Thursday, October 31, 2013

Top 10 Most Educated Countries in the World

1. Canada
2. Israel
3. Japan
4. United States
5. New Zealand
6. South Korea
7. United Kingdom
8. Finland
9. Australia
10. Ireland

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One Africa, One Money?

30 Oct 2013 02:54 Africa/Lagos

One Africa, One Money?

TUNIS-BELVEDERE, Tunisia, 29 October 2013 / PRNewswire Africa / - “Is one Africa, one money possible?” asked Victor Murinde, Director of the African Development Institute at the African Development Bank (AfDB). This was the question on the minds of delegates attending the “Convergence and Monetary Unions” session on Day One of the 2013 African Economic Conference (AEC) on “Regional Integration in Africa”. A secondary question, which related to the theme of the conference, was: How will monetary unions boost regional integration across Africa?

Regional economic unions already exist to promote convergence, namely the gradual reduction of disparities of economic indicators between African countries that would adopt a common currency.
“There needs to be a high degree of fiscal discipline in African countries and strong political discipline, if they want to move towards one monetary currency,” said economist Bamba Ka, a PhD student at the University of Dakar, Senegal. He presented a paper on the degree of convergence of macroeconomic shocks in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

“Are countries ready for monetary union?” asked Ka. “The Ministers of Finance in these countries need to provide us with the answers; however, the results show that they are not ready for integration.” Total convergence, he concluded, is difficult to attain.

The second speaker, Emmanuel Dele Balogun, a lecturer at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, presented a paper titled “Can WAMZ [West Africa Monetary Zone] Area Inflation Converge without Ex-Ante Monetary Policy Coordination?” It examined the determinants of inflation differentials from the set convergence criteria in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) that was established in 2000. The paper highlighted the need for countries to pursue ex ante independent monetary policies that narrow inflation differentials and sustain the inflation convergence target of less than 10 per cent, to minimize signatories' costs upon monetary unification. However, inflation among WAMZ member states varies from five per cent to 20 per cent, which means that most countries did not reach the inflation convergence target. And a divergence in policy pursuits means that a common currency for WAMZ countries is not realizable in the near future, according to Balogun.

The globalization of the economy and regional economic blocs decrease the relevance of physical national borders, said William Gbohoui, a PhD candidate at the University of Montreal, Canada, who presented a paper titled: “Economic Integration in WAEMU: Will the Multilateral Monitoring Mechanism Lead to Growth and Welfare Convergence?” It analyzed the implications of the Convergence, Stability, Growth and Solidarity Pact adopted by West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Governments, which aims to stabilize the economic situation and macroeconomic policies to ensure the harmonious development of member states.

While trade liberalization has a positive effect on the speed of convergence, the convergence horizon has been postponed on several occasions, due to the inability of some countries to meet economic community standards. It was postponed from December 2002 to December 2005 and later to December 2008. Now it stands at the end of this year.

While low-income countries grow faster to catch up with rich countries, Gbohoui's policy recommendation was that convergence criteria need to be redefined, so as to assist poorer countries to reach their targets.
SOURCE African Development Bank (AfDB)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bill Clinton and Olusegun Obasanjo to Judge Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge

 Former Presidents of America and Nigeria, Bill Clinton and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

29 Oct 2013 14:00 Africa/Lagos

 The Rockefeller Foundation Announces Judges for 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge
Former Presidents Clinton and Obasanjo among Esteemed Panel of Experts

NEW YORK, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Rockefeller Foundation today announced the names of seven distinguished judges from around the world who will select the first round of cities to join the 100 Resilient Cities network. Nearly 400 cities across six continents applied to the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, which was announced on The Rockefeller Foundation's 100th anniversary in May 2013.

The judges are:
  • President Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States
  • President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria
  • Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities, London School of Economics, UK
  • Dr. Peter Head, Chair, Ecological Sequestration Trust
  • Dr. Helene Gayle, President, CARE USA
  • Anshu Jain, Co-CEO, Deutsche Bank
  • Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation
"We are honored to have such an esteemed group of leaders, who share our belief that building urban resilience is a 21st century imperative, to select the first cities to benefit from the 100 Resilient Cities network," said Dr. Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. "Each judge brings particular expertise with the issues cities face, and knows the global landscape first hand. Judges will provide valuable input not only in selecting which cities will be the first to join the 100 Resilient Cities network, but in the kinds of tools and strategies that make a city more prepared to face the shocks and stresses that are increasing in scope, frequency and impact each year."

Through the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, The Rockefeller Foundation invited cities from around the world to apply for the new 100 Resilient Cities network. Selected cities will receive support to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, create a resilience strategy, and receive access to tools, technical support, and resources to implement comprehensive resilience plans. Through this platform of services partners including Swiss Re, Palantir, the World Bank, the American Institute of Architects, and Architecture for Humanity, came together at the Clinton Global Initiative to commit to providing additional support in the way of design thinking, planning, and other services.

