Saturday, December 31, 2011

President Jonathan Declares State of Emergency Against Boko Haram

Nigeria's Head of State President Goodluck Jonathan Saturday afternoon declared State of Emergency in three states in the northern region and one state in the middle belt. The states have been under the siege of the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic terrorist group and other nomadic Hausa-Fulani marauders who have been on rampage killing several hundreds of innocent Nigerians who were mostly Christians and destroying properties in Borno, Yobe, Niger and Plateau.

The Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the suicide car bombing of the UN office in Abuja on Friday, 26 August 2011, killing 21 people and injuring over 60 others. On November 5, 2011, the group launched series of coordinated attacks in Borno and Yobe states, killing about 67 people in Damaturu and destroying a new police headquarters and other government offices. The most outrageous were the bomb attacks on St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla in Niger State and other churches in Jos, Gadaka, and Damaturu on Christmas Day with a death toll of over 43 people and many others sustaining injuries. The attacks provoked international condemnation and President Jonathan vowed to end the menace of the Boko Haram and other acts of terrorism in Nigeria.

The following is the state of emergency address of President Jonathan.

President Goodluck Jonathan
Fellow Nigerians, it has become necessary to address you on recent events in some parts of the country that have threatened our collective security and shaken the foundations of our corporate existence as a nation.

2. You are all aware of the security challenges which the activities of the Boko Haram sect have foisted on the country. What began as sectarian crises in the North Eastern parts of the country has gradually evolved into terrorist activities in different parts of the country with attendant negative consequences on our national security.

3. Government in an effort to find a lasting solution to the security threats occasioned by the activities of the Boko Haram sect, constituted a Presidential Committee under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari, to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the crises. While efforts are being made to implement the recommendations of the Committee, the crises have assumed a terrorist dimension with vital institutions of government including the United Nations Building and places of worship becoming targets of terrorist attacks.

4. While the search for lasting solutions is ongoing, it has become imperative to take some decisive measures necessary to restore normalcy in the country especially within the affected communities. Consequently, I have in the exercise of the powers conferred on me by the provisions of section 305(1) of the Constitution, declared a state of emergency in the following parts of the federation, namely:

(i) Borno State

a) Maidugiri Metropolitan LGA

b) Gamboru Ngala LGA

c) Banki Bama LGA

d) Biu LGA

e) Jere LGA

(ii) Yobe State

a) Damaturu LGA

b) Geidam LGA

c) Potiskum LGA

d) Buniyadi-Gujba LGA
e) Gasua-Bade LGA

(iii) Plateau State

a) Jos North LGA

b) Jos South LGA

c) Barkin-Ladi LGA

d) Riyom LGA

(iv) Niger State

a) Suleja LGA

The details of this proclamation will be transmitted to the National Assembly as soon as they reconvene from their current recess, for their necessary action.

5. The Chief of Defence Staff and the Inspector-General of Police have been directed to put appropriate measures in place to ensure the protection of lives and properties of residents in the affected parts of the country. I therefore urge the political leadership in the affected states and Local Government Areas to give maximum cooperation to the law enforcement agencies deployed to their respective communities to ensure that the situation is brought under control within the shortest possible time.

6. The Chief of Defence Staff, in collaboration with other Service Chiefs, has also been directed to set up a special force unit within the Armed Forces, with dedicated counter terrorism responsibilities.

7. As part of the overall strategy to overcome the current security challenges, I have directed the closure of the land borders contiguous to the affected Local Government Areas so as to control incidences of cross boarder terrorist activities as terrorists have taken advantage of the present situation to strike at targets in Nigeria and retreat beyond the reach of our law enforcement personnel.

8. Let me assure our neighbours, especially within the ECOWAS sub-region, of Nigeria’s commitment to its international obligations as provided by the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons. The temporary closure of our borders in the affected areas is only an interim measure designed to address the current security challenges and will be reviewed as soon as normalcy is restored.

9. I commend the efforts of our political leaders at various levels as well as our traditional and religious leaders for their support for the various conflict resolution mechanisms and peace building measures that have been initiated by this administration. We call on the citizenry to continue to provide useful information to our law enforcement agencies to enable us arrest the situation.

10. Terrorism is a war against all of us. I call on all Nigerians to join hands with government to fight these terrorists.

11. I wish all Nigerians a very happy New Year.

12. Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Happy New Year 2012!

We thank God for keeping us alive and well to see the New Year 2012!

Nigerians Report wishes you all the best things of all the seasons of the year with long life and more prosperity.


Brad Pitt: Voted Top Money-Making Star of 2011

30 Dec 2011 15:30 Africa/Lagos

Career First for Brad Pitt: Top Money-Making Star of 2011

GROTON, Mass., Dec. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Brad Pitt has been voted the Top Money-Making Star of 2011 in Quigley Publishing Company's 80th Annual Poll of Motion Picture Exhibitors. This is Pitt's sixth appearance in the Poll, but his first win. Exhibitors felt Pitt was responsible for more traffic to theatres than any other Hollywood star based on his performances this year in "Moneyball," "The Tree of Life" and "Happy Feet Two." (voice)

The Quigley Poll, conducted each year since 1932, is an annual survey of motion picture theatre owners and film buyers, which asks them to vote for the ten stars that they believe generated the most box-office revenue for their theatres during the year. It has been long regarded as one of the most reliable indicators of a Star's real box-office draw because the selections are made by professionals whose livelihood depends on choosing the films and actors that will bring audiences to their theatres. The Quigley Poll appears annually in Quigley Publishing Company's International Motion Picture Almanac and on our web site: Both list the results of all the Polls since Marie Dressler, Janet Gaynor and Joan Crawford took the top three places in 1932.

