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Sunday, April 30

Saturday, April 29

[Music] P-Square – Nobody Ugly


PSquare returns with a brand new single ,After The Successful Release Of Away, Nigerian Super Music Duo Psquare Comes Again With Another Single Titled Nobody Ugly as usual they always set the trend, this is no exception as it will definitely be on everyone’s lips in the coming weeks listen up and enjoy!
And also dance as the music is playing.

    Download [No Body Ugly]

  You may place your comments below.

Dija Drops Wan Chop


Falling for you crooner Hadiza Blell, better known by her stage name Di'Ja has released a song titled "Wan Chop"Download dija wan chop

Nigerian born Anthony Joshua knocks out Wladimir Klitschko in 11th roun


Anthony Joshua produced a remarkable recovery, to knock out Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round of an epic heavyweight world title fight at Wembley on Saturday night.
The 27-year-old appeared to be on the brink of his first defeat since he turned professional, after he was floored in the sixth round. But he produced a dramatic late onslaught to halt Klitschko with one round left.
After 10 rounds, two judges had Joshua ahead, one by 96-93 and one by 95-93, while the other judge had Klitschko 95-93 ahead.
With this victory, Joshua has successfully defended his IBF title, while also claiming the WBA ‘super’ belt.
“What can I say? 19-0, three and a half years in the game. As I said, I’m not perfect but I’m trying and if you don’t take part you’re going to fail.
“As boxing states, you leave your ego at the door and you respect your opponent. So a massive shout out to Wladimir Klitschko,”

I kept my promise to Americans – Donald Trump


The president of the United State of America, Donald Trump on Saturday said that he has kept his campaign promises to the people of Americans. He made the remark while addressing citizens of American, exposing his achievements since he took over from his predecessor, Barack Obama.
One hundred days ago, I took the oath of office and made a pledge: We are not merely going to transfer political power from one party to another, but instead are going to transfer that power from Washington, D.C., and give it back to the people.
In the past 100 days, I have kept that promise — and more.
Issue by issue, department by department, we are giving the people their country back. After decades of a shrinking middle class, open borders and the mass offshoring of American jobs and wealth, this government is working for the citizens of our country and no one else.
The same establishment media that concealed these problems — and profited from them — is obviously not going to tell this story. That is why we are taking our message directly to America.
We have opened the White House doors to listen, engage and act. We’ve invited in labor leaders, factory owners, police officers, farmers, veterans and Democrats, Republicans and independents.
The change began with the termination of the Trans- Pacific Partnership— a 12-nation pact that would have shipped millions more jobs to other countries.
But leaving the TPP was only the beginning. We have also launched an investigation into foreign trading abuses and taken steps to protect the production of American steel and aluminum. After years of federal contracts going to foreign bidders, we are ensuring that government agencies enforce “Buy American” rules and give preference to American companies — and that American companies hire American workers.
Crucially, to bring back our jobs, we are going to pursue a complete renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement: We’ve lost nearly a third of our manufacturing jobs in the 23 years since that terrible deal was approved.
At the center of our economic agenda, we’ve undertaken the most far-reaching effort in history to remove job-killing regulations.I ‘ve ordered that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. We’ve signed a record 13 Congressional Review Act resolutions to scrap job-crushing regulations, and I’ve signed 29 pieces of legislation in total — a mark not surpassed in the first 100 days since Harry S. Truman.
Those newly enacted laws include Veterans’ Choice legislation — which became law while at the same time we’ve increased by 42 percent the number of veterans approved to see the doctor of their choosing. And we’ve provided transparency by publishing all wait times at the Veterans Affairs health system online, backed up by a new Veterans Affairs Office of Accountability.
On energy, the change has been profound. We’ve canceled restrictions on the production of oil, natural gas and clean coal.
What we’ve accomplished on immigration and criminal enforcement is nothing short of historic. After decades of unending illegal immigration and mass uncontrolled entry, we’ve turned the tide as never before — illegal border-crossings are down 73 percent. Visa processes are being reformed to substantially improve vetting and screening, and we’ve launched prototypes and bidding for the border wall to stop the scourge of drugs, human trafficking and illegal immigrants from coming into our country.
Federal law enforcement has begun a crackdown on sanctuary cities that harbor criminal aliens — because we know the first duty of government is to protect American citizens.
The Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State, and the director of national intelligence, have formed an inter-agency group for the express purpose of dismantling transnational criminal cartels. The handcuffs have been removed from our prosecutors, and they’re targeting the drug dealers and gang members who prey on our citizens — and they’re working to eradicate the violent cartel MS-13.
The change on defense has been profound as well. The Defense Department has begun to rebuild and restore our military readiness. We’ve reasserted American leadership by holding the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria accountable for its monstrous use of banned chemical weapons against helpless, innocent civilians. Our successful missile strike enforced the red line that the previous administration drew but ignored, thus restoring our credibility with our friends and our deterrence with our foes. Finally, NATO countries are starting to pay billions of dollars more since I have made clear that the United States expects all of its allies to pay their fair share.
I delivered on one of my biggest promises, appointing and confirming a new justice to the Supreme Court who will be faithful to the U.S. Constitution. This is the first time a new justice has been confirmed in the first 100 days in 136 years.
As we’ve made these changes — on the border, on our economy, on our security — confidence has soared. And a survey of manufacturing reveals record-breaking optimism in the future. Consumer confidence hit a 16-year high . Thousands of new jobs are being re-shored back to America — including jobs at Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Sprint, Intel and so many more.
We are proving that Buy and Hire American isn’t just a slogan — it’s now the policy of the U.S. government. It, along with the many other things we are doing, will Make America Great Again.
No longer will we listen to the same failed voices of the past who brought us nothing but war overseas, poverty at home and the loss of companies, jobs and our wealth to countries that have taken total advantage of the United States.
The White House is once again the People’s House. And I will do everything in my power to be the People’s President — to faithfully, loyally and proudly champion the incredible citizens who love this nation and who call this God-blessed land their home.

