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Celine Dion Cancels Concert Tour Due to Deteriorating Stiff-Person Syndrome
From the Stage to the Battlefront: Celine Dion's Courageous Journey Fighting Stiff-Person SyndromeFrom the Stage to the Battlefront: Celine Dion’s Courageous Journey Fighting Stiff-Person Syndrome

The Unfolding Story of Celine Dion’s Health

In recent news that has left fans across the globe stunned, iconic singer Celine Dion, now 55 years old, has been forced to cancel her entire world tour due to her deteriorating health condition. The announcement came as a shock to her millions of fans who were eagerly anticipating her performances.

Delving Deeper into Dion’s Diagnosis: Stiff-Person Syndrome

Cartoon avatar of Celine Dion displaying confidence.

A vibrant, cartoon-style avatar representing Celine Dion, exuding an aura of unwavering confidence. Despite her ongoing health struggles with Stiff-Person Syndrome, the illustration captures Dion’s indomitable spirit and her unwavering determination to overcome her challenges.

Last year, Dion shared the disheartening news that she had been diagnosed with a rare condition known as Stiff-Person Syndrome (e.g., Mayo Clinic or NHS). This rare neurological disorder results in severe and continuous muscle spasms, making it extremely challenging for Dion to perform. As she fights this illness, Dion continues to express her profound disappointment at not being able to meet her fans on the concert tour.

The Impact of Health Concerns on Dion’s 2023 Tour

“I’m so sorry to disappoint all of you once again… and even though it breaks my heart, it’s best that we cancel everything until I’m really ready to be back on stage… I’m not giving up… and I can’t wait to see you again!” Dion wrote in her official statement. Her announcement has led to the cancellation of 42 tour dates across Europe, with the hope that she may be able to perform again soon when her health permits.

Celine Dion announces world tour cancellation due to 'human statue' diagnosis on Twitter

In a heartfelt Twitter post, Canadian singer Celine Dion reveals the cancellation of her entire world tour. The decision comes following her ongoing battle with Stiff-Person Syndrome, a rare condition turning her into a ‘human statue’. The post showcases the singer’s determination to prioritize her health and her promise to return stronger to her fans worldwide

The Consequences of Stiff-Person Syndrome Symptoms on Performance

The severity of Dion’s symptoms has been such that they prevent her from performing at the level she is known for. Not only do these spasms affect her daily life, but they also hinder her ability to use her vocal cords to their full potential.

Dion’s Current Situation: Balancing Health and Hope

Despite the challenges, Dion remains hopeful and is determined to focus on her health to make a strong comeback. She expressed gratitude for the love and support she has received from fans during this trying time and is optimistic about the future.

The Role of Dion’s Children in Her Journey to Recovery

In her battle against Stiff-Person Syndrome, Dion is not alone. She is supported by her precious children and expert medical teams. As a mother and an international icon, her fight against this debilitating condition is a testament to her resilience.

Emotive painting of Celine Dion reflecting her health struggles

An impactful artwork capturing the poignant expression of Celine Dion as she faces her health challenges. The painting artistically communicates the singer’s battle with Stiff-Person Syndrome, symbolizing her strength and resilience amidst adversity.

Looking Ahead: Dion’s Musical Ambitions in 2023

While the cancellation of her tour is a significant setback, Dion’s spirit remains unbroken. She is determined to concentrate on her health at the moment, with the hope that she will be on the road to recovery soon. This focus on her health is her primary goal for 2023.

Cher and Dion: Parallels of Resilience in the Music Industry

Dion’s current situation draws parallels with other legends in the music industry, such as Cher, who have faced their own health struggles. Like Cher, Dion is displaying incredible

resilience and a never-give-up attitude in the face of adversity.

The Road Ahead for Dion: Music, Movies, and More

Despite her current health issues, Dion has been able to make her acting debut in a movie featuring Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Sam Heughan. Although performing live isn’t currently possible, her passion for music and entertainment remains evident.

Shining a Spotlight on Stiff-Person Syndrome through Dion’s Story

Dion’s brave disclosure about her diagnosis has brought much-needed attention to Stiff-Person Syndrome, a rare condition not many are aware of. As she continues to grapple with her health challenges, Dion’s story is raising awareness about this disorder and is a stark reminder of the personal battles individuals may face behind the glamour of the spotlight.

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Looking at the future of Bitcoin from the ban on cryptocurrency in India

Just today, India announced the ban on all cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, which has dealt a heavy blow to the cryptocurrency that was originally in the market’s pick-up period. Just after the cruel June, there were bad things happening in July. In just 24 hours, the market value of cryptocurrencies has been reduced by $100 billion, which gives a more realistic argument for the cryptocurrency that has a reputation for a bubble economy. In fact, as early as February of this year, Indian Finance Minister Jatrier promised in the annual budget speech that it would ban the illegality of cryptocurrency.
What happens now is nothing more than a promise not to become a reality.
However, the future of cryptocurrencies is still not clear. In addition to India, countries with more active cryptocurrencies, such as the United States, Japan, and South Korea. There are no particularly big moves. Especially in Japan, it still insists on the development of cryptocurrencies. Before the cryptocurrency’s rise was too high, it was easy to cause the price to fall, so the cryptocurrency is still in the adjustment period.
However, one thing is different from the previous one. The development of the previous cryptocurrency is in a relatively loose and free environment. The development of cryptocurrency is regulated, controlled and even banned by the government. Tightening the regulation of cryptocurrencies is a general trend. From the Korea Financial Services Commission to the US Securities Regulatory Commission to India, countries will no longer allow the cryptocurrency market to develop at will.
Due to the influence of India’s ban policy, the prices of many cryptocurrencies have declined, such as:
Cobinhood token is the COB, and its ranking in the cryptocurrency is 411. As of now, the price has decline by 3.86%. The current market value is: 11,274,419 USD, the exchange rate for the USD is: 0.0309821USD, the redemption price for the BTC is: 0.00000508, and the transaction volume in the 24 hours is:12194 USD.
Cofound.it token is the CFI, and its ranking in the cryptocurrency is 378. As of now, the price has decline by2.07%. The current market value is: 13,382,720 USD, the exchange rate for the USD is:0.041178USD, the redemption price for the BTC is: 0.00000624, and the transaction volume in the 24 hours is:223,627 USD.
3.Hackspace Capital

