Month: November 2017

JUST 5 MINISTERS ATTEND CABINET MEETING CALLED BY MUGABE AS EMBATTLED PRESIDENT IS SNUBBED BY ZIMBABWEANS

Cabinet ministers snubbed a call by President Robert Mugabe to attend a meeting early on Tuesday, a Zimbabwean ruling party senior official has said.
Only five ministers and the attorney general turned up at State House at 9am on Tuesday, while 17 attended a meeting about impeaching President Mugabe, according to the official.
Lovemore Matuke said “all” ministers heeded a party directive to skip the Cabinet meeting.
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NIGERIAN POLICE ARREST MARYAM SANDA FOR MURDER OF HUSBAND

The woman who allegedly stabbed her husband to death has been arrested.

Nigerian Police confirmed the arrest of Maryam Sanda, the daughter of Maimuna Aliyu, former Aso Saving Bank executive for murdering her husband, Haliru Bello last weekend.

Bello, 35, son of Haliru Bello, a former chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has been buried according to Islamic rites in Abuja, after prayers at the National Mosque.

Police Public Relations Officer, DPS Anjuguri Manzah, in a chat with newsmen said that the suspect was arrested on Sunday night. He said that she would be charged to court after investigations have been concluded.

According to the police, the investigation was being handled by its homicide department adding that investigation would be concluded soon.

Haliru Bello’s death was not natural, as he was allegedly  killed in his Maitama home in Abuja by his wife,  Maryam Sanda..

According to reports, Maryam allegedly killed her husband on Saturday night, stabbing him several times.

Multiple reports online said she attacked her husband based on allegations of infidelity after seeing a text message  on his phone.

couple-stabbing

Maryam was said to have stabbed Bello three times in the back and several times in his genitals.

After stabbing him, she drove him to the hospital for treatment but he did not survive the attack.

He would have been 36 on November 23.

Anjuri Manza, spokesman of FCT police command, confirmed the murder : “We are investigating the matter,”he told the Cable.

According to reports, it was not the first time Maryam  would attack Bello violently.

She once  bit part of his ear off  during an previous argument. Bello was treated at a hospital before returning home. Some report said he was advised to leave the house but he refused, only to be brutally attacked the second time.

The couple had a daughter together.

Bello married Maryam following an affair he had with her while still married to his previous wife.

His father was the acting chairman of the PDP board of trustees from 2015-2016, minister of defence from 2011-2012, and minister of communications from 2001-2003.

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WHY I’M CONTESTING FOR PDP CHAIRMANSHIP POST – RAYMOND DOKPESI

An aspirant for National Chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and founder of Africa Independent Television, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, said he consulted widely with stakeholders, including party leaders and members before entering the contest.

The media mogul said that it was the positive responses he got from the consultations that motivated him to pursue the aspiration to lead the party as national chairman.

Dokpesi made this known while addressing Benue State Executive Committee (SEC) members of the party and National Delegates on Monday in Makurdi.

 

He said that after the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt in May, 2016, he waited to know the party’s decision on micro-zoning for the national chairmanship position.

“I sent out 2,000 text messages and made phone calls to well-meaning Nigerians asking if I could contest and if the position was not zoned to South-West.

“I got positive responses from 1,997 persons, while only three persons said I should not run,” Dokpesi said.

He said that one of the three persons that discouraged him was of the view that PDP members would not allow him to win so that he would not carry out necessary reforms within the party.

 

“The second person said I should not run because PDP has not learnt lessons and that the party does not appreciate my sacrifice.”

According to him, the second person who advised me not to contest has defected to the All Progressives Congress, while the third person wanted me to go to a foreign country to rest.

Dokpesi, however, said he joined the race because majority of those he consulted advised him to pursue the ambition.

He urged the delegates to give him the opportunity to serve and return PDP to its winning ways and reunite Nigeria.

“I want to work with the state executive to transform, rebuilt, reconstruct, rejuvenate and reposition the PDP to win the 2019 elections, including that of Benue.

“It is only if we work together and we are united that we can effect these changes,” he said.

The Director-General of Dokpesi Campaign Organization, Mr Baba Kachalla, described Dokpesi as “candidate to beat” in the Dec. 9 national convention.

