Worshippers at the Al Noor mosque photographed in terror threat | Stuff.co.nz

Worshippers at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch were photographed in an apparent terror threat, two weeks before the first anniversary of the March 15 attack in which 51 worshippers were gunned down. 

The threat was issued on Sunday night on an encrypted messaging app, accompanied by a photo of a masked man sitting in a car outside the mosque. 

A police spokeswoman has confirmed an investigation into the threat is underway. 

Christchurch’s Al Noor was one of two mosques targeted in a racially motivated mass-shooting on March 15, 2019. The alleged terrorist, an Australian national, awaits a trial due to begin in June. 

Police and St John staff outside the Al-Noor mosque after the March 15, 2019 terror attack. (file photo)

Security Intelligence Service director Rebecca Kitteridge last month warned that some Kiwis have been inspired by the March 15 terror attack, and monitoring such people had been difficult.

The threat and accompanying photo was posted anonymously to more than 2000 followers on a messaging channel on the encrypted communication app Telegram.

Do you know more? Email thomas.manch@stuff.co.nz

The image shows a man wearing dark sunglasses and a balaclava printed with an image of a human skull. Through a car window the front of the Al Noor mosque can be seen. 

In the background, four people are visible at the entrance of the mosque. 

The message attached, written in both English and Russian, implies the people at the “same mosque” would be greeting each other for the “last time”. A gun emoji, or symbol, is also used in the message. 

The image was posted on a messaging channel dedicated to celebrating the March 15 terror attack. 

CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF
Islamic Women’s Council national co-ordinator Anjum Rahman said police were already conducting enquiries into the threat.

Police were aware of the threat and enquiries were ongoing, a spokeswoman said.

Such threats to the community were taken “extremely seriously”. The spokeswoman declined to answer questions about security arrangements for the anniversary of the March 15 terror attacks. 

An SIS spokesman declined to comment on the specific threat.  

Islamic Women’s Council national co-ordinator Anjum Rahman​ said she was told of the threat early on Monday morning, and notified both mosque leaders and senior police officers. 

“[The police] were already aware and were looking into that threat,” she said. 

“There have been threats, more oblique threats, to other mosques in the last six to eight months or so. We know there is ongoing activity, I would just say the public should be vigilant and report anything that they see as suspicious.”

She said it would be helpful to have a visible police presence at the mosques as the anniversary of the attack approached.

Al Noor imam Gamal Fouda has been contacted for comment. 

In February, Kitteridge said New Zealand’s spy agencies were investigating some 30 to 50 people for a potential terror risk at any one time. 

She said it was challenging to monitor such people as they “tend to live in encrypted chat rooms” — such as Telegram. 

Kitteridge would not say if any specific terror plans had been intercepted.

Messages on the Telegram app first alerted the public to the arrest of a 27-year-old soldier connected to far-Right groups, in November 2019. 

The soldier now awaits a military trial, facing charges of accessing a computer system for a dishonest purpose and for disclosing information that prejudiced the security or defence of New Zealand. 

Authorities across western nations continue to grapple with the terror threat posed by adherents to far-Right and white supremacist ideologies. 

The director of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Mike Burgess, last week told reporters that small cells of such extremists posed a growing and enduring threat.

Days earlier, in the United States, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security increased the terror threat level regarding homegrown white supremacists to “high”. 

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‘Desexed’ dog gives birth to eight puppies | Stuff.co.nz

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This article was first published by RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission. 

An Auckland couple who picked up a supposedly desexed dog from a Hawke’s Bay pound before Christmas are now caring for eight puppies. 

Sarah Bryant and Hera Nathan are now trying to get answers – and money – from the Hastings District Council, who she claims have offered to put the young pups down. 

Bryant told First Up‘s Lydia Batham that the advertisement on their website stated it would cost $250 for Bella to be desexed, vaccinated, wormed, and get flea treatment.

Bella was picked up the weekend before Christmas last year by Nathan’s sister, who handed over the sum upon arrival but was told Bella was not vaccinated, Bryant said.

“[She] just assumed that was part of the agreement and didn’t ask any questions. She was told she had to sign an adoption form on our behalf, so she did that, and on the form there’s a few boxes and it says vaccinated, wormed, desexed, etc, and there was a cross in the vaccination box, but that was the only one that had any marking in it.”

Bryant said they were confused when they were told by the sister that Bella was not vaccinated, but took her to the vet to get it done.

That was when they decided to ask to check on the other items on the list, including desexing.

“[The vet] looked at [Bella] and said she doesn’t have a scar or anything, it doesn’t appear like she is [desexed], it actually appears like she is on heat. 

