Wednesday, 2 July 2014

10-Year-Old Icelandic Girl Denied A Passport Because Her Name Is 'Harriet'

Duncan (left) and Harriet Cardew (right), photos obtained with the help of The Guardian

If you want to name your baby girl Harriet, don't live in Iceland.

The country recently denied 10-year-old Harriet Cardew's passport renewal request because her name doesn't comply with Icelandic baby naming laws. Her name doesn't appear on the approved list of 1,853 female and 1,712 boy names, The Guardian reports.

Icelandic laws state that unless both parents are foreign, they must submit their name choice to the National Registry for approval within six months of birth. The name must fulfill requirements that include "Icelandic grammatical endings," "linguistic structure of Iceland" and "Icelandic orthography."

"That's the problem with Harriet," Harriet's father, Tristan Cardew, told The Guardian. "It can't be conjugated in Icelandic."

Lilja and Belinda, two of the couple's four children, have their names on their passports because they were born in France. However, Harriet and her brother Duncan, 12, were born in Iceland, but did not have their names approved by the committee.

They live in Reykjavik, Iceland, and up until this point, have been going by "Girl" and "Boy" on their passports. But upon getting Harriet's passport request, the government went a step further and denied her an updated passport completely, which could put her family's upcoming trip to France on hold.

So Tristan and his wife, Kristin, appealed. "They have deprived our daughter of freedom of movement," Kristin told

Baby name "bans" might sound crazy in a country where they're unheard of, but governments all over the world set naming guidelines. Baby-naming site, Nameberry, reports that countries like Germany and Italy won’t allow common American names such as Anderson, Duke, Maya, Tom and Sarah. "In fact, some of these are not long-standing strictures, but relatively recent ones," wrote Nameberry’s co-founder and naming expert Linda Rosenkrantz.

The Cardews could bypass the name block by changing Harriet's middle name to an Icelandic one, but the family thinks it's too late. Instead, they applied for an emergency passport from the British Embassy where dad Tristan is from.

He finds the name approval process absurd. "The whole situation is really rather silly," he said.


20 Signs You’re Succeeding In Life Even If You Don’t Feel You Are


We all feel like failures from time to time. While this is a normal feeling, you have to find a way to see yourself and your life from a different perspective. Sometimes we ignore the “little things.” Just because you are not a millionaire, don’t live in a mansion, and you don’t drive a fancy car, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.

Here are 20 signs that you are succeeding in life:

1. Your relationships are less dramatic than they used to be.
Drama is not maturity. As we age, we should develop maturity. So maybe your relationships were drama-filled in your past, but if you have moved beyond that, then you are successful.

2. You are not afraid to ask for help and support any more.
Asking for help does not equal weakness. In fact, it is a strength. No person has ever succeeded in isolation. It takes teamwork to accomplish goals. Asking or help is a sign that you have grown as a person.

3. You have raised your standards.
You don’t tolerate bad behavior any more – from other people, or even yourself. You hold people accountable for their actions. You don’t spend time with the “energy vampires” in your life anymore.

4. You let go of things that don’t make you feel good.
No, this is not narcissistic even though it might seem like it. Self-love is success. Love yourself enough to say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t serve your purpose, or drags you down.

5. You have moments where you appreciate who you see in the mirror.
Ideally, you should appreciate who you see in the mirror at every moment. But even if that doesn’t happen, if you do it more than you used to, then that is success. Love yourself. You are awesome.

6. You have learned that setbacks and failure are part of self-growth.
Not everyone can have success 100% of the time. That’s just not realistic. Life is about victories and losses. So look at your setbacks as stepping stones to something better. In reality, there really is no such thing as as setback. It’s all just part of a wondrous journey.

7. You have a support system that includes people who would do anything for you.
If you have figured out the people who “have your back” and recognized the ones who only pretend that they do, then you have succeeded. This is a painful realization, but once you learn to see the signs of betrayal, you can stay away from those people.

8. You don’t complain much.
Because you know there really is nothing to complain about. Unless you really have gone through some horrific life experience and had unimaginable losses, most of what we all experience on a day-to-day basis is just mundane. And successful people know that. And they live in a space of gratitude.

9. You can celebrate others’ successes.
Just because other people succeed, that doesn’t make you a failure. Applaud the people who rise to the top. The more positive energy you give to other people’s victories, the more you will create your own.

10. You have passions that you pursue.
You are not stagnant. You know you have something wonderful to contribute to the world. You have unique talents and gifts. Not only do you know that, you pursue it.

