Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nigeria: Civil War Looms As Federal Troops Invade Niger Delta

A Niger Delta militant in full battle gear.

Fears of another internecine civil war loom large in Nigeria 42 years after the last civil war that claimed over one million lives and left over 20 million people as refugees. Over 1, 000 people have been killed and over 20, 000 others displaced when the ruthless troops of the Nigerian Armed Forces invaded the Niger Delta of Nigeria last week.

The Niger Delta region has been under siege as federal troops and militants engaged in bloody war over illegal oil bunkering and resource control of the oil rich south-south states of Nigeria.

The Joint Task Force (JTF) of the Nigerian Armed Forces declared total war on the rebel forces of Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and launched a land, sea and air operation on Gbaramatu Kingdom and other villages in the creeks of the Delta State after the militant rebels killed 10 military officers at Camp 5 in Oporoza. Several villages have been bombed and razed in the siege, but the guerrillas of MEND have been able to repel the 7000 troops, gunboats and jet bombers of the JTF.

Militants have been kidnapping oil workers and destroying oil installations of the multinational oil companies and reducing the production of crude oil by a quarter in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa and eighth largest oil producer in the world. The Niger Delta militants called freedom fighters want more control of their oil and gas and better life for the oil communities devastated by decades of both legal and illegal oil exploration.

As the federal troops continued the bombardment of rebel camps and villages in the creeks, leading human rights groups have sent peace delegations to Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain and other world leaders to persuade the Federal Government of Nigeria to end the siege to reduce the growing humanitarian crisis in the Niger Delta.

~ Orikinla Osinachi, reporting from Nigeria.

Previous News Reports:

Michael Chima

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

$20 Billion of Oil and Gas Deals Currently on the Market

28 May 2009 16:00 Africa/Lagos

$20 Billion of Oil and Gas Deals Currently on the Market

Derrick Petroleum Services Completes Special M&A Study

HOUSTON, May 28/PRNewswire/ -- Derrick Petroleum Services ("Derrick") has completed a comprehensive study of the Top 1000 global oil and gas companies and identified in excess of $20 billion of oil and gas assets currently for sale worldwide, consisting of 69 separately announced transactions. The study focuses on deals with an estimated value greater than $10 million.

North America leads the inventory with over $9 billion (or roughly 45% of value); followed by Africa (22%) with the North Sea, Rest of Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and Middle East rounding out the pack with deals valued at between $500 million to $1.5 billion.

In North America, the most prized deal is the multi-billion dollar interest Devon Energy is offering in its four discoveries (Kaskida, Cascade, Jack and St. Malo) in the emerging Lower tertiary trend in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Onshore resource style plays (shale gas and oilsands) remain quite active. Notably, Shell and EnCana are looking for a partner to develop 30,000 acres of exploration leases in the Haynesville shale gas play of north Louisiana and east Texas. In Canada, UTS Energy rejected the revised $677 million cash bid by Total E&P Canada in April as inadequate and continues working with its financial advisors, RBC Capital and TD Securities, to maximize shareholder value. UTS Energy has 1.7 billion barrels of net contingent bitumen resources in the Athabasca Oil Sands area of Alberta.

Internationally, Africa is exciting with numerous deals. In Ghana, two partners have put interests on the market in the world class offshore Jubilee field (estimated 1.2 billion barrels equivalent of gross recoverable reserves). Other deals are available in Uganda, Angola, Kenya, Egypt, Cote D'Ivoire, Nigeria, Gabon, Cameroon and Namibia. In other parts of the world, significant deals in play include development projects in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, which now has an improving political and security environment. In Indonesia, BP is seeking to harvest its 46% interest in the prolific Offshore North West Java block, which includes 670 producing wells, 170 platforms and 1,600 km of subsea pipelines. Chevron has retained Scotia Waterous to sell its interest in 13 separate concessions in the Austral and Nequen basins of Argentina which were producing nearly 4,500 b/d of gross oil and 54 MMcf/d of gross gas in late 2008. In Australia, Woodside Petroleum has put its Otway project, offshore Victoria, on the market.

"Due primarily to the whipsaw in oil and gas prices over the past 12 months, our analysis highlights an unusually high quality and diverse set of world class opportunities, particularly for well-heeled buyers seeking long term assets in early stage development," according to Yashodeep Deodhar, CEO of Derrick Petroleum Services. "These are not distressed assets put on the market by distressed companies. Quite the contrary, we have identified numerous opportunities by first class operators who are simply managing their forward risk profiles and laying off a portion of development capital. We foresee the recent trend of national oil companies (NOCs) and government backed oil companies dominating the buy side to continue."

In completing the study, Derrick also reviewed past M&A activity and trends. "In contrast to the first half of 2008 where seven of the top ten buyers were western companies; so far this year, only three of ten buyers are western. Buyers of significant deals have recently been mostly NOCs and government-backed companies such as IPIC (Abu Dhabi), CNPC (China), KNOC (Korea) and Ecopetrol (Colombia)," according to Deodhar.

"In addition to tracking deal activity, value trends regionally and globally, and deals in play, we also continuously monitor companies with financial dry powder and a desire to do more deals. Currently, notables on this list include Norway's StatoilHydro, Colombia's Ecopetrol, China's Sinopec, France's Total, United States' Apache Corporation and Canada's Talisman Energy. These companies alone have over $20 billion of capability," concludes Deodhar.

Derrick Petroleum Services is an independent oil and gas research and consulting firm. Its team of twenty analysts maintains Upstream Oil and Gas activity databases for a global client base. The Company's databases have worldwide coverage, with special emphasis on emerging plays and international transactions. The Company maintains sales offices in Houston and London.

