Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nigerians Scramble for Ghanaian, Other W’African Nations’ Passports

By Chinedu Eze
This Day, Friday, May 31, 2013


Federal Ministry of External Affairs


Nigerian travellers are now disguising as citizens of other countries in West Africa, especially Ghana, and obtaining their passports which they use to travel to Asia and other parts of the world.

THISDAY learnt that it is mainly Nigerians who travel to China that take the passports of other countries in the region and the reason is because China gives about four weeks visa to Nigerians and do not extend it when it expires, but the country gives up to six months visa to Ghanaians, Senegalese, Guineans and others in the region.
When Nigerian businessmen go to China to buy, manufacture or process goods, four weeks are not always enough and if they leave the country at the expiration of their visa and instruct their agents to arrange and ship their consignments, they usually short-change them and as their goods purchased by the Nigerian is arriving the country, their dubious partners in China would export the same goods to the country and sell it at cheaper price, thus damaging the market for the Nigerian importer.
So for the Nigerians to stay till they are able to get their goods, they need visa that allows them longer time, hence they go for Ghanaian and other countries’ visas.
A top Nigeria Immigration Service official explained to THISDAY that Nigeria is reciprocating the Chinese gesture because visa policy is usually based on reciprocity.
“We give them 14 days visa but we don’t have the enabling machinery to flush them out whenever their visa expires so many Chinese overstay their visa in Nigeria. Some of them even take transit visa and disappear as soon as they arrive in Nigeria.”
The official also said Immigration is supposed to have the machinery to smoke out the Chinese citizens that have overstayed their visa, but decried the attitude of Nigerian government officials who move to protect them in the name of encouraging investors, in spite of the law that says that they should be deported.
“Government officials do not want the law to operate so they intervene in the job of Immigration officials, but the Nigeria Immigration Service used to have investigation and inspection department whose duty is to check those who have over stayed their visa and also patrol the boundaries to stop illegal immigration into the country. But when these Chinese overstay and you want to do your job, these government officials will intervene and may even sack you.”
The Immigration official said the body needs logistics to be able to effectively carry out its responsibility, including patrol vehicles at the borders, communication equipment and others.

“In the 1980s Nigeria Immigration Service was patrolling the nation’s borders and preventing people of other countries from gaining entry. Today, the Boko Haram menace would have been checked if Immigration is adequately equipped. Now, these Chinese are having easy run in Nigeria because government is protecting them and those menial jobs that should be done by Nigerians are being taken over by the Chinese who are now flooding into the country.”

African Woman: Dambisa Moyo Responds To Bill Gates' Personal Attack Against Her

Dambisa Moyo is a Zambian-born economist and author of Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way For Africa (2009). Moyo holds a Doctorate (D.Phil.) in Economics from St Antony's CollegeOxford University; her 2002 dissertation is titled "Essays on the determinants of the components of savings in developing countries". In 1997, she earned a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.She also earned a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Finance and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry from American University in Washington D.C.Moyo worked for the World Bank as a Consultant and at Goldman Sachs where she worked in the debt capital markets and as an economist in the global macroeconomics team.

Illustration of Dambisa Moyo by Anthony Jenkins/Globe & Mail

On May 28th, 2013 during a Q&A session at the University of New South Wales, Bill Gates, co-Founder of Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, made some shocking and inappropriate ad-hominem attacks against me and my book Dead Aid.
In this video excerpt, Mr. Gates answers a question about Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There is A Better Way for Africa by claiming that I “didn’t know much about aid and what it was doing” and that my work is “promoting evil”.
I find it disappointing that Mr. Gates would not only conflate my arguments about structural aid with those about emergency or NGO aid, but also that he would then use this gross misrepresentation of my work to publicly attack my knowledge, background, and value system.
I would like to take this opportunity to address both of Mr. Gates’ claims here:
  1. I wrote Dead Aid to contribute to a useful debate on why, over many decades, multi billions of dollars of aid has consistently failed to deliver sustainable economic growth and meaningfully reduce poverty. I also sought to explicitly explain how decades of government to government aid actually undermined economic growth and contributed to worsening living conditions across Africa. More than this, I clearly detailed better ways for African leaders, and governments across the world, to finance economic development. I have been under the impression that Mr. Gates and I want the same thing – for the livelihood of Africans to be meaningfully improved in a sustainable way. Thus, I have always thought there is significant scope for a mature debate about the efficacy and limitations of aid. To say that my book “promotes evil” or to allude to my corrupt value system is both inappropriate and disrespectful.
  2. Mr. Gates’ claim that I “didn’t know much about aid and what it was doing” is also unfortunate. I have dedicated many years to economic study up to the PhD level, to analyze and understand the inherent weaknesses of aid, and why aid policies have consistently failed to deliver on economic growth and poverty alleviation. To this, I add my experience working as a consultant at the World Bank, and being born and raised in Zambia, one of the poorest aid-recipients in the world. This first-hand knowledge and experience has highlighted for me the legacy of failures of aid, and provided me with a unique understanding of not only the failures of the aid system but also of the tools for what could bring African economic success.
To cast aside the arguments I raised in Dead Aid at a time when we have witnessed the transformative economic success of countries like China, Brazil and India, belittles my experiences, and those of hundreds of millions of Africans, and others around the world who suffer the consequences of the aid system every day.
In conclusion, I am disappointed that Mr. Gates would choose the route of personal attacks rather than a logical counter argument about the role of aid in modern Africa. Such attacks add no value in the important discussions on the challenges the world faces to deliver economic growth, eradicate poverty, combat disease, and reduce income inequality, to name a few.
As I have always maintained, I respect the views of others and am open to having logical and meaningful debates with the ultimate goal of finding sustainable solutions to Africa’s economic problems.
Thank you,
Dr. Dambisa Moyo

