Ayodeji Femi-Pearce Dies At 86


Renowned Professor Of Medicine, Ayodeji Femi-Pearce Dies At 86. Founder of popular resort, Whispering Palms in Badagry, Lagos State, Prof Ayodeji Femi-Pearce, has died at the age of 86 after a brief illness.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday condoled with Ibilola Femi-Pearce, the widow of the departed, his family, friends and relations. The President urged them to take solace in the fact that the renowned professor of medicine left his footprints on the sands of time, serving meritoriously at the General Hospital, Lagos, and Lagos University Hospital (LUTH), among others.

Renowned Professor Of Medicine, Ayodeji Femi-Pearce Dies At 86

“Combining medical practice with academics, Prof Femi-Pearce was Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, and later, Pro-Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), for four years.

“At retirement, he co-founded the leisure resort, Whispering Palms, which he managed with his wife. Tremendous impact was made on the host community through various social development interventions,” Buhari said in a statement signed by his media aide, Femi Adesina.

Femi-Pearce was born on September 18, 1932, in Yaba, Lagos State. He attended CMS Grammar School, Lagos and proceeded to the University of Aberdeen Scotland to study medicine and later joined UNILAG College of Medicine and LUTH as a staff.

He became a professor in 1977 at the age of 45 and later provost, UNILAG College of Medicine and chief medical director, LUTH. He was appointed as UNILAG acting vice-chancellor in 1980 and was chairman, LASU Governing Council between 2000 and 2004,

He was until his death the chairman the famous seaside Whispering Palms leisure resort which he founded in 1991.


NBA Roundup


Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Piston) scored 26 to key a 121-114 win over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night. The Lakers ended the game on an 18-4 run after trailing late, with Brandon Ingram (21 points and nine assists) making big shots down the stretch.

Josh Hart also added 22 points, allowing the Lakers (21-16) to avenge their one-point loss to the Kings three days earlier.

Josh Hart

James missed his third straight game with a groin strain ( https://ak-static.cms.nba.com/referee/injury/Injury-Report_2018-12-29_05PM.pdf ) , but it was the first time in 14 games dating back to 2016 that his team won without him, per Micah Adams ( https://twitter.com/MicahAdams13/status/1078894505489850368 )  of NBA ( http://bleacherreport.com/nba ) .com.

The Kings fell to 19-17 on the season despite 26 points from De’Aaron Fox.

De’Aaron Fox Deserves Spot on All-Star Roster

The Western Conference is loaded with the best basketball players in the world, but Fox deserves a spot among those players in the All-Star Game based on the way he has played to this point.

No one expected the Kings to be in the playoff hunt this late into the season after going 12 straight years without a winning record, but they have kept pace heading into 2019 thanks mostly to the play of their point guard.

Even while seemingly dealing with shoulder problems and foul trouble, Fox still had a good night with 26 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals. The Kings were even while he was on the court despite the seven-point loss.

He once again showed a knack for producing highlight plays in many phases of the game:

> Sacramento Kings @SacramentoKingsSwipaVision™️ https://t.co/67X8RFEGNv

> Sacramento Kings @SacramentoKings🦊


> Sacramento Kings @SacramentoKingsA 🦊 always stays ready… https://t.co/iGnQiD8qHb

Perhaps just as important for him, he outdueled Lonzo Ball, a personal rival since they were both top recruits in high school.

Fox has been playing at this level all year long, entering the day averaging 18.0 points, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game. The only players to match these numbers so far this season are James Harden ( https://twitter.com/SacramentoKings/status/1079581321196752896 ) , Russell Westbrook ( http://bleacherreport.com/russell-westbrook )  and Jrue Holiday, per Basketball Reference ( https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&type=per_game&per_minute_base=36&per_poss_base=100&season_start=1&season_end=-1&lg_id=NBA&age_min=0&age_max=99&is_playoffs=N&height_min=0&height_max=99&year_min=2019&year_max=2019&birth_country_is=Y&as_comp=gt&as_val=0&pos_is_g=Y&pos_is_gf=Y&pos_is_f=Y&pos_is_fg=Y&pos_is_fc=Y&pos_is_c=Y&pos_is_cf=Y&c1stat=pts_per_g&c1comp=gt&c1val=18&c2stat=ast_per_g&c2comp=gt&c2val=7.7&c3stat=stl_per_g&c3comp=gt&c3val=1.6&order_by=ws ) .

He has also taken his game to another level as of late. Taking away his six-minute game against the Timberwolves earlier this month, he averaged 21.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.5 steals over his last 11 games.

The 21-year-old remains a threat every night as someone who can carry the offense with his scoring or keep the offense flowing with his passing while also playing shutdown defense on the perimeter.

> Jason  Jones @mr_jasonjonesDe’Aaron Fox’s speed shows up in so many ways on both ends. How he snuck in for that last steal and score was ridiculous

While Buddy Hield has played well this season and just about everyone on the roster has exceeded expectations, Fox is the most valuable player on this team and one of the best on the floor every night.

DeMarcus Cousins ( https://twitter.com/mr_jasonjones/status/1079580106647990274 )  has been the only Kings All-Star in the last 10 years, and that was because he put up numbers no one could ignore. While Fox doesn’t have this type of production on paper, he has helped his team win and is playing at an All-Star level.

If he can keep this up, he should be in Charlotte next February.

What’s Next?

The Lakers will continue their homestand Wednesday with a matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Kings will play on New Year’s Day while hosting the Portland Trail Blazers.

This article will be updated to provide more information soon.

NBA News
via Bleacher Report – NBA http://bit.ly/2gMI6gF

US university’s 44th list of words it would like to banish


Lake Superior State University’s 44th annual list of words nominated for banishment by members of the public:


— In the books

— Wrap my head around

— Platform

— Collusion

— OTUS family of acronyms (such as POTUS, FLOTUS, SCOTUS)

— Ghosting

— Yeet

— Litigate

— Grapple

— Eschew

— Crusty

— Optics

— Legally drunk

–Thought leader

— Unpack

— Importantly

— Accoutrements

— Most important election of our time

Associated Press

This Small Device Makes Your Old, Slow Computer Like-New Again!


Clever new device is saving old PCs and Laptops and the big computer companies aren’t happy about it!

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Is your computer painfully slow? Have you considered buying a new ‘faster’ computer but the price of even a basic one makes you cringe? Do you wish there was a cheaper, more affordable way to get a new computer? (Hint: there is – keep reading.)

It’s incredibly frustrating when computers slow down or stop working for seemingly no reason at all. And even after all the diagnostics, upgrades, and money spent, the amount of time waiting for that spinning wheel or hourglass to disappear never seems to get any shorter. Your once new, lightning-fast, computer just keeps getting slower as each day passes.

Well, fortunately, there’s a new device that has recently hit the market and it’s literally giving old, slow computers lightning fast speed again. And to say it’s extremely affordable is grossly understated!

What Is It?

It’s called Xtra-PC and if you have an old, slow computer, it’s exactly what you’ve been waiting for.

Xtra-PC is a small thumb drive you simply plug into your computer’s USB port and it instantly transforms your old computer to like new. It works with any computer (Mac or Windows) laptop, desktop, and netbooks made in 2004 or later and it is hands down the fastest, easiest solution to getting yourself a new computer without spending $400, $500, $800 or more – guaranteed. No more staring at spinning wheels or hourglasses ever again!

How Does It Work?

Super easy! In fact, it’s so easy that it’s like snapping your fingers and watching your old computer magically turn into the new, super-fast computer you want it to be. All you have to do is…

  1. Plug It In – Simply plug Xtra-PC into a USB port while your computer is turned off.
  2. Turn Your Computer On – Simply select ‘Boot from USB’ and bingo, you’re good to go.
  3. Enjoy Your New PC – In less than 15 minutes you’ll be shocked at the difference in the performance of your computer.

You only have to setup Xtra-PC once and you can even use it on multiple computers!

Xtra-PC Uses The Proven Foundation Of Linux. Watch The Video Below to See How It Works!

Using Linux lets you squeeze extra performance out of older processors (which is why Linux is a big part of Xtra-PC’s “secret sauce.”)

No Hard Drive? No Problem!

Amazingly, Xtra-PC even works on computers with no hard drives. That’s right! Broken, damaged, or just plain missing – Xtra-PC will have your computer running like new again even without a hard drive!

What Can I Do With My Like-New Computer?

Everything! With Xtra-PC, there’s simply no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a new computer – only to have it peter out on you in another year or two. It makes no sense. But getting Xtra-PC does (which is why the big computer companies are so against this incredibly powerful little device). With Xtra-PC you’ll be able to do the things you normally do…

  • Surf the web
  • Share on social media
  • Write emails
  • Watch videos
  • Play games
  • And more!

Heck, you can even add other programs to your computer if you wanted to. Want to download Skype? No problem, with Xtra-PC, you can.

How Much Is This Going To Cost Me?

This is not a joke. Xtra-PC is only $49.99 $34.99! That’s right – ONLY $34.99!

There honestly is no good reason not to try Xtra-PC.

You can get Xtra-PC direct from the company’s website here. Make sure to buy it from the official site as there are many knockoffs on the market today.

Why Are Parents Loving Xtra-PC?

One of our readers, Stephanie S. from Adelaide, recently told us:

“My 9 year old daughter wanted to get a computer for herself. But I certainly wasn’t going to spend $500 on a new computer. I had an old Toshiba computer from my college days packed away collecting dust so when I heard about Xtra-PC I decided to give it a try and WOW – AMAZING!!! My old, slow Toshiba from a decade ago is like new again. A little $34.99 investment saved me hundreds!”

Are You Sitting On A New Computer (But Just Don’t Know It?)

Now that you know about Xtra-PC and what it can do for your old computer, the question isn’t: “Do you have an old, slow, useless computer sitting around?”

The question is: Do you have a new, blazing fast, ready-to-use-for-anything computer that you need to go find and resurrect?

Start enjoying that lightning fast computer as quickly as possible by following these steps:

  • Step 1: Order Xtra-PC and get it delivered in about 1 week.
  • Step 2: Plug it in and reboot your computer.
  • Step 3: Sit back and enjoy your new PC.

It really is that simple!

Source: Prime8

19 Insanely Cool Gadgets That Are Going To Sell Out This Year



Sara Patterson on December 7th, 2018


We’ve been keeping track of gadget sales through all 2018, and the following 19 products are going to be selling like hot cakes well into the new year (each with at least an average user rating of 4.5 stars).

Before the offers run out, snag one of these as a gift or save it for another occasion while the price is right!

Now here’s the catch with these sweet, sweet gadgets… they’re only available ONLINE. You won’t find these in-stores. It’s expensive to sell retail, so the most innovative gadget-makers are now going straight-to-online.

And as a thank you to Prime readers, we’ve negotiated with these gadget-makers to get special deals for first time buyers! Most of our finds are under $60. They make perfect gifts and are perfect for those that want to splurge a little on themselves. Come back often because we’re always updating the list!

19. Photostick – World’s Only Instant Photo Organizer

     (3,345 ratings)

If you store your photos and videos on your computer or ‘the cloud’ then you know the risks that come with it: Computer crashes, viruses, and power surges that could wipe out 1,000’s of your digital memories in seconds. And that’s why The Photostick is one of the most in-demand gadgets of 2018, selling over 1,000 units per day. The Photostick is a clever new device designed to protect your photo and video memories and be super easy to use.

Using the Photosick is easy, just connect this small thumb-sized drive to your PC or Mac, press ‘Go’ and it will automatically sync your pictures and videos into the stick. It even finds and removes duplicates so you don’t spend hours deleting them manually.

No technical knowledge or computer expertise is required and all your photos are stored safely offline where only you have access to them. The PhotoStick is perfect for anyone who wants to safeguard their digital memories and doesn’t trust “the cloud”.Shop Photostick Today!»Only 85 left!

18. Photostick Mobile – #1 Way To Protect Your iPhone and Android Photos

     (5,662 ratings)

Like Photostick, Photostick Mobile can be used to back everything up very easily, except it’s for mobile devices. This is also a perfect and thoughtful gift for a person who cherishes their memories. With the push of a button, it instantly finds, organizes, and secures all photos on any mobile device so you will never lose any of your memories. It’s the best way to “organize your life” for anyone who has hundreds or thousands of scattered photos on their phones they want to save will love this.Get Photostick Mobile »

17. Bluewire Antenna – Gift Free TV!

     (4,215 ratings)

Is there anyone on your gift list who likes movies, sports, and TV? There is? Great, because we’ve got the best gift ever! The Bluewire Antenna allows for an awesome selection of movies, TV, and sports programming, without monthly subscriptions.

