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Sam Kaplan for The New York Times. Food stylist: Susan Ottoviano.
Evan Sung for The New York Times
ROBERTO MANCINI has agreed a deal in principle to become the next manager of Italy. Zenit St Petersburg officially announced they had terminated the ex-Manchester City boss’ contract yesterday, freeing him up to take over the Azzurri. Roberto Mancini agrees deal in principle to become Italy’s next managerGettyAnd he will put pen-to-paper on a two-year…
BANDUNG, Indonesia — One suicide bomber appeared to have been disguised as a churchgoer. Another drove a Toyota minivan with a bomb to one attack site. Still another was seen in footage speeding on a scooter toward a church before an explosion.
After the back-to-back bombings that targeted three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, as worshipers gathered between services on Sunday morning, the police said they had been the work of one family: a couple who had led their four children on a terror spree that took their own lives and those of at least seven other people.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to the group’s news agency, Amaq. In an initial bulletin, the group described each of the bombings as a “martyrdom” operation. In a subsequent, longer media release, the Islamic State identified three modes of attack: a car bomb, a suicide vest and a motorcycle-borne bomb.
On Monday, there was increasing evidence that the church bombers were not alone. The police now say that there have been at least two more bomb blasts beyond the assaults on the churches, as well as a trove of completed bombs found in a separate housing complex.
In the suburb of Sidoarjo, south of Surabaya in East Java, a bomb detonated within a family’s apartment as the police closed in on Sunday night, killing the husband and wife and one of their children, and injuring another three children, said a spokesman for the provincial police, Frans Barung Mangera. He identified the killed suspect as Anton Ferdiantono, 46, who police officials later said was a friend of the man behind the church bombings.
And in a new attack, on Monday morning, a team of bombers on two motorcycles detonated explosives at a checkpoint outside the city police headquarters in Surabaya.
Mr. Frans, the police spokesman, said that four of the five people on the motorcycles were killed, and that the fifth, an 8-year-old girl, had been taken to the hospital. Four police officers were reported injured. A video released by an Indonesian news outlet appeared to show the explosion centered on one of the motorcycles, flattening police officers and the other motorcycle, and damaging a car beside it.
The counterterrorism police said they raided another housing complex in Sidoarjo on Monday morning, recovering several completed bombs after having neighboring residents evacuate.
Sunday’s church bombings occurred one day after a man in Paris who shouted, “God is great” in Arabic killed one person with a knife and wounded four others. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack. A day later, the group’s news agency released a cellphone video of the attacker pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and calling on fellow Islamic State supporters in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and elsewhere too carry out attacks.
At least 43 other people were wounded in the church bombings, Mr. Frans said. He added that the bombs had been detonated in different parts of the city within minutes of one another. The victims included two police officers and worshipers who were entering and leaving the churches between services, he added.
At a news conference later on Sunday, Indonesia’s police chief, Tito Karnavian, said the family suspected in the attacks had recently returned from Syria: “Five hundred people were deported from Syria; among them is this family.”
He identified the attackers as Dita Oepriarto and his wife, Puji Kuswati. The police chief said that two of their sons, ages 18 and 16, had also been involved. Two younger children were also seen in the company of the woman at one bombing site, the police said.
Footage posted on YouTube shows what appears to be one of the attackers on a scooter suddenly turning off a street and heading toward a church before a bomb goes off.
The police said the father, driving a Toyota minivan, had dropped off the mother and two children, ages 12 and 9, at the Indonesia Christian Church. There, according to Kumparan News, an online news site that quoted the deputy police chief of Surabaya, the woman tried to force her way into the church after being stopped by a security guard.
She then detonated the bomb in the yard outside the entrance, killing herself and the two children, the deputy police chief said.
At another target, Santa Maria Church, the sons detonated the explosives, the police chief said. Photos from the site showed several people lying on the ground outside the church gate. Other images showed scattered debris and the police cordoning off the site.
The father was behind the wheel of the vehicle that crashed into Surabaya Center Pentecostal Church, detonating a bomb believed to have been in the vehicle, the police said. The couple, along with all four children, died in the explosions, the police said.
The police later disabled three bombs at the home of the suspects, officials in Surabaya said.
Surabaya, located on the eastern side of the island of Java, has a significant Christian minority that is about 11 percent of the city’s population of almost three million. The bombings occurred as professed followers of the Islamic State have begun to make their presence felt in Indonesia, a Muslim-majority nation that is proud of its diversity and tolerance.
In 2016, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, claimed its first attack in Southeast Asia, when militants attacked a police post and shopping center in central Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, with homemade guns and bombs.
This month, inmates who said they were followers of the Islamic Staterioted in a high-security detention center outside Jakarta. Five guards were killed before counterterrorism officers stormed the compound.
Churches have also been targeted by other extremists. On Christmas Eve in 2000, nearly simultaneous attacks on churches in Jakarta and several other cities killed about 20 people. A local group with links to Al Qaeda claimed credit.
The suicide bombings here and the knife attack in France came days before the start of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of prayer for the majority of the world’s Muslims and a period when groups like ISIS typically intensify and multiply attacks.
Analysts have been waiting for the start of Ramadan, which begins on Tuesday, to assess the Islamic State’s capabilities. They argue that if the group is able to carry out significant attacks, as it did during Ramadan over the previous three years, it would indicate that the group remained a potent threat, despite its territorial losses.
On Sunday evening, hundreds of people gathered at the Heroes Monument in Surabaya to mourn the bombing victims, and officials announced that public schools in the city would be closed on Monday.
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Firefighters are battling a blaze at an Overland Park apartment complex.
This is a developing story. FOX4’s Kathy Quinn is live at the scene with updates throughout the morning.
from FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sportshttp://fox4kc.com/2018/05/14/breaking-crews-battling-overland-park-apartment-fire/
MADRID — Catalonia’s main separatist parties took a significant step on Saturday toward ending the region’s political deadlock by voting on a presidential candidate who is not facing prosecution in Spain.
The candidate, Quim Torra, fell just short of winning a majority in Parliament, but he will get another chance in a second round of voting on Monday, when the threshold will be lower.