Nigeria-Mexico: International Friendly Preview

By Seth Vertelney
GOAL.COM, May 30, 2013

PROBABLE LINE-UPS


Mexico (4-2-3-1): Corona; Meza, Rodríguez, Reyes, Torres Nilo; Torrado, Salcido; Barrera, Herrera, Guardado; Hernandez


ROSTER


Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio), Jesús Corona (Cruz Azul), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)

Defenders: Severo Meza (Monterrey), Francisco Javier "Maza" Rodríguez (América), Héctor Moreno (Espanyol), Diego Reyes (América), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres UANL), Carlos Salcido (Tigres UANL), Hiram Mier (Monterrey)

Midfielders: Jesús Zavala (Monterrey), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Jesús Molina (América), Héctor Herrera (Pachuca), Javier Aquino (Villarreal), Andrés Guardado (Valencia), Ángel Reyna (Pachuca), Pablo Barrera (Cruz Azul)

Forwards: Giovani dos Santos (Mallorca), Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna), Javier Hernández (Manchester United), Raúl Jiménez (América), Aldo de Nigris (Monterrey)
Nigeria (4-4-2): Enyeama; Kwambe, Obobona, Omeruo, Echiejile; Oduamadi, Ogu, Onazi, Mba; Ujah, Ideye

ROSTER

Goalkeepers:
 Chigozie Agbim (Warri Wolves), Austin Ejide (Hapoel), Vincent Enyeama (Maccabi Tel Aviv)

Defenders: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Efe Ambrose (Celtic), Elderson Echiéjilé (Sporting de Braga), Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag), Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars), Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars), Francis Benjamin (Heartland F.C.), Odunlami Kunle (Sunshine Stars FC)

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio), John Ogu (Academia de Coimbra), Obinna Nwachukwu (Heartland), Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers), Michael Babatunde (Kryvbas Kryvyi), Reuben Gabriel (Kilmarnock)

Forwards: Joseph Akpala (SV Werder Bremen), Brown Ideye (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Anthony Ujah (FC Koln), Nnamdi Oduamadi (Varese), Kalu Uche (Kasımpaşa Spor Kulübü), Gambo Muhammad (Kano Pillars F.C.)
FACTOID:
  • Mexico and Nigeria have met three times before, with Mexico winning one and a draw in the other two games. The two teams last met in October 2007 in a friendly, with the match ending in a 2-2 tie at the Estadio Olimpico Benito Juarez in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.
  • Giovani dos Santos was originally set to stay with Mallorca for its crucial final La Liga match, but has now been released and will be with El Tri, though he likely won't feature in this match.
  • This game beings a stretch of six matches in 24 days on three continents for the Super Eagles, who have two World Cup qualifiers in Africa following the match. The side then heads to Brazil for the Confederations Cup.
  • El Tri is also starting a busy stretch. The team will play three consecutive Hexagonal matches after the Nigeria match: June 4 at Jamaica, June 7 at Panama and June 11 vs. Costa Rica, before also heading to Brazil for the Confederations Cup.
  • Mexico has played five games in 2013 and drawn all of them, including friendlies against Denmark and Peru, and three Hexagonal matches against Jamaica, Honduras and the United States.
  • Chelsea star Victor Moses will miss Nigeria's upcoming matches with an injury.