Nigerian born Anthony Joshua knocks out Wladimir Klitschko in 11th round


Anthony Joshua produced a remarkable recovery, to knock out Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round of an epic heavyweight world title fight at Wembley on Saturday night.
The 27-year-old appeared to be on the brink of his first defeat since he turned professional, after he was floored in the sixth round. But he produced a dramatic late onslaught to halt Klitschko with one round left.
After 10 rounds, two judges had Joshua ahead, one by 96-93 and one by 95-93, while the other judge had Klitschko 95-93 ahead. With this victory, Joshua has successfully defended his IBF title, while also claiming the WBA ‘super’ belt. “What can I say? 19-0, three and a half years in the game. As I said, I’m not perfect but I’m trying and if you don’t take part you’re going to fail.
“As boxing states, you leave your ego at the door and you respect your opponent. So a massive shout out to Wladimir Klitschko,”

6 women, 8 children die after boat capsizes


Fourteen people, comprising women and children, from one family died after a boat capsized in a deep pond in Southern India, local police said on Saturday.
The accident occurred in a village in the Guntakal region of Andhra Pradesh state on Friday evening when the group was taking a joyride on a fishing boat.
Local police inspector Gurunath Babu said that the boat possibly capsized due to overcrowding, but the exact cause of the accident was still being investigated.
“The victims include six women, plus eight children all under the age of 15.
“Two men were able to swim to safety while one child was rescued by locals,” Babu said.

The people who had hired the boat belonged to an extended family that had come to attend a religious ceremony at a local temple.
Every year, scores of people drown in boat tragedies across India, which are mostly blamed on overcrowding, poor maintenance of vessels and lax safety rules.
In January, 25 people died when a boat sank in the Ganges river in the eastern state of Bihar.

Thursday, April 27

Zoran Zaev hurt as protesters storm Skopje parliament








Leader of Social Democrats injured after violence broke out following election of ethnic Albanian as speaker.
Opposition leader Zoran Zaev was seen with blood on his face in the chaos [EPA]
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1 Comment Protesters have stormed into Macedonia's parliament and assaulted the leader of the Social Democrats (SDSM) after his party and ethnic Albanian allies voted to elect an Albanian as parliament speaker.
Police fired stun grenades to disperse protesters outside the parliament and clear the way for the evacuation of lawmakers trapped in the building on Thursday.
SDM leader Zoran Zaev was seen with blood on his face in the chaos.
Thousands protest in Macedonia
Interior Minister Agim Nuhiu told media that 10 MPs had been injured, as well as some police and journalists.
"In an attempt to take control of the situation inside and outside the parliament, we have ordered police to use all measures," Nuhiu, who is part of the interim government, said in a televised interview.
"We are using stun grenades in order to allow the evacuation of the MPs."
The violence erupted after more than 100 protesters supporting the rival nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party entered parliament waving Macedonian flags and singing the national anthem.
The protesters' move came shortly after Zaev announced that the majority coalition, led by his SDSM party, had elected Talat Xhaferi as speaker of the parliament.
"The scariest thing is that this was allowed to happen," Ivana Jordanovska, a political activist, told Al Jazeera from Skopje.
"For more than two years, we have seen how the police act when anti-government protests take place. And now [when the opposition is targeted], the police did nothing. The police was absent."
Neighbouring Albania's foreign ministry reacted to the violence, saying it was monitoring "the escalation of the situation in Macedonia with great concern".
In Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski, the leader of VMRO-DPMNE, called for people to "calm down" after Thursday's incident.
"People should not respond to provocations of the SDSM and those who want to push the state into even deeper crisis," he said on Facebook.
The violence erupted after more than 100 protesters entered parliament waving Macedonian flags and singing the national anthem [Ognen Teofilovski/Reuters]
Gruevski and his nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party ruled Macedonia for a decade until December last year when the election saw VMRO-DPMNE secure 51 seats in the 120-seat parliament - two more than the SDSM - but the conservatives failed to reach a deal with kingmaking Albanian parties.
Although Zaev reached an agreement with the Albanian groups, President Gjorge Ivanov refused to give him a mandate to form a government, leaving the country without a functioning leadership.
An ally of Gruevski, the president expressed concern over the controversial demand of Albanian parties that Albanian be made an official language across Macedonia.
Critics of the demand feared it could lead to the break-up of the country of about two million people - a quarter of whom are ethnic Albanians.

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CAF Confederation Cup: Rivers United in a difficult group – Eguma


Head coach of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma, has said that they have been drawn in a tough group in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup.
The Pride of Rivers were pitted in Group A against FUS Rabat of Morocco, Tunisian outfit, Club Africain and Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) of Uganda on Wednesday.
“I have taken time to ruminate on the draw and I can only admit that we have been handed very tough opponents,” Eguma told Goal.
“But we must do everything possible to ensure that we pick one of the two tickets to the quarter final,” he continued.
“That is our target for now and I am quite optimistic that these opponents too will be afraid of us.”
Eguma also hinted about the club’s preparation toward their continental assignment, saying: “We have started work immediately and we won’t leave any stone unturned in our desire to pick the quarterfinal ticket. `
“We are happy that we have an understanding government that is giving us tremendous support which has doused our tension that there won’t be a repeat of what transpired in 2015 when we were knocked out of this same competition by Club Africain without kicking a ball.”

Wednesday, April 26

Venezuela death toll hits 27, protesters battle security forces


CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan security forces fired scores of tear gas volleys and turned water cannons on rock-throwing protesters on a bridge in Caracas on Wednesday as the death toll from this month's anti-government unrest hit at least 29.
A 20-year-old male demonstrator died in those latest clashes in the capital after being hit by a gas cannister, said officials of the eastern Chacaco district.
Government authorities also announced two new fatalities from clashes earlier this week: a 22-year-old who received various gunshot wounds at a protest in Valencia city, and a 28-year-old government supporter shot in the stomach in Tachira state.
The wave of protests since early April against socialist President Nicolas Maduro have sparked Venezuela's worst violence since 2014. Demonstrators want elections to end the socialists' two-decade rule, but the South American nation's brutal economic crisis is also fuelling anger.
"I want everything to end: the hunger, the murders, the corruption, all the ills we are suffering. We have to stay in the street until there is change. We are the majority," said student Ricardo Ropero, 20, at a march in Caracas.
Red-shirted supporters of Maduro, the 54-year-old former bus driver who succeeded Hugo Chavez in 2013, also rallied on the streets of the capital, punching their fists in the air and denouncing opposition "terrorists."
Maduro says his foes are seeking a violent coup, with U.S. connivance, like a short-lived 2002 putsch against Chavez.
BATTLE ON BRIDGE
Amid another day of nationwide opposition rallies, the worst trouble in Caracas on Wednesday occurred when National Guard troops and police blocked off a highway where several thousands demonstrators were marching downtown.
On a bridge in east Caracas, they fired dozens of tear gas canisters, which masked youths picked up to hurl back at them or into a nearby trash-strewn river.
Traffic once again ground to a standstill as the zone resounded to the familiar sounds of the near-daily clashes. When water cannons were turned on the marchers, they fell back and skirmishes spread to surrounding streets through the afternoon.
Opposition leaders accuse Maduro of seizing dictatorial powers and unleashing repression on peaceful protesters, but the opposition's ranks do include groups of youths who hunt for trouble, hurling Molotov cocktails or burning property.
As well as wanting a general election, Maduro's opponents are demanding the release of jailed activists, humanitarian aid to help offset shortages of food and medicine, and autonomy for the opposition-led legislature.
More than 1,500 people have been arrested during the protests this month, with 800 still detained, according to rights group Penal Forum said.
Maduro narrowly won election in 2013 against opposition leader Henrique Capriles, but the economic crisis has battered his public approval ratings since then.
The latest data from pollster Datanalisis, cited by a client, showed Maduro's popularity edged up a couple of points to 24.1 percent in March, possibly due to the impact of subsidized food distribution bags known as CLAPs.
He has called for local state elections, postponed from 2016, to be held soon, but has shown no sign of supporting an early presidential election. The opposition now has majority support and the ruling Socialists would likely lose any vote.

