Tijuana and San Diego religious leaders break down borders in interfaith scriptures study for peace

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Read Time:2 Minute, 31 Second

BAJA CALIFORNIA—Religious representatives from the Islam, Christian and Catholic faiths gathered at the Benito Juarez Library near the Palacio Municipal in Tijuana to discuss the need for interfaith scriptural understanding for peace on February 7. The event was hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace and Restoration of Light (HWPL).

The objective of the World Alliance of Religions Peace Office is to bring religious leaders together and become one by seeing what makes scriptures and religions believable. The dialogue marks the first program since the establishment of HWPL’s World Alliance of Religions Peace Office in Tijuana, Mexico. The event also coincided with regional office openings in HWPL El Salvador and Australia branches earlier this week.

“We wanted to give the religious leaders and youth the opportunity in Tijuana to compare and contrast the scriptures of various religions, so that we can become one on the foundational commonality on the true purpose of religion. When we can agree on these commonalities—that’s peace” said HWPLrepresentative and presider of the event, Ismael Garcia.

The movement for interfaith dialogue began as a continuation of the Alliance of Religions agreement signed by over 700 religious leaders at the World Alliance of Religions Peace Summit held in September of last year. Together they declared, “To do everything in [their] power to end all wars on this earth and to establish world peace according to the will of the Creator, God through the unity of religion.”

“Regardless of whether you're religious or not, let's join together. In the Office of the Alliance of Religions we really need to study each other's scriptures to see whose can really protect our lives and create a world of peace” said Chairman of HWPL, Mr. Man Hee Lee. Chairman Lee and the Chairwoman of the International Women’s Peace Group, Ms. Nam Hee Kim hosted the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit in the Republic of Korea that drew over 700 religious leaders and 50 heads of states. Holding true to the Alliance of Religions agreement, the two representatives are now establishing and actively operating WARP Offices around the world, beginning with Mindanao, Philippines.

The World Alliance of Religions Peace Office meetings in Tijuana and El Salvador especially attracted a lot of attention as the religious leaders and participants in attendance had a special time to study the similarities and differences between each other’s faiths by holding up “X” and “O” cards in regards to questions of their religious scriptures.  

Adriana Padilla Mendoza, Directora Asuntos Religiosos of Tijuana also attended to speak on the important role of youth in leading the initiative of peace. “With the condition of the world right now, it’s good to know that there are organizations that are doing this type of work to gather people to make a difference” said Mendoza.

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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 Obama Undermines Goodluck Jonathan and Works for Buhari

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Read Time:10 Minute, 10 Second

The United States of America has condemned the rescheduling of Nigeria's general elections from the initial dates of Saturday 14 and Saturday 28 of February 2015 to Saturday March 28 and Saturday April 11, 2015.

That country’s secretary of state, Mr John Kerry, has described the postponement as “unacceptable”. Its position is apparently informed by the assurances earlier given by President Goodluck Jonathan during a recent visit to Nigeria by Mr John Kerry, that the polls would not be postponed under any circumstances.

However, the position of the US with respect to Nigeria’s polls, particularly the shift in dates, is curious, given that the Boko Haram insurgency and related insecurity in the country remain the reason for the development. It is recalled that the US had earlier denied Nigeria critical military assistance to combat the wave of insecurity when such was needed most.

This is even as that country is also engaged in the global anti-terror fight and is fully aware of the transnational dimensions of the problem. It is therefore fully aware of Nigeria’s burden as the epicentre of the insurgency challenge in the West African sub-region.

The reservations of the US over the polls shift would be better located if the shared strategic interest of the US and this country in combating terrorism in any part of the world had propelled more decisive support for Nigeria by the superpower.

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry sits beside Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's former military ruler and opposition party All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate at the U.S. consulate house in Lagos, Nigeria, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. In a rare high-level visit to Africa's most populous country, Mr. Kerry on Sunday urged Nigeria's leading presidential candidates to refrain from fomenting violence after next month's vote, and he condemned savage attacks by Boko Haram, an al Qaeda-linked insurgency. (AP Photo/Akintunde Akinleye, Pool)

Not enough eyelids were raised by US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit so close to the election last month and met the opposition candidate Muhamamdu Buhari. It was then fair to speculate that Mr. Kerry was offering assurances of cooperation in exchange for assurances of a peaceful election.

Despite the administration’s recent lectures on state visits near election time that concerned Bibi Netanyahu of Israel and Angela Merkel of German, the State Department played tone-def to the legitimacy and perceived U.S. approval given to Mr. Buhari in his meeting with Mr. Kerry.

The public acknowledgement of the meeting in diplomatic currency was indeed a clear act of favoritism.

