NATO bombs Libyan state TV transmitters -why?

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TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — NATO warplanes bombed three Libyan state TV satellite transmitters in Tripoli overnight, targeting a key propaganda tool that the military alliance said Saturday is used by Moammar Gadhafi’s government to incite violence and threaten civilians.

Libya’s rebel movement, meanwhile, appeared in disarray after the mysterious death of its chief military commander in a killing that some witnesses said was carried out by fellow rebel fighters who suspected him of treason.

The rebels’ political leader sought to dispel any notions of infighting on Saturday and accused Gadhafi supporters of killing Abdel-Fattah Younis. He told reporters that the commander, who was Gadhafi’s interior minister before defecting, had not been suspected of treason but had been arrested after complaints he was mismanaging rebel forces.

The NATO strikes in Tripoli echoed across the capital before dawn. There was no comment from Libyan officials on what had been hit, but state TV was still on the air in Tripoli as of Saturday morning.

NATO said the airstrikes aimed to degrade Gadhafi’s “use of satellite television as a means to intimidate the Libyan people and incite acts of violence against them.”

“Striking specifically these critical satellite dishes will reduce the regime’s ability to oppress civilians while (preserving) television broadcast infrastructure that will be needed after the conflict,” the alliance said in a statement posted on its website.

It called Gadhafi’s TV broadcasts inflammatory and said they were intended to mobilize his supporters.

During the previous 24 hours, alliance aircraft also targeted military vehicles, radars, ammunition dumps, anti-aircraft guns and command centers near the front lines in the east and west, NATO said.

The head of the rebel National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, gave a more detailed account Saturday of the events leading up to the rebel military commander’s slaying.

Abdel-Fattah Younis’ body was found dumped outside the rebels’ de facto capital of Benghazi on Thursday along with the bodies of two colonels who were his top aides. They had been shot and their bodies burned.

His killing while in rebel custody immediately raised suspicions that he was assassinated by his own side. But Abdul-Jalil said authorities had the names of those behind the attack and believed they were acting on behalf of the Gadhafi regime. No arrests have yet been made, he said.

Younis had been taken into custody for investigation into complaints he mismanaged forces and did not provide them with enough ammunition, supplies and food, Abdul-Jalil said.

The attackers struck while he was being transported to a safer location, he said.

Abdul-Jalil said the head of the security brigade guarding Younis is under arrest and being questioned for failing to protect him.

Younis defected to the rebellion early in the uprising, which began in February, bringing his forces into the opposition ranks. But some rebels remained deeply suspicious that he retained loyalties to Gadhafi, and many are believed to still hold a grudge against him for his policies as Gadhafi’s chief of security.

Younis’ deputy, Suleiman Mahmoud, has now been put in charge of the rebel’s military portfolio and will bring all armed groups under one central command, Abdul-Jalil said.

“Now is the time for all these forces and formations to follow the existing plan put together by the interior minister to absorb these different groups. … There will be a penalty for all those who don’t obey orders,” Abdul-Jalil said.

The coalition of NATO members participating in the air campaign against Gadhafi’s forces is also under strain as public opposition mounts in Europe to the costs of the mission — estimated at more than a billion euros — at a time of budget cuts and other austerity measures.

The United States was the first to limit its participation, deciding to only provide support to the European allies. Then Italy withdrew its only aircraft carrier and part of its air force contingent. Meanwhile, Norway has announced it will pull all of its F-16 warplanes out of the operation by Monday.

The other five nations taking part are Britain, France, Belgium, Denmark and Canada.

NATO has been increasingly embarrassed by the failure of the bombing campaign, now in its fifth month, to dislodge Gadhafi’s regime. With the fasting month of Ramadan due to start in early August, there is a growing realization within the alliance that the costly campaign will drag on into the autumn and possibly longer.

The only place where rebels have seen small advances lately is in the western Nafusa mountain range, where they have gradually pushed Gadhafi’s forces out of a string of towns and villages, bringing them within about 60 miles (95 kilometers) of Tripoli.

