P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Odd News http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 04 Jul 2015 06:31:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Iceland parliament legalises blasphemy http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/03/iceland-parliament-legalises-blasphemy/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/03/iceland-parliament-legalises-blasphemy/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 17:55:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=244938 Helgi Gunnarsson: pushed for blasphemy to be legalised

Helgi Gunnarsson: pushed for blasphemy to be legalised

The Parliament of Iceland legalized blasphemy in Stockholm on Friday.

A member of the opposition Pirate Party described it as a great victory for supporters of freedom of speech.

Helgi Gunnarsson, one of three Pirate Party legislators, said the party introduced the proposal in January, shortly after the deadly Islamist attack in Paris on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

He said prior to parliament’s decision, blasphemy violations could be punished with a three-month prison sentence or a fine.

“Even if the anti-blasphemy legislation was not actively enforced, it was perceived as a means to silence people.”

Gunnarsson said the legislation was not targeting any faith, and noted that the old anti-blasphemy law had been “a Christian law.

“Under the old anti-blasphemy law, people do not have the right not to be offended.

“There is legal protection against hate speech or incitement as well as the right to privacy,” he said.

Gunnarsson said at the 63-seat parliament, 43 members voted in favour of the measure, one voted against and three members abstained, while 16 were absent.

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Two men die rescuing a chicken http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/27/two-men-die-rescuing-a-chicken/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/27/two-men-die-rescuing-a-chicken/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 19:45:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=244240 Police logo line

Two men on Saturday died while rescuing a hen that fell into a well in Dawakin Tofa local government area of Kano state, Daily Trust has learnt.

It was gathered that the incident happened in Gargari village of the local government area at about 5am shortly before the Muslims dawn prayers.

The two men are Garba Adamu (60) and Ali Abdullahi (50). The hen belonged to Adamu but his neighbour Abdullahi jumped into the well when Adamu was trapped in it.

Efforts by neighbours to rescue the two men inside the well yielded no result.

When officials of the Kano Fire Service arrived, they maneuvered and removed the men from the deep well only to discover that they had ceased breathing. The chicken too was found dead.

In a telephone interview, the Director of the Kano state fire service, Alhaji Balarabe Kabara confirmed the report, saying his men removed the lifeless bodies of the men.

Kabara who described the death of the men as unfortunate said they have handed over their corpses to the Divisional Police Officer of the local government police division.

“When the first man jumped into the well in order to remove the hen, he drowned thus the other man went inside to rescue the first person,” he said in a phone interview.

It was gathered that the two men have since been buried at the burial ground of the area in line with Islamic injunctions.

When contacted the spokesperson of the Kano Police Command, ASP Magaji Musa Majia confirmed the report, saying the men were pronounced death at the General Hospital.

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Woman, 22, with cocaine in breast implants arrested http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/22/woman-22-with-cocaine-in-breast-implants-arrested/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/22/woman-22-with-cocaine-in-breast-implants-arrested/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 18:00:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=243636 Deyanira Sabillon: Dramatic footage shows moment woman is caught with £75,000 of cocaine in breast implants

Deyanira Sabillon: Dramatic footage shows moment woman is caught with £75,000 of cocaine in breast implants

Colombia police said on Monday that a Honduran woman, carrying 1.5 kg of liquid cocaine in her breast implants, was arrested at the Colombian airport in Bogota.

Airport police, Col. Diego Rosero-Paola, said 22 year-old Deyanira Sabillon, was attempting to travel to Spain, when her apparent nervousness aroused suspicion in the security line.

He said X-rays revealed a recent surgery on Sabillon’s breasts.

Rosero-Paola said during interrogation she confessed that an unknown substance had been implanted in her breast which she was meant to take to Barcelona.

The officer said a preliminary investigation showed that the surgery took place at a clandestine clinic, in the city of Pereira, in western Colombia.

Rosero-Paola sad the implants were removed at a Bogota hospital where Sabillon was also being treated for an infection.

Colombia was a known long a hub for drug production and trafficking.

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South African man rapes goat and strangles it http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/21/south-african-man-rapes-goat-and-strangles-it/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/21/south-african-man-rapes-goat-and-strangles-it/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 14:05:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=243498 Police logo line

A South African has been caught raping a goat in Sharpeville, a report by City Press said.

According to the newspaper, at around 18:30 on Friday a shepherd caught the man when he heard the goat frantically bleating, spokesperson of Gauteng police, Major Mack Mngomezulu said.

“The man undressed himself and then caught the goat, strangled it and started to have sex with it. The goat started to scream and then a shepherd shouted for assistance.”

Members of the community came to the shepherd’s aid and assaulted the man.

“He was rescued by police who took him to the hospital,” Mngomezulu said.

The SPCA was also called to the scene.

The Vereeniging Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said the goat was found alive but died later.

Its carcass was being sent for a post mortem.

Mngomezulu said the man was still in hospital and would be arrested once he was released. The SPCA said it would make sure the “animal rapist” was not granted bail once he appeared in court.

“Animals are not sexual commodities and this is a sick and barbaric crime that took place,” it said.

