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Updated: 2018-03-02T08:29:51.112-08:00

 



UN chief condemns Nigeria clashes

2011-02-22T01:37:26.629-08:00

After a lot of foot-dragging and several entreaties by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Senate on Thursday finally passed the anti-terrorism bill into law.Coming barely 24 hours after Jonathan wrote the lawmakers passionately pleading for its passage, the new law seeks to combat terrorism in all its ramifications.The president on Wednesday again wrote to the leadership of the National Assembly soliciting the quick passage of the Money Laundering Prohibition Bill and the Anti-Terrorism Bill.It was the third time in four months that the President would be appealing to the lawmakers' sense of urgency in passing the crucial bill that have been in the legislative works since 2009. He had earlier written two letters to the National Assembly on the issue in June and August last year.The passage of the bill followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence that has been saddled with the task of fine-tuning the bill since it passed second reading last year. Presenting the committee's report, its Chairman, Senator Nuhu Aliyu (PDP, Kano) explained that the fight against terrorism has today become a global fight and Nigeria as a member of the international community seeks to play an important role.President Goodluck JonathanHe noted that with the event of September 11, 2001 in the US, various countries the world over have put measures in place to check the activities of terrorists, especially with the passage of the UN Security Council resolution 1373.He said, "For those of us who were here during the fifth senate, you will recall that a bill to combat terrorist acts was read on this chamber in 2005 but it could not scale the second reading because it was the thinking of the Senate then, that the objective conditions for having an Anti-Terrorist Act were not extant in Nigeria".Aliyu explained that the bill seeks to provide a legal framework for the prevention, prohibition and combating of acts terrorism in Nigeria as well as prescribe penalties for violating any of its provisions.Under the new bill, many organized crimes such as oil bunkering, hostage taking and kidnappings will attract stiff penalties.Aliyu maintained that when it becomes operational, the bill "will go a long way to lay the legal framework for measures for the prevention, prohibition and combating of acts of terrorism, the financing of terrorism in Nigeria and for the effective implementation of the Convention on the prevention and combating of terrorism and the convention on the suppression of the financing of terrorism.It also seeks to prescribe penalties for violating any of its provisions."Section 2(c) of the bill defines 'act of terrorism" as causing an attack upon a person's life which may cause serious bodily harm or death; kidnapping of a person; destruction to a government or public facility, transport system, an infrastructural facility including an information system, a fixed platform located on the continental shelf, public place or private property likely to endanger human life or result in major economic loss.Senate President David Mark[...]



Côte d'Ivoire Crisis Latest: UN Chief Underlines Warning Against Attacking Peacekeepers