For more information:

Additional information regarding Derrick Petroleum Services and its products is available on the Company's website at

For further details of the study, kindly email

Yashodeep Deodhar
Derrick Petroleum Services

Source: Derrick Petroleum Services

Per: Yashodeep Deodhar, CEO, Derrick Petroleum Services,; Media Contact: Brian Lidsky, Vice President - North American Sales, Tel: +1-832-715-3539

27 May 2009
11:00 Bristow Acquires 42.5% of Lider, Brazil's Largest Helicopter Services Company
26 May 2009
13:00 TED Conferences Announces 25 TED Fellows for TEDGlobal in Oxford
22 May 2009
15:31 New Initiative Poised To Reduce Maternal Mortality Rates By More Than 25 Percent
13:58 China Dominates the Global Aluminium Industry
12:00 Bristow Group Announces Preferred Dividend

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why the DHL is Better than the UPS and other Courier Services in Nigeria

Why the DHL is Better than the UPS and other Courier Services in Nigeria

I have been using the DHL and other local and international courier services in Nigeria for over twenty years and from experience the DHL has proved to be the best.
The DHL delivers on schedule without hitches and the customer service is first class in their customer relations. The DHL has very efficient and proficient staff and the receptionists are disciplined and polite.

The UPS has not been as efficient and proficient as the DHL in Nigeria. The reception at the UPS head office in Lagos lacks good customer relations. When I did not receive any notification of the delivery of the package I paid to be sent to the United States, I called the UPS desk clerk who collected it from me, but she has not responded till date and of course I have been disappointed and I am giving the UPS two thumbs down for poor customer relations.

The management of your customers will determine their response to your service.
If you fail to impress your customers, they will be turned off and go to other places where they would be well treated, efficiently and politely.

I cannot recommend the local courier service companies, because my company has lost very important packages we paid them to deliver and they could not give any good account of the whereabouts for over seven months. Most of them are not trustworthy.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

IndieFlix Unveils New Indie Film Distribution Model at Cannes

20 May 2009 10:38 Africa/Lagos

IndieFlix Unveils New Indie Film Distribution Model at Cannes

CANNES, France, May 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- IndieFlix CEO Scilla Andreen launched today an international tour to introduce new distribution models for independent films, highlighting her company's premium packaging of Andrew Robinson's "April Showers," based on the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.

For the film, IndieFlix has identified a core audience segment of 30 million U.S. moviegoers and is providing them not only with the most number of ways to view it, but also with the tools to use the movie as a platform for social change.

The campaign is one of a series of release stages, carefully sequenced to build audience influence.

Rather than compete headlong against Hollywood studio films in the entertainment section of major newspapers, "April Showers" made its debut instead as part of a national conversation on the future of learning in America. In that context, Robinson's story as a survivor of the Columbine shootings was covered by the broadcast and print media as a national news item even before its initial theatrical release. As a result, Robinson quickly became a sought-after commentator and discussion leader.

Meanwhile, IndieFlix mounted a comprehensive online distribution campaign hot on the heels of the theatrical engagements. Working with a network of the biggest names in online delivery, IndieFlix was able to offer "April Showers" directly to moviegoers across all platforms.

However, the distributor's real focus was on coordinating this stage of the release with a range of social networking strategies. This effort brought in the highest-quality feedback from the most influential audience segments. At this point, it became obvious that "April Showers" had connected with an audience ready to champion the film in settings where it would have the greatest impact, namely, in schools and with community groups.

To create a package that would redefine educational distribution, IndieFlix teamed up with the April Showers Foundation, created by Robinson and the film's producers, and with School Safety Partners, a Denver organization with deep ties with school administrators and educational funding sources. Together, they reached out to national and international experts in student development and school safety, and were greeted with an outpouring of social change and capacity-building resources that could be added to the school edition of "April Showers."

This multiplied the distribution possibilities. IndieFlix is now able to offer greater value to organizational buyers of the film, who typically pay a premium license fee. In addition, the package has generated cause marketing opportunities for corporate sponsors, and discussions are underway to provide a sponsored distribution of the "April Showers" educational edition to every school in the United States.

As Andreen oversees a state-by-state educational rollout, she expects that this stage of distribution will lead not only to broader DVD and Blu-ray distribution, but also to broadcast airings of the film that are treated as must-see television events.

Her worldwide tour to discuss new distribution models to the independent film and video community includes visits to dozens of film festivals and appearances at financing conferences. Filmmakers interested in learning more are encouraged to visit, which currently represents more than 2,000 titles.

Source: IndieFlix

CONTACT: John Simmons, +1-303-548-3816,, for IndieFlix

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
20 May 2009
IndieFlix Unveils New Indie Film Distribution Model at Cannes
19 May 2009
Morgan Creek Productions Hosts Annual VIP Brunch at Moulin de Mougins During the 62nd Festival de Cannes

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Top Proxy Voting Advisors Recommend Teamsters' Country Selection Criteria Proposal at Chevron

18 May 2009 21:24 Africa/Lagos

Top Proxy Voting Advisors Recommend Teamsters' Country Selection Criteria Proposal at Chevron

RiskMetrics Group, PROXY Governance Support Transparency on Chevron's Country Risks Assessments

WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In recent reports, two leading independent proxy advisory firms -- RiskMetrics Group and PROXY Governance, Inc. -- recommended shareholders vote for the Teamsters' shareholder proposal calling on Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) to disclose the criteria under which it starts and ends investments in high-risk countries such as Burma. The proposal, listed as item No. 8 on the proxy card, goes to a vote at Chevron's May 27, 2009 annual meeting of shareholders.

