Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fw: She is 121 years old.

Subject: She is 121 years old.

While the Amazon rainforest is certainly known to be teeming with life, it turns out that the people who live there are too. Maria Lucimar Pereira, an indigenous Amazonian belonging to the Kaxinawá tribe of western Brazil, will soon be celebrating her birthday -- her 121st birthday, to be exact. The truth behind Pereira's remarkable longevity was recently discovered by the Brazilian government while performing a routine review of birth records -- which, in her case, date back to 1890 -- making her the world's oldest living person. And the best part of all? Pereira credits her long-life to an all-natural diet derived wholly from the Amazon.

According to Survival International, an indigenous rights group working in the Amazon, the government officials have confirmed the validity of Pereira's birth certificate, indicating that the Brazilian native is not only the world's oldest living person, but is also 6 years older than the previous title-holder.

What makes longevity all the more fascinating are the humble conditions in which she lives. The centenarian, who will turn 121 years old on Saturday, lives in a remote corner of the Amazon, in the Brazilian state of Acre, where she practices a traditional way of life that stretches back for centuries, free of many modern amenities many people half her age often think they cannot live without.

Pereira credits her long-life to an active, healthy lifestyle, in addition to a diet rich in locally grown meats, fruits, and vegetables gathered in the forests around her home -- free of the extra salt, sugar, and preservatives so commonly found in foods around the world. Her all-natural diet, along with frequent walks around town, has allowed Pereira to thrive while others, many years her junior, do not.

With so many fads and gimmicks aimed at promoting a 'healthy' alternative, Pereira's example seems to suggest that looking to past dietary habits may be the best way to ensure a thriving life stretching far into the future.

"All too often we witness the negative effects forced change can have on indigenous peoples," says Stephen Corry of Survival International. "It is refreshing to see a community that has retained strong links to its ancestral land and enjoyed the undeniable benefits of this."


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My body parts complain...

My mouth quaries that I give it less attention than I give to my eyes. My ears overheard and called my mouth "jealous conjugant". My hands beat my ears for been rude but, it was my eyes that run like a river point.
I dare not separate them when they fight, they know how to make up. In our village market, when my hands throw stone, it landed on my head and it was my mother's tray that scattered. Who knows why she kept it there!
My head complained of heat, scared of scorching sun it signed a pact with my hair.
Now, desert has encroached, and the reflection mirrors on my belief.
Their teeth crinch five times daily at the sound of a desert voice. Is there no one to ring the bell?
In both hands, beads adore the cardinals and, to the sky the rain is expected. For we are all heirs of the blessing.
Why can't they live together in one body peace? You have that to learn from each other.
The tongue and teeth will always provoke one another, yet they live happily in one roof.
I am the owner of you all, why can't you give me peace.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Incredible !!! a Lone Tomb Gaurded since April 6, 1948.

As Hurricane Irene barrels her way toward the mid-Atlantic and up the East Coast, members of The Old Guard continue their vigilance at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

While on duty the Tomb Sentinel crosses a 63-foot rubber surfaced walkway in exactly 21 steps. He then faces the Tomb for 21 seconds, turns again, and pauses an additional 21 seconds before retracing his steps.

The 21 is symbolic of the highest salute according to dignitaries in military and state ceremonies.

Members of The Old Guard have guarded the Lone Tomb every second, of every day regardless of weather or holidays since April 6, 1948.


Revisiting ACN Primaries "Why I Am Shadow Boxing"

My attention has been drawn to an article published in Vanguard newspapers, dated Wednesday, August 17, 2011. The article, titled "Osa Director and his shadow boxing", was written by Peter Okhiria and edited by chief press secretary and special adviser, information, to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Tony Iyare. But, according to the by-line, it was written by one Osatohamen Omoregbe, a non-existent person. Why the mask?

Seriously, Iyare and Okhiria should work hard to earn their pay, and the only way to do that is by taking credit for newspaper articles written by them. More so, that would enable historians and people of Edo state to properly situate their role in the second coming of the locusts. If these media aides of Governor Oshiomhole are proud of the actions and inactions of their boss, they should proudly defend him openly rather than wear masks while doing so.

In exposing their less than altruistic intentions, the article was laced with warped logic, political and hypo-critical dilations. The Benin name "Omoregbe" does not carry a double letter 'e'. On the said date this jaundiced article was published, the Edo State government also used tax payers money to carry a full page advert titled "Open Letter to Benin Youth Council", ostensibly written by The League of Young Edo Professionals (LEYEP) and signed by one Osatohamen who was generously awarded a Phd. title.

Was it sheer coincidence that two different Osatohamens wrote these articles on same day? Certainly, this flaw by Oshiomhole's media aides was a crass display of intellectual indolence and lack of creativity. Reading through both articles, any gifted student of stylistics will see the uncanny similarities. The articles were written and edited by the same persons.

To say I am no giant in frame or among my people is begging the question. Matthew Urhoghide, whom I referred to as a political heavy weight in my interview that they quoted from was manipulated out of the race for the Edo south senatorial ticket. So, if being a giant among the people was the yardstick, why did Urhoghide not pick the ACN ticket? It really did not matter whether one was a giant among his people or not: what was important was if anyone was ready to pay the price for Governor Oshiomhole by licking his 'behind'.

Really, was governor Oshiomhole a giant (politically, that is) among his people when he contested in 2007? If he was, why was he normadic in his search for a political party platform? Oshiomhole traversed the major political parties then, searching for a free ticket without participating in any primary election. He moved from PDP, ANPP, formed the Labour Party and finally pitched his tent with the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.

If Oshiomhole was really a giant among his people, why did he not contest the governorship election on the platform of the Labour party he formed? Why go grovel and cut deals with the Igbinedions, Ize Iyamus, Senator Owie and Captain Ehosa? What was he afraid of? Afterall, Dr. Segun Mimiko ran and won on the platform of the Labour party which was hardly in existence in Ondo state at the time. We know the true giant among the people.

For the records, I never contested on the platform of the so called "ACN primary election", either for the senate or House of Representatives. I indicated my interest to contest for the senate seat but was manipulated out of the process by Oshiomhole's shenanigans. His media aides, Iyare and Okhiria, knew a bit of the last minute move to draft me into the race for the House of Representatives, but again, they got their facts wrong: I never ran under Oredo local government. I would have ran under Egor / Ikpoba Okha federal constituency.

Therefore, I never contested against my good friend Razak Bello Osagie as alleged by the writers of that article. My brother and friend of over 30 years, Patrick Obahiagbon, the son of Igodomigodo, who contested against Bello Osagie. But because of governor Oshiomhole's pathological insecurity and morbid fear of intellectuals and independent-minded people, he had to abbreviate the rising star in Obahiagbon. He manipulated Igodomigodo out of the race.

Several others have tales of woe to tell. While committed state governments (like Delta and Rivers states) were sending their nominees for the post of secretary to the state government, SSG, to their state houses of assembly, Governor Oshiomhole moved against his own. His SSG, Pally Iriase, was denied a senate ticket and had to wrestle to get a House of Representatives ticket for himself.

Peter Akpatason of the NUPENG was stopped from aspiring to the senate, too. Comrade Isibor, and two of the governor's commissioners, (Dr. Tunde Lakoju and Abdul Oroh) were victims of the self- opinionated "Super godfather". Dr. Sylvester Odion-Ahkaine, a committed pro-democracy activist and many others were not spared.

While campaigning for the "one man, one vote" mantra, governor Oshiomhole silently worked to constrict the political space. He gave a standing instruction that all incumbent members of the Edo state house of assembly be returned. That was his compensation for their acquiescence to all his chicanery. Only two who had 'serious' issues with their equally powerful godfathers failed to make it back to the house.

The writers claimed I sang the governor's praise, so why attack him now? Well, I commend the commendable and condemn the condemnable. When Oshiomhole showed signs of good governance I commended him, especially after bulldozing all the major roads in Benin City. Then one thought he was serious, but with instances like that of Airport Road in Benin City, a road less than eight kilometres still unfinished three years down the line, for instance, there is cause for alarm.

True, there was no primary election in the Edo State chapter of the ACN, so I couldn't have been kicked out by my people. No body kicked me out. No one, but Oshiomhole, who wants to be the only cock that crows in Edo politics.

