26 Mar 2013

Finding the perfect mate (part 1)

Finding the perfect mate for yourself is a daunting task and a lifelong quest for a whole lot of people.


Hi ladies, hooking up with the right guy has everything to do with you, yap, you, and not the guys you ask all manner of questions. The simple trick of getting a good match is becoming Miss Right. Anyone can dress up and smile but do you have the dating resume to pull off this important romantic merger? A true love connection takes two, after all.


 Be prepared for a fulfilling, long-term relationship by working on yourself, yes, working on yourself..
Get fully done with your education. Don't leave your diploma or degree half done. Even if you can't afford school full time, you can make time for at least one class. Besides boosting your career marketability, completing school gives you a major self-confidence boost isn't it? Well, I strongly believe so.
Get rid of those character flaws. Yes, you have them too! We all do. Take some time to do some soul-searching about past relationships or mistakes. Do you need more patience? Got a temper that needs, well, tempering? Now is the time to get those issues under control.
Make peace with yourself. Broken people break relationships. Whatever past sins you've committed, forgive yourself. If you don't believe you deserve love, you won't find it. True or false?
Question your reasons for wanting a serious relationship. Do you really want to invest the time and work it takes to maintain a loving relationship? Talk tough to yourself about what you truly want.
Be Acquainted with whatever appeals to you most in a guy. Just hoping for the best isn't a recipe for success. What do you truly want in a mate? If you aren't willing to make a list of points that are important to you, then you're truly not sure of what you want. Do you want someone with traditional values or a forward thinker? What kind of interests should he have, ideally?
Kick-start your search in places you'd likely find the man you'd like to meet. Take your time, don't settle for anyone less than your dream date.. Did i miss out on anything? Well, to be continued..   

                                                                               
By Princewill Echebiri

25 Mar 2013

Nigeria Has Highest TB Disease Burden In Africa – NMA

The Nigerian Medical Association on Sunday released a press statement calling on the Federal Government to make the fight against Tuberculosis one of its Centenary anniversary projects by massively investing in TB research activities towards the discovery of the much needed anti-TB vaccine.
 
As part of the group’s efforts to mark the 2013 World Tuberculosis Day, themed ‘In My Life Time,’ the President of the association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele said different stakeholders in the society need to wake up to the reality that Nigeria has the highest TB disease burden in Africa and 10th largest in the whole world.

“We therefore call on the federal government to accord top priority to budgetary allocations to the health sector by complying with the Abuja declaration of 2001 by allocating the prescribed 15% of Nigeria’s national budget to health care. This we believe, with sanity in public spending, would help to positively address many if not all, of Nigeria’s diseases of public health concern that continue to denigrate the image of our beloved country, Nigeria.” The statement read.

According to the 2012 global TB report, considerable progress has been made all over the world despite the insurgence of HIV/AIDS considered hitherto as a major impediment to the control efforts.

However, the statement disclosed that “communal violence, sectoral clashes, various forms of insurgences, natural disasters and deleterious effects of climate change, unhealthy living conditions; tend to paint a sordid picture for the future of anti-TB campaign in reality.”

Dr. Enabuelele emphasized the need for the Government to take heed to the slogan ‘Stop Tb In My Life Time’ and called on research organisations to give greater attention to Nigerian prone issues like TB.

 

18 Mar 2013

60 killed, Dozens Injured In Luxurious Bus Explosion In Kano

Over 60 passengers were killed while dozens got injured following an explosion that hit an inter-state luxurious car park in Kano State North West Nigeria.


A member of Igbo traditional council in Kano, Tobias Idika confirmed the explosion to Channels Television shortly after the blast.

According to Mr Idika “IED was kept inside the luxurious bus which was about to leave Kano to Lagos, people were frying like chicken here and you know there are over two hundred people in this bus when the two IEDs”

Another eyewitness told Channels Television that Dozens of people were injured but could not count the number of dead persons.

At the moment, no one can confirm the status of casualties in this attack as effort to contact the police or JTF was not successful as at the time of compiling this report, however residents say the area was combed by JTF.

                                                                           Culled from channelstv.com

French businessman offers to meet Boko Haram, Ansaru leaders

President Goodluck Jonathan calls them ghosts. But a French businessman and an Islamic activist is travelling down to Nigeria in April to meet leaders of the Islamic terror groups, the Boko Haram and Ansaru.

rachid-nekkaz_0
Rachid Nekazz
The man who has given himself the daring task is Rachid Nekazz, a flamboyant, handsome and a rich French businessman.

