10 Workers Killed in Wall Collapse at Industrial Plant in Tamil Nadu

10 Workers Killed in Wall Collapse at Industrial Plant in Tamil Nadu

31/Jan/2015  //  405 Viewers

Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India:  Ten people, all reported to be factory workers, died after a wall collapsed today in an industrial plant in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu.

The accident happened in the SIPCOT industrial area in Vaniyambadi after a waste treatment plant at the site burst open and the sledge knocked down the wall, which collapsed on the workers sleeping in the adjoining plot, say police officials.

Seven of the deceased victims are migrant labourers from West Bengal, says the police at the spot.

Source: http://www.ndtv.com/
Duke to Jonathan: Start Developing South-South, Your Home Region, Now

Duke to Jonathan: Start Developing South-South, Your Home Region, Now

31/Jan/2015  //  382 Viewers

Bassey Inyang in Calabar
President Goodluck Jonathan was on Friday advised by former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke to start developing his South-south region in demonstration of the truism that charity begins at home.

Duke stated this at the UJ.Esuene Stadium, during the PDP Presidential rally in Cross River State where he insisted that giving amentities to his people did not qualify as selfishness.

Duke who apparently spoke against the excuse advanced by Jonathan in Port Harcourt that the non-implementation of projects in the South-South region by his administration was an indication that he was not selfish.

Speaking at the rally, Duke said,”Mr. President, I join all others in welcoming your delegation to Cross River State. Today we come here to celebrate your victory, not to campaign.

“Now, when you return Mr. President, alongside all the wonderful things you have done for us, we will ask you for three things. Those things are within your ambits to do for us in Cross River State. Mr. President you promised me and you will fulfil this; all the lingering issues regarding our oil wells, we ask you for this. We deserve it; you must find the political solution to this thing for us Mr. President.

“The two others; I know they are in the works. The federal roads in Cross River State require your attention. The first road between us here and Akwa Ibom requires your attention. The road between here and Ogoja requires your attention. It takes five hours to get from one end of Cross River to the other. Now Mr. President, now that you have done terribly (well) abroad, you should come home. Thank you and I congratulate you”, he said.

Addressing the crowd at the stadium, Jonathan made no response to any of the demand but promised that if re-elected, his administration would ensure the construction of a railway line from Lagos to Obudu Ranch so as to attract traffic to the tourism facility. He also promised to extend the East-West Road to Calabar.
“God willing, when you send us back, we will sit down with you and look at the priorities of the state and how we would go about it,” Jonathan said.

In his remarks, Governor Lyel Imoke stated that the President didn’t need to campaign in Calabar because the state belonged to him as long as support for 2015 elections was concerned.

Imoke said the president did not need to come to the state to campaign as they were already completely behind him.

Before going to the venue of the rally, Jonathan inaugurated the Margaret Ekpo Airport by-pass, a 6.8km road with an interchange bridge, named after him, designed to ease vehicular traffic within and outside Calabar.

Speaking before inaugurating the road, the President said: “I am glad to be in Cross River State, a state that is entertaining Nigerians. That was why I selected your own, Chief Edem Duke to come and handle tourism at the centre because we saw what he was doing in Cross River.

“This is a great story which symbolises the vision of PDP, to create environment that will stimulate and help people in commerce and industry and social integration
“For the government and people of Cross River to notice that they need a bypass from the airport to divert traffic and decongest the city is indeed a visionary leadership”, he said.

He expressed gratitude to Imoke for the gesture done to him, saying, “I want to thank you very sincerely for immortalising me with the naming of this all important road after me.

“I pray that the day I will leave office, I will leave enough foot print that people will use in remembering me.”

In his remarks, Imoke said: “You have come back to where we believe is your strongest stronghold. You are a Cross Riverian. Today we have the privilege of you commissioning one of our very many projects by the grace of God in the state".

“It is an airport bypass road designed to bring out traffic out of the city. It is constructed through swamp and started 2011 and we are glad to complete this 6.8 kilometres road with an interchange bridge.

