Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Over 42 killed as migrant boat capsizes off Egypt

A boat carrying migrants capsized Wednesday in the Mediterranean off Egypt’s north coast, drowning 42 people and prompting a search operation in which another 150 were rescued, officials said.

The vessel overturned off the port city of Rosetta, police and health officials said. The total number of people on board was not immediately clear.

A municipal official in the Mediterranean city told AFP the dead included a child, 10 women and 31 young men. They were Egyptians, Eritreans, Sudanese and Syrians, said the official, Ali Abdel Sattar. The boat had departed around 3:00 am and rolled over several hours later some 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) from the coast, he said.

The tragedy comes months after the EU’s border agency Frontex warned growing numbers of migrants bound for Europe were turning to Egypt as a departure point for the perilous sea journey.

Smugglers often overload the boats, some of them scarcely seaworthy, with passengers who have paid for the journey. Forty-two people died in Wednesday’s boat accident, health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told AFP.

Emergency workers had rescued 150 passengers, according to officials in the police force and health ministry. Hospitals were being prepared to receive more casualties, the ministry said.

Egypt’s Prime Minister Sharif Ismail ordered police to arrest the smugglers responsible, a cabinet statement said. The accident came a day after the military said it stopped a boat carrying 68 migrants before it set off from Egypt’s northwestern coast, not far from Rosetta.

More than 10,000 people have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean for Europe since 2014, according to the United Nations.

Asylum-seekers have been seeking other ways to reach Europe since March, when Balkan countries closed the popular overland route and the EU agreed a deal with Turkey to halt departures. – ‘Departure country’ – “Egypt is starting to become a departure country,” Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri said in an interview with the Funke group of German regional newspapers in June.

“The number of boat crossings from Egypt to Italy has reached 1,000 (so far) this year.” More than 300,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean so far this year from various points of departure, the UN said this week. The number is down from 520,000 in the first nine months of 2015.

Despite the lower numbers attempting the dangerous sea crossing, fatality rates had risen, with 2016 on track to be “the deadliest year on record in the Mediterranean Sea,” said the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). In June, a boat capsized near Sicily, drowning at least 169 migrants.

Earlier that month, a boat carrying hundreds of migrants sank off the Greek island of Crete and the bodies 104 migrants washed up on a beach in Libya. Different patterns have emerged in the two European countries, Greece and Italy, which receive the vast majority of migrants.

Arrivals in Italy this year stood at 130,411, on a par with the 132,000 people who landed over the same period in 2015, said the UNHCR. But Greece has seen 165,750 migrants and refugees land on its shores this year, a 57 percent drop against 2015 figures.

Arrivals began falling after the deal between the European Union and Turkey on curbing migrant flows across the Mediterranean. The European Union launched “Operation Sophia” last year to destroy smuggler boats that could be used to ferry migrants across the sea.

An EU official told AFP this month that almost 300 smuggler boats had been put out of commission in the past year.

The official, who did not want to be identified by name, said the migrants on the seized vessels were all transferred to the nearest safe ports and will be considered for asylum as refugees.

Nigerian naira crashes again against other currency

Naira to dollar exchange
The Nigerian currency on Wednesday depreciated against the three major currencies in all the segments of the Forex market.

At the Interbank market, the Naira fell by 0.25 points to exchange at N310.08, from N309.83 posted on Tuesday.

Trading at the Bureau De Change (BDC) market showed that the naira lost 1 point to close at N424 from N423 traded on Tuesday while it exchanged at N549 and N468 against the Pound Sterling and the Euro. 

The naira crashed further at the parallel market, exchanging at N428, N550 and N468 to the dollar, Pound Sterling and the Euro, from N424, N550 and N471 posted on Tuesday, respectively. Currency traders said that liquidity challenges at the Forex market were far from being resolved. 

Meanwhile, Mr Harisson Owoh, a BDC operator, said that traders expected the liquidity challenge in the market to ease when Travelex, a licensed Forex dealer, commences the sale of Forex to BDCs. 

Owoh noted that in the interim, some banks were still selling forex to some BDCs, but that the volume sold could not get across to all the BDCs.

The reason why your penis and nipples are dark

about nipple and penis
Has the reason as to why your genitals are darker than the rest of your body ever crossed your mind?

Regardless of where you are from, a person’s penis and nipples are naturally a shade or two deeper in color than their skin. 

According to experts, those parts of our body darkening occur during puberty.

As sex hormones surge through the body they stimulate the production of melanin the amino acid responsible for hair and skin color. 

The result is for the skin on a man’s penis and nipples and a woman’s areolas (the colored ring around the nipple) and labia, to darken. 

While the process is a natural one, any further darkening in adulthood could be a sign of the chronic illness such as diabetes. 

Dr Lindsey Bordone, a dermatologist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, said: “your skin can darken in certain areas when your sugars are very high and you’re developing diabetes.”