Mr. Torra, addressing lawmakers on Saturday, said he was committed to turning Catalonia into a republic even after the region’s failed independence effort in October. He also presented himself as a stand-in for Catalonia’s former leader, Carles Puigdemont, whom he called “our president.”
Mr. Puigdemont, who left the country to avoid prosecution, is awaiting a German court ruling on whether he should be extradited to Spain to stand trial on charges of rebellion related to leading Catalonia’s tumultuous independence drive. This past week, he endorsed Mr. Torra as his replacement after Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended a regional law that would have allowed him to be re-elected in absentia.
On Saturday, the 135-seat regional Parliament voted 66 to 65 in favor of Mr. Torra, just shy of a majority. On Monday, though, Mr. Torra will need simply to get more votes in favor of his candidacy than against.
A lawyer by training, Mr. Torra, 55, is also a book publisher with a long history of backing Catalan separatism. He was briefly the president of Omnium Cultural, one of Catalonia’s two main pro-independence associations. But because he has not been on the front line of Catalan politics and was not in Mr. Puigdemont’s cabinet, Mr. Torra is not among the 25 Catalans whom Spain wants to prosecute on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.
The current Parliament was elected in December, in a vote called by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after his national government thwarted the independence effort.
But the vote failed to deliver the result that Mr. Rajoy had sought. Instead, the three main Catalan separatist parties retained a narrow majority, 70 seats, and took 47.5 percent of the vote. That result was nearly identical to the previous election, in 2015.
The separatist parties have since been unable to form a government, largely because some of their more prominent lawmakers have been jailed in Madrid or have fled with Mr. Puigdemont to avoid prosecution.
The selection of Mr. Torra on Monday could hinge on the votes of the four lawmakers of a far-left party, the Popular Unity Candidacy, who abstained on Saturday. Despite its small size, the party, known by its Catalan acronym CUP, has played a pivotal role in guaranteeing that separatists hold on to a narrow parliamentary majority since 2015.
The Spanish government on Saturday denounced Mr. Torra’s promise to push for a Catalan republic, saying he had delivered “a speech of the past” and “didn’t present himself as the candidate that Catalans deserve and need.”
The government also warned Mr. Torra that it would be “very watchful of the candidate and his possible government: Any illegality and any violation of our constitutional framework will receive a response.”
At a meeting of his own party in southern Spain, Mr. Rajoy said Mr. Torra would be judged on his actions, but “what we have seen and heard doesn’t please a lot of us because we don’t believe it represents what Catalonia is.”
Until this crisis reached a boiling point in October, Catalonia was administered by an autonomous regional government. Mr. Torra’s election would end a period of direct rule by Madrid that Mr. Rajoy imposed in October after separatist lawmakers tried to declare independence. But it would do little to end a territorial crisis that has rippled beyond Spain’s borders, particularly given Madrid’s efforts to extradite seven Catalan politicians from four countries.
On Saturday, Mr. Torra said he wanted to unwind some of the measures taken by Mr. Rajoy after the national government took charge. As part of that intervention, Mr. Rajoy’s government closed the external affairs agency of Catalonia and its representative offices overseas.
Mr. Torra pledged to reopen the offices and expand Catalonia’s diplomatic network, stressing the “necessity of an international policy.”
Mr. Torra is mostly unknown in the rest of Spain, but he has set off controversy in the past, notably when he posted Twitter messages a few years ago in which he accused Spain of plundering and occupying Catalonia. In one, Mr. Torra wrote that “shame is a word that the Spanish removed from their vocabulary years ago.”
He eventually erased the tweets but did not apologize.
After his endorsement by Mr. Puigdemont, several unionist politicians accused him of being Mr. Puigdemont’s puppet, intent upon pursuing the same unreachable and unconstitutional goals.
With Mr. Torra, “the only thing that is guaranteed is more confrontation,” Inés Arrimadas, the leader in Catalonia of the Ciudadanos party, told lawmakers on Saturday.
BUDAPEST — In his victorious campaign to secure a third consecutive term as prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban had a clear, urgent message: The nation was at risk from an international cabal looking to undermine its sovereignty, and it would be overrun with migrants if he was not elected.
With his party firmly in control of this Central European country, Mr. Orban says it is time to take that campaign continental. On Thursday, in his first address to Parliament in his new term, he styled himself as the leader of a movement to reform the European Union and as defender of the sovereign rights of its member nations.
“Now we will be hunting for big game,” Mr. Orban said. He presented a vision for Europe that stood in stark contrast to the one embraced by Western leaders like President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, with their acceptance of political and ethnic pluralism, dissent and fairly high levels of migration from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
“We need to say it out loud because you can’t reform a nation in secrecy: The era of liberal democracy is over,” Mr. Orban said. “Rather than try to fix a liberal democracy that has run aground, we will build a 21st-century Christian democracy.”
He made no mention of the Hungarian-American financier George Soros, whom he demonized nearly daily during the campaign, or of legislation aimed squarely at institutions connected to Mr. Soros. The laws are still likely to be enacted in some form, according to analysts, but there is no rush, as Mr. Orban made clear in his remarks.
In power since 2010, he confidently suggested that he planned to lead the country until at least 2030.
As lawmakers filed into the majestic Parliament building beside the Danube for their first gathering since last month’s election, passing the Holy Crown of Hungary, worn by monarchs for more than eight centuries, as a string quartet played, the event felt more like a coronation than an inauguration.
While populist leaders in other nations look to Mr. Orban’s political success as inspiration — success that critics say was built on undermining the traditional checks and balances essential to a healthy democracy — worried European Union leaders in Brussels have moved closer to tying the distribution of bloc funds to issues surrounding the basic rule of law.
Mr. Orban contended in a local radio interview that Hungary has a “moral duty” to refuse to take in refugees or asylum seekers as part of any European quota system — setting the stage for yet another bruising battle with Brussels.
“We need the union; the union needs us,” Mr. Orban acknowledged. “We are ready to be reformers in the changes that the E.U. can’t avoid.”
In a reflection of his dominance domestically, he said nothing about his party’s legislative agenda.
