Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dr. Ola Balogun: Nigeria Is Going To Cannes To Fry And Sell "Akara"?

Dr. Ola Balogun: Nigeria Is Going To Cannes To Fry And Sell "Akara"?
« on: Today at 07:06:48 PM »

As we were waiting to buy fuel at the filling station on the Commercial Avenue in Sabo, Lagos, Nigeria, I exchanged greetings with Nigeria’s foremost filmmaker, Dr. Ola Balogun and the author of the travelogue The Magic Land of Nigeria.

Orikinla: Nigeria is going to Cannes.

Dr. Ola Balogun: To do what? To fry and sell Akara?

Orikinla: Our magazine is going there to report the truth about what Nigeria is going to do at the Cannes Film Festival.

Dr. Ola Balogun: Nigerians don’t like to hear the truth.

We smiled.

Nigerian administrators of the film industry like the Nigerian Film Corporation and others have been making an annual pilgrimage to the Cannes Film Festival to display their audio-visual products at a pavilion and have never been able to make any film that has qualified for the screening and competition. Notable Nigerian director and founder /CEO of the Abuja International Film Festival, Fidelis Duker said it is an annual jamboree for Nigeria to go to Cannes and waste millions of naira to display their ignorance.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another Way To Stop The Genocide in Darfur

sacredly breathing said...
What the Darfurians need is for activists and awake citizens of the united states to boycott all Chinese made goods until china stops all trades and oil development in Sudan. We have to demand change through denial of the dollar. We don't have time to continue to speak to the wind. The denial of income is the only way short of military intervention to stop this genocide. so I ask for all my brothers and sisters who believe in the sacredness of life and who believe that we are all gods children to push for a citizen, activist, alternative media, message to not spend your money on any thing chinese manufactured.We must act Now!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Unemployed Artist Uses Remaining Cash as Medium for Economic Statement

27 Apr 2009 07:30 Africa/Lagos


Unemployed Artist Uses Remaining Cash as Medium for Economic Statement

TORONTO, Canada, April 27/PRNewswire/ -- A casualty of the 2008 economic crisis, unemployed conceptual artist Brian Rushton Phillips, has used his remaining cash as a medium to comment on the downturn and his own financial uncertainty.


Entitled 'Financial Security (Blanket)', the project incorporates 208 American dollar bills, sewn together with thread, to form a makeshift security blanket.


The fragility of the blanket conjures an oxymoronic image, consistent with the current state of global unemployment, homelessness and financial insecurity.


The work has been pre-released online:


http://www.rushtonphillips.com/financial_security.html.


For further information: and press materials: +1-416-807-1341, mail@rushtonphillips.com


Source: Rushton Phillips Collaborations

For further information: and press materials: +1-416-807-1341, mail@rushtonphillips.com


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Online Newspaper Audience Growth: Good News? Not Really.



The Newspaper Association of America trumpeted the release of first-quarter online audience data last week with this headline: “Newspaper Web Site Audience Increases More Than Ten Percent In First Quarter To 73.3 Million Visitors,” followed by the glowing subhead: “Newspaper Web Sites Set Records for Audience, Page Views and Active Reach; Latest Scarborough Research: Newspapers Attract Key Demographics in Print and Online.”

Pardon me, then, for reading and questioning the details and putting the data in context, something the NAA doesn’t do.

NAA reports:

  • First quarter traffic to newspaper Web sites was reported as 73.3 million unique visitors (average per month) by Nielsen*.
  • That’s 43.6 percent of all U. S. internet users, and up 10.5 percent versus the same time last year.
  • Page views grew from 3.1 billion per month in last year’s first quarter, to 3.5 billion in 2009.
  • NAA CEO John Sturm suggests this points to “digital success.”

Context:

  • Each of the top three news destination on the Web (MSNBC, CNN and Yahoo!News) individually each drew more than half the unique visitors of the entire newspaper industry in March. Year-over-year, MSNBC grew 9 percent, CNN 4 percent, and Yahoo!News 16 percent.
  • Yahoo!News alone gained 5.2 million uniques in March, or nearly 70 percent of the gain of the entire newspaper industry.
  • Newspaper page views at 3.5 billion per month are less than one percent of total U.S. page views (386 billion in February).
  • Time spent on newspaper sites in February, 43 minutes, 9 seconds per month per NAA/Nielsen, compares with total time online of 61 hours, 11 minutes and 56 seconds per U.S. person. This means newspaper sites get the attention of the U.S. online audience just 1.2 percent of the time.
  • The total U.S. online audience (what Nielsen calls the “active digital media universe”) in February was 167 million individuals. As NAA does note, 43.6 percent of that audience visited a newspaper web site, but given that newspaper site traffic works out to only about 1.6 page views per reader per day, many of the newspaper site uniques are clearly represent one-time-only traffic.

NAA further reports:

Keep reading »




Saturday, April 25, 2009

How the Web Dominated the Breaking News Pulitzer Prize

24 Apr 2009 17:01 Africa/Lagos

Nieman Journalism Lab: How the Web Dominated the Breaking News Pulitzer Prize

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The three newspapers honored by the Pulitzer Prize Board for Breaking News all shared a common thread: They used the web as their primary outlet, not ink-on-paper.


The New York Times -- which won the prize -- and finalists the Houston Chronicle and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch each shifted to a web-first mentality when faced with big breaking news. That was true whether the news was a prostitution scandal (Times), a hurricane (Chronicle), or a shooting (Post-Dispatch).


"We cover news any way people need news," Chronicle editor Jeff Cohen told the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard. We cover it online, analog, digital, straight media -- any way you can serve it up, our staff is serving it up."


In-depth analysis of each of the Pulitzer finalists can be found at:


New York Times Wins Pulitzer Prize


Breaking News Winners


The Nieman Journalism Lab is a project at Harvard University to figure out the future of quality journalism online. Its site is http://www.niemanlab.org/.


Source: Nieman Journalism Lab

CONTACT: Joshua Benton, director of Nieman Journalism Lab,
joshua_benton@harvard.edu


Web Site: http://www.niemanlab.org/


Friday, April 24, 2009

Singapore Film HERE Selected for the 41st Directors' Fortnight at Cannes

24 Apr 2009 17:03 Africa/Lagos

Singapore Film HERE Selected for the 41st Directors' Fortnight at Cannes

SINGAPORE, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Singapore continues its strong showing at this year's Cannes Film Festival with HERE by Singapore filmmaker and visual artist Ho Tzu Nyen selected for screening at the 41st Directors' Fortnight section, which is known for selecting cutting-edge films with an original directorial style.


As a first-time feature film director, Ho is also eligible for the Camera d'Or (Golden Camera) award, a distinction for best first feature film in any one of the Cannes' selections - the Official Selection, the Directors' Fortnight or the International Critics' Week.


Said Ho Tzu Nyen who is both the scriptwriter as well as the director of the film, "HERE represents a cinematic amalgamation of my interests and experiences in painting, conceptual art and sound art. I believe it to be a new kind of Singapore film - a total sensorial experience that is hopefully also a head-trip."


The film is supported by the Singapore Film Commission's (SFC) 35mm Fulfillment Fund, which helps local filmmakers defray the costs of converting the digital version of their film to a 35mm print master, a format required by the Festival.


Mr. Kenneth Tan, Director of the Singapore Film Commission and Chief Operating Officer of Media Development Authority of Singapore said, "Singapore films have been gaining traction in the international markets over the last few years. Our varying styles and genres have been featured at Cannes every year since 2005, presenting our young filmmakers with a valuable launch pad for their international film careers. I am confident that local filmmakers such as Ho will continue to make their mark around the world."


