Thursday, December 14, 2017

Jailed journalists Worldwide, CPJ Census Finds Turkey, China, Egypt Top on Chart


New York, December 13, 2017—For the second year in a row, the number of journalists imprisoned for their work hit a historical high, as the U.S. and other Western powers failed to pressure the world’s worst jailers--Turkey, China, and Egypt--into improving the bleak climate for press freedom, the Committee to Protect Journalists found.
As of December 1, 2017, CPJ found 262 journalists behind bars around the world in relation to their work, an increase on last year’s historical high of 259. Turkey is again the worst jailer, with 73 journalists imprisoned for their work as the country continues its press freedom crackdown. China and Egypt again take the second and third spot, with 41 and 20 cases respectively. The worst three jailers are responsible for jailing 134--or 51 percent--of the total.
“In a just society, no journalist should ever be imprisoned for their work and reporting critically, but 262 are paying that price,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “It is shameful that for the second year in a row, a record number of journalists are behind bars. Countries that jail journalists for what they publish are violating international law and must be held accountable. The fact that repressive governments are not paying a price for throwing journalists in jail represents a failure of the international community.”
According to CPJ’s census 194 journalists, or 74 percent, are imprisoned on anti-state charges, many under broad or vague terror laws. In Turkey, every journalist on the census is either accused of or charged with anti-state crimes. Although many journalists cover multiple beats, politics was the most dangerous, covered by 87 percent of those jailed. Nearly all the jailed journalists are local and the percentage of freelancers is higher this year, accounting for 29 percent of cases. 
Other leading jailers of journalists in 2017 are Eritrea, with 15 cases, and Azerbaijan and Vietnam, with 10 cases each.
The international community has done little to isolate repressive countries and U.S. President Donald Trump’s nationalistic rhetoric and insistence on labeling critical media “fake news” serves to reinforce the framework of accusations and legal charges that allow such leaders to preside over the jailing of journalists. CPJ’s 2017 census found the number of journalists jailed for “false news” doubled this year, to 21 cases.
Poor prison conditions is another issue this year, with two journalists jailed in China, including Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, dying just weeks after being released on medical parole, and several others seriously ill. In Egypt, CPJ found over half of the jailed journalists have health conditions.
The prison census accounts only for journalists in government custody and does not include those who have disappeared or are held captive by non-state groups, such as several Yemeni journalists CPJ believes to be held by the Ansar Allah movement, known as the Houthis. These cases are classified as “missing” or “abducted.” CPJ has been conducting an annual survey of journalists in jail since the early 1990s.
CPJ’s list is a snapshot of those incarcerated at 12:01 a.m. on December 1, 2017. It does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released throughout the year; accounts of those cases can be found at https://cpj.org. Journalists remain on CPJ’s list until the organization determines with reasonable certainty that they have been released or have died in custody.

###
CPJ is an independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Caught on Camera: Rihanna Spotted with Her Saudi Arabian Billionaire Boyfriend #PhotosNews

American superstar, Robyn Rihanna Fenty who is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, and actress appears to be in love again, but this time with a billionaire from the Middle-east.

 
Rihanna and Hassan Jameel
 
Rihanna set tongues-wagging last week after she was spotted with an eye-catching diamond ring on her wedding finger.
 
And as speculation mounts, Rihanna cut a stylish figure as she jetted into London alongside her beau, Hassan Jameel on Monday.
 
The 29-year-old hitmaker donned a warmth-inducing red, white and navy print coat as she walked through Heathrow Airport with her Saudi Arabian boyfriend.
 
The 'Work' singer teamed her horse patterned jacket with a pair of skintight leggings which highlighted her slender pins.
 
Ready to combat the chilly temperatures, she placed a thick black scarf over her neck while she donned a pair of shades while walking through the terminal.
 
See more photos:
 
 


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

260 Journalists Are Currently In Detention Worldwide - CPJ

It has been revealed that as many as  260 journalists are currently in detention worldwide.
 
According to reports published by the the press freedom arbiter, Committee to Protect Journalists, on this year’s database of journalists Imprisoned worldwide, indicators are showing a rise in cases of journalists jailed on account of their work.
 
The report released on Wednesday said the number of journalists imprisoned for their work hit a “historical high” for the second year in a row.
 
