BEIJING, February 17. /TASS/. The number of people who died from the novel coronavirus in China has reached 1,770, more than 70,500 cases of the disease have been confirmed, while more than 10,800 people are said to have recovered from it, China’s health committee reported Monday.
On Sunday, the committee informed about more than 68,500 cases, 1,665 deaths and 9,419 recovered. According to the data update, the official coronavirus death rate is now standing at 2.5% compared to Sunday’s 2.43%
Among China’s regions, the Hubei Province has the most cases with 58,100 people identified to have contracted coronavirus, 1,696 of them dead and 6,639 recoveries. Hubei is followed by the Guangdong Province (south China) with 1,300 infections, the Henan Province (central China) and the Zhejiang Province (east China) which report 1,200 and 1,100 cases respectively.
According to data available on Sunday, there are 381 coronavirus cases in Beijing, 144 of them were discharged from hospitals, while four people died.
According to the latest official reports, more than 150,500 Chinese citizens are monitored in the country because they had close contacts with those who are known to have contracted the disease. China also says there are about 7,200 people placed in quarantine because of coronavirus fears. According to doctors, more than 10,600 people are in critical condition.
A pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously called 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan – a large trade and industrial center in central China populated by 11 million people – in late December. The WHO declared it a global emergency, describing the outbreak as an epidemic with multiple foci.
The virus spread to 25 more countries, apart from China: Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. The WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak in China a global health emergency. Chinese authorities have confirmed more than 68,500 cases of the disease, over 1,665 people died, while more than 9,400 people are reported to have recovered.
1979 saw a move to the East coast and the University of Bridgeport. While playing the New York club scene with a band called Nite Sprite, Weckl started receiving accolades from established studio musicians such as Steve Kahn, Michael Brecker, and Peter Erskine. It was Erskine who recommended Weckl for his first ‘big gig’ with a group called French Toast, forerunner to the Michel Camilo band. That band featured iconic electric bass player Anthony Jackson.
From this group, Jackson recommended Weckl for the prestigious 1983 Simon and Garfunkel reunion tour. This got Weckl noticed by a much larger industry audience and lead to many session opportunities, including radio and TV jingles, sound track sessions, and top recording dates with George Benson, Peabo Bryson, Diana Ross, Robert Plant, and many more.
In 1985, Michael Brecker recommended Weckl to Chick Corea for his new Elektric Band. That was the beginning of a seven-year relationship with both the Elektric and Akoustic bands where nine recordings and three videos were produced. The Akoustic Band release earned Weckl a Grammy.
The Elektric Band showcased Weckl’s cutting-edge drumming and innovative use of electronic and acoustic drums, bringing him worldwide recognition. Though the Elektric Band went on a 10-year hiatus in the early ’90s, the band still tours from time-to-time. They released a 17-part conceptual album entitled To The Stars in mid-2004, and have reunited for tours in 2011 and 2016/17.
Weckl’s solo career began in 1990 with the release of Master Plan. Co-written/produced with longtime St. Louis friend/colleague Jay Oliver, the album was a watershed moment in Weckl’s career. Some would say it ushered in a new generation of contemporary drumming.
Master Plan featured a dynamic and diverse collection of tracks featuring top jazz artists of the time. The album created a palette for Weckl’s wide-ranging abilities in jazz, fusion, and Latin-inspired music, solidifying him as an emerging leader in the drumming world.
The album’s title track, written and performed by Chick Corea, featured Weckl and Steve Gadd on drums. Weckl had been seen as a protege to Gadd and their styles meshed perfectly on the track. But in many ways, the tune marked a passing of the torch in terms of next-generation artistry on the drums.
Weckl has recorded and produced nine other solo/leader recordings to date. In addition to Master Plan, Heads Up and Hard-Wired earned him great notoriety in the early ’90s.
In 1998, Weckl realized his long-time goal of forming a world-touring band. The Dave Weckl Band released five studio records, including: Rhythm Of The Soul, Synergy, Transition, Perpetual Motion, and Multiplicity. The band also released a hot live album, LIVE (And Very Plugged In) plus a compilation of DWB and instructional videos entitled The Zone.
Instructional videos have always played a big role in Weckl’s career. His original product, entitled Contemporary Drummer + 1, was one of the first play-along products ever published for drums. His Back To Basics and The Next Step releases were best-sellers in the ’90s and also continue to sell today.
