Aww: Alicia Keys Celebrates Wedding Anniversary & Being Pregnant

The singer shared this post on her facebook recently and she wrote thus as its caption:

“Happy Anniversary to the love of my life @therealswizzz !!! And to make it even sweeter we’ve been blessed with another angel on the way!!! You make me happier than I have ever known! Here’s to many many more years of the best parts of life!!!”

Posted By Valentino Godwin

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What You Should Know About #POTheStagePlay Starring Nedu & Ogbolor

PO! is a satire that deals with the happenings in the country i.e., the good, the bad and the ugly. All these experiences are presented in a more humorous pattern.

Actors: Wazobia FM OAP’s Nedu & Ogbolor
Date: All sundays in the Month of August

Venue: Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage Victoria Island, Lagos State.

Tickets; N3000

Time: 3pm & 6pm.

Tickets Available at Bruno’s place Ikeja City Mall, US Polo Ikeja City Mall, Genesis Deluxe Cinema The Palms Lekki, Sweet Sensations Outlet in Opebi, GRA, Alagomeji, Adeola Odeku, Surulere or visit www.ariiyatickets.com

For More Information, Please call 08065293138

Posted By Valentino Godwin

Gaza fighting rages as conflict enters 4th week

GAZA CITY, Bloodshed in war-torn Gaza surged on Tuesday with dozens more Palestinians killed as the conflict raged into a fourth week and Iran accused Israel of genocide in the tiny enclave.
Following two nights without air strikes, the violence returned to Gaza’s skies overnight, with Israeli warplanes pounding 60 targets, among them the strip’s main power station and the house of a top Hamas official.
By the time dawn broke on the second day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, at least 24 people had been killed, among them nine women and four children, medics said, as the conflict, now in its 22nd day, showed no sign of letting up.
With the Palestinian death toll passing the 1,100 mark, Iran’s supreme leader accused Israel of committing “genocide in Gaza, and demanding the Islamic world arm those Palestinians involved in fighting the Jewish state.
In a speech Tuesday marking the Eid festival, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel was acting like a “rabid dog” and “a wild wolf” and causing a human catastrophe in Gaza, where people should be helped to defend itself.
“The world and especially the Islamic world should arm … the Palestinian people,” he said.
Following a relatively quiet weekend, the violence surged again on Monday, drawing increasingly urgent international demands for an end to the fighting
“In the name of humanity, the violence must stop,” pleaded UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
But the calls appeared to be falling on deaf ears, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning Monday it would be “a lengthy campaign” that would not end before troops destroyed cross-border tunnels used for staging attacks on southern Israel.
“Israeli citizens cannot live with the threat from rockets and from death tunnels — death from above and from below,” he said.
– New Gaza exodus –
On the ground, hundreds of Palestinians could be seen leaving their homes after the army warned residents of five areas to flee and take refugee in central Gaza City, an AFP correspondent said.
Many headed for already-cramped UN schools in the north, where children ran barefoot around a dirty school yard alongside stinking piles of rubbish.
“We came yesterday after the army warned us to leave,” said 46-year-old Ghassan Abed who fled from his home in the northern town of Beit Lahiya with his wife and six children.
“About 200 people just from our street have fled,” he said.
UN statistics published Monday showed 215,000 Palestinians had already fled their homes, with 170,461 staying in 82 of the agency’s schools.
Also Tuesday, Israel confirmed another five soldiers had been killed in an ambush by militants on Monday evening after they sneaked into southern Israel by a tunnel.
Their deaths raised to 53 the total number of soldiers killed since the operation began on July 8. Another three civilians have been killed by rocket fire – two Israelis and a Thai national – raising the overall toll on the Israeli side to 56.
On Tuesday, several tank shells struck Gaza’s sole power plant, causing damage and a fire, bringing it grinding to a halt, a senior official with the power authority said.
Another air strike targeted the home of top Hamas leader Ismail Haniya in Gaza City’s Shati refugee camp, officials said.
– A deceptive calm –
Tensions rose sharply on Monday after a shell landed inside the Shifa hospital compound in Gaza City, followed by a blast at a children’s playground in the city’s Shati refugee camp, that killed 10, eight of them children.
Residents in Shati said an F-16 fired several missiles at a motorised rickshaw in a claim denied by the Israeli army, which also said it had not targeted the hospital.
“We have not fired on the hospital or on Shati refugee camp,” Major Arye Shalicar told AFP, saying the army had footage showing militants firing at Israel but the missiles falling short and striking targets inside Gaza.
Shortly afterwards, a mortar killed four soldiers near a kibbutz in southern Israel, the army said, indicating another soldier had been killed in action in southern Gaza.
As the violence soared, top diplomats from Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the United States pledged to “redouble their efforts” and step up the pressure to persuade the sides to accept a truce.
And Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was expected to visit Cairo with representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, another militant group, for fresh talks with the Egyptians on ending the violence in Gaza, a senior source in Ramallah told AFP, without saying when.