Singapore's showing at Cannes began as early as 1997 when Eric Khoo's 12 Storeys was invited under the Un Certain Regard section. This year marks the fifth consecutive year that a Singapore film has been featured at the Festival, starting with Khoo's Be With Me in 2005, which opened the Director's Fortnight. This was followed by the 2006 country showcase where 12 Singapore feature films and short films were presented at the World Cinema (Tous les Cinemas du Monde) event. In 2007, Anthony Chen's short film Ah Ma clinched a Special Mention at the Festival, while Pok Yue Weng's short film SuperDONG and Ekachai Uekrongtham's feature film Pleasure Factory were screened at Directors' Fortnight and Un Certain Regard respectively. Last year, Khoo's latest film My Magic became the first Singapore film to compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or award.


HERE is a co-production by Canada's gsmprjct media and M'GO Films and Singapore's Akanga Film Asia, Oak3 Films and Tzulogical Films. The film was shot entirely in Singapore across 11 days in a former mental hospital. It tells the story of a middle-aged man who struggles to make sense of his reality following the sudden death of his wife. The protagonist of the film, played by lead actor John Low, is selected to undergo a mysterious treatment known as the 'videocure'. While undergoing treatment, he learns a profound lesson about love and fate. HERE's screening at Cannes will mark the film's world premiere while the theatrical release in Singapore is scheduled for June this year.


Added Ho Tzu Nyen, "HERE is both a love story, and also a story about the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's idea of 'Amor Fati' or love of fate - in which the test of an affirmative life is that of someone who is willing to live his life over and over again, without making a single change."


Ho will join a delegation of film companies and directors led by MDA and SFC to the upcoming Cannes Film Festival and Market (Marche du Film) from 13 to 24 May 2009. The Cannes Film Market is a trade event that runs parallel to the Cannes Film Festival.


Press Contact:
Marylou Johnston VP, Managing Director, global
Priority Public Relations
marylou@prioritypr.net; +33 6 87 77 49 89

Source: Media Development Authority of Singapore

CONTACT: Marylou Johnston VP, Managing Director, global of Priority
Public Relations, +33 6 87 77 49 89, marylou@prioritypr.net, for Media
Development Authority of Singapore


'Saving Captain Phillips' – Online Game captures the High Sea Rescue Mission



'Saving Captain Phillips' – Online Game captures the High Sea Rescue Mission


New York - Tuesday - 21st April' 2009 /PRNewswire/ — - Games2win.com, a global Top 50online games' company, announced the release of its real life inspired online game titled 'Saving Captain Phillips' on www.games2win.com. The thrilling game is inspired by the courageous and dangerous high sea rescue mission of Captain Richard Phillips, who was captured by rogue Somali Pirates and rescued by the crack team of US Navy SEALs.

Captain Richard Phillips was captured by Somali pirates from his ship, the Maersk Alabama and had a harrowing experience of being held captive until the US Navy stepped in and deployed the Sniper team of the Navy SEALs to rescue him. The online game recreates the actual episode and allows players to become Navy SEAL Snipers and embark on a life threatening mission to help rescue the captain.

Saving Captain Phillips:
The game begins with a scene of Captain Richard Phillips surrendering himself to the pirates in order to save his ship's crew members. The game play area is the recreated scene of Navy SEAL snipers taking positions and expertly shooting the pirates in order to save the captain. In this high stakes action game, users take on the role of Navy SEAL Snipers and shoot the enemy pirates who are in moving boats without compromising Captain Phillips' Safety.

Alok Kejriwal – Co- founder and CEO of Games2win commented: "Games2win wanted to honor the incredibly brave US Navy SEAL snipers and the heroic Captain Richard Phillips by producing an online game that recreates the events and the action that actually happened. The game is our attempt to involve the youth in this incident and make them play a personal role in helping rescue the captain. We believe that since online games play an important role in the lives of this segment of players, they (games) can be cleverly crafted to communicate global problems, their consequences and get young people involved in solving or at least in building awareness about these issues.

Games2win.com has several similar online games in the pipeline, involving political, historical and global themes.

Games2win.com creates and publishes online games for global audiences and is ranked amongst the top 50 global online gaming portals as ranked by comScore.


Press Contact:
Alok Kejriwal
CEO and Co-Founder
alok@games2win.com

Mobile + 91 98200 82558


Thursday, April 23, 2009

See You in Cannes (Part 1)



See You in Cannes (Part 1)

This morning we were at the French Consulate in Ikoyi for a visa appointment and Fidelis Duker, the COO of the Abuja International Film Festival was there as well. Supple magazine and a selection of Nigerian newspapers have been given press accreditation for the forthcoming 62nd Festival de Cannes. Fidelis Duker is one of the most hardworking professionals doing their best for the sustainable development of the $236 million Nigerian film industry.

The Cannes Film Festival is the biggest and most popular film festival in the world and attracts the top stars of Hollywood and Bollywood to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes south of France every May, but most of the so called leading stars of Nollywood are ignorant of Cannes. Supple magazine is going to convene the first forum on Nollywood and the Cannes film Festival to inform the Nigerian actors, actresses, marketers, and the general public on the film festival and why Nigeria should not be left of the competition at Cannes. Our goal is to challenge Nigerian filmmakers to compete for the highest honors at the Festival de Cannes.

~ Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima


Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
22 Apr 2009
23:00
African Health Delegates Welcomed to Washington
21:06
AllianceBernstein Global High Income Fund Releases


Monday, April 20, 2009

Re: The Untold Story Of Distributing Newspapers And Magazines In Nigeria

Re: The Untold Story Of Distributing Newspapers And Magazines In Nigeria
« #1 on: April 18, 2009, 01:44 AM »

What can I say, Oriks? You hit it right on the button.

I admit, I'd rather borrow a newspaper to read than buy one myself - in fact, until a few years ago, the first things I looked for whenever I encountered a newspaper were crossword puzzles and cartoons. Honestly, I can't even remember when last I bought a newspaper. As for mags, I've never bought one in my life - never! - and yet I write short stories and poems. I even published a novel last year. Says it all, doesn't it?

Perhaps it has to do with the way one is brought up; my dad stopped buying papers when I was like eleven - harsh times, not enough spill-over "change" to spend on such luxuries anymore. I wouldn't have noticed if not the sudden unavailability of newspaper cartoons. After that, the only other times I really missed not having newspapers and mags around were in college; at least once every term, some hair-brained teacher would saunter into the class and ask us to look some issue in the newspapers, or (even more often) to just cut out some certain pictures from magazines and put 'em up in a card-board paper album. Sic!

But about the "Nigerian" tendency to borrow rather than buy tabloids, I think it is more than just the natural inclination to take advantage of an "awoof" - going over to the paper-stand and "paying-as-you-read", rather than buy the entire caboodle. Really, it goes beyond that - its the internet and cable TV. Switch on the TV or click at a link online, and Eureka! you get all the information and whatever else you ever wanted.

Three months, an free online magazine I subscribe to (Hackwriters.com; you probably know it) announced that it was going belly-up. The magazine accepts write-ups from subscribers and publishes select ones every month on real, hard copy publications (like you do, Oriks); the editor uses the proceeds to keep the mag and the website afloat. Then sometime in February, I get this mail saying there won't be any March publications; reasons: low sales, can't keep up with all them blog sites and online forums. I never bought a copy of the mag myself (thing was sold in USDs, darn expensive, plus I have that habit with mags, you know ), but what about them britons and americans? If even they won't buy mags and papers no more, then there's a lota trouble. And you know else? It's not just the Punch and other Nigerian papers that are recording all time lows; LA Times, Chicago Tribune, you know 'em, they are all low on sales, too - I think I posted something on that sometime ago . . .

