Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lest you forget, what happened in Port Harcourt

Victims trampled to death in a stampede at an election campaign rally for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

© 2011 Reuters

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and presidential candidate President Goodluck Jonathan cannot protect the lives of the citizens of Nigeria.

Violent crimes and ethnic-religious riots have been worse under the PDP.

Do you want these nightmares to continue?

West African Immigrants Massacred in Côte d'Ivoire

Fury as women shot in Ivory Coast

Ivorian forces loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo kill at least seven women protesting in support of presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara.

© 2011 Reuters

West African immigrants fleeing Côte d'Ivoire

31 Mar 2011 13:39 Africa/Lagos

Côte d'Ivoire / West African Immigrants Massacred / UN Imposes Strong Measures on Gbagbo; Greater Civilian Protection Needed

DAKAR, March 31, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Ivorian militias and Liberian mercenaries loyal to Laurent Gbagbo killed at least 37 West African immigrants in a village near the border with Liberia on March 22, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. In response to the intensifying abuses and descent into civil war, the United Nations Security Council on March 30 imposed strong measures on Gbagbo, the incumbent president, who has refused to step down and cede power to his rival, Alassane Ouattara.

Witnesses in Côte d'Ivoire told Human Rights Watch that armed men, some in uniform and others in civilian clothes, massacred the villagers, presumed to be Ouattara supporters, possibly in retaliation for the capture of nearby areas by pro-Ouattara forces. Several other witnesses described numerous incidents in which real or perceived Ouattara supporters were killed by pro-Gbagbo security forces and militiamen in Abidjan. Ouattara's troops are spreading south and east, seizing several key towns, including the political capital, Yamoussoukro, and moving toward Abidjan, the commercial capital, in a very fluid situation.

“Côte d'Ivoire has reached the boiling point,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “We are extremely concerned about the potential for further human rights atrocities, given the killings by both sides and the continued incitement to violence through the media by Gbagbo cronies.”

In a four-month organized campaign of human rights abuses, which probably rise to the level of crimes against humanity, Gbagbo's forces have killed, “disappeared,” and raped real and perceived supporters of Ouattara, Human Rights Watch has found. Armed men supporting Ouattara have also engaged in numerous extrajudicial executions of presumed pro-Gbagbo fighters and supporters.

According to UN estimates, approximately 500 people, the vast majority civilians, have lost their lives as a result of the violence. In March alone, forces aligned with Gbagbo killed at least 50 civilians by firing mortars into neighborhoods known to be Ouattara strongholds. Pro-Gbagbo forces have also beaten and hacked and burned to death numerous perceived Ouattara supporters at checkpoints set up by militias.

On March 25, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that between 700,000 and one million people have been displaced, largely from Abidjan. On March 29, UNHCR reported that 116,000 Ivorians have fled to eight West African countries: Liberia, Ghana, Togo, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Nigeria.

On March 30, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution that calls on Gbagbo to leave office and urges a political solution to the crisis. The resolution demands an end to violence against both civilians and the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI). It urges the UN operation to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.

In addition, the Security Council resolution calls upon all parties to cooperate fully with an international commission of inquiry put in place in late March by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate human rights violations committed in Côte d'Ivoire. Finally, the resolution adopts targeted sanctions against Gbagbo and four close associates, including his wife, Simone.

Human Rights Watch has urged all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and end the targeting of civilians and extrajudicial executions, and has called for UN peacekeepers to enhance civilian protection. The UN operation needs equipment, such as helicopters, as well as additional deployments of well-trained and equipped troops, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch has also stressed the importance of accountability for atrocities. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has repeatedly indicated that it will prosecute crimes committed in Côte d'Ivoire if the ICC's requirements for investigation – which relate to the gravity of the crimes and the inadequacy of national proceedings – are met. An investigation could be triggered by a referral of the situation by the UN Security Council or any state that is party to the court, or if the prosecutor decides to act on his own authority. While Côte d'Ivoire is not a party to the court, it accepted the court's jurisdiction through a declaration in 2003. The Security Council resolution references this declaration and states that the report of the commission of inquiry should be provided to the Security Council and “other relevant international bodies.”

“The massacre of West African immigrants, targeting of civilians in Abidjan, and massive displacement are deeply troubling and require an effective response,” Bekele said. “The UN should prepare for the worst and do all it can to protect everyone in Côte d'Ivoire who is at grave risk of horrific abuse.”

