Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Around the World in Five Minutes

Nigeria: Death toll nears 1,000 
According to the Human Rights Watch, at least 935 people have been killed by the Nigerian Islamist sect, Boko Haram, since it began its campaign of violence in 2009. This year alone at least 250 people have died.

 The group, which opposes western education, has claimed responsibility for bombing military facilities, churches and police stations in the north of the country. On the 20th of January Boko Haram launched its deadliest attack to date in Kano - Nigeria's second largest city - killing 186 people.

The Human Rights Watch has called on the Nigerian government to end the campaign of terror and bring those responsible to justice. 

Iran condemns EU oil embargo
Iran has condemned an oil embargo adopted by the European Union’s foreign ministers in response to its nuclear programme.

 Spokesman for the country’s foreign ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast, described the ban as “unfair”, and said it would not prevent Iran’s “progress for achieving its basic rights.”

The sanctions ban all new oil contracts with Iran and seize the assets of Iran’s central bank in the EU.
The EU buys about 20 per cent of Iran’s oil exports.

Devastating quake prediction for Tokyo

Japanese researchers say Tokyo has a 70 per cent probability of being hit by a magnitude-7-plus earthquake by 2016 which could claim up 11,000 lives.

 The researchers from Tokyo University revealed that there has been a dramatic increase in seismic activity since last year’s devastating quake and tsunami.

 If a magnitude-7.3 earthquake hits under northern Tokyo Bay, up to 11,000 people are expected to die and about 850,000 buildings would be unusable or destroyed.

Greek publishes tax evaders list
In a bid to clamp down on tax evaders, the Greek government has published a list of more than 4,000 people who owe a total of $19 billion dollars to the cash-strapped state.

The list includes a top Greek singer, a former soccer club president and the owner of a defunct insurance firm. Greece is under pressure from foreign creditors to curb widespread tax evasion, a key barrier to its economic recovery. 

World's first magnetic soap produced
Researchers in the UK have created the world's first magnetic soap. The soap, made by dissolving iron-rich salts in water, will be particularly useful in industrial or environmental cleanups.

 Researchers from Bristol University say the soap can replace environmentally harmful substances used in oil spills, and can also  be used for water treatment. The soap is yet to be produced in commercial quantity. 


  1. I still believe very strongly that the Nigerian Federal Government must do something to solve the problem of Boko Haram. It is the primary duty of every Government to protect the lives and properties of her citizen; Nigeria cannot be different.

    Imagine if 1000 Americans or EU citizens are killed by a group of Islamic Sect, will it not lead to a state of emergency?

    It seems that in Nigeria, some people believe that Life is cheap, and as long as they are not affected directly, they tend to ignore serious issues.

    I am of the opinion that every patrotic Nigerian must arise and do something. Even if it means writing as I am doing, let us not just pray to God but pray as well as do something to end this tragedy.

    For those Nigerians outside the country, why not organise protest in London, US and Canadian streets or collect signatures which should be present to the Nigerian High Commission to register displeasure at the killings.

    This is time for action; just do something and don't fold your hands because your brother or sister is not a victim of Boko Haram.


  2. Pro G, thank you for your comment. It rings true. The govt are folding their arms, and so are other people, because they are not affected directly.

    The level of apathy in Nigeria is disheartening. As long as we're still alive and breathing, we tend to let sleeping dogs lie.

    How I wish we could mobilise people to register their displeasure. Problem is we know the armed forces do not spare their bullets when dealing with civilians, and though we believe in heaven we are reluctant to go there so soon.


  3. The situation in Nigeria can only be described as desperate. I find it incredible that the government there seems to have adopted a defeatist attitude towards these cowardly acts of indiscriminate terrorism perpetrated by Boko Haram. All human life is priceless and it is imperative on the govt to ensure its preservation. These thugs need to have the full wrath of the law brought on their heads. The govt needs to pursue them using all available means and should not spare any resources to ensure that all those who commit acts of violence against innocent civilians are relentlessly pursued, dragged before a court of law and charged for their crimes. I am very disappointed by the apathy from large swathes of the Nigerian people. Very disappointed!

    1. Will, you ought to be disappointed. The truth is the govt couldn't be bothered. After all, their families are not affected (most of the family members will be living luxurious lives abroad), and they themselves have all the protection they could possibly need. It's just incredulous that humanbeings could be devoid of empathy.

      Even more worrying is that the so-called Islamist have liasons with members of the govt. Nigerians always say stoically, 'God will help us'. What more can be said?

      Thanks for your comment.

  4. The laughable rhetoric between the West and Iran continues,backed by the sabre-rattling display by the West in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday.With the oil sanctions throttling Iran's revenues, the Iranians have introduced a new slant to the argument: human rights. They are now bleating that the West is encroaching on their rights to energy, effectively portraying the West as the playground bully out to get the small guy. So who's fooling who? More appropriately what's this all about? Is is about oil or is it about protecting Israel? Is it both? Let us not forget also that there is still that small issue of US military equipment in the hands of the Iranians

  5. Will, I might not be as politically savvy as you, but I don't see Iran as a looming threat to Israel right now. Yes, there is a lot of anti-Israel rhetoric. But as I mentioned in a different post, it cannot be interpreted as a serious and immediate threat because it is one of those phrases they throw into their vocab when drumming their chests to assert themselves.

    Secondly, I don't think Iran is in anyway portraying the West as the big bullies: they do not need to. The West clearly come across as big bullies because of their actions. They are, as you rightly put it, very blatantly 'throttling Iran's revenues'.

    What I am waiting for is the startling evidence that will uncover Iran's development of nuclear weapons, and its meticulously crafted plans to decimate its enemies. Till then, it is difficult to take sides.

  6. All it takes is for the child of a Senator to be a victim of Boko Haram, then they'll sit up and do something. They don't see it as a life threatening issue because their families are not involved. I don't wish anyone bad but something needs to be done.

    Despite the whole bombing issue, Nigeria is still blessed. We don't have such natural disasters like Japan because God Himself knows that it would only crumble the country. If we can't cope with the little disasters, what would happen if we were to experience a single earthquake or tsunami?

    Thank God I'm in Nigeria but sometimes, I regret being a Nigerian. The country will get better, it's only a matter of time.

  7. Thanks for your comment, Lanre. There is a lot of chaos and pain but all hope is not lost. I couldn't say I regret being a Nigerian, but I do regret the kind of politicians we have. And I regret that we can't mobilise ourselves to carve a better life for ourselves. But as long as there is life, there is hope.