Saturday, May 31, 2008

Re: Former Bush Aide: McClellan Is Getting Ripped For Telling The Truth

This is my rejoinder to the report on Former Bush Aide: McClellan Is Getting Ripped For Telling The Truth posted on Huffington Post.

Any dummy can write a book on how President George W. Bush and his goons lied and misled America into one of the dumbest wars in history.

The Downing Street Memo and Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson have already shown us the facts, so any dummy writing another book on it is only desperate to fish in the troubled waters and make money from the political Fiasco of Dubya.

Writing best selling books on the falsehood of the mission to Iraq is medicine after death. If President George W. Bush had been impeached in 2005, thousands of American soldiers would have been saved from dying in the war in Iraq.

In fact, I condemn all the office holders in the American government for misleading America into a wrong war in Iraq.

From the messenger who filed the classified lies of the Weapons of Mass Destruction to the President who told the lies, they are all guilty. And the innocent blood of every American killed in the prosecution of the war in Iraq is in their hands and the Law of Harvest awaits them and their children, because what we sow we shall surely reap now or later.
I know what it means to be a victim of a suicidal war, as already documented in Memories of a Refugee Child.

The only book on the war in Iraq that deserves to be read is the book written by those who have been there and not armchair critics who are cowards who are only speaking after the FACTS have been revealed years ago.

Did Scott McClellan suddenly have the balls to spill his bitter guts in What Happened.
Who is fooling whom?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Africa's Mobile Industry to Pay $71 Billion in Tax By 2012

29 May 2008 09:00 Africa/Lagos

Africa's Mobile Industry to Pay $71 Billion in Tax By 2012

JOHANNESBURG, May 29/PRNewswire/ --

- GSMA Says Cutting Mobile-Specific Taxes Would Boost Government Revenue

The mobile industry will generate $71 billion in tax revenues in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2012, but that figure would be higher still if governments removed taxes that treat mobile phones and services as luxury goods, according to research commissioned by the GSMA. The research by Frontier Economics found that uptake of mobile services in the region is being held back by mobile-specific taxes on handsets, airtime and telecom equipment, which increase costs for consumers and deter investment by mobile operators.

If all mobile specific-taxes in Sub-Saharan Africa had been removed in 2007, an additional 43 million people in the region would be connected by 2012 leading to an increase in overall tax receipts of $930 million between 2007 and 2012, according to the research.

"Mobile consumers in Africa face some of the highest tax rates in the world which hit poorer members of society hardest," said Gabriel Solomon, Senior Vice President at the GSMA, the global trade body for the mobile industry. "These taxes are holding back mobile adoption in Africa, curbing economic growth and, ironically, are actually lowering the total revenues collected by governments."

The research found that the mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa employs more than 3.5 million people directly or indirectly and, in 2006, contributed an average of 4% to African countries' Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GSMA announced in October that mobile operators plan to invest approximately $50 billion in sub-Saharan Africa over the next five years. The report estimates that every dollar the mobile industry invests in Africa generates an average of US80 cents in taxes. Frontier Economics calculates that the mobile sector accounts for 7% of total government revenues in the region.

"We do not believe that taxation should be designed on the basis of short-term considerations - it should be designed on the basis of achieving the best long-term economic interests for the society and in a way that accelerates the extension of services to the poor," added Mohsen A. Khalil, Global Information and Communication Technologies Director at the World Bank. "The indirect benefits to the economy of having affordable access to telecommunications services far outweigh any short-term benefit to the budget."

Notes to Editors:

More information on the research is available at

Key Findings

For the period 2000-2012, sub-Saharan governments will receive $71 billion in tax revenues from the mobile industry.

This amount could be greater if mobile-ownership specific taxes, i.e. all non-VAT taxes relating to handsets, subscription and connections, were removed. For example, for the five year period 2007-2012 we estimate that:

- Tax receipts would increase by $930 million, rising from $28.9 billion to $29.9 billion, if the governments of Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Ghana, Zambia, DRC, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Chad and Malawi removed all non-VAT mobile ownership taxes in 2007;

- By 2012, Chad's tax receipts would be approximately 30% higher, Ghana's 20%, Cameroon and Nigeria's 15%, Republic of Congo's 11%, Malawi's 8% and Zambia's 7%;

- The average cost of owning and using a mobile phone would fall substantially, in Republic of Congo by -25%, in Cameroon by -24%, in Chad by -22%, in Malawi by -18%, in DRC by -16% and in Nigeria by -14%; and

- This would result in an additional 43.4 million mobile subscribers in those countries, increasing the 2012 projected weighted average penetration rate from 33% to 41%

For the 10 year period 2007 - 2017 we estimate that:

- In Ghana, if all non-VAT taxes were removed in 2007, by 2017 tax revenues would be 38% above the base case and penetration would be 28% higher; &

- In Cameroon, if non-VAT taxes were removed on handsets only in 2007, by 2017 tax revenues would be 24% above the base case and penetration would be 43% higher.

In sub-Saharan Africa, eight governments levy luxury taxes on air time, 24 governments levy luxury taxes on handsets and more than 25 governments levy luxury taxes on equipment.

In 2006, mobile tax contributions are broken down into the following categories:

- 35% net VAT on services and handsets;

- 34% corporate and employment taxes;

- 20% import duties on handsets and equipment; and

- 11% other mobile specific consumption taxes such as air time tax.

If non-VAT taxes removed, governments in the majority of countries would receive incrementally higher tax returns as industry growth boosts total VAT receipts along with corporate and employment tax receipts.

The average ratio of tax payments to mobile operator revenues is above 30%. The five countries with the highest ratios are Zambia 53%, Madagascar 45%, Tanzania 40%, Gabon 40% and Cameroon 39%.

The average mobile tax contribution to government total national tax revenue is 7%. The five countries with the highest contributions are Chad 11%, Republic of Congo 10%, Gabon 9%, Tanzania 8% and Cameroon 8%.

The mobile industry is a substantial generator of GDP, contributing around 4% on average in 2006. That year, the mobile industry contributed 5.3% GDP in Ghana, 4.3% GDP in South Africa, 4.1% GDP in Niger, 4% GDP in Nigeria, 4% GDP in Rwanda, 3.8% GDP in Uganda, 3.5% GDP in Tanzania and 3.4% GDP in Kenya.