“He said he wouldn’t desex her while she is on heat, apparently there’s a potential for that to cause a whole lot of bleeding and issues, so he said to bring her back in March to have her desexed or she could potentially be pregnant, and I’m not going to know for a couple of weeks, so bring her back.”

SUPPLIED/SARAH BRYANT
Bella was adopted the weekend before Christmas by Auckland couple Sarah Bryant and Hera Nathan.

In the meantime, Bryant said they had been trying to contact the pound but got no response. 

When Bella was taken again to be checked, the vet said it could be potentially be a false pregnancy but couldn’t be sure, Bryant said.

“He said the only way you’re going to know, so we can figure out if you can do desexing or not, is to take her in for an ultrasound.”

But while they waited for the day of the booked ultrasound appointment to arrive, Bella delivered eight puppies.

“It was definitely a surprise, and at the time we were just like ‘well it’s happening now’, and just sat with her and waited for all the puppies to come out … and made sure they were healthy.”

Bryant said it was “not what we signed up for”, and had been in touch with the council to possibly ask for money back or pay for Bella’s treatment and something to contribute towards the puppies.

“[The person contacted at the council] said that that wasn’t part of their policy and that their policy would be that we could surrender them and they could put them down, and so I said that’s not an option for us.”

After another chat, the council offered a refund of up to $250 for the desexing, vaccination, worming, flea treatment or again to surrender Bella with the puppies, Bryant said.

She said she was angry about being told they would be put down.

“I tried calling back to say that’s not an acceptable resolution and we need to work this through, and that was on Tuesday and I left a message, and I haven’t heard back again from them.”

SUPPLIED/SARAH BRYANT
Bella and her pups.

In a statement, Hastings District Council said dogs that were adopted were treated for fleas, wormed, vaccinated, microchipped, registered and desexed prior to release at a cost of $250.

However, the council claims that because the owners wanted the dog immediately, it was agreed for them to pay $250 up front but they would have to make their own arrangements for treatment and desexing.

It said the dog was registered and microchipped prior to release, and that the person who picked Bella up was aware none of the treatments, including desexing, were done.

The council said it offered to pay for the treatments up to a cost of $250, but 36 days later, Bella had puppies. 

Since Bella was at such an early stage of gestation when taken, the council said it could not have known she was pregnant.

“We have had discussions with the owner since the birth of the pups – they are wanting us to pay to look after the pups for three months, but this is not council’s responsibility.

“When you adopt a dog, or get a dog from anywhere, you run the risk that it may have health or behavioural issues or, as in this case, be pregnant.”

The council reiterated its offer for the owners to surrender Bella and the puppies, but said they could either foster them until they could be rehomed, or get SPCA’s help with this.

“Unfortunately, in some circumstances euthanasia is the best option.”

Bryant said she was in the process of filling out a Disputes Tribunal form, and would like to see the council apologise.

“I would really like them to change their policy and do what it says on their website they would do.”

Meanwhile, she said the puppies were  the “cutest little things”, and they were getting support from the community.

This article was first published by RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission. 

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“Nollywood Is Filled With Envy” – Actress Grace Ama

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Veteran Nollywood actress, Grace Ama has spoken up about her reason for keeping a low-profile and staying off social media.

Nollywood actress, Grace Ama
Nollywood actress, Grace Ama

The actress, who has graced our television screens for over a decade now, had a chat with Saturday Beatz.

The actress revealed how envy has become the order of the day in the movie industry.

Ama said;

“I’m glad that I’m still in the minds of people. I still get people that ask me, ‘what happened to you?’ It is unfortunate that Nollywood is full of envy and all sorts.

Sometimes, social media could be helpful and at times, it should not be a go-to place to talk about one’s problems. There are times in one’s life that one has to deal with so many things.

Many people are used to social media that they want to put out everything about themselves for the world to know. You don’t even know where those challenges are coming from and the moment you go public, you make the culprits know that their plans have worked and they have succeeded.

Read Also: You Will Not Exit Poverty If You Started Your Life With Borrowing – Reno Omokri

You either get the attention you want or it becomes worse for you. When you put it out there and the people you think should have come to your aid didn’t do that, it becomes a problem.

As for me, I deal with my problems differently. I am not a social media person, I guard my private life and try as much as possible to tackle my problems privately. I have close people that I can reach out to but I pray it never gets to the stage where I would have to go on social media to let people know that things have gone bad for me.

 A lot of things are happening but it takes the spirit of discernment to understand what the world is all about. The world does not want to know that you are doing well. Leave social media. All those things are rubbish; once the chips are down, the people you think are your followers would turn their backs on you.”

The post “Nollywood Is Filled With Envy” – Actress Grace Ama appeared first on Information Nigeria.

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‘Nollywood is full of envy’ – Actress Grace Ama says

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Actress, Grace Ama, has been in the movie industry for quite some time but keen observers would agree that she hasn’t been as regular on the silver screen as she used to.