“As of December 1, 2017, CPJ found 262 journalists behind bars around the world in relation to their work, an increase on last year’s historical high of 259,” the statement noted.
 
The world’s worst jailers of journalists, according to the report, are the trio of Turkey, China and Egypt – carrying on the baton from last year.
 
“Turkey is again the worst jailer, with 73 journalists imprisoned for their work as the country continues its press freedom crackdown. China and Egypt again take the second and third spot, with 41 and 20 cases respectively. The worst three jailers are responsible for jailing 134–or 51 percent–of the total.”
 
CPJ decried that the U.S. and other Western powers have failed to pressure the three countries to improve “the bleak climate for press freedom”.
 
“In a just society, no journalist should ever be imprisoned for their work and reporting critically, but 262 are paying that price,” said CPJ Executive Director, Joel Simon.
 
“It is shameful that for the second year in a row, a record number of journalists are behind bars. Countries that jail journalists for what they publish are violating international law and must be held accountable. The fact that repressive governments are not paying a price for throwing journalists in jail represents a failure of the international community.”
 
According to CPJ’s census 194 journalists, or 74 per cent, are imprisoned on anti-state charges, many under broad or vague terror laws.
 
In Turkey, every journalist on the census is either accused of or charged with anti-state crimes. Although many journalists cover multiple beats, politics was the most dangerous, covered by 87 percent of those jailed. Nearly all the jailed journalists are local and the percentage of freelancers is higher this year, accounting for 29 per cent of cases.
 
Other leading jailers of journalists in 2017 are Eritrea, with 15 cases, and Azerbaijan and Vietnam, with 10 cases each.
 
“The international community has done little to isolate repressive countries and U.S. President Donald Trump’s nationalistic rhetoric and insistence on labeling critical media “fake news” serves to reinforce the framework of accusations and legal charges that allow such leaders to preside over the jailing of journalists.
“CPJ’s 2017 census found the number of journalists jailed for “false news” doubled this year, to 21 cases,” the report added.



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Muslim Countries Gather in Istanbul to Counter Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem

Muslim countries have gathered in Turkey's capital, Istanbul to forge a reach an agreement on how to counter Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

President Donald Trump
 
Leaders and senior officials from Muslim countries are expected to hold an extraordinary summit Wednesday in Istanbul, Turkey to forge a consensus to a U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
 
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for the extraordinary session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as the organization’s term-president to produce a unified Islamic position.
 
The Turkish leader has been one of the most outspoken critics of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision which also includes starting immediately the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“Declaring it (Jerusalem) as a capital and relocating the (U.S.) embassy has no validity for us,” Erdogan has said.
 
Addressing a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Turkey’s central Anatolia city of Sivas on Sunday, he also called Israel “an occupying and a terrorist state.”
 
Israel took over East Jerusalem, revered by Muslims as the third holiest site in Islam, in the 1967 war, and declared unilaterally the whole city as its eternal capital.
 
However, this move has never been accepted by the international community, which has called for reaching a final settlement of the dispute through Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
 
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday criticized some Arab countries for “refraining from challenging Trump,” noting that the OIC summit is seeking recognition of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.
 
Most OIC members are expected to attend, including the Palestinian president, the Iranian president, the Lebanese president and the Jordanian king.
 
Prior to the summit, the Turkish president met on Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Istanbul. The closed-door meeting lasted for one hour, and no statement was made thereafter, according to Turkish media.
 
The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents.
 
Trump’s announcement over the contested city has sparked days of violent clashes in Gaza Strip and West Bank as well as protests in other Arab countries. Several rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel over the past few days.
 
According to a health official in Gaza, clashes between Palestinian young protestors and Israeli soldiers continued on Tuesday at the border areas between Gaza and Israel, with five moderately injured by live bullets so far.
 
-Xinhua


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

FBI Agents who Called President Trump 'An Idiot' on Hot Seat

A text-message in which a veteran FBI agent was caught calling President Donald Trump an idiot has been made public.
An FBI agent who called Donald Trump an idiot has been removed
 
An FBI agent removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team over politically charged text messages referred to Donald Trump, then the Republican presidential candidate, as an “idiot” and said on election night that a Trump victory would be “terrifying,” according to dozens of text messages reviewed by The Associated Press.
 
