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Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Monday, 13 November 2017

Police arrest ritualists for allegedly beheading 17-year-old girl

Police arrest ritualists for allegedly beheading 17-year-old girl

Men of the Ogun State Command of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) have captured two speculated ritualists regarding the murder of a 17-year-old young lady, Taye Gusau, in Idosemo, Ipokia Local Government Area of the state.

It was accumulated that the suspects, Yewanu Tailoju, and Asamo Soji, tricked the young lady, who was selling puff-puff (donut) after school, into the shrub and killed her.

Subsequent to murdering her, they beheaded the body, remove the hands and digestive organs.

The state Public Relations Officer of VGN, Adebodun Omotolani, who uncovered this throughout the end of the week to newsmen, said that the suspects supposedly dumped the body in a well on a relinquished plot of land at Igude, in the wake of executing it.

"Four days back, the guardians of the young lady, when they didn't see their kid, answered to the VGN, who swung without hesitation, prompting the capture of 35-year-old, Yewenu Tailoju.

"It was Tailoju that named his accomplice, Asamo Soji, who is currently in Police net and admitted to executing the young lady for cash ceremonies.

"He later took officers of the VGN to where her body was dumped subsequent to separating her head and hands, while her digestion tracts were additionally expelled," Omotolani said.

The Commandant of the VGN, Olanrewaju Adedoyin, who educated individuals concerning people in general to dependably profit the gathering with data, said VGN was ready to taking group policing to a level that will lessen wrongdoing in the general public.

Adedoyin said the case will be appropriately given over to the Nigeria Police for assist examination and indictment.
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Nigeria has some of the richest pastors worldwide “yet our people are getting poorer” – Femi Falana

Senior Advocate of Nigeria Femi Falana has in a discussion talked about issues tormenting the nation, from religious fundamentalism to debasement.

Falana portrayed Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose as a "Nigerian Trump" who fiddles with stomach framework, "taking all the cash however giving individuals simply some … tokenism."

He likewise communicated stress over the absence of contender for the 2019 races, saying: "It is either Buhari or Atiku, we are stuck in an unfortunate situation."

On religion, Falana communicated stress over the condition of places of worship in the nation, remarking that despite the fact that Nigeria had "9 or 10" ministers on the Forbes' wealthiest rundown, Nigerians are getting poorer.

He likewise contrasted houses of worship today with when he was small, examining going to mission schools worked by the Catholic and Anglican temples. "What are we assembling now? What are our temples giving us?" he inquired.

Watch him talk beneath:

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Italian Priest apologises for saying 17-year old rape Victim asked for It

Italian Priest apologises for saying 17-year old rape Victim asked for It

An Italian Priest Lorenzo Guidotti sparked outrage on social media in the wake of accusing a 17-year-old young lady for her assault.

The young lady had recounted a tale about getting assaulted by a North African immaigrant at a prepare station prior this month, and the minister on Facebook, composed a tirade about how it was her blame, Inquirer reports.
“I’m sorry but if you swim in the piranha tank you cannot complain if you lose a limb,” he wrote.
The post, which was unmistakable to his companions alone, was distributed by Italian site Radio Citta del Capo, from where it became a web sensation.

He likewise ridiculed the Italians inviting migrants to the nation. He composed:

Sweetie, I’m sorry, but… you get revoltingly drunk… and then who do you go off with? A North African? Do you understand that, along with the alcohol, you’ve gulped down the ideological tirade about ‘welcoming everyone’?
Darling, at this point, waking up semi-naked is the least that could happen to you.

The Bologna archdiocese with which the minister is joined have separated themselves from his perspectives. His conclusions "not the slightest bit mirrors that of the Church, which denounces each kind of savagery," they said.

The cleric, at to begin with, said he wasn't assaulting the young ladies, however was "endeavoring to influence kids and their folks to think."

Notwithstanding, after more judgment, he later offered his open conciliatory sentiment to the casualty and her family.

Photo Credit: Radio Citta del Capo
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Saturday, 29 July 2017

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal boss on £300m Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and massive transfer fees

The Arsenal manager also believes Neymar could becomes the first £300million player.
Arsenal have so far signed just two players this summer, with Sead Kolasinac costing them nothing.

Alexandre Lacazette’s arrival from Marseille broke the Gunners’ transfer record.

But while Wenger confirmed his club will continue to look at deals this summer, he remains frustrated with the current valuations of average players.

"What’s next is to remain active," he said on Arsenal’s website. "Not a lot [has] happened.

"I believe there are actually two ways to improve the team. First of all to improve the quality of what we do in training to improve the squad and improve the players we have, and secondly to bring more top-level players in.

"The difficulty is to bring top-level players in because you pay a huge amount of money for very normal players at the moment. As well, all the big clubs are chasing the same players and that provokes huge inflation. Maybe this will be the first time we [football clubs] pay over £200m, maybe over £300m with Neymar and around £200m with Mbappe.

"So there is a huge inflation. But we are active, we are working hard and I think we have done well with Kolasinac, we have done well with Lacazette and we are continuing to work.”
Wenger was in for Mbappe earlier this summer but Monaco rejected their £87m bid for the player.

As for Neymar, Maris Saint-Germain want to sign the Barcelona striker and are eyeing his £196m release clause.

