Andhra MP contracts swine flu

Andhra MP contracts swine flu

02/Feb/2015  //  1037 Viewers

Hyderabad: Kothapalli Geetha, a member of parliament in Andhra Pradesh, has been diagnosed with swine flu.

The MP from Araku is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Visakhapatnam.

She was admitted four days ago with breathing problem. Her blood sample was sent to Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) in Hyderabad and it tested positive for H1N1 virus.

Doctors said the condition of Geetha is stable and she would be discharged in a couple of days.

Geetha was elected as YSR Congress party candidate but later declared support to Telugu Desam Party.

Swine flu claimed four lives in Andhra Pradesh during January. About 30 positive cases were reported from different parts of the state.

Church attack: Chennithala demands thorough probe

Church attack: Chennithala demands thorough probe

02/Feb/2015  //  239 Viewers

Unidentified persons ransacked a place of worship in Delhi on Monday morning in what the church calls a case of vandalism but the police suspect is an act of burglary.

The incident happened at the Saint Alphonsa church in south Delhi's Vasant Kunj in the early hours of Monday morning. Two prayer materials, the monstrance and the ciborium ,which are held sacred by believers, were stolen along with a DVD player, but other valuables were left untouched.

This is the fifth such attack on a Christian church in Delhi in recent months and comes just a few days ahead of Delhi elections.

A senior police officer who visited the spot said the crime came to light when the parish priest reached the church and saw the main door broken down. The police control room was immediately informed after which a police team led by Inspector Virendra Jain, SHO of the Vasant Kunj police station, rushed to the spot.

"The church was not vandalised. It is a case of burglary and we have registered an FIR. Efforts are on to nab the culprits," the senior officer said.

The suspected burglars entered the church after breaking open the main door.  There were no private security personnel or policemen deployed to guard the church. Police are now scanning footage from CCTVs installed in the lanes adjoining the church.

Parish priest Vincent Salvatore was quoted by NDTV as saying it was a clear case of desecration and not theft as the materials stolen were mostly used for prayer.

Others spokespersons for the church urgged the police not to see it as a mere case of burglary.

"This is a clear case of desecration, and goes much beyond theft.. Police shouldn't treat it merely as a case of theft,"said John Dayal, spokesperson for the United Christian Forum for Human Rights.

A monstrance is a metal vessel, usually gold or silver-plated,which is believed to contain the sacrament during worship. A ciborium is a covered metal container used during worship.

The church is named after Saint Alphonsa, the first person of Indian origin to be canonised by Vatican in 2008.

In earlier cases, a Catholic church was vandalised by two unidentified men in west Delhi's Vikaspuri on January 14, weeks after the ministry of home affairs ordered Delhi Police to install CCTV cameras inside and around all religious places.

On January 3, the Christmas crib at Rohini's Church of Resurrection was mysteriously burnt down. The window panes of Our Lady of Fatima Forane Church in Okhla were broken during evening mass on December 7 last year by unidentified persons.

The police had been ordered to ramp up security outside all religious places after St Sebastian's Catholic Church in Dilshad Garden was allegedly burnt down days before Christmas last year.


Good US-India Relations No Threat to China: Barack Obama

Good US-India Relations No Threat to China: Barack Obama

02/Feb/2015  //  241 Viewers

New Delhi:  Surprised at the Chinese reaction over his visit to India, US President Barack Obama has said that there is no reason for Beijing to be threatened by a good relationship between New Delhi and Washington.

"I was surprised when I heard that the Chinese government had put out these statements. China doesn't need to be threatened because we have good relations with India," Mr Obama said at a CNN Sunday talk show.

In his interview, which was taped in New Delhi on January 27, the last day of his three-day India trip, Mr Obama referred to his November visit to China and said that he had some very successful meetings with his Chinese counterpart.

"My belief is that in this moment in history, there's an opportunity to create a win-win formula in which all countries are abiding by a common set of rules and standards and we're focused on lifting up prosperity for our people, not at the expense of others, but together with each other. That's what my discussions with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi have focused on," Mr Obama said.

The US President said he has continuously emphasised that it is very much in America's interest to see a peaceful rise of China.

"What's dangerous for us is a destabilised and impoverished and disintegrating China. It's much better for us if China is doing well," he said.