In one sign that rebels were successfully holding onto territory in the mountains, families that had fled to Tunisia appeared to be confident enough to return to the area.

On Saturday, long lines formed at the Dhuheiba border crossing with Tunisia that enters the mountains, as families in pickup trucks laden with supplies returned home. Many were headed to Nalut, a town that Gadhafi’s troops regularly shelled until rebels pushed them out earlier this week.

An official with the United Nations refugee agency, Lutfi ben Hamed, said about 2,000 people had entered Libya Friday, about double the daily number for the past month.

On Saturday, more than 100 cars waited on the Tunisian side to enter Libya. A similar number waited to enter Tunisia to pick up families and bring them home.

___

Al-Shaheibi reported from Benghazi, Libya. Associated Press writers Slobodan Lekic in Brussels, Belgium, and Karin Laub at the Dhuheiba Border Crossing in Libya contributed to this report.

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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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MIRROR BOY’ GETS 12 NOMINATIONS AT ZAFFA AWARDS

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Read Time:2 Minute, 16 Second

Though yet to hit the cinemas in Nigeria, Mirror Boy is already giving sign of what to come. The movie now bags twelve nominations from ZAFAA (Zulu African Film Academy Awards) in the following categories; best film, best film editing, best story, best sound editing, best child performance male, best screenplay, best cinematography, best producer, best director, best supporting actress (Gam Fatima Jabi), best lead actress (Genevieve Nnaji) and best actor (Osita Iheme). Click for more photos

After making history with an unprecedented premiere in Empire Leicester Square in London, UK and becoming the highest selling Nollywood movie of all time to hit the Ghanaian cinemas, speculations are high that these nominations are probably the beginning of greater things for ‘Mirror Boy.

Featuring Nollywood top shots Genevieve Nnaji and Osita Iheme, ‘Mirror Boy’ is all set for its home coming premiere on August 5, 2011 at the Silverbird Galleria.

While expectations for the ‘Mirror Boy’ premiere remains high, the list of stars and celebrities expected keeps growing longer, some of which include Genevieve Nnaji, Osita iheme, … and others.

Speaking on the nominations, Obi Emelonye the producer, director and writer of the movie said, ‘what we see and hear about ‘Mirror Boy’ is not a surprise at all because a lot of thoughts and efforts went into producing the movie and the hard work I can say is paying off. Right now, we are eagerly looking forward to the arrival of the movie in Nigeria because this is ‘Mirror Boy’s origin and we are excited to see it premiere here’.

‘The Mirror Boy’ is an enthralling journey as seen through the eyes of a London- born 12 year old African boy, Tijani. After a London street fight on 13th of June, in which a local boy is hurt, Tijan’s mother decides to take him back their roots, to Gambia. On their arrival in Banjul, Tijan encounters a strange apparition, a boy smiling at him in a mirror and vanishing. Seeing the same boy in a crowded street market the next day sets in motion a chain of events, with Tijan finding himself lost. While Tijan’s panic-stricken mother struggles to find her son, Tijan is left alone in the company of the enigmatic Mirror Boy, seemingly only visible to him. A cathartic climax helps TIJANI to unravel the mystery of the MIRROR BOY. It also provides him with a rather mystical explanation for the way his life has cascaded from the 13th of June towards this inter-twined fate with a father he has never met.

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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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Libya rebel leader Younes killed, Benghazi wobbles

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One thing that’s certain is that Abdel Fateh Younes, a longtime aide of Muammar Qaddafi who defected to Libya’s rebels in February, was murdered today. But the circumstances of his death are murky and troubling.

That Abdel Fateh Younes, the longtime enforcer for Muammar Qaddafi whose stunning defection to the Libyan rebellion in February was an early indication of the depth of the challenge to Qaddafi’s regime, is dead, you can take to the bank. General Younes had been head of the embryonic rebel army from practically the moment he’d switched sides

As far as the rest of the story – who killed him, when, precisely where, and why – all remains murk and conjecture, created by cross-cutting rivalries within the rebellion and the often misleading and contradictory way that Libya’s Transitional National Council (TNC) communicates with the press and the Libyan public.