Peter Strzok, a veteran FBI counterintelligence agent who was also deeply involved in the investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, was removed over the summer from Mueller’s team following the discovery of text messages exchanged with Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who was also detailed to the group of agents and prosecutors investigating potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.
 
The messages, which surfaced in a Justice Department inspector general investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton inquiry, were being provided to congressional committees and were reviewed by the AP on Tuesday night.
 
The texts seen by the AP occurred as the 2016 presidential race was in full swing and as Trump and Clinton were looking to defeat their primary challengers and head toward the general election. The messages cover a broad range of political topics and include an exchange of news articles about the race, often alongside their own commentaries.
 
In one exchange, on Oct. 18, 2016, Strzok writes to Page and says: “I am riled up. Trump is an (expletive) idiot, is unable to provide a coherent answer. I CAN’T PULL AWAY. WHAT THE (expletive) HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY??!?!
 
Weeks later, on election night, as it becomes clearer that Trump might defeat Clinton, he says, “OMG THIS IS (expletive) TERRIFYING.”
 
Page replies: “Yeah, that’s not good.”
 
A spokesman for Mueller has said Strzok was removed from the team as soon as the text messages were discovered. Nonetheless, Trump and other Republicans have held up the revelation to suggest that members of Mueller’s team, and members of the FBI leadership in general, are politically compromised.
 
FBI Director Chris Wray tacitly rebuked the president at a hearing last week in which he defended his agents.
 


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Monday, December 11, 2017

I'm the Best Player in the History of Football - Ronaldo

Portuguese star and Real Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo has declared after winning his fifth Ballon D'Or that he is the best player in history of the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo
 
Cristiano Ronaldo says he is the "best player in history" after winning his fifth Ballon d'Or on Thursday, according to a report by SkySports.
 
The Real Madrid forward scooped the award, which is organised by magazine France Football, for the fifth time to tie level with Lionel Messi's tally.
 
Ronaldo, who helped his side win the Champions League and La Liga last season, also won the best male player prize at the 2017 Best Fifa Football Awards in October, and believes he is now the greatest to have played the game.
 
"I'm the best player in history, in the good moments and the bad ones," he told France Football. "I respect everyone's preferences, but I've never seen anyone better than me. I have always thought that. No footballer can do the things I can. There's no player more complete than me.

"I play well with both feet, I'm quick, powerful, good with the head, I score goals, I make assists. There are guys who prefer Neymar or (Lionel) Messi. But I tell you: there's no-one more complete than me.

"No one has won as many individual trophies as me. And I'm not speaking just of the Ballon d'Or. That says something, doesn't it? It's not just a result of the work I do in the gym, like some people think. It's the sum of many things.
 
"Legends like Floyd Mayweather and LeBron James don't get to their perfect level by chance. Many factors coincide. To be at the top and to stay there, you have to have more talent than the others."
 
Ronaldo admitted he was "sad and angry" when Messi scooped the Ballon d'Or on four consecutive occasions from 2009 to 2012, and said he had no interest in going to ceremonies to accept second place.
 
"I won the Ballon d'Or before Messi, then he overtook me and won four in a row. I'm not going to hide from you that I was sad and angry," he said.
 
"I went to the award ceremonies and I never won. At one point, I was even demotivated. I had no desire to go. To be there for the photo didn't interest me.

"Then, little by little, thanks to those close to me, I told myself that in life there is a beginning and an end. And in football what counts is the finish, not the start. I was patient. And I won four other Ballon d'Or's."


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

CPJ to Release Annual List of Journalists Imprisoned Worldwide


 New York, December 8, 2017—The Committee to Protect Journalists will release its annual census of journalists imprisoned worldwide on December 13, 2017.

The census lists journalists imprisoned as of midnight on December 1, 2017, and indicates the country where held, charge, and medium of work for each imprisoned journalist. It does not include the many journalists who were imprisoned during the year but released prior to December 1.

