Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Americans Are Getting Fatter and Fatter in 28 States in the US



29 Jun 2010 16:07 Africa/Lagos


New Report: Adult Obesity Increases in 28 States

Striking Disparities Persist; Obesity Rates Highest Among Blacks and Southerners

WASHINGTON, June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Adult obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year, and declined only in the District of Columbia (D.C.), according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2010, a report from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). More than two-thirds of states (38) have adult obesity rates above 25 percent. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent.


(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100204/TFAHLOGO)
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100204/TFAHLOGO)


The report highlights troubling racial, ethnic, regional and income disparities in the nation's obesity epidemic. For instance, adult obesity rates for Blacks and Latinos were higher than for Whites in at least 40 states and the District of Columbia; 10 out of the 11 states with the highest rates of obesity were in the South - with Mississippi weighing in with highest rates for all adults (33.8 percent) for the sixth year in a row; and 35.3 percent of adults earning less than $15,000 per year were obese compared with 24.5 percent of adults earning $50,000 or more per year.


"Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges the country has ever faced, and troubling disparities exist based on race, ethnicity, region, and income," said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH. "This report shows that the country has taken bold steps to address the obesity crisis in recent years, but the nation's response has yet to fully match the magnitude of the problem. Millions of Americans still face barriers - like the high cost of healthy foods and lack of access to safe places to be physically active - that make healthy choices challenging."


The report also includes obesity rates among youths ages 10-17, and the results of a new poll on childhood obesity conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and American Viewpoint. The poll shows that 80 percent of Americans recognize that childhood obesity is a significant and growing challenge for the country, and 50 percent of Americans believe childhood obesity is such an important issue that we need to invest more to prevent it immediately. The survey also found that 84 percent of parents believe their children are at a healthy weight, but research shows nearly one-third of children and teens are obese or overweight. Obesity rates among youths ages 10-17 from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) also were included in the 2009 F as in Fat report. Data collection for the next NSCH will begin in 2011. Currently, more than 12 million children and adolescents are considered obese.


"Obesity rates among the current generation of young people are unacceptably high and a very serious problem," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., RWJF president and CEO. "To reverse this national epidemic, we have to make every community a healthy community. Americans are increasingly ready and willing to make that investment."


Additional key findings include:
-- Adult obesity rates for Blacks topped 40 percent in nine states, 35
percent in 34 states, and 30 percent in 43 states and D.C.
-- Rates of adult obesity for Latinos were above 35 percent in two states
(North Dakota and Tennessee) and at 30 percent and above in 19 states.
-- Ten of the 11 states with the highest rates of diabetes are in the
South, as are the 10 states with the highest rates of hypertension.
-- No state had rates of adult obesity above 35 percent for Whites. Only
one state--West Virginia--had an adult obesity rate for Whites greater
than 30 percent.
-- The number of states where adult obesity rates exceed 30 percent
doubled in the past year, from four to eight--Alabama, Arkansas,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West
Virginia.
-- Northeastern and Western states had the lowest adult obesity rates;
Colorado remained the lowest at 19.1 percent.


The report found that the federal government and many states are undertaking a wide range of policy initiatives to address the obesity crisis. Some key findings include that:


At the federal level:
-- The new health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act of 2010, has the potential to address the obesity epidemic through
a number of prevention and wellness provisions, expand coverage to
millions of uninsured Americans, and create a reliable funding stream
through the creation of the Prevention and Public Health Fund;
-- Community Transformation grants have the potential to help leverage
the success of existing evidence-based disease prevention programs;
-- President Barack Obama created a White House Task Force on Childhood
Obesity, which issued a new national obesity strategy that contained
concrete measures and roles for every agency in the federal
government; and
-- First Lady Michelle Obama launched the "Let's Move" initiative to
solve childhood obesity within a generation.

And at the state level:
-- Twenty states and D.C. set nutritional standards for school lunches,
breakfasts and snacks that are stricter than current United States
Department of Agriculture requirements. Five years ago, only four
states had legislation requiring stricter standards.
-- Twenty-eight states and D.C. have nutritional standards for
competitive foods sold in schools on a la carte lines, in vending
machines, in school stores, or through school bake sales. Five years
ago, only six states had nutritional standards for competitive foods.
-- Every state has some form of physical education requirement for
schools, but these requirements are often limited, not enforced or do
not meet adequate quality standards.
-- Twenty states have passed requirements for body mass index screenings
of children and adolescents or have passed legislation requiring other
forms of weight and/or fitness related assessments in schools. Five
years ago, only four states had passed screening requirements.


To enhance the prevention of obesity and related diseases, TFAH and RWJF provide a list of recommended actions in the report. Some key policy recommendations include:


-- Support obesity- and disease-prevention programs through the new
health reform law's Prevention and Public Health Fund, which provides
$15 billion in mandatory appropriations for public health and
prevention programs over the next 10 years.
-- Align federal policies and legislation with the goals of the
forthcoming National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy.
Opportunities to do this can be found through key pieces of federal
legislation that are up for reauthorization in the next few years,
including the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act; the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act; and the Surface Transportation
Authorization Act.
-- Expand the commitment to community-based prevention programs initiated
under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 through new
provisions in the health reform law, such as Community Transformation
grants and the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
-- Continue to invest in research and evaluation on nutrition, physical
activity, obesity and obesity-related health outcomes and associated
interventions.


The full report with state rankings in all categories is available on TFAH's Web site at www.healthyamericans.org and RWJF's Web site at www.rwjf.org. The report was supported by a grant from RWJF.


STATE-BY-STATE ADULT OBESITY RANKINGS


Note: 1 = Highest rate of adult obesity, 51 = lowest rate of adult obesity. Rankings are based on combining three years of data (2007-2009) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to "stabilize" data for comparison purposes. This methodology, recommended by the CDC, compensates for any potential anomalies or usual changes due to the specific sample in any given year in any given state. States with statistically significant (p<0.05) increases for one year are noted with an asterisk (*), states with statistically significant increases for two years in a row are noted with two asterisks (**), states with statistically significant increases for three years in a row are noted with three asterisks (***). Additional information about methodologies and confidence intervals is available in the report. Individuals with a body mass index (BMI) (a calculation based on weight and height ratios) of 30 or higher are considered obese.