Speaking on her absence from the movie industry in a chat with Saturday Beats, Ama noted that she came into the industry when social media had not gained grounds.

“I’m glad that I’m still in the minds of people. I still get people that ask me, ‘what happened to you?’ It is unfortunate that Nollywood is full of envy and all sorts,” she said.

The actress, who has been in Nollywood for over two decades, but keeps a low profile on the popular photo-sharing app, Instagram, stated that sharing one’s problems on social media would either compound it or get one the attention one desire.

Ama said, “Sometimes, social media could be helpful and at times, it should not be a go-to place to talk about one’s problems. There are times in one’s life that one has to deal with so many things.

“Many people are used to social media that they want to put out everything about themselves for the world to know. You don’t even know where those challenges are coming from and the moment you go public, you make the culprits know that their plans have worked and they have succeeded.

“You either get the attention you want or it becomes worse for you. When you put it out there and the people you think should have come to your aid didn’t do that, it becomes a problem.

“As for me, I deal with my problems differently. I am not a social media person, I guard my private life and try as much as possible to tackle my problems privately. I have close people that I can reach out to but I pray it never gets to the stage where I would have to go on social media to let people know that things have gone bad for me.

“A lot of things are happening but it takes the spirit of discernment to understand what the world is all about. The world does not want to know that you are doing well. Leave social media. All those things are rubbish; once the chips are down, the people you think are your followers would turn their backs on you.”

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Facebook Users Share Their Worst Sex Experience. What’s Yours? | DeeDee’s Blog

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King Ibrahim Omoniyi My gf requested for anal sex and I refused it blatantly for the first time cos my religious belief would not allow me but the second time I just had anal sex with her. Although I enjoyed the anal sex but am never gonna have it again cos it’s not worth it jawe.

Adebukola Omo Ade Me that say make I position well receive better prick, before I position finish, brother don cum..

That thing pain me ehn

Uwem Udoh That is how I was chopping hanty pussy from behind. It was sweeting her and I was just enjoying pussyjuice that had strawberry flavour.

Small time, hanty was shouting, Uwem am cumming…. Uwem am cumming.

And me feeling fly. I put in effort.

Chop pussy majestically, whilst I insert a finger inside for added pleasure.

Na so hanty cum. Hanty piss. Hanty squirt at the same time.

All the water just rush enter my mouth…

Have been traumatized since then.

Arewa Comfort Olorunmbe Crushing on uncle for a while due to long-distance when I finally see brother after long talk on life, sex and everything just small kiss and suck uncle don cum like ocean was like is that all, brother was dressing saying we should be going I was like what will happen to me he said I will be fine, till date I no talk to him again…

Tayo Fasuan What the? Have I told you about my first affair with a virgin who also doubled as an asthmatic person? I spent the entire night cleaning her up, petting her and silmutaneouldy resuscitating her from the land of the dead. That’s my first and the last time with either a virgin or an asthmatic person. I cannot can. Ever again.

Liasu Oluwabukunmi My own is if you know you’re 30secs man biko don’t act as if you can grind and drill…abi which one is you making me cum on chat…like i was looking forward to all the different styles we’ve talked about, only for us to see and 30 secs everywhere don burst… Haaa…I no fit cry,like what sort of waste of sin be this bayii?

Lord Jesse Had this terrible separation with my gf while in Uni… now ex though. I saw her during those their stupid night class seated on the pavement of a dried gutter kissing this guy she claimed was just her friend. She lived with me as at then. What haunted me was that this guy and I used to play PS2 o. Thank God say I dey always trash am that year…funny enough,the guy’s name is Thankgod.

I was haunted by this feeling for weeks and it drove me into the arms of one of my friends that had terrible crush on me. Since seeing my gf every time I come back home is irritating,I spent more time with Patience the one that had a crush on me. She knew what happened and persuaded we date. I told her I would eventually get back with my gf that it will hurt her so it’s needless. She still refused. Most night Patience will beg me to sleep in her house and I will just pity the girl and sleep…severally she will make advances at me but I refused. This has continued for more than 3months until one day…

One night after we were back from the club, this girl brought out juice from her fridge and gave to me, I drank and started feeling weak. My whole bones couldn’t even do anything. My eyes were wild open but drowning bit by bit…she pulled off my clothes, started sucking Jr…that idiot wasn’t weak at all, he was smiling all through. Patience had her way sha…the girl use me turn like this. When I finally woke up the next morning, I quietly wore my clothes, she was feeling bad at this moment. I grabbed my wallet and straight away, went to make up with my gf. Shame won kill me say girl rape me.

