Sunday, 15 April 2012

Around the World in Five Minutes

Cameroon: 'Unprecedented' Ruling against Poachers

A court in east Cameroon has slapped 17 poachers with fines totalling $160,000 and jail sentences of up to 30 months.   Among those sentenced were parrot poachers Roger Atangana and lazare Onana, believed to be responsible for the decapitation of thousands of African Grey Parrots in Lobéké National Park. 

The sentences handed out in Yokadouma, East Region of Cameroon, were the outcome of concerted judicial efforts made by WWF, Cameroon Ministry of Forestry and other wildlife organisations to deter poachers from pursuing their criminal activities. Conservationists hailed the court ruling as a turning point in the history of anti-poaching enforcement. 

Japan to Restart Nuclear Reactors  
 Japan is set to restart two of its nuclear reactors in order to tackle looming power shortages, according to the government. The reactors have been declared safe.  Residents have demanded that reactors should not be turned back on following a tsunami-induced meltdown at the Fukushima plant in 2011. However Industry Minister Yukio Edano said the government “deemed it necessary” to restart the reactors and warned that Japan faced a summer of “very severe power shortages”.  Regional authorities need to give their approval before the two reactors at the Ohi plant in western Japan can be switched on.  

U.S agrees $1bn payment to native tribes 

 The US authorities have agreed to compensate 41 Native American tribes, offering payments of more than $1 billion thereby settling a series of long-running disputes. The disputes – dating back more than 100 years - focused on federal mismanagement of land and natural resources belonging to Native American tribes.  The department of the Interior manages nearly 56m acres of tribal trust land and more than 100,000 land uses such as housing, farming and oil extraction.

Cancer Vaccine Developed
  A vaccine that can train cancer patients' own bodies to seek out and destroy tumour cells has been developed by scientists. The therapy, which targets a molecule found in 90 per cent of all cancers, could provide a universal injection that allows patients' immune systems to fight off common cancers including breast and prostate cancer. The new vaccine is being developed by drug company Vaxil Biotheraputics along with researchers at Tel Aviv University. Preliminary results from early clinical trials have shown the vaccine can trigger an immune response in patients and reduce levels of disease. The scientists now hope to conduct larger trials in patients to prove it can be effective against a range of different cancers.


  1. My comment is on Poachers in Cameroom. I think two things need to be done. First the natives need to be empowered economically so that they can start some trade or business other than poaching. Secondly, they need to be educated, and told that although in the past, it was ok for them to poach, in the twenty first century, they can find alternative business. Law and prison sentences are not sufficient to stop poaching.

    For Japan, I would say good luck to them; where I live is far away from any of their plants.

    For the native indians, I would say that US1b is too small because they are the original owners of USA


  2. Prof G, thank you for your comment. The same thing came to mind when I saw photos of poachers: if these people are economically empowered they would not be killing these rare animals.

    As for the native Americans, no amount of money can compensate the taking over of their land. But at least after years of wrangling they have some form of respite.

  3. I must agree with the comments of Prof G. Phrases like the need to "deter poachers from pursuing their criminal activities" and that speak about the decapacitation of parrots overlook one essential fact. Those poaching are hungry starving men without an alternative means to feed their wives and children. Fresher Angle as it always does, helped highlight this overlooked part of the argument by use of a picture. In addition to Prof. G's comments, I am suggesting that the international and national litigation also be shown to contain such domestic empowering provisions that will serve as precedents for the enforcement of poaching regulation. If such economic empowerment policies are not being implemented in a place, the poaching prosecution to which the citizens of that area can be subject will be limited.

    1. Dlaw, you have put it aptly. Economic empowerment is the word. I don't know who to pity more - the animals or the men killing them to make a living. Thanks a lot for your comment.

  4. I am not sure if there is any amount of compensation that the Niger Delta indigenes of Nigeria will be satisfied with to nullify their similar disagreement with the Federal Government at the moment.
    Seeing however that the South American Universities are now developing a possible cure for cancer, considering all the native medicines available in Nigeria, can anyone suggest any multinational company that might be interested in providing funding for research and development of possible pharmaceutical medication available in our local drugs?