“In 2014, the message was ‘Anything can happen,’” said Edit Zgut, an analyst at Political Capital, a research organization based in Budapest. “Now the message is ‘I can do what I want.’”
Stefano Bottoni, a senior fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the author of “Long Awaited West: Eastern Europe since 1944,” said that Mr. Orban, having secured his position in Hungary, wanted to play on a larger stage.
“He wants to represent and give voice to a sovereign Europe, a European Union of nation-states,” Mr. Bottoni said.
In order to do that, he must remain part of the European People’s Party, the continental alliance of center-right parties, and influence it from within. There are already signs that he is adjusting his rhetoric, if not his agenda.
It was Mr. Orban who coined the phrase “illiberal democracy” to describe his government. Now, he has a different way of framing issues, co-opting the term “Christian democracy,” which has long been used to describe Europe’s dominant center-right political ideology.
For generations, Christian democratic parties, notably in Germany and Italy, have blended support for free-market economics and moderately conservative social policies with left-leaning stances on issues like labor rights and the welfare state.
Mr. Orban is framing Christian democracy as something different, a bulwark in a clash of civilizations, with Muslim migrants threatening Christianity and Christian values. His critics say he is hijacking the term to continue a campaign built on fear.
Michael Ignatieff, the president of Central European University in Budapest, said that Mr. Orban had succeeded in making himself a major player in Europe — a remarkable achievement for the leader of a nation of around only 10 million people.
“Is there a larger project in which he can shape Europe as a whole?” he asked. “I don’t know if he is a grand strategist or just a power player.”
It is not an academic question for Mr. Ignatieff, since the fate of his university now rests with Mr. Orban. The university was founded in 1991 with an investment by Mr. Soros, whom Mr. Orban has accused of all sorts of nefarious behavior aimed at undermining Hungarian independence.
Under current law, the university, which has the support of the United States government and powerful figures in the European People’s Party, will not be allowed to accept new students after Jan. 1, 2019. Unless an agreement is reached, it will be forced to close.
Whatever Mr. Orban’s ultimate goals, there is little need for him to rush. The political opposition is now almost an afterthought. Opposition parties failed to unify before their election, allowing Mr. Orban’s Fidesz party and its coalition partner, the Christian Democrats, to win a two-thirds majority.
One of Hungary’s oldest newspapers — one of the few critical voices in a country where Mr. Orban and his allies control most of the news media — closed in April, when its chief financial backer pulled out.
Mr. Orban has said he plans to impose a 25 percent tax on any foreign-funded group that supports migration, a move that would make it nearly impossible for some organizations to continue working.
University professors from 28 countries have signed a letter calling on the government not to take further action against those groups, and appealing to the European Union to “immediately take action to prevent this flagrant human rights violation from happening on its own territory.”
Janos Fonagy, a Fidesz member of Parliament, said it would soon pass “some constitutional amendments” but people should not be concerned.
“There is no need to fear,” he said. “Those that are afraid don’t know what is happening here.”
Outside Parliament, protesters gathered this week for what might have been their last chance to make their voices heard before lawmakers got busy fulfilling the Orban agenda.
The mood was decidedly different from that in the first weeks after the election, when some 100,000 people took to the streets to protest their new government. The recent crowds were smaller — police officers outnumbered demonstrators — and their chants less full-throated. A sense of urgency seemed to be replaced by resignation.
“Our spirit has been broken,” said Laszlo Horvath, a 29-year-old organizer. “What can we do?”
As evening fell and the demonstration got underway, the skies opened up. Pouring rain and chunks of hail sent protesters scrambling for cover.
By the time the skies cleared, just a few dozen people were left, shouting into the night.
Mexican investigators say two European cyclists did not die in an accident as first claimed – they were murdered.
The bodies of Holger Hagenbusch, from Germany, and Krzysztof Chmielewski, from Poland, were found at the bottom of a cliff in Chiapas state.
Local authorities had said the pair appeared to have fallen after losing control.
However, relatives and fellow cyclists suspected it was more sinister, and had called for a deeper investigation.
The newly appointed special prosecutor, Luis Alberto Sánchez, said, on Friday, that they were killed in what appears to have been a robbery.
“Our investigations up to now indicate this was an intentional homicide,” he said.
Chmielewski’s body was found first, 40 metres below the road, on 26 April.
Hagenbusch was found eight days later – on 4 May – further down the ravine, but beneath the same road that runs between Ocosingo and San Cristóbal de las Casas in the country’s far south.
The regional attorney general in Chiapas, Arturo Pablo Lievano, originally said there was no evidence of bad intent and everything pointed to an accident. He said they may have been run off the road by a vehicle.
However, Hagenbusch’s brother, Reiner, told the German press he believed they had been killed and there had been some sort of attempted cover-up.
After travelling to Mexico to identify his brother’s body, he also found out information about the Polish biker.
“The Polish cyclist was decapitated and had a foot missing,” he wrote on Facebook.
Investigators now believe that the pair were assaulted on either the 19 or 20 April.
Chmielewski sustained a head injury that may be a gunshot wound, said Mr Sánchez.
His body was found next to a bike – but it was not his own. It belonged to his German companion, which aroused suspicions.
Talking to BBC Mundo, Mr Sánchez said the assailants were probably trying to cover their tracks. “Those that did this wanted to make it appear like an accident, so they put the bike there, but they made a mistake and used the German’s bike,” he said.
Krzysztof Chmielewski, 37, was a Polish citizen and had been travelling the world by bike for three years.
He had visited 51 countries and in the last year he had been to Canada and the US, before arriving in Mexico. He was planning to continue south all the way to Argentina, and had almost made it to Guatemala when he was killed.
Holger Hagenbusch, a 43-year-old German, was also an experienced cyclist. He had been to 34 countries and had been travelling by bike for four years, according to his blog.
The pair had not set out together, but their paths had crossed in Chiapas.
Mr Sánchez told the BBC: “We think that they were travelling short distance from each other, maybe one was assaulted first … and then the second one arrived and they were both captured.”
He said some of their belongings were missing.
“It was very premature to call this an accident. The bike [belonging to the German] did not show signs of having been in a traffic accident,” he added.