He plans to arrive Kano on 1 April, staying till 7 April before returning to France.

Nekazz puts his money where his mouth is; he is never scared to speak against the government or in favour of Muslims anywhere they are maltreated or subjected to ridicule.

He spends his personal money to travel from continent to continent advocating for Muslims’ religious and civil right.

The 41-year old is also popular for advocating women’s freedom to wear the nijab in Europe. He once pledged one million euros to pay fines of French Muslim women caught wearing the full veil.

Nekkaz believes that Boko Haram and Ansaru are organisations that advocate for the respect and dignity of African Muslims.
 He likened the actions of the sects to that of the controversial American organisation, Black Panthers, during the 1960’s and 70’s. “With respect to the dignity of the Muslim people of Africa and of Nigeria, the actions of the Boko Haram and Ansaru organisations have definitely resulted in numerous repercussions in the international press since 2009,” he said.

He added that like “The Black Panthers of America made many key strategic errors in their time. Those errors have tainted not only their image, but that of Islam in and outside the US for the last 30 years.”

Nekkaz is optimistic that his trip to Nigeria next month will help leaders of the sect avoid the errors made by the Black Panthers in the US. “By discussing and helping their mission and their strategic choices in a way that would accomplish their local mission, while improving the image of Islam across the world,” he explained.


He also hopes to address the French hostage situation while he is Nigeria. In 2009, Nekkaz travelled with Jean-Bruno Roumegoux China in hopes of preventing the execution of 12 young Uyghurs, a Muslim minority in China living mainly in the region Xinjuang, in western China.
 Nekkaz is the son of Algerian immigrants to France where he was born. He studied history of philosophy at the Sorbonne, France. He later made a fortune with an internet start-up but then diversified into real estate.

With real estate came politics and in 2007 he contested the French Presidential elections but failed to secure the 500 endorsements required. In the legislative elections of the same year, he founded his own party, standing in the 7th district of Seine-Saint-Denis and receiving only 156 votes, just over 0.5 per cent of the ballot. He unsuccessfully stood in 2008 for the municipal elections, promising €300 to every voter if elected.

He has had problems with the French government which includes two international tax audits and one week imprisonment for his political activism.

Egypt’s Cheikh Abou Ishaq, and Iran’s Ayatollah Safi are some of the world’s Muslim spiritual leaders that have celebrated Nekkaz for his actions and his advocacy for the rights of Muslim women in Europe.

In Nigeria he will meet with a different opposition. The Islamic sects are different from what Nekkaz has always fought for but it is not impossible that he could proffer some solution and reach an agreement with the sect leaders. A respite in the North will be a welcome idea.
 Nekkaz is the author of Millenarium, a book of interviews with the leaders of the G7 countries (Clinton, Chirac, Blair…). The book is focused on the future of World Ethics, Human Rights, and Peace.

Despite his advocacy for women wearing the niqab, he does not support men to force their wives to wear it and stay at home.
 “I’m in favour of a law to convict a husband who forces a woman to wear the niqab and who forces her to stay at home. But I’m also for a law that lets these women move freely in the streets, because freedom of movement, just like any freedom, is the most fundamental thing in a democracy. How can a woman truly integrate or find a job if her face is hidden?” he asked.

                                                                                      By DailyPost Staff

13 Mar 2013

10 things you need to know about the conclave

The cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church have gathered to elect a new pope. At some point, white smoke billowing from the Sistine Chapel will show that a decision has been made. But what goes on behind the closed doors before the smoke appears? Here are 10 lesser-known facts about the conclave.

1. It's a lock-in. Conclave comes from the Latin "cum-clave" meaning literally "with key" - the cardinal-electors will be locked in the Sistine Chapel each day until Benedict XVI's successor is chosen. The tradition dates back to 1268, when after nearly three years of deliberation the cardinals had still not agreed on a new pope, prompting the people of Rome to hurry things up by locking them up and cutting their rations. Duly elected, the new pope, Gregory X, ruled that in future cardinals should be sequestered from the start of the conclave.

2. Spying is tricky. During the conclave they are allowed no contact with the outside the world - no papers, no TV, no phones, no Twitter. And the world is allowed no contact with them. The threat of excommunication hangs over any cardinal who breaks the rules.