"But what we've said since the start of my term in office is China's growth shouldn't be at the expense of other folks. It shouldn't bully small countries like Vietnam or Philippines around maritime issues, but try to resolve those peacefully in accordance with international law. It shouldn't manipulate its currencies to get itself trading advantages that others don't have," Mr Obama asserted.

"Sometimes we've been successful in getting a response from China on those issues. Sometimes less so. I care deeply about China's success. I want to make sure that we continue to maintain a constructive relationship," he said.

"There's no doubt that there are aspects of India that make us closer to India. Specifically, it's a democracy and it reflects the values and aspirations as well as some of the warts of our own country in a way that China could not. And so that I think there's an affinity there that I feel personally and I think the American people feel as well," Mr Obama said.


Troops foil another attack, kill 100 insurgents

Troops foil another attack, kill 100 insurgents

02/Feb/2015  //  204 Viewers

Over 100 insurgents were said to have been killed by troops in Maiduguri yesterday.

Sixteen civilians were feared dead and about 36 people injured.

Though the military was silent on the casualty figures, it merely said “the terrorists incurred massive casualties.”

Nigerian troops and those of allied neighbours (Chad, Niger, and Cameroon) have also sacked the insurgents from Bama, Ngom, Alou, Delwa and Mafa in Borno State.

Troops were said to have engaged the insurgents for about eight hours to curtail their incursions into Maiduguri.

The Defence Headquarters confirmed the breakthrough in a statement by the Director of Defence Information, Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade.

“The terrorists attack on Maiduguri in the early hours of Sunday was quickly contained.

“The terrorists incurred massive casualties. The situation is calm as mopping up operation in the affected area is ongoing.

“The ongoing operation is in coordination with activities in the Multinational Joint Task. The terrorists are meant to be engaged in all fronts including their previous safe havens and hide outs in the region.

“It is in line with the arrangement for a comprehensive and coordinated military operation with inputs by military forces in the Lake Chad Basin Commission namely Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon.”

A top military source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We are mopping up the operation in Maiduguri but over 100 insurgents were killed by troops. The figures could be higher at the end of the day. The insurgents suffered worst casualties because “Operation No Mercy” is on now against them.

“We are tackling them headlong to put the insurgency behind this nation. We are optimistic of winning the battle.”

“Most of the encounters took place in the outskirts of Maiduguri. So, some innocent villagers were killed by the insurgents. About 16 civilians died and 36 others were injured.

The DHQ said Nigerian troops and those of allied neighbours (Chad, Niger, and Cameroon) have sacked the insurgents from Bama, Ngom, Alou, Delwa and Mafa in Borno State.

The forces have also recovered several weapons, arms and ammunition including two armoured tanks, two artillery guns and 17 Hilux vehicles.

The statement added: “The terrorists who in their disarray strayed towards Bama, Ngom, Alou, Delwa and Mafa in the night have now been effectively contained. Mopping up operation is ongoing.

“Several weapons, arms and ammunition including two armoured vehicles and two artillery guns as well as 17 Hilux vehicles have been captured from them. Several terrorists also died.

“The affected locations have been secured and soldiers wounded are being treated.

“Patrols and pursuit of fleeing terrorists is continuing in coordination with allied forces.”


Storm Snarls Air Travel in Chicago, Threatens U.S. Northeast

Storm Snarls Air Travel in Chicago, Threatens U.S. Northeast

01/Feb/2015  //  230 Viewers

A winter storm shutting down air traffic in Chicago and threatening the city with blizzard conditions will drop snow on the eastern U.S., including New York, during the Monday morning commute.

Winds are forecast to rise in Chicago, reducing visibility to near zero late Sunday, and 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 centimeters) of snow may fall before the storm moves farther east where Detroit, Cleveland, New York and Boston are in its path, the National Weather Service said.

“By Monday morning we are right in the middle of this event,” said John Murray, a Weather Service meteorologist in Upton, New York. “That is when the bulk of the precipitation will have fallen by the end of Monday morning.”

Winter storm warnings, meaning snow will make travel dangerous, stretch from eastern Nebraska to southern Maine. As of 8:45 a.m. in New York, 1,323 flights around the U.S. were canceled Sunday, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based airline-tracking company.

The majority of those trips were out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport, the company said. At least 540 flights have already been scrubbed for Monday.