South Africans Chase Nigerians Out Of Their Homes


No fewer than 23 Nigerians were forced out of their homes and chased out of Port-Nolloth community by some South Africans members of the community, accusing them of dealing in drugs.
According to Diliora Ndubisi, the spokesman of Nigerians, the leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League in the area instigated some community members to force them out of their homes.
“All the members of the community had a meeting on Friday on the need to curb the selling and usage of drugs in the community. On Saturday a teenager committed suicide in a police custody and by Sunday some members of the community led by the ANC Youth League leader came to our houses asking us to leave the community.
“They said we are the ones selling drugs to their children. They destroyed and looted our property and one Nigerian was seriously beaten and is on admission in a hospital in Johannesburg now,” Ndubisi said.
He said that the attack, which targeted Nigerians only, can be attributed to envy and jealousy about the success of Nigerian businesses in the community amidst poverty and unemployment among South Africans living in the community.
Reacting to the attack, the Nigerian Consulate in Johanneburg, South Africa today criticised what it described as the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in the country.

Mr. Okey Emuchay, the Consulate-General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, said in Springbok, in the Northern Province of South Africa, that labelling all Nigerians in the country as drug dealers was “unacceptable.”
Emuchay said that it was the duty of the South African police to provide safety for South Africans and foreigners living in the country.
“We are not asking for too much from the South African government, it is the duty of the South African police to provide safety and security for every one living in South Africa.
“The Nigerian government will not send the Nigerian police to come and protect our nationals just like the South African government will not send her police to protect South Africans living and working in Nigeria.
“In as much as we will not encourage our nationals to engage in criminal activities, it is not acceptable to us that some people should label all Nigerians as drug dealers.
“If any Nigerian is caught dealing in drugs he/she should be arrested and prosecuted. But a situation where some people will act on rumours, attacking and harassing Nigerians will be totally resisted by us. If anybody has any information about any Nigerian dealing in drugs, such information should be given to the police to investigate and arrest those involved. It is the duty of the police to investigate, arrest and prosecute, and not the duty of any individual or group of persons to do the work of the police.
“In this case no arrest has been made, no prosecution and no sentencing of anybody, only some members of the community taking the laws into their hands and forcing out Nigerians from houses where they pay rent, sending them into the streets in this winter period,” Emuchay said.
The Consul-General said that the safety of the displaced Nigerians was the responsibility of the police.
“This is coming barely three weeks after President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria paid a state visit to South Africa, after a similar one-day official working visit by President Jacob Zuma to Nigeria.
“Nine MoU agreement were signed during the state visit to promote trade and investments between the two countries.
“If governments at the top level is working together to strengthen relations between the two countries, the people of the two countries should be encouraged to take full advantage of the bilateral cooperation in various ways, including business culture and interpersonal relations. Nigeria and South Africa have had a long history of friendship and cordial relationship and everything should be done in sustaining the relationship,” Emuchay said.
Ikechukwu Anyene, President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA), commended the proactive step taken by the Consulate.
“I must on behalf of all Nigerians living in South Africa thank the Consul-General for the proactive steps he has taken so far in this xenophobia attack on Nigerians living here.
Brig.-Gen. Francis Hender, South Africa Police Service (SAPS), Cluster Commander, assured that no individual or group would be allowed to perform the duty of the police.
“I will go to Port-Nolloth personally to assess the situation there, and a team of crime investigators will be assigned to investigate the cause of the attack on Nigerians and the lady mentioned would be invited for questioning. She is not a police officer and cannot be allowed to get away with her actions,” Hender said.
Lebogang Abrans, ANC Regional Secretary, apologised to the Nigerian envoy on the attack and said there was need to engage with the community on how to allow the displaced Nigerians return to their homes.

SOURCE: PM NEWS

Nigeria Lawmakers Pass Anti-Gay Marriage Bill

Jon Gambrell
Associated Press, Thursday, May 30, 2013
Associated Press= ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Lawmakers in Nigeria passed a bill Thursday banning gay marriage and outlawing anyone from forming organizations supporting gay rights, setting prison terms of up to 14 years for offenders.
Nigeria's House of Representatives approved the bill in a voice vote, likely sending it immediately to President Goodluck Jonathan for him to potentially sign into law in Africa's most populous nation. Whether he will approve it remains unclear, and both the United States and the United Kingdom raised concerns over a measure that could put foreign funding for AIDS and HIV outreach programs in jeopardy.
Nigeria's Senate previously passed the bill in November 2011 and the measure quietly disappeared for some time before coming up in Thursday's session of the House. Under previous versions of the proposed law, couples who marry could face up to 14 years each in prison. Witnesses or anyone who helps couples marry could be sentenced to 10 years behind bars.
Other additions to the bill include making it illegal to register gay clubs or organizations, as well as criminalizing the "public show of same-sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly." Those who violate those laws would face 10-year imprisonment as well.
While the bill read Thursday during the House session appeared to be similar, The Associated Press could not immediately obtain a copy of the version lawmakers passed. If there are differences between the House and Senate versions, a joint committee of lawmakers will have to first iron out those differences before sending it to the president.
Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Gay sex has been banned in Nigeria, a nation of more than 160 million people, since colonial rule by the British. Gays face open discrimination and abuse in a country divided by Christians and Muslims who almost uniformly oppose homosexuality. Across the African continent, many countries already have made homosexuality punishable by jail sentences.
Nigeria's proposed law has drawn the interest of European Union countries, some of which already offer Nigeria's sexual minorities asylum based on gender identity. The British government recently threatened to cut aid to African countries that violate the rights of gay and lesbian citizens. However, British aid remains quite small in oil-rich Nigeria, one of the top crude suppliers to the U.S.
A spokesman for the British High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, could not be immediately reached for comment.
The measure also could affect HIV and AIDS outreach programs funding by USAID, an arm of the U.S. government. Nigeria has the world's third-largest population of people living with HIV and AIDS. A spokesman at the U.S. Embassy could not be immediately reached.
---
Jon Gambrell can be reached at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP .

Nigeria Arrests Lebanese Suspected Of Hezbollah Ties

By Chukwuemeka Madu, Kano
Reuters, Thursday, May 30, 2013
(Reuters) - Nigerian authorities said on Thursday they had arrested three Lebanese in northern Nigeria on suspicion of being members of Hezbollah and that a raid on one of their residences had revealed a stash of weapons.
The three suspects were arrested between May 16 and May 28 in the north's biggest city Kano, the city's military spokesman Captain Ikedichi Iweha said in a statement. All had admitted to being members of Hezbollah under questioning.
A raid on the residence of one of the Lebanese had uncovered 11 60 mm anti-tank weapons, four anti-tank landmines, two rounds of ammunition for a 122 mm artillery gun, 21 rocket-propelled grenades, seventeen AK-47s with more than 11,000 bullets and some dynamite, he said.
"The arms and ammunition were targeted at facilities of Israel and Western interest in Nigeria," Iweha said, but did not elaborate.
The secret service detained the first suspect, Mustapha Fawaz, on May 16 at his supermarket in Kano. His interrogation led to other suspects, including Abdullah Tahini, who was later arrested at Kano airport with $60,000 in undeclared cash.
The third, Talal Roda, a Nigerian and Lebanese citizen, was arrested on Sunday at the house where the weapons were found two days later.
"The search team uncovered an underground bunker in the master bedroom where a large quantity of assorted weapons of different types and caliber were recovered," Iweha said. "All those arrested have confessed to have undergone Hezbollah terrorist training."
The possibility of a link with Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram, which Nigerian forces are battling in the northeast, was being investigated, Iweha said at a news conference.
An alliance between Salafist Sunni Muslim Boko Haram and Shi'ite Hezbollah would be unusual, and there has never previously been evidence of such a link.
There are an several thousand Shi'ite Muslim Nigerians, a legacy of Muslim radical Ibrahim Zakzaky's preachings since the 1980s. Zakzaky still leads Nigeria's main Shi'ite movement and has campaigned for an Islamic government and stricter adherence to sharia, or Islamic law.
Iweha declined to say if any link to Zakzaky was being investigated, and his movement is currently seen as largely peaceful.
A Nigerian court sentenced an alleged member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard and a Nigerian accomplice to five years in prison this month over an illegal shipment of mortars and rockets seized in the main port of Lagos in 2010.

(Additional reporting by Isaac Abrak in Kaduna; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Michael Roddy)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer 2013 Reads From The Homeez Of Yomiland


MIND GAMES: MAZI AND THE FAR SIDE
By Chike Nwasike
Cloud Berry Books, 268 pages; $13.95

When a journalist is sent to investigate the death of a Nigerian civil war officer in a town of refuge in a remote part of Nigeria, he uncovers the stories of its inhabitants. He also uncovers a conspiracy and learns of the conflicts and competing interests that has shaped the lives of the residents.



SANDALS IN THE SNOW
By Rose Ihedigbo
Tate Publishing, 262 pages; $20.99

Rose and three young children walked onto American soil wearing Sandals in the Snow, an abrupt transition from Nigeria to New York. This fascinating memoir recounts the amazing journey of an African family searching for the American dream. Rose Ihedigbo draws readers into the account beginning in two small villages in Nigeria, through snowstorms, and into life in New York and Massachusetts. This engaging story sweeps the readers in, allowing them to live vicariously through the experiences. Sandals in the Snow integrates the authors native language, Igbo, with English and utilizes African phrases and simple translations. Rose poetically describes her story and the faithfulness of God that was impressed on her through every experience. Discover hope for your own struggle in this dramatic testimony to what can be achieved through commitment, faith, and education. This memoir provides readers an understanding of religion in African villages and a personal account of the Biafra War. You will be encouraged at this portrait of human resilience and triumph over adversities.





