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Posts tagged ‘Friday’

Nigeria Army prepares in prevision to the end of the amalgamation,GOCs, Brigade Commanders, others moved.

Ihejirika Army Chief

Chief Army Staff•Soldiers’ annual leave cancelled, surveillance ordered for installationsIn a massive shake-up on Friday, the Nigeria Army deployed its key senior officers including General Officers Commanding (GOCs), Corps Commanders and other senior officers.The GOCs affected are Major General John Nwaoga of the 3 Division and Major General Junaid Bindawa, 7 Division of the Nigeria Army.The army authorities, in a statement signed by Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru, out-going army spokesman, explained that the changes were part of the fourth quarter postings and appointments of senior officers.Other affected senior officers include: Major General Chris Olukolade, Director, Defence Information, Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru; Major General John Kwabe, now Chief of Logistics, Defence Headquarters; Major General Ugo Buzugbe, Commander, Nigerian Army Armoured Corps; Major General Ebiobowei Awala, Military Secretary (Army) and Major General Olufemi Adeosun, Director, Policy, Defence Headquarters.Others are; Major General Sunday Adebayo, Commander, Nigerian Army Education Corps; Major General Mohammed Idris, Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy; Major General Mobolaji Koleoso, Director, Armed Forces Simulation Centre; Major General Letam Wiwa, Director, Military Intelligence; Major General Patrick Akem, Director, Legal Service (Army); Major General Charley Okoro, Director Peace Keeping Operations Defence Headquarters, as well as Major General Obidah Ethan, Chief of Civil -Military Affairs.Also affected are: Major General Modibbo Alkali, Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Artillery; Major General Shehu Yusuf, Commandant, Depot, Nigerian Army; Major General Ahmed Mohammed, Commander, Nigerian Army Training Centre; Major General Iliyasu Abbah, Commander, Joint Task Force (Operation Pulo Shield); Brigadier General Arinze Ebenebe, Commandant, Warrant Officers Academy; Brigadier General Ebenezer Ogundana, Director of Army Reserve Recruitment and Resettlement; Brigadier General Kasimu Abdulkarim, Director of Physical Training, Brigadier General Enitan Ransome-Kuti, Commander, Multi-National Joint Task Force; Brigadier General Ibe Nicholas, Commander, 23 Brigade; Brigadier General Ohifeme Ejemai, Commander, 9 Brigade; Brigadier General Bright Fibionumama, Commander, 3 Brigade; Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru, Commander, 13 Brigade; Brigadier General Mustapha Onoyiveta, Head, Nigerian Army Operations Monitoring Team; Brigadier General Lanre Bello, Commander, 34 Brigade and Brigadier General Olajide Laleye, among others.Meanwhile, the presidency has ordered a round-the-clock surveillance of all major installations across the country as part of security arrangements put in place to ensure a continuation of the peace enjoyed during the Christmas

celebrations.Already, the Nigerian Army has suspended all passes and annual leave of its officers and men until after the New Year festivities.It was reliably gathered that a signal from military authorities to all General Officers Commanding (GOCs) and corps commanders ordered that all annual leave and passes be put on hold and all officers and men on leave be recalled with immediate effect.The directive, it was gathered, was part of security measures put in place during the festive period to be fully battle-ready to combat any threat to public peace.The Nigeria Police High Command has also deployed all the strike forces, specialised units of the force, including the Police Mobile Force (MOPOL), Counter-Terrorism Unit, Special Protection Unit, Federal Highway Patrol and Explosive Ordinance Department to join forces with the conventional police force in providing water-tight security throughout the country during the festivities.In continuation of its effort to ensure a hitch-free New Year celebration, Inspector General of Police, M.D. Abubakar, rolled out the directives at the end of a meeting with other members of the police management team on Friday, where he reassured Nigerians, both at home and in the diaspora, that massive security measures had been put in place to ensure a hitch-free celebration nationwide.Informed security sources also told Saturday Tribune on Friday that while the security cordon in the North-East remained water-tight, government had equally ordered security operatives across the country to be vigilant and “take preemptive measures.”According to the source, flash points in all volatile parts of the country will continue to be raided by operatives to preempt any undesirable occurrences while suspects are being picked up.“These suspects will remain in custody till the end of the Yuletide. They will all go through security screening while innocent ones among them will be set free as soon as this critical period is over,” the source disclosed.The source added that some women and children abducted by terrorists who attacked an army barracks in Bama, Borno State, last week had been rescued by security forces who also made several arrests.