New York may get by 4 to 8 inches with a quarter of an inch of ice on top of that by the time the storm ends Monday, Murray said.

Just to the north of New York, places from the Midwest to the Atlantic could get 6 to 12 inches of snow, said Bruce Terry, a meteorologist with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

Affected Cities

Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Boston will be affected “significantly,” Terry said.

Murray said the center of the storm will pass just south of Long Island and a slight change in the track could make things worse in New York.

Light snow will start in New York Sunday, then build in intensity overnight, he said. On Monday it will become a mixture of sleet and freezing rain, possibly ending as snow again before the storm finally exits the area late in the day, he said.

New York City suspended alternate-side parking for Monday to ease snow removal, the city’s transportation department said in a statement. Commuter rail authorities in Chicago and Boston warned residents delays are probable as the storm sweeps through.

Groundhog Day

Some of the heaviest snow will be falling across central Pennsylvania just as the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil emerging from his burrow looking for his shadow. Feb. 2 is the day the groundhog supposedly comes out of hibernation. If it sees its shadow on emerging, that by tradition means there will be six more weeks of winter.

The storm will arrive on the East Coast a week after a blizzard buried much of southern New England and Boston under at least two feet of snow and dropped 9.8 inches in Central Park, sparing New York its worst effects.

Boston has a 75 percent chance of getting 8 inches or more by Tuesday, the Weather Service said. The current forecast for the city is for 10 to 14 inches by the time the storm leaves.

An extra foot of snow will make cleanup from the last storm even more difficult, Terry said.


San Francisco gets no rain in January for first time in 165 years

San Francisco gets no rain in January for first time in 165 years

01/Feb/2015  //  242 Viewers

In another sign California's persistent drought, downtown San Francisco recorded no measurable rain in January for the first time in 165 years.

The National Weather Service also said Santa Cruz recorded no rain in January for the first time since 1893. Normal rainfall for that city in January is more than 6 inches.

For the Bay Area as a whole, last month was the driest January on record, the weather service said.

December brought decent rain to Southern and Northern California, raising hopes for a wet winter. But January turned out to be dry and unusually warm.

Parts of Southern California, however, did see some showers in January.


FG: South Africa emulates Nigeria’s power reforms

FG: South Africa emulates Nigeria’s power reforms

01/Feb/2015  //  244 Viewers

The Federal Government has said that South Africa is now emulating the Nigeria’s power sector privatisation model for the transformation of its energy sector.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja yesterday, the Minister of State for Power, Mr. Mohammed Wakil, said this had vindicated the durability of policies and programmes of President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.
Wakil, who argued that the crisis plaguing the South Africa’s power sector had made the country draft a power sector privatization bill, said: “Nigeria has become a model for power sector reforms in Africa. A bill almost like our 2005 Electricity Sector Reform Act is in the work in the South African parliament. We must commend Mr. President for this. When the PDP government started the reform, many Nigerians questioned the wisdom behind it. When President Jonathan launched the power sector reform road-map in 2010, critics sounded cynical.
“Today, we’ve a completed reform and we’re getting required results. We’ve teething problems. But we’re addressing them. I’m proud as a Nigerian that the reform we had completed is what puts a great country on solid footing. From generation to transmission and distribution, positive growth is happening. Each sub-sector is addressing issues that emerged from the reform. I want to reassure Nigerians that we’ve a world-acclaimed power sector form.
“In due course, power supply will become what Nigerians can take for granted. We’re expanding investment in transmission sector through involvement of the private sector. The discos are investing in system upgrade like South Africa is about to start. That’s something of the administration. The gencos are busy with upgrade, especially after the administration had addressed the gas to power issue. We’re installing electronic monitors to check incessant vandalism of gas pipelines by enemies of the nation”.
The minister also noted that Nigeria was on the final lap to reaching her desired destination in terms of power supply as the country had already passed the critical stage.

NASA Takes Fight Against Drought Into Earth's Orbit

NASA Takes Fight Against Drought Into Earth's Orbit

01/Feb/2015  //  240 Viewers

Yesterday, NASA launched SMAP, Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite, strapped to an unmanned United Alliance Delta II Rocket. Whereas many of NASA's recent launches have had ISS or deep space trajectories, SMAP will be turning its gaze on earth—more specifically, the soil beneath our feet.