1. Mississippi*** (33.8%); 2. (tie) Alabama (31.6%); and Tennessee*** (31.6%); 4. West Virginia (31.3%); 5. Louisiana* (31.2%); 6. Oklahoma*** (30.6%); 7. Kentucky* (30.5%); 8. Arkansas* (30.1%); 9. South Carolina (29.9%); 10. (tie) Michigan (29.4%); and North Carolina*** (29.4%); 12. Missouri* (29.3%); 13. (tie) Ohio (29.0%); and Texas* (29.0%); 15. South Dakota*** (28.5%); 16. Kansas*** (28.2%); 17. (tie) Georgia (28.1%); Indiana* (28.1%); and Pennsylvania*** (28.1%); 20. Delaware (27.9%); 21. North Dakota** (27.7%); 22. Iowa* (27.6%); 23. Nebraska (27.3%); 24. (tie) Alaska (26.9%); and Wisconsin (26.9%); 26. (tie) Illinois* (26.6%); and Maryland (26.6%); 28. Washington*** (26.3%); 29. (tie) Arizona (25.8%); and Maine** (25.8%); 31. Nevada (25.6%); 32. (tie) Minnesota (25.5%); New Mexico*** (25.5%); and Virginia (25.5%); 35. New Hampshire* (25.4%); 36. (tie) Florida** (25.1%); Idaho (25.1%); and New York (25.1%); 39. (tie) Oregon (25.0%); and Wyoming (25.0%); 41. California* (24.4%); 42. New Jersey (23.9%); 43. Montana*** (23.5%); 44. Utah* (23.2%); 45. Rhode Island* (22.9%); 46. Vermont*** (22.8%); 47. Hawaii** (22.6%); 48. Massachusetts* (21.7%); 49. District of Columbia. (21.5%); 50. Connecticut (21.4%); 51. Colorado (19.1%).


STATE-BY-STATE ADULT OBESITY RANKINGS FOR BLACKS


Note: 1 = Highest rate of adult obesity, 51 = lowest rate of adult obesity. Rankings are based on combining three years of data (2007-2009) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to "stabilize" data for comparison purposes. This methodology, recommended by the CDC, compensates for any potential anomalies or usual changes due to the specific sample in any given year in any given state.


1. Wisconsin (44.0%); 2. Mississippi (42.9%); 3. Kentucky (42.6%); 4. Kansas (41.9%); 5. Alabama (41.7%); 6. (tie) Tennessee (41.1%); and North Carolina (41.1%); 8. Ohio (40.9%); 9. Delaware (40.6%); 10. Arkansas (39.8%); 11. South Carolina (39.4%); 12. Louisiana (38.7%); 13. (tie) Missouri (38.4%); Pennsylvania (38.4%); and Oregon (38.4%); 16. Michigan (38.2%); 17. Wyoming (37.9%); 18. Texas (37.6%); 19. Idaho (37.3%); 20. (tie) West Virginia (37.2%); and Maine (37.2%); 22. (tie) California (37.1%); and Oklahoma (37.1%); 24. Nebraska (37.0%); 25. Georgia (36.5%); 26. New Mexico (36.4%); 27. (tie) Florida (36.3%); and Maryland (36.3%); 29. New Jersey (36.1%); 30. Indiana (35.9%); 31. Alaska (35.7%); 32. Illinois (35.5%); 33. (tie) Connecticut (35.4%); and Virginia (35.4%); 35. Utah (34.5%); 36. District of Columbia (34.4%); 37. Iowa (34.1%); 38. Arizona (32.5%); 39. Washington (32.2%); 40. North Dakota (31.3%); 41. Rhode Island (30.8%); 42. New York (30.6%); 43. Hawaii (30.4%); 44. Vermont (30.1%); 45. Massachusetts (29.0%); 46. Minnesota (28.6%); 47. Colorado (28.1%); 48. South Dakota (27.5%); 49. New Hampshire (27.2%); 50. Montana (26.2%); 51. Nevada (25.8%).


STATE-BY-STATE ADULT OBESITY RANKINGS FOR LATINOS


Note: 1 = Highest rate of adult obesity, 51 = lowest rate of adult obesity. Rankings are based on combining three years of data (2007-2009) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to "stabilize" data for comparison purposes. This methodology, recommended by the CDC, compensates for any potential anomalies or usual changes due to the specific sample in any given year in any given state.


1. Tennessee (39.5%); 2. North Dakota (37.4%); 3. (tie) Missouri (34.0%); and Texas (34.0%); 5. (tie) Michigan (33.4%); and Arizona (33.4%); 7. Pennsylvania (33.3%); 8. Alabama (33.2%); 9. Kansas (32.8%); 10. (tie) Ohio (32.5%); and Alaska (32.5%); 12. Louisiana (30.8%); 13. New Mexico (30.7%); 14. Illinois (30.6%); 15. Oklahoma (30.4%); 16. Nebraska (30.3%); 17. (tie) Georgia (30.2%); and California (30.2%); 19. Wyoming (30.0%); 20. Washington (29.9%); 21. Arkansas (29.6%); 22. Iowa (29.4%); 23. Virginia (29.2%); 24. Idaho (29.1%); 25. West Virginia (28.5%); 26. (tie) South Carolina (28.4%); and Nevada (28.4%); 28. New York (28.0%); 29. Kentucky (27.9%); 30. Florida (27.8%); 31. Hawaii (27.7%); 32. Massachusetts (27.1%); 33. Rhode Island (27.0%); 34. (tie) Delaware (26.8%); and Indiana (26.8%); 36. (tie) Minnesota (26.4%); New Hampshire (26.4%); and Connecticut (26.4%); 39. South Dakota (26.2%); 40. North Carolina (25.7%); 41. Mississippi (25.6%); 42. New Jersey (25.4%); 43. Wisconsin (24.9%); 44. Colorado (24.5%); 45. Maryland (24.4%); 46. Oregon (23.7%); 47. Utah (23.6%); 48. Montana (23.2%); 49. Maine (21.0%); 50. Vermont (20.8%); 51. District of Columbia (20.6%).


Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need--the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.


Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100204/TFAHLOGO
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100204/TFAHLOGO
Source: Trust for America's Health

CONTACT: Elle Hogan, +1-202-223-9870 x 21, ehogan@tfah.org, Laura Segal,
+1-202-223-9870 x 27, lsegal@tfah.org, both of Trust for America's Health; or
Susan Levine, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, +1-609-627-6343,
slevine@rwjf.org


Web Site: http://healthyamericans.org/

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

President Obama Nominates a New Ambassador to Nigeria

29 Jun 2010 14:47 Africa/Lagos


USA / Nigeria / President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 6/28/10


WASHINGTON, June 29, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individual to key administration posts:

Terence P. McCulley, Nominee for Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Department of State

Terence P. McCulley is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, with the rank of Minister-Counselor. He served most recently as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark. Prior to this, Mr. McCulley was the U.S. Ambassador to Mali, and he has served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Tunisia, Senegal and Togo. Other overseas postings include Niger, South Africa, India and Chad. In Washington, Mr. McCulley was the senior desk officer for Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), and Deputy Coordinator for Iraq Assistance. A native of Oregon, he is a graduate in History and French of the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Source: The White House


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Monday, June 28, 2010

Nigerians Should Forgive and Give IBB Another Chance


IBB


I beg, please, if you have anything against former military President, General Ibrahim Babamosi Babangida, forgive him so that God will also forgive you too.

True Christians must be willing to forgive those who repent.
Or have you forgotten your Holy Bible.
Say the Lord's Prayer again.

What of those who murdered Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola?

The irony of it all is the fact that, even the millions of criminals and sinners and their accomplices, including the devil incarnates who hide their transgressions in Nigeria are casting stones at IBB.
SHAMELESS HYPOCRITES AND INGRATES.
Tuffia kwa!

if everyone who has committed an offence in Nigeria is doing as IBB is begging for forgiveness, Nigeria will soon become heaven on earth.