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Child sacrifice for wealth, power, expected to rise in Uganda http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/15/child-sacrifice-for-wealth-power-expected-to-rise-in-uganda/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/15/child-sacrifice-for-wealth-power-expected-to-rise-in-uganda/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 10:23:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=242767 Jovia Twine, whose daughter was killed and had body parts taken for use in a witchdoctor's ritual, breaks down while the story of her ordeal is told on May 28, 2015, in Luweero, Uganda (AFP Photo/Isaac Kasamani)

Jovia Twine, whose daughter was killed and had body parts taken for use in a witchdoctor’s ritual, breaks down while the story of her ordeal is told on May 28, 2015, in Luweero, Uganda (AFP Photo/Isaac Kasamani)

Luweero (Uganda) (AFP) – Kanani and Sylvia, brother and sister aged nine and eight, were grazing the family cattle in rural Uganda when they were approached by a man they vaguely knew.

Sperito Bisekwa was angry. He accused the children of allowing their cows to eat his fodder and dragged them into a nearby forest. He attacked Kanani first. When the boy awoke he had a machete wound on his neck and his sister lay dead beside him.

“He grabbed me, strangled me and cut the back of my neck. When I came to, I realised my sister had been cut everywhere and she was dead,” said Kanani.

Sylvia’s young body had been gruesomely mutilated, her heart and clitoris cut out with a knife and taken for use in a witchdoctor’s ritual, according to police.

Child sacrifice is a disturbing and widespread phenomenon in Uganda, serious enough that the government has established a special taskforce.

Activists say child sacrifice is not about tradition, but greed as people seek a quick route to wealth or power and with elections due in 2016 they worry killings are set to increase.

– Anti-Human Sacrifice Task Force –

Child sacrifice is “expected to rise”, said Moses Binoga, head of Uganda’s Anti-Human Sacrifice and Trafficking Task Force.

“Now we are going into elections, you will find that there are so many Ugandans, even high profile people, going to witch doctors’ shrines,” said Binoga.

“Some of them will be so desperate that if they’re told to win a seat as an MP ‘You must sacrifice a child’, they’ll do it.”

Binoga said there have been five reported cases of child sacrifice so far this year and nine last year, although those numbers are disputed with activists saying the actual figures are higher.

A sharp rise in reported cases of child sacrifice in 2009 spurred the setting up of Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM), a charity that works with survivors and victims’ families.

Child protection officer Shelin Kasozi said the charity receives a few cases every month, stressing that the ritual murders “cut across all Ugandan society”.

“The rich believe, ‘If I sacrifice then my business will prosper’,” she said. “The poor believe if they sacrifice a child they’ll get rich.”

– Genitals hacked off –

Kanani speaks to his mother Jovia Twiine, at the family home on May 28, 2015, in Luweero (AFP Photo/Isaac Kasamani)

Kanani speaks to his mother Jovia Twiine, at the family home on May 28, 2015, in Luweero (AFP Photo/Isaac Kasamani)

Kasozi pointed to the case of “very, very rich” Kampala businessman Godfrey Kato Kajubi who received a life sentence in 2012 for the ritual murder of a 12-year old boy who was beheaded and his genitals cut off.

Cases of children disappearing as they walk between school and home, or while fetching water from communal wells, can be found across Uganda. Sometimes their dismembered body parts are later discovered in forests or building sites.

Kidnappings and ritual murders are commonly organised by witchdoctors whose clients pay for the killings in the belief that sacrificing a child will lead to wealth and prosperity, cure impotence or boost fertility.

Binoga said it was rare for the financiers to be prosecuted as witch doctors refused to name their clients.

Bisekwa pleaded guilty to the February 2013 attack in Nansaka village, 130 kilometres (80 miles) northwest of the capital Kampala. He is serving a 10-year sentence for the attempted murder of Kanani and awaits sentencing for Sylvia’s murder.

He admits sending the body parts to his brother, a witchdoctor, in exchange for the promise of $16,500 (14,600 euros).

The children’s distraught father, Joseph Nankunda, wants his daughter’s murderer to be given a death sentence.

“I want the death penalty for him, so he can be an example for the others,” said the 48-year-old cattle farmer and father of six.

“My heart beats faster every time my children take a long time coming back. I live in fear every day,” said Nankunda.

In February Uganda’s government drafted a National Action Plan to stem the killings and has approved a bill regulating traditional healers, some of whom practice as witch doctors.

One reformed witch doctor is trying to convert others and persuade them to destroy their shrines.

But Binoga warned child sacrifice may not be easy to stamp out.

“It is based on the mindsets of beneficiaries of the crime,” said Binoga. “As long as we have people who have such a belief, that practice will continue.”

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100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar exchanged for 40 US cents http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/13/100-trillion-zimbabwean-dollar-exchanged-for-40-us-cents/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/13/100-trillion-zimbabwean-dollar-exchanged-for-40-us-cents/#comments Sat, 13 Jun 2015 10:31:12 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=242580 President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe

HARARE (Reuters) – In Zimbabwe, 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar is exchanged for 40 US cent by central bank as it seeks to officially bury the worthless currency but on online auction site eBay, where the currency has become a collector’s item, a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note is fetching up to $35, a small fortune compared with the 40 US cents on offer from the central bank.