George Clooney placed second this year based on "The Ides of March," where he was also the Director, Producer and Co-writer and "The Descendants." Johnny Depp, last year's winner, made it to #3 this year with 2011 roles in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "The Rum Diary." Depp has placed in the poll seven times as has this year's #4, Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in "J. Edgar." Matt Damon, #5, had a very busy year with "Contagion," "The Adjustment Bureau," "Margaret" and "We Bought a Zoo."

2009's winner, Sandra Bullock, placed #6, which marks her fifth appearance in the Poll. She first placed in the survey in 1995. There were two first-timers this year, Bradley Cooper #7 and Ben Stiller #10. Bradley Cooper was in "The Hangover Part II" and Ben Stiller was in "Tower Heist." Robert Downey, Jr. was #8 on the strength of "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" and Meryl Streep was #9 as 'The Iron Lady" and is in the Top Ten for the fourth time.

Tom Cruise has not placed in the Poll since 2006 but he has been in the Top Ten 20 times since 1983, and been voted number one the most of any actor - seven times. Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds and Bing Crosby have all won five times. Clint Eastwood has been in the poll 21 times starting in 1968. Currently, Exhibitors appreciate him more as a Director that brings audiences to their theatres. John Wayne, Doris Day and Shirley Temple each finished first four times, but John Wayne was voted one of the Top Ten Money-Making Stars an astounding 25 times from 1949 to 1974.

Exhibitors were also asked to name the Stars of Tomorrow for 2011: one actor and one actress who they feel will be Top Money-Makers in the years to come. The 2011 winners are Rooney Mara who played Lisbeth Salander in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," and Jonah Hill who had a breakthrough performance in "Moneyball" and starred in "The Sitter."

Top Ten Money-Making Stars of 2011

Brad Pitt
George Clooney
Johnny Depp
Leonardo DiCaprio
Matt Damon
Sandra Bullock
Bradley Cooper
Robert Downey, Jr.
Meryl Streep
Ben Stiller

Stars of Tomorrow:

Rooney Mara
Jonah Hill

Quigley Publishing Company was founded in 1915 and has published the International Motion Picture Almanac annually since 1930 and the International Television & Video Almanac since 1955. Historical data, analysis and all of the Top Ten Money-Making Star Polls dating back to 1932 are available in the 2011 edition of the International Motion Picture Almanac and on our web site:

SOURCE Quigley Publishing Company

CONTACT: CONTACT: Bill Quigley, +1-978-448-0272, Fax: +1-978-448-9325,

Web Site:

Friday, December 30, 2011

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Fell Short in 2011

Anti Corruption Campaign Banner. Photo Credit: One Stone Advisors.

29 Dec 2011 20:50 Africa/Lagos

FCPA Digest Cites Increased Prosecution of Individuals and Sharpened Focus On Judicial Opinions and Trials

Shearman & Sterling report outlines business and legal implications of US, UK and other international anti-corruption activities

NEW YORK, Dec. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Although the overall number of new FCPA enforcement actions fell somewhat in 2011 – just 16 corporate cases, compared with 20 in 2010 – US authorities have continued their aggressive and proactive enforcement of the statute and are now being joined by their foreign counterparts, according to global law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Shearman & Sterling's semi-annual "Recent Trends and Patterns in FCPA Enforcement" report, part of the firm's renowned FCPA Digest (, showed that, despite the claims of some commentators and legislators, FCPA penalties against corporations have remained fairly stable and under $20 million in most cases.

"It's more than a numbers game," says Philip Urofsky, a Washington, DC- and London-based partner at Shearman & Sterling and head of the firm's FCPA and Global Anti-Corruption Practice. "High fines often result directly from high profits. When a company does not make much money as a result of corrupt conduct, the penalties are significantly lower."

In 2011, US enforcement authorities continued their emphasis on prosecuting individuals, charging 18 individuals and, at the same time, going to trial in several important cases. Urofsky notes, however, that a number of these recent trials have underlined the difficulty that US enforcement authorities, once in court, have in proving foreign bribery beyond a reasonable doubt. Still, judicial opinions have largely supported the government's expansive interpretation of what constitutes an "instrumentality" of a foreign government, including state-owned entities indirectly controlled by a foreign government.

Interestingly, most of the individuals charged in 2011 were foreign nationals. This presents a twist on the previously noted trends of US enforcement authorities targeting non-US companies.

"US enforcement officials seem to be saying, 'Enough is enough,'" Urofsky says. "In the past they have targeted non-US companies and now they are reaching out to charge those companies' employees, particularly those in jurisdictions that do not appear to be exercising sufficient energy and commitment to enforcing their own laws implementing the OECD Convention."

It remains to be seen, Urofsky added, if the US will ever be able to bring these individuals to trial, which will depend on whether the countries whose nationals have been indicted – Germany, Argentina, Switzerland, and Israel (all of whom are signatories to the OECD Convention) – will extradite these individuals to the US, will bring their own enforcement actions against them or will do nothing.

UK Bribery Act

The Bribery Act 2010 finally came into effect in the UK on July 1, 2011, following publication of guidance by the Ministry of Justice in March 2011 on the "adequate procedures" defense to the corporate offense of failure to prevent bribery.

"The Bribery Act represents a brave new world here in the UK," explains Richard Kelly, a Shearman & Sterling partner in London who advises clients on the Bribery Act. "The Ministry of Justice guidance is useful as far as it goes, but it still remains uncertain how the courts will interpret a number of key provisions of the Bribery Act."

The Director of the Serious Fraud Office has indicated that an SFO focus from the outset will be prosecuting non-UK companies with a business presence in the UK to help ensure that UK companies which behave properly are not subject to unfair competition from non-UK companies which do not. In contrast, US authorities, after years of focusing on US companies, have only recently targeted non-US companies as part of an apparent effort to spur non-US enforcement agencies to be more active in this area with respect to their own companies.