The Bluewire Antenna is simple to install (it can go right on a window near the tv), and can receive up to 100 High Definition stations for free. No other devices needed –no USB sticks or smart TV’s or converters or anything else. Just the Bluewire TV Antenna and some free time to watch all of the awesome TV it delivers (an estimated 85% of the most popular stations are here for free–all of your favorites.)

This is a unique and gadget that can save you a ton of money, plus it also makes for a great gift.Get Bluewire Discount Today! »Only 58 left!

16. Peeps™ – The Ultimate Glasses Cleaner

     (1,238 ratings)

Do you or someone you know wear glasses? If so, chances are you’re tired of how often they get smudged, and having to use your shirt to try and rub off the smudges, which only ends up rubbing them around and not truly clearing your lenses. That’s why we love Peeps! They are one of the best designed glasses cleaners in the world and use NASA carbon lens cleaning technology to give you the most crystal clear view through your lenses. They’re small and portable and on sale now through our exclusive link!Shop Peeps Today! »

15. Dodow – Give The Gift Of Awesome Sleep!

     (5,520 ratings)

Unlike other sleep remedies that provide temporary solutions, Dodow light metronome actually RETRAINS YOUR BRAIN to fall asleep – while it mesmerizes you to sleep! Dodow’s slow rhythmic light is scientifically designed to quickly quiet your busy mind, slow your breathing, and relax your body – swiftly lulling you into a deep, peaceful slumber.Shop Dodow Today! »Only 178 left!

14. Pocket Guardian – Priceless Protection At An Affordable Cost

     (6,344 ratings)

This simple keychain can save your life. Fitting in the size of your palm, this extra layer of security roars an ear-splitting alarm (130 dB) that scares off attackers and calls for help. Even if you’re walking to your car in an empty dimly lit parking lot, you’re never really alone. Stop fearing for your personal safety and experience why 93,000+ women are calling this simple device their “invisible bodyguard.” Order today and get up to 75% off while supplies last.Learn About Pocket Guardian »

13. Neck Hammock – Better Than a Chiropractor

     (1,807 ratings)

Say goodbye to neck pain! Neck Hammock quickly relieves neck pain from the comfort of your own home. It’s patented technology combines resistance bands and gravity to give you a controlled stretch, helping with improved posture, increased circulation, and fewer pinched nerves. It pulls the tension out of those tight, inflamed muscles in your neck while you rest! Dr. Oz calls it “one of the best health finds of 2018!”Shop Neck Hammock Today! »Only 116 left!

12. Vizr – Heads Up Driving

     (1,127 ratings)

Inspired by fighter jet technology, Vizr is truly the GPS of the 21st century. It’s the first GPS of it’s kind that allows you to drive without having to take your eyes off the road, utilizing Air Force heads up display technology. Because of this, you’re much more likely to avoid dangerous and potentially fatal car accidents because you had to glance down at your phone and take your eyes off the road. This is our editor’s pick for coolest gift this year, not only because it’s awesome, but because it will help you avoid more accidents on the road.Shop Vizr Today! »

11. NightGuide HD – The #1 Solution for Night Time Driving

     (1,105 ratings)

According to the National Safety Council, nighttime driving is 3x more dangerous than driving during the daylight hours. Reduced vision, bright lights, and glare from oncoming traffic affect millions of drivers each night. Wearing NightGuide HD glasses dramatically reduces the risk involved in driving under low light or foggy conditions.

In fact, NightGuide was voted the #1 solution for safe driving at night. The specialized yellow tint provides 100% UV protection while enhancing contrast and clarity. This leads to less strain on your eyes which can cause drowsiness and migraines. NightGuide HD glasses are also lightweight and designed to fit easily over prescription glasses.

Try these high-definition lenses today and you will notice an increase in your vision the second you put them on.Shop Nightguide HD Today! »

10. Xtra PC – For Those Who Just Need Something That Just Works

     (2,391 ratings)

Whenever you buy a new computer, everything feels fast and it is fun to use. A few months later, the computer starts slowing down, and eventually, you wonder how was this the same computer you bought when it was brand new? This new Gadget called Xtra PC works with any computer (Mac or Windows) made after 2004, and it is FAST (and will never slow down).

You can plug this little USB device into your computer, restart your computer and start using Xtra PC immediately. This will bypass your older/slow computer and operating system while STILL having access to all of your files and it comes with the programs you need to browse the web, send/receieve emails, listen to music, etc.

Get this amazing brand new computer on a memory stick now–before special offers run out!Learn More About Xtra PC! »

9. Super Boost WiFi – Stay Connected In Any Corner Of Your Home

     (988 ratings)

Imagine getting home after an 8-hour shift and you’ve been looking forward to your favorite time of the day. Post-work bathroom break in the comforts of your home. Just you, your phone, and the internet. Nothing is more annoying when you’re finally comfortable on your porcelain throne and the WiFi doesn’t quite reach your upstairs bathroom.

Why We Love Super Boost WiFi: With the Wi-Fi booster, you can make sure your home is covered from corner to corner. Don’t let this simple problem get in the way if your ‘Me-time’. You’ll thank me later. Click Here To Learn More About Super Boost WiFi »Get Better WiFi Today! »

8. Glow Bowl – Never Miss The Toilet Again

     (2,444 ratings)

This incredibly useful and fun toilet gadget makes your toilet safer, cleaner and a much better time!

Glow Bowl was invented to address safety, hygiene and our never-ending desire to have fun and unique stuff. It’s the coolest way to safely navigate the bathroom at night, while eliminating those messy toilet misses…forever. Plus, it comes with a replacable air freshener! Glow Bowl will make your toilet the coolest, cleanest and freshest smelling toilet around. Let’s be clear. Glow Bowl is no joke. Millions have sold, and it’s been featured on NBC news and received rave reviews from Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington. So what are you waiting for? Make potty time, party time!Shop Glow Bowl Today! »

7. Energix Charger – Fix Your Phone’s Battery Life

     (2,214 ratings)

If you’re like me and don’t upgrade your phone every year, this charger has been my saving grace. Before I would charge my phone the entire night only for it to drain back to 0% after a few hours. Without getting the latest ($1100) iPhone; I purchased this thin adapter that turned my phone into a wireless charging device. It feels like I got a new phone with the way that I’m watching Netflix on the train Today! Try this first before committing to a new phone.Wirelessly Charge Your Phone In Minutes »

6. XY FindIt – Never Lose Anything Again

     (4,431 ratings)

You want to give the ultimate James Bond, 007 spy device to someone? This is it. It’s a portable tracker that you can put on anything from your keys to your dog to your luggage to your bike. It allows you to see EXACTLY where things are on a map so you never lose anything ever again. A lot of people are putting them on their keychains and purses so they don’t lose their keys or purses. It’s just an overall cool device. It’s also just a beautiful design, and we love things that are designed well.Shop XY Find It Today! »

5. KeySmart – The Future of Keychains

     (6,192 ratings)

This is a gift for anyone in your life who likes practical, space-saving items. KeySmart eliminates the need for a bulky keyring. The patented “S” design allows you to organize up to 14 keys and a car key fob, and fits just about every size, shape, and type of key. KeySmart protects your keys, and also protects other items in your purse or pocket from getting scratched by your keys. In less than a minute, you can attach your keys and any accessories. KeySmart also comes with a handy clip so you can easily attach it to a bag or belt loop. Make KeySmart the perfect gift by customizing it: KeySmart comes in a variety of colors, and a variety of attachments like a USB stick or bottle opener can be added on at checkout.Shop KeySmart Today! »

4. BreatheGreen – All-Natural Charcoal Activated Air Freshener That Eliminates Odors For Good

     (873 ratings)

The magic of activated charcoal continues to amaze even scientists. Discover new ways to use its already-proven purifying power. Imagine never having to spray a bottle again. New Charcoal bags are a simple trick to remove foul smells around your apartment or house. BreatheGreen is now having a package deal: the more you get, the more you can save.Eliminate The Worst Odors For Good With BreatheGreen »

3. Vivian Lou – Patented High Heel Cushion

     (255 ratings)

When you’re in high heels all day, whether it’s at work or at the club it’s eventually going to take it’s toll on your feet. It’s going to show in the form of blisters, sore muscles, or just overall aching, and when you’re trying to look hot, or doing your job the last thing you want is to display your discomfort to the world. That’s why we’re so excited about a new product made just for women who wear high heels. It actually makes wearing high heels so incredibly comfortable that it becomes much easier for you to look and walk gracefully through your day! They’re called Vivian Lou.Shop Vivian Lou Today! »

2. Bondic – Fix Anything!

     (1,638 ratings)

Bondic has gained an incredible 1500+ 5-star reviews because it’s just that much better than super glue. If there’s anything around the house that you need to fix, from glasses to door hinges Bondic can fix it. It’s really an incredible technology that you can now have in the palm of your hand to not only get things fixed fast, but fixed STRONG. It’s the perfect gift for a college student, a homeowner, dad, or someone who just likes to be able to fix things and feel like James Bond doing it. We love this one.Shop Bondic Today! »

1. Air Bolt – World’s Most Advanced Lock

     (854 ratings)

This new high tech luggage lock called the AirBolt Smart Lock has made it impossible for anyone but you to access your luggage. That means baggage handlers can’t go through your things. It’s the most impenetrable luggage lock on the market and makes it impossible for anyone but you to open your luggage. It also tracks your baggage so you know where it is at all times. So if the airport sends your luggage to another state, you’ll know that no one can get into it and you’ll also know on a map exactly where it is. This is the perfect gift for the traveller you know. Give them the gift of peace of mind while traveling and be a hero.Shop Air Bolt Today! »

Bonus. Right now, ADT is offering a $850+ Discount on a Home Security System

This discount is for homeowners, so if you’re a renter you can skip this one.

A home without a home security system is three times more likely to be broken into than a home with a security system. While installing a home alarm system isn’t just to stop burglars and intruders, it may also save you big money year after year. A house alarm may save you money on your homeowners insurance policy (which is generally mandatory if you own a home).

In fact, installing a home alarm system may give homeowners a 10-20% discount on their insuranceADT is currently offering over $850 in security equipment if you just pay the installation fee of $99 and sign up for a 24 or 36 monthly monitoring contract.Learn More About ADT »

Rolly – The Cutest Music Player That Actually Dances Along To The Music

Glass Toaster – The coolest toaster on the planet!

Egg Whisperer – Tells you which egg is the oldest, and reminds you when you’re low!

Angry Mama – Put in water and vinegar, and then watch her steam your microwave clean.

Prime 8 is an independent service that is supported by advertising. The offers that appear on this article are from companies which Prime 8 receives compensation. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is created by and property of Prime 8. It is not provided by the companies whose products and service are discussed. Opinions expressed here are Prime 8’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.


President Sheu Shagari 1925 -2018


That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind. William Wordsworth
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/william_wordsworth_147034

The Kardashian Academic Legacy


The Kardashians have built a brand that includes their long-running E! reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and various side ventures, from Khloé Kardashian’s Good American clothing brand to Kim Kardashian’s top-grossing mobile app. So, how did the family manage to build bustling empires that keep raking in dough year after year? Did they spend hours learning the ins and outs of how to run a business by taking grueling college courses and acing all of their exams? Well, not quite.

Though their business sense is admirable, the Kardashian family — including mom, Kris Jenner, and half-sisters, Kylie and Kendall Jenner — aren’t necessarily ones to have their heads buried inside of school books. Many of them decided to bypass the classroom and gain some good ol’ real-life experience instead.

Kim Kardashian, Esq.?

Here’s how far each Kardashian got in school. Spoiler: Three Kardashian siblings have flirted with the idea of going to law school.

Kim Kardashian was quite the social butterfly when she attended Marymount High School in Los Angeles. She was even popular enough to win two superlative honors in her school’s yearbook, snagging “Most Likely to Meet Her Husband at the Million Man March” and “Most Likely to Lie About Her Ethnicity,” according to Us Weekly. Whoa.

Kim went on to earn her diploma from the all-girls Catholic school, as reported by Bravo. And, soon thereafter, she enrolled at Pierce College — a community college in Woodland Hills, Calif., according to Life & Style. She eventually dropped out shortly after enrolling, but she has dreams of furthering her education one day. She told Wonderland in 2016, “If things slow down and I had time, I really want to go to law school — just something I can do in my older age.”

Her husband, Kanye West, dropped a bombshell in a 2018 interview with Extra, stating Kim had enrolled in law school, but Kim’s rep had to backtrack and shut that rumor down. Still, we wouldn’t be shocked if she finished her four-year degree one day and pursued her ambitions to become a lawyer, just like her late father, Robert Kardashian, Sr.

