P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Odd News http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Fri, 27 Mar 2015 01:19:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Giant rats sniff out TB in Mozambique http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/24/giant-rats-sniff-out-tb-in-mozambique/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/24/giant-rats-sniff-out-tb-in-mozambique/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 06:00:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=234060 Rat Mozambique

Giant rats may strike fear and disgust into the hearts of homeowners worldwide, but researchers in impoverished Mozambique are improbably turning some of them into heroes.

At Eduardo Mondlane University in the capital Maputo, nine giant rats are busy at work — sniffing out tuberculosis-causing bacteria from rows of sputum samples.

These are no ordinary rats, as they have undergone six months of training in Tanzania. Their most distinguishing asset is their impeccable sense of smell.

Placed inside a glass cage, a rat darts from sample to sample, then stops or rubs its legs, indicating that a sample is infected with a TB causing bacteria.

Once the task is complete, it is given a treat through a syringe for a job well done.

“Within 30 minutes, the rat can test close to a hundred samples, which normally takes a laboratory technician four days,” said Emilio Valverde, TB program director at APOPO, the organisation leading the research.

The project, which started in February 2013, has brought hope to thousands of TB sufferers who sometimes receive false results and test negative using the standard laboratory system.

In 2006, tuberculosis was declared a national emergency in Mozambique, with 60,000 people in 2014 said to be infected, according to the ministry of health.

That number was a 10 percent increase from 2013.

Samples delivered to the university for testing are collected from 15 health centres across Maputo.

– Rats in training –

Belgian group APOPO is planning to expand the program to other parts of the country, while working on getting the system approved by the World Health Organization.

The organisation claims rat testing is more cost effective than other conventional methods.

Each rat costs around $6,700 to $8,000 to train, with a six-to-eight-year life span.

The cost is lower compared to rapid diagnostic test GeneXpert, which costs up to $17,000 per device, setting the state back between $10 and $17 per test.

The kitten-size rats are also used by APOPO to detect landmines by sniffing out explosives.

They are light enough to cross terrain without triggering the mines, and are followed by de-mining experts who reward the rats with bananas.

The rats weigh up to 1.5 pounds and are said to be “easier to catch and train” — according to Valverde.

Samples pointed out by the rats to contain TB bacteria are then sent for further tests using fluorescence microscopy, a more sensitive laboratory technique.

The results are sent back to health centres, allowing patients to start treatment early.

Although TB is a treatable disease, in underdeveloped countries like Mozambique it can be deadly if left untreated and is particularly harmful to people living with HIV.

Mozambique is one of the countries worst affected by TB and 1 in 10 adults is HIV-positive.

With World Tuberculosis Day being marked on Tuesday, the Mozambican Ministry of Health said it was cautiously monitoring the APOPO work.

“This technique has to be compared to others that are available and already WHO approved, such as GeneXpert or LED microscope,” said Ivan Manhica, who heads the national programme for tuberculosis at the health ministry.

According to the WHO, TB killed 1.5 million people in 2013.

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China tax policy forces couples to divorce http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/20/china-tax-policy-forces-couples-to-divorce/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/20/china-tax-policy-forces-couples-to-divorce/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 06:18:54 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233688 Photo: traditions.cultural-china.com

Photo: traditions.cultural-china.com

Twice as many divorced couples are remarrying in China’s financial capital Shanghai as did so before fiscal changes made splitting up a way to avoid property taxes, reports showed Friday.

In 2013 China applied a 20 per cent capital gains tax on the profits owners make from selling residential property, as part of efforts to rein in rampant speculation and prices that were soaring at the time.

But the terms let couples with two properties sell them tax-free under certain conditions if they divorced and put each house into one person’s name — after which they could get back together.

The policy triggered “an avalanche of divorce cases in many cities nationwide”, the China Daily reported.

A total of 17,286 divorced couples remarried each other in Shanghai last year, it said, citing official data. In 2012, before the changes, the figure was only 8,068, according to other reports.

Similar increases have been seen in cities including the Jiangsu provincial capital Nanjing as residents retied the knot “after taking advantage” of the loophole, the China Daily said.

“The extraordinary surge in the remarriage rate shows that a large proportion of those who divorced did so in the fake way,” it quoted Ming Li, deputy director of the China Marriage and Family Counselling Centre, as saying.

Some divorcing couples would bring parents and children along when they filed for separation, she added, “as if the entire family was attending a joyful event”.

In Nanjing, nearly 25,000 divorced couples reunited last year, making up nearly 30 percent of total marriages, the city’s Yangtse Evening Post reported in January.

