A nonprofit's guide to online security: So you want to learn the lingo?        
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web becoming publicly available. For many of us, this is a reminder of just how much the Internet has transformed our daily lives. This rings true for nonprofits too: The Internet has revolutionized the way that nonprofits communicate, fundraise, and recruit volunteers. It has enabled nonprofits like yours to share their mission with a global audience. To raise awareness. And to change the world. 

But the power of the Internet also comes with great responsibility -- namely the need to keep information safe and secure. As a nonprofit, it can be difficult to keep up with online security, especially when terminology seems complicated. Yes, you might have heard of terms like “phishing” or “cookies,” but what do they mean?

Today, you can find the answers to your questions with our quick & easy to guide to online security terminology. In less than five minutes, you’ll be well on the way to helping keep your nonprofit safe on the Internet. 

Let’s get started! Here’s a quick guide to familiarize yourself with common lingo and learn how to distinguish terms that are friends vs foes in the online security realm. 


THE BAD GUYS: MALICIOUS ACTIONS/TERMS

  • Advanced Fee Fraud (419 scams): A technique which tricks users into sending or paying money to fraudsters on the promise of receiving greater rewards afterwards. It is most commonly associated with Nigeria, and 419 is the section of the Nigerian legal code that covers this fraud.
  • Botnet: A network of computers that are infected with malicious software without users’ knowledge, used to send viruses and spam to other computers.
  • Malware: Malicious software with the purpose of infecting devices and systems, gathering personal information, gaining access to systems or disrupting the operations of the device or systems. Essentially, any software that maliciously alters or compromises the system or device.
  • Phishing / Social Engineering Attack: An attempt by hackers who pose as trustworthy individuals or businesses in order to get your personal information such as usernames, passwords, and financial information.
  • Trojans: Malicious programs posing as or bundled with legitimate ones, which are designed to compromise your system. They are usually installed on computers from opening attachments in scam emails or by visiting infected websites. The term comes from the Trojan Horse in Greek mythology.

How to avoid social engineering attacks

THE GOOD GUYS: ONLINE SAFETY TERMS


  • [Internet] Cookie: A piece of data from a visited website and stored in the user's web browser in order to remember information that the user has entered or engaged with such as items in a shopping basket on an e-commerce site.
  • Encryption: The process of encoding data, messages, or information, such that only authorized parties can read it.
  • Firewall: A security system used to block hackers, viruses, and other malicious threats to your computer. It does this by acting as a barrier, acting on predetermined rules, which allows trusted traffic but blocks untrusted or non-secure traffic. 
  • HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol): is the protocol for secure communications over a computer network used on the Internet. It essentially provides authentication of the website and the web servers associated with it. 
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS): TLS is a protocol that encrypts and delivers mail securely, both for inbound and outbound mail traffic. It helps prevent eavesdropping between mail servers – keeping your messages private while they're moving between email providers. 
  • Two Factor Authentication / Two Step Verification: A method of using an additional process to verify your identity online. It combines both ‘something you know’ (like a password) and ‘something you have’ (like your phone or security key) — similar to withdrawing money from an ATM/cash machine, where you need both your PIN and your bank card.

That’s a wrap for now! Pass on these tips to your nonprofit partners to stay safe and secure online, so you can focus on what matters most: changing the world. 

//

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more at no charge. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.


          Nigeria to India        

Help for Nigerians seeking medical treatment/procedure in India “Can I get quality medical treatment in India?” “How do I get connected with the right Doctors?” “What are the medical visa procedures?” The questions you face can seem as numerous as the sources of advice offering answers. Mirage Healthcare provides good advice, practical travel information, and […]

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          Comment on DSSC Recruitment 2017 Application Forms – DSSC 2017/2018 Form by Musa Malgwi        
notify me when th application for short service Nigerian army starts will love to apply this is my number 08035354523
          Comment on DSTV Subscription Plans And Prices In Nigeria by VTpass        
Pay, subscribe and renew your DStv account using https://www.vtpass.com/dstv without raising a leg.
          Mission (just about) accomplished        
I was tired when I got home from Cambodia (via Istanbul), and the last thing I really wanted to hear was that my staff were having problems in Niger and I needed to join them as soon as possible in order to rescue the mission.

It turned out that none of the planning had been done as one team member had been confined to bed with a painful attack of gout.  The other team member had arrived in Niger late after her flight was delayed by ten hours, and also stressed from her experience on the flight.  Stopped at Bamako for some passengers to leave and others to join the flight, she suddenly realised her laptop was missing.  In her distress she managed to persuade the crew to let her briefly disembark to chase after the departing passengers, and finding them still in the terminal she announced that her laptop was missing and she wanted everyone to open their bags.  A man who'd been sitting near her (and trying unsuccessfully to chat her up for much of the flight) came forward and handed it over.  He'd thought it belonged to another woman who'd got off the flight, blah, blah, blah...

Perhaps her immune system was down after the stresses of her journey, as she then fell sick with malaria and spent the next five days in bed.

So they needed me to join them much earlier than intended so as to take on some of the work.  I ran around changing my flight, getting an additional few days' visa, etc (all made more difficult by the fact that all of my admin and logistics colleagues were away on a training course), and flew out to join them on the Saturday evening.  Due to full hotels we were all staying in different places, so they had agreed to bring a big pile of files to me on the Sunday as preparatory reading for my intended two days out in the field visiting projects, but the taxi drivers were all on strike so I had to sit there twiddling my thumbs until an office driver got to me on the Monday morning.  Laden down with the files we drove the 160km to the Dosso field office, and after the day's work I spent the evening, until midnight, on my reading.  There was little else to do in any case as the hotel restaurant was closed and with no street lighting and no torch I was restricted to a beer from the hotel bar for my dinner.

The next morning I was therefore quite hungry and could hardly believe it when told that the restaurant was still closed, with the chef not expected in for another couple of hours.  So I wandered out into the street, searching for somewhere selling food.  As Dosso is a kind of crossroads for travellers (mostly truckers) going from Niger to Benin or Nigeria, I quickly found somewhere.  No menu, just a chunk of baguette served with hot white beans, a dollop of mayonnaise and a glug of oil, but it was nicer than it sounds and a bargain at only 40¢.

Once in the office, I gave them the list of projects I wanted to visit so that they could make the necessary arrangements.  They came back looking concerned.  There had been a kidnapping of six NGO staff on the Sunday night, so apparently meetings had been held the previous day between security officers of the NGOS and the UN agencies, and the decision had been made to stop all field visits.  I was also told that there was to be no movement between the country office and the field offices, so I had to stay put.  With two policemen guarding my room that night!

I have to say that I felt it was all a huge overreaction; the kidnap had taken place 650km away, and as the kidnappers now had six hostages to deal with I thought it unlikely that they would be on the hunt for more.  Besides, this wasn't the first kidnapping of NGO staff in Niger over the past few years.  But I am not an expert on security matters, and obviously had to do what I was told in the circumstances.

Overreaction or not, it meant I couldn't carry out the work that was my reason for going to Dosso, so the next day they agreed to transport me back to Niamey.

Thankfully the other half of our planned project vists had been done a couple of days earlier so we were still able to draw some conclusions from our trip and produce a final report.

Time to go home, and although our homes are in different places the first leg of the journey, Niamey - Ouagadougou, was the same for all three so we travelled together to the airport early on the Wednesday morning.  This trip hadn't done with us yet though, as we found that the aeroplane had not arrived the previous evening, and with no other flights departing Niamey that day we could not be re-routed.  So we were sent back to the hotel to wait.  A chance to phone my Mum, to take a dip in the pool, it wasn't all bad, but at the same time I really had been away for long enough and was keen to get home.  Friday was a public holiday so I had a long weekend to look forward to.

Eventually, late afternoon, we got the call to go back to the airport; the plane had finally arrived.  At check-in I was asked whether I wanted to collect my luggage in Ouagadougou or check it through to Dakar.  I pointed out that as I had missed the midday connection with the Dakar flight it was a bit difficult to answer without more information on the rearranged connection.  At this they looked a little confused - it turned out they hadn't thought about that so I hadn't been booked on to any new connecting flight.

After more than an hour waiting for information, I was told that unfortunately the next flight from Ouaga to Dakar was not until Friday lunchtime and so I would have to spend two nights in transit in Ouagadougou.  I was not pleased but of course there was nothing I could do.  In fact I was nearly removed from the Friday flight as I refused point blank to pay $50 for a transit visa, arguing that it was the airline's fault and so they would have to pay.  Fine in theory but all the airline's staff were off enjoying the public holiday...  But I made the flight and finally collapsed into bed at home on Friday night.

Getting things done in Africa is rarely easy but this trip had managed to really pack in the challenges.
          Dangote rachète Peugeot Automobile Nigeria        
Dangote rachète Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Le milliardaire nigérian Aliko Dangote est sur le point de conclure le rachat de l’unité de montage automobile de Peugeot au Nigeria. Il s’est associé à deux Etats pour cette opération de reprise de la majorité du capital auprès du fonds souverain destiné au sauvetage des banques en difficulté. Après […]
          Blessed Body: An Interview with Unoma Azuah        
Nigerian writer Unoma Azuah discusses her writing process, spirituality, and her journey from Nigeria to the United States.
          Lyrics: Eclipse – No Worries ft. Evaezi        

Intro 1: It’s Eclipse on the beat, baby Intro 2 (Evaezi): It’s eclipse yea, and your girl Evaezi Oh, oh, Read More

The post Lyrics: Eclipse – No Worries ft. Evaezi appeared first on Free Naija Lyrics | Nigerian (Naija) Music Lyrics - MP3 Downloads.


          La ruta de la tinta en África        
La ruta de la tinta en África

Por Edgardo Civallero

Si les pido que piensen en "bibliotecas africanas", probablemente la mayoría de ustedes verá, en su imaginación, las unidades modernas de las distintas naciones del gran continente. Pero si les pido que piensen en "bibliotecas africanas de hace cinco siglos", de esa época en la que aún gran parte de esas tierras era un misterio para los europeos que luego las "descubrieron"... ¿en qué pensarían?

[Si esto fuera un auditorio, éste sería el odioso momento en el cual todo el mundo se queda callado y revisa concienzudamente sus manos, la nuca de la persona de delante, los desperfectos del suelo...].

Nos han vendido muchas veces la imagen del "África tribal", del "continente negro", de "la tierra del tamtam y la tradición oral", de las "expresiones artísticas como medio de transmisión de saberes"... Los clásicos de Hollywood, los libros de viajes de los exploradores del s. XIX, y el enorme imaginario popular creado de a poco probablemente hagan que pensemos en un África hecha de danzas exóticas y cantos más exóticos aún, y en pueblos sin escritura, sin libros y, por supuesto, sin bibliotecas.

Quizás algunos se sorprendan cuando cuente que uno de los grandes centros de saber de ese continente –uno de la talla de otros grandes núcleos contemporáneos– estaba en el borde mismo del desierto del Sahara, en uno de los cruces de rutas comerciales más importantes de aquella región del planeta.

Se llamaba –y aún se llama– Timbuktu. Y hoy pretendo contarles un poco de su historia y de la de sus libros.

Timbuktu (o Tombuctu, por su grafía francesa) se encuentra en el actual estado de Malí, en el África occidental. Fue fundada hace diez siglos por los Tuareg o Targui, los famosos "hombres azules de desierto", nómades de origen bereber que deambulaban en sus dromedarios a través de ese enorme país sin dueño que era el desierto del Sahara (por cierto, ¿sabían que "Sahara" significa precisamente "desierto" en árabe?). Estos pueblos –que, curiosamente, ya habían desarrollado un milenario sistema de escritura– fundaron la villa, aunque fueron mercaderes de la vecina ciudad-estado de Djenne los que la poblaron inicialmente, levantando un gran número de mercados y asentamientos mercantiles. Muy pronto Timbuktu se convirtió en un lugar próspero, pues se encontraba en el cruce de las caravanas trans-saharianas. Esas caravanas intercambiaban bienes entre el norte islámico (sal) y la zona del Níger, al sur (oro, esclavos, marfil, frutas), y era lugar de descanso para las interminables tropas de camellos porteadores, y para sus conductores.

Para el siglo XI había un buen número de comerciantes de las etnias Fulani, Mandé y Tuareg asentados allí. Todos ellos eran musulmanes. La ciudad perteneció a varios imperios: al de Ghana, al de Malí desde 1324, al Songhay desde 1468... Dentro del Imperio Songhay, Timbuktu fue "la joya de la corona", siendo esa su época de máximo esplendor.

[Resulta increíble la enorme cantidad y variedad de ciudades–estados, imperios y confederaciones que surgieron y desaparecieron en África antes de que la historia europea alcanzara a esos pueblos. Muchas veces estamos dispuestos a creer que allí no hubo historia ni nada digno de mención hasta la llegada de exploradores como Livingstone, Stanley, Burton... Pero, como dije al principio, no son más que partes del imaginario popular].

En 1591, la ciudad fue capturada por una banda de aventureros marroquíes capitaneados por un renegado español, el llamado "Pachá Joder". Pachá era título honorífico, y la otra palabreja era la interjección que salía más a menudo de la boca de ese malhablado individuo (interjección que nuestros lectores ibéricos sabrán reconocer, sin duda). Ese fue el inicio del fin del esplendor de Timbuktu. En 1893 cae bajo el poder colonial francés –no sin la dura resistencia de los Tuareg– y en 1960 gana su independencia junto con todo el Sudán francés (actual Malí). En los 90, la ciudad sufrió el ataque de los Tuareg, que pretendían crear su propio estado. La llamada "Rebelión Tuareg" no duró mucho, y terminó con una quema de armas en 1996.

Hoy es una ciudad bastante empobrecida, pero durante siglos constituyó un misterio para los europeos, especialmente porque, al ser un centro musulmán, estaba prohibida la entrada a todo aquel que no profesara la religión de Mahoma. Se contaban leyendas sin fin sobre sus riquezas –muchas de ellas basadas en hechos reales– y fueron numerosos los individuos y organizaciones occidentales que quisieron "descubrir" (ese era el verbo usado) Timbuktu y sus tesoros de fábula. En 1788, un grupo de ingleses formó la African Association para lograr encontrar la ciudad y ponerla sobre el mapa del continente. La Sociedad de Geografía de París ofreció, en 1824, un premio de 10.000 francos al primer no-musulmán que entrara a la ciudad y volviera con información. El escocés Gordon Laing llegó en 1826, pero fue asesinado. El francés René Caillié lo hizo en 1828, disfrazado de musulmán, y pudo regresar para contarlo y adueñarse tanto del premio como del dudoso honor de haber sido el primer europeo en entrar en la legendaria villa. Sólo otros tres europeos pudieron imitar su hazaña antes de 1890.

Es un UNESCO World Heritage Site desde 1988, debido a sus mezquitas hechas de adobe y barro, una imagen que proporciona a esa ciudad –y a otras de la región– un tremendo halo de misterio. Según se dice, las siluetas de esas construcciones inspiraron al arquitecto catalán Antonio Gaudí. Lamentablemente, la ciudad se está desertificando, y ha sido declarada en peligro desde 1990. Tan misteriosa es que una encuesta de 2006 realizada entre jóvenes británicos arrojó que el 34 % no creía que la ciudad existiese, y que un 66 % la consideraba "un lugar mítico".

A lo largo del s. XV se levantaron un buen número de instituciones islámicas en Timbuktu. La más famosa es la mezquita de Sankore, también conocida como "Universidad de Sankore" por la madrasa o escuela islámica que alojaba. Esa fue construida en 1581, y se convirtió en el centro de la comunidad académica islámica de esa región, aunque otras mezquitas aún sobrevivientes –la de Djinguereber o la de Sidi Yahya– son mucho más antiguas.

Una madrasa islámica no tiene nada que ver con una universidad medieval europea (por comparar instituciones de la misma época). La madrasa estaba compuesta por un grupo de escuelas independientes, cada una gestionada por un maestro. Los estudiantes se asociaban a un determinado profesor, y las clases tenían lugar en los espacios abiertos de la mezquita o en residencias privadas. El foco básico de las clases era el estudio del Corán, pero también se enseñaba lógica, astronomía, historia, música, botánica, religión, comercio, derecho y matemáticas. Los académicos escribían sus propios libros como parte de un modelo socio-económico basado en la investigación. Los beneficios obtenidos por la venta de libros era el segundo negocio de la ciudad, después del comercio de oro y sal. Se conservaban más de 100.000 manuscritos en la villa, la mayoría escritos en árabe o en pulaar (la lengua de los Fulani) y con contenidos didácticos sobre los temas tratados en la madrasa.

El nivel alcanzado por la producción de libros y conocimientos entre el s. XVI y XVIII hicieron que se acuñara un refrán, que sirve como testamento a esa brillante era: "La sal viene del norte; el oro, del sur; pero la palabra de Dios y los tesoros de la sabiduría vienen de Timbuktu".

Se cree que había más de 120 bibliotecas en la ciudad, que formaban parte de la "ruta de la tinta" africana. Esta arrancaba desde el norte de África y, siguiendo las rutas de las caravanas, llegaban al este del continente, también dominado por comerciantes árabes. En tiempos recientes, las bibliotecas se redujeron a unas 60-80 instituciones privadas, que se dedicaban a conservar los invaluables manuscritos. Entre ellas destacan hoy las bibliotecas Mamma Haidara, Kati, Al-Wangari y Mohammed Tahar. La biblioteca de la familia Kati posee 3.000 documentos de origen andalusí: los más antiguos están datados entre los s. XIV y XV. Hay más de un millón de documentos originales conservados hoy en Malí, y se supone que hay otros 20 millones en otras partes de África, en especial en la vecina región de Sokoto, Nigeria. Muchos de ellos son conservados como tesoros por familias que nunca revelarán su existencia.

Existen varios proyectos internacionales conjuntos que pretenden rescatar todo ese patrimonio. En agosto de 2002 se mantuvo el Ink Road International Symposium en Bamako (capital de Malí). En 2006, un esfuerzo conjunto de los gobiernos de Malí y Sudáfrica permitió comenzar la investigación al respecto. UNESCO ha iniciado el Timbuktu Manuscript Project, y en la ciudad, una fundación se dedica a la preservación de documentos históricos. No quedan artesanos del libro, aunque existen muchos recuerdos de ese oficio, que constituyó una industria floreciente hace mucho tiempo.

La historia que nos suelen enseñar –la de los libros, y tantas otras– parece demasiado concentrada en Europa, y muy pocas veces presta debida atención a otros espacios geográficos y culturales. El esbozo aquí realizado sobre África occidental podría también elaborarse sobre América Central prehispánica, sobre su producción de bellos códices y sobre su industria de papel de corteza amatl. ¿Cuánto nos han dicho sobre eso? ¿Cuánto hemos aprendido? ¿Cuánto sabemos?

Lejos de pretender "dar la voz a los sin voz", quizás en este espacio podamos "refrescar las memorias". Memorias de mundos que tuvieron, ellos también, diestros encuadernadores, magníficos ilustradores y expertos investigadores. Como los de Timbuktu.

Ilustración.

          By: gordon        
The price of an index grade like West Texas Intermediate or Brent or others isn't "the price of oil". In fact, the markets for these index grades are relatively thin. It would be nice to know what the contract prices for oil actually shipped from the Middle East, Nigeria, Venezuela etc. really are before engaging in speculative explanations of numbers which may not be what is actually being paid.
          Diffa Region quietly piloting a Boko Haram amnesty policy        


In mid-December 2016, in rural Diffa region on Niger’s southern border with Nigeria, fourteen men gave themselves up to authorities. The group said that they were former fighters of Boko Haram and that they had abandoned their weapons in the bush.

News of this impromptu surrender from the Islamist militant group responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and millions of displacements came as a surprise to most in the area. But not to regional authorities.

Since late last year, they had been quietly testing a tactic of asking families whose children have joined Boko Haram to spread word of an amnesty. If they surrendered, fighters were told, they would be pardoned and assisted in rejoining their communities.



Read the rest of my analysis for African Arguments

          Magical drinking in Congo        
Like alcohol anywhere, palm wine is a formidable social lubricant but its undercurrent of magical thinking sets it apart. Amos Tutuola, Nigeria’s answer to H.P. Lovecraft, first chronicled the ritualistic, surreal excesses of palm wine in his 1952 novel. I first tasted palm wine ‘in the bush of ghosts’, and rightly so—the phrase figures in the title of Tutuola’s follow-on experimental work.

Read the entirety of this little rumination on palm wine over at Roads & Kingdoms, a newish site I'm quite infatuated with. 

          Comment on Advertise With Us by Gabriel Natty        
                            D-G FILMS ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES                                         157, Old Lagos/Asaba Road                                   Agbor                                   Delta State-Nigeria                                                                                 This is to inform the general public that there will be a 3 Day Extensive location training for persons wishing to be Actors, Movie Scriptwriters and make up artist / Costumier in the movie industry.   DATE: Friday 5th August –Sunday 7th  August 2011.     LOCATION: Asaba.     ENTRY FEE: Free   Every participant will feature in our movie Titled “Jungle Justice”. So grab this opportunity of becoming the next movie Star.   For more information contact us. Tel: 08035645337 Email: gabrielnattyfilms@gmail.com  
          Comment on Advertise With Us by fam f        
<!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:595.3pt 841.9pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:35.4pt; mso-footer-margin:35.4pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> HABA!!! LEGISLATORS   Rueben Abati once wrote in one of his prolific weekly crossroads in the Guardian newspaper (6 Sunday,  2005…page 38)…..”that an assessment of reports in Nigeria media prove one major point, namely that we have serious problems in this country….that we are people without standards, values, beyond shame, we live in a society where anything is possible, we worship persons, we place them above the rule of laws, ANYTHING CAN BE RATIONALIZED” What yard stick would any mathematician if any, or accountant would use to rationalize the disposal of 6million naira worth of car to be sold to legislators for pea nut of N850,000. Evaluators should be invited to work out the appropriate value of each car considering longevity of use and depreciation work out appropriately. I am infinitely saddened that the law makers are taking laws into their hands. Some principled people in Nigeria can still rationalize. The sale of cars must stop                                                                                       G . Famoti  
          Comment on Advertise With Us by Fistlady10        
A better nigeria, A contury where we can see at least 40% of people happy, a job opurtunity contury, a healthy contury that no less privilage have to die in the hospital because there is no advance payment for the bills they have to pay in the hospital. My point is that is not about votting but is about doing the right thing and making the right choice by picking the right person as the president of NIGERIA. Let us all think about the Furture . Who is that Furture?
          Etisalat Nigeria ‘faces bank takeover’        
Three banks will take over Etisalat Nigeria because of $1.72bn debts, says unconfirmed report in Nigerian newspaper
          Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
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          Legenda MU akan Bermain Di Bandung FC        
Mantan punggawa Manchester United ketika menjuarai Liga Champion 1999, Jesper Blomqvist, tengah didekati Bandung FC sebagai upaya memperkuat tim ini jelang bergulirnya Liga Primer Indonesia, Januari nanti.
fcbandung.wordpress.com, memberitakan bahwa saat ini klub anggota Liga Primer Indonesia (LPI), Bandung FC sedang berupaya untuk mendatangkan pemain veteran, Jesper Blomqvist.
Pria Swedia ini merupakan salah satu pemain yang pernah mencicipi beberapa kompetisi sepakbola Eropa. Blomqvist tercatat pernah membela Manchester United, Chelsea, AC Milan, Everton, dan beberapa klub Eropa lain.
Saat ini Blomqvist telah berusia 36 tahun. Dan sedang merumput bersama klub di kampung halamannya, Hammarby. Blomqvist tecatat pernah membela tim nasional Swedia sebanyak 30 kali sejak tahun 1994, hingga pensiun dari timnas 2002 silam.
Saat ini Bandung FC telah resmi mengontrak tiga pemain asing. Masing-masing adalah, bek Michael Ndubuisi  (Nigeria), gelandang Kim Sang-duk(Korsel) dan striker Perry N Somah (Liberia). Sedangkan pemain lokal yang sudah  dikontrak antara lain. kiper veteran, Kurnia Sandi, Nuralim, Egie Nirwan, Yaris Riyadi, Deden Hermawan dan Asep Mulyana.

Sumber : http://www.bolanews.com/liga/liga-indonesia/18547-Bandung-Coba-Datangkan-Mantan-Pemain.html
          Press Release: NPMCN Appoints New College Registrar        
The Governing Board of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria has approved the appointment of Professor Owoidoho Udofia, FMCPsych as the 6th College Registrar  of the National Postgraduate College of Nigeria. This appointment is for a 4 year term. He succeeds Professor Oluwole Atoyebi, FMCS whose tenure expired on Friday, June 16, 2017. Professor […]
          Advertisement: Partitioning of CBT Centre and Supply of Equipment to CBT Centre        
The Management of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, Ijanikin, Lagos hereby invites suitably qualified and reputable Contractors/Suppliers to submit tenders/quotations for the partitioning and supply of equipment to the College CBT Centre. Tenderers are to submit their bids into the Tender box in the College Registrar’s office within one week from the date […]
          Advertisement: Software for Computerization of College Activities        
The National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria is a medical institution established to produce specialists in all branches of Medicine and Dentistry.  Her sustainability lies in its capability to manage her process and data more efficiently and effectively.  This is critical to sustaining and improving on the standards of which the College has been running. […]
          Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: July 29 – August 4        
Below is a visualization and description of some of the most significant incidents of political v

          Boko Haram Blocks Oil Exploration in Northeast Nigeria        
Usually, Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producing nation, producing as many as 2 million barrels

          Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: July 22 - July 28        
Below is a visualization and description of some of the most significant incidents of political v

          Boko Haram's Abubakar Shekau: Dead or Alive?        
Since 2009, the Nigerian security services have regularly reported that they have killed Boko Har

          Sources of Gratitude in the last 24 Hours        
One.

Nigeria outlawed female genital mutilation.



Two.

An Indigogo campaign to raise funds for Bree Newscome's court fees has raised more than $98,000.






Three.

I am grateful for strength and stamina.

I went to they gym yesterday and lifted weights.  

I got through it.


          Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: July 15 - July 21        
Below is a visualization and description of some of the most significant incidents of political v

           For President Obama on Day One: A New “New Beginning”         
On Day One: A New “New Beginning”
There was never a question that President Barack Obama represented a symbolic break with the past – someone who could redefine relations with the Muslim world. However to add substance to the symbolism of change, early on in his first term, President Obama went to Cairo to make a speech entitled, “A New Beginning.” Yet, as he begins a second term it is clear that this new beginning needs to be reinvigorated in both style and substance. That initial speech, while poignant then, today rings hollow. If indeed President Obama and the administration are to achieve a definitive step change in relations with Muslim communities, there must be a renewed effort for honest dialogue, robust development initiatives, and tangible shifts in policy.

At the onset of the Iraq War in 2003, President George W. Bush had abysmal numbers in many Muslim-majority countries. While 59 percent of Nigerians, 56 percent of Jordanians, and 46 percent of Pakistanis held confidence in Osama bin Laden’s leadership, Bush was polling in the single digits in the same countries. By 2008, in countries like Jordan and Turkey, nearly 90 percent of people had “little or no confidence” in President Bush.

So when a young Kenyan-American Senator with Muslim roots, Barack Obama, emerged on the political scene, he was a welcome sight in even unsavory and sharply antagonistic corners of the Muslim world. In the midst of the political campaign even Hamas seemingly endorsed him saying, “Actually, we like Mr. Obama.” Winning over Hamas never was (nor should it have been) a litmus test, but when President Barack Obama was elected, there was near universal euphoria across Muslim communities.

Early on, Obama and others in the Administration acknowledged the challenge in meeting these expectations. Even before he was inaugurated, the Administration was already planning to mark this ‘new beginning.’ Going into the heart of Cairo to engage university students in an honest speech about a real change in relations between the U.S. and Muslims was indeed something to be commended. Subsequent to the speech, the White House created a position on the National Security Council for Global Engagement, and the State Department launched a number of partnership initiatives. In the fall of 2009, D.C. played host to the Presidential Summit of Entrepreneurship that brought together 250 delegates from over 50 (mostly Muslim) countries.

Then the situation started to become more difficult. There are no easy answers in the complex geopolitical relations in the wider Middle East and beyond. When the Green Movement in Iran demanded democratic change, the Obama administration had to contemplate whether it was for engagement with ‘regimes’ or engagement with ‘peoples.’ One of the President’s early visits was to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah prior to his Cairo speech, during which he said in reference to fundamental liberties, “They are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.” But during his visit with the King, there was deafening silence on this point. The advent of the Arab Spring made these dilemmas even sharper. Support democracy in Tunisia and Egypt at the last minute. Push democracy by force in Libya. Half-heartedly support it in Yemen. Remain frozen on Syria. Tacitly oppose it everywhere else.

While Obama has grappled with difficult decisions, as any President would, he also shirked following up on critical points he made during his speech in Cairo. For example, he declared, “I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.” Guantanamo Bay remains open, almost glaringly so. And while, torture has allegedly stopped being an officially sanctioned practice, summary executions and civilian casualties by drone strikes have dramatically increased in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and the Horn of Africa. The latter have led directly to animus towards Obama from within many Muslim countries.

Then there was the line in the speech about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements…The settlements must stop.” Of course, they did not. In fact, in February 2011 the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution that called on Israel to simply “cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian Territory.” Out of 15 countries on the Security Council, the U.S. was the lone dissent (and of course the fatal one). This is not to mention that the U.S. also stood against 95 percent of the world’s population in voting against recognizing Palestinian statehood at the United Nations General Assembly in November.

There were other elements of the ‘New Beginning’ that were promised, particularly around education and entrepreneurship. It is true that the U.S. has now (co-)organized three global entrepreneurship summits, in D.C., Istanbul, and Dubai, the latter being held in 2012. Yet, it is also clear that beyond the pomp of a summit, the once-robust programmatic initiatives that have come out have been weaker. Leadership changes within internal initiatives, as well as those with partners, have meant stalled if not stagnant programming. The idea of connecting entrepreneurs between the Muslim world and the West is a mutually beneficial and powerful concept, but it has not translated into the impact it should have by now. In the last summit in Dubai, it was as if the institutional memory from three years ago was lost, and everything was starting again.

All this being said, there still exists the perception that relations have improved between the U.S. and Muslim communities. However, since 2009 and Obama’s inauguration, positive views have been on a steady decline in Muslim countries, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project. In 2009, 33 percent of respondents held confidence in Obama; that number slipped to 24 percent in 2012. In 2009, 25 percent of respondents held a favorable view of the U.S.; that figure dropped to 15 percent in 2012. Finally, approval of Obama’s ‘international policies’ fell from 34 percent in 2009 to 15 percent in 2012. Without a substantive shift, these numbers will continue to decline, further cementing the reality that there never was a new beginning.

Can things be turned around, given the current state of affairs? It would be misleadingly Pollyannaish to think that President Obama could snap his fingers and magically change opinion towards him from Muslim countries. Moreover, there are certain political realities that will remain. The U.S. will continue to be an ally of Israel. The U.S. will continue to fight terrorism. And the U.S. will not be able to fund new Marshall plans in the Middle East for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, there is a lot that can and should be done.

At the outset, President Obama needs to re-launch a dialogue with the Muslim world. At the beginning of his first term he went to Cairo to give a speech. Perhaps he should go to Cairo in 2013 to have a conversation. In fact, since becoming president, Obama has visited only the country of his upbringing, Indonesia, apart from the initial trips to Saudi Arabia and Egypt (in addition to cloak-and-dagger visits to Afghanistan), within the Muslim world. Instead of distant speeches and dispatched drones, the Administration would be served by a President who is more engaged with his audience, through visits as well as frank and honest dialogue during those trips.

Although the U.S. will not reverse decades of support for Israel, it need not ally with the most extreme policies of the Israeli government. Continuing to be the lone voice at the United Nations and international community defending illegal Israeli practices is a sharp blow to many efforts of the Obama administration. There is no third-term, and the President should stop pandering to contrived political interests in Washington D.C. There are enough Jewish supporters, lobby groups, and intelligentsia, who would support a more moderate and principled set of policies towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Israel is, of course, not the only foreign policy issue that should be of concern. The U.S., while acting in its national interest, should remain consistent in its language and support for key principles of human rights. It is when it becomes caught in naked hypocrisy that support for the Administration falls, whether in Bahrain in 2011 or Egypt in 2012, and a range of countries, perhaps, in 2013.
Finally, initiatives that can make an impact on tackling the economic despair for young people, like the 100 million youth who will enter the labor market over the next decade in the Arab world, need to be prioritized. There needs to be sufficient attention and support for the global entrepreneurship program that can truly support the emerging and exciting entrepreneurial energy in places like Amman and Ramallah, Karachi and Kuala Lumpur. The U.S. has the best soft-power in this area, from the start-up scene in Silicon Valley to MIT Labs, yet it is hardly deployed, even though the White House calls entrepreneurship, “a critical pillar of U.S. global engagement.”

There is a tremendous opportunity in President Obama’s second term to catalytically shift relations with Muslim communities and turn potential adversaries into allies. If the status quo, however, is maintained in policy and practice, this opportunity will be lost.

This article originally appeared in the print edition of the Diplomatic Courier, in the January/February 2013 issue. It can be accessed online at: http://www.diplomaticourier.com/news/regions/middle-east/1315-on-day-one-a-new-new-beginning. 

          On Identity & Post-Identity: Reflections of a Brown Man (Part 1)...        
This post comprises a set of reflections peppered with professional musings about geopolitics and the world around us. 


There's probably an entire television series I could write simply based on 'interactions' that I've had at the airport. Whether it's been in Central Asia, the Sub-continent, the Middle East, Europe or of course, North America, I've never felt more brown than when I've walked into an airport. It's as if I spend a few extra hours in the sun on the days I travel. I'm crispy and a shade darker. Every Muslim - or Muslimish - male likely has a special razor he uses for long-haul flights, lest his 5 o'clock shadow becomes a security-risk mid-flight.

Brownness it seems is an odd curse in our world. There are entire industries dedicated to de-browning people. Literally. The leading products are those from our friends at Fair & Lovely, who politely inform us that our skin could get in the way of a dream job. There are also more 'intimate' concerns as well (for down there that is). Estimates are that the global skin whitening market reaches upwards of $18 billion in just Asia alone. Yet, it's not just an Asian (West or South) trend, our darker shaded brethren also partake in the habit. The Economist reported that a whopping 77% of Nigerian women use some form of skin-lightening product. And why not - from your personal life to your professional life, there are countless studies that shows being a little lighter and whiter can make your days brighter. In Mexico, it appears that dark skin can limit your socio-economic status. Nevertheless, who wants to live a life not comfortable in your own skin?

I think I've always been comfortable with 'brown' even if others have always been ambivalent about the term (and my own level of comfort with it). UPS' branded slogan, "What can brown do for you" was my slogan when I ran for student government at the Kennedy School of Government (n.b. never run for government at a school of government). This was to the chagrin of some of my latino-associated 'browns'. You see, 'brown' is an amorphous word that can encompass a range of individuals from across the religious, ethnic, and racial spectrum. Hispanic. Latino. Indian. Pakistani. Middle Eastern (Arab to Persian). Even Black. From there. Originally from there. Kind of from there. It's a catch-all term that belies ascription or description. It is a self-definition. There is much more of a tendency of society, Eastern & Western, global and local, to avoid the obvious or conversely assume while oblivious. It is why, the term Black when entering into popular consciousness is still uncomfortable in contemporary American society, even though many feel that it is the term that refers most closely to their being.

Our mass media culture is much more comfortable failing to acknowledge difference or accentuating it without understanding it. President Barack Obama is an African-American - even though he is half-white, raised by White grandparents in White America. Everything else is too complicated. The world looks for static and stereotyped identities when the truth is our own sense of self is much more fluid and dynamic. 'Brown' is at once simple and sophomoric while at the same time nebulous and nuanced. I've found that whether you like it or not, others will seek to define you along the lines they would like you to fit within - it's your choice, however, to live inside or outside those lines.

Growing up in the West, you are automatically attuned to your racial identity. In Canada you are a jigsaw piece to a mosaic multicultural puzzle. What exotic element do you represent? In Vancouver over 50% of respondents identify themselves as non-white. There, 'brown' is part of the visible majority (visible in being dark I guess) rather than a visible minority. In the U.S. you are expected to blend into some type of melting pot. There, across the nation, over half of children born in the country are born to ethnic and visible minorities.

Some people run from their background. It's an immigrant story not just specific to the brown-folk. Afshin turns into Sean, Mohammed into Mo, and the list goes on. That well integrated Muslim may be shaving, but he mysteriously disappears around prayer time on Fridays. I once had a friend who thought that 'Mosque' was the name of some club I went to every week. True story (actually true). One of the key things is to not speak like your parents, depending, of course, on how your parents speak. In my case, at 12, I still had trouble pronouncing the letter 'V'. For whatever reason, I would also mix up my 'Vs' and 'Ws' - being from West Vancouver, it was a bit of a problem.

Yet, as much as there are people trying to wash the brown away, there are others who soak in it. They bask in the familiarity of their likeness. Other brown-folk get the jokes. The inside jokes. About why the house may smell like curry spices. That at least one relative is an illegal immigrant. That you don't understand why white people can't dance (although your Bollywood numbers would cause you to question your own moves).

And all the while, whatever the second-generation immigrant choice, the society around you has already made its own decisions. For the former group, one day they'll walk into a room and realize: we're brown. It may be that your true name will be discovered. Once, when I came to my grade 7 science class, my teacher excitedly looked at me claiming he had seen my namesake in the movies over the weekend. He had just watched the Lion King and pointed at me saying 'Rafiki'. The fact that I actually do have East African roots, and relatives who live in Kenya was not known to him; he was just amused by the exoticism of the phonetic connection. It happens to the best of those hiding in plain sight, when they are asked to speak for a 'group'. You can run all you want but you are always an outsider to some people. After 9/11 all types of brown people who had never even contemplated their brownness were swept up - literally and figuratively - in the hysteria.

Yet, even the latter group, that seeks to withdraw into a bubbled existence of sameness, realizes the folly of that path. Going back to Mumbai. Or Baghdad. Or Cairo. Or Karachi. It's much more going until returning than going back. The first thing that normally happens is your language is bit off. That Hindi isn't really that good. You never quite mastered how to read Arabic. And there's that aunt who's kind of laughing at the fact that you aren't really brown anymore but white. What? Exactly.

Neither here nor there is the place of the East-West hybridity that is many of us today. You can be confused. And the world around you will be confused. Living in Dubai and working in the wider Middle East (another strange term of history) has only heightened the absurdity of dissonance for me. While in the West, your compatriots may give you the colour-blind benefit of the doubt, there ain't no leniency back East. The moment I get into a cab, the fellow brown driver (Nepali, Indian or Pakistani) tries to make the 'original' connection. But it's worse with your socio-economic classmates. With the cavalry of cacophonous colours collecting in the city, disaggregating the rainbow appears to be priority number one. There is no priority for understanding complex identities. As if you could wash the colour away with one generation (even if that was not what you were trying to do)? In Canada or the U.S., I'm a hyphenated identity or a misunderstood one, but in Dubai, I'm - Indian or Pakistani. Is it worth it to confuse people? To tell them your father is from Uganda - ah but he's not Black! Or that you are born in Canada - but you're not White! Or that you feel connection to India as much as Pakistan - but you're Muslim!

Being 'brown' really is a euphemism for what is really our ability to define our own identity. I'm Brown not Indian or Ugandan or Pakistani or Muslim or Eastern or Western. There's more to that identity than just pronouns and assumptions. And while people may feel it's inventive or counter-cultural, is it more so than the modern form of nationality? Until 1945, there was no such thing as the United Nations and most the developing world was the 'third world' under colonial rule. India and Pakistan didn't exist when my father's family immigrated in the late 1800s and early 1900s to East Africa - it was British India. Canada itself only became a country in 1867. There's a myth that migration is new and borders old. It's the other way around.

So then, what is my identity? How can you embrace a multitude of discrete faces without becoming unrecognizable? And can society and the world accept what confounds conventions?

These are some of the questions that I'll address in subsequent posts in the coming days. Yet, one thing I'll say:

Each of us has a multitude of identities we are always balancing that weave together to form our individual tapestries. We are a blend of ethnicity and language, religion and philosophy. Our parents and grandparents often have varying geographical roots and in our lives so far we've traversed many more. Where we settle isn't always where we started. For me, finding how this comes together becomes important for understanding my own individiual path. Yet, for society, and especially transitional societies, understanding this complexity of identity becomes formative in building stable nations in the 21st century.








          A world of Islams        

This article originally appeared in the Princeton Alumni Weekly magazine.

A world of Islams

By Taufiq Rahim ’04
Published in the December 12, 2012, issue


ILLUSTRATION: ROBERT NEUBECKER
I remember waking up in my dorm room on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, to the shouts of my hall-mate and friend beckoning me to come next door. It was the beginning of our sophomore year, and I was a leader of the Muslim Students Associa­tion (MSA) at Princeton. Watching television in 1937 Hall, we were gripped and confounded by the horrific scenes that unfolded in the ensuing hours, which are forever etched in my ­memory —  as I am sure they are for countless others.

It was the start of what has been termed the post-9/11 decade, during which much of the world’s narrative was shaped by an “us versus them” mentality. Especially in the first few years, Muslims in the West endured an uncomfortable feeling that the surrounding society considered them suspect.
I fielded calls shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks from local newspapers, the reporters asking if things were OK for Muslims on campus. Though there were incidents, the general situation at Princeton was safe. I sometimes received hate mail. One group of students was assaulted one weekend in Boston and returned with the bruises to show for it. And, I, like so many others, was given the so-called special treatment and faced lengthy interrogations at JFK or Newark whenever flying to and from school.

I came to Princeton as a student like everyone else, but at some point I had to transform into an ambassador of understanding. The funny thing is, at the same time I was explaining Islam to promote understanding, I was questioning the state of Islam in the world around me. It is a duality that has stayed with me in the years since.

This year, on the anniversary of the attacks, a deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, shocked the world once again. It also shocked the residents of Benghazi. This past January, I spent time with youth activists and entrepreneurs in that city. What I witnessed was a courageous and driven group of young Libyans determined to forge a better future. Alongside tens of thousands of their compatriots, many of these youth marched in mid-September to the central al-Kish Square in memory of the slain U.S. ambassador, Chris Stevens, calling as well on militias to disarm.

Their march was emblematic of the duality I experience. No doubt, there is still a need to combat what is more a “clash of ignorances” (not a clash of civilizations) across the divide between the Muslim world and the West. This was the impetus that drove two colleagues and me to found the nonprofit initiative Project Encounter, which promotes engagement and dialogue. We bring groups of young people from North America and Europe to the Middle East, to allow them to form their own narrative about the region. I feel that only through improved understanding and greater familiarity can we find constructive ways forward.

Nevertheless, through my work and travels in countries from Afghanistan to Syria, Palestine to Pakistan, and places in between, I find there is a need for just as much soul-searching within Muslim communities themselves.

When a cheaply made YouTube film can lead to violent demonstrations in more than a dozen countries, you cannot help but ask questions. When a young Christian girl can be jailed swiftly on the demands of an unhinged cleric alleging “blasphemy” in Pakistan, you cannot help but raise an objection. When a college is raided and 25 students are killed in Nigeria by a group whose name (Boko Haram) means “West­ern education is sinful,” you cannot help but be dismayed.
For many countries in the Muslim world, the next few years will not be easy. The political and economic challenges facing them are immense — and that’s an understatement. A few are in active states of internal conflict, if not internecine warfare. Others are under the grip of debilitating authoritarian regimes. So many are still afflicted by economic deprivation.

There are, of course, counterexamples. In places like Malaysia and Dubai, there are new economic models of development. The Arab uprisings have started to push back against political authoritarianism. Yet the forces of religious orthodoxy seem to be not only constant, but growing. Popular clerics who appear on Pakistani television are busy calling minority groups, such as Ahmadis, non-Muslims — with deadly consequences. I remember seeing the bloodstains in an Ahmadi mosque in Lahore in 2010, shortly after an attack by religious militants. More than 90 people had died in attacks at two mosques. Within a year, the governor of the Punjab province, of which Lahore is the capital, had been assassinated for opposing draconian blasphemy laws, as was the federal minister of religious minorities. What was the basis or justification for those attacks?

Sooner or later, everybody comes into the sights of the bully pulpit: marginalized groups such as Ahmadis, other religious groups and Muslim minorities, and then so-called “moderates.” Sufi shrines that existed for centuries have been attacked and destroyed by extremist groups in recent months in Libya and Mali. When I was working for an NGO in the Gujarat province in India, many of my meetings were held in Hindu temples, sometimes during religious ceremonies. What would the view of the hardline Muslim orthodoxy be of me?

Traveling through the wider region, you quickly realize that while the bullies are strong and loud, they are surrounded by people who would like to see a pluralistic and prosperous society. These are people like the young activists I met in Libya. They are the Saudi Arabian entrepreneurs who have formed an organization dedicated to the empowerment of women in the workforce (Glowork). They include my Syrian friends who are helping to ensure that those fleeing conflict have a place of refuge, no matter their sect or creed. They are like my former colleagues, who have spent their entire careers in Pakistani villages working on local development.

I’m hopeful that these progressive forces within many Muslim communities and Muslim-majority countries can coalesce to form a stronger and wider constituency for change. Such a movement would be the most effective bridge between the Muslim world and the West, as well. 

          Nigeria & Kenya consumers fueling African music sector        

Billboard magazine writes: PricewaterhouseCoopers has forecast consumer spending on recorded music revenues to hit $43 million and $19 million for Nigeria and Kenya respectively this year. Both markets are undergoing shifts also seen elsewhere in the world, meaning digital gains will roughly offset physical losses. PwC expects Nigeria’s physical market to decline $3 million to ...

The post Nigeria & Kenya consumers fueling African music sector appeared first on Annansi.com.


          Nigerian internet usage skyrockets. Government begins smart cities initiative        

Ventures Africa reports Nigeria’s Ministry of Communications Technology has initiated a Smart States initiative aimed at reducing Right of Way (RoW) fees and standardizing state levies and taxes on information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure. By eliminating arbitrary charges and eradicating multiple taxations across the country, the initiative is expected to spur infrastructural development across ...

The post Nigerian internet usage skyrockets. Government begins smart cities initiative appeared first on Annansi.com.


          Nigeria, Egypt top list for intenet penetration in Africa        

Top 10 African countries with highest intenet penetration (2012) Nigeria Egypt South Africa Morocco Kenya Sudan Tanzania Algeria Uganda Tunisia Source: African Development Bank  

The post Nigeria, Egypt top list for intenet penetration in Africa appeared first on Annansi.com.


          Born on a Tuesday        
Born on a Tuesday
author: Elnathan John
name: Ruth
average rating: 3.94
book published: 2016
rating: 4
read at: 2017/02/14
date added: 2017/02/16
shelves:
review:
What a horrible, horrible place and time to live in. Maybe I should be nicer to those fellows from Nigeria who keep telling me they want to trust me with big money inherited from their aunts if only I’ll give them my bank account number. At least they’re not out shooting and stealing and following the bad guys.

At first I felt at the beginning that the voice of the narrator was genuine, open, direct and believeable, but the years passed and I saw little, if any, change in that voice as Ahmad grew, learned to read, and had full access to the Sheikh’s library. He still sounded like an immature 13-year-old.

I knew from the beginning this was going to come to no good end , of course. When Ahmad refuses to stop speaking, despite orders from the police, and admits to the feeling of power his speaking before the crowd gives him, I expected that the next thing that would happen would be that that power would go to his head and he would be the next charismatic, but evil, leader. And I still think it might happen. We don’t know where he’ll end up on that bus.


          VIDEO: S-Xino – My Life ft Bisa Kdei        

Stanley Osamudiamen .Born..September 8. He is a song-writer,Singer,guitarist and a performing artist with the stage name S-Xino. He was born in Benin city Edo state and raised in Lagos Nigeria where he attended Mount Zion Academy high school Ago palace way Okota Isolo Lagos and later he moved on to study business administration in Lagos […]

The post VIDEO: S-Xino – My Life ft Bisa Kdei appeared first on Jukebox Music.


          Tee Jewel: The New Voice of Nigerian Rhythm And Blues        

In an industry where the mainstream sector already serves you with non-stop entertainment, why would you even need to search for more music elsewhere? There are times when it seems the mainstream is stuffed with familiar sounds and recycled content, times like that usually come with a longing for a new musical experience; and that’s […]

The post Tee Jewel: The New Voice of Nigerian Rhythm And Blues appeared first on Jukebox Music.


          DOWNLOAD: DJ DALLAX – The Real New Wave Mixtape        

It’s Official, DJ Dallax’s Brand New Mixtape Should be The Maddest Mixtape of 2017. David Okolie a.k.a DJ Dallax, a Nigerian based Nigerian Professional Disc Jockey debuts with a brand new mix he dubbed “The Real New Wave”. The mixtape titled “The Real New Wave” is a mash of about 58 minutes of your favorite Jams currently enjoying airplay on Nigerian […]

The post DOWNLOAD: DJ DALLAX – The Real New Wave Mixtape appeared first on Jukebox Music.


          African women use mobile internet more heavily than men        
mobile internet, Opera, Worldreader
A study undertaken by global software company Opera and digital reading non-profit Worldreader has found that women in Africa use mobile internet to empower and entertain themselves. Opera ran a survey of 1,500 women and men aged 14 to 44 in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa in May 2017 to learn more about their web [&hellip
          Somalia: For many girls, school holidays means FGM “cutting season”        
Source: UN Population Fund
Country: Somalia

HARGEISA – Asha Ali Ibrahim, 41, has been performing female genital mutilation (FGM) on girls in Diaami, Hargeisa and other parts of Somalia since 1997. July and August are her busiest months of the year. “This is the peak season, when parents bring their children to be cut,” she told UNFPA.

July, August and September are something of a “cutting season” for many girls around the world, when the break from school means they have time to undergo, and recover from, FGM. Though there is little formally collected data, experts say that FGM is commonly practiced during the school vacation period in parts of Guinea, Nigeria and Somalia.

In some cases, girls even travel from abroad to undergo the procedure. And in some places, it is a precursor to child marriage, which may also take place during school holidays.

FGM is carried out for a variety of reasons. In some places, it is the belief girls must be cut to control their libido. In others, it is the perception that intact girls are dirty or ugly, or that cutting is a prerequisite for marriage. But the practice causes serious medical problems, including haemorrhage, infection, complications in childbirth and even death.

In all cases, FGM is an internationally recognized human rights violation.

Dangers

About 98 per cent of women and girls in Somalia have undergone some form of FGM, according to a 2011 survey. The most common type involves cutting the genitals then sewing them closed, which can cause significant and long-lasting harm.

Somali girls typically undergo this procedure between ages 7 and 10, but Ms. Ibrahim says girls brought from abroad – especially from the United States and Europe – are usually older, between 12 and 14 years old. “It is a bit cumbersome to carry out the procedure on tissue that is more mature, and the grown up girls struggle more than younger ones,” she said.

Ms. Ibrahim is clear-eyed about some of the dangers. When she took over the role of circumciser from her aging mother, she was motivated in part by a desire to protect girls’ health.

“My mother was using one razor blade on all girls she cut. My daughter got sick soon after being cut by my mother, and I was informed at the hospital that the infection may have occurred from the procedure,” she explained. “I had been understudying my mother, so I asked her to stop carrying out FGM and I took over.”

Ms. Ibrahim uses one razor blade per client to avoid infections. Her other tools include a small bottle of lidocaine, disposable syringes, balls of cotton wool, raw egg that she says heals the wound, a powdered concoction of traditional herbs and penicillin to prevent infection, a thick white thread to sew up the girls after cutting them, and some methylated spirits for cleaning up. Ms. Ibrahim obtains these supplies over the counter from local pharmacies.

Despite her meticulousness, there have been mishaps. Ms. Ibrahim says she has rushed haemorrhaging girls to hospital. Still, she takes pride in her work, and feels it is an important cultural practice. She denies it causes problems during childbirth.

Her own young granddaughter is due to be cut this season, though the procedure has been postponed. “She’s been unwell recently and I am waiting for her to be better before I circumcise her,” she said.“Circumcision is important as a transition to adulthood. It turns a girl into a woman and this is why all the girls in my homestead have to be circumcised,” she told UNFPA.

“The world is changing”

“Schools are closed for two months between July and August, and this indeed the peak season for FGM,” said Ahmed Jama, a UNFPA specialist working on the issue

UNFPA partners with the government, health workers, local organizations, as well as religious leaders and youth activists to encourage their community and policymakers to abandon the practice.

The Hargeisa Institute of Health Sciences revised its midwifery curriculum last year, with help from UNFPA, to teach how to manage FGM-related complications that arise during childbirth. The programme also trains future midwives to become advocates for abandoning the practice.

“The world is changing, and Somalis are changing too,” said Nimo Hussain, the institute’s director.

Religious leaders like Sheikh Almis Yahye Ibrahim, 47, are encouraging these changes. The head of International Horn University, he is one of six sheikhs in the Arab region who have formed a network to fight FGM. He also preaches about the harms of FGM to the roughly 5,000 people at the Ibrahim Dheere Mosque.

But the biggest differences will be seen in his daughter’s generation, where girls are increasingly being spared the practice.

None of Sheikh Ibrahim’s three daughters have been cut. “I wouldn’t want to destroy anything about them. They should remain the way Allah created them,” he said.

Youth take the lead

Activists in the Y-Peer youth network have also take on the issue.

Pioneered by UNFPA in 2002, Y-Peer trains young people to educate community members about sexual and reproductive health. In Hargeisa, Y-Peer advocates talk to health workers, community members and other young people about a range of topics, including family planning, gender-based violence, child marriage and FGM.

And they have taken the messages to heart.

“I can only marry a girl who is over 18 and is not a victim of FGM,” declared Abdirahman Mohamed, 26, a Y-Peer project officer.

“I wouldn’t marry any girl who has undergone FGM because I don’t want to live with the health complications,” Mustafa Abdirahman, 19, another Y-Peer member, told UNFPA.

Still, these brave youth are the exception. FGM is still widespread, and its negative consequences continue to ravage the lives of women and girls .

Eighty-year-old Cibaado Ismail knows this all too well. She lives in the Rugta camp for internally displaced persons, just outside Hargeisa.

Her daughter died at age 17 of complications during childbirth. The baby also died. Ms. Ismail blames FGM.

“An FGM awareness campaign in the camp helped me understand the negative effects of the practice,” Ms. Ismail said. “I have since banned all my 10 female grandchildren from being cut.”

– Pilirani Semu-Banda


          World: FPMA Bulletin #7, 10 August 2017        
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Zambia

Key messages

  • International prices of wheat rose further in July on quality concerns, particularly for higher protein wheat, although upward pressure was limited by prospects of ample global supplies. Export prices of maize remained generally unchanged, while a slowdown in demand capped gains in rice quotations.
  • In East Africa, prices of cereals in most countries declined signi cantly for the second consecutive month in July with the new harvests, but remained generally higher than a year earlier. However, in Ethiopia, prices of maize surged further and reached record levels, underpinned by uncertain prospects for the 2017 crops.
  • In the CIS, prices of staple potatoes declined sharply from the record or near-record highs of June in most countries of the subregion with the beginning of the new harvest. Prices, however, remained higher than in July last year after the sharp increases of the past months.

          World: Food Assistance Outlook Brief, August 2017        
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population is compared to last year and the recent five-year average. Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season. Additional information is provided for countries with large food insecure populations, an expectation of high severity, or where other key issues warrant additional discussion.


          World: Humanitarian Coordinator Information Products, 31 July 2017        
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen


          Yemen: Security Council Presidential Statement Urges Greater Humanitarian Access to Famine-Threatened Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria (Presidential Statement S/PRST/2017/14)        
Source: UN Security Council
Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

SC/12946

SECURITY COUNCIL
8020TH MEETING (AM)

Calling upon all parties in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria to urgently take steps that would enable a more effective humanitarian response, the Security Council today expressed its grave concern about the unprecedented level of global humanitarian needs and the threat of famine currently facing more than 20 million people in those countries.

Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2017/14, the Security Council deplored that in conflict-affected Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria, certain parties had failed to ensure unfettered and sustained access for deliveries of vital food assistance, as well as other forms of humanitarian aid.

By the text, the Council reiterated its call on all parties to allow safe, timely and unhindered access to all areas and to facilitate entry for essential imports of food, fuel and medical supplies into each country and their distribution throughout. The Council further urged all parties to protect civilian infrastructure, which was critical to the delivery of humanitarian aid in the affected countries.

Stressing the need to enhance longer-term recovery and resilience of conflict-affected countries, the Council emphasized with deep concern that ongoing conflict and violence had devastating humanitarian consequences and hindered an effective humanitarian response, and were, therefore, a major cause of famine.

The Security Council noted with appreciation the Secretary-General’s leadership in the efforts to respond to the humanitarian crises in the four countries and asked him to continue to provide information on the humanitarian situation and response, including on the risk of famine. He was also asked to give an oral briefing in October on country-specific impediments to an effective response and to make specific recommendations on how to address those obstacles to enable a more robust short- and long-term response.

The meeting began at 10:03 a.m. and ended at 10:04 a.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2017/14 reads as follows:

“The Security Council expresses its grave concern about the unprecedented level of global humanitarian needs and the threat of famine presently facing more than 20 million people in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and north-east Nigeria, and notes with appreciation the Secretary-General’s leadership in the efforts to respond.

“The Security Council notes the devastating impact on civilians of ongoing armed conflict and violence. The Security Council also emphasizes with deep concern that ongoing conflicts and violence have devastating humanitarian consequences and hinder an effective humanitarian response in the short, medium and long term and are therefore a major cause of famine in the situations above. In this regard, the Security Council also notes the links between food scarcity and increased vulnerability of women, children and persons with disabilities.

“The Security Council reiterates its commitment to work with the Secretary-General to pursue all possible avenues to end conflicts, including through addressing their underlying root causes in an inclusive and sustainable manner.

“The Security Council stresses that responding effectively to these crises requires respect for international humanitarian law by all parties.

“The Security Council underlines the obligations of all parties to armed conflict to respect and protect civilians. The Security Council encourages those with influence over parties to armed conflict to remind the latter of their obligation to comply with international humanitarian law.

“The Security Council further underlines the need to ensure the security of humanitarian operations and personnel in conflict-affected countries. The Security Council calls on all parties to respect and protect medical facilities and personnel and their means of transport and equipment.

“The Security Council deplores that in the conflict-affected Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria, certain parties have failed to ensure unfettered and sustained access for deliveries of vital food assistance, as well as other forms of humanitarian aid. The Security Council reiterates its calls on all parties to allow the safe, timely and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to all areas and to facilitate access for essential imports of food, fuel and medical supplies into each country, and their distribution throughout. The Security Council further urges all parties to protect civilian infrastructure which is critical to the delivery of humanitarian aid in the affected countries.

“The Security Council calls upon all parties in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria to urgently take steps that would enable a more effective humanitarian response.

“The Security Council commends efforts by international donors to provide humanitarian assistance in response to these four crises. The Security Council calls for the immediate disbursement of the funds already pledged to Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and north-east Nigeria at successive international conferences, including those held in Oslo, Geneva and London, if possible in the form of multi-year and unearmarked funding. The Security Council calls on Member States to provide additional resources and funding to pull people back from the brink of famine.

“The Security Council stresses the need to enhance longer-term recovery and resilience of conflict-affected countries.

“The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide information on the humanitarian situation and response, including on the risk of famine, in the conflict-affected Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and north-east Nigeria, as part of his regular comprehensive reporting.

“In light of the unprecedented threat of famine in conflict-affected Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and north-east Nigeria, the Security Council further requests the Secretary-General to provide an oral briefing, during the month of October 2017, on country-specific impediments to an effective response to the risk of famine in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria and make specific recommendations on how to address these impediments, in order to enable a more robust short- and long-term response in the four countries. The Security Council welcomes the Secretary-General’s letters on the risk of famine in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria of 21 February and 27 June 2017 and in this regard requests the Secretary-General to provide early warning when a conflict having devastating humanitarian consequences and hindering an effective humanitarian response risks leading to an outbreak of famine.

