Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Too Little, Too Late? Academy President Promises 'Dramatic Changes'

Cheryl Boone Isaacs is "heartbroken and frustrated" over nominations.
Last week, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) President Cheryl Boone Isaacs joined the chorus of voices speaking out against #OscarsSoWhite, saying, "Of course I'm disappointed" that virtually no people of color were nominated this year.

Now, the AMPAS boss is elaborating on her previous statement, sharing that she's "heartbroken and disappointed" over the lack of diversity. She also promises that drastic measures will be taken to diversify the membership of the Academy, which, as of now, is so overwhelmingly white, male and old that it makes Wall Street look good.

"I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year’s nominees," she said in an extended statement. "While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes."

She continued, "The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership. In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond." Isaacs adds that a sub-committee has been convened to address the problem.

"As many of you know," she added, "we have implemented changes to diversify our membership in the last four years. But the change is not coming as fast as we would like. We need to do more, and better and more quickly."

Meanwhile, Black Hollywood has spoken. Academy members Jada Pinkett SmithSpike Lee and David Oyelowo have all expressed their outrage and support for a boycott, and even this year's Oscars' host, Chris Rock, tweeted that the show is like "the white BET Awards."

Did Ryan Coogler Out J. Cole's Marriage?

J. Cole is officially off the market, ladies, but he may not have wanted the news to get out the way it did — if at all. The cat hopped out the bag when Creed director Ryan Coogler accidentally spilled the private news while interviewing the "Crooked Smile" MC. Awkward.
According to E! Online, during a live stream for #MLKNow in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in New York City, Coogler had an innocent slip-up when he asked Cole, "How did getting married change you?"
After noticing what he asked, The Forest Hills Drive rapper clammed up a bit, shocked that he was put on blast.
"I never interviewed someone before, my bad," Coogler said right after.
Cole was cool with the news being out, but gave the director some playful criticism. "That was like one thing to not do," he said. "But it's all good... They know now."

Beyoncé Might Be Gearing Up to Slap Her Dad With a Lawsuit

Beyoncé is reportedly done with her father Mathew Knowles hijacking the Destiny's Child brand. A source tells In Touch that Queen Bey is planning on taking her dad and former manager to court over ownership of the former group's name and music. Though Beyoncé fired her dad as her manager four years ago, he still owns the rights to the name and music.
The source says, “Beyoncé never wanted to sue him, but he’s given her no choice. He won’t allow them to use their own name — unless he gets paid.”
The group was originally called Girl’s Tyme until Mathew became the manager and renamed them. Though Bey and her group mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams have performed together since Destiny's Child dissolved, they have never been able to do so under their former name. What's more, Mathew gets a check every time they perform DC music.

Beyoncé, who alongside husband Jay Z just beat a sampling suit over "Drunk in Love," reportedly is done trying to solve this out of court, so we can look to a very interesting new year for the Knowles family if she follows through.
The source explains, “Mathew’s bracing himself for a massive lawsuit. Expect 2016 to be the year that Beyoncé takes control of her own destiny and watches the man who took advantage of her go down in flames.”

All we can say is, good luck, Mathew. 

Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) protest over Staff Schools’ Funding (Photos)

LIB exclusively gathered that the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities are protesting over moves by the Federal Govt to exit salaries of university staff primary schools from the payroll of the nation’s tertiary institutions. The Federal Government, through the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), said recently that it would no longer allocate monies from the Federation Account to the various universities for salaries of their staff schools’ teachers. 

This has triggered an ongoing protest as they complained about sack letters which the federal government issued to the primary school teachers. They have also given an ultimatum to the Government to reverse these sack letters by the end of the month or bear with an Indefinite Strike by all teachers. 
Photos are from the University of Lagos, where they can be seen protesting around the Senate Building.

Chris Brown's 'Who's Gonna (Nobody)' Remix Gets an Intro from Keith Sweat

Earlier today, Chris Brown promised on Twitter that he had “something special for my fans” to commemorate Martin Luther King Day. A few hours ago, he delivered on that promise by dropping a remix of “Who’s Gonna (Nobody)” featuring none other than R&B icon Keith Sweat.

