Iran says UN agency sending spies, not inspectors

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Read Time:4 Minute, 32 Second

 TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s intelligence chief accused the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency of sending spies in the guise of inspectors to gather information about Iran’s nuclear activities, state TV reported Saturday. The claim was another sign that Iran has hardened its stance since the assassination a week ago of a prominent nuclear scientist and the wounding of another.

Iran is to hold talks beginning Monday in Geneva with world powers trying to persuade it to curtail key elements of its nuclear work. Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said inspectors sent by the International Atomic Energy Agency had engaged in espionage and the Vienna-based agency must take responsibility for their actions. He did not elaborate or identify the inspectors Iran was accusing. Iran has increasingly alleged in recent months that the agency’s inspectors have leaked information to U.S. officials and other allies. In June, Iran banned two U.N. nuclear inspectors from entering the country, claiming they had leaked “false” information about the country’s disputed nuclear program. “Among the individuals the IAEA sends as so-called inspectors, there are spies from foreign intelligence services. The IAEA must be held responsible for this,” state TV quoted Moslehi as saying.

In Vienna, IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said the agency had no comment on the spying allegations. The tough line by Tehran also appeared to spill over in the upcoming talks with the five permanent U.N. Security Council members — the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China — plus Germany. Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, called the slaying of the nuclear scientist a “disgrace” for the Security Council, claiming the attacks were linked to efforts to “implement” international sanctions. He did not elaborate. Iran also has claimed the attacks were part of a Western covert campaign to sabotage its nuclear program. Standing before a photo of the slain nuclear scientist, Majid Shahriari, Jalili also predicted there will be no progress in Geneva until Iran’s “rights” are respected — an apparent reference to its program to enrich uranium. Talks between Iran and the world powers broke down last year when Iran rebuffed a U.N.-drafted plan to ship abroad its stockpile of low-enriched uranium in exchange for reactor-ready fuel. Low-enriched uranium can be used in reactors, but also for warheads if brought to much higher enrichment levels. The U.S. and its allies suspect Iran’s nuclear work is aimed at producing weapons.

Iran says it only wants to enrich uranium to make fuel for power plants and not process it to the higher levels needed to make weapons. The twin bombings last Monday in Tehran that killed Shahriari have threatened to complicate international efforts to open dialogue with Iran’s leaders over their nuclear ambitions. According to Iran, the allaged campaign has included the abduction of Iranian scientists, the sale of faulty equipment and the planting of a destructive computer worm known as Stuxnet, which briefly brought Iran’s uranium enrichment activity to a halt last month. Iran’s chief suspect is archenemy Israel, whose Mossad spy agency has a long history of assassinating foes far beyond the country’s borders. The intelligence chief Moslehi again accused Israel’s Mossad, Britain’s MI6 and the CIA of being behind the daring attacks. Iran has also expressed its displeasure with IAEA chief Yukiya Amano’s report, issued this week, on its nuclear program. The report said Iran had fewer centrifuges functioning than previously believed, suggesting its uranium enrichment program was not progressing as fast as Iran hoped. Iran says the IAEA should just inspect the nuclear facilities and not release details like how much uranium or how many centrifuges it has. Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, meanwhile, repeated Iran’s position that it will seek to broaden the Geneva talks to include Tehran’s views on world affairs. He gave no specifics on the “Iranian agenda,” but among Iran’s key efforts is to open an international debate over Israel’s undeclared but widely suspected nuclear arsenal. “We will focus on dialogue.

Our agenda will be presented at the meeting,” he said Saturday at a security conference in Bahrain, a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the same gathering. Clinton noted Iran’s right to pursue a peaceful nuclear program, but challenged the Islamic Republic to prove to the world that it does not seek atomic weapons. Mottaki also reached out to Arab neighbors, whose leaders were cited in U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks expressing fears about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and urging U.S.-led military action. Mottaki urged the region to avoid “pressure by outsiders to divide us and create instability.” He also denounced the presence of “foreign powers” in the Gulf, which include the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain. Iran’s state-run Press TV also quoted Mottaki as supporting the idea of a global nuclear fuel bank, but only if a branch is set up in Iran. The IAEA seeks to create a clearing house for nuclear reactor fuel to ensure a stable supply and reduce the need for countries to start their own uranium enrichment. Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Mottaki as saying he exchanged pleasantries with Clinton in Bahrain. But aboard her plane, Clinton said that Mottaki did not respond to her greeting in a hotel ballroom. “He saw me and he stopped and began to turn away and I said, ‘Hello, minister.’ He just turned away,” she said.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Uk: Could WikiLeaks survive without Julian Assange?

