Monday, 16 October 2017

Davido speaks on those who accused him of killing Tagbo

Singer, Davido says he has forgiven those who accused him of complicity in the death of his friend, Tagbo Umeike.

Davido has made headlines the last fortnight, over the deaths of Tagbo and DJ Olu.

Actress Caroline Danjuma had accused him of being involved in the demise of the former.

Davido has been to the police station for questioning and released CCTV footage of the night Tagbo died.

The OBO crooner has now said it is time to move on and “get back to the music”.
He wrote on Snapchat: “Thank you Jesus” before calling out “persons that said false things about me or accused me of what I don’t know.”

Davido continued: “I sincerely forgive you.. and God bless you. We move on. Let’s all be better. Thank you Lord.”

911 calls on nursing home dying: 'Oh my God, this is crazy'

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - At first there was no hint of distress in the 911 calls, no sense of a crisis unfolding. But newly released emergency calls from a sweltering Florida nursing home that lost its air conditioning to Hurricane Irma showed staffers becoming increasing agitated by a disaster that would eventually claim 14 elderly lives.

The six calls made from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills between 3 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 13, the day the first eight patients died, show that several patients were in respiratory distress and at least two were in cardiac arrest. By the second call, an employee is heard muttering "Whatta night." On the fourth call, another tells someone, "Oh my God, this is crazy."

But it wasn't until the final call did one of the 911 dispatchers realize that the sick patient wasn't an individual event but part of a series. The dispatcher, seeing the earlier calls on his computer screen, questioned if this was the same patient. No, the unidentified employee replied, a different one.

The dispatcher then asks if additional paramedics are needed.

"You guys already have a few other paramedics here, so I'm not sure," the employee responds.

The Hollywood, Florida, Police Department released the tapes Monday. The department is conducting a criminal investigation into the deaths but no arrests have been made and no charges filed. After the eight initial deaths, six other patients injured by the heat have since died, the latest two last week. The dead ranged in age from 57 to 99, with most from their 70s to 90s.

Investigators have said they want to know why the home's approximately 150 patients were not evacuated to a fully functioning, air-conditioned hospital just across the street until after the first deaths had occurred. Some who died had body temperatures as high as 109.9 degrees Fahrenheit (48 Celsius) when they arrived at the hospital. The state has suspended the home's license and Gov. Rick Scott has issued an executive order requiring that nursing homes install generators that can power air conditioners.

Geoffrey D. Smith, the attorney representing the nursing home, had no comment Monday, saying in a statement he has not yet reviewed the calls.

Irma struck South Florida on Sept. 10, knocking out power to most of the region, including the nursing home. The home had generators to power its lights and equipment, but not its air conditioning.

The first 911 call came at 3 a.m. on Sept. 13. The unidentified hospital employee tells the dispatcher that an 84-year-old patient is in cardiac arrest.

"I saw her slouch over. I noticed she is not breathing," the employee says, adding that the patient's mouth and fingers are turning blue. "We are doing CPR." She then reports that the patient has resumed breathing on her own, but it's "very labored."

The second call came an hour later. Again, the patient is near death. At one point the employee mutters, "Whatta night." The dispatcher again sends paramedics.

The third call is short. Another patient in full cardiac arrest is receiving CPR. It is about this time that city officials say paramedics realized they might have a crisis developing.

The employee who makes the fourth call 30 minutes later is showing stress. She reports nurses are doing CPR on another male patient, sighing, "Oh my God, this is crazy."

The employee who makes the fifth call reported that another patient is not breathing. In an annoyed tone, she says to an interrupting co-worker, "Oh my God, I am on the phone."

At this point, no one from the home had told the 911 dispatchers, who work for Broward County, about the earlier patients. While the dispatchers are not identified, from their voices it is clear that most if not all of the calls were taken by different people.

Only in the final call, coming at 6:30 a.m., did the 911 dispatcher question the employee, asking if this is for a different patient. Yes, he is told. He soon asks if he should send more than just two paramedics. It's then that she tells him there are several already there.

About this time, emergency room employees at Memorial Regional Hospital had become concerned by all the patients coming in from across the street. Two employees went to investigate, saying they found patients dying and summoning help. Dozens of doctors, nurses and other employees swarmed across the street, treated the patients and evacuated them to the hospital.

