Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2 bomb blasts in Nigeria kill at least 118

2 bomb blasts in Nigeria kill at least 118

JOS, Nigeria (AP) -- Two car bombs exploded at a bustling bus terminal and market in Nigeria's central city of Jos on Tuesday, killing at least 118 people, wounding dozens and leaving streets strewn with bloodied bodies.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the twin car bombs. But they bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group that abducted nearly 300 schoolgirls last month and has repeatedly targeted bus stations and other locations where large numbers of people gather in its campaign to impose Islamic law on Nigeria.
The second blast came half an hour after the first, killing some of the rescue workers who had rushed to the scene, which was obscured by billows of black smoke.
Dozens of bodies and body parts were covered in grain that had been loaded in the second car bomb, witnesses said. A Terminus Market official said he helped remove 50 casualties, most of them dead. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to give information to reporters.
"It's horrifying, terrible," said Mark Lipdo of the Stefanos Foundation, a Christian charity based in Jos, who described the sickening smell of burning human flesh.
A woman's body, her legs blown off and her hand reaching out of the flames, lay on the edge of an inferno consuming other bodies. Another woman, unconscious and wrapped in a brightly colored cloth, was being carried away in a wheelbarrow on a road strewn with glass shards.
At least 118 people were killed and dozens wounded, according to Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency. Fires were still raging in buildings late Tuesday and authorities expect to find more bodies once firefighters get them under control, said Mohammed Abdulsalam, a coordinator for the agency.
Tensions have been rising between Christians and Muslims in Jos, the capital of Plateau state in Nigeria's Middle Belt region that divides the country into the predominantly Muslim north and Christian south. It is a flashpoint for religious violence.
Boko Haram has claimed other recent bomb attacks, including two separate bomb blasts in April that killed more than 120 people and wounded more than 200 in Abuja, the nation's capital. One went off at Abuja's busy bus station.
A suicide car bomber killed 25 people in northern Kano city on Monday. Police there detonated a second car bomb Monday. They said both would have killed many people but the first exploded before it reached its target of restaurants and bars in the Christian quarter of the Muslim city.
Lipdo said at least one of Tuesday's blasts could have been averted if authorities had acted in time. He said a white van that held the first bomb was parked for hours in the market place, raising suspicions of vendors and others who reported it to the authorities, but nothing was done.
He said authorities also had another warning of impending violence: A man with explosives strapped to his body was arrested on Saturday and told police that many militants had been ordered to plant bombs around churches and public areas in Jos.
President Goodluck Jonathan extended sympathies to affected families and said in a statement that he "assures all Nigerians that the government remains fully committed to winning the war against terror."
"This administration will not be cowed by the atrocities of enemies of human progress and civilization," the statement said.
The Nigerian government and military's failure to curtail the 5-year-old Islamic uprising, highlighted by the mass abduction of at least 276 schoolgirls and lack of progress in rescuing them more than a month later, has caused national and international outrage.
Jonathan has been forced to accept help from several nations including Britain and the United States, in the hunt for the girls, who were kidnapped in northeast Nigeria. It also has brought massive attention to the shadowy extremist group, which is demanding the release of detained insurgents in exchange for the girls - a swap officials say the government will not consider.
Diplomats said Nigeria on Tuesday asked a U.N. Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against al-Qaida to add Boko Haram to the list, with an arms embargo and asset freeze.
The extremists are threatening to sell the girls into slavery if Jonathan does not free detained insurgents, which officials say he will not do.
Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sinful," has targeted schools, as well as churches, mosques, marketplaces, bus terminals and other spots where large numbers of civilians gather in its campaign to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state. Half of Nigeria's population of 170 million is Christian, as is most of the population of Jos. The militants have increased the reach of their attacks this year, and their deadliness.
On Christmas Eve in 2010, bombs allegedly planted by Boko Haram exploded in Jos, killing as many as 80 people.
Meanwhile, more than 300 people have been killed in assaults on towns and villages in recent weeks, and the extremists also are blamed for an attack last week on a Chinese camp in neighboring Cameroon in which one Cameroonian soldier was killed and 10 Chinese workers abducted.
Militants' attacks have been coming with increasing frequency despite a year-old military state of emergency in three of Nigeria's states to curtail the uprising.
The Senate on Tuesday voted to extend the emergency for another six months, but only if Jonathan devotes more money to the military campaign and to better arming demoralized soldiers, who say Boko Haram is better equipped. A letter with the conditions was sent to the president.
More than 2,000 people have been killed in the insurgency this year in Africa's most- populous nation, compared to an estimated 3,600 between 2010 and 2013.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Pacers Erupt To Beat Heat In Game 1 Of Eastern Conference Finals

Indiana is done talking about home-court advantage.
The top-seeded Pacers are ready to use it against the two-time defending champs.
They took the first step Sunday, when Paul George finished with 24 points and seven assists, David West added 19 points and seven rebounds, and suddenly surging Indiana led wire-to-wire in a 107-96 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
"This is just a fun matchup," George said. "It's one that we've been waiting for all year."
For the first time in this year's playoffs, the Pacers won a series opener. And for the first time in their last three playoff battles against the Heat, the Pacers won Game 1.
Game 2 is Tuesday night. The home team has won all five games in this season's fiercest and most competitive rivalry, though none was more impressive or important than this one.
All five Indiana starters and backup C.J. Watson scored in double figures, helping Indiana produce its highest point total of the playoffs.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


A woman cradling her baby, a young girl playing with her mother on the grass and a group of friends smiling for the camera.