Anyway, to cut down a long winding tale to a short winding one, it's not just the "pay-as-you-read" and "read-and-dash-me" syndrome (they contribute, yes, that has always been the status quo, even back when Punch was selling 200,000 copies); CNN, DSTv, Google, Bloggers and yes, even our own dear Nairaland have contributed more. Remember, over 70% of the newspaper buyers and almost 90% of the magazine buyers in Nigeria are either in or above the middle class, and these folks DEFINITELY won't stand at a news-stand to "pay-as-you-read".

~ By Kay 9


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Video: The British Secretary of State for Business Hails the Accelerated Construction of Dubai Metro, RTA Drive towards Mass Transport



The British Secretary of State for Business Hails the Accelerated Construction of Dubai Metro, RTA Drive towards Mass Transport


Dubai, April 17, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — Roads & Transport Authority - Mohammed Al Munji:

H.E. Peter Mandelson, the British Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, praised the use of the latest technologies in Dubai Metro Project, and lauded the deluxe finishing of the metro coaches & stations. He also praised the efforts of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) in expediting the construction of this vital project in a record time. He stated that RTA was bound to complete and deliver Dubai Metro ahead of schedule judging by the fast pace of construction works in the project.

The above statement was made by the British Minister, in a meeting he and the accompanying visiting delegation held with H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA. The meeting explored ways and means of boosting relations and the exchange of expertise between the RTA and the British organizations engaged in roads & transport sector.

Al Tayer briefed the visiting British Minister on the details of Dubai Metro Project comprising the Red and Green Lines. He explained that the Red Line extended 52 km (5 km of which are underground) and consisted of 29 stations: 4 underground (Burjuman, Union Square, Riqqa and Port Saeed) and 25 elevated stations; including 2 stations at Dubai International Airport. He added that the Green Line extended about 22 km (10 km of which are underground) and consisted of 18 stations; 6 of which are underground stations.

The British Minister also reviewed the details of the deluxe and luxurious designs & finishing of Dubai Metro stations. Commenting on the stations Al Tayer said: "Dubai Metro has 48 stations one of them is the Union Square, the world's biggest metro station spanning an area of 25,000 square meters. The Station, which is one of key intersection stations of the Red and Green Lines, consists of two levels, extends 230 meters in length and 50 meters in width, and is situated at a depth of 18 meters. The Station, which comprises commercial outlets & service locations for metro users, has two entry points equipped with lifts & escalators. Four tunnels branch out of the Station bound to Burjuman & Riqqa Stations on the Red Line, and Bani Yas & Salah Uddin Stations on the Green Line. Burjuman Station, which is the other intersection station of the Red and Green Lines, has four entry points equipped with escalators & lifts".

H. E. Mattar Al Tayer then accompanied H.E. Peter Mandelson, the British Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform in a tour of the Trade Center Station on the Red Line, where completion rate touched 80%. The Station has a capacity to handle 11,000 passengers per hour per direction. It extends 130 x 30 meters and has two entrances equipped with escalators and lifts.

Dubai Metro Stations are fitted with platform screen doors synchronized with the train door opening and closing mechanism in order to provide the highest levels of passenger comfort, safety and security as well as preserving the efficiency of the air-conditioning system operating in the interior of both stations and train carriages from the external climatic impacts. Most stations are linked with air-conditioned footbridges providing roomy corridors for public crossing over Sheikh Zayed Road. These crossings, which are fitted with travellators and boast high quality finishing, are bound to revolutionize the culture of linking and interacting between pedestrians and the city. Ultimately they are set to boost the drive towards minimizing the reliance on using private vehicles.

At the end of the meeting, Al Tayer invited the British Minister to attend the launch of the first stage of Dubai Metro passenger service slated for 09/09/2009.

Contact Details:
Roads & Transport Authority
P.O.Box: 118899
Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Tel. : 00971 4 2844444, Fax : 00971 4 2065555
Call Center : 8009090
info@rta.ae




Contact the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Nigerians Report
Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima
publisher@guarantysuccess.com
Tel: 234 07066379246


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nigeria's El-Rufai a Victim of Trial by Headline, Say Lawyers

17 Apr 2009 16:53 Africa/Lagos


Nigeria's El-Rufai a Victim of Trial by Headline, Say Lawyers

Crass tactics of intimidation and slander against Nasir el-Rufai reveal political persecution by the State, argue defense lawyers

LONDON, April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement that represents the views of Amsterdam & Peroff:


Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, the highly regarded former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FTC), Abuja, Nigeria, has been relentlessly targeted in recent weeks by state-controlled media with aggressive slander and false accusations, prompting his international defense team to denounce this "trial by headline."


Viewed as a popular potential political competitor, the Nigerian government has initiated a politically motivated investigation against El-Rufai, which is ironically being carried out by the once-respected Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), presenting a slew of implausible charges related to his exercise of discretion to allocate land in accordance with Nigeria's Constitution and the Land Use Act, during his tenure as Minister of Abuja between 2003 and 2007.


"The EFCC's ongoing attempts to slander and taint the reputation of El-Rufai are not indicative of a legitimate case, but rather illustrate their fear and willingness to violate the law in persecuting a potential political opponent," said Robert Amsterdam, a Canadian lawyer on the international defense team. "There are few other individuals who have opened themselves up to such a high level of scrutiny, and even fewer who have testified before Senate hearings and published lengthy responses to even the most absurd allegations."


The false accusations against El-Rufai attempt to argue that in his duties as FCT Minister he was allegedly responsible for improper allocation of land. However, any review of the records in Abuja, (FCT) clearly show that all beneficiaries of these alleged parcel distributions were ordinary Nigerian citizens, and that El-Rufai's conduct was strictly in accordance with the laws of Nigeria and the objective of the restoration of the Abuja Master Plan and the City's economic revitalization.


"In many countries, Nasir El-Rufai's excellent stewardship of the Abuja region would receive accolades and admiration," said Chief Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, the lead Nigerian defense lawyer on the case. "Unfortunately, in our country today a capable and ethical politician like El-Rufai is persecuted to stamp out any alternative opinions, while those who have looted the treasury walk free on the streets."


The defense team for El-Rufai vigorously denounces the government's slander campaign of false accusations, and announces that a new international campaign will be initiated to bring justice to this case, highlighting the unlawful actions of the EFCC in pursuing groundless, political cases.


Source: Amsterdam & Peroff

CONTACT: James T. Kimer for Amsterdam & Peroff, +1-917-355-0717,
james.kimer@ksocialmedia.com


Friday, April 17, 2009

The Untold Story of Distributing Newspapers and Magazines in Nigeria


Nigerians reading newspapers at a news stand.

Distributing newspapers and magazines in Nigeria is not an easy task, because there is no good infrastructure for the distribution of newspapers and magazines in the 36 states of the most populous country in Africa. With a population of over 140 people, Nigeria is the largest market in Africa and there are over 65 million users of GSM phones in Nigeria spending over $78 million weekly on phone calls. This awesome population of millions of people can afford to read newspapers and magazines if you know how to reach them daily, weekly or monthly.

We can attract some millions of the over 65 million users of GSM phones to buy newspapers and magazines if we can convince them to appreciate the fact that buying and reading more newspapers and magazines will be of great benefit to sustainable development of the Nigerian press and very important to nation building. It is possible.

