Friday, October 19, 2012

High-profile Boko Haram member arrested at senator’s home

MAIDUGURI  (AFP) – Nigerian authorities said Friday they had arrested an alleged high-profile member of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram at the home of a senator in the violence-torn Nigerian city of Maiduguri.
The statement from a military task force in Maiduguri did not name the senator and provided few other details. There have been allegations of links between elements

Obama campaign claims Ohio poll leads


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The Obama campaign put all joking aside after Thursday night’s charity dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York with a new memo on Friday morning that said the US president was ahead in the critical battleground state of Ohio compared with this time four years ago.

The memo highlighted four polls that showed Mr Obama with significant leads among early voters and that four in five Ohioans who had registered to vote this year were either female, under 30 years-old, black or Latino – demographics that traditionally favour the president.

“Republicans are similarly talking up their ground game and early vote numbers, but their assertions rest on much shakier ground,” said Jeremy Bird, the Obama campaign’s national field director.

Mr Bird hit out at the Romney campaign’s suggestion that Republicans were making strong gains in early voting and outperforming voter registration in Ohio’s largest counties. He said the Romney campaign was “disingenuously” looking at the increase in Republican voters during the primary, when Republicans had a competitive race but Democrats did not.

Mr Obama and Mr Romney headed back on the campaign trail – the president to Virginia while Mr Romney was in Florida – after a brief respite in their battle for the White House.

On Thursday night, both presidential candidates appeared at the annual Al Smith Catholic charity dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York and poked fun at one another and themselves.

Mr Romney, in white tie and tails, began his speech talking about the many wardrobe changes required by an election campaign. “It’s nice to finally relax and wear what Ann and I wear around the house,” he quipped.

He joked about Mr Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, who he remarked would “laugh at anything” – a reference to Mr Biden’s frequent laughter and big grin during his recent debate against Paul Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential hopeful.

Mr Romney referred to the media’s alleged bias in favour of Mr Obama. He predicted the headlines for the next morning would read: “Obama embraced by Catholics. Romney dines with rich people.”

The Republican candidate made a few biting remarks, including one when he said he wondered what Mr Obama was thinking as he looked around the room among the elite in Washington with just a few months left in his presidency: “So little time, so much to redistribute.”

Mr Obama took shots at Mr Romney. As he approached the podium he said to the clapping crowd: “Please take your seats. Otherwise Clint Eastwood will yell at them,” a reference to the Hollywood actor’s performance at the Republican national convention.

He poked fun at Mr Romney’s trip to Europe, in which he offended Londoners on the eve of the opening ceremony for the Olympics. “After my foreign trip in 2008, I was attacked as a celebrity because I was so popular with our allies overseas. And I have to say, I’m impressed with how well governor Romney has avoided that problem,” he said to laughs.

He noted that “Mitt” was actually Mr Romney’s middle name (his first name is Willard), and said “I wish I could use my middle name.” Mr Obama’s middle name is Hussein.

The US president did not spare himself. “Some of you may have noticed, I had a lot more energy in our second debate. I felt really well rested after the nice long nap I had in the first debate.”

And, as he did when he first appeared at the dinner in 2008 alongside John McCain, he included a jab at his running mate.

“I’ve heard some people say, ‘Barack, you’re not as young as you used to be. Where’s that golden smile? Where’s that pep in your step?’ And I say, ‘Settle down, Joe, I’m trying to run a cabinet meeting.”

•The Hill

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Mitt Romney

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Jets hit town, Syria envoy flies in on truce bid

Syrian jets hammered a rebel town on Friday, the second day of an assault in which the regime is accused of using cluster bombs, as peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi landed in Damascus to press for a truce.
Brahimi is bidding to secure a ceasefire during the four-day Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday from October 26, hoping it will bring a longer cessation in the 19-month conflict that has already killed more than 34,000 people.
“We will have discussions here with the government, the political parties and civil society about the situation in Syria,” Brahimi said at Damascus airport.

