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Maiyegun General

Monday, 17 August 2015

Tinubu vs Fashola: Apprehension as ex-gov launches books

Tinubu and Fashola

Apprehension yesterday gripped political stakeholders in Lagos State ahead of today’s launch of three books chronicling the stewardship of Mr. Babatunde Fashola as governor of Lagos State between 2007 and 2015.

The apprehension follows the perceived political rivalry between the camp of Fashola and his erstwhile political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, himself, also a former governor of the state. The political unease was compounded upon last week’s assertion b

Fashola that he would not allow himself to be dragged into the mud by those who want to fight like pigs.

However, a third force within the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC it was gathered yesterday has pushed the leadership of the party to convene an emergency state caucus meeting tomorrow where the unfolding issue between the camps of the two former governors is expected to be discussed.

Ahead of today’s book launch it was learnt that activists in the two camps were working to use the occasion to score political points. While some were working to frustrate the book launch as a way of projecting what they claim as Fashola’s political incapacity in the state, the former governor’s loyalists were working to counter the move.

“They are planning but they will not succeed,” an associate of the immediate past governor told Vanguard on telephone yesterday.

Associates of Tinubu were, however, indignant yesterday that they would not honour the book launch, alleging that the immediate past governor had not shown enough respect to his erstwhile political benefactor.

“A man that has not seen it as wise to visit or thank his master since he stepped down from office, why should we be there,” a close associate of Tinubu said yesterday.

His assertion was, however, countered by a Fashola associate who disclosed yesterday that Fashola’s repeated efforts to speak with Tinubu since the handover had been impossible.

“Tinubu is not picking his calls, so those people saying that Fashola has not visited Tinubu simply do not know what they are talking about, they just don’t know,” the Fashola associate said.

Meanwhile, the frosty relationship between the two camps is set to worsen upon assertions of imminent plans by the new authorities in Lagos to prosecute those involved in alleged hike of contract figures during the immediate past administration.

Normally dependable sources told Vanguard yesterday that officials involved in the award of the contract of the N78 million upgrade of the website of the former governor are among those to be prosecuted.

The three books to be launched today include The Great Leap, a book written by Mr. Hakeem Bello, who served as Special Adviser on Media to Fashola and two others co-authored by Dapo Adeniyi.

The other two are: In Bold Prints: Thoughts of Babatunde Fashola and Lagos Blow Down: West Africa’s First Controlled Demolition.

Motherhood: Photograph shows baby next to scar of c-section that saved its life

The photo has been viewed more than 11.5million times (Picture: Facebook/Helen Aller Photography)

A photograph in which a newborn baby lies next to its mother’s c-section scar has taken the internet by storm.

Helen Aller, 29, took a black and white photo of the baby and its unidentified mother, who said that the procedure saved both their lives.

But Helen did not predict what would happen when she shared it on her Facebook page.

The image has been viewed more than 11.5million times and liked by nearly 200,000 people.

‘I photographed this mama’s pregnancy a while back and she was telling me how terrified she was of having a c-section,’ she said.

‘Last week she went into labour but had to have an emergency c-section after complications.

‘She asked me to come over and shoot this particular image as her worst nightmare proved to be what saved her and her child’s lives.’

The image seemed to have struck a chord with millions round the globe.

Helen is herself eight months pregnant, and she says that the appeal of the image to her is the contrast between struggle and beauty.

She said mothers have contacted her to say that the photo has helped them come to terms with their own c-section scars.

‘I’m not a huge fan of having a scar across my lower abdomen, but I’ve learned to embrace it because that is where my babies came from,’ one mother said.


Nigeria: Jonathan’s govt better than Obasanjo’s – Anya

ELDER statesman and President of Ndigbo Lagos, Professor Anya O. Anya, yesterday, declared that Nigeria is not yet a nation but that a nation will emerge out of her soon.

Anya made the statement at Sam Ohuabunwa’s Outreach, in Lagos, to mark the 65th birthday of Ohuabunwa, former chairman of Neimeth Pharmaceuticals.

BOOK LAUNCH: From left, Dr Christopher Kolade; Prof Anya.O. Anya, chairman of occasion; Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, author of the books; Mrs Stella Ohuabunwa, wife of author; Bishop of Lagos West, Anglican Communion, Rt Rev James Odedeji and Sir Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State, during the book presentation and 65th birthday of Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, in Lagos, yesterday. Photo: Kehinde Gbadamosi

The event was also to launch Ohuabunwa’s books, Sam Ohuabunwa’s Paradigm: Thoughts on Contemporary National Issues and The Port Harcourt Volunteer.

The professor, who chaired the occasion, said it was sad that Nigerians are not learning from history, averring that the much-criticized immediate past administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan was better than that of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

He said Ohuabunwa is one personality that embodies true stewardship and recognizes the values of a Christian, saying the country will be a better place if we learn the importance of true stewardship from people like the celebrant.

His words: “Sam has done an important thing by writing the books. I was privileged to write the foreword of Sam’s previous books. But the unique thing about today is that one of the books we are launching captures his experience during a particular time in our nation’s history.

“Unfortunately, we don’t write books enough and because of this, our nation does not have the opportunity to reflect on what has happened in the past and learn lessons from it. It is out of a people’s experience that you can write history. A nation that cannot learn from history cannot make the kind of progress that we expect.

“Once upon a time, history was a very important subject in the Nigerian education system, it got to a point when history is no longer there. If we don’t learn to stand on the shoulders of those who went before us, we cannot build as an individual, you cannot build as a community and as a nation.

“When you listen to our people, especially the politicians, it is as if we have learned nothing. God has been very kind to this country. It is not easy to see whether there is any common value that Nigerian leaders have which is why today you hear one thing and the next day, you hear the opposite.

We don’t have a nation

“The problem now is that we are now trying to build a nation. We don’t have a nation but whether we like it or not, a nation is going to emerge out of Nigeria. And it is going to be from the contributions of Sam and all of us putting our individual experiences on the table and drawing lessons and teaching the lessons to others.

“When people put down their experiences, it keeps others informed and when you collect them, it gives you an idea of the society’s experience and from there, you can write the history of that nation. A nation without a history cannot learn lessons and build on those lessons, and the nation will be in trouble.

“This is what is happening to Nigeria today. A great nation is built by succession of generation of giants. Each generation of giants stand on the shoulders of past giants and the nation moves forward.

“Unfortunately in Nigeria, we are all in a haste to pronounce opinion and we take opinion as if it is the truth. The past government has been heavily criticized but this past government was not worse than the government before it. In fact, the immediate past government was better than the one before it. Sadly, those criticizing past government are those who were in Obasanjo’s government.”