I have been in Lagos city since last August, working with the Publisher of the new Supple magazine and following him to supply thousands of his magazine to distributors and vendors

We have to wake up early at 5 am and drive to the office of the Newspapers and Magazines Distributors Association of Nigeria on the Marina in Lagos, where scores of distributors and vendors gather everyday by day to share and circulate newspapers and magazines of all sorts.

They get to their workplace at dawn and I have seen them using candle lights in their large warehouse when there was a power outage. I have seen many young women among the young and old men carrying and sharing newspapers and magazines with total professional concentration. These conscientious Nigerians make me proud of being a Nigerian whenever I see them at work even in the dim candlelight. I wonder if some of them have taken their bath before leaving their various houses and rushing to their daily workplace before 5 am!

After supplying to them, we move on to Ikeja to supply to our distributors in the state capital. We also supply hundreds of copies of Supple magazine to the other distributors and vendors in other states through the distribution network of the National Daily newspapers.

Until you have handed your publications to the vendors you will not rest, because without these vendors your newspaper or magazine will not be well distributed all over Nigeria.

The Punch is the largest circulating newspaper in Nigeria and believe it or not, the circulation is not up 100, 000 copies daily in a country with over 140 million people! The irony is the fact that The Punch was circulating over 200, 000 copies daily when the population of Nigeria was less than 120 million people. Why?

Many reasons have been given for the gradual drop in the figures of copies of newspapers and magazines sold in Nigeria. But the truth is the figures of the readers have not dropped over the years. In fact, the readers have been increasing, but the majority of them do not buy the copies of newspapers and magazines they read daily. They have been sharing the copies bought by their colleagues in the workplace or neighbours and thousands more actually pay less to the vendors to read the newspapers on the spot and then drop them and many of these copies have been returned as unsold to the publishers.

If you are in Lagos city or other urban towns and cities in Nigeria, you will notice small crowds of people milling around news stands of vendors and gazing at the covers of the displayed newspapers and magazines. Many of them read the headlines and first paragraphs on the front pages and others pay less then the cover price to read more pages of the newspapers before leaving the spot. The vendors have nothing much to lose if the copies of these newspapers passed round among so many “on the spot” readers are returned unsold, because they make extra money from these passersby on each copy of the various newspapers and also collect their daily commissions from the distributors or publishers. In fact, some publishers use shortcuts to bypass the major registered distributors and engage the vendors to sell their newspapers and magazines directly to the readers on the street. The publisher of the Castle real estate and property newspaper employs his own vendors. The Guardian and The Punch also have their own vendors.

Millions of Nigerians will prefer to pay less to read fewer pages of newspapers and magazines than to pay more for more pages, because most of them will read only what attracts them and skip or glance over the adverts and other uninteresting things before dropping the newspapers and magazines. Most of them are interested in reading sensational breaking news on politics, crime and social gossip of romantic or erotic scandals and the millions of applicants prefer to look for vacancies and that would be all. Therefore, I can bet that newspaper of only 10 pages on these topics selling for as little as N50 will sell more thousands of copies than The Punch or The Guardian of 50-100 pages. In fact, they regard most content as garbage and the less garbage or page fillers the better for them.


~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima is the Media Consultant of Supple magazine and the President/CEO of International Digital Post Network, LLC.




Hello! Have you read Half of a Yellow Sun?

A Letter From America



Dear Michael Chima,

Taxpayers didn't cause this economic crisis, but we sure are paying the price.

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis leads the way in the predatory, self-serving culture that gets executives rich at the expense of everyone else.

In just two weeks, Bank of America's shareholders will meet to decide CEO Ken Lewis' future at the company. Our government - and by extension, taxpayers - are the single biggest shareholder of Bank of America's stock.

This is our chance to send a message that it's time for Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis to go.

We're asking you to sign a "taxpayer's proxy card" to show your support for firing Lewis and reforming Bank of America - and we'll deliver it directly to Bank of America.

Click here to watch our shocking new video about why we need to fire Ken Lewis, and sign your name to a "taxpayer's proxy card."

Banks like Bank of America built a business model on screwing customers, pushing dangerous products, and burying customers in more and more debt. It would be bad enough if Ken Lewis' Bank of America just screwed its customers and taxpayers. But that's not all - the company also screws its workers.

Just days after receiving its first $25 billion bailout, Bank of America was caught hosting a conference call to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act - legislation that would help all working people, including Bank of America employees.

Enough. We need real reform, and it's clear Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis is part of the problem, not the solution. It's time for taxpayers to tell Ken Lewis to go.

We need you to take the next step right now. Watch our shocking new video and sign your "taxpayer proxy card" to vote out Ken Lewis.

We'll be in touch over the next several weeks about how we'll escalate our campaign to fire Ken Lewis. It's the kind of change our country and our economy so desperately need.

Thanks for all you do.


In solidarity,

Stephen Lerner
SEIU.org

P.S. Mark your calendars - save the date on April 28th for a big action related to our campaign.


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M/V LIBERTY SUN Arrives Safely in Kenya


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dele Momodu’s Photo Album and Other Stories from Nigeria

Dele Momodu’s Photo Album and Other Stories from Nigeria

The title of this article is not the title of my new collection of short stories and you will not find it in The Thing Around Your Neck, the first collection of short stories by the celebrated Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This is my focus on the craze for scrapbooks of pictures by many Nigerian printers and publishers who have joined the bandwagon of the copycats of Dele Momodu’s Ovation magazine.

I loved Ovation when there was something to read in it. That was when Ovation had interesting features and even good fiction as well and was like the Nigerian version of Hello and OK magazine until the Nigerian publisher Dele Momodu decided to turn it into the Nigerian photo gallery of both the stinking rich and not so stinking rich people in Nigeria. Well from reliable sources, Dele Momodu took that decision, because most Nigerians prefer viewing photo albums of the rich in their Nigerian society and gossip about them to reading articles and fiction. Majority of Nigerians are actually intellectual illiterates or semi literates who have no brains for serious reading, except the compulsory textbooks they must read to pass their academic and professional examinations and once they have passed the examinations and acquired the certificates by hook or by crook, they push aside their textbooks and rush for the gossip tabloids and photo albums circulated all over the place in Nigeria.


Any dummy can copy and paste photographs on blank pages of white paper and print them for sale. But as we can see, gazing at the pictures of the Nigerian aristocrats and plutocrats does not add any value to the society and will not transform any non-literate to a literate person. What we need most now is the revival of the reading culture and increase the scholarship of Nigerians.

The proliferation of scrapbook journalism in Nigeria is doing more harm to Nigerians, because these photo albums are making Nigerians to become lazy readers and breeding a generation of intellectual illiterates.

I read newsmagazines such as Tell and The News and I also read the tabloids as well and they can be very hilarious and humorous. Imagine the National Encomium calling the Academy Award winning American actor, producer, and director Forest Whitaker African-American Nollywood actor? Then the Editor Azuh Arinze of the local Nigerian tabloid called Nigerian publisher and celebrity blogger Linda Ikeji garrulous!


It is a tragedy that in a population of over 140 million people, a prize winning book like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun did not sell up to 20, 000 copies in Nigeria, but pornographic magazines and music videos sell over hundreds of thousands of copies.
We see a generation of intellectual retards and dullards who would rather be lip-synching do me; I do you and chorusing monotonous pornographic jargons of female buttocks than be caught reading best-selling Nigerian books of genius.

That is why I was shocked to find out that most of the students in tertiary schools in Nigeria do not even know who is Leke Alder or Chris Abani and they did not even know that Kaine Agary won the last Nigeria LNG Prize for Literature for her melodramatic prose in Yellow Yellow!
But they have spent millions of naira to download ring tones of psychedelic songs and pornographic musical videos. Nigerians who will not spend ordinary N500 to buy a good book to read will spend over N2, 000 daily to make GSM phone calls. What a shame!

~ Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

Highly Recommended Books of the Month

Conversations of a 21st Century Saint ~ Leke Alder
$30.00

minding your business ~ leke alder
$35.00


life as i see it ~ leke alder

Graceland (Today Show Pick January 2005) ~ Chris Abani
$10.20

Becoming Abigail ~ Chris Abani
$9.56

Song for Night ~ Chris Abani
$11.66

The Virgin of Flames ~ Chris Abani
$11.90

Kalakuta Republic ~ Chris Abani
$13.25

To Be Hung from the Ceiling By Strings of Varying Length (Black Goat) ~ Rick Reid
$10.85


GraceLand ~ Chris Abani


Daphne's Lot ~ Chris Abani











Click here for more.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Juju Ritual Politics: Shocking Revelations from Abia State

The Woman of God from the East


Pastor (Mrs.) Delight Chikezie is the woman of God from the East who has been called to minister and bring divine deliverance to the poor and needy widows in Eastern Nigeria and other places and to heal the sick and comfort the broken hearted.
She is happily married with five children who are glad and grateful to the Almighty God Jehovah for what He is doing in their family and for using their mother for His awesome miracles with signs and wonders following her wherever God has led her.


She was in Lagos to ask her cousin Hope who is the Publisher of Supple magazine in Nigeria to produce 3, 000 copies of the poster of her forthcoming deliverance crusade in Umuahia, Abia state and she shared the divine rhema of her ministry with me. I told her that obedience to the command of God is better than sacrifice and recalled how God gave me the grace to preach on public transport buses in Lagos city for 11 years, working as a project secretary in the office of Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and how I also enjoyed the company of fellow Christians in preaching the good news and planting churches on Bonny Island in Rivers state. She told me about the horrible and terrible human sacrifice made by the politicians in their cult in their desperation for power and wealth.

“Many virgins were murdered in their human sacrifice and in fact a young man was burnt alive in one of their cultic rituals,” she said.
I was shocked that such demonic rituals were done in my state of origin.
She disclosed the identity of the great harlot holding the political leaders captive in Abia state. Her harlotry and sorcery have been used to rule and ruin Abia since her son became the governor. She is the High Priestess of a goddess worshipped by her devotees and the politicians in her cult. The woman of God from the East said that God is already exposing the occultists and destroying their evils to deliver Abia state.

Hope had to delay other printing jobs to respond to the urgent order of the woman of God from the East and within 16 hours, his Art Director produced the camera ready artwork of the poster and Hope printed the 3, 000 copies of the poster, because he cannot delay the work of God for the benefit of our Abia state and the rest of Nigeria. The printer worked from afternoon to 9.30 pm and we had to carry the copies of the poster and the woman of God from the East to the branch of her church near the NNPC depot in Ejigbo, Lagos. She told us that she had forgotten her bag in our production office in Shomolu. We got to Ejigbo at 10.30 pm and after dropping the woman of God from the East, we left for our residence in Ifako, Lagos and got there at about 11.25 pm. I was glad and grateful to the Almighty God for granting Hope the grace to do this divine assignment to support Pastor (Mrs.) Delight Chikezie. She came to our office the following day to collect her bag and prayed for us before she left.


Later, I met with a pastor who was one of those consulted by Theodore Orji, the governor of Abia state during his power tussle over the gubernatorial post with Chief Onyemma Ugochukwu of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP). The pastor told me that he had to travel all the way from Lagos to the Federal Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, to take some portion of the soil from the grounds of the court and returned to Lagos to pray for the defeat of Chief Onyemma Ugochukwu.

I asked him why he prayed for the success of the governor of Abia state who is an occultist. He could not give me any word to approve or justify what he did. I knew that he had done so to get favours in return from the governor. I asked him if it would be righteous to accept ill-gotten money from an evil man? He agreed with me on rejecting ill-gotten riches from evil people, because God said we must not accept evil goods and in fact, we must not eat of their dainties.

The pastor confirmed what Pastor (Mrs.) Delight Chikezie disclosed to me on the occultists holding Abia state captive and that they were led by the mother of the former governor whom he called the most powerful witch in Nigeria. I told him that we should expose this so called most powerful witch and the evil occultists in government in Nigeria. The pastor warned me that it would not be wise to dare them without having the powers to do so, because they would attack and destroy anyone who would dare them.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

World News Video Update




Why the Yorubas Are Ahead of the Igbos in the News Media in Nigeria

Why the Yorubas Are Ahead of the Igbos in the News Media in Nigeria


The Yorubas deserve kudos for the sustainable development and advancement of the news media in Nigeria since the 19th century to date.


Yorubas have used their newspapers and magazines to propel political awareness and boost the entertainment industry in Nigeria. Such newspapers as The Punch, The Tribune and PM News and newsmagazines like The News and Tell and entertainment/celebrity newsmagazines and tabloids like the Fame, City People, National Encomium, Global Excellence and others have made more Nigerians to be politically wiser and made the entertainment industry to boom by reporting and promoting Nigerian entertainers.


The point of this short article is to note why the Yorubas are actually ahead of the Igbos in the printing and publication of newspapers and magazines in Nigeria.
An Igbo publisher noted the following observations.

1. Igbos do printing and publishing like they do their cash and carry trading commodities business without being patient to go through the gestation and treadmill of the printing and publishing of newspapers and magazines, because they want quick return on investment in their usual get rich quick methods of business. Therefore they have abandoned their newspapers and magazines.


2. Yorubas are more cooperative among themselves in the news media whereas the Igbos are more competitive for selfish aggrandizement and titular pursuits.

3. The average Yoruba renders assistance without exploiting you, but the average Igbo hardly renders assistance without exploiting and taking advantage of you. The Igbo printer or publisher has what I call the Shylock Syndrome.

4. The Yoruba apprentice believes more in service than the Igbo apprentice.

5. Igbo printers and publishers are very stingy whereas the Yoruba printers and publishers are gracious and generous and they pay more salaries to their employees and treat them better than the Igbo printers and publishers.

6. Yorubas in the advertising agencies have also supported the Yoruba printers and publishers by giving them adverts.

7. Yoruba printers and publishers of newspapers and magazines are more democratic than the Igbos from the newsroom to the boardroom.

8. Yorubas read more newspapers and magazines than the Igbos.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Nigerian Ship Still Held By Somali pirates

9 Apr 2009 20:32 Africa/Lagos

Somali Justice Advocacy Center Expresses Deep Concern Over Al Qaeda Involvement in Piracy in Somalia and Cautions U.S. to Not Exercise Military Force

ST. PAUL, Minn., April 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Somali Justice Advocacy Center has been in contact with Somali pirates in the northeastern region of Somalia and is currently talking to them about the release of a Nigerian ship that has been held hostage for a couple of months. The Nigerian ship captain's brother is a resident here in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Somali Justice Advocacy Center, while on the phone yesterday with pirates in Somalia, asked about Captain Phillips' condition and will talk to them further today.


The Center further expresses a concern over huge amounts of ransom cash (in U.S. dollars) changing hands without any proper institutional supervision and is afraid it might end up in the hands of extremists.


The Center is deeply troubled by the lack of proper action from the international community against the piracy issue and the increasing influence of extremists in the region.


"This is not about piracy, but rather the absence of an effective governance in Somalia," said Omar Jamal, Executive Director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center.