11. You have things to look forward to.
If you don’t have exciting things going on in your life that you are eagerly anticipating, then you are slowly dying inside. Successful people create goals that they are passionate about pursuing. They let this excitement drive their life.

12. You have goals that have come true.
Even though “failures” are a part of life, you have stuck to your goals and dreams long enough to make them come to fruition. You have  some tastes of victory. It fuels you.

13. You have empathy for others.
A person without empathy is dead inside. Empathy equals spreading love and positive energy into the world. Successful people know this. They love others as if they are family.

14. You love deeply and open yourself up to be loved by others.
Love is risky, and sometimes scary for people. It’s the one thing we all strive for, but it’s also intimately tied to the one thing we fear the most – rejection. If you open your heart enough to love and be loved, then you are successful.

15. You refuse to be be a victim.
You know that life doesn’t always happen to you. Many times, you are a co-creator of your life experiences. Successful people know this and refuse to be kept down by life experiences. The rise up and conquer anyway.

16. You don’t care what other people think.
You know you can’t please everyone. You know that the standards with which society judges people is many times unrealistic. So you just keep true to yourself and love the person you are.

17. You always look on the bright side.
Life can be full of disappointments – if you choose to see them that way. Otherwise, they are learning opportunities. No negative experience is ever wasted as long as you learn from it.

18. You accept what you can’t change.
Let’s face it – there many things you can’t change in life. All you can change is how you view what happens. If you can change your negative perspective on situations to a positive one, then you are successful.

19. You change what you can.
And let’s face it again – there are many things you can change in life. Successful people don’t sit around accepting the negatives that are changeable. They get out there and do something about it!!

20. You are happy.
To me, this is the ultimate definition of success. It doesn’t matter what the balance is in your bank account, how big your house is,  or how many fancy vacations you take. If you are happy, then you are succeeding in life.

Even if you don’t see yourself in many of these 20 things, don’t fret. It’s okay. Be happy that you see yourself in just a few. In time, the rest will come. You just need to keep moving onward and upward.


Want To Beat Racism? Start A Business

Nels Abbey on why 'a single successful black business is worth more than any number of anti-racism demonstrations'

IT'S AN interesting paradox. In each of the home countries that black Britain’s lineage comes from entrepreneurship is the norm. Never the exception. Take Lagos for example (one of the most populous African cities).

Nearly everyone is doing some form of business or another. From the man hawking "ice water" to the lady building a bridge, even people in stable full-time jobs hustle on the side. Everyone is doing business. Yet for some strange reason when black people arrive on these shores we seem to lose that entrepreneurial zeal and ingenuity. Not all of us. Just most of us.

There are many possible factors that could have contributed to this.

Perhaps a lack of confidence in our abilities in the face of more established business people. Actual and perceived racism maybe. The legacy of colonial structures (which favoured Asian and, of course white people over black people).

Lack of resources. Red tape. Comfort. Laziness even. Or maybe even just a burning desire to fit in, not rock the boat and not challenge the social order (I believe this is popularly referred to as ‘integration’).

Whatever the cause may be, the effect is clear: black youth unemployment (a widely hidden statistic) stands at circa 50 per cent.

General black unemployment stands at roughly double the national average. Those of us who are employed are much more likely than others to become victims of their employers.

Black people are politically and socially marginalised. Black people no longer have a voice that is listened to or appreciated (except for when we’re entertaining the nation).

Another effect is this: every major immigrant group to Britain has an area or areas in which their cultures, businesses and, especially, their cuisine can be practiced and experienced.

The Turks own Green Lanes, the Arabs have Edgware Road (and a lot more), Brick Lane is pre-1947 (pre-partition) India, the Vietnamese have Shoreditch. The Polish? Everywhere and everything (possibly even your well-maintained home). Chinatown? It’s somewhere in the name.

Black people? Africans? West Indians? Our areas are owned and controlled largely by anyone other than us. Where the hell is the black high street in Britain? It doesn’t exist. And this is part of the reason why we, politically, don’t really matter.

Even if we have the numbers to sway the next election, we still won’t matter until we have the economic influence to leverage these numbers to our own benefit.

I praise the activists within our community. I salute their tirelessness, efforts and conviction. They have done plenty for us on many an occasion over a protracted period.

Although I may complain about our general circumstances if it wasn’t for them things would be significantly worse for black Britain.

But this must be said: a single successful black business is worth more than any number of anti-racism demonstrations. No jokes, no exaggeration.