Oluwabusola ArikeAde Nwosu Got to his place to pass the night,uncle was only kissing,no smooching,no licking,the next thing he poured on my body choi, I cleaned up and kukuma face wall. In the morning, he just did shukeshuke that doesn’t even last 25 seconds tueh.since that day I stopped picking his calls.

Adegoke Ahmed Possible I met this babe on 2go room during my 100level days in school I asked her out and she agreed.

Fortunately for me, Asuu announced their strike and I called my 2go lover that I would come and visit her in Oshogbo where she stays, where I also have cousins.My plan was just to romance her and go as per Novice wey I be, I was still a virgin as at then so when I got to her house I met her and her younger sister. After I finished the delicious food she cooked for me, she sent her sister to go and buy something from a far distance I noticed from the girl’s reaction. She was ranting, that the place s too far anty bla bla bla.

Immediately the girl left, my babe just dragged me to her mummy’s room. She pulled me on the bed with one finger, I just fell like a mango tree.

Na so this babe climbed me, she didn’t allow me to even do any missionary.
She started fvcking me, I was just breathing like a frog under her.

This babe is a professional I swear, Me that I have never had any major sex before, if you see how this girl ride and rough handled me, it was like rape. I was begging her I want to go home. She too was begging me to allow her to cum, she was going up and down on the local man.

I struggled under her for like 10 minutes, she screamed and I forcefully pulled her on the bed.

I ran out to the sitting room!! She ran after me and pulled me again on the 3 sitter-chair in the sitting room. Local man still fell yakata, she said I was so sweet that I should sleep over her mum has travelled to pH to take care of her sister that just gave birth.

I pulled her away and told her my cousins are expecting me to come home !! I ran out of the house last-last it was a sweet and terrible experience I have ever had.

Tayo Fasuan Oh my gawd! I was 18 or 19. A neighbor’s daughter came to spend the night at our place. When everyone had slept, she sneaked over into my room as pre-planned. What she didn’t tell me was that she just used her hand to prepare pepper.

Small handjob, my little man was on fire. She licked, licked and licked to no avail. At a point, I legit asked God to forgive me my sin because I didn’t know what else to do.

Merry Ta I and my boyfriend, now Ex After 2years of not seeing each other, we finally met.

We did foreplay and finally to the main deal, Only for this dude to cum just as he inserted his dick.
I felt twas because of the excitement and gave him another opportunity to prove himself.
Same thing happened.

I avoid him afterwards, in fact that was what finally ended the relationship.
Mtchew! I cannot be wasting fornication.

Fatayo Williams I used to have this thing for thick girls, the last one before I entered my ‘never again’ mode wanted to kill me.

We just finished 69 when aunty said she enjoyed my part that she wants to sit on my face and ride my face,fam, I wish I said no

Na so we start, initially she wasn’t resting all her weight on my face, but as the thing begin dey sweet her, I could feel all her weight grinding back and forth on my face, I was gasping for air, I was trying to scream, but it was like aunty was getting another sweet feeling from my mouth opening and closing under her as I tried to scream.

I legit summoned the last strength within me and pushed her away to save my life, weyrey olomu nla yen o lohun o pa mi.

That was the last time I had anything intimate with any thick girl……Mi o le wa ku.

Lexy Oluwafisayomi Oshiga Out of excitement for the first time,plus it was meant to be a quickie, he mistakenly rushed and entered my butthole

I screamed the building down.

He was just there begging sorry sorry

That shit was really painful..how you people have anal sex is really unbelievable

He left for work, came back, I was still there

I can’t even remember how I got home..but I wasn’t normal for days.

Akinyemi Mr-Knyght Johnson So I was forming big boy when I met this babe in my area in Egbeda (I hope Dipo won’t see this cos I cannot cry again abeg).

It was in 2008, we used to hang out just for fun until her sailor dad went to work and she was home alone. I sha saw that every time I go there to spend the night, I come home feeling sad because by the time I do my hard work for like one hour, she will still be like, please don’t stop I haven’t cum enough.

So, one day I just felt so empowered in my spirit and I decided to go for her. One of my friends took me to one herb joint and I got a solid dose. On my way back, I branch chemist again, buy Vega 100. But over excitement made me forget food.

By the time I saw my juicy bursty babes in boxers and singlet, my zoom-zoom went up for the race. My village people were really after me, I didn’t cum my erection didn’t come down so she was happy and kept turning and turning, banging with all the energy in her but I was losing energy small small. After a whole hour of non-stop had core s** I was panting and then I pushed her off, dashed to the bathroom.

Bros, she burst follow me in tears o. She said I was punishing her and being stingy. I asked for garri, she no get, I asked for bread, e no dey, how do I revive my energy cos my eyes were already turning.

My sister, na pursue she pursue me around the room till 4:00am. At the sound of the first bike, I tear race comot.