On 6 May, people from nearby San Cristóbal de las Casa walked, with their bikes, to kilometre 158 on the highway where the two men were found.
They carried a bicycle that had been painted white – a symbolic gesture used worldwide for cyclists who die while riding – and called for justice for the pair.
Rainer Hagenbusch posted his thanks on Facebook.
Mexico is struggling to tackle a rising murder rate.
It experienced its most violent year in 2017 with more than 25,000 murders, according to official figures.
It is the highest annual tally since modern records began. Organised crime accounted for nearly three-quarters of those deaths.
Beyond its logic, which this piece will underscore in a short while as coherent, consistent and inherently sound lies a convinced attempt to justify suicide as extensionally apt and inferentially justified unless the agent or subject wishes to call the bluff of the absurdity, ab initio, that is written all over human existence. I have written an earlier article denying whatever value that we as human beings might care to allot to living a long life. If no one never asked to be born such that being born is perceived as an event that one should ever be grateful or thankful for (certainly not to the parents since their joint action is unarguably selfish), then what right might exist for anyone to hold on to such accidental conscription against all odds and at all cost?
What is the worth of living an utterly dependable parasitic vegetative life? Where may we place the merit of living on when the individual can no longer recognize faces around him or her, remember names of close relations, name his or her actual location, remember what the last meal was or, in the least, unable to attend by him or herself to basic hygiene needs? What serious reasons in fact might a culture put forward to justify her standing in praise of longevity? I refer specifically, to the African culture, where there is good suspicion that perhaps the people might simply be oblivious of the worries and quarries raised above and just in case they are not, then maybe such worries are considered irrelevant, redundant and insignificant.
Using the Yoruba community, about which I have a fairly good knowledge, as a case in point, the Yoruba love living and they know how to live life to the hilt. From conception till death, there is something always for the people to be merry about and the ceremonies are generally large, loud and very expensive. Even when you do not have the means, you go borrowing. Specifically regarding staying on in the world, every year may be marked with some celebrations but a great meal is made of years forty, fifty, seventy and one hundred. Same goes for naming ceremonies, engagements, weddings and funerals. With regards to funerals, it is not uncommon to have large outings in memory of long dead parents underscoring still their love of life and living and a clear positive sign of their disposition on longevity. Typical obituary announcements include proclamations of “Celebration of Life” and declarations “Of a life well spent” not minding that the deceased, besides his/her case of chronic senility, actually lived a dependable vegetative life of uncut fifteen years inflicting deadly financial blows on the condemned relations who, with presumably inaudible murmur and existential discomfort, must stoically await the final exit.
We would of course not grudge the Yoruba or any other African community for that matter where there exist still a stubborn affection for life and living at all costs and against all odds. Every culture is free to interpret the realities that confront it in whatever way it deems fit regardless of stiff charges by outside onlookers of irrationality or plain stupidity. The choice option to live in bad faith and, in existential parlance, live inauthentically is always legitimately attractive and open both to individuals and corporate entities for adoption since it offers convenient excuses and makes thinking for oneself unnecessary. The thesis of this article is however larger than a simple reference to any continent, nationality or community. It derives specifically from the idea of shared human universals one of which is the fact of being born or being thrust without consent into existence. Even when the argument for the unreasonableness of human existence may be made and established without contradiction convinced that it is one that ultimately leads nowhere safe the ad hoc improvisations with which we pretend that some meanings exist, the very fact of our contingent nature, ab initio, makes all humans instantiations unnecessary and therefore superfluous. In sum, we need not be here; we need not exist. To put it in another way, the universe will not miss a thing if we never existed.
Even when we grant the fact of human existence, what is being argued consequent upon it is that by the very nature of human essence which forms the ground of our being, human life is by itself always a projection towards suicide. On the one hand, there is the will to live and survive on finding ourselves marooned in the world. So soon however, the futility of even this desire hits us in the face since our birth actually marks the beginning of a definitive inescapable dying process. What is worse, there is nothing that we can do about it. We cannot stop the hour glass from running. As the human being lives his/her every day, he/she is dying to the extent that it is quite appropriate to declare that living is dying in slow motion.
Only a tiny option is therefore left for man against choosing to kill himself because from the moment of birth, apart from the discomforting realization of the generic superfluity of his instantiation, even in existence, the individual is methodically denied the freedom to live courtesy of other people’s dictates and those by phantom society. The actual heroes therefore, if truth must be told, are not those who live according to the dictates and rules that are external to them but those who live and choose for themselves even as they are convinced that human existence is a journey to nowhere; a cull de sac.
So a child is born. Good news that the mother did not die delivering the baby. Good news too albeit selfish, that finally this woman hitherto scorned as barren and unfruitful has finally removed the yoke and stigma of shame. Good news of course too for the Pastor who will now take a bow and take the credit of being a hot miracle worker deserving of tithes and thanksgiving proceeds.
Olajide wrote from Department of philosophy, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti.
Bad news however for the baby who was forced out of the peaceful environment of the uterus into a hot and noisy world where he/she is seized by the midwife from the minute he/she pops out and from there on passed around from one choking embrace to another. In the meantime, he/she must henceforth suck on the mother’s breasts to survive. She must work if she must eat and if she refuses she dies. Even when the baby refuses, he/she, where the food is available and there is love and care, such a headstrong specimen is force fed. His freedom, as if he is thought to have any, is thus so very early stifled. Whatever could count as his choice is made irrelevant and his will impotent and ineffective.
The denial saga within human existence changes in its patterns, forms and intensity as the years pile on. What remains constant however is the art of deliberate denial of the will of the individual to be himself or herself by systems, institutions and persons, to freely choose to be or not to be, to live or not to live. Like the conscripted felon that he is, he must always obey the masters’ voice and bend to the collective whims. The voice could indeed be velvet, subtly clothed in fine silk, with all the trappings of aristocracy and class. It could sometimes be oversaturated with strange beliefs and irrational traditions. Whichever the case may be, the voice is always that of deliberate denial, the refusal of the will and choice of the individual to live or not to live; to be whoever and whatever he wants to be and to be free.
