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Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Rihanna shows off her killer curves in a fringed bikini as she takes to a paddle board in Hawaii.

Rihanna raised the temperature on the beach in Hawaii this weekend by parading around in a fringed black two piece that showed off her fit figure to perfection.

She paired the itty bitty bikini with a cowboy hat, large hoop earrings and several bracelets this weekend.

The You Da One singer was even snapped carrying what appeared to be several cups of beer and was later spotted enjoying a round of drinks with her friends.

You da one: Rihanna showed off her incredibly toned figure in a black two piece on Friday in HawaiiYou da one: Rihanna showed off her incredibly toned figure in a black two piece on Friday in Hawaii

Rihanna soaked up the sun while walking around the shore to the delight of onlookers.

 She then climbed on a surf board and paddled around the waters of the Pacific Ocean while balancing a cup in one hand.
Surf's up: The singer grabbed a surf board and paddled around the Pacific OceanSurf’s up: The singer grabbed a surf board and paddled around the Pacific Ocean

Soaking up the Hawaiian sun: The singer paraded around the shore to the delight on onlookers
Soaking up the Hawaiian sun: The singer paraded around the shore to the delight on onlookers

Soaking up the Hawaiian sun: The singer paraded around the shore to the delight on onlookers

 

Drink time: Rihanna was spotted balancing a platter of what appeared to be cups of beer on her surf boardDrink time: Rihanna was spotted balancing a platter of what appeared to be cups of beer on her surf board

Join in the fun: The party of three seemed to be having a great time on their sunny breakJoin in the fun: The party of three seemed to be having a great time on their sunny break

The Barbadian beauty enjoyed a little down time in the Aloha State after travelling to the island of Oahu to promote her new movie Battleship, which is set to sail into theatres on May 18.

On Saturday she joined the cast and crew of the film in Pearl Harbor for a photo call.

Raising a glass: The singer and her friends indulged in a round of drinksRaising a glass: The singer and her friends enjoyed a round of drinks

What's in the cup? Rihanna grabbed one of the beverages and headed toward the shoreWhat’s in the cup? Rihanna grabbed one of the beverages and headed toward the shore

 

Leggy lady: The singer showed off her perfect pins throughout her day at the beach
Leggy lady: The singer showed off her perfect pins throughout her day at the beach

Leggy lady: The singer showed off her perfect pins throughout her day at the beach

Picture perfect: This snap looks like it is from a postcard to promote Hawaii as a getawayPicture perfect: This snap looks like it is from a postcard to promote Hawaii as a getaway

 

Riding the waves: Rihanna ditched the paddle and used her hands to move around the waterRiding the waves: Rihanna ditched the paddle and used her hands to move around the water

The singer was snapped posing with her co-stars Alexander Skarsgard, Taylor Kitsch and Brooklyn Decker, director Peter Berg and Lieutenant Colonel Greg Gadson, a U.S. Army veteran in front of the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

The Missouri was the last battleship built by the United States, and was the site of Japan’s surrender which ended World War II.

Enjoying her time in paradise: Rihanna could not stop smiling during her visit to the beachEnjoying her time in paradise: Rihanna could not stop smiling during her visit to the beach

 

Posed up: The singer appeared to be striking a pose for the camerasPosed up: The singer appeared to be striking a pose for the cameras

Slowly slowly: Rihanna was not shy of providing a rear view as she attempted water sports
Slowly slowly: Rihanna was not shy of providing a rear view as she attempted water sports

Slowly slowly: Rihanna was not shy of providing a rear view as she attempted water sports

 

Cracking up: The singer enjoyed a smile and a laugh with her friendsCracking up:  Rihanna enjoyed a smile and a laugh with her friends

Barbadian beauty: She socialised with fellow vacationers in the waterBarbadian beauty: She socialised with fellow vacationers in the water

As for the movie Battleship, it revolves around a huge battle between aliens and a fleet of U.S. Navy warships.

Rihanna is also enjoying a bit of down time after shooting a new video for her single Where Have You Been.

Familiar face? The star chatted to a young fanFamiliar face? The star chatted to a young fan

Full service: The singer got a little help with her refills even though she was barely on the shore Full service: The singer got a little help with her refills even though she was barely on the shore

Get stuck in: The performer indicated how she got her fabulous figure as she stayed active
Get stuck in: The performer indicated how she got her fabulous figure as she stayed active

Get stuck in: The performer indicated how she got her fabulous figure as she stayed active

The drink's on you: Rihanna pours a cup of water over her friend's headThe drink’s on you: Rihanna pours a cup of water over her friend’s head

Covered up: Rihanna covered her bikini bottoms in a pair of fringed denim shorts

Covered up: Rihanna covered her bikini bottoms in a pair of fringed denim shorts

Last week she released behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage from the shoot, showing her working up a sweat in a two minute clip.

The pop star has appeared in still pictures from the shoot costumed like a tribal queen in a long black wig with a headpiece and wooden bangles.

