
    Buhari's dirty war on dissidents
    Mike Okoro seconds that view. "We need to separate from Nigeria. Nigeria is not working," he says.
    "The court have ordered (Kanu's) release but Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said 'no' because he is a former military major general. And he is still ruling Nigeria in a military way. He tells the military to kill Biafran protestors. He does not want peace with anyone."
    With Boko Haram still wreaking havoc in the northeast of Nigeria, and many rural areas on the brink of starvation once more, Buhari has tightened his grip on the nation, singling out dissident and subversive elements with what some call an iron fist.
    Solomon Uzochukwo explains, however, that in his view, his homeland is being destroyed under continued clashes:
    "We want to go back home. It is time. Today, our children don't know their fatherland anymore. We want to bring a stop to this distance before it is too late."
     
     


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  • Europe becomes strict as French cities ban the wearing of “burkinis” by Muslim women

    25/Aug/2016 // 481 Viewers

     

    As Europeans deal with a rise in terror attacks, they must also be careful not to fall for false fears that would have them do the very bidding of terrorists. Case in point: In recent weeks, more than a dozen French cities have banned the wearing of “burkinis,” the full-body swimsuits that have become popular among some Muslim women who enjoy going to the beach like everyone else.

    Preventing such a simple religious expression in public life would fit right into the Islamic State’s playbook about the presumed incompatibility between Islam and Western culture. If anything, France should be finding ways to encourage symbols of Muslims’ integration into France’s diverse society, not banning a symbol like a bathing garment.

    The French bans on burkinis – already enforced on a few beaches, with fines of more than $40 – come on top of moves in Germany toward imposing a partial ban on full veils in many public spaces. Other parts of Europe have lately implemented full or partial bans on veils. In 2009, Switzerland voters opted to ban minarets, common on mosques.

    In a few circumstances, of course, countries are right to insist on an uncovered face to identify people properly for security reasons. But this is a minor infringement on personal rights that involves only careful and minimal solutions, such as a female officer asking a Muslim woman to lift her veil in a private setting.

    The moral strength of Europe in countering extremist groups lies in honoring, not hindering, religious liberties of individuals rather than imposing social conformity. France, in particular, should also be careful of presuming it is “liberating” Muslim women by fining them for wearing a burkini (a word derived from “burqa” and “bikini”). Many Muslim women enjoy this new beach fashion that enables them to enjoy the oceanside. And if governments start down the road of liberating people from a “gender prison,” they might as well go after high heels and neckties.

    If Muslim women living in largely non-Muslim countries want to stand up to male stereotypes, that effort must come from their own moral and spiritual reasoning. The state has little to do with it except in cases of physical harm, such as enforced marriages.

    French officials are rightly concerned about better security against further terrorist attacks. But public fear about terror should not lead to anti-Muslim bigotry. In fact, the wearing of a well-designed burkini should be seen as a step up from wearing a traditional and hot burqa. The women who wear burkinis are signaling they endorse the individual freedoms of the West. That thought is as good a weapon against radical militants as anything. Muslims and the West should dance together, chic to chic.


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  • 49,000 children will die this year in northeast Nigeria without aid - U.N.

    25/Aug/2016 // 426 Viewers

     

    LAGOS (Reuters) - Nearly half a million children around Lake Chad face "severe acute malnutrition" due to drought and a seven-year insurgency by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, UNICEF said on Thursday.

    Of the 475,000 deemed at risk, 49,000 in Nigeria's Borno state, Boko Haram's heartland, will die this year if they do not receive treatment, according to the United Nations' child agency, which is appealing for $308 million to cope with the crisis.

    However, to date, UNICEF said it had only received $41 million, 13 percent of what it needs to help those affected in the four countries - Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon - that border Lake Chad.

    At the start of 2015, Boko Haram occupied an area the size of Belgium but has since been pushed back over the last 18 months by military assaults by the four countries.

