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Posts tagged ‘David Cameron’

US, France Warn Russia of ‘New Measures’ Over Ukraine.

President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande warned Saturday of “new measures” against Russia if it fails to work toward defusing the crisis in Ukraine, the French presidency said.

In a phone call on Saturday, Obama and Hollande insisted on the “need for Russia to withdraw forces sent to Crimea since the end of February and to do everything to allow the deployment of international observers,” it said.
Obama’s conversation with Hollande was one of a half dozen telephone conversations he had with world leaders Saturday about Ukraine, the White House says.

He  also spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and held a conference call with the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

The new warnings come in the wake of Russia’s insistence that any U.S. sanctions will have a boomerang effect on the United States and that Crimea has the right to self-determination as armed men tried to seize another Ukrainian military base on the peninsula.

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In a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned against “hasty and reckless steps” that could harm Russian-American relations, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

“Sanctions…would inevitably hit the United States like a boomerang,” it added.

It was the second tense, high-level exchange between the former Cold War foes in 24 hours over the pro-Russian takeover of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said after an hour-long call with U.S. President Barack Obama that their positions on the former Soviet republic were still far apart. Obama announced the first sanctions against Russia on Thursday.

Putin, who later opened the Paralympic Games in Sochi which have been boycotted by a string of Western dignitaries, said Ukraine’s new, pro-Western authorities had acted illegitimately over the eastern, southeastern and Crimea regions.

“Russia cannot ignore calls for help and it acts accordingly, in full compliance with international law,” he said.

Serhiy Astakhov, an aide to the Ukrainian border guards’ commander, said 30,000 Russian soldiers were now in Crimea, compared to the 11,000 permanently based with the Russian Black Sea fleet in the port of Sevastopol before the crisis.

On Friday evening armed men drove a truck into a Ukrainian missile defence post in Sevastopol, according to a Reuters reporter at the scene. But no shots were fired and Crimea’s pro-Russian premier said later the standoff was over.

Putin denies the forces with no national insignia that are surrounding Ukrainian troops in their bases are under Moscow’s command, although their vehicles have Russian military plates. The West has ridiculed his assertion.

The most serious East-West confrontation since the end of the Cold War – resulting from the overthrow last month of President Viktor Yanukovich after protests in Kiev that led to violence – escalated on Thursday when Crimea’s parliament, dominated by ethnic Russians, voted to join Russia.

The region’s government set a referendum for March 16 – in just nine days’ time.


Turkey scrambled jets after a Russian surveillance plane flew along its Black Sea coast and a U.S. warship passed through Turkey’s Bosphorus straits on its way to the Black Sea, although the U.S. military said it was a routine deployment.

European Union leaders and Obama said the referendum plan was illegitimate and would violate Ukraine’s constitution.

The head of Russia’s upper house of parliament said after meeting visiting Crimean lawmakers on Friday that Crimea had a right to self-determination, and ruled out any risk of war between “the two brotherly nations”.

Obama ordered visa bans and asset freezes on Thursday against so far unidentified people deemed responsible for threatening European Union leaders Ukraine’s sovereignty. Earlier in the week, a Kremlin aide said Moscow might refuse to pay off any loans to U.S. banks, the top four of which have around $24 billion in exposure to Russia.

Japan endorsed the Western position that the actions of Russia constitute “a threat to international peace and security”, after Obama spoke to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

China, often a Russian ally in blocking Western moves in the U.N. Security Council, was more cautious, saying economic sanctions were not the best way to solve the crisis and avoiding comment on the Crimean referendum.

The EU, Russia’s biggest economic partner and energy customer, adopted a three-stage plan to try to force a negotiated solution but stopped short of immediate sanctions.

The Russian Foreign Ministry responded angrily on Friday, calling the EU decision to freeze talks on visa-free travel and on a broad new pact governing Russia-EU ties “extremely unconstructive”. It pledged to retaliate.


Senior Ukrainian opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko, freed from prison after Yanukovich’s overthrow, met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Dublin and appealed for immediate EU sanctions against Russia, warning that Crimea might otherwise slide into a guerrilla war.

Brussels and Washington rushed to strengthen the new authorities in economically shattered Ukraine, announcing both political and financial assistance. The regional director of the International Monetary Fund said talks with Kiev on a loan agreement were going well and praised the new government’s openness to economic reform and transparency.