Increased self-monitoring in the US

Back in the US, there was a withdrawal by both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission from routinely requiring an independent monitor in all cases and agreeing to various forms of self-monitoring. But even that did not diminish the importance of self-monitoring and self-reporting.

"The message here has remained generally consistent: companies that make voluntary disclosures and cooperate with the government receive a tangible benefit," says Dan Newcomb, one of the leaders of Shearman & Sterling's FCPA practice in New York.

Shearman & Sterling's analysis of penalties over the past five years indicates that the DOJ has often, but not always, granted discounts ranging from 3% to 67% in cases involving voluntary disclosures and negotiated resolutions. The court filings in a number of these cases list the reasons for the DOJ's decision to depart, including: voluntary and thorough disclosure; nature and extent of cooperation; penalties imposed or to be imposed by other US and foreign enforcement agencies and international organizations; and "extraordinary" remediation, including self and independent monitoring.

Other key findings

Among the other key findings in this semi-annual update to the firm's FCPA Digest:

The first half of the year started off with the US authorities continuing their record pace of the past previous years, bringing 9 actions. In the latter half of the year, the pace dropped somewhat, perhaps because the DOJ in particular was largely pre-occupied with the trials in the Lindsay Manufacturing, Haiti Telecom, and SHOT Show cases and in preparing for additional SHOT Show trials as well as upcoming trials in O'Shea and CCI. Included in the 16 cases in 2011 was the last corporate case involving the Bonny Island consortium and the first FCPA case against a major pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson.

The 18 additional individuals charged in 2011 represents the second highest total in FCPA history, eclipsed only by 2009 in which the government charged the 22 individuals in the SHOT Show case and 7 of the 8 defendants in CCI.

The case against the Siemens individuals may also reflect the pressure from commentators, the courts, and Congress to see that individuals are held accountable for corporate crimes.

This past year also saw the highest financial sanctions ever assessed against individuals in an FCPA case -- a TSKJ case relating to the bribes paid for contracts in Bonny Island, Nigeria. Earlier this year, the courts ordered forfeiture of $148,964,569 in Geoffrey Tesler's Swiss bank accounts.

Since the record-holding $800 million penalty for Siemens in 2008, each subsequent year has seen at least one corporate FCPA case with a penalty of several hundred million dollars. But these headline-grabbing high penalties and resulting high annual totals tend to obscure the reality of what companies, on average, pay for FCPA violations. When the highest and lowest "outlier" cases are excluded, the averages-per-year are lower still. When the outliers are excluded, the averages have ranged from $3 million to $33 million – not inconsequential, but certainly not as severe and extreme as the annual total penalties might suggest.

Several actions this year highlighted the importance of post-closing due diligence in M&A transactions where the target company poses potential corruption risks. In Watts Water, Diageo and Ball Corp., the SEC entered settlements with companies for violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions of the FCPA arising out of misconduct by recently-acquired subsidiaries. Taken together, these actions seem to send a strong message that SEC expects acquirers to conduct due diligence and undertake measures to address existing FCPA issues in the aftermath of a merger.

"I would expect that we will see a very active 2012," Urofsky says. "For example, the adoption of Dodd-Frank whistleblower regulations in the US will have implications for FCPA enforcements. I would also expect the UK Bribery Act to gain some momentum, which could also spark increased enforcement in other OECD jurisdictions."

Shearman & Sterling's updated Recent Trends and Patterns in FCPA Enforcement report provides insightful analysis and serves as an executive summary to the firm's FCPA Digest, a compendium of cases and review releases relating to bribes of foreign officials under the FCPA. The Digest, which is updated regularly, is considered the authoritative source on all FCPA-related proceedings, featuring proceedings related to bribes to foreign officials under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, including those related to foreign bribery criminal prosecution, DOJ foreign bribery civil actions, SEC actions, DOJ opinion releases, ongoing FCPA investigations and pre-FCPA prosecutions.

Shearman & Sterling's FCPA web site,, allows users to quickly learn enforcement trends by retrieving in-depth, original source materials and summaries based on category type, location, fines imposed, as well as numerous other searchable criteria.


Shearman & Sterling LLP is a global law firm with approximately 900 lawyers in 20 offices in 12 countries around the world. The firm is a leader in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, project development and finance, complex business litigation and international arbitration, asset management and tax.

Ron Brandsdorfer, Shearman & Sterling
Lauren Hatch, Edelman

SOURCE Shearman & Sterling LLP

Web Site:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2Face Idibia, M.I, Jesse Jags, Tiwa Savage, P Square, DJ Jimmy Jatt and others Join Spinlet

2Face Idibia, M.I, Jesse Jags, Tiwa Savage, P Square, DJ Jimmy Jatt and others have been signed by Spinlet, Africa's premier digital distribution service.

The following is the detailed news release.

27 Dec 2011 20:19 Africa/Lagos

Spinlet Signs Award Winning Artists to the Largest Digital Platform in Africa

SAN FRANCISCO, December 27, 2011/PRNewswire/ -- Spinlet, Africa's premier digital distribution service, has signed on a significant roster of new artists to the service, making it the largest platform for music discovery throughout Africa. Spinlet has signed nonexclusive agreements with artists being encouraged to sell their music in as many places as possible so the result is creating wealth for the artist and the people who work so hard to bring African music to life.


"Spinlet's goal is to solve the distribution and piracy issues within Africa. Exclusive agreements can offer a unique user experience, it is not strongly encouraged with our content acquisition team," says Spinlet COO Sami Leino, "We feel Spinlet's user platform speaks for itself. We are the only service dedicated to fighting the long fight against piracy with structured deals in the artists' favor, bringing in marketing support to create revenue, and sharing of artists' music internationally."