2010-12-20T04:38:18.582-08:00

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized his warning against attacks on the United Nations peacekeeping force in Côte d'Ivoire or attempts to obstruct their work, saying there will consequences for those responsible, as the UN human rights arm reported "massive violations." Ivory Coast on the map."Any attack on UN forces will be an attack on the international community and those responsible for these actions will be held accountable," said a statement issued by the spokesperson of the Secretary-General, which added that Mr. Ban was aware of statements by the Laurent Gbagbo's spokesperson calling for the withdrawal of the UN force.Embattled President Gbagbo"Any continued actions obstructing and constricting UN operations are similarly unacceptable," the statement released late on Saturday added.The UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) will continue to fulfil its mandate and to monitor and document any human rights violations, incitement to hatred and violence, or attacks on UN peacekeepers, Mr. Ban said.Protesters doing their business.In Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, expressed deep concern over the growing evidence of massive violations of human rights taking place in Côte d'Ivoire since 16 December, and reiterated her determination to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions."When people are victims of extrajudicial killings there must be an investigation, and there must be accountability," Ms. Pillay said, noting that in the past three days there has been more than 50 people killed, and over 200 injured.Ivory Coast gendarme tying to control protesters.  Mr. Ban said those attacks were perpetrated by elements of the Ivorian security forces apparently loyal to Mr. Gbagbo, adding that a separate attack on UN military observers by Young Patriots, a group linked with the outgoing president, on Saturday left two military observers wounded."There will be consequences for those who have perpetrated or orchestrated any such actions or do so in the future," the statement said.The Secretary-General said the Security Council will meet once again on Monday to discuss the situation in Côte d'Ivoire and the renewal of UNOCI''s mandate, which is due to expire on 31 December 2010."The international community has spoken with one voice regarding Mr. Gbagbo's attempt to hold onto power. The statements issued by the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union in this regard have shown that the African Continent is united in its commitment to respect the democratically expressed will of the Ivorian people and have recognized Mr. Ouattara as the President-elect," the statement added.Ms. Pillay said UNOCI has received reports from hundreds of victims and members of their families about the abduction of individuals from their homes, especially at night, by unidentified armed individuals in military uniform accompanied by elements of the defence and security forces or militia groups.Abducted people are reportedly taken by force to illegal places of detention where they are held incommunicado and without charge. Some have been found dead in questionable circumstances."I call upon all parties concerned to respect the human rights of all Ivorians, without discrimination," Ms. Pillay said. "UN human rights officers in Cote d'Ivoire are on the alert and will continue to closely monitor the situation across the country."Laurent Gbagbo                                                                                               &nbs[...]



France To Investigate African Leaders Assets

2010-11-16T05:02:00.453-08:00

French appeals court reopens African assets case

France's highest appeals court has authorised judges to proceed with an investigation into assets held in the country by three African leaders. The anti-corruption group Transparency International has accused the three of using African public funds to buy luxury homes and cars in France.
A Paris court halted the lawsuit last year, saying Transparency could not act against foreign heads of state.
The three leaders, one of whom is now dead, had denied wrongdoing.
They are Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo and Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, as well as the late Gabonese leader, Omar Bongo.
Transparency estimates the total value of the three leaders' estates in France at 160m euros (£140m, $223m).
'Legal breakthrough' Quoting French police investigations dating back to 2007, it said President Obiang owned vehicles worth more than 4m euros, the late Bongo and his relations had 39 homes, and Mr Sassou Nguesso and his relations held 112 bank accounts.
(image)
The leaders of the three countries had all denied the charges

Start Quote

For the first time in France, a lawsuit by an anti-corruption association acting for the interests it aims to defend has been judged admissible”
End Quote Transparency International
Investigations found that Bongo's wife Edith had bought a Daimler Chrysler car with a cheque drawn on a Gabonese government account in France, Transparency added.
"For the first time in France, a lawsuit by an anti-corruption association acting for the interests it aims to defend has been judged admissible," the anti-corruption group said in a statement welcoming the ruling.
It hoped the funds allegedly stolen would eventually be recovered.
The case followed a 2007 French police investigation which had found the leaders and their relatives owned homes in upmarket areas of Paris and on the Riviera, along with luxury cars including Bugattis, Ferraris and Maseratis.
Transparency, along with rights group Sherpa, had argued that it was not possible that the men and their entourages had bought the assets through their legitimate salaries.
When a French magistrate ruled in May 2008 that the "ill-gotten gains" case was admissible in a French court, representatives of the leaders contested the ruling.
They argued that, as civil society activists, Transparency had no right to act as plaintiffs against heads of state.
Transparency appealed in turn and its action was upheld on Tuesday.
Gabon and Republic of Congo are former French colonies.
Omar Bongo - who was Africa's longest-serving leader - died in June 2009 but members of his family were also named in Transparency International's case.(image)



Nigeria Goes On Strike.