THIS ARTICLE was written by Osa Director, Benin City, Edo State


Fake Products in Africa with Handset as a case study.

Imitation, fake products, counterfeiting of another' work for any purpose, are infringement against manufacturer's intellectual property right and consumer's right of value for money. It should be condemned.

If countries of consumers of these products take drastic measure, it will better the lots in the long run. The proposed method Kenya government plans to deal with the situation should be emulated by Nigeria government. In that way, fake products such as handsets will drastically reduce. Consumers will enjoy value for their money.

You can imagine the number of fake handsets in Nigeria and all over Africa who do nothing to produce than consume!
In Kenyan alone "about 4.4 million mobile phone subscribers may lose their lines following a directive by the Communications Commission of Kenya to the operators to block handsets that are "unknown" on their networks in a bid to fight the sale of counterfeits.

Such handsets do not have an International Mobile Equipment Identity ( IMEI), the unique number used to identify original GSM devices". To know your handset IMEI number simply dial *#06#.

The health danger in useing counterfeit handset must be avoided as Africa is already plagued with low or no standard medical facilities. Studies at the health implication "have shown that counterfeit phones emit radio frequency radiation higher than what is internationally stipulated as safe for human exposure and therefore harmful to those who use them.

" Counterfeiting of mobile phones and their accessories has risen over the last seven years. It is estimated that one in every five mobile phones sold in the global market is a counterfeit.

Though the major single reason
Consumers go for the fake phones is that they are much cheaper than the genuine brands. This has resulted in economy loses to government in tax revue and low sales for gnuine handsets manufacturers.

Government should step up punishment for
Infringement of intellectual property rights with long term imprisonment or deterring fines.

The above was written by this blogger with part adapted from ....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Astronomers discovered Gigantic Diamond planet

A team of astronomers dotted across the globe have discovered an unusual planet circling an old, dead star about 4,000 light years away that appears to be a gigantic, solid diamond.

The planet is about five times the diameter of the Earth, and circles the dead star of about 12-miles in diameter every two hours and 10 minutes.

The dead star, known as a pulsar, itself spins around 10,000 times a minute.

The discovery was made by a team of astronomers located in Australia, Europe and the United States, and they're reporting their finding Thursday in the journal Science.

They found the system because pulsars give off radio signals as they spin and every time the beam passes by Earth, radio telescopes can pick it up the signal.

The newly discovered pulsar in this system is in the constellation Serpens (the Snake) and given the unromantic name PSR-J1719-1438. It is located between Earth and the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

The Parkes radio telescope in Australia picked up the signal first, then the Lovell telescope at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in England and the Keck in Hawaii confirmed the finding.

Astronomers noted that the signals were modulated, which meant there was something else out there with the pulsar. They concluded it was a small planet, a white dwarf.

The told them several things about the planet. It was flying at 310 miles per second and was 370,000 miles from the pulsar, a little less than the radius of our sun.

Mathew Bailes of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, said small as the planet is, it has a mass 1.4 times that of our sun. The density--23 times the density of water-- indicated it was made up mainly of oxygen and carbon, not the usual helium and hydrogen found in stars.

Additionally, it means the planet is crystalline in form. That defines a diamond.

That such an object could exist was predicted in 2001 by Krishna Rajagopal and Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek. They called it "a diamond as big as the Ritz, actually much bigger, and a million billion time as dense."

It would not look like a diamond out there. Bailes said the weather prevented them from getting a good view, but his guess is that one side would be lit up to about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit with a slightly reddish glow.

"We don't know the atmosphere or what the temperature gradient would be from the bright side to the dark side," he said from the Max Plank Institute in Bonn, Germany where he is on sabbatical. The dark side would emit infra-red.

If you chipped off a piece would you have a diamond in your hand?

"There's a good chance of that," he said. "If you could grab big chunks and bring it home you could turn it into a pretty useful diamond."


Blackhole poses threat to Celestial beings

For the first time, astronomers say they've borne witness to a supermassive black hole consuming a star.

Two papers released Wednesday by the journal Nature describe powerful blasts of radiation whose brightness and can be explained only by a sun-sized star being torn apart by the gravitational forces of a black hole at the center of its galaxy, the authors say.

Scientists believe they have seen the aftermath of such stellar violence before, in the form of fading glows emanating from distant galaxies, in whose centers supermassive black holes usually reside. But they had never caught one in the act.

"This was the first time we saw one of these big black holes going from quiet and silent to very loud and noisy, producing a lot of light and radiation," said Davide Lazzati, an astrophysicist at North Carolina State University who was not involved in the study.

On March 28, a detector on the Earth-orbiting Swift observatory picked up a sudden burst of radiation from a point in the constellation Draco, 4.5 billion light-years away. It automatically swiveled around to point its X-ray telescope toward the odd activity.

As is routine, it beamed a text message down to hundreds of astronomers, including the X-ray telescope's lead scientist, Pennsylvania State University astrophysicist David Burrows, who was lead author of one of the Nature reports. He and several other Swift astronomers set up a conference call to discuss the discovery.

Swift was designed to quickly pick up evidence of gamma-ray bursts and track the high-energy X-rays that follow on the heels of them. These usually are one-time shots of high-energy radiation caused as a star explodes into a supernova, followed by less energetic "afterglow" radiation.

But before the scientists had even hung up their phones, they received a second text: Another burst of radiation had occurred at the same spot.

Two more bright bursts were to follow before the next day was over.

The researchers soon realized that what they were witnessing was too bright to have come from a supernova, which is a common fate for a dying star.

In addition, the patterns of higher- and lower-energy radiation emitted over the days that followed didn't match well any other space phenomena, such as smaller black holes or spinning neutron stars.

Ashley Zauderer, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who led the second study, which focused on the radio wave emissions, recalled thinking, "This is crazy."

"I didn't believe it," she said. "I called a colleague and said, 'Will you make sure I didn't make a mistake? Look at this data; it's too bright.' "

Zauderer's radio-wave study mapped the location of the burst to the center of the galaxy, right where a black hole ought to be.

The researchers concluded that the strength and recurrence of what they were seeing could best be explained by a supermassive black hole ripping a star apart and shooting out a jet of radiation in the process.

How did it happen? The team's theory is that a star about the same size as our sun ended up too close to the black hole. The black hole exerts a powerful gravitational pull — it contains the mass of about a million suns — and that caused the side of the star nearest the black hole to stretch toward it, in much the same way that the moon causes the tides on Earth.

Eventually, the gravitational forces shredded the star, and chunks of its plasma streamed toward the black hole. But in the process, some of the material was expelled into a jet of high-energy radiation.

That jet was likely responsible for the mysterious burst astronomers picked up in March.

Burrows estimates that within a few months as much as one-fifth of the mangled star's mass might have been swallowed by the black hole.

The astronomers were lucky to witness the event. It so happened that the jet of radiation was blasting straight toward the Swift spacecraft, like a flashlight beamed in the face.

The likelihood of seeing another star get swallowed up is slim, Burrows said, but that won't keep the team from looking — especially now that they have an idea of what to look for.

"It might happen once every 10,000 years in a galaxy with a supermassive black hole in the center," Burrows said. "But there are a lot of galaxies out there in the sky."


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mr. Salami And The NJC- the Untold Story- Part 1

I do not want to revisit here the whole issue that led to Salami's sack. If you have been following the trend, the suspension of Salami has generated so much noise from certain quarters that one can not help but wonder whose interest is being protected.

Salami was accused and found to have perjured by the NJC concerning his deposition against the CJN. He was also alleged to have been involved in indecent relationship with ACN political party and, in order to affording him soft landing without rubbishing the sacrosanct integrity of the judiciary and embarrassing the Nation, advised him to simply apologise to the CJN within seven day.

Wrong or Right- why is it always difficult for a black man to say I am sorry?
The chance for apology is gone as Salami has filed action in court challenging the propriety of such findings.

Every action has consequence(s). Salami has been suspended for his action.

The un-asked question:- is the suspension as a result of his refusal to apologise and poking a finger in the eyes of NJC or, the unspoken words of justice in exchange for wallet of silver?

In the Holy Bible, the book of Psalm 109 verse 8 : it says- "let his days be few and let another take his office."

Now, another has taken his office and, reactions from certain quarters castigate the NJC and, even Mr. President for replacing Salami in spite pending court issue.