Thanks to the reporting of Adam Kredo, we now know that it was something more nefarious. David Axelrod is Mr. Buhari’s lobbyist and in this administration you can buy the presidency of Africa’s most populous nation.

According to the Washington Free Beacon report, Mr. Axelrod’s firm, AKPD, was employed by Mr. Buhari’s APC party as recently as December 2014. The timing of Mr. Kerry’s visit the next month within in that context puts a shorter lifespan on the Jonathan presidency.

In a report in the Washington Free Beacon, an online newspaper, the political consulting firm founded by Obama administration confidante David Axelrod has been far more involved in backing controversial Nigerian presidential candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari than previously disclosed, according to a series of emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and interviews with sources on the ground.

Axelrod’s firm, the Chicago-based AKPD, has admitted to doing work on behalf of Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) party in the past, but claimed to have ceased its ties in March 2014 after the Islamist terror group Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls.

But email exchanges with senior party members and advisers since then “show that contrary to the firm’s claims, AKPD has quietly continued to perform political work on Buhari’s behalf as he fights to unseat current President Goodluck Jonathan”, the newspaper said.

Isaac Baker, AKPD spokesman, had told the Washington Times last year that the firm worked with the APC from December 2013 to March 2014 “to form a new political opposition party and create a platform in advance of their first national convention. We were no longer working with the APC when the Boko Haram kidnapping of the young girls took place”.

However, he was said to have admitted on Monday that the firm worked again with the APC in December 2014. “AKPD worked with APC from December 2013 to March 2014, at which point our contract ended.

Nine months later, in December 2014, the APC re-hired AKPD for a 3-week engagement to help the party in organizing announcement events,” Baker told the Free Beacon in an email. “That was our only involvement with the party since we completed work in March. That project is now complete and we have no ongoing relationship with them,” he said.

But Free Beacon says the internal emails sent between APC advisers over the past several months and obtained by the newspaper confirm that the work with AKPD continued after March 2014.

Kerry met with Jonathan where he reportedly warned against poll shift In a series of messages between senior APC officials and advisers from September 2014 to late January 2015, AKPD polling and other work are repeatedly discussed, the newspaper reported.

“The meeting went well and the report well received. [Gov. Rotimi Amaechi] will meet with the AKPD team tomorrow to discuss the facilitation of the event but no dates fixed yet,” APC member Olubunmi Adetunmbi is reported to have written in one September 23 email to Kayode Fayemi, former governor of Ekiti state.

AKPD’s work is again mentioned in a separate chain of emails sent between Buhari’s running mate, Yemi Osinbajo, and adviser Fayemi.

“I also think the AKPD surveys also clearly showed that the South West is the battle ground for this election,” Osinbajo writes in a discussion about boosting election turnouts for the APC.

A third email chain from Jan. 21 shows APC leader Nasir El-Rufai discussing an “October 2014 AKPD poll” that he hoped to disseminate to “the team”, the newspaper reported.

 

Other sources on the ground and familiar with the Buhari’s campaign say that his party has been trying to keep AKPD’s ongoing work quiet. It is rumored that AKPD employees are being housed in an APC compound located in Lagos, according to the report.

“The sense is they’re being hidden currently in Lagos,” said another insider on the ground who would only speak on background. “They’re trying to keep a very low profile.”

AKPD’s close ties to the Obama administration also has given rise to criticism from those who see the White House as meddling in the elections.

“They have been particularly careful not to be seen at all because of the perception of the connection between Axelrod and the president and what that would convey,” said one of the sources quoted above.

Apart from Barack Obama's friends working for Buhari, the Israeli media last month revealed that the US stopped Nigeria’s purchase of Chinook military helicopters from Israel to fight Boko Haram.

The sale/transfer of such aircraft required a review by the US, to determine its “consistency with US policy interests,” Obama administration officials told The Jerusalem Post.

It quoted White House Assistant Press Secretary and Director for Strategic Communications, Ned Price, as saying that reviews of such kind take place in the case of “any requests for one country to transfer US-origin defence items to another country.”

Nigeria’s largest arms purchase ever reported was from Israel in 2007, in a deal with Aeronautics Systems worth $260 million. That company is Israeli, however, not American.

A single Chinook costs roughly $40 million to produce.

The Nigerian military had in the past said that the country also resorted to training its security personnel on terrorist encounters in Russia and China because of the refusal of the Obama administration to sell arms to the government following “unfounded allegations of human rights violations by our troops,” among others.

However, the reports quoted unnamed Nigerian officials as also saying that the US blocked the order “after the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had initially approved the purchase.”