"We're very pleased that both RiskMetrics Group and PROXY Governance, Inc. are supporting our call for Chevron to be transparent about the standards it uses to assess high-risk countries for potential or continued investment," said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer C. Thomas Keegel. "Chevron's decisions related to Burma -- whose ruling military regime is notorious for brutal human rights violations -- expose the company to staggering risks and raise questions about the adequacy of Chevron's current country selection criteria."

Chevron, in partnership with Total of France, the Petroleum Authority of Thailand, and Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise, holds equity in the largest investment project in Burma: the Yadana gas-field and pipeline, which is reportedly the single largest source of income for the Burmese military regime.

Through its stake in the Yadana project, Chevron has exposed the company to extraordinary legal and financial risks arising from litigation for human rights abuses, the risk of expropriation or impairment of assets by the Burmese military regime, and substantial reputation and political risks that could affect Chevron's bottom line. Chevron also does business in other high-risk countries, including Angola, Kazakhstan, and Nigeria.

Chevron's current country selection criteria are opaque, and investors lack the information they need to evaluate Chevron's in-country risk oversight procedures and make informed choices regarding Chevron's governance.

Co-filers joining the Teamsters' demand for disclosure include the AFL-CIO, Ms. Adelaide Gomer, The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Mercy Investment Program, Newground Social Investment, the Unitarian Universalist Association, and the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Source: International Brotherhood of Teamsters

CONTACT: Galen Munroe of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters,

Web Site:

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
18 May 2009
People Who Know Foreigners or Travel More Likely to See Themselves as Global Citizens: Global Survey
Top Proxy Voting Advisors Recommend Teamsters' Country Selection Criteria Proposal at Chevron

She is Not the Only One in Nigeria

She Came in the Stormy Weather.

It was a stormy morning in Lagos as the fuel scarcity worsened and going about your business of survival was now more hectic in these interesting times in Nigeria.
Then she walked into my office as the stormy wind blew in the looming torrential rain.
She told me she was depressed and broke down in tears.
I put my right arm around her shoulders and gave her my white handkerchief to wipe her tears away and I also used my fingers to wipe her teardrops before they trickled to her rosy cheeks. Then she unburdened her heart and soul to me.
She was in dire need of money and work.
She was tired of waking up every day and having no job. She wished she could be like many of her mates who are gainfully employed.
“I feel useless,” she lamented.
“You are not useless. You can never be useless,” I said as I comforted her.
We spoke at length and she was soon relieved as she could now smile and even shared jokes with me about romance on Facebook.
“Guys are even picking up girls on Facebook,” she said.
She mentioned one of my pals who picked up two Nigerian babes on Facebook and laid them within a month.
Wow! So they could come so cheap and stupid on Facebook. But I quickly dropped the subject and focused on her overcoming the blues of her depression and unemployment.
Well, she is not the only girl or woman who is feeling depressed these days.
These are not the best of times for single girls and women who are jobless in Nigeria.
The meltdown of the Nigerian capital market made many banks and other companies to lose billions of naira and they are no longer employing more applicants as they would have loved to and in fact some leading banks may retrench their workers soon.
Many people lost millions of naira and they took loans to invest in the capital market and are desperate to find money to pay back the loans.
Many guys are presently in financial mess and they cannot provide for their babes again. There is no romance without finance. The reality sucks.
So many of the affected babes are depressed if they are not employed to provide for themselves.
“I don’t want to rely on any man for my needs. I want to work,” she said.
Many girls and women use their wits to play many guys to provide for their needs, but the consequences could be destructive in the end. So, I was glad she asked for assistance in getting a good job.

Did You See Lars von Trier's 'Antichrist'?

I do not know if the accredited Nigerian journalists at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival were at the screening of Lars von Trier's 'Antichrist' that is already competing for this year's Palme d'Or, because none of them has even mentioned it to me, while the film is currently the buzz of the moment at Cannes.
Of course it an art film and it generated the mixed reactions the director expected.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Is The PDP A Political Party Or A Political Cult?

Is The PDP A Political Party Or A Political Cult?

Is the People's Democratic Party (PDP) a political party or a political cult?

If you ask the founders like Chief Alex Ekwueme, a former vice president of Nigeria (1979–83), and Jerry Gana, they would not be surprised that I asked the above question.

Occultism is common practice among the leading politicians in this party, I also regard as the most corrupt political party in Africa.

Ask their elected public office holders how they got elected.

Audio Bibles Reaching Oral Cultures

15 May 2009 12:04 Africa/Lagos

Audio Bibles Reaching Oral Cultures

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Faith Comes By Hearing, the world's foremost Audio Bible ministry, recently released Audio Bibles in eight more languages.

-- French (Parole de Vie) -- Canada
-- Romane Vlax -- Chile
-- Kikongo -- Democratic Republic of the Congo
-- Kiswahili, Congo -- Democratic Republic of the Congo
-- Kituba -- Democratic Republic of the Congo
-- Mumuye -- Nigeria
-- Konkani -- India

-- Madurese -- Indonesia

These new Audio Bibles represent more than 32 million people on five continents.

Research shows that half of the world's people can't read. So, of the people who speak these languages, that means about 16 million are completely cut off from the written Word.

Audio Bibles for Oral Cultures

"Most of the world's people live in oral cultures," said Morgan Jackson, Faith Comes By Hearing's international director. "They learn about their history and transmit their values through songs, chants, stories and drama."