The European Commission has said Ukraine could receive up to 11 billion euros ($15 billion) in the next couple of years provided it reaches agreement with the IMF, which requires painful economic reforms like ending gas subsidies.

Promises of billions of dollars in Western aid for the Kiev government, and the perception that Russian troops are not likely to go beyond Crimea into other parts of Ukraine, have helped reverse a rout in the local hryvnia currency.

In the past two days it has traded above 9.0 to the dollar for the first time since the Crimea crisis began last week. Local dealers said emergency currency restrictions imposed last week were also supporting the hryvnia.

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom said Ukraine had not paid its $440 million gas bill for February, bringing its arrears to $1.89 billion and hinted it could turn off the taps as it did in 2009, when a halt in Russian deliveries to Ukraine reduced supplies to Europe during a cold snap.

In Moscow, a huge crowd gathered near the Kremlin at a government-sanctioned rally and concert billed as being “in support of the Crimean people”. Pop stars took to the stage and demonstrators held signs with slogans such as “Crimea is Russian land”, and “We believe in Putin”.


Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said no one in the civilised world would recognise the result of the “so-called referendum” in Crimea.

He repeated Kiev’s willingness to negotiate with Russia if Moscow pulls its additional troops out of Crimea and said he had requested a telephone call with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

But Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov ridiculed calls for Russia to join an international “contact group” with Ukraine proposed by the West, saying they “make us smile”.

Demonstrators encamped in Kiev’s central Independence Square to defend the revolution that ousted Yanukovich said they did not believe Crimea would be allowed to secede.

Alexander Zaporozhets, 40, from central Ukraine’s Kirovograd region, put his faith in international pressure.

“I don’t think the Russians will be allowed to take Crimea from us: you can’t behave like that to an independent state. We have the support of the whole world. But I think we are losing time. While the Russians are preparing, we are just talking.”

Unarmed military observers from the pan-European Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe were blocked from entering Crimea for a second day in a row on Friday, the OSCE said on Twitter.

The United Nations said it had sent its assistant secretary-general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic, to Kiev to conduct a preliminary humans rights assessment.

Ukrainian television has been replaced with Russian state channels in Crimea and the streets largely belong to people who support Moscow’s rule, some of whom have harassed journalists and occasional pro-Kiev protesters.

Part of the Crimea’s 2 million population opposes Moscow’s rule, including members of the region’s ethnic Russian majority. The last time Crimeans were asked, in 1991, they voted narrowly for independence along with the rest of Ukraine.

“With all these soldiers here, it is like we are living in a zoo,” Tatyana, 41, an ethnic Russian. “Everyone fully understands this is an occupation.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Newsmax Wires

Obama, Hollande Resurrect US-French Relations.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday tried to dismiss the notion that France has replaced Britain as the main U.S. partner in Europe, but it was clear during the state visit of President Francois Hollande that the two have the closest relationship between the nations’ leaders since Presidents Bill Clinton and Francois Mitterrand two decades ago.

Laure Mandeville, Washington, D.C., bureau chief of the venerable French publication Le Figaro, best captured this situation when she pointed out to Obama at his joint news conference with Hollande, “You have actually praised France very warmly today and granted our president the first state visit of your second term …

“Does that mean that France has become the best European ally of the U.S. and has replaced Great Britain in that role?”

Obama replied that he has two daughters who are “both gorgeous and wonderful. And that’s how I feel about my outstanding European partners. All of them are wonderful in their own ways.”

However, as Obama and Hollande went through a welcoming ceremony at the White House, their news conference, and a state dinner, reporters from France and the United States recalled the sharp tensions between their countries after the U.S. strike against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 2003.

The strong opposition by then-President Jacques Chirac to the Iraq offensive resulted in a modern-day low point of relations between Paris and Washington. In the United States, this was symbolized by the congressional cafeterias offering “Freedom Fries” in lieu of French fries.

All that was in the dim past Tuesday during the first state visit of a French president to the United States since 1996.

Hollande said Obama’s election as president in 2008 “had been welcomed in France” because “America was able to make something possible, to make progress possible.”

He went on to recall his decision last summer to stand with Obama on a strike on Syria, saying, “We were prepared to resort to force, but we found another option — negotiation.”

From France and the United States being “extremely attentive” in helping Lebanon deal with its massive influx of refugees, to his commitment to the cause of climate change, Hollande repeatedly underscored his solidarity with the American president.