US officials told The Jerusalem Post that such transfers must be consistent with a policy directive revised by President Barack Obama in January, which outlines the criteria for conventional weapons sales.

The policy requires US transfers, including Boeing aircraft, to take into account “the risk that significant change in the political or security situation of the recipient country could lead to inappropriate end-use” of the weapons.

While the Nigerian report suggests Abuja sought the purchase of Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters, Israel predominantly uses Sikorsky CH-53 aircraft for missions involving heavy-lift transport. Both Boeing and Sikorsky are American companies.

Israeli laws concerning the export of arms is less restrictive than those in the United States. Israel, however, is a member of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms and, in 2009, reported to the body that Israel, in practice, refrains from transfers “where there is imminent risk that arms might be internally diverted, illegally proliferated and re-transferred, or fall into the hands of terrorists or entities and states that support or sponsor them.”

Sixteen nations operate the Chinook helicopter, none of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nigerian officials were reported as saying that “we had even tried to procure arms from Russia but this was stalled because of the Ukrainian crisis, thus compelling us to turn to other nations like Israel. But even this has been frustrated by the US.”

They further said it was not just in the area of arms procurement that US has been most unhelpful, adding that contrary to its public stance that it was assisting in the rescue operations of the abducted Chibok secondary school girls, it has done nothing significant to help Nigeria in this regard.

Other intelligence sources also cited the fact that the US has refused to share intelligence with Nigerian security forces in a timely manner.

They said: “When we complained, they started sharing some intelligence, but days after such intelligence is of little value”.

Boko Haram gained notoriety around the world after its militants kidnapped 276 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State in April last year. The US sent military personnel to assist in finding the girls.

The US and Nigeria have traditionally enjoyed robust bilateral relations, with the former being the latter’s largest importer of crude oil.

While the present developments in the international oil market have imposed some strain on that relationship, it would serve the greater interest of the two countries to retain and grow the ties that bind them. Without exaggeration, if there is any area where Nigeria needs the support of the US currently, it is in the suppression of the Boko Haram insurgency.

A pointer to that is the recent resolve by the African Union (AU) to launch a continental force to combat the menace. The initiative of the continental body was informed by Nigeria’s strategic position in African affairs.

While the interest of the US in the outcome of the polls and other political developments in this country is welcome, its assistance in a time of need as now as a true friend of Nigeria would be highly appreciated.

In the words of Nicholas Hanlon of Washington Times: "President Jonathan must now fight without firm footing against Boko Haram, his political opponents, U.S. diplomats and their lobbyists. He has about a month to make something happen."

Ogbuefi Ndigbo

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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UN Okays Polls Shifts, Onslaught Against Boko Haram

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Read Time:4 Minute, 30 Second

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban-Ki Moon, on Tuesday expressed the backing of the global body for Nigeria over the postponement of her general elections to March 28th and April 11th.

He stated that the development was an opportunity for the electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to ensure all registered Nigerians get their permanent voters card as well as prepare to conduct a free, fair and credible polls.

He has also expressed the UN’s full support for Nigeria’s onslaught against terrorist sect, Boko Haram and has pledged the support of the world’s body through its department of Peacekeeping to eliminate the sect.

He also pledged further humanitarian support  to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to ensure the Internally displaced persons as a result of Boko Haram, are adequately and comfortably taken care of.

Moon’s message was delivered by the Special Representative of UN Secretary General for Nigeria and West Africa, Ibn Chambas.

Chambas who is also the former President of Economic Community of West African State, (ECOWAS) Commission, said the issue of Boko Haram terrorists activities in north east of Nigeria and also in neighboring countries, remains a source of concern.

He told newsmen at the State House after a closed door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, that “the UN stands firmly behind Nigeria in its legitimate fight against Boko Haram terrorists. Mr. President has the assurance of the Secretary General for the recent initiative whereby the Lake Chad Basin Commission, will be the platform to anchor the multinational task force which is being put in place.

“There will be a support of the United Nation through the department of peacekeeping to ensure that the concept of operations and planning and other activities to ensure a truly joint operational force with a clear commanding control and unity of purpose among the different countries contributing troops that they all work as one and get their efforts towards degrading and eliminating Boko Haram. And in this you can count on the strong support of the United Nations”, he said.

On UN’s assistant to NEMA, Chambas said, “the Secretary General wishes to assure that in the area of humanitarian support with the displaced persons in Nigeria we will continue to work with Nigerian authorities.
The President has assured that full material and logistical support would be provided to NEMA, the UN systems and other partners would work with NEMA and we hope that through our joint efforts, we will be able to bring some amelioration to the lives of the people who have been internally displaced as a result of the barbaric and cruel action of Boko Haram.