Atiku: Buhari’s govt continues offensive against ex-VP as FIRS seals Intels office

The onslaught against former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar in the hands of the Buhari government continued on Monday as the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, sealed the headquarters of his company Intels, in Onne, Rivers State.

It was gathered that the company was sealed over “unremitted taxes

Intels operates in a Free Zone Authority located in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.
FIRS is accusing the oil services company, Intels of operating illegally within the zone.

An impeccable source close to Alhaji Atiku confirmed the seal to our corespondent Monday night.

“Yes. They (FIRS) posted stickers on the company premises asking for tax to be paid. But Onne is a duty free zone. This is shocking. Nigeria is a joke”, the source fumed.

Calls to FIRS Director of Commmunication, Wahab Gbadamosi, to explain the agency’s action went unanswered.

The development occurred barely a week after the Nigerian government directed the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to terminate the boats pilotage monitoring and supervision agreement that the agency has with Intels.

Government says the contract with Intels, a leading integrated logistics and facilities services provider in the maritime and oil and gas logistics sectors of the country, was void ab initio.

Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN), in a letter dated September 27, 2017 to the Managing Director of the NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman, said that the agreement, which has allowed Intels to 

receive revenue on behalf of NPA for 17 years, violates the Nigerian Constitution, especially in view of the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of government.

Intels, also co-owned by Mr. Gabriel Volpi, an Italian national who also has Nigerian citizenship, will lose several millions of dollars in commissions for the monitoring and supervision pilotage services it handles on behalf of NPA on Nigerian coastal waters.

In the maritime industry, pilotage is compulsory for all ships of 35 metres overall length or greater unless a valid Pilotage Exemption Certificate is held by the ship’s master.

In return for the service, ship owners/companies are required to pay a pilotage fee, which Intels collects on NPA’s behalf and retains 28 per cent of the revenue as commission for the services rendered.

In a memo, Malami stated that the agreement violates Sections 80(1) and 162(1) and (10) of the constitution, and wondered that the parties – NPA and Intels – did not avert their minds to the relevant provisions when they were negotiating the agreement in 2010.

In the letter titled: “Request for Clarification of Conflict Between Executed Agreement and Federal Government Treasury Single Account Policy,” the attorney general said: 

“I refer to your letter dated 31st May 2017, ref: MD/17/MF/Vol.XX/583 in respect of the above subject matter wherein you sought clarification on the legal issues implicated by the continuous implementation of the Managing Agent Contract 

Agreement dated 11th February 2010 executed between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Intels Nigeria Limited for the provision of boats pilotage operations, in the light of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Treasury Singe Account (TSA) policy.

“Upon my review of your letter under reference and the relevant agreements, I have been able to conclude inevitably that the terms of the agreement as agreed by parties and the dynamics of its implementation which permits Intels to receive revenue generated on behalf of NPA ab initio, clearly violates express provisions of Sections 80(1) and 162(1) and (10) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). It is thus curious that parties did not avert their minds to the above provisions of the constitution whilst negotiating the agreement.

“The inherent illegality of the agreement as formed has since been expounded by the TSA policy issued by the Head of Service of the Federation on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria directing all ministries, departments and agencies to collect payment of all revenues due to the federal government or any of her agencies through the TSA.

“The objective of the presidential directive (TSA policy) in exercise of the executive powers of the president under Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) was in furtherance of the spirit and intent of Sections 80 and 162 of the constitution and to aid transparency in government revenue collection and management.

“NPA being an agency of the federal government is bound by the TSA policy and has not howsoever been exempt therefrom. Due to the constitutional nature of the TSA, where there is a conflict between the TSA and the terms of the agreement, the TSA shall prevail.

“Therefore all monies due to the NPA currently being collected by Intels and any other agents/third parties on behalf of NPA must henceforth be paid into the TSA or any of the sub-accounts linked thereto in the Central Bank of Nigeria (information of the account will be communicated in due course) in accordance with the TSA policy.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the agreement for the monitoring and supervision of pilotage districts in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Nigeria on terms inter alia that permits Intels to receive revenue generated in each pilotage district from service boat operations in consideration for 28% of total revenue as commission to Intels is void, being a contract ex facie illegal as formed for permitting Intels to receive federal government revenue contrary to the express provisions of Sections 80(1) and 162(1) and (10) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which mandates that such revenue must be paid into the Federation Account/Consolidated Revenue Fund.

“In the premise of the above, the conflict between the agreement and the TSA policy presents a force majeure event under the agreement, and NPA should forthwith commence the process of issuing the relevant notices to Intels exiting the agreement which indeed was void ab initio.”