"We caution the U.S. not to exercise the military option against piracy, which would further complicate the issue," Jamal continued.


www.somalijustice.org


Source: Somali Justice Advocacy Center

CONTACT: Omar Jamal of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center,
+1-612-715-1221, Info@somalijustice.org


Web Site: http://www.somalijustice.org/


Nigeria, A New Dawn

Nigeria, A New Dawn

Friday April 10, 2009
4.35 am

The Publisher of Supple magazine woke me up whilst I was asleep and enraptured in my dream. a dream that was more of a vision of a new Nigeria.

I saw the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo speaking at a world press conference in Nigeria, with a mammoth crowd of journalists and publicists.
I saw a foreign newspaper report with the headline Nigeria in a Dawn and then I saw two wide palms lifting up Nigeria in the sunrise with green foliage in the background and wind blowing.

I believe this dream is a vision of the re-branding campaign for a new orientation for the reformation of Nigerians in the nation building of a New Nigeria in the leadership of Africa in the 21st century.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rebtel Introduces World's Lowest Rates on Calls to Nigeria

8 Apr 2009 19:00 Africa/Lagos

Rebtel Introduces World's Lowest Rates on Calls to Nigeria

First 30 Minutes Free to New Subscribers

STOCKHOLM, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Rebtel, the people's global communications company, today slashed in half its rates to Nigeria so Nigerians living abroad can call their loved ones at home for just 9.9 cents per minute.


"It's the best of all the networks I have ever tried," said Daniel Mejabi, an English teacher at Lanzhou Jiatong University, in Beijing. Added Harmony Home, a Nigerian entrepreneur in New York City: "I love Rebtel. It's genuine, and a real value for the money. Rebtel doesn't charge when the line is busy nor when there's no answer. Other phone companies do. Long live Rebtel!"


There is no charge to set up a Rebtel account. No monthly fees, no connection fees and no hidden costs. And, all new Rebtel customers who use the voucher code NigeriaApril when they sign up this month and purchase at least $10 of calling time will receive 30 minutes of free calls to Nigeria.


To try Rebtel for free go to http://www.rebtel.com/CallNigeria.

Who is Rebtel?

Not yet 3 years old, Rebtel was started by serial entrepreneur Hjalmar Winbladh, his business partner Jonas Lindroth, and 14 like-minded rebels who began work with a unified mission: take the phony out of mobile telephony, and create the first genuinely good, honest, and trustworthy global mobile telecommunications service that saves people money. With Rebtel, they promised, there would be no hidden clauses. No small print. No secret charges.


Rebtel's technology vision was equally straightforward: Shrink the world, make it a friendlier place, and bring people worldwide closer together by making all phone calls local.


How Rebtel works


Rebtel gives people local phone numbers in the country where they live that connect them directly with their friends, family or work colleagues who live abroad.


That means, for example, Rebtel gives someone living in Texas a local Texas phone number that connects them directly to their friend or family member in Nigeria.


There's no access number to dial, no PIN to remember, or long international phone number to enter. The person in Texas only dials a local Texas phone number and Rebtel connects the call over the Internet to their contact in Nigeria.


This concept of making all calls local was invented by Rebtel - something never done before. And when the world heard about Rebtel on May 17, 2006 at the Innovate Europe conference in Zaragoza, Spain it was named one of Europe's top three new startups, and received acclaim from leading business and technology press all over the world.


"The beauty of Rebtel's service is it was designed from the start to be used with any mobile phone - even the most simple, cheap phone - without modification, software downloads or changes to the calling plan you already have with your cell phone provider," said Winbladh.


Today, Rebtel is available in more than 50 countries around the world, and is doubling in size every three months.


"People can spend hours surfing the web to save a few dollars on an airline flight, but for some reason they've given up on the idea that they can be just as smart when it comes to making phone calls," said Winbladh. "People are spending hundreds of billions of dollars calling abroad, roaming and sending SMS with their mobiles. Yet, there's something they can do for a fraction of the price, without changing their phone or carrier, and start saving real money."


Getting started with Rebtel is fast, easy and free

1. Go to http://www.rebtel.com/CallNigeria and enter your number and a
friend's number in Nigeria.
2. Rebtel creates a local number where you live that you can use from any
phone, anywhere.

3. Save the number in your address book and use it any time. It's yours
forever.



"We believe our service is the future of international calling," said Winbladh. "It's easy to use, has great call quality, and above all it offers serious savings for ordinary people. There's no smarter, easier way to make low-cost international calls on your mobile phone than Rebtel."


About Rebtel


Rebtel is a global calling service for individuals and business. With Rebtel it's possible to call any phone, anywhere in the world, for just pennies per minute. Rebtel's services can be used with any mobile phone without modification or software downloads. There is no charge to set up a Rebtel account. No monthly fees, no connection fees and no hidden costs. Anyone may make a free 10 minute call to test the service. Thereafter, customers only pay for the minutes they use. Smart Calls between the 50 counties served by Rebtel are always free and only one of the two people on a call have to be a Rebtel customer. For more information, or to start using Rebtel services, go to http://www.rebtel.com/.


Source: Rebtel

CONTACT: Greg Spector of Rebtel, +1-415-717-4666,
greg.spector@rebtel.com


Web Site: http://www.rebtel.com/

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
8 Apr 2009
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Michelle Obama and Her Mother On the Cover of ESSENCE Magazine!



7 Apr 2009 13:26 Africa/Lagos

ESSENCE Magazine's White House Exclusive!

SPECIAL MAY COVER STORY FEATURES FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA AND HER MOTHER

NEW YORK, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- ESSENCE's May issue celebrates Mother's Day in a special way -- with two of the most popular mothers in the world! In their first interview together, First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother, Marian Shields Robinson, 71, did a sit down interview in the White House during their first photo shoot together to speak to ESSENCE editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray about retaining their family values, what it takes to raise good kids and being role models for the Black community. They were photographed exclusively for ESSENCE at the White House on February 24th.


(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090407/NY95539 )


In the article, A Mother's Love, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Robinson also share their personal thoughts on some of the challenges facing families today and provide practical tips for parents everywhere. In addition, the issue features a special Mother's Day message from President Barack Obama on why he is thankful for his wife and mother-in-law.


"We wanted our ESSENCE readers to see first-hand the dynamic bond between First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Robinson. Both of these ladies are phenomenal women in their own right, and are each others' greatest fans. Their relationship is inspiring -- and they are a wonderful example for mothers and daughters everywhere," said Burt-Murray.


Some of the quotes from the cover story include...

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA ON...


-- ADVANCING THE ROLE OF WOMEN WORLDWIDE: "We have to talk about flex
hours and exercise and nutrition and health and what that means. And
we have to talk about values, and about our relationships with men.
All of those are part of the conversation that I think we need to
have, not just in this country but around the world."


-- COMBATING STEREOTYPICAL IMAGES OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN: "The women
in videos and the stereotypes are just not the truth of who we are as
a community. We already know that because we are living these lives
every single day. It's nice to have this reminder in the White House,
but I would say we don't need it...all you need to do is look around
your own community and you will see this same family in churches and
in schools."

MRS. MARIAN ROBINSON ON...


-- ADVICE ON RAISING CHILDREN: "The main thing that I think needs to be
taught to children is the ability to think and make decisions. You
don't have to have a lot of information, but you have to know how to
get through the process. If you make mistakes you don't [just] decide
I will never do that again."


-- ENJOYING LIFE IN THE WHITE HOUSE: "...I really am. You want to know
why? Because my children are good parents. It makes it very easy to be
a grandmother when your children are good parents."


Visit Essence.com for more on this story and behind-the-scenes images from this photo shoot, and pick up the May 2009 issue of ESSENCE on newsstands now.


Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090407/NY95539
http://photoarchive.ap.org/
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN10
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: ESSENCE Magazine

CONTACT: Dana Baxter, +1-212-522-1634, dbaxter@essence.com, Sheila
Harris, +1-212-522-1089, sharris@essence.com, both of ESSENCE Magazine


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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nobel Prize Winner Professor Muhammad Yunus Leading Delegation From Bangladesh to World Health Care Congress to Advance Affordable Health Care Innovat

7 Apr 2009 16:00 Africa/Lagos

Nobel Prize Winner Professor Muhammad Yunus Leading Delegation From Bangladesh to World Health Care Congress to Advance Affordable Health Care Innovations

Health Care innovations and opportunities attract attendees from more than 35 countries and delegations from over 12 to the 6th Annual World Health Care Congress April 14-16, 2009, Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Professor Muhammad Yunus of the Grameen Bank and a delegation of 12 leaders from Bangladesh will be joining delegations from more than a dozen other countries at the 6th Annual World Health Care Congress, April 14-16, Washington, D.C. Professor Yunus, a 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate will be speaking at the conference regarding the Grameen Healthcare initiative, a program to develop a world-class, sustainable health care network to serve the people of Bangladesh.


"A vital component of our health programs is the accompanying micro-health insurance program to encourage positive health seeking practices. This serves a dual purpose of enhancing utilization of health services and improving cost-recovery to achieve sustainability," states Professor Yunus. "While initial evaluations of the Grameen Clinic network and its health impact are positive, continuous improvements in coverage, disease prevention, quality of care and sustainability remain as top priorities."


The Bangladeshi delegation will be joined by others who will represent the spectrum of foreign health care leaders, from health ministries to hospitals, medical research facilities, pharmaceuticals and media outlets. This year's congress will feature delegations from: China, India, Israel, Romania, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, South Africa, Poland, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Denmark, Canada, and Nigeria. Representatives from more than 35 other countries are also registered.


Countries such as China also will be represented with pavilions that highlight companies that are shaping the future of health care delivery in their home countries.


"The World Health Care Congress is a truly international event, and our international participation continues to grow," said Nicole Garratt, World Health Care Congress president and director. "We strongly encourage everyone to join the global discussion concerning health care. It's exciting to see one conference connect all points on the globe through health care thought leadership and new business opportunities."


As one of its features, the 6th Annual World Health Care Congress will offer a roster of foreign speakers for a two-day International Health Summit, with topics including:


-- Game changing innovations in developing countries that improve the
cost and quality of care
-- Global health's major killers and new medical research efforts
-- Advancing the Electronic Medical Record - UK's lessons learned to
improve physician compliance and quality
-- International partnerships for health care delivery innovation
-- Lessons learned from global hospital and health system shared
experiences and best practices

-- Responses to world public health challenges


About Grameen Healthcare


Grameen Healthcare aims to establish a sustainable health system in Bangladesh that will serve the health needs of all Bangladeshis income levels with low cost and high quality health care. Grameen Healthcare will design low-cost, affordable health services for all of Bangladesh, especially the lowest income women and children, and sustain these services thru social business. In addition to existing social business partnerships with Danone and Veolia, Grameen Healthcare has recently announced partnerships with Pfizer, GE Healthcare, and the Mayo Clinic. Grameen Healthcare continues to gather more new and innovative partners committed to harness best practices to build sustainable business models that can meet the unmet health needs of the poor in Bangladesh.


About Grameen Bank


Grameen Bank (GB) has reversed conventional banking practice by removing the need for collateral and created a banking system based on mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity. GB provides credit to the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh, without any collateral. At GB, credit is a cost effective weapon to fight poverty and it serves as a catalyst in the over all development of socio-economic conditions of the poor who have been kept outside the banking orbit on the grounds that they are poor and hence not bankable. As of January, 2009, it has 7.71 million borrowers, 97 percent of whom are women. With 2,541 branches, GB provides services in 83,744 villages, covering almost 100 percent of the total villages in Bangladesh. Grameen Bank was jointly awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize with its founder Dr. Muhammad Yunus. See http://www.grameen.com/ for additional information.


About the World Health Care Congress


The 6th Annual World Health Care Congress is the most prestigious meeting of chief and senior executives from all sectors of health care. The 2009 conference will convene over 1,700 CEOs, senior executives and government officials from the nation's largest employers, hospitals, health systems, health plans, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and leading government agency policy makers. For more information visit www.worldhealthcarecongress.com


CONTACT: Shadab Mahmud
Program Manager, Grameen Healthcare Support Group
617-953-1665
Shadab.Mahmud@gmail.com

CONTACT: Patrick Golden
Director of Communications, World Congress
781.939.2511
Patrick.golden@worldcongress.com


Source: World Health Care Congress

CONTACT: Shadab Mahmud, Program Manager, Grameen Healthcare Support
Group, +1-617-953-1665, Shadab.Mahmud@gmail.com; or Patrick Golden, Director
of Communications, World Congress, +1-781-939-2511,
Patrick.golden@worldcongress.com


Web Site: http://www.worldhealthcarecongress.com/

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
7 Apr 2009
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Nobel Prize Winner Professor Muhammad Yunus Leading Delegation From Bangladesh to World Health Care Congress to Advance Affordable Health Care Innovations
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Monday, April 6, 2009

Osama bin Laden Can Attack the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria

Monday morning in Lagos, the US warned of possible attacks on embassies in Nigeria. The red alert sent the Nigerian Armed Forces to the streets of Lagos and other major cities and towns in Nigeria, during the rush hours of Monday morning, but the Nigerian soldiers and mobile police officers soon returned to their normal duty posts before sunset.

It was the CNN that reported Sunday night that the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria had received threats of a possible attack on diplomatic missions in Lagos.

"As a result of this information, Nigerian police have heightened their vigilance along Walter Carrington Crescent and are monitoring traffic more closely," the CNN quoted the U.S. Consulate General. Then the embassy warned U.S. citizens in the capital Abuja, and Lagos, to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings in Africa's largest crude oil producer, and fifth largest exporter to the United States.

Osama bin Laden once mentioned Nigeria as one of the targets of his terrorist organization al-Qaeda.

The U.S.Consulate in Lagos is a sitting duck target for terrorists, because of the location near the Atlantic ocean and the lack of enough security. A refuse disposal truck could be used by dare-devil terrorists to attack the consulate from less than 100 meters. So Osama bin Laden can attack US targets in Nigeria as the al-Qaeda did in Kenya and Sudan.


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Nollywood Star Goes To Jail!

Murder Case: Nigerian Superstar Sent To Kirikiri Prison!!!
9jabook.ning.com — The ex-beauty queen, Ibinabo Fiberesima, who has been convicted for the murder of a Lagos medical doctor through reckless driving, appeared in court today as directed by the presiding judge, Justice Deborah Oluwayemi, and was sent to Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison.The judge further ordered that the Medical Director of the prison...


Saturday, April 4, 2009

G-20 Agreement For More Than $1 Trillion in Additional Global Stimulus is Dramatic and Vitally Needed

3 Apr 2009 21:15 Africa/Lagos

G-20 Agreement For More Than $1 Trillion in Additional Global Stimulus is Dramatic and Vitally Needed

Borosage: Leaders Decided To Let Crisis Decide If New Steps Are Necessary

WASHINGTON, April 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Campaign for America's Future co-director Robert Borosage, in Brussels this week for the Global Progressive Forum, said the additional global stimulus is a dramatic and vitally needed initiative. G-20 leaders this week pledged an additional $1.1 trillion in financing to the International Monetary Fund and other global institutions and declared a crackdown on tax havens and hedge funds.