On the election postponements, Moon, commended Jonathan and other political parties for accepting the shift.

Chambas said, “On Friday,  the Secretary General had a telephone conversation with Mr. President, in fact a day before he had spoken to Mr. Buhari, of course at that time it was sensed about the possible postponement of the elections in this country.

“We have seen that the postponement has been accepted by all the political parties and stakeholders. The reasons adduced are known now. Of course in some states it’s clear that very few people relatively have been able to collect their PVCs. The extension provides an opportunity for many more Nigerians to collect these cards and be able to exercise franchise.

“But above all, the Secretary General told me to commend Mr. President and other leaders of the political parties and Nigerians as a whole for the maturity that have been demonstrated so far in this whole preparation towards the general elections which are now schedule for later in March.

“We saw first of all the primaries, there were a lot of speculations about how they will go, there transpired in a very calm and peaceful  manner. The campaigns started and again, Nigerians have demonstratd a lot of maturity in the general manner in which the campaigns have taken place.

“Naturally in periods such as this, there will be heightened  tension, heightens rhetoric but on the whole we have very little violence associated with this process. And this is the same also with the postponement, where there were a lot of speculations about what will happen but so far this process has been proceeding in a calm, peaceful and credible manner.

“This is the wish certainly of the UN but also many friends of Nigeria. It is our expectations that all will continue to exercise retrain and keep this process clean. And that at the end of the day Nigerians will all accept the outcome of the vote of the people.

“In short, the message is that we appreciate the pure manner in which the electoral process is proceeding, the Secretary General commend the president and other political leaders to continue on that part.

“The Secretary General express strong support in the fight against Boko Haram. Boko Haram is not a threat only to Nigeria or the region but indeed is an international issue, and requires full international support in Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram the same way the fight is taken against Al-Shabab, ISIS, Alqada in North Mali, the same effort is required in the fight against Boko Haram”.

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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An Open Letter to Senator John Kerry and President Barack Obama – Re: The Nigerian Elections and Boko Haram

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Read Time:7 Minute, 4 Second

February 9, 2015

Dear Senator John Kerry:

I have decided as a 39 year old Nigerian Citizen that has lived in Nigeria all my life to write you this letter – one that I am equally copying to President Barack Obama and Ambassador James Entwistle based on your press statement of February 7, 2015 that read thus:

-starts-

The United States is deeply disappointed by the decision to postpone Nigeria’s presidential election, which had been scheduled for February 14.

Political interference with the Independent National Electoral Commission is unacceptable, and it is critical that the government not use security concerns as a pretext for impeding the democratic process. The international community will be watching closely as the Nigerian government prepares for elections on the newly scheduled dates. The United States underscores the importance of ensuring that there are no further delays.

As I reaffirmed when I visited Lagos last month, we support a free, transparent, and credible electoral process in Nigeria and renew our calls on all candidates, their supporters, and Nigerian citizens to maintain calm and reject election-related violence.”

-ends-

 

First, considering your comments and expressed concern about the elections in Nigeria, which was also the prime focus of your last visit to Lagos last month, I would like to present you with the table below – the contents of which I believe your research desk on Nigeria should have been able to provide you with already:

As you would notice, Sir, April seems to have become the official election date in Nigeria over the last 4 election cycles [the 1999 elections was supervised by the Military] in the same way November has always been the case with the U.S. [for all the ones I have followed in my adult life], and this has been the case under Three Different Presidencies – those of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, late Umar Musa Yar-Adua, and the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan. These four elections – always supervised by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] has done these under three different Chairmen – Abel Goubadia, Maurice Iwu and Attahiru Jega – there is therefore an established pattern here – proving this trend has nothing to do with a season or an individual but the process.

Second, I am equally concerned that your country being the lead-propagators of Democracy around the world that constantly insists on the rights of all citizens to count in a democracy do not seem to concern yourself [at least not within your press statement] with the possible impending disenfranchisement of 23.71 million Nigerian Voters by INEC – being the number of registered members of the electorate that the agency as at February 5, 2015 had not yet provided with their Permanent Voters Cards [PVCs] – as shown in the table below, this number represents a staggering 60% of the voters turn out in the 2011 Presidential elections:

Seriously, how come the same INEC that begged Nigerians in 2010 to allow it postpone the elections by almost 105 days for the same reasons of not being able to provide the citizenry with Voter’s Cards now seem ever so willing to run along with this election despite several opposing views in that regard as demonstrated by elder statesmen, political action groups and even political parties – seemingly looking like as though only the lead opposition party – All Progressives Congress [APC] seemed willing to work along with INEC to deny these 23.71 million voters of their rights to vote.