The original track, which made its debut on his most recent album Royalty, sampled Sweat's 90’s classic “Nobody.”  For the remix, Brown took it up a notch by getting the R&B legend to offer his famous voice and lay down a brand new intro. The moodier, more soulful remix definitely gives the song a fresh vibe. 

Find Out How Jamie Foxx Saved a Man's Life

The scene sounds like something out of a movie.

A car accident victim is thankful to Jamie Foxx after the Oscar-winning actor literally saved his life. According to TMZ, Foxx went into super mode and pulled the driver from an overturned, burning car in Hidden Valley, just northeast of Los Angeles.
The brutal wreck happened at 8:30 p.m. on Monday after one vehicle reportedly skidded on wet roads, hit a ditch and flipped over, landing upside down, and it all happened right in front of the actor's gate.
Witnesses say the Ray actor told CHP officers he immediately ran to the scene after hearing the commotion and saw the driver buckled to his seat. In fear that the burning car would explode, he told police he unbuckled the man and carried him about 30 feet away from the scene for safety.
Jamie also reportedly called 911 before helping out. Once the cops and firefighters arrived at the scene of the accident, they transported the victim to the hospital where he is said to have major injuries and burns.
Shout out to Jamie Foxx for lending a helping hand where it really counted.

Snoop Dogg is Enraged over 2016 Oscar Nominations, "F*ck you" he says to The Acadamy.

Snoop Dogg isn’t happy with who was nominated for the 2016 Oscars and wants to let everyone know. Taking to Instagram, the 44-year-old Long Beach, California native yelled about how “no ni**as were nominated” and is very clearly boycotting the annual movie award ceremony.
“Somebody asked me was I going to watch the motherf**king Oscars,” he told his followers. “F**k no. All these great movies and all this great s**t y’all keeping stealing from us. F**k you.”
Snoop is just the latest celebrity to boycott The Academy. Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee yesterday both said they would not be attending the Oscars this year. Many claim 2016’s nods lack diversity as the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite blew up after the list was released. No major nominees of color other than The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu received a nomination. Pinkett Smith’s husband Will Smith was up for a nomination for Concussion but didn’t receive one.

Women in their 70s are way hotter - see pictures

Dolly Parton, 70
Dolly Parton, 70

Dolly Parton's a force of nature. As well as an incredible sense of style (you would recognise Parton for her quirky wardrobe alone), she's still got a cracking voice.

Diane Keaton, 70
Diane Keaton, 70
The acting legend turned 7-0 at the start of the year. As well as scoring numerous big roles in films, she's still continuing to wow us on the red carpet with her immaculate dress sense.

Bette Midler, 70
Bette Midler, 70
Over the years, Midler has proved that she's fantastic at just about anything she turns her hand to - including modeling. The 70-years-old is one of the new faces of Marc Jacobs' SS16 fashion campaign.

Helen Mirren, 70
Helen Mirren, 70
Celebs of all ages may don Dolce & Gabbana at the red carpet events, but no one looks better in the Italian label's clobber than the queen of British film, Helen Mirren.

Debbie Harry
Debbie Harry
Blondie's leading lady still slays the red carpet in a series of sharp suits and high-end garments - and we hazard a guess that she will continue to do so for many years to come.

Tina Turner, 76
Tina Turner, 76
Turner may be nearing 80, but she's still singing away and makes a number of appearances at red carpet events.

Judi Dench, 81
Judy Dench, 81
Theatre and film legend, Judy Dench is still acting both on stage and on the big screen, as well as modelling a number of fantastically memorable red carpet events.

Joan Collins, 82
Joan Collins, 82
It's hard to believe that British author Joan Collins is 82. Just look at her!

Maggie Smith, 81
Maggie Smith, 81
She's starred in "Downtown Abbey" for the last few years and has got more film roles under her belt than most actresses could ever hope for. Here's hoping Smith's fire continues to blaze for many, many years.

Goldie Hawn, 70
Golden Hawn, 70
Actress Hawn is still as beautiful as ever and gives her equally stunning daughter Kate Hudson a run for her money.