 

On the clock: The singer was joined by Battleship director Peter Berg, and cast members Brooklyn Decker, Gregory D. Gadson, Taylor Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgard for a promotional shoot at Pearl HarborOn the clock: The singer was joined by Battleship director Peter Berg, and cast members Brooklyn Decker, Gregory D. Gadson, Taylor Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgard for a promotional shoot at Pearl Harbor

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2136966/Rihanna-shows-killer-curves-fringed-bikini-takes-paddle-board-Hawaii.html#ixzz1tVA4bIkF

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Can’t go a day without you! Kim Kardashian jets to New York and straight back into Kanye West’s arms just hours after dining with the President .

By Leah Simpson

She had the pleasure of dining with the President at one of the most prestigious events of the year last night, but Kim Kardashian may have had other things on her mind at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

It seemed the reality television star could hardly wait to get back to her beau after making an appearance at the event with her mother and manager Kris Jenner.

Following a dramatic arrival in an emerald old-Hollywood style dress, the 31-year-old couldn’t wait to leave Washington D.C this morning to spend more time with her latest boyfriend Kanye West.

Together again: Kim Kardashian was back with Kanye West today as they held hands on a lunch date to Serafina in NYCTogether again: Kim Kardashian was back with Kanye West today as they held hands on a lunch date to Serafina in NYC

Kardashian was back to her old ways as far as her dress sense is concerned, today she was seen going for a lunch date with the rapper at pizza restaurant Serafina in New York City.

The star looked more dressed for night out than a lazy Sunday afternoon as she donned a one-shouldered black mini dress as she walked through the Big Apple holding hands with her man.

Kim teamed her frock – which revealed plenty of flesh in the back as the material rose up towards her derriere – with chunky gold bangles and thinly heeled shoes.

Dressed to impress: She wore a frock which drew attention to her behind while he struggled to keep his covered in low-slung jeansDressed to impress: She wore a frock which drew attention to her behind while he struggled to keep his covered in low-slung jeans

Different fashion memos: The couple held hands as they traipsed the street boasting completely different stylesDifferent fashion memos: The couple held hands as they traipsed the street boasting completely different styles

 

She was preened to perfection as she let her poker straight locks hang loose, meanwhile her date went for a more casual style.

West, 34, threw on a burnt orange jacket over a crisp white T-shirt, teaming the item with large boots and of course baggy jeans.

Once again the trousers were almost falling down past his behind, an impractical style the musician has been frequently flaunting lately.

Theatre fans: They later went to watch a showing of the musical Wicked Theatre fans: They later went to watch a showing of the musical Wicked

While keeping a firm grip on his lady with one hand he was forced to hold on to his clothing with the other in an effort to avoid any embarrassing slips.

They later went to watch a showing of the Broadway musical Wicked.

The night before Kardashian flew out to the US capital city for yesterday’s celebrity-studded event, he was seen hitching up his denims as he followed his new flame into his apartment.

They obviously can’t go a day without seeing each other as Kim headed to the annual bash which honours the best of political journalism, directly from her romantic night with the star.

Surprise: Kardashian tweeted about Jason Binn being on her flight from Washington D.CSurprise: Kardashian tweeted about Jason Binn being on her flight from Washington D.C

The night before: She was at the 98th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington HiltonThe night before: She was at the 98th Annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton

On her way back to see him this morning the church-goer squeezed in a little worship time before  boarding her flight.

She wrote on her Twitter page: ‘Who knew they had a chapel in the airport! Church service before the flight!’

Once she had taken to her seat she shared with her followers that she had bumped into media Jason Binn, a leading publisher of luxury magazines.

She tweeted: ‘Look who’s on my flight @jasonbinn … I feel safe now!’

Can't get enough of each other: Kim enjoyed dinner with West on Friday before her big appearance in front of the President Can’t get enough of each other: Kim enjoyed dinner with West on Friday before her big appearance in front of the President

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2137034/Kim-Kardashian-jets-New-York-straight-Kanye-Wests-arms-just-hours-dining-President.html#ixzz1tV87fERQ

Our Olympic eye in the sky: Inside the RAF’s airborne command centre that will guard Britain against terror threat during 2012 Games

  • RAF’s fearsome Boeing E-3D Sentry takes part in two-hour test run – codenamed Taurus Mountain – as forces gear up to combat terrorist threats
  • Aircraft and ground units hone skills during major multi-layered air defence drill
  • Show of military force as Defence Secretary declares: ‘want the world to know we will be prepared in every respect’

This is the aircraft that will be on the frontline in the mission to protect spectators and athletes from terrorism during the Olympics.

The Boeing E-3 Sentry has helped the military carry out thousands of missions in war zones across the globe, including Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

But now, this state-of-the art aircraft, is set for a crucial role closer to home, guarding against threats during this summer’s London Games.

The £179m plane, which features an all-seeing radar housed in the distinctive dome, enables armed forces to find, target and neutralise threats from land, sea or air from hundreds of miles.

Defence chiefs have drafted the fearsome aircraft in to help orchestrate the enormous task of keeping the public safe from all form of attack.