I got back home to my padi and I couldn’t narrate my ordeal until 1:00pm, after a bowl of chilled water garri and very long sleep.

As I dey tell Dipo he dey laugh me so stupidly. Then he broke my jaw when he said, Vivian is in the sitting room since 10:30, say he forgot something with you.

I don’t even know where the babe is anymore.

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Our German new worshipping community. – Saint Benet’s Church Kentish Town

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ageFor over a year now, a group of people has met at St Benet’s to celebrate the Mass in German on the first Sunday of the month at 4.00 pm.  This group is soon to be registered as a “New Worshipping Community” of the Diocese of London. This forms part of the Diocese’s vision for evangelism, mission, and church growth laid out in its plan “Capital Vision 2020.”

Where did the idea come from?

The idea came from the fact that a number of people at St Benet’s noticed just how many German-speaking families there were worshipping with us.  Some were bilingual families with one parent from Germany or Austria. Others were German-speaking families who had moved to London, and whose children were, therefore, thoroughly bi-lingual.

Our vicar, Fr Peter Anthony, read German as an undergraduate and had been involved in our Diocesan link with Berlin for several years.  He wondered whether people would welcome a service now and then in German.  After a few initial Masses in German, it became clear there was definite interest, and a small but sustainable number of people willing to support the project. We decided on a trial run of a service on a Sunday afternoon once a month for a year.

Our intention was to see if we could reach out to a new category of people who did not already worship with us, and who might welcome the ability to worship in German. We wanted to help them come to faith, or grow deeper in their relationship with the Lord, especially through sacramental worship.

What happens & when?

AllWe usually have a said Mass at 4.00 pm on the first Sunday of the month with a homily, and the entire service takes place in German.

We have had a range of guest preachers over the past year.  Some have been native German speakers, such as Dr Andrea Werner, a lay reader at St Michael’s Camden Town; or Robert Pfeiffer, an ordinand at S. Michael’s, Highgate; or Fr Andreas Wenzel, the Shrine Priest at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Others have been English people who happen to be good German speakers: Dr Colin Podmore, well known expert in German Church history, for example; or Fr Desmond Bannister, Vicar All Siants’ Hillingdon, who used to teach German.

We have also sought to invite people associated with our Diocesan Partnership with the Church in Berlin-Brandenburg. Fr Brian Leathard and the Fr Luke Miller, the Archdeacon of London, both of whom have responsibility for the diocesan link, have visited to preach, as have august visitors from Berlin such as Pfarrer Holger Schmidt.

The liturgy is always followed by a time for refreshments and chat over that most venerable of German traditions – “Kaffee und Kuchen.”  The conversation is mainly in German, but if people want to talk in English they are also welcome to, and a mixture of conversations in both languages usually emerges.  There is no language police!

Who comes?

Fr Andreas Wenzel, Shrine Priest of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, came as our guest preacher for All Saints’ Day.

A range of people attend this Sunday afternoon service.  Many of the bi-lingual families living in our parish, who have both English and German, are frequently there. Bilingual children are also frequently present.

There have also proven to be a number of English speakers who have German and who want to keep their language up or enjoy worshipping in German (one of whom comes all the way from York for the liturgy!).  Word of mouth has proven to be very important and several new German speakers have started worshipping with us who had never previously worshipped with us on a Sunday morning.

A number of academics in the realm of philosophy who need German for their academic work have also been present on several occasions. German and Austrian students who have come to London universities also frequently form part of the congregation, which has proven to have a pretty young average age over all.

The numbers at the monthly Mass in 2018-19 have ranged between 8 and 21, with an average in the first year of 13, but on big occasions larger congregations have gathered: our first German Advent Carol Service last Sunday, for example, attracted 63 people. We have also celebrated one baptism in German.

Why do Germans want to worship at an Anglican Church?

Fr Peter Anthony, our vicar, and Dr Andrea Werner, lay reader from our neighbouring parish, St Michael’s, Camden Town, photographed after one of Andrea’s excellent homilies.

We have welcomed a wide range of people from a large sweep of theological and liturgical traditions.  One of the characteristics of this worshipping community has been a strong spirit of ecumenical welcome. Our ministry has also been resolutely rooted in the concept that the Church of England’s ministry is available for all living within our parochial boundaries, or who wish to avail themselves of it.

St Benet’s liturgy lies in the Catholic tradition of the Church of England, and we have found many German or bilingual families have been happy to make their spiritual home with us. There may be something going on in terms of the Church of England’s ministry representing a theological middle way between the Lutheran, Calvinist, and Roman traditions. It may also be that the parochial commitment of St Benet’s to the parish in which it is set simply makes it a place where visitors and those moving from abroad find it easy to settle. Many of our German speaking families send their children to our parish school, and so that might also be a connection which makes St Benet’s a place where they feel they want to worship.