This groundswell refusal, put in another way, is having to be told always what to do what to think; how to perceive things and with what dispositions and biases, which values to absorb and which to treat with distaste, what goals to pursue and how to be a man or a woman; what definitions and measures of success to embrace and how to recognize and define failure, which carrier to pursue and which to shun; how to be the first, how best to lead the parade and win awards and medals, what religious beliefs to adopt, which God to serve and which values to parade. In sum, these are pressures and measures forcefully aimed at denying the individual the will to live and be himself or herself. It is an unrepentant proclamation that one really does not matter; after all, the individual played no part whatsoever in his or her coming into existence.
This then is the burden and callous fate of human existence. It is bad enough that being born is unsolicited. It is even worse that being born is never a favour but a harmful initiative or shall we simply say, a great disservice since nothing lasts. Human life is brief and whatever is described as gains and successes eventually evaporate brutishly with death reducing all human efforts and struggles to zero. Except for those of course who subscribe to the luxury of faith and have been persuaded to look forward to a face to face reunion celebration with God in heaven, human preoccupation when laid bare remains agonisingly absurd and meaningless.
There is, it would seem then from above, a knitted conspiracy by all erected human institution to deny every man or woman the right, freedom and joy to live their brief moment in the sun as they truly desire. Seniors in the Garden of Eden offer no respite. Their choice of freedom and disobedience earned them prompt expulsion and death. Many, as we speak, will thus never find or experience the joy, peace, the happiness and freedom of choosing the tinniest wish for themselves even when they succeed pleasing their parents, pastors, teachers and guardians. This human conspiracy invariably suffocates as there is practically no room left for the discerning individual to breath. In comes then a sense of self loathing and self hatred, an outright failure of self esteem. When it is so crushing, refusing and rejecting Camusean austere message that in the absence of hope we must struggle on to survive, the last jot of excusable authentic freedom is to will and choose exit.
Olajide wrote from Department of philosophy, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti.
(ROHNERT PARK, Calif.) — Police say a man was stabbed to death inside a college dorm Sunday night in Northern California. Another man has been arrested.
The Press Democrat reports that Sonoma State University officials wouldn’t say if the victim or the suspect was enrolled at the university. Sonoma State is about 45 miles north of San Francisco.
Campus police were called to Sauvignon Village residential community Sunday evening and found the man’s remains.
Both the university and police declined to identify either the victim or suspect or provide any detailed information about the incident.
The Sauvignon Village community is described on the university’s website as a housing option for first-time freshmen at the 9,400-student university.
A university spokesman says there is no further risk to students and finals will begin Monday as scheduled.
All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, (suicide) losing, cheating, and mediocrity are easy. Stay away from ease. -Scott Alexander
One major way to measure the degree of development in any society is the value she placed on human life. Even animals operate with the instinct that human life is sacred. This is the reason they initially exhibit fear and flight when they encounter human beings.
Consequently, every progressive human society focuses on the double task of preserving and improving the lives of mortals.Some European and even Asian nations have perfected in this crucial task to a high degree that the elderly cohort (65 and above) form a significant part of their population. In other words, the life expectancy of such nations is high. For instance, the UN 2015 world life expectancy of Nigerian is 52.29 years, UK is 80.45, and Japan is 83.74. The main reason for this divergent disparity in the life expectancy of nations is based on the different values these nations place on the lives of their citizens.
Every institution is a reflection of that society. Consequently, these institutions (family, education, governance, business etc.) become the extensions of the society. They are the vox populi of the larger society.
Two years ago, a national newspaper reported that Nigeria spent over $2 billion annually on educating her citizens abroad. The painful and embarrassing aspect of this ugly event is that, many Nigerian students prefer to obtain their education from poorer West African countries such as Benin, Cameroun, Togo and Ghana than Nigeria. Yet, there was a season in this country when Nigerian universities attracted foreign students from Africa, Europe, Asia and America. One would ask, what went wrong with our educational system?
Simply put, it is the result of substandard thinking and living. Our priorities and value system shifted from supporting quality education to wastage of resources. The increase in the number of universities in Nigeria isn’t commensurate to the quality of degrees produced. The malignant cancerous tumour which has infested our tertiary institutions is hydra headed and come in the form of leadership ineptitude, poor funding, lack of equipment and literature and deliberate neglect. The rut and rust in our educational system started from the primary and secondary and now at the tertiary level, it has festered and is generating fetid odours.
When teachers welfare, training and equipping are neglected, pupils and students study under terrible classroom conditions, parents encourage examination malpractices and both teachers and students engage in clandestine activities, then the result can only be a feast of doom.
A look at the Nigerian business and commerce institutions leaves much to be desired. Sharp practices mark the delivery of goods and services. Such notorious practices like, manufacturing and marketing of substandard products go on unabated in spite of the acclaimed efforts of the designated government agencies such as SON, NAFDAC, customs and exercise departments. Conspiracies at the local and international levels go on to achieve profiteering targets against the citizens of this country. One obvious manifestation of this conspiracy is the intractable difficulties perpetrated against the programme of achieving regular availability of power to the Nigerian populace. The result is that every Nigerian family patronises generator companies.
Like someone rightly said, every Nigerian family assumes the status of a local government because, she generates her own power, supplies her water, provides health services for her family members as well as constructs her own road network. This is a very unfortunate state of affair. The result of such individualistic pursuits is substandard living.
Consider this scenario – in spite of the quality and version of the vehicle one acquires it will ply the same bad road every other Nigerian uses. Many of our roads are either totally neglected or partially maintained. The wear and tear on the vehicles are almost inestimable. More dangerously too, these bad roads facilitate the occurrence of many accidents which claim the lives of our citizens.
The degenerating state of the Nigerian health sector is incalculable. Stretching back from the period when one of the reasons for military coup was because our hospitals had become mere consulting clinics till today, the health institution in Nigeria is almost reaching a comatose stage. The proofs are there for everyone to see. These include, the scarcity of quality drugs, and equipment, the increasing tendency of our people to patronise quarks, the unabated practice of our rich elite and government officials to patronise foreign hospitals, the poor remuneration and delay in the payment of salaries of medical and paramedical personnel.