Scroll down for video

Keeping a watch: A British Royal Air Force E-3D Sentry AEW aircraft has the distinctive dome above the fuselage which houses pulse-Doppler detector which revolves six time per minute to pick up dozens of airborne and land threats from hundreds of milesKeeping a watch: A British Royal Air Force E-3D Sentry AEW aircraft has the distinctive dome. The unpressurized dome is 30 feet in diameter, six feet thick at the center, and is held 11 feet above the fuselage by two struts. It tilts down at an agle of 6° at the front to reduce its air drag during take-offs, and while flying endurance speed. The dome uses both bleed-air and cooling doors to remove the heat generated by electronic and mechanical equipment. The hydraulically-rotated antenna system spins six times per minute above the fuselage and houses pulse-Doppler detector enabling it to pick up dozens of air and land threats from hundreds of miles

 

General view inside the E-3D Sentry aircraft at RAF Waddington, LincolnshireControl centre: The normal 18 man crew comprises four flight-deck crew, three technicians and an 11-man mission crew. The mission crew comprises a tactical director, a fighter allocator, three weapons controllers, a surveillance controller, two surveillance operators, a data-link manager, a communications operator and an electronic-support- measures operator

The RAF operates seven E-3D Sentry aircraft in the airborne surveillance and command-and-control role. The aircraft are based at RAF Waddington, in Lincolnshire, where they are operated by number 8 and 23 Squadrons.

 E-3D SENTRY AEW1 SPECIFICATIONS

Engines: Four CFM 56 2A-3 turbofans

Thrust: 24,000lbs each

Max speed: 460kts

Length: 46.68m

Max altitude: 35,000ft

Span: 44.98m

Aircrew: 18

E- 3D has been extensively employed in the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) role.

The E-3D Sentry, known to the RAF as the AEW1, is based on the commercial Boeing 707-320B aircraft, which has been extensively modified and updated to accommodate modern mission systems.

Mission endurance is approximately 11 hours or more than 5,000 nautical miles without the need to refuel.

But the E-3D is the only aircraft in the RAF’s inventory capable of air-to-air refuelling by both the American ‘flying-boom’ system and the RAF’s ‘probe-and-drogue’ method.

Yesterday, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond visited the base to observe an air security training exercise and meet members of the armed forces who will be providing airborne security throughout the summer.

During the visit he stressed that security plans have been put in place for the Olympic Games to make sure the UK is ‘prepared in every respect’ to deal with any threats.

Philip Hammond said the potential of any outside threat or danger at this summer’s Games was ‘hopefully very unlikely’ but said a huge operation was ready to deal with anything that might go wrong.

He said: ‘Part of this exercise is making anyone with ill intention aware of the layered air defence that will be in place.

‘We’ve got no specific threat to the Olympics at all and certainly no specific threat of any kind of airborne threat, but we want the world to know we will be prepared in every respect so that we will be able to ensure that the London Olympics are safe and secure.’

He added: ‘Ever since 9/11 we’ve had a routine plan in place to deal with the possibility of a rogue airliner.

‘What we’re doing for the Olympics is lifting the profile of that and adding additional layers of defence to the routine air defence strategy that we have in place 365 days a year.’

Mr Hammond sat with General Sir Nick Parker and E-3D Sentry personnel in the mission crew area and viewed a scenario in which a rogue aircraft headed towards a target area and RAF Typhoons were scrambled from Coningsby in Lincolnshire, as well as a helicopter and sniper who could either ‘take out’ the pilot or the rogue aircraft’s engine.

Mr Hammond said a ‘number of ministers’ would be involved in the decision-making process if such action was needed and was confident military personnel could deal effectively with all scenarios.

Yesterday’s exercise was also to provide reassurance to ‘friends and allies’ who were sending teams to the Games, he added.

General view of monitoring screen inside the E-3D Sentry aircraft at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.Eye in the sky: The aircraft’s mission systems can separate, manage and display targets individually on situation displays within the aircraft, or it can transmit the information to ground-based and ship-based units using a wide variety of digital data link. This data can be displayed, interpreted and acted upon within seconds

 

General view of monitoring screen inside the E-3D Sentry aircraft at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.Friend or foe: The plane is equipped with six colour display screens displaying radar and Identified Friend or Foe ground and aircraft, in real time, to the crew. This is processed and overlaid onto geographical maps to provide crew with a 3-D layout of the battle field and where the enemy and friendly troops and aircraft are operating

 

The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip HammondBriefing: Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, front left, gets talked through the two-hour test run of the exercise, codenamed Taurus Mountain, over Leamington, Dishforth, by crew members on the E-3D Sentry aircraft

Crucial role: The highly trained 18 man crew, seen leaving the one of seven E-3D Sentry aircraft at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, have carried out countless hours of training in preparation for their vital job during the Games this summerCrucial role: The highly trained 18 man crew, seen leaving the one of seven E-3D Sentry aircraft at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, have carried out countless hours of training in preparation for their vital job during the Games this summer

The E-3D Sentry carried out a two-hour test run of the exercise, codenamed Taurus Mountain, over Leamington, Dishforth and the east coast of the UK yesterday morning.

THE ALL-SEEING RADAR

The plane’s Northrop Grumman AN/APY-2 high-performance, multimode lookdown radar is able to separate airborne and maritime targets from ground and sea clutter.

One E-3D flying at 30,000ft can scan at distances of over 300 nautical miles.

It can detect low-flying targets or maritime surface contacts within 215 nautical miles and it can detect medium-level airborne targets at ranges in excess of 280 nautical miles.