"But when they listen to the Bible, oral people don't separate themselves from the stories. As they listen they are drawn in and find themselves, in their minds, walking alongside Jesus."

"When the Kabiye people of Togo heard the Word of God in their language for the first time, their reaction was 'God speaks our language. We don't need a translator to talk to God. God can address us directly.' And, for so many around the world, they've been told and taught that God doesn't understand their prayers," Jackson said.

Faith Comes By Hearing is working with other Bible-related ministries to bring the Word of God to every nation, tribe and tongue.

With each month, Faith Comes By Hearing comes closer to their goal of recording the New Testament in 2,000 languages by the year 2016. When accomplished, the Audio Bibles in those languages will reach more than 90% of the world's speakers.

Faith Comes By Hearing now has 432 Audio Scripture recordings available in 366 languages. Nearly 400 of these Audio Bibles are available for free download at

Source: Faith Comes By Hearing

CONTACT: Jon Wilke of Faith Comes By Hearing, +1-505-881-3321,

Web Site:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Re: Nigeria Surpasses Hollywood As World's Second Largest Film Producer – UN

5 May 2009 – The Nigerian film industry has overtaken Hollywood and closed the gap on India, the global leader in the number of movies produced each year, according to a new United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report released today.

According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) survey, Bollywood – as the Mumbai-based film industry is known – produced 1,091 feature-length films in 2006. In comparison, Nigeria’s moviemakers, commonly known as Nollywood, came out with 872 productions – all in video format – while the United States produced 485 major films

~ UN News Centre

The fact that Nigeria is the largest producer of home video movies in the world is not the issue, but to tackle the problem of the poor quality of the productions.

If Nigerians want to celebrate a UNESCO Report on being the second largest producer of feature-length movies in the world, they can do so, but they must not celebrate the mediocrity of their Nollywood, lest they continue to be the laughing stock of the Hollywood and Bollywood.

It is ridiculous for Nigeria to boast of making over 1,000 movies annually, but not a single one has even qualified for screening at the Cannes Film Festival and most of them cannot make the box office in America!
How many Nollywood movies have been shown in cinemas?
What we should be proud of, is quality and not quantity.

You must improve and perfect your craft and art, no matter the format of the media.
Quality has no substitute.

African Development Report 2008-2009

African Development Report 2008-2009, Focus on Conflict Resolution, Peace And Reconstruction in Africa.


By Emergency: Sudan; West Africa; Uganda; Sahel Humanitarian Crisis; Great Lakes; Somalia; Central African Republic; Chad; Southern Africa Humanitarian Crisis; Zimbabwe; Kenya; Eritrea-Ethiopia
By Country: Sudan (the); Sierra Leone; Uganda; Niger (the); Democratic Republic of the Congo (the); Côte d'Ivoire; Somalia; Central African Republic (the); Chad; Burundi; Congo (the); Rwanda; United Republic of Tanzania (the); Mozambique; South Africa; Angola; Zambia; Zimbabwe; Liberia; Kenya; Ethiopia; Eritrea
By Source: African Development Bank (AfDB)
By Type: Press Releases

Click here to read and download the complete report

UPDATE: Christmas Comes to Cannes

16 May 2009 02:20 Africa/Lagos

UPDATE: Christmas Comes to Cannes


DATE: MONDAY, MAY 18, 2009
RSVP: RSVP to Derek Del Rossi via mail or cell 917-434-9106.

On Monday, May 18, Christmas will come to Cannes when Jim Carrey (Yes Man, Horton Hears a Who!), Colin Firth (Mamma Mia!, St Trinian's) and director Robert Zemeckis (Back to The Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit), break out the yuletide spirit early to unveil "DISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL." Following a festive photo opportunity on the Croisette in front of the Carlton Hotel, the spectacular press event will launch seven months of global anticipation of this exciting reimagining of Charles Dickens' classic tale, which opens in theaters nationwide on November 6, 2009.

"DISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL," a multi-sensory thrill ride re-envisioned by Academy Award(R)-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, captures the fantastical essence of the classic Dickens tale in a groundbreaking 3D motion picture event.

Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) begins the Christmas holiday with his usual miserly contempt, barking at his faithful clerk (Gary Oldman) and his cheery nephew (Colin Firth). But when the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come take him on an eye-opening journey revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he must open his heart to undo years of ill will before it's too late.


The very first film clip from "DISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL," along with edited highlights and b-roll of the launch event, will be available to media via two satellite feeds, including b-roll of the launch event (12 p.m. ET) and a full edited package (2 p.m. ET)

Walt Disney Pictures presents "DISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL," directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Zemeckis, Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke.

For more information please contact Derek Del Rossi at or 917-434-9106.



Please find following the coordinates for "DISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL," in Cannes satellite feeds on Monday, May 18, 2009.

There will be two feeds:

EVENT B-ROLL 12:00-12:30 p.m. ET


MAY 18TH 12:00-12:30 p.m. EASTERN
DVS PHONE 818-841-6750

MAY 18TH 2-2:30 p.m. EASTERN
DVS PHONE 818-841-6750

/PRNewswire --May 15/

Source: DISNEY

Friday, May 15, 2009

Avon & Expresion en Corto to Launch 'Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Short Film Contest' During Cannes Film Festival

15 May 2009 16:22 Africa/Lagos

Avon & Expresion en Corto to Launch 'Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Short Film Contest' During Cannes Film Festival

CANNES, France, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Avon Products Inc. and the Expresion en Corto International Film Festival (Mexico) have joined forces to launch the "Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Short Film Contest" during this year's Cannes Film Festival in France.