Jonathan Demme, ‘Silence of the Lambs’ director, dead at 73


NEW YORK: Jonathan Demme, Oscar-winning director of “The Silence of the Lambs” whose four-decade career produced a staggering array of work from romantic comedy to social and political documentaries, died Wednesday. He was 73.
Demme passed away in New York surrounded by his family after a battle with cancer, his publicist announced. He will be laid to rest in a private, family funeral.
He remains best known for the smash-hit 1991 horror-thriller starring Anthony Hopkins as serial killer Hannibal Lecter and Jodie Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling. The movie was box office gold and a dazzling critical success.
It swept the 1992 Academy Awards, winning five Oscars including best picture, best actor for Hopkins and best actress for Foster.
“I am heart-broken to lose a friend, a mentor, a guy so singular and dynamic you’d have to design a hurricane to contain him,” Foster wrote in a statement published by Variety magazine online.
“JD, most beloved, something wild, brother of love, director of the lambs. Love that guy. Love him so much,” she wrote.
Demme’s publicist said he died from complications from esophageal cancer and is survived by his three children, Jos, 21, Brooklyn, 26, Ramona, 29.
The director’s success with “Silence of the Lambs” gave Demme the commercial springboard to direct “Philadelphia” in 1993, a ground-breaking Hollywood blockbuster that won Tom Hanks his first Academy Award for playing a gay lawyer fired for contracting HIV and fighting for justice.
US critics say the movie changed the way Hollywood portrayed the AIDS crisis and revolutionized mainstream film’s portrayal of gay and lesbian characters.
Demme’s most recent feature film was the less well received “Ricki and the Flash,” starring Meryl Streep as a divorced mom who ditches her family to follow her dream of rock-n-roll stardom before a crisis compels her to return.
‘Massive soul’
“Jonathan passed away early this morning in his Manhattan apartment, surrounded by his wife, Joanne Howard, and three children,” Demme’s publicist said in a brief statement.
His death sparked an outpouring of grief for a deeply respected director, also recognized for highlighting causes such as the plight of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and Haiti.
“My man Demme was the kindest, most generous. A MASSIVE soul. He lived in love. And rests in peace,” wrote director Barry Jenkins, whose coming of age drama “Moonlight” about a poor African-American boy won this year’s best picture Oscar.
Born on February 22, 1944 on Long Island, New York, Demme went to high school in Miami and briefly studied chemistry at the University of Florida in the hope of becoming a veterinarian.
It was after flunking science studies that he turned to writing movie reviews and got a publicity job at a film company. He later met director Roger Corman, who asked if he could write a screen play.
“I fell backwards into it almost,” he said of his career in an interview with National Public Radio in 2007.
Demme directed a total of 20 feature films and 12 documentaries, not to mention music videos such as the 1984 “Stop Making Sense,” and chalked up a raft of writing and production credits. Much of his work had a political or social tinge.
Documentary love
Besides thrillers, romantic comedies and a farce about the wife of a mobster, his real love was for documentaries. Subjects included Nelson Mandela, former Democratic president Jimmy Carter, and Bruce Springsteen.
“I’m not really in the business of making fictional films and I’m drawn to ones that I consider to be special and exciting in a certain way, and in the meantime I’ll be perfectly happy just to make documentary after documentary,” he told NPR.
But there were also flops.
His 1998 movie “Beloved” starring Oprah Winfrey, based on the Toni Morrison novel about a slave visited by the spirit of her dead daughter, bombed.
There were also lackluster reviews for his 2004 remake of “The Manchurian Candidate” starring Streep and Denzel Washington, set in the 1990-1991 Gulf War.
In 2013, the Americans For Immigrant Justice charity announced that it was honoring Demme with an award for decades of tireless work on behalf of Haitian refugees and vulnerable immigrants.
In place of flowers, Demme’s family has requested donations to the Florida-based charity.

Wales' Taylor banned for two games after leg-breaking tackle


(Reuters) - Wales defender Neil Taylor has been banned for two international matches after his wild tackle left Republic of Ireland's Seamus Coleman with a double leg fracture in last month's World Cup qualifier.
Ireland fullback Coleman left the field on a stretcher, with an oxygen mask on his face, after Taylor recklessly clattered into him on 68 minutes of the encounter. Taylor, who was immediately sent off, will miss Wales' next two World Cup qualifiers against Serbia and Austria.
"Following a meeting of FIFA's Disciplinary Committee, the FAW can confirm that Neil Taylor has been suspended for two matches," the Welsh FA said in a statement.
Everton's Coleman, who underwent surgery on the injury, could be out of action for up to a year.