Cardinal on phone

Before the conclave starts, the Sistine Chapel is swept for recording equipment and hidden cameras. It is a myth that a fake floor is laid to cater for anti-bugging devices... Anti-bugging devices are used, and the floor is raised, but only to protect the marble mosaic floor.

3. Portable loos play an essential role. Until 2005, the cardinals endured Spartan conditions in makeshift "cells" close to the Sistine Chapel. They slept on hard beds and were issued with chamber pots. Pope John Paul II changed that with the construction of a five-storey 130-room guest house near St Peter's - Domus Sanctae Marthae (St Martha's House). But cardinals still have to rough it while voting. In an interview with the Catholic News Service last week, Antonio Paolucci, the director of the Vatican Museum said: "I believe they may be installing portable chemical toilets inside the chapel." Cardinals at mass

4. An "interregnum" is ending. The pontificate used to be known as a "reign" - hence the period between two popes being called an interregnum ("between reigns"). Many of the regal trappings of the papacy were set aside by Pope Paul VI, who began his pontificate in 1963 with a coronation, but never wore the beehive-shaped papal tiara again.

Pope Paul VI coronation in 1963
                  The last coronation, in 1963 - and the last outing of the crown

5. Counted votes are sewn up. The cardinals hold one vote on day one and then two each morning and afternoon until a candidate wins a two-thirds majority. Each writes his choice on a slip of paper, in disguised handwriting, and folds it in half. Cardinals then process to the altar one by one and place the ballots in an urn. The papers are mixed, counted, opened and scrutinised by three cardinals, the third of whom passes a needle and thread through the counted votes. At the end of each morning and afternoon session the papers are burned.

Black smoke billows from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, indicating that the cardinals gathered in the Conclave have not yet chosen a new pope, file pic from 19 April 20056. Chemicals colour the smoke. Those 115 ballot papers produce an unusual amount of smoke... which pours out of a chimney specially installed on the roof of the Sistine Chapel. A chemical is mixed with the paper to produce black smoke when voting is inconclusive, or white smoke when a pope has been elected. But even the white smoke looks dark against a bright sky, so to avoid any possible confusion, white smoke is accompanied by the pealing of bells. In 2005, though, the official responsible for authorising the bells was temporarily occupied with other duties, so there was a period of confusion while white smoke billowed out, and the bells of St Peter's remained silent.

7. Robes are prepared in S, M and L. The Pope has to look the part when he is presented to the faithful from a balcony overlooking St Peter's Square. So papal tailors Gammarelli prepare three sets of vestments - in small, medium and large sizes. These will include a white cassock, a white silk sash, a white zucchetto (skullcap), red leather shoes and a red velvet mozzetta or capelet with ermine trim - a style revived by Benedict XVI. The Pope dresses by himself, donning a gold-corded pectoral cross and a red embroidered stole. (Popes traditionally wore red, but in 1566 St Pius V, a Dominican, decided to continue wearing his white robes. Only the Pope's red mozzetta, capelet and shoes remain from the pre-1566 days.)

8. Huge bets are laid. Experts suggest more than £10m ($15m) will be wagered as people guess which cardinal will get the nod - making this the world's most bet-upon non-sporting event. It's not a new phenomenon. In 1503 betting on the pope was already referred to as "an old practice". Pope Gregory XIV was so cheesed off that in 1591 he threatened punters with excommunication, but the gambling continues unabated. Prominent Italian and Latin American names currently lead the field.

9. Just say yes. Technically, an elected Pope can refuse to take up the position, but it's not really done to turn down the Holy Spirit. That said, few relish the prospect of leading the world's largest Church, beset as it is at the moment with falling congregation numbers, sex abuse scandals and internal wrangling. So many new popes are overcome with emotion after their election that the first room they enter, to dress for the balcony scene, is commonly known as the Room of Tears.
10. There is no gender test. Chairs with a large hole cut in the seat are sometimes thought to have been used to check the sex of a new Pope. The story goes that the aim of the checks was to prevent a repeat of the scandal of "Pope Joan", a legendary female cardinal supposedly elected pope in the 14th Century. Most historians agree that the Joan story is nonsense. Examples of the chairs, the sedes stercoraria, are apparently held in museums, but their purpose is unclear. One unconfirmed theory is that they were used to check that the new pope had not been castrated.