2010-11-13T05:44:00.138-08:00

Nigeria strike goes ahead despite presidential talksThe president   Nigeria - Troubled Giant 'Sham' democracy Emirs: Power behind the throne 'I burnt my friend's house down' Armed robber? Nigerian unions are going ahead with a threatened nationwide strike for a rise in the minimum wage.The two largest unions rejected a last-minute appeal from President Goodluck Jonathan to call off the action. The unions want the monthly minimum wage more than doubled to $120 (£75) because prices have risen steeply.But union leaders said they would meet later on Wednesday to decide whether to strike for three days as initially planned or call off the action early.'Eerily quiet' The protest is expected to affect a wide range of services across Africa's most populous nation.The BBC's Caroline Duffield in the main commercial city, Lagos, says streets, shops and offices are eerily quiet. A rally organised by the unions is under way in the city although many workers have simply decided to stay at home. Continue reading the main story Wage Worries Unions demanding increase to 18,000 naira ($120, £75) from 7,500 naira Minimum wage has not risen for a decade Inflation running at about 11% Key facts, figures and dates "It's very difficult, there is no vehicle on the road," security guard Okpara Adonis told Reuters agency.He said private minibus drivers were exploiting the fact that state-owned buses were not working."In place of 50 naira ($0.33, £0.20) they are charging 100 naira for the bus, and there is no place to get fuel."In the capital, Abuja, ministries and government offices, banks and public schools are closed.Holiday concerns Inflation has been running at double-digit rates in recent years, driven by increases in food and transportation costs.The minimum wage has not risen for a decade.Mr Jonathan cut short a visit to Lagos to meet representatives from the country's two main unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).The leader of the NLC at the talks said the two unions' national executives would meet on Wednesday afternoon to decide whether or not to continue with the strike."We have heard the message of Mr President," NLC acting president Promise Adewusi told reporters after the talks with Mr Jonathan.The president cut short a trip to Nigeria's business hub Lagos to meet union leaders"We are going to go back to our organ [executive council]. The only thing we can say to you is that the strike is on until it is called off by the organ," he said.Ahead of the talks, Mr Jonathan's office issued a statement saying it was committed to "realistic wages" for all workers.Correspondents say there are fears that if the strike continues it will affect people's plans for next week's Eid al-Kabir nationwide public holidays on Tuesday and Wednesday as banks may not be open again until Monday.[...]



0 Comments

2010-11-10T05:29:04.198-08:00

French appeals court reopens African assets case

(image)
The leaders of the three countries had all denied the charges

France's highest appeals court has authorised judges to proceed with an investigation into assets held in the country by three African leaders.
The anti-corruption group Transparency International has accused the three of using African public funds to buy luxury homes and cars in France.
A Paris court halted the lawsuit last year, saying Transparency could not act against foreign heads of state.
The three leaders, one of whom is now dead, had denied wrongdoing.
They are Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo and Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, as well as the late Gabonese leader, Omar Bongo.
Transparency estimates the total value of the three leaders' estates in France at 160m euros (£140m, $223m).
'Legal breakthrough' Quoting French police investigations dating back to 2007, it said President Obiang owned vehicles worth more than 4m euros, the late Bongo and his relations had 39 homes, and Mr Sassou Nguesso and his relations held 112 bank accounts.


“Start Quote

For the first time in France, a lawsuit by an anti-corruption association acting for the interests it aims to defend has been judged admissible”
End Quote Transparency International
Investigations found that Bongo's wife Edith had bought a Daimler Chrysler car with a cheque drawn on a Gabonese government account in France, Transparency added.
"For the first time in France, a lawsuit by an anti-corruption association acting for the interests it aims to defend has been judged admissible," the anti-corruption group said in a statement welcoming the ruling.
It hoped the funds allegedly stolen would eventually be recovered.
The case followed a 2007 French police investigation which had found the leaders and their relatives owned homes in upmarket areas of Paris and on the Riviera, along with luxury cars including Bugattis, Ferraris and Maseratis.
Transparency, along with rights group Sherpa, had argued that it was not possible that the men and their entourages had bought the assets through their legitimate salaries.
When a French magistrate ruled in May 2008 that the "ill-gotten gains" case was admissible in a French court, representatives of the leaders contested the ruling.
They argued that, as civil society activists, Transparency had no right to act as plaintiffs against heads of state.
Transparency appealed in turn and its action was upheld on Tuesday.
Gabon and Republic of Congo are former French colonies.
Omar Bongo - who was Africa's longest-serving leader - died in June 2009 but members of his family were also named in Transparency International's case.(image)



American President Barack Obama Says; Indonesia an example of how a developing nation can embrace democracy and diversity.