The unloved Zimbabwean dollar, ravaged by hyperinflation that peaked at 500 billion per cent in 2008, ceased to be legal tender on Friday as the southern African country switches fully to the US dollar.

The central bank says citizens have until September to exchange their remaining quadrillions of local dollars for a few greenbacks.

But economists say 90 per cent of the economy has been based on the US dollar since 2009, so few people are expected to make a beeline to banks to cash in old notes – especially as they could get a far better deal elsewhere.

“I think this is a waste of time. I would rather sell the money to tourists,” said Shadreck Gutuza, a former currency trader who now buys and sells used cars from Japan.

“Most people either burnt that money or dumped it,” he told Reuters.

On eBay a seller was offering a hundred 50 trillion Zimbabwean dollar notes for $1,000.

Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation was considered by the International Monetary Fund as the worst for any country not at war, and the 100 trillion dollar Zimbabwean dollar note was the single largest known note to be printed by any central bank.

Tourists are known to pay up to $20 for a single note in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

“I buy a 100 trillion note for $10 if they are many, but they have to be clean,” said an Indian trader who sells fabrics in downtown Harare.

The government has set aside $20 million to mop up Zimbabwean dollar notes and to compensate customers who had local currency bank balances before March 31, 2009.

Bank accounts with balances of up to 175 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars – that’s 175,000,000,000,000,000 – will be paid $5. Those with higher balances will get a rate of $1 to 35 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars.

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Wife drags husband to court over alleged phone theft http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/26/wife-drags-husband-to-court-over-alleged-phone-theft/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/26/wife-drags-husband-to-court-over-alleged-phone-theft/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 11:47:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=240502 Nigeria Police Logo

The police on Tuesday arraigned a 38-year-old civil servant, Cyril Agochi, of Federal Government College, Keffi, before a Mararaba Upper Area Court for stealing phone.

Agochi is standing trial on a two-count charge of criminal force and theft.

The police prosecutor, Sgt. Stephen Kwaza, told the court that Doris Agochi of State House Quarters Mararaba, reported the matter at the Sani Abacha Road Police Station, Mararaba.

Kwaza said that on Feb. 17 at about 6:00 p.m., the accused who is her husband, came to her house at the above address, beat her up and stole her phone valued at N15, 000.

The prosecutor said the offences contravened sections 265 and 288 of the Penal Code.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The presiding judge, Mr Vincent Gwehemba, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N50, 000 and one surety in like sum.

He said that the surety must reside within the jurisdiction of the court and must present one passport photograph or a National Identity Card.

Gwehemba adjourned the case to June 6 for further hearing.

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German woman, 65 and mother of 13, has quadruplets http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/23/german-woman-65-and-mother-of-13-has-quadruplets/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/23/german-woman-65-and-mother-of-13-has-quadruplets/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 11:41:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=240229 Annegret Raunigk: mother of 17 and grandmother of seven

Annegret Raunigk: mother of 17 and grandmother of seven

Berlin (AFP) – A 65-year-old German woman, who is already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets after undergoing an artificial insemination procedure in Ukraine, RTL television reported early on Saturday.

The three boys and one girl were born premature at 26 weeks in a Berlin hospital but have “good chances of surviving,” the report said.

The mother, Berlin resident Annegret Raunigk, is an English and Russian teacher close to retirement and in addition to her 13 children is grandmother to seven.

RTL said the new arrivals make her the world’s oldest mother of quadruplets.

She became pregnant after undergoing several artificial insemination procedures in Ukraine, said RTL, which has negotiated exclusive rights to the story of the births.

Raunigk made headlines in April when the German press first reported that her latest artificial insemination attempt had resulted in a quadruple pregnancy.

At the time, she said she decided to try to have another child because her youngest daughter, who is nine, wanted a little brother or sister, according to RTL.

The Bild am Sonntag tabloid quoted Raunigk, whose oldest daughter is reportedly 44, recalling that it was “a shock” when the doctors first broke the news to her of a quadruplet pregnancy.

“After the doctor discovered there were four, I had to give it some thought to begin with.”

But she did not consider reducing the number of embryos and said she had no reservations about the challenge facing her.

“I’m not actually afraid. I simply assume I’ll remain healthy and fit. In matters of organisation I have enough experience, that’s not new for me,” she was quoted as saying in Bild.

Asked about moral doubts, RTL quoted her as asking: “How does one have to be at 65? One must apparently always fit some cliches which I find rather tiring.

“I think, one must decide that for oneself.”

Raunigk made headlines 10 years ago too, when she gave birth to her 13th child, Lelia, at the age of 55.

“At first, I only wanted one child,” Bild quoted her as saying at the time. “Not all were planned. But then things happen. I’m not a planner but rather spontaneous. And children keep me young.”