Arsenal are in action today against Benfica in the Emirates Cup.

They face Chelsea next week in the Community Shield at Wembley before their Premier League season kicks off with a home clash against Leicester.
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Thirsty Drake Fan Reportedly Arrested After Spitting on Deputies at Rapper's House

Thirsty Drake Fan Reportedly Arrested After Spitting on Deputies at Rapper's House

A woman who previously made headlines for illegally entering Drake's home and enjoying some Sprite was reportedly arrested Thursday morning. The 24-year-old individual returned to Drake's Hidden Hills estate and told security staff that she was "on the list," TMZ reported Friday. When the list claims didn't go as she planned, the woman refused to vacate the premises.

Police sources told TMZ that the woman gifted three deputies with hurled saliva upon their arrival, resulting in the use of pepper spray. Ultimately, the woman was arrested on trespassing and assault on a police officer charges. According to the report, Drake wasn't on the property at the time of the incident.

Back in April, the same woman was busted by a member of Drake's team for a separate incident involving similarly illegal entry. She was discovered in one of the Hidden Hills home's bedrooms, wearing an article of clothing from Drake's wardrobe and claiming she had been given permission to enter the residence. According to TMZ's initial report, the woman was arrested and charged with felony burglary after confessing to snatching up some Sprite, Pepsi, and delicious Fiji water from the home stash. Drake later contacted the authorities and reportedly told them he wasn't interested in pursuing prosecution, instead asking that they give the woman a break.

Hidden Hills was previously hit with a highly publicized break-in back in May. Noted comedy actor Scott Disick's home was "burglarized and ransacked" while he was in Las Vegas for a birthday event, according to reports. A silent burglar alarm was triggered during the incident, but no leads were pinned down. The break-in is believed to have been an inside job.
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US plans to curb nicotine in tobacco

US plans to curb nicotine in tobacco

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking to limit nicotine content in tobacco products, for the first time in its history.
The policy announced on Friday has a goal of cutting back on nicotine levels in order to discourage addiction and lower the number of US smokers.
The FDA says tobacco is responsible for 480,000 American deaths each year, and $300bn (£228bn) in medical costs.
Stock market shares of tobacco plummeted after the plan was announced.
On the New York Stock Exchange, shares in Altria dropped by up to 17%, British American Tobacco's stock fell as much as 11%, and Philip Morris dropped by 7% before they all recovered some of their losses.
"The overwhelming amount of death and disease attributable to tobacco is caused by addiction to cigarettes - the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
The goal, Mr Gottlieb added, is to "render cigarettes minimally addictive" by reducing the amount of the harmful and addictive chemical, which they say is the leading cause of preventable death in the US.
Tobacco companies, such as British American Tobacco (BAT), said the announcement will lead to innovation in the industry.
"Dr Gottlieb's comments regarding nicotine and menthol do not come as a surprise to us," said a BAT spokeswoman.
"We believe future success will require transformative, innovative products and changing the conversation about tobacco harm reduction," Joanne Walia told the BBC, adding that their American subsidiary Reynolds American Inc, will continue "the transformation of the tobacco industry".
The agency announced that they will also look into flavoured-tobacco, such as menthol, during this "public dialogue" period, ahead of a firm policy recommendation.
The policy will also apply to e-cigarettes, which are also known as tobacco vaporisers.
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Snake Wraps Around Woman's Neck

Snake Wraps Around Woman's Neck

A woman in Sheffield Lake, Ohio, made a 9-1-1 call Thursday after a 5 1/2-foot long boa constrictor proceeded to wrap itself around her neck, according to reports. The snake, which she rescued the day before, also repeatedly bit the woman's face.

The Sheffield Lake Fire Department (SLFD) and Police Department (SLPD) reportedly arrived at the scene within minutes of the call, finding the woman lying in her driveway as the snake was wrapped around her neck, biting her face.
According to Fox 8 News in Cleveland, the woman called the SLPD to report the incident. "I have a boa constrictor stuck to my face," she told the dispatcher. The dispatcher responded to her claim with a question: "You have a boa constrictor stuck to your face?"

She requested for the SLPD to hurry because the snake was biting her nose. The dispatcher claimed that they had "never heard of this before."

Firefighters were forced to cut off the boa constrictor's head with a pocket knife, a precaution used to quickly protect the owner. The woman, who remains unidentified, was promptly placed into to an ambulance that transported her to a local hospital for treatment. She acquired injuries that were not life-threatening, according to Fox 8 News.

"The snake wouldn't release," Sheffield Lake Fire Lt. Wes Mariner told Friday. "Because of how close it was wrapped around her, there were no other options, from what I understand."

The victim is no stranger to slithering reptiles. The boa constrictor that attacked her was one of 11 that she's rescued, which all reside in her Sheffield Lake home. She owns two boa constrictors, with the remaining nine snakes being pythons.
Boa constrictors are non-venomous snakes, but they are known for the way in which they vanquish their prey. The slithering reptile resorts to squeezing or constricting their victim, which will ultimately result in the prey's death, according to Life Science.

There is a misconception about the method boa constrictors use to kill its prey, being asphyxiation. The Verge debunked this myth in 2015, reporting that the snake will cut off their prey's blood flow to make for a quicker death.

