Monday, May 31, 2010

The awards of the 7th edition of Tarifa African Film Festival

30 May 2010 08:20 Africa/Lagos

The awards of the 7th edition of Tarifa African Film Festival

TARIFA, May 29, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The awards of the 7th edition of Tarifa African Film Festival:

The awards for the movies in the section The African Dream are:

 The“Wind Griot” award for The Best Feature Film. This award is worth 15.000€ and includes the trophy.

For the TEZA (Dew) directed by Haile Gerima (Ethiopia, Germany, French). For its capacity to reflect the history of the whole African continet through the great script, exceptional actor´s performances and mature direction.

 Griot of Clay, award for the best full-lengths film director. This award is worth 10.000€ and includes a Trophy.

For the director CAROLINA KAMYA (Uganda, Sweden) and her movie Imani (The Faith). For its fresness and subtlety, which manifests the capacity of the new generation of African filmmakers to express their vision of the world.

 The award for the best actress in a full length feature. The award is

worth 2.500€ and includes the trophy. The award is donated by FRS – Fast Ferry Service Company, which operates ferries in the Strait of Gibraltar.

For the REHEMA NANFUKA for her part of Mary in the movie Imani (The Faith) (Uganda, Sweden). For her gentle and congenial interpretation of a women trapped in difficult live situation.

 The award for the best actor in full length feature film. The award is worth 2.500€ and the trophy.

For the actors KEN AMBANI, ABUBAKAR MWENDA y GODFREY ODHIAMBO for their parts in the movie From a whisper (Kenya). For their collective and congenial work, which enables to viewers really feel the internal conflict of the society torn by terorrism.

The Audience Special Award for the best full-length film. The award is worth 5.000€ and includes the trophy. The award is granted according the votes, viewers were giving to the movies after projections:

For the movie ATLETU (The Athlet), directed by Rasselas Lakew and Davey Frankel (Ethiopia, USA, Germany).

and for the movie EHKI YA SHAHRAZADE (The Women from Cairo), directed by Yousry Nasrallah from Egypt.

The awards for the movies in the section On the Other Side of the Strait are:

- The “Ebony Griot” Award for the best documentary. The award is worth 10.000€ and includes trophy. The award is donated by Casa Africa.

For the movie LES LARMES DE L'ÉMIGRATION (The Tears of the Emigration) directed by Alassane Diago (Senegal, France). For the intimate reflection of the universal problem in the local African context, which was conveyed by superb and highly cinematic direction.

The jury has also unanimously decided to grant two special acknowledgements to the movies:

LES DAMNÉS DE LA MER (Damned of the Sea) directed by Jawad Rhalib (Morocco, Belgium, France) and

CEUX DE LA COLLINE (The Hillside Crowd) directed by Berni Goldblat (Burkina Faso, France, Switzerland)

The awards for the movies in the section Africa in short (short movies) are:

 The RTVA Award for Audiovisual Creation. The award is worth 1.500€ and includes trophy “El Dilema”. The award also means that RTVA (Andalusian Radio and Television) will support the film by buying its broadcasting rights. The award is sponsored by Cajasol-Obra Social.

For the EL ICHA directed by Walid Tayaa (Tunis)

For its close reflection of the daily routine, which can exist in whatever place or culture in the world and for the delicacy with which demonstrates the religious intolerance and new masks of the old colonialism.

The Youth Jury, formed by the Andalusian Youth Institute (IAJ), votes the award for the best short film. The award is worth 2.000€ and includes trophy.

For the movie LEZARE directed by Zelalem Woldemariam (Ethiopia)

For its profound capacity to arouse audience emotions through his developed artistic symbolism.

Source: Tarifa African Film Festival

Africa Region Pre-Conference to Mexico 2010 – World Youth Conference / Invitation to the Representatives of the Media

31 May 2010 14:42 Africa/Lagos

Africa Region Pre-Conference to Mexico 2010 – World Youth Conference / Invitation to the representatives of the media

ADDIS ABABA, May 31, 2010/location>)/ -- Africa Region Pre-Conference to Mexico 2010 – World Youth Conference / Invitation to the representatives of the media

WHEN: 3-4 June 2010

WHERE: Abuja, Nigeria

WHO : Organised by the Department of Human Resources Science and Technology (HRST) of the African Union (AU) in collaboration with the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

WHY: Preparation of the World Youth Conference to take place in Mexico 2010. The place of the youth in the society and the voice of the youth need to be heard in important world issues.

OBJECTIVES: - The Pre- Conference is aimed and bringing together High officials and experts in the domain of Youth development to share views on the different thematic issues in preparation of the World Youth Conference scheduled to take place on August 2010 in Mexico .

Each continent was urged to organize a pre-conference in order to brainstorm on youth development and related issues ahead of the Mexico Youth Conference. The Abuja pre-conference therefore will represent the African pre-conference in preparation of the mega event in Mexico.

PARTICIPANTS: participants will include some African Ministers of Youth; Members of the COMY 5 Bureau; African Ambassadors based in Nigeria; civil society organizations; international organizations; United Nations agency dealing with youth development and the African Union Commission amongst others.

BACKGROUND : Investment of Youth in Africa

A country's youth is one of its biggest assets for peace and development. This present generation represents history's largest record breaking numbers of young people with as many opportunities to succeed or the misfortune to fail. Youth in Africa as they grow and deepen their leadership responsibilities will face a lot of challenges and they need to be ready for them. This makes youth capacity building a priority. Investment in youth has proven potential to protect the future of our continent and will guarantee the sustainability of the current development gains recorded in the last decade. Youth can build better future for Africa and this makes it important that the individual level capacity is harnessed.

Progress in access to education in sub-Saharan Africa is growing disproportionately to economic size and financial deepening. Job creation and economic activities are still driven by traditional systems of complacency, and ‘perceived' modesty which views youth aspirations for improved lifestyles and improved social amenities; quality of pay and work conditions to be beyond the parameters of African values and culture.

Source: African Union Commission (AUC)

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Some Facts About Nigerians, the Nigeria LNG Prize, Nigerian Readers, Authors And Publishers

Ben Okri

Do you know that more Nigerians in Nigeria are no longer excited about reading and even writing?

Do you know that majority of the members of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) do not buy or read the books written by fellow members?

