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Racism or Xenophobia: Angry Mob In India Attacks Nigerian Students Accused Of Cannibalism And Murder

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An angry mob in India attacked a group of Nigerian students accused of cannibalism and murder following the recent death of a local boy. Three students were reported injured in the Monday (27 March) incident in Greater Noida, near the capital New Delhi.

Police have arrested seven people in connection with the attack. State authorities have promised a thorough investigation and strict action.

The attack followed the death of teenage boy, Manish Khari, on Saturday (25 March). The boy reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest due to drug overdose, but residents blamed the African students living in the area for his death.

Earlier, when the boy was missing for a day, the locals accused the foreign students of cannibalism and even barged into their houses to search for Khari’s remains.

Following complaints by the locals, police charged five Nigerian students with murder, but did not arrest them due to lack of evidence. They were, however, detained briefly for questioning.

Accusing the police of bias, some African students staged a protest outside a police station in the area demanding withdrawal of the murder charges.

Accusing the police of bias, some African students staged a protest outside a police station near New Delhi demanding withdrawal of murder charges in connection with the death of the teenage boy.
According to NDTV, the Greater Noida police have identified and traced 54 locals who were part of the mob and will soon initiate legal action against them. “We have arrested six or seven people from the spot. There are more. We will arrest them and put behind bars,” senior police officer Sujata Singh said.

Meanwhile, one of the students complained to Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj through Twitter and the minister instructed state authorities to take appropriate action to ensure their safety.

Yogi Adityanath, the newly-elected chief minister of Uttar Pradesh of which Noida is part, has also promised a thorough investigation into the incident.

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Nigerian Student Attempts Suicide In U.K When NDDC Backs Down On Scholarship

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A student from the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria who is on scholarship in the United Kingdom, reportedly attempted suicide as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), who were supposed to fund his scholarship failed to keep their promise.

Coming from a Twitter user, @ensydave, who alleged the incident occurred last night in Birmingham, the student whose photo will be made available soon, has been on debts, with no maintenance fee for almost a year. He also begged Silverbird group CEO and Nigerian Senator, Ben Murray Bruce, to raise awareness on the issue. Still waiting to hear from the senator.

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25-year-old Nigerian Drug Peddler Arrested In India With 53 Grams Of Cocaine

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A 25-year-old Nigerian was arrested on Thursday, March 23, in Hyderabad, India on the charge of drug peddling after 53 grams of cocaine was found on him.

The accused, Ugochukwu Godpower, was nabbed from Banjara Hills area in the city during a joint operation while he was on his way to deliver cocaine to customers.

During the interrogation, Ugochukwu revealed that he used to purchase cocaine for Rs 3,000 per gram from another accused Davis Chris Richard Mueller, a native of Kenya (who got away) and sold it for Rs 5,000-Rs 6,000 per gram to the customers at different locations in the city, police said.

In November last year, he had been arrested along with four others by Golconda Police in a similar case and was sent to judicial remand. However, after his release from jail in December, he had again started peddling drugs, police said. No lessons learnt

Further probe is being carried out to unearth the network of local and foreign drug dealers, Police said

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@KenyaAirways launches Easter promo with offers up to 30% off

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Good news travel lovers , Kenya Airways has launched an amazing sales promo just for you with offers up to 30% off your trips.

The promo which is part of the  KQ@40 celebration is called  ‘You deserve a break’ offering discount on Economy and Premium class return tickets.

The eleven day offer will apply to customers who will book and pay between 22nd March to 1st April 2017, for any trip anytime throughout the year.

The fare offer is valid on selected destination across the Kenya Airways destinations.

Kenya Airways has also announced an ongoing business class companion deal that allows its guests book and get a second ticket for free exclusive of all taxes.

This according to KQ Commercial Director Vincent Coste is to  reward KQ guests by encouraging them to take a break and visit any of the KQ interesting destinations by extending to them up to 30% off on tickets.”

Mr Coste added the campaign is also meant to express the airline’s appreciations to its customers who have enabled Kenya Airways continue to play an integral role in the growth of Africa’s economy.

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Donald Trump Sends Condolences On Terror Attack In London

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Five people were killed and several others wounded in a terror attack near the Houses of Parliament in London today. In her reaction, UK Prime Minister Theresa May sounded a defiant note, hours after the attack on the Houses of Parliament, insisting that life will go on in London as normal.

“We will all move forward together,” she told reporters in Downing Street. She offered her sympathies to the relatives of those who were killed, saying her “thoughts and prayers were with those who had waved their loved ones off, but will not now be welcoming them home” she said.

US President Donald Trump has also spoken to UK Prime Minister Theresa May to express his sympathy over the Westminster attack.  Trump praised “the effective response of security forces and first responders,” and offered the US’s “full cooperation and support in responding to the attack and bringing those responsible to justice.”