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Malawi sex workers to get damages over forced HIV tests http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/21/malawi-sex-workers-to-get-damages-over-forced-hiv-tests/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/21/malawi-sex-workers-to-get-damages-over-forced-hiv-tests/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 16:53:04 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=240106 A lab technician works in the viral load room at the Thyolo District hospital in Malawi in November, 2014 ©Marco Longari (AFP)

A lab technician works in the viral load room at the Thyolo District hospital in Malawi in November, 2014 ©Marco Longari (AFP)

A Malawi court has ruled that 11 prostitutes who were forced to take HIV tests by police six years ago will be awarded damages, a court official said Thursday citing a judgement.

The sex workers were rounded up in 2009 in the southern city of Mwanza, hauled to a government hospital for HIV testing without their consent and the results were disclosed in an open court.

High court judge Dorothy Kamanga ordered that the prostitutes “should be compensated and file for compensation within 14 days,” according to the ruling handed down on Wednesday and read out to AFP by a court clerk.

The judge said actions by both police and health workers in subjecting the women to forced HIV tests, and disclosing their status without their consent, were “irrational, unjust, unfair and unreasonable.”

“The authorities took advantage of the women being in police custody to force them to undergo the tests,” she said.

The sex workers, who all tested positive for HIV and were set free after paying a fine equivalent to $7, sued the government for unfair action and violation of their privacy.

Chrispine Sibande, a lawyer who represented the plaintiffs, hailed the ruling as “a victory for sex workers who are usually abused every day.”

The group will have to launch a separate court action to claim the damages.

Health experts estimate that there are around 20,000 sex workers in Malawi.

Up to 10 percent of Malawi’s 15 million people are HIV-positive and 500,000 of them are receiving free life-saving anti-retroviral drugs.

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Netanyahu suspends plan to separate Palestinians, Israelis on same buses http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/20/netanyahu-suspends-plan-to-separate-palestinians-israelis-on-same-buses/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/20/netanyahu-suspends-plan-to-separate-palestinians-israelis-on-same-buses/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 11:23:21 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=239952 Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Wednesday ordered the suspension of a plan to separate Palestinian and Israeli passengers on buses travelling through the West Bank, few hours after the plan was put into effect.

Netanyahu ordered that the plan should be shelved after Palestinians and human rights groups said the move was ‘racist’ and amounted to apartheid.

He ordered the Defence Minister, Moshe Yaalon, to freeze the suspension.

However, the Israeli lawmakers had also slammed the move.

Yaalon said the three-month pilot plan, under which Palestinian travellers would not be allowed on buses being used by the Jewish settlers, was due to security reasons.

He said the decision was taken as a result of the demand made by the Yesha Council of Jewish settlements in the West Bank that they fear for their lives whenever Palestinians board their buses.

The opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, of the centre-left Labour Party said the plan was a stain on the face of the state and it was a miserable decision.

Under the plan, Palestinians working in Israel and who had entered into Israel would have been required to return to the West Bank through the military checkpoint and the new rules would have made their travel times significantly longer.

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Groom’s father kills bride, 5 others at wedding party http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/17/grooms-father-kills-bride-5-others-at-wedding-party/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/17/grooms-father-kills-bride-5-others-at-wedding-party/#comments Sun, 17 May 2015 20:31:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=239675 Police line

Six persons were killed on Sunday when the groom’s father at a wedding in the northern Serbian town of Kanjiza, ran amok, killing the bride, her parents and several others.

After the shooting, which police said was triggered by a family feud, the shooter, 55, committed suicide with his hunting rifle. He was said to be opposed to the wedding: he did not like the bride.

Bride (R) shot by the groom's (L) father

Bride (R) shot by the groom’s (L) father

Serbia’s interior ministry in an e-mailed statement blamed “bad family relationships,” for the killer’s action.

The victims aged between 20 and 70 were family members of the bride and the groom, Belgrade-based newspaper Vecernje Novosti reported.

While police did not confirm how the shooter died, the newspaper said the drunk man killed himself.

*Photos from www.novosti.rs

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7 doctors get kidnap notice in Ekiti State http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/12/7-doctors-get-kidnap-notice-in-ekiti-state/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/12/7-doctors-get-kidnap-notice-in-ekiti-state/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 20:39:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=239201 Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose

The Ekiti State chapter of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), on Tuesday said seven doctors have received threats of kidnap from unknown gunmen.

This is coming barely one week after the former Chief Medical Director of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Dr Patrick Adegun and a nurse with Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, Mrs Margaret Aladenika, were kidnapped.

Adegun was kidnapped alongside his wife, Kikelomo, a few metres to the gate of their house located on Goshen Avenue, Federal Housing in Ado Ekiti metropolis.

The Chairman of NMA in Ekiti state, Dr John Akinbote, told newsmen in Ado-Ekiti that the seven doctors received text messages from kidnappers, saying they could be picked up anytime.

Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Akure Zone, had also called for overhauling of the security chiefs in the State.

They hinged the call on ‘poor professional handling of the kidnap of a member of the association, Dr Femi Omisore of the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ekiti state last week..

Omisore was kidnapped on May 6, while his driver Saheed was shot in the head and his vehicle set ablaze “for stressing the captors while being chased.”
NMA and ASUU said on Tuesday that the Police and the State Security Service had not been handling the matter in most professional way.