2010-11-10T04:39:35.267-08:00

US President Barack Obama has held up Indonesia as an example of how a developing nation can embrace democracy and diversity.He was speaking in Jakarta on a visit to the world's largest Muslim nation.Mr Obama said innocent people across the world were still targeted by militants but emphasised that the US was not at war with Islam.Analysts say it is his biggest attempt to engage the Islamic world since a speech in Cairo last year.Mr Obama was speaking at the University of Indonesia, before an audience of 6,000 people.'Shared values' In his address, he touched on the four years he spent in the country as a child and emphasised the importance of Indonesia's example as a growing economy and a majority-Muslim nation that is largely tolerant of other religions."Today, I return to Indonesia as a friend, but also as a president who seeks a deep and enduring partnership between our two countries," he said."Because as vast and diverse countries; as neighbours on either side of the Pacific; and above all as democracies - the United States and Indonesia are bound together by shared interests and shared values." Analysis Barack Obama applied the personal touch with great aplomb: reminiscing about the Indonesia he once knew, then praising the progress it has made from dictatorship to vibrant, booming democracy. He repeated its national motto - "Unity in Diversity" - holding Indonesia up as an example for others to follow. Mr Obama then pressed home his support for democracy, human rights and religious tolerance. The young audience at the University of Indonesia cheered, and much of the rest of the country was charmed. They could perhaps once again think of the President of the United States as one of their own. He also highlighted the role religion had played in Indonesia's development, praising the country's spirituality and "rich diversity"."Just as individuals are not defined solely by their faith, Indonesia is defined by more than its Muslim population," he said."But we also know that relations between the United States and Muslim communities have frayed over many years. As president, I have made it a priority to begin to repair these relations."He said more work needed to be done to address "the issues that have caused tensions for many years" but appealed for unity to defeat "violent extremists"."I have made it clear that America is not, and never will be, at war with Islam," he said."Instead, all of us must work together to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates, who have no claim to be leaders of any religion - certainly not a great, world religion like Islam. But those who want to build must not cede ground to terrorists who seek to destroy. This is not a task for America alone."But among the kind words for his hosts, there was also a thinly-veiled swipe at China, says the BBC's Guy Delauney in Jakarta - in particular its treatment of political dissidents."Prosperity without freedom is just another form of poverty," Mr Obama said. "Because there are aspirations that human beings share - the liberty of knowing that your leader is accountable to you - and that you won't get locked up for disagreeing with them."Mr Obama's trip to Asia covers four successful democracies - and shows the direction the US would like others to follow, our correspondent says.Difficulties The president also revisited some of the themes he raised in his June 2009 speech in Cairo: the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and between Israel and the Palestinians.Mr Obama said Indonesia was defined by more than its Muslim population   In a reminder of the difficulties he faces on that last front, Israel decided to build more apartments for Jewish settlers in disputed East Jerusalem.Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians resumed in September after a break of almost two years but were suspended after a few weeks when a freeze on the build[...]