During childhood a person generally has lighter pigmentation all over regardless of race. But, when puberty kicks in, women experience an increase in estrogen, while men experience an influx of testosterone. 

Those hormones regulate melanocytes which are skin cells that produce melanin, said Dr Cameron Rokhsar, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. 

Hormones can also affect pigmentation in adulthood, especially in women. When a woman is pregnant or goes on birth control pills she can experience heightened levels of estrogen. That increase in hormones can cause pigmentation in a woman’s face. 

Dr Rokhsar added: ‘In pregnancy, women can also develop a dark line on their abdomen.’ And so, genital darkening occurs in men who wear tight clothing, shave their genitals or experience an itch or infection that results in rubbing and scratching.

But even though darkening is natural, it can also be a symptom of larger health issues. 

Additionally, certain discolorations are indicative of increased levels of insulin. 

If you notice darkening in some areas of your body especially if it’s in the neck or armpits go and have it checked out because it can be a sign of diabetes.

- The genitals of a person are usually darker than the rest of the body 

- Experts have revealed that darkening occurs because of hormones in puberty 

- Extra testosterone can cause a man’s penis and nipples to darken, while extra estrogen can cause the colored ring around the woman’s nipple and aerola to darken

REPORT: At least 13,000 churches affected, 1,500 schools shut, 611 teachers killed by Boko haram

Boko Haram

NORTH-EAST, NIGERIA - Over 14 million Nigerians are directly affected by humanitarian crises in the North-east region of the country, two international humanitarian groups have reported.

The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative from the United States and the Stefanus Foundation, based in Nigeria, gave the figure on Monday in Abuja.

Addressing journalists during a programme organised to highlight the challenges of terror victims in the country, Mark Lipdo, Executive Director of the Stefanus Foundation, said a research conducted by the groups revealed the figure.

“14.8 million Nigerians from Northeast are directly impacted by the crisis. Officially, there are 2.2 million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.

“Unofficially, there are five to seven million IDPs. Those in need of special assistance, are 2.5 million, comprising children under the age of five, pregnant women and nursing mothers,” he said.
North East crisis

Mr. Lipdo said the menace of terrorism has had a wide range of casualties, which he listed to include: 611 teachers who died as a result of terrorism in the north east; 19,000 teachers displaced, 1500 schools closed down, and 950,000 children denied the opportunity of accessing education.

Others include 13,000 churches abandoned, closed down or destroyed, 2000 children abducted and 10,000 boys forced to join Boko Haram.

“Global Terrorism index shows that Boko Haram is the world’s most lethal terrorist group, followed by ISIS, while Al-Qaeda ranks third and the Fulani militants mostly in the middle belt rank 4th,” Mr. Lipdo said.

Vice President of the 21st Wilberforce Initiative, Elijah Brown, added that in December 2015, the number of IDPs scattered around Nigeria alone were more than 2 million.

“As of December 2015, there were 2,152,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria – the third highest figure in Africa and the seventh in the world,” he said.

Mr. Brown said the activities of Fulani herdsmen were having a terrible effect on the middle belt and called for immediate action against the menace.

“Without intervention, the crisis in the Middle Belt will continue to escalate.

“This could affect other countries in West African region like the Republic of Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Mali, and Niger,” said Mr. Brown

Co-organisers of the program, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, pleaded with world leaders to respond to government’s call towards assisting Nigeria in addressing the issues of humanitarian crisis created by terrorist activities across the nation.

CAN president, Samson Ayokunle, said various reports in the past had indicated that the rate of humanitarian crisis affecting Nigerians as a result of terror were more than those of similar situations in most parts of the world.

“The situation is looked upon by international bodies as the biggest humanitarian disaster all over the world.

“A disturbing fact about the problem is that it has not received substantial humanitarian response from the world’s most powerful nations as other disasters of relatively smaller degrees in other parts of the world.

“I am therefore calling on the world’s powerful nations to come to the aid of Nigeria in seeing to the end of insurgency.

“Come to the aid of many victims of insurgency within and outside internally displaced people’s camps or homes; those who have been stripped naked, the jobless, the orphaned, those maimed and the widowed in Nigeria,” he said.

Pitt expresses sadness over Angelina Jolie divorce filing

Pitt expresses sadness over Jolie divorce filing
Actress Angelina Jolie has filed for a divorce from actor Brad Pitt, her husband of two years and romantic partner since 2005, her attorney said on Tuesday, signaling the end of one of Hollywood's most glamorous and powerful couples.

"This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting, and asks that the family be given its privacy at this time," attorney Robert Offer said in a statement.

The Oscar-winning actress filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, citing irreconcilable differences, court documents showed. Jolie sought full physical custody of their six children ages 8 to 15 with visitation rights for Pitt but did not seek spousal support. Jolie cited their separation date as Sept. 15.