HAPPINESS, LIKE WATER
By Chinelo Okparanta
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Chinwe thinks that he stayed for about an hour, but it’s hard for her to know exactly how long, because after fifteen minutes of his flipping through the pages of the Awake! magazine, and the pages of the Watchtower, and the pages of his Bible (the New World Translation), she excused herself. Assignments to grade, she said, and went to her room. She fell asleep there and did not wake up until her mama came knocking at her door, asking just how long she intended to stay in her room, scolding her for being so rude to the nice young man who came to bring the good news of God’s Kingdom to them.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

All Ole Miss' Freeze Has To Do Is Win

Dennis Dodd, 
Senior College Football Columnist
CBS Sports, May 28, 2013
DESTIN, Fla. -- Hugh Freeze looked around the halls of the Sandestin Beach Hilton and wondered out loud how many of his peers would have done the same thing. Ole Miss' coach then answered himself, out loud.
"I don't know anybody else who would do that," he said.
It's been almost four months now since Freeze issued this tweet to cyber snipers questioning the legitimacy of his consensus top-10 recruiting class.
If you have facts about a violation, send it to compliance@olemiss.edu. If not, please do not slander these young men or insult their family
And so they replied via that email portal, at least 85 times according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The responses varied from the entertaining -- "Go Home Hugh, you're drunk" -- to what AD Ross Bjork said Tuesday was a legit 25-30 beyond the lunatic fringe that the school is looking into.
"There is nothing from those emails that we're majorly concerned with," Bjork said.
The SEC doesn't take kindly to upstarts as it is. But this rising program that wakes up every day banging its head on a cement ceiling in the SEC West has brought this scrutiny on itself. After landing that monster class, Freeze was tired of the innuendo, so he knowingly sought going viral.
He vetted the subject of tweeting his message with school attorneys and Bjork. Then, when the responses started flowing in the school hired a powerful outside firm (William King ofLightfoot, Franklin & White ) to begin sifting through the responses.
"Whether it was right or wrong [to tweet out], as God as my witness, our coaches are doing it the right way," Freeze said Tuesday here at the SEC spring meetings. "If there is somebody out there who is giving us an advantage and it's an illegal advantage, I want to know. There's too much at stake. So tell me."
They have tried. So far, Ole Miss is clean after recruiting way above its pay grade. And there's probably not a coach under the Hilton roof who would have the stones to make the same Twitter dare as Freeze. Now comes the hard part. Freeze has to win. Get out of fourth place in the West, become a factor in a league has a clear and distinct caste system.
Clearly, Ole Miss is not one of the haves at the moment. It's going to be extremely difficult elbowing into the elite this year. Try a five-game stretch in September and October that goes -- at Texas, at Alabama, at Auburn, Texas A&M and LSU.
"Unrealistic expectations always produce frustration," the coach said. "That was my message to all these alumni groups. The reality is we could have a worse record and be a better team."
Either the Rebels come out of that forced march as the "it" team in the SEC, or beaten and bloodied. So, yeah, Freeze has a great recruiting class and all but the defense has to get better. Quarterback Bo Wallace has to improve. The offense may have to outscore people to compensate.
"The difference between us and Alabama right now is [Nick Saban's] got a bunch more Robert Nkemdiches," Freeze said. "We still look at our depth chart and we're not there yet. We're not at an SEC depth chart yet [compared to] LSU, Alabama, Georgia. But we took a step in a right direction."
That step included landing Nkemdiche, the nation's No. 1 recruit, as one of the four five-star recruits in the class. But even that didn't come about until the Rebels beat Mississippi State and won the bowl game to finish 7-6. The mandate from Nkemdiche's parents, Sunday and Beverly -- natives of Nigeria -- was that the program show improvement before Robert would come.
"They told us we needed to be in a bowl game," Freeze said. "They didn't say we needed to beat State but that's what it came down to [to get to a bowl game]. She's in charge, the mom in that culture. That's the queen bee, now. They want to please their mom. Her desires are very important to them."
About Jan. 1, Freeze decided the staff was going all in. There would be no backing off on their top targets. Freeze's staff milked relationships, recruited like mothers, targeted Jan. 25 as a date when they could get all their big recruits under one tent for one big last-push weekend. The plan is to do the same in 2014, two weeks prior to signing day.
This past February, top-ranked receiver Laquon Treadwell signed along with coveted offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil. It was somewhat of a holiday on Tuesday when Nkemdiche enrolled in summer classes. But the game is full of Coach Februarys. Freeze knows the next time isn't going to be as easy.
"Unfortunately, I don't think it will work as well next year because it seems like everybody else has ratcheted up their game," Freeze said of recruiting. "It sure seems like everybody has upped their aggression. Last year at this time I felt like we were pushing as hard as any. Now it's everybody -- Auburn, Tennessee.
"Last year we never really had to fight Auburn or Tennessee for a kid this early. That's changed."
It may be that Feb. 3, 2013, may be a once-in-a-lifetime recruiting confluence of factors for Ole Miss. It's what you do with those recruits that matters. The program hasn't won an SEC title in almost half a century. It has two winning seasons in the last nine. It took that furious finish in 2012 for Freeze to end up 7-6 in his first season with the Rebels.
There is almost no margin for error. None of the five starters on the offensive line missed a start last season. Three got injured in the spring.
"And we were awful," Freeze said.
Prior to Ole Miss, he had been most noted for being Michael Oher's high school coach ofbook and movie fame. Blind Side helped him get a job on Ed Orgeron's Ole Miss staff. That lasted three seasons.
"I'm better for being around Ed Orgeron," Freeze said. "I give Ed a lot of credit for my experience with him. We were really close on a lot of people in recruiting. Ed had a plan and you just don't vary from the plan. The problem with our plan is you have a tough time having a significant amount of Plan Bs. That can be a problem."
Plan Bs -- it should be noted -- are not those Plan As. And if the Plan As had not flocked to Oxford this year? Even a thinner margin for error.
"We'd be a little behind right now," Freeze speculated. "It would definitely be disappointing."
The 43-year-old Mississippi native arrived at this moment because he refused to let that cement ceiling stop him. How tough can the SEC West be when four years ago he was coaching at an NAIA school that no longer exists.
"I basically told my wife ... 'I'm going to go find the worst college football job and see if I can win,'" Freeze said. That was after not being retained by Houston Nutt at Ole Miss following the departure of Orgeron in 2007.
He found his bounce back at Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn. The school shut down in 2011. Not before Freeze went 20-5 in two seasons with, according to the coach, "nowhere to dress, no facilities, no stands."
From there, he went to San Jose State briefly before getting the offensive coordinator's job at Arkansas State in 2011. By that time, Hugh Freeze was washed clean. He had won at a no-count NAIA program. He had won 10 games at Arkansas State and captured the Sun Belt.
He had, for one shining moment, become the best recruiter in the SEC.
The next significant date marked on his calendar should be Aug. 1. That's when the NCAA will start holding head coaches more accountable for wrongdoing in their program. It is considered a watershed moment in NCAA enforcement. With his Twitter feed, Freeze already has opened up a portal directly to his compliance office.
Up to this point, accountability hasn't been an issue. Now all Freeze has to do is win.