The review
In his review of The Port Harcourt Volunteer, Prof Jemie Onwuchekwa said the “book encapsulates the two and half years story of horror, told by a teenage soldier on the Biafran side. When we see pictures of child soldiers with machine guns, in war-torn countries in the continent, we usually think of Sudan, Sierra Loene etc, we fail to remember that it also happened right here in Nigeria. The author was a teenage soldier that witnessed all the gun fires, starvation and explosions that consumed over two million people but survived and toiled through to living a very successful life.”

He described the book as a material that is hard to put down, adding that “the author believes that the war could have been avoided if Gowon had stood firm on the Aburi Accord, which could have dismantled Aguiyi Ironsi’s military command…”

Prof Ayo Olukotun while reviewing Sam Ohuabunwa’s Paradigm: Thoughts on Contemporary National Issues, said that the book collates 55 chapters of weekly interventions published in newspapers by the author, which brings us to the author’s dream of a reinvented Nigeria. He congratulated him for serving Nigerians and posterity.

Former Governor of Anambra State, Sir Peter Obi, described the author as “someone who has lived a life worthy of emulation and contributed in building a better society.

He said: “The problem with Nigeria is that those who have not created wealth manage the wealth of the people who created it. If you have to allow some people to manage public resources, then we ought to know whether they have been able to manage their own resources. It is a global thing. People who manage resources must have created or managed their own otherwise there will be problem.’’

I write to send a message—Author
Responding, Ohuabunwa said: “I write because God gives me the inspiration to do so and I write to send a message. Every book I write has an audience.

“The Port Harcourt Volunteer is about my experience during the Biafran war and I thought that I should write on this because with the way the nation is going, it looks like we have forgotten about the war. And so much mistakes have been made.

“So, this is to remind ourselves that we have passed through this path, lost almost three million people, national wealth and we do not want to walk through that road again. We need to speak about what to do to strengthen Nigeria’s unity.

“Every four years it looks like we will break up. We must make our contributions now that we have a new government, to learn from what has happened, make our contributions so that Nigerians and the government can be guided.

“The major problem is that we are running a country in which everybody does not feel like they belong to, some people are marginalized deliberately or inadvertently, maltreated and there is injustice.”

Those at the event included Prof Adebayo Williams, Dr Christopher Kolade, Mrs Stella Okoli, Jimi Agbaje, Prof. Ibidapo Obe, Jimoh Ibrahim, Bishop James Odedeji, Arch Bishop of Lagos West Anglican Church, members of Pharmaceutical Associations, captains of industry.

Politics: Prove you are not being influenced – Igbo leaders tell Buhari

IGBO Leaders on the banner of the Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT), yesterday, insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari is being influenced by some former leaders in his anti-graft crusade and challenged him to prove otherwise by waging a holistic war against graft.


Responding to a paper by the ILT written by Professor Ben Nwabueze (SAN) that instead of limiting his searchlight to Dr Goodluck Jonathan administration, Buhari should also probe the General Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Musa Yar’Adua regimes and that he was being influenced by some of these leaders, the President said he could not be tele-guided by anybody.

Speaking through Mallam Shehu Garba, his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, President Buhari said he is not being tele-guided by anybody and that he would not a deaf ear to the looting of public treasury and crude oil theft. He also said he would not stop the anti-corruption agencies from doing their work.

However, the ILT in a statement by its Deputy Secretary, Evangelist Elliot Uko, yesterday, said that Mallam Shehu avoided the real points in his response.

His words: ”The anti corruption war and probe in order to recover our stolen common wealth is not only needful, but commendable. Nigerians know that the only pathway to restoring sanity, probity and accountability to governance in our much battered and so much abused nation is to carry out the exercise in a holistic manner without granting a clean bill of health on the 1999-2007 regime or any other regime since returning to civil rule in 1999.

” The insinuation that Mr. President is scared of probing the 1999-2007 is a by-product of the statement from the presidency that only the Jonathan regime is targeted for probe. Had the presidency announced that sordid affairs located within the 1999-2007 regime will also be looked into, Nigerians will not have formed the opinion that ex president Obasanjo is not only above the law, but that his larger than life image hovering over the Buhari presidency will obviously make it extremely difficult if not out-rightly impossible for president Buhari to be objective, unbiased and upright especially in the probe of corruption in our polity.

”Nigerians are wondering why the monumental fraud and sleaze that occurred between 1999-2007 is about to be swept under the carpet while our government’s only area of interest begins some where after 2009. Truth is bitter, and this truth is also obvious to all Nigerians over 20 years of age; that the 1999-2007 PDP led government laid the foundation for all the other regimes after it. Nigerians know that the sleaze under that regime stink to high heavens. Any fight against corruption and probe and recovery of stolen funds that exempts the 1999-2007 regime is tainted, selective, and a confirmation of the large influence of the “invisible government” in our polity.

”The Igbo Leaders of Thought did not say that president Buhari is teleguided. The Igbo Leaders of Thought identified the over-bearing influence, powers and connections of past heads of state who played very key roles in the emergence of President Buhari in March this year and wondered how he expects Nigerians to believe him when his aides point at “distraction” as the only reason he is avoiding probing the 1999-2007 POP government.

”Nobody believes that. Everybody knows that the rat cannot probe the cat. Some past Leaders’ shadows are hovering over president Buhari. He is clearly constrained by certain factors.

”This factors will certainly affect the credibility of the probe and recovery exercise if it is only targeted at the last regime. The issues raised by the Igbo Leaders of Thought represents the thought and views of millions of Nigerians who share the opinion that the only way sanity would be restored in our country is to make the exercise a holistic, unbiased and all-inclusive one. The very point Alhaji Garba Shehu cleverly avoided in his response. Nobody said Buhari is teleguided. Nigerians merely want the probe and recovery of stolen funds to date back to 1999. That is the only way Nigerians, the international community and indeed future generations will agree the exercise is not a witch -hunt.”


Ondo: Harvest of death from road crashes

The truck involved in the accident. Inset: Oladokun

By Dayo Johnson

IT was an harvest of deaths in Akure, the Ondo state capital as five persons including a father of four were crushed to death by petrol tanker and a timber lorry within one week.Two of deceased were occupants of a Golf car which crashed into an electric pole in front of a popular hotel on Ilesha garage road in Akure at about 830pm that Sunday.

The mangled bodies of three of the deceased were packed i to the Akure Specialist mortuary. Families of the deceased went through a traumatized experience over the loss of their loved ones in the last one week.