"I am very saddened by this but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids," Pitt told People magazine. "I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time."

Jolie and Pitt, known collectively as "Brangelina," were one of the entertainment world's most visible couples, due to their good looks, successful films and activism. They married in 2014 after a decade together.

Their relationship was steady fodder for tabloids with reports focusing on what role Jolie played in the breakup of Pitt's marriage to actress Jennifer Aniston and, more recently, possible trouble in the marriage.

Pitt, 52, was married to Aniston in 2003 when he and Jolie filmed "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," the story of assassins unknowingly assigned to kill each other. There were reports of an affair, but Jolie told Vogue they were only "very, very good friends" until Pitt and Aniston split in 2005.

Before their August 2014 wedding at their French estate, Jolie and Pitt had said they would not wed until same-sex couples were allowed to marry.


While Pitt and Jolie won praise for their on-screen chemistry in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," their most recent film collaboration, "By the Sea," last year was about a married couple drifting apart. Jolie wrote and directed the latter.

Jolie has been estranged from her father, actor Jon Voight, but he told "Inside Edition" he was concerned about the divorce filing. "It’s very sad," he said. "Something very serious must have happened for Angelina to make a decision like this.”

Peter Walzer, a California attorney who represented actress Katie Holmes in her divorce from superstar Tom Cruise, said in a phone interview it was unusual Jolie sought sole physical custody of the children and it was equivalent to saying Pitt was not competent to be a parent. “It’s an insult,” Walzer said.

Jolie had an offbeat reputation early in her career but has taken on humanitarian causes and was named a special envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

She traveled to Afghanistan, Sudan, Tanzania, Iraq and Jordan to call attention to the plight of refugees and the underprivileged.

The couple started a foundation to finance reconstruction of homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Together they started the Jolie-Pitt Foundation in 2006 to help charities worldwide.

Their children include sons adopted from Cambodia and Vietnam and a daughter adopted from Ethiopia, as well as three biological children.

To encourage other women, Jolie spoke out publicly about elective surgeries in 2013 and 2015 to remove her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes as a preventive measure due to a family history of cancer.

In addition to her Oscar win, Jolie was nominated for an Academy Award for "Changeling" in 2008. Pitt's breakout role came in a supporting part in "Thelma & Louise" in 1991. His other films include "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Inglourious Basterds," "Moneyball," and the "Ocean's 11" films.

Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Divorce: They ‘Haven’t Slept In The Same Bed’ For A ‘Long Time’

                                       Celebrity News
It’s seems that Angelina Jolie, 41, and Brad Pitt, 52, have been struggling to keep their romance alive behind closed doors. The Changeling star shockingly filed for divorce from her husband on Sept. 20, and now we discover their split has been “a long time coming” since the two have been dealing with several problems over the last year, according to ET. “They haven’t slept in the same bed for a big chunk of that,” their source close to the couple says. “When they were in New York City the last time together, they had separate rooms and were on their own schedules.”

The former lovebirds were last spotted together in NYC for the WSJ Magazine Innovator Awards on Nov. 4, 2015, but it seems they may have already been leading their own lives at the time. Another source also added that Brad has been more “carefree” in the last few months, likely due to his newfound freedom. The pair was married for two years and called it quits nearly one month after their second anniversary, as Angelina sited “irreconcilable differences.” She’s reportedly seeking sole physical custody of their six children, but still wants Brad to have visitation rights. This is all so shocking!

Brangelina is worth $400 million dollars and they reportedly never signed a prenup, so hopefully they will find a settlement that will benefit both parties fairly. Also at the center of their divorce controversy is Marion Cottilard, Brad’s sexy Allied co-star, who allegedly was getting romantic with Angelina’s husband during the time they were filming the action flick. While some reports claim the two were hooking up, others say Marion had “NOTHING” to do with Brad and Angelina’s split. Goodness gracious.

REPORT: China chemical accidents cause 199 deaths from Jan-Aug

China had 232 chemical-related accidents from January to August this year, causing 199 deaths and 400 injuries, according to research from the environmental group Greenpeace published on Wednesday.

Greenpeace said China needs to "radically overhaul" the way it manages its chemical industry, which is now "appallingly under-regulated".

"The government must take urgent action to manage chemicals in a sound manner, provide a safety net for workers and citizens, and protect ecologically important areas across the country," said Cheng Qian, a campaigner with the group.

According to publicly available data from 2010-11, the majority of China's 33,625 chemical facilities are located in densely populated eastern coastal regions, Greenpeace said, adding that more transparency was needed to provide a more accurate picture of the industry.

China has struggled to enforce its rules on acquiring, producing, storing and disposing of dangerous chemicals, and experts have complained that rules published at the end of 2011 are inadequate and need to be tightened significantly.