Sanctions short-circuit Russia's electricity plans for annexed Crimea BY ANASTA


MOSCOW/SEVASTOPOL, Crimea(Reuters) - Russia's $1.3 billion (£1.01 billion) plan to build two new power plants in Crimea aimed to show that Moscow could complete high-tech projects on the annexed peninsula despite Western technology sanctions.
But two years after its approval, the plan, which would supply Crimea's residents with power they once got from Ukraine, has been knocked off course by an obstacle thrown up by the same sanctions, four sources familiar with the plans told Reuters.
The plants were designed to house gas turbines made by a unit of Siemens. But the German engineering firm risks violating sanctions if it delivers them. With no turbines, the project faces delays, the sources said. Siemens officials have always said there were no plans to supply the turbines.
Russia explored buying turbines from Iran, changing the design to accommodate Russian-made turbines and using Western-designed turbines already in Russia. Each alternative had problems, the sources said, leaving officials and managers unable to agree on how to move forward.
The saga shows that the sanctions are having a real impact on Russia, despite official protestations. It also shines a light on decision-making under President Vladimir Putin and the tendency, according to people close to the Kremlin, to make grand political promises that are near-impossible to implement.
"The power stations were designed for Siemens turbines," said Alexei Chaliy, a Crimea lawmaker who in 2014 was one of the two most senior local officials under Moscow's de facto rule.
"In 2014 I warned there would be problems. Over the past 20 years, Russia has lost the ability to produce turbines of that capacity. And so it ended badly."
"They have started to build the power stations ... but there are no turbines."
A Reuters reporter visiting the site of one of the two new power stations, near the city of Sevastopol, in February and March, saw the metal frames of several structures already erected, and cranes and dozens of workers building the main hall for the turbines.
TIMETABLE SLIPPING
The Kremlin said it wanted the power stations partially operational by September and fully operational by March 2018. That is the anniversary of the Crimean annexation and the month when Russia votes in a presidential election. Putin is expected to run for a new term.
"The timetable is going to slip, that's totally certain," the person said.
Russia's energy ministry did not respond to a written request for comment.
European Union sanctions forbid the supply to Crimea of technology used in the energy sector. Policing EU sanctions is the responsibility of the bloc's member states. The German government has said in the past that German firms flouting the sanctions face unspecified penalties.
The firm selected to build the power stations, Technopromexport, is controlled by Rostec, a state-owned conglomerate subject to U.S. sanctions.
The foundations of the two power plants were designed to accommodate 160-187 megawatts turbines which can deliver the 940 megawatts in extra electricity that Russia promised Crimea to end frequent power cuts.
The only Russian producer of such turbines is a Siemens joint venture in St Petersburg. Three sources said that Russian officials and people involved in the power plant project had concluded that, because of the sanctions, it was not possible to buy the Siemens turbines.
"Siemens’ business policy is very clear: Siemens complies with all export control restrictions," a Siemens spokesman said.
A Technopromexport spokesman said the timetable for completion was likely to slip, but that the delay was not caused by a problem with sourcing the turbines.
He said the delay was due to a decision to change some technical aspects of the project to make it more effective and environmentally-friendly.
"All the technical decisions have already been taken," the spokesman said in an emailed statement.
ALTERNATIVES
Two of the sources familiar with the project said that the energy ministry was exploring whether it could install 25-megawatt turbines made by ODK, part of the Rostec group.
The sources said there was no consensus on doing this and any decision would need to be swift.
"There is an option to re-do the design," said one of the sources. "But it needs to be decided now," before work on the sites gets too advanced.
Russian officials have said they are exploring buying large turbines from a country that does not support the sanctions. Rostec head Sergei Chemezov, an old friend of Putin's, has said negotiations were underway with Iran.
However, two sources in the Russian engineering sector said that any large capacity turbines in Iran would either have been manufactured under licence from a big global engineering firm, or bought from one of these big firms. Those firms might resist because of the sanctions risk.
A third option, voiced this month by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, is to use Western-made turbines already in Russia which are lying idle.
A source in Russia's power sector said it could be hard to find enough compatible turbines from a single manufacturer. Even if a full set was found the manufacturer would need to get them working -- potentially falling foul of sanctions.
"A person needs to come from the manufacturer with a thumb drive and a laptop to start it up," said the source.

Samsung Elec flags stronger Q2; Elliott welcomes share cancellation


SEOUL: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Thursday flagged stronger earnings and announced a cancellation of treasury shares after posting a solid first-quarter profit boosted by the memory chip business, sending its shares to a new high.
Samsung rejected a call from US activist hedge fund Elliott to split itself in two but accepted part of the fund's proposals on Thursday, revealing plans to cancel its existing treasury shares worth over US$35 billion by 2018.
While the first quarter was a torrid time for Samsung as chief Jay Y. Lee was swept up in a political corruption scandal, the world's top maker of memory chips, smartphones and televisions still managed to book a profit that supports expectations for record earnings in 2017.
First-quarter operating profit for Asia's most valuable company by market capitalisation was 9.9 trillion won (US$8.75 billion), matching Samsung's earlier guidance. Revenue rose 2% to 50.5 trillion won.
Elliott welcomed the share cancellation and said it saw "room for even more progress". The fund had called for Samsung to adopt a holding company structure by splitting itself in two, and to pay out a 30 trillion won special dividend.
"We are encouraged that Samsung Electronics has agreed to take the bold step of optimising its balance sheet... even as the company has faced obstacles," Elliot said in a statement.
Samsung Electronics shares were up 2.6% at a record high in a flat wider market.
In rejecting Elliott's call for a holding company structure, Samsung cited issues including regulatory and legal risks, and said it would not boost investor returns.
"Samsung concluded the risks and the challenging environment surrounding a change in the corporate structure would not be beneficial for enhancing shareholder value and sustaining long-term business growth," it said in a statement.
CHIPS SIZZLE
A memory chip super-cycle and the revival of the mobile business - damaged by the costly failure and fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 last year - look set to underpin Samsung's profitability after the best quarterly result since 2013.
"Looking ahead to the second quarter, the company expects to achieve growth on the back of continued robust memory performance together with improved earnings from the mobile business" following the global rollout of the new Galaxy S8 smartphone, Samsung said.
Samsung's chip business remained the top earner with a record 6.3 trillion won operating profit, buoyed by price gains for both DRAM and NAND memory chips as supply growth constraints and demand for more firepower on devices such as smartphones and servers boosted margins.
The Apple Inc competitor's mobile division reported January-March operating profit of 2.07 trillion won, down from 3.89 trillion won a year earlier. Samsung had no new premium product generate meaningful sales in the January-March period.
Pre-orders for the Galaxy S8 launched in April were better than many analysts had expected, raising hopes the new flagship handset will make up for the failure of Note 7s.
Recent complaints about red-tinted screens and spotty Wi-fi connection on the S8 would not have a major impact on the bottom line, analysts said. - Reuters