“The Security Council expresses its readiness to continue to support the Secretary-General’s call to action to avert famine in conflict-affected countries and commits to engage constructively on the Secretary-General’s specific recommendations.”


          Italy: Italy: Unaccompanied And Separated Children (UASC) Dashboard, July 2017        
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Bangladesh, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Iraq, Italy, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, World

Between 1 January and 31 July 2017, 12,656 unaccompanied and separated children arrived in Italy by sea, representing 13% of all sea arrivals in this period. This proportion is comparable to the first seven months of 2016, when 15% of those arriving by sea were UASC. UASC numbers have slightly decreased compared to last year, when 13,705 UASC arrived in the first seven months of the year.


          Italy: Italy Sea Arrivals Dashboard (January - July 2017)        
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Iraq, Italy, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World

Overview

Between 1 January and 31 July 2017, 95,213 persons arrived in Italy by sea. This is a 2% increase compared to sea arrivals in the same period last year (93,774).

Trends in sea arrivals should be assessed over time, as fluctuations on a monthly basis may be linked to various factors, including weather and sea conditions or the situation in the countries of departure and origin. Geopolitical developments and the capacity of smugglers to organize departures may also affect sea arrivals.


          Comment on Backstage Access & A Glimpse at Tiwa Savage’s Red Tour in Houston, Texas by The Twerking Continues: Tiwa Savage Twerks Up a Storm During Her ‘Red Tour’ in Houston (Photos) | Nigerian Entertainment, comedy, music & more | Naija4real.com        
[…] during the songstress’ ‘Red Tour’ in Houston, Texas. According to a report by Golden Icons, the energy she displayed and infused into the crowd was also like none other we’ve seen in a […]
          Slow Beekeeping - Bisi's talk at the BBKA Spring Convention        

Today's podcast is a recording I made of a talk by Adebisi Adekunle during the BBKA Spring Convention at Stoneleigh in April 2011.

Adebisi Adekunle - Bisi is an Amateur beekeeper with 10 years experience in the UK (Temperate climate with Apis Mellifera Mellifera & hybrids) and in Nigeria (Tropical climate with Apis Mellifera Adansonni).  She is a member of Romsey (Hants), Gillingham & Shaftesbury (Dorset), Twickenham & Thames Valley Beekeeping Associations. Bisi is the Honey Show Manager for the Hampshire Honey Show and a member of Slow Food International and the British Beekeepers Assoc. (BBKA).

The sound quality is reasonable, although there is some background hum from a piece of equipment in the kitchen.


          Indignation No 4/4 : Une sonde Rosetta pour Chibok ?        
Pourquoi donc la chaîne de télévision CNN choisit-elle de rendre publique, le 14 avril, une une photo de 15 des 276 jeunes filles kidnappées par Boko Haram dans leur école de la ville de Chibok, au nord-est du Nigeria ?  (dixit la presse) ? Comment est-ce possible qu’il n’y ait strictement aucune trace de ces presque 300 adolescentes, dont les medias […]
          Incident: Med-View B767 at Ilorin on Aug 5th 2017, rejected takeoff due to bird strike        
A Med-View Airlines Boeing 767-300, registration 5N-BQN performing flight VL-3128 from Ilorin (Nigeria) to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) with 222 pilgrims, was accelerating for takeoff from Ilorin when the crew rejected takeoff due to a bird strike
          Lassa fever carried back to Sweden        

A 73-year-old woman returning from travels in several African countries has been diagnosed with Lassa fever.

Lassa fever is a virus endemic to Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, which features symptoms such as fever, chills, joint pain, headache and diarrhea.

The case was confirmed by the Public Health Agency of Sweden after testing, and was subsequently reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the National IHR Focal Point for Sweden.

The woman returned to Sweden in early March after several weeks of travel in Liberia, Monrovia, Yekeba and other African locations. Officials said that, in Liberia, the woman was exposed to rodents, who are the most common vectors for the virus.

Approximately 1 percent of people who contract Lassa fever die.

WHO officials said they are following up with 74 contacts who may have been in a position to contract the virus from the woman, who was placed in isolation.


          WHO director speaks on disease outbreak tactics        

In a recent address to attendees of the high-level conference in Lyon, France, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan discussed how states can unite under International Health Regulations (IHR).

Referencing the recent Ebola outbreak and its devastation followed by the Zika virus, Dr. Chan said the world is ever-changing, creating new environments for health threats to evolve.

Dr. Chan stated that the key to better combating these outbreaks involved enabling countries to follow International Health Regulations. In addition, she suggested that countries forming alliances need to perform standardized tests to identify and track diseases and possible outbreaks that threaten global health.

Furthermore, technology is vital for a quick diagnosis -- as noted in the Ebola outbreaks in Nigeria, Senegal, and Mali, where Ebola was kept from spreading.

All together, Dr. Chan feels extremely positive about the future of IHR implementation and what the global health community can accomplish.


          WHO offers temporary recommendations for polio outbreak        

The International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization (WHO) recently held its eighth meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) over a teleconference to discuss the poliovirus' spread throughout the world. 

The team reviewed data on both wild polio and vaccine-contracted polio, and specifically looked back on the Nov. 10 choice to modify treatment temporarily in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Guinea.

Overall, the EC reported that wild polio has declined in Pakistan and Afghanistan since the original Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in 2014, though it has continued worldwide. It also reported that the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, central Africa and areas in Europe are more susceptible to wild polio. Concerning vaccine-derived polio, outbreaks in Ukraine, Madagascar, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nigeria and Guinea have continued. 

The WHO is especially concerned with countries nearby that are suffering from Ebola, and may be more susceptible to illness. Therefore, EC still declares polio a PHEIC and has advised the director-general to extend the temporary recommendations it has previously set in place for three more months. The director-general agreed with the report and, on Feb. 26, extended the recommendations.

EC encourages countries that are able to support the international fight against polio to do so, in the form of information, materials and vaccination. The EC will reevaluate the recommendations in three months.


          We’ve got as far as having fig leaves        
The FT includes an all too familiar tale of recently looted  Nigerian wealth  having to be traced through US courts to assist recovery processes this
Read the full article...
          Kwanzaa Flag Decoration        
Kwanzaa Flag Decorationfenadminuser Tue, 12/05/2006 - 14:33

Kwanzaa Flag Decoration

Materials
  • Construction paper in red, green, blue, yellow and white
  • Scissors
  • Thin ribbon or yarn
  • Glue
  • Black marker

 

 

Directions

The Flag of Gabon:

  1. Cut a rectangle from the green construction paper, measuring about 3" x 6".
  2. Cut bands from the blue and yellow paper, measuring about 2" x 6".
  3. Paste the strips horizontally across the green rectangle, starting at the bottom with the blue.
  4. Paste the yellow directly above the blue strip, so that you are left with three bands of equal size running horizontally across the flag: green on top, yellow in the center, and blue on the bottom.

The Flag of Ghana:
  1. Cut a rectangle from the green construction paper, measuring about 3" x 6".
  2. Cut bands from the red and yellow paper, measuring about 2" x 6".
  3. Paste the strips horizontally across the green rectangle, starting at the top with the red.
  4. Paste the yellow directly below, so that you are left with three bands of equal size running horizontally across the flag: red on top, yellow in the center, and green on the bottom.
  5. Use the black marker to draw a five-point star in the center of the yellow band.

The Flag of Benin:
  1. Cut a rectangle from the green construction paper, measuring about 3" x 6".
  2. Cut bands from the red and yellow paper, measuring about 1½" x 5".
  3. Glue the yellow strip to the top right of the green rectangle.
  4. Paste the red band at the bottom right of the rectangle so you are left with a green vertical band on the left, and yellow and red horizontal bands of equal size.

The Flag of Nigeria:
  1. Cut a rectangle from the green construction paper, measuring about 3" x 6".
  2. Cut a strip from the white paper, measuring 2" x 3".
  3. Paste the white strip directly in the center of the green rectangle so that it runs vertically.

Paste the ribbon or yarn behind each flag, so that they are strung together. Hang your flag decoration and enjoy! For added fun, research other flags of Africaand include them in your wall decoration!

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          Eichgraben - Der „Tiger“ zurück in Eichgraben        
Der Film über das Leben des Nigerianers, der 2006 aus Eichgraben abgeschoben wurde, wurde vorgeführt.
          American Man Held In Nigeria Prison For Defrauding Nigerians Of $565,000        

An American man, Marco Ramirez has been held in Kirikiri Maximum prison, after he defrauded Nigerians $565,000 US green card and investment scam. 

The man was arrested by the Nigerian anti-graft agency after he was caught collecting money from Nigerians while promising them of US green cards, and also promise to get some other victim green card if they invest in some business in the US.

     

According to the EFCC prosecutor, Mr Ramirez was in the managing director of USA Now Plc., Eagleford Instalodge Group and USA Now Capital Group – committed the offences between February 2013 and August 2013, and committed the crimes between February 2013 and August 2013.

One of Marco's victims is Amb. Godson Echejum whom he collected  $545,000, telling him the money will serve as an investment in the US, which then could be used to grant him the US green card.

Another one of his victims is Abubakar Umar, who paid $10,000 for an investment company that also never existed. 

Mr Olukayode Sodimu also fell for Marco scam, and also paid $10,000 for facilitation fees with the American Immigration Services for an American green card.

Mr. Ramirez pleaded the no guilty charge against all the allegations, and he was then remanded at Kirikiri prison, and his case adjourned till June 3rd.

Categories:


          Google to train 10M Africans in online tech skills, 100K as software developers        
Google CEO Sundar Pichai outlined the firm's plan to train 10 million citizens over the next five years, including training software developers in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 08-03-2017 with Sandman        
Playlist:

Richard Cheese- Enter Sandman - Apertif For Destruction
The Afghan Whigs- Light As A Feather - In Spades
Brent Cowles- Cold Times - Cold Times EP
St Paul The Broken Bones- Flow With It You Got Me Feeling Like - Sea Of Noise
Dan Auerbach- Cherrybomb - Waiting On A Song
Benjamin Booker- Motivation - Witness
- voicebreak -
Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit- White Mans World - The Nashville Sound
Old 97s- All Who Wander - Graveyard Whistling
True Believers- Tell Her - Hard Road
Black Joe Lewis The Honeybears- PTP - Backlash
- voicebreak -
Carmen- Tales Of Spain - Fandangos In Space Dancing On A Cold Wind
Thundercat- Show You The Way feat Michael McDonald Kenny Loggins - Drunk
- voicebreak -
Seun Kuti- African Soldier - From Africa With Fury Rise
Amadou Et Mariam- La Realite - Dimanche A Bamako
The Semi Colon- Isi Agboncha - The World Ends Afro Rock Psychedelia In 1970s Nigeria
Andy Palacio The Garifuna Collective- Miami - Watina
Valerie June- Shakedown - The Order Of Time
Michael Kiwanuka- Black Man In A White World - Love Hate
Pickwick- Light It Up Let It Burn - LoveJoys
- voicebreak -
Juana Molina- Cosoco - Halo
Troupe Carnivle- Seller Of Dreams - Skaal Krush
Tristen- Glass Jar - Sneaker Waves
Courtney Barnett- How To Boil An Egg - How To Boil An Egg Single
Tedeschi Trucks Band- Let Me Get By - Live From The Fox Oakland
- voicebreak -
Nathaniel Rateliff The Night Sweats- I Did It - A Little Something More From
Wilco- One Hundred Years From Now - Return Of The Grievous Angel A Tribute To Gram Parsons
Ryan Adams- Jacksonville - Jacksonville Paxam Single Series Vol 2 Single
Low Cut Connie- Dirty Water - Dirty Pictures Pt 1
White Reaper- Judy French - The Worlds Best American Band
SleaterKinney- Bury Our Friends - No Cities To Love
- voicebreak -
Lila Downs Mariachi Juvenil De Tecalitln- La Llorona - Frida Soundtrack From The Motion Picture
Flaco Jimenez- Marina - Partners
Calexico- Corona - Convict Pool
The Shins- Dead Alive - Heartworms
Le Trouble- Vampires - Making Matters Worse
Radiohead- Pearly Remastered - OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017
- voicebreak -
Queens Of The Stone Age- The Way You Used To Do - Villains
Royal Blood- Hook Line Sinker - How Did We Get So Dark


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2017-08-03
          So Long and Thanks for All The Fish... and Crabs... and Bacon...        
This is it, the final post!  The last one of the whole damn blog.  It's a weird milestone, but it wasn't a sudden decision. Actually, I decided this somewhere during my madcap overview of state foods, somewhere between Georgia and Illinois (I can’t remember exactly), and well after I realized that I just no longer had the money, time or gas to go back around the Beltway again.  But still, after 6 ½ years (exactly - the first two posts were on September 12, 2006), 1,780 posts, 2,977 comments (as of this posting), about 310 recipes attempted (most of which were somebody else's recipes I was interpreting) and about 810 eateries, festivals, markets and food trucks visited, it’s time to pack it in.  The “blog fatigue” has taken a strong hold, and just like Ray Lewis (RAVENS W00000000T!!!!!!), Tina Fey (30 ROCK W00000000T!!!!!!) and Benedict XVI (zuh? Er, RAVENS W00000000T!!!!!!), I want to go out on a high.

No, not “I want to go out high”.  I want to go out ON A high.  Good grief. 


I’ve learned a lot these past several years of being part of the Baltimore food blogging community. I’ve tried to winnow that down to a list, with items in no particular order.  Some are more particular than others.  To wit:

1. There are a lot of good crab cakes in this city. And a lot of bad ones.  But the bad ones are usually still better than the ones you find elsewhere.

2. You just can’t buy a stand mixer cheap, even from your favorite thrift store.  You just can’t.  Don’t do it.

3. You can really smoke pork barbecue in the slow cooker.  And in the oven.  Beef brisket, too.

4. Eating something you’ve grown is pretty damn satisfying, even if all you got from several broccoli seeds was one head the size of your fist.

5. Restaurants can actually improve, though how much so is debatable.

6. They can also get worse.

7. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get excellent food or service.

8. But you CAN end up spending a fortune and get craptastic service instead.

9. Chinese food in the US is a bit different than it is in the UK or in the Netherlands. Or, especially, in China.

10. You can actually pop sorghum at home.  Amaranth, too.  And while a dome popper (that rotates the kernels) might be preferable, you can get away with using just a stainless steel stockpot.

11. I now know how to make poi.

12. And sushi.

13. And beer. 

14. And New York, New Haven and Chicago style pizzas.  I just need to make sure they stay flat. 

15. There are some good eats from food trucks.  Here and in DC.  And LA.

16. Recipes are there for a reason.  Use them.

17. And read through them first!

18. That said, so long as you know where to improvise (and what to search for on the internet), you don’t have to follow the recipe to the letter.

19. As much as the woman irritates the hell out of me, I have to admit that Sandra Lee’s heart is in the right place in trying to help home chefs without a lot of scratch make something edible.  She doesn’t always succeed (ahem), but at least she tries.  To paraphrase Sophia Petrillo, her heart’s in the right place but I don’t know where her brain is.

20. Still, what’s up with those goddamn tablescapes!?

21. Guy Fieri, on the other hand... I have no friggin’ clue why he’s still on TV.

22. Hooray for the people who thought up Restaurant Week.  And brewpubs.  And Dogfish 90 Minute IPA.

23. I now know that people in South Dakota deep fry raw beef and eat it on toothpicks.  That’s about as All American as you can get.

24. I have grown an appreciation for wine, but I will always be a beer person at heart.  Double IPA please, only one if I have to drive somewhere, and only water until I can drive.

25.  Oh yes, don’t drink and drive.

26. Homemade tomato sauce has totally ruined the stuff in a jar for me forever.  No high fructose corn syrup! (Seriously, look at the ingredients the next time you buy store bought.)

27. Locally sourced really does taste better than the stuff they ship 2,000 miles across three time zones just so we can have cauliflower out of season.

28. Sometimes all you want is a nice, juicy hot dog. Without bacon.  That’s right, I said “without”.

29. Yes, I love bacon, don’t get me wrong.  But everything in moderation.  If you have bacon all the time, it’s not special.  (Didn’t Margaret Cho say that once?)

30. That said, this blog has re-introduced me to the pleasures of cooking with bacon grease.  In moderation.

31. That Bitchin’ Kitchen show is pretty damn strange, and it rocks.

32. Nigella Lawson has such a great way of phrasing things on her shows and in her cookbooks.  It’s such fun to read her.


33. If you have the time to explore food in local places you never get to visit, take it.  Otherwise someone raised in Lansdowne won’t find the excellent hot dogs in Dundalk, fried oysters in Edgewood or Chinese and Japanese food in Overlea that he should be discovering (or the pit beef in Lansdowne and Arbutus that folks in Dundalk, Edgewood and Overlea are missing, too - and yes there is also good pit beef in Dundalk and off Route 40).

34. The internet is a great repository for recipes, but there will always be a place for cookbooks.

35. I wish there were more people out there like Jolene Sugarbaker, the Trailer Park Queen.  Someone at LOGO get her a cooking show, dammit.

36. Seriously, what is up with this ridiculous "throw it up overnight Frozen Yogurt shop" craze? It has to end sometime. So long as the people working all of them find other work. Don't want anybody out of a job.


37. It's El-li-KIT City, not El-li-COT City! Jeez Louise, people.

38. A few things I regret not having blogged about these past few years:
  • Jamaican food, particularly jerk chicken
  • The Charleston, though that one is because I could not afford it. Still can't afford it. Likely never will. Wah waah.
  • How to steam crabs. Sure we all know how to do that here, but I never actually got around to writing an actual how-to post.
  • The Museum Restaurant, now snuggled in the former space where the Brass Elephant used to be.
  • More family recipes, and maybe an exploration of the hallowed Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery.
  • More posts about food, food production and nutrition writing. I've read and/or listened to on audiobook more than a few lately that really deserve more of a mention on a site like this one:
    • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and family
    • The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentleman Farmers by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
    • The American Way of Eating by Tracie MacMillan
    • In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (also been meaning to check out Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation. That one's next on the bucket list).
39. This city needs more Ethiopian restaurants. And Nigerian ones, too. And barbecue joints.

40. If you want an array of free cookbooks, go to the Book Thing in Waverly. Not just cookbooks but any books: you can take your old books that you don't want anymore and take home with you whatever you want. Granted, the selection skews towards the older stuff (hello, cookbooks for 600 watt microwaves from the early 80's), but it's still a fascinating bevy of cookbooks.

41. You want the essence of "Smalltimore"? When you are out with your friends getting pizza at Iggie's and you see a member of the Ace of Cakes show outside the window, then you mention it on the blog, and then she comments afterwards! Please keep rockin' this town, Mary Alice, and all y'all at Charm City Cakes. That's Smalltimore.

And that’s it.  I can’t really sum up 78 months worth of posts in one post much less one paragraph, so I’m not even going to try. But I will say that I have met a lot of interesting and talented people in this Baltimore food blog community, and made friends and shared experiences I am lucky to have.  Keep reading their food blogs, because they have forged into directions I had only thought about once in a long while, and many have been able to profit off of the experience (some of them have actual books you can buy now).  I am horrified at the thought of forgetting somebody and not going back to correct it, with this being in my final post and all.  So instead I thank all of you in the Baltimore food blog community as a whole. Y’all are awesome (yes, I meant "awesome" :D ), and you make me hungry.

I finish the blog very fortunate to have even had the money to do this. There are so many people in this country and in this world who just go hungry, who don't have access to anything healthy and have to worry about whether or not to buy food for themselves and their families, and here I am blogging about what I ate last week downtown. Reflecting on that kind of puts some things in perspective for me.

I’ve also learned (in large part on my own) a lot that I did not know, and probably would not have made the time to know were it not for this blog.  Eats around the Beltway that the food reviewers don’t often look at when they’re focusing on the finer and kitschier dining options in the city.  Specific foods in specific parts of the country that I’d never even known existed (from three different kinds of Native American frybread, to what a New York chocolate egg cream actually is, to how to make an honest-to-goodness sabayon for your Seattle sea scallops, to how long it actually takes to boil crawfish Louisiana-style).  Ditto for the world (from Papua New Guinea to Tanzania to leading 2010 World Cup contenders.  I’m looking at you, Uruguay).  The variety of festivals in the Baltimore area that are a cheap way to explore the area’s cultural diversity (and food), the original motivation for this blog in the first place back when it started as the Charm City Snacker.  The silliness of live-blogging a cooking competition show in real time, MST3K-style.  

And of course, this:




Ah yes, Aunt Sandy's infamous Kwanzaa cake video. You didn’t think I’d end the blog without slipping that in one more time, did you?

I am incredibly lucky to have undergone this experiment, and I thank everyone who has been a fan these past 6 ½ years, and the hardworking people who make and serve the food I’ve talked about.

So what does the future hold for me?  Danged if I know.  Work, family, hopefully some romance here and there, definitely some food.  I will say this: I am heading to New Orleans for a conference in May and getting some delicious food there, and hopefully in my down time seeing the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (particularly their Maryland exhibit - they do indeed have one).  Plus I’ll be eating locally and growing locally more often than I have in the past.  Most exciting, however, is a trip to Dublin for my birthday (the one in Ireland).  I normally would not do this or even bother to scrounge up the money, but it’s one of those "big" birthdays and I wanted to do something special.  Again, I’m incredibly thankful and lucky that I even get to do this.

Apart from all that, I will just continue cooking food, growing food, investigating recipes from my own backyard and from around the world, but without telling cyberspace about it (alright, I might mention a few of these things on Twitter, but not on here).  Before I decided to finish the blog, I got a hold of my Great Great Aunt Florence’s old recipe book.  I had thought of working through each recipe and seeing how it turned out (there are two crab cake recipes in there, plus one for a Dream Whip Cake).  Maybe I should write a blog about it?

Nah, done that already ;)

 

And so, this is John, signing off for the last time.  Don't worry - I'm not taking the blog down. It's staying up for the foreseeable future, and probably longer than that. I will check and moderate the comments for a while and maybe add a few jump breaks to some of the longer posts (now that they've bothered to add that capability when I need it the least). Oh, and I should direct you to the newly-indexed State-by-State page to the right.  But I’m not posting anymore.  Seriously, I’m done.  I am pooped. I will miss this blog, but I’m really looking forward to missing it. And finishing it.  Really.

Now what better way to finish than with one of those crazy food haiku?

Time to close up shop.
Bawlmer Snacker is complete.
Now, what’s for dinner? :)

(No the smiley face doesn’t count as an extra syllable!  It’s still a haiku.  Sheesh.)

          Revisiting the Beltway: One Last Trip around 695 (for the blog, that is)        
As you may know, I finished the State-by-State project I've been posting up here every Sunday morning for the last few years.  For my final Sunday post, I have decided to revisit a previous project one last time: my Snacking around the Beltway series.  Due to crazy gas prices (which haven't really abated) and a total lack of time - in part exacerbated by said new project that lasted the last couple of years - I stepped away from it after examining every few exits around the Glen Burnie section of the Beltway (more or less Exits 1 - 8).

For this post, I summarize a few key spots I have visited throughout the rest of the Beltway.  Yes, I'm squeezing Exits 9 through 44 into one longish post.  This is, I admit, an inadequate way to finish it up, but it is better than nothing.

As I did in my January 18, 2009, Final Assessment post of the original series, I will again divide the Beltway up into six sections:
  • the "Glen Burnie" section of the Beltway (south, Exits 1 through 8A) - I've already explored this one in more detail, so I'm not really coming back to it in this post.
  • the "Catonsville" section (southwest, Exits 9 through 16B)
  • the "Pikesville" section (northwest, Exits 17 through 22)
  • the "Towson" section (north, Exits 23A through 30B)
  • the "Essex" section (northeast, Exits 31A through 38B)
  • and the "Dundalk" section (southeast, Exits 39 through 44)
This will not be a sweeping assessment of eats around the Beltway - I am exploring one, maybe two at the most, restaurants in each aforementioned section.  But these few restaurants hopefully do show the diversity of old and new eats off the Beltway, and will encourage you to further explore for ones I left off on your own.

The Glen Burnie Section (south, Exits 1 through 8A)

As I said, I have a few posts about Beltway eats in Anne Arundel County.  I will refer you to those, with one caveat: the Afghan place across the street from the Glen Burnie MVA is now a Hip Hop Chicken (map here).  I haven't visited it yet.

The "Catonsville" section (southwest, Exits 9 through 16B)

It's kind of silly to say I've "revisited" this part of the Beltway.  This is where I grew up: Lansdowne, which was home for my first 20-odd years, and Arbutus, Catonsville and such, where I got to (and still go to) frequently.  That said, I haven't really visited the newish eating establishments here lately: the new Middle Eastern place in Arbutus (Punjab Kabab & Sweets, map here), the frozen yogurt place along Maiden Choice (And what is up with this new fro yo trend?  Seriously, I don't get it), and the new Lansdowne Station shopping center, home to a Boardwalk Fries, an Italian place (Three Brothers of Lansdowne, the only Baltimore location of sixteen across the state; map here) and, notably, a new Chinese/American/sushi buffet.  That last part - sushi buffet - should send shivers down anyone's spine.


The place in question is the Teppanyaki Grill Supreme Buffet (map here) off Exit 10, near the Office Depot.  My mother told me that she took my sister here a few months ago and thought it would be a nice place to go get a sit-down meal.  Not nice as in "dressy" nice, but nice as in "Oh, you don't see us so often, it would be nice to spend some more time with you, and your sister liked this place" (full disclosure: my youngest sister, in her 30's, has autism, and it's not easy to find places that she likes beyond a set few places, so for her to like any place with Chinese food is in itself amazing to my family).

The place isn't my idea of "inviting": despite the many tables and booths, it seems quite crowded.  The mostly dimly lit interior doesn't help on that score.  Certainly though, the people there seemed to enjoy themselves, particularly the children's birthday party in the separate (and loud) meeting room next to the dessert buffet.

The Teppanyaki Grill has a bevy of the stuff you'd expect to find at a Chinese/Japanese buffet: various fried "Chinese" things, some maki rolls on ice which seemed freshly made at least (with massive amounts of wasabi sitting next to them), a section of "American things" just in case your stubborn Uncle Floyd won't eat "Asian" stuff, and large salad and dessert bars in case you are ever-so-slightly tempted to eat something healthy.


Yum.

For the price, however, this can't really be beat: all-you-can-eat for all of $7.19 plus tax ($10.39 for dinner instead of lunch; kids eat for less and very young kids eat for even less).  That said, it is a buffet, and as massive buffets go it is pretty average.  You may be thinking "Well what did you expect?" In a word: this.  I expected what I got, so I wasn't exactly disappointed.  But all the same, I don't usually enjoy this sort of thing, so I probably won't head back.  It didn't make me sick - that was a plus.


Thank God, that had me worried for a second.

The "Pikesville" section (northwest, Exits 17 through 22)


So much to choose from, so little time... And money...

Unfortunately I don't get around to Pikesville much these days.  The last time I visited was to hit up the Seven Mile Kosher Supermarket off Exit 20 (map here) for some matzah meal a year or so ago.  A few years before that, I was a panelist at the Great Tastes food show, as one of many panelists discussing food blogging in Baltimore.  I had mentioned that I was hopeful that Baltimore would see an increase in the number of West African restaurants in the area, since Charm City is fortunate to have a relatively large and increasing Nigerian-American (and overall West African) community.  Afterwards,  somebody suggested to me that I try out Peju's Kitchen and Lounge off Exit 17 in Woodlawn (map here).  I hadn't gotten the chance until recently, when I finally made the trip for take out one night.  Actually, it ended up being the very last restaurant I will have visited for this blog.  I mean, I don't exactly do these in order here.

Peju's with its large black awning occupies the large corner in the Security Plaza strip mall across from Woodlawn High School.  The plaza also features a South Asian clothing store and several halal buffets and groceries, plus a store-front Islamic center, a driving school, a handful of store-front churches and a halal Chinese restaurant (I've heard of kosher Chinese places, but a halal one is new to me, and certainly fills a niche needing to be filled).  The slightly rusty (not rustic) exterior of the whole building complex belies the gorgeous warm amber interior of Peju's, which serves not just West African specialties like jollof rice (of course), fufu and puff-puff (the West African answer to the donut.  Mmmm, donut), but various Caribbean specialties.  The warmly-lit bar and lounge area open onto the main seating area in the interior.  In other words, this ain't Teppanyaki Grill Supreme Buffet (see above).



Since I was out running errands and had to get home, I opted for take-out.  Though my eyes alighted on Caribbean specialties like jerk chicken and curry vegetable dishes ($10 each, more if during dinner), I eventually opted for the more Nigerian jollof rice with beef (also $10, also more if during dinner).  The jollof rice was certainly better than my one attempt to make it a few years ago, and I loved the thick tangy, slightly spicy tomato sauce that went with it. The two slightly tough pieces of beef I got had a nice flavor, but clearly they were a side if anything: the star of this meal was the big, heaping mound of soft, tangy jollof rice.  A few sweet fried plantain pieces finish off this meal. I will have to go back for more.

The "Towson" section (north, Exits 23A through 30B)

While I hardly get to Pikesville or Woodlawn, I often pass through Towson since I live so close by.  The problem here is that I never get a chance to stop anywhere.  The downtown Towson area has seen a few new places pop up over the last few years even as places like Towson Commons have shut down.  Yes, many old favorites like Kyodai, Kathmandu and Strappazza (just to name a few) are all still in that downtown area.  One that has been around for a while but I haven't had the chance to visit until not long ago was the Towson Hot Bagels (map here), recently voted Best Bagel in Baltimore.  Is this the influx of New Jersey and New York kids at the University making this assessment?  Seriously though, it's an efficient set up.  It has to be, since there are so many of these college kids in there!  The bagels are indeed good: chewy and filling and lovely.  I got an everything with cream cheese the one time I went there with some friends from out of town.


A few storefronts have seen some changes across the street from the library on York Road (map here: they're all close by): the Indo-Chinese place is now straight up Indian (India Cuisine), and I still haven't gotten to the Chinese place next door (The Orient Restaurant) or the 7 West Bistro Grille around the corner, all conveniently nestled not too far from Exits 26 and 27.  One place I have gotten to is the Phò Dat Thành (map here), the phò place near the Melting Pot, and one of three in the Baltimore area (with locations in Laurel and Columbia).  This once was a "pan-Asian" restaurant serving Chinese, Japanese and Thai food.  It finally settled on Vietnamese.  While they have various stir fry options available, you will probably want to go for the phò: a good, large standard bowl of phò at not a very steep price.

The "Essex" section (northeast, Exits 31A through 38B)

Sadly, I don't get around to this part of the Beltway that often anymore either.  I really should just stop between Exits 38B and 39 off North Point Blvd at the Prima Foods (map here).  This is Baltimore's premier stop for all your Greek ingredient needs, including their barrels of olives that you scoop yourself.  Closer to Route 7 and CCBC Essex lies places I have yet to get to, notably the Pizza Rustica (map here) at the intersection of crazy and crashy, er, Rossville Blvd and Pulaski Hwy near Exit 35 (seriously, why is that intersection so accident-prone?).

Ever since I last visited for the Beltway Snacking project a few years ago, I knew that Baltimore's favorite pit beef joint - and apparently the über-annoying Guy Fieri's - was in this area.  It did not dawn on me just how much closer Chaps Pit Beef (map here) is to 895 than the Beltway, so much so technically it shouldn't really be in this post.  But screw it, it's only a few miles away from Exit 35, so it's going in anyway.


For the few Bawlamorons who haven't been to this place - I admit, I was one of them until I went for this post - and for those outside the city who still aren't quite sure what "pit beef" really is, Chaps is not all big and flashing, and is even kind of easy to miss if you're not paying attention.  Plus, there isn't a large parking lot.  It is one of those places that stays small and puts out a quality product.  Okay, a lot of quality products: it's not just pit beef but various types of barbecue.  The menu is as complicated as any BBQ joint I've seen in this or other parts of the country.  But I went specifically for the pit beef sandwich, medium rare (about $6).  The meat is smoky, soft and juicy, and yes, you must bite down to get the slices of pit beef off the sandwich (but hey, that's pit beef for you).  Don't forget the many toppings along the window: horseradish, tiger sauce (horseradish mayonnaise), hots and a pickle chip belong on any pit beef sandwich.  I can't imagine eating pit beef without horseradish.  I just don't want to.


Isn't it better to imagine a nice juicy pit beef sandwich slathered with a big ol' blob of horseradish instead?


The "Dundalk" section (southeast, Exits 39 through 44)

Since family, work and friends are all in other parts of the area, I almost never get to Dundalk anymore.  And like with the Rosedale / Hamilton area it is easy to find pit beef in Dundalk.  Even easier since Merritt Blvd lost the wondrous Weenie World, one of my favorite hot dog places around the Beltway.  In its place is the Bullpen (map here), with the tagline "You can't beat our meat" (errrrrmm...).  Like Chaps and the nearby Bada Bing Bada Beef (which I did get to last time), this is also a pit beef and BBQ joint, and I will have to try it out next time I'm back down that way.

As with my much-delayed visits to Peju's and Chaps, I did finally get to the Boulevard Diner (map here).  Guy Fieri also stopped by here (my God, how many of these places has Guy Fieri infected with his presence anyway!?) for his DD&D show.  The Boulevard is your quintessential diner - nothing much different about that, except for the massive illustration of Ray Lewis (W0000000000T!!!!!) in the entryway.  Inside, it's no-nonsense but friendly and quick service.  And it has all the diner classics: the Mediterranean stuff, the burgers, the meatloaf, the desserts, and the all-day breakfasts.  I hadn't eaten lunch that day but was in the mood for pancakes - not many, but pancakes all the same.


I have my fat group, my carb group and my sugar group!


I got the short stack of two massive pancakes ($5) with two sausage patties (an extra $2).  I can't think of much else to say: they were typically tasty diner pancakes. The sausage was a little gristly but nothing I haven't enjoyed eating before.  And of course, I bathed the whole thing in butter and syrup, as you are supposed to do with diner pancakes.  Yum.



Post-Script

Had I decided to continue the blog - and had gas prices fallen again - I might have liked to get around the Beltway again.  I'm not sure I would've had the time, though: the one thing I remembered while doing the research for this post was how much time it took the first time around. So revisiting these various joints around 695 is just something I will have to leave to others.  Every exit has something worth eating (and probably something that is best left alone).  Search it out, folks.  I may not be writing about it, but I will certainly be searching for it nonetheless.

Places I visited

Boulevard Diner (diner) - 1660 Merritt Blvd, Dundalk, MD 21222; Phone: (410) 285-8660
  • Would I eat there again? Yes
  • Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Yes, why not?
Chaps Pit Beef (pit beef & BBQ) - 5801 Pulaski Hwy, Baltimore, MD 21205; Phone: (410) 483-2379
  • Would I eat there again? Yes
  • Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Yes, and I'd have to
Peju's Restaurant and Lounge (Nigerian / West African / Caribbean) - 1724 Woodlawn Drive, Wodlawn, MD 21207; Phone: (410) 277-9779
  • Would I eat there again? Yes
  • Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Sure, especially since it's the only Nigerian restaurant in the area.
Phò Dat Thành (Vietnamese) - 510 York Rd, Towson, MD 21204; Phone: (410) 296-9118
  • Would I eat there again? Yes
  • Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Maybe
Prima Foods (market / Greek) - 51 Kane St  Baltimore, MD 21224; Phone: (410) 633-5500
  • Would I shop there again? Yes
  • Would I go out of my way to shop there again? Sure!
Teppanyaki Grill Supreme Buffet (buffet / Chinese / Japanese / American) - 3551 Washington Blvd, Lansdowne, MD 21227; Phone: (410) 242-5887
  • Would I eat there again? Probably not
  • Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Um, no
Towson Hot Bagels (bagels / breakfast) - 16 Allegheny Ave, Towson, MD, 21204, with locations in Timonium and Canton
  • Would I eat there again? Yes
  • Would I go out of my way to eat there again? Hmmm...
Places to visit later (though I must leave others to write about them)

The Bullpen (pit beef & BBQ) - 1099 Merritt Blvd, Dundalk, MD 21222; Phone: (410) 288-3529

Hip Hop Fish & Chicken (fried chicken / fast food) - 6604 Ritchie Hwy, Glen Burnie, MD 21061, with various other locations in the area; Phone: (410) 766-1515

India Cuisine (Indian) - 321 York Rd, Towson, MD 21204; Phone: (410) 583-7770

The Orient Restaurant (Chinese / Japanese) - 319 York Road, Towson, MD 21204, with locations in Bel Air and Perry Hall; Phone: (410) 296-9000

Pizza Rustica (pizza / Italian) - 8805 Pulaski Highway, Rosedale, MD 21237; Phone: (410) 682-8640

Punjab Kabab & Sweets (Pakistani / Indian) - 5313 East Dr, Arbutus, MD 21227; Phone: (410) 737-7773

Seven Mile Supermarket (kosher / Jewish) - 201 Reisterstown Rd,  Pikesville, MD 21208; Phone: (410) 653-2000

7 West Bistro Grille (American / bar) - 7 W Chesapeake Ave, Towson, MD 21204; Phone: (410) 337-9378

Three Brothers of Lansdowne (pizza / Italian) - 3611 Washington Blvd, Lansdowne, MD 21227, with sixteen locations statewide; Phone: (410) 536-1080

          Best Of: Restaurants        
I have had a lot of great experiences eating out these last few years, and it's difficult to winnow this list down as well.  What were my favorite eating out experiences during The Baltimore Snacker?  Well, I could not list all of them, but I tried to list about 20-to-30-ish in the Baltimore area (plus a handful of others elsewhere).  They're in alphabetical order by type of cuisine, and I try to do one of each type of eating establishment for variety.  Also note: yes, I am missing a lot of places, in a lot of neighborhoods.  This reflects my favorites.  That doesn't mean yours isn't any good.  Believe you me, I may not have even gotten to eat at your favorite in all the years I've been writing this blog.

Favorite African: Dukem (Ethiopian - Mount Vernon, with another location in Washington, DC; featured in the post "Dukem #2", published December 17, 2006) - Always a good place for some filling beef wot and lamb fitfit.  Get an Ethiopian lager or stout while you're at it.
  • Honorable mention: The Yabba Pot (vegan/soul food - Station North/Charles Village - apparently it's now closed); Peju's Kitchen & Lounge (Nigerian / West African / Caribbean - Woodlawn); I'm still meaning to try Tam Tam (Senegalese - Rosebank) on York Road.

Favorite African-American/Southern/Barbecue: TIE: Reginald F. Lewis Museum Café (Little Italy/Downtown - first featured in the post "Not a Festival - Reginald F. Lewis Museum", published July 10, 2007) and Miss Shirley's (various locations and food truck - first featured in the post "Food Truck Fight!!!!!", published June 26, 2012) - The café at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History is one of the best museum cafés I've ever eaten at: some of the tastiest fried catfish and macaroni and cheese in the area.  As for Miss Shirley's, they have lovely grits, especially with the unexpected addition of mascarpone.  Fascinating.
  • Honorable mention: Andy Nelson's BBQ Restaurant (Cockeysville - surprising enough, I've never blogged about this one either); Blacksauce Kitchen (food truck, often at Waverly farmer's market - not blogged about this one either.  I'm slackin'...)
Favorite American/Eclectic/"New American" (the last of which could be anything really, since nobody knows what the hell it means): The Food Market (Hampden - first featured in the post "The Food Market in Hampden") - Chef Chad Gauss used to be at the City Café, which had some wonderful food while he was there.  Sure the food there is still pretty good, but Gauss definitely took the best stuff with him to his new Hampden location.  It's pricey and super-busy, so go on a weeknight, preferably during Restaurant Week.
  • Honorable mention: City Café (Mount Vernon); Owl Bar (Mount Vernon); Mount Vernon Stable (Mount Vernon); Rocket 2 Venus (Hampden)
Favorite Baked Goods: Iced Gems Baking (cupcakes - Reisterstown & food truck; first featured in the post "Iced Gems Baking", published May 13, 2010) - Love their English rose cupcakes - with real rosewater, I might add - and their vanilla chocolate, chocolate vanilla and vanilla vanilla offerings.
Favorite Brewpub: Heavy Seas Alehouse (Little Italy - first featured in the post "Random Bites: December Edition", published December 26, 2012) - My sister and her husband just loved this place when they stopped here from Savannah over Christmas.  So many good recommendations from the waitstaff, and so many good beers, made right in Halethorpe, I might add.

Favorite Burger: Alonso's (Roland Park; first featured in the post "Exit 25: MD-139 (Charles Street, to area colleges)", published February 22, 2008) - This was a tough one to winnow down, and the ones in the "Honorable Mention" category were justthisclose to being at the top.  But I have to go with the easy choice: their one pound burger is definitely one to take home and finish later, but it's still a yummy burger.
  • Honorable mention: So, sooooo many: City Café (Mount Vernon); Gino's (Towson); Marie Louise Bistro (Mount Vernon); Owl Bar (Mount Vernon); Shake Shack (various locations, including Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York, and Downtown, Washington, DC); Sláinte (Fells Point)
Favorite Candies: Rheb's Candies (Violetville; first featured in the post "Rheb's Candies", published December 8. 2007) - Family lore has it that my grandmother worked there for a short time in the 50's.  Such wonderful candies they have there, all homemade, hon.
Favorite Central Asian/Middle Eastern: The Helmand (Mount Vernon; first featured in the post "The Helmand", published September 23, 2006) - I wasn't sure how to formulate this category.  Where to put the Helmand: South Asian?  Central Asian?  I settled on this.  Or I could just create a category just for Baltimore's favorite Afghan restaurant.  Wonderful pilau, shawerma and my favorite dish of course, the kaddo borawni.  This was the second restaurant I ever blogged about, by the way.
Favorite Chinese (Americanized or otherwise): TIE - Asian Court (Ellicott City - first featured in the post "Asian Court", October 1, 2011) and Golden Gate (Catonsville/Arbutus - first featured in the post "Exits 12B-C - MD-372 (Wilkens Ave., East and West)", published September 12, 2007) - Asian Court is one of the few (but becoming more common) places to find food that would be recognizable as "Chinese food" in China.  Wonderful dim sum.  Golden Gate is a more Americanized Chinese place, with the reliable old orange chicken (my favorite of theirs), though they, too, are starting to make more "Chinese Chinese" dishes available to the public.
Favorite Crab Cake: G & M (Linthicum; first featured in the post "G & M", published April 5, 2007) - Yes, I went there.  I chose a favorite crab cake place.  I've had other good ones in this city but there's a reason why G & M keeps making Top 5 lists all over Bawlmer: big ass crabcake with so little filler it'll amaze you how they got it so big.  Complete with cole slaw and those bright red pickled apple slices that are so ubiquitous in Charm City.
  • Honorable mention: Faidley's (Lexington Market); Lansdowne Inn (Lansdowne - No, it's not the best crab cake, but it holds a very special place for me since my father often walked there from the house to get himself and Mom crab cakes.  Again, not the best crab cake in the area, but they are a sentimental favorite of mine.  Plus we held Dad's wake there after his funeral.  We had spaghetti that time though.  Again, sentimental favorite.).  
  • Avoid: Royal Farms Crab Cake (seriously, Royal Farms?)
Favorite Deli: Attman's Delicatessen (Little Italy/Corned Beef Row - first featured in the post "Trekkin' around Little Italy and Corned Beef Row", published October 13, 2008) - A Bawlmer institution that I've been lucky to know since childhood, when my father would drag my sister and I there to get a few pounds of kosher dogs, lots of bologna and corned beef.  Oooooh, I can still taste it.
Favorite Diner: Towson Diner (Towson - first featured in the post "Exit 26A and B: MD-45 (York Road, to Lutherville and Towson)", published March 6, 2008) - Snappy, friendly service and good, filling pancakes, Reubens and the like.  Still haven't ventured to try the mile-high cakes yet.  So much cake.

Favorite Farmers' Market / Local Food (Farm-Affiliated) Store: 32nd Street Farmers' Market (Waverly; first featured in the post "Waverly Farmers' Market", published June 7, 2008) - Open every Saturday (except, maybe, in a snowpocalypse), they've got good stuff there - not just the myriad of fresh veggies and fruit but so much more!  Everything from buffalo (Gunpowder Bison) to meat pies (Curry Shack) to milk, butter and so on (South Mountain Creamery).
Favorite Gay/Lesbian Bar: The Club Hippo (bar/gay & lesbian - Mount Vernon; first featured in the post "The Hippo", published October 11, 2006) - With a wide selection of beers on tap (DeClaw, Dogfish, New Belgium, Leininkugel, Shiner, Natty Boh, all the usual suspects) plus a big dance floor (that I never use 'cuz I can't dance, and don't ask me) that doubles as the scene for many a drag or leather competition, this is my go-to place in Mount Vernon.  See it fill up Monday nights for RuPaul's Drag Race or Wednesday nights for BINGO!
  • Honorable mention: Grand Central (across the street - are we really everywhere or just at the corner of Charles and Eager?); Nellie's Sports Bar (Shaw/U Street, Washington, DC); DC Eagle (Washington, DC)
Favorite Hot Dog: Haute Dog Carte (hot dogs - Mount Washington; first featured in the post "Haute Dog Carte", published September 3, 2010) - Hands down.  Just the "regular" dog is special enough, but those special dogs?  Oh my.
  • Honorable mention: Ann's Dari-Creme (Glen Burnie); Weenie World (Dundalk - now closed) 
Favorite Indian/South Asian: Indigma (Mount Vernon; first featured in the post "Indigma", published September 2, 2007) - Oh, this was a tough one.  There are so many good Indian places in and around Baltimore these days it's difficult to choose.  But you gotta hand it to Indigma: they suffered a massive fire and bounced back bigger than ever.  Their buffet is one of the most interesting, though not terribly pricier than the others.

Favorite Irish Pub: Sláinte Pub (pub/Irish - Fells Point; first featured in the post "Sláinte Pub and the Amazing Last Minute Goal", published June 23, 2010) - Yes I go there for the soccer.  And I stay there for the food (Irish bibimbap and Friday $1 oysters, anyone?  Plus their fish and chips are definitely worth a look or two) and the Guinness.  They do have other beers, too.

Favorite Italian (non-pizza): TIE: Sotto Sopra (Italian/Sardinian - Downtown; first featured in the post "Sotto Sopra", published June 13, 2008) and Chiapparelli's (Little Italy - last featured in the post "Tidbits: Boys of Summer Edition", published August 29, 2010) - Have had very good service in both places.  At Sotto Sopra the food is real Sardinian home cookin'.  Can't afford Opera Night, but I try to eat cheap anyway.  Chiapparelli's for Restaurant Week is also a beautiful thing.
Favorite Japanese: Minato (Japanese - Mount Vernon; featured several times, including "Minato the Threequel", published September 1, 2007) - My go-to place for sushi and friendly service.  Their Maryland roll is fascinating, especially on $7 special maki roll night.  Try not to miss happy hour.

Favorite Korean: Jong Kak (Korean - Koreatown/Charles Village; first published in the post "Jong Kak", published April 20, 2008) - My friends and I don't even have to say where when one of us suggests "Korean".  The barbecue is always filling and flavorful, the pajeon never too greasy, and the panchan goes well with a nice crisp bottle of Hite beer.
Favorite Local Grocery Store, Hon, Ethnic or Otherwise: Geresbeck's (supermarket - Middle River; first featured in the post "A Dangerous Love Affair with Geresbeck's Bakery", published October 18, 2007) - Their cakes are just wonderful, and the smearcase is legendary.  And don't forget some chocolate top cookies.  Yes, I'm specifically raving about their bakery here.  Yum.

Favorite Mexican: TIE: El Nayar (Catonsville and Elkridge - first featured in the post "El Nayar", published June 16, 2009) and R&R Taquería (Jessup/Elkridge - first featured in the post "Random Bites: December Edition", published December 26, 2012) - It's tough to find authentic Mexican in this area, but thankfully it's becoming easier!  El Nayar's taco plate is some of the more authentic I've had in the area, while R&R has the best cochinita pibil in Baltimore hands down.
Favorite Pit Beef: Chaps Pit Beef (Armistead Gardens/Hopkins Bayview - I have not yet blogged about this, though watch this weekend) - Yes, we should bow to the king here - Chaps Pit Beef is a local legend, and it should be: wide selection of pit beef and BBQ, though I have to zero in on the pit beef.  Just plop some horseradish and "tiger sauce" on it and a little bit of hots.  Woh-ho-ho. Lansdowne is really getting built up these days.  But right near the new Wal-Mart and the Home Depot is a long-standing SoWeBaltCo (Did I just make up a new term?) tradition: that wonderful little pit beef truck with juicy pit beef and lots of horseradish and barbecue sauce to go with.  If only I was in the area more often when it's there.
Favorite Pizza/Pizza and Subs: Vito's Pizza (Cedarcroft/Lake Walker; first featured in the post "Vito's Pizza", published April 8, 2009) - Good pizza of all kinds, since the owner - from Naples - knows what he's doing.  Delicious.
  • Honorable mention: Pasta Mista (various locations, including Canton and Towson - New Yorkers who live down here swear by it); Iggie's (Mount Vernon)
Favorite Tapas/Small Plates: 13.5% Wine Bar (Hampden; first featured in the post "13.5% Wine Bar", published August 24, 2009) - A job hunt at the time didn't deter me from one of my favorite Hampden eateries.  Their wall o' wine is intimidating unless you just stick to cocktails or beer.  They have wonderful selections of cheese, pizzas and many different finger foods. 
  • Honorable mention: Tapas Teatro (Station North/Charles Village - this was, in fact, the very first restaurant I ever blogged about).  
  • Avoid: La Tasca (Inner Harbor- warmed-over frozen mixed veggies from a bag - yum.  Easily the most bleh, half-assed tapas I have ever had.  But that's what I get for eating at a chain restaurant in the most touristy part of the city)
Favorite Thai: Thai Restaurant (Waverly; first featured in the post "Thai Restaurant", published April 14, 2010) - the fried crab wings (yes, crab wings) alone are reason to go there.  The pad thai is good but explore their many other offerings, will ya?
Favorite Vegetarian/Vegan: Mango Grove (Columbia; first featured in the post "Mango Grove", published February 16, 2008) - It's not often I will go out of my way to eat vegetarian food, but when I do, I prefer Mango Grove.  Two words: bread pakora.  And the dosa?  Lovely.


Favorite Vietnamese: Pho Miss Saigon (Glen Burnie - first featured in the post "Exit 3B - MD 2 South (Ritchie Hwy to Glen Burnie)", published June 11, 2007) - Good filling phò and not that pricey.

Favorite Wine/Beer/Liquor Store: The Wine Source (Hampden; featured several times, including "Baltimore Beer Week Continues...", published October 14, 2009, "Get this wine - but I DARE you to close it back up!", published July 14, 2008), and "Sake, Sake Everywhere (Post #999)", April 17, 2009) - They have always been so knowledgeable about any wine that this non-wine person might ask about.  Wondrous selection of beers, too.  Also sample the cheese and charcuterie section while you're there.
Also worth noting...


Favorite Dearly Departed Restaurant: Zodiac Restaurant (American - Station North [now closed]; last featured in the post "Last Call at the Zodiac", published August 9, 2008) - For a quick bite before a show at the Charles Theatre or (now relocated) Everyman, I loved this place for its goofy decor, its line of vegan desserts and very non-vegan entrées (I so fondly remember their hamburger, and the mashed potatoes even more so), and its apparent hauntings which I had never experienced.  Since they shut down operations in 2008, apparently the Club Charles next door carries some of their same menu offerings.  The Zodiac still exists, though not as a restaurant: it's now a comedy club.  Maybe that ghost is having fun pushing patrons down the stairs again?

Favorite Coddies:  I hate coddies.  Never liked 'em.  I have no favorites.  There, I said it.

And now, just a handful of favorite eats out in other parts of the country and the world...


Aroma (Chinese/Malaysian - Soho, London, England, UK; featured in post "Aroma", published January 6, 2007)

BCD Tofu House (Korean - various locations, including Los Angeles' Koreatown; featured in the post "From Bulgogi Tacos to Avocado Salsa: A Day of Eating in LA", published May 26, 2010)

Bojo (Indonesian - Leidesplein, Amsterdam, Netherlands; featured in post "Amsterdam Trip Part Drie: Little Bites Here and There", published March 25, 2008)


Bool BBQ (Korean/Mexican - food truck, Los Angeles; featured in the post "From Bulgogi Tacos to Avocado Salsa: A Day of Eating in LA", published May 26, 2010)

Casa Maya (Mexican/Yucatecan/Maya - Mentone, California; first featured in the post "Casa Maya", April 7, 2007)

The Castaway Restaurant (American/brunch - San Bernardino, California; first featured in the post "Easter Sunday Eatin' Part 1: Castaway of San Bernardino", published April 9, 2007)

Duplex Diner (American/gay and lesbian - Adams Morgan, Washington, DC; featured in the post "Adams Morgan for Capital Pride", June 17, 2011)


Meskerem (Ethiopian - Washington, DC; first featured in the post "Day at the Smithsonian / Meskerem (or, "Hey, where did all the Ethiopian restaurants go?")", published December 31, 2008)

Moon River Brewing Company (brewpub/American/Southern - Savannah, Georgia; first featured in the post "Georgia on My GPS Part 3: Moon River Brewing Company / Savannah Candy Kitchen", published June 27, 2009)

Pig & Fish (pub/American - Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; first featured in the post "Tidbits: Rehoboth in August Edition", published August 6, 2011)


Rudy's Barbecue (barbecue - Austin, Texas; first featured in the post "Austin City, Unlimited Part I - Of Barbecue and Barbacoa", published June 5, 2012)

Shake Shack (hamburgers/shakes - most locations in New York, New York, with locations in Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; first featured in the post "Weekend in New York: The Food", published July 17, 2009)


Wagamama (Japanese/ramen - various locations, mostly in the UK and continental Europe, with three stateside locations, all in Boston, Massachusetts; featured in several posts, including "Wedding in Provincetown Part II: Back to Boston", published September 23, 2011)
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 04-12-2017 with Dave Blackwood        
Playlist:

William Onyeabor- Body And Soul - World Psychedelic Classics 5 Who Is William Onyeabor
Various Artists- Erik Showboy Akaeze We Dey Find Money - Nigeria Afrobeat Special 1970s Nigeria
Here Lies Man- Here Lies Man - Here Lies Man
The Black Angels- Currency - Death Song
Charles Bradley- Changes - Heavy Nuggets Vol 4 13 Sabbath Inspired Tracks
Your Old Droog- Help feat Edan Wiki - Packs
Guided By Voices- 5 Degrees On The Inside - August By Cake
Pissed Jeans- The Bar Is Low - Why Love Now
The Magnetic Fields- 74 No - 50 Song Memoir
The Moonlandingz- Vessels - Interplanetary Class Classics
Temples- Certainty - Volcano
Moon Duo- The Death Set - Occult Architecture Vol 1
King Gizzard The Lizard Wizard- Doom City - Flying Microtonal Banana
Animal Collective- Peacemaker - The Painters EP
Ty Segall- Waterloo Sunset - Something Else A Tribute To The Kinks
Ty Segall- Break A Guitar - Ty Segall
- voicebreak -
The Feelies- Been Replaced - In Between
Sneaks- Devo - Its A Myth
The Buttertones- Sadies A Sadist - Gravedigging
The Courtneys- Silver Velvet - The Courtneys II
- voicebreak -
Sir Was- Digging A Tunnel - Digging A Tunnel
Damaged Bug- Bog Dash - Bunker Funk
- voicebreak -
Freelsds Badtrip- Talking Spells - Freelsds Badtrip EP
Chicano Batman- Freedom Is Free - Freedom Is Free
Ty Richards- Spaceman - Zillion
Flo Morrissey And Matthew E White- Grease - Gentlewoman Ruby Man
The Residents- Gods Magic Finger - Wormwood
Mouse On The Keys- Earache - Out Of Body EP
Clark- Peak Magnetic - Death Peak
Lettuce- Ransome - Mt Crushmore
Vibronics Meets Conscious Sounds- Hail Up Dub - Half Century Dub


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2017-04-12
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 02-15-2017 with Cal Huss        
Playlist:

Freddie Hubbard- Red Clay - Red Clay
Marvin Gaye- Inner City Blues Make Me Wanna Holler - Whats Going On Deluxe Edition
- voicebreak -
Juaneco Y Su Combo- El Llanto De Ayaimama - Masters Of Chicha
The Mermen- Apo Calypso - In God We Trust
The Outlaw Blues Band- Tobacco Road - The Outlaw Blues Band
The Animals- We Gotta Get Out Of This Place US Single Version - Retrospective
- voicebreak -
Cotton Jones- Some Strange Rain - Paranoid Cocoon
Sawtooth- The River Because - PostAmericana
Harrison Basch- Die With The Sun - Die With The Sun
- voicebreak -
Patrick Dethlefs- In The Wood - Beauty In The Unknown EP
The Kinky Fingers- When Eye Dye - Worst Of
Plum- Cosmic Vice - Light Years Dark Years EP
Grass- Dragwire - Dragwire
- voicebreak -
Kate Tempest- Europe Is Lost - Let Them Eat Chaos
Thomas X- Can You Hear Me - The Stixtape
RjD2- 2 More Dead - Deadringer
Madlib- Young Warrior Remix Edit - Blue Note Revisited
- voicebreak -
BADBADNOTGOOD- Since You Asked Kindly - III
Absolutely Free- Striped Light - Absolutely Free
Nomo- Nocturne - Invisible Cities
Antibalas- Big Man - Who Is This America
- voicebreak -
Here Lies Man- You Aint Goin Nowhere - Here Lies Man
Tunji Oyelana- Iwo Ko Lo Dami - A Nigerian Retrospective 196679
Matthew Squires- Graces Drum - Tambaleo
Sneaks- Tough Luck - Gymnastics
The Fall- I Feel Voxish - Perverted By Language Expanded Edition
September- Slump - Groove Merchant Turns 20
- voicebreak -
Jain- Come - Hope EP
Thao The Get Down Stay Down- Meticulous Bird - A Man Alive
Morphine- You Speak My Language - Good
Talking Heads- Houses In Motion - Remain In Light
- voicebreak -
King Gizzard The Lizard Wizard- Lonely Steel Sheet Flyer - Quarters


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2017-02-15
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 01-19-2017 with Cal Huss        
Playlist:

Gil ScottHeron- The Revolution Will Not Be Televised - Pieces Of A Man
- voicebreak -
JOSH WHITE- Trouble - FREE AND EQUAL BLUES
David Honeyboy Edwards- Worried Life Blues - Library Of Congress A Treasury Of Field Recordings
Bessie Smith- Poor Mans Blues - The Complete Recordings Vol 4
- voicebreak -
Leadbelly- Bourgeois Blues - Bourgeois Blues
SWEET HONEY IT ROCK- Aint Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round - Freedom Song
Billie Holiday Tony Scott Orchestra- Strange Fruit - Lady Sings The Blues
- voicebreak -
John Coltrane Quartet- Alabama - Live At Birdland
Sam Cooke- A Change Is Gonna Come - Aint That Good News
Mingus Big Band- It Was A Lonely Day In Selma Alabama Freedom - Blues Politics
Various Artists- The Posittive Force With Ade Olatunji The Afrikan In Winter - Spiritual Jazz 19681977
- voicebreak -
Bob Dylan- Masters Of War - In Concert Brandeis University 1963
Rodriguez- This Is Not A Song Its An Outburst Or The Establishment Blues - Cold Fact
ric Landry- Out Of The Blue - Native North America Vol 1 Aboriginal Folk Rock And Country 19661985
- voicebreak -
Neil Young- Indian Givers - Peace Trail
Johnny Cash- The Vanishing Race - Bitter Tears Ballads Of The American Indian
Willie Dunn- I Pity The Country - Native North America Vol 1 Aboriginal Folk Rock And Country 19661985
- voicebreak -
James Brown- Say It Load Im Black And Im Proud - Say It Load
Syl Johnson- Im Talkin Bout Freedom - Is It Because Im Black
Richie Havens- What About Me - Unreleased 1974 Concert Performance
- voicebreak -
Bob Marley The Wailers- Four Hundred Years - African Herbsman
Burning Spear- The Invasion aka Black WaDaDa - Marcus Garvey
Max Romeo- Get Up Stand Up Acoustic Version - Bass Culture Vol 3
UB40- Burden Of Shame - Signing Off
- voicebreak -
Fela Kuti Egypt 80- Teacher Dont Teach Me Nonsense - Finding Fela Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The 3rd Generation Band- Because Of Money - Ghana Soundz AfroBeat Funk And Fusion In 70s Ghana
Ofo The Black Company- Allah Wakbarr - Nigeria 70 Original Afro Classics
- voicebreak -
Death- Politicians In My Eyes - For The Whole World To See
Paul Ngozi- Help Me - The Ghetto
The Mothers Of Invention- Trouble Every Day - Freak Out
- voicebreak -
MC5- The American Ruse - Back In The USA
Crass- Where Next Columbus - Penis Envy
Government Issue- These Boots Are Made For Walkin - Complete History Vol 1
GLOSS- Fight - Trans Day Of Revenge
- voicebreak -
Mexican Institute Of Sound- Mxico - Politico
Gang Starr- Conspiracy - Daily Operation
- voicebreak -
Common- Letter To The Free feat Bilal - Black America Again


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2017-01-19
          Menstrual Hygiene Day is May 28        
5-28 is Menstrual Hygiene Day
Because the 'Average' woman menstruates 5 days every 28 day cycle
How important is it to you to have clean water for cleansing? privacy? safe products to use in absorbing the flow?