This has made Spinlet the first stop in signing agreements for distributing their music digitally in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana. Spinlet is pleased to announce the following label agreements, bringing an array of multi-national, award winning artists who have joined the Spinlet family.

Alapomeji Records (9ice), Chocolate City (Brymo, M.I, Jesse Jags, Ice Prince), Hypertek (2Face Idibia), Game Time (Lineo), Funky Money Ent (Konga), Syndik8 Records (Lynxx, E Jay, Ikon), Flytime (Tiwa Savage, P Square - Invasion Album), Too Much Music (Femi Juba), Starville (Shank), DJ Jimmy Jatt, Show Dem Camp (Ghost,Tec, Lucci and Poe), Storm Records (Naeto C Sasha, Tosin Martins, YQ, and Yung6ix), Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions (Bez), Timaya, Play Records (Rilwan, Mimi), Effya, Ghetto Ruff (Jozi, Nancy G), Sunset Distribution and many, many more.

One of the many exciting and unique ways Spinlet has made adding music to the distribution service is through the self-guided artist upload tool. Any Independent artist and music rights holder can upload their music for sale on the Spinlet platform.



Spinlet supports its artists through social aspects provided on the service and through unique marketing partnerships. "Spinlet is pleased to work with such a talented group of musicians, it makes our service appealing to so many brands and music lovers worldwide, the response we have gotten is overwhelming in the best way possible," says Eric Idiahi, Spinlet CEO.

For press inquiries please contact: Melissa Adair // E-mail:

AboutSpinlet: Spinlet is a company focused on meeting the needs of music lovers allowing them to buy, listen, share, and manage music all within a user friendly mobile platform. Spinlet is the premier mobile music download platform bringing media distribution to emerging markets in Africa. Spinlet's technology encourages the purchasing and discovery of new music while offering storage of the users' music library on their mobile device. Downloading the application for free can access Spinlet's massive music vault.

Source: Spinlet

Monday, December 26, 2011

American Jews Condemn Deadly Terrorist Attacks on Churches in Nigeria

A car burns at the scene of a bomb explosion at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja, just outside Nigeria's capital Abuja, December 25, 2011. Photo Credit: REUTERS-Afolabi Sotunde.

25 Dec 2011 18:13 Africa/Lagos

AJC Condemns Deadly Terrorist Attacks on Churches in Nigeria

NEW YORK, Dec. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC expressed outrage and revulsion at the deadly terrorist attacks that targeted Christian worshipers in Nigeria on Christmas Day and killed at least 25 people.

(Logo: )

Several churches, including St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla and Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church in Jos, were attacked. A Muslim group, Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility. The same group, which, according to a New York Times account, seeks "to install strict Shariah or Muslim law across Nigeria," was also identified as the perpetrator of another wave of anti-Christian attacks during Christmas last year that killed more than 30 people.

"AJC, which for over a century has been profoundly committed to defending religious freedom, condemns these despicable attacks on Christian worshipers gathered to celebrate their holy day of Christmas," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "All people of goodwill, and especially all religious leaders of goodwill, should stand together in full solidarity with the victims and in unambiguous opposition to those who would kill and maim in the name of their own perverted faith."

"We pray for the full recovery of the injured," Harris added, "and for the arrest and prosecution, to the full extent of the law in Nigeria, of those who planned and implemented these hate-filled, anti-Christian terrorist attacks."

SOURCE American Jewish Committee

CONTACT: Kenneth Bandler, AJC Director of Media Relations, +1-212-891-6771, +1-917-449-1259 (mobile),

Web Site:

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
25 Dec 2011
22:21 CAIR Condemns Attacks on Nigerian Churches
18:13 AJC Condemns Deadly Terrorist Attacks on Churches in Nigeria

An Open Letter to All Christians in the Middle Belt and Northern Nigeria

A shining cross in a dark place. Photo Credit: Live the Cross.

All Wise Christians In The North Should Fellowship And Worship In Their Homes
« on: Today at 10:56:23 AM »

All wise Christians in the middle belt and northern regions should fellowship and worship in their homes from henceforth until the government can prove that your lives and properties would be safe.



You all must learn from our Lord Jesus Christ as He advised us in the following words:

14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.

15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

~MATTHEW 10-14-15

The problem with majority of my so called Christian brethren is lack of wisdom and disobedience of the advice of Jesus Christ.



If you disobey Jesus Christ and you get attacked, maimed or killed, your ignorance and disobedience of the Word of God maimed or killed you and not Boko Haram or other antichrists on the prowl.

If your pastors and reverend fathers and other ministers want to drag you or pull you to danger zones where you will be targets for the enemy, PLEASE, REFUSE TO BE MISLED AND KILLED.

A church is not the size or magnificence of the building, but where two or more are gathered together in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Pastors and other ministers must learn to work like Jesus and his disciples to earn money, pay their tax as Jesus did and feed the poor and hungry and they must stop sponging off ignorant congregants by depending on their offerings and tithes.
Offerings and tithes are for those in the mission fields and not for sit-down-at parish ministers!

The same advice goes to all Igbos in the middle belt and northern regions, PLEASE LEAVE NOW TO WHERE YOU WOULD BE SAFE AND SECURE. THE BEST PLACE IS IN THE SOUTH AND NOT THE NORTH.

Muslims don't like you spreading the Good News in their regions and converting their people to Christianity.
It is forbidden for a Muslim to abandon Islam and they hate the fact that Christians in their regions are spreading the Good News and converting their folks.

I will not repeat this advice.
He who has ears let him or her hear and do as I have advised to save your lives and properties.