Some of our younger German students have been genuinely intrigued and captivated by what they have discovered in the Anglicanism they find at St Benet’s – i.e. a church which they perceived as “protestant” but which turned out to have a rich and quite catholic liturgical and theological tradition.

Where to now?

We have proven over the first year of this project that the core congregation which supports this project is large enough to sustain a monthly Mass into the future.  However, we are keen to explore other ways in which we can grow and expand this ministry.  We recently organised a German Advent Carol Service, and this proved to be popular.

We plan in the next few weeks to register the congregation as a “new worshipping community” with the Diocese of London in order to release extra funds to help us plan slightly larger or more adventurous events.

Social media have been a crucial part of the way in which we have made contact with German speakers, so we want to ensure our social media presence continues to be the best it can be. Word of mouth has also been crucial to making new contacts amongst the German/Austrian ex-pat community, and will be something we intend to build upon.

We ask all our friends to keep praying for us as we explore further where God is calling us to go in this venture, and we thanks the Diocese of London and its bishops for their support and encouragement as we become one of its latest “new worshipping communities.”

Our first German Advent Carol Service: Sunday 1st December 2019.

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“Things went way better than I expected,” creator of Quoted Replies reacts to getting a job offer from Twitter

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Yesterday, Techpoint hosted Twitter CEO and co-founder, Jack Dorsey and his team at a town hall meeting with local entrepreneurs.

Alongside Jack, other Twitter executives, including Kayvon Beykpour, Product Lead and co-founder of Periscope; Parag Agrawal, Chief Technology Officer (CTO); and Mike Montano, Engineering Team Lead, all took turns to answer questions regarding Twitter’s plans for Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

At the event, the Twitter executives were introduced to Quoted Replies, the viral Twitter-based bot that helps you find quoted replies of tweets without having to go through the hassle of copying, pasting, and searching.

While telling the story of how he built the Quoted Replies bot, Dara Oladosu revealed that it garnered over 40 million impressions in October alone.

Kayvon Beykpour was so impressed by Dara’s work that he offered him a job on the spot to help build a native “quoted tweet” feature for Twitter.

When @kayvz asked @QuotedReplies to come work at Twitter. #TechpointMeetsJack #JackInNigeria pic.twitter.com/8nhCAly4r6

— Techpoint Africa (@Techpointdotng) November 8, 2019

Earlier on, CTO Parag Agrawal had mentioned Twitter’s plans to decentralise its workforce into six countries across Africa. It appears the spontaneous job offer was a part of said plans.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” an ecstatic Dara said later during a chat with Techpoint. “I attended the event with the hopes of figuring out solutions to important questions other attendees might have. I also wanted to have a feel of what it’s like to be around the CEO of Twitter. Things went way better than expected.”

Interestingly, as soon as Dara got offered the job, Kayvon invited him to join the Twitter executives on stage.

Dara sat with them throughout the rest of the evening and was encouraged to answer a question from the audience.

The fate of Quoted Replies

Granted that the Quoted Replies bot has become a very useful Twitter tool used daily by thousands of people all over the world, it was only a matter of time before Twitter built its own native feature. And no one knows this more than Dara.

“The bot will most likely die off. Slowly I guess, depending on how quickly the native option for Quoted Replies can be available on Twitter. But I believe the Quoted Replies spin-off apps (built by Hamza Fetuga and Abdulhafeez Sagaya) will continue to be used. They can choose to monetise it how they see fit.”

Regardless, Dara is excited about the idea of integrating Quoted Replies as a native feature on Twitter because according to him, while the bot is quite helpful to users, it has some limitations right now.

While he’s not exactly clear on the exact role he’d be playing at Twitter, Dara says he’s looking forward to “contributing towards making sure that Twitter users, and developers who create software using Twitter’s APIs, get easy access to all the useful information that they might need.”

We congratulate Dara and wish him all the best.

New Report: Nigerian startups raised a combined $38.01m in Q3 2019, just 7% higher than Q3 2018. Download the report.

Attend Techpoint Startup School, a 5-day intensive training for budding African tech founders and CEOs. Classes start 2nd of December. Enrol now.

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Facebook Owner & Dad-of-Two, Mark Zuckerberg Shares Why He Regulates Screen Exposure For His Daughters – Motherhood In-Style Magazine

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Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has shared his etiquette for screen time exposure for his daughters with wife Priscilla Chan — August, 2, and Maxima, 3. According to the billionaire dad, he generally dislikes that his children be sitting in front of a computer or television for a long period of time and so, he’s come up with a regulation that allows them to minimally use Facebook’s video chat product, Portal.