Hackspace Capital token is the HAC, and its ranking in the cryptocurrency is 1023s of now, the price has decline by2.07%. The current market value is: 2,872,303USD, the exchange rate for the USD is:0.041178USD, the redemption price for the BTC is: 0.00000134, and the transaction volume in the 24 hours is:406 USD.

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How to earn 10$ a day From Postloop
June 12, 2018

Postloop is a martketplace and exchange for Forum Owners, Blog Owners and Content Writers.

  • Forum Owners join Postloop to generate more posts to their forums.
  • Blog Owners join Postloop to get more comments to their blogs.
  • Content Writers join Postloop to earn money for commenting on forums and posting on blogs.

All the posts and comments are tracked automatically in real time by Postloops exclusive monitoring system.

Postloop was founded in November of 2010 by Royal Medial LC an internet media Company based in South Carolina.

Who can participate in Postloop?

Anyone from any country can join Postloop, however you must meet the following requirements in order to earn money as a content writer:

  • You must have excellent English grammar.
  • You are required to pass an initial application process.
  • You must be able to accept payment via Paypal.

Forum owners and blog owners who join Postloop have the option to purchase content or exchange content.

In order to receive posts in your forum or comments on your blog you need to earn Postloop points.  Points can either be purchased via Paypal or earn by contributing posts or comments to other Postloop blogs or forums.

How does the Postloop application process work?

In order to apply to be a writer at Postloop you must complete the following steps in their exact order:

1.  Join the Postloop Portal.
The portal is owned and operated by Postloop staff and is used as an evaluation platform for approving new content writers.
2.  Subscribe to the Postloop Portal. This step is different than joining.
3.  Make 10 posts at the Postloop Portal.
4. Wait up to 24 hours for approval. 

Postloop staff review your posts and if approved you will be able to participate at any websites listed at Postloop.  If your posts are not approved but you meet the requirements to reapply, you will have the opportunity to apply with 10 new posts.

How does the Postloop point system work?

When you post to a blog or make a comment on a forum you gain points and the owner of the blog or forum losses points.  There is an incentive for blog and forum owners to gain points as owners with the most points get their blogs or forums listed at the top.

Blogs and forums are listed in order of points.  Those owners with the highest points have their blogs or forums listed first.

Writers can convert their points to cash.  The more points your earn the more money you make.

How do you get paid by Postloop?

You can convert your points to cash by cashing out using Paypal.  You must have at least $5.00 worth of points before you can make a withdrawal.

Users must also have a better than average rating in order to make a withdrawal.  All withdrawal requests are reviewed by Postloop staff before they are approved.  This can take up to 24 hours.

How much can you earn with Postloop?

Postloop writers earn on average $0.08 per job.  A job is defined as making a post to a blog or commenting on a forum.   Earning increase with experience.  The best writers are earning as high at $.0.12 per job.

There is no limited to the number of jobs you can do.  Members choose blogs and forums they wish to post on.

It is highly recommended that you make your post on sites that have topics that interest you.

This can save you time in knowing what to post and makes it easier for you to add value to the site, ultimately increasing your reputation as a Postloop writer as well as you income.

Postloop has a referral program where member receive 20% on all the points that their referrals earn for creating posts, making comments or purchasing points.

At Postloop you have complete control of your income.  The more jobs you do and/or the more members you refer, the more money you make.

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Science reflects history as society influences science: brief history of “race,” “race correction,” and the spirometer


Spirometers are used globally to diagnose respiratory diseases, and most commercially available spirometers “correct” for race. “Race correction” is built into the software of spirometers. To evaluate pulmonary function and to make recordings, the operator must enter the subject’s race. In fact, the Joint Working Party of the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society recommends the use of race- and ethnic-specific reference values. In the United States, spirometers apply correction factors of 10–15% for individuals labeled “Black” and 4–6% for people labeled “Asian.” Thus race is purported to be a biologically important and scientifically valid category. However, history suggests that race corrections may represent an implicit bias, discrimination, and racism. Furthermore, this practice masks economic and environmental factors. The flawed logic of innate, racial difference is also considered with disability estimates, preemployment physicals, and clinical diagnoses that rely on the spirometer. Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia (1832) may have initiated this mistaken belief by noting deficiencies of the “pulmonary apparatus” of blacks. Plantation physicians used Jefferson’s statement to support slavery, believing that forced labor was a way to “vitalize the blood” of deficient black slaves. Samuel Cartwright, a Southern physician and slave holder, was the first to use spirometry to record deficiencies in pulmonary function of blacks. A massive study by Benjamin Apthorp Gould (1869) during the Civil War validated his results. The history of slavery created an environment where racial difference in lung capacity become so widely accepted that race correction became a scientifically valid procedure.