~ Orikinla Osinachi

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Islamic Terrorists Attacking Christians on Christmas Day in Nigeria

Rescuers helping one of the victims of the Christmas Day terrorist attacks on Christian churches in Jos, Damaturu, Potiskum and other areas in the Middle Belt and Northern Nigeria.

Bombs are exploding in several churches in the middle belt and northern regions of Nigeria as murderous Islamic terrorists are attacking Christians on Christmas Day.

Last week the Boko Haram Islamic terrorist group and other Islamic sects warned that Christian churches would be attacked during the Christmas holidays.

Eye witness accounts are coming from the Sahara Reporters and Nairaland.

Another Bomb Blast In Damaturu
Another Bomb Blast In Jos
Pictures Of Xmas Attack On Catholic Church
Boko Haram Bombs A Catholic Church Just After Mass

Christmas Day Bomb Blast Kills 19 at Catholic Church in Nigeria

A terrorist bomb attack at the St. Theresa's Catholic Church, Madalla in Niger State killed about 19 Christian worshipers and injured several others Sunday morning of Christmas Day.

Over 81 people were killed on Christmas Eve when the Boko Haram Islamic terrorists clashed with Nigerian soldiers and police officers in Damaturu, Yobe State. Other terrorist attacks have been reported from Potiskum, a Local Government Area in Yobe State and Maiduguri in Borno State.

Photographs of the Christmas Day terrorist bomb attack on St. Theresa's Catholic Church from Nairaland.

Islamic terrorists in the volatile northern regions warned of attacking churches on Christmas Day. But the government failed once again to provide adequate security for Christian churches in the northern states dominated by Muslims and where hundreds have been killed by the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic sect.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Who Owns Christmas? Jesus Christ or Santa Claus?

Illustration of Jesus and Santa. Photo Credit: Jason Berggren.

Who owns Christmas? Jesus Christ or Santa Claus?
This is the thought-;provoking subject of David Frum's article on the Huffington Post: Santa vs. Jesus and it is one of the most engaging articles on the debate of how the "religion" of Santa Claus is misappropriating the religion of Christianity for which Christmas is being celebrated in commemoration of the birth of the founder Jesus Christ our Lord and Messiah.

This is really How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Of course How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is an allegory of how Santa Claus has stolen the birthday of Jesus Christ written by Dr. Seuss on the commercialization of Christmas and satirizes those who profit from exploiting the holiday.

As we speak, Santa Claus has just left the North Pole for his Christmas Eve journey around the world, his reindeer-powered sleigh loaded with gifts for boys and girls. ...

As much we should appreciate the goodwill and love in the sharing and exchange of Christmas gifts and greetings, we must stop the abuse and misuse of the Christian festival by greedy capitalists and legions of hypocrites whose idolatry is the antithesis of the charity of Jesus Christ.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, aka Orikinla Osinachi.

Genesis Coupe Drift Car Heist

Genesis Coupe Drift Car Heist from Hyundai Headquarters featuring Rhys Millen

COSTA MESA, Calif., Dec. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — About two weeks before the wrecking ball was about to completely demolish our old Hyundai Motor America headquarters building in Fountain Valley, California, we had a crazy thought: Wouldn’t it be cool to do something outrageous inside the building before all the walls finally came down?

Actually, it was Dustin Loranger, one of our Service Technicians, who had the idea…and we loved it. Why not put Rhys Millen, his Genesis Coupe drift car, and our abandoned HQ together for a unique drift demonstration in a unique industrial setting? Rhys was up for the challenge, and remarkably, so were our lawyers, so we put this thing together, with tongue (and donut) firmly planted in cheek.

We think the video does a pretty good job showcasing Rhys’ car control skills, the sweetness of the Genesis Coupe drift car, and the reason why Hollywood probably doesn’t have to worry, just yet, about this cast and crew. ;)

How’d we do?


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, 5-years of complimentary Roadside Assistance and the Hyundai Trade-in Value Guarantee. Hyundai is a registered trademark of Hyundai Motor Company. All rights reserved. ©2011 Hyundai Motor America.


Journalists are invited to visit our news media web site: and follow us on Twitter: @Hyundai

Media Contacts:

Derek Joyce
Product Public Relations Manager
(714) 594-1728

Jim Trainor
Product Public Relations Sr. Group Manager
(714) 594-1629

Friday, December 23, 2011

One in Four Americans Would Refuse a Full Body Scan at Airport Security

23 Dec 2011 15:36 Africa/Lagos

Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll Finds Nearly One in Four Americans Would Refuse a Full Body Scan at Airport Security

22.8 Percent Would Opt for Alternative Screening Citing Health Concerns, Privacy Violations

ANN ARBOR, Mich. and WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Roughly one-quarter of Americans say they would refuse a full body scan using new airport body scanners and 14.9 percent said new airport security measures have them concerned for their health, according to the Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll.

(Logo: )

Thomson Reuters and NPR conduct a monthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues.

The survey, which asked respondents their opinions and concerns regarding flight safety, found that the main reasons for resistance to new scanners are exposure to radiation (22.6 percent), personal privacy violations (17.1 percent) and concerns the scanners violated their 4th Amendment rights (13.3 percent). Forty-seven percent of respondents expressed no concern with the technology.

Additionally, only 7.8 percent said they have health concerns associated with flying. However 11 percent of all respondents said they had become sick as a direct result of air travel. Of those Americans who expressed concern, the top five health risks cited were crashing (21.1 percent), contracting the flu or a cold (16 percent), air quality (7 percent), anxiety (6.8 percent) and blood clots (5 percent).