Whoever covers over his sins does not prosper. Whoever confesses and abandons them receives compassion.
~ Proverbs 28:13
FINIS.



Two Nigerian Women Scientists Win the Elsevier Foundation TWOWS Awards

Two Nigerian Women Scientists Win the Elsevier Foundation TWOWS Awards


Dr. Uchechi Ekwenye, a biologist at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture in Abia state and Dr. N.A. Ezejiofor of the Dept. of Pharmacology at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital lead the only three women from Africa among the 12 winners of the 2010 Elsevier Foundation TWOWS Awards.

The 12 winners are outstanding young women biologists, chemists, physicists and mathematicians recognized across the developing world.

The following is the news release from the Elsevier Foundation.


27 Jun 2010 09:00 Africa/Lagos


Twelve Women Scientists Announced as Winners of Elsevier Foundation TWOWS Awards

BEIJING, June 27, 2010/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

The Elsevier Foundation, TWAS and TWOWS announced today that they are recognizing twelve talented women scientists from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean for their research excellence. The announcement was made at the Third World Organization for Women in Science (TWOWS) 4th General Assembly and International Conference, Women Scientists in a Changing World, hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing from 27-30 June 2010. Each winner will receive a cash prize of US$5,000.


Through a grant from the Elsevier Foundation ( http://www.elsevierfoundation.org/) , the TWOWS Awards for Young Women Scientists were expanded to cover three disciplines in each region - Biology, Chemistry, and Physics/Maths. The grant was made as part of The Elsevier Foundation New Scholar's program, which supports programs for women scholars during the early stages of demanding careers in science and technology. After a rigorous review by the four regional TWOWS committees, shortlisted candidates in each discipline were nominated and subsequently ranked by the regional vice presidents and Kaiser Jamil, the current TWOWS president. The twelve winners include:


Region Subject Nominee Country Institution

Asia.
Biology: ZENG, Fanyi China Shanghai Institute of Medical Genetics.

Chemistry. ORHAN, Ilkay Turkey Dept. of Pharmacognosy, Gazi University.

Phys/Maths. MAHADEVAN, P. India S,N. Bose National Centre for Basic.

Sciences

Africa
Biology: EKWENYE, Uchechi Nigeria Michael Okpara University of Agriculture.

Chemistry: EZEJIOFOR, N.A. Nigeria Dept. of Pharmacology, Abia State University Teaching Hospital.

Phys/Maths: STEENKAMP, C.M. S. Africa University of Stellenbosch.

Arab R.
Biology: ABDEL-SALAM, Ghada Egypt National Research Centre
Chemistry ALSAKA, Lilyan Iraq Environmental & Pollution Control
Research Centre.

Phys/Maths: ALI, Sakina F.A. Yemen Dept. of Physics, Sana'a University.

LAC
Biology: AMEZCUA-ALLIERI, Mexico Mexican Institute of M.A. Petroleum.

Chemistry: RIVERA, Aramis Cuba Institute of Science and Technology of Materials, University of Havana.

Phys/Maths: PELAIZ-BARRANCO, Cuba Physics Faculty, Aime University of Havana.

"It gives us great pleasure to announce the twelve recipients of the TWOWS Awards for Young Women Scientists," says Kaiser Jamil, President TWOWS. "The recognition that this provides will undoubtedly provide an invaluable boost to the promising careers of these young women scientists. TWOWS extends a warm thanks to the Elsevier Foundation for making this possible."


"The Elsevier Foundation is honored to be able to recognize and reward talented young women scientists from around the world," noted David Ruth, the Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation. "Encouraging the work of promising scientists in the developing world helps to promote wider participation and excellence in science, a key objective of the Elsevier Foundation's New Scholars program."


About TWOWS


The Third World Organization for Women in Science (TWOWS) is an international sister organization of TWAS, The academy of sciences for the developing world. TWOWS is headed by eminent women scientists from the south, consisting of more than 3,000 members. The central role is to promote women's access to science and technology, enhancing their greater involvement in the decision-making processes for the development of their countries and in the international scientific community. Created in 1989, TWOWS' overall goal is to work towards bridging the gender gap in science and technology. TWOWS uses its forum for intellectual discussions to assist in the development of national capabilities to evolve, explore and improve strategies for increasing female participation in science.


About TWAS


TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world is an autonomous international organization, based in Trieste, Italy, that promotes scientific excellence for sustainable development in the South. Originally named "Third World Academy of Sciences", it was founded in 1983 by a distinguished group of scientists from the South under the leadership of the late Nobel laureate Abdus Salam of Pakistan. The Academy's strength resides in the quality and diversity of its membership - internationally renowned scientists elected by their peers. TWAS currently has more than 900 members from 90 countries, 73 of which are developing countries. It is administered by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and financially supported by the Italian government.


About The Elsevier Foundation


The Elsevier Foundation (http://www.elsevierfoundation.org/) provides grants to institutions around the world, with a focus on support for the world's libraries and for scholars in the early stages of their careers. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 60 grants worth millions of dollars to non-profit organizations working in these fields. In January 2010, $600,000 in grants was awarded to 12 organizations selected for their innovation and potential for impact in the developing world and academic workplace. Through gift-matching, the Foundation also supports the efforts of Elsevier employees to play a positive role in their local and global communities. The Elsevier Foundation is funded by Elsevier (http://www.elsevier.com), a leading global publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.


About Elsevier


Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet (http://www.thelancet.com) and Cell (http://www.cell.com), and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier's online solutions include ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com), Scopus (http://www.scopus.com), Reaxys (http://www.reaxys.com), MD Consult (http://www.mdconsult.com) and Nursing Consult (http://www.nursingconsult.com), which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite (http://www.scival.com ) and MEDai's Pinpoint Review (http://www.medai.com), which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.


A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier ( http://www.elsevier.com) employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC (http://www.reedelsevier.com), a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).



Media Contacts:

TWOWS
Daniel Schaffer, Information Officer
Tel: +39-040-2240 571
Email: schaffer@twas.org

Web: http://www.twows.org

Tasia Asakawa
Tel: +39-040-2240-516
Email: asakawa@twas.org

Elsevier Foundation
Ylann Schemm
Corporate Relations Manager
Tel: +31-20-485-2025
newsroom@elsevier.com
Elsevier@kaizo.net




Source: The Elsevier Foundation

TWOWS, Daniel Schaffer, Information Officer, Tel: +39-040-2240 571, Email: schaffer@twas.org; Tasia Asakawa, Tel: +39-040-2240-516, Email: asakawa@twas.org, Elsevier Foundation, Ylann Schemm, Corporate Relations Manager, Tel: +31-20-485-2025, newsroom@elsevier.com, Elsevier@kaizo.net


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Sunday, June 27, 2010

DBN TV and Supple Communications Sign MoU on Eko International Film Festival


DBN TV AND SUPPLE COMMUNICATIONS SIGN MOU ON EKO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

The first private TV station in Nigeria Degue Broadcasting Network (DBN) Television has signed a four-year MOU with Supple Communications Limited as a major project partner for the organization of Eko International Film Festival (EKOIFF).
The inaugural Eko International Film Festival comes up in the city of Lagos from July 7-12, 2010.