But new divorces have fallen as the property market has cooled, it said.

Starting from 2010, major Chinese cities limited families to one new apartment purchase and imposed other restrictions, including higher down-payments and mortgage interest rates for second homes, as price rises fuelled public anger.

The measures have been phased out in many areas in recent months as sales volumes drop.

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Saudi ‘gang’ leader 44th beheaded in 2015 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/12/saudi-gang-leader-44th-beheaded-in-2015/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/12/saudi-gang-leader-44th-beheaded-in-2015/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 13:20:30 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232992 Death by hanging

The beheading of a gang leader in Saudi Arabia on Thursday raised the number of executions carried out this year to 44, already more than half the total for 2014.

Amnesty International says Saudi Arabia is “well on track” to far exceed previous annual execution records.

Mansour bin Habeeb bin Mahdi Khalfan, a Saudi, was put to death Thursday in the kingdom’s eastern region after having been convicted of “leading a gang” dealing in hashish, money laundering and forged documents, the interior ministry said.

According to an AFP tally, Khalfan was the 44th local or foreigner executed this year in Saudi Arabia, which Amnesty says has regularly been among the world’s top five executioners.

London-based Amnesty says around half of this year’s executions have been for drug-related offences.

The interior ministry cites deterrence as a reason for the punishment, while warning of “the physical and social harm” caused by drugs.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s version of sharia Islamic law.

The Gulf state has carried out around 80 executions annually since 2011, with 87 last year by AFP’s tally.

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Iranian woman, 20, marries 10 men under 2 years http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/08/iranian-woman-20-marries-10-men-under-2-years/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/08/iranian-woman-20-marries-10-men-under-2-years/#comments Sun, 08 Mar 2015 14:07:45 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232560 President Hassan Rouhani of Iran

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran

A young Iranian woman accused of marrying — and divorcing — 10 men in less than two years under an elaborate con trick has been charged with fraud, state media reported Sunday.

The alleged deception was made possible under Islamic rules that entitle a woman to a financial sum agreed before marriage but retrievable “on demand” any time after a ceremony takes place.

In Iran, an Islamic republic that has followed sharia law since the 1979 revolution, a soon-to-be bride sets a Mehrieh payment with her fiance — a dowry traditionally measured in gold coins.

In the case of the 20-year-old accused — who denies the charges — she married the men and immediately demanded her payment, never consummating the relationships, according to Iran, a daily newspaper.

The men had to pay half the Mehrieh payment to avoid breaking the law, but the woman said she actually agreed a 100-110 gold coin settlement, technically less than she could have claimed.

In each case, she then pressured her husbands for a divorce, the paper said.

A divorced woman in Iran can wipe her husband’s name off her identity card if she can prove — using a doctor — she is still a virgin. The woman is accused of repeatedly taking such steps to conceal her past from her unsuspecting victims.

“I don’t see why I have to answer these questions,” she defiantly told a court investigator who had summoned all 10 husbands to court, the report said.

“I’m innocent. All my marriages have been legal and all my husbands married me at their own will and then we split up based on our differences.

“Under the law, since I was still a virgin, they had to pay half the dowry, and I would agree 100 to 110 gold coins and then would legally request my ID card to be cleaned of their names.”

It remains common among Iranian women to secure their marriage with an “on demand” clause on their dowry, which often goes beyond a few hundred gold coins.

The accused’s alleged money-making scheme was eventually discovered by staff at Tehran’s public register office, who had become suspicious of her frequent visits to change her ID card.

A criminal court has charged her with fraud and scam in marriage and set a trial for her case, although no date for proceedings was published.

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Albino killers sentenced to death in Tanzania http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/06/albino-killers-sentenced-to-death-in-tanzania/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/06/albino-killers-sentenced-to-death-in-tanzania/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2015 08:43:05 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232246 A court in Tanzania has sentenced four people to death for the murder of an albino woman who was killed so her hacked-off limbs could be used in magic, officials said Friday.

The sentencing comes after Tanzania’ President Jakaya Kikwete blasted the wave of killings of albinos, whose body parts are used for witchcraft, as a “disgusting and big embarrassment for the nation”.

The killers who were convicted include Charles Nassoro, the husband of the murdered woman. Court officials in Mwanza, northwest Tanzania, said the victim had her legs and right hand hacked off with an axe and machete after being attacked while eating dinner in her village.

“The prosecution has proved the case beyond reasonable doubt,” High Court judge Joaquine Demello told state radio after Thursday’s verdict.

