Saturday, December 27, 2014

How Nigeria's Rich Spend Millions on Their Dream Wedding

Flowers imported from France, or an R&B superstar flown in from the United States. No request seems to be out of line to Nigeria’s rich when it comes to the most beautiful day of their life. And don’t even mention the b-word – budget, that is – ’cause whatever the bride wants, the bride gets.
Due to its oil reserves, gas, telecom and rising entertainment industry, Nigeria may consider itself Africa’s largest economy. But natural resources and Nollywood aside, there’s another million dollar business out there giving the national GPD a major boost: the wedding events business.

The West African nation may be home to the majority of Africa’s billionaires, but there’s no shortage of millionaires either. “Our core clientèle is mainly made up by millionaires. They will not hesitate to spend the money in order to get what they want. If they need to fly in an artist from America, or a decorator from Dubai or London, they will do so,” says Funke Bucknor, founder of Nigeria’s leading wedding and Events Company, Zapphaire events.

Bucknor is a brand. Apart from her wedding planning duties, she’s published a book titled The Essential Bridal Hand book, and in the first quarter of 2015 her very own TV show will start airing on a national TV network. She founded her wedding planning business twelve years ago and was amongst the first to do so. Today, her profession which seemed unnecessary to many locals over a decade ago has become an essential to the moneyed Nigerian bride that wants her wedding to be the talk of town. Or perhaps it is better to say her weddings. ‘Cause one wedding alone just doesn’t cut it. First there is the traditional wedding – the only wedding recognized by the family – followed by the white wedding, which is similar to that which we know in the West. 

As for the latter, the destination wedding is all the rage. “Dubai and London are the most popular destinations, followed by Cape Town, Seychelles and the Maldives. Florence in currently growing in popularity,” Bucknor adds.

In 2013 research company Euromint showed how Nigeria had world’s fastest growing rate of champagne consumption, second only to France, while ahead of other lucrative markets including the US and China. Lagos-based beauty-queen-turned-event-planner, Elohor Aisien, concurs. “Nigerians love champagne, so the most money will be spent on drinks as well as food. On Nigerian weddings there’s food from 2pm till midnight.” Given that the average Nigerian wedding will easily have around 1000 guests, whereas the bigger wedding will have between 2000 and 3000 guests, the choice of champagne is a crucial one. “Old money Nigerians may keep things more subtle, new money Nigerians are more concerned with letting people know that they’ve arrived. Magnums of Dom Pérignon will often be their drink of choice. 

In a way it’s become this competition amongst brides. They’ll ask me: ‘How many bottles did she have? I need more,’” 33-year-old Aisien says.
Her wedding and events planning company Privé Luxury – founded in 2012 – might be a newbie to the scene, but Elohor may already consider offspring of Nigerian royalty, and the country’s leading female recording artist amongst her clients. “I did the wedding of Reukayat Indimi, who comes from a royal Nigerian family, which hails from the north of the country. According to northern tradition, the bride can’t leave the house during the month leading up to the wedding. Since the bride didn’t have her wedding dress yet, I flew into London with a model who fitted several dresses for her. Elie Saab is a popular choice of wedding dress amongst Nigerians, whereas most grooms I work with want a Tom Ford total look. Vera Wang is also very much in demand, since it fits well on the Nigerian body type,” Elohor says, who may also tick the box that says “celebrity wedding”. 

In 2013 Privé Luxury planned one of Nigeria’s most talked-about weddings, which ended up being broadcast on a local TV network. It was when Nigeria’s leading female recording artist Tiwa Savage, exchanged vows with husband Tee Billz. Their destination wedding was held at Dubai’s Armani Hotel, part of world’s tallest man-made structure, the Burj Khalifa.”I have a good relationship with the Armani Hotel in Dubai, they love Nigerian weddings,”Aisien concludes.

Some might argue that it is morally wrong for a country in which some have to live on a dollar a day, to add value to how many liters of DP are flowing at a wedding. Others however, claim that if it wasn’t for lavish Nigerian weddings, there would be no Nigerian economy. “I appreciate them spending this money, cause without these weddings I don’t know where the Nigerian economy would be,” says Weruche Majekodunmi, founder of Newton & David, a local company specialized in event design and décor. “The weddings keep our economy going. 