Daily Post 

Kanu launches ‘Africa’s largest N1 billion’ lotto

Legendary Nigerian footballer and philanthropist, Nwankwo Kanu, is launching the biggest lotto in Africa to raise funds for the Kanu Heart Foundation, KHF, and help build a specialist cardiac hospital in Abuja, according to a statement.

The KHF lotto offers a jackpot starting at N1 billion and will be run in conjunction with AfroMillonsLotto. It offers twice-weekly draws with bigger jackpots than all the lotteries in Nigeria combined, as well as being the largest jackpot anywhere in Africa, the foundation said.

Twenty per cent of every ticket sold will go directly to KHF to help it continue its work ensuring underprivileged children across Africa with heart problems get the treatment they need.

Since its launch in 2000, KHF has helped not just people in Nigeria, but also paid for 538 children to be treated at facilities throughout the world.

Commenting on the lotto initiative, Kanu said:

“We are excited to launch this major fund-raising initiative for the Kanu Heart Foundation and hope people support it by buying tickets, helping us to build a new heart hospital for Nigeria.”

“Not only could people change their own life with the potential to win the jackpot of over N1 billion, they can help to change the lives of other people by supporting our Foundation.”

The first draw takes place on October 18 and the website also offers nine, ‘Candy Crush’ style, Instant Win games, which can be played for fun or to win cash prizes of up to N12 million. If there isn’t a jackpot winner, the prize money rolls over, increasing by N100 million with each draw until it reaches a maximum of over N2 billion.

Pep Guardiola: De Bruyne must win trophies before reaching Messi´s level

Pep Guardiola thinks Kevin De Bruyne will have to help Manchester City win trophies before he can be regarded as one of the greats like Lionel Messi.

But the City manager feels such comparisons with the Barcelona star could put too much pressure on his Belgian forward.

De Bruyne has been in outstanding form for the Premier League leaders in the early part of the season and he delivered a passing masterclass in Saturday’s 7-2 rout of Stoke, helping set up four goals.

That came after another commanding performance, and match-winning goal, against champions Chelsea prior to the recent international break.

Asked if De Bruyne, 26, could currently be regarded as the best player in Europe, Guardiola said: “The best is just one (player). If he wants to be considered one of the best, you have to win titles and we are here to help him to achieve that.

“The best is just one, but he is of course one of the best.”

Guardiola, who was speaking at a press conference to preview Tuesday’s Champions League Group F clash with Napoli, was obviously referring to Messi when he spoke about the best.

The former Barca boss regularly expresses his admiration for the Argentinian five-time world player of the year, with whom he won two Champions League trophies and three LaLiga titles.

Asked if De Bruyne could ever reach Messi’s level, Guardiola said: “It would be a dream for me.

“I would love, not only for Kevin, but all the players I have had in the past to achieve the level of Messi. It would be a massive thing for my teams because we would win a lot of games.

“But I don’t want to put pressure on Kevin’s shoulders. Kevin is an outstanding, amazing player. He is a humble guy and all his team-mates love him.

“He wants to play every single game, he fights until the end but I don’t help him by comparing him with Messi.

“Messi is apart. He is a guy who has scored 60 goals every season for eight or nine years.”

Another of City’s star men, Sergio Aguero, could return against Napoli. The striker has made a rapid recovery from the broken rib he sustained in a car crash three weeks ago and he was an unused substitute against Stoke.

“Day by day he is much better,” Guardiola said. “Yesterday he had an amazing training session.”

Napoli’s form is almost as impressive as City’s. They top Serie A with a 100 per cent record after eight games, having scored 26 goals in the process.

Guardiola said: “I am sure it will be a fascinating game and I hope Manchester City fans can come again to help us. We need their support. I am pretty sure it will be a massive game.”

Scientists witness huge cosmic crash, find origins of gold

WASHINGTON (AP) - It was a faint signal, but it told of one of the most violent acts in the universe, and it would soon reveal secrets of the cosmos, including how gold was created.

Astronomers around the world reacted to the signal quickly, focusing telescopes located on every continent and even in orbit to a distant spot in the sky.

What they witnessed in mid-August and revealed Monday was the long-ago collision of two neutron stars - a phenomenon California Institute of Technology's David H. Reitze called "the most spectacular fireworks in the universe."

"When these things collide, all hell breaks loose," he said.