Why accuse Mr. President or the NJC?
Why is the ACN party spearheading the Salami -must- remain- PCA- campaign?

First of all, I think it is senseless to allow vacuum in the Court of Appeal simply because, selfish individuals have their axe to grind. What about over Hundred Million Nigerians who are already fed up with the system? They should stop the clock to allow heavy weights finish their fight?

PDP political party accused Mr. Salami of corrupt relationship with ACN political party when call logs showed suspicious communication between ACN top members and Salami before delivery Judgment against PDP in Oyo state...?.

From the whole saga, the suspension and the do- or- die fight for Salami to remain in office is purely political.

PDP has gotten the opportunity to hit back on ACN and its hatchet man- Mr. Salami. And ACN's cries are not exactly for Justice or rule of law, yes, they are not far fetch... (Read my lips).

Where is the part of honour?

An African will always remain an African.

I my view, I strongly advise that Mr. Salami should take the path of honour and turn in his resignation letter instead of the unnecessary court actions.
For God sake, he was not born PCA.

Fw: Cholera outbreak kills 8 in Osun

Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 03:45:23

Subject: Cholera outbreak kills 8 in Osun

THE people of Osun State now live in fear over the outbreak of cholera that has claimed eight lives in the state.

Investigations revealed that the epidemic, which has affected some parts of the state in the past few days, has sent dangerous signals to the people as there are no medical officials that could come to their rescue due to the ongoing strike by medical practitioners in the state.

It was gathered that the epidemic claimed four lives in Ede North, two in Sogbedere village, Ede South Local Government and two in the ancient town of Ede.

It was learnt that the deadly disease could spread to the nooks and crannies of the state if not promptly brought under control.

Speaking on the development, a middle aged man, Adesola Adewumi, who claimed to be resident in Ede, said those who lost their lives could not receive medical attention due to non-availability of medical practitioners.

Mr Adewumi, who condemned the non-challant attitude of the state government to the strike by health workers over the non-payment of their outstanding allowances, urged the government to act swiftly to prevent more deaths .

According to him, "if the state government had paid the state health workers' outstanding allowances, the spread of the epidemic could have been curtailed. It is not good for a serious government to maintain a hard posture when it comes to matters that affect the people's health," he declared.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Father kidnaps son for N200,000

A 38-year-old man, Victor Onuigbo, has been brought before an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate's Court, Lagos, for kidnapping his own son in order to get a ransom from his younger brother, the boy's guardian.

The prosecutor, Mr. Innocent Effiong, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, said Victor had earlier put the five-year-old boy, Chiweike, in the custody of his brother because he did not have the wherewithal to take care of him.

He added that on August 8, 2011, Victor allegedly plotted with some others and kidnapped the boy at the home of his younger brother on Okiri Street, Abule Satellite Town, Lagos, hiding him in a secluded place.

One of his cohorts allegedly called the younger brother informing him that the boy had been kidnapped and that he had to pay the sum of N200, 000 for his release.

The brother was later directed to place the ransom at a particular place where he would retrieve it. Unknowing to him, the boy's guardian had reported the kidnap to the police who laid an ambush at the agreed site.

Effiong said Chiweike himself was the one sent to pick the money and he was promptly apprehended by the police in the process.

It was during interrogation that all facts came out that the father masterminded the kidnap.

On Monday, Onuigbo and his alleged conspirators pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony and kidnap.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. C. Adesola-Ikpatt, granted the father bail in the sum of N200, 000 and two sureties in like sum

The case is adjourned to September 23, 2011 for hearing.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

'Letters from the Grave' Show how Two Mothers Died

Handwritten letters are considered by most to be a thing of the past. In the age of email, texts and blogs, to receive a letter is, for many, a rare occurrence.

?And yet letters written by two women became the centerpiece, if not the catalyst, in two high-profile murder cases: State of Wisconsin v. Mark Jensen and State of Arizona v. Douglas Grant.

When 40-year-old Julie Jensen, a wife and mother of two young boys, was found dead in her bed in December 1998, investigators initially believed suicide was the likely cause of death. District Attorney Bob Jambois was at the Jensen home that day and thought differently.

"It didn't look right," he told ABC News. "All kinds of things didn't fit."

But when the autopsy came back, his suspicions remained just that. There was no evidence of foul play.

It wasn't until a few days later that Margaret and Ted Wojt, Mark and Julie Jensen's neighbors, walked into the police department and handed police a sealed envelope. Just a week before, Julie had knocked on their front door and handed it to the couple. They told ABC News that Julie asked them to deliver it to law enforcement authorities if anything happened to her.

Inside the envelope detectives found a photo of Mark Jensen's daily planner with a strange list of items, including "syringe" and names of drugs. The photo was accompanied by a letter from Julie. The words were simple and shocking.

"I am suspicious of Mark's suspicious behaviors and fear for my early demise," she wrote. "If anything happens to me, he would be my first suspect. I would never take my life because of my kids - they are everything to me!"

An equally stunning letter was discovered by Douglas Grant hours after he said he found his wife, Faylene, lying lifeless in their bathtub. An autopsy revealed she had drowned and had high levels of the sleep medication Ambien in her system.

Her death was preceded by a series of strange events, according to her husband. In the months leading up to the drowning, Faylene had suddenly decided she and Doug needed to remarry after they'd been separated for more than a year.


According to letters, journal entries and trial testimony, Faylene believed her time on earth was limited, and that God was calling her. Faylene was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She believed in the Mormon doctrine of personal revelation, which states that a member of the faith can receive guidance directly from God.

A few days before her death, Doug and Faylene had taken a trip to Timpanogos Cave National Monument, in Utah. According to trial testimony, both Doug and Faylene told others she had fallen off a cliff and landed approximately 60 feet below. Doctors said surviving a fall of that height onto jagged rock was nothing short of a miracle.

Doug Grant denied pushing his wife, and though it might have helped his defense, he also refused to call Faylene's fall an attempted suicide.

Doug told ABC News that Faylene's preoccupation with her impending death ended after the fall at Timpanogos. But after her death, he said, he found several "goodbye" letters she had written some time before their trip to Utah.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Suicide attackers stormed the British Council

Suicide attackers stormed the British Council office in Kabul, killing at least nine other people. A suicide car bomb destroyed the council's compound wall, allowing nine heavily armed attackers to enter. Eight Afghan policemen were killed along with one foreign security official. Shortly before the attack on the compound, a car bomb was detonated in a town square. The Taliban said the attack was to mark the anniversary of Afghanistan's independence from Britain in 1919.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mahamadou Issoufou Out-Smarts President Goodluck Jonathan Again

TO the average Nigerian who dreads the disruption petroleum products scarcity inflicts on him; it does not matter whether Nigeria imports the products from Zinder in Republic of Niger or Zinguichor  in Senegal. The key thing is availability.

However the announcement that Nigeria would be importing fuel from Zinder by December 2011, again uncovers lies governments have told over the years about maintaining our refineries or building new ones. How long does it take to build a new refinery?

Why is drought-stricken and landlocked Niger able to build one and Nigeria cannot? What is the next excuse about the continued importation of products?

Construction of the refinery in Zinder began in late 2008, the same time a Chinese company commenced exploration of oil in Niger. The equipment for the refinery was imported through Nigeria and freighted to Zinder, more than almost 1,500 kilometres away. Yet, Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, in fact 167th out of 169 countries, has a working refinery that will export products to Nigeria.

It shows how our neighbours are exploiting the thoughtlessness of the Nigerian leadership. This is only the beginning. Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger, proudly announced the development at State House, Abuja. Imports from Zinder would ameliorate the sufferings of residents of Northern Nigeria.

Zinder is only 240 kilometres from Kano, the commercial hub in the North, which itself is about 442 kilometres from Abuja. A refinery in Zinder is for the Nigerian market and not for Niger with a projected local consumption of 8,000 barrels crude equivalent daily. It will not be out of place to expect expansion of the Zinder refinery to meet Nigerian demand.

Niger just out-smarted Nigeria again. Our use of the River Niger from which we generate electricity is at the mercy of Niger which ever so often threatens to build another dam on it, a threat which when executed could limit water for our hydro-electricity plants in Kainji Dam.

