Friday, May 26, 2017

Gunmen killed 20 Egyptian Christians


Gunmen attacked a bus carrying Egyptian Christians south of the capital on Friday, killing at least 20 people, state media and officials said.

"There are more than 20 dead and more than 20 wounded," a senior health ministry official told AFP.

The attack in Minya province came after church bombings in December and April claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group that killed dozens of Egypt's Coptic Christians.

The jihadists threatened more attacks against the Arab country's Christian minority.

Source: AFP

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

HARRYSONG AND TEAM THROW PARTY FOR ALTERPLATE OFFICIAL LAUNCH |FRIDAY MAY26| 8PM| COVA LOUNGE


Harrysong and his team are throwing a grand party this weekend to declare their music company, Alterplate officially open for business.

The event which will have a lot of other musicians, comedians, actors, DJs and industry bigwigs in attendance is billed for this Friday, May 26, 2017 at Cova Lounge, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Known for his incredible stage craft, Harrysong has promised to put up an electrifying performance and to officially announce his team to the public.

Alterplate is a company with “total ready to use music solution”; at Alterplate , we respect talent over money, and you will agree that  Harrysong personifies this.

Ladies and gentlemen, turn up in your numbers, and let’s celebrate this Friday at this epoch making event

Harrysong, though decided to move on to pursue his career and dream, says he remains grateful to 5 Star Music for the love and support he enjoyed from them over the years.

Venue: COVA Lounge,  4th Floor, Mega Plaza, 14, Idowu Martins Street.

 Time:     8pm.

 RSVP: 09086800580, 09098109339

Fulani group asks Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom to halt anti-grazing law


 

A group, Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN) has asked the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom to halt the anti-grazing law.

GAFDAN while describing the law as harsh and capable of causing breakdown of law and order requested that the law be suspended until alternative to open grazing is provided by the government.

The Governor on Monday signed into law the bill tagged: ‘Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017’.

The law provides a five-year jail term and the possibility of an additional N1million as fine for any violator.

The reaction of the group is contained in a statement in Abuja Wednesday by its Secretary General, Alhaji Sale Bayari.

The statement reads: “We are calling on Governor of Benue state, Mr. Samuel Ortom to immediately halt the enforcement of Benue State Anti-Grazing law called Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017, passed into Law on Thursday 4th May, 2017 by the Benue State House of Assembly and signed into law by the governor on Monday, 21st May, 2017.

“This call has become necessary in view of the fact that our members, the herdsmen have not been provided with any alternative grazing spaces in the state before being asked to comply with this law.

“The law provides for the provision or establishment of cattle ranches, but the law did not provide any clue as to how the herdsmen could access such ranches nor were they told how they could acquire these ranches for themselves and whether they could afford to do so.”

It further read: “We want to advise the Governor and people (farmer) of Benue state not to use the enactment of such repressive and vindictive law to harass our members.

“We appeal to the farmers to distance themselves from taking law into their hands against the herdsmen as this will lead to a serious breakdown of law and order.

“We call on the government and people of Benue State to put this law on hold until an alternative to the open grazing is found or provided by the government.

“It is our view and position that this law is too harsh, reprehensive, repressive and discriminatory by providing for a 5-year jail term and the possibility of an additional N1million as fine.

“This law, in our opinion is a recipe for chaos if not looked into with a view to putting it on hold or to repeal if there is no alternative provided by the government for the herdsmen in the mean time before its enforcement by providing ranches for the herdsmen.”

The group also urged the federal government to intervene. “We wish to call on the Federal Government to intervene immediately and directly through the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe who is coincidentally from Benue state, to halt this ugly situation.

“It is an irony that it is the state where the Minister of Agriculture, a minister that the herdsmen should run to that would be the first state in the entire north to enact such hate law.”

GAFDAN however called on its members in Benue state and sympathisers all over the country and diaspora to be patient, tolerant and obedient to all laws and security agencies and not take the laws into their hands no matter the unconstitutional provocation.

It noted that it would continue to seek constitutional and peaceful means of ensuring that the law is made null and void through whatever means legal and lawful.

 Source: The Nation

Sunday, May 21, 2017

PHOTO: Rapist who fled to Pakistan in 2009 is caught and jailed on his return to UK

WEST MIDLANDS POLICE*Amar Mehraj was stopped at Birmingham Airport in November

A man who fled to Pakistan after raping a teenage girl has been jailed after he was caught trying to return to the UK.

Amar Mehraj, 29, was one of four men who gang raped a 17-year-old girl while she was unconscious in July 2009 in Oldbury, West Midlands.

He then left the country but was caught at Birmingham Airport in November.