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Read Time:6 Minute, 4 Second

But although the future is uncertain for WikiLeaks, the website dedicated to releasing classified information has opened a Pandora’s Box of secret-spilling that will be difficult to reverse.

WikiLeaks, which has triggered global governmental alarm by releasing reams of classified U.S. diplomatic cables, is facing attacks in cyberspace and in the legal sphere. The site is assailed by hackers and has been booted from its U.S. server. Frontman Julian Assange is in hiding and faces allegations of sexual misconduct.

“Whatever happens to the domain name and the actual organization, the idea unleashed by WikLeaks is going to continue,” said Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab.

Ben Laurie, a data security expert who advised WikiLeaks before it launched in 2006, agreed.

“The concept is not going to die. It’s really hard to keep things shut down if they want to stay up,” he said. “Look at everything else people would like not to happen online — phishing, spam, porn. It’s all still there.”

Little is known about the day-to-day functioning of WikiLeaks. It has no headquarters, few if any paid staff — but a famous public face in Assange, a wiry 39-year-old Australian computer hacker with no permanent address.

He’s on the cover of newspapers and magazines around the world, but he has not appeared in public for a month.

Assange, who is somewhere in Britain, is the subject of a European arrest warrant issued by authorities in Sweden, where he is accused of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.

If British police arrest him, he will likely be caught up in a lengthy legal fight against extradition and could be jailed, his ability to operate as the face of WikiLeaks curtailed even further.

Assange denies the Swedish charges, which his British lawyer, Mark Stephens, has said stem from a “dispute over consensual but unprotected sex.” He said Assange was happy to speak to Swedish prosecutors and had provided his contact details to authorities there and in Britain.

Assange also has made powerful enemies in the United States, especially since WikiLeaks released thousands of secret logs from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan earlier this year. With the latest leaks, U.S. politicians have called for him to be prosecuted for espionage — or worse. Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin asked on Facebook: “Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaida and Taliban leaders?”

Assange acknowledged Friday that “I have become the lightning rod.”

“In the end, someone must be responsible to the public and only a leadership that is willing to be publicly courageous can genuinely suggest that sources take risks for the greater good,” he said during a question-and-answer session on The Guardian newspaper’s website.

“I get undue attacks on every aspect of my life, but then I also get undue credit as some kind of balancing force.”

It’s not just governments and the law with whom Assange conflicts. He is a divisive figure who has been accused of overshadowing WikiLeaks’ work and appears to have fallen out with several former colleagues.

They include WikiLeaks’ former German spokesman Daniel Schmitt, who has written a soon-to-be-published book about his time at the website.

In September, German magazine Der Spiegel quoted Schmitt as saying that Assange “reacted to any criticism with the allegation that I was disobedient to him and disloyal to the project.”

Yet those who have worked with Assange say his charisma and passion are evident.

“You kind of get the feeling that you are talking to a persona from the ‘Matrix’ movies,” said Icelandic legislator Robert Marshall, who met Assange while preparing legislation that aims to turn the island nation into a haven of media freedom. “But his enthusiasm toward freedom of expression and the rights of journalists was very real to me.”

Laurie recalled Assange as “fairly geeky, very smart, extremely interesting to talk to.”

“I know a lot of geeks and I certainly know weirder people than him,” Laurie said.

As WikiLeaks released the first few hundred of what it says are a quarter of a million secret diplomatic cables this week, pressure on the site grew.

Amazon.com Inc., which had provided WikiLeaks with use of its servers, evicted it on Wednesday saying the website had violated its terms of service. The site remains on the servers of its Swedish provider, Bahnhof AB.