Massacre at Bedi-Gouzan

Human Rights Watch interviewed five witnesses to the March 22 massacre by pro-Gbagbo militias of at least 37 West African immigrants. The killings took place in the village of Bedi-Gouzan, 32 kilometers from the town of Guiglo in western Côte d'Ivoire, the day after combatants loyal to Ouattara had captured the nearby town of Blolequin. Bedi-Gouzan is home both to Ivorians and to an estimated 400 other West Africans, most of whom work on the cacao plantations in western Côte d'Ivoire. The witnesses said that many of the attackers, who spoke English, appeared to be Liberian, while the vast majority of victims were immigrants from Mali and Burkina Faso.

The witnesses said armed men fighting on behalf of Ouattara passed through Bedi-Gouzan as they advanced toward Guiglo at approximately 1 p.m. on the day of the attack. At about 3:30 p.m., witnesses said, at least four cars containing scores of pro-Gbagbo militiamen, some in military and some in civilian dress, and some speaking English while others spoke French, attacked the part of the village where the West African immigrants live. The witnesses said the militiamen killed the immigrants inside their homes and as they attempted to flee.

Human Rights Watch received a list of 27 Malian victims, but witnesses said that the Malians' relatives, who had fled into the surrounding forest and later briefly returned to the village, counted up to 40 dead. The witnesses said the attackers were armed with automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades, and machetes. The witnesses believed their village had been attacked in reprisal for the military advance in the area by armed Ouattara supporters. As the attackers left, they pillaged and in some instances burned houses, looting any items of value, including motorcycles, money, televisions, mattresses, and clothing.

Several witnesses described a clear ethnic element to the targeting of victims. A 36-year-old witness said: “They came in accusing us of being rebels, and said, ‘If you're Dioula (from Northern Côte d'Ivoire), you can try to flee if you can, if you're Guere (natives of the area and largely supporters of Gbagbo), stay, we're not concerned with you. But if you're Malian or Mossi (Burkinabe, from Burkina Faso), we will kill you.' And then they started killing.”

An 18-year old Malian woman described hearing the attackers yelling, “Fire them, fire them all,” in English as they descended from their vehicles and started to kill. She said she and many other women and children were saved by a female Liberian rebel who intervened to stop them from being killed.

A few witnesses, including a 16-year-old interviewed by Human Rights Watch, were wounded by machetes during the attack: “They beat me, saying they were going to cut my throat; they slashed my arms with a machete saying we were rebels.”

He and others, like this 28-year-old Malian man, survived after paying money to the attackers:

At around 3 p.m. we heard the sound of heavy trucks coming, and ran into our houses. The men fired into the air, then started breaking down the doors…saying, “Fire, fire” and, “You're rebels, we'll kill all of you.” We heard shots, and screams. They were killing people. My family and I were cowering in our home; after breaking down my door they screamed that I should give them money, or they'd kill me. I gave them all I had - 84,000 CFA, and the keys to 3 motorcycles. I begged them not to kill me….I was terrified…but it saved my life. The commander said, “If it wasn't for this money, you'd be dead.” But not everyone had money… they killed a Burkinabe man in front of me…and later in a nearby house, I saw them kill 5 women… just a few meters away. They screamed, “Give us money!” The women pleaded saying they didn't have any….then they shot them…three inside the house, two just outside. They ordered four of us to carry the goods they looted to their truck…. As I walked through the village I saw at least 20 bodies and heard women and children wailing.… I saw them setting houses on fire and was told some villagers were burned inside.

A 34-year-old man from Burkina Faso described seeing 25 people killed, and noted what he believed to be a clear motive for the attack:

As they were killing people, they accused us of being rebels…They said other things in English that I couldn't understand. I saw 25 people killed with my own eyes. They killed women, with children, with men. They said they'd kill us all. They forced the people out and they killed them, just like they said. Most people who live there in the village are Burkinabe, Malians, and Senoufo (an ethnic group from Northern Côte d'Ivoire.) They killed people in front of the door to their house after pulling them out. One man opened his door, two guys dragged him out, and they fired their Kalashes [Kalashnikov rifles] into him. Also I saw an entire family killed. The man, two wives, the man's little brother, and their kids – two kids 9 and 5 years old. They killed them like it was nothing.

Ethnic Targeting in Abidjan

Since armed men loyal to Ouattara attempted to expand their control of areas in Abidjan into the Adjame and Williamsburg neighborhoods on March 16, dozens of civilians have been killed, either deliberately, or through excessive use of force. Immigrants from West Africa and active members of political parties allied to Ouattara were particularly targeted.