Zonal Cordinator of ASUU, Akure, Dr Alex Odiyia, appealed to Gov. Ayodele Fayose to get rid of hoodlums in the state.

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Italy better than Libya but Nigeria is worst – Nigerian mother http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/12/italy-better-than-libya-but-nigeria-is-worst-nigerian-mother/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/12/italy-better-than-libya-but-nigeria-is-worst-nigerian-mother/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 15:24:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=239181 This photo provided by the Italian Navy's Press Office Monday, May 4, 2015 shows a baby born on a navy vessel Sunday, May 3, 2015. The navy said a woman, in labor when rescued Sunday, gave birth to a girl aboard of its patrol ship 'Bettica'. Mother and daughter are fine, and the patrol boat, carrying 654 migrants who were saved in four different rescue operations, headed to port. (Italian Navy via AP)

This photo provided by the Italian Navy’s Press Office Monday, May 4, 2015 shows a baby born on a navy vessel Sunday, May 3, 2015. The navy said a woman, in labor when rescued Sunday, gave birth to a girl aboard of its patrol ship ‘Bettica’. Mother and daughter are fine, and the patrol boat, carrying 654 migrants who were saved in four different rescue operations, headed to port. (Italian Navy via AP)

RAGUSA, Italy (Reuters) A Nigerian who gave birth on a warship after the Italian navy rescued her from a migrant boat has said that “Italy is better than Libya and Nigeria is the worst.”

She told Reuters on Monday her new daughter would have a better life in Europe, explaining why she risked the dangerous voyage.

Francesca Marina, named after St. Francis and the Italian navy, was 3.37 kilos (7 pounds, 7 ounces) when she was delivered aboard the Bettica naval vessel in the Mediterranean a week ago. Once ashore, she suffered from seizures and was put in intensive care.

A week on, both Stephanie Samuel, the 24-year-old Nigerian mother, and Francesca Marina have recovered. Doctors at the Sicilian hospital said they would probably be transferred to an immigration centre for families with small children in a few days time.

The story of the migrant baby born aboard a navy ship captured international media attention at the end of one of the busiest weekends for sea crossings from Libya to Europe this year, in which about 6,800 were rescued and dozens are said to have drowned.

Samuel worked for two years in Tripoli as a housemaid to save money to pay smugglers for the trip, but then the boat she set off in with about 90 others stalled after only three hours at sea.

By the time they were picked up by the Bettica off the Libyan coast seven hours later, she was unconscious after suffering epileptic seizures and had gone into labour.

“I didn’t expect the baby, you know, but she just like, she just came,” Samuel said. “I just wanted to leave Libya. Italy is better than Libya and Nigeria is the worst.”

About her daughter, she said: “God decides, not me … but I believe she will have a more good future in Europe.”

So far this year more than 30,000 people have reached Italy by sea from North Africa, mostly Libya. More than 170,000 came last year. The Interior Ministry has said 200,000 might make it to Italy’s shores in 2015.

While many are political refugees like Syrians, fleeing civil war, or Eritreans, escaping forced military conscription, others like Samuel are economic migrants in search of a better life.

She said her husband, who is still working in Libya, was ready to risk the sea crossing to be with his daughter and wife as soon as he could afford to pay smugglers who demand up to $1,500 for passage on an overcrowded, rickety boat.

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Ten-year-old’s pregnancy sparks Paraguay abortion debate http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/10/ten-year-olds-pregnancy-sparks-paraguay-abortion-debate/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/10/ten-year-olds-pregnancy-sparks-paraguay-abortion-debate/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 08:08:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=238909 paraguay

Asuncion (AFP) – A 10-year-old girl who was raped by her stepfather and is now five months pregnant has become the focal point of a wrenching debate over abortion and child abuse in this conservative Catholic country.

Both houses of Paraguay’s Congress discussed her case this week, with opposition leftist parties calling for the decriminalization of abortion, which is banned except when the mother’s life is in danger.

Humanitarian organizations insist the girl’s life is in danger, citing her four-foot-six-inch (1.39 meter) frame and weight of only 75 pounds (34 kilos).

The government, the courts, the Catholic Church and other civic groups have been adamant, however, that her pregnancy not be terminated, in part because of its advanced state.

“The pregnancy will not be interrupted,” said Health Minister Antonio Barrios, the former personal physician of Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes. “We’ve already completely ruled out abortion.”

The girl, whose name has been withheld, is under medical care in a special ward for pregnant adolescents at Asuncion’s Red Cross Hospital, where she is the youngest of six girls who are either expecting or have already given birth.

Her doctors say she is doing well, and her pregnancy is progressing normally.

“She has no pain or complications,” said Dolores Castellanos, the doctor who heads the special section and who has been tasked by the health ministry with supervising the girl’s care.

– ‘Tiny’ and talkative –

Castellanos described the girl as “tiny,” talkative and friendly, and said she has gained weight as her pregnancy proceeds on a diet of proteins, iron and liquids.

