Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Christianity is now for the rich


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

EDUCATION: Michelle Obama on Girl Proper Education

Ralphina Feelee lives in Liberia, where the average family gets by on less than two dollars a day, and many families simply can't afford to educate their daughters. Teen pregnancy rates are high, and pregnant girls are often discouraged from attending school.

Sometimes it's not even safe for girls to attend school in the first place, since their commutes to and from school can be dangerous, and they sometimes even face sexual harassment and assault at school.

   Michelle Obama

Ralphina wakes up early each morning, cooks for her family, cares for her younger siblings, and goes to work at a local market -- all before she even gets to school. But she still attends class each day, working especially hard in science and math so she can fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse.

Rihab Boutadghart lives in a remote part of Morocco near the Sahara Desert. While Morocco has made huge strides in education, and nearly all girls there attend elementary school, girls in rural areas often live far from the nearest middle and high schools, so many of them drop out of school by the time they turn twelve. Right now, only 14 percent of girls in rural Morocco attend high school.

But Rihab, who proudly describes herself as a "feminist," is determined to finish her education. She dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and being the CEO of a major company, and she recently appeared on Moroccan TV urging girls to work hard and follow their passions.

I had the privilege of meeting Ralphina and Rihab earlier this week when I traveled to Liberia and Morocco to highlight our global girls' education crisis -- the fact that right now, more than 62 million girls worldwide are not in school. This is such a heartbreaking loss, because these girls are so bright and so hungry to learn -- and like Ralphina and Rihab, they have such big dreams for themselves. These girls are no less smart or deserving of an education than my own daughters -- or any of our sons and daughters. The only thing that separates them from our children is geography and luck.

Sometimes the issue is resources: their families simply can't afford the school fees; or the nearest school is hours away; or the school nearby doesn't have adequate bathroom facilities for girls, so they're forced to stay home during their menstrual cycles, and they wind up falling behind and dropping out.

But often the root of the problem is really about attitudes and beliefs: families and communities simply don't think girls are worthy of an education, and they choose to marry them off as teenagers instead, often forcing them to start having children when they're basically still children themselves.

Michelle Obama hugs a student following a lesson plan about girls' leadership and self-esteem in support of the Let Girls Learn initiative, in Kakata, Liberia, June 27.

The girls I met in Morocco and Liberia want to be doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, engineers. One of them wants to run for office so she can fight for women's rights and combat climate change. Another hopes to open her own auto shop to teach women about cars so they can be more independent.

But we know that when we give these girls the chance to learn, they will seize it. They'll walk for miles each day to school. They'll study for hours every night by candlelight, determined to learn as much as they possibly can.

We know that when we give these girls the chance to learn, they will seize it.

Michelle Obama

We also know that educating girls doesn't just transform their life prospects -- it transforms the prospects of their families, communities, and nations as well. Studies show that girls who are educated earn higher salaries -- 10 to 20 percent more for each additional year of secondary school -- and sending more girls to school and into the workforce can boost an entire country's GDP. Educated girls also marry later, have lower rates of infant and maternal mortality, and are more likely to immunize their children and less likely to contract malaria and HIV.

Michelle Obama's advice for men 

That's why, last year, President Obama and I launched Let Girls Learn, an initiative to help adolescent girls worldwide attend school. And this week, we were proud to announce major new efforts by the U.S. government to promote girls' education in Africa.

In Liberia we'll be running girls' empowerment programs, working to end gender violence in schools, and supporting new, second-chance schools for girls who were forced to drop out because of pregnancy or rape.

In Morocco we'll be working closely with the Moroccan government to help transform high schools across the country, and we'll be supporting new school dormitories to allow girls from rural areas to attend school far from home.

Large scale efforts like these are critically important, and will affect the lives of countless girls, but they're simply not enough. Governments alone cannot solve this problem -- not when we're talking about a number like 62 million.

That's why I ended my trip this week in Spain delivering a speech to an audience of young Spanish women. I wanted to make a simple, but urgent point: Every single one of us in countries like Spain and the U.S. has the power -- and the obligation -- to step up as a champion for these girls.

U.S. First Lady in London to promote education 

I told these young women: If you have access to social media, then you have a platform to tell these 62 million girls' stories and raise awareness about the challenges they face. And that's just as true for everyone at home in the U.S. You can go to 62MillionGirls.com right now to find all the information you need to get started and to learn how you can take action to support girls' education efforts across the globe.