Weckl updated his technical approach in the ’90s after studying with Freddie Gruber. He then released a three-part series of videos called A Natural Evolution, which included an appearance by Gruber. These products redefined earlier concepts to help drummers understand how to play in a relaxed, efficient, and musical way. They also helped solidified Weckl’s stature as an articulate and respected teacher. His clinics and master classes continue to attract capacity crowds worldwide.
After many years of sideman work with guitar legend Mike Stern, Chris Minh Doky’s Nomads, Oz Noy, and more, Weckl spent 2013 reuniting with Jay Oliver. They launched a crowd funding campaign that attracted more than 2,000 pre-orders of a project that would eventually be called Convergence.
The album featured 10 tunes, including piano and drum solo pieces and a remake of Stevie Wonder’s legendary tune Higher Ground. The video of Higher Ground has been viewed millions of times on YouTube and Facebook. Drummer Chris Coleman, bassist Jimmie Johnson, guitarist Dean Brown, singer Chrissi Poland, and several amazing horn players and vocalists took part.
The project also saw collaborations with Canadian singer Emilie-Claire Barlow and Riverdance creator Bill Whelan. Oliver recorded several native Irish instruments at Whelan’s personal studio in Ireland.
Convergence was released with three companion products: a play-along package for drums, a play-along package for all other instruments on the album, and a full-length documentary entitled Flies On The Studio Wall.
In 2015, Weckl formed an acoustic jazz group with longtime friend/collaborator Tom Kennedy (bass), Gary Meek (sax), and Makoto Ozone (piano/B3). The group was called The Dave Weckl Acoustic Band. To date, the band has released a CD entitled Of The Same Mind and a live DVD filmed at Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood.
More recently, Weckl has returned to touring with the Elektric Band, Mike Stern, and Oz Noy, while completing sessions in his Los Angeles-area home studio. He has also formed an online school with comprehensive lessons, new play along products, and live footage from current tours.
He says it is my goal to inspire as many young (and not-so-young) people as possible to want to play music, whether it be on drums or another instrument. With all the negatives in the world today, I feel this is my way of contributing a positive action toward spiritual happiness, which music can be a big part of, if you let it. So parents, if your child has a talent for music, please allow them the opportunity to develop that talent!
Outside of music, Weckl has a passion for automobiles and racing. He and his Corvette ZO6 regularly post competitive times at race tracks around Southern California. Check out his YouTube racing channel!
Beyond music and four-wheel indulgences, Dave’s biggest passions and sources of inspiration come from his daughter, Claire, and his wife, Clivia.
A future college graduate (psychology), Claire definitely has the music gene. She sang an amazing version of Cups (You’re Gonna Miss Me) for the Convergence album. Her talent, passion, and work ethic make her father proud every day.
Dave’s wife, Clivia (also formerly a singer) has a love and passion for music – and an amazing energy for everything life has to offer. She and Dave share time both in Italy and Los Angeles. Show less
Lead Pastor of SPAC Nation, Pastor Tobi Adegboyega preaching
SPAC Nation, a church being led by a Nigerian Tobi Adegboyega is being investigated in Britain over allegations that pastors were pressuring young members to sell their blood and also take bank loans to donate to the church and fund the lavish lifestyle of the pastors.
The Charity Commission said it has opened an inquiry into the church.
The commission, which describes the London church as a charity set up to ‘advance Christianity’ that works particularly with young people, has ordered it to bank all its money while the investigation takes place.
The commission announced the enquiry after HuffPost UK reported allegations that some members of the church had been taking teenagers to donate blood for medical trials in a practice known as ‘bleeding for seed’.
Mariam Mbula another pastor of the church called Bling Church
The Mail On Sunday reported that SPAC Nation’s leaders had been accused of threatening parishioners who fail to raise enough money and one pastor had even urged her followers to ‘beg, borrow or steal’ in order to gather money for the church.
The newspaper revealed that one senior leader, Mariam Mola, 30, whose real name is Mariam Mbula, 30, had been jailed in the UK, Belgium and Spain, and was also wanted for leading a crime gang in Italy.
The senior leader, who had previously appeared on shows including This Morning and been praised for turning her life around after she was jailed for fraud at the age of 18, had at least 13 convictions for 34 offences; 27 for fraud and dishonesty.
Adegboyega’s home in the UK with Range Rovers
The Lamborghini owned by one of the pastors
It was also reported that Mbula had once preyed on a woman with a Down’s syndrome daughter in order to gain £15,000 from her funds.
Labour MP Steve Reed, the Shadow Children’s Minister, previously told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The allegations I have received about Spac Nation from vulnerable young people are truly disturbing.
‘Victims are saying it is run like a cult. I want there to be a full investigation.’