The French Socialist president was warm and positive, even regarding the spy controversy by National Security Agency renegade Edward Snowden.

“Following the revelations [of European eavesdropping by the NSA] that appeared due to Mr. Snowden,” Hollande told reporters, “President Obama and myself clarified things. This was in the past.”

Hollande said, “Mutual trust has been restored, and that mutual trust must be based on respect for each other’s country, but also based on the protection of private life, of personal data — the fact that any individual, in spite of technological progress, can be sure that he is not being spied on.”

Obama’s response to Le Figaro’s Mandeville notwithstanding, there is a strong case to be made that Obama works more closely with France’s Hollande than with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Where Hollande stood firm with Obama on Syria, Cameron was unable to join any military alliance against the Assad regime when the British House of Commons voted down his proposal.

In addition, it is obvious that France is now the key conduit in trying to help Obama craft a new U.S. relationship with Iran.

Hollande said as much when he told reporters: “Nothing prevented us from having bilateral contacts, and I had some bilateral contacts. In New York I received [Iranian] President [Hassan] Rouhani during the General Assembly. So it is perfectly legitimate for discussions to take place.”

Ken Weinstein, president of the Hudson Institute, summarized the Obama-Hollande friendship to Newsmax.

“Unlike President Bush, Barack Obama has a tough time turning foreign leaders into confidants — and his judgment, as when he chose [Turkish Premier] Erdogan as a preferred interlocutor, has been wrong,” Weinstein said.

“It’s clear that Obama and Hollande have a real and deep rapport. Both need each other — Obama for guidance on Syria, where his policies have failed, and to show that he does have European allies after Snowden, and Hollande, these days, to prove that he isn’t a laughingstock but a world leader.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Same Sex (Prohibition) Act: A Critical Analysis By Femi Aborisade, Esq.

By Femi Aborisade, Esq.

Beyond prohibiting same sex marriage and civil union, the Nigerian Same Sex (Prohibition) Bill, which Mr. President has just assented to, provides dangerous grounds for massive infringement of fundamental rights, not only of homosexuals, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and the transgender (LGBT), but also those of heterosexuals. The Same Sex Act (Prohibition) Act should therefore be reconsidered before the ink with which it was written dries up.

First, a general overview of the Act is presented. (This analysis is based on the Bill that had been in circulation before Mr. President granted assent). The Act consists of eight (8) sections. Section one prohibits same sex marriage or civil union. Section 2 prohibits solemnization (celebration) of same sex marriages or civil union in places of worship, including churches and mosques. Section 3 declares that only marriages contracted between a man and a woman (heterosexual marriage) are valid in Nigeria.

Section 4 specifically prohibits the registration, sustenance meetings and processions of gay clubs, societies and organisations. Though the section restrictively uses the term ‘gay’, it is suggested that the provision of section 4 applies equally to the lesbian, bisexual and transgender. The same section 4 prohibits direct or indirect public show of same sex amorous relationship. Section 5 provides for offences and penalties under the Act. Persons who enter into same sex contract or civil union are liable, upon conviction, to 14 years imprisonment. Any other persons who register, participate in their organizations, meetings or processions are liable, upon conviction, to 10 years imprisonment. Section 6 provides that the State High Court has jurisdiction over offences committed under the Act. Section 7 is the interpretation section while section 8 provides for the short title.

Section 1 (1) of the Act prohibits marriage contract or civil union between persons of the same sex. It states further that such a marriage or civil union, as the case may be, is not only invalid but also illegal and void. Even if it were conducted in a foreign jurisdiction where it is lawful, it is unenforceable in Nigeria. Parties to same sex marriage are not entitled to the benefits, which are conferrable on parties to valid heterosexual marriages. Though the Act does not list the benefits, the benefits of a valid marriage, in law, usually include:

•    Work related benefits such as tax concessions on account of expenditure on the other spouse, medical care for the other spouse (and children of the marriage), paid leave from work to take care of the other spouse in the event of sickness or emergencies, and so on. Other benefits include:

•    Right of inheritance by the surviving spouse;

•    Right of surrogate decision making in periods of emergencies or incapacities, such as when the other spouse has to undergo surgery, and

•    Evidentiary privileges as contained in section 187 of the Evidence Act, which provides that a spouse is precluded from disclosing confidential marital communication, except in proceedings between the couple. None of the parties can also be compelled to disclose confidential communication without the consent of the other.