Source: Tribune

Source: Radio Biafra.

Ralph Uwazuruike’s MASSOB clashes with Nigeria Police in Onitsha One killed, 11 injured.



The members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, on Friday clashed with the police in Anambra State, leaving one person dead, and eleven others in various degrees of injuries.
A source told DailyPost that trouble started when a police team on surveillance flagged down a motorist along the ever busy Onitsha/Owerri road in Onitsha, which drew the attention of MASSOB members that were controlling the traffic.
MASSOB members have been involved in voluntary traffic control since the yuletide.
As they intervened, there was a heated argument which resulted in assault between the MASSOB and police, prompting one of the policemen to shoot a MASSOB member and he died instantly.
Consequently, the MASSOB members in anger barricaded the ever-busy Onitsha-Owerri road for two hours and made bonfire with fairly used tyres forcing traffic to divert to the Obosi by-pass.
Meanwhile, the corpse of the dead member was said to have been taken to the Awada Police Station.
When contacted, the Onitsha Police Area Commander, Mr. Benjamin Wordu confirmed the incident but said that trouble started when MASSOB and a rival group had a bloody clash.
He said on hearing of the incident, he dispatched a team of policemen to the troubled area, adding that normalcy had since returned.

Source: Radio Biafra.

A&E Lifts ‘Duck Dynasty’ Suspension.

By Cathy Burke

Buckling under a storm of controversy over the suspension of “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson, the A&E network Friday reinstated the outspoken star of the mega-hit series.

The bearded 67-year-old patriarch of the Louisiana family was yanked from the hit show Dec. 18 after he gave an interview to GQ magazine in which he aired his religious objections to homosexuality, likening it to “bestiality.”

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The interview set off howls of protests from activist groups including GLAAD, the gay media watch organization, but Robertson’s abrupt suspension triggered an equally fierce backlash from “Duck Dynasty” fans — and conservative politicians such as Sarah Palin — who pointed out Robertson’s beliefs were consistent with the Bible and shared by many Americans.

An Alabama lawmaker even announced he’d introduce a resolution in support of the beleaguered reality star.

On Friday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal praised the decision to re-instate Robertson,according to The Daily Caller.

“I am glad to hear that the folks at A&E came to their senses and recognized that tolerance of religious views is more important than political correctness,” he said in a statement. “Today is a good day for the freedoms of speech and religious liberty.”

But the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Friday that despite A&E Network‘s decision to end the suspension of Phil Robertson for his insensitive remarks about gays and African Americans, the “Duck Dynasty” star needs to be “more repentant and contrite.”

“Mr. Robertson’s language was hurtful and painful to many people … [and] he’s been unrepentant,” Jackson told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“When people make mistakes, and people do make mistakes, you should be repentant and contrite and then seek forgiveness.”

In its statement reported by The Hollywood Reporter, which first broke the news of the suspension’s lifting, A&E said “a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to… principals” prompted its quick reaction to the Robertson interview in GQ.

“While Phil’s comments made in the interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the ‘coarse language’ he used and the misinterpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article,” the statement said.

“He also made it clear he would ‘never incite or encourage hate.'”

Though A&E reiterated that it didn’t agree with Robertson’s views, it conceded itslucrative hit “is not a show about one man’s views.

“It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family… a family that America has come to love,” the network said, calling the family a group that comes “together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness” and saying those are values the network also feels “strongly about.”

The network said it had talks with Robertson’s family as well as with “numerous advocacy groups” before lifting its suspension.

“A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family,” it declared.

It also said it’ll “use this moment to launch a national public service campaign … promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company, and the values found in Duck Dynasty.”