A 40 year-old man from Burkina Faso was one of nine West African immigrants detained by armed and uniformed men he believed to be policemen at a checkpoint in Adjame on March 29, and later taken into a police station and shot. Six of the men died, and the other three, including the witness, were wounded:

At 8:30 a.m., I was stopped by a checkpoint in Adjame on my way to work. They asked for my ID and after seeing my name, told me to get into a 4x4 nearby. I got in; there were 8 others there. The police vehicle took us to the 11th police commissariat. Just behind the commissariat there is a camp, which is where all happened. The police pushed us in and yelled at us, “Are you brothers of the rebellion?” I said no but obviously it wasn't a real question. Then they said, “If you are Burkinabe, go over there to the left. If you are Malian, go to the left.” So we all went left. Then they turned left and fired on us…6 of us died. I got shot in the arm and the kidneys and it looked bad so they left me for dead. The police left directly after. It was clear they were police because of their uniform; even the 4x4 was a police vehicle, marked as such, and the camp was the police camp at the commissariat. Two of the dead were Burkinabes; I learned the other six were Malian, including the two other survivors. I couldn't sleep last night because of the sutures and the memories. I will try tonight.

An Ivorian driver described the March 28 killing of three Malian butchers by militiamen wearing black T-shirts and red armbands, which are typically worn by neighborhood militiamen. The men shot the butchers as they were in the process of fetching a cow in the Williamsville neighborhood. A Senegalese man who was shot in the arm in the Adjame neighborhood by armed men in uniform on March 17 described how two of his Senegalese friends were shot dead in the same incident: “The armed men pointed their guns at them shot them…they didn't ask them any questions, they just shot them point blank.”

Another witness described the March 30 killing of a civilian who was stopped at a militia checkpoint in Adjame:

At noon, the militiamen stopped a pick-up truck and asked the driver and his apprentice for their ID papers. The driver was told to go ahead, but they pulled the apprentice out of the passenger seat and fired four times at him; his body is still in the street. This is their way of targeting foreigners…they judge your background from your ID papers. If you're an ECOWAS national or from the north, they take you out and – too often – shoot and kill. With some ten such checkpoints in Adjame now, these kinds of incidents and killings are becoming the norm.

Another witness described how he saw local militiamen conducting house-to-house searches and manning checkpoints on March 21 and 22 in Williamsville. He said he saw them kill three people, including two of his friends who were murdered in his house.

The violence in Adjame provoked the mass exodus of West African immigrants and Ivorians of northern descent from Abidjan or led them to take refuge in West African embassies.

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Côte d'Ivoire, please visit:

Source: Human Right Watch (HRW)

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
31 Mar 2011
13:39 Côte d'Ivoire / West African Immigrants Massacred / UN Imposes Strong Measures on Gbagbo; Greater Civilian Protection Needed
13:21 West Africa / Refugee crisis deepens as Ivorians continue to flee

24/7 Wall St./Harris Poll on Social Media for Marketing

Photo Credit: Euston Digital

30 Mar 2011 20:00 Africa/Lagos

Are The Online Marketing Efforts of TV Shows and Programs Worthwhile?

Many go online to further engage with content seen on TV; men and women and adults of different ages do so in different ways

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, March 30, 2011

NEW YORK, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Marketers are increasingly spending time, money and creativity to reach their audiences in non-traditional ways. A recent 24/7 Wall St./Harris Poll on Social Media and Television set out to see if these efforts are paying off. It found that many Americans are participating in this type of interactions. Among online U.S. adults, two in five say they have gone online or utilized social media to comment, post, watch or read

something about a television show or program (43%). Among these 80-some million people, a third say they have done so after watching a TV show or program (33%) and fewer say they have done so either before watching (18%) or while watching (17%) a TV show or program.

(Logo: )

These are some of the findings of a new 24/7 Wall St./ Harris Poll survey of 2,526 U.S. adults surveyed online between March 11 and 15, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Younger online adults are much more likely to take part in these activities than are older people -- six in ten of those 18-34 say they have engaged with TV programs in this way (59%), compared to fewer adults aged 35-44 (40%), 45-54 (36%) and 55 and older (28%) who say the same. When adults are doing these things also varies by age. Three in ten of those 18-34 years (31%) say they have gone online to do these activities while watching a TV program, compared to very few adults 55 and older who have done the same (5%). Adults 55 and older, on the other hand, are most likely to go online after seeing a TV program (22%) if they are going to go online at all.