The next day, WikiLeaks’ American domain name system provider withdrew service to the wikileaks.org name after it came under concerted cyber-attack. Service provider everyDNS said the attacks threatened the rest of its network. WikiLeaks responded by moving to a Swiss domain name, wikileaks.ch. On Friday, the French government moved to ban WikiLeaks from servers in that country.

Chased from one country to the next, WikiLeaks also appears perennially cash-strapped, appealing on its website and Twitter for donations to “keep us strong.”

Recently it seems to have taken steps to put itself on a firmer footing. Last month it set up a private limited company in Iceland as part of a move to restructure its global operations. The organization is also establishing legal entities in Sweden and France, spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said, as bases from which to carry out tasks such as opening bank accounts.

The Icelandic government recently passed a resolution in favor of a bill that aims to turn the tiny nation into a journalistic haven by granting high-level protection to investigative journalists and their sources. Backers hope the initiative, partly driven by Assange, will become law next year. Such a law could provide protection to a site like WikiLeaks.

Assange said in Friday’s online chat that WikiLeaks had taken steps to make sure it was not silenced, sending the “Cablegate” material and other secret documents in encrypted form “to over 100,000 people.”

“If something happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically,” he said. “History will win.”

Whatever happens to Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy cat may be out of the bag. Schmitt, the former WikiLeaks spokesman, has said he wants to set up a rival secret-spilling site, and others may follow.

“I think the basic concept has a future,” said Steven Aftergood, who works on government secrecy policy for the Federation of American Scientists. “Anonymous disclosure of restricted records is easier than it has ever been. The virtues of transparency and government accountability are more widely recognized than they have ever been. Those two factors together provide a foundation for this kind of activity.

“Whether it will be Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks or the new German spinoff or another initiative remains to be seen,” he said.

Benton, director of the Nieman Lab, said that means governments will have to develop a response beyond condemnation and legal threats. He compared it to music file-sharing, which was greeted with hostility by a music industry that soon realized it had to develop ways to make money from downloads.

“They can’t think, ‘This is an opponent we need to defeat,'” he said. “They have to think about how they are going to deal with it.”

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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How Alzheimer’s disease impact the family

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Read Time:6 Minute, 52 Second

Imagine your grand-father wandering off from the house at 6pm on a Sunday evening after a super bowl match. Imagine you and your family searching frantically for him in the house of Uncles, Nephews and friends for days and weeks without finding him. Imagine he was found walking along streets laughing and clapping his hands! Imagine your grand-mom getting lost after a shopping spree from Wall mart super stores. Imagine that her body was later found in a ditch along the subway. After the darkness has dropped and you brought her back to the house, imagine that you found her sprawled asleep, suspecting nothing and her dreams very much disturbed. Couple hours again, you found her in an unpleasant spot in the house where the wind and echo stirs, and storms splash towards the doorway! This happens to lots of men and women, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, employed or unemployed who have Alzheimer’s disease. A man can go for a walk and would not return home again. A woman can go for shopping and would not return back to family again. Some Alzheimer’s have lost their way among the tangled mazes of the street or swamp and sink into some pit or slough; others decoyed into dismal quagmire where they are found lying conformably or uncomfortably. Even the fiercest tempered, loud of tongue, the genius of ideas, the rocket of science and strong of arms lose their memory to Alzheimer’s disease. One of the leading causes of death in old people in American society today is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s could also be one of the leading causes of death among the elderly in Africa and the Caribbean. The price of this disease hurts members of the family and the cost of controlling it is very worrisome and disappointing. People who live with Alzheimer’s disease may be more likely to feel a sense of dissatisfaction and frustration. Anyone but Alzheimer’s patients would have felt unwilling to linger with this sickness for a long time. What is it that gives Alzheimer’s patients and families value and meaning in life? Is it self-expression or dependence on family for help at all times? Is it lack of organization and the inability to know where one is at any moment in time? But who is there whose story of memory loses is more pathetic or terrible to hear? Who is there whose family has been so changed by this late-life illness leaving them with nothing but ferocious agonies and sorrows? How there have family members tolerated such illness in such a silence for a very long time? The tragic experiences we know about this illness are hard enough for families to bear! And there is nothing we can say to make it worse!