"Announced at this year's Clinton Global Initiative meeting, The Rockefeller Foundation's visionary 100 Resilient Cities commitment will give cities more tools to build their own and their citizens' resilience, and I'm excited to serve as a judge for this effort," said President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States.

For nearly a decade, The Rockefeller Foundation has been a leader in the growing field of resilience in both urban and rural contexts, building urban climate change resilience in Asia through its Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network, through investments in building rural climate change resilience in Africa, by funding comprehensive planning work in post-Katrina New Orleans, and most recently, by leading New York Governor Cuomo's post-Sandy Commission, which set forth a bold plan for building long-term resilience in New York. To enable cities around the world to prepare for the challenges of the 21st century it launched the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge in May 2013. Cities selected for the 100 Resilient Cities network will be announced at The Rockefeller Foundation's Innovation Forum on December 3 in New York City.

About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation aims to achieve equitable growth by expanding opportunity for more people in more places worldwide, and to build resilience by helping them prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Throughout its 100 year history, The Rockefeller Foundation has enhanced the impact of innovative thinkers and actors working to change the world by providing the resources, networks, convening power, and technologies to move them from idea to impact. In today's dynamic and interconnected world, The Rockefeller Foundation has a unique ability to address the emerging challenges facing humankind through innovation, intervention and influence in order to shape agendas and inform decision making. For more information, please visit
SOURCE The Rockefeller Foundation
CONTACT: Carey Meyers, The Rockefeller Foundation, +1-347-409-3588 Web Site:

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
29 Oct 2013
18:47 Aberdeen Emerging Markets Smaller Company Opportunities Fund, Inc.(1) Announces Performance Data and Portfolio Composition
15:53 Les biotechnologies au secours des petits producteurs
15:41 L'UE confirme son soutien au développement et à l'intégration de l'Afrique de l'Ouest
15:06 Imperial Barrel Award Program 2014 Officially Opens; Universities and Corporate Sponsors Around the World Sign On for Prestigious Scientific Competition
14:59 Overcoming smallholder challenges with biotechnology
14:00 The Rockefeller Foundation Announces Judges for 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge
28 Oct 2013
15:37 Gathering for the African Economic Conference, leaders call for wide-ranging structural change
12:00 Full Financial Inclusion Possible by 2020
27 Oct 2013
13:49 Ten West Africa clean energy projects celebrated in Accra by Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa
25 Oct 2013
14:41 “No longer a forgotten right” – UN expert hails a decade of right to food progress
00:55 Statement from Minister Paradis: World Polio Day
24 Oct 2013
18:08 L'éradication de la polio à l'épreuve des faits
02:44 Agriculture Transformational Projects and Programmes
01:25 L'ONU salue la fin du processus de mise en œuvre de l'accord entre le Nigéria et le Cameroun sur la péninsule de Bakassi
23 Oct 2013
20:36 Projets et programmes agricoles transformationnels
17:59 U2opia Mobile Launches Facebook without Internet with MTN, Acquires 100,000 Users in 10 Days
22 Oct 2013
17:15 Women Corporate Directors in the Middle East: New Trends Include the Private Sector Moving Board Diversity Forward
16:02 Sudanese reporter to be honored in Washington, DC, Oct. 24

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Avoid Paying Expensive College Application Fees

New Guide Advises Teens on How to Avoid Paying Expensive College Application Fees

60second Recap® poll shows 56% of high school seniors don't know fees can be waived.

BOSTON, Oct. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As high school seniors begin the annual fall scramble to complete their college applications, many have overlooked one important fact:
They may not need to pay those college application fees.


In a 60second Recap survey of 142 U.S. high school seniors from 24 states, 80 of the respondents said they hadn't heard that college application fees could be waived in the event of "financial hardship."

Just as surprising: 68% of those high school seniors who said they knew that college admission application fees could be waived also said they did not know how to obtain the waiver itself. 60second Recap, a teen-oriented website (, announced the results of its poll today.
"I've heard about it, but I can't get a straight answer from my guidance counselor," Northern California senior Phoebe R., told the Recap. Said another high school senior from New Hampshire: "News to me."
60second Recap's survey announcement accompanied the publication of its step-by-step guide to obtaining college application fee waivers, College Application Fee Waivers: Just Ask ( The Recap's guide details the four qualifying criteria colleges use to determine "financial hardship," and the three options available to high school seniors who need to obtain college application fee waivers.

These waivers are no small matter for those who need the assistance. While the average college application fee is $38.79, fees for the most competitive and prestigious colleges can be a lot higher: Stanford University, for example, levies a $90 fee on applications to its incoming freshman class. (This past year Stanford rejected roughly 94% of its applicants. The application fees those applicants paid, of course, were nonrefundable.)