The idea of inherent or genetic racial differences in pulmonary capacity is widely accepted today in pulmonary medicine (20, 22, 23). In fact, the Joint Working Party of the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society recommends the use of race- and ethnic-specific references values (20). Furthermore, even today, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Spirometry Training Guide that is linked to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website recommends the use of race correction and a race-specific reference value (9). The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Spirometry Training Guide states,

To evaluate pulmonary function and to make recordings, the operator must enter the subject’s race. An attempt should be made to determine and record the employee’s race or ethnicity. Often this can be done with adequate accuracy merely by observation. If in doubt, ask the employee, explaining that race affects the reference values used for the test. If the employee considers the question objectionable, or if their race or ethnicity does not clearly fit the limited categories available, just record unknown and use Caucasian reference equations (no race correction or race-specific reference value) (9).

In the United States, spirometers apply correction factors of 10–15% for individuals labeled “Black” and 4–6% for people labeled “Asian” (12). Thus race is accepted as a biologically distinct and an important scientifically valid category. In fact, most commercially available spirometers “correct” for race. “Race correction” is built into the software of spirometers. However, scientists are not trained in history, and the belief that black and white people have innate differences in pulmonary functions has a long and disturbing past. History suggests that race corrections may represent an implicit bias, discrimination, and racism. Accordingly, the history surrounding race and science must be understood so that scientists and physicians understand that science is influenced by historical events, as social events are influenced by science.

President Thomas Jefferson, in his Notes on the State of Virginia, discussed “a difference of structure in the pulmonary apparatus” between slaves and white colonists (1, 15). Jefferson noted,

Perhaps too a difference of structure in the pulmonary apparatus, which a late ingenious experimentalist has discovered to be the principal regulator of animal heat, may have disabled them from extricating, in the act of inspiration, so much of that fluid from the outer air, or obliged them in expiration, to part with more of it.

Jefferson was referring to the work of Adair Crawford, a chemist and physician. In his influential 1779 book, Experiments and Observations on Animal Heat, Crawford discussed experiments on respiratory gas exchange in animals (10). Jefferson’s proclamation, of deficient pulmonary functions in blacks, was used to justify slavery, believing that forced labor was a way to “vitalize the blood” of deficient black slaves (1). By President Jefferson’s logic, slavery was what kept black individuals alive.Samuel Cartwright explicitly extended Jefferson’s interpretive framework. A plantation owner, physician, and slaveholder, Cartwright studied differences in pulmonary capacity in slaves and whites. According to Cartwright, “the deficiency in the negro” was “20 per cent,” establishing race as a biological factor of pulmonary function measurements (8). Cartwright argued that slavery was beneficial for black people. He promoted the idea that, because black people had lower pulmonary capacity, forced labor was good for them. He wrote,

It is the red vital blood sent to the brain that liberates their minds when under the white man’s control, and it is the want of sufficiency of red vital blood that chains their minds to ignorance and barbarism when in freedom (7, 8).

Samuel Cartwright’s “findings” were supported in 1864, when Benjamin Apthorp Gould conducted an immense and, to this day, influential anthropometric survey of black and white soldiers at the end of the Civil War. Investigators collected detailed data of bodily characteristics of soldiers. Gould (11) published his work in 1869, reporting that “full blacks” had lower lung capacity than “whites.” Astonishingly, Gould came to this conclusion without any adjustment for height, age, or attention to working and living conditions of newly emancipated slaves (3, 11). This is a critical consideration, because numerous studies document that people living around high-pollution areas have lower lung capacity. High-pollution areas also correlate with minority status (5, 6, 13, 16, 25). It is unclear why Gould focused on race to the exclusion of social class and environmental factors.Gould’s influential study has since been used to promote racism. Specifically, Frederick Hoffman, chief statistician for Prudential Life Insurance Company, used Gould’s data to claim that African Americans lacked fitness for freedom, stating, “the smaller lung capacity of the colored race is in itself proof of an inferior physical organism” (1, 14).

Research on racial difference in pulmonary function continued and supported innate differences with whites having a higher lung capacity than blacks, Chinese, or Indians (4, 17, 27). Thus the idea of racial difference in pulmonary function, first proposed by Jefferson and further supported by Cartwright, Gould, and Hoffman, became firmly established by the early 20th century as fact (2, 7, 11, 14). There seems to be a scientific consensus, that virtually everyone in the world has lower pulmonary function than people classified as white. Thus race has become a biologically distinct, scientifically valid category.