Measurements of the light and other energy emanating from the crash have helped scientists explain how planet-killing gamma ray bursts are born, how fast the universe is expanding, and where heavy elements like platinum and gold come from.

"This is getting everything you wish for," said Syracuse University physics professor Duncan Brown, one of more than 4,000 scientists involved in the blitz of science that the crash kicked off. "This is our fantasy observation."

It started in a galaxy called NGC 4993, seen from Earth in the Hydra constellation. 

Two neutron stars, collapsed cores of stars so dense that a teaspoon of their matter would weigh 1 billion tons, danced ever faster and closer together until they collided, said Carnegie Institution astronomer Maria Drout.

The crash, called a kilonova, generated a fierce burst of gamma rays and a gravitational wave, a faint ripple in the fabric of space and time, first theorized by Albert Einstein.

"This is like a cosmic atom smasher at a scale far beyond humans would be capable of building," said Andy Howell, a staff scientist at the Las Cumbres Observatory. "We finally now know what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object and it's a kilonova."

The crash happened 130 million years ago, while dinosaurs still roamed on Earth, but the signal didn't arrive on Earth until Aug. 17 after traveling 130 million light-years. A light-year is 5.88 trillion miles.

Signals were picked up within 1.7 seconds of each other, by NASA's Fermi telescope, which detects gamma rays, and gravity wave detectors in Louisiana and Washington state that are a part of the LIGO Laboratory , whose founders won a Nobel Prize earlier this month. A worldwide alert went out to focus telescopes on what became the most well-observed astronomical event in history.

Before August, the only other gravity waves detected by LIGO were generated by colliding black holes. But black holes let no light escape, so astronomers could see nothing.

This time there was plenty to see, measure and analyze: matter, light, and other radiation. The Hubble Space Telescope even got a snapshot of the afterglow.

Finding where the crash happened wasn't easy. Eventually scientists narrowed the location down to 100 galaxies, began a closer search of those, and found it in the ninth galaxy they looked at.

It is like "the classic challenge of finding a needle in the haystack with the added challenge that the needle is fading away and the haystack is moving," said Marcelle Soares-Santos, an astrophysicist at Brandeis University.

"The completeness of this picture from the beginning to the end is unprecedented," said Columbia University physics professor Szabolcs Marka. "There are many, many extraordinary discoveries within the discovery."

The colliding stars spewed bright blue, super-hot debris that was dense and unstable. Some of it coalesced into heavy elements, like gold, platinum and uranium. Scientists had suspected neutron star collisions had enough power to create heavier elements, but weren't certain until they witnessed it.

"We see the gold being formed," said Syracuse's Brown.

Calculations from a telescope measuring ultraviolet light showed that the combined mass of the heavy elements from this explosion is 1,300 times the mass of Earth. And all that stuff - including lighter elements - was thrown out in all different directions and is now speeding across the universe.

Perhaps one day the material will clump together into planets the way ours was formed, Reitze said - maybe ones with rich veins of precious metals.

"We already knew that iron came from a stellar explosion, the calcium in your bones came from stars and now we know the gold in your wedding ring came from merging neutron stars," said University of California Santa Cruz's Ryan Foley.

The crash also helped explain the origins of one of the most dangerous forces of the cosmos - short gamma ray bursts, focused beams of radiation that could erase life on any planet that happened to get in the way. These bursts shoot out in two different directions perpendicular to where the two neutron stars first crash, Reitze said.

Luckily for us, the beams of gamma rays were not focused on Earth and were generated too far away to be a threat, he said.

Scientists knew that the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang. By using LIGO to measure gravitational waves while watching this event unfold, researchers came up with a new estimate for how fast that is happening, the so-called Hubble Constant. Before this, scientists came up with two slightly different answers using different techniques. The rough figure that came out of this event is between the original two, Reitze said.

The first optical images showed a bright blue dot that was very hot, which was likely the start of the heavy element creation process amid the neutron star debris, Drout said. After a day or two that blue faded, becoming much fainter and redder. And after three weeks it was completely gone, she said.

This almost didn't happen. Eight days after the signal came through, the LIGO gravitational waves were shut down for a year's worth of planned upgrades. A month later the whole area where the crash happened would have been blocked from astronomers' prying eyes by the sun.

Scientists involved with the search for gravitational waves said this was the event they had prepared for over more than 20 years.