But she acknowledged that her high blood pressure and low body weight pose risks, “as with all the others who conceive precociously.”

“We’ve had experience with this before. Last year a 10-year-old girl who conceived as a nine-year-old gave birth. Her step-grandfather raped her. She did well,” said Castellanos.

Indeed the case has cast a harsh light on the prevalence of adolescent pregnancies in this largely rural South American country.

UNICEF recently reported that two girls a day between the ages of 10 and 14 give birth in Paraguay.

Official statistics say that 20,000 adolescents 16 or older gave birth in 2014, most of them single mothers who will later be unable to continue their education.

– Mother under arrest –

In this case, the girl’s condition was not discovered until April 21 when her mother brought her to a public health clinic, believing she had a tumor.

The girl said she had been sexually abused by her stepfather, 42-year-old Gilberto Benitez Zarate.

He is now at large and her mother, who worked in a school cafeteria, was arrested after authorities concluded that she had enabled her daughter’s abuse.

“This girl was always in the hands of that man because the woman would leave to go to work,” said prosecutor Monalisa Munoz. “She was at his mercy.”

The girl herself has been shielded from the swirling national debate.

“She’s not allowed to watch television,” said a source at the hospital.

Adolescent pregnancies are not only a problem in Paraguay.

UNICEF says that Latin America and the Caribbean have the second highest rate of adolescent pregnancies in the world.

In Uruguay, a similar debate has been sparked by the case of an 11-year-old who is four months pregnant and does not want an abortion. Uruguay limits abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, or the first 14 weeks in cases of rape.

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Niger Evacuates 4,000 Nigerian Refugees From Lake Chad http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/06/niger-evacuates-4000-nigerian-refugees-from-lake-chad/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/06/niger-evacuates-4000-nigerian-refugees-from-lake-chad/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 14:44:57 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=238600 Niger has evacuated thousands of Nigerian refugees sheltering from Boko Haram fighters on Lake Chad’s Karamga island, a military official told Reuters on Tuesday, as the armies of four west African nations battle to quash the Islamist militants.

A regional governor in southern Niger said last week that the refugees should leave after Boko Haram fighters killed scores of the country’s soldiers and civilians during a dawn ambush on the island on April 25.

The executive secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency in Yobe state, Idi Jidawa, said that 4,000 displaced Nigerians were in the process of being sent home.

Lake Chad’s islands, which lie in dense swampland, have been used by Boko Haram to mount surprise attacks on the bordering countries: Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

The group, which is fighting to create a caliphate in West Africa, has killed thousands and uprooted 1.5 million people from north eastern Nigeria, many of whom have found relative security in neighbouring countries including Chad and Cameroon.

The Nigerian refugees were already on their way back home and would arrive at the frontier town of Geidam in Yobe state on Wednesday, said Jidawa.

A Nigerian security official, who declined to be named, confirmed the news.

“Though NEMA (National Emergency Managament Agency) is in charge, we are assisting them in the exercise of profiling and documentation,” Jidawa said.

With the help of regional armies, Nigerian troops have cornered Boko Haram fighters into Sambisa Forest, where it has rescued nearly 700 women and children that the group had held captive.

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Pandemonium in Edo following discovery of grave inside classroom http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/05/pandemonium-in-edo-following-discovery-of-grave-inside-classroom/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/05/pandemonium-in-edo-following-discovery-of-grave-inside-classroom/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 19:29:17 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=238500 Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Grave in classroom

There was pandemonium at Iguodala Primary School, in Uhunduhun community of Oredo local government area of Edo State, on Monday, following the discovery of what looked like a grave inside one of the classrooms in the school.

The blood-stained grave allegedly discovered by one of the teachers and some pupils of the school shortly after the morning assembly, caused great stir and anxiety.

The pupils were said to have drawn the attention of the acting Head Mistress, Mrs. Georginia Ilongwo to the grave. She subsequently ordered the evacuation of the pupils from the affected classroom, and thereafter alerted officers from the Esigie Police Division.

She described the discovery as shocking, adding that, many parents had prevented their children and ward from going to school on Tuesday due to the fear of contracting infection.

“When I visited the scene, all the teachers were raising alarm and neighbours were trooping into the school compound. We called the attention of inspectors from the ministry, NUT chairman, PTA Chairman and the Odionwere of the community who told us to call the police.

“When the policemen came they said that they would assess the scene today (Tuesday). We were all surprised because since I started teaching here, I have not experienced such thing,” Mrs. Ilongwo said.

When journalists visited the school, a pair of shorts and a t-shirt were seen on the floor of the classroom.

Policemen from the Esigie Police Division were also at the scene, some of whom were said to have kept watch‎ from Monday night until an evacuation was carried out by some cemetery staff from local government council at about 11:40 am on Tuesday.

The cemetery staff were instructed by health officials from the council to stop exhumation, after digging three feet into the ground, saying that there was no sign that a corpse had been buried at the site.