SMAP is one of NASA's Earth-focused observation satellites that will measure soil moisture around the world and also monitor Western drought. Adding SMAP to the world's drought-monitoring arsenal couldn't be timed any better. California just experience the worst drought in the past 1200 years and recent NASA estimates say its caused the state to lose near 11 trillion (with a "t") gallons of water.

SMAP's specific three-year mission will look at the top two inches of soil, day and night, and create the most accurate soil moisture maps ever obtained from space, according to NASA. Not only will the satellite provide vital information for scientists to monitor drought, SMAP will also provide potentially life-saving information for more accurate weather forecasting, flooding, and early famine detection. It will additionally give scientists a greater understanding of the Earth's carbon dioxide cycle, which has a huge affect on global warming.

NASA Takes Fight Against Drought Into Earth's Orbit

SMAP is the fifth NASA instrument launched in the last 11 months geared toward analyzing our planet. Where as the other four projects will be trying to unlock mysteries behind Earth's atmosphere, SMAP will be strictly focused on soil. Using a rotating antenna that measure 20 feet (!) in diameter, SMAP will create global precipitation maps every three days, providing us with a vision of our planet that we've never seen before.

Boko Haram Launches Fresh Attack To Capture Maiduguri

Boko Haram Launches Fresh Attack To Capture Maiduguri

01/Feb/2015  //  278 Viewers

 Barely one week after a failed attempt to capture Maiduguri by Boko Haram members, this medium gathered that the Boko Haram group are again running amok, this morning trying to penetrate and seized Maiduguri.
As gathered by this medium, the insurgents are reportedly using RPGs, anti-aircraft missiles and rocket launchers attempting to take over the Borno State Capital.
According to residents who are held in the ensuing attack, the Nigeria Army is at the moment battling to repel the attack with superior air support.
There are sounds of gun shots and bombs being heard all the over city.

