Report on Boko Haram

The report by the State Security Service, Nigeria’s leading agency for internal intelligence, was submitted to senior government officials in June, a person familiar with it said. That marked roughly the beginning of a string of attacks this summer attributed to the group here in Africa’s most populous country, an important oil exporter.

Nigeria’s latest attack, a suicide bombing Friday at the U.N. compound in the capital, Abuja, marked what is believed to be Boko Haram’s first assault on an international target. The bombing killed at least 23 people and injured more than 80, according to a U.N. spokesman.

The June report, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, didn’t appear to contain specific intelligence on future attacks. But critics say the bombing attempts that followed its submission to top officials—paired with mounting evidence that some Boko Haram members are pursuing higher profile al Qaeda-style attacks on international targets—highlights what they say is an intelligence service hobbled by poor coordination and corruption within its ranks.

These people point in particular to a finding in the report that four of the five top members of Boko Haram have been in police custody at least once in recent years but have been released. The report doesn’t state reasons for the releases.

A spokesman for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan didn’t respond to requests for comment about the report. A spokeswoman for the state security service declined to speak about the report or Boko Haram.

Several of the report’s findings were confirmed by other Nigerian and Western security officials

LAGOS—Members of Boko Haram, the group believed responsible for last week’s suicide bombing of a United Nations’ building in Nigeria, have received training from al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Afghanistan and Algeria, according to a recent internal Nigerian intelligence report.

The report by the State Security Service, Nigeria’s leading agency for internal intelligence, was submitted to senior government officials in June, a person familiar with it said. That marked roughly the beginning of a string of attacks this summer attributed to the group here in Africa’s most populous country, an important oil exporter.

Nigeria’s latest attack, a suicide bombing Friday at the U.N. compound in the capital, Abuja, marked what is believed to be Boko Haram’s first assault on an international target. The bombing killed at least 23 people and injured more than 80, according to a U.N. spokesman.

The June report, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, didn’t appear to contain specific intelligence on future attacks. But critics say the bombing attempts that followed its submission to top officials—paired with mounting evidence that some Boko Haram members are pursuing higher profile al Qaeda-style attacks on international targets—highlights what they say is an intelligence service hobbled by poor coordination and corruption within its ranks.

These people point in particular to a finding in the report that four of the five top members of Boko Haram have been in police custody at least once in recent years but have been released. The report doesn’t state reasons for the releases.

A spokesman for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan didn’t respond to requests for comment about the report. A spokeswoman for the state security service declined to speak about the report or Boko Haram.

Several of the report’s findings were confirmed by other Nigerian and Western security officials.

The report presents a more detailed picture of foreign terror links than the government has acknowledged. It portrays Boko Haram as an Islamist group with Jihadist aspirations and more substantial international connections than previously believed.

It says group members began traveling abroad for weapons training as early as 2002, with a trip that included several members heading to Mauritania. In 2007, the report says, members of Boko Haram traveled to Afghanistan to receive training in the making of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, and in suicide-bombing techniques.

The report names a man from Nigeria’s Adamawa state it says “led a group of members to Afghanistan for training on IEDs and on their return they imparted their knowledge to others.”

One of the latest on boko haram latest news news is one a Nigerian undercover security official in the country’s north confirmed that Boko Haram members have received training in Afghanistan. “They usually fly there from neighboring countries, like Niger or Chad,” the official said.

The report also says Boko Haram members received combat and bombmaking training in Mauritania and in Algeria with members of al Qaeda’s north Africa branch, known as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM.

Algeria-based AQIM has claimed credit for several killings and kidnappings of foreigners in west Africa, including a Friday suicide bombing of an Algerian military academy that killed 18 people. The group still has at least four French hostages kidnapped last September in Mali.

A U.S. official said it was unlikely that Boko Haram was active enough before 2009 to send people in considerable numbers to train elsewhere.

But by 2009, this official said, Boko Haram made contacts and established relationships with members of AQIM. In 2010, they began training alongside elements of AQIM in northern Mali.

“Within the last year, they’ve established more contacts and training opportunities with AQIM,” said the U.S. official. “What we’re seeing now is probably the result of the additional radicalization of their viewpoints and the training.”