Normally the rich Nigerians will spend their money abroad, whenever they go shopping. Thanks to the wedding industry the money is being invested back into our economy. Jobs of caterers, tailors, carpenters and upholsterers are being sustained. Prior to these major weddings, the profession of make-up artist wasn’t even considered a full-time job,” she explains.

Weruche started working with flowers at church as a hobby, around 25 years ago. It was at a time in which Nigerians paid little to no attention, to the decoration of their wedding venue. “Up to fifteen years ago, some weddings wouldn’t even have a table cloth on the tables and they wouldn’t have any flowers except for the bridal bouquet. Nowadays Nigerian weddings will feature expensive flowers from France, silk table cloth and lots of crystal. A lot of the elite Nigerian kids have been educated abroad, so they’re used to the international standard when it comes to detail. They’ve become accustomed to a certain standard, so to import something isn’t unusual to them” the décor specialist slash wedding planner explains. Currently trending amongst the international kids is the flower wall, which surged in popularity after Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kanye West.

Weruche goes on saying, “It has happened three times in the last five years that I’ve organized a wedding that cost over $2 million. They spent the most on food, Cristal champagne, entertainment and gifts to their guests. At one wedding all the invitees got their wedding outfit with their invitation. At another wedding they handed out microwave ovens, smart phones and rice cookers, to all of their guests. At some other weddings they’ll fly in their guests and arrange their accommodation in case they decide to get married overseas. You must understand that our reasoning is different from that in the West.”
Source: Forbes


App developer pays off parent’s mortgage as xmas gift

Joe Riquelme surprised his parents for Christmas by giving them envelope with bank documents and note saying their house had been paid off. Riquelme, a successful app developer from New York who goes by the YouTube user name joeytrombone, on Thursday shared a video showing his parents’ heartwarming reaction to his incredibly generous Christmas gift. Looking visibly nervous and struggling to keep his emotions in check, Riquelme tells his mom and dad that he has one more Christmas gift for them: a slightly dog-eared envelope folded in half. Inside, there are documents from Bank of America accompanied by a handwritten note that reads: 'Your house is paid off. Merry Xmas. - Joe.'



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Teenage Female Bombers on the Prowl in Northern Nigeria

BAUCHI, Nigeria -Two teenage girls entered the busy marketplace separately Tuesday, their vests of explosives hidden beneath their full hijabs. The first detonated her bomb, killing three women. As rescuers rushed in, the second girl screamed and set off her explosives, killing dozens more, according to witnesses and authorities.

More than 40 people died in the double suicide bombing in Maiduguri, a provincial capital in northeastern Nigeria, according to Haruna Issa, a hospital volunteer in the city. Suspicion immediately fell on the insurgents from the Islamic militant group Boko Haram, which controls a large part of northeastern Nigeria and is blamed for the deaths this year of at least 1,500 people in Africa's most populous country.


In its campaign of violence, Boko Haram has used car bombs and men wearing vests of explosives. It also has begun using women who can cover the explosives with their hijabs, and the recruits appear to have gotten younger, with several instances of teenage attackers earlier this year. Source AP

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ferguson, Missouri on fire as grand jury reaches verdict

A Missouri grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, a prosecutor announced late Monday. Hundreds of people gathered outside the Ferguson police station reacted with anger and dismay as word spread that there would be no indictment.

Some protesters destroyed a police car, and one demonstrator was seen dousing another patrol car with lighter fluid. President Barack Obama echoed the words of Michael Brown's father, calling for the Brown's death to lead to "incredible change, positive change" and for people not to hurt others or destroy property.

It is an "understandable reaction" that some Americans will agree and others will be made angry by the decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson, Obama said Monday night.
"First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law, so we need to accept this decision was the grand jury's to make," he said.

After an "exhaustive review," the jurors deliberated for two days, he said. The grand jurors are "the only ones who have heard all the evidence," St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch told reporters.


"The physical and scientific evidence examined by the grand jury, combined with the witness statements, supported and substantiated by that physical evidence, tells the accurate and tragic story of what happened," he said. 

Source: CNN

Monday, November 17, 2014

Online Mall flirts mobile strength in Lagos

Nigeria’s largest online mall, Konga.com took the general public by surprise as its delivery unit – KExpress – embarked on an impressive tour across Lagos, with a convoy of about 200 KExpress vehicles of different types!