Scotland Yard said it was reviewing the complaints against the church, which is run by the 39 year-old Adegboyega, who came to Britain in 2005.
The church, which denies the claims, has previously been praised by politicians for its work in tackling gang violence and protecting young people at risk of knife crime.
The commission said a case had been opened on SPAC Nation in April last year, and in November this year information received from the trustees ‘raised further concerns about the charity’s financial controls, policy and procedures’.
In a statement, it added: ‘Of immediate concern to the commission is that substantial amounts of charity money are held in cash.
‘As a protective measure, the commission has issued an order under Section 84 of the Charities Act, requiring the charity to bank its money.
‘The commission is also concerned about the apparent lack of clarity between the personal, business and charity roles of leaders within the charity.’
SPAC Nation’s ‘Church of Bling’
The evangelical church claims to be a ‘faith based organisation that is committed in seeing the lives of young people being transformed’
The church, which featured in a BBC documentary last year, claims 55 per cent of its congregation are ex-gang members
A report with the commission’s findings is expected to be published once the investigation is concluded.
In a statement from its board of trustees, SPAC Nation said the inquiry was ‘needful to lay to rest some unverified allegations,’ adding: ‘Inquiry is what we have always asked for.
‘If anything is found wrong we will adjust it, and if not we will keep going strong.
‘If any pastor or leader is caught pressuring people to donate, such leader will be expelled without delay, not to talk of pressuring to donate blood for money.
‘We encourage people to donate blood and all they can for the community but we also say not for money ever, that just won’t happen here.’
Collapses: The Venice Biennale and the End of History
The 2019 Venice Biennale feels like the end of everything: the end of art tourism, the end of vacations, the end of the beach and the climate of pleasure. With bad news about the climate crisis worsening every day, the nationalistic turn of governments from the U.S. to Britain to Italy to India and Brazil, it’s unclear whether the liberal ideology that produces world-scale cultural events like the Biennale can hold much longer, or whether the economic or ecological structures of global tourism can continue to support it. The liberal democratic order of free markets and free will is undermined around the globe by violent nationalism and economic protectionism. The Biennale exhibition, May You Live in Interesting Times, offers little but a hollow scream in opposition. The whole thing feels a bit like buyer’s remorse, a magnum opus from a lapsed believer in Francis Fukuyama’s promise that we’d reached the End of History.1
Joint Italy-EU military vessel with helicopter, Piraeus Port, Greece, August 2019. Photo: Anuradha Vikram
Both the main exhibitions and the various national pavilions feature more women and artists of color this year than any previous. Diversity is manifest with respect to types of work, interests, materials, biographies, and ages of the artists on view. Curator Ralph Rugoff states that “[the artists’] work grows out of a practice of entertaining multiple perspectives: of holding in mind seemingly contradictory notions, and juggling diverse ways of making sense of the world.”2 Diversity and multiplicity appear here to be set up as counternarratives to universalism, the ideology that has historically governed the international contemporary art discourse. But is this in fact the case? Fukuyama says, “The spectacular abundance of advanced liberal economies and the infinitely diverse consumer culture made possible by them seem to both foster and preserve liberalism in the political sphere.” If, as Fukuyama suggests, there are “fundamental ‘contradictions’ of human life that cannot be resolved in the context of modern liberalism, that would be resolvable by an alternative political-economic structure,”3 diversity is not one of those contradictions. Rather, pluralism reinforces the “common ideological heritage of mankind,”4 while fascism’s resurgence around the globe and the popular embrace of nationalist identity are more of a contradiction in light of the realities of international markets. This is the turn of events that market utopians like Fukuyama failed to anticipate.
Rugoff never comes off as a utopian, given his pervasive air of weary detachment. Rather, the exhibition transmits how it feels to watch the ascent of Donald Trump and the unfolding catastrophe of Brexit from the “all-knowing,” cool remove of the contemporary art insider—omniscient, yet impotent, and unable to divest from toxic habits. George Condo, Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, Christian Marclay, and Arthur Jafa channel an anxiety bordering on panic. Construction, shipping, air travel, commerce, monuments, the body, gender—all once fixed as concepts in the Western imagination, with clearly associated positive values, are now invoked by artists such as Yin Xiuzhen, Nicole Eisenman, Slavs and Tatars, and Martine Gutierrez as hazardous, unstable, and volatile. Nowhere is this instability more evident than in the work of Mari Katayama, a Japanese artist whose self-portraiture tableaus tease the boundary between agency and objectification. These artists, more than the comparably straightforward representation advanced by artists like Zanele Muholi, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, or Gauri Gill, capture the zeitgeist of not just the show but the present time. Our historical moment is monumentally catastrophic, and the usual serious response to extremism doesn’t seem to be working. Instead, the images range from abject to absurd.
