Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Former Nigeria Football Federation Boss Loses $90,000 on a Plane

Former Nigeria Football Federation boss Aminu Maigari is under investigation by the State Security Service for losing $90,000 dollars meant for the country’s under 20 team whilst on an airplane.

Maigari was arrested whilst the entire Executive Committee of the Federation dissolved by the government after the Super Eagles elimination from the world cup by France in the round of 16. This has even led to the suspension of Nigeria from all international soccer games by FIFA.

Among the accusations made at the time was the disbursement of $3.28million meant for players of the team.Senior management officials were said to have paid themselves hefty bonuses ranging between $100,00 and $50,000 out of the amount leading to the action by the government.

The U-20 fund,according to explanations proffered by Maigari was lost whilst the plane was mid air.

The situation with at the Football Federation has warranted a warning from FIFA and has reportedly cost the national team it’s endorsement agreement with giant sports wear company, Adidas.

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8th grade metal band lands $1.7 million record contract with Sony

unlocking the truth

When I was 13, I was just building up the courage to have my first kiss with my first girlfriend. When guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, bassist Alec Atkins, and drummer Jarad Dawkins were 13, they signed a two-record deal with Sony. (Actually, Dawkins is only 12!)

As the metal band Unlocking the Truth, the trio of Brooklyn 8th graders got their start doing some serious busking around Times Square. Now, Sony has picked up the hardcore teens (and tween) for a guaranteed two-album deal with the option for four more. The deal secures $60,000 up-front for the boys on their first LP, with a possible $350,000 advance on their second. What’s more, if Sony goes all the way with the six-record contract, the band could net upwards of $1.7 million(!!). Because of the members’ ages, the contract had to be approved in the Manhattan Supreme Court, which it was.

Alan Sacks, the band’s manager, told The NY Post that the deal gives a group of young, black musicians a chance to redefine the perception of metal music, a genre typically dominated by white artists. The Post does say, however, that the contract’s a bit tricky. Though the boys will get an exceptional 16%-17% royalties on their sales, that only comes after 250,000 records are sold. For comparison, Beyonc√©’s last record sold 600,000.

According to the NY Daily News, the group was discovered performing in Washington Square Park back in 2012 by Steve Jordan, drummer for Eric Clapton. That led to gigs playing across the country, including opening for Guns ‘N’ Roses in Vegas, a current spot on the Vans Warped Tour, a gig with Queens of the Stone Age next weekend, and even an opening slot on Coachella’s main stage. “What started out as play dates went to Times Square and now this,” said Dawkins’ mother, Tabatha. “It’s been one great thing after another.” For you concerned mothers out there, don’t worry; Dawkins said the boys are all solid students. “School work comes first. If their school work is not done, they don’t play.”

Dawkins revealed Unlocking the Truth also has a book deal from Penguin and will film a documentary about their rise. Below, watch the band stir up a mosh pit with “Monster” at Coachella’s second weekend this year.

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Death penalty has no place in 21st century – UN Chief

Ban- Ki-moon, united nations secretary general

“Together, we can finally end this cruel and inhumane practice everywhere around the world.”

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has said that death penalty has no place in the 21st century.

He called on all states to take concrete steps toward abolishing or stopping this form of punishment.

“Together, we can finally end this cruel and inhumane practice everywhere around the world,” Mr. Ki-Moon said.

He spoke at a panel co-organised at the UN Headquarters by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR, and the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN.

The event was titled Best Practices And Challenges In Implementing A Moratorium On The Death Penalty, and in line with the aims of the annual resolution of the UN General Assembly on the Moratorium On The Use Of The Death penalty first adopted in 2007.

Mr. Ki-Moon noted, in the event moderated by Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan ҆imonovic, that the Assembly would soon take up the resolution again.

“The efforts generated by the text have won a broader margin of support from member states, representing a variety of legal systems, traditions, cultures and religious backgrounds. I remain very concerned, however, about shortcomings with respect to international human rights standards in countries that still apply the death penalty,” he said.

He said he was particularly troubled by the application of the death penalty for offences that did not meet the threshold under international human rights law of “most serious crimes.”

Such offences, he said, included drug-related offences, consensual sexual acts, and apostasy.