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Woman throws mango at Venezuelan President, gets a home http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/03/woman-throws-mango-at-venezuelan-president-gets-a-home/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/03/woman-throws-mango-at-venezuelan-president-gets-a-home/#comments Sun, 03 May 2015 01:46:50 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=238215 President Nicolas Maduro

President Nicolas Maduro

A woman who bashed President Nicolas Maduro on the head with a mango has been promised a new house for her troubles in a surreal tropical tale that has gone viral in Venezuela.

The 52-year old president was driving a bus through a crowd last weekend in the central state of Aragua when someone in the crowd tossed the fruit at him.

“It says: ‘If you can, call me’,” the former bus driver said later during the week, as he displayed the fruit with a name and phone number scrawled on it on television.

“Marleny Olivo had a problem with her house. (Officials) called her. She was scared. She couldn’t believe it was true. … I’ve approved an apartment for you, Marleny, as part of the ‘Grand Venezuelan Housing Mission’,” he added, vowing to eat the mango.

Venezuela’s ever ebullient cybersphere did not miss a beat, with the president’s populist gesture drawing admiration and derision, plus plenty of jokes.

“If for a mango they give you apartments, then you know what to do: throw him a pineapple!” quipped Dolar Today, a website that quotes the black market for dollars and is hated by Maduro.

Like his predecessor Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013, Maduro collects heaps of petitions during trips, although most are scribbled on paper rather than hurled at him on fruit.

In a habit that delights many poor supporters but irritates critics, Maduro – like Chavez – often personally gives away homes, appliances or pensions to low-income Venezuelans.

However, lacking Chavez’s charm and good fortune with high oil prices, Maduro’s popularity has plummeted since he took office.

Roughly 28.2 per cent of Venezuelans approved of his management of the country in April, according to pollster Datanalisis. That was up from March’s 24.7 percent, likely due to his campaign against U.S. sanctions on seven government officials, but still nearly half the level when he became president.

The survey also said 45.8 percent plan to vote for opposition candidates in this year’s parliamentary election, while only 25 percent support the ruling Socialists.

Shortages of food and medicine caused by strict currency controls have taken a heavy toll, particularly the poor, who traditionally have supported “Chavismo.”

“A mango shortage is coming, let’s line up to throw them at Maduro and get a new house!” one Twitter user joked.

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Australian trafficker marries before Indonesia execution http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/27/australian-trafficker-marries-before-indonesia-execution/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/27/australian-trafficker-marries-before-indonesia-execution/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:02:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=237636 Andrew Chan and Febyanti Herewila

Andrew Chan and Febyanti Herewila

An Australian drug trafficker married his girlfriend Monday on the Indonesian prison island where he is set to be executed soon, his brother said, urging the country’s president to show compassion to the newlyweds.

Andrew Chan, 31, married his Indonesian girlfriend Febyanti Herewila in a ceremony on Nusakambangan Island, home to several high-security prisons, his brother Michael said.

He could be put to death by firing squad as soon as Tuesday, along with seven other foreign drug convicts, after authorities at the weekend gave then formal notice of their executions.

“We’ve had a special day today,” Michael Chan said as he announced the marriage after returning from a visit to Nusakambangan. “We’ve celebrated with some family and close friends.

“Hopefully the president will show some compassion, some mercy, so these two young people can carry on with their lives.

“It’s in the president’s hands.”

Chan met his future wife several years ago when Herewila, a pastor, began helping inmates in the jail where the Australian was imprisoned.

Chan and fellow Australian Myuran Sukumaran, both among the group facing imminent execution, are ringleaders of the so-called “Bali Nine” heroin-smuggling gang and were sentenced to death in 2006.

Australia has mounted a diplomatic campaign to save the pair but President Joko Widodo has vowed there will be no clemency for drug traffickers on death row in Indonesia.

He says the country faces an emergency due to rising narcotics use.

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Bruce Jenner comes out as transgender http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/25/bruce-jenner-comes-out-as-transgender/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/25/bruce-jenner-comes-out-as-transgender/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 10:53:49 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=237400 Bruce Jenner: After transgender operation

Bruce Jenner: After transgender operation

US Olympic champion turned reality TV star Bruce Jenner came out as transgender on Friday, saying: “For all intents and purposes, I’m a woman.”

In a highly anticipated, two-hour TV interview — hailed by transgender rights’ campaigners and his own Kardashian-linked family — the 65-year-old said he had wrestled with his sexual identity since he was a kid.

“I’ve always been confused about my gender identity since I was this big,” he told ABC’s celebrity interviewer Diane Sawyer.

“Here I am, stuck — and I hate the word — (a) girl stuck in a guy’s body … As of now I have all the male parts and all that kind of stuff,” he said.

But asked point blank if he was a woman, Jenner said: “Yes. For all intents and purposes, I’m a woman.”

Bruce Jenner Photo: radaronline.com

Bruce Jenner
Photo: radaronline.com

Speculation that the actor, race-car enthusiast and 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics decathlon gold medalist was undergoing a sex change has been rich fodder for supermarket tabloids for months.

Supposed telltale signs, based on paparazzi photos from the streets of Los Angeles, include shaved limbs, long hair worn in a ponytail and what appears to be a sports bra under a T-shirt.