The multi-mode radar provides lookdown surveillance to the radar horizon and an electronic vertical scan of the radar beam provides target elevation and beyond-the-horizon operation for long-range surveillance of medium and high-altitude aircraft.

These attributes allow it to determine the location, altitude, course and speed of large numbers of airborne targets.

Flight Lieutenant Craige Curry said the plane and crew acted as the ‘eyes in the sky’ for areas where low-level radars could not reach and fed data back to the ground so a full security picture could be seen.

He said: ‘We’ve been involved in supporting numerous Olympics events over the years,’ he said. ‘We call them ‘high visibility events’, which the Olympics is this year.

‘We’re reasonably well-practised in terms of this kind of operation.’

Flt Lt Curry said the crew would be looking for anything and everything in the air during the Games.

‘Anything that flies we’ll be trying to build a picture of,’ he said.

Aircraft and ground units will be part of the multi-layered air defences for the Games, including RAF Typhoon interceptors, RAF E-3D Sentry and Royal Navy Sea King surveillance aircraft.

Sniper-carrying RAF Puma and Navy Lynx helicopters, as well as RAF radar systems and air defence missile systems, will all be in place.

Once the flight had finished and landed back at RAF Waddington Mr Hammond viewed a number of military aircraft and met personnel.

Air Vice Marshal Stuart Atha said the principles that underpin air security plans for the Olympics meant extra assets were able to be brought in, and ‘rapid and appropriate’ decision making was the same as on any other day of the year.

Asked if he was confident air crews could manage and maintain security, he said: ‘That’s what today’s about – it’s about exercising.

‘It’s just like Olympic athletes are preparing for the Games – well so are we.

‘We’re preparing for the Games to bring all these different assets together so that we can be prepared to deliver a safe and secure Olympics, but also doing it from the air in a way that preserves the spirit and the culture of the Games.

‘Hopefully you won’t see us, we will be above and beyond your awareness.’

Drill: Aircraft and ground units will be part of the multi-layered air defences for the Games, including RAF Typhoon interceptors, RAF E-3D Sentry and Royal Navy Sea King surveillance aircraftDrill: Aircraft and ground units will be part of the multi-layered air defences for the Games, including RAF Typhoon interceptors, RAF E-3D Sentry and Royal Navy Sea King surveillance aircraft

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond stands in front of a Rapier System ground-to-air missile launcher. The Rapier is the British primary anti-aircraft weapon. The surface-to-air missile was developed for the British Army and Royal Air Force. It is designed to be able to strike against longer-range and higher-altitude targets as well as close, low flying threat and will be deployed at strategic locations across London

 

Strike force: Two British Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 aircraft fly over RAF Waddington near Lincoln, will form part of the force to counter terrorist threats during the OlympicsStrike force: Two British Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 aircraft fly over RAF Waddington near Lincoln, will form part of the force to counter terrorist threats during the Olympics. The £125m twin-engine Typhoon are the RAF’s multi-role fighter meaning they can carryout air-to-ground bombing raids as well as engage other aircraft in a dog fight

 

The armed forces have been keen to show off their capability to counter terrorism in the build up to the Games.

Around 100 marines and 50 officers rehearsed a string of high-speed drills amid fears attackers could use the waterways to launch onslaughts on London landmarks, earlier this year.

About 50 marine police officers in rigid inflatables and fast response boats were joined by up to 100 military personnel and a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter for the exercises.

The Thames runs directly past the O2 Arena, which will be known as the North Greenwich Arena for the purpose of the Games, when it will host events including gymnastics.  The river will also be used to transport tourists between venues via water buses and a new cable car.

Typhoon jets and HMS Ocean, the largest ship in the Royal Navy’s fleet, will eventually be deployed to protect the London 2012 Games along with up to 13,500 military personnel.

 

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2108671/Our-Olympic-eye-sky-Inside-RAFs-airborne-command-centre-guard-Britain-terror-threat-2012-Games.html#ixzz1tV4uvdXF

London: Surface-to-air missiles on top of flats to protect Olympics as part of huge security operation .

Ground-to-air missiles are to be sited on the roof of a block of flats near the Olympic site as part of a huge security operation to protect the Games.

The Army will station soldiers and high-velocity surface-to-air missiles on the residential block in East London to ward off airborne terror threats.

Residents in the private, gated flats in Bow have received a leaflet warning them that a team of ten soldiers and police will be placed at the building – home to 700 people – for the duration of this summer’s Games.

Warning: High-velocity surface-to-air missiles will be stationed on the residential block in East London to ward off airborne terror threatsWarning: High-velocity surface-to-air missiles will be stationed on the residential block in East London to ward off airborne terror threats

Launch site: The Army will station soldiers and high-velocity surface-to-air missiles on this residential block in Bow Quarter, East London, to ward off airborne terror threatsLaunch site: The Army will station soldiers and high-velocity surface-to-air missiles on this residential block in Bow Quarter, East London, to ward off airborne terror threats

It follows an announcement by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond in November that missiles might be used to safeguard the Olympic site.

Last night, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed the missiles would be deployed within the next few days. They describe them as ‘a useful deterrent’.

Resident Brian Whelan, a journalist, said the MoD leaflet says the missiles will be fired only as a last resort.

