Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Netflix's First Original Movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend" To Premiere Simultaneously on Netflix and in Global IMAX® Theaters

Netflix Announces First Original Movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend To Premiere Simultaneously On Netflix And In Select Global IMAX® Theaters

Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen star under the direction of Yuen Wo-Ping in the Sequel to the Academy Award®-winning 2000 film

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. and NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, the stunning next chapter in the saga started by the critically and popularly acclaimed Ang Lee martial arts epic, will premiere exclusively on Netflix and in selected global  IMAX® theaters on August 28, 2015.

Produced by The Weinstein Company, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend echoes the themes of the original movie, but tells its own story -- one of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption, set against breathtaking action in an epic martial arts battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of the Martial World.

Directed by the renowned martial arts choreographer (The Matrix Trilogy and Kill Bill 1&2) and director (Tai Chi Master) Yuen Wo-Ping, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend stars Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Lady) reprising her role as Yu Shu-Lien and Donnie Yen (Ip Man 1&2, Monkey King 3D) as Silent Wolf.

The film is to be the first of several major films backed by Netflix to premiere on the same day on the world's leading Internet TV network and in select IMAX theaters globally, giving consumers and exhibitors around the world unparalleled flexibility in how, when and where they enjoy a major motion picture.
"Fans will have unprecedented choice in how they enjoy an amazing and memorable film that combines intense action and incredible beauty," said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. "We are honored to be working with Harvey Weinstein and a world-class team of creators to bring this epic story to people all over the world and to partner with IMAX, a brand that represents the highest quality of immersive entertainment, in the distribution of this film."

"The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement," said TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein. "We are tremendously excited to be continuing our great relationship with Netflix and bringing to fans all over the world the latest chapter in this amazing and intriguing story."

"IMAX has a terrific opportunity, via this partnership with Netflix, to release Crouching Tiger – a high-quality, action-packed film that is right in our wheelhouse -- at the end of the summer blockbuster season," said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. "We are particularly hopeful it will play in our highly successful China market. In territories where we simultaneously release with Netflix, we are excited to offer consumers the option of deciding how, when and where they want to view the film, and exhibitors the opportunity to participate in this alternative form of content in a new and innovative way."
Based on the acclaimed novel, Iron Knight, Silver Vase, by Wang Dulu (book 5 in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy) and written by John Fusco (Marco Polo)  the new film is produced by Harvey Weinstein (Academy Award winner - The King's Speech, The Artist) and Peter Berg (Emmy Award winner - Friday Night Lights; Lone Survivor, Hancock) and Sarah Aubrey (Friday Night Lights; Lone Survivor, Hancock) and executive produced by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters, The Imitation Game), Ralph Winter (X-Men franchise), Anthony Wong, and Bey Logan (The Medallion).
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend also stars Harry Shum Jr (Glee, Revenge of the Green Dragons), Jason Scott Lee  (Seventh Son, Hawaii Five-O), Roger Yuan (Bulletproof Monk), Eugenia Yuan (Revenge of the Green Dragons) and newcomer Natasha Liu Bordizzo.
Principal photography is now underway in New Zealand. The film's director of photography is Tom Sigel (Drive, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and design is led by the Academy Award®-winning Lord of the Rings team of costume designer Ngila Dickson, production designer Grant Major and visual effects supervisor Mark Stetson.

About Netflix
Netflix is the world's leading Internet television network with over 50 million members in nearly 50 countries enjoying more than one billion hours of TV shows and movies per month, including original series. For a low monthly price, Netflix members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments

About The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein. During Harvey and Bob's tenure at Miramax and TWC, they have received 348 Oscar nominations and won 82 Academy Awards.

TWC boasts an active television production division which garnered nine Emmy nominations in 2013 and five in 2014. TWC Television produces the reality powerhouse Project Runway, with its spin-off series Project Runway All Stars and Under The Gunn.  Recent TWC television productions include Mob Wives, Million Dollar Shoppers, Rodeo Girls and Trailer Park: Welcome to Myrtle Manor. Scripted projects currently in production include John Fusco's Marco Polo. Scripted projects in development include Ten Commandments and Daniel Stashower's The Hour Of Peril.  TWC also developed Nanny Diaries and produced The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are using IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX's network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of June 30, 2014, there were 868 IMAX theatres (735 commercial multiplexes, 19 commercial destinations and 114 institutions) in 59 countries.