Award winning filmmakers from Germany, UK, Spain, France, Albania, Kenya and Nigeria are participating in the film fiesta with over 25 films including the thrilling Glamrock City and the King of Palma.

Osa Sonny Adun

Mr. Osa Sonny Adun, the Chairman/CEO of DBN TV and Vice-Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) believes that the Eko International Film festival is a very ambitious project that will increase the global mileage and patronage of the Nigerian film industry and the multiplier spinoffs will boost the economy.

Hope Obioma Opara


Mr. Hope Obioma Opara, the President/Co-founder of Eko International Film Festival commends the foresight of DBN TV to partner with Supple Communications Limited to bring the film world to the shores of Nigeria.



Friday, June 25, 2010

President Obama at Lowest Job Performance Ratings Since Taking Office

25 Jun 2010 10:05 Africa/Lagos

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President Obama at Lowest Job Performance Ratings Since Taking Office

39% of Americans give him positive ratings; 34% think country heading in right direction

NEW YORK, June 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As most Americans think about summer vacations, barbecues and the beach, President Obama has other things on his mind, including the oil spill in the Gulf, a shift of military leaders in Afghanistan, the economic summit in Canada and, as since taking office, jobs and the economy. And perhaps, because of all this, the President is now at his worst job ratings with only 39% of Americans giving him positive ratings on the overall job he is doing and 61% giving him negative marks. This is down from May when 42% gave him positive ratings and 58% negative ones.


(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO )
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO )


These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,227 adults surveyed online between June 14 and 21, 2010 by Harris Interactive.


One problem for President Obama is that he is losing support from his base. Three in ten Democrats (29%) and Liberals (30%) give him negative ratings for the overall job he is doing. While it is not surprising that large numbers of Republicans (92%) and Conservatives (86%) give him negative ratings, two-thirds of Independents (68%) and almost three in five Moderates (58%) do so, as well.


There are also regional differences in how Americans view President Obama's job performance. Those in the East and West are more likely to give him positive ratings (43% and 41% respectively) while those in the South are more likely to give the president negative ratings (65%). The more education one has, the more likely they are to think President Obama is doing a good job. Just three in ten of those with a high school degree or less (31%) give the president positive ratings compared to 47% of college graduates and over half of those with a post-graduate education (53%).


Going hand in hand with the president's job numbers is how people think the country overall is doing. Just one-third of Americans (34%) believe the country is heading in the right direction while 66% say it is going off on the wrong track. This is down from last month when 36% said the country was heading in the right direction and 64% believed it was off on the right track.


In looking at the most important issues for the government to address, it is not surprising that economic issues rise to the top as almost three in ten Americans each say the most important issue for the government to address is the economy (28%) and employment/jobs (28%). Even though a reform bill has been signed into law, almost one-quarter (23%) say health care should be addressed. And, new to the list one in five Americans (20%) say the oil spill in the Gulf needs to be addressed.


So What?


It is a tough situation for any president to deal with, when faced with so many competing problems and being pulled in so many directions at once. For this president, one of the issues is that even when it appears he has a win, such as with health care reform, the battle was so costly that the win falls hollow. Now he and the White House are faced with congressional elections in just a few months, an angry electorate, and dwindling support among his own partisans. If the summer does not go well for President Obama and this continues to trickle down to Democrats across the country, there very well may be a new party in control of Congress in January.

Read more.



Thursday, June 24, 2010

So, Are You One of Them?

Nigeria is the way she is today in terrible mess, because majority of Nigerians think from their loins and not from their brains.
Nigeria is what Nigerians are.

Where people do not read, there will be more morons in the land.

Majority of Nigerians in Nigeria think and bahave like dogs, monkeys and pigs.
So, Nigeria is ruled by humans who behave like domesticated animals following their animal instinct and the few people of great intellect are now hostages of the brutes on rampage in the country.

The brutes are posing and posturing to be civilized, but by their brutish actions, they cannot pretend for long before they are exposed in public.

As Jesus Christ our Messiah said, by their fruits you shall know them. So they are manifesting their clannish and fiendish characters.

Their conceit and deceit are being exposed daily on the pages of our newspapers, magazines, books and other meda online and offline.

So, are you one of them?
Where do you belong?
Those who think and act with their brains or the beasts among us who think and act from their loins.

We must separate the sheep from the goats lest you would be mistaken as one of them.
Show me your works and I will tell you who you are.
Facts do not lie.



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nigeria to Lead Africa in Telecom Growth Through 2014, Pyramid Finds



23 Jun 2010 17:00 Africa/Lagos


Nigeria to Lead Africa in Telecom Growth Through 2014, Pyramid Finds

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Nigeria will reign as Africa's fastest-growing telecom market over the next five years, fueled by several new entrants, the launch of mobile value-added and broadband services, and most recently by the introduction of mobile number portability and mobile termination rate cuts that will drive even more market competition, according to a new report from Pyramid Research (www.pyr.com).


Globacom is the leading mobile telecom company in Nigeria


Nigeria: Regulatory Reform Spurs Competition and Keeps Operators Busy delivers a full accounting of Nigeria's telecom sector, including a full breakout of network operator revenues and market share by network service type (fixed services, mobile services, and pay TV). The 28-page report provides a five-year demand forecast for telecom services in Nigeria, broken out by seven different service types, as well as a five-year forecast of mobile service uptake by technology type. It includes a detailed analysis of Nigeria's regulatory and economic environment and offers action points for network operators, vendors, and investors. Download a report excerpt here: http://www.pyramidresearch.com/downloads.htm?id=18&sc=PRN062310_CIRNIG. Purchase the report online here: http://www.pyramidresearch.com/store/CIRNIGERIA.htm?sc=PRN062310_CIRNIG.


"Telecom industry liberalization has pushed market penetration of telecom services in Nigeria from just 1.2% in 2002 to an estimated 48.9% at the end of 2009, thanks to the entry of new operators, the expansion of CDMA operators into mobile services, the provision of low-cost services, and the expansion of coverage to underserved areas," says Badii Kechiche, Senior Analyst at Pyramid Research and author of this report. "2010 will see the introduction of mobile number portability and mobile termination rate cuts, which we expect to improve competitiveness despite the short-term impact on interconnect revenue and subscription growth," says Kechiche.


Nigeria is one of the most competitive markets in Africa, with more than double the average number of operators than any other African country, Kechiche notes. "Operators have been investing in and upgrading their networks to meet demand, since they realize that their success will be based on a differentiated service quality, attractive services, and a good value proposition," he adds.


Nigeria: Regulatory Reform Spurs Competition and Keeps Operators Busy is part of Pyramid Research's Africa/Middle East Country Intelligence Report Series. Download an excerpt here: http://www.pyramidresearch.com/downloads.htm?id=18&sc=PRN062310_CIRNIG. This report can be purchased online here: http://www.pyramidresearch.com/store/CIRNIGERIA.htm?sc=PRN062310_CIRNIG or by emailing us at info@pyr.com.