He said: ‘They are going to have a test run next week, putting high-velocity missiles on the roof just above our apartment. They’re stationing police and military in the tower of the building for two months.

‘It’s a private, gated community with an old watch tower which is now a lift shaft.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond stands in front of a Rapier System ground-to-air missile launcher during a visit to RAF Waddington near LincolnProtection: Defence Secretary Philip Hammond saw some of the Rapier System ground-to-air missile launchers during a visit to RAF Waddington near Lincoln, earlier this year

Target: Security agencies fear the Olympics will be targeted by terrorists and are preparing for a range of difference scenariosTarget: Security agencies fear the Olympic site in Stratford, east London, will be targeted by terrorists and are preparing for a range of difference scenarios

‘We have an MoD leaflet saying the building is the only suitable place in the area. It says there will be ten officers plus police present 24/7. I’m not sure if they are going to live in the building. We have a gym and a pool and people have seen them there so it makes you think it will be some sort of Army base – it’s not ideal.

‘The property management company which runs the place put up posters and gave out the leaflets today.

‘The general tone was, “Great news, aren’t we lucky”, but that’s not normal, it’s not something people should have put on them.

‘I’ve looked these up [the missiles] and I don’t think they’re the kind of thing you can fire over a highly populated area like Tower Hamlets, think of the debris.’

Mr Whelan said the leaflet poses a series of questions residents might ask, such as: ‘Will this make me a target for terrorists?’

The 28-year-old said: ‘But the answer on it is that we will be safer with it here.

‘From the few people I’ve spoken to, and the security we have here, they’re not happy about it. I don’t think it needs to be here at all.’

UN’s Ban to Address Myanmar Parliament With Suu Kyi’s Seat Empty

 

 

(Bloomberg) When United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon becomes the first world leader to address Myanmar’s year-old parliament today there will be a notable absentee: Aung San Suu Kyi.
The refusal of Myanmar’s most famous dissident to take an oath to “safeguard” the constitution after winning a seat in by-elections this month puts Ban in the middle of an impasse between her and President Thein Sein, the retired general behind the country’s awakening from five decades of isolation. Suu Kyi wants the oath changed to say lawmakers will “respect” the constitution, which guarantees the military 25 percent of seats, according to her party’s spokesman, according to Bloomberg report.
“I am hoping all sides will adopt positions that are flexible,” Ban told reporters over dinner in the capital late yesterday. “I know this is a sensitive issue.”
The vacant seat threatens to slow the pace of political and economic changes that have prompted the U.S. and European Union to ease sanctions against a country of 64 million people where one in 30 has a mobile phone. Suu Kyi’s demand is a risky early test of her clout, according to Vikram Nehru, a former economist at the World Bank.
“If the request had been granted it could strengthen her hand,” said Nehru, now a senior adviser and analyst with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. “But a flat-out refusal could have the opposite effect.”
On April 1, Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won 43 of 45 seats in by-elections, the most inclusive vote in two decades. That outcome convinced Western nations to loosen sanctions and development agencies to contemplate a resumption of financial aid. As Myanmar’s biggest creditor, Japan forgave about $3.7 billion of debt in a bid to infiltrate a market dominated by rival China, its biggest trading partner.
Ban, making his first trip to Myanmar since July 2009, will address the 664-member lawmaking body that is controlled by Thein Sein’s Union Solidarity and Development Party and the military. Suu Kyi’s party “welcomes” the address even though it likely won’t attend, spokesman Nyan Win said.
“I don’t know exactly if we will participate in Parliament,” he said by phone from Yangon yesterday. The standoff may end “in one or two weeks,” he said.
Three years ago, Ban said he was deeply disappointed to have been barred from seeing Suu Kyi, known in her homeland simply as “The Lady.” Her father, General Aung San, was an independence hero and was assassinated when she was 2 years old.
Tomorrow, as he wraps up a three-day trip, Ban will meet the Nobel Peace Prize winner for the first time by Yangon’s Inya Lake at her family home, where she spent 15 years of the past 23 years under house arrest.
“The pace as well as the nature of the change has been in some ways extraordinary, and perhaps far in advance of what had been envisaged,” Vijay Nambiar, who is traveling with Ban as the UN’s special adviser on Myanmar, told reporters last week.
In Naypyidaw, unveiled in 2005 as the new seat of government to replace Yangon located 200 miles (322 kilometers) to the southeast, Ban will meet the retired generals who now form the face of an elected leadership looking ahead to the next nationwide vote expected in 2015.
Since taking office in March 2011, Thein Sein has freed political prisoners, held talks with Suu Kyi, dismantled a fixed exchange rate that distorted government revenue and halted the construction of a $3.6 billion Chinese-backed hydropower project in response to growing criticism China was exploiting Burmese resources. He has also sought peace deals with ethnic-based armies that control certain border areas.
Apart from Thein Sein, 67, Ban will hold talks with Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann, 64, ranked No. 3 in the junta that ruled Myanmar until last year, and the railways minister, Aung Min, 62, who has been negotiating peace agreements with ethnic rebel armies.
While in the capital, UN officials will also offer advice on methodology for Myanmar’s first census in 30 years. Population estimates vary widely, with the World Bank putting the figure at 48 million, the Asian Development Bank at 60 million and the IMF at 64 million.
The Washington-based World Bank will open an office in Myanmar in June to help assess the country’s debt levels. The ADB is preparing to offer Myanmar several hundred million dollars per year in grants and loans if the government clears overdue debts and Western nations give approval.
Ban will seek clarification during his trip on the government’s priorities. About 75 percent of the country lacks access to electricity and more government funds are needed to improve roads, bridges, hospitals and schools, the ADB said this month.
Ban will travel in a helicopter to Shan State, a mountainous and isolated region where opium production is rampant as farmers cultivate poppy fields as a cash crop to buy food and other basic goods. Myanmar is the second-biggest producer of opium after Afghanistan and has a rising number of drug users that have led to the third-largest HIV epidemic in Asia, according to the UN’s program on HIV/AIDS.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime last month expressed “cautious optimism” that government efforts to eradicate opium in the region have made significant progress, in part due to negotiations on peace deals with minority ethnic groups.