Do you know that majority of the Nigerian publishers of magazines do not buy or read the magazines published by other Nigerian publishers?

Do you know that none of the authors who won the much coveted Nigeria LNG Prize or other local prizes has become bestselling authors in Nigeria?

Do you know that Nigerians spend millions of dollars monthly on sms and most of the SMS/TXT messages are unprofitable gossip?

Do you know that poverty is not the cause of poor reading culture in Nigeria but intellectual illiteracy and intellectual hypocrisy?

Do you know that majority of youths in Nigeria do not know who is Ben Okri, the youngest winner of the Booker Prize in 1991 at 32?

~ By Orikinla Osinachi


Gary Coleman: Memories Are Forever

Gary Wayne Coleman, February 8, 1968 – May 28, 2010

From 1978 to 1986 Gary Coleman was the most famous kid on TV for his unforgettable role of Arnold Jackson in the popular American sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, as millions watched him in the U.S. and in different countries in the world, including Nigeria. In fact VH1 rated Coleman first on a list of “100 Greatest Child Stars” on television. But most of us have been wondering what happened to his acting career until the shocking news of his accidental death shook us last Friday. Gary Wayne Coleman died at 12:05 p.m. MDT (18:05 UTC) on May 28, 2010.

He overcame many challenges in his career and personal life.May the soul of Gary Wayne Coleman rest in peace.

We dedicate the Jay-Z’s Forever Young to the memory of Gary Coleman.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Monisola Oginni of Nigeria and others win 2010 NANDA Awards

Monisola Oginni of Nigeria and others win 2010 NANDA Awards

Monisola Oginni, a professional nurse is among the recipients of the prestigious NANDA-I Award for 2010.

The following is a detailed news release on the recipients.

2010 NANDA-I Award Recipients Announced

More than 20 Nursing Leaders & Students Honored at International Conference

GREEN BAY, Wis., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- NANDA International (NANDA-I), an international association of nursing professionals, has announced the recipients of its 2010 NANDA-I awards. The awards were presented at the May 2010 NANDA-I / AENTDE Congress in Madrid, Spain, to recognize outstanding contributions to NANDA-I and standardized nursing language in the areas of clinical practice, nursing education, administration, informatics and research.

"I would like to congratulate all of our award recipients," said Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes, President of NANDA-I. "These individuals come from a variety of backgrounds and stages of their careers, ranging from students to experienced professionals," he explained. "However, they all have one thing in common: a belief in and commitment to raising the standard of clinical excellence and to providing high quality, safe patient care."
Award recipients include:

Mentor's Awards
-- Dr. Margaret Lunney, New York, United States
-- Dr. Anne Perry, Missouri, United States

Professor Weir-Hughes said Drs. Lunney and Perry deserve special recognition for their exceptional contributions to nursing language, education and practice. "Through excellence and mentorship, Dr. Anne Perry and Dr. Margaret Lunney, are true examples of the values of the NANDA-I organization," he stated.
Student Article Contest - Madrid Conference Scholarship Award
-- Constantinos Christodoulous, Limassol, Cyprus

Dr. T. Heather Herdman Nursing Scholarships
-- Ruth America Aliaga Sanchez, Peru
-- Monisola Oginni, Nigeria
-- Anita Collins, India
-- Rosario Meza, Peru
-- Lisiane Pruinelli , Brasil

NANDA-I Conference Scholarship Award
-- Roxanna Obando Zegarra, Peru

Editor's Award
A 10-Year Retrospective Study of Teaching Nursing Diagnosis to Baccalaureate Students In Italy
-- Alvisa Palese, Italy
-- Daniele de Sailvestre, Italy
-- Graziella Valoppi, Italy
-- Marco Tomietto, Italy

NANDA Foundation Grant Awards
-- Anita Collins, PhD(c) William Carry University, India
Improving Accuracy of and Attitude toward Nursing Diagnosis
-- Dr. Adela Lau University of Hong Kong
Evaluation of Nursing Diagnostic Ontology
-- Dr. Geraldine Lyte University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Development of Nursing Diagnosis for Children and Young People Focus
Nutrition and Effective Feeding

Unique Contribution Awards
-- Dr. Arlene Farren, United States
-- Dr. Jane Flanagan, United States

Founder's Awards
-- Dr. Shigemi Kamitsuru, Japan
-- Dra. Dina de Almeida Lopes Monteiro da Cruz, Brasil
-- Dr. Judy Carlson, United States

For more information about NANDA-I, go to:

NANDA International (NANDA-I) is an organization of nursing professionals from more than 20 countries, that develops, refines and publishes terminology accurately reflecting nurses' clinical judgments. NANDA-I's unique, evidence-based perspective contributes to improved nursing outcomes and patient safety, through holistic, quality nursing care. The NANDA-I standardized nursing language is used in 32 countries worldwide. To learn more, go to:

Source: NANDA International

CONTACT: Angela Walschinski of Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.,
+1-920-965-7750 ext. 119,,, for NANDA-I
Web Site:

Let;s Do the Right Thing: Democracy Day Letter from Donald Duke

I write to update you on recent developments that many of you may already be aware of and explain what they hold in store. You will likely have heard that I have formally resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria.

The idea of representation is at the heart of this quest for redemption, as it is the heart of democracy. Over the past fifty years, we have failed to reach the places we were entitled to at independence.

On our fiftieth anniversary of self-government, we haven’t even come close to achieving our true potential. I certainly wish to be an embodiment of our collective hopes for Nigeria.

To achieve this, we must sensitise, mobilise and encourage first time voters, and an apathetic and disillusioned electorate. We must assure them that this time we can make the change needed to move our country forward.

Accordingly, we are embarking on an extensive nation-wide tour, carrying our message along as we do, on Billboards, print and electronic media, sms and through such other social media as facebook and twitter.

The idea is to reach out to every Nigerian above the age of 18 years in every state of the nation. We have enlisted a volunteer network of over
5,000 young men and women in all the states of the federation.

No effort is being spared.
The effort to regain the soul of our country will cost our time and resources because the rot is very deep, indeed.

But, let’s face it: this exercise, as conceived, will be expensive. The huge cost of the exercise would cover travels, logistics, materials, overheads etc.

Some may say it is not our responsibility. But indeed, it is. It is a civic charge to ensure that we have governance at all levels that is truly representative.