Zuckerberg says it is healthier because it is a video portal that allows the kids keep in touch with their grannies and aunts, and that they have to engage with the humans while using the screen, it is much healthier and comes with the benefits of feeling real connection.

“I don’t generally want my kids to be sitting in front of a TV or a computer for a long period of time,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Fox News’

The Daily Briefing, posted Friday.

“I let my kids use that to communicate with my parents, so they can stay in touch with their grandparents easily, [and] their aunts who live across the country,”

Zuckerberg said.

According to Zuckerberg, that kind of screen time — using video to interact with other human beings — is actually good for you, with benefits such as feeling more connected and healthier.

“I think all the research would generally support that,”

Zuckerberg Told “The Daily Briefing.”

However, says Zuckerberg, passively consuming content, or “going from video to video” isn’t associated with the same positive effects.

While that may be the standard thinking (the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids ages 2 to 5 only use screens for one hour a day, and kids 18 to 24 months only use digital media to video chat) a new study from the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University found that moderate screen use is actually beneficial for kids’ development.

After analyzing data from 35,000 American children ages 6 months to 17 years (and their caregivers), researchers found that the sweet spot seems to be about one to two hours of screen time a day. “Screen time” includes using digital devices such as iPads and watching television.

The kids who were exposed to the optimal amount of screen time had better levels of social and emotional well-being than kids who weren’t allowed to use digital devices. (In this study, researchers controlled the data for variables that influence digital engagement, such as age and sex, race and ethnicity, stress, social support and health.)

So banning kids from using technology altogether, or implementing age restrictions, isn’t the best solution for parents who are concerned about their children’s screen use,

“particularly as screen usage in some cases has a net positive impact,”

Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute and study author said in a press release.

There is an upper limit for screen time, though: This study also found that kids could watch four hours of TV or use an electronic device for five hours before it started to affect their behavior. Compared to the average amount of time that kids use devices (about two hours of tablets and smartphones, and one hour and 45 minutes of TV), these numbers are very high.

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Afrobeat can never die like reggae or makossa – Godfrey Eguakun

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By Ayo Onikoyi

The big boss at Monkey Media House Records, popularly known as MMH Records and TRONIQ Incorporation, Godfrey Eguakun has given an insight on the future of Afrobeat genre of music, stating emphatically that the genre cannot suffer the same fate as reggae or Makossa which had a long spell of reign then died out.All

“Reggae music was from the 60s, got really big in the 70s and 80s, which was before me or when I was a toddler. What I do know about it is the fact that it was a sound widely perceived as the voice of the oppressed, addressing social and economic injustice. At the time, there’s some sort of musicianship needed as a reggae artist/musician.

They can actually hold keys and sing, maybe play instruments… today, all that has been replaced with technology. Makossa on the other hand was a great feel good music but was arguably one dimensional. Afrobeat, Afropop, Afrofusion, Afro-soul or whatever we want to call it is relatively new and we don’t quite know it in its entirety, so I think it is too early to ask if afrobeats will die or not, but one thing we have learnt about afrobeats so far is its ability to adapt to other genres of music and create something novel, create genres that in fact don’t exist as far as our prior knowledge of music goes.

We have seen this play out in several cross continental collaborations of some of the biggest afrobeat artists. So, the question I think should be if afrobeat will evolve into unknown and novel genre, and how soon this transition, or this evolution will take. But in the sense of “dying”, that is not happening anytime soon,” he said when asked about the future of Afrobeat in a chat with Potpourri.

Eguakun who has two notable artistes, Akaycentric and Kreatunez signed to his MMH and Oxlade to the TRONIQ label also took a look at the music industry, identifying the legal framework of the country as the major impediment to its growth.

Geofrey Eduakun is an Edo State indigene, born in Osogbo and currently lives in the United States. He’s a Mechanical Engineer by day working on jet engine designs and manufacturing and a businessman by night, managing and running multiple businesses.

His Monkey Media House Records is an indie Record Label founded in 2017. Outside making and selling records, he does Talent Development, Talent Management, Artiste Promotions/Media Management and digital music distribution. His TRONIQ Inc on the other hand was founded in mid 2019, it’s a digital indie recording company, shaped around traditional models.

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This startup just raised $8 million to help busy doctors assess the cognitive health of 50 million seniors

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All over the globe, the population of people who are aged 65 and older is growing faster than every other age group. According to United Nations data, by 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65, up from one in 11 right now. Meanwhile, in Europe and North America, by 2050, one in four people could be 65 or older.

Unsurprisingly, startups increasingly recognize opportunities to cater to this aging population. Some are developing products to sell to individuals and their family members directly; others are coming up with ways to empower those who work directly with older Americans.