The findings are "of spectacular importance," said Penn State physicist Abhay Ashtekar, who wasn't part of the research. "This is really brand new."

Almost all of the discoveries confirmed existing theories, but had not been proven - an encouraging result for theorists who have been trying to explain what is happening in the cosmos, said France Cordova, an astrophysicist who directs the National Science Foundation.

"We so far have been unable to prove Einstein wrong," said Georgia Tech physics professor Laura Cadonati. "But we're going to keep trying."

Billionaire kidnapper: Evans’ accomplice sues police, demands N100m damages

An alleged accomplice of suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, Emeka Arinze, has sued the Nigeria Police Force over his continued detention.

In a suit he filed before a Lagos Federal High Court on Monday, Arinze is demanding his immediate release from police custody.

The suit which he filed through a rights campaigner, Ogedi Ogu, Arinze is claiming N100 million and a public apology from the police and severally over alleged infringement on his rights.

Enjoined in the suit are the Inspector General of Police, State Police Commissioner, Lagos State Police Command and Inspector Christian, an Investigating Police Officer with the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The alleged Evans’ accomplice is seeking a declaration that his arrest and detention without any order in accordance with the 1999 Constitution (as Amended) is unlawful and illegal.

An affidavit sworn by Arinze’s younger sister, Mrs Nkem Nwaka, supporting the suit, says the suspect was arrested on June 27 at FESTAC Town, Lagos, by the third respondent (the police) and taken to the office of the second respondent Commissioner of Police.

The affidavit said Arinze has been in custody since June 27 and denied access to his medications, family and lawyers.

She said her brother has been in police custody for more than three months without any charge.

Nwaka noted that her brother’s fundamental rights as guaranteed under Sections 35 (4) and 36 (4) (5) of the 1999 Constitution have been violated.

Daily Post

Mourinho wants big pay rise to sign new Manchester United contract

Jose Mourinho, is ready to sign a new contract with the club. But he will only do so, if the Red Devils offer him terms which he believes reflect his achievements at the club and their current status under him.

The Manchester United boss is almost halfway through the three-year deal he agreed in the summer of 2016.

In his first season at Old Trafford, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss won two trophies – the EFL Cup and Europa League.

Winning the Europa saw United return to the Champions League, after his predecessor, Louis van Gaal, could guide the team only to fifth place.

Mourinho earns around £15m a year, but is thought to want a marked improvement on his package of salary and incentives, to reflect the achievement he has brought and the team’s evolution under him.

On Sunday, Mourinho said United would not be his last job and praised Paris Saint-Germain, in what may have been part of a contract renegotiation strategy.

Insurance critical to FG’s agric agenda — Africa Re

AFRICA Reinsurance Corporation, Africa Re, has disclosed that increased insurance penetration among farmers will help to drive the federal government’s agricultural transformation agenda.

In an interview on the sideline of the 2017 Nigerian Economic Summit, Mr. Ken Aghoghovbia, Chief Operating Officer/Deputy Managing Director, African Re, also stated that insurance will help achieve the financial inclusion agenda of the government.

Aghoghovbia said the company, working in conjunction with the World Bank, is partnering with the federal government to provide insurance services to local players, particularly in providing more cover to farmers. He explained that the aim is to deepen insurance penetration among farmers through the introduction of affordable insurance packages.

He said, “If farmers are paying lower premium, many of them would take agriculture insurance, and if they have it, in case of any catastrophe in their business, they would be able to weather any storm and continue in their business. They would be in a position to pay back any credit facilities.

“Many of them need funds to expand their business, but credit would hardly come if there is no guarantee that they would payback, especially in the face of catastrophe.   This is one area that we are closely working with the World Bank and helping drive the Federal Government growth agenda.”

On the role of insurance in driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, Aghoghovbia explained that it is open knowledge that of the top 10 insurance market in Africa, Nigeria has the least penetration rate, adding that there is a lot of room for growth in the sector.

He argued that most of the insurance activities in Nigeria are focused on government and the corporate segment, while the retail segment is largely neglected.

“That is why you find the petty trader in a market, whenever there is a fire incident that is the end for some of them.   That is why you find the small farm holders, whenever there is drought; they are not able to continue,” he averred.

He further stated that many of the smallholder farmers and small businesses are unable to upscale their operations because they lack access to capital.

According to him, “With insurance, the smallholder farmers or the petty trader do not need a house or some other form of collateral security to have access to loan, because insurance can play that role.”