Press Contact:
Jennifer Baker
+1-617-871-1910
jbaker@pyr.com


Source: Pyramid Research

CONTACT: Jennifer Baker of Pyramid Research, +1-617-871-1910,
jbaker@pyr.com


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


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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Want to Ban Vuvuzelas at World Cup? There's an App for That!



22 Jun 2010 11:02 Africa/Lagos


Want to Ban Vuvuzelas at World Cup? There's an App for That!

LONDON, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The millions of soccer fans worldwide calling for an end to those annoying vuvuzela horns at the World Cup should take the do-it-yourself approach and banish these pesky horns in the virtual world.


Fans who think the vuvuzelas give South Africa an undue competitive edge, or who just can't stand the noise, have a great way to vent their anger and disappointment by playing a newly-released game on an iPhone app called Vuvuzaga - the 'parody'.


Vuvuzaga takes players on a ride through a soccer stadium to banish the long, noisy vuvuzela horns that South African fans love to blow during a football game. And the best news is that soccer fans can vent their anger, frustration and disappointment for only 99 cents by downloading Vuvuzaga at www.vuvuzaga.com


"The game takes frustrated soccer fans out of their misery in a humorous way by using such characters as the Fat Banker, a WAG or a chav," says Chuck Edward of London, developer of this fun and whacky iPhone game. "While the vuvuzela will be present at the World Cup games, livid soccer fans at least can get the satisfaction of blotting out the horns in the virtual world."


The sound of the vuvuzela, which is louder than a chainsaw, has been compared to the drone of a thousand bees. Public health officials have warned that the playing of thousands of vuvuzelas in the World Cup 95,000 seat Soccer City stadium is louder than a referee's whistle at 121.8 decibels.


Vuvuzelas are creating a worldwide stir on internet discussion boards, Facebook and Twitter, even Jay Leno weighed in. Now soccer fans can vote to ban or keep Vuvuzelas at www.Vuvuzaga.com where a whopping 87% of the visitors want em banned.


Nevertheless, World Cup officials respond that vuvuzelas are "ingrained in the history of South Africa" and will not be banned.


"Vuvuzaga is definitely something that is fun to play when there's a break in the game," says Jerad Hill, host of the Daily App Show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpB57szmCTM "The game, suitable for all ages, is simple to use."


Source: Vuvuzaga

CONTACT: Media, Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications,
+1-734-667-2090, scottlorenz@westwindcos.com, iPhone App Marketing
(http://www.westwindcos.com/releases/52_Ways_to_Promote_Your_iPhone_App.htm),
http://www.westwindcos.com/

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



Scientists Announce Discovery of 3.6 Million-Year-Old Relative of 'Lucy'



21 Jun 2010 20:00 Africa/Lagos

Scientists Announce Discovery of 3.6 Million-Year-Old Relative of 'Lucy'
Early Hominid Skeleton Confirms Human-Like Walking is Ancient


CLEVELAND, June 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Meet "Lucy's" great-grandfather. Scientists from The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Kent State University, Case Western Reserve University, Addis Ababa University and Berkeley Geochronology Center were part of an international team that discovered and analyzed a 3.6 million-year-old partial skeleton found in Ethiopia. The early hominid is 400,000 years older than the famous "Lucy" skeleton. Research on this new specimen indicates that advanced human-like, upright walking occurred much earlier than previously thought.

The discovery and results from this initial analysis will be published this week in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The partial skeleton belongs to "Lucy's" species, Australopithecus afarensis. It was found in the Woranso-Mille area of Ethiopia's Afar region by a team led by first author Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Curator and Head of physical anthropology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The partial skeleton was excavated over five years after the discovery of a fragment of the lower arm bone in 2005. The excavation recovered the most complete clavicle and one of the most complete shoulder blades ever found in the human fossil record.

The specimen was nicknamed "Kadanuumuu" (kah-dah-nuu-muu) by the authors. "Kadanuumuu" means "big man" in the Afar language and reflects its large size. The male hominid stood between 5 to 5 1/2 feet tall, while "Lucy" stood at about 3 1/2 feet.

"This individual was fully bipedal and had the ability to walk almost like modern humans," said Haile-Selassie. "As a result of this discovery, we can now confidently say that 'Lucy' and her relatives were almost as proficient as we are walking on two legs, and that the elongation of our legs came earlier in our evolution than previously thought."


Co-author Dr. C. Owen Lovejoy, Kent State University professor of anthropology, explained, "The new specimen tells us much more about the pelvis, thorax, and limb proportions than 'Lucy' was able to alone."

Authors of the research include Dr. Bruce Latimer, director of the Center for Human Origins at Case Western Reserve University; and Dr. Beverly Saylor, associate professor of geological sciences at Case Western Reserve University.
View the press backgrounder and images at www.cmnh.org/site/Kadanuumuu.aspx.

Source: Cleveland Museum of Natural History

CONTACT: Glenda Bogar, +1-216-231-2071, gbogar@cmnh.org, or Marie Graf,
+1-216-231-2070, both of Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Web Site: http://www.cmnh.org/



Monday, June 21, 2010

World Finance Banking Awards 2010

21 Jun 2010 11:41 Africa/Lagos


World Finance Banking Awards 2010

LONDON, June 21, 2010/PRNewswire/ -- The crisis had its reverberations on developed and developing economies. However, not all banks experienced the kinds of losses that even revered financial institutions of the other countries have faced.


World Finance has conducted in-depth investigations into the banking sector. Continuing the magazine's awards for 2010, emerging markets in particular have produced remarkable results, for we which we are pleased to reward. Congratulations to the winners.



Best Commercial Bank, Angola
BAI

Best Banking Group, Angola
Banco Espirito Santo Angola

Best Investment Bank, Angola
BAI

Best Banking Group, Baltics
AB Bank SNORAS

Best Commercial Bank, Bolivia
Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz

Best Banking Group, Bolivia
Banco Sol S.A.

Best Investment Bank, Bolivia
Nacional Financiera Boliviana Sociedad de Titularizacion S.A.

Best Commercial Bank, Brazil
Banco Pine S.A.

Best Banking Group, Brazil
Banco BMG

Best Banking Group, Brunei
Baiduri Bank

Best Banking Group, Costa Rica
Corporacion BCT

Best Financial Group, Egypt
Arab African International Bank

Most Innovative Bank, Jamaica
National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited

Best Banking Group, Jordan
Jordan Islamic Bank

Best Banking Group, Korea
Kb Financial Group

Best Private Bank, Luxembourg
KBL European Private Bankers S.A.