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience® and IMAX Is Believing® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation.  More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com.  You may also connect withIMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).


Don Halcombe                                                           
Katelyn Bogacki
Netflix PR                                                                  
The Weinstein Company

Ann Sommerlath (Business Media)                           
Teri Loxam (Investors)
IMAX Corporation – New York                                  
IMAX Corporation - New York

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111107/MM01969LOGO
SOURCE IMAX Corporation

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Omidyar Network Gives BudgIT US$400, 000 Grant To Support Fiscal Transparency in Nigeria

Omidyar Network Supports Fiscal Transparency in Nigeria with Grant to BudgIT 

JOHANNESBURG and REDWOOD CITY, California, Sept. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Omidyar Network announced today a grant of up to USD $400k to BudgIT, a Lagos-based nonprofit that promotes civic participation and fiscal transparency in Nigeria.  The two-year grant will be used to expand the amount of budget and procurement information available to the public, stimulate its use in participatory governance, and promote media awareness of open-source tools available to aid in the reporting about public budgets, procurement, and spending.

BudgIT works to ensure that Nigerian citizens can exercise their right to access government data by providing the information in a usable format and providing tools that enable constructive debate about the use of public resources.  BudgIT has also demonstrated the ability to forge partnerships and positive relationships with the government and assist in shaping public policy by linking the budget with resource-based planning.
Omidyar Network's grant comes through the philanthropic investment firm's Government Transparency initiative, which works to build stronger and more open societies by increasing government responsiveness and citizen participation.

"Greater transparency of budget, procurement, and spending data will lead to greater government accountability and serve as a deterrent to corruption," said Ory Okolloh, director, investments, Omidyar Network.  "BudgIT plays a vital role in enabling access and use of such critical information and fostering greater participatory governance.  Omidyar Network is proud to support BudgIT and its mission."
The idea for BudgIT was conceptualized during the February 2011 Tech-In-Governance event, a 48-hour gathering organized by the Co-Creation Hub, another Omidyar Network grantee in Lagos.  Since its launch, BudgIT's website has been visited by hundreds of thousands of unique visitors, and the organization has fielded more than 4,000 data requests and produced more than 60 infographics created to simplify public data for citizens.  Its work led Forbes to recognize it as one of the top five African startups to watch in 2013.
"The support from Omidyar Network is a major leap in our drive to deepen impact in regards to public finance transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement," said Oluseun Onigbinde, lead partner of BudgIT. "We believe that linking budgets and procurement is crucial in our push to 'Follow the Money' and ensure efficient service delivery for citizens"

For more information about BudgIT, please visit: www.yourbudgit.com, and follow BudgIT on Twitter @BudgITng.

About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $730 million to for-profit companies and non-profit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Consumer Internet & Mobile, Education, Financial Inclusion, Government Transparency, and Property Rights. To learn more, visit www.omidyar.com and follow on Twitter @omidyarnetwork.com.

SOURCE Omidyar Network
CONTACT: Media Contact: Greg Pershall, Omidyar Network, gpershall@omidyar.com, (o) +1-650-482-2534, (m) +1-360-607-8901

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Prof. Lucy Shapiro Wins 2014 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize

Prof. Lucy Shapiro Wins 2014 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize 

The Rockefeller University announces that Lucy Shapiro, professor of developmental biology at Stanford University School of Medicine, will receive the 2014 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, which celebrates the achievements of outstanding women in science.

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Zimbabwe: Waiting for the Future

Robert Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, addresses the general debate of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly.
25 September 2014
United Nations, New York.

BRUSSELS, 29 September 2014 / PRN Africa / -- Zimbabwe's growing instability is exacerbated by dire economic decline, endemic governance failures, and tensions over ruling party succession; without major political and economic reforms, the country could slide into being a failed state.