They had no premonition that their bread winners were embarking on a journeys of no return when they left their different homes that ill fated morning.

The crashes occurred at different locations within the Akure metropolis. The father of four, Sunday Oladokun, 40years old, who just purchased a used car through monthly contributions met his untimely death while returning from his workshop at about 730pm that day along the Ilesha/Owo Expressway.

Sunday, according to family sources, purchased the car three months earlier and was yet to pay the balance of the newly acquired “rickety” second hand car when death came knocking. He left without saying good bye to either his son or his two year old baby girl.

The second crash occurred along the popular Isinkan market in Akure metropolis when a commercial motorcycle operator popularly known as Okada rider was crushed alongside his male passenger. The two on the Okada reportedly died on the spot as timber truck l crossed to the other side of the road and pinned them into the wall of a popular Nursery and Primary school in the area.

A commuter waiting to board a bus to Ondo town was equally crushed but escaped by whiskers as one of her legs was reportedly severed off. She is presently receiving treatment at the general hospital in Akure. Vanguard learnt that the two persons that crashed into an electric pole along Ilesha road in Akure at about 830pm were over-speeding. They died in the process.

Two others in the Golf car reportedly sustained injuries and we’re rushed to a private hospital close to Lafe Junction in Akure. Report had it that they were coming from a party and may have been drunk going by the severity of the accident . The electric pole was badly damaged as the car uprooted it .

Some sympathizers reportedly informed the FRSC in the state capital who rushed them to the private hospital. Officials of the state government were seen fixing the pole while the involved car was removed before daybreak. The scenes of the crashes were besieged by sympathizers who trooped there to join the wailing train.

Vanguard learnt that the crash along the Ilesha/ Owo expressway involved a mechanic simple called “Sunday rewire”. He was heading to his house along Olu foam in Akure when the tanker driver rammed into his car around 730pm despite all his effort to dodge the tanker. The deceased was reportedly coming from his workshop located at Agbogbo filling station when the unfortunate occurred.

His mangled body was removed after sympathizers axed the badly damaged car. Eyewitness account had it that the tanker driver overtook another vehicle and collided with the deceased vehicle killing him instantly. It was learnt that the tanker driver who was in hurry recklessly overtook another car and ended up facing the deceased car and nailed his car to the side of the road.

The accident reportedly halted free flow of traffic for hours just as officials of the FRSC and police raced to the scene of the crash and later removed his corpse. Meanwhile, the families of the deceased have alleged that security operatives were trying to compromised by shielding the driver of the tanker to pervert justice.

A member of the family identified as Tajudeen alleged that the police was trying to take side in the matter by exonerating the petroleum company that owned the tanker. He appealed to the Police Commissioner Isaac Eke to call his men to order by not destroying evidences they want to use to prosecute the matter in Court.

The family insisted that only justice for the auto mechanic will possibly help alleviate the suffering of his widow and four children aged between two and eleven. However, the state police commissioner, Issac Eke said it was too early to conclude who was at fault since it was a case of fatal accident.

Eke however assured that all those found culpable will be brought to book. Meanwhile, the old truck driver, Alex Nayade has been remanded in prison custody for allegedly causing thec death of the father of four. The order was given by an Akure Chief Magistrate court when he was arraigned.

The accused person, who lives in Lagos was alleged to have caused the death of Oladokun a mechanic through reckless driving along the expressway. The accused person according to a Charge sheet read to him drove a truck with registration number Lagos AGL 105 XL and hit Oladokun with the truck, leading to the untimely death of the deceased.

Oladokun who was not represented by any counsel was accused of murder among other offences. He however pleaded not guilty to all the charges leveled against him. The Police Prosecutor, Sola Omolade said that the accused person committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 18(II) of the criminal code cap Vol VI laws of Nigeria 2006.

In his ruling,the Presiding Magistrate, Mrs Bunmi Dosumu ordered the accused person to be remanded in Olokuta prison custody pending the determination of his case. Chief Magistrate Dosumu ordered that the case file of Nayade be forwarded to the state Ministry of Justice for legal advice. She thereafter adjourned the case till 20th August, 2015 for mention.

It will be recalled that hundreds of students under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students NANS recently took to the streets in Akure, the Ondo state capital to protest against incessant killing of their colleagues by trucks. The protesters blocked the Akure/Owo Expressway for hours to register their grievances.

NANS Vice President Timileyin Ayenuro who led the protest said the protest came after the expiration of the seven day ultimatum issued to the federal government to ban trailers from plying the highways during the day time. They blocked the highway for several hours, preventing vehicular movements,especially those commercial vehicles heading towards Lagos,,Ibadan and Abuja.

Ayenuro said they wanted the federal government to create an alternative routes for the trucks and trailers or ban them from moving during the day time so as to drastically reduce the rate of auto crashes on the federal roads.

They displayed placards with various inscriptions, such as ‘ enough is enough, government ban trailers from our highways’ , ‘ government pls ban trailers on our roads ‘ our colleagues are dying in road accidents,’ ‘ stop trailers from killing our colleagues ‘ among others .

Ayenuro, said they cannot continue to fold their arms and allow their colleagues to be killed by trucks and trailers on the highways. “ We can not allow our colleagues to be dying of roads accidents caused by trailers, last two weeks, we lost about seven students on this road, last month, 12 students of Olabisi Onabanjo University lost their lives in an accident caused by trucks.

“The students of UNIBEN also died of accidents last two weeks. In Onitsha 68 people lost their lives. “Just this morning (Friday) about eight people died in an accident caused by truck in Oyo state, this is what is happening, so we want the federal government to find solution to this. “Nigerian students are saying the federal,government should ban trailers, tankers on our highways for now to stop the killing of Nigerian students by these trailers “


The BEST places to live in Britain: New map reveals the locations where you can find quality of life AND houses you can afford (but stay away from London)

Top of the list: Allerdale borough, which includes the town of Keswick, combines affordable housing and satisfied residents better than anywhere else in Britain

Cumbria and the Ribble Valley have affordable homes but happy residents

By contrast, Londoners are unhappy despite the city's high house prices

Research shows rural areas are most likely to provide dream combination

Househunters who want to combine affordable living with a high degree of happiness should seek a home far from London, according to new research.

Cumbria, Staffordshire and Teeside top a list of the places which offer residents a good quality of life at a reasonable price.

By contrast, six of the nine places with the worst combination of house prices and life satisfaction are located in Greater London, suggesting that residents of the capital are not getting value for money.

The data were compiled by estate agent Hamptons International, using the Government's 'Life Satisfaction Index' as well as figures which show the ratio of house prices to average incomes.