Germany's poor hold key to election as inequality grows


DORTMUND, Germany (Reuters) - For all its economic success, Germany has a growing problem with inequality and poverty, and yet Chancellor Angela Merkel seems to be deflecting the blame so far as the battlelines are drawn for elections in September.
Renowned for its highly-skilled workforce, Germany has in fact a greater proportion of working poor - people who have a job but are struggling with poverty - than Britain, France and even some less wealthy EU states such as Hungary or Cyprus.
Nowhere is the widening gap between rich and poor more evident than in the Ruhr region, an urban sprawl of five million people that was once the centre of Germany's heavy industry.
A highway that ploughs through the western region is nicknamed the "social equator", separating suburbs hit by the decline of coal mining and steelmaking from those that have benefited from the new industries that now power German growth.
To the north, soup kitchens and food banks tend to the unemployed, homeless and refugees as well as the working poor. To the south, highly qualified workers drive luxury cars to glass buildings housing high-tech and pharmaceutical companies.
Sensing an opportunity to beat the conservative chancellor on Sept. 24, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) are trying to mobilise disgruntled Germans. "Many people fear that their pension won't be enough, the rent can't be paid, or that their children will be permanently on limited job contracts," SPD deputy chairman Ralf Stegner told Reuters.
But recapturing these voters, many of them once SPD loyalists, is proving tough going.
North Rhine-Westphalia, home to the divided Ruhr region and where poverty has risen more than in any of Germany's 16 other states, should be fertile ground for the message. Likewise, pensioner Edith Rena, 75, would seem an obvious target voter.
"I worked for 40 years and raised two children alone," Rena said, resting on her trolley packed with fruit and vegetables bought at a discount at a food bank in Dortmund, the Ruhr's largest city. "I come here because it's cheap so I can save money to buy presents for my grandchildren."
Rena has received welfare support since retiring 10 years ago from a department store sales job as her 620 euro ($675) monthly state pension doesn't cover her living expenses and rent.
Along with the working poor, the number of pensioners seeking welfare has almost doubled over the past decade, and the SPD are seizing on this to counter the conservatives' insistence that Germans have never had it so good.
And yet Merkel's message that economic growth is steady, unemployment is at a record low and falling, and state finances are sound appears to be resonating more with voters like Rena.
She vents her frustration not at the chancellor, who has led Germany for more than 11 years, but at the SPD which enacted labour market and welfare reforms in the mid-2000s, badly hurting its own traditional working class supporters.
"Of course I'm going to vote for Merkel," she told Reuters. "We've done well under her. Why would I vote for a party that abandoned the poor?"
ROBIN HOOD
The German Institute for Economic Research has found that while the economy grew 22 percent in real terms in 1991-2014, the poorest 10 percent of households saw their real disposable income shrink by 8 percent. By contrast, income for the richest 10 percent rose about 27 percent.
Despite its image as a nation of well-paid workers making world class goods like Mercedes cars or Siemens kitchen equipment, Germany does not show up well in international comparisons.
The proportion of employed Germans threatened by poverty, which means their disposable income is less than 60 percent of the median national wage, was slightly above the European Union average in 2015, according to the EU statistics agency Eurostat.
The figure was 9.7 percent of the workforce compared with only 8.2 percent for Britain, which since the 1980s has embraced free-market reforms more vigorously than Germany. The rate was 7.5 percent in France, 9.3 in Hungary and 9.1 in Cyprus.
After naming Martin Schulz as its leader in January, the SPD surged in opinion polls to catch up with Merkel's conservatives, propelled by promises to make German society more equal. Media nicknamed him "Robin Hood", after the legendary English outlaw who robbed the rich and gave to the poor.
However, while the election is set to be tightly contested, the conservatives have reopened a lead in recent polls with about 35 percent support, around five points ahead of the SPD, now the junior partner in Merkel's coalition.
Schulz, a former European Parliament president, is promising to undo some of the "Agenda 2010" reforms enacted by his own party under then chancellor Gerhard Schroeder over a decade ago.
These helped to end a long period of stagnation and high unemployment by making the economy more competitive, turning Germany from the "sick man of Europe" into a powerhouse.
But Agenda 2010 also increased the number of low-paid and part-time workers who now face a higher risk of falling into poverty during their active years or after retirement.
The SPD paid a heavy political price, losing a significant section of its working class support base and three successive elections to the conservatives starting in 2005. So it is Merkel who reaped the political benefit of the reforms, leaving the SPD to regain the trust now of alienated Germans.
"Through the theme of social justice, the SPD is trying to remobilise its lost support base, to bring non-voters back to the ballot box," said Prof. Robert Vehrkamp of the Bertelsmann Foundation, a non-profit think tank. This could be decisive for the party's chances of victory, he added.
Schulz wants to quadruple to a maximum of 48 months the period that people who become redundant can claim unemployment benefits if they attend vocational training, and to curb employers' right to offer workers limited contracts.
His party has also pledged to increase inheritance and wealth taxes and use the funds to help families with nursery and after-school care costs, as well as raising pensions.
Not everyone is receptive. "Schulz talks a lot. But I would like to see him find me a job suitable for my age and health," said Manfred Mueller, a 56-year-old former construction worker who has been unemployed for 15 years after injuring his back.
"Agenda 2010 was a catastrophe," said Mueller, a former SPD voter who has backed the hard-left
Linke party since 2005. He believes Schulz will face resistance from employers warning of job cuts if he tries to make the labour market more rigid.
"The only job I could do is sit in an office," said Mueller, dunking a bread roll in his soup bowl at the Kana Soup Kitchen in Dortmund. "But I am not sure even this would work. I'm a trained builder."
POPULIST THREAT
Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian allies say Schulz's plans would harm competitiveness and reverse falling unemployment which, at 5.8 percent, is at its lowest since German reunification in 1990. "Since 2005 we have managed to halve unemployment. And we want to bring more people into the labour market," CDU Secretary General Peter Tauber told Reuters. "What Schulz is proposing threatens this success."
The conservatives are promising tax cuts of 15 billion euros a year that would mainly benefit middle-income households.
Despite the discontent, Germans are not rejecting their long-established parties, unlike in France. Nevertheless, the conservatives and SPD must contend with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). In regional elections last year, both lost support to the AfD which attracted protest voters, many of them blue-collar workers and the unemployed.
Beset by infighting, the AfD's support has fallen by a third since the start of the year to 10 percent but it is still expected to enter parliament for the first time, possibly as the third-largest party ahead of the Linke, Greens and revived liberal Free Democrats.
That would raise the number of groups in parliament to six from four at the moment, complicating the task of coalition building for whoever wins in September.
($1 = 0.9180 euros)
(Additional reporting by Holger Hansen and Daniel Felleiter; Editing by Paul Carrel and David Stamp)

