Category Archives: World News

Nigeria should host the next Super Bowl????

When I saw this post on CNN I couldn’t help but re-blog it. Guess Amanpour really wants President Jonathan to understand that the international community is aware that the situation in the power sector hasn’t improved like he boasted in his last interview on CNN.

The questions on my mind are, is this really true about us? How long are we going to condone this and more? Can we host the Super Bowl?

I can’t help laughing at the last question…..

Check this out!

http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/

While American waited 35 minutes for the Super Bowl’s lights to come on, Nigerians just chuckled.

They know all too well the problem of power outages: Nigeria has been plagued by rolling blackouts that last hours, sometimes even days.

So as the television audience worldwide waited for the power to come back on, Nigerians took to social media with wit.

“Power outage at the Super Bowl on Sunday. Suddenly, Nigeria doesn’t look as dark anymore,” tweeted one Nigerian.

“If they had the Super Bowl in Nigeria, the power coming back on would be the real surprise,” another tweeted.

Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, recently told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that his country’s electrical woes have been improving.

“That is one area that Nigerians are quite pleased with the government, that commitment to improve power. It’s working,” President Jonathan told the president.

Many Nigerian viewers tweeted messages to Christiane Amanpour to express their continued frustrations about having to rely on back-up generators for power.

In the video above, you can watch an “Open Mic” series CNN conducted after Amanpour’s interview with President Jonathan. We left a microphone in a public place and recorded Nigerians expressing their frustrations with their notoriously unreliable power supply.

Sun arrests pile pressure on Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual M...

Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is under pressure again after the arrests of several senior members of staff at the UK’s Sun newspaper.

The News Corp boss is due to fly to London later this week to deal with the new crisis.

Police carried out raids on Saturday, arresting five, as part of an enquiry into paying police for tip-offs.

The arrests came after News Corp’s Management and Standards Committee passed information to the police.

It’s thought the internal whistleblowers may pose an even bigger threat than the public outrage over phone hacking that resulted in the closure of the Sun’s sister paper, the News of the World.

Murdoch apologised for that at a UK inquriy into media ethics, News Corp’s share price plummeted and News Corp gave up its bid to take over BSkyB.

Murdoch has reassured staff at The Sun that this latest chapter won’t end up in the tabloid’s closure. He said he was committed to the paper.

The British Culture Secretary also showered him with praise at the weekend saying he’d given the UK one of the most competitive broadcasting markets in Europe, but 81 year old Murdoch’s woes aren’t limited to the UK.

In the US, the authorities are ramping up their investigations, including a criminal inquiry, into alleged corrupt payments by News Corp to officials.

Police said 40 people had been arrested in connection with three police investigations into illegal news gathering practices, but that no one had yet been charged.

The payments investigation, dubbed Operation Elveden, is part of a wider probe into illegal news gathering practices that have rocked Britain’s political, media and police establishments and last year prompted the closure of News Corp’s Sunday paper, The News of the World.

“I’m as shocked as anyone by today’s arrests but am determined to lead The Sun through these difficult times. I have a brilliant staff and we have a duty to serve our readers and will continue to do that. Our focus is on putting out Monday’s newspaper,” Sun editor Dominic Mohan said in a statement after Saturday’s arrests.

A source said the arrests included the deputy editor, a picture editor and three other senior staff. Police said a serving police officer, and the source said a defence ministry employee, were among the eight people in total police arrested on Saturday.

The latest arrests at The Sun, Britain’s best selling daily newspaper, come after the arrest of four current and former staff at the newspaper last month, raising questions about the publication’s viability.

One of Britain’s best known publicists, who has represented many celebrities and others featured in The Sun’s pages, said, after the closure of The Sun’s sister paper, The News of the World, in the wake of a phone hacking scandal engulfing News Corp, talk of another major newspaper demise was not unfounded.