For the period 2000-2012, GSMA estimate that between $85 billion to $98 billion will be invested by the mobile industry in sub-Saharan Africa. $13 billion more would be invested between 2008-2012 if government in sub-Saharan Africa lowered regulatory risk and removed mobile-specific taxes.(1)

In 2007, the mobile industry employed more than 3.5 million people directly or indirectly in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2007, mobile networks covered more than 60% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa, providing around 434 million people with access. Of those covered, 162 million were connected, implying a 37% penetration rate among those covered by mobile networks in sub-Saharan Africa.

About the GSMA:

The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing more than 750 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries and territories of the world. The Association's members represent more than 3 billion GSM and 3GSM connections - over 86% of the world's mobile phone connections. In addition, more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association's initiatives as key partners.

The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers.


(1) For example, in the report "Regulation and the Digital Divide", PwC estimated that best practice regulatory conditions in sub-Saharan Africa would increase investment by 25%

Source: The GSM Association (GSMA)

For further information contact: Mark Smith / David Pringle, GSM Association, Mobile: +44(0)7990-707-770, Email:

Nigeria Has Gone To The Dogs

I have read Reuben Abati's "Disasters, Crocodile Tears And The Next Tragedy" and I wish that every literate person in Nigeria will sit down and read it and meditate on it. Then look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself the question of how much your life is worth as a Nigerian.

How much are you worth to Nigeria?
How much have you done to separate yourself from the dogs and pigs in Nigeria?

Who Are the Dogs and Who Are the Pigs?

The dogs and pigs are those who have no scruples and would careless to do anything to belong to the Joneses.
They have no dignity and no integrity.
They will say anything and do anything to ape the Joneses.

Only Nigerian fools will boast of living in mansions while they cannot boast of good and safe roads.

Only Nigerian fools will boast of going to Nigerian universities when they cannot boast of any Nigerian university among the top 30 universities in Africa!

Only Nigerian fools will boast of the Nigerian parodies of American TV reality shows, but cannot boast of any Nigerian film in competition at the Cannes.

Only Nigerian fools will boast of their skills and wits in aping American hip-hop music and dance, but cannot boast of Nigerian music icons.

Only Nigerian fools will boast of wasting millions of naira to sponsor the importation of American hip-hop music stars, but cannot boast of promoting the appreciation of Nigerian music of Fela Sowande, I.K. Dairo, Ayo Bankole, Sam Akpabot and other geniuses of Nigerian music.
I am pointing my accusing fingers at the Nigerian Breweries Plc, This Day newspapers and others who are accomplices of those guilty of the corruption and pollution of the minds of Nigerian youths on TV and on stage.

Only Nigerian fools will boast of supporting Manchester United, Chelsea and other popular Western European soccer teams, but cannot boast of Western Europeans who can even name Nigerian soccer teams. Of course, only Nigerian fools died while screaming their heads off over the last UEFA Champions League Final in Moscow.
As fools lies, fools die.

Only Nigerian fools voted for the People's Democratic Party (PDP) to elect an incompetent President who does not know that being the governor of a Northern state is millions of miles apart from being the President of the most populous nation in Africa.

Only Nigerian fools will honour a Senate President who should be on trial for graft and electoral malpractices.

Only Nigerian fools will be fooled by the political contractors in public offices and their partners in crime in the private sector.

Only Nigerian fools will boast of winning millions of naira from Nigerian promotions, but they cannot call a spade and spade and tell the MTN, CELTEL, GLO, NBL and other capitalist exploiters to go and spend the millions on the renovation of neglected campuses and upgrading laboratories and studios of Nigerian colleges and universities.
The millions of naira you wasted in importing 50 Cent and Rihanna will be more than enough to refurbish and equip the laboratories of the University of Lagos.

Only Nigerian fools will prefer to dine and wine with the corrupt public officials and their partners in crime in the private sector without telling them the truth. That they are going to burn in hell, except they repent.

The list of these Nigerian fools is very long.

They are the hypocrites, parasites and prostitutes in Nigerian churches, mosques, corridors of power, private companies, campuses and other places who are behaving and living like dogs and pigs. Even those who see themselves as the Nigerian elites are nothing more than dogs.

Only a political, economic and social revolution to purge Nigeria of the corruption and pollution plaguing the Nigerian society will suffice.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

From Peru to Nigeria, Entrepreneurs are Battling Poverty

28 May 2008 13:00 Africa/Lagos

From Peru to Nigeria, Entrepreneurs are Battling Poverty

Lessons from the Poor Examines Success Stories from Around the World

" . . . fascinating . . . profoundly hopeful . . . " -William R. Easterly Professor of Economics, New York University Former Research Economist, World Bank

" . . . important . . . informative . . . " -Mark C. Casson Professor of Economics, University of Reading

OAKLAND, Calif., May 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Can the billions of people living below the poverty line teach the world a lesson about economics that most politicians and academics don't seem to understand? Internationally acclaimed political analyst and author Alvaro Vargas Llosa says they can.

In Lessons from the Poor: Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit (May 30, 2008/The Independent Institute/ $16.95), Vargas Llosa and a team of economists examine a series of success stories from around the world. Their case studies show how entrepreneurialism drives economic development. Unfortunately, in societies dominated by political corruption, high taxes, and regulation, innovators must overcome enormous challenges. Wealth transfer, cronyism, and legal insecurity all conspire against progress. Lessons from the Poor features inspiring examples of entrepreneurship and urges countries to embrace policies that encourage individual initiative and wealth creation, instead of the zero-sum game of wealth redistribution.

"The book contains five entrepreneurial case studies which exemplify the creative powers of the human race when everything seems aligned against the individual," says Vargas Llosa, Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute. "The researchers--men and women based in Latin American and Africa--conducted extensive fieldwork on location in order to understand and then effectively communicate these success stories to other aspiring entrepreneurs around the world."

After reading about the founding of family-run Kola Real in Peru in the 1980s and the success of the informal clothing industry in Nigeria, it is hard to deny the invaluable role of entrepreneurship in the lives of even the poorest people. Without it, the supermarket Nakumatt would not have revolutionized the Kenyan shopping experience beyond the open-air market, and the Argentine barter system would never have become a "parallel economy," helping thousands of unemployed citizens battle poverty.

Past scholarship has often focused on the perniciousness of excessive regulation and bureaucracy in poor nations, suggesting that business ventures that were free of suffocating state intervention might have thrived. Some of it has examined the illegal enterprises--the informal economy--emerging from efforts to circumvent the hostile legal system in order to survive. "But very few have concentrated on those entrepreneurs who, starting from a condition of extreme poverty, were able to overcome a mountain of obstacles successfully and, operating within the oppressive constraints of the law, create considerable wealth," says Vargas Llosa.