I refer you to, a forum that will enable us listen and interface with you. It would also allow you to make contributions and invite others to join the cause - your cause, our cause. Beyond your contributions, spread the word and pass the message on to others.

Your enthusiasm, commitment, participation and donation are the lifeblood of this organisation and effort. Please give freely of your heart. Failure would be in doing nothing in the face of opportunity.

We shall, throughout this effort, consistently update you on what we receive and how it is spent. We shall at all times be transparent and accountable.

Let us, together, take our country back and move it forward. It is the right thing to do and the time is now!

Donald Duke

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

88% Overspend on Weddings

27 May 2010 18:46 Africa/Lagos

Visa Survey Finds 88% Overspend on Weddings

Food and drink tops the list for overspending; Average wedding costs $8,721

SAN FRANCISCO, May 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With wedding season in full bloom, Visa Inc. today released the results of a study that showed 88% of married couples believe they overspent on some aspect of their wedding. At the top of the list was food, drink and cake, with 18% of respondents reporting they overspent on those items, followed by 14% who spent too much on their hotel and honeymoon, 12% who over did it on other parts of their reception and 11% who could have cut back on their clothing costs.

Couples spent an average of $8,721 on their wedding and honeymoon, making one of the most important life events also one of the most expensive.

"The money conversation needs to happen as soon as you become engaged, not while you are on the way to the altar," said Jason Alderman, Senior Director of Financial Education, Visa Inc. "For most couples, their wedding is the first major financial decision they will make together and can set the tone for how they deal with money for the rest of their lives. Money is one of the most critical issues married couples deal with and it's important to get it right from the start."

While men and women agreed equally on how they overspent on food and drink, they parted company in other spending priorities on the wedding:

-- Women (14%) were twice as likely as men (7%) to say the one item they
overspent most on was clothing/dress/tux.
-- Men (17%) were five points more likely to say honeymoon/hotel than
women (12%).
-- And men (14%) were four points more likely to believe the reception
was the budget busting item than women (10%).

The survey also found wide disparity in the overall costs of weddings and honeymoons. The results show that:

-- 26% of respondents spent over $10,000
-- 19% spent between $5,001 to $10,000
-- 30% spent $1,000 to $5,000
-- 5% spent $501 and $1,000
-- 18% spent $1 to $500
-- 2% spent nothing

As part of a long-standing financial literacy program, Visa is offering the following wedding budgeting tips:

-- Decide what parts of the wedding are most important to both of you.
-- Keep the guest list small.
-- Hold your ceremony and reception in one spot - it will cut travel time
for vendors you pay by the hour.
-- Don't have your wedding on a Saturday, when demand and costs will be
the highest.
-- Simplify your bar menu and have just two or three drink options.
-- When shopping for your wedding attire be sure to check outlet stores.
-- Have a photographer you love but can't afford the prices? Ask them if
they have an associate who will do your wedding for less.
-- Substitute less expensive flowers or use more greenery.
-- Order a small one or two-tiered cake to have on display and then
supplement with a larger sheet cake served from the kitchen.
-- Consider a weekend honeymoon nearby and then have a more elaborate one
for your first anniversary.

Once the honeymoon is over Visa also has three tips to help reduce the financial friction in your relationship:

1. Create a household budget you both agree on.
2. Decide on long-term goals, like saving for retirement, buying a house
or new car and saving for children's college education.
3. Set up monthly budget meetings.

Practical Money Skills for Life, a free personal finance program created by Visa, contains additional financial tips for couples, including: what to ask about each other's credit history, divvying up financial chores, necessary legal document changes, budgeting, debt management and much more. Go to for details.

About Visa Inc.

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks--VisaNet--that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

Source: Visa Inc.

CONTACT: Steve Burke, +1-703-683-5004, ext. 108, for Visa Inc.

Web Site:

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Increased Cooperation and Co-Financing for Investments in Africa

27 May 2010 12:40 Africa/Lagos

Increased Cooperation and Co-Financing for Investments in Africa / African Financing Partnership Launched by leading Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) Active Across the Continent

ABIDJAN, May 27, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Earlier today 8 development finance institutions, who last year invested over USD 8.8 billion in projects across the continent, formally launched the African Financing Partnership (AFP). This collaboration will enable greater cooperation and co-financing, and work towards improving joint assessment and evaluation of private sector projects across the continent. This marks a significant development for effective use of donor resources in Africa and aim to attract greater private sector investment for private sector projects on the continent with strong development outcomes.

The eight participating institutions with strong experience of operating in Africa are the African Development Bank; Development Bank of Southern Africa; Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG); European Investment Bank; Netherlands Development Finance Company FMO; Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa; IFC, a member of the World Bank Group; and Proparco.

Speaking at the launch, Donald Kaberuka President of the African Development Bank, said “The AFP is a major pillar in the partnership strategy of the African Development Bank. I applaud the Private Sector department for this initiative”. In 2009, he explained, “the DFIs worked collaboratively on projects in Africa, including Main One Cable in Nigeria, to jointly finance over US$ 1 billion in projects under partnership models”, adding that “This year, the target for collaborative co-financing is manifold, including financing projects in countries such as Sierra Leone and Côte d'Ivoire. These projects are in sectors such as infrastructure, power, renewable energy and agribusiness”. “Last year, the AFP was a coordinating platform for the Joint IFI/DFI Action Plan to respond to the financial crisis in Africa and with a target mobilization of US$ 15 billion,” Dr. Kaberuka further explained.

“There is an evident need for partnerships amongst development finance institutions, for efficient utilization of our human and capital resources to meet vast financing needs of private sector projects in Africa” African Development Bank Private Sector Director, Tim Turner stated.

DEG, the German development financing institution, which, in 2009, had its best new business result in Africa since its inception, has the ambition to further increase and enhance its long lasting commitment to the private sector development on the African continent. “This will be supported by an intensified cooperation between likeminded institutions,” explained Winfried Nau, Head New Business Africa at DEG. “AFP will help optimizing the promotion of much needed private initiative for the sake of economic development,” he further stated.

"The European Investment Bank is pleased to be a founding member of the African Financing Partnership. This marks a key step in improving cooperation and increasing aid effectiveness in the spirit of the Paris Declaration for the benefit of Africa. Last year, nearly three quarters of all EIB projects in Africa were financed with other partners, whose involvement and expertise increased both the sector scope and number of investments across the continent" said Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Africa.