Since Robertson didn’t miss any filming during his suspension, the so-caled hiatus had zero effect on the upcoming fifth season, The Hollywood Reporter noted.

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Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Judge in NY: NSA Phone Surveillance Legal.

A federal judge in New York has ruled that a massive federal phone-tracking program is legal.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley issued the decision Friday. He says the program “represents the government’s counter-punch” to eliminate al-Qaida‘s terror network by connecting fragmented and fleeting communications.

In ruling, the judge noted the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and how the phone data-collection system could have helped investigators connect the dots before the attacks occurred.

He says the government learned from its mistake and “adapted to confront a new enemy: a terror network capable of orchestrating attacks across the world.” He said the data-collection program was part of the adjustment.

He dismissed a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Laywer Brett Max Kaufman said the ACLU will appeal the ruling. He said he hopes a federal appeals court in New York agrees with the reasoning of a Washington, D.C., federal judge who concluded earlier this month that the program violates the Constitution.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Denver Issues First Recreational Pot Sales Licenses.

The first batch of Denver businesses approved to sell recreational marijuana are getting their licenses.

The city is giving out licenses to the owners of 42 medical marijuana shops and growers Friday.

Denver is one of 19 municipalities and seven counties in Colorado that will allow retail sales of recreational pot to those 21 and older under voter-approved Amendment 64.

Only existing medical marijuana businesses in Denver are now allowed to make the transition to recreational sales. Of the 42 approved so far, eight are retail shops, 30 are growers and four are infused product manufacturers.

The state has approved 348 marijuana business licenses in Colorado.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

GOP’s Heller Pushes Bill to Extend Jobless Benefits.

Image: GOP's Heller Pushes Bill to Extend Jobless Benefits

By Drew MacKenzie

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller has raised eyebrows among his Republican colleagues by putting his name to a bill to extend unemployment benefits to 1.3 million jobless Americans.

Co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the legislation fails to offset the costs of the welfare with any proposed cuts to the federal budget — so breaking GOP pledges to keep entitlements and government spending down.

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The legislation, which could be introduced in the Senate in early January, has been hailed by President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but is likely to upset many Republicans, especially conservatives, says Rhode Island’s Providence Journal.

Republicans have argued that they will vote against extending benefits unless other cuts are put forward to counter the cost of the unemployment benefits.

The object of the emergency bill is to give the government time to come up with a comprehensive plan to make changes to the program and find ways to pay for it.

The benefits available to workers unemployed for 26 weeks or more are set to expire on Saturday.

Democrats had hoped to include a one-year extension to the benefits, at a cost of $25 billion, to the two-year federal budget, which was negotiated by the Senate and House finance committee chairs, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

But the extension was omitted from the legislation, which was signed into law Thursday by President Barack Obama during his Christmas vacation in Hawaii.

Heller and Reed have a particular interest in the unemployment problem because their two states have the highest jobless rates in the country. Extensions to unemployment benefits are given to jobless workers in states with the worst unemployment rates, with Nevadans eligible for the maximum 73 weeks, says the Las Vegas Sun.

On Reed’s official website, Heller said, “Providing a safety net for those in need is one of the most important functions of the federal government. As Nevada’s unemployment rate continues to top the charts nationwide, many families and individuals back home do not know how they are going to meet their basic needs.

“I am pleased to join Senator Reed on this legislation, which aims to help people across the nation who have fallen on hard times.”

Reed said he had introduced the “emergency spending” measure so that the unemployed aren’t “cut off, thrown off the cliff starting literally this week.” He suggested that a year-long extension of jobless benefits could be paid for by closing tax loopholes and reducing offshore tax breaks.

The legislation has already received the support of leading Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Reid said he was “pleased and proud of my colleague Sen. Dean Heller” for introducing “a good bill, and it deserves a vote.”

And White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett has declared that Obama’s administration “strongly support” the bill, adding, “We think it’s very important; we think they’ve made a very good case for it.” She also said the president would help “galvanize support for it.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Chamber of Commerce Promises $50 Million in Fight Against Tea Party.