Grace Coddington, 74
Grace Coddington, 74
Former model Coddington should be inspiration to all working women. While most people her age are retired, she still has an incredibly active role as Creative Director for US Vogue.

Vivienne Westwood, 74
Vivienne Westwood, 74
Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood may not be everyone's style icon, but she's a lady that's achieved an incredible amount and is continuing to add to her achievements on a daily basis.

Jane Fonda, 78
Jane Fonda is just amazing. She's probably never looked better than she does right now and her Sartorial prowess should be celebrated, too.

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Cameron 'stigmatising Muslim women' with English language policy

 David Cameron and Sayeeda Warsi at Jamia Masjid in Manchester. The PM said non-English speakers could be ‘more susceptible’ to extremism. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
David Cameron has been accused of stigmatising Muslim women after he announced plans to help them learn English and warned that migrant spouses who fail language tests may have to leave the UK. 
Announcing the plans on Monday, the prime minister suggested the language classes for Muslim women could help stop radicalisation.
Cameron said a £20m fund would provide classes for all women struggling with English, but he highlighted 38,000 Muslim women who could not speak the language and 190,000 with limited skills in it.
Separately, there would be a new regime meaning those on a five-year spousal visa would have to pass language tests after two and a half years in the country or face having to leave.
“After two and half years they should be improving their English and we will be testing them,” the prime minister said. “We will bring this in in October and it will apply to people who have come in on a spousal visa recently and they will be tested.”
Cameron stressed that he was not blaming those who could not speak English because “some of these people have come from quite patriarchal societies and perhaps the menfolk haven’t wanted them to speak English”.
He said there was no causal link between radicalisation and language skills but non-English speakers could be “more susceptible” to extremism. “If you’re not able to speak English, not able to integrate, you may find therefore you have challenges understanding what your identity is and therefore you could be more susceptible to the extremist message coming from Daesh,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
However, he was quickly criticised for singling out Muslim women as the main group that needed help. Andy Burnham, the shadow home secretary, said Cameron risked “doing more harm than good” in a desire to grab headlines.
“His clumsy and simplistic approach to challenging extremism is unfairly stigmatising a whole community. There is a real danger that it could end up driving further radicalisation, rather than tackling it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, said the announcement was “dog-whistle politics at its best”.
“Linking women in the Muslim community who struggle with the English language to homegrown extremism only serves to isolate the very people Cameron says he is trying to help,” he said. “Liberal Democrats support English language classes for anyone regardless of race, religion or gender and blocked these plans to cut funding for them in coalition.”
Cameron was also criticised by Sayeeda Warsi, the Tory peer and former party co-chairman, who said it was a good policy to encourage language skills to help people get a job, help with homework, manage finances, and get a driving licence, but questioned the link to counter-terrorism.
She said “evidence suggests gang culture, Islamophobia, [and] responses to foreign policy are greater drivers of radicalisation” than failure to learn English.
This was echoed by Shaista Gohir, chair of the Muslim Women’s Network, who said “it should be directed at all communities, not just Muslims – and it shouldn’t be linked to radicalisation”.
“People learning English is a good thing, so they know their rights and can participate in society. Cameron says he wants to empower Muslim women. But what about Muslim women who already speak English and still face barriers to participation?” she asked.
Ed Kessler, director of the Woolf Institute, which convened the recent commission on religion and belief in public life, said: “It is extremely unfortunate that the prime minister has chosen to focus solely on Muslim women to make an important point about the integration of immigrants.
“The commission explicitly called on the government to use sensitive and inclusive language when dealing with matters of faith, yet once again points that apply equally to immigrants from a wide variety of nationalities, backgrounds and religions – Iraqi Christians for example – have been used to associate all Muslims with difficulties associated with integration.
“As a result, rather than empowering women, the Muslim communities can be further alienated, making it harder rather than easier for Muslim women to seek help from public authorities.” 
Sufia Alam, the women’s project manager of the east London Maryam centre, pointed out a wide discrepancy between Cameron’s suggestion that 22% of Muslim women had limited or no English, and the 2011 census, which said just 6% struggled significantly with the language. 
She also highlighted the deep cuts made to funding for the teaching of English for speakers of other languages (Esol) by the last parliament. “My issue is that community facilities – especially those aimed at women – have faced significant cuts.”
Others also questioned Cameron’s logic in announcing the plans for language classes when the government cut £40m last year from funding for migrants wanting to learn English.
Martin Doel, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said the extra £20m for language classes targeted at migrant women did not make up for the £160m reduction in funds available for teaching English to migrants made between 2008 and 2015.
“Recent spending cuts have had an impact on the number of people learning English in our further education colleges, with approximately 2,000 fewer women attending Esol courses in the last year,” he said.

