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M&A GOSSIP: Facebook Wants To Buy This Woman’s Company, Wildfire, For ~$250 Million


“A couple weeks after Oracle bought Vitrue for $300 million and Salesforce.com bought Buddy Media for ~$700 million, the gossip we’re hearing is that the next social media marketing tools provider to sell will be Victoria Ransom‘s Wildfire Interactive.

That’s Ransom, a Kiwi, on the right.

On its Web site, Wildfire describes itself as “an easy-to-use yet powerful tool to grow, engage, and monetize your audience on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.”

Facebook, we’re told, is a leading suitor. This makes some sense. Facebook needs to find a way to tax marketers for the value they get out of pushing their products using Facebook’s free tools.

We don’t know a price, but you have to figure it would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. One number we heard: $250 million.

Our source on this gossip says Goldman Sachs is Wildfire’s banker, and that Goldman is pushing Wildfire to include more bidders.

Given that Google wanted to buy Buddy Media, but lost out, it’s probably safe to assume its interested.

We reached out to Goldman, Wildfire, and Facebook for this story. None responded. It’s OK, if they had talked to us, they would have declined to comment on rumors and speculation, which is actually what this story is. We thought you’d like to hear the whispers anyway.”

Source: Business Insider
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U.N. vehicles hit by explosion in Syria

An image grab from Youtube on May 15, 2012 allegedly shows a UN observers convoy after a roadside bomb exploded.
An image grab from Youtube on May 15, 2012 allegedly shows a UN observers convoy after a roadside bomb exploded.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Government forces fire on a funeral procession, opposition groups say
  • NEW: 63 people are reportedly killed Tuesday
  • Syria says “scores” of people are killed or hurt by a terrorist bomb in Banyas
  • The government touts the “widest turnout” for parliamentary elections

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — A four-vehicle U.N. convoy was struck by a blast from an explosive device Tuesday in Syria, the United Nations said.

No U.N. personnel were injured, but three vehicles were damaged, said Ahmad Fawzi, spokesman for Kofi Annan, special envoy to Syria for both the United Nations and the Arab League.

The attack on the vehicles happened around the same time government forces opened fire on a nearby funeral procession, according to opposition groups.

Twenty-three people were killed and 100 were injured in that attack, Avaaz, one of the groups, said.

Another opposition group, the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, described dozens of people falling to the ground after government forces fired on them using heavy machine guns.

Map shows area of most recent clashesMap shows area of most recent clashes

 

Shoes are strewn about on the street and people can be seen gathering near the stopped vehicles.

Suddenly, there is a loud bang and plumes of smoke drift up into the sky. The camera flashes to what looks to be the front of the U.N. convoy, showing one of the vehicles with its hood now popped open. After a few seconds, the vehicles drive away.

“The Assad army is shelling the observers’ vehicles in Khan Cheikhoun!” someone yells.

A second video allegedly shows the attack on the funeral procession. A voice taunts what appears to be security forces.

“Are you going to shoot us, or what? You dogs, shoot!” the man shouts.

Seconds later, the forces open fire and people scatter, fleeing the area.

Idlib was the site of some of the heaviest violence Tuesday, according to the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria.

At least 63 people were killed, including 33 in Idlib, eight in Homs, seven in Deir Ezzor, five in Hama, four in Banyas, four in Damascus suburbs, one in Hasakeh and one in Daraa, the group said.

SANA, the state-run news agency, said terrorists were preparing a bomb in Banyas when it exploded, leaving “scores” of people dead or wounded. A 3-year-old child died in the collapse of the building, SANA said.

Two law enforcement personnel were killed — one in Daraa and one in Homs, the agency reported.

Throughout the uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, Syria has blamed the violence on “armed terrorist groups.”

The jihadist Al Nusra Front has denied a claim that it was behind dual suicide bombings that killed 55 and wounded hundreds in the Syrian capital last week.

A video purportedly from Al Nusra Front released Saturday said that government buildings in Damascus were targeted “because the regime continues to shell residential civilians.”