Kris Jenner earned success without a degree

Kris Jenner

Getty Images

Given as how Kris Jenner is the matriarch of the Kardashian family and the brains behind their massive empires, many would assume the walls of her home office would be lined with college degrees and educational certificates. However, Kris is proof that it doesn’t always take years of schooling to become financially successful.

The momager and entrepreneur attended Clairemont High School in San Diego, Calif. But instead of having her eye on, say, her school’s football captain, 17-year-old Kris was reportedly dating a man more than ten years older than her, according to Jerry Oppenheimer, the author of The Kardashians: An American Drama (via Page Six).

With her high school diploma in hand, Kris bid school adieu and married her first husband, Robert Kardashian Sr., when she was 22, as noted by Harper’s Bazaar. And college would have to wait because Kris soon became focused on being a mommy.

Despite never attending a college campus, Kris wanted to share her business acumen with those who admired her work ethic. She linked up with Legacy Business School in 2016 and became the institution’s “public face and chairman of the board,” the Daily Beast reported. The certification (which cost $105,360 per year) and the school turned out to have an uber-shady past, and Kris later disaffiliated herself from them.

Kourtney attended one of the top party schools


As the eldest sibling in the family, perhaps Kourtney Kardashian believed she needed to set a good example by pursuing a higher level of education. After graduating from the same all-girls school as her younger sister Kim Kardashian, Kourtney packed up her belongings and made a big move on her quest to become a college student.

Kourtney revealed on Twitter that, after graduating from high school, she attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas for two years. But she didn’t last long in the Lone Star State. After completing her first two years, she transferred to the University of Arizona, according to Life & Style magazine. The campus has a reputation for being one of the top party schools in the nation, but Kourtney apparently didn’t let any raging keggers get in the way of her dreams.

She graduated in 2002, and earned a degree in Theatre Arts with a minor in Spanish. According to Us Weekly, Kourtney considered going to law school, but ultimately decided against it after applying.

Did Rob want to follow in his dad’s footsteps?

Rob Kardashian followed big sis Kourtney Kardashian’s lead by also enrolling in a four-year institution after he graduated from high school. The Arthur George sock mogul attended the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and graduated from the prestigious school in 2009, The Hollywood Reporter stated.

However, Rob wasn’t content with just obtaining his bachelor’s degree. He decided to push his education to the max in 2012 when he revealed in a since-deleted tweet (via The Atlantic) that he was going to USC’s Gould School of Law. “School just never ends for me!” he wrote, in part.

But not so fast! USC responded to his tweet in the shadiest way. “News to us. Wish him luck at the law school he’s really attending,” they tweeted, before revealing he hadn’t even applied to the school. WTF, Rob?!

As of this writing, Rob has yet to enroll in law school. But we don’t blame him. He has other things to worry about — like the oodles of non-stop drama with his ex-fiancé, Blac Chyna.

Kylie did ‘everything to prepare for college’

By the time Kylie Jenner entered high school, KUWTK was still as popular as ever. In order to join in on the family business, Kylie eventually left regular school behind and was homeschooled through an institution called Laurel Springs High School.

Though leaving the confines of a traditional school worked out for her, Kylie expressed how tough it was to be homeschooled on an episode of Life of Kylie (via Entertainment Tonight). She revealed that she unfriended all of her high school friends on social media because looking at all of their prom photos was too tough for her. “It really just made me sad,” she said.

Despite being in the dumps and missing out on the typical high school experience, Kylie forged ahead with her studies. She shared the news of her graduation on Instagram in July 2015 when she posted a photo of herself wearing her cap and gown with her diploma in hand and her perfectly lined, pouty lips on full display.

Unsurprisingly, she didn’t have any plans to pursue a college education. “I have done everything to prepare for college, so if I wanted to in the future, I could go at any time. But I’m not planning on going anytime soon,” she told Interview magazine in 2015.

Kendall said peace out to school

Kendall Jenner attended the same private school as her younger sister, Kylie Jenner. And just like Kylie, Kendall took the homeschool route, as well, according to the Daily Mail.

What happened next is a bit fuzzy. While Kendall revealed on her website (via Daily Mail) that acne made her brief stint at a traditional high school nerve-racking, her homeschooling experience was somewhat glossed over. And, for a family who lives their lives in the spotlight, the Kardashian-Jenners failed to make mention of Kendall’s high school graduation until 2015 — the same year Kylie, who was a grade behind Kendall, graduated from Laurel Springs High School.

When Kylie was celebrating her graduation with a glam, fun-filled party in July 2015, Kendall was being honored at the party, as well. “Graduating class of 2014 & 2015! Congrats @kendalljenner & @kyliejenner for graduating high school!” Kim Kardashian wrote in an Instagram caption, in part.

Okay, so they kept Kendall’s 2014 graduation a secret up until 2015. No biggie. But the supermodel’s thoughts on attending college after high school was what really rubbed some people the wrong way. “You talk to people and they say the reason they went to college was to get a job, but I already have a job, so…” the supermodel told Vogue magazine.

If one day she decides modeling isn’t where it’s at, we’re sure her family will have a ton of other opportunities already lined up for her, no college degree required

Khloe ‘struggled really hard’

Being so close in age to her eldest sisters meant Khloé Kardashian had the pleasure of attending high school with Kim and Kourtney Kardashian. However, when both Kim and Kourtney graduated from their all-girls Catholic school, Khloé found herself all alone and super unhappy.

In a blog post on her official website (via Daily Mail), Khloé explained that she was never as popular as Kim and Kourtney, which made school very difficult for her. Sadly, her grades also suffered. “I struggled really hard in school, so I took myself out of Marymount [high school] and forged my parents’ names to enroll in Alexandria Academy,” she wrote.

Her late father, Robert Kardashian, Sr., was “livid when he found out,” but, because he was impressed by how much effort Khloé put into taking control of her own education, he allowed her to enroll in the special academic institution.

Khloé wrote that she excelled at the untraditional school, which is geared towards gifted students and children in the entertainment industry. Once she graduated — with honors, might we add — she hung up her backpack for good. “I knew college wasn’t for me,” she wrote.

Read More: https://www.nickiswift.com/138465/heres-how-far-each-kardashian-got-in-school/sl/khloe-struggled-really-hard?utm_campaign=clip

How to Become a Videographer


Like photography, videography can be very difficult to get into. The film industry is a very competitive field, and being a videographer requires a lot more than just ambition. Similar to being a cinematographer, you’ll have to be equipped with technical knowledge and natural creativity when it comes to creating what is essentially moving pictures and using them to tell a story.

behind the scenes of ongoing film project

After you’ve gained all the necessary knowledge and skill to successfully enter the field, then comes the bigger challenge of getting a job and eventually developing your own style. These may all sound overwhelming to you and every other person who’s hoping to kickstart a career in videography, but don’t worry—we’ll ease you in on the first steps to take and offer a handful of tips on how you can support your interest in this craft.

10 Tips on How to Become a Videographer

videographer and camera on clean white background
Image via Shutterstock

There’s no one way to becoming a videographer. Many successful videographers have unique stories on how they followed similar steps differently before they got their big breaks.

Depending on where you are in your journey to becoming a professional videographer, you can start off with any of these tips and simply turn to your burning passion for videography to guide you to success.

1. Attend workshops

film group during production
Image via Shutterstock

The usual first step to becoming a videographer is knowing how to operate a video camera properly. As a very lucrative career, videography obviously requires a whole lot of skill and technical knowledge that goes way beyond merely pressing the record button.

You can start your education way before college, as many middle schools already offer basic classes in film, art, broadcasting, journalism, and other subjects that are related to videography. Your school might even have a news program or audio-visual club that you can join to help you learn and practice your skills.

Once you’re ready for a more intensive class, you can enroll in videography workshops in your community or online. If possible, take follow-up classes that will also teach you about manual camera settings, filmmaking techniques, video editing techniques, lighting setups, and many more.

2. Get a good video camera

professional video camera on slider
Image via Shutterstock

As a beginner, you may find the DSLR or mirrorless camera to be easier to use than camcorders for your videography training. After attending several workshops, you will have probably gotten a good idea of the type of cinema camera that you prefer to work with.

Once you’ve made your decision on what type of camera you want to work with, you can start choosing from a wide variety of camera brands and models that meet your needs in versatility and ultra high-resolution video recording. Whatever you choose, it’s crucial that you learn how to use—and use it well.

You’ll learn along the way that a camera is only one of the many things you’ll have to learn how to operate. There will be sliders, cranes, camera rigs, and other technical gear that you’ll have to familiarize yourself with, but you should have already mastered the camera to make the most out of any set of video recording equipment.

3. Earn a related college degree

Image via Shutterstock

When you start applying for a videographer job, agencies and filmmaking companies will usually want to be assured of your education with a college degree that’s related to film or broadcasting. Fortunately, there are a handful of bachelor degrees that will provide you with valuable experiences and technical skills required in the field, such as the following:

  • Communications
  • Cinematography
  • Broadcasting
  • Video editing
  • Film theory
  • Screenwriting

4. Look for internships

silhouetted shot of film crew on dimly lit set
Image via Shutterstock

Some would say the secret to breaking into the film industry is to find ways to spend time on real film sets and get to know a lot of important people who can help you work your way up. Contact local television companies, film studios, and others that offer internships and look for opportunities to start out as an assistant.

But don’t spend any effort in trying to land a job just yet—the main objective would be to get a glimpse of how film crews and sets operate. You’ll be surprised to learn that there are a lot of lessons from your internships that workshops won’t/can’t teach you.

5. Find a mentor

mentoring videographer
Image via Shutterstock

During your internships, find a mentor (fellow videographer or professional cinematographer) and cultivate friendships. Aside from gaining valuable knowledge from someone who’s currently in the industry, this person can be a source of inspiration. Even if you’ve already found yourself a mentor early on, having more than one can be very beneficial for your career.

If possible, assist your mentor in some of their projects. Observe how they work, how they plan and execute their shots, and how they address problems that arise. Apprenticeship opens up the possibility of working as a second-shooter or getting referrals for job opportunities later on.

6. Create your own films

film crew recording outdoors
Image via Shutterstock

Spending time on real film sets with all of these creative people will strongly inspire you to create your own short film or movie to practice your hand at executing specific camera movements and filmmaking techniques. By all means, let yourself be driven to experiment and realize your own creative style. Call up your buddies and invite them to start a film project that you can all use for practice and to build your portfolios.

Let the director and/or cinematographer do their jobs of dictating the shot styles—just focus on executing them perfectly.

7. Market yourself

man holding professional video camera rig
Image via Shutterstock

Once you’ve amassed a collection of short films and clips, you’re ready to start cultivating yourself as a brand. Create a website or online portfolio where you can show off your best work and your creative filmmaking style. This is what will help you stand out from the rest and establish your creative filmmaking identity to directors.

Widen your horizons and take advantage of today’s access to mass media by sharing your website or content on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This way, you also increase your following and let others help promote your work through “Likes” and “Shares.” Don’t forget to leave your current contact details on your pages so interested companies and clients will know where to reach you!

8. Join a film organization

brainstorming session for next video project
Image via Shutterstock

Aside from internships, joining professional film organizations and associations is a great way to gain more experience and exposure in the field, build your network, and find job opportunities. Being able to label yourself a member of a known organization in your community adds to your credibility and may even help beef up your resume.

Some groups focus on certain types of videography, so you may want to first do a little research on the available organizations to check if any of them are aligned with your style and what you’re interested in working on.

9. Apply for jobs

female videographer behind camera
Image via Shutterstock

With both theoretical and technical knowledge, first-hand experience in films sets and in making your own films, an established identity and creative style, a few backers, and a pretty impressive portfolio, you can finally try to search for job opportunities. Search online for job openings, make a few calls to film companies, and send word out to family, friends, and colleagues.

If you’re lucky, work will find you without you even having to lift a finger. And when clients come knocking, don’t reject those that don’t pay as much as you’d hope. It may be a better idea to focus on learning and gaining more experience from your first few projects.

The film industry is pretty small; you wouldn’t want to be labeled an arrogant newbie long before catching your big break.

10. Further develop your skills and career

artistic shot of videographer’s camera
Image via Shutterstock

Learning doesn’t stop after your advanced filmmaking workshop. As the film industry develops new filmmaking techniques, manufacturing companies continue to come out with high-tech film equipment. These make it crucial to keep up with the latest trends, pursue extended education in filmmaking, and take on more challenging jobs that will help you achieve success and maintain your relevance in the field. Keep on learning and consider going for a cinematographer job when the opportunity presents it.

Good luck!


Nigerian President was at the ECOWAS Heads of Government meetings in Abuja


President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday participated at the 54th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS in Abuja.