Niger gets about 90 per cent of its electricity from Nigeria under generous terms of the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission yet Niger is pressing ahead with the Kandaji Dam project due for completion in 2013. Maybe by then, Niger will start exporting electricity to Nigeria.

Those who expected Niger's oil explorations would generate revenue for Nigeria since Niger would export the crude through our ports have been proved wrong. Niger, instead, would earn foreign exchange from Nigeria. It may never export a barrel of crude, as its production levels may never meet Nigeria's demands.

Mr Odein Ajumogobia, as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, had  told Nigerians in 2009 that Nigeria planned to source refined petroleum products from Senegal. By December 2010, the Federal Government sealed a deal with Société Ivoirienne de Raffinage, the Ivorien refiner, to exchange Nigerian crude for finished products. Now it is Niger.

We are not only concerned about the lost employment opportunities of Nigeria importing what it can produce. We are scandalised about how quickly Niger, without willing external financiers, except China, can complete the refinery in Zinder, a year ahead of projection.

There are strategic implications in Niger, which already supplies most of Nigeria's meat, and contributes greatly to the poor security situations along its borders in being responsible for meeting the petroleum needs of a vast section of the country. It can always hold Nigeria to ransom, in the same way Russia's neighbours arm-twists it over oil and gas export lines.

Internally, there are implications in an expected reversal on availability of fuel. The North will not depend on the shenanigans at our ports and unsafe pipelines to get its supplies. Fuel scarcity may be worse in the oil producing South. Dishearteningly, government has no plans to revive the refineries – it has opted for importation to continue the wastes of the past years currently estimated at $10 billion annually.

More importantly, Niger's importance in oil production, leaning on Nigeria's inefficiencies, will further diminish the country as a global energy power. Niger has found its niche in Nigeria, it will exploit it, thanks to leaders who see nothing wrong in leading their country to complete dependence.


» Breaking news: Augustus Aikhomu is dead

Erstwhile Chief of General Staff and military Vice-President Augustus Aikhomu is dead.

Associates of the retired military officer and politician confirmed that he died in Lagos, today,  following a prolonged illness.

Late Augustus Aikhomu

Aikhomu` was a retired Admiral in the Nigerian Navy and also served as the `de facto` Vice President  during the Ibrahim Babangida military regime from 1986 to 1993.

He hailed from Essan in Edo State .


45-yrs-old woman burnt to death inside deep freezer

WARRI-  A 45-year-old woman was burnt to death inside a deep freezer  in her apartment at Enerhen, near Warri, Delta state, in the early hours of Wednesday.

The circumstances surrounding her death were still shrouded in secrecy and police have swung into action to unravel the mystery.

However, it looked like there  was a fire incident,  but nobody could say whether she hid inside the fridge to take cover or was murdered by persons who set the apartment ablaze.

Delta state police spokesman, Mr. Charles Muka, who confirmed the death of the woman, Wednesday, said the police were investigating the incident.

He said the fire incident took place behind Niger Yard and that during the incident, one person, identified as Tina Tseun was "got burnt and died".

He confirmed that the charred remains of the deceased was actually found by the police "in a deep freezer in her apartment and investigation into the case has commenced with a view to unraveling the cause of the fire outbreak and deceased's death".

The police spokesman said no arrest has been made.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why some diseases are resistance to antibiotic

"Here's the big secret that no one wants to talk about: We're not very good at keeping what's inside a cow's intestines out of the meat."

The roomful of young doctors at Oakland Children's Hospital chuckled as retired cardiologist Jeff Ritterman whispered audibly, his hand hiding his mouth. He went on to explain in less dramatic fashion how the widespread use of antibiotics to treat sick livestock, prevent the spread of disease in cramped conditions or simply promote animal growth has fueled the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that is now making many infections in humans harder to treat.

Some human infections now resist multiple antibiotics; the pathogens include methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a pathogen responsible for taking more lives each year than AIDS.

Earlier this month, stores and consumers across the country discarded 36 million pounds of ground turkey in the second-largest recall in U.S. history. More than 100 people became sick from the salmonella-tainted meat; at least one person died.

The firms feeding animals antibiotics question direct links to such outbreaks, but these kinds of tragedies come as little surprise to the medical community, which has long been confronted with the consequences of antibiotic resistance. "Everyone has seen cases of MRSA. Every doctor is schooled in how many seconds to wash their hands, and nurses are told to get rid of their nails," Ritterman, now a city councilmember in Richmond, Calif., told The Huffington Post. "It's a helpless feeling when your patient dies of an infection that you can't cure."

More than 75 years after antibiotics first debuted as the miracle cure, treating an infection today often requires greater doses, a second drug or even riskier options.

"Antibiotics are probably as big of an advance in medicine as there has ever been," Ritterman said. "We are undoing our greatest achievement."

Eating contaminated meat is not the only route to an antibiotic-resistant infection. Contact with animals, meat or milk -- and even exposure to bacteria via the air or water -- can pose a public health threat. Of course, blame has also long been directed at the widespread use of antibiotics within medicine.

Doctors have begun limiting the antibiotic prescriptions they write, aware that misuse or overuse of the drugs enables antibiotic-resistant bacteria to proliferate faster than their antibiotic-susceptible counterparts. In other words, what doesn't kill them makes them stronger -- potentially turning them into "superbugs" that can outsmart medicine's current range of weaponry.

But while most doctors are familiar with the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, fewer are aware of the shared responsibility of agribusiness.

"That part of the antibiotic resistance story is largely hidden for docs," said Ritterman, adding that he was shocked upon first hearing that 80 percent of the nation's antibiotics go to livestock.

Doctors are learning, though, thanks partly to programs like the one at which Ritterman spoke, as well as a growing number of environmental health workshops and online modules. More clinicians now know, for example, that antibiotics approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for growth promotion in the early 1950s remain a huge part of the nation's livestock industry even though the government acknowledged the attendant health risks to humans more than 30 years ago.

According to the FDA, about 90 percent of the antibiotics consumed by livestock are given to them via animal feed or water. Critics suggest that most of these drugs are used at low doses to bulk up the animals, speeding them to market. Exposure to antibiotics at levels insufficient to kill the bacteria are more likely to result in antibiotic resistance.

Many in the food-animal production business beg to differ. Richard Carnevale, vice president for regulatory, scientific and international affairs at the Animal Health Institute, which represents pharmaceutical companies, argued that using the drug in the feed doesn't necessarily mean that it is being used "sub-therapeutically".

"We don't really think that the antibiotics given to animals in feed are big contributors to the problems in human medicine," Carnevale said. Nearly half of the antibiotics used in agriculture, he said, are not even part of human medicine's antibacterial arsenal.

"Antibiotics are used to keep animals as healthy as possible, and healthy animals are at the base of a safe food system," said Carnevale. He added that U.S. producers are "always looking for ways to change the way they do things to improve animal health," but that removing antibiotics would "increase production costs."

While the battle wages in the United States, other countries including the entire European Union have banned the use of antibiotics for livestock growth promotion. The industry appears to be holding up just fine as resistance rates drop, according to recent Danish studies. Further, a U.S. study published last week in Environmental Health Perspectives found that going organic and stopping the use of antibiotics resulted in quick and significant reductions in antibiotic resistance.

Lucia Sayre, co-executive director at the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the advocacy group Physicians for Social Responsibility, says tapping the power and respect of the medical community can provide the necessary boost to change the food industry.

"Nobody believes anyone more than their docs and nurses," Sayre said, citing a recent Gallup Poll that found 70 percent of people trusted their doctor's advice without a second opinion. "We're trying to max their voice."

And when physicians and nurses realize that efforts in the doctor's office are not enough, she added, many -- like Ritterman, the retired cardiologist -- are eager to be vocal, whether educating patients and fellow doctors or advocating for regulatory reforms.

"A doctor may be able to help individuals in their office, but changes in policy can lift the health of an entire population. We need to really advance American medicine to the policy stage," Ritterman said. "Doctors are trained to see the world through a health lens. Politicians, businessmen and economists are not."

Entire hospitals are also in on the effort. Many have adopted the concept of "Meatless Mondays" -- using the money they save on Monday to buy grass-fed meat for Tuesday, for example. Many offer a variety of alternative sources of protein such as tofu and lentils. Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt., serves an estimated 2 million meals a year to patients, visitors and employees. Among other healthy improvements to their menu, they have been phasing out foods produced with non-therapeutic antibiotics antibiotics. Today, about 90 percent of their beef meets this goal.