    Most of its remaining forces are now hiding in the wilds of the vast Sambisa forest, southeast of the Borno provincial capital, Maiduguri.

    UNICEF said that as Nigerian government forces captured and secured territory, aid officials were starting to piece together the scale of the humanitarian disaster left behind in the group's wake. "Towns and villages are in ruins and communities have no access to basic services," UNICEF said in a report.

    In Borno, nearly two thirds of hospitals and clinics had been partially or completely destroyed and three-quarters of water and sanitation facilities needed to be rehabilitated.

    Despite the military gains, UNICEF said, 2.2 million people remain trapped in areas under the control of Boko Haram - which is trying to establish a caliphate in the southern reaches of the Sahara - or are staying in camps, fearful of going home.

    Boko Haram is thought to have killed as many as 15,000 people since the launch of its insurgency in 2009.

    Responding to its battlefield setbacks, Boko Haram has turned to suicide bombings, many involving children.

    UNICEF said it had recorded 38 cases of child suicide bombings so far this year, against 44 in the whole of 2015 and just four the year before that.


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  • Sanusi bombs Buhari, teams up with Fayose, others

    25/Aug/2016 // 1035 Viewers

     

    PUNCH - The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Mohammadu Sanusi, says the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration may end up like the immediate past President Jonathan’s administration if it fails to retrace its steps on some policies.

    Buhari had defeated Jonathan at the 2015 presidential poll in what was described as a total rejection of the Jonathan-led administration by Nigerians.

    Sanusi, who was the chairman of the 15th meeting of the Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning in Kano State on Wednesday, argued that the failure of the Buhari-led government to create employment opportunities for “the over 80 million youths in the country,” made terrorism attractive to the unemployed.
     
    The session was organised by the Kano State Government and the Federal Ministry of Budget and Planning.

    The monarch, who titled his speech, ‘‘Nigeria in search of new growth model,’’ said some policies of the government were bad for the economy, adding that Buhari must retrace his steps.

    He noted that there were times when the Federal Government tried to get it right, adding that it failed to follow up, which contributed to  the ongoing economic downturn.

    He said, ‘‘I will neither change nor be political by telling people what they want to hear. The truth is that there is nothing we are facing today that we did not know would happen. We made mistakes, many of them deliberate; we ignored every single warning.

    “If you take a brand-new car and hand it over to a driver who doesn’t have a licence to drive it and you are involved in an accident, you can’t say you are surprised, unless you are some kind of an idiot.

    “We should not just keep blaming the previous administration; we also made some mistakes in the current administration.

    “They must retrace their steps. They have to retrace those steps all the way. We should not fall into the same trap we fell the last time when the government was always right. The bottom line is that if your policy is wrong, it means you must change it and nothing will make it right as it has to be changed.

    “If this government continues to behave the way the last government behaved, it will end up where Jonathan ended.”

    The monarch tasked the ministry of budget and planning with returning to the drawing board to expand the economy through wise investment for the “economic growth and development of the country.”

    He said, “The Ministry of Budget and Planning is the most important ministry. The ministry needs to think beyond the Federal Government plans on the way forward.

    “The country has not been able to attract investment. We need to move from our present mode of investment.

    “Lagos is the story of what Nigeria can do with itself. The country should not be obsessed with oil.

    ‘‘Those who want to break up the country because of oil should stop. Oil will soon be nothing. The world is already developing alternative sources of power.”

    While admitting that no system was perfect, Sanusi urged the incumbent administration to take the initiative to retrace its steps.

    ‘’The funny thing is that you did not stop borrowing; all you have to do is borrow the right amount and apply them to the right purposes. It doesn’t matter whether it is consumption spending or investment demand, the GDP will grow.

    ‘’Countries like Nigeria and Angola are among the lowest growing countries of the world, growing with the rate of Europe and Latin America. We are the worst performers in terms of investment.’’

    ‘’We can always talk of the policies of the previous administration and we talk of oil subsidy and how it turned people into oil millionaires. But we have created another set of millionaires since 2015 from foreign exchange.