Boa constrictors are among the longest snakes worldwide but still falling behind anacondas and pythons. A boa constrictor can be as long as 13 feet and could weigh up to 60 pounds.

Boa constrictors are also commonly sold in pet stores worldwide though they are not considered to be intentionally aggressive pets. However, they can and have had the ability to kill humans.

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Trump Mulls AG Recess Appointment In Face Of Growing Support For Sessions

Trump Mulls AG Recess Appointment In Face Of Growing Support For Sessions
Jeff Roberson/AP

President Donald Trump is still mulling what to do about Jeff Sessions, but congressional Republicans, pro-Trump journalists and members of his own administration are sending increasingly explicit signals that firing the man Trump referred to as his “beleaguered” attorney general would spark a riot in the GOP.
New reports out Wednesday night from the Washington Post and New York Times suggest that outpouring of support renders Sessions’ job safe for the moment, and that Trump’s continued jabs are just a way for the frustrated President to put Sessions firmly in his place.

But he does not appear quite ready to let Sessions off the hook for his decision to recuse himself from the federal investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The Post reported that Trump has spoken to advisers about installing a new attorney general when Congress is out for August recess, which would allow the appointee to skirt around Senate confirmation and serve through the end of 2017.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle already have signaled that they would use procedural maneuvers to block such a plan. In a Wednesday evening tweet, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said that his panel’s schedule was already full and would not consider hearings for a new attorney general.

“AG no way,” he wrote.
The White House sent the Post a brief statement from Trump denying that he was considering a recess appointment.

“More fake news from the Amazon Washington Post,” the President said, referring to the fact that the newspaper is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Sessions, for his part, apparently got the message about Trump’s simmering anger. He has stayed away from the press except to float the rollout of several new policies guaranteed to please the President. These include cutting off federal funding for sanctuary cities that don’t allow federal immigration agents to enter their prisons and jails and a new crackdown on intelligence leaks.

Sessions is headed for a temporary respite from the political heat in Washington, as he’s scheduled to spend the next few days in El Salvador, where the Associated Press reported he is expected to meet with lawmakers to discuss ways to eradicate gang violence.
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North Korea says missile test shows all US within range

North Korea says missile test shows all US within range
North Korea missile "seen from Japan"

North Korea has hailed as a success its latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), describing it as a "stern warning" for the US.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the test proved that the entire US was within striking range, state media reported.
However, experts say many of North Korea's missiles cannot accurately hit targets.
The launch came three weeks after North Korea's first ICBM test.
The Pentagon said the latest missile was launched at 23:41 (15:41 GMT) from an arms plant in Jagang province in the north of the country.
North Korea said the ICBM flew for just over 47 minutes and reached an altitude of 3,724km (2,300 miles).
It is unusual for North Korea to launch a missile at night - the significance is as yet unclear. This is the first missile fired from Jagang province, indicating a previously-unknown launch site is operational.
The test was condemned by the US and North Korea's neighbours.
US President Donald Trump called it "only the latest reckless and dangerous action by the North Korean regime".
South Korea said it was concerned the North may have made "a significant advancement in technology", adding that the missile test was "unique in its time and place of launch".
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the threat to his country's security was "grave and real".
China also condemned the missile test but urged "all parties concerned" to exercise restraint "and avoid intensifying tensions".
Pyongyang said the launch had "successfully tested re-entry capabilities" of the missile.
Kim Jong-un "said proudly the test also confirmed all the US mainland is within our striking range," the Korean Central News Agency said.
The statement said that the rocket was a Hwasong-14, the same model North Korea tested on 3 July.
The North has repeatedly tested missiles in breach of UN resolutions.
ICBMs can reach altitudes well outside the earth's atmosphere. Using sharp trajectories with high altitudes allows North Korea to avoid firing over neighbouring countries.
Despite the ongoing tests, experts believe the North does not yet have the capability to miniaturise a nuclear warhead, fit it on to a long-range missile, and ensure it is protected until delivery to the target.
Others, however, believe that at the rate it is going, Pyongyang may overcome these challenges and develop a nuclear weapon within five to 10 years that could strike the US.
North Korea's latest ICBM test went farther and higher than its previous 3 July test, meaning that it may be able to strike even deeper into the heartland of the United States than initially assessed.
Within minutes of the launch, South Korean, Japanese and US officials reported data about the location, range, apogee, and flight time of the missile. While full analysis has not been finalised yet, several points stand out.
First, the data available indicates that the missile may have a range of approximately 10,400km. Since this missile is road-mobile, a launch from the north-eastern city of Rason would put New York City in range of the ICBM.
Second, the US reported that North Korea launched the ICBM from Mupyong-ni, North Korea. This location was different from many press accounts leading up to the launch which predicted a Kusong launch. The missile launched at 23:11 local time, an unusual time for North Korea's tests as well. It is possible that North Korea is already experimenting with deploying the missile under the cover of night or setting up multiple launch sites to confuse observers.
Grey line
Reports on Friday said the missile had come down in the sea off northern Japan.
In response, the US and South Korean military conducted a live-firing exercise using surface-to-surface missiles, a US defence official said.
The missiles were fired into the "territorial waters of South Korea along the east coast," a US military statement said.
South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo said the country would prepare independent measures to curb the North Korea threat, speeding up the deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system (Thaad) provided by the US.
China is opposed to the deployment of Thaad, saying it affects the regional security balance.