Politic latest: Obama supports India on UN Security Council

2010-11-08T05:28:56.015-08:00

President Barack Obama backed India for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council Monday, a dramatic diplomatic gesture to his hosts as he wrapped up his first visit to this burgeoning nation.
Obama made the announcement in a speech to India's parliament on the third and final day of his visit. In doing so, he fulfilled what was perhaps India's dearest wish for Obama's trip here. India has been pushing for permanent Security Council membership for years.
"The just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate," Obama said. "That is why I can say today -- in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed U.N. Security Council that includes India as a permanent member."
The announcement brought the loudest applause of Obama's speech. But it does not mean that India will join the five permanent Security Council members anytime soon. The U.S. is backing India's membership only in the context of unspecified reforms to the council that could take years to bring about.
That makes Obama's announcement more of a diplomatic gesture than a concrete step. Nonetheless, it underscores the importance the U.S. places on fostering ties with this nation of 1.2 billion people, something Obama has been seeking to accomplish throughout his time here.
Obama said repeatedly throughout his three days in India -- first in the financial center of Mumbai and then in the capital of New Delhi -- that he views the relationship between the two countries as one of the "defining partnerships" of the 21st century. He set out to prove it by making India the first stop on a four-country tour of Asia, and then through economic announcements, cultural outreach and finally the announcement about the U.N. Security Council.
India has sought permanent council membership as recognition of its surging economic clout and its increased stature in world affairs. The U.S. endorsement is certain to deepen the ties between them and could also send Obama's popularity in India skyrocketing to a level comparable to that enjoyed by George W. Bush. The former president is seen as a hero here for helping end India's nuclear isolation.
The five permanent members of the Security Council are the U.S., China, France, the United Kingdom and Russia.
Debate has raged for years over how to change a structure that is widely seen as outdated and it is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. So it's unclear when India's drive for permanent membership will ever be realized. But backing it at all is a critically important move from India's perspective.(image)



Chilean miner Edison Peña to run New York marathon

2010-11-04T08:05:24.974-07:00

(image)
Chilean miner Edison Peña wants to run in Sunday’s New York City marathon.   Photograph: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters
Chilean miner who jogged while trapped underground had been invited to watch race, but now wants to take part. The Chilean miner who jogged in the tunnels while trapped underground not only will attend Sunday's New York City marathon – he wants to run it.
Marathon officials had invited Edison Peña to watch the race after hearing his story when the miners were rescued last month. They thought he could ride in the lead vehicle or hold the finish line tape, but never expected the Chilean consulate to tell them that Peña wanted to run.
"He absolutely, 100% wants to participate," the New York Road Runners president, Mary Wittenberg, said on Monday.
Marathon organisers were working to arrange Peña travel to New York and decide exactly how to best honour him.
Peña was one of the 33 miners who were trapped for 69 days after a collapse stranded them nearly 800m underground. Marathon officials had been in contact with the consulate since the rescue, and last week they received word that Peña had accepted their invitation to attend.
Then came Monday's news that Peña wasn't content to just be an observer.
"I cannot wait to meet this man," Wittenberg said.
[source:guardian.co.uk](image)



South Korea fires warning shots at fishing boat

2010-11-04T07:59:31.576-07:00

(image)
South Korean Soldier keeping watch.
South Korea's navy fired warning shots to push a North Korean fishing boat back to its side of the Yellow Sea border Wednesday, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing military officials.

The boat crossed the Northern Limit Line at 7:18 a.m. Wednesday and then went back to its side about two and a half hours later after the shots were fired, Yonhap reported.

No casualties were reported.

Last week, North Korean and South Korean military units exchanged gunfire near their border, according to South Korean authorities.

The exchange happened after North Korean forces fired two rounds from a 14.5 millimeter machine gun at a South Korean military guard post near the border town of Chorwon, South Korea, about 73 miles (118 km) northeast of Seoul, according to an official at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The prickly relationship between the countries since the Korean War has had periodic conciliatory moves and flare-ups.

While there are occasional shooting incidents across the demilitarized zones, the most tense flash point on the peninsula in recent years has been the disputed maritime border in the Yellow Sea.

There were fatal naval clashes there in 1999 and 2002. In March this year, the sinking of a South Korean vessel killed 46 sailors in what a South Korean and international investigation team concluded was a North Korean torpedo attack.

Tensions though have not affected North-South Korean family reunions, which began October 30 and will end Friday at Mount Kumgang, the two Koreas' joint mountain resort in the North.