According to Alzheimer’s association, an estimated 5.3 million Americans suffer from this disease and it is the seventh leading cause of death. Studies by some mental health literatures reveal that, Alzheimer is generally called a disease of the human brain. Unlike Dementia, Alzheimer’s causes brain cell to die permanently. Once the brain cells dies, the memory of the victim will lose natural control and as this condition progress and spreads, it affects a growing number of intellectual, emotional and behavioral abilities. While dementia causes intellectual decline and poor judgment, Alzheimer’s gradually affects every aspect of the human body. In advanced societies, Alzheimer’s disease comes in a form of depression while in developing countries like Africa and the Caribbean; it comes in a form of stroke, brain infection and hypertension. Symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s include but not limited to: loss of short-term memory and mild-personality changes, such as social withdrawal and mild apathy. Adults (men or women) with Alzheimer’s have trouble with abstract thinking, handling money or other personal affairs. They have trouble knowing where they are at any given time. They have problem understanding what they are reading and they lack the ability to organize activities for the day. Different from Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) patients, Alzheimer’s always feel troubled and irritable when dealing with family members. This is a peculiar experience patients witness at the onset of this illness. But in later stages in the illness, patients become seriously confused and disoriented, showing significant personality and emotional changes, develop incontinence and ultimately become unable to care for themselves (UTHCPC pamphlet, 2009).

These symptoms are common to elderly in both cultures. The inability to remember makes it difficult for most elderly individuals in both cultures to keep a definite account of the past, present and the future. Patients with Alzheimer’s occasionally becomes irritable, troubled with themselves and others. These patients appear to be very poor in their overall physical appearances. They are often confused and seriously disorientated showing significant personality and emotional changes. While this is the case, majority of them often develop incontinence and are unable to care for themselves when left alone. At the moment, scientific research and medical studies have not been able to identify the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Despite scientific silence and weakness on this subject, protein miss-folding and aggression have been linked to brain damage experienced by Alzheimer’s patients, said Claudio Soto, PhD Director of the George P. and Cynthia W. Mitchell center for Alzheimer’s disease and related Brain disorders at UTHealth. For a very long time now, scientists have demonstrated more zeal to find solution to this problem yet they have been unable to cure this late-life mental illness. The reason is because there is no break through yet. Because there is no cure at the moment, medication appears to be the only therapeutic outlet that controls symptoms.

Treatment and How Family Could Assist Patients

Studies have identified different ways families can assist patients of Alzheimer’s disease. One of the ways family can help is constant monitoring and assisting them to take their medication on a daily basis. Families must keep them on a constant watch and observation to avoid them from wandering away like the shopping grandmamma. We are aware that medication is not good for old people because it compounds their condition as old patients. Patients who believe strongly in the efficacy of alternative therapy (Africans and Caribbean’s) always hold this as an excuse to avoid taking prescribed medications. Families therefore, should help old patients to be aware of their medications and the overall physical health status. They should work closely with therapists, physicians to find regimens that are safe and effective (UTHCPC Pamphlet, 2009). Families and friends can as well help by offering emotional support in a form of understanding, patience, affection, empowerment, guidance and encouragement. Any form of encouragement from friends and family members can transform into positive changes and attitude. Positive change torches the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of human lives. It is altogether important that family encourage patients seeking further treatment if current treatment is not working for them. Since caring for the elderly is financially demanding, families and friends are to continue in this generous work of charity. In your distress, it is not astonishing that you will bear a double load of suffering, a double load of pain. A man completely lost who do not know that he is lost should not be despised by family members. Ignorance of the fact that they are lost lessens the voltage of agony they brought to family members, friends and themselves. The kindest thing would be for family members to be there to see and to bear with them. Family members should take them to psychiatric centers that deliver comprehensive psychiatric programs and clinical social services. Good psychiatric facilities are composed of psychiatric physicians, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, dieticians, certified Nursing Assistants etc. These professionals can provide Alzheimer patients with individualized care or outpatient partial hospitalization program and intensive outpatient assistance, providing continuity of care recently released from the psychiatric outpatient clinics or hospital or requiring a regular structured program. When these professionals and family members engage in assisting patients with Alzheimer’s with their conditions, they are not simply empowering them but inspiring them as well. Gerald Ogbuja

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Big Trouble for Nigerians in China

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Read Time:7 Minute, 34 Second

I hope this gets to be published because I believe it’s the only way to warn my fellow Nigerians of what awaits them in China. Many of us are stranded in china because of misinformation, our desire to get rich quick, the belief that we can’t make in Nigeria and lies woven by dubious travel agents whose sole aim is to fill their pockets and shove off our youths to any location outside Africa.