"'Financial hardship' means that you and your family can't reasonably be expected to pay those college application fees," 60second Recap advises. "Of course, you have to qualify for a waiver, and it's up to the college to decide whether you meet their criteria. But many colleges require little more than your assurance that you meet their requirements. In many respects, with many institutions, it's the honor code in action."
Recently, 60second Recap published an analysis of Forbes "30 under 30″ survey of highly-accomplished recent college graduates ( Its "15 over 50% " highlights the least selective colleges and universities with alumni among Forbes "30 over 30″ honorees in each of the 15 Forbes "30 under 30″ categories

For more information, contact Email.
Contact: Peter Osterlund
Phone: 1-617-838-1292
Read more news from 60second Recap.
SOURCE 60second Recap
Web Site:

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Sharon Stone Wins 2013 Nobel Peace Summit Award

The Nobel Peace Summit Award 2013 for Sharon Stone 

Famous Hollywood star and human rights crusader Sharon Stone has been chosen as the Peace Summit Award 2013 Laureate recipient at the award ceremony held in the National Opera in Warsaw on Wednesday October 23rd in the presence of all the Laureates at the Summit, including HH The Dalai Lama, Lech Wałęsa, Frederick Willem De Klerk, Mikhail Gorbachev, Muhammad Yunus, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Betty Williams, Shirin Ebadi and the leaders of the most important Nobel organizations.

Sharon Stone (2nd L) receives the Peace Summit Award handed over by Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (R), Betty Williams of Ireland, co-founder of Community of Peace People and Former Polish President and 1983 Nobel Peace laureate Polish Lech Walesa (L) at the end of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates on October 23, 2013 in Warsaw. Warsaw host Nobel Peace Laureates and representatives of organisations interested in peace promotion from all over the world. The summit takes place from October 21-23 under the theme “Stand in Solidarity for Peace - Time to Act". AFP

 This was decided by the Committee that each year chooses the man or woman of Peace who will be awarded by the Nobel Peace Laureates during the each edition of the World Summit of the Nobel Peace Laureates.

The Award is bestowed for “her activities that brought solidarity and new hope to the millions of people who have fought and are fighting against the tragedy of HIV / AIDS.”

“Thank you for this extraordinary honor, the consideration of Which alone is life changing. I accept with joy, your nomination and gladly declare my intention to attend the Awards Ceremony. It will be my pleasure to attend the XIII World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates and my honor to Represent you all with integrity and grace,” said Sharon Stone in her acceptance letter to the Nobel Laureates.

Click here to read the full report.


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American Blackout Premieres Sunday, October 27 on the National Geographic Channel

24 Oct 2013 23:25 Africa/Lagos

National Geographic Channel Teams Up With Prominent Government Agencies And Nonprofits To Offer Preparedness Tips In Advance Of Two-Hour Movie Event, American Blackout 

Joint Effort with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Council on CyberSecurity, and the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign Will Encourage Viewers to Get Prepared

American Blackout Premieres Sunday, October 27, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel 
WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- What would happen if a cyberattack shut down the entire American power grid, causing a catastrophic 10-day blackout? No electricity. No cell phone service. No gasoline. No fresh food or clean water. And no way out. Is your family ready? As proven by recent blackouts and other disasters, anyone, anywhere can face incredible odds if caught unprepared.
To this end, the National Geographic Channel is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); the Council on CyberSecurity; and the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign to provide the public with preparedness tips to survive in a blackout, or prepare for a cyberattack. Additionally, the network has partnered with The ONE Campaign, an international advocacy organization, to help support the fight against energy poverty (in sub-Saharan Africa alone, 7 out of 10 people don't have electricity). This comes in advance of the network's two-hour movie event, American Blackout.

The film imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack — told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones. Gritty, visceral and totally immersive, the film captures what it might take to survive, day by day, until the lights come back on.
Though the film is a dramatization of the extreme, the show's message of being prepared for a crisis is one nobody should overlook. To encourage viewers to have a plan of their own, the film will showcase tips drawn from the partner organizations online, in social media, in blog posts and on air.
These tips may include:
Preparedness for a Blackout:
  • Have basic emergency supplies on hand, such as water, food, flashlight, and backup power.
  • Use a power surge protector, as well as a battery-backup or your primary computer system.
  • Preserve digital data offline; store external hard drive in a fireproof safe.
During a Blackout:
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. Then use food from the freezer.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
  • If the power stays out for a long period of time, stay close to home.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.
  • If you are fortunate enough to have a generator and the fuel to run it, make sure you run the generator safely (beware of carbon monoxide poisoning).
Minimizing a Cyber Incident:
  • Set strong passwords, change them regularly, and don't share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your friends, family, colleagues and community about Internet safety.
  • Use privacy settings and limit the amount of personal information you post online.
  • Be cautious about offers online — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
"American Blackout is a dramatic thriller that makes you think twice about how prepared you might be if, or when, a cyberattack or major blackout happens. We are thrilled to work together with such esteemed organizations to offer the public preparedness tips for these scenarios," said Courteney Monroe, chief marketing officer for the National Geographic Channels.