The official said Boko Haram is estimated to number a few hundred people. “This is not a widespread, huge movement,” the U.S. official said.

Many inside Nigeria’s government criticize Mr. Jonathan and the security agencies for not preventing the recent attacks thought to have been carried out by Boko Haram. The group is blamed for the June bombing of a northern Nigeria beer garden that killed 25 people, and a bombing at the Nigerian police headquarters in Abuja that same month.

There is no indication that the Boko Haram members who received training abroad are those responsible for last week’s bombing.

A man claiming to be a Boko Haram member took credit for last week’s U.N. bombing, in a phone interview Saturday with The Wall Street Journal that was arranged in an intermediary in northeastern Nigera, where the group is based. The claim hasn’t been independently confirmed.

Late Monday, the Nigerian police said they made several arrests of suspects behind the bombing but didn’t release any additional details. The Nigerian government hasn’t issued any statements assigning blame for the attack.

On Tuesday, President Jonathan said he directed the security services to “implement additional security, intelligence-gathering and counter terrorism measures, including greater cooperation with other nations engaged in the global war on terrorism.”

While Nigerians commonly refer to their largest homegrown terrorist group as Boko Haram, which roughly means “Western education is sin” in the local Hausa language, the group officially calls itself Jama’atul ahlul Sunna Lidda’awa Wal Jihad, which means “Brethren of Sunni United in the Pursuit of Holy War.” It has existed in various forms, and under various leaders, since the late 1990s, according to the report.

Members demand a wider implementation of Sharia law in Nigeria, the cessation of attacks against its members and the end of Western-style education promoted by the Nigerian government.

After a series of confrontations with local police in 2009, the group attracted more recruits and sent more members abroad for training. After a prison break in 2009 freed some 800 convicts, including several suspected Boko Haram members, some members fled to Algeria and were trained by AQIM, according to the report.

The group has a long list of those it aims to attack: “local government institutions and security agencies, moderate Muslims, non-Muslims thought to be responsible for social, economic and political misfortune against the north \[of Nigeria], certain clerics, churches, Christian businesses, and relaxation spots,” according to the report. It doesn’t offer details of how it would attack these targets.

Several northern Nigerian leaders have suggested amnesty for Boko Haram members, arguing that if Mr. Jonathan can give amnesty to Niger Delta militants, he can do the same for northern militants.

Other Sources: Wikipedia

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Washington State Election Results 2011 Update

Washington State Election Results 2011

In Franklin County, Proposition 1 is passing. Initial results show 62% of voters said “yes” to the county’s criminal justice and public safety tax. 38% voted “no.” The measure would increase the sales and use tax in Franklin County and the City of Pasco 3/10 of one percent.

As for Pasco council members, the only two contested races show Al Yenny is beating Andrew Johnson, with 61% of votes. Johnson has received 39%. The second contested race has Rebecca Francik with 66% of votes and John Talbott with 34%.

In Benton County, the City of Kennewick Council position 7 shows Mayor Steve Young is winning with 70% of votes, beating out controversial candidate Loren Nichols who received 30% votes. Nichols was known for his stance on immigration.

WA Election Results 2011

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Ohio Election Results 2011

Ohio Election Results 2011

The vote buoyed Democrats, who are hoping to rebound from their sweeping losses in 2010, though experts agree the economy is still the biggest issue. “If the economy were to turn around in the next year, that’s going to matter a lot more than what happens in ballot issues,” said one political analyst, Justin Buchler.

Ohio’s bill went further than a similar one in Wisconsin by including police officers and firefighters, and was considered by many observers to be a barometer of the national mood on the political conundrum of the day: what is the appropriate size and role of government, and who should pay for it.

Its defeat is anticipated to energise the labour movement, which largely supports the Democrats, ahead of Barack Obama’s re-election effort.

The result indicated that voters in the industrial midwest may be growing disenchanted with the Tea Party-backed Republicans voted into office in 2010, who have advocated deep spending cuts and opposed tax increases.

Faced with budget gaps and Tea Party pressure to curb spending, Republican governors around the country have sought to limit unions’ influence. The new law repealed in Ohio would have severely limited the bargaining rights of more than 350,000 teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public employees.