                                                                                      by Michael Hirst

11 Mar 2013

Hepatitis B: Learn more and stay safe

Hepatitis B virus
Hepatitis B virus
Hepatitis B virus is more common than HIV and poses a greater risk to human health. HBV can be found in high concentrations in the blood and other body fluids.  The virus can live outside the body for up to 7 days.
People with HBV may have no symptoms at all.  But even though there are no symptoms, they are still able to spread the disease to others.
 
Key Facts 
 •Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic 
   disease.
 
•The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected   
    person.
 
•Two billion people worldwide have been infected with the virus and about 600 000 people die 
   every year due to the consequences of hepatitis B.
 •The hepatitis B virus is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV.
 •Hepatitis B is an important occupational hazard for health workers.
 •Hepatitis B is preventable with the currently available safe and effective vaccine.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It is a major global health problem and the most serious type of viral hepatitis. It can cause chronic liver disease and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
 
Worldwide, an estimated two billion people have been infected with the hepatitis B virus and more than 240 million have chronic (long-term) liver infections. About 600 000 people die every year due to the acute or chronic consequences of hepatitis B.
 
A vaccine against hepatitis B has been available since 1982. Hepatitis B vaccine is 95% effective in preventing infection and its chronic consequences, and is the first vaccine against a major human cancer.
 
Geographical distribution
 
Hepatitis B virus can cause an acute illness with symptoms that last several weeks, including yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. People can Hepatitis B is endemic in China and other parts of Asia. Most people in this region become infected with the hepatitis B virus during childhood and 8–10% of the adult population is chronically infected. Liver cancer caused by hepatitis B is among the first three causes of death from cancer in men, and a major cause of cancer in women in this region.
 
High rates of chronic infections are also found in the Amazon and the southern parts of eastern and central Europe. In the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, an estimated 2–5% of the general population is chronically infected. Less than 1% of the population in western Europe and North America is chronically infected.
 
Transmission
 
Hepatitis B virus is transmitted between people by direct blood-to-blood contact or semen and vaginal fluid of an infected person. Modes of transmission are the same as those for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but the hepatitis B virus is 50 to 100 times more infectious. Unlike HIV, the hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body for at least seven days. During this time, the virus can still cause infection if it enters the body of a person who is not protected by the vaccine.
 
In developing countries, common modes of transmission are:
 •perinatal (from mother to baby at birth)
 •early childhood infections (inapparent infection through close interpersonal contact with infected     
   household contacts)
 •unsafe injection practices
 •unsafe blood transfusions
 •unprotected sexual contact.
 
In many developed countries (e.g. those in western Europe and North America), patterns of transmission are different from those in developing countries. The majority of infections in developed countries are transmitted during young adulthood by sexual activity and injecting drug use. Hepatitis B is a major infectious occupational hazard of health workers.
 
The hepatitis B virus is not spread by contaminated food or water, and cannot be spread casually in the workplace.
 
The incubation period of the hepatitis B virus is 90 days on average, but can vary from 30 to 180 days. The virus may be detected 30 to 60 days after infection and persists for variable periods of time.
 
Example of a healthy liver vs. cirrhosisSymptoms
 
Most people do not experience any symptoms during the acute infection phase. However, some people have acute illness with symptoms that last several weeks, including yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
 
In some people, the hepatitis B virus can also cause a chronic liver infection that can later develop into cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer.
 
Who is at risk for chronic disease?
 
The likelihood that infection with the hepatitis B virus becomes chronic depends upon the age at which a person becomes infected. Young children who become infected with the hepatitis B virus are the most likely to develop chronic infections:
 •90% of infants infected during the first year of life develop chronic infections;
 •30–50% of children infected between one to four years of age develop chronic infections.
 
In adults:
 •25% of adults who become chronically infected during childhood die from hepatitis B-related liver cancer or cirrhosis;
 •90% of healthy adults who are infected with the hepatitis B virus will recover and be completely rid of the virus within six months.
 
Diagnosis
 
A number of blood tests are available to diagnose and monitor people with hepatitis B. They can be used to distinguish acute and chronic infections.
 
Laboratory diagnosis of hepatitis B infection centres on the detection of the hepatitis B surface antigen HBsAg. A positive test for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) indicates that the person has an active infection (either acute or chronic). WHO recommends that all blood donations are tested for this marker to avoid transmission to recipients.
 