And yet many still struggle to survive. "Clearly our past solutions and foreign aid policies have not worked and new ideas and directions are needed," concludes Vargas Llosa. "The industrialized and developed countries must find ways to support this drive to innovate and create new products and markets." In Lessons from the Poor, the lessons on entrepreneurialism are clear and learned from the lives of the poorest among us.

Lessons from the Poor:
Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Edited By Alvaro Vargas Llosa
The Independent Institute | May 30, 2008
$16.95 | 304 pages | ISBN 978-1-59813-020-1

Source: Independent Institute

CONTACT: Wendy Honett of Independent Institute, +1-510-632-1366 x 116

Web Site:

CNN Contributor Alex Castellanos: I Am Sorry for Insulting Hillary Clinton

"Last time I was on the roundtable I was trying to make a point about Senator Clinton's toughness and strength, which I respect, and I chose the wrong words and the way to say it and, you know, I'm sorry I said it that way, it was the wrong thing."

You can watch the full video by clicking on the video player.

Tribute: Nigerian Music Icon, Sonny Okosuns, 1947 - 2008

Sonny Okosuns (1947-2008)

The Ozzidi King of Nigerian Afro-Highlife music passed on last Saturday May 24, 2008, at the Howard University Hospital, Washington D.C., United States of America, after protracted illness.

He was one of the legendary icons of modern African music whose protest songs became popular for the liberation struggle in his native Nigeria and many other African nations. He became a household name in South Africa when he lamented about the evils of Apartheid in Papa's Land and Fire in Soweto. His song Free Mandela was inspirational in the campaign for the freedom of Nelson Mandela.

Click here to watch the video of Sonny Okosuns Power To The People on Kisses & Roses

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our Children Are Our Future

In memory of the children of Ijegun Comprehensive High School, Ijegun Nursery and Primary Schools who lost their precious lives in the Pipeline Explosion on Thursday May 15, 2008, in Ijegun, Lagos, Nigeria.

This is for all the children in Nigeria as I join them to celebrate the Children’s Day.

The nostalgia of my childhood is overwhelming, because the unforgettable memories of growing up in the loving care of my parents are now flooding back to me.
I love my childhood. I had a happy childhood after the Nigerian civil war. I grew up in a happy home at #28 Obalende Road, Obalende, Lagos.
I love children, because as Whitney Houston sang in The Greatest Love of All, they are indeed our future.

Nigerian School Children in class. Photo Credit:Khaled Hassounah

85% of the children in Nigeria are from poor families who are mostly in the rural areas. When I travel to different states in Nigeria and I see the children in their dilapidated houses and bad roads, I feel sad and disappointed, because Nigeria is one of the richest countries in natural resources and Nigerians should be among the most comfortable people in the world. But the corrupt and ruthless public officials have wrecked the administration of our beloved nation and left the majority of the people miserable.

Parents must do their best for the health, success and welfare of their children.
If you do not have the wherewithal to raise children, please do not conceive and bring innocent children into the world only to let them suffer in abject poverty.

I have seen better parenting among sheep and goats than I have seen among many parents in Nigeria.
I have seen Nigerian parents who have children, but do not know how to raise them

Every child deserves good education. Photo Credit:Khaled Hassounah

The only way to secure the future of Nigeria is to make sure that Nigerian children have the most important things in life; regular food supply (including safe water) safe and comfortable accommodation, universal basic education, universal healthcare and security at home and outdoors.

Khaled Hassounah, the director of Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has toured Nigeria and knows that education is the key that will open doors to breathroughs for the children of the poor in Nigeria and other poor countries in the world.

Nigerian School Children display their OX Laptops from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Program. Photo Credit:Khaled Hassounah

Let me remind you of what the beautiful and wonderful teacher, Yvonne Terry has written on Our Children Are Our Future, you can read it on ChickenBones.

Let us join Whitney Houston in singing the all time classic The Greatest Love of All to all the Children in Nigeria and the rest of the world.

I believe the children are our are future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody searching for a hero

People need someone to look up to

I never found anyone who fulfill my needs

A lonely place to be

So I learned to depend on me


I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows

If I fail, if I succeed

At least I'll live as I believe

No matter what they take from me

They can't take away my dignity

Because the greatest love of all

Is happening to me

I found the greatest love of all

Inside of me

The greatest love of all

Is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself

It is the greatest love of all

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be


And if by chance, that special place

That you've been dreaming of

Leads you to a lonely place

Find your strength in love.

Whitney Houston's The Greatest Love of All was written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed, and was first perfromed and recorded by George Benson for the 1977 Muhammad Ali film The Greatest..

Photo Credit: Khaled Hassounah

Sunday, May 25, 2008

NEWSWEEK Cover: Obama, Race And Us

25 May 2008 16:10 Africa/Lagos

NEWSWEEK Cover: Obama, Race And Us

Despite Decades of Progress, Race Is Still an Issue for Many White Americans as Well as Some Democrats

Newsweek Poll Shows Misconceptions About Obama May Be a Hindrance to His Campaign but There Are Ways He Can Overcome Challenges

NEW YORK, May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Barack Obama's success on the campaign trail indicates that the United States may be ready to elect its first non- white president. A recent Newsweek poll, however, suggests that although he is poised to secure the Democratic nomination, Obama is still facing problems winning over white voters. In the June 2 Newsweek cover package "Obama, Race and Us" (on newsstands Monday, May 26) a team of Newsweek correspondents offer an open memo to Obama, with suggestions on how he can overcome race issues and convince doubters, of all skin colors or backgrounds, that they will be better off during an Obama presidency than a McCain presidency.

Newsweek pollsters recently created a "Racial Resentment Index" to measure the impact of race on the 2008 election. White voters were asked a series of 10 questions about a variety of race-related topics, including racial preferences in hiring, interracial marriage, and what they have "in common" with African-Americans. About a third of these voters scored "high" on this index; 29 percent of all white Democrats did. Overwhelmingly, these Democrats are the ones most likely to defect to John McCain in the fall. (Among "High RR" white Democratic voters, according to the new Newsweek Poll, Clinton leads McCain by 77 percent to 18 percent, while Obama only wins by 51 percent to 33 percent.) Many Democratic voters in West Virginia interviewed by a Newsweek reporter on primary night, May 13, did not hide their animus towards Obama as a kind of exotic alien. Menina Parsons, 45, said she will not vote for Obama in the general election because: "I don't think he's real. I don't think he's American."