"While I applaud the survey participants' concern with radiation exposure, these scanners are safe. Based on the amount of radiation these machines produce, a traveler would have to take 2,000 plane rides before being subjected to the equivalence of a single chest x-ray," said Raymond Fabius, M.D., chief medical officer at the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters. "The much more serious health concerns associated with flying are exposure to communicable illnesses and blood clots during long air excursions. By avoiding traveling when sick and exercising in your seat, these risks can be minimized."

To date, the Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll has explored numerous health topics, including generic drugs, abortion, vaccines, food allergies, and organic and genetically modified foods. NPR's reports on the surveys are archived online at the Shots health blog here:

Thomson Reuters maintains a library of poll results here.

The Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Thomson Reuters PULSE(SM) Healthcare Survey, an independently funded, nationally representative telephone poll that collects information about health-related behaviors and attitudes and healthcare utilization from more than 100,000 US households annually. Survey questions are developed in conjunction with NPR. The figures in this month's poll are based on 3,013 participants interviewed from November 1-13, 2011. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.

For a copy of the flight safety survey, visit: .

About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, healthcare and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs more than 55,000 people and operates in over 100 countries. For more information, go to

About NPR
NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to create a more informed public - one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

SOURCE Thomson Reuters

CONTACT: Brian Erni, For Thomson Reuters, Healthcare, J. Roderick, Inc. Public Relations,, +1-631-656-9736, +1-631-495-7006; Anna Christopher, Director, Media, NPR,, +1-202-513-2304, +1-202-680-3848

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DreamWorks Pictures' "War Horse" Earns American Humane Association's Highest Rating

Director Steven Spielberg, far right, observes Jeremy Irvine, left, rehearse a scene with Joey on the set of DreamWorks Pictures' "War Horse," an epic adventure set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War. (Andrew Cooper/Courtesy DreamWorks Pictures/MCT)

22 Dec 2011 18:34 Africa/Lagos

DreamWorks Pictures' "War Horse" Earns American Humane Association's Highest Rating

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- DreamWorks Pictures' War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg, has earned American Humane Association's highest certification rating: Monitored: Outstanding, No Animals Were Harmed. The production complied with American Humane Association's "Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media" to ensure the safety of the horses and fully cooperated with American Humane Association's Film and TV Unit, which logged 1,100 hours on "War Horse" sets in England and California and safeguarded more than 100 horses.

(Logo: )

Since 1940, American Humane Association has been safeguarding animals in film. On the "War Horse" production sets, American Humane Association representative Barbara Carr was present to make sure that the many horses used in the making of the film were both safe and treated humanely. Says Director Spielberg, "I gave Barbara [Carr] the complete, final cut so to speak, to pull the plug if she felt any of the horses were not up to the challenge or any of the horses were in any way in harm's way."

Spielberg gave Carr input on set in the planning of the stunt or the action the horse had to perform and also gave her opportunities to watch rehearsals in slow motion, done one step at a time, so she could determine whether it would be safe for the horse.

The film, which opens in theatres in the U.S. on December 25th, is an epic tale of loyalty, hope and tenacity set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War. Based on the best-selling book by Michael Morpurgo and the Tony Award®–winning stage play by Nick Stafford, "War Horse" is one of the great stories of bravery and friendship, brought to the screen by one of the greatest directors in film history.

"War Horse" begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets—British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter—before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man's Land. The First World War is experienced through the journey of this horse—an odyssey of joy and sorrow, passionate friendship and high adventure.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Pictures' "War Horse" stars Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irvine, Benedict Cumberbatch and Toby Kebbell. It is produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, and executive producers are Frank Marshall and Revel Guest. The screenplay was written by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis and is based on the book by Michael Morpurgo and the international hit stage play by Nick Stafford, originally produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain and directed by Tom Morris and Marianne Elliot.

About American Humane Association

Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today they're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. To learn more or support their work, please visit American Humane Association at

SOURCE American Humane Association

CONTACT: CONTACT: Mark Stubis, +1-202-677-4227,

Web Site:

Sylvafrank Introduces Bullion Cubes and Mackerel In Tomato Sauce

Sylvafrank Introduces Bullion Cubes and Mackerel In Tomato Sauce

~ By Ingram Osigwe

In cooking, seasonings include herbs, spices and special additives are used to enhance the taste of recipes, especially sauce, soup, stew and marinade. To season and to flavor, may be described as different aspects of cooking. Seasonings are usually salt-based additives used to magnify the natural flavor of food ingredients, making it richer and more delicate depending on the dish. Flavourings on the other hand, are herbal (and in Africa, lentil seed based) condiments added to recipes, to enhance the aromatic qualities of the food, thus enhancing its ability to stimulate the taste buds, making food more appealing to the consumers.

In modern times however, food technologists have been able to combine the natural qualities of herbs and lentils with the strong tastes of salt , to produce special seasonings which come in whole packages, either as pastes, powders or cube format. After the successes of St.Rita tomato paste, Sylva Frank Nigeria limited, has decided to raise the ante a little higher in its bid to make cooking a pleasurable activity for wives and caterers all over the nation. Come 1st Quarter of 2012, Sylva Frank will introduce Bullion cubes to market. It will be a trail blazer in the seasoning sector of the condiments market because it will combine all the qualities of existing brands while at the same coming in different varieties and a good price. Bullion cubes will have all the vitamins and minerals recommended by the American FDA for a normal daily intake by all human beings, as well as salt and extracts of local herbs, spices and lentil seeds; more than all that, it will come at a highly affordable price.

Also taking into consideration the high price of good quality mackerel in tomato paste these days, and the proliferation of poor quality mackerels in the market today, Sylva Frank is also to hit the market stand with its own brand of mackerel in tomato paste. Especially packed with mackerel from Japanese trawlers, Sylva frank mackerel will combine all the excellent qualities of fish as the best source of animal protein in the world, with the excellent taste of well preserved mackerel and as well as the good food qualities of tomato, to present a wholesome good package for wives and caterers all over the country. Tomatoes come with lycopene which reduces chances of cancer in human in human beings, mackerel, like all fishes come with fish liver oil which is rich in vitamin E, and good for the heart, and also has a high concentration of Lysine, the most digestible form of protein. Sylvafrank mackerel will combine all these qualities in addition with their special brand characteristics of excellent quality and good taste as well as good prices and availability in the market.