The tour went by iconic locations in Lagos such as the Oshodi Heritage Park, the Maryland Independence Tunnel, the Third Mainland bridge, the National Stadium in Surulere etc. This move demonstrated Konga.com’s readiness to satisfactorily fulfill the huge volume of orders expected this yuletide season.





To further drive entrepreneurship, Konga.com established an employee reward program for the KExpress drivers. Through the program, Konga.com donates delivery bikes to their long service drivers. The first beneficiaries received their bikes on the 9th of November 2014, after working with Konga.com for about 2 years.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ebola: Still A Serious Crisis

In Mali, a nurse and a patient became the second and third people thought to have died from Ebola there. Malian authorities said that a nurse and the patient he was treating at a clinic in Bamako had died. The 25-year-old nurse worked at the Pasteur Clinic, which has now been placed in quarantine. The government said the nurse was confirmed to have had Ebola.

His patient, a traditional Muslim healer in his 50s, had recently arrived from Guinea. Officials believe the healer, who died from Ebola-like symptoms, passed the Ebola virus to the nurse. However, he was buried without being tested for Ebola. The latest deaths are unrelated to Mali's first Ebola case, when a two-year-old girl died from the disease in October.

The new cases in Mali follow the WHO's confirmation that 25 of the 100 people who were thought to have come into contact with the two-year-old girl were being released from quarantine. Nearly 5,000 people have been killed in the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak a global health emergency.
The Bandajuma clinic is run by medical charity MSF, which said it would be forced to close the facility if the strike continued. The toddler's case alarmed the authorities in Mali after it was found she had displayed symptoms whilst travelling through the country by bus, including Bamako, on her return from neighbouring Guinea.

Meanwhile hundreds of health workers involved in treating Ebola patients have gone on strike at a clinic in Sierra Leone. The staff are protesting about the government's failure to pay an agreed weekly $100 (£63) "hazard payment". A few are still assisting at the clinic. The clinic, in Bandajuma near Bo, is the only Ebola treatment centre in southern Sierra Leone.

Source: BBC

Monday, November 10, 2014

Suicide bomber massacres high-school students in Northern Nigeria

Boko Haram were suspected of killing nearly 50 pupils Monday in a suicide bombing in northeast Nigeria, in one of the worst attacks against schools teaching a so-called Western curriculum.
The explosion at the all-boys school in Potiskum is the latest in a series of atrocities against schoolchildren in the state of Yobe, and the second suicide attack in the town in eight days.

The massacre came just a day after the release of a new Boko Haram video in which the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, again rejected Nigerian government claims of a ceasefire and peace talks.

Students at the Government Comprehensive Senior Science Secondary School in Potiskum were waiting to hear the principal’s daily address when the explosion happened at 7:50 am (0650 GMT).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

China Becomes world's largest economy

China has toppled America to become the biggest economy in the world, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund. The US has been the global leader since it overtook Britain in 1872, but has now lost its status as top dog. The latest IMF figures show the Chinese economy is worth $17.61 trillion compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.



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Weapons Deal: Nigeria threatens South Africa with ‘MTN’

Abuja (AFP) - Nigeria on Wednesday accused South Africa of blocking a legal arms purchase and threatened retaliation against major South African companies, including telecom giant MTN, if the spat is not resolved. A top official in the office of Nigeria's National Security Advisor (NSA) told AFP that the country had an agreement to buy $5.7 million (4.5 million euros) worth of military hardware in a deal brokered by a South African firm. 

The official, who asked that his name be withheld, said Pretoria had frozen cash that had been wired to the South African firm's account. South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority made no immediate comment, but the asset freeze has been widely reported in both Nigerian and South African media. "The issue could affect bilateral relations between Nigeria and South Africa," the NSA official said.

He specifically mentioned MTN -- a South Africa-based mobile phone and Internet provider with tens of millions of subscribers in Nigeria -- as a company that could be targeted in tit-for-tat reprisals.
"You cannot be making so much money from Nigeria and then turn around and embarrass the people," the Nigerian official said.


Source: AFP
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

U.S. Agents to Monitor Travelers for Ebola at 5 Airports

The government plans to begin taking the temperatures of travelers from West Africa arriving at five U.S. airports as part of a stepped-up response to the Ebola epidemic.

At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest said an additional layer of screening would begin at New York's JFK International and the international airports in Newark, Washington Dulles, Chicago and Atlanta. He said the new steps would include taking temperatures and would begin Saturday at JFK.