Last year, 165 people were killed following a series of explosions in a chemical warehouse in the northern city of Tianjin. The government said hazardous materials had been stored illegally at the site.

China detained 49 people in connection with the blasts, including port and work safety officials, saying that laws and regulations had been flouted. The firm involved, Tianjin Ruihai International Logistics, was also accused of handling dangerous chemicals without a license.

Four workers were also killed in an explosion at a facility run by the Wanhua Chemical Group on Wednesday.

President Buhari Minister Slumps in Adamawa

The Minister of Women Affairs,
NIGERIA - The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Jumai Alhassan, on Tuesday slumped at the Internally Displaced

Persons’ camp in Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

Alhassan was on  a two-day official visit to the state when she slumped shortly after presenting relief materials to the IDPs.

But the slump that could have led to a national tragedy was averted by the swift intervention of her aides and camp officials who administered first aid on her.

It was gathered that barely few minutes after walking into the hall with the aid of crutches, Alhassan, who recently had an operation for an undisclosed ailment, slumped.

She was immediately assisted by some of her aides who got a chair and helped her to sit down on it.

Her aides, particularly the women, used their wrappers, bucket and dustbin covers and whatever they could lay their hands on, to fan the ailing minister.

At this point, journalists who were already inside the hall, were ordered to leave the hall by her security aides.

A camp source told journalists that some bottles of Coca-Cola were given to the minister, which she reportedly drank “to increase her blood sugar level.”

After she was stabilised, Alhassan was hurriedly driven out of the Fufore IDP camp to where she lodged to have a rest.

An unconfirmed source added that Alhassan while at the lodge used some of her medication and after a while went back to the camp to deliver President Muhammadu Buhari’s message to the displaced persons and to inspect some of the relief materials the Federal Government provided for them.

Our correspondent gathered that the minister after she recovered from the unfortunate incident went into a hall in the camp where she addressed some women.

At the IDPs camp, the minister explained that she was on a fact-finding mission to the North-East as directed by President Buhari following allegations of human abuse in the IDPs camps of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

Alhassan, however, promised the displaced persons that the Federal Government was working on modalities to ensure that they return to their homes as soon as possible.

She said, “President Muhammadu Buhari sent me to you people because he is highly worried about your continued stay in IDPs camps and has given you every assurance that you will soon return to your kiths and kins.”

The minister had earlier paid a courtesy call on Governor Jibrilla Bindow in Government House, Yola where she urged him to continue to support women in his capital developmental strides.

She applauded Bindow for his tireless efforts aimed at  developing the state.

- Punchng


Brad Pitt & Angelina
Brad Pitt & Angelina
Apparently Angelina Jolie‘s six kids had a nanny that was a little too fond of their papa Brad Pitt, 52, and they immediately let their mom know. In a shocking new report in the Daily Mail, a source said of their massive parental help staff that, “One got fired – the kids told Angie she was crushing on Brad, and that was the end of it.” That Angelina doesn’t mess around!

But the same report went on to claim that, “The nannies had it hard,” and that the kids would make up stories to get them in trouble, so they could have been making up the flirting story to get the woman fired. The incident happened while Angelina was in Cambodia was directing her film First They Killed My Father in winter 2016. The site claims that Angelina would let her brood run wild on the set there, giving them very little if no discipline, a totally different style of parenting from Brad’s more structured style.

Angelina’s jealousy has been coming under scrutiny ever since it was revealed she filed for divorce from the actor on Sept. 15. She has been insanely jealous when it comes to Brad’s constant flirting with his gorgeous co-stars over the years. Since that drove her absolutely crazy, she probably was pretty quick to believe that a nanny was able to work her charms on Angie’s man.

US 'holds Russia responsible' for deadly aid attack in Syria

SYRIA - The US has said it holds Russia responsible for a deadly attack on an aid convoy near the Syrian city of Aleppo on Monday.

The White House has called it an "enormous humanitarian tragedy".

Meanwhile, US officials have told the BBC that two Russian war planes were responsible for the attack.
Syria conflict: 'Helicopter dropped bombs on aid convoy'

Russia strongly denies involvement of its own or Syrian planes, and says the incident was caused by fire on the ground and not by an air strike.

"There are no craters and the exterior of the vehicles do not have the kind of damage consistent with blasts caused by bombs dropped from the air," a statement from the defence ministry said.

And the country's foreign ministry spokeswoman said the US government had "no facts" to support its claim, adding: "We have nothing to do with this situation."

But US officials, speaking in condition of anonymity, said two Russian SU-24 attack aircraft were in the sky above the convoy at the precise moment it was hit in Urum al-Kubra.

The strike, they added, was too sophisticated to have been carried out by the Syrian army.

White House spokesman Ben Rhodes later said: "There only could have been two entities responsible, either the Syrian regime or the Russian government.