Thousands, yes, THOUSANDS of women in the world do not have access to these. Many girls cannot attend school during their periods.

After boarding school girls were kidnapped in Chibok, Nigeria, I began to work on the theme "Keep Girls in School".
          Nigeria: Two Lassa fever cases in Lagos University Teaching Hospital        
Via The Guardian Nigeria, a NAN report: Lassa Fever: LUTH increases surveillance. Excerpt: Activities at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, appeared normal in spite of the two recorded deaths and over 100 people under surveillance for Lassa Fever....
          Nigeria: Edo state confirms two cases of Lassa fever        
Thanks to Dr. Adadevoh Health for tweeting the link to this report in Premium Times: Edo confirms two cases of Lassa fever. Excerpt: The Director of Primary Health Care in Akoko-Edo Local Government Council of Edo, Sunday Yerumoh, on Monday...
          Pray for these Brave Young Women..        
Please continue to pray for the young women abducted from their boarding school over 2 months ago in Nigeria.


Add prayers for the safety of the young women and men who have bravely returned to their schools for the Summer Term which is just starting. www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/06/19/
meet-the-courageous-nigerian-schoolgir
ls-who-remain-defiant-despite-horrific
-islamist-threat/
          Real Young Women abducted...45 days ago        
Did you know 45 days ago....230 real young women were abducted from their boarding school during the night. Here are a link that helped me to think in terms of individual girls rather than one sad event.

lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/28/br
inging-the-nigerian-girls-into-view/?_
php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
          Stand Alone, if necessary        
So I attended a Rally in support of the Nigerian families ...BRING BACK OUR GIRLS
I made signs to wear in 'sandwich' style, I dressed in one of my African fabric outfits with a red Tee shirt.
I arrived at the designated place and time.
No one else was there....that is, no one wearing red and carrying a sign.

But I stayed, talked to people who walked by. Called out "Please pray for the kidnapped girls"...
          Video of abducted Nigerian girls...we pray and pray        
NEW on May 12.....Picture of 130 girls in one place able to sit, stand, talk. This brings hope of a rescue for some being possible. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsxG
jAsOaNg&feature=share News story comes from BBC which is well respected.
However, parents have not yet been shown the video for a chance to identify if these are the abducted girls.

Please continue to pray and share on social media
www.chicagonow.com/families-in-the-l
oop/2014/05/nigeria-girls-abucted-marr
iage/

230 girls between 12 & 17 were abducted from their boarding school in North East Nigeria (West Africa) on April 16th.
43 were able to break free of captors and return ... OVER 150 remain captured, enslaved, ??

Million Women March happening now (Wed April 30) in Nigeria's capitol of Abuja...
          Invisible made visible: Okpokwasili, Rossi present "Bronx Gothic"        
"Bronx Gothic is about inhabiting the body of a brown girl
in a world that privileges whiteness."

"I am asking you to see the brown body."

"Maybe Bronx Gothic creates visibility for the invisible."

--Okwui Okpokwasili,
from the film Bronx Gothic, directed by Andrew Rossi

Photos courtesy of Grasshopper Film

Now ask yourself: Are you awake?
--Okwui Okpokwasili, Bronx Gothic


Christians have a gospel story about Jesus, aware of his fate, praying in the garden of Gethsemane on the night before his crucifixion. All around him, his disciples--whom he had asked to merely keep watch with him--sleep deeply, leaving him alone with his agony.

I thought of this scene as I watched Okwui Okpokwasili in the documentary Bronx Gothic (2017, 91 min.), a film with superb direction by Andrew Rossi and killer editing by Andrew Coffman of Bryan Sarkinen and Rossi's daring cinematography. Launching its world premiere theatrical engagement on July 12 at Film Forum, the film provides deep insight into the motivation and process that guided Okpokwasili's magnificent solo performance piece of the same name. It delves into her experiences, thoughts and feelings as she takes the show on its final tour and holds discussions with members of her audience.

As the film opens, Okpokwasili is in mid-performance, dressed in the color of congealed blood, tears pooling and dripping from her luminous eyes as the persona she inhabits recalls life-changing incidents from a Bronx childhood. I was reminded of the frequent, insistent sobbing in Kyle Abraham's ensemble dance, Dearest Home, and also how, like disciples at Gethsemane, not every viewer will necessarily have the will to stay awake--available, vulnerable, connected, "woke"--when Black artists ask for empathetic witness.

Both Dearest Home and Bronx Gothic--denying any demand for performance to stay within narrow, acceptable confines--make messy vulnerability and intense pain visible, in particular Black pain. Both works reach into as well as beyond their makers' personal history of being Black in America to suggest characters and narrative that should move anyone of heart and conscience.

Okpokwasili was raised within a large, middle-class Nigerian-immigrant family in the comfortable Parkchester section of the Bronx in the 1980s. (Her charming parents, whom we meet late in the film, make an indelible impression.) Describing her solo as "semi-autobiographical" allows it to partake of her extraordinary imagination and her empathy for the pre-teen girls she observed in her youth. She remembers them, remembers their pleasures and their struggles, channels them and serves them with intensely committed soul and physicality. The film's audience is spared little of how violently this haunted performance has wrenched its performer's psyche and body.

Having seen two iterations of Bronx Gothic live (Danspace Project, 2012 and 2014), I can tell you that the film, generously sampling the live performance, only slightly misses the electrifying force of Okpokwasili live. There's nothing quite like being in a close, tent-like enclosure with her as she quakes head to toe, shares sexual secrets, scrapes her bare feet and smacks her bones against a punishing floor.

"Black flesh has deep meaning in this culture," Okpokwasili remarks at one point as she discusses her intentions for Bronx Gothic. All the vivid imagery--the dark and the light, the glistening sweat, the luxurious undulations and seizure-like trembling--serves to underscore this uncomfortable, complicated truth.

As she thinks about how her performance confronts and nearly overwhelms her audience, the artist is also both overwhelmed and intrigued. Recalling her experiences in the role, she asks an imaginary watcher, "Is my Blackness getting on you? Am I getting on you? Can you take on the pain?"

Not for nothing is the genre-spanning Okpokwasili one of our most respected artists, a Bessie-winner to boot. I hope Rossi's portrait of her will be seen widely. I rank Bronx Gothic up there with Raoul Peck's I Am Not Your Negro as another urgent, earthshaking documentary that must be seen and must be discussed.

Showings at 12:30, 2:30, 4:40, 7:00 and 9:10
Wednesday, July 12 through Tuesday, July 25

Q&As with Okpokwasili and Rossi at the 7pm shows
Wednesday, July 12, Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15

For information and tickets, click here.

Film Forum
209 West Houston Street (west of Sixth Avenue), Manhattan
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          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 09-08-2016 with Marco Mangione        
Playlist:

Shankar Mahadevan- Jhoom - Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Ansel Collins Dalton Browne- West Of The Sun - Interpertations Improvisations A Tribute To Reggaes Keyboard King Jackie Mittoo
Whiskey Blanket- Pound Boom - No Object
Sultana- Pek Yaman - Cerkez Kizi
Christy Azuma Uppers International- Naam - Ghana Soundz Vol 2 AfroBeat Funk And Fusion In 70s Ghana
Soulive- Hurry Up And Wait - Doin Something
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Nneka- My Love My Love - My Fairy Tales
Roop Kumar Rathod- Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai - Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Visionaries- Strike - Pangaea
7L Esoteric- Herb - Dangerous Connection
- voicebreak -
Pluxus- April 1724 - European Onion
Ofo The Black Company- Allah Wakbarr - Nigeria 70 Original Afro Classics
Dub Nation- Bubonic - Let The Truth Be Known
Femi Kuti- Eko Lagos - Fight To Win
RJD2- Her Majestys Socialist Request - More Is Than Isnt
El Pesetita- Se Que Tu Sientes Tangos - TecnoRumba Vol 3
- voicebreak -
Rahul Saxena Shaan Shreya Ghoshal Sunidhi Chauhan Udit Narayan- Deewangi Deewangi - Om Shanti Om Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Calvin Harris- The Girls - I Created Disco
Prince Alla Junior Ross- Jah Jah Bird - I Can Hear The Children Singing
Peter Tosh- Moses The Prophet - Peter Tosh 19781987
DJ Sun- Sensation - One Hundred
The New Mastersounds- Pure Feat Sam Bell - This Is What We Do
- voicebreak -
Fanfare Ciocrlia- Banatzeana - Iag Bari
Zeb- Turbo Jeepsy - Turntables On The Hudson Lunar New Year 4707
Soap Kills- Ya Jarha Galbi - Arabesque Arbaa 4
The Diplomats Of Solid Sound The Diplomettes- Lights Out - The Diplomats Of Solid Sound Featuring The Diplomettes
BUDAMUNK Ill Sugi- Into The Unknown - Spirit Of The Golden Era
Various Artists- Dreamcatcher By Bahramji Manish De Moor - Tandaua
Cold Chilling Collective- It Was A Good Day feat Danelle - Cold Chilling Compton
CULTURE- World Peace - World Peace
- voicebreak -
DuOud- Chase - Wild Serenade
Najma- Dil Pukare - Forbidden Kiss The Music Of SD Burman
Niyaz- Nahan - Niyaz
Baba Zula Mad Professor- Sipa - Duble Oryantal
- voicebreak -
Bush Chemists- Double Drum - Raw Raw Dub


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2016-09-08
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 09-05-2016         
Playlist:

Mulatu Astatke- Yekermo Sew A Man Of Experience And Wisdom - thiopiques Vol 4 Ethio Jazz Musique Instrumentale 19691974
Black Sabbath- Planet Caravan - Paranoid
Scorpions- Im Goin Mad - Lonesome Crow
Ennio Morricone- Quattro Mosche Di Velluto Traccia 6 - Quattro Mosche Di Velluto Grigio
The Primitives- Yeeeeh - Blow Up
The Ranger Sound- Ricordarmi - The Ranger Sound
I Corvi- Un Ragazzo Di Strada - Il Meglio
New York Dolls- Trash - New York Dolls
James Chance The Contortions- I Cant Stand Myself - Buy Contortions 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Gang Of Four- Naturals Not In It - Entertainment Remastered
Vulfpeck- Funky Duck feat Antwaun Stanley - Thrill Of The Arts
The Dramatics- The Devil Is Dope - Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get
Funkadelic- Can You Get To That - Maggot Brain
Ofege- Adieu - Nigeria Rock Special Psychedelic AfroRock Fuzz Funk In 1970s Nigeria
Charles Mingus- Haitian Fight Song - The Clown
Buddy Miles- Them Changes - Them Changes
Queen- Fat Bottomed Girls - The Platinum Collection Greatest Hits I II III
Mick Jagger- Memo From Turner - Performance Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The Rolling Stones- Rip This Joint - Exile On Main St
The King Khan BBQ Show- Love You So - The King Khan BBQ Show
Shannon And The Clams- My Man - Gone By The Dawn
Wanda Jackson- Sticks And Stones - Right Or Wrong
Howlin Wolf- Down In The Bottom - Howlin Wolf His Best Vol 2
Etta James- Next Door To The Blues - The Essential Etta James
Shack- Its Good To Be Careful But Its Better To Be Loved - The Complete Stax Volt Soul Singles Vol 2 19681971
Flaming Ember- Westbound 9 - The Best Of Flaming Ember
Arthur Conley- Funky Street - Soul Directions
Sam Dave- Shes Alright - Sam Dave
Bobby Powell- Who Is Your Lover - The Best Of Bobby Powell There Is Something In A Man
Romanowski- Romjack Steady - Steady Rocking Romanowski
Exuma- You Dont Know Whats Going On - Exuma Vol 1 And 2
Amanaz- Khala My Friend - Africa
The Peace- Get On The Way - Black Power
The Witch Band- Living In The Past - Livign
Swans- Laugh - Filth Deluxe Edition
Butthole Surfers- Hey - Brown Reason To Live Live PCPPEP
Gap Dream- College Music - This Is Gap Dream
The Jim Carroll Band- People Who Died - Catholic Boy
Rip Rats- Where Did My Mind Go - Whatever


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2016-09-05
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 08-26-2016 with Andy Zicklin        
Playlist:

Johnny Thunders The Heartbreakers- Get Off The Phone LAMF The Lost 77 Mixes - LAMF The Definitive Edition Box Set
Kyle Craft- Berlin - Dolls Of Highland
The Saints- This Perfect Day Single Version - Know Your Product The Best Of The Saints
Alex Chilton- I Wish I Could Meet Elvis - Free Again The 1970 Sessions
Danielle French- Take My Love - Miss Scarlett And The Madmen Dark Love Songs
The Go Rounds- Texas Desert Rose - Dont Go Not Changin
The Hunna- Bad For You - 100
The Only Ones- Another Girl Another Planet - Special View
Chuck Prophet- You And Me Baby Holding On - Let Freedom Ring
The Devil Makes Three- I Am The Man Thomas - Redemption Ruin
Mott The Hoople- Sweet Jane - All The Young Dudes Legacy Edition
Death Valley Girls- Glow In The Dark - Glow In The Dark
The Coathangers- Make It Right - Nosebleed Weekend
The Fratellis- Me And The Devil - Eyes Wide Tongue Tied Deluxe
Ricky Warwick- If Youre Not Gonna Leave Me Ill Find Someone Who Will - When Patsy Cline Was Crazy And Guy Mitchell Sang The Blues Hearts On Trees
Cheap Trick- The Sun Never Sets - Bang Zoom Crazy Hello
The Jam- Thats Entertainment - Sound Affects Remastered
The Strokes- Drag Queen - Future Present Past EP
Cheena- Cry For Help - Spend The Night With
Gasoline Lollipops- Homesick Remedy - Spokesbuzz Vol V Band Together
Leonard Cohen- Chelsea Hotel - Songs From The Road Live
Joan As Police Woman- Christobel - Real Life
Fantastic Negrito- About A Bird - The Last Days Of Oakland
Son Little- All Wet - All Wet Single
St Vincent- Cheerleader - Strange Mercy
Vaud And The Villains- Marie Laveau - Sin And Tonic Vol 2
Gogol Bordello- Start Wearing Purple - VoiLa Intruder
The Mutants- It Came From Orgazmo - Mutacalypso Now
The Residents- Herman The Human Mole - Shadowland
Courtney Barnett- Avant Gardener - The Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas
SULK- No Illusions - No Illusions
Nigeria- Buckle Your Boots - Mango
The Specials- Doesnt Make It Alright - Too Much Too Young Live
Powderfinger- Sail The Wildest Stretch - Golden Rule
The Kickback- Fanger - Sorry All Over The Place
The Vaccines- Wetsuit - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines
Diegos Umbrella- Drinking In Spanish - Kung Fu Palace
The Zydepunks- When My Ship Sails Away - Finisterre
Dash Rip Rock- Shes Got A Lot Of Nerve - Pay Dirt
Horslips- Motorway Madness - Tracks From The Vaults
The Psychedelic Furs- President Gas - Forever Now
Shy Guy At The Show- Walk With The Devil - Shy Guy At The Show


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2016-08-26
          UN: Egypt takes Nigeria to task over UNSC expansion        
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          Nigeria: report on torture        
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          Jobs in Nigeria Tradestable        
Find all kinds of jobs in Nigeria on the best of all job sites
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 07-09-2015 with Joel Davis        
Playlist:

La Santa Cecilia- Strawberry Fields Forever - Someday New
Doctor Krpula- Seinekvn feat Manu Chao - Seinekvn feat Manu Chao Single
Beirut- No No No - No No No
Nneka- Local Champion - My Fairy Tales
Gecko Turner- Bee Eater - That Place By The Thing With The Cool Name
- voicebreak -
Various Artists- Ja Fun Mi instrumental - Nigeria 70 Definitive Story Of 1970s Funky Lagos
Talking Heads- Houses In Motion - Remain In Light
Hot Chip- Look At Where We Are Four Tet Dub Mix - Look At Where We Are four Tet Remix
Louis Armstrong- That Uptown Rhythm Man nickodemus Remix - That Uptown Rhythm Man nickodemus Remix
- voicebreak -
Sun Ra- Angels And Demons At Play - Marshall Allen Presents Sun Ra And His Arkestra In The Orbit Of Ra
The Roots- Upper Egypt - Dilla Joints
Duke Garwood- Night Flight - Mojo Presents Physical Graffiti Redrawn
Sonny Sharrock Band- Money Honey - Live In New York
Terakaft- Karambani - Alone tenere
A Tribe Called Red- The Peoples Champ feat Hellnback - Suplex EP
Novalima- Copa De Manana - Planetario
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The Polish Ambassador- Gathering Of The Tribes Saqi Remix feat Saqi - Pushing Through The Pavement Remixes
Macka B- Rasta Tell Them - Rasta Tell Them
Bomba Estreo- Voy - Amanecer
Tom Waits- Hell Broke Luce - Bad As Me Deluxe Version
Ratatat- Cold Fingers - Magnifique
Queen- Sheer Heart Attack - News Of The World Deluxe Edition
DePhazz- Le Petit Bastard - Days Of Twang
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NIGHTMARES ON WAX- Dreddoverboard - SMOKERS DELIGHT
Moondog- Lament 1 Birds Lament - The Viking Of 6th Ave A Collection
Mocean Worker- I Got You featuring Morley - Cinco De Mowo
Engone Endong- Democreecy - OKENG
Fela Kuti Nigeria 70- Viva Nigeria - Finding Fela Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
- voicebreak -
The Lamplighters- London Station - Funk Soul And Afro Rarities An Introduction To ATA Records
DJ Cam- Love Theme - Miami Vice Inspired By The Serie
Gregory Porter- Liquid Spirit - Liquid Spirit
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Lantern Of The Pathq- Lantern Of The Path - Celt Islam Soundcloud
Chancha Via Circuito- Sauce Sidirum Remix - Amansara Remixed
Los Crema Paraiso- Personal Jess feat Carol C - De Pelcula
Kuf Knotz- Get Free - A Positive Light
Eska- So Long Eddy - ESKA
Georgia Anne Muldrow- Sans Vacay - A Thoughtiverse Unmarred
Anahata Sacred Sound Current- Wisdom Of The Ages - Vimanas Project Vol 1
- voicebreak -


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2015-07-09
          Jobs in nigeria        
Nigeria careers is an online job portal that lists the latest jobs in nigeria. Browse for Nigeria Jobs and opportunities
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 02-26-2015 with Rett Rogers        
Playlist:

Various Artists- M Ashraf Featuring Ahmed Rushdi Dama Dam Mast Qalandar The Sound Of Wonder - The Sound Of Wonder
Ike Tina Turner- It Aint Right Lovin To Be Lovin 1994 Remastered - The Collected Recordings Sixties To Nineties
The Mad Lads- Get Out Of My Life - In Action
The Marvells- Rock Steady - 100 Dynamite
The Standells- Why Pick On Me - The Live Ones Previously Unissued Live Recordings From Michigan State University 1966
Hair Cult- Beast Feast - All Bum
Compilation- All Your Love - Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton Remastered
Fuzz- HazeMaze - Fuzz
The Pops- Som Imaginario De Jimmi Hendrix - Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas
The Kinks- Just Cant Go To Sleep - Kinks Deluxe Edition
Joni Mitchell- California - Blue
Johnny Cash- Rock Island Line - With His Hot And Blue Guitar
Tex Ritter- Rye Whiskey - Tex Ritter The Singing Cowboy
The Cadets- Stranded In The Jungle - Stranded In The Jungle
Sina Bakare- Inu Mimo - Nigeria 70 Sweet Times AfroFunk Highlife Juju From 1970s Lagos
Jocelyne- Nitty Gritty - Femmes De Paris Vol 1
Little Sammy Yates- Comic Book Crazy - Comic Book
The Who- Whiskey Man - A Quick One Lies Away
Mad River- Merciful Monks - Mad River
Nina Simone- Little Liza Jane At Newport - Nina Simone The Platters Other Great Hits
Ned Garthe- Flower Fuck - Teenage Acid Party
Sam The Sham The Pharaohs- Oh Thats Good No Thats Bad - The MGM Singles
Baby Huey The Baby Sitters- Running - The Baby Huey Story The Living Legend
The Monarchs- This Old Heart - The Monarchs
Bobby Moore The Rhythm Aces- The Hamburger Song - Searching For My Love
The Sequence- Funk You Up Long Version - The Sugar Hill Records Story
Joe Tex- The Truest Woman In The World - The Funk Collection Vol 2
The Budos Band- Unbroken Unshaven - The Budos Band III
The Yardbirds- I Aint Got You - Shapes Of Things The Very Best Of The Yardbirds
Lightnin Hopkins- Lonesome Dog Blues - The Blues Anthology
Beastie Boys- Johnny Ryall - Pauls Boutique
Zebroids- Styrofoam Cross - Hepatits Z
The Wipers- Return Of The Rat - Is This Real
The Rolling Stones- Memo From Turner - The Rolling Stones Singles Collection The London Years
Martin Denny- Llama Serenade - Primitiva
Sidney Bechet- Ive Found A New Baby - 16 Classic Performances Sidney Bechet
Compilation- Wade In The Water - 20th Century Masters The Millennium Collection The Best Of Ramsey Lewis
Isaac Hayes- Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic - Hot Buttered Soul EP
Funkadelic- Friday Night August 14th - Free Your Mind
Sparks- This Town Aint Big Enough For The Both Of Us - Kimono My House
Dr John- GrisGris Gumbo Ya Ya - GrisGris
Hasil Adkins- Chicken Walk - Out To Hunch
Ty Segall White Fence- Scissor People - Hair
Loretta Lynn- Dont Come Home A Drinkin With Lovin On Your Mind - The Definitive Collection Loretta Lynn
Aretha Franklin- Son Of A Preacher Man - Queen Of Soul The Best Of Aretha Franklin
Night Beats- Aint Dumbo - Night Beats
ACDC- Go Down - Let There Be Rock


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2015-02-26
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 10-14-2014 with Sandman        
Playlist:

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Richard Cheese- Enter Sandman - Apertif For Destruction
Hozier- Jackie And Wilson - Hozier
Curtis Harding- Surf - Soul Power
Benjamin Booker- Always Waiting - Benjamin Booker
Sly The Family Stone- I Want To Take You Higher - The Essential Sly The Family Stone
St Paul The Broken Bones- Sugar Dyed - Half The City
JD McPherson- North Side Gal - Signs Signifiers
Booker T- Sound The Alarm feat Mayer Hawthorne - Sound The Alarm
- voicebreak -
Gary Clark Jr- Dont Owe You A Thang Live - Gary Clark Jr Live
Ben Harper Charlie Musselwhite- Blood Side Out - Get Up
- voicebreak -
North Mississippi Allstars- Rollin n Tumblin - World Boogie Is Coming
The Gaylettes- Son Of A Preacher Man - Tighten Up
- Rough Rider - The World Ends Afro Rock Psychedelia In 1970s Nigeria
Andy Palacio The Garifuna Collective- Wtina I Called Out - Watina
Daara J- Bopp Sa Bopp - Boomerang
Amadou Et Mariam- Senegal Fast Food - Dimanche A Bamako
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake- Adoration - Sineater
DeVotchKa- The Enemy Guns - Live With The Colorado Symphony
Big Head Todd The Monsters- Josephina - Black Beehive Deluxe Edition
West Water Outlaws- Hard To Love You When I Dont Love Me - West Water Outlaws
Rose Hill Drive- Set In Stone - Youtube
Jenny Lewis- Late Bloomer - The Voyager
Spoon- Let Me Be Mine - They Want My Soul
Delta Spirit- From Now On - Into The Wide
Lucinda Williams- Something Wicked This Way Comes - Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone
Calexico- Alone Again Or - Convict Pool
The Jayhawks- Tailspin - Rainy Day Music Limited Edition
Old 97s- The Disconnect - Most Messed Up
Jason Isbell- Super 8 - Southeastern
Robert Plant- Rainbow - Lullaby And The Ceaseless Roar
Patty Griffin- Dont Let Me Die In Florida - American Kid
Jack White- High Ball Stepper - Lazaretto
- Signed Sealed Delivered Im Yours - Sweetheart 2014
The Budos Band- The Sticks - Burnt Offering
Orgone- Sophisticated Honky - The Killion Floor


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/20/playlistDate/2014-10-14
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 09-29-2014 with Sandman        
Playlist:

Richard Cheese- Enter Sandman - Apertif For Destruction
Delta Spirit- Hold My End Up - Into The Wide
Spoon- Rainy Taxi - They Want My Soul
Phosphorescent- Ride On Right On - Muchacho
Cold War Kids- All This Could Be Yours - Hold My Home
Royal Blood- You Can Be So Cruel - Royal Blood
AltJ- Left Hand Free - This Is All Yours
- voicebreak -
Hot Rize- Come Away - When Im Free
Jack White- Entitlement - Lazaretto
Kathleen Edwards- A Face In The Crowd - Sweetheart Love Songs
John Hiatt- Adios To California - Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns
Chuck Prophet- Automatic Blues - Age Of Miracles
The Sir Douglas Quintet- Catch The Man On The Rise - The Best Of Doug Sahm The Sir Douglas Quintet 1968 1975
Jenny Lewis- You Cant Outrun Em - The Voyager
- voicebreak -
Tinariwen- Chaghaybou - Emmaar
- Rough Rider - The World Ends Afro Rock Psychedelia In 1970s Nigeria
Compilation- Artistes - Midnight In Mali
Ry Cooder Manuel Galban- Monte Adentro - Mambo Sinuendo
Chico Science Nao Zumbi- Maracatu Atmico - Afrociberdelia
- Boom Boom Boom - Six Degrees Of Brazil Vol 2
Doctor Krpula- Mister Danger - Sagrado Corazn
- voicebreak -
Karl Densons Tiny Universe- Seven Nation Army - New Ammo
Albert King- Cold Sweat - Funky London Remastered
Robert Cray Band- You Move Me - In My Soul
Syl Johnson- Same Kind Of Thing - Complete Mythology
Little Richard- Land Of A Thousand Dances - Get Down With It The OKeh Sessions
- voicebreak -
Neil Young- Girl From The North Country - A Letter Home
Ben Harper Ellen Harper- A House Is A Home - Childhood Home
Mapei- Dont Wait - Dont Wait Single
Tweedy- Summer Noon - Sukierae
Scott H Biram- Gotta Get To Heaven - Nothin But Blood
Ryan Adams- Trouble - Ryan Adams
Benjamin Booker- Chippewa - Benjamin Booker
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Joe Russos Almost Dead- Shakedown Street - Youtube
Primus- Shake Hands With Beef - The Brown Album
Queens Of The Stone Age- Smooth Sailing - Like Clockwork
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Charles Bradley The Bullets- Shes Got Twilight Eyes - Daptone 7 Inch Singles Collection Vol 2 Bonus Track


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2014-09-29
          The LawDog Files: African Adventures        
LawDog had the honor of representing law and order in the Texas town of Bugscuffle as a Sheriff's Deputy, where he became notorious for, among other things, the famous Case of the Pink Gorilla Suit. But long before he put on the deputy's star, he grew up in Nigeria, where his experiences were equally unforgettable. In AFRICAN ADVENTURES, LawDog chronicles his encounters with everything from bush pilots, 15-foot pythons, pygmy mongooses, brigadier-captains, and Peace Corp hippies to the Nigerian space program.

THE LAWDOG FILES: AFRICAN ADVENTURES are every bit as hilarious as the previous volume, as LawDog relates his unforgettable experiences in a laconic, self-deprecating manner that is funny in its own right. Africa wins again, and again, and again, but, so too does the reader in this sobering, but hilarious collection of true tales from the Dark Continent.

Already a #1 category bestseller!

From the reviews:
  • Better than the first! Only two authors have ever made me laugh so much and so hard that I had to put the book down to finish later. One is Terry Pratchett, and the other is LawDog. I made it to the Independence Day story and was laughing so hard I couldn't see the words.
  • Not for anyone who is recovering from abdominal surgery. Seriously. I'm in pain. I don't think any stitches broke, but OWww. Still an hour before I can have another pain pill.
  • I had a hard time imagining how he could top those stories. But the new 'African Adventures' is even more enjoyable than expected. Even more than the first LawDog Files, this one is packed with absolutely hilarious stories.

          IQ, exaggeration, and overrepresentation        
Sargon‏ @Sargon_of_Akkad
Has the alt right come to terms with the fact the Jews are just better than they are?

Greg Matusow @gregmatusow
sounds like something a jew would say

Sargon‏ @Sargon_of_Akkad
Sounds like something a race realist who depends on IQ scores to say, you mean.

Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
Your metric is incorrect, Sargon. First, there are 48 high-IQ Han, 11 high-IQ Europeans, and 5 high-IQ Japanese for every high-IQ Jew.

Sargon‏ @Sargon_of_Akkad
Of course, but that's only because of population size.

Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
Obviously. But you cannot claim they are not overrepresented in X because intelligent when there are 64 more intelligent non-Jews per Jew.

Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
Second, average Jewish IQ is only 98, not 115.
Israel IQ = 95
Arab IQ (22.7%) = 84
Jewish IQ (77.3%) = 98
Now, it occurred to me that while I knew the oft-heard claim of a 115 average IQ for Jews was a misleading substitution of a subset for the set, and I had also observed that the claim was almost certainly an exaggeration in light of the average Israeli IQ of 95, I'd never actually run the numbers. The first thing was to update the population percentages according to the latest Israeli demographics, which currently has the Jewish population at 75 percent and the non-Jewish population at 25 percent.

This resulted in an average Israeli Jewish population IQ of 98.7 percent, slightly higher than my original calculation. Now, the Ashkenazi are 47.5 percent of the Israeli Jewish population, which means that if their average IQ is 115, the majority of the Jewish population of Israel has an average IQ of only 83.7, which is TWO standard deviations lower, and is also lower than the average IQs of Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, as well as Nigeria, Uganda, and the Israeli-Arab population.

Does that strike you as likely? No, me neither.

There is one Israeli study that found the difference between Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Jews in Israel to be 14 points. This would indicate an average Ashkenazi IQ of 106 and a non-Ashkenazi IQ of 92. This is considerably more credible, especially since it also happens to align with a number of studies on Ashkenazi IQ. Given that 74 percent of the global Jewish population is Ashkenazim, that means that the average Jewish IQ is 102.4.

So, average Jewish IQ is not particularly high, but is slightly higher than the European average, and considerably higher than the current US average, which I calculate to be around 95 and falling. Which, of course, is why high average intelligence is an inadequate explanation for the historical Jewish success in 20th-century America, as their level of comparative success is declining even as the IQ delta grows.
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 06-09-2014 with Sandman        
Playlist:

Richard Cheese- Enter Sandman - Apertif For Destruction
The Black Keys- Its Up To You Now - Turn Blue
Royal Blood- Little Monster - Out Of The Black EP
Jack White- High Ball Stepper - Lazaretto
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Gord Downie The Sadies- The Conquering Sun - Gord Downie The Sadies And The Conquering Sun
First Aid Kit- My Silver Lining - Stay Gold
Old 97s- Lets Get Drunk Get It On - Most Messed Up
The Reverend Horton Heat- Let Me Teach You How To Eat - Rev
West Water Outlaws- Rising Sun - West Water Outlaws
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Sharon Jones The DapKings- Long Time Wrong Time - Give The People What They Want
Curtis Harding- Keep On Shining - Soul Power
Aloe Blacc- Lift Your Spirit - Lift Your Spirit
Lee Fields The Expressions- Just Cant Win - Emma Jean
Various Artists- Clarence Carter Snatching It Back - What It Is Funky Soul Rare Grooves Disc 1
The Sugarman Three- But Its Alright - What The World Needs Now
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Thievery Corporation- Depth Of My Soul feat Shana Halligan - Saudade
Neil Finn- Recluse - Dizzy Heights Bonus Track Version
Hozier- Take Me To Church - Take Me To Church EP
Ray LaMontagne- Julia - Supernova
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Brian Eno- Needles In The Camels Eye 2004 Remaster - Here Come The Warm Jets
Compilation- Peacock Suit - Modern Classics The Greatest Hits
Band Of Skulls- Hoochie Coochie - Himalayan Bonus Track Version
Supergrass- Brecon Beacons - Life On Other Planets
Sam Roberts Band- Human Heat - LoFantasy
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Seun Anikulapo Kuti Egypt 80- African Soldier - From Africa With Fury Rise
- 1st Agboncha - The World Ends Afro Rock Psychedelia In 1970s Nigeria
Daara J- Esperanza - Boomerang
Perrozompopo- Mundo - Mundo Single
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Courtney Barnett- Avant Gardener - The Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas
The Notwist- Kong - Close To The Glass
Broken Bells- Perfect World - After The Disco
Jenny Lewis- Completely Not Me - Girls Vol 2 All Adventurous Women Do Music From The HBO Original Series
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LES NUBIANS- Makeda - PRINCESSES NUBIENNES
Jota Quest- O Sl - At Onde Vai
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Ozomatli- Magnolia Soul - Dont Mess With The Dragon
Professor Longhair- Tipitina - Rock n Roll Gumbo
The Meters- Live Wire - The Very Best Of The Meters
Lake Street Dive- You Go Down Smooth - Bad Self Portraits
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Big Head Todd The Monsters- Seven State Lines - Black Beehive Deluxe Edition
Queens Of The Stone Age- Smooth Sailing - Like Clockwork


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2014-06-09
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 11-27-2013 with Dave Blackwood        
Playlist:

Sao Paulo Underground- Ol Dirty Hummingbird feat Rob Mazurek Guilherme Granado Mauricio Takara - Beija Flors Velho E Sujo
Various Artists- Ole - Nigeria Afrobeat Special 1970s Nigeria
Eddie C- Jam On Dallas Road feat Dr Mike Roma - Country City Country
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Bombay Dub Orchestra- The Orange Terrace - Tales From The Grand Bazaar
The Bombay Royale- Sote Sote Adhi Raat - You Me Bullets Love
Compilation- Jeena Hai To Jee Bhar Hanslo - Bollywood Bloodbath
Anandji V Shah- The Great Gambler - Bombay The Hard Way
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Battles- Wall Street - Gloss Drop
Cave- Arrows Myth - Threace
DennisCoffey- Outrageous excerpt - Instant Coffey
The Poets Of Rhythm- Funky Train - The Anthology 19922003
Shuggie Otis- Ice Cold Daydream - Inspiration Information
William Onyeabor- Why Go To War - World Psychedelic Classics 5 Who Is William Onyeabor
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The Cactus Channel- XRay Bear - Wooden Boy
Django Django- Wor - Django Django
Juana Molina- Wed 21 - Wed 21
Bill Callahan- Summer Painter - Dream River
Dr Dog- Long Way Down - BRoom
Robert Pollard- I Have To Drink - Honey Locust Honky Tonk
Gringo Star- In The Heat - Floating Out To See
Matthew E White- Hot Hot Hot - Outer Face EP
Devendra Banhart- Wont You Come Home - Mala
Madlib- Song For My Father - Shades Of Blue
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Asheru- Funky DC feat Funk Ark Sitali - Sleepless In Soweto
Karl Hector The Malcouns- Followed Path - Sahara Swing
Smith The Prophets Yabby You- Thanks And Praise - Deeper Roots
MC Zulu- Outlaw Speakerbox feat Maga Bo - Outlaw Speakerbox Anthology
Cults Percussion Ensemble- Percussion Suite 3rd Movement - Cults Percussion Ensemble
Tom Waits- Get Behind The Mule - Glitter And Doom Live
Link Wray- Jack The Ripper - Good Rockin Tonight
Henry Wagons- Unwelcome Company - Expecting Company
- voicebreak -
James Kochalka Superstar- Beyonce - Digital Elf
The Science Fiction Corporation- The End Of A Robot - Dance With Action
Various Artists- Bingo Gazingo Youre Out Of The Computer - Songs In The Key Of Z Vol 2
High Speed And The Afflicted Man- Get Stoned Ezy - Get Stoned Ezy


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2013-11-27
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 10-24-2013         
Playlist:

Los Destellos- Guajira Sicodlica - Cumbia Beat Volume 1
Bauhaus- Bela Lugosis Dead - Bela Lugosis Dead Single
Denzil Lang- Beware Of The Vampire - Denzil Lang
Roky Erickson- Night Of The Vampire - Gremlins Have Pictures
Henry Mancini- Experiment In Terror - Greatest Hits The Best Of Henry Mancini Remastered
Papa Celestin- Marie Laveau - Papa Celestin The Original Tuxedo
The Standells- Black Hearted Woman - The Very Best Of The Standells
The Velvet Underground Nico- Black Angels Death Song - The Velvet Underground Nico Rarities Edition
Gillian Welch- The Devil Had A Hold Of Me - Hell Among The Yearlings
Compilation- That Old Black Magic - Capitol Collectors Series Louis Prima
Fabienne Delsol- Chills And Fever - No Time For Sorrows
Homer Jethro- Crept Into The Crypt And Cried - Home And Jethro
Lightnin Hopkins- You Is One Black Rat - How Many More Years I Got
The Sly Fox- What The Hoo Doo Say - Town Gal
Arthur Brown- Santa Put A Spell On Me Bonus Track - Speak No Tech Requiem
Sun Ra- Black Myth The Shadows Took Shape The Strange World Journey Through The Outer Darkness - Nuits De La Fondation Maeght Vol 2
Black Lips- Freak Out - Ep
THe Charmer- Zombie Jamboree - The Charmer
Fela Kuti- Zombie - Zombie
Howlin Wolf- Coon On The Moon - The Back Door Wolf
Louis Armstrong- The Skeleton In The Closet - Louis Armstrong His Orchestra Vol 2 19361938 Heart Full Of Rhythm
Johnny Otis- Castin My Spell - The Capitol Years
Hawkwind- You Shouldnt Do That - In Search Of Space
Black Sabbath- Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
The Misfits- Die Die My Darling - Earth AD Die Die My Darling
Ministry- You Know What You Are - Land Of Rape And Honey
Dead Kennedys- Halloween - Plastic Surgery DisastersIn God We Trust Inc
The Cramps- Whats Behind The Mask - Songs The Lord Taught Us
Night Beats- Aint Dumbo - Night Beats
The Blue Rider- Winter Alone - The Blue Rider Ep
Siouxsie And The Banshees- Helter Skelter - The Scream
The Sonics- The Witch - Unreleased
Jackie Morningstar- Rocking In The Graveyard - Graveyard Classics
Sister Ira Mae Littlejohn- Go Devil Go - Sister Ira Mae Littlejohn
Screamin Jay Hawkins- Voodoo - Voodoo Man
Bala Miller The Great Music Pirameeds Of Afrika- Ikon Allah - Nigeria 70 Original Afro Classics
Exuma- Exuma The Obeah Man - Exuma Vol 1 And 2
Compilation- Watcha Gonna Do Bout It - Cult Cargo Grand Bahama Goombay
The Temptations- Stop The War Now - Solid Rock


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2013-10-24
          Foosball Super Shooter        
Finally an html5 online foosball game for PC, iPhone and Android! Live the football fever and hit the ball as much as you can in Foosball Super Shooter! Choose your favourite team and try the 9 game modes to have hours of fun. Shoot unstoppable balls and climb to the top of the ranking. You won't stop playing! To every foosball fan out there, what are you waiting for? You can now play your favorite game online with your phone, computer or Tablet! Train your skills and become the best player in the pub thanks to Foosball Super Shooter. It’s so easy and fun to play that you will want to play all day long. Pick your favorite team from the country of your choice. You can choose between 16 different countries from all around the world: Germany, The Faroe Islands, Portugal, England, Cameroon, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Korea, Nigeria, Italy, Argentina, France, Spain, Saudi Arabia and the USA. Each one of them has a different player system which determines the position of your 7 players. Added to that, every team has a special move: the fireshoot, the triple shoot, the dribble shoot, or the twin shoot, but only the captain of the team can perform the Special Shoot. The captain is the one that has a star under his feet and he only can perform that move when the Special Bar is complete, which grows every time you make a pass. In Foosball Super Shooter you will be able to win 9 different competitions. You will have to start with the FSS Championship, the 4 Nations Cup and the Superclassic Cup. Once you win those three tournaments you will gradually unblock the others, starting with the International Cup, and then the CDA Tournament, the Confederations Cup, the 6 Nations Cup, the Olympic Games and the World Cup. Play against three teams each time, score two goals, win and become the best foosball player! So grab your iPhone, Android phone, Tablet, iPad or computer and shoot as much as you can with Foosball Super Shooter, the funniest htlm5 online game for free, with no downloads or installations required.
          DEAD KENNEDYS        




Dead Kennedys é uma banda punk americana formada em San Francisco, Califórnia. Durante os anos 1980, a banda obteve uma ampla influência no cenário internacional da música punk, com uma mistura experimental entre a música punk inglesa da década de 1970 com a energia crua do hardcore norte-americano. Suas canções combinavam deliberadamente letras chocantes com um humor ácidos e satírico, com comentários liberais sarcásticos sobre assuntos sociais e políticos da época. Ao mesmo tempo, algumas de suas canções também ridicularizam as posições hipócritas de algumas elites liberais. Muitas das canções da banda criticam as ideologias de líderes e de entidades religiosas fundamentalistas de posição política conservadora e da Administração Reagan, além de muitas ideias e personalidades de esquerda.

A história do Dead Kennedys começa quando Eric Boucher respondeu a um anúncio que procurava por vocalistas para uma nova banda de rock. O autor do anúncio era o guitarrista East Bay Ray. Logo após, Eric assumia a alcunha de Jello Biafra, baseado na fracassada guerra civil nigeriana, na qual a região sudeste da Nigéria tentou se tornar independente proclamando a República de Biafra. Os dois se juntariam ainda ao baixista Klaus Flouride, a um segundo guitarrista conhecido apenas pela alcunha de "6025" e ao baterista Bruce Slesinger. O ano era 1978, a política americana agonizava nas mãos conservadoras e a repressão e a insatisfação social tornava o período excepcionalmente propício para o surgimento de uma nova tendência musical: o hardcore - uma evolução americana e agressiva do punk inglês.

Seguindo a linha de pensamento anárquica de Biafra, a banda desde cedo se focou nas letras e na ideologia nelas contidas, abusando de sátiras irônicas e ácidas para criticar diversos temas sociopolíticos americanos, como o consumismo, o "American Way of Life", as guerras, os políticos liberais conservadores, a igreja, a polícia entre outras.

Em 1979, o então misterioso guitarrista "6025", deixa de integrar a banda oficialmente (mas continua se apresentando com a banda e ajudando com composições).

Ainda em 1979 surge o primeiro single da banda: "California Über Alles", uma crítica direta ao então governador da Califórnia, Jerry Brown. Após o sucesso, o grupo lança mais um compacto com a badalada "Police Truck", criticando a violência policial e a famosa "Holiday In Cambodia", um hino antibelicista repleto de ironia e humor negro.

Nesse mesmo ano, Jello Biafra, militante político anarquista e agitador cultural de uma nova vanguarda musical, candidata-se ao cargo de prefeito de São Francisco. Entre suas propostas, previa que os políticos fossem obrigados a circular com um nariz de palhaço e que os policiais fossem escolhidos em votação direta com a população. Com slogans como "Apocalipse agora! Jello para prefeito", alcançou o quarto lugar com mais de 6 mil votos.

Em 1980 é lançado o clássico Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables em parceria com a gravadora independente I.R.S. que rendeu um disco de ouro à banda na Inglaterra.



Devido as imposições contratuais regidas pela então gravadora, Biafra decide montar seu próprio selo, a Alternative Tentacles (que mais tarde lançaria bandas consagradas como Black Flag, Brujeria, 7 Seconds, The Melvins e Bad Brains).

Em 1981 lança pelo novo selo o EP In God We Trust, inc., uma prévia do segundo álbum onde se destaca toda a ironia e acidez da banda sobre a igreja. Logo em seguida é lançado o compacto "Too Drunk to Fuck" que apesar de proibida alcançou muito espaço nas rádios. Neste mesmo compacto foi gravada a polêmica música "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" escrita devido ao descontentamento de Jello em relação aos nazi-fascistas que começavam a surgir na cena punk, e também para atacar seus inimigos declarados: o The Exploited, uma banda punk formada em Edinburgo, Escócia em 1979, acusada de várias atitudes fascistas, como a declaração do vocalista de que odiava negros e latinos.

Em 1982 Slesinger, então baterista, deixa a banda e em seu lugar entra Darren H. Peligro.

Também em 1982, com a nova formação, lançam o segundo álbum da banda, o "Plastic Surgery Disasters" apresentando a já habitual irreverência da banda unida a um som melhor trabalhado e mais maduro do que os álbuns anteriores.



Em 2001 saiu "Mutiny on the Bay", único registro oficial ao vivo da banda, contendo os hinos "California Über Alles" e "Holiday in Cambodia", além de um dos inúmeros discursos de Jello Biafra contra as guerras.

Também em 2001, trazidos pela produtora independente Ataque Frontal, o grupo realizou um controverso show no Brasil, sem o vocalista Jello Biafra, que criticou a banda remanescente por ser gananciosa, dizendo em entrevista que "Eles foram à América do Sul enganar os fãs, os fãs têm que decidir se eles querem ou não fazer parte desta farsa".

Fonte: Wikipédia











Cara, esse vídeo é de 1979, das antiga, eu nasci em 79...





Encontrei um ensaio dos caras, intitulado '' Lost session tapes'', qualidade bem melhor que muito show, raridade, segue aí...












          AFCON Qualifier -Nigeria suffers shock 0-2 defeat to South Africa        
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          FIFA Ranking- Nigeria now 4th in Africa,38th in the world        
Nigeria are now 4th in Africa, according to the latest FIFA/Cocacola world ranking released. The Super
          $2.47bn at stake in US case: Shell/Exxon v Nigerian National Petroleum Corp        
By John Donovan Provided below are links to a selection of US court documents I have published online about a dispute being litigated in the US courts involving Shell, Exxon and the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC). A gigantic sum (including interest) of $2.47bn USD is at stake. In an echo of the Esther Kiobel […]
          Nigéria: les réseaux sociaux vont devoir exercer sous licence        

La Commission des Communications Nigeria (NCC) va introduire un régime de licence pour les réseaux sociaux. Selon la NCC, Les applications de VoIP sont des risques pour le résultat des opérateurs télécoms. Les réseaux sociaux, souligne la commission ont des impacts négatifs sur les téléphonies traditionnels tel que MTN, Glo, Airtel, Etisalat. La téléphonie internet […]

Cet article Nigéria: les réseaux sociaux vont devoir exercer sous licence est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Orange va acquérir la filiale de Millicom (Tigo) en RDC        

Aujourd’hui, Orange et Millicom  ont signé un accord portant sur l’acquisition par Orange de la filiale de Millicom en RDC (« Tigo RDC »). Le marché mobile en RDC connaît une croissance significative et est actuellement le plus grand marché mobile d’Afrique centrale et de l’Ouest après le Nigeria avec plus de 40 millions d’abonnés. Cet accord […]

Cet article Orange va acquérir la filiale de Millicom (Tigo) en RDC est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Nigéria : MTN dans la tourmente        

Le titre MTN est dans le rouge sur le Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), le marché financier sud-africain,  après l’annonce d’une amende de 5,2 milliards $, infligé par le régulateur des télécommunications au Nigéria à la filiale du groupe sur place. L’amende infligé par la NCC(régulateur nigérian) à MTN, est due à la non suspension sur […]

Cet article Nigéria : MTN dans la tourmente est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Caterpillar forme des techniciens pour l’Afrique        

Caterpillar, le groupe industriel américain spécialisé dans la fabrication de machines pour les domaines de la construction, des mines et de la forêt, a annoncé le lancement d’une plateforme d’e-learning destinée à tous ceux qui veulent devenir technicien en équipement au Nigeria, au Mozambique et en République démocratique du Congo. Le projet baptisé « technicien […]

Cet article Caterpillar forme des techniciens pour l’Afrique est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Nigéria : les téléchargements mobiles propulsent l’ industrie musicale        

L’ industrie musicale au Nigéria dépasse désormais les 150 millions$ de revenus annuels grâce aux téléchargements mobiles. Un chiffre avancé en début de semaine par le directeur général de la société Entertainment Management Co, Sam Onyemelukwe. Une manne financière, qui avantage, les artistes musiciens qui assurent désormais la vente de leurs œuvres par internet. L’opérateur […]

Cet article Nigéria : les téléchargements mobiles propulsent l’ industrie musicale est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          MTN fait dans l’évasion fiscale en Afrique        

Les filiales du groupe télécom sud-africain MTN, en Côte d’Ivoire, au Ghana, au Nigeria et et en Ouganda, d’évasion fiscale sont accusé par une enquête de « Finance Uncovered », un réseau de journalistes issus de plus de 55 pays à travers le monde. « Finance Uncovered » révèle qu’entre 2003 et 2009, MTN Ouganda […]

Cet article MTN fait dans l’évasion fiscale en Afrique est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          MTN Group va investir 1,5 milliard $ au Nigeria et en Afrique du Sud        

Le groupe télécom MTN a indiqué qu’il réalisera un investissement de la somme de 1,5 milliard de dollars d’ici la fin de cette année afin d’étendre son réseau télécom au Nigeria et en Afrique du Sud. Depuis plus de 01 semestre, le groupe a enregistré des chiffres d’affaires en baisse dans toutes ses filiales sur […]

Cet article MTN Group va investir 1,5 milliard $ au Nigeria et en Afrique du Sud est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Nigeria: MTN offre l’accès gratuit à des sites e-commerce        

MTN Nigeria, le plus grand opérateur de télécommunications du Nigeria propose à ses abonnés un accès gratuit aux plateformes des startups technologiques du réseau Africa Internet Group (AIG); comprenant le géant du commerce électronique Jumia, le grand marché en ligne Kaymu et la plate-forme de réservation d’hôtel Jovago. Les abonnés de MTN qui visitent les […]

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          Nigéria : Buhari croit au potentiel des TIC        

Le président de la République fédérale du Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, croit au potentiel des technologies de l’information et de la communication dans la création d’emplois et de richesses au Nigeria. L’information a été portée au public par Tunji Olaopa, secrétaire permanent du ministère de la communication, au cours d’un point de presse. Selon celui-ci, le […]

Cet article Nigéria : Buhari croit au potentiel des TIC est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Android One de Google arrive en Afrique        

Le programme Android One, qui associe des smartphones low-cost et des applications peu gourmandes en ressources, est lancé dans six pays africains : Maroc, Egypte, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana et Kenya. Malgré le succès mitigé d’Android One en Inde, Google croit toujours en son programme destiné à booster l’internet mobile (et ses propres services) dans […]

Cet article Android One de Google arrive en Afrique est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Nigeria: les opérateurs interpellés sur la qualité de service        

Garba Umar Danbatta, nouveau patron de la Commission des communications du Nigeria (NCC), a interpellé les opérateurs de téléphonie mobile sur la nécessité de fournir un service de qualité aux consommateurs. La NCC a décidé de se baser sur les normes et les critères d’évaluation de la qualité de service fixés par l’Union internationale des […]

Cet article Nigeria: les opérateurs interpellés sur la qualité de service est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Nigeria : MTN lance le service BizGrow        

L’opérateur de téléphonie mobile MTN Nigeria a procédé au lancement du service financier MTN BizGrow avec l’appui de LAPO Microfinance Bank. Le nouveau produit veut faciliter l’accès aux prêts bancaires qu’accorde la Banque Centrale du Nigeria (CBN) aux petites entreprises via le Fonds pour les micros, petites et moyennes entreprises. MTN Nigeria  entend ainsi répondre aux besoins de financement […]

Cet article Nigeria : MTN lance le service BizGrow est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Governor Ambode’s wife visits NYSC camp, Lagos State        

Wife of the governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has charged youth corps members posted to the state, to be security conscious and to avoid hate speeches. She gave the admonition today at the Nigerian Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, when she paid a courtesy visit to the Batch A, […]

The post Governor Ambode’s wife visits NYSC camp, Lagos State appeared first on Liveofofo.


          Yeni Kuti talks about juju and swearing in government officials        

Yeni Kuti has given her own suggestion on how corruption can be reduced or removed from Nigeria, according to her, involving fearsome African deities, could do a lot more good. In an interview with Classic Fm the first daughter of the late Afrobeat icon, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, said no one would steal money if government officials […]

The post Yeni Kuti talks about juju and swearing in government officials appeared first on Liveofofo.


          Nigéria: MTN lance BizGrow        

L’opérateur de téléphonie mobile MTN Nigeria a signé un accord de partenariat avec LAPO Microfinance Bank pour le lancement du service financier MTN BizGrow. Spécialement conçu pour les commerçants au détail de la société télécom, le nouveau produit va faciliter leur accès aux prêts bancaires qu’accorde la Banque Centrale du Nigeria (CBN) aux petites entreprises via le […]

Cet article Nigéria: MTN lance BizGrow est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Foosball Super Shooter        
Finally an html5 online foosball game for PC, iPhone and Android! Live the football fever and hit the ball as much as you can in Foosball Super Shooter! Choose your favourite team and try the 9 game modes to have hours of fun. Shoot unstoppable balls and climb to the top of the ranking. You won't stop playing! To every foosball fan out there, what are you waiting for? You can now play your favorite game online with your phone, computer or Tablet! Train your skills and become the best player in the pub thanks to Foosball Super Shooter. It’s so easy and fun to play that you will want to play all day long. Pick your favorite team from the country of your choice. You can choose between 16 different countries from all around the world: Germany, The Faroe Islands, Portugal, England, Cameroon, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Korea, Nigeria, Italy, Argentina, France, Spain, Saudi Arabia and the USA. Each one of them has a different player system which determines the position of your 7 players. Added to that, every team has a special move: the fireshoot, the triple shoot, the dribble shoot, or the twin shoot, but only the captain of the team can perform the Special Shoot. The captain is the one that has a star under his feet and he only can perform that move when the Special Bar is complete, which grows every time you make a pass. In Foosball Super Shooter you will be able to win 9 different competitions. You will have to start with the FSS Championship, the 4 Nations Cup and the Superclassic Cup. Once you win those three tournaments you will gradually unblock the others, starting with the International Cup, and then the CDA Tournament, the Confederations Cup, the 6 Nations Cup, the Olympic Games and the World Cup. Play against three teams each time, score two goals, win and become the best foosball player! So grab your iPhone, Android phone, Tablet, iPad or computer and shoot as much as you can with Foosball Super Shooter, the funniest htlm5 online game for free, with no downloads or installations required.
          Nigéria : MTN et Airtel sanctionnés        

Dans une lettre de la direction de la conformité, de contrôle et de l’application de la Commission des communications du Nigeria(NCC) envoyés aux opérateurs MTN et Airtel, ceux-ci ont écopé respectivement d’une amende de 102,2 millions de naira (513 496 dollars) et 3,8 millions de nairas (19 096 dollars) pour n’avoir pas désactivées de leur […]

Cet article Nigéria : MTN et Airtel sanctionnés est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Nigeria : les SIM non-identifiées vont être désactivées        

Le régulateur télécom a ordonné la désactivation de toutes les SIM non ou mal identifiées au Nigeria par les opérateurs de téléphonie mobile MTN, Glo, Airtel et Etisalat. Cette décision conduite par la Commission des communications du Nigeria (NCC) a été prise au terme d’une réunion de travail entre le Conseil national de la sécurité […]

Cet article Nigeria : les SIM non-identifiées vont être désactivées est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Nigeria: des SIM mal identifiées bloquées        

Une conférence de presse a été organisée par le chef de l’unité de la conformité et de la surveillance auprès de la Commission des communications du Nigeria (NCC), Efosa Idehený au sujet de la désactivation des cartes SIM non ou mal identifiées depuis le 18 août 2015à Lagos. Sur les quatre réseaux de téléphonie mobile […]

Cet article Nigeria: des SIM mal identifiées bloquées est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Nigéria : Etisalat veut promouvoir le roman de fiction        

L’opérateur telecom Etisalat au Nigéria vient d’annoncer le lancement de l’appel à candidatures pour la troisième édition du prix Etisalat de littérature 2015. Il s’agit d’un prix qui chaque année récompense les écrivains africains excellant dans les œuvres de fiction. « le prix Etisalat de littérature se veut une plateforme pour la découverte de nouveaux […]

Cet article Nigéria : Etisalat veut promouvoir le roman de fiction est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Opinion: Manipulate and Mislead – How GMOs are Infiltrating Africa        

Haidee Swanby is a researcher with the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), a non-profit organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The ACB’s work is centred on dismantling structural inequities in food and agriculture systems in Africa and directed towards the attainment of food sovereignty.
Mariann Bassey Orovwuje is a lawyer, as well as an environmental, human and food rights advocate. She is Programme Manager for the Food Sovereignty Programme for Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) and Coordinator of Friends of the Earth Africa’s Food Sovereignty Programme Campaign.

The post Opinion: Manipulate and Mislead – How GMOs are Infiltrating Africa appeared first on Inter Press Service.


          Nigeria: des SIM mal identifiées ont été bloquées        

Sur 38,78 millions de SIM mal identifiées, 10,7 millions ont été bloquées par la Commission des communications du Nigeria (NCC). Selon les statistiques de l’agence de régulation, sur les quatre réseaux de téléphonie mobile qui regroupent 80 millions d’abonnés, près de 38,78 millions de cartes SIM ont été découvertes comme non ou mal identifiées et […]

Cet article Nigeria: des SIM mal identifiées ont été bloquées est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Du Wi-Fi pour la capitale économique du Nigéria        

Grace à l’opérateur de téléphonie mobile  Airtel, les habitants la capitale économique du Nigéria, Lagos, auront un accès permanent à une connexion Wi-Fi. Une connexion Internet « super rapide » sera disponible dans les lieux publics,  et les utilisateurs pourront y accéder directement à partir de leur téléphone, tablette ou ordinateur portable. Pour cela, l’opérateur […]

Cet article Du Wi-Fi pour la capitale économique du Nigéria est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Nigeria : 37 FAI menacés de sanctions pour fonctionnement sans licence        

Au Nigéria, il est très fréquent de rencontrer des fournisseurs de services Internet (FAI), qui fonctionnent sans licence d’opération. Conformément à la loi sur les communications de 2003 du pays, La Commission des communications du Nigeria (NCC) essaye de mettre fin à ces pratiques. 37 FAI ont donc été sommées de se conformer à la […]

Cet article Nigeria : 37 FAI menacés de sanctions pour fonctionnement sans licence est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          MTN Group veut étendre son réseau au Nigeria et en Afrique du Sud        

Suite à la mauvaise qualité de service du groupe télécom MTN au cours de l’année dans plusieurs zones de Lagos, capitale du Nigeria,  l’opérateur a perdu des consommateurs au profit d’Etisalat jugé meilleur réseau sur le plan de la data. Face aux mauvais résultats financiers enregistrés au premier semestre 2015  dùs à cette désertion de […]

Cet article MTN Group veut étendre son réseau au Nigeria et en Afrique du Sud est apparu en premier sur TechOfAfrica.