This poll also finds that:

* Half of adults who engage with TV shows or programs online (53%) do so in an individual forum such as by posting on their own or a friend's Facebook page, Twitter account or blog, 44% do so on a website or page created by the TV content provider such as a TV network's Facebook page or website, and a third (33%) do so on a separate media outlet's site, such as an entertainment or news site;
* Women are more likely than men to engage in an individual forum (57% vs. 50%), while men are more likely than women to do so on a separate media outlet's site (38% vs. 27%);
* Younger adults are more likely than those older to engage individually while older adults are somewhat more likely to do so on a site or page created by the content provider;
* Two in five online adults are a fan or a follower of a TV network, program or show on Facebook or Twitter (39%) while the same number are not (41%); one in five do not use Facebook or Twitter (20%);
* Three quarters of adults who engage with TV programs or shows online say that it provides more information, which is an important reason why they do it (76%), two thirds say the analysis or summary is important to them (68%) or it's a source of additional entertainment, which is important (67%); half say that it's important that they engage with other viewers (51%);
* All age groups are equally likely to place importance on finding additional information online (between 75% and 77%), but younger adults are more likely to place importance on engaging with other viewers (54% of those 18-34 and 56% of those 35-44 compared to 40% of those 55 and older); and,
* Among the online adults who do not comment, post, watch, view or read anything about TV programs or shows online, six in ten say it's because they don't want or need to (60%), a third say they don't think about it (34%), one in five say they don't have the time (20%) and fewer list privacy (12%) or other reasons (7%).

So What?

Many TV networks, programs and shows are investing in websites, online programming and social media outreach to further capture and engage their audiences, and, most online adults are aware of these efforts – almost six in ten say that when watching a program on television they are aware of additional material available online (57%). However, depending on who a marketer wants to target, they might be well advised to focus their efforts accordingly since this poll makes clear that different groups sign online in different ways, and at different times.

Click here for the complete results.

NIA Responds to Harvard Economics Professor About Inflation

The following is a presidential

address to the nation — to be

delivered in March 2026.

~ N. GREGORY MANKIW, Published: March 26, 2011

30 Mar 2011 01:05 Africa/Lagos

NIA Responds to Harvard Economics Professor About Inflation

PR Newswire

FORT LEE, N.J., March 29, 2011

FORT LEE, N.J., March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Inflation Association (NIA) - - today responded to an article Harvard economics professor Gregory Mankiw wrote in the NY Times yesterday entitled, It's 2026, and the Debt Is Due. In this article, Mankiw gave a hypothetical Presidential address the President of the U.S. might make in the year 2026 after a failed bond auction. Mankiw's hypothetical Presidential address takes place in a scenario where in the year 2026, the U.S. Treasury "tried to auction its most recent issue of government bonds" but "almost no one was buying." According to Mankiw's hypothetical speech, during this 2026 crisis the President will admit, "The private market will lend us no more."

Unfortunately, Professor Mankiw fails to understand that the U.S. has zero chance of surviving until the year 2026. What Mankiw predicts will happen 15 years from now is already happening today right under his nose, but somehow he fails to realize it.

The public today has already stopped buying U.S. treasuries. The Pimco Total Return Fund, which was the largest private holder of U.S. government bonds, has just reduced their holdings down to zero. The private sector was buying 30% of U.S. treasuries, but today is no longer buying at all. The Federal Reserve is currently buying 70% of U.S. treasuries. If it wasn't for the Federal Reserve buying U.S. treasuries, we would already be experiencing failed bond auctions today.

According to Mankiw, the President will say in 2026, "Today, most of the large baby-boom generation is retired. They are no longer working and paying taxes, but they are eligible for the many government benefits we offer the elderly." The fact is, the last baby-boomer turned 46 years old in 2010 and 46 is the age in which the average American reaches peak consumer spending. Therefore, even though most baby-boomers might not be retired, baby-boomer spending is now in free-fall while baby-boomers are simultaneously signing up for entitlement programs at record pace. This will begin to affect our economy today, not 15 years from now.

Mankiw's hypothetical speech has the President admitting in 2026 that we "have to cut Social Security immediately, especially for higher-income beneficiaries. Social Security will still keep the elderly out of poverty, but just barely" and we "have to limit Medicare and Medicaid. These programs will still provide basic health care, but they will no longer cover many expensive treatments. Individuals will have to pay for these treatments on their own or, sadly, do without." The truth is, if the U.S. government cut 100% of all spending except for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, we would still have a budget deficit from these entitlement programs and interest payments on our debt alone. If the U.S. wants to prevent hyperinflation and survive until 2026, we need to make major cuts to these programs today. By 2026, it will be over a decade too late and these programs will no longer exist at all.

Mankiw's hypothetical 2026 Presidential address goes on to say that "over the last several years" the U.S. has experienced a "vicious circle of rising budget deficits" and "as the ratio of our debt to gross domestic product reached ever-higher levels, investors started getting nervous". Does Mankiw realize that the U.S. just reported a budget deficit for the month of February 2011 of $222.5 billion, more than the entire fiscal year of 2007? In our opinion, our budget deficits can't rise much more viciously than what they already are today, without the U.S. experiencing an outbreak of hyperinflation. We need to begin sharply reducing our deficits immediately or else hyperinflation this decade is inevitable.