A year on since the election victory of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), Zimbabwe's politics and economy are ever more precarious. Rather than addressing the corroding social and economic fabric, both the ruling party and the opposition are embroiled in internal power struggles. In its latest briefing, Zimbabwe: Waiting for the Future, the International Crisis Group examines Zimbabwe's challenges and argues that while it still has the capacity to deliver on reforms and prevent further deterioration, it will struggle to do so without policy coherence, improved governance, accountability and clarity as to the leadership succession within ZANU-PF.

The briefing's major findings and recommendations are:
Political and economic insecurity is exacerbated by mounting tensions over the succession within ZANU-PF, and further complicated by the entry of the First Lady, Grace Mugabe, into the political arena. ZANU-PF should use the December National People's congress to decide who will replace 90-year-old President Robert Mugabe were he to be incapacitated or decide not to seek re-election in 2018.

ZANU-PF should seek to rebuild trust and collaboration with domestic and international constituencies by (i) holding an inclusive national dialogue with the opposition and civil society on political, social and economic reforms; and (ii) clarifying and acting on key policy areas including indigenisation, land reform and the rule of law, as well as anti-corruption initiatives.

Questions remain about Robert Mugabe's 2013 election victory; it has not secured broad-based legitimacy, and key process and institutional concerns must be addressed to avoid a rerun of such concerns in 2018. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) should encourage Zimbabwe to address election-related concerns identified in their respective election-observation mission reports.

The Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and other opposition parties are sidelined, their cachet with international players has been severely damaged, and prospects for a common opposition agenda are remote.

“The international community – East and West – must explore common ground to help nurture an appropriate climate for economic recovery and policy coherence”, says Piers Pigou, Southern Africa Project Director. “The Zimbabwean government must demonstrate clearly and consistently it is a reliable partner that delivers on its undertakings. The current situation is not sustainable. There is simply not enough money circulating in the formal economy and Zimbabwe is struggling to finance its deficit, borrowing from wherever it can even to pay its civil service bill”.
“Zimbabwe is an insolvent and failing state, its politics zero sum, its institutions hollowing out, and its once vibrant economy moribund”, says Comfort Ero, Africa Program Director. “A major culture change is needed among political elites, as well as commitment to national as opposed to partisan and personal interests”

SOURCE International Crisis Group

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Nigeria's Commitment to the Future - Transparency and Security


Secretary-General Meets President of Nigeria.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of Nigeria. 24 September 2014, United Nations, New York

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During last week's United Nations General Assembly and Security Council meeting, and on the back of confirming Nigeria is free of the Ebola Virus Disease, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan focused attention on the country's commitment to democratic elections and reminded the world of his commitment to combatting terrorism.
With the full force of his convictions and Administration, he assured the international community that next year's general elections in Nigeria will be conducted in accordance with global best practices to further strengthen the country's democratic institutions.

In addressing the United Nations, the President reaffirmed that we must now capitalize on the commitment and evident determination of the Security Council to seek more innovative responses to the threat of terrorism and in particular to the growing menace of foreign fighters. Nigeria knows too well the destructive effects of terrorist activities.

"The people of Nigeria and indeed the entire peace-loving world were horrified at the gruesome murder of two American journalists and a British aid worker by elements linked to the Islamic State (I.S). These murders typify the new face of global terrorism marked by executions, extreme brutality and impunity," said President Jonathan in the speech at the High Level Meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
As daunting as the challenge in fighting terrorism may be, Nigerians have faced it with unrelenting determination, mobilising all the resources available to ensure that the scourge of terrorism is rooted out of our nation. In addition to our counterterrorism efforts, the Administration has evolved initiatives to alleviate the plight of the population in the affected communities.

Efforts include a holistic effort through the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) which is aimed at providing immediate relief and fast tracking the infrastructural re-development of the region. It also has as a core goal, an integrated effort at achieving the de-radicalisation of potential terrorist recruits.
A Victims Support Fund has raised about 500 million dollars of the expected minimum of one billion dollars in direct support of the victims of acts of terrorism. This is in addition to the Safe Schools Initiative championed by Mr. Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister, and currently the UN Special Envoy for Global Education. Nigeria's Federal Government is rigorously supporting this initiative.