Sunday, April 23

North Korea detains American-born professor, the third U.S. citizen being held


Tony Kim was detained by officials as he was trying to leave the country from Pyongyang’s international airport.
North
Korea has detained U.S. citizen, Tony Kim. He is the third American in custody, along with Otto Warmbier and Kim Dong Chul, shown here.   (KIM KWANG HYON, JON CHOL JIN /
AP)
PYONGYANG—North Korea has detained a U.S. citizen, officials said Sunday, bringing to three the number of Americans now being held there.
Tony Kim, who also goes by his Korean name Kim Sang-duk, was detained on Saturday, according to Park Chan-mo, the chancellor of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.
Park said Kim, who is 58, taught accounting at the university for about a month. He said Kim was detained by officials as he was trying to leave the country from Pyongyang’s international airport. A university spokesman said he was trying to leave with his wife on a flight to China.
The Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang said it was aware of a Korean-American citizen being detained recently, but could not comment further. The embassy looks after consular affairs for the United States in North Korea because the two countries do not have diplomatic relations.
The State Department said it was aware of the report about a U.S. citizen being detained, but declined further comment “due to privacy considerations.”
Park said Kim had taught at the Yanbian University of Science and Technology in China before coming to Pyongyang. He said he was informed that the detention had “nothing to do” with Kim’s work at the university but did not know further details.
As of Sunday night, North Korea’s official media had not reported on the detention.
The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology is the only privately funded university in North Korea. It held its first classes in 2010. It is unique in the North for its large number of foreign staff.
Colin McCulloch, the director of external affairs, said the university was not under investigation and was continuing its normal operations. He said he could not immediately confirm Kim’s hometown.
Though no details on why Kim was detained have been released, the detention comes at a time of unusually heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Both countries have recently been trading threats of war and having another American in jail will likely up the ante even further.
Last year, Otto Warmbier, then a 21-year-old University of Virginia student from suburban Cincinnati, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in prison after he confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner.
Kim Dong Chul, who was born in South Korea but is also believed to have U.S. citizenship, is serving a sentence of 10 years for espionage.
Another foreigner, a Canadian pastor, is also being detained in North Korea. Hyeon Soo Lim, a South Korean-born Canadian citizen in his 60s, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2015 on charges of trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system and helping U.S. and South Korean authorities lure and abduct North Korean citizens.

Monday, April 17

Finding Another Earth



A newly discovered exoplanet, Kepler-452b, comes the closest of any found so far to matching our Earth-sun system. This artist’ conception of a planetary lineup shows habzone planets with similarities to Earth: from Kepler-22b, Kepler-69c, the just announced Kepler-452b, Kepler-62f and Kepler-186f. L line is Earth itself.
Credits: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
Of the 1,030 confirmed planets from Kepler, a dozen are less than twice the size of Earth and reside in the habitable zone of their host stars. In this diagram, the sizes of the exoplanets are represented by the size of each sphere. These are arranged by size from left to right, and by the type of star they orbit, from the M stars that are significantly cooler and smaller than the sun, to the K stars that are somewhat cooler and smaller than the sun, to the G stars that include the sun. The sizes of the planets are enlarged by 25 times compared to the stars. The Earth is shown for reference.
Credits: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
The discovery of a super-Earth-sized planet orbiting a sun-like star brings us closer than ever to finding a twin of our own watery world. But NASA’s Kepler space telescope has captured evidence of other potentially habitable planets amid the sea of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
To take a brief tour of the more prominent contenders, it helps to zero in on the “habitable zone” around their stars. This is the band of congenial temperatures for planetary orbits -- not too close and not too far. Too close and the planet is fried (we’re looking at you, Venus). Too far and it’s in deep freeze. But settle comfortably into the habitable zone, and your planet could have liquid water on its surface -- just right. Goldilocks has never been more relevant. Scientists have, in fact, taken to calling this water-friendly region the “Goldilocks zone.”
The zone can be a wide band or a narrow one, and nearer the star or farther, depending on the star’s size and energy output. For small, red-dwarf stars, habitable zone planets might gather close, like marshmallow-roasting campers around the fire. For gigantic, hot stars, the band must retreat to a safer distance.
About a dozen habitable zone planets in the Earth-size ballpark have been discovered so far -- that is, 10 to 15 planets between one-half and twice the diameter of Earth, depending on how the habitable zone is defined and allowing for uncertainties about some of the planetary sizes.
The new discovery, Kepler-452b, fires the planet hunter’s imagination because it is the most similar to the Earth-sun system found yet: a planet at the right temperature within the habitable zone, and only about one-and-a-half times the diameter of Earth, circling a star very much like our own sun. The planet also has a good chance of being rocky, like Earth, its discoverers say.
Kepler-452b is more similar to Earth than any system previously discovered. And the timing is especially fitting: 2015 marks the 20 anniversary of the first exoplanet confirmed to be in orbit around a typical star.
But several other exoplanet discoveries came nearly as close in their similarity to Earth.
Before this, the planet Kepler-186f held the “most similar” distinction (they get the common moniker, “Kepler,” because they were discovered with the Kepler space telescope). About 500 light-years from Earth, Kepler-186f is no more than 10 percent larger than Earth, and sails through its star’s habitable zone, making its surface potentially watery.
But its 130-day orbit carries it around a red-dwarf star that is much cooler than our sun and only half its size. Thus, the planet is really more like an “Earth cousin,” says Thomas Barclay of the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, a co-author of the paper announcing the discovery in April 2014.
Kepler-186f gets about one-third the energy from its star that Earth gets from our sun. And that puts it just at the outside edge of the habitable zone. Scientists say that if you were standing on the planet at noon, the light would look about as bright as it does on Earth an hour before sunset.
That doesn’t mean the planet is bereft of life, although it doesn’t mean life exists there, either.
Before Kepler-186f, Kepler-62f was the exoplanet known to be most similar to Earth. Like the new discovery, Kepler-62f is a “super Earth,” about 40 percent larger than our home planet. But, like Kepler-186f, its 267-day orbit also carries it around a star that is cooler and smaller than the sun, some 1,200 light-years away in the constellation Lyra. Still, Kepler-62f does reside in the habitable zone.
Kepler-62f’s discovery was announced in April 2013, about the same time as Kepler-69c, another super Earth -- though one that is 70 percent larger than our home planet. That’s the bad news; astronomers are uncertain about the planet’s composition, or just when a “super Earth” becomes so large that it diminishes the chance of finding life on its surface. That also moves it farther than its competitors from the realm of a potential Earth twin. The good news is that Kepler-69c lies in its sun’s habitable zone, with a 242-day orbit reminiscent of our charbroiled sister planet, Venus. Its star is also similar to ours in size with about 80 percent of the sun’s luminosity. Its planetary system is about 2,700 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus.
Kepler-22b also was hailed in its day as the most like Earth. It was the first of the Kepler planets to be found within the habitable zone, and it orbits a star much like our sun. But Kepler-22b is a sumo wrestler among super Earths, about 2.4 times Earth’s size. And no one knows if it is rocky, gaseous or liquid. The planet was detected almost immediately after Kepler began making observations in 2009, and was confirmed in 2011. This planet, which could have a cloudy atmosphere, is 600 light-years away, with a 290-day orbit not unlike Earth’s.
Not all the planets jostling to be most like Earth were discovered using Kepler. A super Earth known as Gliese 667Cc also came to light in 2011, discovered by astronomers combing through data from the European Southern Observatory’s 3.6-meter telescope in Chile. The planet, only 22 light-years away, has a mass at least 4.5 times that of Earth. It orbits a red dwarf in the habitable zone, though closely enough -- with a mere 28-day orbit -- to make the planet subject to intense flares that could erupt periodically from the star’s surface. Still, its sun is smaller and cooler than ours, and Gliese 667Cc’s orbital distance means it probably receives around 90 percent of the energy we get from the sun. That’s a point in favor of life, if the planet’s atmosphere is something like ours. The planet’s true size and density remain unknown, however, which means it could still turn out to be a gas planet, hostile to life as we know it. And powerful magnetic fluxes also could mean periodic drop-offs in the amount of energy reaching the planet, by as much as 40 percent. These drop-offs could last for months, according to scientists at the University of Oslo’s Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics in Norway.
Deduct two points.
Too big, too uncertain, or circling the wrong kind of star: Shuffle through the catalog of habitable zone planets, and the closest we can come to Earth -- at least so far -- appears to be the new kid on the interstellar block, Kepler-452b.
NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, manages the Kepler and K2 missions for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. operates the flight system with support from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.Blogspot