Posted By Valentino Godwin

Libyan military plane crashes in Benghazi

TRIPOLI (AFP) – A Libyan fighter jet engaged in paramilitary attacks on Islamists in the restive eastern city of Benghazi crashed and exploded Tuesday after its pilot ejected safely, a military source and a witness said.
It was not immediately clear if the plane was shot down or suffered a malfunction, added General Sagr al-Jerouchi, chief of air operations for dissident general Khalifa Haftar.
A witness, who said he saw a parachute open before the crash, added that the warplane had just attacked Islamist positions.
Weekend fighting in Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 revolution that ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi, killed dozens of people, mostly soldiers.
Combat erupted Saturday when Islamists attacked the headquarters of a special forces unit near the city centre. One of the few regular army units located in Benghazi, it backs an anti-Islamist campaign launched by Haftar in May but has not placed itself under his command.
Since May, clashes have taken place in Benghazi on an almost daily basis.

Posted By Valentino Godwin

PDP and its abuse of due process

NIGERIAN politicians and their apologists prefer to describe the country’s democratic evolution as nascent. In their view, it is inappropriate for anyone to upbraid its many ugly sides or describe it as a sham compared to its American model.
They would tell anyone who cares to listen that there is no basis for comparison as the Yankee version is centuries older. Sadly however, they always fail to remind themselves that our inability to apply intelligence is the only missing link.
Thus, while they want the rest of us to wait for centuries to experience true democracy by telling us that democratic practise in the US is devoid of the hiccups and pitfalls that appear peculiar to us because of its age, none of them will wait for more than one month to acquire status-enhancing, technology-laden cars or gadgets.
Unfortunately, the nascent theorists have extended the attitude to the application of legality to checkmate deliberate action meant to frustrate the country’s democratic process just as those who ought to know better are raising the trumpet in salutation.
If the trend is a major staple in the menu of the opposition PDP in Edo State, its national arm is perfecting it as a sure-fire weapon designed to conquer the entire Nigerian space, come 2015.
It was manifest in the debacle in Rivers, same as in the current bizarre circus in Edo and very prominent in the brazen battering of the democratic process both in Adamawa and Nasarawa states where the world is waiting to see how the judiciary will save itself, to begin with.
The design began to take effect in Edo State in the wake of the defection saga involving some members of the state assembly. In a bid to checkmate possible reprisal actions from their majority APC colleagues, the defectors sought legal refuge by asking a Federal High Court to forestall any attempt by the house leadership to either declare their seats vacant or put them on suspension.
In its wisdom, the court agreed that the house cannot declare their seats vacant. It however, ruled that it could not grant the second relief as doing so would amount to infringing on the internal affairs of the assembly which has every legal right to deal with, including suspending erring members.
Four days later and unarguably in the expression of the said right, the house suspended the defectors on grounds of gross misconduct. However, they refused to heed the suspension order, prompting the assembly leadership to rush back to the court for help.
Help came for the assembly leadership when the court barred the defectors, the police command and AIG Zone 5 from entering the assembly complex. Flagrantly, they did not only ignore the order, they have turned the assembly complex into a circus centre, incurring and ignoring court contempt in tow. The chaos resulting from the affected law makers’ action has since turned into a growing monster.
In attempting to whitewash an open breach of court order, the estranged law makers went to an Appeal Court to ask for, among other reliefs, a stay of execution of the suspension order made by the High Court. But the relief suffered a blow as the court dismissed it, insisting that they must first obey both the orders mandating them to respect the supension issued them by the house and contempt charge arising from their refusal to do so.
In a ruling delivered by Hon Justice Morounkeji Ogunwunmiju on behalf of the two other justices, the court declared that “the said suspended members could not seek any relief from the Court of Appeal while they were in contempt or disobedience of the Order of the High Court.”