This afternoon, reports began to trickle out of the de facto rebel capital Benghazi that Younes was variously under arrest or summoned for questioning by some other element of the rebellion. An early Al Jazeera English post said that “he is being held at an undisclosed military garrison in Benghazi. The reason behind the former minister of interior’s arrest on Thursday has not been made public.” Al Jazeera reported that some of Younes’s men had withdrawn from the frontlines at Brega and were heading to Benghazi to demand his release.

Then Mustapha Abdul Jalil, the head of the TNC, called a press conference. He said that Younes was killed along with two colonels working with him on the road from Brega to Benghazi and, oddly, that he didn’t know where their bodies were. Mr. Jalil said, and other supporters of the rebellion insistently agreed, that Younes had been killed by agents of Qaddafi. That is hard to believe given the security around the men and the earlier claims that Younes was in the process of being arrested for allegedly working as a sort of double agent, still in contact with Qaddafi’s people, and, in some accounts, pilfering weapons from the rebellion to send to Tripoli.

Benghazi is east of Brega, and the road east of town is largely in rebel hands. Younes typically traveled with a convoy of gunmen. Jalil urged Libyans not to listen to “rumors” and said a three-day mourning period would be observed for Younes.

Another explanation is that Younes was killed by supporters of the rebellion, either out of anger over allegations that he maintained ties to Qaddafi or as a matter of tribal or political rivalry. In March, Younes was locked in a cold war of sorts with Gen. Khalifa Hefter, who defected from the Qaddafi regime more than 20 years ago and has lived for most of the time since then in Virginia.

After Hefter returned home in March, he declared himself – with the clear backing of at least some of the rebel leadership – the new head of the rebel military. Weeks were spent jockeying for position, with whispers on one side about Younes’s Qaddafi ties, and whispers on the other that Hefter was a CIA asset and not to be trusted as a longtime exile. Younes ended up winning that round and Hefter has been largely behind the scenes since.

There has been deep distrust of Younes in some quarters in Benghazi since the moment he arrived. On Feb. 20, he swung trained forces under his command to the support of civilians who with Molotov cocktails and stones were desperately trying to dislodge Qaddafi’s forces from the Benghazi Barracks, or kutaiba.

His intervention proved decisive, but witnesses who fought on the civilian side that day reported that his forces also appeared to provide a security cordon to still armed Qaddafi loyalists, who retreated to the country’s west. If Younes ordered this, it wouldn’t necessary be evidence of perfidy – perhaps mercy for men who served along side with, or simply an expedient way to avoid bloodshed on both sides. But for some, it planted a kernel of doubt.

Shortly after Jalil’s announcement, an agitated group of gunmen arrived at the hotel where he’d spoken, firing small arms and an anti-aircraft gun into the sky, escalating tension in the city. Witnesses said they appeared to hold the TNC responsible for Younes’s death.

What really happened? It may be days before we have a clear picture, if then. But whatever happened here, there have been emerging splits in rebel ranks, and the likelihood that there could be a “war after the war” is looking greater (I have generally been skeptical about extensive fighting in the event Qaddafi loses, but have grown more pessimistic about my own opinion in recent weeks).

For now, the first major defector from the core of Qaddafi’s security forces lies dead while Qaddafi, hounded by NATO airstrikes but untouched, remains in power in Tripoli.

While Libyan rebels have lost the head of the rebel army, Abdel Fateh Younes, Britain now recognizes Libyan rebels as the country’s sole legitimate government. Watch video here:

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 is in trouble, says ANPP chairman

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The national chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Ogbonnaya Onu yesterday said the country is in trouble and would require a government formed by the party to liberate it from the grip of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr Onu who spoke while declaring the meeting of the ANPP National Executive Committee (NEC) in Abuja, criticised the PDP government of not having an action plan for the country after years of being in power and admonished members of the party to prepare for the task ahead.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we must renew and strengthen our covenant with the Nigerian people. Nigeria is presently in trouble. The trouble of epileptic electric power supply. The trouble of insecurity. The trouble of joblessness. The trouble of many Nigerians who go to bed on empty stomach and sleep with one eye open. “The trouble of a federal government that still talks of an agenda, not an action plan, after over four good years of slow motion and an unclear vision.”