As noted, the view that inherent or genetic racial differences in pulmonary capacity exist is widely accepted today in pulmonary medicine. However, a recent systematic review of 226 articles published between 1922 and 2008 comparing “white” to “other racial and ethnic groups” reported that race and/or ethnicity was rarely defined. Furthermore, although most articles (83.6%) reported that other racial and ethnic groups had a lower lung capacity compared with whites, 94% of articles failed to examine socioeconomic status (4). Furthermore, of the 189 studies reporting lower lung function in other racial and ethnic groups, 21.8 and 29.4% of explanations cited inherent factors and anthropometric differences, respectively, whereas 23.1% cited environmental and social factors (4). Thus the focus on innate differences is inexplicable. More importantly, the focus on innate racial differences in pulmonary functions diverts attention and resources from many social determinants, including the lack of access to high-quality medical care; food deserts in poor neighborhoods; exposure to environmental toxins; high rates of incarceration; and experiencing the stress of racial discrimination (18, 19, 26). Furthermore, race is not a biological fact that innately produces physiological variability because of genetic difference (24). Rather, race is a social category that has biological consequences (24). Race is complicated by social class, sex, and geographical context. Thus the idea that people labeled “white” have innately higher lung capacity than other races must be considered with deep skepticism. The history of lung function suggests that using race as a biological construct that reflects genetic differences is not based on valid scientific evidence. Rather, disproportionate exposures to toxic environments, differential access to high-quality care, and the daily insults of racism must be considered (5, 6, 13, 16, 25). Specifically, race as a social category, not a biological construct, in combination with sex and measures of class are appropriate for the study of health. The fact that there is vastly more research on genomic mechanisms than on the social determinants of health merits a national debate.

Finally, following completion of the human genome project in June 2000, President Bill Clinton declared,

I believe one of the great truths to emerge from this triumphant expedition inside the human genome is that in genetic terms, human beings, regardless of race, are more than 99.9 percent the same.

Francis Collins, who led the Human Genome Project, echoed President Clinton; “I am happy that today, the only race we’re talking about is the human race” (21). Thus “race” is not a biological reality but a myth (24). Specifically, race as biology is fiction; racism as a social problem is real. For humankind, there is no such thing as biological race, because “most human genetic variation is found within populations, not between them” and “individuals are frequently more similar to members of other populations than to members of their own population” (28). Thus caution should be used when considering genetic ancestry to make inferences about individual phenotypes (28). Rather, the history of the time must be understood to accurately interpret scientific data and allow us to see the world as accurately as we possibly can.

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Oracle v. Google: What it means for software developers

On May 26, 2016, the jury in the well-publicized Oracle v. Google trial returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Google, essentially concluding that the copyright fair use doctrine allowed Google to use Java SE APIs in its implementation of Android.

This is a positive result for the software industry and the developer community because APIs allow software modules to communicate with each other, and the ability to freely use APIs to enable such communication fosters collaboration and innovation. But we must be cautious and not read this result too broadly.

The result of this recent district court trial and the case history as a whole is highly fact specific and complex. It has been reported that Dorian Daley, general counsel for Oracle, has already stated that the company will appeal.

In the 2012 trial, the jury concluded that Google’s use of the Java SE APIs infringed Oracle’s copyright but the judge overturned the jury verdict, holding these APIs were not copyrightable (either individual method declarations or their “structure, sequence and organization” as a whole). Oracle appealed and the court of appeals reversed the trial court’s decision on May 9, 2014. In particular, the court of appeals held that the “declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization of the 37 Java API packages are entitled to copyright protection.” Google sought review in the U.S. Supreme Court but the Supreme Court declined to hear the case. This sent the case back to the trial court to consider whether Google’s use of the APIs was “fair use” and, if it was not, to determine damages. The court, on May 26, 2016, concluded that Google’s use was fair use.

A finding of fair use, as a defense to copyright infringement, requires a highly fact specific determination. The jury in the Google case was asked a very specific and narrow question relating only to Google’s conduct. It is important to note that the court of appeals decision was not reversed or negated as a result of Google’s successful fair use defense in this case. It remains unclear how broadly the court of appeals decision will be construed to cover APIs in other contexts or even how the court of appeals decision may be interpreted or whether it will be followed by other federal courts. We will have to wait and see how this area of the law develops.

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This is where the handshake is headed, Raila set to shed light on progress

Hot on the handshake, Raila immediately started receiving high profile visitors at his Capitol Hill office from politicians to envoys as he embarked on a national reconciliation programme.The reconciliation drive has seen him shake hands with his bitter rivals, former president Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki on different dates.

He has also been accorded State recognition on foreign trips including when he attended the burial ceremony of anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in South Africa.

Back home, a wave of political change wafting across the country with pundits closely following his steps divided in the middle not knowing the next string he is to pull.Already, his call for constitutional change for introduction of a new governance system has gained steam with Uhuru indicating he supports the push while deputy President William Ruto is sharply opposed to the idea.

The possibility of Raila running for the top seat in the 2022 race cannot be ruled out despite his denial.With the mystery surrounding the deal dubbed Building Bridges, the Naivasha meeting is expected to open the lid on what to expect from the two leaders.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s push for the amendment of the Constitution to change the governance structure appears to be gathering steam as more politicians declare their support for the proposed constitutional review.The former prime minister had proposed for a three-tier system of governance in which there would be 14 regional administrative blocs besides the 47 counties, as currently constituted, and the national government. 

Opposition leaders, especially from the ODM party, are already campaigning for the proposed three-tier system of governance.Speaking during the homecoming party of Migori County Woman Representative Pamela Odhiambo on Sunday, May 6, Siaya Senator James Orengo, who was accompanied by Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo and other leaders, said the constitutional review was good for Kenyans. 