Jaap Reinking, Director, Global Partners Department said, “FMO takes a strong interest in close co-operation with our financial partners. Cooperation optimizes efficiencies and smoothens processes for our clients. The AFP is an important initiative in achieving such closer cooperation between the participating institutions”.

Ms. Lindi Toyi, Head of Public Private Partnerships at the IDC said, “The IDC is proud to be a Promoting Partner of the AFP and IDC looks forward to working with the other the Promoting Partners within the AFP. The AFP will serve an important platform to mobilise funding in a more coordinated fashion for projects in Africa.”

“IFC is deeply committed to increasing cooperation with our partners through the African Financing Partnership. Working together will enable IFC and its partners to have a greater impact helping Africa fulfill its economic potential and ensure that more Africans can build a better future,” said Thierry Tanoh, IFC Vice President responsible for Africa.

The endorsement by the AFP Promoting Partners indicates their common goal to work together on a mission of poverty alleviation and private sector development in Africa. The partnership will target financing of large-scale projects in infrastructure and industrial sectors leading to economic growth and job creation. Smaller innovative projects as well as investments in financial services, including SME and microfinance projects may also be considered.

In practice the African Financing Partnership will enable one institution to coordinate on behalf of the others, as Lead Promoting Partner, and propose involvement of other institutions, thus minimizing duplication of efforts such as due-diligence, appraisal and excessive demand on the project sponsor. This will lead to greater efficiency, common selection of external advisors and reduced borrowing costs.

The strategic development of the African Financing Partnership will be determined by a committee comprising representatives of all institutions and will act as a platform for co-financing private sector projects in African countries defined as regional members of the African Development Bank. Other development finance institutions or private sector investors could join the initiative at a later stage.

Source: European Investment Bank (EIB)

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Facebook Redesigns Privacy and Offers More Powerful Controls

26 May 2010 18:45 Africa/Lagos

Facebook Redesigns Privacy

Simplifies Choices and Offers More Powerful Controls

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Facebook today responded to user comments and concerns about privacy by announcing it will introduce simpler and more powerful controls for sharing personal information. New settings will give the more than 400 million people who use Facebook the power to control exactly who can see the information and content they share, all with just a few simple clicks. In addition, new settings will be added to make it easier to turn off third-party applications or websites. Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced the changes in a blog post today at

"When we started Facebook, we built it around a few simple ideas," said Zuckerberg. "When people have control over what they share, they want to share more. When people share more, the world becomes more open and connected. Over the past few weeks, the number one thing we've heard is that many users want a simpler way to control their information. Today we're starting to roll out changes that will make our controls simpler and easier."

The company's new privacy controls reflect wide-ranging consultation with the office of Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and a number of online privacy and consumer advocacy groups. These include the Center for Democracy and Technology, Consumer Action, Future of Privacy Forum, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Progress and Freedom Foundation, NetChoice, CATO Institute, TRUSTe, Technology Policy Institute, and Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. The consultations have proven extremely helpful in both clarifying and communicating Facebook's privacy principles, and have greatly contributed to the design and implementation of the new privacy controls. These updated controls will start rolling out today and will be live for all Facebook users in the coming weeks.

Zuckerberg first announced Facebook's intention to make these changes in a Washington Post op-ed ( 28.html) that detailed principles by which Facebook operates:

1. People have control over how their information is shared.
2. Facebook does not share personal information with people or services
users don't want.
3. Facebook does not give advertisers access to people's personal
4. Facebook does not sell any of people's information to anyone.
5. Facebook will always be a free service for everyone.

Today's announcement focuses on the first two of these principles.

Making Control Simple

One control for content: A new simple control makes it easy to share on Facebook with friends, friends of friends or everyone--all with just one click. The corresponding settings are immediately applied and displayed in an easy-to-understand grid. At the same time, Facebook has maintained its more granular settings for those who want to customize their level of sharing. These settings now all appear on a single page for easier access.

Retroactive control: People who choose the more restrictive "Friends Only" or "Friends of Friends" options with the simple control will have the corresponding setting for all the content they posted previously for sharing. Thus, a person can make all the content they've ever shared on Facebook more private with just a couple of clicks.

Future products: Facebook commits to carry over people's privacy choices for new products that facilitate sharing. Thus, if someone chooses "Friends Only" for "Sharing on Facebook," new products that have privacy settings will be automatically set to "Friends Only." This means Facebook users don't have to worry about new settings in the future.

Prioritizing simplicity: Granularity of control has always been a primary objective in Facebook's privacy design. Starting with the changes announced today, the company will also prioritize ease-of-use in its privacy design.

Fewer privacy changes: Facebook's goal is to make privacy-related changes with less frequency and to work within the framework announced today as it continues to innovate new features and products.

Less Publicly Available Information

Significantly less public information: Facebook has drastically reduced the amount of information that is available to everyone. This information is now limited to name, profile picture (should a user choose to have one), gender (though this can be hidden on the profile), and networks (should the user join any).

Privacy controls for Pages: Connections to Pages, which were previously available to everyone, will have privacy settings that work for both ends of the connection. People can prevent others from seeing Pages on their profile and from seeing them in the "People who like this" boxes on the Pages themselves. Applications will also need to ask for explicit permission in order to access any of your Pages that are not visible to everyone.

Easier Opt Outs

Full control over how applications and websites on Facebook Platform access information: In response to requests, Facebook has added a simple way for people to completely turn off Platform applications and websites, so that your information is not shared with applications, even information available to everyone.

Easier opt-out of Instant Personalization Pilot Program: Facebook has also made it easier for people to turn off the instant personalization program, which prevents those, and any future, applications in the program from accessing their information.

Granular data permissions for applications and websites: Facebook also highlighted the new controls users have over information shared with applications and websites on Facebook Platform. With the new data permissions model, applications must obtain specific approval before gaining access to any personal information that a user has not made available to "Everyone."

What People Are Saying

"Facebook's users have spoken and made it clear that they want control of their information. Despite all rumors to the contrary, privacy is not dead, it is on its way to a comeback in the form of simplified controls and better policies," said Leslie Harris, President, Center for Democracy and Technology. "While more work still needs to be done, these changes are the building blocks to giving people what they want and deserve."