The law had not yet taken effect. It would have permitted workers to negotiate wages but not pensions or healthcare benefits. It banned strikes for public sector workers, scrapped binding arbitration and dropped promotions based solely on seniority.

With about a third of the vote tallied, the repeal effort was leading 61% to 39%.

The vote is a blow to the state’s new Republican governor, John Kasich, who pushed strongly for the legislation after Republicans gained a firm hold on the Ohio legislature in 2010.

Labour and business interests poured more than $30m (£18.5m) into the nationally watched campaign, and turnout was high.

Kasich and supporters in the business community promoted the law as a means for local governments to save money and keep workers. The largely union-funded opponent coalition painted the issue as a threat to public safety and middle-class workers, running TV ads filled with images of firefighters, police officers, teachers and nurses.

Ohio voters also approved a proposal to prohibit people from being required to buy health insurance as part of the national healthcare overhaul supported by Obama. The vote was mostly symbolic but Republicans hope to use it as part of a legal challenge.

In Maine, voters repealed a new state law supported by the state’s new Tea Party-backed Republican governor that requires voters to register at least two days before an election.

The elections also include governors’ races in Mississippi and Kentucky. Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, was re-elected, becoming the second Democrat to win a governorship in 2011. He won despite high unemployment, budget shortfalls and an onslaught of third-party attack ads.

In Mississippi the lieutenant governor, Phil Bryant, appeared poised to keep the governor’s mansion in Republican hands, succeeding Haley Barbour, who toyed briefly with a run for president. The Hattiesburg mayor, Johnny Dupree, is the first black major-party nominee for governor in Mississippi, but an upset win for him is not on the cards.

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2011 NECO RESULTS

2011 NECO RESULTS

NECO Results have been released, NECO has  released the eagerly awaited results of its June/July 2011/2012 examinations.

Candidates that sat for the NECO June/July 2011/2012 examinations can now check their results on the neco website: http://www.mynecoexams.com.

HOW TO CHECK YOUR NECO RESULTS
– After accessing the NECO website: http://www.mynecoexams.com/results/default.aspx
1. Select year Examination Type
2. Select year of examination
3. Enter your card PIN number
4. Enter your Examination Number
5. Click on “Check My Result” button

Good Luck

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NECO Results 2011

NECO Results 2011

NECO Results have been released, NECO has  released the eagerly awaited results of its June/July 2011/2012 examinations.

Candidates that sat for the NECO June/July 2011/2012 examinations can now check their results on the neco website: http://www.mynecoexams.com.


Another mass failure has been recorded by students across the country in the just announced 2011 June/July Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) results.

Registrar, Chief Executive of the Council, (NECO) while announcing the results in Minna Friday, exonerated the Council from  the poor outing of students nationwide, adding that structures that ensured that appropriate standards of excellence and transparency were maintained before, during and after the examinations were put in place.

A breakdown of the results shows that out of the 1,190,393 that registered for the English language, 1,160,049 actually sat for the examinations while only 2,119 or 0.18% came out with Distinction and 263,777 or 22.16% came out with Credit pass, 76,224 or 6.40% failed while there 51,312 malpractice or 4.31% was recorded.

In Mathematics, 1,190,365 registered for the subject while 1,156,561 sat for it with only 3,356 or 0.28% obtaining Distinction and 295,961 or 24.86% with credit, 7, 7,395 or 60.27% pass, 89,023 or 7.48% failed while 50,826 or 4.27% malpractice was recorded.

Core subjects like Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Further Mathematics also recorded mass failure with high degrees of malpractices also recorded.

Answering questions from Journalists on the continous mass failure in external examinations, Registrar/Chief Executive of the Council, Professor Promise M. Okpala attributed the continous mass failure to a lot of variables which he said include the learners (Students) themselves, the various schools across the country, parents and even the society.

He said while the Federal government and some states have already taken bold steps to improve on the educational standard, all stakeholders will have to be patient before reaping the good results adding that “the high expectations cannot be achieved  immediately because change in the behavioral pattern of the children take time”.

Professor Okpala identified quality teaching on the part of teachers and intensive learning by the students concerned as the only way out if the dwindling academics and poor results in the country have to be drastically reduced.