“This road will amongst others led to the creation of a new development area for house which we are complementing with the needed infrastructure

“This road has been named Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Bypass out of everything that you represent to us in Nigeria, but more particularly what you represent to Cross River State.”

Source: http://www.thisdaylive.com/

Officials say bombings kill 9 people around Iraq's capital

Officials say bombings kill 9 people around Iraq's capital

31/Jan/2015  //  434 Viewers

BAGHDAD (AP) — Authorities in Iraq say bombings targeting public places and security forces have killed nine people in and around the capital, Baghdad.

Police officials say a bomb exploded near a sheep market Saturday morning in the town of Madain, about 20 kilometers (14 miles) southeast of the capital, killing four people and wounding 11.

Police say a blast near car repair shops in central Baghdad killed three people and wounded 10.

Authorities say an explosion also hit an army patrol in the town of Taji, just north of Baghdad, killing two soldiers and wounding four.

Medics confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

Source: http://www.utsandiego.com/

Attorney wants mistrial declared in Vanderbilt rape case

Attorney wants mistrial declared in Vanderbilt rape case

31/Jan/2015  //  347 Viewers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An attorney for one of the ex-Vanderbilt University football players convicted of raping an unconscious fellow student says he will ask that a mistrial be declared after learning that a jury member was a rape victim.

Fletcher Long says the juror was asked during jury selection about past experience with the criminal justice system, as either a victim or defendant. Long says the juror failed to disclose the rape.

Long said the person "lied to get on the jury" and "got on with an agenda."

The juror's attorney, Sunny Eaton, said her client did not make misrepresentations. Eaton said the juror's past had "no impact whatsoever" on decision-making at trial.

The Associated Press does not generally identify sexual-assault victims.

A spokeswoman for prosecutors said they do not believe the issue will overturn the verdict.

Source: http://www.utsandiego.com/

After historic balloon journey, crew plans landing Saturday

After historic balloon journey, crew plans landing Saturday

31/Jan/2015  //  378 Viewers

Two pilots from the U.S. and Russia have traveled farther and longer in a gas balloon than anyone in history, trying to eliminate any remaining debate over a century of records in long-distance ballooning.

The Two Eagles pilots surpassed the distance and duration records that have held since the 1970s and 1980s, and were aiming Saturday for a safe landing somewhere on a beach in Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

Troy Bradley of Albuquerque and Leonid Tiukhtyaev (too-kh-TY'-yev) of Russia lifted off from Japan Sunday morning, and by Friday, they beat what's considered the "holy grail" of ballooning achievements, the 137-hour duration record set in 1978 by the Double Eagle crew of Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman in the first balloon flight across the Atlantic.

By early Saturday morning, the Two Eagles team had been in the air nearly 155 hours and was smashing the distance record, having traveled more than 6,500 miles, including the crossing of the Pacific Ocean.

"The technology has improved so much in the last couple of years. I don't think there's going to be any question about the records," said Katie Griggs, a regional director with the nonprofit Balloon Federation of America.

The world has been tracking their progress online and through social media sites. Still, the official distance and time of the Two Eagles flight must be confirmed by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, which requires staying aloft 1 percent longer and farther than the previous record.

The balloon is outfitted with an array of monitors and other instruments that are tracking its course and compiling the data, using technology that didn't exist in decades past, leaving some claims unproven.

Their first target was the official distance record of 5,209 miles set by the Double Eagle V team during the first trans-Pacific flight in 1981. They surpassed that on Thursday.

The journey has been tough on the pilots, who have been on oxygen for days; high altitude can take a physical toll. But they've been managing to crack jokes when checking in with mission control and their families.

The flight's mission control director, Steve Shope, said their priority now is getting the balloon to a safe landing after bad weather along the U.S. West Coast forced them to make a sharp right turn toward Mexico.

"Right now we have a big job ahead of us to get this balloon down," Shope said.