As Sylvafrank wishes all their customers an excellent yuletide, they are also informing them of the prospects of an excellent new year with excellent new products.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

African Banks Turn to IBM to Support New Wave of Innovation in Banking Services

IBM is working with banks and telco providers to help bring financial services to the unbanked across Africa. (PRNewsFoto/IBM)

21 Dec 2011 21:02 Africa/Lagos

African Banks Turn to IBM to Support New Wave of Innovation in Banking Services
IBM signs agreements with leading Kenyan banks as financial institutions across Africa invest in smarter banking solutions

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) has announced details of five strategic agreements in the Kenyan financial services sector as banks across Africa turn to advanced technologies to support rapid growth, increase profitability and launch innovative new services such as mobile and internet banking.

(Photo: )

(Logo: )

Over the last six months IBM has signed contracts with five of Kenya's leading banks: Credit Bank, Co-operative Bank, Family Bank, National Bank of Kenya and National Industrial Credit (NIC) Bank. The agreements are amongst more than 20 similar deals that IBM has signed with banks across Africa in 2011 in line with the rapid growth of the financial services sector and as technology enables a wave of innovation in African banking. IBM is also working with Africa's leading telco companies to help provide financial services based on increasingly widespread mobile devices. For example, through its partnership with Vodafone, IBM is helping Safaricom to provide its M-PESA mobile money service to over 15 million customers in East Africa.

"Africa is currently experiencing strong uptake in banking services in line with the growth of the continent's middle class and the adoption of mobile and internet banking," said Anthony Mwai, County General Manager, IBM East Africa. "Advanced technologies are helping to drive a wave of innovation across the African financial services sector as banks create new and accessible banking channels and take banking services to previously unbanked parts of society."

According to analysts, Africa's financial services sector is currently worth over $100 billion and will continue to grow by double digits to 2020, outpacing Africa's gross domestic product growth. Retail banking is currently the fastest growing segment predicted to grow at 18 per cent between 2009 and 2020 through increased demand for deposit accounts and the launch of sophisticated banking services.*

Smarter Banking

In two of the largest IT deals in the East African banking sector to date, the Co-operative Bank of Kenya and the National Bank of Kenya have signed multi-million dollar agreements with IBM to support their aggressive expansion strategies and increase profitability.

IBM supplied Co-operative Bank with Power Systems as well as storage and software as part of a major overhaul of the bank's systems.

"Our strength lies in the transformative influence we have had in the lives of over nine million Kenyans who depend on the co-operative movement for banking services. Our investment in IT has helped us to achieve our goal of launching a diverse array of innovative, new banking services and reach new parts of society," said Gideon Muriuki, Co-operative Bank's Managing Director.

In its agreement with the National Bank of Kenya, IBM is providing IT services, hardware and software as the bank delivers on its program of business transformation.

"As we continue our transformation into a privately-owned company, we are constantly seeking the means to make us leaner and more efficient," said Reuben Marambii, Managing Director of the National Bank of Kenya. "With advanced technologies and virtualization tools, IBM is helping us to optimize our resources and provide a wider range of services to our rapidly growing client base."

Market Expansion

Family Bank, one of Kenya's fastest growing financial institutions, and IBM signed an agreement to support the bank's drive to reach new markets and launch new products and services.

The bank's regional expansion plan, alongside its introduction of new services such as mobile banking and mortgage facilities, has led the firm to transform its IT systems ahead of a planned listing on the Nairobi Stock Exchange in 2012.

IBM has also signed agreements with Credit Bank and National Industrial Credit (NIC) Bank as locally owned banks across Africa leverage world-class technologies to transform their businesses.

Credit Bank has turned to IBM for a new core banking system to allow it to rethink business processes and improve operational efficiency. Under the terms of the agreement, IBM will provide hardware, software as well as consultancy and services for the implementation, integration and maintenance of the new system.

In line with its continued growth in the region, National Industrial Credit (NIC) Bank selected IBM technologies to help streamline the bank's core banking processes and integrate its existing IT solutions to drive operational efficiencies and improve customer service.

IBM's Momentum in Africa

IBM is actively expanding its operations across Africa as part of the company's continued geographic expansion initiative to increase its presence in key growth markets and support its global growth strategy. Over the last year, IBM has closed a number of pivotal deals in the region as clients in the financial, government, telecommunications, oil and gas sectors seek solutions to help them optimize their operational costs and support business expansion. Earlier this year, IBM announced details of other major banking deals with the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and the National Microfinance Bank of Tanzania.

"Internet and mobile connectivity has become both more plentiful and a great deal cheaper over the last five years across Africa," said Russell Southwood, CEO at Balancing Act, an Africa-based consultancy and research company. "This allows African banks to focus on high-end products and services using the latest technologies to launch new banking channels. Banks are also using technology to better connect branch networks especially in rural areas which are seeing some of the highest levels of growth."

To drive demand for its services and solutions across the continent, IBM has opened over 20 offices across Africa including those in Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

About IBM

To find out more about IBM's African growth story visit:


*Bain & Company
IBM's agreement with the Co-operative Bank of Kenya includes Power 795 servers, DS 8800 storage, SAN Switches, Tape Library Express Model, as well as Tivoli and WebSphere software.
IBM's agreement with the National Bank of Kenya includes IBM Power 770 servers, IBM Storwize V7000 disk storage systems, IBM Tivoli and WebSphere software.
IBM's agreement with Family Bank includes IBM Power 770 server systems running on AIX and IBM Tape Library Express Model.
IBM's agreement with Credit Bank includes IBM Power 740 servers and DS5300 storage systems.
IBM's agreement with National Industrial Credit (NIC) Bank includes IBM Bladecenters and HX5 Blade servers to integrate with the bank's Temenos core banking application.