She also told the Citizen newspaper the sentence had also taken into account “the escalating killing of people with albinism in the country”.

An albino boy: attacks rampant in Tanzania

An albino boy: attacks rampant in Tanzania

According to a UN expert, attacks on people with albinism have claimed the lives of at least 75 people since 2000, and that albino body parts sell for around $600, with an entire corpse fetching $75,000.

Despite the handing down of the death penalty, Tanzania has had a de facto moratorium on capital punishment and carried out its last execution, by hanging, in 1994. There are currently 17 people on death row in the country for killing albinos.

Earlier this week Tanzania’s president met with albino rights activists, promising firm action to stop the murders.

“The government has long tried to do everything possible to stop the killings, we are very serious with this. But we still need to enhance our efforts to bring to an end these killings, which are disgusting and a big embarrassment to the nation,” Kikwete said in a statement.

Albinism is a hereditary genetic condition which causes a total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. It affects one Tanzanian in 1,400, often as a result of inbreeding, experts say. In the West, it affects just one person in 20,000.

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Mexican mayor lifts woman’s dress, sparking anger http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/mexican-mayor-lifts-womans-dress-sparking-anger/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/04/mexican-mayor-lifts-womans-dress-sparking-anger/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 21:53:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232111 Mayor Hilario Ramirez undressing the woman

Mayor Hilario Ramirez undressing the woman

A Mexican mayor who once said he stole “a little bit” from public funds sparked outrage again after lifting a woman’s dress while dancing on stage during his lavish 44th birthday bash.

Mayor Hilario Ramirez says he let himself be “moved by the emotion of the party” attended by 50,000 people in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit on Saturday.

In a video that has gone viral online, the mustachioed mayor is seen dancing closely with the woman and lifting her minidress, which she quickly brings back down, as a band plays on stage.

“When one is happy, and the women are happy, one doesn’t calculate. It’s not an excuse, but I do ask for forgiveness from my friend Rosita,” he told Milenio television late Tuesday, wearing a cowboy hat and a shirt with several open buttons, partly exposing his chest.

“Now that I see myself in the media, cabron (damn), it’s not good. I am sorry. I know it’s a great offense for women because I come from a woman, I have a mother, sisters, daughters,” he said.

Ramirez, however, said he did not regret holding the party in his hometown of Huaristemba. He is the mayor of San Blas, a 43,000-population town that elected him twice.

Asked about reports that the party cost 15 million pesos ($1 million), Ramirez said he did not know for sure but insisted that no public funds were spent.

“It could have been more, or it could have been less. … I don’t ask how much this or that cost,” he said.

Ramirez made headlines when he said during a 2014 campaign meeting that he had stolen “poquito” (a little bit) from public coffers.

He now says he was joking.

“If I were a thief, I wouldn’t have been elected mayor twice,” he said.

Congresswomen asked for sanctions and urged the finance ministry to investigate whether public funds were used for the party.

“This man dares to lift a woman’s dress twice to sexually abuse her. We won’t allow it. This man shouldn’t be mayor,” leftist deputy Martha Lucia Micher told Congress this week.

Ramirez, meanwhile, said he plans to redeem himself by organizing a new party for International Women’s Day on March 8.

“It’s a bash. You give presents. You dance, but with hands like this,” he said, holding both arms straight against his sides.

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Navy arrests 7 suspected stowaways http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/26/navy-arrests-7-suspected-stowaways/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/26/navy-arrests-7-suspected-stowaways/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 07:56:58 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231310 File Photo: Suspected oil thieves arrested by the Nigerian Navy

File Photo: Suspected oil thieves arrested by the Nigerian Navy

The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT on Wednesday in Lagos said it had arrested seven suspects for stowing away in a foreign vessel bound for Spain.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC), Apapa, Rear Admiral Jonathan Ango, told newsmen in Lagos that the NNS Ikot-Abasi arrested the suspects.

He said, “Preliminary investigations revealed that the arrested persons boarded the vessel while it was discharging its products and their intention was to follow the vessel to Holland.

“On completion of its operations, MT ELECTRA BARI with IMO number 941682 left for Lome, Togo.

“It was while in Togo, it discovered some strange people on board and established communication with NNS Ship Ikot -Abasi.

“They now effected the arrest of seven stowaways.

“The suspects have been handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service for further investigation and prosecution.”

He also stressed that the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Usman Jibrin, had zero tolerance for all maritime crimes within Nigeria’s space.