Our real debt to GDP ratio in the U.S. today is already north of 500% when you include unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs, as well as other commitments like the backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It will simply be impossible for this figure to rise much higher without the U.S. experiencing hyperinflation. NIA believes that unless the U.S. government completely eliminated Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, there is no way the U.S. government will be able to stay afloat for another 15 years with such an unprecedented level of debt.

In 2026, Mankiw believes the President will admit that, "Our efforts to control health care costs have failed." He suggests the President will proclaim that, "We must now acknowledge that rising costs are driven largely by technological advances in saving lives. These advances are welcome, but they are expensive nonetheless." Does Professor Mankiw own a laptop computer, plasma TV, or mobile phone? These technologies are improving by leaps and bounds yet prices are falling. Technological advances are not driving health care costs higher! It is the government's involvement in the health care sector and their failure to allow the free market to operate that is driving health care costs through the roof.

Professor Mankiw believes the President will continue by saying, "We have to cut health insurance subsidies to middle-income families." NIA believes it is the very same subsidies Mankiw is referring to that are driving health care costs sky high. It is just like in the college education industry. If the government didn't provide subsidies for students to learn voodoo Keynesian economic theories from professors like Mankiw, college tuitions would be a lot more affordable.

To solve this supposed 2026 crisis, Mankiw believes the President will announce, "We will raise taxes on all but the poorest Americans. We will do this primarily by broadening the tax base, eliminating deductions for mortgage interest and state and local taxes. Employer-provided health insurance will hereafter be taxable compensation." Although NIA believes employer-provided health insurance should be taxable compensation because it would end the employer based health insurance system and make health insurance cheaper for all Americans, we believe it will be impossible for the government to raise any additional revenues from tax increases. We are at a point where any additional taxes will drive economic activity overseas and result in less tax receipts. When hyperinflation soon arrives, taxes will become irrelevant. The government will fund over 99% of its spending by printing money and less than 1% from taxation.

Mankiw also believes the President in 2026 will, "increase the gasoline tax by $2 a gallon. This will not only increase revenue, but will also address various social ills, from global climate change to local traffic congestion." Come 2026, gasoline will probably cost $20,000 per gallon, if we are lucky. An additional $2 gasoline tax will be absolutely pointless and meaningless.

Mankiw suggests that the President in 2026 will, "secure from the I.M.F. a temporary line of credit to help us through this crisis." The I.M.F. recently sold a large percentage of its gold reserves and by 2026 will likely be broke. Even if the I.M.F. was still around 15 years from now and did provide the U.S. with a line of credit that helps it survive the crisis, the largest line of credit the I.M.F. could possibly financially provide would only support a U.S. government that is less than 1/10 of its size today. Therefore, NIA believes the U.S. government should begin dramatically reducing its size immediately, before it is in need of a line of credit from the I.M.F.

It would be nice to think that the U.S. will be able to borrow and print money for another 15 years to fund endless budget deficits and that 2026 is some magical year when all of our debts will come due. The economy does not work this way and it is disgraceful that our nation's most prestigious ivy league schools are teaching such dangerous economic principles. Considering that a large percentage of our highest ranking government officials graduated from Harvard, it really explains a lot when you look at who is teaching economics at Harvard. Mankiw is the same professor who in April of 2009 called for the Federal Reserve to implement negative interest rates. Mankiw called for savers to be punished and for all Americans with $100,000 in the bank to have only $98,000 one year later.

It is the destructive Keynesian theories of economists like Mankiw that have gotten the U.S. economy into the dire situation it is in today. Mankiw and other professors like him are brainwashing American students into believing that forcing people to spend is the key to a healthy economy and the way to solve all economic problems is to create a lot of inflation. All across America, students are graduating colleges with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, no jobs, and no idea of how the economy actually works. They will spend the rest of their lives paying off their debts and trying to get the false economic information they were taught out of their heads. The college education system in America is the single largest fraud that exists today, and NIA is going to expose the truth about the government's conspiracy to turn American students into debt slaves in our next feature documentary, coming in April.

It is important to spread the word about NIA to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, if you want America to survive hyperinflation. Please tell everybody you know to become members of NIA for free immediately at:

About us:

The National Inflation Association is an organization that is dedicated to preparing Americans for hyperinflation. NIA offers free membership at and provides its members with articles about the U.S. economy and inflation, daily news stories and blog updates, and important charts not shown by the mainstream media. NIA is the producer of economic documentaries that have received a combined 10 million views including the critically acclaimed 'Meltup', 'The Dollar Bubble', 'End of Liberty', and 'Hyperinflation Nation'. NIA provides unbiased reviews of the major online sellers of gold and silver bullion and also offers profiles of gold, silver, agriculture, oil, and alternative energy companies that could prosper in an inflationary environment. NIA is the creator of 'NIAnswers', the world's most comprehensive database of questions and answers about inflation, currencies, debt, and precious metals.