The national chairman said the ANPP must begin to reconnect with Nigerians as a way of arming itself for the task of national renewal and rebirth.

“We need to recharge our batteries so that we can better illuminate the road for the happiness, progress and prosperity of all Nigerians,” he said. “In this pursuit, we shall put forth an action plan that will embody our reform initiative for a better and stronger new ANPP that will meet the expectations of all Nigerians, before, during and after the next general elections in 2015.

“I therefore urge you to rededicate yourselves to the noble dreams of our founding fathers. We were fashioned as a political party that will win elections at all levels of government and provide selfless and visionary service to Nigerians. We were not conceived as a perpetual opposition political party.”

Judge elections fairly

The party chairman also called on the various election petition tribunals currently adjudicating on different election matters to ensure that justice is done in the cases before them.

He said the judiciary remains the last hope of the aggrieved and that it is an important component of the electoral process.

“When an election is manipulated, it promotes violence as those cheated in the process resort to self – help to protest their dissatisfaction, particularly when they do not have confidence that the judiciary can deliver justice. This further injures the trust that should bind both the leaders and the citizens,” he 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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Man guilty of assault for spilling drink on Zuma

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African man was found guilty of assault on Wednesday for spilling a whisky and water drink near President Jacob Zuma at the country’s premier horse race last year, local media reported.

Charges were laid against Daryl Peense, a betting agent, after an incident at the Durban July horse race a year ago in which he allegedly spilled his drink over Zuma from a balcony.

Peense was found guilty of assault on Wednesday and sentencing has been postponed to September 7, SAPA news agency reported, citing a National Prosecution Authority spokeswoman.

His attorney told the court earlier that Peense was drunk at the time and only a small quantity of whisky was spilled from his glass. He had no intention of injuring the president.

One of Zuma’s bodyguards told the court in March that he saw Peense pour a drink from the balcony over Zuma’s group at the horse race meeting

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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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Microsoft Office 2010 for Nigeria: Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba have released

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Microsoft Office 2010 Language Interface Packs are now available in 3 Nigerian languages, covering over 60 million speakers.

You can install them from here:

A Language Interface Pack allows you to change the user interface in the following Office 2010 applications: Excel, OneNote, InfoPath, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word. The pack includes a spell checker and is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

All three languages are already available for Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9:

A few facts about these languages:

  • Hausa: 22 million native speakers, 15 million as a second language. Non-native pronunciation of Hausa differs vastly from native pronunciation by way of key omissions of implosive and ejective consonants present in native Hausa dialects. This creates confusion among non-native and native Hausa speakers, because non-native Hausa speakers do not differentiate between the pronunciation of words like daidai (correct) and É—aiÉ—ai (one-by-one) in non-native Hausa.
  • Igbo: 21 million speakers. Many names in Igbo are actually fusions of older original words and phrases. For example, one Igbo word for vegetable leaves is akwükwö nri, which literally means “leaves for eating” or “vegetables”. Green leaves are called akwükwö ndu, because ndu means “life”.
  • Yoruba: 20 million native speakers, 2 million as a second language. In Yoruba there are no differences between the singular and plural. The context decides whether a word denotes singular or plural.

For more information on these 3 languages, check the Wikipedia page on Nigerian languages.

Language Distribution in Nigeria (source: Wikipedia):

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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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Norway rampage culprit calm, expects life in jail

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OSLO, Norway (AP) — The self-described perpetrator of one of the worst modern mass murders in peacetime told Norwegian authorities that that he expects to spend the rest of his life in prison but two other cells of his terror network remain free, officials said Monday.

Anders Behring Breivik has admitted bombing Norway’s capital and opening fire on a political youth group retreat, but he entered a plea of not guilty, saying he wanted to save Europe from Muslim immigration.