He called on the criminally minded elements to seek legitimate employment in stead of engaging themselves in “untoward activities”.

The suspects are Kwekwu Asamua, John Okhian, Joe Mcgee, Ibrahim Sola, lkechukwu Obi, Maxwell Madu and Papa Omomobi.

The stowaways were said to have sneaked on board an international maritime vessel; MT ELECTRA BARI ship, which had come to discharge petroleum products at Apapa tank farms.

But were arrested off the Fairway buoy, Lagos.

The captain of the vessel was said to have detected the stowaways and drawn the attention of the commander of NNS Beecroft, Commodore Tekumo Ikoli.

One of the stowaways, Asamua said this would be his second attempt after the first attempt to enter Europe illegally.

Another stowaway, Madu, blamed frustration for attempting to travel abroad.

Also speaking,Omomobi said they tracked the ship’s destination from a device installed in their phones and then picked on the one they deemed useful.

An NIS representative, Supt. Oloruntoba Gabriel of the Marine Command, received the stowaways from Navy.

He said investigations would continue with a view to ascertaining the claims of their nationalities before they could be prosecuted.

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South Korea court to rule on legalising adultery http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/25/south-korea-court-to-rule-on-legalising-adultery/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/25/south-korea-court-to-rule-on-legalising-adultery/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 21:28:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231281 President of South Korea, Park Geun-Hye

President of South Korea, Park Geun-Hye

South Korea’s Constitutional Court is set to rule Thursday on a motion to strike down a controversial law that outlaws adultery and threatens violators with jail time.

It marks the fifth time in 25 years that the apex court has considered the constitutional legality of a 1953 statute which makes South Korea one of the few non-Muslim countries to regard marital infidelity a criminal act.

And the statute isn’t a historical quirk that simply gathers legislative dust.

In the past six years, close to 5,500 people have been formerly arraigned on adultery charges — including nearly 900 in 2014.

But the numbers are falling, and cases that end in prison terms are increasingly rare.

Whereas 216 people were jailed under the law in 2004, that figure had dropped to 42 by 2008, and since then only 22 have found themselves behind bars, according to figures from the state prosecution office.

The downward trend is partly a reflection of changing societal trends in a country where rapid modernisation has frequently clashed with traditionally conservative norms.

In April last year, South Korea blocked the newly launched Korean version of the global adultery hook-up site Ashley Madison, saying it threatened family values.

Adultery can only be prosecuted on complaint from an injured party, and any case is closed immediately if the plaintiff drops the charge — a common occurrence that often involves a financial settlement.

The law is grounded in a belief that adultery challenges the social order and damages families, but critics insist it is an outdated piece of legislation that represents state overreach into people’s private lives.

– ‘Naming and shaming women’ –

The debate over its future has simmered away for some time, bubbling over from time to time especially if a public figure falls foul of the statute.

Such was the case in 2008 when one of the country’s best-known actresses, Ok So-Ri, was given an eight-month suspended sentence for adultery.

Ok had unsuccessfully petitioned the Constitutional Court, arguing that the law amounted to a violation of her human rights in the name of revenge.

The court had previously deliberated the issue in 1990, 1993 and 2001, and in each case dismissed the effort to have it repealed.

But the petitions have come ever closer to securing the support of six members of the court’s nine-judge bench required to strike the statute down.

In 2008, five of the justices deemed the law to be unconstitutional, arguing that adultery could be condemned on moral grounds but not as a criminal act.

The law was originally designed to protect the rights of women at a time when marriage afforded them few legal rights, with most having no independent income and divorce carrying enormous social stigma.

“But it has long lost that relevance,” said Kim Jung-Beom, a lawer and specialist on family law.

“For a start, the number of female ‘offenders’ has increased, and in some ways the law has become a way of naming and shaming women,” Kim said.

He also noted that other laws now provided women with greater legal security in their marriages, and a fair division of assets in the event of divorce.

Defenders of the statute say its loss would encourage sexual depravity, an argument that Kim said had “not a shred of evidence” as support.

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Nigerian woman latest victim in India’s rape capital http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/20/nigerian-woman-latest-victim-in-indias-rape-capital/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/20/nigerian-woman-latest-victim-in-indias-rape-capital/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 16:29:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=230718 Police in Delhi arrested four men on Friday in connection with the alleged gang-rape of a Nigerian woman in a moving car, the latest in a series of sex attacks in the Indian capital.

The 35-year-old, who has been staying in India on a tourist visa, told police the men kidnapped her after midnight on Friday morning outside a popular shopping mall in New Delhi’s Saket area before bundling her into a car.