Indios antropófagos: A Butterfly Garden in the (Urban) Jungle. Peru Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019. Photo: Anuradha Vikram
Especially relevant are the artists who toy with the fetishization of Indigenous bodies and cultures for Western consumption. Within the main exhibition curated by Rugoff, Gutierrez situates her U.S.-born Latinx, trans body within a series of photographic landscapes, Body in Thrall, that challenge touristic notions of indigeneity, cultural authenticity, and romanticized poverty around non-white people. She occupies diverse personas, from a film noir femme fatale to the terrifying Aztec deity Tlazolteotl, “Eater of Filth,” always negotiating the high fashion aesthetics of desire with a subversive decolonial aggression. Similar themes and tactics appear in Indios antropófagos in the Peruvian Pavilion, curated by Gustavo Buntinx, in which historical artifacts from the Spanish colonial era and large mosaic tile works by Christian Bendayán depicting frolicking Indigenous youth come together in a scathing critique of cultural tourism. In the French Pavilion, curated by Martha Kirszenbaum, artist Laure Prouvost references the oceans and the sea life projected to die out by 2048, only 29 years into the future, with a number of glass animals seemingly cast into the sea floor, strewn across a landscape of refuse and discarded technologies.
Back in the real world, there’s no way to excise or sequester the beautiful parts into a future that can outlast the very real catastrophes happening now. The overwhelmingly urgent need for a complete lifestyle change played in my head over the week following my visit to the Biennale, as I recuperated from a difficult personal and professional year on a seven-day Greek Islands cruise with my young children, partner, and parents. Looking over the waters where thousands of migrants have drowned, from the top deck of a massive, yet outdated, luxury vessel, I considered how the looming climate crisis creates a condition of simultaneous enjoyment of the modern world that is all around us, and a mourning for its obvious and inevitable loss. Is this the end of curating? The traditional role of the curator as guardian of the world’s collected treasures seems as irrelevant as the contemporary job of mounting resource-heavy exhibitions for an international crowd of jet-setters. Conceptualism has begun to rot from the head, as when Rugoff controversially chose to include Christoph Büchel’s installation of a salvaged boat that, in 2015, sank in the Mediterranean with more than 800 people aboard. I reflected on this watery tomb, recommissioned as a tourist attraction, while looking out across Piraeus port. In the distance, a military troop (jointly operated by Italy and the European Union) performed exercises atop a warship in a city where anti-immigrant attacks are on the rise. In the seventeenth century, the Venetians gained and lost control of Athens in a rivalry with the Ottomans. Today, it seems the EU’s primary objective in the Mediterranean is to sever thousands of years of interconnection between these three regions. Two years ago, the regenerative promise of art as a universal cultural good was undermined when documenta 14 recreated the financial dynamics of German austerity policies in Athens, Greece afresh. Debts went unpaid, workers uncompensated, all in the name of “fiscal responsibility” that nearly shuttered the sixty-year-old event for good. What better outcome ought we to expect this year from an art event born out of universal nationalism?
Halil Altindere, Space Refugee, 2016. May You Live in Interesting Times, Venice Biennale 2019. Photo: Anuradha Vikram
An explicitly utopian impulse is fugitive in May You Live in Interesting Times, but it manifests in the intersection of art, science, and technology. Margaret and Christine Wertheim’s Crochet Coral Reef raises awareness about preservation of the oceans through a crowdsourcing practice that combines mathematical learning with environmentalism and craft. Tavares Strachan’s meditation on African American astronaut Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr., locates metaphysical discourse about the afterlife within a scientific conversation about space travel—where elsewhere Halil Altindere complicates this view with the tale of Syrian cosmonaut Muhammed Ahmed Faris and his persecution by the state. Ryoji Ikeda bathes us in cleansing white light and describes a massive, thunderous universe of data that takes breathtaking shape before our eyes. Hito Steyerl’s This is the Future is a post-internet pastorale in which computer vision is applied to the Venetian landscape to depict a state of perpetual, dreamlike futurity in which the present persistently refuses to resolve into view. The protagonist of Steyerl’s installation seeks out a garden that she had previously hidden in the future in order to protect it from the ravages of the present.
The song of the Lithuanian Pavilion Sun & Sea (Marina) still rings in my ears:
“When my body dies, I will remain,
In an empty planet without birds, animals and corals.