Other commonly used tests include the following:
  •  testing for antibodies to the hepatitis B surface antigen – a positive test indicates that the person has  either recovered from an acute infection and cleared the virus, or has received a hepatitis B vaccine. The person is immune to future hepatitis B infection and is no longer contagious.
  •  testing for antibodies to the hepatitis B core antigen – a positive test indicates that the person has had a recent infection or an infection in the past. Combined with a positive test for the hepatitis B surface antigen, a positive test usually indicates a chronic infection.
 



Treatment


 
There is no specific treatment for acute hepatitis B. Care is aimed at maintaining comfort and adequate nutritional balance, including replacement of fluids that are lost from vomiting and diarrhoea.
 
Some people with chronic hepatitis B can be treated with drugs, including interferon and antiviral agents. Treatment can cost thousands of dollars per year and is not available to most people in developing countries.
 
Liver cancer is almost always fatal and often develops in people at an age when they are most productive and have family responsibilities. In developing countries, most people with liver cancer die within months of diagnosis. In high-income countries, surgery and chemotherapy can prolong life for up to a few years.
 
People with cirrhosis are sometimes given liver transplants, with varying success.
 
Prevention
 
The hepatitis B vaccine is the mainstay of hepatitis B prevention. WHO recommends that all infants receive the hepatitis B vaccine.
 
The vaccine can be given as either three or four separate doses, as part of existing routine immunization schedules. In areas where mother-to-infant spread of the hepatitis B virus is common, the first dose of vaccine should be given as soon as possible after birth (i.e. within 24 hours).
 
The complete vaccine series induces protective antibody levels in more than 95% of infants, children and young adults. Protection lasts at least 20 years and is possibly lifelong.
 
All children and adolescents younger than 18 years old and not previously vaccinated should receive the vaccine. People in high risk groups should also be vaccinated, including:
 •people with high-risk sexual behaviour
 •partners and household contacts of infected people
 •injecting drug users
 •people who frequently require blood or blood products
 •recipients of solid organ transplantation
 •people at occupational risk of hepatitis B virus infection, including health-care workers
 •travellers to countries with high rates of hepatitis B.
 
The vaccine has an outstanding record of safety and effectiveness. Since 1982, over one billion doses of hepatitis B vaccine have been used worldwide. In many countries, where 8–15% of children used to become chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus, vaccination has reduced the rate of chronic infection to less than 1% among immunized children.                 
 
                                                                                         Source: WHO
 

4 Mar 2013

Abou Zeid’s Body Yet To Be Found In Mali By French Forces

 
The head of France’s joint chiefs of staff, Edouard Guillaud has described news of Al Qaeda’s senior field commander in the Sahara, Abdelhamid Abou Zeid’s death as ‘probable.’

Guillaud’s remarks are the first indication from the French government that Abou Zeid died in fighting in the rugged north of Mali.

Asked on Europe 1 radio whether he had been killed, Guillaud said: “It is probable, but only probable. We don’t have any certainty for the moment, (but) it would be good news.”

Guillaud said that Abou Zeid’s death could not be confirmed because his body had not been recovered.

Chad’s army, which is fighting alongside French forces in northern Mali, said last week that it killed Abou Zeid and another al Qaeda commander in the area, Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

Guillaud said he was “extremely cautious” about reports of Belmokhtar’s death, noting that some militant websites had said the al Qaeda commander behind January’s mass hostage-taking in Algeria was still alive.

Abou Zeid is regarded as one of AQIM’s most ruthless operators, responsible for the kidnapping of more than 20 Western hostages since 2008. He is believed to have killed British hostage Edwin Dyer in 2009 and 78-year-old Frenchman Michel Germaneau in 2010.

While his killing would deal a serious blow to al Qaeda’s leadership in the region, it also raises questions about the fate of seven French hostages thought to be held in northern Mali.

After a seven-week-old campaign, French, Chadian and Malian troops have pushed Qaeda-linked fighters, who had threatened to take over Mali, back to their mountain and desert hideouts.

Guillaud said French forces had found some 50 supply caches and around 10 workshops for making bombs that could be used well outside of the immediate region.

“On the ground we are finding literally an industrialization of terrorism,” he said.