Police said Mehraj had been jailed for nine years and nine months after admitting taking part in the attack. Three other men were jailed in 2010.

Det Con Mark Timmins of West Midlands Police said: "This was a sickening crime against a vulnerable young girl, who was plied with alcohol and drugs before being sexually abused.

"Protecting young people from harm is a priority for West Midlands Police and partner agencies and we take reports of sexual offences extremely seriously.

"This case just goes to show that we will never give up on bringing offenders to justice.

"Thankfully, justice has finally caught up with Mehraj."

Mehraj, of Giles Road, Oldbury, was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday, having admitted his role in the attack at an earlier hearing.

Source: BBC

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Indian woman cut off the genitals of a Hindu religious leader who raped her

SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/GETTY *The woman castrated her attacker with a knife after years of alleged abuse

A 23-year-old Indian woman has cut off the genitals of a Hindu religious teacher in the southern state of Kerala, claiming he raped her for years.

Police said the suspect, named as Gangeshananda Theerthapada, would come to the woman's house to perform prayer rituals for her father's health.

Her mother had hoped the self-styled holy man would ease the family's woes.

Instead, her daughter claims he assaulted her at every opportunity.

On Friday night, she grabbed a knife and attacked him when he allegedly tried to rape her, and then called the police herself.

The alleged rapist was rushed to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College for emergency surgery.

The hospital said in a statement: "A 54-year-old man from Kollam was admitted at 12.39am [19:09 GMT] to the hospital on Saturday. His penis had been cut (90%) and was hanging precariously. There was no way it could be stitched back.

"Plastic surgeons who are urology experts in the hospital did emergency surgery to stop the blood loss and to enable him to pass urine."

Deputy Commissioner of Police Arul B Krishna told The Times of India that the woman's father had been bed-ridden for years.

He said the victim had recounted her abuse to her mother, who may now face charges for failing to report it.

The young woman herself is not expected to face a criminal case.

Kerala's Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has praised the victim's bravery, saying the castration was "a courageous and strong act".

Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus.

Protesters frequently call for rapists to be hanged - the harshest sentence available for the crime.

VIolent sexual attacks against women and children continue to be reported across the country.

Source: BBC

Friday, May 19, 2017

90 Nigerians deported from South Africa

The South African government on Friday deported 90 Nigerians for committing immigration-related offences.

The deportees according to a source from the airport police command were flown into the country through the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport aboard a South African Airways aircraft marked BBB712 from the xenophobic country.

DSP Joseph Alabi, the spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

While some of the deportees were said to have violated immigration offenses, others were accused of living in the country without the prerequisite documents.

On arrival at the Lagos airport, the deportees were received by the law enforcement agencies including the police who profiled them before releasing them to depart to their respective destinations.

Alabi said the deportees, who are all men,  landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 3.30pm.

“This afternoon, about 3.30pm, 90 Nigerians were deported from South Africa for committing immigration-related offences.

“Some of them were alleged to have been living in the country without valid documents.

“They were received by the appropriate agencies including the police and profiled before being allowed to depart to their respective destinations, ” Alabi said.

NAN reports that South Africa had also on Feb. 28 sent 97 Nigerians back home for committing various offences.

They deportees were made up of 95 males and two females.

3 suicide bombers strike at University of Maiduguri


Three male suicide bombers Thursday night struck at University of Maiduguri, but their mission was largely a flop. It was the fourth attack on the school since January.

The bombers at about 23.50 attempted to enter the female hostel, but were stopped by eagle-eyed security men.

One of them hurriedly detonated the Improvised Explosive Device (IED), strapped on his body.

He killed himself and injured three security men.

The other two scampered off and detonated their bombs near a construction site, close to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

Victor Isuku, the spokesperson of the Borno police command said:

“On 18/5/2017 at about 2350hrs, three male suicide bombers with IEDs strapped to their bodies, gained entry into the premises of university of Maiduguri.

“In an attempt to enter the female hostels, they were intercepted by security operatives.

“One of the bombers hurriedly detonated his IED vest, killing himself instantly.

“The other two bombers detonated their near a construction site also within the proximity of the University premises, killing themselves alone.

” Three university security personnel reported injured. Scene visited by EOD personnel and normalcy restored.

NAN recalled that this was the fourth attack on the University between January to May this year.

Source: NAN

Swedish prosecutors drop rape probe against WikiLeaks’s Assange

(FILES) This file photo taken on February 5, 2016 shows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addresses the media holding a printed report of the judgement of the UN's Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on his case from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in central London. Swedish prosecutors investigating rape accusations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange must decide on May 19, 2017 if they will lift a European-wide arrest warrant against him in a seven-year case. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL

Swedish prosecutors Friday dropped a seven-year rape investigation into Julian Assange, a legal victory for the WikiLeaks founder who has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012.