Bearded UK tourists caught up in Vancouver 'terror scare'

Trio from Manchester, who were in Canada for eye surgery, believe police considered them suspicious because of their facial hair.

 CBC originally published this photo showing the faces of men taking pictures at a Vancouver mall. After they were proved innocent, the network decided to no longer identify them. Photograph: VPD
Three men from Manchester caught up in a potential terror investigation inCanada have claimed Vancouver police racially profiled them because they had beards.
CCTV pictures of the trio in a Vancouver shopping mall were leaked to Canadian media last week after they were seen taking “suspicious” photographs.
Vancouver police on Thursday appealed for information about the “suspicious incident”, which they said involved three “Middle Eastern-looking men” who were spotted inside the Pacific Centre mall allegedly photographing the entrances and exits.
Yet the suspects turned out to be Mancunian tourists, two with poor sight – visiting Vancouver for eye surgery. Police later accepted they were taking so many photographs so they could zoom in close when they get home.
“These guys can’t even see! And you expect them to be pulling off something big,” said Mohammed Sharaz, a Briton of Pakistani origin. He said he was visiting Vancouver with his 14-year-old son, Salahuddin Sharaz, and friend, Mohammed Kareem, both of whom suffer from retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic condition that eventually causes blindness.
Sharaz told CBC: “I bought my son a little phone he brought with him just to take pictures of anything he can remember, take it back home and show his family and his friends.”
Of Kareem he said: “My friend, when he looks at anything head-on, he doesn’t see like me and you do. So he’ll take a picture or a movie and then later on when he gets back he zooms into it and he watches stuff. He takes pictures of anything and everything.”
The two are being treated at the Wellspring Clinic for Holistic Medicine by Dr Weidong Yu, CBC reported. Sharaz said the treatment is not available in the UK.
“Because of this terrorist issue, [people say] ‘they got a beard’, that’s why they think we’re terrorists,” Kareem told CBC. “But not everyone is the same, which we need to say. We are not Middle-Eastern, we are Britons.”
Vancouver police had put out an appeal for “Middle Eastern-looking men”, saying that while they had no evidence the men had committed a crime in the mall, they would like to speak to them about what they were doing.
After the men came forward, police said no action would be taken. “All three men were cooperative with investigators and they had a very logical explanation regarding their behaviour. The investigation has conclusively determined that their actions were completely innocent,” the force said on its website.
Police said the CCTV photographs had been leaked to “a Vancouver news outlet via an unknown source, and were not intended or authorised to be shared with the general public. The information was part of an internal police bulletin circulated amongst police officers throughout the province of BC [British Columbia].”
The men told CBC they were shocked to become the subjects of media and online scrutiny after the memo was leaked.
“Come here, we’re famous,” Sharaz said to his son and Kareem. “Look, we’re on TV! I said: ‘You two were taking pictures and they think you’re up to no good!’”
Despite being cleared of any wrongdoing, the men were worried that the CCTV pictures would live forever on the internet. But Sharaz told CBC he does not blame the police for how they handled the situation. “I think the police, the job they did was perfectly fine,’ he said. “There’s a lot of evil that goes on in the world and if they just ignored it and something serious was to happen ... A human life is not worth nothing, any human life is worth something.”

'The child died as he was born, in between my legs'

When Shamimu Nabasirye went into labour, she could not afford to travel to the nearest health centre. In this part of Uganda, stillbirths ‘go unnoticed all the time’.