Once you know these girls' stories, I think you'll find, as I have, that you simply can't walk away from them. After traveling the world as First Lady and meeting so many girls like Ralphina and Rihab, I carry their hopes and their ambitions with me everywhere I go, and I plan to continue my work on their behalf not just for my final seven months as First Lady, but for the rest of my life. I hope you will join me in this mission.

South Sudan: Clashes Again on Independence Day

South Sudan security situation in Juba Sunday had seen a "sudden and serious deterioration," with clashes between government and opposition forces breaking out into "general fighting."

Fighting first broke out Thursday, with skirmishes between troops loyal to Kiir and soldiers who support his deputy Machar.
Fighting flared again Sunday, with gunfire exchanged outside a U.N. building, after a lull Saturday when the young country celebrated the fifth anniversary of its independence from Sudan.


They may be thousands of miles apart -- but that didn't stop Black Lives Matter protesters in Europe marching in solidarity with their U.S. counterparts over the weekend.

Hundreds of people marched in London, Berlin and Amsterdam, Netherlands, holding signs emblazoned with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and chanting, "No justice, no peace."

FG and Oil Workers Meeting Inconclusive

Federal Government and oil workers meeting on Monday in Abuja was inconclusive as both groups agreed to continue deliberations today (Tuesday).

Members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria since Thursday is still in force.

10 die as farmers, herdsmen clash in Niger

No fewer than 10 persons were reportedly killed in clashes between suspected Fulani herdsmen and farmers in two communities in Niger State.
It was learnt that the clashes happened at Bokuta village, Bosso Local Government Area, and Tungan Mallam village in the Paikoro LGA.

While six were killed in the Bokuta clash, four died in the Tungan Mallam melee.

A resident of Bokuta, who identified himself only as Isiaq, said trouble started in the community on Thursday, July 7, when some herdsmen invaded a farm with their cattle and destroyed its crop.

He said the farm owner engaged the herdsmen in a scuffle, during which one of the invaders was killed while another one was injured.

“The following day, herdsmen went on a reprisal and shot five farmers dead. The village was in turmoil and nobody could go out for two days. It was the police and military men who eventually came to restore peace,” he added.

In the Tungan Mallam clash, a source who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, said a youth had on Friday reared cattle into a large farmland where maize, sorghum, yam and soya beans were grown and destroyed the crops.

He said the owners of the farm complained but the youth and other herdsmen struck and killed one of the farmers. The source added that the farmers regrouped and went on a reprisal, killing three herdsmen.

Seeking lasting solutions to the incident, the source said, “Government must take a bold step to solve this problem. Why must some people destroy the means of livelihood of others to earn their living? It is unfair.”

The Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala James, who confirmed the clashes, said eight persons were killed while three others sustained varying degrees of injuries.

The PPRO said two suspects had been arrested and that there were ongoing dialogues to forestall the crises.

He said, “It was the issue of herders going into farmers’ crops and damaging them. On July 7, at Bokuta village, there was an argument between the farmers and the herders and we learnt that a herder was killed and another one injured.

“The next day, herders mobilised and went on a revenge mission. They killed three farmers and injured two. The situation was brought under control by the police anti-riot team and the military. Normalcy has been restored to the community. Two suspects – Landan Adamu and Muhammed Musa, were arrested.

“On Sunday at Tungan Mallam village, some herdsmen also invaded a farm there and killed a farmer. Farmers in that locality also went on a reprisal and killed three herdsmen. Altogether, eight persons were killed.

“To resolve these clashes, consultations are ongoing. We have invited both parties to a meeting. The state governor and the Commissioner of Police were at the meeting and a committee has been set up to discuss the matter and proffer a more lasting solution to the problem.”

Reacting, the state Governor, Sani Bello, said that the masterminds of the violent clashes would be brought to book.

Bello, who visited the two communities on Monday, said the government would no longer condone any act of lawlessness in the state.

“Nobody has the power or right to take the life of others. These senseless and unwarranted killings cannot and will not be condoned.

“You cannot just take machete and kill somebody because of disagreement. There are laws and nobody can claim to be above the law.

“I have instructed the chairmen of the affected councils, the Commissioner of Police and my Special Adviser on Security to fish out the masterminds of the two clashes as well as their accomplices.

“I have also directed for comprehensive investigations into the incidents with a view to prosecuting and bringing the culprits to book