"Director of Public Prosecution, Marianne Ny, has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape by Julian Assange," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Friday was the deadline for the public prosecutor's office to either renew or lift Assange's arrest warrant before a Stockholm court.

Shortly after the decision, Assange posted a picture of himself smiling broadly, without comment.

Ny and Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren are to brief reporters on the decision at 12:00pm (1000 GMT) on Friday.

The 45-year-old Australian has always denied the 2010 allegations, which he feared would see him extradited to the United States and tried over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.

He has been living at the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012 and risks being arrested by British police if he steps out of the building.

British police have said they will arrest Assange as soon as he walks out of the embassy because he has broken his conditions for bail -- a relatively minor offence under British law -- by failing to surrender on June 29, 2012 for extradition to Sweden.

Assange's Swedish lawyer last month filed a new motion demanding that the arrest warrant be lifted after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in April that arresting Assange would be "a priority".

"This implies that we can now demonstrate that the US has a will to take action... this is why we ask for the arrest warrant to be cancelled so that Julian Assange can fly to Ecuador and enjoy his political asylum," lawyer Per Samuelsson told AFP at the time.

The accusation against Assange dated from August 2010 when the alleged victim, who says she met him at a WikiLeaks conference in Stockholm a few days earlier, filed a complaint.

She accused him of having sex with her as she slept without using a condom despite repeatedly having denied him unprotected sex.

- Endless delays -
"I am entirely innocent," Assange wrote in a 19-page testimony released in December 2016.

He argues that the sex was consensual and has denounced the accusations as "politically motived".

The investigation had suffered from multiple procedural complications since it began.

The statute of limitations on the rape allegation expires in August 2020.

In a letter sent to the Swedish government on May 8, Ecuador condemned "the obvious lack of progress" in the investigation despite Assange's questioning in the presence of the Swedish prosecutor at the embassy in November 2016.

"It is extremely worrying that six months after the hearing at the Embassy of Ecuador in the United Kingdom, the Swedish prosecutor's office has not yet decided on the judicial situation of Julian Assange," the Ecuadoran Foreign Ministry said in the letter seen by AFP.

Swedish judges have refused to take into account the opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which in February 2016 said Assange was effectively "arbitrarily detained" by Sweden and Britain and called for the arrest warrant to be annulled.

Source: AFP

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tragedy as Imam, wife and his 4 children killed in Ijebu-Ode

Sheik Yusuf Amzat-Salam, 35, his wife and four children were killed by hoodlums in the early hours of Tuesday in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun. PHOTO: NAN

A Muslim cleric, Sheik Yusuf Amzat-Salam, 35, his wife and four children were killed by hoodlums in the early hours of Tuesday in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the incident occurred at Atiba area of Odogbolu Local Government Area.

NAN gathered that the eldest child, a girl, was aged 11, followed by her twin brothers, aged 8 and the last female child, aged 2. All the victims had since been buried accordance to Muslim rites amid wailing.

The attackers, whose motive could not be ascertained, butchered the entire household with machetes. NAN gathered that the victims were discovered in the pool of their blood when school bus came to pick the children.

A close family friend, Mr Yusuf Oludaisi, described the act as dastardly and wicked, wondering what the victim must have done to warrant such treatment. “He was someone whom we grew up together. I have known him for 30 years to be humble and kind to everyone who came across his path.

“It’s really sad because this was someone you will never see quarrelling or being disrespectful”, said Oludaisi. The younger brother of the victim, Alfa Ishaaq Amzat-Salam, however, said he would leave the matter for God to judge.

“I leave those who perpetrated such evil into God’s hands for He alone will judge them. The deed cannot be undone. “I will always remember my brother forever for his loving kindness as he was a shining light to us all”, said Ishaaq.

Ex-Senator Gbenga Kaka (Ogun East), who was at the burial of the victims, described the incident as very sad. “I am a close friend to the father of the victim and when I heard what happened, I was in bitter shock.

“It is unimaginable what these people did and it brings much sadness to my heart. I don’t even have the words to describe it”, said Kaka. Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), in Ogun, Bimbola Oyeyemi, said the command was aware of the incident.

“We are already doing all to investigate and apprehend the culprit”, he said. Sympathisers described the cleric as a peace-loving, humble and caring individual.

Source: NAN

US teen died after drinking several highly-caffeinated drinks under 2 hours

Davis Cripe drank three caffeinated drinks in just under two hours

A healthy teenager in the US state of South Carolina died from drinking several highly-caffeinated drinks too quickly, a coroner has ruled.