Section 4 sub section (2) prohibits “public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly”. What is meant by “public show of same sex amorous relationship” is not defined. Similarly, what is meant by “indirect” or “direct” public show of same sex amorous relationship is not defined. Section 4 sub (2) of the Act is therefore nebulous, ambiguous and equivocal and could be subject to multiple interpretations and abuse. The implicit danger in this particular provision is that anybody, whether homosexual or heterosexual could be wrongfully or erroneously arrested and charged with “public show of same sex amorous relationship” when they simply hug or hold hands with persons of the same sex who may be ordinary friends between whom there is no “amorous” relationship.

The press has reported that several persons have already been arrested under the Act in different states of the Federation. According to a television station’s news item a few days ago, the following number of persons have been arrested: 12, 6, 6 and 160 in Oyo, Imo Anambra and Bauchi States, respectively. Though the circumstances of the arrest are not disclosed, the victims are most likely to be poor people; the rich who also engage in homosexual behaviours are not likely to be victims of abuse by the police.
Section 5 sub (3) of the Act criminalizes witnessing, aiding, abeting the solemnization of same sex marriage or civil union, or supporting the registration, operation, processions, meetings or sustenance of homosexual clubs:

Any person or group of persons that witness, abet and aids the solemnization of a same sex marriage or civil union, or supports the registration, operation and sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organisations, processions or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.

By the provisions of section 5 sub (3), anyone who advocates registration of homosexual clubs, organizations or societies may be liable to being charged under the Act. Even though a person may not be homosexual, lending support to the operation, sustenance of homosexual organizations has become an offence. Even if an individual does not have homosexual orientation, it is now a crime to support and/or participate in meetings or processions of homosexuals.
Section 5 sub (3) of the Act therefore violates the following universally recognized fundamental rights which are also guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) 1999, as amended:

•    The right of association guaranteed for “every person” under section 40, CFRN, 1999.

•    Freedom of expression, ‘including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference’, guaranteed under section 39, CFRN, 1999.

•    Freedom from discrimination, which is guaranteed under section 42, CFRN, 1999, which provides that no one shall be discriminated against on the basis of the circumstances of birth.

•    Freedom from unequal treatment which is guaranteed under the preamble to the Constitution, which declares that the Constitution is based on the principle of equality and justice.

Even if it is admitted that laws tend to regulate behavior on the basis of the standard acceptable to the majority at any point in time, the law should not stifle in any way, the right of the minority to campaign or canvass for alternative viewpoints and world outlooks. The comprehensive assault on the right of association and peaceful action of homosexuals and those who may support their right to enjoy fundamental freedoms (of association and expression) is an indirect challenge to the foundation and survival of Nigeria’s constitutional democracy. Unless the attacks on fundamental rights contained in the Same Sex (Prohibition) Act is challenged, the majority would have unwittingly lost the moral right to resist future breaches of their fundamental right to association and expression on other issues of interest.

It is suggested that rather than the State being preoccupied with regulating and criminalizing purely personal voluntary relationships among adults, to the extent of attacking fundamental rights of association and expression, the State should be more concerned with fighting corruption which destroys the capacity of the State to attend to the wellbeing of ordinary people, which may also partly be at the root of social processes leading to varied orientations in sexuality.

Femi Aborisade, Esq.


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Expensive leaders, poor economy.


President -Jonathan-FEC

The hope of better life for Nigerians after long era of terrible military rule, which culminated eventually into democracy in 1999, seemed dashed with emergence of profligate politicians and flamboyant public office holders who have only succeeded in pauperising the citizenry and deepening poverty in the country amidst stupendous national wealth.
With the coming of democratic dispensation, it was like starting over again for a country brimming with immense talent and potentials that turned into a synonym for everything dirty-corruption at all levels (monumental and petty), human rights abuses, drug peddling, fraudulent practices, immorality, environmental degradation, educational collapse, electoral sham, massive unemployment, power and water outages, hunger and homelessness.


Public officials steal and squander hundreds of billions of naira earned from huge production of oil and gas resources with reckless abandon. Nigeria has experienced three distinct leaderships under one political party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the last fourteen years.

From Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military ruler who kick-started democracy, becoming President of Nigeria for eight years, to President Goodluck Jonathan took over after the death of President Musa Yar’Adua, and was re-elected as President in 2011; the squander and misuse of public funds has conitnued unabated even getting more scientific than ever before.