          Comment on Post UTME Updates of all Institutions in Nigeria – 2017/2018 by Legendk!D        
The change of form is ongoing.
          Comment on Post UTME Updates of all Institutions in Nigeria – 2017/2018 by state        
have they chage d screening to post utme
          VIDEO: Adekunle Gold ft. Moelogo – Only Girl        

VIDEO: Adekunle Gold ft. Moelogo – Only Girl Adekunle Gold begins a new journey post-YBNL as he serves up the visuals to his collaboration with British-Nigerian singer – Moelogo. In the visuals Adekunle Gold can be seen jaunting through the city of London, UK with his love interest. The video was directed by Moe Musa. […]

The post: VIDEO: Adekunle Gold ft. Moelogo – Only Girl Is Part Of OkHype, Published By 007.


          VIDEO: Moelogo – Shine Your Light        

Following the release of his new singles, the soulfully melodic and thought-provoking ‘Shine Your Light’ and the infectious summer-ready Afro fusion sounds of ‘Sometimes I Pray’, featuring UK artist Tiggs Da Author, which have both been championed by Hunger Magazine, The Line of Best Fit, FACT Magazine and leading African music tastemakers, British-Nigerian singer and […]

The post: VIDEO: Moelogo – Shine Your Light Is Part Of OkHype, Published By 007.


          Moelogo ft. Davido & Sarkodie – Penkele (Remix)        

Following the recent release of his sophomore EP Ìréti which has been championed by Apple Music/Beats 1 , The FADER, BBC 1Xtra , Rinse FM and MTV UK among others, British Nigerian Afrobeats artist and MOBO Awards nominee Moelogo has joined forces with Sony Music’s Nigerian Pop star Davido and BET Award-winning Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie […]

The post: Moelogo ft. Davido & Sarkodie – Penkele (Remix) Is Part Of OkHype, Published By Khan Wayne.


          Dunia Sambut Obama Dengan Gembira        
By Republika Newsroom
Rabu, 21 Januari 2009

PARIS--Dunia pada Selasa menyambut era Barack Obama tapi para pemimpinnya yang presiden baru AS itu akan hadapi juga memperingatkan dia mengenai kesulitan-kesulitan di depan.

Jutaan orang mengikuti pelantikan itu di sekeliling dunia dan menekankan unjuk kepercayaan besar-besaran, dengan Presiden Prancis Nicolas Sarkozy mengatakan: "Kami ingin sekali bekerja dengannya supaya bersamanya kita dapat mengubah dunia".

PM Inggris Gordon Brown memuji pelantikan Obama sebagai "babak baru dalam sejarah Amerika dan sejarah dunia".
Obama adalah "seorang dengan visi besar", kata Brown. "Ia tidak hanya presiden Amerika keturunan Afrika pertama tapi ia berangkat dengan keputusan untuk memecahkan masalah dunia."

PM Jepang Taro Aso juga berjanji untuk bekerja dengan Obama untuk mendorong "perdamaian dan kemakmuran di kawasan Asia-Pasifik dan dunia". Pesta menyambut pelantikan Obama telah diadakan di ibukota dari London hingga Sydney dan ribuan orang menari di desa Kenya tempat ayah Obama dilahirkan.

Namun beberapa pemimpin berusaha untuk mengurangi harapan tinggi dunia itu. Kanselir Jerman Angela Merkel ingin Obama sangat beruntung tapi memberi yang terakhir dalam serangkaian peringatan pada presiden baru AS itu -- kali ini mengenai pengiriman tentara ke Afghanistan dan hubungan dengan Iran.

Ia mengatakan Obama tak akan mempengaruhi Jerman untuk menambah lagi pada 4.500 tentaranya yang telah bertugas di Afghanistan. "Kami mengambil keputusan kami berdasar pada kemampuan kami, ketrampilan kami -- tidak pada siapa presidennya," katanya.

Merkel, yang telah mengirim selebaran mengenai bantuan AS ke industri mobilnya pada saat kekacauan keuangan, mengatakan ia mengerti rencana Obama untuk mengusahakan pembicaraan langsung dengan Iran -- yang banyak negara itu tuduh sedang mengusahakan senjata nuklir -- tapi ia merasa skeptis bahwa itu akan berlaku.

Obama mewarisi ekonomi negerinya dalam krisis, perang di Afghanistan dan Irak dan konflik di Timur Tengah tempat AS memiliki peran penting, meskipun kedudukannya di dunia dianggap lebih rendah ketimbang waktu kapanpun selama beberapa dasawarsa. Paus Benedictus XVI mengirim pesan pada Obama memintanya "untuk meningkatkan pengertian, kerjasama dan perdamaian" di antara bangsa-bangsa.

Di Gaza, tempat gencatan senjata baru saja diadakan setelah tiga pekan perang Israel-Hamas yang merenggut jiwa lebih dari 1.300 warga Palestina. Ibu janda dari enam anak Leila Khalil mengatakan: "Obama tidak akan membawa suami saya kembali hidup. "Ia telah syahid dan meninggalkan saya dengan enam anak untuk saya beri makan sendiri. Dan Obama tidak akan memperbaiki rumah kami yang rusak akibat serangan itu," katanya.

Di sisi lainnya dari Timur Tengah yang terbagi, pemimpin oposisi Israel Benyamin Netanyahu mengatakan ia mendapat kesan bahwa "Barack Obama telah mengerti keadaan sulit kami dengan sangat baik, dan juga kekejaman musuh yang kami hadapi."

Menlu Prancis Bernard Kouchner mengatakan ia "telah membagi kebanggaan dan emosi seluruh dunia" untuk Obama.
Namun ia menambahkan: "Saya pikir kita tidak akan mengharapkan dia akan memecahkan dengan segera semua masalah Amerika, maupun masalah kita. Barack Obama tidak memiliki tongkat sulap. "Ia akan memiliki tugas sangat besar, meskipun manfaatnya sangat besar."

Perdana Menteri Rusia Vladimir Putin juga menetralkan optimisme itu. "Saya yakin sekali bahwa kekecewaan terbesar adalah tak terpenuhinya harapan besar," katanya dalam kunjungan ke Berlin pada akhir pekan ketika ia ditanya mengenai Obama.

China mengatakan Obama akan mendorong hubungan militer yang lebih kuat antara kedua negara. Juru bicara kementerian pertahanan Kolonel Hu Changming mengatakan ada "kesulitan" dalam hubungan militer dengan adidaya dunia itu. "Dalam periode baru ini kami mengharapkan bahwa China dan AS dapat melakukan upaya bersama untuk menciptakan kondisi yang baik serta meningkatkan hubungah militer-dengan-militer," kata Hu pada wartawan di Beijing.

Jajak pendapat internasional, bagaianapun, menunjukkan dukungan publik besar-besaran pada presiden dari partai Demokrat itu. Jajak pendapat BBC World Service pada sejumlah orang di 17 negara mendapati bahwa sebagian besar - rata-rata dua pertiga -- yakin Obama akan meningkatkan hubungan antara AS dan bagian dunia lainnya.

Rakyat Ghana adalah yang paling positif, dengan 87 persen, diikuti oleh Italia (79 persen), Jerman dan Spanyol (masing-masing 78 persen), dan Perancis (76), ddikuti oleh Meksiko dan Nigeria (masing-masing 74 persen).

Beberapa kata yang membesarkan hati diberikan pada Presiden George W. Bush ketika ia meninggalkan jabatannya, warisannya yang dirusak oleh perang Irak. Times di Afrika Selatan mengatakan dalam satu komentar: "Dunia akan mengatakan selamat berpisah pada orang yang telah dilukiskan sebagai salah satu presiden terburuk Amerika".Antara,AFP/yto













          U.S. Women Beat Nigeria 1-0, Win Group And Advance To Elimination Rounds        
Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET On June 17: U.S. veteran Abby Wambach, making her second start of the World Cup, scored her first goal of the tournament and the 183rd of her storied international career to push the Americans past Nigeria on Tuesday in Vancouver, Canada. The 1-0 victory allowed the U.S. to win Group D and advance into the elimination rounds, where they'll face another group's third-place team on Monday, followed by a possible matchup against Cameroon or China later next week. The Americans dominated the match, taking twice as many shots as the Nigerians. Nigeria's players also got into foul trouble, finding themselves the recipients of multiple yellow cards. Defender Sarah Nnodim got two of them, resulting in a red card and her ejection from the game. The loss to the U.S. eliminated Nigeria. In the other Group D game, Australia tied Sweden, taking second place and advancing to face Brazil. Sweden ended in third place, but may still have another match, as four of the six third
          Nigerian Soccer Fans Really Know How To Have A Ball        
If you watch the United States play Nigeria at the Women's World Cup tonight — kickoff is at 8 p.m. — you'll keep your eyes on the field. After all, it's an important match. A win or a tie, and the U.S. is guaranteed to advance to the knockout round. Even with a loss, the U.S. could still move on. Nigeria is the best team from Africa. But maybe you should look at the stands instead. Nigerian fans are an attraction in their own right. Decked out in bright green T-shirts and waving flags, they stand, cheer, party, play trumpets and drums, dance and sing. "That's the trick about Nigerians," says Dixit Iduozee at a game against Australia last Friday, which Nigeria ended up losing 2-0. "We're always like go, go, go, go, go. No matter what, we don't give up. And until the end, we don't stop." Nigeria is a fixture at the Women's World Cup. But even though the team has only made it out of the group stage and into the semifinals once, the fans are still enthusiastic. "You can't come in
          U.S. And Sweden Struggle To 0-0 Tie In Women's World Cup        
Update, 10:10 p.m. ET: The U.S. and Sweden fought to a 0-0 tie in Winnipeg on Friday night — a disappointing result against the Americans' trash-talking former coach, but enough to keep them in control of their group at the Women's World Cup. The U.S. struggled to maintain control in the Swedish half for much of the game, and had a hard time connecting on their longer passes forward. Two header attempts off corners around the 72nd minute were tipped over the crossbar and went wide right, and a frenzy in the final minute of extra time came up empty. The hero of the match for the U.S. might have been defender Meghan Klingenberg, who found herself in the right spot on the goal line during a Swedish corner and knocked a sure goal back out — with some help from the crossbar. Following the tie and Australia's victory over Nigeria on Friday, the U.S. stands atop Group D with four points and a plus-two goal differential. They'll play next against Nigeria on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. Original Post:
          U.S. Women Beat Australia 3-1 In Teams' Opening Match Of World Cup        
Update, 9:45 p.m. ET: Forward Christen Press scored in the 61st minute and Megan Rapinoe scored her second goal of the match in the 78th minute for the Americans, who beat Australia 3-1. Combined with the 1-1 tie between Sweden and Nigeria earlier on Monday, the U.S. has a strong lead in its World Cup group. Rapinoe also was issued a yellow card in the second half, as was U.S. midfielder Lauren Holiday. Goalie Hope Solo had five saves. The Americans' next game is against Sweden on Friday at 9 p.m. ET, followed by their last group-stage game against Nigeria at 6 p.m. ET on June 16. Both matches will air on Fox. Update, 8:28 p.m. ET: At halftime, the U.S. and Australia are tied, 1-1. American midfielder Megan Rapinoe started the scoring in the twelfth minute; veteran Australian forward Lisa De Vanna countered in the 27th minute. Original Post: The U.S. women's national soccer team begins its quest for a third World Cup championship today when the U.S. takes on Australia. It's the first
          Boko Harum        
StrategyPage article on BokoHarum in Nigeria.
          China in Africa        
Lots of links via AlJ

or you can go to the BBC for more information, including this factoid:

In 2014, tiny Benin was the continent's biggest importer of wigs and false beards from China. It purchased Chinese hair pieces worth $411m.
A hefty three million kg (472,400 stone) were taken to Benin, with many of those wigs then whisking their way to neighbouring Nigeria.

          Boko Haram        
Despite the headlines about Syria and ISIS, the number one terrorist group is Boko Haram in Nigeria.

StrategyPage has a long detailed post on that war, and on the multinational African forces that are fighting them. Things are improved partly because the new president is fighting some of the terrible corruption.

and then we have this:


:The UN revealed that there are now over 2.2 million refugees from Boko Haram violence. In addition several hundred thousand people in neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon have also been displaced by Boko Haram violence. 

hmm...haven't heard much about these refugees, but I suspect if you look closer, a lot of those "Syrian" refugees will turn out to be fleeing Nigeria or Saharan terrorist groups. And of course these Saharan groups make money by smuggling drugs and refugees from Europe.
          Nigerians Express Outrage Over Parliament's 'Wardrobe Allowance'        
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Twitter-sphere in Nigeria is buzzing with outrage. There are reports that lawmakers there are poised to share in a $45 million wardrobe allowancem - this, in a county where many people survive on a few dollars a day.

          Hundreds Of Nigerian Girls Still Missing A Year After Kidnapping        
Each day, #BringBackOurGirls campaigners wearing their trademark red gather at Unity Fountain in Nigeria's capital city of Abuja.

"Solidarity forever, solidarity forever, we shall always fight for our girls," they chant.

          After Nigeria's Election, A Call For Unity        
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Last weekend, we reported on Nigeria's historic presidential election. Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan lost to former military leader Muhammadu Buhari. No incumbent president has ever lost an election in Nigeria, and some worried if the president would willingly step down.

          President-Elect Buhari Tells Nigerians Not To Expect 'Miracles'        
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Nigeria defied predictions of widespread election violence and for the first time has elected an opposition challenger. Former military leader Muhammadu Buhari will take power next month.

          Opposition Candidate Defeats Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan        
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Nigeria is poised to make history. An opposition candidate appears to have un-seated a sitting president through the ballot box for the first time ever. This could also be the first peaceful transfer of power in Africa's largest democracy.

          Nigerian President Faces Tough Reelection Campaign        
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Africa's largest democracy and economic powerhouse, Nigeria, chooses its next president tomorrow. The incumbent Goodluck Jonathan hopes he'll be re-elected. His main opposition challenger, a former military leader, positions himself as tough on security and corruption.

          Boko Haram Kidnaps 500 Children In Northeastern Nigeria        
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


          Nigerian Army Advances Against Boko Haram As Election Looms        
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The extremist group Boko Haram became notorious beyond its borders for taking territory, along with captives, across a large swath of Nigeria. Now Nigeria's military says that with the help of regional troops, its forces have retaken key towns captured by Boko Haram.

          Boko Haram Takes A Page From ISIS Propaganda Playbook        
In its latest video, Islamist extremists from the Nigerian group Boko Haram display the bodies of two men accused of spying.
          Taking Books to the World        
September, 2017

ISBN (cloth): 

978-1-62534-308-6

Price (cloth) $: 

90.00
September, 2017

ISBN (paper): 

978-1-62534-309-3

Price (paper) $: 

28.95

Amanda Laugesen is director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre at the Australian National University and author of numerous books, including, most recently, Furphies and Whizzbangs: Anzac Slang from the Great War.

Laugesen, Amanda.

Pub date (e-book): 

October, 2017

ISBN (e-book): 

978-1-61376-547-0
American Publishers and the Cultural Cold War

Price (e-book) $: 

22.99

Franklin Publications, or Franklin Book Programs, was started in 1953 as a form of cultural diplomacy. Until it folded in the 1970s, Franklin translated, printed, and distributed American books around the world, with offices in Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Although it was a private firm, Franklin received funding from the United States Information Agency. This was an ambitious and idealistic postwar effort that ultimately became the victim of shifting politics.

Fri, 09/29/2017

"Taking Books to the World tells the largely untold story of Franklin, based on careful combing through of archival materials that have not been much used by scholars before. It is a very careful, clearly written book."—Sarah Brouillette, author of Literature and the Creative Economy

"This is a welcome addition to the growing interdisciplinary scholarship on U.S. cultural policy during the Cold War. Taking Books to the World is based on extensive archival work, and provides fascinating examples of Franklin’s strategy to promote an American worldview in developing countries from the 1950s to the 1970s."—Lise Jaillant, author of Cheap Modernism: Expanding Markets, Publishers’ Series, and the Avant-Garde

Related Subjects: 

5 b&w

          Guernica/E. C. Osondu/Clifford Garstang/Short Story Review        
Nominating editor: Meakin Armstrong

Guernica is a magazine of art and ideas that author Howard Zinn called "an extraordinary bouquet of stories, poems, social commentary, and art." In its short time online, it has grown from one of the web's best-kept secrets to one of its most acclaimed new magazines. In 2009, Guernica was called a "great online literary magazine" by Esquire.

Last October we ran "Waiting" by E.C. Osondu, and even after all of these months, it's still a favorite of mine. The story of Africans in a refugee camp, I find it compelling from its first few lines:

"My name is Orlando Zaki. Orlando is taken from Orlando, Florida, which is what is written on the t-shirt given to me by the Red Cross. Zaki is the name of the town where I was found and from which I was brought to this refugee camp."

I love fiction such as "Waiting," because it isn't pretentious nor rife with literary trickery. It's simply a well-told story about a kind of life most of us couldn't even begin to imagine.

Nominated Short Story:
"Waiting" - E.C. Osondu



Reviewed: by Clifford Garstang

“Waiting” is the story of Orlando Zaki, an African boy in a Red Cross camp for Displaced Persons. (The author, E.C. Osondu, is Nigerian, but the war-torn land of the story is not identified.) Camp life is a constant battle for food and water, and the children are waiting to be chosen for adoption by families abroad. Waiting is all there is to do. It’s a sad portrait of misery and unrequited hope that is, unfortunately, a little too familiar.

There are some wonderful passages here. We learn that Orlando’s name is derived partly from his t-shirt and partly from the village where he was found. The other children—Acapulco, Sexy, Paris, Lousy—all get their names in the same way. We also learn the history of the dogs in the camp. Once common and friendly, a period of food scarcity created a grisly conflict between humans and dogs, and now there are none. And the children are, today, waiting for a photographer to come. Having their pictures taken is an important step in the adoption process, and so the photographer’s arrival is eagerly awaited.

Orlando’s most important relationships are with his friend Acapulco, whose prospects are even bleaker than his own, and with Sister Nora. It is the Sister who has encouraged Orlando to write down his story, and also has provided him with books to read, including Waiting for Godot. She explains that the people in the book are waiting for God, but Orlando is waiting for water, for food, and for hope. There’s nothing else.

It is, perhaps, fitting that little happens in the story, as in the book Orlando reads. There is no specific conflict except for the daily struggle to survive. There is no real tension or plot. As the story comes to an end, Orlando and Acapulco do have to fight for a meager meal, but their small success offers no relief and no resolution. In the end, not a thing has changed, and Orlando is still waiting.



Reviewer's Bio:

Clifford Garstang’s story collection, In an Uncharted Country, will be published by Press 53 in September 2009.

He grew up in the Midwest and received a BA from Northwestern University. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Korea, he earned an MA in English and a JD, both from Indiana University, and practiced international law in Singapore, Chicago and Los Angeles with one of the largest U.S. law firms. Subsequently, he earned an MPA in International Development from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and worked for Harvard Law School as a legal reform consultant in Almaty, Kazakhstan. From 1996 to 2001, he was Senior Counsel for East Asia at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., where his work concentrated on China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Garstang received an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte in 2003 and has attended the Sewanee and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences. He is a Fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and formerly served as the Fiction Assistant for Shenandoah: The Washington & Lee University Review.

Garstang’s work has appeared in Shenandoah, Whitefish Review, Cream City Review, and elsewhere.



Thanks for visiting Five Star Literary Stories and reading about this short story.
          Obi of Onitsha blames APC, PDP for Nigeria’s current woes        
Chairman of Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, on Wednesday accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of being responsible for Nigeria’s problems. The monarch, who made the remark in Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra State, warned that Nigeria is […]
          Jonathan disassociate self from alleged squandering of N11trn electricity funds        
Former president, Goodluck Jonathan has reacted to the report that he was among the past Nigerian leaders who wasted over N11tn on electricity. The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, had on Wednesday disclosed how over N11 trillion meant for the provision of electricity supply was allegedly squandered by the administrations of former Presidents, Olusegun […]
          PDP Will Inflict ‘Fire And Fury’ On APC In 2019, Says Fani-Kayode        
A former minister of aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will inflict ‘fire and fury’ on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) when Nigerians go to polls in 2019. Mr Fani-Kayode said this on Wednesday when he appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today, a day after United States President Donald Trump […]
          PHOTOS: Nigeria Olympics Committee President Habu Gumel Receives Nigerian Water SKI and Wakeboard Federation (NWWF) Team, Moves To Establish Facilities For Training‎        
A free facility is on its way courtesy of the International Water SKI and Wake board Federation (IWWF) and NWWF\’s German Co- Founder/ Patron Mr Uwe Goldstein. ‎Following the warm reception of some of the official of the NWWF by the Nigeria Olympics committee (NOC), President Engr. Habu Gumel in his office in Abuja, Nigerians […]
          In the NO Podcast Episode 76: Anderson and Gordon        

Some momentous events this week as Al-Farouq Aminu led Nigeria to the Olympics!  Oh, and the Hornets sign and traded for some quasi-all-star Ryan Anderson.  And Eric Gordon said things that made people mad.

Really mad.

We talk about it all!


          5th Circ. Upholds Arbitration Order In Nigeria Oil Dispute        
The Fifth Circuit on Wednesday upheld a Texas federal court’s decision to send to arbitration a Nigerian oil company’s $1.6 billion fraud lawsuit against energy giant Chevron, finding that their arbitration agreement falls under an international...(read more)
          Message in a Bottle: Debating Multiculturalism and the Arts        
To mark the Fourth Plinth Commission, Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, by Anglo-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, this panel discussion explores the legacy and impact of multiculturalism in the context of the arts in Britain today.
          Nuevas vs Viejas         
¿Tragedia?
Se puede describir con historia
Adelgazar o engordar según ideología
La que se explica a través de porcentajes resulta bastante precisa 
Difícil e inútil aquella versada en poemas
Las hay nuevas con diario estreno en titulares de noticias 
También tan viejas que regresan sin políticos buscando foto  
y así ni suman ni restan  votos según declaración
Alguna se llama Sudán del Sur
Somalia
Nigeria
Yemen
Sobre un mapa son exóticos nombres
pero sobre un mapa el mundo no es nuestro mundo
Sobre un mapa no falta ni sobra el agua
Sobre un mapa no hay armas que matan ni psicópatas para empuñarlas
En nuestro mundo regresan las tragedias que nunca se fueron
Regresan con guerras y hambrunas
Regresan y se llevan el futuro  
Y no hay nada que yo pueda hacer
Mis versos no tienen lluvia
No preñan vacas ni cosechan trigo

Gizela Rudek J 

Safe Creative #1703040910719


          Comment on School Days in Children’s Books… by Nigerian Thorn Carving | Cotsen Children’s Library        
[…] classroom related material is still unsatiated, I’d recommend Jeff Barton’s blog post: School Days in Children’s Books about depictions of school scenes from 18th and 19th Century children’s […]
          Sculpture Day – Part 1        
An audio recording from a forum at Tate exploring the global contexts of contemporary sculpture, with artists originally from Cuba, China, India, Japan and Nigeria giving presentations about their work.
          Sculpture Day – Part 2        
An audio recording from a forum at Tate exploring the global contexts of contemporary sculpture, with artists originally from Cuba, China, India, Japan and Nigeria giving presentations about their work.
           Geochemical mapping using stream sediments in west-central Nigeria : implications for environmental studies and mineral exploration in West Africa         
Lapworth, Dan J.; Knights, Katherine V.; Key, Roger M.; Johnson, Christopher C.; Ayoade, Emmanuel; Adekanmi, Michael A.; Arisekola, Tunde M.; Okunlola, Olugbenga A.; Backman, Brigitta; Eklund, Mikael; Everett, Paul A.; Lister, Robert T.; Ridgway, John; Watts, Michael J.; Kemp, Simon J.; Pitfield, Peter E.J.. 2012 Geochemical mapping using stream sediments in west-central Nigeria : implications for environmental studies and mineral exploration in West Africa. Applied Geochemistry, 27 (6). 1035-1052. 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2012.02.023
          READING COMPREHENSION        

1.HATES CRIMES

            The number of organized hate groups in the United States increased 20 percents last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Nearly 9000 hate crimes , more than half of them motivated by race, were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1996- compared to 7947 incidents in 1995 and 5932incidents in 1994. Last week, James Byrd, Jr., a 49 -year's old black man, was dragged to death in Texas by a chain from the back of a pickup truck. Recently, two black men also became the targets of possible copycat crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.

            Authorities say the three men who have been charged with Byrd's murder my have ties with white supremacist groups, which have grown to over 400 organizations nationwide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan has been granted permission to rally later this month in Jasper, Texas, and the town where Byrd was killed. "These groups are getting better with the public," said Joe Roy, director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern poverty Law Center."They are no longer racist but racialist, not segregationists, but separatists. They are using a lot more attractive buzz words to lead people into their organizations "of the 474 hat groups documented by the Intelligence Project, 127were related to the Ku Klux Klan 100 was neo-Nazi, 42 were Skinheads, 81were Christian Identity, a racist religion, 12 were Black separatists and 112subscribed to a mélange to hate -based doctrines and ideologies.
Tracking Hate Crimes

            The FBI is investigating the Texas case as a possible that crime, defined as an offense motivated buy the dislike of a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. " This was an act of violence that had a much broader implication than just the murder of a single person " said Hillary Shelton , deputy director of the NAACP in Washington DC " A much larger message was being sent by this horrible action" Many civil right s groups attributes the rise in hate  crimes to proliferation of Internet hate sites , racist music lyrics and white power literature- propaganda tools for promoting race- hating ideology that have reached an audience of as many as 2 million people . Since1995, more than 160 hate sites are active online, according to the intelligence project. Less than three years ago, there was only one. "Technology has a lot to do with opening up new recruitment opportunities for these groups," said Roy "It's a place where young people of the computer generation can vent their frustration, exchange ideas and download information to feed their hatred.

  1. How many of the hate crimes were about racial differences?
  2. How did Mr. Byrd die in Texas?
  3. Are the men who killed Byrd connected to any groups? If so, what?
  4. How are these hate groups encouraging new people to join?
  5. How many hate groups are there nationwide?
  6. What do civil rights groups say the reason is for such a increase in hat e crimes.?
  7. How many men have been charged with Byrd's murder?
  8. Why were two black men targets of crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.?
  9. What was the increase in hate groups last year?
  10. Who is Hillary Shelton?         

2.PILOT  ACCUSED

            Lotfi Raissi , an Algerian pilot who had been accused of training the suicide hijackers who crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, walked free today after being granted bail at an extradition hearing . Mr.Raissi, 27 who has been held in jail for five months, emerged from the top security Belmarsh magistrate's court complex in south -east London to applause from his family and friends. Minutes earlier, district judge Timothy Workman said Mr.Raissi, who lives near Heathrow airport. Could have conditional bail as he was only facing extradition to the US on two counts of falsifying as application for a US pilot's license. At previous court hearings in London, lawyers acting for the US authorities indicated he was suspected of being a lead instructor for pilots responsible for the September 11 hijackings. And US prosecutor have in the past made clear that the pilot's license accusations were only holding charges. But no terrorism charges have been formally introduced and Mr. Raissi's lawyers successfully argued today that the charges related to pilot's license applications did not justify him being held in prison. Mr. Workman said he appreciated the September 11 investigation was long and painstaking but he said he was allowing bail as the US government was unlikely to bring terrorism charges inAA the near future. Mr. Raissi's family has strenuously denied he was involved in the September 11 terror attacks in any way. Today he was told his family would have to give $10000in surety, that he would have to live at an address specified to the court , that he would have to surrender his passport and not apply for international travel documents . Mr. Raissi's French wife Sonia, speaking after the judge's decision, said that she believed justice had been done. She said " we have been waiting five months and my message to the FBI is , You arrested him for terrorism so why do you want to extradite him for these ridiculous , minor charges? .

            Lotfi's brother, Mohamed, said "The FBI said to he world that he was a big terrorist and they have to now say to the world, that his man is innocent. They have destroyed his life, his future and his dream".
 But James Lewis, representing the US government, told the court Mr.Raissi should not be granted bail. He said "we are concerned with an investigation into an atrocity that shocked the civilized world ...Mr. Raissi is a suspect in that investigation"

            Hugo Keith, representing Mr. Raissi, said "The Americans now seen unwilling to withdraw from their initial position and accept on this occasion, they pursued the wrong person. He is not fundamentalist. He is married to a white Catholic" Prosecutors have alleged that Mr.Raissi had links to Hani Hanjour ,the pilot suspected of crashing Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

            Mr. Raissi was arrested on September 21 and has been held at London' high -security Belmarsh prison ever since. He was indicated by a federal grand jury in Arizona on charges of falsifying applications for a pilot's license and other documents. He allegedly held a 1993 theft conviction and failed to mention that he had undergone a knee operation. He has also been indicated Arizona on 11 more counts, including conspiracy to submit a false immigration claim. A previous attempt to win him bail in the high court in London in December failed. Lawyers acting for the US alleged that there was "a web of circumstantial evidence that points to the involvement of Raissi in a terrorist conspiracy which culminate in the events of September 11" US counsel said Mr.Raissi had "links to the Al-Qsida organization" and was "someone who has both motive and means t escape"

  1. When was Mr.Raissi arrested?
  2. How long has he been held in jail?
  3. Is it confirmed that Mr.Raissi had links to the hijacker of Flight77?
  4. What nationality is Mr.Raissi's wife?
  5. What did he hide in 1993?
  6. Did he succeed in his previous attempt to win bail?
  7. What are the conditions of his bail?
  8. What nationality is Mr. Raissi and where does he live?
  9. Has he been charged with terrorism?
10.What did the US authorities accuse him of doing?

3.BOSNIA INJURIES

            On Thursday in northern Bosnia, two American soldiers were wounded when a land mine exploded. One of the soldiers suffered injuries to his right foot and other was able to walk away from the blast with shrapnel wounds to his lower leg . The incident happened at about 2:30 PM 0930EST in the town of Hadizici, which is located about ten miles south east of Tuzla .

            NATO issued a statement about the incident. The statement said, "two American engineers were injured by an anti-personal mine as they were conducting a joint inspection of a minefield with the Bosnian Serb Army. One soldier stepped on an anti- personnel mine, incurring injuries to one foot.
Concerns have been raised by ERRI and any number of other sources in regard to the dangers of landmines and other improvised explosive devices in Bosnia. According to UNICEF, Bosnia has one of the highest densities of landmines per square mile of any place in the world. UNICEF says that more than 1800000mines may have been laid in Bosnia during the recent years of ethnic conflict. More troublesome to NATO troops than traditional mines, which are made of metal, are mines with plastic cases or improvised mines made from wooden cases and high explosives. The wood and plastic mines are far more difficult to detect with conventional mine detectors.

            In other news regarding to Bosnian peace mission, United States Navy Admiral Leighton Smith made some remarks regarding the six confirmed sniper incidents involving NATO forces since Sunday. Admiral Smith said, "We have got some jerk up there pulling a trigger and he has got a night scope. That makes it tough. But boy, let me tell you , if we do see him he had better be fast and be clad in bullet-proof stuff. Because we will attack with out  warning. There are such things as anti- sniping teams ....people who snipe at our forces are at great risk to themselves. If we see some body pointing a weapon at our forces he will be attacked with out warning.... no warning shots, no' drop your weapon"

             And true to Admiral Smith's words -- French NATO forces later killed a sniper in the suburb where most of the shooting incidents have occurred. A NATO statement said "One gunman was located by the French Special Forces and was later neutralized. This person was seriously wounded. He later died of his injuries in spite of the intervention from a military physician. Another armed civilian was also apprehended by 0ur forces. This individual was disarmed with out any bloodshed".

  1. How many confirmed sniper incidents have there been?
  2. Where were the two American soldiers inured?
  3. Did both of the soldiers walk away from the explosion?
  4. Will a warning be given to snipers who shoot at NATO forces?
  5. How many mines have been placed in Bosnia during the conflict?
  6. Does Bosnia have a large amount of mines per square mile?
  7. What happened to the sniper found by French NATO forces?
  8. Was the second civilian, who was carrying a weapon ,shot by NATO forces?
  9. Which types of mines are more difficult to detect?
  10. Was the first sniper shot dead by the French NATO forces?


4. CLONE SYSTEM

            Numerous reports from around the world in Jan/ Feb 2001 of fresh attempts to clone human embryos, ranging from Clonaid saying they hope t implant embryos into surrogate mothers in February to Australian scientists saying they have managed to make a human cloned embryo by combining a empty pig egg with a human cell . Their cloned human embryo divided to 32 cells before being destroyed. In other words it seems that the empty eggs from animal contain all that is needed to activate human genes for successful human cloning. There are huge risks of abnormalities and mutations in these human cloning experiments. We know that these animal-human hybrids are likely to escape legal controls because a court of law would probably decide that this was not human cloning a legally defined .However the outcome - if born - would be a clone baby which has identical genes in the nucleus of every cell to the adult from which the original cell was taken . Interestingly , 1%of the genes in mammal cells are not in the nucleus but in the power packs providing all the electricity for cells . These power generators called mitochondriaa .So technically these human clones made from animal eggs would have 1% animal DNA . Worrying  we know that there are many serious diseases in human caused by faulty genes in the mitochondria . But that is with human mitochondria .What will be the risk of problems with animal mitochondria being used to power every cell in human cloned child that is yet to go?

            Clonaid  says five British couples, including two pairs of homosexual men have asked to be cloned. Peter and lldako Blackborn , computer consultants from Huntingdon Cambrisdgeshire UK have expressed an interest in human cloning as a alternative infertility treatment but which had not say if they are in touch with Clonaid . as the press conference called and announce of the cloning the United States government banned it to practice in the future . The US government pledged that it will harm the civilization of the human being so world should not follow the mal -practices .

            After two months the Korean scientist claimed that he also get success to reproduce a clone baby and he claimed that he will use it for the couple who doesn't  have kids and deserve it .According to the scientist , he will provide who ever the couples deserve, but the donor should give his consents .
The British government strongly condemned the act of the Korean scientist and announced that the UK government does not allow the cloning to spread in the world. Cloning should be only in side the lab.  The international scientists said that it is a big step in the human civilization and should be utilized to find out the cure of all diseases in the future. it also claimed ridiculously that every couple wants Clinton and Bill Gates as their children at the same time the natural system has been disturbed by the pressure of cloning . The world need people of every sector not money maker and politicians. If so, the world will destroy very soon.

            A conference has been organized by some popular scientists in the   New York and concluded with a statement that it is a extraordinary achievement for the whole world with some vital de-merits so all should stand together to utilized the said invention. The  prime responsibility rest upon the politicians who claims to be the supreme of the United Nations organization.

  1. What was the conclusion of New York press conference?
  2. What was the only vital demerit of the cloning?
  3. What was the claimed to of the Korean scientist?
  4. Why the US government did banned the cloning system?
  5. What is the main problem of cloning system?
  6. What does Australian scientist claim?
  7. What is the risk in human cloning experiments?
  8. For what reason did the scientists prefer to sue and empty pig egg and a human cell for the experiment?
  9. What is the specific with mitochondria??
  10. Why have scientists shown their interest in human cloning?


5. ARSON IN THE VILLAGE


            On Sunday morning in a hot summer day, one patrol team of CIVPOL monitor received a radio call from the CIVPOL station about an arsoning incident in a bear by village. Someone had called up and informed the station about the incident from a local public call office .The patrol team rushed to the scene of incident. As reaching the scene, they saw a red vehicle speeding away in a very high speed with at least four or five persons inside with at least one man holding something like gun. Arriving at the scene, the monitors saw tow houses burning. Some natives came towards them and informed that some armed people came to the village, set light to the two houses belonging to a local politician and fled in their red car. The situation was immediately reported the CIVPOL station and the local police authority were duly informed. Within few minutes the fleeing red vehicle as stopped at a check point and the perpetrators arrested by the local police.

            The patrol team informed to the fire brigade about the arson case and the Fire brigade team form the local municipality arrived in 15 minutes to the scene and put off the fire. Some local said during the interview that the both house was belong to the local politicians called Mustafa Leader. Leader had some arguments with some rivals during the municipality meeting last Friday about the grazing of the animal in the village of Ruslan. The leader received a threat from the rival of abandon the village as soon as possible or faces the adverse consequences. The leader did not obey the threat and the incident happen. Both house entirely damaged by the arson but the fire bridge could not give the total amount of loss of the house. The CIVPOL interviewed with the house owner and revealed that two houses worth $ 10000 and two camels worth $ 1000, cash worth $99 and utensils worth $45, grains worth $ 129, have been damaged during the arson.  The monitor team assured him relief of compensation from the local authority. 

            The local police team with out aid of UN Police have arrested the red vehicle and recovered a Tomy machine gun and 354 rounds of live ammunitions form the red car. Five suspects including driver also have been arrested by the local but not disclosed in public by the local police. The local police issued a statement in the same day saying that investigation is underway and if information needed contact to regional head quarters the following day.

            The National Labour Party belongs to Mustafa organized a protest rally in the town demanding the full security to the local leader and their property and take legal and strain action to perpetrators. During the demonstration supporters of the party vandalized 4 shops and injured three local security personnel.
 The local authority endorsed compensation to the Mustafa, according to the report of Fire Brigade which cost in the said head but only $ 11000.  The fire brigade did not mention the head of the loss but recommended the whole some of money.

            The local police control the security situation in the town and the police released one suspect with out any legal charge and other four have been sent to the jail by the order of local magistrate on the charge of arson and possession of illegal weapon.

            The red car sent to the auction to pay the compensation of the damage property. The owner of the car complained that his car was stolen from the garage at midnight on the same day, and it is dictatorship of the local authority to auction his car with out investigating properly and he also claimed that he will sue to the local authority in the Apex court.

1.      When did the car stolen?
2.      What was the lost property?
3.      What were the ammunition found by the local police?.
4.      What was the demand of political party?
5.      What had happened during the demonstration of local political party?
6.      What message did the CIVPOL received?
7.      How was the CIVPOL station informed of the incident ?
8.      En- route to the scene, what did the patrol team saw?
9.      What was the monitor action on the scene?
  10. what action did the local police take ?

6. Authoritarian regime


            President Abdurrahaman Wahid granted amnesty  thousands of prisoners Thursday, including some who were ailed for there political beliefs. Minister for law and legislation Yusril Ihza Mahendra said 105 political prisoners, and 3000 others who were jailed for criminals' acts, would be released. He said Wahid signed a presidential decree Thursday and the prisoners would be set free Thursday night and Friday morning.

            "We are releasing the criminal prisoners because it's Christmas time and the New year",he said . He added that the release of the political prisoners' mostly separatist activists from Aceh and Irian Jaya province was part of the government's efforts to release all those who were jailed for political activity under Indonesian's former authoritarian regime. Most of the political prisoners were jailed during the32 -year dictatorship of Suharto , who was ousted from power due to a student uprising in May 1998.

            It is not the self motivated move of the government but international political pressure to released the political prisoners .  There are more than 40% members of the parliament are brought from the security service to show the political honesty to the military department .  Military party called National Unity party is more powerful in Indonesia till now and it has 32 years' background. The civil leadership could not do any thing with out the military aid. So democratic government willing to follow the military advice. 

            The international court of justice has declare to punish some of the criminals who were directly involved in the massacre in Indonesia during the dictatorship of Suharto regime. But it is ridiculous to digest that the than army chief who has been accused of murdering 200 prisoners of political belief, is a member of parliament now. The Amnesty International condemned the act of the government to nominate the army chief Mr. Javal as a parliamentarian and said that the government marginalized the people voice.

            The International Court of Justice summoned  as per the international standard to Suharto to present his opinion in Hague whether he did the crime or not , but it went in vain because Suharto has been admitted to Jakarta Teaching   hospital due to chest and BP problem . Suharto has been accusing of accumulating large sum of money and killing 500 students during the students' uprising.

            The interim president of East Timor Mr. Gusmao also condemned the act of the government to make escort free to the war criminals and said government is deceiving the people of Indonesia. Indonesian government barked against the East-Timor saying that no one could interfere in internal matter of the country. For the information, East -Timor is a fragment of the republic of Indonesia and got independence in 1997 by the acute international political pressure and military intervention by the UN.

             Indonesian   people believe, the criminal who are released on the occasion New year will never involve in criminal activities in the future. Indonesia lies in East of the Asia bordering  China , Australia, Iran and Indian sea respectively East, West, South and North. and it is has the most dense Muslim population with mainly  Hindu religion . Indonesia was colonized by French in 1800 AD and ruled till 1936 and got independence. The military authority ousted the civil government in 1940 by military coup and rules till 1997. The country has notorious history of producing natural drugs like Heroine and Cocaine and it is also called the country of golden triangle, the main transit of drugs , including Burma ,Thailand and Laos.       

  1. Which countries are called golden triangle country?
  2. Which country is lies in the  south of Indonesia ?
  3. What is the formal accusation to Suharto?
  4. Why the democratic government does follow the military advice?
  5. What was the reply of the government to East -Timor condemnation?
  6. Where is the international court of Justice located?
  7. why were the thousands of people jailed ?
  8. What did Mr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra say?
  9. How many political prisoners were jailed?
     10. Who were the released prisoners mostly?

7.  GAMBLE

            November 27, 2001 Bangkok, Thailand: Thai police said on Mondays they have arrested six Filipino gang members for allegedly luring two Japanese and three French tourists to gamble in their house and cheating them out of millions of Baht (thousands of dollars) . The gang members, three men and three women, were arrested on Sunday from a house in Bangkok where all six gang members lived, police Lieutenant General Chat Kuldilok told reporters. Lt. Gen. Kuldilik said the women pretended to be Thai house wives and invited their victims. Whom they met on the street while pedaling handicrafts, to come to their house to teach them Japanese, and to sell them handicrafts. He said the male members of the gang pretended to be millionaires from Brunei who lost huge sums to each other to avoid suspicion by the tourists, Chat said. Four of the five tourists agreed to gamble with the male gang members while the female gang members supposedly were making them fool. Once the tourists had lost all of their money to the gang members they tried to get some of their money back, but the gang members refused. The tourists were told if they told the police or any one else about losing money to them, they would be killed. All the male gang members had knives and showed them to the tourists after telling them this. The tourists left the house and notified Thai police immediately. The tourists informed the police of the gang members' house and were willing to help them in hopes of getting their money back. Upon arrest, the Thai police searched the entire house, but unfortunately the money could not be found. One of the tourists response was," I am happy, even tough we didn't get our money back , I'm just glad the gang members were found by the Thai Police . Hopefully nothing like this will happen to any tourists ever again.

            Police interviewed all the detainees in the police cell and found that other two gangs also committing the same crime using same modus operandi in the capital city. Police started the vigorous checking around the suspected area and arrested one gang with some weapons and valuables in the rented house. Police confiscate six knives and four round of live bullets including four gang members.  Later on police honestly publicized two golden rings, four golden bracelets, six wrist watches and five passports. And issued a statement saying that any one who is belongs to the valuables contact with proofs to the city police officer Mr. Rothan.

             Police registered a legal case to the first 6 members of the gang accusing looting the valuable of the tourists but the local magistrate released all saying that police did not show the proofs of looting.  The second gang members also charged with looting the tourists and illegal possession of weapons .The magistrate send them to the jail for six months on the charge of looting but the magistrate said police should be careful accusing the civilian who has only live bullets not a pistol or revolver.

            The police assured that the looting case will come down after the arrest of 2 looting gangs and vows that they will do enough to arrest who are involved in looting case. Police said that tourist should be careful with the people who were involved in prostitution. Bangkok is famous for sex tourism in East Asia.  Most of the prostitutes are brought form the Philippine in the name of house wife . In this racket the local administration and police and pimps are also involved.

1.      How may gang members arrested?
2.      What are the valuables had been confiscated?
3.      Why the Bangkok city is famous for?
4.      How many culprits were sent to jail and how many released?
5.      How the gang member did pretend themselves?
6.      What were the nationality of the victims ?
7.      What was the tourist said after not getting his money?
8.      What did general Chat said about the accident?
9.      What were weapons confiscated.
          10. How many tourists had gambled with cheaters?

8.  EBOLA

            Sunday, December 9, 2001 An outbreak of fever in the West African nation of Gabon has been confirmed as the deadly disease Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday. It is world's first documented outbreak of Ebola since last year in Uganda, where 224 people - including health workers - died from the virus. Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind, causing death in 50 to 90 percent of all clinically ill cases. "It's been confirmed by a laboratory in Gabon" WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told the press. "We have reports that seven people have died" Hartl said WHO has already sent a team to help the coastal nation and that a second team of four specialists would leave Geneva for Gabon on Monday. The out break is in remote Ogooue Ivindo province in northeastern Gabon, he said. Gabon was last afflicted in an outbreak in 1996-97 that killed 45 of the 60 people infected. "We have had very little information" Hartl said. The conformation came from a laboratory in France ville, also in eastern Gabon. A team from the Gabon Ministry of Health and the International Center of Medical Research in  France Ville went to the province last week when they first received reports of that the outbreak might be Ebola, Hartl added. On Friday, Hartl said there were unconfirmed reports of a possible outbreak in nearby Congo. Ebola is passed through contact with bodily fluids, such as mucus, saliva and blood, but Ebola is not airborne. The virus incubates for four to 10 days before flu-like symptoms set in. Eventually, the virus causes severe internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no known cure for Ebola, but patients treated early for dehydration have a good chance of survival. WHO says more than 800 people have died of the disease since the virus was first case in Gabon was documented in 1994 the agency says. After the 1996-97 out break in Gabon it wasn't documented again until it appeared in Uganda last year. WHO recommends the suspected cases is isolated from other patients and that strict barrier nursing techniques be used to shield health workers from exposure. Gloves and masks must be worn and disinfected prior to reuse, the agency says. Patients who die from the disease should be promptly buried or cremated. The virus has also been transmitted to people from handling ill or dead infected chimpanzees, WHO says. Police are worried there may be widespread panic in the area because of the confirmed reports. There have been rumors of possible riots and / or break -ins. Police officials said tat when out breaks such as this occur, people become frightened and assume the worst and that is when people start to try and upraise against the police . However, no reports have been made in regards to riots and/ break -INS, but police have been told to be prepared for the worst. The Goban Government called emergency cabinet meeting and declared Ivindo province as "forbidden Province". The government begs international support and relief to get rid of the diseases.  it is requested to all media house not to make undue publicity to  the outbreak ,which can terrorize the general public and can hamper  to maintain the security situation in  the country. Gabon a Central African Republic also facing starvation, malnutrition, political instability, and draught from a long decade.  The neighboring countries Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Somalia are also suffering from internal conflict and could not do as requested by the Gabon.  The first world showing their interest  on the request and ready to provide the assistances or relief  but they have an eye or vested interest on the natural resources of the Gabon republic which is rich in diamond, gold , natural gas , petroleum mine .

1.      What did government request to Media?
2.      Which province was declared as "forbidden province" ?
3.      Why the neighboring countries could not assist the Republic of Gabon?
4.      When the disease was documented first in the Africa?
5.      What was the rate of death causing Ebola?
6.      What were the symptoms of Ebola?
7.      How the Ebola is transmitted to another person.
8.      What was the resource of the Ebola?
9.      Why did the first world countries showing their interest to Gabon?
10. How many medical teams are going to be assign to assist the Gabon republic.    


9. TALIBAN ARRESTED

            US forces detained seven suspected Taliban fighters yesterday outside the American military base at Kandhar airport in southern Afghanistan after it came under attack , defense officials said. They said the men were detained for questioning after patrols were sent out to investigate the attack. A small number of other people who might have been involved in the gunfight escaped, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified. No American troops were injured, they said. A Reuters television cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, said he heard heavy gunfire and a number of explosions at the Kandhar base . He said the shooting lasted about 30 minutes and was at its most intense for a period of about five minutes ." I have seen the tracers and there were some light explosions like hand grenades ", he said " Americans appeared to be firing at a point in the hills to the West Side of the air base." Operation in Afghanistan by the US military and its allies to mop up remnants of the vanquished Taliban and the AL-QUIDA network are based at Kandahar airport .

            There are about 4100 military personnel based at the airport, with the majority from the US. Mr. Protsyuk said the heaviest firing was on the airport's western perimeter, about half a mile from the terminal building. In a separate incident, an American military transport plane crashed in a remote region of the Afghanistan on Tuesday night , injuring all eight crew members but non of them critically ,US  officials said yesterday . Seven of those injured in the crash were able to walk and " non of the injuries were considered life- threatening " ,said Major Brad Lowell, a spokesman for the US central command in Florida . The cause of the crash was not known , although it did not appear to be the result of hostile fire, official said . An American soldier was killed in an accident in Afghanistan yesterday when a piece of heavy industrial equipment fell on him at Bagram air base near Kabul, the US military said . The soldier's name was  withheld pending notification of next of kin. Later on , it was revealed that the detainees were investigated thoroughly and two among seven were sent to " Kwantanamo Bey" a notorious jail used by American military  to dump terrorists. Kwantanamo Bey is in Cuba , a communist nation , ruled by Fidel Kastro , a south American country

            It was provided to USA on lease for hundred years. Remaining among the detainees were sent to the local judicial authority and imposed to the judicial remand for six months . The American soldier killed by heavy equipment was delivered  to home with a national regards by a special US navy plane . The US had  started war against Afghanistan to abolish Taliban regime , who allegedly harboring the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden  in the country . American military could not find the Osama  till now. Osama is Saudi Arabia born billionaire and blind supporter of Muslim belief , he involved in fighting with Soviet Union  who had strong hold in Afghanistan during the second world war and  with the aid of US the Al quada successes to remove Russia from Afghanistan . Bin laden started getting physical and moral support from theUS . later on , the US  did not give his support to Osama so he and his allies attacked on US interest in South Africa killing 1000 innocent people by the suicide bombing and declared Osama a terrorist .  After the 9/11 terrorist attack on twin tower , the US has declared fight against the terrorism and  announce to hand over the Osama to the US by Afgan Government . The Taliban regime  did not obey the order saying that he was the guest of the country and  guest should not be hand over the western country . 

1. Who is Osama bin Laden?
2. What do you know about Kwantanamo Bey?
3. What had happen to arrested seven detainees?
4. Why did America attack Afghanistan?
5. where did the US transport plane crash?
6. Where is the US central command located?
7. How many US military have been killed according to the passage?
8. Where was the heaviest firing occurred?
9. Where is the Kandhar air port located?
10.  Who is Taras?


10. THE UNITED NATION

            The United Nation is an international organization established to create international security and friendship among the member states. After the Second World War, the allied nation established the United Nation on 24 December 1945 including 51 member states. Now it has 191 member states around the globe. The head quarters of the United Nation lies in New York in the US and the branch for the Europe is lies in Switzerland.

Main objectives of the United Nations are as follows.

1. To maintain international security
2. To maintain friendship among the countries
3. To regards human rights.

It has six main organs
1. International court of justice
2. Secret General assembly
3. Security Council
4. Economic and social council
5. Trusteeship council
6. Secretariat
                                        1. International court of justice.

            The headquarters of International court of justice lies in Netherlands. The UN secretariat lies in New York. The meeting of general assembly starts on third of September and concludes on December. Security council has 15 members among them 5 are permanent members , which are America, China , Russia , French, and Germany and other 10 members are elected by the 191 members states of general assembly for the period of two years . The Economic and Social council has 54 members' states and every member has three years of working period. The headquarters of the Economic and Social council lies in Geneva.

            America, China, France, Germany, Russia the permanent members of the Security council has veto power .Chinese English, French, Russian, Spanish are the official language of the United nation,. Mr. Ban ki Mon is the Secretary General of the United Nations, a South Korea citizen.

            Nepal as a United Nation member state has sent 1241police personnel to serve the United Nation, as civil police, police monitor, police advisor and police trainers. Nepal has established two Form Police Units in Haiti and Sudan as per the request of the United Nation. wins their obedience, confidence, respect and enthusiastic co-operation in achieving common objectives.


1.HATES CRIMES

            The number of organized hate groups in the United States increased 20 percents last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Nearly 9000 hate crimes , more than half of them motivated by race, were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1996- compared to 7947 incidents in 1995 and 5932incidents in 1994. Last week, James Byrd, Jr., a 49 -year's old black man, was dragged to death in Texas by a chain from the back of a pickup truck. Recently, two black men also became the targets of possible copycat crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.

            Authorities say the three men who have been charged with Byrd's murder my have ties with white supremacist groups, which have grown to over 400 organizations nationwide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan has been granted permission to rally later this month in Jasper, Texas, and the town where Byrd was killed. "These groups are getting better with the public," said Joe Roy, director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern poverty Law Center."They are no longer racist but racialist, not segregationists, but separatists. They are using a lot more attractive buzz words to lead people into their organizations "of the 474 hat groups documented by the Intelligence Project, 127were related to the Ku Klux Klan 100 was neo-Nazi, 42 were Skinheads, 81were Christian Identity, a racist religion, 12 were Black separatists and 112subscribed to a mélange to hate -based doctrines and ideologies.
Tracking Hate Crimes

            The FBI is investigating the Texas case as a possible that crime, defined as an offense motivated buy the dislike of a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. " This was an act of violence that had a much broader implication than just the murder of a single person " said Hillary Shelton , deputy director of the NAACP in Washington DC " A much larger message was being sent by this horrible action" Many civil right s groups attributes the rise in hate  crimes to proliferation of Internet hate sites , racist music lyrics and white power literature- propaganda tools for promoting race- hating ideology that have reached an audience of as many as 2 million people . Since1995, more than 160 hate sites are active online, according to the intelligence project. Less than three years ago, there was only one. "Technology has a lot to do with opening up new recruitment opportunities for these groups," said Roy "It's a place where young people of the computer generation can vent their frustration, exchange ideas and download information to feed their hatred.


  1. How many of the hate crimes were about racial differences?
  2. How did Mr. Byrd die in Texas?
  3. Are the men who killed Byrd connected to any groups? If so, what?
  4. How are these hate groups encouraging new people to join?
  5. How many hate groups are there nationwide?
  6. What do civil rights groups say the reason is for such a increase in hat e crimes.?
  7. How many men have been charged with Byrd's murder?
  8. Why were two black men targets of crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.?
  9. What was the increase in hate groups last year?
  10. Who is Hillary Shelton?         

2.PILOT  ACCUSED

            Lotfi Raissi , an Algerian pilot who had been accused of training the suicide hijackers who crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, walked free today after being granted bail at an extradition hearing . Mr.Raissi, 27 who has been held in jail for five months, emerged from the top security Belmarsh magistrate's court complex in south -east London to applause from his family and friends. Minutes earlier, district judge Timothy Workman said Mr.Raissi, who lives near Heathrow airport. Could have conditional bail as he was only facing extradition to the US on two counts of falsifying as application for a US pilot's license. At previous court hearings in London, lawyers acting for the US authorities indicated he was suspected of being a lead instructor for pilots responsible for the September 11 hijackings. And US prosecutor have in the past made clear that the pilot's license accusations were only holding charges. But no terrorism charges have been formally introduced and Mr. Raissi's lawyers successfully argued today that the charges related to pilot's license applications did not justify him being held in prison. Mr. Workman said he appreciated the September 11 investigation was long and painstaking but he said he was allowing bail as the US government was unlikely to bring terrorism charges inAA the near future. Mr. Raissi's family has strenuously denied he was involved in the September 11 terror attacks in any way. Today he was told his family would have to give $10000in surety, that he would have to live at an address specified to the court , that he would have to surrender his passport and not apply for international travel documents . Mr. Raissi's French wife Sonia, speaking after the judge's decision, said that she believed justice had been done. She said " we have been waiting five months and my message to the FBI is , You arrested him for terrorism so why do you want to extradite him for these ridiculous , minor charges? .

            Lotfi's brother, Mohamed, said "The FBI said to he world that he was a big terrorist and they have to now say to the world, that his man is innocent. They have destroyed his life, his future and his dream".
 But James Lewis, representing the US government, told the court Mr.Raissi should not be granted bail. He said "we are concerned with an investigation into an atrocity that shocked the civilized world ...Mr. Raissi is a suspect in that investigation"

            Hugo Keith, representing Mr. Raissi, said "The Americans now seen unwilling to withdraw from their initial position and accept on this occasion, they pursued the wrong person. He is not fundamentalist. He is married to a white Catholic" Prosecutors have alleged that Mr.Raissi had links to Hani Hanjour ,the pilot suspected of crashing Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

            Mr. Raissi was arrested on September 21 and has been held at London' high -security Belmarsh prison ever since. He was indicated by a federal grand jury in Arizona on charges of falsifying applications for a pilot's license and other documents. He allegedly held a 1993 theft conviction and failed to mention that he had undergone a knee operation. He has also been indicated Arizona on 11 more counts, including conspiracy to submit a false immigration claim. A previous attempt to win him bail in the high court in London in December failed. Lawyers acting for the US alleged that there was "a web of circumstantial evidence that points to the involvement of Raissi in a terrorist conspiracy which culminate in the events of September 11" US counsel said Mr.Raissi had "links to the Al-Qsida organization" and was "someone who has both motive and means t escape"

  1. When was Mr.Raissi arrested?
  2. How long has he been held in jail?
  3. Is it confirmed that Mr.Raissi had links to the hijacker of Flight77?
  4. What nationality is Mr.Raissi's wife?
  5. What did he hide in 1993?
  6. Did he succeed in his previous attempt to win bail?
  7. What are the conditions of his bail?
  8. What nationality is Mr. Raissi and where does he live?
  9. Has he been charged with terrorism?
10.What did the US authorities accuse him of doing?

3.BOSNIA INJURIES

            On Thursday in northern Bosnia, two American soldiers were wounded when a land mine exploded. One of the soldiers suffered injuries to his right foot and other was able to walk away from the blast with shrapnel wounds to his lower leg . The incident happened at about 2:30 PM 0930EST in the town of Hadizici, which is located about ten miles south east of Tuzla .

            NATO issued a statement about the incident. The statement said, "two American engineers were injured by an anti-personal mine as they were conducting a joint inspection of a minefield with the Bosnian Serb Army. One soldier stepped on an anti- personnel mine, incurring injuries to one foot.
Concerns have been raised by ERRI and any number of other sources in regard to the dangers of landmines and other improvised explosive devices in Bosnia. According to UNICEF, Bosnia has one of the highest densities of landmines per square mile of any place in the world. UNICEF says that more than 1800000mines may have been laid in Bosnia during the recent years of ethnic conflict. More troublesome to NATO troops than traditional mines, which are made of metal, are mines with plastic cases or improvised mines made from wooden cases and high explosives. The wood and plastic mines are far more difficult to detect with conventional mine detectors.

            In other news regarding to Bosnian peace mission, United States Navy Admiral Leighton Smith made some remarks regarding the six confirmed sniper incidents involving NATO forces since Sunday. Admiral Smith said, "We have got some jerk up there pulling a trigger and he has got a night scope. That makes it tough. But boy, let me tell you , if we do see him he had better be fast and be clad in bullet-proof stuff. Because we will attack with out  warning. There are such things as anti- sniping teams ....people who snipe at our forces are at great risk to themselves. If we see some body pointing a weapon at our forces he will be attacked with out warning.... no warning shots, no' drop your weapon"

             And true to Admiral Smith's words -- French NATO forces later killed a sniper in the suburb where most of the shooting incidents have occurred. A NATO statement said "One gunman was located by the French Special Forces and was later neutralized. This person was seriously wounded. He later died of his injuries in spite of the intervention from a military physician. Another armed civilian was also apprehended by 0ur forces. This individual was disarmed with out any bloodshed".