Earnest said the five airports cover the destinations of 94 percent of the people who travel to the U.S. from the three heavily hit countries in West Africa — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. He estimated that about 150 people would be checked a day under the new procedures.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Boko Haram Beheads Nigerian Air force Pilot

Boko Haram, the extremist Islamic group in Nigeria, has released a video that shows the beheading of a man who identifies himself the pilot of a missing Nigerian Air Force jet. The video that emerged yesterday also allegedly features Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau - a terrorist who Nigeria's military claimed to have killed.

Officials announced last week that Shekau was dead and that a man who had been posing as the group's leader in the videos had been killed after fighting with troops in the far northeast.
Footage shows charred plane wreckage that appears to have Nigerian military markings, bolstering the group's claims that it shot down a fighter plane.

In the video, a man is seen kneeling in a camouflage vest with his right hand in a sling, with a fighter hovering over him with an axe, which is later used in his beheading.
Speaking in English, the victim identifies himself as a wing commander in the Nigerian Air Force and says he was undertaking a mission in Kauri area of northeast Borno state.

Source: Dailymail
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Timeline of how EBOLA arrived Dallas


September 19: The adult patient boards a flight to the U.S. in Liberia after being screened for Ebola symptoms
September 20: The patient arrives in the United States
September 24: Patient shows first symptoms of Ebola
September 26: Patient seeks initial medical care
September 28: Patient admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

A Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital spokesman said the patient has been in isolation since he arrived on Sunday, and hospital officials had been "meeting for weeks in anticipation of such an event." He added that the facility has a "robust infection control system" in place.


Dr. Frieden said he believes "a handful" of people had contact with the patient between the September 24-28, including family members and "a couple" of community members. Those people are to be monitored by the CDC starting Tuesday.

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The virus is not contagious until symptoms are present. Early symptoms of Ebola include sudden fever, fatigue, and headache. Symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure.

Statement by Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson; “'This is not Africa. We have a great infrastructure to deal with an outbreak.'

What Are the Symptoms of Ebola?
Early on, Ebola can feel like the flu or other illnesses. Symptoms show up 2 to 21 days after infection and usually include:
-High fever
-Headache
-Joint and muscle aches
-Sore throat
-Weakness
-Stomach pain
-Lack of appetite
As the disease gets worse, it causes bleeding inside the body, as well as from the eyes, ears, and nose.  Some people will vomit or cough up blood, have bloody diarrhea, and get a rash.

Because the natural reservoir host of Ebola viruses has not yet been identified, the manner in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, researchers believe that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal.

Transmission
When an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. 
-Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola.
-objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
infected animals.
-Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, food. However, in Africa, 
-Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.
-Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids of sick patients.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Power Play in the Nigerian Power Sector: The Grand Bailout

Nigeria has headed off a threat to its banking industry by propping up struggling power companies with an intervention fund, said analysts including Pabina Yinkere of Vetiva Capital Management Ltd. The 213 billion-naira ($1.3 billion) fund announced by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration on Sept. 19 will be used to pay off gas-supply debts owed by power companies and to cover revenue shortfalls. It will also help them meet debt-service obligations to banks on loans of almost 500 billion naira, on which some were falling behind.

“The government is reacting to the risk affecting the power industry as a whole and the sustainability of the reform, which dovetails to the banks,” Yinkere said in a phone interview from the commercial capital, Lagos, on Sept. 24. “This intervention fund will ease the stress in the industry and in effect reduce the probability of loans going bad.” Nigeria dismantled its power monopoly and sold the hydro-and gas-powered plants it ran last year to try to bring in investment needed to expand electricity supply, with demand more than three times the current output of about 3,800 megawatts. Companies including Transnational Corp. of Nigeria Plc, Korea Electric Power Corp. (015760) and Forte Oil Plc (FO) paid more than $3 billion for controlling interests in 15 power generators and distributors.

Biggest Lender
UBA Plc (UBA), Nigeria’s fourth-biggest lender by market value, granted $700 million in loans to several investors, including Transnational, which got $215 million to buy Ughelli Power, the country’s second-biggest gas-fueled plant with capacity for 900 megawatts.
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GUARANTY), the largest lender by market value, advanced $170 million to Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd. for the concession of Jebba and Kainji hydropower plants. Zenith Bank Plc (ZENITHBA), the second-biggest lender, provided 40 billion naira for the acquisition of two electricity distribution companies in Lagos. 