    ‘‘The people telling the government that if you devalue people will suffer are the ones benefiting presently. They bought the dollar at N179 and price their goods at N300.The poor pay the price of a devalued currency, the rich take the profit.

     “You may not like it, but that is the truth. Any system that allows you, with one telephone call, to make N1bn without investing one kobo; the system is wrong,” Sanusi added.

    Nigeria needs proactive solutions –Experts

    Some experts commended Sanusi for his “timely” comment, saying Nigeria needed to be proactive and creative to solve its challenges.

    An economic analyst and Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said the Federal Government and the economic management team had been reacting in silos to challenges facing the economy.

    “We need to react in a more coordinated manner. We need to respond with a cocktail of solutions.

    “It took us time to open up the economy to foreign investors. By the time we did, the foreign investors had moved on. The fuel subsidy that we removed was good, but it could have come with other actions that would have helped the economy.

    “We need foreign borrowing in order to bring dollar liquidity back and stabilise the market. The President will need to set up an economic think tank that will come up with a detailed approach to tackle the problems.”

    The Head, Research and Investment Advisory, SCM Capital, Mr. Sewa Suwu, said the current economic management team needed to move faster than the current pace.

    He said, “The economic challenges are not peculiar to Nigeria, but all commodity exporting countries. The best way out of the current challenges is to spend our way out of it.

    “We have a national problem and it is a time for all economists and experts to come up with ideas that can help us to get out of the challenges as a country. We need to come together as one and tackle the situation.”

    The Director General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, who noted that the government could not fix the country in one year, said, “What I will call a mistake is the delay in taking action; we call it lag structure in economics.

    “For example, there was an unnecessary delay in passing the budget. There was an unnecessary delay in forming a cabinet. Those two major delays have been creating problem for the country.

    “In February, some of us warned that we were on a tip of a recession with rising unemployment, rising inflation and declining productivity.

    “If at that point, they had implemented the budget and released money – because you must spend out of a recession – we would have avoided the recession. A budget of 2016 was passed on May 6; even as we speak, we don’t know how far they have gone with the implementation.”

    He also said there was a delay in fiscal policy.

    “For a long time, monetary policy was the only thing people were talking about because we didn’t see any fiscal policy. When it started coming out, it was late.”

    An expert in Financial Economics at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Prof. Leo Ukpong, said the Buhari government made a lot of mistakes in the way the government handled the foreign exchange challenge.

    He said, “The foreign exchange policy could be done such that it reduces the negative economic pressure. I think when they allowed the naira to be fixed for too long, for more than a year; it destroyed our ability to shore up manufacturing capacity.”

    He stated that the government had not been aggressively pursuing industrialisation and had not been seen to have come up with serious economic plan to reduce unemployment in the country.

    “Right now, what we need is to create jobs and keep people employed. I have not seen any clear-cut policy in that direction,” Ukpong added.

     


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  • Breaking: Real face and creator of B'Haram revealed!

    25/Aug/2016 // 1969 Viewers

     

    After years and lengthy period of doubts and efforts to unmask the real face and creator of the Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram which is still terrorizing Nigeria and neighboring countries, the truth has finally been revealed.

    The Borno State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kaka Lawan, said on Tuesday that Boko Haram was a creation of the factional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff.

    Lawan, who spoke at the ongoing 56th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Port Harcourt, explained that the insecurity created by Sheriff in Borno few years ago metamorphosed into Boko Haram.

    Calling for the arrest and prosecution of the factional chairman of the PDP, Lawan specifically said that bad governance and impunity reigned during Sheriff’s administration as the governor of the state between 2003 and 2011.

    He added that the creation of the Ministry of Religious Affairs by the then Sheriff administration in Borno and the killing of the head of the ministry in the 2009 turmoil worsened the level of insecurity in the state.