(Photo: )
(Photo: )

The short film competition, which accepts and awards short films and documentaries whose content or themes deal with domestic violence issues, originated in Mexico in 2007 as part of a joint project between Avon Mexico and Expresion en Corto, and has been held on two previous occasions.

"Avon Mexico's social commitment started a long time ago, and we realized that for years, domestic violence was never addressed publicly although it was pervasive throughout the country. We have been working for the last five years with young people to make them aware of this issue and to maximize our impact this year Avon and Expresion en Corto are pleased to launch this competition internationally during the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival. With this initiative Avon reaffirms its commitment to become a pioneer by raising our voice for a better tomorrow without domestic violence!" commented Jorge Martinez-Quiroga, General Manager of Avon Mexico.

The competition will be launched on May 15th during the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, the most important film event in the world, with more than 4,000 journalists in attendance among the 30,000 accreditees, representing the entire spectrum of the motion-picture industry. Over its 60+ year history, Cannes has solidified itself as the most respected film festival in the world and become synonymous with the glamorous, trendsetting and fashionable lifestyle that its guests, stars and the media celebrate throughout the festival.

The "Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Short Film Contest" will be officially launched during a presentation to be held on Friday, May 15, 2009, between 12:00pm - 1:00pm within the Short Film Corner, the most important platform in the world for short film distribution and the most visible location within the Marche du Film, where producers, international sellers, distributors and financiers meet up in Cannes to make the deals for tomorrow's films. Immediately following the presentation there will be a screening of the "Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Short Film Contest" program to be held in one of the Marche du Film screening rooms within the Palais des Festivals et des Congres from 1:30pm and 3:30pm.

The program, representing the best films from the first two years of the "Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Short Film Contest," will be directly viewable on more than 40 screens within the Digital Film Library and highlights of the films will be found in the Short Film Corner's official program catalog and website. This Digital Film Library can be viewed by festival guests, industry professionals, top festival programmers, television stations, media outlets, producers and distributors looking to program and purchase content.

"Avon Products Inc. and Expresion en Corto share a mutual belief in the power of film," commented Carol Kurzig, President of The Avon Foundation for Women, "not only as a medium that reflects the state of a society, but also as a vehicle with long-lasting and far-reaching impact, especially amongst today's youth, which is capable of transcending all areas of society."

Around the world, one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family. In the U.S., where the Avon Foundation is located, the statistics are staggering: every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten, and domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women -- more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined. According to National Institute for Mexican Women (INMUJERES), domestic violence affects some 44 percent of Mexican women, being emotional violence the most common type with 38 percent, followed economic violence with 23 percent.

Studies suggest that up to 10 million children in America witness some form of domestic violence annually, and nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.

"We are pleased to invite filmmakers from around the world to reflect and react upon this important topic and help raise awareness against the problem of domestic violence within our society," commented Sarah Hoch, the Executive Director of Expresion en Corto International Film Festival. "We would also like to encourage programmers to collaborate with us in bringing these important films to wider audiences around the world by inviting the program for future screenings at festivals and events," added Hoch.

During its inaugural program in 2007, the "Speak Out" competition received 65 short films from 9 countries and from 10 States within Mexico. In 2008 the contest received 92 short films from 23 countries and from 12 States within Mexico. Short films of up to 15 minutes in length are accepted in the categories of Fiction, Documentary, Animation and Experimental.

The contest will be announced once again during Expresion en Corto in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico, on Friday, July 31st, during the Women In Film and Television Luncheon, before the festival's invited guests and assembled media. The competition will close on Thursday, October 1st, the Deadline for Entries. The third edition of the "Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Short Film Contest" will culminate during the Awards Ceremony to be held on Tuesday, November 24th, at the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City, when the 2009 award winners will be announced. Cash prizes totaling $100,000.00 Mexican Pesos will be awarded to the top three films in competition.

For additional information on the "Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Short Film Contest," the official Call for Entries and online Registration form can all be found on:

ABOUT The Avon Foundation for Women: The Avon Foundation for Women is a U.S. based philanthropy founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and their families. Today it focuses on two causes: breast cancer and domestic violence, which are consistently rated as top concerns of women worldwide through 2008, Avon global philanthropy had raised and awarded more than $660 million in over 50 countries.

ABOUT the Expresion en Corto International Film Festival: Expresion en Corto is Mexico's largest competitive film festival and the most prestigious of its kind in Latin America. The non-profit festival has been held since 1997 during the final week of July in the two colonial cities of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico. The festival does not charge admission to its viewing audience and estimates an attendance of over 72,000 total audience members, while receiving over 2,000 works from more than 80 participating countries in its international competition. It presents a variety of films, conferences, workshops, tributes and activities at no cost to the visiting public.
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN 5,6

Source: Avon Products Inc.

CONTACT: Debora Coffey of Avon Products, Inc., +1-212-282-8187, or fax,
+1-212-282-6613,; or Araceli Becerril Martin of Avon
Cosmetics, +52-55-9138-4191, or fax, +52-55-9138-4364,

Web Site:

Revealing New Report on Monetizing Social Media Predicts Everyone Will Be Profitable Except Facebook

15 May 2009 15:30 Africa/Lagos

Revealing New Report on Monetizing Social Media Predicts Everyone Will Be Profitable Except Facebook

Noted analyst Lauren Rich Fine compares leading social network to a mall, suggesting "it might be time to start charging rent"

Breakthrough report launched at EconSM: Social Meets Mobile conference in San Francisco, hosted by paidContent and mocoNews

SAN FRANCISCO, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- A revealing new report on monetizing social media predicts everyone but facebook stands to make money under the current business structure of leading social networks. The study, the latest from ContentNext Media, Inc. and authored by renowned analyst Lauren Rich Fine, compares the top social network to a local mall, suggesting "it might be time to start charging rent" to be on the platform, as mobile carriers already do.