Yet with the press of a single button,
I will remake this world again”
The finale of Sun & Sea (Marina) details the 3D printing of facsimiles of species in widespread collapse, taking comfort in their simulated resurrection as one would in the cold rays of a dying sun.
The gentle tenor of the apocalyptic visions in Sun & Sea (Marina) perfectly encapsulates the feeling of living at the outside edge of the story of the human species on planet Earth, with the knowledge that history as we know it may well be about to end because our species is one of millions undergoing collapse. The emptiness of our endeavors is invoked by Shilpa Gupta, whose wildly swinging metal gate hammers an effigy of national borders into a gallery wall. Otobong Nkanga’s drawings in acrylic on crayon reference the mechanical, industrialized nature of exploitation in the 21st century. Unlike the bees, whose society is organized around abundance, we humans have engineered systems to maximize our suffering. If humankind can truly lay claim to a common ideological heritage, as Fukuyama once argued, we have only ourselves to blame for our impending end.
This article was first published on January 17, 2019
When Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the new Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, settled into his office at the Kirya after being sworn in Tuesday, he had a long list of military challenges to plan for: Rockets and tunnels by Hamas and Hezbollah, Iran’s persistent threatening stance against Israel in Syria, Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
One thing he probably never thought he would have to add to that list was planning for the possibility of a U.S. withdrawal from NATO.
The day is almost over, and no one from the Administration has denied the NYT story about Trump wanting to pull out of NATO. Worse, no one from the Administration would dare say he would never do it. Because they know he might.
— Dan Shapiro (@DanielBShapiro)
But as he learned from the New York Times, the possibility is very much on President Donald Trump’s mind.
It is no small matter for Israel.
In the first instance, Israel benefits from NATO because of the way it broadens U.S. influence. NATO is an alliance, but it also entails its European members willingly accepting the United States’ leadership position on the continent.
U.S. allies outside the alliance benefit from the association. It has helped earn Israel a seat at the table as a NATO partner, has opened doors to cooperation with non-U.S. militaries, and helps prevent escalatory scenarios in moments of tension between Israel and NATO members, notably Turkey. In a post-NATO world, Israel’s alignment would be with an isolated United States that lacks the multiplying effect of broader Western support.
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But the operational effects could be far more challenging. Israel maintains impressive self-defense capabilities, which will be sustained in any scenario, but its security partnership with the United States, another critical pillar of its defense policy, will be forced to adapt in complicated ways.
The day-to-day relationships between the IDF and the U.S. military are conducted via U.S. European Command. U.S. forces based in Germany are the ones who travel to Israel by the thousands to conduct joint exercises, including those that drill bringing Patriot missile batteries to augment Israel’s domestic capabilities and help defend Israel in the case of a major conflict.
U.S. Navy destroyers, home-ported in Spain and equipped with Aegis missile defense capabilities, are among the Sixth Fleet’s ships that sail regularly in the Eastern Mediterranean (and make port calls in Haifa) to ensure adequate support for Israel’s defense. U.S. Air Force squadrons based in Italy come to Israel to conduct joint air exercises with the Israeli Air Force. Other U.S. troops sit even closer, at Incirlik Air Force Base in Eastern Turkey.
Remove the United States from NATO – and forward-deployed U.S. forces from Europe, which would certainly follow – and the United States’ ability to respond to a Middle East crisis would be diminished.
Could U.S. support for Israel be shifted and coordinated instead through U.S. Central Command, based in the Persian Gulf? It has been proposed before as an efficiency measure. But Israeli generals have always resisted the proposal. Their worry is that they would find it challenging to enjoy the same level of intimacy they currently have with Europe-based U.S. commanders, with commanders who maintain a similar closeness with Arab militaries.
True, Israel is closer strategically today with the Arab Gulf states than at any time in its history, because of a focus on the common threat of Iran and the lower priority of the Palestinian issue. But those relationships are a long way from being normalized – and could still backslide.
Israeli security planners are, therefore, still most likely to want to maintain separation between their relationships with the U.S. military and with their Arab neighbors. Having observed the intense friendships formed between Israeli military commanders and their U.S. counterparts based in Europe, I can say that these ties will not be easily replaced.
The broader Middle East would also experience the effects of NATO’s demise in the form of further empowerment of Russia. That is happening already, but losing NATO would turbocharge those trends.