Researchers found that the key to a blissful and cheap life seems to be living in a beautiful and sparsely populated part of the country, where the natural landscape makes up for a lack of amenities.

Allerdale in Cumbria, which covers part of the Lake District and includes the Solway coast, came top of the list, followed by the Ribble Valley in rural Lancashire.

Another Cumbrian district, Copeland, came third in the list, while the Tees Valley districts of Stockton and Darlington also made it into the top 10.

Anyone who insists on living in the South of England should head to East Cambridgeshire, which took eighth place despite its relative proximity to London and the rising economic powerhouse of Cambridge.

Desirable: The Ribble Valley in Lancashire is another rural district to come near the top of the list

Need happiness? Allerdale voted top for cheery residents

The Outer Hebrides was the only Scottish district to appear on the top 10 list, with residents happy with their lot despite being several hours' travel away from anywhere else in the UK.

Johnny Morris of Hamptons said: 'It's housing markets close to areas of outstanding natural beauty that top the list as happiest and affordable places to live.

'Life in the country, a good view and not too many neighbours seem to be some of the secrets to happiness.'

When the researchers worked out which areas had the lowest life satisfaction despite sky-high house prices, the list was dominated by London and the South-East.

Haringey, where the average house price is 12.2 times mean incomes at £375,000, held the unenviable honour of first place in the top 10.

Stay away: Much of London has relatively low satisfaction levels despite the sky-high house prices

Lewisham, Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Enfield also appeared in the list, with the South-East districts of Brentwood, East Hampshire, Oxford and Guildford making up the rest of the rankings.

For professionals who can't avoid working in London, Hamptons analysed the commuter towns which have the best combination of house prices and general happiness.

Andover in Hampshire, Borehamwood in Hertfordshire and Ely, Cambridgeshire are among the top destinations within an hour of so of central London.

Overall, cash-strapped buyers may be disappointed to hear that there is a strong correlation between how expensive your local area is and how happy you are with your life.

Mr Morris said: 'In the South-East at least, the less affordable markets are more likely to have a higher happiness score - likely a factor of wealthier residents living in leafy, well-heeled areas.'

The research combined house price data from Countrywide with figures from the Office of National Statistics, isolating the most affordable 25 per cent of districts and ranking them for life satisfaction.

The ONS asks survey respondents to rate how satisfied they are with their lives from 1 to 10, with most districts of Britain ending up with an average rating somewhere between 7 and 8.

1) Allerdale, Cumbria - house prices 3.4 times income, satisfaction rating 7.8

2) Ribble Valley, Lancashire - 3.6, 7.8

3) Copeland, Cumbria - 2.0, 7.6

4) Staffordshire Moorlands - 4.2, 7.7

5) Stockton-On-Tees - 3.4, 7.5

6) North Lincolnshire - 3.3, 7.5

7) Darlington, County Durham - 3.0, 7.5

8) East Cambridgeshire - 4.0, 7.6

9) Stafford - 4.3, 7.6

10) Eilean Siar (Outer Hebrides) - 4.4, 8.0

1) Haringey, London - house prices 12.2 times income, satisfaction rating 7.2

2) Lewisham, London - 9.3, 7.2

3) Brentwood, Essex - 6.5, 7.2

4) Brent, London - 10.6, 7.2

5) East Hampshire - 8.1, 7.2

6) Oxford - 9.1, 7.3

7) Ealing, London - 11.9, 7.3

8) Hammersmith and Fulham - 16.8, 7.3

9) Enfield, London - 8.7, 7.3

10) Guildford, Surrey - 8.8, 7.3

Source: The Mail

Africa: Children in Ethiopia taught themselves to hack Android in just five months

Image from One Laptop Per Child

What happens when you introduce technology to new places?

In countries where people access the internet via their smartphone, and watching the television is a daily habit, it’s hard to imagine what effect these technologies can have. But a look at the ways in which they affect developing countries and it’s clear that the introduction of technology has a major impact on an area...

In 1999, Bhutan became the final country in the world to introduce television. On the back of the World Cup final in France in 1998, where Bhutan’s Olympic Committee were permitted to erect a giant screen temporarily in Changlimithang stadium for the public to view the match, television was introduced to the Himalayan country that calls itself the Land of the Thunder Dragon.

“But not everything you see will be good,” the Dragon King warned. “It is my sincere hope that the introduction of television will be beneficial to our people and country.”

The introduction of television to the country was carefully prepared to mitigate negative messages and the Bhutan Broadcasting Service launched to provide a local educational and cultural service. Bhutan’s spiritual and cultural leaders were all in agreement that the introduction of television could only increase the country’s Gross National Happniess and help their people to pave the way to a modern, democratic nation.

But in April 2002, Bhutan saw its first crime wave. There were reports from many towns and villages of fraud, violence and even murder. Suddenly this kingdom that prided itself on its life steeped in Himalayan Buddhism was falling victim to the kind of crime usually associated with urban life in America and Europe.

Image from gettyimages

This isn’t the only country to experience the supposed negative effects of the introduction of television, though. In 1999 it was revealed that since television had arrived in Fiji four years before, incidences of eating disorders had increased phenomenally. Researchers found that 74 per cent of teenage girls thought that they were too big or fat just 38 months after television was introduced to the island.

However, the introduction of technology is not always a negative thing. The One Laptop Per Child programme aims to empower the world’s poorest children through education via a low-cost, low-power connected laptop.

In 2012, they carried out an experiment where they dropped off Motorola Xoom tablets with solar chargers in two Ehtiopian villages and trained local adults on how to charge them.

Children in the villages were also given sealed boxes containing basic tablets preloaded with educational software and a memory card that would track how the children got on with the technology.
“I thought the kids would play with the boxes,” One Laptop Per Child founder Nicholas Negroponte admitted to the MIT Technology Review. “Within four minutes one kid not only opened the box, found the on-off switch… powered it up. Within five days they were using 47 apps per child, per day. Within two weeks they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months they had hacked Android.”

By ‘hacked Android’, Negroponte meant that the kids had gotten around One Laptop Per Child’s attempt to freeze the desktop settings. “The kids had completely customised the desktop – so every kid’s tablet looked different. We had installed software to prevent them from doing that,” Ed McNierney, One Laptop Per Child’s CTO explained. “And the fact they worked around it was clearly the kind of creativity, the kind of inquiry, the kind of discovery that we think is essential to learning.”