Best Banking Group, Malta
Banif Bank (Malta) plc, member of the Banif Financial Group

Best Commercial Bank, Mexico
Banco Inbursa

Best Private Bank, Mexico
Banca Mifel

Best Banking Group, Nigeria
First Bank of Nigeria Plc

Best Investment Bank, Oman
Oman Arab Bank SAOC

Best Banking Group, Paraguay
Sudameris Bank

Best Banking Group, Philippines
Bank of the Philippines Islands

Best Private Bank, Philippines
Banco De Oro

Best Banking Group, Portugal
Finibanco

Excellence in Structured Finance, Portugal
Banif Banco de Investimento

Best Investment Bank, Russia
Promsvyazbank

Best Banking Group, Saudi Arabia
Bank Albilad

Best Banking Group, Singapore
Citibank Singapore Ltd

Best Banking Group, Spain
Caja De Ahorros Del Mediterraneo

Best Private Bank, Spain
Banca March

Best Banking Group, Sub-Saharan Africa
Banco Espirito Santo Angola

Best Commercial Bank, Taiwan
Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank

Best Banking Group, Taiwan
China Trust Commercial Bank

Best Commercial Bank, Thailand
Siam Commercial Bank

Best Banking Group, Thailand
Krung Thai Bank

Best Banking Group, Turkey
Yapi Kredi

Best Private Bank, Turkey
Yapi Kredi

Best Investment Bank, Turkey
IS Investment

Best Investment Bank, UAE
Abu Dhabi Investment House

Best Commercial Bank, Uruguay
Banco Comercial

Best Banking Group, Uruguay
Banco De La Republica Oriental Del Uruguay

Best Commercial Bank, Vietnam
Asia Commercial Bank

Best Banking Group, Vietnam
Petrovietnam Finance Corporation­




Notes for editors:


For further information, go to http://www.worldfinance.com, for the latest economic and financial commentary from around the globe. Also, see our videos, at http://www.worldfinance.tv, where some of the latest opinion videos are showcased. World Finance is published by World News Media.


World News Media is a leading publisher of quality financial and business magazines, enjoying a global distribution network that includes subscriber lists of the most prominent and senior decision-makers around the world, as well as comprehensive airport, hotel and conference site distribution.


Source: World Finance

For further media information contact: World Finance, Michael McCaw, Production Editor, +44(0)20-7014-0370, michael@worldfinance.com



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Kaita Definition‏



Kaita Definition‏
From: Oladipo, Tolu S

KAITA (Kai-ta) verb
v. Kai*ta, Kai*tas, kai*ta'ed, kai*ta'ing

1. To single-handedly dash all hopes and aspirations in the full glare of everyone
2. To karate-kick your way out of success
3. To destroy/zap/siphon the energies of team mates through unexplainable stupidity
4. To act foolishly, unintelligently or irrationally and IMMEDIATELY regret the action by falling on your knees


Usage:

"Please, please, do not KAITA what we have been building for 50 years o! Oloshi!"

"I don't care what people say, I will KAITA the multi-billion dollar plan!"

"That man, you know, the hopeless, useless, visionless, KAITAing guy!"

"I was KAITAing until I met Jesus!"


Synonyms:

1. Shege Banza!
2. Incapacitate
3. Destroy/Demobilize
4. Jeopardize
5. Impair
6. Implode
7. Sabotage



Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hillary Clinton Speaks on World Refugee Day



"The plight of the world's refugees is an issue that transcends not just geography and ethnicity, but politics and partisanship as well." --Secretary Clinton.




Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ben Franklin Room

Washington, DC

June 18, 2010

Good morning, and welcome to the Benjamin Franklin Room here on the eighth floor of the State Department. And we’re delighted to be joined via video link from Syria by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Gutierrez. Welcome, Antonio. And we’re delighted that either by video or audio link, we’ll have a chance to hear from UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie, who is at a refugee camp in Ecuador. And we’ll hear also from refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


I want to thank Eric for the work that he and the bureau are doing on the issue of refugees, and especially making refugees a symbol of all of the challenges that we face. As he said at the very end, there is no humanitarian answer to a lot of the refugee problems. It’s a question of better governance, more accountable governance, of political and diplomatic efforts, of reconciliation and peace, of the growth of democracies and economies. But that doesn't in any way undermine the importance of meeting the day-to-day needs of those who have been displaced by conflict, by terrorism, by natural disaster. And Eric, as all of you know, is so committed to doing his part and representing the United States and the Obama Administration.


I’m also delighted that we are joined by George Rupp, president of the International Rescue Committee and himself a tremendous leader on behalf of those who are in need – refugees across the globe; and Scott Pelley, thank you for serving as the emcee and for shining a bright light on a lot of these situations; and my friend and former colleague, Congresswoman Diane Watson from California; and all of you who represent the leaders and partners from NGOs, Capitol Hill, the media, other countries, the diplomatic corps.


This marks the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Refugee Act, and I want to thank each and every one of you who have been instrumental over these past 30 years, because the plight of the world’s refugees is an issue that transcends not just geography and ethnicity, but politics and partisanship as well. It reminds us that we are all vulnerable, no matter how comfortable our lives may appear to be, but we, too, around the world – those of us who enjoy the benefits of the life that we have built or inherited, we, too, are vulnerable to war and conflict, droughts and floods, environmental disasters, as we’ve seen even in our own country.


Helping refugees is a transnational challenge, but I want to speak for just a minute about what this issue means for Americans and the United States. The United States is the largest single source of support for assistance to refugees and victims of conflict. It’s true financially, where we’ve provided more than $1.7 billion to refugees and conflict victims last year, including $640 million in support for UNHCR. And it’s true diplomatically. We spend a lot of time and a lot of political capital on these issues.


Now, for the United States this has been an enduring commitment, but our work on behalf of refugees is not the result of some grand strategic calculus. We don’t help because it bolsters our ability to play power politics or advance our economic interests, although in the long run I believe it does make our nation stronger and allow us to promote reconciliation and stability in areas of desperation and despair. We help because it is the right thing to do. We happen to believe it’s also the smart thing to do, but even in cases where it doesn't appear all that smart, it’s still often right. And therefore, we proceed.


It goes to the core of who we are as a people and a country, because the United States is not only a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of refugees. We know from our collective experience that most people want the same basic things in life: safe communities, food, water, lives free of political and religious and other persecution. And when these basic needs go unmet and families are forced to flee their homes in desperation, we should all be there with a helping hand.


Whenever possible, we work to return refugees to their homes in safety and dignity. In cooperation with our many partners from the NGO community, we promote the resolution of conflicts and provide assistance to communities recovering from disasters. And we’re seeing progress in places such as Liberia or South Sudan or Burundi and Nepal.


But when returning home is not an option, we are committed to helping resettle refugees who face the most difficult circumstances. Americans have done that time and time again, welcoming more than 2.5 million refugees into our communities since the Refugee Act became law. And two of the families that have come to the United States are here with us today. The Aradoms from Eritrea face severe persecution as a result of their religious beliefs. Some of their family members are still in prison and they came to the United States after spending years living as refugees in Ethiopia and Egypt. The Gautam family is from Bhutan. Raj spent 17 years living in refugee camps before coming to the United States in 2008. Now, along with his son and daughter, he’s been joined by six of his brothers.


These are just two of what could be countless examples, and the contributions that these refugees have made to our own country are really remarkable. I was very proud that in representing New York I saw the results of the resettlement of refugees throughout New York State and the quick adaptation that refugees from Bosnia or Kosovo or Burma or other places made. So our country has opened its arms to refugees. In fact, two of my predecessors, Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger, came to the United States as refugees. And a few steps from the front door of this building, there is a very large statue of another refugee, Albert Einstein.


