Friday, August 26, 2016

Youths Blow Up Isoko Union Secretariat

TENSION heightened at Oleh, headquarters of Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State Friday, following the bombing of the National Secretariat of the the Isoko Development Union, IDU, by suspected youths from the area.

The youths, who had earlier invaded the secretariat on 13 August, 2016, blew up the building at about 4am this morning, destroying the entire structure.
Blogger Tricks

Minister Beaten To Death By Striking Miners

Bolivian miners on Thursday during a clash with the police in the town of Panduro hacked the Deputy Interior Minister to death.

Interior Minister, Carlos Romero, confirmed on Friday that reports by witnesses indicated that the 55-year-old was beaten to death following clashes between police and miners in the town of Panduro, 165 kilometres south-east of La Paz.

Romero said Illanes had been kidnapped by miners after attempting to initiate talks with them at a roadblock.

The minister, who spoke of a “cowardly and brutal” murder, added that his aide was also injured and was taken to hospital.

He said that one miner was reportedly also killed in the Thursday’s clashes, bringing the death toll in several days of protests against controversial trade union legislation to three. “Two miners were killed on Wednesday.

“Around 100 miners were detained after Thursday’s protests,’’ he said. Miners currently represented by independently organized cooperatives have been using street blockades to protest against a law allowing them to join trade unions.

The national federation of mining cooperatives (Fencomin) representing some 10,000 miners rejects any trade union influence on Bolivia’s mining sector.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Man gets 40 years for pouring scalding water on gay couple

A judge sentenced a Georgia man to 40 years in prison Wednesday for throwing scalding water on a gay couple sleeping in an apartment, leaving them with severe burns that required surgery.

Jurors deliberated for about 90 minutes before finding Martin Blackwell, 48, guilty of eight counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault in the February attack on Anthony Gooden and Marquez Tolbert.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Henry Newkirk said the evidence was overwhelming and that Blackwell had behaved in a soulless and malicious way. He noted that it "takes a long time" for a pot of water to boil.

"You had so many outs where the voice of reason could have taken over," the judge told Blackwell, who had faced up to 80 years in prison.

Prosecutors said it was a vicious, premeditated attack. Tolbert testified that after pouring hot water on them, Blackwell grabbed him as he jumped and screamed in pain and told him: "Get out of my house with all that gay."

Georgia doesn't have a hate crime law. The FBI said in March that it had opened a hate crime investigation, but spokesman Kevin Rowson said Wednesday that the agency isn't commenting on that probe.

Blackwell's defense attorney acknowledged that he poured water on the pair, but asked jurors to find that it was reckless conduct.

"It's not about hate. It's about old-school culture, old-school thinking," Monique Walker told the jury.

The defense didn't call any witnesses and didn't present any evidence. Blackwell, who remained stoic throughout the trial, did not take the stand. He showed no reaction when the verdict was read.

Blackwell was a long-distance truck driver and lived with his girlfriend, Kim Foster, at her sister's apartment in College Park when he was in town. Gooden, who is Foster's son, and Tolbert had been dating about a month and were sleeping at the apartment Feb. 12 after working an overnight shift when Blackwell dumped scalding water on them.

Blackwell's attorney said her client felt the young men's behavior was disrespectful and that there were certain things people sharing a house shouldn't do.

Prosecutor Fani Willis scoffed at the idea.

"We're not going back to when you get to treat people differently because of who they are," she said in closing arguments.

Walker said Blackwell often made inappropriate comments to various members of the household — asking about their sex lives and calling them derogatory names — and throwing water on the pair was just an extension of that reckless behavior. He didn't intend to hurt the young men, he just wanted to get them to stop their disrespectful behavior, she said.

The prosecutor said Blackwell's actions were well thought out. He took the time to select the biggest pot in the house, filled it with water and waited for it to boil. That gave him plenty of time to think about what he was doing and the consequences, Willis said.

Gooden, 24, spent about a month in the hospital, two weeks of that in a medically induced coma, and Tolbert, 21, spent 10 days in the hospital. Both men suffered severe burns that required multiple surgeries and skin grafts.

They both testified Tuesday that they suffered great pain and were unable to perform even the most basic everyday tasks — eating, bathing and using the bathroom — without help when they got out of the hospital.

"I'm ecstatic. I think justice has been served," Tolbert told reporters after the verdict. He was nervous before the trial, but once he testified about what had happened he felt a weight lift, he said.