"In any event, we hold the Russian government responsible for airstrikes in this space."

The UN had earlier said it was "not in a position to determine whether these were in fact air strikes".

Eighteen of 31 lorries were destroyed and about 20 civilians were killed including a senior official of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

The attack prompted the UN to suspend all aid convoys in Syria.

Meanwhile, diplomats in New York were trying to save a week-old truce agreement brokered by the US and Russia which was declared over by Syrian military hours before the incident.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking alongside his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, insisted the cessation of hostilities deal was "not dead", following talks with delegates of the Syria Support Group.

They are to meet again on Friday. And the UN Security Council is due to hold a high-level meeting on Syria on Wednesday.


Dollar gains after Japan's Central Bank changes policy framework

Light is cast on a U.S. one-hundred dollar bill next to a Japanese 10,000 yen note in this picture illustration
The dollar jumped on Wednesday after the Bank of Japan altered its policy framework, and investors bought back the U.S. currency ahead of the outcome of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting later in the session.

Japan's central bank, overhauling its massive stimulus program, decided to scrap its focus on monetary base and set targets for long-term rates.

The BOJ maintained the 0.1 percent negative interest rate it applies to some of the excess reserves that financial institutions park with the central bank.

But it abandoned its base money target and instead set a "yield curve control," under which it will buy long-term government bonds to keep 10-year bond yields around current levels of zero percent.

The dollar was up 0.8 percent at 102.54 yen JPY=, after rising to a nearly one-week high of 102.67.

"The monetary base was abandoned, which could be supportive for the dollar, overall," said Kaneo Ogino, director at foreign exchange research firm Global-info Co in Tokyo.

"Many people expected the BOJ not to take any action at all, and the yen to strengthen, so we now see many people buying the dollar back," he said.

The euro surged 0.7 percent to 114.17 yen EURJPY= after earlier dropping as low as 112.50, its lowest since Aug. 16.

Against the dollar, the European unit was down 0.2 percent at $1.1133 EUR=.

Japanese data released earlier on Wednesday showed exports fell 9.6 percent in August from a year earlier, posting an 11th straight month of decline.

In addition to the BOJ, investors' attention is also on the Fed. The U.S. central bank is widely expected to hold interest rates unchanged at 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent, and could hint at a rate hike by the end of the year.

Weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data has prompted investors to call off bets for a Fed rate hike on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, data showed U.S. housing starts fell more than expected in August as building activity declined broadly after two straight months of solid increases.

The British pound steadied after tumbling in the previous session, extending its losses after head of Germany's Bundesbank warned on Monday that banks based in Britain could lose "passporting" access to EU markets after Britain's pending exit from the European Union.

Sterling was down 0.2 percent at $1.2958 GBP= after skidding to $1.2946, its lowest since Aug. 16.

NEWS UPDATE: Nigeria’s debt rises by N4.17tn in one year

NIGERIA - The country’s debt profile has risen to N16.29tn, the Debt Management Office has said.

Statistics obtained from the DMO on Tuesday showed that the country’s total debt liability had risen to N16.29tn as of June 30, 2016. As of June 2015, the country’s total debt stood at N12.12tn.

This means that within the one-year period (July 2015 to June 2016), the country’s total debt rose by N4.17tn, or 34.41 per cent.

A breakdown of the country’s debt profile shows that external debt by the federal and state governments stood at $11.26bn or N3.19tn as of June 30, 2016. It was $10.32bn or N2.03tn by July last year.

According to the DMO, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s official exchange rates of N283 to $1 as of June 30, 2016, and N197 as at December 2015 were used in arriving at the naira equivalent of the foreign debt status.

The domestic debt of the Federal Government alone stood at N10.61tn as of June this year, up from N8.4tn a year ago.

This means that within 12 months, the Federal Government’s domestic debt profile rose by N2.21tn or 26.31 per cent.

The domestic debt of the states stood at N2.5tn at the end of June this year, whereas it was N1.69tn in July 2015. This means that within a period of one year, the domestic debt of the states rose by N810bn, an increase of 47.93 per cent.

For domestic debt, FGN Bonds remained the dominant instrument for borrowing from the domestic market, as it accounted for N7.47tn or 70.46 per cent of the Federal Government’s domestic debt profile.

The Nigerian Treasury Bills accounted for N2.9tn or 27.36 per cent of the Federal Government’s domestic debt profile.

Treasury Bonds, on the other hand, accounted for N230.99bn or 2.18 per cent of Federal Government’s domestic borrowing.

Although the Federal Government had for long acknowledged that it was borrowing too much from the domestic debt market and crowding out the private sector, current debt statistics show that the trend has not changed.

The DMO recently said that refinancing 30 per cent of the Federal Government’s domestic debt amounting to N2.56tn within the next one year posed a high risk to the economy.