Speaking at the session, Buhari said: “Despite these successes, ECOWAS is still confronted by several challenges. The sub-region continues to face difficulties in the economic, governance, peace, security and humanitarian fields.”

According to him, “These lofty ideals are however not attainable without peace and security. That is why I have decided to make the issue of peace and security the major focus of my Chairmanship. I am happy to inform this august assembly that our efforts have started yielding dividends as we have been able to douse tension and restore confidence in some potentially disruptive political situations, particularly in Guinea Bissau, Togo and Mali.

“It is a matter of concern that terrorism and violent extremism have continued to threaten the peace and security in our sub-region. This threat calls for collective action on our part, if we are to effectively and definitively eliminate it. As we work on new strategies to combat and eradicate this menace, we require the support of our partners…”

Read the full text of President Buhari’s statement here:


Royal Family attend Sandringham Christmas church service


Members of the Royal Family greeted well-wishers after attending the Christmas Day church service

The Royal Family have greeted hundreds of well-wishers after attending the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were all smiles as they left the service on the Queen’s estate in Norfolk.

Prince Charles attended but the Duchess of Cornwall missed church due to a heavy cold.

The Duke of Edinburgh also stayed home – but is said to be in good health.

Duchess of Sussex
Meghan and Prince Harry greet the crowds as they leave the church service
Duchess of Cambridge
Speaking to members of the crowd, Catherine revealed her children had woken her up very early
The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex arrive at the morning service
The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex appeared to be on friendly terms

Catherine and Meghan, who is pregnant with her and Prince Harry’s first child, walked side by side to church, chatting and smiling. The pair have been the subject of media reports of a rift.

Many of those gathered had brought bouquets of flowers and called out “Merry Christmas” as the royal party went past.

Royals looking ‘happy and relaxed’

By BBC correspondent Charlotte Gallagher

There were huge cheers from the crowd when the royal family arrived for the morning’s church service – especially for the Queen.

The queen was driven there by a chauffeur while the rest of the family walked up and greeted people when they went past. Some well wishers were waving Stars and Stripes flags for the Duchess of Sussex.

Despite newspaper reports about rifts and rivalry, the royals looked happy and relaxed with Princes William and Harry and their wives walking into church together.

Afterwards the Duchess of Cambridge told one member of the crowd that like many parents her children had woken her very early on Christmas morning.

After the service, Meghan hugged one of her former Instagram followers, who she spotted in the crowd.

Jessica Daniels, 17, from Peterborough, said it was an “amazing” experience to meet the duchess, who she’d been following since watching her on TV’s Suits.

“There were a group of us girls on social media she became kind of close with and interacted a lot online.

“This is the first time I’ve met her, she just said ‘it’s so lovely to meet you, incredible to finally see you’ and she was asking how we all are and if we’re still talking and supporting each other.”

The Queen
Crowds at Sandringham
Crowds at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk
Princess Eugenie of York and her husband Jack Brooksbank
Princess Eugenie of York and her husband Jack Brooksbank married in October
Autumn Phillips and Princess Beatrice
Autumn Phillips and Princess Beatrice were among the Royal party
Zara Tindall and Mike Tindall
Zara Tindall and Mike Tindall had their second child this year
The Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor, James Viscount Severn and the Earl of Wessex
The Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor, James Viscount Severn and the Earl of Wessex arriving at the service
Peter Phillips with his daughters Isla and Savannah
Peter Phillips with his daughters Isla and Savannah

The son of the Princess Royal, Peter Phillips, arrived with his daughters Savannah and Isla, followed by Princess Beatrice and Peter’s wife Autumn Phillips.

Behind them were Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank; the Earl and Countess of Wessex with their children, Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn; and Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and Zara and Mike Tindall.

Tariro, aged seven, got up at 3:00 GMT to get a good view of the royals arriving.

Speaking to the BBC, she said the Queen was her favourite because “she is always wearing the crown with beautiful jewels”.

Her twin sister Tatenda said she was looking forward to seeing the Duchess of Sussex whose “elegant dresses” she admired.

Source: BBC

South Africa issues arrest warrant for Grace Mugabe

Africa, News

By Brent Swails and Jack Guy, CNN

Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN)

South African authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Grace Mugabe, wife of deposed Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, over the alleged assault of a South African model in August 2017.The arrest warrant was issued last Thursday, South African Police Services spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo told CNN on Wednesday.”

I can confirm that a warrant for the arrest of Grace Mugabe was issued last Thursday,” Naidoo said, adding that police were seeking Interpol’s help to enforce it. However there are doubts over whether Zimbabwean police would arrest Grace Mugabe, even if Interpol did issue a red notice.”We are not yet aware of the warrant,” Zimbabwean police spokesperson Paul Nyathi told CNN. “We will see when we cross that bridge.”

Model Gabriella Engels, seen here shortly after the alleged attack.

Model Gabriella Engels, seen here shortly after the alleged attack. South African model Gabriella Engels accused Grace Mugabe of attacking her in August 2017. Engels said on Twitter that the former Zimbabwe first lady “split my head open in 3 places. With an extension cord and plug to hit me.”

Latest blow for former first lady

Grace Mugabe was granted diplomatic immunity over the incident by South Africa’s former Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, allowing her to leave the country. However in July 2018 a South African High Court overturned the decision, paving the way for prosecution and possible extradition.The latest developments are another blow to Grace Mugabe, who was reportedly being lined up to replace her husband Robert as Zimbabwean leader before he was forced to resign in November 2017.

The former revolutionary leader ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years before leaving office after an apparent coup staged by the country’s military.At the time an army spokesman denied a military takeover was underway but the situation bore all the hallmarks of a coup: The military was in control of state TV in Harare, a significant army presence was at the city’s international airport, and Mugabe was not seen in public.President Emmerson Mnangagwa now rules Zimbabwe following disputed elections on July 30.

Brent Swails reported from Johannesburg. Jack Guy wrote in London.

Trump says no end to shutdown until border barrier funded, plans January visit to new section of wall


By Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN)President Donald Trump said Tuesday the government won’t reopen until funding is secured for his border barrier, and he plans to go to the border in January to visit a new stretch of wall.”I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open. I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it,” Trump said in the Oval Office after a Christmas call with US troops.Negotiations between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration over the President’s demands for a border wall have so far not yielded an agreement, and the shutdown will continue until at least Thursday, when the Senate returns to Washington.

Both sides seem entrenched in their opposing stances and it’s possible parts of the government could remain closed until the new Congress is seated in the first week of January, when Democrats will take control of the House.Trump repeated a claim made a day earlier — without explanation — that he’d recently approved 115 miles worth of border barrier. The White House hasn’t provided any further details about the claim, which Trump first made on Twitter on Christmas Eve.He said he would go to the new stretch of the wall in January.”It’s going to be built, hopefully rapidly,” he said. “I’m going there at the end of January for the start of construction.

That’s a big stretch.””We’re almost having a groundbreaking, it’s such a big section,” he said. “It’s probably the biggest section we’ll get out.”Trump has previously visited wall prototypes near the border.During a brief question-and-answer session with reporters, Trump also said he continues to have confidence in Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, despite the December downturn in the stock market. He also warned Democrats that oversight of his administration would amount to “presidential harassment.

“Trump also claimed, without evidence, that federal employees on furlough or working without pay understand his demand for a border wall — and support him in his mission.”I think they understand what’s happening,” he said. “They want border security. The people of this country want border security.””It’s not a question of me,” he continued. “I would rather not be doing shutdowns. I’ve been at the White House. I love the White House, but I wasn’t able to be with my family. I thought it would be wrong for me to be with my family, my family is in Florida, Palm Beach, and I just didn’t want to go down and be there when other people are hurting.

“Trump was presumably referring to his adult children; his wife, Melania Trump, returned to the White House on Monday to spend the holiday with her husband.Trump said many federal workers have told him to hold out for wall funding, though the President didn’t provide names or positions of those workers.”But many of those workers have said to me and communicated, stay out until you get the funding for the wall. These federal workers want the wall. The only one that doesn’t want the wall are the Democrats, because they don’t mind open borders, but open borders mean massive amounts of crime,” he said.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

Gunmen storm foreign ministry in Tripoli

Africa, Terrorism

By Nada Bashir, CNN

A picture taken on December 25, 2018 shows a firetruck and security officers at the scene of an attack outside the Libyan foreign ministry headquarters in the capital Tripoli. – At least one person was killed on December 25 as attackers stormed Libya’s foreign ministry after a car bomb exploded in front of the building and a suicide bomber then struck inside, a security source at the scene told AFP. (Photo by Mahmud TURKIA / AFP) (Photo credit should read MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN) Gunmen armed with machine guns stormed the foreign ministry of Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli on Tuesday, killing three people who worked there, a spokesperson for the UN-backed Government of National Accord told CNN.One of the victims was a high-ranking official, the spokesperson added. 10 others were injured, according to the Health Ministry.Three gunmen died in the attack that happened at around 10 a.m. local time. One of the gunmen is believed to have been killed after an explosion was heard in the top floor of the building, politician Guma El-Gamaty who was in the area said.

“The top floor was totally engulfed in fire; you can still see smoke coming from the building,” he said.Gamaty added that emergency services and security forces were on the ground dealing with the situation, which he believed was under control.Related: Week of chaos a reminder that Libya is still broken .

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya condemned attack.”Terrorism will not triumph over the Libyans’ decision to move forward towards building their state and renouncing violence. We will not accept any attack on a state institution, especially one committed by a terrorist group,” said Ghassan Salamé, the Special Representative of the Secretary General in Libya.”We will work with the Libyan people to prevent terrorist groups from turning Libya into a haven or an arena for their crimes.”

Zimbabwe’s scaled-back Christmas celebrations

Africa, economy, Politics
Box of Christmas crackers

Most Zimbabweans have been unable to afford Christmas treats because of soaring inflation, writes the BBC’s Shingai Nyoka from the capital, Harare.

Two women with large trolleys had come prepared to stock up for the holiday season, but they looked at each other in dismay.

“What kind of a party are we going to have?” one asked the other.

They were staring at a notice taped to the supermarket fridge door which said: “2 units per customer”.

This was the drinks section of a shop in the centre of Harare, and the units referred to were the 300 millilitre bottles of soft drinks and beer.

The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are usually a time for Zimbabweans to loosen their belts for feasts and celebrations.

Notice saying "2 units per customer
The rationing of drinks has affected people’s ability to hold parties

During the break the whole country shuts down. Factories close for the month, and the rains herald the start of the agricultural season.

Many Zimbabweans travel to their rural homes to see their extended family and to plant maize, to provide a year-long supply of the staple food.

On Christmas Day most people attend church, while throughout the season family gatherings are at the centre of the holidays.

Avoiding Christmas trimmings

This year, however, things are different, and belt-tightening is the order of the day.

The country is in the middle of an economic crisis.

People queuing outside a bank
At times, there have been long bank queues of people hoping to get hold of much-needed cash

According to the latest inflation figures, prices rose overall by 30% in the last year and each month that figure seems to be going up.

Supermarket shelves may be abundant with goodies but shoppers’ trolleys are uncharacteristically sparse as they face the consequences of rising prices.

The chicken that just over a year ago cost $3.50 (£2.76) is now priced at $7.19, while the price of 400g of muesli has risen from $5 to $12 and a pack of nine rolls of toilet paper has gone up from $8 to $19.

Salaries, however, have not kept up with inflation. In fact, the average wage of $300 a month is the same as it was a year ago.

A man wearing a hat decorated with worthless note bearers' cheques during a protest against government plans to introduce bond notes
Zimbabweans have held a series of protests to show their money has become worthless

Given that, the trimmings that can give a meal an extra sparkle might be avoided.

For example, an ordinary pack of 12 Christmas crackers with a joke, a hat and a small gift is selling at $40, compared to less than $15 last year.

Parties cancelled

It explains perhaps why some party invitations have been withdrawn and planned celebrations have been scaled back.

One businessman told me that he had to cancel his usual holiday party and turn it into a more abstemious lunch, thereby removing the burden of having to buy lots of drinks.

Back at the supermarket, a man was standing in an aisle next to shelves of rice, carefully comparing prices and products.

His eye rested on an unfamiliar product, Broken Rice.

Bags of broken rice
Image captionBroken Rice is made up of pieces of rejected rice

The 2kg package was priced $4.69 and was the cheapest brand available.

“Broken” is a euphemism for tiny imperfect pieces of rejected rice.

It had been packaged in time for the festive season, where no meal is complete without chicken and rice, an imported luxury.

‘More suffering in post-Mugabe era’

In a way the broken rice is a metaphor for the season, which feels imperfect.