 A birth at a hospital in Mozambique. Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s highest stillbirth rates. Photograph: age fotostock/Alamy
On 2 January, Shamimu Nabasirye gave birth to a baby boy, who died as he was born.
Nabasirye had attended antenatal clinics at the rural Namwezi sub-county health centre, three times in nine months, where she was always advised to do less of her daily household chores and get more rest. She knew this was not possible but she nodded her head in agreement to make the midwife happy.
“I was at home without help, doing many chores to sustain my three children from a failed marriage as well as my new husband, Isima, who is a casual worker in Jinja town,” she says. “I had to wash clothes, fetch water and firewood from a distance of 5km, prepare food and also dig the fields. At the end of every day, I was extremely tired and yet I also had to satisfy the sexual needs of my partner,” says Nabasirye.
She first got pregnant at the age of 15. “I was at my parent’s home in Bugerere and in a primary school,” she says. Her parents forced her to marry the man who had impregnated her. When the marriage failed, she moved to a village near Njeru town in Buikwe district, 54km from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, in search of work. There she met Isima.
When Nabasirye went into labour this month, she could not afford the transport costs to go to Namwezi health centre. She needed about £5 to hire a car to get there, about a week’s earnings for her husband – but he had not been paid his wages for November or December.
Her husband was still at work when her labour pains started. When she couldn’t get hold of the money for a car, her neighbours advised her to seek help from thelocal traditional birth attendant, who often helps women give birth even when they do not have cash, knowing they will come back to pay later.
“This woman saved my life, although she did not save my baby,” says Nabasirye, refusing to name or blame the birth attendant. “The child died as he was born, in between my legs.”
According to Ugandan custom, the baby had to be buried in her husband’s village, Bugiri, which is 80km from where the couple live. It is not done to take a coffin on public transport, and yet the couple did not have the £40 need to hire a private vehicle to take them to Bugiri.
The couple put their baby son’s body into a suitcase and took it as luggage on the public minibus which carries about 14 passengers.
Shamimu Nabasirye credits her traditional birth attendant with saving her life.
Shamimu Nabasirye credits her traditional birth attendant with saving her life. Photograph: Njaleruma Kigozi/White Ribbon Alliance Uganda
“I felt so bad having to transport my baby that way,” she says, with tears rolling down her face. “We had to pack clothes on top on his body, lest people suspect we were transporting a dead body. Even if your child dies at birth, he should be buried well. No one escorted us from where we live although when we arrived in the village there were a few people waiting for us to attend our son’s burial.”
Nabasirye says people have accused her and her husband of not being prepared with enough cash for the birth of their child, but that sometimes such situations are unavoidable. “My husband hadn’t been paid for two months. He also feels bad that he lost his first born child, but people just blamed us. I feel bad too but God will help us get another child,” she says.
Saddam Longa, the local civil defence officer in the couple’s village, says stillbirths in his area “trouble many women and go unnoticed all the time. Women die and children die. It is the order of the day. Sometimes the medical personnel are blamed, sometimes it is women who miss antenatal and medical examination.”
He says sometimes health workers ask pregnant women for payment – which they may not have. Longa believes that the Ministry of Health must discipline these health workers, otherwise pregnant women and their babies will continue to die in and out of hospital.
Nabasirye says she will be ready with cash when she gets pregnant again, because her experience has taught her a lot.
But Faridah Luyiga, from the citizen-led campaigning network White Ribbon Alliance Uganda, says: “We are holding the government to account for the health services they have promised to the people. This can prevent the painful losses suffered so often in silence by mothers and fathers in my country.”

Fresh crisis hits PDP as group asks Metuh, Mohammed to step aside


A fresh leadership crisis is now brewing within the camp of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as a faction of deputy national officers of the party on Monday called on the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh and the Acting Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Dr. Harilu Bello Mohammed to step aside pending the determination of the corrupt case instituted against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The group equally described as null and void, the timetable released by the NWC for the party’s congresses and national convention, which it said, was done without recourse to the National Executive Committee.