Aghoghovbia maintained that with insurance, smallholder farmers can also have hope, adding that should there be any eventuality, there is sustainability, as the farmer can grow and not be affected.


Champions League: I might sign Harry Kane for Real Madrid – Zidane

Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, has hailed Tottenham Hotspurs’ Harry Kane as the “complete player”, ahead of their Champions League clash on Tuesday and hinted at signing the England international in future.

Kane leads the scoring charts after two group matches with five goals.

His overall performance this season has left Zidane impressed.

“He is a fundamental player for Tottenham, he is very good in every aspect, but the best thing about him is that he’s always got the goal on his mind,” Zidane told a news conference on Monday.

“He’s a very complete player even though he does not look it, but he always turns up when he needs to.”

Reports in Spain have suggested that Madrid are interested in Kane, but Zidane cooled any talk he is considering signing the 24-year-old.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future,” he said.

Daily Post

Trump: 'Obamacare is dead'

President Donald Trump declared Monday that his predecessor Barack Obama's signature reform and expansion of the US health insurance system is defunct, after he cut subsidies to insurers.

"Obamacare is finished. It's dead. It's gone," he told reporters.

"It's gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore. It is -- and I said this years ago -- it's a concept that couldn't have worked. In its best days it couldn't have worked."

Since becoming president in January Trump has persistently sought to end Obama's Affordable Care Act, cutting back some government budgetary support and pressing Congress to repeal and replace it.

The effort in Congress though has failed, last week forcing Trump to order an end to the "cost-sharing reduction" program, payments to insurers designed to help millions of lower income Americans afford coverage.

"I knocked out the CSRs; that was a subsidy to the insurance companies. That was a gift," Trump said.

"The insurance companies have made an absolute fortune with Obamacare," he said.

But he said that, to protect people who will lose their insurance, the White House is working with Congress for "some kind of a short-term fix" before coming up with a longer term plan.


Researchers discover vulnerability affecting Wi-Fi security

Security researchers have discovered a Wi-Fi network vulnerability that could allow attackers to steal sensitive information or spread malicious software while someone is logged into a computer or mobile device.

A report published Monday said the breach could only happen if an attacker is within range of the potential victim, but the weakness could affect anyone using a Wi-Fi network, whether at home, the office or at a public coffee shop.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group, says there's no evidence that the vulnerability discovered by researcher Mathy Vanhoef has been exploited maliciously. It affects WPA2, a protocol used to secure Wi-Fi networks.

The group says the problem can be resolved through straightforward software updates. Major platform providers have already started deploying patches.


Death toll from Tunisia migrant boat tragedy climbs to 34

Tunisia's navy has found the bodies of 26 migrants at sea a week after their boat collided with a navy vessel, bringing the death toll to 34, the defence ministry said.

On October 8, a migrant boat sank following a collision with a navy vessel off the coast of the Kerkennah islands in the Mediterranean.

At the time, the defence ministry said eight migrants drowned and 38 others were rescued, while NGOs spoke of dozens still missing.

On Sunday night, a navy search and rescue vessel spotted the remains of the migrant boat and pulled out 10 bodies, the ministry said in a statement.

The bodies of 16 other migrants were found on Monday, defence ministry spokesman Belhassen Oueslati said, putting the overall death toll so far from the collision to 34.

One of the migrants rescued after the tragedy told AFP that 90 people had been on board, hoping to make their way to Italy.

An NGO, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, estimates the boat carried between 80 and 100 migrants.

According to the International Organization for Migration, there has been a rise in the number of migrants trying to make the perilous sea crossing from Tunisia to Europe since summer.

Small vessels have been heading for the Italian islands of Sicily and Lampedusa.

Flavio di Giacomo, an Italian spokesman for the IOM, told AFP earlier this month that 1,400 Tunisians had arrived in Lampedusa and western Sicily in September alone.

This is compared to 1,200 registered in Italy for all of 2016.

The FTDES said in a report last year that half of Tunisian youths from low-income areas were thinking of leaving the country, and one in three was prepared to do so clandestinely.

It blamed the situation on increasing poverty and unemployment in the North African country.


83 obtain first class at Afe Babalola University

No fewer than 83 persons have obtained first class degrees from the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.

This was made known by the institutions Vice Chancellor, Michael Ajisafe, on Monday while briefing journalists on the planned 5th convocation ceremony slated for October 21.