The partnership announcement follows a panel discussion at the world premiere event of American Blackout that featured:  Scott Aaronson, Senior Director, National Security Policy, Edison Electric Institute (EEI);  Dr. Robert Bristow, Medical Director of Emergency Management, New York Presbyterian Hospital;  Michael Hayden, Former NSA and CIA Director, Ret. U.S. Air Force 4-Star General; Jane Holl Lute, Former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security;  and Richard Reed, Senior Vice President, Disaster Cycle Services, American Red Cross. To watch the panel, please click here.

About American Blackout
On Sunday, October 27, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, National Geographic Channel's two-hour, edge-of-your-seat movie event imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack — told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones. To capture the reality of a catastrophic blackout while telling a dramatic feature-length story, filmmakers used actual disaster footage alongside user-generated video blogs and scripted material. The result blends the three sources seamlessly, telling one tale of America in the dark that will leave you breathless.
For more information on American Blackout, please visit

National Geographic Channel
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 84 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC works 24/7 saving lives, protecting people from health threats and saving money through prevention. Whether the threats are global or domestic, chronic or acute, curable or preventable, natural disaster or deliberate attack, CDC is the nation's health protection agency.

The American Society of Civil Engineers
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 145,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE provides essential value to its members and partners, advances civil engineering and serves the public good. Through strategic emphasis in key areas, including infrastructure renewal and development, policy leadership and professional development, ASCE delivers the highest quality publications, programs and services to its worldwide membership, demonstrating a daily commitment to sustaining the profession.

Council on CyberSecurity
The Council on CyberSecurity is an independent, global organization committed to an open and secure Internet. It contributes to this vision by mobilizing a broad community of stakeholders who are willing to bring their knowledge, experience and commitment to common goals: to identify, validate, promote and sustain the adoption of cybersecurity best practice — by people, with technology and through policy — to create a world in which best practice becomes common practice.

Stop.Think.Connec t.™ Campaign
Stop.Think.Connect. is a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online. The Campaign is an unprecedented effort among federal and state governments, industry, and non-profit organizations. Stop.Think.Connect. was launched in October 2010 in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in partnership with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), leads the Campaign. and

ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than three million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease ... because the facts show extreme poverty has already been cut in half and can be virtually eliminated by 2030, but only if we act now. ONE is deeply involved in advocating for a dramatic increase in energy access in sub-Saharan Africa because they've heard directly from African leaders, business owners, hospital workers, teachers and countless ordinary citizens that reliable electricity is one of their most urgent needs.
SOURCE National Geographic Channel
CONTACT: Dara Klatt, 202-912-6720, Web Site:

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The Gruesome Murder of Sister Afra Martinelli

 Afra Martinelli (1935-2013)

 A murder most cruel...

~ By Prof. Nduka Otiono, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Banting Postdoctoral Fellow · Ottawa, Ontario.

On this day, Friday, October 25, 2013, this angelic missionary will be laid to rest in Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State. Italian by birth, "Sister" Afra Martinelli came to Nigeria and made her home here for years, embarking on charitable causes, deploying her resources and returns from an impressive Business Centre that served the community to supporting the sick, the hungry, the broken. Then one night recently insane marauders stormed the house of the 78 years old defenseless woman and mortally stabbed her in a most hideous armed robbery attack. She died a few days after at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital. My mum and the entire community have been shocked by one of the saddest events in missionary history in the country. So grave a murder that Pope Francis focused on it on the last Mission Day.

As reported on News.Va, the Official Vatican Network online, "On Sunday 20 October, after the Angelus with the numerous faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father recalled the celebration of World Mission Day with these words: "Today is World Mission Day. What is the mission of the Church? To spread throughout the world the flame of faith that Jesus has lighted in the world: faith in God who is Father, Love, and Mercy. The method of the Christian mission is not proselytism, but that the sharing of the flame that heats up the soul. I thank all those who through prayer and concrete help sustain the work of the missions, in particular the solicitude of the Bishop of Rome for spread of the Gospel. On this Day, we are close to all men and women missionaries, who work without making noise, and who give their lives. [Missionaries] like the Italian Afra Martinelli, who worked for many years in Nigeria: one day she was killed in a robbery; everyone wept, Christians and Muslims. They really loved her! She announced the Gospel with her life, with the works she accomplished, a centre of instruction; in this way she spread the flame of faith, she fought the good fight. Let us think about this our sister, and greet her with applause, all of us!