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Gang jailed after stealing £400,000 of designer goods from John Terry's mansion

A gang who stole more than £400,000 of designer goods from the mansion of former England captain John Terry have been jailed for nearly 28 years for a series of raids on luxury homes. Judge Susan Tapping, sentencing at Kingston Crown Court, said the Terry burglary was part of a "carefully planned" series of raids on large luxury homes by a gang who are "experienced if not professional burglars". She described it as "a very successful campaign" spanning seven burglaries in which £600,000 worth of goods were stolen. They were carried out by four men, each with a long history of offending, who gave no reaction from the dock as they were sentenced to a total of 27 years and 11 months in prison. Another "unidentified" suspect who was not in court was also involved, the judge said. Terry's mansion in Oxshott, Surrey, was targeted in February after the player posted pictures from the slopes of the French Alps with his wife Toni, telling his 3.4 million Instagram followers that he was having a "great few days away skiing with the family". The thieves took the chance to help themselves to property including designer handbags worth £126,00, more than £220,000 of jewellery and rare signed first edition Harry Potter books valued at £18,000. The judge said: "It might have been a mistake to post a family photograph on social media to show that he was away on holiday. His home was deliberately targeted and the master bedroom suite was ransacked." The judge said the thieves were "not content with the original haul" and so returned with an unidentified man "and an angle grinder, determined to get in the safe." She said: "The noise woke the housekeeper and the alarm had been triggered." Darren Eastaugh, 30, Joshua Sumer, 27, Roy Head, 28, and Oliver Hart, 25, have pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit burglary between February 1 and March 27 this year. The burglaries took place in Surrey and Sussex. Eastaugh, of Bedfont, London, was sentenced to seven years and three months, Sumer, of Havant, Portsmouth, was sentenced eight years, Head, of Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, was jailed for seven years and four months and Hart, also of Walton-on-Thames, was jailed for five years and four months. A fifth man, Kye Hardy-King, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of handling stolen goods when some of the property was found at his home. He was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, a two-month curfew and a rehabilitation requirement. A £42,000 snakeskin Hermes bag along with a blue python bag valued at £8,250 were among the items taken from the Terry mansion. Bags by Chanel, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent were also among the haul. Nothing that was taken from the Terry mansion has been recovered. By the time they had finished, the gang had caused £19,000 of damage to Terry's home. They had ransacked the property and plundered the master bedroom before leaving, only to return to try to break into a safe using an angle grinder. Among the other burglary victims was a recently widowed woman who is now left feeling "nervous and isolated" in her home, according to the judge. The judge said the gang had wanted to ransack these luxury home undisturbed and that, for the victims, the "mental trauma may be hard to heal fully". The judge stated that "victims have the right to feel safe in their own homes". Prosecutor Rossano Scamardella had told the court: "Mr Terry made the mistake of positing a photograph of himself and his family on the social media platform, Instagram, r evealing, as it must have done to anyone who saw it, that their house was empty." After sentencing, Surrey Police Detective Constable Phil Carter, the officer in charge of the case, said: "The loss to victims was substantial, with a total value for the seven offences in the region of £600,000. High-value homes were targeted, some with occupants present during the offences, which is likely to have been very upsetting for them. "I welcome the sentences handed down today. They reflect the very serious nature of these offences. This was a complex investigation completed with help from the Flying Squad whose assistance proved crucial in securing the defendants' guilty pleas."

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Man killed wife on cruise ship for 'laughing' at him

A man suspected of killing his wife while on a cruise ship in the US state of Alaska did so because "she would not stop laughing" at him, a witness says.
Kenneth Manzanares has been charged with the murder of his 39-year-old wife, whose body was found with severe head wounds in their cabin.
He was detained after security agents found blood on his hands and clothes, court documents said.
Mr Manzanares' court-appointed public defender has not commented.
The victim has been identified by US media as Kristy Manzanares, from Utah.
A witness who entered the couple's cabin before the security agents said he saw the 39-year-old suspect dragging the victim's body to the balcony, the documents said.
The witness then grabbed the woman's ankles and pulled her back in.
When he asked Mr Manzanares what had happened, the man allegedly said: "She would not stop laughing at me."
Later, during a search by FBI agents, the suspect said, according to the documents: "My life is over."
The incident happened on Tuesday night on the Emerald Princess cruise ship, operated by Princess Cruises. It had departed with some 3,400 passengers from Seattle on Sunday for a week-long trip.
Kristy Manzanares was described by her employer, Summit Sotheby's International Realty, as being a "dedicated and loving mother who juggled her business schedule to make her children a top priority."
The FBI is investigating the case because it occurred in US waters. A spokesman said other family members were onboard the ship on the same trip, but details about them have not been released.
Mr Manzanares made his first appearance in a federal court in Anchorage via video link from Juneau, where he was being held. A hearing has been scheduled for 10 August.
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Indian court rejects abortion for 10-year-old rape victim

Campaigners say that, in many cases in India, abusers are known to the children
Campaigners say that, in many cases in India, abusers are known to the children