A chase crew of volunteers and members of the mission were en route Friday to record their arrival, help tether their craft and gather the balloon.

The pilots plan to come in low and drop thick trailing ropes into the ocean to help slow the balloon before setting down on some dunes in Baja California. Once they reach the sand, they will have traveled more than 6,800 miles.

"We're very excited. The pilots are excited. I think they're ready to land," Shope said.

Source: http://www.miamiherald.com/

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article8855312.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article8855312.html#storylink=cpy
APC In The Appearance Of Esau But In The Voice Of Jacob

APC In The Appearance Of Esau But In The Voice Of Jacob

30/Jan/2015  //  228 Viewers

Nigeria today is polarized between two ideological positions. The All Progressives Congress  a collection of homo sapiens that parade itself as Nigeria’s mainstream opposition party has its footsoldiers -Boko Haram- which  constitutes a unifying threat to a broad array of countries in the West  African subregion and beyond.  What’s needed to confront its nihilistic vision and genocidal agenda is a regional if possible global coalition employing none other than  political, humanitarian, economic, law enforcement and intelligence tools to support military force and Nigeria must retain the cooperation of its West African neighbours if she is to eventually carry the day.
We have gasped in utter shock and horror, paralysed with disgust and unbridled rage as we see lives cut down in  hundreds and thousands by dangerously powerful explosives with the mainstream opposition egging them on devoid of scathing criticisms and   meaningful contribution to stop the activities of this band of invading marauders  who are hell-bent on humiliating the present administration out of power, an antic we all know which will not  yield them any fruitful dividend in the long run.
The All Progressives Congress see nothing wrong with these acts of sheer evil which have killed thousands of innocents in Nigeria and neighbouring Cameroon ironically including Muslims whose same  faith it purports to profess and represent. All it does is the blame game and brainwashing of their partisans  to make the President of Nigeria look incapable while the crying evil continues with undiminished intensity. It would be recalled however  in the not too distant past Boko Haram while indicating its  readiness to end its campaign of violence chose the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Buhari to be their mediator and Mr. Buhari is often heard saying he alone has possesses the magic wand to bring the insurgency to an end.
Proceeding by syllogisms and coherence of feelings, Mr. Buhari, ought to have been arrested, detained and facing trial for his incendiary statements, the sects’ preferred choice as a mediator and his avowed declaration to end the insurgency if voted to power. Drawing inferences from the foregoing, there is no way this man can extricate him himself from the culpable acts of these men who have taken up arms against the Nigerian state. It  all started when Mr. Buhari declared that Sharia, the Islamic legal code must be introduced all over Nigeria, a supposedly secular nation. This is an incontrovertible fact that should not be forgotten in a hurry. Today Nigerians sleep with one open in the fear of the unknown as Boko Haram his brainchild has amassed a hardened fighting force of committed jihadists with territorial ambitions. There is no denying the fact that  they have already demonstrated the ability to seize and hold more territory than any other terrorist organization, in the embattled northeastern region and advancing  perilously close  to the Nigerian capital city of Abuja.
These self-styled jihadists have transmuted into a militia expanding their deadly operations into neighboring Cameroon. A lot of crying evils have also  been committed by them in that country which will doubtless make the prime mover have the criminal laws of both countries to contend with when it eventually comes to the crunch. Nothing lasts forever for all I know.
Boko Haram by tacit support from APC, their undisputed overlords have exhibited repulsive savagery and cruelty as they butcher Muslims and Christians in a bid to spark off a broader ethnic and sectarian conflict. The recent killing of over five hundred Nigerians at a blow shocked the conscience of the whole world.
This must not be allowed to continue and Nigeria and friends of Nigeria must understand the antics and consuming ambitions of a tiny minority whose quest for power now hang over our heads like the ancient sword of Damocles. I adjure governments in the subregion to retain the services of international private investigators for full-scale investigation to ascertain the remote  and immediate causes of the ongoing insurgency that is ravaging Nigeria with a viewing to identifying the prime mover/s and bringing them to justice. We must put forward a plan to deal with this collective threat and  many heads in the Nigeria’s mainstream opposition I am doubly sure  will roll for their culpable roles.
In this battle, there is a role to play from every country on the African continent. It is the writer candid advice however that an African High Military Command be set up as a matter of urgency to provide military assistance, direct and indirect and the  desperately needed humanitarian assistance for  millions who have been displaced and victimized across the region. Our efforts have brought a few West African nations to this cause namely Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Certainly there are different interests at play. But no decent country can support the horrors perpetrated by Boko Haram and their ”Grand Masters” who masquerade as a political party and no country should shirk its responsibility to contribute men and materials  help stamp out this disease. The Federal Government of Nigeria must cooperate with these and respect every intelligence information from these countries  that may arise, I mean information that may expose any grandee who has been tacitly supporting the Islamist sect either in cash or in kind. Extremists, we know, could only be defeated when nations unite to oppose them.
Iyoha John Darlington, aka Lington Donovan is a social activist, political analyst and a public commentator on national and global issues.
Email: jamestmichael2003@yahoo.com

