Some weeks back, Nigerians were all over the social media speculating that Nollywood actress Tonto Dikeh would be representing the country at this year’s Big Brother 8 which the actress went on twitter to deny.
Well, it is a clear fact that Kenya will be represented by the vivacious model and socialite Huddah ‘Empress’ Monroe and various nude pictures of hers which has splashed all over the internet is an indication of something to look forward to for avid watchers of the Big Brother episodes.
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Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was sentenced to death for the 2007 killing of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former employee of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
A court ruled that she killed Morteza on purpose because she had bought the knife two days before she stabbed him in the back with it. In her defence, Reyhaney said she'd stabbed the man out of self defence. The court overruled her claims and sentenced her to death, a ruling which was upheld by Iran's Supreme court.
The execution was carried out today after the victim's family refused to pardon Reyhaney or accept money from her family. Many human rights bodies including Amnesty International had over the years called on Iran's judiciary to halt the execution but they went ahead with it. Her mother confirmed it, saying Reyhaney was hanged in a Tehran prison very early this morning.
The United Nations has said she never received a fair trial. The U.S. State Department also said there were concerns about the trial.
"There were serious concerns with the fairness of the trial and the circumstances surrounding this case, including reports of confessions made under severe duress," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday.
"We condemn this morning's execution in Iran of Reyhaneh Jabbari, an Iranian woman convicted of killing a man she said she stabbed in self-defense during a sexual assault," Psaki said.
Jabbari's execution was originally scheduled for September 30, but was postponed. Amnesty International said the delay may have been in response to the public outcry against the execution.
Jabbari was convicted of murder after "a flawed investigation and unfair trial," according to Amnesty International.
The United Nations has said Sarbandi hired Jabbari -- then a 19-year-old interior designer -- to work on his office. She stabbed him after he sexually assaulted her, it said.
Jabbari was held in solitary confinement without access to her lawyer and family for two months, Amnesty International said in a statement. She was tortured during that time, the group said.
"Amnesty International understands that, at the outset of the investigation, Reyhaneh Jabbari admitted to stabbing the man once in the back, but claimed she had done so after he had tried to sexually abuse her," the rights group said. "She also maintained that a third person in the house had been involved in the killing. These claims, if proven, could exonerate her but are believed never to have been properly investigated, raising many questions about the circumstances of the killing."
Iranian Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi joined scores of Iranian artists and musicians calling for a halt to the execution. In an open letter, Farhadi asked the victim's family to pardon her, a possibility under Iranian law.
Rights groups have criticized Iran for a surge in executions under Hassan Rouhani in his first year as president.
UK Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said he was "very concerned and saddened" that Jabbari had been executed, especially given the questions concerning due process in the case.
"The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, noted that her conviction was allegedly based on confessions made while under threat, and the court failed to take into account all evidence into its judgment," he said in a statement.
"Actions like these do not help Iran build confidence or trust with the international community. I urge Iran to put a moratorium on all executions."
According to the United Nations, Iran has executed at least 170 people this year. Last year, it executed more people than any other country with the exception of China, the world's most populous nation.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking in July, said the death penalty has no place in the 21st century and urged all countries to work toward its abolition.
Source: CNNread more
While Nigeria waits with bated breath for the release of the Chibok girls on Monday 27th October, 2014 as promised, the Borno State government has announced that it has trained medical personnel at the Chibok General Hospital, so there is a professional psychological counselling as soon as the girls are released.
Alhaji Ahmed Sanda, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Health has said the training is dedicated to building capacity in the personnel to handle the Chibok girls when they are released.
The medical personnel will also attend to the parents of the Chibok Girls.read more
The United Nations International Children Fund, Kaduna field office, has commended the efforts of Zamfara Government in its fight against poliomyelitis.
UNICEF Communications Officer, Alhaji Rabiu Musa, at an occasion to mark this year’s World Polio Day in the state, described the measures put in place by the state government as “remarkable and worthy of emulation by all”.
He said if the state government maintained the tempo, the issue of poliomyelitis would soon be history in the state.
Hajiya Hajara Janyau, the representative of the state deputy governor’s wife who is also the wife of the state commissioner of health, had earlier said the state had continued to receive various national and international awards following the initiatives it was putting in place to fight the disease.
She also said the state government had doubled its performances in routine immunisation against the six child-killer diseases through the expansion of the scheme to cover all health facilities in the state.
In his contribution, the representative of WHO, Alhaji Yusuf Argungu, urged parents in the state to continue to present their children for immunisation against the six child-killer diseases.