Others such as Ecobank Transnational Inc., Diamond Bank Plc (DIAMONDB) and Skye Bank also provided loans to power investors.
Authorities in Africa’s largest economy are putting together new regulations to protect lenders, electricity consumers and other utilities in the event that the power companies fail, according to central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele and Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke.

While the bailout doesn’t address all the challenges, it is a step in the right direction, Bismarck Rewane, CEO of Lagos-based Financial Derivatives Co., a risk advisory firm, said by phone yesterday. “The signal is that the power investors will be supported,” he said. “Power is too important that the government cannot let it fail.”


Source: Bloomberg 
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Ekiti Burns as APC and PDP loyalists clash

The campaign office of Governor Kayode Fayemi and the All Progressives Congress (APC) secretariat in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state capital, has been burnt by rampaging thugs on Friday.
The thugs believed to be loyalists of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) charged around Ado-Ekiti unleashing violence on residents and properties. According to PREMIUM TIMES, The spokesperson for the Ekiti State command of the police, Olu Babayemi, confirmed the incident, stating that the command had sent officers to the streets to contain the situation.

“There was a protest in town but the police have moved in. For now, we are trying to restore normalcy and ensure lives and property are secured.” Babayemi confirmed that the APC secretariat and Mr. Fayemi’s campaign office had been vandalised and torched. It would be recalled that the former chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Ekiti state, Mr. Omolafe Aderiye was shot dead on Thursday night. He was killed by unknown gunmen at Ijigbo area in Ado Ekiti.

--> Aderiye was on his way home when the gunmen numbering about four accosted and shot him at close range. Aderiye, a staunch supporter of governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose was part of the thugs that Fayose took to court to attack a state high court judge on Thursday morning.
The alleged thugs attacked Justice John Adeyeye, beating him up and ripping his clothes for being allegedly rude to Fayose. Fayose, first slapped the judge and then ordered his thugs to beat him further.

source: pmnews

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

U.S and allies Strike targets in Syria

TAMPA, Fla. - U.S. military forces and partner nations, including the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, undertook military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria overnight, using a mix of fighter, bomber, remotely piloted aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles to conduct 14 strikes against ISIL targets.

The strikes destroyed or damaged multiple ISIL targets in the vicinity of Ar Raqqah, Dayr az Zawr, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and included ISIL fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles.

To conduct these strikes, the United States employed 47 TLAMs launched from USS Arleigh Burke and USS Philippine Sea operating from international waters in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf, as well as U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighter, remotely piloted and bomber aircraft deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations. In addition, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates also participated in or supported the airstrikes against ISIL targets.  All aircraft safely exited the strike areas.

Also, in Iraq yesterday, U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists, using attack aircraft to conduct four airstrikes. The airstrikes destroyed two ISIL Humvees, an ISIL armed vehicle and an ISIL fighting position southwest of Kirkuk. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely. To date, U.S. Central Command has conducted a total of 194 airstrikes across Iraq against ISIL.

The United States conducted these strikes as part of the President's comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL.  Going forward, the U.S. military will continue to conduct targeted airstrikes against ISIL in Syria and Iraq as local forces go on the offensive against this terrorist group.

Separately, the United States has also taken action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned al-Qa'ida veterans - sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group - who have established a safe haven in Syria to develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices and recruit Westerners to conduct operations. These strikes were undertaken only by U.S. assets.

In total, U.S. Central Command conducted eight strikes against Khorasan Group targets west of Aleppo to include training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building and command and control facilities.
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Celebrities Support Kidney Cancer Awareness

Showbiz celebrities the likes of 2face Idibia, Kcee, Fally Ipupa, Eddie Kenzo and more have endorsed the Juliet Ibrahim Foundation (JIF). For those who don't know, the foundation which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focuses on creating awareness on kidney cancer and providing necessary interventions to ensure a society free of such issues in Ghana and Africa at large. 

The foundation aims at educating people that kidney cancer is preventable. A simple lifestyle change can go a long way in preventing kidney cancer and other kidney related ailments..  JIF helps raise funds for people living with kidney disease and suffering from kidney failures, transplants as well as patient’s dialysis treatments.