He urged delegates from the state to vote for Dokpesi and shun anybody that may want to buy their votes.

Chairman of the party in the state, Mr John Ugbede, urged party leaders to ensure that right things were done at the convention.

“For our leaders, the process must be correct and transparent.”

Ugbede, who assured Dokpesi of the state’s support, said Benue delegates would always give its bulk votes to the aspirant of their choice.

Other party leaders, who also spoke at the occasion, expressed support for Dokpesi.

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NIGERIAN ARMY PROMOTES 137 OFFICERS TO HIGHER RANKS

The Nigerian Army Council on Monday approved the promotion of 45 Brigadiers-General to Major Generals and 92 Colonels to Brigadiers-Generals.

A statement issued by the Army Spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman ,listed some of those promoted to two star generals (Major Generals) as Brig.-Gen. H.O. Otiki, Acting Commander, Defence Headquarters Garrison; Brig.-Gen. O.O. Soleye, Acting Director Veteran Affairs and Defence Headquarters.

Others are: Acting Provost Marshal, Brig.- Gen. A.T. Hamman; Acting Military Secretary, Brig.-Gen. l. F Yahaya; Acting General Officers Commanding 3, 7 and 8 Divisions, Brig.-Gen. B.A. Ahanotu, I.M. Yusuf and S.O. Olabanji.

Also promoted to Major General are: Acting Commander, Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps, Brig.- Gen. J.I. Unuigbe; Brig.-Gen. A.A. Jidda, Acting Commander Nigerian Army Corps of Supply and Transport and Acting Chief of  Accounts and Budget (Army), Brig.-Gen. J.E. Jakko.

Promoted to the two star general are also Commandant, Depot Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. V.O. Ezugwu and Brig.- Gen. A.C.C. Agundu, Director, Foreign Liaison, Defence Intelligence Agency, Acting Commander, Headquarters Command Army Records, Brig.-Gen. H.E. Ayamasaowei and Brig.-Gen. M.S. Yusuf, Commander Guards Brigade, while late Brig.-Gen. B.A. Raji, was promoted posthumously.

Others elevated to Major general are: Brig.-Gen. O.F. Azinta, Commandant Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre and the Commandant Nigerian Army School of Infantry.

Brig.-Gen. J. Sarham, Brig.-Gen. T.A. Gagariga, Commander Nigerian Army School of Artillery and Brig.- Gen. L.F. Abdullahi, the Acting Commander Nigerian Army Education Corps have also been promoted Major General.

Brig.-Gen. J.G.K. Myam, Acting Director Operations and Brig.-Gen. U.S. Yakubu, Acting Director Peacekeeping Operations are now Major Generals.

In the category of those promoted to one star General (Brigadiers Generals) are Col. A. Israel,  Col. C.O.C. Ekulide of Defence Headquarters, Col. S.O.F. Olowolayemo, Col. J.T.E. Chukwu, Col. .E.E Eyong and the prolific writer, Col. D.C. Nengite.

Others are: Col. C.A. Dalhatu, Col. U.N. Babangida, Col. U.I. Mohammed, Col. N.U. Mukhtar, Col. O.G. Onubogu, Col. S.T. Shafaru, Col. G.G. Shipi and Col. A.S. Ishaq of 8 Division Provost Group.

Col. A.O.I. Kalajaiye, Col. J.C. Mbibi, Col. J.T.E. Chukwu, Col. H.A. Gambo and Col. L.B. Mohammed have been elevated to Brigadiers-General.

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IPHONE X FACE ID SECURITY FEATURE BEATEN BY HACKERS IN JUST 1 WEEK

Researchers in Vietnam claim to have bypassed Apple’s Face ID facial recognition technology with a mask that cost less than $150 to make, but many questions remain about just how they achieved their hack.

Indeed, there are a number of gaps in the Vietnamese hackers’ disclosure that leave room for doubt about the applicability of their attack in the real world.

On the face of it, the attack appears legitimate, a creepy-looking mask unlocking an iPhone X, released just over a week ago. The researchers, from cybersecurity company Bkav, created their mask by 3D printing a mould and attaching some 2D images of the enrolled user’s face. They then added some “some special processing on the cheeks and around the face, where there are large skin areas, to fool [the] AI of Face ID.”