  1. How many confirmed sniper incidents have there been?
  2. Where were the two American soldiers inured?
  3. Did both of the soldiers walk away from the explosion?
  4. Will a warning be given to snipers who shoot at NATO forces?
  5. How many mines have been placed in Bosnia during the conflict?
  6. Does Bosnia have a large amount of mines per square mile?
  7. What happened to the sniper found by French NATO forces?
  8. Was the second civilian, who was carrying a weapon ,shot by NATO forces?
  9. Which types of mines are more difficult to detect?
  10. Was the first sniper shot dead by the French NATO forces?


4. CLONE SYSTEM

            Numerous reports from around the world in Jan/ Feb 2001 of fresh attempts to clone human embryos, ranging from Clonaid saying they hope t implant embryos into surrogate mothers in February to Australian scientists saying they have managed to make a human cloned embryo by combining a empty pig egg with a human cell . Their cloned human embryo divided to 32 cells before being destroyed. In other words it seems that the empty eggs from animal contain all that is needed to activate human genes for successful human cloning. There are huge risks of abnormalities and mutations in these human cloning experiments. We know that these animal-human hybrids are likely to escape legal controls because a court of law would probably decide that this was not human cloning a legally defined .However the outcome - if born - would be a clone baby which has identical genes in the nucleus of every cell to the adult from which the original cell was taken . Interestingly , 1%of the genes in mammal cells are not in the nucleus but in the power packs providing all the electricity for cells . These power generators called mitochondriaa .So technically these human clones made from animal eggs would have 1% animal DNA . Worrying  we know that there are many serious diseases in human caused by faulty genes in the mitochondria . But that is with human mitochondria .What will be the risk of problems with animal mitochondria being used to power every cell in human cloned child that is yet to go?

            Clonaid  says five British couples, including two pairs of homosexual men have asked to be cloned. Peter and lldako Blackborn , computer consultants from Huntingdon Cambrisdgeshire UK have expressed an interest in human cloning as a alternative infertility treatment but which had not say if they are in touch with Clonaid . as the press conference called and announce of the cloning the United States government banned it to practice in the future . The US government pledged that it will harm the civilization of the human being so world should not follow the mal -practices .

            After two months the Korean scientist claimed that he also get success to reproduce a clone baby and he claimed that he will use it for the couple who doesn't  have kids and deserve it .According to the scientist , he will provide who ever the couples deserve, but the donor should give his consents .
The British government strongly condemned the act of the Korean scientist and announced that the UK government does not allow the cloning to spread in the world. Cloning should be only in side the lab.  The international scientists said that it is a big step in the human civilization and should be utilized to find out the cure of all diseases in the future. it also claimed ridiculously that every couple wants Clinton and Bill Gates as their children at the same time the natural system has been disturbed by the pressure of cloning . The world need people of every sector not money maker and politicians. If so, the world will destroy very soon.

            A conference has been organized by some popular scientists in the   New York and concluded with a statement that it is a extraordinary achievement for the whole world with some vital de-merits so all should stand together to utilized the said invention. The  prime responsibility rest upon the politicians who claims to be the supreme of the United Nations organization.

  1. What was the conclusion of New York press conference?
  2. What was the only vital demerit of the cloning?
  3. What was the claimed to of the Korean scientist?
  4. Why the US government did banned the cloning system?
  5. What is the main problem of cloning system?
  6. What does Australian scientist claim?
  7. What is the risk in human cloning experiments?
  8. For what reason did the scientists prefer to sue and empty pig egg and a human cell for the experiment?
  9. What is the specific with mitochondria??
  10. Why have scientists shown their interest in human cloning?


5. ARSON IN THE VILLAGE

            On Sunday morning in a hot summer day, one patrol team of CIVPOL monitor received a radio call from the CIVPOL station about an arsoning incident in a bear by village. Someone had called up and informed the station about the incident from a local public call office .The patrol team rushed to the scene of incident. As reaching the scene, they saw a red vehicle speeding away in a very high speed with at least four or five persons inside with at least one man holding something like gun. Arriving at the scene, the monitors saw tow houses burning. Some natives came towards them and informed that some armed people came to the village, set light to the two houses belonging to a local politician and fled in their red car. The situation was immediately reported the CIVPOL station and the local police authority were duly informed. Within few minutes the fleeing red vehicle as stopped at a check point and the perpetrators arrested by the local police.

            The patrol team informed to the fire brigade about the arson case and the Fire brigade team form the local municipality arrived in 15 minutes to the scene and put off the fire. Some local said during the interview that the both house was belong to the local politicians called Mustafa Leader. Leader had some arguments with some rivals during the municipality meeting last Friday about the grazing of the animal in the village of Ruslan. The leader received a threat from the rival of abandon the village as soon as possible or faces the adverse consequences. The leader did not obey the threat and the incident happen. Both house entirely damaged by the arson but the fire bridge could not give the total amount of loss of the house. The CIVPOL interviewed with the house owner and revealed that two houses worth $ 10000 and two camels worth $ 1000, cash worth $99 and utensils worth $45, grains worth $ 129, have been damaged during the arson.  The monitor team assured him relief of compensation from the local authority. 

            The local police team with out aid of UN Police have arrested the red vehicle and recovered a Tomy machine gun and 354 rounds of live ammunitions form the red car. Five suspects including driver also have been arrested by the local but not disclosed in public by the local police. The local police issued a statement in the same day saying that investigation is underway and if information needed contact to regional head quarters the following day.

            The National Labour Party belongs to Mustafa organized a protest rally in the town demanding the full security to the local leader and their property and take legal and strain action to perpetrators. During the demonstration supporters of the party vandalized 4 shops and injured three local security personnel.
 The local authority endorsed compensation to the Mustafa, according to the report of Fire Brigade which cost in the said head but only $ 11000.  The fire brigade did not mention the head of the loss but recommended the whole some of money.

            The local police control the security situation in the town and the police released one suspect with out any legal charge and other four have been sent to the jail by the order of local magistrate on the charge of arson and possession of illegal weapon.

            The red car sent to the auction to pay the compensation of the damage property. The owner of the car complained that his car was stolen from the garage at midnight on the same day, and it is dictatorship of the local authority to auction his car with out investigating properly and he also claimed that he will sue to the local authority in the Apex court.

1.      When did the car stolen?
2.      What was the lost property?
3.      What were the ammunition found by the local police?.
4.      What was the demand of political party?
5.      What had happened during the demonstration of local political party?
6.      What message did the CIVPOL received?
7.      How was the CIVPOL station informed of the incident ?
8.      En- route to the scene, what did the patrol team saw?
9.      What was the monitor action on the scene?
  10. what action did the local police take ?
6. Authoritarian regime

            President Abdurrahaman Wahid granted amnesty  thousands of prisoners Thursday, including some who were ailed for there political beliefs. Minister for law and legislation Yusril Ihza Mahendra said 105 political prisoners, and 3000 others who were jailed for criminals' acts, would be released. He said Wahid signed a presidential decree Thursday and the prisoners would be set free Thursday night and Friday morning.

            "We are releasing the criminal prisoners because it's Christmas time and the New year",he said . He added that the release of the political prisoners' mostly separatist activists from Aceh and Irian Jaya province was part of the government's efforts to release all those who were jailed for political activity under Indonesian's former authoritarian regime. Most of the political prisoners were jailed during the32 -year dictatorship of Suharto , who was ousted from power due to a student uprising in May 1998.

            It is not the self motivated move of the government but international political pressure to released the political prisoners .  There are more than 40% members of the parliament are brought from the security service to show the political honesty to the military department .  Military party called National Unity party is more powerful in Indonesia till now and it has 32 years' background. The civil leadership could not do any thing with out the military aid. So democratic government willing to follow the military advice. 

            The international court of justice has declare to punish some of the criminals who were directly involved in the massacre in Indonesia during the dictatorship of Suharto regime. But it is ridiculous to digest that the than army chief who has been accused of murdering 200 prisoners of political belief, is a member of parliament now. The Amnesty International condemned the act of the government to nominate the army chief Mr. Javal as a parliamentarian and said that the government marginalized the people voice.

            The International Court of Justice summoned  as per the international standard to Suharto to present his opinion in Hague whether he did the crime or not , but it went in vain because Suharto has been admitted to Jakarta Teaching   hospital due to chest and BP problem . Suharto has been accusing of accumulating large sum of money and killing 500 students during the students' uprising.

            The interim president of East Timor Mr. Gusmao also condemned the act of the government to make escort free to the war criminals and said government is deceiving the people of Indonesia. Indonesian government barked against the East-Timor saying that no one could interfere in internal matter of the country. For the information, East -Timor is a fragment of the republic of Indonesia and got independence in 1997 by the acute international political pressure and military intervention by the UN.

             Indonesian   people believe, the criminal who are released on the occasion New year will never involve in criminal activities in the future. Indonesia lies in East of the Asia bordering  China , Australia, Iran and Indian sea respectively East, West, South and North. and it is has the most dense Muslim population with mainly  Hindu religion . Indonesia was colonized by French in 1800 AD and ruled till 1936 and got independence. The military authority ousted the civil government in 1940 by military coup and rules till 1997. The country has notorious history of producing natural drugs like Heroine and Cocaine and it is also called the country of golden triangle, the main transit of drugs , including Burma ,Thailand and Laos.       

  1. Which countries are called golden triangle country?
  2. Which country is lies in the  south of Indonesia ?
  3. What is the formal accusation to Suharto?
  4. Why the democratic government does follow the military advice?
  5. What was the reply of the government to East -Timor condemnation?
  6. Where is the international court of Justice located?
  7. why were the thousands of people jailed ?
  8. What did Mr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra say?
  9. How many political prisoners were jailed?
     10. Who were the released prisoners mostly?
7.  GAMBLE

            November 27, 2001 Bangkok, Thailand: Thai police said on Mondays they have arrested six Filipino gang members for allegedly luring two Japanese and three French tourists to gamble in their house and cheating them out of millions of Baht (thousands of dollars) . The gang members, three men and three women, were arrested on Sunday from a house in Bangkok where all six gang members lived, police Lieutenant General Chat Kuldilok told reporters. Lt. Gen. Kuldilik said the women pretended to be Thai house wives and invited their victims. Whom they met on the street while pedaling handicrafts, to come to their house to teach them Japanese, and to sell them handicrafts. He said the male members of the gang pretended to be millionaires from Brunei who lost huge sums to each other to avoid suspicion by the tourists, Chat said. Four of the five tourists agreed to gamble with the male gang members while the female gang members supposedly were making them fool. Once the tourists had lost all of their money to the gang members they tried to get some of their money back, but the gang members refused. The tourists were told if they told the police or any one else about losing money to them, they would be killed. All the male gang members had knives and showed them to the tourists after telling them this. The tourists left the house and notified Thai police immediately. The tourists informed the police of the gang members' house and were willing to help them in hopes of getting their money back. Upon arrest, the Thai police searched the entire house, but unfortunately the money could not be found. One of the tourists response was," I am happy, even tough we didn't get our money back , I'm just glad the gang members were found by the Thai Police . Hopefully nothing like this will happen to any tourists ever again.

            Police interviewed all the detainees in the police cell and found that other two gangs also committing the same crime using same modus operandi in the capital city. Police started the vigorous checking around the suspected area and arrested one gang with some weapons and valuables in the rented house. Police confiscate six knives and four round of live bullets including four gang members.  Later on police honestly publicized two golden rings, four golden bracelets, six wrist watches and five passports. And issued a statement saying that any one who is belongs to the valuables contact with proofs to the city police officer Mr. Rothan.

             Police registered a legal case to the first 6 members of the gang accusing looting the valuable of the tourists but the local magistrate released all saying that police did not show the proofs of looting.  The second gang members also charged with looting the tourists and illegal possession of weapons .The magistrate send them to the jail for six months on the charge of looting but the magistrate said police should be careful accusing the civilian who has only live bullets not a pistol or revolver.

            The police assured that the looting case will come down after the arrest of 2 looting gangs and vows that they will do enough to arrest who are involved in looting case. Police said that tourist should be careful with the people who were involved in prostitution. Bangkok is famous for sex tourism in East Asia.  Most of the prostitutes are brought form the Philippine in the name of house wife . In this racket the local administration and police and pimps are also involved.

1.      How may gang members arrested?
2.      What are the valuables had been confiscated?
3.      Why the Bangkok city is famous for?
4.      How many culprits were sent to jail and how many released?
5.      How the gang member did pretend themselves?
6.      What were the nationality of the victims ?
7.      What was the tourist said after not getting his money?
8.      What did general Chat said about the accident?
9.      What were weapons confiscated.
          10. How many tourists had gambled with cheaters?

8.  EBOLA

            Sunday, December 9, 2001 An outbreak of fever in the West African nation of Gabon has been confirmed as the deadly disease Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday. It is world's first documented outbreak of Ebola since last year in Uganda, where 224 people - including health workers - died from the virus. Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind, causing death in 50 to 90 percent of all clinically ill cases. "It's been confirmed by a laboratory in Gabon" WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told the press. "We have reports that seven people have died" Hartl said WHO has already sent a team to help the coastal nation and that a second team of four specialists would leave Geneva for Gabon on Monday. The out break is in remote Ogooue Ivindo province in northeastern Gabon, he said. Gabon was last afflicted in an outbreak in 1996-97 that killed 45 of the 60 people infected. "We have had very little information" Hartl said. The conformation came from a laboratory in France ville, also in eastern Gabon. A team from the Gabon Ministry of Health and the International Center of Medical Research in  France Ville went to the province last week when they first received reports of that the outbreak might be Ebola, Hartl added. On Friday, Hartl said there were unconfirmed reports of a possible outbreak in nearby Congo. Ebola is passed through contact with bodily fluids, such as mucus, saliva and blood, but Ebola is not airborne. The virus incubates for four to 10 days before flu-like symptoms set in. Eventually, the virus causes severe internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no known cure for Ebola, but patients treated early for dehydration have a good chance of survival. WHO says more than 800 people have died of the disease since the virus was first case in Gabon was documented in 1994 the agency says. After the 1996-97 out break in Gabon it wasn't documented again until it appeared in Uganda last year. WHO recommends the suspected cases is isolated from other patients and that strict barrier nursing techniques be used to shield health workers from exposure. Gloves and masks must be worn and disinfected prior to reuse, the agency says. Patients who die from the disease should be promptly buried or cremated. The virus has also been transmitted to people from handling ill or dead infected chimpanzees, WHO says. Police are worried there may be widespread panic in the area because of the confirmed reports. There have been rumors of possible riots and / or break -ins. Police officials said tat when out breaks such as this occur, people become frightened and assume the worst and that is when people start to try and upraise against the police . However, no reports have been made in regards to riots and/ break -INS, but police have been told to be prepared for the worst. The Goban Government called emergency cabinet meeting and declared Ivindo province as "forbidden Province". The government begs international support and relief to get rid of the diseases.  it is requested to all media house not to make undue publicity to  the outbreak ,which can terrorize the general public and can hamper  to maintain the security situation in  the country. Gabon a Central African Republic also facing starvation, malnutrition, political instability, and draught from a long decade.  The neighboring countries Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Somalia are also suffering from internal conflict and could not do as requested by the Gabon.  The first world showing their interest  on the request and ready to provide the assistances or relief  but they have an eye or vested interest on the natural resources of the Gabon republic which is rich in diamond, gold , natural gas , petroleum mine .

1.      What did government request to Media?
2.      Which province was declared as "forbidden province" ?
3.      Why the neighboring countries could not assist the Republic of Gabon?
4.      When the disease was documented first in the Africa?
5.      What was the rate of death causing Ebola?
6.      What were the symptoms of Ebola?
7.      How the Ebola is transmitted to another person.
8.      What was the resource of the Ebola?
9.      Why did the first world countries showing their interest to Gabon?
10. How many medical teams are going to be assign to assist the Gabon republic.    


9. TALIBAN ARRESTED

            US forces detained seven suspected Taliban fighters yesterday outside the American military base at Kandhar airport in southern Afghanistan after it came under attack , defense officials said. They said the men were detained for questioning after patrols were sent out to investigate the attack. A small number of other people who might have been involved in the gunfight escaped, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified. No American troops were injured, they said. A Reuters television cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, said he heard heavy gunfire and a number of explosions at the Kandhar base . He said the shooting lasted about 30 minutes and was at its most intense for a period of about five minutes ." I have seen the tracers and there were some light explosions like hand grenades ", he said " Americans appeared to be firing at a point in the hills to the West Side of the air base." Operation in Afghanistan by the US military and its allies to mop up remnants of the vanquished Taliban and the AL-QUIDA network are based at Kandahar airport .

            There are about 4100 military personnel based at the airport, with the majority from the US. Mr. Protsyuk said the heaviest firing was on the airport's western perimeter, about half a mile from the terminal building. In a separate incident, an American military transport plane crashed in a remote region of the Afghanistan on Tuesday night , injuring all eight crew members but non of them critically ,US  officials said yesterday . Seven of those injured in the crash were able to walk and " non of the injuries were considered life- threatening " ,said Major Brad Lowell, a spokesman for the US central command in Florida . The cause of the crash was not known , although it did not appear to be the result of hostile fire, official said . An American soldier was killed in an accident in Afghanistan yesterday when a piece of heavy industrial equipment fell on him at Bagram air base near Kabul, the US military said . The soldier's name was  withheld pending notification of next of kin. Later on , it was revealed that the detainees were investigated thoroughly and two among seven were sent to " Kwantanamo Bey" a notorious jail used by American military  to dump terrorists. Kwantanamo Bey is in Cuba , a communist nation , ruled by Fidel Kastro , a south American country

            It was provided to USA on lease for hundred years. Remaining among the detainees were sent to the local judicial authority and imposed to the judicial remand for six months . The American soldier killed by heavy equipment was delivered  to home with a national regards by a special US navy plane . The US had  started war against Afghanistan to abolish Taliban regime , who allegedly harboring the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden  in the country . American military could not find the Osama  till now. Osama is Saudi Arabia born billionaire and blind supporter of Muslim belief , he involved in fighting with Soviet Union  who had strong hold in Afghanistan during the second world war and  with the aid of US the Al quada successes to remove Russia from Afghanistan . Bin laden started getting physical and moral support from theUS . later on , the US  did not give his support to Osama so he and his allies attacked on US interest in South Africa killing 1000 innocent people by the suicide bombing and declared Osama a terrorist .  After the 9/11 terrorist attack on twin tower , the US has declared fight against the terrorism and  announce to hand over the Osama to the US by Afgan Government . The Taliban regime  did not obey the order saying that he was the guest of the country and  guest should not be hand over the western country . 

1. Who is Osama bin Laden?
2. What do you know about Kwantanamo Bey?
3. What had happen to arrested seven detainees?
4. Why did America attack Afghanistan?
5. where did the US transport plane crash?
6. Where is the US central command located?
7. How many US military have been killed according to the passage?
8. Where was the heaviest firing occurred?
9. Where is the Kandhar air port located?
10.  Who is Taras?
  
10. THE UNITED NATION

            The United Nation is an international organization established to create international security and friendship among the member states. After the Second World War, the allied nation established the United Nation on 24 December 1945 including 51 member states. Now it has 191 member states around the globe. The head quarters of the United Nation lies in New York in the US and the branch for the Europe is lies in Switzerland.

Main objectives of the United Nations are as follows.

1. To maintain international security
2. To maintain friendship among the countries
3. To regards human rights.

It has six main organs
1. International court of justice
2. Secret General assembly
3. Security Council
4. Economic and social council
5. Trusteeship council
6. Secretariat
        
              1. International court of justice.

            The headquarters of International court of justice lies in Netherlands. The UN secretariat lies in New York. The meeting of general assembly starts on third of September and concludes on December. Security council has 15 members among them 5 are permanent members , which are America, China , Russia , French, and Germany and other 10 members are elected by the 191 members states of general assembly for the period of two years . The Economic and Social council has 54 members' states and every member has three years of working period. The headquarters of the Economic and Social council lies in Geneva.

            America, China, France, Germany, Russia the permanent members of the Security council has veto power .Chinese English, French, Russian, Spanish are the official language of the United nation,. Mr. Ban ki Mon is the Secretary General of the United Nations, a South Korea citizen.

            Nepal as a United Nation member state has sent 1241police personnel to serve the United Nation, as civil police, police monitor, police advisor and police trainers. Nepal has established two Form Police Units in Haiti and Sudan as per the request of the United Nation. wins their obedience, confidence, respect and enthusiastic co-operation in achieving common objectives.






1.HATES CRIMES

The number of organized hate groups in the United States increased 20 percents last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Nearly 9000 hate crimes , more than half of them motivated by race, were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1996- compared to 7947 incidents in 1995 and 5932incidents in 1994. Last week, James Byrd, Jr., a 49 -year's old black man, was dragged to death in Texas by a chain from the back of a pickup truck. Recently, two black men also became the targets of possible copycat crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.
Authorities say the three men who have been charged with Byrd's murder my have ties with white supremacist groups, which have grown to over 400 organizations nationwide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan has been granted permission to rally later this month in Jasper, Texas, and the town where Byrd was killed. "These groups are getting better with the public," said Joe Roy, director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern poverty Law Center."They are no longer racist but racialist, not segregationists, but separatists. They are using a lot more attractive buzz words to lead people into their organizations "of the 474 hat groups documented by the Intelligence Project, 127were related to the Ku Klux Klan 100 was neo-Nazi, 42 were Skinheads, 81were Christian Identity, a racist religion, 12 were Black separatists and 112subscribed to a mélange to hate -based doctrines and ideologies.
Tracking Hate Crimes
The FBI is investigating the Texas case as a possible that crime, defined as an offense motivated buy the dislike of a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. " This was an act of violence that had a much broader implication than just the murder of a single person " said Hillary Shelton , deputy director of the NAACP in Washington DC " A much larger message was being sent by this horrible action" Many civil right s groups attributes the rise in hate  crimes to proliferation of Internet hate sites , racist music lyrics and white power literature- propaganda tools for promoting race- hating ideology that have reached an audience of as many as 2 million people . Since1995, more than 160 hate sites are active online, according to the intelligence project. Less than three years ago, there was only one. "Technology has a lot to do with opening up new recruitment opportunities for these groups," said Roy "It's a place where young people of the computer generation can vent their frustration, exchange ideas and download information to feed their hatred.





1.    How many of the hate crimes were about racial differences?
2.    How did Mr. Byrd die in Texas?
3.    Are the men who killed Byrd connected to any groups? If so, what?
4.    How are these hate groups encouraging new people to join?
5.    How many hate groups are there nationwide?
6.    What do civil rights groups say the reason is for such a increase in hat e crimes.?
7.    How many men have been charged with Byrd's murder?
8.    Why were two black men targets of crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.?
9.    What was the increase in hate groups last year?
10.    Who is Hillary Shelton?   


2.PILOT  ACCUSED

Lotfi Raissi , an Algerian pilot who had been accused of training the suicide hijackers who crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, walked free today after being granted bail at an extradition hearing . Mr.Raissi, 27 who has been held in jail for five months, emerged from the top security Belmarsh magistrate's court complex in south -east London to applause from his family and friends. Minutes earlier, district judge Timothy Workman said Mr.Raissi, who lives near Heathrow airport. Could have conditional bail as he was only facing extradition to the US on two counts of falsifying as application for a US pilot's license. At previous court hearings in London, lawyers acting for the US authorities indicated he was suspected of being a lead instructor for pilots responsible for the September 11 hijackings. And US prosecutor have in the past made clear that the pilot's license accusations were only holding charges. But no terrorism charges have been formally introduced and Mr. Raissi's lawyers successfully argued today that the charges related to pilot's license applications did not justify him being held in prison. Mr. Workman said he appreciated the September 11 investigation was long and painstaking but he said he was allowing bail as the US government was unlikely to bring terrorism charges inAA the near future. Mr. Raissi's family has strenuously denied he was involved in the September 11 terror attacks in any way. Today he was told his family would have to give $10000in surety, that he would have to live at an address specified to the court , that he would have to surrender his passport and not apply for international travel documents . Mr. Raissi's French wife Sonia, speaking after the judge's decision, said that she believed justice had been done. She said " we have been waiting five months and my message to the FBI is , You arrested him for terrorism so why do you want to extradite him for these ridiculous , minor charges? .
 Lotfi's brother, Mohamed, said "The FBI said to he world that he was a big terrorist and they have to now say to the world, that his man is innocent. They have destroyed his life, his future and his dream".
 But James Lewis, representing the US government, told the court Mr.Raissi should not be granted bail. He said "we are concerned with an investigation into an atrocity that shocked the civilized world ...Mr. Raissi is a suspect in that investigation"
Hugo Keith, representing Mr. Raissi, said "The Americans now seen unwilling to withdraw from their initial position and accept on this occasion, they pursued the wrong person. He is not fundamentalist. He is married to a white Catholic" Prosecutors have alleged that Mr.Raissi had links to Hani Hanjour ,the pilot suspected of crashing Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
Mr. Raissi was arrested on September 21 and has been held at London' high -security Belmarsh prison ever since. He was indicated by a federal grand jury in Arizona on charges of falsifying applications for a pilot's license and other documents. He allegedly held a 1993 theft conviction and failed to mention that he had undergone a knee operation. He has also been indicated Arizona on 11 more counts, including conspiracy to submit a false immigration claim. A previous attempt to win him bail in the high court in London in December failed. Lawyers acting for the US alleged that there was "a web of circumstantial evidence that points to the involvement of Raissi in a terrorist conspiracy which culminate in the events of September 11" US counsel said Mr.Raissi had "links to the Al-Qsida organization" and was "someone who has both motive and means t escape"
1.    When was Mr.Raissi arrested?
2.    How long has he been held in jail?
3.    Is it confirmed that Mr.Raissi had links to the hijacker of Flight77?
4.    What nationality is Mr.Raissi's wife?
5.    What did he hide in 1993?
6.    Did he succeed in his previous attempt to win bail?
7.    What are the conditions of his bail?
8.    What nationality is Mr. Raissi and where does he live?
9.    Has he been charged with terrorism?
10.What did the US authorities accuse him of doing?



3.BOSNIA INJURIES

On Thursday in northern Bosnia, two American soldiers were wounded when a land mine exploded. One of the soldiers suffered injuries to his right foot and other was able to walk away from the blast with shrapnel wounds to his lower leg . The incident happened at about 2:30 PM 0930EST in the town of Hadizici, which is located about ten miles south east of Tuzla .
NATO issued a statement about the incident. The statement said, "two American engineers were injured by an anti-personal mine as they were conducting a joint inspection of a minefield with the Bosnian Serb Army. One soldier stepped on an anti- personnel mine, incurring injuries to one foot.
Concerns have been raised by ERRI and any number of other sources in regard to the dangers of landmines and other improvised explosive devices in Bosnia. According to UNICEF, Bosnia has one of the highest densities of landmines per square mile of any place in the world. UNICEF says that more than 1800000mines may have been laid in Bosnia during the recent years of ethnic conflict. More troublesome to NATO troops than traditional mines, which are made of metal, are mines with plastic cases or improvised mines made from wooden cases and high explosives. The wood and plastic mines are far more difficult to detect with conventional mine detectors.
In other news regarding to Bosnian peace mission, United States Navy Admiral Leighton Smith made some remarks regarding the six confirmed sniper incidents involving NATO forces since Sunday. Admiral Smith said, "We have got some jerk up there pulling a trigger and he has got a night scope. That makes it tough. But boy, let me tell you , if we do see him he had better be fast and be clad in bullet-proof stuff. Because we will attack with out  warning. There are such things as anti- sniping teams ....people who snipe at our forces are at great risk to themselves. If we see some body pointing a weapon at our forces he will be attacked with out warning.... no warning shots, no' drop your weapon"
 And true to Admiral Smith's words -- French NATO forces later killed a sniper in the suburb where most of the shooting incidents have occurred. A NATO statement said "One gunman was located by the French Special Forces and was later neutralized. This person was seriously wounded. He later died of his injuries in spite of the intervention from a military physician. Another armed civilian was also apprehended by 0ur forces. This individual was disarmed with out any bloodshed".


1.    How many confirmed sniper incidents have there been?
2.    Where were the two American soldiers inured?
3.    Did both of the soldiers walk away from the explosion?
4.    Will a warning be given to snipers who shoot at NATO forces?
5.    How many mines have been placed in Bosnia during the conflict?
6.    Does Bosnia have a large amount of mines per square mile?
7.    What happened to the sniper found by French NATO forces?
8.    Was the second civilian, who was carrying a weapon ,shot by NATO forces?
9.    Which types of mines are more difficult to detect?
10.    Was the first sniper shot dead by the French NATO forces?


4.CLONE SYSTEM

Numerous reports from around the world in Jan/ Feb 2001 of fresh attempts to clone human embryos, ranging from Clonaid saying they hope t implant embryos into surrogate mothers in February to Australian scientists saying they have managed to make a human cloned embryo by combining a empty pig egg with a human cell . Their cloned human embryo divided to 32 cells before being destroyed. In other words it seems that the empty eggs from animal contain all that is needed to activate human genes for successful human cloning. There are huge risks of abnormalities and mutations in these human cloning experiments. We know that these animal-human hybrids are likely to escape legal controls because a court of law would probably decide that this was not human cloning a legally defined .However the outcome - if born - would be a clone baby which has identical genes in the nucleus of every cell to the adult from which the original cell was taken . Interestingly , 1%of the genes in mammal cells are not in the nucleus but in the power packs providing all the electricity for cells . These power generators called mitochondriaa .So technically these human clones made from animal eggs would have 1% animal DNA . Worrying  we know that there are many serious diseases in human caused by faulty genes in the mitochondria . But that is with human mitochondria .What will be the risk of problems with animal mitochondria being used to power every cell in human cloned child that is yet to go?
Clonaid  says five British couples, including two pairs of homosexual men have asked to be cloned. Peter and lldako Blackborn , computer consultants from Huntingdon Cambrisdgeshire UK have expressed an interest in human cloning as a alternative infertility treatment but which had not say if they are in touch with Clonaid .
as the press conference called and announce of the cloning the United States government banned it to practice in the future . The US government pledged that it will harm the civilization of the human being so world should not follow the mal -practices .
After two months the Korean scientist claimed that he also get success to reproduce a clone baby and he claimed that he will use it for the couple who doesn't  have kids and deserve it .According to the scientist , he will provide who ever the couples deserve, but the donor should give his consents .
The British government strongly condemned the act of the Korean scientist and announced that the UK government does not allow the cloning to spread in the world. Cloning should be only in side the lab.  The international scientists said that it is a big step in the human civilization and should be utilized to find out the cure of all diseases in the future. it also claimed ridiculously that every couple wants Clinton and Bill Gates as their children at the same time the natural system has been disturbed by the pressure of cloning . The world need people of every sector not money maker and politicians. If so, the world will destroy very soon.
A conference has been organized by some popular scientists in the   New York and concluded with a statement that it is a extraordinary achievement for the whole world with some vital de-merits so all should stand together to utilized the said invention. The  prime responsibility rest upon the politicians who claims to be the supreme of the United Nations organization.


1.    What was the conclusion of New York press conference?
2.    What was the only vital demerit of the cloning?
3.    What was the claimed to of the Korean scientist?
4.    Why the US government did banned the cloning system?
5.    What is the main problem of cloning system?
6.    What does Australian scientist claim?
7.    What is the risk in human cloning experiments?
8.    For what reason did the scientists prefer to sue and empty pig egg and a human cell for the experiment?
9.    What is the specific with mitochondria??
10.    Why have scientists shown their interest in human cloning?
5.    ARSON IN THE VILLAGE

On Sunday morning in a hot summer day, one patrol team of CIVPOL monitor received a radio call from the CIVPOL station about an arsoning incident in a bear by village. Someone had called up and informed the station about the incident from a local public call office .The patrol team rushed to the scene of incident. As reaching the scene, they saw a red vehicle speeding away in a very high speed with at least four or five persons inside with at least one man holding something like gun. Arriving at the scene, the monitors saw tow houses burning. Some natives came towards them and informed that some armed people came to the village, set light to the two houses belonging to a local politician and fled in their red car. The situation was immediately reported the CIVPOL station and the local police authority were duly informed. Within few minutes the fleeing red vehicle as stopped at a check point and the perpetrators arrested by the local police.
The patrol team informed to the fire brigade about the arson case and the Fire brigade team form the local municipality arrived in 15 minutes to the scene and put off the fire. Some local said during the interview that the both house was belong to the local politicians called Mustafa Leader. Leader had some arguments with some rivals during the municipality meeting last Friday about the grazing of the animal in the village of Ruslan. The leader received a threat from the rival of abandon the village as soon as possible or faces the adverse consequences. The leader did not obey the threat and the incident happen. Both house entirely damaged by the arson but the fire bridge could not give the total amount of loss of the house. The CIVPOL interviewed with the house owner and revealed that two houses worth $ 10000 and two camels worth $ 1000, cash worth $99 and utensils worth $45, grains worth $ 129, have been damaged during the arson.  The monitor team assured him relief of compensation from the local authority. 
 The local police team with out aid of UN Police have arrested the red vehicle and recovered a Tomy machine gun and 354 rounds of live ammunitions form the red car. Five suspects including driver also have been arrested by the local but not disclosed in public by the local police. The local police issued a statement in the same day saying that investigation is underway and if information needed contact to regional head quarters the following day.
The National Labour Party belongs to Mustafa organized a protest rally in the town demanding the full security to the local leader and their property and take legal and strain action to perpetrators. During the demonstration supporters of the party vandalized 4 shops and injured three local security personnel.
 The local authority endorsed compensation to the Mustafa, according to the report of Fire Brigade which cost in the said head but only $ 11000.  The fire brigade did not mention the head of the loss but recommended the whole some of money.
The local police control the security situation in the town and the police released one suspect with out any legal charge and other four have been sent to the jail by the order of local magistrate on the charge of arson and possession of illegal weapon.
 The red car sent to the auction to pay the compensation of the damage property. The owner of the car complained that his car was stolen from the garage at midnight on the same day, and it is dictatorship of the local authority to auction his car with out investigating properly and he also claimed that he will sue to the local authority in the Apex court.
1.    When did the car stolen?
2.    What was the lost property?
3.    What were the ammunition found by the local police?.
4.    What was the demand of political party?
5.    What had happened during the demonstration of local political party?
6.    What message did the CIVPOL received?
7.    How was the CIVPOL station informed of the incident ?
8.    En- route to the scene, what did the patrol team saw?
9.    What was the monitor action on the scene?
10. what action did the local police take ?

    

6.    Authoritarian regime

President Abdurrahaman Wahid granted amnesty  thousands of prisoners Thursday, including some who were ailed for there political beliefs. Minister for law and legislation Yusril Ihza Mahendra said 105 political prisoners, and 3000 others who were jailed for criminals' acts, would be released. He said Wahid signed a presidential decree Thursday and the prisoners would be set free Thursday night and Friday morning.
"We are releasing the criminal prisoners because it's Christmas time and the New year",he said . He added that the release of the political prisoners' mostly separatist activists from Aceh and Irian Jaya province was part of the government's efforts to release all those who were jailed for political activity under Indonesian's former authoritarian regime. Most of the political prisoners were jailed during the32 -year dictatorship of Suharto , who was ousted from power due to a student uprising in May 1998.
It is not the self motivated move of the government but international political pressure to released the political prisoners .  There are more than 40% members of the parliament are brought from the security service to show the political honesty to the military department .  Military party called National Unity party is more powerful in Indonesia till now and it has 32 years' background. The civil leadership could not do any thing with out the military aid. So democratic government willing to follow the military advice. 
The international court of justice has declare to punish some of the criminals who were directly involved in the massacre in Indonesia during the dictatorship of Suharto regime. But it is ridiculous to digest that the than army chief who has been accused of murdering 200 prisoners of political belief, is a member of parliament now. The Amnesty International condemned the act of the government to nominate the army chief Mr. Javal as a parliamentarian and said that the government marginalized the people voice.
The International Court of Justice summoned  as per the international standard to Suharto to present his opinion in Hague whether he did the crime or not , but it went in vain because Suharto has been admitted to Jakarta Teaching   hospital due to chest and BP problem . Suharto has been accusing of accumulating large sum of money and killing 500 students during the students' uprising.
    The interim president of East Timor Mr. Gusmao also condemned the act of the government to make escort free to the war criminals and said government is deceiving the people of Indonesia. Indonesian government barked against the East-Timor saying that no one could interfere in internal matter of the country. For the information, East -Timor is a fragment of the republic of Indonesia and got independence in 1997 by the acute international political pressure and military intervention by the UN.
      Indonesian   people believe, the criminal who are released on the occasion New year will never involve in criminal activities in the future. Indonesia lies in East of the Asia bordering  China , Australia, Iran and Indian sea respectively East, West, South and North. and it is has the most dense Muslim population with mainly  Hindu religion . Indonesia was colonized by French in 1800 AD and ruled till 1936 and got independence. The military authority ousted the civil government in 1940 by military coup and rules till 1997. The country has notorious history of producing natural drugs like Heroine and Cocaine and it is also called the country of golden triangle, the main transit of drugs , including Burma ,Thailand and Laos.       

1.    Which countries are called golden triangle country?
2.    Which country is lies in the  south of Indonesia ?
3.    What is the formal accusation to Suharto?
4.    Why the democratic government does follow the military advice?
5.    What was the reply of the government to East -Timor condemnation?
6.    Where is the international court of Justice located?
7.    why were the thousands of people jailed ?
8.    What did Mr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra say?
9.    How many political prisoners were jailed?
 10. Who were the released prisoners mostly?


7.  GAMBLE

November 27, 2001
Bangkok, Thailand: Thai police said on Mondays they have arrested six Filipino gang members for allegedly luring two Japanese and three French tourists to gamble in their house and cheating them out of millions of Baht (thousands of dollars) . The gang members, three men and three women, were arrested on Sunday from a house in Bangkok where all six gang members lived, police Lieutenant General Chat Kuldilok told reporters. Lt. Gen. Kuldilik said the women pretended to be Thai house wives and invited their victims. Whom they met on the street while pedaling handicrafts, to come to their house to teach them Japanese, and to sell them handicrafts. He said the male members of the gang pretended to be millionaires from Brunei who lost huge sums to each other to avoid suspicion by the tourists, Chat said. Four of the five tourists agreed to gamble with the male gang members while the female gang members supposedly were making them fool. Once the tourists had lost all of their money to the gang members they tried to get some of their money back, but the gang members refused. The tourists were told if they told the police or any one else about losing money to them, they would be killed. All the male gang members had knives and showed them to the tourists after telling them this. The tourists left the house and notified Thai police immediately. The tourists informed the police of the gang members' house and were willing to help them in hopes of getting their money back. Upon arrest, the Thai police searched the entire house, but unfortunately the money could not be found. One of the tourists response was," I am happy, even tough we didn't get our money back , I'm just glad the gang members were found by the Thai Police . Hopefully nothing like this will happen to any tourists ever again.
Police interviewed all the detainees in the police cell and found that other two gangs also committing the same crime using same modus operandi in the capital city. Police started the vigorous checking around the suspected area and arrested  one gang with some weapons and valuables in the rented house. Police confiscate six knives and four round of live bullets including four gang members.  Later on police honestly publicized two golden rings, four golden bracelets, six wrist watches and five passports . And issued a statement saying that any one who is belongs to the valuables contact with proofs to the city police officer Mr. Rothan.
 Police registered a legal case to the first 6 members of the gang accusing looting the valuable of the tourists but the local magistrate released all saying that police did not show the proofs of looting.
 The second gang members also charged with looting the tourists and illegal possession of weapons .The magistrate send them to the jail for six months on the charge of looting but the magistrate said police should be careful accusing the civilian who has only live bullets not a pistol or revolver.
The police assured that the looting case will come down after the arrest of 2 looting gangs and vows that they will do enough to arrest who are involved in looting case. Police said that tourist should be careful with the people who were involved in prostitution. Bangkok is famous for sex tourism in East Asia.  Most of the prostitutes are brought form the Philippine in the name of house wife . In this racket the local administration and police and pimps are also involved. 
1.    How may gang members arrested?
2.    What are the valuables had been confiscated?
3.    Why the Bangkok city is famous for?
4.    How many culprits were sent to jail and how many released?
5.    How the gang member did pretend themselves?
6.    What were the nationality of the victims ?
7.    What was the tourist said after not getting his money?
8.    What did general Chat said about the accident?
9.    What were weapons confiscated.
        10. How many tourists had gambled with cheaters?


8.  EBOLA

Sunday, December 9, 2001
An outbreak of fever in the West African nation of Gabon has been confirmed as the deadly disease Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday. It is world's first documented outbreak of Ebola since last year in Uganda, where 224 people - including health workers - died from the virus. Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind, causing death in 50 to 90 percent of all clinically ill cases. "It's been confirmed by a laboratory in Gabon" WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told the press. "We have reports that seven people have died" Hartl said WHO has already sent a team to help the coastal nation and that a second team of four specialists would leave Geneva for Gabon on Monday. The out break is in remote Ogooue Ivindo province in northeastern Gabon, he said. Gabon was last afflicted in an outbreak in 1996-97 that killed 45 of the 60 people infected. "We have had very little information" Hartl said. The conformation came from a laboratory in France ville, also in eastern Gabon. A team from the Gabon Ministry of Health and the International Center of Medical Research in
France Ville went to the province last week when they first received reports of that the outbreak might be Ebola, Hartl added. On Friday, Hartl said there were unconfirmed reports of a possible outbreak in nearby Congo. Ebola is passed through contact with bodily fluids, such as mucus, saliva and blood, but Ebola is not airborne. The virus incubates for four to 10 days before flu-like symptoms set in. Eventually, the virus causes severe internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no known cure for Ebola, but patients treated early for dehydration have a good chance of survival. WHO says more than 800 people have died of the disease since the virus was first case in Gabon was documented in 1994 the agency says. After the 1996-97 out break in Gabon it wasn't documented again until it appeared in Uganda last year. WHO recommends the suspected cases is isolated from other patients and that strict barrier nursing techniques be used to shield health workers from exposure. Gloves and masks must be worn and disinfected prior to reuse, the agency says. Patients who die from the disease should be promptly buried or cremated. The virus has also been transmitted to people from handling ill or dead infected chimpanzees, WHO says. Police are worried there may be widespread panic in the area because of the confirmed reports. There have been rumors of possible riots and / or break -ins. Police officials said tat when out breaks such as this occur, people become frightened and assume the worst and that is when people start to try and upraise against the police . However, no reports have been made in regards to riots and/ break -INS, but police have been told to be prepared for the worst. The Goban Government called emergency cabinet meeting and declared Ivindo province as "forbidden Province". The government begs international support and relief to get rid of the diseases.  it is requested to all media house not to make undue publicity to  the outbreak ,which can terrorize the general public and can hamper  to maintain the security situation in  the country. Gabon a Central African Republic also facing starvation, malnutrition, political instability, and draught from a long decade.  The neighboring countries Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Somalia are also suffering from internal conflict and could not do as requested by the Gabon.  The first world showing their interest  on the request and ready to provide the assistances or relief  but they have an eye or vested interest on the natural resources of the Gabon republic which is rich in diamond, gold , natural gas , petroleum mine .

1.    What did government request to Media?
2.    Which province was declared as "forbidden province" ?
3.    Why the neighboring countries could not assist the Republic of Gabon?
4.    When the disease was documented first in the Africa?
5.    What was the rate of death causing Ebola?
6.    What were the symptoms of Ebola?
7.    How the Ebola is transmitted to another person.
8.    What was the resource of the Ebola?
9.    Why did the first world countries showing their interest to Gabon?
10. How many medical teams are going to be assign to assist the Gabon republic.    

9. TALIBAN ARRESTED

    US forces detained seven suspected Taliban fighters yesterday outside the American military base at Kandhar airport in southern Afghanistan after it came under attack , defense officials said. They said the men were detained for questioning after patrols were sent out to investigate the attack. A small number of other people who might have been involved in the gunfight escaped, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified. No American troops were injured, they said. A Reuters television cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, said he heard heavy gunfire and a number of explosions at the Kandhar base . He said the shooting lasted about 30 minutes and was at its most intense for a period of about five minutes ." I have seen the tracers and there were some light explosions like hand grenades ", he said " Americans appeared to be firing at a point in the hills to the West Side of the air base." Operation in Afghanistan by the US military and its allies to mop up remnants of the vanquished Taliban and the AL-QUIDA network are based at Kandahar airport .
    There are about 4100 military personnel based at the airport, with the majority from the US. Mr. Protsyuk said the heaviest firing was on the airport's western perimeter, about half a mile from the terminal building. In a separate incident, an American military transport plane crashed in a remote region of the Afghanistan on Tuesday night , injuring all eight crew members but non of them critically ,US  officials said yesterday . Seven of those injured in the crash were able to walk and " non of the injuries were considered life- threatening " ,said Major Brad Lowell, a spokesman for the US central command in Florida . The cause of the crash was not known , although it did not appear to be the result of hostile fire, official said . An American soldier was killed in an accident in Afghanistan yesterday when a piece of heavy industrial equipment fell on him at Bagram air base near Kabul, the US military said . The soldier's name was  withheld pending notification of next of kin. Later on , it was revealed that the detainees were investigated thoroughly and two among seven were sent to " Kwantanamo Bey" a notorious jail used by American military  to dump terrorists. Kwantanamo Bey is in Cuba , a communist nation , ruled by Fidel Kastro , a south American country .
    It was provided to USA on lease for hundred years. Remaining among the detainees were sent to the local judicial authority and imposed to the judicial remand for six months . The American soldier killed by heavy equipment was delivered  to home with a national regards by a special US navy plane . The US had  started war against Afghanistan to abolish Taliban regime , who allegedly harboring the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden  in the country . American military could not find the Osama  till now. Osama is Saudi Arabia born billionaire and blind supporter of Muslim belief , he involved in fighting with Soviet Union  who had strong hold in Afghanistan during the second world war and  with the aid of US the Al quada successes to remove Russia from Afghanistan . Bin laden started getting physical and moral support from theUS . later on , the US  did not give his support to Osama so he and his allies attacked on US interest in South Africa killing 1000 innocent people by the suicide bombing and declared Osama a terrorist .  After the 9/11 terrorist attack on twin tower , the US has declared fight against the terrorism and  announce to hand over the Osama to the US by Afgan Government . The Taliban regime  did not obey the order saying that he was the guest of the country and  guest should not be hand over the western country . 

1. Who is Osama bin Laden?
2. What do you know about Kwantanamo Bey?
3. What had happen to arrested seven detainees?
4. Why did America attack Afghanistan?
5. where did the US transport plane crash?
6. Where is the US central command located?
7. How many US military have been killed according to the passage?
8. Where was the heaviest firing occurred?
9. Where is the Kandhar air port located?
10.    Who is Taras?

10. THE UNITED NATION

The United Nation is an international organization established to create international security and friendship among the member states.
    After the Second World War, the allied nation established the United Nation on 24 December 1945 including 51 member states. Now it has 191 member states around the globe. The head quarters of the United Nation lies in New York in the US and the branch for the Europe is lies in Switzerland.

Main objectives of the United Nations are as follows.

1. To maintain international security
2. To maintain friendship among the countries
3. To regards human rights.

It has six main organs

1. International court of justice
2. Secret General assembly
3. Security Council
4. Economic and social council
5. Trusteeship council
6. Secretariat

                                        1. International court of justice.

    The headquarters of International court of justice lies in Netherlands. The UN secretariat lies in New York. The meeting of general assembly starts on third of September and concludes on December. Security council has 15 members among them 5 are permanent members , which are America, China , Russia , French, and Germany and other 10 members are elected by the 191 members states of general assembly for the period of two years . The Economic and Social council has 54 members' states and every member has three years of working period. The headquarters of the Economic and Social council lies in Geneva.

    America, China, France, Germany, Russia the permanent members of the Security council has veto power .Chinese English, French, Russian, Spanish are the official language of the United nation,. Mr. Ban ki Mon is the Secretary General of the United Nations, a South Korea citizen.

    Nepal as a United Nation member state has sent 1241police personnel to serve the United Nation, as civil police, police monitor, police advisor and police trainers. Nepal has established two Form Police Units in Haiti and Sudan as per the request of the United Nation. wins their obedience, confidence, respect and enthusiastic co-operation in achieving common objectives.


11.  UN FAILURE IN BOSNIA

    A long -awaited report into the failure of a Dutch UN peacekeeping force to prevent the murder of thousands of Muslims in the Bosnian town of Brebrenica will be published on Wednesday. The Netherlands is bracing itself for the results of the inquiry in to the worst massacre in Europe since world War second. The
    BBC's Europe correspondent says Dutch troops are likely to be criticized for their part in event leading up to the 1995 slaughter. In July 1995, Srebrenica was being protected by 110 Dutch troops who were supposed to ensure the safety of the town's mainly Muslim population against surrounding Bosnian Serb forces. The United Nations had declared it a safe area but when it  was attacked, the town fill with out the Dutch UN troops firings shot . Up to 8000 Muslim men and boys were then murdered.

Five years of research

                  While the Dutch troops are likely to be criticized for letting the town fall without a fight , fault is also set to be found with the over all UN commander for failing to order air strikes to protect the enclave. The report is also understood to criticize the Dutch government for showing lack of political will. The 7000-pages report by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation is the official Dutch history of events in Srebrenica. It has taken more than five years to produce. In a 1999 report, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan blamed the international community for its failure to protect the enclave but insisted that it was impossible " to say whether a more decisive action by the Dutch would have saved lives" .A report two weeks ago by the Interchurch Peace Council ( IKV) in the Netherlands condemned Dutch troops, generals and politicians for failing to evacuate and protect the Muslims.

Scenes from hell

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague has ruled that the massacre was genocide. Last August it sentenced Bosnian Serb General Radisav Krstic, considered a key commander in the episode, to 46 years in prison. The judge in the case said the massacre was characterized by " scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history" Survivors' reports, aerial photography and grisly evidence exhumed from mass graves indicate the most victims in the massacre were summarily executed ,Dutch MPs may now call for a public inquiry. Seven military commanders of Royal Dutch army have been sentenced to seven years jail . Ten army personnel have been fired from the service and 20 have been restricted from the promotion as per the report of the criminal tribunal.   The BBC's correspondent Mr. Havel Eastward has been facilitated by the Dutch Government as a friends of mankind . After the massacre in the Srebrenica the Dutch government begs pardon with the Bosnian people and saying that her troops could not do any thing to save the life of the people and she is responsible to the accident.


1. How many Dutch troops were protecting Srebrenica?
2. What ethnic group were the people of Srebrenica?
3. Why the Dutch government begs pardon with the people of Bosnia ?
4. How many people were killed in Srebrenica?
5. How many army personnel were punished?
6. Who is criticized in the report?
7. Where is the International Criminal Tribunal based?
8. Would more positive action by the Dutch troops have saved lives?
9    What sentence was General Krstic given?
10    Who was facilitated by the Dutch government and why?


12.  SWARM ATTACK

    Six people were hospitalized after they were attacked by a swarm of bees in Singapore, a news report said on Tuesday. The bees attacked contractors who were trying to remove a beehive in the tropical city-state .Two police officers who were on the scene to keep back the public, were among those attacked and hospitalized. Police public affairs officers could not immediately be contacted to confirm the report. The incident occurred at approximately 12:30PM on Tuesday afternoon. Two of the people who were injured in the attack were still in the hospital on Tuesday night at 10:00 PM; however they were in good condition. Such incidents are rare in heavily urbanized Singapore. But two years ago , a 51 years old taxi driver died after he was stung by a swarm bees .The driver was changing his back left tire and he removed the deflated tire , a beehive was in the wheel well . Witnesses said that the swarm covered the man's face and hands and repeatedly sting him as he cried out in pain .He died later that night while being hospitalized. Singapore is a very small country covered by the see in the east of Asia and known as a well industrialized country.
    The big industry installations have many nooks and corners where the swarm bees get shelters. firstly people do not care about it because it seems harmless and small in the beginning but after  a year it  appeared in large scale and bees become escort free so they undermine their stung so they try to destroy their hives and got stung and the result  become very adverse. The same accident happened in The US in 1990 when a farmer had gone to his farmhouse to clean the room , he saw that there is a bee hive in the ceiling of the room he thought it was full of honey , unfortunately it was poisonous  swarm bee's hive.  He collected his two sons and a black servant to take the honey . In the mean time when they lit a fire to fly the bees , the swarm bees started stung them . The younger son who was in the door side escaped from the room after having a look at the victims and called the police . The house got in to the gutter by the fire and three injured had been hospitalize in the city centre . The house owner Mr. Kally died during the medical treatment and two had been discharged after 2 weeks with swollen face and bruises for the whole life.  The same accident happened in Nepal too on 23 September 2002. The Raute , who are famous for honey hunter ,had tried to collect honey from the very steep hill near Manang District. they made rope ladder to climb the hill and with the aid of fire they started collecting the honey .
    It was a documentary program filmed by Scottish Director visualized to broadcast in Britain  by BBC. Al together there were 15 men. When the honey hunter was climbing down from the steep hill after the successful visualization of the film. Unfortunately, one of the hunters touched the bees hive. Due to the finished job, they did not prepare for next attack and they all were on very thin cloths and without cloves . Three among five hunters fall down from the cliff and died. Two were severely bitten by the bees were died on the way to hospital and ten crew members of the visualization  were admitted in the hospital and discharged after 2 weeks .  It is said that the bees seems so calm if they are not hurt and if anyone hurt their queen , they become so terrifying and take revenge from the hunter . The queen is the most powerful among the bees. if the queen of the bees  safely removed from the hive it will be so easy to get the honey from the hive   which is considered as medicine  in eastern countries . The working bees always follow the queen bee , if she abandon the hive silently , all the bees left the hive with out revenge. so if you want to get honey remove the queen tactically and calmly.
         
1.    How many people had been killed according to the passage.?
2.    How many people had been injured according to the passage?
3.    Where was the bees's hive in the taxi?
4.    Who was the authentic person to provide informations about injured police officers according to the passage.
5.    What had happened to the two Americans who escaped from the death?
6.    What is the ideal idea to get honey?
7.    What did the team doing in Manning District?
8.    How did the taxi driver killed?
9.    Where was the bees's hive in the room?
10.    Who is the most powerful in the hive?

13.  ARAFAT POLITICS
    Arafat is not the point. As Israelis and Palestinians use ever more lethal means against each other's civilians, the question being asked in Israel and the US is not how to end the occupation, but whether or not to end the career, or even the life, of Arafat. At the time of writing this coverage trend in early February 2002, in a further escalation Israeli tanks have confined Arafat in an area of 200m square in Ram Allah. And have destroyed the remainder of his helicopter fleet that it began to destroy on the attack of his compound on 3 December 2001.
    If Israel killed Arafat or sent in to exile, nothing would change. It seems almost absurd to have to point out that forcing millions of people to live for decades under hostile military rule with no end on sight inevitably produces violent resistance. Only a mind -set that steadfastly refuses to recognize this can become captivated by a lone figure who's real and imagined failings became a smoke screen that obscures the machinery that actually drives the conflict.
    If Israel truly seeks the moral high ground it invokes in the international arena, it should stop seeking a relative high ground whose only elevation stems from the weakness and failing of its historical enemies. Rather Israel should address the most obvious things it dies to perpetuate the conflict.
    The bottom line is that the single most identifiable factor that perpetuates the Israeli- Palestinian conflict in all its forms, both legitimate, is the Israeli military occupation that exists to protect the continuing Israeli colonization of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including Jerusalem.
    Comparisons of Arafat with Bin Laden serve to legitimize Israel's continuing repression of the Palestinians and bear no reality to the dynamics that this particular conflicts, dynamics that Israel has played no small part in creating.
    Israel's killing of civilians is a form of terrorism. The United States  tacit support of Israel's so called retaliation in US support of terrorism .Although Israeli officials are occasionally note don record " apologizing" for the latest " accidental" death of a child , there comes a point -- after a year in which one quarter of the 800 Palestinians killed were children and 50 percent of these children were killed for away from clashes- that it becomes imperative to note that Israel could always simply stop killing children , instead of merely apologizing for it.
    Israel's nightly shelling of Palestinian neighborhoods has accounted for one quarter of the 800 Palestinians killed during the first year of the Second Intifada .  Israel's regular killing of innocent civilians including children as a "by product " of its ironically titled" targeted killings " of Palestinian activists most commonly with rockets fired from combat helicopters at these leader's vehicles while in cit streets offer more examples of the indiscriminate violence that characterizes 'terrorism' as most people understand the word.
    Following a series of suicide bomb attacks in February / March 1996, then Israeli President Weizmann bluntly described Israel's practice of using closure to turn Palestinian towns in to prisons for the entire population: "Sometimes, when you are searching for a needle in a haystack, you have to burn the haystack".
    Israel has been encouraged to carry out similar "retaliation" as in the case of the December 2001bombing, by the knowledge that the United States would not condemn it. America must refrain from "understanding" Israel's violence. This can only have the effect of encouraging the continued Israeli killing of innocent Palestinian civilians.

1.    How many Palestinian children have been killed this year?
2.    How many Palestinians have been killed during nightly shelling?
3.    Are children targeted by the Israelis?
4.    Who is Arafat compared to and why?
5.    Where is Arafat confined, and what size of area?
6.    How many people live under hostile military rule in Palestine?
7.    What is the question being asked in Israel and the US?
8.    Why is Israel not afraid to carry out retaliation attacks on Palestinians?
9.    What happened in 1996?
10.    What dies Israel do when it is faced with suicide bomb attacks?








14.  BUS LOOTED
    A bus, which started off in Kathmandu , at 5:30 PM , traveling to Biratnagar , was looted by some Indian dacoits, which had crossed the boarder in order to escape the authorities there. They had been in Nepal for at least a month and had been regularly stopping night buses and robbing the passengers of all their belongings as well as money.
    When the bus number Ba Ga 3987, first started off from Gongabu Bus Park there was a total of 30 passengers. Just near Thankot 3 more passengers got on. The journey was uneventful until they reached Muggling, where they stopped for dinner. Here, the bus conductor managed to find 4 more people wanting to travel to Biratnagar . After about half an hour stop for dinner, they set off again. At Bharatpur 2 of the passengers got off as they had only booked up to this point. The bus had to wait for about one hour as the engine had trouble and the driver had to fix it .After this they started  of again and had a short tea break at Hetauda where another 2 people got off and one got on.
    At about 2:00 PM in the morning, when most of the passengers were asleep, the driver suddenly stopped as there was a tree across the main road. The passengers all wake up as the bus had come to a sudden stop, and were all looking out of the windows. Two Indian men dressed in black were behind the fallen tree with country made rifles; at the same time 2 also came from the back and two on each side of the bus. At once they told all the passengers to come out of the bus and line up in front of the bus, even though it as a moonlight night, no body could make out the faces of the dacoits, and could tell only by the way they spoke that they were from India. Everybody was told to remove their watches, jewelries and to empty out their pockets and moneybags. One of the men colleted all this while the others told all the passengers to lie down with their faces facing down. During this time the dacoits all disappeared, as nobody wanted to follow them as they might get shot

1.    How many passengers were on the bus when it was robbed?

2.    How many dacoits were there in total?

3.    How long did they stop for dinner?

4.    Why did they stop a second time before the robbery?

5.    How did the passengers know that the dacoits were not Nepali?

5.    Where did the bus start first?

6.    How many got in the Baratpur?

7.    Why did the bus have to stop suddenly?

8.    How many we on the bus at Muggling?

9.    Although it was night time how could the passengers make out how many dacoits there were?  
15.    KOSOVO POLICE

    On Monday 17 March 2003 , at 0745 hours , two Kosovo Police Officers were on patrol duty in a police vehicle when they observed a white van type vehicle , license 496KS858 driving very fast. The officers stopped the white van type vehicle for questioning using their blue flash lights. When the driver stopped, the patrol team stopped five meters behind his vehicle, however the van did not turn off its engine. As the officers exited their vehicle, the drivers of the white van type vehicle sped away very quickly. The officers ran back to their vehicle and chased the white vehicle .They were driving on the road to the airport. The police vehicle was driving at almost 120 km/hour but was unable to catch up to the van. Suddenly, the van turned north on to an unpaved roadway. The officers continued the pursuit. The van drove for approximately a hundred meters more. There was a big hole by the side of the road which the van fell into as the driver had lost control of the van, then it rolled upside down into a deep ditch on the south side of the roadway at grid reference 184-846. The officers stopped their vehicle on the opposite side of the roadway and proceeded cautiously toward the offender's vehicle. When they were approximately two meters away form the white van type vehicle they could see that the offender was still in his vehicle but was not moving. There were no sign of blood or injury  to the offender .As the officers got closer they could see three bundles, approximately 35 cm by 20cm by 25cm in the rare cargo area of the vehicle . One of the bundles was ripped open and a dark green plant material was showing, the officers assumed that it was marijuana. The first officer proceeded to the front of the vehicle to check the physical condition to the driver. The offender was breathing but didn't respond to any of the officer's verbal commands.  The officer radioed for an ambulance and the offender was taken to the local hospital. The second officer searched the offender's vehicle and found another bundle under the front seat with a knife. The Knife was 20 cm long with old blood stains. There were no papers or registration found in the vehicle. All material were seized as evidence and taken to police station.