NAN reports that many stakeholders in the health sector and traditional rulers attended the event, which took place at the Gusau Township Stadium.read more
Mali authorities on Saturday scrambled to calm fears over Ebola after the disease claimed its first victim in the African country, a contagious toddler who took a 1,000-kilometre journey on public buses before seeking treatment.
The World Health Organization warned the situation in Mali was an "emergency," and said in its latest Ebola situation report that the biggest outbreak on record has now killed 4,922 people, the vast majority of them in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 10,141 cases reported.
The US states of New York and New Jersey ordered mandatory quarantine for medics who had treated victims of the disease in west Africa, after a doctor who had returned from the region became the first Ebola case in New York City.
President Barack Obama sought to calm a jittery public by hugging one of the two nurses who became the first to contract Ebola on American soil after treating a patient, but has now been declared free of the disease.
Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita aimed to ease fears after the death of a two-year-old girl, the first Ebola case in the landlocked country, who travelled from neighbouring Guinea.
"We are doing everything to prevent panic and psychosis," he said in an interview with French radio.
"Since the start of this epidemic, we in Mali took all measures to be safe, but we never hermetically sealed ourselves from this," he said.
"Guinea is a neighbouring country, we have a common border that we have not closed and that we will not close."
- Mali 'emergency' -
But WHO said it was treating the situation in Mali as an "emergency" because the toddler had travelled for hundreds of kilometres on public transport with her grandmother while showing symptoms of the disease -- meaning that she was contagious.
She was said to be secreting bodily fluids -- contact with which is how the virus is passed on.
"The child's symptomatic state during the bus journey is especially concerning, as it presented multiple opportunities for exposures -– including high-risk exposures -- involving many people," the UN agency said.
The girl and her grandmother travelled by public transport from Keweni in Guinea through the towns of Kankan, Sigouri and Kouremale to the Malian capital, Bamako.
"The two stayed in Bamako for two hours before travelling on to Kayes," in Mali's southwest, where treatment was sought for the child, the WHO said.
The route made for a journey of around 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) that would likely take the better part of 24 hours.
"Bleeding from the nose began while both were still in Guinea, meaning that the child was symptomatic during their travels through Mali... multiple opportunities for exposure occurred when the child was visibly symptomatic."
An Ebola victim is contagious when showing symptoms of the virus, such as a high fever.
The Malian authorities were tracing everyone who had contact with the girl and her grandmother and 43 people had been placed under observation, the WHO said.
- Mandatory US quarantines -
New York City's first Ebola case, 33-year-old doctor Craig Spencer who fell ill one week after returning from treating patients in Guinea, was said to be in a stable condition in isolation at the city's Bellevue Hospital Center.
His fiancee and two of his friends are in quarantine but appear healthy, officials said.
In the wake of his diagnosis in the country's largest city, the US states of New York and New Jersey ordered mandatory quarantines of 21 days -- the maximum gestation period for Ebola -- for any individuals who have had direct contact with an Ebola patient while in the worst affected countries.
Dallas-based nurse Nina Pham, who became the first person to contract Ebola in the US after treating an Ebola patient who eventually died at a Dallas hospital, was declared free of the disease.
"I am on my way back to recovery even as I reflect on how many others have not been so fortunate," Pham said before meeting Obama, who gave her a bear hug in an effort to reassure a public nervous over the virus.
Her nursing colleague Amber Vinson, who had also caught the disease, has also been given the all-clear.
- Vaccine doses by 2015 -
The search for an effective vaccine to fight the disease for which there is currently no licensed cure took on fresh urgency as the WHO said several hundred thousand doses could be available in the "first half" of 2015.
Experts are pinning their hopes on the experimental vaccine rVSV, with doses arriving in Geneva for a new round of trials, and ChAd3, made by Britain's GlaxoSmithKline.
Five other potential vaccines are in the pipeline.
Whichever proves effective in trials, WHO hopes to send huge numbers of doses to Africa for "real-world" tests.
"The pharmaceutical companies developing all these vaccines are committing to ramping up the production capacity to millions of doses to be available in 2015," said WHO assistant director general Marie-Paule Kieny.read more
Forbes Africa has announced the nominees for the 2014 person of the year award, with three Nigerians making the list. The Nigerian are businessman and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote; award winning author, Chimamande Adichie and the director general of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arumah Oteh.
Other nominees are South African advocate, Thuli Madonsela who helped in drafting the country’s constitution in 1994 and was named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Also nominated is Rwandan economist, Donald Kaberuka, who has served as the president of African Development Bank.
The award, according to Forbes seeks to “reward the individual who, for better or worse, has had the most influence on business on the year gone by” and will take place on Thursday, December 4, 2014
The 2013 award went to Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s minister of agriculture and rural development.read more
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