Perhaps, one may not find any institution in our country that is corruption free. Think of such sublime issues in our country like, mortuary workers, cleaners at our airports, law enforcement agents, lecturers and legislators, and the electorates, executives and executors all demanding bribe in order to offer service undue benefit to people. We have developed a culture of profiteering instead of providing quality goods and services; one of usurping instead of investing, one of harming instead of helping others.
The list of proofs of substandard living in our country is inexhaustive. The big challenge is how to engage ourselves in a turnaround programme which will produce citizens in pursuit of quality living and nobility. Like Alexander Scott counselled at the beginning of this discourse, we should stay away from a life of ease. The life of ease honours laziness but despises diligence, promotes mediocrity over excellence, encourages the notorious lifestyle of the Nouveau riche which like a putrefying sour has bred numerous worms in our nation. It is time for Nigerians to resolve to pursue excellence, nobility, and such virtues which add value to life. I believe that we are able because when Nigerians travel abroad, they confirm and even excel beyond the dictates of the laws of those foreign nations. Several Nigerians are excelling abroad in almost every aspect of life. From arts, Information technology, pharmacy, medicine to engineering, business, governance and religion, Nigerians who live outside the shores of this nation prove beyond all reasonable doubts that they can pursue and achieve a life of all round excellence. Can charity begin at home?
Dr. Passy Amaraegbu is a clinical psychologist and author, lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
MEGHAN Markle is related to Jack the Ripper serial killer suspect H.H. Holmes, her family has claimed. The US actress’ ancestor could be the American medic, who confessed to 27 murders in the 19th century and has been linked to the grisly murders in 1888 London. H. H. Holmes was a serial killer who lived in…
MEGHAN Markle is related to Jack the Ripper serial killer suspect H.H. Holmes, her family has claimed.
The US actress’ ancestor could be the American medic, who confessed to 27 murders in the 19th century and has been linked to the grisly murders in 1888 London.
Serial killer H.H. Holmes murdered at least nine known victims, targeting his victims in a specialist Factory of Death hotel, and was executed in 1896 – with some theories suggesting he had travelled to the UK to unleash the horrific killings in London’s East End to become Jack the Ripper.
The eighth cousin of Prince Harry’s fiancée lawyer Jeff Mudgett has since claimed the family is related to the notorious killer, telling the Daily Star: “We did a study with the FBI and CIA and Scotland Yard regarding handwriting analysis.
“It turns out he was Jack the Ripper. This means Meghan is related to Jack the Ripper.
“I don’t think the Queen knows. I am not proud he is my ancestor. Meghan won’t be either.”
While Holmes was confirmed to have killed nine people at the time of his death, there have been suggestions that his body count could have totalled more than 200.
It comes as Meghan Markle readies herself to walk down the aisle to marry Prince Harry this weekend.
Holmes’ crimes saw him dubbed America’s first serial killer, with his crimes inspiring Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City.
Author Erik Larson told The Sun: “Holmes was a complete psychopath, utterly lacking a moral core.
Herman Webster Mudgett was born in May, 1861 – going on to become one of America’s first known serial killers.
As a young man, Herman grew up in a small New Hampshire town, becoming fascinated with taking apart local dogs and rabbits, it has been claimed.
He then enrolled in medical school, allegedly taking out life insurance policies on fictional people that he had created and listed himself as a beneficiary.
Mudgett later changed his name ot Henry Howard Holmes, moving to Chicago.
It was there that he built a property which was dubbed the “Castle” by locals.
The building allegedly included a labyrinth of corridors, trapdoors and horrors, with Holmes gonig on to seduce women, have them list him on their life insurance, then murder them.
He was ultimately put on trial for the murder of his accomplice Benjamin Pitezel, confessing to killing 27 people during the police investigation.
However, the true number of his victims may never be known, with the body count potentially as high as 200.
It has previously been claimed that Holmes travelled to the UK at one point in his life, unleashing the Jack the Ripper murders.
“He would just as soon kill you as buy you a drink. He had zero sense of right and wrong.
“He sought stimulation in manipulation, and was utterly charming in ways that were unfamiliar to women at the time — and thus very compelling.”
Warped Dr Holmes, who was dubbed the Beast of Chicago, was born Herman Webster Mudgett to a rich family in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, in May 1861.
He studied medicine at the University of Michigan, where he stole corpses to perform experiments on and he also started making false insurance claims.
His killing rampage began after he moved to Chicago in 1886, changed his named to Henry H Holmes and started to construct a three-storey hotel designed to trap and kill his guests.
Seoul, May 14 (IANS) South Korean football coach, Shin Tae-yong, on Monday presented a preliminary list of 28 players for the 2018 Russian World Cup and explained that he hopes to announce a final squad of 23 players on June 3. The roster has been increased to 28 as several players are still recovering from…
Seoul, May 14 (IANS) South Korean football coach, Shin Tae-yong, on Monday presented a preliminary list of 28 players for the 2018 Russian World Cup and explained that he hopes to announce a final squad of 23 players on June 3.
The roster has been increased to 28 as several players are still recovering from injuries and their current state doesn’t allow their presence in the final list to be confirmed, Efe news reported quoting Shin’s statement.
Although half of the list has players from the domestic league, the primary core of the group is made up of players from European clubs and with a lot of experience.
Set to headline the national team is Tottenham Hotspur attacker Son Heung-min.
Old faces like midfielders Koo Ja-Cheol (Augsburg), Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City) and Lee Chung-yong (Crystal Palace) also feature on the list.
Although there are veterans over 30 years of age such as strikers Lee Keun-ho (Gangwon FC) or Kim Shin-wook (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Shin seems to be betting on a face-lift to avoid a repeat of the team’s poor performance at the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
Only nine players from the former world cup are back on the team, with the addition of new talents like Lee Seung-Woo (nicknamed “South Korean Messi”), who in 2018 debuted in the Serie A with the Hellas Verona FC after his transfer from Barcelona.
South Korea, which has been put in Group F with Mexico, Sweden and Germany opens against Sweden in Nizhny Novgorod on June 18 and will play with Mexico in Rostov on June 23 before closing the group matches in Kazan against Germany on June 27.