As things stand, "there's a real danger that application developers who use the facebook platform will become quite profitable while the host corporation will not," says Fine. "Advertising on social nets will never be commensurate with the amount of time people spend on them. And facebook has made several failed attempts at innovative marketing efforts that members loudly rejected."

Other findings from the report:
-- There has been more than $25.5 billion in social media M&A and
investment activity in 902 transactions over the past 27 months.
-- Gaming is the largest sub-category in VC funding -- with more than
$800 million raised.

-- Outside of gaming, excitement around virtual currency could come to a
screeching halt given the predominant "novelty" factor present in the

"The merging of social and mobile is upon us," adds Fine. "And there are proven successful strategies that social network companies can adopt from the mobile carrier model."

In her analysis last month of the mobile industry, Fine warned not to expect mobile growth to be a panacea. "Concern and confusion over costs and hardware could mute near-term growth," she cautions.

"The Changing Mobile Industry and What It Means for Media Executives" is part of ContentNext Media's highly regarded report series that also includes in-depth looks at digital music, online news and political sites, online fantasy sports, Web content-management systems, and a piercing dissection of the latest online ad forecasts.

"With this pair of reports, ContentNext Media continues its leadership role in identifying and analyzing the most important issues and opportunities in digital media," said Nathan Richardson, CEO of ContentNext Media. "Lauren's seasoned and deep insights into the financial nuances of the media industry, combined with our comprehensive expertise in the most important business trends and issues in the sector, create an unparalleled level of insight and advice for the unique challenges facing decision makers in the media industry today."

"Following the Money: An Analysis of Business Strategies and Dealmaking in Social Media" is available now for $295.

About ContentNext Media Reports

ContentNext Media Reports are the most comprehensive way to gain access to key insights and extensive data on the digital media industry. Led by renowned former Merrill Lynch equity research analyst Lauren Rich Fine, each report includes an in-depth analysis into consumer and industry trends, major issues impeding growth, and where dollars are flowing, including a thorough review of the M&A and VC funding transactions within and related to the industry. The reports are prepared for decision-makers within the digital media, traditional media, entertainment, publishing, and advertising agencies, corporate strategy and business development teams, investment banks, venture capital institutions, private equity firms, and law & accounting firms. A complete list of reports is available at

About ContentNext Media, Inc.

ContentNext Media, Inc., a Guardian News & Media company based in Santa Monica, California and New York City, covers the business of digital media. The company operates,, and paidContent:UK. Founded by journalist Rafat Ali in 2002, the company's news sites chronicle the economic evolution of digital content that is shaping the future of the media, information and entertainment industries. Our belief is that in the near future, all media will be digital media, and we are helping define sustainable business models and innovation within this sector. ContentNext Media is online at

Source: ContentNext Media

CONTACT: Jennifer Harris,, or Sharon Oh,, Brainerd Communicators, Inc., +1-212-986-6667, both for
ContentNext Media

Web Site:

Nigerians Report News Video Coverage of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival

Official Selection 2009 Cannes Film Festival

Members of the Jury

President of the Jury is French actress, Isabelle Huppert.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

See You in Cannes 2

See You in Cannes 2

I have just seen the Publisher of Supple magazine off to France at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos. He and Justice from This Day newspaper will be on the Air France to Nice from where they will go to Cannes to join the thousands of accredited journalists, filmmakers, movie stars, film aficionados and others from all over the world for the 62nd Festival de Cannes.
Faruk Lasaki the director of Changing Faces, the most successful Nigerian movie so far left for Cannes last Tuesday accompanied by his sister Kemi Lasaki and one of his office workers. Fidelis Duker and his amiable wife Temitope left for Cannes last Night. The delegation of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) will be at the Nigerian pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival, but I do not know if any Nigerian movie has qualified for screening or the competition. Going to Cannes is not a big deal, but competing for the highest honours is the real deal. Nollywood buffs boast that it is the third largest “film” industry in the world, but unfortunately none of the Nollywood movies has even qualified for official screening and the competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The last Nigerian delegation to Cannes turned it into a jamboree and became the laughing stock of the Cannes Film Festival for their extravagant party.
What were they celebrating?
Were they celebrating their failure to qualify for screening and competition?
I have addressed the celebration of Nigerian mediocrity in the emphasis on quality than quality in Nollywood in Mirror of Beauty and the Mirror of Nigerian Ignorance of the Cannes published on Kisses ‘n’ Roses in May 2008.

Nigerians love celebrating mediocrity and as shown in their disorganized music industry and film industry, most Nigerians careless about professionalism in entertainment.
I hope that the Nigerian delegation to Cannes would not be disgraced again.

~ Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima
Michael Chima is the Media Consultant of Supple magazine in Nigeria and he is also a producer and scriptwriter who is currently working on his first feature film.

13:15 Christian Audigier to Celebrate Birthday With a Bash During 2009 Cannes Film Festival

Monday, May 11, 2009

Iran Must Free Roxana Saberi!