Syrian forces carried out a siege Tuesday at Raqa University in northern Syria after a massive demonstration and fired live ammunition at a college student demonstration in Aleppo, the Local Coordination Committees said.

Some rebels say they have had to sell their cows, cars or their wives’ jewelry to buy guns and bullets to fight.

The al-Assad family has ruled Syria for 42 years.

International pressure against al-Assad’s government ratcheted up this week, with European Union foreign ministers imposing new sanctions against the regime Monday.

The EU ministers froze the assets of two firms and imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on three people believed to be providing funding for the regime, the European Council announced.

It was the 15th time the European Union has imposed restrictions on Syria since the popular uprising began there.

“The continuing violence is appalling,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Monday, stressing that the sanctions are aimed at the regime and not the civilian population. “As long as the repression continues, we will continue to put pressure on those responsible for it.”

Just 300 yards from the Syrian border, hundreds of Syrians have found safety at a Turkish refugee camp. Though they have fled the fighting, many are haunted by memories of the 14-month-long bloodshed.

Abu Mohammed recalled how two of his sons had been fatally shot by security forces while demonstrating in Syria about a year ago. Another son is missing, believed to be arrested and possibly killed without ever having met his 7-month-old son.

Mohammed said he cannot justify the Syrian security forces’ actions. He knows why his sons spoke up and why many are still fighting.

“We had young men that cried out and shouted, ‘Freedom!’ — and they were killed for that?” he asked rhetorically. “We just want freedom. What’s wrong with asking for freedom?”

But the Syrian government Tuesday touted “the widest turnout of voters for Syrian parliamentary elections,” which took place May 7.

“The citizens exercised their full rights, and they had total freedom in choosing their representatives,” Judge Khalaf al-Azzawi, chairman of Higher Committee for Elections, said on state TV.

The United Nations estimates that at least 9,000 people have died in the 14-month crisis, while opposition groups put the death toll at more than 11,000.

CNN cannot independently verify reports of deaths and violence because the Syrian government has severely restricted access by international media.

CNN’s Saad Abedine, Ivan Watson, Anderson Cooper and Holly Yan contributed to this report.”

Source: CNN News

 

But Where is Happyboy?

Olusegun-Adeniyi-Back-Page.jpg - Olusegun-Adeniyi-Back-Page.jpg

The Verdict according to Olusegun Adeniyi. Email, olusegun.adeniyi@thisdaylive.com.

 

The moment Yemi Akinsuyi saw me inside the premises of THISDAY Abuja office that looked more like a scene out of Iraq, she said, “oga, we cannot find Happyboy. He was inside the premises when the bomb exploded and now he is not picking his calls.”

Happyboy Ohije is one of those circulation boys you find in newspaper houses. They are called inserters since they help to collate the papers when it is being printed but they also run all manner of errands for people in the newsroom. With minimal education, Happyboy is very dutiful and everyone knew I was fond of him. He had come to me one day that he had a challenge concerning his education, a rather moving story but I liked the confidence with which he approached me and the manner in which he presented his problem. After offering him some little assistance, we became close, especially since he told everyone about my intervention.

Last Thursday, it was quite natural that I would be very worried about the fate of Happyboy. It turned out that he was sleeping when the bomb exploded and he eventually emerged from the rubble in a pool of his blood. But his was not the only miracle. Nurudeen, the security man seated at the exact spot where the suicide bomber exploded the vehicle is injured but alive. Incidentally, we did not know at the time and I recall one security man asking me: “Nurudeen’s wife has been calling me repeatedly and I cannot pick. What do I tell her?” His colleague by the gate, Christopher Sadiq was, however, not so lucky. Neither were some of the mechanics who had set shop behind THISDAY premises. They died along with a passer-by as the vehicle exploded.