"Afra Martinelli was born in Civilerghe 78 years ago. She was a lay missionary, she was not linked to any religious institution, and had been in Nigeria for over thirty years, where he founded and directed the Regina Mundi Centre: a computer school and school for boys, in Ogwashi - Ukwu, in the diocese of Issele-Uku. On the morning of September 27 her collaborators found her in her room, seriously wounded in the neck with a machete, and most likely due to an attempted theft. Transported to the nearest hospital, she died on October 9, after several days of agony."

As we celebrate the life of Afra Martinelli and sing her quiet achievements, let us spare a moment to reflect on the frightening decadence that rules our dear homeland, and the increasing spate of hideous crimes that claims the young and the old. May the blood-sucking demons who attacked defenseless Sister Martinelli, and who are still roaming free in the world, meet a more vicious end! Ise... Rest in peace, Afra Martinelli. From ********

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Most Outrageous Excuses Workers Have Given When Calling in Sick

 Photo Credit: The Site.Org.

24 Oct 2013 11:00 Africa/Lagos

CareerBuilder's Annual Study Reveals Most Outrageous Excuses Workers Have Given When Calling in Sick

Three in ten workers go to work sick to save sick days for when they're feeling well

CHICAGO, Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Have you ever had one of those days where your false teeth fly out the window on the highway, your doors and windows are all glued shut, or a swarm of bees keeps you from getting in your car? While most employees use sick days to recover from an illness, some employers have heard much more memorable excuses.

In the past year, nearly one third (32 percent) of workers have called in sick when not actually ill, up slightly from last year (30 percent). On the flip side, 30 percent of employees say they've gone to work despite actually being sick in order to save their sick days for when they're feeling well.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive© from August 13 to September 6, 2013, and included a representative sample of 3,484 workers and 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

The Show Must Go On
Thanks to technological advances, taking a sick day no longer always means taking a day off. Twenty percent of workers say in the past year they called in sick but still ended up doing work from home throughout the day.

Season's Ailings
Cold weather and holiday stress can take a toll on absentee rates. Three-in-ten (30 percent) employers say they notice an increased number of sick days among their employees around the holidays. Nineteen percent of employers say that December is the time of year that employees call in sick the most, followed by January (16 percent) and February (15 percent).

Catching Fakers
Thirty percent of employers say that they have checked up on employees who have called in sick to make sure the excuse was legitimate. Of those who verified employees' excuses over the past year, 64 percent required a doctor's note, 48 percent called the employee, 19 percent checked the employee's social media posts, 17 percent had another employee call the sick employee, and 15 percent drove past the employee's house.

While some employers may be flexible with how employees use their sick days, 16 percent say they've fired employees for calling in sick with a fake excuse.

Bueller? Bueller?
Apart from actual illness, the most common reason employees take sick days is because they just don't feel like going to work (33 percent), or because they needed to relax (28 percent). Others spend their sick days going to a scheduled doctor's appointment (24 percent), catching up on sleep (19 percent), or running personal errands (14 percent).

What's Your Excuse?
When asked to share the most memorable excuses for workplace absences that they've heard, employers reported the following real-life examples:
  • Employee's false teeth flew out the window while driving down the highway
  • Employee's favorite football team lost on Sunday so needed Monday to recover
  • Employee was quitting smoking and was grouchy
  • Employee said that someone glued her doors and windows shut so she couldn't leave the house to come to work
  • Employee bit her tongue and couldn't talk
  • Employee claimed a swarm of bees surrounded his vehicle and he couldn't make it in
  • Employee said the chemical in turkey made him fall asleep and he missed his shift
  • Employee felt like he was so angry he was going to hurt someone if he came in
  • Employee received a threatening phone call from the electric company and needed to report it to the FBI
  • Employee needed to finish Christmas shopping
  • Employee's fake eye was falling out of its socket
  • Employee got lost and ended up in another state
  • Employee couldn't decide what to wear

 Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals, and 3,484 U.S. workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between August 13 and September 6, 2013 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,099, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2.14 and +/-1.66 percentage points.  Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies. For full survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions.  Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Jennifer Grasz
SOURCE CareerBuilder
Web Site:


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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

U2opia Mobile Launches Facebook without Internet with MTN Nigeria

23 Oct 2013 17:59 Africa/Lagos

U2opia Mobile Launches Facebook without Internet with MTN, Acquires 100,000 Users in 10 Days

SINGAPORE, October 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Introduces a simple and inexpensive way for mobile users to access Facebook without any internet or data connectivity

Singapore-based mobile technology startup, U2opia Mobile, rolled out its flagship offering, Facebook for USSD, with MTN Nigeria earlier this month. The service enables mobile users to access Facebook on any mobile phone, without an active Internet or data connection.