“I started seeing it in the shops about a month ago,” the man, who introduced himself as Shupi, told me.

“We are used to having rice at Christmas. It is supposed to be a treat but it has become so expensive.

“Initially, people had shunned this rice because it is in small pieces and in different sizes. Some complain it doesn’t cook evenly, but at least it is affordable.”

A protester with a fuel container, due to the continuing fuel crisis,as Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance party members gather in the Africa Unity Square, in Harare, Zimbabwe, 29 November 2018, to protest against the current economic situation facing the country.
Discontent with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is growing

Many, like Shupi, remember the promises made when President Emmerson Mnangagwa swept to power in November 2017 after Robert Mugabe was ousted.

“He promised us better years ahead and blamed our suffering on years of being under Robert Mugabe.

“But he has been in power for more than a year and the crisis has gotten worse,” Shupi added.

Runaway inflation

Zimbabweans have endured much over the last decade.

Ten years ago, supermarket shelves were mostly empty and record-breaking inflation was estimated to have topped 79 billion %.

It meant that prices for basic commodities would double or triple in a day, and bank balances for ordinary people could range from trillions of Zimbabwean dollars to octillions, that is a one followed by 48 zeros.

In 2009 the government scrapped the local currency and adopted the US dollar.

Emmerson Mnangagwa delivers a speech during a "Thank You" rally on November 24, 2018, in Murombedzi, Zvimba, Mashonaland West, Zimbabwe
President Emmerson Mnangagwa took power in November 2017
with a promise to improve the economy

Then, in 2016, in order to get over a shortage of physical cash, the authorities introduced a surrogate note, known as a bond note, that was supposed to have the same value as the US dollar.

In other words, a two-dollar bond note was supposed to be worth $2.

But the bond notes, or “bollars”, have lost value because of a lack of foreign currency backing the note. They are now worth 30 US cents each on the black market.

Zimbabwean companies are not producing enough to satisfy local demand or to earn foreign currency by exporting goods. Instead, the country is importing more, and struggling to pay.

In the six months from February to July this year, the country brought in goods and services worth $3.43bn, a 26% rise for the same period in 2017.

Driving the imports are the demand for fuel, electricity, soya beans, rice and wheat.

Businesses that want to import goods have been forced to buy US dollars on the black market at a premium price. This in turn pushes up the prices in the shops.

In order to increase its stock of hard currency, the country’s largest fast food franchise, Simbisa Brands, announced last Thursday that it had introduced a two-tier pricing model, offering discounts to customers who pay in US dollar notes.

‘Give us your cash’

“We need something like $1.2m in hard currency every month, but on average we are only managing to get about $100,000, so we need the foreign currency to meet our obligations.

“We are simply asking our clients to be able to support to get the forex we need,” chief executive Warren Meares told local daily paper Newsday.

But not everyone is complaining.

Man loading goods into a minibus
Image captionPeople transporting goods across the border are doing a roaring trade

The Beitbridge border post which connects Zimbabwe to South Africa is the busiest in the region, and Christmas is the busiest period of them all.

Cars, pick-up trucks, lorries and buses are laden with groceries from South Africa ready to be delivered to Zimbabwean homes.

The cross-border traders known as Malayitshas – meaning “one who carries goods” in the Ndebele language – have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the crisis.

They offer a courier service for those with foreign currency. They buy goods – anything from soft drinks to building materials – across the border and deliver them for a fee of 30% of the value.

‘Austerity for prosperity’

In Musina, on the South African side of the border, business is picking up and small Indian and Chinese-owned shops are coming back to life.

Many had closed in 2009 when the economy began to improve, but they have recently reopened as the prices have spiked in Zimbabwe.

Solomon Chakauya, waits for customers in his grocery store, in Chinamhora district north-east of Zimbabwe's capital Harare on December 10, 2018.
Image captionMany shopkeepers say business has been bad this Christmas

Despite the Christmas woes Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has expressed confidence in the future of the economy.

He says it is “just a matter of time” before the country is “restored to its glory days”.

Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of southern Africa feeding its neighbours and providing economic refuge and jobs in times of crises.

The government has now introduced what it calls “austerity for prosperity” measures. These include lowering government expenditure while increasing duty on items such as cars to reduce imports.

The optimism is not shared by those whose Christmas meal will consist of reject rice and miniscule portions of chicken washed down with small amounts of drink.

Source: BBC News

Trump asks 7-year-old, ‘Are you still a believer in Santa?’

Celebrity Gists

By Eric Levenson, CNN

At what age do children wonder whether Santa really exists?President Donald Trump would like to know.In a Christmas Eve call, Trump asked a 7-year-old named Coleman whether the child still believes in Santa Claus.”Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at 7, it’s marginal, right?”

Trump asked Coleman.Coleman’s response, though inaudible to the press, left Trump with a chuckle and a smile.The call came around 6:30 p.m. Monday as the President and first lady Melania Trump spoke on separate phones to children whose calls to NORAD had been patched through to the White House lines.

The Trumps answer calls from people to the NORAD Santa tracker phone line Monday at the White House.

The Trumps answer calls from people to the NORAD Santa tracker phone line Monday at the White House.In front of a crackling fire and between two Christmas trees, Trump wished Coleman a Merry Christmas and asked the child’s age and Christmas plans and wondered how school was going.”Well, honey, happy Christmas, and you just take care of yourself and say hello to your family, OK? Say hello to everybody,” Trump said.In another phone call, Trump took a child’s belief in Santa as a given.”What’s Santa going to get you for Christmas?” he asked, according to pool reports. “Have a great Christmas, and I’ll talk to you again, OK?”Melania Trump said on Twitter that helping children track Santa “is becoming one of my favorite traditions!” The couple participated in phone calls last year as well.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Melania Trump@FLOTUS

Helping children across the country track #Santa is becoming one of my favorite traditions! @Potus and I enjoyed working with @NORADSanta#ChristmasEve92.2K7:13 PM – Dec 24, 201834.5K people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacyNORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, has made a tradition of using its radar system to track Santa on his trip around the globe every Christmas Eve.The tradition, which began with a phone line mix-up in 1955, continued this year despite the ongoing government shutdown.

CNN’s Aaron Pellish contributed to this report.

Sudan protests: Police fire tear gas at football fans


Police in Sudan have fired tear gas at football fans demanding an end to President Omar al-Bashir’s rule as protests spread across the country.

demonstration in Atbara on 20 Dec
Image captionThe demonstrations have been under way for five days

Police in Sudan have fired tear gas at football fans demanding an end to President Omar al-Bashir’s rule as protests spread across the country.

Hundreds of demonstrators blocked a road near a football stadium in the capital, Khartoum, on Sunday before clashing with riot police.

Opposition figures say 22 protesters have been killed since Wednesday, but officials say the figure is much lower.

The protests erupted after bread and fuel price rises were announced.

But they have escalated into calls for an end to Mr Bashir’s 29-year rule.

Over the past year, the cost of some goods has more than doubled, while overall inflation has risen to nearly 70%, the value of the Sudanese pound has fallen sharply and shortages have been reported in cities including Khartoum.

Doctors embarked on a strike on Monday to increase pressure on Mr Bashir, who took power in a coup in 1989, the Associated Press news agency reports.

What is the latest?

Sunday’s clashes happened as crowds of people spilled out of a football match in Khartoum.

They blocked roads and chanted anti-government slogans before riot police fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse them.ADVERTISEMENT

Earlier, footage on social media appeared to show continuing protests in a number of areas.

The Central Sudanese Committee of Doctors said its members had seen protesters in hospitals with gunshot wounds and said there had been a number of deaths and injuries.

Twitter post by @Shaimaakhalil: “The people want the downfall of the regime” chants I’ve heard so many times covering the #ArabSpring...They now sound on the streets of Sudan. Video via Amr Khalifa ...

On Saturday the authorities arrested 14 leaders of the National Consensus Forces, an opposition coalition, including the grouping’s 85-year-old leader Farouk Abu Issa, a spokesman said.

“We demand their immediate release, and their arrest is an attempt by the regime to stop the street movements,” spokesman Sadiq Youssef said.

What is the opposition saying?

On Saturday Sadiq al-Mahdi, leader of the main opposition Umma party, condemned “armed repression” and said the protests were fuelled by the “deteriorating situation” in the country.

He also called for Mr Bashir’s government to agree a peaceful transfer of power or face a confrontation with the Sudanese people.

It will be a losing confrontation for the regime, as it will increase its failures and closes its horizons,” the Paris-based Sudan Tribune website quoted him as saying.

Sadiq al-Mahdi in Omdurman
Mr Mahdi said 22 people had been killed so far

Mr Mahdi – who was was prime minister from 1966 to 1967 and again from 1986 to 1989 – returned from almost a year in exile on Wednesday.

His government was the last to be democratically elected in the country and was toppled in the coup launched by Mr Bashir, who has since been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s western region of Darfur by the International Criminal Court.

How did the protests begin?

They started in the eastern town of Atbara, where demonstrators burned the offices of Mr Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP).

Witnesses said that in some areas the military was not intervening and even appeared to be siding with the demonstrators.

But in a statement on Sunday the military pledged loyalty to Mr Bashir and said it would safeguard the “nation’s security, safety along with its blood, honour and assets”.

A presidential adviser, Faisal Hassan Ibrahim, said the protests were being directed by “organised entities”, without giving further details.

Omar al-Bashir (R) seen visiting President Assad in Syria in December 2018
Image captionMr Bashir – seen here visiting Syria’s President Assad earlier this month – has said he will step down in 2020

Demonstrations spread to Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman as well as other areas.

On Saturday AFP quoted witnesses in Wad Madani, south-east of Khartoum, as saying police used tear gas and beat protesters calling for Mr Bashir to step down.

In El Rahad, south-west of Khartoum, the NCP office and other administrative offices were set ablaze and protesters chanting “no to hunger” were tear-gassed, another witness said.

Why is Sudan’s economy in trouble?

Mr Bashir was accused of sponsoring terrorism by the US in the 1990s and Sudan was placed under a trade embargo.

In 2011, South Sudan seceded from Sudan, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil resources. That followed a civil war that claimed the lives of 1.5 million people.

Meanwhile, the conflict in Darfur drove about two million people from their homes and killed more than 200,000.

US sanctions were lifted in 2017 but there has been little improvement in the country’s economy since.

Source: BBC Africa News

Regional Program Manager – West Africa Region


Africa – West – Flexibility to work from an office in Search West Region, N/A

Position Summary

The Program Manager aims to ensure excellence in performance in all areas of program implementation in full compliance with SFCG and donor rules and regulations. By supporting the country team and measuring their performance using specific and agreed-upon program implementation and quality measurement tools, the Program Manager shares a diagnosis of country programs’ strengths and weaknesses with the Regional Director. This diagnosis will be based on the efficacy and effort by the country team in utilizing organizational tools.

Based on this diagnosis, priorities for each country program are set with the Regional Director. This is done in a manner which consistently builds capacity, strengthens lines of accountability, and enables and inspires talent at all levels within the country program. Accountability of the performance in managing the awards remains with the Country Director, who is supervised by the Regional Director. The Regional Director thus focuses more so on strategic development, new business development, and management of the senior country team.

Key Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities include:

Program Implementation

Under the supervision of the Regional Director, the Program Manager supports in the timely, effective and compliant implementation of projects in country. Areas of focus will be dependent on the strengths and weaknesses of each country program as determined by the Regional Director and the Program Manager, but will include the following:

  • Ensure that basic SFCG program implementation tools are being used and shared, including start-up and close-out protocols, costed work plans, operational budgets, BvA meetings, and quarterly work plans.
  • Encourage standards of excellence, a reflective, learning and adaptive culture, with the strengthening of capacities and systems to enable this culture;
  • Support programs in using organizational best practices in the use of tools and methodologies to implement the program activities, and identify capacity building needs for in-country staff; provide technical inputs on projects when applicable and appropriate, and/or mobilize technical support on key areas (eg. Training tools, media products, etc)
  • Support programs to speak to results, encouraging an implementation logic that focuses on the objectives of a project and seeks to capture the change as per the theory of change. Facilitating collaboration with ILT when needed.
  • Based on a sharing of the reports between the PM and the Business Development team (including in-country Program Associates), review and edit reports of country programs prior to submission. Use Quarterly Report Scorecard to track ongoing improvements in staff capacity in reporting; design coaching and capacity building to improve capacity.
  • Liaise with any of Search’s HQ departments when appropriate to facilitate collaboration and trouble shoot issues; Collaborate with the Institutional Learning Team, the Communications Team and the IT department, to assist in their provision of pertinent and timely support to programs where they have direct budgets;
  • Quickly identify obstacles to timely delivery of quality programs and work with country teams and Regional Director and Regional Finance Manager (RFM) to solve obstacles creatively and rapidly. This includes assessing the risks related to overall program performance, as well as efficacy of SFCG procedures, tools and guidelines.
  • Mobilize and monitor short term consultants when appropriate and delegated by the Regional Director.
  • Travel to field offices to provide in-country support as needed. Participate in key project and program launch and close out meetings, key program events and workshops.