The whole drama started for me at about 11.08 when I got a call from an hysterical Ms Avershima Ahenjir, an advert executive, saying, “they have just bombed our office.” According to what I was told when I reached the office, a vehicle came in to deliver tiles that was meant for some work at about 11am. While they were still trying to offload the tiles, the suicide bombers drove into the premises and the rest, as they say, is now history. But as everyone pointed out to me last Thursday, I would have been caught by the bombing but for the fact that I was preparing for my trip to Ibadan for the burial of my mother-in-law later that day.

I have watched on YouTube the video clip released by Boko Haram on how THISDAY was bombed, especially the moment when the vehicle entered our premises and exploded. Incidentally, the clip displayed my photograph along with my statement following the incident. I have also read their declaration of war on the media but I fail to understand why. The charge is that we have taken sides with the Nigerian state. But do we have any choice in this matter?

In an unusual backpage editorial last Sunday, the Trust newspaper put the issue in perspective: “A violent campaign to target and kill security agents, to overthrow the Constitution of the Federal Republic and ultimately to dismember Nigeria cannot be supported by the Nigerian news media, which derives a lot of its legitimacy, protection and privileges from the same Constitution. As for Nigeria itself, there cannot be a ‘Nigerian media’ if there is no Nigeria”.

That exactly is the position to which all journalists subscribe but many of us are becoming increasingly worried for our country. It is therefore incumbent on all men of goodwill who can intervene to end this cycle of violence to do so now in the interest of our corporate existence as a nation. As for THISDAY, in my 13 years here, we have seen some dark days and have come out stronger from all the tragedies. I remember our midnight plane crash right in the middle of Maiduguri desert in 2001 when the Board of Editors decided on a “Meet the Nation” tour; the fire incident that consumed our corporate headquarters in Apapa and the death of Mr. Godwin Agbroko. In each of these events, we were shattered and broken. But we never gave up the ideal for which we stand.

Where do we stand? When Bayero University Kano was attacked last Sunday, our thoughts and sympathy were with the victims of the attack and when Jalingo was attacked the next day, we took sides with the people. On the killing field that Maiduguri has become, we are one with the innocent people of that ancient city who are now besieged. We have made that very clear. But we have also been professional in our reportage while advocating dialogue with Boko Haram, believing that any and every aggrieved Nigerian deserves a hearing. What we oppose is violence and bloodletting of innocent people for no just cause. Even at this most difficult period, we remain persuaded that common sense will still prevail in the interest of our nation and its good people

Boko Haram threatens to attack VOA, Guardian, Daily Trust others


01/05/2012 16:02:00 Premium Times
image
Boko Haram has become Nigeria’s biggest headache of the moment

Boko Haram has named popular newspapers and broadcast media as its new target

The extremist group, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihadl, popularly called Boko Haram, today named more media houses and staff as targets of its attack (find full transcript of video below).

In an 18-minute video, the group threatened to attack more media houses, naming Voice of America (Hausa), Radio France (Hausa), Daily Trust, Guardian Newspapers, among others.

In part, the video contained footages of the THISDAY blast site apparently downloaded from the websites of CHANNELS TV and PREMIUM TIMES.

The group also gave reasons why it bombed Thisday office in Abuja and other media houses last Thursday.

“This is a message from jamaatu ahlis sunnah lil daawati wal jihad, and we wish to inform Nigerians our reasons for attacking some media houses,” the group said.

The video also shows that the radical group carried a live coverage of the bombing in Abuja and filmed the explosion at Thisday.

The group created the new Youtube video under the name Alhaji Mani.

Click here to watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDqv6srmoI4

 

Read full transcript of video below.

Boko Haram video transcription

Video has a background music in Hausa language, saying,” Nigerians, our name is not Boko Haram, we are Muslims, Ahlis sunnah”. The lyrics also said, “We attacked Thisday because we will never forget or forgive anyone who abused our prophet.”

First written message says the video is from ‘Public awareness department which presents; ‘Reasons for attacking Thisday Newspaper’

The Video also shows coverage of the suicide attack at Thisday office in Abuja.

It also shows a man wielding a rifle and reciting some prayer verses. Shots of the late leader of the sect Muhammad Yusuf, delivering a sermon, and in other clips, preaching, was shown.