"People care about privacy now more than ever. We are pleased that Facebook has pledged to improve user control and choice and we look forward to working together to help them follow through on this commitment," said Michelle De Mooy, Senior Associate at Consumer Action. "We believe the company must work with a broad coalition of consumer and privacy advocates, regulators, and legislators in order to raise the bar and lead the industry toward empowering and protecting consumers online. We also hope that this step forward from Facebook will send a message to industry that strong privacy standards aren't just good policy, they're good business."

"The message that all companies should be taking away from this is that managing digital identity is critically important to Internet users of all ages and backgrounds. Facebook is taking steps that are essential for user trust by providing users with additional control over the personal data they share. As sites, services and devices grow increasingly complex, the challenge for Facebook and for others going forward is to continue to seek innovations that ensure that privacy tools can be intuitive for users," said Jules Polonetsky, Director, Future of Privacy Forum.

"Facebook's announcement should remind us all that online services actively compete in the market of public opinion based on their commitment to empowering users to make their own choices about privacy," said Berin Szoka, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Internet Freedom at Progress and Freedom Foundation. "Facebook has affirmed that commitment by responding to user demands to allow users to restrict visibility of their friends and their 'likes,' and to opt-out completely from sharing of information with third-party applications and external websites. Just as important is the improved user interface, which maximizes both granularity of user control and ease of use--two things that are always in tension. Achieving both complexity and simplicity requires ongoing, iterative process of innovation."

"These new features give consumers more choice and more control over their information--a win for both Facebook and its users," said Daniel Castro, Senior Analyst for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. "Facebook's latest changes show that companies are responding appropriately to their customers' concerns about privacy. In this case, market and customer feedback are more effective tools for meeting consumer needs than heavy-handed privacy regulations that would only impede innovation."

"Providing people with true privacy choices that are both simple and transparent is no easy task. Facebook's changes to make its privacy settings more accessible, as well as to provide broader opt-out choices, reflect both the company's deep commitment to control and its ability to quickly innovate and incorporate feedback," said Fran Maier, President of TRUSTe. "We will continue to work closely with Facebook to ensure that it lives up to the commitments it has made to its users."

Announcement Fact Sheet

The Changes
-- Completely redesigned the privacy settings page to be much more
-- Created one control for content. A new simple control makes it easy to
share on Facebook with friends, friends of friends or everyone--all
with just one click. The corresponding settings are immediately
applied and displayed in an easy-to-understand grid. At the same
time, Facebook has maintained its more granular settings for those who
want to customize their level of sharing. These settings now all
appear on a single page for easier access.
-- Significantly reduced the amount of information that is always visible
to everyone. Friends and Pages (your connections) can now be
restricted to anyone you want. To help people recognize you, your
name, profile picture, networks, and gender are always open to
everyone (though half of these you don't need to add).
-- Given you more control over how applications and websites access your
information. Now you can completely turn off Facebook Platform
applications and websites, which means that your information will not
be shared with applications. We also made it very simple to turn off
instant personalization. You can ensure that your information is not
shared with current or future instant personalization applications by
un-checking the box to "Enable instant personalization".
-- Get a better understanding of how you like to share on Facebook. The
new presets help us understand the overall privacy level you're
comfortable with for the things you share. As we roll out new
products, we want to apply the right setting for you at the
outset--eliminating the need for you to check your setting each time a
new feature is introduced. We're committed to carrying over your
presets for new products that facilitate sharing. So, if you choose
the "Friends Only" preset for "Sharing on Facebook", new products that
have privacy settings will be automatically set to "Friends Only" as
-- Not changing anything about our advertising programs: we never sell
any of your personal information to anyone. There's a rumor that the
more openly you share your information the more money we make, but
it's just wrong. Advertisers may target ads to people according to
certain demographics, but they receive only anonymous data reports. We
don't share your personal information with our advertisers.

Data points
-- Reduced the number of settings required to make all information
private from nearly 50 to less than 15.
-- Introduced presets that cover 18 individual settings for sharing with
one single control--two clicks to control what had been more than 100
different options.
-- Consolidated 10 settings on 3 separate pages into 7 settings on one
-- Reduced the number of separate pages in privacy center from 13 to 8.

Q. How are users being informed of these changes?

As we roll this out, we will be posting a message to all users on the homepage pointing them to information that explains the changes. In addition, we have and will continue to devote significant resources to educating people about the control they have on Facebook. Before rolling out these changes we will update our robust privacy education materials, including a new privacy guide (, instructional videos posted to our blog and Facebook Page, and numerous FAQs in our Help Center. Finally, we are committed to working with non-profit organizations to raise awareness among their constituents.

Q. Were users involved in this redesign?

Yes, we incorporated four rounds of iterative user testing into the redesign process. In each of these tests we worked with a variety of users, from those that classified themselves as very open to those that classified themselves as very closed. In each round of testing users were given a variety of tasks to measure both their understanding of the features, as well as their experience using the privacy controls. We then continuously modified the explanatory language, the placement and the visual presentation of the controls based on the users' experiences.

Q. Where can people provide feedback on these changes?

We hope these changes demonstrate the tremendous respect we have for the hundreds of millions of people who use Facebook every day, and our commitment to ensuring that each of these people continues to feel comfortable sharing and connecting. Today, as always, we encourage our users to submit their thoughts and feedback:

Q. How soon until everyone gets the new privacy settings?

We are working hard to make the simpler privacy controls available to everyone as soon as possible. However, as is our standard practice with most products we launch, we will begin with a slow roll out and will gradually increase the number of people who with new controls. This process started today and will be complete in the next couple of weeks.



Source: Facebook

CONTACT: Facebook,

Web Site:

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Amnesty International Annual Report Finds Sustained Web of Repression

27 May 2010 00:01 Africa/Lagos

Amnesty International Annual Report Finds Sustained Web of Repression, as Governments Fail to Prosecute Human Rights Violations Worldwide

Report Says Global Justice Gap Condemns Millions to Ongoing Abuse

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, May 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governments' continued failure to investigate and prosecute crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture and other human rights violations is undermining progress toward justice and condemning millions to repression, violence, abuse and poverty with no recourse, Amnesty International said today in its annual assessment of human rights worldwide.


This global "justice gap" sustains a pernicious web of repression, the organization said, releasing its 2010 State of the World's Human Rights report. The organization said it recorded torture or other ill-treatment in at least 111 countries, unfair trials in at least 55 countries, restrictions on free speech in at least 96 countries and prisoners of conscience imprisoned in at least 48 countries.