WHAT: Yearly census of imprisoned journalists       
WHEN: December 13, 2017, 12.01 A.M. EST        
WHERE: www.cpj.org


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Parliamentary Pepper Soup: Of Vuvuzea Blowing and UFO Debris MPs

 YAOUNDE – A lawmaker was hurt by flying debris thrown by another MP as legislators clashed
during a chaotic budget debate in Cameroon, sources told AFP Saturday.
The session saw Hermine Patricia Ndam Njoya of the opposition Democratic Union of Cameroon (UDC) “hurl into the air” parts of her desk to protest the assembly speaker’s refusal to allow her party’s legislators to speak, UDC communications officer Amadou Mongwat said.
Parts of the damaged desk landed on the head of a member of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, causing light injury.
Mongwat said Njoya had apologised but the incident still saw the session suspended.
Meanwhile, footage quickly spread on social media of the bloodied victim being bandaged up.
Lawmakers from the main social democratic SDF opposition also interrupted the session before and after the incident by chanting slogans and even trying to drown out proceedings by blowing vuvuzela horns.
Confusion was all the greater as the session finally limped to an end as the speaker announced the adoption of the budget without further discussion.
The chaos in the assembly came with Cameroon already in the throes of an escalating crisis in a restive English-speaking region.
The president of the senate meanwhile promised to have a commission investigate the anglophone issue.
Government spokesman Issa Tchiroma had Friday underlined President Paul Biya’s firm commitment to use all available means to rid the country of “separatists”.
Last month four Cameroonian soldiers were killed by suspected separatists in the southwest of the country, while international monitors say at least 20 people have been killed since late September.
Resentment among anglophones over perceived discrimination has fed a spiral of political demands and also a government crackdown, leading to calls for secession.
Tchiroma further explained that novelist Patrice Nganang’s arrest last Wednesday in Douala came following the posting on Facebook of a death threat against the head of state.
AFP


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

That Parliamentary Drama Played by SDF MPs and Prime Minister Yang



On November 29, 2017 MPs of leading opposition party SDF played another drama at the national Assembly.  Guest star of that day was no other person but the Prime Minister, head of government, Yang Philemon. The Prime Minister Yang who came to the National Assembly to present the 2018 government budget, was taken off guard when MPs of the main opposition transformed the house into musical theater.  Just at the time the PM was about to read the government budget for 2018, the MPs stormed the rostrum, seized the microphone, and went on with anti-Biya chants, blowing whistles and turning parliament into one of those scenarios in the Chinese film where everyone sings without a chorus. It should be recalled that the Parliamentary group had earlier in memo to the Speaker vowed they will continue disrupting all sessions till the Anglophone problem is included in this session’s agenda. (Affaire a suivre)
 



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Gaddafi is Back to Life, as Lybia is Now Theater of Slavery, War

Gaddafi is back, and is ruling the world as he received encomiums and praises for his good deeds and respect for people of Africa descend.

Muammar Gaddafi
 
As Africans and concerned world citizens express rage with the slavery blacks have been subjected to in Libya, late Col. Muammar Gaddafi, assassinated former leader of the North African country, is having a laugh in his grave.
 
Last Thursday was his day as more than 350,000 tweets eulogised Gaddafi as Africa’s greatest leader, who needed good life for his people and Africans. The once prosperous Libya, has since the death of Gaddaffi in 2011, been transformed to a den of criminals nurtured by the West.
 
The country is now a theatre of war. The man, Gaddafi, known as the lion of the desert, is today being remembered for providing the best for his people.
 
He provided free houses, free healthcare, free electricity, interest free loan, $50,000 to newly-wed and mothers received $5,000 for each birth and made the country comfortable for blacks and other Africans.
 
Today these welfare packages have been replaced by war, hate, destruction, criminality, squalor and slavery and criminalities.
 
The desert turned green Libya, is today, a dark country in Africa continent and a weapons experimental zone of the west.
 
Gaddafi is back, and is ruling the world as he received encomiums and praises for his good deeds and respect for people of Africa descend.
 
LLCOOLJ tweet said: “The slave trade in Libya must be stopped. The West used Military force to help the rebels remove Gaddafi. I believe that gives the West the moral obligation to get this country back on a healthy footing. Remove the slave holders by force and help establish a stable leadership.’’
 
RT, said also that torture, human trafficking and abuse have become appalling reality of fractured Libya ever since NATO intervention and fall of Gaddafi in 2011.
 
JAJ @Jajdgenius expressed: “Imagine how Gaddafi spoilt Libyans to the extent that they felt they could do without him, I’m sure Libyans will give anything to go back to 10 years ago but guess what, it’s too late.’’
 