Our VP injures his reputation!


IT is a well known fact that Vice President, VP,  Yemi Osinbajo,a Professor of Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, forwarded the name of the Acting chairman of the EFCC Mr. Ibrahim Magu to the Senate for confirmation when he acted for the President during his first 10-day leave to London. It is therefore natural that he would want his nomination to sail through.
In his letter read on the floor of the Senate on 14th July,2016 Prof. Osinbajo quoted copiously from the EFCC Act to support his nomination.He wrote as follows in one of the paragraphs,
“Apart from other ex-officio members of the Commission provided for in section 2, The Act also provides for four eminent Nigerians with any cognate experience of the following that is finance, banking, law and accounting. Section 2 (3) further provides that chairman and members of his Commission other than ex-officio members shall be appointed by the president and the appointment shall be subject to confirmation of the Senate.”
Sundry allegations
As the VP letter was going to the Senate,the Directorate of State Security, DSS,also forwarded its own letter to the Senate in which it claimed that Magu is ethically challenged and would not be suitable to head the anti-graft body. After sundry allegations against Magu the secret police concluded:“In the light of the foregoing, Magu has failed the integrity test and will eventually constitute a liability to the anti-corruption drive of the present administration.”
It was on the basis of the letter that Ibrahim Magu was rejected by the Senate after which the President constituted a committee of the Vice-President and the Attorney General of the Federation. Their findings were not made public. But a much more damning report was forwarded to the AGF by the DSS.
The presidency however  presented Magu to the Senate  saying it was satisfied with his response to his indictment but in what appeared a clear vote-of -no-confidence  on it,the DSS wrote to the Senate on the eve of his second appearance insisting on its early report on the nominee.The Senate rejected him for the second time based on the security.The woeful performance of Magu during his second appearance  during which he could not say the total amount of loot  the agency has recovered became secondary in the consideration.
The rejection of Magu by the Senate for the second time required that he quit as Acting Chairman of the EFCC and for the president to nominate another person. But impunity Nigerians has seen him carrying on with his vuvuzelas huffing and puffing all over the place.They included very senior lawyers who should have guided the administration.
We do not have the best Senate in the land today but Magu supporters refused to interrogate why the DSS that reports to the presidency would mount roadblock against its appointee without consequence and their mouths would be full of foam against the Senate and not the source of Magu’s problem.
Consultancy is not a crime in the land and the misconduct of these fellows can be excused. But the same cannot be said of the Vice-President who is the most advanced legal mind in the presidency and a Pastor in addition who few days ago joined those confusing the people on a very clear issue .
The VP who was quoting copiously the EFCC Act when he forwarded Magu’s name to the Senate suddenly became a typical Nigerian politician who changes the goal post after a goal has been scored when he said :
“I agree with Mr. Falana that there was no need in the first place to have sent Magu’s name to the Senate, but we did so and it was rejected by the Senate, but I believe that it can be re-presented. I don’t think there is anything wrong about the fact that Senate has rejected him. “Senate has acted in its own wisdom to say ‘no, we don’t want him’, and we can say ‘this is our candidate… we like the gentleman and we want him to continue.”
The position of Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) that the politician in our VP was agreeing with was the nebulous interpretation of section 171 of the 1999 constitution which says:
“(1) Power to appoint persons to hold or act in the offices to which this section applies and to remove persons so appointed from any such office shall vest in the President.
(2) The offices to which this section applies are, namely ¬
(a) Secretary to the Government of the Federation;
(b) Head of the Civil Service of the Federation;
(c)Ambassador, High Commissioner or other Principal Representative of Nigeria abroad;
(d) Permanent Secretary in any Ministry or Head of any Extra-Ministerial Department of the Government of the Federation howsoever designated; and
(e) any office on the personal staff of the President.”
It is not difficult for even non-lawyers to see that an agency like EFCC set up by an Act of Parliament does not fall under this provision of the constitution.The following parastatals are listed under the Ministry of Justice  for which the President can appoint Acting Heads and EFCC is clearly not among :
The Nigerian Law School
National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons and Other Related Matters, NAPTIP, Nigerian Law Reform Commission, Nigerian Copyright Commission, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Regional Centre For International Commercial Arbitration Legal Aid Council.
This very disingenuous attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the Nigerian public will definitely haunt Mr VP for the rest of his life.Another one bites the dust!
Feedback
Re: Emir Sanusi and gullible Republic of Nigeria
THERE is one unique thing about Nigeria that marvels the entire world. It is some sort of uniqueness that has metamorphosed over the years into different shades and forms. It is multi-faceted and most often, challenges the reality of our ego better way of life. It is in that uniqueness that millions of people toil day and night to make ends meet; only for them to be rewarded by striking institutions and decaying infrastructure.
They still wave aside all disappointments and manage to get decent sleep in the midst of thundering generator noise (and darkness in some homes). It is still surprising that the Guinness Book of Records hasn’t named Nigeria as the country with the highest number of electrical engineers. Everyone knows how to change over from generator to electricity and sometimes, this can happen up to fifteen times a day.
For a male to get a haircut in Nigeria, means that he has to ask if the barber has fuel and a functional generator. We have come to accept, imbibe and endure the smell of premium motor spirit; a Nigerian needs no professional to detect adulterated fuel. In that strange uniqueness, the potholes on the roads have no more space in our consciousness. We would simply hope that there would be no harsh rain, cruel enough to wipe off the little tar that is left. It is a uniqueness that has enabled State Governments to become monarchies, headed by ‘elected’ governors and their family members. The Chief of Staff could be the brother to the governor and the rest of the cabinet will be his cousins and friends. A society that has chosen a constant romance with mediocrity, yet her leaders wish to be addressed as ‘your excellency’.
Not quite long ago, Governor Adulaziz Yari of Zamfara State announced that the outbreak of Meningitis was an act of God.
According to him, God is punishing Nigerians for adultery. It would have not been possible for him to make that utterance if there was a close aide that thought any differently. There would have been an objection to that opinion, there would have been a NO in the midst of all the sycophantic YES’ that our leaders crave so much. Only a conglomeration of friends and relatives with the same exact ideas and outlook on life, could have given a nod to such an assertion…with a combination of gross ignorance of course. Perhaps to him and…them, Ebola might have been a punishment meted out to Liberia, simply because her citizens are blacks.
In some sort of unique paradoxes, the former CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido would marry a 17 year old girl but still come out to lend his voice to girl child education, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo would call himself a Statesman after almost destroying what is left of our democracy with his third term agenda and successive governors of Abia State would neglect the pressing need to make that state livable yet the pictures they sponsor on TV adverts paint an Eldorado.
Nigerians have come to realise that they spend so many years getting educated, only to graduate into unemployment. Other countries look at us and wonder if the system prepares youths to fail, before ever they can make an attempt in life. In this unique present, the government’s drive for increased Internally Generated Revenue has made those at the top to forget that certain small scale businesses need tax holidays to survive. Instead, the decadent tradition of multiple taxation still continues in many states and yet the government expects Made In Nigeria goods to thrive.
If they cannot be provided with electricity to operate, why not grant them tax breaks for a limited time? That same uniqueness manifests brazenly in the ruling class. Despite the fact that the ruling elite in Nigeria are amongst the most learned in the world, they haven’t performed any better than their uniformed predecessors. Upon assuming office they become concerned with the little things that matter… like the need to include Arabic education in the curriculum of a secular country , the need to create grazing lands for a few men with cows; thereby disinheriting millions of others and the need to refurbish their offices and gain more allowances.
They will choose to stand aside and remain aloof now that these echoes of secession have become louder than ever, instead of tackling the issues head on; because they know that they still stand to gain whether things fall apart or not. In that all so queer uniqueness, millions of youths still storm out to support politicians who have done nothing for them. Politicians whose families are hidden in Europe and whose homes have become resting places for looted funds.
Not many ask whether they are for us or against us. In their campaign rallies, they would rather not explain how they will work things out; they would prefer to declare agendas…narrowing them into 7point or 8point and even the not so forgotten vision2020. Now that the year 2020 is upon us, many are yet to look beyond the deceptive cloak that is PDP and APC, to carefully examine the assembly of vultures that have come to tear out whatever good that Nigeria has a chance of ever achieving. If we were a forward-thinking nation, our leaders would have known that the only way to smite the head of the powerful establishment holding us down in this pre-arranged 13th century fiefdom, is to push religion away from our national life. If God would punish the sexually immoral with Meningitis, then what about politicians that brood over criminality?
We are past the age and time when our spiritual beliefs dictate our common sense; it remains weird that such weapon of ignorance is still used by the ruling class till today.