    “Ali Modu Sheriff was a former governor of Borno State for eight years and left the state in a state of insecurity.

    “The issue that happened in Borno, the insecurity that brought us to this situation we are in, was as a result of bad governance, illiteracy, lack of respect for the rule of law, impunity in the administration of Ali Modu Sheriff and the Federal Government then did not checkmate his excesses and it escalated to this level.

    “Up to today, he is moving freely and nobody is talking to him. All hands must be on deck, if actually justice must be done to the hundreds of people that were killed in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

    “He (Sheriff) should be arrested. He should be investigated. He should be interrogated for the facts that we have just mentioned in Port Harcourt here. His records were known to everybody, even to you media men.

    “The Federal Government is aware; the state government is aware; you media men are aware. They are not only facts; they are notorious facts. All and sundry are aware.

    “Can he deny that fact that he was a governor between 2003 and 2011? Can he deny that Muhammed Yusuf freely operated between 2003 and 2009 and the aberration laws he passed?” Lawan queried.

    But  Sheriff has dismissed the allegation by the commissioner, saying Lawan was not sincere and that he was acting the script allegedly written by Governor Kashim Shettima.

    Sheriff, who spoke through his Special Adviser of Media, Mallam Inuwa Bwala, said that the commissioner should look inward to the government to enable him to know those behind the Boko Haram menace in the state.

    Sheriff

    Ali Modu Sheriff, alleged creator of Boko Haram

    He said, “The commissioner is talking rubbish. He’s acting the script of his governor. Sheriff made the governor what he is today.

    “Those who are making the allegation should know that three of his (Sheriff) brothers were killed by Boko Haram, his family is being threatened by the Boko Haram.

    “The AGF’s predecessor died in circumstances not clear. What killed him and who killed him? The people are suspecting who is behind the killing. I pity him, he doesn’t know what he is talking about. He is serving in a government that created and funded Boko Haram.”


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  • Pro-Israel Dutch leader, tipped to become next PM vows to BAN Koran, shut down mosques

    25/Dec/2016 // 863 Viewers

     

    Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), called for the total “de-Islamification” in a controversial manifesto posted online.

    The far-right MP, who has previously compared the Koran to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, also vowed to put an end to immigration from Islamic countries.

    He would also close all Islamic schools and asylum centres, and ban Muslim women from wearing the headscarf in public, if elected prime minister next year.

    Mr Wilders unveiled the manifesto ahead of the Netherlands’ parliamentarian elections in March.

    The PVV currently leads the pack in almost every opinion poll amid growing anger at the Dutch government’s handling of the refugee crisis.

    It is on course to take 35 seats in the 150-seat Dutch Parliament, about 10 seats more than the ruling Liberal party, led by prime minister Mark Rutte.

    Mr Wilders also promised to do all he can to hold a referendum on Netherlands’ membership of the EU following June’s historic Brexit vote.

    Sybrand van Haersma Buma, leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party, branded Mr Wilders’ plans “utterly bizarre and unbelievable”.


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  • Breaking News: Russian military plane with 91 aboard missing over Black Sea

    25/Dec/2016 // 852 Viewers

     

    MOSCOW — A Russian Tu-154 aircraft with 91 people aboard, including a famed military band on the way to Syria, disappeared Sunday over the Black Sea shortly after takeoff from the resort town of Sochi,the Defense ministry said.

    The ministry said the plane was carrying the famous Alexandrov military band for a concert at the Russian air base in Syria.

    A total of 83 passengers and eight crew were on board when the plane dropped off radar early Sunday. Emergency services are searching for the plane, a Soviet-designed three-engine airliner, the ministry said.

    Nine journalists were among the passengers, according to the Interfax news agency.

    Russian media reports said the plane disappeared over the sea a few minutes after takeoff.

    Interfax reported that the rescuers already have determined the location of the crash, but there has been no official confirmation.

    Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was personally coordinating the rescue efforts, and President Vladimir Putin has received official reports on the incident.

    Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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