Innocent scenes they may be, but these Tanzanians are in grave danger from all walks of life from fishermen and miners to witch doctors and murderers simply because they are albino.

Regarded as the 'tribe of ghosts' or 'the invisibles', albinos have suffered appalling treatment at the hands of their own people who butcher them for their body parts in the disturbingly mistaken belief they will bring them better health and good fortune.

In danger: A young albino girl plays with her mother in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam. She is under threat from murderers who target albinos for their body parts
Targeted: Such is the threat against albino children, the Tanzanian government has been opening shelters to offer them some chance of building a life for themselves
Outcasts: Albinos in Tanzania (including these two children, above) are known by those who hunt them as the 'tribe of ghosts' or 'the invisibles'
Sorry state of affairs: Sometimes parents are forced to give up their beloved offspring because they fear the prejudices of the people in their own community
Such is the threat against their lives, the Tanzanian government has been opening shelters for hundreds of albino children to offer them some chance of building a life for themselves.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who appointed the country's first albino MP in 2008, has also commissioned task forces to investigate the killings.
In some cases, fathers have tried to murder their own children in the hope of selling them for thousands of dollars - a fortune to the average family in Tanzania.

Fishermen believe their hair will help them catch more fish, miners think their bones will bring them diamonds and witch doctors use their genitals for treatments to supposedly boost sexual potency.
Genetic quirk: Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who appointed the country's first albino MP in 2008, has commissioned task forces to investigate albino killings
Warped beliefs: Fathers have tried to murder their own children in the hope of selling them for thousands of dollars - a fortune to the average family in Tanzania

Gauging the size of Tanzania's albino population is difficult and estimates vary wildly.

The government has undertaken a national survey of albinos but has not released its findings. 

Albino advocacy groups put the number somewhere above 100,000, out of a total population of roughly 48 million people.
Disturbing practices: Fishermen believe albino hair will help them catch more fish, while miners think their bones will bring them diamonds
Vulnerable: Albino advocacy groups estimate there are around 100,000 in Tanzania, out of a total population of roughly 48 million
Albinism is a genetic condition characterised by a deficiency of melanin pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes which protects from the sun's ultraviolet rays.

In many African nations - but most commonly in Tanzania - albinos are butchered in the street.

Their remains are used in the macabre human potions used by traditional healers to treat the sick.

Believing it will bring them good luck and big catches, fishermen on the shores of Lake Victoria weave albino hair into nets.

Bones are ground down and buried in the earth by miners, who believe they will be transformed into diamonds.

The genitals are also sometimes made into treatments to boost sexual potency. 

Shelters have been opening up in recent years to offer them a glimmer of hope for the future.

Sometimes the parents are afraid of their children, sometimes they are forced to give up their beloved offspring because they fear the prejudices of the people in their own community.

Last year, a report on the Kabanaga Protectorate Centre in the town of Kabanaga featured 17-year-old Angel, who was visited by her mother for the first time in four years.

When she was born her father called her 'a gift from God'.

But his joy was not that of a new father - he wanted to butcher the girl and sell her body parts for thousands of dollars.

Angel's mother managed to deter the father for years, but when Angel was 13 he led a group to attack her.

Angel got away, but her mother's own parents were killed in the attack as they fought to protect their granddaughter.

But Jacquelyn says she will never escape the prejudice that follows her wherever she goes.

Ignorance about the condition is rife - there is even a belief that their mothers slept with white men for it to be passed down.

Last year, attackers collecting body parts of albinos for witchcraft hacked off the hand of a seven-year-old boy, officials said.

The boy, called Mwigulu Magessa, was ambushed by the men as he walked home with his friends in Tanzania.

He survived but many such victims of ignorance are not so lucky.

Just days earlier, an albino mother of four had her arm chopped off by machete-wielding men and a month before that an albino child died in Tanzania's Tabora region after attackers hacked off his arm.
Prejudice: Ignorance about the condition is rife - there is even a belief that their mothers slept with white men for it to be passed down

Saturday, May 3, 2014

'My little swimsuit model!' Bikini clad Hilaria Baldwin rests baby Carmen on her back for a photo... after doing headstand in the bath

Another pose! Hilaria posts another Instagram shot on Friday of baby Carmen lying on her back
Hilaria posted, 'My little swimsuit model??! Watch out @si_swimsuit models... Carmen's a lot younger than you??'
Earlier, in her most adventurous (and slightly dangerous) pose yet, she positioned herself upside down in the bathtub, with one foot gripping the shower head. 