Third, it is also noteworthy that this same Obama administration as exemplified by the actions and body language of the State Department under yourself and Senator Hillary Clinton has consistently played the politics of non-committal towards Nigeria in the last 5-6 years considering the massive security challenges the nation has faced in the course of that period – rather issuing positions via those connected to your office ranging from “the Nigerian Government is corrupt and unwilling to fight Terrorism” to “We cannot sell ammunitions to Nigeria to fight Terrorism because we are concerned about the safety of such equipment” yet today, your department and nation now have a problem with a push of these elections’ dates even though the same security challenges which you have abandoned Nigeria to face is now the official reason adduced by INEC and the security forces for these postponements.

I am therefore tempted to ask you the following questions:

  • “If the U.S. was so interested in the peace of Nigeria and knew that elections was a very important part of that, why has the US consistently refused to offer to Nigeria the same commitment and support that it is currently offering to Iraq, Syria, Yemen versus ISIL even though today, Boko Haram could have arguably taken more lives than ISIL in the last couple of months?”
  • “Is there any available statistics anywhere in the world suggesting that “the Nigerian Government is more corrupt than those of Iraq, Syria and Yemen that would warrant for those nations to receive the sort of support they are getting from the U.S. in fighting terrorism that your nation is currently denying Nigeria?”
  • So how come all of a sudden, the U.S. seems more interested in the Nigerian Elections beyond helping Nigeria to fight Terrorism which if it had done well would have helped Nigeria to be better prepared to hold the elections as scheduled?

Four, I would urge your department to desist from giving more impetus to already growing notion within the Nigerian Polity that “The U.S. government actively supports the Nigerian Opposition and would prefer to have a Nigerian of Northern-Nigerian origin with a Muslim Religious background to become the next President of Nigeria in order to help maintain a certain political balance within the Nigerian Polity” – and I am sure that one sure way to distance yourself from this misconception would be for you to respect the Nigerian Constitution by allowing the people of Nigeria to determine their own fate within the ambits of that same constitution by refusing to sign-up to the propaganda being spread by the opposition and their partners within civil society and intellectual class – at home and in the diaspora – that suggests the incumbent government has other ulterior motives aside those given by INEC and indeed other Nigerians, using myself as an example of such people, as I have already enumerated within this letter as the real reasons why a push in these elections’ dates has been necessitated at this time.

Five, those suggesting to your office and indeed the Obama administration that these postponements are similar to efforts to truncate our Democracy similar to the June 12 polls should be deemed a bunch of Alarmists and nothing more because while the that election indeed took place; and a winner was well-known to all before it was infamously annulled, this oncoming polls has not yet taken been conducted neither can the opposition provide you with any verifiable poll – local or international – even remotely suggesting that it will these elections – and as I see it, claiming victory in an election that has not yet been held would be tantamount to heating up the polity ahead of the polls that could result in a repeat of the post-2011 elections pogrom that led to the systematic killing of 800 Nigerians; burning down of 350 Churches; and displacement of 65,000 Nigerians – all within the space of about 3-4 days!

 I close by reminding you of the comments you made while you were in Lagos last month thus: “So let me be clear: Anyone who participates in, plans, or calls for widespread or systematic violence against the civilian population must be held accountable, including by ineligibility for an American visa. Violence has no place in democratic elections, and I can guarantee you that the perpetrators of such violence would not be welcome in the United States of America.”

I dare say that this would be a good time for you, your department and the Obama administration to remind the various parties in these elections that you are very serious about that statement.

I thank you for your generosity in taking my comments to heart.

Yours faithfully

Favour B. Afolabi
Founder and President, Online Republic Media
Lagos, Nigeria.
@favourafolabi

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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Attacks against Schoolgirls on the Rise, UN Says

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Read Time:1 Minute, 31 Second

The United Nations human rights office on Monday said girls are at an increasing risk of violent attacks simply because they are getting an education.

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said: “Many attacks on schools that have been recorded in 70 countries from 2009 to 2014 were specifically targeting girls.

“Recent incidents include 2014 abduction of 300 Nigerian schoolgirls by the extremist Islamic group, Boko Haram.

“The abduction and rape of girls at an Indian Christian school in 2013, and the 2012 Taliban shooting of Pakistani education activist and later Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai.

“Targeted attacks on girls accessing education, their families and their teachers are used to send a powerful, symbolic message about the socio-cultural role and status of girls and women,’’ the UN experts said.

They did not provide statistical data on what they said were increasingly regular attacks.

Their report showed that such violence against girls and their schools and teachers are not always a case of religious extremism.