The ODM party as a whole is believed to be fully behind their party leader Raila. The statements that were made in Migori were just to further confirm they meant business.The push for constitutional amendments, which TUKO.co.ke understands will require a fresh referendum, is also being supported by a number of KANU allied politicians led by the party’s chairman Gideon Moi.In fact, the idea to amend the Constitution was first proposed by KANU MP William Kamket who in February 2018 tabled a Bill in Parliament seeking to introduce a presidential term of seven years and return position of the prime minister. 


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I still don’t support Buhari for 2nd term – Obasanjo
I still don’t support Buhari for 2nd term – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has dissociated himself from a claim that he has changed his position against the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Obasanjo also said he did not meet with leaders of the organized labour on Tuesday as was alleged.

Obasanjo reiterated in a statement yesterday that he stood by his statement earlier issued in January that Buhari’s regime had disappointed those who voted him as president.

Obasanjo said emphatically in the statement signed by his media aid, Kehinde Akinyemi, that he had not and could not endorse failure.

The statement said, “It has come to the attention of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo that some elements in the Muhammadu Buhari camp and or support group are desperate to secure a second term, fair or foul. In this desperation, everything is fair, including telling libelous lies against persons and institutions, instead of addressing the fundamental issues of statecraft and economic management.

“In the last 24 hours the internet has been bombarded with deliberate falsehoods aimed at hoodwinking the unsuspecting Nigerians to believe that Obasanjo has now supported Buhari for his second term because of some perceived Buhari’s ‘superlative’ performance in his encounter with Trump during his visit to the White House in Washington D. C.”

The statement said the part of the allegation that Obasanjo met with some Nigeria Labour Congress leaders in his house in Abuja on Workers’ Day was a pathetic fallacy as Obasanjo in the first place had no house in Abuja and he did not go to Abuja on the said date.

“Nigerians know that Chief Obasanjo has only spoken the truth about widening poverty, alienation and social disunity and near disintegration of the country through Buhari’s incompetence,” the statement asserted.

On Buhari’s meeting with President Donald Trump of the United States, Obasanjo said the US would continue to reduce purchase of crude oil from Nigeria and there was nothing Nigeria under Buhari could do about it.

He added that the US would export agricultural products to Nigeria and Buhari’s government would encourage it, and that all the killings taking place in Nigeria by herders “are being done by expatriates trained by Gadaffi and no Nigerian is to blame and Buhari cannot do anything to stop it.”

Obasanjo said Trump had ordered Buhari to go back home and stop the killings going on in Nigeria and he hoped that Buhari would do that.

olice arraign Senator Melaye in Lokoja court

BREAKING: Police arraign Senator Melaye in Lokoja court
Senator Dino Melaye on arrival at the Magistrate Court in Lokoja for arraignment today. PHOTO BY: Itodo Daniel

The Nigeria Police on Thursday arraigned Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial before a Lokoja Chief Magistrate Court. 

Melaye was brought into the court premises in an ambulance amidst heavy security.

The court sitting is underway

FEC approves N245bn for road, other projects

FEC approves N245bn for road, other projects

Following complaints by various state governments, the Federal Executive Council yesterday approved N105 billion as intervention funds for 44 road projects in the states.

The eight-hour council meeting, presided by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, also approved N80.199 billion as revised sum for the second section of the 84km Lagos-Ibadan road project

Also approved was N38.034 billion for the construction of the 72 kilometre 9th-mile Orikam Road in Enugu State. About N10 billion will draw from the Ecological Fund to finance the contract awarded to RCC Limited.

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, told State House reporters that the council approved N18.874 billion for repair works at the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos State.

The minister said the contract was awarded to an Italian construction firm, Borini Prono, which constructed the bridge.

He said 33 piles of the bridge would be replaced in the first phase of the project with a total of 177 piles to be strengthened.

Fashola added that the contract would also assess the expansion joints of the bridge and replace the worn-out ones.

He said the contract, with a 27-month completion period, was captured as ‘Bridge Renovation and Repair Contracts’ in the yet-to-be-passed 2018 Appropriation Bill.

The minister said though the immediate past administration conceived the award of the contract in 2011, it never made budgetary allocation for it.

He said council also approved N2.54 billion for the redesign and construction of the Illie bridge in Osun State.

Fashola said the FEC also approved N120 million for the purchase of 50 circuit breakers for the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the FEC approved the repairs of narrow gauge railway line to increase the speed of trains just as well as N1.2bn for the purchase of wagons and coaches.

Amaechi said the council raised a committee comprising himself as well as the Ministers of Niger Delta Affairs, Information and Power Works and Housing to inspect the East-West Road.

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The craziest courtroom outbursts ever
May 1, 2018