Prosecutor Christian Hatlo told reporters that Breivik was very calm and “seemed unaffected by what has happened.” He said Breivik told investigators during his interrogation that he never expected to be released.

Police announced, meanwhile, that they had dramatically overcounted the number of people slain in a shooting spree at a political youth group’s island retreat and were lowering the confirmed death toll from 86 to 68.

The overall toll in the attack now stands at 76 instead of 93. Police spokesman Oystein Maeland said that higher, erroneous figure emerged as police and rescuers were focusing on helping survivors and securing the area, but he did not immediately explain more about how the overcounting occurred.

Police also raised the toll from a bombing outside the government’s headquarters in Oslo before the shooting spree, from seven to eight.

Peaceful, liberal Norway has been stunned by the bombing in downtown Oslo and the shooting massacre at a youth camp outside the capital, which the suspect said were intended to start a revolution to inspire Norwegians to retake their country from Muslims and other immigrants. He blames liberals for championing multiculturalism over Norway’s “indigenous” culture.

Police have said Breivik used two weapons during the rampage — both of which were bought legally, according to the manifesto. A doctor treating victims told The Associated Press that the gunman used illegal “dum-dum”-style bullets bullets designed to disintegrate inside the body and cause maximum internal damage.

The court ordered him Breivik held for eight weeks while prosecutors investigate, four of which will be in isolation, saying Breivik could tamper with evidence if released. Typically, the accused is brought to court every four weeks while prosecutors prepare their case, so a judge can approve his continued detention. Longer periods are not unusual in serious cases.

Breivik made clear in an Internet manifesto that he planned to turn his court appearance into theater, preparing a speech for his appearance in court even before launching the attacks, then requesting an open hearing in which he would wear a uniform. Both of those requests were denied.

The suspect has said staged the bombing and youth camp rampage as “marketing” for his manifesto calling for a revolution that would rid Europe of Muslims.

“The operation was not to kill as many people as possible but to give a strong signal that could not be misunderstood that as long as the Labor Party keeps driving its ideological lie and keeps deconstructing Norwegian culture and mass importing Muslims then they must assume responsibility for this treason,” according to the English translation of Heger’s ruling that was read out after the hearing.

Breivik alluded to two other “cells” of his network — which he imagines as a new Knights Templar, the medieval cabal of crusaders who protected Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land. At one point, his manifesto briefly referred to an intention to contact two other cells, but no details were given.

European security officials said they were aware of increased Internet chatter from individuals claiming they belonged to the Knights Templar group and were investigating claims that Breivik, and other far-right individuals, attended a London meeting of the group in 2002.

Reporters and locals thronged the courthouse on Monday ahead of the hearing for their first glimpse of Breivik since the assault. When one car drove through the crowd, people hit its windows and one person shouted an expletive, believing Breivik was inside.

(This version corrects that accused told investigators, not court, that he expect to spend his life in jail. AP Video.)

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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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Kerosene out of reach for oil-rich Nigeria’s poor

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LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — It’s been five months since Toyin Felix last cooked dinner for her family in her kitchen. The price of kerosene is so high this mother of four now builds a fire outdoors with wood instead.

“My son helps me to blow when the firewood won’t catch fire,” she says.

Gas stations in this oil-rich country advertise kerosene for 30 cents a liter, but it actually sells for about three times that.

When asked to sell kerosene to a customer, one gas station attendant compared it to royalty: “You are asking for the king,” he said. “The king is not around.”

The status of kerosene, long considered gas’ poor cousin, only recently rose to become one of the most sought-after fuel products in the resource-rich West African nation. Many are taking advantage of the situation.

Because of government subsidies, kerosene is supposed to only cost 30 cents a liter. But middlemen are reselling it so many times among themselves that it reaches the end-users at highly inflated prices.

It turns into an expensive — and time-consuming — odyssey just to stay in business for many.