HIV baby 'cured' by early drug treatment: Full story

Aids Vaccine Research Continues In Brooklyn Lab

A baby girl in the US born with HIV appears to have been cured after very early treatment with standard drug therapy, doctors say.

The Mississippi child is now two-and-a-half years old and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection.

More testing needs to be done to see if the treatment - given within hours of birth - would work for others.

If the girl stays healthy, it would be the world's second reported 'cure'.
Dr Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, presented the findings at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta.

The baby was born in a rural hospital where the mother had only just tested positive for HIV infection.

Because the mother had not been given any prenatal HIV treatment, doctors knew the baby was at high risk of being infected.

Researchers said the baby was then transferred to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Once there, paediatric HIV specialist Dr Hannah Gay put the infant on a cocktail of three standard HIV-fighting drugs at just 30 hours old, even before laboratory tests came back confirming the infection.

"I just felt like this baby was at higher-than-normal risk and deserved our best shot," Dr Gay said.
The treatment was continued for 18 months, at which point the child disappeared from the medical system. Five months later the mother and child turned up again but had stopped the treatment in this interim.

The doctors carried out tests to see if the virus had returned and were astonished to find that it had not.

Dr Rowena Johnston, of the Foundation for Aids Research, said it appeared that the early intervention that started immediately after birth worked.
"I actually do believe this is very exciting. This certainly is the first documented case that we can truly believe from all the testing that has been done."
Many doctors in six different laboratories all applied different, very sophisticated tests trying to find HIV in this infant and no body was able to find any.
A spokeswoman for the HIV/Aids charity the Terrence Higgins Trust said: "This is interesting, but the patient will need careful ongoing follow-up for us to understand the long-term implications for her and any potential for other babies born with HIV."

US Researchers said they believe early intervention -- in this case within 30 hours of birth -- with three anti-viral drugs was key to the outcome.
A "functional cure" is when the presence of the virus is so small, life-long treatment is not necessary and standard clinical tests cannot detect the virus in the blood.
The finding was announced at the 2013 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta.

The results of the findings could possibly lead to a cure for children infected with HIV.
"We didn't have the opportunity to treat the mom during the pregnancy as we would like to be able do to prevent transmission to the baby.We are hoping that future studies will show that very early institution of effective therapy will result in this same outcome consistently." said Dr Hannah Gay.
"This is a proof of concept that HIV can be potentially curable in infants," she said.
In 2007, Timothy Ray Brown became the first person in the world believed to have recovered from HIV.
His infection was eradicated through an elaborate treatment for leukaemia that involved the destruction of his immune system and a stem cell transplant from a donor with a rare genetic mutation that resists HIV infection.

In contrast, the case of the Mississippi baby involved a cocktail of widely available drugs already used to treat HIV infection in infants.
It suggests the treatment wiped out HIV before it could form hideouts in the body.
These so-called reservoirs of dormant cells usually rapidly re-infect anyone who stops medication, said Dr Persaud.
Dr Katherine Luzuriaga, an immunologist at the University of Massachusetts who worked closely with Gay, called the developments fascinating, including the fact that the toddler was found to have no virus in her blood even after her mother stopped giving her treatment for eight to 10 months.

"We really can quite confidently conclude at this point that the child does very much appear to be cured"
Dr Rowena Johnston
Foundation for Aids Research

2 Mar 2013

Dutch court jails Rwandan woman for incitement to genocide

A Dutch court sentenced a Rwandan-born woman to six years and eight months in jail on Friday for inciting genocide two decades ago.


Judges said 66-year-old Yvonne Besabya, now a Dutch citizen, had stoked hatred against her ethnic Tutsi neighbors before Rwanda’s 1994 genocide in which 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

The conviction, which was secured under universal jurisdiction – the principle that countries have the right to try the most heinous crimes wherever they were committed – was the first for genocide in a Dutch court since World War Two.

District court judges said Besabya, the wealthy Hutu wife of a Rwandan lawmaker, had used her influence to incite her Hutu neighbors to violence against Tutsis.

“In the years leading up to the genocide, Hutus were systematically incited to violence against Tutsis,” Presiding Judge Rene Elkerbout said, reading the verdict.

“The accused embraced and propagated this extreme racist ideology and used her influence to contribute to an atmosphere of violence,” he said. “(She) repeatedly committed the crime of publicly calling for …genocide.”