NIGERIA: Reuben Abati's Diatribe In Response To CPC's Rotimi Fashakin Criticism Of President Jonathan



We are dealing with such hideous and second rate characters in Nigeria’s public space, belonging to the ACN and the CPC, and that other would-be disaster-prone mongrel called APC that they won’t even respect the truth. The prize for being silly in this regard must go to one Rotimi Fashakin who describes himself as the National Publicity Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). He is an arm-chair critic per excellence and a medieval-era ignoramus.
In a release titled “President Jonathan’s AU summit gaffe” (May 28) Rotimi displayed such habitual indolence and brainlessness that his heirs must be eternally ashamed of, and which I consider offensive and needlessly disruptive. His subject is the just-ended AU @ 50 summit in Addis Ababa.
I invite more cerebral and decent persons to consider the facts. President Jonathan as the leader of the Nigerian delegation to the AU summit in Addis Ababa and the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) indeed put up a sterling performance, using the opportunity of the trip to further promote Nigeria’s interests and to strengthen Nigeria’s relationships with other countries. He held bilateral meetings with the UN Secretary General and the leaders of Jamaica, Egypt, Swaziland, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire. He granted interviews to the media, local and international. He also participated in a special session on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, at which he invited other world leaders to the Abuja+12 conference to be hosted in Nigeria, mid-June. President Jonathan is an accomplished diplomat and a responsible leader under whose watch, Nigeria’s foreign policy process and international relations have been strengthened with commendable results.
Fashakin, failing to do minimal research that any right-thinking person would attempt, jumps to the conclusion that President Jonathan missed his slot at the AU and that nobody represented him. This is more than 48 hours after I had issued a statement indicating that no slot was missed. Fashakin must be so busy he doesn’t even bother to read the news. No slot was missed because no country was under any compulsion to speak. Any country that wished to make a statement indicated the interest to do so, by pressing the button at its own convenience. Nigeria had indicated an interest to speak, but the President needed to attend an urgent ECOWAS meeting on the Lagos-Abidjan Highway, to be attended by five West African countries, to take a report by the Nigerian Minister of Works who is the chair of the regional inter-Ministerial body on the proposed Lagos-Abidjan Highway. I have since circulated the conclusions of that meeting.
While President Jonathan was attending that meeting, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, the Minister of Foreign Affairs presented our statement to the OAU at 50 on President Jonathan’s behalf. I have also since circulated the full text of that statement. In other words, Nigeria’s voice was heard, loud and clear. Let it be noted that President Jonathan’s attendance of a meeting on the sidelines of the AU Summit was perfectly in order, and he attended quite a number, just as Minister Ashiru was not the only Foreign Minister who spoke on behalf of a President at the Summit. So where did Fashakin get his information from that nobody represented Nigeria?
The nature of his mental indolence is understandable. In this attempt to pull President Jonathan down at all costs, lies have become standard stuff, mischief a major commodity, and indecency a character flaw. President Jonathan does not owe anyone an apology for serving Nigeria diligently and truthfully. Fashakin’s reference to an incident in Australia is also wrong-headed because the allegation is false. In fact, in Australia, President Jonathan met with a broad range of investors in the mining sector and that has resulted in huge investments in the Nigerian mining sector. I consider the insinuation about inebriation, in Fashakin’s statement, amplified by his paid agents in other fora, as utterly disrespectful and foolish. They can’t certainly be talking about a President who is a well-focused man of achievement. By the same token, I consider the reference to Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum in that statement as a red herring. Again, I advise Fashakin to read the newspapers so he can be abreast of developments, the only way he can get close to being an effective spokesperson. I had made it clear that President Jonathan has no hand in the Governors Forum crisis, and we stand by that position.
Our case is not rested. When next Fashakin comes to the public with unintelligent thoughts about President Jonathan, it shall remain our duty to continue to remind him of the need to think before talking.