Within a period of just 10 days, the service has acquired over 100,000 users, with daily additions continuing at a very fast clip. The launch of the service with MTN Nigeria takes U2opia Mobile's African footprint to nearly 100 per cent, with 8 out of 10 users in African nations accessing Facebook through Facebook for USSD.

The instant success of Facebook for USSD is testimony to Facebook's immense popularity in developing markets like Nigeria and the relevance of a solution that enables users to access it on basic and feature phones, without the need for an Internet connection.

Facebook for USSD enables users to access their Facebook accounts, view/post status messages, respond to friend requests, write on friends' walls as well as view birthday reminders and send messages.

Mr. Sumesh Menon, CEO, U2opia Mobile added, "At a time when the largest Internet companies are trying to address the issue of reaching users sitting outside the ambit of mobile data connectivity, the instant success of Facebook for USSD in markets like Nigeria proves that there is massive demand here, waiting to be tapped with the right innovative technology. The solutions that work need to be simple, inexpensive and made-for-mobile."

Developed by U2opia Mobile in partnership with Facebook, Facebook for USSD currently has over 11 million users across 30 countries, accessing Facebook in 7 international languages. The product reaches the end user through their mobile carrier and U2opia Mobile partners with 42 of the world's largest carrier groups to do this.

About U2opia Mobile
U2opia Mobile is a mobile technology company that enables ubiquitous and customised access to the social internet. U2opia Mobile recognizes a distinct opportunity in consumer networking and social mobility and collaborates with global internet giants and telecom carriers across the globe to create solutions of compelling value. Since its pioneering launch in May 2011, its flagship product, Facebook for USSD, powers Facebook access over USSD, serving millions of users and is one of the Top ranking Apps on Facebook. U2opia Mobile works with the largest and most innovative mobile operators in Asia, Africa & Latin America and is managed by an experienced team with deep understanding of consumer, internet and mobile ecosystems. With venture backing from Matrix Partners, U2opia Mobile runs operations from Singapore, Delhi, Dubai and San Francisco.

For details visit

CONTACT: Gauri Juneja, +91-124-4928000,

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Rotary Hinges 2014 Polio-free Target on Consistent Vaccination

Rotary Hinges 2014 Polio-free Target on Consistent Vaccination Rotary international in Nigeria has urged Nigerians to support efforts towards raising awareness on polio and embrace the polio vaccination as it is the surest way to help the nation achieve its 2014 total polio eradication goal and join the league of polio-free countries for children, including India and America.

Past District Governor of Rotary and Chairman, Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee (NNPPC), Dr Tunji Funso who made this call in Lagos said, “While the whole world has recorded tremendous success in the fight against polio from the 125 endemic countries as at 1988, Nigeria alongside Pakistan and Afghanistan currently remain the three polio endemic countries but with consistent vaccination, the world would soon be free of polio just like it did with small pox.

Dr Tunji Funsho, Chairman, Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, Yemi Osilaja, Chairman, Planning Committee, Uzo Ogoazi, member and Niyi Sowemimo at the Rotary Bike a Thon event in Lagos in commemoration of World Polio Day.
Rotary District Governor, Olugbemiga Olowu, Dr Tunji Funsho, Chairman, Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, Vice chair, Chief Yomi Adewunmi and Mrs Ify Ejezie, Member, Publicity Committee at the Rotary Bike a Thon event in Lagos in commemoration of World Polio Day.

Currently, Nigeria requires 1billion dosage of vaccine annually and NNPC is striving to raise $500million for the total eradication of polio in Nigeria alone.”

Speaking at the first Rotary Nigeria Bike-a-Thon, a charity cycling event organized in Lekki axis of Lagos on Saturday to mark the World Polio Day (Oct 24), Dr Funso expressed optimism on the drive towards a polio-free Nigeria and the world and argued that, “There is cause for celebration because as at 1988, 1000 children get infected daily by polio. Today, only 3 countries are left and with just about one case of polio every 2 days. As at October 4, 2013 Nigeria has only 1 confirmed circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (cVDPV2) in 1 state compared to 5 cases in 2 states same period in 2012. Also, there were 49 cases of confirmed WPV in 9 states compared to 101 cases in 11 states same period 2012.”

According to him, “This achievement was possible due to the relentless efforts of rotary international in driving the largest public private partnership in history by advocacy using its over 1.2million member volunteers around the world. While we advocate, raise funds and actively participate in immunizing children, our partners the governments of the world, WHO, UNICEF, and Bill and Melinda Gates foundation have been providing financial, technical and human resources to get the job done.”

He enjoined all to join hands with rotary and government to ensure vaccination of every child as it is the safest solution to the scourge, adding that the Bike-a-Thon event is one of Rotary’s intervention programs to step up the awareness level, draw attention of policy makers and further raise funds towards the end polio now project.