The faction similarly asked the Acting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, to revert to his former position as Deputy National Chairman, noting that it is in the interest of democracy that the Abuja High Court ruling of December 15, 2015 should be respected and implemented. But the national leadership of the PDP in a swift reaction on Monday accused the group of deputy national officers of being used by the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) to distablise the party.
The call on the duo of Metuh and Mohammed by the factional officers to step aside was contained in a statement signed on their behalf by Otunba Dennis Alonge-Niyi (deputy national youth leader), Bashir Maidugu (deputy national legal adviser), Okey Nnaedozie (deputy national organising secretary) and Abdullahi Jalo (deputy national publicity secretary). They however added that the call was not a pronouncement of guilt on Metuh and Mohammed, but a passionate appeal to halt erroneous concept that the party tolerates corruption.
The PDP deputy national officers, apart from the deputy national chairman and deputy national secretary, are not members of the PDP National Working Committees (NWC). The group dissociated the PDP from the ongoing trials of Metuh and Mohammed by the anti-corruption agency, “because the charges against them are in their individual capacities and not acting on behalf of the party.” They called on National Caucus, the Board of Trustees and the PDP Governors Forum to prevail on the two accused persons to step aside until they clear their names so as to save the party from any further damage.
“They (Metuh and Mohammed) are said to have received funds using accounts of their private companies without the knowledge and instructions of any organ of the party Meanwhile, the national leadership of the PDP on Monday reacted to the various issues raised by its deputy national officers and declared that they were merely allowing themselves to be used by the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) to distablise the party. Acting National chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, while reacting to the development during an interaction with journalists in Abuja, pointed out that the constitution of the party is very clear that in the absence of the chairman, the deputy assumes his position.
According to Secondus, “They took us to court and we have appealed. They are ignorant of the law. The Constitution is clear that in the absence of chairman, the deputy assumes position”. The PDP acting national chairman specifically accused the deputy national officers of malice. He stated that they (deputy national officers) were “being used by the other party to destabilise us, but we aren’t going to be distracted, we are strong.” Secondus said that he has not assumed the office of chairman but that he is only administering the party in acting capacity.
He added: “They aren’t the authorised organ of the party. There is nothing like association of deputies”. Also in a statement on Monday evening signed by PDP National Secretary, Prof. Adewale Oladipo, the party cautioned members against being used by fifth columnists. The PDP noted the desperation of some opportunistic and selfish individuals, including those being used by the APC, to draw political capital from the present challenges facing the party.

TB Joshua sues Lagos Coroner, AG over indictment

The leader of Synagogue Church of All Nation, Prophet Temitope Joshua has sued the Lagos state Coroner, Magistrate Komolafe Oyetade and AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice, over the criminal indictment of the church and two engineers who constructed the collapsed building that left about 116 people dead on September 12, 2014.
TB Joshua and his church had filed a motion before Justice Kazeem Alogba, seeking an order to annul the verdict of Magistrate Komolafe Oyetade at the coroner’s court on the ground that the court has exceeded its statutory jurisdiction. Komolafe and the Attorney General, Lagos state are listed as respondents in the suit filed on January 11, 2016. In its verdict last year, TB Joshua’s church and the two engineers that constructed the collapsed building were indicted by the coroner court. The court ordered that Synagogue church be investigated by the relevant authorities for not possessing the neccessary building permit.

Twitter hit by temporary outages in Europe, Japan, Africa

Twitter said on Tuesday its social network was suffering outages in several parts of the world and it was working to resolve the issues.
Both Twitter web and mobile services suffered outages for at least an hour around 0900 GMT, with smartphone users receiving the warning: “Tweets aren’t loading right now.”
“Some users are currently experiencing problems accessing Twitter,” a statement on the company’s Twitter status website said (status.twitter.com/).
“We are aware of the issue and are working towards a resolution,” a company spokeswoman said.
By 1000 GMT, services for some affected users in Europe started to return, although access remained spotty.
Outages were reported across Europe and appeared to be concentrated in Britain, France and Germany, according to DownDetector.uk, a Twitter monitoring service.
Japan also reported outages but users in other Asian countries said Twitter service was operating normally.
Users from Scandinavia to Spain to South Africa also reported outages.
Some Twitter users in Europe were still able to publish, suggesting there was never a complete blackout in the region.
“I’m reading hundreds of tweets, on Twitter, saying Twitter is down. This is like Inception,” tweeted London-based James Martin, who goes by the handle @pundamentalism. (Reuters/NAN)