"I kept seeing more and more cases of antibiotic resistance at the hospital. It doesn't make sense to keep doing it the way we're doing it, not to mention that cases of resistance are costly," said Diane Imrie, director of nutrition services at Fletcher Allen. A study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2009 found that antibiotic-resistant infections cost U.S. hospitals more than $20 billion annually.

Food and beverages mean big business in the health care sector, totaling about $14 billion a year. "Through a combination of clinicians talking to patients about personal choices and getting institutional purchasers like hospitals on board, I believe we can really change the food system," said Sayre, who helps coordinate a healthy-food campaign that includes nearly 350 hospitals, including Fletcher Allen.

Sayre has also helped coordinate physicians in their push for new federal environmental health legislation. More than 1,000 signatures have been collected for the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, introduced in March after getting buried in Congress in 2007 and 2009. Another 378 groups have now endorsed the bill, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"Antibiotics are one of the most useful and important medical advances in recent history. Their effectiveness, however, is being compromised by bacterial resistance, arising in part from excessive use of antibiotics in animal agriculture," wrote Michael D. Maves, executive vice president of the association, in a letter of support for the legislation.

Meanwhile, the FDA has issued a draft of "Guidance on the Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food Producing Animals." The agency is currently reviewing comments and determining next steps, according to FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Yao, who said that while there is no estimated timeframe for implementing final recommendations, the agency is making it a priority.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also puts the issue "among its top concerns." And in June, a U.S. Department of Agriculture contractor reviewed the science and concluded that there is a strong link between rising cases of resistant infections and antibiotic use on factory farms. But as Mother Jones reported at the end of July, the "blunt" report disappeared shortly after it was posted on the Internet. (The Union of Concerned Scientists managed to recover a cached link.)

A USDA spokesman said that the document had been "removed because it was published without the review required by USDA departmental regulations to ensure objectivity, accuracy, reliability and an unbiased presentation." Yet Mother Jones pointed to an earlier Dow Jones story that quoted a USDA spokesperson saying that the more than 60 studies compiled in the report were all from "reputed, scientific, peer-reviewed and scholarly journals."


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Woman delivers weird baby in Ekiti

Ado Ekiti—A woman believed to be in her 30s in Iyin Ekiti, Irepodun/Ifelogun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, has given birth to a strange looking baby.

The woman, (name withheld) and a mother of two, was pregnant for 13 months and was said to have undergone several tests at various private hospitals in the state where she was assured of a set of twins.

She was said to have delivered the strange creature at the General Hospital in the town through a Cesarean Section in the hospital at about 2.15 pm last Thursday.

The birth of the fearful baby caused a stir in the hospital as medical officials were seen discussing the strange birth , while others trooped to the hospital from the town and neighbouring communities to see the "strange baby''

Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Wole Olugboji, confirmed the delivery.

His words; "There was a woman who gave birth to a strange baby at General Hospital Iyin. The baby is dead but the mother is okay."

He said the mother of the baby was still unconscious due to the sedation administered to her before the CS to ensure she did not see the creature.

The commissioner noted that the strange birth was quickly disposed off to save the parents from embarrassment.

Vanguard gathered that the woman's husband was present in the delivery room and approved of the quick burial of the strange creature.

A source at the hospital told Vanguard that the strange 'baby' has two bulging eyes and few strand of hair on the forehead. The creature had no brain. Its head was open at the back and you can see mucus inside the head instead of brain. It was a strange creature that nobody seems to have seen before."

Another source said that the creature was very tiny at birth. The delivery was abnormal as the fluid which was drained from the mother's body was in excess. The baby must have been deformed due to the effects of some drugs or herbs. That is why we always ask pregnant women not to take any drug unless prescribed by a qualified doctor. We cannot rule it out that the deformity might have been caused by concoction. It is possible."


Farmer's daughter disarms terrorist and shoots him dead with AK47

An Indian farmer's daughter disarmed a terrorist leader who broke into her home, attacked him with an axe and shot him dead with his own gun.

Rukhsana Kausar, 21, was with her parents and brother in Jammu and Kashmir when three gunmen, believed to be Pakistani militants, forced their way in and demanded food and beds for the night.

Their house in Shahdra Sharief, Rajouri district, is about 20 miles from the ceasefire line between Indian and Pakistani forces.

It is close to dense forests known as hiding places for fighters from the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which carried out the Mumbai terrorist attack last November.

Militants often demand food and lodging in nearby villages.

When they forced their way into Miss Kausar's home, her father Noor Mohammad refused their demands and was attacked.

His daughter was hiding under a bed when she heard him crying as the gunmen thrashed him with sticks. According to police, she ran towards her father's attacker and struck him with an axe. As he collapsed, she snatched his AK47 and shot him dead.

She also shot and wounded another militant as he made his escape.

Police have hailed the woman's bravery.

They said she would be nominated for the president's gallantry award.

She may also receive a £4,000 reward if, as police believe, the dead terrorist is confirmed as Uzafa Shah, a wanted Pakistani LeT commander who had been active in the area for the past four years.

Supt Shafqat Watali said Miss Kausar's reaction was "a rude shock" for the militants. "Normally they get king-like treatment but this was totally unexpected," he said.

Miss Kausar said she had never fired an assault rifle before but had seen it in films and could not stand by while her father was being hurt. "I couldn't bear my father's humiliation. If I'd failed to kill him, they would have killed us," she said.


Fake doctor nabbed in Kano

A suspected fake doctor who has been into the illegal act was yesterday nabbed by police in Kano after the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Kano State chapter tipped them off on the development. The man who was alleged to be operating with forged documents bearing the name Dr. Ibrahim Adamu Gumel was arrested in Tudun Bojuwa, along Katsina road.

He was said to have been seeing patients in Kunya hospital, a private clinic for some time when the staff of the hospitals noticed some unusual way in his moves and decided to investigate and therefore alerted the NMA who in turn launched an investigation that resulted in his arrest.

The chairman of the NMA Kano state chapter, Dr. Daiyabu Ibrahim said the culprit's  unprofessional conduct was noticed and the hospital became suspicious despite the fact that he presented   documents showing that he has graduated from Ahmadu  Bello University Zaria in 2008 with the name of Ibrahim Adamu.

He said later when the case was transferred to BachIrawa the man said he was a medical school dropout and hailed from Agaie in Niger state and had even practiced in Minna for some time before relocating to Kano.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Vampire bat claims first victim in U.S

A teenager from Mexico became the first person in the United States to die after being bitten by a vampire bat and infected with rabies, US health authorities said on Thursday.

A teenager from Mexico became the first person in the United States to die ...

The 19-year-old man was a migrant farm worker who had been bitten on the heel by a vampire bat in his native Michoacan on July 15, 2010, 10 days before he left for the United States to pick sugar cane at a plantation in Louisiana.

"This case represents the first reported human death from a vampire bat rabies virus variant in the United States," said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Morbidity and Mortality weekly report.

The unusually aggressive form of rabies had an incubation period of just 15 days, compared to the median 85 days seen in other cases of human rabies in the United States, the CDC said.

Although vampire bat populations are currently confined to Latin America, climate change could be forcing their populations northward, leading to more cases of human infection in the southern United States, the CDC warned.

The patient had never received a rabies vaccine and fell ill about two weeks after he was bitten by the blood-sucking creature.

At the end of July, after one day of working in the fields, the man sought medical help for fatigue, shoulder pain, numbness in his left hand and a drooping left eye. He soon developed respiratory distress and a 101.1-degree fever (38.4 Celsius).

"During the next several days, the patient became gradually less responsive to external stimuli, developed fixed and dilated pupils, and began having episodes of bradycardia (slow heartbeat) and hypothermia," the CDC said.

Tests showed he had developed encephalitis, or swelling of the brain. On August 20, samples of his spinal fluid confirmed a diagnosis of rabies.

A subsequent brain scan revealed severe impairment. His family decided to take him off life support and the man died shortly after.

Postmortem tests on his brain tissue "determined the variant to be a vampire bat rabies virus variant," the CDC said.

The case "highlights the growing importance of bats in public health," added the CDC, urging the public to avoid contact with vampire bats and get vaccinated if possible.