Now, some of you may remember I wasn’t here last year at the event at National Geographic because I had broken my elbow, and I certainly don’t want any of us dislocating our shoulders from patting ourselves on the back about what we’ve done, but helping vulnerable people is a key element of our foreign policy and Americans should be proud of our country’s work on this issue. But we can’t rest on our laurels. We have to continue working as hard as we know to work to get results, not just to provide quick fixes or maintain an unacceptable status quo.


Last year, I visited a refugee camp in Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and I met and talked with the women and men who had been forced to flee their homes in the face of marauders, rebels, uncontrolled army soldiers – a mix, a witches’ brew of barbarism and horror. And like tens of thousands of people elsewhere, these men and women had lived through a nightmare, particularly the women. And the United States pledged $17 million to help combat sexual violence in Eastern DRC, and I appreciate greatly those working with UNHCR along with many other NGOs and international organizations who are doing extraordinary work at great personal risk. So long as the women of the DRC are threatened by just the most terrible kinds of violations, as long as the men of the DRC cannot raise their families and their crops in peace, then we cannot rest.


Today, I am pleased to announce the United States will be providing $60 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees. This contribution will provide critical services such as healthcare and improve life for 4.7 million Palestinians. But again, that is not an answer either. We have to continue working for peace, security, and reconciliation in the Middle East.


So let me thank all of you – the NGOs, the journalists, the development workers, the diplomats and activists – who are working to help the world’s refugees. I hope we can use this day to honor the courage and resilience of the millions of refugees around the world who push forward each and every day with the hope that tomorrow might bring a return home or the hope of a better life. I certainly intend to remain committed to making that hope a reality and I look forward to working with Eric and all of you in doing so.


Thank you very much. (Applause.)


# # #


PRN: 2010/819

Friday, June 18, 2010

Western Union Official Sponsor for World Music Awards




Western Union Official Sponsor for World Music Awards
St. Helens, Ore., residents win company sweepstakes to attend event in Monaco


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (June 17, 2010) /PRNewswire/ — The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payment services, is the official sponsor for this year’s World Music Awards, airing in the United States and Canada on My Network TV tonight.

The World Music Awards, held this year in Monaco, is the most widely broadcast awards show in the world, with more than 1 billion viewers in over 150 countries worldwide.

To promote its sponsorship of the event, Western Union held its first-ever mobile sweepstakes, the yes! box campaign. Prizes included iPod Touch music players, prepaid Visa gift cards, and a trip for two to the World Music Awards. More than 70,000 people played the sweepstakes, drawing 28,000 unique visitors to Western Union’s website, www.westernunion.com.

Grand-prize winners Mandy McCalister and Michelle Kaady from St. Helens, Ore., accompanied the Western Union team to the event.

About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Custom House branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. The Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services are offered through a combined network of more than 420,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2009, The Western Union Company completed 196 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $71 billion of principal between consumers, and 415 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

Media Contact:
Kristin Kelly
The Western Union Company
+1 720.332.4751
kristin.kelly@westernunion.com



Illicit Cigarette Trade Funds Terrorism and Organized Crime

18 Jun 2010 06:20 Africa/Lagos


Illicit Cigarette Trade Funds Terrorism and Organized Crime

KIEV, Ukraine, June 18, 2010/PRNewswire/ --


There is clear and convincing evidence that large sums are being siphoned from the multi-billion dollar revenues from the global cigarette smuggling trade into the pockets of terrorist networks and international organized crime.


A United Nations Security Council investigative body, the Group of Experts, has reported that millions of dollars in illicit tobacco revenues are reaching al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist organizations, and is financing Congolese rebels for the recruitment of child soldiers, mass rape and murders.


The World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has determined that 600 billion counterfeited and smuggled cigarettes cross national borders annually. This represents USD $50 billion in lost proceeds affecting nations throughout the world. The most recent edition of the authoritative Tobacco Atlas, released by the American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation also concluded: "Cigarettes are the world's most widely smuggled legal consumer product."


Despite disturbing trends in many other nations, the Ukraine, with a population of 45 million, and with porous borders, has an extremely low rate of 1.7% of its total market in contraband tobacco. The Ukraine utilizes the EDAPS Tax Stamp System to control the illicit sales of products and EDAPS is now offering comparable systems to other nations.


"Our hologram technology and enforcement methodology with our Track & Trace System, enables government agencies to not only substantially increase their revenues from the sale of excisable products but to dramatically block illegal uses that often fund transnational criminal and terrorist activities," said Alexander Vassiliev, Chairman of EDAPS.


Since 9-11, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has reported that smugglers with ties to terrorist groups were acquiring millions of dollars from illegal cigarette sales and funneling the cash to al-Qaeda and the Taliban. At the same time, the booming black markets are fueling not only terrorist groups but dozens of organized crime gangs, who find the big profits and low risk hard to resist, according to the latest study by the Center for Public Integrity.


The first large-scale cigarette trafficking case tied to terrorism was prosecuted in North Carolina in 2002. A federal jury in Charlotte convicted Mohamad Hammoud, 28, of violating a ban on providing material support to terrorist groups by funneling profits from a multimillion-dollar cigarette-smuggling operation to them. Prosecutors were able to prove that huge profits from the venture were sent to high-ranking terrorist leaders.


"This is a major priority for us," Michael Bouchard, assistant director of the ATF told the Washington Post. "The deeper we dig into these cases, the more ties to terrorism we're discovering."


A Congressional study prepared by the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security -- "How Cigarette Smuggling is Funding our Enemies Abroad" -- concluded, "Recent law enforcement investigations have directly linked those involved in illicit tobacco trade to infamous terrorist organizations."


A report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists -- "Tobacco Underground" -- charts the paths of smugglers working for the Taliban and others. The report explains how the multibillion-dollar business fuels organized crime, robs governments of tax money and spurs addiction.


As the Twelfth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice concluded at their meeting in Brazil last month, "Organized crime and terrorism pose greater threats to international peace and security than ever before."


"We are confident that our EDAPS Tax Stamp System can substantially contribute to global efforts to cut off essential funds from those engaged in a wide range of transnational crime and terrorism," Vassiliev concluded.


Source: EDAPS Consortium

Olga Lyubimova, +38044-5612570 ext. 11, Fax, +38044-5612545


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Presentation of the World Social Science Report 2010 on 25 June 2010 at UNESCO Headquarters



Thursday, June 17, 2010

African Affairs Remarks / US Priorities on sub-Saharan Africa

16 Jun 2010 09:37 Africa/Lagos


African Affairs Remarks / US Priorities on sub-Saharan Africa


WASHINGTON, June 15, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- African Affairs Remarks / US Priorities on sub-Saharan Africa:


Johnnie Carson


Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs


Remarks for the Diplomacy Briefing Series Conference


Washington, DC


June 14, 2010

Good afternoon. I would like to thank the Bureau of Public Affairs for organizing the Diplomacy Briefing Series and for inviting me to join all of you today to examine our key priorities in Africa.