Addressing Nigeria’s socio-economic and political problems had been an uphill task for all the leaders since 1999. But the most traumatic is the Goodluck Jonathan presidency which was compounded by Boko Haram insurgency in which over 20,000 people have died so far including security operatives.

At present, the country’s entire economy revolves around oil with large reserves, which implies that Nigeria has the potentials of a very prosperous economy. In fact, oil accounts for nearly 90 per cent of her revenue, yet, the wealth from oil has not positively impacted on the economy as poverty is still endemic in the country.

Rather what continued to stare us on our faces is devastating lavish lifestyle of leaders from the presidency to ministers, governors, commissioners, local government chairmen, councillors, permanent secretaries, heads of parastatals, directors, board members and so on. However, the most disgusting is the extravagant salaries and allowances earned by members of the National Assembly – Senators and Representatives running into billions of naira every year, while millions of Nigerians are hungry, jobless and virtually homeless.

The executive, legislature and judiciary seemed to have connived in ripping off the people. In other words, the government has continuously shown that the interest of the larger Nigerian population is not its priority.

For instance, the sum of N150 billion is being allocated to the National Assembly as annual budget in which senators received quarterly pay of about N50 million each and House of Representatives members about N40 million each every quarter in addition to multi-million naira constituency projects allowances not accounted for. Also, members of State Houses of Assembly go home monthly with millions of naira.

Ministers and commissioners are paid millions of naira including all sorts of allowances beyond the imagination of the toiling masses whose minimum pay had been fixed at a paltry sum of N18,000 monthly which many states even refused to pay. Yet, state governors get billions of naira as security votes which ended up in private pockets.

Two years ago, N18 billion was budgeted for the maintenance of presidential fleet of planes, while N1.9 billion was set aside for the purchase of an additional aircraft for the President. Before then, it was announced that the presidential fleet was to be upgraded with planes costing N31.5 billion. It should be noted that wealthy nations like Britain have no presidential fleet as the Prime Minister David Cameron travels by the national carrier. The Chinese President also travels by the country’s national airline.

Only recently, the Federal Government approved N2.2 billion for construction of a banquet hall for Aso Rock Villa which evoked outrage of the citizens. Some years ago, the World Bank grant of $8.64 billion facility for growth and poverty reduction in Nigeria was frittered away, while in 2008, we were told that this country has spent $16 billion to reactivate the power infrastructure.

Corruption affects the way money is allocated within the state budget, diverting expenditures away from less lucrative sectors as health and education to high kickback areas.

Sometime in 2012, an investigation by House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Petroleum Upstream, Downstream and Gas Resources, revealed how NNPC under-remitted a sum of N3.098 trillion to the Federation Account between 2004 and 2011 under the watchful eyes of CBN and NEITI.

Two governors in the South/South reportedly bought jet planes – a Bombardier Global 5000 worth $45.7 million and Gulf Stream Jet which cost $45 million. These planes are believed to be used privately and also for official duties. A governor, piloting a private aircraft crashed and was flown abroad for medical attention and is now no longer fit to resume duties after his return . Several ministers are said to be owning private jets and fleet of exotic cars and mansions.

Maintenance of these private planes could be a constant drain on public treasury which can be used to build and repair roads, improve healthcare, education, provide decent housing, electricity and water.

Also, the Federal Capital Territory Authority, FCTA, will be spending N3billion to build official houses for principal officers of the National Assembly.

About 70 per cent of the country’s income is expended on public officers and politicians who comprise less than 1 per cent of a population of 167 million.

According to the CBN Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi who said recently, “we cannot develop if we continue to have so much of our resources where government is spending 70 per cent of the nation’s revenue on itself and leaving 30 per cent for the people. Is that a sensible situation?” Ironically, the CBN budgets N300 billion lacking oversight duties of the legislature needed to ensure transparency and accountability.

In 2011, the United Nations Development programme placed Nigeria 156th out of 187 surveyed, saying that Nigeria has been recording constant high economic growth rate that has not produced commensurate employment opportunities and reduction in poverty among citizens.

In 2012, the M.O Ibrahim Index for Africa Governance, ranked Nigeria 43 out of 52 countries assessed. Nigeria’s overall score of 42.0 was no match to African average score of 51.9.

UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Nigeria as the worst place for a baby to be born in 2013. Nigeria is 80th out of 80 countries surveyed. Infant and maternal mortality is among the highest in the world. Expensive and frivolous lifestyle of the leaders that glorify waste and financial recklessness are responsible for the horrible economic situation of the country.

By Emmanuel Edukugho

Source: Radio Biafra.

Obama Selfie at Mandela Funeral: Leaders Pose as Michelle Glares.

President Barack Obama found time during Nelson Mandela‘s funeral service Tuesday to sneak in a selfie with a couple other world leaders in between his controversial handshake with Cuban dictator Raul Castro and his commemorative speech, and Michelle Obama doesn’t look too happy about it.

In the image that’s making the rounds on social media, Obama poses with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt as the first lady glares.

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Many Twitter users criticized Obama for acting silly during the memorial service for the revolutionary former South African president, with some even drawing comparisons to the viral Tumblr site, Selfies at Funerals.  

Others pointed out Michelle Obama’s obvious annoyance.

Editor’s Note: ObamaCare Is Here. Are You Prepared?

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


By Alexandra Ward

Nelson Mandela: Sinner or Saint?.

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

Without a doubt, Nelson Mandela was one of the towering figures of our times, a man who became a legend and cultural icon while still alive. Now that he is dead, his detractors are demonizing him while his followers are canonizing him.

Sen. Ted Cruz was quick to find this out after he issued a statement that Mandela would “live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty,” noting that “because of his epic fight against injustice, an entire nation is now free.” In response, some of Cruz’s followers wrote that Mandela was a “terrorist,” a “communist,” a “murderer” and more.

Who, then, was the real Nelson Mandela?

According to President Obama, “We have lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth.”

In the words of Bono, “Stubborn ’til the end for all the right reasons, it felt like he very nearly outstared his Maker. Today, finally, he blinked. And some of us cry, knowing our eyes were opened to so much because of him.”

According to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, Mandela was “a hero of our time,” stating that “a great light has gone out in the world.”

But World Net Daily’s Joseph Farah urges us not to mourn for Mandela, writing, “He was a committed member of the South African Communist Party. He was a leader of the revolutionary African National Congress, which he helped to radicalize into an organization sworn to armed, violent attacks.”

And while he overthrew the evil system of apartheid, Farah says, “Mandela’s revolution brought about … one in which anti-white racism is so strong today that a prominent genocide watchdog group has labeled the current situation a ‘precursor’ to the deliberate, systematic elimination of the race.”

In short, Farah argues, we have been sold a myth about Mandela (think Invictus), in support of which Farah quotes Sonia Hruska, “an early supporter of Mandela” who “worked in his administration.” Hruska states, “After about six years, I realized something serious is wrong; the communist elements are taking over; it’s not what we were promised.”

Farah adds, “Hruska describes routine, violent, racist atrocities of almost unimaginable proportions: kidnap murders, home invasions, gang rapes.”

CultureWatch blogger Bill Muehlenberg also has strong reservations about Mandela, citing South African missionary Dr. Peter Hammond, who notes that “Mandela was the head of the military wing of the African National Committee (ANC),” which Hammond referred to as “the abortion, necklacing and corruption party.”

According to Hammond, “1,000 Africans were killed by necklacing in the country through the ANC, an act where terrorists would ‘put an automobile tire over someone, pour petrol over them [and] set them alight.’”

Muehlenberg continues to say, “Hammond also described numerous other acts of violence that he alleges were committed by the ANC under the order or oversight of Mandela. ‘Missionaries and their kids [were] murdered, bayonetted on the fields—whole families killed by landmines planted in the roads,’ he said.”

And it is without dispute that Mandela signed off on acts of terror against the apartheid government, to the point that even the New York Times tempered its praises for Mandela.

Yet it is hardly a violent terrorist who states, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

And on a Facebook post, Messianic Jewish scholar Stuart Dauermann wrote, “I read his biography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ and was particularly struck by his extraordinary self-control. When he was negotiating with the leaders of the Apartheid government which had so demeaned and oppressed him and all South African blacks, he writes that he utterly despised these people. Yet he learned their language, Afrikaans, and spoke to them respectfully because he judged it was more important for him to win freedom for all South Africans than it was for him to tell these men what he thought of them. All of this after 27 years of demeaning and cruel imprisonment on Robin Island where the white prisoners wore long trousers, but the blacks were required to wear shorts, as if they were children.”