Technology has been known to cause damaging effects; it can lead to crime waves and eating disorders. But when Ethiopian children who have never seen a tablet before are able to learn to hack an operating system in just five months, it’s hard not to be impressed by the power that technology has when it enters a new territory and to wonder what will happen next as technology becomes more commonplace in more developing nations and remote communities.

Sourse: Virgin.com

Nigeria: If Igbos are butchered again, Nigeria will break; Fani- Kayode warns

Fani- Kayode

FORMER Director of Publicity, Peoples Democratic Presidential Campaign Organisation, PDPPCO, Chief Femi Fani- Kayode Monday lampooned the Convener of the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, describing his comments that President Muhammadu Buhari owes Igbos nothing as most
most insensitive, cruel and Puerile.

Responding to comments credited to Junaid, Fani- Kayode in a message to Vanguard noted that his statements that If the igbo feel marginalised they should attempt to break away again, was most uncharitable and careless, warning that if there was any attempt to butcher the Ibos or a repeat of what happened in 1966, it would be resisted by not only the Ibos, but by all Nigerians, with attempt to secede, which according to him, would be successful.

According to him, the like of Junaid must learn from history, our mistakes, preach peace and peaceful coexistence, rather that boast and beat our chests for yet another round of war.
Fani- Kayode reacting to a statement titled, ” If the igbo feel marginalised they should attempt to break away again”- Dr. Junaid Mohammed, The Punch Newspaper, 17th August 2015, said, “Given the immense suffering that the igbo were subjected to both before, during and after the civil war this is one of most insensitive, cruel and puerile comments that I have heard in recent times.

“I daresay that if Junaid Mohammed’s Nigeria ever butchers over 100,000 innocent igbo civilians again, as they did in the north in 1966 just before the civil war, there will indeed be another attempt to secede, but this time it will not only be successful, but they will also take many others with them.

“Rather than boast and beat our chests, we must learn from our history and we must never repeat its mistakes.”
Dr. Junaid Mohammed, had in an interview in one of the national dailies( not Vanguard) , dismissed the sentiments shared by a former Governor of Anambra State that the Igbo have not been treated fairly in the governance of Nigeria.

Junaid who noted that people of the Igbo nation have enjoyed favourable treatment, said it was wrong to reward the Igbo simply on the basis of the Nigerian Civil War, which lasted between 1967 and 1970.
Mohammed had said, “If it is about Buhari making the appointments based on merit, I have no problems with it. I don’t believe Buhari or Nigeria owes any Igbo anything. I don’t care what Ezeife says; if they had seceded, there would have been no Nigeria today. As people who acted outside the interest of Nigeria as a country, to expect compensation is a very odd logic.

“If the Igbo don’t like it, they can attempt secession again. If they do, they must be prepared to live with the consequences. Nobody owes them anything and nobody is out to compensate them for anything.”


Teenager with hundreds of mole-like birthmarks sticks it to bullies by posing in bikini

Brave Ciera, 19, taking a selfie to show off her birthmarks (Picture: Hotspot Media)

A teenage girl born with hundreds of mole-like birthmarks has stuck it to her bullies by posing in a bikini.

Ciera Swaringen, from Rockwell, North Carolina, was nicknamed ‘spotty dog’ by school bullies but now she’s having the last laugh.

The 19-year-old suffers from Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus, which covers 70 percent of her body with marks.
Ciera’s birthmarks on the back of her body (Picture: Hotspot Media)
‘One day I remember being on the school bus and hearing a young boy laugh at me and call me a spotty dog,’ she said. 
‘But I’m so proud to be different and, at the end of the day, we all have something about us that’s unusual, whether it’s on the inside or the outside.’
Ciera photographed as a newborn baby in July 1996 (Picture: Hotspot Media)

The shoe shop assistant, who recently graduated from high school, credits her positive outlook to the continuous support she has received from her family.

She added: ‘I remember when I started school my mom told me that my birthmarks were angel kisses – and that really stuck with me.
‘And my dad is the first person to stand up to defend me if anyone says anything horrible to me.’
Ciera photographed at her school prom in May (Picture: Hotspot Media)

When she was born her parents were informed her birthmarks posed no health risk.

She has been told by doctors that operating is not possible, as there are too many birthmarks – and the number will increase throughout her life.

With the high volume of birthmarks, she also has to take more care in the sun, as she has higher chance of developing skin cancer.


12 things you probably didn’t know about Animal Farm

George Orwell at the height of his success (Picture: AP Photo)

A staple of the high school curriculum since the 1950s, George Orwell’s Animal Farm was perhaps the first time most of us were introduced to the concept of a story with a hidden meaning.

On the surface, the undisputed classic is a simple tale of a dying pig who inspires his fellow oppressed animals to stage a rebellion against their cruel human owner.

But as any student who had a copy of its York Notes will know, the book was actually intended as a thinly-veiled attack against the evils of Joseph Stalin’s dictatorship.

To mark its 70th anniversary (it was first published on August 17, 1945), here’s a look at 12 Animal Farm facts you probably weren’t taught in your English class.

1. The book was shaped by Orwell’s experience in the Spanish Civil War

Orwell first wrote about his experiences during the Spanish Civil War for his 1938 non-fiction classic, Homage to Catalonia.

His time escaping the communist purges in Spain also inspired him to expose ‘how easily totalitarian propaganda can control the opinion of enlightened people in democratic countries’. Animal Farm was the result.

2. T.S. Eliot rejected it

Animal Farm rejector T.S. Eliot (Picture: Getty Images)

T.S. Eliot praised the book’s ‘good writing and fundamental integrity’ after receiving a copy at the Fable and Fable publishing house he served at as director.

But the seminal poet still refused to accept the novel unless Orwell presented a viewpoint ‘more sympathetic with the Trotskyites’.

3. The farm setting was inspired by a 10-year-old boy

Orwell also became inspired to set the satirical tale on a farm after watching a young boy whipping a carthorse whenever it tried to turn:

‘It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.’

4. A Russian spy thwarted its publication

Orwell initially had great difficulty in getting the manuscript for Animal Farm published, largely due to fears over its anti-Russian sentiment.

The book finally looked set to see the light of day when it was accepted by British publisher Jonathan Cape.

However, the company swiftly changed their minds after being warned off by Peter Smollett, a government official who was later revealed to be a Soviet spy.

5. Early reviews weren’t always kind

Since its publication, Animal Farm has been named one of the 100 best English-language novels by Time magazine, won a Hugo Award and been included in the prestigious Great Books of the Western World selection.

However, some of its early reviews weren’t as glowing, with the New Republic in particular describing it as ‘dull, inconsistent and full of stereotypes’.