Image: Chamber of Commerce Promises $50 Million in Fight Against Tea Party

By Cathy Burke

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is ready to take on the tea party in 2014 Senate primaries and elections with a deep-pocketed boost of establishment and business Republican candidates.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” Chamber strategist Scott Reed told The Wall Street Journal. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

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The financial support, which The Hill reported would pour at least $50 million into the campaigns of centrist GOP candidates, is part of an aggressive approach toward tea party Republicans since the 16-day October government shutdown.

The Chamber has expressed its displeasure with tea party favorites Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who resisted passing a budget without a provision to defund Obamacare, triggering a stalemate.

Just a month later, the Chamber jumped into the intra-party GOP voting, backing establishment GOP candidate Bradley Byrne over tea party prospect Dean Young in an Alabama special House election.

Byrne beat Young, and went on to an easy victory in the Dec. 17 special election,defeating Democrat Burton LeFlore.

The Chamber — which hasn’t usually gotten involved in GOP primaries — is airing ads for Rep. Mike Simpson in Idaho, where he faces a tea party-backed challenger in his race for a ninth House term.

Hard-right candidates’ blunders are perceived to have cost the GOP five Senate seats in recent years, The Hill reported.

Republicans, for example, lost Senate elections in Indiana and Missouri after conservative candidates made controversial comments about abortion and rape that hurt their support, particularly among women.

The Chamber could also toss its influence into upcoming Senate races in Georgia,
Iowa, and North Carolina, where tea party candidates are challenging, The Hill reported.

Meanwhile, the head of Heritage Action is vowing to challenge GOP leaders on a number of fiscal issues — and to keep active with grassroots activists.

“Lawmakers do not have a monopoly on information, and we will continue to communicate directly with their constituents on important legislation as it moves through Congress,” Michael Needham, chief executive of Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation think tank, told the Journal.

He said most lawmakers “will find it difficult to go back home and defend votes that increase spending, increase deficits and undermine the rule of law.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

As State Prepares Appeal, Utah Same-Sex Couples Rush to Wed.

gay marriage in Salt Lake City
Isaac Troyo (left) and his partner, Jed Mecham, get married at the Salt Lake County Government Building in Salt Lake City Monday. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart )

A federal judge has allowed gay marriage in Utah to continue, making Utah the 18th state plus the District of Columbia where gay and lesbian couples can marry.

Judge Richard Shelby on Monday denied a request by the state that sought to halt gay marriage until the appeals process plays out.

The same judge overturned Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage Friday, ruling it is unconstitutional.

“We’re thrilled that this decision continues the process of decisions across the country that support the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married and have their love and families protected equally under the law,” said Brian Silva, executive director of Marriage Equality. The New York City-based group promotes the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry.

The state of Utah is now expected to appeal the decision to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The ruling drew attention given Utah’s long-standing opposition to gay marriage and its position as headquarters for the Mormon Church.

Lawyers for the state are waging a legal battle on several fronts as they seek to stop the same-sex weddings.

Shelby on Friday overturned the state’s same-sex marriage ban, ruling that Utah’s law violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights under the 14th Amendment.

The decision that has put Utah in the national spotlight because of its long-standing opposition to gay marriage.

On Sunday, a federal appeals court rejected the state’s emergency request to stay the ruling, saying it couldn’t rule on a stay since Shelby hasn’t acted on the motion before him. The court quickly rejected a second request from Utah on Monday.

Following Shelby’s surprising ruling Friday afternoon, gay and lesbian couples rushed to a county clerk’s office in Salt Lake City to get marriage licenses. More than 100 couples wed as others cheered them on in what became an impromptu celebration an office building about three miles from the headquarters of the Mormon Church.

For now, a state considered as one of the most conservative in the nation has joined the likes of California and New York to become the 18th state where same-sex couples can legally wed. Legal experts say that even if a judge puts a halt to the weddings, the licenses that have already been issued will likely still be valid.