1.    What were the 2 officers doing at 0745 Hrs?
2.    Why did they ask the van to stop?
3.    What was their reason for stopping the van?
4.    At what distance behind did the police stop?
5.    How many bundles were seen?
6.    Approximately what speed was the van traveling when in pursuit?
7.    What did the officers assume it to be?
8.    Was the knife found before or after the suspect was taken to hospital?
9.    What distance did the van travel on the dirt road?
10.    How did the man crash the vehicle?
16.    GERMANY SOOTING

Germany was in shock yesterday after 19 years old, masked gunman shot 17 people, including two female students, before killing himself in a school massacre in the eastern city of Erfurt.
The black -clad gunman a recently - expelled student of the Gutenberg secondary school, burst into a classroom during an exam yesterday morning around 11 AM and started shooting with a pump action rifle mounted on his back. "He passed us in the corridor with out paying any attention and walked straight into the secretary's office and started shooting." He said. Witnesses said the gunman walked through the building, opening classroom doors and targeting staff, killing nine male teachers, four female teachers, a secretary and two female students all within minutes. Caretakers heard the shots and notified the local police. Two officers arrived on the scene and discovered two dead bodies in the entrance hall. Moments later the gunman appeared and opened fire, shooting dead one of the policemen. A special commando unit immediately surrounded the school, which has nearly 700 students. As the shooting continued, around 180 students were still trapped in the building. Commandos stormed the building shortly before noon and came upon what was described as terrible scenes. 'Bodies lay in the halls, in bathrooms and classrooms' said Mr.Rainer Grube, a police spokesman. The gunman, who had barricaded himself into a room, shot himself as officers approached. 'The gunman killed himself when he saw that there was no way out for him' said Mr., Grube.
    For the students trapped inside the building, their ordeals ended nearly three hours later when they were led, pale and shaking, out of the school to worried parents at the gate. They were all receiving counseling yesterday evening, while four people injured in the attack were brought to hospital. Police were last night still investigating students reports that there was a second gunman. They had no motive for the shootings yesterday evening. Friends of the as yet unidentified gunman described him as an intelligent student who was ' full of life' and often spoke of his wish to become famous. The massacre is one of the most violent attacks in German post -war history, and ranks alongside the 1996 school shooting in Dunblane and the 1999 massacre in Columbine , Arkansas. Yesterday evening Erfurt residents were in shock and German politicians speechless .
'We are stunned at this horrific crime. No explanation we could give would go far enough right now ' said the Chancellor, Mr. Gerhard Schroeder, expressing his sympathy for the families of the victims and the students who witnessed the attack. He ordered the German flag on the Reichstag in Berlin to flown to be flown at half mast. 'We are all in one room .One teacher is dead, we are crying.



1.    Which two other massacres are mentioned?
2.    How many people were injured in the attack?
3.    What time did the shooting start?
4.    What weapons were used?
5.    How many teachers were killed?
6.    Did the gunman target students?
7.     Who notified the police about the shooting?
8.    Who stormed the building and when?
9.    How many police men entered the building initially?
10.    How long it take to gunman to kill the people and was there only one gunman?



17.  DEAD BODY FOUND

Mr. John Edwards lives alone in his cottage in the southern part of Cambridge, UK. He was a retired officer who previously worked for the finance office which was based in London. He had been retired for 5 years now and spent most of his time in Cambridge. He had worked for 34 years and during that time lived in London. By the sides of his cottage, there was a husband and wife living who used to work for Mr. Edwards. The woman would cook his meals and the man would attend to the garden. Mr. Edwards had no close family or friends who would come to visit him regularly .On December 15 , 2002 ,Mr. Edwards was found dead in his study at 0700 hrs. His body was fund by the woman who did his cooking. She had informed the police when she had seen him lying on his desk at 0700hrs. All the doors were closed from the inside so the woman thought in quite suspicious so she looked through the window. This is when she saw Mr. Edwards at his desk. When the police arrived at 0730 hrs. They broke open the door and checked the body. Mr. Edwards was confirmed dead and his body sent for post mortem. By the side of the table there was a bottle and a letter which said that he was taking his life as he was fed up and didn't see any future in continuing. All these materials were sent to the police lab for the necessary testing. The reports all confirmed that Mr. Edwards did take the poison, traces of which were found in his blood and on his lips. On the latter, apart from Mr. Edward's finger prints, there were other prints found as well. When the police checked up they found that it belonged to the husband the woman who cooked for Mr. Edwards. The police found this very suspicious as the husband had said that he never came into the study at any time. The police brought the man in for questioning and under interrogation he at first denied that he had gone to the house ant any time. After 2 hours, he changed his story and said that he
          Comment on The unique role of the World Bank in promoting and financialising Microfinance by Benjamin Onigbinde        
Microcredit financing still remain a very strong tools to reduce poverty especiallyin a country like Nigeria where their is hugh inequality in income distribution. What we really need a unique model for microfinance subject to each political and economic environment.
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Hi, My sister bought the IOCO phone. She can't browse with it as the browser only opens in Chinese. How can we get the English? Hope to hear from you. Nigeria...
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          Review: Development Projects Observed        
Albert O. Hirschman wrote this book in 1967 with the permission of his home university (Harvard), the funding of the Brookings Institution and Carnegie Institute, and the cooperation of the World Bank, which provided access to their projects in El Salvador, Ecuador, Ethiopia, India, Italy, Nigeria Pakistan, Peru, Thailand, and Uruguay.

In his preface (p xi), he notes a key finding of his research:
In the end, my argument amounted to denouncing attempts at trait-making [proposing and implementing a project that may not fit with local conditions] under certain conditions. Some narrow-latitude tasks simply go beyond the capacity of a society as presently constituted and are therefore likely to end in failure.
This passage previews what promises to be an insightful early critique of today's International Aid Community -- one that I have criticizedmany. times. It also indicates that this book is still well worth reading 50 years after its publication.

Perhaps the most important reason for reading this book is Hirschman's accessible and conversational style of connecting academic curiosity with realistic critique. You can already tell in the first few pages that you are reading the words of a man who has learned a few key lessons after seeing a lot -- as well as the words of a man who knows that his story is not the only one. Every "development project" has a unique character.

Hischman is known for coining new terms ("Exit Voice Loyalty"). Here, he coins "the hiding hand," which hides surprises that drive a project off its planned course and hides people's capacity to solve those complications. Hischman is therefore pessimistic that we know what we are doing but optimistic that we can actually achieve a lot despite that. When using this term, he is quick to contrast the bureaucrat with the entrepreneur, in that the former is more shy about taking a chance and less eager to innovate to prevent failure. These attitudes may determine the difference between bureaucratic failure and entrepreneurial success on the same project.

After introducing and discussing this idea, Hirschman has four chapters on Uncertainties, Latitudes and Disciplines, Project Design (trait taking and trait making) and Project Appraisal (the centrality of side effects).

I'm going to rush through notes for the rest of the book because (a) you should read it and (b) I'd write a LOT more if I merely described all the great insights in this book of less than 200 pages.

On Uncertainties, Hirschman warns that projects cannot be "copy pasted" when local conditions matter (e.g., irrigation schemes). From the opposite side, he suggests that projects that can happen "anywhere" are less likely to fail from unforeseen (local) conditions such as a division of labor among groups that do not talk to each other for political, religious or other subjective reasons that have nothing to do with the project. These divisions matter in any conditions but they make it much harder to "deal with the hiding hand" because groups see failure as a time to grab their share instead of look for a cooperative solution.

In Latitudes and Disciplines, he discusses how it may be useful to have "freedom to adopt" OR useful to lack that freedom, as options can facilitate compromise or make it harder to force compromise. Such situational circumstances can make or break a project, depending on its leadership. Leaders thus might work hard to help a project succeed to protect their reputation, but they may also choose a path that leads to larger harm. (This happened with the Metropolitcan Water District of Southern California when they built the Colorado Aqueduct in the 1930s and had no customers -- they supported sprawl via cheap water as a "solution" -- see my dissertation.)

Hirschman points out that corruption in construction need not lead to corruption in operation if construction and maintenance are separated. If they are both under one roof, then watch out -- especially if it's a monopoly service like energy, trains or irrigation! (He also makes the apt comparison of slums to planned communities, pointing out that slums are probably more efficient in delivering what their poor residents -- rather than planners or ideologues -- want.)

Under Project Design, he notes that a trait-taking project "takes as given" local conditions, which makes it more likely that the project will succeed by adding to those conditions, contra a "trait making" project that forces locals to fit the planners' vision. (See Scott on this issue.) He warns against projects that lack time or site constraints, as they are most likely to wander and attract corruption.

In Project Appraisal, he warns against aggregate benefit-cost analysis that ignores benefits to one group and costs to another or counts some costs but not others -- two themes I explored in this paper [pdf] on desalination projects.

Bottom Line: I give this book FIVE STARS for its interesting and entirely relevant of the process of designing and building the big projects that "develop" societies, projects that require a strong community to ensure that the commons are protected and extended for the benefit of all. I wrote this review in extreme haste, but don't let its brevity mislead. I plan to read this book again every year or so to remind myself of the big picture in human cooperation. You should too.
For all my reviews, go here.

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By Ignatius Okpara EBONYI, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Ebonyi State Governor David Nweze Umahi, has frozen all the bank accounts of the State owned University (EBSU), sacked the institution’s Bursar, Mr. Chris Nguta, and the institution’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU Chairman, Professor Ndubuisi Idenyi. The development followed the present impasse […]
          Een tweet van 5 miljoen        

Recent zagen we in de rechtspraak dat een tweet een schadeclaim van 5 miljoen kan veroorzaken. Wat was er aan de hand? Eneco wilde een van haar energiecentrales verkopen. Een Nigeriaans bedrijf toont interesse. Er volgen verkennende gesprekken en Nigerianen brengen een bezoek aan de energiecentrale. Eneco stelt een Memorandum of Understandig (MOU) die partijen […]

The post Een tweet van 5 miljoen appeared first on Mariska Aantjes.


          â€œGoverno è complice dei terroristi”        

Attacchi alle chiese, omicidi, stragi, fosse comuni. Nella Nigeria sconvolta dagli attacchi di Boko Haram, non si fermano le violenze degli estremisti islamici contro i cristiani. Solo durante lo scorso anno sono state circa mille le vittime dei Fulani Herdsmen Terrorists, l’organizzazione di estremisti islamici di etnia fulani, legata a Boko Haram e considerata la terza […]

L'articolo “Governo è complice dei terroristi” proviene da Gli occhi della guerra.


          â€˜I Don’t Have A Godfather Who Will Bankroll Any Tour Abroad’ – Brymo        

Olawale Ashimi, popularly called Brymo, has opened up on touring outside the nation and his plans towards it. Speaking with Thecable.ng, Brymo, said: “Who says I’m not interested in pushing my music outside Nigeria?” he asked. “There is a lot of effort being made. What you haven’t seen are my tours. You haven’t seen me […]

The post ‘I Don’t Have A Godfather Who Will Bankroll Any Tour
Abroad’ – Brymo
appeared first on Jukebox Music.


          Brymo Announces New Album, “KLĬTÔRĬS”        

Nigerian music sensation, Ashimi Olawale, popularly known by his stage name, Brymohas announced the release of his new album entitled, ‘KLĬTÔRĬS.’ Brymo, via his instagram page, shares anticipatory artwork of ‘KLĬTÔRĬS,’ that has been slated for release on May 9, 2016. The artwork posted by Brymo shows a halfNude woman with the skull of an animal over her face, flower petals covering her Brea5twith […]

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          2 - Seven Sisters        
Seven Sisters

You could blindfold yourself in Seven Sisters, spin around a few times, and throw a dart in any direction (although I wouldn't recommend it), and there is about a 4% chance that you will hit a musician with it. The place is positively teaming with them. Studios, and musician flat-shares, everywhere. And it is easy to see why. Firstly, it is a little "rough around the edges" Not in a bad way too. What it lacks in clean lines, 5 year plans and commercial aesthetics, it more than makes up for in atmosphere and vibrancy. It's unlike any other area in London.

The best part of Seven Sisters is undoubtedly West Green Rd. For several reasons. I am of the strong belief that any business why decides that their staff need to wear uniform in order to show the customer who works at the store is missing a trick. I can understand a huge chain store warranting them, for brand identity, etc. However, a better way to show your customers who runs the shop, and who they need to chat to is to simply make your presence known to the customers. And that, in a nutshell, is West Green Rd. Walk down the road, and many shopkeepers are standing in doorways. Some will say "Hello my friend, have a look around, best price for you my friend, best price....." They are all passionate, many of them will have their kids working on the weekend. Signs are handwritten on bright yellow and pink cards. There are only 4 chain shops on the road out of about 130-150. Let me just repeat that -  there are just 4. A fried chicken shop, a betting shop, an estate agents and a convenience store.   There is not one chain shop on the Tottenham end of West Green Rd. None. 

Here is something that says a lot about the area. There was a Pound Store there. (Not the big chain, an independent one). Someone set up a shop called "99p or less." In an act of business bravado that was mind-blowingly simple as it was brilliant, someone down the road set up the "98p shop". (Right now, in Tottenham, someone is plotting the opening of the 97p store...) It's that sort of place. Shopkeepers live on their wits, you can bargain with them.  I once bought 2 suitcases that were £35 each for £39 in total, and the shopkeeper seemed happier with my purchase than the guy before who paid full price for his parrot cage. Yep, a parrot cage and suitcases being sold in the same shop. That's West Green Rd. 

There is a road with 19 African churches on it too, Lawrence Rd. This isn't the longest road in the area by the way, you can walk it in about 4 mins. The local community centre is called the Bernie Grant Arts centre, and has the Marcus Harvey Library in it. Not some 16th century aristocrat who many people fire up wikipedia to find out who he is, but men who meant something to the people there, in the late Local Labour MP Bernie Grant, the first British Black politician, and Marcus Garvey, the Jamaican Political leader who died in 1940.

Some roads in London have an African shop. West Green Rd has a Ghanian shop, an Ethiopian Shop, a Kenyan Shop, etc. I used to work as a Butcher, and used to do shifts as a fishmonger on the side. There are fish shops selling fish I had never heard of there. Instead of the local travel shop having promotional deals to Barcelona, Paris and New York, instead there are trips in Nairobi, Kingston Jamaica and Akra. Now, I probably have more need of a cheap flight to New York, rather than Ghana, if I am honest - but the difference is that 99% of all of the travel agent shop windows in London show the prices to the same places. These ones do not. Instead of a package holidays, it's flights only. These people are not going away for a 2 week holiday in the sun, they are making a pilgrimage home. Not many people based in the area have family in New York, compared to Ghana, Nigeria and the Caribbean. Thus, these shops are actually representative of the area. The products they sell are actually tailored to the area, as opposed to being a homogenized Starbucks-Costa Coffee-Pizza Express parade of the usual suspects. 

What a novel idea!! They are shops by the people of the area, for the people of the area. Instead of a multinational company deciding what their customers want, and convincing them that they want it, these shops have a different approach. As the sign in a shop window a few weeks ago said: "We book tickets to anywhere. Ask Amin for details." Amin. Not "your local store manager". Ask Amin, he'll sort it out for you. There is no Starbucks. No "head of marketing and brand development." The guy who cashes up and signs the lease is the same guy who mops the floor at the end of the day. It is business as it should be, and as a business owner in the area, I have to admit that sometime I walk down the road, and get a great feeling from seeing these independent business owners go about their trading. And that is because I actually feel part of the community here. I feel that I am actually contributing to the area, and I feel that I know the other people that are too.

Another great place is the South American Indoor market that is right next to the entrance of Seven Sisters station. Its a fantastic indoor market, where the sellers and shop staff have personality and rapport with their customers. (I once went into a shop on the road, just outside the market, looking for a deal on some soft drinks, and the shop owner shouted down into the basement, "Dex? I'm sending a guy down to see you, sort out some cheap drinks for him. He's might order some extra stuff off us, so don't f**k up his order, right?" To be fair, he didn't f**k up my order, which I was glad for.) The shops might not be on the same scale as the Westfield, but nor should it be. The best selling point of the area as a whole is that, when people say to me "What's it like", it takes me about 3 mins to explain it all. It usually ends with me saying "Well, you should go there." Sure, many of the stores are a bit rundown, and need a bit of a clean up, but it's all part of the character for me.

Aside from this vibrancy, which is it's greatest selling point, there are other good points too. Transport is great. Central London in 15 mins. The buses are good. Night buses too. Many of the properties rival Northumberland Park in terms of size and quality. More bands that come to the studios come from Seven Sisters rather than any other area, and a lot of them are working in the city, or students, looking for more bang for their buck within the rental market. If you;re looking for that, as Bally Studios staff can personally testify, there are worse areas than Seven Sisters. 
 
Of course, the area is not perfect, not by a long stretch. There are prime buildings that have sat empty for 10+ years. The building that used to be the bank, right on the corner next to the station,and Wards Corner, the empty building opposite, both have huge potential. But alas, they have been empty for years, and that is sad. It is also very hard for the local shops to compete with the local Tesco. Maybe this is the reason that all of the shops that are in the area specialise in the sort of food that Tesco would not usually handle.

This part of Tottenham has been in the news recently, as many of the residents are concerned with plans to open a shopping arcade in the area. We have touched upon in in our Blog post in the area, and our views on the subject are mixed. On one hand, the jobs for the area will be great, and hopefully it might encourage people to visit the area. However it is also hard enough for the local businesses to survive while being in competition with Tesco, so we hope that this is taken into effect when the local council decide whether to press ahead with the plans, as it would be a real shame to lose so many of these great shops that already add to the area. More details are here. http://sevensistersregeneration.co.uk/

The Best Parts:
The shops of West Green Road.
Transport Links

Room For Improvement:
Let's hope that the council decides to make sure that the current South American Market can, in some way, be saved, while still redeveloping the area.


          Briefing with members of the Core Group and Civil Society on Adoption of Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty        
The United Nations Correspondents Association held a press briefing on Friday, July 7th with members of the UN Core Group (South Africa, Brazil, Austria, Nigeria) joined by delegates from the International Community of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition […]
           Exploring the enablers of organisational and marketing innovations in SMEs: findings from South-western Nigeria         
Ajayi, Oluseyi Moses and Morton, Susan C. (2013) Exploring the enablers of organisational and marketing innovations in SMEs: findings from South-western Nigeria. In: British Academy of Management 2013 Conference, Innovation Track, Managing to Make a Difference, 10-12 September 2013, Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool.
          The Morning Sound Alternative 06-19-2017 with Cary Wolfson        
Playlist:

David Crosby- Song With No Words Tree With No Leaves - If I Could Only Remember My Name
Emmylou Harris- Ashes By Now - Evangeline
Fraser DeBolt- Broad Daylight Woman - With Pleasure
The Staple Singers- NewBorn Soul - Faith And Grace A Family Journey 19531976
Bongos Ikwue- All Night Long - The World Ends Afro Rock Psychedelia In 1970s Nigeria
- voicebreak -
Rachael Price- Lagrimas Negras - The Good Hours
Jerry Garcia Band- Rubin And Cherise - Cats Under The Stars Expanded
Vince Guaraldi Trio- Cast Your Fate To The Wind - Jazz Impressions Of Black Orpheus Remastered
Chastity Brown- After You - BackRoad Highways
Richard Thompson Band- If Love Whispers Your Name - Live At Celtic Connections 2011
Dan Penn Spooner Oldham- Zero Willpower - Live Yomiuri Hall Tokyo 091299 personal Collection
Jake Shimabukuro- Oama - Travels
Toni Price- Just To Hear Your Voice - Swim Away
The Dells- Stay In My Corner - The Dells Ultimate Collection
King Curtis- Soul Serenade Live At Fillmore West - Dont Fight The Feeling The Complete Aretha Franklin King Curtis Live At Fillmore West
- voicebreak -
Duster Bennett- Jumping At Shadows - The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions
Psychedelic Guitar Circus- Jumping At Shadows - Great American Music Hall 930801
Phil Manzanera- Same Time Next Week - Diamond Head
- voicebreak -
Oscar Wilson- Farther Up The Road - One Room Blues
DON BRYANT- First You Cry - Dont Give Up On Love
Snowy White The White Flames- Midnight Blues - No Faith Required
The Allman Brothers Band- Its Not My Cross To Bear - Dreams Box Set
- voicebreak -
George Harrison- Beware Of Darkness - All Things Must Pass
Dead Co- Morning Dew - Dead Co Live Boulder 20170609
The Crickets- Not Fade Away - 20th Century Masters The Millennium Collection The Best Of Buddy Holly
Delaney Bonnie Friends- Goin Down The Road Feelin Bad - Motel Shot
- voicebreak -
ColwellWinfield Blues Band- Govinda - Cold Wind Blues


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/4/playlistDate/2017-06-19
          The Morning Sound Alternative 04-13-2015 with Cary Wolfson        
Playlist:

- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
Joan Baez- CuCuRruCuCu Paloma - The Complete AM Recordings
Dave Van Ronk- Dinks Song - Down In Washington Square The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
Ian Sylvia- Rocks And Gravel - Ian Sylvia Complete Vanguard Studio Recordings
Judy Henske- High Flying Bird - High Flying Bird
Richard Thompson Band- Here Without You - More Guitar
Dave Alvin- Dont Make Promises - Dave Alvin And The Guilty Women
Eilen Jewell- Dusty Boxcar Wall Live - Live At The Narrows
Tim Hardin- Go Bum Again - Remastered Recordings 19631980
Bruce Cockburn- Water Into Wine - Speechless
The TourRaichel Collective- Tidhar - The Paris Session
David Philips- Venomous Soul - If I Had Wings
Fairport Convention- The Lord Is In This Place How Dreadful Is This Place - What We Did On Our Holidays
John Renbourn Jacqui McShee- Nobodys Fault But Mine - Another Monday
Katie Webster Ashton Conroy- I Want You To Love Me - Rhythmnbluesin By The Bayou Mad Dgos Sweet Daddies Pretty Babies
Boz Scaggs- High Blood Pressure - A Fool To Care
Barbara Lynn- Cant Buy My Love - The Jamie Singles Collection
The Righteous Brothers- My Babe - Righteous Brothers The Definitive Collection
Pete Guitar Lewis- Louisiana Hop - Dancing Around The World Vol 3
BB King- Dark Is The Night Pt 1 - Do The Boogie BB Kings Early 50s Classics
Bobby Benson His Combo- Niger Mambo - Highlife On The Move Selected Nigerian Ghanaian Recordings From London Lagos 195466
Barrance Whitfield The Savages- Madhouse - Ow Ow Ow
Rhiannon Giddens- Up Above My Head - Tomorrow Is My Turn
Sam Cooke- Must Jesus Bear This Cross Alone - Sam Cooke With The Soul Stirrers
Jerry Garcia Band- Ill Be With Thee - Warner Theater 780318
Darlene Love- Lean On Me feat Lisa Fischer Jo Lawry Judith Hill - 20 Feet From Stardom Music From The Motion Picture
Donnie Hathaway- The Ghetto Part 1 single Version - Never My Love The Anthology
Savoy Brown- All I Can Do - Street Corner Talking
Grateful Dead- Easy Wind - Road Trips Vol 3 No 3 19700515
Lucinda Wiliams- It Aint My Cross To Bear - Live At Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2014
SPIRIT- Cosmic Smile - Cosmic Smile


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/4/playlistDate/2015-04-13
          Audit Manager at FrieslandCampina | Hot Nigerian Jobs        

FrieslandCampina is a unique multinational FMCG & B2B company aiming to stay successful in an ever-changing and increasingly complex world. We are unique because our suppliers, the farmers, are also our owners. Since we own the entire supply chain, from grass to glass, we can guarantee the high quality of all our products. We are […]

The post Audit Manager at FrieslandCampina | Hot Nigerian Jobs appeared first on Career Hob.


          Fund Account Officer at ARM Life Plc        

ARM Life is the Insurance subsidiary of Asset & Resource Management Company Ltd (ARM). Its parent company, ARM is one of the largest non-bank financial services firms in Nigeria with a focus on asset management. Established in 1994, ARM started operations as a traditional asset management company specialising in the management of quoted equities and […]

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          Audit & Risk Analyst at MainOne Cable Nigeria        

MainOne’s success is built on having talented and highly proficient people within their respective fields as the driving force behind our business A job in MainOne is different from any other you have had. With joining MainOne you’ll be challenged, inspired and proud as you become a part of something big. We are recruiting to […]

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          Internal Audit Head at a Highly Reputable Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Company        

A highly reputable Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company with major presence in the South-South, South-East region of Nigeria has urgent need to fill the vacant position below: Job Title: Internal Audit Head Location: Port Harcourt, Rivers Qualifications Applicants must possess/satisfy the following conditions: B.Sc/HND in Accounting or any other Social Science (Minimum of Upper […]

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          Internal Audit Officer at a Highly Reputable Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Company        

A highly reputable Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company with major presence in the South-South, South-East region of Nigeria has urgent need to fill the vacant position below: Job Title: Internal Audit Officer Location: Port Harcourt, Rivers Eligibility Criteria Applicants must possess/satisfy the following conditions: B.Sc/HND (Minimum of Upper Credit) in Accounting or other related […]

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          Senior Auditor (Internal Audit & Control) at a Leading Financial Services Company – Oscar Temple        

Oscar Temple – Our client is a leading financial services company. They offer a comprehensive range of services to corporate, commercial and individual customers both in Nigeria and via their intentional branch network. To support their continued growth and expansion they are recruiting for the following exciting role. We are recruiting to fill the position […]

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          Graduate Internal Control/ Audit Officer at Proportion Construction & Dredge Works Nigeria Limited        

Proportion Construction & Dredge Works Nigeria Limited is in the business of construction built on a foundation of hard work and dedication specializing in General Contracting, Construction Management, Design-Build, Consulting and Concrete. We diversify our strategy to span from Agency, Real Estate Development, Road/Rail and Bridge Construction to Dredging but we do so with a […]

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          KPMG Nigeria Audit Graduate Trainee Recruitment        

KPMG has worked for clients in the public and private sector in Nigeria and in several other countries, helping to transform business performance and operations. We are looking to hire young, vibrant and driven candidates to fill the position below: Job Title: Audit Graduate Trainee Auto req ID: 103455BRLocation: Lagos, Nigeria Function: Audit Job Description […]

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          Internal Control and Audit Officer at Verite Microfinance Bank Limited        

Verite Microfinance Bank Ltd is duly registered in the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Corporate Affairs Commission and licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a deposit-taking financial institution. Verite MFB takes pride in our strong, enthusiastic and youthful management team which gives us the ability to tirelessly go the extra mile and […]

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          Audit Executive (FMCG) at Lorache Group        

Lorache Group is a Marketing Management, Human Capital Development and Business Process & Strategist Consultancy Outfit, registered with Company & Allied Commission (CAC) of Nigeria to perform such businesses. We are recruiting to fill the position below: Job Title: Audit Executive (FMCG) Location: Lagos Job Description Complete audits which are risk based and factually accurate […]

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          Audit Officer at FIL Nigeria        

FIL, an international reputable leading cosmetic company, hereby invites applications from suitably qualified candidates to fill the position below: Job Title: Audit Officer Location: Nigeria Requirements Applicants for should possess at least; ICAN-AAT, B.Sc or HND in Management or Social Sciences. All applicants must have proficient knowledge of Ms Excel and Ms Word together with […]

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          Entry-level Inventory/Cylinder Monitoring Clerk at Air Separation Nigeria Limited        

Air Separation Nigeria Limited, a progressive indigenous manufacturing company seeks to employ a hard working and self-motivated individual to fill the vacant position below: Job Title: Inventory/Cylinder Monitoring Clerk Location: Lagos Responsibilities To perform audit checks on company cylinders in customers custody. To conduct daily cylinder stock count and maintain stock register. To maintain daily […]

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          Audit Executive at Lorache Group        

Lorache Group is a Marketing Management, Human Capital Development and Business Process & Strategist Consultancy Outfit, registered with Company & Allied Commission (CAC) of Nigeria to perform such businesses. Lorache works cut across multiple industries, including the consumer goods, finance, capital market, pharmaceutical, telecommunication, entertainment and leisure sectors etc. Basically, we develop integrated sales and […]

The post Audit Executive at Lorache Group appeared first on Career Hob.


          Internal Control and Audit Officer at Verite Microfinance Bank Limited        

Verite Microfinance Bank Ltd is duly registered in the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Corporate Affairs Commission and licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a deposit-taking financial institution. Verite MFB takes pride in our strong, enthusiastic and youthful management team which gives us the ability to tirelessly go the extra mile and […]

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          Account/Audit Officer at Benjamin Michaels Limited (BM)        

Benjamin Michaels Limited (BM) is one of Nigeria’s fastest growing Pharmaceutical marketing and distribution companies. With over eight years experience in bringing extensive bouquet of premium quality pharmaceutical products, we are positioned to be a leading brand in healthcare services. We market and distribute pharmaceutical products that meet international standards. We are recruiting to fill […]

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          Project Manager (Asset Audit and Tagging) at IHS Towers        

IHS Towers is the largest independent mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  Founded in 2001, IHS provides services across the full tower value chain – colocation on owned towers, deployment and managed services. Today IHS Towers has operations in Nigeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Zambia and Rwanda. Following the recent acquisitions […]

The post Project Manager (Asset Audit and Tagging) at IHS Towers appeared first on Career Hob.


          Internal Audit Officer at Graceco Limited        

Graceco Nigeria Limited is a food processing and manufacturing company which specializes in consumer goods and the production of input for bakers and the confectionary industry. We are recruiting to fill the position below: Job Title: Internal Audit Officer Location: Lagos Position Description The Internal Audit Officer position is created for experienced auditors: auditors who […]

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          Internal Control and Audit Officer at Verite Microfinance Bank Limited        

Verite Microfinance Bank Limited is duly registered in the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Corporate Affairs Commission and licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a deposit-taking financial institution. We are recruiting to fill the vacant position below: Job Title: Internal Control and Audit Officer Location: Lagos Job Descriptions Manage operations of audit […]

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          Internal Control and Audit Officer at Verite Microfinance Bank Limited        

Verite Microfinance Bank Ltd is duly registered in the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Corporate Affairs Commission and licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a deposit-taking financial institution. Verite MFB takes pride in our strong, enthusiastic and youthful management team which gives us the ability to tirelessly go the extra mile and […]

The post Internal Control and Audit Officer at Verite Microfinance Bank Limited appeared first on Career Hob.


          Compliance Specialist, Assurance – Audit Risk Management at Deloitte Nigeria        

Deloitte is the largest private professional services network in the world. Every day, approximately 245,000 professionals in more than 150 countries demonstrate their commitment to a single vision: to be the standard of excellence, while working towards one purpose to make an impact that matters. In Nigeria, Deloitte is a leading professional services firm, providing […]

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          Manager Audit Risk & Compliance at MTN Nigeria – Nationwide        

MTN Nigeria – The leader in telecommunications in Nigeria, and a part of a diverse community in Africa and the Middle East, our brand is instantly recognisable. It is through our compelling brand that we are able to attract the right talents who we carefully nurture by continuously improving our employment offerings even beyond reward […]

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          Forensic Auditor at the Obafemi Awolowo University        

The Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-lfe, is a comprehensive public institution established in 1962 as the University of Ife by the government of the then Western Region of Nigeria. We are recruiting to fill the position below: Job Title: Forensic Auditor Location: Ile-Ife, Osun Job Description We require the services of Firms of Auditors to carry […]

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          Audit-Internal Control Officer at Lily Hospitals Limited        

Lily Hospitals Limited, established since 1986 remains one of the most prosperous hospitals in Nigeria and within the South-South region of the country. It is the first private hospital in Nigeria to achieve ISO 9001:2000 quality management system certification from the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON). We are also consistently committed to high standards; continuous […]

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          Internal Control and Audit Officer at Verite Microfinance Bank Limited        

Verite Microfinance bank ltd is duly registered in the federal republic of Nigeria by the corporate affairs commission and licensed by the central bank of Nigeria as a deposit-taking financial institution. Verite MFB takes pride in our strong, enthusiastic and youthful management team which gives us the ability to tirelessly go the extra mile and […]

The post Internal Control and Audit Officer at Verite Microfinance Bank Limited appeared first on Career Hob.


          Audit Executive (FMCG) at Lorache Group        

Lorache Group is a Marketing Management, Human Capital Development and Business Process & Strategist Consultancy Outfit, registered with Company & Allied Commission (CAC) of Nigeria to perform such businesses. Lorache works cut across multiple industries, including the consumer goods, finance, capital market, pharmaceutical, telecommunication, entertainment and leisure sectors etc. Basically, we develop integrated sales and […]

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          External Auditor at Plan International        

Plan International – Founded in 1937, Plan International is a development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan International Nigeria is part of the global federation of Plan International registered in Nigeria in 2014. Plan International works in 70 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Plan International’s Global […]

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          Audit Executive (FMCG) at Lorache Group        

Lorache Group is a Marketing Management, Human Capital Development and Business Process & Strategist Consultancy outfit, registered with Company & Allied Commission (CAC) of Nigeria to perform such businesses. Lorache works cut across multiple industries, including the consumer goods, finance, capital market, pharmaceutical, telecommunication, entertainment and leisure sectors etc. Basically, we develop integrated sales and […]

The post Audit Executive (FMCG) at Lorache Group appeared first on Career Hob.


          Specialist, Financial Audit at Deloitte Nigeria        

Deloitte Nigeria – Our client is a development finance institution positioned to empower more micro, small and medium enterprises across Nigeria. The institution is set up as a private sector driven wholesale financial institution aimed at increasing access to finance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through eligible financial intermediaries In view of the […]

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          Head, Internal Audit at Deloitte Nigeria        

Deloitte Nigeria – Our client is a development finance institution positioned to empower more micro, small and medium enterprises across Nigeria. The institution is set up as a private sector driven wholesale financial institution aimed at increasing access to finance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through eligible financial intermediaries. In view of the […]

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          Head, Business Development at a Private Security Services Company – KPMG Nigeria        

KPMG Nigeria – Our client is a leading indigenous player in the private security services space with clients across various sectors including oil and gas, banking, telecommunications and public sectors. In line with the Company’s desire to ensure that key roles are filled by best in class talent with the requisite skills and experience, the […]

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          External Auditor at Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin        

AI-Hikmah University was licensed by the Federal Government of Nigeria in January, 2005. It is a faith-based, private, conventional University where learning is well blended with morality. The University is committed to the development of highest academic standards both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It aims at providing high moral standard and academic excellence for […]

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          Internal Control and Audit Officer at Verite Microfinance Bank Limited        

Verite Microfinance Bank Limited is duly registered in the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Corporate Affairs Commission and licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a deposit-taking financial institution. Verite MFB takes pride in our strong, enthusiastic and youthful management team which gives us the ability ttirelessly gthe extra mile and deliver financial […]

The post Internal Control and Audit Officer at Verite Microfinance Bank Limited appeared first on Career Hob.


          Internal Auditor at Fadac Resources        

Fadac Resources – Our client is a large consumer electronic distribution conglomerate with branches scattered all around Nigeria and have more than 1000+ trade partners established over 30 years of business. Due to current expansion, we are recruiting to fill the position below: Job Title: Internal Auditor Location: Lagos Reports to Financial Controller Job Description […]

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          Senior Internal Audit Manager at an Indigenous Executive Jet Service Operator        

An indigenous executive jet service operator that offers outstanding executive aviation services for business and leisure to individuals and organisations within Nigeria and other parts of the world is recruiting for smart and intelligent talents to join her highly motivated workforce in Lagos in the below position: Job Title: Senior Internal Audit Manager Location: Lagos […]

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          Graduate Internal Control Associate at House of Tara International        

House of Tara International – We are House of Tara, the largest brand in the beauty and cosmetics industry out of Africa. We currently have over 20 branches in states across Nigeria and have sales presence in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa. Our company takes pride in not just beauty consultation, but in empowering women, […]

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          Systems Auditor at Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc (ITMB)        

Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc (ITMB) was licensed in 2002 and started business operations in 2003, precisely, 14 years ago. Its registered trade mark – Infinity Homes is a reflection of the strong desire of the Bank to create endless opportunities for shelter for every category of Nigerians. We are recruiting to fill the vacant […]

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          Internal Audit Manager at the Place        

The Place – We are a fast growing, world class, and dynamic, multi-billion Nigerian conglomerates, established and managed by a team of professionals with decades of management consulting and accounting experience/ training from Arthur Andersen (now KPMG in Nigeria). We are presently into restaurants, hotel, and nightclubbing. We are opening new outlets in Lagos and […]

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          Team Lead Internal Audit Job at MTN Nigeria        

MTN Nigeria – The leader in telecommunications in Nigeria, and a part of a diverse community in Africa and the Middle East, our brand is instantly recognisable. It is through our compelling brand that we are able to attract the right talents who we carefully nurture by continuously improving our employment offerings even beyond reward […]

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          Manager, Internal Audit at MTN Nigeria        

MTN Nigeria – The leader in telecommunications in Nigeria, and a part of a diverse community in Africa and the Middle East, our brand is instantly recognisable. It is through our compelling brand that we are able to attract the right talents who we carefully nurture by continuously improving our employment offerings even beyond reward […]

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          Auditor – IT Audit at MTN Nigeria        

MTN Nigeria – The leader in telecommunications in Nigeria, and a part of a diverse community in Africa and the Middle East, our brand is instantly recognisable. It is through our compelling brand that we are able to attract the right talents who we carefully nurture by continuously improving our employment offerings even beyond reward […]

The post Auditor – IT Audit at MTN Nigeria appeared first on Career Hob.


          Auditor – IT Audit Job at MTN Nigeria        

MTN Nigeria – The leader in telecommunications in Nigeria, and a part of a diverse community in Africa and the Middle East, our brand is instantly recognisable. It is through our compelling brand that we are able to attract the right talents who we carefully nurture by continuously improving our employment offerings even beyond reward […]

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          Internal Auditor at a Reputable Hospitality/ Construction Company        

A reputable Hospitality/ Construction company seeks to recruit suitably qualified candidates for the position below: Job Title: Internal Auditor  Location: Any City, Nigeria Requirements B.Sc/HND in Accounting/Finance Professional certification will be added advantage At least 5 years proven work experience as Internal Auditor Advanced computer skills on MS Office, accounting software and databases Attention to […]

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          Internal Audit Manager at Somotex Nigeria Limited        

Somotex Nigeria Limited (a division of Mohinani Group of Companies) is a large consumer durable distribution conglomerate with more than 1000+ trade partners. Establised in 1997, Somotex is run by experienced professionals in industry. Our business model goes beyond fulfillment to provide our customers and suppliers a unique combination of operational excellence and service efficiency. […]

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          Audit Supervisor at Lafiagi Sugar Company – BUA Group        

Lafiagi Sugar Company , a subsidiary of BUA Group, a leading Foods & Infrastructure Conglomerate in Nigeria with diversified investments spanning key sectors of the Nigerian sector. Lafiagi Sugar Company was established as a joint venture between the Federal Government and Mehta Group of India. The multi- billion naira sugar company is located in Lafiagi, […]

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          Internal Auditor at a Fast Growing LED Lighting Company – Abuja, Kano and Lagos        

A fast growing LED lighting company with her head office in Lagos, and branches in Nigeria and a West African country urgently requires the services of serious minded, competent, qualified and well experienced candidates to fill the position below: Job Title: Internal Auditor Locations: Abuja, Kano and Lagos Qualifications Minimum requirement of B.Sc/HND Minimum of […]

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          Assistant Manager, Internal Audit at Society for Family Health (SFH)        

Society for Family Health (SFH) is one of the leading public health NGOs in Nigeria, implementing programmes in reproductive health, HIV&AIDS prevention, and maternal and child health. SFH works in partnership with the Federal and State Governments of Nigeria, the British Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), […]

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          Senior Officer, Internal Audit at Society For Family Health (SFH)        

Society for Family Health (SFH) is one of the leading public health NGOs in Nigeria, implementing programmes in reproductive health, HIV&AIDS prevention, and maternal and child health. SFH works in partnership with the Federal and State Governments of Nigeria, the British Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), […]

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          Senior/Experienced Executive – Tax and Regulatory Services at Deloitte Nigeria – Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt        

Deloitte is the largest private professional services network in the world. Every day, approximately 245,000 professionals in more than 150 countries demonstrate their commitment to a single vision: to be the standard of excellence, while working towards one purpose to make an impact that matters. In Nigeria, Deloitte is a leading professional services firm, providing […]

The post Senior/Experienced Executive – Tax and Regulatory Services at Deloitte Nigeria – Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt appeared first on Career Hob.


          Risk, Internal Control, and Audit Officer Job at Oando Gas and Power Limited        

Oando Gas and Power Limited is developer of Nigeria’s foremost natural gas distribution network and captive power solutions. We pioneered the private sector piping and distribution of natural gas to industrial and commercial consumers, successfully reviving private sector participation in the gas distribution business in Nigeria. With 120km of pipeline already laid in Lagos State […]

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          Konstbiennalen i Venedig: höjdpunkter        
Tillsammans med min bättre hälft besökte jag konstbiennalen i Venedig över midsommar. Vi bytte sill, nubbe och små grodorna mot modern konst, renässansarkitektur och magiskt medelhavsljus.

Konstbiennalen arrangeras vartannat år på två platser strax väster om Marcusplatsen - Giardiniparken och Arsenale, som är ett gammalt skeppsbyggeri. I år hade många av de nationella salongerna flyttat ut till olika platser runtom i Venedig, vilket visade sig vara ett bra tillfälle att också få se några av stadens fantastiska palats från insidan.

Årets biennal har titeln All The World's Futures och har ett starkt politiskt tema. Curator är den nigeriansk-amerikanske Okwui Enwezor och han är den förste afrikanen någonsin som fått uppdraget.

De stora globala politiska utmaningarna är både svåra och ödesmättade, och intrycket av biennalen är därefter, men samtidigt är den kreativa kraften och den politiska medvetenheten och viljan så genomgående stark att vi ändå lämnade Venedig med en mäktig känsla av att förändring är möjlig.

Hela den centrala utställningen i Giardiniparken var egentligen en höjdpunkt i sig eftersom den lyckades förena skilda och ibland rentav motstridiga politiska problem till en samlad helhet med ett poetiskt och känsligt tilltal långt från det tröttsamt plakatpolitiska. Det första som möter en när man kommer in i den stora lokalen är en rund vestibul där italienaren Fabio Mauris verk om exil ställs ut. En vägg av resväskor och tillhörigheter står mitt i rummet, och på väggarna hänger målningar och tryck som på olika sätt beskriver frasen "the end".


I nästa lilla rum spelas franske Christian Boltanskis videoverk "Den hostande mannen" från 1969 upp, en mardrömslik sekvens som förmedlar stark oro och ångest och som satte en stämning som var svår att skaka av sig.


Några rum senare står och hänger egyptiskanInji Aflatouns och peruanskan Elena Damianis verk i samma sal. Aflatuon är influerad av bland annat expressionism och beskriver arbetslivets hårdhet med mjuk drömsk pensel. Damiani ställer ut skulpturer och teckningar som på olika sätt tematiserar utnyttjandet av naturresurser i Peru - jag gillade verkligen hennes pelarskulpturer om gruvbrytning.

Inji Aflatoun

Efter en högersväng (no pun intended) kommer så Isaac Juliens maratonhögläsning av Das Kapital, i byggnadens centrala auditorium. Ett antal skådespelare turas om att läsa alla tre banden av Kapitalet från pärm till pärm under biennalens åtta månader. Knappast ett effektivt sätt att tillägna sig Marx men en mäktig manifestation av en bok vars betydelse för många av biennalens verk naturligtvis är stor.


Det konstverk som gjorde överlägset störst intryck på mig var australiskan Emily Kame Kngwarreye "Earth's creation" - en enorm målning, säkert sex gånger tre meter, som med mängder av små färgpunkter tycks avbilda en sprakande ursoppa, en sammansmältning, samhörighet, flöden, eller bara skogen efter ett regn. Att stå framför den var en existentiell upplevelse och effekten var kanske lite lik den som Ove Wikström i filmen "Trädälskaren" beskriver att träd kan ha - att målningen aktiverar ett själsligt minne av en rest, en skärva av sorg över något som gått förlorat. Mer om konstnären här.




Emily Kame Kngwarreye

          Boko Haram masacra a 31 pescadores en Nigeria        

Nigeria (Rasainforma.com).- Al menos 31 pescadores del lago Chad, murieron el fin de semana a manos del grupo extremista “Boko Haram”, indicaron este lunes fuentes locales. De acuerdo con la agencia AFP, un grupo de combatientes yihadista irrumpieron en las islas del lago y masacraron a los pescadores instalados en el lugar. “Boko Haram atacó las islas de Duguri y Dabar Wanzam y mataron […]

La entrada Boko Haram masacra a 31 pescadores en Nigeria aparece primero en MiMorelia.com.


          Killing us softly         

A recent public outcry in China, sparked by a damning documentary about air pollution, was based on well-founded fear:

Of the 100 million people who viewed the film on the first day of its online release, 172,000 are likely to die each year from air pollution-related diseases, according to regional trends.* 

Worldwide, pollution kills twice as many people each year as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,** but aid policy has consistently neglected it as a health risk, donors and experts say. 

Air pollution alone killed seven million people in 2012, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures released last year, most of them in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Asia Pacific region.*** 

In a self-critical report released late last month the World Bank acknowledged that it had treated air pollution as an afterthought, resulting in a dearth of analysis of the problem and spending on solutions. 

“We now need to step up our game and adopt a more comprehensive approach to fixing air quality,” the authors wrote in Clean Air and Healthy Lungs. “If left unaddressed, these problems are expected to grow worse over time, as the world continues to urbanise at an unprecedented and challenging speed.”

A second report released last month by several organisations – including the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, an international consortium of UN organisations, governments, development banks, NGOs and academics – also called for more funding towards reducing pollution. 

“Rich countries, multilateral agencies and organisations have forgotten the crippling impacts of pollution and fail to make it a priority in their foreign assistance,” the authors wrote. 

Housebound in China 

A dense haze obstructs visibility more often than not across China’s northern Hua Bei plain and two of its major river deltas. Less than one percent of the 500 largest cities in China meet WHO’s air quality guidelines. Anger over air pollution is a hot topic among China’s increasingly outspoken citizenry.  

“Half of the days in 2014, I had to confine my daughter to my home like a prisoner because the air quality in Beijing was so poor,” China’s well-known journalist Chai Jing said in Under the Dome, the independent documentary she released last month, which investigated the causes of China’s air pollution.

The film was shared on the Chinese social media portal Weibo more than 580,000 times before officials ordered websites to delete it. 

Beyond the silo

Traditionally left to environmental experts to tackle, the fight against pollution is increasingly recognised as requiring attention from health and development specialists too. 

“Air pollution is the top environmental health risk and among the top modifiable health risks in the world,” said Professor Michael Brauer, a public health expert at the University of British Columbia in Canada and a member of the scientific advisory panel for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a consortium of governments and the UN Environment Programme. “Air pollution has been under-funded and its health impacts under-appreciated.”

Pollution – especially outdoor or “ambient” air pollution – is also a major drag on economic performance and limits the opportunities of the poor, according to Ilmi Granoff, an environmental policy expert at the Overseas Development Institute, a London-based think tank. It causes premature death, illness, lost earnings and medical costs – all of which take their toll on both individual and national productivity.

“Donors need to get out of the siloed thinking of pollution as an environmental problem distinct from economic development and poverty reduction,” Granoff said. 

Pollution cleanup is indeed underfunded, he added, but pollution prevention is even more poorly prioritised: “It’s underfunded in much of the developed world, in aid, and in developing country priorities, so this isn’t just an aid problem.”

Mounting evidence 

Pollution kills in a variety of ways, according to relatively recent studies; air pollution is by far the most lethal form compared to soil and water pollution. 
 

Microscopic particulate matter (PM) suspended in polluted air is the chief culprit in these deaths: the smaller the particles’ size, the deeper they are able to penetrate into the lungs.  Particles of less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5) are small enough to reach the alveoli, the deepest part of the lungs, and to enter the blood stream.  

From there, PM2.5 causes inflammation and changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood clotting processes - the precursors to fatal stroke and heart disease.  PM2.5 irritates and corrodes the alveoli, which impairs lung function - a major precursor to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also acts as a carcinogen.

Most research looks at long-term exposure to PM2.5 but even studies looking at the hours immediately following bursts of especially high ambient PM2.5 (in developed countries) show a corresponding spike in life-threatening heart attacks, heart arrhythmias and stroke.

Asia worst affected

The overwhelming majority - 70 percent - of global air pollution deaths occur in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions.  South Asia has eight of the top 10 and 33 of the top 50 cities with the worst PM concentrations in the world.  

 

WHO says a city’s average annual PM levels should be 20 micrograms per cubic meter.  But cities such as Karachi, Gaborone, and Delhi have yearly PM averages above 200 micrograms per cubic meter. 

The main source of PM2.5 in indoor air, or household air, is burning solid fuels for cooking and heating, using wood, coal, dung or crop leftovers - a common practice in rural areas of low and middle-income countries that lack electricity.  

Almost three billion people live this way, the majority in the densely populated Asia Pacific region: India and China each hold about one quarter of all people who rely on solid fuels. For these people, the daily average dose of PM2.5 is often in the hundreds of micrograms per cubic meter. 

Filling the gaps

Unlike many other health risks air pollution is very cost-effective to address, Brauer said. Analysis of air quality interventions in the US suggests a return on investment of up to $30 for every dollar spent. 

“We already know how to reduce these risks, as we have done exactly that in high income countries, so this is not a matter of searching for a cure - we know what works,” he said.

But the World Bank report said that unless it starts gathering better data on local air quality in LMICs, the amounts and sources of air pollution and the full gamut of its health impacts, “it is not possible to appropriately target interventions in a cost-effective manner.”

Granoff said there are also gaps in government capacity to monitor, regulate and enforce pollution policy. 

Beijing hopes to bring PM2.5 concentrations down to safe levels by 2030, and has said it will fine big polluters. 

The World Bank report said China is also charging all enterprises fees for the pollutants they discharge; establishing a nationwide PM2.5 monitoring network; instituting pollution control measures on motor vehicles; and controlling urban dust pollution.

But enforcing environmental protections has been a longstanding problem in China.

“Pollution policy will only succeed if citizens are aware of the harm, able to organise their concern [through advocacy campaigns], and have a responsive government that prioritises public welfare over the narrower interests of polluting sectors,” Granoff said. 

While more people die from household air pollution than from ambient air pollution, the latter – through vehicles, smokestacks and open burning – still accounted for 3.7 million deaths in 2012, according to the WHO. 

A change in the air

Kaye Patdu, an air quality expert at Clean Air Asia, a Manila-based think tank - and the secretariat for the UN-backed Clean Air Asia Partnership, comprising more than 250 government, civil, academic, business and development organisations - said the aid community is finally starting to recognise the importance of tackling air pollution.  

• Last year’s inaugural UN Environment Assembly adopted a resolution calling for strengthened action on air pollution.  
• WHO Member States are planning to adopt a resolution on health and air quality at the upcoming World Health Assembly in May. 
• The proposed Sustainable Development Goals, which will set the post-2015 international development agenda, address city air quality and air, soil and water pollution. 

None of the experts IRIN contacted could provide a breakdown of total aid spending on all forms of toxic pollution (air, water and soil pollution that is harmful to human health).  So IRIN asked each of the major global donors for their figures.  

Three responded.  

A back-of-envelope calculation of all reported spending on toxic pollution by USAID, the European Commission and the World Bank suggests that between them they committed about US$10 billion over 10 years. This does not include aid spending on the diseases that pollution causes. The World Bank’s spending figures eclipsed those of other the other donors. 

By very rough comparison, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, with half the death toll of air pollution, received $28 billion via public sector commitments to the Global Fund – the world’s largest financier of programs that tackle these diseases – over the same period, a fraction of total spending on these diseases. 

gh/ha/bp

*Based on WHO statistics for per capita mortality rates in the Western Pacific region in 2012. 

**The mortality figures for air pollution come from 2012 statistics and were released by WHO in 2014, while the figures for the infectious diseases come from 2013 statistics and were released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in 2014 (the Global Burden of Disease study).

***Includes deaths from both household air pollution (4.3 million) and ambient air pollution (3.7 million): the combined death toll is less than the sum of the parts because many people are exposed to both. 

For more: 

The relationship between household air pollution and disease

Ambient air pollution and the risk of acute ischemic stroke 

Cardiovascular effects of exposure to ambient air pollution 

Particulate air pollution and lung function  

Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and incidence of cerebrovascular events: Results from 11 European cohorts within the ESCAPE Project  

OECD's The Cost of Air Pollution report
 

101285 200901271.jpg Analysis Health Killing us softly Gabrielle Babbington IRIN HONG KONG Congo, Republic of Djibouti DRC Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Sudan Tanzania Uganda Angola Botswana Lesotho Madagascar Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Seychelles South Africa Swaziland Zambia Zimbabwe Benin Burkina Faso Cameroon Cape Verde Chad Côte d’Ivoire Equatorial Guinea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Colombia Haiti United States Bangladesh Cambodia Indonesia Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Myanmar Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines Samoa Sri Lanka Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam
          The big (unsustainable) export trade of wild pygeum bark from Cameroon        

The commercial supply of pygeum bark, obtained mainly from wild Prunus africana trees, is a product of African biodiversity. Pygeum trees occur in Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania, among other African co


          Davido at the Craneway Pavilion        
I was walking down Broadway when I saw posters plastered in a row on the windows of apparel store Suru advertising that Davido, one of Nigeria’s brightest star, was coming to Richmond’s expansive Craneway Pavilion for a show. My only communal experiences of listening to Davido’s music have been confined to African wedding dance floors so it’s a welcomed surprise to see the singer make a stop in the Bay Area.…
          Lyrics: Lawrence & DeCovenant – Onyedikagi ft. Mairo Ese        

I will bless thee while I live I will lift up my hands in thy name My soul shall praise Read More

The post Lyrics: Lawrence & DeCovenant – Onyedikagi ft. Mairo Ese appeared first on Free Naija Lyrics | Nigerian (Naija) Music Lyrics - MP3 Downloads.


          172 - Funmbi Omotayo        

Brilliant British-Nigerian comic Funmbi shares a fascinating take on his transition from the urban circuit to the mainstream, and his reasoning behind the move. We also explore the dynamic between hype, substance and longevity, and get schooled on the inner mechanisms of the cussing battles which he mastered as a child…

Support the show at www.comedianscomedian.com/donate

          Philosophy, Human Development and National Question        

What we know today as “philosophy” began as a cosmic inquiry into the nature of the universe as espoused by Thales of Miletus. Philosophy was then comparable to natural sciences; anchoring its major subject matter on the issue of change and permanence in the universe. The obvious discovery and wonder here, is that, behind this noticeable change in the universe, there is a certain unchangeable element, (urstoff). And the major problem becomes how this paradox of changeable and unchangeable phenomena can be resolved? While the solution to this dilemma is still being sought, Socrates shifted the attention of philosophy (with obvious reasons) from nature to ethical-political question, that is, to the issue of human development. It interests this essay, to find out, what exactly is human development, and why philosophy after Socrates considers human development as a more basic and more important issue than cosmic (or physical) development. In other words, why is human development the essence of every development and what is the contribution of philosophy to human development in Nigeria. And what is the relationship between philosophy, human development and national question in Nigeria fraught with corruption, insecurity, indiscipline, unemployment, etc.


          Role of Philosophy in Human Development in Nigeria        

It is indeed absurd to talk about development or impose on a human race a civilization without reference to Philosophy. Philosophy is a living subject which embraces all dialectical interpretations of life changes in society. It gives the hermeneutics understanding of reality by acting as a means to an end, through the interpretations of logical relations, ethical issues of categorical imperatives and methodological principles and concepts in our lives given situations. This paper therefore, intends to outline the issue of Philosophical importance to human development. The idea of development in the light of Philosophical postulations, ethical precision and statistics are required for human and scientific development. Philosophy in this perspective is the form and abstraction or the orientation man uses to interpret his world view. It has helped in the concept of human development, to a great deal of being in the epics of the humanitarian paradigm. Philosophy could be a genuine supporting tool for a harmonious existentialism in Nigeria, through proper restructuring of the polity, educational system, and judicial interpretations on the areas of retributive and distributive justice.


          Philosophy and Human Development: Nigerian Context        

Philosophy as we all know is the mother of all sciences and a universal discipline that directly enquires into the phenomena of life, while it concerns itself with the basic questions and problems confronting man and his existence and the environment in which he lives. It is a humanistic discipline that guides man and offers him the necessary prescriptions to cope with the challenges of life and existence for his well-being, that of others and for the nation at large. This article tries to relate clearly the sacred role of philosophy with regard to development. As an education of the mind it is a very powerful medium through which necessary skills can be acquired to cope with daily life’s prospects meaningfully. With philosophy, one develops a rational outlook on life that interrogates the basic assumptions and realities of life; the polis, culture, religion, etc. It grapples with the issues of human conduct and value system of the people to think clearly in traditional manner suitable for their culture about the problems on ground and seeks to proffer humane solutions. It enables a rational system of good behaviour and advices the government to permit the role of reason in its affairs. The philosophical education of the mind on the consciousness and the clarity of the fundamental principles (nation’s philosophy) upon which the governance of the nation is constituted helps to inculcate sense of nationalism, patriotism, loyalty and objectivity in the minds of the members, while it empowers them to be non-dogmatic but rational, coherent and act accordingly. To this effect, Philosophers believe that knowledge is power (scientia est potentia) through which one can conquer existential barriers, promote authentic existence and sustainable development. Ignorance on the other hand is an ailment that demotes the standard of life and impedes quality development. It goes to buttress the biblical saying that, “my people perish for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6). In the same vein, our people shrivel for ‘lack of philosophical ideas’ to analyze life’s phenomena properly and make thoughtful decisions that guide their actions towards proper development.


          Relevant Education for Sustainable Human Development in Nigeria: Nollywood’s Advocacy in Selected Video Films        

In human development, conscious efforts are made to enlarge people’s choices to enable them live a healthy and prolonged life, acquire knowledge, and have access to resources needed to earn a decent living. Obviously, sustained improvement in African human development still falls short of those experienced in other regions. Progress in African human development is majorly driven by education as against the experience of other regions where other factors dominate. Nollywood, the Nigerian video film industry, has played an active role in advocating the need for relevant education for all ages in Nigeria. This work attempts a discussion of Nollywood’s education advocacy for sustainable human development through the reading of selected films. The concept development communication is relied on for conceptual foundation; while the theory of knowledge gap hypothesis is adopted for theoretical backing. The methodology adopted involves documentary research and extensive viewing of relevant films which culminated in content analysis of the viewed films. It is observed that Nollywood has not performed so poorly in advocating education as the major sign post for human development in Nigeria. Yet, a lot more still need to be done. It is recommended that Nollywood filmmakers pay serious attention to the sociology of their craft. Government and the educational sector should sponsor educational films through concept placement options. The general public, particularly the academe, should see and explore the positive aspect of Nollywood rather than continue to treat the industry with contempt as was the case with the Onitsha market literature – the consequence of which we are still facing.