The letter points out that some commentators have said that his problem is not with race but rather with geography. The Daily Kos Web site recently posted a map that makes the point: the majority of counties in which more than 65 percent of whites voted for Clinton closely track Appalachia-the mountainous region running from upstate New York into the Deep South, where voters tend to be somewhat less well-off and less well-educated than in other parts of the country. But Appalachia is a big place, encompassing 13 states and he cannot afford to lose all those states and still win in November. Dee Davis, president of a Kentucky-based advocacy group called the Center for Rural Strategies, points out in a recent article on that in June 2004, John Kerry trailed George W. Bush by the same 9-point margin in the same rural battlegrounds. "Your mission," Newsweek's letter urges, "is to not wind up like Kerry, who ended up losing the rural vote by 20 points." According to Davis, the reality "is that when Democratic candidates run competitively in rural America, they win national elections. And when they get creamed in rural America, they lose."

For other issues such as the questions over his patriotism, the letter suggests Obama take the high road. "The Internet has been a sluice for lies and distortions about your religion and background. It is widely and falsely rumored that you are Muslim (in the Newsweek poll, 11 percent of voters believe you are); that you chose to be sworn into the Senate using a Qu'ran rather than a Bible; and that you refuse to place your hand over your heart for the singing of the national anthem because, you are imagined to have said, 'the anthem conveys a warlike message.' You must confront this slur, with more force than you have shown so far." While Newsweek sees Obama's recent wearing a flag lapel pin as wise, it also suggests it would be helpful to be seen venerating his white mother and grandparents as well as his black father. "Your mother is a sympathetic figure, fighting to raise a child out of poverty ... Voters need to know that you are definitely not John Kerry, who was raised to wealth and privilege, an Ivy Leaguer educated, for a time, at a French boarding school."

The cover package also includes essays on how the issue of race might play out in the election:
Contributing Editor Ellis Cose writes, "That Barack Obama seems poised to become the Democratic nominee is certainly evidence we've arrived at a redefining moment in this nation's evolution. But that's not to say race has ceased to be of consequence." He adds that, "for years, most Americans have told pollsters they were prepared to put race aside when voting for a president. Some 94 percent of Americans (up from 53 percent in 1967) tell Gallup they would vote for a black candidate. But it's impossible to know what to make of that, since respondents routinely lie to pollsters when asked any permutation of 'Are you racially biased?'"

Harold Ford Jr., Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, writes that concerns about race in this election are overstated. He writes. "Do many rural or working-class people have questions about Obama? Sure. But these are less about race than about culture ... In the weeks and months ahead, he just needs to show that he respects them and understands the issues that matter to them ... Obama has run a first-rate primary campaign, energizing countless new voters. Now he's got to get off the big stage more often and meet with people where they work, play and pray ... He needs to earn their trust."

Richard Rodriguez, the author of "Brown: The Last Discovery of America" writes that America has become a mixed society. "There are millions of us in America who similarly belong to more than one race. There are millions of us who belong to contending races or religions or tribes." In this world, "the political necessity is for someone who might help us imagine lives larger than racial designations. A politician might win the day, if he or she were able to speak of the ways our lives are mixed."

Marjorie Valbrun, a contributing writer for, writes about the low-grade war of words between black women supporters of Barack Obama and white women supporters of Hillary Clinton. "Black women's support for Obama is not just about race, just as it's not solely about gender with Clinton supporters. The problem is that, as both camps have appealed to their most loyal supporters, the divide has broken down along racial lines: all too many progressive white women now say they will have a hard time voting for a black man in November."

(Read cover story at
Cover: Obama, Race and Us.
Harold Ford Jr.
Ellis Cose
Richard Rodriguez
Marjorie Valbrun
Source: Newsweek
CONTACT: Brenda Velez of Newsweek, +1-212-445-4078
Web site:

Africa Day - Great Reasons To Celebrate This Africa day!

25 May 2008 17:29 Africa/Lagos

Africa day - great reasons to celebrate this Africa day!

London, 25 May/GNN/ --

News Network on 25 May 2008

Every year, the African Union celebrates Africa Day. This year, people
in the UK will join in the celebrations at the Mayor's event in Trafalgar
Square on Monday 26th May. It is a chance to celebrate success across the
continent and the contribution African people and countries make to our world.

The continent still faces many ongoing challenges but aid from the UK -
funded by British people through the Department for International Development
(DFID) - is having a real impact towards changing Africa people's lives for
the better. Here are just a few of the successes we can be proud of:

1. Combating preventable diseases in Kenya...
Malaria is one of the biggest killers of children across Africa. It kills
more than three children every minute. Thanks to aid from the UK, millions
of children under five in Kenya can now sleep safely at night under bed nets
which keep the killer mosquitoes out.

Over the last seven years, money from the UK government has helped ensure
11 million insecticide treated bed nets have been given to pregnant women
and children under 5 in Kenya (2001 and March 2008).

2. Saving Lives...
Sadly, 1 in 5 children across Africa die before they reach their fifth
birthday. In one country, Sierra Leone, the situation is particularly
bad. Babies, young children and mothers face a tough battle to survive with
the worst mortality rates in the world.

One in four children die before their fifth birthday and mothers have a one in
six chance of dying during childbirth. In comparison, in the UK, six in every
1000 children die before the age of five and 0.01% of women die in childbirth.

Thankfully, work is under way to tackle this. Support from the UK has helped
Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health to plan improved health services for its
women and children. They are now aiming to save a third more lives over the
next three years by cutting the mortality rate by 30%.

3. Sub-Saharan glass is half full...
Just over half the people living across Africa have safe and clean
water. This means millions of children die every year from easily preventable
diseases. Over the last four years, UK support has helped more than seven
million people in Sub-Saharan Africa gain access to clean water and sanitation.

4. More teachers + free books = extra school children in Mozambique...
Over a third of children of primary school age across Sub-Saharan Africa do
not get the chance to go to school. That's over 50 million kids, almost the
population of the UK. However, more children are going to school now thanks
to DFID. In Mozambique alone we helped the government employ 11,660 teachers
in 2007 and provide free textbooks - enabling an extra 270,000 children to
go to school.

More successes!
- Combating preventable diseases in Kenya...
In Kenya, UK funding for the social marketing of condoms and selected civil
society projects, has contributed to HIV rates falling from 18.1% in 2006
to 15.6% in 2007.