 The NNPPC boss said so far 99 per cent success has been recorded in the fight against polio but only 100 per cent is good enough to make both Nigeria and the whole world safe for children below the age of 5 who are key targets of the deadly virus.

“We are 99 per cent on our way to eradicating polio but as every long distance runner knows it is that last mile that is most difficult and requires bringing out not only physical resources but mental as well.”

He said, “The World Polio Day is so designated to focus on the polio disease which until recently was a scourge affecting children all over the world.”

 Funso noted: “It was Rotary international coming from the experience of successful immunization campaigns in the Philippines who in the early 80s proposed to the World Health Organization (WHO) to consider a programme to eradicate polio from the world. Hitherto the strategy was just to protect children from getting polio by giving routine immunization.”

He added, “This idea to eradicate polio took root leading to global polio eradication initiative (GPEI) launched by the world assembly in 1988. This was a commitment by all the governments of the world to work towards total eradication of polio.”

According to him, “The end game strategy for polio eradication requires that we continue to keep our eyes on the ball. Tremendous progress has been made in the high risk states in the north but we court disaster if we do not ensure all children in Nigeria are immunized against polio otherwise even most of the southern states that have been polio free for a few years now can see a re-emergence of polio with catastrophic consequences.”

He warned that everyone needs to join hands with others as polio free areas stand a great risk of infection as long as there are still cases of infection in any other location. He remarked that, “The recent outbreaks of polio in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan which have been polio free for some years are quite instructive in this regard. For as long as polio exist anywhere in the world no child is free from polio no matter where they live.”

“This is partly why this Rotary Bike-a-Thon took took place in Lagos. To remind all and people in the southern part of the country that polio is still with us and we need to get the job of polio eradication done by working to end polio now.”

He cited America’s example of continuous immunization even after decades of zero polio infection. “America still continues to immunize its children against polio though it has been polio free for about 40 years”, he noted.

He enjoined every Nigerian parent and guardian to embrace immunization as it is very safe and necessary to fortify children against polio.

“So let parents, guardian and care givers continue to take their children for immunization until polio is eradicated from the world.”

The Bike a Thon event was a one-day fun cycling ride organized to generate interest, increase awareness and raise funds for activities towards total eradication of polio disease which is endemic in Nigeria especially in the North.

Nollywood star actress and Rotary Polio Ambassador, Funke Akndele led other participants at the event joining other Rotary global icons around the world, including Bill Gates, Desmond Tutu, Isabella Fontana, Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan and many others in creating awareness for Polio in a fun and practical way.

The programme which kicked off 7a.m at the Divine Mercy Catholic Church, Lekki Phase One open ground around the Lekki axis in Lagos featured registered and well kitted riders including Rotary club members, Cycology riding club members and others in a 5km, 10km and 50km exhibition ride. It also featured a variety of activities including cycling stunts, colourful displays and other physical demonstrations.”

The event was followed by a closing ceremony and featured other activities like guest lecture on Polio and certificate presentations to participants.


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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

'Good Wife' co-star Archie Panjabi partners with Rotary, Northwestern to put polio eradication on center stage Oct. 24

 Emmy-winning actress Archie Panjabi.

18 Oct 2013 17:47 Africa/Lagos 'Good Wife' co-star Archie Panjabi partners with Rotary, Northwestern to put polio eradication on center stage Oct. 24

Special World Polio Day program highlights progress in the global effort to end polio

EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Emmy-winning actress Archie Panjabi, best known for her role as Kalinda on the hit series "The Good Wife," will talk about her volunteer work in support of polio eradication during a special program co-hosted by Rotary and Northwestern University's Center for Global Health on Oct. 24 – World Polio Day 2013 – in downtown Chicago.
The program, World Polio Day: Making History, will include remarks by Dr. Bruce Aylward, the world's leading expert on polio eradication and assistant director-general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration at the World Health Organization; Dr. Robert Murphy, director of Northwestern University's Center for Global Health; and U.S. Paralympian Dennis Ogbe, a polio survivor and ambassador for the United Nations Foundation's Shot@Life program.

The event will be streamed live to a global online audience at from Northwestern University's John Hughes Auditorium, 303 E. Superior St., Chicago, beginning at 5:30 p.m. CST on Oct. 24. About 200 invited guests are expected to attend.

The program will include an overview of the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which Rotary co-launched in 1988; the challenges that remain in the corners of the developing world where the crippling virus persists, and a discussion of the ways private citizens, corporations, and non-profits can participate in the historic final push now underway to end polio once and for all.

Due to the eradication initiative's success in reaching the world's children with the oral polio vaccine, the disease today remains endemic to only three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Ogbe, the Paralympian, is originally from Nigeria, where he contracted polio at age 3.

Panjabi is one of Rotary's End Polio Now celebrity ambassadors.  Last year, the British born actress helped Rotary volunteers immunize children in India, her parents' homeland, where she spent part of her childhood. Once considered the nation facing the most serious challenges to eradication, India was removed from the polio-endemic list in January 2012.