How I Was Brutalized By Okorocha’s Aides, Detained For Wearing A Tan Vest

How I Was Brutalized By Okorocha’s Aides, Detained For Wearing A Tan Vest

01/Feb/2015  //  259 Viewers

My name is GREG OKEY NWADIKE. I am from Uzoubi-Umuna in Orlu LGA of Imo state, Nigeria, but based in Abuja the FCT. I am a media practitioner and publisher of the magazine – Profile International.
On Monday, the 26th of January, 2015 at around 6.00pm, I was driving down from Nwangele Local Government Area to Owerri through the Okigwe Road having attended a rally of a senator of that zone which I covered for use in my publication. I was actually rushing to meet up with the Etisalat Office on Wetheral Road to fix my internet modem. Getting to the IMSU junction, and being conscious of the traffic situation usually on RockView/Government House Roundabout of that road, I then elected to pack my car somewhere around the Imo state Tax office. I chattered a tricycle to take me to Wetheral Road. But just before the Rochas Foundation Plaza opposite the Nigerian Prisons, we ran into angry and rampaging youths who I later realized were Imo students as they were obstructing traffic, destroying chandeliers and some street lighting equipment on the road. Others were chanting songs against the APC government in the state, others chanting for the governor while others against a student they described as the SA Students Affairs. Others were pelting on the billboard of the governor while others were throwing stones into the compound of the Rochas Foundation.
As a curious news hunter, I carefully positioned self and picked some clips with my handset with the sole intent a journalist usually has, and which is breaking news. I interviewed some of the youths and they spoke to me. I rounded off and left the scene. I came back later after the rioters had been dispersed to speak to the Okorocha’s camp so as to develop a balanced story in line with the ethics of the profession. But on getting just around the bus stop opposite the Rockview Hotel, I noticed a middle aged man with hoary hairs inside the Rochas Foundation plaza pointing at me and ordering some thugs to get me.
These men numbering over 25 men came after me and pounced all over me with blows and kicks. The beating became so intense and I fell down screaming to them that I was merely doing my work as a journalist. They later dragged me into the Rochas Foundation building on the orders of another young man whom I later understood was the Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development and son in-law to the Governor, Mr. Uche Nwosu. This was even as the beatings continued in the building. One of the thugs went inside one of the rooms and came out with a weapon. He smashed the object on my head and gripped me round the neck from my back threatening to cut my artery and allowed me die through bleeding. At this point, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports came down to see who it was, but on recognizing me as his school mate in the secondary school simply enquired what was my offence. I narrated to him and he ordered the guy hitting me to stop that. He walked away and the beating continued.
Mr. Uche Nwosu slapped me on the face and told me that I would rot in jail for leading students to attack the government. Persistently, I informed them that I was not a student but a journalist on duty. They enquired of my ID card which I presented. They observed that my driver’s license had the address of the National Assembly Press Corps and the story quickly changed that it was Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the PDP governorship candidate that paid me to mobilize infiltrators into the students group.
At this point, and while I was still bleeding from my mouth and nose, the Commissioner for Information walked in with team of journalists for my parading. When I was dragged up to face the team, many of them recognized me and screamed out my name. They quickly positioned their recorders to take my voice, but on realizing that the story may no longer favour them decided to prevent them from taking my side. They succeeded in driving them away even as the journalists protested and insisting they knew me. Their protest continued outside but later died down. Few minutes later, the Information Commissioner came back to me with two cameramen; a still photographer and a video man and simply said to them “This one is anti-Rochas. Look at him, he is from TAN” It was at this stage that it dawned on me that I was wearing a T-Shirt with the branded tag “TRANSFORMATION AMBASSADOR” on it. The cloth was given to me by a friend few weeks back and has been in my car ever since. I merely changed into the cloth as I was packing my car that evening because of the dirt on the one on me earlier that day. The crew recorded me and I told them that I was a journalist. I denied the Commissioner’s claim that I had a meeting that morning somewhere in Owerri with Prof. Viola Onwuliri, the Minister for Education and Chief Emeka Ihedioha where I was paid to mobilize students against a governor that has been given them free education. I also denied that I was brought into the state by TAN to be doing a hatchet job for the group against the Okorocha’s government. I accepted that as a true Nigerian I believe in the TRANSFORMATION ideology which is the same thing as the CHANGE ideology of the APC. At this stage, the Commissioner ordered them to stop the interview with me. He took them to a corner and granted them his own fabricated lies aimed at pleasing his master. There were so many other allegations leveled against me and the persons of Prof. Onwuliri and Chief Ihedioha which were all lies. I wondered where and how I got all the influences they were dressing me with. On my parents’ grave I swear that I had never met either by proxy or one-on-one with any of these respected Imo citizens. I don’t even consider myself fit even in the years ahead.
Few minutes before 10.00pm, the Police was brought in to take me along with a little boy who claimed he was a student of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education to the State’s CID, CP Monitoring Unit with the order “no one must see him” from Mr. Uche Nwosu. I was dumped into a windowless 12×13 room cell apartment with 67 occupants at that night in their worst dehumanized manner. The place would be better called an oven; a pigs’ haven. I was not allowed to contact anybody as my handsets were all confiscated by the Governor’s aides. I was equally not allowed to use any officer’s phone. Foods were not provided for the inmates and no charges were readily available against me till Friday, the 30th of January, 2015 at around 3.00pm that the Commander hurriedly came around and ordered them to bring out “the TAN boy” and let him go. I was called out and quickly asked to get someone to take me on bail after spending four days in a dungeon against my fundamental Human Rights.
I sustained some cuts on my body with a sprain on one of my arms. My head and face are swollen. My eyes have been painful and blood soaked with my lips cut. My dental set was seriously affected and the jaw bone behind my left ear persistently painful. I get sharp internal pinch on my right ribs a little under my breast. My urine has been reddish and I have been vomiting blood. I have just been placed on emergency treatment in a private hospital.
It is equally necessary to alert the public through this medium that I was given as the only condition for my being released and staying alive to accept to work for the APC and Governor Rochas Okorocha in the coming elections. This negotiation was ongoing with a private correspondent before the superior intervention to my release. From the stories of the inmates I met in the cell, I have no option at this stage also than to alert the public now that I am still breathing of where to direct my search should anything befall me in the near future.
My humble take is that no individual or group of individuals should be subjugated or subjected to any forceful association. To my humble pen-professionals, an injustice to one is an injustice to all. I pray you not to ignore this. Thuggery and violence must be stopped as part of weapons of winning elections.
Thank you.