Sierra Leone president declares state of emergency over Ebola

By Umaru Fofana

FREETOWN (Reuters) – Sierra Leone has declared a state of public emergency to tackle the worst ever outbreak of Ebola and will call in security forces to quarantine epicenters of the deadly virus, President Ernest Bai Koroma said in a statement.

The measures resembled a tough anti-Ebola package announced by neighboring Liberia on Wednesday evening. Koroma announced he was cancelling a visit to Washington for a U.S.-Africa summit next week because of the crisis and would instead hold an emergency meeting with regional leaders in Guinea on Friday.

Highly infectious Ebola has been blamed for 672 deaths in the West Africa nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.

“I hereby proclaim a State of Public Emergency to enable us take a more robust approach to deal with the Ebola outbreak,” he said in a speech late on Wednesday, adding that the measures would initially last between 60 and 90 days. “All epicenters of the disease will be quarantined.”

Koroma said that the police and the military would restrict movements to and from epicenters, and would provide support to health officers and NGOs to do their work unhindered, following a number of attacks on healthworkers by local communities.

He said that house-to-house searches would be implemented to trace Ebola victims and quarantine them. He also said that new protocols had been established for passengers arriving and departing Lungi International Airport outside Freetown, but he did not provide further details.

source: yahoo news

Abductee’s parents finally meet North Korean granddaughter

Megumi Yokota was only 13 when she was abducted by a North Korean agent in the 1970s. Now, almost 40 years after her disappearance, her aging parents, Shigeru and Sakie Yokota, have traveled to Mongolia to meet her daughter — their granddaughter.

In a series of meetings in Ulan Bator arranged by Japanese and North Korean foreign ministry officials, the Japanese couple met 26-year-old Kim Eun-gyong, her husband and 10-month-old daughter.

“Our long-cherished dream had come true,” Shigeru Yokota said at a press conference. “It was actually first time to meet her although I’ve been seeing her on TV (since she was) 14 or 15.”
Few answers decades after kidnapping
Does China coddle North Korea?
1950: The Korean War begins

Yokota, who was kidnapped from the port city of Niigata in 1977, was not present at the meeting. North Korean authorities insist that she committed suicide, although this is disputed in Japan and repatriated ashes proved not to be a DNA match.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters Monday morning that he was “glad” to hear that the meeting was conducted safely.

“We are determined to resolve the abduction issue at any cost,” he said.

The abductee issue is a considerable sticking point in Japan-North Korea relations. The reclusive state has admitted to kidnapping a number of Japanese nationals, mostly to help train spies in Japanese language and culture.

The Yokotas said that they were unable to confirm their daughter’s safety with Kim, as political matters were off the table. However, her mother said, “I spent time with them believing Megumi is still safe somewhere.”

The meeting took place as North Korea’s bellicosity is once again on the rise, with reports that the Stalinist state has fired a number of short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast.

NIS Stampede

Image

Hospital authorities at the Rivers government-owned Braithwaite Memorial Hospital in Port Harcourt have confirmed that four candidates died during a stampede at the Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that more than 20,000 candidates were involved in a stampede at the Liberation stadium, Port Harcourt, venue of the exercise on Saturday morning.

A competent source at the hospital told NAN that 12 candidates were brought to the hospital after the stampede.

“I can confirm to you that four have died, four others are in critical condition while four have been treated and discharged,” the source said.

The source, who wished to remain anonymous, said a pregnant woman was among the dead.

The source said doctors and specialists have been called back to duty to assist to save the lives of the remaining four candidates on the emergency list.

“Some of the candidates were in bad condition because they were trampled upon during the stampede,” the source said.

At the Military Hospital, Port Harcourt authorities confirmed receiving some of  the injured persons but said they were being taken care of.

However, Mr Abang Bisong, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Rivers Command, confirmed to NAN that  some of the injured were taken to the hospital but did not know their condition.

‘Forget About PDP, I’ll Never Return’ – Atiku

Image

Following comment by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that former vice president Atiku Abubakar who recently defected to APC would return, Atiku has said nothing will bring him back.

 

The Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus had responded to the defection of Mr. Atiku saying the former VP is on a political voyage and will eventually return to the party.

According to Atiku no amount of pressure would bring him back to PDP as the party was beyond redemption.

PDP has drifted from the ideals of the founding fathers, which I am one. I will not return to it, they are just   confused and rattled by my sudden defection, so they can say anything about my defection, let’s forget about them,” Atiku said.

He made this known while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after registering with the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) at Kolere Unit of Jada 1, ward in Jada Local government area yesterday.

Atiku said his defection came after his consultations with Nigerians who had  expressed dissatisfaction with the PDP government, while adding that no democrat worth his salt will remain in PDP as it had since become anti-people.

However, APC party’s membership registration has suffered some setbacks as registration could not commence in many local Governments of the state due what stakeholders said was non arrival of materials.

According to an APC party stalwart in Yola, Alhaji Usman Marafa they had not yet received materials for the exercise and that’s why they could not start the registration as at 1:10 PM Tuesday.