The UN chief went on to express concern about legislation in 14 states that permitted the death penalty on children as well as the new phenomenon of sentencing large groups of individuals to death.

He said over the past two years, OHCHR had convened a series of important global panel events on the death penalty. He said the focus of the meetings was on wrongful convictions, deterrence, public opinion and discrimination.

He called on all states to take action in three critical areas, which included ratification of the Second Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.

He asked member states to support the resolution on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty. He said that concrete steps towards abolishing or no longer practicing this form of punishment should be taken.

Since 2007, the General Assembly has adopted four resolutions calling on states to establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to abolishing it.
As at today, about 150 of the UN’s 193 member states have either abolished the death penalty or no longer practice it.


Virginia man claims African region as kingdom so daughter can be princess

Jeremiah Heaton and his 7-year-old daughter, Princess Emily, show the flag that their family designed as they try to claim a piece of land in the Eastern African region of Bir Tawil.

Allie Robinson Gibson Bristol Herald Courier

ABINGDON, Va. — An Abingdon man claimed a kingdom so his daughter could be a princess.

Jeremiah Heaton, who has three children, recently trekked across the Egyptian desert to a small, mountainous region between Egypt and Sudan called Bir Tawil.

The area, about 800 square miles, is claimed by neither Sudan nor Egypt, the result of land disputes dating back more than 100 years. Since then, there have been several online claimants to the property, but Heaton believes his physical journey to the site, where he planted a flag designed by his children, means he rightfully can claim it.

And call his 7-year-old daughter Princess Emily, the fulfillment of a promise he made months earlier.

“Over the winter, Emily and I were playing, and she has a fixation on princesses. She asked me, in all seriousness, if she’d be a real princess someday,” Heaton said. “And I said she would.”

He said he started researching what it would take for him to become a king, so Emily could be a princess.

As it turns out, Bir Tawil is among the last pieces of unclaimed land on earth.

Heaton, who works in the mining industry and unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2012, got permission from the Egyptian government to travel through the country to the Bir Tawil region.

“It’s beautiful there,” Heaton said. “It’s an arid desert in Northeastern Africa. Bedouins roam the area; the population is actually zero.”

In June, he took the 14-hour caravan journey through the desert, in time to plant the flag of the Heaton kingdom — blue with the seal and stars representing members of the family — in Bir Tawil soil.

When Heaton got home, he and his wife, Kelly, got their daughter a princess crown, and asked family members to address her as Princess Emily.

Jeremiah Heaton

“It’s cool,” said Emily, who sleeps in a custom-made castle bed fit for royalty.

She added that as princess she wants to make sure children in the region have food.

“That’s definitely a concern in that part of the world,” Heaton said. “We discussed what we could do as a nation to help.”

Heaton named the land the Kingdom of North Sudan, after consulting with his children.

“I do intend to pursue formal recognition with African nations,” Heaton said, adding that getting Sudan and Egypt to recognize the kingdom would be the first step.
That’s basically what will have to happen for Heaton to have any legal claim to sovereignty, said Shelia Carapico, professor of political science and international studies at the University of Richmond.

She said it’s not plausible for someone to plant a flag and say they have political control over the land without legal recognition from neighboring countries, the United Nations or other groups. In addition, she said, it’s not known whether people have ownership of the land, regardless of whether the property is part of a political nation.

“I feel confident in the claim we’ve made,” Heaton said. “That’s the exact same process that has been done for thousands of years. The exception is this nation was claimed for love.”

Heaton said his children, Emily, Justin and Caleb, will be the drivers for what happens with the new nation.

“If we can turn North Sudan into an agricultural hub for the area ... a lot of technology has gone into agriculture and water,” he said. “These are the things [the kids] are concerned with.”

Heaton has ordered letterhead with the country’s seal and one of his sons created a serving tray at camp with the flag on it.

“They are really getting into the idea,” Heaton said of his children. “I think the idea of a nation with a clear purpose of helping other people ... I think that’ll be well-received and we’ll get recognition from other nations to partner with.”

But the main intent, he said, was to show his daughter that he would follow through on the promise he made.

“I think there’s a lot of love in the world,” Heaton said. “I want my children to know I will do absolutely anything for them.”