India's Supreme Court has refused to allow an abortion for a 10-year-old girl, allegedly raped by her uncle, on the grounds that she is too far into her pregnancy.
A doctors' panel told the court that, at 32 weeks, termination of the pregnancy would be "too risky".
Her pregnancy was discovered two weeks ago when she complained of stomach ache and her parents took her to hospital.
A lower court had earlier turned down her plea on similar grounds.
Without disclosing the details of the medical report, the judges on Friday ruled that termination was "not good for the girl".
They have asked the government-run Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research hospital in the northern city of Chandigarh to ensure that proper medical care is provided to her.
The top court has also suggested that the Indian government set up a permanent medical board in each state to take prompt decisions in such cases.
On Monday, the Supreme Court had ordered doctors to evaluate whether the girl could undergo abortion safely.
The court order came after lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava filed a public interest petition saying doctors who had already examined the girl found her pelvic bones had not fully developed because of her age and the life of both mother and baby were at "very serious risk".
"Medical experts have categorically opined that if the 10-year-old is forced to give birth, either through normal delivery or even through caesarean-section, it may be fatal to the life of the rape survivor as well as to her child," the petition said.
The girl belongs to an extremely poor family, her father is a government employee and mother works as a domestic helper. The girl alleges she was raped several times in the past seven months by her uncle, who has been arrested.
Her pregnancy was only recently discovered because she herself was unaware of her condition.
Indian law does not allow terminations after 20 weeks unless doctors confirm the mother's life is in danger.
The scale of abuse in India
A child under 16 is raped every 155 minutes, a child under 10 every 13 hours
More than 10,000 children were raped in 2015
240 million women living in India were married before they turned 18
53.22% of children who participated in a government study reported some form of sexual abuse
50% of abusers are known to the child or are "persons in trust and care-givers"
Sources: Indian government, Unicef
The tough law against abortion was introduced in 1971 to prevent illegal and unsafe abortions and curb maternal mortality.
The restrictions remain an important weapon in India's fight against a skewed gender ratio which has resulted from a deep-seated cultural preference for sons.
Millions of female foetuses have been aborted over the years by pregnant women after undergoing foetal gender testing.
In recent years, Indian courts have received several petitions, many from child rape survivors, seeking to terminate pregnancies after 20 weeks, the BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi says.
In most such cases, the pregnancy is not even discovered until after the 20-week period is over because the children are themselves unaware of their condition, our correspondent adds.
In May, a court in Haryana state asked medical experts to comment on a similar plea and a panel of doctors decided to carry out a termination.
Medical experts say girls can start menstruating and ovulating at nine, but their bodies are not mature enough for pregnancy at that age.
India is home to the largest number of sexually abused children globally, with some campaigners saying it has reached epidemic proportions. But there is a general reluctance to talk about the problem and it is rarely discussed in public.
Studies have shown that in large numbers of cases the abusers are known to the children and include care-givers like parents, relatives and teachers.
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Friday, 28 July 2017

Senators threaten to block healthcare 'skinny repeal' bill

Senators threaten to block healthcare 'skinny repeal' bill

Senators threaten to block healthcare 'skinny repeal' bill.

Republican Senators threatened to vote against the latest Obamacare repeal bill unless they received a guarantee it would be debated further. Lindsey Graham, Ron Johnson, and John McCain's votes would have been enough to scupper the bill's chances. The Senate and House have repeatedly disagreed on a series of healthcare bills ahead of summer recess. House Speaker Paul Ryan seemed to accede to the demands, but said it was now the Senate's job to produce a plan. The senators wanted guarantees that the bill would be sent to a "conference committee" - a normal process when the House and Senate approve similar but slightly different bills. But if the House simply voted to approve a Senate bill "as-is", it would be sent to President Trump to be signed into law instead. "If moving forward requires a conference committee, that is something the House is willing to do," Paul Ryan said in a statement. "The reality, however, is that repealing and replacing Obamacare still ultimately requires the Senate to produce 51 votes for an actual plan." Mr Ryan's statement produced a mixed response from wavering Republican senators. Sen McCain told reporters it was "not sufficient" to allow him to vote for the bill. But his fellow objector Lindsey Graham later said he had spoken to Mr Ryan and received a clear enough assurance to vote for the measure. Another sceptic, David Perdue, said "the reassurance from Paul Ryan tonight is good enough for me". 'Horrible politics' Shortly after the senators received their assurances, debate began in the Senate on the unveiled legislation, called the "health care freedom act''. A small number of protesters gathered outside the US Capitol late in the evening as the proceedings started. Inside the chamber, Democrats appealed to their peers across the aisle to vote against the move. "There has never been a process as absurd as what we are seeing here," Bernie Sanders told his colleagues. Some chose to quote the critical words of the three Republican senators earlier in the evening. In their news conference, the group had said they feared the House might blindly pass any version of the bill, "just because we have to get something done". "I'm not going to vote for a bill that is terrible policy and horrible politics," Senator Graham said. "Just give us the assurance that whatever we pass tonight will go to conference, so the good ideas... can get scored and have a chance to be argued," Senator Johnson said. The proposed health care freedom act is being referred to as a "skinny bill" - a cut-down version of the previous attempt, which would scale back some of the more controversial parts of Obamacare. But some politicians are dissatisfied with the so-called skinny bill. "The skinny bill as policy is a disaster," Senator Graham said. "I'd rather get of out of the way and have it collapse," he added, "than have a half-assed approach where it is now our problem." The Senate is expected to work through the night on the healthcare bill. Before it voted down the House version of the bill, President Donald Trump had urged senators to pass a bill - without indicating which one he supported.
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North Korean missiles: Can the US defend itself?