Grants and Operations Management

  • Track the performance of each country management teams in their implementation of grants, achievement of program and spending targets, and meeting of reporting deadlines for feedback to the RD. Ongoing coaching of the teams to improve performance in all of these areas.
  • In collaboration with Country Directors, Finance Managers, and Project Managers actively monitor burn rates to ensure that grants are spent out to 90% according to grant agreements and SFCG’s grant management policy.
  • Work in collaboration with specific units in HQ to ensure complete grant documentation, agreement review and signing, budget realignments, cost extensions, etc. as well as grant closure.
  • Engage support of other departments as needed to solve problems and provide support to country teams in addressing grant management challenges.
  • Contribute to ongoing improvement of grant management tools, including grant status tracking, donor requirements and regulations, burn rate monitoring, report compilation and collection, and SFCG policy and donor regulations.
  • Assume interim leadership roles in country programs when appropriate and timely.

Program Strategy

  • Although the Program Manager is not the lead in the business development, the Program Manager will at times be delegated to take on specific pieces of large and strategic proposals, such as engaging and negotiating with local or international partners in the development of a consortium.

External relations, communications & visibility

  • Be a focal point where delegated on donor communications, working together with the team to clarify information, follow-through on requests;
  • Liaise with ILT, GAP, and Communications to enhance the visibility of the region, through back-stopping on success stories and other data reflecting the change and transformation of our work.

As job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, the position holder may be required to undertake other duties that are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.


You meet the following qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s Degree in relevant field.


  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in working in implementation and/or program support, with a preference for focus on conflict transformation and/or international development
  • Experience with grants management, including with EU, DFID, USG, or UN;
  • Experience in relevant region;

Skills and Competencies

  • Willingness to travel on a regular basis (up to 50%) and live in challenging contexts;
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively work with a diverse team, with attention to mentorship and professional development of staff;
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills in English and French required;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

This position will close on January 6th, 2019

To apply

To apply, interested candidates should send the following items  to our employment portal here:

  • current resume
  • cover letter

Only applicants invited for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please. Please see our website www.sfcg.org for full details of our work.

All Search Employees must adhere to the values: Shared Humanity – Empathy – Impartiality – Inclusivity – Courage – Hope – Humility – Audacity. In accordance with these values, Search enforces compliance with the Code of Conduct and related policies on Anti Workplace Harassment, Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Conflict of Interest and Anti-fraud.

Communications Specialist – West Africa Region


Job Openings

Communications Specialist – West Africa Region

Africa – West – Flexibility to work from an office in Search West Region, N/

Position Summary

The Communications Specialist is a member of the West Africa (WA) regional support team and will support all country and regional programming in regards to communications outputs. The Communications Specialist will help the team to increase the visibility of Search for Common Ground and peacebuilding among the general public, support WA country offices in producing high quality external communications and oversee strategic branding in coordination with Communications HQ in Washington D.C and Brussels. The Communications Specialist will work directly with Program Managers, Program Coordinators, and Program Associates part of the WA team, as well as WA country teams, to support the collection of field stories, proofreading and editing of communication products, effective presentation of project results, media campaigns, project related communications and other regionally-focused communication tasks. This position will be based in the Regional Office in Dakar, Senegal, or any other WA capital where Search has an office.

Key Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities include:

Content Production (30%)

  • Assist with special events and promotions in the WA region, including live-tweeting, taking photos, and other communications.
  • Create and maintain a WA regional information management system that enables the tracking and accessible storage of success stories, media campaign materials, blog posts, web updates, and other materials from Search’s regional country programs.
  • Coordinate with project managers and other country staff to update website project pages.
  • Responsible for creating and updating monthly editorial calendar in coordination with the HQ Communications team.
  • Travel within the WA region to provide in-country support when needed.
  • Lead in-country or remote communications capacity building trainings for country teams.

Copy and Written Communications (30%)

  • Support country team staff to develop regular success stories from projects.
  • Provide communication product drafting, proofreading, and editing support to country teams for external publications.
  • Ensure that web pages are updated on a frequent, rolling basis in line with individual project progress. 
  • Assist in the development of regional and global journalist and media contacts lists, draft mass press releases and media advisories, and follow up with press contacts.
  • Track media coverage of Search for Common Ground and peacebuilding in the region and coordinate with country management staff to highlight and source media interest.

Administration and Other (40%)

  • Help recruit consultants and other in-country communication support staff, including supporting procurement processes and following up on deliverables.
  • Manage intern communications staff as required.
  • Maintain and update media files, organize press clippings and photo files, and organize and manage collateral and promotional material inventory
  • Ensure the WA regional team and WA country management teams have and use up-to-date organizational materials
  • Update and monitor social media platforms for the region, coordinating with country teams and Communications HQ on social media campaigns.
  • Monitor and report on social media, email, press, and other analytics.
  • Assist with reporting and presentation creation for country teams and WA regional team.
  • Submit reimbursements, payment requests; otherwise interface with the finance department.
  • Provide scheduling support for team meetings, events, and travel itineraries and processes related to communications events and campaigns.

As job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, the position holder may be required to undertake other duties that are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.


You meet the following qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s Degree in marketing, communications,  journalism, communications, mass media or other related discipline;


  • Minimum 4 years’ professional experience or 2 year professional experience with a Master’s Degree in communications, marketing, press office or related field;
  • Experience with copywriting and editing;
  • Experience in strategic outreach and creative marketing;
  • Experience writing for the web and social media;

Skills and Competencies

  • Fluency in English;
  • Fluency in French;
  • Proficient in Graphic Design (use of photoshop, illustrator
  • In-depth knowledge of social media usage and analytics; Including but not limited to  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, Google +, Pinterest…etc
  • Ability to think out-of-the-box and take initiative;
  • Able to work independently and effectively in a team environment;
  • Detail-oriented and highly organized, with a proactive approach;
  • Proficient in use of Microsoft Office Suite and able to learn new technology quickly.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Video shooting and editing experience with Final Cut;
  • Experience with photography;
  • Experience working with the Adobe Creative Suite;
  • Experience with Salsa or other CRM

 This position will close on January 6th, 2019

To apply

To apply, interested candidates should send the following items  to our employment portal here:

  • current resume
  • cover letter

Only applicants invited for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please. Please see our website www.sfcg.org for full details of our work.

All Search Employees must adhere to the values: Shared Humanity – Empathy – Impartiality – Inclusivity – Courage – Hope – Humility – Audacity. In accordance with these values, Search enforces compliance with the Code of Conduct and related policies on Anti Workplace Harassment, Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Conflict of Interest and Anti-fraud.

Mexican Asylum Seekers into US Are to Be Returned Back for Asylum Proceedings

law enforcement, News, Politics, SEcurity

The U.S. has reached a deal with the Mexican government to force asylum seekers at its southern border to remain in Mexico while they wait to bring their case before an American immigration judge, a process that could take several months or even years, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced at a congressional hearing on Thursday.

The new policy, effective immediately, is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to curb what it insists are loopholes in the immigration system. Like many of its immigration policies, the plan was likely to face pushback in court.

Nielsen’s announcement before a House Judiciary Committee came as President Donald Trump remained locked in a bitter dispute with lawmakers over whether to shut down the government if he doesn’t get the money he wants to buy a border wall.

PHOTO: A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child after surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents for illegally crossing the border near McAllen, Texas, June 25, 2018.
A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child after surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents for illegally crossing the border near McAllen, Texas, June 25, 2018.more +

“We have a huge problem with asylum fraud,” Nielsen told the House panel. “We need to work together to combat that.”

Nielsen’s testimony encountered immediate pushback from congressional Democrats who called the plan a misguided attempt to demonize immigrants.

“Is it as (though) you can’t see the realities of modern immigration or the contributions of anyone who came from countries other than Norway or other parts of Europe,” said Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Illinois. “It’s as though you and others in the administration are blind.”

At issue is how the United States decides who should be granted asylum, a right granted to migrants by U.S. and international law. According to the Homeland Security Department, border officials have seen a surge in migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and that the vast majority are granted entrance into the United States after passing a “credible fear” interview.

DHS said in a statement Thursday that in nearly half of these cases in 2018, the person later failed to appear at a hearing or file an asylum claim, indicating that the person likely opted to remain illegally inside the U.S. As a result, DHS says, only 9 percent of people from those three countries are ultimately granted asylum.

John Cohen, a former acting under secretary at the Homeland Security Department and an ABC News contributor, noted that the law does allow for the federal government, through the attorney general, to deport someone to a “safe third country” pending an asylum claim, if there is bilateral agreement.

But, the law requires that the person’s “life or freedom” not be threatened, and that the person claiming asylum still have “full and fair” access to the U.S. immigration system. That means it’s likely the U.S. will have to devote resources to either bring people into the United States to see an immigration judge, or set up U.S. courts in Mexico — a highly unusual situation that presents legal complications, Cohen said.

“It’s highly probable this will be challenged in court,” Cohen said. “It’ll be up to the courts to determine whether processing someone in Mexico is consistent with the law or not.”

PHOTO: Central American migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, line up to borrow a sleeping pad, after arriving at a temporary shelter, set up in a stadium in Mexico City, Nov. 5, 2018.
Central American migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, line up to borrow a sleeping pad, after arriving at a temporary shelter, set up in a stadium in Mexico City, Nov. 5, 2018.more +

Administration officials said they expect a dramatic drop in asylum claims if people are not allowed to enter the U.S. and are instead forced to wait in Mexico. Several Republicans on the House committee said they supported the move.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the plan “historic” and said that the Mexican government has promised to give the migrants humanitarian visas to stay on Mexican soil, as well as the ability to apply for work.

“We think that they (migrants seeking asylum) will now see that they can’t disappear inside the United States, and so they will remain in their home countries,” Pompeo told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.

Mexico has previously refused to accept the return of migrants who aren’t Mexican citizens. But earlier this week, the U.S. signed a joint declaration with Mexico promising to invest $5.8 billion in southern Mexico and the three countries where most of the migrants were coming from — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The administration also promised a U.S.-Mexico business summit next year and a cabinet-level meeting in January.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department called the latest agreement to allow U.S. asylum seekers to remain in Mexico was a temporary, humanitarian measure)

Trump has been under political pressure from his supporters to take a hard line with immigration. While illegal crossings fell during his first year in office, they have returned to previous levels.

The president’s other executive actions aimed at curbing those crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border have faced setbacks in court. On Wednesday, a federal judge blocked a separate policy that restricts asylum claims of migrants fleeing domestic and gang-related violence. Another federal judge in California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against a Trump administration rule that made anyone who crosses the southern border outside a port of entry ineligible for asylum.

Trump has expressed frustration in recent days that he hasn’t been able to fulfill his promise to build a border wall.

“When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership,” Trump tweeted. “Would be done by end of year (NOW). It didn’t happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries – but not for our beloved U.S.A. Not good!”

ABC News reporters Conor Finnegan and Luke Barr contributed to this report.Sponsored Stories

Top Adult Actresses Of All Times and Their Net Worth


Pornography we are told covers over 80% of internet contents. Phonographic industry production has exploded ever since the internet became more common to millions and millions of people. The invention of video camera and video watching facilities on modern phones has equally spiraled the market for pornography and make its distribution control more difficult for policing authority. Growing use of apps like twitter and Snap for advertisement have equally created a new generation of Adult Models profiting from the porno industry’s largese.

For most aspiring adult models, general public and even the critics of this trade in human flesh, the question has always being “how much do professional porn stars receive for doing all those sexual things in front of the camera”?

10. Nikki Benz- $1,000,000

adult actrsses

Ukrainian Canadian adult actress, Nikki Benz is famous all across the globe for her contribution to the adult industry. She has worked in 217 videos as a performer. To conclude she got a net worth of $1,000,000.

9. Asa Akira- $1,500,000

adult actresses

Born in Manhattan, New York, Asa started her career at a young age and she started to take big strides towards success right from the beginning. Now she has worked in 505 movies as a performer and she is now one of the most searched adult actresses.

8. Lisa Ann- $2,000,000

adult actresses

Lisa Ann does not need any introduction. She was the most searched adult actress in 2016. Undoubtedly, she had one of the most decorated careers in the adult industry to conclude, she is the eighth richest adult actress in the world.