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Nine-year-old boy marries 62-year-old woman again to please ancestors

The eight-year-old South African boy who married a 61-year-old woman on Valentine's Day last year in a bid to placate his ancestors repeated the ceremony in the bride's home town at the weekend. Khanyi Ndabeni reported the story for the Sunday Times.

Sanele Masilela, 9, was introduced to the family of Helen Shabangu, 62, at a do-over of last year's wedding ceremony (Image: Raymond Preston)
Sanele Masilela, 9, was introduced to the family of Helen Shabangu, 62, at a do-over of last year's wedding ceremony (Image: Raymond Preston)

Sanele Masilela is now nine and his wife, Helen Shabangu, is 62 years old. Yesterday’s wedding was held to introduce the groom to the bride’s family in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga. According to an agreement between the two families, much of last year’s formal wedding needed to be repeated before the couple changed into traditional gear for the second part of the ceremony.

The traditional marriage took place in Mkhuhlu township, where Shabangu has a home. Last year, their white wedding was held in Mamelodi, Pretoria, where they live separately. Last year’s Valentine’s Day wedding had all the elements of a real one: R7000 lobolo was paid for Shabangu, who wore a white wedding gown, and they kissed before exchanging rings and vows. The ceremony, it was said at the time, was not binding but merely a ritual to appease the ancestors.

Since that white wedding, the couple have returned to their normal lives – Sanele being just a schoolboy and his spouse a working woman who lives separately from him with her real husband and her children. The husband was also at this latest ceremony and helped set up a tent and gazebos.

Although many have not understood the intentions behind the ceremony, Sanele’s mother has taken time to explain the ritual as just symbolic and a way to appease their ancestors. The boy’s grandfather apparently “visited” him in dreams, asking for a wedding as he himself had not got married when he was alive.  “I did whatever I could to protect him from the ancestors. If we didn’t do this, he would have been sick or gone crazy,” his mother said.

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Church of England Gets Female Bishops and a Conservative Backlash

For the first time in almost two millennia, the church will allow women to hold some of its highest positions. That doesn’t sit well with the right, which has put up with years of liberalization.
The Church of England has agreed that women can become bishops for the first time in its 1,500-year history.

After decades of bitter disputes within the church, a meeting of the General Synod on Monday approved legislation that would allow the first woman bishop to be selected by the end of the year. The typically somber atmosphere at the bi-annual church convocation was punctuated by hollers, applause and a shout of “brill!” despite a plea from Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, for the result of the vote to be met “with restraint and sensitivity.”

David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, joined Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in celebrating the official end of almost two millennia of male superiority in the Church of England. Women can already serve as bishops in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. “I warmly welcome today’s vote formally approving women bishops—a great day for the Church and for equality,” Cameron tweeted.

Not everyone was celebrating, however. The conservative and evangelical wings of the church had succeeded in stymieing a 2012 attempt to open the most senior church posts to women. That unexpected rejection of gender equality within the church won negative headlines and widespread disapproval in Britain. The Archbishop of Canterbury resolved that there would be no repeat of that rejection and launched a campaign of persuasion and compromise to win over conservative members of the church laity.

On Monday, he succeeded in pushing that vote through but there remains a bloc, some of whom abstained, that feel the continued pace of modernization is threatening to break the church apart. “This is a slippery slope,” Reverend Andrew Symes, the executive secretary of the conservative group Anglican Mainstream, told The Daily Beast.

He said a recent move to question the church’s stance on euthanasia, its evolving position on homosexuality, and changing the traditional role of women were all part of the same slide into modern liberal mores that could force a schism in the church.

“Traditionally the church has always gone with the culture and if that takes it further and further away from what you might call orthodox Christianity at some stage some people are going to say we want to be orthodox Christians,” he said.

The fight against women bishops was led publicly by Susie Leafe, head of the Reform group, who said the church was at risk if Biblical teachings were cast aside.

“I think it’s never good to go against what the Bible says for God’s people, so I don’t think it’s going to have a good impact,” she told The Telegraph. “People look to the Church not to follow the world but to guide it.”

Despite the opposition of some diehard traditionalists, many of those who voted against female bishops in 2012 either reversed their position entirely or abstained on Monday. For such an historic change to the church, a two-thirds majority was required in all three Houses of the General Synod. That was a given among the bishops and clergy, who supported the change overwhelmingly. Among the “lay voters” (church members of are not part of the clergy), there were 152 votes in favor, 45 against, and five abstentions.