Under Gaddafi, Libya had the highest life expectancy in Africa. “Now, thanks to Western military intervention, Libya is one of the most dangerous nations in the world. A haven for modern slavery, Garikai Chengu‏ @ChenguGold , tweeted.
 
The Ghana’s former military ruler, Jerry Rawlings, is bitter over the situation.
 
Office of JJRawlings‏ @officeofJJR tweeted, “How sad that events should turn out this way and the black man is being subjected to this kind of treatment in Libya of all places. I say so with emphasis because whatever faults Gaddafi had, blacks were treated as equals in Libya than in most Arab countries.’’
 
Gitz‏ @iGitz_ said: “With the help of their media houses like CNN, they plotted the fall of Gaddafi. They chose to give rebels in Libya the voice to criticize the Gaddafi regime. Remember these rebels included terrorist groups like Al Qaeda but the USA chose that the fall of Gadaffi was a priority.’’

“I can still remember the joy in the western media’s headlines when Colonel Gaddafi was killed. They put his bloody face on their front papers celebrating what they called the “Fall of the Tyrant”. That was there goal, to make sure the world knows that their influence is intact,’’ Gitz said.
 
Atanas‏ @Atanasi prayed that Muammar Gaddafi soul rest in peace and will remain as the best African President of all time.
 
Atanas explained that during Gaddafi’s time, there were cases of human trafficking; Libya was peaceful and citizens enjoyed high standards of living.
 
“His dream was to make Africa 1 united continent. Fuck White Supremacists.’’
 
Njeri Gitau‏ @njeri5gitau said that @prophetahuva says that He will raise another gaddafi to protect the Libya oil from greedy Americans.

“They have hurt His children. They killed gaddafi to steal from Libya. That’s why America is under curses because of what they are doing in Africa.’’
 
He told the Americans that they must begin to pack their bags from Libya.
 
“They killed gaddafi to exploit Libyans of their oil. The issue of Libya oil has angered God. They have stolen the oil that belonged to God’s children in Libya. They must go by all means.’’

 ----NAN----
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Banky W Speaks on the Rivalry Between Davido and Wizkid

Musician, Banky W has waded into the alleged controversy between Davido and Wizkid as he dished important advice to the two pop stars.
Wizkid and Davido
 
Nigerian musician, Banky Wellington who recently got married to his wife, Adesua Etomi Wellington has weighed in on the rivalry between Davido and Wizkid. Banky urged the two musicians to cool things down and not allow people force them into unnecessary confrontation.
 
This comes after Davido made a post in which he was reportedly throwing a shade at Wizkid. 
 
"Nah for una pocket!!!!! GRATEFUL!! 2017 been too good!! ❤️❤️❤️ CLEAR ROAD FOR THAT MAN!!" Davido had written on Instagram.
 
However, Banky made out time to congratulate the two for winning different awards at the just concluded Music of Black Origin awards. He warned them not to allow people push the two into an unnecessary 'war.'
 
Banky wrote: "While we are at it, Bigups to another young legend @davidoofficial on his wins.. this talented lad came into the game, never stopped working and never stopped winning. And I'm so proud of him as well.
 

What's better than one Superstar? Two.
 
Wiz and David are both extremely important to the Naija/African music movement and culture, and I personally HATE it when ppl try to make it seem like you have to choose one or the other. There's enough room in the sky for all of our stars to fly, so instead of us encouraging a childish, petty narrative that never ends well (remember Pac/Biggie?), we shld encourage all of our acts to be all they can be.
 
I don't wanna choose. Why should I have to? I want Wiz AND David AND Olamide AND Kiss Daniel AND Tiwa AND Yemi and eeeeevery last one of us who have somehow managed to break through, to remain successful and relevant. I pray the same for all our upcoming talents who are about to make it.
 
After all, no one wins when the family feuds. I'm clear why I'm here.. how about you? #jayzvoice."
 



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Robert Mugabe Goes The Way Of All Dictators

 According to Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, it is strange that men would fight and kill to grab power, kill and dehumanise others to stay in power, strain by all means to force their will on their people and then be forced to resign, retire, be dethroned, kill themselves or get killed in disgrace.

Robert Mugabe
 
Tuesday night, November 14, 2017, the last chapter in the long history of Robert Mugabe in the Zimbabwean public space was opened. He was brought under house arrest by the military as a first step to his forced departure from office.
 