1. The long term goal of JIF is to build a state of the art kidney center for a better management of people with renal/kidney diseases.
2. To sensitize and educate people on cancers and its effects on the  Ghanaian society.
3. To provide funds and necessary assistance to people with kidney diseases but cannot afford its management.
4. To collate funds to support hospitals and medical centers that manages kidney diseases.
5. To serve as an advocate organization for awareness creation, education and promoting healthy life styles to avoid kidney diseases.

Vaccination likely cause of Mystery illness in Colombia

El Carmen de Bolivar (Colombia) (AFP) - A mystery illness is plaguing girls in this town in northern Colombia, and locals say a vaccine against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV, is to blame. First their hands and feet feel cold. Then they go pale and cannot move. Some convulse and fall to the floor.

In El Carmen de Bolivar, near the port of Cartagena, dozens of teenagers have experienced similar symptoms. Some have even lost consciousness. "They vaccinated me in May and I started fainting in August. My legs became heavy and I couldn't feel my hands anymore. When I woke up, I was in the hospital," recalled 15-year-old Eva Mercado. She passed out seven times in a month.

For most of the families affected in this town of 67,000, there is no doubt about what is causing the problem. They place the blame squarely on a vaccination campaign against HPV, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, which can trigger cervical cancer. The epidemic has grabbed national headlines, and President Juan Manuel Santos has been forced to weigh in.
Insisting the HPV vaccination campaign was safe, Santos suggested the epidemic was no more than a "phenomenon of collective suggestion."


Source: AFP

Friday, September 12, 2014

2FACE IDIBIA KICKSTARTS "PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTH"

Nigerian Music Legend, Innocent "2Face" Idibia has lent his voice to the prevention of Prostate Cancer in Nigeria. The month of September is The musician, who recently lost his Father to the scourge of the disease has partnered with CECP-Nigeria (Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy) to inform Nigerians about the disease. The month of September has been air marked as the "Prostate Cancer Awareness Month".

In a courtesy call paid by the group to 2Face Idibia at The 960 Music Group's Office in Lagos, Nigeria, 2Face (who is an ambassador for the group) promised to lend all the support he can to the group. A spokesman for the group who consoled the star on the death of his father, was excited about the collaboration and hoped that many more Nigerians would become aware of the disease and ways to curb it. The group plans to deploy Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) which would take holistic health promotion to the grassroots of Nigeria.

 Anyone may contribute towards the Mobile Cancer Centre project by giving via an ATM or online at www.quickteller.com using the code ‘777526’.

To mark Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, there shall be FREE PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING at the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP) centre at 30 Ishaga Road, Surulere, Lagos. This will hold on Saturdays September 13th and 20th, 2014 from 2 pm each day.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

10 and still Crystallizing

It was sometimes about mid-1992 and I was a fresh graduate out of College (University). I did not particularly love the completed course of study but bottom line was that I had transited to another phase of life. Growing up, I was fascinated about innovations, electronic equipment’s and automobiles. My room was always a mini lab for all sorts of lighting's and wiring's. The best gift one could get me then was a magazine about Stereo equipment’s or Hot Cars.


My fascination led to writing. Some of my fantasies included pushing volumes to the limit as well as flooring pedals of anything I laid my hands on (oh! apologies to my Mum’s Morris Marina and Dad’s Fiat 2000 Climatizata). I moved to Lagos in search of the “Lagos Dream” but soon found out that it was not as easy as I had expected. I immediately had to resort to my passion.

As a mini socialite, I hung out a little and on one of those occasions, I ran into Mr. Sola Osofisan who spoke about his Magazine (Crown Prince) and asked if I could contribute articles on new products based on what he picked out of our earlier discussions.

That was the beginning. My first ever published article appeared in a 1992 column of Crown Prince Magazine. Unfortunately, the magazine did not last too long (who said publishing was easy?). I later resorted to my other passion which was automobiles. My early projects happened to be my siblings vehicle; a super Kitted Golf GTI. I was the go to person for any slight fault. This led to continuous maintenance, to ownership then more socializing.

1n 1994, I met up with the founding editors of the now defunct Fame Weekly; Kunle Bakare, Mayor Akinpelu and Femi Akintunde Johnson. History was about to be made. I was invited to the press room and asked if I could start a motoring column. “Carliners” as the column was known came into existence making me the first motoring columnist in a soft cell magazine in Nigeria (Verify).