The courtroom can be a volatile place sometimes. Lives are often at stake, justice and closure are sought and sometimes denied, and greatest fears are confronted. Sometimes all it takes is the wrong combination of people, a particularly unpopular verdict, a particularly delicate nerve being struck, or an encounter with evil incarnate before all manner of decorum is thrown into the hallway and chaos erupts. Whether you’re a notorious cult leader, a grieving parent, a hapless public defender, or a seasoned adjudicator with a particularly bad case of the Mondays, no one’s immune to the seething pandemonium of the courtroom, constantly on the verge of boiling over and blowing the doors open for the circus to march on through. The craziest outbursts are just a misplaced glance or unwelcome comment away, and these are just a few of them.
Judge lays the smackdown on a public defender
The impartiality of the judge’s realm is clearly not always easy to uphold. Judges are people, too, and people are fallible beings. Sometimes their sympathy or disgust is all too apparent, sometimes they get cranky, sometimes they lose their cool. And on some rare occasions, they act like they’ve just grabbed the mic at friggin’ WrestleMania.
During a 2014 hearing, Florida judge John C. Murphy got into a bit of a tiff with assistant public defender Andrew Weinstock over Weinstock’s refusal to waive his client’s right to a fast trial. There was talk of an “emergency created by the state” from Weinstock, and Murphy’s patience started to wear thin. Things escalated, and the exchange culminated with the judge saying “If you wanna fight, let’s just go out back and I’ll beat your a**.”
The men walked out into a hallway off-camera to wave their gavels at each other some more, and could be heard taunting and shouting and grappling. The judge emerged from the hallway, but Weinstock, having obviously smelled what Murphy was cooking, did not. The crowd in the courtroom was weirdly clued in on this absurd Jerry Springer-esque macho spectacle and applauded the judge’s return to his podium like a medieval king retaining his throne. According to Florida Today, Murphy took a leave of absence after the scuffle and underwent anger management counseling, and public defenders around the state probably started to sleep a little more soundly at night.
Public defender sucker-punched by his own client
You really have to doff your cap to public defenders. Aside from the usual suspects, like underpaid social workers and nurses and hapless substitute teachers being thrown in front of particularly bloodthirsty high school classes, there can’t be many professions out there more thankless. And it’s not just Better Call Saul that suggests this.
It was 2008 , and prisoner Peter Hafer — who was facing burglary charges in a K-Mart robbery a few months prior — was not happy with public defender Doug Crickmer’s service. Poor, oblivious Crickmer was in the process of reminding the court that it was not his choice to make when he was socked by Hafer out of nowhere, who continued to lay into him on the ground before being restrained.
Crickmer’s response was remarkably level-headed and he didn’t press charges, but the assault did land Hafer six months in jail for contempt of court. And just in case this wasn’t proof enough that Hafer might not be such a swell guy, he pleaded guilty to possession of stolen firearms in 2010 and was a suspect in a related murder case as recently as 2017. Public defenders, beware.
Miama circuit judge is getting too old for this sh*t
Judges come in all different shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Even if they don’t always land their own daytime TV spot a la the Judys and Rinders of this world, there are plenty who have personality and charm to spare and this Miami-Dade circuit judge is definitely one of them. Who wouldn’t watch this guy dole out cheeky televised justice on a lazy Sunday afternoon?
In 2013, Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat (okay, not the catchiest show title, but stick with it) was faced with Penelope Soto, an 18-year-old Miami woman charged with possession of Xanax. Dismissive and giggling throughout, Soto’s bail was set at $5,000. But before leaving she says “adios,” which is just a little too cavalier for this adjudicator. He ups the bail to $10,000. She then flips him the bird, says “f*ck you,” and he calls her back to throw 30 days in county jail on top of everything else for contempt of court.
According to NBC Miami , a tearful Soto appeared in front Rodriguez-Chomat again a few days later to apologize, and to admit that she had taken Xanax on the day of her arrest. The judge accepted her apology and dropped both the jail sentence and the $10,000 bond, hoping the incident would serve as a wake-up call of sorts. That old “respect your elders” adage has rarely been more appropriate. Especially when those elders are wearing judge’s robes and you’re wearing orange.
Hiter’s loyal, demented president of the People’s Court
Shrieking, murderous megalomaniacs were in no short supply in Nazi Germany, and its courtrooms were no exception. Judge Roland Freisler was a notorious monster, serving as president of the People’s Court in Germany from 1942 and becoming famous for his aggressive delivery and psychologically torturous trials that usually resulted in death sentences or life in prison. Probably the most notable were the “show trials” of 1944, for the group of men who plotted to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
Intended to shame and degrade the perpetrators and frighten everyone else, this footage of Freisler berating one such conspirator, Ulrich-Wilhelm Graf von Schwerin von Schwanenfeld (usually shortened to Schwerin), is both chilling and incredibly absurd. Freisler’s theatrics almost come across as too demented to exist outside Hollywood, but perhaps even more powerful and surreal is Schwerin’s quiet dignity in the face of Freisler’s hysterics. As seen in a Discovery documentary , despite facing almost certain death, he betrays no signs of regret or weakness and seems to stands firm in the absolute righteousness of what he had attempted to carry out. He was later sentenced to death by hanging.
Freisler was killed in a bombing raid in 1945, on the day that Fabian Von Schlabrendorff — another member of the same assassination plot — was due to stand trial and face execution. Freisler, who had demanded to know if Schwerin was “cracking under his own villainy” before, ended up being crushed by a beam while still clutching Schlabrendorff’s file. A fitting end, no?
Father of abuse victims takes matters into his own hands
For those of us fortunate enough to have never had to share a courtroom with someone who’s done heinous things to us or our loved ones, it’s probably hard to even fathom the razor’s edge anxiety in the air and the precarious threat of volatile, unplanned outbursts hovering over everything. Emotions run understandably high, and people snap.