I want to begin today by emphasizing the strong commitment of this Administration to working with our African partners to bring about a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous Africa. This Administration sees immense potential in Africa, and we are determined to work with Africans across the continent to help realize this promise.

Often, Africa has been overlooked as a top policy priority for the U.S. Government. I can tell you that this is not the case with this Administration. President Obama is not complacent about Africa, and is determined to forge a deeper and more lasting impact on our relationship with the continent, not just through words, but through concrete action.

As evidence of this commitment, Vice President Biden concluded just yesterday a week-long trip to Africa—a trip in which I participated. Some in the media focused on the World Cup as the centerpiece of this Africa visit, but this trip was more about substance than sport. The Vice President used this trip to focus on one of the Administration's highest priorities in Africa: the current situation in Sudan. In Egypt, the Vice President met with President Mubarak and other senior government officials to discuss Sudan policy. In Kenya, we met with Salva Kiir, the President of the Government of South Sudan and other South Sudanese leaders. And in South Africa, I accompanied the Vice President to his extended meeting with Thabo Mbeki, the AU's point person on Sudan.

The Vice President's trip was just the most recent example of high-level engagement by this Administration in Africa. The President's visit to Ghana last July, the earliest visit made by a U.S. president to the continent, underscored Africa's importance to the U.S. And last September, at the UN General Assembly, the President hosted a lunch with 26 African heads of state. Over the past year, he has also met in the oval office with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, President Kikwete of Tanzania, President Khama of Botswana, and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangarai of Zimbabwe. And during the Nuclear Summit in April of this year, the President also met with President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and President Zuma of South Africa.

All of the President's senior foreign policy advisors have followed his lead by traveling to Africa. The U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice visited five African countries last June, including Liberia and Rwanda. Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew traveled to Ethiopia and Tanzania in June 2009, and was in Mali and Nigeria just last month.

Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero headed the U.S. delegation to the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa in January 2010, where we discussed a range of issues, including democracy and governance, climate change, and food security. Last month, she led the U.S. delegation to Abuja to the first meeting of the Democracy and Governance working group of the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission. And last August, Secretary Clinton made an 11-day, seven-country trip across the continent.

These high-level visits are a testament to the importance this Administration places on Africa, and our commitment to meet and work with our partners to address the immense challenges facing the continent. Through our engagement and programs, the Administration is seeking to advance five key policy priorities on the continent.

First: We are working with African governments, the international community, and civil society to strengthen democratic institutions and protect the democratic gains made in recent years in many African countries.

Since the 1990's, we have witnessed an impressive wave of democratic transitions, during which dozens of African countries moved from dictatorship to democracy, in one of the most impressive political transformations in history. Recent democratic elections, including those in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mauritius, and Ghana, have served to remind the world of the importance that Africans attach to democracy, as well as the values that underpin it. The recent elections in Ghana and Mauritius were especially impressive, as they have resulted in a peaceful, democratic transition between two political parties.

Nonetheless, we have seen worrying signs of backsliding in terms of democracy and good governance in a number of countries as a result of flawed elections, harassment of opposition groups, and attempts by presidents to extend their term limits. We have also seen a recurrence of military coups and interventions in several countries.

The political and economic success of Africa depends a great deal on the effectiveness, sustainability, and reliability of its democratic institutions. We are encouraging governments across the continent to get elections right. To level the playing field, clean up the voter rolls, open up the media, count the votes fairly, and give democracy a chance.



Source: US Department of State

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
16 Jun 2010
09:39
Presentation of the World Social Science Report 2010 on 25 June 2010 at UNESCO Headquarters
09:37
African Affairs Remarks / US Priorities on sub-Saharan Africa
09:37
Diplomacy Briefing Series Conference on Sub-Saharan Africa
15 Jun 2010
11:53
IMF Executive Board Approves US$109 Million ECF for Benin



The New York Times Ranks as Top Online Newspaper

16 Jun 2010 18:30 Africa/Lagos



The New York Times Ranks as Top Online Newspaper According to May 2010 U.S. comScore Media Metrix Data

"The good news for publishers is that even as print circulation declines, Americans are actually consuming as much news as ever - it's just being consumed across more media," said Jeff Hackett, comScore senior vice president.

"The Internet has become an essential channel in the way the majority of Americans consume news content today with nearly 3 out of 5 Internet users reading newspapers online each month. As news evolves towards a more digital model, the issue is not attracting the eyeballs, but rather demonstrating the true value of those eyeballs to advertisers. As advertising rates for digital move closer into line with those of traditional media, the economics of the news business should begin to look a lot more promising."


U.S. Online Newspaper CPMs Nearly 3 Times Higher than Average

RESTON, Va., June 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) , a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a report of the top U.S. online newspaper groups based on the comScore Media Metrix service. The newspaper category represents the first site category for which each of the top ten ranked entities has transitioned to the comScore Media Metrix 360 (Unified Digital Measurement) methodology.


(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080115/COMSCORELOGO)

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Click here to see tables

The report showed that more than 123 million Americans visited newspaper sites in May, representing 57 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience, as the New York Times Brand led the category with more than 32 million visitors and 719 million pages viewed during the month. The average visitor viewed 22 pages of content on the New York Times, also leading the top ten. Tribune Newspapers ranked second in terms of audience with 24.8 million visitors, followed by Advance Internet (18.1 million visitors) and USA Today Sites (16.8 million visitors).


"The good news for publishers is that even as print circulation declines, Americans are actually consuming as much news as ever - it's just being consumed across more media," said Jeff Hackett, comScore senior vice president. "The Internet has become an essential channel in the way the majority of Americans consume news content today with nearly 3 out of 5 Internet users reading newspapers online each month. As news evolves towards a more digital model, the issue is not attracting the eyeballs, but rather demonstrating the true value of those eyeballs to advertisers. As advertising rates for digital move closer into line with those of traditional media, the economics of the news business should begin to look a lot more promising."


Online Newspapers Attract High CPM Rates from Advertisers


comScore's Ad Metrix service shows that among the top site categories where display ads appeared in April 2010, online newspapers accounted for 2.4 percent of impressions but a higher 6.7 percent of display advertising dollars. The average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) on online newspaper sites was $7, higher than each of the other top site categories and nearly three times the average CPM for the total U.S. Internet at $2.52.


"Online newspapers represent premium inventory for advertisers," added Hackett. "comScore research conducted last year for the Online Publishers Association showed that visitors who are exposed to display ads on news sites are more likely than average to visit the advertiser website, are heavier online buyers and tend to have higher household income. Online news publishers are also leading the way in the use of newer display ad formats, which are aiming to create a richer, more engaging experience for consumers."


In particular, online newspapers have demonstrated significantly faster adoption of the new OPA ad units. While these units currently account for just 0.06 percent of all display ads delivered online in the U.S., they account for 0.43 percent of ads on newspaper sites, or seven times higher than average. Notably, the Fixed Panel 336 x 860 unit is the most popular unit being used on newspaper sites among the new OPA units at a rate 35 times higher than average.


About comScore


comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.


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