“These ceasefires present the opportunity for a new beginning, but what is really needed for the people of Shan is a permanent end to all conflict through the acquisition of a lasting peace,” Jason Eligh, Myanmar country manager for the UN drug office, said in a March 23 statement. “The path to achieving this peace is lined with poppies.”

Nigerian Medical Practitioner discovers cure to Genital Warts

The Diasporan Perspective

By Ekerete Udoh

He is another example of the ever growing number of Nigerian Diaspora who has used their expertise and skills to improve the human condition in their adapted countries. He represents the best of the Nigerian spirit-inquiring, studious, reflective and eternally desiring to break new frontiers. All over the world, their ingenuity – in medical sciences, technological wizardry, the media and other facets of the human experience have been acknowledged and celebrated.
Dr. Justice E. Obi- originally from Anambra State  and a New York City resident earned a bachelor degree in pharmacy from Texas Southern University and a medical degree from Juarez Medical School-Mexico has come up with drugs that cure genital warts. The drugs-Dekilo HP and Dekilo HM are in the final stages of approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA.)
Genital warts according to definition by the Center for Disease control (CDC) are growth found in and around the vagina, penis, vulva, cervix and rectum areas that are caused by sexually transmitted human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The disease which affects approximately half a million people in the United States every year, is very common in Europe, North and South American continents and Australia. It however, is less common in Central and West African countries, except in South Africa where the infection is highly prevalent. No known method for cure, prevention and treatment of this disease has been found yet-until Dr. Obi’s invention- a development he seems to relish intently.” I thank God for using me as a scientific instrument to bring lasting succor and cure to a disease that has caused so many people psychological and emotional stress- a disease that is socially debilitating and mentally devastating. When I see the happiness on the faces of people who agreed to experiment the drug-the joy of knowing that finally, they can resume and live a happy and fulfilled lives and not being socially isolated, it brings tears to my eyes.”
The inspiration for the discovery of the ingredients that has led to the cure m of genital warts like that associated with another drug-Viagra was serendipitous at best. According to Dr. Obi, “I had a personal experience with something that was totally unrelated to genital warts and I was using a particular medication to treat it-all to no avail. I was very unhappy and one day, given my medical and pharmacy background, I decided to try another approach, and this was just a flash of inspiration. With the mixture I had just done, I was shocked to realize that when I applied it, the growth that was on my skin for years was gone in two days. I couldn’t believe it. Was I dreaming? I had asked mysef? How could something I had battled to cure for years just got cured in less than two days form a mixture I had just done-which I didn’t think could bring any medical succor to the problem? I was over the moon with excitement. This was in 1986 at Graceland Medical Group- a medical facility that I am a co-founder, which is located in Lagos. I was in Lagos at that time.”
Dr. Obi said when he came back to the United States, he didn’t follow-up on the invention until 2011 when he saw many patients with various forms of warts and he asked if they would like to try a drug that he believed could cure the disease. “Most agreed to try the medication and I was excited when they came back two days later to exclaim their warts were gone. Words soon spread and soon a lot of people started showing up to demand for the drug, and I offered it to them free of charge. So far, everyone who has visited my pharmacy has been cured of genital warts and with this realization, I decided to make moves to introduce the drug to the world. I contacted a company that assists people with their inventions-InventHelp and they helped put together all the necessary paper work to get the drug introduced to the market. As this point, the product is in the process of being approved by the FDA and a number of drug companies have shown interest in partnering with us. It is a great feeling and I can’t just contain myself with the realization that finally people with this problem will heave a sigh of relief.”
Dr. Obi who has lived in American for close to 40 years has an interesting personal story as well. He was a witness to the series of events that signaled the end of the Biafran War. “I was one of the bodyguards to the Biafran Chief of Navy-Commodore Anuku and I narrowly missed the aircraft that took General Ojukwu out of Biafra for the last time as the Head of State and Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces. But there was another aircraft that came to drop some relief materials at Uga Airport, and it was that one that I, along with other top brass of the Biafran Armed forces-including Anuku and the Chief of Air Force boarded to make our escape. It was a very surreal experience. The pilot had to turn off the light upon take off and flew the plane without light on, until we left the airspace that was controlled by the Nigerian side.