The judge went further to emphasise that a party in contempt of a positive order of court cannot be allowed to seek or obtain any relief from the Court while the contempt persists. In plain language, the court ordered the renegade law makers to go and obey the suspension order and contempt charges.
The ruling, made on Thursday, July 10, 2014, is now a stark reminder of the affected law makers’ attitude to court orders as amply captured in the words of their infernal image, Festus Ebea, former deputy speaker, who while reacting to an attempt by a court bailiff to serve him and others contempt summons riled both the court and everything it represents in vile invectives. Typically, they have continued to glean over their defiance with laughable excuses while being applauded by their party, the PDP.
Still smarting from the impact of the Appeal Court ruling delivered less than 24 hours earlier, the law makers(law breakers if you like) took the matter to the Supreme in the seeming puerile expectation that the apex court will rub mud on its inestimable lower arms, having been subjected to a very odious humiliation.
But even as the flaks from the Appeal Court ruling were still reverberating, news of yet another ruling, this time, from a Federal High Court, presided over by Justice Mohammad A. Liman, hit the waves. Uyi Igbe, speaker of the state house of assembly, Philip Shaibu, Majority Leader and the Edo State House of Assembly, on behalf of themselves and other members, asked the court to restrain the state Commissioner of Police and the AIG Zone 5 from restricting the activities of artisans employed by the house to fix the leaking assembly roof.
They also asked the court to prevail on the suspended law makers “from further purporting to carry out the legislative function of the 3rd plaintiff (house of assembly), including but not limited to purporting to sit or hold plenary sessions wheresoever’s pending the hearing of the Motion on Notice.”
In the judgement, the court restrained the state Police Commissioner and AIG Zone 5 from “preventing or continuing to prevent the plaintiffs, including the workers of the 3rd plaintiff (House of Assembly) from having unrestricted access into the premisses of and their offices at the Edo State House of Assembly…” and “from further preventing the workers engaged by the 3rd plaintiff from continuing with the renovation/repairs of the leaking roof of the Edo State House of Assembly Complex…”.
The question is this: Can any defendant act in place for a plaintiff in the execution of a valid court order given in favour of the latter and in the same matter he/she/it is listed as a co-defendant without undermining the order itself?
However, it refused to grant “an interim injunction restraining the 3rd-11th Defendants (suspended law makers) from further purporting to carry out the legislative functions of the 3rd plaintiff including but not limited to purporting to sit or hold plenary sessions wheresoever’s pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice…” In refusing to grant the relief, Justice Liman explained that it is “…outside the ambit of section 25 1 (q), (r) and (s) of the constitution. It is a matter within the jurisdiction of the state High Court.”
Put differently, the court refused to grant the order because the issue is a matter on which only a state high court can adjudicate. In which case, the plaintiffs are at liberty to seek the relief from the relevant court.
Obviously misinterpreting the ruling, the opposition PDP, suspended law makers and their handlers went to town, celebrating the ruling as an invalidation of earlier rulings.
Yet, a few days after the ruling ordering the police commissioner and AIG, zone 5 to stop forthwith any restriction imposed on either the assembly staff or workers engaged by the law making organ to renovate/repair the complex’s leaking roof, the suspended law makers took over the task of the plaintiffs and hired new workers to work on the affected roof.
The challenge here is that in acting ‘in loco’ for the plaintiff in a ruling that expressly mandates some of their co-defendants not to infer with “workers engaged” (not new set) by one of the 3rd plaintiffs, it would appear that they have turned the order of the court on its head.
The question is this; can any defendant act in place for a plaintiff in the execution of a valid court order given in favour of the latter and in the same matter he/she/it is listed as a co-defendant without undermining the order itself?
ERNEST OMOARELOJIE a public affairs analyst, wrote from Benin City.