Policemen mask rape suspects in India

Policemen mask rape suspects in India

They then drove for around half an hour, during which time the alleged gang-rape took place, before pushing her out of the vehicle.

The woman, who cannot be named, was finally rescued after a passerby spotted her on the side of the road in Mayur Vihar, around 20 kilometres (12 miles) away in east Delhi.

“We have received a complaint from the woman and investigations are ongoing,” Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told AFP.

“We have filed a case under relevant sections.”

Bhagat said the four men arrested were Indians, and the car allegedly used had been impounded.

Local media, quoting police sources, said the victim was in an inebriated condition at the time of her rescue and had suffered minor injuries but was released from hospital by Friday afternoon.

Nigerian embassy officials in New Delhi were not available for comment.

The city sealed its reputation as India’s “rape capital” two years ago when a medical student died after being gang-raped on a moving bus, prompting mass protests and triggering a series of policing and legal reforms.

Last year, a driver for US-based online taxi service Uber allegedly sexually assaulted a woman passenger in New Delhi while driving her home from a dinner.

Police figures released earlier this year said 2,069 rape cases were registered in New Delhi during 2014, a 31 percent jump compared to the previous year.

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Monkey Inherits Childless Couple’s Wealth http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/20/monkey-inherits-childless-couples-wealth/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/20/monkey-inherits-childless-couples-wealth/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 12:44:28 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=230631 A childless couple in India has decided to bequeath their entire property – house, land and bank deposits – to their pet monkey.

Sabista and Brijesh Srivastava, residents of Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh state, have set up a trust that would oversee their property after their death and its main beneficiary would be their monkey Chunmun, the Asian Age newspaper reported today.

The couple was in the process of selecting wildlife enthusiasts as members of the Chunmun Trust, which would look after the welfare of monkeys in India, Asian Age and NDTV news channel reported.

Monkey

Monkey

Sabista Srivastava said she got her first monkey Tintin from a neighbour who was maltreating the animal and, when she objected, sold it to her.

Tintin died soon afterwards.

The Srivastavas bought Chunmun in 2005 and brought him up in luxury. His room has an air-conditioner for the summer and a heater in winter.

In 2010, Chunmun was married to Bitti, a female monkey. Every year, on the monkeys’ wedding anniversary, the Srivastavas host a dinner for about 1000 people and feed wild monkeys in the neighbourhood.

“Ever since Tintin and Chunmun came into our lives, we have prospered and we feel it is due to them,” Sabista Srivastava, a laywer, was quoted as saying by Asian Age.

“They are our children and it is our duty to ensure that they are well looked after even when we are gone.”

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‘Man-eating’ tiger shot dead in India http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/19/man-eating-tiger-shot-dead-in-india/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/19/man-eating-tiger-shot-dead-in-india/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 11:56:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=230532 Police line logo

Armed forest guards have shot dead a man-eating tiger in southern India after the animal attacked and killed a farmer and a tea plantation worker, an official said Thursday.

The tiger pounced on the farmer who had entered a forest in the state of Kerala earlier this month, eating most of his body, forest officer C. Badrasamy told AFP.

The same animal then attacked a woman as she worked on a plantation on Saturday, after the tiger apparently roamed into neighbouring Tamil Nadu state on the other side of the forest, Badrasamy said.

“There was panic in the area and angry villagers then started ransacking forest property, demanding that the tiger be killed immediately,” Badrasamy said by phone from Tamil Nadu.

A 50-strong team of forest officers, constables and vets had fanned out across jungle in Tamil Nadu, armed with a photo of the big cat from colleagues in Kerala, before finding and tranquilising it.

But the tiger escaped amid chaotic scenes after some 500 villagers gathered to look at the animal, Badrasamy said.

After it was again spotted in the jungle, the officers tried to use dart guns but opened fire with live rounds on Wednesday as it tried to pounce on a team member.

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Indian couple to leave everything to pet monkey http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/19/indian-couple-to-leave-everything-to-pet-monkey/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/19/indian-couple-to-leave-everything-to-pet-monkey/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 11:13:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=230525 Brajesh Srivastava and his wife Shabista Photo: Sandeep Kumar

Brajesh Srivastava and his wife Shabista
Photo: Sandeep Kumar

A wealthy Indian couple has made a pet monkey their sole heir, saying their lives became more prosperous after they adopted the animal and they want to ensure he is looked after.