source: http://pointblanknews.com/
Boko Haram: Armed Chinese Made Drone Crashes In Borno

Boko Haram: Armed Chinese Made Drone Crashes In Borno

30/Jan/2015  //  280 Viewers

As the brutal Boko Haram insurgency has entered its 7th year in Nigeria, the relationship between the government and China has deepened. In many ways it is a match of needs.

The Nigerian military has a pressing need for counter-insurgency (COIN) equipment, such as drones, MRAP vehicles and smart bombs (many of which the US has been unwilling to provide the government due to human rights concerns). China is seeking to be a first tier exporter of such modern military systems as well as has a massive domestic demand for oil. The result has been the export of Chinese weapons, fighters, warships and now it appears armed drones to Nigeria. On January 25, 2015, a photoappeared on online at Beegeagle’s Blog, appearing to show a CH-3 UCAV which crashed upside down near Dumge village in the Mafa District of Borno Province.

The two anti-tank missiles on the CH-3′s wings appear to be intact. Borno is the area where much of the Boko Haram violence, including the massacre of 2,000 civilians, occurred in 2015. Currently, the Nigerian military is fighting to hold onto the city of Maiduguri against a Boko Haram onslaught, so it appears likely that the CH-3 in question was flying reconnaissance and fire support missions for the Nigerians when it crashed.

The CH-3 is a medium UAV built by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. This 256km per hour, 630kg drone has a wingspan of about 8 meters, and the combat version can carry a 100kg payload.

Judging by photos of the CH-3 during Chinese testing, the missiles would likely by 45kg AR-1 anti-tank missiles, which are roughly equivalent to the American Hellfire missile. The CH-3 is also in Pakistani service as the “Burraq” UCAV. Despite damage to the tricycle landing gear and upper forward fuselage, this CH-3 appears to have crash landed due to mechanical or control difficulties. This is in line with most other global UAV combat losses to date. As the CH-3 has a cruise altitude of 5,000m and a flight ceiling of 6,000m, it is unlikely that Boko Haram would have the necessary heavy anti-aircraft weaponry or training to do so.

Despite this particular CH-3′s inglorious fate, it is a good illustration that Chinese drones are likely to be flying over Nigeria and many other insurgencies around the world for time to come.

This article originally appeared on Popular Science.

Source: http://pointblanknews.com/

Underwear Checks? How Far Is Too Far When it Comes to School Discipline?

Underwear Checks? How Far Is Too Far When it Comes to School Discipline?

30/Jan/2015  //  219 Viewers

There are days when teachers do amazing, inspiring things, such as putting their students on the path to college or dancing with them to “Uptown Funk.” And then there are times when educators decide to check their students’ underwear so they can figure out which kid has been leaving feces on the gym floor.

As hard as it is to believe, that’s what happened on Monday to two dozen boys and girls attending Gustine Elementary School in tiny (population: 457) Gustine, Texas.