- Saving today and spending for tomorrow in Nigeria...
UK support and advocacy has helped the Government of Nigeria implement
a system for monitoring federal debt relief gains of $750 million a year
ensuring they are spent on key priorities and have identified savings of
£850m in 2007 Federal Budget to be invested in roads & power.

- Africans protecting Africa...
Since 2004/05 some 11,000 African peacekeepers have received pre-deployment
training through the UK-supported Africa Conflict Prevention Pool. These
troops from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Gambia and Rwanda have served
with the African Union (AU) Mission in Sudan, with the United Nations (UN)
Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and with the UN in Burundi.

- Education schemes in Ghana...
Social protection schemes in Ghana supported by the UK ensured that nearly
409,000 school children in poor communities would not go hungry and have
a better quality of life. In 2007, the UK funded the training of around
134,000 Ghanaian teachers provide important messages to their students on
prevention of the HIV and AIDS.

- Bumper harvest in Malawi
With UK support to Malawi's seed and fertiliser subsidy, 2007 saw the largest
maize surplus ever recorded, benefiting 2 million households. The numbers
in acute food need fell to zero in 2007 - from 5m in 2005 and 830,000 in 2006.

- Farmers rights on track in Rwanda...
UK support has prepared the way for the Rwanda Government to issue an
estimated 7.9 million land titles, giving farmers the confidence to invest
in new seeds and technologies, and maintain the productivity of their plots
for the long term.

- Customs become accustomed to better ways of working...
In Mozambique the UK has helped strengthen customs support leading to the
doubling of customs revenues from 1996 to 2005. Goods now clear customs 40
times faster and better anti-smuggling controls have been introduced.

For more information and case studies, please call DFID's press office on
020 7023 0600 or log on to

Notes to Editors
* The Department for International Development (DFID) is leading the British
government's fight against global poverty.
* Africa Day commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity
in 1963, which became the African Union in July 2002.
* In 2007/08 DFID spent approximately £1.17 billion on bilateral and regional
programmes to reduce poverty in Africa and over the next three years we plan
to spend a further £1.25 billion in 2008/09, £1.50 billion in 2009/10 and
£1.75 billion in 2010/11 in Africa.

Source: Department for International Development

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"To Seek a Newer World: A Symposium on the Life and Legacy of Robert F. Kennedy"

Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy (November 20, 1925June 6, 1968), also called RFK, was the 64th United States Attorney General from 1961 to 1964 and a US Senator from New York from 1965 until his assassination in 1968.

Robert F. Kennedy Associates Gather for a Look Back at '68 Campaign

Associates and observers of Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign will examine what made that endeavor significant and what lessons are to be learned 40 years later from Kennedy's brief but transformative run for the White House.

"To Seek a Newer World: A Symposium on the Life and Legacy of Robert F. Kennedy" will be held May 27 at the Freedom Forum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Freedom Forum, Vanderbilt University and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, the program will begin at 1 p.m. with an introduction by Kennedy's eldest daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, followed by two panel discussions.

The symposium is being held in conjunction with the presentation that evening of the Robert F. Kennedy Book and Journalism Awards.

Media planning to attend the symposium, please contact:
Tina Tate at 202/292-6313 ( or
Susan Bennett at 202/292-6310 (


"To Seek a Newer World: A Symposium on the Life and Legacy of Robert F. Kennedy"

Knight Conference Center rooms 705/706
The Freedom Forum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C.

1 p.m. Introduction, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
1:30-2:45 p.m. Panel: The 1968 Campaign
3-3:30 p.m. "Robert Kennedy Remembered" film
3:30-4:45 p.m. Panel: RFK, 1961-1968: Seeking a Newer World


Former Kennedy associates John Doar, Peter Edelman, Frank Mankiewicz, John Nolan, John Seigenthaler, James E. Tolan, William vanden Heuvel

Authors Jules Witcover, Thurston Clarke
Former NAACP Legal Defense Fund Director-Counsel Elaine Jones
Former assistant to President Clinton, Jill Schuker
Co-founder, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee Chuck McDew

CONTACT: Elizabeth Latt of Vanderbilt University, +1-615-322-NEWS

Source: Vanderbilt University

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Will You Tell CNN That You Expect An Apology From Alex Castellanos?

>> Will you tell CNN to take responsibility for their on-air talent?

Dear Friend,

Is it ever acceptable to use the term "bitch" to describe a woman? CNN political contributor Alex Castellanos seems to think it is.

On Wednesday's edition of The Situation Room, moments after CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin referred to a column in The New York Times that "talked about some of the humor in the campaign, and the punch line was a line that was -- that Hillary Clinton was a 'white bitch,'" Castellanos asserted, "And some women, by the way, are named that and it's accurate."

Hard to believe? You can check out the Media Matters for America item below or watch the video for yourself here.

It's time to hold CNN and Castellanos accountable for his horribly sexist remarks. I hope you'll take a moment to contact CNN today and demand an on-air apology from Castellanos.

>> Make your voice heard -- Contact CNN today and demand an on-air apology.


Eric Burns
Chief of Staff
Media Matters for America

PS -- You can see more of Castellanos' comments from the past month here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

2008 Global Peace Index Rankings

Global Peace Index Rankings

New Zealand
Czech Republic
Hong Kong
South Korea
Costa Rica
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Equatorial Guinea
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Burkina Faso
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Papua New Guinea
United States of America
Trinidad and Tobago
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Congo (Brazzaville)
Cote d'Ivoire
Sri Lanka
Democratic Republic of the Congo
North Korea
Central African Republic

Global Peace Index 2008 Report Reveals:Iceland is the Most Peaceful Country in the World

20 May 2008 10:00 Africa/Lagos

Global Peace Index 2008 Report Reveals: Global Upturn In Peacefulness

Iceland tops the ranking of the world's most peaceful, Iraq rated least peaceful

U.S. remains largely unchanged, ranking at 97

Angola, Indonesia and India are among the big risers

Endorsed by Nobel Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Professor Muhammad Yunus

WASHINGTON, May 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Most countries in the world are performing better against key measures of peacefulness compared with last year, according to the latest rankings of the Global Peace Index (GPI), now in its second year.

This year the Index has been expanded to rank 140 countries - from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe - according to how peaceful they are, both domestically and how they interact with the outside world.