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Electronics Ban: US Officials say Al Qaeda is working to put explosives in batteries

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According to a US official, Intelligence obtained in recent weeks found that an al Qaeda affiliate was perfecting techniques for hiding explosives in batteries and battery compartments of electronic devices.

The discovery that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was looking to exploit batteries and their compartments in laptops and other commercial electronic devices led the United States and United Kingdom to ban devices larger than a cellphone from certain flights.

The new security restrictions, announced by the US and UK governments require airlines based in the Middle East and North Africa to prevent people flying from eight countries from bringing any device bigger than a smartphone aboard their aircraft. Instead, those electronics need to be stored in the cargo hold.

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Sept. 11 families sue Saudi Arabia over 9/11 attacks

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Hundreds of relatives of those killed on Sept. 11 have sued Saudi Arabia, joining many others who have tried to hold the kingdom responsible for the attacks.

Like other recent actions, the lawsuit filed Monday capitalizes on last year’s decision by Congress to let victims sue Saudi Arabia. It seeks unspecified damages.

Earlier attempts to hold Saudi Arabia responsible over the past 15 years have failed. Fifteen of the 19 attackers who hijacked planes to carry out the attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania were Saudis.

The 9/11 Commission report found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded” the attacks. But the commission also said there’s a “likelihood” that Saudi-government-sponsored charities did.

Lawyers for Saudi Arabia did not immediately comment

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US forbids any device larger than cellphone on flights from 13 countries

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US authorities have required airlines from 13 nations to forbid passengers from carrying any electronic or electrical device larger than a cellphone.

Officials from the Trump administration have said the ban is not based on any specific or imminent threat, according to the New York Times.

However, the Department of Homeland Security cited the attempted downing of  Daallo Airlines Flight 159  last year as the sort of threat the ban is designed to counter. This saw a terrorist manage to sneak a “sophisticated laptop bomb” past X-ray scanners in Somalia.

Countries majorly banned in this new rule are Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia for the safety of the public, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday.

The US imposed similar restrictions on planes coming from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified security threats.

“Direct flights to the UK from these destinations continue to operate to the UK subject to these new measures being in place,” the spokesman told reporters. “We think these steps are necessary and proportionate to allow passengers to travel safely.”

The new edict was distributed in an email described as “confidential” from the US transportation safety administration (TSA) on Monday.

The requirement forbids passengers from bringing laptops, iPads, Kindles and even cameras larger than mobile phones into the cabin. All such devices must be checked.

Saudi Arabia’s Saudia Airlines and Royal Jordanian airlines are among the affected countries; the full list has not been revealed to the affected airlines themselves.

 

The email – described as a “circular” – is not a public regulation, but airlines will be expected to enforce the new rule. Airlines were issued the circular on Monday and given 96 hours to comply.
The circular does not address electronic flight bags (EFBs), which allow flight crews to display diagrams mapping flight patterns, maps of airports and other digital documentation, usually on an iPad

The lack of specificity leaves airlines in the dark as to whether their employees will be cited or otherwise punished for performing the vital functions of aircraft crew as usual.

 

The TSA referred calls to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS would not confirm or deny existence of such a requirement: “We have no comment on potential security precautions, but will provide any update as appropriate,” David Lapan, spokesperson for DHS, said in an emailed statement to the Guardian. Lapan declined to comment further.

Compliance has been swift: “Effective March 21st, the carriage of electronic and electrical devices inbound to the USA shall only be inbound in checked baggage except for mobile and medical devices,” according to a reservation agent at one of the affected airlines.

 

Royal Jordanian airlines tweeted a reference to the restrictions, referring cryptically to “concerned US departments”. It was suggested that Royal Jordanian disobeyed the circular in part by making its existence known.

 

Attention all passengers

pic.twitter.com/VjN58EbJkJ
— Royal Jordanian (@RoyalJordanian) March 20, 2017

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World Happiness Report 2017 : Nigerians 6th Happiest In Africa (despite recession)

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Despite the economic recession, Nigerians are Africa’s sixth happiest people, according to a new report released on Monday that called on nations to build social trust and equality to improve the wellbeing of their citizens.

Algeria leads the rest of Africa in happiness, followed by Mauritius. Strife-torn Libya is surprisingly ranked third, ahead of Morocco. And even a bigger surprise, another crisis-torn nation, Somalia is Africa’s fifth happiest country ahead of Nigeria and South Africa, ranked 7th. Tunisia is eighth and Egypt ninth, while Sierra Leone is tenth.

At the bottom ten are Benin, Madagascar, South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and the worst of them, Central African Republic.