Davis Allen Cripe collapsed at a high school in April after drinking a McDonalds latte, a large Mountain Dew soft drink and an energy drink in just under two hours, Gary Watts said.

The 16-year-old died from a "caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia".

He had no pre-existing heart condition.

The teenager weighed 90kg (200 lbs) but would not have been considered morbidly obese, Mr Watts said.

"This is not a caffeine overdose," Mr Watts told Reuters news agency.

"We're not saying that it was the total amount of caffeine in the system, it was just the way that it was ingested over that short period of time, and the chugging of the energy drink at the end was what the issue was with the cardiac arrhythmia."

Caffeine would probably not have been seen as a factor in the teenager's death if witnesses had not been able to tell officials what he had been drinking before his death, the Richland County coroner said.

The main witness could not say which brand of energy drink Davis drank but said it was from a container the size of a large soft drink.

GETTY IMAGES*The American Academy of Paediatrics warns against young people drinking energy drinks

"We're not trying to speak out totally against caffeine," Mr Watts said. "We believe people need to pay attention to their caffeine intake and how they do it, just as they do with alcohol or cigarettes."

The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) has warned against children and teenagers consuming energy drinks, saying their ingredients have not been tested on children and "no-one can ensure they are safe".

It says they have side-effects including irregular heartbeats and blood pressure changes.

Most energy drinks contain a caffeine equivalent of three cups of coffee and as much as 14 teaspoons of sugar, the AAP says.

Davis may have consumed about 470mg of caffeine in just under two hours, based on statistics from the website caffeineinformer.com.

It says a McDonald's latte has 142mg of caffeine, a 570ml (20oz) Mountain Dew has 90mg, and a 450ml (16oz) energy drink can have as much as 240mg.

In 2015, the European Food Safety Authority said drinking more than 400mg could lead to increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, tremors, nervousness, insomnia and panic attacks.

IREUTERS.

Caffeine is a stimulant. It acts on the body's central nervous system within minutes, increasing alertness and reducing sleepiness.

But it has other effects too. It can raise your heart rate and make you feel jittery or anxious.

And once you've drunk it, it will take hours to clear it from your system.

Having a few cups of coffee or other caffeinated drinks a day is considered perfectly safe. But drinking too much or lots in a short space of time is risky.

You can overdose on caffeine and it is possible to die if you ingest too much.

Up to 400mg of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That's roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of Coca-Cola or two "energy shot" drinks (although check the caffeine content of the beverage as it can vary).

Adolescents and pregnant women are advised to have less than this, though. Caffeinated drinks are unsuitable for toddlers and young children.

Source: BBC

Mexican journalist Javier Valdez, known for his coverage of drug trade killed

AFP*Javier Valdez had reported extensively on drug trafficking and organised crime in Mexico

Mexican journalist Javier Valdez, known for his award-winning coverage of the drug trade, has been shot dead.

Unidentified attackers opened fire on him on Monday in Culiacan city in the north-western state of Sinaloa, where he lived and worked.

Valdez, 50, received the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in 2011 for his work.

He is one of several journalists who have been killed in Mexico this year.

*AFP/GETTY *Valdez was shot in broad daylight on a street in Culiacan

Valdez was shot dead on the street near the premises of the Mexican news weekly he had founded, Ríodoce.

During his career spanning nearly three decades, Valdez wrote extensively on drug-trafficking and organised crime in Mexico, including the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel.

The cartel is believed to be responsible for an estimated 25% of all illegal drugs that enter the US via Mexico.

Its founder Joaquin Guzman, also known as "El Chapo" (Shorty), was captured in 2014 and is currently in jail awaiting trial in the US.

Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto condemned the killing, calling it an "outrageous crime", and added that his government remained committed to press freedom.

TWITTER / @EPN*Mr Nieto said in a tweet that Mr Valdez's killing was an "outrageous crime"

Sinaloa state attorney general Juan Jose Rios said they were investigating the death, and would protect Valdez's family and colleagues.

"Above all else we are interested in Javier's family," he told reporters.

The CPJ's Mexico representative Jan-Albert Hootsen said Valdez's killing was "an attack on journalism, all journalists throughout Mexico".

Valdez and his publication had been threatened before.

He told the freedom of expression organisation Index on Censorship last month that a hand grenade had been thrown into Ríodoce's offices in 2009, "although it only caused material damages".

"I've had phone calls telling me to stop investigating certain murders or drug bosses. I've had to suppress important information because they could have my family killed if I mention it.

"Sources of mine have been killed or disappeared… The government couldn't care less. They do nothing to protect you. There have been many cases and this keeps happening."