Brajesh Srivastava and his wife Shabista have no children, but they view their pet monkey Chunmun as a son and have set up a trust to ensure the animal is looked after if it outlives them.

“People might say we are mad, they might even ridicule us. But we know how valuable Chunmun is to us,” Shabista, 45, told AFP.

“We are childless and Chunmun is a son to me. We want to ensure that even when we are not alive, Chunmun’s life is not affected and he continues to live the way he does.”

The couple, who were cast out after marrying against their family’s wishes, say they were poor when they adopted their monkey in 2004 but have since prospered.

They own the house where they live in Uttar Pradesh state in northern India, and they also have land and savings.

Shabista is a successful lawyer and her 48-year-old husband owns several businesses including a cable TV network and a flour mill — all named after Chunmun.

The monkey has his own air-conditioned room in the couple’s house, which he shares with his ‘wife’ — a female simian named Bitti who the couple has also taken in.

The two monkeys like to eat Chinese food and drink tea and mango juice according to Shabista, who even hosts an annual “wedding anniversary” party for the pair, inviting hundreds of friends to celebrate.

At 10, Chunmun may well outlive the couple — monkeys can live for between 35 and 40 years.

After his death, the money will go towards ensuring the welfare of monkeys in India, where the animals are frequently abused.

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China Publicly Humiliates Imams http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/13/china-publicly-humiliates-imams/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/13/china-publicly-humiliates-imams/#comments Fri, 13 Feb 2015 13:18:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=229827 In another crackdown on religious freedoms, China has forced the imams of eastern Muslim majority district of Xinjiang to dance in the street, and swear to an oath that they will not teach religion to children as well as telling them that prayer is harmful to the soul.

During the incident, reported recently by World Bulletin, Muslim imams were forced to brandish the slogan that “our income comes from the CKP not from Allah.”

State Chinese news said the imams were gathering in a square in the name of civilization where they were forced to dance and chant out slogans in support of the state.

China forces imams of eastern Muslim majority district of Xinjiang to dance in the street, and swear to an oath that they will not teach religion to children as well as telling them that prayer is harmful to the soul.

China forces imams of eastern Muslim majority district of Xinjiang to dance in the street, and swear to an oath that they will not teach religion to children as well as telling them that prayer is harmful to the soul.

The slogans included statements glorifying the state over religion such as “peace of the country gives peace to the soul”.

They also gave speeches telling youth to stay away from mosques, and that the prayer was harmful to their health, encouraging them to dance instead.

Female teachers were instructed to teach children to stay away from religious education and made to swear an oath that they will keep children away from religion.

Uighur Muslims are a Turkish-speaking minority of eight million in the northwestern Xinjiang region.

Xinjiang, which activists call East Turkestan, has been autonomous since 1955 but continues to be the subject of massive security crackdowns by Chinese authorities.

Rights groups accuse Chinese authorities of religious repression against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang in the name of counter terrorism.

Last November, Xinjiang banned the practicing of religion in government buildings, as well as wearing clothes or logos associated with religious extremism.

In August, the northern Xinjiang city of Karamay prohibited young men with beards and women in burqas or hijabs from boarding public buses.

Earlier in July, China banned students and government staff from observing Ramadan fasting, as officials tried to encourage locals in Xinjiang not to wear Islamic veils.

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Boko Haram: HRW Warns Forces Against Right Abuse http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/12/boko-haram-hrw-warns-forces-against-right-abuse/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/12/boko-haram-hrw-warns-forces-against-right-abuse/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 13:13:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=229690 Henry Ojelu

Human Rights Watch, HRW has cautioned the African forces responding to the growing threat from Boko Haram with a multinational military offensive to protect civilians and respect prisoners’ rights.

On February 7, 2015, regional governments, backed by the African Union (AU), created an 8,750-member Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), consisting of security forces from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Benin to respond to Boko Haram.

The Nigerian armed group’s attacks on civilians in the past year alone have resulted in thousands of deaths in Nigeria, and its lethal attacks in neighboring Cameroon and Niger are escalating.

Africa director at Human Rights Watch, Daniel Bekele however warned that regional force needs concrete measures to make sure civilians in the region are protected, along with the hundreds of abductees and child soldiers.

“Respect for human rights, including the rights of prisoners, must not be lost in the urgency of the growing regional threat posed by Boko Haram,” he said.

Bekele noted that it is crucial for the new multinational force to fully abide by international human rights and humanitarian law.