Born 93 years ago on February 21, 1924, Mugabe became President of Zimbabwe in 1987 and remained in power willy-nilly for 30 full years. Before then he had been Prime Minister for seven years( 1980-87), following the Lancaster House agreement that brought Ian Smith’s White minority rule to an end. Before that he was the Chairman of the Zimbabwe African National Union, ZANU, for five years( 1975-1980).
 
Robert Gabriel Mugabe started his political odyssey as a Marxist-Leninist in the ’70s, was imprisoned for sedition ( 1964-74), before becoming a revolutionary leading the Rhodesian Bush War and turned a socialist in the ’90’s. After changing the name of his party to ZANU-PF( Patriotic Front), he crushed Joshua Nkomo’s Zimbabwe African Peoples Union( ZAPU).
 
Using his 5th brigade which reportedly killed over 10,000 civilians, especially the Ndebele people, he quickly transited from a revolutionary to a dictator. He encouraged the violent seizure of White-owned land. Food production was severely impacted, generating famine, international sanctions and unprecedented economic decline.
 
He refused to hand over power to any other and got re-elected in 2002, 2008 and 2013 through electoral campaigns dominated by violence and electoral fraud and was planning to run again in 2018 at age 94. Having dominated Zimbabwean politics for nearly four decades, Mugabe had become a controversial and divisive figure.
 
He was previously praised as a revolutionary hero of the African liberation struggle who helped to free Zimbabwe from British colonialism, imperialism and White minority rule. But then he turned a dictator responsible for economic mismanagement, wide spread corruption, anti-White racial discrimination, human rights abuses, suppression of political critics and crime against humanity.
 
It is regrettable that many men who start as revolutionaries end up as dictators and finally resign, retire,are removed or die in disgrace. History is replete with these men who played god, who forced their wishes on their people and imprisoned or killed those who resisted. According to Wikipedia, a dictator is a political leader who possesses absolute power and wields it in an oppressive and abusive manner.
 
History has thrown up  men who seized power to make laws, suspend elections, proclaim state of emergency and repress political opponents without following due process. Some of these men were former liberators who have turned into egocentric sociopaths; others are democratically elected demagogues who are now in disarray, but most   were or are outright usurpers of political power through military might, hereditary militancy or hijacked revolution.
 
According to Plaid Avenger, while these despots come from from diverse backgrounds of debauchery, they all share a core common callous characteristic which put them into the cross-hairs of high- powered rifle of history.
 
These tyrants suppress freedom of speech and religion, destroy all political opposition, crush or control the press and grab as much of the national resources of the state as they can grab for themselves and their families.Such men include Adolf Hitler( 1889-1945), Josef Stalin ( 1928-1913), Pol Pot( 1925-1998), Idi Amin( 1925-2003), Augustino Pinochet ( 1915- 2006), Francois Duvelair( 1907- 1971), Francisco Franco( 1892-1925), Saddam Hussien( 1937-2006), Charles Taylor( 1948-), Mengistu Haile Marian( 1937-). Also included on this despicable list of tyrants are Benito Mussolini of Italy, Vladimir Lenin of Russia, Emperor Hirohito of Japan, Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev of Russia, Chiang Kai Shek of China, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam. Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha of Nigeria also feature on this list.
 
These men and others too numerous to mention in this space are held responsible ( directly or indirectly) for millions of lives lost and crushing the human spirit out of hundreds of millions more.
 
Most maintained their self righteous positions by brutal repression, the use of torture and systematically dis-empowering the peoples of their nations by keeping them impoverished, illiterate or misinformed via the manipulation of the press.
 
The greatest irony is that some of the deadliest of these despots who became self-absorbed, self-assured, above the law and power hungry first came to power through democratic elections.
 
Most notable among those who rose on this democratic platform are Muamar Ghadaffi ( Libya), Kin Jim Il ( Korea), Than Shwe( Burma), Hosni Mubarak( Egypt), Teodoro Obiang( Equatorial Guinea), Omar-al Bashir( Sudan), Ayatollah Khamenei( Iran), Alexander Lukastenko( Belarus), Abdulaziz Bouteflika( Algeria), Ali Abdullah Saleh( Yemen), Silver Berlusconi( Italy) and our man of the moment- Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who rose to power through electoral deception and fear mongering. He  allegedly killed more than 20,000 civilians by fabricating stories of rebellion and treason.
 