We are not involved in Kogi Assembly crisis — APC

The All Progressives Congress APC in Kogi State has urged those it described as “political detractors” to stop linking it to the ongoing leadership tussle in the state House of Assembly. State Chairman of the party, Alhaji Haddy Ametuo who gave the warning in a statement issued in Abuja said APC is preoccupied with its recent electoral success in the state as well as putting all efforts in place to hit the ground running at the end of the tenure of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government on January 27. “As far as we are concerned, we have no interest or hand in the crisis in the House of Assembly, after all PDP has the majority.
So, our political detractors should not link us with their actions or inaction’s, rather than linking the governor-elect, Alhaji Yahaya Bello with their inability to manage the House, we urge them to look inwards and search their “cupboards”, he said. Ametuo also cautioned residents of the Central Senatorial District against ‘over-celebration’ saying the task ahead is very enormous. He warned that on the day of inauguration, no form of thuggery or unnecessary celebration with masquerades would be allowed.
“I enjoin the people of the state to be law-abiding. Security operatives are on alert to pick anyone who foments trouble. Traditional masquerades would not also be allowed anywhere near the event. We must all conduct and comport ourselves accordingly”, he added.
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N2.6b fraud: How ex-NIMASA DG disburses funds — witness

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court, Lagos, on Monday, heard how part of the N2.6billion allegedly stolen by a former Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Director-General, Patrick Akpobolokemi, was disbursed. Akpobolokemi was also accused of defrauding the Federal Government to the tune of N795.2million. The former NIMASA boss was arraigned along with three others – Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan – and three companies, namely Bloc kz and Stonz Limited, Kenzo Logistics Limited and Al-Kenzo Logistic Limited.
In a 22-count charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), they were accused of converting a total of N2, 658,957,666 between December 23, 2013 and May 28 this year. The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts. EFCC, which opened trial Monday, called its first witness, Teslim Ajuwon, who is the Compliance Officer at Zenith Bank. He said he was responsible for enquiries from regulatory agencies such as the EFCC, the Police, NDLEA, among others.

He said he received enquiries from EFCC for a report of activities on some accounts, including Aruwo Consulting Limited, Extreme Vertex Limited, Southern Options Limited, Green Lemon Services and Committee on ISPS. According to him, the bank received a request to produce account opening package of the companies as well as their financial statements. The witness, who gave a graphic details of cash inflow and outflow said the fourth defendant, Governor Juan, was paid N11million on September 9, 2014, while Kenzo Logistics, also a defendant, got N10 Million the same day.
For the Committee on ISPS account, there was an inflow of N14.2million on June 17, 2014 from Access Bank; N21.2million on March 5, 2015; N16million on May 5, 2015; and N21.2million on June 18, 2015. He said the monies were later disbursed, leaving only N1.4million as balance on June 18, 2015. Ajuwon said N10million was transferred to Uchenna Emenalo on June 19 2015; while another N11million was transferred to him the same day. He said on August 29, 2014, there was a credit of N795.2million into the Committee on ISPS account from NIMASA.

Windermere wedding fireworks storeroom blast killed pair

Fire at Ecclerigg
A fireworks display organiser and his assistant died in an explosion in a fireworks storeroom ahead of a wedding display, a jury has heard.
Andrew Coates, 41, and Polly Connor, 46, were preparing a display in the grounds of groom John Simpson's cottage in Ecclerigg, when the blast happened.
The wedding was between insurance boss Mr Simpson, 61, and his bride, Nicole Rothwell, 44, on 30 August 2014.
A jury inquest has begun to decide what caused the fireworks to go off.
The inquest, in Kendal, heard how the newly-weds were having their photographs taken in the grounds of Larch Cottage, overlooking Windermere in the Lake District, when catering staff heard "snapping and popping sounds" coming from an outbuilding where fireworks were being stored.
Witnesses then reported hearing explosions "from all directions" and seeing a lot of smoke.
Firefighters were called to the scene and found the bodies of Mr Coates and Mrs Connor near the entrance of the fireworks storage room - with a metal cabinet on top of one of the bodies.
Post-mortem examinations showed the pair, both from Kendal, died from the effects of an explosion and a fire.
Polly ConnorImage copyrightSteve Barber
Image captionMother-of-three Polly Connor and Mr Coates' were preparing for a fireworks display when they died
Jurors were told the store room was an L-shaped single-storey wooden construction which was split into three compartments, also containing a garage and another storage room.
Mr Simpson and father-of-one Mr Coates ran a business together named Stardust Fireworks and held a licence to stage displays at Larch Cottage.
In opening remarks to the jury, HM Coroner David Roberts, said: "In the course of the preparations of the fireworks some ignited and the consequence was the entire outbuilding and its contents were consumed by fire."
He said the jury would have to consider what caused the first firework to ignite and why the two who died had not been able to get out of the store room.
He said the training that Mr Coates received would also be considered as well as whether or not a risk assessment had been carried out.
The hearing is set to last up to five days.