"Seeing India become polio-free is tremendous, and I am committed to making sure that no other child anywhere suffers from polio again," Panjabi said in an interview published in the November issue of The Rotarian magazine.

"How fitting that we are holding this important program in Chicago, Rotary's hometown," said Dr. Robert S. Scott, MD, who chairs Rotary's polio-eradication program. "Rotary began the fight to end polio, and today – World Polio Day 2013 – we and our partners have never been closer to our goal of a polio-free world. Rotary invites everyone -- private citizens, businesses, non-profits – to join us in this historic effort. Only one disease – smallpox – has ever been beaten. Now is our best chance ever to make polio the second."
Dr. Murphy of the Center for Global Health concurs: "It is very important to finish the job soon, because we are so close.  Eradication is completely doable, and when it happens, it will be a huge public health achievement."

Dr. Aylward notes that when Rotary began its polio eradication work, the disease infected more than 350,000 people a year, compared with the 223 cases for 2012 – a drop of more than 99 percent. "When Rotary set out to eradicate polio over 25 years ago, most of the world thought it was impossible," Aylward said. "Today, it is very close to inevitable. There is still huge work to do, but Rotary has shown the world how the impossible can be converted to the inevitable with the right strategy, the right tools, and the right commitment."

Ogbe, now the wellness coordinator at Brown-Forman in Kentucky, claims a personal stake in the effort.
"This fight to end polio is personal to me," he said. "Polio still exists in Nigeria and is still killing and disabling children. We cannot afford to lose the fight against polio."

Rotary and polio eradication
In 1988, Rotary helped launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since then, Rotary club members worldwide have contributed more than $1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to the polio eradication effort.
Overall, the annual number of new polio cases has plummeted by more than 99 percent since the 1980s, when polio infected about 350,000 children a year. Only 223 new cases were recorded for all of 2012. More than two billion children have been immunized in 122 countries, preventing five million cases of paralysis and 250,000 deaths. Polio today remains endemic in only three countries, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, although "imported" cases in previously polio-free areas – such as the Horn of Africa -- will continue to occur until the virus is finally stopped in the endemic countries.

This year, World Polio Day fundraisers will have greater impact due to the new fundraising campaign, End Polio Now: Make History Today , recently launched by Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation will match two for one every new dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication up to US$35 million per year through 2018.

About Rotary
Rotary is a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary's 1.2 million members hail from more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit and

SOURCE Rotary International
CONTACT:  Kimberly Dunbar, (847) 866-3469, Web Site:

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Nigeria Box Office Index

Click to view Total GrossChange# Movies#1 MovieWeek
October 4–6 $34,265 +17.4% 8 2 Guns 40

September 27–29 $29,195 -31.7% 7 2 Guns 39
September 20–22 $42,732 -39.9% 5 2 Guns 38
September 13–15 $71,063 -30.2% 5 2 Guns 37
September 6–8 $101,748 +9.2% 7 2 Guns 36

August 30–September 1 $93,210 +18.6% 6 2 Guns 35
August 23–25 $78,614 -14.4% 7 Elysium 34
August 16–18 $91,871 -10.3% 7 Elysium 33
August 9–11 $102,394 +209.7% 7 World War Z 32
August 2–4 $33,058 -29.3% 4 White House Down 31

July 26–28 $46,754 -7.6% 7 White House Down 30
July 19–21 $50,612 -23.9% 7 White House Down 29
July 12–14 $66,481 -16.9% 7 White House Down 28
July 5–7 $79,987 -69.4% 6 White House Down 27

June 28–30 $261,038 - 6 Man of Steel 26

May 31–June 2 $1,196 - 7 A Good Day to Die Hard 22

April 12–14 $28,419 -41.6% 4 G.I. Joe: Retaliation 15
April 5–7 $48,670 +19.5% 5 G.I. Joe: Retaliation 14

March 29–31 $40,739 +227.8% 5 Identity Thief 13
March 22–24 $12,429 -20.3% 5 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters 12
March 15–17 $15,595 -43.3% 5 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters 11
March 8–10 $27,481 -19.7% 5 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters 10
March 1–3 $34,224 +77.6% 7 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters 9

February 22–24 $19,275 -27.5% 6 Django Unchained 8
February 15–17 $26,594 -0.4% 6 Django Unchained 7
February 8–10 $26,691 -21.1% 7 Django Unchained 6
February 1–3 $33,810 - 6 Django Unchained 5

January 18–20 $55,734 +97.8% 4 Django Unchained 3
January 11–13 $28,183 -8.8% 5 Jack Reacher 2
January 4–6 $30,889 - 4 Jack Reacher 1

$ = US Dollars Source: BOX OFFICE MOJO.

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