North Korean state TV released photos of the purported ICBM test launch
North Korean state TV released photos of the purported ICBM test launch

Whatever the precise range and capability of North Korea's latest ballistic missile test, there is no doubt that it is making steady progress towards its goal of having a nuclear-capable missile, able to threaten the continental US.
That term "nuclear capable" is important. Pyongyang must both miniaturise a nuclear warhead to fit on the head of a missile and be able to protect it against all the buffeting and forces as it re-enters the earth's atmosphere.
We do not know precisely where the North Koreans stand in this aspect of their programme. But it is possible that North Korea will achieve its goal during the Trump presidency.
This then throws a spotlight on the US ability to defend against such an attack. Huge quantities of money have been invested in ballistic missile defence. There is a global network of satellite sensors and relays able to spot and track a missile launch. Interceptor missiles are already in place.
But critics believe that the US system is far from reliable. The Trump administration is reviewing the whole programme. New generations of interceptor missiles are coming on stream. But in the foreseeable future, only a handful will be available to deal with the potential North Korean threat.
We are a long way from the "Star Wars" dream of President Ronald Reagan, who hoped for the construction of a missile-proof shield over the US and its allies. In those days ballistic missile defences were seen by many as destabilising.
That is why there was a Cold War treaty largely banning them. They would threaten the certainty of a retaliatory nuclear attack getting through, thus increasing the likelihood of a no-warning onslaught, in turn decreasing the effectiveness of nuclear deterrence.
Missile defence viewed as part of the strategic equation between two nuclear-armed superpowers is one thing. Some argued that even a less-than-effective defensive system would alter an opponent's calculations.
But very quickly the idea of a missile-proof screen - like a comic book Captain America's shield protecting the continental US - was seen as science fiction if not fantasy. It would be too expensive and the technology simply did not exist.
Surface-to-air missiles have been deployed outside Japan's defence ministry
Surface-to-air missiles have been deployed outside Japan's defence ministry

Scroll forward a few decades and the threat that missile defence is now ranged against is very different. It is not - despite Russian protests - aimed at weakening Russia's nuclear forces. It is designed to protect against a very specific threat - from Iran or North Korea's developing missile arsenals.
Against this kind of threat, the requirement is not simply to alter an adversary's strategic calculations, but to stop each and every missile getting through.
Technology has advanced dramatically with some of the most significant strides being made by Israel. Its interceptor systems and their associated radars - funded in large part by the US - have shown themselves spectacularly successful, even though against a full-scale onslaught even Israel's system would be sorely tested.
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test (file image)
In contrast the US's own defensive system, according to many critics, is not yet up to the job. Testing has provided mixed results. And there are frequent criticisms that even the most elaborate tests are not conducted in ways which fully resemble real-world conditions.
Even US commanders accept that their defences are not fully missile-proof and that they might quickly be overwhelmed if a country possessed a sizeable arsenal of missiles.
Whatever President Trump decides to do about North Korea and the growing reach of its missiles, time is running out.
One option he may pursue is to step up the US's own defences, just as he has deployed interceptor missiles in South Korea to try to enhance its defences against missile attack.
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Thursday, 27 July 2017

Reality Check: Is Trump right that US has highest taxes?

Reality Check: Is Trump right that US has highest taxes?

The claim: The US has the highest taxes in the world.
Reality Check verdict: The total amount of tax raised by the United States as a proportion of the size of its economy is not the highest in the world. It also does not have the highest rates of taxes on households. By one measure, it does have the highest rate of corporation tax.
At a rally in Ohio on Tuesday, President Trump claimed that the US had the highest taxes in the world.
A broad measure of the level of taxes is to look at the total amount of tax taken by the government as a percentage of the amount produced by the economy (GDP).
The US is clearly not at the top of this list based on figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
In 2015, the US tax take came in at 26.4% of GDP, well below countries such as Italy at 43.3%, France at 45.5% and Denmark at 46.6%.
So, for overall tax, the US is certainly not the highest.
It may be that President Trump was referring to specific taxes.
Looking at taxes on individuals, Pew Research looked into tax levels in the US last year and considered the tax rates paid by various types of households with different levels of incomes.
It found that US tax bills were below average for developed nations.
For high earners, PriceWaterhouse Coopers did some research in 2014, which looked at the G20 countries, and found that someone earning $400,000 (£240,000) in Italy would take home the smallest proportion of their earnings, with the US coming eighth on the list.
For the 2017 tax year, the top rate of income tax was 39.6%, affecting single taxpayers whose income exceeds $418,400, or $470,700 for married taxpayers filing jointly.
If you look at this list of top tax rates from KPMG, Sweden comes out on top at 61.85%.
Turning to corporation tax, the corresponding list from KPMG does put the highest rate for the US at the top (that's 35% federal corporate income tax plus state taxes), with only the United Arab Emirates having a higher rate, which appears to be charged only to foreign oil companies.
The US Congress also did a comparison, which found that the US had the highest statutory corporate tax rate in the G20, although looking at the levels companies were actually paying, the US was third on the list of average corporate tax rates and fourth on the list of effective corporate tax rates.
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President Donald Trump says Transgender people 'can't serve' in US military