6. The book made Orwell a household name

Orwell’s Animal Farm follow-up (Picture: Aaron Tam)

Although several of Orwell’s previous non-fiction efforts (The Road To Wigan Pier, Homage To Catalonia) have since become just as celebrated, Animal Farm was his first commercial success and ultimately paved the way for his even more acclaimed follow-up, 1984.

7. Orwell’s wife died shortly before its publication

Sadly, Orwell’s wife Eileen – his biggest champion – wasn’t able to witness his new-found popularity.

His spouse of nine years died of cardiac failure while under anaesthetic for a hysterectomy on March 29, 1945, less than six months before Animal Farm first hit the shelves.

8. It’s been adapted twice for the big screen

Animal Farm was first given the big-screen treatment in 1954 with the first ever British animated feature to get a theatrical release.

A live-action remake featuring the voices of Patrick Stewart, Kelsey Grammar and Pete Postlethwaite was released to mixed reviews in 1999.

9. Animal Farm isn’t its full title

Orwell originally called his book Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, but the subtitle was dropped by American publishers in 1946 and omitted by all but one of the translations during Orwell’s lifetime.

10. The book was later illustrated by Quentin Blake

Celebrated illustrator Quentin Blake (Picture: Dan Kitwood)

Best-known for his work on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s stories, Quentin Blake was asked to illustrate an edition of Animal Farm by London publishers The Folio Society in 1984.

11 years later, cartoonist Ralph Steadman took on the same role for a special 50th anniversary edition.

11. It was banned in the Eastern Bloc

Unsurprisingly, due to its themes, Animal Farm was banned by the Eastern Bloc countries until the collapse of communism in 1989.

12. It’s been immortalized in song several times

Animal Farm has been referenced in or inspired songs by everyone from hip-hop duo Dead Prez to satirical post-punks Half Man Half Biscuit, with Radiohead, R.E.M. and Pink Floyd just some of the other bands who have also paid homage.


ENTERTAINMENT INTERVIEW: I have sex three to four times everyday - Maheeda

Whenever the name, Maheeda is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is controversy, sex, nudity and promiscuity.

The goddess of X and Naija Bad Girl as she is fondly called by her fans isn’t afraid to go nude as she’s constantly releasing nude photos of herself online and sexually explicit videos.

Showtime Celebrity visited her studio in Dolphin Estate, Lagos, where she opens up on her sex life and more…

What have you been up to in recent times?
I’ve been bad, I’ve been naughty… You’ve seen Naija Bad Girl video and Lasgidi Chick. Now, I’m trying to see if I can drop one single before the end of the year. But I’m not sure that will be possible because I’m shooting the video in November. So, It could be next year.

What is the inspiration behind your “Naija Bad Girl” song?
I had this vision of what’s happening right now. Like I’m very bad, like I’m the baddest girl in Nigeria which is not true. So, my vision is actually to see my posters in people’s bedrooms and stuff like that. I want to be that sex symbol one can imagine of.

Why do you want to be a Sex symbol?
Because it works abroad. It could work here too. I had my challenges. They are still there but there’s no stopping me because I know that for anything new you have to fight for it

But why are you leveraging on being a sex symbol?
Because sex sells. I want to make money and also, I want to make my name. It’s the only space in the Nigerian music industry that is just there, everybody is scared to tread on such a path, so I’m daring it.

You came back from Holland recently. What were you doing there?
I went to Holland because of my daughter. She’s about to enter High School and I don’t want her to go to school over there. My husband taught me a lot. He opened my mind to see a lot of things in different ways, so, I said alright foreign education would be very nice for my daughter. I actually sacrificed staying in Nigeria for my daughter.

What really made you start putting those videos online?
To attract attention. I knew it’s going to draw the desired attention to me. So, that’s why I did it and like I said, sex sells and that’s just one of the ways to show it off.

What message are you trying to convey with your nude pictures and videos?
I don’t know if I’m trying to convey any message or I’m just doing my business. I think I’m just entertaining my fans. Sometimes, you add your personal life and culture and stuff like that to it. But for me, its business right now.

Do you make money from it?
Right now, Yes. I have this Australian tour coming up and they have already paid me. I’m not going to tell you how much but imagine going online to buy tickets. So, you know how much already I’ve been paid.

What does sex mean to you?
It’s like food, it’s like shower. I’m trying to say it’s natural, it comes naturally. Your body would request for it. Sometimes my body would request for it like 4 times a day, maybe 5, maybe once but anytime sha, we go do am well

Like how much do you get paid for your sex stuff?
I also do modeling in Holland. If you change the money it would run into millions of naira.

How about guys who want to get down with you and pay you for sex?
I don’t do that. I do Modeling and Entertainment also, strictly business. Some people just want you to be a waiter and they want you to look sexy, that also goes.

Have you ever been approached by someone who is willing to pay to have sex with you?
Yes, a lot of them all over the world. But I turn them down because of my husband.

But your husband won’t know about such game?
My husband is a very nice guy and I think I owe him that, at least. I’ve done a lot that not all guys can really tolerate. I owe him that respect.

Do you believe prostitution should be legalized?
Yes, because I’ve been there. I’ve been with these girls and I know what they are going through and I’ve been to Holland where I think prostitution is legalised. I see the way they handle it. It won’t be bad here because it’s everywhere anyway and they’re not stopping it, so why not just legalise it and let’s just know its happening. I mean it’s everywhere.

As a woman, what turns you on sexually?
Appearance, a little bit rugged and strong presence. Also, character is part of it. He has to have a good heart.

Is it a must for you to have sex every day?
Yes, it’s a must. It’s necessary… If it doesn’t happen, that means I’m travelling or something like that.

Let’s assume your husband is not in Nigeria?
I’ll masturbate. I will use my sex toys to satisfy myself.

Would you compare it to the real thing?
Not at all, it’s impossible. You can’t even compare wearing condom with the real thing but it’s necessary.

What do you consider your selling point?
I think it’s my body and now it’s becoming my life story also. People are beginning to really want to know more about me, about Caroline not even Maheeda

How often do you have sex as the goddess of X?
Early in the morning, maybe late at night but when my husband is not in town then I’ll try the dildos. I have a lot of dildos, different colors and different types. I’m even thinking maybe I should just open a sex shop, it’s even better

Are you addicted to sex?
I love sex, everybody is addicted to sex. Why does everybody just think I’m the only one? If there’s no sex, I won’t be normal. Everything will just be sexy to me

Do you think there will be a time when you’ll stop having sex?
I don’t pray for that time. Till I’m old, I would like to have sex

How long have you been in Nigeria?
I just arrived the country this week.