Concerning the 2015 elections, the President said that in keeping with his administration's dedication to openness and transparency in the conduct of public affairs, international observers will be allowed to freely monitor the 2015 elections and affirm that the elections are as free, fair and credible as his administration has promised.
"Next year's general elections in Nigeria will be conducted in accordance with global best practices to further strengthen the country's democratic institutions," said President Jonathan.

Only by united action and firm resolve can we address our threats at home – combat terrorism and ensure all Nigerians see elections that are progressively better, freer and more credible.
These materials are distributed by LEVICK on behalf of the News Agency of Nigeria. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

SOURCE News Agency of Nigeria
CONTACT: Philip Elwood, 202-973-5310, pelwood@levick.com; Patrick Pannett, 202-973-5319, ppannett@levick.com

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Free Delicious Books You Can Eat on Kindle

 Kindle Buffet: Find and download the best free books, magazines and newspapers for your Kindle, iPhone, iPad or Android [Kindle Edition]

Free books, all you can eat!

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It's a great way to sample a new genre, or perhaps discover an author you hadn't noticed before. The free promotions usually last only a few days, but there's a new crop every day. You'll be amazed at the wealth of great books. Usually there are several hundred freebies in virtually every category of fiction and nonfiction, every day of the year. And these aren't just the dogs that nobody wants, the selection includes bona-fide bestsellers from the most famous authors in the world.

You may never have to pay for a book again! This book will introduce you to KindleBuffet.com, a website and newsletter founded by author Steve Weber to showcase the best Kindle books currently offered free -- plus a multitude of other avenues toward great free content.

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Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download Series: NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® SERIES (Book 2). Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE KINDLE app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

President Gooduck Jonathan Has Done Well---Dr Dako Mamudu


The National Transformation Continuity is an NGO that is wholly committed to ensuring that only leaders with genuine agenda for the improvement of Nigerian society and economy are put in power in the country. In this chat with the organization’s National coordinator, he reveals that the group will campaign in every LGA in Nigeria and also in major cities abroad, to ensure that President Jonathan is returned at the 2015 polls.

May we meet you?
My name is Dr. Dako  Mamudu, I am a medical practitioner, I am also involved in politics, both locally and internationally.  

 As a medical practitioner, do you work for government?
 I am into private practice, I practice here in Lagos.

We hear that you are the National Coordinator of National Transformation Continuity, (NTC), can you tell us what that is all about?
 National Transformation Continuity is an NGO we set up to assist politicians we know can actually transform the nation to win. Apart from supporting President Jonathan whom we believe is actually doing a lot to transform the nation, we are also going to support a lot of other people such as senators to be as well as Governors that we know can actually transform the nation. 

 We have had so many pressure groups asking for President Jonathan to continue, did you just emerge from the blues to join the bandwagon, or have you been in existence?
 We have been in existence for a long time, we have been in the business since 2009, but with a different name, now we just changed the name to National Transformation Continuity, then with others operated with the name Reality International. We campaigned for President Jonathan and our campaign took us all over the country and even beyond. We were in the UK, we were in USA we were in Canada. The only thing that’s changed is just the name. 

How are you funded?
 It is funded by individual members; we source money from our pockets to fund our activities. The organization is made up of people that believe the same thing; we support people that we believe will transform this nation. So the individual members contribute handsomely, financially, to our projects.

 Where is your operational headquarters?
 In 2009-2010, we had our head office in Abuja, and to some extent it affected our operations because most of the principal actors were outside Abuja. So this time around we have our head office in Lagos. 

The members of your NGO are they drawn from Edo, your state of origin only, or were they spread around the whole geopolitical zones of the country?
Our membership goes even beyond the nation, virtually all Local Government Areas of this country have our members, we have offices in all the states, we have offices outside Nigeria, we have a major office in the USA, we have a coordinator who coordinates the USA, we have a coordinator who coordinates all the people in the Diaspora, we have a secretariat in Canada, we also have an office in the UK. 