The new report documents abuses in 159 countries, and concludes that powerful governments are blocking advances in international justice by standing above the law on human rights, shielding allies from criticism and acting only when politically convenient.

Amnesty International called on governments to ensure accountability for their own actions and fully sign up to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to ensure that crimes under international law can be prosecuted anywhere in the world. It said states claiming global leadership, including the G20, have a particular responsibility to set an example and urged the United States, China, Russia, Turkey, India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia to sign on to the International Criminal Court.

Claudio Cordone, interim Secretary General of Amnesty International, said: "Governments must ensure that no one is above the law, and that everyone has access to justice for all human rights violations. Until governments stop subordinating justice to political self-interest, freedom from fear and freedom from want will remain elusive for most of humanity."

Trends included:

-- Mass forced evictions of people from their homes in Africa, for
example in Angola, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, often driving people
deeper into poverty.
-- Increased reports of domestic violence against women, rape, sexual
abuse, and murder and mutilation after rape, in Mexico, Guatemala, El
Salvador, Honduras and Jamaica.
-- Millions of migrants in Asia-Pacific countries including South Korea,
Japan and Malaysia faced exploitation, violence and abuse.
-- A sharp rise in racism, xenophobia and intolerance in Europe and
Central Asia.
-- In the Middle East and North Africa, attacks by armed groups - some
apparently aligned with al-Qa'ida - in states such as Iraq and Yemen,
heightened insecurity.

Women, especially the poor, bore the brunt of the failure to deliver on these goals. Pregnancy-related complications claimed the lives of an estimated 350,000 women, with maternal mortality often directly caused by gender discrimination, violations of sexual and reproductive rights, and denial of access to health care.


Amnesty International Report 2010: State of the World's Human Rights covers the period January - December 2009.

Please visit for more information.

AP Archive:
PRN Photo Desk
Source: Amnesty International

CONTACT: AIUSA Media Relations office, +1-202-509-8194

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Economic Turmoil and Political Unrest Continue to Fuel Kidnapping Industry

Niger Delta militans with a foreign hostage.

26 May 2010 15:39 Africa/Lagos

Clayton Consultants Publishes Annual Kidnap Risk Brief

Economic Turmoil and Political Unrest Continue to Fuel Kidnapping Industry

HERNDON, Va., May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Clayton Consultants, a global risk and crisis management consultancy, recently released the 2010 Kidnap RiskBrief, an annual report providing a global overview and analysis of kidnapping trends and hotspots.

According to the report, political and economic turmoil, the war on drugs as well as revitalized insurgencies and failed states reappear as contributing factors towards continued, global kidnap risk.

"Kidnapping remains a serious security threat to the global business sector," said Armand Gadoury, managing director of Clayton Consultants. "Many organizations, however, are unaware of the potential risk of kidnappings and are ill-equipped to deal with a crisis situation."

While drug-related kidnappings increased in the border areas of Mexico, opportunistic kidnappings exploded in Venezuela. The failed-state syndrome in Somalia continues to fuel kidnappings as do the political crises in Nigeria, Honduras and Kenya. In Iraq and Afghanistan, local nationals are increasingly being targeted as kidnap victims.

"Our global consultant network plays a crucial role in educating corporations, non-governmental organizations and families on how to avoid a kidnapping incident and what to do should one occur," Gadoury added.

More information regarding kidnapping trends can be obtained by downloading Clayton Consultants' 2010 Kidnap RiskBrief, at

About Clayton Consultants

Clayton Consultants is a global risk and crisis management consultancy offering incident response, security consulting and training services to commercial and governmental entities worldwide. Clayton's consultants specialize in the prevention and resolution of kidnaps for ransom, extortion, malicious product tampering, wrongful detention and workplace violence. They are experts in their fields -- helping clients identify, understand and mitigate a wide range of business risks. Strategically positioned across the globe, Clayton's consultants support clients in an advisory capacity based on their intimate knowledge of the local culture, politics and economic environment. Today, Clayton Consultants represents client interests in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the United States. Visit

Source: Clayton Consultants

CONTACT: Clayton Consultants, +1-703-673-5154,

Web Site:

One Needle, One Syringe, Only ONE Time

One needle, One syringe, Only ONE Time

Healthcare Coalition Launches New Training Video to halt spread of infections and address a serious public health problem

ATLANTA, May 26, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — To help healthcare workers improve patient safety, the Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC) is launching a new educational video for U.S. healthcare providers that is a straight-to-the-point, 10-minute lesson on safe injection practices.

The video is targeted to healthcare providers who regularly administer or supervise injections and is about their responsibility to protect patients from healthcare-associated infections. The video is based on evidence-based and common sense safe injection practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recent outbreaks and patient notifications show the need for continued training about unsafe injection practices.

The 10-minute video promotes safe injection practices by showing healthcare providers working in situations where injections are given. By dispelling common misperceptions, such as the belief that it is safe to administer medication from single-dose vials to multiple patients, the video discusses basic, evidence-based precautions, that must be used at all times to protect patients and prevent disease transmission due to unsafe injection practices.

“One infection due to unsafe injection practices is unacceptable,” says Dr. Michael Bell, deputy director for infection control at CDC and narrator of the video. “Every healthcare provider has the responsibility to ensure that all injections given to patients are safe, and we hope that this video will help make that happen.”

Dr. Evelyn McKnight, Au.D., president and co-founder of the Hepatitis Outbreaks National Organization for Reform (HONOReform) Foundation, and a SIPC member who is featured in the video, was battling a recurrence of breast cancer when she became one of 99 Nebraska cancer patients to be infected with hepatitis C virus because her healthcare providers reused syringes to access a shared bag of saline.

“By addressing the urgent need for education and heightened awareness about safe injection practices, we hope to avoid further tragedies,” says McKnight. “Through this and other Coalition-led educational activities, we hope to make outbreaks due to syringe reuse ‘never’ events. No patient should ever have to worry about contracting a disease while seeking medical care or treatment.”