Having gone through such an ordeal makes him realize that life is precious, Tolbert said, and he's ready to move on and focus on going to school to study architecture with a minor in computer engineering. He and Gooden remain friends and check in on each other to see how the other is healing, he said.

Prosecutors asked jurors to find Blackwell guilty of aggravated battery for disfigurement and loss of use of body parts and guilty of aggravated assault for dumping the hot water on them.

World Bank officials drown in Ekiti dam

Egbe Dam is the biggest of the six dams in the state.

Mrs Folasade Akinrinmola, the chairman of the council and the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Albert Adeyemi, both confirmed this development to newsmen on Thursday.

Akinrinmola said that the incident which occurred on Wednesday’s night involved a team of seven contractors employed by the World Bank on an assessment mission to the dam.

She said that the team had commenced work on Tuesday night from a section of the dam and moving to the other section when the incident happened on Wednesday.

She said that the traditional ruler of Egbe notified her of the incident.

“We immediately mobilised a rescue team and an ambulance, and in the process, those wearing life jackets were rescued.

“The rescued people were the ones who told us that others were in the water.

“The bodies of those that had drowned were later retrieved by the local fishermen.”

“One of the dead victims was said to be the son of the leader of the team who providentially escaped unhurt.

“We believe that they came to Ekiti based on some of the proposals we had written on the dam on how it can be put to use.

“We believe that the World Bank has started work on the dam based on their findings,” she said.

The council boss who described the incident as sad and unfortunate, added that the bodies of the dead have been deposited at the mortuary in Ode-Ekiti, the headquarters of the council area.

DSP Alberto Adeyemi, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Ekiti State Police Command, also confirmed the incident.

“It is true that the boat transporting the team capsized, four of them died while three survived,” he said.

One killed, vehicles, houses torched in Benin fuel fire

One person was feared killed yesterday in Benin, following an early morning accident caused by an explosion of a fuel-laden tanker.

The resulting fire from the explosion razed two blocks of shops and, at least, six vehicles parked by the sides of the road.
Eyewitness account said the fuel-laden truck fell on the expressway at Upper Mission Road junction in Aduwawa area at about 6:48 am, while the explosion occurred about one hour after the incident.
Some residents of the area and drivers reportedly engaged in scooping fuel from the tanker into jerry cans shortly after it fell, thereby, creating traffic jam on the ever busy section of the road.
Observers blamed the condition of the expressway for the accident, liking the road to a death trap.
It was learnt that after the tanker fell, some officials arrived the scene to condone off traffic around the fallen tanker, but the explosion suddenly occurred when an Audi taxi driver, drove into the side of flowing fuel.
A young man whose identity could not be ascertained was said to be the biggest victim of the explosion, with many expressing doubts about his survival due to the degree of his burns, even as he was rushed to the hospital.
Three other persons were said to have sustained different degrees of burns in the accident.
A shop owner, Mrs Deborah Afubeli, whose provision shop was razed, said she lost goods worth about N2 million to the explosion.
Director of the Edo State Fire Service, Mr. Franklin Agbonlahor, who spoke  at the scene of the accident, said the explosion was extinguished shortly after his team received a distress call at about 8:30am.
He blamed the driver of the Audi car for the accident, saying he refused to heed instructions when flagged down.
“The story is positive; the fire was brought under ‎control. A vehicle defied instructions of people that were flagging vehicles down when this happened. Immediately he came across the tanker, fire was ignited.
“So, road users should try as much as possible to have patience. When there is a distress situation, they should try and listen to anybody flagging you down. Life has no spare parts,” Agbonlahor said.

Gunmen in police caps overrun Enugu, one killed

There was pandemonium in some parts of Enugu State capital yesterday as unidentified gunmen stormed the popular Obiagiu Council Bus stop in the Ogui New Layout, holding residents’ hostage. The shooting lasted for about 20 minutes.