CONTACT: Gerard Adams, 1-888-99-NIA US (1888-996-4287),

SOURCE National Inflation Association

Web Site:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Samsung Advert with Chelsea Stars and sexy models

Famous soccer star Didier Drogba of Chelsea Football Club loves Samsung and he is not alone. Follow lovers of Samsung Mobile on Facebook.

Hong Kong opens World’s Highest Hotel


HONG KONG — March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong opens today and dominates the skyline as the world’s “highest” hotel. Located at the very top of the International Commerce Centre (ICC) in Hong Kong, occupying floors 102 to 118, the hotel is the very pinnacle of luxury and a beacon of contemporary style and excellence in Asia’s World City. The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is the newest addition to the brand’s growing global portfolio of 75 luxury properties and its 16th hotel in Asia.

“The opening of this landmark hotel in Hong Kong is the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication to delivering the very best product, facilities and service in this international gateway city,” said Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “Partnering with Hong Kong’s premier developer, Sung Hung Kai Properties, we have been able to create something truly spectacular to welcome our guests not just to the highest hotel in the world, but also to one of the very best hotels in the world. We are taking luxury to new heights in every sense.”

The stylish and contemporary interiors by Singapore’s LTW set the scene for this thoroughly modern hotel set in the heart of Hong Kong. The sense of arrival is breathtaking with views of Victoria Harbour and the iconic Hong Kong skyline as the backdrop. Guests will be welcomed into the arrival lobby on the 9th floor before being transported up to the hotel lobby on the 103rd floor where panoramic views over Hong Kong await them.

The hotel’s 312 guest rooms all offer spectacular city and harbour views. Starting at 530 sqft for a Deluxe Room, and reaching 3,920 sqft for the magnificent Ritz-Carlton Suite, rooms provide state-of-the-art technology including WiFi, iPod docking stations, blu-ray DVD players and flat screen TVs. In addition, Club room guests can enjoy the panoramic view from The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge with complimentary food and beverage presentations 24 hours a day. The Club also gives guests access to a dedicated Club Concierge, work stations, meeting rooms and WiFi throughout.

In a move that perfectly articulates the brand’s shift in design philosophy and service evolution, the hotel’s six dining venues have been created by some of the biggest names in restaurant design, including Japan’s Spin Design Studio and Wonderwall. The hotel offers three restaurants on the 102nd floor, including Tin Lung Heen, which is a Chinese restaurant serving refined Cantonese cuisine, Tosca, an Italian restaurant which offers Southern Italian Cuisine with an open kitchen and the very stylish The Lounge & Bar which features stunning crystal fire pits. In addition, there is a chocolate-themed lounge named The Chocolate Library on the 103rd floor and a stylish patisserie located on the 9th floor.

Perhaps the jewel in the crown is Ozone located on the hotel’s 118th floor. This sleek, stylish and contemporary restaurant and bar will set a new benchmark for Hong Kong’s social and dining scene. Offering contemporary Asian tapas, signature cocktails and a stylish wine list, Ozone has bar and restaurant seating in zoned sections and the world’s highest al fresco terrace where guests can indulge in the incredible views over the city.

For those wishing to relax and indulge, The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA is the ultimate in urban spa sanctuary experiences. Located on the 116th floor and featuring nine deluxe treatment rooms and two couple’s suites all with floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views, the spa will appeal to both residential guests and Hong Kong citizens alike and offer a true escape from the city some 16,000 feet below. A world-class team of professional therapists will ensure a spa experience like no other. The hotel also features a fully equipped fitness centre and an indoor infinity pool overlooking the Victoria Harbour on the 118th floor with a 92ft x 23ft LED screen on the ceiling that can display images and videos.

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong has one of the largest ballrooms in the city at 10,000 sqft. Elaborately decorated with a sea of crystal chandeliers, the décor of the Diamond Ballroom is suited to weddings, meetings and gala events. Complemented by an additional four meeting rooms, the total of 14,000 sqft of meeting space is set to become the new social centre for Hong Kong and the benchmark for events in the region.

In the podium of the ICC, the one million square foot Elements shopping mall offers some of the finest shopping in Hong Kong with luxury brand names featured throughout this world-class location. The ICC will also host an Observation Deck, Sky100 on the 100th floor and offer direct connections to Hong Kong International Airport in 20 minutes and Central in five minutes. The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is strategically located at the heart of the city and will become a must-see tourist attraction now that it has opened.