He said the institution also plans to treat 2,000 people suffering from different types of ailments as part of its corporate social responsibility to the society.

According to Mr. Ajisafe, ABUAD would graduate 83 first class out of 869 graduands, who would be conferred with bachelor degrees by the institution.

Mr. Ajisafe justified the seemingly high number of first class graduates as a measure of the quality education being offered by the university enabled by uninterrupted power supply and full-residential policy for all students adopted by the founder, Afe Babalola.

He further said that intending patients for the free health services would be treated by experts from Europe, Asia and Nigeria.

“The experts will treat any patient free and they will perform surgery if it is required on any patient and this is on the bill of ABUAD and it is going to be on first come, first serve,” he said.

Mr. Ajisafe noted that the university would commission the 400-bed ABUAD Teaching Hospital built by Mr. Babalola to offer quality health services to Nigerians.

He said the university will confer honourary degrees on the President and Chief Executive Officer of project CURE, Douglas Jackson, and on the former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, Peter Okebukola for their contributions to humanity.

 “Since we began, ABUAD has proved to be a trail-blazer. In order to add international flavour to the nation’s healthcare delivery, the 400-bed hospital built on 60 hectares of land has entered into partnership with some reputable players in the global health industry such as Abbot laboratories, Aster hospital, Dubai, Project CURE, USA,” he said.

“Others include, Narula foundation, India, JNC international, Trigenesis, India, Protech Gas, Adler of England, College of Pharmacy, Howard University, USA and Bridge of Life, USA as well as care4you Association in Denmark.”


Catholic priest escapes after kidnappers ‘drank his wine and slept off’

The police in Ebonyi State have confirmed the rescue of a Catholic priest, Timothy Nwanja, abducted by gunmen in Okpokueze Nkomoro community, Imoho Development Centre, Ezza North Local Government Area of the State.

Also rescued was the cook to the priest who was abducted with her boss.

The priest escaped after his captors allegedly drank Holy Communion wine they stole from his house and slept off.

This is even as the police said that they arrested one of the suspected kidnappers.

Two of the kidnappers escaped but the police vowed to track them down.

According to sources, the cleric, who serves at St. Mary’s parish, was kidnapped by three gunmen at about 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night in his residence.

The police spokesperson in the state, Loveth Odah, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, who conformed the rescue, said that the police acting on tip-off, raided the criminals’ hideout.

She narrated that the kidnappers sneaked into the priest’s room on Sunday while he was having his dinner and took him and his cook away.

She said that the priest’s cook who had gone upstairs to get water from the refrigerator was first captured.

“When the priest heard the loud screaming, he ran upstairs to know what was going on and they also captured him. One of them was familiar with the area.

“They took him away in his own vehicle. They blindfolded him and tied his ears so that he would not be able to listen to their interaction.

“At a point, they separated the cook and the priest. They allowed the cook to go but it was a plot,” she narrated.

Mrs. Odah disclosed that the cleric had jumped out through the window of the uncompleted building where he was taken to after his three captors took Holy Communion wine and slept off.

She said that the criminals had planned to request the sum a N100 million ransom from the Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese in the morning before they ran out of luck.

Premium Times

Mike Ashley puts Newcastle United up for sale

Oct 16 (Reuters) - Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley put the Premier League club up for sale on Monday, signalling a possible end to his decade-long reign at St James' Park.

"As one of the Premier League's oldest and best supported football clubs - and for the benefit of its many fans and supporters in the UK and across the world - 

Newcastle United requires a clear direction and a path to a bright and successful future," the club said in a statement.

"To give the club the best possible opportunity of securing the positioning and investment necessary to take it to the next level, at what is an important time in its history, its present ownership has determined that it is in the best interests of Newcastle United and its fans for the club to be put up for sale."

The club said they were willing to listen to offers that would be capable of "delivering sustained investment" towards achieving their ambitions in the top flight.

Newcastle's 52,000 capacity St James' Park is close to full most weeks with the club enjoying a passionate fan base.

But Ashley, a 53-year-old billionaire who founded British retailing group Sports Direct, has had an uneasy relationship with Newcastle fans during his decade in control of the North East club.

Newcastle have been relegated twice since Ashley took charge in 2007. After winning promotion to the Premier League last season, Rafa Benitez's side are ninth in the standings with 11 points from eight games.

There was tension between Benitez and Ashley during the close-season with the Spanish manager suggesting he was not receiving the backing in the transfer market that he needed.