"They shared kindred feelings, inquiring after the health of their families and relatives who were not able to join the reunion," North Korea's KCNA reported on Wednesday.

"Through the reunion the separated families and relatives from the north and the south keenly realized that they cannot live separated from each other any longer but should terminate the tragic division as early as possible."
[source:CNN](image)



Nigeria @ 50 … A Time for a Sober Reflection

2010-10-25T11:35:20.964-07:00

House Of Assembly Speaker Bankole With President Goodluck Jonathan On the wee hours of Oct. 1st  2010 I saw a new message on my blackberry and I have to grab the pc.  the story was on Nigeria at 50, after reading through the message soberly I decide to blog with it. He is the excerpt: … as we must BEGIN to Walk and Work our Talk … individually and Collectively.“When this Nation has attained its true height in the near future, let it be our known that as true citizens of this great nation we ensured that by conscious effort, might, will power and strength of character, we ensured that after all is said and done more is done than said”. -             Obozuwa Enike Dominic AKA (Deo Avante)INTRODUCTION“ARISE O COMPATRIOT, NIGERIA’S CALL OBEY. TO SERVE OUR FATHER LAND WITH LOVE, STRENGTH AND FAITH. THE LABOUR OF OUR HEROES PAST SHALL NEVER BE IN VAIN. TO SERVE WITH HEART AND MIGHT … ONE NATION BOUND IN FREEDOM, PEACE AND UNITY”. AMEN.As you recite the words … let every word make a significant meaning to you … Rest on each word and think about it … and then your contribution to make it happen … This is our collective destiny.Last year as I wrote a piece on Nigeria @ 49 … Greatness lies Ahead, I began with the second stanza of our national anthem. This year … I think it is time to ARISE! Nigeria, Nigerians, ARISE! Arise and take back that which is yours by doing that which is needful.  It is time to serve our fatherland, truly, diligently, wholeheartedly  and with all our might.This is a call to work and service. True, committed and dedicated service.Let us reflect on the past, and we will see that selfishness, avarice, self aggrandizement, ineptitudinal leadership,  inordinate ambition, voracity and rotational leadership and enslavement by the leaders of the past has kept this Nation at a standstill.I have come to declare the mandate of a generation that works, and is restless with the state of affairs in our Nation presently … we have been stagnated for too long … we have stayed on this mountain for too long … IT IS TIME TO MOVE FORWARD. As we mark 50 years of Independence, we must indeed think, talk, walk and work free … we must work by the tenets of sustained and enduring values.We must begin to think less of ourselves and what we can get but rather to think of what we can give, contribute, invest and let go to the next man. We must make up our minds to Walk our Talk; and ensure that after all is said and done, there is MUCH MORE DONE THAN SAID.It is not enough to just think and talk … we must DO WHAT WE BELIEVE, CLAIM OR PRESUME TO BE RIGHT, JUST, EQUITABLE, REQUIRED, NECESSARY AND FAIR. This is the true CAN DO Nigerian spirit.In this piece, as I speak to Our leaders, the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, the Nigerian and everyone who has gotten a citizenship of this great nation one way or another, I will discuss Three things viz:Why we must Celebrate Why we must reflect on the past and what we want for the future, and Nigerians and the Leadership Conundrum with a mild emphasis on the young people of our nation. President Goodluck Jonathan WHY WE MUST CELEBRATEA lot of people have said we should not be celebrating, but i will give you a few things to celebrate about; and i will be brief about it.For once we have a leadership that is people oriented and not self serving. We have a vibrant media (Press, TV, Radio, Internet) and freedom of the press, through which the public outcry has being enhanced. We are still bound in nationhood after the civil wars of the past, tribal and religious killings and sectional rivalries. The numerous ethno-religious conflagratio[...]



Get Political wonders

2010-10-19T02:14:34.656-07:00

K9Q8WK6K7TV9 The code are for some other thing.(image)