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Syria and Yemen, are the least happy of the 155 countries ranked in the fifth annual report released at the United Nations.

“Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government,” Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, said in an interview.

The aim of the report, he added, is to provide another tool for governments, business and civil society to help their countries find a better way to wellbeing.

The rankings are based on six factors — per capita gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and absence of corruption in government or business.

“The lowest countries are typically marked by low values in all six variables,” said the report, produced with the support of the Ernesto Illy Foundation.

Sachs would like nations to follow United Arab Emirates and other countries that have appointed Ministers of Happiness.

“I want governments to measure this, discuss it, analyze it and understand when they have been off on the wrong direction,” he said.

According to the report, “the average ladder scores for over four in five African countries are below the mid-point of the scale. And only two African countries have made significant gains in happiness over the past decade . There are also considerable inequalities in life evaluations in African countries, and this inequality in happiness has increased over the past years” .

The report also shows that Africans are optimistic about the future, with Nigerians the leaders in this regard.

“The majority of African countries rate life at present below the mid-point of the Cantril ladder scale in the latest available Gallup World Poll.

“This is not the case for average future ratings. Projected ladder ratings in five years’ time are uniformly higher than present evaluations across all countries on the continent. In fact, the percentage increase in future expectations of life is often higher among some of the least contented nations.

“Nigeria’s track record of such positive expectations is well documented. Cantril’s 1960s study already reported a difference of 2.6 points between the country’s average present (4.cool and future (7.4) ladder ratings.

“Similarly, in 2016, there is a difference of 2.9 points between Nigeria’s present (5.3) and future (8.2) ratings in the Gallup World Poll. An international study of comparative ladder ratings in ten countries with large populations, including China, India and the United States, found Nigeria’s 2.6 point difference between present and future ratings to be by far the largest.83 Nigeria’s spirit of optimism may be exceptional by world standards, but not in Africa.”

 

Source : Nan Nigeria

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‘African’ Business Summit In US had No ‘African’ Delegates Because Their Visas Were Denied

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Each year, the University of Southern California brings delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas.

Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees at the African Global Economic and Development Summit, unable to attain visas.

“Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come,” said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. “This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened.”

Flowers estimated that she lost about 100 attendees, including speakers and government officials. The countries affected included Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa.

‘A discrimination issue’
“I have to say that most of us feel it’s a discrimination issue with the African nations,” said Flowers. “We experience it over and over and over, and the people being rejected are legitimate business people with ties to the continent.”

A request for comment from the State Department was not immediately returned.

Flowers said those who were denied visas were called for embassy interviews just days before they were supposed to travel, despite having applied weeks or even months ahead of time.

One of those denied a visa was Prince Kojo Hilton, a Ghanaian artist whose work includes special effects and graphic art. He paid his $500 fee to attend the event and was asked to lead a session on filmmaking. But he held off buying his plane ticket until his appointment at the embassy on March 13, four days before he was supposed to travel.

“I was really disappointed when I went to the embassy,” Hilton said in an interview with VOA.

Travel ban

It remains unclear why all of the Africans heading to the event were denied visas this year.

Diane E. Watson, who formerly represented a Los Angeles-area district in Congress, said she had called the State Department to ask for information about the denial of visas for would-be delegates to the USC summit. But the State Department isn’t allowed to discuss individual visa cases.

With the heightened attention on foreign nationals coming to the U.S., there have been stories of more visas being denied to people from countries other than those named in the Trump administration’s executive orders. But visas are routinely denied by U.S. embassies without explanation.

If there has been an increase in the number of visas rejected under the new administration, it’s hard to verify. The publicly available State Department data dates only to late 2016.

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Risky Journalism : Explosion At Mount Etna Nearly Kills BBC Film Crew

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Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, erupted for the second time in a month this week, spewing lava hundreds of feet into the air above Sicily. A later blast, caused by magma hitting snow, injured at least 10 people, news outlets reported.

Video filmed Wednesday shows bursts of lava and volcanic ash as the mountain exploded almost constantly throughout the day, according to Italy’s Geology and Vulcanology Institute, which published the footage. The lava bursts reached nearly 650 feet high, the institute said in a report.

The volcano, one of the world’s most active, last erupted two weeks ago on the Italian island.

 

Sicily’s Mount Etna began erupting a decent amount of lava – peppered with the occasional ash column – towards the end of February of this year, and plenty have gathered around it to watch the fireworks. A BBC News team happened to get a little bit too close to it today, though, and a sudden explosion almost took them out.

As tweeted by the BBC’s Global Science Correspondent Rebecca Morelle, lava and steam erupted from somewhere near the summit as they were gallivanting around there. Superheated rock and ash flew towards them and a few people nearby, but thankfully – despite a few injuries – everyone’s alive and well.