"Research suggests that the range of these bats might be expanding as a result of changes in climate," it said.

"Expansion of vampire bats into the United States likely would lead to increased bat exposures to both humans and animals (including domestic livestock and wildlife species) and substantially alter rabies virus dynamics and ecology in the southern United States."

The United States has documented a total of 32 cases of human rabies, mostly from a canine rabies variant, since the year 2000, eight of which were acquired abroad. Two of the cases originated in Mexico.

Vampire bats are bloodsucking nocturnal mammals that are typically found in Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. They usually feed on sleeping wildlife and livestock, but sometimes bite people, too.

Copyright AFP 2008, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A desperate leap of faith from a burning building during London Riot

Life is precious. When one is confronted with anything that would likely snatch life away, caution is thrown to the winds and sudden pump of adrenalin sees one doing what ordinarily would be impossible.
All the major newspapers in the U.K. published a dramatic photo of a woman jumping from a burning building during the riots that have terrorized the country, captured by Amy Weston of the photo agency WENN. Weston said she went to an area of Croydon, outside London, where she heard there were fires. "There were six or seven people screaming and crying outside, and they looked like they lived at the flats that were burning. The flats were above small independent shops. … A man in a white shirt was screaming that a girl was at the window and that she was ready to jump. He ran towards her but riot police had appeared and pulled him back, and they went to her instead." Time has posted the entire series of photos, the last of which shows the woman being caught by police. Weston said she didn't know what happened to the woman once she dropped because the angry crowd pushed back. The Guardian reported that the public had contacted WENN asking if the photo had been altered. || Related: Rioters use BlackBerry Messenger to organize. To borrow the debate from Tunisia and Egypt, did BlackBerry cause the mayhem?

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Youth pastor caught filming girls in shower

Authorities are seeking a former Pasadena church youth pastor accused of filming two teen girls in a shower.

Thomas Jason Fortenberry, 30, is charged with two counts of improper photography, accused of choosing two 15-year-olds and two 17-year-olds for a church game similar to the television show "Fear Factor" which ended with the girls being covered in honey.

According to court documents, Fortenberry recently admitted to the two older girls that he hid a camera on Nov. 4, 2007, at the Greater Harvest Community Church at 2121 Genoa Red Bluff in Pasadena. He said he taped them disrobing and washing the honey off.

Fortenberry also told one of the girls he videotaped the younger girls that day, according to the criminal complaint.

When confronted by investigators, Fortenberry would only say that "he had done things he should not have done," court records show.

Fortenberry faces a maximum of two years behind bars if convicted of the state jail felonies. He could not be reached immediately for comment.


»Will U.S. Give up Being the World's Policemen?

Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, talks to Steve Inskeep about his opinion on the S&P credit downgrade. Frank says the U.S. spends too much money being the military policemen of the world.


Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Scientists Can Now Create Sperm?

Japanese scientists successfully restored fertility in sterile mice using sperm cells that were originated in the lab, reports a new study in the journal Cell. The research promises to help scientists better understand fertility in humans and may someday even help lead to new infertility treatments.

The research team led by Dr. Mitinori Saitou at Kyoto University began by coaxing mouse embryonic stem cells into primordial germ cells, which give rise to sperm or egg cells. The germs cells were then transplanted into the testes of 7-day-old mice, which had been bred to be sterile.

The result? The mice not only went on to produce normal-looking sperm, but the sperm also successfully fertilized mouse egg cells in Petri dishes. The researchers created 214 embryos, which were implanted into female mice, resulting in the birth of 65 healthy male and female mouse pups. Those pups grew up to have healthy, fertile offspring of their own.

Saitou and his colleagues (along with many other research groups) have been working on figuring out how to turn embryonic stem cells into healthy sperm or eggs for years. This latest achievement is being lauded by colleagues around the world. "It's a brilliant set of experiments," George Daley, director of the stem-cell transplantation program at Children's Hospital Boston, told the Wall Street Journal. "They restored fertility in the mice. It lays the groundwork for major insights into sperm development and fertility."

MORE: Could Lab-Grown Sperm Help Infertile Men?

In another recent experiment, a separate group of scientists at Japan's Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine successfully grew sperm in a lab dish and used it to give rise to healthy offspring. But in that case, rather than using embryonic stem cells, the researchers used testicular tissue from baby mice, bathed it in nutrients in a dish and were able to produce sperm in the lab for two months.

The discovery, reported in Nature in March, was preliminary, but holds great potential if replicated in humans. Healthland reported:

The findings suggest that testicular tissue can be frozen and saved for later use — a potential advance that could help preserve fertility in certain patients, such as young boys facing cancer treatment. Adult cancer patients can freeze sperm before starting chemotherapy or radiation, but that isn't an option for boys who haven't entered puberty yet.

MORE: Guys Are Right: Size Matters, When It Comes to Fertility

Saitou cautions that his work is also too early to translate to humans: "We have a long way to go before it can be applied in humans," he said. The Journal reports that he's already turned to his next scientific goal: to use embryonic stem cells to create healthy, functioning eggs.


SSS arrests Lagos-based Boko Haram kingpin in Minna

Some operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) were said to have swooped on key chieftains of the dreaded Boko Haram sect in Minna, Niger State at the weekend where they effected the arrest of seven chieftains.

It was gathered that the lead suspect is a Lagos-based businessman, whose name was given as Yusuff.

He was said to have made Minna his operational base in recent times and was said to have been present in the state on two occasions when bombs went off in Suleja.

Sources in the administration told the Nigerian Tribune that six other loyalists of the said kingpin were arrested in a swoop by the security forces.

Sources further confirmed that serious surveillance had been mounted on the said Yusuff for sometime now, especially when it was confirmed that his visits to Niger State coincided with the two bomb blasts that rocked the state in recent past.

"The man claims to be a businessman in Lagos but he comes into Niger State on occasions. In recent times, his lifestyle has changed and he was around in the state during the bomb blast in Suleja before the election and the one that happened recently in a church," a source said.

The arrest was said to have been effected on Saturday, with six others linked to the Boko Haram sect also arrested the same day in the state.

The suspect is said to have been linked with another highly placed person, whose identity is being kept under wraps, a source said.

"The said Yusuff is usually in the state when bombs explode and he promptly returns to Lagos afterwards, so people watched him overtime and they discovered some strange movements. The close watch led to the arrest of the kingpin and six others," a source stated.

It was learnt that security chiefs have commenced further investigations to possibly link the man with operations of Boko Haram not only in Niger State but across the states of the North.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

» Police recover part of Rep’s stolen money

LAGOS — The Police in Lagos said, weekend, they have recovered part of the money  stolen from a vehicle belonging to a member of the House of Representatives recently in Alausa, Ikeja area of the state.

The House of Reps member (names withheld) from Osun State was said to have gone to the Ikeja branch of one of the new generation banks, where he withdrew N3.2 million, but unknown to him, he was trailed by a four-man robbery gang.

Vanguard learnt that he parked his car at the Alausa secretariat to visit one of the Commissioners and while inside, the gang, which drove in a Land Rover SUV, broke into his car and carted away the money.

The blaring security  alarm in the car drew the attention of people, which led to the pursuit of the robbers by  policemen from Alausa division, consequent upon which the robbers abandoned their operational vehicle and escaped.

A Police source said in the process, a bundle of N500,000 fell from one of the fleeing robbers. During investigation, Police sources hinted that based on information obtained from the licensing office, the suspected ring leader, in whose name the abandoned vehicle was registered, was trailed to his Akute home.

Police sources said: "But his door was met under lock and key. We were informed that he and his wife escaped over night."


The Nation - EFCC busts $3.5b power project scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has foiled an attempt to swindle a US-based company, Sunergy Worldwide Incorporated of about $3.5billion over a non-existing power project in t

Also, the commission has launched a manhunt for the Managing Director of the Nigerian firm, Arvokad Resources Plc, Mr. Jonathan Dike, who was allegedly central to the scam.

Investigation by our correspondent showed that the MD and directors of Arvokad had sought partnership with the American firm to build a $7billion solar energy plant.

Based on bid documents with purported official endorsement of the project by the Ministry of Power and Energy, the American company accepted to fund the project.

But at the point of remitting its 50 per cent of the cost of the project, the bubble burst following discovery by the American firm that Arvokad was not involved in any IPP plant in Nigeria .