Within this period, have you had sex?
Yes, my husband is in Nigeria. I had sex this morning.

Have you ever had a threesome?
I did that long time ago but now with my husband, no. I don’t want these girls to take him away from me.

What is the wildest thing you’ve ever done in the bedroom?
I was with a guy and he was really not good in bed. Suddenly, his brother came in, and I just had sex with him as well as his brother.

Was he in the same room with his brother?
No, but he disappointed me in bed. And since I needed it and his brother was available, so I had to do it with him. It was one after the other. People see me as a bad girl now, but I think it was before. It was just unbelievable.

Would you say you love sex or it’s just because of the money issue?
Don’t you love sex? The thing is sweet. But what I’m doing is not because I love sex but I mean, when God gives you lemon then you make lemonade. I love sex so I use it and it’s all the same. That’s why it’s natural and it’s working for me.

You were once a gospel singer, why did you decide to switch over?
Gospel wasn’t really working. Moreover, inside me, I was like I don’t think making money in the name of God is really what I wanted to do. They try to justify it, that it’s okay. You can sing and make money in the name of God but deep inside me, it wasn’t working for me then. So, I said if I wanted to make money, let me just make money without carrying the Bible.

Does your conscience ever prick you?
No. If you look at my neck, I have ‘Grace’ tattooed there. That is what is keeping me going. I believe its grace. Even the pastors sin, so I believe it’s just grace that is sustaining me and allowing me to do what I’m doing today. That’s just what I believe in, and I try not to judge myself and I don’t judge people too.

What’s your view of religion?
For me, if it’s not love, if you don’t speak with love then forget it. I don’t want to be a part of it. It has to be love. If you want to kill me because of religion then I don’t think you have love inside. May be, it’s wrong but that’s my belief and I believe people should respect other people’s beliefs

Has your daughter watched your nude videos?

What’s her reaction?
She’s proud of me because the way you train your children here is different from the way children are trained abroad. In abroad, you have people doing soap adverts and they’re completely naked. They just hide what I was hiding also and it’s normal

What if she decides to do what you’re doing?
Right now, she’s under my care. I won’t allow her but when she’s up to 18 and she might say “mommy, I saw what you did and I want to do the same.” I’ll say it’s your choice. People have to make their choices. I mean my mom wasn’t a nudist or whatever, she was a very nice woman but look at me today. I’m not saying I’m not nice but I’m trying to say she didn’t go showing off all her body everywhere. Nobody even knew her but look at me. I mean pastors’ children also end up in club so you can’t really say because of what mommy is doing, that means the daughter would do the same. I don’t believe that.

$180m HALLIBURTON SCANDAL: Two ex-Heads of State battle Jonathan

Following the directive by President Goodluck Jonathan that the investigative report into the $180 million Halliburton bribery scandal be re-opened and the major culprits re-arrested, Vanguard gathered that this has resulted in a fall out between two former heads of state and President Jonathan.

The two former heads of state (names withheld) were said to have been found in the investigative report to have benefitted from the sharing of the Halliburton bribe money using fronts who have already confessed that they were only fronting for their principals.

Incidentally, when the investigation team took off from Abuja sometime in 2010 and landed in Ibadan on their way to the home of one of the indicted persons, Bodunde Adeyanju, to recover documents relating to how the Halliburton bribe money was collected and disbursed, the team was sent back to Abuja from the Ibadan airport.

Jonathan determined to prosecute suspect
It was gathered that President Jonathan is determined to prosecute those found wanting in the bribery scandal to demonstrate not only to Nigerians who feel he is a toothless bulldog when it comes to fighting corruption, but also to show the international community that corrupt people, no matter their status in the society, can be brought to book in Nigeria.

And as part of this determination, it was gathered that an approval has been secured by the five-man inter-agency panel headed by the Inspector General of Police, including EFCC, SSS, and ICPC, to travel to France, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Spain to confirm the foreign leg of the investigations which mostly involves wiring of the funds, the amounts and the account holders.

It will be recalled that this aspect of the investigation was to be carried out in 2010, as the visas had been acquired and about N50million meant for the trip and investigation expenses made available but the trip was called off following pressure said to have been mounted on the office of the Attorney General of the federation by a former head of state.

Already, Vanguard gathered that the US government has sent a letter to the Federal Government warning that it may apply certain amount of sanctions in line with international anti-corruption protocols if the culprits are not prosecuted and if the $26.5 million paid by Julius Berger as Plea Bargain is not located and given to the Police.

Meanwhile, the Police authorities are said to be working round the clock to unravel the mystery surrounding whereabouts of the Julius Berger plea bargain money with the Inspector General of Police vowing that the money must be found.

It was gathered that as part of investigation on the matter, all the receipts of plea bargain money returned by other suspects during investigation, and whose amounts were lodged in such government accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Finance, Accountant General’s office and the office of the Accountant General of the federation have been recalled and the monies located except that returned by Julius Berger.

It will be recalled that President Jonathan had directed the Police to resuscitate the investigative report of the $180million Halliburton scam following America ’s insistence that the culprits in the bribery scandal must be brought to book before the $130million in US coffers can be returned to Nigeria .

America also insisted that the $26.5million plea bargain money returned by Construction giant, Julius Berger, must be located and made available to Police following suspicion that the money has developed legs and ended up in some person’s pocket.

Since the directive there has been confusion over the whereabouts of the huge amount of money and this according to sources has angered President Jonathan who has subsequently charged the Attorney General of the federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke to fish out the money and make it available to the Police by end of this week.

The decision to task the Attorney General with the assignment according to sources followed conflicting statements by both Julius Berger, office of the Accountant General of the federation and the Police investigators about the true position of the funds. One account said the money was in the possession of the Accountant General of the federation. Another account said the money was being kept in the office of the AGF while the Police said they are at a loss of the money’s whereabouts.

Julius Berger one of the companies indicted in the Halliburton $180 million bribery scandal had opted for a plea bargain in order to be speared the prosecution process following the conclusion of the 5 man inter-agency investigation panel.


WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT| EXCLUSIVE: The Mediterranean’s grim tide - shocking never before seen pictures of migrants' bodies washed up on beach in Libya - PHOTOS

Bodies of hundreds of migrants who drowned trying to reach Europe by sea are washing up on Libyan beaches

Volunteers from the Libyan Red Crescent Society collect the remains every day along a 100-mile coastline stretch 

Remains, some just piles of bones, handed to authorities who record the deaths and bury them in unmarked graves

Source: The Mail

Ooni of Ife: With Oba Sijuwade interred, titanic succession battle begins

Ooni of Ife goes home to join his ancestors. Photo credit: kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com

With the burial formalities of the immediate past Ooni of Ife, Okunade Sijuwade, now completed, a titanic succession battle has kicked off in Ile-Ife.