Others would point out that despite his acts of terror, Mandela was never tortured in prison and did not renounce violence against the government while a prisoner, yet there’s no denying the evil he opposed and there’s no denying the courageous stands he took.

When facing the death penalty in 1964, he famously said, “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realised. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

In short: 1) Mandela was a man who resorted to acts of violence and terror to overthrow injustice; 2) he was a man who stepped into the role of national and international statesman with dignity; and 3) he was a man who was more communist than conservative and whose legacy in South Africa remains mixed.

While the assessment of Muehlenberg is meant to be simple rather than profound, it appears to be accurate: “Mandela was a great man in some respects, but he was also an evil man in some respects.”

Do you concur?


Michael Brown is author of Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or at @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.

Fare Thee Well Mandela! By Charles Ofoji.

Apartheid is among the greatest crimes in human history. During the times it thrived, those who challenged it, like those who questioned colonialism, were branded terrorists. All sorts of words were invented by the oppressors to castigate those who they thought posed a danger to the status-quo and to their enjoyment.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela did not choose his circumstances, rather the circumstances chose him. Like people of his generation, he had no option than to fight for his freedom against a brutal system that threatened to take away his human dignity. The humanity of people like Mandela was questioned in their native South Africa. From the onset, Madiba, as he is popularly called, was never in two minds that his destiny was to fight in every possible way to free himself and his people. And this was what he did for the most part of his life, at the expense of his personal life. He fought to give a life to black South Africans.

In the famous Rivonia trial in 1964, instead of testifying, Mandela stubbornly opted to give a speech rather. That speech lasted four hours to the chagrin of the court. He ended by saying: During my lifetime, I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society, in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

He never wavered; he never compromised. He fought for those ideals and he was victorious. Apartheid was crushed. South Africans became free in their own country and voted for the first time in 1994 in an election that put the icing on Mandela’s long tortuous fight and journey to freedom and victory against oppression and repression. He became South Africa’s first black president with a massive landslide victory in the first democratic election.

Mandela’s victory came at a heavy price. Essentially, he sacrificed his life so that his people can be free. He turned down all conditional offers of release. To him, the total freedom of black South Africans was not negotiable. His life never mattered more to him. According to him: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

The struggle cost him his youth and the golden ages they say begin at forty. It deprived him his family life, including seeing his children grow up. Above all, it cost him his marriage to his ex-wife, Winnie, who stood by him and was the voice of the struggle in those years Mandela was incarcerated at Robin Island. Nevertheless, he was never bitter against his tormentors and jailers. At his inauguration in 1994 as president, Mandela looked them straight in the eye as they sat at the front row and offered them a genuine hand of forgiveness and reconciliation. And it was very genuine. Herein lies the enigma called Nelson Mandela. What kind of a man would forgive those who tucked him away in prison for 27 years of his life? 27 years. Not 27 days; not 27 weeks and certainly not 27 months. Twenty-seven punishing years!

Only an extraordinary man would do that. Mandela was one. He was a man of extraordinary compassion, generosity and forgiveness. As aptly put by US President, Barack Obama: “He achieved more than could be expected of any man.” Notwithstanding, Mandela was humble and magnanimous even in his victories, which he loved to share with others, including those he defeated. At that 1994 inauguration, Mandela was seen been more interested in raising high the hand of F.W de Clerk – a kind of saying that it was also a victory for him.

Nobody in life has done what Mandela did. However, he achieved all that with amazing grace and infectious humour, side by side the capacity to acknowledge his imperfections. This adds to make him more amazing.  Once the great Madiba said, “I’m not a saint unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.” This was the modesty that typified and never left him despite all exemplary achievements and victories.

Madiba was one of the few African leaders who recognised that power should only be used to improve the lives of the people who conferred it. He is one of a kind and unfortunately there is no else like him among former or present day African leaders. And none is willing to imitate or draw inspiration from him.

Mandela inspired the world. I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from his life.  I still remember vividly my excitement when he came to my University, University of Lagos shortly after he was released from prison in 1990. As an undergraduate I was already political conscious. His story made me more political conscious. Since then, I have tried to fight other people’s fight and to give voice to the voiceless. Thank you Madiba!

As British Prime Minister, David Cameron rightly said: “one of the brightest lights of our world has gone out. Nelson Mandela was not just a hero of our time, but a hero of all time.” To me, from the perspective of humanity, Mandela was the greatest man that ever lived on planet earth.