In several Central American countries such as El Salvador, schoolgirls have been harassed and sexually attacked by criminal gangs.

In southern Thailand, Muslim separatists have attacked schools and teachers not only because they are seen as introducing alien beliefs but also because these institutions represent state power in a primarily Buddhist country.

The report also documented attacks in countries such as Haiti, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“Attacks on girls’ education have a ripple effect,” the UN experts said, warning that such violence pushes girls out of school and raises the risk that they become victims of forced marriage, early pregnancy and sexual exploitation.

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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Women’s prison mass jail break after inmates in dominatrix gear handcuff male guards expecting ‘mass orgy

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Read Time:2 Minute, 28 Second

Backfire: Inmates seduced prison guards before making their escape

Twenty-eight inmates escaped from a Brazilian jail after three women in fantasy police costumes "seduced" prison wardens, it was reported today.

Police found three wardens naked and handcuffed inside the Nova Mutum public jail, near Cuiaba, central Brazil, the morning after the mass break-out.

The women reportedly drugged the prison guards by giving them spiked whisky after convincing them to take part in an orgy, according to investigators.

Inmates then left the prison through the main doors, even taking with them guns and munitions they had taken from prison caches.

Lingerie: 28 inmates escaped after the daring plan's success

Police later found a bag of lingerie and dominatrix police uniforms believed to have been worn by the temptresses.

Last night photos of one the naked wardens, believed to have been leaked by amused police officers who found him, had been shared thousands of times on social network sites.

The three women – one of them reportedly the girlfriend of one of the prisoners who escaped – arrived at the prison at 3am on Thursday morning and asked to be let inside to "chat and drink", police said.

The prison guards reportedly obliged and were soon persuaded to leave their posts, accompanying the girls to staff sleeping quarters.

Red-faced: Guards were found handcuffed and drugged

After drugging the wardens the women handcuffed them, took their keys and unlocked all the prison's cells, according to chief Angelina de Andrades Ferreira.

She told a news conference: "The plan was to seduce them. They served them cheap whisky with some substance to knock them out, then unlocked the central gate which accesses the internal cells.

"Whoever wanted to escape left by the front door.

"From the moment they drank the whisky the agents don't remember a thing. One was found dizzy, trying to wake up. Another slept for the whole afternoon and couldn't even be questioned."

The inmates took three 12 caliber rifles shotguns, two 38 caliber revolvers and munition, she said.

Ms Ferreira said the escape was planned by the boyfriend of one of the women, Bruno Amorim, 18, was was serving time for attempted murder, robbery and firearms possession.

She said: "Everything indicated that he planned and executed everything, with the help of his girlfriend."

She said the three prison officers had been arrested and will be charged with "facilitating a jailbreak" and "culpable embezzlement" because of the theft of firearms.

Last night eight of the 28 prisoners had been recaptured as police launched a massive operation to track down the fugitives.

One inmate was found wandering around the centre of Nova Mutum in a drunken state, holding one of the stolen rifles.

Another was caught after stealing a stealing a pick-up truck from a farm and crashing it, police said.

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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Ex-soldier gets life sentence in 5-year-old daughter’s death

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Read Time:3 Minute, 2 Second

HONOLULU (AP) — Calling it a sentence “cast in stone,” a federal judge on Friday made it official that a former Hawaii-based soldier who avoided execution in his 5-year-old daughter’s beating death must spend the rest of his life in prison.

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright likened Naeem Williams’ treatment of the girl to a “house of horrors” and said testimony from the trial still haunts those who heard it.

Williams’ sentencing capped what was the first death penalty case to go to trial in Hawaii since it became a state. A jury deadlocked on his punishment, requiring Seabright to give him a life term.

Hawaii’s territorial government abolished capital punishment in 1957. But the U.S. Department of Justice was able to seek the death penalty because the 2005 crime took place on military property, and the cased was tried in federal court, where the death penalty is possible even in states that don’t allow it.

During a long and emotional trial last year, jurors heard graphic testimony — including from Williams — about how he and the girl’s stepmother, Delilah Williams, beat the girl almost daily during the seven months she lived with them in Hawaii.

A federal prosecutor told jurors that the fatal blow the former soldier dealt daughter Talia was so hard it left knuckle imprints on the child’s chest.

Naeem Williams testified he beat the girl often, partly because of her bathroom accidents.

Delilah Williams recounted stomping on Talia and other abuses, including withholding food for days. The stepmother was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year as part of a plea agreement.

Jurors who convicted Naeem Williams of murder were asked to decide his sentence — execution or life in prison without the possibility for release. They deliberated for about seven days before determining they were deadlocked.