A top source in the anti-graft commission, who spoke in confidence, said: "The controversial Nigerian firm, Arvokad, is purportedly located at 138, Aba – Owerri Road in Abia State.

"According to preliminary findings by the EFCC, Arvokad sought a deal with the American company by claiming that it was acting on behalf of the Ministry of Power and Energy.  Arvokad sought for partnership with Sunergy and asked the American firm to submit a quotation of $7bilion for a solar energy power project for the Federal Government.

The US company did as directed and thereafter, it was informed that it has been short-listed as the favoured bidder by the Contract Award Committee of the Ministry of Power and Energy."

The source added, "As part of our discovery, officials of Arvokad impersonated a former Minister of Power, Nuhu Wya , by presenting documents claiming that the ex-Minister presided over the contract award committee," and asked the American firm to remit 50 per cent of the counterpart funding valued at $3.5 billion.

"But shortly before the remittance, the CEO of Sunergy Worldwide Incorporated, Yua Xu contacted the recently established EFCC's Transaction Clearing Platform (TCP) to verify the authenticity of the contract details. The TCP cautioned the American firm to withhold the remittance of the counterpart funds pending verification. And at the end of the day, it turned out to be a big scam and the affected foreign firm was communicated, and advised not to remit any money."

The source said the EFCC is already on the trail of the Managing Director of Arvokad, Jonathan Dike and any of its directors.  "We have launched a manhunt for all those with stakes in the company; we will certainly arrest them for necessary grilling, "the source said.

Contacted, the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Femi Babafemi said: "We have bust the scam but investigation is in progress."

http://www.thenationonlineng. com

Copy of Edo State Consumption Tax Act




1. This Law may be cited as the Hotels and Events Centres Occupancy and
Restaurants Consumption Law of Edo State and shall come into effect
on the………… of……………………………2011.

2. In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires:-

"Consumer" includes a hotel guest or any person who makes use of a hotel, restaurant, event centre or hotel facility for a fee;

"Events Centres" includes halls, auditoria, fields and places designated for public use for a fee:

"Government" means the Edo State Government:

"Hotel" includes a motel, guest house, apartment for short letting, tavern, meeting room, and function hall, whether or not described as a hotel by the operator;

Hotel facility" includes a room, suite, hall, open space or other facility or resource centre which may be let out for a fee within a hotel or other
facility covered by this Law under a lease, concession, permit, right of
license, contract, or other agreement.

"Restaurant" includes any food sale outlet, bar, tavern, inn or café whether or not located within a hotel;

"State" means Edo State of Nigeria;

"Transferee" includes purchaser, assignee, lessee, licensee or other successor in title;

"Transferor" includes seller, assignor, lessor or licensor, or other successor in title;

"Person" includes a body corporate.

3. (1) A tax is imposed on any person (referred to in this Law as "the Consumer") who-pays for the use of any hotel, hotel facility or events centre: or

(b) Purchases consumable goods or services in any restaurant whether or not located within a hotel in Edo State.

(2) The amount to which this tax applies shall be the total cost of
facilities, consumables or personal services supplied to a consumer in, by or on behalf of the hotels, restaurants or events Centres.

4. The rate of tax imposed by this Law shall be five percent (5%) of the total bill
issued to the consumer.

5. A person owning, managing or controlling any business or supplying any goods or
services chargeable under Section 3 of this Law (referred to in this Law as the "Collecting Agent") shall collect for and on behalf of the State, the tax imposed by this Law based on the total amount charged or payable by the consumer in accordance with the provisions of Section 4 of this Law.

6. The tax charged by this Law shall be under the care and management of the Edo State Board of Internal Revenue (referred to in this Law as "The Board")

7. (1) Any Hotel, Restaurant or other business affected by this Law shall, within 30 days of the commencement of this Law or upon commencement of business, whichever is earlier, register with the Board for the purpose of this Law.

(2) Every Collecting Agent shall produce evidence of registration with the Board as a condition precedent to any contractual relationship with the State Government or any of its Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Parastatals or Local Government Councils.

8. (1) Every Collecting Agent shall:

(a) Keep, maintain and preserve such records, books and accounts in respect of all transactions chargeable under Section 3 of this Law as the Board may prescribe and shall enter regular accounts of the tax collected from day to day.

(b) subject to the provisions of subsection (5) of this Section, pay to the designated account of the State Government, the tax collected during the preceding reporting period and at the same time, file with the Board a report stating:-

(i) the total amount of payments made for all chargeable transactions during the preceding reporting period;

(ii) the amount of tax collected by the agent during the reporting period; and

(iii) any other information required by the Board to be included in the report.
(2) For the purpose of these provisions, each calendar month is a reporting period and the taxes imposed and collected under this Law are due and payable on or before the 7th day of the following month.

(3) The tax collected shall be a debt due to the State and recoverable by the Board from the supplier of chargeable facilities, goods and services.

9. An officer of the Board:-

(1) may enter without warrant, any premises on which he reasonably believes that a person is carrying on business in order to ascertain whether this Law is being complied with by the Collecting Agent.

(2) shall at any reasonable time of the day be given access to all books and records of any hotel, restaurant or other establishment offering chargeable goods and services for the purpose of verifying facts necessary to determine the amount due and payable to the Government under this Law.

(3) it shall be an offence for any person to prevent any officer of the Board from having entry into the premises or access to the Records of the Collecting Agent.

10. Where a Collecting Agent fails to make a return or remittance as required by the provisions of this Law or where his returns are not substantiated by records, the Board may make an estimate of the total amount of tax due and may order the person in writing to pay the estimated amount to the Board within 21 days of the date of service of the order.

11. The Board may from time to time by Order published in the Gazette, issue rules and regulations for the determination, collection, and remittance of taxes due and for the proper administration of this Law

12. All taxes that are not remitted to the Board within the time allowed, shall in addition to other penalties prescribed by this Law, bear interest at the rate of two percent (2%) per annum above the prevailing Central Bank of Nigeria
Minimum Re-discount Rate as determined at the time of actual remittance.

13. If a Collecting Agent fails to file a report and remit taxes collected within the time allowed by Section 8(2) of this Law, that Agent shall, in addition to interest payable under Section 12 of this Law, pay a penalty of ten percent (10%) of the amount of tax due.

14. Any Director, Manager, Officer, Agent or Employee of the Collecting Agent who fails to comply with the provisions of this Law, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a penalty of not more than Six (6) months imprisonment or a fine of Two Million Naira (N 2,000,000.00) or both depending on the size of business.

15. (1) When a hotel, restaurant or other facility covered by this Law is sold or otherwise disposed of, the transferee shall withhold such amount of the purchase price or other consideration as is sufficient to offset all payments already due to the Government under the provision of this Law, unless the transferor has first provided a receipt issued by the Board showing that the amount due at the date of transfer had been paid or that no amount was due.

(2) A transferee of a chargeable facility who fails to comply with the provisions of subsection (1) of this Section shall be liable to pay the account and the provisions of Sections 12 and 13 of this Law shall apply as if he was operating the hotel business at the time the payments were due.

(3) The transferee of a chargeable facility may for a fee to be determined by the Board request from the Board a certificate stating that no tax is due or stating the amount of tax due from the facility at the date of transfer.

(4) In the case of a request made under subsection (3) of this Section, the Board shall issue certificate within 14 days of receiving the request or within 14 days after the day on which the relevant records of the business are made available for audit, whichever is later, but in either event, the Board shall issue the certificate within 30 days after the date of request.

16. (1) Any person aggrieved by any assessment made by the Board under this Law shall within seven (7) days of being notified of such decision write to the Chairman or other designated Officer of the Board requesting the Board to review, amend or reverse the assessment.

(2) Upon the receipt of such notice, as mentioned in subsection (1) of this
Section, the Board may reconsider, affirm or amend its assessment and notify the complainant of its decision.

(3) Where upon a review, the Board serves on the complainant a notice of
refusal to amend, a complainant who is dissatisfied by the refusal may
institute an action at the High Court of Edo State.

(4) Where the person served with an assessment or his authorized
representative fails to contest the assessment within the period allowed by subsection (1) of this Section, the assessment shall be deemed to be final and conclusive.

17. (1) The Board may institute an action at the High Court of Edo State for the recovery of taxes, interests and penalties due under this Law.