He pointed out that this is essential not only to meet the obligations of AU member countries, but also because abuses committed in the name of fighting Boko Haram are only likely to increase the group’s appeal among residents within and beyond Nigeria who have already borne the brunt of abuse by all parties.

Daniel Bekele

Daniel Bekele

Bekele further observed that serious past abuses by some security forces participating in the multinational force raise concerns about the need for all armed forces to minimize harm to civilians and ensure the humane treatment of all prisoners, in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.

These concerns according to Bekele are heightened by the presence in Boko Haram of child soldiers and many abducted men and boys who have been pressed into a combat role.

Bekele said Nigerian security forces are of particular concern.

“In the course of responding to Boko Haram since 2009, they have used excessive force, torched homes and villages, and tortured and detained thousands of suspects in inhumane conditions. Many of the people they have detained died in custody or were killed.

“Chadian troops in the Central African Republic have also been involved in abuses that are yet to be investigated. They include an indiscriminate attack on a market in Bangui in March 2014 that killed about 30 people and wounded several hundred others, according to the UN.

“We know that hundreds of men, women, and children have been abducted by Boko Haram and are in communities under the group’s control,” Bekele said. “The regional powers carrying out military actions need to take all feasible steps to protect these and other civilians.”

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Nigerian pokes fun at US over measles epidemic, in a viral tweet http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/03/nigerian-pokes-fun-at-us-over-measles-epidemic-in-a-viral-tweet/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/03/nigerian-pokes-fun-at-us-over-measles-epidemic-in-a-viral-tweet/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 08:44:57 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=228712 *It’s pay back time over Ebola hysteria

A Nigerian writer has used the current measles outbreak in the U.S. to poke fun at American’s overreaction to the Ebola virus during which some politicians called for a travel ban on impacted west African countries.

Elnathan John, a writer and lawyer living in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, jokingly called for screenings to prevent the highly contagious measles virus from spreading abroad.
‘Our thoughts are also with the measles-ravaged country America. I hope we are screening them before they come to Africa,’ he tweeted on Sunday.

Elnathan John

Elnathan John

Concerns about people from African countries bringing Ebola into the U.S. reached fever pitch last October after Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan died in a Texas hospital.
Politicians, including Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry, quickly called for an air travel ban from countries hit hardest by the virus which is actually much harder to catch than measles.Elnathan John's tweet

Elnathan john's tweet 2

A Reuters/Ipsos poll last October also found that more than 70 percent of Americans supported such a ban on civilian air travel, although experts questioned how useful such a measure would be in containing the disease.

John’s comment has been retweeted more than 15,000 times, with some people applauding him for his snark and others taking offense, reports Raw Story. He later confirmed via another tweet that he had been joking.
‘I’m just kidding America. You know I love you – measles, guns, Kim Kardashian and all,’ he tweeted.

There remains a growing concern that the U.S. could become gripped by a measles epidemic, according to the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

*Reported by Mail Online

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30,000 Beijing couples apply to have second child http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/20/30000-beijing-couples-apply-to-have-second-child/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/20/30000-beijing-couples-apply-to-have-second-child/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 20:25:49 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=227179 Photo: npr.org

Photo: npr.org

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning said on Tuesday that more than 30,000 Beijing couples have applied to have second child since the capital eased its one-child policy in February 2014.

Zhong Dongbo, the Deputy Head of the Commission, said in Beijing that out of the 30,305 applicants, 28,778 had been approved.

He said the number was, however, lower than the 50,000 expected, adding that “many couples who wanted to have second child chose not to have them this year, but this does not mean that they won’t have them in future.

“Maybe they’re just not ready, maybe it is due to economic cost or time cost or they are contented with one child.”

Dongbo said Beijing was prepared for an increase of 50,000 births every year.

He said an extra 1,000 beds would be arranged in Beijing hospitals within three years.

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12th person beheaded in Saudi Arabia http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/20/12th-person-beheaded-in-saudi-arabia/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/20/12th-person-beheaded-in-saudi-arabia/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:33:58 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=227090 Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded one of its citizens for murder in its 12th execution this year, warning it would mete out the same fate to perpetrators of similar crimes.

Mansour bin Awad bin Ziniegih al-Jabri was sentenced to death after being convicted of shooting dead another Saudi in a family dispute, the interior ministry said.

Authorities carried out the sentence in the central Qassim region, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The government is committed “to maintaining security, realising justice and implementing God’s law on those who shed blood,” the ministry said.

“It warns others tempted to carry out any similar act that their fate will be the same legitimate punishment.”

The conservative kingdom has faced international criticism for its frequent use of the death penalty.