“I felt uncomfortable, and I didn’t want to do it,” 11-year-old Eliza Medina told WFAA. “I felt like they violated my privacy.”

It’s understandable that the school’s staff would be upset over regularly finding poop on the gym floor. It’s a gross prank, and custodians shouldn’t have to clean up such a mess. But it seems like common sense that there are other, more professional ways of disciplining students that don’t violate student privacy. 

The staff could have called a school assembly, held a meeting with parents, or involved the kids in a more positive manner. Since children tend to exert some serious peer pressure on one another, the teachers could have formed a student committee tasked with finding ways to keep the school clean. Instead, the instructors chose to catch the culprit by partially strip-searching students and checking their underwear for fecal evidence.

Parents in the community are, understandably, angry.

“I was furious...I mean, I was furious,” Eliza’s mother, Maria Medina, told the station. “If you can’t do your job or you don’t know what you’re doing, you need to be fired. You shouldn’t be here.”

Ken Baugh, superintendent of the Gustine Independent School District, told the station that the actions of the staff were “not appropriate” and that he’d be taking “disciplinary action.”

I called Baugh’s office to find out what he’s planning to do to resolve the situation and was told he was in a meeting with a parent. (You think?) One thing is for sure: Baugh and other education officials in Gustine will get an earful from irate moms and dads on Thursday night at the local school board meeting.

Source: http://www.takepart.com/

Irate youths stone Jonathan’s motorcade in Taraba

Irate youths stone Jonathan’s motorcade in Taraba

30/Jan/2015  //  218 Viewers

The motorcade of President Goodluck Jonathan was for the umpteen times pelted with stones by some aggrieved youths in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital. Jonathan was in the city in continuation of the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential rally when his convoy accosted the angry mobs on Thursday.

Before the latest assault on his campaign team, the President’s motorcade had been stoned in Katsina and Bauchi states when he went to seek votes for the people of the States for his re-election bid.

Reports have it that the windscreens and windows of some of the vehicles on the convoy were destroyed before security operatives used teargas and horsewhips to disperse the youths.

Eye witnesses to the incident told Punch that trouble started when the President’s convoy was going to the palace of the Emir of Muri, Abass Tafida, from the airport.

According to one of them, “Security agents ensured that people were moved very far from the main but at a point, the convoy got to a particular village where the youths became restive.

“Before we knew what was happening, they started stoning the convoy.”

Though it could not be ascertained if anyone in the convoy was hurt or any arrests made, Jonathan, who was said to be unruffled by the assault, used the opportunity of his visit to the state to meet with ailing Governor, Danbaba Suntai.

Source: http://dailypost.ng/

Ukraine peace talks cancelled as 24 killed in latest clashes

Ukraine peace talks cancelled as 24 killed in latest clashes

30/Jan/2015  //  247 Viewers

A new round of peace talks between Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels was cancelled on Friday after government officials failed to show up, a rebel spokesman said.

“The foreign ministry of Belarus confirmed today that Kiev won’t come, the talks have been cancelled,” separatist envoy  Denis Pushilin told reporters in the Belarussian capital Minsk.

Twenty-four people, including 19 civilians, were killed in the past 24 hours in clashes between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in east Ukraine, officials said on Friday.

Pro-Kiev officials in the separatist region of Donetsk said dozens of people were also wounded in shelling across the industrial province. The Ukrainian military said 23 soldiers were injured in the fighting, which has claimed at least 5,100 lives over the last nine months.

Seven civilians died overnight in rebel-held Donetsk and five more early on Friday when a food distribution centre was hit, city hall officials said.

The Ukrainian military said that five soldiers and seven civilians were killed in other areas across the mostly Russian-speaking rustbelt.

Heavy fighting was ongoing around Debaltseve, a key government-held town of 25,000 people that straddles a railway connecting the two rebel centres of Lugansk and Donetsk. Russian-backed rebels claim to have almost encircled the town.

Source: http://www.scmp.com/