(2) All revenue recoverable under this Law are revenues of the Edo State Government and accordingly, all legal actions taken in relation to this Law or anything done pursuant to it shall, subject to the provision of Section 16 of this Law, be instituted at the High Court of Edo State.

(3) Where an ex-parte application is made to the Court supported by affidavit that there is reasonable cause for suspecting that a Collecting Agent or any other business organization or person is in contravention of any provision of this Law, the Court may make an Order upon such terms as it deems fit to:-

(a) prevent concealment of the fraud or dissipation of monies due to the Government; or

(b) authorize officers of the Board to enter the premises of the suspect at any reasonable time of day or night accompanied by police officers; to

(i) inspect the premises for any evidence of contravention; and
(ii) seize any books of account, records or other things by which the liability of the Collecting Agent, business organization or other person may be established.

(4) Any person who knowingly gives false information to the Board shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period of six (6) months or a fine of Five Hundred Thousand Naira
(N 500,000.00) or both

18. (1) Without prejudice to any other power conferred on the Board for the
enforcement of payments due to Government under this or any other Law, where an assessment has become final and conclusive and a demand notice has been served on a person to make payment, and payment is not made within the time limited by the demand notice, the Board, shall in the prescribed form, for the purpose of enforcing payment of the tax due:-

(a) distrain the defaulter by his goods or other chattels, bonds or other securities.

(b) distrian upon the relevant facility or other place in respect of which the defaulter is the owner, and subject to the provisions of this Section, recover the amount of tax due by sale of any of the things so distrained.

(2) The authority to distrain under this Section shall be in such form as the Board may direct and that authority shall be sufficient warrant to levy by distrain, the amount of tax due.

(3) For the purpose of levying a distrain under this Section, an officer
authorized in writing by the Board may execute a warrant of distrain, and if necessary, break open any building or place in the day time for the purpose of levying the distrain and may call to his assistance, any police or other security officer whose duty, when so required, shall be to aid and assist in the execution of the warrant of distrain and levying the distrain.

(4) Things distrained under this Section may, at the cost of the defaulter, be kept for fourteen (14) days and at the end of that time, if the amount due in respect of the tax and the cost and charges incidental to the distrain are still not paid, may subject to the provisions of sub-section (6) of this Section, be sold at anytime thereafter.

(5) Out of the proceeds of a sale under this Section, there shall be paid the cost or charges incidental to the sale and keeping of the distrain, and the amount due in respect of the tax. The balance (if any) shall be payable to the defaulter by the Board.

(6) Nothing in this Section shall be construed as authorizing the sale of an immovable property without an Order of the State High Court, made on application in such form as may be prescribed by the Rules of Court.

The Story of a man who builds Nigerian car

When Sunday Okpere was seven, he made toy cars using empty milk cans, short ropes and small twigs, which he happily dragged around the streets in his hometown in Edo State; while at the same time nursing the dream of building a real car.

Today, Mr Okpere drives a red and black car, which he named 'Rock Auto,' around the streets of Lagos; a car which he designed and coupled from start to finish with locally-sourced materials.

Despite the death of his father and the attendant financial and emotional setback to the family, Mr Okpere said "making a car" was something he knew he wanted to do at a young age when he discovered his creative spirit.

"When I was a young boy, I used to make car with cans," said Mr Okpere, 35, who relocated with his family from Lagos to Edo State in the late 70's.

"All my friends in my neighbourhood will gather around me and say I should make for them. From cars, I started making guns. Anything I was interested in, I tried to make on my own."

"In secondary school, my teacher in school asked me what I wanted to be in future and I said I want to be an engineer," he said.

Return to Lagos

Armed with his dream, Mr Okpere returned to Lagos in 1990. He recalled how difficult it was then, struggling to help his mother and schooling. He could not further his education after completing secondary school due to financial difficulties, but this did not deter his dream. His interest in cars led him to an automobile workshop in Oyadiran Estate, Sabo, Yaba, where he trained for seven years as an auto mechanic.

He garnered so much skills there that his employer didn't want him to leave.

"My boss didn't want me to leave him. He kept me for some time and was paying me but later I had to leave to find my own life," he said.He worked for a while with a petroleum company in Ikoyi where he was responsible for maintaining all the cars used by the company. While there, he got some experience working on ships, as his Italian boss taught him a couple of things, he said.

Today, he works with Tag 4 Armour Nigeria, a company that sells and services armoured vehicles for police, banks and individuals. For Mr Okpere, every work experience he's had was a foundation block for achieving his dream.

In July 2010, he started putting pieces of his car together, a journey which took him six months to complete.

"I did a lot of research on the Internet before I came up with the engine design and parts that I used. I had to work hard.

"I saved my salary for many months. I think a lot, I don't drink; I don't go to beer parlour. You can't see me there. How can I achieve my own dreams? That was my focus then. I said to myself, I want to build a car, how can I go about it?"

Copying the master:
According to Mr Okpere, many people mocked him when he started building his car. Some called him a mad man, many laughed at him. But the story of Henry Ford was one thing that greatly inspired him.

"When I read the story of Henry Ford, I saw that his lifestyle was similar to my own. At the age of 12 years, he started helping his father and going for apprenticeship on how to design engine models. I thought that if he can do it, I can do it."

The process of building the car came with a lot of challenges that threatened to discourage him at certain points, he said, but he kept his ground.

"I made a lot of mistakes," he recalled. "I spent a lot of time and money on the windscreen.

"The first one I got didn't work, it got damaged. The second one, the same thing. Until I got the third one, then I succeeded. You have to keep trying. It's not when it doesn't work then you think you have failed. You must try again."

Another trying moment came when he wanted to test-drive the car. This he had to do alone. After driving it around for a while, he wanted to see the performance at a 'C' bend on Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, a place he said accidents occur quite often. "I wanted to see the balance of the car so I entered the bend with speed, thinking it was going to shift, but the car was fine.

"Then I started laughing out loud; people were just looking at me. I gave God the glory immediately."

Today, Mr Okpere is so proud of his car, a V6 four stroke engine, that he would be happy to let any engineer test-drive it. For him, safety was his priority when designing the car which is why he built it with strong iron pillars which cannot compress in such a way that it would injure the occupants in case of any accident.

He is grateful to God who has been with him all the way and encourages young people to pursue their dreams regardless of where they come from.

"I grew up in the street. I was a street boy. God picked me out of the street and he crowned me with his glory."


Saturday, August 6, 2011

How Bats Detect and Suck Blood

Forget Team Edward and Team Jacob. The science behind fictional vampires has now been dissected, but what about their real-life counterparts, the only known mammal that survives solely on blood?

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas in Caracas, Venezuela have figured out how the very real vampire bat is able to detect the blood of its prey, ScienceDaily reports.

The secret? A "sensitive, heat-detecting molecule," called TRPV1, which covers nerve endings on their noses, explains

Along with an ability to sense its prey's veins through the heat-detecting molecule, the bat can bite through another animal's skin without waking it, due to enamel-free, razor sharp teeth. According to ScienceDaily, once an adult vampire bat has successfully found a vein to feed from, it can drink half of its body weight in blood.

The Guardian compares the blood-detecting sensors on their lips to human cells, writing, "The specialised nerve cells are similar to the pain-sensing cells in the human tongue, skin and eyes, which allow us to sense the sting of chilli peppers and high temperatures."

David Julius, PhD, led the team of scientists, and said that the discovery of TRPV1 in vampire bats helped them put a finger on the origin of the species as well:

"For some time, people thought that bats were more closely related to rodents because of their anatomical features," he said. "In more recent years, with the advent of genomic methods, there have been a number of groups that postulated the fact that bats are more closely related to this other superorder. Bats are not as closely related to rodents and humans as they are to dogs, cows and whales."

The International Business Times writes that the findings might give a closer look into how similar human sensors work, and could help improve prescription drugs. The team's findings were published in Nature on Thursday.

Not all bats are "Twilight"-y and terrifying. Some are even seriously threatened. A deadly disease, white-nose syndrome, has killed over one million bats of other species in the past five years.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cody Santiago Arrested In Brooklyn Robbery Of 78 Year-Old Catalina Mateo

It is said that when you spare the rod you spoil the child.

Join The Discussion On Okoawo BlueGate & Co.


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