The video is part of the One & Only Campaign, a national public health education and awareness initiative developed by the SIPC. SIPC is comprised of patient advocacy organizations, foundations, provider associations and industry partners, together with CDC, and has united to halt disease transmission caused by unsafe injection practices in United States healthcare facilities. The campaign name refers to the importance of healthcare personnel using “one needle, one syringe, only one time” to protect patients from bloodborne viruses and other pathogens.

Toll of Unsafe Injection Practices
Since 1999, more than 125,000 Americans have received letters alerting them of potential exposure to infection with hepatitis viruses or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) due to unsafe injection practices such as the reuse of syringes, according to CDC.

A lack of understanding of and adherence to safe injection practices by healthcare personnel has resulted in more than 30 outbreaks of viral hepatitis and other healthcare-associated infections in the United States since 1999. Most of these outbreaks and infections occurred in non-hospital healthcare facilities, according to CDC. A patient notification resulting from unsafe injection practices at an endoscopy clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2008 required health officials to alert more than 50,000 patients who had been potentially exposed to bloodborne viruses.

In addition to the toll on physical and emotional health, these outbreaks are costly. The patient notification, response and testing of the hepatitis C outbreak at the Las Vegas, Nevada endoscopy clinic is estimated to have cost between $16 million and $21 million.

The video can be viewed at the One & Only Campaign Web site,

About the Safe Injection Practices Coalition
Founded in June 2008, the Safe Injection Practices Coalition is comprised of patient advocacy organizations, foundations, provider associations, industry partners and CDC, and united to halt unsafe injection practices. The Coalition focuses its efforts on advancing and promoting safe injection practices by informing and educating healthcare professionals and the public, especially in outpatient settings. Issues of particular concern include the reuse of syringes and misuse of single-use and multi-dose vials. In addition to creating and distributing the Safe Injection Practices Video for Healthcare Providers, the Coalition has launched pilot campaigns promoting safe injection practices in Nevada and New York, two states in which disease outbreaks have occurred.

Coalition partners include the following organizations: Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), Ambulatory Surgery Foundation, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC), BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CDC Foundation, Covidien, Hospira, HONOReform Foundation, National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO), Nebraska Medical Association (NMA), Nevada State Medical Association (NSMA), and Premier healthcare alliance.

Media Contacts:
Janet Skidmore
215-658-4915 (landline)
215-429-2917 (mobile)

Karen Orwin
914-907-4740 (mobile)

Charles Shagi Wins 2010 Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research

25 May 2010 21:00 Africa/Lagos

2010 Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy Presented to a Pioneering Community Educator Who Brings the Voices of Community Members and Participants to Research Process

PITTSBURGH, May 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A community educator who developed innovative ways to link women in Tanzanian villages with life-saving HIV prevention information and with HIV prevention research trials has received the second Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy. The award was presented during the closing ceremony of the Microbicides 2010 Conference in Pittsburgh, USA.

Charles Shagi, a Program Officer for the African Medical and Research Foundation based in Mwanza, Tanzania, was honored for his significant contributions to developing and sustaining community engagement and education programs that empower women and their communities to advocate for themselves and to become vital partners in HIV prevention research trials.

"Bringing HIV prevention research to communities is an essential part of our work to develop new HIV prevention options for men and women," said Sharon Hillier, Microbicides 2010 Co-chair and a member of the award selection committee. "Charles embodies what this award was created to recognize: leadership, commitment and passion in community advocacy. He works tirelessly not only to help women advocate on their own behalf and to become involved in research, but also to educate and empower researchers to understand the needs of women, their families and communities."

"I am very humbled to accept this award, and for me, it really underscores the value this field put on the importance of reaching out to the women - in the villages of Tanzania and around the world - who participate in these trials," said Shagi. "This award is important because it proves that people do care about them. It is the courage of those women that is being honored today. I look forward to continuing to share the voices and experiences of vulnerable women with the research and advocacy communities."

"I urge all HIV prevention researchers to listen to the community. There is need for all of us to change attitude, but especially the researchers and our leaders since we have a long walk left. Communities should be at the center of research, not at the periphery," Shagi added.

The Omololu Falobi Award highlights the essential role of community advocacy and leadership in HIV prevention research. It celebrates the life and values of the late Omololu Falobi, a long-time HIV advocate and journalist who founded Journalists Against AIDS in Nigeria, was an instrumental pioneer member of the Nigerian Treatment Access Movement, and co-founded the New HIV Vaccine & Microbicide Advocacy Society. Omololu was killed in Lagos, Nigeria in October 2006. The award was conceived as an ongoing legacy that recognizes his commitment and lasting contributions to HIV prevention research advocacy.

"Omololu was a visionary leader and activist, who accomplished much in his too short a life. He dedicated himself to powerful advocacy for HIV and HIV prevention research in Nigeria, Africa and worldwide," said Funmi Doherty of NHVMAS in Nigeria. "It is gratifying to see his ideals and vision live on through this award. I know he would be immensely proud of the work that Charles and the past recipients are doing to simultaneously advance human rights and HIV prevention research."

Shagi was chosen from among an impressive group of almost 20 nominees by an independent international panel of HIV prevention research advocates, policy makers, and scientists. The selection committee noted his instrumental role in pioneering new ways to bring the voices of community members and participants into the research process.

"Charles' enthusiasm is infectious, and he has been committed to helping recruit and mentor new people to the movement to expand the range of HIV prevention options," said Lori Heise, former Executive Director of the Global Campaign for Microbicides and one of the inaugural recipients of the award and member of the 2010 selection committee. "We need more people like Charles who can ably bridge the gap between researchers and community members."

Charles and his colleagues have also documented and published peer reviewed articles about their model for community representation and participation in HIV prevention trials among women. This research is an important guide for those working on community engagement plans for HIV prevention trials around the world.

"Charles is the epitome of science meets advocacy. In his work with community, he is able to provide important and accurate information as well as collect evidence that is directly applicable to advocacy and policy," said Salim Abdool Karim, Director of the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and a member of the 2008 and 2010 selection committees.

The 2010 Omololu Falobi Award Recipient was honored at the M2010 closing ceremony with a plaque and a cash prize. The M2010 Secretariat also provided a full scholarship for the Award recipient to attend the Conference in Pittsburgh.