On whether the Council has an approved syllabus for its candidates and whether schools are being monitored in strict compliance with the approved syllabus, the Registrar said, “in as much as NECO has an approved and standard syllabus, strict compliance with it rest sorely in the hands of each school to ensure that the syllabus are met in terms of teaching.”

According to him,” it cannot be proper for any external examiner to go into schools to analyse how they are teaching their students and for the same examiner to oversee the markings of answer sheets of such students.”

Okpala emphasized on the markings of examination scripts of students saying, “we embark on centralized marking and those engaged in our markings are qualified teachers who teach in various secondary schools across the country and I want to assure you that we don’t award marks randomly but according to ability and capability of each student.

A total of 1,190,393 candidates registered for the examination out of while 1,160561 actually sat for the examination.

NECO Results 2011

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South Africa News24: News24.com South Africa

news24.com South Africa

The main news sections are South Africa, Africa, World, Sport, Sci-Tech and Entertainment. News24 also brings you the latest business news through Fin24. Other related content sites include Wheels24, Property24, Women24, Health24, Careers24 and Food24.

News24 also produces regular Special Reports, bringing you in-depth coverage of the biggest news events of the day.

Ananzi, MWeb, Moneymax and SuperSport, among others, have all chosen News24 as a preferred content partner.

News24 also hosts Afrikaans websites for Beeld, Die Burger, Volksblad, Sake and the Naspers Afrikaans portal website NetAfrikaans.com, making it the largest supplier of Afrikaans news content. It also hosts websites for Sunday newspapers Rapport and City Press and a number of Media24 community newspapers.

News24 is operated by 24.com, and is a full member of the Online Publishers Association (OPA).

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Apartheid in South Africa

With the enactment of apartheid laws in 1948, racial discrimination was institutionalized. Race laws touched every aspect of social life, including a prohibition of marriage between non-whites and whites, and the sanctioning of “white-only” jobs. In 1950, the Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be racially classified into one of three categories: white, black (African), or colored (of mixed decent). The coloured category included major subgroups of Indians and Asians. Classification into these categories was based on appearance, social acceptance, and descent. For example, a white person was defined as “in appearance obviously a white person or generally accepted as a white person.” A person could not be considered white if one of his or her parents were non-white. The determination that a person was “obviously white” would take into account “his habits, education, and speech and deportment and demeanor.” A black person would be of or accepted as a member of an African tribe or race, and a colored person is one that is not black or white. The Department of Home Affairs (a government bureau) was responsible for the classification of the citizenry. Non-compliance with the race laws were dealt with harshly. All blacks were required to carry “pass books” containing fingerprints, photo and information on access to non-black areas.

In 1951, the Bantu Authorities Act established a basis for ethnic government in African reserves, known as “homelands.” These homelands were independent states to which each African was assigned by the government according to the record of origin (which was frequently inaccurate). All political rights, including voting, held by an African were restricted to the designated homeland. The idea was that they would be citizens of the homeland, losing their citizenship in South Africa and any right of involvement with the South African Parliament which held complete hegemony over the homelands. From 1976 to 1981, four of these homelands were created, denationalizing nine million South Africans. The homeland administrations refused the nominal independence, maintaining pressure for political rights within the country as a whole. Nevertheless, Africans living in the homelands needed passports to enter South Africa: aliens in their own country.

In 1953, the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act were passed, which empowered the government to declare stringent states of emergency and increased penalties for protesting against or supporting the repeal of a law. The penalties included fines, imprisonment and whippings. In 1960, a large group of blacks in Sharpeville refused to carry their passes; the government declared a state of emergency. The emergency lasted for 156 days, leaving 69 people dead and 187 people wounded. Wielding the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the white regime had no intention of changing the unjust laws of apartheid.

The penalties imposed on political protest, even non-violent protest, were severe. During the states of emergency which continued intermittently until 1989, anyone could be detained without a hearing by a low-level police official for up to six months. Thousands of individuals died in custody, frequently after gruesome acts of torture. Those who were tried were sentenced to death, banished, or imprisoned for life, like Nelson Mandela.

Apartheid in South Africa

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