The DMO, in a document, ‘Nigeria’s Debt Management Strategy 2016-2019’, said at least 30 per cent of the nation’s domestic debt would fall due within a one-year period.

It added that refinancing the 30 per cent component of the domestic debt posed high risk to the economy because of high interest rate.

It stated, “This debt stock is slightly lower than the published FGN’s total debt stock of $55,576.28m (N10,948,526.57m), because the Debt Management Strategy tool treats the NTBs stock based on the discount values and not on the face values; while for the external debt, the tool aggregates the debt by tranche and currency, and applies a common end-period exchange rate. These gave rise to the observed difference.

“The implied interest rate was high at 10.77 per cent, due mainly to the higher interest cost on domestic debt. The portfolio is further characterised by a relatively high share of domestic debt falling due within the next one year.

“Interest rate risk is high, since maturing debt will have to be refinanced at market rates, which could be higher than interest rates on existing debt. The foreign exchange risk is relatively low given the predominance of domestic debt in the portfolio.”


Bomb suspect's father says he called FBI in 2014

NYC bombing
The father of US terror suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami called law enforcement in 2014 to say his son was a "terrorist", US officials have told the BBC.

Mohammad Rahami alerted authorities after a domestic dispute, expressing concern his son was an extremist before retracting the claim.

Mr Rahami said that the FBI determined his son was not a terror threat.
Mohammad Rahami father of bomb suspect says he called FBI

He is now suspected of "an act of terror" in Saturday's blasts in New Jersey and New York, say prosecutors.

Mohammad Rahami first made the statement about his son as a terrorist to New Jersey police after the younger man was arrested and accused of stabbing his brother in 2014.

The information was provided to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Newark, New Jersey.

"Two years ago I go to the FBI because my son was doing really bad, OK?" Mr Rahami Snr told the New York Times.

"But they check almost two months, they say, 'He's OK, he's clean, he's not a terrorist.'"

"Now they say he is a terrorist. I say OK," he told the newspaper.

The FBI reportedly launched an assessment, but Mohammad Rahami later withdrew his statement.

He said he only meant his son was spending time with criminals, a law enforcement official told the AP.

Authorities also determined Ahmad Khan Rahami had no ties to terrorist organisations, the official said.

A Justice Department official told the BBC they are going to "look into this further and see if there are any lessons to be learned".

Though Mr Rahami was not on any terror watch lists, authorities are looking into whether he was radicalised on previous trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He reportedly passed screening tests each time he returned from abroad, two US officials told Reuters.

Mr Rahami was arrested on Monday after Harinder Bains, an Indian immigrant businessman, found him napping in his pub doorway in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

He told CNN he initially thought the 28-year-old most-wanted suspect appeared "fatigued" and "exhausted".

After watching television news from another business across the street, Mr Bains recognised Mr Rahami's face in coverage of the manhunt for the bomber and alerted authorities.

Police confronted the suspect, who pulled a handgun and shot one of them. Mr Rahami was subsequently arrested after a gun battle with police.

The Afghan-born US citizen is charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer stemming from the shootout.

Police say they also have evidence linking him to the bomb in New York, which injured 29, and the explosion in New Jersey, which hurt no one.

The suspect - who lived with his Muslim family above their fried-chicken restaurant in Elizabeth - is being held on $5.2m bail after undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound to his leg.

Authorities have said no other suspects are at large.

U.S. bombers fly over South Korea for second time since North nuclear test

US Bomber
Two U.S. supersonic bombers flew over South Korea on Wednesday, with one of them landing at an air base 40 km (25 miles) south of the capital, according to a Reuters witness, the second such flight since North Korea's Sept. 9 nuclear test.

An official with U.S. Forces Korea said the flight by a pair of B-1B Lancer strategic bombers based in Guam was intended as a show of force by South Korea's powerful ally.

Ahmad Rahami charged over New York and New Jersey bombs

Ahmad Rahami charged over New York and New Jersey bombs
The US has charged Ahmad Khan Rahami with planting bombs in New York and New Jersey.

Thirty-one people were injured when a bomb went off in the Chelsea neighbourhood of Manhattan on Saturday.

Mr Rahami was already charged by the state of New Jersey with the attempted murder of police, during his arrest.

The new federal charges include use of a weapon of mass destruction, bombing, destruction of property and use of a destructive device.

Unsealed in a Manhattan federal court, the charge sheet sheds new light on Mr Rahami's motivations.

His journal apparently expressed the wish to die a martyr, the criminal complaint revealed.

One passage said: "You [USA Government] continue your [unintelligible] slaught[er]" against the mujahideen, or holy warriors, be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Sham (Syria), Palestine."

Another refers in glowing terms to Osama Bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Muslim cleric killed in a 2011 drone strike, and Nidal Hasan, a former Army officer who killed 13 people at a Texas Army base in 2009.