Marie-Anne (Kui) Kinyanjui
IBM East Africa
+254 721 676543

Jonathan Batty
IBM Growth Markets Unit
+48 69393 5403

Pasha Ray Dahncke


Web Site:

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Faruk Lasaki's "Changing Faces" Versus Chineze Anyaene's "IJÉ The Journey"

Without doubt or dispute Chineze Anyaene's IJÉ the Journey is the most financially successful Nigerian movie at the local box office and won an award for setting a box office record in Nigeria. The second is Kunle Afolayan's Figurine. But in terms of screenplay and cinematography I rank Faruk Lasaki's Changing Faces above IJÉ.

Would IJÉ have been so popular without Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade-Ekeninde?

Of course Chineze did the right thing that any smart filmmaker would have done in Hollywood or Bollywood by using the most popular actors and actresses to attract their teeming fans to the cinemas. In fact IJÉ should have made more than $1 million in Nigeria alone if Chineze explored all the opportunities and possibilities by also showing the film in as many halls as possible and charging less than the tickets sold at the Silverbird Cinemas and Genesis Deluxe Cinemas. But she seemed to be satisfied with the amount she made in West Africa and is moving on to the next level to make a better and bigger film.

Faruk Lasaki's Changing Faces has two relatively unknown British actors in the lead roles and only two popular Nigerian actors Alex Lopez and Keppy Ekpenyong. They are seasoned Nollywood stars, but they don't have the superstar popularity of Genevieve and Omotola. IJÉ would not have been so successful in West Africa without them.

Faruk and Chineze are both outstanding graduates of the famous New York Film Academy (NYFA).And the best movies with successful runs at the local box office have been made by other graduates of NYFA, Kunle Afolayan and Stephanie Okereke.

Changing Faces is currently the only Nigerian movie on the top ten movies showing at the Genesis Deluxe Cinemas in Lagos and at the Silverbird Cinemas outside Lagos.

~ By Orikinla Osinachi

Spielberg's War Horse To Be Released on Christmas Day

The most awaited movie premiere of the year is Steven Spielberg’s War Horse opening on Christmas Day December 25 in the US and on January 13, 2012 in the UK.

War Horse is an adaptation of British author Michael Morpurgo’s children's novel set during World War I. The novel was first published in 1982 and had a successful stage adaptation in 2007.

Spielberg said he had challenges in reworking “a beloved Broadway play into a big screen moment to remember”.

Jeremy Irvine plays the role of Albert Narracott in the war thriller. He was Luke in the television series Life Bites and has remarkable stage experience with the Royal Shakespeare Company and was in Dunsinane in 2010.

The First World War is experienced through the journey of this horse—an odyssey of joy and sorrow, passionate friendship and high adventure. “War Horse” is one of the great stories of friendship and war— a successful book, it was turned into a hugely successful international theatrical hit that is arriving on Broadway next year. It now comes to screen in an epic adaptation by one of the great directors in film history.


PG-13, 2 hr. 26 min.
Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
In Theaters: Dec 25, 2011 Wide
Walt Disney Pictures

War Horse is the second Steven Spielberg film opening this December in the US. The first The Adventures of Tintin was released yesterday Wednesday . December 21, 2011 in Digital 3D and IMAX.

The Adventures of Tintin is Spielberg's first foray into motion-capture filmmaking as well as 3-D. "Tintin," is the famous comic hero created by the Belgian artist named Hergé in the late 1920s. Tintin is a young daring investigative reporter whose travels around the world exposes him to fantastic adventures as he covers big stories and uncovers even larger mysteries accompanied by his dog, Snowy.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde's Visit to Nigeria

20 Dec 2011 12:33 Africa/Lagos

Nigeria / Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Conclusion of her Visit to Nigeria

ABUJA, December 20, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde made the following statement today in Lagos at the conclusion of her visit to Nigeria.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF

“It has been a pleasure to visit Nigeria on my first trip to Africa as Managing Director. I came here primarily to listen to our African members, and to find out how we can better tailor support to countries in this region in the current difficult global environment.

“I have had very productive discussions with President Goodluck Jonathan, Federal Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for Economy Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. They, along with their colleagues, play a key role in economic transformation here in Nigeria—a country of abundant resources, wealth of people, and vast potential. I also had the privilege of meeting representatives of civil society organizations and the private sector, including many women business leaders. All in all, this visit has been a wonderful chance for me to witness first-hand the spirit of opportunity and leadership that befits Africa's most populous country.

“Nigeria recognizes the need to maintain the reforms and policy implementation that helped it weather the crisis of 2008-09. Nigeria's own Transformation Agenda presents a worthy platform to guard against risks and promote shared growth. Most importantly, it is an agenda for Nigeria, driven by Nigerians.

“Three aspects of the government's agenda strike me as crucial. First, it is vital that natural resource revenues be channeled more effectively toward the infrastructure investment needed for growth and jobs. Second, promoting a more diversified economy will help Nigeria better withstand shocks and provide for more broad-based growth, again with opportunities and jobs for the entire population being the priority. Thirdly, continued financial sector reform should build on the impressive progress in resolving the recent banking crisis by further strengthening regulation and supervisory practices, and increasing access to credit. The IMF will do all it can to help support Nigeria in achieving its objectives.

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Nigerian authorities for their warm welcome and generous hospitality.”

Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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