An insider in the Ife ruling house expected to fill the vacant stool told PREMIUM TIMES a selection progress was already underway and that those desirous of the revered position have been asked to formally indicate interest.

There are four ruling houses in Ile-Ife – Lafogido, Giesi, Ogboru, and Oshikola.

Oba Sijuwade, who reigned between 1980 and 2015, is of the Ogboru royal lineage.

The next Ooni will most likely emerge from the Giesi ruling house which last produced an occupant to the position – Ooni Derin Ologbenla – between 1880 and 1894.

The other royal houses have also taken turns to produce Obas for the ancient town at various times.

The Ogboru lineage produced Oba Adelekan Olubuse I, who reigned between 1894 and 1910, with the Lafogido ruling house producing his successor, Oba Ademuluyi Ajagu (1910-1930).

Oba Sijuwade’s predecessor, Adesoji Aderemi, who reigned between 1930 and 1980, came from the Oshikola ruling house.

Believing that it is their right to produce the next Ooni, members of the Giesi ruling house have begun a flurry of activities they expect would culminate in one of them succeeding Mr. Sijuwade.

They met Saturday, August 15 at the Akodi Agbedegbede family house in Ile-Ife, a source said.

An Insider told PREMIUM TIMES the meeting, presided over by Pa Aderibigbe, a 91-year old elder in the ruling family, was well attended by hundreds of princes, princesses and elders of the royal lineage.
“The meeting, called only after the formal announcements by the Ife chiefs, was in respect to the laws and tradition of the royal families, Our source said.
“Tributes were paid to the long and happy reign of Oba Alayeluwa Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II and prayers were said for the repose of his soul with his fore fathers.”

He said at the meeting, the elders of the Giesi ruling house “announced and affirmed that the time is now for the process of filling the gap created in the Kingship of Ile-Ife to commence”.

The legal process and content of the law that guides the selection of the Ooni was publicly presented to all the princes and princesses present, he said.

He added, “First it was established that Giesi ruling house is set and in-turn to produce the next Ooni of Ile-Ife. Secondly, it was communicated as stated in the law, that 14 days from when the vacancy occurred, the ruling house is obliged to make a presentation of candidate(s) to the local government.
“Thereafter it was communicated that the basis of the selection will be from male children who are offspring of both male and female children of Giesi ruling house. 
“An invitation was given to all interested princes of Giesi ruling house to obtain and complete the prescribed form, return the form to the family within the next couple of days after which they will be screened. Elders then screen and select as many as they feel comfortable with. 
“Post screening, the names will be submitted to the kingmakers within a period of 14 days from the vacancy of the stool. The kingmakers make consultations with the oracle before forwarding their approved list to the local government. 
“The emergence of the Ooni will depend on how quickly the oracle selects the appropriate occupier to the throne of Ife. 
“This is the correct process and procedure and nobody is precluded.”

Our source said one of those interested in the position is Oba Bankole Adewale Ojutalayo, the Laroka of Wankin, and a great grandson of Ooni Derin Ologbenla.

Mr. Ojutalayo is said to have, in the last five years, worked in Ile-Ife to maintain peace, develop townships and was instrumental in the installation of a number of Obas within the Ife kingdom.

He is also said to be prominent in the council of Sookos, contributing to the progress and development of that council.


White House Launches Program Aimed At Combating Rise In Heroin Deaths

President Obama

Heroin overdose deaths in the United States nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013.

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (Reuters) - The White House announced a new strategy on Monday to tackle the explosion in heroin use in a collection of eastern states, focusing on treating addicts rather than punishing them and targeting high-level suppliers for arrest.

The move is a response to a sharp rise in the use of heroin and opiate-based painkillers, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has described as an epidemic.

Heroin use has more than doubled among people aged 18-25 in the United States in the past decade, according to CDC figures, while overdose death rates have nearly quadrupled. An estimated 45 percent of U.S. heroin users are also addicted to prescription painkillers.

Announcing the 'Heroin Response Strategy' on Monday, Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy, said the new plan will address the heroin and painkiller epidemics as both "a public health and a public safety issue."

Under the plan, $2.5 million of $13.4 million in new funding to combat drug trafficking will target regions the White House said are facing a severe heroin threat: Appalachia, New England, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.

The Obama administration will work with local law enforcement to increase access to treatment for addicts and try to trace the sources of heroin trafficking.

The policy is in line with new criminal justice strategies that seek to treat more drug offenders as addicts within the public health system rather than as criminals who must serve long sentences in jail.

Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island have pushed for such policies for more than a year in Congress.

(Reporting By Julia Edwards; Editing by Bill Rigby)


Football: Pedro Rodriguez’s transfer to Manchester United from Barcelona ‘hits standstill as they haggle over £3.6million’

Pedro Rodriguez looked set to move to Old Trafford tomorrow (Picture: Getty Images)

Manchester United’s transfer move for Pedro Rodriguez has reportedly hit a standstill as they haggle with Barcelona over a measly £3.6million.

The Red Devils were set to push through a move for the Spanish World Cup winner on Tuesday but there are fears that it will now be delayed.

Barcelona are frustrated that £3.6m of the deal has been offered in add-ons rather than as a full cash amount.

United have currently offered £17.8m in cash with the add-ons but Barcelona want the full £21.4m up front.

The Catalan giants are frustrated that United have the money to complete the deal having sold Angel di Maria but are haggling over such a small price.

Barcelona are growing frustrated after United’s move for Thomas Muller (Picture: Getty Images)

They are particularly annoyed as United continue to offer such large sums of money for Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller, according to Sport.

Nonetheless, a deal is still expected to be completed.


Football News: Jose Mourinho ‘sending Chelsea representatives to Italy this week to seal Godfred Donsah transfer’

Several clubs want to sign Godfred Donsah (Picture: Getty)

Jose Mourinho will reportedly send Chelsea representatives to Italy this week to seal the transfer of Cagliari’s Godfred Donsah.

The midfielder, 19, is rated as one of the most exciting prospects in Europe and has attracted the attention of several of Europe’s elite clubs.

Arsenal, Spurs and Juventus have been linked with Donsah but, according to the Daily Star, Mourinho has given his board the green light to secure his signature before the window closes.

Representatives from Stamford Bridge will apparently travel to Italy this week to seal the deal, with the Serie A outfit looking for a fee in the region of £10million for the Ghanaian.