    1. Dlaw, that's a valid point. Compensation is good in itself, but such people must not foster a victim mentality where they are always waiting for handouts to bail them out of their lesser economic position, as it were.

      Tel Aviv is in Israel - that's where the scientist developing the cancer vaccine are from. What Nigeria needs is a malarial vaccine, not really caner.

      I appreciate your comment.

  5. Japan is one country that inspires me. Watching last year's Tsunami, you would think it will take them forever to overcome the tragedy but they continue to overcome all odds.

    Nigeria can learn a lesson or two from them.

  6. Naija4life, that's true. Japan are truly resilient. Though, I think they need to proactively seek out other forms of energy. Many thanks for your comment. Are you back on blogosphere? Can't get to your blog.

  7. Violations of hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations are known as poaching. Reasons-
    The poacher does not own the land he is poaching on and does not have permission from the owner to hunt on that land
    The poacher does not possess a valid permit.
    The poacher is illegally selling the animal, animal parts or plant for a profit.
    The animal is being hunted outside of legal hours.
    The hunter used an illegal weapon for that animal.
    The animal or plant is on restricted land etc.
    I see it as a bridle for others and to the victims, using DLaw words, they need to be economically empowered... skills aquisition.

    Nuclear Reactor restarting in Japan is simply to augment power. What about my country Nigeria, i dont want to say that we are confused but someone should help, In our case what do we restart to aggrandize power!

    Judyke Uchenna

    1. Judyke, it's great to see your comment. Thank you for the clear exposition on what constitutes poaching - I appreciate.

      We're all saying the same thing - economic empowerment.

      I admire Japan a lot. Read two days ago that they are going to lend the IMF $60bn; imagine that! Nigeria has a long way to go but there is still hope.

      Thanks for your comment.

    2. Sorry Judyke, for Nigeria I don't have any suggestion. For the one viable industry that she's had has been oil and gas production. The latter, because it is mainly run by foreign companies, is still running. Apart from that I can't really think of an industry to be rehabilitated to economically empower the company... the Delta Steel Company perhaps? But then is steel still a viable product for export cum generation of funds? Considering the direction of international trade at the moment, Nigeria's best area of focus for trade generating jobs is in areas such as phone and IT companies. Any suggestions?

  8. I think those poachers need every form of empowerment available. And as Prof G said, they really need to be enlightened. Sometimes, the economy pushes people to do crazy things. Well, man's gotta eat.

    I think Japan is one country that is using almost every form of energy available. They are among the top ten countries using the most solar power. I guess due to their population, one form of energy isn't enough. If the nuclear reactors caused the previous tsunami, then as they recovered from the last one, they'll recover from any future ones (if the need arises). They are really resilient (as you said) and I love their technological advancement.

    It's a pity the native Americans can't become militants, if not the U.S. would be fighting both the Middle East and themselves.
    The cancer vaccine is really good news. Even though it might not completely cure cancer, it does increase the chances of living. Nigerians really need to get this drug and PLEASE, no Black Market.

  9. What Nigeria needs to 'restart to aggrandize power' to use your words Judykeuc is an institutional system that defeats corruption.
    Yesterday the Southwark Court in London convicted James Ibori, the former governor of Delta State, of counts of corruption and money laundering, punishing him with 12 years imprisonment and the confiscation of the goods illegally bought by Ibori using Delta state funds.
    When the judgment of the UK court is contrasted with the fact that in 2009, attempts to convict Ibori before Nigerian court for the same charges of corruption and money laundering were dismissed as 'unmeritous' by the National Judicial Council', the accused being absolved of all charges by the Federal High Court, Asaba; It highlights the fact that the Nigerian judicial system is still weak and liable to the corruption syndrom, even where over 50 million naira worth of assets has been stolen.