          An English-Igbo Translation of Palm Oil Production and Processing Terms for Human Development        

The Igbo speaking people are well known for Palm Oil production and processing in Nigeria. This occupation is one of the lucrative ventures among other trades or occupations for which the Igbo man expresses himself. With the recent technological advancement in the method of production and processing of palm oil, more English terms that do not exist in the Igbo language create communication problems. It is expected that Igbo farmers of South Eastern Nigeria be equipped with the Igbo equivalents of both the new and old terms involved in this venture for a balanced and free flow of communication. To achieve this objective, the technical terms involved in palm oil production and unit operations are documented (translated) from the English to Igbo language with the aid of different translation techniques. Method employed is a survey research. Data was also collected from five states of the South Eastern Nigeria, namely: Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, and Ebonyi states respectively. Findings of the study indicate that some English terms have no Igbo equivalents, which calls for the documentation of terms in this area. Again, some mediocre translators create terms indiscriminately without following the morphological rules involved in the process thereby making it difficult to comprehend. Moreso; some terms do not have its equivalents in the target language (Igbo). Based on these findings, it is recommended that the federal government of Nigeria should give the needed support for research development; the mass media should help in making newly created terms popular; translators involved in terminology should register with international organizations for unification of terminological neologism, etc. This research will be of great importance to farmers of palm oil production and processing, teachers and students in the area of study, the mass media and the general public for free flow of communication. The study was concluded based on the findings with summary, conclusion and suggestion for further studies.


          The Impact of Culture on the Development of a Child        

Culture performs a significant role in the development of a child. No individual develops outside the culture. The cultural background in which a child is brought up affects the totality of his life’s activities. It is the culture of the people that creates the folk that stipulates reasons for action. Notions already established by an individual as a result of these formation processes are difficult to change. The formed behaviour is a symbol of identity and could also be an obstacle to adaptation. The Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria have a landmark in child’s development. It is, however necessary to ascertain those cultural make-ups that could bring differences in character that marks off an individual from the rest of the same kind; and however a barrier or an advantage to human development.


          Nigerian Pidgin: A Means of Human Development        

Growth and development are the target of every human being. There are several avenues for achieving this said development and one of such means is through the development of a viable language that will aid in people’s effective communication for gains. This paper therefore explores the effective use of Nigerian Pidgin in the development of artistes in Nigeria’s entertainment industry. Data were generated from a library research. The study is based on systemic-functional grammar. The findings indicate that Nigerian Pidgin has offered many artistes the opportunity to showcase to the wider public their works. This in turn, improves their financial and social status. The research recommends that Nigerian Pidgin should be adopted and included among one of Nigeria’s official language.


          English Language, the Nigerian Education System and Human Development        

The role English language plays in human development in Nigeria is the focal point of this paper. Basically, language is the most frequently used and the most highly developed form of human communication. Through language, people interact, share ideas and express their feelings. Without language, man would be incapable of a sustained and result oriented thinking. Education is unarguably an essential instrument for change and human development. At different levels of schooling in formal education, students are equipped with life-long knowledge and skills that would enable them realize their full potentials as human beings. However, all forms of education (formal, informal and non-formal) are realized through language; hence, language and education are inseparable. In the Nigerian polity, English language plays the role of a second language, considering the multilingual nature of the country. English is also the language of instruction in the Nigeria education system. Not only is it the language of instruction, it is also a compulsory subject and a yardstick for evaluating a learner’s school performance. The normal teachinglearning process thrives on effective communication between the teacher and the learner. No matter how expertly, learning experiences are selected and organized, the ultimate objective of the teaching-learning exercise would not be achieved if the language of instruction is unfamiliar to the leaner. This is where English language comes in. English language is indispensable to education in Nigeria, thus, it is a veritable tool for human development.

Keywords: English Language, Veritable tool, Human Development, Education, and Nigeria


          Globalization, Culture and Human Development in the 21st Century Nigeria        

The world has been described as a global village due to enhanced global communication and interaction among people of different nationalities. Culture is not left out in this global interaction as there are available means or mechanisms through which ideas and information are exchanged among citizens of different countries and seekers of knowledge around the world. This paper examines issues on globalization and its impact on culture, cultural values and its implication on the 21st century Nigeria. In order to have a clearer understanding of the subject matter, the paper has been segmented into sub-headings, clearly stating the content analysis of the study. The objective of this paper is to carefully examine the impact of globalization on Nigerian culture and the effect on human development. It assesses the influence foreign culture on Nigerian children and the society at large, it considers the position and future of the Nigerian culture at the face of globalization. Careful assessment of these facts reveals some gaps on Nigerian culture and value system. This study has used secondary sources such as text books and journals. It has suggested the way forward considering the challenges faced by the Nigerian.


          Achieving Human Development in Nigeria through Philosophical Instruments        

The concept of human development conveys the thought of progressive unfolding of the entirety of the human person. It has as its end the attainment of the total well-being of an individual. However, often times, the end of human development appears truncated due to some existential circumstances surrounding the individual. Arguably, with the perceived Nigerian existential circumstances of maladministration that has led to extreme poverty, poor infrastructure, fallen standard of education, negative political proclivity in terms of ethnic chauvinism and religious bigotry, serve as albatross to authentic human development. The intent of this paper, therefore, is to argue the fact that through some core philosophical instruments, an individual in Nigeria can still attain total genuine well-being, human development.

Keywords: Development, Nigeria, Instrument, Philosophy


          Literature in Indigenous Language: Its Relevance to Human Development        

This paper attempts the examination of the relevance of literature in indigenous languages such as Igbo in human development. One of the major challenges of Nigeria is how to work out modalities that will enhance good human development. Human development has been defined as a process of widening people’s choices as well as raising the level of well-being. For this to be actualized there is need to carry out a re-orientation of the people’s general conception of process of development in terms of economy. The paper therefore argues that since human development have to do with human mind, literature (as genre) in indigenous language such as Igbo as a school subject at all levels of education and as well as reading it for leisure will obviously play important role in achieving good human development index. Igbo literature in the areas of prose, drama and poetry can play crucial role in sensitizing and orienting the people on the steps to take in other to achieve good human development index. The theoretical framework adopted for the study is Aristotle’s Rhetorical Theory. This literary approach is relevant to this study because it advocates that its concern is with the type of discourse whose chief aim is to persuade an audience to think and feel or act in a particular way in other to achieve the desired objective(s).It is hoped that this study will be useful to the government and students who are carrying out further research on human development.


          Christian Ethics in a Corrupt Society: A Challenge to Christians in Nigeria        

Christian ethics revolves around morality that concentrates on whether an action is morally good or bad. It implies that Christian ethics which is a branch of religious ethics ensures that people’s actions are in tandem with the acceptable moral standard, thereby contributing a lot in human moral development. It becomes worrisome that despite Christian ethics, corruption is perpetrated freely in Nigeria without those concerned having requisite moral Compunction to abstain from corrupt acts. This ugly situation diminishes the role of Christian ethics in human moral development. Therefore it has become necessary to examine the factors that militate against Christian ethics in Nigeria which has made it possible for people, particularly politicians to engage in all sorts of corrupt acts. The work made use of phenomenological approach. It was descriptive and analytical. The work used primary and secondary sources. The primary source includes observation while secondary sources include books, journals, internet materials, encyclopedia and so on. Despite the fact that Nigeria is predominantly Christians, Nigeria is classified as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. There is no doubt that most of the Christians do not apply Christian ethics in their workplace due to Colonialism, Secularization, Materialism, change of moral values, irreligious attitude, Family background, Western influence, Imported religion and so on.

Keywords: Christian, Ethics and Corruption


          Religion: A Vital Element for Curbing the Menace of Kidnapping in Nigeria for Human Development        

Human capital development has been the most powerful tool for national development; however, Nigeria has been weighed down by the menace of kidnapping which is militating against human development. Kidnapping of people for ritual or extortive or ransom purposes cut across all classes of people - children, foreign workers, traditional rulers government officials, religious leaders medical practitioners, lecturers, politicians and some commoners. This phenomenon has enriched the perpetrators who now contend with the nation in the arena of legitimate use of force and monopoly of violence. The menace of kidnapping is a reflection of moral decadence in Nigeria hence the need for religious studies which inculcate the right moral values such as honesty, hard work, value for life and good human relations which generate peace in the society. It also infuse sanity into the fast decaying nation, prevent the citizens from being social deviant, curb kidnapping and enhance human development. The aim of this paper is to emphasize on the importance of religious studies in curbing the menace of kidnapping. The method used in gathering information concerning this work is the secondary source such as text books, newspapers and electronic media. Findings show that poverty, social; deprivation, frustration – aggression unemployment, lack of youth empowerment and lack of moral values in the lives of many youth led to the menace of kidnapping there should be provision of employment and empowerment opportunities for youth and Religious bodies and the government should educate the masses on the sanctity of life and good human relations.

Keywords: Religion, Human development and kidnapping


          National Integration in Humanities and Development: The Way Forward        

This paper examines the following concepts nation and its attributes; national integration, development and social studies education. The paper also discusses the concept of national integration, theories of nation al integration and the problems of national integration in Nigeria. It further discusses the factors of disunity and under development, other nations have used social studies education in integrating their citizens for national development and prowess. The paper demonstrates how social studies education can be used in integrating the Nigerian citizens for national development. The paper concludes with recommendations.


          Gender Inequality and its Challenge to Women Development in Nigeria: The Religious Approach        

Obviously, discrimination with respect to gender inequality in Nigeria is at the apex in the contemporary era. Gender inequality is a socio-cultural phenomenon that divides people into various categories such as male and female with a very high bias placing one specifically less than the other. Here attention is given to the sorry and pitiable state of women in Nigeria under marginalization and suppression from the men in a bid to continually exercise undue superiority over them. However, this paper addresses the social status of women in Nigeria: how men have contributed to a slow state of development of Nigerian women via paid employment (socio-economic), socio-cultural, socio-religious and sociopolitical. This research looked at the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and its relevance to women development. Religious approach to gender inequality as a panacea to enhance the development of women in Nigerian nation was x-rayed. This research made used of historical method, books and journal articles were also consulted.


          Music Education: A Vehicle for Fostering Positive Youth Development        

In the contemporary Nigerian society, many youths are faced with various challenges. The inability of these young people to cope with these challenges result in all-risk behavior such as lack of confidence, low self-esteem, low motivation, etc. Over the years, indulging in music program has proved to yield positive results in the development of the youths. This paper attempts to investigate the outcome of youth’s participation in music programs. The paper argues that active engagement of the youths in music program can yield positive youth development rather than perceived deficits and risks behaviors. The paper is anchored on the positive youth development theory which focused on the positive assets young people bring to their engagement. It employs survey and library as its methodology and concludes by suggesting that since young people who have shown competency in music program exhibit more positive youth development, teaching and learning strategies and environmental supports that foster the development of youths should be emphasized.


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          Kenya's Reelected Leader Must End Horrifying Anal Exams        
Commentary

Will President Uhuru Kenyatta nudge his nation toward the future or keep it in the past?

WorldKenya&#039;s Reelected Leader Must End Horrifying Anal ExamsEric Gitari

Kenya, the economic and political powerhouse of Eastern and Central Africa, held an election this week to choose the fifth president of the country since independence. While the vote is still being contested by opposition leader Raila Odinga, it appears that incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta just won a second and final term. When it comes to defending the human rights of Kenya’s LGBTIQ citizens, Kenyatta’s record is critically important to our emerging democracy.

During President Obama’s visit to Kenya in 2015, Kenyatta said, “We share a lot of things, but gay issues are not among them. ... There are some things that we must admit we don't share. It's very difficult for us to impose on people that which they themselves do not accept. This is why I say for Kenyans today the issue of gay rights is really a nonissue." Kenyatta was responding to Obama, who emphasized the need for Kenya to stop discriminating against gays and lesbians, saying, “I've been consistent all across Africa on this. When you start treating people differently because they're different, that's the path whereby freedoms begin to erode. And bad things happen.”

During an interview with CNN in October 2015, Kenyatta underlined that what he meant when responding to Obama was not that gays have no rights. "I will not allow people to persecute any individuals, or beat and torture them," he said, adding that "we have to understand that these are processes and they take time ... and this is where I am saying we have to get synergies. You are not going to create the U.S., Great Britain, or Netherlands in Kenya, or in Nigeria or Senegal overnight."

President Kenyatta’s lack of leadership on LGBTIQ issues is of great concern. The unsupportive public statements have offered license to state officers who continue to harass and arrest gays and lesbians; political cover to those who deny LGBTIQ citizens access to medical, educational, and other social services; and a justification for hate crimes committed by the general public. The use of forced anal exams to “prove” homosexual activity stands out as a particularly brutal form of torture in this larger context.

From 2015 to March 2017, senior state officers in Kenya have been encouraging police to use forced anal examinations on suspected gay men and trans women to prove the crime of private consensual homosexual adult sex, which is punishable with 14 years imprisonment. The outdated practice, which has so far been perfomed on two of our clients and has been used as a threat on others, involves a doctor inserting fingers or objects inside the rectum of a detainee, measuring the anus to assess indications of penetration, or even simply spotlighting the anus to check for bruises or tears. This practice, which has been upheld as valid by the High Court of Kenya, only serves to degrade and humiliate suspected gay men, since no further medical analysis is performed to prove the penetration was the result of consensual sexual activity by another man. These tests serve no evidentiary value in proving the crime of private consensual homosexual adult sex, and they have been denounced by medical and forensic athorities around the world.

In Africa, forced anal examinations on suspected gay men and trans women have been reported in Tanzania, Egypt, Tunisia, Uganda, and Cameroon. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights noted in 2016 that forced anal examination constitutes torture. It has asked African states to respect Resolution 275 of the commission, which forbids violence and discrimination on the basis of real or imputed sexual orientation and gender identity. It also should be noted that Kenya has robust antitorture legislation, which defines torture to include the insertion of objects into sexual organs, including the anus. Unfortunately, there is little political will to extend the equal protection and equal benefits of such laws to gay men and trans women, who are now at risk of these forced anal examinations.

In this context, where there is no political will to enforce the law equally and where court appeals against the use of forced anal examinations languish in Kenyan courts, and with cases of blackmail, extortion, and detention of gay men and trans women on the rise, the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission of Kenya and the Council for Global Equality have asked the U.S. government to sanction those who are responsible for this barbaric practice. Together, we have lodged an application with the U.S. State Department under the Global Magnitsky Act to sanction senior Kenyan officers and medical professionals who are encouraging or performing forced anal examinations on suspected gay men and trans women, arguing that these practices amount to torture or cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment. We hope the public discourse that the Global Magnitsky application brings will shine a spotlight on the cruelty of this procedure, highlighting the pointless and irreversible injury it causes to the dignity of the victim. 

This is just one human rights issue that will determine Kenya’s commitment to democracy and the rule of law. President Kenyatta will have to show leadership in ending this act of torture and many other forms of violence and discrimination against LGBTIQ citizens. He must also engage diplomatically to avoid sanctions against senior individual state officers and to uphold the international reputation of Kenya as a regional leader when it comes to democracy and equality.

ERIC GITARI is the executive director of the NGLHRC-Kenya and an LL.M. student at Harvard Law School.

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          Peter M. Roese und sein Afrika-Thriller “Nigeria Connection” mit Allgäu-Bezug        
Hier kommt mal wieder ein kleiner Buchtipp: Peter M. Roese wurde 1944 in Erlangen geboren. Er hatte Glück, denn zahlreiche geschäftliche und private Reisen führten den Techniker rund um den Globus. In Nigeria und im Iran hat er einige Jahrre gelebt und gearbeitet. Ein gespitzter Bleistift lag immer parat … Ist es da verwunderlich, daß […]
          Cartoon Controversy: Cannon of “Free Speech” versus “Sword of Jihadism”        

Polarization is Fuelling Extremism and
Hindering the Spread of Democratic Values


Najah Kadhim*


The publication of the infamous cartoons about the
Holy Prophet (pbuh) in a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten,
and their republication in other European media have been
a setback for the spread of free speech and democratic
values in the Muslim world. They have also been a serious
obstacle to the attempts to narrow the gap between the West
and Muslim society.

In a world of tension, instability and globalization,
the need for a univision, a building of bridges between
people and a strengthening of common human values is of
the utmost importance. Instead, the row generated
in the aftermath of the publi­cation of the cartoons has
done exactly the opposite and has been hijacked by the
extremists on both sides. Reductionism, stereotyping,
generalization and simplifi­cation, as well as claims to
the “absolute truth” have become firmly entrenched
in their minds.

The radicals in the secularist camp have used the power
of the media to whip up the argument to promote emotional
venom in defence of “free speech”. Their action has been
matched by militant Muslims, who have used the power
of religion to mobilize mass gatherings around the
world and thus trigger waves of emotions, violence and
sloganeering against non-Muslims.
It is imperative that the wise, reasonable and moderate majority of both camps,
who believe in the common good of humanity, step in to isolate the Muslim and
non-Muslim radicals, restore the debate to a constructive dialogue, and prevent
any further damage to intercommunal relations.

The Secular Radicals
In the 1890s, the French newspaper La Libre Parole [Free Speech] ran a series of
articles and crude cartoons commissioned by its editor, Edouard Drumout, about
what it saw as the dominance of Jews in Europe in general and France in
particular. The campaign reached fever pitch in 1894, when Alfred Dreyfus, a
French artillery officer, was put on trial for treason, an event that split
French society.

Europe has had a unique history of turning on its minorities, culminating in the
greatest violence known to humankind, when 62 million people were slaughtered
during the Second World War. The Holocaust was Hitler’s attempt to exterminate
the Jews, who comprised the majority of the victims, though many other groups
were also put to death, including the Roma, Slavs, Greeks, and even Germans who
opposed the Nazi regime.

It is Europe’s history of intolerance, cultural singularity, racism and double
standards against minorities and the powerless, which worries Muslims and other
observers, who fear a repeat of these events. Indeed, there have already been
depressing developments in the early years of the twenty-first century with talk
of “exit strategy” and “the future of Muslims in Europe”. There is also the fear
of Islam and Muslims in the minds of some non-Muslims, who practise various
forms of bigotry against them. It is their anxiety about losing their power to
the influence of Islamic culture, which could explain the reaction of the
secularists to the affair of the cartoons in Jyllands-Posten.

The Danish newspaper, which had commissioned the cartoons, had fully anticipated
Muslim reaction, yet decided to go ahead with their publication. According to
the Guardian, it was the same newspaper that, in April 2003, rejected
unsolicited cartoons about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The editors decided
that the readers of Jyllands-Posten would not find the cartoons amusing and
their publication might well provoke an outcry.

The Danish episode, the republication of the cartoons in various European media,
the picture of the Prophet on a T-shirt worn by Roberto Calderoli at the Italian
Embassy in Libya (who has since been forced to resign), the reference to the
Prophet as a terrorist by the American Reverends Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson
in 2004: all these events have caused the Muslim community to regard the affair
as a deliberate insult. What has really stirred up Muslim emotions is not only
the pejorative depiction of the Prophet but also that the cartoons were designed
to humiliate and polarize Muslims and remind them that they are clearly Europe’s
latest “Other”. It is a blunt double standard applied by radicals belonging to a
civilized and secular society, where people of different backgrounds and faiths
are supposed to be treated equally and without injustice or gross violation of
their rights. Should one expect the principle of “freedom of speech” to be
extended to child pornography or jokes about mentally handicapped people or
obscene telephone calls, or the many other examples that been mentioned since
the beginning of this crisis?

Superficially, it is indeed a double standard. A closer analysis, however,
reveals it to be a barefaced show of power. It is clearly a form of domination
with a thin and flimsy veneer of something called “freedom of speech”. Its
adherents claim for it a sanctity that is not allowed to the Other. It can
invade the divinity of the Other at will with a fully muscled attack to preserve
its own sanctity. It claims the right to set its own standard and apply its own
criteria, yet that right is not granted to the Other.

This is a display of power, no more and no less. In the past, the cannon of fire
was used to invade and physically colonize Muslim lands en masse by means of
military might. Today, it is psychological colonialism using the cannon of “free
speech” from the European arsenal of media power. The Other has to be confined
to the Western way of thinking and the Western mentality and mind settings
dimension to qualify for membership of the “free speech” club and satisfy the
European power formula. Formerly, it was the enslavement of the land; today, it
is the enslavement of the mind.

Another manifestation of this power is the persistence of some Western media
personnel and politicians in using the _expression “Islamic terrorism”, implying
that Islam and terrorism are synonymous and, therefore, every Muslim is a
potential terrorist. This has created a situation in which no followers of other
faiths have had to endure such extreme alienation or suffer abuse by this power
so regularly. The feeble excuse given by the users of this _expression is that
all the terror groups in the Muslim world use the words “Islam” or “Islamic” as
part of their group names (despite the fact that the largest group is called
al‑Qa‘idah).

One might well ask if it is fair to attach such a description to a religion with
more than 1.3 billions adherents, simply because of the behaviour of a tiny
minority of militants. When Muslims hear the _expression “Islamic terrorism”, it
not only angers them consciously, but also implants feelings of frustration and
uneasiness in their subconscious. The antagonism that is provoked inclines
Muslims to be unreceptive to Western ideas or even to resist them, to encourage
extremism or the belief in the “war” of the West versus Islam. Is this not the
first step to the polarization of or the creation of tension between the two
camps? Are the Western media and politicians really unaware of the psychological
and social implications for Muslims when they refer to “Islamic terrorism”? Is
this _expression used by design or by accident? To me, the former looks more
plausible than the latter.

Even if this is the way for the Western media to deal with Muslims in distant
lands, it is certainly not, as the ideals and principles of freedom and
secularism suggest, the way to deal with Europe’s minorities, when more than
half of their members have been born and bred in Europe. Just because the Other
happens to be connected with the European historical subconscious about Islam or
is influenced by its geographical proximity to the Muslim world or its cultural
extension, it does not mean that European Muslims should be dehumanized.

We constantly hear of Europe’s belief in integration and of some governments
even following the path to multiculturalism. The reality, however, indicates
that even in politics, where pluralism can be seen in action, the homogenous
culture creates its own controversies and has to negotiate a long and bumpy road
to multiculturalism. There are still more challenges in the social and cultural
fields. Any minority culture that is understood according to its own merits and
on its own terms will produce constructive changes and modifications with a
positive reflection on society as a whole. When the dominant society uses a show
of force in any form to impose a set of values or rules, the result is changes
and modifications which are distorted and deformed and which push the minority
group to the margins of society.

Minorities will always be on the defensive, and their response to events will be
reactive rather than proactive. The reality of multiculturalism today is,
frankly speaking, little more than multicolourism. Western society has become
somewhat blind to the colour of the skin, yet no real power, no matter how
little, has been conceded. The West has still not reached the level of
inclusiveness that would be expected in a modern and mature civilization of the
twenty-first century. In practice, Europe is still culturucentric, in other
words, a complete monoculture continues to dominate others.

Furthermore, are not the Europeans ardent believers in human rights? Belief in a
faith and its sanctity is a human right. The violation of that right means that
the freedom to express its divinity and beliefs has been denied. Have human
rights not been enshrined by the United Nations and have somehow become blended
smoothly with local culture to produce global values? India and Japan are two
examples of this phenomenon. So, why do we so often hear about the
“incompatibility” of “Western values” with Islam? Although it is true that these
values originated in Europe, which deserves the credit for their humanity, yet
their propagation throughout the world since the end of the Second World War has
enabled them to develop a global identity and character.

However, the radical secularists continue to remind the Other that Western
values must be imposed, as pure western, because they are superior to anything
else. In reaction, the radical Muslims and the tyrannical rulers of the Muslim
countries hinder the establishment of the direct and indirect influences that
accompany the spread of these values. The fact that these values are promoted by
Western secularists (interpreted by the Other as Big Brother), generates from
the Other a type and level of resistance and violence resonant of the colonial
period. Indeed, following the row over the cartoons, there have been signs of
the strengthening of forces opposed to democracy and human rights in the Muslim
countries.

Philosophically speaking, the West in general, and Europe in particular, do not
believe in the absolute in theory or in practice. Since the Enlightenment, the
work and reasoning of European philosophers have focused on the relativism that
has effectively shaped modernism and postmodernism. The use of “freedom of
speech” in an absolute manner without any limits or conditions is contrary to
European tradition and represents serious contradictions in the thinking and
practice of its societies.

The publication of the photographs depicting American soldiers abusing prisoners
in Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad and the video film of British soldiers beating
Iraqi civilians in Basrah have fuelled an already volatile situation and
provided the radicals with the polarization and the collision course which they
have wanted and which has been implied by their behaviour.

Muslim Militancy
The “clash of civilizations”, an interpretation favoured by some non-Muslims,
also has many supporters among Muslims.

The cartoon affair has proved that Muslims are extremely vulnerable to attack by
the media. This is a weakness that is easily exploited and makes the behaviour
of Muslims clearly predictable. The level of violence was again expressed in
various forms and colours, thus showing the militant Muslims to be no better
than their radical counterparts among the non-Muslims. It was especially
depressing to see Muslims resorting to violent tactics that included storming
and setting fire to embassies, broadcasting offensive slogans, and generally
creating an emotional frenzy.

What the militant Muslims have shown is their intolerance of the intolerance
expressed by some of the European media. This is, of course, a contradiction,
for they were trying to rectify one mistake with another mistake. As the saying
goes: “Two wrongs do not make a right.” The Holy Qur’an teaches a basic
principle that one injustice cannot be treated with another injustice.

The intelligentsia, which normally plays an important role in any mature society
by supplying ideas, the bloodline of social activity, has failed miserably in
the Arab and Muslim worlds. As intellectuals, they ought to provide the basic
models of morality that have the courage to speak the truth. What the world has
witnessed as events in the Middle East have unfolded, is that the majority of
intellectuals have paid lip service to the masses, fearful of antagonizing them,
even when they have been behaving in an irresponsible manner.

Meanwhile, the storming and burning down of diplomatic missions, contrary to
international law, seem to have been part of a political agenda. How else could
people behave in this way in countries where there is a fear throughout society
of initiating any kind of action, especially in the political arena? We should
not forget the oppressive regimes of these countries and their effective and
repressive security apparatus that has full control of events. The violence also
indicates the presence of extremist social forces outside the government domain,
which still hold sway in the Muslim world.

What is more worrying, though they number only a handful, is that militant
Muslims are resorting to violence in European countries. In early February 2006,
a bunch of hooligans took the centre stage during a demonstration in London,
bran­dishing banners inciting murder and using extremely offensive language.
This demon­s­tration in particular did incalculable damage to the Muslim cause
and destroyed whatever sympathy was formerly felt by many non-Muslims around the
world for Muslims and their legitimate concern about the degrading cartoons.
Indeed, it has since overshadowed the original complaints and reinforced the
argument by the radical secularists that Muslims are incapable of accepting free
speech.

Muslims complain about the double standards of the secularists, yet Muslims also
forget the equally double standards applied from time to time in Muslim society,
as well as its apathy and indifference towards the sufferings of other people.
Examples are the countless murders and kidnappings of civilians – Christians,
Jews and others – who happen to be Western and in the wrong place at the very
wrong time. Christians and Jews are also constantly referred to as the “enemy”.
Even native Christians in the Arab world were frightened in the aftermath of the
infamous cartoon episode. Nigerian Christians were the target of violent attack
by their Muslim fellow citizens, who also set fire to churches during yet
another public protest against the cartoons.

Racist remarks and graphic anti-Jewish representations are a frequent
occur­rence, no effort being made to distinguish between Judaism as a religion
and the policies of the Israeli government. This kind of behaviour is a clear
violation of the basic principle of the Qur’an that the Christians and Jews are
also People of the Book. It is also contrary to the practice of the Prophet and
his Successors, who pioneered the differentiation between combatants and
civilians in their military campaigns. They were instructed not to kill women,
children and the elderly, nor to destroy forests, crops, animals and buildings.
This respect for people and property was applied to both believers and
unbelievers. One should remember the Prophet’s kind treatment of the Jews, even
when some of the Jewish tribes in Madinah sided with the Quraysh in the latter’s
campaign to destroy him. There are numerous other examples that are well
documented in Islamic and non-Islamic sources, highlighting how far removed is
the behaviour of the militant Muslims from the practice of the Prophet.

The violence inflicted on innocent non-Muslims, including women and children,
has become the unique trademark of the terrorist groups originating in the
Muslim world. Their methods of killing are devoid of any feelings of remorse or
humanity, for the concept of perfection is part of their psychological makeup.
Because they believe that they are God’s purest representatives on this earth,
they assume that they can act as they please with impunity.

The imposition of an unquestionable truth means that there is no allowance for
any variable or any new or formerly unknown concept, since all the decisions
have been taken and all the problems solved according to a rigid code of conduct
and ideology. There is no room for the middle ground, for extremists find it
difficult to adapt to change – especially when it affects their culture – and to
absorb new ideas. Their resistance leads to violence, the intensity of which
increases with the level of change that is taking place in society.

Before long, and as expected according to the physical law (though it is
difficult to apply the physical law of solid matter to the fluidity of social
behaviour, yet the comparison is a useful way of explaining the phenomenon), the
momentum of the killing culture and the inertia of fellow Muslims to halt it
have been affecting innocent Muslims themselves. Sometimes, the vengeance has
been fiercer, more blood spilt and the number of victims greater than for
non-Muslims.

Soft targets, as witnessed daily in Iraq and from time to time in Saudi Arabia,
Egypt and elsewhere, as well as the events in Bali, Madrid, London and New York,
are the professional and preferred methods of the terrorists. Also their other
true specialism is the attack on cultural and holy places of Muslims and
non-Muslims. In addition, there is the revival of particularly horrible ancient
methods, such as beheading, a physically and psychologi­cally cruel and inhumane
way of killing a person. The terrorists are not only causing death, but also
employing a means of torture that reflects the level of their hatred and anger.
Thanks to the violence of the Jihadists, Neo-Salafi and other groups, the name
and image of Islam have been well and truly blackened. This situation has
provided the ammunition for some Western media personnel and politicians to
portray the religion as encouraging terrorism, and Prophet Muhammad and every
Muslim as congenital terrorists.

Double standards are manifested in the abusive treatment of minorities in the
Arab and Muslim worlds, frequently those of the same religion, such as the Kurds
and black Africans. Another example is the almost total silence of Muslim
society and its leaders concerning the destruction of the places connected with
Prophet Muhammad and the early period of Islamic history in Saudi Arabia. His
birthplace has been converted into a library. The battlegrounds of Madinah, such
as Uhud, are now covered with concrete.

During the past 50 years, the holy cities of Mecca and Medina have suffered
incalculable violence. More than 300 historical sites have been levelled
systema­ti­cally, only a few historic buildings remain in Mecca, and these are
about to be demolished.[1]



“We are witnessing the last few moments of the history of Mecca,” says Sami
Angawi, a Saudi expert on the Islamic architecture of the Holy City.[2]



The Way Forward
On the one hand, there are the radical secularists, who regard Islam as the
threat to their power at home and abroad. In the minds of some of them, Islam
has replaced the Soviet Union as the latest political enemy, which needs to be
dealt with, as they believe, with provocation, polarization and confrontation.
On the other hand, there are the radical Muslims, whose insecurity and hatred
find _expression in their wicked use of Islam or the violence of the sword of
jihadism as their first and last resort to confront non-Muslims, especially
secularists in the West. Their strategy is to provoke the Western secularists
into increasing their attacks on Muslims so that new young recruits will be
attracted to the ranks of the radical groups to fight under the “banner of
Islam”. There is no doubt that the photographs depicting the abuse of Iraqi
prisoners by American soldiers and the video film showing British soldiers
beating Iraqi youths inflame Muslim militancy and complicate the implementation
of democracy, when the bearers (Coalition forces) of “humane” Western values
show themselves to be no better than the dictators leading the Muslim reaction.

These are the people who need to be isolated by the rational majority of Muslims
and non-Muslims, who believe in the sanctity of human life, and encouraged to
engage in constructive debate. Muslims in the Muslim world and Muslim minorities
in the West in particular, need to engage themselves and their communities in
soul-searching questioning to enable them to argue and articulate their anger in
other ways whenever they face pressing challenges. They need to create a more
dynamic relationship with one another and learn to pursue a dialogue in various
forms such as the written and spoken word, film, art, etc.

Interfaith dialogue is certainly an important path to pursue, for the common aim
of all religions is humanity, truth and love. This type of dialogue should not
be restricted to spiritual matters but examine social and cultural aspects too.

Muslims need new ideas and modern material and mental tools to equip them for
influential civic participation, which is important for the Muslim community and
society in general. Muslim education should include knowledge of one’s rights
and duties as well as an understanding of citizenship in a modern society. The
Muslim community should make sophisticated use of the media to project a fair
represen­tation of its members and should seek to understand the laws of the
country so as to protect their rights and beliefs.

Muslims need to be more committed to making a greater contribution to the
well-being of the society in which they live. The way forward during this
difficult period is not resentment, withdrawal and the highly charged emotion
that have isolated them in their own communities. Instead, Muslims should use
their brains, their knowledge, their creativity and other rational tools to seek
a place at the heart of society so that they can serve themselves and others,
regardless of the religion, race or background of the others. That is the
essence of the Islamic message.

It is equally important to project a modern, innovative way of reading and
interpreting Islam. It is necessary to begin with the Qur’an. Its emphasis on
dialogue should be noted, as well as the way in which it formulates questions
and references to multifaith societies. A significant reminder of the human
dimension is how the Qur’an addresses the Prophet: “We sent you but as a mercy
to the world.” More than 170 verses address humankind as “O people…”. Numerous
verses refer to “Bani Adam” or the followers of Adam, in other words, humankind.

There are famous examples of the Prophet’s tolerance and kindness. He cared for
a lady when she fell ill, despite the fact that it had formerly been her habit
to throw rubbish at him whenever he passed by her home. He also visited a Jewish
man when he became ill. These examples and many more should be highlighted and
disseminated to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

From the Western point of view, a minority is defined not numerically, but by
the level of its power and how far others make decisions for it. By granting a
small proportion of the power available, an effective leadership could be
created. The result would be social cohesion instead of tension and division
among the members of society. Thus would be laid the foundation of the harmony
and dynamism that are necessary to bring out the best in people, regardless of
their background. In this way, everyone is in a position to make a creative
contribution to enable the society to compete effectively with other parts of
the world in a global market. Indeed, a good relationship with the Muslim
community in the West could help the Western nations to build the urgently
needed bridges with the Arab and Muslim worlds and narrow the gap of mistrust
and dislike between the two communities.

Non-Muslims need to be educated about the immense Muslim contribution to world
civilization. An awareness campaign should be initiated to inform Muslims of
their rights and duties as citizens in the West as well to convince Western
non-Mus­lims that the presence of people from different backgrounds benefits and
enriches a society. People need to learn true tolerance of those who are
different, which means the ability to hold a discussion with those whose views
may be difficult to accept. There is clearly no real dialogue with those who
share the same outlook on life.

Non-Muslims are asked to give the Muslims the respect that they deserve. Mutual
respect at individual and community level promotes mutual understanding with its
psychological and emotional implications, which finally lead to mental matu­rity
and tolerance. Respect also encourages responsiveness, interaction and mutual
participation, which is vital for innovation and creativity in a society in this
age of rapidly expanding information and knowledge.

Clear condemnation of the cartoons about Prophet Muhammad was not forth­coming
from the moderate non-Muslims, and this is necessary for peace and social
cohesion. It is important, too, for the truthfulness and transparency of Western
society, that the moderate Muslims are asked to condemn loudly the acts of
violence by Muslim militants.

The West is divided over how to deal with Islam, as are the Muslims over how to
interact with the West. It is the role of the majority and every responsible
person on both sides to acknowledge and repair the rift, and thus prevent the
already polarized situation from escalating to a dangerous level. They should
search for effective ways to reinvigorate the dialogue and thus avoid the
“dialogue of the deaf”, which has governed intercommunal relations so far.


*Najah Kadhim is the Executive Director of IFID and a Senior University
Lecturer, London, England.

          Cartoon Controversy: Cannon of “Free Speech” versus “Sword of Jihadism”        


Polarization is Fuelling Extremism and Hindering the Spread of Democratic Values


Najah Kadhim*


The publication of the infamous cartoons about the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in a
Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, and their republication in other European
media have been a setback for the spread of free speech and democratic values in
the Muslim world. They have also been a serious obstacle to the attempts to
narrow the gap between the West and Muslim society.

In a world of tension, instability and globalization, the need for a univision,
a building of bridges between people and a strengthening of common human values
is of the utmost importance. Instead, the row generated in the aftermath of the
publi­cation of the cartoons has done exactly the opposite and has been hijacked
by the extremists on both sides. Reductionism, stereotyping, generalization and
simplifi­cation, as well as claims to the “absolute truth” have become firmly
entrenched in their minds.

The radicals in the secularist camp have used the power of the media to whip up
the argument to promote emotional venom in defence of “free speech”. Their
action has been matched by militant Muslims, who have used the power of religion
to mobilize mass gatherings around the world and thus trigger waves of emotions,
violence and sloganeering against non-Muslims.

It is imperative that the wise, reasonable and moderate majority of both camps,
who believe in the common good of humanity, step in to isolate the Muslim and
non-Muslim radicals, restore the debate to a constructive dialogue, and prevent
any further damage to intercommunal relations.

The Secular Radicals
In the 1890s, the French newspaper La Libre Parole [Free Speech] ran a series of
articles and crude cartoons commissioned by its editor, Edouard Drumout, about
what it saw as the dominance of Jews in Europe in general and France in
particular. The campaign reached fever pitch in 1894, when Alfred Dreyfus, a
French artillery officer, was put on trial for treason, an event that split
French society.

Europe has had a unique history of turning on its minorities, culminating in the
greatest violence known to humankind, when 62 million people were slaughtered
during the Second World War. The Holocaust was Hitler’s attempt to exterminate
the Jews, who comprised the majority of the victims, though many other groups
were also put to death, including the Roma, Slavs, Greeks, and even Germans who
opposed the Nazi regime.

It is Europe’s history of intolerance, cultural singularity, racism and double
standards against minorities and the powerless, which worries Muslims and other
observers, who fear a repeat of these events. Indeed, there have already been
depressing developments in the early years of the twenty-first century with talk
of “exit strategy” and “the future of Muslims in Europe”. There is also the fear
of Islam and Muslims in the minds of some non-Muslims, who practise various
forms of bigotry against them. It is their anxiety about losing their power to
the influence of Islamic culture, which could explain the reaction of the
secularists to the affair of the cartoons in Jyllands-Posten.

The Danish newspaper, which had commissioned the cartoons, had fully anticipated
Muslim reaction, yet decided to go ahead with their publication. According to
the Guardian, it was the same newspaper that, in April 2003, rejected
unsolicited cartoons about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The editors decided
that the readers of Jyllands-Posten would not find the cartoons amusing and
their publication might well provoke an outcry.

The Danish episode, the republication of the cartoons in various European media,
the picture of the Prophet on a T-shirt worn by Roberto Calderoli at the Italian
Embassy in Libya (who has since been forced to resign), the reference to the
Prophet as a terrorist by the American Reverends Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson
in 2004: all these events have caused the Muslim community to regard the affair
as a deliberate insult. What has really stirred up Muslim emotions is not only
the pejorative depiction of the Prophet but also that the cartoons were designed
to humiliate and polarize Muslims and remind them that they are clearly Europe’s
latest “Other”. It is a blunt double standard applied by radicals belonging to a
civilized and secular society, where people of different backgrounds and faiths
are supposed to be treated equally and without injustice or gross violation of
their rights. Should one expect the principle of “freedom of speech” to be
extended to child pornography or jokes about mentally handicapped people or
obscene telephone calls, or the many other examples that been mentioned since
the beginning of this crisis?

Superficially, it is indeed a double standard. A closer analysis, however,
reveals it to be a barefaced show of power. It is clearly a form of domination
with a thin and flimsy veneer of something called “freedom of speech”. Its
adherents claim for it a sanctity that is not allowed to the Other. It can
invade the divinity of the Other at will with a fully muscled attack to preserve
its own sanctity. It claims the right to set its own standard and apply its own
criteria, yet that right is not granted to the Other.

This is a display of power, no more and no less. In the past, the cannon of fire
was used to invade and physically colonize Muslim lands en masse by means of
military might. Today, it is psychological colonialism using the cannon of “free
speech” from the European arsenal of media power. The Other has to be confined
to the Western way of thinking and the Western mentality and mind settings
dimension to qualify for membership of the “free speech” club and satisfy the
European power formula. Formerly, it was the enslavement of the land; today, it
is the enslavement of the mind.

Another manifestation of this power is the persistence of some Western media
personnel and politicians in using the _expression “Islamic terrorism”, implying
that Islam and terrorism are synonymous and, therefore, every Muslim is a
potential terrorist. This has created a situation in which no followers of other
faiths have had to endure such extreme alienation or suffer abuse by this power
so regularly. The feeble excuse given by the users of this _expression is that
all the terror groups in the Muslim world use the words “Islam” or “Islamic” as
part of their group names (despite the fact that the largest group is called
al‑Qa‘idah).

One might well ask if it is fair to attach such a description to a religion with
more than 1.3 billions adherents, simply because of the behaviour of a tiny
minority of militants. When Muslims hear the _expression “Islamic terrorism”, it
not only angers them consciously, but also implants feelings of frustration and
uneasiness in their subconscious. The antagonism that is provoked inclines
Muslims to be unreceptive to Western ideas or even to resist them, to encourage
extremism or the belief in the “war” of the West versus Islam. Is this not the
first step to the polarization of or the creation of tension between the two
camps? Are the Western media and politicians really unaware of the psychological
and social implications for Muslims when they refer to “Islamic terrorism”? Is
this _expression used by design or by accident? To me, the former looks more
plausible than the latter.

Even if this is the way for the Western media to deal with Muslims in distant
lands, it is certainly not, as the ideals and principles of freedom and
secularism suggest, the way to deal with Europe’s minorities, when more than
half of their members have been born and bred in Europe. Just because the Other
happens to be connected with the European historical subconscious about Islam or
is influenced by its geographical proximity to the Muslim world or its cultural
extension, it does not mean that European Muslims should be dehumanized.

We constantly hear of Europe’s belief in integration and of some governments
even following the path to multiculturalism. The reality, however, indicates
that even in politics, where pluralism can be seen in action, the homogenous
culture creates its own controversies and has to negotiate a long and bumpy road
to multiculturalism. There are still more challenges in the social and cultural
fields. Any minority culture that is understood according to its own merits and
on its own terms will produce constructive changes and modifications with a
positive reflection on society as a whole. When the dominant society uses a show
of force in any form to impose a set of values or rules, the result is changes
and modifications which are distorted and deformed and which push the minority
group to the margins of society.

Minorities will always be on the defensive, and their response to events will be
reactive rather than proactive. The reality of multiculturalism today is,
frankly speaking, little more than multicolourism. Western society has become
somewhat blind to the colour of the skin, yet no real power, no matter how
little, has been conceded. The West has still not reached the level of
inclusiveness that would be expected in a modern and mature civilization of the
twenty-first century. In practice, Europe is still culturucentric, in other
words, a complete monoculture continues to dominate others.

Furthermore, are not the Europeans ardent believers in human rights? Belief in a
faith and its sanctity is a human right. The violation of that right means that
the freedom to express its divinity and beliefs has been denied. Have human
rights not been enshrined by the United Nations and have somehow become blended
smoothly with local culture to produce global values? India and Japan are two
examples of this phenomenon. So, why do we so often hear about the
“incompatibility” of “Western values” with Islam? Although it is true that these
values originated in Europe, which deserves the credit for their humanity, yet
their propagation throughout the world since the end of the Second World War has
enabled them to develop a global identity and character.

However, the radical secularists continue to remind the Other that Western
values must be imposed, as pure western, because they are superior to anything
else. In reaction, the radical Muslims and the tyrannical rulers of the Muslim
countries hinder the establishment of the direct and indirect influences that
accompany the spread of these values. The fact that these values are promoted by
Western secularists (interpreted by the Other as Big Brother), generates from
the Other a type and level of resistance and violence resonant of the colonial
period. Indeed, following the row over the cartoons, there have been signs of
the strengthening of forces opposed to democracy and human rights in the Muslim
countries.

Philosophically speaking, the West in general, and Europe in particular, do not
believe in the absolute in theory or in practice. Since the Enlightenment, the
work and reasoning of European philosophers have focused on the relativism that
has effectively shaped modernism and postmodernism. The use of “freedom of
speech” in an absolute manner without any limits or conditions is contrary to
European tradition and represents serious contradictions in the thinking and
practice of its societies.

The publication of the photographs depicting American soldiers abusing prisoners
in Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad and the video film of British soldiers beating
Iraqi civilians in Basrah have fuelled an already volatile situation and
provided the radicals with the polarization and the collision course which they
have wanted and which has been implied by their behaviour.

Muslim Militancy
The “clash of civilizations”, an interpretation favoured by some non-Muslims,
also has many supporters among Muslims.

The cartoon affair has proved that Muslims are extremely vulnerable to attack by
the media. This is a weakness that is easily exploited and makes the behaviour
of Muslims clearly predictable. The level of violence was again expressed in
various forms and colours, thus showing the militant Muslims to be no better
than their radical counterparts among the non-Muslims. It was especially
depressing to see Muslims resorting to violent tactics that included storming
and setting fire to embassies, broadcasting offensive slogans, and generally
creating an emotional frenzy.

What the militant Muslims have shown is their intolerance of the intolerance
expressed by some of the European media. This is, of course, a contradiction,
for they were trying to rectify one mistake with another mistake. As the saying
goes: “Two wrongs do not make a right.” The Holy Qur’an teaches a basic
principle that one injustice cannot be treated with another injustice.

The intelligentsia, which normally plays an important role in any mature society
by supplying ideas, the bloodline of social activity, has failed miserably in
the Arab and Muslim worlds. As intellectuals, they ought to provide the basic
models of morality that have the courage to speak the truth. What the world has
witnessed as events in the Middle East have unfolded, is that the majority of
intellectuals have paid lip service to the masses, fearful of antagonizing them,
even when they have been behaving in an irresponsible manner.

Meanwhile, the storming and burning down of diplomatic missions, contrary to
international law, seem to have been part of a political agenda. How else could
people behave in this way in countries where there is a fear throughout society
of initiating any kind of action, especially in the political arena? We should
not forget the oppressive regimes of these countries and their effective and
repressive security apparatus that has full control of events. The violence also
indicates the presence of extremist social forces outside the government domain,
which still hold sway in the Muslim world.

What is more worrying, though they number only a handful, is that militant
Muslims are resorting to violence in European countries. In early February 2006,
a bunch of hooligans took the centre stage during a demonstration in London,
bran­dishing banners inciting murder and using extremely offensive language.
This demon­s­tration in particular did incalculable damage to the Muslim cause
and destroyed whatever sympathy was formerly felt by many non-Muslims around the
world for Muslims and their legitimate concern about the degrading cartoons.
Indeed, it has since overshadowed the original complaints and reinforced the
argument by the radical secularists that Muslims are incapable of accepting free
speech.

Muslims complain about the double standards of the secularists, yet Muslims also
forget the equally double standards applied from time to time in Muslim society,
as well as its apathy and indifference towards the sufferings of other people.
Examples are the countless murders and kidnappings of civilians – Christians,
Jews and others – who happen to be Western and in the wrong place at the very
wrong time. Christians and Jews are also constantly referred to as the “enemy”.
Even native Christians in the Arab world were frightened in the aftermath of the
infamous cartoon episode. Nigerian Christians were the target of violent attack
by their Muslim fellow citizens, who also set fire to churches during yet
another public protest against the cartoons.

Racist remarks and graphic anti-Jewish representations are a frequent
occur­rence, no effort being made to distinguish between Judaism as a religion
and the policies of the Israeli government. This kind of behaviour is a clear
violation of the basic principle of the Qur’an that the Christians and Jews are
also People of the Book. It is also contrary to the practice of the Prophet and
his Successors, who pioneered the differentiation between combatants and
civilians in their military campaigns. They were instructed not to kill women,
children and the elderly, nor to destroy forests, crops, animals and buildings.
This respect for people and property was applied to both believers and
unbelievers. One should remember the Prophet’s kind treatment of the Jews, even
when some of the Jewish tribes in Madinah sided with the Quraysh in the latter’s
campaign to destroy him. There are numerous other examples that are well
documented in Islamic and non-Islamic sources, highlighting how far removed is
the behaviour of the militant Muslims from the practice of the Prophet.

The violence inflicted on innocent non-Muslims, including women and children,
has become the unique trademark of the terrorist groups originating in the
Muslim world. Their methods of killing are devoid of any feelings of remorse or
humanity, for the concept of perfection is part of their psychological makeup.
Because they believe that they are God’s purest representatives on this earth,
they assume that they can act as they please with impunity.

The imposition of an unquestionable truth means that there is no allowance for
any variable or any new or formerly unknown concept, since all the decisions
have been taken and all the problems solved according to a rigid code of conduct
and ideology. There is no room for the middle ground, for extremists find it
difficult to adapt to change – especially when it affects their culture – and to
absorb new ideas. Their resistance leads to violence, the intensity of which
increases with the level of change that is taking place in society.

Before long, and as expected according to the physical law (though it is
difficult to apply the physical law of solid matter to the fluidity of social
behaviour, yet the comparison is a useful way of explaining the phenomenon), the
momentum of the killing culture and the inertia of fellow Muslims to halt it
have been affecting innocent Muslims themselves. Sometimes, the vengeance has
been fiercer, more blood spilt and the number of victims greater than for
non-Muslims.

Soft targets, as witnessed daily in Iraq and from time to time in Saudi Arabia,
Egypt and elsewhere, as well as the events in Bali, Madrid, London and New York,
are the professional and preferred methods of the terrorists. Also their other
true specialism is the attack on cultural and holy places of Muslims and
non-Muslims. In addition, there is the revival of particularly horrible ancient
methods, such as beheading, a physically and psychologi­cally cruel and inhumane
way of killing a person. The terrorists are not only causing death, but also
employing a means of torture that reflects the level of their hatred and anger.
Thanks to the violence of the Jihadists, Neo-Salafi and other groups, the name
and image of Islam have been well and truly blackened. This situation has
provided the ammunition for some Western media personnel and politicians to
portray the religion as encouraging terrorism, and Prophet Muhammad and every
Muslim as congenital terrorists.

Double standards are manifested in the abusive treatment of minorities in the
Arab and Muslim worlds, frequently those of the same religion, such as the Kurds
and black Africans. Another example is the almost total silence of Muslim
society and its leaders concerning the destruction of the places connected with
Prophet Muhammad and the early period of Islamic history in Saudi Arabia. His
birthplace has been converted into a library. The battlegrounds of Madinah, such
as Uhud, are now covered with concrete.

During the past 50 years, the holy cities of Mecca and Medina have suffered
incalculable violence. More than 300 historical sites have been levelled
systema­ti­cally, only a few historic buildings remain in Mecca, and these are
about to be demolished.[1]



“We are witnessing the last few moments of the history of Mecca,” says Sami
Angawi, a Saudi expert on the Islamic architecture of the Holy City.[2]



The Way Forward
On the one hand, there are the radical secularists, who regard Islam as the
threat to their power at home and abroad. In the minds of some of them, Islam
has replaced the Soviet Union as the latest political enemy, which needs to be
dealt with, as they believe, with provocation, polarization and confrontation.
On the other hand, there are the radical Muslims, whose insecurity and hatred
find _expression in their wicked use of Islam or the violence of the sword of
jihadism as their first and last resort to confront non-Muslims, especially
secularists in the West. Their strategy is to provoke the Western secularists
into increasing their attacks on Muslims so that new young recruits will be
attracted to the ranks of the radical groups to fight under the “banner of
Islam”. There is no doubt that the photographs depicting the abuse of Iraqi
prisoners by American soldiers and the video film showing British soldiers
beating Iraqi youths inflame Muslim militancy and complicate the implementation
of democracy, when the bearers (Coalition forces) of “humane” Western values
show themselves to be no better than the dictators leading the Muslim reaction.

These are the people who need to be isolated by the rational majority of Muslims
and non-Muslims, who believe in the sanctity of human life, and encouraged to
engage in constructive debate. Muslims in the Muslim world and Muslim minorities
in the West in particular, need to engage themselves and their communities in
soul-searching questioning to enable them to argue and articulate their anger in
other ways whenever they face pressing challenges. They need to create a more
dynamic relationship with one another and learn to pursue a dialogue in various
forms such as the written and spoken word, film, art, etc.

Interfaith dialogue is certainly an important path to pursue, for the common aim
of all religions is humanity, truth and love. This type of dialogue should not
be restricted to spiritual matters but examine social and cultural aspects too.

Muslims need new ideas and modern material and mental tools to equip them for
influential civic participation, which is important for the Muslim community and
society in general. Muslim education should include knowledge of one’s rights
and duties as well as an understanding of citizenship in a modern society. The
Muslim community should make sophisticated use of the media to project a fair
represen­tation of its members and should seek to understand the laws of the
country so as to protect their rights and beliefs.

Muslims need to be more committed to making a greater contribution to the
well-being of the society in which they live. The way forward during this
difficult period is not resentment, withdrawal and the highly charged emotion
that have isolated them in their own communities. Instead, Muslims should use
their brains, their knowledge, their creativity and other rational tools to seek
a place at the heart of society so that they can serve themselves and others,
regardless of the religion, race or background of the others. That is the
essence of the Islamic message.

It is equally important to project a modern, innovative way of reading and
interpreting Islam. It is necessary to begin with the Qur’an. Its emphasis on
dialogue should be noted, as well as the way in which it formulates questions
and references to multifaith societies. A significant reminder of the human
dimension is how the Qur’an addresses the Prophet: “We sent you but as a mercy
to the world.” More than 170 verses address humankind as “O people…”. Numerous
verses refer to “Bani Adam” or the followers of Adam, in other words, humankind.

There are famous examples of the Prophet’s tolerance and kindness. He cared for
a lady when she fell ill, despite the fact that it had formerly been her habit
to throw rubbish at him whenever he passed by her home. He also visited a Jewish
man when he became ill. These examples and many more should be highlighted and
disseminated to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

From the Western point of view, a minority is defined not numerically, but by
the level of its power and how far others make decisions for it. By granting a
small proportion of the power available, an effective leadership could be
created. The result would be social cohesion instead of tension and division
among the members of society. Thus would be laid the foundation of the harmony
and dynamism that are necessary to bring out the best in people, regardless of
their background. In this way, everyone is in a position to make a creative
contribution to enable the society to compete effectively with other parts of
the world in a global market. Indeed, a good relationship with the Muslim
community in the West could help the Western nations to build the urgently
needed bridges with the Arab and Muslim worlds and narrow the gap of mistrust
and dislike between the two communities.

Non-Muslims need to be educated about the immense Muslim contribution to world
civilization. An awareness campaign should be initiated to inform Muslims of
their rights and duties as citizens in the West as well to convince Western
non-Mus­lims that the presence of people from different backgrounds benefits and
enriches a society. People need to learn true tolerance of those who are
different, which means the ability to hold a discussion with those whose views
may be difficult to accept. There is clearly no real dialogue with those who
share the same outlook on life.

Non-Muslims are asked to give the Muslims the respect that they deserve. Mutual
respect at individual and community level promotes mutual understanding with its
psychological and emotional implications, which finally lead to mental matu­rity
and tolerance. Respect also encourages responsiveness, interaction and mutual
participation, which is vital for innovation and creativity in a society in this
age of rapidly expanding information and knowledge.

Clear condemnation of the cartoons about Prophet Muhammad was not forth­coming
from the moderate non-Muslims, and this is necessary for peace and social
cohesion. It is important, too, for the truthfulness and transparency of Western
society, that the moderate Muslims are asked to condemn loudly the acts of
violence by Muslim militants.

The West is divided over how to deal with Islam, as are the Muslims over how to
interact with the West. It is the role of the majority and every responsible
person on both sides to acknowledge and repair the rift, and thus prevent the
already polarized situation from escalating to a dangerous level. They should
search for effective ways to reinvigorate the dialogue and thus avoid the
“dialogue of the deaf”, which has governed intercommunal relations so far.


*Najah Kadhim is the Executive Director of IFID and a Senior University
Lecturer, London, England.

          An introduction to Islam        
Question 1 "What is Islam?"

Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that God revealed through all His prophets to every people. For a fifth of the world's population, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the majority have nothing to do with the extremely grave events which have come to be associated with their faith.

Question 2 "Who are the Muslims?"

One billion people from a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the globe--from the southern Philippines to Nigeria--are united by their common Islamic faith. About 18% live in the Arab world; the world's largest Muslim community is in Indonesia; substantial parts of Asia and most of Africa are Muslim, while significant minorities are to be found in the Soviet Union, China, North and South America, and Europe.

Question 3 "What do Muslims believe?"

Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God; in the Angels created by Him; in the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind; in the Day of Judgment and individual accountability for actions; in God's complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. Muslims believe in a chain of prophets starting with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist, and Jesus, peace be upon them. But God's final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message and a summing-up of all that has gone before was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) through Gabriel.

Question 4 "How does someone become a Muslim?

" Simply by saying 'There is no god apart from God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.' By this declaration the believer announces his or her faith in all God's messengers, and the scriptures they brought.

Question 5 "What does 'Islam' mean?"

The Arabic word 'Islam' simply means 'submission', and derives from a word meaning 'peace'. In a religious context it means complete submission to the will of God. 'Mohammedanism' is thus a misnomer because it suggests that Muslims worship Muhammad (SAW) rather than God. 'Allah' is the Arabic name for God, which is used by Arab Muslims and Christians alike.

Question 6 "Why does Islam often seem strange?"

Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because religion does not dominate everyday life in the West today, whereas Muslims have religion always uppermost in their minds, and make no division between secular and sacred. They believe that the Divine Law, the Shari'a, should be taken very seriously, which is why issues related to religion are still so important.

Question 7 "Do Islam and Christianity have different origins?"

No. Together with Judaism, they go back to the prophet and patriarch Abraham, and their three prophets are directly descended from his sons--Muhammad (SAW) from the eldest, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus, peace be upon them, from Isaac. Abraham established the settlement which today is the city of Makkah, and built the Ka'ba towards which all Muslims turn when they pray.

Question 8 "What is the Ka'ba?"

The Ka'ba is the place of worship which God commanded Abraham and Ishmael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was constructed of stone on what many believe was the original site of a sanctuary established by Adam. God commanded Abraham to summon all mankind to visit this place, and when pilgrims go there today they say 'At Thy service, O Lord', in response to Abraham's summons.

Question 9 "Who is Muhammad?"

Muhammad (SAW) was born in Makkah in the year 570, at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. Since his father died before his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative. Muhammad (SAW) was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his society. It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near the summit of Jabal al-Nur, the 'Mountain of Light' near Makkah.

Question 10 "How did he become a prophet and a messenger of God?"

At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as the Quran. As soon as he began to recite the words he heard from Gabriel, and to preach the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution, which grew so fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate. This event, the Hijra, 'migration', in which they left Makkah for the city of Madinah some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar. After several years, the Prophet (SAW) and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet (SAW) died at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and within a century of his death Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China.

Question 11 "How did the spread of Islam affect the world?"

Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the simplicity of its doctrine. Islam calls for faith in only One God worthy of worship. It also repeatedly instructs man to use his powers of intelligence and observation. Within a few years, great civilizations and universities were flourishing, for according to the Prophet (SAW) 'seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim man and woman'. The synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas and of new thought with old, brought about great advances in medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, architecture, art, literature, and history. Many crucial systems such as algebra, the Arabic numerals, and also the concept of the zero (vital to the advancement of mathematics), were transmitted to medieval Europe from Islam. Sophisticated instruments which were to make possible the European voyages of discovery were developed, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and good navigational maps.