Utah is home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was one of the leading forces behind California’s short-lived ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, which voters approved in 2008. The church said Friday that it stands by its support for “traditional marriage” and that it hopes a higher court validates its belief that marriage is between a man and woman.

In Shelby’s 53-page ruling, he said the constitutional amendment Utah voters approved in 2004 violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment. Shelby said the state failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any way.

The decision drew a swift and angry reaction Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, who said he was disappointed in an “activist federal judge attempting to override the will of the people of Utah.” The state quickly took steps to appeal the ruling and halt the process, setting up Monday’s hearing before Shelby.

The ruling has thrust Shelby into the national spotlight. He has been on the bench for less than two years, appointed by President Barack Obama after GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch recommended him in November 2011.

Shelby served in the Utah Army National Guard from 1988 to 1996 and was a combat engineer in Operation Desert Storm. He graduated from the University of Virginia law school in 1998 and clerked for the U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene in Utah, then spent about 12 years in private practice before he became a judge.


Elizabeth Weise writes for USA Today.

Copyright 2013 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

Northern agenda (B’Haram’s) attack in Bama: 50 insurgents, 15 soldiers, 5 civilians killed; 20 vehicles destroyed.


THE military operation to track insurgents who carried out the last Friday pre-dawn attacks on Mohammed Kur Barracks, Bama, has led to the killing of 50 insurgents and destruction of over 20 vehicles conveying escaping terrorists.The vehicles were the ones used during the attack on the barracks and were sited through air surveillance, as the terrorists were making efforts to cross the borders back to their haven in Cameroun.Director, Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, also said that “although a good number of the insurgents escaped with bullet wounds while some have been arrested, over 50 of them died in the course of exchange of fire with ground troops in the ongoing operations to apprehend fleeing terrorists.“The military has lost 15 soldiers, mostly from the attacks, while some died during the pursuit. A total of five civilians also died during the attack.”He disclosed that intensive cordon-and-search operation was still ongoing to fish out the insurgents who might be lurking around communities in the area.Families affected by the attacks have been relocated to other military locations, Olukolade stated.Meanwhile, Borno State governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, met with President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House on Tuesday to brief him on the recent activities of the Boko Haram sect in his state, assuring that the terrorists had not overwhelmed security personnel.He told State House correspondents after the meeting that two or three of the female hostages seized by the insurgents in their last week attack on the 202 Army Battalion Barracks in Bama had escaped from their captors while he denied that children were still being held.Shettima also denied the allegation that the Bama Barracks had been deserted following the attack, saying, “it is not true. I am the man on ground and I can tell you authoritatively what is happening.“Women and children normally, during crisis, are moved to safer locations but the soldiers are on ground.They are right now in Bama and are doing their job very well.”Speaking on the apparent resurgence of the attacks, the governor said that the Federal Government was doing its best to put an end to terrorism.“I am just here to brief Mr President of what transpired in Bama. I believe that very soon, this issue will be frontally addressed and it will be a thing of the past,” he added.It will be recalled that a large group of suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked the barracks last Thursday, killing troops and members of their

families while taking away some people as hostages.The attack led to an impromptu meeting on Friday between President Jonathan and the service chiefs before he was due to decorate newly promoted two-star military generals at the Command Officers’ Mess, Asokoro, Abuja.The military also reported another clash with the insurgents in Bama on Monday, when it said about 15 soldiers and 50 terrorists were killed.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Snowden:’Mission’s Already Accomplished’.

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden says his “mission’s already accomplished” after leaking NSA secrets that have caused a reassessment of U.S. surveillance policies. Snowden told The Washington Post in a story published online Monday night he has “already won” because journalists have been able to tell the story of the government’s collection of bulk Internet and phone records.

Snowden says he didn’t want to change society but he wanted people “to have a say in how they are governed.”

President Barack Obama hinted Friday that he would consider some changes to NSA’s bulk collection of Americans‘ phone records to address the public’s concern about privacy. His comments came in a week in which a federal judge declared the NSA’s collection program probably was unconstitutional.

Snowden was interviewed in Moscow.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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