The Index is constructed from 24 indicators of external and internal measures of peace including UN deployments overseas and levels of violent crime. It has won the backing of an influential and distinguished group of supporters including Nobel Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Professor Muhammad Yunus as well as the Fulbright Center.

Steve Killelea, founder of the Global Peace Index, said: "The world appears to be a marginally more peaceful place this year. This is encouraging, but it takes small steps by individual countries for the world to make greater strides on the road to peace."

Supporters of the Index are urging policymakers to focus more on education, wealth and well functioning government to secure a greater peace dividend. They are also pointing to the crucial role of business in forging stability.

Iceland, making its first appearance in the Index, tops the rankings. Countries in Scandinavia have also emerged as among the most peaceful countries on the planet with Denmark (2) and Norway (3) scoring very highly. New Zealand (4) and Japan (5) - the only member of the G8 in the top ten - complete the highest ranked. The United States held virtually steady at number 97, dropping one slot from last year's rank of 96.

But other nations, including Angola (110), Indonesia (68) and India (107), have demonstrated the greatest improvements compared to last year's Index.

Based on a direct comparison of the 121 countries measured in the GPI 2007 to GPI 2008, a majority of the individual indicators have seen slight improvements. On average, scores for level of organised conflict (internal) and violent crime, political instability and potential for terrorist acts have all improved marginally. In contrast, the world's armed services have grown on average per country, as has the sophistication of its weaponry.

Other key findings:

-- Small, stable and democratic countries are the most peaceful - 16 of
the top 20 are western or central European democracies
-- The G8 fared very differently: Japan (5), Canada (11), Germany (14),
Italy (28), France (36), UK (49), United States (97), Russia (131)
-- Iraq is the lowest ranked country on the Index (140)

This year's launch is also highlighting the link between business and peace and the role that business has to play in creating more peaceful societies. The Study of Industries that Prosper in Peace report released today alongside the Global Peace Index points to the correlation between peaceful countries and business activity.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: "You ultimately can't have business where you have conflict. So, it is in the nature of self-interest to promote the kind of circumstances and the kind of environment where you can carry out your business when there is peace."

Since the first Global Peace Index was launched in 2007, it has been used as a tool by Presidents, Prime Ministers and academics. But Mr. Killelea believes the Index should be used by business to make more informed investment decisions and, while he acknowledges the role of business in creating peace, he is calling for business to do more.

"There is no doubt that investment and business benefit from more peaceful and less violent environments," commented Sir Mark Moody Stuart, chair of Anglo American and the UN Global Compact Foundation. "This research considers the many factors that contribute to this and I have no doubt that sound and transparent business practices, coupled with careful consideration of the social consequences of our businesses, can contribute to growing peace."

For more information please visit

Notes to Editors

The Global Peace Index covers 140 countries which make up 98% of the
world's population.

In 2007 the Index was made up of 121 countries.

The Global Peace Index is launched under the auspices of the Institute for
Economics and Peace, a new global think tank dedicated to the research and
education of the relationship between economics, business and peace.

The GPI is compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit and its worldwide
network of country analysts.

The Index was peer reviewed by an advisory panel of experts in the study
of peace.

Steve Killelea is an Australian IT entrepreneur and philanthropist. The
58-year-old is the Chairman and Founder of Integrated Research Ltd. He founded
his charity "The Charitable Foundation" in 2000.

"The Charitable Foundation" specializes in working with the poorest
communities in the world and is currently active in ten countries including
Rwanda, Uganda, Laos, Burma and East Timor.

For press enquiries and interview requests please contact Craig Brownstein
at 202-326-1799 or
First Call Analyst:
FCMN Contact:

Source: Global Peace Index

CONTACT: Craig Brownstein, +1-202-326-1799,, for Global Peace Index

Web Site:

Hillary Clinton Will Win In Kentucky and Barack Obama Should Win in Oregon

All things being equal, the outcomes of Tuesday’s Democratic Primaries in Kentucky and Oregon are predictable from the polls, so Hillary Clinton should win Kentucky convincingly and Barack Obama should win Oregon. I do not foresee any upsets.

I have monitored and evaluated the presidential candidacy of Senator Barack Obama since 2007 and the book of my analytical and critical thoughts and commentaries on him will be published and released before the presidential election on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Democratic National Committee Must Read: McCain Vs. Lobbyists

18 May 2008 18:54 Africa/Lagos

Democratic National Committee Must Read: McCain Vs. Lobbyists

WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Just days after at least four McCain campaign aides resigned, three of whom after news reports revealed that their lobbying groups had worked on behalf of the repressive regime in Myanmar and the energy lobby, a new report shows that McCain's problems with lobbyists are not over. According to Newsweek's Michael Isikoff, McCain's "finance co-chair Tom Loeffler['s] ... lobbying firm has collected nearly $15 million from Saudi Arabia since 2002 and millions more from other foreign and corporate interests." Another McCain aide, finance director Susan Nelson, was paid $ 15,000 a month by Loeffler's firm while she was on the campaign payroll even though "Federal election law prohibits any outside entity from subsidizing the income of campaign workers." Time and again, McCain demonstrates that his calls for higher ethical standards seem not to apply to him and his campaign. The following are excerpts of today's story:

McCain Vs. Lobbyists
By Michael Isikoff
May 26, 2008 Issue

"Stung by the news that two aides once lobbied for the Burmese junta, John McCain last week rolled out a sweeping new conflict-of-interest policy for his campaign, requiring all staffers to fill out questionnaires identifying past or current clients that "could be embarrassing for the senator." Aides say that McCain was furious over the Burma connection (which he learned from a Newsweek story) and was "adamant" about banning campaign workers from serving as foreign agents or getting paid for lobbying work.

"But the fallout may not be over. One top campaign official affected by the new policy is national finance co-chair Tom Loeffler, a former Texas congressman whose lobbying firm has collected nearly $15 million from Saudi Arabia since 2002 and millions more from other foreign and corporate interests, including a French aerospace firm seeking Pentagon contracts Loeffler last month told a reporter "at no time have I discussed my clients with John McCain." But lobbying disclosure records reviewed by Newsweek show that on May 17, 2006, Loeffler listed meeting McCain along with the Saudi ambassador to "discuss US-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia relations."
"Another potential problem: Loeffler's firm started paying $15,000 a month last summer to one of its lobbyists, Susan Nelson, after she left to become McCain's full-time finance director, said a source familiar with the arrangement (who asked not to be identified talking about sensitive matters). Campaign officials were told the payments were "severance" for Nelson and that they ended by November. But in "February or March," Loeffler rehired Nelson as a consultant to "help him with his clients" while she continued on the McCain payroll, according to a campaign official who asked not to be identified talking about personnel matters. Federal election law prohibits any outside entity from subsidizing the income of campaign workers. McCain's officials say they have been assured that Nelson did actual work for Loeffler's lobbying clients -- and that the payments were proper. But after Newsweek posed questions about the matter, they confirmed Loeffler's resignation and the termination of Nelson's consulting contract. (Loeffler and Nelson did not respond to requests for comment.) Also last week, energy adviser Eric Burgeson was ousted."