The court acquitted Besabya of all other charges, including perpetrating genocide, murder and war crimes.

The Rwandan genocide has increasingly become the focus of court cases in Europe, despite the existence of a dedicated U.N. tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania that has tried those suspected of masterminding the killings.

Judges said Besabya, who fled Rwanda in 1994, arriving in the Netherlands four years later, had led crowds of supporters in song outside her house in an upmarket district of the Rwandan capital Kigali.

“They sang: ‘Tubatsembesembe’, meaning ‘We will kill them all,’” the ruling said. “Her Tutsi neighbors spent several years in deathly fear as a result.”

Sitting in the public gallery, her daughter shouted to her to be strong as a stooped Besabya was escorted from the room.

Describing the verdict as a “disappointment,” Besabya’s lawyer, Victor Koppe, said he would advise his client to appeal.

Koppe had argued that Besabya had been set up and that supposed victims fabricated testimony – a claim judges rejected.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has convicted dozens of suspects, including former senior cabinet ministers, military commanders, journalists and businessmen.

In December, Augustin Ngirabatware, the former Rwandan minister of planning, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in the genocide.

But this has not stopped European prosecutors from taking on cases against suspects now living on their soil. In November, Swedish prosecutors charged an ethnic Hutu, who is now a Swedish citizen, with taking part in the genocide.

Dutch court jails Rwandan woman for incitement to genocide

A Dutch court sentenced a Rwandan-born woman to six years and eight months in jail on Friday for inciting genocide two decades ago.


Judges said 66-year-old Yvonne Besabya, now a Dutch citizen, had stoked hatred against her ethnic Tutsi neighbors before Rwanda’s 1994 genocide in which 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

The conviction, which was secured under universal jurisdiction – the principle that countries have the right to try the most heinous crimes wherever they were committed – was the first for genocide in a Dutch court since World War Two.

District court judges said Besabya, the wealthy Hutu wife of a Rwandan lawmaker, had used her influence to incite her Hutu neighbors to violence against Tutsis.

“In the years leading up to the genocide, Hutus were systematically incited to violence against Tutsis,” Presiding Judge Rene Elkerbout said, reading the verdict.

“The accused embraced and propagated this extreme racist ideology and used her influence to contribute to an atmosphere of violence,” he said. “(She) repeatedly committed the crime of publicly calling for …genocide.”

The court acquitted Besabya of all other charges, including perpetrating genocide, murder and war crimes.

The Rwandan genocide has increasingly become the focus of court cases in Europe, despite the existence of a dedicated U.N. tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania that has tried those suspected of masterminding the killings.

Judges said Besabya, who fled Rwanda in 1994, arriving in the Netherlands four years later, had led crowds of supporters in song outside her house in an upmarket district of the Rwandan capital Kigali.

“They sang: ‘Tubatsembesembe’, meaning ‘We will kill them all,’” the ruling said. “Her Tutsi neighbors spent several years in deathly fear as a result.”

Sitting in the public gallery, her daughter shouted to her to be strong as a stooped Besabya was escorted from the room.

Describing the verdict as a “disappointment,” Besabya’s lawyer, Victor Koppe, said he would advise his client to appeal.

Koppe had argued that Besabya had been set up and that supposed victims fabricated testimony – a claim judges rejected.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has convicted dozens of suspects, including former senior cabinet ministers, military commanders, journalists and businessmen.

In December, Augustin Ngirabatware, the former Rwandan minister of planning, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in the genocide.

But this has not stopped European prosecutors from taking on cases against suspects now living on their soil. In November, Swedish prosecutors charged an ethnic Hutu, who is now a Swedish citizen, with taking part in the genocide.

1 Mar 2013

NCC Fines MTN, Etisalat, Airtel And Globacom


The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has fined four GSM operators a total of N22million for contravening the ban on promotions and lotteries on their respective networks .

The affected operators are; MTN Nigeria, Etisalat Nigeria, Airtel and Globacom.

The director of legal and regulatory services, NCC, Ms. Josephine Amuwa who announced this, said MTN Nigeria is to pay N10 million, Etisalat N6 million, while Airtel and Globacom are to pay N4 million and N2 million respectively.

According to her, all operators have seven days to pay their respective sanction amounts from the date of receipt of the sanction notice , and are liable to payment of the sum of N1 million for any day that the contravention persists.