It is estimated that through his time in office, over 3.1million Zimbabweans either lost their lives or jobs and livelihood due to his ”land reform program” where he bulldozed any village that voiced dissent.
 
With death starring him on the face and afraid to end up at the International Court of Justice, ICC, in the Haque, Mugabe began to prepare his wife ‘Gucci Grace’ to succeed him and would broach no opposition or competition.
 
Having previously neutralised the opposition posed by his former ally Morgan Tsvangirai , whom he ran out of town, he followed the same route most recently. He unilaterally sacked his Vice President and then potential successor- Emmerson Mnangagwa ( now true successor) and that opened the last chapter on Mugabe and his stranglehold over Zimbabwe allowing him to go the same way all dictators exit- by disgrace.
 
It is strange that men would fight and kill to grab power, kill and dehumanise others to stay in power, strain by all means to force their will on their people and then be forced to resign, retire, be dethroned, kill themselves or get killed in disgrace. Can the remnants of this tribe still in power- 21 in Africa, 18 in Asia, seven in the Middle East , one in Europe and two in the Americas learn any lessons?
 
I pray that Assad of Syria, Erdogan of Turkey, Maduro of Venezuela, Duterte of Phillipines, Musoveni of Uganda, Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, Lukashenko of Belarus, Nkurunziza of Burundi, Biya of Cameroun, Derby of Chad, Bongo of Gabon, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Kim Jong-un of North Korea, etc., who are trappling on their people, playing god and manipulating their constitutions to remain in power perpetually are listening? I just pray.
 
***
Written by Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

#MissUniverse 2017: Tears of Joy as Miss South Africa Wins Title

22-year-old beauty queen from Sedgefield in the Western Cape has been crowned Miss Universe, becoming the first Miss South Africa to take this prestigious title.
Former Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere, right, crowns new Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters at the Miss Universe pageant Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
 
Miss South Africa 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has been crowned Miss Universe, becoming the first Miss South Africa to take this prestigious title since Margaret Gardiner won in 1978, according to a report by The Independent UK.
 
The pageant was held in Las Vegas in the US, an ecstatic Demi-Leigh competed against 91 contestants from around the globe – the biggest number of entrants in the history of the competition – and justified the faith thousands of South Africans had that she would win.
 
Runners-up were Miss Colombia (first princess) and Miss Jamaica (second princess).
 
The 22-year-old from Sedgefield in the Western Cape was one of the hot favourites going into the pageant and received huge support from around the world on social media.
 
In her acceptance speech Demi-Leigh said she was both proud and humbled to have won and that her dreams had become a reality.
 
“I resonate with everything that the Miss Universe organisation stands for, especially empowering women across the globe.

“I have always tried to be the example of the change I want to see in the world, and this platform will give me the opportunity to make a difference. I hope I have made South Africans proud and that I will continue to do so during my reign,” she said.
 
During her time as Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh launched her highly successful Unbreakable campaign to empower thousands of young girls and women throughout the country, by teaching them skills on how to handle difficult situations like hijackings, muggings, robberies and toxic relationships.
 
She partnered with specialists to give women the necessary knowledge to be able to handle any unwanted situations.
 
She held six workshops around South Africa and has said she would like to promote this campaign internationally.
 
Demi-Leigh wowed both the judges and the audience in a sheer flesh-toned, long-sleeved hand beaded dress by Anel Botha. It was inspired by the constellations and consisted of 50 000 hand placed Swarovski crystals which took a team of eight people 168 hours to complete.
 
The Miss Universe pageant was hosted by Steve Harvey and Ashley Graham. Judges for the finale included Wendy Fitzwilliam (Miss Universe 1998 from Trinidad and Tobago); Jay Manuel (TV host, creative director and makeup artist); Ross Mathews (TV personality); Megan Olivi (Fox Sports 1 host and reporter); Lele Pons (Vine and YouTube personality) and Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015 from the Philippines).
 
Before she was crowned Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh had completed her B. Com in business management and entrepreneurship and was a part-time model.
 
Demi-Leigh’s father and stepmother Bennie and Elzabé Peters and mother and stepfather Anne-Mari and Johan Steenkamp were in the audience and were overcome when Demi-Leigh’s name was announced.