While at Fame Weekly, I found myself in the same editorial room with the founder of the revered column; “Pendulum” Mr.Dele Momodu; one of the most prolific Journalists out of Africa. We had met in College and he was no stranger to me. Fame was so ‘HOT’ back then with the youngest and brightest minds in the industry producing a magazine that was juicy in content and multi diverse in output.

My descriptive and writing technics created access to major motoring events in Nigeria and led me to join the tight knit motoring journalists association. I remember signing autographs at certain events based on the popularity of the column.

It was not too long after then that I eventually moved on to join Encomium Weekly in 1996 after Fame Weekly fell apart. My column was still as constant as the Northern star. I had stated managing an ultra-modern workshop in Lagos and went on to start my repair center while still contributing to Encomium.

Sometimes in 1999, Dele Momodu whom at that time had gone into exile (no thanks to his critical editorials against the then military junta) reached out to me via a hand written letter (text messages and emails did not exist in our world) stating that he had founded a magazine; Ovation International. He asked if I would be interested in creating a motoring column for the magazine. “Roadrunner” came into existence in 1999 and went on to feature super luxurious autos while attracting major car dealerships in Nigeria who placed continuous adverts. I moved to the USA in 2003 and was made USA Bureau chief of Ovation International.

The cyberspace was an evolving entity. We were still developing photos in labs, printing and scanning prints for shipment back to Africa for production. I realized that the Web was changing and could afford us the opportunity of posting photos for easy access. There were websites that encouraged that. Digital SLR cameras were being developed and in no time there was a shift.

In 2004, I conceptualized an idea to create an online album where celebrants could view their photos in real time without waiting for us to package and post prints as we were used to doing then. ‘Trendyafricaphotos’ was that link. Photos of events I covered then were instantly viewed by patrons who had access to computers.

Unfortunately, I realized that an expressive platform to compliment the photos online did not exist. The thought of a website that would create the opportunity for me to write articles describing events came to mind. Trendy Africa was then conceptualized. I called in my young techy brothers; Temi Kolawole and Bode Ojo to assist with setting up a platform. They gladly did so under their then web company called “Antigravity”.

That was the beginning of the journey. For a brand I was fully committed to, Ovation kept me real busy and it was not an easy process to avoid a conflict of interest. 2008, and on a trip to Nigeria, I informed Publisher Dele Momodu of my intention to step aside and focus on my concept. Later that year, Trendy Africa was redesigned on the Web and by 2009; Trendy Africa Magazine went on the shelves.

In 2014, we celebrate our conceptualization and remember the smiles, the tears and the crystallization.

by Tosan Aduayi; Founder and Publisher of Trendy Africa


Monday, September 8, 2014

US Air Marshal attacked in Lagos

A federal air marshal is in quarantine in Houston today after being attacked last night by an unknown assailant at the Lagos, Nigeria airport wielding a syringe. U.S. law enforcement officials told ABC News they were alarmed by the bizarre, unprovoked attack because the assailant was apparently able to inject an unknown substance into the back of one of the air marshal’s arms.


The air marshal was traveling with a team of other marshals when the attack took place in an unsecured area of the airport terminal in Lagos, the officials said. He was able to board the United Airlines flight to Houston he was scheduled to work and was met early this morning in Houston by FBI agents and health workers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Deadly Albino Cobra

The deadly albino cobra that was captured  after slithering around a California neighborhood for days could have given a potentially deadly bite, this according to a snake expert.

'There's no indication that it's had its venom glands removed,' said Ian Recchio, curator of reptiles and amphibians at the Los Angeles Zoo, of the snake, caught in Thousand Oaks, California. The venom of the albino monocled cobra can kill a human within hours of a bite.

Reports that it had bitten a dog that evening raised concerns, and authorities warned people to watch their children and keep their pets indoors.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Obama fascinated about Stonehenge

President Barack Obama made an unscheduled visit to the historic site at Stonehenge on his way from the NATO summit in Newport. The first monument at the site on Salisbury Plain was probably built around 5,000 years ago, to mark where prehistoric people buried their cremated dead.

It was only later that the enormous sandstone sarsens and smaller bluestones were set up in the centre, transported up to 150 miles. Historians believe the stone circle may have been a temple, a burial ground, an astronomical calendar or all three.