Ashley's lawyer Andrew Henderson told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle that the goal was to sell the club before the end of the year.

"Our intentions are to see if the club can be bought by new ownership by potentially Christmas.

"That would allow seriously interested parties to put themselves forward. It would allow a diligence period to carry on then hopefully by Christmas a sale could conclude," he said.

"Assuming the right person can be found to take the club forward it´ll be about how payments are structured, how much would be payable on day one and how much would be payable further down the line.

"There is a real genuine desire from our point of view to put the club in the best possible position going forward. If that means additional funds being available in the short-term we would seek to accommodate that," Henderson added.

Solar-powered car, 'Stella Vie,' that can supply energy back to the grid hailed 'the future of electric vehicles'

A futuristic Dutch family car that not only uses the sun as power but supplies energy back to the grid was hailed as 'the future' Sunday as the World Solar Challenge wrapped up.

The innovative bi-annual contest, first run in 1987, began in Darwin a week ago with 41 vehicles setting off on a 3,000-kilometre (1,860-mile) trip through the heart of Australia to Adelaide.

Dutch car 'Nuna 9' won the race for the third-straight time, crossing the finish line on Thursday after travelling at an average speed of 81.2 kilometres per hour (55.5 mph).

It was competing in the Challenger class, which featured slick, single seat aerodynamic vehicles built for sustained endurance and total energy efficiency.
But there was also a Cruiser class, introduced to bridge the gap between high-end technology and everyday driving practicality.

German team HS Bochum was the first to arrive Friday with its stylish four-seater classic coupe, featuring sustainable materials such as vegan pineapple leather seats.

But another Dutch team, Eindhoven, was set to be crowned overall champion based on a system taking into account design, practicality, energy efficiency, and innovation, organisers said.

Their family car, 'Stella Vie', carried five people at an average speed of 69 kilometres per hour, with event director Chris Selwood saying it was a practical demonstration of what the future might look like.

'These incredible solar cars have been designed with the commercial market in mind and have all the features you´d expect in a family, luxury or sporting car,' he said.
'Team Eindhoven are to be congratulated on their achievement to date -- clearly the most energy efficient solar car in the field, capable of generating more power than they consume.

This is the future of solar electric vehicles. When your car is parked at home it can be charging and supplying energy back to the grid.'

Cars in the race were mostly developed by universities or corporations, with teams hailing from around the world.

They were allowed to store a small amount of energy but the majority of their power had to come from the sun and the vehicle's kinetic forces.

Team Eindhoven said its vision had been to build a family car with a balance between aerodynamic, aesthetic and practical design.

'We think we succeeded very well with a car that is more efficient than its predecessors and includes some state-of-the-art technologies to not only generate energy but also supply it back to the grid,' they said.

'Through a smart charging and discharging system she charges the battery when the demand of energy from the grid is high and vice versa. Any surplus energy generated can easily be supplied back to the grid.'

Of the 12 Cruiser class cars that started, six finished.

As well as the German and Dutch entrants, vehicles from Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States also crossed the finish line. 

In 2014, the solar-powered family car's successor, Stella, completed a drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco fuelled entirely by sunshine - a journey covering almost 385 miles (619km). 

The prototype four-seater has solar cells on its roof to provide power while driving, and it boasts a tablet that tracks traffic lights.

The vehicle was created by a group called Solar Tam Eindhoven, based at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Stella's journey took it up California's scenic Pacific Coast Highway into the centre of L.A.

And the creators of Stella hope their vehicle might one day enter mass production, and become a common sight on roads.

The 1.5-kilowatt array of solar panels on top of the car, which cost about £2,600 ($4,260) to produce, supply power to the car's lithium ion battery.

At the back of the car, the panels can be lifted up to reveal a boot, and according to TakePart, other novelties include a steering wheel that expands when a user drives too fast, and contracts when they drive too slow. 

It weighs 855lbs (390kg) and is 15ft (4.6 metres) long, while the body of the vehicle is made of carbon fibre. Its aerodynamic shape also helps to increase its driving range.

But the car is less than 4ft (1.2 metres) tall, so getting in is a bit of a squeeze.

Stella can even communicate with other cars; during an example, it relayed traffic information to a Tesla Model S nearby.

And this extends to traffic lights as well - a tablet screen in the car will tell the driver how long until a light up ahead turns red or green.

Daily Mail Uk 


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