Posted By Valentino Godwin

Nigerian weightlifter in doping shock

GLASGOW (AFP) – Nigerian teenage weightlifter Chika Amalaha has been provisionally suspended from the Commonwealth Games after testing positive in a doping test taken after she won gold in the women’s 53kg category, the Commonwealth Games Federation announced Tuesday.
The 16-year-old Amalaha provided an ‘A’ sample on July 25 which revealed traces of diuretics and masking agents.
She will have a ‘B’ sample tested at a laboratory in London on July 30.
Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper said: “We [have] issued a formal notice of disclosure to an athlete following an adverse analytical finding as a consequence of an in-competition test.
“That athlete is Nigerian weightlifter Chika Amalaha who was tested on July 25th. That athlete has now been suspended from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.”
Amalaha snatched a best of 85kg before managing 111kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 196kg, to become the youngest Commonwealth weightlifter gold medallist.
It was the first doping case of the Glasgow Games and will likely once again call into question the legitimacyof weightlifting as a Commonwealth Games sport given its history of drug-related incidents.
Hooper though insisted that the sport had its place in multi-sport events.
“I think weightlifting is a fantastic sport and a strong Commonwealth and Olympic sport,” he said.
“I think the issue here is about showing we have a robust anti-doping programme in place. We want to send a message to anybody in any sport who would go down the route of taking any substance to enhance performance that they will be caught.”
Nigerian weightlifting also has a history of drugs offences.
The Nigerian Weightlifting Federation was suspended for repeated doping violations by the International Weightlifting Federation in 2001 and banned from competing in the following year’s Manchester Games.

Posted By Valentino Godwin

Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile – US

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States has found that Russia violated a 1987 arms control treaty by testing a ground-launched cruise missile, a senior US official said late Monday, calling the matter “very serious.”
The announcement adds a new dispute at a time of already heightened tensions between Washington and the Kremlin over the crisis in Ukraine, with western countries accusing Russia of arming Ukrainian separatists and destabilizing the country.
The US concluded in a 2014 report that Russia had violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which barred it from possessing, producing or flight-testing such cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers, the official told AFP.
President Barack Obama has sent a letter to his counterpart Vladimir Putin on the subject, which the administration official described as “a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now.”
Washington was prepared to discuss its determination with Moscow “immediately” in senior-level bilateral talks, the official added, saying Congress and US allies have been kept abreast of the matter.
“The United States is committed to the viability of the INF Treaty,” the official said. “We encourage Russia to return to compliance with its obligations under the treaty and to eliminate any prohibited items in a verifiable manner.”
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), signed by then US president Ronald Reagan and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev, eliminated nuclear and conventional intermediate range ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles.
The official said the INF treaty served the “mutual security interests of the parties” — not only the United States and Russia but also 11 other successor states of the Soviet Union.
“Moreover, this treaty contributes to the security of our allies and to regional security in Europe and in the Far East.”
“The United States will, of course, consult with allies on this matter to take into account the impact of this Russian violation on our collective security if Russia does not return to compliance,” the official said.
In January, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington had raised concerns with Moscow following a New York Times report it had begun testing a new ground-launched cruise missile as early as 2008, and that the State Department’s senior arms control official had repeatedly raised the issue with Moscow since May 2013.
Psaki said at the time she could not refute the details of the Times report, and that there was an ongoing interagency review to determine whether the Russians had violated the terms of a US-Russian arms control pact.