The Omololu Falobi Award For Excellence In HIV Prevention Research was conceptualised and the process coordinated by the African Microbicides Advocacy Group (AMAG) in partnership with AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention Research, the Global Campaign for Microbicides (GCM), Journalists Against AIDS in Nigeria (JAAIDS), the New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society (NHVMAS), and the Treatment Action Movement Nigeria (TAM). Financial support for the 2010 Award came from AMAG, AVAC, GCM, Family Health International and NHVMAS, Open Society Institute in South Africa and UNAIDS.

The 2010 selection committee included Alex Menezes of Brazil, Chibuke Ameachi of Nigeria, Sisonke Msimang and Salim Abdool Karim of South Africa, Cate Hankins of Switzerland, Lori Heise, Polly Harrison and Sharon Hillier of the U.S., and Shaun Mellors of the UK.

The award honors Omololu Falobi, a visionary leader who continues to inspire many people and projects. He was a leading HIV/AIDS activist, an advocate for prevention research, and an exceptional journalist. Omololu made enormous impact in Nigeria and beyond - he nurtured and/or led campaigns related to prevention, treatment and research; won multiple awards nationally and internationally; and earned a tremendous reputation from all who had the privilege to work with him. He established Journalists Against AIDS in Nigeria (JAAIDS), co-created the Nigeria-AIDS eForum, co-founded the Nigerian HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Group (NHVMAG), was an instrumental pioneer member of the Treatment Access Movement (TAM) Nigeria and a key leader of the African Civil Society Coalition on HIV and AIDS.

Financial support for the 2010 Award comes from Microbicides 2010 conference, AVAC, GCM, Family Health International, NHVMAS and The United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Source: AVAC

CONTACT: Manju Chatani, +1-413-923-8674,; or Kay
Marshall, +1-347-249-6375,, both of AVAC

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25 May 2010
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The Nomination for Global Education Award 2010 Open

The nomination for Global Education Award 2010 open

CCLP Worldwide has come up with global Award to recognise individuals, non-governmental organizations and degree granting institution from throughout the world that demonstrate extraordinary effort, innovation, leadership, and excellence in initiating and supporting educational efforts or support or campaign or project to humanity. CCLP Worldwide not only recognizes prominent and famous international NGOs and celebrity, but also the smaller, lesser-known NGOs and not very famous in the least developed countries, whose valuable contribution may have gone unnoticed and unappreciated on social front. The Global Awards are presented each year at the time of the CCLP Worldwide Annual Conference or similar events as planned time to time. The following are awards which are presented: Global Award for advancing education for livelihood-Individual Category Global Award for promoting education for livelihood-Organisational Category Global Award for supporting and expanding the scope of education-Degree granting institution An Awards Jury composed of experts drawn from international diplomat, social activist and person from education profession, select the winners from among nominations received. Last date for submitting nomination closes on 31st July 2010

The Winners of Global Education Award 2010 shall receive Award Plaque, Award Certificate, High Merit medal, and entry in Education Charter Edition (Individual Category)

Award Jury
Call for nomination
Winners of Global Award 2009
Nomination may be filled online from here

Unregulated Internet Automobile Sales Are A Ticking Time Bomb

26 May 2010 11:18 Africa/Lagos

Unregulated Internet Automobile Sales Are A Ticking Time Bomb

Automotive Recyclers Association pushes lawmakers to close loopholes and to review outdated vehicle regulations.

MANASSAS, Va., May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) is calling upon state lawmakers to review and update gaps in laws that allow: (1) vehicles to be sold and transferred without the proper paperwork; (2) allow total loss vehicles, vehicles damaged so severely that the cost of repairs and the salvage value combined exceed the current value of the vehicle, back on the road and (3) allow individuals to bypass important environmental regulations regarding the safe disposal of vehicles. Last year alone, some three million-plus total loss vehicles were sold at salvage pool auctions throughout the United States - many of which were sold to unregulated buyers via the Internet.

In a steep departure from past practices, these severely damaged motor vehicles are now electronically bypassing state laws and regulations. "Most of the safeguards in place across the country were instituted before the explosion of the Internet and don't take into account the ease and reliance of our society on Internet commerce. Every day in the United States, individuals and entities are using the Internet to bypass safety standards and circumventing state statutes designed to protect consumers and the environment," says Michael E. Wilson, Automotive Recyclers Association's Chief Executive Officer.

Terrorist networks and organized crime syndicates are exploiting loopholes to fund their criminal activities. In fact, many severely damaged total loss vehicles that are sold through salvage auctions are fetching huge sums because criminals merely want the VIN plate and paperwork that go with these vehicles. The purchasers can then use this information to cover up undamaged stolen vehicles by replacing the VINs and corresponding paperwork from the total loss vehicle -- securing tens of thousand of dollars in financial gain from the sales of clean stolen vehicles.

Based on press accounts, the Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad purchased the 1993 Nissan Pathfinder through a cash deal made on the popular consumer website Craigslist. No documents were exchanged and no vehicle registration was recorded. The $1,300 deal was finalized at a Connecticut shopping mall where the buyer handed over the money to the unsuspecting seller and drove off. Shahzad then destroyed one Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the Pathfinder, not realizing it had many others. This mistake gave investigators the ability to trace the car to the Connecticut seller. Shahzad also used a stolen license plate to drive the car into New York City.

"Loopholes like this result in the defrauding of consumers on motor vehicle sales and purchases, criminal activity of all sorts, and even the bypassing of safe environmental regulations regarding the disposal of retired vehicles. The Time Square bombing attempt should be a wake-up call to elected officials throughout the country to review motor vehicle sales statues," Wilson adds.

Ultimately, ARA will continue to advocate for the protection of the consumer and the automotive recycling industry from potential fraud and environmental hazards that modern technology and commerce opportunities have created, and also continue to highlight loopholes in outdated laws and regulations.

Established in 1943, the Automotive Recyclers Association ("ARA") represents an industry dedicated to the efficient removal and reuse of "green" automotive parts, and the proper recycling of inoperable motor vehicles. ARA represents over 4,500 auto recycling facilities in the United States and fourteen other countries around the world. With programs such as the Certified Automotive Recycler Program (CAR) and other partnerships, ARA members continue to provide consumers with quality, low cost alternatives for vehicle replacement parts, while preserving our environment for a "greener" tomorrow. To learn more about the Association, visit ARA online at or call (571) 208-0428.

This press release was issued through For further information, visit

Source: Automotive Recyclers Association

CONTACT: Anthony Livingston of Automotive Recyclers Association,

Web Site:

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