Click here for a behind-the-scenes tour of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong with Vice President and General Manager, Mark Decocinis.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 75 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, an award that originated in 1987. Its purpose is to promote the awareness of quality excellence, recognize quality achievements of companies and publicize successful quality strategies. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company won the award in 1992 and 1999. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company web site at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR). For company news and information, please visit

Media Contact:
Allison Sitch
Senior Corporate Director, Public Relations
Tel: (301) 547-4784
Fax: (301) 547-4722

Cooperation: inter-faith school in Nigeria

29 Mar 2011 15:21 Africa/Lagos

Cooperation: inter-faith school in Nigeria

ROME, March 29, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- In the heart of Nigeria's poorest region and the one most torn by inter-faith conflict, a boarding school run by the Augustinian Fathers provides first-rate education for 200 children of all faiths. The middle school in New Karo, an outlying district of the capital, Abuja, is where in September 2009 the latest Italian Development Cooperation project was launched in Nigeria to provide secondary education for the young people of Nassarawa.

Built by Apurimac, an Italian non-governmental organisation (NGO) with a contribution from the Order of St. Augustine and the Directorate General for Development Cooperation, the school accommodates 220 pupils, many of them from Muslim families. It provides full board throughout the school year, along with top-rate services such as sports facilities, laboratories and highly qualified teaching staff.

Apurimac also runs a vocational training centre in Jos, in the Plateau State, a region sadly renowned for inter-ethnic violence. Here, 400 people learn vocational and craft skills in the dressmaking, catering and information technology sectors.

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Shark Attack Must Stop pleads Jim Toomey

Caribbean reef shark and diver in Bahamian Waters. (PRNewsFoto/Pew Environment Group, Stuart Cove Dive Bahamas)

29 Mar 2011 14:39 Africa/Lagos

Shark Cartoonist Jim Toomey Joins Effort to Protect Sharks in The Bahamas

PR Newswire

NASSAU, Bahamas, March 29, 2011

NASSAU, Bahamas, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Syndicated cartoonist Jim Toomey, whose Sherman's Lagoon comic strip appears in more than 250 newspapers in over 30 countries, will be in The Bahamas this week to push for increased shark protections. The artist will speak at several public forums and will visit with schoolchildren in Long Island and Nassau.


"The Bahamas has something wonderful in its waters, something very few countries have," said Toomey. "Because the government banned longline fishing, the shark populations off the Bahamian coast are still relatively healthy and the marine ecosystem is more intact here than almost any other place in the world."

Toomey's cartoon features a great white shark that lives off of a fictional island in the Palauan archipelago. In the real world, the Pacific island nation of Palau established a sanctuary for these animals in 2009.

More than 40 different kinds of sharks can be found in Bahamian waters, including the whale shark, the great hammerhead and even great whites. Toomey is joining efforts spearheaded by the Pew Environment Group and The Bahamas National Trust to establish specific protections for the species; none currently exist.

"Under Jim Toomey's direction, Sherman and his friends confront all of the damage and indignities that we heap upon the underwater environment," said Eric Carey, executive director of The Bahamas National Trust. "Beyond the cartoon page, we need better marine protections so that the sharks can continue to keep our oceans healthy. That should start no other place but here in The Bahamas."

"The waters of The Bahamas were once known for buried treasure and pirate ships," said Jill Hepp, manager of Global Shark Conservation for the Pew Environment Group. "But living treasure can now be found swimming freely in the ocean. Over the past 20 years, shark diving has generated US$800 million for the Bahamian economy. In protecting these animals, we protect the health of our oceans and our economies."

Worldwide, up to 73 million sharks are killed every year, primarily for their fins, which are valued for their use in shark-fin soup, an Asian delicacy. As a result, 30 percent of the world's species are threatened or near-threatened with extinction. For an additional 47 percent, scientists lack sufficient data to properly assess their population status.

The Pew Environment Group is the conservation arm of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a nongovernmental organization that works globally to establish pragmatic, science-based policies that protect our oceans, preserve our wildlands and promote clean energy. .

The Bahamas National Trust was established by an Act of Parliament in 1959 and is mandated with the conservation of natural and historic resources of The Bahamas. It is the only known non-governmental organization in the world with the mandate to manage a country's entire national park system.

Pew Environment Group: Dan Klotz, +1 202.887.8855 /
The Bahamas National Trust: Lynn Gape, +1 242-393-1317 /

SOURCE Pew Environment Group

Web Site:


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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Most Popular Phones in Nigeria

BlackBerry is most popular among upwardly mobile young men and women in Nigeria, but Samsung Mobile with 6,136,648 monthly active users on Facebook and also winning the Sowambe Award for the best use of Twitter is like a superstar and the new Samsung Ch@t322 Phone with dual sim is currently the most popular phone in Nigeria.