China is a big, beautiful country and the most populous in the world, a good place for importers from all over the world to get what they want. Unfortunately, few of them speak English and that is the first hurdle a visitor must jump to get what he wants in a nation of over a million factories and big markets which will make the biggest market in Nigeria to look like a shopping mall.

The most important fact which we all fail to realize before running from Nigeria is that there are no job opportunities in china. None what so ever, don’t let anyone tell you different.

Any Nigerian who wants to reside in china should please get his residence from the Chinese embassy in Lagos or Abuja, because you’ll never get it here in china, no matter what your agent tells you.

I’ve come across fellow Nigerians who were lied to that they’ll get to Japan, Australia, New Zealand etc from china, that china is just a transit point in their search for greener pastures. The unsuspecting sojourner quickly learns on arrival that the pasture is not green, and he begins to lament and regret leaving Nigeria in the first place.

The Chinese prison is filled with Nigerians with immigration problems and most of them have spent minimum of six months in detention. The only way a Nigerian gets to be deported from china is when he pays $2,000 (Two thousand dollars) for his fine and air ticket.  Unfortunately, very few can afford that and the prisons are filled up, especially in Guangzhou city where over 10,000 Nigerians live. I know of a young man who has been in detention now for eight months and his family can’t do anything about it because they sold all they had and even borrowed to send him abroad. He had barely been in china for three months when he was chased down and arrested by the police.

The Chinese police, especially those in Guangzhou city have become so notorious and over zealous in discharging their duties that they sometimes beat up anyone who tries to outrun them. They locate, and break down the doors to apartments where any black man lives in the middle of the night to make sure the occupants are at home. There have been many cases where the occupants have had to jump from balconies of high buildings, breaking legs and bones in the misadventure.  If the occupant(s) of the apartment has his papers, the police just apologize and leave.

Just recently, on 27th September, Mr. Kenneth a well known Nigerian businessman who owns a shop in Tangqi plaza, Guang yuan west road in Guangzhou city was clubbed by local security men who have also assumed the role of immigration police. The unfortunate incident happened in front of Dragon hotel, where Mr. Kenneth had gone to see a visiting Nigerian customer. The security men had apparently thought he didn’t own a valid passport and queried him about it. Witnesses said he explained to them that only the police had the right to ask him for it and tried to walk past and one of them hit him behind the head with an iron club the security are normally armed it, the others joined in. Mr. Kenneth’s business associate and other visiting African business men quickly intervened and the police were called in. they asked for Mr. Kenneth’s passport which was produced and an ambulance was called to rush him to the nearest hospital. He sustained severe head injuries and never got up from his bed. He died on the morning of 8th October. On the evening of the same day, James another Nigerian was also clubbed by a shop owner who owed the Nigerian some money. The shop owner knew that James didn’t have a valid passport and had refused to deliver the goods James had paid for. He opted to scare James away, but James stood his ground and got hit with an iron rod on the waist by the female shop owner, her Chinese servants joined in the attack, though unarmed, Nigerians and other Africans who were nearby quickly rushed in and averted a near tragedy. When the Chinese lady saw that Africans were all over the place and were seriously angry, she quickly called to police who landed in a split second. She told them that she was attacked by James and she defended herself, some Nigerians who were there and could speak mandarin (local Chinese language) told the police that the lady was lying. All these while, the police had ignored James who lay on the ground writhing in pains, then the police did the most bizarre thing, they demanded to see James’ passport and that of the African bystanders who stood there in solidarity. A bystander who identified himself to the police as Mr. Chima Odor, a welfare officer with the Nigerian community in South Korea requested that James be rushed to the hospital first, and that his passport will be provided later. He showed the police his documents and identification; they quickly called in an ambulance and James was rushed to a hospital for treatment. The hospital turned out to be the same one where Mr. Kenneth had died in a few hours earlier. The police asked to shop owner to accompany them to the station. This was all happening around 9pm china time. James received treatment and was then taken back to the police station a few minutes before midnight where he was asked repeatedly to provide his passport before they begin their investigations into the incident. This time, James was alone with an aching back and a handful of pain killers, no Nigerian or African brother to stand behind him. Luckily for him they gave him an option, which was to drop the issue and apologize to the shop owner. If he didn’t, he knew too well where he would end up and no one even knew he had left the hospital. James accepted the “offer” and was allowed out of the police station at about 1am and he quickly took a taxi home before they changed their mind.