As members of the Synod filtered out of the chamber, hugs and cheers continued as some popped Champagne corks to mark the occasion. The Reverend Dr. Rosemarie Mallet, from Southwark diocese, said: “I’m absolutely joyful, thank God after 20 years of very hard work we now have a decision that can help us work for everyone in the Church and engage everybody to be part of that ministry.”

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10 Cheapest Nigerian Cities to Live In

Many Nigerians grew up dreaming of living in Lagos or Abuja, which are known to be the most expensive cities in Nigeria. In reality, they can’t afford the cost of living in these cities because they come with high price tags. On the other hand, some Nigerians are looking for the cheapest cities to live in, places where our Naira will last a little longer, no matter their expenses.

Fortunately, there are cities that offer low cost of living with thriving economy, countless opportunities for investment and to earn money. The cities also offer laid back lifestyle, political stability and low cost housing.

Here are the 10 cheapest cities to live in Nigeria. These cities share one principal similarity, which is low cost of living.

1. Ikot Ekpene

Ikot Ekpene
Ikot Ekpene by Ikpa road
Photo Source: Aksg govt

Ikot Ekpene is known as the ‘Raffia City’, is situated in Akwa Ibom state. The city is famous for its commercial activities and raffia business. Ikot Ekpene is the regional centre of commerce; it is famous for its commercial activities where notable exports of palm products and ground crops come cheap. Housing is affordable as new apartment buildings have all the modern amenities. The city and its neighbouring areas are accessible with public transportation, which are cheap and plentiful.

2. Aba

Enitona Hotel in GRA, Aba North, Aba

Photo Source: Pjotter05 on Flickr

Low-cost housing in Aba has become a strong incentive for those who relocate to this quiet and peaceful city in Abia State. Houses are affordable, even to those with a median household income. Aba is a popular destination in the Eastern part of Nigeria, major economic contributions such as textiles, plastics, cement, cosmetics has contributed to the city’s affordability repute. The city has the largest market in West Africa, Ariaria International Market and that is why Fashion-savvy and business people visit this city for exportation and importation of goods. Food is very cheap because of the numerous villages surrounding this city and transportation is very affordable. The city’s oil wells and natural gas repository has given the city an added energy, attracting business travellers and investors from around the world

3. Ibadan

Ibadan (2)

Photo Source: jbdodane on Flickr

Ibadan is no longer that ancient city that was struggling to adapt to modernization. A visit to Ibadan would convince you that it is a place to inhabit when compared the cost of living in Lagos or other major cities. Every modern amenities and ritz in any modern city in Nigeria can be found in Ibadan. Many of the older buildings have been renovated and the city now has a matchless blend of modern and conservative. From upscale neighbourhood, vibrant nightlife to cheap transportation, the city has it all. The low housing cost and high quality living standard has attracted many people to relocate to the city.

4. Ikom

Ikom Bridge
Ikom Bridge

Photo Source: Lapesoetan

Ikom is actually a small town, rather than a city but it’s far more expansive and modern compared to some other Nigerian towns. It’s somewhat more lively and cheaper than you might otherwise expect. Modern development has started to creep in and the city has beautiful tourist attraction sites such as Nigeria’s Stonehenge called Ikom Monoliths, Afi rain forest, Ikom town beach and Agbokim Waterfall. The city has almost everything a Nigerian could want, from fresh foods to low cost housing and a peaceful environment. For more of a standard family lifestyle, you will be happy you to relocate to Ikom. Obudu Cattle Ranch is not very far from the town.

5. Ilorin

Ilorin Roundabout

Photo Source: Mahfouzadedimeji

Prices for several things in Ilorin are cheaper than you can ever imagine. Ilorin is a blessed city with beautiful attractions, great educational facilities, natural resources, historical relics and health facilities for the residents. The city has no shortage of opportunities, the number of companies and businesses has boosted because the boundless business culture makes it an illustrious city for entrepreneurs and investors. Those who live here get anything they want since the city offers plenty ways to live cheaply. Housing is affordable, it is incredibly inexpensive to rent an apartment.

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Credit: Oluwakemi Ojo