 Why do you support Good Luck Jonathan?
 We support him because we believe he is doing very well.  We know that he is actually transforming the nation, though very quietly. If you look at the railways, the airports, look at the transformation in the sea ports, look at the transformation in the power sector, you will agree with me that he is making very good transformation of the country. For example, if you go along Apapa Oshodi expressway, if you know what used to happen at a place called trinity bus stop, and what is happening now, you will know that president Jonathan has done things, where other people have never touched before. If you look at Ore-Benin Expressway, during the last Christmas, no Ibo man slept on the road while trying to travel home. In the previous years, it used to be nightmare for people travelling to the eastern part of the country for the yuletide holidays. Sometimes people spent two days on the road travelling because the road was bad. All over the Nation, there has been massive transformation in road infrastructure development. 

How about agriculture, has any meaningful progress been made in that sector in terms of development, because food-security is one sector that affects the man in the street?
The contributions that Jonathan’s government has made in agriculture in Nigeria are not only recognized by people in Nigeria but also by people beyond. To the extent that Nigeria’s minister for agriculture has been applauded all over the world for doing very well. Before this time, fertilizer was distributed with a lot of corruption. These days, fertilizer is distributed directly to the farmers, they have direct access to whoever is distributing it and each time they need it, they just make a phone call and it is supplied to them, and the price has been crashed down. When you look at food production, you will see that the contribution of agriculture to our GDP has increased of recent. The quantity of rice we import every year has reduced drastically, and in the next few years, I can assure you that we will be exporting rice and some other agricultural products to other countries. 

Your core area of involvement as a professional is health, how do you view the achievements of President Jonathan in this   sector especially with this outbreak of Ebola?
Even the enemies and adversaries of the president have agreed that Jonathan scored 100% pass mark in the management of Ebola. The US government for the first time came out openly to applaud the efforts of the government, especially the Health Minister. We did so well that we have brought the spread of Ebola to a stop. Apart from the case of that was brought into the country by Patrick Sawyer, no other case has been imported in the country. When he brought the disease into the country, all the people that made contact with him and those that made contacts with any body that made contact with him, all who in one way or the other were exposed to the disease, were traced, culled out and quarantined. Those who eventually developed the disease were adequately managed. Today we are Ebola free in this country. That is a very big plus for the Nigerian government.   

 How do you feel being a medical doctor concerning the risks of Ebola infection? At First Foundation Hospital Where Patrick Sawyer was admitted, the people that died from being infected by him were medical doctors. What pro-active measures are you putting in place to make sure that medical workers are not the first victims?
When the Ebola case was first reported in Nigeria, The Nigerian Medical Association, Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners and all other associations, within the health industry, held a series of meetings with the Federal  and state Government and adopted a series of measures which border especially on hygiene, to curtail the spread of the disease , bearing in mind that the Ebola that came into Nigeria was as a result of the fact that the first and the carrier victim, was not faithful, he was not fair, he was not frank, he did not tell the people he met in the health facility the truth. If he had done so, they would have taken adequate precautions. But thank God that the eventual victims, though they sacrificed their lives, made very good efforts and succeeded in preventing further spread of the disease. And if you look very well, you will see that after the first index case, and secondary and tertiary contacts, there have been no other cases because the health people took a lot of precautions to prevent further spread of this deadly disease. 

Apart from Ebola, which you have claimed is well managed by the government, via the Health Ministry, what about other key issues in the Health Sector such as Malaria and HIV/AIDS?
 In the case of HIV?AIDS, even the World Health Organization, WHO, has agreed with us that it has been well curtailed.  I as a health practitioner have not seen a single new HIV/AIDS case for the past six to seven months now. In the past it used to be a daily thing; two or three cases everyday you will see in the clinic. This government has done very well and apart from the very government, the government before this very one had taken very pro active measures in managing the AIDS scourge and that has helped in curtailing the spread of the disease. Malaria scourge, yes that is another big problem worldwide, especially in the tropical regions. In most of these diseases, it is actually the countries outside the tropics that initiate the control measures because they have the resources. But in the case of malaria, the Nigerian government has done pretty well in the control of the disease. Individuals are also being educated in hygiene which is a personal control measure for the management of malaria. 