Speaking at a launch of his book last year, he said being a journalist "is like being on a blacklist" and that gangs "will decide what day they are going to kill you".

In March, after journalist Miroslava Breach was shot dead, Valdez was quoted as saying "No to silence" and "Let them kill us all".

Like Valdez, Breach had reported on organised crime, drug-trafficking and corruption.

Other Mexican journalists killed this year include freelancers Maximino Rodríguez and Cecilio Pineda Birto, according to the CPJ.

The CPJ says at least 40 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 1992.

Source: BBC

Monday, May 15, 2017

Nigerian Police arrest pharmacist over alleged kidnapping of his boss

Arms and ammunition recovered from the suspects

The police in Lagos at the weekend arrested a pharmacist over his suspected involvement in the kidnap of his boss, one Donatus Duru, the owner of a multi-national pharmaceutical company at Ilupeju area of Lagos State.

The businessman was abducted close to his office in Ilupeju on February 14, 2017 and taken to a hideout after which his abductors demanded one million Euro (N500 million) for his release. 

The family later paid N150 million but they insisted on the completion of the ransom, failing which they threatened to kill him. The suspect, simply identified as Emeka, reportedly conspired with other members of the notorious kidnap gang, led by their dreaded kingpin, one Evans, to abduct his boss around 8:00p.m. that day.   

 
He was kept in their hideout at Igando area of Lagos while both the anti-kidnapping team in Lagos State police command and Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), were making efforts to locate and free him.

However, last Friday, the victim miraculously escaped from their hideout and alerted police detectives at the Lagos State anti-kidnapping unit, who stormed the hideout and recovered large cache of arms abandoned by the fleeing kidnappers. 

Police sources told newsmen that the victim, who has gone into hiding with members of his family for fear of being attacked again by the fleeing members of the gang, narrated gory details of his escape from the kidnapper’s den at Igando.

According to the source, “the victim said that a few days after he was abducted, he over heard the voice of a pharmacist, Emeka, who has been under his employ for long, discussing with his abductors in an adjoining room. He said he heard him asking members of the gang keeping watch over him whether they had contacted members of his family. 

Subsequently, he kept on coming and given directives to those keeping watch over him where he was chained on the leg and blindfolded in one of the rooms in a flat. 

“A few days before his escape, the victim said Emeka came and re-assured them that he had signed all the documents for the release of goods worth about N7 million from his warehouse and also came the next Thursday to boldly question why they had not killed him as agreed.“He reportedly left after he was assured that they would carry out the killing by next Friday.  At this stage, the victim said he gave up hope of freedom.

“However, early in the morning preceding the Friday, he was able to unchain himself while his captors were deeply asleep with their guns and escaped through the back door, landing at the next compound, where a security guard jumped at him and branded him a thief.  He said that after narrating his story to the guard, he told him to wait but he did not see him again after waiting for a long time.”

“Later, he sneaked out of the compound and hid in an obscure corner as he was unable to go further because of the sprain he had on the leg after jumping down from the high fence wall. Unfortunately for him, early in the morning around 5.am, he saw some passersby and ran out to narrate his plight to them pleading that they should help him.  But, the people turned around to accuse him of being a thief and nearly succeeded in lynching him but for the intervention of one of them who after listening to his story, insisted that they should call any of his relations for confirmation. Luckily, they did and later took the badly wounded victim to Igando police station.”

It was gathered that despite the early report lodged at both Igando and Ilupeju police stations around 7.am and later at the command headquarters, Ikeja, including the intervention of the state anti-kidnapping unit in Surulere, detectives only succeeded in raiding the gang’s hide out at Igando, seven hours (3pm) later resulting in the easy escape of members of the notorious gang. 

They only ended up recovering arms inside the building where they kept the victim. The source further told newsmen that after the operation, all efforts made by members of the victim’s family to get police protection based on fears that fleeing members of the gang may strike again, woefully failed prompting the disappearance of the victim with members of his family to an unknown place.

Meanwhile, it has not been possible to ascertain whether detectives have sealed up the kidnapper’s hide out where arms were reportedly recovered or identified the owner of the building.

However, sources said police authorities in Abuja are disturbed by the turn of events and escape of the abductors based on the alleged shoddy manner the rescue operation was handled leading to the escape of ‘vicious’ members of the gang who have carried out several high profile kidnappings and targeted mostly, successful business men who end up paying a whooping to gain their freedom.

Deputy spokesman for Lagos state police command, Ifeanyi Iheanacho said he was not aware of the arrest of anybody over the case and also denied the issue of police late response to the rescue operation.  On the issue of protection, he said the victim was advised to go for proper medical checks and stay away from the media.  