The gunmen who wore police caps were also said to have operated with police rifles just as passersby and residents in the ever busy Council area scampered for safety as bullets rained in what looked like the movies.
At the end of the shooting, one person was found dead just as the gunmen snatched two vehicles with which they made their escape.
The shooting reportedly continued along the Bisalla Road, Independence Layout as the rampaging gunmen tried to find an exit point.
The deceased who was simply identified by his nickname, ‘Ayaka’, was said to have received a telephone call few minutes before the assailants arrived.
A young man who runs a joint at the Council Bus Stop in Obiagu, popularly known as Ogboko narrated how the shooting started.
“The shooting started as I was offloading water from the boot; as I tried to run, one of them asked, ‘where is the key?” I dropped my car keys for them and ran for my life; but they had problems with my car and abandoned it only to  snatch a Sienna and Corolla as alternative,” he said.
Some residents expressed shock that while the shooting lasted no police team, “not even the Ogui Divisional Police, which has become notorious with the raiding of innocent citizens at beer parlours in the area, could come to the rescue of scared residents.”
But the Enugu Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ebere Amaraizu (DSP) said the police arrested one of the gunmen.
He said the police were still on the trail of the others and would soon arrest them just as he urged residents to be calm as the Command was doing everything possible to beef up security to guarantee safety of lives and property in all parts of the state.

Lagos police nab most wanted cult kingpin

Lagos State Police command has arrested most wanted cult leader in the state.
The suspect, Oriyomi Balogun (aka Small Jopron) was alleged to have killed many people in Lagos and Ogun states.

Small JP, as he is called in the underworld, allegedly ran a gang that killed for a fee.
The suspect was arrested by policemen from Alade Police Division at Petit Street in Shomolu area of Lagos.
Small JP who was paraded yesterday by the police at the state command headquarters, Ikeja said he only killed two persons.
According to him, “I am Small JP,  I am the leader of Eiye Fraternity in Lagos.  I have been wanted by the police, but, I am not as bad as they are painting me.  The police said that I have killed many people.  That is not true.  I only killed two persons but, I am not regretting it because, we were at war.  It was like a soldier killing his enemy.
“Eiye and Aiye are always fighting the battle of supremacy.  It is either one of us offended another person from another group. Well, we fought with dangerous weapons, so, somebody must die.  I have only killed two persons, but my men may have killed more.  The police should not put all the killings on my head.
“What I want the police to know is that some of my members were also killed during confrontations. For the two persons that I killed, I had atoned for my sins because, I have gone to the prisons for the offence.  I just think that I am being victimised because, I am not as bad as the police are claiming.”
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, who paraded the suspect, said: JP’s gang was responsible for many disturbances and deaths in the state.  The gang was responsible for setting ablaze a house at Shomolu where a 62-year-old woman was roasted six months ago.
“He is the most wanted cult leader in the state.  We have declared him wanted for crimes, ranging from armed robbery, kidnap and multiple cases of murder.  His gang held sway in Shomolu and Bariga areas of the state.  Through him, we are hoping to get other notorious cult members.”

Thursday, August 4, 2016

American Killed in London Knife Attack, 5 Others Injured

An American was killed and five others were injured after a man carrying a knife attacked people in London's Russell Square last night, police said during a press conference this morning.

Police said the attack was not linked to terrorism, and that mental health appears to have been a factor.

The man is 19 years old, but his name was not released. At a press conference early Thursday morning, Metropolitan Police Asst. Commissioner Mark Rowley said, "This was a tragic incident resulting in the death of one woman and five others being injured. Early indications suggest that mental health was a factor in this horrific attack."

He added: "At this time we believe this was spontaneous."

But Rowley said terrorism isn't being ruled out. "However we are keeping an open mind regarding the motive and terrorism remains one line of inquiry being explored," he said.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, "Police have spoken to him and are seeking to establish the full facts including motives for this attack."

Police officers and London Ambulance Service attended to the scene. Additional police units have been deployed to the area to "provide reassurance," police said.

The female victim -- who was in her 60s, police said -- was treated at the scene but was pronounced dead a short time later. Those injured include another American, an Israeli, an Australian and a U.K. national.

Metropolitan Police's Rowley said, "As a precautionary measure, Londoners will wake up this morning to notice an increased presence on the streets of officers, including armed officers today. We would urge the public to remain calm, alert and vigilant."

Mayor Khan echoed Rowley's comments, saying, "The safety of all Londoners is my number one priority and my heart goes out to the victims of the incident in Russell Square and their loved ones. I have spoken with the Commissioner, and the Assistant Commissioner, who have assured me that our police officers are working extremely hard to investigate exactly what has happened and to keep the rest of us safe. I urge all Londoners to remain calm and vigilant."