Randall Margraves, the father of three daughters who were abused by former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, listened to two of his daughters give emotionally charged statements in early 2018 while Nassar sat there and shook his head. When given an opportunity to speak, Margraves asked the judge to allow him “five minutes in a locked room” with Nassar. The judge refused, of course. He asked for “one minute.” Still, no dice. The distraught father then lunged at Nassar before being tackled and detained by security.
As reported by CNN, a handcuffed Margraves was brought back before the judge during a lunch break to apologize and profess his embarrassment and regret. Empathy and reason won the day as Judge Janice Cunningham decided to release him without punishment, but made sure to remind him that vigilante justice-seeking is not appropriate in the courtroom. Nassar, a former Olympics doctor for the U.S. gymnastic team who abused more than 150 young women over two decades, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina made no secret of her disdain for the man upon passing the sentence, saying “I’ve just signed your death warrant.”
A crazed Charles Manson lunges at judge with a pencil
Charles Manson’s death in November 2017 has prompted a fresh perusal of the notorious cult leader’s particularly thick catalog of crazy. A significant cultural episode at the time, the Tate-LaBianca murder trial in 1970 stands out among other touchstones in Manson’s heinous history for a lot of reasons. Over the course of the trial — touched on in the The New York Times’ obituary — Manson punched his own lawyer, his chanting followers would wait outside the courtroom to show their reverential support, and Manson and his co-defendants carved an X (eventually modified into a swastika) into their foreheads. It quickly became a gross spectacle of the absurd, and perhaps the battiest instance was Manson accusing the judge of trying to kill him and the violent outburst that followed.
According to a 1970 New York Times article , the judge threatened to have Manson removed, then Manson threatened to have the judge removed before charging at him with a pencil in hand. He’s tackled by two security guard and dragged to the floor, screaming that someone ought to cut the judge’s head off.
The aftermath here has been well documented. Manson was found guilty of nine murders in total and sentenced to life in prison, he was incarcerated in various institutions over the years and was denied parole a number of times, most recently in 2012. No video footage of the outburst exists, but it still remains firmly embedded in Manson’s storied and horrid legacy.
Father leaps at the Ohio serial killer who murdered his daughter
Another distraught father faced with the living, breathing source of unimaginable pain. It was 2016 in Ohio, and father Van Terry had taken to the podium during a murder trial to speak about the loss of his daughter Shirellda. As reported by CBS News, she had been murdered by serial killer Michael Madison, who was seated behind Terry while he spoke. Terry paused in the middle of his statement to look back at Madison for a moment, and something snapped; the grieving parent made a sudden, almighty leap over the table in an effort to reach Madison and attack him amid cries of protest and scrambling bodies trying to maintain order. Madison avoided injury, and Terry was pulled away.
Speaking to a Fox 8 broadcaster after the incident, Terry explained that the killer was smirking when he turned to look at him during his statement, which was just too much to handle on top of everything else the man had done. Found guilty of the torture and murder of three women, Madison was given the death penalty for his crimes.
Jackson County Judge tells convicted killer he hopes she dies in prison
Clearly, courtroom judges are less likely to keep their feelings to themselves than you might expect, and this Jackson County judge certainly made no secret of his utter contempt for convicted killer Camia Gamet.
Thirty-one-year-old Gamet was sentenced to life in prison for killing her boyfriend in 2012, and Judge John McBain refused to tolerate her dismissive attitude in court. He didn’t hold back while passing his sentence, losing his temper and throwing all niceties out the window, telling her “I hope you die in prison” among other scathing indictments.
This judge is no stranger to losing his cool in the courtroom either. During a hearing on a personal protection order violation in 2016, as reported by
Michigan Live, he assisted in tackling an uncooperative and aggressive man to the ground, to preserve the dignity and decorum of the court, according to him. And when he alleged he was a potential victim of stalking and harassment himself in 2017, he didn’t mince words when it came to the perpetrator: “If you want me, then come at me.” With a name like Judge John McBain, what do you really expect other than harsh, stone-cold justice?
Detroit woman’s chilling admission to the murder of two of her daughters
While emotions do tend to run high in the courtroom, the clinical and painstakingly thorough nature of the process of determining guilt isn’t really conducive to unexpected and chilling confessions of guilt on the part of the accused. But it does happen.
Mitchelle Blair was charged with the horrific torture and murder of two of her children in 2015. Their bodies were found in a deep freezer in her home following an eviction, and her dramatic, raving admission that it was she who killed them had her ushered out of the courtroom. She screamed “Everybody wants to know, yes, I did kill her!” referring to her daughter, after her surviving son testified via tape to having witnessed the murder of his brother. Blair claimed to have done what she did because the children had been abusing her surviving son, according to NBC News, and said she felt no remorse whatsoever for her actions. She was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Former Bosnian-Croat war criminal drinks poison in the middle of UN tribunal
When a convicted war criminal drinks a vial of poison in court upon having his 20-year jail term upheld, the logical assumption is that he’d rather die immediately than face any jail time, and it’s probably a pretty loud admission of guilt. But while Slobodan Praljak was guilty as sin by any reasonable metric, his suicide seems to have been a gesture of twisted pride.
As reported by The Guardian , Praljak was a key figure in the Bosnian war in the early 1990s, and was convicted for crimes against humanity in 2013 for his actions in the city of Mostar. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but he appealed, and his sentence had just been upheld at a 2017 U.N. tribunal when he took drastic, baffling action. He stood, loudly declared he was innocent and rejected the verdict, then tipped back a small vial of liquid he’d managed to smuggle in with him somehow. Quiet befuddlement followed, until Slobodan announced he’d swallowed poison. The judge suspended the proceedings immediately, and an ambulance was called but Praljak died later that day.
If this final act contributed anything to Praljak’s legacy of atrocity, it’s mostly just capped it with an element of messy confusion. Praljak would have been eligible for release in 2019 , having been imprisoned since 2004 and thus having already served the majority his sentence, so his perverse declaration can’t really be seen as anything other than a gruesome symbolic gesture.