7. Sunny Leone- $2.500,000

adult actresses

Sunny Leone is currently active in Indian film industry. However, she had a prolific career in the adult industry. She worked in 56 adult films as an actress and she had directed 59. Although she had quitted the adult industry a few years ago she is still one of the most searched adult actresses.

6. Sasha Grey- $3,000,000

adult actresses

Sasha started her adult career at the age of 18 and she reached the top of it without wasting much time. However, now she has quit the adult industry and she told that she has no desire of returning.

5. Jenna Haze- $3,700,000

adult actresses

Likewise Sasha Grey, Jenna also has quitted the adult films. However, she has worked in 602 adult films and she has earned a huge amount from her previous career.

4. Bree Olson- $5,000,000

adult actresses

Bree Olson is one of the biggest names in the Adult Industry. She has worked in 486 adult films. Undoubtedly, she earned some big money from those films.

3. Jesse Jane- $8,000,000

adult actresses

Jesse Jane has won many awards for her performance in the adult industry. Moreover, she is one of the most popular adult actresses of all time.

2. Tera Patrick- $15,000,000


After delivering 130 adult videos, Patrick retired in 2008. Now she is operating her website. Furthermore, now she hosts shows.

1. Jenna Jameson- $30,000,000

Richest Adult Actresses jenna

The “Queen of porn” and the most famous “adult entertainment performer”, Jenna Jameson topped the list with $30,000,000 net worth. Undoubtedly, she is the best of all time.

Sourced from : Entertales

Kanye West stole an earring off the Versace runway


By Emily Kirkpatrick

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian at the Versace pre-fall 2019 show      Getty Images

Kanye West may be almost a billionaire, but that doesn’t mean he can’t engage in a little petty theft.

The 41-year-old rapper attended the Versace pre-fall 2019 runway show in New York City on Sunday night with his wife Kim Kardashian, 38 — and while the couple was there to take in the fresh fashions, they left with a piece of the brand’s latest collection in pocket.

In a video posted to Kardashian’s Instagram Stories from the front row, the Yeezy designer said, “I’m about to steal this earring that dropped,” lunging toward the runway to scoop up a gold bauble that had fallen from a model’s ear.

Continued West, “They think they getting this back, but we about to steal this joint.”

To be fair, the hoop earring would pair very nicely with the rest of the “Reborn” singer’s ensemble, which he cryptically credited on Twitter: An Undercover Jun Takashi jacket, Van Cleef bracelet, Yeezy Season 6 tee, Brain Dead sweats from Dover Street Market Japan and a new iteration of his own 700 sneakers designed by Christian Tresser and Yeezy design director Steven Smith.

Donatella might have to give West his own Versace x Yeezy collaboration if she ever wants to see that accessory again.

Page Six Style

Bill Cosby: Expert Predicts Bankruptcy

Entertainment, News

Born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Bill Cosby dropped out of college to pursue a career in stand up comedy. After touring extensively and landing a spot on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1963, Cosby took his comedy to albums, where he won seven consecutive Grammys for his comedy albums between 1964-1971. He then moved to television, where he became the first black man to star in a lead role in NBC’s 1965 special-agent adventure series, I Spy, according to Biography.

Cosby then struck critical and ratings gold with his depiction of an affluent black family in the 80s seminal hit, The Cosby Show. Now known as “America’s Dad,” Cosby amassed a fortune in television and commercials while projecting a wholesome persona and serving as a positive role model to generations of fans.

However, underneath that persona and image was a “sexually violent predator” who allegedly drugged and raped 60 women. On September 25, 2018, Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison for one of those crimes. Once one of the highest-paid celebrities in the world, Cosby’s substantial wealth, now being siphoned off by legal fees, settlements, and civil suits, is falling faster than his fall from grace. Here’s what Bill Cosby’s net worth really is.

During the 80s, Bill Cosby was the world’s highest-paid entertainer and beloved the world over for his role as Dr. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable on The Cosby Show. The show was such an astronomical success that, according to Forbes, it generated “$4 million an episode when sold into syndication, with reruns generating over $1.5 billion in the last two decades.” And per the Chicago Tribune, Cosby pocketed $166 million from the original syndication deal negotiated by Viacom.

Cosby leveraged his popularity and television success into lucrative TV commercial work, eventually becoming one of the most popular pitchmen of all time. Del Monte, Ford, Crest, Coca-Cola, Kodak, and of course, Jell-O pudding, are just a few of the big-name brands that wanted a piece of the Cosby pie. He was so good at selling Americans products that he was inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall Of Fame in 2011. (The honor was rescinded in May 2018.)

With a mega-hit show and companies lining up for his endorsement, Cosby amassed an estimated net worth of $400 million.

During its primetime heyday and in re-runs, The Cosby Show was a staple of network programming and a syndication cash cow for Bill Cosby since its premiere on September 20, 1984. However, after sexual assault allegations against the comedian surfaced in 2014, networks jumped ship. Per ABC News, TV Land stopped airing episodes immediately. Netflix quickly followed suit, scrapping a taped comedy special set to premiere later that year.

And in the wake of his guilty verdict in 2018, that reliable revenue stream Cosby counted on for so long ceased to exist. “Effective immediately, Bounce is removing The Cosby Show from our schedule,” the Atlanta-based network said in a statement the day the verdict was handed down (per The Hollywood Reporter). It got worse from there.

“The Cosby Show is leaving Hulu,” The Hollywood Reporter revealed. “The streaming service has opted to not renew its licensing deal with producers Carsey Werner, and as part of the deal, The Cosby Show will no longer have a streaming platform.” Without a network home or VOD options, THR also pointed out that the only place left to watch episodes of The Cosby Show, at the time of the report, was on Amazon “for $1.99 a shot

Frank Scotti, a 90-year-old former NBC employee, told The New York Daily News in 2014 that he helped Bill Cosby make payments to eight women from 1989 to 1990. One of the women was Shawn Thompson, who allegedly received $100,000 from Cosby, and whose daughter later claimed that the TV star was her father, which Cosby denied. Scotti claimed that he was unaware that he was being used as a conduit by Cosby to pay off women and to serve as a guard when the comedian invited young models into his dressing room. “He had everybody fooled,” he said. “Nobody suspected.”

Scotti also claims that Cosby once presented him with “a satchel of money, all $100 bills,” to distribute money orders to the women under his own name so they couldn’t be traced back to Cosby. “I did a lot of crazy things for him,” Scotti said. “He was covering himself by having my name on it. It was a coverup. I realized it later.”

Saying that he was “suspicious that something was going on,” Scotti later determined that Cosby was having sex with these women and paying them for their silence. “Why else would he be sending money?” Scotti asked. “He was sending these women $2,000 a month. What else could I think?”

In 2004, Andrea Constand (above) was the director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University (where Bill Cosby was a trustee), when Cosby drugged and raped her in his mansion in Pennsylvania. However (per NBC News), during Cosby’s retrial in April 2018, it was revealed that he paid Constand “nearly $3.4 million in a 2006 civil settlement.”

The settlement came with a confidentiality agreement, so after Constand spoke with prosecutors again in 2015, Cosby’s lawyers pounced and requested the terms of the settlement be known to the jurors. “Among other things, admissibility is warranted for impeachment of Constand, in showing her financial motive to lie about the allegations, she made against Cosby, or for any other purpose…including as may be warranted by the testimony of Constand or otherwise,” Cosby’s lawyers in court filings (per Seattle Medium).

“I just wanted to get it over with,” Constand replied (per ABC News), when asked by defense attorney Tom Mesereau on why she settled. “It tore me and my family apart and we just wanted to get it over with.”

“What’s next?” attorney Lisa Bloom tweeted after Bill Cosby was found guilty on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault in April 2018. “My defamation case on behalf of Janice Dickinson against Bill Cosby, which we’ve been fighting and WINNING for 3+ years, goes on. Mr. Cosby, I’m looking forward to taking your deposition.”

In addition to Dickinson, Cosby was facing several additional civil suits, per a 2016 USA Today report. “Cosby was ordered to sit for another grilling in a deposition for a lawsuit alleging he sexually abused accuser Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was 15,” the publication reported. In another civil case, which was subsequently “dropped without explanation,” Las Vegas model, and dancer Chloe Goins claimed Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her “at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.”

And according to Time, seven women in Massachusetts — Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis, and Angela Leslie — also sued Cosby for defamation. Their case was “pending the conclusion of the criminal trial.”

Camille Cosby

Bill Cosby’s wife of over 50 years, Camille Cosby, reportedly attempted to drain their joint account. “The first check for $100,000 supposedly went through,” an insider told Radar Online. “Then she did another one for a crazy amount, but the bank wanted Mr. Cosby’s approval before releasing the funds.”

The account, which reportedly contains “just under $120 million,” is a shared account, but Bill Cosby is the primary signatory. “The bank went through his assistants who patched Mr. Cosby in with them,” the insider said. “He told the bank to freeze the primary account.”

“She said she was ‘taking it’ because she ‘needed it’ to support family and staff,” the insider continued. “His royalties from The Cosby Show go to a separate account.”

In June 2018, rumors swirled that Camille Cosby was planning to file for divorce, but the comedian’s rep, Andrew Wyatt, spoke to People and quickly shot the allegation down, calling it a “ridiculous story from an egregious publication.” He also said that there were, “no issues in the marriage,” and that Camille was “with [Bill] in the Philadelphia home as we speak.”

According to contributor Scott Martin at the finance blog Wealth Advisor, several financial missteps by Bill Cosby could erode his entire fortune — a process that could continue long after his death if civil litigants continue to successfully chip away at his estate. Saying that Cosby’s financial maneuvering “doesn’t look like the behavior of a man with mega-millions to burn,” Martin guessed that Cosby failed to set up a trust to protect his remaining liquid cash and assets and pass them on to his “four living daughters and three grandkids.” Martin added, “The desperation and the gloom feel a little too real.”

Martin went on to cite Cosby’s $3.4M settlement with Andrea Constand as an example of his significant risk exposure, writing, “There would be zero rationale for [the settlement] if all his liquid assets were already safe in a property seasoned trust — in that scenario, he could have simply let her lawyers bang futilely against his shield and file personal bankruptcy to defeat the judgment.” Martin further explained that “Cosby may end up going bankrupt after all,” but instead of using the financial maneuver as a way to protect a legally impenetrable trust, it would be “because his victims got there first.”

Source: Nikki Swift

Jaden Smith Finally Came out, Dating Tyler, The Creator!


Jaden Smith is still romancing Tyler, The Creator – according to Jaden Smith. Although Tyler has yet to speak out about their alleged relationship, Jaden has once again insisted they are dating, and thanked a photographer for his best wishes. The moment came when Jaden was caught by the paparazzi during a shopping trip to the Calabasas Commons, and was asked about their status.

Confirming he was dating Tyler by saying yes three times, Jaden then got into his car and when the pap offered him his congratulations, Jaden replied: ‘Thank you.’ Over to you, Tyler.

The 20-year-old first claimed they were together during a performance at Camp Flog Gnaw, on 11 November. Speaking to the crowd – while the 27-year-old was in the audience – he said: ‘I just wanna say Tyler, The Creator is the best friend in the world. ‘And I love him so fucking much, and I wanna tell you guys something, I wanna tell you, Tyler doesn’t wanna say, but Tyler is my mother fucking boyfriend.’ Ty, who was wearing a face mask, could be seen laughing and shaking his head ‘no’ during the whole thing.

Twitter users did not know what to make of the exchange, with many assuming that Smith was joking.

“I can’t tell if this is a joke,” one fan tweeted. Another wrote, “I’m honestly so confused.”

Others were fully supportive of the possible romance. “If this is legit I’m stanning,” one tweeter wrote.

Smith, whose parents are Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, has long embraced gender fluidity and was the first man to model Louis Vuitton’s womenswear. Meanwhile, Tyler has said in the past that he dates men and also rapped on his 2017 album, Flower Boy, that he has “been kissing white boys since 2004.”

The Karate Kid star previously dated Sarah Snyder and Odessa Adlon.

Us Weekly has reached out to reps for Smith and Tyler for comment.

Source: Metro

Nigeria: Elections and Human Rights

2019 Elections, Politics, Power

Oge Onubogu 
USIP, Senior Program Officer,                    Africa Programs

Statement before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

I would like to thank the co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Congressman Hultgren and Congressman McGovern, for convening this briefing today on Nigeria. I appreciate the opportunity to present my views. I am a senior program officer at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), although the views expressed here are my own. USIP was established by Congress over 30 years ago as an independent, national institute to prevent and resolve violent conflicts abroad, in accordance with U.S. national interests and values.