In an FAQ on the Bkav website, the firm gave some detail on how the mask was created. “We had an artist make it by silicone first. Then, when we found that the nose did not perfectly meet our demand, we fixed it on our own, then the hack worked. That’s why there’s a part on the nose’s left side that is of a different color (photo attached). So, it’s easy to make the mask and beat Face ID.” The company noted that alongside a 3D printer for the mask’s mould, both the nose and the skin were handmade.

“We just need a half face to create the mask. It was even simpler than we ourselves had thought.”

More details needed

Despite all that, there are some gaps in the research. Crucially, the proof-of-concept video leaves out the enrolment process for the true face. They may, for instance, have enrolled the mask itself. Or they may have added features from the mask to the face, such as glasses or a piece of the plaster, which could’ve duped the technology.

There’s another possible trick: after a rejection of the mask, they could’ve entered the passcode, which would then train the phone to accept the mask. But the researchers said they applied a strict rule of “absolutely no passcode.”

There was a note of caution from the researchers too, inviting further questions: “Here, I want to repeat that our experiment is a kind of proof of concept, the purpose of which is to prove a principle, other issues will be researched later.”

The researchers do have history in breaking biometric systems, however. In 2008, they were able to show how to bypass facial recognition technologies on a range of laptops, from the likes of Toshiba, Lenovo and Asus.

Bkav hadn’t responded to questions seeking clarity on the hack at the time of publication. But those details could be filled out later this week, as the researchers promised to provide more information. Apple declined to comment, instead pointing Forbes to the company’s literature on the workings of Face ID.

“It’s difficult to say if there is some trickery here,” said professor Alan Woodward, from the University of Surrey’s department of computing. “Nothing in what they say suggests there is, and I must confess that I’d be cautious about FaceID as the sole means of authentication. I think biometrics is still a technology yet to prove itself.

“It reinforces in my mind the need to two-factor authentication. The convenience of Face ID is very attractive but if it is flawed, then once it becomes wholly useless as you have only one face: unlike passwords you can’t change it.”

For now, iPhone X owners needn’t panic about imminent attacks just yet. For starters, a malicious hacker would need to do a full scan of a target’s face. Furthermore, they’d need physical access to the device. Face ID isn’t perfect, but it’s yet to be definitively proven broken as a security technology

UK: CHANCELLOR TO ANNOUNCE CASH BOOST FOR NHS AND NURSES IN BUDGET

Philip Hammond will be announcing a cash boost for the NHS in this week’s budget as part of a bid to face down his critics.

The Chancellor will use the Budget to offer a pay rise for nurses, following pressure from Cabinet colleagues and Conservative MPs, and the threat of winter strikes if he fails to issue a “positive signal” to NHS staff.

The announcement has been welcomed by activists – but they warned that a pay rise must not come at the expense of the rest of the NHS.

The policy will be part of a set of announcements, also including a broad sweep of measures to increase house building, which Mr Hammond hopes will head off growing disquiet in the Cabinet and No 10 over his chancellorship.

The Budget will include extra funding to help nurses’ wages keep up with inflation, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

budget 2017.jpg

Nurses – like other public-sector employees – have faced a cap of 1 per cent on their annual pay rises for several years.

That cap has now been lifted – but raising wages by 3 per cent, which is the current level of inflation, would cost £1billion.

Mr Hammond is reportedly set to promise the NHS it will get an overall funding boost so that no services have to be cut back to fund the pay hike for nurses.

A spokesman for the Royal College of Nursing – which is demanded a rise of 3.9 per cent – said: “We will wait to see details on Wednesday but nursing staff need a pay rise above inflation and the Government must give the NHS the funds to cover it.”

Nurses have previously threatened to strike if their wages do not start to match inflation.

Image result for hammond on andrew marrAsked by Andrew Marr today if he would agree to increase NHS funding by £4billion as demanded by health service boss Simon Stevens, the Chancellor said that “Armageddon won’t arise” if the cash is not handed over.

He added: “I’m very impressed with the way that Simon Stevens fights his corner.”

But health bosses hinted they are unhappy with Mr Hammond’s comments – the official NHS England Twitter account today republished a string of statement from Mr Stevens insisting that the service is still underfunded.