Madiba, your life of service was a burning flame that provided light, love, hope and freedom for all. We thank you Madiba. Fare thee well!


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Britain’s Cameron: ‘A Great Light Has Gone Out’.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday said “a great light had gone out” following Nelson Mandela‘s death, revealing that flags would be flown at half-mast at his Downing Street Office.

“A great light has gone out in the world,” Cameron wrote on his official Twitter account.

“Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time. I’ve asked for the flag at No.10 to be flown at half mast.”


© AFP 2013

South Africa’s Nelson Mandela dies in Johannesburg.

The announcement of Mandela’s death was made by President Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died, South Africa’s president says.

Mr Mandela, 95, led South Africa’s transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison.

He had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital.

In a statement on South African national TV, Mr Zuma said Mr Mandela had “departed” and was at peace.

Continue reading the main story

Nelson Mandela

1918 Born in the Eastern Cape

1943 Joined African National Congress

1956 Charged with high treason, but charges dropped after a four-year trial

1962 Arrested, convicted of incitement and leaving country without a passport, sentenced to five years in prison

1964 Charged with sabotage, sentenced to life

1990 Freed from prison

1993 Wins Nobel Peace Prize

1994 Elected first black president

1999 Steps down as leader

2001 Diagnosed with prostate cancer

2004 Retires from public life

2005 Announces his son has died of an HIV/Aids-related illness

“Our nation has lost its greatest son,” Mr Zuma said.

He said Mr Mandela would receive a full state funeral, and flags would be flown at half-mast.

BBC correspondents say Mr Mandela’s body will be moved to a mortuary in Pretoria, and the funeral is likely to take place next Saturday.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was one of the world’s most revered statesmen after preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years.

He had rarely been seen in public since officially retiring in 2004.

“What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves,” Mr Zuma said.

“Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell.”

US President Barack Obama said Mr Mandela achieved more than could be expected of any man.

He hailed him as “a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice”.

Continue reading the main story


image of Pumza FihlaniPumza FihlaniBBC News, Johannesburg

The greatest father there ever was: this is how South Africans will remember the man who brought an end to apartheid and delivered the nation from the brink of civil war.

Social networking sites are abuzz with messages of condolences and messages of gratitude to the late statesman. He had been in and out of hospital in recent years and had become increasingly frail but many South Africans had continued to express their unreadiness to lose him.

As he did in life, his passing has brought unity amongst South Africans as black and white speak of their love for him. Many here will be drawing on that same spirit for strength, that “Madiba magic” over the next few days and weeks as the nation left with the great burden of honouring Mr Madela’s legacy, mourns his passing but also celebrates his life.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to Mr Mandela, saying “a great light has gone out in the world”.

Since he was released from hospital, the South African presidency repeatedly described Mr Mandela’s condition as critical but stable.

Born in 1918, Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943, as a law student.

He and other ANC leaders campaigned against apartheid (white-only rule).

He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964, but was released in 1990 as South Africa began to move away from strict racial segregation.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994. He stepped down after five years in office.

After leaving office, he became South Africa’s highest-profile ambassador, campaigning against HIV/Aids and helping to secure his country’s right to host the 2010 football World Cup.

He was also involved in peace negotiations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and other countries in Africa and elsewhere.

A look back at the life of Nelson Mandela.


Cameron Tells British Children to Learn Mandarin, Not French.

Image: Cameron Tells British Children to Learn Mandarin, Not French

British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to students at a subbranch of Longjiang Road Primary School on Dec. 4 in Chengdu, China.

LONDON — Prime Minister David Cameron returned from his tour of China with a message for Britain’s schoolchildren: Forget French and German, it’s time to learn Mandarin.

A foreign language will be compulsory in primary as well as secondary schools starting in September 2014. In most schools that means French, the language of Britain’s nearest neighbor, with German, Spanish, or Latin offered by some as alternatives.

Only 1 percent of British adults speak Mandarin well enough to hold a conversation, according to the British Council.

“By the time the children born today leave school, China is set to be the world’s largest economy,” Cameron said in an emailed statement. “So it’s time to look beyond the traditional focus on French and German and get many more children learning Mandarin.”

The government has set a target of doubling the number of people learning Mandarin to 400,000.

There will be funding for schools wanting to add Mandarin to the syllabus and a push to increase the number of speakers of the language working in schools.

© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


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