Investigators say Mr Rahami, who is 28, planted two bombs in Chelsea but one failed to detonate.

Another bomb exploded in a New Jersey seaside town earlier on the same day but no-one was hurt.

He is also accused of leaving explosives in a discarded rucksack in a rubbish bin in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Mr Rahami was preparing for months for the attack, the court documents suggest.

He bought some bomb-making equipment on eBay and was filmed by a relative lighting "incendiary material" in a bin.

The series of bombings over the weekend have sparked a heated debate about national security between the two presidential candidates, days before their first televised debate.

Republican Donald Trump has seized on the fact Mr Rahami was born in Afghanistan to bolster his tough stance on immigration admissions.

But his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has accused Mr Trump of enabling the terrorists by playing into their hands.

Mr Rahami is still in hospital, recovering from injuries sustained during the shootout that led to his arrest.

His Acceptable Sacrifice - Pastor W.F Kumuyi

DCLM Daily Manna Devotional written by Pastor Kumuyi


Wednesday, 21 September 2016


Bible Text: Hebrews 9:11-23

Key Verse: "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14).

David Livingstone, a great missionary to African, attempted to compare the effort he put into preaching the gospel in Africa with the sacrifice Jesus made to redeem mankind from eternal damnation and concluded that there was no ground for comparison. He said, "People thought of the sacrifice I made in spending most of my life in Africa.

Can that be called a sacrifice which simply paid back a small part of the great debt owed to our God, which we can never fully repay? Is that sacrifice which brings its own reward of the consciences of doing good, peace of mind and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with such thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. It's rather a privilege: I never made a sacrifice. Of this, we ought not talk when we remember the great sacrifice He made when He left His Father's Throne to give Himself for us". The sacrifice of Jesus Christ cannot be better explained. He paid the final and ever efficacious price for the redemption of mankind without spot or any sinful stain in His life. By implication, His blood is sufficient to purge the conscience from dead works.

It reaches the soul and conscience. The blood is also sufficient to enable us serve the living God, not only by purging that guilt which separates God and the sinner, but in sanctifying and renewing the soul through the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit. Conclusively, Christ became the mediator of the New Testament which is anchored in His shed blood. This brought about the universal atonement that redeemed mankind from their transgressions. It also qualifies those who are effectually called to receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Thought for the day: Christ is the qualifier of the unqualified.

Bible Reading in one Year: Proverbs 15-17

Daily Manna was written by Pastor W.F Kumuyi.

Unity of Faith - Kenneth Copeland

Faith to Faith Daily Devotional


Wednesday, 21 September 2016


KEY VERSE: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. - Ephesians 4:11-13

Till we all come in the unity of the faith. What this scripture means is simply this: If we’re ever going to become truly powerful in the kingdom of God, if we’re ever going to be any great threat to the devil, we’re going to have to grow up—together.

It won’t be enough for just a few of us to grow up on our own and say, “Too bad” about everyone else. It doesn’t work that way. We’re a part of each other. The Bible calls us one body...the Body of Christ.

Let me give you an example. When I began teaching God’s revelation on the laws of prosperity, I started getting an amazing amount of flack. Preachers started calling me and chewing me out because I wouldn’t borrow money and things like that. Finally God said to me one day in prayer, Don’t teach on the laws of prosperity anymore until I tell you to.

“Why not?” I asked.

There’s strife in the camp, He told me. Other preachers are mad at you and in strife over it.

I didn’t realize then that the level where we stopped would affect us all. I didn’t realize that even I wouldn’t be able to go on and operate in the additional laws of prosperity until the rest of the Body would go with me.

We’re not islands unto ourselves. I can’t do anything without affecting you. You can’t do anything without affecting me. We’re joined together by God but held together by one another (Ephesians 4:16). We can only grow up…together!

Learn to walk in love. Refuse to fall prey to division and isolation. Feed on the Word daily and encourage your brothers and sisters by feeding it to them too, so we can all grow up to be “a perfect [or mature] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:13-28

Faith to Faith Devotional was written by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland.

Soldiers of the Cross - Pastor E.A Adeboye

Open Heavens Daily Devotional written by Pastor E.A Adeboye


Wednesday, 21 September 2016


Memorise: Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. – 2 Timothy 2:3

Read: 2 Timothy 2:1-4 (KJV)

1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 1-3, Psalms 65

The word ‘soldier’ appears in the Bible quite frequently, along with a number of synonymous terms. A soldier is a person involved in military activity, one who is specially trained for war. In Bible days, the phrase ‘men who drew the sword,’ was commonly used to identify a soldier’s primary function as a combatant and to symbolise warfare in general.