About Samsung Ch@t322 Phone
The first mobile to offer a QWERTY keypad with DUOS, Samsung Chat 322 gives traveling business people and communicating heavy texters better mobile options on the go. Whether you’re juggling two phone numbers or taking advantage of different tariff plans, access to two SIM cards helps you stay in touch with double the convenience! Access 2 SIM cards at the same time! Harness the power, convenience and connectivity of two mobiles in one handset! Staying connected is so important – for business and pleasure! That’s why this phone comes with access to y! our favour es like Facebook and Twitter. Not only is Samsung Chat 322 powered with great functions to keep you in touch socially and while doing business on the go, the enhanced user interface makes it easier to use! Optical trackpad makes you to navigate menus smoothly and to expedite functions. Carrying and managing 2 SIM cards is not easy, but with Samsung Chat 322, it’s hassle free.

Details from Samsung Mobile

Access 2 SIM cards at the same time! Harness the power, convenience and connectivity of two mobiles in one handset! Whether you want to keep your personal and work phone calls separate, have greater coverage when traveling to different regions, or take advantage of the most advantageous calling rates, this DUOS feature makes it all easier and more accessible. Why manually switch back and forth between SIM cards when your phone does it all for you…automatically?!

Staying connected is so important – for business and pleasure! That’s why this phone comes with access to your favourite social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can even chat on instant messenger. With easy shortcuts and live updates from the home screen, you’ll always be socially up to date. Email is easier than ever – the mobile auto pulls so you don’t need to constantly check for new email! With Samsung, it’s so easy to keep up with your social life!

Not only is Samsung Ch@t 322 powered with great functions to keep you in touch socially and while doing business on the go, the enhanced user interface makes it easier to use! Optical trackpad makes you to navigate menus smoothly and to expedite functions. Explore mobile world more intuitive and comfortable.

Customised UX for DUOS

Carrying and managing 2 SIM cards is not easy, but with Samsung Ch@t 322, it’s hassle free. Direct SIM switch key on sid, and the Smart home offers you to check all the info and the update status from SNS or IM, email, schedules and more as you need.

3.5mm Ear jack

When you want to listen to the music, just plug in your headset to Samsung Ch@t 322, 3.5mm Ear jack fits your regular earphones, headphones and portable speakers.

Bluetooth v2.1

Bluetooth v.2.1 handles wireless file sharing and free-of-charge messaging with nearby users.

Surveys show that majority of Nigerians love smart phones, but they only go for the phones they can afford. That is why majority of the fanciful smart phones you see in town are not original BB or Nokia, but the imitations made in China.

7 out of 10 Teachers Think the Internet Could Help Improve Communication With Parents

29 Mar 2011 08:00 Africa/Lagos

7 out of 10 Teachers Think the Internet Could Help Improve Communication With Parents

BERGEN, Germany, March 29, 2011/PRNewswire/ -- 71% of teachers feel that a secure internet 'parent portal',where parents could see details about their child's schooling, would improve school-to-parent communication,according to a survey of 5805 teachers released today by leading educational ICT provider itslearning (

In the survey of teachers in France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the US, 75% of teachers also rated parental engagement as either 'important' or 'very important' for the success of a child's education. However, 44% said they didn't have the time or means to communicate with parents as much as they would like.

"Teachers agree that involving parents is critical,but they aren't able to communicate with parents effectively," says Morten Fahlvik,Research Manager at itslearning. "Most teachers speak to parentsat least once a semester. But communication has to occur more often to be really effective. The internet could be the answer - as long as the tool is correctly designed."

How do teachers currently communicate with parents? According to the survey, 46% of teachers email each of their students' parents at least once a month; 37% use texts/SMSs and 24% still send letters.

"Many teachers use a mix of technologies to communicate with parents, but none of them are specifically designed for the task," says Fahlvik. "Teachers want a tool that will improve the flow of information and reduce their workload."

To meet this need, itslearning launched a parent portal last year. As part of the company's cloud-based learning platform, much of the information on the portal - such as grades and attendance - is updated automatically to save teachers time. Teachers can also add specific information about individual students as required.

"The teachers have been extremely positive," says Fahlvik. "We're now surveying the parents to discover how they feel about the portal."

For more information, please visit

Visit to find your local itslearning press contact.

About itslearning

itslearning is a learning platform provider dedicated solely to the education sector. Its learning platform is used by millions of educators, students, admin staff and parents around the world - and can be found at all levels of education, from primary schools to universities. The company is headquartered in Bergen, Norway, and has offices in London, Birmingham, Berlin, Paris, Mulhouse, Malmo and Boston.

Contact information:

Kristine Lango
Marketing and Communications Manager
Tel: +47-9828-3778

Source: it's learning AS

Contact information: Kristine Lango, Marketing and Communications Manager, Email:, Tel: +47-9828-3778

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