Opinion: With his incessant calls for war, Asari Dokubo should be arrested

Image

 

If Asari can be a drummer of war, the president should remember that there are some people drawn from the West, East and North who can also call for violence as a result of Asari-Dokubo’s vituperation in as much as they are keeping mute for peace to reign.

VIOLENCE is inevitable when injustice reigns says by a Maxim but in a situation whereby someone who is seeing himself as the spokesman of a region (South-South) is threatening our existence as a nation in a country that is governed by laws, yet, nothing is being done to curtail his vituperation. If drastic step is not taken to stop his
threat, it might pave way for other regions to retaliate with such vituperations because it will be perceived as an injustice as we all know that everybody is equal before the law.

The statement if not checked can trigger the break down of laws because nobody has the monopoly of violence. If Asari can be a drummer of war, the president should remember that there are some people drawn from the West, East and North who can also call for violence as a result of Asari-Dokubo’s vituperation in as much as they are keeping mute for peace to reign.

We have several law enforcement agencies in Nigeria but I see them as a tool of oppressing opposition because if El-Rufai can be arrested and questioned over a statement that the possible outcome of 2015 general election might be bad if it is rigged, while Asari cannot be arrested and prosecuted for his threat on our existence as a sovereign nation?

The South-South should bear it in mind that the amalgamation that led to the creation of Nigeria has been concluded before the discovery of crude oil but if at this point they are now calling for war, they should go and ask Col. Odumegu Ojukwu the consequences of drumming for
war. It has to be borne in mind that nobody singlehandedly owns the resources; they are for the entire nation. The people of the west didn’t cry foul then when the main resources for the entire nation were mainly drawn from the west. Why is it now that Asari Dokubo is calling for war? This is absurdity, Nigerians are waiting for the security agencies to prove they are not biased in the discharge of their duties.

I am not blaming him but I put blame on the Federal Government that gives him the audacity to be challenging our existence as a nation. It is so sad that an ex-millitant, a person who has waged war against his nation can be given a contract of protecting the crude oil pipelines.

It is very pathetic, in a situation whereby the accrued fund for the millitants exceeds the budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Defence. Who is he to be threatening Nigeria if not because he is dancing to the tune of his paymaster? Truly, he is acting the script of his boss.

President Jonathan should call his dog to attention and show to Nigeria that he is not a regional leader but the president of the whole nation. Enough is enough of his threat.

Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich’s girlfriend says sorry after posing on ‘black woman’ chair (PHOTO)

Image

The editor-in-chief of Garage magazine, Dasha Zhukova, has apologized for releasing a photo of her sitting on a chair made to look like a half-naked black woman, on Martin Luther King Day.

A fashion website, Buro 24/7, used the offensive image of Zhukova to illustrate an unrelated interview about the ex-model’s new magazine, Garage.

The picture which has sparked outrage among people who viewed it as racist, was posted as America celebrated a national holiday to remember civil rights leader, King, on Monday.

According to Huffington Post report:

Buro 24/7 editor, Miroslava Duma, issued a statement about the controversial image on her Instagram page:

duma1

duma

Dasha Zhukova has also responded to the backlash:

“The chair pictured in the Buro 24/7 website interview is an artwork created by Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, one of a series that reinterprets art historical works from artist Allen Jones as a commentary on gender and racial politics. Its use in this photo shoot is regrettable as it took the artwork totally out of its intended context, particularly given that Buro 24/7′s release of the article coincided with the important celebration of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.I regret allowing an artwork with such charged meaning to be used in this context. I utterly abhor racism and would like to apologize to those offended by my participation in this shoot.

Garage Magazine has a strong track record of promoting diversity and racial and gender equality in the worlds of art and fashion, and will continue in our mission to stir positive debate on these and other issues.”

EARLIER STORY BELOW:
How’s this for a happy MLK Day?

The online magazine Buro 247 has published a story about Dasha Zhukova, the Russian editor-in-chief of Garage magazine, which shows the editrix perched atop a chair designed to look like a half-naked black woman. Ugh.

Note: the image has since been cropped on the website to only show Zhukova and not the chair. We have reached out to Miroslava Duma the editor of Buro 247 for comment.

 Claire Sulmers, the editor of FashionBombDaily.com, alerted us to the unfortunate feature and calls the image an example of “white dominance and superiority, articulated in a seemingly serene yet overtly degrading way.”

We couldn’t agree more. Although the chair also comes in “white woman,” we can’t help but be filled with anger and frustration over the onslaught of negative imagery, constant disregard and unabashed bigotry that continues to plague the fashion industry. From Bethann Hardison’s crusade to end racism on the runway to ourattempt to educate society over and over and over again about the nonsense that is Blackface – the stories of racially insensitive absurdity are never ending.

Sulmers goes on to point out that the chair appears to be inspired by a collection designed by British pop artist Allen Jones in 1969. Yet this specific use of a black woman’s figure strikes a deeper cord. “The art and fashion industries are the few bastions of society where blatant racism and ignorance are given the greenlight in the name of creativity,” Sulmers writes.

Well it certainly seems that way, and this Buro 24/7 editorial is just another layer of icing on the cake.