Ephesians 6:11-17, is a Bible reference comparing the weapons of a fully armed Roman soldier to that of a Christian’s spiritual armour. In recruiting earthly soldiers, some are chosen while others who are unfit are dropped. The fact that you are born again shows that you have scaled through the first selection hurdle. The next thing is to prove that you are a good solider of Jesus Christ. Why? There are bad soldiers of the Cross. There are many supposed soldiers in God’s army who are no better than earthly civilians.

In 1 Timothy 6:12, Paul enjoins fellow Heavenly soldiers to fight the good fight of faith. We have been called into a fight. It is a fight that is based on your faith in Christ. 2 Timothy 2:4 says:

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

The chosen is also expected to be a soldier. Therefore, if you cannot fight to resist and terminate Satan’s operation in your life, family or church, you are a civilian not a soldier. If you cannot fight for God’s promise to be fulfilled in your life and circumstances, you are a civilian, not a soldier. Can you imagine a soldier who is armed and at the battle front drops his weapons, only to plead with fellow soldiers to assist him in shooting at his enemies? That is a civilian soldier!

In the Christian faith, there are many civilian soldiers. If you keep relying on others to pray for you, you are a civilian solider. If you pay prayer contractors to go to Prayer Mountains on your behalf while you are asleep at home, you are a civilian soldier. Civilian soldier make God nauseous. If you are a soldier of the Cross, you must endure hardness. If because of little trials- delayed conception, no money, or some persecution, you decide to call it quits with your faith in Christ, you become a deserter, not a soldier. Soldiers are tough and able to go through tough and difficult terrains. What would stop civilians cannot stop soldiers. They are armed, disciplined and operate according to the orders of their superiors. They are faithful to their oath to defend and kill identified enemies of the kingdom. They fight, putting their lives on the line.

The big question that every Christian must answer with all sincerity is, are you a soldier of the cross, a deserter, or a civilian?

Prayer Point: Father, I am determined to be a soldier of the cross, please help my resolve to stand for you and the Gospel in Jesus’ name.

Open Heavens Daily Devotional was  written by Pastor E.A Adeboye.

The Mysteries of God - Billy Graham



Wednesday, 21 September 2016

TOPIC: The Mysteries of God

Key Verse: Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of his existence and great eternal power . . . - Romans 1:20 (TLB)

If you try to rationalize God exhaustively, you will fail. There are mysteries about God that we will never understand in this life. How can the small and finite, limited to time and space, understand an infinite God! We should not think it strange that it is impossible to explain many mysteries in the realm of matter.

Who can explain why objects are always attracted to the center of the earth? Who can fathom the law of gravity? Newton discovered it, but he could not explain it. Who can explain the miracle of reproduction? . . . Thus many evidences and many arguments could be advanced to indicate there is a God.

Yet the plain truth is this: God cannot be proved by mere rationalization. He cannot be contained in a tiny man-made test tube or confined to an algebraic formula. If God can be fully proved by the human mind, then He is no greater than the mind that proves Him.

Prayer for the day:
Lord God almighty, although my finite mind cannot comprehend the magnitude of Your greatness, I have felt Your presence in the quiet of my heart and I am gladdened.


Daily Devotional


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

TOPIC: The Cures of the Fears of Life

SCRIPTURE: For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. – Job 3:25

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Every condition of failure answers to the therapy of the Word of God.

Fear is one potent weapon of destruction in the hands of the devil. When the devil wants to afflict someone with a particular negative condition, he brings that thing first in the form of fear. What a man fears many times becomes his undoing. That is why Job said that the things he feared came upon him (Job 3:25).

Specifically, the fear of failure is a dangerous form of fear satan uses to torment people.

At the marriage in Cana of Galilee, the occasion almost failed because the wine finished. But that failure was abated because the Presence and Word of God (our Lord Jesus Christ) was there. Every condition of failure answers to the therapy of the Word of God. There is a Word of God therapy for marital, business, ministry, career or relationship failure.

When you have the Presence and Word of God in your life, you do not have to fear mockery and shame.

Beloved, I do not know what is about to fail in your life, but if the Word of God is with you, your success is guaranteed.

Remember this: Every condition of failure answers to the therapy of the Word of God.

1. Refuse to entertain any form of fear in your life.
2. Live with the mentality that the solution Provider (Jesus Christ) lives in you.


PRAYER: O LORD, I thank You for Your Presence in my life. Deliver me from the spirit of fear, shame or reproach in Jesus’ Name.

QUOTE: Without the Divine Presence, a man is nothing, notwithstanding what he has or where he is. Culled from 30 SECRETS TO THE TOP by Dr Paul Enenche.

AMAZING FACT: Your body has enough iron in it to make a metal nail 3 inches long

TODAY IN HISTORY – 21/09/1981: The U.S. Senate confirmed Sandra Day O'Connor to be the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

DAILY READING: Isaiah 37:1 to 38:22, Galatians 6:1 to 18, Psalms 65:1 to 13, Proverbs 23:24.