STATEMENT OF ROBERT BOROSAGE


This trillion-dollar commitment for the developing world in this crisis is a dramatic and vitally needed initiative. We also need every major industrialized country to help boost the global economy with bold national, deficit financed, recovery plans. America can't do this alone. Everyone has to grab a bucket and start bailing.


The G-20 leaders chose to agree to agree. The Europeans avoided bold new stimulus commitments. The British and Americans avoided bold new regulation of the financial community. Clearly, the leaders decided to let the crisis decide whether new steps are necessary.


Source: Campaign for America's Future

CONTACT: Rachel Perrone or Jennifer Ettinger, both of Campaign for
America's Future, +1-202-587-1639

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Ed Miliband statement on G20
18:09
Tax Havens and Secrecy Jurisdictions: Not the Beginning of the End But, Perhaps, the End of the Beginning
1 Apr 2009
22:21
Transparency Key to Effective Reform of Global Financial System in G-20 Process
19:04
The Conference Board Maintains That Global Growth Rates Are In Positive Territory
17:22
Bread for the World Urges G-20 Leaders to Include Food Security, Economic Recovery for Poor Countries
13:57
A Way Out of the Crisis


Friday, April 3, 2009

Three Defendants Sentenced in 'Advance-Fee' Fraud Scheme That Cost Victims More Than $1.2 Million

2 Apr 2009 23:55 Africa/Lagos

Three Defendants Sentenced in 'Advance-Fee' Fraud Scheme That Cost Victims More Than $1.2 Million

WASHINGTON, April 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three defendants were sentenced to prison today after pleading guilty in January 2008 to federal charges of running an "advance-fee" scheme that targeted U.S. victims with promises of millions of dollars, Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita M. Glavin of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Benton J. Campbell of the Eastern District of New York announced. The defendants were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dora L. Irizarry at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, N.Y.


Nnamdi Chizuba Anisiobi (a/k/a Yellowman, Abdul Rahman, Michael Anderson, Edmund Walter, Nancy White, Jiggaman and Namo), 31, citizen of Nigeria, was sentenced to 87 months in prison.


Anthony Friday Ehis (a/k/a John J. Smith, Toni N. Amokwu and Mr. T), 34, citizen of France, was sentenced to 57 months in prison.


Kesandu Egwuonwu (a/k/a KeKe, Joey Martin Maxwell, David Mark and Helmut Schkinger), 35, citizen of Nigeria, was sentenced to 57 months in prison.


All three defendants each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, eight counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.


The investigation was initiated by Dutch law enforcement authorities. After identifying victims in the United States, Dutch authorities notified the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which opened its own investigation, resulting in the charges against the defendants. Three of the defendants were arrested in Amsterdam on Feb. 21, 2006, and were subsequently extradited to the United States.


According to the indictment and an earlier filed complaint, the defendants sent "spam" e-mails to thousands of potential victims, in which they falsely claimed to control millions of dollars located abroad. Attempting to conceal their identities, the defendants admitted they used a variety of aliases, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. In one scenario, the defendants sent e-mails purporting to be from an individual suffering from terminal throat cancer who needed assistance distributing approximately $55 million to charity. In exchange for a victim's help, the defendants offered to give a 20 percent commission to the victim or a charity of his or her choice. Subsequently, as part of the ruse, the defendants sent a variety of fraudulent documents, including a "Letter of Authority" or a "Certificate of Deposit," making it appear that the promised funds were available, and pictures of an individual claiming to suffer from throat cancer. The evidence to the court established that Anisiobi telephoned victims, disguising his voice to give the impression that he was suffering from throat cancer.


After obtaining their victims' trust, the defendants asked them to wire-transfer payment for a variety of advance fees, ostensibly for legal representation, taxes and additional documentation. In return, the victims received nothing. In a variation of the scheme, if the victims said they could not afford to pay the advance fees, the defendants admitted they would send them counterfeit checks, supposedly from a cancer patient, to cover those fees. Many victims deposited the checks and then drew on them to wire-transfer the advance fees. Subsequently, when the checks did not clear their accounts, the victims suffered substantial losses.


The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by Fraud Section Trial Attorneys Mary (Kit) Dimke, Amanda Riedel, and Nicola Mrazek, Paralegal Pamela Johnson, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Y. Hill.


Source: U.S. Department of Justice

CONTACT: U.S. Department of Justice, +1-202-514-2007, TDD
+1-202-514-1888


Web Site: http://www.usdoj.gov/


Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Financial Boost for Businesses in Developing Countries from the UK Government

2 Apr 2009 11:20 Africa/Lagos

New financial boost for businesses in developing countries from the UK Government

London, 2 April/GNN/ --

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT News Release (G20) issued by COI
News Distribution Service on 2 April 2009
Businesses in developing countries are struggling to survive due to the
economic downturn and need urgent financial support, said Secretary of State
for International Development Douglas Alexander.

At the London Summit, world leaders are working to stabilise financial markets
and help families and businesses across the world to get through the recession.

And the UK Government today (THURS) intends to take practical action to
support firms across the globe, helping stimulate trade in developing
countries and ensuring sustainable growth.

This will be done through the World Bank's new initiative called the Global
Trade Liquidity Programme (GTLP) set up to support small and medium businesses
by helping address the trade finance shortage in developing countries through
international banks.

The UK Government, through its development finance institution CDC, intends
to make a contribution of up to £300m to the GTLP.

Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander said:
"Private sector businesses are an essential engine of growth and play a vital
role in stimulating global trade, which provides a lifeline to millions of
people across the globe.

"People in developing countries have been disproportionately hard-hit by the
economic crisis. This money will help firms keep going during the difficult
climate and help to protect and create jobs.

"This is not an initiative to help make commercial banks richer.

Participating banks must all commit to using the money to support trade in
developing countries. In the first phase, this will include Kenya, Angola,
Ghana, Nigeria, Mauritius, Malawi, Mozambique, Seychelles and Zambia." The
proposed sum alone could help fund beween £2bn and £3bn of trade over the next
two years, helping small and medium firms to import and export products. The
UK money will be invested in the GTLP on a loan basis.

The shortage in trade finance, due to the current economic crisis, is a
significant threat to world trade - already projected to decline by about
nine per cent this year. The World Trade Organisation has suggested there
could be a global shortfall of between $100bn and $300bn.

Notes to Editors:

1. The GTLP, which is due to become operational May, will provide capital to
international banks specialising in trade finance in the developing world
over a period of two, may be three years. The programme raises funds from
development finance institutions, governments, and works through global
and regional banks to extend trade finance to importers and exporters in
developing countries.

The GTLP will be based on a commitment of $1bn from IFC, a member of the
World Bank Group. The IFC is seeking a further $3bn to $4bn from donors. It
is expected to support up to $50bn of trade over three years.

2. CDC is the UK Government's development finance institution. CDC's mission
is to generate wealth by providing capital for investment in sustainable and
responsibly managed private sector businesses. It uses its own balance sheet
to invest in private equity funds focused on the emerging markets of south
Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. For further information visit www.cdcgroup.com

For more information call the DFID press office on 0207 023 0600.

DFID, the Department for International Development: leading the British
government's fight against world poverty. One in five people in the world
today, over 1 billion people, live in poverty on less than one dollar a
day. Information Department 1 Palace Street, London SW1E 5HE.

Website: www.dfid.gov.uk
Press enquiries 020 7023 0600 (overseas +44 20 7023 0600)
Public enquiries 0845 300 4100 (overseas +44 1355 84 3132)



Source: Department for International Development



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