We landed in Sao Tome and Principe from where we were taken to Gabon. From Gabon, we were quarantined for days until the Gabonese government felt we were ready to mix with the civilian population. There were hundreds of thousands of Biafran children that had been taken there by the World Council of Churches and they were in various stages of malnutrition- with dis-extended stomachs (Kwashiorkor) and other ailments. I got a job as a security officer at the camp. My main assignment was to ensure that the kids were fed six times a day and that there was order and discipline in the camp. It was from there that I came to the United States on a student visa and as they say, the rest is history.’
Dr. Obi advised the Nigerian political leaders to ensure that they maintain the peace and harmonious relationship with all the component units “I have been reading some of the divisive rhetoric that has been coming from certain quarters. Some have been beating the drum of separation. Well, let me advise those who are advocating that approach that separations don’t usually happen peacefully. Even though some have happened in that manner-like the recent South Sudan most, usually involve wars. Some of us who saw the horror of war as young men should never dream of seeing a similar theater of destruction again in our lifetime. In spite of what our differences are, we should endeavor to live in peace and resolve our issues amicably.”

 

Source : Thisday

#Nigeria : Auto accident planned to kill me – Oshiomhole

 

EDO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has alleged that the auto crash which led to the death of three journalists in his convoy was an assassination attempt on his life.

Oshiomhole escaped death by a whisker after a truck reportedly rammed in his convoy along the Warrake Road while on his way to Auchi after receiving some Peoples Democratic Party members who defected to his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria, in Afuze on Saturday.

Apart from the three dead journalists, others in the convoy, including security and government officials, among others were seriously injured.

The governor said in Benin on Sunday, “They (truck driver and his assistant) were just inside the vehicle, they were not carrying anything, they were not carrying any goods. We asked the other occupant about the driver, he said he didn’t know, he just ran into the bush. He stayed in the bush until after we had left and those who were still around the scene saw him when he was trying to run away after we had left.

“If I was in the regular jeep (official), he could have hit me because I was driving a small car which I decided to drive myself, if I was in that car, it could have been my lot, he pushed that car off the road and then crashed into the one the journalists were driving in.

“It is a straight road and not a bend, so if he was losing control he could have swerved into the bush. When I asked the guy where is the driver, he said he (driver) opened the door of the vehicle and left, he claimed the driver just said he should follow him. I asked him, you are not under 18 and somebody just tells you, ‘follow me and then the man passed his town passed another and went into another local government and you still did not ask questions?’

“Well, we’ve asked the SSS and the police to investigate. Then, before we knew anything, the PDP was already issuing a condolence message.

“Although we’ve been hearing all kinds of things but we are not going to… the blood of those dead guys will not go in vain. We will get justice for them and more importantly those who thought that our fighting spirit will be weakened are joking, because we are challenged the more.”

Oshiomhole said he helped in rescuing those trapped in their vehicles after the accident.

“For about 40 minutes we were trying to get them out, but God is in control, I believe the devil s a liar,” he said.

Publicity Secretary of the state chapter of the PDP, Mr. Mathew Uroghide, said his party was shocked by the governor’s allegations.

He said, “My first reaction is that I am indeed taken aback that the governor is pointing accusing fingers at the PDP. It is sad that at a time the state is mourning the death of journalists, the governor is trivialising the matter by playing politics with the lives of those who died.”

How we snatched SUV from pastor – Robbers — The Punch – Nigeria’s Most Widely Read Newspaper

 

How we snatched SUV from pastor – Robbers — The Punch – Nigeria’s Most Widely Read Newspaper.

#Nigeria: BUK attacks: Two professors, 13 others shot dead

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Two  professors – Jerome Ayodele and Andrew Leo Ogbonyomi –  and 13 other Christian worshippers were killed in coordinated attacks at the Bayero University, Kano on Sunday. Also killed in the attacks was a senior non-accademic staff, Mr. Sylvester Adah.

The attacks took place at  the Indoor Sports Hall, where the Catholic faithful in the university had their Sunday mass, and an open air theatre where Protestants worshipped.

Our correspondent reports that other worshippers sustained various degrees of injuries. The incident came three days after members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, had bombed media houses in Abuja and Kaduna State.

Although no group had claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attacks as at press time, there were concerns that they could be the handiwork of the fundamentalist Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

Also on Sunday, Rev. Albert Naga of Church of Christ In Nigeria, LCC SIMARI, and three church elders were shot dead in Maiduguri, Borno State  by  gunmen   suspected to be Boko Haram members. The Reverend and the elders were leaving the church after the communion service  when they were killed.

The spokesman of BUK, Mustapaha Zaradeen, when contacted, said it was difficult to get the actual casualty figure of students.  But  he  confirmed the death of seven persons, including students and worshippers from outside the university.

Zaradeen, however, said that the attacks were carried out at about 8.30 am by gunmen numbering about 15, who stormed the worship places on motorbikes from over four locations within the campus.

Going by the manner of the attacks, witnesses claimed the  bandits might have laid siege to  the area before the arrival of worshipers for the  Sunday service because shootings began barely 10 minutes after the mass began.

Many of the victims were taken to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Emergency ward for treatment.