Posted By Valentino Godwin

Afghan President’s cousin killed in ‘turban bomb’ attack

KANDAHAR (AFP) – A suicide attacker killed an influential cousin of Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday, officials said, raising tensions during a dispute over election results that will determine the country’s new leader as US-led troops withdraw.
Hashmat Karzai was a campaign manager in the southern province of Kandahar for Ashraf Ghani, one of the two presidential candidates involved in a bitter stand-off that threatens to trigger worsening ethnic instability.
Hashmat, who famously owned a pet lion, was killed at his home outside Kandahar city by a man with explosives hidden in his turban as visitors arrived to celebrate the Eid holiday at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“A suicide bomber disguised as a guest came to Hashmat Karzai’s house to greet him,” Dawa Khan Minapal, the Kandahar provincial governor’s spokesman, told AFP.
“After he hugged Hashmat, he blew up his explosives and killed him.”
Ghani and opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah are at loggerheads over the June 14 second-round election, which has been mired in allegations of massive fraud.
Ghani won the vote according to preliminary results, but an audit of the ballots has started after Abdullah refused to accept defeat due to claims of “industrial-scale” ballot-box stuffing.
With the audit beset by another outbreak of complaints from both sides, many fear the country is at risk of returning to the ethnic violence of the 1992-1996 civil war.
– Election crisis unsolved –
US Secretary of State John Kerry flew into Kabul earlier this month to broker the deal for a complete recount of the eight million votes after Abdullah appeared ready to set up a “parallel government” in opposition to Ghani.
The deal averted an immediate crisis, but US and UN officials have struggled to get Afghanistan’s first democratic transfer of power back on the track as the two sides bicker over how fraudulent votes should be identified.
A credible election was seen as a key benchmark of the costly US-led military and civilian aid effort to develop Afghanistan since the ousting of the Taliban regime in 2001.
President Karzai, who has ruled since the Taliban’s fall, was due to hand over power to his successor on August 2.
Many diplomats insisted that holding the presidential inauguration on schedule was essential for future aid funding and military support, but the event has now been delayed without any new date being announced.
Abdullah, who draws most of his support from Tajiks and other northern groups, won the first round of voting, but preliminary results from the second-round run-off showed Ghani, whose support base is among the Pashtun tribes of the south and east, ahead by over one million votes.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the killing of Hashmat Karzai, and no other casualties were reported.
Explosives hidden in turbans have been used on several occasions in Afghanistan, including an attack in Kabul in 2011 that killed former president Burhanuddin Rabbani.
Hashmat Karzai first worked in this year’s presidential election campaign for Qayyum Karzai, the president’s brother, and later moved to support Ghani when Qayyum withdrew from the race.

Posted By Valentino Godwin

Dutch PM asks Ukraine to stop fighting near crash site

THE HAGUE – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Tuesday to ask Ukrainian forces to stop fighting around the MH17 crash site, a government spokesman said.
“The prime minister this morning called the Ukrainian president with a request to halt hostilities around the crash site,” Jean Fransman told AFP, after fighting with pro-Russian separatists prevented international investigators reaching the site for a third day.
Poroshenko told Rutte he would do everything possible to allow investigators access, Fransman said.
“Rutte expressed his concern about the fact it appeared the investigators may today yet again not reach the site,” Fransman said.
“This is important because we want to get to the crash site as quickly as possible to get the victims and bring them home.
“Mr Poroshenko said that he will do everything possible to make access possible.”
The Ukrainian military confirmed early Tuesday that violence was still raging.
“Pockets of insurgents are continuing to fire on Ukrainian positions from the towns of Snizhne, Torez and Shakhtarsk,” it said, referring to towns within about 30 kilometres (18 miles) of the site.
The fresh conflict came a day after rebels admitted Kiev had regained control over part of the vast site, where the remains of some of the 298 victims from the MH17 crash still lie 12 days after the disaster.
Kiev would not confirm the rebels’ claim, saying only that its troops had entered a string of towns around the scene.
A Dutch and Australian police mission needs access to the site to recover victim remains and personal effects.
Over 200 bodies have already been recovered and sent to the Netherlands for identification. The Netherlands and Australia were home to most of the people on the flight, which the West alleges was brought down by separatists.

Posted By Valentino Godwin

We’ll wrestle more medals for Team Nigeria – Ohaike

Team Nigeria’s chances of adding more medals to her kitty gets brighter with the beginning of events in Wrestling at the ongoing XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
The venue for Wrestling is at the Scottish Exhibition  and Conference Centre and Technical Director of Nigerian Wrestling Federation,  Damian Ohaike has predicted more medals swoop for Team Nigeria.
‘’We’ve never disappointed when it comes to Wrestling. We’re going to do well and I am sure that more medals will be won by my matsmen and women”, Ohaike said.
Nigerian wrestlers have made their marks in the mats and are equally known by their opponents as tough nuts.
‘’We know ourselves by virtue of the fact that we meet at events. But we hold the ace. But they will be surprised by the skill and technicality of the female wrestlers. They are so good that they will rule the mats”, Ohaike said noting that the males, too, would win medals for Nigeria.
At the Commonwealth Games, the Wrestlers would only wrestle in the Freestyle events as the Greco-Roman was not approved. ‘’We’re taking part in the Freestyles. We’re good to go”, Ohaike assured.

Posted By Valentino Godwin