“You have only got to look at what happened to the News of the World. It obviously became an embarrassment to Rupert Murdoch. It’s not the newspapers that make the big profits for his organisation. So, I think that it’s becoming ever more possible that this could happen — that if this continues, we could see the end of The Sun in this country,” Max Clifford said.

Saturday’s arrests were the result of information from News Corp’s Management and Standards Committee (MSC), a fact-finding group the firm set up in a bid to rescue its ravaged reputation.

“The MSC provided the information to the Elveden investigation which led to today’s arrests … News Corporation remains committed to ensuring that unacceptable news gathering practices by individuals in the past will not be repeated,” New Corp said in a statement.

The MSC’s work could lead to further damaging revelations about journalists bribing police that could prompt calls for the Sun’s demise.

The once hugely popular News of the World was closed last year by Murdoch after accusations that its reporters hacked the mobile phone messages of celebrities and victims of crime caused a public outcry.

Murdoch also owns The Times broadsheet newspaper, which this year admitted that one of its former reporters had hacked a phone, and the Wall Street Journal U.S. financial newspaper.

Allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World prompted Britain’s parliament to summon Murdoch and his executive son James to explain themselves last year.

Many inside and outside parliament have long accused Murdoch of wielding too much political influence through his newspapers.

The scandal’s most high profile scalps so far include two top police officials, who resigned over the handling of initial investigations into media malpractice; Rebekah Brooks, a former chief executive of Murdoch’s London papers; and Andy Coulson, a former Murdoch editor who became Prime Minister David Cameron’s media adviser.

Washington state lawmakers pass gay marriage bill

Washington DC

Washington DC (Photo credit: ktylerconk)

U.S. Supreme Court building.
Image via Wikipedia

(AP) – Washington state lawmakers voted to approve gay marriage Wednesday, setting the stage for the state to become the seventh in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed.

The action comes a day after a federal appeals court declared California’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, saying it was a violation of the civil rights of gay and lesbian couples.

The Washington House passed the bill on a 55-43 vote. The state Senate approved the measure last week. And Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to sign the measure into law next week.

Democratic Rep. Jamie Pedersen, a gay lawmaker from Seattle who has sponsored gay rights bills in the House for several years, said that while he and his partner are grateful for the rights that exist under the state’s current domestic partnership law, “domestic partnership is a pale and inadequate substitute for marriage.”

Pedersen cited Tuesday’s ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals during his remarks on the House floor.
“The court addressed the question of why marriage matters directly,” he said, and read a section from the ruling that stated “marriage is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults.”

“I would like for our four children to grow up understanding that their daddy and their poppa have made that kind of a lifelong commitment to each other,” he said. “Marriage is the word that we use in our society to convey that idea.”

Several Republicans argued against the bill, saying that it goes against the tradition of marriage.

Rep. Jay Rodne, R-Snoqualmie, said that the measure “severs the cultural, historical and legal underpinnings of the institution of marriage.”

“This bill is really an exercise of raw political power,” he said. “It contravenes human nature and it will hurt families and children.”
Two Republicans crossed the aisle and voted in favor of the bill. Three Democrats voted against it. Democrats hold a 56-42 majority in the House.

Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-College Place, said that the bill was a matter of equality.

“Why in the world would we not allow those equal rights to those individuals who are truly committed to each other in life?” she asked. She noted that her daughter told her she was gay a few years ago.

“Nothing’s different,” she said. “She’s still a fabulous human being. And some day, by God, I want to throw a wedding for that kid.”
Gregoire watched from the wings with the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Ed Murray of Seattle, a gay lawmaker who has spearheaded the domestic partnership and marriage push in the Legislature.

“I’m happy,” Murray said after the vote. “It’s a great day for families across the state. It’s a great day for my family.”
However, gay couples can’t begin walking down the aisle just yet.

The proposal would take effect 90 days after the governor signs the measure but opponents have promised to fight gay marriage with a ballot measure that would allow voters to overturn the legislative approval.

If opponents gather enough signatures to take their fight to the ballot box, the law would be put on hold pending the outcome of a November election.