Drama in Ikare as soldiers impound Abuja-bound trailer

Soldiers at a checkpoint on Oba Adesida Road, Akure... on Friday. Soldiers at a checkpoint on Oba Adesida Road, Akure... on Friday.
| credits: Stanley Ogidi
There was drama in Ikare, Akoko North-East of Ondo State on Friday when an Abuja-bound trailer was impounded by a team of soldiers deployed in the community for today’s governorship election in the state.

Outgoing Air Force chief advocates more funding

Outgoing Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Umar Outgoing Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Umar
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The outgoing Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Umar, has called for increased budgetary provision for the service in view of its constitutional responsibility of curbing the new security challenges in the country.
Umar said that the Air Force would be able to play its sensitive security responsibility of defending the nation against external aggression and participate effectively in maintaining internal security only with adequate budgetary allocations.

Chinese worker, five others killed, schools burnt in Maiduguri violence

A Chinese construction worker was killed on Friday in the besieged city of Maiduguri, Borno State in Nigeria’s northeast, an official said Friday, exacerbating security concerns for foreign workers in Nigeria’s violence-wracked North-East.
An overnight raid in a nearby city left 5 others dead and several schools razed to the ground, the Associated Press reports.
Gunmen shot the Chinese builder Friday morning on a main road that had been undergoing reconstruction in the city of Maiduguri, said the Borno State Ministry of Works spokesman Babakura Bukar.

PHCN Worker Electrocuted In Ekiti

THERE was pandemonium at Satellite neighbourhood/NTA Road in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Wednesday, as a man identified as Mr Samuel Job Isaac was electro-cuted while working on an electrical fault in the area.

The body of Isaac dangling from the electricity pole.

Isaac, who died on the spot, was said to be a worker of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

The deceased, said to be an Electrical/Electronic Engineering  graduate of the Osun State College of

UK court allows Nigerian couple to keep stolen baby

A couple, who could not have children, have been told by a United Kingdom High Court they can keep a baby born in Nigeria, despite tests showing they were not the child’s biological parents.
The mother said she was tricked by a doctor into believing she had given birth while sedated, after she went to Nigeria for fertility treatment, BBC reports.
The local authority had claimed the couple’s story was a “charade.”
But the judge ruled they were victims of an “appalling scam.”
The presiding judge Mr Justice Coleridge added the case was “extraordinary, bizarre and worrying.”
Charities meanwhile have raised concerns about the judgement, warning it may encourage trafficking.
At the High Court on Thursday, Mr Justice Coleridge ruled that the pair, who he described as people of the “highest calibre”, should be given custody of the girl who is nearly two years old.
The couple – who live in London but cannot be named for legal reasons – failed to conceive a child despite undergoing IVF treatment in the UK.
They were said to be “desperate and distressed.”
In 2010, the couple travelled to Nigeria where the woman received fertility treatment at a private clinic.

11,000 policemen deployed for Ondo poll

No fewer than 11,000 policemen have been deployed for Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The Commissioner of  Police in charge of the election, Mr. Mohammed Indabawa, announced this on Friday in Akure while briefing newsmen.

Indabawa also said a commissioner of police would handle the security apparatus in each of the senatorial districts.

He vowed that anyone caught in electoral malpractice would be treated as a criminal.

The police boss also warned politicians against inducing security agents with money,  adding that the force was determined to ensure a free and fair election.

The commissioner, who warned against hawking around polling units, also advised those not on election duty to stay away.

He appealed to residents of the state to be law abiding and conduct themselves according to the electoral guidelines.

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Hoodlums attack Nigerian embassy in Berlin

The Nigerian Embassy in Berlin was attacked with paint bombs on Wednesday night by unknown persons, the police have said.

According to police spokesman, unknown attackers threw glass bottles filled with a thick and sticky liquid at the front of the building in Neue Jakobstraße, (The name of the street where the embassy is situated), the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The spokesman said the police have handed over the investigation of the incident to state security authorities, adding that political motive may not be ruled out in the attack.