AP Exclusive: Rise of al-Qaida Saharan terrorist

By Rukmili Callimachi
Associated Press, may 28, 2013
DAKAR, Senegal - After years of trying to discipline him, the leaders of al-Qaida's North African branch sent one final letter to their most difficult employee. In page after scathing page, they described how he didn't answer his phone when they called, failed to turn in his expense reports, ignored meetings and refused time and again to carry out orders.
Most of all, they claimed he had failed to carry out a single spectacular operation, despite the resources at his disposal.
The employee, international terrorist Moktar Belmoktar, responded the way talented employees with bruised egos have in corporations the world over. He quit and formed his own group, which would compete directly with his former employer. And within months, he carried out two lethal operations that killed 101 people in all: one of the largest hostage-takings in history at a BP-operated gas plant in Algeria in January, and simultaneous bombings at a military base and a French uranium mine in Niger just last week.
The internal al-Qaida letter, found by The Associated Press inside a building occupied by al-Qaida in northern Mali, is an intimate window into the ascent of an extremely ambitious terrorist leader, who split off from the group's regional branch in Algeria because he wanted to be directly in touch with al-Qaida's central command. It's a glimpse into both the inner workings of a highly structured terrorist organization that requires its commanders to file monthly expense reports, and the internal dissent that led to his rise. And it foreshadows a terrorism landscape where charismatic jihadists can carry out attacks directly in al-Qaida's name, regardless of whether they are under its command.

Nigeria's Boko Haram Claims Victories Over Military

AFP 
May 28, 2013

 NIGERIAN MILITARY A handout picture released on May 25, 2013 by the Nigerian military shows members of the Nigerian Defence headquarter team inspecting an alleged Boko Haram base in Kirenowa.  AFP
The leader of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram claims in a video obtained by AFP on Tuesday that Nigerian soldiers have retreated during an ongoing military offensive while insurgents have sustained little damage.
The video marks the first public comments from Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau since the start of a sweeping offensive by the Nigerian army on May 15 and also includes a call for foreign Islamists to join the fight in Nigeria.
Shekau's whereabouts cannot be determined in the video, in which he is shown seated and dressed in camouflage with a turban, an AK-47 at his side.
His comments contradict statements from the military, which has claimed major successes during the offensive, including the destruction of Boko Haram camps and dozens of arrests.
It has been impossible to verify the claims of either side independently, with the military having cut mobile phone service in much of the country's northeast and access to remote locations restricted.
"Since we started this ongoing war which they call state of emergency ... in some instances soldiers who faced us turned and ran," Shekau says in the hour-long video.
He claims Nigerian forces "threw down their arms in flight."
He calls on like-minded Islamists in countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq to join the fight to create an Islamic state in Nigeria.
"We call to us our brethren in these countries I mentioned. Oh! Our brethren, come to us," he says in the video, which alternates between Arabic and the Hausa language spoken across northern Nigeria.
The video later purports to show vehicles and weapons seized from Nigerian soldiers.
Shekau, designated a global terrorist by the United States last year, repeats earlier statements that Boko Haram "will not stop the kidnap of your women and children until you set free our women and children, and our brethren."
He also says Boko Haram's goal is either the creation of an Islamic state or "martyrdom".
The video was delivered to AFP though an intermediary in a manner similar to previous Boko Haram messages. The images of Shekau in the video are consistent with those previously released.
Army says 'terrorist' aide found dead, two detained
Nigeria launched the offensive against Boko Haram after President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three states in the country's northeast, the Islamist insurgents' stronghold.
Several thousand troops were deployed and fighter jets hit alleged Boko Haram camps.