Breaking News: Roxana Saberi will be released from jail

Freedom: Roxana Saberi will be released from jail

10 May 2009 13:00 Africa/Lagos

An Open Letter From the International Women's Media Foundation

WASHINGTON, May 10 /PRNewswire/ --

H. E. Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Head of the Judiciary
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Re: Roxana Saberi

Your Excellency Ayatollah Shahroudi:

We write on behalf of the International Women's Media Foundation ("IWMF"). IWMF is deeply troubled by the arrest, trial, and conviction of journalist Roxana Saberi. We believe her continued imprisonment violates the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as we understand it, and also violates universal notions of free speech, free press, and due process. We write to urge you to intervene on her behalf and respectfully request that you provide a copy of our letter to the honorable judges reviewing her conviction.

IWMF has a strong interest in seeing justice done in Ms. Saberi's case. IWMF is a global network dedicated to strengthening the role of women in the news media worldwide as a means to further freedom of the press. For almost two decades, IWMF has been committed to supporting and honoring women journalists around the globe in their efforts to freely gather and report the news.

Ms. Saberi, a citizen of both the United States and Iran, was arrested in Tehran in January of this year, and detained, according to your nation's Foreign Ministry, for reporting without proper government-issued press credentials. Following a one-day trial held last month behind closed doors, Ms. Saberi was convicted of espionage. She was sentenced to eight years in prison, and is currently being held in Evin Prison in Tehran where she awaits a ruling on her appeal.

At the time of her arrest, Ms. Saberi was working as a freelance reporter for a number of international news organizations, including the United States' National Public Radio and the United Kingdom's British Broadcasting Corporation, and was writing a book on Iran's culture, art, and politics. These activities represent a fundamental exercise of the rights to free speech and a free press that are hallmarks of a strong government, and vital to the health and prosperity of all nations. They warrant protection, not punishment.

Journalists like Ms. Saberi, who gather news and information from within Iran in order to disseminate it freely around the globe, provide an invaluable service to your nation's people, as well as to the rest of the world. By facilitating the free exchange of ideas and information across borders, their work fosters understanding and tolerance among diverse people, and encourages peace among nations. But to serve these important purposes journalists must be free to ask questions, and to gather information. To the extent that a journalist who is simply investigating a story may be deemed a "spy" engaged in "espionage," it would subject reporters to criminal punishment merely for gathering information and reporting the news. This would be contrary to the most basic understanding of a free press.

We read Chapter 3 of your Constitution, entitled "The Rights of the People," and Chapter XI, entitled "The Judiciary," to include numerous provisions meant to guarantee the right to a fair trial that is open to the public, especially in cases involving political and press offenses. See, e.g., Article 20 [Equality Before The Law]; Article 22 [Human Dignity and Rights]; Article 24 [Freedom of the Press]; Article 165 [Public Trials]; Article 166 [Reasoned Verdicts]; Article 167 [Rule of Law for the Judiciary]; Article 168 [Political and Press Offenses]. But fairness cannot be achieved by secret, one-sided determination of crucial facts that could lead to the imprisonment of an individual. Moreover, a public trial guards against a miscarriage of justice and gives the public confidence that standards of fairness are being observed, that established procedures are being followed, and that deviations from those procedures will become known and thus can be effectively challenged. The fair trial guarantee requires reversal of Ms. Saberi's conviction, which came after a one-day trial held in secrecy.

Ms. Saberi's conviction also should be set aside because the rights to free speech and a free press are human rights that belong to all the world's citizens and are widely recognized in governing documents by many nations. For example, we understand Article 24 of the Iranian Constitution to mean that "publications and the press have freedom of expression except when it is detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam or the rights of the public." Similarly, Article 35 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China provides that citizens of that nation "enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and demonstration." Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides that "every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference." The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . ." And Article 19 of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

As a founding member of the United Nations, Iran has the ability and responsibility to honor the essential human right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through the media that is recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to likewise construe Article 24 of its own Constitution to ensure that journalists are allowed to practice their profession freely, without government interference, intimidation or punishment.

We very much appreciate that you, as the head of your nation's judicial system, have pledged that Ms. Saberi's conviction will be "considered at the appeals stage in a careful, quick and fair way," stating that "fair examination of the case, especially at the appeal stage, is the defendant's right." Each day that Ms. Saberi remains in prison is a grave injustice that injures not only Ms. Saberi, but the people of Iran, and indeed the people of all nations. As Sa'adi, the great thirteenth-century Persian poet, wrote: "All human beings are limbs of each other, having been created of one essence. When time afflicts a limb with pain the other limbs cannot at rest remain."

The world's nations will find no rest until all journalists are permitted to freely gather and report the news anywhere in the world, without fear of retribution or criminal prosecution. Accordingly, we respectfully request that you and your judicial system enforce the Iranian Constitution and international norms of due process and free speech and free press, reverse the conviction of Ms. Saberi, and release her.

Respectfully submitted,

Theodore J. Boutrous Jr.
KatieLynn Townsend

Attorneys for The International Women's Media Foundation

CONTACT: Pearl Piatt
Director of Communications, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
for the International Women's Media Foundation

Source: International Women's Media Foundation; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

CONTACT: Pearl Piatt, Director of Communications of Gibson, Dunn &
Crutcher LLP, +1-323-547-5129, or, for International
Women's Media Foundation

Web Site:

NOTE TO EDITORS: About Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., a partner in the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, is Co-Chair of the firm's Appellate and Constitutional Law Group and its Media and Entertainment Group and Vice-Chair of the Crisis Management Group. Mr. Boutrous represents media organizations, reporters, and others in a wide array of First Amendment, access, subpoena, defamation, freedom of information, prior restraint, newsgathering and copyright matters. See below for a representative list of media cases he has handled. As both a crisis management strategist and a seasoned appellate and media lawyer, Mr. Boutrous has wide-ranging experience handling high-profile litigation, media relations and media legal issues. He routinely advises clients in planning how to respond, and in responding, to crises and other especially significant legal problems that attract the media spotlight and provides strategic counseling to address legal, legislative, regulatory and public relations aspects of such matters. About Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is a leading international law firm. Consistently ranking among the world's top law firms in industry surveys and major publications, Gibson Dunn is distinctively positioned in today's global marketplace with more than 1,000 lawyers and 15 offices, including Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., London, Paris, Munich, Brussels, Dubai, Singapore, Orange County, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Century City, Dallas and Denver. For more information, please visit

American Times Online for Sale

About American Times Online
American Times Online keeps the record of the regular reports on the current affairs, news and politics in America and relating to America. ...