BrainCheck, a 20-person, Houston-based startup whose cognitive healthcare product aims to help physicians assess and track the mental health of their patients, is among the latter. Investors like what it has put together, too. Today, the startup is announcing $8 million in Series A funding co-led by S3 Ventures and Tensility Venture Partners.

We talked earlier today with BrainCheck co-founder and CEO Yael Katz to better understand what her company has created and why it might be of interest to doctors who don’t know about it. Our chat has been edited for length and clarity.

TC: You’re a neuroscientist. You started BrianCheck with David Eagleman, another neuroscientist and the CEO of NeoSensory, a company that develops devices for sensory substitution. Why? What’s the opportunity here?

YK: We looked across the landscape, and we realized that most cognitive assessment is [handled by] a subspecialty of clinical psychology called neuropsychology, where patients are given a series a tests and each is designed to probe a different type of brain function — memory, visual attention, reasoning, executive function. They measure speed and accuracy, and based on that, determine whether there’s a deficit in that domain. But the tests were classically done on paper and it was a lengthy process. We digitized them and gamified them and made them accessible to everyone who is upstream of neuropsychology, including neurologists and primary care doctors.

We created a tech solution that provides clinical decision support to physicians so they can manage patients’ cognitive health. There are 250,000 primary care physicians in the U.S. and 12,000 neurologists and [they’re confronting] what’s been called a silver tsunami. With so many becoming elderly, it’s not possible for them to address the need of the aging population without tech to help them.

TC: How does your product work, and how is it administered?

YK: An assessment is all done on an iPad and takes about 10 minutes. They’re typically administered in a doctor’s office by medical technicians, though they can be administered remotely through telemedicine, too.

TC: These are online quizzes?

YK: Not quizzes and not subjective questions like, ‘How do you think you’re doing?’ but rather objective tasks, like connect the dots, and which way is the center arrow pointing — all while measuring speed and accuracy.

TC: How much does it cost these doctors’ offices, and how are you getting word out?

YZ: We sell a monthly subscription to doctors and it’s a tiered pricing model as measured by volume. We meet doctors at conferences and we publish blog posts and white papers and through that process, we meet them and sell products to them, beginning with a free trial for 30 days, during which time we also give them a web demo.

[What we’re selling] is reimbursable by insurance because it helps them report on and optimize metrics like patient satisfaction. Medicare created a new code to compensate doctors for cognitive care planning, though it was rarely used because the requirements and knowledge involved was so complicated. When we came along, we said, let us help you do what you’re trying to do, and it’s been very rewarding.

TC: Say one of these assessments enables a non specialist to determine that someone is losing memory or can’t think as sharply. What then?

YZ: There’s a phrase: “Diagnose and adios.” Unfortunately, a lot of doctors used to see their jobs as being done once an assessment was made. It wasn’t appreciated that impairment and dementia are things you can address. But about one-third of dementia is preventable, and once you have the disease, it can be slowed.  It’s hard because it requires a lot of one-on-one work, so we created a tech solution that uses the output of tests to provide clinical support to physicians so they can manage patients’ cognitive health. We provide personalized recommendations in a way that’s scalable.

TC: Meaning you suggest an action plan for the doctors to pass along to their patients based on these assessments?

YZ: There are nine modifiable risk factors found to account for a third of [dementia cases], including certain medications that can exacerbate cognitive impairment, including poorly controlled cardiovascular health, hearing impairment and depression. People can have issues for many reasons — multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s — but health conditions like major depression and physical conditions like cancer and treatments like chemotherapy can cause brain fog. We suggest a care plan that goes to the doctor who then uses that information and modifies it. A lot of it has to do with medication management.

A lot of the time, a doctor — and family members — don’t know how impaired a patient is. You can have a whole conversation with someone during a doctor’s visit who is regaling you with great conversation, then you realize they have massive cognitive deficits. These assessments kind of put everyone on the same page.

TC: You’ve raised capital. How will you use it to move your product forward?

YK: We’ll be combining our assessments with digital biomarkers like changing voice patterns and a test of eye movements. We’ve developed an eye-tracking technology and voice algorithms, but those are still in clinical development; we’re trying to get FDA approval for them now.

TC: Interesting that changing voice patterns can help you diagnose cognitive decline.

YK: We aren’t diagnosing disease. Think of us as a thermometer that [can highlight] how much impairment is there and in what areas and how it’s progressed over time.

TC: What can you tell readers who might worry about their privacy as it relates to your product?

YK: Our software is HIPAA compliant. We make sure our engineers are trained and up to date. The FDA requires that we put a lot of standards in place and we ensure that our database is built in accordance with best practices. I think we’re doing as good a job as anyone can.

Privacy is a concern in general. Unfortunately, companies big and small have to be ever vigilant about a data breach.

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