Already, Russia’s brutally decisive intervention in Syria, combined with successive U.S. administrations’ preference to reduce active U.S. military engagements in the region, have led many regional states to explore expanded security ties with Russia.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets more frequently with Putin than he does with Trump, and the IDF and Russian Air Force deconflict their operations in Syria. The leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, all close partners of the United States, have visited Moscow and explored acquiring advanced Russian weapons systems in addition to their American-supplied arsenals.
Should Russia decide to exert leverage, such as by constraining Israeli freedom of action against Iranian military targets in Syria, the United States would be ill-equipped to push back.
A U.S. withdrawal from NATO would unmistakably be understood as a major pullback from the United States’s leadership in global affairs. The effect of expanding Russian influence would be felt far beyond Europe and the Middle East.
Military planners are renowned for imagining, and developing options for, every possible scenario. So General Kochavi and his colleagues will find a way to prepare, and put themselves in a position to adapt. But there are certain anchors that any country hopes to maintain, particularly one facing as many threats, and so tied to its American ally, as Israel.
To avoid having to grapple with the nightmarish set of problems that would result from the U.S. leaving NATO, General Kochavi might consider recommending to his Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that he use his influence with President Trump to dissuade him from such a dangerous course.
Daniel B. Shapiro is Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, and Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa in the Obama Administration. Twitter: @DanielBShapiro
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Spac Nation, a popular church known for saving young black people from the life of crime in the UK is under police investigation. This comes after several months of allegations by former worshippers who said they have been brainwashed to spend money they didn’t have by the church pastors.
SPAC Nation has at least 23 houses run by pastor Tobi across London. The church which 55 per cent of its members are young people under the age of 30 welcomes at least one thousand members on a weekly bases. The church Sunday services take place in hotel venues and conference suites across London. Majority of the members of the church are former gang members who are looking for help and a new beginning.
SPAC Nation is found and run by Nigerian pastor, Tobi Adeboyenga age 39 in Croydon. He came to Britain in 2005 and until recently was living in a £2.5 million house in Surrey. Tobi is known for his lavish lifestyle of designers wear, expensive pieces of jewellery, Rolls-Royces worth over £150,000, Lamborghini with personalised ‘Pastor’ number plates to name a few.
Former members are reporting that the church forced and intimidate them to take ban loads and raise thousands of cash to fund the church’s lavish lifestyle.
The pastors are said to urge their members to ‘beg, borrow or steal’ to meet the church’s weekly fundraising demands.
One of SPAC Nation senior leaders, Mariam Mola age 30, was once jailed for a fraud she committed when she was 18 years of age. She is also wanted for leading a crime gang in Italy. Mola whose real name is Mariam Mbula has at least 13 convictions, 34 offences, and 27 for fraud and dishonesty according to reports.
More reports claim that one of the SPAC nation pastor known as Alexander Kenlock, age 24, boasts about manipulating young girls into donating £100 a week. While former members are worried they have racked up thousands of pounds worth of debt by filling out fraudulent loan applications with the help of their pastors.
Some other young people also said they were helped by pastors to set up companies so that they could get a business bank account with generous overdraft facilities.
In another story, two mothers complained their children were pressured into handing over student loan funds after the church held events on university campuses in Birmingham and Hertfordshire.
Former members believe SPAC Nation operates in a similar way to county lines drugs gangs because the pastors gave a ‘line’ of parishioners who they are responsible for raising money.
In a leaked churches video, a pastor was seen telling his church members, they have a target of £100,000 a week and nobody should be bring in nothing less than £2,000.
Labour MP Steve Reed said the allegations he received about the church from vulnerable young people is truly disturbing and victims are saying it runs like a cult. He demands a full investigation. He also added that Scotland Yard is reviewing the complaints against the church.
The church was featured in a BBC documentary last year, after revelling that 55 per cent of their congregation are ex gang-members. The church was praised by UK police, Tory and Labour politicians for helping fight knife crime.
In the wake of the allegation, a Spac Nation spokesman according to Daily mail said: ‘We are aware that people do have financial troubles and have taken out their own personal loans. We have sought to help those who are struggling to manage their debts by way of our debt management department, which is run by our qualified financial advisers.
‘Any allegations that have been brought to leadership, has been dealt with internally. The Metropolitan police have not formally notified us of any investigation.’
Below is the notice the church posted on its Social media platforms.
The story is still developing as the church is under investigation.
London (CNN)Ginger Baker, notorious hellraiser and celebrated drummer in the supergroup Cream, has died at the age of 80 at a hospital in the United Kingdom.
Psychedelic rock band Hawkwind, which worked with Baker, tweeted their condolences on his death Sunday.