This is just one of the injustices illegal immigrants suffer in china. All James has to show for his misadventure a scar in the back. There are many more cases of such injustices, deaths in detention, broken hands and legs, last year a young man was knocked down by a car as he was running from the police.

Anyone who doubts my story should go to Murtala Mohammed International Airport, find out the arrival times of Ethiopian Airways, Kenya airways, and Qatar air, and then wait and see how many Nigerians are being deported from China on daily bases. You can also ask the immigration officers at the airport how many Nigerians have come back recently from China limping or using clutches/walking sticks. Some come back also very sick from their long stay in the underground detention facility they reserve for illegal aliens. Try and interview them and see what they have to say.

The most common crime in the world every country has to battle with is illegal immigrants, but the case here is different. China is a communist country that allows no press freedom; they have zero tolerance for protests/demonstrations, no matter how peaceful.

I implore the Minister of foreign affairs to look into the treatment being meted out to Nigerians here; the federal government should please talk to someone in Beijing so that our people are given some form of respect, no matter how small, because we don’t have any right now.

Many of us desire to go home right now if given the opportunity but where does one get $2000 to pay the Chinese government?

Let’s not forget my major aim of writing this, please, if your brother, father, husband, or son is planning on coming to stay in china, please dissuade him. The grass always looks greener on the other side till you cross over. If you must leave Nigeria, please don’t come here. Over here, we’re always looking over our shoulders; any Chinese man at the bus stop is a possible police officer in plain clothes waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting immigrant.

Attached to this are pictures of the late Mr. Kenneth and the scar on the back of James.

 

 

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About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Villagers evacuated in Nigeria”s oil region

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Read Time:1 Minute, 46 Second

Abuja, Dec 4 (PTI) A sustained fighting between rebels and the Nigerian army in the nation”s oil-rich delta has led to the evacuation of dozens of civilians, a Red Cross worker said today but activists claimed that up to 150 people have been killed so far.

The army, however, denied reports that scores of civilians were killed. A Red Cross relief worker said more than 30 have been evacuated from the scenes of the intense fighting while six wounded are getting medical attention in hospitals belonging to the military.

“Those evacuated to neighbouring military barracks are mostly women and children and many villagers have escaped to neighbouring urban centres or villages,” the Red Cross worker told PTI.

The Joint Task Force (JTF) sent by the government of the oil-rich African country to secure the delta region from rebels claiming to be fighting for resource control had warned civilians living near militant camps to relocate before embarking on the operation which aims at stopping militancy in the region.

“Civilians are not the target of this operation and none has been killed. The villagers fled due to fright when soldiers advanced towards their community and they would soon be brought back with a bus,” spokesman for the JTF Colonel Timothy Atigha told PTI.

He said their aim is to flush out criminal gangs operating in the region. An earlier statement by Atigha said houses located close to the gangs” camps were caught up in the raid but the fleeing civilians were helped by the military to escape.

The major person being targeted is on John Togo and his group who agreed to the amnesty offered by the government to the insurgents but later reneged by taking up arms again.

Images aired on state-owned Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) had shown soldiers on boats travelling round the area and burning down a house just as some people who appeared to be militants were seen captured by them.

But the military spokesman said some fleeing gangsters took over adjourning buildings and fired at soldiers which compelled them to fire back causing damages to the houses. .

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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