President Donald Trump says Transgender people 'can't serve' in US military

US President Donald Trump says transgender people cannot serve in "any capacity" in the military.
He tweeted that he had consulted with military experts and cited "tremendous medical costs and disruption".
The Obama administration decided last year to allow transgender people to serve openly in the military.
But in June, Defence Secretary James Mattis agreed to a six-month delay in the recruitment of transgender people.
How has Mr Trump justified his decision?
As is often the case, the announcement came in a series of tweets.
Mr Trump said: "After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.
"Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."
But the measure will not go into effect immediately, as spokesperson Sarah Sanders told reporters at a White House press briefing.
The implementation policy has to be worked out, she said when asked if troops on battlefields would be immediately sent back to the United States.
This was "a military decision" said Mrs Sanders, adding that it is "not meant to be anything more than that".
The secret life of a transgender airman
Why has the president decided on this now?
The timing of this transgender ban is almost as interesting as the move itself.
Why now? With the Trump administration being buffeted by the Jeff Sessions political death watch, the ongoing multi-prong investigation into the Trump campaign, the healthcare drama in the Senate and the impending Russian sanctions bill, perhaps the administration decided this was a good time to change the subject and rally conservative forces to his side.
Republicans have long used cultural issues as a wedge to divide Democrats and energise evangelicals. As one White House insider acknowledged, this is straight out of that playbook. While Mr Trump campaigned as sympathetic to LGBT rights, he needs the traditional religious conservatives to stay loyal to him now, more than ever.
Or perhaps, as Politico is reporting, the White House sought to resolve an intraparty dispute that threatened passage of a key military spending bill in the House of Representatives. That the president chose to do so suddenly, with little advanced notice, would not be out of the ordinary for this administration.
The president's action will create a furore among liberals and the media commentators whose disdain for the current administration is not a new development. This is a fight the White House will welcome.
What is the status of transgender service personnel?
The independent Rand Corporation estimated in 2016 that about 4,000 US active-duty and reserve service members are transgender, although some campaigners put the figure higher than 10,000.
Rand also predicted that the inclusion of transgender people in the military would cause a 0.13% increase in healthcare spending (approximately $8.4m).
A Military Times analysis found that the Department of Defense spends five times that figure just on erectile dysfunction drug Viagara alone.
The Obama administration's move to allow transgender people in the military to serve openly was announced in June 2016 by then Defence Secretary Ash Carter.
The policy included a provision for the military to provide medical help for service members wanting to change gender.
Transgender people would be permitted to join the services, so long as they could demonstrate they had been stable in their new gender for at least 18 months.
This was meant to come into effect on 1 July 2017 but the Trump administration delayed it by a further six months. The Pentagon said the five branches of the military needed more time to "review their accession plans and provide input on the impact to the readiness and lethality of our forces".
While Mr Trump's decision concerns transgender military personnel, the US military's ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemen and women - known as "Don't ask don't tell" - was lifted in 2011.
What do critics of this say?
LGBTQ campaign group, GLAAD, called Mr Trump's move "a direct attack on transgender Americans".
Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Centre, a leading think-tank which studies gender and sexuality in the military, told the BBC that Mr Trump's decision would force transgender troops to in effect live as gays and lesbians did under "Don't ask, don't tell".
Kristin Beck, a retired elite Navy SEAL, issued a challenge to President Trump in an interview with Business Insider: "Let's meet face to face and you tell me I'm not worthy."
She said that during her decorated military career, she had been "defending individual liberty".
"Being transgender doesn't affect anyone else," she said. "We are liberty's light. If you can't defend that for everyone that's an American citizen, that's not right."
Former Defence Secretary Carter released a critical statement: "To choose service members on other grounds than military qualifications is social policy and has no place in our military. There are already transgender individuals who are serving capably and honourably."
Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Republican John McCain, said major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter and continued:
"The statement was unclear. The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today.
Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving."
Several British military generals have condemned Mr Trump's decision, including the commander of the UK Maritime Forces, Rear Admiral Alex Burton.
"As an @RoyalNavy_LGBT champion and senior warfighter I am so glad we are not going this way", he wrote on Twitter, later adding: "We have a justifiably rigorous selection process but it doesn't include discrimination and we're a better fighting force for it."
What about those in favour?
Republican opponents of transgender people serving in the military include Vicky Hartzler, a congresswoman from Missouri, who wants transgender service members honourably discharged.
Some oppose the military having to bear medical costs associated with transgender recruits, such as gender reassignment.
Tony Perkins of the socially conservative Family Research council said: "Our troops shouldn't be forced to endure hours of transgender 'sensitivity' classes and politically correct distractions."
Trump supporter and political commentator Scott Presler is among those who disagree with the military carrying the cost of such interventions.
While disagreeing with the ban, he added that "generals know more about war than I do.
"I am cognisant that they understand what it takes to go to war... I don't think this is an attack on the LGBT community.
"I'm mixed, but I have confidence in the guidance that President Trump is receiving," he said. "I don't think for a second he's prejudiced."ii
Read more ...