The commission had in a letter dated November 8 2012, directed all the GSM operators to discontinue all promotions and lotteries running on their networks with immediate effect.

Al Qaeda Commander Abou Zeid Killed In Mali

French forces have killed Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, one of the most feared commanders of al Qaeda’s north Africa wing, during an operation against Islamist fighters in mountainous northern Mali, Algeria’s Ennahar television said on Thursday.


Abou Zeid was among 40 militants killed three days ago in the foothills of the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains near the Algerian border, said Ennahar, which is well connected with Algeria’s security services.

French and Chadian troops have been hunting fighters there after a lightning campaign to dislodge them from northern Mali.

A spokesman for France’s Elysee presidential palace declined to comment. Algeria’s government, Malian and Chadian officials could not confirm Abou Zeid’s killing.

A U.S. official said the reports that Abou Zeid had been killed appeared to be credible and that Washington would view his death as a serious blow to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

A French army official, who would not comment on Abou Zeid, confirmed that about 40 Islamists had been killed in heavy fighting over the last week in the mountainous Tigargara region.

The official said 1,200 French troops, 800 Chadian soldiers and some elements of the Malian army were still in combat to the south of Tessalit in the Adrar mountain range.

Ten logistics sites and an explosives factory had been destroyed in the operation as well as 16 vehicles, she said.

France launched the assault on January 11 to retake Mali’s vast desert north from AQIM and other Islamist rebels after a plea from Mali’s government to halt the militants’ drive southward.

The intervention swiftly dislodged rebels from northern Mali’s main towns and drove them back into the surrounding desert and mountains, particularly the Adrar des Ifoghas.

Abou Zeid, regarded as one of AQIM’s most ruthless operators, is an Algerian former smuggler turned jihadist who is believed to be behind the kidnapping of more than 20 Westerners in the lawless Sahara over the last five years, earning AQIM tens of millions of dollars in ransom payments.

He is believed to have executed British national Edwin Dyer in 2009 and 78-year-old Frenchman, Michel Germaneau, in 2010.


FLED TIMBUKTU WITH HOSTAGES

Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, in an account of his kidnapping by another Islamist cell in the Sahara, recounted how Abou Zeid refused to give medication to two hostages suffering from dysentery, one of whom had been stung by a scorpion.

After a loose alliance of Islamist groups seized northern Mali from April last year, Abou Zeid took control of the ancient desert trading town of Timbuktu, employing a violently extreme form of sharia, including amputations and the destruction of ancient Sufi shrines.

Timbuktu elders who dealt directly with him during the Islamist occupation described a short man with a grey beard and a quiet, severe manner who was never seen without an AK-47 rifle.

Locals said that when he fled Timbuktu, before the town fell to the French-led military advance, he took several blindfolded Western hostages in his convoy.

Born in 1965 in the Debdab region of Algeria’s Illizi province, close to the Libyan border, Abou Zeid joined the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) during the 1990s civil war, which later transformed itself into AQIM.

Abou Zeid is regarded by some as one of AQIM’s radicals, unwilling to negotiate or make concessions, compared with the more diplomatic approach of his fellow Saharan commander Belmokhtar, the mastermind of the mass hostage taking at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria last month.

Fowler, the Canadian diplomat who encountered them both while held hostage, told Reuters last month that Abou Zeid in person was more genial than the austere, “all-business” Belmokhtar.

The two very different men are reported to have a strong rivalry within AQIM, which some analysts have suggested was behind Belmokhtar’s decision to found his own brigade last year.

Aluu Killing: Court Frees 7 Suspects

Seven out of the 18 persons arrested for the killing of the four University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) students in Omuokiri–Aluu community were on Thursday discharged by a Chief Magistrate court following the advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

The Magistrate, Emmanuel Woke discharged the seven after he read the advice dated 25th January 2013 before the court.

He said that the seven persons were arrested and charged to court based on suspicion.

The advice also indicted one Hassan Welewa and 10 others for negligence in preventing the killings and active participation in the murder of Ugonna Obuzor, Toku Lloyd, Chiadika Biringa, and Tekenah Elkanah.

13 persons including the 59-year-old traditional ruler of Aluu, Alhaji Hassan Welewa, were in October 2012 arraigned before the Port Harcourt Magistrate Court, over their alleged role in the killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.