To read the entire article, click here:

Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee,

This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Source: Democratic National Committee
CONTACT: Stacie Paxton or Michael Czin,

+1-202-286-7654, both forDemocratic National Committee

Web site:

Saturday, May 17, 2008

AP News Minute

Re: Obama's Struggle With Typical Liberal Hypocrisy

This is my comment on John Ridley's Obama's Struggle With Typical Liberal Hypocrisy

Political hypocrisy plagues American democracy.
Barack Obama cannot please everybody.
If Obama fails to win the nomination and the presidential election, the so-called American Liberals will be the Judas of his betrayal.

What has made Barack Obama so successful so far is not his animated amplification of the politiical sound bites of his political spin doctors, but the big budget of his sponsors who used their mainstream media and proxies in the social network sites to launch their vicious campaign of calumny against the Clintons and maligned them so badly that they have done more harm than good to the Democratic Party in the long run of the presidential campaign. If the Clintons and their millions of supporters turn against Barack Obama and his sponsors in the presidential election, do not blame the Clintons.

Most of those endorsing Barack Obama are doing so to spite the Clintons and have not really done much to show why he would be a better president than John McCain.
If we put the war in Iraq behind us, how would Barack Obama fare as the President of America?
This is not even a question of whether he is "Black enough" or not, but if he can really and truly be the kind of president America needs now.

We should not judge any person by the color of the skin, but by the intellect and benefit to human development.
Most of the African Americans voting for Barack Obama are racist, because they are voting for him, because he is Black.
Would the majority of them vote for him if he were White?
Why did most working class African Americans who should have voted for John Edwards prefer to vote for Barack Obama?
It is natural for Blacks to support a Black candidate?
Even if the Black candidate is not really better than the White candidate?
The White voters of Barack Obama have impressed me more than the Black voters.
The Blacks are making this presidential election look like a Black versus White power struggle.

If African Americans feel that it is long over due to elect a Black president, then how would the Latinos and American Indians feel?

Apart from his opposition to the war in Iraq, Barack Obama's shortcomings in political expediency are making him look like the puppet of the political power brokers who really careless about the war in Iraq and want to use him to settle scores and secure their future in the American government.

Americans must not reduce this election into an opportunity to compensate Blacks or settle political scores, because it would be irrational to do so.

African Diplomatic Corps Launches Its 2008 Africa Week Celebration and Commemorates the 45th Anniversary of the African Union

16 May 2008 17:03 Africa/Lagos

African Diplomatic Corps Launches Its 2008 Africa Week Celebration and Commemorates the 45th Anniversary of the African Union

WASHINGTON, May 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

The African Diplomatic Corps (ADC), the group of ambassadors that represent 53 African countries in the United States of America, will announce its Africa Week Celebration and commemorate the 45th Anniversary of the African Union (AU) on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 2 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The ADC is working collectively to update Americans on 21st Century Africa. Most Americans are unaware of Africa's progress, development and opportunities and have mainly been exposed to doom and gloom images of the Continent. African diplomats and U.S. elected officials will be on hand for media interviews to discuss the growth of the African continent and mark the uniting of African countries that form the AU.

WHAT: Press Conference to officially launch the Africa Week Celebration and commemorate the 45th Anniversary of the African Union

WHEN: Tuesday, 20 May 2008
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: The National Press Club
Zenger Room
529 14th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20045

WHO: Ambassador Roble Olhaye, Republic of Djibouti & Dean, African Diplomatic Corps (ADC)

Ambassador Dr. Amadou Lamine Ba, Republic of Senegal
H.E. Mr. Jean Ping, President, African Union Commission

Congressman Donald M. Payne, (D-NJ), chair, sub-committee on Africa and Global Health (House Committee on Foreign Affairs)

John Simon, Vice President, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
Ambassador Ombeni Y. Sefue, Republic of Tanzania & AU representative
Ambassadors representing countries in five regions

WHY: The goal of the ADC is to share a burgeoning Africa with Americans. Balanced information about an Africa that is full of business opportunities, impressive and consistently rising GDP in democratic countries, friendly and hospitable people available as a huge human resource pool is critical for American audiences. The ADC wants Americans to have available knowledge that China and India already are accessing to maximize benefits from many of the countries that are rich in minerals, agricultural products and tourist sites.

Source: African Diplomatic Corps

CONTACT: Huguette M. Moussodou of African Diplomatic Corps,
+1-202-797-1000 ext. 24 (office), +1-301-728-4063 (cell),

Friday, May 16, 2008

California Supreme Court Ruling in the Same Sex Marriage Cases

16 May 2008 18:18 Africa/Lagos

California Supreme Court Ruling in the Same Sex Marriage Cases

SAN FRANCISCO, May 16 /PRNewswire/ --

Waukeen McCoy, a San Francisco attorney who successfully argued the Gay Marriage case before the California Supreme Court commented that "this is a monumental victory for the civil rights movement; the California Supreme Court overturned voter-approved discrimination." McCoy was the lead Plaintiffs' attorney in one of the largest race discrimination case in US history, Carroll v. Interstate Brands Company, where the jury verdict awarded Plaintiffs $132,000,000 in August of 2000, and is very familiar with California and Federal laws which deal with discrimination in the workplace.

Speaking by telephone from the Cannes Film Festival, McCoy continued, "This ruling is about excluding the government from our familial relationships. It is not the government's place to tell us how to love or whom to love. However, it is the government's place to ensure that the people of the United States have equal rights under the law. Today the Supreme Court of the great state of California took the first step in ensuring that gays and lesbians throughout the United States have equal protection under the law."

"Because the California Supreme Court is looked to by other states as a leader in family law this is a great victory of gays and lesbians. Throughout my career I have fought against discrimination primarily in the workplace and this victory is something I will be proud of for the rest of my life. I believe that the state constitution provides for equal treatment for all of California's citizens and families, which today's decision recognizes. I think this decision will go down in history with Loving, Roe, and Brown. The progeny of the justices in today's majority will look back with pride on this day for generations to come."