“You waste a lot of time buying kerosene and they tell you to pay money before they even sell anything to you,” said Anthony Anyi, a 27-year-old kitchen assistant who feeds some 300 people a day at his roadside restaurant from a stove made out of a recycled car rim.

Levi Ajuonoma, a spokesman for Nigeria’s state-run oil company, said the government is trying to rein in profiteering middlemen by delivering 30-cent-a-liter kerosene directly to households in a few neighborhoods.

“It’s a pilot project for now … but middlemen will see that if they do not sell as we tell them to, they will have to drink their kerosene,” he said.

But kerosene is also becoming hard to find for cooking because it also can be sold as jet fuel.

“As a marketer I’m faced with the option of selling my dual purpose kerosene as household kerosene or as jet fuel,” explains Agusto & Co Oil & Gas analyst Dolapo Oni. “Most settle for jet fuel and inadvertently create the scarcity that leads to household kerosene being sold at about the same price.”

In the commercial capital of Lagos, heavy rains have reduced the combustibility of cheaper alternatives such as firewood and charcoal.

Funke Ola, known as Madam Charcoal in her neighborhood, is happy for the extra business at her wooden stall. But the seller, whose hands are covered in ash, acknowledges people still can’t do without kerosene.

“When the charcoal is dry it takes less kerosene, when it’s wet it takes more, but my customers always need kerosene.”

Chukwuma Awaegwu, a 37-year-old fashion designer, had to borrow money from a friend to buy a gas cylinder so that he could start using gas.

“We used to think that gas was for the rich, but gas is more affordable and easier to get than kerosene,” he says.

The issue with gas, however, is that it requires more capital. The most easily available gas cylinder (12.5 kilogram) costs $77 on average and just over $20 to refill. The cheapest gas stove goes for about $20 — extra costs that the majority of Nigerians cannot afford.

Oando PLC, a major energy company, has started dispensing gas into cylinders using a metered pump to reduce the cost of a minimum refill. It also plans to introduce a 3-kilogram cylinder with an incorporated gas burner for which customers will pay about $32 plus usage.

“It makes a lot of sense,” says Junior Kanu, a New-York based household energy consultant whose work has taken him to remote parts of Nigeria where open firewood fires are the norm. “Gas is so much better for your health, it’s also cleaner and safer.”

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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Libya mission about oil, arms and nothing more

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The first signs of unrest in Libya erupted in the form of violent protests in mid-February. After seizing weapons and military equipment from Libyan soldiers, the protesters quickly became full-fledged rebels.

In a series of quick victories, the rebels raced toward the Libyan capital from their stronghold in the eastern city of Benghazi. It seemed that the four-decade rule of President Moammar Gadhafi was coming to a violent end at the hands of his own oppressed civilians.

Wild rumours circulated in the media, and the British Foreign Ministry erroneously reported that Gadhafi had fled Libya and was seeking refuge in Venezuela. Even as his key ministers quit the regime and air force pilots defected to Malta rather than fly missions against the rebels, Libyan leader Gadhafi somehow managed to turn the tide in his favour.

Those military forces and tribal fighters still loyal to him turned back the rebel column at the city of Sirte. Although the Libyan military would be considered fourth-rate at best, their modicum of discipline and superiority in heavy weapons soon put the rebels into a headlong rout all the way back to Benghazi.

But then Gadhafi committed the strategic error of promising vengeance upon those who had taken up arms and vowed to kill him. His threat of reprisals against the citizens of Benghazi prompted the UN Security Council to approve Resolution 1979, authorizing a “no-fly zone” over Libyan skies. The intent was to prevent Gadhafi from using his air force to punish innocent citizens. The ink on the UN resolution was still damp when NATO eagerly accepted command and control of its enforcement.

Canadian Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard was appointed the mission’s commander and almost immediately the mandate morphed into full-fledged military support of the rebels with airstrikes against Gadhafi loyalists. That was over 145 days ago and despite the unchallenged might of NATO’s air armada, not to mention Bouchard’s leadership, Gadhafi remains firmly in power.