Although it appears isolated, it is actually just one part of a vast system of ancient earthworks on what would have been an unusually open landscape when Britain was an island of forests.
Despite its significance, it continued deteriorating badly until the turn of the last century, when passionate campaigns began to save it after it was gifted to the nation in 1918. Historians still disagree over the function of Stonehenge, which was far more extensive when it was assembled thousands of years ago on Salisbury Plan.

Built between 3,000 and 1,600 BC, the stone circle may have been a temple, a burial ground, an astronomical calendar or all three, scholars say. No one knows for sure either how ancient Britons got the stones, which weigh up to 45 tonnes, to the site or what they used them for.


Source: English Heritage. Photo: AP 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

World’s Highest Paid Models

Year after year since 2002, Gisele Bundchen has made more money than any other model in the world. At 34, she is still sitting pretty at the top of the world’s highest-paid models list, pulling in an estimated $47 million before taxes and fees in the last 12 months.
Gisele Bundchen

The Brazilian bombshell out-earned second place beauties Doutzen Kroes and Adriana Lima by $39 million – Bundchen also made about $16 million more than quarterback husband Tom Brady’s $31.3 million annual paycheck. Along with lucrative contracts for H&M, Chanel, and Carolina Herrera, the catwalk icon gets a cut of sales from jelly sandals she designs for shoemaker Grendene. 
Adriana Lima

The face of Pantene hair products and Oral-B in Brazil, Bundchen’s line of Hope lingerie – Gisele Bundchen Intimates — also plumps up her paycheck, which has increased $5 million from 2013.

--> Source: Forbes

10 Fastest Aircraft's in the World

NASA's space shuttle has recorded speeds in excess of 17,000 MPH. You'll be surprised how fast some other aircraft's can fly including the SR-71, MIG 25 and F 16 fighter jets. Enjoy.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Support for Patriotic Movement: A campaign for Peace and Unity

Patriotic Movement is a youth organization set out to cultivate peace, unity, patriotism and to raise change vanguards in the Nigerian youths. Patriotic Movement Nigeria has partnered with the National Orientation Agency of Nigeria for the formal unveiling of the symbolic image on October 7th, 2014 at the Velodrome in Abuja Capital Territory, Nigeria. And so we are promoting awareness and soliciting your support to accomplish this goal. Please share with your friends.






Wednesday, August 27, 2014

9-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Kills Shooting Range Instructor

A 9-year-old girl vacationing with her family accidentally shot and killed an instructor at a shooting range, authorities said. The shooting happened at 10 a.m. Monday at Arizona Last Stop, a tourist spot southeast of Las Vegas. According to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, the instructor – identified as Charles Vacca, 39 – was standing next to the girl, teaching her how to use an automatic Uzi. The girl’s parents stood nearby, capturing video of the experience.


As the girl pulled the trigger, the recoil caused her to lose control of the gun, with Vacca accidentally shot in the head, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said. Vacca was flown to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Sam Scarmardo, the gun range operator, was distraught about Vacca's death.

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"We instruct kids as young as 5 on .22 rifles, and they don't get to handle high firearms, but they're under the supervision of their parents and of our professional range masters," Scarmardo said.

Source: GMA

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Takes U.S. by Storm

In the last two weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge has quite literally “soaked” the nation. Everyone from Ethel Kennedy to Justin Timberlake has poured a bucket of ice water over his or her head and challenged others do the same or make a donation to fight ALS within twenty-four hours.

What is ALS?
ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.


Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
The ALS Association announced it has surpassed $10 million in “Ice Bucket” donations. 

--> Just recently, The ALS Association announced that it has received $11.4 million in donations compared to $1.7 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 16). These donations have come from existing donors and 220,255 new donors to The Association.

With only about half of the general public knowledgeable about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the Ice Bucket Challenge is making a profound difference. Since July 29, The Association has welcomed more than 70,000 new donors to the cause.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Another African American Killed by Police Taser in California

Barely one week after the killing of a young Africa American by police in Missouri, another incidence has been reported in San Bernardino, California. A 36-year-old married father of five from California died after being repeatedly Tasered by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies during what was described as an attempted burglary.


Deputies on Tuesday used a stun gun on Dante Parker during an altercation to take him into custody. Officers suspected Parker of breaking into a home in Victorville. 
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According to law enforcement officials, deputies found Parker riding a bicycle away from the residence and tried to stop him, but the hulking man appeared to be under the influence of unknown substances and was belligerent.