Five of the jurors were at the sentencing. Two of them said afterward that they felt compelled to attend as closure after months of disturbing testimony that still haunts them.

“Anyone who sat through this trial will have lasting memories,” Seabright said. “Memories that will be difficult to lose.”

He recounted hearing how Talia was duct-taped to a bed and then beaten.

“I remember listening to that testimony and thinking this courthouse has never heard testimony like that before,” Seabright said.

Jurors also heard about how Talia slept on the floor of a stripped-bare bedroom, received belt whippings and was left alone during the day in a home Seabright described as a “house of horrors.”

“She was treated worse than any animal should ever be treated,” the judge said.

Even though the sentence was a foregone conclusion, the hearing was more about Talia, he said: “This is really Talia’s day, in many ways, for her voice to be heard and for her to receive justice … almost 10 years after she was killed.”

Naeem Williams declined to speak in court before the sentence was imposed.

During the sentencing phase of the case last year, Naeem Williams implored jurors to let him live, saying he wanted to be a better father to his two other children. The children also asked jurors to spare his life.

One of his attorneys, John Philipsborn, said Naeem Williams doesn’t intend to appeal. Doing so could expose him to another death penalty trial.

Naeem Williams is asking to serve his sentence in a facility equipped to handle his diabetes.

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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Nigeria-based writer trolls ‘measles-ravaged country America’ on Twitter

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Read Time:2 Minute, 19 Second

A writer living in Nigeria turned the tables on American’s overreaction and fear that travelers from African nations might bring Ebola into the United States, expressing his concern for “the measles-ravaged country America” on Twitter.

Elnathan John, a writer and lawyer living in Abuja, Nigeria, wrote: “Our thoughts are also with the measles-ravaged country America. I hope we are screening them before they come to Africa.”

Concerns about citizens of African nations bringing Ebola to America reached epidemic proportions of its own last year, with members of the public signing a Whitehouse.gov petition stating, “The Ebola virus has reached unprecedented epidemic proportions in West Africa. The citizens of the U.S. are scared. We do not want any more Ebola-infected individuals bringing the epidemic to our shores.”

Fox News coverage of the Ebola epidemic was considered so over-the-top that a PBS science writer chided the network’s coverage for its “ignorance.”

“It borders on irresponsibility when people get on television and start talking that way when they should know better,” Miles O’Brien of PBS explained. “They should do their homework and they should report in a responsible manner.”

“Unfortunately, it’s a very competitive business, the business we’re in, and there is a perception that by hyping up this threat, you draw people’s attention,” he added. “That’s a shame to even say that and I get embarrassed for our brethren in journalism.”

The U.S. is currently experiencing a measles outbreak, due in part to parents who are part of what is called the ‘anti-vaxxer movement,’ borne out of a belief that childhood vaccinations can cause autism in children. Health officials have pushed back against the movement, pointing out a study often cited by anti-vaxxers has been thoroughly discredited.

John’s comment on Twitter was retweeted over 7,000 times, with a majority of commenters joining in on the mocking.

One writer added, “OMG maybe we should build a big fence to make sure they don’t bring it to Canada!!” while another wrote, “Pray for us. All we can do is sit here and wait for the Nigerian aid to arrive.”

Another mocked American’s short attention span for over-hyped crises, writing, “every 30 mins, a child in America catches… Oh look, ‘Dancing with the Stars’ is on!”

See John’s tweet below:

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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US Issues Travel Warning on North-East

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Read Time:2 Minute, 8 Second

The United States government on Tuesday warned its citizens in Nigeria to avoid travelling to Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States due to the security situation in North-eastern part of the country.

A statement issued by the Department of State urged its citizens in Nigeria to consider their own personal security and to keep personal safety in the forefront of their travel plans.

This warning according to the statement, replaced earlier one for Nigeria dated August 11, 2014.

The US stated that the ability of its mission to provide assistance to its citizens in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States remains severely limited.

“The department continues to recommend against all but essential travel to the following states due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks:  Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.”  The US in the statement also warned its citizens against travelling along the Gulf of Guinea because of the threat of piracy.

“Based on safety and security risk assessments, the embassy maintains restrictions for travel by US officials to those states listed above; officials must receive advance clearance by the US mission for any travel deemed as mission-essential.

“US citizens should be aware that extremists could expand their operations beyond northern Nigeria to other areas of the country.

“The US mission advises all US citizens to be particularly vigilant around government security facilities; churches, mosques, and other places of worship; locations where large crowds may gather, such as hotels, clubs, bars, restaurants, markets, shopping malls; and other areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.  Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups, and US citizens may encounter police and military checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks throughout the country.