Source: Waukeen Q. McCoy, Esq.

CONTACT: Waukeen Q. McCoy, Esq. of the Law Offices of Waukeen McCoy,


fax, +1-415-675-2530
Web site:

16 May 2008
Statement by SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West on the California Supreme Court Decision to Overturn the Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
California Supreme Court Ruling in the Same Sex Marriage Cases
Hundreds to Gather in West Hollywood, Under an Arbour of Flowers, to Celebrate Supreme Court Ruling Tonight, With Wedding Cake and Champagne
15 May 2008
Rob Reiner Same Sex Marriage Statement
L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Responds to California Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Marriage
ADL Welcomes California Supreme Court Decision in Support of Same-Sex Marriage
Eagle Forum: Supremacist Judges Overturn CA Legislature and Rule in Favor of Gay Marriage
Pelosi Statement on California State Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage
California High Court Decision Striking Down Marriage Underscores Need for Congress to Pass AFM's Marriage Protection Amendment
CA Supreme Court Imposes Same-Sex 'Marriage,' Overturning Prop. 22
PFLAG Families Applaud California Ruling in Favor of Marriage Equality
We Won! California Supreme Court Rules for Same Sex Marriage


I am 100% against Homosexuality, Lesbianism and Same Sex Marriage. But I believe that sick people should be given equal human rights, because even those who are mad have the right to be mad as long as they keep their madness to themselves.

May God save American from the mutants.

The UFO Files

We are not alone.
Whether you believe it or not, we are not alone in the universe.
If you do not believe in ETs and UFOs, that logically means you do not believe in God.

It was a space ship that came from heaven and carried Prophet Elijah away to heaven (2 Kings 2:1-18).

I have written science fiction, but I know that ETs and UFOs exist.
I do not need to write a long thesis to prove my hypothesis. I will not argue with anyone who has doubts.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nigeria: 100 People Killed in Pipeline Blast in Lagos!

Over 100 people have been killed in a pipeline blast Thursday afternoon, in the Ijegun suburb on the outskirts of Lagos. The fire started when the oil pipeline was ruptured by a road construction bulldozer. Several people, houses and schools nearby were engulfed by the flames and fumes of the pipeline fire as it spread. Many residents have fled the location and the injured have been taken to nearby hospitals in Lagos.

More than 200 people were killed in a similar pipeline fire on Friday May 12, 2006, and they were given a mass burial.

Pipeline explosions are common in the world's eighth-largest oil exporter where over 2, 000 people have been killed in previous oil pipeline explosions often caused by ruptured pipelines vandalized by illegal oil bunkerers.

The oil pipelines run through the swamps and creeks from the Niger Delta and crisscrossing villages and towns to reach other parts of the most populous country in Africa where the majority of the people are poor and cut off from modern civilization.

Violent disputes over oil revenues and kidnappings of foreign and local oil workers have cut oil supplies from Africa's leading oil producer by 25 percent.

December 2007: At least 40 people killed in Lagos
December 2006: At least 250 killed in Lagos
May 2006: At least 150 killed in Lagos
Dec 2004: At least 20 killed in Lagos
Sept 2004: At least 60 killed in Lagos
June 2003: At least 105 killed in Abia State
Jul 2000: At least 300 killed in Warri
Mar 2000: At least 50 killed in Abia State
Oct 1998: At least 1,000 killed in Jesse

United Steelworkers Endorse Senator Barack Obama for President

United Steelworkers. (PRNewsFoto/United Steelworkers) PITTSBURGH, PA UNITED STATES 01/31/2008

15 May 2008 15:00 Africa/Lagos

United Steelworkers Endorse Senator Barack Obama for President

Join John Edwards in Growing Wave of Support

PITTSBURGH, May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers today issued the following statement of endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for President:

"When the presidential primary contests began last year, our Union felt strongly that because of Senator John Edwards's deep commitment to working people and because of our shared beliefs, he deserved our strong endorsement. His belief that unfair trade policies must be changed, his commitment to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) to restore workers' rights to freely choose workplace representation, and his proposal for universal health care were widely shared by our members.

Senator Barack Obama

"Today, by virtue of a unanimous vote of our International Executive Board, we find ourselves once again in agreement with Senator Edwards, this time with his decision last evening to endorse Senator Barack Obama. And thus today, the United Steelworkers enthusiastically endorses Senator Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States.

"Senator Obama's call for a significant change of direction amounts to far more than a compelling rallying cry. It is buttressed by his record of consistent support for workers, by his call for sweeping changes to our health care system, by his unflinching support for Employee Free Choice, and by his insistence that America's trade policies must, first and foremost, serve the interests of America's working families.

"Senator Obama has shown his commitment to working families by proposing significant investments in the future of American manufacturing, in the revitalization of our nation's infrastructure, and in 21st century clean energy technologies that will lead to significant growth in domestic jobs. He is clearly the candidate who can best lead our nation out of the dark period of economic decline created by the Bush administration's allegiance to Wall Street profiteering at the expense of worker prosperity.

"We share Senator Obama's call for significant changes to these bankrupt policies, just as we earlier shared Senator Edwards'. And all of us, including, we hope, Senator Clinton, for whom we have the utmost respect, must now do everything we can to ensure that Barack Obama is the next President of the United States. Now is the time for contention and division to cease, and for us to unite behind the changes for which Senator Obama and our members are calling.

"America's workers cannot afford another four years of rehashed Bush administration policies, another four years in which the National Labor Relations Board shills for corporate misconduct, or another four years of a Secretary of the Treasury who considers it his "job" to bail out Wall Street speculators at the expense of hard working families loosing their homes.

"Nor can those of us who are committed to changing the direction of the country afford any more racial profiling of an election, when either Democratic candidate would be far superior to Senator McCain's lock-step commitment to four more years of the broken Bush economy and the broken Bush foreign policies.

"We are proud and honored to join Senator Edwards in endorsing Senator Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States. We commit ourselves to working tirelessly for his election and for a new age of cooperation among Democrats, Independents and thoughtful Republicans alike in which working Americans are restored to a place of dignity in society and in the American economy."

AP Archive:
PRN Photo Desk
Source: United Steelworkers (USW)

CONTACT: Marco Trbovich of United Steelworkers, +1-412-562-2440,


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