Full transcription

“This is a message from the public awareness department of the Jamatu Ahlis sunnah lil daawati wal jihad, a group engaged in jihad in Nigeria.

“We wish to explain about the attack we carried out on Thisday Newspapers. Some of the reasons why we decided to attack some Media Houses, especially Thisday, is because the paper was used in dishonouring our prophet, Mohammad (SAW) during a beauty pageant in Kaduna in November 2002.

“At that time, some people who called themselves leaders of Muslims came out to say they have forgiven those who committed the offence.

“But based on our knowledge, we know that no one has the power to forgive anyone for an offence that God himself has given judgement, especially on an offence that has to do with dishonouring Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

“No one has the power to forgive this type of offence, and the judgement is for such persons to be killed.

“This lady that committed this crime, the judgement on her is to be killed at any opportunity; and the media house is also supposed to be driven out of existence whenever there is a chance to do so.

“We are just getting the opportunity to attack the media house, and we are hoping to continue these attacks until we drive them out of existence.

“It is our hope that Allah (SWT) will help his religion.

“We know that any genuine Muslim must have been deeply touched by the Thisday incident.
“Thisday newspaper is also leading in helping the government in fighting us, alongside other media houses that we will mention soon.

“Some of the offences of Thisday and other media outlets include: firstly, during the botched attempt to rescue some kidnapped foreign nationals in Sokoto; these media houses asked us if we have anything to do with the kidnap and we said we have nothing to do with it, yet these media houses reported that we were responsible for the incident, that was a lie against us.

“Secondly, when we sent a video of our leader, Abubakar Shekau, the media houses reported things that our leader did not say, such as that in response to the president’s threat to finish us in three months, we have also threatened to finish the government in three months. But the truth is, nowhere in the video did our leader said what they attributed to him.

“Thirdly, on the purported arrest of Abu Qaqa by the SSS, we have come out to tell them that the person arrested was not Abu Qaqa,yet the media continue to potray us as liars, and even said that our leader had ordered for Abu Qaqa II to be executed, and we are now searching for Abu Qaqa III.

“Recently too, they came out with another lie that one Mohammed Awwal Kontagora was the Abu Qaqa II that was executed, and that even his parents confirmed it, that was just a big lie to convince the world.

“The media also said that we have killed the father of Abu Darda, so as to pass a message to him, because he had leaked our secrets after his arrest by security agencies, and they  wanted him to know that he is one of our targets.

“These are all lies, and they are many.

“These media houses have committed a lot of offences that is detrimental to Islam, and we don’t have the power to forgive them. We will take revenge on them by God’s grace, some of these media houses have been categorized into three groups.

“The first group is the likes of Thisday whose offences are big.

“The second group we will also attack soon are Punch, Daily Sun, Vanguard, Guardian, Nation, Tribune, and National Accord, which are all newspaper houses.

“There is also VOA Hausa radio. All these media houses we will attack them including their staff and offices, by God’s grace.

“VOA Hausa for instance have recently started campaigning for people to support the government against us by exposing us,

“The next group that are on the verge of joining this list who if they are not careful we will attack very soon include, Leadership, Daily Trust, Peoples Daily and RFI(Radio France international)

“There is an online medium known as Saharareporters who have their office in New York, and who have made their site as a platform for attack against Islam. So we are warning them to stop making their site an avenue for attacking Islam, otherwise we will find a way of attacking them too.

“We resorted to using this medium to send our message instead of the normal tele-conference because of the fear by journalists; which made them refuse to conduct the conference.

“We are grateful to God for the success recorded on the attack on Thisday, and we hope to continue such attacks.

“Finally, the government has now resorted to arresting our wives and children and also demolishing our houses, like they did in Biu recently, that is why we have also resolved to start attacking government schools, especially, tertiary ones.

“We promise to demolish 500 buildings for any one of our houses that the government destroys.

“We have already started with Gombe and Kano.”

Source : Premium Times Nigeria

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