 One sore point in the issues of this government is the problem of insecurity, as a result of this Boko Haram. There has been a lot of accusing fingers and condemnations between APC and the ruling PDP over who is to blame for the malfeasance of Boko Haram, what is your view on security in the country?
 Security is a national issue, whether you are a ruling party or opposition, but unfortunately in our country, security is taken as a political issue. People do not want to own up to what they know, and they do not want to come together and fight insecurity. In other lands, both opposition and the party in power, they come together to fight insecurity, especially when it comes to insurgency. Islamic insurgency all over the world is very difficult to fight. USA has not been able to exterminate it. It remains a scourge all over the Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Syria, etc. Even Russia also found it difficult to fight it in the Chechen Republic. So it is not a battle for a particular political party to fight. In our country, in a situation where blames are being put up here and there, nobody wants to own up, nobody wants to come forward and contribute positively if you are not in government, it is very sad. Even before the present government came into power, certain individuals in opposition threatened to make this country ungovernable if certain individuals come into power. It appears that is what we are seeing today. And unfortunately, because of the judicial system we have in this country, it is almost impossible to judge somebody unless you catch that person red handed. It is a problem I think is facing all of us, not only the ruling party. 

One other issue is deployment of troops during elections.  APC has lately been accusing President Jonathan of using the military might at his disposal to muscle people coming out to vote during elections. As a card carrying member of PDP, do you support the use of military during the elections?
Yes, I fully support it, I think the APC is complaining because the presence of military men during the elections prevented them from doing what they wanted to do. If the military comes into elections management to create a fair playing ground for a free and fair election, I do not see anything wrong in it. The security you put in place to run a system is a function of the type of players in that system. Elections in Nigeria for some time now, have been taken as a do or die affair. Sometimes it is compromised. The military being what they are, the way they operate, it is not easy to compromise them. Once you bring them into a place, everybody will check himself. And you can see from the way the elections were conducted in all the places where the military were involved, they were free and fair and violence free.  Even the results were better than expected by all parties. So I think the involvement of the military in election management was a good omen. 

 What is your comment on the election results from all the particular areas where the military were used in managing the elections?
The use of military in conducting elections is for the well being of all Nigerians. In Edo State, the APC won the elections, the military did not favour the ruling party which is the PDP, APGA won in Anambra state, Labour party swept the polls in Ondo State, In Ekiti State, the PDP won the election, the election was said to be biased by those people who felt they should have won the election without the military. In Osun State, the APC won the election and the military was there; they did not twist things to favour the PDP which is in control of the Federal Government. So to me the military has been very fair in protecting and ensuring very free and fair elections and their coming in was a very good omen for all of us. 

So you think the presence of military in future elections will guarantee fairness and security at the polls?
 In future elections, as long as the parameters remain as they are today, I think the military should be used. For example, if you want to conduct an election in the North Eastern part of the country today, I wonder if you can achieve anything without the military. In future when democracy has been well assimilated by all of us and elections are well tolerated by all of us, I think the military can go back to the barracks.

 Let’s go back to your state, Edo State, which was formerly a PDP State, APC later won the state through the personality of Adams Oshiomhole, it’s like the PDP is strategizing to get back the state. What do you think we are likely to see in Edo State in the coming elections?
In Edo State, during the regime of Igbinedion, PDP did not manage their success very well. That was why the success slipped through their fingers and went to the opposition party. Now in the coming elections, it is going to be very interesting, there is going to be a reversal. PDP is coming back to power because Adams Oshiomhole did not manage his success very well. And this time given the consistency and perseverance of the Edo State PDP executive, led by Chief Obi, ably assisted and supported by our leader, Chief Tony Anenih, we will come back to power.