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Pyongyang tells Washington its nuclear weapons are 'not an illusion' following US threats.
North Korea has warned its army is on "maximum alert" after the US vice president visited the heavily militarised border between the two Koreas and reiterated Washington's position that "all options are on the table" in dealing with Pyongyang.
Sin Hong-chol, North Korea's deputy foreign minister, told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview on Monday that Donald Trump's administration "should look at the world with open eyes".
North Korea showcases new missiles at military parade
"The time of dictating orders by brandishing the US military might has gone. If those businessmen in power in the US thought of intimidating us by any military or sanction threats - as the [Barack] Obama administration used to do and failed - they will soon find out such threats are useless," Sin said.
"If we notice any sign of assault on our sovereignty, our army will launch merciless military strikes against the US aggressors, wherever they may exist, from the remote US lands to the American military bases on the Korean peninsula, such as those of Japan and elsewhere."
Sin also said the six-nation talks aiming to make the Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons were "throttled at birth".
"The nuclear weapon in our possession is not illusion; it is not a commodity that may be traded for American dollars - nor is it for sale. So it cannot be put on the negotiating table with the aim to rip it off," he said.
Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have soared in recent weeks, as a series of North Korean missile tests have wrought ever-more bellicose warnings from Donald Trump's administration.
On Monday, US Vice President Mike Pence - visiting the world's most heavily militarised border that divides the two Koreas - hinted military options against the North have not been ruled out.
"The people of North Korea, the military of North Korea should not mistake the resolve of the United States of America to stand with our allies," Pence said, adding "the era of strategic patience is over".
"All options are on the table as we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of South Korea," he said from the village of Panmunjom, inside the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ).
Mike Pence warns North Korea 'era of strategic patience is over'
On Sunday, Pyongyang conducted its
latest missile test , which the US and South Korea said crashed in failure after only a few seconds upon launch.
The Trump administration has indicated it will not allow North Korea to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the western United States .
Pyongyang insists it needs a powerful arsenal - including atomic weapons - to protect itself from what it says is the ever-present threat of invasion by hostile US forces.
Speaking to Al Jazeera from Seoul, Korea specialist and author Donald Kirk noted the rhetoric between the rivals continues to escalate and a "violent confrontation" was a real possibility.
"Certainly the tension level is very high. Vice President Pence talked very tough today… He left open the possibility of a pre-emptive strike," said Kirk.
Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington go back to the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. But the heat has been rising rapidly since Trump took office in January.
The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier has been diverted back to the waters off the Korean peninsula after heading for Australia , and US satellite imagery suggests the North could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.

2nd anniversary: Ambode has done well, but PDP faction

Lagos – The Moshood Salvador faction of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos on Sunday commended the Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode-led...