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Court rules on BVN suit June 11 as FG accuses banks of failing to implement policy Ade Adesomoju

Court rules on BVN suit June 11 as FG accuses banks of failing to implement policy
Ade Adesomoju

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday fixed June 11 to deliver judgment in a suit by the Federal Government seeking an order of forfeiture of funds in accounts with Bank Verification Numbers.

At the hearing of the suit on Friday, the Federal Government accused commercial banks of shielding owners of accounts the accounts without BVN.

The Federal Government alleged that the banks’ opposition to the suit implied the banks’ failure to enforce the BVN policy.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, representing the Federal Government, through a lawyer, Mr. Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), also challenged the right of the banks to be heard in the case.

He said, “Our contention is that the banks do not have the locus (legal right) to defend this action (suit).

“Our contention is that the plaintiff has a public duty to ensure that a regulation made pursuant to a law by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria is obeyed.”

He added, “If the defendants say they did not know those who know the money in the accounts without BVN, how can they then come to defend the case?

“What locus do they have if they did not disclose the owners of the money despite the order of the court to that effect? If they are to be heard, on whose behalf?

“They (the lawyers representing the respondents) are defending the suit on behalf of the bank, but the action and the order of the court is not against the banks per se, it is against the supposed owners of the funds.

“The court’s order was for them to verify the owners of the accounts.

“They have not done that and did not disclose any body as the owners of the accounts.

“So, we are arguing that they cannot act for unknown persons, whose identities they have not disclosed. If they do not know who their customers are, then they cannot defend the suit.”

He asked the court to reject all the processes filed by the defendants in the case.

Another member of the Federal Government’s legal team, James Igwe (SAN), who argued the substantive suit, urged the court to grant the plaintiff’s prayers in the main suit.

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Killings: Nigeria experiencing ethic cleansing, says Soyinka Sesan

Killings: Nigeria experiencing ethic cleansing, says Soyinka

Gbenga Adeniji

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said Nigeria is on a terminal nose-dive and that its pilot, who he noted is missing, must cry for international help as many had advised.

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Soyinka, who stated this in a statement he issued on Sunday titled, “May Day! May Day!! May Day!!!,” in commemoration of the 2018 Workers’ Day described the ongoing killings in the country as “ethic cleansing.”

The critic, who said May Day,  that he uttered thrice, signified a distress call, adding that long before its adoption for that function, however, and more traditionally, there did exist Labour (or Workers’) Day, dedicated to the entitlement of workers to  the value and dignity of their labour.

He noted that the Nigerian constituency was left to determine which attribution – or both, or none – was deafeningly clamorous on May 1, 2018.

Soyinka stated, “No matter, one feels it a duty to call the attention to the painful convergence of both appropriations. Could such a co-option serve equally as summons for a last-chance, eleventh hour reprieve?”

The celebrated playwright also drew what he termed ‘eerie parallels’ in the country’s current situation to a “certain May Day disorder, one in which that distress call was never heard.”

He further likened the present state of things in Nigeria to the Aeroflot Flight 593 of September 28, 1994 in which all passengers died because the captain unprofessionally left the pilot’s seat for his family members while he went to salute the passengers.

Soyinka said, “After preliminary official denials, the undeniable – and tragically inappropriate factor of the crash was formally acknowledged – a laissez-faire, unprofessional conduct with human lapses, among which nepotism – by that, or any other name-loomed large. The captain was not even in the pilot’s seat – others were! They were the pilot’s family – mostly his children. The family member who actually begun the spiral of disaster by pulling the wrong control leaver was – the Captain’s son, to whom his even younger daughter, some moments earlier, had yielded the controls. The pilot’s seat had been turned into a family game of musical chairs.

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“Where was the Captain? Somewhere along the aisle, saluting the passengers – all quite proper, and indeed encouraged by regulations. He had placed the plane on auto-pilot – just as this nation has been for some time – so he walked between the seats, dispensing and acknowledging greetings – it was a long flight to Hong Kong, after all.

“The plane went into a sharp turn after the wrong lever was pulled, and the auto-pilot disengaged. The original flight pattern was annulled -does that echo a campaign manifesto? – and the plane was now in unqualified hands. It took ages for the pilot to regain his control seat as some passengers were already tumbling from their seats into the aisle and he had to fight his way through bodily obstacles. All that, from reconstruction of events.

The ‘black box’ – or flight recorder – indicates that the pilot never even got round to shouting ‘May Day’ over the radio – he was too busy struggling to restore the plane’s technical functions, shout  instructions, pull the plane out of a nose-dive, and attempt to right the craft – too late!

“Now flash forwards one decade to our present, and recall the number of desperate organisations calling on the Nigerian captain to bury his pride and cry ‘May Day” across all airwaves. Call out for international help to rescue a nation on its terminal nose-dive!

“There has been no sign of willing, while the screwed-up plane is now in its corkscrew dive. Even if this captain regains his seat before the crash, it is open season whether or not, like SUV Flight 593, it will not stall, and head straight for Zuma rockface. Strangers are in

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