The wife of Alec Baldwin showed off her slender physique in the same mismatched bikini in the image captioned: ‘Q: do you think it's a drowning hazard to wash my hair this way? #hilariaypd #yogapostureoftheday #nofilter’
Risque: Hilaria Baldwin struck a yoga pose upside down in the bathtub, with one foot gripping the shower head, in an image posted on Friday
Hilaria sported a sky blue top with colourful bottoms, displaying her toned abs and sexy pins, while her head was completely hidden from view. 
She looked a little less risque in Thursday's pose, when she included her baby girl. 
The mother-of-one bent over in downward dog, keeping her back as straight as possible as she curled inward to kiss nine-month-old Carmen. 
Date night: Hilaria and her husband actor Alec Baldwin enjoyed a romantic dinner in West Hollywood on Thursday
Downward facing dog: The 30-year-old Extra correspondent impressed in another yoga position on Thursday, but this time she included baby daughter Carmen

The yoga pro, evidently a perfectionist when it comes to her hobby captioned: 'It may not be the perfect down dog, but sacrifices must be made for the perfect kiss #hilariaypd #yogapostureoftheday'

Hilaria smiled broadly and stretched in for the kiss, sporting black leggings, legwarmers, and a black tank top. 

Carmen appeared to giggle as she grabbed her mother's face.
We're in this together! The wife of Alec Baldwin showed off her sculpted pins in high heels while doing the chair pose alongside friends in a photo shared on Wednesday

Hilaria showed off her sculpted legs while performing a leg-intensive chair pose alongside an army of friends on Wednesday, all while maintaining balance in a pair of beige heels. 
She flashed a smile with her arms raised up into the air, appearing to be in good spirits alongside her friends, whom all mimed her meditative movement.

With her brunette locks swept behind her face, Hilaria accesorised for her outdoor excursion with silver bracelets and a delicate pair of studded earrings.
Hello there! Hilaria shared a photo on Tuesday of her adorable blue-eyed daughter Carmen crawling in the direction of the camera
'Lunch break! #hilariaypd #yogapostureoftheday #lunchtruckyoga @extratv (chair pose)' the fit yoga enthusiast captioned the snapshot of the group posing beside a healthful food truck. 
As a correspondent for Extra, Hilaria was busy at work filming alongside co-hosts Maria Menounos and Mario Lopez for the program at Universal Studios in Los Angeles on Monday.

And yet in spite of her hectic schedule, she managed to find a moment to tend to her motherly duties, and captured a photo of her daughter Carmen sprawled upon all fours, playfully smiling in a floral dress on Tuesday.
Flashing a smile! The young infant gently smiled while what appeared to be her mother grinned beside her
'Working on our crawling!' she captioned the snapshot of her growing girl.
A separate picture showed the young tot tenderly grinning in the direction of the camera, as what appeared to be her mother laid down beside her.
'Hola a todos!' Hilaria described the simple photograph to her thousands of Instagram followers.

The blue-eyed baby was similarly captured while in the arms of her doting mother at the Extra set in Hollywood on Monday, keeping cool from the warm weather beneath a light white cap.
How cute: The brunette beauty flashed a happy grin while gingerly holding her young daughter on Monday in Hollywood
Just like her mother: The blue-eyed baby gave a gentle smile while friends admired her
Fun on set! Hilaria practiced yoga alongside Mario Lopez while on the set of Extra TV in Los Angeles on Monday

'Tupac's not dead!' Suge Knight fuels conspiracy theories... then claims Diddy is 'the one who killed him'Suge Knight is making accusations fueling rumours about the controversial death of Tupac Shakur.

In an interview on TMZ, the former Death Row Records CEO not only claims Sean 'P.Diddy' Combs is the one responsible for Shakur's death, he then makes the bold contradictory statement that the reason no one has ever been charged with the murder is because 'Tupac's not dead.'

Smoking a cigar and wearing a red sweatshirt with the word 'Bompton' across the front, the 49-year-old was leaving trendy West Hollywood nightclub 1Oak on Thursday when he started on his rant.
Bold statements: Suge Knight claimed Diddy was behind Tupac Shakur's murder but then asserted that the slain rapper is 'not dead' as he left 1Oak in West Hollywood on Thursday
'Everybody knows off the top, I ain't the n**** killed Tupac. I'm the n**** protected Tupac!'
But then Suge goes on the offensive and claims his longtime East Coast rival Diddy was behind the entire incident.
'B**** a** Puffy can get him a mutha******* star (on the Walk of Fame), and every rat in the world say he's the one who killed Tupac, or had him shot.'

MailOnline has contacted a representative for Diddy for comment.

Music makers: Diddy and the late Tupac were key players in the infamous East Coast- West Coast rivalry in hip hop during the 1990s
Back on September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. He was taken to the hospital, where he died six days later.
But conspiracy theories have sprung up through years claiming the Thug Life singer never really passed away.
And after going in on Diddy, Suge added some fuel to those theories by hypothesizing why no one has ever been arrested for Shakur's murder.

While its unclear how serious he was, the music mogul said: 'Tupac’s not dead! He’s on an island somewhere smoking a Cuban cigar.'
Back in the day: Suge and Tupac at the Soul Train Music Awards in 1996