“Nigeria’s general elections are scheduled for February 14, 2015, and gubernatorial elections are scheduled for February 28, 2015, in all states except Anambra, Bayelsa, Kogi, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, and Osun.  Nigeria last held national elections in April 2011.

“Although the elections themselves remained largely peaceful, violence temporarily erupted in many northern states after the announcement of results in the presidential race.  The 2015 elections again present a possibility of violence, particularly in the northern and south-eastern parts of the country.  US citizens are encouraged to exercise caution during the election process, particularly in and around polling locations in the weeks before and after the elections,” the statement said.

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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Buhari is not an extremist – Ex US ambassador

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Read Time:4 Minute, 14 Second

Less than two weeks from national polls, Nigeria’s ruling party is facing unprecedented shifts in the politics of religion that could spell trouble for the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan. While he may still be the favourite on February 14, experts said two key factors could remove his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from power for the first time since the end of military rule in 1999.

First, opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari, a northern Muslim, has gained surprising traction in the mostly Christian south, despite sustained PDP efforts to paint him as a religious extremist. The PDP could also suffer a historically lopsided defeat in the Muslim-majority north, where the party has previously drawn considerable support, even when a Christian was at the top of the ticket.

– ‘Surpassing religion’ –

Buhari, a former army general who led a military government for 20 months from December 1983, is hardly the dream candidate for many in the south, experts said. Some southerners have an entrenched antipathy towards Muslims from the Hausa ethnic group, members of which plundered the country as military rulers through much of the 1980s and 1990s.

PDP efforts to brand Buhari as an extremist devoted to Islamic law have also been successful, said John Campbell, a former US ambassador to Nigeria, now with the Council on Foreign Relations.

“It is grossly unfair. I know him. He is not an extremist but these things resonate,” he told AFP.

Buhari, from the All Progressives Congress (APC) party, is making his fourth run at the presidency and has been billed as Nigeria’s chief anti-corruption crusader, helping him attract nationwide support.

Analyst Jibrin Ibrahim agreed that for the first time in religiously divided Nigeria, governance could be “surpassing religion” as a campaign issue.

“The issue of religion is very present in all our elections and will be in this one,” said Ibrahim, from the Centre for Democracy and Development in Abuja.

“What I think is new about these elections is that it is really about the failures of Jonathan.

“There are voters in the south who don’t particularly like Buhari but they have been extremely disappointed with the last four years and that could shift support to Buhari.”

Jonathan has been heavily criticised for his apparent failure to reduce graft in Africa’s most populous country and top economy, where billions of dollars in public money have been stolen, especially in the oil sector.

Boko Haram’s brutal uprising has also worsened each year under Jonathan’s watch, with more than 13,000 people killed since 2009.

– Rotation in ‘disarray’ –

The PDP has won all four presidential elections since 1999 with support from both the north and the south, which it secured through an unwritten power-sharing agreement within the party.

Power brokers in both regions “were comfortable using the PDP as a venue through which they would arrive at a rough consensus” because it was understood that each side would get its turn in charge, Campbell said.

The 2010 death in office of Jonathan’s predecessor, Hausa-Muslim Umaru Musa Yar’Adua “put that agreement in disarray”, analyst Idiyat Hassan wrote on the African Arguments blog.

Jonathan’s rise from the vice-presidency and his refusal to stand aside for a northerner in 2011 caused initial cracks in the PDP’s national alliance.

His insistence on running for a second term in 2015 split the party, with the north emerging as “the great losers” of the once dominant PDP coalition, Campbell said.

Several key northern politicians have quit the PDP and joined the APC over the last two years, including Rabiu Kwankwaso, governor of the north’s most populous state, Kano, which has five million registered voters.

Jonathan beat Buhari by roughly 10 million votes in 2011, winning roughly eight million in the north and the religiously divided central states. If Jonathan’s support in the north collapses and Buhari makes inroads in the south, analysts said the president could lose. Buhari is helped by the fact that he is leading a united opposition, unlike in 2011 when rival candidates peeled off more than three million votes.

– Looking past religion –

Some argue that parties spend too much effort striving for ethno-religious balance, noting that the most popular presidential ticket since independence in 1960 — the 1993 campaign of the Social Democratic Party — contained two Muslims. Moshood Abiola and running mate Baba Gana Kingibe were easily on track to win the polls before military ruler Ibrahim Babangida nullified the vote. Many commentators were clamouring for popular Lagos state governor Babatunde Fashola, a Muslim, to head the APC ticket in 2015, but the party decided it needed a Hausa candidate to defeat Jonathan.

For Dapo Thomas, political scientist at Lagos State University, the emphasis on a candidate’s religion and tribe has “driven merit to the backseat”.

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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