Jenner said he identifies himself as “her,” but not by a specific name. The ABC interviewer used “he” and “him” throughout, which the former Olympian was comfortable with.

He stressed the difference between gender identity and sexuality. “I am not gay,” Jenner said, adding: “I am, as far as I know, heterosexual. I’ve always been with a woman, raising kids.”

Just before making the long-expected announcement, Jenner symbolically let his hair down, physically.

Bruce Jenner: has he always looked like a woman?

Bruce Jenner: has he always looked like a woman?

“Let’s take the damn ponytail out,” he told Sawyer, smiling.

Born outside New York in October 1949, thrice-married Jenner became an American sports hero when he set a world record with his Montreal decathlon victory.

Leveraging his fame, he appeared on boxes of Wheaties, a popular American cereal known as “the breakfast of champions,” then tried his hand as a movie actor, with less than stellar results.

But it was through his marriage to the former Kris Kardashian that he once again became a household name in “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” in which he appeared as the sometimes bemused stepfather of her flamboyant daughters Kourtney, Kim and Khloe.

He and Kris Kardashian have two daughters of their own, but they obtained a divorce in December, 14 months after separating — although he has been seen still wearing a wedding ring.

After the interview aired, Kim Kardashian tweeted: “Love is the courage to live the truest, best version of yourself. Bruce is love. I love you Bruce. #ProudDaughter”

Jenner’s 89-year-old mother hailed her son’s announcement, comparing her pride to that when he won at the Olympics.

“I never thought I could be more proud of you. But I’m learning I can be.”

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights group GLAAD welcomed Jenner’s announcement.

“Today, millions of people learned that someone they know is transgender,” GLAAD head Sarah Kate Ellis said.

“By sharing this story, Bruce Jenner has shined a light on what it means to be transgender and live authentically in the face of unimaginable public scrutiny.

“Though Jenner’s journey is one that is deeply personal, it is also one that will impact and inspire countless people around the world,” she added.

Jenner’s son Brandon tweeted simply: “Proud son,” along with an Instagram picture of himself as a young boy perched on his smiling father’s shoulders.

Step-daughter Khloe Kardashian trumpeted: “Just finished watching the #BruceJennerInterview with the family. Bruzer, I’m soooo proud of you! Dads really are heros.”

Jenner, clearly relieved to have finally come clean, said: “I’m saying goodbye to people’s perceptions of me and who I am.

“I’m not saying goodbye to me because this has always been me.”

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Islamic college bans girls from athletics for fear of losing virginity http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/23/islamic-college-bans-girls-from-athletics-for-fear-of-losing-virginity/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/23/islamic-college-bans-girls-from-athletics-for-fear-of-losing-virginity/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 09:16:56 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=237146 Victoria state Education Minister James Merlino

Victoria state Education Minister James Merlino

An Islamic college in Australia is under investigation after claims that its principal has banned girls from taking part in running competitions because they might “lose their virginity”.

Victoria state Education Minister James Merlino said Thursday that if true, the claims made by a former teacher at Melbourne’s Al-Taqwa College “would be very concerning”.

“I have asked the schools regulator, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority, to investigate,” he said in a statement.

The former teacher wrote to government ministers this week alleging “the principal (Omar Hallak) holds beliefs that if females run excessively, they may ‘lose their virginity'”, The Age newspaper said.

“The principal believes that there is scientific evidence to indicate that if girls injure themselves, such as break their leg while playing soccer, it could render them infertile.”

Hallak denied the allegations late Thursday in a statement and said girls were “encouraged to participate in all activities”, subject to parental consent.

“We do not believe that running excessively may cause female students to lose their virginity or that sporting injuries could render them infertile,” the statement added, according to the newspaper.

The statement did not directly address claims that girls from the college’s primary school had been blocked from taking part in some district events.

The Age published a letter that appeared to be written by the college’s cross-country team to Hallak challenging his decision to reportedly stop the primary school’s team from competing in events in 2013 and 2014.

“Just because we are girls doesn’t mean we can’t participate in running events,” the letter said, adding that the decision was “really offensive to all the girls that were going to participate”.

“It also doesn’t say that girls can’t run in the hadith (sayings of the Prophet Mohammed). As long as us girls are wearing appropriate clothes we can run.”

Al-Taqwa College is believed to be Victoria state’s largest Islamic school and had 1,701 students enrolled last year, according to government data.

The co-educational independent school takes in students up to 18 years old, and received more than Aus$15 million (US$11.6 million) in government funding in 2013.

It is not the first time Hallak has made headlines.

The principal told The Age last month that he had instructed students not to join Islamic State as the jihadist group was a plot by Israel and the United States to gain control of Middle Eastern oil.

“They are trained and equipped by them: (the) evidence is all the shiny new equipment,” Hallak was quoted as saying. “We don’t believe Muslims are creating IS.”

He added that killing innocent people was not “the Islamic way”.

Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne reportedly wrote to the school seeking an explanation for Hallak’s IS comments.

Australia has become increasingly concerned about “home-grown” IS-inspired extremists.

The country raised its threat level to “high” last September and has since carried out a series of counter-terrorism raids.

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