 There have been talks about Adams’ inconsistent policies. There has been a time he organized a check for teachers who had never gotten any certificates.  Later we heard in the news that he has reversed the termination of those teachers’ appointments, do you think this was just a move the win the votes of those teachers?
 Yes one of the biggest problems with the policies of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has been these inconsistencies. We are not going to start with the teachers, first of all, a man was in charge of the environment, he was doing the job very well, then right there in the public, he caught the man and threw him into the van as if he was a common criminal. A few months later he called the man back. The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment had an accident and was bed ridden in the hospital with P.O.P. On the air he dismissed the man for not being on duty. Few months later, he called him back. A poor widow with her wares was waiting for transport by the road side, he accused her of violating environmental laws, despite her pleas for clemency, The Governor called her a witch and asked to go and die. A few months later, he made her a heroine. So that of teachers is not a new thing at all. He seems to act before he thinks and that is not too good for a governor. My brother there has refused to realize that there is a difference between labour unionism and governance. In Labour unionism, you are free to do things in a commando style and people will be praising you, but in governance, it is a different ball game entirely, you have to consider a whole lot of things before you take a decision. Your decisions are final and if you keep reversing these decisions every day, you make a mess of your own government. 

 Let’s go back to your group, the NTC, what do we expect from your group in the coming days?
A: In the coming days, you are going to see a very vibrant support group. We are planning to have rallies, starting from Lagos we will move to all other parts of the country, and we are also going to have rallies in major cities outside Nigeria, where you have Nigerians in large numbers. We will need their support because some of them, their words at home carry a lot of authority. We have been doing a lot of campaign for our candidate through the electronic and print media and through physical campaign. Like I said, the resources to carry out all these activities are already on ground, we are not going to anybody to beg for funds; we are ready for it. 

 We heard in the news that the whole PDP governors have endorsed President Jonathan for 2015, and there seems to be no room for another candidate to come up, ie the incumbent must be adopted. Looking at it, does it portray the internal democracy which they preach?
Yes I think so because if there was any discordance within the party, they would not have adopted him at all. It is because we looked at everything and we decided that going for primaries is going to cost a lot of money, and since we have all agreed that he has done very well, there was no point conducting another primary, we just had to adopt him. Nobody actually raised any opposition against his adoption, which actually tells you that internal democracy in PDP is not a fluke at all. 

 Outside of politics, how do you spend your leisure time; how do you relax?
 I do a lot of writings when I want to relax, I write very interesting stories, I have friends all over the world who have similar interests, infact I spend about four hours every day on the internet, communicating, learning new things and putting up my own writings. 

What about sports, do you follow football?
 I am a football enthusiast. I have some soccer teams that I cannot do without, such as Arsenal and Barcelona, so anytime they are playing, even if it’s twelve midnight, I will watch the match to the end. I also have interest in watching Nigerian soccer. I am a fan of the Golden Eaglets and the Super Eagles, so anytime they are playing; I am always there to watch, either in the stadium or on the television. 

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

‘We will triumph over terrorism,' Nigerian President tells UN Assembly

NEW YORK, 24 September 2014 / PRN Africa / -- Even though the United Nations Charter underlines the imperative to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria told the General Assembly today that the world continued to witness the ravages of war and human suffering, at times manifested as a “vicious and aimless” insurgency with “agonizing consequences.”

Mr. Jonathan, addressing the Assembly's annual general debate, said the involvement of foreign fighters has remained a common feature of terrorist groups, whether Al Qaida in the Maghreb, Al Shabaab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, or the newly emerging Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“The new dimension introduced by (ISIL) to conquer territory and establish its destructive ideology, is a major challenge that must be collectively halted before it becomes the norm,” he declared, adding that such actions also refocus attention on the need to review present tools for UN peacekeeping operations.
As for Nigeria, Mr. Jonathan said the violent and criminal activities of Boko Haram have continued to pose a potent challenge to his Government and people. “Through a wave of terror, assassinations, bombings, and now abductions and kidnappings predominantly in the northeast of the country, Boko Haram is attempting to truncate development, by murder and mayhem,” he said, lamenting that in April, “our innocent daughters” were abducted from a Secondary School in Chibok.