An independent expert working on behalf of the United Nations expressed concern in September about the judicial process in Saudi Arabia, calling for an immediate moratorium on executions.

The kingdom executed 87 people last year, up from 78 in 2013, according to an AFP tally.

Saudi Arabia had the third-highest number of recorded executions in 2013, behind Iran and Iraq, according to rights group Amnesty International.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict version of Islamic sharia law.

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NSCDC arrests man for stealing 8 goats http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/20/nscdc-arrests-man-for-stealing-8-goats/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/20/nscdc-arrests-man-for-stealing-8-goats/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:47:33 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=227063 NSCDC officers

NSCDC officers

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in Jigawa on Tuesday said it arrested a 30-year-old man for allegedly stealing eight goats.

The state NSCDC Commandant, Mr Muhammad Gidado, told NAN in Dutse that the suspect was a resident of Azarawa village in Babura Local Government area of the state.

Gidado said that the suspect allegedly stole the goats from Achiya village in the same local government area but was apprehended in Aujara village of Jahun Local Government.

The commandant said the suspect was arrested after he failed to give satisfactory explanation of the origin of the goats.

According to him, preliminary investigation reveals that the suspect is among a gang terrorising residents of the area and stealing their animals.

Gidado also announced the arrest of a suspected cattle rustler after series of complaints from communities in Guri and Birniwa Local Government Areas over persistent cattle rustling.

The commandant said the man was apprehended following intelligence reports on his movement in the area, while another suspect, believed to be his accomplice was on the run.

Gidado said all the suspects would be prosecuted as soon as investigation was concluded, and reaffirmed the corps resolve to flush out criminals in the state.

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Topless models in eclipse at UK Sun newspaper http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/20/topless-models-in-eclipse-at-uk-sun-newspaper/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/20/topless-models-in-eclipse-at-uk-sun-newspaper/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 03:40:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=227034 Lucy on The Sun+ page 3

Lucy on The Sun+ page 3

British tabloid The Sun will no longer feature topless women on its page three, ending a controversial tradition that has lasted decades, according to reports on Tuesday.

The Times, which like The Sun is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, reported that last Friday’s edition of the tabloid would be the last to feature a topless model.

The four-decade old feature had long been criticised as sexist by campaigners and Murdoch himself described it as “old fashioned” last year.

A petition to stop The Sun, which is one of Britain’s most read newspapers, featuring topless models gathered more than 217,000 signatures.

The No More Page 3 campaign welcomed the change, calling it “truly historic news and a great day for people power”.

On the net, http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ still offers a topless page 3 girl, called Lucy from warwick

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Iran stars warned over ‘selfies’ with women fans http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/19/iran-stars-warned-over-selfies-with-women-fans/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/19/iran-stars-warned-over-selfies-with-women-fans/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 10:15:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=226909 Iran footballers celebrate after scoring a goal

Iran footballers celebrate after scoring a goal

Iran’s footballers have been warned they could face punishment if they take “selfie” pictures with female fans who have turned out in large numbers at the Asian Cup.

The head of the Iranian Football Federation’s moral committee said players risked being used as a “political tool” if snapped with women fans.

Women are banned from attending men’s sports events in the Islamic republic but they have flocked to see Iran’s games at the Asian Cup in Australia.

Ali Akbar Mohamedzade, head of the moral committee of the Iranian Football Federation, issued the warning last week as photos of players with women fans circulated on social media.

“National team players should be aware that they won’t be used as a political tool so that those who take pictures with them don’t use these photos against the players,” Iran’s Shahrvand newspaper quoted him as saying.

“So according to this they should not take photos with everyone. If the players don’t respect this, we will be obliged to take action.”

No detail was given on what punishment the players might face. Enthusiastic male and female fans of Iran, many wearing the team shirt, have been a feature of the Asian Cup.

The scenes contrast with the situation in Iran, where women are banned from men’s sports events on moral grounds.

Iran’s Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz has carefully steered clear of any controversy, giving a firm “no comment” when asked about the presence of women fans.

One female fan Tweeted pictures of goalkeeper Ali Reza Haghighi and midfielder Karim Ansari Fard posing with women, while another photo shows a woman holding an Iranian flag inscribed with a marriage proposal to Haghighi.

Three-time champions Iran are already through to the quarter-finals. Their games have been noisily supported with thousands of fans, some banging drugs and blowing trumpets.

“We are monitoring what is happening in Australia, we haven’t sent any representative to Australia,” Mohamedzade was quoted as saying.

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