A successful and respected business is a symbol of power and self-determination. You have to respect it regardless of who runs it.

Everyone loves a winner no matter their colour.


We’ll Generate Jobs Through Services Industry – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan hinted that the federal government was shoring up investments in the service industry to generate more job opportunities for Nigerians.

Jonathan, said, “The recent gross domestic product (GDP) rebasing result reveals that the services industry constitutes about 51 per cent of our GDP and employs many more Nigerians than we previously thought.

“Therefore, we are investing in sectors such as the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and creative industry to generate more of such jobs which will be key to making our impressive recent economic growth record more inclusive.”

The president said this at the 16th meeting of the Honourary International Investment Council (HIIC) held the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He also identified the ICT and creative sectors of the industry as key areas of focus.

Represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo at the meeting with the theme “The Role of Skills, Education and Capacity Building for Economic Development in Nigeria.”

Reiterating his administration’s resolve to make Nigeria one of the world’s 20 most industrial nations by 2020, the president said the administration had significantly improved the country’s investment climate and would continue to take all necessary steps to enhance the competitiveness of local enterprises.

“We will continue to eliminate, as much as possible, distortions and privileges to create a sustainable level playing ground for all investors,” Jonathan said, adding that Nigeria’s position as the preferred destination for investment in Africa was being maintained despite security challenges.

Noting that within the last two months, the country had played host to several business delegations around the world who came to explore investment opportunities, Jonathan listed some of the delegations to include a Chinese delegation of 100 businessmen, 75 Kenyan businessmen, and 18 prospective investors from Switzerland.

He hinted that the second largest government enterprise in China, made up of 500 companies, also visited and pledged to invest in the power generation and transmission sector. He said the visits by the United States’ commerce secretary, accompanied by a delegation; a team from Pakistan and a delegation from the Netherlands were also worthy of note.

Daily Times.

FG Woos Chinese Investors For National Carrier

The Federal Government on Tuesday asked investors from China to partner Nigeria in floating a national carrier for the country.

According to the government, Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa should have a national carrier.

The Supervising Minister of Aviation, Dr. Samuel Ortom, disclosed this when he received a Chinese delegation at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Aviation in Abuja.

The Chinese delegation was led by the Director-General, China Development Bank, Wang Wensong, who was accompanied by experts from China Academy of Civil Aviation, Science and Technology.

Ortom told the delegation that there were so many opportunities in Nigeria’s aviation sector, adding that “I would not mind suggesting to you that we can go into partnership to float a national carrier which we don’t have currently.

He added, “You will agree with me that we need a national carrier as a country. The most populous country on the continent of Africa and of course based on our recently rebased figure, we are the richest country on the soil of Africa.

“So, there is no reason we should not have a national carrier. We are seeking partnership where we can get good partners who are ready to work with us to establish a national carrier and there is nothing wrong with that.”

He said the Federal Government was exploring opportunities inherent in the sector, adding that this was the reason why aviation experts from China and the China Development Bank were in Nigeria.

“At the end, they are going to make their own recommendation but we have just had preliminary discussions today,” he said.

The minister said the government was going to get experts in the sector to sit with the Chinese team to work out details on how best “we can come out with a programme that will usher us into a very sustainable and stable aviation industry.”

Ortom said, “We shall need encouragement in investing in the aviation sector and also in human capacity building so that we can meet international standard.”

He noted that the Chinese delegation was expected to go into a special technical session with Nigerian aviation experts on Thursday to outline areas of interest for Nigeria.

“China Development Bank will be glad to assist us in the Nigerian aviation sector. Just indicate your interest and we will be ready to support you. We are willing to listen and know your area of interest,” Ortom said.

Copyright PUNCH.

Sale Of Sex Toys: Nigerians Are Bunch of Hypocrites- Bisi Ibidapo Obe

Nollywood actress Bisi Ibidapo Obe has said Nigerians are way behind in thinking and wonders if it is a crime to sell sex toys. While speaking to Sun Newspaper, Bisi said Nigerians pretend a lot about their sex lives and even though she mostly sells men and female underwear, she wonders if it is a crime to sell sex toys too. Hear her;

If I sell sex toys so what? Nigerians are a bunch of hypocrites. They make issues out of non-issues. When I travelled to London I saw some newly wedded couples buying sex toys but back here, Nigerians believe that those that buy sex toys are harlots. In fact, there is dignity in the use of sex toys. I am not into the sales of only sex toys but there is a big market for them."