The Chancellor will deliver his Budget on Wednesday, and will announce that Britain will put driverless cars on the roads within four years.

ZIMBABWE: ZANU PF DISMISSES MUGABE AS NATIONAL LEADER AND ISSUES DEADLINE FOR RESIGNATION AS PRESIDENT

The party that Robert Mugabe headed for nearly four decades, on Sunday, dismissed him as its leader in what is another blow to the longtime Zimbabwean president, whom the military detained last week.

The party also told Mugabe that he must resign by noon Monday or face impeachment proceedings.

The actions, unimaginable only a week ago, add to the groundswell of support aimed at ejecting the world’s oldest head of state. But they do not have any immediate effect on Mugabe’s position as president.

On Sunday, Mugabe left his home for the presidential office, where he met with the military commanders who seized control of the government. In a picture released by the state-owned newspaper, one of them saluted Mugabe while the president stood behind his desk, one of many signs that Zimbabwe was hardly undergoing a textbook coup.

Mugabe was also set to address the nation, the state broadcaster said Sunday.

Even as calls for his resignation surged among his critics, the 93-year-old appeared to be resisting, making the road to his dismissal murky and potentially much longer than many Zimbabweans would like.

President Robert Mugabe, center, meets Sunday with generals in Harare. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP)

Still, the fact that those who turned against Mugabe were able to take control of party headquarters and cast a vote against him is telling. After 37 years in power, Mugabe is now technically a leader without a party, his closest allies having been detained by the military.

The central committee of ZANU-PF, the ruling party, voted to replace Mugabe with former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa and expelled Mugabe’s once-powerful wife, Grace, from its ranks. The committee was composed of Mugabe’s rivals, some of whom had been forced from ZANU-PF months or years ago.

Several Zimbabwean constitutional lawyers said the decision had little bearing on Mugabe’s role as head of state. The party leaders have control only over their ranks and cannot influence the composition of Zimbabwe’s government.

“The party cannot recall him as president, so the legal effect of the vote is limited,” said Fadzayi Mahere, a lawyer and politician. “It’s mostly a political statement.”

Protesters demanding the resignation of Robert Mugabwe in Harare
Zimbabweans took to the street to celebrate the dismissal of Mugabe as ZANU PF national leader

Impeachment proceedings could begin Monday, but if Zimbabwean law is followed, it would probably take weeks to unseat Mugabe.

“This is not instant coffee,” said Tendai Biti, a lawyer and opposition member, suggesting that the process could take three weeks. “We can’t sacrifice our constitution to get what we want.”

War veterans leader Christopher Mutsvanga, left, attends an emergency meeting Sunday of the central committee for the nation’s ruling ZANU-PF. (Aaron Ufumeli /EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Negotiations between Mugabe and the country’s top military commanders remained the most plausible path to his exit. After detaining the president and arresting his allies Tuesday night, the Zimbabwean military seems unwilling to force Mugabe from power and is attempting a diplomatic approach that would imbue its takeover with an aura of legitimacy.

“If the military had run roughshod, it would have lost the support of the people,” Mahere said.

Instead, Zimbabweans have united behind the military’s actions, an unpredictable turn of events in a country where security forces have for years cracked down on political dissent. On Saturday, a diverse array of opposition groups marched through Harare, the capital, in a buoyant demonstration against Mugabe that felt like a citywide party celebrating his possible ouster.

Across the city, soldiers in armored personnel carriers observed the demonstrations, not intervening and, at times, posing for selfies. They were greeted and praised.

By the time the march was over, the signs for Robert Mugabe Road had been trampled. In front of the party headquarters in downtown Harare, a billboard bearing Mugabe’s face had been vandalized, a hole sliced through the center.

The rally had the air of collective catharsis. For decades, Mugabe had targeted a broad array of his own citizens: farmers from the white minority whose land was seized; political activists who were arrested or simply vanished; even Harare’s street vendors, whom Mugabe has tried to evict.

“This is time for us to make a declaration of what we want, a Zimbabwe in which we have opportunities,” said Evan Mawarire, a pastor and leading activist.

[Zimbabwe seized white farmers’ land. Now some are being invited back.]