“Fly high Ginger! You were a one off and and a true legend…We were honoured to work with you…RIP,” the band’s Twitter page said.
Spandau Ballet songwriter Gary Kemp and film director Edgar Wright also paid tribute to a musician who inspired countless others.
Baker grew up in Lewisham, south London, son of a bricklayer. His father was killed in World War II when Baker was only four years old. Bullied at school, he began playing drums at the age of 16, and, and was earning a living as a professional musician a year later, becoming a fixture of London’s 1950s Soho jazz scene.
He learnt about African rhythms from his hero, another British jazz drummer Phil Seaman — who also introduced Baker to heroin, a habit that scourged much of his life.
In 1962, Baker replaced Charlie Watts as drummer in the blues band Alexis Corner’s Blues Incorporated when the latter left to join the Rolling Stones.
Baker then joined the Graham Bond Organization, a blues band that quickly became popular in the UK with Bond and bassist Jack Bruce with whom Baker had a legendary tumultuous relationship. The Graham Bond Organization ended when Baker fired Bruce at knifepoint.
Baker decided to form his own band and invited guitarist Eric Clapton to join him. Clapton agreed to join with Baker to form Cream in 1966 — if Bruce came too — and the world’s first rock supergroup formed by already established musicians was born.
“He saw something about me that I never thought before, he would say it is about time,” said Clapton in the acclaimed 2012 documentary about Baker “Beware of Mr Baker.”
“Ginger was pretty dismissive and anti-social, seriously anti-social but he had the gift, he had the spark, the flair, the panache … he had it in spades.”
Jazz was Baker’s first love
After just two years Cream split, due largely to the tension between Bruce and Baker, having trail-blazed musical techniques that led many to call it the first ever heavy metal band. Baker also played the first ever long on-stage drum rock solos. Baker and Clapton continued with the group Blind Faith but only for a year.
His next venture was Ginger Baker’s Airforce — band that fused rock with jazz and African influences. Again, that only lasted just a year.
But jazz was always Baker’s first love, and during this period he also played alongside some of jazz’s greatest drummers such as Max Roach and Elvin Jones before deciding to put his drumsticks where his heart was and drove his Range Rover across the Sahara Desert to Nigeria.
There he hooked up with the father of Afro-beat, the legendary Fela Kuti, and for a while the two men were inseparable. Baker set up Nigeria’s first 16-track studio and stayed there for several years.
Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney recorded his classic 1973 album “Band On The Run” there with his band Wings. Baker also learnt to play polo in Nigeria, a passion that remained with him forever, but led to a fall-out with Kuti as many of the members of the Lagos Polo Club were Kuti’s enemies.
After he left Nigeria Baker moved to Italy where he ran a wine ranch and then he moved to the US. He continued to play with some of the great names of rock ‘n’ roll including Public Image Ltd, the band of former Sex Pistols front man Johnny Rotten.
Cream first reunited in 1993 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Twelve years later, they played their first full reunion shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden and the London’s Royal Albert Hall. Jack Bruce died in 2014.
Baker spent his last years on a ranch in South Africa with his polo horses.
His daughter said he suffered “from many long term conditions” notably chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which “he spoke of in many more recent interviews,” she said in a statement Sunday.
Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2006 the band received a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement. Baker was also nominated for a Grammy in 1968 as Best New Artist.
The great back-rower is pained by his countrys current struggles but sees an opportunity to beat Italy and surprise the game again
Alternative history is about tantalising but impossible questions. What if Lincoln had skipped the theatre? What if David Cameron hadnt called his referendum?
Al Charron wonders what Canadian rugby might have become, had one game at the 1991 World Cup turned out just slightly different.
We had a really big belief in ourself that we could surprise the world, says the Hall of Fame back-rower, all 76 caps and four World Cups of him.
In 1991, Charron was a raw-boned 25-year-old Ottawa Irish flanker, a rare Ontarian in a team dominated by British Columbia.
I think we should have beaten France, he says. We played France in our last pool game after beating Romania and Fiji and I think we were down 10-0 before we figured out we could play with these guys. And we ended up outplaying them and outscoring them I think for the rest of the game.
Canada lost 19-13 so Charron, Stormin Norm Hadley, Gareth Rees and all qualified for a quarter-final in Lille. That brought heroic defeat, 29-13 to New Zealand, Charron scoring a try, underdogs cheered to the rafters. Canada seemed ready to join the top table.
Charron thinks wistfully back. If France had been beaten Canada would have played a quarter-final in Paris instead against Will Carlings England.