A police source in the state’s anti-kidnapping team told The Guardian that the kingpin would soon be caught.“I can tell you that there is no hiding place for the suspect. We would soon catch him I can assure you.”

Source: The Guardian

Friday, May 12, 2017

Australian tourist,Baxter Reid detained in the US for overstaying his visa by 90 minutes released

ALEX REID*Baxter Reid was held in the US for more than two weeks

An Australian man detained in the US for overstaying his visa by 90 minutes has been released, his family says.

Baxter Reid, 26, had tried to enter Canada for a holiday just before his US visa expired at midnight on 23 April.

Relatives said Mr Reid was held up by Canadian officials before being sent back to the US, by which time his visa was invalid.

He was released from custody on Wednesday and will not be deported, according to his brother, Alex Reid.

"He's free to leave of his own accord," Alex Reid told the BBC, adding that his brother would be allowed to return.

"He's not angry, he's not upset, he doesn't hold grudges. He's just happy."

Mr Reid was with his American girlfriend, Heather Kancso, when he was handcuffed at the border in upstate New York.

According to his family, Mr Reid was on a visa that required him to leave the country before six months elapsed. He had planned to return to the US after visiting Canada.

ALEX REID*Mr Reid's family expects him to return to Australia

It was not clear why Mr Reid had been turned away by Canada, his brother said.

"He's just a typical Australian tourist just travelling America with his girlfriend," Alex Reid said.

Ms Kancso had set up an online campaign to pay for an immigration lawyer, raising more than $10,000 (£7,700).

She wrote online: "I am beyond happy to say that Baxter's court case went well."

He had been given 120 days to exit the US voluntarily, she said.

Alex Reid said he expected his brother to return to Australia this month.

"He just wants to have a beer with his mates," he said.

The Australian government confirmed it had offered consular assistance.

Source: BBC

Australian top IS recruiter Neil Prakash 'to be extradited' from Turkey

Neil Prakash, also known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, appeared in IS propaganda videos

Australia's most wanted jihadist, Neil Prakash, is likely to be extradited from Turkey within months, PM Malcolm Turnbull has said.

Prakash, a senior recruiter for so-called Islamic State, was arrested in Turkey last year and placed in jail.

Earlier last year, Australia incorrectly announced that Prakash - who has been linked to foiled terror attacks - had died in a US air strike.

The Melbourne-born man will now face trial in Australia, Mr Turnbull said.

"We have an extradition treaty with Turkey," Mr Turnbull said on the local Seven Network on Friday.

"It is just as well we do, because otherwise we would not be able to get him back and ensure this man faces justice in Australia."

Local media reported that Prakash was likely to face several terror-related charges if successfully extradited.

Prakash, also known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, left Australia for Syria in 2013 and has since appeared in propaganda videos and magazines.

Authorities have linked him to terror plots in Australia and calls for lone-wolf attacks against the US.

In May last year, Attorney-General George Brandis described Prakash as the "principal Australian reaching back from the Middle East" to terror networks in Melbourne and Sydney.

At the time Mr Brandis, citing US intelligence, said Prakash had been killed in an air strike in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

However, it later emerged that Prakash had been wounded and survived.

Mr Turnbull on Friday reiterated that his nation was committed to destroying the "barbaric terrorist group".

Source: BBC

PHOTO: 258 stranded Nigerians return from Libya

No fewer than 258 more Nigerian returnees from Libya arrived the country on Thursday aboard a chartered Airbus A330-200 with registration mark 5A-LAT operated by Libya Airlines.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the aircraft landed about 9:43pm at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The 258 voluntary returnees,  who  include four children and one infant. were made up of of 233 males, 25 females..

Their return was facilitated by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian embassy in Libya.

They were received at the Hajj Camp area of the airport by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.

Addressing newsmen, Ms Julie Okah-Donli, the newly appointed Director-General of NAPTIP, said the agency was particularly interested in those that were trafficked.

“After the profiling have been done, for those that have been trafficked, we will take them away to our shelters,” she said.

According to her, the agency is working with the international community to clamp down on the trafficking syndicate.

“They are doing their investigation and very soon we will be able to come out with effective results,” she said.

Also, Dr Onimode Bandele, Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA, said some of the returnees had medical issues.

He said some of them were suffering from depression and malnutrition, while one person sustained gun injury.

Source: NAN

Thursday, May 11, 2017

President Robert Mugabe not asleep but resting his eyes, says spokesman

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe/ AFP PHOTO / WILFRED KAJESE

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 93, is not asleep when he closes his eyes for long periods in public events but is resting his eyes from bright lights, his spokesman said Thursday.