The police said security workers noticed the damage to the building on Thursday morning.

The spokesman said that on Monday, 120 activists, members of the “Refugee Protest March in Berlin campaign” gathered in front of the Nigerian Embassy to demonstrate against the practice of deporting asylum seekers from Germany.

According to him, 14 of the activists illegally entered to the embassy, in order to “occupy” it as part of the protest march.

He explained that those who entered the premises were later ejected by security officials while 25 of the protesters were temporarily detained and later released.

The spokesman stated that the demonstrators accused the embassy workers of “working closely with the German state to ensure that the processing of the largest number of deportations from Africa came from Nigeria.”

He emphasised that his agency would, however, investigate if there was a connection between the attempted occupation of the embassy on Monday and the recent paint attack on Wednesday night to the early hours of Thursday.

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IG, Abubakar

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Madrid given Benzema and Higuain boost

There was good news for Real Madrid fans on Thursday evening after forwards Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain took a full part in training and should be available for Saturday's La Liga clash with Celta Vigo at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

PA PhotosGonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema are among the nine Real Madrid players who returned injured from the international break

Benzema limped out of France's 1-1 draw with Spain on Tuesday, while Higuain was substituted with an ankle problem after scoring in Argentina's 2-1 win in Chile. However, both appear to have overcome their respective knocks and are in contention to start against Celta Vigo, who have lost all three away games 2-1 so far this season.

Less positively for Real boss Jose Mourinho, German midfielder Sami Khedira missed training and is unlikely to feature on Saturday, while Madrid's three full-backs were injured on international duty in the past week, meaning Alvaro Arbeloa, Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao, are set for longer terms on the sidelines.

Marcelo was to undergo surgery on his broken fifth metatarsal of his right foot on Friday, with the operation carried out by Dutch specialist Cornelius Niek Van Dijk, who has previously treated Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie as well as many other leading footballers. The Brazilian left-back is not expected to play again this year. Arbeloa and Coentrao are recovering from muscle injuries and should be back next month.

Club captain Iker Casillas said on Thursday that he was sure Mourinho would find the right solutions to ensure the team coped with the absences against both Celta and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League next week.

"We have enough options to cover the absences," Casillas said. "With this 'FIFA virus' there are players from the 'cantera' who are capable of playing in the first team. Mourinho knows them. The boss will find the best solutions possible."

AS reported on Friday that Mourinho could play Michael Essien at right-back against Celta, as he occasionally did at Chelsea, although with Khedira missing the Ghanaian could be needed in midfield. Sergio Ramos looks more likely to again move across, with either Raul Albiol or Raphael Varane coming in at centre-half.

Left-back could be covered by one of Madrid Castilla defenders Nacho, 22, or Jorge Casado, 23, although Marca suggested that winger Angel di Maria may be pushed back to play in defence in a more attacking line-up as Real look to ensure they win to temporarily at least eat into Barcelona's current eight-point advantage in the Primera Division standings.

Should Di Maria be used at full-back, Kaka would likely get another chance to build on his recent good form - which included starts and goals against both Iraq and Japan on his return to international action with Brazil this week.

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Maid Boils Employers Baby To Death Because Salary Was Not Paid On Time

Maid Boils Employers Baby To Death Because Salary Was Not Paid On Time

A Bulawayo maid has been arrested after she allegedly boiled her employer's three months-old baby. This was apparently in revenge to her employer's failure to pay her on time.
The maid, Nokuthula Nyathi, of Emakhandeni is alleged to have boiled the infant in a container on Wednesday last week. The infant's mother, Karen Dube, collapsed when she saw her baby in the container.
The maid was arrested a day after the gruesome murder and appeared before Western Commonage magistrate, Mr Richard Ramaboea facing murder charges.
She was remanded in custody to 23 October. Some residents said the maid and her employer had a turbulent relationship.


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