On May 20, the military said it had re-established control in five remote areas of the northeast where Islamist insurgents had seized territory.
It has also claimed the arrests of 120 suspected insurgents.
A Boko Haram member suspected to be a close associate of Shekau has been found dead, while two others -- one of whom is a Niger national -- have been detained, the military said Tuesday in a statement that referred to all three as "terrorists".
The three men were in the process of crossing the border to Niger across Lake Chad, it added.
The army said 25 insurgents were arrested and three killed during operations at the weekend, including one identified as "Abba" included on a most-wanted list. One soldier was also killed, it said.
"Troops of the special forces have intercepted messages sent to fleeing insurgents urging them not to give up but fight to the end," the statement said.
"The attempt by some of them to heed the call was foiled during the weekend as they were trailed to some settlements and towns towards the border where they plan to regroup."
Last week, the military also said it had freed three women and six children abducted by Boko Haram.
Nigeria's government has pledged to release certain suspects held in connection with the insurgency as a peace gesture, including all women and children.
Boko Haram has waged its insurgency since 2009, with an estimated 3,600 lives lost, including killings by the security forces.
The group has pushed for the creation of an Islamic state in Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer, though its demands have repeatedly shifted.
It is believed to include various factions with differing aims.

Nigeria's military has come under heavy criticism over its response to Boko Haram, including allegations of extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and unlawful detentions.

Digital Currency Company Accused Of Being Underworld’s Bank Of Choice

TPM
Talking Points Memo
Tuesday, May 28, 2013


In 2011, Arthur Budovsky, also known as Arthur Belanchuk, also known as Eric Paltz, decided to renounce his U.S. citizenship and become a citizen of Costa Rica. His company was developing software, Budovsky told U.S. immigration officials at the time, and he was concerned the software would open him up to liability in the U.S.
But Budovsky’s move to Costa Rica now looks futile. On Tuesday, authorities in New York announced federal charges against him, his company, and six associates and former associates, and accused them of operating what was, in effect, “the bank of choice for the criminal underworld.”
The amount of dirty money Liberty Reserve is accused of handling is remarkable. Since its founding in 2006, Liberty Reserve allegedly processed 55 million illegal transactions for at least 1 million users, and laundered more than $6 billion in suspected proceeds of crimes including identity theft, computer hacking, child pornography, and drug trafficking. The investigation and takedown of the company reached across 17 countries, and was touted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York as possibly the largest international money laundering prosecution in history.
“As alleged, the only liberty that Liberty Reserve gave many of its users was the freedom to commit crimes — the coin of its realm was anonymity, and it became a popular hub for fraudsters, hackers, and traffickers,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “The global enforcement action we announce today is an important step towards reining in the ‘Wild West’ of illicit Internet banking. As crime goes increasingly global, the long arm of the law has to get even longer, and in this case, it encircled the earth.”
The federal indictment filed against Liberty Reserve offers a glimpse of the company’s inner workings. According to prosecutors, Liberty Reserve made its money by charging a one-percent fee every time a user transferred the company’s digital currency, called “LR,” to another user. An additional 75 cent “privacy fee” would be charged if a user wanted to hide his account number from making a transfer, making the transaction practically untraceable.
To help keep their customers anonymous, Liberty Reserve allegedly did not accept or issue direct transfers of money. Instead, users had to make deposits and withdrawals of LR through third-parties known as “exchangers.” Liberty Reserve recommended a number of “pre-approved” exchangers to its customers, many of which operated in Malaysia, Russia, Nigeria, and Vietnam.
Liberty Reserve allegedly did not require users to verify any personal information, and users regularly set up accounts under false names — the indictment provides examples of usernames including “Russia Hackers” and “Hacker Account.” A senior law enforcement official who spoke to The New York Times said that one undercover agent working on the case was able to register accounts under names like “Joe Bogus” and listing “for cocaine” as the purpose for an account.
According to the Times, the take down of Liberty Reserve appeared to have a “chilling effect” on cyber criminals, who took to online forums to express anxiety about how to access seized funds.
Liberty Reserve and the seven individuals named in the indictment were charged with money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Five of the defendants, including Budovsky, were arrested on Friday in Spain, New York, and Costa Rica. Two of the defendants, Ahmed Yassine Abdelghani and Allan Esteban Hidalgo Jimenez, remain at large in Costa Rica.