PAHOA, Hawaii, May 13 (Reuters) – Two new fissures opened on Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, hurling bursts of rock and magma with an ear-piercing screech on Sunday, threatening nearby homes and prompting authorities to order new evacuations. One new fissure from Sunday morning was a vivid gouge of magma with smoke pouring out both ends and…
Lucknow, May 14 (IANS) Robbers claiming to be Uttar Pradesh Police personnel attacked two Buddhist monks and injured them early on Monday at a library Farrukhabad district, police said. Six gun-wielding robbers, who were yet to be identified, barged into the Buddha Vihar library in Sankisa area and attacked the monks before decamping with five…
Lucknow, May 14 (IANS) Robbers claiming to be Uttar Pradesh Police personnel attacked two Buddhist monks and injured them early on Monday at a library Farrukhabad district, police said.
Six gun-wielding robbers, who were yet to be identified, barged into the Buddha Vihar library in Sankisa area and attacked the monks before decamping with five mobile phones, one bike and Rs 40,000 in cash.
Monk Bhatte Chaitsik said, on being asked the robbers told them they were from the Uttar Pradesh Police. Later, they thrashed the monks and robbed them off their belongings, police said.
The monks managed to reach the roof somehow and dialled UP 100 service with the help of a neighbour. A First Information Report has been registered.
Farrukhabad Superintendent of Police Mrigank Singh told IANS that the monks were injured and added that the police were trying to crack the case at the earliest.
Sankisa is a major tourist and spiritual draw for Buddhists who come here from across the world, round the year.
Joshua beat Parker in his last fight to pick up the WBO belt (Picture: Getty)Anthony Joshua is set to sign a new year-three deal with Matchroom Boxing worth £100 million, according to The Sun. Joshua won Olympic gold at the London 2012 games, and turned professional with Matchroom swiftly after.
Joshua won Olympic gold at the London 2012 games, and turned professional with Matchroom swiftly after.
Since his decision to make the step up to the professional ranks, he’s become a three-belt heavyweight world champion after just 21 fights, all under the promotional banner of Matchroom.
By Rajnish Singh New Delhi,
The CBI is probing another loan of Rs 5,280 crore taken by diamond trader Mehul Choksi and his companies from a consortium of 31 banks led by ICICI Bank, informed sources said. The probe is part of the existing FIR filed against Choksi and his Gitanjali Group of companies, said the sources. They said the Rs 5,280 crore loan amount was separate from the Rs 13,600 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud already being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “The investigation is under the purview of working capital loan and it may become the part of the existing PNB fraud cases. If this proves to be a fraud too, the whole fraud amount may officially touch Rs 19,000 crore.
” As per the complaints of PNB, the country’s second-biggest state-run lender, the CBI is currently probing about Rs 7,080 crore fraud during 2013-17 against Gitanjali Gems Ltd, Gill India Ltd, Nakshatra Brand Ltd and Asmi Jewellery India Ltd. The CBI on February 15 filed a case against Gitanjali group of companies controlled by Choksi for allegedly defrauding the bank of Rs 4,8886.72 crore. Later the agency got another PNB complaint on February 22 wherein the fraud in respect of Foreign Letter of Credits increased by another Rs 1,251.56 crore. The agency on March 4 received another complaint from PNB against Gitanjali Group regarding additional exposure of about Rs 942.18 crore. Choksi, the chairman of the Gitanjali Group, was so far accused along with his nephew Nirav Modi in the Rs 13,600 crore PNB bank fraud. The CBI has registered separate FIRs in connection with the case.
Billionaire diamantaire Modi, a regular on the lists of rich and famous Indians since 2013, his group companies — Diamond R US, Stellar Diamond and Solar Exports– his wife Ami and brother Nishal Modi are also named in along with others in the fraud, admitted by the PNB in February and leading to a massive upheaval in the country’s banking system. Choksi, Modi and his family are still at large as they fled abroad in first week of January – around a month before the PNB filed first complaint against them about the fraud.
The PNB has claimed in different complaints to the CBI that several LoUs — issued by one bank to other banks, based on which foreign branches offer credit to buyers — were fraudulently issued by its officials in connivance with Modi and the other accused in the case causing huge losses to the bank. (Rajnish Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mumbai, May 14 (IANS) The CBI on Monday filed a chargesheet against some former and current bank officials and several others in the over Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case allegedly perpetrated by diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi. The agency filed the chargesheet before a special Central Bureau of…
Mumbai, May 14 (IANS) The CBI on Monday filed a chargesheet against some former and current bank officials and several others in the over Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case allegedly perpetrated by diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.
The agency filed the chargesheet before a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here.
The chargesheet is based on the first FIR the agency registered on January 31 against Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and uncle Choksi along with some others following January 29 complaint to it by the Deputy General Manager of the PNB’s Zonal office in Mumabi.
The CBI later registered two more FIRs in connection with the case. Most of the accused in these cases are common.
So far, 19 people have been arrested in the case while Modi and Choksi are on the run. All of them will be named in the chargesheet.
Israeli gunfire killed at least one Palestinian and injured wounded at least 28 other along the Gaza border on Monday, medics said, and protesters streamed to the frontier for the climax of a six-week demonstration as the United States prepared to open its embassy in Jerusalem. Larger crowds were expected to gather later in the […]
Israeli gunfire killed at least one Palestinian and injured wounded at least 28 other along the Gaza border on Monday, medics said, and protesters streamed to the frontier for the climax of a six-week demonstration as the United States prepared to open its embassy in Jerusalem.
Larger crowds were expected to gather later in the day to protest the move of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem.
The embassy inauguration was due to occur at 4:00 pm (1300 GMT).
Smoke rises as Palestinians protest near the border fence on the Gaza side of the Israel-Gaza border, as seen from the Israeli side of the border, May 14, 2018 (Reuters Photo)
Fifty-four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since protests and clashes began along the Gaza border on March 30.
The protests are calling for Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation to be allowed to return to their homes now inside Israel.
No Israelis have been wounded and the military has faced criticism over the use of live fire.