Mugabe has regularly had his eyes closed at recent appearances, including when he appeared on a discussion panel at last week's World Economic Forum meeting in South Africa.

"I feel like a failure when there is this reading that the President is sleeping in conferences, no," his spokesman George Charamba was quoted as saying in the state-run Herald newspaper.

"At 93, there is something that happens to the eyes and the President cannot suffer bright lights. If you look at his poise, he looks down, avoids direct lighting."

Charamba compared Mugabe to Nelson Mandela, whose eyes were sensitive to flash photography after years of working in a limestone quarry when he was imprisoned on Robben Island.

"You were not allowed to even use flashes whenever he was in the room," he said.

Mugabe, who has trouble walking unaided, is in Singapore on one of his regular medical trips.

Charamba said the president was receiving specialised treatment for his eyes and that his general health was good.

Mugabe's foreign medical trips are often criticised in Zimbabwe, where healthcare has collapsed due to the country's economic troubles.

Charamba said that Mugabe's medical care is supervised in Harare by a "very, very, very black" Zimbabwean doctor -- and that he only flies abroad for specialist attention.

Source: AFP

Sunday, May 7, 2017

PHOTO: 2 Grandmothers arrested at Lagos Airport for attempting to export cocaine to USA and Saudi Arabia

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have foiled attempts by two grandmothers to unlawfully export narcotic drugs to New York, United States and Medina, Saudi Arabia.

The suspects allegedly ingested 108 wraps of substances that tested positive for heroin and cocaine during outward screening of passengers at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos.

60-year-old Adebayo Ebunoluwa Mercy ingested 83 wraps of heroin weighing 1.105kg on her way to the United States.

AmoduAyisat Grace, 59, also ingested 25 wraps of cocaine weighing 275 grammes on her way to Saudi Arabia.

They blamed their involvement in drug trafficking on financial hardship.

NDLEA preliminary investigation revealed it is the first time a grandmother of 60 years will ingest a whopping 83 wraps of narcotics.

The second suspect was going to Saudi Arabia where drug trafficking attracts capital punishment.

Her timely arrest saved her from the ordeals of painful and ignoble death in a foreign country.

NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba, said: “Adebayo Ebunoluwa Mercy was arrested while boarding a Virgin Atlantic flight to New York while Amodu Grace was caught trying to board an Ethiopian airline flight on her way to Medina, Saudi Arabia. The cases are under investigation”.

Adebayo, who sells provision at Ikorodu, Lagos said drug trafficking was an afterthought.

“I am a divorcee selling provision for survival. Things became rough and tough for me when I lost my capital due to family problems.

“It has been my dream to travel to the United States in search of greener pastures.

Source: The Nation

Friday, May 5, 2017

Being a woman is never an excuse for failure - @cutekimani


Media Personality, New Media Strategist, and the founder of the most popular tweet chat in Nigeria #KimaniOffAir,  Tosin "CuteKimani" Adekeye celebrates another year with amazing pictures.

 

Kimani who is widely known for her radio show on Unilag FM, #SaturdayRequest and her twitter Interview #KimaniOffAir is the principal officer of EstolProps Media, a subsidiary of Estol Africa, an agency that focuses on all things New Media and beyond.

Kimani in a recent interview made it clear, that No matter what your background is, you can be whatever you want to be. Being a woman is never an excuse to be a failure, infact being a success should not be an option.

Kimani when asked how she thrives in the ever changing digital space, says “A million people can have the same idea as you, but it is how you execute yours, with the level of value added that makes you outstanding”

Follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat: @cutekimani

Thursday, May 4, 2017

PHOTO: Two roommates of a Nigerian University graduate with First Class

Like Siamese twins, they share many things in common. Aside having the same middle name, Henry Ikenna Ozor and Joshua Ikenna Akuchi, are close friends with a common destiny.

After being classmates in secondary school, they were admitted into the Faculty of Engineering of the Nnamdi Azikwe University (UNIZIK) in Awka, the Anambra State capital, where they became roommates.

At the school’s 11th convocation last month, Henry and Joshua were the cynosure of all eyes as the best of graduating students.

Henry, from Iwollo in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State, graduated with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.85 to become the best graduating student not only in the Department of Chemical Engineering, but also in the faculty.

Joshua, who hails from Ezza North Local Government in Ebonyi State, graduated with a CGPA of 4.66, emerging as the best graduating student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Their record-breaking academic journey started before their admission. Henry scored an aggregate of 332 in the 2011 United Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). After his admission, he represented the university in the maiden National Engineering Competition organised by Committee of Deans of Engineering and Technology (CODET). Joshua was the first runner-up; Henry the second.