“Running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam – not an experience I ever ever want to repeat,” Morelle tweeted earlier today.

This type of volcanic explosion sounds a lot like a phreatomagmatic blast, which involves water interacting with lava. If you just pour lava onto water or ice, the lava lets off a bit of steam and that’s about it. When lava erupts into water along a divergent plate boundary (see: Mid-Atlantic Ridge), the lava balloons outwardly, cools rapidly, and again – that’s about it.

 

 

This sudden appearance of steam is dangerous enough, but when this happens within volcanic systems, it’s normally underground. The added presence of a high pressure environment often leads to some explosive results, as was observed today on Mount Etna.

Many people have died as a result of these explosions in the past, especially when they destabilize the volcano and things escalate rather quickly. The BBC team – and a 78-year-old woman who was also there at the time – were very lucky to have escaped with their lives this time around

A large lava flow from an eruption in 1928 led to the destruction of a population centre for the first time since the 1669 eruption. The eruption started high on Etna’s northeast flank on 2 November. Other major 20th-century eruptions occurred in 1949, 1971, 1979, 1981, 1983 and 1991–1993. In 1971, lava buried the Etna Observatory (built in the late 19th century), destroyed the first generation of the Etna cable-car, and seriously threatened several small villages on Etna’s east flank. In March 1981, the town of Randazzo on the northwestern flank of Etna narrowly escaped destruction by unusually fast-moving lava flows. That eruption was remarkably similar to one in 1928 that destroyed Mascali. The 1991–1993 eruption saw the town of Zafferana threatened by a lava flow, but successful diversion efforts saved the town with the loss of only one building a few hundred metres from the town’s margin.

The activity had drawn spectators to the mountain on Thursday. Magma hit the snow, causing an explosion of debris that pelted bystanders as they raced for safety, injuring at least 10, reported the Associated Press. Six people were hospitalized, according to Italian news agency ANSA, mostly with head injuries in non-critical condition.

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All Things Sparkly; A Girl’s Best Friend : Sierra Leone pastor finds huge diamond in Kono

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A Christian pastor has discovered one of the world’s largest uncut diamonds in Sierra Leone’s Kono district.

The diamond, weighing 709 carats, is now locked up in Sierra Leone’s central bank in Freetown. It is one of the 20 largest diamonds ever found.

Freelance, or artisanal, miners are common in Sierra Leone’s diamond-rich areas, reports the BBC’s Umaru Fofana.

But there are questions over whether the community will benefit from the gemstone, he adds.

Pastor Emmanuel Momoh’s discovery, which has not yet been valued, is the biggest diamond to be found in Sierra Leone since 1972, when the 969-carat Star of Sierra Leone was dug up

The diamond the pastor discovered was first taken to President Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday evening before being locked up.

The president “thanked the [local] chief and his people for not smuggling the diamond out of the country”, a statement from the presidency says.

Mr Koroma said that the owners should get “what is due to them” and it should “benefit the country as a whole”, it adds

It is also the 13th largest diamond ever to be found, says Mathew Nyaungwa from Rough and Polished diamond analysts.

Mr Nyaungwa adds that it is difficult to estimate a price as it is “quality not size [that] determines the value of a diamond”. Our correspondent says that the discovery may have a blemish.

Last May, diamond-mining firm Lucara sold a 813-carat stone for $63m (£51m) at a closed auction in London

World’s Top 5 Largest Diamonds Are All Found In Africa:

  1. Cullinan Diamond, found in South Africa in 1905, weighed 3,107 carats
  2.  Lesedi La Rona, found in Botswana in 2015, weighed 1,111 carats
  3.  Excelsior Diamond, found in South Africa in 1893, weighed 995 carats
  4.  Star of Sierra Leone, found in Sierra Leone in 1972, weighed 969 carats
  5.  Incomparable Diamond, found in DR Congo in 1984, weighed 890 carats

Source: Mathew Nyaungwa, Rough and Polished

 

Source : BBC News

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Mother drugs her 9 year old daughter then sets her body on fire

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A mother is the one person her children should feel very safe with but this mother, rather than protect her child, did the exact opposite. Laura Coward drugged her 9-year-old daughter, Amber Lucius, with sleeping pills then when she thought the girl was dead, she put her in the family’s truck and set it on fire.

No one was aware of the crime until Amber was reported missing in August 2014. Her mother became a prime suspect and was arrested two days later in Alberta, Canada.

Last month, Laura pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of her daughter while in a Calgary courtroom.

The judge labelled Laura’s act the  ‘ultimate senseless betrayal’. She has been sentenced to live in prison with no chance of parole for 18 years.

At her sentencing hearing last week, Laura begged her daughter’s father and her family and friends for forgiveness.

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