Israel says it only opens fire when necessary to stop infiltrations, attacks and damage to the border fence while accusing Hamas of seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence
Bilal Fasayfes, 31, was getting on a free bus to the border with his wife and two children in the southern Gazan city of Khan Yunis.
“If half the people die we won’t care,” he said.
“We will keep going so the other half can live with dignity.”
Also in Khan Yunis, groups of masked young men, some carrying wooden bats, walked between shops forcing them to close to respect a general strike.
Muataz al-Najjar, 18, who was wounded four times in the last seven weeks, once from a bullet and the others from gas canisters, said he hoped to break through the fence.
“We will return and the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv will be prevented.”
At Shifa Hospital, where doctors say they are running low on crucial supplies and being forced to discharge patients early to make space for the next wave, a large tent was established outside in front of the emergency room.
At mosques in the cities, large speakers were set up that are expected to broadcast messages encouraging people to go to the border.
Faris Abu Hajaras, 50, said his family was from Jaffa, now within Israel, but he had never been there. He is a builder but said Israel’s blockade of the strip meant there was no work.
“We will stay peaceful with our hands like this,” he said, lifting them to the sky. “But death comes from God. Maybe you and I are walking together and you get shot in the head and I will be fine.”
https://guardian.ng/news/police-arrest-eight-jewish-leaders-near-nnamdi-kanus-house/ Police arrest eight Jewish leaders near Nnamdi Kanu’s house — Nigeria — The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper – Nigeria and World News
WWE star Charlotte Flair was forced to undergo dental surgery after having her teeth knocked out at a live event. The Queen, 32, suffered the blow during the first night of WWE’s European tour in Oberhausen, Germany. WWE star Charlotte Flair has been forced to undergo dental surgery after her teeth were knocked outInstagramThe SmackDown…
WWE star Charlotte Flair was forced to undergo dental surgery after having her teeth knocked out at a live event.
The Queen, 32, suffered the blow during the first night of WWE’s European tour in Oberhausen, Germany.
Video footage emerged of Charlotte, daughter of the legendary Ric Flair, embracing fans at ringside after her match against Carmella.
But she covered her mouth to hide the damage to her mouth and told a youngster trying to grab a snap with her: “I can’t take a picture, I lost my teeth.”
Flair immediately flew back to North Carolina to undergo surgery.
And it appears to have been a success as the grappler shared images of herself after the procedure.
But the former Women’s Champion will not be heading to London for tomorrow’s SmackDown Live taping at the O2.
It has now emerged that she was due to head back to the States from Europe at the weekend anyway as she will join Stephanie McMahon at a business summit presentation.
The dental surgery is the latest knock for the popular and trailblazing superstar.
SunSport reported last week that she will soon undergo an operation to have a ruptured breast implant repaired that could rule her out of action for a short time.
|Susan Wright for The New York Times|
|• Catania, Sicily’s second-largest city, doesn’t attract the same kind of attention as Palermo. But its fine architecture, markets and centuries of history are coming into the spotlight.|
|• Ian McEwan’s novel “On Chesil Beach” is his sixth to be made into a film, and the English writer played a surprisingly key role in the creative process.|
|• In memoriam: Evgeni Vasiukov, 85, a Russian chess grandmaster who wasone of the world’s best players during the Soviet era.|
|Sipa, via Associated Press|
|It’s one of the most enduring symbols in rock ’n’ roll: the “Hot Lips” logo of the Rolling Stones.|
|The red lips and protruding tongue debuted on the 1971 album “Sticky Fingers” and have appeared somewhere on every album since.|
|The logo’s designer, John Pasche, said his favorite work by the band was its next album, “Exile on Main St.,” because of “its gritty, raw quality.” It was released this week in 1972.|
|Mick Jagger commissioned the logo when Mr. Pasche was a student at the Royal College of Art in London. Mr. Jagger was inspired by Kali, a Hindu goddess with multiple arms and a pointed tongue, but Mr. Pasche was inspired by the lead singer’s mouth.|
|Mr. Pasche said he worked on the logo nonstop for two weeks, for which he was paid £50. (A modified version appeared in the United States.)|
|“It was just a lucky break,” said Mr. Pasche, who also designed posters for the band. “Right place, right time.”|
|Since then, his simple, anti-authoritarian logo has appeared in some odd places. It has been replicated as mouth-shaped urinals and, Mr. Pasche said, “a fan once sent me a photo of the logo tattooed on his girlfriend’s back side.”|
|Robb Todd wrote today’s Back Story.|
The Guardian further gathered that the company, which faces a major challenge from at least two sides – a lawsuit in Nigeria and stiff opposition from fellow competitor and bidder, Smile Telecom – had hired UBS to help it raise a $300 million bridge loan from local banks and investors to cement the acquisition.
UBS is a global firm providing financial services in over 50 countries.Information from TMT Finance.com, a news platform, also indicated that losing Smile Telecom has been lobbying which could end up with Teleology being auditioned at the House of Representatives to present the viability of its project for 9Mobile.
A Nigerian High Court has also put on hold the sale of mobile firm following opposition to the deal by some shareholders. The move is particularly being challenged by Katsina businessman, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal.
However, sources added that it would be hard to find grounds to stop the deal from happening.As for the court order, the local councils overseeing the case have already given an informal approval for the deal to go ahead, sources commented.
Considering all the delays, the transaction could close late June.TMT, which also confirmed the involvement of UBS to get $300 million, informed that Teleology made an offer of $500 million for 9Mobile, adding that the balance of $200 million would be raised via equity.Teleology, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), was set up by Nigerian investors. Teleology is under the stewardship of Adrian Wood, the pioneer Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria.Already, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it would not approve the sale of telecommunications firm to any bidder without technical competence.
According to the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umaru Danbatta, during an interaction with journalists, a “preferred bidder for 9Mobile had emerged with the full participation of NCC,” adding that the bidder was already undergoing financial evaluation.He added: “Once the Central Bank of Nigeria has done the financial evaluation of the bidder, NCC will also examine the technical capacity of the preferred bidder.“If the financial evaluation process was not done properly, the CBN would address questions on that. The examination process is meant to be open and transparent.”