Otherwise gay couples could wed starting in June.

Washington state has had domestic partnership laws since 2007, and more than a dozen other states have provisions, ranging from civil unions to gay marriage, supporting same-sex couples.

Gay marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
Lawmakers in New Jersey are expected to vote on gay marriage next week, and Maine could see a gay marriage proposal on the November ballot.

Proposed amendments to ban gay marriage will be on the ballots in North Carolina in May and in Minnesota in November.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit ruled against California’s voter-approved same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8.

The panel gave gay marriage opponents time to appeal the 2-1 decision before ordering the state to allow same-sex weddings to resume. The judges also said the decision only applies to California, even though the court has jurisdiction in nine western states.
Lawyers for the coalition of conservative religious groups that sponsored Proposition 8 said they have not decided if they will seek a new 9th Circuit hearing or file an appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Washington state’s momentum for same-sex marriage has been building and the debate has changed significantly since 1998, when lawmakers passed Washington’s Defense of Marriage Act banning gay marriage. The constitutionality of that law ultimately was upheld by the state Supreme Court in 2006. But earlier that year, a gay civil rights measure passed after nearly 30 years of failure, signaling a change in the Legislature.

The quick progression of domestic partnership laws in the state came soon after, with a domestic partnership law in 2007, and two years of expansion that culminated in 2009 with “everything but marriage” expansion that was upheld by voters.

In October, a University of Washington poll found that an increasing number of people in the state support same-sex marriage. About 43% of respondents said they support gay marriage, up from 30 percent in the same poll five years earlier. Another 22% said they support giving identical rights to gay couples, without calling the unions “marriage.”

If a challenge to gay marriage law was on the ballot, 55% said they would vote to uphold the law. And 38% said they would vote to reject a gay marriage law.

The gay marriage bill also has the backing of several prominent Pacific Northwest businesses, including Microsoft, Nike and Starbucks.

Israelis and PalestinIans must understand each other, France’s Sarkozy says

English: French president, Nicolas Sarkozy

Image via Wikipedia

French President Sarkozy said on Wednesday (February 8) that Israel had no choice but to talk with Palestine to unsure its own security, talking at a major gathering of France’s influential Jewish community and said that two French people suspected of killing an Israeli student last year must be brought to trial.

Sarkozy was the guest of honour of the annual dinner organised by CRIF, the country’s Jewish council.
Speaking after Noam Shalit, the father of Israeli former hostage Guilad Shalit Sarkozy repeated that he was a friend of Israel. He said that there was no solution for Israelis and Palestinians to talk with each other.

“May you, my dear friends, Israelis and Palestinians, understand that when the destiny puts two people next to each other, whatever passion, whatever fear, whatever hatred there are, they will have to learn to live together, to talk and to understand each other,” he said.
Referring to France’s support to the Palestinian bid for a full membership in UNESCO, Sarkozy said that the creation of a Palestinian state was the only guarantee for Israel’s security.

“There will be no definitive security for Israel as long as there isn’t, at its borders, a democratic, viable and modern Palestinian state. This is the only definitive guarantee of Israel’s security,” he said.

Relations between France and Israel have been very sensitive over Paris’ support for a Palestinian state and mired in controversy over the fate of two French nationals who fled to Paris after killing a 26-year-old Israeli student in Tel Aviv last year.

“Those who did that, who killed this young girl, must account for it. For the family of this young girl who died under the wheels of a reckless driver, but also for themselves. Because when you have such a thing on your conscience, and you escape any kind of judgement and any kind of punishment, it must be hard to sleep peacefully,” French president said.

The Israeli father of the young student killed last year, currently in Paris to press demands for the two french citizens to face trial in Israel, had earlier been turned away from the meeting.

Sarkozy repeated that France would not extradite its citizens to Israel, but that if the family of the young woman filed a complaint in France, the two French men involved in the hit-and-run killing would have to face the French justice.

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