“Demi-Leigh has worked incredibly hard for the past few years to achieve this goal and we are all so proud of her,” said a tearful Elzabé.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Zimbabwean Govt Honours Mugabe, Declares His Birthday National Public Holiday

Ousted former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe has been honoured by the new government of President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
Former President Robert Mugabe and wife Grace
 
Former President Robert Mugabe’s birthday, Feb. 21, is now a public holiday after the Zimbabwean Government gazetted it as Robert Gabriel Mugabe National Youth Day, the state-controlled media reported on Monday.
 
The designation of the day as a public holiday comes after the government adopted the decision in August following intense lobbying by the ruling ZANU-PF Youth League.
 
The day has been previously commemorated as the 21st February Movement by the party in celebration of the principles and ideals of the former president.
 
The party youths pushed for the birthday to be declared a holiday in recognition of Mugabe’s efforts in empowering the youths.
 
Mugabe resigned on Nov. 21 after military and public pressure, ending his 37-year rule.
 
-NAN


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

BMW Shocks the World with Futuristic Model of Motorcycle (Photos)

BMW, a Germany-based company which currently produces automobiles and motorcycles, and produced aircraft engines until 1945 is designing a strange model of motorcycle for the future.

 
Khan motorcycle
 
This exotic model of motorcycle has been dubbed the ‘KHAN’.
 
The sharp motorcycle concept depicts the future of motorcycle brand, BMW. Turkish designer, Mehmet Erdem, has created several motorcycles and otherworldly vehicle concepts in the past. Based in Istanbul, Erdem has created no less than eight other captivating BMW motorcycles, which all exhibit a unique and authentic interpretation of the brand.
 
In addition to the name, the ‘KHAN’s’ stylized form appears to be rather fitting for blade runner. surely, if this vehicle were to ever be produced, it would be something that Rick Deckard would consider upgrading to, due to its radical design and probable performance capabilities.
 
Similarly to the science fiction movie, this design exercise will almost certainly never make reality and will remain only at a concept phase.
 
Still, Erdem's renderings can serve to inspire manufacturer’s designers to take greater risks, to design truly dramatic and mesmerizing motorcycles.
 
See more photos:
 
 

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

National Assembly: SDF MPs Create The Unexpected, Disrupt Plenary Session



Parliamentarians of the Social Democratic Front-SDF (main opposition party in Cameroon) have today November 23, 2017 created the unexpected by blocking the plenary session, demanding the inclusion of the Anglophone crisis in the November session discussions. According to reports the MPs staged the unexpected as they disrupted the session, singing about the country not moving well. The brouhaha caused other MPs especially of the ruling CPDM to stage a walk-out. The MPs expressed their disgust over the maneuvers that some MPs selectively went into the field without them.
Note should be taken that SDF MPs had boycotted the opening session which started November 14. The lawmakers had said the November session, normally assigned to fixing the country’s budget, cannot be business as usual, given the ongoing crisis which has grounded activities in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon for more than a year now. Last week boycott, the MPs state, was aimed at showing their disapproval over government’s management of the escalating crisis in the country’s two English speaking regions. Speaking in a press conference at the party’s Yaounde headquarters, one of the SDF MPs, Hon. Joseph Mbah Ndam (SDF Parliamentary Group Leader) explains the reason for the boycott. “We had enumerated a list of grievances particularly the violence that is being meted out in the North West and South West regions. We had warned that violence begets violence that the forces of law and order are now involved. “As representatives of the people, we condemn these spirals of violence and our absence today, is to alert people that we disapprove of the policies that are being taken to handle the crisis and we are rebelling against government’s inertia in resolving the Anglophone crisis”. Asked if the boycott will be indefinite, the MP said the party’s executive board dubbed NEC had asked them to participate in the deliberations. “We will take part in the deliberations. NEC asked us to attend and gave us directives on what to do. We will be fulfilling NEC resolutions”. It is not yet clear whether the illness that took the Lower House (Parliament) will also contaminate the Upper House (Senate). Impressionists have described the move by SDF MPs as a step to the long awaited genuine dialogue. However, it is not yet clear whether the MPs will continue with the disruption of the parliamentary session which is aimed at fixing the 2018 state budget. (a suivre )
 



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)