Canada and the other key NATO belligerents, such as France and the U.K., have formally recognized the rebel leadership in Benghazi as the official representatives of Libya, even through they control just a small holding in eastern Libya.

Despite the influx of modern weaponry and foreign advisers, it is widely understood that without continued NATO air protection, Gadhafi loyalist forces would quickly eliminate the Benghazi pocket.

That said, last week NATO and rebel spokespersons were trumpeting a limited gain against Gadhafi forces in the city of Brega. Although the initial claim that they had seized the port city proved a little premature, it still seemed that the rebels had made advances and possibly even surrounded Brega.

Foreign observers noted that the rebels now possess modern heavy weapons, not just old Soviet machine-guns wired onto the back of battered old pickup trucks like we’ve seen previously.

The assault on Brega was also a combined arms effort involving both land and seaborne attacking forces, complete with NATO air support. The complexity of such an attack would indicate that the rebels are operating with the close supervision of NATO advisers or mentors.

Brega is strategically vital because its port facilities are the export terminals for a large percentage of Libya’s oil exports. Geographically, the majority of Libya’s oil fields are located on the east and are already under rebel control. However, with Gadhafi loyalists in charge of Brega, the tap has been shut off.

The capture of Brega — provided Gadhafi’s forces don’t destroy the port facilities first — will allow the rebels to start pumping oil. Those oil exports could pay for the heavy weapons and munitions that NATO has extended to them on credit.

This will no doubt come as a shock to those who thought our intervention in Libya was about human rights and democracy. Seems it’s about arms sales and oil.

Not a very proud moment in Canadian history.

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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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Israel prepares to intercept French yacht as it sets sail for Gaza

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Israel defense establishment expects no violent resistance from 10 activists, 3 crew members abord the Dignite-Al Karame

The French yacht Dignite-Al Karame set sail toward the Gaza Strip Sunday, after other ships in an anti-blockade flotilla were grounded in Greece, but defense establishment sources here said the French yacht will be prevented from reaching shore.

Greta Berlin of the Free Gaza Movement said the Dignite-Al Karame had declared Alexandria, Egypt, as its destination so it could slip out of Greece. You can change destinations legally in the middle of the Mediterranean, she added.

Defense establishment sources said Sunday they expected no violent resistance from the 10 activists and three crew members aboard the Dignite-Al Karame, so its interception should be swift and smooth.

Most of the combatants previously on alert to intercept the second Gaza-bound flotilla ¬ consisting of some 20 vessels and 2,000 activists ¬ have been transferred to other tasks. Greece did not allow the flotilla to take off. However, it made news when two boats were found to have been sabotaged.

The Israel Defense Forces knows that an Al Jazeera crew is on the boat and will make an effort not to provide the Palestinians with pictures of “Israeli aggression,” sources said.
Israeli diplomats said that as almost all the flotilla activists had disbanded, the takeover of the Karame is not expected to draw much media attention.

On Sunday night, 48 hours after leaving the Greek port at Kastellorizo and entering international waters, the French boat was nearing the Egyptian city of Port Said. The idea of entering Egyptian waters was dropped in view of the country’s precarious political situation, and the yacht stopped in international waters.

Thomas Sommer-Houdeville, a French national and flotilla spokesperson, said Sunday the boat was carrying a message of peace, hope and solidarity with the people in Gaza. He hoped the Israeli Navy would not intercept the boat and let it complete its civic mission. He believes that the boat must get near as possible to the destination, as it represents the “determination and will” of the people who were on board other boats and all those who have been involved in raising awareness about the blockade on Gaza.

In Jerusalem, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon warned foreign journalists that if the boat is indeed on its way to Gaza, which is a breach of international maritime law, it will be intercepted. Ayalon also assured that “we will try our best to make all those on board very comfortable.”

Israel says the blockade is to prevent arms from reaching the ruling Islamist group Hamas. The boarding of the Mavi Mamara in May 2010 by Israeli commandos met with resistance from those aboard, and nine activists died in the encounter. Relations between Israel and Turkey have been strained over the incident.

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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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