Question 12 "What is the Quran?"

The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It was memorized by Muhammad (SAW) and then dictated to his Companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad (SAW) fourteen centuries ago.

Question 13 "What is the Quran about?"

The Quran, the last revealed Word of God, is the prime source of every Muslim's faith and practice. It deals with all the subjects which concern us as human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, and law, but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures. At the same time it provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system.

Question 14 "Are there any other sacred sources?"

Yes, the sunna, the practice and example of the Prophet (SAW), is the second authority for Muslims. A hadith is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophet (SAW) said, did, or approved. Belief in the sunna is part of the Islamic faith. Examples of the Prophet's sayings The Prophet (SAW) said: 'God has no mercy on one who has no mercy for others.' 'None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.' 'He who eats his fill while his neighbor goes without food is not a believer.' 'The truthful and trusty businessman is associated with the prophets the saints, and the martyrs.' 'Powerful is not he who knocks the other down, indeed powerful is he who controls himself in a fit of anger.' 'God does not judge according to your bodies and appearances but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds.' 'A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well he descended into it, drank his fill and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The man saw that the dog was feeling the same thirst as he had felt so he went down into the well again and filled his shoe with water and gave the dog a drink. God forgave his sins for this action.' The Prophet (SAW) was asked: 'Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?' He said, 'There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.' (From the hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Bayhaqi.)

Question 15 "What are the 'Five Pillars' of Islam?"

They are the framework of the Muslim life: faith, prayer, concern for the needy, self-purification, and the pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.

First Pillar: Faith

There is no god worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His messenger.

This declaration of faith is called the Shahada, a simple formula which all the faithful pronounce. In Arabic, the first part is la ilaha illa'Llah - 'there is no god except God'; ilaha (god) can refer to anything which we may be tempted to put in place of God--wealth, power, and the like. Then comes illa'Llah: 'except God', the source of all Creation.

The second part of the Shahada is Muhammadun rasulu'Llah: 'Muhammad is the messenger of God.' A message of guidance has come through a man like ourselves.

Second Pillar: Prayer

Salat is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshiper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so the prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Quran, chosen by the congregation. These five prayers contain verses from the Quran, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one's own language. Prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life. A translation of the Call to Prayer is: 'God is most great. God is most great. God is most great. God is most great. I testify that there is no god except God. I testify that there is no god except God. I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. Come to prayer! Come to prayer! Come to success (in this life and the Hereafter)! Come to success! God is most great. God is most great. There is no god except God.' Once Muslims prayed towards Jerusalem, but during the Prophet's lifetime it was changed to Makkah. From the minbar, the pulpit, the Imam who leads the prayer gives the sermon at the Friday noon community prayers.

Third Pillar: Zakat

One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat means both 'purification' and 'growth'. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth. Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakat individually. For most purposes this involves the payment each year of two and a half percent of one's capital. A pious person may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqa, and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as 'voluntary charity' it has a wider meaning. The Prophet (SAW) said: 'Even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity.' The Prophet (SAW) said: 'Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.' He was asked: 'What if a person has nothing?' The Prophet (SAW) replied: 'He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.' The Companions asked: 'What if he is not able to work?' The Prophet (SAW) said: 'He should help poor and needy persons.' The Companions further asked 'What if he cannot do even that?' The Prophet (SAW) said 'He should urge others to do good.' The Companions said 'What if he lacks that also?' The Prophet (SAW) said 'He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.'

Fourth Pillar: The Fast

Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty, although many start earlier. Although the fast is most beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go hungry as well as growth in one's spiritual life.

Fifth Pillar: The Pilgrimage (Hajj)



The annual pilgrimage to Makkah, the Hajj, is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it. Nevertheless, about two million people go to Makkah each year from every comer of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. Although Makkah is always filled with visitors, the annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar, so that Hajj and Ramadan fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter). Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God. The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include circling the Ka'ba seven times, and going seven times between the mountains of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar during her search for water. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafa and join in prayers for God's forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgment. In previous centuries the Hajj was an arduous undertaking. Today, however, Saudi Arabia provides millions of people with water, modem transport, and the most up-to-date health facilities. The close of the Hajj is marked by a festival, the Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere. This, and the Eid al-Fitr, a feast-day commemorating the end of Ramadan, are the main festivals of the Muslim calendar.

Question 16 "Does Islam tolerate other beliefs?"

The Quran says: God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just. (Quran, 60.8) It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city. Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves. When the caliph Omar took Jerusalem from the Byzantine, he insisted on entering the city with only a small number of his companions. Proclaiming to the inhabitants that their lives and property were safe, and that their places of worship would never be taken from them, he asked the Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on a visit to all the holy places. The Patriarch invited him to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, but he preferred to pray outside its gates, saying that if he accepted, later generations of Muslims might use his action as an excuse to turn it into a mosque. Above is the mosque built on the spot where Omar did pray. According to Islam, man is not born in 'original sin'. He is God's vicegerent on earth. Every child is born with the fitra, an innate disposition towards virtue, knowledge, and beauty. Islam considers itself to be the 'primordial religion', din al-hanif, it seeks to return man to his original, true nature in which he is in harmony with creation, inspired to do good, and confirming the Oneness of God.

Question 17 "What do Muslims think about Jesus?"

Muslims respect and revere Jesus (SAW) and await his Second Coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God's messengers to mankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as 'Jesus', but always adds the phrase 'upon him be peace'. The Quran confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Quran is entitled 'Mary'), and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation. The Quran describes the Annunciation as follows: 'Behold!' the Angel said, 'God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous.' She said: 'O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?' He said: 'Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing He says to it, "Be!" and it is.' (Quran, 3.42-7) Jesus (SAW) was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam (SAW) into being without a father: Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, 'Be!' and he was. (3.59) During his prophetic mission Jesus (SAW) performed many miracles. The Quran tells us that he said: 'I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God's leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God's leave.' (3.49) Neither Muhammad (SAW) nor Jesus (SAW) came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in One God, brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Quran Jesus (SAW) is reported as saying that he came: 'To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you paff of what was forbidden you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey Me.' (3:5O) The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: 'Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone without partner, that Muhammad (SAW) is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven.' (Hadith from Bukhari)

Question 18 "Why is the family so important to Muslims?"

The family is the foundation of Islamic society. The peace and security offered by a stable family unit is greatly valued, and seen as essential for the spiritual growth of its members. A harmonious social order is created by the existence of extended families; children are treasured, and rarely leave home until the time they marry.

Question 19 "What about Muslim women ?"

Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A marriage dowry is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she keeps her own family name rather than taking her husband's. Both men and women are expected to dress in a way which is modest and dignified; the traditions of female dress found in some Muslim countries are often the expression of local customs. The Messenger of God said: 'The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manner and kindest to his wife.'

Question 20 "Can a Muslim have more than one wife?"

The religion of Islam was revealed for all societies and all times and so accommodates widely differing social requirements. Circumstances may warrant the taking of another wife but the right is granted, according to the Quran, only on condition that the husband is scrupulously fair.

Question 21 "Is an Islamic marriage like a Christian marriage?"

A Muslim marriage is not a 'sacrament', but a simple, legal agreement in which either partner is free to include conditions. Marriage customs thus vary widely from country to country. As a result, divorce is not common, although it is not forbidden as a last resort. According to Islam, no Muslim girl can be forced to marry against her will: her parents will simply suggest young men they think may be suitable.

Question 22 "How do Muslims treat the elderly?"

In the Islamic world there are no old people's homes. The strain of caring for one's parents in this most difficult time of their lives is considered an honor and blessing, and an opportunity for great spiritual growth. God asks that we not only pray for our parents, but act with limitless compassion, remembering that when we were helpless children they preferred us to themselves. Mothers are particularly honored: the Prophet (SAW) taught that 'Paradise lies at the feet of mothers'. When they reach old age, Muslim parents are treated mercifully, with the same kindness and selflessness. In Islam, serving one's parents is a duty second only to prayer, and it is their right to expect it. It is considered despicable to express any irritation when, through no fault of their own, the old become difficult. The Quran says: Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and be kind to parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, do not say 'uff' to them or chide them, but speak to them in terms of honor and kindness. Treat them with humility, and say, 'My Lord! Have mercy on them, for they did care for me when I was little'. (17.23-4)

Question 23 "How do Muslims view death?"

Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believe that the present life is only a trial preparation for the next realm of existence. Basic articles of faith include: the Day of Judgment, resurrection, Heaven and Hell. When a Muslim dies, he or she is washed, usually by a family member, wrapped in a clean white cloth, and buried with a simple prayer preferably the same day. Muslims consider this one of the final services they can do for their relatives, and an opportunity to remember their own brief existence here on earth. The Prophet (SAW) taught that three things can continue to help a person even after death; charity which he had given, knowledge which he had taught and prayers on their behalf by a righteous child.

Question 24 "What does Islam say about war?"

Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly from their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees and livestock. As Muslims see it, injustice would be triumphant in the world if good men were not prepared to risk their lives in a righteous cause. The Quran says: 'Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors.' (2.190) 'If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that heareth and knoweth all things.' (8.61) War, therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorous conditions laid down by the sacred law. The term jihad literally means 'struggle', and Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad. The other jihad is the inner struggle which everyone wages against egotistic desires, for the sake of attaining inner peace.

Question 25 "What about food?"

Although much simpler than the dietary law followed by Jews and the early Christians, the code which Muslims observe forbids the consumption of pig meat or any kind of intoxicating drink. The Prophet taught that 'your body has rights over you', and the consumption of wholesome food and the leading of a healthy lifestyle are seen as religious obligations. The Prophet (SAW) said: 'Ask God for certainty [of faith] and well-being; for after certainty, no one is given any gift better than health!'

Question 26 "What is Islam's presence in the United States?"

It is almost impossible to generalize about American Muslims: converts, immigrants, factory workers, doctors; all are making their own contribution to America's future. This complex community is unified by a common faith, under-pinned by a countrywide network of a thousand mosques. Muslims were early arrivals in North America. By the eighteenth century there were many thousands of them, working as slaves on plantations. These early communities, cut off from their heritage and families, inevitably lost their Islamic identity as time went by. Today many Afro-American Muslims play an important role in the Islamic community. The nineteenth century, however, saw the beginnings of an influx of Arab Muslims, most of whom settled in the major industrial centers where they worshiped in hired rooms. The early twentieth century witnessed the arrival of several hundred thousand Muslims from Eastern Europe: the first Albanian mosque was opened in Maine in 1915; others soon followed, and a group of Polish Muslims opened a mosque in Brooklyn in 1928. In 1947 the Washington Islamic Center was founded during the term of President Truman, and several nationwide organizations were set up in the fifties. The same period saw the establishment of other communities whose lives were in many ways modeled after Islam. More recently, numerous members of these groups have entered the fold of Muslim orthodoxy. Today there are about five million Muslims in America.

Question 27 "How does Islam guarantee human rights ?"

Freedom of conscience is laid down by the Quran itself: 'There is no compulsion in religion'. (2.256) The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether a person is Muslim or not. Racism is incomprehensible to Muslims, for the Quran speaks of human equality in the following terms: 'O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God 's sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware'. (49.13)

Question 28 "What is the makeup of The Muslim World?"

The Muslim population of the world is around one billion. 30% of Muslims live in the Indian subcontinent, 20 % in Sub-Saharan Africa, 17% in Southeast Asia, 18% in the Arab world, 10% in the Soviet Union and China. Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan comprise 10% of the non-Arab Middle East. Although there are Muslim minorities in almost every area including Latin America and Australia, they are most numerous in the Soviet Union, India, and central Afnca. There are 5 million Muslims in the United States
          Misconceptions about Islam        
Misconception #1: Muslims worship a different God

First of all, there is only One God who created the Universe and all of mankind. Throughout history, people have created false gods in their minds and come up with false ideas about Almighty God, but regardless of this there is still only One True God - and He alone is worthy of worship. Unfortunately, some non-Muslims have come to incorrectly believe that Muslims worship a different God than Jews and Christians. This might be due to the fact that Muslims sometimes refer to God as "Allah", but also because over the centuries there have been many lies and distortions spread by the enemies of Islam. In actuality, Muslims worship the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus --- the same God as Christians and Jews. The word "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for Almighty God and it is the same word that Arabic speaking Christians and Jews use to refer to God. If you pick up an Arabic translation of the Christian Bible, you will see the word "Allah" where "God" is used in English. For more information on the word "Allah", please read: Who is Allah? But even though Muslims, Jews and Christians believe in the same God, their concepts about Him differ quite a bit. For example, Muslims reject the idea of the Trinity or that God has become "incarnate" in the world. Also, the teachings of Islam do not rely on or appeal to "mystery" or "paradox" --- they are straightforward and clear. Islam teaches that God is Merciful, Loving and Compassionate and that He has no need to become man (nor do humans need for Him to). One of the unique aspects of Islam is that it teaches that man can have a personal and fulfilling relationship with Almighty God without compromising the transcendence of God. In Islam there is no ambiguity in Divinity --- God is God and man is man. Muslims believe that God is the "Most Merciful", and that he deals directly with human-beings without the need of any intermediary. Actually, the phrase "In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful" is one of the most repeated verses in the Holy Qur'an. Additionally, the pure and straightforward teachings of Islam demand that Almighty God be approached directly and without intermediaries. This is because Muslims believe that God is completely in control of everything and that He can bestow His Grace and Mercy on His creatures as He pleases - no Atonement, Incarnation or blood sacrifice is necessary. In summary, Islam calls people to submit to the One True God and to worship Him alone.

Misconception #2: Muslims worship Muhammad

According to Islamic belief, the Prophet Muhammad was the last Messenger of God. He, like all of God's prophets and messengers - such as Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus -- was only a human being. Christians came to the mistaken assumption that Muslims worship Muhammad by formulating an incorrect analogy - they worship Jesus so they assumed Muslims worship Muhammad. This is one of the reasons that they called Muslims by the incorrect name "Mohammedans" for so many years! Muhammad, like Jesus, never claimed divine status. He called people to worship only Almighty God, and he continually emphasized his humanity so that people would not fall into the same errors as Christians did in regards to Jesus. In order to prevent his deification, the Prophet Muhammad always said to refer to him as "the Messenger of God and His slave". Muhammad was chosen to be God's final messenger --- to communicate the message not only in words but to be a living example of the message. Muslims love and respect him because he was of the highest moral character and he brought the Truth from God - which is the Pure Monotheism of Islam. Even when Islam was in its very early stages, God revealed that Muhammad "was sent as a mercy to all of mankind" - thus informing us that the message of Islam would become very widespread. Muslims strive to follow the great example of Muhammad, peace be upon him, but they do not worship him in any way. Additionally, Islam teaches Muslims to respect all of God's prophets and messengers - but respecting and loving them does not mean worshipping them. All true Muslims realize that all worship and prayer must be directed to Almighty God alone. Suffice it to say that worshipping Muhammad --- or anyone else --- along with Almighty God is considered to be the worst sin in Islam. Even if a person claims to be Muslim, but they worship and pray to other than Almighty God, this cancels and nullifies their Islam. The Declaration of Faith of Islam makes it clear that Muslims are taught only to worship God. This declaration is as follows: "There is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God, and Muhammad is the Messenger and Servant of God".

Misconception #3: Islam is a religion only for Arabs

The fastest way to prove that this is completely false is to state the fact that only about 15% to 20% of the Muslims in the world are Arabs. There are more Indian Muslims than Arab Muslims, and more Indonesian Muslims than Indian Muslims! Believing that Islam is only a religion for Arabs is a myth that was spread by the enemies of Islam early in its history. This mistaken assumption is possibly based on the fact that most of the first generation of Muslims were Arabs, the Qur'an is in Arabic and the Prophet Muhammad was an Arab. However, both the teachings of Islam and the history of its spread show that the early Muslims made every effort to spread their message of Truth to all nations, races and peoples. Furthermore, it should be clarified that not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. An Arab can be a Muslim, Christian, Jew, atheist - or of any other religion or ideology. Also, many countries that some people consider to be "Arab" are not "Arab" at all -- such as Turkey and Iran (Persia). The people who live in these countries speak languages other than Arabic as their native tongues and are of a different ethnic heritage than the Arabs. It is important to realize that from the very beginning of the mission of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, his followers came from a wide spectrum of individuals -- there was Bilal, the African slave; Suhaib, the Byzantine Roman; Ibn Salam, the Jewish Rabbi; and Salman, the Persian. Since religious truth is eternal and unchanging, and mankind is one universal brotherhood, Islam teaches that Almighty God's revelations to mankind have always been consistent, clear and universal. The Truth of Islam is meant for all people regardless of race, nationality or linguistic background. Taking a look at the Muslim World, from Nigeria to Bosnia and from Malaysia to Afghanistan is enough to prove that Islam is a Universal message for all of mankind --- not to mention the fact that significant numbers of Europeans and Americans of all races and ethnic backgrounds are coming into Islam.


Misconception #4: Islam degrades women

Even though many aspects of Islam are misunderstood by non-Muslims, the ignorance, misinformation and incorrect assumptions that are made in regards to Islam's treatment of women are probably the most severe. Numerous verses of the Qur'an make it clear that men and women are equal in the site of God. According to the teachings of Islam, the only thing that distinguishes people in the site of God is their level of God-consciousness. Due to this, many people are surprised to find out that Islamic Law guaranteed rights to women over 1400 years ago that women in the Europe and America only obtained recently. For example, Islam clearly teaches that a woman is a full-person under the law, and is the spiritual equal of a male. Also, according to Islamic Law, women have the right to own property, operate a business and receive equal pay for equal work. Women are allowed total control of their wealth, they cannot be married against their will and they are allowed to keep their own name when married. Additionally, they have the right to inherit property and to have their marriage dissolved in the case of neglect or mistreatment. Also, Islam does not consider woman an "evil temptress", and thus does not blame woman for the "original sin". Women in Islam participate in all forms of worship that men participate in. Actually, the rights that Islam gave to women over 1400 years ago were almost unheard of in the West until the 1900s. Less than fifty years ago in England and America, a woman could not buy a house or car without the co-signature of her father or husband! Additionally, Islam gives great respect to women and their role in society --- it gives them the right to own property, marry who they want and many other rights. Also, it should be mentioned that the Prophet Muhammad's mission stopped many of the horrible practices in regards to women that were present in the society of his time. For example, the Qur'an put an end to the pagan Arab practice of killing their baby daughters when they were born. Additionally, Islam put restrictions on the unrestricted polygamy of the Arabs of the time, and put many laws in place to protect the well-being of women. Today, most of the so-called reforms in the status of women came about after the West abandoned religion for secularism. Even those in the West who claim to follow the so-called "Judeo-Christian tradition" really follow the values of Western liberalism --- but just to a lesser degree than their more liberal countrymen. For more on this subject, please read: Women in Islam versus Women in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition --- The Myth and The Reality. If women in the Muslim World today don't have their rights, it is not because Islam did not give them to them. The problem is that in many places alien traditions have come to overshadow the teachings of Islam, either through ignorance or the impact of Colonialization.


Misconception #5: Muhammad wrote the Qur'an

In addressing this misconception, it is interesting to not that no other religious scripture claims to the direct word of Almighty in toto as clear and as often as the Holy Qur'an. As the Qur'an clearly says: "if had been written by man, you would have found many discrepancies therein". At the time the Qur'an was revealed, the Arabs recognized that the language of the Qur'an was unique and that it was distinctly different from the language normally used by the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. The Arabs of that time, by the way, were known for their beautiful poetry and Muhammad was known to be an illiterate man! The Qur'an clearly says that Muhammad was unable to read and write, so if this wasn't true, certainly his contemporaries would have protested and rejected him. However, there are no reports of this. Certainly there were people who rejected Muhammad's message, just like other prophets were rejected, but none for this reason. On the contrary, Muhammad, peace be upon him, had thousands of loyal followers and the results of their efforts spread Islam from Spain to China in just over a century! It is also interesting to note that even though the Qur'an is not poetry, the Arabs more or less gave up writing poetry after it was revealed. It could be said that the Qur'an is the piece of Arabic literature par excellence - and Muhammad's contemporaries realized that they couldn't out do it. Additionally, it is easy to prove that Muhammad did not possess a great deal of the knowledge which is expounded in the Qur'an: such as knowledge of historical events, previous prophets and natural phenomenon. The Qur'an says in several places that Muhammad and his people did not know these things - so, again, if this wasn't true, certainly his contemporaries would have rejected his claims. Suffice it to say that not only is the Qur'an the most memorized and well preserved scripture on earth, it is also unequaled in eloquence, spiritual impact, clarity of message and the purity of its truth.


Misconception #6: Islam was spread by the sword

Many non-Muslims, when they think about Islam, picture religious fanatics on camels with a sword in one hand and a Qur'an in the other. This myth, which was made popular in Europe during the Crusades, is totally baseless. First of all, the Holy Qur'an clearly says "Let there be no compulsion in religion". In addition to this, Islam teaches that a person's faith must be pure and sincere, so it is certainly not something that can be forced on someone. In debunking the myth that Islam was "spread by the sword", the (non-Muslim) historian De Lacy O' Leary wrote: "History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever accepted." (Islam at the Crossroads, London, 1923, p. 8.). It should also be known that Muslims ruled Spain for roughly 800 years. During this time, and up to when they were finally forced out, the non-Muslims there were alive and flourishing. Additionally, Christian and Jewish minorities have survived in the Muslim lands of the Middle East for centuries. Countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan all have Christian and/or Jewish populations. If Islam taught that all people are supposed to be killed or forced to become Muslims, how did all of these non-Muslims survive for so long in the middle of the Islamic Empire? Additionally, if one considers the small number of Muslims who initially spread Islam from Spain and Morocco in the West to India and China in the East, one would realize that they were far too few to force people to be members of a religion against their will. Additionally, the great empire and civilization established by the Muslims had great staying power -- its citizens were proud to be part of it. The spread of Islam stands in contrast to the actions of the followers of Christianity, who since the time of the Emperor Constantine have made liberal use of the sword - often basing their conduct on Biblical verses. This was especially true of the colonization of South America and Africa, where native peoples were systematically wiped-out or forced to convert. It is also interesting to note that when the Mongols invaded and conquered large portions of the Islamic Empire, instead of destroying the religion, they adopted it. This is a unique occurrence in history - the conquerors adopting the religion of the conquered! Since they were the victors, they certainly could not have been forced to become Muslims! Ask any of the over one billion Muslims alive in the world today whether they were forced! The largest Muslim country in the world today is Indonesia --- and there were never any battles fought there! So where was the sword? How could someone be forced to adhere to a spiritually rewarding and demanding religion like Islam?


Misconception #7: Muslims hate Jesus

Many non-Muslims are surprised to find out that according to Muslim belief, Jesus, the son of Mary, is one of the greatest messengers of God. Muslims are taught to love Jesus, and a person cannot be a Muslim without believing in the virgin birth and miracles of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. Muslims believe these things about Jesus not because of the Bible or any other religion, but simply because the Holy Qur'an says these things about him. However, Muslims always emphasize that the miracles of Jesus, and all other prophets, were by "God's permission". This having been said, many Christians feel to not believe that Jesus is the "Son of God", "God Incarnate" or the "Second Person" of the Trinity. This is because the Qur'an clearly says that Almighty God does not have a "Son" --- neither allegorically, physically, metaphorically or metaphysically. The Pure Monotheism of Islam rejects the notion of "defining" God (which is basically what the "Doctrine of the Trinity" does), saying that someone is "like" God or equal to him, or praying to someone else besides God. Also, Islam teaches that titles such as "Lord" and "Savior" are due to God alone. In order to avoid misunderstanding, it should be clarified that when Muslims criticize the Bible or the teachings of Christianity, they are not attacking "God's Word" or Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. From the Muslim point of view, they are defending Jesus and God's Word --- which they have in the form of the Qur'an. Muslim criticism is targeted at writings that some people claim are God's word, but Muslim's simply don't accept their claim that they are really God's word in toto. Additionally, Christian doctrines such as the Trinity and the Atonement are criticized by Muslims precisely because they did not originate from Jesus, peace be upon him. In this way, Muslims are the true followers of Jesus, peace be upon him, because they defend him from the exaggerations of the Christians and teach the Pure Monotheism that Jesus himself followed.


Misconception #8: Islam is fatalistic

Most Muslims find it rather odd that their religion, which strikes a beautiful balance between faith and action, could be accused of being "fatalistic". Perhaps this misconception came about because Muslims are taught to say "Praise be to God!" whenever anything good or bad happens. This is because Muslims know that everything comes from Almighty God, who is the All-Knowing Sustainer of the Universe, and that since a Muslim should rely completely on God, whatever happened must have been for the better. However, this does not mean that Muslims are not taught to take action in life --- just the opposite is true. Islam requires not only faith, but action --- such as regular prayer, fasting and charity. To be more precise, in Islam actions are part of one's faith. Islam total rejects the extreme beliefs of some religions that teach that you shouldn't go to a doctor when sick, but only pray for God to heal you. Islam's outlook is very positive, since it teaches that human beings can take positive action in this life. This was certainly what was taught by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to his followers --- since they obviously took the action of spreading Islam from Spain to Morocco in a very short period of time. Even though Islam teaches that God knows what human beings will do before they do it, human beings still have free will. Certainly God, who is All-Knowing and All-Wise, knows what is going to happen to everyone before it happens -- to deny this would be a denial of God Himself. However, if human-beings did not have free will, it would be ridiculous and un-just for God to demand that they do certain things and believe certain things. Far from being "fatalistic", Islam teaches that a human-being's main purpose in life is to be God-conscious. Due to this, Muslims worry less about material matters and view their earthly life in a proper perspective. This is due to the fact that Islam clearly teaches that if people worship and depend on Almighty God alone, then they have nothing to worry about - since God wants what is best for them. True freedom, from the Islamic perspective, does not mean aimlessly following all of your human desires for food, drink, wealth and sex. On the contrary, freedom means being able to control one's base desires and fulfilling them in a proper and legal way. This brings one's desires in tune with what God wants for us --- only then is a person truly free!


Misconception #9: The Islamic Threat

In recent years, a great deal of attention in the media have been given to the threat of "Islamic Fundamentalism". Unfortunately, due to a twisted mixture of biased reporting in the Western media and the actions of some ignorant Muslims, the word "Islam" has become almost synonymous with "terrorism". However, when one analyzes the situation, the question that should come to mind is: Do the teachings of Islam encourage terrorism? The answer: Certainly not! Islam totally forbids the terrorist acts that are carried out by some misguided people. It should be remembered that all religions have cults and misguided followers, so it is their teachings that should be looked at, not the actions of a few individuals. Unfortunately, in the media, whenever a Muslim commits a heinous act, he is labeled a "Muslim terrorist". However, when Serbs murder and rape innocent women in Bosnia, they are not called "Christian terrorists", nor are the activities in Northern Ireland labeled "Christian terrorism". Also, when right-wing Christians in the U. S. bomb abortion clinics, they are not called "Christian terrorists". Reflecting on these facts, one could certainly conclude that there is a double-standard in the media! Although religious feelings play a significant role in the previously mentioned "Christian" conflicts, the media does not apply religious labels because they assume that such barbarous acts have nothing to do with the teachings of Christianity. However, when something happens involving a Muslim, they often try to put the blame on Islam itself -- and not the misguided individual. Certainly, Islamic Law allows war --- any religion or civilization that did not would never survive --- but it certainly does not condone attacks against innocent people, women or children. The Arabic word "jihad", which is often translated as "Holy War", simply means "to struggle". The word for "war" in Arabic is "harb", not "jihad". "Struggling", i.e. "making jihad", to defend Islam, Muslims or to liberate a land where Muslims are oppressed is certainly allowed (and even encouraged) in Islam. However, any such activities must be done according to the teachings of Islam. Islam also clearly forbids "taking the law into your own hands", which means that individual Muslims cannot go around deciding who they want to kill, punish or torture. Trial and punishment must be carried out by a lawful authority and a knowledgeable judge. Also, when looking at events in the Muslim World, it should be kept in mind that a long period of colonialism ended fairly recently in most Muslim countries. During this time, the peoples in this countries were culturally, materially and religiously exploited - mostly by the so-called "Christian" nations of the West. This painful period has not really come to an end in many Muslim countries, where people are still under the control of foreign powers or puppet regimes supported by foreign powers. Also, through the media, people in the West are made to believe that tyrants like Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Moamar Qaddafi in Libya are "Islamic" leaders -- when just the opposite is true. Neither of these rulers even profess Islam as an ideology, but only use Islamic slogans to manipulate their powerless populations. They have about as much to do with Islam as Hitler had to do with Christianity! In reality, many Middle Eastern regimes which people think of as being "Islamic" oppress the practice of Islam in their countries. So suffice it to say that "terrorism" and killing innocent people directly contradicts the teachings of Islam.
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          Economic and Geo-Political Prognosis for 2015        

Paper No. 5856                                 Dated 12-Jan-2015

Guest Column by Dr. Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari and Srividya Kannan Ramachandran

Abstract:

The re-moderation of the world economy set in place over the past few years continues apace. Notwithstanding some lasting damage on the supply side through the 2008 recessionary trough, our outlook for 2015 is bullish weighing more on optimistic data trends than on continued negative sentiment proffered from some analyst quarters.

Around the world in 80 (or more) words:

Treating the ten-year US Treasury bond yield as a proxy indicator for that nation's nominal GDP growth, we anticipate United States to grow around 3% next year.[1] While this does not mark a return to the buoyant 90s, it is better than the secular stagnation hypothesized earlier in 2014.[2] With US acting as an engine to spur growth, the world economy should also expand by more than 3%.[3] Stability across the world will be maintained – as sparks without a concomitant fury will characterize both overt (e.g. Russia-West over Ukraine) and covert (e.g. China-Japan over Senkaku) animosities.[4] European stagnation from debt and unemployment will be counterbalanced through quantitative easing by the European Central Bank.[5] Similar action in Japan will display the limits of Abe-nomics.[6] China will prepare for a structural slowdown emphasizing domestic consumption and de-leveraging an over-heated financial sector; all the while growing at a 7% rate that will amaze rivals around the world.[7] Indian reform, even if inadequate, will boost the middle classes and reinforce confidence in the Modi government.[8] African countries will find their commodity boom dissipate and ease of borrowing decline as commodity prices fall and yields rise in the developed world.[9]

Continental tectonics:

a. North America:

Economic benefits arising from the exploitation of shale gas have not only silenced the anti-fracking environmentalists, they have altered the strategic world-view of Washington politicians.[10] As US aims to overtake even Saudi Arabia in oil/NGL production in 2015 (and the Saudis pull out all stops in preventing it by driving crude prices down), it has markedly reduced its role as a global policeman.[11] Its own economy is on the mend even as a lame-duck president will be boggled down with partisan grid-lock. Markets will fret about the mid-year (or earlier?) hike in interest rates; though Main Street - aided by a strong dollar - will likely shrug it off with a continued upward movement across different sectors.[12]

Mexico and Canada will benefit from their tight coupling with the United States.[13] Enrique Pena Nieto will claim credit for reforming the Mexican economy – across sectors as diverse as energy and telecom.[14] Pemex, dear to the Mexicans, will face some competition, though nothing remotely similar to the American acquisition of Tim Hortons – dear to the Canadians – will happen.[15] Up north, the Canadian elections in 2015 will reveal whether the country has reverted to its liberal propensities or sticks with Harper's conservative agenda.[16]

b. Latin and South America:

The outlook is disappointing across much of the region. Run-away inflation hammers Argentina and Venezuela; milder ill-effects bedevil Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay.[17] The Maduro regime in Venezuela and the Kirchner government in Argentina continue to flirt with disaster as their GDP growths slip and mass discontent builds up.[18] Dilma Rousseff has stabilized her position electorally, though her policies continue to disappoint investors and have the potential to reignite sudden protests like the 2013 bus-fare protests.[19] Dependence on commodity exports in a time of declining prices does not portend well for any of the South American states, including Brazil.[20] On a positive note, Cuba – already expected by analysts to grow by close to 4% next year – will see a boost to its fortunes accruing from a thaw in relations with US under Obama.[21]

c. Africa:

African nations had a great run in the past few years. This arose not only from the boom in commodity prices but also from the need for yield amongst DM (developed market) investors resulting in investment in both corporate and public African bonds.[22] In 2015, these factors could dissipate which will place pressure on countries like Angola where household spending has risen more than 4000% since the start of the millennium.[23] Ethiopia and Kenya are expected to continue on a robust growth path.[24] Contradictions abound within Africa, and nowhere are they more visible than in Nigeria. While the northern part struggles under the oppression of Boko Haram, the southern part booms under Goodluck Jonathan's president-ship.[25] In neighboring South Sudan, one is reminded of the risk-reward payoff as the nation widely tipped to experience spectacular growth in 2014, got mired in conflict, with the consequent dissipation of growth potential.[26]

American intervention in Libya undermined the Gaddafi-imposed order and has led to a civil war between the Islamist and secularist factions which will hold back that nation in the coming year.[27] A more benign intervention was that of the French in Mali in 2013; we expect more calls for Hollande's assistance in 2015.[28] El Sisi has stabilized Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood interlude in the post-Mubarak era. Though more brutal than Mubarak, the El Sisi regime is being propped by both the Americans and Saudis, leading us to expect the recent bull run in Egyptian markets to continue.[29] ANC rule in South Africa continues unimpeded. Though atrophied by many scandals, the rule should produce close to 3% growth in the coming year.[30]

d. Middle East:

The region continues to be a cesspool of ethno-sectarian rivalries as the century-old Sykes-Pikot agreement unravels.[31] Recep Erdogan has stabilized Turkey and should reap a growth on par with other emerging economies.[32] Erdogan's external actions driven by AKP's crypto-desire to establish a caliphate will see him prop the Islamic State (IS) just so that it can damage Shia and Kurdish interests; but not enough to threaten his own Sunni hegemonic plans.[33] The Saudi establishment has focused on the removal of the Muslim brotherhood threat; now they will focus on limiting Shia Iranian influence by keeping crude prices low.[34] Western companies made a beeline to Iran in 2014 in hope of an impending thaw; much will depend on the negotiation ability of the Rouhani establishment on the sanction front.[35] Dubai and Israel remain insulated from the turmoil around and could reap the benefit of the uptick in the world economy.[36] The risk of sudden flare-ups like the 2014 Gaza war continue to remain on the Israeli radar.

e. Asia and Australia:

The Asian political scene is remarkably stable with China, Japan and India looking inward to stabilize their economies under the leadership of Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi, respectively. Some events have gone unnoticed by world media – for example, China starts the year of the goat as the world's largest economy when measured in PPP terms and for the first time ever, Chinese outbound investments could exceed those inbound.[37] The establishment of China on the world stage has made Xi stronger than any Chinese leader in recent memory bar Chairman Mao himself. The Abe regime will continue on its reformist route of bringing Japan out of the deflationary zone, while winking at nationalist sentiment calling for a re-interpretation of the country's post-war pacifist role.[38] Down south in India, Modi has surprised both supporters and detractors alike by his middle-path approach to reforming the economy and his zealous interest in foreign policy. While reforming cautiously, he has not removed the populist schemes of the previous government. 2015 will see him act unimpeded by local elections (other than in Bihar) and will prove to be a litmus test of his claims of good governance.[39]

Afghanistan under Ashraf Ghani will face more trouble from Taliban as US adopts the Pakistani classification into good versus bad Taliban.[40] In nearby Pakistan, the wildly popular Imran Khan - with some help, perhaps, from the deep state – will challenge the established parties in their home turfs.[41] In Indonesia, Jake Widodo has come to power with Imran Khan-type support amongst the youth, and he will be hard-pressed to implement his reformist agenda – including reducing fuel subsidies – amidst persistent opposition from entrenched interests.[42] ASEAN will continue to slip on its stated intentions for closer cooperation.[43] Australia will try to balance its strategic partnership with the United States with economic dalliances with the Chinese.[44]

f. Europe and Russia:

Vladimir Putin will be emboldened by the short-term rise in domestic popularity; and hence ignore the longer-term implications of his intervention in Ukraine.[45] Tighter coupling with Kazakhstan and Belarus will not prevent what is likely to be a low-growth and high-inflation year for the Russians.[46] Europe as a whole continues to underperform, and it will be most visible in France and Italy both of whom might record less than 1% growth in GDP. With the Trierweller-Gayet saga behind his back, Francois Hollande will attempt to rein in a deficit running at close to 4% of GDP. Even with help from ECB's quantitative easing program, there is little expectation that Hollande can avoid being the most unpopular leader amongst all western democracies.[47] In Italy, high debt and unemployment – exemplified by the statistic of four-fifths of Italians between the ages of 20-31 living with parents – will hamper any efforts Matteo Renzi might take to pull the economy out of its doldrums.[48]

The Greeks might look forward to a better year, especially when juxtaposed against their recent past. On the back of painful reforms, the Greek economy is widely anticipated to commence its long journey back to health, though there might be recurrent political scares and recalcitrant rumors of a Greek exit.[49] The German government will be buffeted by opposing demands – external calls for a more interventionist role in stabilizing the world economy and internal ones for tempering the same. Cautious progress on the fiscal front will lead to modest GDP growth.[50] Ironically, the European nations with best GDP growth projections are also the ones with the highest exposure to Putin's misadventures, viz. Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.[51]

Sectors and segments:

Having dropped significantly in the past few months, the level of oil prices affects the prospects for many industry sectors in 2015.  Oil is typically expected to revert to the mean because a lower oil price has discernible impact on both supply (by discouraging investment in its production and distribution) and demand (by boosting economic activity) sides.[52] The speed of such mean-reversion remains unclear. Russia, Iran and US shale producers (esp. those who are not based at strategic locations) suffer disproportionally more than the Saudi establishment at current price levels.[53] Lower oil prices will provide a fillip to consumer discretionary industries and airlines; and have an adverse impact on railroad (benefiting from oil transportation) and petrochemical companies. The shale gas boom - apart from increasing housing activity - is also the prime driver behind growth in the US steel and construction material sectors; consequently both the steel and construction sectors will remain susceptible to crude movements.[54]

Low interest rates and low macro-growth prospects will induce companies with excess cash to acquire other companies to report earnings growth. That trend will be apparent in companies transacting in sectors as diverse as healthcare, industrials, semiconductors, software and materials.[55] On another side of investment banks, trading desks will see higher market volatility as major powers pursue divergent paths to monetary policy (e.g. US against EU/Japan).[56] In US, regulatory obligations increasing cost of capital for holding certain securities might lead to decreased broker liquidity.[57] 2015 shall see the big banks grapple with the regulations in Basel III and Volcker; one expects regulatory push towards vanilla deposit-taking and lending to continue.[58] Analysts will hope that stronger balance sheets coupled with a return to profitability lead to increased dividend payout for investors in financial stocks. China will seek to tame its overheated financial sector amidst a structural slowdown[59], and India will see RBI governor Raghuram Rajan continue his battle against political interference in corporate lending.[60] Wealth management services will perform remarkably well not only in China, but also to a lesser extent in US as a rising market creates wealth and a retiring baby-boomer crowd seeks to couple low risk with acceptable return.[61] In the arena of mobile payment, Apple Pay will try to avoid the lackluster performance of earlier attempts like Google Wallet.[62]

Lower gasoline prices and an accompanying increase in disposable income (through wealth creation at the markets, increased home values, reduced unemployment and improved economic activity) creates a positive outlook for the consumer discretionary sector. Companies dealing with organic farming benefit from increased health consciousness; the market for yoga will continue to rise as 2014 saw the UN declare a world yoga day on Modi's initiative.[63] Even as DVDs and Blue-rays fall, digital film subscriptions and on-demand internet steaming will rise to please Hollywood.[64] Bollywood will get over its obsession with INR 100 crore revenues as movies will cross that level more frequently.[65]  With supply level of hotels remaining the same as few years back, revenue per room will rise across the sector.[66] Tighter access to credit continues to hamper the rise in existing house sales, which nevertheless should improve over the past year.[67] Asian apparel manufacturers continue to improve their market share in the fast fashion market.[68]  October 2015 will see Europeans benefit from the eCall service in all their new cars, which allows a car to immediately report details to the base-stations on any accident. New carbon-emission standards also come into force in Europe; even elsewhere the move towards higher efficiency in cars will continue.[69] Widodo will be pleased at the growth in automobile sales in Indonesia, which should exceed those of other major markets.[70] Internet advertising is rising faster than television commercials, though 2015 will still see the latter dominate the former in overall revenue generated.[71] Privacy concerns continue to erode on the social media front.[72] The newspaper industry will see increased number of advertorials re-packaged as "native advertising" by which companies will pay for advertisements to be written as paid newspaper article.[73]

In India, the BJP government is yet to clarify its position on foreign direct investment in retail.[74] Irrespective of its final decision, retail sales should surge sharply upward there as the consummation of pent-up demand of past few years couples with the thriving of 'mall culture' in middle-tier cities. China will also see an increase in retail sales inspite of its investigation in to WalMart.[75] The anti-corruption campaign though will negatively impact luxury good sales as well as those of higher-end automobiles there[76]. A strong dollar will affect US companies with significant operations abroad. Wheat production might match 2014 record volumes in Europe[77]; though more newsprint will probably be devoted to higher prices of cocoa from Ivory Coast.[78] Idiosyncrasies of local markets will shine as Dubai invests in large-scale brick and mortal malls, while Manhattan gets more of its groceries delivered at home steps.[79]

Demand for energy should rise at the same pace as the world GDP next year. Analysts will point at attractive valuations of oil companies.[80] If shale price remains attractive, Sabine Pass in Louisiana will emerge as the first plant in US to export LNG.[81] Four years after the Fukushima incident, Japan will see nuclear reactors back in operation at Sendai.[82]

2014 saw the denizens of the developed world fret about Ebola, breast cancer (through a campaign by actor Angelina Jolie) and ALS (through the ice bucket challenge).[83] Overall, health spending will comfortably outpace the rate of growth of the overall economy. Long-term secular trends driving this are the aging population in the western world (with the population pyramid replaced by a population dome) and an emerging middle class elsewhere with increasing demand for improved access to healthcare.[84] Universal healthcare has been promised for all in India, which should drive up healthcare expenditure by a significant amount there.[85] In 2015, large US companies are mandated under Obama-care to provide insurance to more than 70% of their eligible workforce.[86] Uncertainty on US healthcare reform and debate thereon may cause short-term price volatility. Millennial Development Goals will reviewed by the UN later in the year with a new set of goalposts announced for countries to be met by 2030; different NGOs will campaign vigorously through media to get their pet agendas included in the final list.[87]

Transportation companies will report higher earnings from increased economic activity.[88] Apart from some airlines which have suffered reputation damage through recurring accidents, airline companies will benefit from the reduced oil prices. Defense industry will see robust growth in China, as "Chi-America" remains no more a chimera.[89] Alarmed by this increase, Vietnam with Philippines will move within the US ambit and Australia will seek to join the tripartite naval exercises in the Indian Ocean between US, Japan and India.[90] Tensions in Eastern Europe and the middle-east will favor increases in expenditure across the region. The nationalist government in India will increase defense expenditure sharply even as it moves beyond lip-service on the long-standing issue of indigenization of defense manufacturing.[91]

The mantra of social-local-mobile (SoLoMo in tech jargon) continues to drive the consumer markets division of information technology companies.[92] Expenditure on IT hardware is significantly retarded by the increasing move to cloud computing.[93] The move to cloud computing - along with increasing use of mobile commerce - bodes well for the computer security business.[94] India should see a sharp increase in smart phone adoption; elsewhere tablet computers will rise against laptop and desktops.[95] Embedded systems coupled with rudimentary networking will be marketed as an all-encompassing internet of things as the era of big data continues.[96]  Today, a single family in US places more demands on data flow than the entire planet did a decade back; and even this data rate is expected to increase by a whopping 70% over the next year. Consolidation in the cable sector (e.g Comcast with Time Warner Cable) and the convergence of content with distribution (e.g. AT&T with DirectTV) are two trends that should continue on from 2014.[97] Even as Indians will talk about 3G coverage spanning the nation; Americans will tweet about 4G price warfare and the Chinese will see ZTE unveil a 5G prototype.[98] Facebook will have more users than China has human beings.[99] Analysts will harp about impact of interest-rate hikes on high dividend paying telecom stocks.[100] Apart from the financial industry, telecom will emerge as an industry most impacted by federal regulation across the globe.

The anthropologist Edward Weyer once compared the future to being akin to a "corridor into which we can see only through the light coming from behind".  It is in that sense that we have analyzed the data of the bygone year and tried to extrapolate into the days and months ahead. And when some are falsified - and falsified, some will be - then we shall lay credit for the same at the feet of those responsible - viz. us, the people.

[The authors are based in New York City, and can be contacted through email at tkrajesh@gmail.com and srivi019@gmail.com. The views represented above are personal and do not in any manner reflect those of the institutions affiliated with the authors.]

References


[1] See the graph titled "10 year bond yield: annual change and real GDP: annual % change" at http://www.swcollege.com/bef/econ_data/bond_yield/bond_yield_data.html.

[2] "Secular stagnation: facts, causes and cures", a VoxEU eBook at  http://www.voxeu.org/sites/default/files/Vox_secular_stagnation.pdf.

[4] A brief historical perspective on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is at http://www.summer.harvard.edu/blog-news-events/conflict-ukraine-historical-perspective.

The Economist magazine summarizes the debate over Senkaku islands at http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/12/economist-explains-1.

[5] “The ECB, demigods and eurozone quantitative easing” at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c90dd466-7bb4-11e4-a695-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3NIKpG2Fx.

[6] “Bank of Japan announces more quantitative easing: the next chapter in Abenomics” at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonhartley/2014/11/02/bank-of-japan-announces-more-quantitative-easing-the-next-chapter-in-abenomics/.

[7] “World Bank urges China to cut economic growth target to seven percent in 2015, focus on reforms” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/29/us-china-worldbank-idUSKBN0II05P20141029.

[8] “Reforms by PM Narendra Modi will help India to grow 5.5% this year, 6.3% next year: ADB” at http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-12-17/news/57154602_1_cent-the-adb-growth-forecast.

[10] “The experts: how the US oil boom will change the markets and geopolitics”, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324105204578382690249436084

[13] “Economic growth patterns in USA, Canada, Mexico and China” at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dominik-knoll/economic-growth-patterns-_b_5832182.html.

[14] “Mexican president Pena Nieto's ratings slip with economic reform” at http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/08/26/mexican-president-pena-nietos-ratings-slip-with-economic-reform/.

[17] “Andres Oppenheimer: Latin America's forecast for 2015: not good” at http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article2503660.html.

[18] “Maduro blames plunging oil prices on US war vs Russia, Venezuela” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/30/us-venezuela-oil-idUSKBN0K802020141230 and “What's in store for post-Kirchner Argentina” at http://globalriskinsights.com/2014/12/whats-store-post-kirchner-argentina/

[19] “Brazil economists cut 2015 growth forecast to slowest on record” at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-11/brazil-economists-cut-2015-growth-forecast-to-slowest-on-record.html

[20] “Economic snapshot for Latin America” at http://www.focus-economics.com/regions/latin-america.

[21] “Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico business forecast report Q1 2015” at http://www.marketresearch.com/Business-Monitor-International-v304/Cuba-Dominican-Republic-Puerto-Rico-8538079/ and “Obama's Cuba move is Florida's top story for 2014” at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/29/obamas-cuba-move-is-floridas-top-story-of-2014/.

[24] “Ethiopia overview” at  http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/ethiopia/overview and “Kenya overview” at http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/kenya/overview.

[26] “Internal violence in South Sudan” at http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/?marker=33.

[27] “Political instability in Libya” at http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/?marker=14.

[28] “The regional impact of the armed conflict and French intervention in Mali” at http://www.peacebuilding.no/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/f18726c3338e39049bd4d554d4a22c36.pdf.

[29] “EGX head optimistic on equities as Egyptian economy recovers” at http://www.thenational.ae/business/markets/egx-head-optimistic-on-equities-as-egyptian-economy-recovers.

[30] “Economy - outlook for 2015 dismal, despite boost” at http://mg.co.za/article/2014-11-25-economy-outlook-for-2015-not-encouraging-despite-boost.

[31] “Pre-state Israel: The Sykes-Picot agreement” at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/sykes_pico.html.

[32] “Turkey - economic forecast summary (Nov 2014)” at http://www.oecd.org/economy/turkey-economic-forecast-summary.htm.

[34] “Saudi-Iranian relations since the fall of Saddam” at http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG840.html.

[36] “Dubai 2015 cross sector business outlook extremely bullish” at http://ameinfo.com/blog/mentors/c/capital-club/dubai-2015-cross-sector-business-outlook-extremely-bullish/ and “Israel - economic forecast summary (Nov 2014)” at http://www.oecd.org/economy/israel-economic-forecast-summary.htm.

[37] “China's leap forward: overtaking the US as world's biggest economy” at http://blogs.ft.com/ftdata/2014/10/08/chinas-leap-forward-overtaking-the-us-as-worlds-biggest-economy/.

[38] “Understanding Shinzo Abe and Japanese nationalism” at http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/05/26/understanding-shinzo-abe-and-japanese-nationalism/.

[39] Book: “Getting India back on track: an action agenda for reform” edited by B. Debroy, A. J. Tellis and R. Trevor.

[40] “US may not target Mullah Omar after this year" at http://www.dawn.com/news/1152382.

[41] “The rise and rise of Kaptaan” at http://tribune.com.pk/story/800722/the-rise-and-rise-of-kaptaan/.

[42] “Widodo launches reform agenda with fuel price hike” at http://www.focus-economics.com/news/indonesia/fiscal/widodo-launches-reform-agenda-fuel-price-hike.

[43] “ASEAN's elusive integration” at http://opinion.inquirer.net/74164/aseans-elusive-integration.

[46] “Russia's economics ministry downgrades 2015 oil price forecast to $80 per barrel” at http://itar-tass.com/en/economy/764662.

[47] “Hollande popularity plumbs new low in mid-term French poll” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/06/us-france-hollande-idUSKBN0IQ14R20141106.

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Categories:


          2002 World Cup team ratings        

An elimination tournament does not, by its nature, produce overall standings. You can construct a table by points, of course, but it will not take into account the differences in games played and opponents' strengths. I wanted, just for fun, to devise an objective (which doesn't mean meaningful) way to rate and rank the 32 teams in the World Cup. After several iterations, here's the scheme I came up with.

For each team I calculated a raw efficiency rating based on their points per game. At 3 points for a win, 1 for a tie and none for a loss, with 2 bonus points for making it to the elimination stage, I added up each team's points, divided by an expected point total of 4/3 * games-played (figuring an average result for three round-robin games would have been a win, a tie and a loss), and then added 1, anticipating later multiplication, so that the resulting ratings start at 1 instead of 0.

I then went back and used those ratings as a measure of opponent's strength, assigning each match for each team the product of the points gained (again 1-base (4/2/1) rather than 0-base (3/1/0)) and the opponent's raw rating. Add those values up and average them, and then add a 1-point bonus for making it to the elimination stage. This approach takes no account of goals for or against, and does not make any attempt at incorporating any information (like FIFA rankings) from outside the tournament. Nonetheless, it produces the following interesting set of adjusted ratings:


1Brazil10.12
2Germany7.92
3Turkey7.59
4Spain7.47
5South Korea7.45
6England6.87
7USA6.53
8Mexico6.15
9Senegal6.05
10Japan5.81
11Denmark5.63
12Belgium5.58
13Ireland5.24
14Italy5.18
15Sweden5.13
16Poland4.59
17Paraguay4.51
18Croatia4.31
19Costa Rica4.23
20Argentina4.04
21Portugal3.99
22Ecuador3.94
23Cameroon3.85
24South Africa3.78
25Uruguay3.40
26Russia3.33
27Nigeria3.10
28Tunisia3.02
29France2.73
30China2.69
31Saudi Arabia2.41
32Slovenia2.41


Since all that math was totally arbitrary, there is no reason to believe these numbers mean anything, but I'm surprised how well they seem to accord with my subjective intuition. And the table passes the obvious sanity checks: the top and bottom are right, South Korea is penalized a little bit for playing and losing an extra game, almost (but not quite) all the second-round teams come in ahead of the teams that were eliminated in the first, and France barely edges out the three teams that didn't gain any points.

So I'm going with it. As far as I'm concerned, the US is now temporarily the 7th best men's soccer nation on the planet.

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I.


Modern Western civilization stands on the twin plinths of science and technology. Taken together, these two interrelated domains reassure us that the 19th-century story of never-ending progress remains intact. Without them, the arguments that we are undergoing cultural decay — ranging from the collapse of art and literature after 1945 to the soft totalitarianism of political correctness in media and academia to the sordid worlds of reality television and popular entertainment — would gather far more force. Liberals often assert that science and technology remain essentially healthy; conservatives sometimes counter that these are false utopias; but the two sides of the culture wars silently agree that the accelerating development and application of the natural sciences continues apace.

Yet during the Great Recession, which began in 2008 and has no end in sight, these great expectations have been supplemented by a desperate necessity. We need high-paying jobs to avoid thinking about how to compete with China and India for low-paying jobs. We need rapid growth to meet the wishful expectations of our retirement plans and our runaway welfare states. We need science and technology to dig us out of our deep economic and financial hole, even though most of us cannot separate science from superstition or technology from magic. In our hearts and minds, we know that desperate optimism will not save us. Progress is neither automatic nor mechanistic; it is rare. Indeed, the unique history of the West proves the exception to the rule that most human beings through the millennia have existed in a naturally brutal, unchanging, and impoverished state. But there is no law that the exceptional rise of the West must continue. So we could do worse than to inquire into the widely held opinion that America is on the wrong track (and has been for some time), to wonder whether Progress is not doing as well as advertised, and perhaps to take exceptional measures to arrest and reverse any decline.

The state of true science is the key to knowing whether something is truly rotten in the United States. But any such assessment encounters an immediate and almost insuperable challenge. Who can speak about the true health of the ever-expanding universe of human knowledge, given how complex, esoteric, and specialized the many scientific and technological fields have become? When any given field takes half a lifetime of study to master, who can compare and contrast and properly weight the rate of progress in nanotechnology and cryptography and superstring theory and 610 other disciplines? Indeed, how do we even know whether the so-called scientists are not just lawmakers and politicians in disguise, as some conservatives suspect in fields as disparate as climate change, evolutionary biology, and embryonic-stem-cell research, and as I have come to suspect in almost all fields? For now, let us acknowledge this measurement problem — I will return to it later — but not let it stop our inquiry into modernity before it has even begun.



II.

When tracked against the admittedly lofty hopes of the 1950s and 1960s, technological progress has fallen short in many domains. Consider the most literal instance of non-acceleration: We are no longer moving faster. The centuries-long acceleration of travel speeds — from ever-faster sailing ships in the 16th through 18th centuries, to the advent of ever-faster railroads in the 19th century, and ever-faster cars and airplanes in the 20th century — reversed with the decommissioning of the Concorde in 2003, to say nothing of the nightmarish delays caused by strikingly low-tech post-9/11 airport-security systems. Today’s advocates of space jets, lunar vacations, and the manned exploration of the solar system appear to hail from another planet. A faded 1964 Popular Science cover story — “Who’ll Fly You at 2,000 m.p.h.?” — barely recalls the dreams of a bygone age.

The official explanation for the slowdown in travel centers on the high cost of fuel, which points to the much larger failure in energy innovation. Real oil prices today exceed those of the Carter catastrophe of 1979–80. Nixon’s 1974 call for full energy independence by 1980 has given way to Obama’s 2011 call for one-third oil independence by 2020. Even before Fukushima, the nuclear industry and its 1954 promise of “electrical energy too cheap to meter” had long since been defeated by environmentalism and nuclear-proliferation concerns. One cannot in good conscience encourage an undergraduate in 2011 to study nuclear engineering as a career. “Clean tech” has become a euphemism for “energy too expensive to afford,” and in Silicon Valley it has also become an increasingly toxic term for near-certain ways to lose money. Without dramatic breakthroughs, the alternative to more-expensive oil may turn out to be not cleaner and much-more-expensive wind, algae, or solar, but rather less-expensive and dirtier coal.

Warren Buffett massively capitalized on both of these trends with his $44 billion investment, most made in late 2009, in BNSF Railway — making it the largest non-financial company in the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio. Understandably, the Oracle of Omaha proclaimed “an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States” and downplayed any doubts he might have harbored. For present purposes, it suffices to note that 40 percent of railroad freight involves the transport of coal, and that railroads will do especially well if the travel and energy consumption patterns of the 21st century involve a regression to the past.

In the past decade, the unresolved energy challenges of the 1970s have broadened into a more general commodity shock, which has been greater in magnitude than the price spikes of the two world wars and has undone the price improvements of the previous century. In the case of agriculture, at least, technological famine may lead to real old-fashioned famine. The fading of the true Green Revolution — which increased grain yields by 126 percent from 1950 to 1980, but has improved them by only 47 percent in the years since, barely keeping pace with global population growth — has encouraged another, more highly publicized “green revolution” of a more political and less certain character. We may embellish the 2011 Arab Spring as the hopeful by-product of the information age, but we should not downplay the primary role of runaway food prices and of the many desperate people who became more hungry than scared.

Warren Buffett massively capitalized on both of these trends with his $44 billion investment, most made in late 2009, in BNSF Railway — making it the largest non-financial company in the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio. Understandably, the Oracle of Omaha proclaimed “an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States” and downplayed any doubts he might have harbored. For present purposes, it suffices to note that 40 percent of railroad freight involves the transport of coal, and that railroads will do especially well if the travel and energy consumption patterns of the 21st century involve a regression to the past.

In the past decade, the unresolved energy challenges of the 1970s have broadened into a more general commodity shock, which has been greater in magnitude than the price spikes of the two world wars and has undone the price improvements of the previous century. In the case of agriculture, at least, technological famine may lead to real old-fashioned famine. The fading of the true Green Revolution — which increased grain yields by 126 percent from 1950 to 1980, but has improved them by only 47 percent in the years since, barely keeping pace with global population growth — has encouraged another, more highly publicized “green revolution” of a more political and less certain character. We may embellish the 2011 Arab Spring as the hopeful by-product of the information age, but we should not downplay the primary role of runaway food prices and of the many desperate people who became more hungry than scared.


IV.
Let us now try to tackle this very thorny measurement problem from a very different angle. If meaningful scientific and technological progress occurs, then we reasonably would expect greater economic prosperity (though this may be offset by other factors). And also in reverse: If economic gains, as measured by certain key indicators, have been limited or nonexistent, then perhaps so has scientific and technological progress. Therefore, to the extent that economic growth is easier to quantify than scientific or technological progress, economic numbers will contain indirect but important clues to our larger investigation.

The single most important economic development in recent times has been the broad stagnation of real wages and incomes since 1973, the year when oil prices quadrupled. To a first approximation, the progress in computers and the failure in energy appear to have roughly canceled each other out. Like Alice in the Red Queen’s race, we (and our computers) have been forced to run faster and faster to stay in the same place.
Taken at face value, the economic numbers suggest that the notion of breathtaking and across-the-board progress is far from the mark. If one believes the economic data, then one must reject the optimism of the scientific establishment. Indeed, if one shares the widely held view that the U.S. government may have understated the true rate of inflation — perhaps by ignoring the runaway inflation in government itself, notably in education and health care (where much higher spending has yielded no improvement in the former and only modest improvement in the latter) — then one may be inclined to take gold prices seriously and conclude that real incomes have fared even worse than the official data indicate.

This dismal and straightforward conclusion tends to be obscured by a range of secondary issues, which are important but do not really change the larger point about trends since 1973:


Mean incomes outperformed median incomes (inflation-adjusted in both cases), and there was a trend towards greater inequality. Median incomes rose by only 10 percent. Mean incomes rose by 29 percent, which works out to a glacial pace of only about 0.7 percent per year — much slower than in the preceding four decades.