England were an unbelievable side, Charron says, and they were unlucky to lose the final. But I would have liked to match up against England, because we were kind of built in the same way: strong forward pack, heavily relying on the fly-half.
Being as modest as he is hugely engaging, he doesnt put it in stark black and white. So here it is: if Canada had beaten England at the Parc des Princes a battle perhaps even more brutal than Le Crunch they would have had a decent chance of beating Scotland at Murrayfield and reaching the final at Twickenham.
What might have been. Four words to sum up Canadian rugby.
After 1991, Canada kept on coming. They beat Wales in Cardiff, Charron scoring the winning try, they beat England, Scotland, France and Italy. At the 1995 World Cup they ran the world champion Australians close and fought the next No1, South Africa, at the Battle of Boet Erasmus. In 1999 they pushed France again.
The team successfully gathered the eggs Thursday from the two female rhinos, who live at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. The outcome was made possible by years of research, testing and practicing the procedure.
“Both the technique and the equipment had to be developed entirely from scratch,” Professor Thomas Hildebrandt from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany said in a press release. “We were able to harvest a total of 10 oocytes – five from Najin and five from Fatu – showing that both females can still provide eggs and thus help to save these magnificent creatures.”
The egg extraction is just the one part of a long journey to keep the northern white rhino from becoming extinct.
Najin and Fatu, the two rhinos, are not able to carry a pregnancy themselves. Researchers will attempt to artificially inseminate their eggs with frozen sperm from a northern white rhino. If researchers can produce embryos, they would be transferred to a female southern white rhino who would act as a surrogate.
‘A tangible reality’
The last male of the species, named Sudan, died of natural causes in March 2018. Another male, Suni, died in 2014. Sperm from both males was cryogenically frozen with the hope that someday the technology would advance enough to use it in reproduction.
“Yesterday’s operation means that producing a northern white rhino embryo in vitro — which has never been done before — is a tangible reality for the first time,” Cesare Galli from Avantea, an Italian laboratory that specializes in animal reproduction, said in a press release.
The harvested eggs were airlifted from Kenya to Italy, where the Avantea laboratory will fertilize the eggs in vitro with the sperm from the decreased males.
In July, a southern white rhino gave birth to a baby boy at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It was the first artificial insemination birth of the species in North America, the zoo said.
The birth of the baby rhino was especially important because it meant the artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer worked. Once the whole process has been perfected in southern white rhinos, it could be used in other endangered species, the zoo said.
“On the one hand Ol Pejeta is saddened that we are now down to the last two northern white rhinos on the planet, a testament to the profligate way the human race continues to interact with the natural world around us,” Richard Vigne, managing director of Ol Pejeta, said in a press release.
“However we are also immensely proud to be part of the groundbreaking work which is now being deployed to rescue this species,” he said. “We hope it signals the start of an era where humans finally start to understand that proper stewardship of the environment is not a luxury but a necessity.”
When the striker called out racism in the England camp, it ended her international career. She explains why the fight was worth it
Eniola Aluko is one of only 11 female footballers to have played more than 100 times for England. She has scored some of the Lionesses most memorable goals, was the first female pundit on Match Of The Day, and is a qualified lawyer, having graduated from Brunel University London with a first in 2008. But it is as a whistleblower that she is destined to be best remembered. And, like many whistleblowers, she has spent the subsequent years being rubbished by those she exposed.
Now she has written a memoir. They Dont Teach This is a fascinating examination of her multiple identities British and Nigerian, a girl in a boys world, footballer and academic, a kid from an estate with upper-middle-class parents, a God-fearing rebel. But the book is at its best when she reveals exactly what happened after she accused the England management team of racism, and the Football Association of turning a blind eye to it. Aluko does not hold back and few people from the football establishment emerge with their reputation intact.
Aluko now plays for Juventus in Italy, but we meet at her old stomping ground, Brunel. She has been delayed by traffic, which gives me time to explore the sports centre. On the wall are three huge, framed posters of Brunel alumni sporting legends. Guess who they are, I say to Aluko when she arrives. Mo Farah, definitely, she says instantly. And? Erm oh, Usain Bolt! Obviously! He trained here. And the third? She is stumped. Then she looks. Oh. My. God! It is a poster of her playing for England. Wow! Thats amazing. She looks genuinely thrilled.
Aluko has a small, mobile face with striking features big, brown eyes and a huge, ear-to-ear smile. When she is unhappy, she makes no attempt to hide it; her glare is as forbidding as the smile is winning. And there havent been many times over the past five years that Aluko has had reason to smile.