Sharing their experiences and challenges with CAMPUSLIFE, the valedictorians said the feat would not have been possible if they had not won scholarships to complete their studies.

Henry said: “As an indigent student, I had a challenge of paying my fee. I remember I could not pay school fees and house rent when I was in 100-Level. I would have lost my admission, because I had no financial support. I searched for scholarship, and I wrote many examinations as possible. By the grace of God, I got scholarship from ABC Transport Company, Shell Petroleum Development Company and Chevron/Agbami Joint Venture. I was also encouraged and financially supported by Allied Energy. The money I got from these companies yearly helped me to pay my fees and buy books.”

Joshua said: “I squated in a friend’s hostel for about eight months when I was in 100-Level until I got money to pay my rent. Like Henry, I also applied and wrote many scholarship examinations. I was able to get Agbami Chevron/Agbami Joint Venture scholarship, which helped to pay my school fees.”

Their feats, the valedictorians said, got their parents excited. Henry said: “My parents were over excited, because of the challenges they experienced in getting me to the level I am today.”

Joshua continued: “My mum was overjoyed, though she expected it. She could not believe it when it was confirmed. My dad said he wanted to keep hearing the testimony of how I made it happen and each time he hears it, it is breaking news to him.”

Sharing the secret of their feat, Joshua said anybody’s success is dependent on the kind of company he keeps. “I have always had successful and hardworking people around me. So, I draw energy and motivation from them. I would say that God’s favour made it happen, but I enjoy reading in the night except at weekends,” he said.

Joshua continued: “Most of the time, I came back from night class around 5:30am to sleep before going for lectures. After lectures, I would return to my hostel to prepare for night reading. After sleeping for two to three hours, I would wake up to go for fellowship. From there, I would go for night reading till the following morning.”

Henry said commitment, consistency and discipline are the prices to pay for success. Anybody, he said, could be the best, if he shows discipline and commitment. “My daily routine is similar to Henry’s; only that I slept for more hours than I studied,” he said.

What is their sole desire? The valedictorians said they would be happy, if any of their junior colleagues in their respective departments could break their academic records. Achieving a CGPA of 4.85 would demand vigorous study. But, Henry believes his academic record could be broken if students set their priorities right.

He said: “The only thing that kills a mission is distraction. I will advise my junior colleagues to design a plan and timetable, because they cannot be reading at random and expect to have a well-structured result. They should try to summaries their lecture note and textbooks in their own understanding for better concentration, comprehension and retention.

“If, after reading, and one cannot clearly understand key concepts and highlights of a course, then it is a clear sign that such a person did not understand it or he may be cramming. I equally believe that everyone has its own way of achieving excellence. What is needed is self-discovery.”

Joshua said: “Academic excellence is achievable for students who wish to attain enviable feat and height in their studies. They must carefully choose their friends, dedicate quality time to studies and be ambitions. They must always make up for lost time. The Almighty God is the pillar of all wisdom and knowledge.”

Credit: The Nation

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Telecom giant MTN explains sack of 280 Nigerian workers

South African telecommunications firm, MTN has explained the rationale behind the disengagement of some of its employees in Nigeria.Though the company is still officially silent about the actual number of those that were sacked, but reports said about 280 employees were on Friday relieved of their jobs, an exercise, which MTN described as being voluntary.

A statement from the telecommunications firm yesterday in Lagos, signed by the Public Relations and Protocol Manager, Corporate Services Division, Funso Aina, showed that the process was a fallout of MTN’s Voluntary Severance Scheme designed to balance individual employee needs with business exigencies.

The firm explained that the scheme was designed, drawing on feedback from employees and following consultation with elected employee representatives.

According to the statement: “It provides a financial incentive and opportunity for employees who have worked with MTN for over five years to pursue other career interests and personal ambitions full-time, while increasing opportunities for professionals with a fresh perspective wishing to join the MTN family.”

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday summoned the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta over alleged non-compliance to rules and regulations by telecommunications outfits.

Chairman of the House ad-hoc committee in charge of the probe, Ahmed Abdul said Danbatta must appear before his panel to explain issues relating to irregularities in the employment status and conditions of service of Nigerians working in telecom outfits in the country.

NCC’s Head of Public Affairs, Tony Orono, who appeared before the lawmakers at the start of the committee’s hearing explained that Danbatta would not be available during the week because of official engagement.

The committee’s mandate includes ensuring whether the condition of service of Nigerians is same as their foreign counterparts, assessing the companies’ tax compliance status and examine the procedure used by the NCC and the Central Bank of Nigeria in approving funds transfers for these firms.The committee is to report back to the House in four weeks for further legislative action.

Source: The Guardian