Thanking all the countries and organizations that expressed solidarity with Nigeria, and which had continued to support its determined efforts to free the girls, he said that although it has been over three months since they were abducted, “we have never relented in our efforts to set them safely free. Together with our partners, we are working assiduously to free our daughters and reunite them with their families.”
“We shall not waiver until we end this mindless war on the innocent, and bring all the perpetrators to justice. We will triumph over terrorism.”

Mr. Jonathan went on to say that while Africa, and in particular, West Africa, battles conflicts and terrorism, with progressive results, the region is now being devastated by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. “While Nigeria was able to respond effectively to control the spread of the disease, the situation in Liberia and Sierra Leone requires sustainable, collective global action to contain,” he said, underscoring that the indulging in “isolationist and discriminatory tendencies will only worsen an already critical situation.”

SOURCE UN News Centre
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Africa: Philips pledges support to the United Nations initiative Every Woman Every Child


Philips pledges support to the United Nations initiative Every Woman Every Child

-          Philips to target sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia where high maternal and infant mortality can be addressed through early diagnosis, proper nutrition, remote monitoring innovations and access to energy.

-          Philips commits to improve the lives of 100 million women and children by 2025.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 25, 2014/ -- Royal Philips (AEX: PHIA, NYSE: PHG) (http://www.philips.com), joins UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s initiative Every Woman Every Child (http://www.everywomaneverychild.org) and commits to improving the lives of 100 million women and children by 2025. In Philips’ pledge of support to the UN, Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips, underlined the need for improving lives in areas where maternal and infant mortality is concentrated and where nutrition and energy challenges are most acute.

http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1400 (Philips showcases Respiratory Rate Monitor)

“We look forward to working with the UN and its partners in Every Woman Every Child to deliver impact at scale in regions where women and children need it the most”, said Frans van Houten (http://goo.gl/VtDeQF) . “The goals of Every Woman Every Child are well aligned with Philips’ vision (http://goo.gl/tXMlik) to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation and our ultimate goal of improving the lives of three billion people a year by 2025.” 

Philips has a long tradition of partnering with national Health Ministries throughout the world and has undertaken several country-wide rehabilitation programs across Africa. By targeting sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia specifically, Philips will mobilize resources to support access to healthcare through large scale healthcare transformation projects, in combination with clinical education and skills training for healthcare professionals.

Through the Philips Africa Innovation Hub (http://goo.gl/C5lzKw), the company will develop and deploy quality solutions and new business models that enable access and improve quality of care for mothers and their children in low-resource settings. The Innovation Hub has already developed automated respiration monitors that support the diagnosis of pneumonia in children under 5, clean cooking stoves and solar lighting, as well as telehealth and mobile-health solutions which can provide early diagnosis and healthy living and nutritional advice.  Philips has recently piloted the telehealth “Mobile Obstetrical Monitoring” (MoM) project in Indonesia to remotely monitor pregnant women for early high risk identification.

"The private sector has become eager to increase its engagement, not just because there are business opportunities but because they see the value in ethical business and in helping to improve people’s lives”, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Every Woman Every Child initiative:
An estimated eight million children die a year before reaching their 5th birthday, and about 350,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth. The provision of simple inexpensive tools and practices can save millions of lives each year. Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in September 2010, Every Woman Every Child aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. The initiative matches two of the five Millennium Development Goals (http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals) and aims for a two-thirds reduction in under-five mortality and a 75 per cent reduction in maternal mortality by 2015. Every Woman Every Child is a global initiative that seeks to mobilize international and national action by governments, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children around the world.

To download the Philips pledge to the Every Woman Every Child initiative please click here: http://goo.gl/YSCKai .

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Royal Philips.

For further information, please contact:
Radhika Choksey                                         
Philips Group Communications - Africa                            
Tel: +31 625259000                                     

About Royal Philips:
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) (http://www.philips.com) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2013 sales of EUR 23.3 billion and employs approximately 113,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at http://www.philips.com/newscenter.

Royal Philips

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