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Trump Throws Tantrum Before Agreeing to Recertify Iran Nuclear Deal

Trump Throws Tantrum Before Agreeing to Recertify Iran Nuclear Deal

Trump Throws Tantrum Before Agreeing to Recertify Iran Nuclear Deal

There was a great nugget in thisNew York Times story about the Trump administration's decision on Monday to certify that Iran is complying with the terms of the nuclear agreement it reached with the United States and a coalition of major nations two years ago.
President Donald Trump made ripping up the agreement one of his signature campaign promises, based on his assertions that it was a “bad deal” for America in some vague, undefined ways that probably had more to do with the fact that Obama negotiated it than anything else.
Then he won the presidency and appointed foreign-policy hands who actually know what they are doing and also live in reality. They convinced Trump to certify Iranian compliance — a process that happens periodically, as required by the deal — once before, in April. Monday was the deadline to certify Iran's continued compliance for a second time:
At an hourlong meeting last Wednesday, all of the president's major security advisers recommended he preserve the Iran deal for now. Among those who spoke out were Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson; Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser; and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to an official who described internal discussions on the condition of anonymity. The official said Mr. Trump had spent 55 minutes of the meeting telling them he did not want to.
In an hourlong meeting with security officials, the president spent 55 minutes whining that he didn't want to take their advice. Why didn't he want to recertify? Who knows. Nowhere in the story is there an explanation of Trump's objections to anything specific in the deal. He just doesn't want to.
The Times also noted:
But some advisers to the president argue that if they can provoke Iran into being the one to scrap the nuclear deal, it will leave the United States in a stronger position.
One has to assume whoever leaked that last bit to the Times reporters did it to sabotage the Trump strategy. Though it is possible the master negotiator from “Art of the Deal” has not learned that telegraphing your intentions ahead of time is a poor tactic for negotiating a deal.
Read more ...

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Man Arrested For Raping an 8-Year-Old Girl

Man Arrested For Raping an 8-Year-Old Girl
Man Arrested For Raping an 8-Year-Old Girl

  The Police in Kano have arrested a 67 year-old-man for allegedly raping the granddaughter of his childhood friend and neighbour.

Magaji Majiya, the Kano State Police Public Relations Officer, made the statement while briefing journalists in Kano yesterday.

He said the suspect was arrested at Gaida Fadama quarters for sexually assaulting the eight-year-old girl after giving her N400.

“The elderly man was arrested for sexually assaulting the eight-year-old granddaughter of his childhood friend and neighbour after giving her N400.

“He confessed to the crime and investigation is still in progress,” Mr. Majiya added.

Mr. Majiya said that the command had also arrested two notorious miscreants popularly known as “Yan’daba,” for armed robbery, extortion, breaking-in and murder.

He said that one of the suspects, Nura Abdulmumini, who was arrested at Lokon Magina at Kankarofi quarters, was involved in the murder of an innocent passer-by in front of School for Arabic Studies sometime last year.

“He also led a notorious gang of Yan’daba to extort valuables from innocent people before he fled Kano. He returned during the last Eid-el-Fitr,” he said.

The spokesperson said items recovered from the suspects include three knives, long sword and one screw driver.

He said the suspects would be charged to court for culpable homicide, extortion and rape as soon as investigations were completed.

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Monday, 12 June 2017

A message from Maduka : Biafra is not the way out

ITS OF RECENT THAT I NOTICED THAT I HAVE SOME STUPID IGBO BROTHERS.... mostly those aggitating for the mirage called BIAFRA. 
now there has been a well patterned working strategy to weaken the immense aggitation of the never understood ideology BIAFRA which is an unjust fight by the idle, ill minded and uninformed igbos. The strategy which is giving the igbos in the northern part of the country a quit notice (kaduna declaration). 
since DELTA, BAYELSA, RIVERS, EDO, AKWA IBOM, CROSS RIVER, southern BENUE & KOGI are not fully in support of BIAFRA, then whats the need for a referendum (plebisite).. BIAFRA is already seen as a failed state even before existing...
i've learnt that every society is survived by the fittest. (mentally, physically, spiritually and otherwise)... we the igbos need to formulate another way forward... other nations are globalizing and not separating. 
our todays situation is the accumulations of our yesterdays actions - Maduka (2017) 
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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Woman buries new born baby alive

A Zimbabwe woman who buried her newborn alive has told a court in the east of the country that it was because she already had a 14-month old child and couldn't afford to keep both, a newspaper is reporting.

Florence Chinyamunguri, 23, dug a hole near a cattle pen in the diamond-rich Marange district last week, placed her baby inside and covered him with soil and grass before leaving him, theManica Post reports.

No-one saw her do it (her husband and other relatives were at work). But an hour later a cattle herder heard a baby crying near the pen and called for help, according to the newspaper. 

The baby died on its way to hospital.

Chinyamunguri was arrested and charged with infanticide.

Said the Manica Post: "In her defence [Chinyamunguri] told the court that she had no other option but to kill her newly-born baby boy as she could not afford to look after him since she had another 14-month-old baby."

She was ordered to do 350 hours of community service at Marange Clinic.

A woman from the Harare township of Dzivarasekwa township was accused of killing her newborn twins last week after a landlord found the dead babies in a plastic bucket, the Daily News reports.

It's not clear what has happened to the mother. 

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