Father abused toddler before her death

Poppi Worthington

A 13-month-old girl was sexually assaulted by her father shortly before her sudden death, a judge has found.
Poppi Worthington, who was found with serious injuries at her home in Barrow, was pronounced dead when she was taken to hospital in December 2012.
Her father, Paul Worthington, 47, was arrested and questioned on suspicion of sexual assault but never charged with any offence. He denied any wrongdoing.
A later inquest took just seven minutes to declare the death "unexplained".
High Court family judge Mr Justice Peter Jackson, sitting at Liverpool Crown Court, ruled that - on the balance of probabilities - Mr Worthington "perpetrated a penetrative ... assault on Poppi".
The death of the toddler had been shrouded in secrecy with a 2014 fact-finding civil court judgement being kept private so as not to prejudice any criminal proceedings.
Last month, three medical experts gave evidence in open court stating they disagreed with the findings of a Home Office pathologist who believed Poppi was the victim of "a penetrative sexual assault".
In his judgement, Mr Justice Jackson said he could not accept Mr Worthington's evidence relating to the collapse of Poppi at the family home and was "not impressed" with his account of the events leading up to her death.
The Cumbria Police investigation and the actions of Cumbria County Council had been criticised in earlier hearings.
On 12 December 2012, Poppi awoke screaming at around 05:45 GMT, according to her father, and an ambulance was called.
On admission to hospital and at post-mortem the youngster was found to have an earlier fracture of her right lower leg and other suspected acute injuries.

'Jumped to conclusions'

The youngster was buried in February 2013, precluding a further post-mortem examination, after her body was released by then local coroner Ian Smith.
Cumbria Police announced in March last year that no charges would be brought against anyone over Poppi's death.
Lawyers representing Mr Worthington, who was not in court for the latest judgement, had told Mr Justice Jackson he was a "doting and loving" father and there was "no sufficient evidential basis" to suggest he abused his daughter before her death.
Mr Justice Jackson said: "Careful assessment of the meticulous pathological and paediatric evidence has clearly established that [Poppi's] injuries were the result of trauma from outside the body.
"My finding (in the previous judgment) was that the father perpetrated a penetrative ... assault on Poppi ... That remains my conclusion."
It emerged previously that senior detectives thought pathologist Dr Alison Armour "may have jumped to conclusions" when she raised suspicions about Poppi's death as they decided not to investigate until the full post-mortem report was ready - but it was not finished until the following summer.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is reviewing how Cumbria Police conducted its investigation into Poppi's death.
But it has already emerged that officers failed to preserve vital items for forensic analysis, either at the home or at the hospital after Poppi's collapse and the scene at the house was not properly secured.
The IPCC is due to present its findings following a second inquest into the youngster's death which is yet to be held.
Responding to the latest judgement, a Cumbria Police spokesman said: "The Constabulary are fully aware of Mr Justice Jackson's criticisms of the initial investigation and have assessed these.
"One officer was suspended and has since retired, another two were moved into different roles. One of the officers is currently undergoing performance proceedings and the second officer has been dealt with by management action.
"The Constabulary will support any future inquest or hearing into this death and have cooperated fully with the IPCC investigation.
"Whilst performance proceedings are active and an inquest is to be held we are unable to comment any further."
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