It is a multimedia news and information blog with 24/7 news videos and podcasts and job listings.

It is best viewed on broadband.

It is highly ranked on Google.

American Times Online will be sold to the highest bidder and bids start from $28, 000.

Send your offers to The Publisher by e-mail.

Telephone: 234

Date: Thursday, 07 May, 2009 (3 days ago)
Location: Eti-Osa, Lagos State, Nigeria.

From: Nairalist

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Nigerian Ebay is Here

Naija Listing is dedicated to helping Nigerian businesses (SMEs) gain an effective website presence and helping them market their products and services.
~ Tony Daley

The Nigerian Ebay is Here

It was drizzling this Thursday afternoon when I met with Tony Daley the young Nigerian social entrepreneur and web designer who is the creator and owner of Naija Listing, Nigeria’s answer to the successful Ebay of America. He told me all about it.

Naija Listing like the American Internet company is an online auction and shopping website where people and companies can buy and sell, search and post jobs in the various segments of listings. There is a long list for the personal and commercial benefit of everyone and every company. Naija Listing is an online business directory, an online shopping mall and with a shoppers guide, a jobs bank, and so much more.

Naija Listing is a more niche commercial site than Nairalist of Seun Osewa whose own is the Nigerian answer to Craiglist. There is one major thing that Naija Listing has and this is the regular updates on Tenders from the Federal Government of Nigeria. If you want a government contract, Naija Listing has the information from the tenders board.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rotary Foundation Honours Usha Mittal for US$1 Million Contribution to Polio Eradication Efforts

6 May 2009 09:00 Africa/Lagos

Rotary Foundation Honours Usha Mittal for US$1 Million Contribution to Polio Eradication Efforts

LONDON, May 6/PRNewswire/ -- The Rotary Foundation will honour Mrs. Usha Mittal for her recent US$1 million contribution to Rotary's effort to end polio worldwide. In a reception at London's House of Lords, Rotary Foundation Chairman Jonathan B. Majiyagbe will recognize Mrs. Mittal as a significant major donor to the Foundation, inducting her into the Arch C. Klumph Society.

Usha Mittal, wife of Lakshmi Mittal, a prominent businessman who leads ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, made a US$1 million contribution to The Rotary Foundation in support of Rotary's current effort to raise US$200 million for polio eradication. The organization's End Polio Now campaign is raising the funds in response to a US$355 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The resulting $555 million will fund polio eradication activities in developing countries where the crippling disease still infects children, including India, the Mittals' home country. Since 1985, Rotary has contributed more than $800 million in support of polio eradication. In addition, individual Rotary members have contributed countless volunteer hours to help vaccinate more than two billion children, preventing five million cases of paralysis and 250,000 pediatric deaths.

"Polio is a devastating disease which still continues to cripple children in some vast populated areas of the world namely India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, the four remaining countries where the virus is still endemic", says Mrs. Mittal. "It is a disease for which there is no cure, yet a child can be protected for life with oral vaccine drops and/or a simple IPV vaccine. I hope that my contribution to the Rotary Foundation will help their tremendous challenge to end polio worldwide and that one day we will be able to live in a world where lives are no longer ruined by this terrible disease".

"I am privileged to be able to recognize Mrs. Mittal for her outstanding contribution to global polio eradication," says Jonathan Majiyagbe, chair of The Rotary Foundation. "Through her dedication, we are one step closer to a polio-free world."

Also attending the London reception is Rajashree Birla, another major supporter of Rotary's polio eradication efforts. In May 2008, Birla arranged a meeting with Usha Mittal to discuss polio eradication. Usha Mittal responded with a $1 million contribution to the challenge. These gifts from Mrs. Birla and Mrs. Mittal reflect the strong support the polio eradication initiative has received over the years from Indian Rotary clubs, the Indian government, the Indian public in general, and private citizens.

A highly infectious disease that can cause paralysis and sometimes death, polio still strikes children in parts of Africa and South Asia. As there is no cure, the best protection is prevention. For as little as 60 cents worth of vaccine, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life.

To date, the number of polio cases has been reduced from 350,000 children annually in the mid-1980s to less than 2,000 reported cases all last year.

Rotary made polio eradication its top philanthropic goal in 1985. Rotary is the lead private sector contributor and volunteer arm of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative -- a public/private partnership spearheaded by World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF.

To date, more than two billion children have been immunized against the paralyzing and sometimes deadly poliovirus. Tremendous progress has been made in the last two decades, as polio cases have declined by 99 percent. Yet, challenges remain in the four polio-endemic countries: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.

Rotary International is one of the world's largest and most effective volunteer service organizations with 1.2 million members in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Media Contact:

Judith Diment



Source: Rotary International

Media Contact: Judith Diment, +44-(0)7860-162313 / +44-(0)1628 672965, or +1-847-866-3054, e-mail:,