It is a privilege to appear before you today, along with colleagues to discuss the risks, challenges, and opportunities around the upcoming elections in one of Africa’s most important countries.  

Nigeria’s keenly anticipated presidential and national assembly elections are scheduled for February 16, 2019, while the elections for state governors and state assemblies are scheduled for March 2, 2019. These elections come 20 years after the restoration of democratic, multiparty constitutional rule in Nigeria. The 2019 elections follow the country’s first-ever peaceful transition of power to an opposition candidate in 2015. Thus, the upcoming elections will test the resilience of Nigeria’s democratic institutions to successfully conduct two consecutive credible elections. While democratization is not a linear process, many Nigerians expect further progress in 2019, including a credible electoral process.

While Nigeria has made major strides in its democratic development, the struggle to control the widespread violence that plagues its communities is far from over. Nigeria’s democracy remains fragile and its elections remain vulnerable.

Nigeria’s political parties are now in full campaign mode ahead of next year’s elections. Unfortunately, signs are emerging that election-related violence is a real possibility. However, it is not too late for Nigerians and the international community to take steps to reduce the risks of election-related violence in 2019. The United States has actively encouraged Nigeria’s democratic progress in the past and should step up its attention on Nigeria’s 2019 elections.

To do this effectively, it is crucial that as much attention be paid to flashpoints at the state-level as to tensions surrounding the higher profile campaigns for the presidency. International and domestic observers reported incidents of voter intimidation by security forces and party agents during the re-run of the off-cycle gubernatorial election in Osun state in September. This illustrates the intensity of state elections and the associated risks. Elections next year in states that are considered higher profile than Osun are likely to be even more volatile.

The 2019 state-level elections will usher in leadership to some of the most populous and economically important states in Nigeria and Africa, including Lagos, Kano and Rivers, as well as in states that experience recurring intercommunal violence including Plateau, Kaduna and Benue.

The gubernatorial elections will take place in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states, just two weeks after the presidential elections. Seven other state elections are scheduled off-cycle for various reasons. In the 29 contests, incumbent governors are defending 19 seats. Of those, 12 are members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The other seven belong to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of opposition candidate and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Incumbent governors running for a second four-year term hold significant advantages because of their domination of state party structures, leverage over powerful patronage networks, and the ways they can manage to employ state funds to bolster their campaigns.  Incumbents in the remaining 10 of the 29 states, cannot run again because of term limits or because they lost out in their state party primaries, making elections in these states’ competitive open races.

State-level elections are important for democratic progress in Nigeria. State races often function as a proving ground for candidates aspiring to national office. Moreover, the country’s powerful state governors, allocate federally disbursed revenue, shape policy on development and security, and also oversee the state election commissions which manage local government elections across Nigeria’s 774 local government areas. A 2018 USIP study on the Nigeria elections noted the growing prominence of local government elections among Nigerians, who are increasingly viewing local elections as a testing ground for budding politicians – in order words, democracy at the grassroots.   

The USIP study which was conducted in 8 states (Kano, Adamawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Rivers, Ekiti, Lagos, Anambra) and in the federal capital territory, Abuja, found that many political and conflict conditions have changed since 2015. So, it is important that the nature of these changes—and the forces behind them—be considered in weighing whether election-related violence at the national or state-level is likely, and if so, how to prevent it or mitigate the consequences.

Among these changes are the shifting perceptions of narratives of security and insecurity in Nigeria.  The prominence of the pastoralist-farmer conflicts has shaped perceptions that large parts of the country are insecure. Clashes between farmers and herders over land and water have escalated and are particularly deadly in the northern states of Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, Zamfara and Kaduna. Some of those states, including Benue and Plateau, fall within the politically influential region of North Central Nigeria. In the country’s Northeast, the military claims to have “technically defeated” Boko Haram, but the terrorist group continues to stage well-publicized attacks. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces, such as the civilian joint task force (CJTF), which were organized in response to the terrorist threat, now pose a danger themselves in places such as Borno State – the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency. So, the state-level contest to replace Borno’s term-limited Governor Kashim Shettima will be especially important.

Another significant change since 2015 are the proliferating divisions within the two largest political parties, the APC and the PDP. Particularly within the ruling APC, it continues to exhibit an inability to consolidate its internal party structure and effectively resolve internal rivalries. The recent October party primaries in the APC-led Zamfara state were marred by violence and the party leadership has been unable to address the internal grievances. Preparations for the Zamfara state elections in 2019 also continue to be controversial. Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declined to accept the APC’s gubernatorial candidate, stating that the party submitted his name too late.

As intraparty conflicts sharpen, rivalry between the APC and the PDP remain intense. This competition lies at the root of persistent violence, including around elections, in the Niger Delta’s leading oil producer, Rivers State. This state is considered a “political prize” for any party that can capture control of the jurisdiction. State-level elections in Rivers are often characterized by high levels of violence. According to the Fund for Peace, Rivers state experienced the most election violence incidents and fatalities of any Nigerian state during the 2015 elections. Political hostilities in Rivers have heightened since APC’s growing challenge to the PDP’s previous dominance in the 2015 elections. The personal rivalry between the former Governor and current transportation minister, Rotimi Amaechi (APC), and the current state Governor, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (PDP), continues to exacerbate divisions along party lines.

Despite the short amount of time before the elections and the potential for election violence in 2019, there are still opportunities for action.

First, clear plans for the prevention of election violence need to be in place now. These plans should be effectively communicated to citizens by the INEC and security agencies and should be sustained longer to contain post-election incidents.

For many Nigerians, the memories of election-related violence are still current because the Nigerian government has been unable to establish mechanisms to address electoral offenses. The recommendations from the 22-member presidential committee on the 2011 post-election violence – Nigeria’s bloodiest elections since the transition in 1999 in which human rights organizations estimated over 800 people were killed – have not been implemented.  

The National Human Rights Commission, which is a statutory body mandated to document human rights violations and initiate processes for prosecution, is a weak institution and has been relatively ineffective since 2015. A bill to a create a specialized electoral offenses commission with the authority to investigate, enforce, and prosecute electoral offenses is still pending in the National Assembly. It is unlikely that this bill will pass before the 2019 elections.

With less than three months to the elections, the U.S. and international community should prioritize engagements with their Nigeria counterparts on ways to effectively address and prosecute electoral offenses in the 2019 elections. In addition, Nigeria should hold itself to a higher standard when it comes to prosecuting electoral offenses. Proposing that a credibly elected government that emerges after the 2019 elections prioritize the passage and implementation of the bill to establish a specialized electoral offenses commission could be a good way to start.     

In the short term, Nigerian authorities should identify credible state-level and community leaders in advance who could provide leadership and advice—or even mediation—in the event of rising tensions. USIP’s Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, a group of eminent civic leaders from diverse backgrounds, could be a source of support to the Nigerian authorities. Other community leaders with the skills and influence to prevent and defuse violence should be engaged as well.

The National Peace Committee, which played an important role in securing the peaceful transition of presidential power in 2015, should be reenergized. Given the current realities and possibilities of higher levels of violence during the gubernatorial elections, peace committees should also be created at the state-level.   

Some states already have institutions designed to reduce violence, such as the Plateau State Peacebuilding Agency, the Kaduna State Peacebuilding Commission, and the Adamawa State Peace Commission. These bodies are still getting their footing. USIP is working closely with them and with local community leaders and civil society representatives to address state-level violence before, during, and after the 2019 elections.  

Secondly, the U.S. and other international supporters of the electoral process in Nigeria should intensify their efforts to reinforce the work of key institutions that administer and support the electoral processes, most notably the INEC and the Nigerian Police.

INEC’s election management process has improved over the years, but challenges remain. The Commission has carried out many commendable reforms under its new Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. However, their good technical work may be of limited value if it is not widely known, understood, and trusted by the electorate or if voters feel that they will experience intimidation on election day.

Nigeria’s security agencies, particularly the police that is the lead agency on election security, should commit to better coordination with INEC and neutrality in the electoral process to positively influence voter confidence.

The U.S. government should support INEC and the Nigerian Police to ensure that the existing Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), which bring together INEC, the police, and other security agencies in a forum for election security planning at both the federal and state levels, serves as an effective coordinating mechanism. This coordination is especially important at the state-level to ensure a peaceful electoral process.

The INEC should also implement a more assertive and far-reaching public relations strategy to communicate with the voters, media, and political parties before, during, and after elections. The INEC should also have a transparent approach on the release of election results. A reinvigorated INEC strategy could go beyond generic voter information and civic education and be designed and differentiated for the realities of different regions, states, and elections in Nigeria.

Finally, Nigeria will be looked to in the region to fulfill its proper role as one of the best examples of democratic development in Africa. While there has been much improvement, Nigeria’s political leaders can and should do better.

The United States and international community, including the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), should intensify their pre-election diplomacy. All stakeholders with potential influence on Nigeria’s leaders can convey their expectation that Nigeria’s political parties act responsibly throughout campaigns, balloting and the post-election period. They can also convey to Nigerian leaders an expectation that political parties discipline their members, officials and their candidates if they violate standards of acceptable conduct.

The conduct of the 2015 elections raised citizen expectations for government performance. A credible electoral process in 2019 will strengthen Nigeria’s democratic development and enhance public confidence in its democratic institutions. A flawed election could result in a regression in democratic values in Nigeria and weaken the democratic progress that prevails in much of West Africa.

Despite its many challenges, Nigeria shows a commitment to democratic values. It is in the interest of the U.S and the international community to continue supporting Nigeria’s democratic development. Focusing efforts to reduce election-related violence in 2019, especially in the state gubernatorial elections, could be an important place to start.

The view expressed in this statement are those of the author and not the U.S. Institute of Peace

Kevin Hart and the art of the celebrity apology


Lisa Respers France, CNN

“I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past. I’m sorry that I hurt people… I am evolving and want to continue to do so,” Hart tweeted. “My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.” Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart photographed for Variety by Pamela Littky on April 25, 2017 in LA, CA. *Grooming: John Clausell; Wardrobe: Ashley North: Shirt: Neil Barrett; Pants: Acne

(CNN) Hollywood is filled with comeback stories of stars who have made mistakes and found redemption. The public loves them.But if there is an art to the apology process, comedian and actor Kevin Hart ran afoul of it this week and toppled himself as host of the next Academy Awards. The comedian made some comments on Twitter between 2009 and 2011 that included derogatory language about homosexuals.

Social media is a landmine for celebs

When those tweets resurfaced on Thursday, there was an immediate opportunity for the “Night School” star to own it, apologize and move on.But that’s not how he handled it. Hart initially took the position that the past is the past. He posted a video on Instagram in response to the controversy in which he made it clear that he believed he is well beyond that time in his life.”Guys, I’m almost 40 years old,” he said in the video.

“If you don’t believe people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man.

“Definitely not an apology. By shifting the onus to others for trying to hold him accountable for his words, Hart did not do much to improve the situation. Comedians, in particular, are in a tenuous position right now. So much of what used to be deemed funny no longer is. True growth for an artist means they recognize that. Dave Chappelle found that out last year when he returned to the spotlight with two Netflix comedy specials. Someone seemingly forgot to tell Chappelle that in the almost 13 years he had been off the scene, jokes about transmen and women no longer get a pass. There was immediate backlash against Chappelle’s quips.

Hart hasn’t left the stand-up circuit and seemingly knows better. In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, Hart addressed jokes he had made in the past about trying to prevent his son from being gay.”I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now,” Hart told the publication. “I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can. These things become public spectacles. So why set yourself up for failure?” This makes it all the more surprising that Hart — at first — declined to issue a mea culpa and shared over social media that the Academy told him to either apologize or be replaced as the Oscars host.

“I chose to pass on the apology,” Hart said. “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times.”The producing team behind the Oscars, Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd, along with the Academy, declined to comment when contacted by CNN. But it seems if others found Hart’s old tweets, they could have, too — and preemptively addressed the matter.

The comic pointed out that he has “moved on” and is “in a completely different space in my life.”He also equated apologizing to “feeding the internet trolls.”The problem is trolls weren’t the people who were hurt by Hart’s words or seeking an apology.Despite the many strides made by the LGBTQ community, the world is far from being at a point where their concerns can be shrugged off.

We are no more post-discrimination against that community than we are post-racial.And as comedian and actor Billy Eichner tweeted, “A simple, authentic apology showing any bit of understanding or remorse would have been so simple.”

“Like I tweeted a few weeks ago, Hollywood still has a real problem with gay men,” tweeted Eichner, who is gay. “On the surface it may not look like it. Underneath, it’s far more complicated.”By the time Hart did apologize, it was late and in the context of his decision to step away from the hosting gig.

CNN Entertainment 2018