One of the victims is a 400-level accounting student of BUK, Faith Onche. She was shot in the arm. Onche said they had assembled for the  service at the open air theatre at about 8.30am. She said that minutes after the service began, gun shots were heard few metres away from the arena.

She said, “Initially, it was mistaken by some of us for a burst tyre. Until it became sporadic, it dawned on us that it was a gun attack and at that point, there was stampede as everyone scampered to safety.”

Onche said she was on a business visit to the campus but decided to worship at the worship centre.

She was emphatic that the worship centres were not bombed, insisting that she saw the gunmen who opened fire on the worshipers.

Sources at the university corroborated her story, adding that the only time explosions were heard was when the attackers were leaving the campus after the operation.

“They (gunmen) pursued them (worshippers), shooting them with guns. They also attacked another service at the sporting complex,” the witness told AFP.

A witness said there was pandemonium and that he saw two men shooting indiscriminately.

A history lecturer at the university, Mohammed Suleiman, said security guards had to run for  dear   lives when the violence broke out.

“For over 30 minutes, a series of bomb explosions and gun shots took over the old campus, around the academic blocks,” he told Reuters.

Although    officials confirmed seven deaths after the attacks, they  claimed that up to 20 people  could have been  killed as bodies were lying around and were being taken to hospitals.

“I counted at least 15 dead bodies. I think they were being taken to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital,” another  witness told Reuters.

Some eyewitnesses  said they saw fresh bloodstains at the scenes of the incident. Vehicles and motorbikes were abandoned by panic-stricken worshippers.

The Joint Task Force officials who cordoned off the scenes immediately they arrive with Armoured Personnel Carriers,  intercepted a Mercedes V boot, suspected to have been primed with explosive devices  in the area.

Kano State police spokesman, Ibrahim Idris, said  by the time police arrived, the attackers had “disappeared into the neighbourhood,” adding that a manhunt was under way.

Reacting to the incident, Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who cut short an official trip to Abuja to visit the scenes of the incident, described the attacks as  unfortunate and sad.

Kwankwaso commiserated with the university authorities and its community and lamented that “such a painful thing” had happened at a time peace was gradually returning to the state capital .

He assured that the state and Federal governments would continue to work hard to ensure that peace  prevailed among residents of the state.

The governor  noted that the state government had an arrangement with public and private hospitals  to treat victims of such incident.

The Deputy Vice- Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Yahuza Bello, conducted the governor round the scenes of the incident.

Kano state has been one of the worst hit by Boko Haram. The sect’s deadliest attack yet took place in Kano in January. More than 180 people were killed in the attack.

Culled from The Punch

#Nigeria: BUK attacks: I jumped over a fence to escape – 71-year-old Prof

April 30, 2012 by Martin Ayankola 12 Comments
The attacked hall

Seventy-one-year-old Professor Emmanuel Olofin,   a professor of Geography at the Bayero University, Kano, was at the hall where Catholics had gathered to worship. He shares his story with Martin Ayankola.

“It was like this. We use the Indoor Sports Hall of the university for our services. Usually, we start mass at 8am but today (Sunday) we started a bit late because we were making some arrangements.

“We started at about 10 minutes after 8am. At about 8.15am we started hearing sounds of gunshots and pellets falling on the roof of the building.

“Then, the Reverend Father asked, ‘What is happening?’ After that, there was pandemonium, we all rushed out and people were trying to cross over to Kabuga, a nearby settlement. It was mostly gunshots but I think they were also throwing grenades.

“Some people jumped over the eight-foot fence, while some decided to take the pedestrian exit that leads to Kabuga. I believe that most of the people that died were those who took the pedestrian exit because  it seemed as if the attackers used the pedestrian gate to gain entrance.

“I jumped over the fence and eventually took refuge under a tree. I was in  my place of refuge, when I heard a siren wailing  at about 10 am. I think that was when the Police came.

“Right now, I have been able to confirm about six of our people dead. I know of Profs Jerome Ayodele and Leo Ogbonyomi, who died. I also know of  a senior non-academic employee of the university,Mr. Sylvester Adah, who died.

“How a 71-year-old man could have jumped over a fence? It was the grace of God!”

‘I was preaching when the attackers arrived’

Professor Julius Falola, a professor of Geography, was at the centre where Protestant worshippers were attacked. He spoke to Martin Ayankola.

“We, those of us who belong to a protestant group, Chapel of Victory,  were holding our own service at an open ground, under the tree, close to the Faculty of Medicine.

“We started the service at about 7.30am. At about 8.15am, when I had just started preaching the day’s sermon,   I  sighted a group of men advancing towards where we were.

“Initially, they did not look suspicious, but suddenly, a shot was fired directly at the congregation and  subsequently several shots followed.

“The attack was simultaneous, as they were attacking us, they were attacking the Catholic group  worshipping in the Indoor Sports Hall. I could not say the number of the attackers. One could not wait, everybody ran.

“Some jumped over the fence while others ran deeper into the campus. I also escaped to the university  clinic.

“The  shooting went on for about  45 minutes. At about  the 46th minute, I heard the wailing of the  siren,  I think the soldiers and police arrived about that time.”

“The attackers were firing gunshots and throwing hand grenades.  Some of our members sustained injuries and right now, we could not ascertain the number of  casualties.”

Culled from The Punch

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